"You get nothing!"

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:26 am
rosefox: A cartoon figure slipping toward a gaping hole in the paper. (slipping)
[personal profile] rosefox
I'm having one of those "parenting is so hard, when does it stop being hard, oh right, never" days.

I was watching Kit play on their own and glumly thinking that happy Kit is independent and only wants parents when they're sad. Then they toddled over and handed me a stuffed fox, just because. So I know that what I'm feeling is just a feeling and has very little to do with reality. But it's still a big feeling.

Relatedly, having a tantruming toddler scream directly into your ear for several minutes is really quite challenging.

"Kit is so chill," I thought, once upon a time. "Maybe they won't really get toddler tantrums." I was so wrong. Soooo wrong. Tantrums aren't about personality. They're about cognitive and emotional overload. A scream into the void.

(My right ear is the void, apparently.)

(But was I going to stop cuddling my screaming child? Of course not. My ear can cope.)

And now I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't really help my kid, even when they were bottomlessly miserable. There is no cure for the tantrum because it's an existential crisis. You just hold on and say "I'm here" like it means anything. And eventually they stop crying long enough for you to get some calories into them, which almost always helps. It turns out that kids are always basically one minute away from a massive hunger crash, and that rather exacerbates the existential angst.

You could not pay me enough to be a child again. No way. It's genuinely a wonder that kids are ever happy at all. Their bodies do weird things, the world is baffling, everything is too big, they have no control, safety is elusive and fleeting. It's like a fucking horror movie, 24/7. And yet my child comes over and smiles at me and puts their head on my knee for sheer love.

I guess maybe they wanted to say "I'm here" like it means anything.

I guess maybe it does.

Curbing hate against police

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:54 am
drwex: (Default)
[personal profile] drwex
One of the areas where I can differ from other liberal/progressives is in the area of violence against law enforcement. A nice column addressing this came out today from Professor Margulies of Cornell.

Margulies is also very left-liberal and has been deeply into the theories and research around policing and criminal justice reform. I was interested to see that he takes a stand very similar to my own, which is that although acts of murder against police are quite rare (and have been dropping steadily for the last 40 years) there is still a perception that police are targeted and that violence against police is not adequately addressed.

I understand why this is so - we focus attention on the victims of police violence, particularly because those victims are often young men of color who are ignored and denied a voice unless we keep a hard focus on their unjust treatment. But I think we are adult enough to pay attention to more than one thing and in this case that means giving appropriate attention to violence against police without taking attention away from the violence committed against their victims.

Margulies' column notes that police are increasingly being asked to solve problems that they simply cannot solve, and that a first step in reducing violence and tension is for us (society) stop making police the first and only approach to public manifestations of complex intertwined social problems such as addiction, homelessness, and mental illness. He argues we need to change the role and mission of police - if you read his earlier writing you'll see he's a big advocate of place-based policing, reducing overall police presence in favor of concentrating on the handful of individuals and locations that are responsible for the majority of crimes.

I think it makes sense to try these approaches - in particular I agree with Margulies that AG Sessions' attempts to reverse the history of policing are only going to make things worse. And I would go one step further, specifically to address the perception issue. I would make it law that any person who targets police because they are police should be subject to hate-crime investigation and possible prosecution.

At first this seems like a stretch. "Police" are not an identifiable protected class the way black people or women are. But I think that misses the point. When someone firebombs black churches, or vandalizes Jewish cemeteries, or shoots up a gay nightclub they are attacking the visible symbols of identity of a class of persons. Likewise, on those rare occasions when someone specifically targets those in uniform such as happened in Dallas last year they are attacking the class of persons who wear those uniforms. And I believe those attacks should be investigated and potentially prosecuted the same way.

As I mentioned at the beginning, the perception of police being under fire is not matched by statistical evidence; however, when women say they feel a company has created a hostile environment we don't ask them for statistics (or ought not). Instead we (ought to) work to turn the environment around. Part of turning around the environment for police is to stop asking them to solve unsolvable problems; another part can be making a clear public statement of how we feel about violence that targets them.

Family D&D

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:37 am
clawfoot: (geeky)
[personal profile] clawfoot
So! Maize and I went to my sisters' house over the weekend. We arrived on Friday night, around 9pm. We sat and socialized until about 11pm. Then we all made characters.

The process is always slow for beginners, but I knew that dumping all the rules on them at once would just make their heads spin and their eyes glaze over, so I just gave them the bare minimum they needed to make key decisions and we were off.

My sister-in-law (SiL), created an agender Forest Gnome druid named Fungi. They're a nervous talker, form strong friendships, and are obsessed with gardening. They have the background Outlander, and are struggling with the loss of their forest home (destroyed by a wild fire). They have a bad memory and can have a bad temper.

My sister created a male high elf ranger named Dark Cloud. He is an ex-soldier who is always calm, judges people on their actions rather than their words, and loves a good insult, even if it's directed at him. He has a weakness for drink and a "tell" when he lies. He is all about honourable service, although his chaotic good alignment makes it difficult to follow orders that don't adhere to his personal code (see: ex-soldier).

Maize made a male human cleric of Pelor named Chet who has lived in the temple most of his life (background: Acolyte). He values kindness and charity, trusts people way too easily, gets drunk on very little alcohol, and loves to sing (badly).

I made a male half-orc fighter named Sledge who is trying to redeem himself. He is an ex-smuggler who made a mistake and got someone he loved killed. He doubts his judgement a lot and so prefers to follow rather than lead, and he's rash and doesn't follow through with plans too well (dump stat: Wisdom).

Then we went to bed (around 2am).

The next day, after taking the dogs out and having a delicious breakfast, we played! We started around 11am, I think. I had an adventure all ready to go, and we delved in without too much ado.

We played for about twelve hours, with a couple breaks. We broke for an hour around 3pm because my sister had to run out to pick up an order they'd put in at a local butcher, and we took the opportunity to run the dogs again. And we broke again around 6:30pm for a quick dinner. But we were back at it soon after.

Memorable moments:

  • Chet getting drunk about 0.5 seconds into the actual game. I guess that's what I get for starting the game in a tavern when one of the characters is a serious lightweight.


  • Negotiating with a kobold queen who has offered one of her subjects (Meebo) as a guide:
    Fungi: "Is there any further help you can offer?"
    Kobold Queen: "I have offered you Meebo."
    Dark Cloud: "Can you offer anything useful?"


  • Party: walks into a room with a white dragon wyrmling in it. "Let's talk!"
    Wyrmling: *BREATHES COLD*
    Half of Party: *reduced to -4 hp*
    Other Half: *heals unconscious party members*
    Entire Party: *FLEES*


  • Once everyone got healed, Chet successfully negotiated safe passage through the room with the dragon wyrmling mostly through interpretive dance. I am not kidding. I cannot even explain it. It was hilarious and awesome and EPIC.


  • Upon hearing that a bugbear foe was named "Balsag," immediately and permanently referring to him as "Ballsac" instead.


Fun times!

I was right when I suspected that my sister really wasn't all that interested in the game, and that she was going along with it mostly to please her wife, but she admitted on Sunday morning that she did find it a lot of fun and would be interested in playing again. I knew she wasn't into it at first (mostly because I know her pretty well, but also because a GM can always just TELL when a player isn't fully engaged), but I could also tell that she was drawn in pretty quickly. It wasn't long before she turned into an active participant, cracking jokes and coming up with ideas along with everyone else. I am very pleased about that. I'm not claiming credit -- I'm just so pleased she had fun and it wasn't a 12-hour slog for her.

So I would call the weekend a success!

Brainstorming For Yuletide

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:12 pm
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook will serve for lives)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
I am compiling a list of things I would want to see nominated (or might nominate on my own) when Yuletide nominations do open in September. These are what I am currently taking into consideration:

-Makt Myrkranna | Powers of Darkness - Valdimar Ásmundsson
-The Haunting (1963)
-The Innocents (1961)
-The Uninvited (1944)
-Dark Shadows (1991)
-Dracula - Bram Stoker
-Dracula (TV 1968)
-Count Dracula (1977)
-Nosferatu (the 1979 remake) -Hammer Horror Films
-Universal Monster Movies
-Crimson Peak (2015)
-Fright Night (1985)
-Ghostbusters (Movies 1984-1989)
-The Last Unicorn (1982)

At the moment, I suspect that I’ll be nominating Makt Myrkranna (the Icelandic version of Stoker's Dracula that I discussed a while back) in that first slot. Either Dracula (TV 1968) or Dracula - Bram Stoker would go in the second slot unless someone else eventually nominated either one of those.

If it were going to be being released sooner than December, I would be able to add Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water to my list of potential things to throw in there.

Oh, and on a note that doesn’t involve Yuletide: I finally watched Jack The Ripper (1988), and I loved it.
puppetmaker: (Default)
[personal profile] puppetmaker
Photobucket has announced that as of the 27th of July, I believe, that they will no longer allow you to post your photos to third party providers of which this site is one of them. This means that years of photos that are attached to various blog entries are going to vanish overnight. The work in progress photos. The how I made this photos. The adventure photos are all going away. Not very happy with this at all.

As much as I would love to post photos of all the things I have been doing and people we have met, I can’t because I know shortly they will be removed. I am looking for suggestions for a good place to host the photos for my blogs because I post this in three to four places.

What have we been doing?

Lots of stuff.

Shorleave, except for the eye problem, was a lot of fun. Peter met a fan who had been waiting 20 years to tell him how much he loved his work. When asked in a Q& A whether he had ever been star struck with all the people he has met while working on the Big Bang Theory, Kevin Sussman (Stewart the comic book shop owner in the show) said, “Yeah, happen today. I got to meet Peter David and tell him how much I loved his work.”

We got to talk to Marina Sirtis who didn’t recognize Peter without a beard but was happy to see him. Caroline got some Gargoyle questions answers and they talked about other topics with great passion.

I spent time hanging out with my ‘gang’ at the convention swapping stories and the like.

I was a prop in AJ’s costume entry. I was dressed up at the 12th Doctor and looked like I had gone through hell.

David read the following as I staggered across the stage

“Once again time, injury, and the BBC have combined to cause the Doctor to regenerate. He’d rather not, but he must because ya’ know contracts”

I stopped turned to the audience and shrugged as if to say ‘what are ya going do?’ and continued to lurch until off stage.

“Determined to be stronger than even and sick of the dumb-ass fans who said he was too old, this new Doctor is determined to give them an incarnation that they will never forget.”

AJ entered with a bow tie and his sonic screwdriver dragging my extra vest.

The audience laughed.

The title of the entry was “The Doctor Falls, but he gets up again. You are never going to keep him down”

So that was fun. Again I have some lovely pictures I would like to show you, but photobucket stinks.

I did various panels talking about various topics and had fun.

Monday was Doc in the Box day.

Tuesday we went to Geppi’s museum and enjoyed ourselves. I have great pics for that but Photobucket…..

Wednesday I got to take Caroline to the Air and Space museum and show her some of my favorite things. Again photos but no photos here. Thanks Photobucket. We touched moon rock. Walked through Skylab. Looked at the restored Enterprise. And wondered why there is a plaque in the exhibit about the solar system all about Sherlock Holmes not knowing about the Solar system. Our conclusion is that Holmes is everywhere.

Thursday we visited with Ariel, Anthony and AJ at their house before driving to Raleigh and the Raleigh SuperCon. Wish you could see the cute AJ photos I took.

Raleigh SuperCon is part of a group of conventions run by the same people who do right by their guests and make the time there as enjoyable as possible. We can highly recommend them if they ask you to be a guest at their conventions. The fans were having a blast too. Lots of great costumes including an incredible Davros which I would love to show you but Photobucket sucks. I met a group of fellow Doctor Who Cosplayers and we had a lot of fun together. We got to talk about the choice of the next Doctor before and after it was announced. My friend Patty was moderating Alex Kingston’s Q&A when she found out. Her reaction was priceless. I got to speak to her and know what I am doing for her River Song puppet.

From Raleigh we went to Orlando and straight to Disney for a couple of days. A lot of fun and really good food was had by all. We saw old friends. We rode pretty much all the rides we wanted. The only disaster was Peter’s cane getting tossed from the Buzz Lightyear ride but we got it back two days later and they gave Peter a loaner. We did not go to Animal Kingdom figuring to let the Pandora fervor lessen before going to see what that is about. Lots of great pictures but ya know Photobucket.

From there we drove to St. Augustine where my parents have had a timeshare for over 30 years for this particular week in July. We are here now just taking a couple of days to regroup and not worry about anything but ‘will we get to the beach once or twice today’ and ‘what’s for the next meal’. It is very relaxing.

Friday we will be going to the Florida SuperCon in Fort Lauderdale where adventures will be had and photos will be taken but then Photobucket so until I find a solution to that, I am down to words to describe what happened.

I am grateful for all the fun we have had so far this trip.

"Close enough for jazz"

Jul. 23rd, 2017 03:13 am
rosefox: Me snuggling a giant teddy bear, entirely contented. (sleeping)
[personal profile] rosefox
Vacation to-do list/wishlist summary: not too bad! Especially given that today was totally eaten by stressful unexpected circumstances. (Everyone is fine now.)

Things without deadlines (fun):

* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender and do some knitting
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (I didn't do this but did go read in the park near our house)
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read (three books! in one week!)
* Cook
* Lunch with my mom
* Sleeeeeeeep

Things without deadlines (productive):

* Shower and dress in real clothes every day (mostly)
* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Unpack
* Vacuum (well, I swept, but it's pretty clean underfoot now)
* Catch up on laundry
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Finish setting up Tinybeans
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem

Rest In Peace, John Heard

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:14 pm
calliopes_pen: (taibhrigh hear the Ood song)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
John Heard has passed away at the age of 72. May he rest in peace. He was found dead in his hotel room yesterday, two days after having minor back surgery. He might be most well known for the role of Peter McAllister (Kevin’s father) in the first two Home Alone films. I also vaguely remember him from Cat People (1982).

Rest In Peace, Deborah Watling

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:09 pm
calliopes_pen: (sallymn Brigadier raining)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Deborah Watling has passed away, at the age of 69, following a battle with lung cancer. May she rest in peace. She played the role of Victoria Waterfield, companion to the Second Doctor, on Doctor Who. Unfortunately, most of her episodes were destroyed.

The Tomb of the Cybermen and The Enemy of the World managed to survive from her tenure on the series, along with the second episode of the serial The Evil of the Daleks.

A bunch of things that make me happy:

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:06 pm
avivasedai: (Default)
[personal profile] avivasedai
Benito:
- His vocabulary is huge; more than that, he uses phrases that he's trying out from various places and it's hilarious. For instance, "nice of you to notice" he's picked up from a Pooh and Eeyore story, where Eeyore loses his tail, and when Pooh brings all the friends around to try and help him find it, it's already found and reattached (though how a donkey with no opposable thumbs and no Christopher Robin managed to stick a pushpin into the tail, onto his butt, I don't know). Now Benito is trotting out that line at mostly appropriate points in conversation, and it's awesome.

- He loves changing the words to songs he knows, sometimes to other words, sometimes just using the wrong sounds. I alternate singing with him, so I'll sing "Lookin' for love and feeling -" and then point to him, so he can sing "Groovy!" I did this a few days ago, and he said "Soggy!" I cracked up, and so he's been doing that for days. He's also using different pronouns, so instead of "Ain't you got no rhymes for me," he'll say "us," which works when we're singing it together.

- He sings the shema by himself, very recognizably in both words and melody, as he is walking along the edge of his crib, making sure to go along the full 3 available edges from wall to wall, and hoisting himself over.

- Last night he asked for his blanket to be tucked in, like on Mom and Dad's bed. I found a knitted blanket that was big enough to tuck around the edges of his mattress, did so, and he put his blue blanket (that is only just as wide as the top of the mattress) on top, and then delighted in arranging his various crib companions around the bed (a Creeper, BB8, Hector the Spanish bull, 2 bunnies, and a few books). Also, he's using the little pillow that Carmen made for us, using brown cloth and the light teal shimmery ribbon from our wedding.

Food:
- I made a batch of chocolate mint chip cookies a little while ago. I had to tweak the recipe due to lack of the right kind of chocolate, so they weren't as deeply chocolatey as I had hoped, but they were quite good. The recipe made 39 cookies this time, so I took a dozen to work and my coworkers approved. Simon even said that they are his favorite cookie and I could bring them in any time. *grin* Benito likes them as well, and Rick will eat about 4 or maybe 6 for evening snack/dessert. It's the recipe I've posted here before, for reference.

I don't really have a lot of happy food recollections beyond that for the last bit of time. Hrm. That's a shame. Last night's fish dinner was fine, but it doesn't make me giddy, just fish with salt and Sunny Paris spice blend from Penzey's. Similarly, the roasted cauli was okay, not the best I've ever made, but good.

- French toast for dinner tonight! There is challah and it should be eaten with delight, where delight = maple syrup or possibly raspberry jam!

That's just barely 5 things; that last one doesn't exactly count as it's only a thought so far, not an actuality. Maybe it's time to bake something, as the cookies are gone... and if I use the rest of the gluten-free flour, I will absolutely not eat it, either... I like that idea... Supplies at home: 2 ripe bananas, and done. If I'm not eating it, Benito will be happy with simple and Rick will approve of me not going crazy with other non-chocolate additives (apricot, coconut, so forth).
drwex: (VNV)
[personal profile] drwex
Yes, I will be posting music entries Real Soon Now, I promise. Probably next week. But first I want to unload some of the stuff in the mental backlog.

I really appreciated all the commentary on the last post. If y'all want to chime in about this one I'd likewise appreciate it. The topic is "Music video WTF" - as in, should I link to videos if I like the song but not the video?

Here, let me give you an example that sits right on the borderline, two videos for "One On One" by Tujamo, with vocals by Sorana. Tujamo is a German producer and EDM spinner; Sorana is an eastern European singer (near as I can guess, Romanian) and this is her first big team-up with a "name" producer. So, OK, great. It's a fun tune and I like her voice, though as with a lot of these things I think it's over-tuned.

First up, the official video for the song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y19FzsqM1as

Minor warning: it's a PoV video done in the style of a lot of porn these days where you, the viewer, are invited to have the gaze of the (male) camera in intimate interactions with a small, very conventionally attractive woman through a series of scenes, including bedroom. There's nothing actually X-rated about this, but I was uncomfortable watching it. In case that gaze isn't intimate enough for you, there's even an official 3D-VR version - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lx6OeuZ-mLE

Plus side: she's smiling and active throughout. She appears to be not only enjoying the interactions but initiating things. But if voyeurism isn't your kink (it's not mine, at least not for strangers) then you may (like me) find yourself unable to watch this video and see if there are other alternatives. Here's one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gVZnnxvf38

At least that's just a static conventionally-attractive-skinny-chick-half-dressed-in-provocative-pose. You see that kind of thing selling pretty much any product under the sun everywhere in the industrialized world. But, seriously, what does this have to do with the music?

I usually try to link to SoundCloud for my music choices but lots of things aren't up there and are on YouTube or other visual media.

So, dear readers, what do you make of this? Would you rather I didn't blog video music that sets me off, or blog it with information so you can judge for yourselves?

Rest In Peace, Trevor Baxter

Jul. 20th, 2017 10:20 am
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook Lucy's throat Dracula's ring)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Trevor Baxter has passed away at the age of 84. May he rest in peace. For Doctor Who fans, he played Professor George Litefoot in the episode The Talons of Weng-Chiang. He reprised the role for Big Finish Productions, in Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles: The Mahogany Murderers, and a series called Jago & Litefoot.

Having looked through his filmography, I see that he was in two episodes of Mystery And Imagination*--The Body Snatcher and Feet Foremost; I believe those are in the portion that are sadly lost. He was also in Jack The Ripper (1988) in the role of Lanyon--that one also starred Michael Caine, Lysette Anthony (Angelique from Dark Shadows 1991), and Susan George (Lucy in Dracula 1968). I have always meant to watch that one, so I’ll track it down. I think I spotted it at DailyMotion earlier, divided into parts.

*Come to think of it, that's two from Mystery And Imagination that have died in the last two months. Peter Sallis was the other one.
laurel: Picture of Laurel with Garibaldi cardboard standup (Default)
[personal profile] laurel
I confess, I hadn't a clue Postmates was a thing until a couplefew months ago. Maybe you aren't familiar with it either.

Basically it's a service where people will deliver things to you. From restaurants to stores, all sorts of places. Fast food! If you've occasionally wished Dairy Queen would deliver, this might be the thing for you (though how well it works may depend on how close the DQ is and how hot it is outside and what you order). The service is available in a bunch of cities, check their website to see if it'll work near you.

Lots of places have menus available in the app (I sometimes wind up checking out the restaurants own websites for more detail if I'm not already familiar with the place). Stores might have a list of frequently purchased items with prices (I know Apple Stores do). You can also request items that aren't listed. Or have them get things from places that don't have such details in their system. I've always just purchased things that were listed so I'm not sure how well it works if you go rogue. ;-p I've had good luck with delivery people for the most part.

When I first used it, it was with a credit worth $100 of delivery fees for a week. So I was able to get things without paying for delivery so stuff just cost what they would at the restaurant/store + whatever I tipped the delivery person. Not a bad deal. That week I went a bit wild and got lunch from various fast food joints most days and that was novel. We're pinching pennies so it's hard for me to justify this when there is a delivery fee, though they do have a limited number of places where there's a set delivery fee that's cheaper than usual. Plus they seem to run deals fairly often where you get free delivery.

When that Unicorn drink was A Thing I remember seeing people using Postmates to get the beverage so they weren't the ones waiting in line but instead it was a Postmates person (one hopes they tipped well if it took a while).

Anyway. I'm mentioning it in case you want to get in on one of those $100 in delivery fee credit for 7 days deals. Use my referrer code of "FZYD2" to get that deal (I'll get a delivery fee credit of up to $10 after your first order). They've been warning me that this deal isn't gonna last much longer, thus my mentioning it. (Sneaky, Postmates. I bet they offer yet another referral deal after this one expires, no idea if it will be better or worse.)

Import In Progress

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:02 am
calliopes_pen: (jkpolk mine evil laugh Master)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
I am in the process of importing my older fanfic to Ao3. A large portion of it is probably Doctor Who, from the Tenth Doctor days. So if you suddenly notice a new story* from me, it's not new. It's so very, very old and fluff more than anything in most cases. Looking back now, quite a few are not that great, but they're going up for the sake of completion.

*There were two occasions as I started the import where it accidentally made it post to today's date, but it was eventually fixed. I learned that trying to import from Teaspoon does that for whatever reason, while importing from Dreamwidth does not, and gives the original date without me needing to change it.

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yendi

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