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So very funny!

Nov. 24th, 2014 05:29 am

Avengers World #12

Nov. 24th, 2014 09:20 pm

Juggling

Nov. 24th, 2014 08:21 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

For the past month or two, I’ve felt like I’m struggling more than usual to keep up with everything. I’ve felt more stressed and frazzled, and I’m having a harder time making sure nothing slips through the cracks.

Then this weekend I stepped back and realized I’m currently juggling four different books in different stages of production. Rise of the Spider Goddess comes out in eight days, with Unbound being released a month later. I’m trying to finish up the first draft of Revisionary, and there’s more revision work I need to do on Secret Unnamed Project of DOOM.

Oh. Well, that would explain it, I suppose. It doesn’t make things any less of a struggle, but it’s helpful to realize there’s a legit reason for feeling frazzled, and it’s not all just in my head.

I’m thinking for 2015, I may need to step back and take a good look at my priorities and time management and such, because what’s worked in the past doesn’t seem to be working quite as well these days. I have some thoughts on that front, though I’m not ready to get into details publicly just yet. (I will note that million-dollar movie or book deals are always welcome, and would simplify certain things immensely. I’m sure they’d add complications of their own, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.)

On the bright side, we did make time yesterday to get out and see Big Hero Six, which was a lot of fun. A few plot questions, but still fun.

Anyway, things should calm down a little bit over the next month or so. And in the meantime, I hope you’ll bear with me if I’m taking a bit more time than usual to respond to things.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Pressure Cooker Thanksgiving Recipes

Nov. 24th, 2014 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] pressurecookingtoday_feed

Posted by Barbara Schieving

Pressure Cooker Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Use your pressure cooker to make preparing Thanksgiving dinner faster and easier this year. I’ve assembled a roundup of delicious pressure cooker Thanksgiving recipes that will not only help make dinner faster and easier, but better tasting.

Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast recipe

Turkey breast cooked in the pressure cooker is super moist and tender with only a 30 minute cook time. If you’re having a huge crowd, you could cook a turkey in the oven and a turkey breast in the pressure cooker.

Stuffing "baked" in the pressure cooker from Pressure Cooking Today

Stuffing quickly “baked” in the pressure cooker and then crisped up in the oven before serving. Having it shaped in a bundt pan gives you lots of crispy edges, which my family loves.

Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Mashed Potatoes – steaming the potatoes in the Pressure Cooker is the best way to cook potatoes for mashing. I haven’t cooked them any other way since I started pressure cooking.

Homemade Cranberry Jelly in a Pressure Cooker

Homemade Cranberry Jelly – a must have Thanksgiving side dish, is quick, easy, and better tasting when you make it at home.

Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Cheesecake from Pressure Cooking Today

Don’t forget about dessert. This rich, creamy Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Cheesecake is a great alternative to pumpkin pie.

Turkey Stock Pressure Cooking Today

After the big feast, don’t through away the turkey carcass. Use it to make great tasting turkey stock.

Turkey Noodle Soup from Pressure Cooking Today

Use your turkey stock and leftover turkey to make turkey noodle soup.

Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup from Pressure Cooking Today

Or, instead of chicken, change it up and use turkey in this Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.

Thanksgiving Planning Guide

And finally, to help you plan the big feast, here’s a link to my Thanksgiving planning guide. I used the guide again this year. It’s nice not to have to reinvent the wheel every year.

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope it’s filled with great food and people that you love. 


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[personal profile] yendi
For the crafters out there, the Deal of the Day is on a selection Singer Sewing Machines at 68% off. I'm not going to pretend to be knowledgable enough to know how good these machines are.

In DVD/Blu Ray, aside from the awesome Star Trek: TNG deal mentioned yesterday (and the deals on Fight Club, Se7en, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Mr Peabody and Sherman, Guardians of the Galaxy, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 are also active), there are also big weeklong deals on Murder, She Wrote: The Complete Series ($76.49/72% off on DVD), Homeland ($14.99-$22.99 per season depending on DVD/Blu-Ray and the season itself, but all 50-63% off), and Hell on Wheels ($12.99-$22.49, again depending on season and format).

The Man of Steel Collectible Figurine Limited Edition Gift Set with Blu-Ray/DVD/Ultraviolet is $15 (67% off). It comes with a couple of awesome-looking figurines. It also, unfortunately, comes with the movie Man of Steel.

Speaking of bad movies, Transformers: Age of Extinction is $13 for the Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital edition. And Home Alone: The Complete Collection is $8 (73% off).

For things I'm more likely to want to watch, Good Will Hunting is $5 (67% off) on DVD. Season 3 of Person of Interest on Blu-Ray is $14.99 (79% off). Band of Brothers and The Pacific on Blu-Ray are $22.99 (63% off and 71% off, respectively) each.

If you need a player, the LG Electronics BP340 Blu-Ray Disc Player with Internet Applications and Built-In Wi-Fi is $49 (51% off, about $20 below other vendors after shipping).

In video games, the Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack is $39.99 (47% off, and about $15 under any other seller) for just about every platform.

And finally, in toys, LEGO Minecraft The Village is $31.64 (10% off, but really a good $10 below what you'll find elsewhere online). A lot of the other LEGO Minecraft toys are similarly discounted.

QotD

Nov. 24th, 2014 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

From "A nun's secret ministry brings hope to the transgender community" by Nathan Schneider, 2014-03-02, Al Jazeera America:

Bishops have confronted her outright. In their offices and on their stationery she has endured lectures about everything from doctrine to identity politics from men who insist that "homosexual" is the only acceptable word to use for lesbians and gays. They have warned each other about her. At times she has had to let them believe she's doing "just" lesbian and gay ministry, which at least they have some concept of. Her superiors have required her to pass up chances to write articles or be quoted by reporters because they're afraid of what the hierarchy would do if she went public.

But her trans community doesn't necessarily demand more of her. They mostly tell her to protect herself, to do what she must to make sure she'll be able to keep on being available to them. "One of the things that makes her even more significant," Mateo Williamson says, "is that she has faced persecution just for reaching out to people like me." Yet, for her, that's not enough. In the inability to speak out, she feels traces of the dysphoria, the deep incongruence, that trans people feel about their assigned gender. It's not just a frustration or annoyance; it's a kind of death.

[...]

And this eats at her. "I am silent while trans people are being killed," she says, clenching her shoulders as if holding an invisible weight. "They're being murdered and committing suicide, and I'm silent!" When she's worked up like this Monica can flash a gaze that makes her eyes seem steely and certain, until they fill with tears. And then a saying from St. Catherine of Siena comes to mind, turning her anger to a duller sadness. She recites it: "Preach the truth as if you had a million voices -- it is silence that kills the world."

[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

B+

Texts from Jane Eyre

by Mallory Ortberg
November 4, 2014 · Henry Holt & Co

Humor

Amanda and I were so excited about Texts from Jane Eyre that we couldn’t wait to text each other about it. Then I remembered that I actually hate texting because I still haven’t learned to type on my phone, so we chatted via Google Docs instead. As you can see, we loved the book.


 

Carrie: Did you like the book? Are you not entertained?

Amanda: I did! I started reading it on the subway and my roommate commented that I was laughing like a crazy person. Some things took me out of book, but overall, great concept.

What about you? I’m sure we both have our favorites. :)

Carrie: A note to our readers: Texts From Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg of The Toast, retells books from Medea to The Babysitters Club as a series of text messages between characters.

I’d say my fav would be Wuthering Heights. I was in the checkout line at store. Many people thought I was odd. Laughed like a loon as Heathcliff and Cathy try to upstage each other:

i am so excited i am going to just ruin heaven with my screaming back at you

that is so sweet of you to do that

OMG I laughed so hard at this I thought I would pee my pants. You?

Amanda: Ouch, that’s a hard choice. I think The Babysitter’s Club was up there.

Or The Little Prince: “I must go. My planet needs me.”

Carrie: Or Scarlett sexing everyone. And Thoreau being not independent. They are all so wonderful.

What do you think makes these so damn funny?

Amanda: Well for one, the book takes characters that we know (and hopefully love, or at the very least intensely studied while in school) and turns them into a caricature. It’s hilarious.

But perhaps I’m not as well-read as I’d like to be. Some of the choices in what characters to choose in lit went totally over my head.

Carrie: I haven’t read all of these books but I’ve read most of them. I think part of what makes it work is that the texts illustrate something real about the books. They are off the wall, but in a relevant way.

I read another review that pointed out how feminist the book is, because the texts show how incredibly self-centered men who write literature and who appear in literature are.

Only Scarlett gives the guys a run for their money in terms of being totally self-absorbed.

Amanda: Oh, I totally agree. Daisy Miller, a book I haven’t read, was included in the book and has several parts. But back to the self-centered men in lit, there was one text talking about how Daisy died and essentially the text response was, “Well she did run off with an Italian.”

What did you think of the format? While putting everything into text messages brings things into a modern era and certainly makes for some hilarious exchanges, I found it incredibly challenging at times.

Carrie: I liked it but I’m old so I still find jokes about acronyms to be super edgy LOL. Only sometimes I lost track of who was talking.

Also I would totally accept “Death by Italian Man” as option if given the choice: “You’re 105. Would you like to die of heart failure, pneumonia, or Italian?” “Italian, please”.

Should clarify for our readers that there’s no domestic abuse involved – Daisy literally dates an Italian and dies FOR NO REASON. He seems to be a perfectly nice Italian man, no murder or anything.

Or, as Ortberg puts it: “she went for a walk outside with an Italian at night under the MOON…so you know obviously that killed her.”

The only thing I hated was sometimes it was just getting started and then the author is all, “OK on to next book” and I’m “Wait what about….”

Amanda: Same! Though I lost track of who was talking A LOT. Or even who the texts were supposed to be from or going to in the first place, in the cases of when I wasn’t familiar with a book.

There were some strange choices in terms of what to cover. I’m curious about Mallory’s methods of narrowing down what to include, because personally I could have read page after page of just Hamlet texting and being a brat to his mother.

Carrie: Yes, I was devastated that we didn’t get more of Hamlet and his sandwich angst. His mom was the best.

okay you still want to die? or OK you want me to bring you a tuna fish sandwich? I’ll bring the sandwich just in case

So Amanda, what grade would you give this?

Amanda: Hm…I’d ultimately give it a B+. The content was top-notch, even if I didn’t understand it all. And the book would make a great gift for the literary-inclined. But the wonky (and yes, that’s a technical term) in terms of formatting and the confusion it caused knocked it down into the B range.

How about you? Better or worse than my B+?

Carrie: As an English Lit Major who had to write crap loads of essays about most of these books I’d give it an A++++ but I can see how it’s very much a collection of in-jokes so I’ll accept B+ for general audience.

I did my senior thesis on The Scarlet Letter. How I long for a Scarlet Letter text entry! Also having written tons about Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice I thought both those sections were absolutely spot on. ROFL.

Amanda: I also can’t stress this enough. GIFT THIS BOOK TO PEOPLE. SPREAD THE JOY.

Carrie: Oh Hell YES. Gift that puppy. Especially if you know an English Major. DO IT NOW.

aris_tgd: Starship and quote: "'Tis not too late to seek a newer world." (newer world)
[personal profile] aris_tgd
So I'm at my parents' place in California! We had planned on going to see Interstellar today, but we're going to go tomorrow instead because we all got tired. I drove down on Friday, spent yesterday shopping and playing with new toys, and today working on my car.

My work gave me a bonus in the form of a preloaded debit card, which was nice, except that it means that I can't use it on the internet. So instead I bought a new power drill (my current one's battery is pretty shot), an oil filter for my car, a case for my tablet, a stylus for my tablet, and a refurbished bluray player. Uh, I am really hoping that the firmware for said bluray player allows streaming from Amazon and Netflix, otherwise I will be kind of sad. We have a little box attached to the TV right now that lets us do that, but the TV only has two HDMI inputs, so to hook more things up we'd need a receiver. Which honestly would be a good idea anyway, but that's even more money. I'm just glad I got the bluray player on sale, because it's got most of the features I want (mostly wifi for firmware updates) and none of the ones I don't (for example, 3D.)

So yes, but today I gave my poor baby an oil change, and while that was happening I cleaned the mass airflow sensor, topped up the tires, and polished the headlights. Oh, and cleaned salt buildup off the battery clamp. Tire treads look pretty good, so I'm going to say that she's ready for the climb back to Portland at the end of the week.

In the meantime, gonna try and get some stuff written, yeah?
azurelunatic: Escher's Order and Chaos drawing: geometric solids and broken things.  (Order and Chaos)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I managed to crunch through the last of the month's transcription on Friday.

Purple brought the disc. Now I have to figure out time to watch it. Lunch was pleasant. The three-hole punches have been secured.

As it got later into the evening, I pinged Purple to see if he had dinner plans. They were vague. After they firmed up, he asked me if I was in. I was. So I finished the transcription and started tidying my to-do list and tallying up my hours. Then I brushed my hair (which I'd left loose, since it was Friday) and put on lipstick.

Parking in downtown Mountain View was a subbasement of hell. Having gone all the way through one garage and come out the other end unparked, I saw Purple crossing the street. He waved me off the second garage; I obediently turned and sought street parking. Which I found, at length. Then I hiked in the direction of the pizza place.

I arrived to find Purple chatting happily with Mr. Zune and girlfriend; Ms. Antisocialest was there but hadn't been properly introduced. Mr. Zune and his girlfriend headed on their way, and the rest of us waited for a table. I was happy that I'd swapped my cardigan for the jacket. (And Purple still looked really good in his.) We were seated outdoors. Somehow I got to contemplating how to make siege weaponry from common tabletop items, just around the time when the very elastic mozzarella flung a tomato at Ms. Antisocialest.

lb does not like this pizza place, as he is from Chicago and has some very specific ideas about how deep-dish should be done. Pizza is a religious issue. I am a polytheist.

Punkin Chunkin -> I am not allowed to blow pumpkins at Purple either.

Dinner rule: he who grabs the whole tab gets to take home the last two pieces of pizza. Purple claimed the leftovers.

As we were saying goodnight, Ms. Antisocialest said "See you next time", which made me simultaneously happy and awkward.

Purple walked me back to my car. It was a lovely night, and wasn't dripping. We chatted for a bit. I had inadvertently parked on The Other Guy's street, just a few houses down. If I get finished with Catching Fire, Purple miiiight be up for a movie excursion, though his plans are essentially becoming one with his couch. The vacation has been a long time coming for the amount of work he's been doing. (And with my approval or without, Purple is very warm. This has my approval anyway.)


Saturday, I mostly slept, although I did venture forth for groceries.
Sunday, there was some writing.

I called Darkside, yay! His parents are in town for Thanksgiving. The rate his parents are zooming through things on Netflix is going to inevitably result in a close encounter with the bandwidth cap. The Evil Dead musical is coming through Phoenix in a while. Before we said goodnight, he had one quick thing to ask me: did I listen to podcasts at all? Had I heard of Welcome to Night Vale?

"... I recommended that one to you."

So he had, in fact, fallen in love instantly. And he works with a certain number of WtNV fans, including one shift lead who was wearing a NVCR Intern shirt. :D

5 things about today #55

Nov. 24th, 2014 04:56 pm
transcendancing: Darren Hayes quote "Life is for leading, for not people pleasing" (Default)
[personal profile] transcendancing
Belated because I was up really late and also just low energy today.

* Slept in, but not too much. Awful night's sleep though so it was necessary - hate warm nights.

* Tidied the house and made hummus for my open house.

* Socialised all afternoon with lovely people, it was so wonderful to spend time with people in a low key setting.

* Also really lovely in particular to have people over in my house - it's the first time since moving in I've had a gathering of friends and it was just really nice.

* Played Cards Against Humanity and Liar Dice, stayed up too late and drank too much but it was awesome.

material girl

Nov. 23rd, 2014 09:30 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
Was talking on Twitter about how unfortunate it is that retail therapy totally works. :D: Only saving grace is that, at least for me, it's so much more helpful/satisfying if I'm filling a real need with whatever I'm buying than if I'm just impulse picking up some random crap.

For example, last week I bought a watch and a desperately needed new pair of work trousers. Behold, getting dressed in the morning is easier at least one day a week, and that is valuable to me. And the watch: I know people say watches are obsolete because now everyone has smart phones, and all I can say is, these must be people who don't walk around outside a lot or take public transportation. There are at least a couple of times almost every single day when I want to know what time it is and I really don't want to pull out my cell phone. Now I can!

In general, I am honestly a big fan of material things, as long as they are the right material things. Material things that are sort of what I want and sort of not just pile up in the house and make me miserable. Material things that are perfect give me a shot of genuine happiness every time I experience them or use them. Like:
  • The gorgeous coat hooks on our stairs that Mr. E and I picked out together and he installed one day to surprise me and which mean that we have a completely convenient place to put jackets and hats as soon as we come in the house and which, incidentally, are great looking
  • Chanel Cuir de Russie, which smells like old lady right when I put it on and within about 20 minutes has transformed into this rich, smooth, work-of-art leather aroma, so that for the rest of the day, no matter what kind of mess I look like, I smell like subtle, complex, recondite pleasures; and it makes my entire day better
  • My purse, which took me forever to find the exact right one, and which is exactly big enough for my wallet, coin purse, sunglasses, phone, iPod, headphones, small pocketknife, tissues, hand sanitizer, pen, lipstick and enough room to pull one thing out without knocking everything else out, and not one bit bigger or heavier or more awkward
  • Our drinking glasses, which are blue and have this smooth texture which is a small pleasure to touch every time I get a glass of water
  • Dried persimmons, for obvious reasons!

What are your favorite material things?

Poem for Monday and Huntley Meadows

Nov. 24th, 2014 12:49 am
littlereview: (jewitch)
[personal profile] littlereview
Dusting )

I sorted beads and reorganized craft stuff downstairs and have no idea how it got to be nearly midnight so I shall keep this short. We had a nice low-key Sunday; got leaves off the deck, read a decent amount of the paper, then after lunch we went to Huntley Meadows, where the amphibians and reptiles were hibernating for the season but we saw lots of evidence of beaver activity, plus little fish and lots of waterfowl:


Wintry Meadows )


We stopped at CVS (had planned Trader Joe's but found out my mother had already gotten the tofurkey we were going to buy), came home for dinner, and caught up on the Once Upon a Time mid-season finale a week late, still wishing Snow would shut up but I love that it was all about women saving and obsessing over women with the men largely sidelined, even if I wanted more Swan Queen, less Frozen! And no pre-Thanksgiving snow!

Reviews!

Nov. 23rd, 2014 06:35 pm
desperance: (Default)
[personal profile] desperance
Being Small has picked up a couple of notices today: one from [lj.com profile] wordweaverlynn, which you will find here (money shot: "a classic: deft, subtle, moving"; also "Please read it, because I seriously want to discuss it with someone. I'm proposing a panel on this book for FOGcon, but I'd rather not wait until March"), and one over on Amazon which if you don't want to click through I will tell you it just says "A modern coming of age story; think Holden Caulfield meets some of the male characters in the Broadway musical 'Rent'. I loved it. Thank you, New York Times, for your commanding review; I wouldn't have known about it otherwise. Someone ought to snap up the movie rights to this one."

Heh. This is the kind of Sunday reviews I can live with. *snuggles*

Hooray for friends!

Nov. 23rd, 2014 07:31 pm
nimitzbrood: (Default)
[personal profile] nimitzbrood
Mashblock came out today and helped me construct some barrier doors on the basement to keep the wind and snow out of the basement stairwell. (Thanks dude!)

Some simple bolts, some reclaimed wood, and some plywood sheet made what is essentially two swing-up doors that are slanted so rain and snow slide off of them into the yard. Because the wood isn't perfect, the rain runs right down the wall into the drain below - that means I haven't changed my drainage. Woot!

It wasn't that hard a job but it was damp and icky and I was very glad to have a friend come out and help!

I put some of the split foam "pool noodle" style pipe insulation around most of the edges to keep things from bumping and scuffing the side of the house. This also seals the doors against the side of the house - not to mention the gap between the two door panels. The one door has a warp to it so I will, hopefully tomorrow, screw a short 2x4 to the back of it to straighten it out and weigh it down a bit.

The final things to be done are to seal off the one end butting up against the deck so no airflow can go through there, then seal anything else with spray foam. Final item will likely be some kind of heavy "skirt" on the back stair edge. Something that will hopefully discourage animals from hiding down there and close out the last of the wind.

Bonus point: I don't have to take the storm door off after all! It actually swings all the way out without hitting the overhead doors. Sweet! Guess I'll keep that door after all. Probably figure out if I have the proper screen or glass for it finally.

Sunday, Sunday

Nov. 23rd, 2014 05:31 pm
desperance: (Default)
[personal profile] desperance
Time was, when I deliberately tried not to make Sundays different from other days, except that they were better for getting work done.

Those days ... are gone. Or at least in abeyance. At the moment I'm enjoying not putting any worky-pressure on myself of a Sunday. Today the most I wanted to do was to clean the mud-room sink. (If you haven't seen it, don't ask; if you have seen it, well. You don't need to ask. But it was black, and now it is sink-coloured. Achievement unlocked!)

Also I have shopped and cleaned and cooked and tidied. There is a pork shoulder in the oven, slow-roasting on a bed of apples and pears and onions and wine, which will all get whizzed up into a gravy; and there will be purple potato wedges and brussels sprouts shredded and sauteed with ginger and garlic, and we will call it dinner. We may even call it good.

Meanwhile, I am reading a book! For I was in Borderlands, as you know, and in fear lest Ancillary Sword not last me the train journey home. So I was on the very verge of going to Jude and asking her to recommend me something, when she called me over and said, "Look at this!"

So I did look, and we agreed that we really liked the cover, and the blurb was engaging, so I bought it for I really am that easy; and people, I am loving this book. It has cross-dressing for plot and purpose and steampunkishness and an England divided (between an abiding monarchy and a republic, after the successful Luddite revolution) and repressed science and travelling circuses and all sorts. And a Graham Joyce quote on the cover, so it feels apt to be reading it this weekend, when I couldn't make his memorial back in the old country. One last time, he gets to recommend a book to me.

In other news, Sunday appears newly to be the day when we hear that friends are having health issues. Stop that, Sunday.

Happy Birthday!

Nov. 23rd, 2014 08:38 pm
settiai: (Maria & Sarah Jane -- holo_daxy)
[personal profile] settiai
Happy belated birthday to all of the following: [personal profile] aaronlisa, [personal profile] cadenzamuse, [livejournal.com profile] castalianspring [personal profile] ceebee_eebee, [personal profile] cereta, [personal profile] coreopsis, [personal profile] eleanorjane, [livejournal.com profile] ghost2, [personal profile] hoosierbitch, [personal profile] icarus, [personal profile] ignipes, [personal profile] just_ann_now, [personal profile] justice_turtle, [personal profile] kerravonsen, [personal profile] lferion, [personal profile] linbot, [livejournal.com profile] miintikwa, [livejournal.com profile] nwhepcat, [personal profile] pearwaldorf, [livejournal.com profile] persiflage_1, [livejournal.com profile] sarah_p, [livejournal.com profile] svmadelyn, [personal profile] sweetestdrain, [personal profile] thefourthvine, and [livejournal.com profile] wiliqueen!

And happy birthday, [personal profile] selenay!


Sorry! I've completely failed at posting these this month. :-(
settiai: (UU -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
As all of you who've been around here for awhile know, I... have a complicated relationship with organized religion.

I was brought up in a very conservative, religious church of Christ background. If you're not familiar with the churches of Christ, I'd recommend looking at this website. It gives a pretty clear picture of just what it was like for me to turn my back on what I was raised in.

Anyway, when I moved to Maryland just shy of five years ago, I basically stopped attending church pretty quickly. I tried attending a few different congregations from a variety of Christian denominations the first few months, but most of them were both too different and too similar from coC to work for me. (They were similar enough that my brain couldn't help pointing out everything that it read as being "wrong" even though, you know, there wasn't actually any issues with it.)

Some of you here on DW/LJ kept suggesting that I try out a Unitarian Universalist congregation, because it was different enough from what I grew up with that it might not trigger that "wrong" instinct for me. I put it off for awhile, but last fall I decided to give it a shot and give the UU congregation near my apartment a chance.

... and to the surprise of no one, it was a good fit for me.

It's a very diverse congregation. There are some people who grew up UU, of course, but there are people from all sorts of backgrounds: many different Protestant congregations, Catholic, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, agnostic, atheist, various flavors of pagan, etc. It's extremely different from what I grew up, in a lot of different ways. Not even getting into the "strict religious dogma" versus "believe whatever you want" aspects, but in other ways.

It's a larger congregation, with somewhere around 500 members. They have lots of musical groups that perform during the services, with instruments ranging from the more traditional (piano, flute, guitar) to the not-so-much (dulcimer, ocarina). The reverend is a woman. The meeting hall has three glass walls and is filled with chairs that can be moved around, taken out of the way, etc. Even without getting into the actual service, just the set-up in itself was different enough to make it work for me.

Anyway, I've been attending this congregation off-and-on for a year now. I very much don't make it every week, but I was one of the charter members of a young adults group that we started at the beginning of this year so I do hang out with the dozen or so people who show up to those meetings fairly often. We mainly get together once or a month or so for potlucks, playing Cards Against Humanity, watching movies, etc. but it's still fun.

... so, yes, this post did have a point before I started rambling.

I officially joined the congregation a few weeks ago, which was nice. I can't really post about it on Facebook or tell my family, of course. (I'm pretty sure my mom has a vague idea that I'm attending a UU congregation, but I'm not sure if she really gets what that means.) I've definitely missed the community, though, even if I'm totally not taking them up on the offer to join them for Thanksgiving (because too many people).
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon posting in [community profile] accessibility_fail
Really good Huff Post piece on how normies make it difficult for wheelchair users with invisible disabilities. Rings absolutely true.

(And another Bendy speaking out, pro rata we must be one of the most published disability sub-groups!)

A Week (or so) in the Life

Nov. 23rd, 2014 07:54 pm
settiai: (Son Goku -- moshesque)
[personal profile] settiai
Despite rumors to the contrary I am, in fact, still alive. And I have a nice, long bit of time off from working coming up as of lunchtime on Wednesday, so I'll probably be making up for my non-posting quite a bit in the upcoming future.

Anyway... what's been going on with me?

On the work front, things have been going on about as usual. I'll probably make a locked post about the latest at Unnamed Nonprofit sometime soon, but nothing's really changed.

I've been trying (and mostly failing) to become more social, but I did manage to leave my apartment for a little while on Thursday. My apartment complex is trying to start sponsoring get-togethers for residents: bingo games with free food and hot chocolate, happy hour at a nearby bar, etc. This past week, they had a meet-and-greet with some new staff members over wine, sangria, and lots and lots and lots of yummy cheeses.

My family is already starting to drive me up the wall when it comes to Christmas-related things, and it's not even December yet. It's going to be an interesting visit to Tennessee in a few weeks, I think. And by "interesting", I mainly mean "oh God, oh God, we're all going to die". :-/

My productivity for Part-Time Job keeps bouncing around. Some weeks I'm frantically working to the last minute to put in my minimum of five hours for the week, and others I'm doing... well, a lot more than the minimum. I'm trying to average about eight hours a week, and I'm slowly but surely getting there. If I can just stop being distracted by fanfiction, and Mass Effect, and Tumblr.

Let's move on to fandom, shall we?

TV-wise, I've been keeping up with Forever, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Once Upon a Time, and Star Wars Rebels. Other than that, I haven't been watching anything that's currently airing. On the video game front, Mass Effect is still eating my life. I have no regrets.

As always, I've probably signed up for too many holiday exchanges, but I regret nothing everything nothing. I'm currently signed up for Festivids, Holiday Harbinger (Tumblr-based Mass Effect exchange), Holly Poly, and Yuletide. And there will definitely be both pinch hits and treats happening for, uh, several of those exchanges.

And, uh, that's about it. There are a few things that I haven't covered that will be getting their own posts, but it's been a fairly everyday week. I just haven't managed to actually post about it.

Chili Night

Nov. 23rd, 2014 06:02 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
The chili is delicious, though a bit watery; I'm hoping it'll thicken a little in the fridge. I ate it, as recommended, scooping it up on corn chips.

I haven't made the corn bread yet. I realized this morning that I didn't have any baking powder, and it has been raining all day. Snow showers in the wee hours, but then it'll taper off, so I'll make a grocery run in the morning. I'm also out of cereal, and nearly out of drinkables (other than water, of course). No dessert yet either. Nonetheless, a satisfying meal, as far as it went.

December talky meme thing

Nov. 23rd, 2014 03:50 pm
ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
I like the momentum I've gotten with NaNo -- not all fiction (it's about half "memory dump blog of my childhood/past", a quarter fics for Yuletide, and a quarter misc other stuff including some of the longer journal entries here), more about getting words out at all than about getting a narrative -- so I figured I'd do the December Talking Meme bandwagon.

Pick a date (or not) and give me a topic, and I'll talk then about that. Not sure how much I have to say, because it will depend on the prompt and how I'm feeling and what phase the moon is in, but I'll say something. Can be anything, fannish or not, personal or not, though I reserve the right to decline prompts I'm not up to handling.

Days (0 taken) )

(no subject)

Nov. 23rd, 2014 06:01 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
1. We're not talking about the writing okay. (There has been preparing-for-the-holiday cleaning, though. so much cleaning. so much left to do.)

2. I added a bunch of people via the friending meme, and then when I started feeling kind of weird about how less than half of them had added me back, I looked and realized that most of them already had me added, because I had somehow become the kind of person who had 100 non-mutual followers. Oops. Some of you I'd even already been stalking because I thought you were too cool for me to dare talk to but apparently you were already reading my journal. So I went through and I think I've added-back everyone who has me added and has posted in the last month or so. Hopefully I will not regret it. If I missed you somehow, pipe up and say something. If you were hate-stalking me in the assurance I'd never add you back and you want me to go away, just let me know.

(ETA: I didn't mean to imply non-mutual-friending was bad, just that maybe, uh, accidentally not paying any attention at all to your subscribers list for over a year, even though you're looking for new dw friends, may not be the best idea either. Balance. Balance is good.)

Normally this is where I'd say 'welcome new people' but you were all already here. Don't mind me when I suddenly turn up in your comments?

3. There's still lots of slots open for December topics if anyone still cares.

4. I just made my 150 books reading goal on Goodreads! So of course I immediately upgraded it to 175 and am now 4 books behind. But even if I just finish all my currently-reading and all my current library books by the end of the year, I should make it easily. (spoiler: I will not finish all my currently-reading by the end of the year.)

This isn't nearly as impressive as it seems because of the 152 books I currently have listed as read this year: 77 are comic trades, 26 are picture books or easy readers, 8 are glossy coffee-table books that are mostly pictures, 4 were more pamphlets than books, and 19 were 'activity-focused' books like piano books, field guides, or craft books. So of real grown-up books that have more words than pictures, I only score 37. Of course a lot of those 37 were, like, ridiculously dense academic texts, so I guess it sort of evens out? Also I was supposed to be doing this so I could read some of the unread books I have piled in my bedroom, but only 39 of them were books I own as opposed to borrowed. And 17 of those were ones I acquired this year. So mission: backlog, not going so great.

Anyway I started this with good intentions to review everything on GR but am now way behind. I may try to do capsule reviews of most of them to round out the year? I dunno. All of the current topics on my December meme are going to end up as reviews of multiple books I read this year, I suspect.

5. Ugh I have to do more cleaning.
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Tail end of the sunset over Spy Pond. Almost home.

Pension Fight, Continued

Nov. 23rd, 2014 03:28 pm
stoutfellow: (Winter)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
A state judge has ruled that Illinois's recent pension reform is unconstitutional (state, not federal) - that the state's promise concerning pension benefits is constitutionally protected. Attorney General Madigan has announced that she will appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.

(The matter seems pretty much cut and dried to me; Article XIII, Section 5 reads as follows: "Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.")

Naturally, this has been followed by proposals to amend the state constitution.

Nine more years....

Sunset over Peeper's Pond.

Nov. 23rd, 2014 09:23 pm
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Sunset over Peeper's Pond.

Another drabble post

Nov. 24th, 2014 06:04 am
vass: Me kissing rat (Kisses)
[personal profile] vass
Posted as a second chapter to the first drabble post.

Communal.

Ship and Kalr Twelve discuss ratpiles. Except with humans. Sometimes I miss having pet rats. But then Beatrice jumps up and sleeps on me, and my rats never did that, and I wasn't small enough to crawl into their hammock with them.
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Claudia Rebaza

English

As many fans are preparing to celebrate the end-of-year holiday season, the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) would like to let U.S. supporters know that there is a simple way they can donate if they are making purchases through Amazon.

AmazonSmile is a program set up by Amazon that allows you to donate to a charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. There are currently nearly one million organizations participating, and the OTW is one of them!

How to use AmazonSmile

Simply go to http://smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. The site has the same products and services as the usual Amazon domain, many of which will be marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. (Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible.) The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charity of your choice. Donations are made by the AmazonSmile Foundation, however, and will not be tax deductible by you.

If you have an existing Amazon.com account, all details will remain the same including your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry. On your first visit to AmazonSmile you will be asked to select a charitable organization. Enter "The Organization For Transformative Works Inc" in the search field. That's it!

If you'd like to donate to more than one charity, you can always select the “Change your Charity” link in the “Your Account” page for different purchases. If you'd like to know more about AmazonSmile, visit their program details page.

Screenshot of a user's Amazon Smile page showing the OTW as the designated charity

What if I don't use Amazon U.S.?

At this time, AmazonSmile is only available to users of the U.S. site, and AmazonSmile is the only retail program through which we receive donations. If you have suggestions of other programs, please let us know!

However, you can donate directly to the OTW at any time of year through our donation page. We have answers to some frequently asked questions there, but if you have additional questions, please contact us.

Message: 

Внизапне

Nov. 23rd, 2014 08:23 pm
gerie_aren: (letter kirin)
[personal profile] gerie_aren
Иппиграф: Здесь у всех есть вдруг, и не говорите, что вас не предупреждали! (из лекции о жизни в Израиле)

Меня сегодня огорошили: наша богоспасаемая организация, после многих лет ожидания милостиво увеличила мне ставку на час в день! Теперь вместо 6 часов в день я работаю 7. На деле, я уже давно работаю больше 6 часов в день, но теперь это будет отражаться не только в общей сумме зарплаты, но и в социальных выплатах и прочих благах:) С одной стороны, а почему не на два, до полной? Жмоты! С другой, я не уверена что легко перестроилась бы на безоговорочный восьмичасовой день легко. А так я на семь часов настроюсь легко, тем более, что можно по прежнему начинать в 9 и не вставать в 5 утра, чтобы успеть на работу к 8.

After many years of waiting and asking and waiting again, upper structures of my lab suddenly decided to award me another hour of work a day. I worked 6 hours, and now it's upgraded to 7. Actually, I work more than 6 hours already, but now it's official, and will be not only in the final sum, but also in additional payments. I'm glad it's 7 hours and not 8, even if 8 may bring more money. With 7 hours I don't need to change the time I wake up and my morning routine. I'm already used to work 6.5-7 hours a day, but 8 is more time and workload, even if I'll miraculously manage to keep my morning timetable. So I'm happy with 7:)

EVERY day is Cat Day

Nov. 23rd, 2014 05:25 pm
[syndicated profile] thebloggess_feed

Posted by thebloggess

Apparently National Cat Day was October 29th and I missed it, so I guess that explains why Ferris Mewler threw up in my shoe.  In my defense, it was just World Cat Day in August.  Why do cats need so many days?  No clue.  But to make up for whatever I did to offend the cats I’m sharing the pictures I took of Ferris Mewler, who was ignoring me badly in spite of the fact that he would starve without me:

NOPE

Is it just me or is he flipping me off in that last picture?  Because I think he is.

This is exactly why people prefer dogs, Ferris.

 

 ******************

And now, the weekly wrap-up of awesomeness:

SID3

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit that I’m vaguely involved with on the internets:

Shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

Shit you should buy or steal because it’s awesome:

This week‘s wrap-up is brought to you by Crumple + Toss, who are perfect for your holiday stationery needs. Everything from typical Christmas fare: nativities, poinsettias, and the like, to irreverent and hilarious selections guaranteed to offend.  This one is a personal fave.  Christmas not your jam? There’s plenty of Chanukah cards as well as “Happy Whatever” to cover your ass in awkward situations.  Come have a look around!

Oh, hey-

Nov. 23rd, 2014 11:48 am
camwyn: (Default)
[personal profile] camwyn
Would any of you who live in the Boston area be interested in a Christmas tree trimming party sometime the week after Thanksgiving? Probably a Friday night or Saturday afternoon/evening. I've never had one before, but last year was the first year I had a full-sized tree of my own, ever and I only got it about December 20th. I use an artificial tree because it's easier than keeping my cats from trying to drink the water or finding somewhere to plant a root-balled tree.

Let me know if you're interested and we'll figure out something!

Hunh. Interesting LJ feature

Nov. 23rd, 2014 11:48 am
[personal profile] yendi
So when I made my Amazon post this morning, of course I screwed up the HTML. But when I opened the entry to edit it, I couldn't find any problem, and spent nearly ten minutes trying to figure out what had happened.

It turns out that when you screw up HTML in an LJ entry by putting in double quotation marks (a not-uncommon mistake for me, which is why the first thing I do is a search for two quotes), and then go to the "edit" page, LJ will strip the second quote out, and thus you can just hit save after opening up the edit screen, and you'll be set.

Of course, since I didn't know that, I spent ages on that damned edit screen trying to fix a mistake that had been rectified.

Dreamwidth, incidentally, does not do the same thing.

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