Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 03:07 pm
from Facebook, albeit via a DW friend, because I'm sick:

Read more... )
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Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 09:33 am
Hope not Hate is coming to the US, to counter the rise of international hate groups. American friends, you can sign up here.
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Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 04:07 am
Title: Love
Fandom: Due South
Characters: Rayk and Dief
Rating: G
Word Count: 100
Summary: Ray thinks love sucks
An: Written for the ds_snippets prompt: hammer
An2: Also here at AO3

Also here at ds_snippets

‘due )
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Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 09:34 pm
Penelope Lister Hemingway, River Ganseys: Strikin' t'loop, Swaving, and Other Yorkshire Knitting Curiosities Revived from the Archives (2015): the thesis that winds through it is that ganseys (a set of ways for making pullovers) are an emanation of the Industrial Age, late C18 into the English Regency. It needed better editing than its tiny indie press could offer. Half is heavily personalized historical overview---whenever we meet her ancestors in the historical record, she points it out even if there's no family account to add to what records indicate; half is howto.

On p. 70, near the end of a chapter on nineteenth-century knitting in Yorkshire schools, prisons, and homes, Hemingway implies that being taught to knit in school according to a curriculum is what led to holding the needles "British" style (I've always heard "English" and have no idea how Welsh, Scottish, Cornish, or indeed Manx knitters may have tended to position their hands). At home, she says, they'd probably continued the older manner of "holding needles under fists" and throwing the yarn "continental" style. Interesting, though because there aren't enough trappings of scholarly approach, I have no idea whether Hemingway was able/interested in scholarly due diligence....

She suggests that the cables aren't mirrored in ganseys because of an old fear of mirrored reflection; she describes green as the forbidden color on account of "creation/god" (p. 92), though I know it as fairy-color from medieval texts. (Or any number of other things, including Buchan's Witch Wood.) In any case, vanishingly few bird motifs on ganseys, either.

ObContemporaryRetake: Seascale and Ardmore fall into one basket; Rocquaine and Guernsey make another.
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Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 01:01 pm
In case anyone doesn't already know:

[community profile] hlh_shortcuts.

(I mean, I didn't. There might be someone else who doesn't?)
Monday, September 18th, 2017 07:58 pm
Cut for image )

Doll-finzzzz~! I'm giving the image hosting site Imgur a try at a friend's recommendation, after ranting hardcore at them about Photobucket being a butt. (Dreamwidth, I love you, and I am 100% going to store more images here and love it, especially for accessibility, but you currently don't have the image organization tools that I require. I have well over five hundred pictures of crocheted things alone, and don't care to try and sort through all of them every time I want to get to a Dreamsheep icon, for example.)

Anyway, these are all of the dolphins I've made so far for ICON, the local SFF con, one of whose staff members commissioned me to make a little somethin' for the Con Benefactor bags. They only need seventeen, but I'm like, why stop there? So I'm currently up to twenty-six, and there's still another week-and-a-half before the con for me to make more.

Lots of colors were specifically requested, or I probably (definitely) would've gone with all pale blue/periwinkle/gray/vaguely-real-dolphin-color-ish. (The color of the four light-blue-ish dolphins in the top of the picture is listed as "lavender" on the yarn. I mean, it looks a lot more blue-ish to me, but there's something like a 25-50% chance I'm a carrier for red/green colorblindness, so.) I think I'm kinda glad for that request, because it's actually made using the same pattern over and over again less boring :P I love how naturally the yarn tends to stripe, too.
Monday, September 18th, 2017 07:57 pm
I harvested two of the candy roaster squash today -- on was 8lb and the other was 13.5lb.

Someone stole the third one of the garden sometime in the last week -- so I have a terrible neighbor, somewhere.

The table gold acorn squash are progressing well. I might harvest one of those soon as well.
Monday, September 18th, 2017 08:36 am
We were reviewing the kidlet's U.S. history project on Colonial Virginia, which involved Jamestown, and I took it kind of farther than his teacher did. (I do that a lot. History is broadly expansive.) Also I got to explain that Captain John Smith was an asshole, and I got to whine later to Mr. Havoc that I really don't like Pocahontas (the Disney film), not because I don't like Pocahontas (she was awesome), but because John Smith was an asshole, not a romantic lead.

You have no idea how much my dad told me about John Smith and Jamestown when I was a kid. You really have no idea.

So I also learned that the kidlet didn't know why the Church of England formed, and this all culminated in my explaining to him that Henry VIII wanted to get remarried, the Pope told him no, and the Henry said, essentially, "Screw you, I'm the King of England! I'll start my own church!"

It was a glorious moment. I love being a parent.
Monday, September 18th, 2017 03:08 am
I am not happy with my response time these days. I read people's new entries almost every day, but if I'm on the tablet, I only read. For typing, I need the laptop, which I only turn that on 2-3 times a week now, so I often fall behind with posting and replying. When I'm feeling better, I do turn on the laptop almost every day, but right now... I've been feeling exhausted and have been having trouble focusing. Earlier, I took some ingredients out of the fridge, and then just stood there staring at it for a few minutes; the gears in my head aren't turning as they should.

Also, on Friday I was agitated because I really needed touch, and then on both Saturday and Sunday I was nearly going crazy with the need, actually cried several times in frustration. I desperately wanted to talk to T, but I am making myself wait until Monday (she works weekends). I expect that talking to her will help at least a little, but I wish so much that I could see her in person. Gods, this weekend was so unbearable, if I had a ton of money I would have bought a plane ticket on the spot.

I feel a bit better now (Sunday evening), though. I had to force myself to go out today, because I wanted to just stay in bed. I did it reluctantly, but I did do my arm exercises and the 5-mile walk with Wyn, and I think it helped, because I felt noticeably better afterwards. I wouldn't have had the motivation to do it for myself, but I was thinking of Cor; I want to help, and to do that I first need to be functional, so for his sake I will do what I need to do.

Oh, some good news: Firefly gave me some potatoes, and after I had my dinner there was still some left over, and I thought "do I want more?" and the answer was no, I'm pleasantly full. Which makes today the first time in months that my hunger has been satisfied. It feels soooo good to not be hungry. I'm still rationing, and still no sign of a job on the horizon, but today has been...comfortable (at least food-wise), which I really really appreciate, after having lived with the discomfort of constant hunger for such a long time.

I hope this entry doesn't sound too negative. The exercise and food has helped immensely, and those positives are my focus, but I don't know if it comes across that way. Hopefully tomorrow will be similarly good with food and exercise, and if I can talk to T, that would make it and even better day, so I'm feeling optimistic.
Sunday, September 17th, 2017 08:59 pm
___Sand is shelved until my mother's cardigan has been finished. Having put myself more or less on deadline for my mother's cardigan and the pi shawl (how is the weather fall-like already?), I found the next day that I needed something more portable than a cardigan and less fussy than the pi shawl. (I worry that carrying the shawl around would fuzz up its yarn.) For back-to-school night I've cast on my sage/off-white Herbarium, and its one small ear will sit in a bag until the next time I need something easy. For back-to-school night I've also written a sentence about something I did in first grade (visit the local library once a week, every week) and drawn a quick picture to accompany it: minus ten potential knitting minutes. :P

(Who knows whether she'll even wear her cardigan---she hasn't worn the poncho that she requested and I knitted two years ago---but this pattern is loose enough to fit me, too, though the sleeves would be short. We currently wear the same storebought shirt size but with different proportions at each point. Anyway, Reason wants like burning to inherit this cardigan despite being too small for it now, and I've been bidden not to rip it back.)

I've realized that for the paired indigo-cochineal shawls, the two colorways are too similar to make the bicolor mosaic motif "pop" properly. There's a US source that sells both Hespa---though not in the colorways my mother has bought---and conventionally dyed Ístex. I've made my best guess at one skein for just the mosaic rows; the stripes that frame them can use the gifted yarn and be a bit patchy. My stash included a bit of Ístex einband already, so it was clear upon meeting the Hespa skeins that they use the same yarn base.
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Sunday, September 17th, 2017 10:56 pm

Exit Light (77427 words) by Dragonflies_and_Katydids
Chapters: 22/22
Fandom: Dragon Age - All Media Types, Dragon Age: Inquisition
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Iron Bull/Cullen Rutherford, Dorian Pavus/Cullen Rutherford, Iron Bull/Dorian Pavus/Cullen Rutherford, Iron Bull/Dorian Pavus
Characters: Cullen Rutherford, Iron Bull, Dorian Pavus, Cassandra Pentaghast, Cremisius "Krem" Aclassi, various OCs, Cole (Dragon Age)
Additional Tags: Angst, Addiction, Depression, Suicidal Thoughts, D/s, Threesome - M/M/M, Dominance & Submission, Mildly Dubious Consent, Suicide Attempt, POV Cullen Rutherford, Alcohol Abuse/Alcoholism, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD
Series: Part 1 of Dawn
Summary: Cullen struggles with his lyrium addiction. Some days are better than others. Or (if you prefer a silly summary for a not-so-silly fic): In which Cullen is suicidally depressed, Dorian is a high-functioning alcoholic, and Bull just wants them both to be happy, except when he wants to crack their heads together for being emotionally stunted idiots. Spoilers galore, particularly for Cullen's, Dorian's, and Bull's personal quests.

Why I loved this: Oh man if you want a heartbreaking, yet amazingly perfect and ultimately hopeful Cullen-has-trauma-can't-deal-but-gets-there-with-Bull-and-Dorian fic this is for you. I feel like this is a story that understands depression (pay attention to the tags, this is not a fluffy fic). Cullen's head is not a nice place and the focus of the story is him and his ultimate survival through a really dark period that begins when he quits lyrium. Starting a relationship with Iron Bull is the beginning, and it enfolds Dorian, who's a mess of issues, and I just really love how this story evolved and they all get through it.
Sunday, September 17th, 2017 03:26 pm
* I may not have finished watching Damo, but parts of its soundtrack (and the Tearliner contributions to Coffee Prince's OST, esp. "Go Go Chan") have been great for lulling an overextended child to sleep. In infancy, the title track in its oboe-solo iteration; now, as long as I don't use it often, the semi-power ballad "Bi ga." heh. If the fingers slip in choosing a track, just catch "Fate" before it gets going---not so restful.

* A week after Irma had passed him, my father declared that all was well except for how much the media had lied to everyone to let supermarkets drive prices up for water and supplies. I informed him that he was lucky and changed the subject. His electrical power is still out, but somehow that has nothing to do with whether the radio's weather announcer lied.

#notalloctogenarians but they sure sound like five-year-olds sometimes. No doubt the contrast would be less inviting if I weren't able to compare numerous six- and seven-year-olds of my acquaintance favorably to my father, eh? I'm aware that sometimes people just never "grow up." He did; I remember. It's a blessing that he doesn't remember what he's lost and losing---that would be harder all around.

Meanwhile, the same phone chat made it clear that he's become able to sympathize with his incomplete picture of my health issues/concerns because partner has talked with him about them. Doesn't matter what I say. But I understand a bit better now how he failed to comprehend my mother's illness with Bell's palsy for two years, longer than most people suffer it, since she had no rest or help. Then they divorced, which should've happened sooner, and her life improved. That part is years and years ago, during my early twenties.
Crawl back under your rock of self-estrangement

* It is difficult to use the internet to research specific remedies and palliative measures (for me) without swimming forever amidst groundless hearsay. Bring back 1997. (Not really.)
Saturday, September 16th, 2017 06:57 pm
One of my favorite parts of this summer has been Saturday morning breakfasts at Botto's Bakery in Portland, Maine after dropping QuietDragon off at work (well his former workplace, but that is a story for another time).

Botto's Bakery is a wonderful, locally owned Italian Bakery that has been in business for at least a couple of generations. They have a large wholesale side, and make bread and pizza dough for a whole lot of restaurants in Maine. They also have a very charming retail storefront, with two small tables (though I am the only one who seems to sit and use them, there is a steady stream of people as I sit and eat, buying bread or pastries and taking it all to go.

When you pull up, you are greeted by an Italian flag.

Arrival

Continue to the rest of the tour... )

In short, this place is a treasure, with delicious food and is well worth visiting is you are ever in Portland. Me, I plan to stop there anytime I am in Portland in the mornings.
Sunday, September 17th, 2017 08:08 pm
Currently Reading: Alex Beecroft, 'Blue Eyed Stranger'; Griffith Review 36; misc other... stuff

Recently Finished:

Interpreter of MaladiesInterpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was an *interesting*, if unsettling, book. Some of the stories keep coming back in fragments in my mind: the perspective choice in When Mr Pirzada Came To Dine, to recount the Bangladeshi-Pakistani conflict through the incomplete perceptions of a child, was a particularly arresting one. The Treatment of Bibi Haldar left me with anger I was unable to properly defuse for some time - the girl with her under-treated illness, the it suddenly became clear she was being sexually abused, without the story ever specifying that because none of the characters even seemed to *think* of it. The titular story made me quite uncomfortable, but was intricately composed.

I think my favourite was the last, 'The third and final continent' - its characterisation of the boarding-house owner in particular moved me, for whatever reason.

Courting the CountessCourting the Countess by Jenny Frame

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Mmm, I just don't know how I feel about this one. It was compelling, and it was a nice change to see this rough plot arc played out with women (I see it a lot in m/m romance: career focused commitmentphobe meets some nice chappy who insists on commitment in red letters, angst ensues and we end with matrimony-like arrangements). But I found myself irked by the emphasis on Annie's lack of experience, and by just HOW heavily the 'the right woman will cure all your emotional traumas and then you marry' notes fell.

I found myself shipping the two supporting characters, Bridget the Vicar and Quin the Farmer, much more strongly than the main pairing. Apparently there's a sequel about Bridget the Vicar but it's not matching her with Quin the Farmer, so. I may or may not.

Spindle's EndSpindle's End by Robin McKinley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was a delightful fairy tale, but like... inexplicable heterosexuality? I mean. The two girls were running around BREATHING THE SAME BREATH and there was TRUE LOVE'S KISS and everything. Narl was sweet, but note Our Heroine only fell in love with him when she suddenly thought he was in love with her best friend? And when her best friend suddenly and obviously fell in love with another dude?

Look Both Ways: Bisexual PoliticsLook Both Ways: Bisexual Politics by Jennifer Baumgardner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This was a frustrating book. I learned a lot of interesting trivia about 90s pop culture, including that there were far more bisexuals in it than I thought. There were some occasionally well-phrased ways of expressing ideas I've seen before, but nothing particularly ground-breaking. Even taking into account that it's over a decade old, 'Closer to Home' is much older and MUCH more insightful.

This was... magazine-y. I've never read Ms magazine, for which the author used to write, but in Australian terms it felt like... Cleo: The Bisexual Special. Only with a weirdly uncritical Thing for second-wave feminist foremothers, without any of their depth. (One of the well-phrased ideas was that second wave feminist criticism did not actually equip the young women of the 90s to fully reshape or realise their relationships with men, but even that point turned into weird bitterness without offering an alternative. I wanted to smack the author upside the head and say READ MORE BELL HOOKS.)

For something subtitled 'bisexual politics' it's actually about 'bisexual female existence in a particular culture bubble', with limited political ANYTHING.


Also finished, to review later: Madhur Jaffrey's 'Vegetarian India'; Carolyn Larrington 'Brothers and Sisters in Medieval European Literature'; Aviolot 'The Course of Honour'; Alex Beecroft 'Trowchester Blues'; Catherynne M Valente, 'The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making'.




Music notes: Saw Back N Black, the Swiss all-girl AC/DC cover band I saw back in 2014. They seem to be going through Drama, and were filling out the ranks with dudes on second guitar, bass and drums, but it was still a pretty good show. I got showered in fake blood courtesy of BB, the lead guitarist. This was unfortunate for my new cream t-shirt, but I think I've go the stains out now.

In celebration I bought myself 'Let There Be Rock'. I actually only owned one accadacca album and a couple of stray MP3s, until now. Clearly an oversight.
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Sunday, September 17th, 2017 09:45 pm
I haven't had spare energy for a lot of things lately, in particular for blogging. I've a short term contract, in which I'm attempting to debug some code, which is going somewhat slowly (the first bit was a trivially short piece of code that turned out to have a single wrong command buried in it, but it took some sorting out how that command differed from what it ought have been). Other than that, over the weekend (including Friday night) I
  • Briefly went to work Friday drinks; I think I know everyone's names...
  • Friday dinner at Han's cafe; stupidly ended up ordering a fish dish that came battered. Ate it anyway; stomach sore Saturday, but no emotional meltdown. Will continue minimising gluten, but nice to know that a slip up isn't always a disaster.
  • Went to see Totoro on the big screen at Innaloo on Friday night (with artisanat and friend S)
  • Slept in Saturday, because youngest was in Sydney, and thus did not have training*
  • Went to dance, despite really not wanting to. Entire class was focused on how to push one's heel forward correctly (battement tendu, battement long, fondu, some other things I've forgotten). Hips are Very! Sore! today. Turns out that I have sufficient flexibility in my toes that 'tuck your little toes under' is a cheat for me, so that I don't actually stretch where I should -- everyone else has to stretch to do that.
  • Crafternoon. Finished the border on a blanket that has been abandoned for some time (crochet, all the pink variegated yarns). Sewed in the ends. Now it just needs blocking. Watched the first episode of Outlander, because I had it queued up and ready to go when ariaflame arrived, and they were happy to watch as well.
  • Attended the evening part of a friend's 40th birthday festivities; cocktail bar, I am the kind of person who drinks scotch and dry when cocktails are on offer.
  • Went to a marriage equality rally**. Am very quietly grumpy at all the people calling it 'same sex marriage'. Went and was nice to one of the people standing at the side wearing t-shirts saying something like 'Libs and Nats for marriage equality', to make sure that they got positive feedback for being at an event where they could well be a long way off the political beliefs of the majority
  • Met up with a number of people at said rally; six of us went in to Claisebrook for lunch. Tasty lunch, although not convinced that either of the options were good for me. All were gluten free though (and the pasta was v. nice; risotto was a bit richer than I was expecting).
  • Came home, lay down, failed to achieve anything. I have to go to work tomorrow, but ow, I really really don't want to. Hurts a lot.

    * team came fourth of seven; youngest got to very briefly catch up with a few family members, and delivered some gifts that have been mooching around the house since last December
    ** with artisanat and middlest. Eldest was fast asleep and grunted at the idea of getting out of the house to make it in to the city for 10am
Sunday, September 17th, 2017 08:11 am
[personal profile] analise010 is doing a one-card draw, or more cards for the price of a coffee.
Sunday, September 17th, 2017 02:46 am
Breakfast with partner and metamour Leopard Girl.

Seanan McGuire event in Silverdale. We brought tribute, and were briefly Seanan's favorite. (Diet Dr Pepper and candy corn. Seanan is a being of predictable tastes.)

Mini muffin tin quest!

Partner made a note they should chat with our mutual friend in London about stuff. Hooray, viable communities.

Dinner for the extended polycule, with many dishes thanks to Trader Joe's. (Rice, orange chicken with extra zesty sauce but no carrots since we ran out, BBQ pork buns, pot stickers, spring rolls, and green beans. The rice and green beans weren't pre-packaged, and I do a little customization to the chicken by adding orange peel and scallions. The gyoza and bao steam over the rice, and the spring rolls could bake with the chicken. The green beans start frozen and get gently fried with seasonings. Usually it's butter and Montreal steak seasoning, but Stray Puppy Girl is very lactose intolerant, and Leopard Girl dislikes red pepper. So I went for sesame oil, garlic, onion, pepper, salt, ginger, a packet of soy sauce that needed using, and the excess teriyaki sauce from the other night. It turned out well. To my immense gratification, my partner really likes all the iterations of the green beans that I have made so far. Generally they disappear immediately.)

Club night. Without going into excessive detail, one of the groups near the people I was with were having a hilarious time, and kept setting each other off giggling. That prompted our group to giggle. The glee was infectious.

Everyone is spending the night. We hauled the camping pads out of the alleged guest room (it is currently not in a state for guests as my textiles have exploded all over it) and they're set up next to the futon in case it turns from cozy to crowded in the middle of the night. Things are well set up for breakfast, and there should be cheesecake at some point (thus the mini muffin tins).
Saturday, September 16th, 2017 08:31 pm
I went with [personal profile] greenygal to Small Press Expo today. [profile] ipleasance was supposed to come put came up sick; [personal profile] greenygal got her hardcopies of Check Please!.

There was, as always, a lot of incredible talent on display! The stand-out for me was the art forReturn of the Dapper Men (available from TopShelf)-- I talked to the artist Janet Lee brief, and looked a some pages of artwork she had brought. It's decoupage!

Also, I picked up an A to Z minicomic of dinosaurs. It was adorable, and I wound up talking to the artist about opposite birds. There weren't nearly enough dinosaur or science books this year, in my opinion, but I admit it's a niche interest.

When we were gearing up to leave, we chatted with a librarian from NY (city or state, I don't know) about some of the middle-readers we'd seen. She was there on a press pass, so I hope she can get a good story and write-ups for some of the more interesting books into the library trade publications. There are a lot of really interesting and diverse works out there that need more exposure.