kings of con

Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:13 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Rich: "I'm disappointed in all of you. It's Halloween, and Osric is the only one wearing a costume."
Osric: "I'm not wearing a costume."
Rich: "You're wearing a dress and you have a piece of fruit on your head."
Osric: "You're so old."

photos, weekly rec

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:36 pm
tassosss: (Default)
[personal profile] tassosss
I'm still waiting for my photobucket links to break with a kind of fascination of watching a crash in slow mo. I pretty much only use photobucket for fanish stuff, and that sparingly since I don't do a lot of art, mostly banners and things these days. I haven't lost access to my account yet.

But really that had me browsing through pictures on my phone recently since that's my main camera for recording my life, and it's kind of hilariously made up of two things for the past few months: bread in various stages and animals that my cat has killed and brought to the door. Which is even more hilarious when you know that my 1st grade science project was titled "Animals that my cats catch." So yeah.

Anyway. I'm making regular loaf bread today from the Joy of Cooking, and tomorrow I'm going to do Casatiello, which is an enriched Italian bread that has chunks of cheese and salami in it. I haven't gone grocery shopping for the extra ingredients yet, which is why it's waiting till tomorrow.

Been working on my Teen Wolf fic this week. I'm kind of feeling like I want to clear off what's ongoing before starting something really new. I'm still messing with Dragon Age short fic, but I don't really have a direction for a lot of that, though I'm thinking I might once I get to some mysterious critical mass.

Still been reading a lot of Dragon Age fic. This week's rec is
Haven (256723 words) by SageFic
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Cullen Rutherford/Female Mage Trevelyan
Summary: Kate Trevelyan, mage and earnest, genteel nerd, travels to the Conclave with Colleen Lavellen, an ex-Dalish-turned-librarian, and Robert Trevelyan, her charming smuggler cousin. But when the Divine's peace talks explode, Robert falls in with bad company, Coll finds herself chasing mercs, and Kate becomes...the Herald of Andraste? Sort of. Kate has absolutely NO idea what she’s doing, and her growing attraction to a certain former templar isn’t helping.

Why I love it: This covers just the time in Haven starting a little before the game with some really great character work throughout. Basically I love this story for the conversations you get between characters. It delves into the mage-templar conflict, and really sets up a nice discussion between mage!Trevelyan and Cullen about Kirkwall that is really well done and not seen very often. Early scenes include Divine Justinia, and there's a lot of good daily life included. It diverges enough from gameplay to keep it interesting. I'm not a huge fan of the Lavellen or male!Traveleyan characters that are included, or the epistolary chapters, but over all it's good.



starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
1) signing up for fall races
2) scrapbooking
3) Mimi riding in her stroller
fightingarrival: (Default)
[personal profile] fightingarrival
Welcome to Bat-research! The project where I will probably spend years consuming/reconsuming all sorts of Bat-media in pursuit of some well-defined but comfortably far off fanvid ideas. See my heretofore almost never used tumblr which is now a clip dump site/one of the worst aesthetic blogs on the internet. I changed my header to Bruce Wayne: MANPAIN. I facepalm every time I look at it, it's great.

Bat-research will also serve the purpose of...

...motivating me to read comics that I want to have read, but don't actually want to read.
...so that I can more ably argue with DC comics fans. Getting into it with people about septuagenarian multimedia properties and stories written before I was even born: my One True Fandom.
...I mean there are other reasons, like shamelessly feeding my own confirmation bias gaining a more nuanced understanding of the Bat-canon that can only help improve the vids that I will totally eventually make and refining my understanding of storytelling as I carry out longwinded arguments in my head teasing out every tiny detail of what I don't like about x story, but that one is pretty up there.
...changing my media diet by filling my quota of "why am I reading this"/"you're a masochist and that's why you do this to yourself" with Batman instead of generic cop procedurals. Only time will tell if this is a better or more productive use of my time.

I am a dedicated Bat-skeptic. That's what's going to make this fun!

THE CAPED CRUSADE )

CONTAGION + LEGACY )

...And it turns out I'm doing Legacy tomorrow.
elaineofshalott: Violet from the Lemony Snicket stories, tying her dark hair back with a ribbon. (ribbon)
[personal profile] elaineofshalott
(I wrote this post in a Word doc awhile ago; I think it's still relevant.)

I’ve been thinking about excessive empathy lately, and whether it might be leveraged as an asset, rather than smothered for being a liability. What can one do, what progress can one make, when one is incapacitated by compassion? When one’s only capacity is for grief, of what use can one be?

Related passages from fiction occurred to me, of course. Upon reviewing them I realize they have to do with empathy for one’s specially beloved human, rather than empathy for humanity in general--humanity in the abstract and then frighteningly in the no-longer-abstract. One hears news headlines. One watches a movie character and knows that real people have similarly suffered. So the following passages perhaps only glancingly apply to my own struggles, since I am unespoused. But often a glancing relation is still a telling one.

BBC Sherlock’s John, after a drug overdose:

John holds a hand out, pointedly. And then Sherlock is up and they are leaving. Sherlock is too thin, he's too cold, he's a tower of strength drained completely empty. It could make a grown man cry, this sort of waste, this level of senselessness. Why should a priceless work of art dash itself against the concrete purposefully? The whole story is a tragedy. It could break John's heart if he let it.

But he isn't going to.

wordstrings, Entirely Covered in Your Invisible Name


Original-canon Holmes, during World War I:
It was a calculated war waged against my own mind. My mind was my bitterest foe. My soaringly imaginative, tactically brilliant, ever-practical mind. Had I been able to exchange my brain with that of a half-witted factory girl, during the four years Watson was in France, I should have done so. I should have traded it for a Dorset cow's in an instant. Could I have slipped into a coma entirely, I should have chosen that, save that then I would not have been working every waking moment to end the War quickly.

And God, how desperately I needed to end that bloody War.

At the beginning, I could see everything. Too much. And there the information was, all at my disposal on my brother's desk. Guns. Troops movements. Chemical weaponry. Mustard gas. God in Heaven, it drew and quartered me daily. At the beginning, when I was less strict with myself and allowing flights of vividly pictured deductions, anything could tip my heart into a blind panic. I glimpsed a wire in concert with a coded list, a grain manifest, a series of numerals, and a map on my brother's oak desk and nearly sent myself to the hospital. I knew generally, within thirty miles, perhaps, where my friend was at any given time. My brother saw to that. And according to those seemingly innocuous papers in 1914, he would be dead in a week. The odds were for a simple gunshot wound, but exploding debris was also possible.

Looking up from the mad scratches in his commonplace war journal, Mycroft frowned at me from across the length of his entire office.

"Stop."

I made no answer.

"Sherlock," he said clearly, "I have seen what you have seen, but you have not seen all that I have. In addition, I do not allow myself to actually see it. Stop your mind's eye, and at once."

"How can I help but see it? I've always seen it. All my life," I answered miserably, leaning back against his bookshelves and shoving my hands in my pockets.

"Well, you are through now," my brother commanded, tidying papers. "This is not you staring at carriage tracks in our drive and predicting the events of the next six hours verbatim. I can allow you to know things, to employ your tireless energies on our behalf, but not to see them. Do you mark me? I will retrain your mind myself if I have to. You are Sherlock Holmes, not Cassandra of ancient myth. We shall unravel the work of sixty years."

"I can't. My mind doesn't work that way," I whispered in despair.

"It's going to have to." Rising, my brother approached me and placed a hand on my shoulder. He left it there until I looked back at him, seeing my own eyes in a huge, sagging face of sixty-seven years.

"He should not have done it," I said through a clenched jaw. It was the only time I said it. Ever.

"No, but now he has," Mycroft said softly. "Be logical. You are not getting him back for a period of months or possibly even years. You are thus presented with exactly two options. Either stay as you are and see how long you can live like this before you break--I give it three months, myself, and if the War grows worse as swiftly as I think it will, no longer than two and a half--or stop seeing things. Think them in the abstract, for I need you, but do not see them, petit frère. Please stop seeing them. Try for me."

"All right," I gasped. I had not been aware of how shallowly I was breathing, for I was watching him perish over and over again in a spray of gore and crossfire. The moment I agreed, my brother slid back into his usual distant inertia.

"Good man," he said absently, going back to his desk.

Katie Forsythe, The Presbury Letters


These passages speak of the necessity of closing one’s heart, fortifying the doors against the onslaught of an unrelentingly brutal world, and the immense, hardly bearable anxiety and sorrow that would be engendered in the collision of that brutality with one’s own empathy. No human metaphor-heart can take in all the suffering of humanity, and continue to function.

Or can it?

What if Katie--my trusted pet favorite author, my guru of the ugly sides of love--is not entirely right on this count? What if this metaphor is faulty, or at least does not encompass all possibilities? That is the weakness of all metaphors, of course. Each one is only a lens, and not the thing itself. And the human brain, which is what we are really talking about here, is complex beyond our feeble attempts at description and measurement. So: what if the alternative to closing the door to empathy, and carrying on with trying to fix the mess, is also a viable possibility? What would that look like?

Using “we” to mean “I, and others with a seeming excess of compassion”: we could be in a waiting room where they have the tv news on, and not frantically try to divert our own attention.

What if a significant part of the horror of a horrific thought lies in our own panicked urge to look away, to not let it affect us?

What if we just sat with the reality that the world is brutal and merciless, that many many people are in unbearable pain at any given minute? And that we’re partly to blame? What if we just sat and let that be true? What if that didn’t have to mean us curling up in too much shame and rage and sorrow even to suicide ourselves out of this train wreck?

Would that lead to us taking less, and less effective, action to fix the world? Or more?

Consider: you can see the horrible thing in your mind’s eye, but you don’t have to be in the scene. You can just watch and be still. That’s all you can do in that moment, since it’s your mind’s eye; you’re not really there, able to throw your body in front of the cannon or whatever. And when the mind’s cinema screen flickers to darkness for the time being--perhaps, sometimes, even while it’s still running, if you can get the knack--you can plot ways to make it better.

It also strikes me that the rationally plotted, stiff-upper-lip approach is tied to toxic masculinity. What if I consult some female and/or non-Western heroes? How do they deal with their unbearable feelings? What does "Cassandra of ancient myth" have to say on the matter?

I do recall some tale of Theseus with lamenting women kneeling in the road before his procession, begging him to stop some deadly action. And, in the story, he did. Maybe the mere display of the full force of our distress, in front of the right persons, would be a force for good?

What can one do while in profound distress, other than displaying it? What action, in that moment, can be taken, that might be useful to the hemorrhaging world? Or must one wait until the moment passes, and act while in a calmer state?

Thoughts and fiction recs welcome.

Recs. Non-Recs and Nostalgia

Jul. 21st, 2017 01:20 pm
yourlibrarian: Impala on the road (SPN-OntheRoad-leeloo3)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) Late Goodbye by SecretlytoDream is a melancholy look at all the people the Winchesters have met and lost through their journey. But it has a hopeful ending.Read more... )

2) I know a number of people on my flist loved Sense8, so here's a celebratory vid to check out.

3) One of my favorite responses to the backlash surrounding the 13th Doctor Who.

4) A whistleblower is trying to get the Trump administration investigated for its reassignment of environmental staff at taxpayer expense to jobs they're unqualified for just to keep them from working on climate change matters. This includes addressing the disappearance of Alaskan villages into the sea.

5) We've been recording Battle of the Network Stars and while it's nothing I'd recommend to anyone, we've been finding it easy viewing during meals when Daily Show or Colbert aren't available. It has wisely, I think, chosen nostalgia as its calling card. Read more... )

Rec: The Turnaround podcast

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:59 am
semielliptical: road beside a field (travel)
[personal profile] semielliptical
 I’ve been listening to a new, limited-run podcast, The Turnaround, in which Jesse Thorn interviews well-known interviewers about interviewing. It’s not a topic I’ve given special attention to before, other than getting annoyed when I think someone is doing a bad job interviewing. But I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and NPR shows that include interviews, so I have really enjoyed this opportunity to think about how interviews contribute to news and stories and how they are produced and edited. While there are some themes that have come up in most interviews, such as the importance of listening, the guests also have some widely different approaches to other key parts of interviewing, such as how they prepare.
 
I haven’t heard all of the available programs yet, but I can recommend:
 
Audie Cornish, host of NPR’s All Things Considered, discussing interviewing in the context of daily news.  
 
Brooke Gladstone, of On The Media, (essential weekly listening, imo) on the more critical, in-depth interviewing style of this program.
 
And then, it's interesting to contrast those interviews with two people who usually do much more lengthy, free-form interviews:
 
Susan Orlean, who writes books and long-form magazine pieces, and speaks thoughtfully about how she enters different communities and approaches interviewing "regular" people.

Errol Morris, the documentary filmmaker. He described liking to get interviewees to talk for extended lengths of time, and that is also his approach to being interviewed - long-winded and rambling, but still interesting.

If it weren't for podcasts like this, I would probably do much less housework. Anyone have recommendations for good listening? 
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[personal profile] starandrea
1) sleeping in a hammock
2) watching kings of con
3) clif kid z bars
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[personal profile] starandrea
1) community wading pools
2) high spf long sleeve shirts
3) fresh fruit and almond butter biscuits

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