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Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 08:02 am
To Mr. Christopher Brooke: The Storm

From the Island Voyage with the Earl of Essex

Thou which art I—’tis nothing to be so—
Thou which art still thyself, by these shalt know
Part of our passage; and a hand or eye
By Hilliard drawn is worth a history
By a worse painter made; and, without pride,
When by thy judgment they are dignified,
My lines are such. ’Tis the pre-eminence
Of friendship only to impute excellence.
England, to whom we owe what we be and have,
Sad that her sons did seek a foreign grave
—For Fate’s or Fortune’s drifts none can soothsay;
Honour and misery have one face, and way—
From out her pregnant entrails sigh’d a wind,
Which at th’ air’s middle marble room did find
Such strong resistance, that itself it threw
Downward again; and so when it did view
How in the port our fleet dear time did leese,
Withering like prisoners, which lie but for fees,
Mildly it kiss’d our sails, and fresh and sweet
—As to a stomach starved, whose insides meet,
Meat comes—it came; and swole our sails, when we
So joy’d, as Sarah her swelling joy’d to see.
But ’twas but so kind as our countrymen,
Which bring friends one day’s way, and leave them then.
Then like two mighty kings, which dwelling far
Asunder, meet against a third to war,
The south and west winds join’d, and, as they blew,
Waves like a rolling trench before them threw.
Sooner than you read this line, did the gale,
Like shot, not fear’d till felt, our sails assail;
And what at first was call’d a gust, the same
Hath now a storm’s, anon a tempest’s name.
Jonas, I pity thee, and curse those men
Who, when the storm raged most, did wake thee then.
Sleep is pain’s easiest salve, and doth fulfil
All offices of death, except to kill.
But when I waked, I saw that I saw not;
I, and the sun, which should teach me, had forgot
East, west, day, night; and I could only say,
If th’ world had lasted, now it had been day.
Thousands our noises were, yet we ’mongst all
Could none by his right name, but thunder, call.
Lightning was all our light, and it rain’d more
Than if the sun had drunk the sea before.
Some coffin’d in their cabins lie, equally
Grieved that they are not dead, and yet must die;
And as sin-burden’d souls from grave will creep
At the last day, some forth their cabins peep,
And trembling ask, “What news?” and do hear so
As jealous husbands, what they would not know.
Some sitting on the hatches would seem there
With hideous gazing to fear away fear.
Then note they the ship’s sicknesses, the mast
Shaked with an ague, and the hold and waist
With a salt dropsy clogg’d, and all our tacklings
Snapping, like too-too-high-stretch’d treble strings.
And from our tatter’d sails rags drop down so,
As from one hang’d in chains a year ago.
Even our ordnance, placed for our defence,
Strives to break loose, and ’scape away from thence.
Pumping hath tired our men, and what’s the gain?
Seas into seas thrown, we suck in again;
Hearing hath deaf’d our sailors, and if they
Knew how to hear, there’s none knows what to say.
Compared to these storms, death is but a qualm,
Hell somewhat lightsome, the Bermudas calm.
Darkness, light’s eldest brother, his birthright
Claims o’er the world, and to heaven hath chasèd light.
All things are one, and that one none can be,
Since all forms uniform deformity
Doth cover; so that we, except God say
Another Fiat, shall have no more day.
So violent, yet long, these furies be,
That though thine absence starve me, I wish not thee.


(Donne also wrote a sequel letter, The Calm. For the Islands Voyage, see Wikipedia.)
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 09:34 pm
What I've Just Read
I finally finished Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves, a YA novel set in the same world--the same town, really--as Bleeding Violet. It feels weird to say this, but although Slice of Cherry was much darker (content notes: serial killers, child sexual abuse, I'm probably forgetting something), I still liked it a lot. Whereas Bleeding Violet was as much about introducing Portero as anything else, here the general Night Vale-style weirdness of the town takes a back seat to the psychodrama of Fancy and Kit Cordelle, the daughters of the so-called Bonesaw Killer, who take advantage of their unique heritage to follow in their father's footsteps in their own way, even as they learn, albeit painfully, that there are more ways to connect with people than just by killing them. If Bleeding Violet reminded me strongly of Welcome to Night Vale, this book reminded me a lot of Hannibal, if Hannibal and Will were two teenage girls who kind of wanted to get out of the murder game. I continue to really like Reeves' writing, and at points I was rather forcibly reminded that she is definitely not writing from a mainstream, middle-class white perspective. The characters are all quite frank about sex, in particular, but there are many other little things that make Reeves' voice original and valuable. I'm very glad to see from her Twitter that she's working on two more Portero books.

I also finished Silver Spoon vol. 2 by Arakawa-sensei. It's so great. I like Hachiken-kun a lot more now that he's got a bit more backstory to him, but it's also nice to just read a book which is about the small--but by no means inconsequential--dramas of daily life, in which everyone is just trying to do their best in that muddled human way. I'm also learning a lot of agricultural vocabulary, still.

I devoured Ancillary Sword on my way back from Australia; I think I liked it even better than Ancillary Justice, which is saying something. It really reminded me, in a weird way, of Jane Austen in space--Jane Austen in space with guns, of course, but etiquette is absolutely crucial in most of the book's central conflicts, as are the proper dishes. I loved how Breq is angry all the time too--she has a lot to be angry about, too--and I liked how this book made the whole situation more complex, even as it made the answers less simple. Breq does her best to right the injustices that she finds, but there's only so much that she can do, to her dismay. My favorite character of all was probably the Presger translator; I hope we'll see more of the Presger in future, although I'm sure Breq wouldn't. I also, frankly, would read about a million books set in this universe. In the meantime, AS is on my 2014 Hugo ballot for sure.

What I'm Reading
I'm trying to finish Clariel tonight. I really like it, and I basically read the high points of it in that skipping around way that I do when I bought it, but I'm enjoying my thorough reading very much. In addition to what I said before, I also really like that Clariel is so angry. In fact, she's a berserk (like Touchstone in the first books), and though it is something that she needs and wants to control, she isn't punished for it by the narrative. Mogget is about to show up, and I <3 Mogget.

What I'll Read Next
Silver Spoon, assuredly. I'm also looking forward to finally reading Stranger by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith!
Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 09:51 pm
So, Sunday, I made the horrible mistake of walking 3 miles on the treadmill, and was exhausted and felt lousy on Monday. That wasn't really the horrible mistake - trying to exercise gently is a reasonable mistake, and I was just walking.

No, the horrible mistake was doing it while having lousy memory flashbacks of an ex- who's memories have been hounding me.

She was the only one who actually made me feel damaged - broken. The one who made me ask whether I should just stop any form of dating.

Don't mix risk of depression with already depressing obsessions...

But I got through Monday, and I got through today, and things started to improve. So I hope tomorrow will be better still. I hope so. It's been a sucky couple of weeks.
Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 05:08 pm
I got my shipping notice for DA:I last night, and it put a huge grin on my face. I probably won't actually get to start playing until tomorrow, since I have a dress rehearsal and won't get home until too late. Unless I can convince T that we'll have time to at least play the opening cutscene. Maybe character creation. A little bit of gameplay?

This is going to be a slippery slope, isn't it, leading to the spot at the bottom where we look up and it's 3am on a worknight.

As long as I'm here, a reminder that I have to imagine ought to go without saying, but then again there are some new folks about (hi, new folks!!), so here goes: please, please, for the sake of me and for other folks reading this journal, please no spoilers for DA:I in comments. I will be very clear how far I am into the game when I post about it; feel free to post information up to that point, but no further. Thank you, so much.
Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 02:45 pm
Someone created a vegetable wellington and it looks amazing. I AM TOO LAZY TO MAKE THIS but somebody should and tell me how it goes.
Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 08:07 am
Elegy: To His Mistress Going to Bed

Come, madam, come, all rest my powers defy;
Until I labour, I in labour lie.
The foe ofttimes, having the foe in sight,
Is tired with standing, though he never fight.
Off with that girdle, like heaven's zone glittering,
But a far fairer world encompassing.
Unpin that spangled breast-plate, which you wear,
That th' eyes of busy fools may be stopp'd there.
Unlace yourself, for that harmonious chime
Tells me from you that now it is bed-time.
Off with that happy busk, which I envy,
That still can be, and still can stand so nigh.
Your gown going off such beauteous state reveals,
As when from flowery meads th' hill's shadow steals.
Off with your wiry coronet, and show
The hairy diadems which on you do grow.
Off with your hose and shoes; then softly tread
In this love's hallow'd temple, this soft bed.
In such white robes heaven's angels used to be
Revealed to men; thou, angel, bring'st with thee
A heaven-like Mahomet's paradise; and though
Ill spirits walk in white, we easily know
By this these angels from an evil sprite;
Those set our hairs, but these our flesh upright.
    Licence my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.
O, my America, my Newfoundland,
My kingdom, safest when with one man mann'd,
My mine of precious stones, my empery;
How am I blest in thus discovering thee!
To enter in these bonds, is to be free;
Then, where my hand is set, my soul shall be.
    Full nakedness!  All joys are due to thee;
As souls unbodied, bodies unclothed must be
To taste whole joys.   Gems which you women use
Are like Atlanta's ball cast in men's views;
That, when a fool's eye lighteth on a gem,
His earthly soul might court that, not them.
Like pictures, or like books' gay coverings made
For laymen, are all women thus array'd.
Themselves are only mystic books, which we
—Whom their imputed grace will dignify—
Must see reveal'd.   Then, since that I may know,
As liberally as to thy midwife show
Thyself; cast all, yea, this white linen hence;
There is no penance due to innocence :
    To teach thee, I am naked first; why then,
What needst thou have more covering than a man?
Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 10:02 am
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/disney/11237348/frozen-sing-along-review.html

I'LL BE REAL AND OWN UP THAT I'M A SUCKER AND THAT THIS MADE ME A BIT TEARY, PARTICULARLY WHEN THE CROWD JUST SWELLS AT

I'M NEVER GOING BACK

THE PAST IS IN THE PAAAAAAASSSSSST

I KNOW EVERYBODY'S SICK OF FROZEN BY NOW BUT I LOOOOOVED THIS <33
Monday, November 17th, 2014 10:50 pm
-Finally have some steady work, at least for the next few months.

My hiring agent at the temp agency called me a couple of weeks ago with to ask if I wanted to apply for a job with UC Berkeley Campus Shared Services in their payroll department. I know squat about payroll but figured, hey, if they were willing to train I was willing to learn.

Had a phone interview then an in person interview (the shortest one I've ever been on at 20 minutes) and I got the job.

The specs: Helping with the transition of employees from a monthly to biweekly payment system. Alrighty then.

We're training, my brain feels like mush but in general, I'm glad to be working again. And there might be some permanent jobs at the end of the contract so this a good way to get a foot in the door. The hours are decent, it's bikeable and Shirley's job is to minutes away on foot.

-The offer for holiday cards is still open, so if you want one, please refer to this link: Holiday Card Hulabaloo
Monday, November 17th, 2014 09:11 pm
I'd watched the first half of last season more-or-less in real time and as a result have forgotten most of it that wasn't carried through the back half. I caught up with the rest mostly by just listening while stitching, since S3 has started, and now I'm actually, shockingly, up-to-date on that as well.

indiscriminate spoilers for S2 )

and now for S3 )
Monday, November 17th, 2014 05:39 pm
Ever since I finished Fringe, I've been meaning to go back and rewatch it from the beginning -- it seemed like a show that would benefit from watching with the full context in mind. Recently, I finished the first season (except for that random "mystery of the week" ep that got slapped on out of order at the end), and so far it has not disappointed. Spoilers, not just for the first season but for the entire series.

Cut for spoilers, cut cut cut )
Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 10:27 am
Bandwagon, and…jump!

I'm trying to get back in the habit of posting more here. So, ask me things you'd like me to write about and give me a day to do it, and I'll do my best. Some things I may not want to to talk about, but I am happy to talk about my ridiculous year of travels, and about living in Tokyo, and most things, really.

The days! )
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Monday, November 17th, 2014 05:35 pm
1. I have been doing a terrible job with the writing lately. Since last update, I have written a few hundred more words of the ANitLO crossover, some more Montparnasse fic, some more Booby!Marius story, and a tiny tiny bit of the one where Cap and Tony are both fail at coming out.

2. Part of the reason for this is that I keep coming home at night and not wanting to do anything but SLEEP. So yesterday I read [personal profile] rydra_wong's post on winter light and realized that the fact that f.lux is set to make me sleepy at sunset probably isn't helping. I didn't want to turn it off because I still don't need to be staring bright-eyed at Tumblr until 2 AM, so I decided to try reversing the latitude on my f.lux location - it may be getting dark under the daystar, but my laptop's brightness now thinks I live off the coast of South America and it's late spring with the days still getting longer. We'll see if it helps.

3. Also possibly more relevantly to the lack of writing I read the Loki: Agent of Asgard trade and then read all of the Boyband!Loki fic on AO3. I knew better than to start reading Loki:AoA, because getting mixed up with trickster gods is ALWAYS a bad idea, and besides I've read enough Marvel Now trades to know that it'll inevitably get mixed up in a massive crossover event and start to suck. But you know. As of the first trade it is basically flawless and also 100% made of fandom catnip and I can't. Come talk to me about AoA.

Comics!Loki, for those who don't know, has in the past few years gone through a complicated series of disincorporations/autocides/reiterations, more-or-less intentionally, and is currently in a body that frequently gets him mistaken for Harry Styles and/or Justin Beiber, trying to figure out how to stop being the villain of the story and develop a working conscience, despite everything - from his destiny to his Queens - working against him. If boyband!Loki gleefully out-scheming everybody in the Marvel Universe, swashbuckling with hot dudes, going on crime capers as a hot chick, having vaguely-platonic coffee with a cute hipster girl he met while speed-dating, being blatantly objectified by the narrative, being canonically pansexual and genderfluid, and being tragic yet determined about stuff like the nature of free will and stories and truth and good and evil and guilt and redemption sound like your kind of thing - well, run very fast in the other direction from Agent of Asgard, okay, because Loki is always bad news.

(If you've seen the panels where Loki confesses to having created a most terrible slash on the internet, okay, so, on the one hand yay, on the other hand given all the meta stuff about how Loki is defined by the stories written about him, and his newly canonically fluid gender/sexuality, I really want to talk about why Loki is creating slash on the internet, and what stories he's telling.)

(he's writing about Sigurd fucking him in their trash dumpster.)

4. Here are some boyband!Loki fic recs )

You will notice there is no Sigurd in those recs. That is because there is no Sigurd fic on AO3. At all. ...fandom, write me some Loki/Sigurd fic like, yesterday. HOW CAN YOU RESIST THAT FACE

5. I shall put in for the DW friending meme that [personal profile] ladyscribe is running, but it totally expects you to be doing the December posting meme. I have too much stuff going on to commit to posting on certain days, but I will borrow [personal profile] isis's weekly variation. So here is your chance to make me talk about a thing, any thing at all. as long as it's AoA Loki

Give me a topic and pick a week and I will try to talk about that topic on my journal at some point during that week. (disclaimers: topics for a given week are cut off after 5; several topics may be combined into one post.)

Week 1: Dec 1-7 : a book you loved that you didn't expect to and why ([personal profile] the_rck)
Week 2: Dec 8-14
Week 3: Dec 15-21
Week 4: Dec 22-28

6. If you're curious about why I sometimes go a long time between DW posts, my process here was literally: a) I can't post the friend meme comment until I've made the DW post to link to; b) I can't make the DW post until I've made the Tumblr post to link to; c) I can't make the Tumblr post until I have scanned the comics; d) I can't scan the comics until I have dug the scanner out of the pile behind the couch; e) I will deal with the pile behind the couch sometime after hell freezes over.
Monday, November 17th, 2014 07:59 am
I just noticed that this comm has not a single poem tagged as author: john donne. So I'm going to spend this week rectifying this serious deficiency.


The Canonization

For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love;
    Or chide my palsy, or my gout;
    My five gray hairs, or ruin'd fortune flout;
With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve;
        Take you a course, get you a place,
        Observe his Honour, or his Grace;
Or the king's real, or his stamp'd face
    Contemplate; what you will, approve,
    So you will let me love.

Alas! alas! who's injured by my love?
    What merchant's ships have my sighs drown'd?
    Who says my tears have overflow'd his ground?
When did my colds a forward spring remove?
        When did the heats which my veins fill
        Add one more to the plaguy bill?
Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still
    Litigious men, which quarrels move,
    Though she and I do love.

Call's what you will, we are made such by love;
    Call her one, me another fly,
    We're tapers too, and at our own cost die,
And we in us find th' eagle and the dove.
        The phoenix riddle hath more wit
        By us; we two being one, are it;
So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit.
    We die and rise the same, and prove
    Mysterious by this love.

We can die by it, if not live by love,
    And if unfit for tomb or hearse
    Our legend be, it will be fit for verse;
And if no piece of chronicle we prove,
        We'll build in sonnets pretty rooms;
        As well a well-wrought urn becomes
The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs,
    And by these hymns, all shall approve
    Us canonized for love;

And thus invoke us, "You, whom reverend love
    Made one another's hermitage;
    You, to whom love was peace, that now is rage;
Who did the whole world's soul contract, and drove
        Into the glasses of your eyes;
        So made such mirrors, and such spies,
That they did all to you epitomize—
    Countries, towns, courts beg from above
    A pattern of your love."
Monday, November 17th, 2014 12:09 am
We ran through Dragon Age Keep tonight to set up our import for DA:I.

A few thoughts behind the cut. )
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Monday, November 17th, 2014 01:39 am
If you remember the group songbook Rise Up Singing, check out the sequel Rise Again
Monday, November 17th, 2014 02:57 am
My review of Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis is up at Strange Horizons.

I liked it. It is pretty high on the nasty-things-happening meter, but in my opinion never gratuitous. I think Duyvis is and is going to be a writer to watch.