Me? I spent most of my weekend at an ice-skating competition (apart from my kid competing, I'm also in training to be the set up person for the new judging tech). So my decluttering was limited to a bit of paperwork here and there. ...which actually, has been the theme of my week, although the amount of paperwork dealt with each day has varied from 'a couple of pieces of paper' to 'filled the inside bin three times over'.
Things with Scott's work schedule are a bit up in the air. They source their raw materials in Texas and so have a supply bottleneck even though they're facing both their busiest time of year due to special orders for cider season and an unusually high demand for the things they make all year. This worries me that they'll only give Scott one day to transition back to day shift by making him work next Saturday night into Sunday morning and then expecting him to start back on first shift at 6:15 Monday morning. It all depends on whether or not the supplies come in and how much of a backlog of orders they have then.
We ended up going to Dairy Queen last night because Cordelia said she really wanted a hot fudge sundae. Seeing what she ended up with, I'd never have called it a 'hot fudge' sundae because the topping was very, very runny. She commented, after eating it, that she really should have thought about the fact that she's not currently all that into chocolate. Her other idea had been an expedition to Novi to the Cheesecake Factory there, but it was 8:00 by the time we were ready to go anywhere at all. Dairy Queen was cheaper and closer.
I'm still working on characters for my game at UCon. I'll be running it from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, and I worry a little that a home rules game won't draw players in that time slot (I was worried about that in any time slot, quite frankly), but I suppose that people who like my games will still see that the game exists. I'm willing to run with just two people. Scott will be running something during that game slot, so I can't ask him to make up numbers.
I have notes, some sketchy and some not so much so, and names for seven characters. It's my intention to write them so that they can be played male, female, or anything else as the player prefers. I did that for my Amber game last UCon, and one of the players decided their character used they/them pronouns. I don't intend to make sex/gender integral to the plot in any way unless the player characters chase after it.
Looking at the online UCon game book section for RPGs is kind of fascinating. There's no character limit for the online listings, and some people post a wall of text while other people say little more there than what will fit in the printed version. It would be interesting to see which of these attract more players or if they simply attract different players. I haven't seen much yet that makes me want to play anything, but many games are better than their blurbs.
I'll be running Sentinels of the Multiverse on Friday morning, so all my GMing will be done by 1 p.m. on Saturday. Sentinels is much less work in the preparation stage. Mainly, I need to pick a villain and a setting and test the combination so that I know what bits of each are likely to kill the superheroes. I may, based on that, offer a limited selection of heroes rather than letting anyone choose any hero at all, but I also may not because that's more work. It's just that there are some heroes who can't function at all against certain villains.
Kit Reed (b.1932) died on September 24, several months after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Reed published the story “The Wait” in 1958 and was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best New Author of 1958, a forerunner of the John W. Campbell, Jr. Award. She published short fiction mostly in F&SF in her early years, but eventually branched out to other magazines. Her first novel was mainstream, and in 1969, she published Armed Camps, her first genre novel.
Beginning with Mister Da V and Other Stories in 1967, Reed published ten collections of her short fiction, most recently the massive The Story Until Now: A Great Big Book of Stories in 2013. Three of her works, “Bride of Bigfoot,” Weird Women, Wired Women, and Little Sisters of the Apocalypse were shortlisted for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award. Her novel Where was nominated for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and she won the Alex Award from the ALA for Thinner Than Thou.
Reed has published horror novels and detective novels under the pseudonyms Shelley Hyde and Kit Craig. She published her final novel, Mormama in May of this year.
Kit was one of the champions of our community: writer, teacher, and mentor. She will be deeply missed.
Kit’s son, Mack Reed, has posted an additional remembrance on Facebook.
I'm listing a lot of fandoms this year bc I've been slowly breaking up with Marvel for, like, 2+ years now and haven't found a replacement fandom, I just keep trying all the fandoms to see if one will stick. Here's what I've been into lately, in no particular order.
X-Men (First Class movie 'verse): My main pairing is Charles/Erik, though X-Men Apocalypse made me yearn for Charles/Erik/Raven. I specified First Class, not because it has to be based off that single movie, but because I don't actually enjoy rivals pairings normally, so the early 2000s Charles/Erik is less interesting to me, than the closer relationship we've seen in First Class/Days of Future Past/Apocalypse. I'm not opposed to stories that are set in the earlier (later, in canon) movies, just it's a bit more hit or miss how their relationship is portrayed. My favourite tag in the fandom is Alternate Universe - Still Have Powers because I love stories that explore how the world would react to mutants and the powers that they have but the actual canon is so intense, goes to such an extreme. These AUs generally have more of a middle ground.
Marvel Netflix (without a focus on Frank or Danny): Daredevil is the netflix show I've been the most fannish about in the past. Ugh, my stupid avocados, and the awesome women! I'm not really a Frank Castle fan though and the only spark of interest I felt around him was his relationship to Karen.
Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are also awesome, though I haven't delved into those fandoms as deeply. Iron Fist... well, I mostly don't understand why they felt the need to make that show. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it like the others. I won't object if you do a Defenders podfic that has Danny present, but I'm not going to enjoy a Danny-centric story.
Marvel comics 616: I'm mostly interested in Steve/Tony centric stories from comics, though Jan is my fav Avenger, so anything with her in it is amazing! I also have some recs on AO3.
MCU: My main pairings from MCU are Steve/Tony, Clint/Coulson, Clint/Coulson/Natasha, occasionally Tony/Bucky or Steve/Tony/Buck that isn't centered on Steve.
For Steve/Tony, I prefer the stories that build off the comics canon for their relationship (because I admit they are not the strongest pairing within the movie canon). I cannot deal with Civil War stories (from the movie 'verse, 616 is a different matter). My Steve/Tony MCU recs (these are pretty sparse)
For Clint/Coulson and Clint/Coulson/Natasha it's all about the competency porn for me. I love Strike Team Delta, I love them watching out for each other, I love them supporting each other, and I love them kicking ass together. My Clint/Coulson recs
Iron Man: Armored Adventures and Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
I've watched and love both of these cartoons, and would happily receive gifts from either of these shows. EMH has the same pairings as the rest of my Marvel preferences, but also includes Clint/Hulk. AA I ship basically Tony/Anyone. :P
Moving out of Marvel...
My main pairing for this fandom is Kala/Wolfgang, though I love all the canon pairings (including Sun/Mun and Capheus/Zakia).
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
God I really wanted to throw myself into this fandom after I saw the movie, unfortunately the fandom is not that large. ;__; I ship Belle/Adam and have no interest in seeing Gaston redeemed, nor am I into Lefou pining after him (it's fine if it's present in the story like it was in canon, but I don't want Lefou pining to be the main point of the story)
Star Trek AOS
I blame Rjcreighton for this one. I've pretty much just done Kirk/Spock in this fandom. I have a few recs on AO3 but they're mostly really long stories so probably not useful here.
Merlin/Arthur is my main pairing, but I'm also 100% there for canon-era slice-of-life gen, or stories of how awesome a queen Gwen was, post-show. Canon-era stories tend to be my fav, however I'm fine with AUs that take place in a different time so long as there's still magic (there are non-magical AUs that I like, but they can be more hit and miss for me, if you find a modern day non-magic AU that seems to really align with the likes I have listed below though, go for it). I tended to enjoy the potential of season 1 more than the reality of the later seasons, I'm totally there for redeemable Morgana. I have a bunch of (old) recs on my pinboard.
Oh Mark Watney you poor goober, look what Mars has done to you. I primarily read gen in this fandom and enjoy Mark trying to cope while everything goes wrong. I'm also ok in reading pairing fic in this fandom but don't have any particular ships, the fandom skews to Mark/Beck, which I'm fine with but don't feel any great love for either. If you go the way of shipping I'd probably prefer something where it's either background or actually puts some work into making me get behind the pairing.
I fell in love with the franchise through Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and I adore Cameron. I also have a thing for people growing into heroes so love John Connor's characterization from SCC and T3. My ships are John/Cameron and John/Kate, though this fandom is the one I read the most gen in. I also adore crossovers with Terminator. If you can find good crossovers with this and any of the other fandoms I've listed, that would totally make my day. My Terminator recs are on my pinboard.
Things that I love (an incomplete list): Rule 63, identity porn, competence porn, trans characters, world exploration, found family, pretend dating (really, most harlequin-type storylines), angst, AUs, origin stories, power dynamics (including D/s and BDSM), emotional punches in the gut, and way more than I can think of at the moment.
I don't have many no go zones but cannibalism and killing people in a fetishized way are really hard stops for me. Related to the previous point, I mostly can't deal with zombies and am finding vampires harder to deal with too. Detailed gore on a large scale also makes me queasy and I'm not a fan of horror.
I don't enjoy stories whose plots are driven by homophobia.
As mentioned above, I'm mostly pretending that Captain America: Civil War never happened and tend to immediately back button out of anything that deals with it.
Note: Since these are things other people usually list as no gos, while I wouldn't necessarily say these as things I love, I don't mind unhappy endings and/or death fic. Related to my like of emotional punches in a gut, I like when a story can make me cry. I don't mind sad events or endings so long as the emotions ring true. So if you have a story that you think would work that has an unhappy ending or character death, go for it! I am well known as an angst muffin after all.
Sometimes, I don’t understand my district. It’s like they go out of their way to make things as difficult as possible for the teachers. Take next week, for example. We are supposed to work on progress reports next week. We fill out out the computerized form saying how they are doing in each subject, and then fill out comments. Filling in the form doesn’t take long (in fact, I’m already done), but the comments do. Especially because over half of them need to be in Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish, so I need to either run my comments through Google Translate or hunt through my comment books for comment appropriate for my students. I usually do the former, even though it makes me nervous since Google Translate is notoriously unreliable. I remember when I was trying to tell my parents to have their children count change and Google Translate translated it as “cambio”, which is not what I wanted.
Plus, I like to make my comments specific to each child, so I don’t use the pre-defined ones that come with the program and I don’t like using professionally published books (although I get ideas from them sometimes). So, it takes awhile.
So what does my district decide to do? Hold meetings during the week. The first isn’t their fault; my principal and the PBIS committee (which I’m on) decided to meet on Monday after school. But the second meeting is the district. We’re having grade level collaboration for the whole district on Wednesday. Why it has to be next week instead of the week after, I don’t know. I honestly think that the district expects us to do progress reports on our own time, which isn’t fair. We should be able to do it during our prep time. But every year, this is what happens. And I didn’t it easier on myself because I scheduled an appointment on Thursday.
But, I’ll get it done. I always do. But I’ll still complain because it’s just not fair.
In other new, I’m decorating my room for fall tomorrow. I’ve never done that before, but a) I’m in the mood and b) I’m trying to make my room prettier and more engaging. I found this sign at Michael’s that's orange and says 'Fall' on it in cute font. I also bought some leaves at the Dollar Store. The sign is going to go on my cabinets and the leave will go on the cabinets and the board (I think). I’ll do it tomorrow morning and take pictures. I hope it’ll look good. I’m not very good at decorating. My apartment is all superhero art I got at Comic Con. Grown-up decorations baffle me.
I finished What Teacher’s Make and am now looking for something else to read. I was going to try The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, but the lack of quotation marks bugs me. Any suggestions?
The three returning shows that I'm most looking forward to are The Good Place (which is already back), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Stranger Things. I like all of these shows A LOT, but I wouldn't consider myself fannish about any of them. I kind of miss being fannish about something.
Well, it's done now. Thankfully, I expected errors and bought a lot of extra felt.
The funny thing is that all his classmates, their families just drew on the bags with Sharpies. His mom asked me to do it due to lack of time, but I can't draw! I even had somebody else do the stencils for me! So now it looks like I put in way more effort than anybody else (despite the fact that I can see all the errors glaring out at me), but really, I just can't draw. Cutting and sewing is a LOT easier for me.
This is a 10,000-year rabbit hole!
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was designed to store radioactive waste in Nevada. The storage area would not be safe to enter until 10,000 years had passed. Several groups of smart people came together to design warning messages that could outlive our civilization and protect future explorers. These designers knew they couldn't rely on any current language surviving that long, so they worked on landscape designs that project "this is toxic waste, don't mess!" ( audio/text background and four fanfics )
One of the forbidding-landscape proposals is incorporated into California, a meh dystopian novel published by a non-genre writer in 2014. If the WIPP project follows up on the experts' suggestions, elements of those proposal should be showing up in pop culture for millennia.
Cat with thyroid condition made one more trip to the vet. Upping the medicine a little seems to have worked but he developed some sort of rash on his forehead. The vet said that she read that the stuff he’s taking could cause that but wow, she said, I’ve never seen it before. She was impressed. The rash seems scabbed over and fading so maybe that cat is done for a year or so. There’s still another to terrorize by taking it to the vet.
I made rolls using mashed potatoes, rolls and bread because you’re supposed to make the rolls in muffins tins but I only have one so I put the rest of the dough in a bread pan. First time making that recipe or any with potatoes and I declare them tasty.
Not so much for the sort of pancakes baked in the oven made with mashed potatoes. They were the trigger to start the whole potato festival but I tried to half the recipe and things went terribly, terribly wrong. I should have stuck with my mother’s putting an egg and some breadcrumbs in the mash and frying them up . Not gone with uppity ideas.
PBS is playing silly buggers with Dickensian. They showed one episode weeks ago, then nothing for a while, then showed several for two weeks (beginning with the first epi again) now nothing for two more weeks. Just like they’re CBS or ABC.
Also, the Republicans in Congress again want me dead.
— Thinking. Maybe a little, maybe a lot.
— Planning and / or researching.
— Sending things to the beta.
— Relaxing, taking a break, etc.
— Other stuff-ing. Look at the comment.
Standard Sunday question: What are your projects for this week, if any?
I think I'm done with this series for reals now.
Sam: You should go to the thrift store and find something cool to replace it with! That’s how you get a really unique chess set.
R: So you’re saying his mistake became….a mistakapportunity?
Sam: Of the millions of words that I thought you might say when you paused, mistakapportunity didn’t even make the list.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2y0YuXL
Also, the book is a collection of essays from the Obama era, and just reading them drives home what a different world when live in now. Remember when you didn't have to brace yourself for every single news cycle? When you could be cautiously optimistic that change might be change for the better, rather than bitterly aware that any change will almost certainly be for the worse and the best we can possibly hope for is that nothing changes at all? When the president didn't communicate mainly in the form of embarrassing tweets?
Yeah, I try to block that time out of my mind too. The contrast to today is too painful.
If you can withstand the pain, however, this is a good and thought-provoking book. One thing that has stuck with me (during the month that I have procrastinated in writing this review because of the aforementioned misery factor) is Coates' repeatedly reference to a strand in black conservative thought that looks back nostalgically on segregation, not because segregation per se was so wonderful but because (according to this strand of thought; Coates has doubts that this nostalgia is founded in reality) it's seen as a time of strong community bonds, when outside hostility forced the community to really work together and look out for itself etc. etc.
It reminds me of a bit in Sebastian Junger's book Tribe, when he mentions some recent graffiti in, IIRC, Kosovo: "Things were better when they were really bad." As in, things were better in the old days when we were trapped in a terrible war, because at least then the enemy was outside, and we were all working together within. (I have no idea how well this reflects the objective reality of wartime Kosovo, mind; human memory is malleable.)
It's just striking to me that humans find connection and togetherness so important that these things will, at least in memory, become the most important aspect of a horrible situation. Nothing bonds people like enduring adversity together.
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