Daily Happiness

Apr. 24th, 2014 11:22 pm
torachan: brandon flowers of the killers with the text "some beautiful boy to save you" (some beautiful boy to save you)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Well, I bought a new bike, but I don't have a new bike. I went down to Performance yesterday (my day off) and unfortunately they didn't have it in the store (I really wanted to just get the same bike that got stolen because I loved it so much), but they do have it online, so the guy ordered it. But it will take something like two weeks to be delivered. O_o So in the meantime, I'm still riding my old bike and feeling very glad that I didn't get rid of it. I think I'll continue to keep it on as a backup bike in case my new one needs repairs or something.

2. After that, I went over to my mom's house to fix various problems with their TV. For people who are utterly clueless about technology, they sure have a lot of it. Here are various things I helped out with: their TV box thingy (like a Roku or Apple TV, but it's neither of those brands (I think it's a Sony, but doesn't have a catchy name like those!)) was having some problems with Netflix, which turned out to maybe be a problem on Netflix's end because it was working fine when I got there (the box did end up doing an automatic update while I was there, though, so that may have been part of the problem); my mom's husband had accidentally done something to the TV to make it display in too wide of a widescreen and cut everything off at the edges, especially noticeable when trying to use things like Netflix (it was fixable by pushing a "wide" button on the remote a few times to get back to the proper size); their old DVD/VCR combo was no longer switching between VCR and DVD, so I found a new one on Amazon and ordered that for them (my mom can't bear to part with her old VHS tapes, even though many have been watched so many times the quality is awful).

At first I was annoyed that I went all the way over there and the problem she'd been badgering me about (Netflix) was working again, but 1. I still got a nice bike ride out of it, and 2. there turned out to be other problems that needed fixing anyway.

3. While I was there, I told her that Irene was moving back here and...it went okay. I was pretty sure it would, because she really seems to have mellowed out from her initial "omg get out of my house" reaction two and a half years ago (wow, has it really been that long?), but I was still worried and nervous about telling her.

4. Speaking of which, Irene is back here for good now. It's kind of sudden. After she went back to Massachusetts at the beginning of this month, she didn't know how long it would be before she was back here, but some stuff happened this week and here she is. Unfortunately all her stuff is still there, except for the suitcase she brought with her. Hopefully we can get the rest of her stuff here soon. (And really, at some point, I will try to make a post explaining what is going on with the whole situation there and her moving back here, but right now it's all I can do to actually deal with it, so sorry for the vagueness. I'm really glad she's back here, though.)

5. I got a bunch of great new items in at work today! I had ordered them earlier this week and the vendor said it would be Friday or maybe even Monday, so I wasn't expecting them yet and it was a pleasant surprise. It's a Taiwanese brand of green pea snacks, and I got wasabi, garlic, and spicy varieties, as well as one that is grean peas mixed with shoestring potatoes. There's also a dried fish with peanuts one that is super tasty (she had samples of all of these when she came by). We already carry Japanese green pea snacks, but these are cheaper of course. :D (Also the spicy one is so good! The Japanese ones we have are just regular (tasty) and wasabi (bleh), so the spicy one is something different we don't have, not just the same product but cheaper.) I anticipate these selling really well, because so far all the other Taiwanese snacks I've gotten in have been big hits.

I don't often do this, but ...

Apr. 24th, 2014 09:59 pm
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
Does anyone have a fic or art prompt for me for the Captain America movie 'verse? :D?

I would really like to do either one - fic or art - but I'm genuinely stumped for ideas; I think because the fandom/canon is so huge, plus I haven't done fanart in awhile, I'm just coming up blank on things to draw or write about. As usual with this sort of thing, I have a terrible history of filling prompts, so I cannot promise to fill your request. But if you would like to throw something out there, I'll see if it sparks anything! You can specify fic or art, if you like, or just give me a prompt and see what happens. Any and all characters are welcome, plus Avengers characters too (though it's specifically the Captain America movies that have eaten my brain the last couple of weeks).
sholio: Sebastian Stan as Bucky (Winter Soldier Bucky)
[personal profile] sholio
Before I get to the rest of the post, there is a new MCU/avengersverse comm that may be relevant to some of your interests: [community profile] mcugen. It's for recs or self-rec/announcement posts.

Anyway, today I got up at 4 a.m. to drop my husband off at the airport. It's a half-hour drive home, so I figured I wouldn't bother, I'd just stick around on campus 'til class. I proceeded to drift around campus in a foggy haze for a few hours - I've been running on a sleep debt all week; I always do in spring, when it starts staying light all night - then managed, somehow, to stay awake through French. It's my only class today, and tomorrow's classes are cancelled, so I got out at 11:15 prepared to go home and nap ...

... except by then I WASN'T SLEEPY. Stupid brain. But my mental processes weren't up to doing homework or any of the other numerous things I should be doing. So I took myself down to the theater and watched Winter Soldier for a second time, as one does. And now, having actually managed to come home and be useful for part of the afternoon, I have a beer and I have some observations to make.

Spoilers for the movie and light ones for the comics )

Storium

Apr. 24th, 2014 10:08 pm
helens78: A man in a leather jacket, seated on the ground, looks up hopefully. (Default)
[personal profile] helens78
One of Grant's D&D players came over tonight and said, "You need to look up Storium!"

Then [personal profile] dragovianknight posted about it, too. I figured it was a cosmic nudge.

Storium is a Kickstarter project that looks like it'll lend itself to RP. I haven't quite figured out how it works, but I backed it (it looks like my offline friends may be getting into it, which is cool) and I'm currently poking around at a steampunk world. I might see if I can port Love With Teeth to it, too. That'd be interesting. :)

linkspam is back in a cubicle

Apr. 24th, 2014 09:23 pm
cofax7: Landry Clark reading (FNL - Landry Reading)
[personal profile] cofax7
This is a wonderful comic about taking risks. It's in the context of traveling as a single woman, but it could be applied to almost anything. I wish I'd seen it when I was 18, although TBH it probably wouldn't have made much difference.

This is a pretty cool story about wildlife migration.

The New Yorker on the science of yawning.

The LA Times reports on middle-aged adults moving back in with their parents. It's not all hunky-dory.

John Krakauer has a pretty good overview of what's going on at Everest right now. I admit that I had had no idea the death rate for Sherpas was so high.

I've become very fond of The Toast in the last few months. This post about Anthony Bourdain is a good example of why.

Also this, which is not nearly so light-hearted.

Noted for later:
a piece in Outside about the threat to the Timbuktu manuscripts. Illiterate Africa was a myth. Words-books-had always been necessary.

How Dodgeball Became America's most Demonized Sport.

And now I'm going to finish catching up on Agents of SHIELD.

State of Camp Telophase

Apr. 24th, 2014 09:49 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
To start off, I am now OK. And now that that's been said, my latest news is that I've had a miscarriage and ended up in the ER on Tuesday night due to pain, and throwing up my pain medication. But! as I said, I am OK now (as OK as you can be in the circumstances!).

Much more detail, and possibly way TMI under the cut.

Read more... )
umadoshi: (W13 - Claudia pensive (vampire_sessah))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Warehouse 13 5x01 - "Endless Terror" / 5x02 - "Secret Services"

I don't have much to say about the season 5 premiere, but since I'm writing a bit about episode 2, I feel like I should at least lead in with a few notes on episode 1. 5x01 )

On to 5x02! )
lunabee34: (thanks by ponders_life)
[personal profile] lunabee34
I got your package, Exec, and it is glorious. Two amazing looking books, some cute clothes for Fiona, and the coolest purple bag. You have made my day, sweetie.

I know that over the past few years as I've gotten more immersed in building my career and as I was finishing my dissertation and having another baby that I've fallen away from the online relationships I've spent the past ten years developing. I'm not always a good friend to you guys anymore (looking at you, Exec, and Ariadne83 in particular), but y'all mean the world to me even though I am not spending as much time online as I did before.

Peru: Day One Point Five

Apr. 24th, 2014 03:33 pm
starlady: (run)
[personal profile] starlady
Well, we made it. I flew United for the first time in…eight years, and it wasn't actually as bad as I feared; the coffee is actually quite good. That said, we were still delayed an hour in San Francisco because of maintenance issues and then because of an inability to find a United crew to staff the spare United plane they found (where from, who knows; the previous plane and crew were Continental; reconciling seniority systems is the hardest part of airline mergers), with the result that I was running through Houston to make my connection to Lima. Considering that I got on the jetway of my arriving flight twenty minutes before our scheduled departure, and the flight to Lima was not in the same terminal, I felt pretty proud of that.

I'm in a hostel for the first time in…many years (I've been lucky enough to crash with friends, or to get travel grants to cover conference hotels), and it's weird. Fine, but weird. I slept about three hours, maybe, and I'm a little paranoid about my laptop and passport, though I have a private room. Lima seems nice so far, though admittedly we are in Miraflores, which is evidently a relatively ritzy part. I haven't seen much more of the city than walking from the hostel to the hotel to get the conference shuttle, which is what I did this morning.

Equally importantly, Pablo Neruda's "Canto XII from the Heights of Machu Picchu" came up in [community profile] poetry today, and it couldn't be more appropriate, given my travel plans.
musesfool: Oliver, Diggle, & Felicity from Arrow (proved things i never believed)
[personal profile] musesfool
Today is my dad's 79th birthday. He celebrated by sending a group text to all of us on his new phone. Yay technology!

***

Today's poem:

After the Blast

It happened again just now, one word
snagging like fabric on a barbed fence.

Concertina wire. You said: I didn't see the body
hung on concertina wire. This was after the blast.

After you had stood in the divot, both feet
in the dust's new mouth and found no one alive.

Just out of the shower, I imagine
a flake of soap crusting your dark jaw, the phone

cradled like a hand on your bare cheek.
I should say: love. I should say: go on.

But I'm stuck on concertina—
the accordion's deep inner coils, bellows,

lungful of air contracting like a body caught
in the agony of climax.

Graceless, before the ballooning rush
of air or sound. The battering release.

~Elyse Fenton

***

Arrow: Seeing Red
spoilers )

Seriously, though, if you are looking for a kickass live action comic book show - that requires no prior knowledge of the comics (though it provides a lot of fun Easter eggs if you have some) - you should be watching Arrow. It's on Netflix (and also available via the usual suspects, I ... suspect)!

Here is a list of s1 episodes that are essential: The pilot, "Year's End," "Trust But Verify," "The Odyssey," "Dead to Rights," "Salvation," "The Undertaking," "Darkness on the Edge of Town" and "Sacrifice." If you enjoy it, then you can go back to watch the s1 eps you've missed, since they do provide some character intros and relationship stuff that is important down the line. And then watch all of season 2, because it is KILLING it. The show's not without its issues - there are few PoC and there's a classic fridging of one of them, and it took half a season to find its feet - but when it's working, it really works. (And early on, the fight scenes, the Ollie/Diggle relationship, Ollie's inappropriate chemistry with his younger sister, and the at-first brief flashes of Felicity will carry you through. Oh, and Susanna Thompson is gloriously regal as Moira Queen, Ollie's mother.)

Trust me! You won't regret it! Have I ever steered you wrong?

***
catness: (Default)
[personal profile] catness posting in [community profile] a_reader_is_me
Title: How to Do Things with Videogames
Author: Ian Bogost
Number of pages: 192
Genre: non-fiction, games
Book Number/Goal: 43/52
My Rating: 4/5

Review:
The book analyses and categorises various facets of videogame usage and features, such as being an art expression, inducing and teaching empathy, enabling player's creativity, serving for advertizement, providing a meditation/relaxation experience, encouraging exercise, and many more. Every feature is illustrated with several examples, ranging from obscure and exotic games to famous and mainstream games. The book is written in a mostly academic style, but is easy to follow nevertheless. It's an informative and inspiring reference which proves once again that games are a serious matter, not just mindless toys, and there's a lot of application for games in every possible area of human culture.
catness: (Default)
[personal profile] catness posting in [community profile] a_reader_is_me
Title: Dying for a Living (A Jesse Sullivan Novel)
Author: Kory M. Shrum
Number of pages: 401
Genre: sci-fi, thriller
Book Number/Goal: 42/52
My Rating: 2/5

Review:
Jesse has a rare neurological condition that enables her to resurrect after her death - such people are called Necronites (or in a derogatory way, zombies). Also, she can forge a special connection with a dying person so she dies instead of them. So she works as a death replacement agent (the prediction of one's exact death day is possible through a psychic-like ability of other agents). Death replacement is a popular and highly requested service, but the job is not only unpleasant but dangerous, as repeated deaths and resurrections overload the brain and eventually result in insanity. And if it were not enough, Jesse's latest job appears to involve a real killer, and she starts her own investigation.

The book has a great, unusual premise, and a good explanation of Necronites' techniques and job responsibilities. The story, however, falls short. There's too much focus on romantic and other relationships; the supernatural angle, introduced later, clashes with the sci-fi angle; and the characters are not particularly interesting to care for their well-being, no matter the threats.
catness: (Default)
[personal profile] catness posting in [community profile] a_reader_is_me
Title: The Handmaid's Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Number of pages: 311
Genre: sci-fi
Book Number/Goal: 41/52
My Rating: 5/5

Review:
American government has been overthrown by religious extremists who establish the new order. In particular, women are stripped of all civil rights, even banned from reading and writing. Women are men's property, and their status/role in the society (e.g. wife, housemaid, warden) is strictly regulated. The main character, called Offred by the name of her owner, is a Handmaid who belongs to a high-ranking commander, and her purpose is to bear him a baby. As the aftermath of the war, births are rare, and healthy babies even rarer, so child-bearing women are a valuable possession, but they are regarded only as "wombs on legs".

The story is Offred's "mental diary". In a dry, matter-of-fact style, she describes her daily existence, interspersed with memories of her past, normal life with her husband and daughter, now lost forever. The picture of the society in all its shocking details emerges bit by bit, keeping the reader constantly engaged.

This creepy fantasy is entirely realistic, drawing from the cultures where de-personalization of women is a norm. Several characters, including women, argue that the new establishment is for their own good: there's no more street violence, porn, struggle to keep with fashions, and other trappings of the immoral and decadent society of the past; now women are protected, cared for, and provided with the necessities required to survive (that is, unless they try to rebel - infidels are punished without mercy). Foreign tourists gawk at American women clothed from head to toe in "modest" garments, and talk among themselves that these women are happy because it's their culture and they're used to it. Everything so familiar... so depressing.

The epilogue, written as a scientific lecture, is out of place and doesn't fit the tone of the story, but creates the impression that the writer couldn't resist dumping all her background notes onto the readers. But otherwise, fantastic reading - highly recommended!

Bluh it's late.

Apr. 25th, 2014 03:54 am
tyger: Lexaeus' Avatar Kingdom chibi. Text: Lexaeus (Lexaeus - chibi)
[personal profile] tyger
Um.

Did most but not all of the rest of the skein of the scarf; it's longer than I was guesstimating it would be, and I'm needing to put extra beads on from the other end, which pleases and reassures me. Hopefully will be long enough after all. :3 Woulda been all done, but, um, yeah look at that time.

Something something more chocolate when I went out something. Sorry, out of brains, I'mma go sleep nao, yes.

(no subject)

Apr. 24th, 2014 09:13 am
zillah975: Detail of a sleeping cat from Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Sleeping Cat, 1862 (Default)
[personal profile] zillah975
So, I've got the dishes going, and once that's done I'll get some laundry in. Prepping for a weekend with my sister and some of my best beloveds at Figure Eight Island and so excite. \o/ I expect we're going to spend the entire weekend cooking, drinking, talking, and reading. But really anything I do with these folks is made better by these folks. :)

And I've added The Elder Scrolls Online to my games. And um, I just... I'm not very good at it. >.> I'm finding it staggeringly non-intuitive. I've also learned that if I skip the intro "how to play" part, then when my toon awakens in the world I quickly become utterly lost and I have to just stop and make a new toon and try again. But it's also really, really neat. So my most recent attempt is a fem Wood Elf Nightblade named Nithrael. I took her through the intro and now she's searching for the sunsighter or whatever that thing is and not trying to fight mobs that are twice her tiny level.

But do I have to learn to fish, or do I just find bait and a fishing hole?

And what about weapons? There were no dual-wield options in the "how to play" part, so now I've got a Nightblade with a sword and shield, and I can't find an off-hand to replace the shield with. So I've got a skill point unspent because I want to spend it on dual wielding, but I've got no dual wield. Oooops.

ANYway. :)

AND I'VE GOT THE WHOLE WEEK OFFFFFF. :D

Reading Wednesday on Thursday

Apr. 24th, 2014 08:24 am
laceblade: Ashe from FF XII, looking at viewer over her shoulder. Text reads: "So you say you want a revolution?" (FFXII: You say you want a revolution)
[personal profile] laceblade
Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir - Weird has written lots of non-fiction about Tudors/British royalty. This was her first historical fiction, & it centers on the life of Jane Grey. Grey grew up in an abusive & politically ambitious home. Her story is pretty well-known in history, but this was still a good read. I enjoyed reading about the Tudors from a fresh perspective, & I'm planning to check out Weir's other historical fiction.

Twelve Kingdoms #4 by Fuyumi Ono - A book that really gets into how to rule, particularly when the king is a teenage high school student from modern day Japan & has no idea what the local politics/life is like for her subjects. She's easily manipulated at first, but Yoko won't stay like that for long, obviously.
As before, basic editing errors make me grumpy at TokyoPop, but I really loved this book. I loved the growth of all three female characters. I really like how protagonists CHANGE in Ono's books.
This is the last one TokyoPop put out in the US, so I'll be switching to fan-translated versions to continue my progression in the series.

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers - my first Sayers :*) There was a jarring second-person interlude which I really didn't care for, but I'd like to read more.

Ms. Marvel #3 - I continue to like this series, but don't have much to say about it?! I think I'm giving the first three issues to my youngest niece as part of her birthday present.

Captain Marvel #2 - Sort of annoyed by the appearance of Guardians of the Galaxy, who seem like they're only around to promote their movie? idk.

A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar - Full disclosure that Sofia used to be in book club with me, so I'm probably biased.
I was afraid I wouldn't like this book because a lot of people have described the prose as being "ornate"/etc. in a way that reminds me of Catherynne Valente. While I haven't read all of Valente's work, the parts I have read are things I really don't care for at all.
Not so with Samatar's book - I fuckin' loved this.
It's about falling in love with reading, & also about ghosts, about love, about so many things. I think this will be even better upon rereads. I wish for many more fantasies like this one.

Red Colored Elegy by Seiichi Hayashi - Pretty strongly disliked this, both the nonsensical story & the artwork.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man vol. 2 by Brian Michael Bendis - This felt like a lot of setup, but I'm still interested in reading more to see what happens to Miles Morales.

Iron Man: The Mask in the Iron Man - graciously lent to me at comics club by [personal profile] garrideb, unfortunately I didn't care for this one at all, :/ Mid-1990s U.S. comics, WHAT ARE YOU?!

Kaze Hikaru, volume 19 - It is really difficult to jump back into this after being away for a while. I can't keep track of who anyone is in Osaka. I like how much time this series spends on politics. What I REALLY want is to know what's going to happen when shit goes down & everyone dies,

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry - I read this because it's on this year's Tiptree Shortlist. It's a modern retelling of Orpheus. WOW at that ending, though. "I'm not a hero, I'm a bitch" - HAVE I EVER IDENTIFIED WITH A PROTAGONIST MORE THAN I DID IN THIS MOMENT?! Just, wow. The ending was glorious. I'm really looking forward to the next installment.

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