and who did you say is calling?

Oct. 20th, 2014 09:31 pm
lotesse: (Default)
[personal profile] lotesse
Dearest darlingest yuleingest goat (my dear santa),

thank you for writing a story for me! I have no doubts whatsoever that I will love the pants off of whatever you write :)

I'mma talk about canons first and then get to general reading preferences.

Frankenstein )

The Fall )

Vorkosigan Saga )

Smoke Signals )

general info about what I like to read )

(no subject)

Oct. 20th, 2014 05:51 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon linked to a fundraiser for Jennifer and her family, who are facing homelessness after their house was foreclosed on. They're raising $7K to find a new home and get moved in; you can read more and help them get shelter here.

[personal profile] secondsilk linked to Jez Pez, who is raising money for two transgender refugees in Victoria, Australia, with basic living expenses. You can read more about their plight and help them with basic necessities here.

[livejournal.com profile] rurounihime linked to a fundraiser for Tashina and her family, who are living out of their car after several financial misfortunes; they're at the point where they're considering putting their kids into the foster system just to get a roof over their heads. You can read more and help them get housing and help for their kids here.

[personal profile] brainwane linked to Strange Horizons, an online nonprofit magazine which publishes speculative fiction by diverse authors and on diverse themes. Because they are no-ad, they're funded by donations, and they're in their yearly funding drive, trying to raise between $13.5K and $15K. You can read more about the magazine and support their work here.

[tumblr.com profile] levynite's city, Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, has been badly affected by Typhoon Vong Fong, and the local SPCA has been flooded out. The animals have been rescued, but they need funds to shelter the animals and to rebuild. Their facebook page has donation details, but the money transfers always incur an extra fee, so Levy is doing an informal collection; if you're interested in donating, contact levynite at gmail.com and Levy will send you a paypal request (Paypal got...complicated).

Help For Free:

[tumblr.com profile] donotlookatthedogpark is asking for askbox distractions this winter, as they work on their sobriety and deal with the depression winter's dark and cold can often bring on. You can read more and find a link to their askbox here.

[livejournal.com profile] frenchroast has entered their cat Sherlock in the Publix Paws Photo contest that I mentioned last week, with the winner receiving free groceries from the store. Frenchroast is donating a portion of the prize, if they win, to a local rescue organization; you can vote for Sherlock here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!).

(no subject)

Oct. 19th, 2014 08:37 am
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Happy Sunday morning, everyone!

I am slightly hung over, banged up around the edges from a spill I took coming home, and POSTIN' FANFIC.

Title: The Son Of Man
Rating: PG (language, violence)
Summary: JARVIS did not want to be a real boy. He was quite happy being a building.
Notes: Beta thanks to Hailtherandom and Knottahooker on tumblr!
Warnings: This story contains extensive discussion-of/scenes-regarding body dysmorphia which may be triggering for some individuals.

Here at Dreamwidth | Here at AO3

watching you burn, oh

Oct. 18th, 2014 07:11 pm
lotesse: (faerie)
[personal profile] lotesse
via [personal profile] thady, this fantastic essay on early Britney Spears: “So if 'manufactured' is unfair, what is the right metaphor for Britney’s relationship to the pop machine? Scanning the pop culture of the late 90s gives us a better possibility: mecha, the Japanese anime genre where beautiful, tragic youth fuse themselves to sublime, state of the art machines. Britney is not the machine’s puppet; she’s its pilot.”

(no subject)

Oct. 18th, 2014 05:45 pm
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I'm over at R's today, a habit we've begun to develop due to the epic amounts of college football you get on Saturdays, and how R needs his college football because we've both quit watching the NFL in disgust. But of course, conversation wanders from football frequently.

R: I'm going to a wedding next week.
Sam: Oh yeah? Where is it?
R: It's out in the woods.
Sam: The woods? That narrows it down.
R: You know, the woods!
Sam: Oh sure, the woods, you take The Road to get to The Woods.
R: It's way past West City. You know where Beaten Path is?
Sam: Don't you dare --
R: IT'S JUST OFF BEATEN PATH.

Bless.

What I Did This Summer

Oct. 17th, 2014 09:36 am
jamiam: (Default)
[personal profile] jamiam posting in [community profile] wiscon
For folks who are involved in the Wiscon community and who don't know what's been going on: the Wiscon concom had close to a dozen people resign in the aftermath of the Frenkel harassment ban. Many of them were volunteers in critical jobs, who had been working the con for several decades without any clear understudies or apprentices, doing the work of five or six regular volunteers at what was easily a part-time job level.

The good news is, we've had close to two dozen new people volunteer to join the concom, and they're rapidly filling the vacuum. Wiscon is changing into a more intersectional national/international con that is a lot more community-oriented. And hopefully, safer for everyone.

But there's a lot of institutional knowledge that's at risk for being lost, and several wheels that are going to need re-inventing. And all this during the summer and fall months when the concom is usually on "hiatus". We've still got a long way to go before we can have a Wiscon 39.

EDIT: It's come to my attention that the phrase "aftermath of the Frenkel decision" is being perceived as "people left the concom as a direct result of the permanent ban." Which isn't what happened: The vast majority of people left as a result of the arduous process of rewriting our harassment policy when we discovered it was severely flawed. This process took an extraordinary level of effort on the part of many members of the concom, well in excess of the normal amount of work involved in simply putting on the convention, and several people left as a result of the months-long discussions that happened well in advance of the ban.

I can't state for certain that nobody left as a direct result of the original decision for a conditional ban being overturned in favor of a permanent ban. But most of the people who resigned did so well in advance of the vote, or in the months afterwards. The most common reasons cited were that people found the months of heated and sometimes emotional arguments draining, and they badly needed a break. The people who left the concom included people who originally tried to defend Jim Frenkel and people who argued for the perma-ban.
lotesse: (curioser)
[personal profile] lotesse
two questions about the Vorkosigan Saga:

1. how does swearing someone work in terms of the armsmans' score/Vorloupulous' law? When Miles swears Arde and Baz in - when Mark swears Elena - do those count as additions to the number of Vorkosigan Armsmen? Because neither boy acts as though a slot needs to be open before a swearing can happen, on penalty of high treason. Is there a textual explanation, or is it a crack in the narrative?

2. Why, when Bujold so obviously understands why aspects of Miles' courtship of Ekaterin are really borderline in terms of acceptable behavior, does she choose to have the story go down that way? There are all of these words about how Ekaterin needs some time, some confidence, some space - Bujold clearly does get it, at some level. Does she just not care? Why was it necessary for her to write the story about Miles pushing Ekaterin's consent and disrespecting her boundaries and still getting her to marry him in the end?

It would have been really cool if it had gone the other way, actually been a healthy and functional romance all the time, instead of just some of the time.
likeadeuce: (Default)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
• What are you currently reading?

Continuing The Good Lord Bird by James McBride. This has definitely grown on me as I've gotten used to the voice. It's definitely got a frontier-picaresque feel to it, but with the inevitability of knowing how John Brown's story is eventually going to end up. I'm not quite sure what the book accomplishes by having a boy-dressed-as-a-girl as narrator, instead of an actual girl (??? and I use that terminology because Onion seems to constantly conceive himself as a 'he' so there's not really any gender identity play going on here except 'potentially comical situations' I guess, and if you're likely to be annoyed by 'boy pretending to be a girl as inherently comedic' then maybe skip this book; for me it hasn't crossed into 'transphobic,' it just seems to be viewed by the narrative more of a wacky/absurd detail than as an exploration of gender identity. I'd be interested in different interpretations if anybody's read it).

Started Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley, another of the Flavia de Luce books. This series got pretty same-y fast, but it's been a fun/predictable comfort read for the most part.

• What did you recently finish reading?

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley. With this book, I understand both the enthusiasm (Hurley is really good at promoting her work online, and is a well-regarded blogger about feminism & social issues in genre fiction) and the backlash (none of the former changes the fact that this is pretty much grimdark fantasy that weights heavily toward world-building rather than relatable characters, and throws A LOT of world-building at the reader and expects the reader to keep up.) I can understand people bouncing off this book strongly -- especially if they don't like grimdark or prefer strong entry-point characters to go with their worldbuilding. For me, the balance worked well; I personally got into the viewpoint characters, even the loathsome ones, though I was most engaged on more of an intellectual level, with how Hurley addresses a lot of the representation issues and other world-building issues in epic fantasy, particularly in the utter rejection of any kind of gender essentialism. This was a good book for me to read at this point in my relationship with the fantasy genre, anyway; it definitely won't be for everybody. That said, I did dock a star on my goodreads reviews because the climaxes didn't feel nearly climax-y enough for me. This is a pretty standard trilogy problem (I assume this is going to be a trilogy? not actually sure if the series has a set length but this is clearly a BOOK ONE) but it didn't seem to end on quite the right beats. I'm definitely interested in reading more, though, and seeing what subsequent books have in store.

I also read volumes 3 & 4 of Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man (the first Miles Morales series) and sigh, that was depressingly early for an interesting standalone series to get pulled into a dumb event where DC gets blown up and Captain America is president. Volume 4 sort of got back on track, and I think there's only one more before a reboot (which has already happened because comics publishing schedules are nonsense if you try to read in trade. Miles is still great, I hope they figure out what to do with him to keep him around.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I've got Megan Abbott's The Fever looking at me, also a bunch of comics and Elizabeth Bear's Steles of the Sky, the last book in HER epic fantasy trilogy, which I bought in hardback and (reading the Hurley book reminded me) I never got to. Or maybe I'll reread the first Magicians book. Or finish Hild
damselfish: photo by rling (Default)
[personal profile] damselfish

Consider Phlebas and Player of Games are a couple of the books recommended to get into Iain M. Banks’s Culture books, and what luck, they’re the only ones my library has!

I read a comment saying that Consider Phlebas is hard to get into until the very end when you see all the threads start coming together, but I was having a rollicking good time, happy to go wherever the story was taking me. Until about 100 pages out and started worrying if the questions I wanted answered, would get answered.

30 pages from the end I realized, nope. I was not going to get that story. I was not going to find out the whys and wherefores I was really itching to unravel.

I know, don’t critique the story you wish you’d read, and the story told definitely told me enough to get Banks’s point across. The problem is: the story told was FUCKING SOUL-DESTROYING.

(no subject)

Oct. 15th, 2014 07:14 am
copperbadge: (bad day)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I wasn't feeling well last night -- when I got home I was running a mild fever, and the avocado roll from lunch wasn't sitting super well -- so I thought, I want comfort food. I want hot and sour soup, and some pork wontons.

Now, I had soup. I had a lot of soup in my freezer, because surgery is coming up next month, but none of it was hot and sour soup, and none of it came with pork wontons.

SO. I took a risk and ordered from a new place, as I pretty much have to do at this point because my delivery radius changed completely when I moved. And I don't think this new place is necessarily objectively terrible. But after 90 minutes and no soup, for which, I should point out, I wasn't even hungry at that point, I called them.

"Our delivery driver never showed up," they told me. "But we have a replacement, he'll be here soon."

And since I'd ordered fairly early I figured, okay, another hour at most.

Another hour passed, and I called again, and endless hold awaited me. And now it was getting on towards bedtime, but I still wasn't hungry, so I just wanted them NOT to show up at 11pm with my soup.

But I couldn't really do anything about them, since every time I called I just got a recorded hold message, so when I finally got hungry I made myself some soup from the freezer. And promptly dropped it all over the kitchen.

Okay, universe, I get it, you don't want me to eat dinner.

Anyway, I went to bed, figuring if they did show up at 11pm with soup I'd just fucking deal with it somehow, but they never showed up.

Unfortunately, neither did a refund for the food I ordered.

So today I'm calling for a refund! Because god knows, I love calling people.

No soup for me. :(
mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
[staff profile] mark posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance

Hi all,

Today another SSL vulnerability was announced. This one is named POODLE and is, while serious, much less serious than the Heartbleed event from some months ago.

Unfortunately, the only real way to fix the problem is to disable something called "SSLv3" entirely. Basically, this means that we instruct our servers that they are no longer allowed to speak version 3 of the SSL protocol (you can think of it as a language -- we ban this language from our servers). It turns out this is generally OK since most browsers don't actually speak using SSLv3 these days -- you actually use what's called TLS, which is a more modern, better way of protecting the stuff you send across the Internet.

The SSLv3 protocol is actually around 15 years old at this point, and TLS has been out so long that nearly every browser out there supports it. However, shutting off SSLv3 does mean that very old browsers -- IE6, for one -- can no longer talk to Dreamwidth using encryption. In this case, since the encryption wouldn't actually mean anything, we think it's better to not even pretend that it works.

I will be making this change sometime in the next hour or three. This really should impact almost none of you, but there might be one or two and, in that case, I'm sorry. We think it's better to do this so you know you're not actually secure than to let Dreamwidth pretend to be secure.

Edit: This has been deployed. SSLv3 is disabled on Dreamwidth.

Comments and questions welcome, as always!

Patreon: October prompt post

Oct. 14th, 2014 10:19 pm
clare_dragonfly: woman with green feathery wings, text: stories last longer: but only by becoming only stories (Writing: stories last longer)
[personal profile] clare_dragonfly
The prompt post for October is up at my Patreon! The theme is "love & romance." Pledge for $3 or more a month to leave me a prompt. We're just $5 away from a patron-only story being posted!

(no subject)

Oct. 13th, 2014 08:14 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[livejournal.com profile] nancylebov linked Siderea, a therapist, programmer, and writer who needs to make a little side money and free up some energy for writing; she's started a Patreon where people can support her posts. You can read more and help out here.

Christian is entering Endure 4 Kindness 2014, raising money to support Random Acts, and as his endurance mission is making friendship bracelets all day on October 18th. Donations go to a good cause and might net you a friendship bracelet! You can read more and support the campaign here.

[tumblr.com profile] dontbearuiner linked to Michael, an Austin artist who makes cigar box guitars and ukeleles, often with a geeky twist. He's trying to get his business in it off the ground; you can check out his work and support his store here. They're looking for a final push since the fundraiser ends on Friday.

Grev linked to a video, "Home", about life in Jerusalem for Israeli and Palestinian youth, and how the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus has created a home there. I'm gonna admit I haven't viewed the video yet, but it sounds really interesting and I'm hoping to soon. You can view it for yourself here and support their work here.

[tumblr.com profile] levynite's city, Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, has been badly affected by Typhoon Vong Fong, and the local SPCA has been flooded out. The animals have been rescued, but they need funds to shelter the animals and to rebuild. Their facebook page has donation details, but the money transfers always incur an extra fee, so Levy is doing an informal collection; if you're interested in donating, contact levynite at gmail.com and Levy will send you a paypal request (Paypal got...complicated).


Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[personal profile] in_the_bottle can't make it to the Night Vale live shows on October 21st and November 8th, so she's selling her tickets (at cover price) to shows in London. You can read more at her Dreamwidth, LJ, or Tumblr.


Help for Free:

[tumblr.com profile] knottahooker's coworker has entered her dog into the Publix Paws Photo contest, trying to win gift certificates to Publix groceries, and is rallying for votes. You can have a look at Handsome here (and vote without having to register or log in) as well as scroll through tons of pictures of cute animals.


Housing:

[livejournal.com profile] off_coloratura is still looking for a third roommate in a Rogers Park apartment in Chicago. $750/mo plus utilities; a private room with shared bath, in-unit laundry, and two cats, close to the red line and grocery. You can view pictures and get more information here.


News to Know:

[personal profile] yamx shared the news that Red Bull has lost a class-action suit regarding misleading advertising, and are required to provide $15 in free Red Bull or $10 to anyone who fills out a claim form that they purchased Red Bull in the past twelve years. No proof of purchase is required; you can read more and find links to the claim forms here.


And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!).

Fiction: She Has Her Reasons

Oct. 9th, 2014 09:20 pm
clare_dragonfly: there will be time to murder and create (Writing: murder and create)
[personal profile] clare_dragonfly
Title: She Has Her Reasons
World: robot rights
Word count: 393
Rating: G
Prompt: Thimbleful Thursday: for XYZ reasons
Notes: This follows The Best Boutiques (access-locked).


“I just… I don’t think she’s okay,” said Brooke quietly.

Dylan shook his head. “Of course she’s not okay.”Read more... )

(no subject)

Oct. 9th, 2014 02:50 pm
copperbadge: (bombpetence)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I love Office Granddad. And I feel a little sorry for him sometimes because I think they probably just couldn't bring themselves to let him go after he worked here for 25 years, and so put him in a position he's not super duper qualified for just to give him a job. But once in a while I am really frustrated that I work next to him.

The thing is that because I've moved up in the world, I no longer am in charge of scheduling meetings, and rightly so; removing that from my job responsibilities was a huge step in establishing me as Not The Project Manager Anymore. But we gave the job to Office Granddad, whom I once had to teach about "downloading attachments". And by "once" I mean "several times over the course of 2012".

So now it's not so much that he schedules the meetings, as that he attempts to schedule the meetings and then I spend ten to twenty minutes helping him fix the errors he made scheduling the meeting. And I try to be patient and not to grab the mouse from him and just do the damn thing myself, but it's really frustrating for both of us.

I keep waiting for the "oh, I get it now" lightbulb to go on, and in the meantime I am constantly lighting candles...

Reading Wednesday, 10/8/14

Oct. 8th, 2014 10:43 pm
likeadeuce: (writer)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
Another Wednesday and I'm back. I've been busy but mostly with good stuff. Went to another football game, which my team won; at this point we've won twice as many games as in all of last year, and Dad managed to admit, "it's nice that it's fun to go to U.Va. games again." Last year WAS pretty painful but he wouldn't admit it at the time because he's stubborn like that. I also got to spend some time with Mom and my brother Daniel & his wife on Sunday, as we went to see a production of Macbeth at VCU that was pretty fun. Work has been a bit of a pain this week but it's because I'm making sure everything will be set for me to go on vacation for the next two weeks. I'm super excited about this because this will be the longest continuous stretch I've been away from my job since I started seven years ago. Having a job is nice but so is paid vacation.

Today after work I went shopping for a dress to wear to my cousin's wedding this weekend and since I found a couple that fit and since they were brand names/realitively cheap (go Marshall's!) I bought both and will figure out exactly what to do with them. But getting past my 'oh noes I can't ever go to a nice occasion because I don't have a nice dress' mental block was harder than the actual shopping so this is all good.

So now, books:

• What are you currently reading?

I set The Mirror Empire aside for the moment, since saving it for my vacation and swallowing the last 400 pages in a gulp seems like an appealing thing.

So right now I'm mostly on audiobooks:

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley, which continues to be suspenseful and fun, though occasionally featuring things that are near squicks for me such as diabolical fungus. (This is especially not something I want to read about while I'm growing a gross cold sore on my lip. I *know* cold sores are not fungus, but tell that to the part of my brain that is scared the fungus might be demonic, okay?)

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride. This got on my radar last year when I was reading Midnight Rising, Tony Horwitz's nonfiction book about the abolitionist John Brown. Then McBride's book won the National Book Award and I remembered I'd been interested in reading it. This is a story about Brown written from the point of view of a young enslaved boy who (while disguised as a girl, for complicated reasons) becomes part of Brown's retinue. This isn't an obvious subject for comedy but McBride seems to be influenced by an American 'tall tale tradition' -- and most obviously by Mark Twain, though there's a lot going on here. I wasn't sure at the start if this book was going to be 'for me' but I'm finding myself getting drawn in by the voice. Also, this book does something that I really appreciate in historical fiction, which is to inhabit the viewpoint of characters who weren't fully represented in the 'canonized' fiction of the time. Huckleberry Finn had Jim, and Jim is an important character in American literature, but Twain didn't create the kind of complex interactions that McBride does between and among the African American characters.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Sister Citizen by Melissa Harris-Perry, which I mentioned here several times so I don't have much to add. It's smart and persuasive and interdisciplinary (finding connections between various fields of study, I mean) in a way I find really compelling.

I also read Iron, the 3rd volume of the Brian Azzarello/Cliff Chiang Wonder Woman series. I'm not sure what I think about this as a Wonder Woman story but just on its own it's a ripping good yarn and soooo nice to look at (except, well, when there are gross fly-based villains. But it's COMPELLING to look at even when it's not pretty).

• What do you think you’ll read next?

The Mirror Empire and maybe The Fever on my week off!
whump: QR code for "http://whump.dreamwidth.org/" (Default)
[personal profile] whump posting in [community profile] wiscon

The Ada Initiative will give a allies training workshop at WisCon next year if they reach $175K in donations by Wednesday. They are just 12K 4K away.

I will match up to $512 in donations if you use this link to donate!

Donatenow

Thanks to [personal profile] brainwane for reminding me to post that here!

brainwane: My smiling face, in front of a wall and a brown poster. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane posting in [community profile] wiscon
This might interest you. The Ada Initiative has a tried and tested Ally Skills Workshop that it teaches, which "teaches men simple everyday ways to support women in their communities. In three hours, one person can create 30 new advocates for women in their community or workplace." I've taught this workshop and people find it hella helpful.

Feminist fans at WisCon are (in my experience) hungry for these kinds of resources, and with some additional funding, the Ada Initiative can run a train-the-trainers session at WisCon next year, so people can learn how to run it and take it back to our schools, workplaces, and communities. At this writing, Ada Initiative needs about USD$6,000 more in the next day and a half in order to make this session possible. I hope you will donate towards that goal.

Donate now




(And if this gets funded, it greatly increases the chances I'll come to WisCon next year!)

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Lauren K. Moody

Positive Obsession

There is hope in error, but none at all in perfection.
--Ursula K. Le Guin

The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.
--Muriel Rukeyser

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

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