The joys of planning

Jan. 31st, 2015 05:21 pm
juliet: (Default)
[personal profile] juliet
Further to my previous posts musing on getting stuff done and the perils of the ticky-box approach, I have realised another interesting thing, which is that I can find researching and (in particular) Planning a Thing more satisfying than the actual Doing of the Thing.

The thing with planning is that you can research and consider and analyse and generally collate lots of information into a cohesive whole, and then make a considered decision based on appropriate factors. All of which is (I find) quite satisfying. And after that you can work out what needs to happen when[0], and whether you need to acquire anything, and generally, once again, consider and analyse and collate things into a Plan. A Plan is a beautiful thing.

But then comes the actual Doing, which involves hard work (physical or mental) and finding that you forgot to allow for this, that, or the next thing; and often the Doing does not entirely match up with the Planning in outcome either[1]. (Though sometimes it does, and sometimes it is better.)

And yet, Planning without any actual Doing is (probably) (right?) eventually going to be unsatisfying.

I could use getting better at Doing.

In other news, we are (hopefully) going to get solar panels! (They should be Permitted Development but due to the specifics of our covenant we have to get permission and it is proving a little more intricate than I expected. Which, really, I should have expected.) Planning the solar panels was fun, and also takes me one step closer to finishing my Permaculture Diploma which I am now aiming to finish by July. There is, inevitably, Another Plan.

[0] If you are very lucky, there may be a Gantt Chart.

[1] I often find it difficult to start writing something, for example, because in my head it exists in a whole and, it seems, perfect form, which is necessarily going to suffer when turned into cold hard words on paper. I am trying to get better at this. Also that is the point of editing, but it is still sometimes sorrow-making to read back something I've just written and realise just how clunky it is.
umadoshi: (Utena - Kozue (luna_riviera))
[personal profile] umadoshi
We've been showing Kas Revolutionary Girl Utena, and last night we saw eps. 32-33. Episode 33 is the last recap episode and the only one I always watch; it's both a really good clips episode, in that it's at least half new material, and annoying in that a Very Significant Thing happens in it, so you have to watch it. And that brings us up to the six-episode Apocalypse arc proper, which is everything the show's been leading up to and hinting at, and why this is still my favorite anime.

This is my second time watching with the gorgeous remastered DVDs, which is a lovely experience. Except...as far as I can tell, they didn't tweak the original sub script, and there's a constant problem in the script that goes way beyond my professional itch to go over it and do it myself* (which I'm sure isn't just me, and I imagine other people do the same thing to my work). This is well past "personally, I would have..." and into "I don't know who's responsible, but that person should be ashamed, as should every single person who let it get through" territory.

Here's the problem: Utena addresses/refers to Juri (I loathe the "Jury" spelling) as "Arisugawa-sempai"/"Sempai". The domestic release opted to ditch honorifics and westernize the forms of address--fine. (Not what I would do personally, but fine. Whatever.) So when Utena says "Arisugawa-sempai", the script says "Miss Arisugawa".

And then when she says "Sempai", the script says..."Jury".

It'd be one thing if it were a one-off mistake. But no. The entire show does this. (It may not be literally every time, but it's certainly the case most of the time.) In what possible world could this be seen as a good idea? WHO APPROVED THIS? I rewatch Utena every few years--see also, favorite anime!--and every time, I'm forced to remember that someone thought this was a good idea and no one else said "FUCK NO", which IMO is the only appropriate reaction.

footnotes under the cut )
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
You know that scene in The West Wing with Danny and CJ where... here, this bit:

Danny : CJ, I'm not staying in the penalty box forever. I have covered the White House for
eight years and I've done it with the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time
Magazine, and the Dallas Morning News! And I'm telling you you can't mess me around like
this!
CJ : Danny, I just gotta tell you, that was - seriously - that was a turn-on when you said
that, though I don't know why you decided to be your most haughty on the Dallas Morning
News in that sentence.

...Yeah, that's me and Brubaker in this post. I REALLY LOVED BRUBAKER YOU GUYS. IT'S OKAY IF YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF IT. I DON'T CARE. IT WAS GREAT.

I'm watching a lot of Robert Redford movies because reasons. )

The last three I watched: Three Days of the Condor, All the President's Men, and BRUBAKER. )

Also I've decided, now that I'm down to seven movies on my Robert Redford list, that I should do a Meryl Streep project next. (I realized I've only seen a few of her movies despite her being, you know, Meryl Streep, and then realized that the total is, at most, five, and that's counting my quite vague memories of having seen Defending Your Life and Death Becomes Her sometime in the mid-90s. And the other three movies are Mamma Mia, Julie and Julia, and Into the Woods, soooooo. I have some catching up to do!

(no subject)

Jan. 30th, 2015 12:51 pm
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
Festivids opens tomorrow! So today I will post about [livejournal.com profile] holmestice, which had its reveals a month ago. I’m nothing if not timely, me. :-P

[personal profile] language_escapes wrote a lovely Beth Lestrade Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century story for me: “let my name not be forgotten.”

22nd Century doesn’t get a lot of attention among the other Holmesian fandoms, and possibly deservedly so: as much as I hate the phrase “just a kid’s show,” it’s fairly apt. (22-minute adaptations of canon stories — some fairly tight adaptations, some loose — set in a distant future with ray-guns, brain-wiping, floppy disks, and flying cars. Character development is shallow, but I still enjoy their versions of Lestrade, Watson, and Holmes. The show tends to skim lightly through the plots, but overall, it’s very strongly rooted in canon, moreso than many higher-profile adaptations.) I’m not passionately fannish about the show, but speaking as a fic writer, and especially as a fic writer who tends toward fic-as-meta, it’s a brilliant ‘verse to play in, as good as custom-made for people who want to explicitly engage with the adaptive tradition and its fall-out.

After all, the backstory for 22ndC is that Victorian Holmes and Watson actually lived, and then their stories became a cultural phenomenon to the point that the Holmesian legend has become a motivating force for the characters. A geneticist with criminal ambitions cloned the reputed greatest criminal mastermind of all time, Moriarty. In response, Inspector Beth Lestrade — a current member of Scotland Yard, direct descendent of G. Lestrade, and the literary heir of Watson’s journals — stole Holmes’s corpse and re-animated it. Her robot sidekick then read Watson’s journals and was so impressed by them that he adopted Watson’s personality for his own. Canon not only exists within this ‘verse, but exists with a weight that shapes and warps the characters’ world. It’s an excellent ‘verse for wrangling with the cultural legend of Sherlock Holmes as a thing in its own right. (Which is exactly why I turned to 22nd Century for my summer Holmestice story, “Persistence of Memory,” when I wanted to talk about the way that Elementary S2 had been sidelining Joan Watson and my frustration with the way that some had been defending it with “because canon.”)

[personal profile] language_escapes wrote a story that plays very nicely with mine (technically they’re not in the same continuity, but there’s only a distance between the two), in which she explores what it means to be a Lestrade in a world where everyone knows that Lestrades are always wrong. Additionally, we get plenty of what I love about Beth Lestrade: obstinance, optimism, and gratuitous kicking-in-of-doors. It’s really a lovely story, and it made me very happy.




My Holmestice contribution this last go-around was ACD!canon femslash: “So Keen a Sympathy,” Mary Watson/Kate Whitney, interstitial to “The Man with the Twisted Lip.”

…and you know, I thought I was going to have scads to say about it, but most of what I’d have to say is in the fic itself. But [livejournal.com profile] violethuntress’s meta about missing and secretive husbands in Twisted Lip was foundational, and the story taps hugely into my own feelings about how patriarchy creates very real differences in the lives of lesbians and gay men. But mostly it’s a story with a happy ending, because I’d rather spork my eyes out than write about unhappy historical lesbians.

Speaking of, I did a ton of background reading for this. (As is my wont. I even did substantial research for Holocene Park, and that was all ridiculous shit about genetically engineered dinosaurs killing people under the streets of New York. The actual world is always richer than my imagination.) I posted some of my favorite quotes on tumblr — diaries, letters, poems, and stories by Gerogian, Victorian, and Edwardian lesbians — but because booklists are always fun: “sources” )

(no subject)

Jan. 30th, 2015 12:57 pm
sixbeforelunch: ann with messy hair from parks and rec, no text (parks and rec - ann)
[personal profile] sixbeforelunch
So, reading The Stories Life of A.J. Fikry via my library's overdrive account, and yes, it's a great book, and yes I can keep it on the screen when people come up because it still looks like work, but reading it at work was a terrible idea. Because there came a moment when I needed a nice therapeutic cry, and I could not have it. Not without being the woman who started sobbing at her desk for no reason. Bah.

(no subject)

Jan. 30th, 2015 04:41 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1163 aged 26 William FitzEmpress(my toy,wikipedia). Son of the Empress Matilda (who fought Stephen over the crown of England, she was an Empress because she was married to the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, who was not William's father that was her 2nd husband Geoffrey of Anjou). Interestingly he is mostly known as "FitzEmpress" meaning "son of the Empress" which I guess highlights Matilda's importance. William was supposed to marry the widow of his cousin, but failed to get papal permission, so didn't. Permission was needed because marriages created "affinity" which was as important as "consanguinity" in the laws about who you were allowed to marry; the distance to which cousin-marriage was permitted has varied a lot over time and in different countries, and the degree to which permission could be obtained by asking the Pope or other authority. Currently in England the law allows cousin marriage but still affinity can still matter (for instance you may not marry your step-child). "Oops I found out she is my cousin" was also a reason you could use to ask the Pope for an annulment. Possibly even if you already wrote to the Pope to ask for permission to marry her in the first place... this didn't work for Henry VIII (in this case Catherine being his sister-in-law, although also his 3rd cousin) but it did work for other people (who I am too lazy to find) who were presumably on better terms with the Pope. Since nobles tend to want to marry other nobles, and most of the nobility of Europe were cousins... the Pope had quite a lot of control over who married who (where people were in favour of doing what the Pope said). These days you are not allowed to petition parliament for permission to marry forbidden relations (well, obviously you *could* write to your MP, but I doubt it would work, even for very important and well connected people) but many fewer relations are forbidden.

Born on this day in 1699 to King Peter II of Portugal and Maria of Neuburg Francisca of Portugal(my toy,wikipedia). Her Aunt married Charles II, and, er, I can't think of anything interesting about her.

I HAVE A TIMELINE

Jan. 30th, 2015 02:18 am
umadoshi: (wolf 01 (nomnomicons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Well, my brain tried to hare off and do everything else it could think of rather than focus on writing the timeline that I really need for my psychic wolves fic, but via the judicious application of tea too late at night (around 12:30 AM) and [personal profile] wildpear letting me cry at her on Twitter while I worked on it, I finally have a timeline written out (and emailed to her).

And gloriously, the time frame leading up to where the story actually starts overlapping with Feed is less of a probable clusterfuck than I thought, in terms of Georgia and Shaun's age and wolf lifespans and reproductive cycles and whatnot. (I've been looking up numbers for gray wolves and will blithely adjust them as needed for trellwolves--it's not as if the circumstances in the Bear/Monette books make for an ideal lifespan for the wolves or anything.)

Alas, things get fuzzy as soon as it reaches the overlap point, which is kind of funny since about half of the current 23,000 words are after that point.

It's a good thing I'd thoroughly let go of the idea of finishing the fic for the fest next month, since the act of assembling the timeline added a whole potential subplot that will likely take quite a lot of words to deal with. I'll see what [personal profile] wildpear thinks. Mostly I'm pleased by the Potential Subplot, but I do want to get this done so I can get back to my mermaid AU.

...remember when I wrote fic that actually fit into canon? Me too. I also really want to get back to that. (But I love my mermaids. And I love Georgia's wolf in this one.)

I have a new pairing to ship!

Jan. 29th, 2015 10:27 pm
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
I was going to write about the last few Robert Redford movies I've watched (Three Days of the Condor, All the President's Men, and Brubaker) but I think I've finally gotten the auto-shutdown working correctly on my computer so I don't have time to say much.

I shall instead leave you with my favorite thing I said tonight on IM, (surely you require no explanation of the context):

Luckily JARVIS is really good at this, so Bucky never ends up sobbing in a puddle of his own pee, trapped between a potted plant and a clown painting.
umadoshi: (read fast (bisty_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
--The suboptimal stuff first: it's been a not-great couple of days here. My current rewrite is going slowly (it's very text-dense), which is a bit stressful, and poor [personal profile] scruloose was home today because he slipped on a badly-cleared icy patch when going in at work yesterday and wrenched his back. :/ We're really hoping it won't cause any problems when he goes in (again) for his tattoo tomorrow.

--We have another winter storm warning, with the forecast calling for it to hit late tomorrow night and carry over into Saturday.

--For anyone who's sad about Porn Battle not happening this year and who hasn't heard, there's going to be a "golden oldies" round at [community profile] pbam from February 15-25th, using prompts from prior Battles.

(For other Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant fans, yesterday I posted a consolidated list of all of the prompts for her books over at [community profile] aftertheendtimes. Most of the prompts from those previous Battles are for the Toby books and Newsflesh, but there are also a few for InCryptid and Velveteen vs.)

--As my "WHO NEEDS SLEEP?" brain reminded me the other night, I really do need to do up a timeline for the Newsflesh psychic wolves AU (which also really needs a title, because surely the title would be shorter than writing that out). Part of me is resistant, though, and I think it's because an actual timeline, even a draft version, will probably drive home how fast and loose I have to play with the time frame to make the story work, and "fast and loose" isn't exactly one of my strengths. I may post separately about this at some point and seek input (general fannish/fanfic circles sorts of input, not series specific, I don't think) while I try to nail down a bit more of it.

--As I mentioned a few days ago, [personal profile] wildpear does this magical thing of assessing a story or draft that's a tangle in my head and sifting out what I'm actually doing and what impressions she has about what I'm trying to do, which is a lifesaver when I'm messed up about something. She did that for my psychic wolves last week, and this morning I woke up and found an email where she'd written it out for me, and just having that to look at helps. ^_^ (My conscious feelings re: this fic are along the lines of "Ack, this whole thing is a mess and traumatic and characters are hurting and What Does It All Mean? And why is it so fucked up?" [The answer to "Why is it so fucked up?" really does just start with "...take a moment to consider the canon you're drawing on for the wolves."])

What did you recently finish reading?

Most recently, Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl and Attachments, with Holly Black's The Darkest Part of the Forest in between. I really enjoyed all three, although I'd say Fangirl worked best for me. It and Attachments are very different books, which fortunately I knew going in. And where I bonded with Fangirl almost immediately, Attachments took a lot longer. The premise there is inherently skeevy, and self-aware about it, and deals with that as well as possible, I'd say. I did wind up clicking with it fairly strongly about halfway through. But I think I'm far more likely to revisit Fangirl. As for The Darkest Part of the Forest, I'd say it hasn't dislodged The Coldest Girl in Coldtown as my favorite of Black's books, but it was a good read, and I was unsurprisingly pleased by the Newsflesh nod. (It'd be pretty obviously a Newsflesh nod even with no outside context, but lest anyone think I simply see it everywhere, she confirmed it on Tumblr when someone asked.)

What are you currently reading?

Nothing!

What do you think you'll read next?

I'm not sure. I have some graphic novels out of the library (vol. 1 of Velvet and three Marvel volumes, including vol. 1 of Ms. Marvel), so I need to read those fairly soon. I was vaguely planning to pick up The Goblin Emperor next, but right now I'm feeling a bit more like reading something set closer to our own world, so I'm going to have to look over the to-read bookcase. (Reading from my shelves of purchased books for a change is turning out to be quite lovely.) Maybe I should tackle Sinner. Or maybe none of these things will be next!

(I don't own either of Rowell's other two books, so while I want to lay hands on them reasonably quickly--especially since [personal profile] wildpear read Eleanor & Park last week--they're not high contenders for the immediate future.)

(no subject)

Jan. 29th, 2015 04:53 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1820 aged 81 King George III of UK(my toy,wikipedia). Famously mad, for much of his long reign his son ruled as Prince Regent.


Born on this day in 1585 to William I, Prince of Orange and Louise de Coligny Frederick Prince of Orange(my toy,wikipedia). Grandfather of the William of Orange who became King of England; spent a lot of time fighting the Spanish.

SHIELD fic rec

Jan. 29th, 2015 05:22 pm
astridv: (Default)
[personal profile] astridv
Oscar the Grouch by eedmund
Kara Palamas (Agent 33)/Mike Peterson, Grant Ward; humor/puppies & happiness; (these chars deserve puppies & happiness and so do we); 2256 words
Summary: Kara Lynn is tired of Grant Ward's brooding. She decides to surprise him with a present but she's in for a surprise of her own.
Post "An Honest Conversation" [now complete]. Skye/Ward is implied but not actually in it.


Totally adorable. The fact that it's compliant with my Renegades 'verse is the cherry on top. :)

(Can be read without reading the prequel, but it contains a few spoilers. Plus, part one is a great read!)

linkspam loves kale

Jan. 28th, 2015 08:01 pm
cofax7: John Crichton, kind of broken (FS - John Broken)
[personal profile] cofax7
Dinner was a bunch of chopped kale cooked with some really good pasta, then tossed with half a can of tuna and probably too much olive oil. Topped, of course, with parmesan, sea salt, & pepper. NOM.

*

This list of relatively new books on environmental history and policy looks pretty interesting, if you're into that sort of thing.

Noted: Ryan's Podcast Reviews. Worth checking occasionally, if you're looking for new podcasts.

I really enjoyed this article about the secret history of same-sex marriage.

Also this article on the history of breakfast...

Huh, a surprisingly good piece in the Atlantic about Native Americans and genetic testing.

I have to say, this doesn't surprise me in the least. The Emperor really does have no clothes. One of the most famous successes of the British Security Service was its great spy round-up of August 1914. The event is still celebrated by MI5, but a careful study of the recently-opened records show it to be a complete fabrication - MI5 created and perpetuated this remarkable lie. The bit about the gerbils is just fantastic.

Jessamyn West writes about settling her father's estate (and includes a link to Get Your Shit Together, which I definitely need to do). This is awesome. A few months into this slow-motion hackathon, we were celebrating my birthday. Friends put spitting smokey sparklers on cupcakes, trying to be festive. A disembodied voice from the ceiling started booming "FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!" which, as it happens, is a line from the Bradbury story. As we extinguished the sparklers and I scrambled to figure out how to stop the yelling, the phone started ringing. A man's voice at the other end asked me for a password. This is how I learned that the house had an alarm system.

What a surprise: walking outside is good for your mental health. Now I feel all righteous, since I took TNG out for a good walk when I got home from work.

*

Oh, it's Wednesday. Cool.

Current reading: Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay, on audiobook. I last read this at least 15 years ago, and it was in my memory as one of the last non-annoying books he wrote. And it is definitely less annoying than his later work--rather less ponderous foreshadowing and so forth. But woe, is it overwritten. Every passing thought of each character gets multiple paragraphs of explication of their history and personal traumas, loaded with emotion and meaning. Nothing--and I mean nothing--is left for the reader to figure out. And when characters aren't obsessing over their own/their people's traumas, they're focusing obsessively on the interpersonal dynamics of their friends. Every little glance is noted, usually with a comment on how the glance is full of meaning that the onlooker can't interpret. It's just too much. Does Kay have no respect for the intelligence of his readers?

Argh. I want to edit this thing. It would be really good, if it lost about 30% of the unnecessary verbiage. But I can't even skim, because it's an audiobook. I hope I can persevere, but I'm wondering why I should bother...

Just finished: Texts from Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg. Which is just what you think it is. Fun and lighthearted and occasionally surprising, full of Mallory's gleeful misandry, and just enjoyable to read. It's not exactly long, but it doesn't need to be.

Up next: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, by Mark Twain. Last read this in college; it will be interesting to see if I remember any of it. For book club, naturally.

agent carter: the blitzkrieg button

Jan. 28th, 2015 09:25 pm
sixbeforelunch: peggy carter facing away from the camera in a red hat standing in front of the shield logo (mcu - peggy in her red hat)
[personal profile] sixbeforelunch
Best episode to date!

wednesday reading

Jan. 28th, 2015 11:36 am
sixbeforelunch: ann with messy hair from parks and rec, no text (parks and rec - ann)
[personal profile] sixbeforelunch
I finished What the Butler Saw: Two Hundred and Fifty Years of the Servant Problem By E. S Turner, and was most struck by the lengths to which people went to try to keep servants in their houses even when labor-saving devices became available and it was clear that the social landscape was changing so that servants were both largely obsolete and really hard to come by. Personally, I adore my washing machine and my dishwasher and my running water and all of the other things that mean that I can live a good life without having strange people coming into my house.

Anyway. Good book. I really wish I'd had access to it when I was writing my Charles Bingley turned footman story, but I largely did okay anyway. This book would have just centralized the information that I got instead from multiple sources.

Currently I'm reading two short story collections. Lord Peter Views the Body is a Peter Wimsey collection. I've only finished the first story so far, and it was enjoyable. I find that most mysteries work better as short stories than as novels anyway, so I'm anticipating liking this one.

I was craving old-school science fiction of the strange new worlds sort, and I found in my libraries ebook catalog a collection of Robert Sheckley short stories. I'd never heard of the writer before, but it's an NYRB publication, and that's usually a pretty good indicator of quality. So far, they've fit the bill exactly. I was surprised to find that most of them were published in the 1950s. They've held up well. Two of the stories play with gender in surprisingly modern ways.

After this, I'm not sure if I will be in the mood for more science fiction, but I did check out The Illustrated Man by Bradbury just in case.

(no subject)

Jan. 28th, 2015 04:57 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Born on this day in 1457 to Edmund Tudor and Lady Margaret Beaufort King Henry VII of England(my toy,wikipedia). Henry VII took the crown at the Battle of Bosworth, where his army defeated and killed Richard III then buried him under a (future) carpark. He then married his 3rd cousin Elisabeth to "unite the houses of York and Lancaster" (interestingly Elisabeth was herself descended from John of Gaunt through her grandmother Cecily; I don't know why Cecily's marriage to Richard of York didn't "unite the houses blah blah" but probably because no-one had just won a decisive battle). Henry was the first Tudor monarch (possibly the Tudors are descended from people in charge in of Wales, but I forget exactly how) and created the Tudor badge (with both the white and red roses). He was super-paranoid about people claiming to be the sons of Edward IV.


Died on this day in 1547 aged 55 King Henry VIII of England(my toy,wikipedia). Son of the previous Henry. Henry was destined for the church until his older brother Arthur died making Henry heir to the throne, Henry married Arthur's widow because *why not* (or possibly because "we want this alliance with Spain and she is here and negotiations take forever") and then famously had another 5 weddings (4 of these marriages were annulled, so it's probably wrong to say he "had 6 wives"; at least from his point of view). *all 6* of his "wives" were cousins of his (because royalty is very incestuous); only 3 of his children survived him but he did have others including many who died very young.

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