Page generated Aug. 19th, 2017 20:36

Non-Cornish pasties

Aug. 19th, 2017 13:00
azurelunatic: Chocolate dessert, captioned No Artificial Shortages  (no artificial shortages)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Belovedest has mentioned a few times that it's hard to get your hands on a nice meat pasty around these parts. I contemplated the matter and asked a few questions.

At length, it seemed like it was a good day to try.

My reliable source for understanding the principles behind what I'm cooking is Serious Eats. So I read through the pie crust stuff again. (Incidentally, the site is a clickbait hole for DELICIOUSNESS.)


Clickbait: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/03/science-of-pie-7-myths-that-need-to-go-away.html

Science: http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2011/07/the-food-lab-the-science-of-pie-how-to-make-pie-crust-easy-recipe.html

Recipe: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/07/easy-pie-dough-recipe.html
2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces; 350 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces; 280 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pats
6 tablespoons (3 ounces; 85 milliliters) cold water

I looked at the amounts involved.

There was no way that I was going to be able to fit all that flour and butter into my food processor, which is an attachment to my stick blender. I looked closely at the amounts.

It so happens that the ratio of cups of flour to sticks of butter is 1:1. So I decided that I could make a test batch, one cup and one stick. The salt and sugar is less important, and in fact the sugar is kind of not what I wanted for a pasty dough.

I put 2/3 of the flour together with the butter and a bit of salt, then added a little water and more of the flour. (Probably not how I should have done it.) Then I mixed it in a larger bowl with a little more water. My hands are rather hot, so I tried to cool them down with ice.

I wrapped it up in cling wrap and let it cool off in the refrigerator. I pulled it out a few hours later, and quartered the dough. I saw that it had distinct stacked layers, like a good steel blade. I was thrilled.

I rolled it out in the best tradition of my mother, between two sheets of parchment paper. (There is no rolling pin in this kitchen. I used a glass.) I stuck it back in the refrigerator, still between the sheets, to wait while I prepared the filling. (Parchment paper and waxed paper are easier to handle than cling wrap, for this.)

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/01/cornish-pasty-british-meat-hand-pie-recipe.html

This was not a Cornish pasty. [personal profile] wohali said something about a chicken curry pasty, and I went "Oooo!" and she advised that you can use pretty much any chicken curry recipe, just dryer than usual.

I went for it.

My basic chicken curry is chicken plus a brick of golden curry sauce plus assorted vegetables, and oil as needed. This time I decided to cook the chicken thigh meat so it would be easy to separate from the bones in my multifunction fancy rice cooker, along with some spiced oil left over from a previous recipe, and some dry onions. I cooked the vegetables and the curry brick separately, only combining them all (and some potato flakes to sop up water and oil) at the end. My partner is much better at handling chicken meat in all its phases than I am, and stripped the meat from the bones before I mixed them together.

I did roll it too thin, and I let it get too hot when filling it.

Despite the holes, I stuck the crust together with egg wash, and egg washed the outside. (I used the leftover egg wash to make a little bit of curry scrambled egg, which my partner ate on top of their salad.)

I'd wisely said that if the food was not going to be ready by 10pm, we should eat something else. The pies came out of the oven just as we were finishing chicken nuggets, but we still had enough room to test half a pie each.


Mmmmmmmmm.

I will be making these again. And the dough process is relatively simple with the tools at hand, so my partner (who can follow a recipe, but isn't yet the cocky ass in the kitchen that I am) may wind up learning the process too.


I put together a bit of sweet pie dough just now, and it's chilling in a ball in the refrigerator. I'm thinking that some fruit pies might be in order...

dear Femslashex writer or artist!

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:31
isis: (rita)
[personal profile] isis
Dear writer or artist! Thank you for offering to create a fanwork for one of my requests. As long as you generally stick with things I like and avoid things I dislike, I will love your story or artwork even if it doesn't take on any of my prompts, which are only suggestions. I am [archiveofourown.org profile] Isis on AO3.

Some general stuff about my tastes: )

Wiedźmin | The Witcher - All Media Types )

Alpennia Series - Heather Rose Jones )

Dragon Age - All Media Types )

Crossovers: Arya Stark (ASOIAF)/Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon (The Witcher), Éowyn (LoTR)/Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon (The Witcher), Irene (Invisible Library)/Tina Goldstein (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) )

Thank you so much, dear writer or artist! And if you have any questions, please do go through the mods - I promise to answer.

Helsinki, Worldcon

Aug. 18th, 2017 12:04
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
[personal profile] liv
That was not the Worldcon I would have liked; I'd hoped to do as several of my friends did, and travel overland and explore some of the region. Or at least to really get immersed in the con itself. And I'd have liked a proper holiday with my partners and their children, which hasn't really happened this year though we've had a few short breaks.

In reality I was only able to go for the long weekend. I spent an eye-watering amount of money on a trip that didn't quite work for me, between flights, accommodation, Worldcon membership (when I actually only ended up attending for half a day), and just general living expenses in a not very well planned trip to an expensive city. It feels churlish to complain about being in a position to spend a bit too much on a less than perfect trip, and in many ways it was good, just not quite what I'd hoped for.

more details )

Friday glee always has a project

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:25
rydra_wong: A woman boulderer lunges up towards the camera for a hold. (climbing -- puccio!!!)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] disobey_gravity
The Friday post of glee is where you get to tell us about your climbing-related happiness this week.

It can be a new achievement or adventure, or just that you climbed and had fun; it can be that your favourite climbing wall is expanding or that you bought new rock shoes or that you found a cool ice-climbing vid on YouTube. No glee is too small -- or too big. Members are encouraged to cheer each other on and share the squee.

N.B. Please feel free to post your glee on any day of the week; the Friday glee is just to get the ball rolling.

To enhance this week's glee: Dani Fuertes finally completes the first ascent of "No Pain, No Gain".

Family.

Aug. 17th, 2017 14:28
azurelunatic: A red apple with a bite out of it, captioned in Star Trek font "What no-win scenario?" (what no-win scenario)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I am scared of my family right now.

My immediate family are largely good people who generally behave with kindness to all, and abhor the concepts of white supremacy and fascism like any decent person.

My aunts on my father's side are pretty awesome. Hippie Uncle is great, and Woodworking Uncle has good intentions and maybe a few distortions due to assorted experiences of privilege, but he does not appear to go out of his way to fuck other people over.

My aunt-by-marriage scares me. She's a doctor, and things she has said about transgender people, and gender in general, make me feel unsafe around her.

My uncle who is married to that aunt has good intentions, but does not appear to be in a position to temper his wife's attitudes.

"Racist Cousin Anna" has said some things about Mexicans that made me turn away from her. She's married to the older of that uncle's kids.

Both those cousins have posted things about guns and Muslims on Facebook that make me scared, like they wouldn't hesitate to support laws that would marginalize my friends, or might use one of those guns on someone.

I don't have the scariest family in the world. And I'm still skittish of saying anything that might prompt them to stop seeing me as their tame cousin and start seeing me as Other.

Knowledge and skills

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:41
tinyjo: (sunflower)
[personal profile] tinyjo
I have been whiling away some of my holiday time reading around some of the knowledge vs skills debate that's been going on among teachers on twitter for the last couple of months. Most of the people I follow already have been on the knowledge side of the debate and I've felt like, more so than when looking at politics or similar, I've had to work quite hard to break out of that bubble to find the people with the opposing views (something I think I'm only beginning to succeed at). I haven't come to any conclusions or anything, or my own contribution to the debate yet, but my reading did spark the memory of an anecdote which feels relevant to me about my Year 13 mocks.

We studied Literature of Protest as one of our English Lit modules (that was where I first read the Handmaids Tale) and as well as our set text work there was an unseen texts paper. For our mock, the unseen text for that module was a poem called "White Poetess" by Musaemura Zimunya (I've looked, and sadly, I can't find a copy of the poem online) asking us to comment on how effectively the poet's protest was communicated to the reader. Briefly, the poem scorns the titular white poetess for her simple, superior view of Africa and Africans and for her romanticisation of the beauty of the landscape without acknowledging the Africans who live there. I wasn't particularly great at poetry analysis and I cobbled together a rough plan and had written nearly a page of it when I had one of the only genuine lightbulb moments of my own that I remember in my education. In the last stanza, the poem talks about the poetess going home and writing about "the Rhodesian veld". The word had been nagging at me for a while, and I suddenly remembered what Rhodesia was, and what the deliberate use of that word meant, particularly given that the poet had mentioned Zimbabwe earlier on. That one piece of knowledge unlocked the whole poem for me, brought the rest of the text into focus, to the extent that I remember actually crossing out the waffly essay I'd written so far and starting again.

When we went over the mock in class after they'd been marked, it transpired that I was the only person in my 12 person class who knew anything about Rhodesia or what the use of that word signified and quite a few of the other students claimed the question was unfair because there was no reason they should be expected to have this piece of random knowledge anyway. I have no idea where I'd picked it up - we hadn't studied the empire at all in the history I was doing at school, but I always have been a sponge for random information (although not science facts, oddly) so I imagine I read it somewhere and it stuck.

I'm still not entirely sure where this anecdote fits into the current knowledge vs skills debate. My knowledge unlocked the poem for me in a very powerful way. I only rarely connect to poetry as a form, and that sense of sudden understanding was exciting and precious. I kept a copy of the poem afterwards, which I still have today, and as you can see, the memory is fresh in my mind, so on the surface it seems to argue towards the teaching of knowledge.

I'm not so sure though. I do think there was some validity in the other students complaints that the question was unfair. The world is absolutely full of random knowledge like that - it was purest co-incidence that I happened to know of it and I don't think there could have been any reasonable expectation that our English Lit teacher would equip us with even a fraction of the possible historical allusions which might come up in the poetry of protest. And it wasn't that piece of knowledge alone which brought the poem to life in that moment for me - it was the skills of literary analysis which I'd been taught which allowed me to understand the depth of what the poet was doing with that word choice. Both knowledge and skills were vital to that moment. Most of the students knew a little about the British Empire - would it not have been reasonable to have included a footnote with the specific definition of Rhodesian?

Where I'm working now is at a very different stage in the learning journey of my students than I was at that point and I definitely think that there is value in exposing the children to a wide range of facts at this stage - who knows what will stick? But of course, as the possessor of a brain which is naturally filled with random facts, this is not so hard for me to accomplish and, given my teaching style, actually seems to be basically inevitable. Maybe the conclusion I'm coming to is, in this knowledge/skills tug-of-war, perhaps different teachers need to focus on different things. I often think about skills in my lesson planning but that's partly because I know that the knowledge content will be there anyway but that if I don't think about making the skills of using it explicit that won't happen automatically - other teachers are probably the other way around.

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:53
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
So, I've had to tell local friends to stop sending me anti-fascist memes related to what's going on in the U.S. right now because I've just... reached the end of my cope? I've had to get off twitter for a while, because my mental health just can't keep up. But at the same time it feels like the world is burning and I desperately want to do something, and well.

I've decided what I'm going to do is just try to help people in whatever way I can, which always feels like a good course of action to me.

So, I have this Russian friend on twitter. She's fannish, her name is Sasha, her twitter account is locked. We met in Black Sails fandom earlier this year. She's very delightful and funny and lives in St. Petersburg.

This year she'd really like to get married. She and her girlfriend have been together for about 5 years. Needless to say, a marriage is not possible in Russia (or Ukraine, where her girlfriend is from). So, they've thought up a plan to travel to Denmark to get married later this year, and they've been raising money mostly through their Russian fandom friends, to make the trip possible. Russian fandom doesn't really do paypal (other money transfer methods are easier), so when I asked how I could help they basically opened an account with PP just for me.

There's no public post about this fundraiser, no kickstarter page. I honestly don't even want to link their account names on twitter to this public post, although I of course asked them what details I could share before writing about this on DW.

Anyway, if you're looking for the usual safeguards to make sure this isn't a scam - they're not really available in this case. I can only tell you that I know this person and trust them and I've helped their marriage fund and have no regrets.

So, if you'd like to throw some money their way, or signal boost this to your friends, their paypal address is: blindpilot at yandex dot ru

(Also, Sasha has pointed out that if you'd like more details about what the money is for, you're welcome to email her at that address.)

reading, writing, no 'rithmatic

Aug. 16th, 2017 16:59
isis: (Default)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

Finished: Will Save the Galaxy for Food by Yahtzee Croshaw. An entertaining pastiche of Golden Age of Sci-Fi novels, about what happens after the Golden Age of Star Pilots is brought to an end by the invention of quantum tunneling space travel which eliminates the need for spaceships and pilots. It's a light, easy read, gently funny, though there are a few plotholes big enough to sail a spaceship through. I originally chose it to read because the cover and the tone of the blurb made me think of Keith Laumer's Retief books; it's not quite as full of weird aliens and odd customs, but there's a definite Retiefishness about it.

Abandoned: Terraforming Earth - Phase 1: "The Plagues Era" (FutureScape, #1) by Dean C. Moore, an Instafreebie book. Technically better than a lot of the other self-pubbed books I've tried to read (though it still has its share of typos and incorrect words), but ultimately I found it boring. Not enough depth to the characters for me to care about them. Abandoned 15% in.

What I'm currently reading:

The Girl in the Tower (The Bear and the Nightingale #2) by Katherine Arden. I really liked the old-Rus fairytail world of the first book, and it's a delight to return to. This time, Vasilisa is dressed as, and masquerading as, a boy (♥), while bandits and Tatars menace the countryside. (You see, [livejournal.com profile] hamsterwoman, being nicknamed Vasya has proven prophetic!) So far I'm about halfway in and particularly enjoying the gentle fantasy aspects of the story.

What I'm reading next:

I'm planning to hit the library for the Beth Cato books I mentioned last week, though actually I'll probably finish my current read while we're in Wyoming eclipse-hunting, so I'll likely be reading something already on my phone first.

What I'm currently watching:

Game of Thrones. We're about a week behind but may catch up tonight. The special effects are very cool, but honestly the thing that impresses me the most is the geology of Dragonstone. What amazing tilted rocks! (Unless they're CGI...)

What I'm currently playing:

I picked up Dragon Age: Origins for $5 from a GOG sale a while ago, and although I usually spend most of my time outdoors and active in the summer, I'm unable to do so at the moment for injury reasons, so I started playing. It's fun so far though unsurprisingly I die a lot.

What I'm currently writing:

[community profile] crossovering: Well into my assignment, which is a lot of fun.
[community profile] remixrevival: Um. Still dithering about which story to remix.
[community profile] femslashex: MUST WRITE LETTER AND SIGN UP.
selenak: (Kitty Winter)
[personal profile] selenak
RE: ongoing horror show, err, US national and foreign politics: this is yet another reason why I find the entire Hydra in Marvel comics & MCU concept so stupid, not just in the WWII era, where the sheer logistics (or lack of same) break my brain, but also in the present day. Super-secret organization, master assassins, gadget weapons? This just isn't how fascism works. This is how fascism works. It shouts its goals to the winds and gets itself voted into power.

There is not a single member of the Republican party, nor any other voter who either elected the Orange Menace or by not voting enabled it, who can claim this isn't EXACTLY what they voted for or allowed to happen. Because Agent Orange certainly hadn't kept his views a secret. Nor did his minions.

Reading Wednesday 16/08

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:28
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
Recently read:
  • Dzur by Steven Brust.

    I didn't love this; I'm not sure how much it's a weaker member of the series and how much it's me. It is book 10 in a set of 19, of which the last five are still to be written. I may have left it too long since I read the previous volumes, or maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it. I decided I couldn't be bothered following all the complex allusions to the meta-structure of the whole series, and as a single novel it's never more than just ok. I didn't find Vlad's voice or Loiosh's asides witty, and the pacing dragged, and I didn't care about the mystery. Because I hadn't been following the chronology properly, the twist at the end wasn't a delightful surprise, it just unsatisfyingly didn't make sense.

    When I was reading 50 books a year, I intended to read the whole series, because both the individual novels and the way they fit together into a complex whole appeal to me. Now that I read more like 15 or 20, I'm thinking I may drop this. Not sure; one weaker book doesn't mean the whole series isn't worth bothering with.

  • A taste of honey by Kai Ashante Wilson. This was a Hugo-nominated novella, which meant that several of my friends read it, and were enthusiastic about it. So I ended up reading the copy from my Hugo packet on the way back from Worldcon, which is not exactly in the spirit of things. And I regret not reading it in time to vote for it, not that it would have made much difference since McGuire's Every heart a doorway (which I wasn't keen on) won by miles.

    Anyway, this is a really amazing fantasy romance story. It's beautifully written, great characters, twisty, thought-provoking plot. The worldbuilding is really deep; looking it up it turns out this is a companion novella in the setting of a novel, which I'm now definitely going to seek out. I had dismissed Wilson's Sorcerer of the Wildeeps mainly because the name is so clunky; I assumed it was parodic or just really generic swords and sorcery.

    It's hard to describe exactly what's so great about AToH without spoilers, but it's a really moving romance, and has a lot to say about choices and sacrifices made for love. [personal profile] jack thought it maybe needed some content warnings; some of the content is about homophobia and abusive parenting. To me it didn't feel like misery porn, it felt as if it centred its variously Queer characters and described some of the bad things in their life as well as the good. But I can imagine some readers finding it hard going.

    Up next: The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin. I'd been meaning to read this, though I'm a little scared of what I've heard about it, and I've now bumped it up my list since the sequel won a second Hugo.
  • Volunteer social tread #70

    Aug. 16th, 2017 00:02
    pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
    [personal profile] pauamma posting in [site community profile] dw_volunteers
    I'm enjoying having a working keyboard on my laptop again.

    What have you been up to?

    Orphan Black 5.10

    Aug. 15th, 2017 12:59
    selenak: (Allison by Spankulert)
    [personal profile] selenak
    In which we get a LotR or Babylon 5 type of ending, and it's lovely.

    Read more... )

    returning with a bang

    Aug. 15th, 2017 10:34
    marina: (murder is the answer)
    [personal profile] marina
    So, London was wonderful (WONDERFUL) but obviously pretty busy. On the days I wasn't at Nine Worlds, I walked about 11 kilometers a day, on average, according to my phone (there was a day when I walked 17,500 steps). Consider I have herniated disks in my back and am still recovering - it was A Lot.

    the last few days )
    isis: (squid etching)
    [personal profile] isis
    Three links make a post.

    Hamilton (but with sharks) - Four pages of artwork for the musical, if the characters were sharks. This is freakin' adorable, and I want to see the rest!

    Romance novel titles generated by a neural network trained on Harlequin books - These are hilarious, and I could not make it all the way through without laughing out loud. Christmas Pregnant Paradise! The Sheikh’s Marriage Sheriff! Virgin Viking! Some of these have been photoshopped into book-cover images, for extra fun.

    What is Skyr? - This is a year old, but I found it following a link from a current WaPo article about Greek yogurt, which mentioned skyr (calling it 'Icelandic yogurt') and then added, with the link, that it is technically cheese. As I have Siggi's skyr with fruit and my homemade granola for breakfast most days, I found this fascinating. (Siggi's doesn't use rennet.)

    And have a bonus Lucy, helping to make the bed (as cats do): under the cut )

    (no subject)

    Aug. 14th, 2017 08:12
    copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
    [personal profile] copperbadge
    Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

    Ways To Give:

    Anon linked to a fundraiser for Mike "Mictlan" Marquez, one of the MCs in the rap co-op Doomtree (featured several times on Welcome to Night Vale's weather reports). He was recently diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes and like many artists is uninsured; he's expecting significant expenses for treatment he's already had (an ER visit and Diabetic Ketoacidosis) as well as ongoing treatment. You can read more and support his medical fundraiser here.

    [profile] demond119 is raising funds with husband Jeremy to help with after-care costs of his heart transplant; he's currently on the waiting list at the Mayo Clinic, and once he has the transplant, he will need an extended stay at a transplant house (Gift of Life) for several months. You can read more and reblog here and support the fundraiser here.

    [profile] emeraldonyxdragon is raising funds to support herself while studying in London this fall. She was accepted to a graduate program there but her savings have gone to help her parents with debts; in joining the program she would also be able to escape an abusive household. To help raise awareness, she is holding a contest -- reblogs and likes on her fundraising post could win you a fanfic of your choice. You can support the fundraiser directly here.

    [tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

    Activism

    We're all aware of what happened in Charlottesville this weekend; there are some concrete ways to take action here and orgs to support here and just in case you need a little encouragement here is Asiatic Clam Man to remind you that you can do it.

    Buy Stuff, Help Out:

    [tumblr.com profile] magpiesmiscellany has a selection of tree-of-life pendants in various shapes, colors, and sizes for sale, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Immigration Law Center. You can read more and purchase them here.

    News To Know:

    Leverage Big/Mini Bang signups are open! I ran RFM items letting people know about the Bang for a few weeks, and now you can register to participate. You can read more and sign up here (sign up links are at the bottom of the post -- at least on my screen they don't actually look like links but they are, I promise!)

    And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
    selenak: (Twelve and Clara)
    [personal profile] selenak
    I am looking forward to Jodi Whittaker’s Doctor, but last week it hit me really badly how much I’m going to miss Peter Capaldi, and I promptly started a Capaldi era rewatch, and fell in love with the Twelfth Doctor and Clara (and Missy, and (almost) all the storylines and themes) all over again. This was when Moffat-DW really clicked for me. I like the Eleventh Doctor, I like Amy, Rory, and of course River, but individual episodes aside, I was never in love during that particular era. And that’s okay. With a canon spanning more than 50 years, you really don’t have to be all the time. But it’s really great when it happens.

    Madmen and -women in boxes )
    marina: (Default)
    [personal profile] marina
    Out of the billion posts I want to make about London, let's start with a somewhat random topic. Accents. And the weirdness of my brain.

    accents )

    Meanwhile...

    Aug. 13th, 2017 20:03
    selenak: (Call the Midwife by Meganbmoore)
    [personal profile] selenak
    The things you learn: seems Samantha Bee of tv comedy fame is a Call The Midwife fan. A woman of taste, which is not new.:) As the unspeakable creature in the White House brings us closer to WWWIII by the tweet and finds condemming Nazis as Nazis too much of an effort, I can see why watching CdM is a good way to maintain sanity.

    (Sidenote: I usually avoid calling present day people Nazis because the term is flung around far too often and sometimes in bizarre contexts - see: "grammar nazi" - but if they scream about blood and soil, give the fascist salute and throw the occasional Sieg Heil in, there's absolutely no reason to call them anything else. No more of this "Alt-Right" nonsense.)

    But to return to "Call the Midwife", here's a lovely new story, a terrific portrait of Shelagh/Sister Bernadette that follows her through her life to that most crucial of years to her, 1958: life, and breath, and all things.

    And here's a Black Sails rec:

    The Fields of Elysium: the story of Thomas Hamilton after the 2.05 flashbacks until and including something spoilery )
    copperbadge: (Default)
    [personal profile] copperbadge
    I am home! 

    I broke camp around six this morning, and when I started the hike it was 6:35 exactly, because I for once had the presence of mind to log it. Just getting to the trailhead was a couple of miles, due to some unforeseen obstructions (I did not get lost, there were just two unexpected fences, and also a long stretch of “closed” road that was a weird little detour through a post-apocalyptic landscape), so while I had planned to do about six miles, I ended up doing a little over eight and a half in three and a half hours, which considering I was carrying a 40lb pack I think was pretty good. 

    I missed the 9:49 train to Chicago by two minutes. I literally saw it pulling away from the station as I arrived. The next train was at 1:15, but it’s just as well I was delayed, since it meant I got to rest my feet for a while and also got to help at least a half dozen people figure out a) how the train worked, b) how much tickets were, and c) which train to get on. 

    So, I think the trip was a success. I worked out how the camp-reservation system at Dunewood functions, I tested out all my equipment (all remarkably functional, though I think I need to work on sleeping comfort issues), and I measured my endurance limit for hiking with a weighted pack. 

    It is about eight miles. That last half mile nearly killed me. 

    Also I got to return the Diane Mott Davidson book to the donation rack so someone else can enjoy it, and I added a book or two as well, which is a good thing since someone just offloaded a shitload of Clive Barker and it’s nice to have a little variety. 

    Now I am going to sit on the sofa, possibly order a pizza, and deliberately not empty out my pack until tomorrow. 

    from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2wG4KQO
    via IFTTT

    Glacier

    Aug. 12th, 2017 22:17
    azurelunatic: The (old) Tacoma Narrows Bridge, intact but twisted. (disaster waiting to happen)
    [personal profile] azurelunatic
    I feel very much like I'm talking about the things that don't matter, but the things that matter very much are private and inward and delicate, and to share such things widely would not be the done thing.

    So: life bits, in passing.

    The freezer (the thinner, left, door of the two-doored refrigerator) has had ice on the bottom -- at first just a little bit, and a few cubes that had fallen out of the ice maker -- for a while. We've had "de-glacier the freezer" on the to-do list for a while.

    This morning (I think?) it hit critical, while I was -- ah, yes, it was this morning, because I was retrieving the frozen vegetables that I'd use in lunch -- searching around for something that turned out to be in the bottom drawer.

    The drawers in this freezer are wire baskets with snap-on (and fall-off) plastic fronts. The bottom drawer was blocked from pulling out because the ice on the bottom was too high.

    I grumbled, laid down the kitchen utility towel (one of the old ones with fraying and maybe a hole or two) and grabbed a knife for ice-pick duty. (My partner was unavailable for help, on some other unspecifiable but definitely important mission of internet mercy. Godspeed, friend.) Anyway, it would probably not have benefitted from two people. So I whacked at the ice for a while, and got it mostly on the towel. I tugged at the drawer.

    The drawer shot out with surprising ease, given the big chunk of ice still attached to the bottom. I had words. I went for the cooler-bag.

    It turned out that the ice sheet was attached to the basket by only a few wires, and once I figured out how to get it in the sink at the right angle, I was able to use hot water to get the ice off those wires. I left the larger sheet in the sink to thaw and drop its inclusions all over the sink, like boulders on a cleanly carved valley.

    The ice had come out in one piece. There was still a little coming down the slanted surface of the bottom back, and a little more below the vent that disperses cold air or something. I swiped it out with a different kitchen towel that was due to be washed soon anyway, and reported back to my partner (after they emerged from their task).

    The stuff went back in, a little more organized than it had come out, with a few things put in the fridge to thaw.

    A generous double handful of the frozen mixed vegetables went in the frying pan, along with some bacon and potato. It would be slowly cooked into glorious lunch with cheese. A proper weekend brunch sort of item.

    I found the strawberries I'd put aside when I got the big thing of them, frozen into a sullen frisbee sort of shape in the bottom of the round container. I pondered, tried chopping into it with a not-big-enough knife, then the brainstorm hit. I retrieved the largest of the melamine bowls (the ones with the lids) and popped the disc in.

    Then I shook it.

    A whole bunch of frozen strawberries make some gawdawful noise, being rattled like rocks against a hard surface, but it does tend to break them apart quite handily. I liberated a few to chuck in the food processor (an attachment for my stick blender, which I finally found at some late point in the packing, so it went in my Bachelor Kitchen Box) to turn into dust to grace the top of the lemon jelly. (Lemon jello plus shreds of frozen strawberry? RECOMMENDED.)

    I also got some mending done this morning. There are some shirts that need their necks re-hemmed, plus under-layer shorts that had started blowing out at the crotch but were still otherwise in good shape. I had found one of the dismangled (a typo, but I'm keeping it) pairs of shorts, and sacrificed it for patches.

    I will need to either repair my sewing machine (I dropped it while trying to get it set up) or locate the Sidewinder. The sewing machine still lights up and stitches, but something is awry in the bobbin winder. This is the second sewing machine that I've jacked up such that it won't wind bobbins anymore. Additionally, something else is wrong with the actual bobbin nest -- I believe some plate fell out. So it's harder to load, but at least it does still sew.

    Kitten has decided that I am an acceptable surface to sleep on/against, and has started doing just that. It's cute, until I need to move, at which point she meows accusingly. Sometimes she settles back against me, and sometimes she stalks off and sits in her accustomed place on Partner. (Partner sleeps on their back, face up, sometimes guarding their bladder area with their hands against kitten massage even as they sleep.)

    [admin post] Admin Post: Holy moly, Hugo Awards!

    Aug. 12th, 2017 15:43
    helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Admin Post (admin post)
    [personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
    We won a Hugo Award for Best Fanzine!

    Ira and Susan on stage giving a speech with text overlaid reading This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS


    Ira and Susan attended Worldcon 75 on our behalf (we can't even with our jealousy over Ira getting to meet Daveed Diggs). We're so grateful to everyone who nominated and voted for us this year. Thanks also to our fellow finalists, too. It was lovely being a part of a robust ballot featuring commentary and criticism from a wide range of voices. The full list of finalists and winners can be read at thehugoawards.org.

    We're still reeling a bit, but we wanted to at least reach out and say THANK YOU and OMG and WHAT and THANK YOU OMG, etc. We are super honored and so excited! Congrats to US, congrats to the other winners, and thanks for liking our work! ♥ You can find the text of our speech below.

    Thanks so much for this amazing award. We accept on behalf of ourselves and the four Lady Business editors who couldn't be here tonight: Clare, Jodie, KJ, and Renay.

    We also want to thank everyone who has supported Lady Business throughout the years in ways large and small, including our readers, commenters, and guest columnists. Special thanks go out to John Scalzi, whose work welcomed Renay back to science fiction. Without his books Renay wouldn't have been in the SF community to start this project with our co-founders, Ana and Jodie. Thanks to Ana Grilo of The Book Smugglers for consistent support and writing opportunities, Kate Elliott and Justin Landon for believing in our work and being the best cheerleaders, and Zachariah Carlson for being our personal Shadow Broker all these years.

    When Lady Business was founded, the goal was to create a safer space for discussions in a community that was still struggling to recognize white women, much less any other marginalized identities. There's still work to be done, and change has been slow, but we are thrilled our project has been a voice within this cultural shift. We are incredibly honored that the Hugo voters find our intersectional feminist work valuable, and we will keep working to remain worthy of your recognition as we move forward.

    We dedicate this award to Jodie Baker and Ana Silva. Thank you very much.

    (no subject)

    Aug. 11th, 2017 11:44
    tinyjo: (webdesigner - chez geek)
    [personal profile] tinyjo
    It's interesting, moving to a school which is much more free about how teachers run their classrooms because it gives me space to think not "what do I have to do" when I'm getting ready for next year, but "what do I want to do". It hit me again just now, thinking about morning work - I started off by thinking "what shall I do about morning work this year" and then moved on to "hang on, is that even a thing in my new school?" to *then* thinking "well, do I want it to be a thing? Was it useful?" It feels odd that should be the last thought rather than the first one, but that was rather how I got conditioned by the old place - we had a huge "must" list which I would never have had time to do all of, so it was about prioritising which things would be most visible and/or would take the least effort; what was most efficacious didn't really come into it. It's the same with displays - now I don't have a list of displays every classroom should have which is longer than the number of boards I have, I'm starting to actually think about what I want my displays to be for.

    Then again, I'm leaning on the side of having morning work (tasks for them to do when they come in for registration) - it's a good opportunity for short burst practice of skills and it really helps get them settled and in a good headspace for learning - but that's because, having been doing it for about 6 years, I know how to make it work well. When I started, I found it of very little value and time consuming to prepare and I resented it, but that was because I had no real idea what it should be for, other than keeping the kids occupied, and so I couldn't properly select tasks for it. So the must list did have some value too - it pushed me to try something and work to get it right that I might not otherwise have done. On the third hand, surely that could have been achieved by better communication from the people on my SLT and leading my team about what the point was and what good morning work looked like rather than me groping towards it. I guess that's the whole point of me moving up to SLT myself now - can I help people to develop good/useful practice without descending to the must list?

    Music meme: day 20 of 30

    Aug. 11th, 2017 11:48
    liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
    [personal profile] liv
    A song that has many meanings for you. I think this has to be Some kind of stranger by Sisters of Mercy. Partly because it's lyrically complex; I have never been sure if it's about a positive relationship or a breakup, a long-term connection or a casual affair, and it may well not be about romantic love at all.

    This is another song that [personal profile] doseybat introduced me to when we were teenagers. So it's tied up with discovering alternative music and the goth scene, and forming my own tastes in music as well as more broadly. A period of my life when I think I did the most growing up.

    In some ways it's a song about keeping faith in spite of everything that might push you towards despair. And that's why I keep coming back to it, whether it's faith in a person or just more broadly:
    And I know the world is cold
    But if we hold on tight to what we find
    We might not mind so much
    That even this must pass away

    Then it's the soundtrack of my PhD. The bit where my brother had a bad accident and I was in an emotional mess, but the science was still inspiring and still needed doing. The bit where it wasn't inspiring any more, it was a slog, and I had to keep going. One more step, one more flask of cells, one more measurement. The long repetitive bit at the end Come here I think you're beautiful over and over again, when I was sitting in the cell culture room with my headphones a portable tape player, and just keeping my cells alive and nourished before I could actually do any experiments took about three hours three times a week. You can't miss a sesssion or the cells die or mutate and you lose months of work. You have to concentrate enough not to get anything contaminated, but it's not exactly intellectually stimulating. In fact, a lot of the point of my PhD was providing justification for replacing me with a robot, but grad students are cheaper than robots, and I was just sitting there screening through hundreds of potential new drugs.

    It's also a song about making friends with [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel, towards the end of that PhD and the years just afterwards. [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel is also a Sisters fan and gave me a recording of one of their concerts, since it's nearly impossible to buy studio versions of most of their music since the 80s. The ambiguous words might be about a sudden, intense yet enduring friendship, maybe. Some kind of stranger / some kind of angel.

    And even though it's a pretty downbeat song, it's a very happy song for me now. It promised me that I could endure, and I have. My brother is fine now. I still love most of the people who sustained me in my late teens and early 20s. I've succeeded at some things that were hard and failed at others, but I have people who love me for myself, not my achievements. And nothing is permanent, but as long as I'm here and get to experience things and love people, I can cope with that.

    video embed, audio only )
    rydra_wong: A woman boulderer lunges up towards the camera for a hold. (climbing -- puccio!!!)
    [personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] disobey_gravity
    The Friday post of glee is where you get to tell us about your climbing-related happiness this week.

    It can be a new achievement or adventure, or just that you climbed and had fun; it can be that your favourite climbing wall is expanding or that you bought new rock shoes or that you found a cool ice-climbing vid on YouTube. No glee is too small -- or too big. Members are encouraged to cheer each other on and share the squee.

    N.B. Please feel free to post your glee on any day of the week; the Friday glee is just to get the ball rolling.

    To enhance this week's glee: another excellent slice of Rocklands bouldering filmed by Kevin Takashi Smith.
    copperbadge: (Default)
    [personal profile] copperbadge
    So I got my new temporary crown put on my molar today.  

    Me before the procedure: So are you taking off the old one and putting on a new one, or just like, remolding the old one?

    Dentist: We’re putting on a new one. Unless we can somehow fit your head in an eight thousand degree oven.

    Me: Don’t do that. I sunburn easily. 

    At which point the dental assistant lost her shit and let out the loudest cackle I’ve ever heard in a dental office. 

    They put the temporary crown on and told me to bite down to affix the glue, but when I bit down I cracked the damn crown in half. Apparently it was a defective crown, but many jokes were made about my jaw strength and how maybe I should fuckin’ relax a little if I can bite through a crown while off my face on nitrous. 

    Even with insurance it ran me $400 for the temporary crown, the permanent crown, and a surcharge for nitrous (because fuck having dental procedures without nitrous). That hurt worse than my tooth does. Fortunately for my pocketbook I have a medical flex-spending card, but I used up the last of it today, so let’s all hope I don’t break any limbs between now and January. I’ve gone over a year without having to have surgery upon my insides or a cast affixed to my person, so I think we can keep the streak alive. Traditionally I only get seriously injured in the summer months at any rate, so there’s that at least. 

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    fic! (chips-related)

    Aug. 10th, 2017 21:12
    nostalgia: (moar insane)
    [personal profile] nostalgia
    Okay here is a (Not Very) Lovely Story, it is called Chips (AO3 link).

    It is about Bill going to visit Missy in the vault and she takes her some chips. Perhaps surprisingly this does NOT lead to happy carefree moments of bliss and/or Sapphism. It has no pairing as such and it is rated G because it does not even have swears in it. (Go me!) But it is a bit horrid, I should probably mention that.

    Sidetracks - August 10, 2017

    Aug. 10th, 2017 11:07
    helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Sidetracks (sidetracks)
    [personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
    Sidetracks Template


    Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag. For more links and commentary you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr. You can also support us on Patreon.


    Read more... )
    copperbadge: (Default)
    [personal profile] copperbadge
    I am going CAMPING this weekend, I am DETERMINED, and I take it as a sign that after having bought a whistle and promptly lost it, when repacking my backpack tonight I FOUND IT AGAIN. (It was, for some reason, in the very bottom of the bag. Why would I put it there? Nobody knows.) 

    I have the third Diane Mott Davidson book from the library, ready for reading, and also I’ve packed the second book and an additional book to leave at the Dune Park train stop, to repay the world for the joy I had from reading Dying For Chocolate. 

    I have spent all summer doing recon and building up my supply stash, and now I AM READY. 

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    wednesday reads 'n things

    Aug. 9th, 2017 13:06
    isis: winged Isis image (wings)
    [personal profile] isis
    What I've recently finished reading: A number of online short stories and bits of fanfic.

    Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong, which is f/f horror/fantasy, an interesting read but not to my taste.

    Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar, which is f/f fairytale fantasy with an edge of grimdark. I really liked this one; it reminded me a little of Valente's Deathless but, you know, not overwritten and pretentious.

    Lady of the Shard by gigi d.g. which is an online f/f webcomic (complete, not overly long) about an acolyte who falls in love with her goddess, and about humanity and divinity. The drawing style is usually simplistic but evocative, and there's a wonderful humor to the dialogue that reminded me a bit of Hyperbole and a Half or The Oatmeal. It does get a little grim in places.

    These are all nominated for [community profile] femslashex, which I'm contemplating signing up for, which is why I read them. (I am doing two other fests and I don't want to overcommit, so I'm still dithering.)

    Speaking of f/f, I also read and enjoyed the G-rated Diana/Etta Wonder Woman fic be yourself my ally by [archiveofourown.org profile] imperfectcircle, which [personal profile] petra had recced. I liked the movie but it didn't give me any real fannish feelings, but the pairing intrigued me, and the story is great. Etta unaware of her own strengths (or maybe just too modest to admit to them) makes a delightful narrator, and also, there are kittens.

    I have also been reading on the m/m side as the Rare Male Slash Exchange opened a few days ago. I haven't yet read everything I intend to, but the Gentleman Bastards fic Wake Up and Smell the Black Alchemy (T-rated morning-after fic, Locke/Jean/Sanza brothers) is hot and hilarious, a pitch-perfect pastiche, and I should not be allowed to alliterate like that, should I. I was also impressed by the fic Shake Up the Country for the movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) which managed to strike exactly the right obliquely menacing tone. (Unrated, but no sexual content other than a kiss, and no explicitly violent content but a lot that is implicit; it's a movie for adults, and so is this short fic.)

    What I'm reading now: FRTDNEATJ I stepped away from the Expanse series for the time being, and instead started another one of my Instafreebie books, Terraforming Earth - Phase 1: The Plagues Era by Dean C. Moore, a future-world thriller in which Mysterious Wealthy Corporations have decided to kill off most people so they can remake the world as a paradise (for themselves). So far it seems to suffer from the usual self-published woes of cardboard characters and sloppy writing. I've temporarily abandoned it for now and may permanently abandon it, though I'm not very far in and so feel like I ought to give it more of a chance.

    The reason I abandoned it is that one of my library holds came in, and because it's a downloadable ebook I had to grab it quickly. I originally noticed Will Save the Galaxy for Food by Yahtzee Croshaw because of the unusual name (and wondering if it was the fanfic writer - it's not), and then I put a hold on it because the combination of the flippant title and the unabashedly Golden Age of SF cover art brought Keith Laumer's Retief stories (which I loved) to mind. So far (about a third of the way in) it's great, a loving satire of the Have Spacesuit genre.

    I also started listening to Kenneth Oppel'sAirborn (Steampunk Horatio Hornblower on an airship) but as I'm not currently running due to a possible injury, I'm not listening to audiobooks much, so I may just put that on hold and restart when I am likely to be able to listen to the whole thing over a couple of weeks.

    What I'm reading next:

    I was going to answer this with a reread of Beth Cato's The Clockwork Dagger so I could then read the sequel, The Clockwork Crown, because someone on my flist read a different Cato book and that reminded me of these, and I checked my library and they have both! But about an hour ago I got an email from Penguin/Random House telling me that because I positively reviewed The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, I am already approved to read the e-ARC of its sequel, The Girl in the Tower (coming out in December), hooray!

    What I'm currently watching:

    We are finally catching up with Game of Thrones. Er, we rewatched the last episode of last season, and I've mostly forgotten how they got to that point, but whatever. Then we watched the first episode of this season.

    What I'm currently writing:

    As I mentioned above, I'm doing two exchanges, [community profile] crossovering and [community profile] remixrevival. I've already started my story for the first, and have a good general idea of where it is going to go. For the second, I'm trying to choose between a couple of stories to remix.

    reading game PDFs

    Aug. 8th, 2017 21:30
    yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
    [personal profile] yhlee posting in [community profile] ebooks
    I was wondering what folks would recommend as a solution for reading tabletop RPG and other PDFs? I used to do this on a Kindle DX, but sometimes the graphics-heavy ones would cause it go slow, and then my DX broke, and I don't think they make new ones anymore so I don't trust them? I have a Kindle Paperwhite, but the screen size is a no-go because they typically make some full-sized (8.5"x11" or thereabouts). And ideally I'd like to be able to just load them from my desktop using a USB cable. I have an older iPad, but it doesn't have the USB thing and it's no good to me because my husband and daughter steal it to play games. XD Help?

    Hacker-Kitty

    Aug. 8th, 2017 13:47
    azurelunatic: Monkey King swings his cudgel  (monkey king)
    [personal profile] azurelunatic
    My partner got one cat in the breakup, the cat who trailed them through the shelter while they were looking at different cats, and who lap-kittied at them the first chance she got. (I suspect that my partner got this cat by dint of having made sure to pack her along with the other important things when they fled the household of abuse. The ex took all the other pets, including the second cat who adored my partner.)

    Miss Air Raid Siren had two types of notable damage when she was adopted: first, she had been front-declawed, and second, she is quite food-insecure. She cannot just be left to free-feed, and I gathered that it was a bit of a production to feed all the cats in such a way that everyone got their fair share. (Another of the cats had been a bit of a vacuum-cleaner himself, so it wasn't just her.)

    When the ex's regimented schedule had demanded that my partner be home at the appointed hour every day to feed "the kids", all was well ... at the expense of my partner's labor, and my partner's ability to have an actual social life and do things with friends.

    Now, this cat does appreciate being fed. She's earned a few names on account of her increasingly vocal demands to be fed, typically starting about an hour before feeding time. (Most of them are even printable.) And if the feeding is late -- oh, my. (Everyone has come to the understanding that while an hour late is no big deal ultimately, it's probably better for whoever is present to feed her, if it's anything beyond that or if she appears to be in any actual distress. And then tell the Human In Charge, because she will cheerfully make as though she's Never Been Fed, Ever when a food-giver returns home. Even when she's already eaten.)

    So when my partner was living with Host Family #2, they borrowed some wet/dry automatic feeders (with ice pack) in service of being able to be out & about and spend the night away, without overly distressing the cat. This worked reasonably well.

    Then they returned the feeders. They then tried to replace them.

    Friends, do you know how very goddamn many nearly identical compartment feeders with a rotating lid exist on places like Amazon? A very bloody lot, as it turns out. And not all of them are up to the challenge of being worked at by a determined and highly food-motivated hacker-kitten.

    Candidate Feeders 1 and 2 had a spring-loaded lid. Hacker-Kitten dug at it with her little blunt pussywillow-paws until the lid crept back, then held it there (somehow) and stuck her little face in, and ate extra portions.

    Candidate Feeder 3 looked like the loaner feeder, but Hacker-Kitten batted at the protective plastic cover on the brain/engine core, and broke the manual advance button by standing on it, then dug it open despite the lack of springs and claws. Subsequently the thing didn't work at all.

    Candidate Feeder 4 was the same model as 3, but I'd taped down the core's cover in a way that defeated the attempts to open it that way. After the evening meal, I put it up out of harm's way for the night, and put it down again in the morning. She ate her breakfast on schedule, but come 5:30pm or so and she'd dug the top around to the next meal, early.

    This morning when my partner put it out again (only dry food, this time) loaded with today and tomorrow's meals, a little past breakfast I saw she'd opened the dinner compartment just a little. So I put it up, and sent my partner the link to the (not cheap) feeder I found that will do 1/8 cup increments of dry food and uses an entirely different mechanism. I'll put it down when I leave for my event this evening, then see what she's done to it by the time I return...

    We're hoping that Feeder 5 will do the trick.

    It would be ideal to be able to give her both wet and dry food on a timer (and keep the wet food refrigerated, naturally) for 2-3 days. But failing that, just dry food will keep her fed well enough that she won't be yowling and desperate if an evening out goes longer than planned. (Usually we feed her early if we think we'll be out significantly past her dinner. But that doesn't always work.) Provided she doesn't eat it all early...

    Group work

    Aug. 8th, 2017 15:18
    liv: Cartoon of a smiling woman with a long plait, teaching about p53 (teacher)
    [personal profile] liv
    I'm on a mission to redeem group work in education. I expect this to be controversial among many of my friends. So if I'm right and lots of you have terrible memories / experiences of being made to do bad group work, I invite you to comment here and tell me what was bad about it. Do you think it's just awful, or are there problems that might be fixed? I believe strongly that while it can be dire, it can also be great, or perhaps I might phrase it as, there are things that look like group work superficially but are actually great.

    Because I'm on a mission this may turn into a more formal research survey at some point, but in that case I'll pose the question in a formal context with ethics and everything. Right now I'm just trying to gather some opinions and not just rely on my own ideas. Plus I am eye-deep in paperwork and I could do with some distraction, so do rant away.

    Ubique sunt ignori stulti

    Aug. 8th, 2017 14:11
    selenak: (Tourists by Kathyh)
    [personal profile] selenak
    In the last three days, British historian Mary Beard has been relentlessly attacked on and off twitter for pointing out that the Roman Empire wasn't populated exclusively by white people; this particular round of racism, misogyny and general vileness was started by, of all things, a five minutes BBC cartoon for children featuring some poc Romans. It would be ridiculous if it weren't so outrageous and depressingly a symptom for our present, especially considering current Trump Administration employee and long time racist nutter Alex Jones has also commented. Detailed articles on the subject here and here.

    (Incidentally, if I weren't there already, such events would completely sway me to the "representation matters" side when it comes to tv and movie casting.)
    helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Guest Post (guest post)
    [personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
    We're thrilled to share the first post in the Short & Sweet column written by [personal profile] forestofglory. Short & Sweet is an ongoing short fiction column full of recs and short fiction goodness, and [personal profile] forestofglory will drop in each quarter to share what she's been reading and what short fiction she's excited about. We're so happy to have her; please give her a warm welcome (and read her recs!).


    Animal Brides


    Here are six stories featuring animal brides, a trope about animals who turn into women and marry humans. Sometimes they have choice about this and sometimes the human forces them. This trope can take a lot different forms and the worlds in these stories are varied. Animal brides allow authors to explore ways women are viewed and desired. The trope lets the authors examine a variety of animals and animal archetypes.These stories deal with entitlement and freedom. They frequently draw on fairy tales and myths. This collection hits a lot different themes and moods from cute to creepy. Overall this list a bit darker then what I really generally rec but I love all of these stories.

    "The Contemporary Foxwife" by Yoon Ha Lee (4,763 words) — So this is probably one of my favorite stories ever, it's so cute and sweet. It's a bit of an outlier here being the happiest story and also the only story to feature a male animal bride, and the only story with science fictional elements – it’s set on a space station.

    "The Animal Women" by Alix E. Harrow (8,534 words) — Content note: race in America, violence, attempted sexual assault. I got really sucked into this story set in the US south about how women’s voices are repressed. It is pretty dark in places but had an ending I found hopeful. While the women in this story aren’t brides, their animal affinities are important, and the story shares many themes with other animal bride stories.

    "The Fox Bride" by Mari Ness (1,308 words) — This one really plays on the animal nature of the animal bride and also the way stories have of taking over reality. It's extremely unromantic about animals and what they are like.

    "Dragon Brides" by Nghi Vo (3,620 words) — Rather than a story about dragons who marry men, this a story about women who marry dragons. Or rather about a princess who was once captured by a dragon. But it feels thematically of a piece with the rest.

    "Jackalope Wives" by Ursula Vernon (5,000 words) — I love how the author uses the desert myths and legends here. Between that and her depiction of desert fauna and flora she really brings the desert to life. I also really enjoy Grandma Harken–it’s nice to see an old woman be the hero of a story and I enjoy her no nonsense attitude.

    "Foxwife" by Hiromi Goto in The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm ed. Ellen Datlow and Terrie Windling — This story gives us a glimpse of such an interesting world I always wish the author would write something else set there. I also really like how Goto uses aspects of Japanese myths.

    These stories are about many types of animals and multiple genders, but they've all stuck with me, and changed how I think about women and desire. Looking at women and marriage through the lens of animals let me understand some of the ways women are objectified and treated as less than human. Particularity the way the fox (and the prince) are treated in Mari Ness' story where they aren't given a choice about their marriage. Though other stories have aspects of this too: for example, the careless way Grandma Harken's grandson treats the Jackalope wife. But the trope can also explore the ways women have power even in situations where they seem powerless. "Animal women" makes this point especially well. Ultimately, animal brides is a varied trope which is why there are so many great, but very different, stories featuring them. I hope you will take time to read some of these.
    copperbadge: (Default)
    [personal profile] copperbadge
    I stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home tonight and bought a box of mushrooms, two chicken breasts, a bottle of General Tso’s sauce, and a ciabatta baguette. (Bet some of you didn’t even know you could get a ciabatta baguette, but you can! Delicious cultural blasphemy!) 

    I came home, chopped up the chicken and mushroom, stir-fried them with some roasted garlic, added the sauce, and ate the results with avocado slices on the ciabatta baguette. I am telling you all this in the spirit of bragging because it was AMAZING. 

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    Fanfic Recs

    Aug. 7th, 2017 20:44
    selenak: (Black Sails by Violateraindrop)
    [personal profile] selenak
    Black Sails:


    Echoes: it's that rarity, a post-Treasure Island fanfic not in denial of same which has Silver reflecting on his past, specifically the relationship with Madi. Also Flint, but here the focus is on Madi. And it takes what happens in the s4 finale fully into account.

    Book of Days: Miranda (and James) after London and in the years before the show starts. Beautiful and painful.

    Class:

    ....a question for everyone who has watched this little gem of a spin-off and the most recent season of Doctor Who: at which point of the Doctor's timeline do you think he met Charlie & Quill and brought them to Earth? We know that there were only three months between that and the Class pilot, and that Clara (as well as Danny) are listed as the most recent names on the Coal Hill board in the pilot, so it must most likely have been post-Clara for the Doctor, and I'm guessing pre-Bill, but was it before or after the events of Extremis flashback that reveals his s10 arrangement with a certain someone in the vault? At the time Class was broadcast, [personal profile] londonkds speculated he might have been projecting his best enemy on to Miss Quill (though they're actually quite different, other than love of sarcasm, if you look at motivation and goals), and it occurs to me the s10 revelation makes that even more likely, but it could have worked both ways - he could have had his Rhodian & Quill encounter before the flashback events, in which case it would have been part of the build up to the decision he makes there, or after, in which case the decision could have been part of the projecting and ignoring that the Quill and Charlie situation really isn't alike.

    Okay, on to the fanfiction:

    wear me like a locket 'round your throat: Charlie and Quill before, during and after the season finale.

    Two stories using the fact that Clara Oswald taught at Coal Hill:

    To to learn to be brave: in this one, she's April's favourite teacher and inspiration, but April also observes her downward spiral.

    Per Aspera Ad Astra: in which Clara makes a nostalgic incognito visit to Coal Hill post DW season 9 and promptly runs into the not at all nostalgically minded Quill.

    (no subject)

    Aug. 7th, 2017 08:05
    copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
    [personal profile] copperbadge
    Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

    Ways To Give:

    [personal profile] spasticat has been unemployed since October of last year, and while she's been actively looking for work, her benefits and savings have run out; she's raising funds for utilities, medication, and rent. You can read more and support her YouCaring here.

    Helen moved with her family to Reno in March, tranferring to a good job with a company she's been with for four years. However, the affordable housing crisis in Reno is so bad that she is forced to live out of a motel while on the waiting list for several apartment complexes. The cost of this housing is preventing her from saving enough to be able to pay for a place when one finally becomes available, so she's raising funds for first month, last month, and security deposit. You can read more and support her GoFundMe here.

    [tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

    Buy Stuff, Help Out:

    [tumblr.com profile] we-are-valid has launched its Indiegogo pre-order campaign for their first piece of gender affirming shapeware in its new line, Post Secondary. This is "Alex", tucking panties designed by transfeminine people as a solution to a lot of the issue previous tucking shapeware had (expensive, non-breathable, chafing). You can read more, support the IndieGoGo without purchasing, or preorder a pair here. (there's also a super cool t-shirt you can get if you support at the $20 level.)

    [tumblr.com profile] magpiesmiscellany has a selection of tree-of-life pendants in various shapes, colors, and sizes for sale, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Immigration Law Center. You can read more and purchase them here.

    News To Know:

    Carter let me know that the Leverage Big/Mini Bang signups are open! I ran RFM items letting people know about the Bang for a few weeks, and now you can register to participate. You can read more and sign up here (sign up links are at the bottom of the post -- at least on my screen they don't actually look like links but they are, I promise!)

    And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
    renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
    [personal profile] renay posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
    I love it when I pick up exactly the right book at exactly the right time.

    Hawkeye: Kate Bishop — Anchor Points was 100% the comic I needed to read. It was everything I wanted after the nightmare of U.S. Senate Funhouse — Encroaching Death Week: a fun, woman-led adventure that pokes fun at pop culture, critiques toxic masculinity, centers female friendships and mentorships, and ties realistic struggles that women face into supernatural shenanigans in non-didactic ways. Kate is adorable, confident, competent, and she gets the best sidekicks. If you're looking for a fun romp with a former Avenger-turned-private investigator, this will be your jam. Read more... )

    fic (twissy pr0n)

    Aug. 7th, 2017 01:12
    nostalgia: (twissy touchy)
    [personal profile] nostalgia
    YEAH BITCHES IT IS DONE. It is not quite 10,000 words but nearly, which is odd because not much really happens in it?? It is, erm, Twissy fic with lite pr0n content because it is about aliens going into heat and making sweet yet frantic love to each other. Thusly it is rated "Mature" so children are not allowed to read any of this under any circumstances whatsoever. I dunno, it'll have to do because I don't know how to rewrite it any better than it is.

    Here is the AO3 link, yo.

    Pls enjoy and be kind about it??

    Yet more Last Kingdom thoughts

    Aug. 6th, 2017 20:33
    selenak: (Uthred and Alfred)
    [personal profile] selenak
    More Last Kingdom thoughts, and a new icon which I made myself since I couldn't find one, apropos some rewatching after reading the early books and discussions with [personal profile] peasant:

    Cut for spoilers )

    Orphan Black 5.09.

    Aug. 6th, 2017 18:01
    selenak: (Allison by Spankulert)
    [personal profile] selenak
    Last but one episode, and more board clearing.

    Spoilery talk )

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