Star Trek Discovery

  • Sep. 25th, 2017 at 10:43 PM
muccamukk: B'Elanna standing in front of lines of code. (ST: Engineering)
...

Maybe it'll ... get better?
orangerful: (senua)
Finally got around to watch the first episode of The Vietnam War, the new Ken Burns documentary on PBS. It is all streaming for free on the PBS website and after watching the first episode, I can already say this should be required viewing for everyone.

I'm not sure about you, but we never even got to the Vietnam War in history class. I think we may have glossed over it one year, when summer was fast approaching. It barely got a mention, probably because it would have been far too complicated to explain in a matter of days to a bunch of teenagers ready to be done with school.

The first episode is long, almost 90 minutes, and it is entitled "Deja Vu" (1858-1961). The story of Vietnam's long struggle for some kind of freedom is laid out and what a mess it was. The episode switches back and forth every few minutes to footage from the war, creating eerie parallels and a sense of all this has happened before, and all this will happen again (and again, and again). It was pretty much like watching someone dig a hole, yet they are standing in the hole while they did it, totally oblivious to that fact and then, after that hour and a half is over, you are looking up out of that hole going "oh...shit" because there is not way out without making a mess of things.

I have to applaud all of the people they interviewed for being so honest. Some of the statements made so far were kind of shocking, and you can tell by the look on the people's faces as they say them that they know what it all stemmed from looking back, but at the moment those feelings were real, that horror was real, that desire to fight was real.

It feel so far away and so recent. This is one of those moments in history that we tend to ignore because it was so messy, but it is also a point in history that changed the United States forever. Burns made a comment in an interview that many of the problems we are wrestling with now along party lines start here.

Anyone else watching?

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The Emerald City and Me

  • Sep. 25th, 2017 at 7:34 PM
cheriepriest: (Batgirl)
Well, we made it. We closed on our Seattle house literally the evening before we left the Chattanooga house - and it only happened then because a dedicated notary came out to our house after hours and helped us file all the paperwork. First thing the next morning, we hit the road.

It was a six-day drive back to the West Coast. We took two cars, and we each took two animals - I drove with Greyson in the back seat, and Quinnie in the front seat. (Both secured, yes.) My husband brought the eldercat and Lucy in a similar configuration. Using a AAA travel agent, we booked all our hotel rooms in advance - making sure that we could bring our furry family members along without any difficulty. All but two of those nights were screwed up by the aforementioned travel agent; but when all was said and done, nobody had to sleep in the car and everything was fine.

My husband and I each traveled with a small suitcase. For the animals, we packed the largest suitcase we own - and at first we could barely close it, for it contained pre-measured meals for all four of them, plus bowls, medicine (for all four), fluids kit (for the eldercat), cannibis oil treats for the canine nervous nellies, flea/tick preventatives, and five disposable litter boxes stacked together. And I guess now I know how to manage a good "bug-out bag" for the whole family, so there's that.

Eventually we arrived at a house I've named "Rockford Place" - a late mid-century modern with an angular seventies vibe and a massive fireplace surrounded by natural stone. There's also an enormous backyard that's mostly rocks and trees, terraformed into paths and a nice landing area.

Besides, I like James Garner. So yeah, it's called Rockford Place.

The house is really rather neat - lots of cool angles and funky architectural features (without going overboard, I mean.) But the bathrooms are an embarrassment, and when we got here, the kitchen was stocked with appliances that only halfway worked. We've decided to live with the bathrooms for now, but the kitchen...well. We scraped up the money to replace the appliances, which turned into a massive shit-show courtesy of HomeDepot.com... but that's another story. Frankly, I'm so fed up with the experience that I'm not likely to relate it here. Suffice it to say, don't buy appliances from HomeDepot.com. Home Depot's own employees (at a local store) told me the in-house joke is that online orders are "job security" because one way or another, they're fucked up literally 100% of the time.

Anyway, we do have working appliances now. Thank God.

We also have a new veterinarian, which is good because the eldercat ran out of fluids, Lucy came down with (what seemed like) a UTI, and Quinnie has had a couple bad bouts of diarrhea - one bad enough that I took her to the kitty ER. Still not sure what's wrong with her, but she's wrapping up another round of medication at present, and she seems to be 100% fine and dandy. Cats, man.

All four of the critters really seem to like the new house. The cats love the stairs, and the dogs love the yard - which is fenced all the way around to the front patio, so they can really get a good loop of "chase" going on. Both dog-fatties have even lost a little weight, which is good.

As a side note: If you're mostly following me (on any platform) because of the household animal population - or if you'd like to, going forward - you can catch me on Twitter or (more recently) Instagram. Twitter is sometimes LadyRage, but often pet pictures. Instagram is almost exclusively pet pictures. In case this matters.

Hm. What else?

I guess you might also be reading this because I write books. By way of What's Up Next, I can offer the following:
  • In December, a new installment in the Wild Cards franchise hits the streets - including a story from yours truly. The book is called Mississippi Roll, and my contribution is a somewhat wacky romp called "Death on the Water" that features my (now retired) Fort Freak cop Leo and his new wife, Wanda, on board a haunted riverboat. They share the stage with a trio of ghost hunters who, um, are entirely fictitious and not all mocking re: any given TV show that my husband and I might jokingly call "Brost hunters." Ahem.

  • Speaking of Wild Cards - I've just handed in a draft of my next piece, but I can't tell you about that yet. If all goes according to plan, it will be inserted into one of the old volumes, as part of a future re-release. But that's another year or two down the pike, I assume.

  • Production is finally getting underway on my next young adult project for Scholastic - a book called The Agony House. We don't have a pub date yet; things have been delayed on this one, largely because my original editor left the house for another job (which happens, such is life). But my new editor is on the case, and I should have more information on that for you before terribly long. The Agony House is not related to I Am Princess X, but it *does* feature a comic/illustrated element in a similar fashion. More details to come!


And that's all the writing news that's fit to type, for the moment. To be honest, writing updates are probably going to be few and far between for a bit, as I'm taking a little breathing room this year - breathing room that will give me time to get some work done on the house, and take on a day job, perhaps. I could use a steadier paycheck for a bit, and some room for my brain to cool off a bit.

I've been in fifth gear for the last few years, and I'm looking forward to just...doing production work on the Wild Cards projects, and The Agony House, and another adult horror project from Tor called The Toll (pub date TBD). So it's not like I'm quitting the industry and flouncing into darkness or anything. I'm just giving myself a break. Kind of.

More news as it develops.

Okay folks, that's all I can think of, at the moment - but I *will* try to update more regularly over here, now that we're more or less settled in. (We've been here about two months.) So as always, thanks for reading, and thanks for visiting this page. One way or another, I'll see you around...

Crisis on Infinite Earths #4

  • Sep. 26th, 2017 at 1:06 AM



"There were several problems at DC at the time. Sales were bad (they're bad now but the entire industry sales are bad) and Marvel readers wouldn't be caught dead reading DC comics. I felt, as did many, that although DC fans understood the multiple Earths perfectly and without trouble, it was a problem to attract new readers and possibly a sign of a DC problem for the Marvel zombies. By simplifying the DC universe I believed we could attract new readers, which we did. Crisis was one of the first DC Comics (Titans being the other) that Marvel readers would check out."

- Marv Wolfman


Read more... )

MEME: Build-a-Band!

  • Sep. 26th, 2017 at 12:31 AM
 It's time to do our very own band AU! Take your pups, and tell us what they'd be if they were a musical sensation. Take as many of them as you want, or just one or two of them, that's up to you. Here's a few questions to get you started (and please, feel free to add any of your own ideas) if your inspiration's needing a kick in the rear. 
  • Who's playing what instruments?
  • Who's the roadie?
  • What's the hot gossip about them, if any?
  • What genre do they play?
  • What kind of weird crap do they get up to on tour?
Have fun! I'll post my own in a bit. 

A summer weekend at the cottage

  • Sep. 25th, 2017 at 3:53 PM
dagibbs: (Default)
Last weekend was a lovely summer weekend at the cottage. I know, I know, mid-September, it is now fall. But the weather didn't know that. Sunny, clear, mostly calm with highs both days in the mid-30s -- it felt like summer. And after a week+ of similar weather, the lake temperature felt like summer, too.

Sure, I did a bit of climbing on both Saturday and Sunday -- but it was a relaxed climbing agenda both days. With more important agendas of relaxing, swimming, canoeing, swimming, deep-water-solo, swimming, and probably some more swimming and relaxing. I don't expect September weekends to be climb-out-of-the-water-and-not-need-to-towel-off-it-is-so-warm weekends. It was lovely and relaxing.

Sadly, I had to come back to the city at the end of the weekend.

Fic: Socks and Declarations

  • Sep. 25th, 2017 at 11:56 AM
TITLE: Socks and Declarations
FANDOM: due South
CHARACTERS/PAIRING: Benton Fraser/Ray Kowalski
NOTES: For the prompt "rug" in the [community profile] dsc6dsnippets community
WORDS: 240
SUMMARY: Fraser is giving a rapidly-approaching-nakedness Ray Kowalski his privacy, but Ray's making it difficult.

Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/12186639

Doomsday Clock #2 cover

  • Sep. 25th, 2017 at 2:30 PM
“Some really good people are working on Before Watchmen and it saddens me to see that. I won’t be supporting it in any way. I just can’t. And in all honesty — I can’t help but feel a little bit less for every creator who works on these books. Have you no decency?” -- Erik Larsen

Cover under the cut... )

Fandom Giftbox!

  • Sep. 25th, 2017 at 11:21 AM
muccamukk: Boromir and Faramir grinning and hugging. (LotR: Squee!)
I'm super excited about what I got this year, because Wonder Woman icons! Two sets!

And then I got a wonderful ficlet from an AU where Boromir didn't die and how Aragorn's coronation then went. (movie verse, and very sweet).

AND THEN I got Murderbot fic! About Murderbot's favourite show getting cancelled, and Murderbot doing what any fan would do. It's a sweet and funny little follow up to All Systems Red and I'm so pleased with it.

I wrote three fic:

Sunday Tea on Mars
Babylon 5, post series, Catherine/Jeff/Michael/Lise, 1,800 words, Teen.
Lise knows she's been with Michael too long when a presumed-dead Minbari prophet at the breakfast table is the least of her worries.

My Dreams Under Your Feet
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, post movie, Leia/Poe, 2,100 words, Explicit.
Poe isn't sure he has it in him to give Leia everything she needs after the Battle of Starkiller Base, but he knows he's going to try.

In Your Arms Tonight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, post movie, Finn/Poe, 1,100 words, Teen.
When Finn gets back, he's taking that wilderness survival training Poe keeps telling him about.

Remix fic! and fic report

  • Sep. 25th, 2017 at 12:45 PM
celli: a woman's hand writing in a journal, captioned "i write, therefore i am" (hopewrite)
Remixes are revealed! My awesome Trek AOS remix was written by [archiveofourown.org profile] LadyMerlin and mine is:

Let's See What Happens (The False Destiny Remix) (1205 words) by celli
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Gregor Vorbarra/Laisa Toscane Vorbarra
Characters: Gregor Vorbarra, Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, Laisa Toscane Vorbarra, Alys Vorpatril
Summary:
She didn’t know what shoes had to do with anything, but her superiors had been firm: anything was a possible lever with the Emperor, track and report it all.


Done:
* Coursera Style week 4 story (600/600)
* Coursera Setting week 1 story (308/300)

New:
* Coursera Setting week 2 story (0/500)
* PODSA bedsharing/glasses fic (76/whatever)
* PODSA election night 2008 fic (863/whatever) (DON'T @ ME)

Other:
* PODSA gift story (1069/whatever)
* basic income contest story (124/5000) (I may drop this...the Coursera classes are taking up a lot of my writing time.)
* PODSA mpreg (2062/whatever)
* Star Wars auction fic, two scenes left (704/1000+)
* AIRPF AU with [personal profile] rajkumari905 (3316/whatever)
* AIRPF auction fic (0/1000+)

Sep. 25th, 2017

  • 11:42 AM
neonhummingbird: (Default)
My condo has become a Bermuda Triangle for electronics. A few months ago: dropped Kobo and shattered screen. Two months ago: phone fried in freak accidents. Three weeks ago: computer begins screwing up when booting; kitchen tablet stops charging. Last week: main tablet starts having flickering screen, similar malfunctions (intermittent, non-demonstrable, start-stop for no apparent reason). Also, at one point my Kindle Fire was having charging problem, but that one just needed a new cable.

Really, it is no longer safe to have electronics in my house...

That said, after running 10 separate diagnostics, all of of which proclaimed with great certainty that my hard drive is fine, and waiting an hour for a Genius Bar tech to come over to look at it... of course, it's the hard drive. :( Which I'm annoyed about, since it hasn't been that long since I replaced this one. I've looked online, and it may be an issue of the mini not getting enough ventilation and overheating the HDD; macs are notorious for that, and mine is snugged into a fairly tight space. So I ordered a new monitor stand with lots of space for the mini to breathe, and we'll see. The same company that replaced it last time is doing it this time, but I think they're overcharging me for labor, so I'm going to check out some new places next time I need something the Genius Bar can't fix.

(I've also discovered that independent repair shops all express disdain of the Genius Bar. either I'm missing some major examples of Genius Bar incompetence, or the stores all feel really threatened by the existence of free tech support. One guy was actually arguing with me this morning about how Their store's diagnostics are much better and the Apple Store is no good. As the Genius Bar had literally nothing to gain by not giving me a good diagnostic, I'm choosing to go with with option: threatened.)

Took the sling off more this weekend, and that was nice. I can use it for short periods of time to type, if I keep most of the weight on my wrist rest, but getting dressed is still Fraught.

NEWS - Marvel Legacy's Returning Character

  • Sep. 25th, 2017 at 12:18 PM
source: comicbook.com

Marvel has been teasing a character that has been absent for some time returning for Marvel's Legacy one-shot. Now Marvel is revealing who it is.

Read more... )

O17, "Elizabeth Cree" and "The Wake World"

  • Sep. 25th, 2017 at 8:51 AM
oracne: turtle (Default)
Wow, that festival took a lot out of me. Taking the day off Friday was a terrific plan; I slept until roughly lunchtime, then spent the rest of the day being entertained by the Small Monkeys, Now Much Less Small Than When They Were Born. This resting helped me not keel over and die on my NYC daytrip until it was almost time to go home; I shall report on that later. First, the final two operas I saw.

"Elizabeth Cree" was a world premiere, based on a novel by Peter Ackroyd which I have not read (and do not plan to read). The small cast wore Victorian costuming to match the setting and moved amidst a mixture of physical furniture, a movable open metal staircase, and projected silhouettes and text.

I enjoyed this quite a lot, more than I'd expected; I did not quite figure out the mystery until it was about to be revealed, and all of the singers were incredible, particularly Daniela Mack as Elizabeth Cree and Joseph Gaines as Dan Leno. Before I went to see it, I called it a "murder opera," and I stand by that - several brutal murders are discoursed upon and shown in filmed silhouette, and the policeman is more concerned about his own future should he fail to solve the murders than he is about the victims.

Thematically, Murder as Spectacle was reiterated in several different ways, and critiqued by Karl Marx and George Gissing. Women's constrained roles, and the results of those constraints, also popped up, both through what the characters did and through what we the audience thought of what they did. In short, I thought this was great, and I would see it again. I'd put it my second favorite of the festival premieres, after "We Shall Not Be Moved."

Opera News review. Schompera review.

I saw "The Wake World" last night; notably, it was staged at the Barnes Foundation, one of Philadelphia's major museums. Most of the action took place on a long catwalk, with the audience seated or standing around it. The audience was free to move around, and sometimes the singers (mostly chorus, sometimes soloists) moved amid the audience as well.

I liked the idea of that, but in practice I found the constant audience movement distracting from the music, and sometimes I had difficulty seeing over people because I am not tall. The music itself was dreamlike and stuffed with overblown purple prose, most of which I quickly began to ignore in favor of just enjoying the splendid singing. The protagonists, Lola (soprano Maeve Höglund) and The Fairy Prince (cross-dressing mezzo Rihab Chaieb), were excellent in singing, acting, and embodying sex appeal, which was a good thing, since the plot (?) was just a weird, color-based advancement through a dream palace to achieve the ideal lover. Or something like that. The Fairy Prince managed to be really sexy in his three-piece suit and pipe while also mansplaining the palace and its rooms to Lola, which made me kind of hate him. I know characterization and plot was not the point, though, and the whole thing was successful as a spectacle that pushed against boundaries of opera staging, plus the chorus had a lot to do, yay - I used to sit next to the chorus' conductor, Liz Braden, back when my choir was conducted by Donald Nally.

The Broad Street Review's critique.

Dates are already set for next year's O18, so I am going to assume this year's festival was a success for the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Go them!

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