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ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2014-07-29 09:31 pm
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melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2014-07-29 07:59 pm

(no subject)

1. The sheet music offer is still open, since I didn't exactly get overloaded with requests. (and I haven't gotten around to putting the scanner away yet.)

2. The reason I haven't posted anything substantial here since con.txt is... *drumroll* .... I am feeling guilty about not doing the con-txt followup I said I should do. So if there's something I told you I would do at/after con-txt and I haven't done it yet, pls poke me again? Either I've forgotten or I've been marinating in procrastinator's guilt and need somebody to kick me in the reset button.

3. So I finally watched Pacific Rim! It came in at the library, and people were still excited about it at con-txt, and also I acquired this DVD projector I wanted to test, so we watched it projected on a sheet taped up to the screen porch, because that seems like the right way to watch a movie like that. (Then I watched it on my laptop so I could actually catch the details. Like Raleigh's drivesuit scars that there is NO FANFIC AT ALL ABOUT, wtf fandom.)

Anyway not going to bother with a spoiler cut since it's a year old and I'm not discussing plots, but here are my thoughts:

Both the worldbuilding and the plot are 100% incoherent, the giant monster fights were okay but I kept getting distracted from the awesome by trying and failing to make them make sense, they really really really dropped the ball on diversity otherwise even though Idris Elba is amazing and Mako is also amazing, but don't let anyone tell you her story was groundbreaking, it's pretty standard and it's mostly about the men in her life.

BUT

This will probably remain a favorite of mine, because it is approx. 0% heterosexuality by weight. And that doesn't mean it's particularly queer either - there's just no portrayal of sexuality in it at all. This is a movie where you can easily argue that not only all the protagonists, but also the entire society, is asexual and aromantic.

And for a movie that is almost entirely about close, intense relationships, that's astonishing - but all the relationships, from Newt and Hermann's working partnership, to the various family relationships, to Mako and Raleigh's adorable bffs-at-first-sight, this is a movie that glorifies the nonromantic and nonsexual to the extent that it seems to forget that romantic and sexual exist. Other than one line in a flashback where a tertiary character casually mentions a semi-successful date, there's nothing - no offhand attempts to establish the heroes' het cred, no background advertisements selling sex, no casual references to attractiveness, not even any mentions of, like, people having parents who were a couple, that I can recall. (Even the Kaidonovskys, iirc, aren't mentioned as a couple in the movie canon, and don't interact in any blatantly romantic ways - taking the movie as a standalone, they could be, you know, cousins.)

And that was - it was so restful, you can't even imagine. Finally a movie that felt like home, it was so great.

..so then I went back to the fanfic and of course it's like 90% shipping by weight. I know I almost always end up dissatisfied with the shippy fic once I watch canon, but in this case it left me ... itchy, probably because of the way the canon just felt so comfortable in its total lack of shipping and sexuality.

So I read some of the Newt/Hermann fic I'd been saving until I saw the movie, and it still did what Newt/Hermann fandom does so well - body mods, soulbonding, relationships with long histories, social maladjustment, disability, extremely smart people who like showing off, competence porn, snark hiding affection, xenophilia, unconventional domesticity, weird telepathy stuff, people two feet beyond the end of their rope who can't even remember how to fall, etc. -- all things I like in a pairing, and it left me deeply unsatisfied.

So then I checked out the novelization because I'd heard it was good and it seemed like it might be what I wanted in terms of More Of Canon, but I still get too antsy to have gotten very far, because something in me knows exactly what I wanted out of Pac Rim fandom, and that's not it.

So finally I sat down and asked myself, okay, what is it you do want out of this fandom that you're not getting?

I want some fanfic that's novel-length, about the doomed, hotshot pilots who risk their lives fighting to protect the defenseless, in the last days of the Resistance, with an aesthetic of abandoned WWII bunker + neon and tattoos + sweeping vistas + SF technology taken for granted, in a war where the stakes are so high that entire planetary ecologies are just minor collateral damage, and a society's been torn apart so long that nobody hasn't lost something, heart and home. With a cast that's blatantly, in-your-face diverse on a bunch of axes, dealing with disabilities and scars both mental and physical and loss after loss of loved ones, but resilient and idealistic despite that, drinking their pain away in makeshift dive bars deep in massive, hastily-assembled military installations. Most of the important relationships aren't romantic, and there's lots of stuff with organized crime intersecting the resistance, plus aliens and robots and maybe some poorly explained psi powers.

..and then I went "oh crap, I know what that is" and started re-reading the X-Wing novels instead.

So there's that.

I did start a Newt/Hermann fic where one of the side effects of Drifting is that you are no longer neurologically capable of finding your Drift partner sexually attractive - because that's the other thing that I *definitely* wanted out of this fandom - but even odds now if I'll finish that before I finish the one about Master Pentecost and his motley band of Jedi Pilot trainees and washouts, one last holdout on the Planet of the Kaiju in the decades after the clone wars, and how former Knight Beckett showed Mako Mori the way to her Jedi trials.

(The X-Wing novels hold up surprisingly well, better than I feared! I'm noticing some of the really awful stuff with how the universe handles aliens-as-metaphor-for-race more now that I did fifteen years ago, but the X-Wing novels try really hard to give you real diversity anyway, even if you do know that one of the nonhuman female pilots is always going to die first.)
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ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2014-07-29 06:51 pm

Genderqueer Clothing

 Here's an interview about genderqueer clothing.
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ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2014-07-29 04:37 pm

Gender in Marketing

I was encouraged by this article about Land's End being receptive to customer feedback on gendered clothing

This gave me an idea for a different marketing scheme.  Organize clothes by theme: Science T-Shirts, Fairy Tale T-shirts, Play Clothes, Work Clothes, Nurturing Slogans, Adventurous Slogans, Heroic Figures, Everything Pink, Everything Blue, etc.  Then in each section, the dropdown menu would have options for masculine, feminine, and gender-neutral cuts.
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metaphortunate son ([personal profile] metaphortunate) wrote2014-07-29 01:54 pm

vacation!

Q: How was your vacation?

A: Ten days eight timezones away, with me and Mr. E plus both kids plus the in-laws, every single one of us getting sick, except me who was sick when I left, stayed sick the entire time because you can’t get better when you don’t get any sleep, and am still sick? Staying in a B&B so filthy there were actually insects in the bed, because there literally wasn't another free pair of rooms in town, so we came home to do a full bedbug decontamination on all our stuff instead of resting? That vacation?

Q: Yeah, that one.

A: Well, first let me say that I recognize that I am a very lucky woman. I’m in a position to take a vacation, which not everyone is. And I’m lucky that I have in-laws who are willing to pay their own way to come on vacation with us just to hang out with the grandkids, without which I honestly do not know what I would have done; because even with them, two days into it I would have cracked and tried to change our plane tickets to come back home right away, but I couldn’t because I was too sick to fly. And I’m lucky to have two kids who have such vibrant good basic health that even when they develop a 3-pack-a-day cough and pour snot out like giant ambulatory faucets, it doesn’t sap their energy or slow them down in any way. And hey! The baby is clever enough that at just over 10 months, he has worked out that he can avoid having his nose wiped, which he hates, by smearing his face all over our shirts the moment he feels snot on his face!

So all in all, vacation was absolutely better than childbirth, I would say. Though it did last longer. And I might even be willing to take another vacation again someday.

Not, like, soon, though.
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ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2014-07-29 03:29 pm

News from Cahokia Mounds

 A dig at Cahokia Mounds has turned up what looks like a prayer bundle.  I'm kind of surprised that this is the first they've found there.  Prayer bundles are pretty typical of magical/spiritual practice across many tribes.
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ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2014-07-29 01:50 pm

Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, August 5

This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, August 5, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "flexible truths." I'll be soliciting ideas for liars, soothsayers, fortunetellers, economists, historians, politicians, journalists, storytellers, other folks who deal in truths and lies, discovering the truth, telling lies, stretching the truth, when an unbelieved truth bites people on the ass, when you let the truth free and it defends itself, plot twists, courtrooms, family meetings, seats of government, sorcerous workrooms, other places where truth is a concern, enlightenment, hidden truths, lies that are too big to fail, universal truths that aren't, the is-ness of reality, natural laws that can be bent but not broken, things that are true but not real (or vice versa), things that are only sometimes true, things that are true but have a wider scope than expected, things that used to be true, and poetic forms in particular.

I have a linkback poem, "A Stranger's Way" (20 verses, Beneath the Family Tree).   [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has offered to host this.

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week. (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts.) Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog.
 

New to the fishbowl? Read all about it! )

 

ankaret: Picture of two kittens (Kittens)
Ankaret ([personal profile] ankaret) wrote2014-07-29 07:30 pm
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(no subject)

Sherlock is a little goofball who constantly rolls over and demands physical attention, and Mycroft answers to 'Mikeyboo'.

I think I have... fanon cats.
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ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2014-07-29 04:01 am

BINGO: column

I made bingo down the O column of my 6-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest.
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ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2014-07-29 03:01 am

Exoplanets

 [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has a discussion about exoplanets.
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ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2014-07-28 05:30 pm

Satanists for the Public Good

Apparently Satanists are asserting their religious right to make medical decisions based on science, and claiming that distorted anti-abortion propaganda violates their rights.  So, Satanists are treating people better than Christians are.
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ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2014-07-28 12:29 pm

Auctorial Warning Labels

Sharon Lee discusses the warning labels that apply to different writers.  Here is mine:

WARNING: May cause permanent damage to narrow minds.

That's humorous, but it's also true.  People have hurt themselves on my writing, and on my personality.  It's really better for everyone's safety and sanity if rigid, small-minded people stay far away from me and don't read my words.

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ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2014-07-28 03:12 am

Read "Conserving the Habitats of Unusual Species"

[personal profile] dialecticdreamer has written a long, involved, utterly fascinating piece of demifiction for P.I.E.  "Conserving the Habitats of Unusual Species" starts with bigfoot and ends with werewolves.  Read Part 1 of 3; subsequent parts will post on following Sundays.  This is trade for "Favorite Flavors."
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ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2014-07-28 12:15 am

Story: "Little and Broken, but Still Good" Part 25

This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk," and "kintsukuroi."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, Nick Fury
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Minor character death. Bullying. Fighting. Suicide attempt (minor character).
Summary: This is the story of how a little boy named Flip grows up to save the world a lot.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family. Fluff and angst. Accidents. Emotional whump. Disability. Sibling relationship. Nonsexual love. Parentification. Manipulation. Coping skills. Asking for help and getting it. Hope. Protection. Caregiving. Competence. Toys and games. Comic books. Fixing things. Martial arts. Gentleness. Trust. Role models. Military. BAMF Phil Coulson.

Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24.

Read more... )
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ysabetwordsmith ([personal profile] ysabetwordsmith) wrote2014-07-27 11:23 pm

Thinking About Easy City

 [personal profile] helgatwb is helping me figure out how Easy City developed from New Orleans, Slidell, and other cities hooking together into a metroplex ... when people in southern Louisiana don't actually get along all that well.  Read the first discussion post, and chime in if you know this area.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2014-07-27 09:09 pm

Music

I have my scanner out tonight.

I have also put all of the sheet music I own* into a spreadsheet, so here is your limited-time offer: until I go to sleep tonight, get tired of messing with it, anybody who wants can request one song off that list and I will scan it for them. Enjoy!

Sheet Music Index

I suggest using full-text search if you want to find a certain song, there's almost 4000 entries in the list. It's heavily skewed toward old standards/broadway and pop/folk music from 1979 and before, because that's what you get when you shop at yard sales for it. Highlights include: a bunch of "buy war bonds!" sheet music from the early '40s, the complete Tom Lehrer collection, Donald Swann's settings of the songs of Tolkien.

...no I am not good enough to play most of this. I am a ridiculous person.

Requests uploaded so far:
I Got Rhythm
The Sound of Silence

* that's not actually all of it, I haven't put in some of the fake books or the any of the hymnal collection yet. or any of the stuff printed off the internet. or most of the stuff in the lesson books, or most of the clarinet/sax/flute/organ music. but it's most of it.
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Kate ([personal profile] kate_nepveu) wrote2014-07-27 08:50 pm
Entry tags:

end of an era

No, not Readercon; my ancient extremely-dumb phone (picture).

I'd been doing pay-as-you for voice and texts, since most of my life is in spaces with WiFi and I didn't feel the need for a monthly payment. But then I refilled my account and realized that I was spending about $20/month as our text messaging use increased, so it would only be another $25/month for Verizon's no-contract plan with a hundred-buck phone. And the prospect of never having to do a text message by cycling through all the button presses, let alone the security of Internet access more places, well.

So: the low-end 3G Moto G, because it's for backup stuff, checking email in emergencies and getting directions, and not streaming media. It fits nicely in my hand [*], though the grippy sides of this cheap case plus belt holster are welcome, and it runs stock Android and basically does what I need it to without fuss.

Here are some apps I've found useful specifically for the phone:

Widgetsoid (with donate add-on). This does two things: (1) it lets me toggle certain things directly from the lock screen (I use it for WiFi, mobile data, Bluetooth, and ringer status) and (2) on a home screen, it lets me fit more stuff in the same space—I have seven app shortcuts or toggles in a 4x1 widget on my main screen, for instance. (The donate version lets you save widgets to edit them, among other things.)

DashClock with DashClock Gmail+ Extension and DashClock SMS viewer [**]. This lets me see multiple things on the same lock screen: the number of new GMail messages (plus the subject and sender name if there's only one new message; I thought it was supposed to show that if there was more than one, but apparently that's a potential feature not an actual one); new text messages with their text; plus time, weather, and my next calender appointment within a certain time. There are default lock screen widgets for GMail and messaging, but they're on separate screens, and if I'm stopped at a red light, it's nice to get everything in one place.

(There are a million extensions for DashClock, but skip the toggle ones: all of them require unlocking the phone, not just the app-launch ones like in Widgetsoid.)

Moon Reader. Syncs reading position across devices with Dropbox, very customizable. The Pro version has more fonts and things, and I bought it to support the developer, but I don't actually depend on any of the pro features, I think.

[*] But though I loathe the idea, I can definitely see that when my Nexus 7 dies, I'm probably replacing it and this phone with a bigger-screened phone. I like the size of this, being able to fit it into pockets and hold it very comfortably, but the convenience of a single device is hard to beat. I already gave away my beloved Sony eInk reader, because I was hardly using it with the tablet always to hand, and I can definitely see the same fate coming for the phone+tablet combo.

[**] Before you download it, you'll probably need to go into Settings/Security and check "Unknown sources."

What about you? What handy little apps or tricks have you found for your Android smartphone?

Edit: I forgot, Verizon gave me a free Bluetooth car speakerphone, which works fine, though I don't use my phone in the car enough to bother with buying one for myself.