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the belle of the ball du jour

Jul. 4th, 2015 08:40 pm
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
[personal profile] moetushie
I have inexplicably been missing from the journaling corners of the Internets -- not for any specific reason, mind. Just thrilling combination of life being both too boring and busy. I spent the 4th of July catching up on my laundry, which, hey, was deeply necessary.

I want to link to one last fic that was waiting for me in the Remix Madness collection, which I would greatly encourage y'all to check out:

She is but flesh and bone (Earth, remixed) (711 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Greek and Roman Mythology
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Pandora/Prometheus
Additional Tags: so much earth imagery, gifts and curses, Remix
Summary:

(A curse of men on her outward breath)

//

Pandora and Prometheus, before the end of the world and after.



I have been pondering remixes of late -- the kind that work, the kind that don't (I'm afraid the ones I wrote for Madness are in that category) and especially why people pick the fic they do pick, to remix. I think all of my stories that were remixed this year have a similar style (I mean, obviously), but it's a kind of knowing, sing-songy sort of style that that some may call annoying that I'm ... trying to move away from? Maybe? I don't know, really. This could be that I'm my own worst critic or whatever.

Okay, the fireworks are starting. All I have to do is look out my window. Happy 4th! Happy Saturday night! Etc!

Placeholder for the NFE

Jul. 4th, 2015 09:29 pm
rthstewart: (Default)
[personal profile] rthstewart
copied and pasted from last year (and probably the years before that too)


Thanks so much!  I’ve been doing the NFE since 2010 and have never been disappointed.  Despite the character-centric match up, the fact is, I’m pretty agnostic as to characters for the NFE. Whatever we've been matched on, don't worry because I like just about anything and what I don't like has to do with tone and characterization, not particular characters.   From my previous prompts, you can glean the following:

What I love:

  • UST; witty banter and snark; Politics, finance or military strategy; World War 2; Worldbuilding; Gap-filling; Culture clash (within Narnia or Narnia vs. Spare Oom); healthy, normal, romantic relationship between consenting adults (canon pairing or OC); someone being extraordinarily clever and getting out of a jam; any Narnian (Pevensie or otherwise) observed from a third person point of view.
  • A happy ending, delightful characterization, and to laugh at least once
  • Pagan and/or mythological influences;
  • Adults and old souls in young bodies;
  • A Narnia with creaky wheels, the faint smell of manure, grass stains, open windows, and lots of animal hair that everyone is too polite to comment upon
  • I prefer humor over angst and sex over violence.
  • Cross-overs!  With Bujold universe, either Chalion or Vorkosigan; I’ve also developed an unhealthy focus on Peter and Eowyn, Lucy and Aragorn, and Susan and Eomer.  I’m more agnostic about Edmund and Faramir.  Anyone and dragons.  Lucy as a Time Lord; Susan with Sarah Jane Smith or Peggy Carter.  Marvel Universe is great, too.  Edmund slumming with Barton and Natasha; Peter as a Howling Commando.  Warehouse 13 or Harry Potter.  Polly, Digory, and classic ACD Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. 
  •  AU and canon divergence is great too.  A Golden Age > 15 years, so, therefore I'd love an AU look with adult Pevensies, OC consorts, and the next gen.
  • Similarly, I’d love a Spare Oom AU with a happily ever after and no train crash
  • I did request Lucy or Aravis centric stories but if that doesn't interest you, I love any fem-centric work.  I love Hwin, Mrs. Beaver, Polly, Jill, and Susan as well.  I like the guys, too, particularly Peter, Edmund, Digory and Eustace.  I'm more interested in periods other than the Telmarine era onward and really I'd be very happy if you just ignore TLB completely.

 What I definitely don't want in my fic: it's a short list but pretty strongly held:  explicit m/m (everything else is OK); excessive angst, gore or violence; any dub-con whatsoever (Rilian & Lady of the Green Kirtle (OK); Susan written as "Fallen Away From Narnia because of Lipstick and Nylons"; Lucy sidelined or being protected by her overbearing big brothers and worry-wart sister


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Posted by Bill Barnes

This week's book recommendations from the creators of Unshelved and their friends. Learn who we are, how we pick books, and other books we've featured.



Amazon | Powell's

My Life in France by Julia Child, Alex Prud'homme

Anchor Books, 2009. 9780307475015.

Link to this review by billba tagged biography

Unshelved strip for 7/3/2015



Amazon | Powell's

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

Penguin, 2004. 9780142004418.

Link to this review by wally tagged classicliterary

When the English weather turned much too damp and gray for the Durrell family, the eldest son Larry persuaded them all to move to the Greek island Corfu. Gerry, the youngest of the four kids, discovered a large number of animals he simply had to have, including a lovely scorpion, a pair of magpies, an owl, and a couple of huge toads. The family didn't always approve of Gerry's zoo, but their own idiosyncrasies clearly made them just as unusual.

Why I picked it up: I read this over thirty years ago and was reminiscing about it with my wife, who had also read it in her youth. (We both read it again.)

Why I finished it: Durrell is a natural storyteller. Between lush descriptions of Corfu’s flora and fauna, he introduces a number of memorable characters like Spiro, the Greek who spent a few years in New York, where he picked up a Brooklyn accent, and Theodore, a scientist with a load of terrible puns. Among those characters are wonderfully personified animals, too, like the sociable Roger, the family dog, and a pair of magpies that play among the manuscript pages of Larry's novel until Gerry finally builds them an aviary. One particularly memorable chapter involves a long drama between Geronimo the gecko and Cicely the mantis as they chase each other across Gerry's bedroom ceiling. 

It's perfect for: Laurie, who loved all of James Herriot's books, starting with All Creatures Great and Small. She’d enjoy the humans as much as the animals, and would laugh when the family decides to throw a party for all their friends -- it almost falls apart when Gerry tries to revive a couple of his pet snakes in the bathtub.

The Thief and the Sword: Cleopatra in Space #2 by Mike Maihack

GRAPHIX, 2015. 9780545528450.

Cleopatra's space adventure in the REALLY far future continues! When a mysterious thief steals the ancient sword Cleo recovered in CLEOPATRA IN SPACE #1: TARGET PRACTICE, Cleo is determined to get it back, but her teachers at Yasiro Academy forbid her from risking her life. Stuck at school, Cleo is having a hard time adjusting to her newfound popularity and responsibility. And when she learns more about the prophecy that names her the savior of the galaxy and the time tablets that could decide her fate, she must go on a dangerous journey to find them before they can fall into the wrong hands.

Sponsored - Learn more about this book - How to sponsor Unshelved



Amazon | Powell's

Breakout by Kevin Emerson

Crown, 2015. 9780385391122.

Link to this review by darcy tagged coming of age

Anthony Castillo has had it. His teachers are jerks, and his parents don't understand him. His best friend Keenan is dating his ex-girlfriend Skye, which is okay except when it's not. The only thing that really makes Anthony happy is when he's playing video games and learning new tunes on his guitar for his rock band, The Rusty Soles. When the band's lead singer gets suspended, he worries they won't be able to perform at Fall Arts Night, so he writes and records some lyrics and sends them to Keenan. They are angry, edgy lyrics that contain the f-word. Keenan posts them online and the song is an overnight sensation. Despite his new fame, it becomes very clear that the band will not be allowed to play at a school event if their song has bad language in it. 

Why I picked it up: When I learned it was about rock and roll and the f-word, I knew this was the book for me. 

Why I finished it: Anthony is a realistic character who struggles with his weight and attends an exercise class he calls "fat class,” which his mother signed him up for. She's worried about his health and diabetes so she constantly monitors his sugar consumption. Anthony's voice is compelling, and I could really relate to his daily struggles with school and dating. Mr. Darren, the rock band teacher, supports Anthony’s choice of whether or not to use the f-word in his lyrics. I love that he calls the students by the names of famous rock musicians like Slash or Mr. Cantrell of Alice in Chains fame as terms of endearment. The other characters in the book were also a lot of fun. By the end of the novel I really felt like they were my friends. 

It's perfect for: My son, who is starting to feel the pain of adolescence. I know that he will really relate to the parts where Anthony gets in trouble with teachers, especially when one sends the dreaded Email Home. Because he has a new interest in classic rock and drumming, the descriptions of Valerie playing the drums will keep him coming back. (The few curse words won't hurt, either.)



Amazon | Powell's

Stick by Michael Harmon

Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2015. 9780385754361.

Link to this review by flemtastic tagged coming of age

Brett is called "Stick" by everyone around school because the football seems to stick to his hands as he runs past hapless defensive backs. When he witnesses a few teammates picking on a nerdy kid (Preston), he realizes that some of his teammates are bullies. Stick stops them and gets the players in trouble. After the football coach allows them to retaliate, Stick has had enough. He tells his overbearing dad he is done with football. No one believes him, because a scout from UCLA is coming to watch the next game, but Stick knows he means it.

Why I picked it up: I’m always looking for well-written, football-themed books for my middle-school library. I was hoping it was as good as Carl Deuker's Payback Time, Mike Lupica’s QB 1, and Tim Tharp's Knights of the Hill Country.

Why I finished it: Stick turns the stereotype of football players as uncaring brutes, concerned only with sports and their own popularity, on its head. He strikes up a realistic friendship with Preston, who turns out to be quite remarkable himself. And I loved the way Preston made tens of thousands of dollars off the stupidity of his bullies.

Readalikes: John Feinstein's newest sports-related YA book, The Walk On. Both deal with high school athletes who love football, but have family or coaches getting in the way of their enjoyment of it. Each has a grittiness that kids will love, with great descriptions of long touchdown passes and bone-wrenching hits.

The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton

Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015. 9780545637084.

Introducing Kate Beaton, a major new picture book talent and author/illustrator of the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller HARK! A VAGRANT!

Princess Pinecone knows exactly what she wants for her birthday this year: a horse! A big horse, a strong horse, a horse fit for a warrior princess! But when the day arrives, she doesn't quite get the horse of her dreams...

For anyone who's ever been saddled with a truly terrible present, THE PRINCESS AND THE PONY is a laugh-out-loud story of overcoming first impressions and falling in love with one unforgettable roly-poly pony.

Sponsored - Learn more about this book - How to sponsor Unshelved



Amazon | Powell's

Happy Birthday, Cupcake! by Terry Border

Philomel, 2015. 9780399171604.

Link to this review by geneambaum tagged picture book

Cupcake tries to figure out what kind of birthday party she should have, but each type of party comes with its own potential problems.

Why I picked it up: I’m a fan of Border’s Bent Objects Project.

Why I finished it: The images are photographs of objects, usually with wire limbs added, and it’s amazing how much personality the right pose can give to doughnuts, melting chocolate bars, and a pet eclair. And the pictures always have funny bonuses. A floating party on a big boat would be great, but Soup might lose his lunch. (Soup is a bowl full of alphabet noodles and veggies. After he’s gotten sick, at his feet are noodle letters spelling out “sorry” and “seasick” amid peas and carrots and corn and broth, all of which Cupcake is mopping up.) When Cupcake imagines a game of musical chairs, a band called The Musical Fruit is playing -- each member is a can of a different kind of beans playing an instrument. Clever.

Readalikes: Sara Varon’s Bake Sale in which Cupcake (a baker) tries to earn enough money to travel to Turkey and meet the famous chef Turkish Delight.



Amazon | Powell's

The Last Flight of Poxl West by Daniel Torday

St. Martin's Press, 2015. 9781250051684.

Link to this review by diane tagged historical fictionliterary

When he was younger, Eli listened stories his Uncle Poxl told of life in Europe before and during World War II. Poxl fled his native Czechoslovakia just ahead of the Nazis, first to Holland and finally London, leaving his family and a string of broken hearts in his wake. Poxl’s tales of life as a bomber pilot for the RAF really intrigued Eli, who loved imagining a Jewish pilot dropping bombs on Nazis to repay them for their campaign against his people.

Eli’s story is set in the present day. Since Poxl is unavailable to Eli while he gallivants around the country on a book tour, Eli maintains the connection to his uncle by reading his memoir. Eli begins to realize that the tales his uncle shared didn’t tell the whole story. Perhaps Poxl isn’t the hero Eli has always believed him to be. The book alternates chapters between Eli and Poxl, so we get to experience Poxl’s loves, losses, and triumphs during WWII as well as Eli’s reaction to them.

Why I picked it up: Because of John Green’s comment on Twitter: “POXL a lovely novel sentence-to-sentence, and it gets at something deep about how we're all frauds, and all worthy of love.” I ordered it immediately, knowing nothing about it other than my favorite author found it moving.

Why I finished it: I started the book the day it arrived on my doorstep and finished it in three days. The voices of Eli and Poxl both felt completely real. I found Eli’s story the more moving of the two; he’s a young man who realizes that life is really just a series of choices, sometimes with unexpected consequences.

It's perfect for: My friend, Jen, who loves historical fiction, but who really loves stories about family relationships and heartbreak that aren’t sappy or sentimental. This is the perfect combination of history, adventure, romance, and family.

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Maggie Stiefvater, Jackson Pearce

Scholastic Press, 2015. 9780545709262.

From bestselling authors Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce comes an exciting new series full of magical creatures, whimsical adventures, and quirky illustrations.

Because of a Unicorn Incident at her school (it was an accident!), Pip is spending the summer with her Aunt Emma at the Cloverton Clinic for Magical Creatures. At first, it's all fun, games, and chatting with Hobgrackles, but when Fuzzles appear and start bursting into flame at the worst possible places, Pip and her new friend Tomas must take action. Because if the mystery of the Fuzzles isn't solved soon, both magical and unmagical creatures are going to be in a lot of trouble.

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Amazon | Powell's

All You Need Is Kill by Takeshi Obata, Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi, yoshitoshi ABe, Tetsuichiro Miyaki

Viz, 2014. 9781421576015.

Link to this review by snow tagged graphic novelscience fiction

Keiji, a new soldier, dies in his first battle against alien invaders called Mimics. Then he wakes up again on the day before that battle.

As he fights and dies and reawakens at the same moment, over and over again, Keiji becomes determined to survive and find a way out of the time loop. A tough-as-nails American soldier, Rita, nicknamed the Full Metal Bitch, also knows about the time loop, but will she save him or cause him to die for the final time?

Publisher's Age Rating: T+/Older Teen

Why I picked it up: The plot of the movie version (Edge of Tomorrow) sounded like my kind of action-filled science fiction, but I'm not a big fan of Tom Cruise. When I saw the manga adaptation of the Japanese novel was illustrated by Takeshi Obata, illustrator of Death Note, I jumped at the chance to read it.

Why I finished it: It was indeed action-filled, which made for just the sort of fast read I wanted. I like that the focus of the story was on both the fighting and the training for fighting. Keiji's initial reaction to battle and to being trapped in the loop is panic, but once he realizes that he isn't getting out of either, he quickly moves onto steely determination to survive and trains with a desperate intelligence that is gripping. Rita is the same way, though her reasons for training are much different, which gives her a unique focus and keeps the story fresh when it moves to her perspective halfway through. Obata's art is excellent, with realistic men, manga-esque women, robotic body armor, gigantic combat weapons, and terrifying aliens.

Readalikes: The Story of Owen and its sequel, Prairie Fire, by E.K. Johnston aren't as bloody as All You Need is Kill, but they share a common theme: young people pressed into military service against an inhuman foe. Owen and Siobhan live in a modern world where dragons are an everyday menace. Most people hide, but Owen comes from a storied line of dragon slayers and must do his duty for the world with Siobhan as his bard. Like Keiji and Rita, Owen and Siobhan just want to survive, but it's going to take training -- and teamwork -- to do so.



Amazon | Powell's

The Backwards Birthday Party by Tom Chapin, John Forster, Chuck Groenink

Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015. 9781442467989.

Link to this review by geneambaum tagged picture book

In this picture book based on the song of the same name from Chapin’s 1994 Zag Zig, a boy puts his clothes on inside out, heads downstairs, and says, “Good-bye!” to his friends (who are walking in backwards).

Why I picked it up: I’m still scarred by reading Philip K. Dick’s Counter-Clock World in high school, though I’m not sure what was more disturbing, the idea of libraries erasing books from existence or what happens with the digestive system when food has to run backwards through it.

Why I finished it: The animals at the party (and the rest of the drawings) all look very soft -- it's some combination of color, light, and the texture of whatever was used to draw them. This softness makes them look incredibly fun and friendly, from the hedgehog holding the “YADB” pennant to the cat with the upside down hat on his head (there’s a bird in the hat).

It’s perfect for: My nephew, Layton. He’s got a birthday coming up, and I think he’ll love that at the backwards party you get to eat the cake first. I’m sure he’ll want to do that. (He probably won’t like that the kid wraps up all his presents and gives one to each guest, though, or that the ice cream is hot.)

Kristy's Great Idea: Full Color Edition: The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix #1 by Ann M. Martin, Raina Telgemeier

GRAPHIX, 2015. 9780545813860.

For the very first time, The Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels adapted by the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and Eisner Award-winning creator of SMILE, Raina Telgemeier, are available in full color!

Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Baby-sitters Club. Whatever comes up--cranky toddlers, huge dogs, scary neighbors, prank calls--you can count on them to save the day. But baby-sitting isn't always easy, and neither is dealing with strict parents, new families, fashion emergencies, and mysterious secrets. But no matter what, the BSC have what they need most: friendship.

Raina Telgemeier, using the signature style featured in her acclaimed graphic novels SMILE and SISTERS, perfectly captures all the drama and humor of the original novel!

Sponsored - Learn more about this book - How to sponsor Unshelved



Amazon | Powell's

Who Done It?: Investigation of Murder Most Foul by Jon Scieszka, and many others

Soho Press, 2013. 9781616951528.

Link to this review by robert tagged anthologymysteryshort stories

Herman Q. Mildew, the odious and odorous juvenile book editor and publisher, has invited, cajoled, and extorted more than ninety of his authors and illustrators to a gathering at the Old Abandoned Pickle Factory. But before the festivities (or the wholesale blackmail), begins, Jon Scieszka and the police take the stage. Mildew has been murdered! Could the assembled authors please give their alibis, right now?

Either alone or with a friend, the assembled throng of writers and illustrators explain themselves (sometimes very badly). Lemony Snicket was at a meeting in an undisclosed location with people whose names he'd rather not say, where “Establishment Of Alibi In Case Anybody Is Murdered Today” was an agenda item. David Levithan claims destroying Mildew in poems was much more satisfying than the real thing would have been. Michelle Gagnon was siphoning off pickling vinegar for her home-made face cream. Even would-be police representative Scieszka has trouble: he's got piano wire in his coat pocket! (He’d have us believe he was fixing his piano.)

Why I picked it up: The title called to me. “Whodunnit” is the colloquial name for the puzzle-oriented mysteries of the Golden Age, exemplified by the work of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Ellery Queen. My first forays into adult mysteries were books of that type, from that era. I was also intrigued that this book was produced to benefit 826NYC, which encourages students to write,

Why I finished it: The narrative shifted points of view, and the circumstances changed every two or three pages. It was lots of good clean fun, with some of the dozens of alibis harkening back to those used by suspects in stories from the roaring twenties, right down to the old excuse for not giving the name of an alibi witness because gentlemen and ladies don't divulge the names of their partners. My favorites of these ninety or so stories were the ones where no alibi was presented at all, led by too-short-to-be-a-threat Kiersten White. She is so incensed at her dismissal by the investigators that she reveals she's packing enough weaponry to subdue a room full of editors.

It's perfect for: Anyone looking for a book to read on a plane, train, subway, or bus. The short segments almost seem designed to encourage readers to periodically check their location by looking out the window.

Contributors: J.R. And Kate Angelella, Mac Barnett, Jennifer Belle, Judy Blundell, Liz Braswell, Libba Bray, Steve Brezenoff, Elise Broach, Peter Brown, Jen Calonita, Patrick Carman, Susane Colasanti, Elizabeth Craft, Melissa de la Cruz, Julia DeVillers and Paige Pooler, Larry Doyle, Sarah Beth Durst, Dave Eggers, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Elizabeth Eulberg, Helen Fitzgerald, Gayle Forman, Aimee Friedman, Margaux Froley, Claudia Gabel, Michele Gagnon, Adam Gidwitz, Anna Godbersen, John Green, Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown, Lev Grossman, Janet Gurtler, F. Bowman Hastie III and Tillamook Cheddar, Geoff Herbach, Joanna Hershon, Mandy Hubbard, Emily Jenkins, Maureen Johnson, Lindsey Kelk, Jo Knowles, Gordon Korman, David Levithan, Sarah Darer Littman, Barry Lyga, Adam Mansbach and Richardo Cortés, Leslie Margolis, Julia Mayer, Barnabas Miller, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Sarah Mlynowski and Courtney Sheinmel, Lauren Myracle, Greg Neri, Jennifer A. Nielsen and Lisa Ann Sandell, Michael Northrop, Lauren Oliver, David Ostow, Micol Ostow, Alison Pace, Joy Preble, Margo Rabb, Lisa and Laura Roecker, Marie Rutkoski, Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg, Kieran Scott (occasionally Kate Brian), Alyssa B. Sheinmel, Sara Shepard, Jennifer E. Smith, Lemony Snicket, Jordan Sonnenblick, Natalie Standiford, Rebecca Stead, Todd Strasser, Heather Terrell, Ned Vizzini, Adrienne Maria Vrettos, Melissa Walker, Robin Wasserman, Lynn Weingarten, Kiersten White, Mo Willems, Rita Williams-Garcia, Jennifer Ziegler, Michelle Zink.

Not the brightest of ideas...

Jul. 4th, 2015 04:22 pm
johnpalmer: (Default)
[personal profile] johnpalmer
So, I was going to travel to visit someone Saturday and I was going to have someone else visit me Friday, and both of those collapsed, so I decided I would do a heavier-than-normal workout, since Saturday was no longer going to be busy. I could spend the day recovering, if needed.

I found that with a lot of stimulants, I feel bad, definitely under the weather, but it is survivable. That was, honest to goodness, not what the title of this post is about.

No, I then decided to do a normal workout today.

I suppose it's good to learn limits and sometimes, they can only be learned the hard way. But, as the subject suggests, not the brightest of ideas.

Movie Rec: Beyond the Lights

Jul. 4th, 2015 06:50 pm
thedeadparrot: (silent sigh)
[personal profile] thedeadparrot
So you probably haven't heard of this movie, because I hadn't heard of it either. But Beyond the Lights is a show-biz romance movie, and despite how terrible it sounds on paper, it's actually rather good. (You can find it on Netflix and/or on Amazon. Amazon has it at 99 cents to rent!)

Here's the synopsis: Fake-Rihanna almost commits suicide and then falls in love with the LA cop who saves her life.

Like I said, sounds terrible on paper.

But it's a lot better than that. The movie plays all of the melodrama in a low-key, understated way. The actors are great and turn in lovely performances and have great chemistry. There's a feminist streak to the whole proceedings, trying to explore the ways in which the recording industry uses women without being heavy-handed about it. It's a romance between too black characters in a movie made by a black woman (she also did Love & Basketball!).

And in the end, for all that the romance is sold to be front and center, it's a story of self-determination, about learning how to find yourself when everyone else is trying to control what you are.

It feels a little like a good fanfic in a lot of ways. It goes through the predictable motions of a romantic drama, but it goes through those motions with enough skill that it doesn't drag everything down, and adds a lot of interesting character development and nuance and care on top of it. It's not a mind-blowing, revolutionary movie, but it's good enough that I'm sad that I'd never heard of it, and I think that other people would enjoy it too.

Here, have a trailer:

Missing All The Good Stuff

Jul. 4th, 2015 01:45 pm
onyxlynx: Janelle Monae appearing androidish in headdress and neckpiece (Archandroid)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
Montréal Comiccon.

On the other hand, I caught the simulcast of The Marriage of Figaro at the Giants' ballpark. Heeee.  And I only zoned out twice.  

[ SECRET POST #3104 ]

Jul. 4th, 2015 03:23 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3104 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.

More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 03 pages, 071 secrets from Secret Submission Post #444.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

Birthday greetings and felicitations

Jul. 4th, 2015 12:21 pm
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] silveradept !  Wishing you a less-noisy day.

[ SECRET SUBMISSIONS POST #445 ]

Jul. 4th, 2015 03:16 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
[ SECRET SUBMISSIONS POST #445 ]




The first secret from this batch will be posted on July 11th.



RULES:
1. One secret link per comment.
2. 600x600 px or smaller.
3. Link directly to the image.
- Doing it RIGHT: http://i.imgur.com/KuBug.png
- Doing it WRONG: http://imgur.com/KuBug

Optional: If you would like your secret's fandom to be noted in the main post along with the secret itself, please put it in the comment along with your secret. If your secret makes the fandom obvious, there's no need to do this. If your fandom is obscure, you should probably tell me what it is.

Optional #2: If you would like WARNINGS (such as spoilers or common triggers -- list of some common ones here) to be noted in the main post before the secret itself, please put it in the comment along with your secret.

Optional #3: If you would like a transcript to be posted along with your secret, put it along with the link in the comment!

Just One Thing (04 July 2015)

Jul. 4th, 2015 08:20 pm
nanila: me (Default)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!

Follow Me Down

Jul. 4th, 2015 09:58 pm
kdheart: (Default)
[personal profile] kdheart posting in [community profile] amplificathon

Title: Rorschach
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] entanglednow
Reader: [personal profile] kdheart
Fandom: Supernatural
Characters/Pairings: Sam/Gabriel,
Rating: Explicit
Summary: "Are you actually worried about me? That's kind of funny and something I'll no doubt mock you for endlessly later."
Length: 28min
Right-click > save as: MP3 || 26,5 MB

Or stream:

[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

the third foster kitten is seen at last!

the third foster kitten is seen at last!

This comment section is open for any non-work-related discussion you’d like to have with other readers, by popular demand. (This one is truly no work and no school. If you have a work question, you can email it to me or post it in the work-related open thread on Fridays.)

grey whiteBook Recommendation of the Week: I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away. Brilliant and funny Bill Bryson tries to get reacquainted with America after living in England for 20 years.

weekend free-for-all – July 4-5, 2015 was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Fireworks

Jul. 4th, 2015 02:36 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

If you ever want to relive the days of dial-up modems, I suggest driving to the northern edge of the U.P., then piggybacking your laptop onto your phone’s data signal.

But with today being the 4th of July, I figured I should share a few of the fireworks from last night’s display. I’m particularly fond of the way #1 and #4 turned out, like giant flaming dandelions.

Firework1 Firework2 Firework3 Firework4 Firework5

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

(no subject)

Jul. 4th, 2015 07:28 pm
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
[personal profile] tree_and_leaf
Since acquiring American in-laws (and, for that matter, an American husband, though it hardly ever shows), I find myself taking note of the Fourth of July.

In recognition of the day, here is a great American song by a great American (also, I like the way you can also read it as being about salvation and the life of the world to come).

Independence Day

Jul. 4th, 2015 12:58 pm
stardreamer: animated fireworks (celebration)
[personal profile] stardreamer
Some years back, in one of the Usenet newsgroups I used to frequent, someone posted a "warm fuzzy" description of her town's big 4th of July festival, complete with speech by minister and group-sing of "God Bless America". This prompted a fair amount of discussion on the group, during which I mentioned that it would have been nice had the festival been a little more inclusive. I was promptly called a killjoy, over-sensitive, accused of advocating the removal of all religion from public life, and told that I should go find a REAL offense to be offended about. Other people came to my defense, and it turned into quite a multi-sided discourse. Along the way I came up with the following, which I thought (and several other people from all sides of the discussion agreed) seemed to convey the point I was trying to make very clearly. So I thought I'd repeat it here.


Some 30 or 40 years ago, black people started raising a fuss because almost all children's books -- those in the public schools, and those in most libraries -- contained only illustrations of white people (except for the occasional janitor). They said that the effect of this was to marginalize and exclude black people from mainstream society; in effect, to make them "non-persons".

They were told that they were being ridiculously over-sensitive; that this was just the way things were, and it wasn't hurting anybody; that lack of inclusion wasn't the same thing as exclusion; that they should go find some REAL offenses to fuss about. But they didn't stop fussing.

Nowadays, if we were to pick up a children's book set in contemporary America and find only illustrations of white people, it would seem very strange. We would recognize that the book did not accurately reflect the society in which we live. Black people, and Middle Easterners, and Indian/Pakistanis, and Asians, are no longer "non-persons".

I have a dream -- and some hope of actually seeing it in my lifetime -- that one day it will seem just as strange to think about going to a public patriotic event and hearing only one religion mentioned, for the same reasons. I would like to live to see an America in which Muslims and Hindus and pagans and Buddhists and atheists are not, effectively speaking, "non-persons". But I also know that it will never happen if people like me don't fuss... because right now "Oh, that's just the way things are, and it's not hurting anyone."


In aid of this, I have stopped wearing red-white-and-blue for 4th of July. Instead I wear rainbow colors, because that seems more evocative of the America I want to live in.

Also, I have taken to promoting an alternative Pledge of Allegiance. I believe this was originally composed by Barry Gold.

I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, and to the Republic which it established: one nation from many peoples, promising liberty and justice for all.

We have a way to go yet on fulfilling that promise, but I haven't given up hope yet. And while the Constitution is still open to interpretation, it's less corruptible than a symbol that can be assigned any words someone wants to give it.

And this year in particular, I feel as though I have some reason to celebrate -- an entire group of people have just been told that they are no longer second-class citizens.


Rainbow American

MCU/Marvel comics Unpopular Opinions

Jul. 4th, 2015 06:56 pm
endeni: (Cap's shield)
[personal profile] endeni
As requested by [personal profile] mrstotten (sorry for the delay), my Unpopular Opinions on Marvel Cinematic Universe and/or Marvel comics-verse (I went with “and”, since my movie-verse and comics-verse thoughts are often entwined):

1. To keep up with the trend, like other muscular guys warrior types, I find Thor kind of boring. Which is hilarious because I *adore* everyone else: Loki, of course, Frigga, Sif, Jane, Darcy, mad Selvig. Even Odin with his A+ parenting is more interesting than Thor.

2. I have a pet peeve about the MCU ladies and their hair.
more about it )

3. Until AOU I was actually excited about Captain America: Civil War and I had high expectations for the movie. In fact, I really loved that story-line in the comics. Actually, it was probably what really got me into Marvel comics. I mean, I had read some juicy X-Men stuff before, and some Fantastic Four and Spider-Man too, but I discovered my deep, deep passion for the Avengers and all Avengers-related things in 2008 with Civil War.
Except, then AOU kind of dimmed my enthusiasm.
I thought Marvel could do no wrong (well, they could do boring but not outright wrong) but I had problems with the characterization of a lot of characters in AOU and got kind of burned and now I don't know anymore what to expect from CA3. I know the Russos are at the helm but I had such faith in Whedon too and look where it got me... (LOL, on the other hand I couldn't care less about Ant-Man before and I still don't now...)

4. I liked Thor TDW. here's why )

5. I'm getting kind of tired of movie!Tony. The fact that he has an humorous quip always ready is fun but only at the beginning. I much prefer his comics counterpart, who is more serious and tragic: an ex-alcoholic, dealing with his survivor guilt and his insistence to deal with problems the hard way because he is convinced he knows best. I'm also really irked by the fact that, of all the Marvel multiverse, movie!Tony seems to be the only one who didn't immediately strike a fast friendship with Cap, going instead for a relationship of apparently mutual disdain. Which means that their subsequent developing friendship seemed kind of forced to me. (Though, even if I'm disappointed by the lack of Steve/Tony shipping opportunities in the MCU, luckily enough I can console myself with all the Steve/Bucky ones. *g*)
Also, I'm still kind of disappointed by the rendition of Extremis in IM3. I get that MCU!Tony has JARVIS so a comics-style Extremis would have been kind of superfluous but did we really need that fire-breathing thing?!? I think not.

(no subject)

Jul. 4th, 2015 09:11 am
justice_turtle: MacGyver reading with finger to lips, text "im in ur library shushin ur books" (shushin)
[personal profile] justice_turtle
*bweeeeeeeeeeeee* I JUST FOUND OUT that when the "Wolverine" comic relaunches in October (Marvel loves to reboot things all the time), it's going to be starring Logan's female clone Laura! *bounces* I LOVE LAURA OKAY, from what little I've read of her, and also LADY WOLVERIIIIIIIIIIIINE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE :D

Since I have money, I'm going to find a local comic book shop and put "All-New Wolverine" on a pull list for goddamn sure. (This has the effect of sort of pre-ordering the comic and letting Marvel know there's interest.) BWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE :D *continues to bounce*
kdheart: (Default)
[personal profile] kdheart posting in [community profile] amplificathon

Title: That thing that happened that one time
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] maple_clef
Reader: [personal profile] kdheart
Fandom: Rivers of London
Characters: Thomas Nightingale, Molly, Harold Postmartin
Rating: T
Summary: Soon after he moved into the Folly, Peter discovered two rather confusing paintings in the coach house. This is the story of how they came to be. But shhhh... don't tell anyone.

Length: 6:41min
Right-click > save as: MP3 || 6.2 MB


Or stream:

Weekend Entertainment

Jul. 4th, 2015 09:06 am
notapilot: (RF: Strike a pose)
[personal profile] notapilot posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
 First, let me be the first to wish Steve Rogers a happy birthday.

Now, onto the weekend entertainment. Something silly for today as my mun has a bunch of cooking to do for tonight's festivities, go to this website and click the button to get your character's randomly generated AO3 tags. Then post in with them for what will hopefully be a good laugh. I guess I should warn you, some most tags contain words of adult subject matter.
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I'm in Jasper for the weekend, since my grandmother's birthday party is a bunch of her female relatives hanging out at a ridiculously swanky private cabin.

Gran is a relatively toxic person, being hypercritical and hypoempathetic, and 90; she's spending a lot of time talking over the past with her sister and sister-in-law and it's an important weekend for Mom because she's learning a lot about what made her mom like this and hearing stories she's never heard before. I'm just trying to enjoy the setting and let the comments about Kids These Days With Their Texting and Not Having Domestic Skills pass over me and pretending not to hear the racism and anti-Semitism.

Aunt Karen, the rolemodel with her own horse farm, is fun and less/non-toxic who thinks the SCA and mounted combat sounds awesome so I'm trying to get her to go into the town later today with me; and late last night a cousin my age (who introduced me to Tamora Pierce when I was 10 and she was 14) came in and she seems pretty cool and grounded.

But right now I'm in the bedroom missing out on LittleOldLadyCon and considering going back to sleep until Mom gets back from her massage.

(no subject)

Jul. 4th, 2015 05:47 am
gwydion: (No Angel)
[personal profile] gwydion
* "The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much:" http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/opinion/sunday/the-real-reason-college-tuition-costs-so-much.html?smid=fb-share&_r=2

* "President Obama racks up some more hits:"

Embed: )

* "This One Tweet Highlights A Disturbing Irony Between the McKinney Cop and Bree Newsome:" http://www.attn.com/stories/2235/bree-newsome-confederate-flag-mckinney-police?utm_source=tumblr&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=internal

* "The White Problem:" https://medium.com/message/whiteness-3ead03700322

* This is Important. "How White People Got Made:" https://medium.com/message/how-white-people-got-made-6eeb076ade42

* "I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery.:" http://www.vox.com/2015/6/29/8847385/what-i-learned-from-leading-tours-about-slavery-at-a-plantation

* "He'd rather go to jail than issue same-sex marriage licenses:"

Embed: )

* "John Oliver nails this moment for transgender Americans: “Let’s not get too complacent about how far we’ve come”:" http://qz.com/440346/john-oliver-nails-this-moment-for-transgender-americans-lets-not-get-too-complacent-about-how-far-weve-come/

* "DOJ To Virginia School Board: Transgender Students Just Need To Pee:" http://www.towleroad.com/2015/07/doj-virginia-school-board-transgender-students-just-need-pee/

* "Is It OK To Out Someone As Transgender If They're Not Around?:" http://www.mtv.com/news/2200523/tyler-ford-column-outing-transgender-friends-voice/

* Personal Clarification: while it is never okay to out trans people, I am as out as I can manage. In all my social media I am clearly labelled non-binary trans. Therefore, it is okay to point someone to me on social media as a non-binary trans person. Similarly, I am completely out RL and walk around wearing buttons to that effect all winter long. (I would wear them in summer, but they do not stick well to my messenger bag). My pronouns are ze, zir, zim. (If I owned buttons with my pronouns on them, I'd wear those too.) I don't mind you correcting pronouns when I'm not around. I generally don't bother with the pronoun thing with service workers as it's frankly exhausting to everyone involved, but otherwise, have at. Again, this is just me. I have next to nothing to lose. I'm federally disabled and so can't get fired for transness. I live in one of the safest places a trans person can live, and what danger there is I willingly accept. Most people are not in my position so best to be checking individually with your trans friends as to their preferences.

There is one exception to my open door policy: I prefer people not cross the streams on my RL and online persona. I prefer that random internet people not be given my last name or information about my specific address, etc.. I like to decide which identifying details I give out. This is because I have been tracked that way before, and while it turned out all right, there is a chance it might not next time. Some of you know me rl and on the Internet. A handful of you who I've known a long time on the Internet have my personal details. I like to be the gatekeeper of who has my legal name and physical address. Beyond that? Again, have at it. I live a very transparent sort of life.

Just keep in mind that the the outness/safety balance is one every single LGBTQIA person has to decide for themselves and robbing people of safety (Except in the case of rabidly anti-gay gay public figures, where it becomes a community safety issue) is never okay. Never out private people. Never out public figures who are not posing a clear and present danger to the rights and safety of the rest of us.

* "Science Bob's Rube Goldberg Machine:"

Embed: )

* I am so glad I didn't pay to see Birdman. The commercials did not look promising, and if I'd had money for movies I still wouldn't have bothered. Still, it had a lot of critical acclaim, so when i ordered award season stuff from the library last spring, I tossed it in on the off. I can see why industry people liked it. It is clever, well acted, and I'm pretty sure it's the most brutal thing about show business I've ever seen made. It was not my thing, and I could barely drag myself through it. So not for owls. Also painfully white and straight.

* "The World's Only Parrot-Fronted Death Metal Band Just Released a New Album:" http://www.vice.com/read/twelve-years-later-hatebeak-remains-the-worlds-only-death-metal-band-fronted-by-a-parrot-666?utm_source=vicefbus

* Ebay Time:
AUTUMN FANCIES 2013 (LE, Halloweenies): (Company says: Dry grasses bathed in amber light, muted by gentle shadows.) Top of label.:http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/301667294922?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

* Want Game of Thrones without the creepy? We desperately need new players. We are very inclusive. "Game of Bones MUSH:" gobmush.wikidot.com

* My RL oldest continuous friend is doing a fundraiser: http://www.gofundme.com/x9g7q2k

* Trying to stay afloat until August: http://www.gofundme.com/cuovws or Lethran@gmail.com

Went to the pool with the Denizers

Jul. 3rd, 2015 07:53 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
The girls came home and feel right asleep. We've got to go to the pool EVERY day.

*************************


Things in Puerto Rico are getting really bad: What you need to know

Put the Pumpkin in the Boat. A new dictionary of prison slang.

I Guess My Corpse Is A Swan Now: A Weird Folk Education If you enjoyed that, you'll probably like this as well.

A snail spent years glued to a card in the British Museum before they realized it was alive

How One Man Poisoned a City’s Water Supply (and Saved Millions of Children’s Lives in the Process)

Drug cops took a college kid’s savings and now 13 police departments want a cut

Boatlifters: The unknown story of 9/11

The ten most repressive points of Spain's gag law

These flatworms plunge their penises into their own heads to inject themselves with sperm (when they must).

Welcome to the Dystopian Future: Bubble Wrap No Longer Pops

Scientists unravel elusive structure of HIV protein

Researcher who spiked rabbit blood to fake HIV vaccine results slapped with rare prison sentence

Whole Foods CEOs Admit to Overcharging Customers

Holocaust 'hero' Sir Nicholas Winton dies aged 106

What I Learned From Reading Pro-Confederacy Children’s Books

Outrage culture changed the world: “PC” critics are wrong — marriage equality happened because activists used shame and rage

Condiments And Caterpillars: Thank This Insect For Mustard, Horseradish And Wasabi

Meet the man building a stock exchange that doesn’t screw people over

After gay marriage, expect conservative amnesia

How the Black Death turned from a tummy bug to a deadly plague

Why the Brouhaha Over the New York Times’ Pea Guacamole Recipe Went All the Way to Obama

Why the Indian soldiers of WW1 were forgotten

*************************


Read more... )
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Except this year, as you may have noticed, the 4th falls on a Saturday anyway, so to make up for it they decided to take Friday off instead and run the 3rd on a Saturday schedule. And lots of people got the 3rd off anyway, because the 4th falls on a weekend.

So far so good, and the pizza place confirmed when I stopped in yesterday that Thursday was packed "like Friday usually" because, of course, lots of people are taking advantage of the de facto three day weekend.

I have no problem with any of this, but I draw the line at referring to Friday as "Independence Day (observed)" as so many signs did when informing us of schedule changes and the like. You can't do that. It's not like Memorial Day or Columbus Day or something. It's the Fourth of freaking July. The third isn't "observed" anything, it's just lagniappe.

Text from Superheroes for the occasion.

On a more serious note, fireworks can upset veterans who have PTSD. I hadn't thought of that before, but it makes sense. From now on, whenever it comes up, I don't need to defend myself, I can just say that fireworks are not patriotic. Do well by doing good, that's my motto.

D.O.P.-T.

Jul. 4th, 2015 04:12 am
weofodthignen: selfportrait with Rune the cat (Default)
[personal profile] weofodthignen
Again I had to turn off a booth and evict someone who'd ignored the signs and put in too much money in the last hour. And turn down requests from him and another customer to buy stuff after I'm required to close the register. Then after I tore out of there a hair after 2:00, the bus was visible in the far, far distance for almost half an hour before it started crawling towards me. And had crazy people on it. At least only one was vocal. And nobody let off any fireworks on board. (A customer asked my co-worker the other day whether he wanted to buy a huge shell. He did not.) Happy Fourth.
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
Last weekend [personal profile] lilliburlero came to Oxford on their way from East Anglia to Aberdeen. Perhaps "on their way" is not quite accurate. Any friend who is willing to take the X5 bus to come to see you is a friend indeed.

[personal profile] lilliburlero arrived around lunchtime and, after going to drop off luggage at the hostel, we met up with [personal profile] nineveh_uk. Looking for outdoor places to have lunch, we went over to the Vaults at the University Church, but central Oxford was absolutely heaving with tourists. So we decided to escape to points north instead.

We had a lovely lunch at the Gardeners Arms in Jericho, ate their veggie burgers, and spent the afternoon in the back garden. Being under a plum tree, the table had all sorts of interesting little creepy-crawlies on it, but they didn't seem to dampen the discussion. Late afternoon we decamped to have a look around the old John Radcliffe, where Mary Renault once worked. It's been heavily but sympathetically modernised since - we wandered around the humanities common room in the basement trying to imagine surgical theatres and partitioned administrative offices trying to imagine a hospital ward. I should have done a bit of advanced research! But the architecture is lovely and intact, and the boards in the main foyer recording the hospital benefactors are still there.

By this point it still seemed a bit too early for dinner, so we went for more drinks at the Duke of Cambridge, where [personal profile] lilliburlero ended up with the largest stick of celery I've ever seen in a Bloody Mary. Finally to Al Shami for dinner, where we ended up with quite a spread as well as an interesting bottle of Lebanese white wine from Chateau Musar. Our day out concluded around nine hours after it started, at 10.30pm. I was pretty tired but would probably have happily gone on if [personal profile] lilliburlero hadn't needed to catch a coach at an uncivilised hour the following morning.

I'd met [personal profile] lilliburlero once in person, and have been seeing [personal profile] nineveh_uk regularly since moving back to Oxford, but they hadn't met one another before. We made a very congenial group, which pleased but didn't surprise me. On reflection I think I must have talked people's ears off about Mary Renault but they may also have been encouraging me. We ranged across the usual fannish topics - I had a list of new fic ideas as long as my arm, then promptly forgot them - but only got onto Antonia Forest right at the end, which was a shame. Maybe for next time? I'm sure there'll be a next time.

***

Then this Wednesday, which was not only the hottest day of the year to date but the hottest day in about a decade (around 33C/92F), I went to have dinner with [personal profile] jae, who was in London for one night only. Was rather glad for the excuse to spend two hours on the air-conditioned Oxford Tube, but the trains on the Central line were utterly boiling.

At Exmouth Market everyone seemed to be enjoying the summery evening. [personal profile] jae both introduced me, and extraordinarily kindly treated me to, dinner at Moro. More Lebanese food, which I wasn't sorry about at all! (Though I'm afraid I made myself sound like an expert on eastern Mediterranean food, which I'm not.) The bread is just as nice as Nigel Slater says, the lamb was extraordinarily thin and tender, and the rosewater and cardamom ice cream was lovely. All in a very relaxed atmosphere - and cool as well...

[personal profile] jae and I had no initial awkwardness of meeting. We talked continuously for two hours, were gently encouraged to make way for the next reservation, and went to the nearby park to keep talking. We discussed the sadness of being in fandoms of one (she was, I think, hoping that I would have useful revelations on how to build fandoms out of nothingness, but I'm afraid I don't), the state of the Yuletide plans, the joys of using travel for fannish research, language learning, and how difficult it is to find good meta nowadays. I promised her one meta post on the subject of her choice in exchange for dinner (probably the exchange rate ought to be higher!) so, [personal profile] jae, please let me know what you'd like!

Not sure when the next fannish meeting will be, but if you find yourself in the area, let me know! I've also promised [personal profile] jae an insider's tour of Oxford when she next visits.

***

In other news I've managed to make an appointment for a haircut at Barberette in London. I've had short hair for quite a while and have spent a good portion of that time longing for interesting short hair, while neither knowing exactly what to ask for nor having any confidence that a random Oxford salon would be the place to ask for it.

I suspect I was inspired by renewed acquaintance with [personal profile] lilliburlero's excellent topknot, which sets a standard for cool haircuts. Not that I could pull it off. Before I go I must spend some time perusing their Instagram. It'll be an experience anyway!

QotD

Jul. 4th, 2015 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"As we think today about what divides Americans, I think it boils down to the fact that some Americans no longer want to experiment. They want to close the lab down. We've gone far enough into the unknown, making it known, they say; now let's stop--let's even go backward. We were wrong to conduct some of our experiments in liberty, and that's the source of all our problems. Gay people shouldn't be treated equally. Black people shouldn't run the country. Women shouldn't hold high office. Muslims shouldn't be granted habeas corpus.

"Whenever one of those Americans talks about the problem with our country today, they talk about how we should be like we once were, back when white people who defined marriage as one man-one woman and were Protestant veterans built this nation. They feel they are losing their birthright, their legacy.

"But those Americans are wrong. What their ancestors really were was scientists. Experimenters. Radicals who always considered the impossible possible. To define those ancestral Americans as merely white or straight or Christian strips them of their most stunning feature, their near-supernatural qualities of optimism and defiance and willingness to go into the unknown and make it their home, to make the amazing the norm. They defied the status quo. That's how they built America."

-- R. Sós, 2008-11-16

[To Lynn and Pauline, happy birthday, and to all my countrymen (whether you agree with today's quotation or not), a happy and glorious Independence Day!]

So much disco in such a tiny box.

Jul. 4th, 2015 01:28 am
azurelunatic: Escher's Order and Chaos drawing: geometric solids and broken things.  (Order and Chaos)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
12:13 PM * Azz ambles in a Silly Valley-ward direction
12:25 PM <Purple> hope Azz isn't going to work


Azz was, in fact, going to work. Partly because a conference week is not the world's most bountiful paycheck week (and therefore a four-day week the next week isn't the best choice) and partly because work has air conditioning.

I proceeded to turn on my disco lights and blast* Abney Park while catching up on the paperwork that drives my normal uncanny ability to remember arbitrary weird things.

* for values of "blast" that became nearly inaudible once you reached the bathrooms.

radius was also at work enjoying the air conditioning, as I learned once I checked in on IRC. He'd gone down to Curmudgeon* City to hack on some fun stuff, since it was a weekend.

* They're not jerks per se, but their group's team chat has an honorable history of being displayed in the team area using Microsoft Comic Chat.

The security guy came through and poked at the door, which was unlocking itself, accompanied by irritated beeping when you tried to lock it, again. He was seen on the phone, with some gesticulation. He went away. He returned with a buddy. They both poked at the door, which was no longer doing the thing. They went away.

Eventually it became closer to evening. radius and I made plans for dinner. Sensibly, he proposed that I drive us both, rather than having him go separately on his bike, as bike and dinner dress codes often differ. I was agreeable, but added that I would have to unearth the front seat of the car.

"I can sit on it," he demurred, not having seen what was in the seat.

"No, you cannot," I said, and proceeded to shuffle an amazing number of things out of my front seat: one of those fabric boxes that goes in the big IKEA cube shelves (filled with all manner of road trip snacks and less edible items such as alcohol wipes), any number of soft drink cups, cans, and bottles, a few used napkins, the empty container of blueberries that figured so prominently in Sunday's digestive misadventures*, a box of tampons, several cherry pits, an expended alcohol wipe, a household size fire extinguisher, and about five blueberries that had fallen down behind the snack box. The fire extinguisher wasn't exactly a surprise, because I knew it was there, but I'd sort of glossed over it in my mental accounting, which was mostly "all god's soda cans". radius helped by relaying a few trips to the bins. Mostly the fire extinguisher is in the car because you don't want a car to do something terrible without you have a fire extinguisher; not that I'm expecting him to do something terrible, but it would be just like a car to go ahead and do something like that if you didn't have one handy. So.

* 2 pounds of blueberries eaten over the course of about 11 hours of Saturday without actual solid food? after 2pm-ish? Not my best life choice.

We then went for dinner and gossip. I introduced him to the Book of Wholesome Hobbies. It's starting to get unwieldy, and I may have to start categorizing. There are an awful lot of prohibitions based on fire.

Eventually we traipsed back to work. I spent some more time whacking chunks of text around. The door started doing the thing again, of course when the other security guard wasn't looking. The first guy seemed frustrated. After he left, I went and poked at it myself. I went outside and badged the door, but didn't open it. The unlock window timed out, and the master door locked itself. Somewhat hesitantly, the problem door followed suit. So I may have figured out how to make it stop doing the thing. Next I need to figure out how to make it do the thing on command.

My notes are in better shape. Hooray!

My plans for tomorrow are approximately:

* Make ice.
* Fetch strawberries.
* Wait for evening to set in.
* Take ice, strawberries, liquid, and a lawn chair down the waterfront and set up.
* Watch other people let off fireworks.
* Share strawberries as appropriate.
spiralsheep: I have a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel (boz4pm Blackadder Cunning Plan)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
I might've written this in the pub last night. Sorry.

Title: Five ways medieval recorders ended up in latrines
Note: of the five earliest recorders to survive mostly intact, all from the fourteenth century, four were found in latrines and the other one in a castle moat... possibly after having been thrown down a latrine.
Fandom: medieval European music
Characters: everyone in these ficlets is called Barry... or Bob
Warning: for swears (and some foreswearing too)

1. "Why don't you learn a proper instrument, like the lute? Girls love lutenists! Learn a song like Smell the Glove and they'll be all over you!" *

2. "No, you auditioned for the part of a Recording Angel...." **

3. "I own a whole fucking castle. I don't want the neighbours thinking I can't afford anything better than a fucking recorder player!" ***

4. "You're not going to get any gigs playing that shitty modern music. Nobody likes it. Just throw the mutant flageolet pipe away!" ****

5. "Recorders are an instrument of the Devil. All that 'teh teh bloody teh'. It'd try the patience of Our Lord Himself. Give it here!" *****

Notes
1* Turn that lute all the way up to eleven!!1!!
2** There's an actual recordering angel depicted in the altarpiece La Virgen con el Niño, from Santa Clara's church, in Tortosa, Catalonia, by Pere (Pedro) Serra, circa 1390. Oh, the irony!
3*** The castle known as Huis te Merwede, near Dordrecht, in the Netherlands, to be precise. Technically the owner was probably called Daniel van der Merwede but I like to think his friends called him Barry.
4**** There are two historical instruments called flageolets, and this refers to the earlier pipe, obv.
5***** There's a recorder player in a fresco depicting the Mocking of Jesus, in St George's church, in Staro Nagoričane, Macedonia, by Michael Astrapas and Eutychios, after 1315.

Uta no Prince-sama Icons

Jul. 4th, 2015 02:17 am
xehanort: (Memories again)
[personal profile] xehanort posting in [community profile] fandom_icons
Uta no Prince-sama x 100

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Holiday Plans

Jul. 4th, 2015 12:30 am
settiai: (1776 -- cinnap)
[personal profile] settiai
My original plan for the Fourth of July was to sit at home, drinking whiskey and watching 1776 at some point before wandering down the road to watch the fireworks. It was a good plan! It involved minimal human contact!

... then Veronica called. And, as all of you know, I'm horrible at saying "no" to her.

So, yes, apparently I'm heading to her house around 4pm for a potluck. I have no idea how long I'll stay. It might be over before it gets dark, or it might involve watching the fireworks up there. No clue.

Her extended family must think that the two of us are secretly dating, considering how many times I've been at random get-togethers. Personally, I think the truth is that her parents just like my cooking and know that I'll show up with food if they invite me. ;-)

Speaking of which, I think that I'm going to make blue cheese stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates to bring with me. And if I have the time, I might make a batch of homemade ice cream. My ice cream maker is fairly small, so it can't be a large amount, but it was always tradition to make it on the Fourth of July and it's been years since I had it for the holiday. It would be nice to do it, even if Granddaddy won't be there to fight people off with a giant spoon in order to get the first bowl of it.

Story: The Promotion

Jul. 4th, 2015 12:16 am
teland: Young brown girl looking replete. (I am a satisfied brown fan.)
[personal profile] teland
Disclaimer: Not mine, just fucking about.

Spoilers/Timeline: AU-ized mentions of season two revelations, but takes place decidedly pre-series.

Summary: "You don't have to use that gorgeous pistol of yours to shoot yourself in the bloody prick, you know."

Ratings Note/Warnings: Sexual content which does and doesn't dovetail with the content some readers may find to be disturbing. More and more spoilery warnings in the tags on AO3.

Author's Note: All Pixie's bunny. "What if Treville picks up a young Porthos some night?" I mean, she probably said something else, but I was already writing in my head.

Also, every year around this time, for reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, I wind up writing about death at least a little. Consider that another warning.

Acknowledgments: To Melly, Pixie, Spice, Houndstar, Ryn, and, of course, my Jack for audiencing and encouragement. This one means a lot to me, and I really appreciate y'all sticking with me for it.

All remaining mistakes, weirdnesses, and fuckeries are entirely my own fault.

Length: ~19K

Sto-ry! Sto-ry! Sto-ry!

(Look, Iain, look!)
[syndicated profile] askamanager_feed

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. How can I avoid companies lying about salary and location?

I was working for a nonprofit and my direct supervisor left. Several months later, he contacted me and asked if I would be willing to interview at his new place of employment. We had gotten on fairly well at job #1, so I did and I was offered a position. At the same time, I was also offered a job at a third company.

I told my former manager that Company #3 had offered me a certain pay level ($6,000 more a year than company #1 was currently paying me) plus a $2,000 sign-on bonus.

He told me that his new employer could meet the salary but only provide a $1,000 sign-on bonus. I accepted because the hours were better and it was closer (VERY close) to my home.

However, the pay is actually $2,000 less per year than I had been earning at company #1, and the sign-on bonus was explained away as “a joke.” Additionally, now they want me transfer me to a site over an hour away in a different county, in the middle of a snow belt. During winter, I would be commuting both ways in the dark and my night vision is not good. I feel cheated and taken advantage of, and am quickly becoming very unhappy and resentful. I am seeking another position. Going forward, is there any way to avoid this type of situation with future employers?

Yes — get job offers in writing, along with any other commitments that you care about. Absent a contract (which most U.S. workers don’t have), employers can still decide to change the terms of your employment (although not retroactively) or your location, but getting the basic terms in writing will ensure that you’re in agreement about pay and that promises aren’t later going to be called “jokes.” That’s horrible.

2. Should I remove any mention of a controversial issue from my resume?

I want to preface this by saying I have no interest in inciting some kind of debate about the appropriateness of the political issue involved, but I have run out of people to ask about this.

I’m searching for a position more in line with the field I am pursuing a masters in (public health). I have a resume question regarding my volunteer work with an organization that has a political agenda regarding reproductive health options, including abortion. The work that I do with this group is purely awareness-related, and the organization also supports initiatives and health clinics that promote proper prenatal care, safe sex practices, and testing for sexually-transmitted infections, in addition to their attention to abortion access. I have this contribution worded neutrally on my resume, and have asked several people about their opinion of how it’s worded. Everyone I have asked has said it is worded in a professional manner that doesn’t sound as if I am trying to face off with the world on this issue, but agree that its very presence on my resume may turn off employers who are reading my information.

I do support increased access to reproductive health options as a public health issue, but I know that if I really want a better job, this is not the hill to die on even though it is important to me. Despite the fact that I take pride in being involved in this volunteer program and have learned skills from it, I think I need to try taking it off my resume. The only other problem that I have with taking this off is that it will appear as if my volunteer work screeched to a halt when I graduated from undergrad a little over two years ago, which is a sticking point with me because my job is only slightly related to public health and my volunteer work has always been more relevant experience. What should I do here? I’m so desperate for a job that engages me in the field I love, and I don’t want to turn any employers off with the only chance I might get at an impression.

Well, I say this as someone who has marijuana policy and animal rights work on my resume, but I think that you’re being more cautious than you need to. Especially in public health, I just don’t think this is going to be a huge sticking point for the majority of employers. (Are the people who are telling you to take it off hiring managers in your field? I’m betting not. I’ve noticed people who aren’t actually hiring tend to think this kind of thing is far more of an issue than it actually is.)

The work experience will help far more than it will hurt you.

3. I’m being undermined in my family business

Through some light internet digging, I landed on your article from 2012 about how to be more authoritative at work, and I wish I had read it back then. Without going into great detail, what happens when the workplace is a family business and no matter how many routes you take to gain authority, you are constantly being undermined by the owner and general manager and even through conversation to the owner, aka your father, he still makes all of the major decisions with the general manager at the workplace when initially you were brought in as a management role? It’s become an uphill battle that I’m constantly losing and my self worth/esteem has taken a huge hit.

Thanks for taking the time to look over my question and I hope you can provide a different perspective that will bring back my motivation for the job that was once a career.

Get out. Family businesses can sometimes work, but when they’re dysfunctional, they’re really dysfunctional. Go work somewhere without family members; you will be happier.

4. Should I send my thank-you note by LinkedIn?

I just had an interview that I’m thinking went pretty well. The interviewer said to me twice that he could see why I got this far in the recruitment process. Of course, I know I don’t have a job offer until I have a job offer.

Unfortunately, he did not give me his name card during the interview. I found his profile page on about.me and he has a LinkedIn page as well. Would it be too stalker-ish to send him a thank-you note via about.me or LinkedIn?

I also feel like I could have answered one of his questions better to show my skills, but I am not sure how to word it properly in my email without sounding desperate. Basically the question was “how do you address issue ABC?” I mentioned that this issue requires a lot support from the management team and my supervisor works closely with management. I also elaborated on why management support is important and talked about the contrast I have seen with this issue, with and without management support. He said my answer made sense, but I now realize I should have highlighted my own involvement in this. Should I mention this in my email if I do contact him?

If you absolutely can’t figure out his work email address, go ahead and send it via LinkedIn. Include a mention that you realized you didn’t have his email but wanted to reach out to him, so that he understands why you’re contacting him there.

That said, it’s not ideal; not everyone looks at their LinkedIn messages regularly and there’s more chance of it being overlooked there. Direct email is better if you can guess it (which is often pretty straightforward if you’ve seen other email addresses at the company, since they usually follow the same structure).

You could certainly elaborate on your answer to the question you mentioned when you email him. I’d say something like, “I thought a bit more about your question about ABC and realized I didn’t touch on my own efforts in that area.” (Followed by whatever details you wanted to share.) Keep it short, but it’s a reasonable thing to mention.

5. Required to read a book before a staff retreat

I’m a non-exempt employee. My boss has instructed us to read a specific book before an upcoming staff retreat. Can he require us to read the book outside of work hours? If I wanted to read it outside of work, is that a problem from a legal/overtime standpoint?

You can indeed be required to read it outside of work hours, but as a non-exempt employee, you’d need to be paid for that time (including overtime, if it puts you over 40 hours that week).

companies that lie about salary, controversial issues on your resume, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

[personal profile] randomness
Now that the Chinese are experiencing a market crash--sorry, correction--that we all expected, they are blaming short-sellers. You could have predicted that as well.

James Mackintosh:
Late on Thursday they announced an investigation into manipulation by short sellers, while the futures exchange seems to be discouraging people shorting, or betting on price falls.

In practical terms, the action failed: stocks fell again, leaving them down 12 per cent on the week and down more than a quarter from their peak three weeks ago, with extraordinary intra-day swings.

In principle, though, the action is just wrong. The reason the stock market is falling isn’t short sellers, it’s long sellers. More precisely, the hordes who’d been piling into stocks and pushing prices through the roof over the past year are selling, and that was entirely predictable (the difficult issue was when there would be a rout, not whether there would).

...

China’s authorities hope to avoid the 72 per cent fall they saw after their 2007 stock market bubble popped, coincidentally identical to the drop in the Nasdaq after the dotcom boom. As well as attacking short selling, they have cut rates and tried to ease the pressure on margin debt to allow yet more leverage to pile on top of what analysts say is probably already the most use of broker-supplied loans to buy stocks than ever before in recorded history. One of the barmiest rule changes was to allow brokers to accept pretty much anything from antiques to houses as collateral against loans; if the brokers were to take advantage of the rule change, customers could literally bet the house on shares going up. On top of that, on Friday the securities regulator confirmed it would slow the pace of IPOs, freeing up more cash to buy existing shares. If anyone wants to.

Ultimately the government has it in its power to turn the market round if it really wants to, since it can create unlimited money to buy shares, but so far there’s no sign that such uber-QE is under consideration.

China’s an authoritarian one-party state, so its efforts to bend the market to its will perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise. Western investors shouldn’t feel superior, though: Britain first banned short-selling in Bank of England stock just three years after the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street was set up in 1694, and short selling bans and probes have begun after plenty of the big market crashes since – including the post-Lehman collapse. It never did any good, and regulators and politicians never learnt the lesson: it’s almost never the shorts who cause the problem, but the longs who first drive prices way above reasonable levels, them rush to get out.

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