Also I played Pokemon Go all weekend

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:55 pm
flexagon: (like smiley)
[personal profile] flexagon
Yes, I am a total dork who was willing, this time, to mess up her workout schedule for the sake of legendary but virtual birds. Yesterday was the big Pokemon Go festival in Chicago, which was kind of a disaster on the ground -- but a ton of tolks turned out in Boston, catching as many Pokemon as we could during the three half-hour "catch challenge" windows. The idea, which was cool, was that we could help unlock stuff for the folks in Chicago and they, in turn, could unlock stuff for us. I hung with some nice people, racked up lots of points and helped raid a Muk so that someone could get her first.

The day's plans for Chicago kind of fell apart. So, in apology and very unusual fan-service, Niantic unlocked ALL the worldwide rewards that were supposed to be possible if the fest went really well, and also released two different legendary Pokemon as part of the raid system. Nobody knows whether these two are going to keep being available after this 48-hour window of double candy/XP/etc, so today Boston was SWARMING with groups of people carpooling from one legendary raid to another. I leapt out of the house myself, and rode in a lot of strangers' cars, with my Pokemon T-shirt and my big external battery providing street cred.

And what a day! My very first legendary raid (for an Articuno) yielded not only the Articuno itself, but also Level 34 for me. I got one more Articuno out of two more raids, and one Lugia out of four Lugia raids (that fucker's hard to catch). I figured I was done, and very happily so as it was already really late for lunch, but I was going to tag along for another raid near home -- then the girl I was getting coffee with said there was an Unown in Harvard Square, and I leaped into a Lyft and we raced for it! The driver was awesome about it. He wasn't into Pokemon but wanted to know how it worked, how long we had to get there, etc, and we got there and he watched me catch it while I explained. Then he gave me a huge grin and high-five, and yeah, I tipped him pretty darn well. I worked off the buzzy energy by walking around getting quadruple points on new Pokestops for a while, then headed home for real for a shower and a start on my promotion rationale for work.

So fun.

A time to cast away stones

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:05 pm
flexagon: (simplify)
[personal profile] flexagon
My breakup with dynamic acro is A-OK so far. No more stress about finding bases, a clearer head, and a nice date night with [personal profile] heisenbug after handstands last Monday. I did meet up with someone on Thursday night to work on that long, difficult acroyoga flow, and I don't know if it's the right thing to work on that when he's also maybe working on it with someone else (sigh), but it's different and fun and he's an old, comfortable friend.

I sold my bike yesterday, with all its accessories, after an eBay post had been up for a week. I met up with its future rider, and it turns out she'd been stalking my exact model of bike for years, including the era -- my bike is from ~2009, just before they changed the brake system to be less gorgeously archaic. She'd already paid my asking price before meeting up, and even declined the offer to take it for a spin on the bike path before making a final decision. Already in love, she said. :-) She told me a story about having been a serious long-distance bike racer before having kids, and how she now wants to just enjoy riding and not go fast. That, of course, is what Dutch city bikes are for, so it's perfect, and I can feel good about all of this. (Update: oh no, I jinxed myself! It doesn't quite fit her, and she is returning it.)

Goodbye to my therapist? A couple of appointments ago, my therapist and I began to bat around the idea of stopping seeing each other. It's been about fifteen months, and the truth is that we often haven't had a lot to talk about lately. I do find it scary to contemplate giving up the guaranteed, high-end emotional support, because what if something bad happens and I can't handle it? But getting my Tuesday mornings back would be phenomenal. And the changes I initially said I wanted, when I started working with her, have indeed come to pass in the time we've been working together. She suggests a "conscious uncoupling" of sorts, during which we spend the last appointment or two kind of summarizing the things we've covered and learned together, and packing it up as a toolkit that I can take with me. I like that idea, and it might be time.

New Information - More Beauty-Beast

Jul. 23rd, 2017 04:54 pm
aldersprig: (lock and key)
[personal profile] aldersprig
First: M/m Keeper/Kept
Previous: Change of Pace


Fuck. Did everyone know Ctirad was the boss’s idiot leashed pet?

“Easy, easy. Come on, man.” Shel ran a hand in front of his face; when he dropped his hand, his skin was nut-brown and his ears were pointed. He looked a bit spindly around the joints and he was about half a foot shorter. “Easy. We’re all fae here. That means we all know what a collar means, okay?”

Ctirad touched the collar with both hands and tried to ignore the feeling in the pit of his stomach. “It means I’m his bitch.” That’s what Ermenrich had told him. “But that was… That was Ermenrich.”

“No, Ermenrich is just an asshole.” Shel sat down a few feet away from Ctirad. “Look. Belonging isn’t something Ermenrich made up for you, okay? It’s not something that he did because he’s clever or because he knows how to use people. You didn’t know?”

Ctirad shook his head, not trusting himself to words.

“Damnit, and I bet you act so… Well, self-confident isn’t the word, but you act like you know everything that’s going on. So the boss wouldn’t know, just think you were, uh. Abused. Which you were - sorry, but it’s true.” Shel leaned back. “Damn. Okay. You had a Mentor, you were trained?”
Read more... )

Funeral: Mutual Interest

Jul. 23rd, 2017 04:41 pm
aldersprig: drawing of the author (LynLyn)
[personal profile] aldersprig
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Shower Negotiations


There was an ancient fae assassin in Senga’s bathroom, and she had her hands in his pants.

“I’m capable of taking care of myself,” he pointed out.

“Yes. But you’re my responsibility now.” She peeled his pants slowly off. He went commando; she was going to get the full show all in one go.

“You have other responsibilities. Besides, you gave me something to do.” He stretched back a little bit, consciously or unconsciously showing off. Flat stomach, muscular chest and arms: he didn’t work out so much as he kept his body in perfect fighting condition. Senga didn’t try to stop herself from licking her lips. He was kind of scrumptious, in a way that wasn’t normally her style.

“You liked it?” She looked up to his face, to find his eyes half-lidded like he wasn’t sure he wanted to see her reaction. “Being given something to do?”

“Yeah. I.” He shifted into something she thought was close to a parade rest and studied her. “Yeah.” He swallowed and considered that. “I didn’t think I would,” he admitted. “I don’t like orders.”
Read more... )

Want More?
aldersprig: (Side Quest)
[personal profile] aldersprig
Ten: The Perils of One’s Past

She should have thought of it before she agreed, she supposed.  She might be stepping into some long-held family feud — their mountain had several of those — or maybe into the sort of thing where the city wanted to move someone whose home had stood in the same place for three hundred years.  Their town had dealt with that, too.  She might be running into another conspiracy sort like Trinner Tralen, who thought, perhaps, that the city or the empire or this architect were out to get him.

And maybe they were.  She thought about Trinner Traln and the spectre sliding into him.  She didn’t even know if she’d done the right thing there.

The architect’s nervous cough interrupted Raizel’s train of thought.

read on…

this week: St. Maria Skobtsova

Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:07 pm
elbren: (Default)
[personal profile] elbren
St. Maria Skobtsova opened her door to refugees, the needy, and the lonely, feeding the bellies and minds of those hungry for food and understanding. She provided shelter, escape, and false papers for Jews fleeing Nazi-occupied Paris. She wrote poetry, smoked cigarettes, drank beer, crafted embroidery, acted as mayor to defend her town’s residents, and relied on the integrity and wealth of her interior life to endure Ravensbruck and inspire her fellow captives to not succumb to despair.
sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
[personal profile] sovay
I don't know if I saw relatives of mine this afternoon.

My grandfather's father was born in Lodz. He was the eldest of six siblings, three sisters, three brothers; the family owned a textile mill in the city and the father was a Talmudic scholar of some repute. My great-grandfather was expected to continue in his father's religious footsteps; instead, after a stint in the Imperial Russian Army (from which he must have deserted, because he sure didn't serve twenty-five years), he became what my grandfather once memorably described as a "Zolaesque freethinker" and emigrated to America in 1912. One of his brothers followed him; though we're no longer in contact with them (a little thing about declaring my mother ritually dead when she married my father), his descendants live in Florida. Another brother is buried in Israel, though I'm not sure how or when he got there—his older children were born in Lodz, his later ones in Tel Aviv. None of the sisters made it out of Poland alive. The middle one I have almost no information about, except that Lodz is listed as her place of death. (Her children survived: they too turn up later in Israel.) The eldest and the youngest died—as far as I know, with their families—in Chełmno and Auschwitz. These are the cousins who feel like closer ghosts than they should, dying in 1942 and 1945, because their descendants would have been no farther from me in blood than [personal profile] gaudior. They are loose ends, like other family stories. I don't know what there is to be known of them anymore.

Because the exhibit is closing in a week, my mother and I went to the MFA this afternoon to see Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross. If you live in the Boston area, I don't say it's a light day out, but it's worth your time. Ross was one of the few survivors of the Lodz Ghetto, a staff photographer employed by the Judenrat. He was supposed to take the nice pictures of the ghetto, to document how productively and well the Jews were getting along under Nazi supervision; he used his license to take the ones that were not so nice, dead-carts instead of bread-carts, chain-link and barbed wire, the sick and the starving, the broken walls of a synagogue. He documented the resistance of living, which sometimes looked like defiance and sometimes like collaboration: the slight, quietly smiling man who rescued the Torah scroll from the smashed-brick ruins of the synagogue, the young wife and plump child of a Jewish policeman like the ones seen—perhaps he's among them—assisting a crowd of Jewish deportees aboard the boxcars that will take them to Auschwitz. Pale Jude stars are so omnipresent in this black-and-white world that even a scarecrow wears one, as if to remind it to confine its trade to non-Aryan fields. Ross took about six thousand photographs total; in the fall of 1944, as the ghetto was being liquidated, he buried the negatives as a kind of time capsule, not expecting to survive himself to recover them. He was still alive and still taking pictures of the depopulated ghost town the ghetto had become when the Red Army liberated it in January 1945. His face cannot be seen in the photograph of him reclaiming his archive because he's the figure at the center of the grinning group, the one bending to lift a crusted box from the dug-up earth. Groundwater had rendered about half the negatives unsalvageable, but rest could be developed, warped, nicked, bubbled, and sometimes perfectly clear, their damaged emulsion showing scars and survival. He published some in his lifetime. He never arranged the complete series to his satisfaction. My mother would have seen him on television in 1961 when he testified against Eichmann. The MFA has a clip of an interview with him and his wife Stefania née Schoenberg—his collaborator and another of the ghetto's 877 Jewish survivors—eighteen years later in Israel, describing how he took his covert photographs hiding his camera inside his long coat, how just once he snuck into the railway station at Radogoszcz to record the last stages of a deportation, the freight train to the "frying pan" of Auschwitz itself. He died in 1991. It is said that he never took a picture again.

(I know there are philosophical questions about photographs of atrocity: how they should be looked at, what emotions they may have been intended to evoke, to what degree it is or is not appropriate to judge them as art. I'm not very abstract here. They were taken to remember. You look at them to make sure you do. What you feel is your own business; what you do with the knowledge of the history had damn well better concern other people.)

My great-grandfather's sisters would have been deported from the Lodz Ghetto. Their death dates even match the major waves of deportation to their respective camps. I have no idea what either of them looked like. I have seen maybe two photos each of my grandfather's parents: aunts and uncles, nothing. I'm not saying the photos don't exist. My grandfather had a sister; she may have inherited a better pictorial record. But I haven't seen it. And looking for people who look like my grandfather is no help; Henry Kissinger went through a period of looking like my grandfather and that was awkward for everybody. Any older woman might have been either one of them, any older man one of their husbands, any young people their children, any children their grandchildren. None of them might have been my family. Maybe theirs were among the images destroyed by the winter of 1944, as unrecoverable as their bodies. Maybe they were never captured on film at all. I wouldn't know. I don't know. I pored over faces and thought how beautiful so many of these people were (not beautiful because of their suffering: bone and expression, the kinds of faces that are beautiful to me), how many of them looked like both sides of my mother's family. Almost no one was identified by name. Maybe no one knows these people by name anymore. I hope that's not true.

You can look through the contents of Henryk Ross' archive yourself. They are, like most photographs, historical and modern prints both, better in person. We left the museum and had dinner at Bronwyn both because we lucked out parking two blocks from the restaurant in the middle of a street fair and because it was Eastern European food and it felt symbolic that we were here to eat it, even if I am pretty sure that a Hungarian-inflected chorizo dog is food of my people only in the sense that I personally would order it again because it tasted great. I did some badly overdue grocery shopping and caught the closing performance of the PMRP's Murders and Scandals: Poe and Doyle and spent nearly the entire cast party upstairs reading the scripts for the second through the fourth seasons of Babylon 5 (1993–98) and as much of the fifth season as doesn't suck. Autolycus fell asleep on my lap almost as soon as I sat down at my computer and I haven't been able to move from this chair for hours. I can't imagine what the world looks like in which I have so many more cousins of the degree of Gaudior, although I know that I am tired of fictional versions in which neither of us would even be here (the same goes for other atrocities, imagined worse for purposes of entertainment). Maybe in that other world, we have more family photographs. Maybe we're not in contact with them, either. Maybe I still don't have faces to go with the names. It doesn't matter if they were all strangers, though, the people from this afternoon and more than seventy years ago: they were alive. They are worth remembering. Especially now, they are worth remembering why.

QotD

Jul. 23rd, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"For it's not enough to walk the moon, send robots off to Mars
 Nor send a lucky handful out to catch a glimpse of stars
 We're gonna live and work and space. We're gonna go to stay
 And the ones who'll make it happen,
  the ones who make it happen,
   yes the ones who'll make it happen
 are the ones who make it pay"

  -- Jordin Kare (b. 1956-10-24, d. 2017-07-19), "Bloody Bastards"

"Close enough for jazz"

Jul. 23rd, 2017 03:13 am
rosefox: Me snuggling a giant teddy bear, entirely contented. (sleeping)
[personal profile] rosefox
Vacation to-do list/wishlist summary: not too bad! Especially given that today was totally eaten by stressful unexpected circumstances. (Everyone is fine now.)

Things without deadlines (fun):

* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender and do some knitting
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (I didn't do this but did go read in the park near our house)
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read (three books! in one week!)
* Cook
* Lunch with my mom
* Sleeeeeeeep

Things without deadlines (productive):

* Shower and dress in real clothes every day (mostly)
* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Unpack
* Vacuum (well, I swept, but it's pretty clean underfoot now)
* Catch up on laundry
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Finish setting up Tinybeans
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Every. single. time. my shell hosting company announces a planned outage for an upgrade for something having to do with email, and they assure me that it won't impact me at all and I won't have any email outage, every single time they've wrong.

I'm not going to embarrass them in public because they do try so hard and are quick to fix broken things when I bring them to their attention.

It's just that, by now, I'd hope they'd just email me, "Hey, Siderea, we'll be fucking up your email at this future date and time. We'll be around on Twitter until this subsequent date and time. Please be available during this window to exercise your account and let us know what we've broken this time."

Instead, I email them in response to the planned outage announcement and say, "Hey, what can we do in advance to make this work?" and they're like "nothing, it's all going to go perfectly!" and I'm like, "ooookay, when exactly will you be flipping the switch, (so I know when to check on you, but I don't say this part)?" and they're like, "oh, sometime on that weekend." *throws hands in the air*

(I miss nyip.net so hard.)
kyleri: (Default)
[personal profile] kyleri

i’ve been working on my display stuff lately • it’s needed it • touching up & toughening up & generally a lot of painting

also in this case i wanted to make nice dividers to hold the massage oils & body sprays, cos that’ll make things better


& then layers of clearcoat until no matter what i drop it on it’ll still look awesome

anyways there was that but also, there were cats

Hades (Guest Cat in Residence) found a box

he said ‘I am stays right here, it is comfy’ & what he’s laying on is coiled-up rope, so he probably actually is

Major Tom (can’t call him feral any more!) has been sneezing a LOT so i’ve been giving him allergy meds

it’s easier getting pills into him than it is with like half the cats _in_ the house • but that doesn’t mean he was pleased with me right afterwards, either

fortunately his attention span is brief

i mean look how feral this guy is

gonna take my hand off any minute now

he _did_ growl at me for rubbing his belly • after a couple minutes anyway

then we held paws

seriously, this cat

also there was weather

or maybe not, this is New Mexico after all

(there was crackBOOOOOOOOOM later but i was done painting by then so it was fine)

(the boxes came out looking really great too)

(& Major Tom is sneezing much less today)

Berries!!!

Jul. 22nd, 2017 05:35 pm
ceelove: (Default)
[personal profile] ceelove
So you know that drought we haven't had this past spring? You know how rain makes things grow? You know how I have a wild obsessive-compulsive love for berry picking? (You do now!)

This is by way of saying that I'm going berrying again tomorrow morning, having verified today that the Fells are resplendent with berries. Mostly tiny wild blueberries now, with a few black raspberries, and huckleberries soon to ripen.

Yes, you may come with me. Yes, you may ask me where I go, but understand that I suck at directions and maps, I really only know landmarks, so I'm vastly better at taking people than sending people. (If you come with me, though, understand that I wasn't kidding about that obsessive-compulsive thing: I can happily pick for hours.)

QotD

Jul. 22nd, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

From "Oh this has not gone well" (part 14) by Redditor "ThisHasNotGoneWell":

"Well," I started, how do I explain statistics, and not sound like the boringest boring person in the world, "In the world I come from people have enough free time on their hands, and they take games seriously enough, that people will study a game like a Mage might study magic. I had plenty of time when I was waiting for the pass south to clear, so I spent some time pulling the rules apart, figuring out the probability of any given hand. The other players might have a gut feeling as to how probable a given hand is, but I know the figures exactly. I'll also try to keep track of what cards I've seen played already. Between that, and having worked out the probabilities of each, I usually have at least an idea of how good my hand is compared to the others."

"Wait," she said, trying to wrap her head around what I'd just said, "So, you know what cards they have in their hand?"

"Not quite, I know what cards they probably have. And even if I don't know specifics, I'll at least have an idea of whether their hand is better or worse than mine, and that's really all I need."

"Don't humans have anything better to do?"

I thought of the many hundreds of hours spent playing videogames and watching Netflix.

"Nope."

MARKED - 9.3

Jul. 22nd, 2017 04:02 am
aldersprig: (Marked)
[personal profile] aldersprig
MARKED - 9.3

“All right,” Riva decided, “now that that’s settled.”

Nilien wasn’t sure anything at all was settled, but she was willing to pretend it was if Riva and the rest wanted to. They weren’t going to get anywhere but deeper into holes, she was pretty sure, if they kept going.

read on...
ellenmillion: (Default)
[personal profile] ellenmillion
I have book hangover, so bad. I finished the not-a-book (my fourth!) late Wednesday night, not dragging into bed until about midnight.

Yesterday, I was too busy to really process it, and too tired. Guppy got me up at 3 in the morning, though she went right back to sleep. That, with the late night, meant I was pretty wiped. And then we put the roof on the woodshed! It is an actual woodshed, with a roof! After a day of blistering heat, it was obliging enough to rain last night, and we went out and stood in our perfectly dry (if wall-less, still) woodshed. Horrah!

Today, however, I wandered around staring at things a lot, feeling vaguely overwhelmed and more than a little lost. The book... is done? It's... done? Wait, what? Professional writers may laugh. There are a billion things to do, not the least of which is start the next book, but I'm mostly just finding myself wanting to lie down on the floor and watch dust settle, or binge-watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer or something.

And there's Sketch Fest today! https://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/

I haven't done anything for it yet, but I hope to tonight.

I'm a featured artist at a Tarot Expo tomorrow, which is fun! I am going to be bringing art supplies and offering $15 on-the-spot commissions for personal tarot ACEOs. Just rough sketches, color or pencil. We'll see how it goes. Locals, I'll be at the Coop Plaza, 12-4, at Woven Sylver. They are going to have tarot readers and demos and workshops from 10-5. (And probably cookies, but don't quote me.)

It's taken me HOURS to write this, so here's some more new art, and I'm going to go eat chocolate and pour a stiff drink. BOOK DONE. BRAIN GONE.


Another of the exclusive pieces for Color On! Magazine.
sovay: (Claude Rains)
[personal profile] sovay
A Facebook friend asked: "For my film-loving friends: what are films you hope to see in the Criterion Collection someday? Not just films you love, but films that fit the aesthetic and would make sense as Criterion films." So I posted the following textbrick in reply and figured I might as well reproduce it here, now with (occasionally really old) links:

The complete Derek Jarman, Super 8 shorts and music videos included. Herzog's Fitzcarraldo (1982), because it has always confused me that you can get the documentary from Criterion but not the film itself. Anything by Ulrike Ottinger, but especially Johanna d'Arc of Mongolia (1989) and Taiga (1992), which one could and should pair. Some kind of box set of Dennis Potter, making sure not to leave out the long-banned original TV version of Brimstone and Treacle (1976). Wayne Wang and Paul Auster's Smoke (1995). Some reasonable amount of Peter Greenaway, but The Pillow Book (1996) and Prospero's Books (1991) in their proper aspect ratio should head the list. Fred Zinnemann's Act of Violence (1948), a knockout noir about memory and atrocity with far less of a reputation than it deserves. Max Ophüls' The Reckless Moment (1949), one of the most devastating—and feminist—noirs I've ever seen. John Ford's The Long Voyage Home (1940), Eugene O'Neill's favorite film realization of any of his plays. Ben Wheatley's A Field in England (2013). And while I'm dreaming of ponies, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953).

—There are other movies I'd like to see from Criterion, of course. Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man (1973), especially considering the plethora of versions that have existed over the years (and may still be buried under the M4). I don't know if they'd go for Roy Ward Baker's The October Man (1947) unless it was part of a set of British noir, but seriously, how bad would that be? If they can announce an upcoming release of Agnieszka Smoczyńska's The Lure (2015)—the day after my birthday, I appreciate it—surely they could provide me with a nice edition of Marcin Wrona's Demon (2015). I'm sort of confused they've never done anything by Dorothy Arzner. I'm really confused they haven't already done the Wachowskis' Bound (1996). And so on. Some of it is the definitive home release idea, but a lot of these movies I would just like to be able to show people more easily than 35 mm or unpredictable flybys on TCM.

Day 21 -- Russe and Veliko Tarnovo

Jun. 21st, 2017 07:04 pm
skreeky: (Default)
[personal profile] skreeky

The boat docked this morning in Russe, Bulgaria, which you will also see sometimes spelled "Ruse". We had a brief bus tour of Russe on our way out of town, but this was one of those days where our destination was a couple of hours away on the bus, so it was very brief indeed. Read more... )

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