Gratitudes

Aug. 21st, 2017 05:05 pm
kass: lilacs, "zen fen" (zen lilac)
[personal profile] kass
1. My friends. Even those whom I don't get to see often enough.

2. The place where I live, which is mine, and is filled with art and photographs and things that are meaningful to me.

3. The glorious green world. I always want summer to last forever, and it won't, but I'm doing my best to enjoy it while it's here.

4. I got to take two and a half days of vacation last week, and they were really lovely.

5. There is rosé chilling in my fridge even now. :-)

How are y'all?

Partial Eclipse

Aug. 21st, 2017 04:57 pm
goss: (2017)
[personal profile] goss
I took this photo at 3:53pm today:



From my house, this is as covered as the sun got during the solar eclipse. My dad has a special sun filter that he uses for surveying, so I took a bunch of video and pics during the event today. Though not a total eclipse, it was really cool to look up in the sky and see this in real time. :)

Femslashex Dear Creator

Aug. 21st, 2017 09:23 pm
shopfront: Source: Heroes. Claire and Gretchen kissing, close-up. Text: I watch for the PLOT. (H - [Claire/Gretch] I watch for the plot)
[personal profile] shopfront
Psst, don't forget to sign up for [community profile] femslashex!

Placeholder/under construction.
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I am a dancer in the New York City Ballet. I wrote the pages that follow during one ballet season. I began on November 21, 1980, and finished on February 15, 1981. I was lonely; I was sad. I had decided to be alone, but I had never decided to be lonely. I started writing on a yellow pad. I wrote, and I smoked. Every page was covered with a film of smoke.

If you like that, you will like this book. It's one of those slim but pithy volumes that precisely captures a time, a place, and a state of mind.

I've always had a fascination with ballet, ever since my second-grade teacher offered a trip to see the Nutcracker Suite (it was at least ten years before I realized that the second word was not "sweet") to her top three students. I had no idea what that was, other than that it was clearly desirable, so I went all-out to make sure that I'd get the prize. I was sufficiently enchanted with The Nutcracker and the general air of specialness surrounding the entire experience that I begged my parents for ballet lessons, at which I lasted something like three sessions. I don't recall the exact problem, but based on my age I'm guessing that there was too much standing around.

After that I confined myself to reading ballet books, which was more fun that actually doing it. Had I tried when I was older, I might have stuck with it for longer. Based on Bentley book and everything else I've read about ballet dancing, it has an austere, stoic, boot camp, push your limits atmosphere that would have really appealed to me if I'd been three to five years older. And then I would have gotten my heart broken, because I am not built to be a ballerina.

Winter Season beautifully depicts the illusion shown to the audience and the reality experienced by the dancers, and how the dancers live the illusion as well. It's got all the fascinating details of any good backstage memoir, without bitterness or cynicism. Even as it ground down her body, Bentley never stopped loving ballet; she seems to feel that she was lucky to have the chance to live the dream, just for the opportunity to spend a few minutes every day being the perfect expression of her body and the choreographer's art.

Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal, with a new preface

And I will place the next bit under a cut in case you just want to read about Winter Season. As opposed to ass. Read more... )
musesfool: Batman + A BABY driving a BUS (just like driving a really big pinto)
[personal profile] musesfool
You know, if I had known that viewing the eclipse via the selfie camera was okay, I might have done that rather than watched it via the NASA livestream on youtube, but I only just found that out. Boss3 got a cool picture that way.

Anyway, we had it set up on a screen here in the conference room, so people could wander in and out, rather than having 400 people trying to stream it individually. I was outside in the beginning of it, but it didn't seem to be getting darker or anything (we didn't get the totality here), and I had no glasses or pinhole viewer, so I just came back inside and ate my bagel.

The only real downside is that I have had "Total Eclipse of the Heart" in my head for at least a week. Even listening it to a few times hasn't cured the damn earworm. That video remains super creepy.

In other news, last night, I finally watched Lego Batman, which I enjoyed quite a bit. I'm always a sucker for Bruce learning to be a good Batdad to his Batkid(s). The one thing I didn't care for was the Bruce/Babs insinuations, but at least she didn't seem into it, so that was fine. (Also, yay for Rosario Dawson, bridging that MCU/DCU divide!)

***
sineala: (Avengers: Steve with cowl)
[personal profile] sineala
Wish Fulfillment (1427 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel Ultimates, Marvel 616, Avengers (Comics)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Characters: Steve Rogers, Steve Rogers (Ultimates), Tony Stark (Ultimates)
Additional Tags: Multiverse, Fix-It of Sorts, Hydra Steve Rogers, Secret Empire (Marvel), Cosmic Cube, Angst, Avengers Vol. 7 (2017), Community: cap_ironman, Cap-Ironman Bingo
Summary: When Steve hears that Tony is alive again, he does what any Supreme Hydra would do: he captures Tony. Unfortunately for him, it's not the right Tony.

For my Cap-IM Bingo card, the square of Tony breaking free from chains. Spoilers for Secret Empire #8 and Ultimates 2 #100. My goal here is clearly to write all the Hydra Cap while he's still canon.

This one's a fix-it. If you enjoy the thought of Hydra Steve being punched in the face, this may be your kind of story.

Music Monday Meme

Aug. 21st, 2017 05:30 pm
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
7. A song to drive to
Breaking Benjamin - Blow Me Away
lyrics
It's reasonably active without being aggressive, so alertness-inducing, and the rhythm's nice. And, after an inevitable post-con crash in sentiment, I require something that tells me that yes, I'll be the one who saves us all.

Beach | Eclipse | The Defenders

Aug. 21st, 2017 09:41 am
goss: (\o/)
[personal profile] goss
  1. Beach

    Since my mom's abroad right now, I took my dad to the beach this weekend, with a couple other relatives for company. Saturday was a wonderful, sunny day, driving through the rainforest mountain. I was a bit worried during the week, since a tropical storm was headed to the Caribbean and there'd been a landslide on road along the coastline. But luckily, the storm missed us entirely and went further north. Also the effects of the landslide were mostly taken care of, so the road was clear.

    Here's a pic I took on Saturday, of the view from the house. As you can see, we got lovely, clear skies.



    And at nightfall it was just amazing to see thousands of stars per square inch in the sky. I mean, I know they're always there, but where I live we never see them all, due to the bright lights.

    On Sunday, the weather was a bit more overcast, but it was nice being warm and dry, while still having that lovely view despite the rain. I did a little bit of sketching of the rain falling on the deck. It was oddly mesmerizing watching the raindrops making circular patterns in the pool.

    Pencil Sketch: Raindrops )

    Glad the skies cleared up in the afternoon for the long drive in our return journey back home. Here's one more pic of the coastline on that part of the island. Gorgeous as usual. *___* Photo )

  2. Eclipse

    Hey, I hear there's gonna be a complete solar eclipse over the U.S. today. I think here in the Caribbean we'll be able to see a partial eclipse at around 2:30pm, a few hours from now. So I'm looking forward to that. :)

  3. The Defenders

    EEE! I didn't realised the series came out over the weekend. I see everyone on Tumblr and DW seems to have seen in. EVen my own *brother* has seen it. Where was I? At the beach. lol. Need to watch before I get spoiled somehow. /o\

    political performance

    Aug. 21st, 2017 10:18 am
    lamentables: (Default)
    [personal profile] lamentables
    The first of the festival performances was by a cultural troupe that looked very Chinese to us - in their faces, hair, and clothes - and distinct from the locals. The music they were dancing to also sounded very Chinese. D observed that they are clearly happy to be part of India, which is not sure of all the tribes in the state. In the Tawang region, however, they are probably very aware of the oppression of Tibet. Until he said this, it had not occurred to me how political this performance was, just by the fact it was happening.

    a different dance

    After that there were speeches from the monks that went on far too long - the locals were looking pretty bored. (I forgot to mention: we were, as promised, welcomed to the festival as honoured guests in the opening speech.)

    faces and schoolgirls and proud fathers, oh my )

    After that there was another dance troupe, wearing tentacle hats, and then it was time for us to leave.

    yak wool hats

    who wouldn't want a crocheted tie?

    Aug. 21st, 2017 10:01 am
    lamentables: (Default)
    [personal profile] lamentables
    Yesterday we managed to combine being completely relaxed with starting to explore our environs. After a morning of chilling, and a light lunch, abrinsky and I went out for a walk. Our plan was to go to the local supermarket to buy some kitchen roll, but first we set off in the opposite direction.

    Our holiday property, a big square block that was once the police station, is about half way along the high street, so we are surrounded by interesting shops and buildings. There's a fantastic decommissioned chapel with a wonderful wooden door and short-but-commanding turret for sale, but sadly the deadline for offers passed on Friday, so our sudden interest in owning a Welsh chapel was short lived. Then there was a big old building housing an interesting looking café and a couple of shops, one of which was a secondhand bookshop. You will be unsurprised to learn that we went in the bookshop, and bought a couple of books. abrinsky, to our amazement, found a book about Mizoram, an Indian state on which we've found very little published in English. We snapped that up. When we got back we discovered that it's the memoir of a Welsh missionary woman in Mizoram after WW2.

    My find was a book of crochet patterns, published by Batsford in 1969. I love Batsford's modern textile books (which tend to have lovely tactile covers), and their older ones are also very desirable. There are lots of patterns for placemats, table cloths, tray covers, pillowcase edgings, and other household items that are very much of their time. There are also some clothes that I would definitely wear:

    Fab Batsford book of #crochet patterns from the 60s. Would def wear this. Find #oftheday

    I'm seriously thinking of having a go at that or one of the other tops, but they are crocheted in very fine yarn with a 1.25mm hook, so I estimate it will take me around seventeen years to complete. This may be a good thing - a way of filling my need to make, whilst slowing down my rate of acquiring stuff.

    abrinsky, however, rejected the opportunity to be a style icon with a crocheted tie:

    But @abrinsky has refused the opportunity to become a style icon in a crocheted tie 😂

    After the bookshop was St Cadfan's church, which is 1500 years old and very impressive. I haven't uploaded the other photos yet, but this head from one of the pillars intrigued us because it seems to be a woman, where all the others are clearly men. (We could be misreading, but we spent ages comparing faces, facial hair, and apparel.)

    Face #oftheday #tywyn #stcadfans

    After the church there were derelict buildings, ghost signs, a C20 Catholic Church that we couldn't get into and a plan to go to the beach. But then it started to rain, so we headed back and stopped at Dolly's where they serve delicious gluten free cake and acceptable coffee.

    (We didn't actually buy any kitchen roll.)

    Notes on The Defenders

    Aug. 21st, 2017 10:35 am
    roga: coffee mug with chocolate cubes (coffee chocolate)
    [personal profile] roga
    Which I come at from the point of view of someone who has only seen Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, and the first episodes of Daredevil (which I might one day catch up on) and Iron Fist (which I definitely will not).

    So:

    Spoilers for all episodes of The Defenders )

    Movie: Tales from Earthsea (2006)

    Aug. 21st, 2017 01:36 pm
    flamebyrd: (Default)
    [personal profile] flamebyrd
    Last night, A nominated me to choose a movie to watch, so I picked Gedo Senki | Tales from Earthsea, a DVD I bought about a decade ago and then never actually watched.

    Thoughts below the cut, with spoilers. )
    umadoshi: (tomatoes 02)
    [personal profile] umadoshi
    --The Sparkler Monthly Year 5 Kickstarter has only 48 hours left to go, and still needs about $5000. They've made a lot of progress over the weekend, and last year was a nail-biter too (and they made it), but ugh, this is stressful. Here's a post at Panel Patter outlining the awesomeness of the company and magazine, if you're on the fence or haven't taken a look but might be interested!

    --I didn't make further Defenders progress over the weekend, so I'm still only three episodes in. But I did get StarCraft Remastered up and running!

    --The one thing I miss about having a CRT monitor (yes, I hear myself) is my old document holder, which can't be readily used on a flatscreen. I've been poking around online this weekend (Amazon, Staples, Newegg), and there are so few options for holders that actually attach to the monitor and hold the document you're typing at eye level. [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose looked at the first couple of possibilities I found, and one looks like it needs more of a frame around the actual screen than my desktop monitor has, and the other sticks with something he thinks isn't likely to hold well on this monitor. I have great confidence that he can rig something up and make it work, once we go over the possibilities I've found so far, but I'm baffled by how few options there seem to be. (But maybe my dislike of having the document holder down on the desk--too low, and eating up a footprint of space on the desk surface--isn't widely shared.)

    (The above means I fell into the rabbit hole of desk organizers etc. on Amazon. O_O I seem to have escaped alive.)

    --AFAIK Nova Scotia won't see much sign of the eclipse tomorrow. I hope all of you who're able to see it, and who're excited about it, get a good look!

    [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I are new enough at the whole gardening thing that it didn't occur to either of us to check on the plants after the weather yesterday. Although I suppose a lot of the reason for that is that the weather didn't seem that bad? It was windy and quite rainy, but it didn't seem that windy, and the rain seemed like it'd be good for them. *sighs* But no, a couple of the tomato plants, including the towering Sungold, toppled over. In the Sungold's case, the Smartpot stayed put but the halo and rootball tipped out. o_o

    I didn't get a look at it then; [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose went out without me at first when I was still hoping it'd be a case of tipping the plants back upright. I'd just been in the shower, and it was dark, and I knew the mosquitoes--which, as we've established, find me tastier--were out. But [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose didn't come right back in, so I put on a thick hoodie, hood and all, and zipped it up so only my hands and face and the tops of my feet were bare.

    Hopefully the plants will be okay, now that they've had more supports added. We'll take another look tomorrow when there's light. But at the very least, I definitely have mosquito bites on the backs of both hands and the tops of both feet. Ugh. Sounds like we may have similar numbers of bites despite [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose having been outside easily twice as long as I was.

    (no subject)

    Aug. 20th, 2017 06:05 pm
    mirabile: (Saguaro Sunset)
    [personal profile] mirabile
    What a week! Good golly. I'm afraid to open my laptop for fear what I'll learn has happened now. However, I did learn something really helpful from Jason Kottke's blog, the paradox of tolerance. Had you heard of that? Why hadn't I? More evidence that it's always right to punch a Nazi.

    Tomorrow is Fanfiction Writer Appreciation Day, according to my Tumblr dashboard, so I'm gonna hit that kudos button hard. I'm terrible at commenting, so I promise to try, but . . . Commenting is hard. And I love getting kudos SO MUCH that I assume others do as well.

    And tomorrow is also the eclipse! Here are three links about that:

    First, to see exactly what time and how much of an eclipse you'll witness wherever you are in the US, enter your zip code and watch.

    Via Kottke and by the Weather Channel, a simulated play-by-play of tomorrow's eclipse. We won't see totality here in Phoenix (62.2%), but I'm still ridiculously excited about witnessing it.

    Also eclipse related, a youtube video of the March 2016 eclipse, Alaska Airlines Solar Eclipse Flight #870. Be sure to turn down the volume; the guy filming it was SO EXCITED!

    Let's see, what's been happening chez Mira? Not a bad week personally, but I really need to keep off Twitter and not read Wapo for a while. So fucking distressing and I feel so helpless. And Tuesday Trump will be in Phoenix to announce a pardon for former sheriff Joe Arpaio, one of the most blatant racists since George Wallace. Just fuck.

    In happier news, on Thursday, Webster and I took Mother to lunch (at the Cheesecake Factory again, which we all enjoyed) and then to the Chandler Museum. It's a tiny thing but we all found the story behind the building, and the city of Chandler, pretty interesting. What was most moving, though, was a fairly good sized exhibit about the Japanese internment camp that existed nearby. It was built on the Gila River Indian Reservation (how's that for irony) and at one time was Arizona's fourth largest city. Webster and I have visited Manzanar so I knew what to expect, but a lot of this was new to Mother. She especially loved the paper cranes that were everywhere -- 16,655 of them, one for every resident of the internment camp. Beautiful and touching, and terrifying to see so many of them. So many people.

    Also on Thursday I attended the bi-monthly (by which I mean every other month) dinner meeting for families of the residents of Mother's assisted living facility. They always have a yummy dinner, lots of wine (which alas I can't drink since I'm driving), and a delicious dessert, and then a discussion of personnel or procedural changes, plus the managers and supervisors answer questions. More than that, they take notes and things change. Mother selected this facility and it's wonderful. The more I learn and observe, the more grateful I am that Mother did her due diligence and found such a wonderful, caring, safe place to live.

    One of the remodeling projects in our home is replacing the door knobs with levers, and we're almost finished. Webster told me today that he only did it for me, but now that he's seen how much better they look, he's really pleased. He says they look "elegant," and I do, too, plus they're so much easier to open, especially when your hands are full. We chose the Kwikset Tustin in Venetian Bronze (don't look at the price -- we didn't pay anything like that).

    Today I slept late and then swam my laps. I also made two loaves of sourdough bread and sourdough waffle starter. And I started reading Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw. I'm only a few chapters in, but so far I love it. Dr. Greta Helsing has inherited the family's highly specialized and highly peculiar medical practice. She treats the undead for a host of ills - vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. It's a quiet, supernatural-adjacent life until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice -- and her life. And yes, she's part of that Helsing family.

    Now, on to some misc. links:
    Almost a decade ago, I bought my first bra from Bravissimo (the Covent Garden branch) and I've never looked back. I thought I hated bras until I was properly fitted. Here's a useful website all about bras for larger breasted people: D Cup or Bigger. Lots of good info.

    Project Subway NYC: X-Ray maps looking at some of NYC's subways. I've never been to NYC, but I love the idea of subways and trains and trams and these x-ray maps are fascinating to study. I wish they had some similar maps of London's tube system.

    Trump v. the Statue of Liberty: From the Guardian, A senior Trump advisor, Stephen Miller, sparked a furor last week when he dismissed the famous poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty. In response, we asked 21 poets: what type of poem would Trump like to see at the statue? I found some of these poems deeply moving, but my favorite is "Twelve Reasons A Woman Might Hold Up One Arm."

    In general, I am not a fan of The Economist, but they nailed this: The e-mail Larry Page should have written to James Damore -- Larry Page runs Google and James Damore is the fool who wrote that memo about why diversity is so very wrong. Your chain of reasoning had so many missing links that it hardly mattered what your argument was based on. We try to hire people who are willing to follow where the facts lead, whatever their preconceptions. In your case we clearly made a mistake.

    Someone should turn this into a movie! (In fact, I wonder if the Coens'* Hail, Caesar! was based on the story?) This Undercover Spy Operation Helped Foil a Nazi Plot in 1930s L.A..

    [*Where does the apostrophe go? There are two Coens, which has two syllables, and it was their movie, so I finally chose Coens'. ???]

    Finally, I love this artist's work! Illustrator Perfectly Captures the Overlooked Joys of Living Alone. Included is a link to the artist's online shop; I am planning to buy one of her prints for my sister for Christmas, and one just for me.

    Hello, dear friends! Let's stay safe and sane in these terrible times!

    Grr. Argh.

    Aug. 20th, 2017 09:02 pm
    settiai: (Gus/Shawn -- sporkyadrasteia)
    [personal profile] settiai
    I would like to state, for the record, that I seriously hate having finances that are in a state where all it takes is one unexpected larger expense to send me panicking. :-/

    So, yes, it's looking like my tentative plans to make it to PAX Unplugged are crashing and burning at the moment. And there's a very good chance that I'm not going to have enough money to cover some bills that will be popping up in the next 2-3 weeks, which means I'm probably going to be going through my belongings and putting up another virtual garage sale post in the next few days.

    Mainly because the universe fucking hates me right now. Apparently, at least.

    It's been awhile since I posted it, so here's my Ko-fi page if anyone has an extra couple of dollars to spare. If anyone makes a donation, I'd be glad to try to write you a short fic in a fandom that I know. And, like I said before, I'll probably be posting a bunch of books and DVDs (and probably some other stuff as well) for sale in the next few days if anyone's interested in such things.

    Defenders Reaction Post

    Aug. 20th, 2017 06:47 pm
    igrockspock: (daredevil: begin again)
    [personal profile] igrockspock
    "Your ability to get through [life], even as things get harder, is worth a hundred times more than your ability to slap a smile on your face and pretend that everything is just fine."

    Thank you, Matt Murdock. I really needed to hear that this week. In other news, I streamed the entire Defenders series yesterday and wrote a short fic about Foggy dealing with the aftermath (spoilers, naturally).

    On the whole, I liked it. It's not flawless, but it didn't have as much dead space as some of the individual series, and they improved some areas that were lacking in Daredevil season two and Iron Fist.

    More detailed thoughts, with spoilers )

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