Daily Happiness

Apr. 26th, 2017 12:13 am
torachan: ewan mcgregor pulling his glasses down to look over the top (ewan glasses)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Since my one meeting was yesterday instead of today, I didn't have to get going until a little after noon, and was able to sleep in and just relax this morning, which was nice.

2. Today's meeting was long and pretty boring but we all went to dinner afterwards (paid for by the company) at a fancy restaurant and the food was good and I had a good time. And we were finished around nine, which meant that there was no traffic coming home, whereas if I'd come back right after the meeting, it would have been right smack in the middle of rush hour.

3. Look at this cutie Molly cat!

[Personal] Been AWOL and also boring

Apr. 25th, 2017 11:58 pm
minim_calibre: (Default)
[personal profile] minim_calibre
What I have been up to since last I posted:

* Seen Gifted twice (I enjoyed it the second time more than the first, where I was just sort of bemused by the whole thing. Brenna Clarke Gray had a short Twitter thread about it (she liked it and, as a bright academic, felt it touched on things that academia fails to adequately handle/discuss), which in turn spurred a lot of discussion on my Twitter timeline about the ways in which gifted kids are failed in general. My therapist, were I still seeing her, would be so proud. Not sarcasm. She would. It's very earnest, the movie, and really reminded me of a particular 1970s style of intimate drama.

* Tweeting my rage against the machine. Still. A lot. @mohmlet

* Reading non-fiction again. (Horror before that.)

* Hanging on Discord.

* Looking for work. It's been almost five months now.

* Parenting.

* Failing to catch up anywhere and feeling guilty and avoiding things as a result.

Writing, I notice, has failed to make the list again.

I'm baaack!

Apr. 26th, 2017 02:11 pm
rattfan: (Default)
[personal profile] rattfan
Terry, the guy from Telstra, has been and gone and my Internet is back.  It turns out the guy who was sent out the first time did not properly investigate the situation, not even examining the lines over at the pillar (node that links to the phone line exchange).

One of my theories as to why my connection was dropping out turns out to be correct.  The NBN digging is not involved, nor are the roadworks.  It was line fault due to age, further affected by temperature.  All the lines close to the surface are faulty, Terry said, so he transferred my connection to one lower down in the earth, which turned out to be all right.  My only problem now should be, if I upgrade to the NBN, whether they do something stupid.  They're still using the old copper to link to the houses, so it's not going to be anything super wonderful, the way Iinet and other ISPs are telling us.  

You know, I don't care about super speed.  I just want the speed I have, which is fairly decent, and for the connection to work.

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Apr. 26th, 2017 07:51 am
moreteadk: A pile of opened books (Books)
[personal profile] moreteadk
Removing myself from LJ is something that it's becoming more and more clear to me is going to happen sooner rather than later. It's all beginning to feel a bit dragged out and in a weird sort of limbo, and I think it's time to start thinking about actually cutting the cord. Therefore, this is going to be my last cross-post and you may find me at Dreamwidth HERE. (Husband, yes you should, if you want to keep lurking.)

So, I have finished the Silly Marilly-on! Hooray! It only took about 2½ months, I think. Granted I was reading other things as well, but still. I'm glad I finally made it through that thing. I'm a bit Tolkien-ed out at the moment, though, but I want to see if I can get more or his LotR-verse stuff later on. Though not now. Later. Much later.

Last time I was uncertain about which direction I should proceed in, but [personal profile] just_ann_now tipped me over the edge by rooting for Shadows of the Apt (somewhat predictably), so Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky it is. Just over a 100 pages in at the moment. Without giving anything away, because I've read about half of this series before, I'm having a little problem with one of the characters, knowing what I know is going to happen to them later on. There are all sorts of foreboding little signs already in the first few chapters. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it, I don't know, but somehow on some level I sort of start thinking they always sort of knew they might be heading in that direction. Vague enough for you? I think [personal profile] just_ann_now might be able to guess which character I'm thinking about here.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I just learned that Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, passed away on Monday, at the age of 88.

I've thought for a while that I should tell you about one of the more valuable things I got from ZAMM, which I refer to now as Pirsig's Pejorative Just, and now it seems like a fitting tribute to share the relevant passage:
[...] the English faculty at Bozeman, informed of their squareness, presented him with a reasonable question: "Does this undefined 'quality' of yours exist in things we observe?" they asked. "Or is it subjective, existing only in the observer?" It was a simple, normal enough question, and there was no hurry for an answer.

Hah. There was no need for hurry. It was a finisher-offer, a knockdown question, a haymaker, a Saturday-night special – the kind you don't recover from.
Because if Quality exists in the object then you must explain just why scientific instruments are unable to detect it [...] On the other hand, if Quality is subjective, existing only in the observer, then this Quality that you make so much of is just a fancy name for whatever you like. [...] If he accepted the premise that Quality was objective, he was impaled on one horn of the dilemma. If he accepted the other premise that Quality was subjective, he was impaled on the other horn.

[... regarding the first horn, the objective premise] This horn was the mean one. [...line of proposed reasoning...] This answer, if valid, certainly smashed the first horn of the dilemma, and for a while that excited him greatly.

But it turned out to be false. [...]

He turned his attention to the other horn of the dilemma, which showed more promise of refutation. He thought, So Quality is whatever you like? It angered him. The great artists of history – Raphael, Beethoven, Michelangelo – they were all just putting out what people liked. They had no goal other than to titillate the senses in a big way. Was that it? It was angering, and what was most angering about it was that he couldn't see any immediate way to cut it up logically. So he studied the statement carefully, in the same reflective way he always studied things before attacking them.

Then he saw it. He brought out the knife and excised the one word that created the entire angering effect of that sentence. The word was "just." Why should Quality be just what you like? Why should "what you like" be "just"? What did "just" mean in this case? When separated out like this for independent examination it became apparent that "just" in this case didn't mean a damn thing. It was a purely pejorative term, whose logical contribution to the sentence was nil. Now, with that word removed, the sentence became "Quality is what you like," and its meaning was entirely changed. It had become an innocuous truism.
Now, when I point to a "just" – or an "only", or a "mere", or a "simply", or "but" – and say, "That's a Pirsig's Pejorative Just", you'll know what I mean.

And, if this is the first time you've seen this, maybe now you'll be better prepared to notice them slinking by, in the wild, yourself.

Best laid plans of mice

Apr. 26th, 2017 12:34 pm
fred_mouse: Mummified mouse (dead)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
Plan: get up early, take youngest to school, come home and tidy/clean until noon, eat lunch, answer either the 10 point (hopefully trivial bullshitting) question or the 5 point (tedious, possibly more bullshit, because seriously, how is that question supposed to cover 2 pages with that amount of info, and who writes a two page recommendation when a one page recommendation will do, because that will probably get read), deal with the ceiling repair person, take kid to dance, find time to prepare dinner, have a Wednesday evening.

Getting up early was fine, but stomach was cranky, so no breakfast. Substitute Berocca for the planned coffee. Drive up freeway, get such a good run that it almost couldn't be better on completely empty roads, so youngest is at school ridiculously early. They hope that the library will be open. Will need to make contingency plan for the next time this happens, as it will, because equally plausible is barely scraping in on time. Drive home down freeway, start to feel a bit blah.

Home! Start tidying. Blah turns into so dizzy I can't work out what I'm supposed to be doing. Also, running hot and cold. Try napping - spend about 45 minutes in bed, may have been asleep for some of them. Sit up and read trash on the internet. Take temp (perfectly fine, 36.2°C). Not running a fever, probably just overdoing it colly-wobbles. Drink more Berocca. Play stupid games on ipad until start to feel a little better. Sit up, continue to play silly games. Urgh. Really need to do something. Involved eldest in clean up of kitchen island. Win! There is nothing but fruit on it. Find mouse proof box, move an assortment of (unmunched) packets off the table into it. Fall over for a bit. Go back, determined to get things clean. Look in pantry, realise exactly *how much* evidence-of-mouse is in there. Derail. Clean second top shelf, put most everything back (no evidence-of-mouse on top shelf, including no bite marks in the cereal boxes. Hopefully leave them alone). Clean (and scrub. and gumption) middle shelf, put most everything back. Kitchen counter starting to look like disaster zone again. Sigh. Push on, do fourth shelf. Manage to get half everything back, because some things are in plastic, and the more mouse proofing we do, the more desperate the mouse will be, and some of the plastic stuff already has teeth marks from an earlier invasion. Run out of oomph, eat lunch, type this up.

Nearly concert time...

Apr. 26th, 2017 12:31 pm
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
And I'm actually really excited about it now.  We had our second and final rehearsal yesterday, and it went very well.  And the duets are going to be fine, after all.

I sent an email to my tenor duet partner, saying that I would appreciate some direction on how we are staging the love duets (I know he directs a lot of Gilbert and Sullivan, and one of our duets is from Iolanthe), because I've only ever sung in recitals and concerts, and thus have no stagecraft and feel super awkward.  He didn't reply to my email or make any comment at the rehearsal, but when we got to our duet, he had quietly come up with staging that I'm a lot more comfortable with (no fake kissing) and can actually do (bonus points for this, because I am *not* a coordinated individual).   Since he is always a pleasure to sing with, vocally speaking, I think the duet is actually going to be really fun. And I suspect that whatever weird underlying communication issues we have are resolved - we actually managed to have a conversation that was fun rather than vaguely awkward and prickly, which was nice.  Though if he makes ridiculously lovelorn faces at me throughout my part of the duet the way he was doing yesterday, my ability to not laugh will be severely tested...

As for the duet with Countertenor... oh my.  We didn't get to rehearse last week, because he was sick, so yesterday was our first full run-through.  And the thing with Countertenor is that he really does have one of the most beautiful voices I've heard, so singing with him always feels too good to be true – like suddenly singing a duet with Ian Bostridge or Bejun Mehta or something.   I have a serious musical crush on this man (he was singing Rameau's Sejour de l'eternelle paix right before our duet and it was just swoonworthy – countertenor voices are either angelic and almost eerie, or screechy and horrible, there is no in between, and his definitely falls into the first category).  And our voices blend so well in this piece that we kept on accidentally grinning at each other because it was just so much fun and it sounded so good.  But also, somehow we wound up singing this duet staring into each other's eyes for most of the time, and I was having a lot of trouble not blushing because a) terrible musical crush aforementioned and b) he has lovely eyes and ridiculously long eyelashes, something I had not previously noticed but now appreciate a bit too much. 

So yeah, that's going to be pretty good, for me if for nobody else!

The weird Hitler opera is still weird Hitler opera, and I am still very, very glad not to have a solo in it, though the others are all consummate musicians and doing extremely well with nightmarish material.  I'm finding that I can decipher the Austrian dialect quite well, for basic comprehension purposes, which is surprising, because my German isn't that good, and the people who actually speak fluent German in the group are having trouble with it.  So at least I'm contributing something to it!  And everyone's solos are sounding great.  I do prefer the front end of the program (mostly baroque) to the back end (mostly Hitler opera and Gilbert and Sullivan), but if nothing else, it's a really interesting and varied program, and the voices are excellent. 

And I have a very cute dress, which I had a lot of fun buying, because it turned out that the shop assistant was a fellow mezzo and had also sung the St John Passion with a different group during Lent.  We bonded over the nightmares associated with 'Wohin', and serenaded Myers with 'Lasset uns der nicht zerteilen' and 'Herr!  Unser Herrscher!'.  And then my dress scanned for less than half what it was supposed to at checkout, and she applied the discount, and when I said, um, I kind of hate to mention this, but I'm pretty sure I should be paying about $100 more than you are charging me, she looked at the price tag and said, hmm, yes, that is what the price tag says, and it's probably right, but I can only charge you what the scanner is saying, so you're in luck. 

I have also decided to wear my wedding crown/tiara/wreath thingie (you can see it a little bit in my icon - it's like a wreath made of peridots strung on wire with little semi-precious stones (rose quartz, amethyst, citrine, carnelian) like flowers or berries) in lieu of a wig to somewhat disguise my very short hair.  It does make the hair look more feminine, and if one is a soprano, one does what one must.  Also, it does look like a wreath of leaves and blossoms, and since every single duet or aria I am singing involves me being a fairy or a Queen, I feel that this is entirely appropriate! 

(My only concern at this point is that I woke up today with an earache and a sore throat... noooooo...)

In writing news, the first of my RITA reviews is up on Smart Bitches Trashy Books.  To my amusement, a side comment I made about the idiocy of the heroine jumping into the sea in her wedding dress and how water safety is taught in Australian schools spawned a lengthy comment thread on the subject of water safety, garnering far more comments than the book itself.

I also managed to finally write Pantin's first story for my Stories Under Paris site, which means that I have sketched out the three remaining stories in his arc.  I have not managed to write anything else this week, which is frustrating, but I've just been feeling too tired and under the weather and all my energy has gone to singing.

God, I hope this cold can hold off for another day, though.  I've put way too much work into this to lose my voice halfway through...

podcast update, volume 4

Apr. 25th, 2017 08:17 pm
runpunkrun: combat boot, pizza, camo pants = punk  (Default)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
In the Dark is hosted by Madeleine Baran and investigates the 1989 kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling and the way the case was handled, and mishandled, by local law enforcement. It's a painful and infuriating story told in nine parts, around 40 minutes each, and while it starts off steady enough, I didn't really get into it until about halfway through when all the pieces started coming together, but then I was hooked.

Baran and her team dig into archived records and interview investigators, experts, family members, and victims. It isn't always clear who's talking, and the interviews with Jacob's parents made me uncomfortable at first. I don't know if it's that Baran approached the subject wrong, was too blunt about it, or what, but I didn't like it. That wore off as Baran got past establishing the circumstances of Jacob's disappearance, and I was particularly impressed by Patty Wetterling, finding her to be a thoughtful, reasonable person. As an advocate for child safety, she's more interested in creating policies that prevent these crimes from happening than unfairly punishing those that commit them. In response, Baran goes into an episode-long tangent on the creation of Megan's Law, the sex offender's registry, and the problems with its indiscriminating scope and the restrictions placed on sex offenders after they've served their time and been released from prison. I appreciated the context.

At around the halfway point, the focus shifts to the investigation rather than the details of the crime. Because this story really is about the investigation and the repeated failures of the Stearns County Sheriff's department to properly canvass neighborhoods, interview witnesses, and process crime scenes. It's fascinating to listen to Baran uncover twenty-seven-year-old clues that had been available to the Sheriff's office at the time. If they had just asked the right questions, this case could have been solved a lot sooner, and Baran establishes this as a pattern with this Sheriff's department. It's really some fine investigative reporting, and that's where this podcast distinguishes itself.

It isn't quite as polished or as confident as some of the podcasts I listen to, and Baron at times stumbles a little in her presentation, but it's technically easy to listen to, with enough music and sound effects to set mood, but not so much that it interferes with the story. I say "technically easy" because the subject matter is, of course, not at all easy to listen to. Trigger warnings for child harm and sexual assault. And also just garden-variety scum—all the basic assholes whose apathy allows, or even encourages, the more dangerous assholes to hurt people. At one point Baran speaks to a man who used to be childhood friends with a now admitted murderer and child molester, and this man's complete lack of reaction to this revelation followed by his breezy remembrances of when he and his friend used to sneak around in the dark looking in girls' windows made me feel like I was going to explode. But I wouldn't be me if I listened to a true crime podcast and didn't get pissed off by some irrelevant detail that has nothing to do with the crime in question.

There's going to be a second season by Baran on a different topic, and I'll definitely give that a try when it's out.

I also listened to one and a half episodes of True Crime All the Time, which is hosted by two guys named Mike and is exactly that exciting. Look, if you're going to be reheating true crime for me, you either need to have engaging personalities or awesome research skills. You can't be boring, play clips without identifying the source or speaker, and preface half your statements with "it was said." I mean, you can? It's just that I'm not going to stick around for it.

And, to completely change the subject, I tried My Brother, My Brother and Me, an "advice" show where three brothers "answer" "listener" "questions." I listened to one podcast, which was fine, but not exceptional, and watched the first couple of minutes of a Seeso episode where there's an unfortunate decision regarding a spider and a spiderphobic brother and then I noped on out of there. That's just not the kind of brothers I want to hang with. I might try these guys again, but honestly, I spend enough of my time listening to men talk; if they're not going to be exceptional, I'm not going to bother.


Apr. 25th, 2017 10:09 pm
yhlee: (FMA:B Mustang Hellbound)
[personal profile] yhlee
By way of [personal profile] likeadeuce:
Name one of my fandoms and I'll answer some questions!

1. the character I least understand
2. interactions I enjoyed the most
3. the character who scares me the most
4. the character who is mostly like me
5. hottest looks character
6. one thing I dislike about my fave character
7. one thing I like about my hated character
8. a quote or scene that haunts me
9. a character I wish died but didn’t
10. my ship that never sailed

Two thoughts on iZombie and Supergirl

Apr. 25th, 2017 10:25 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
1. "What's your Kryptonite?" Does everybody know about this little weakness? I mean, I can see the overt baddies knowing, but how widespread is this information? Isn't that the sort of thing you want to keep hush-hush?

2. The look on everybody's face when they found out the deceased was a huge gossip was hilarious. Read more... )


Apr. 25th, 2017 10:07 pm
likeadeuce: i would like to say i'm riza at work, but I'm more like Roy. 'plotting extracurriculars! cookies for breakfast!' (mustang work day)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
I probably never answered the last meme i posted but here's a meme!

Name one of my fandoms and I'll answer some questions!

1. the character I least understand
2. interactions I enjoyed the most
3. the character who scares me the most
4. the character who is mostly like me
5. hottest looks character
6. one thing I dislike about my fave character
7. one thing I like about my hated character
8. a quote or scene that haunts me
9. a character I wish died but didn’t
10. my ship that never sailed

I'm sorry there's no ticky boxes...

Apr. 25th, 2017 09:26 pm
kalloway: (FE:A Chrom)
[personal profile] kalloway
Poll #18279 First Gaming Poll
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 13

How should I choose games for a 'what to play?' poll?

By System (decide on game system first)
1 (7.7%)

By Genre (decide by genre first)
1 (7.7%)

Alphabetical (pick a letter for the title to start with)
1 (7.7%)

Random (just grab ten random games)
10 (76.9%)

Other (suggestions welcome in the comments)
0 (0.0%)

For those of you who are new to these parts, my gaming backlog is huge. It's been huge, then I went back to school and basically lost most of my gaming time/energy but I didn't entirely stop buying games, plus like when Gamestop was clearancing out PS2 games and whatnot for a couple bucks each, I really loaded up. So we're talking a backlog probably pushing 500 games? Yeah...


I'll leave this open til late Thursday or early Friday, probably. Feel free to ask any questions or just facepalm in my general direction. ^^;;

(as a bonus note - I have some games where I know I'll never be able to beat them, like Ninja Gaiden, where I like the characters/series/story but am just terrible at the actual gameplay. should anything like that win, I'll play up to where I'm capable, youtube the rest, and call it good. actually, for anything else where I just am not enjoying myself, same thing - youtube for story and that's that. or a general 'no, this is just nope' after a respectable stab at playing. I want to have fun, after all, but I don't know where to start.)

ETA: It seems a good idea to note the consoles/handhelds I have around and have games for: list )

ETA2: Most of what I have is RPGs, but also a decent amount of action/adventure/platform/fighting games, some puzzle games, and a handful of racing games, sim-stuff, music games, and probably some other outliers that I'm not thinking of.

[original] electrogastrogram

Apr. 25th, 2017 07:24 pm
kjata: pathologic: the marble nest (set before my fellow-mortals a man)
[personal profile] kjata
Original Fiction
Gaspar Sra/Lewis Tooley (OMC/OMC)
19k words; E for Explicit
A weird fiction erotic romcom with a side-order of body horror that I wrote almost 3 years ago.

"Temporal diffusion," Gaspar repeats, "then they won't quarantine you."

"I could be contagious," Lewis points out. His voice is rough, like he's been screaming recently. He most likely was. Gaspar would totally scream all over the place if he had laid an egg in the shower and didn't know why.

read on ao3

A Thing Or Two

Apr. 25th, 2017 08:45 pm
kalloway: (FE:F Ryoma & Sakura)
[personal profile] kalloway
I intend to write a follow-up post to this last weekend's post on gatekeeping in fandom, interest-shaming, etc. but it's not going to happen until later in the week. ^^;; I do appreciate all the support. ^_^

Right now, I feel like I'm in hurry-up-and-waaaaait limbo. One more day of class this week, then finals on Monday, graduation next Friday. There are so many things I want to do/plan/etc. and I just need to waaaaait. My current thought on how to organize my days is to roughly plan to clean/work in one room each day of the week (my place roughly breaks down to seven rooms/areas). Add in a short checklist of 'do I need to pay any bills/run any errands/take trash/do special things' for when I first get home from work, and then...

idk, stare at my future? *laughs*

I do want to start exercising, which will probably be walks to the water and some counter push-ups to start, then add in what I can. I want to work through all of my media backlogs, especially all the games I have hanging out. (I should put up a poll for where to start... or a series of polls?)


Fiction: A Race

Apr. 25th, 2017 08:10 pm
clare_dragonfly: Claudia from Warehouse 13 all in purple, text: if I only could make a deal with God (WH13: Claudia: deal with god)
[personal profile] clare_dragonfly
Title: A Race
World: other (apocalyptic)
Word count: 800
Rating: G
Prompt: [community profile] origfic_bingo, swimming; [community profile] tic_tac_woe, megatsunami/tidal wave
Notes: So I guess I like apocalypses.

Alisa dived.

For the split second above the water, she could hear her little brothers cheering from their raft, but as soon as she hit the surface, all sounds faded away. The boys were still young enough to think it was all a game; Alisa was desperately envious of them, and fiercely determined to keep them that innocent for as long as possible.Read more... )

(no subject)

Apr. 25th, 2017 05:10 pm
yhlee: Korean tomb art from Silla Dynasty: the Heavenly Horse (Cheonmachong). (Korea cheonmachong)
[personal profile] yhlee
Rick Riordan Imprint Acquires First Three Titles:
Lee’s book, Dragon Pearl, a standalone middle grade novel, stars Min, a teenage fox spirit whose brother is missing and thought to have deserted the Thousand Worlds Space Forces in order to find the pearl of the title, an artifact that may have the power to save their struggling space colony. Lee says the toughest part of writing for a new audience was working with shorter chapters and a different vocabulary; the idea for the story itself came to him quickly. “I was pretty sure nobody else would come up with a space opera based on Korean mythology,” he said.


The other two, which I am super looking forward to reading, are Roshani Chokshi's Aru Shah and the End of Time, first of a projected quartet about "a 12-year-old Indian-American girl who unwittingly frees a demon intent on awakening the God of Destruction," and Jennifer Cervantes's Storm Runner, "about a 13-year-old boy who must save the world by unraveling an ancient Mayan prophecy." I may have to fight my daughter over who gets to read them first. =D =D =D

Anyway, that's what I'm working on right now!


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