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Meme me out of the Twilight Zone, please

Aug. 10th, 2015 | 05:49 am
mood: quixoticquixotic
music: Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye

The quote of the day is: "Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be." - Miguel de Cervantes

You know what's an odd day? Unexpectedly hearing one of your exes talking in a podcast, and also realizing that your grandmother is (temporarily, thank goddess) living next door to two more of your exes - who are now married to each other - whom you believed to have both moved far away years ago.

Yeah. That is a day when you go home, calmly lock the door behind you, and decline to interact further with humanity until tomorrow. Just, you know, in case. Don't ask me in case of what, because I don't want to know. So let's just have a nice meme I gakked from daria234 and think happy fannish thoughts, okay?

Give me a character and I'll tell you:
1: sexuality headcanon
2: otp
3: brotp
4: notp
5: first headcanon that pops into my head
6: favorite line from this character
7: one way in which I relate to this character
8: thing that gives me second hand embarrassment about this character
9: cinnamon roll or problematic fave?

And your three shiny links of the day are:
1) Conversations/classes with feminist and African-American icon bell hooks are free for the downloading. Her work is so central to cultural critique today; I cannot speak highly enough of her.
2) It's easy to lose some time on the Bad Lip Reading channel on YouTube. I re-watch the Game of Thrones vid often, for instance. But then I also discovered the Bad Lip Reading presentation of The Redneck Avengers.
3) You know how I like those little-known threads of surprising history? This one is tragic, but perhaps even more worth remembering for that. Pygmies from Africa were brought to the US to be exhibited at the St. Louis World's Fair, then the Museum of Natural History in NYC, and finally at the Bronx Zoo.

This entry was originally posted at http://lyr.dreamwidth.org/115220.html. Please feel free to comment in whatever location floats your proverbial boat.

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My Yuletide fic

Jan. 3rd, 2015 | 04:48 am
mood: hungryhungry
music: More Human Than Human - White Zombie

Happy 2015! Or, perhaps more relevantly for many of us, happy end of 2014!

As I'm sure you know, yuletide reveals came out with the new year, so I can finally admit tell you what I wrote. This year I wrote for Almost Human. You can check it out on AO3 or here:

Title: Code of Conduct
Rating: R
Pairings: Dorian/John, Dorian/Rudy, Dorian/DRN-494
Word count: 6,314
Note: Be warned for angst, mention of off-screen sexual violence, and extensive exploration of the inherent consent issues between a human and a human-programmed machine.
Code of ConductCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://lyr.dreamwidth.org/114856.html. Please feel free to comment in whatever location floats your proverbial boat.

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Happy Yule!

Dec. 21st, 2014 | 11:50 am
mood: contemplativecontemplative
music: Building a Mystery - Sarah McLachlan

The quote of the day is: “Thus is the excellence of God magnified and the greatness of his kingdom made manifest; He is glorified not in one, but in countless suns; not in a single earth, a single world, but in a thousand thousand, I say in an infinity of worlds!” — Giordano Bruno

Let us not speak of [community profile] yuletide right now. I am trying to pretend I didn't just write that thing. Instead, I will wish a happy Yule to those of you who celebrate today's solstice, the long dark night that marks the turning toward the ascendancy of light once more and the rebirth of the sun. So, merry frail light that shines even in the deepest darkness! It is wet and grey and cold today, and still a bit hive-y, and Gwyd is gone to his folks' so the house feels empty, but tomorrow will be just a little brighter as the calendar turns toward the resurrection of spring. I do wish I had more time and space to appreciate Yule, because that's the sort of scrappy, optimistic holiday that's me right down to the ground.

On that note, religion and the discussion of it. For some reason, I seem to always end up in religious discussions at any large gathering. I have no idea why this is, because I generally try assiduously to avoid such debates. I find the subject deeply fascinating, and I love to have those conversations – in theory. But in reality, I find it difficult to engage in them without 1) feeling othered, 2) feeling like I'm othering someone else (except Scientologists, because really, just no), or 3) worrying that I'm proselytizing. None of that is happy-making for me. Not too long ago, one of my first-cousins-once-removed came up from Mexico on his way to compete in a marathon in Asia. He, like the rest of that familial branch, is nominally Catholic, but once I told him I was a practicing Wiccan, he was all, "Oooh! I've never met one of those before! Can I ask you some questions?" And then he told me that he's working on a project with a Zen Buddhist chef; they're collaborating on a book about diet and exercise and lifestyle to optimize purification and focus of the mind and body at the same time. We were both practically bouncing like over-eager puppies while we talked, thrilled with the novelty of each other's ideas. (You can see the family resemblance, no doubt.) We nattered on happily together in a tangle of English and Spanish for hours about philosophy, comparative theology, and metaphysics, and I had a lovely time. What I'm trying to express here is that I love talking about these things, but they're surrounded by dire potential pitfalls, so often I don't get the chance. I have had friends who, like my cousin, wanted to ask questions or get a Wiccan perspective, and that's quite cool with me. I’ve also had friends who enjoyed thoughtful, respectful discussions of comparative theology and mythos structure. But unless I know you well enough to know that you want to have that kind of discussion, I will likely try to dodge it.

And your three shiny links of the day are:
1) This encyclopedic cookbook of authentic Mexican cuisine was one of my Yule presents from Gwyd. I love that it really reflects the wide diversity that exists across regions.
2) As a gamer, I really appreciate 25 Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Male.
3) And for your daily dose of cute, check out adorable underwater swimming puppies.

This entry was originally posted at http://lyr.dreamwidth.org/114473.html. Please feel free to comment in whatever location floats your proverbial boat.

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The 12 days of ch...aracters

Dec. 19th, 2014 | 02:27 am
mood: irritatedliterally
music: Thousand Beautiful Things - Annie Lennox

The quote of the day is: “All ideas are secondhand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources. We are constantly littering our literature with disconnected sentences borrowed from books at some unremembered time and now imagined to be our own.” — Mark Twain

Still somewhat hive-ridden, so don't expect much. I'm going to need most of my remaining focus to get a handle on Yuletide. All I've got right now is a vague outline, which I almost certainly won't even follow. So, have my version of The 12 Characters Meme:

The characters are:

  1. Parker

  2. Daryl Dixon

  3. Stahma Tarr

  4. Vala Mal Doran

  5. Sameen Shaw

  6. Tony Stark

  7. Zoe Washburne

  8. Faith Lehane

  9. Rodney McKay

  10. Spike

  11. Duke Crocker

  12. Captain Jack Harkness

And the mayhem ensues...Collapse )

And your three shiny links of the day are:
1) This article on how dogs understand what we say reveals that dogs hear you differently depending on which ear you speak in.
2) This article claims, as I have noticed myself, that gender norms are different for Millennials.
3) This monument to Mandela is an amazing piece of work.

This entry was originally posted at http://lyr.dreamwidth.org/114214.html. Please feel free to comment in whatever location floats your proverbial boat.

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Sights and scents

Dec. 11th, 2014 | 12:43 am
mood: stressedstressed
music: Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles

The quote of the day is: "Over the next century, scholars and fans, aided by computational algorithms, will knit together the books of the world into a single networked literature. A reader will be able to generate a social graph of an idea, or a timeline of a concept, or a networked map of influence for any notion in the library. We’ll come to understand that no work, no idea, stands alone, but that all good, true and beautiful things are networks, ecosystems of intertwingled parts, related entities and similar works.” - Kevin Kelly

While I'm musing what to say on the next installment of the December talking meme, let's talk new media and scents. So, on the subject of new things I tried watching this season, I already told you how I got on with Scorpion, which is to say I dropped it like a maggot-ridden apple. I also tried Forever, but felt pretty meh about it; it seemed kind of formulaic and uninspired. I tried Black-ish, and thought it was okay (especially Laurence Fishburne, who is always awesome), but didn't bond with it. I briefly tried The Flash, but barely made it through the pilot. Sorry, people who love it; much like Arrow, it's just not how I like my superheroes. Ditto with Gotham, only moreso. Which is a shame, because I really wanted to like that one. I tried a few episodes of Madam Secretary, but the more I watched, the more uncomfortable I became with some of the rhetorical choices they were making. I think situating the Blackwater guy as a positive character marked the beginning of my discomfort. I'm still watching NCIS: New Orleans, though I only put it on while I'm doing something else and not really paying much attention. I only remotely give a damn about two of the characters, but I do like the way the city itself is the most charismatic character on the show. I like New Orleans, and this is really a love letter to it. I dropped Z Nation after a couple of episodes, because it was the smart cultural critique and nuanced human drama of Romero's work that got me into the whole zombie thing, and this show is far, far removed from any of that. That brings me to the only one I am still happy about: Constantine. I was prepared to be disappointed in it, mostly because I am a fan of the comics and wanted it done right. And it's a whole lot closer than I expected.

So, what new things are you watching/did you try to watch/are you trying to forget you ever laid eyes on?

Also, for today's fannish scent review, I give you BPAL's Bastet. BastetCollapse )

And your three shiny links of the day are:
1) Did you know that dog owners have a specific, identifiable set of skin bacteria? And possibly that microbiome is good for our health.
2) Speaking of science and things that I watch, Game of Thrones fans (book or TV) may enjoy the science of Game of Thrones.
3) You may have heard of the horrifying practice in India called "Eve teasing," also known as public sexual molestation or harassment. Stories of these incidents that make the news are usually gruesome. Just this once, it ends better. Check out these two sisters who attacked their assailants.

ETA: Beware Agents of SHIELD midseason finale spoilers in the comments!

This entry was originally posted at http://lyr.dreamwidth.org/113564.html. Please feel free to comment in whatever location floats your proverbial boat.

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I could cover a lion in chocolate and silver solder.

Dec. 7th, 2014 | 04:41 am
mood: hungryhungry
music: The Lion Sleeps Tonight - The Tokens

The quote of the day is: "I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion." - Alexander the Great

Today I'm taking a break from the December talking meme, partly because I haven't finished thinking over my remaining question. If you want to ask me something, feel free to add a question to my list.

Instead, have a little rambling about scents. Yesterday I was getting a (desperately needed) massage from my usual therapist. She's great, and also just nifty as a person (Browncoat!), and I guess I've been with her long enough that she felt comfortable saying, after a couple of minutes: "At the risk of sounding creepy, you smell fantastic." Remember when I reviewed BPAL's O? That's what I wore to my massage. I'm just saying, it really is the sexiest thing I've ever smelled. And now you have independent support of that.

Which bring me to another installment in my ongoing fannish scent reviews. Today, let's do BPAL's Lion, which I am calling for Zoe Washburne. LionCollapse )

In other news, I still haven't started on my Yuletide story. But I did spend three hours today learning to make chocolates. I can now make truffles, filled candies, chocolate bars with fruits and nuts, and coconut-nut-fruit chocolate clusters. Woot! I also finish up a 6 week jewelry making course next week, for which I have so far completed a simple gemstone ring and a complex copper and silver gemstone bracelet. If those of you who have known me for a while are reflecting that this is unsurprising because I tend to go out and take such classes when I am unhappy (regardless of my over-filled schedule, because I am insane), you would not be wrong. I'm debating what to learn next.

And your three shiny links of the day are:
1) Lego has released a female scientists set after a 7-year-old girl wrote a letter complaining that legos for girls are boring. Looking at things like the model catwalk they offer for little girls, I think I would have complained, too.
2) In is-my-green-your-green news, try out this article about universal human experiences you may be missing without knowing it. It reminds me of my own experience with my starring vision a couple of years back.
3) Lastly, the Good Judgement Project is an interesting project that crowdsources geopolitical analysis. If I had the time, I would be tempted to try this.

This entry was originally posted at http://lyr.dreamwidth.org/112940.html. Please feel free to comment in whatever location floats your proverbial boat.

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Odd one out

Dec. 6th, 2014 | 05:28 am
mood: amusedamused
music: How Bizarre - OMC

The quote of the day is: "There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion." - Sir Francis Bacon

Today on the December talking meme, brunettepet asked for "#25 Five weird things that I like."

1) Brine. As a kid, I did not sneak bites of sweets from the kitchen. I sneaked spoonfuls of mustard and swigs from the olive jar. I still eat an entire jar of green olives in a sitting if I'm not careful. Mmmm, vinegar.

2) Deadlines. Sure, they're horribly stressful. But they also really motivate me, and not just to get things done (though yeah, that is important). I am at my very best in the eleventh hour. The flow of inspiration and ability waxes greater the closer a deadline comes. You know how I always swear one of these years I'll start my Yuletide fic earlier than the day before it's due? Well, this is why I never actually do. One of these years I'll have to work out how to strike a balance between self-care and deadline-fueled, manic inspiration. Maybe in my fifties.

3) Changing my own tires (both literally, and as a synecdoche for doing those sorts of things in general). Well, I don't enjoy needing to change them. But I enjoy being able to do it, so once in a while it's good to remind myself that I can. The other day one of my brand-new tires sprung a sudden split down the side overnight. (This would be the day I didn't give that cousin a ride. I'm not accusing anyone, but it's all pretty suspicious.) People said I should call for roadside assistance, and seemed surprised when I insisted I could handle it myself. It feels good to have that confidence.

4) Knowing dead languages. Now that is knowledge for its own sake, which is what I love about it most. Reading texts in their original languages is a close second, of course. But while people situate modern language acquisition as a practical skill - which it is, of course - for me that neglects the basic joy of learning things just for the joy of it, especially things as beautiful and powerful as languages.

5) Roadside attractions. World's biggest ball of yarn? Cheese festival? Roadside stand selling two-headed snakeskins? I am there. I one day hope to go to The House on the Rock. I have a soft spot for these places, and the more off-beat and regionally-flavored the better. There's something about the best of them that feels like a moment out of space and time, as if they are the mythic quintessence of places rather than the places themselves.

And your three shiny links of the day are:
1) I really love a lot of stories off of NPR's Codeswitching blog, but Breaking Out the Broken English is one of my favorites. It's about an Asian-American man's experience as a voice-over actor and Jeopardy winner, how assimilation and culture converge to change voices, and what we lose when that happens.
2) A New York artist is working on a surprising public art project: a tree that blooms in many colors and produces 40 different kinds of fruit. I would love this as a science project, but I love it so much more as an art project, you know? How awesome is it that an artist decided to use science as a tool and botany as a medium?
3) Speaking of science, maybe you have heard of BAHfest, the Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses, a celebration of well-researched, logically explained, and clearly wrong evolutionary theory. Footage of BAHfest presentations are generally pretty hilarious, but the 2013 winner was especially good with his presentation The Crying Game, a multidisciplinary study on how ancient societies strapped crying infants to their warriors to give them an edge in battle.

This entry was originally posted at http://lyr.dreamwidth.org/112836.html. Please feel free to comment in whatever location floats your proverbial boat.

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How I learned to write heroines.

Dec. 4th, 2014 | 12:26 am
mood: working
music: My Muse - Sarah Jarosz

The quote of the day is: “In the margins of the page, over the course of time, for the simple reason that we shape every book we read and are slightly shaped by it in turn, we become who we are.” — Mark Slouka

For the December talking meme, daria234 asked "#3 A book I love." Obviously that's a hard question to narrow down, even considering that I've had to mostly give up reading for pleasure during grad school. I'm really tempted to go back to childhood and write about Shirley Rousseau Murphy's Soonie and the Dragon, which I believe is a must for any young girl's library and is a major influence on my own storytelling even now. Yeah, I definitely want to put in a plug for that one, especially for those of you with daughters.

It's really a set of three stories, the first of which includes the dragon from the title. The other two involve Soonie's encounters with a griffin and with the king of Faerie. We begin with Soonie, a young woman recently left alone in the world after the death of her aunt with nothing but a dog, an old mare, and a ramshackle gypsy wagon. So she rolls up her sleeves, repairs the wagon, and goes out into the world with the mare and the dog to make her living by dancing, singing, and storytelling. But of course she encounters kingdoms that have had their princesses kidnapped by a dragon, and all the fierce young men who love those princesses have nothing but excuses for why they cannot possibly ride off to the rescue. So she does it herself, not by ferocity but by bravery, wits, and creativity. She's practical, confident, and clever, and the catchphrase is "Soonie knew what she wanted," which she always does. The voice of this book strikes a delicate, engaging balance between pragmatic and mythic - a combination that may look a little familiar to you if you've ever read my fairy tales. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

And your three shiny links of the day are:
1) Using basketball and a comparison of African-American and Jewish history, this intelligent article explains how stereotypes become self-fulfilling prophecies that we come to accept as innate truth.
2) This small bite of erotica written by an alien pretending not to be horrified by the human body is good for a quick chuckle.
3) This article about fandom and why it doesn't matter what Cumberbatch thinks of us is awesome. And the bit about Orlando Jones' attitude to fanfic is extra shiny.

This entry was originally posted at http://lyr.dreamwidth.org/111999.html. Please feel free to comment in whatever location floats your proverbial boat.

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Talking through December

Dec. 2nd, 2014 | 01:41 am
mood: draineddrained
music: A Long December - Counting Crows

The quote of the day is: “I am a teller of stories; a weaver of dreams. I can dance, sing—and in the right weather, I can stand on my head. I have a little magic, and a trick or two. I know the proper way to meet a dragon; I can fight dirty, but not fair; I once swallowed thirty oysters in a minute. I am not domestic, I am a luxury: and in that sense, necessary.” —Jim Henson

Posting every day in December? Well. No promises, but let's see how that goes. By all means, if there's something you'd like me to talk about, let me know. Otherwise, I think we all know I'll ramble on about absolutely anything.

To jumpstart that process, I give you a conversation meme I gakked from somewhere that I can't remember now:

Leave me a comment with the corresponding number(s) and I'll tell you:

1 Five ways to my heart.
2 Something I feel strongly about.
3 A book I love.
4 Things I want to say to an ex.
5 Five pet peeves.
6 What I ate today.
7 How important I think education is.
8 I'll put my music player on shuffle and write the first ten songs that play.
9 Five guys people whom I find attractive.
10 My opinion about my body and how comfortable I am with it.
11 What I wore today.
12 My zodiac/horoscope and if I think it fits my personality.
13 Something I always think "what if..." about.
14 Something that I'm proud of.
15 A problem I have had.
16 Five items I lust after.
17 My fears.
18 How I hope my future will be like.
19 Something that I miss.
20 Five words/phrases that make me laugh.
21 Something I'm currently worrying about.
22 Things I like and dislike about myself.
23 A quote I try to live by.
24 Somewhere I'd like to move to or visit.
25 Five weird things that I like.
26 One thing I'm excited for.

ETA: brunettepet called #25 and 4, [personal profile] lunabee34 called 15, daria234 called 3, [personal profile] alizarin_nyc called #21, and shapinglight called 5 and asked about quotes.

Also, your fannish scent review for today is BPAL's Mouse's Sad and Long Tale. Now I know what Toshiko Sato smells like! Mouse"s Sad and Long TaleCollapse )

And your three shiny links of the day are:
1) Ever imagined income inequality in America explained in animated My Little Pony form? This is the insanity you never knew you wanted.
2) The surprisingly fascinating story behind the guy who invented Wonder Woman is an odd tale that explains a lot.
3) If you're feeling awful about Ferguson, this story of the Ferguson public library may give you a little hope for humanity.

This entry was originally posted at http://lyr.dreamwidth.org/111521.html. Please feel free to comment in whatever location floats your proverbial boat.

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Yuletide Letter

Oct. 26th, 2014 | 05:23 am
mood: excitedexcited
music: Ring Out Solstice Bells - Jethro Tull

Dear Yuletide writer,Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://lyr.dreamwidth.org/110530.html. Please feel free to comment in whatever location floats your proverbial boat.

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