musesfool: wendy watson in a wetsuit with a gun (come at me bro)
[personal profile] musesfool
Dear co-workers:

* I cannot finish your urgent project in a timely fashion if you keep interrupting me to ask when your project is going to be finished! Please stop!

* We have already done Thing based on all your requirements (and with your approval!) last quarter. We can just update it instead of spending so much time trying to come up with a new way to do it (only to come up with basically the exact same Thing). There is no need to spend hours reinventing the wheel!

* You have to decide whether you need a meeting to happen ASAP or if you need everyone involved present, because it's July coming up on August, and half the people you need will be out on vacation at any given moment and I have no control of that.

* I don't want healthy snacks in the vending machine. If I am driven to getting food from it, it's generally because I want Frito Lay corn chips or terrible plasticky cheap chocolate, not some sort of chip made from beans or some kind of granola bar! WTF?

no love,

me

***
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Selected Poems, by William Carlos Williams: Holy shit, it has to be noted—and I did not do this on purpose—but it took me five years exactly to read this book. I started reading it on July 11, 2012, and finished it on July 11, 2017.

That's exactly how slow going it was.

To my disappointment, not everything William Carlos Williams wrote is as accessible as "The Red Wheelbarrow" and "This is Just to Say," two of his most famous poems. Instead, there's a mix of transparent and opaque.

And then there's Paterson, which he's also known for, a five-volume epic poem that here is presented in extracts, taking up about forty pages instead of its usual three hundred, and seems to be about a grasshopper, a park, geography, some text from a medical journal, a personal letter, and a history lesson. I don't know if it would have made more sense if I had read it in its entirety, but I'm not interested in finding out.

Williams liked to experiment with white space and sentence fragments—he's a contemporary of e e cummings and T. S. Eliot—but his white space lacks the energy and enthusiasm of cummings, or, later, of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Mostly it just looks jumbled, or unnecessarily spread out, staggered like the teeth of a zipper. The chopped up, incomplete sentences were coarse and seemed to impede meaning rather than free it. I didn't feel like I was discovering or feeling something; I felt like I was tripping over it.

For such a long volume, my notes with my favorite poems and lines don't even take up a whole index card, and I was definitely experiencing William Carlos Williams fatigue by the end. The book collects selected poems from 1914 to 1962, and I found Charles Tomlinson's introduction to be wordy and almost breathless in tone but informative about Williams and his poetry style, though more useful after I'd read the book than before.

My favorite discovery has to be the complete Pictures from Brueghel series. I'd read parts of it before, but didn't realize there was more to it. It's ten poems based on works by Brueghel the Elder, who I encounter quite often in poetry. There's something about his paintings that draws poets to him. It's probably the level of detail, all the little stories going on in these huge lush landscapes full of color and people and animals. The poems I've read have all evoked such clear images, even if I'm unfamiliar with the paintings themselves, and Williams's work is no exception. Though, as always, in order to enjoy Williams's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" to its fullest, you benefit by knowing the joke behind Brueghel's "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" and the tiny splash Icarus makes down in the corner of the painting where no one is even looking. Just his leg sticking out of the water. Williams captures the humor and sadness of that image, still giving it only slightly more attention than Brueghel did.

It seems I like Williams best when he's being simple and transparent. His complicated, fractured works don't appeal to me as much, and it feels like this collection is more geared toward the latter. But could be it only felt like it.

Contains: rape, classism, and racist language and attitudes.

Never knew no good from bad

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:55 am
musesfool: bodhi rook (honor the heart of faith)
[personal profile] musesfool
I went to bed early last night and I slept like a rock. I should not still be sleepy! Arrgh!

Wednesday reading meme:

What I've just finished
Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey, which I enjoyed a lot, mainly because Avasarala is the best and also Bobbie! ♥ Holden still needs a lot of punching though. Ugh. Why is this guy the main character? Not only is he a dead bore, he's a ridiculously common dead bore!

I like TV!Prax better than book!Prax, I think, but I also think the show compresses the timeline in a way that means I don't get bored with a character having repetitive beats, the way I can, and do in this case, in a book.

What I'm reading now
Still, I picked up Abaddon's Gate and started it this morning, so I'm still entertained enough to continue.

What I'm reading next
The next book in this series, probably. I don't even know what the name of it is. *looks it up* Ah, Cibola Burn.

I also read two really long stories that both turned out to be in progress, which I probably should have noticed but didn't. I mean, when I see a thing is 175K words long, I figure it's done. I mean, who has that much to say in one story? But no. Sigh.

In my recent fanfic readings, I learned that I will nope out of a story if you kill off Wedge Antilles. Which was a surprise to me - how strongly my kneejerk NOPE was - but there you go. Do not want! (I mean, I don't care for any character death in my fic, and generally not in canon either! but I get that some AU premises require it. But like Bartleby the scrivener, I would prefer not to.)

I also learned that I don't really ship Bodhi with anyone but if I did it would have to be Jyn and Cassian. Gotta keep the Star Wars OT3 pattern going, I guess. I just don't find Jyn and Cassian all that compelling. *hands* I'd much rather read about Baze and Chirrut being the most married. (I think Rebels is the only place that doesn't have an OT3, but I am okay with that. I'm already bracing for Kanan and Hera to get an undeserved tragic ending.)

I also realized that in addition to believing that Luke Skywalker is asexual, I believe Anakin is demisexual, and both Leia and Padme are bisexual. Ahsoka is mostly into women except that I also ship her with Anakin (and Rex, a little), so there are exceptions? And Obi-Wan is pansexual and flirting his way across the galaxy at any given moment.

Which is probably more than anyone cared to know about my Star Wars head canons. *snerk*

***

The episodes that never were

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:12 pm
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
[personal profile] lunabee34 says: "Tell me about the episode (or book chapter) that never appeared in one of your fandoms but should have."

Star Trek TNG: "The Price" is such a god-awful episode that when it leaves those two Ferengi in their shuttlecraft stranded in the Delta Quadrant and doesn't bother to tell us what became of them, that's not even the worst of its crimes. (The worst of its crimes is probably what Crusher and Troi wear to do aerobics.) Anyhow, yes, the Ferengi were acting like jerks, but they didn't deserve to die the kind of death that you'd die stranded in a shuttlecraft 30,000 light-years from home. I think either they should reappear as part of the Borg collective, or the Voyager crew should find them.

Due South: More Ray&Ray. Doesn't everyone want more Ray&Ray? Make RayK go to meet a new informant and discover that it's the Bookman.

The Princess Bride 2: the story of how Buttercup wound up being the Dread Pirate Roberts.

in the corner garden

Jul. 18th, 2017 01:23 pm
musesfool: Daisy Ridley as Rey with lightsaber (you were not mine to save)
[personal profile] musesfool
You've all been watching Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, right? Leia, Rey, Ahsoka, Padme, Jyn! They're so adorable! I might be shipping Leia and Sabine a little bit now too. At least I said, "NOW KISS" at the end of "Bounty of Trouble." *g*

I caught this week's Orphan Black.

spoilers )

Ugh I stayed up way too late last night reading and I'm paying for it now. I just want to sleeeeeeeeeeep.

***
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
- There's a group of people who detest it on principle. Asked to define it, they create a definition that basically sorts everything into two categories: Things I Hate, Which Therefore Belong To the Genre I Hate, and Things I Like, Which Obviously Do Not Belong To the Genre I Hate. (Ask a classic rock fan who hates country about Crosby, Stills, & Nash. Or a classic sci-fi fan who hates fantasy about Pern.)

- Traditionally, about a third of it was worthless due to sentimentality.

- More recently, another third of it is worthless because capitalism endlessly churns it out in identical shiny plastic pieces.

- When it's bad, there's nothing worse.

- When it's good, it captures the human spirit so well that it brings tears to your eyes.

i'm surrounded by your embrace

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:34 pm
musesfool: han/leia from TFA (stlil crazy after all these years)
[personal profile] musesfool
Five things make a post:

A. I had a most excellent birthday dinner on Saturday evening. L and I went to Uva, which I had never been to before and it was so worth it. They have an adorable little courtyard in back, so we sat outside and drank a lot of wine (A LOT OF WINE) and ate like queens.

2. I was going to make myself a birthday cake, but then I was sad and also I wasn't sure it would be good and I didn't want to make a cake that big and have it be terrible (because then I couldn't foist half of it off on my coworkers). That would just be one disappointment too far. I still want to make it though. It looks amazing. And terrible. But mostly amazing. (I would have made fresh whipped cream though instead of using Cool Whip. I'm not much of a food snob, but fresh whipped cream just tastes better, regardless of authenticity.)

iii. The A Wrinkle in Time trailer looks fantastic.

D. Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Behind the Scenes. I might have burst into tears when Carrie Fisher said, "It's all about family," but you can't prove it!

5. I posted a story for my birthday:

Sing a New Song (@AO3)
Star Wars; Vader, Leia, Luke, Obi-Wan; AU; g; 4,130 words
In which Ben has a bad feeling, Luke makes it to Tosche Station, Leia takes control of the situation, and no one understands how hard Vader's life is.

This is the sequel to Just a Little Bit of History Repeating but probably not the one that people were asking for. *hands* I'm probably never going to write a long involved epic AU where they actually overthrow Palpatine. I'm just not that kind of writer. I just want the fraught family reunions where the Skywalkers get to be all ~dramatic~ at each other.

I don't usually write multiple POV stories anymore, but this one seemed to require it, so we could see Luke's "Wtf?!", Obi-Wan's "I have a bad feeling about this," Leia's ability to roll with the weirdness (and also ameliorate the tension between Vader and Obi-Wan), and Vader's misguided belief that he has control of anything, let alone his kids.

As I said in an endnote on AO3, the title is from U2's "40" (and not the Mountain Goats' "Psalms 40:2"*) and I kind of feel like the title of the concluding story of this little trilogy should also come from Psalm 40 but right now it's tentatively titled "How Soon Is Now" for ~reasons. I still have to figure out how to actually write it. Because I couldn't leave Ahsoka out! The story was originally going to end with that - I felt like Vader saying "no, there's someone else" was kind of analogous to Yoda's "no, there is another," but given that it was Luke's section, I thought he ought to have the last word.

Anyway, I like how it turned out, and I'm glad some other people did too. *g*

*which I still think should have a SPN vid made to it, and from which I already used the title "If I'm Not Beyond Repair" for Bucky, or you know I'd be using that for a Star Wars story ("Lord, send me a mechanic, if I'm not beyond repair" could definitely be a Vader and Luke story, you know? Though I could probably do something with "in the burning fuselage of my days" or even "feel bad about the things we do along the way, but not really that bad" if the right story idea struck. Huh. *adds them to the list of titles to use someday*)

***

This week in writing, 7/16

Jul. 17th, 2017 01:39 am
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
Still not great, but better than last week! 

WIPs currently active: 5

Words written this week: 3,259

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 104, still inching along. I probably just need to hit a scene break soon, but then I’m going to have to figure out what happens next, so…?

Born in the Blood: 821, and it is distinctly possible that every one of them is terrible, but I haven’t figured out how to make them less terrible so for now I’m just going with it.

Dragon!Bucky/tribute!Steve and Learning to Be a Good Citizen: 490, including realizing that I needed to insert an entire chapter before where I initially started writing. 

All Eternals Deck #2: 598, possibly all getting deleted when I redo the beginning because i figured out that I was doing it wrong…

Slavefic #6: 1,246, DIRELY in need of a POV change. Soon. Yes. 

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2ute8sm
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runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Gluten-Free Sweet Treats: Cakes, Brownies, Cookies and More, by Emma Goss-Custard: First, this book is British and, as an American, parts of it made no sense to me. The "gluten-free storecupboard" section at the back goes through various ingredients and where to find them but failed to address my many questions. Mixed spice? Stem ginger in syrup? Damsons?? Turns out those're plums. I know this because I can use Google, but I had to go out of my way for it, and I feel like I'd have to go out of my way to find many of these ingredients, which is an obstacle. The other problem is cultural. I'm never going to make spotted dick because the name makes me want to gag.

Still, the cookbook is adorable and has many good qualities, and there are even a few recipes I'd like to try, but at a certain point I gave up because too many of the ingredients aren't things I keep around. Lyle's Golden Syrup and Lemon Oil amongst them. I continued to flip through and look at the nice pictures, but with less of an expectation I'd find something I could make out of my cupboard.

The good news is that every recipe stands on its own. The book doesn't require a custom flour blend. It uses a lot of polenta, ground nuts and seeds, and very little rice flour. It doesn't address flour substitutions, though. There's an emphasis on fresh fruits, as well as different levels of cream (clotted, double, fraîche). Weirdly a lot of the chocolate recipes call for dark and milk chocolate. Not something I see a lot.

The book itself has cute graphics and a colorful layout. I love that each recipe has an info box that tells the size/number of items it makes, baking time, and if/where/how long it can be stored. The introduction to each recipe sometimes suggests flavor variations but only rarely describes the taste and texture of the item. Add that to the fact it only has colored pictures for a third of the recipes, and that means I only have the ingredient list to go by when judging what the final product is going to be like, and in gluten-free baking it's basically impossible to guess the outcome of throwing together a bunch of nut flours and cornstarch. The British call cornstarch "cornflour" by the way. No way that can end badly.

The recipes give amounts in volume and weight (ounces and grams), and there's a helpful index and an abbreviated introduction to gluten-free baking.

Not something I'm going to come back to, but might be a great cookbook if you're gluten-free and in the UK or have gastronomical ties to the region.
musesfool: anakin's lightsaber (this is your life)
[personal profile] musesfool
Sing a New Song
Star Wars; Vader, Leia, Luke, Obi-Wan; AU; g; 4,130 words
In which Ben has a bad feeling, Luke makes it to Tosche Station, Leia takes control of the situation, and no one understands how hard Vader's life is.

Sequel to Just a Little Bit of History Repeating. Thanks to [personal profile] silveronthetree for cheerleading!

Read it on AO3.

Sing a New Song )

~*~

Feedback is the best present!

~*~
musesfool: ultimate spider-man (what a good boy)
[personal profile] musesfool
Happy birthday to me! Maybe there'll be a story later? If I can wrangle all the characters into cooperating? Skywalkers! *hands*

I was woken up at about 5 am by the chirping of the smoke/CO2 detector. It needs a new battery. Because that never happens during the day when you could easily replace it. So I have to run to CVS in a bit to get that.

So yesterday, I did an online HIPAA training and then had my mid-year check-in lunch with boss3. Which went well but was also kind of awkward because she ordered prosecco to toast my birthday and then I had to be like, and yes, my co-op application was denied. (She wrote a recommendation for me.) So she smoothly switched to "then maybe this glass of wine will help ease that pain." *snerk* I had an excellent cheeseburger and fries (the fries at Odeon are great) and for dessert, the strawberry-rhubarb crumble with buttermilk ice cream, which was fantastic. And probably not going to be on the menu much longer as rhubarb season is coming to a close.

When I gave L. the news, she insisted we meet up for dinner even though we are going to dinner tonight, and since I was already going to be on the UWS because I was going to see Spider-Man: Homecoming (I hadn't intended to, but my niece saw it and was excited about it, and so I couldn't resist), we met up after the movie so she could commiserate with me. It was nice, despite the fact that the table behind us had three or four little kids who were completely out of control running around and shrieking. She wanted to complain but I didn't let her. I mean, if I had known, I wouldn't have agreed to take the table (there was a choice) but I didn't know, and ugh, who wants unpleasantness? Even if parents should do a better job of corralling their kids in public, especially in tight spaces. At least one of them thanked us for our forbearance when they left.

As for the movie, I liked it. I didn't think it was necessary, and as much as I love Peter Parker (and you know I do), I feel like it should have been a Miles Morales movie (I mean, was Ned not basically Ganke?) and also I kind of felt terrible for Donald Glover.

I personally really liked Amazing Spider-Man, and this movie didn't quite match the emotional response I had to that one. Otoh, in this one, the teenagers mostly looked like teenagers, and it also looked like the real world in terms of diversity in the high school.

spoilers )

I guess I better go to CVS now.

***
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie: From Christie's author's note: "I wrote the book after a tremendous amount of planning, and I was pleased with what I had made of it. It was clear, straightforward, baffling, and yet had a perfectly reasonable explanation; in fact it had to have an epilogue in order to explain it."

It was so perfectly explainable that she had to add an extra bit to the story to explain it. Yes, that makes perfect sense. I often find my own writing to be so straightforward it requires an epilogue to explain.

This is only my second Agatha Christie book, and the only thing I remember about the first one is that it had a million characters and maybe some Siamese cats? I figured this one would at least have fewer characters. I read it because I recently finished Yukito Ayatsuji's The Decagon House Murders, which references this book in both the text and the premise, and I wanted to see how closely the two were related. Ayatsuji borrows a lot from Christie, and adds his own interesting twist on the murderer.

As for Christie, I didn't care much about the characters, and the writing is awkward thanks to a disjointed dialogue style that depends heavily on adverbs, like:

She said grimly:

"This woman was poisoned. Possibly by a toxic amount of -ly adverbs."

He said doubtfully:

"Surely that's not possible?"

She said grimlyer:

"Oh, it's totally possible."

And, as previously complained, the mystery had to be explained in an epilogue. Which isn't how I like my mysteries to be solved.

Contains: antisemitism, colonialism, racism.

there's no use crying about it

Jul. 14th, 2017 12:21 pm
musesfool: sad cap is sad (too sick to pray)
[personal profile] musesfool
I spoke to the realtor a few minutes ago and my application was rejected. So I guess no amazing birthday present for me this year. He sounded shocked and baffled ("I've seen people with less stellar finances get accepted into co-ops!") and was like, "after you get your deposit back, we can start looking again" but I have to figure out what to do about my apartment, since my lease is up September 30, and I don't know if they'd be willing to do month-to-month since it's a rent stabilized apartment. Ugh, I really didn't want to have to move twice, but I kind of do need somewhere to live.

Right now I'm sad and tired but probably not as shocked as he was, because I just didn't have a good feeling when I didn't hear right away. I'll probably be angry once that wears off, at the way they wasted my time and money and energy. I guess it's better to not be where I'm not wanted, but man, I really loved the apartment.

Sigh.

Comments are appreciated but I doubt I'll feel up to answering them.

***

free ebook: Kushiel's Dart

Jul. 13th, 2017 02:53 pm
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Tor.com has this eBook of the Month Club where every month they give away an ebook for a week, and then for the rest of the month there are discussion posts and whatnot. Because it's Tor, the books are always DRM-free, and you can get them in mobi or epub—though only if you live in the US or Canada; sorry, everyone else.

This month, Tor's giving away Kushiel's Dart, by Jacqueline Carey, and I know fandom's got a thing about this series, so I'm passing it along. I think the only reason I know about it in the first place is because of fandom and the crossover/fusion fics that borrow its premise. Which, to quote from that Fanlore article, is:
The books take place in an alternate-Europe during the Renaissance; the primary setting is a country called Terre d'Ange, which is a France-analogue. Its people practice an invented religion whose primary tenet is "Love as thou wilt" - as a result all forms of lovemaking are sacred, and in canon most characters are assumed to be bisexual and there are multiple examples of relationships involving BDSM and polyamory.
So go sign up if this sounds like your sort of thing. You'll get Tor's newsletter, but I honestly enjoy having it pop up in my inbox. Tor.com has interesting articles about science fiction and fantasy, and really great free short fiction, and the newsletter gives you little blurbs about them maybe once a week.

Legal stuff: Kushiel's Dart will be available from July 13th-19th. Download before 11:59 PM ET July 19th, 2017.

Gluten-Free Cookies, by Luane Kohnke

Jul. 13th, 2017 01:37 pm
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Gluten-Free Cookies: From Shortbreads to Snickerdoodles, Brownies to Biscotti: 50 Recipes for Cookies You Crave, by Luane Kohnke: Did I take a star off this rating (on Goodreads) because the author used the phrase "yummy-in-the-tummy" (in quotation marks no less?!) in one of the introductions to a recipe? No, but I wanted to. I wanted to so much.

Instead, I will ignore that, and focus on the positives, because there are so many of them. To start with: This book does not require a custom flour mix! Each recipe tells you exactly what you need to make it. The measurements are by volume only, though, which I find to be a bummer in gluten-free cooking. I'm going to try the ginger molasses cookies first, and maybe fool around with converting the measurements to weight using an online calculator or chart. If I can find two that agree.

Most of these cookies are made with brown rice flour and almond flour, along with tapioca and potato starch. The recipes call for xanthan gum, but Kohnke says you can substitute guar gum straight across, which goes against everything I've read, but I guess you can experiment with that if it's your thing. Some of the cookies call for vegetable shortening, which I don't cook with, but I've had good results using ghee or clarified butter in place of Crisco, so I'll try that here. The book has an introduction that goes over ingredients, cooking techniques, and tools for those people who are just starting out, but it doesn't get into substitutions much so you're on your own there. And while these recipes don't require a custom flour blend, they are based on Kohnke's own mix. She says you can use it in your favorite wheat flour-based recipes, too, and provides a handy chart to convert a cup of wheat flour to a cup of her blend with all the individual ingredients listed, so you still don't have to mix up a batch of it and have it hanging around.

The recipes cover a lot of the basics: chocolate chip, gingerbread, jam thumbprint, oatmeal, snickerdoodle, shortbread, biscotti, flourless peanut butter. There are sections on kids' cookies (for kids and/or to make with kids), bar cookies and brownies, holiday cookies, and meringues. One of these things is not like the others.

Each recipe has an introduction that describes the cookie's flavor and texture, and at the bottom it tells you how to store them and how long they'll last. There are lovely color photos for each cookie, and a useful index that is sorted by recipe and ingredients. So you can look for "ginger molasses cookie" or "molasses" and find it in both places. This is definitely a book I'll come back to.

I have felt the edge of silence

Jul. 13th, 2017 03:55 pm
musesfool: (it's good to be the queen)
[personal profile] musesfool
Two things to look forward to:

- The Mrs. Ws from A Wrinkle in Time

- The Wakandan Royal Portrait

I AM EXCITE.

***
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