- Wash the dishes in your sink
- Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories
- Set up coffee/tea/breakfast
- Make your lunch
- Put your keys somewhere obvious
- Wash your face and brush your teeth
- Take your medication/set out your meds for the morning
- Charge your electronics
- Pour a little cleaner in the toilet bowl (if you don’t have pets or children or sleepwalking adults)
- Set your alarm
- Go to bed at a reasonable hour
"So is this the part where I ask something philosophical or just start giving advice out of my ass?" His expression stays neutral until his mouth tilts in a slow smirk.
"Fine. I'll shoot. What do you do when you feel like you're meant to do something important but have no clue what it is?"
"When we do big events like this, we usually employ one writer and one artist. However, this story is so huge – it cuts across the entire Marvel Universe – we thought it would benefit from additional brainpower. So, we tapped five of our most popular writers (Brian Bendis, Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman and Ed Brubaker) and three of our most popular artists (John Romita Jr., Olivier Coipel and Adam Kubert) to do this story." - Axel Alonso
Storytellers: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonthan Hickman, and Matt Fraction
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Laura Martin
( Read More... )
(I also rather like the one attributed to Confucius: "Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.")
Anyway, in keeping with the spirit of the subject line, this is a quick catch-up post rather than a carefully crafted narrative, the purpose of which is to share a general life update.
Family stuff. I just returned from a whirlwind weekend trip to Tennessee, both to visit my parents and to address some perceived issues with Mom's long term care. ( Details under the cut. )
Work stuff. This continues, basically. It's grant application season (next deadlines: May 27, June 6 and June 16), which is always a busy time. Other things at work that I've been involved in are also busy, but it looks like a transition is in the offing, which I'm glad of.
Life stuff. I still have thoughts on Civil War to share, but that post is sitting in draft at very nearly the character limit and needs refining into something at least vaguely resembling coherence. I am still talking to lawyers about filing suit against the insurance company. I checked in on my reading so far this year and confirmed that I've read 54 books so far, including 16 new ones and 38 rereads. I have a great deal of writing to do, and will get there eventually. Gamewise, I finished another replay of DAII and am about halfway through Skyrim. (I stalled out on Mass Effect but will go back to it next.) I have done my first hike of the year, and am planning several more, along with resuming concentrated race training. I'm also taking off tomorrow to go see J. for the Memorial Day weekend, which is something I'm really looking forward to.
That's enough for one catch-up post! More to come in the near future, really-and-truly. :)
Did anyone watch? Does it get better?
Actual kdramas I'm currently watching, if anyone cares:
Airing and up to date with:
Another Oh Hae Yong
Beautiful Gong Shim
The Flower in Prison (current favorite)
Seodongyo (5 of 55 episodes watched)
The Village: Achiara's Secrets (2 of 16 episodes watched)
*Dramafever seems to have packed up and moved everything to amazon, where they want me to give them extra money every month on top of Amazon's fee, and I have an eternal objection-called "my thin wallet"-for paying an extra fee for a subscription service I already pay for.
(I am trans-masculine and have been on testosterone for about eight months. Our company has a service that allows us to serve clients via the Internet, so all they know is the name of the person serving them. One such client calls in. I pick up the phone upon being told he’s one of mine.)
Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”
Client: “Hi, [My Name]! You don’t sound like a woman!”
(I don’t say anything, thinking this is just an offhand observation. He doesn’t say anything either. It becomes clear this is something he expects me to actually address.)
Client: “Oh, now you do! So anyway…”
(I was up-talking that last time.)
The post Things To Make You Say ‘Man!’ appeared first on Funny & Stupid Customer Stories - Not Always Right.
(whenever i tried to identify my sexuality as a teenager, i always ended up defaulting to heterosexual because at the time i knew of only two options and i clearly wasn't a lesbian because i didn't want to kiss girls. the fact that i didn't want to kiss boys either was chalked up to the (internalised) belief (of the standard line) that i was simply a late bloomer (emotionally/sexually speaking). why it didn't occur to me that i could be a lesbian late bloomer just as easily as a heterosexual later bloomer i can only explain by saying: i was 14. i had no idea. it was 1991 and the concept of asexual within the framework of sexuality didn't even exist yet. if it had i doubt it would have made its way into the consciousness of a small catholic school in baltimore, anyway.)
i just know that casey made me feel something remarkable that i'd never felt before. to me she had this aura about her. i wanted to be near her and i wanted to be like her. she wasn't beautiful, exactly. she was pretty, i think, but it was more than that. she was magnetic in some way. what i remember most is her hair and the way she seemed to have this light always around her. (the logical voice in my head says i romanticised the idea of her: that the light lingered in my mind because i mostly saw her in the gym, which had enormous high windows, and we were all surrounded by light. the rest of me says the reason doesn't matter. that's how she seemed to me.)
she was white, as 99% of the kids at my school were (this, despite it being baltimore), and while she was small, she was curvy. her hips were like my hips, but lovelier, in the way they gently sloped under her uniform skirt. her hair made me think of a lion's mane, the way it framed her. 'light brown' is too prosaic a description. it was so many colours: blonde and gold and honey and caramel. and it was a step up from wavy, but not quite frizzy, somewhere between her chin and her shoulders. she'd pull it back in a ponytail for games but at practice she usually left it down. i loved her hair.
it's kind of embarrassing, but this bit from all's well that ends well sums up how i felt.
[s]he is so above me:it's like i regarded her as a different species. i just wanted to be around her and bask in her presence. the only things i really knew about her were that she didn't have a boyfriend and she was kind. she was popular in the way that girls who don't have a particular allegiance to any one clique are. i had the sense that she was nice to everyone in a genuine way, rather than the fake niceness that so many girls performed.
In [her] bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in [her] sphere.
why do i still find myself thinking about her from time to time all these years later? i don't know. i'm sure the memory of her is just as much a construct that i created as any fictional character. if i had actually gotten to know her i'd have discovered she was as flawed and human as the rest of us. i might've not even liked her. but none of that matters now because it didn't matter then. she was the first star around which i orbited. that alone makes her special.
so, casey, you'll never read this and truthfully i'm glad because it would be so very awkward for both of us if you did. i'd be surprised if you even remembered who i was. but a long time ago you gave a shy, scared, dislocated, terribly unhappy girl something bright and lovely to look forward to every day. and even though you didn't do it knowingly or with intention, i'm still grateful.
with nostalgic affection,
a little satellite
I am super excited to share that I’ve been selected as a judge for the 2016 Aurealis Awards!
If you’ve previously missed me discussing the Aurealis Awards, they are Australia’s premier juried awards for speculative fiction. They cover fantasy, sci-fi and horror, with categories for Best Novel and Best Short Story for each genre. There are also categories for YA, children’s fiction, graphic novels, and anthologies & collections.
Judging for the awards is something I’ve wanted to do for the last few years but I hesitated because of the workload. It is a lot of reading in addition to the review material for this blog. This year is the first year my reading rate is fast enough for me to feel like I have a chance at keeping up.
I’ll be judging Best YA Novel and Best YA Short Story. This means you won’t be seeing a lot of either on this blog for the time being.
Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.
(I’m an assistant manager at a 24-hour burger place and currently work overnights.)
Me: “Thank you for choosing [Burger Place]. My name is [My Name]. May I take your order?”
Customer: “Do y’all do fraps?”
Me: “Yes. Mocha and Caramel.”
Customer: “What about something like a White Chocolate frap?”
Me: “Nope. Sorry, but this is [Burger Place], not Starbucks.”
Me: “Why is this not Starbucks?”
Customer: “If you’re going to advertise fraps, you should do better than f***ing Mocha and Caramel.”
Me: “Um… sorry?”
Customer: “Don’t say sorry. How can we make this right?”
Me: “Um… you can go to Starbucks?”
Customer: “Look a**-hole. Starbucks is closed and I want a White Chocolate frap. Now are you going to make me one or not?”
Customer: “I’m calling corporate.”
Me: “Be my guest. They’ll just tell you the same thing I did.”
Customer: “F*** you, a**hole.” *speeds through the drive-thru and flips me off as he passes the window*
The post Some Customers Deserve A Frap In The Face appeared first on Funny & Stupid Customer Stories - Not Always Right.
Jake and the Fatman (Jake Styles, group: Jake Styles/Derek Mitchell, Fanfiction)
Nash Bridges (TV) (group: Nash Bridges/Harvey Leek, group: Nash Bridges/Lisa Bridges/Harvey Leek, group: Harvey Leek/Evan Cortez, Fanfiction)
Magnum P.I. (TV) (Orville Wilbur Richard "Rick" Wright, group: Orville Wilbur Richard "Rick" Wright/Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV, Fanfiction)
The Gangster Chronicles (1981) (group: Dutch Schultz/Chris Brennan, Fanfiction)
Please comment here with your AO3 name if you can produce a story of at least 1000 words with at least one requested character/group in any of these fandoms before June 16.
Shanar Hezhatin stood in the crater left by the brawling Gods. He had seen the entity that had made the Crater as a sheer display of strength but once. A being of seemingly unstoppable force and serenity in silver armor who'd appeared with a tall Barane of an alternate Tamir III,the species' characteristic brown skin, black hair, and brown eyes overlaid with skin that in parts gleamed with a metallic hue of remote and strange hues from other dimensions. Humans. Such a strange race.
He stooped down, looking at stones where the monstrous Starspawn had collided. These might be valuable in his researches. Known as Shadows, these rocks were touched by the essences of the Beyond, infused with marvelous and mysterious powers testament to the Gods that made them. His pursuit of a greater and more terrible weapon was still ongoing, but looking at the aftereffects of his Omegas successfully withstanding a blow from the kind of entity that spawned them Shanar had an uncharacteristic melancholy thought.
Supposing his Kesheli concept did come to fruition, blending the genetics of the template of the Omega-1 with the strange material he found in the wake of explorations of the Pharaoh Nephren-Ka, the creation of a God among Gods. Holiest of holy relics, pieces of the Soul and Messenger of the Outer God, The first model had easily shown a power of dreadful nature, capable of acting on a multiversal scale. Only a worst-case scenario, his creations entirely victorious in this bloodbath and assuming the role of God-Emperors and Empresses over the whole of the Imperial dimension could motivate it.
He still took the stones, the melancholy growing. What price success for one who mastered one of the fundamental forces of a universe if the price was these vast craters, bleeding mountains that weeped multi-colored ichor, and rumbling rasping after-echoes that kept percolating into eternity. At times he seemed to catch flashes of the immense green and clawed and silver form of the maddened Worldbreaker, at one point scraping residue that proved promising after an initial scan into a tube.
He'd looked up and he'd seen the colossal form towering over him, fanged mouth leering straight down at him and he'd raised his hands to shield himself, a glowing sphere of nuclear energy forming by default and dissipating with glass blasted from dust in a circular pattern around him when the illusion vanished. Yes......only at the worst possible case for the would-be master of the New Gods would this happen. In fact, if he could will it at all, there would never be such another abomination birthed in his laboratories again.
The Worldbreaker's roars were not those of the silver-armored figure, the juggernaut who casually floored Gods and Monsters alike as was the will of the Outer Gods, their sole condescending recognition that some level of mortality served an unfathomable to it place in the omniverse. They were the bellowing and monstrous echoes of madness, of an entity steeped in death as a means to aid the dying overwhelmed by too much death in too short a time. The Starspawn roared in itself, its monstrous hands smashing into the armored form of the Worldbreaker, the gelatinous tissue splattering and reforming and doing no harm but only serving to make the Worldbreaker still more angry. The collision had driven them over the Pass of Gold to the coast of the immense sea by it. With a sudden overpowering dive, the Worldbreaker hurled the Starspawn down, the impact creating a colossal crater and permanently scarring the coast of the Imperial Bizjarran Throneworld. Registered globally on Richter scales, the impact and the awakened forces led psychics to shriek for years about the burning star that fell from heaven holding the concentrated might and malevolence of unfathomably long-lost eras.
The oceans balked and broiled around the impact, waves rattled and storming along the coast of the islands of Hataria beyond, the Starspawn growling in pain and agony as its body lay before the entity that in spite of the almost absurd size-difference held it in a grip of iron. The claws resumed their butcher's work, and the Starspawn assailed the Worldbreaker with waves of force that would have annihilated many lesser things. The very invulnerability that made the Worldbreaker wielder of the deadly lightning-infused clouds meant the blows registered with pain but did not scratch the surface. Instead the Smoke roiled out in clouds, searing open entire parts of the Starspawn. Nine suns glowed a terrible blue light, glowing with a deep and deadly hate.
A monstrous hand lunged forth to grasp the Worldbreaker, whose rumbling howl followed with a vicious squelching sound as the gelatinous hand was thrown beyond in the Valley, smearing itself across a mountain even as it sought to reform. The Starspawn spoke a Word ancient even to its kind, a Word of last resort that was supposed to destroy anything that heard it. Yet even here the invulnerable power of the Worldbreaker held, though the entity briefly stopped and hacked up blood, the hatred growing and blazing with still more power.
Above them the skies turned to constellations of the sky around the Citadel of Temple Azarath, dreams and visions seared through the mind of those not already affected by the terrible clash in the Pass of Gold, by repeated world-wide seismic patterns, by the realization that entire military forces of millions had been wiped out in a single terrible instant. A figure formed in the wake of the visions, blonde hair whipping as did the billowing light blue cape, the sonic howl of the Starspawn followed by its reassembled hand smashing the Worldbreaker's face down briefly as it reattached to its body, the entity's raw brute strength finally permitting it to jostle the briefly-shaken Worldbreaker.
Then it paused and gazed in wonder at Zezhelanzanai who formed an Elder Sign known to the entity's rivals and with a sudden twisting and malforming howl of denied vengeance the entity began to shrink and dissolve in a terrible foetid odor as the Worldbreaker's aggrieved bellows continued. As Suvacel fell, green hands grasped her and weightlessness took her, along with a sad and lingering:
"What have we done to ourselves?" She never understood the question until years later.
The Worldbreaker's mindless howls echoed as Zezhelanzanai stood before it with Vincent on her right, recognizing in wonder the Witch-Queen of Domdaniel. As the entity glared at her with an even more intense and almost palpable hatred, the Witch-Queen spoke an ancient incantation:
That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons, even death shall die.
The death-madness fled and Deborah stood once more in thin-air, hovering with her eyes closed, tears falling down her face. It had been centuries since last the madness took her and each time it struck with deadlier and deadlier force.
She felt Vincent's metallic flesh enclose her and the chalky-white skin of the Goddess faded into the light brown skin of the human woman, and then she looked with those same eyes for a window in time at not the maddened wrath of the Azar, a terrible and mindless flame that flailed and absorbed ever more into itself but what the Azar could have been. Her own sister, speaking only:
Forgive me for whatever I do when I do not remember..... her hand waved to encompass all around them....the beauty of family, of friendship, and of love. You have nothing to forgive yourself, it was an act of hubris on the part of an Elder God.
She smiled and said:
I'll be seeing you.
The flame of Domdaniel vanished with light already infused by a growing odor and a darker and duller shade of green and as Igna landed in the Citadel, the familiar pattern reasserted itself with an agonized howl as the Azar of Azarath rose triumphant, but saddened in ways never easy to understand. Flashes of memories that never fully formed, but one that haunted it and made it madder and wish to destroy that which was seen:
a very human light brown face with wavy black hair smiling through a tear-strewn face and saying: Thank you. If there is ever a means to do for you as you have done for me.....
The entity howled and raged and stormed through its citadel, its anger reflected across its dimension in storms of blood and fire and pillars of smoke, things that made its pieces and servants quake and hide. Its anger blazed with heat for a month as the painful memories clawed into its head and it beat its head upon the floor.
The Pass of the Dead:
Xaderavcal's eyes were wide with a horror that shook others for the sight that the invulnerable and unconquerable warlord could be so....normal. So frankly terrified out of her wits. An entire Pass strewn with corpses, the wreckage of machinery scattered in helter-skelter fashion. Mountains leveled with casual and brutal ease, and that immense crater that formed a half-moon shape to a degree with aspects like the wings of an enormous flying furry creature from the planet Tamir III.
She spoke telepathically to the one survivor of the other side, catatonic with horror, shock, and guilt, and to those of her side. Including Vizornii Hezhatin, who stared blankly into space enfolded by the arms of her love, the youthful green-furred Meremi, whose eyes were wide with concern and fear for her loved one.
You who have withstood the terror of what was once the Pass of Gold shall be honored above others. You have entered into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and thus this is now the Pass of the Dead. You have survived a terrible Wrath from Beyond unleashed by something dreadful and horrible. Regardless of cause, this is no little feat in itself.
She remained silent for two more hours. A total of fifty million soldiers from both sides committed to what should have been a decisive moment, and upon the awakening of That Thing within the clone, each struck down with but six survivors. She whistled tonelessly and began laments echoing in voice and mind.
For as terrifying as what had ensued was, the war was still in full flame, and those who'd drunk deeply of horror would glut themselves more fully still.
Bring flowers of the fairest,
Bring flowers of the rarest,
From garden and woodland
And hillside and vale;
Every mid-to-late May at my Catholic school we would host a mass run by the students called the May Crowning, where Mary, Queen of Heaven was crowned with flowers donated by parishioners and carried up to the altar by us. Given that my birthday was also in May (my favorite month) and Mary was already an important figure in my life it was one of the only masses that I actually cared about and paid attention to (the other was Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve). I was eager to be one of the students specially selected to carry the flower offerings to her statue and hold the candles to her honor. Some years I was lucky enough to do just that, other years I would look on in mild envy as I tried to praise her in song instead. Normally, due to my hearing impairment affecting my speech, I was discouraged from speaking at mass or singing, but during that mass I didn’t care if anyone heard me. I worked hard to memorize the songs for the mass and damn it I’m was gonna sing. I can still recite “Bring Flowers of the Rarest” by heart.
The Marian cult remains a constant, albeit a background, holdover from my Catholic childhood, a reminder of the few good things from the Church that I experienced. God was this abstract, formless being that was referred to, and used, as a hyper-masculine entity, but Mary was real. She had a form, she was once human like us, had to be strong in the face of her son’s torture and death, and then she became the eternal Queen of all of freaking HEAVEN. You don’t hear about Jesus being the King of Heaven nearly as much; King of Jews maybe, but not King of Heaven. In addition, she’s been named in various incarnations as the Queen of several countries, the supreme spiritual being of the entire nation for all its inhabitants, with no Kingly counterpart. Yet, for all her power she was still accessible and could relate to humans, constantly appearing to us and giving us tools to connect to her. She was real, God wasn’t.
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our Glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest
Rose of the vale.
At least, that’s how it felt for me. Many people use her as an example of being a meek, quietly devoted mother and wife, something all women should aspire to be, and I don’t blame people for being uncomfortable with Mary as a result. The Church is inherently anti-feminist, so naturally their depiction of Mary follows suit. But for all the attempts by the Church to keep her in a generic box and control her image she just couldn’t be contained. Her cult developed in hundreds of different manifestations, absorbing remnants of pagan cults and deities, and she become the most popular saint in the world. The Church tries to regulate them all but like anything else they’re never fully successful. The May Crowning event is one such manifestation, born out of (presumably) Italian folk customs some 2-3 centuries ago that had since been recognized and spread to some Catholic regions, including some parishes in North America. It used to refer to the Crowning of Mary feast day, which occurred on May 31, but in 1954 that was changed to August 22 and the May Crowning tradition became a separate semi-official event. Nowadays the May Crowning can occur anytime during May, and the entire month is dedicated to her as well.
Queen Mary, in her incarnation as Nagy Boldogasszony-Queen of Hungary, retains a place in my ancestor shrine. She is a homage to my immediate ancestors, who have been Austrian and Hungarian Catholics for at least 6 generations (most likely much longer than that), as well as my distant ones with her possible pagan origins as a “birth and fertility goddess“. In that same pagan context she’s also the one I honor during planting, harvests, and family-specific events. Since old Magyar traditions beyond 1000 years ago are scanty and speculative at best, and Christianity already existed as one of many regional influences on Magyar culture(s), it is difficult to tell where the Catholic beliefs begin and the pagan ones end. Recorded folk traditions are likely a combination of both and that’s the assumption I rest most of my customs on. My worldview is pagan, but my traditions are a syncretic blend of the folk Catholicism I was raised in (which is inherently syncretic already) and the pagan customs of my heritage. Keeping Queen Mary as a presence in my life just seems to fit.
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.
Coronation of the Virgin: Wikipedia
Coronation of Mary: Jean Frisk
May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary: Wikipedia
The goddess of birth and fertility: Fred Hamori
“Flowers of the Rarest”: Wikipedia
The monstrous Starspawn of Dread R'lyeh, though a pitiful shade of the entity that was father and maker to them all, still towered a full mile in height. Its wings were vast enough to blot out Shuhar's light and cast the Pass of Gold into shade. Deborah's lancing form of light was dismissed by the enraged wrath of the youthful-seeming female of R'lyeh until two fists collided into the left side of its monstrous tentacle-adorned face. A shrieking howl like the murder of Shuhar combined with the whine of a radio echoed, pulverizing both sides indiscrimnately. The monster staggered back, two echoing footsteps following, as Deborah hovered, eyes glowing with a terrible light.
You are in the wrong space and time, Starspawn. The Stars are wrong for your kind.
The creature turned a deep crimson and its eyes focused on her, grasping onto mountains as it leaned forward. Its voice burbled with the malignance and ancient power of Something from the far-off days of the Beyond:
Wrong for all but one of us, little white thing. You are a cast-off of a warlord, vainly seeking to adhere to a cycle even as you believe you subvert it. My father stormed the gates of the Heavens and the price paid is my perpetual endurance. I do not appreciate little children's temper tantrums seeking to kill my host.
Deborah snarled in turn and then smiled as she said:
Your host chose poorly in taking something not hers to take.
The Starspawn's eyes blazed hotter and a sudden assertion of the entity's will struck Deborah like a sledgehammer, the entity dismissing the hammer-blows of the Beast that created sonic booms and the rays of Vincent with the greatest of ease.
Its eyes remained focused on the growing light and many-angled aspect of the form rising before it, a creature of such power that even a Starspawn was as to it as a mere mortal was to the Starspawn. Fascinated at the sight of a forming piece of the entities its dread father had worshiped and conquered existence in the name of in its lifetime the creature some worlds dubbed Cthylla, youngest of the dreadful spawn of Dread Cthulhu, waited with expectancy and desire.
Deborah fell headlong but righted herself in mid-air. Growling as the entity's claws dragged into the mountain-side, carving weeping wounds that brought rocks and an eerie substance of glistening light down with them, and the entity seemed to either be bowing or preparing to attack, she called to herself the most dreadful of all of her powers, the Black Smoke. Not the whisps that formed automatically as a part of her honed reflexes in combat, the unleashed power of the darkest and most gruesome aspects of what the would-be healer and redeemer aspired to.
For a wonder the Starspawn's gaze was diverted. It seemed almost amused at the sight of a growing cloud of darkness enveloped by crackling blue lighting, the effects creating weird and eerie aspects. The entity's will casually unleashed a massacre of all save a very few in the Valley beyond its power to protect, including the Generals, who it spared to see the ruin of both sides brought by a God. By tens and hundreds of thousands had both sides fought. By tens and hundreds of thousands did both sides die, a harvest wrought by the unleashed power of the Ancient Ones, whose tombs marked the contours of all that was or would ever be, entire wings of existence dedicated to pinning them off, the fell cycle of dying and rising the melody to lull the dreaming Gods to endless dreaming Death.
The power that had caused stars to burn or that had struck entire universes in darkness of smothering Void that had naught but nothingness within it. Entire peoples and weapons and lesser forms of life stood rigidly still, machines suspended in mid-air or even in mid-points of frantic blind loading and firing. Then a wave of tremendous and corrupt power seared forth and as one they died, leaving a valley strewn with the burning husks of crashed and exploded machines, with armor that shielded against the dreadful rays of the Imperial Army's lightning or plasma firearms and at least partially against the sheer raw power of the metanormal for those not born or shaped thus, be they children of the harshest military discipline or metanormals of great and dreadful power themselves, capable of fracturing worlds in death-throes if killed violently. Death consumed them all with the methodical ease of a farmer's scythe.
The rolling wave coursed around and struck Deborah and she screamed with a terrible and rending sound that was accompanied by the wrathful laughter of the Starspawn, its hands extended in a blasphemous gesture of beneficence, its echoing sonic/psychic/mystical overtones smashing Vincent and those shielded by the entity that lurked within Vizornii Hezhatin around like ragdolls. The power that led her to scream led the awakened child of the Silver Key, the Umr' at Tawil known in other times and cycles as the Yog-Sothoth, simultaneously existence and the key to manipulating it to stop in its tracks.
The madness of uncontrolled death roiled upward, assailing the Psychopomp veiled by her own cloud with such overpowering force that as she screamed her eyes glowed with an eerie hell-light and her muscles began to rasp with the sheer force that had been unleashed. The Starspawn in its ancient malevolence leaned forward again, its body now a silver of supreme arrogance and confidence. All it took to unbalance the New Ones was a mere massacre? The jest of the Outer Gods to the Ancient Ones was one in poor taste indeed, and she looked forward to her father's rising and the resumption of his imperium with new goals directed at the ones who'd betrayed him.
The scream stopped and a monster fell from the cloud, clad in an oversized variant of its own armor, still wearing the cape and loincloth without. Its face now resembled that of a fanged Ceratopsid, the same nine golden suns that blazed on a white face torn in pain and agony blazing still hotter, a brilliant and terrible blue light searing from them. What disconcerted the Starspawn was that while still immensely shorter than itself, the entity stood some hundreds of meters tall and it was looking at it with not the eyes of serene confidence expected from the Lightdancer but with the rasping muscles and rumbling breath of something much more dreadful.
A Worldbreaker, a figure of towering fury and dread sufficient to make even a Starspawn pause in its arrogance and assumptions, and as Cthylla looked, the very furthest tip of the entity's claw lovingly brushed the unconscious Vincent, relieved to see that its love was shaken but unharmed. Then the entity lunged upward at the Starspawn, a mountainous bulk moving with the swiftness of light itself hurling amidst the immensity of the outer abysses.
The impact scattered corpses in a cyclonic wind and the Starspawn flexed its tremendous wings and hurled itself into the sky as the Worldbreaker's claws rent into it in a primordial and savage fury. Roaring echoes spoke into the brain of the Starspawn. The very dangers of slipping control of a psychopomp whose very heroism was as much a means to forestall its own pain as otherwise, and the rather difficult problem that something completely indestructible was now extremely furious and in direct wrath at it.
The child of the Silver Key transformed back into Vizornii Hezhatin. It had one task first, to ensure all left alive were removed from the ruined Pass that would soon be redubbed in reflection of the horrors that had been unleashed there, to purge their minds of the horrors that had been witnessed and felt. And then if needed to force the Worldbreaker and the Starspawn back into their cages with brutal force, if necessary. The unconscious, some bleeding, some raving with eyes closed and swatting at invisible foes and screaming at eyes that would not close and gnashing oozing mouths, felt peace as dark green hands closed around them and they vanished in weightlessness to peace, to awaken days later in an Imperial infirmary.
The Citadel of the Temple Azarath:
Zezhelanzanai gazed into her pool in shock. The very nature of what was seen on that world, the unleashing of the most dreadful sides of the one truly heroic of their whole brood, going back to their titan Godlike Father had jarred the Azar so much that for a moment she was lucid again, but flush with the power of millennia. It was a rare chance to aid and not to harm, and Zezhelanzanai sought to make the best of it. As Azarath briefly flexed and for a moment within time across countless worlds lived up to the soiled promises of decency and honor therein, the green armor of the Azar vanished in a cloud not of sickly smoke but a flashing of brilliant neon-green light.
How many times can you pull the honey from the pantry in one day? Apparently three: dressing for the carrots, bread dough, pickles.
I have been working on a lot of poems this month, which has made me happy. I am much more positive about arranging section one of the poetry manuscript now.
I am thankful to say the number of attacks this month has been relatively low. I wish that fact correlated with an increase in energy but so far not.
I'm not even sure where the days have gone, although I could certainly riffle the pages filled during those days under your hands, wind and words.
Near the end of Sara Forte's Bowl + Spoon cookbook, she relates an anecdote about a dessert she and her college roommate used to make: microwaved mashed banana covered with a scoop of peanut butter and sprinkled with chocolate chips. I was surprised to find that the actual recipe on the page, which was introduced by this anecdote, involved liquor and didn't involve nuking bananas and peanut butter. I mixed up the anecdote, however, and it was tasty.
Feel free to share a recent tasty anecdote of your own, I'd love to hear.
(We can make sandwiches which must be ordered the day before.)
Customer: “Hi, I ordered a tuna sandwich yesterday, but it isn’t here?”
Me: *looks over to where a sandwich is left* “There’s a tuna sandwich here—”
Customer: “That’s not mine, though.”
Me: “Do you know whose it is?”
Customer: “No. But it’s not mine.”
Me: “Are you sure?”
Customer: “Yes. I want another tuna sandwich.”
Me: “Right. Okay.”
(I take the sandwich into the kitchen and came back out with the same sandwich five minutes later.)
Customer: “Ah! Lovely. Thanks very much.”
The post Try Number Two-na appeared first on Funny & Stupid Customer Stories - Not Always Right.
The art wasn't good, but the punchline made it worth it.
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Poor Black Manta...
If you’ve been following us on social media, you might have seen that there’s a crowdfunding campaign to help Sassy Outwater. Sassy’s got ongoing medical craptitude, with seizures and medication changes and brain cancer “afterparty” as she calls it, all sorts of stuff that interferes with everything, including her ability to work. Setting up crowdfunding was a very difficult decision for her, and I wanted to give her the opportunity to explain in her own words what’s going on, and why it’s happening. Special warning: you might cry if you’re a sympathy crier. I am and I totally did. We also talk about our next dream form of support currency (hint: it involves some nobility) and the heroes that are getting her through all the bleak moments.
The Helping Sassy campaign is going on now at bit.ly/helpsassy, and any support is much appreciated. She also mentions WECHope.org, or or World Eye Cancer Hope, dedicated to helping children worldwide who are diagnosed with retinoblastoma.
As Sassy mentioned, if you read, listen, share, talk about or support her campaign, she is deeply thankful, and has unlimited love for you and for the romance community.
More ways to sponsor:
What did you think of today's episode? Got ideas? Suggestions? You can talk to us on the blog entries for the podcast or talk to us on Facebook if that's where you hang out online. You can email us at email@example.com or you can call and leave us a message at our Google voice number: 201-371-DBSA. Please don't forget to give us a name and where you're calling from so we can work your message into an upcoming podcast.
Thanks for listening!
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This HaBO request comes to us from Georgie, who hopes to find a Mills & Boon she read in the nineties:
About 20 years ago (September 1997) I was standing in a supermarket making cooing noises at my toddler in the trolley, whilst simultaneously skimming through a Mills & Boon in the Books section, and trying to decide if I wanted to take a chance on buying it. The toddler started acting up (and, if I’m honest, hasn’t actually stopped since), and I never got to buy the book, though it looked really good.
It was a M&B contemporary romance, set in New York, with Charles as CEO of a business (a newspaper?), but his cousin (family member) Barbara had been left some stake in the the company as well (to his annoyance). She proved really good at the job. They didn’t get on at all – there was lots of top-quality snark – but seemed to be heading for an affair and possibly a fake engagement to stop their respective parents worrying about them.
Sorry, when I write it down like that, it all sounds very generic, but the writing really stood out because it was very witty! Hope there’s someone out there who can help!
Though the plot details seem vague, we have the hero and heroine’s names!
The weather was clear last night. It wasn’t even windy. This means we really, really weren’t expecting to lose power. Cordelia was a little scared but not a lot.
I set my cell phone alarm for 5 a.m. so that Scott wouldn’t be late for work. I didn’t think to turn that off when the power came back because I was half asleep and didn’t remember that his alarm clock has a battery backup. I just knew that he hadn’t tried to reset it after the power came back, so I figured we still needed my alarm. Scott’s alarm apparently goes off at 5:08 instead of 5:00. His clock is five minutes fast, though, so it was actually 5:03. That was just long enough for him to get really cranky with me about lost minutes of sleep.
I ended up not getting back to sleep until after Cordelia left for school. She was afraid she’d sleep through her alarm, so she’d asked me to get up with her, and I did. I was back in bed by 7:00 but didn’t sleep until after she left around 8:00. Then DTE called at 8:45 and at 9:00 and at 10:30 to let me know that our power should be back on. That made me seriously cranky, so it’s fortunate that I’m at home alone and can get past that.
Our DSL was out when I got up. I ended up restarting the modem twice. I wasn’t hopeful when I did it the second time because I thought that, if it was going to work, the first time would have done it. But apparently twice was what was needed. I was worried that I’d have to try to power cycle other bits of equipment that are a lot less easy to get to, that I’m not certain what they do, that don’t have actual power buttons, and that have multiple cords, none of which are clearly the power cord.
My step-father got back from China last night. That’s where my mother was when I tried to reach her to update her on my sister’s status. I rather thought that was likely because I couldn’t think why else she’d have left home under the circumstances. Apparently, my sister’s husband tried to text Mom, but Mom’s cell phone is very, very old and won’t download text messages. It will tell her they exist, but it won’t download them.
Oh, and the asparagus has not caused problems today, so I’m going to try other vegetables today.
So, it's time for us all to stop procrastinating and get stuff done! What will it be? Is there something looming over your shoulder that really does need tackling? (Yes would be the answer in my case!) How much time have you got? (Not much) Have you got any energy at all? (Very little)
Bearing all those factors in mind, choose one thing that is within your scope for the day and let us cheer you along while you do. For those tackling more than one, we'll cheer you too, fear not! We are here for you!
Go team go!
"How Flowers Help Us Understand Why Bridges Collapse".
Via sovay, the Paleontological Research Institution has a Kickstarter for "Ammonoid Plushie - a new Paleozoic Pal".
Via yhlee, "The Plan to Avert Our Post-Antibiotic Apocalypse: A new report estimates that by 2050, drug-resistant infections will kill one person every three seconds, unless the world’s governments take drastic steps now". [The Atlantic]
I saw this go by on Tumblr a week or two ago, and then it was mentioned again in a ladybusiness linkspam. Science!Tumblr rallies to answer the question of whether a malachite stalactite can be safely used as a dildo. There's no science like Tumblr science, folks.
Sarah Kurchak posted about Justin Trudeau and #elbowgate...for the mixed martial arts blog she writes for. *^^* "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Threw An Elbow In the House of Commons, Should Stick To Boxing". [Fightland]
"Stop Telling Single Women How to Find a Man".
"The Curious Case of the Weapon that Didn’t Exist". [The Public Medievalist]
"What the Heck Is Blue Raspberry?" [Mental Floss]
"Makeup artist Lexie Lazear has been transforming herself into famous paintings, with some truly incredible results". [Buzzfeed]
"Special Agents: The Women of SOE". [The Paris Review, May 2012]
"Everything We Know About How the FBI Hacks People". [Wired]
Via oursin, "Cadavers in pearls: meet the Anatomical Venus: They were reclining beauties with ecstatic expressions – and lift-out intestines. Enter the necrophiliac world of 18th-century anatomical models". [The Guardian] "It is a truism of sitcoms that, whenever there’s a conversation about violence towards testicles, men always cross their legs. As a woman, reading Anatomical Venus, you will want to fold yourself protectively over everything, wrap your arms around your kidneys and liver, run some barbed wire round your reproductive area." File this under "sounds really interesting, and I am personally so not reading the book discussed here".
From comments on someone else's locked post: "How Our Brains Stop Us Achieving Our Goals and How to Fight Back". (Content note: dieting talk in some of the discussion, alas.)
"Swarms of Octopus Are Taking Over the Oceans". [Gizmodo]
--"Shockingly huge, exquisite egg sandwiches found in Tokyo".
--"We know it’s hard, Super Mario fans, but please resist the urge to punch this Tokyo Station sign".
Customer: “I want to complain about your meter readers. They didn’t come in the period they were supposed to.”
Me: “Okay, let me check… So, your scheduled read date was March 22, plus or minus two business days. Our records show the readers attended on March 25 but the gate was locked.”
Customer: “Of course it was. That’s outside of the window.”
Me: “I’m sorry, but it isn’t; the 25th is two business days after the 23rd.”
Customer: “NO. Where it says plus or minus two business days, that means it’s one day either side, two extra business days, up to three business days total. What are you, stupid?”
Me: “I’m afraid that’s not the case. Plus or minus two business days means it can be up to two business days either side, a total of five business days.”
Customer: “NO, IT DOESN’T! IT NEVER MEANS THAT! ARE YOU STUPID?!”
Me: “Ma’am, out of curiosity, what would you assume it meant if we’d written plus or minus one business day?”
Customer: “F*** YOU!” *click*”
The post There Is No Plus Side To This appeared first on Funny & Stupid Customer Stories - Not Always Right.
- Reading, books 2016, 70.
58. Dramacon, vol.1, by Svetlana Chmakova, is a graphic novel written and drawn in western manga-style. The plot is a romance drama with added DRAMA, set at an anime convention, lol. A significant amount of the emotional storytelling is through exaggerated facial expressions, which I found well drawn and communicative. The protag's love interest is disabled/disfigured (although he wears sunglasses not a eyepatch). Warning for an attempted rape, although it's a decent depiction within the context of this style of storytelling and the unrealism is mostly in how well supported the victim is afterwards: (detailed warning, highlight to read) the would-be rapist is the victim's boyfriend/established sexual partner and she successfully fights him off then asks for and immediately receives assistance from fellow con-goers (end warning). (3.5/5)
( Two more Dramacons and two more Lego caps. )
"I don't want to say the Inhuman angle was 'forced' on us, but kinda sorta, so in a lot of ways, Lunella's wanting to avoid becoming Inhuman reflected our personal feelings about that story aspect! . . . In truth, the Inhuman angle became very interesting, creatively, as I think the story proved..." - Brandon Montclare
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Beauty and the Rake
RECOMMENDED: Beauty and the Rake by Erica Monroe is 99c! This is a historical romance with Beauty and the Beast elements, which Redheadedgirl loved. She gave it an A:
This had so much going for it. Just barely pre-Victorian/tail end of the Georgian era! Non-nobles! Slums! Delightful references to the Disney animated B&B! Other references to La Belle et La Bete! Turning other references on their heads! An exploration of where the line between “victim” and “survivor” is!
Once, she was beautiful…
Abigail Vautille dreamed of escaping the Whitechapel rookery and starting a new life, until one tragic night left her scarred and penniless. To save her family from debtor’s prison, she strikes a deal with the rogue who owns her father’s gambling vowels–if he excuses the debt, for two weeks, she’ll give him her body, but not her heart.
Once he was charming…
Inspector Michael Strickland of the Metropolitan Police has always had a way with women. Success comes easily to him, and he glides through life on his good looks and family name. But Abigail lights a passion within him he never knew existed. He sees the beauty within her, not the beast she believes herself to be.
Together, their love is beyond a fairy tale.
After a dangerous figure from Abigail’s past resurfaces vowing vengeance, things take a sinister turn. But Michael will stop at nothing to keep the woman he loves safe. When the stakes are high and the scars are more than skin deep, passion might be the key to a happily ever after.
Love in the Time of Scandal
Love in the Time of Scandal by Caroline Linden is $3.99! This is a historical romance and was mentioned on a previous podcast with Redheadedgirl, who used this book as a palate cleanser after reading Grey. This has a marriage of convenience element to it, and readers loved watching the hero and heroine come to terms with their arrangement. However, others felt differently about the main couple, finding the heroine too stubborn. Have you read it?
USA Today bestselling author Caroline Linden’s third novel in her Scandalous series brings together a feisty heiress, a notorious rake, and a shocking book that could bring one woman the utmost despair— or the greatest pleasure
Penelope Weston does not like Benedict Lennox, Lord Atherton. He may be the suave and charming heir to an earl, as well as the most handsome man on earth, but she can’t forget how he abandoned a friend in need— nor how he once courted her sister, Abigail. He’s the last man she would ever marry. If only she didn’t feel so attracted to the arrogant scoundrel . . .
Once upon a time, Benedict thought he and Penelope got along rather well. Though he needs a wealthy bride to escape his cruel father’s control, spirited Penelope just doesn’t suit his plans for a model marriage—until a good deed goes awry, and scandalous rumors link his name to Penelope’s. She might not be the quiet, sensible wife he thought he wanted, but she is beautiful . . . beguiling . . . and far more passionate than he ever imagined. Can a marriage begun in scandal become a love match, too?
The Rock by Monica McCarty is $3.99! This is book eleven in the Highland Guard series and was one of Elyse’s picks on a previous Hide Your Wallet. Readers loved the writing, but seemed to feel that the main conflict was resolved a little easily. It has a 3.9-star rating on Goodreads.
New York Times bestselling author Monica McCarty continues her Highland Guard series in this eleventh steamy historical romance set against the sweeping backdrop of the Scottish Highlands.
The first time he caught sight of Elizabeth Douglas, Thomas MacGowan thought she was a princess. To the son of the castle blacksmith, the daughter of the powerful Lord of Douglas might as well be. When it becomes clear that his childhood companion will never see him as a man she could love, Thom joins Edward Bruce’s army as a man-at-arms to try to change his lot. If he’s harbored a secret hope that he could close the gap between them, he faces the cold, hard truth when Elizabeth comes to him for help. She might need the boy who used to climb cliffs to rescue her brother from the hands of the English, but she would never see the son of a smith as a man worthy of her hand.
The Monuments Men
The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel is $1.99! This is nonfiction about a group of soldiers tasked with protecting priceless art during WWII. It was also made into a movie with the dreamy Matt Damon and George Clooney. Though the subject matter is something readers on Goodreads found interesting, many said the writing slowed down the pace of this book. Has anyone read this one?
At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: “degenerate” works he despised.
In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Momuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.
Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world’s great art from the Nazis.
Some time ago, the Sultan Shariar was cheated by his wife and went full "to execute wives just after the wedding night" (how we'll see, the real reason was a childhood trauma awakened by the adultery). To save her sister's life, the scholar Sehara faked to be her to infiltrate to Sultan palace. Thanks his stories, he is in able to save himself becoming the court poet.
The Night Story 5 is "Socrates in love".
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(I am working a 12-hour day since two other employees are on vacation. I am on my final hour, and have just finished with some “wannabe gangstas,” who are very rude and obviously drunk. I go check on another customer.)
Me: *sighs* “Hello. Did you find everything okay?”
Customer: *in her mid-20s* “Yeah. Sorry about them.”
Customer: “Yeah, my parents disciplined me when I was younger so I grew up with a condition called ‘respect for others.’”
The post Gangsta Needed To Get Spanked appeared first on Funny & Stupid Customer Stories - Not Always Right.
This HaBO request is from Bryn, who is trying to find a romance that mysteriously disappeared:
I’m not a romance novel reader and don’t know anything about the authors or the publishers or the periods. While I was growing up, the only books in my grandma’s house were romance novels, and she always got rid of them if she discovered me reading them (due to a lack of other reading materials). So I had to be quick in finishing, but there was one that I didn’t get to finish and it has bugged me ever since.
I have a good memory for detail, so hopefully this will help:
1) The heroine is a rich daddy’s girl (the hero initially mistakes her father for her sugar-daddy husband). She has strawberry-blonde hair, which the hero is fixated on (he comments “that bastard knows what it’s like to play with that hair in bed”).
2) The hero’s name is Cooper, and he’s some sort of manly outdoorsman type. (At one point he angrily trims the heroine’s nails with a knife when she complains about them).
3) The pair are the only survivors of a plane crash that lands them in a jungle or forest location. The heroine is the one who discovers Cooper and drags him from the wreck. She later gets an infected leg that for some reason is in my head as resembling a rotting tomato. The hero has to stitch her up and is furious she hadn’t said anything before.
4) At one point the heroine encounters a pair of men (father and son) who initially seem helpful, but later lock her in their cabin and begin acting creepy. Cooper ends up saving her and having to explain that they intended to “share you between them.” Cooper kills them, and they take over the cabin after throwing out the gross mattress. This time in the cabin is when they start having lots of sex.
5) Eventually the pair is rescued by a search party financed by the heroine’s father, and the pair basically lie about their experiences together and go their separate ways. But of course this was only 3/4 of the way into the book, they were pining over each other, and there was clearly more plot happening.
And this was when my grandmother found me reading the book and it mysteriously vanished. I would be incredibly grateful if someone could tell me what this book is so I can find out how it ended. It’s been on my mind for at least 12 years.
This are some really good details! I know someone knows this one.
All the details are over on Tor.com, right now.
“But Scaaaaaaalzzzi, clicking through is sooooooooo much woooooooooork!”
Oh, fine. Here.
Cover artist? Sparth, aka Nicolas Bouvier, whose work will be familiar to you if you, you know, play video games at all.
But seriously, go over to that Tor.com link for more details.
Norwescon is an annual convention in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
I spoke (okay, emailed) Kathy Bond, the chair of Norwescon 38, 39, and 40, who talked a bit about the fundraising and charity work the convention does.
In 2016 alone, Norwescon donated:
- over $2,500 for Northwest Harvest, a local organization that feeds hungry people. (They also donated about 30 pounds of food.)
- $3,800 to Clarion West, which was given to 2 writers to help them attend the workshop this year
- $2,500 to help sponsor the Science Fiction Fantasy Short Film Festival
- $2,500 to help sponsor the Locus Awards
Let’s look at just one of those items. From the Northwest Harvest website, “Northwest Harvest can feed a family of three a nutritious meal for just 67 cents.” That means the convention paid for more than 3700 of those three-person meals.
Where does the money come from? Short answer: from fandom. From the hard work of convention volunteers, and the generosity of attendees. Kathy explains in more detail:
“For, the scholarships and sponsorships, the money came from our general fund. After 40 years, Norwescon has been lucky to build up a cash reserve that we’re able to re-deploy. For Northwest Harvest, we raise funds by soliciting donations when people buy their memberships, selling a specific charity ribbon at the convention, and with a Charity Auction on the last day of the convention. The food is done through a combination of food drive and donating the con suite leftovers.”
That is some impressive fundraising and generosity.
Do you have a recommendation for a person or group in the SF/F community who deserves a shout-out for doing generous, awesome, and generally wonderful work? Let me know!
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.