no totoro

Jun. 26th, 2017 08:35 pm
sasha_feather: horses grazing on a hill with thunderheads (horses and lightning)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Jesse and I went to go see "My Neighbor Totoro" at the theater. We get there and it's very nearly sold out; we get the last two tickets that someone was refunding. Neither of us are quite trained into the new system where you are supposed to always buy your tickets ahead of time, having lived our whole lives as spontaneous movie-goers.

I get some snacks and we settle into our seats. The movie starts, the cute song and the little girl walking. Soon we realize, we are seeing the Japanese version with no subtitles. Someone alerts the staff and the movie plays on. I'm happy to watch it this way-- the story is very simple and to me, not understanding the words only plays into the dream-like quality of Miyazaki movies. But not long into it, the movie pauses and the manager comes in, to apologize. He says that they got the wrong version, and they will be playing the English dubbed version. Some people in the audience object. My friend a row below us calls out for people to clap if they want the dubbed version vs. if they want the Japanese version. It's about evenly split.

Well, they must have decided to do the dubbed version because they stopped the film. We decided to leave and get our refund.

Anyways, that is our Totoro story!

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 04:37 pm
izzy: small yellow submarine on a blue background ([beatles] sailed up to the sun)
[personal profile] izzy
Oh hey there, apparently I haven't been around here since uh well before Wiscon, which means that if you didn't see me lose my shit on twitter, I GOT ACCEPTED TO UW-MADISON.

I just. I am so happy. And relieved. Lots of relieved, because this means I don't have to do an entire semester online at UW-Milwaukee (because fuck if I'm moving to Milwaukee) and apply to Madison again over winter break. I GET TO FINISH MY DEGREE HERE. Even though Bad Things are happening at the university because the state legislature is made up of fucksticks who hate education so my Feelings are Mixed, sigh.

Orientation and registration is in about a month. I want it now, I wanna pick classes! (I don't want everything I want to be full!) Patience, Elizabeth.

What else. Summer classes again: right now is Classical Mythology which is Great (except for how I need to read Oedipus Rex tonight) (again) (this is probably my third time reading it), and in a couple weeks my polisci class will start (American National Government, which will I'm sure be interesting and depressing and interesting), and then I'll have an associate's degree! An Actual Degree! I mean, I won't have the actual Thing until fall semester graduation, but whatever.

What else. My entire existence is political, so Happy Pride, I still don't have health insurance, and my brain decided to take a nosedive into a what-if cancer scenario at five fucking a.m. today, so that was cool.

We had a [personal profile] fairestcat for like three weeks post-Wiscon, which was delightful and I miss her face and I keep finding her dyed neon pink hair which obviously means I should vacuum. We went to APT and saw Midsummer Night's Dream on the NEW STAGE which was lovely and hilarious and fun (though later I watched the newish BBC production and wow did APT take some inspiration from that). We saw Wonder Woman twice which was good because there may have been some happy weeping the first time (and the second). And oh right, Cat and I went down to Chicago and saw those U2 guys as well. Which was, yknow, fine. (!!!!!!!) (ugh oh god it was so good I don't have words just random untypeable noises sry)

That's pretty much all I can think of. I should probably read about that Greek dude who made bad life choices now. (which one, I know.)

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:15 pm
such_heights: amy deep in thought (who: amy [dust after rain])
[personal profile] such_heights
It occurs to me I've been on twitter a lot the last two months, but nowhere else. So - hi. Still here. Grieving, but here.

Comments disabled as I think I've had as much sympathy as I can handle (it's much appreciated, just A Lot sometimes).

<3

Sleepy Sundays

Jun. 25th, 2017 05:36 pm
orockthro: George with glasses and "NERD" written on her forehead (Default)
[personal profile] orockthro
I've been pretty low energy all week (lucky me) but at least part of the fatigue I can lay blame to a case of Shingles. Color me surprised when that's what my spotty, itchy, ouchie self came down with. I always thought that was an "over 50" malady, but not so.
I'm on the mend, but still a bit tired. It's hard to tell what of that is just poor sleep (I always sleep poorly before my period), what's a Shingles symptom, and what might be a side effect of the anti-virals I got prescribed. I guess in the end it doesn't matter! Tired is tired.
The meds also give me a bit of the queasy-guts, which is both new and not particularly fun. Only another 2 days on them, though.

Reading news:
I finished "Broken Homes" (4th in the Rivers of London series) and am about 40% of the way through the 5th book, "Foxglove Summer." Still having a lot of fun with this series! So far "Moon Over Soho" is the obvious weak link, and I'm glad the subsequent books have kept my interest. Unfortunately it looks like my library system/Overdrive doesn't have the 6th book on audio. This is deeply sad. :< I really adore the reader.

Cooking news: 
No new experiments, but the remaining jars of my coconut yogurt have been delicious, and I can still make a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Life news:
Put in a few hours of OT today, and a new Thing I'm Doing is trying to be as CHILL AND NOT STRESSED as possible. ;) You may note from the all caps that this isn't super easy right now. I'm in a higher-than-usual baseline anxiety state at the moment, and trying to ease that down. Nothing awful, just... higher baseline. :/
Apparently one of the triggers for Shingles is stress.
>_____________>;;;;
Part of it is work, part is probably hormones, part is just my brain.
Things I'm doing-- I downloaded a meditation app and am trying to do at least one tiny little guided meditation per day. I'm also trying to do more yoga.
Things I need to figure out how to do-- not absorb my bosses endlessly escalating stress levels.



bingo card meme

Jun. 22nd, 2017 02:11 pm
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Personal bingo meme that people are playing on Twitter and elsewhere!

You can google "bingo card generator" and fill one out with your interests. Then you can use a photo editor to check off interests that you have too.

My card is also at Flickr:
https://flic.kr/p/VL1xcd

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 2.37.46 PM

transcription )

my political sentimentality

Jun. 20th, 2017 11:50 am
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
From "An Excerpt From My Definitely Not a Presidential Campaign Book" by Alexandra Petri, Washington Post, June 5, 2017:


People always ask me what I'm passionate about, and I tell them the following story: When I was a little kid, my grandmother took me to see an injustice. I got so mad! I threw my red white and blue popsicle down on the ground. My grandmother picked it up and said, "Winner, these colors are sacred. Never let them drop." And I said, "I know, Grandma, but I don't like to see injustice!" and she said, "That's just the world we live in. Unless you grow up and devise common-sense policy solutions to do something about it. And don't forget the men who died to give that right to you, and proudly stand up to defend her still today."

....

I think sex is bad unless it falls into one of the five categories below that also conveniently align with my policy proposals:

-- you are thinking about tax reform during it
-- other people are having it and you are vocally disapproving of it
-- at least one of the people involved is committed to being a great dad
-- it involves one willing participant who is a male celebrity
-- it is binding Americans together and serving to restore our common values


So one way I know that I am hopelessly sentimental about civic virtue and so on, and that part of me is an utter sucker for "common-sense policy solutions"/"binding Americans together"-type rhetoric, is that even this parody makes me mist up a little bit. Also I have literally cried (albeit on an airplane) at a Doritos ad that championed bipartisanship.

(As a young'un I came across a copy of Art Buchwald's I Never Danced at the White House and read it and thus learned about Watergate. Art Buchwald was a political humor columnist for the Washington Post. I am imagining some twelve-year-old girl in 2039 reading a Petri collection, getting about 30% of the jokes and enjoying it a lot.)

(Also I should look up whether there is critical scholarship discussing Alexandra Petri, Alexandra Erin, the Toast work of Mallory Ortberg, and whoever else is doing .... this kind of thing in this era. *handwave*)

lego harry potter

Jun. 18th, 2017 03:47 pm
sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
I bought a used Xbox 360 at the thrift store a few months ago, which has opened up to me the world of gaming. My roommate and I have been enjoying Lego Harry Potter. We started with years 5-7 which I found in a bargain bin, and then moved on to years 1-4.

The game is easy for us to learn, whimsical and funny. It's just plain fun to run around Hogwarts and revisit the story. There are a few parts that are tricky / fussy, especially timed jumping. I realize that platform jumping is a gaming tradition going back to Frogger and Donkey Kong, but it is not friendly to people with arthritis or dexterity issues. I wish games would rely on it less, or have easy jumping modes. Last night I spent way too long trying to jump over a required barrier and got frustrated.

Lego HP requires little to no reading and no listening. Information is conveyed through pictures. So, you can play with the sound off and you don't need captions. There is one game aspect where it's helpful to distinguish red from green (Parseltongue cabinets), but not strictly required. The parts where you fight a "boss" (often at the end of levels) tend to be much easier with two players. This game can be played with one player, but seems designed for two players. Levels are not timed-sensitive-- in fact you're rewarded if you spend more time looking around and exploring. You can't save mid-level, though, so if your game freezes or you have to leave for some reason, you will have to replay that bit of the story.

For my roommate and I--we are novice newbie gamers-- Lego HP has been a really great entry point. I definitely recommend it.

YOGURT

Jun. 18th, 2017 10:50 am
orockthro: George with glasses and "NERD" written on her forehead (Default)
[personal profile] orockthro
 Yesterday I made.... (wait for it...) YOGURT.
Yes indeed, I braved the weird, nebulous world of bacteria, and came out with something delicious. 8D I'm super duper pleased.

My mom has been making coconut yogurt for the last few months, and she has a dedicated yogurt maker she got off the internet. I wanted to try making coconut yogurt pretty badly (it's yummy, doesn't contain dairy, and also did I mention yummy?) but I'm not at the "buy lots of equipment" stage of this curiosity. Luckily the internet told me I could do it without, it would just be fussier.
So I did!
It wasn't that "hard" either, although the fussy part was accurate. It involved: 2 cans of coconut milk, 1/3 c. of corn starch, 4 tablespoons of store-bought coconut yogurt as a culture, a candy thermometer, and 24 hours. 
(I followed this recipe)
I say followed. I ... mostly followed it. Like I said, I used corn starch as a thickener instead of tapioca starch, since corn starch is what I had on hand. Since this was my first batch, I don't know how it differs. I also only ~mostly~ kept it at 100* for about 11 hours instead of the 12-24 recommended. 

HOWEVER.
IT WORKED.
24 hours later, I HAVE YOGURT.

I'm... somewhat shocked, and deeply pleased. :D
Imgur is being grumpy so I can't share pics. They'll come later, because I'm deeply pleased with myself. *laughs*

It's boatloads cheaper than buying it from the store. 

Store bought--
24 oz plain coconut yogurt: $6.99
(OUCH)

Home-made coconut yogurt--
(2) cans of coconut milk: $4.6
1/3 c. corn starch: $.24
Starter: free from now on, so long as I save some yogurt from the current batch
Yields 48 oz plain homemade coconut yogurt! 
Per oz. the homemade coconut yogurt is $.10 whereas the store bought is $.29

BOOM.

(no subject)

Jun. 17th, 2017 10:53 pm
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
It all started earlier today, when I was opened up a Chinese graded reader on my tablet only to find that it wasn't displaying all the characters correctly. I found a web site online that advised me to un-register the Kindle app, uninstall it, and reinstall it. So I did that, only to find that I couldn't install the app again afterwards.

In fact, I couldn't install anything at all on my tablet.

I figured this was some sort of hardware problem, and did a factory reset on my tablet, and when that didn't work I got as far as getting a request authorization for the tablet, and then it occurred to me that maybe something was wrong with the Google Play store.

So I searched and other people were having problems.

But only Mediacom customers in Iowa and Missouri.

So I called up Mediacom, who told me the following things:

1) It was a problem with my modem

2) It was a problem with my Google account

3) They would send a technician out to my apartment the next week

All while I kept trying and trying to tell the guy that I wasn't the only one having problems.

So what by all rights ought to have been a very minor frustration turned into tearing my hair out because these people I'm supposedly paying for internet access can't be bothered to even listen to what I'm saying.

And I'm annoyed because I deleted all my apps and I can't download them again.

So that's MediaCom. Their slogan is "Hey, CenturyLink is even worse."

Vid: Halfway Away (Yuri!!! on Ice)

Jun. 17th, 2017 07:27 pm
starlady: (bibliophile)
[personal profile] starlady
source: Yuri!!! on Ice
audio: CHVRCHES, "Clearest Blue"
length: 3:54
stream: on Vimeo
download: 229MB on Dropbox
summary: "While you were being heterosexual, I studied the blades on ice." -- @viktorbottom

Premiered at [community profile] vidukon_cardiff 2017.

tumblrAO3


Password: katsudon

Vidding TV shows is so much work. I was cutting this one until about two hours before the deadline, exacerbated by the fact that the Blu-Ray of the last volume came out literally the day before the deadline. I initially used a low quality rip of the creditless ending and was resigned to a different version online than on the con DVD, but then due to some serendipitous technical difficulties, resolved at length by the very patient and excellent con staff, I actually was able to get a file with a high quality rip of the ending into the con--of course it came out less than 24 hours after said deadline. (If I ever get access to Blu-Ray rips, I may remaster it, just because they changed so much for the disc releases.)

As for the vid itself…I had this song in mind since about January. Yuuri and Victor love each other a lot, okay, and they meet each other in the middle, eventually, every time.

Lyrics

music in Steven Universe

Jun. 16th, 2017 02:54 pm
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
Post-WisCon, I have a new hairdo (a pretty butch sort of fauxhawk) and my spouse and I have started watching Steven Universe. We're around the beginning of Season 3 I think which means we just saw the episode that had the duet-with-piano "Do It For Her". Is it just me or is that the song (so far) that sounds most like it could fit into a Broadway show? Like, change the words a little and it could go into Wicked?

(Also the theme tune just switched to a new arrangement and I am still getting used to this.)

Friday Thoughts

Jun. 16th, 2017 06:38 am
orockthro: John Crichton dancing at a distance. (John Crichton dancing)
[personal profile] orockthro
Thoughts, in no particular order:

Books
"Whispers Under Ground" by Ben Aaronovitch
Finished this one (3rd in the Rivers of London series) on Wednesday, and am keenly waiting on the hold list from the library for the audio book of book 4. I enjoyed the plot a lot more than "Moon Over Soho"-- probably because for once it involved magical individuals who didn't exude sex appeal and instead made plates. I feel you, magical individuals. I feel you.
Sadly, though, I appear to have eaten through about half the fic in the fandom. Why so small, fandom! I sort of want to write it, but I have 3 more books and several comics to get through before I'm done with canon!
It's proving to be a very fun ride. :)

Artistic Output
That sounds... clinical, doesn't it. That might be half the problem.
I'm doing a year long art project with a friend, hosted on Patreon, and it's been a lovely, fun time. But it's 10 months in. And I'm tired. The work I've been making has been simple and uninspired, and I'm having a hard time sitting down and 'doing the work.'
It's natural for me to want to rest, and resting is important. But it's also tied up with guilt for all the things I 'should' be doing, almost exclusively this means artistically. I don't feel guilt for not sweeping the kitchen. ;P
But jesting aside, it's something I struggle with, and something I need to find peace with.
I feel guilty that:

  • I'm not working harder on CC:Otherworld's (that year long project) work
  • I'm not spending my other time working on my dreambook project
  • I'm behind on a commission
  • I haven't put any thought into a poetry coloring book I want to do, either solo or with a friend
  • I haven't finished scripting, let alone designing or making, a short fantasy comic
  • I haven't posted a art blog update in over a month
  • My art newsletter has languished

And
(Mostly)
I'm afraid that I'm forgetting how to draw for fun. Everything I do is "projects."

I want to do all these things.
But I also want to lay on the porch floor, lemonade in hand, and let my cat walk over me. I want to play Pokemon guilt free, and sit on the sofa staring at the wall. I want to not worry about wasting my life, or worry that I'll regret not putting more energy into art and writing. I have things I want to MAKE... but I am tired. 
I have a full time job. And friends. And two weddings I'm in this summer, and international travel coming up soon.

But is all this just excuses? Am I living an un-creative life when I could be an Art Jedi?

Welcome to my brain. Here, have a pina colata. You might need it.

Sunlight
Is a wonderful thing. I craved it all winter, and now it's here in copious quantities, and I want to soak it all up. We don't have A/C but we haven't melted yet. It's good.
Our backyard is filled with jungle-like life, sun, and a (newly hung) clothesline. Despite my angst above, I'm very content right now. Deeply.
(Note that my roommate's face isn't naturally a blob. I did that just for you. Well. And our anonymity. ;P)




two weeks in (-ish)

Jun. 16th, 2017 09:36 am
jinian: (fft ninja)
[personal profile] jinian
The new job is a positive experience overall despite taking up a lot of mental energy. I'm reading lots of interesting papers, and I'm pretty fast at editing already for things in my wheelhouse (*cough* fudged my time upwards yesterday on the one about overexpressing proteins in Arabidopsis because we generated 1.21 gigawatts there easy). Minor frustrations include the existence of meetings, videoconferenced though they be, and my newbie-team leader's tendency to talk around problems instead of spelling out problems and priorities directly. Oh, and I still need to buy an exercise ball to sit on, my hips require more variety.

Still, it's brilliant to be able to go "I'm so tired right now" and lie down for half an hour, and I'm glad to be present to take care of the infirm cats, who are likely to live longer the more often they can complain to me. Mom asked whether I missed having to go out. I texted her back "it's 100 degrees out today" "so no :joy:". I can go out if I want! I prefer not to subject myself to avoidable misery, though.

I'm still toying with the idea of moving to a cheaper, more beautiful location. I'm not entirely ready to give up on finding partners, though, and cheaper is strongly correlated with fewer options in that regard. (Will attractive lesbians phase through my apartment walls to find me even in a city, though? Seems unlikely.)

Master of None season 2

Jun. 14th, 2017 01:00 am
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Two episodes this season really stood out, and they are episodes that do not focus on Dev.

"New York, I Love You": vignettes about 3 working-class black New Yorkers. A doorman in a fancy apartment building deals with the strange requests of the tenants he works for, and he talks with his co-workers. A Deaf woman finishes her shift as a clerk at a bodega, goes to have coffee with a friend, and later goes shopping with her husband. A Kenyan-American cabbie finishes his shift, takes a nap, and then tries to go clubbing with his friends. This snapshot into regular people's lives was funny and endearing, and shone a light on people who are often invisible in media. A beautiful episode.

"Thanksgiving": Denise and Dev growing up and having multiple Thanksgiving meals at her mother's house. Denise deals with coming out to her mom and later bringing girlfriends home. We see Denise's grandmother and aunt at each meal. Denise talks about how being gay in her black community is not widely accepted. A funny and moving episode, that again features people we don't normally get to see on TV. This episode stars many black women.

I also enjoyed "Religion": Dev struggles with lying about being non-religious to his extended family. At one poing, Dev and his cousin sneak out from a religious event to go to a barbecue and eat lots of pork together.

Episodes about how Dev struggles with dating and finding love bored me epically. I realize that Aziz Ansari finds this subject fascinating and wrote a whole book about it. But there are three whole episodes (out of 10!) focusing on Dev's love life: "First Date," "Amarsi Un Po", and "Buona Notte". yawn.

personal protective equipment

Jun. 13th, 2017 08:30 am
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I was waking up today and was glad my phone was in the other room. I'm trying to do that, to not have my phone right next to me when I wake up, because it's so easy to stay in bed and surf the net.

And I realized that it really does feel like the internet is a big hole that I leap into every day and then need to crawl back up all the time. And I do my work on the internet so I need to wear a harness to keep me from falling too far. Protective gear, like anyone doing anything dangerous.

("The abyss is no Sunday swan ride," as one Steven Universe character has said.)

I have sometimes referred to Twitter as an attention casino. And that is true and it's a metaphor that helps remind me that there is someone else specifically working to make money off other people's addictions and that the experience is designed to keep me there in the hopes of intermittent reward. But this sinkhole metaphor reminds me that it is the nature of the Internet to be an endless sink to fall down, and that I can wear a harness to help keep myself safe. And therefore I have just installed Leechblock on this machine.

Meditation would also count.