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Love Has No Labels

Mar. 2nd, 2015 12:46 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I was charmed by this display of kissing skeletons.  Regrettably I couldn't find the video on the Love Has No Labels website, but they have other cool stuff there.  I am particularly pleased to see that the demonstration included a wide range of prejudices to be set up and knocked down.  I'm also delighted that they highlighted different kinds  of love, including at least two different pairs of best friends.

In Terramagne, people do this kind of thing a lot, adding "Love has no power differential" for the soup/nary couples.

Pi(e) Bingo Card 3-2-15

Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:00 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is my card for the Pi(e) Fest.  It's all about the food and the funny number that begins 3.14...

I'm hoping to attract some new readers through this fest. People are starting to show interest in specific prompts. If you'd like to sponsor a particular square, especially if you have an idea for what character, series, or situation it would fit -- talk to me and we'll work something out. I may still post some of the fills for free, because I'm using this to attract new readers; but if it brings in money, that means I can do more of it. That's part of why I'm crossing some of the bingo prompts with other projects, such as the Poetry Fishbowl. Any other ideas for monetizing this? Let me know.  See all my 2015 bingo cards.

Underlined prompts have been filled.

Pi(e) Bingo Card

Dream Pi(e)Humble Pi(e)A Finger in Every Pi(e)American as
Apple Pi(e)
Easy as Pi(e)
Cutie Pi(e)“Pi(e)-ku” poetry contest? (Think Haiku.)That's my Pi(e)Pi(e) EyedPi(e) means Thanksgiving and Christmas and picnics.
“Come to the nerd side we have Pi(e)”Pi(e) in the SkyImage and video hosting by TinyPicMissing Pi(e)Blue Ribbon Pi(e)
Let them eat Pi(e).Georgie Porgie, pudding and  pi(e) Pi(e) PlatePi(e) ThiefThat is not Pi(e)!
The Pi(e) CheerPi(e) a gift from the Gods.Pi(e) ThrowingThat person really knows their pi(e)."Shut your
pi(e) hole."

ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
You can now read the whole story "Marshmallow Hearts" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer.  Part 5 just posted, or begin with Part 1.  Aidan helps Groundhog and Cassandra deal with the aftermath of the SPOON fight.
ysabetwordsmith: (Rose-Bay)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posting in [community profile] crowdfunding
Read about the results and runoffs for the 2015 Rose & Bay Awards.

The February voting period is now closed for the 2015 Rose & Bay Awards. These are the results. See below for runoff polls to break the ties; this round of polling will close at the end of March 7 and results should post on March 8 or thereabouts.

Congratulations to the winners!
The winner is "Icon Day" by Tod Wills aka [personal profile] djinni.

There is a tie between "Long Hidden" by Rose Fox and Daniel Jose Older, editors, Bart Leib, publisher; and "Stories from the Crossroads" by [personal profile] thebonesofferalletters .

There is a tie between "The Great Indian Poetry Collective" Shikha Malaviya, Minal Hajratwala, and Ellen Kombiyil; and "A Bird is not a Stone: Palestinian poetry in translation" by Sarah Irving.

The winner is "Humon Comics" by Humon.

Other Project:
There is a tie between "Bingo Card Generator" by [personal profile] magibrain  and "Schrodinger's Heroes" by Elizabeth Barrette aka [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith.

The winner is Sarah Williams aka [personal profile] dialecticdreamer , patron of the Poetry Fishbowl.

You can review the previous posts from this award season:
Art: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate art! Vote for art!
Fiction: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate fiction! Vote for fiction!
Poetry: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate poetry! Vote for poetry!
Webcomic: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate webcomics! Vote for webcomics!
Other Project: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate other projects! Vote for other projects!
Patron: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate patrons! Vote for patrons!

Rice noodles

Mar. 1st, 2015 09:21 pm
fayanora: disguised as an adult (disguised as an adult)
[personal profile] fayanora
I tell ya, going to the Asian market for rice noodles is a lot more difficult than I'd anticipated. Fucktons of options for size, consistency, etc of noodles. One of the two kinds I got was these rice sticks that looked like normal noodles but became like two or three times fatter than spaghetti when cooked. Not getting that kind again.

Under pressure

Mar. 1st, 2015 10:21 pm
thnidu: A place for everything, and everything someplace else (A place for everything)
[personal profile] thnidu

Cramps. Suck.

Mar. 1st, 2015 09:54 pm
archangelbeth: Face with glasses and large red horns. Looking blah and-or grumpy. (DjinnBeth)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
That is about all that needs to be said...

Oh. Wait.

It's snowing.

I would try to be happy and up-beat except for the being in pain part.

Havva Quote
C_______ says, “Poor spider. You served me faithfully, and are doomed to die in a few seconds. Like the light that burns twice as bright.”
C_______ says, “All these moments will be lost like spiders in the rain.”
arcangel says, “...”
C_______ [to arcangel]: Hmm? :)
arcangel says, “Spiders.”
C_______ [to arcangel]: I summoned a giant spider! It helped me slay a big scary orc! ... The spell only lasts 30 seconds, after which the spider keels over pathetically and dies.

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

January 2015 Books

Mar. 1st, 2015 09:03 pm
gorgeousgary: (Default)
[personal profile] gorgeousgary
A new year of reading begins, and we're already behind on posts. Two cross-country trips will do that. An interesting mix to start the year; some new, some old, some paper, some ebook. And a longer list than usual for a month. Two cross-country trips will do that too. Here, on the first day of March, is January's list of reads:

1. Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein
2. Full Fathom Five, Max Gladstone
3. Academic Exercises, K.J. Parker (collection)
4. Conscientious Inconsistencies, Nancy Jean Moore (collection)
5. Fortune's Pawn, Rachel Bach
6. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Legacy, Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (graphic novel)
7. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal, G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona (graphic novel)
8. Invisible, Jim Hines (collection)
9. Collared, L.A. Kornetsky

A couple of Hugo ideas and some other stuff too )
solarbird: (Default)
[personal profile] solarbird
Chicago PD has a 'black site' for lawyer-and-law-free detentions. Torture too, reportedly.

This shit always comes home, guys. Always.

Had a nice annicersary

Mar. 1st, 2015 01:42 pm
freyjaw: (Dickens Fair)
[personal profile] freyjaw
Chris got our usual Indian food. I had five meals from my food. We've been married for 13 years and known each other for 16.


I'm still determined to run a game.

Mar. 1st, 2015 01:50 pm
gridlore: The Imperial Sunburst from the Traveller role-playing game (Gaming - Sunburst)
[personal profile] gridlore
And I'm going to be using FATE. Which you can find here

The important thing about FATE is it is really a role-play system as opposed to a stat-driven game. Pathfinder, for example, is driven by numbers. Characteristics, saving throws, hit points, etc. In FATE, you don't have those. You don't even have characteristics. Instead, a FATE character is defined by Aspects; the traits and background that define him/her/it. The key to an aspect is that it should both define the character and drive plots for both good and bad.

As an example, I'll build my oldest and most beloved character, Sir Arameth Gridlore, free trader and ethically challenged merchant, in FATE. When I first rolled him him many years ago for a Traveller game, he had low strength and endurance, decent dexterity and high intelligence and education. Since I was a rabid Larry Niven fan, I saw him as being like Beowulf Shaffer: tall, reedy, and not one for physical violence.

Let's translate that into FATE.

First we need to define the High Concept. This is the elevator pitch for the character, one line that defines him.

Canny Free Trader Captain. OK, this is good. It establishes what he does and that he's quick-witted.

Next, we need a Problem. The push that explains why the character is safe at home. In Traveller, Free Traders face nigh-impossible financial burdens, which require them to take the more interesting jobs. So,

One step ahead of the bank. Captain Gridlore lives on the financial edge, and owes a lot of money to various creditors. Of course, he might be offered the occasional job to clear a debt, but it will be tricky . . .

Now we can pick some other attributes to further define the character. The rulebook strongly suggests that this should be done as a group so your story aspects explain why the party is together. I'm going to skip that and just use three Aspects that really fill out Gridlore.

Born and bred spacer. Arameth Gridlore was born and spent most of his life in microgravity, living in various stations and ships. On the positive side, he won't suffer penalties for zero-G, knows ship/station protocols by heart, and can reasonably be considered to be familiar with any common equipment used in space. On the downside; he's agoraphobic and a neat freak. clutter and dirt can kill you in a ship, so he really doesn't deal well with them anywhere. He also has the build I describe above. He is not a prime physical specimen.

The Imperial Court knows my name. Due to some past exploits, Sir Arameth is known to various people in powerful offices. Again, this is a two-edged sword; he can get some favors and name drop to get out of trouble, but those friends will come to him with missions that he can't deny. He also has enemies at court, some of whom want him dead.

I've made some modifications . . . Gridlore's ship, the Driver Carries No Cash, has been extensively modified using black market parts and some alien tech. The upside is the ship can do surprising things. The downside is things sometimes stop working for no reason.

Now we pick Stunts. These are personal shticks that affect the flow of game play. I get three free. Taking more reduce the rate at which you regenerate Fate Points.

Been there. I can spend a Fate Point to remember a fact about a place.

Space-based MacGyver. I can spend a Fate Point to jury-rig equipment used on spacecraft and stations.

Now how much would you pay? When using the Rapport skill in a trading or bartering situation I can spend a Fate Point to get a +2 boost to my skill.

Now skills.

Great (+4) Starship Operations (I figured this was a catch all for someone who lives on a ship. He can do all the jobs and minor repairs, but lacks the in depth knowledge of an engineer.)
Good (+3) Rapport
Good (+3) Will
Fair (+2) Contacts
Fair (+2) Lore
Fair (+2) Shoot
Average (+1) Drive
Average (+1) Notice
Average (+1) Resources
Average (+1) Stealth

And there you go.


Mar. 1st, 2015 01:29 pm
freyjaw: (Red Green)
[personal profile] freyjaw
Safeway's out of my jello flavor and my cashew carrot ginger soup. Time for pudding and instant breakfast.

Bingo Banner

Mar. 1st, 2015 02:33 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Here is my lovely banner from the Valentine's Fest, courtesy of [personal profile] vexed_wench.

Powered by

Fiction: Marshmallow Hearts (5 of 5)

Mar. 1st, 2015 10:05 am
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Marshmallow Hearts
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
Part 5 of 5
Word count: 929

: : This happens moments after [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's poems “Clipped,” and “Stretched.” It is also written with her kind permission (and eternally wonderful editing help). Any ideas developed herein are hers to play with as she sees fit. : :

Back to part FOUR
To the INDEX
Thanks for reading.

She snorted, covering her mouth with the edge of her hand. “You'd make a great case for eating ice cream every day, too, wouldn't you?”

“If you want me to,” Aidan shrugged. “Life's too short and precious to not treat yourself gently as often as you can.” He held out both hands, ringless, pale and callused. “Now, limits. I can touch only your wrists for the chamomile, or I can put a drop on each temple, too. And I need to know how much work you'll allow.”
Read more... )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Pretty good week, actually, though things are going more slowly at work than I'd like. Meanwhile, we had the organizers (from a company called Eliminate Chaos) in on Monday; they (with me and Naomi) got through half the garage. More, really, because there's more empty space in the half we didn't get to.

About 40 boxes of books, a lot of luggage, and several boxes of fabric were brought into the house for later. I'm going to have some shelf-building to do. Fortunately we also have a lot of shelving components. And a sizeable pile of stuff for Chaos(wolf) to haul off.

Perhaps inspired by this, Emmy arranged with our housekeeper to get her room cleaned, which makes room for the futon that's in the garage. Whee!

Meanwhile, I have been trying various stress-reduction techniques. The hot bath I took on Wednesday did a great job of un-knotting my back. Have to do that more often.

raw notes, with links )

Rabbit rabbit rabbit

Mar. 1st, 2015 08:08 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Happy first of March. In like a lamb, here in Seattle.

BINGO: row

Feb. 28th, 2015 11:35 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 I have made bingo on Row 2 of my Valentine's Day Bingo Card 1-31-15.  All my other fills from this card are linked there too.

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit!

Mar. 1st, 2015 12:01 am
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg

Happy Kalends of Martius

Something good

Feb. 28th, 2015 11:48 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
[personal profile] mamatiger and I are now engaged.

(She's Leslie, from a.c., for those familiar with The Place.)

Less busy day still feels busy...

Feb. 28th, 2015 10:49 pm
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Probably because I was trying to read while the kid was talking GURPS at me a lot. >_>

Havva Quote
   Scribbles, write it- Are you illustrating the text? But we're carving this information into tablets, you goober! "Illuminated Manuscripts make the best kites?" Well, I'll have to take your word for it.
   *ahem* Moving on, I have another bit of information I'm having difficulty recalling. Can you answer the following?
-- (in process -- I don't think it shows up after all the questions are answered)

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )


Feb. 28th, 2015 06:39 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
[personal profile] naamah_darling
Annnnd now our car is totaled.

Bear and Sargon were out finishing up the moving stuff, taking the truck back, getting groceries, and some asshole on his cell phone turned left into them.  Nobody is hurt, but our car's a total loss.  His truck wasn't damaged at all, because of course it wasn't.

At least it wasn't Bear's car.  At least she can still go to work.

This is fucking ridiculous.

I'm so fucking done.  I'm just . . . so fucking done I swear to god.


Feb. 28th, 2015 07:36 pm
thnidu: our cat (Ista)
[personal profile] thnidu
2015 as King AhasuerusI have just come back from synagogue after a very full afternoon rehearsing for, prepping for, and acting in our rock Purim spiel (in which I played King Ahasuerus), followed by pizza and schmoozing.

I set my wrist watch timer for 20 minutes, promising myself to get up when it was over. After a while of browsing the web on my smartphone, I realized that the cat was resting on my chest and I hadn't even noticed her arrival.

I seem to be tireder than I thought. I suspect it's at least in part due to a heavy intake of hamantashen and pizza.

Last Day to Vote!

Feb. 28th, 2015 05:23 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Rose-Bay)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posting in [community profile] crowdfunding
Today is the last day to vote for the Rose & Bay Awards. Please drop by and vote if you have not already done so. Some of the categories have only a few votes, so it would really help if more people would chime in. Nomination links are included in case you want to brows the options before making your selections.

Art: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate art! Vote for art!
Fiction: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate fiction! Vote for fiction!
Poetry: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate poetry! Vote for poetry!
Webcomic: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate webcomics! Vote for webcomics!
Other Project: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate other projects! Vote for other projects!
Patron: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate patrons! Vote for patrons!

Last Day to Vote!

Feb. 28th, 2015 05:21 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Rose-Bay)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is the last day to vote for the Rose & Bay Awards. Please drop by and vote if you have not already done so. Some of the categories have only a few votes, so it would really help if more people would chime in. Nomination links are included in case you want to brows the options before making your selections.

Art: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate art! Vote for art!
Fiction: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate fiction! Vote for fiction!
Poetry: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate poetry! Vote for poetry!
Webcomic: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate webcomics! Vote for webcomics!
Other Project: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate other projects! Vote for other projects!
Patron: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate patrons! Vote for patrons!

Yes, Drill Sergeant!

Feb. 28th, 2015 02:48 pm
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
[personal profile] gridlore
Something came to me last week when I was at the YMCA. I owe a debt I can never repay to my Drill Sergeants.

Oh, how I loathed them at the time. Drill Sergeants Redding, Colom, and Rearden made my life as Roster Number 203 of 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 7th Battalion, 1st Infantry Training Brigade, pure hell. They pushed. They yelled. They could see microscopic imperfections in my uniform from 50 meters. Even if they never entered the washroom, they'd know if I had crawled under the washtubs and polished the brass drain covers or not. Senior Drill Sergeant Swanson and Drill Sergeant Chin also haunted my nightmares at Fort Benning. SDS Swanson was always standing there when you screwed up, and Drill Sergeant Chin . . . I can still hearing him saying "Men! Don't cheat your bodies! Do diamond push-ups!"

I can also hear him constantly calling me me "Belly."

But the other day, when I decided to up the weight I was lifting again, I realized it was their voices that were pushing me. Their belief that I was better than I believed I was, and their knowledge that what I thought were my limitations were just the beginnings of what I was capable of. Thanks to them, I never accept that good enough is good enough. What they taught me about myself is why I beat cancer, beat all the other problems, and beat my stroke. Because I Am The Infantry. Follow Me!

I often joke about my service, saying I came out as a trained killer and pretty good janitor, but the reality is what came out of all my training and experiences was pride. Pride in myself. The ability to believe in myself. The knowledge that pain is not a wall, but a passageway. Most importantly, knowing that deep down inside you always have one more ounce of effort, one last measure of will, if you can just harness it it.

This has been a rough life. I've both made terrible mistakes and been battered by chance. I own all of it. Because, thanks to the cadre of A-7-1, I am a United States Infantryman.


Snow News

Feb. 28th, 2015 04:15 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (pounce)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
It has started snowing here.  We're supposed to get several inches.  We've just come home from shopping; we have food and fuel, so there should be no need to go out driving in the snow.  I fed the birds, and they're already mobbing the feeders.  Sparrows, cardinals, and mourning doves as far as the eye can see.  I saw a rabbit too.  Sometimes they come under the feeders to scrounge for spilled seed. 

Fiction: Salvaging (18 of 26)

Feb. 28th, 2015 02:05 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
Part 18 of 26
Word count: 1374

: : Another fic in the Polychrome Heroics universe, with [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's permission, and any ideas developed here are hers to play with as she sees fit. This began as a Creative Jam fill, but spiraled into a lovely crossover with Schrodinger's Heroes (who need LOTS more love, people!) : :

WARNING: Sensitive topics, implied child abuse/neglect/exploitation. Some swearing. The main character is a hit man for hire; you have been warned!

Back to Part SEVENTEEN
Jump to the INDEX
Forward to Part NINETEEN

Juan watched Chris help Alicia into the vehicle, and set her seat belt. A moment later they drove off to the sound of Alicia playing with the radio. Juan padded back to the kitchen to find that someone had assembled a pile of almost familiar items. Some kind of portable disc media, maybe a portable computer? “So, you guys have started deciding what kinds of tech to swap?” he asked. “I've got a question... Who's been keeping an eye on the cat?” `
Read more... )

Strange Dragons

Feb. 28th, 2015 11:57 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
There's a fun article about D&D's weirdest dragons.

Read more... )

stolen from Facebook

Feb. 27th, 2015 09:32 pm
solarbird: (Default)
[personal profile] solarbird

This is the one that got me. Right in the gut.

We rewatched "Yesteryear" tonight. It's the best of the animated Star Trek, quite fine on any terms, and entirely about Spock. It's also where D.C. Fontana wrote that the Vulcan philosophy that a death is to be mourned with tears only if the life that ended had been wasted. I don't think this one was.

Not to mention that he absolutely, positively, stuck the ending.

Well done, Mr. Nimoy. Thank you.
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Today has been an unusually busy Friday, but the death of Leonard Nimoy has changed my plans for today's post.
Read more... )

(no subject)

Feb. 27th, 2015 11:30 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
If you're seeing slow page load times, pages not fully loading, missing icons, 'naked' pages (the text of the page only, without any styling, etc): please shift-refresh your browser, clear your browser cache, and then just hang tight. We're switching CDN providers, so your browser may have cached the wrong copy of things.

If the problem hasn't cleared up by tomorrow, then let us know and we'll look into it further!

Busy day.

Feb. 27th, 2015 11:30 pm
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Breakfast, kid's eye-exam, new frame selection, ferrying things to MIL's house, spouse doing their shopping in their car -- his is still in the shop -- trying to organize kid visiting with friends at local arcade-and-food place (failed), and then pick up spouse in time to run over to the dealership and get a loaner car while they get one last teeny piece from Japan or something. (It's a kind of old car.)

Then we ate dinner over there, because rush hour traffic was hooooorrrrible and we didn't want to deal with that.

Havva Quote
w_______ says, "And then there are things like sucrose octanitrate, which is apparently explosive sugar."
arcangel says, "!!!"
w_______ |

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Accomplishments and Goals - 27 FEB 15

Feb. 27th, 2015 07:59 pm
gridlore: The word "Done!" in bold red letters. (Done!)
[personal profile] gridlore
Done today:

  • A lot of writing.

To be done tomorrow:

  • We're going to Costco.

  • More writing.

  • Start planning for FogCon.


  • Didn't eat well.

  • Forgot to take meds.

Cthulhu fishtagn!

Feb. 27th, 2015 10:48 pm
thnidu: A whale and a pot of petunias fall through space toward the Earth. By mitsje at (oh no not again)
[personal profile] thnidu

Huffington Post

Did This Man Catch A Giant Catfish, Or The Spawn Of Cthulhu?

One fish, two fish, red fish, OH GOD WHAT IS THIS?!

Italian man Dino Ferrari reeled in a 280-pound catfish behemoth in Italy's Po River last week, reminding us all that we are but mere mortals at the mercy of otherworldly demons.

Ferrari fought with the beast for 35 minutes before Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones deemed our hero worthy enough to pull victory from the murky abyss.

Ferrari released the fish back into its netherwordly home. In exchange, Ferrari gets to keep his soul.

big pic )

The stupidity continues.

Feb. 27th, 2015 08:26 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
[personal profile] naamah_darling
It was snowing today and very slick.  The Actual Bear was in a fender-bender, messing up her cute little blurple Honda Fit that she just got -- used, yeah, but in great shape and cute as hell.

Her insurance has a $500 deductible, and her rates are going to rise because of this.

Also, it was just shitty, a shitty thing to have happen, when she is already spread so thin.

And I'm still sick, blowing I-don't-know-what out of my nose and feeling shitty in general.  I'm okay, but I have shit for energy.  They're over there loading the last of her stuff onto the moving truck.  Half of it goes to her mom's garage, half to ours.  She doesn't have a new place to stay yet.  I feel awful for her.  I'm doing everything I humanly can to help, and it's not enough to fix this stupid bullshit.

I love her so much, and I wish I could just make this go away.

And the worst part is that she feels guilty, like she's been nothing but a burden since she moved back here, and I try in my trademarked ridiculous/funny/genuinely sweet way to get her to hear me when I say that none of this, none of this matters.  All that matters is that she is here, because my life is immeasurably better with her in it, even on the very worst day there is.  I am alternately sincere and silly and I hope that some of it sinks in.

And it helps that I know what depression is like, and panic, and hopelessness, and so I feel like I have a better chance of not saying the wrong things, not saying stupid things, like "don't cry" and "it's no big deal".  I let her cry on me, and it's as big a deal as it feels like to her, and feeling overwhelmed is totally okay and a thing that happens and it's fine to crawl off into a corner and die for a while if you need to, we will be perfectly happy to carry/drag you until the zombiepocalypse virus reanimates you.  So this feels like a thing I can do, at least, and not like a thing that is confusing or frustrating or scary.  It's like taking care of myself, only about ten thousand times easier.

I still wish that this stupid shit wasn't piling up on her.  I wish there was more I could do.

I hate being poor.  So much of this could be fixed with money.  Not even a lot of money.  Just, like, a normal income.  I'm so poor that the poverty line for a two person household is a 250% improvement.  There's not a whole lot of room for hope, there.  Even one thing going wrong wrecks it all.

I need to find food and take a nap or something.  I'm tired.  Just . . . tired.


Feb. 27th, 2015 02:02 pm
solarbird: (Default)
[personal profile] solarbird
Doing taxes. DOMA being overturned cut our medical insurance premiums by 40.2% year-to-year. Discrimination is expensive.

Learning by Osmosis

Feb. 27th, 2015 03:19 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
AI specialists at the University of Maryland have created a robot that can learn by observing.  This one taught itself to cook by watching YouTube.

This is epic.  It's the "monkey see, monkey do" moment.  One of the most crucial steps in creating artificial life is the ability of self-learning instead of programming.  More importantly, learning by observation -- rather than being trained explicitly -- is a feature of higher lifeforms such as humans, cetaceans, and great apes.  It lays a foundation for the "aha!" moment of awakening to self.  A robot might go through the motions and then suddenly understand  what they mean.

Just remember, an AI is like a small child.  They learn what they see.  They mimic what you do, not what you say.  So treat them as you want to be treated.  Teach them well.  Then they'll do great things, instead of going insane and trying to destroy the world.  


Feb. 27th, 2015 09:23 pm

Asexuals in Entertainment

Feb. 27th, 2015 02:34 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Here's a heartfelt post on why we need asexual characters, especially in positive roles.  But it's not just because asexual people need role models too.  It's because even sexual  people shouldn't be pressured all the time to get in a relationship.  Being single needs to be okay.

Ironically, one of the healthiest relationships in Polychrome Heroics is a quiet little villain/villain F/F.  Fortressa has declared that she is Through With Men.  Okay, fine, she can do that.  One of her henchwomen, Socket, has an almighty crush on Fortressa -- and has said absolutely nothing about it, because Fortressa isn't interested in a sexual/romantic relationship.  Instead, Socket is just always there for her, fixing up the battlesuit and making sure there's food in the shop fridge and generally trying to make Fortressa's life easier.  Because that's what true love is all about.  It's not about getting what you want out of the other person.  It's that condition in which somebody's happiness in integral to your own, so you do what you can to be there for them, however they  want you to.  It doesn't have to be sexual.  And what started out as a crush is slowly, inexorably, and quite beautifully growing into a squish which is fulfilling for both of them.

To find my asexual, celibate, demisexual, etc. characters, check out the QUILTBAG list.

Moment of Silence: Leonard Nimoy

Feb. 27th, 2015 01:00 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Leonard Nimoy has passed away.  He lived long, and prospered.  He both was and was not Spock.  But while everyone knows that role, I have another favorite too: he also starred in Brave New World, where it was utterly delightful to see him frisking around advising the other characters to be happy and have lots of promiscuous sex.

He taught us a lot about logic and emotion; more crucially still, the need to balance both in order to live well.  Along with the rest of the Star Trek teamfamily, he taught us about tolerance -- not just of others, but of ourselves.  He showed us glimpses, not just of one future, but of many futures.  In doing these things, he left an imprint that will last as long as our culture does.

So I'm sorry he's left us -- though he has left quite a lot to us -- and I'm really going to miss that man.  But on the other side...

Leonard Nimoy looks at the enormous mob burgeoning around The Great Con in the Sky.  Two cloud buses have arrived simultaneously.  One of them disgorges a flock of angels -- is that Metatron? -- while the other lets out a stream of tzadikim.  On the front lawn, a circle of Summerlanders are spit-roasting an entire ox.

Leonard shakes his head and sneaks around back in search of an open window.  Just as he is closing the window behind himself, a soft sound makes him whirl around.  "Gene!" he cries gladly.

"Hello, old friend," says Gene Roddenberry as they hug.  "Sorry about the crush out front.  People are excited to see you."

Leonard raises an eyebrow.  "Coming in the back way was a logical ruse," he says.  "But what are you  doing here?"

"Waiting for you," Gene replies.  "Since you made your peace with old Spock, I figured you'd take the logical route.  Come on, I'll show you where we stashed the secret Green Room.  If we hurry, we can get there before Isaac Asimov eats all the cookies."

Grinning, Leonard drapes a long arm over Gene's shoulders and says, "Lead the way."

RIP Leonard Nimoy

Feb. 27th, 2015 10:27 am
annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)
[personal profile] annathepiper


The original Star Trek series was one of my very first introductions to science fiction–and to science fiction fandom. When I started going to conventions in the late eighties, I was delighted to discover that a group of fan performers, headed up by the redoutable Julia Ecklar as Captain Kirk, had done a couple of live musical parodies of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. They used, respectively, West Side Story and South Pacific–giving us Wrath Side Story and Spock Pacific.

Dara digitized our old copies of these, and you can find them on her YouTube channel here.

I mention this because to this day, Dara and I still periodically break into song snippets from these performances, and I always DID love the opening number in particular: “WHAT AIN’T WE GOT? WE AIN’T GOT SPOCK!”

Now that line’s got a brand new poignance, since I am seeing the Internet explode with the news of the passing of Leonard Nimoy. The New York Times has an article here. covers the story here. John Scalzi has a post up here.

I started watching Trek in my mid-teens, and at that age, I was totally bowled over by Captain Kirk. But as I grew older I developed much more of an appreciation for Spock, and a couple of my very favorite episodes of the series–“Journey to Babel” and “Amok Time”–are Spock-centric episodes. His ongoing struggle between his human side and his Vulcan side makes Spock, for me, a truly compelling character. And it’s played so beautiful in his contentious relationship with his father, from whom he gets his dry Vulcan snark QUITE honestly. Moreover, the way Spock’s face lights up when he realizes he didn’t kill Kirk after all at the end of “Amok Time” is beautiful.

Trek is a strong current in the filk music I came to love as well, particularly the songs by the aforementioned Julia Ecklar. Julia has a wrenching song in particular about the destruction of the Enterprise, one which makes me tear up every time I hear it. But she’s also got a delightful one from McCoy’s point of view: “He’s Dead Jim”. And yet another about the resurrection of Trek fandom when the movies came out. Trek meant a LOT to her in her music, and this shone through into my own development as a fan of Star Trek. I came to admire Spock as a character even more when I saw the hints of an early romance between him and Uhura in the initial episodes–and when I realized he was a musician as well.

So I may be a Kirk fangirl, but Spock is right behind him in my affections.

We lost DeForest Kelley in 1999, and now we’ve lost the second of the triad of the characters that were the heart of the original Star Trek.

But I think I speak for every Trek fan in the world when I say that all of us will be happy to stand in for Doctor McCoy, and provide a place for Spock’s katra to live forever.

Rest in peace, Mr. Nimoy. You lived long and prospered. We will miss you.

I leave you with this rousing chorus:

We’ve an admiral brave and daring, he’s the best the fleet has got!
We’ve a helmsman who’s named Sulu and an engineer named Scott
A Russian navigator and a slightly schizoid doc
But what ain’t we got? WE AIN’T GOT SPOCK!

There is nothing quite like Spock!
Nothing in the world
There is nothing you can grok
That is anything quite like Spock!

Editing to add:

And I also leave you with this.

Speaking of Julia Ecklar, here’s that song I mentioned above about the destruction of the Enterprise. This is “Fallen Angel”, from her album Divine Intervention. It brings me to tears every damn time I hear it, and I’m crying today as I transcribe the lyrics. And the solemn French horn that comes in at the line “there are stars before my eyes”, evocative of the Star Trek theme, particularly kills me.

You can find the album on iTunes, or from Prometheus Music here.

My god, what have I done? Is this what I had to do?
I paid to save six lives–was it worth the price of you?
I would take your spirit in me, to make you live again
But your fire dies across the sky
My god, is this the end?

My steel-and-stardrive lady, my soul’s death is at your hands
As your own death was at mine, love
Though even I can’t understand
Why we gods can’t live forever–why should legends have to die?
As you wail to sleep in glory, my heart still seeks the sky

There are stars before my eyes
But they pale to your dying
You swore we’d outlive time
Oh my love, were you, too, lying?
What’s my life without your singing?
When I’m naught but flesh and bone?
Where have I damned my lover’s soul
To wander all alone?

But this death I can’t deny, as you fade to distant ember
My need to steal from death cost you, love, but I’ll remember
And I long to burn there with you, to never live again
Forever we would light the sky–my god, is this the end?

Mirrored from

RIP Leonard Nimoy

Feb. 27th, 2015 10:13 am
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[personal profile] solarbird

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