oh what a beautiful morning

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:28 am
lamentables: (Default)
[personal profile] lamentables
The view from the hotel forecourt next morning was pretty amazing.

monastery in the morning

In the distance, on the hilltop is Tawang Monastery the principal reason for our visit. It's the largest buddhist monastery in India and second only to Lhasa, being large enough to accommodate around 1,500 monks. It was very shiny in the sun, and also visible from our hotel room - imagine being able to see that view from your bed. (I'm now overcome with a desire to be back there.)

At breakfast my Spanish omelette was mostly like a super-sized masala omelette - tasty, but definitely not worth the extra hassle D caused by ordering it. In the course of a chaotic breakfast, we discovered firstly that the hotel had run out of cornflakes, and then that our cars were carrying our own personal supply of cornflakes.
Truthfully, abrinsky and I would prefer to be eating local food, but there is always a presumption that as tourists we'll want to eat familiar food for breakfast, and at least cornflakes provide me with a safe gluten-free option. Next time I organise a private trip, I shall try to make non-cornflake breakfast arrangements. And, in fact, we have a vague plan for a trip around Assam that has a focus on local food, because another frustration is that we often end up eating 'pan Indian' instead of local. In some places that does make sense, given that we eschew meat, but I think we could do some interesting eating in Assam.

Our hotel in the morning sun was the tallest

the tallest

and the greenest

and the greenest

Oddly, there didn't seem to be many guests staying in such a large building. We couldn't figure out if all the floors were hotel, or if some were...residential?

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:53 am
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

Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist...

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:04 pm
rachelmanija: (Buffy: I kind of love you)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Full letter with prompts to come ASAP. The letter below is incomplete.

Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist,

Thank you so much for writing for me! This is my first time doing FemslashEx, so I'm really excited.

(I only requested art for one fandom; however, if anyone is moved to do an art treat for me in any of them, I would absolutely love that.)

Loves, DNWs, and notes/prompts for my fandoms (Aliens, Carrie, Original Work, Star Trek: Classic Timeline, and X/1999 below cut). Read more... )

Dear Femslash Creator,

Aug. 16th, 2017 09:45 pm
settiai: (Absinthe/'Nique -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
Just to note: my requests include Critical Role, Doctor Who, Dragon Age, Hunger Games, Mass Effect, and Crossovers.

First of all, relax! I'm far from being picky, and I can pretty much guarantee that I'll love whatever you decide to draw or write for me. These are nothing but guidelines, for you to take to heart or ignore to your heart's content. Also, hey! You're drawing and/or writing me femslash! What's not to love? ♥

That said, I thought that I'd elaborate a bit on my requests in case, like me, you're the type of person who likes to have something to work with. Feel free to use and/or ignore as much of this as you want. I've tried to include a mix of vague prompts as well as more detailed ones, to hopefully make things as helpful as possible whether you're drawing art or writing fic.

More details under the cut. )

Requests under the cut. )

Marvel/DC ship

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:35 pm
goss: (*fangirls* - Starfire Raven)
[personal profile] goss
So I had this weird, random dream the other night. A college AU, featuring Deadpool and...Harley Quinn.

Deadpool and Harley Quinn, you guys! ♥

The more I think about it, the more I feel like they would be PERFECT together. Screw Joker, man. Deadpool's brand of insanity is a way better (healthier?) fit for Harley.

And now I want, like, all the shippy fic and fanart. I wonder what their portmanteau would be? Dead...ley? Hee.

But seriously, can we make this a thing? For real? I NEED IT TO HAPPEN.

broken :-( And eclipse! :-)

Aug. 16th, 2017 06:38 pm
ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
[personal profile] ilanarama
In case you're wondering why I haven't been posting, it's because I'm not doing anything worthy of posting about. Yeah, I had great plans after the Kendall Mountain Run, but maybe I shouldn't have posted, at the end of my race report:
Now, my legs hurt like you wouldn't believe, though I don't think I actually injured anything, just overused the muscles of my quads and glutes. Hopefully everything will feel good by next Saturday, when we head out into the wilderness for a week of backpacking. Then it will be time to turn my exercise attention to mountain biking in preparation for the Telluride-to-Moab ride in September. But I'll still be running 3-4 days a week, including attending the club track workouts, and hopefully by the time October comes around, I'll be ready to run a decent half marathon, and maybe even sign up for a late fall/early winter marathon.
Because in fact I did injure something. Gory details. )

Anyway, that's why I've been boring lately. :-( But in happier news, we'll be driving our camper van to Wyoming to see the eclipse, heading out this weekend! Originally we were going to combine it with some mtb'ing, but obviously if we do any, I'm just going to ride around on a dirt road as I'm not yet ready to switch to the real bike. This will be my second total eclipse, as I saw the March 1970 eclipse with my family:

March 1970 eclipse March 1970 eclipse

Er, I'm the six-year-old moppet wrapped in a blanket. The reason all the telescopes are there is that my father worked for NASA Goddard, and so this was a group of his co-workers and their families, who had all driven to just over the VA-NC line to get to totality.

reading, writing, no 'rithmatic

Aug. 16th, 2017 04:59 pm
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.

(no subject)

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:42 pm
skygiants: the princes from Into the Woods, singing (agony)
[personal profile] skygiants
It's hard for me not to unfavorably compare every Isabelle Hollington Gothic to Trelawny, the one with the identical non-identical constantly-swapping twins, but The Marchington Inheritance runs a reasonable second for batshit plot resolutions.

Our Heroine is a children's book illustrator named Avril, which would be fine if she were not ALSO notable for her family reputation as a Strung-Out Sulky Counter-Culture Fight-The-Power Teen Rebel with constant Rage Against the Preppy machine, which meant that I had "Complicated" and "Sk8er Boi" stuck on rotate in my head for the entire duration of this novel. THANKS, ISABELLE HOLLAND.

spoilers are full of hilariously plausibly annoying children )

Culprit identified....

Aug. 16th, 2017 09:11 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
While weeding the back garden (this time with gloves on), I found another mystery plant, this time with white flowers, and Mike identified it as self-seeded nicotiana, the sap of which the internet confirms can cause skin irritation.

Fortunately, my diagnosis of the blisters as big but minor was correct: they've come off, and the skin underneath is undamaged. I'll have to remember that in future!

Worldcon: Wednesday

Aug. 16th, 2017 09:16 pm
extrapenguin: Photo of horse's head (Default)
[personal profile] extrapenguin
I arrived, registration was painless enough, and then I went to do panels. They had seriously underestimated the amount of people attending on Wednesday, so everything was packed, and I didn't fit into many panels. Have my mostly unedited notes from last week.

Read more... )

i'm not saying you're not on my mind

Aug. 16th, 2017 02:02 pm
musesfool: darth vader saying "He said what about his sister? Gross." (he said what about his sister?)
[personal profile] musesfool
I don't generally play games on my phone - I have a sordid history with computer games going back to the days of Police Quest and the Indiana Jones game, where I would stay up all night playing and then be unable to get up for class. So I've made a conscious choice to just not go there again, though I have been known to waste some time playing solitaire or bubble spinner or Tetris of an evening.

And then I discovered 1010! Which is like Tetris but without the blocks dropping - instead you place them wherever you like/they'll fit to make complete rows etc. And I have spent the past few days enthralled and exhausted because I've stayed up way too late doing this. I even paid $1.99 so I could have it ad free!

And then last night when I looked up from my phone after many, many games, and it was 12:45 am, I deleted it, because I can't be having with that. I was seeing it behind my eyelids while awake, and dreaming about it when I was asleep. Ugh. It was so nice and soothing too. But since I can't control myself, I had to get rid of it. Sigh.

Anyway, Wednesday means books, so buckle up!

What I've just finished
Babylon's Ashes, the last currently available Expanse novel, which I liked a lot. Are these books perfect? No. There's still too much Holden, though I did like that spoilers ) Avasarala, Bobbie, Naomi, and Amos are still my faves, and Alex makes a good showing here, too. This and Nemesis Games are really one long arc, and should probably be read together.

Buried Heart by Kate Elliott, the conclusion of the Court of Fives trilogy. I enjoyed it, though I still think maybe Jessamy made some assumptions that she had no real basis for which turned out to be true (this happened in the first book too), which is a downside of first person POV, because I kept waiting for her to be wrong about some things and she wasn't (well, she was wrong about a bunch of things, but not some of the things I thought she might be wrong about). Anyway, I found it a satisfying if slightly pat conclusion, and as with the Cold Magic trilogy, I found the revolution a lot more interesting than the romance.

Bombshells vol 3: Uprising - after Recent Events, I decided to go back to this and finish it, and the titular uprising made me tear up on the subway. Also, MIRI MARVEL!!! I don't know if I knew about that? But I LOVE IT. ♥♥♥ I can't wait to pick up volume 4.

Star Wars: Kanan: The Last Padawan volumes 1 & 2. These were fine. I enjoyed them, but they were somewhat repetitive when read in trade - there was a lot of catching up in the narration, which is good for a monthly comic but less good when reading it all in one go. Also, every other page, he's like, "Don't call me kid!" which got a little old. Mostly interesting to me for sad Jedi details, like Caleb saying Styles was his first friend even though we see him with Tai and Sammo - were they not friends? That's so depressing. Unless he meant first non-Jedi friend, which is better. I'm just going to pretend that's what he meant so I can be slightly less sad.

Also notable for explicitly referencing the "Jedi code" which I hear a lot about in fic but am not sure I'd ever seen in any currently canon material, and it was "emotion, yet peace; chaos, yet serenity; death, yet the Force" which is interesting to me because it makes so much more sense than the other formulation I see in fic a lot: "there is no chaos, there is serenity" etc. I mean, you know me and my "take what I like and ignore the rest" approach to canon, so it's nice to have it there as needed, but as always I find the way things get flattened in fanon so interesting.

Because I mean, yeah, the Jedi were certainly culpable in both Anakin's fall and their own demise, because they were hidebound and corrupt the way any millennia-old organization made of people would be, and they definitely had some blindspots about a variety of things (providing therapy to members who needed it, using a slave army, being co-opted by the Senate, etc.), but they didn't deserve what happened to them. Let's not ever actually grace Anakin's horrific dumbassery ("from my POV, the Jedi are evil!") with any validity. Like, sure, Yoda gave him some poor advice, and Mace Windu was critical sometimes, and they made some compromised decisions, but that doesn't justify slaughtering anyone.

Anyway, it was also nice to see Rae Sloane, despite her poor life choices.

I also read Star Wars #34 this morning, which is mostly a standalone issue featuring Sana Starros swindling everyone in the galaxy from pirates to Hutts to Imperials and back. I would watch a whole movie about her. She might be Han Solo's fake (ex?)wife, but she's also Aphra's ex-girlfriend, so that would be amazing to see on screen. You could cast Nicole Beharie as Sana and Arden Cho as Aphra, and let them go be con artists together and I would line up multiple times to give Disney my money. Especially if Hondo showed up, too.

What I'm reading now
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the third book of the Broken Earth trilogy. But I'm only a few pages in and it's taking me a little while to get back up to speed, especially since my brain isn't working so well today because of my lack of sleep. *g*

What I'm reading next
The next Craft Sequence book comes out in a couple of weeks, but before that, I dunno.

***

UPDATE: Nazis Fuck Off Rally

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:17 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Looks like the Nazi scum saw how many people planned to show up to stand up to them in LA, and ran like the cowards they are. Apparently the Venice Nazi rally has been cancelled (but Nazi rallies are still planned in other cities). But it looks like OUR rally is still on, whether the Nazis show up or not.

I will keep updating but if our rally is happening, I'll still be there. I think it's important to show our solidarity and fire. Hey, just talking about showing up chased the Nazis out of LA before they even came - let's give them crowd photos to haunt their dreams and keep them out.

Make That Change

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:45 pm
goss: (Default)
[personal profile] goss
In these dark times, what can we do that will have the most positive impact?

Someone on my flist posted about feeling like they're not doing enough. But they were speaking with family and friends and trying to understand their views.

I actually think this is the MOST IMPORTANT THING that we can do.

It's sometimes the hardest thing to do, but I strongly believe it's the one thing that will have the most impact in the long run.

I have found that being courageous and speaking up when you are around relatives and loved ones who make racist, sexist, fear-driven comments - creating a dialogue about the issue, reasoning with them, challenging them, correcting inaccurate beliefs, etc. - that's the key.

Do not sit silently by and let their way of thinking go unchecked.

Sure, it's the easier thing to excuse it, or to not want to make a scene at a family gathering. It's safer and more comfortable to reblog your opinions in a virtual environment of strangers, but it will never make as much impact as confronting your own near and dear ones, and trying to effect change from the home, you know?

I now call out my father's sexist thinking, my mother's racial prejudices, my friends' sometimes off-colour, gossipy comments. If you don't do it, who will? You will be amazed how your intolerance of this sort of thing can make them think twice about what comes out of their mouths. Maybe even question their own bigotry and open their eyes to another way of thinking.

altitude effects

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:56 pm
lamentables: (Default)
[personal profile] lamentables
Having failed to check in at the police station we drove all the way back through town to our very tall, very very green hotel, where the staff were friendly and welcoming and everything the previous crap hotel wasn't. We dropped our bags and drove back into town to take a stroll through the shopping area before everything closed.

town of prayers

D was going to take us to his favourite tea shop, but it had closed down since he was last there in March (9 months earlier) so we had chai from a little stall. Not bad. Chai is never bad though, really.

We stared at the peaks turning pink as the sun began to set.

last of the light

Back the hotel we had to order dinner about 90 minutes in advance (quite common on these trips) and then, feeling rather chilly I lay in bed for a while, in my thermals.

Dinner wasn't bad, though we had - unusually - over-ordered. While we were eating dinner, we had to order breakfast, and D insisted on trying to order a Spanish omelette for me. I didn't especially want a Spanish omelette, as I was far from sick of standard Indian masala omelettes, but sometimes one has to be gracious and let people be unhelpfully helpful...

It really was cold after dinner, so we huddled in bed and drank the last of our Signature whisky from the teacups provided in the rooms. My sleep was disturbed by the frequent need to pee and by vivid dreams, both of which are the usual effects of altitude for me, even though we had dropped from the heights of Sela to only about 3,000m.

Wednesday Reading Meme

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:54 pm
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
[personal profile] sineala
What I Just Finished Reading

Therese Sellers, Alpha is for Anthropos: Look, I read a book this week! Okay, so it's a children's alphabet book for Attic Greek, but it's still a book and therefore it counts. Anyway, it's very cute; all the art is done in the style of red-figure pottery, and the accompanying little rhymes scan (more or less) to various children's songs.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Black Panther and the Crew #5, Generations Wolverine And All-New Wolverine #1, Invincible Iron Man #10, Secret Empire: Brave New World #5, Spider-Men II #2, US Avengers #9, Ultimates 2 #100, X-Men Blue #9 )

What I'm Reading Next

Dunno.

I feel like I should say

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:02 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
U.S. politics has (have?) washed over my head again, as it does periodically, rising from the baseline fear and disappointment that mounted during election season and spiked in November.

I don't talk about it much here. This blog, and [twitter.com profile] bironicwastaken, are my dedicated fannish spaces online. It looks like we all understand that media consumption, fannishness and other creative pursuits are permissible hobbies, community building in an environment of divisiveness, necessary breaks and even artistic acts of resistance as we struggle with current events. Still, I sometimes (1) worry that fannish-oriented posts strike the wrong tone in wider context, such as yesterday's, and (2) feel a defensive urge to point out that I'm doing things "in real life" to fight what's happening, even if they may not be enough and even though no one has said anything.

When I get down on myself about not doing enough, I focus on things like these, in addition to thinking through how I can have a greater impact:
- Since November, every feature article I’ve written at work has made an explicit or strong implicit political statement
- This auction vid not only raised money for a good cause but is also about celebrating many characters of color in current genre sources, and that's not for nothing these days
- Every month, I donate to activist, investigative journalism and/or minority-support organizations
- I talk to people, including family and friends who voted in ways I am trying to understand
- etc.

That is all. It's a[nother] tough day. ETA: Not least: Event & dream involving anti-semitism )

Cold turkey on the uppers

NSFW Aug. 16th, 2017 08:04 am
petra: A blonde woman with both hands over her face (Britta - Twohanded facepalm)
[personal profile] petra
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )
umadoshi: (mermaid 02)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Over the course of the day [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I managed to get our wires throughly crossed twice regarding the same thing. It stressed me out horribly, and then I felt bad about that, because he was only involved at all because he was giving me and a friend a hand with something. ;_; But AAAAAHHHH, so stressful.

But that notwithstanding, we got some erranding done and had dinner and saw Atomic Blonde with lawyer!friend, who we hadn't seen in...a month or two? (I can't even with time.) So the day wasn't a wash, just frazzling. ("Just". -_-)

(I didn't know until the opening credits that Atomic Blonde is adapted from Antony Johnston's graphic novel The Coldest City, which I'm wholly unfamiliar with, so I have no idea how faithful to it the movie is.)

Three Amazon-related things, weirdly (and very tangentially, in the third case):

--Question: if you have a trial Amazon Prime account and preorder something that won't come out until the trial ends, and you don't opt to keep Prime, do you then pay for shipping when the item is released and ships to you? Or is it still the free/quick Prime shipping because of when you ordered it?


--I don't know if I'm more confused by Amazon's insistence on sending a separate email for every order represented in a package when they bundle items from multiple orders together, or by the fact that the emails don't all come at once. Did I really need four email notifications about one package? And why did it take over ten minutes for them all to arrive, start to finish? (Don't try to answer the "why they don't all come at once" part; I'm sure there's a technical reason, but that doesn't/won't change my feeling that it's silly for them to not arrive all at once.)


--And finally, Sarah Rees Brennan's In Other Lands (the polished/expanded novel version of The Turn of the Story, which she serialized online and which I love fiercely) is out today! It's a BOOK! A book I'll be able to hold in my hands! With mermaids on the cover! It's been fleshed out/revised and edited, and we'll get the ending from Elliot's perspective! (The Turn of the Story is from Elliot's POV, but its original ending was actually written before TotS and is a story in the Monstrous Affections anthology, and is from Luke's POV.)

...and for whatever reason, at least on Amazon.ca and Chapters.ca, the hard copy of the book is still slated to release on August 25. >.< I have a preorder of it via Kas' Prime account, as does Ginny. But the ebook version is already available for both Kindle and Kobo, and the book is officially out today in general...so I think I'm going to cave and buy an ebook copy too, so I can read it.

Here's Sarah's release-day post! The book has received starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publishers’ Weekly, and Sarah says "Bullied due to his personality! Inability to keep his mouth shut! I love how the reviews so far have been like: the hero is a terrible pill, but we are willing to buy this pill and take him home."

And here is Small Beer Press' post about the book's release, which opens with "Five years ago Sarah Rees Brennan emailed Kelly her story, “Wings in the Morning,” for our anthology Monstrous Affections. It was long: 17,000+ words in that early draft — although Sarah told us the actual first draft had been 30,000 words".

So you see, I've both already read and not read this book. I already adore it; I also, unsurprisingly, have a corner of my heart saying "but...but this means the story I already love is changed...?" and worrying a bit. But mostly I'm thrilled about it finally being a BOOK I can HOLD. And did I mention the mermaids? (I did.) Elliot, for all his brattiness and lack of enchantment with the magical place in which he goes to school, is appropriately entranced by and appreciative of mermaids.

Serene! Luke! ELLIOT! My heart...!

August 2017

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