July 21st, 2017
elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
Oh good. Back to song topics that don't make me want to rip my hair out.

Had to stop and think about this one, because "love the voice" is not high on my priority lists for songs I enjoy most. But for a long time, I listed my favorite type of music as "anything with a baritone voice and acoustic guitar."

What You Need | Dance Magic | I'm on Fire | Love Is Chemical | Holly Holy | Wherefore and Why | Stay Young | The Warrior | Rainy Days & Mondays | Delta Dawn | It's So Easy

And one where the vocals are so pretty, I almost forget that I love the lyrics, too )

Meme list
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sheafrotherdon at 01:30pm on 21/07/2017
I'm thinking a lot about being left and leaving today. I've felt so low since my brother went home - lowness that is grief, Jan suggested, because whenever someone leaves for an extended period of time we grieve their absence. That I only get to see him once a year, and that those circumstances are not entirely of my creating compounds that. She reminded me that we do not expect a lot of people who are grieving when we clearly see the cause, and so I should not expect too much of myself while I'm working through all these feelings.

Having the feelings in the first place is a wondrous and hard-fought thing, and I'm keeping my eye on that as I process.

There's been a lot of left and leaving recently. Three people left their jobs at my place of work and left a vacuum that has still not been filled. Their leaving increased the amount of work on my plate to such a degree that when it's time for the creative part of my job I'm already depleted from the administrivia I'm doing, and my creativity feels forced and lacking. The hard conversations I had with colleagues last week happened while two of my closest local friends were away on vacation, so I felt their absence keenly, too. Then my brother. This all twists up with the bigger narratives of my life about leaving - especially about leaving England - in ways I haven't quite fully pinned down. But at least I see the patterns, or the patterns that my brain finds important, at least.

Leaving things has been my path to freedom. I wonder if, because that leaving was so big and important, I used up my share of goodwill where leaving is concerned, and now I just fear it. Lots to think about.
copperbadge: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] copperbadge at 02:58pm on 21/07/2017
I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

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July 20th, 2017
elf: John Egbert with a rocketpack, captioned "THIS IS STUPID" in all caps. (This is stupid)
I'm behind again. This time it's not because I forgot or got too busy. Who MAKES these damn lists, anyway? Don't answer that. I know who. Teenagers, or maybe college students. People who think, "reliving heartbreak is a poignant moment, an interlude of quiet sadness in the midst of your hectic day," and not "reliving heartbreak is like walking naked into fire, so of course I'd want to share that with all my friends and casual acquaintances who knows how many strangers on the internet."

So I've spent a couple days trying to nudge the question from the side, trying to consider songs that I think of as heartbreaky without sending myself into a downward spiral that could take weeks to recover from.

Today doesn't get a list, and it doesn't get a video. [personal profile] mdlbear posted that Jordin Kare has died.

I remember one filksong from my first year at BayCon - Leslie Fish's "Banned from Argo," sung in the back corner of a party room by four people sharing a copy of Westerfilk. The next year, I went looking. I remember one song from my second year - Jordin Kare singing "The Bride of Saint-Germain."

I wrote about this before. Bride of Saint-Germain has, as far as I know, never been recorded. It's certainly never been publicly released. And now, no matter how well the OTW does in its struggles to get fanworks accepted as fair use, no matter what kind of precedents vidders win from congress... he's never going to record even one of the fannish concert versions that sometimes make their way to Youtube.

I loved Jordin's music; I have both Fire in the Sky and Parody Violation and I can sing along with all of them, even if I don't quite know all the words. The song that breaks my heart is the one I'll never hear again.

Meme list
morganmuffle: (merchant femslash)
posted by [personal profile] morganmuffle at 11:51pm on 20/07/2017 under , , ,
Today at work was Raising Autism Awareness which was a much shorter thing than some of our other training because it was very introductory but it was given by two teachers from a local college and it was really interesting to hear them talk about their students who tend to be at the more severe end of the spectrum and some of whom may be coming to do some sessions or volunteer with us.

And then I tried desperately to concentrate on an exhibition brief I need to finish writing but the world kept conspiring to distract me. I'm taking headphones in tomorrow.

Then this evening I met up with N for a meal & the theatre which was nice because it's been a while since we've done that and it was good to catch up. Though I was HUGELY disappointed when I trie dto order truffle arancini only to be told they were finished :-(

Queen Anne (RSC @ Theatre Royal Haymarket) )

Well that ended up being half about the play and half about my feelings on these two fascinating women.
siria: (ca - peggy)
Lessons in Unsubtle Diplomacy
MCU | ~12,700 words | Steve/Peggy, AU | Thanks to [personal profile] sheafrotherdon and [personal profile] trinityofone for all their help with this. Written for [personal profile] thedeadparrot for the [tumblr.com profile] fandomtrumpshate auction, with thanks for her generosity and her patience.

(Read also on AO3)

Steve, Peggy, and a visit to an English country house after the war. What could possibly go wrong? )
copperbadge: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] copperbadge at 12:28am on 20/07/2017
I am like….90% sure I’m going camping this Friday. 

It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read. 

The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.

If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case. 

Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse. 

Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*

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July 19th, 2017
morganmuffle: (Twelfth Night kiss)
Long but fascinating day thinking about disability and access today. The training was officially titled Building Disability Confidence and I think it definitely did that- it can feel a bit overwhelming at times talking about barriers to accessibility and how far behind organisations and people can be but today ended with almost everyone in the room genuinely feeling more confidence and having practical (and achievable) ideas of next steps.

It felt so good to be there.

And then 30 seconds at Embankment station this evening and all my "people are great sometimes" feelings melted away :-P

Thankfully Yank! The Musical was where we were headed and that restored a lot of them. Some thoughts... )

And if only the theatre wasn't quite so like a sauna I'd be back there again at least once before it finished...
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sheafrotherdon at 07:36am on 19/07/2017
My brother's visit last weekend was really lovely. We hung out, I took him to the outlet mall for jeans (501s, on sale, are about $80 in England right now. He got two pairs, plus a shirt and some boxers, for $116 here), we cooked together, we took a walk around the local lake, and we had a good time with friends. It was so much fun, and Monday I was horribly sad after I dropped him off at the airport. In the past I would have simply quashed those feelings instead of feeling them, but on Monday I kept thinking, "I am so sad," and told myself, "just feel it." It made for an uncomfortable day, but it was honest. There's something I can feel good about in that.

I got new glasses yesterday, and while my eyes are still adjusting some, they're pretty revolutionary for me. For the last two years my reading vision out of my right eye has been blurry - not because of my eye, but because of the lenses in my glasses. We replaced them three times last time and eventually they told me that was the best that they could do. It's made reading difficult and frustrating when it used to be a real joy. Now, with the new glasses, I can see to read again, and OH it is amazing. I keep looking at pages of books and the computer and noting that I can see and just reveling in it. Yay new glasses! (And yay for a FSA that made it possible.)

I have a bunch of deadlines at work coming up and I feel singularly uninterested in everything I have to do to meet them. I will meet them, but eh. Sometimes it's just not that satisfying. But that said we're about to enter a heat warning that will last until Saturday night - real temps of 95 and above, heat indexes into the 110s, so work will be delicious because it is air-conditioned, as opposed to my house which has floor units that at best keep things at about 80F. So I am prepared to find work much more interesting as of today so that I can soak up the cool.

I hope, wherever you are, you are not about to enter a heat warning, and that you can soak up some delicious cool wherever you are (or, if you're in the global south, you're not utterly miserable with cold!) ♥
July 18th, 2017
morganmuffle: (rainbow)
posted by [personal profile] morganmuffle at 07:04pm on 18/07/2017 under ,


The Rainbows got hold of my phone this evening whilst we were out on a walk around Heartwood Forest and now I have many MANY photographs of this one carved bird from all angles... not quite sure why they liked it so much. It's very lovely but then everything else carved on this arch was lovely too!

Anyway term is over which is one thing ticked off for a bit (except finishing the accounts and sorting out our waiting list and checking everything is well for the database switchover and making sure our meeting location is updated and then visiting our new location and finding a way to make sure all our girls can get to the new location)

*takes a deep breath*

Everything in my life at the moment seems to be a long list like that and yet even whilst it makes me want to scream somethings it really is all worth it (there's nothing quite like children fighting over who gets to hold your hand to make you feel like you must be doing SOMETHING right)

How is everyone anyway? We're currently in the middle of a summer thunderstorm which (as I'm safe inside) I rather enjoy watching as the thunder rolls around us.

Low pressure return, I need to stop letting DW be something I feel guilty about or pressured to use... it's meant to be FUN and useful.
July 17th, 2017
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Rainbow Fairy)
I'm not sure what I'll come up with for this. I've recently gotten pretty cynical about the whole idea of falling in love, after the emotional labor thread at Metafilter. It covered a whole lot of ground (like, near half a million words of ground) about how relationships often work, and how it's usually assumed to be the woman's job to keep track of everyone's feelings and steer those feelings in directions that make the relationship stronger. Since then, I'm not sure if I've been in a state where I wanted to feel compelled to set my own interests aside for the purpose of strengthening a relationship, even one that makes me happy.

I went looking for songlists, as I've been doing, to spark my memories. There are no song lists for "strong women in love." There are countless love song lists, and there are "female empowerment" lists (there is, apparently, basically no such thing as "male empowerment"), but nobody combines those ideas. There's a lot of love songs I like, but very few that make me "want to fall in love." Even these, I'm not sure are correct, but at least they don't carry any "nope nope nope; I am so done with that game" vibes for me.

It Must Be Love (Rickie Lee Jones) | Circles (Captain and Tennille) | Innocent Man (Billy Joel) | In a Big Country (Big Country) | Like a Prayer (Madonna) | Country Bumpkin (Loretta Lynn)

And the only one that actually brings me happy thoughts about a hypothetical relationship )

Meme list
siria: (ca - peggy)
posted by [personal profile] siria at 09:20pm on 17/07/2017 under
Would anyone be interested in betaing something for me? It's a Steve/Peggy AU, about 12,500 words, some canon-typical violence. I just want to be sure there are no egregious plot holes and that the voice/characterisation rings true.
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
posted by [personal profile] copperbadge at 08:48am on 17/07/2017 under
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] readera's partner, J, has been in the ER multiple times in the past three months, and their finances are very strained because of it. They're raising $300-$500 for transportation costs and medicine; you can read more and reblog here or give directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] sleepyheathen needs to make next month's rent and is selling items, offering commissions, accepting donations, and has an Amazon wishlist up. You can read more, purchase, or reblog here, or donate via paypal here.

[tumblr.com profile] tony-in-distress is trying to escape an abusive situation and hoping to take her siblings with her. She needs to raise enough money for a deposit on a safe house for her and her siblings to live in. You can read more and help out here.

Anon is raising funds to help a friend cover debt and pay for legal bills after her abusive husband took custody of their youngest son. You can read more and give here; unfortunately due to Australian law apparently they can't provide much information.

Sarah Sadat had to leave her job recently due to stress and is facing mounting medical bills for a failing kidney and previous hospitalization; she has surgery scheduled for next month, and is fundraising to help cover medical and other bills. You can read more and give to the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] ohstephyy was let go from a job three months ago and hasn't been able to get another one; there are also other costs coming up to cover. You can read more and reblog here; a paypal address is available at the post.

[personal profile] laurashapiro linked to a fundraiser for [personal profile] kuwdora, a talented vidder who is trying to become a professional editor. She has an opportunity for professional coaching from the editor of Burn Notice and Empire, but can't afford the expenses on her own. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] tiarasnteakettles who is looking for work as a harpist, including attempting to purchase a harp that would be a massive upgrade from her current instrument and allow her more freedom in performance. You can read more about her situation and reblog here, including links to her Patreon and online store and Paypal donation address.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

News To Know:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] wanderlust-anthology, an upcoming anthology of reimagined myths, legends, and folklore based on the theme Quests and Journeys. They are looking for creators for this anthology, which will be a full-color printed book with stories, comics, and artwork. You can read more at their tumblr or at the FAQ here; sign-ups close July 30th.

Housing:

Riel is looking for a roommate in Austin, TX to share a townhouse; she and the other roommate (male) are both grad students, and they do have a cat. Riel is very fandom-friendly. Lease starts in August. You can check out the townhouse here and get in touch at ariellayendler at gmail.com.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
July 16th, 2017
elf: Emily the Strange: Misery loves company (Misery Loves Company)
Oh wow; this is an iiiinteresting category. Lemme share some of the contents of my "DUMPSTER FIRE 2016" playlist, which is a set of songs by artists who died last year. (I have a whole playlist of songs by artists who died the year we got POTUS45. The only reason it's not longer is that some of them aren't on Spotify. In the future, I wouldn't be surprised if we blot 2016 out of calendars.)

The Heat is On | Little Red Corvette | You Want It Darker | September | Rebel Rebel | Lucky Man | Big City | Faith

2016 was a horrible year to be a celebrity. )

Meme list
siria: (Default)
I am back in the States and only mildly jetlagged, after a brief delay courtesy of the flooding of an air traffic control tower in Canada and the usual encounter with the incredibly rude US Border Patrol agents. (I understand that they're required to satisfy themselves that I'm not a nefarious criminal, and that it must be a tedious and repetitive job, but let me put it this way: whenever I walk up to the booth when entering Ireland or France and say "Hi, how are you"/"Bonjour, monsieur/madame", I get a response other than a grunt or silence. And that's the least of the issue.) It's always a little bit of a shock to the system to go from Ireland's milder summers and late-setting sun to North America's heat and earlier darkness, but so it goes.

Orphan Black, 5.06, Manacled Slim Wrists )

Spider-Man: Homecoming )
waketosleep: text: be serious, batman, pic: batman laughing (Misc - Be serious Batman)
July 15th, 2017
elf: Grateful Dead Steal Your Face with sun & moon (Steal Your Face)
I think it'd be cheating if I included bands that only "broke up" because somebody died, so... no Queen, no Grateful Dead. But I'm not limiting myself to bands whose original members are all still alive, because I am at least bordering on "old," and most of the bands I loved are missing at least one original member. (And because I went looking for lists of "great bands that broke up" because I don't keep track of these things, and I've never heard of most of the bands on the lists.) However, I think it'd be extra-cheating to list anything by the Beatles because I can't honestly say I wish they were together as they are know; I've seen too many zombie AU fanfics already.

Also I went looking for the details about several bands I thought had broken up and discovered that many of them had gotten back together in some way, and several of them are still recording. (Supertramp is still active. Huh.)

White Rabbit | Gimme Gimme Gimme | Vacation | Peaceful Easy Feeling | Come Dancing | Anarchy in the UK

One of the few bands I've seen in concert - well, I've seen the abridged version of the band. )

Meme list
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sheafrotherdon at 10:12am on 15/07/2017
This week has been a doozy. First came the workplace politics, where I discovered someone believes I have been bullying a close friend of mine into doing things she doesn't want to do. It's such an astonishing mis-read of the situation that I was actually rendered speechless when I heard, and not only is it a horrible thing to think about me, it's a horrible thing to think about my friend. I have no idea what has prompted this interpretation of events, except to say that last night I remembered that the person who believes this is firm and fast friends with a former supervisor of mine, who famously remarked in a work evaluation of me that I wasn't nice enough. (Which - what? And second - can you imagine a man ever getting that in an eval? Me either.) I have no idea if their friendship is at play in this, but the last time I was so fundamentally misunderstood was that eval. For whatever that's worth.

Learning this was unbelievably painful, especially as it has repercussions for the department in which I serve, and I spent a lot of this week feeling very low about it all.

And then there was a situation where I did every last thing right, and ended up without a reimbursement on Wednesday as I'd been promised, and so things bounced at the bank, and I ended up with fees, and then I ended up in a mad scramble to make sure my water wasn't turned off. And then there was the letter about a loan from my retirement account that has been declared in default, which means I will owe taxes on it next spring, despite the bankruptcy proceedings. *HANDS* As I remarked to Rachel, I am the opposite of King Midas. Everything I touch turns to NOT gold.

But! I started bouncing back from all this junk on Thursday, and then my brother arrived yesterday for a weekend visit. It's so fun to have him here, and it's so easy to hang out with him. Today we're headed to the farmer's market and an art pop-up market and to hopefully have lunch with some friends. The weather has miraculously agreed to stay fairly cool while he's here, too, which is nice, since the last two times he's visited it's been above 90 his whole stay. We can get out and about much more pleasantly now! I feel really lucky that we've remade a relationship as adults, and that we've both turned out as good, fun people despite the odds. It's not true for everyone's situation, and I will count myself lucky to have this good thing come out of the ashes of the old.

Off to find green beans and corn and flowers ♥
July 14th, 2017
elf: Stained glass interlocking pentagons (Law of Fives)
Ooh, that's a bold claim. Hrm. I am tempted to rattle off half the songs on the "Firestorm" album, on the grounds that everyone should know some survivalist teaching songs. I'm also trying to remember songs I dragged out for my kids and said, "you will listen to this; it is important to your education and understanding the culture of your people and I am not raising antisocial numb-witted jerks here, so you are going to hear this song and whether or not you like it, you are going to damn well be ENRICHED by it."

There aren't actually a lot of those. And most of them are at least somewhat in the filk genre.

Old Time Religion (the filk version) | Little Fuzzy Animals | Velveteen | Badger Badger Badger Badger | Black Powder and Alcohol | Cranes over Hiroshima

I really wanted Black Powder to be the video, but then I remembered this one. )

Meme list
copperbadge: (Default)
A mango mixed jelly freeze from Chinatown is the best decision I have made all week.

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