st_aurafina: Sameen Shaw walking in a desert with a hat on (POI: Shaw hat)
Thursday's headlines about Trump and the military made for a fairly hellish day in the old brain weasel cage. I want to say that I love and support all my beautiful trans and genderqueer friends. You are valued and your friendship is treasured, and I am glad that you're here. I am proud to know you. <3

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[community profile] multifandomdrabble was so much fun! I posted my fics yesterday but I wanted to also link my gifts. I got lovely stuff!

Royal Circuit (100 words) by Trismegistus
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captive Prince - C. S. Pacat
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Damen/Laurent (Captive Prince)
Characters: Damen (Captive Prince), Laurent (Captive Prince)
Additional Tags: Teasing, Established Relationship, Fluff
Summary:

Laurent is a handful.



dog days (100 words) by sapphire2309
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Person of Interest (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Sameen Shaw, Bear (Person of Interest)
Summary:

The heat gets to Bear.



A New Hobby (100 words) by Isis
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Lord John Series - Diana Gabaldon
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Lord John Grey, Stephan von Namtzen
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Fusion, Stealth Crossover, Drabble
Summary:

Lord John Grey visits Waldesruh again, and learns about Stephan von Namtzen's latest obsession.



Never alone (100 words) by Kayim
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Warehouse 13
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Claudia Donovan/The Warehouse
Additional Tags: Drabble
Summary:

Claudia can feel the Warehouse wherever she is.



That was a seriously fun exchange - low-key, easy to fill, easy to treat, easy to read. Would definitely drabble again.

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Thanks to [community profile] nanodownunder and Camp NaNo, I've got a first draft of my [community profile] wipbigbang. It came in at 48K (of POI Sentinel/Guide AU) Now I need to squish out the word bloat, edit it, and, um, find an Ameripicker. (Any volunteers? It's Root/Shaw, Harold/John, and my basic plan was this: "There are sentinels and guides. They touch each other on the face gently. A lot.")

I've been writing and writing and writing, and I'm 3K away from my 25K Camp NaNo total, but I'm floundering because I finished my main project, and my back-up project. I guess I should write some more [community profile] 15kisses fics.

Also, I am trying to do nominations for [community profile] femslashex. Nom nom nom!!

Writing! It's haaaaard but somehow words keep coming out of my fingertips like silly string.

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Linkspam!

- from [personal profile] rahirah, Photobucket alternatives.
(Omg, my profile is a mess. I need to fix it. Not that I've been using photobucket of late, but I don't change my profile much. FFS, photobucket, did you learn nothing from the delicious debacle?)

- From Mental Floss, 15 Things You Might Not Know About Nighthawks.
(The painting, not the bird. This was interesting to me, but there's weird capitalisation of headers in this article. I can't stop looking at it now that I've noticed it.)

- Migaloo the white whale is back on the east coast of Australia. He has a twitter! [twitter.com profile] migaloo1. I'm always glad when he shows up, because it means he's evaded whaling ships again.

- From My Modern Met, Woman Turns Prosthetic Leg Into Chalkboard to Creatively Caption Her Travel Photos. (Somewhat in the same vein from The Betoota Advocate: Local Girl Refers To European Countries As Though They Are Actual People On Instagram.)

Speaking of mocking insta-culture, I was struck by the algorithm, and now my insta is No. Fun. At. All. I know why they did it, and if I were a business using Insta to promote myself, the algorithm would be great. I could overloook the ads, but the lack of chronological feed is killing it for me. I like the posts of people I know, because I want to say "Hey, I like this!" but then that prioritises their posts over the stuff I just ogle for teh pretteh. And it's kinda creepy the way the thing is measuring the time I spend looking at stuff. Though I did find this article interesting, about the formation of insta-pods to game the algorithm:
Instagram influencers use comment collusion to game the algorithm.

- Five ways with pesto
(For all you people overwhelmed with basil. Or beetroot. The beetroot one is so pretty!!)

- International Drone Photography contest.
(There's not much info about the individual photos, unfortunately. There's an image in here that looks like animal harm - men with spears surrounding a fleecy thing - but I did a bit of research and it's from this festival in Spain: La Vijanera. It's a guy dressed up as a monstrous bear aka the embodiment of evil.)

- World realises Americans don’t use egg cups, loses its collective mind
GUYS GUYS IS THIS TRUE? But how do you egg??? HOW DO YOU EGG AND SOLDIERS???

- A Wrinkle in Time first look: Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and more
(Late to the party on this, but wow, this looks gorgeous.)

Come Along On A Virtual Tour Of This French Butter Factory
(Please enjoy this vaguely erotic video about making butter. How tenderly they caress the butter! How they run their fingers through it!)

- Flower crown free crochet pattern
(I will never be bored of flower crowns.)

- Name of Groans: The Search for the Most Truly Awful Restaurant Name in America
(Baguetteaboudit!)

- Mind MGMT, Flutter Adaptations in the Works at UCP as Dark Horse Re-Ups Pact
(Upcoming adaptations at UCP - I'm most interested in this: Podcasts 'Tanis' and 'The Bright Sessions' are also being developed for the small screen under the renewed deal.)

- From The Toast: Movie Yelling With Nicole and Mallory: The Hunt for Red October
(This capslocky review gave me all the feels. They appreciated all the right things about this movie, like Beverly Crusher and "Perhaps I will need two wives" and "One ping only, Vassily!")

Also, I have now completed my pharmacogenetics training. Cheek swabs for everyone!!
st_aurafina: Comic of Scully, saying "I detest dancing" (X-Files: Scully detests dancing)
Things happening right now:

- X-Files friending meme
(Hi to the new peeps!)

- [community profile] femslashex is open for sign-ups!



That what have you been up to meme:

So what have you been up to?
Um, work, random medical stuff that seems to take an age but never really gets done. I still have a cold. This is the cold that never ends, it goes on and on and on, my friends. It's not even that bad, it's just that every time I think I've kicked it, something stressful happens and it stops in the doorway, turns around, and gets comfy again.


Major life changes? Same old same old?
My grandfather passed away last week. It was sort of expected - he was 94, he had dementia and was quite frail - but it was also kind of a shock. I am weirdly sad, though I wouldn't say we were close, and I'd definitely say we had some conflicts. I don't know, mortality and all that, I guess, and I was sad for my dad who has cared for him. And nobody wants to see their tiny Nonna crying broken heartedly at the door of the hearse. (But she told me she was glad that Dad got him a really fancy coffin with brass bits and so on. I'm glad that made her happy.)

It was deeply weird to be around family members from whom I am estranged. Need to unpack that later with the therapist. But I got to meet my little sister's boyfriend, which was nice. He's from a very conservative background which has been a source of conflict between them - I think we were the first gay people he's ever met - but I think it was really gutsy of him to go to the funeral, and if he's willing to do that to support Nat, then I'm giving him some Brownie points.


What fandom are you in/do you spend most of your time in?
- MCU fandom, still working on the Captain America fic. Currently embedded with Howard in WWII.

- Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter, smashing out my [livejournal.com profile] marvel_bang. I thought I'd missed the deadline but because I'm doing my own art, I get more time, which is supposed to be for actually doing the art, but I'm still finishing the writing, oops. Currently hanging with Peggy Carter in 1946.

- GREAT BRITISH BAKE-OFF omg, but mostly on Tumblr. I love Bake-Off time, yay!

- Sense8 - I've finished, and I really want to write some fic. But I have to Mavel Bang first. And omg, NaNo is looming.

Where do you hang out online?
[personal profile] st_aurafina
[livejournal.com profile] st_aurafina
[tumblr.com profile] st_aurafina
[archiveofourown.org profile] st_aurafina.
Oh, and [pinterest.com profile] dansnark, if you want to see a million pins of art journals and crochet scarfs.


What are you reading?
I am having such a crappy time reading right now. My concentration has been busted for months. I read fic, and I'm having iddish fun reading through [livejournal.com profile] ckingsbridge's novels. She's got the kink and the cuddling, it's all beautiful.

What are you watching?
Hannibal, for the last time. My non-spoilery finale reaction: Omg, Hannibal, you're the worst. No, Hannibal, stop! Stop! What am I watching? Is this fic? THIS IS FIC, ISN'T IT? THIS ONLY HAPPENS IN FIC!!

Killjoys:
This show is awesome and almost everything I wanted Firefly to be. Four episodes in, still think it needs moar actual queer. But otherwise so far, I love it. Love Dutch, love her team, love the brotherly relationship, love the zingy UST, love the world building. Love the ship.

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Because we've got access to it via Stan, and the ridiculous luxury of being able to dial up any episode any time is heady. I'm mostly cherry-picking favourite episodes. We just watched Time's Arrow, and I love Guinan.

What are you making?
I'm still crocheting the epic blanket, but I keep taking detours to make other small projects. I'm working up an infinity scarf for me. FOR ME. (I mostly give everything I make away.)

What are you squeeing about today?
Hannibal, but it's a slightly nervous, somewhat confused squee. That scene from the credits, wtf, we will be debating that for years.

If you could rope old fandom friends into a new fandom, it would be...
I don't rope people into things! But there's a lot of new stuff out there. Hey, is anyone watching X Company? It has some damn pretty people, but I don't normally do real life war fandoms. (Only, you know, Winter Soldier, and that one amazing episode of Sanctuary.) Is it really sad? Or just regular sad?

I should really watch/read/dive into _______ and then come talk to you about it!
Come and tell me about anything! I'm nearly all caught up on TV now, I'm going to need more stuff.
st_aurafina: Rainy day, person with a rainbow umbrella in the distance  (Rainbow umbrella)
July was sucky, in a broad spectrum way, spanning from cat sick on the doona to an emergency hospital visit. I seem to be consistently making and sending sympathy cards, too, which can stop any time now.

I need to take said doona to the dry cleaners but life keeps getting in the way, and it just sits there, all crumpled up and judging me. I think I am that doona. I am that sad, suspiciously stained, sunken-in-the-middle doona that nobody will help.

*massive le sigh*

On the other hand, I just found a note to myself in email drafts about a fic plot point that I had completely forgotten, and it fixes a problem very neatly. Clever past!me.

Ooh, and clearly I meant to put this in a post and then lost it in the morass of drafts:
AWESOME CUSTOMER REPORT:
Customer: I'd like these scripts filled, please. *is a dear little old lady in her eighties, wearing a black cardigan*
Me: Sure! That will be about ten minutes.
Customer: *turns to browse giftware. Her black cardigan has ELVIS' FACE KNITTED INTO THE BACK.*
Me: ELVIS!
Customer: *gives me a sly little wink*

Later, when she is collecting her scripts:
Me: And now you can take Elvis up to the counter.
Customer: And then Elvis will leave the building.

My customers. Seriously. Love 'em.

I must go through these email drafts more often - there are treasures in here.


As We Go blanket progress )

Fic recs:

The Haunting of Captain America (2309 words) by celeste9
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes & Steve Rogers, Steve Rogers & Avengers Team
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Thor (Marvel), Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Clint Barton, Natasha Romanov
Additional Tags: Ghosts, Alternate Universe, Canonical Character Death, Friendship, Team, Remix
Summary:

Steve's being haunted by the ghost of his best friend. The other Avengers find out.


This is super cute, and surprisingly lacking in angst considering Bucky is an actualfax ghost.

The Cage is Full, The Day is New (7738 words) by banerries
Chapters: 10/?
Fandom: Orange is the New Black, The Walking Dead (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death, Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Characters: Joel Luschek, Wanda Bell - Character, Scott O'Neill - Character, Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson, Cindy "Black Cindy" Hayes, John Bennett (Orange is the New Black), Maritza Ramos, Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales, Gloria Mendoza, Dayanara "Daya" Diaz, Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett, Carrie "Big Boo" Black, Galina "Red" Reznikov, Brook Soso, Poussey Washington, Eliqua Maxwell, Nicky Nichols, Lorna Morello, Piper Chapman, Maria Ruiz, Blanca Flores, Erica "Yoga" Jones, Angie Rice, Janae Watson, Mei Chang (Orange is the New Black)
Additional Tags: Friendship, Female Friendship, Ensemble Cast, Survival, Zombies, Crossovers & Fandom Fusions
Summary:

As the zombie apocalypse quickly overruns the world around them, the women of Litchfield must rely on each other to survive.


I don't normally rec WIPs, but I love this too much to wait. Practical and in character and frustrating in the right way (Caputo's first instinct at a zombie outbreak is to immediately keep the news from the inmates, for example.)

the family evans (3529 words) by dirgewithoutmusic
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Petunia Evans Dursley & Harry Potter, Petunia Evans Dursley & Lily Evans Potter, Petuna Evans Dursley & Remus Lupin, Dudley Dursley & Harry Potter
Characters: Petunia Evans Dursley, Harry Potter, Dudley Dursley
Additional Tags: What-If, Family
Series: Part 4 of boy with a scar
Summary:

What if, when Petunia Dursley found a little boy on her front doorstep, she took him in? Not into the cupboard under the stairs, not into a twisted childhood of tarnished worth and neglect—what if she took him in?

Petunia was jealous, selfish and vicious. We will not pretend she wasn’t. She looked at that boy on her doorstep and thought about her Dudders, barely a month older than this boy. She looked at his eyes and her stomach turned over and over. (Severus Snape saved Harry’s life for his eyes. Let’s have Petunia save it despite them).

Let’s tell a story where Petunia Dursley found a baby boy on her doorstep and hated his eyes—she hated them. She took him in and fed him and changed him and got him his shots, and she hated his eyes up until the day she looked at the boy and saw her nephew, not her sister’s shadow. When Harry was two and Vernon Dursley bought Dudley a toy car and Harry a fast food meal with a toy with parts he could choke on Petunia packed her things and got a divorce.


I love all of these AUs, but this one is my favourite by far. Amazing Petunia, still very much herself, but with all that ferocity tapped and sent in a more positive direction. (And thanks, [personal profile] dine for the rec!)
st_aurafina: two women kissing, one has flowers in her hair (sens8: nomi and amanita)
I am working an extra day this week and I am sooky about it. But I get to order my lunch today instead of bringing it, which is a nice bribe. I had an amazing burger, so amazing and full of wonders. Like, bacon.

I'd link to my instagram but that's in my meatsack name and only half of you know that /is good at secret identities like Daredevil )


Tentative yay: I started writing again. It's mostly due to the neighbour dude, who is a great neighbour except for those random days when he gets out the chainsaw. (Not in a massacre-y way, just in a endless drone-y way.) So I put on my headphones and opened a file and wrote, and somehow chainsaw neighbour dude helped me over that initial hump of fear. But not in a massacre-y way. I finished the rewrite on Chapter One of the Winter Soldier NaNo project, yay. Thanks, chainsaw neighbour dude.

A question: Where does Sam live? Are there any clues in the movie? Pic to illustrate, if that is helpful.

Someone's knocking at the window )



The crochet world lost an artist this week.
CN: mental illness, suicide )


Here, look at Nomi and Amanita. From Sense8. Precious babies. I love them so much.

[Tall blonde woman holding hands with a black woman who has brightly coloured braids in her hair, standing against a wall of graffiti.]

I just watched Ep 4. (The one with the Four Non-Blondes bit, for people who have already finished watching.) Ugh, I never knew how much I wanted an 8-way mindmeld. At the same time, eight characters is a lot to work with. (This is me thinking ahead to when I will inevitably want to write a Sense8 AU with another fandom. Eight characters? Wow. But so interesting.) I need to know more.


I was listening to Kate Bush's 'Cloudbusting' the other day, and realised that I've been listening to this song for nearly thirty years and never actually looked up what the heck it was about. (It's a good forward-moving song, so I put it on a lot of my writing playlists. And also my housework playlist.) Turns out it's about a lot of stuff. A LOT OF STUFF. Like, wow. Mad science and oppressive governments and orgasmic (I think?) energy and actual cloud seeding.

The video was directed by Terry Gilliam and it stars Donald Sutherland standing on a hill, and Kate Bush standing well below him in a pixie wig. I should google more lyrics from the eighties.

I put the video here behind the cut: )


Things I have found on etsy:

Come window shop with me! )

Ugh, I could shop forever, and my house would be full of tiny useless but pretty stuff. So much better to share here.

Remainder of linkspams:
- Mini fox terrier proves 'working dog' status to council officers
Ahaha, don't fuck with working dogs. And working dog people. I'm just saying. Unless you want to be given the eye and moved into a pen.


- 8 Grand Yet Forgotten Profane Expressions
For maximum Middleman effect, say these out loud, and add "Dubby!" at the end.


- A Glimpse of What Magazines Like Time, Forbes, GQ & More Would Say About Marvel’s New Black Panther
Ugh, can't we have this movie before Ant Man? Seriously.


OMG, it's nearly home time, again! You know, if I got my act together and posted more than twice a month, these things would be a little less epic.
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
Footy season started, which means I get to sip my coffee and relax a bit at work. I don't like football much, but I'm grateful for slightly slower Saturdays. And coffee. Always grateful for coffee.

ETA: Apparently not football yet? IDK where are the people?

I have been in a bit of a slump, brain-wise, but I'm coming up out of it now. (I'm starting to see a pattern via my tumblr queue - I drop posting down to three per day because it's just too hard to keep that queue topped up, then slowly it fills up again as I have more concentration and energy. When I've got 100 posts in the queue, I up the rate to ten per day. It's an odd but definite pattern.)



Today is officially one year since we put the sticker on the sign for the new house. We've been in for six months. It's a lovely house for summer, as it turns out, and catches cross breezes beautifully. The veggie garden went in late, but we've had oodles of zucchini, peas and basil. Only one tomato, unfortunately. It was delicious but tiny.

Cooking has mostly revolved around zucchini, and the question of how we can get more zucchini into each meal. (Chopped and sauteed with garlic goes well into a toasted cheese sandwich, for example.) The Courgette tag at BBC Good Food has been a wealth of fun. Courgette and Orange cake was the recipe I made the most often, I think, though I make it with an orange glaze because [personal profile] lilacsigil doesn't like cream cheese icing.



Fannishly, I consumed much:

Agent Carter was beautiful and amazing and perfect for me, if not perfect overall. I hope, hope we get a second season. I hope I get a chance to contribute to viewing statistics in some way soon. (I furiously liked things on Facebook, for the little good that does.) I want to write fic. Dottie and Peggy and Angie fic. Le sigh. So many women. Plz come back, writing mojo.

Person of Interest S3 was this amazing blur of femslashy moments, and finally clicking with Reese, and loving all the dystopian AI storylines, and adoring Root in god-mode. And sad about Read more... ). I'd love recs for fic that's non-spoilery past the S3 finale, if anyone has any.

I am inspired by many gifs on tumblr to give The 100 a try again. Much femslash, actual queer content, wow.

But I've given Gotham the flick - it got too nasty. And spoilers )

The Great British Sewing Bee - I'm almost finished. Just the final to go. It was a great season!

The Comic Relief Bake-Off - there was this one amazing episode, with Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders, Lulu, and Dame Edna Everage. It was like the best episode of AbFab EVER. It was amazing. I love Comic Relief Bake-Off anyway, but this was unusually epic and amazing.

Broadchurch - I have no idea what made me suddenly watch this show - I'm not really fond of that particular style British grim crime drama. I think the small-town angle caught me. And Olivia Colman is ace balls. I'm in the middle of Season 2 right now (so much shirtless James D'Arcy, wow.) spoilers ).



So, anyway. This is me. I am here! And feeling better. And hopefully back to fic soon. I have a build-up of fic feelings.
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
It has rained and rained today! Really heavy blattery rain, which is lovely and much needed and has cleared the air of this horrible muggy closeness that I hate. Also, it will refill our rainwater tank, which has been secretly seeping precious rainwater from a cracked seal into the lawn. There's a nice green patch there, now, but I'd rather have the water for the vegetable garden.


This is my first Wednesday at work for a good few weeks. I hate Work Wednesday because I have to check the dosettes. Checking dosettes is not my most favourite thing ever. Just so many tablets to count. And so many of them are round and white. I am using my coloured pens (on my checking sheet, not on the little white tablets!) and I have coffee from the cafe next door, but I don't know if I will survive.

Still, I am up front for watching the local rumour mill spin - we've heard that the oldest person in town may have passed away. Nobody knows for sure. Nobody will identify who they heard this from. Everyone is claiming they've only heard it from this one person, and that they've only told this one other person. Reports say there are a lot of cars at the house in question. Small towns are weird. (I wonder if I'm gruesome for trying to figure out who the next oldest person is. I don't think that's gruesome? I'm not going to congratulate them or anything.)


Just finished reading:

Damiano by R A MacAvoy.

So much trippier than I remembered. So many more people died than I remembered. What is it about dreamy hot weather that makes me read trippy, slashy books about angels? I read The Vintner's Luck in similar weather, and it made much more sense then than it did on any re-read.

I started reading the sequel, but the weather had changed and the mood for reading that kind of thing was gone again. Until next year, I suppose.


The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

Mostly because I was in the mood for YA about the world of prodigies. It was self-indulgent in exactly the way that I wanted it to be: the story of a musically gifted teenager who has lost faith and confidence in her abilities and learns to love music for music's sake. The teenage relationship storyline felt a bit pat, I hated Lucy's crushes on her teachers, but I loved her pressure-cooker family, and the competitive world of teenage prodigies.


Parasite by Mira Grant

I've had it on the to-read shelf for a long time, and randomly picked it up this week. I think I'd been holding off because I half expected to be disappointed by anything that came after Newsflesh, but obviously this week I felt resilient enough to deal with that. It didn't disappoint, though.

She has good science! Mira Grant does her research and writes scientific plots in ways that are accessible to non-science reader without making science readers twitchy. The plot was good, and the premise was clever: in the future, the privileged all have bio-engineered intestinal worms that maintain our health, stop our allergies, boost our immune systems. The Big Pharma bad guys were impressively realistic. (I'm scared of those guys IRL, so I'm not surprised to read about dodgy practices in genetic engineering and patent law.) On the other hand, there's only so much I can read about parasitology before I start to feel gross and covered in egg capsule slime.

I did love Sal, the prickly and defensive POV character, and the neat way Mira Grant worked an amnesia plotline to give us an in on her world.



Currently reading:

India Black and the Widow of Windsor by Carol K Carr.

Seances! Merry Christmas shenanigans at Balmoral! Dour monarchs and feisty maids and presumably espionage at some stage. I've been warned it's not as good as the first book, but my tolerance is high because it's lots of fun


Planning to read next:

Masters of Sex by Thomas Maier. (Because I enjoyed the series.)

Legend by Marie Lu (Because people are talking about the third book in the series, and I haven't started the first one yet.)

Tea With the Black Dragon by R A MacAvoy (When I can find my copy of it. It's here, somewhere.)
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
Ugh, personal trainer time this morning was cruel and I'm walking like a penguin again. But my brain is so much healthier for it. It's worth it.

Also, we had a puppy break at work today! One of my juniors has just got a springer spaniel puppy, and she brought him in to visit us. Puppy feet! Silky spaniel puppy ears! Freckly puppy nose! He'd just come from a puppy play date, and he kept falling asleep in her arms, and the levels of adorable were lethal. I think we all died, multiple times.




Just Finished Reading

A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray

I found this on one of the GLBT booklists, where someone had said that they'd nominated it, even though the queer content was problematic. Which it was, I suppose, in the sense that part of the dire and dangerous magic the girls tampered with involved a lot of frenzied girl kissing and touching, and because there's an obvious male love interest for Gemma, the POV character. I actually liked it - I liked that Gemma was not at all close to any of the girls in her secret society, but they were all quite tight knit at the end. I liked Gemma's developing moral compass, and how she took on responsibility for the safety of her friends. The atmosphere of the book was deliciously dark and feverish, a little like Picnic at Hanging Rock. Very fraught. Lots of corsets and heaving bosoms.

It took me a while to get going - just like with The Hunger Games, first person present tense is a bit off-putting for me. There was a lot I liked in it, though, and I think I'll check out the next book in the series.



Currently Reading

India Black: Madam of Espionage by Carol K CArr

A ha ha, this is heaps of fun. India is the owner and madam of the Lotus House, a brothel in 1870's London, who is lumped with a briefcase of sensitive documents when one of her patrons drops dead while dressed as Queen Victoria and waving a riding crop. There's a lot of running around, sneaking into embassies and hotels, making out with other madams, and a sleigh chase. India's background is as yet a mystery to me, and she does like to tell us how she's just so much cleverer than the prostitutes she employs, but I'm enjoying her POV so far. It's light and frothy and a bit ridiculous but also fun.


Still reading Moon Over Soho, but I've put it aside for Victorian prostitute espionage.



Planning to Read

I think I really need to do a reread of Harry Potter - when I was writing for [community profile] fandom_stocking, I had to ask [personal profile] lilacsigil what Voldemort's cronies called themselves. And how to capitalise 'Death Eater'. That's a sad state of affairs.

A while ago, I started The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I put it down - first person present tense again - but I did like the premise and you know, horse books are a thing. After enjoying A Great and Terrible Beauty, I'd like to give it another go.
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
I would love to hear about the part of Australia where you live, if that doesn't feel too RL-revelatory. ([personal profile] kass)

Answered with pictures )
st_aurafina: Headshot of Lisa Cuddy, chin resting on her hand.  (House: Cuddy)
1. I have to give a presentation to the diabetes support group tomorrow, which I'm a bit bleh about. But it will be fine: I know everyone there, and all they'll want to do is ask me about their medication and tell me gossip. [personal profile] lilacsigil made me a sample Webster Pack (like a dosette, but made up in the pharmacy), and it's filled with jelly beans. The patient's name is Melly Jelly. I think she's in a permanent state of hypoglycaemia.


2. Korra! I think the thing I love most about Korra is filling-in of the story that connects to AtLA. And also, hearing Lisa Edelstein voicing Kya is giving me House nostalgia. I miss Cuddy.


3. I've been using this app for anxiety management for a month or so. (The post says that it's an Android app, but there's an iOS version now.) It's actually quite good, mostly because it's easy to use. I don't know how useful it is to graph the level of anxiety I'm feeling, but I like all the relaxation exercises. (Except for the one where you explode your anxieties. It's REALLY loud.) I've tried lots of other mood-tracking apps or apps for regulating breathing in a panic attack but this one seems to have everything all in one and it's easy to get to.


4. This eposode of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is the one they shot close to my parents' house! It was very weird to see things that look sort of familiar and sort of photoshopped. And next week is Luna Park, yay! Creepiest amusement park on the planet. I am loving the way the Jack/Phryne relationship is going. And I didn't mind Jack and Hugh in their natty bathing suits this week, either.


5. I made Peanut sesame noodles with sriracha for lunch today, and it was really good. It's the second time I've tried the recipe, and this time I halved the amount of sauce which was a perfect amount for two people. Also, I added some lime, because it's lime season and I have a lot of limes from Mr Lime. And I have lemons coming this week from Mrs Lemon. I need to use these things up!

Things that are exciting in rural healthcare this week (apart from an excess of citrus fruits):

- I had to order brown snake antivenom for the hospital. (No big emergency - theirs had just gone out of date.)
- The wildlife rescue lady who takes our out of date baby formula is taking care of a barn owl. Some fishermen pulled him in with their net. He's going to be fine.
- There's a new program where your prescriptions repeats have a QR code printed on them. If we subscribe to it, you can scan your script with your phone, and it sends the details of your prescription to the pharmacy. We get the medication ready, and do all the paperwork when you show up with your script. I kind of want to do it? But it's pricey, and I'm not sure whether people out here will use it. Sometimes, distance and rural setting means that people take up technology really, really fast, but sometimes it means that they just don't bother with it at all. I'm going to wait a bit, I think.
st_aurafina: A woman in a top hat and veil dominating another woman (Kink: top hat)
Ugh, I think I have a virus. I'm running a temperature and I have a scratchy throat. I am Friday-night drunk and cranky and happy is haaaaaaard.

*works hard* Um, um, um.


1. Paranormal Activity 4 is on, and it's surprisingly not handheld. Spooooky times.


2. I pulled a muscle in my groin working out. (I think my groin might be my Achilles' heel!) But it got better through the day, and I think I'll be able to work out tomorow.


3. Yesterday on ABC FM, Emma Ayres referred to Tchaikovsky as "Tchaik". G'day, Tchaik, mate! Bonza symphony.


4. We have planted cos lettuce and peas in the garden. The peas are in little biodomes made from Sprite bottles.


5. [personal profile] lilacsigil made me a hold-all for my crochet paraphenalia:

She's also making cushions out of the groovy orange and beige fabric )


Links:

- [community profile] femslash_kink, has opened prompts for filling on the 2013 kinkmeme. The masterlist is here. SO. MANY. PROMPTS.


- Flourless chocolate and hazelnut cake. But I'm probably going to make lemon and blueberry bread this weekend because I have a bunch of lemons and limes to use up.


- Birds like this guy is why we need to keep our garbage safely inside the wheelie bins, and not have any poking out over the top.


- BABY RHINO!


Okay, I'm going to bed now. Today wasn't awful, and tomorrow will be better.
st_aurafina: Dana Scully, looking down over an autopsy table  (X-Files: Dana)
1. Had a much better run through work days than last week. Phew! Just as many interactions with the people who were stressing me out last week, but because I felt better, I dealt better.


2. I read a book - a whole book, end to end. This is noteworthy because for the last few months, my concentration has been so wobbly that I've only been able to read short paragraphs. I am proud. The book was A Trifle Dead by Livia Day. It's a murder mystery set in Hobart, and recced by [personal profile] coffeeandink. The ebook had no DRM, so the two people in this household could both have it on their devices - something I consider very civilised and the way ebooks should operate.

I liked the book - it wasn't difficult to read (thankfully!), the mystery was satisfying, and the way Livia Day writes Hobart as a small country town where everyone knows everyone was something I really enjoyed. I took a little while to warm up to Tabitha, the protagonist, but there were lovely descriptions of cakes while I was warming up, and I came to like her very much in the end. I'm looking forward to the sequel. And the author's tumblr, [tumblr.com profile] tabithadarlingsbedroomfloor, is lots of fun, too.


3. Today's Monster of the Week cracked me up: Nisei:
I’m sorry I didn’t have room for the dialogue at the end, where Scully is all MULDER DON’T GET ON THAT TRAIN and Mulder is like NO I AM GETTING ON THAT TRAIN IT IS AWESOME AND HAS ALIENS IN IT and Scully is all NOOOOO and Mulder hangs up on her.

*snorts*

And because of our great synchronicity, we watched the episode tonight. Pendrell! Mulder's amaaaaazing adventures on boats and rooftops and traintops! Skinner just lurking in the dark in Mulder's trashed apartment! Seriously, though, that moment when all the MUFON women hold up their jars and canisters that held their implants? So creepy, the first time around.


4. I was stressing out about how little I've written this year, so I'm trying to remind myself that I'm being creative in other spheres. Crochet, for one thing. Art journalling for another. I shouldn't worry about my creativity drying up, because it's always seeping out in other forms, even when I'm not writing. Proof:

An art journal WIP, and a card I made for my mum's birthday )

5. I'm really enjoying Season 3 of Dance Academy, much more than I was anticipating: while the main message of the show is still "Which boy should I date?", there have been some good arcs for my favourite characters - Ollie, Abigail and Grace. And they've dealt well with the emotional fall-out of the character that departed the show last season.

Hey, Catholics on flist - can you tell me what it means when a child receives their reconciliation? A friend just posted some photos on Facebook, and I'm not sure what her kids have actually taken part in. I'd like to know, because I don't want to say something inappropriate.
st_aurafina: (Work)
1. Unexpectedly sunny weather, which was unexpectedly pleasant, especially because work wasn't too busy. At this time of year, Saturdays alternate between frantic and dead, depending on whether the football game is home or away. I did have to make an ointment, though. I hate compounding, and am delighted by the proliferation of compounding pharmacies so I don't have to, but this one was so basic I was too embarrassed to refer the patient on. But I got it all done, and with minimal suffering, despite the utter grossness of lanolin. Ugh, and it's so hard in winter. Like mashing cold butter, only so much stinkier.

2. I've ordered seeds so I can start this year's tomatoes. I got green zebras, because I was depressed about global warming, and then I thought "Well, if it's going to get warmer and warmer, I'll grow tomatoes that need warmer weather, damn it." Green zebras are tasty, if we can get them to ripen. And if I've now jinxed myself into a cold, wet summer? See what I did there? Ha!

The other variety I ordered was called "Camp Joy Cherry" which sounds absurdly rude for no actual reason. I get my seeds from Forget Me Not Heritage Seeds, and they've never let me down.

3. I haven't said much about the casting for the new Doctor, but I'm pretty happy with Peter Capaldi. Like most people, I'd love a woman, I'd love a POC, but I'm happy postponing that hope for a new showrunner. When I heard what Moffat said about the Queen, I thought he was calling for a succession, and entertained a vague daydream where he gets put in the Tower for treason.

4. I've made the bread for lunch tomorrow. That means I can sleep in a bit more, since I don't have to get up and get it going in time. This also means the loaves will have cooled properly before we slice into them, unlike when I grab them hot from the oven. I can never wait - I hack into them when they're far too hot, and they collapse. (It's Honey Sunflower bread again. It makes the nicest toast.

5. Cool things in fandom:

[livejournal.com profile] xf_is_love is running the X-Files Love Month: ...a month-long multimedia celebration of X-Files where each participant claims a date and then posts some new X-Files related fanworks (which can be fic, graphics, icons, vids, essays, a memoir of your days in the X-Files fandom, or pretty much anything as long as it's new and original) on that day. You can do as little or as much as you want - the day is yours!

Sign-ups are here, and there are still days free.

[personal profile] havocthecat has a great post on femslash: What do I want from femslash? I'm in it for the characterization.

[tumblr.com profile] thekimonogallery for beautiful vintage kimono, and other picspams of Japanese culture.
st_aurafina: Platypus headshot (Platypus)
1. I woke up and braced myself for the early morning creak and groan of getting my knee going, but it was okay! It was really, really okay - stiff and a bit tender, but no pinching or stabbing. And it got better and better all day, which is fantastic. I was worried, when the tendon flared up on Saturday, that I'd be in for six months of recovery like last time, but maybe not? I've spent the last year and a bit rehabbing that knee, and maybe the payoff is more strength and a faster recovery time?

I'm going to stick to my plan of resting until the pool again on Monday, and then I'll see how it's going for working out on land.

2. Still raining! They've had to shut a few roads to accommodate the creeks overflowing, and they've opened one of the river mouths down on the coast. Lots of water. Not too much water, not yet, though, as predicted, the farmers are starting to complain about the mud.

3. I started posting on Tumblr again! It was really busy at work, so I used my micro breaks to fill up my queue. I'm [tumblr.com profile] st-aurafina over there, and I'm mostly posting pretty things I'd like to show to [personal profile] lilacsigil - fandom picspams, history and science trivia. Low stress stuff. Some nature drawings, so if you're phobic about insects or spiders, it might not be for you.

4. Baggins is diligently washing out Chewie's ear. Baggins has a long, aristocratic nose, and Chewie has huge bat ears, so Baggins can get himself in up to the eyes in a spectacularly grotesque way. It's gross and yet I can't look away. It's a bit like a spout going in a funnel. I know it's important for cat society, but I do wonder if I'm going to wake up from a nap one day, and find Baggins making out with my ear canal in the name of uniting us as a family.

5. Man claims to have filmed the rare Australian Night Parrot And DNA confirms elusive night Parrot found

It's pretty exciting when an article gets to use the phrase "holy grail of ornithology". I love it when a species turns out to not be extinct. Not even pining for the fjords.
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
My knee is not awesome, and my anxiety level is creeping up. I was just getting good! I was just starting to be able to walk without a limp! I keep telling myself it's going to get better but tonight I'm cranky and sick of being stabbed in the side of the knee.

I am searching for my happy. Let's see.

1. I'm a quarter through this baby afghan. I don't know if the colours are right for a baby, though I'm trying to sell it in my own mind as a contemporary baby's blanket. I do like it, but I might gift it elsewhere and make something more light-hearted for the baby.

See? It's quite like I've made it out of kelp. )

2. It's been raining pretty steadily since Saturday, and the Curdies River has broken its banks. That's a really good thing - this will be our summer water, soaking the undergrowth, replenishing the water table and hopefully setting us up for a not too bad fire season. We saw lots of swans, a couple of which had started building nests.

3. We had lunch in Warrnambool. At the new kebab place, yay! We had the kebab plate - lots of meat, bread and dips.

4. My auntie made it back to Canada, which is great news. I was really, really worried she was going to sell her house and move back to Australia to nurse my grandparents - which is what they've brought her up to do, and bullied and badgered her throughout her life. I'm so glad that she's back at home. She's a nurse educator in Toronto, really competent and totally boss, and it always makes me sad to see her around my grandparents being totally browbeaten and apologising in every sentence. I hope she's feeling okay, and I hope her people are supporting her.

5. I think I have a cold, so it's great that I have Wednesday off work. (Okay, that last one was reaching. But it's true.)
st_aurafina: lotsa little rainbow hearts (hearts: lotsa hearts)
- [personal profile] lilacsigil installed a new printer for our work computers, and now our repeat forms and reports look crisp and new. A pharmacy is hard on a printer, if you can imagine, and things had been getting sooty lately. Not to mention the eerie screaming noise that it made on cold mornings. No more!

- [personal profile] lilacsigil's Charlotte's Web theory of Hannibal, wherein Hannibal sees all people as pigs, but Will as a super-special cute little curly-tail piglet. SOME PIG!

- No fic will come, not yet, but sitting on the sofa with [personal profile] lilacsigil, with a blanket on our knees, piles of cats and a bag of wool is pretty damn nice. I love crochet! So much! Even though you have to be kind of bilingual - a US double crochet is a UK treble, which can get confusing. But I love puzzling it all out.

Speaking of which? This GQMF tea cosy:

GQMF tea cosy )

ETA: The pattern for the tea cosy is free, and very easy to follow: Granny Tea Cozy Tutorial.
st_aurafina: (Work)
If I could sum up this work day in one sentence, it would be "Don't perform surgery on your own face." Just go to the doctor, you utter moron. I don't know - I am fraying away like an old sock under the pressures of holiday trade. I hope there is something left of me by New Year.


More random recs. Maybe I should pool these together and post them to the Yuletide comm? If I get a minute to think, I certainly will.

This got long! Recs for Iron - Woodkid, Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Kushiel's Legacy, Florence + the Machine, The Graveyard Book, Gemma - Noel Streatfeild, Ballet Shoes, Famous Five, Digger, Dance Academy, Middleman )

I just realised reveals aren't actually until later for me, since I live in the future. Whee! I might get some more recs out there before the blindfolds come off.

Happy New Year, people! I'll try 2013 on and let you know how it feels before it comes around to later time zones.
st_aurafina: (Christmas: Shiny balls)
It's too busy, it's too hot, I'm too cranky and brain fried. It happens every year and it sucks. Bleh. It was a stay inside in the dark kind of day, too hot to move, too hot to think.

Christmas in my family is something to be endured, so I should be glad I'm having it at home this year with only [personal profile] lilacsigil and the cats, but for some reason, I am really feeling sad when I see people meeting up with their families and being genuinely excited about the holidays. And it's busy at work, there are a million scripts - so many that I kind of go into Tetris mode and keep processing them in my dreams. Someone saw a giant spider on a shelf (we have really ginormous ones, Huntsman spiders) and it vanished before [personal profile] lilacsigil, our spider wrangler, could catch it and I know it's going to pop out at the most inopportune time.

Oh, and there's been a massive recall of Ventolin inhalers - there's a pdf from Glaxo Smith Kline here with the batch numbers if you want to check yours, the fault is that some inhalers may only deliver a third of the dose per inhalation which could be dangerous. And that's cut our stocks down to a quarter, during Christmas week when we won't get another order until Thursday. So that's actually really fucking shitty timing, if you'll pardon my French.



Things that are awesome:

- It's cooling down pretty damn fast. Which is good.

- We ate a pea off the pea vine! It was delicious! The beans are making beanstalks and it's all very like a fairy tale at that end of the garden.

- I'm looking forward to Yuletide. It is Christmas for me - [personal profile] lilacsigil and I do a round up of comics fandom stories for [livejournal.com profile] comicstore_news, we have a cheese platter and some nice crackers and we put stupid stuff on the telly and we work at it all afternoon, and it's the most fun thing about December 25th for me. (I've written one story this year. I don't normally say that my fics are obviously written by me, but there's something about this one that makes it pretty clearly mine. Standard Yuletide thing: guess the fic I wrote! I will write you a ficlet.)

- It's going to be cool enough to do a roast on Christmas day. I will read Yuletide fics, and I will enjoy and I will drink wine and eat weird biscuits from a Christmas hamper I was randomly given this year. We're slow cooking a leg of lamb, and having it roast beet salad with walnuts and goats cheese, and couscous with currants and slivered almonds. And potatoes and pumpkin because that's what you do with a roast.

- [personal profile] ignipes linked to this awesome, awesome thing: Snapshot Serengeti, which puts up the images taken by the motion sensing camera in the wildlife parks, and teaches you to identify things. For science! It's mostly wildebeasts, zebras and Thompson's or Grant's gazelles, but there's all sorts of other things. Lions seem to want to loll in front of the cameras a lot. I have seen spectacular buffalo testicles. I mean, really spectacularly large. Baboons, hyenas, jackals, warthogs, ostriches. It is so much fun. For science!

These are my two favourites under the cut.
Laser hippo and Slenderman giraffe! )

I will survive this Christmas. I will find some merry spirit, either within or within the liquor cabinet.
st_aurafina: (Baggins was hatched!)
I am editing all the fic. Editing sucks, because deep down I have this terrible fear I am actually making the fic worse. I don't want to break my fic!

And because I'm editing Sanctuary fic, I have awesome wiki tabs open: Komodo dragon, predictive analytics, Luna moth, St John's Wood, goat-antelope. (Goat-antelope! It's like something from AtLA. Platypus-bear!)


Today was a pretty sucky day at work - the whooping cough epidemic is swelling, and I am glumly watching the clarithromycin supplies dwindle. I had to sign millions of pages of legal documents (because someone in government decided that it would be great to let pharmacists function as Justices of the Peace. If I'm going to be a Justice of the Peace, I want a big sword or a funky curly wig.) Then every doctor wanted every patient's dosette pack changed, and I didn't get to have lunch until three. But then, just as I was about to give up and lie on the floor in despair, there was a box of puppies! Like, a box of puppies! I can't explain the delight of a box of puppies coming to visit. They are Jack Russell puppies, a month old, and have those tiny puppy heads and little round noses and tiny milk teeth, and a little one called Daisy fell asleep in my hands.

Puppies! Better than caffeine! Better than chocolate! Possibly better than cocaine, but I have no evidence to compare.

I love working in the country. Once I asked a customer wearing a baby sling if they needed help, and a little joey poked his head out of the sling.


Meme? From lots of people:
1. Pick a pairing or a character
2. Ask me my particular head!canon regarding something about them
3. Post to your journal to share your own head!canon!
st_aurafina: Beautiful fat woman in a red corset (Fat: Corset)
Relevant to my last post: [personal profile] thedivinegoat recorded "Squirrels and Girls" in her accent, which is pretty similar to mine, actually. If you were puzzled or curious about how these words don't rhyme, click here!

Because they don't rhyme.



Today I was researching patient information on vaso-vagal syncope. I followed a link to an abstract on swallow syncope, a related condition, and found this:

Two cases of swallow syncope are reported, one associated with drinking a cold carbonated beverage, and the other precipitated by eating a large bolus of food (which we have termed "Vaso-Bagel" syncope).

(From here.)

I can't even. Vaso-Bagel syncope. Vampire Beel was right: puns ARE the highest form of humour.



I tried on the bathing suit. Unlike the model, I look like a brick wrapped in purple. But it fits, and it covers the salient parts I want covered. The pool manager came into the shop (that's how I do all my networking these days!) and I nabbed her to investigate the accessibility of the pool. It has steps, not a ramp, but that should be fine for my knee. Better than a ladder, anyway. She said the current temperature in the water is 28 C, which may limit my range of movement, but if so, she runs the hydrotherapy centre that is about thirty minutes up the road, and it is heated. So. Those hurdles are done. Now onto the next step, which is getting out there with the bathing suit on.

I'm so not shaving my legs for this, I'm just saying.
st_aurafina: (Pharmacy)
Guys, something is up at the vaccine labs - we have no hepatitis A vaccine, and now no Fluvax. Viro-pocalypse is looming. And amusing in that fortunately/unfortunately way: we can't supply the vaccines for your holiday, but luckily there's so much ash in the sky, your holiday has been cancelled. (This is not actually very amusing. I know, I've tried it out on a few people.)

My happy picture for the time being: Parrot bathing in a tea-cup! This is one happy bird. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

Local win and fail:
Win: the shire council revamped our streetscape and planted lots of trees!
Fail: the trees are now full of wasps! And they also drop poisonous fruit! Although, to be fair, the shire says the fruit is only poisonous to children and the elderly. And little dogs.

*sigh* I am a bit scared of wasps. They look so much angrier than bees.

Considering Dreamwidth?
[personal profile] coffeeandink has this: How to Move from LJ to Dreamwidth in Six Easy Steps.

ETA: Adding this massive, awesome post by [personal profile] stepps: What to do with Dreamwidth: a list of tutorials and information.

I have five codes, if you'd like one. You have but to ask!

I have finally watched Fringe S1! It was so good! I have to make a post about it, because it took me a while to get over the bad science, but I love, love, love how the season finished up. (I can overlook bad science, but this was OMG-bad science. Beyond bad, so bad it was almost amazing.)

But in the meantime, I'm still working on my au_bigbang 2nd draft. This fic! It will not be done. I like it a lot, but it's permeating my brain. Last night I dreamed it was a Phantom of the Opera crossover. I don't even know.

*shifty eyes* I, uh, don't suppose anyone would be interested in betaing? Or even Ameri-picking? If I ever get it done... *does an enticing dance*

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st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
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