Reading, Listening, Watching

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 20:34
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
[personal profile] purplecat
Reading: Still Crime and Punishment which should be no surprise. However I had anticipated being further in than Chapter 5 by this point.

Listening: Stuff you Missed in History Class on William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman. So far he's invented a lie detector and is investigating women's emotional responses to bondage - suddenly Wonder Woman's lasso takes on a whole new dimension. He appears to have been both a feminist of sorts* and a polygamist. The former of which is, I gather, very evident in the early Wonder Woman comics (particularly his belief that the world would be a better place if run by women) the latter somewhat less so.

Watching: We have discovered Stanger Things. Very reminiscent of E.T. (it opens with a D&D game, is set in the 1980s and much of it is short from a child height viewpoint (a characteristic of E.T. according to B.))

*neither of his partners got suitable credit for their, in some cases considerable, input into his work.

Texas Capitol Building

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 20:09
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
[personal profile] purplecat
While I was in Texas an old friend and his wife took me out for the day including a trip around Texas' Capitol





Piccies Under the Cut )

So, about Jingrui

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 17:44
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
[personal profile] branchandroot
And here’s where I run into problems with anything that moves Jingrui’s relationships to somewhere they are not currently: Jingrui takes things at face value. He’s not dumb or unsophisticated; on the contrary, he observes quite accurately that, for example, Su Zhe does not particularly like (or suit) working for Prince Yu. But it’s Yujin, not Jingrui, who spots that maybe Su /isn’t/. Jingrui is trusting to an alarming extent, considering his family.

This suggests to me that both sides of his family, and in fact everyone else of his acquaintance, have deliberately kept him out of Serious Business concerns, and have probably done so from day one. It further suggests that, despite that, he’s gotten regular confirmation that he’s valued and loved. Watching the way he interacts with everyone except the Marquis, even while things are falling apart and blowing up, I think we can bet on this–there’s been a feedback loop there, his whole life, in which Jingrui is open hearted and is therefore cherished by his family, and therefore keeps being open hearted and trusting, and is therefore sheltered, and so on.

Which means that Jingrui probably also has a tendency to go with the flow and trust that everything will turn out, until or unless he’s whacked over the head with something that is clearly Wrong in some way. (Jingrui inspires me to use capitals, too.) So shifting his relationship with Yujin, especially if we assume Yujin has been taking some trouble to be a bit misdirecting thanks to his fear to screwing things up, is… going to take some work, let’s put it that way.

I do find it interesting that Jingrui apparently idolized Lin Shu (at least, Yujin says he was the one always running after Lin Shu, and dragging Yujin along), and keeps idolizing him, even in disguise. Jingrui might not /do/ the incisive insight thing, but he does seem to /respect/ it, very highly. (One possibility here: that he notices this characteristic as it comes out more strongly in Yujin.) I suspect part of Jingrui’s youthful cousin-crush was also that Lin Shu was already in the military. Jingrui gets the warrior thing from both sides of his family, both the in-system and out-system versions. I suspect the military is genuinely Jingrui’s career goal, insofar as he has one; the camaraderie of soldiers, as presented in the story, seems very like what Jingrui values in his relationships, and it’s what he’s been raised to. (Alternate possibility: Jingrui and Yujin’s squads can’t take the pining any longer and set them up.)

So, if Yujin is currently Prince Ji’s understudy, I kind of think Jingrui is Meng’s. The trick will be moving them both toward a little conjoint personal development when both characters have so much inertia built up in their current positions.

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truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Dear Senator Johnson:

I'm writing to ask you to put pressure on Senator McConnell to release the text of the AHCA bill and to hold public hearings before the bill is put to the vote. I ask this in a nonpartisan spirit, simply as a principle of ethical governance. Patrick Henry said in 1788, "The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them. . . . to cover with the veil of secrecy the common routine of business, is an abomination in the eyes of every intelligent man, and every friend to his country." I believe that's as true now as it was then.

Please don't let Senator McConnell set a precedent with the AHCA. Insist that the text of the bill be published. Insist that there be public hearings. We fall short of the ideal of American democracy a lot of the time, but we are better than this crude and childish attempt to strong-arm an unpopular bill through the Senate by refusing to let anyone see it.

It would only take three Republican senators refusing to vote for the AHCA without proper disclosure and hearings to make it impossible for Senator McConnell's strategy to succeed. I would like to believe, not only that there are three Republican senators who have the ethical and moral strength to make that refusal, but also that the senior senator from Wisconsin is one of them.

Moving House

Monday, 19 June 2017 19:35
liralen: A pictures of one of my bees (bee)
[personal profile] liralen
When we first set up the hive, it had to be away from the house because we were replacing the roof and the solar panels on the south side of the house had to come down before the roof could be put on. So we put the hive on the North side of the yard, facing South to catch the sun in the entrance on most days.

But the entrance also faced the biggest part of our backyard lawn, and the flight path for the bees was right over the grassy area where all the kids would play if we had a party again in our backyard. So we had to move the hive.
Read more... )

About Yujin

Monday, 19 June 2017 17:44
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
[personal profile] branchandroot
The latest story is stalled in the way that usually means there’s something about these characters that I don’t know yet, so let’s think out loud for a bit about Yujin. (It may be Jingrui, but we’ll start with Yujin.)

The first thing that comes to mind is that Yujin is seriously Prince Ji’s understudy, which in turn suggests immediately that Yujin’s sunny smile is a bit of a front. This is not actually surprising, given that Yujin’s family life kind of shafted him. He’s the son of a woman his father didn’t love, and has been pretty roundly ignored by his father all his life. No matter how well-adjusted a kid is, that leaves a mark. I also note that Yujin is the one who says Lin Shu was impatient with the younger kids and not fun to be around, and that Jingrui was the one who dragged them both after Lin Shu all the time. Yujin preferred Prince Qi.

Now that’s interesting. Because Yujin is clearly reasonably smart, and very observant; he follows along with all the complicated plans easily. But he preferred the significantly older Prince Qi to the brilliant and older but still part of his own generation Lin Shu. So, yeah, I’m checking the box for “dad issues” here, and running on the supposition that Yujin has basically been hungry for any kind of father figure (which probably also ties into his friendship with Prince Ji).

And I have to wonder whether Yujin’s social-butterfly mode isn’t a way of reassuring himself that, whatever’s wrong with him (because of course he thinks there’s something wrong with him) it can’t be /too/ bad, right? You can see hints of this anxiety in what he says when he comes to thank MCS for fixing his family–thanking him for /allowing Yujin to be properly filial, which he’s been failing to do/. Of course Yujin frames this as all his fault, and I don’t think that’s purely down to cultural convention.

Yujin is a very accomplished fighter (in the top ten of the tournament, survives the attack on the spring hunt) and quite willing to follow Jingrui around the pugilist world, but he has no contacts of his own there. He also isn’t the understudy of any of the military types, so I’m guessing that the military was never an ambition of his. Instead, he’s following as closely as possible in his family’s diplomatic footsteps (put another check in “dad issues” I’m thinking) which may, therefore, be both his hope and his interest. He’s definitely the one who reads people best, identifying right away when someone is having a one on one and dragging Jingrui away, setting up Prince Ji to witness Wei’s escape, etc.

Interpersonally… well, here’s where he gets slippery. Because Yujin seems to have no personal friends or connections besides Jingrui. He’s cut off from his family, for most of the series, and his social activities center, not to put too fine a point on it, among paid companions. He’s socially adept, but I’m guessing that he’s going to have some problems with any kind of mid-range relationships (not father or Jingrui but not courtesans either). And if there’s the slightest hint that something he does might injure his relationship with his father or Jingrui, he’s almost certainly going to strike that off the menu of options rather than risk it.

…which suggests that it’s /Jingrui/ who’s going to have to make the first move, oh god. Because Yujin will /never risk it/. That’s it, right there. *headdesk* Oh, this’ll be such a pain. Okay, need to think about Jingrui next.

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yikes

Monday, 19 June 2017 00:23
karanguni: (Default)
[personal profile] karanguni
I've missed my June checkin for getyourwordsout, I am so behind on any personal writing, and I've only a handful of prompts I'm seeing myself capable of doing for notprimetime treats. D: D: D: Need a day off from work that's not a weekend where I'm trying to take a day off from doing anything; god almighty.

It is a work in progress

Sunday, 18 June 2017 22:08
amberleewriter: Joe and Methos on the road (On the Road)
[personal profile] amberleewriter
Well, we made it to our new condo with a 26ft Uhaul full of junk and two kitties. We are just starting to see the light at the start of the organization tunnel but the 28ft trailer will be delivered on Wednesday and the pro movers will show up Thursday to vomit all of that out into our space. I'd ask how I got so much junk, but I know how - too many people died and I kept a bunch of their stuff!

We have a plan regarding storage/sorting/getting rid of things that will go into effect as soon as our large furniture gets put into place. It will be nice to finally have my books out of boxes. Many of them are writing references and not having them has made it difficult for me to even think about writing.

This place is far from perfect, but it's a start. It got us out here. And my foot is very unhappy with all the up and down on 2 flights of stairs when I have to do when attempting laundry. Still, I will think of it as PT and strength training for the bugger. As for other things, we will shift from a life above ground to staying with the cats in the unfinished basement as soon as we pick the people doing our upstairs in hardwood. When they bring the wood to get adjusted to our home we will trot down and wait until they are finished to get the rest of the upstairs unpacked and ready to roll. Should be somewhere around three weeks.

I'll try to take some photos at some point and post them. I pick up paint tomorrow for our living/dining area so the major walls where the entertainment unit, couch, and bookshelves go will have time to cure before Thursday.

In short, massive busy. Insert Kermit Flail gif here.

Wonder Woman

Sunday, 18 June 2017 14:32
karanguni: (Default)
[personal profile] karanguni
... was like empty calories, but good empty calories. Loved the women, but wow, such plot, so Great War trope, wow.

[Fic] Red Heart and White Sword

Sunday, 18 June 2017 16:22
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)
[personal profile] branchandroot

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Nirvana in Fire, In Every Time and Season
Characters/Pairings: Cai Quan, Eunuch Gao, Gong Yu, Jingyan/Shu, Li Len, Lin Shu | Mei Changsu, Liu An, Mu Nihuang, Nihuang/Shu, Shen Zhui, Xia Dong, Xiao Jingyan, Xiao Xuan, Zhao Wei
Summary: Lin Shu and Nihuang settle into life at court, in the field, and in Jingyan's home while Lin Manor is repaired. The rest of the court may need a few stiff drinks to recover from the process, especially once a complex political scandal breaks in the middle of it.
Meta: Drama with Politics and Porn, I-4
Wordcount: 22852

Now Jingyan returned his gaze, steady and serious. "Even though you hoped to be done with being the strategist, after Prince Qi, my brother's, and Lin's and Chiyan's names were restored?"

For a long moment, he was silent, because that had been true. "I did finish with it, though," he said at last, slowly. "And I returned to my old self, my own world, long enough to die there. I thought that would be the end of it, and I still believe I was right about that. This," he swept a hand around, at the palace, at the ministers and officials and ladies moving through the halls and gardens, each intent on their own ends and ambitions, and the three of them in the middle of it all, "this is what comes after that end, another new life." He gave Jingyan a tiny smile. "Now, what I can do, all that I can do, is for you and with you, nothing held back. That's as it should be, and I have no wish to be done with it."

Red Heart and White Sword )
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
[personal profile] branchandroot
The little mildly-kinky Jingyan/Lin Shu porn story demands to be titled “The Yellow Season”. I would like it to be understood that I do not /normally/ make dreadful puns or linguistic jokes in my story titles, so perhaps this can just be considered, I don’t know, truth in advertising or something?

Is it too late to not use Taoist color symbolism for the titles in this arc? It is, isn’t it? *sighs*

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How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

Saturday, 17 June 2017 10:24
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
So, I try very hard not to hate people. It takes energy away from things I'd rather be doing, and it's destructive of the soul. (There isn't a secular word that means quite what "soul" does--"psyche" is the closest, and it's not very close. And I'm really talking about the soul, the part of you that struggles with good and evil. Just understand that I don't mean it in a religious sense, but in a moral/ethical once.) But then you get to where we are right now, in a dystopia imagined by Monty Python (the president is "yelling at television sets in the White House," reports the Associated Press), and I realized that, yeah, okay, I've got a lot of hatred going on here, but also that this is not unreasonable, and here's why:

  1. The American Health Care Act
  2. Executive Order 13792 (the one trying to take away National Monument status from, hey, National Monuments)
  3. The whole thing with Russia
  4. This new policy rollback with Cuba
  5. The general determination to undo everything Obama did, just because Obama did it
  6. His behavior toward Israel
  7. His behavior toward everybody in the Middle East, even leaving aside the "Mother of All Bombs"
  8. His behavior toward the Mayor of London
  9. His behavior toward Angela Merkel and the German people
  10. His behavior toward the CIA
  11. His behavior toward the FBI
  12. His behavior toward the Pope
  13. Also the appointment of Newt Gingrich's wife as Ambassador to the Vatican
  14. Ditto John McCain's wife as "ambassador at large." We can see what you're doing, people.
  15. His stupid-ass decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord
  16. The ongoing hypocrisy of (a) yelling about "fake news", (b) yelling about "witch hunts", (c) demanding apologies from all & sundry
  17. The lying, for fuck's sake.
  18. The excruciatingly blatant nepotism. (Most recently, choosing his event planner--who has lied about having a law degree--to "to head up the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey, where she’ll oversee distribution of billions of taxpayer dollars.")
  19. Betsy DeVos
  20. The quiet rollback of the federal government's role in defending civil rights
  21. The catastrophic budget cuts to the EPA, the NEH, and everything that isn't (a) guns or (b) more butter for the rich
  22. Choosing to mark Pride Month by going to a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, where he praised the founders of the FFC and of Focus on the Family, both of which organizations are poisonously homophobic
  23. The "Mother of All Bombs"
  24. The travel ban
  25. ICE
  26. Melissa Ortiz
  27. That completely bizarre televised Trump-worship circle with his Cabinet
  28. Remember way back when, when he made fun of a reporter with a disability on national TV?
  29. And let's not forget the sexual assault thing, either, or the "locker room talk"
  30. The "plan" (please notice sarcastic quote marks) to privatize infrastructure, starting with air traffic control
  31. His ignorance of the basics of American history, like, you know, the Civil War
  32. His atrocious behavior on Twitter after the terrorist attack in London
  33. The way he fucks off to play golf, like the terrible conflicts he has sparked in his own country (both accidentally and 100% deliberately) don't matter
  34. His completely casual leaks of classified information (and don't give me that bullshit "ignorance" excuse; a FIVE YEAR OLD would know better than that)
  35. His complete failure to behave, in any way or in any aspect, like the actual leader of an actual country


Okay, stopping there, but, really, as Vizzini says, I'm just getting started.

I still don't think hatred is the right answer; it makes you into the monster you're fighting. But racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, xenophobia, plutocracy, religious bigotry, the hatred and fear of education, institutionalized sociopathy: every trend and tendency I hate about mainstream American culture is represented, as beautifully as if he were a metonym, by Donald J. Trump and his leadership of our country. He is actually MORE HORRIBLE than I thought he would be when I had the first of many anxiety attacks on Election Night.

My consolation is that there are a lot of us shouting that Emperor Trump isn't wearing any fucking clothes. I don't advocate hatred--I'm trying to let it go myself--but please don't stop shouting.
purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] purplecat
Large Image under the Cut )

Answer: No.

From the early days of the hiatus/wilderness years/whatever you want to call them...

Periodic SWEDOW reminder.

Friday, 16 June 2017 14:50
jadelennox: Demonic Tutor, Jadelennox: my Magic card (demonic tutor)
[personal profile] jadelennox
Don't give stuff.

When official voices for a charity or a cause ask for stuff, you can give stuff. Give what they request, only what they request, and in good condition. Don't give unwashed or unfolded clothes. Don't give expired or open food. Don't dump and run.

Give money. Give time. Give votes. And if you know they want your stuff, give stuff.

After Hurricane Katrina, waterlogged schools full of developing mold were inundated with donations -- of textbooks from the 1960s, torn paperbacks nobody wanted, and old national geographics. Then it became their problem to throw away someone else's unwanted stuff.

Don't make suffering people the solution to your problems about not wanting to throw unusable clothes in the trash. Don't make them the repository of your helpless survivor's guilt.

From The Guardian's liveblog of Grenfell Tower aftermath:
He added: “I haven’t seen this much aid out of a war zone, but the council just hasn’t stepped in. There is too much in the way of donations. But the problem is how to get it to the right people, and what you do with the surplus. One man, I’m sure with the best of intention, left a massive box full of milk - and now volunteers have to figure out what to do with a box of gone-off milk.”


From twitter user [twitter.com profile] pastelchalk:


We feel bad throwing things away. Find a charity that actively wants your things, or suck it up. We feel bad being okay when disasters happen. Go volunteer to help, or become an activist for those trying to prevent similar tragedies, or write a check, or suck it up. The best of intentions and a fiver will buy you a cup of coffee.

And in other news

Friday, 16 June 2017 08:42
karanguni: (Default)
[personal profile] karanguni
* Starting Witcher 3
* Need to catch up on American Gods
* Is there really going to be a new Rivers of London book already? ? ? ????

An Everything Day

Friday, 16 June 2017 00:15
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
[personal profile] liralen
Today was one of those days....

I was added back onto the roster of my old 6's team, I got my bee allergy shot, I helped plan a siege defense, I got to play Rainbow Siege Six for the first time with my son and his friend, I had a last minute dental appointment with my periodontist that was nearly foiled by my GPS, and I might have a mild eye infection as well. But I got Dairy Queen and good gaming.

I think I'm a little tired.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Thursday, 15 June 2017 19:23
karanguni: (Default)
[personal profile] karanguni
Been busy trying to stay alive at work, sustain a single-income household, and gardening to keep sane. Snipped to death all the greens that were kind of stunted today, and filled with beans and cucumber seeds because I have no idea what to grow under the blasting heat of the midday sun. Something about mad dogs and Englishmen.

God I miss writing.

--

edit: over and over I have had in my head

My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;

A lot of poetry recently, including Mary Oliver.

3 Good Things

Thursday, 15 June 2017 20:26
jjhunter: Watercolor tomato resting on radiating stalks of lettuce (tomato)
[personal profile] jjhunter
1. I went to parkour class tonight for the first time in several months, and had an awesome time. \o/

1a. So did my friend M- from work - her very first parkour class ever. ("Thanks so much for the invite! A little bloody but so fun!")

2. Last week I paid off the last of my student loans.

3. We have sugar snap pea plants growing up our back porch railings, and one has almost reached the top.

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