rionaleonhart: final fantasy xiii: lightning pays intense attention to you. (speak carefully)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
The final boss of Final Fantasy VI was a nightmare. He kept killing people in one hit! He kept muting my entire party, and I was quickly running out of items to cure it! (It's possible I didn't prepare very well.) I was convinced for a while that I was going to lose, and I'd have to fight through that entire sequence of pre-final-boss bosses again. But I made it! If the fight had gone on for a couple more minutes, I'd have been doomed.

So, yes, I finished Final Fantasy VI! I'm fairly certain I snapped this game up when it first became available in the UK, back in early 2002, so it took me, er, fifteen years and two copies. But I got there! And I wrote a fic, so revisiting this game was a highly successful endeavour. Even if it landed me with a new rarepair.

(At the ending, on the airship, there's a bit where Edgar tries to flirt with Celes, and she walks off to stand next to Sabin instead. I'M JUST SAYING.)

I'm starting to spot a pattern in some of my pairings: two people are part of the same group of friends. They're not close friends - they don't necessarily spend time alone together - but they move in the same circles. The group goes through some major, traumatic experiences. These two find themselves isolated, with only each other, having lost contact with the rest of their friends. I start 'shipping it immediately. It happened with Celes/Sabin, and with Mike/Sam in Until Dawn. I think my fondness for Hope/Serah in Final Fantasy XIII-2 comes from the same place; they're not alone, but they've lost touch with everyone who really knows what they've been through.

Even if Celes/Sabin is what really caught my attention on this playthrough, I also have a slight fondness for Celes/Locke, and Celes/Terra, and Leo/Terra, and everyone just cuddling in a big pile, including the yeti.

I've criticised some aspects of this game, but it has a huge amount of charm. The cast is delightful, and the tiny sprites are surprisingly expressive, and the battle system is one of the best from the ATB era; all the different battle abilities do mean that characters have wildly varying levels of usefulness, but they also make things varied and fun!

My preferred team was Celes, Locke, Edgar and Sabin, although I'd have swapped Edgar out for Terra if I wanted it to be a team of my four favourite characters. The Tools function was too useful to give up! Plus I liked the idea of the brothers fighting side by side.

Celes is the best. I wouldn't have stood a chance without her in the final battle.
umadoshi: (kittens - Jinksy - looking up)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Tomorrow I head to the office and I'm already behind on emails and comment replies. o_o At least I got a decent chunk of work done today, and spent the latter half of the evening curled up with The Obelisk Gate and Jinksy.

In lieu of a real post, linkspam.

Fannish/Geeky Things

I've yet to read or see any of The Expanse, but for those who have, [ profile] kayim just launched [ profile] rocinante.

Fox is bringing us another round of The X-Files (ten episodes this time). I... I don't think I can do this again. I'll keep an ear out and see what those who do watch it think, and I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised, but after how appallingly awful last year's new eps. were, I doubt I'll be touching this without some strong recommendations.

From that link, I skimmed through "Fall TV pilots 2017: The full list". Let's see. I assume I'll give Inhumans a try (barring Iron Fist levels of nearly everyone recoiling in horror as soon as the advance reviews/reactions started); S.W.A.T. doesn't sound like my thing, but FYI for Criminal Minds fans, Shemar Moore's headlining it (and EW staff writer, your blurb is literally two sentences. How did no one notice that the first sentence begins with "Inspired by the film of the same name" and the second sentence, in its entirety, reads "Inspired by the film of the same name"?); Alan Cumming being the lead in Instinct could be enough to tempt me into giving that a shot, although it likewise doesn't really sound up my alley; Untitled Marvel Action-Adventure Series stars Amy Acker, so that's a no-brainer for me; and Reverie has Sarah Shahi and sounds potentially interesting (Sendhil Ramamurthy is in the cast too, if that's of interest).

"Mike Colter Describes Jessica Jones Season Two As “Dark And Heavy”".

Via the link above, "Kevin Feige Doesn’t Know If The MCU Will Get A Phase 4".


Via [ profile] sovay, a website of photos of naked actors (mostly British) posing with fish. Here is Gillian Anderson wearing an eel.

"PHOTOS: Your Pics of California’s ‘Super Bloom’".

"Colourised Pics Of Russia’s Female Snipers Who Terrorised Nazis, Including “Lady Death” With 309 Kills".


"The Snarling Girl: Notes on—and against—ambition". [Elisa Albert on Hazlitt] Wow, I really liked this.

"EFF Releases Spying on Students Ed Tech Report: EFF Survey Reveals Gaps in Protecting the Privacy of K-12 Students Using School-Issued Devices and Cloud Apps". [Electronic Frontier Foundation] (Note: I haven't read the actual report, just the overview here.)

"Trans Singer Records Duet With Himself Pre And Post Transition".

"Londoners’ delight as world’s first crow café comes to capital".


Via [ profile] cofax7, "31 Vintage Posters That Demand You Pick Up a Book". [LitHub]

"How to Become a Deadly Misandrist Fairy Vampire" [Autostraddle]

"A dad took his 2-year-old's most memorable words and illustrated them beautifully".

Critical Role Fic: "Research"

Apr. 23rd, 2017 11:18 pm
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
[personal profile] owlmoose
Title: Research
Fandom: Critical Role
Rating: Gen
Wordcount: 944
Characters: Vex, Cassandra, background Percy/Vex
Spoilers: through Ep. 94. Set during the one-year break, written before we know what will happen during that time.
Notes: Written for my [community profile] getyourwordsout bingo card, specifically this photo.

Also on AO3.


The Castle Whitestone library was beautiful, and more than a little intimidating. It was rare for Vex to find her way here without Percy, and on those few occasions she was never quite certain where to begin. But today he was engaged in his workshop -- aiding Taryon in his efforts to recreate Doty -- and so Vex had come on her own, determined to muddle through as best she could.

Sunlight streamed in through the high windows, and the lanterns had already been lit, so it was both brighter and more cheery than Vex had expected, and soon she discovered the reason: Cassandra de Rolo, sitting in the plush window seat, a large volume balanced open in her hand. Vex started to back away, but Cassandra looked up, and smiled. "Ah, Vex'ahlia." She set a bookmark in the book before snapping it shut. "What brings you here?"

'Oh, you know. Nothing in particular. Just wondering what's here.' )

Sunday-night mishmash post

Apr. 24th, 2017 12:07 am
umadoshi: (dumpling (iconic_notions))
[personal profile] umadoshi
--Tori Amos has announced a new album and European-so-far tour for this fall! (In related not-really-news, I just made a Dreamwidth feed for the Undented news site at [ profile] undented_feed.)

--Another link: for the YOI fans, [ profile] yurionicefans is a shiny new community.

--[ profile] Becca_Smash, who's a longtime manga/comics editor and rewriter as well as one of the fine folks behind Sparkler Monthly/Chromatic Press, is currently looking for freelance comic copyediting work. If you have any interest, check out her thread of info here.

--Casual Job starts back up on Tuesday, and I haven't done any work at all to psych myself up for it; the odds of it being extremely (and for my wallet, painfully) short are very high, so I'm...sort of bracing myself for the financial shortfall this year (especially since we can't count on the fall session being very long) by telling myself "Well, the lack of income will obviously SUCK, but at least your routine won't get terribly disrupted."

--For lunch today, [ profile] scruloose, Ginny, Kas, and I went back to Happy Veal, the hotpot place we tried last weekend, in order to try their only-available-at-lunchtime dumplings. Verdict: the dumplings are very tasty; I think our conclusion overall was that this place and the dumpling spot in the downtown core have different strengths in their dumplings. Happy Veal, though, is only the second place in town I've had green onion pancakes, and they are so good; also, at some times (maybe when the weather's warmer?) they have bubble tea, and I tell you, if the bubble tea is good, just going in for that and green onion pancake would seems like an excellent life choice to me.

--I'm in serious need (which I'm only reluctantly acknowledging) of pruning my manga collection, which should include trying to finally figure out something sensible to do with the Japanese editions of series that I've finished working on (and which don't, AFAIK, have sequels or anything for which I might want to keep them on hand for reference in case of any future licensing). I have some tankos that I want to keep entirely for my own sake--especially the full runs of Fruits Basket and X--but generally speaking, the Japanese volumes are of no use to me once the respective series are finished in English.

A couple of garden things!

I keep adding to my Pinterest board, and I keep rummaging around the Veseys site (which apparently doesn't have a wishlist feature! I made an account entirely because I was hoping for a wishlist!), and among the countless things I'm unsure of, I'm not entirely sure what to do in terms of planning. I'm going to try to avoid being overambitious this year, and I really don't want to get carried away and start ordering a ton of stuff online, so I think the best thing to do is probably to mostly wait and hit up Halifax Seed when they start having plants in for the season, and see what comes together from that. But since I don't have any sense of what they'll have, that drastically limits my planning options. :/ (Plus if there're perennials that don't bloom until their second year and I can't get them there this year, waiting until next year to get them sounds frustrating.)

Dreams of lilacs have made me want to check in with our neighbor on the side where we don't have a lilac and ask how they feel about lilacs. If they're neutral or positive, then we could go back to the board and ask about putting a second one in on that side of our little patch of ground. For lo, Veseys is tempting me with this Bloomerang (!) variety. The color is lovely, and the description brags that it "not only blooms in the spring - it 'blommerangs' with new flowers from mid-summer right up until frost." *grabby hands*

(Dear heaven, these people need a copyeditor for their site. Think I could trade my skills for plants?)

Because I'm Just So Interesting.

Apr. 22nd, 2017 02:15 pm
rionaleonhart: final fantasy viii: found a draw point! no one can draw... (you're a terrible artist)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
A handful of people have been doing this AO3 stats meme, and I thought I'd attempt it myself, in celebration of the fact that the fifty-two works on my AO3 account have just reached 100,000 collective hits!

I'm sort of awed by that figure. Obviously the actual number of readers will be considerably lower: some people will have read a few different fics, some might have read the same fic a couple of times, the hits on my few chaptered fics will mostly be people coming back to see new chapters. But I was writing and posting fanfiction for well over a decade before I started posting to AO3 in 2013, so, when I think about it, the number of people who've read something I've written probably is in six figures.

That's slightly terrifying. I didn't realise, until AO3 and its hit counters, that the potential audience for fanfiction was so big.

If I could see a glow around everyone who'd read my fanfiction, how often would I pass glowing people in the street?


My top fives on AO3! )

My bottom fic, by all three metrics, is my most recent: a little thing like the end of the world (Final Fantasy VI, Celes/Sabin), with a whopping seven hits and one kudos. (I was SO EXCITED when I got the kudos, four days after I posted it.) It's for a rarepair in a twenty-three-year-old videogame, so, to be honest, this isn't a huge surprise.

(I considered listing out the bottom five for hits, kudos and bookmarks, but it made me too sad! Unsurprisingly, most of them are for fandoms that are no longer active, or are crossovers between fandoms that don't have a lot of audience overlap.)
umadoshi: (Newsflesh - check this out (kasmir))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Here's a ridiculous (freelance) work-related thing: when I'm in a position to read ahead of the volume I'm working on, it basically never occurs to me as something I can do.* So often I'm either working on a series where the English release isn't far behind the Japanese (however it seems to readers, what with the months of production time on our end), so there isn't much material past what I'm working on, or else there are a bunch of Japanese volumes out but I don't yet have the hard copies and/or the translations.

Today I clued in that right now I have the books and translations for the next two volumes of Yona of the Dawn past the one I'm working on. I can them. *starry eyes*

*I'm pretty neutral on the topic of scans in general, but for series I'm working on, I especially try to steer clear of anything that might influence my own phrasing in an adaptation. I don't think it's actually a huge risk, but between my own anxiety and the worry of readers ever thinking "Hey, these two versions of [line/thing] sound similar! Someone MUST HAVE COPIED!", I'm just not up for it. That latter isn't something I've seen much of, but I have seen it, albeit usually in contexts where someone's amazed, just AMAZED, that two people might phrase something similarly. [As you might assume if you actually think about it, similar wordings often aren't surprising at all. A lot of simple lines really have one or two basic/obvious phrasings.]

Related tangential note: I still haven't read the Crunchyroll version of Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer, which I've been meaning to do ever since I finished the Seven Seas adaptation. Biscuit Hammer is one of my favorite titles that I've ever worked on, so I'm really curious! And someday I'll be in a position to read the Crunchyroll version of Arpeggio of Blue Steel, which is an interesting thought on two levels--the same curiosity, and the fact that a friend is doing that adaptation. (She hasn't read my version either, AFAIK.)

Totally different note: I personally steer clear of reviews of things I haven't read/seen (in general, I mean; that's not a professional comment), which also means I don't tend to link to reviews of things I've worked on unless it's for a first volume, but I really enjoy [ profile] seangaffney's reviews at Manga Bookshelf. (He's a friend, if you don't know.) And the beginning of his review of Yona 5, which I quite like, gives a bit of thematic info about the series, if any of you are curious. (This paragraph isn't what you'd call spoilery, but I'll quote it under a cut anyway.) one paragraph under here )

--I have two small batches of pics to upload to [ profile] jinksyandthebrain. (Noting for "self, post the damn cat pictures already!" accountability purposes.)

--Since I've been talking about garden things: do the gardeners among you all know that [ profile] gardening exists? It's not super-active, but of course it could always be made more so. ^_- (And there've been a couple of posts this week!)

--I forgot to mention this last night: when we were talking with the condo board president, I told her about my dreams of not killing growing tomatoes, and she mentioned that she eats them with a sprinkling of sugar. Neither [ profile] scruloose or I had ever heard/thought of doing that (he eats them with a dash of salt), so now I'm wondering how widespread it is. Anyone? (I told her it reminded me of hearing that people eat watermelon with a bit of salt, which I keep meaning to try, but I don't actually eat watermelon that often, much as I enjoy it.)

--This evening was completely lost to another round of "sat down on the sofa to read and instead fell asleep before even opening the book". Crap.
umadoshi: (mermaid (roxicons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things

First, not one but two trailers for things I'm excited for:

Oh, hello there, MERMAID SHOW. "Freeform Greenlights Mermaid Drama ‘Siren,’ Movie Series From Karlie Kloss". YES PLEASE.

"MARVEL’s CLOAK & DAGGER Series Gets Its First Drama-Packed Trailer". (Mostly the trailer, which is also in the article above, but a bit of commentary too.)

This lengthy look at Kirk in Star Trek: TOS and who he really was vs. the perception/reinterpretations of him has been linked all over the place, and rightly so: "Freshly Remember'd: Kirk Drift".

"StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War are now free" [and patched]. This is still the original, pre-remaster versions of the games.

"A Love Letter to Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!’s Incredible Representation". [The Mary Sue]

"Issues in Comics: A retailer’s perspective on “diversity” in the news". [Orbital Comics]

"Women of Star Wars Get Highlighted in New Series of Animated Shorts". [io9]

"Chris Evans to Make Broadway Debut in Kenneth Lonergan's 'Lobby Hero'".

"We Went to the Yuri!!! on Ice Celebration in Namja Town". [ANN]

"New One Piece Magazine to Serialize Novel About Ace". [ANN]


[ profile] alexandraerin gets shared a lot on Twitter because of good political talk (and is well worth checking out!), but I'm gonna link you to this thread on writing. It begins with "So, here's a thing about the craft of writing and tropes, particularly ones we associate with romance", and is about the potential gaps between "the story you want to write" (as in the advice to "just sit down and write the story you want to!") and the story you're actually writing.

There's a Humble Bundle of unicorn books available at the moment.


"Watch: incredible dance routine by dog and woman". [Boing Boing] (It really is.)

"On Fearless Girl, women & public art; or, no, seriously, the guy does not have a point".

Baking Bites reviewed the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino.

"Dwayne Johnson Dressed as Pikachu is What You Need Right Now".

"Chrome and Firefox Phishing Attack Uses Domains Identical to Known Safe Sites".

"The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black".

"Love & breadsticks: There was a knife fight at Olive Garden". The first tweet of this widely-shared Twitter Moment reads "I went on a date last night and the guy meekly shared that he used to be THE GENERAL MANAGER FOR THE TIMES SQUARE OLIVE GARDEN."
rionaleonhart: harry potter: extremely poorly-drawn dumbledore fleeing and yelling NOOOOOOOOO. (NOOOOOOOOO)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
'An empty classroom... with nobody here. Maybe while no one was around... the desks crept about of their own accord, licking the floors clean of dirt. If I suddenly stepped into a place like that... would the desks, in their surprise, fly at me, crush my bones, and eat me alive...?'


In related news, I've finished the third instalment of Higurashi: When They Cry!

Spoilers for Higurashi: Tatarigoroshi. )

In conclusion, ??????????

In the Room Where It Happens

Apr. 19th, 2017 11:50 pm
owlmoose: (heroes - hiro jump)
[personal profile] owlmoose
I saw Hamilton last night!!!!!

When it was announced that the touring production of Hamilton would open in San Francisco, I decided with some friends that we were not throwing away our shot, and we bought season tickets to guarantee that we'd get to see it. (As it happens, I also got lucky with the general on-sale, and was able to buy tickets to a second show in June.) So we've been going to the theater since last fall, seeing The King and I (which was fun; despite its problematic elements, it's a childhood favorite of mine, so I had quite a bit of nostalgia for it), Finding Neverland (eh -- although it had nice production values), and Into the Woods (which I'd never seen in any format before, so I was pleased to finally have the chance). But it was all about Hamilton, really, so I've been bouncing about this for weeks. I think it's safe to say that the experience was pretty much everything I had hoped for. Even knowing the words nearly by heart, and having seen a few clips and GIFs here and there, there were still quite a few surprises in store, and the energy of the live performance was incredible. The audience was hyped, too -- I don't think I've ever been at a play where the theater erupted into cheers when the lights went down.

I went with an interesting mix of people, as far as their past experience with the show was concerned: two friends who had already seen it twice (once with most of the original cast in New York!), a few who had listened to the cast album a couple of times, and two who went in completely cold. Everyone enjoyed it a lot, and even the folks who were unfamiliar were able to follow along, although at least one commented that they were occasionally confused by the double casting.

Afterward, we happened to walk by the stage door, and we were able to get signatures on our programs from the actors who played Lafayette/Jefferson, Mulligan/Madison, and Hamilton. So that was fun! Although a part of me wishes I had gotten the opportunity to see the original cast, I thought all the touring actors did a fine job. (The only main cast member who rejoined from New York is Rory O'Malley, who plays King George, although some of the leads are played by former members of the chorus.) Some of them were clearly channeling the original actors (especially Joshua Henry as Burr), while others put a bit of their own spin on things (Emmy Raver-Lampman as Angelica, and to a certain extent Michael Luwoye as Hamilton, particularly in Act Two).

Anyway, I am very, very happy I had the opportunity to see this show, and am really looking forward to doing it all again in June. :)
umadoshi: (tea and happy things (bisty_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
--Garden-prospects update: [ profile] scruloose and I went and talked to our condo board president, who's helpful and pretty awesome, and the verdicts are a) that the bush will go away (not sure when. They're hoping to find a place to replant it rather than killing it, which I appreciate) and b) that the board doesn't like the idea of letting us install an outdoor tap on our exterior wall, but they're going to look into a significantly longer and easier-to-manueuver hose than the one currently hooked up to the tap on one end of our townhouse row (which I wasn't aware was there!), and [ profile] scruloose and I think that sounds absolutely fine. So yay!

--Sometime last night I got a shipping notification from Blizzard for Ginny's and my StarCraft II swag. It was helpful in precisely one way: when I entered the tracking info into my package-tracking app, I learned that it's the package FedEx attempted to deliver on Monday, which is now waiting for us to pick it up. How Blizzard managed to send a shipping email two days after the package's arrival, I do not know.

--When [ profile] wildpear and I were hanging out tonight, I mentioned a way a translator slipped up that I'm very glad I noticed and checked into--it's a mistake so understandable I fully expect it to recur, so I'll have to keep an eye out for it. (In fact, it's understandable enough that over the years I've adapted scripts from multiple translators who've done the same thing. And yes, I'm being vague on purpose.) That led to talking about work more generally, and then I was telling her excitedly (and not in any way following the sequence of events as they occur in the manga) about Yona of the Dawn and the many awesome things about it. Sounds like she'll probably investigate at some point. ^_^

--Have three pics of Jinksy!bear on Instagram.

A List

Apr. 19th, 2017 05:13 pm
seventhe: (SAZH)
[personal profile] seventhe

Of Things I Have Had To Deal With Today:

  • ohio building code
  • our USW union contract
  • urinal pads
  • ancient budget history
  • $50K worth of pipe inspections
  • an old push-cart toolbox
  • my angry uterus
  • 46 emails
  • paper cups for water
  • summit county contractor registration codes
  • purchase requisitions

this is the kind of day where i sit here like, gee, i am so glad that i went through school to become an engineer, then grad school, then working through 12 years to be running this plant, so that i can deal with urinal pads and cup drama all day

umadoshi: (raspberries (fierce_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
As of last night, my "garden" board on Pinterest is up to 36 pins, which break down to: eleven varieties of tomato, two varieties of raspberries, and twenty-three types of flowers. (Except I think bleeding hearts are on there twice.) Last night's online investigations led me to many sites, and of them, I think Vesey's looks reasonably useful if I get to the point of ordering plants/seeds online (which is not the intention for this year, regardless of how things go), and I'm unreasonably amused that there's a site called "Totally Tomato".

(Enough of you were awesome and left helpful comments about choosing/growing vegetables that I should belatedly mention that I'm not likely to plant edibles other than tomatoes and possibly berries. There's a strong temptation--if we're able to evict the bush I'm unhappy with--to fill that entire spot with raspberry canes, even though going raspberry picking in the Valley is one of my favorite summertime activities.)

And today I learned from [ profile] sholio that hardiness zones are not the same thing in Canada and the US. *facepalm* Good to know when looking at various sites for info! (I seem to be in a 5b zone by the USDA "extreme minimum temperature" standards.)

On an entirely different note, today I started actively reading for my Hugo vote. In terms of the Best Novel finalists + my terrifying TBR list, I lucked out: I'd already read both All the Birds in the Sky and A Closed and Common Orbit, and I already own Ninefox Gambit and both The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate, and Too Like the Lightning was on my "maybe" list, so that only leaves Death's End as a full-on addition.

So tonight I started in on The Fifth Season so I can read The Obelisk Gate in a timely fashion. I'd been putting off reading them until the third book comes out this summer, but clearly that's not gonna fly now.

Right now my primary hope is to read all the finalists in the fiction/Related Work/Graphic Story categories, except that, realistically, I don't think I'll be able to read all of the finalists for Best Series. (I've already read all of October Daye, the first five or six Temeraire books, and the first Rivers of London book; the others [and the rest of the Rivers of London books] were already on my TBR.) I gather The Vorkosigan Saga is huge, and The Expanse is...six books or so, and relatively hefty? I'll do what I can. [ETA: Oops, I forgot to mention The Craft Sequence. I've read the first one.]

I haven't had a chance to think too much yet about how I'll handle things like Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form). There's no way I'll get those shows watched in their entirety, and how the hell do you fairly judge an episode from the middle of a series out of context? (Serious question. Thoughts? ;_;) Game of Thrones is the only show on the list I'm familiar with, and I wandered off a couple of years ago.

Given the current mass exodus from LJ, I appreciated the timing of my "time to renew!" Dreamwidth notice today, and gladly paid up for another year here. ^_^

(I missed my anniversary here! I created my account on April 14, 2009.)

An Evil Takoyaki Stand.

Apr. 18th, 2017 09:27 am
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (Default)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
'If I were to liken her statements to a meal, it would be sort of like... she'd just tried to stuff a whole plate of duck into my mouth, and now I couldn't say anything.'

Er, Keiichi, are you all right? Are you hungry? That's a bit of an odd analogy, there.

I've been playing the third Higurashi instalment, Tatarigoroshi! I'm in chapter eight, I think.

Spoilers up to chapter eight of Higurashi: Tatarigoroshi. )

There's a surprising warmth at the core of Higurashi, and I think that's the reason it works. It could easily have been about horrible people doing horrible things to each other, and I wouldn't have cared. But instead it's about friends who genuinely love and care about each other, and who nonetheless find themselves doing horrible things to each other, and that means I care a lot.
umadoshi: Three purple crocuses poking up from the soil. (spring - crocuses!)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Today was the last day of the long weekend for me, [ profile] scruloose, and Ginny (Kas was back at work), and we spent it fairly productively. [ profile] scruloose and I had originally planned to have dinner with my parents tonight (belated birthday), but the plan changed to Cora's for brunch (yay!), and since we'd intended to spend the afternoon erranding with Ginny (and since my parents know and like her), she came for brunch too.

The erranding part of the day went more quickly than we'd expected (always a plus). The last stop was Halifax Seed, where Ginny made some inquiries about what magnolias require (in hopes of getting one this year) and I asked what we should do to improve the life of the lilac [ profile] scruloose and I planted in 2011. AFAIK the lilac hasn't had any major issues, but we haven't exactly kept up with proactively caring for it, either, and it's neither terribly large nor a prolific bloomer. We can probably make its life much happier.

We came away with some lime (to be applied now/soonish) and some fertilizer for flowering plants (to be doled out later in the season), and should look into how to properly prune the shrub when that time comes. (I don't even think we own gardening shears. Oh dear.)

There were very few plants ready for purchase, since planting in these parts is generally done in mid-/late May, but there was a sign encouraging us to ask about summer-flowering bulbs, so I did. Turns out those need to be dug up and brought indoors each year, though, and that exceeds my current "is it low-maintenance enough that we have a prayer of not killing it?" threshold.

And after the erranding, Ginny came over and helped me cull a lot of my wardrobe (which has been in desperate need of it). There're still some drawers that I need to deal with, but we got through the bulk of it, and now there are three large bags ready to be donated.

The realization I mentioned last week, which I think is a potential game-changer for our gardening (although our gardening will probably never be at all ambitious), is that it probably wouldn't be too complicated to add a hose hookup at the back of our townhouse. As it is, there's no convenient way to water anything out back, which is the area where we're actually allowed to garden somewhat. our current situation re: logistics and rules; four fairly short paragraphs )

I've emailed the condo board president to ask permission to a) put in the hose hookup and b) remove the space-hogging bush I don't like. She says she'll take the former to the board (I have no idea how long that might take) and has referred the bush question to the board member who approves things like that (and I haven't heard back). Both of these are significant factors in what we might try to do this year, so I'm fidgety, but we'll see what happens.

For now, I've started a garden board on Pinterest, which doesn't have a ton of things on it yet, but I'm at least taking a stab at finding plants that'd do well in partial shade. And browsing Amazon led me to Smart Pots, which I like the looks of as easy substitutes for building more elaborate container/box gardens. (Conveniently, Halifax Seed sells some.) There's also the option of planting things in pots or pockets that could go on the fences between our little area and our neighbors'.

I'm also toying with the idea of trying to grow tomatoes again, although our success rate with them is abysmal (the one year we didn't kill them, we had to move shortly before they would've been ready to harvest >.<). My minor fixation on growing tomatoes is due to finding the plants extremely attractive, loving the smell of the plants, and really appreciating the marvelous array of names and colors and whatnot. (My knowledge of which funky tomato types might be happiest in our climate is nonexistent; our hardiness zone seems to be 6b, FWIW. And the options would probably be limited by my interest in starting from plants, not seeds [at least until we manage to not kill some].)

The reason I need to spell out my motivations is that I don't actually like eating tomatoes. ^^; (More due to texture than flavor.) [ profile] scruloose likes them, though, and tomatoes go into various things I like to eat, although that largely depends on [ profile] scruloose's interest in processing/cooking them in a timely fashion, since he's the household cook.

That said, I'm pretty sure if we can just plant and not kill the tomatoes (the death rate of which has been mostly, if not entirely, due to insufficient watering in the past), we can consume or rehome the fruit.
umadoshi: (pretty things & clever words (iconriot))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things

"Carrie Fisher Was a Script Doctor For Star Wars: The Last Jedi".

Following up on last week's new Yuri on Ice footage of Yuri Plisetsky's punk routine, there's this tweet with a pair of gifs: "Sayokan said Johnny's skating and Poker Face program were what led her to figure skating, and now we get to see her tribute to that program".

"Why Did Nintendo Just Kill One of Its Coolest Products in Years?" re: Nintendo discontinuing the NES Classic. Which I wasn't able to buy. ;_; Dammit.

[ profile] rachelmanija posted a great spoilery review of season 1 of The Good Place.

Social Justice

"7 Things Autistic People Want You to Know". [Sarah Kurchak at]

"To body positive friends who don’t wear plus sizes". [Your Fat Friend]

"I’ve lived with Borderline Personality Disorder for years. Why I’m finally talking about my diagnosis".

"Is Your Allyship Proactive? How to Be an Ally in Training". [Everyday Feminism]


"Trees Have Their Own Songs: A new book by David George Haskell invites us to listen".

"Almost all snakes have the same, mindboggling superpower: When a snake strikes, it moves so fast it could hit you four times within the space of one eyeblink. If a human moved that fast they would lose consciousness".

"Octopuses can basically edit their own genes on the fly".

"California's 'Super Bloom' Is So Vibrant You Can See It From Space".

"Microsoft patches serious Word bug 'targeted by scammers'".

"1.5 Million Slavery Era Documents Will Be Digitized, Helping African Americans to Learn About Their Lost Ancestors".

"Here’s how you can match your Myers-Briggs personality type to a patron saint".

"#beautifulresistance". [Shveta Thakrar at Uncanny Magazine]

"Hysteria, Witches, and The Wandering Uterus: A Brief History. Or, Why I Teach 'The Yellow Wallpaper'". [LitHub]

"A Deceptively Simple Test Just Taught Us Something New About Elephant Intelligence".

"Brides in Japan are Turning Their Long-Sleeve Kimonos Into Stunning Wedding Dresses".

Via [ profile] larryhammer, "How shoelaces come undone: Three Californian engineers have found out the answer to a knotty problem".
owlmoose: (quote - questions)
[personal profile] owlmoose
I didn't take my laptop with me on my East Coast trip, mostly because I figured we'd be out and about a lot, especially in New York. I was mostly correct in this, so I fell a little behind on world events while I was gone, which is probably just as well.

  • I found this overview of the violent protest in Berkeley this Saturday to be a good and thoughtful summation of the situation. As usual, it's more complex than you might think from headline news. It's not really Trump supporters vs. anti-Trump; it's the latest evolution of a long-running conflict between the white supremacist right and the anti-fascist left, with the white supremacists using more moderate Trump voters as cover.

  • From The Nation, "Fear of Diversity Made People More Likely to Vote Trump." This is a nice way of saying that Trump voters were racist (or, to take it a little more broadly, xenophobic, but the poll discussed by the article asked questions specifically about race and racial anxieties). The article never comes out and uses the word "racist" but the implication is clear. I'm getting a little frustrated by the mainstream media's inability to call racism out by name, even left-leaning publications like The Nation, but at least they're still raising the issue.

  • Of all the various takes inspired by the United Airlines debacle last weekend, I was most interested in Vox's history of airline industry deregulation and consolidation, and how that's led to current miserable flying conditions. It also answered a mystery that has long puzzled me: whatever happened to America West? (Answer: they bought out US Air and kept the US Air brand, so through various mergers they're basically now American Airlines.)

  • From The Washington Post's Daily 202 newsletter, poll results show that the change in support for military intervention in Syria is driven entirely by a massive swing in Republican opinion. Only 22% of Republicans approved of potential airstrikes in 2013, when Obama sought permission from Congress to punish Assad for using chemical weapons against civilians; today that number is 86%. (Democratic opinion is nearly unchanged, from 38% to 37%, well within the margin of error on the poll.) But sure, tell me that their opposition to Obama was principled.

  • I really appreciated this interview with political scientist Marcus H. Johnson on the problems with Bernie Sanders and his approach to fighting Trump, and the problems with infighting in the Democratic Party.

  • As you might therefore guess, I'm not on board with primarying every moderate Democrat under the sun in 2018 (please stop making noises about Dianne Feinstein; I don't love everything she does, but she has serious seniority in the Senate, and she flexes those muscles when it matters). But there are exceptions, and it seems like these eight New York Democrats who caucus with the Republicans are prime candidates for some challengers.

  • It's a little too depressing to go back and chronicle the events that led up to the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court now that the damage is done, but I did want to share the article about his purported plagiarism, largely because it was a centerpiece of Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley's epic filibuster last week, which I caught part of. Merkely wasn't blocking any particular vote by speaking overnight; it was mostly a protest move. But I found his effort inspiring anyway.

  • Jill Filipovic on why it's a problem that Mike Pence won't eat a meal alone with a woman who isn't his wife. This is not an uncommon stance among a certain strand of conservative Christian -- it's known as the Billy Graham Rule, because the evangelist famously pioneered the practice when Christian leaders were getting caught in sex scandals. It's still offensive in that context, but when a world leader adopts the policy, it's flat out discrimination. What if Pence becomes president, and has to take a private meeting with Angela Merkel? Will he insist that his wife be in the room? It's a system-wide problem, too, as this survey of female Congressional staffers shows -- they report being routinely excluded from after-hours networking opportunities because it would require them to be alone with male members of Congress.

  • On the good news front, recent local elections in Illinois elected a record-shattering number of Democrats to office. Includes a video from Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, who runs a boot camp for people planning to run for office. It's called Build the Bench, and of the twelve alumni who ran in this cycle, at least eight of them won. This is exactly the kind of effort we need to be putting in, and I hope we see it spreading across the nation.

  • On that note, and related to my comments about primarying moderates above, here's a "List of Things Progressives Should Do Before Primarying Joe Manchin", moderate Democratic Senator from West Virginia. I'd add the caveat that if West Virginia progressives believe it's worth putting in the time and effort to mount a primary challenge to Manchin, then more power to them, and I'll support their efforts. (Same for Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, etc.) But on the national level, I absolutely agree that everything on this list takes higher priority.

  • Jill Filipovic has been killing it in her editorials for Cosmopolitan lately, and this piece on abortion rights as a precondition for economic justice is no exception.
rionaleonhart: final fantasy versus xiii: a young woman at night, her back to you, the moon high above. (nor women neither)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
I didn't think I'd actually write this! I've never even attempted Final Fantasy VI fanfiction before. If you'd told me a fortnight ago I was about to write Celes/Sabin, I'd have asked whether you were sure.

Sorry about the pretentious lowercase title. It just seemed like a title that demanded pretentious lowercase.

Title: a little thing like the end of the world
Fandom: Final Fantasy VI
Rating: light R
Pairing: Celes/Sabin
Wordcount: 1,600
Summary: Celes and Sabin, together in the wreckage.

a little thing like the end of the world )
umadoshi: (dumpling (iconic_notions))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Happy Easter to those who celebrate it! (And I only just checked and saw that this year it's this weekend for both the Western and Orthodox calendars. That happened just a few years ago, so somehow I hadn't thought it was likely to happen again so soon! Apparently the next time will be in 2025.)

I guess it was...Tuesday night that I got literally no sleep? My sense of time's been even more messed up than usual since then (not helped by the long weekend, unsurprisingly; I spent a lot of today convinced it was Sunday). Friday (yesterday) was the day the lack of sleep really caught up with me, but I managed the lone vital task of getting both proofreads that were due turned in. It wasn't ideal that I've been in a groggy haze otherwise, but also not dire.

There's been great news on the local Chinese-food front! ^_^ mostly talking about the local dumpling place finally having veg-friendly options (which are tasty), and trying a new-to-us spot tonight )

An odd Yelp thing that I found when I logged in for the first time in forever: it still sorts my bookmarks by "labels" (basically just "to try", "to review", and something else), and that info seems to be in the comments field for things I'd already bookmarked, but adding the exact same words to the comment fields for new bookmarks doesn't result in them being labeled, and I haven't been able to ID a way to make it happen. Far from the end of the world, but it's kind of annoying.

The exodus here from LJ is clearly continuing. ([ profile] wildpear just made her first-ever Dreamwidth post! [I mean, okay, I think she only ever had two on LJ.] Neither of us have been very active with the [ profile] ushobwri community for a while, but the news that it's making the leap means she no longer has one [1] thing to pay attention on each site [the comm. there and me here, largely]. So I'm shamelessly hoping that having [ profile] ushobwri up and running will tempt her to these parts more often.)

Here're a few more relevant links:

Via [ profile] st_aurafina: [ profile] layout_lounge posted "Tutorial: Using Flexible Squares at Dreamwidth (Smooth Sailing, Mixit, Nebula)" (which apparently helps a lot with recreating your LJ look at DW) and [ profile] blackmare posted "How to Get Images into your DW Posts".

[ profile] ironymaiden posted "a method to batch export your livejournal images".

The newest post on [ profile] dw_news, which includes an overview and history of Dreamwidth for new folks, is still accruing heaps of comments in an informal meet-and-greet and exchange of tips/links/advice (like [ profile] ironymaiden's), so that's well worth sifting through.

Remember All Their Voices.

Apr. 15th, 2017 03:44 pm
rionaleonhart: final fantasy xii: fran glares; tremble with fear! (don't cross me)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
If I were in charge of a remake of Final Fantasy VI, I'd cut the playable cast down substantially. I like the playable characters, but there are just too many of them for the plot to feel focused. The story of Final Fantasy VI would work perfectly well with just Terra, Locke, Celes, Edgar and Sabin in the party. And possibly Setzer, for the airship. And - and General Leo. Look, I'm in charge and General Leo is the best. I'd forgotten how much I liked him.

I can see that you sort of need a huge number of playable characters for the World of Ruin to work, though. If there are too few party members, it'll become tricky for the player to find enough to assemble a viable party.

I'd also make big changes to the feeding-fish-to-Cid bit. It admirably conveys the misery and monotony of being trapped on a tiny post-apocalyptic island, I suppose, but it's horrendous game design on about six different levels. (I saved Cid this time! The first time, I had no idea what I was doing and ended up running back and forth for what felt like a thousand years, catching fish indiscriminately and going 'when is this fishing going to end?' until he eventually died of food poisoning.) And I'd reduce the game's ridiculous encounter rate. I was so happy when I finally got a relic to bring it down.

Okay, that's enough nitpicking, because there's a lot I like about this game as well!

When I started this replay, I thought 'maybe I'll finally establish whether Celes or Sabin is my favourite character!' and instead I've ended up torn between three favourite characters: Celes, Sabin and Leo. Although Sabin definitely earned strong points with his 'Did you think a little thing like the end of the world was gonna do me in?' line; it was a timely reminder that life and hope and humour can be found in the darkest of situations, and it made me smile.

I was so happy that Sabin was the first person I found in the World of Ruin. CELES AND SABIN: THE PERFECT PARTY. It's just as well I love these two, because it's taking me a while to track down anyone else. Inevitably, I now want fanfiction about Celes and Sabin slipping into a strange, sad physical relationship while they cross the ruined world in search of others.

I can't say Celes/Sabin is a pairing that's ever occurred to me before, but maybe the fact it's not an obvious pairing is what makes the concept interesting. It appeals to me in the same way Sam/Mike from Until Dawn does: under normal circumstances, they'd never look at each other in that way, but the circumstances are so far from normal. It's another living, breathing person, and that's suddenly become so precious.


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Hi! I'm Susan, I write for [community profile] ladybusiness, and I'm currently trying to post at least 100 words of fic every day.

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