Max Max: Fury Road

May. 27th, 2015 11:21 pm
kerravonsen: Young James Kirk leaping from a car (freedom)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
(Just as I had nearly finished writing up this entry... the neighbourhood lost power. So I ended up sitting in the light of one candle, doing luceting. Fortunately the power came back in less than an hour. And fortunately I had been writing to a file rather than straight to journal, so I didn't end up losing anything.)

I saw "Mad Max: Fury Road" today. It was good. It had what I expected of a Mad Max film: dusty desert, dust, desert, grit, dirty faces, oddball characters, leather armour, bristling armoured trucks, truck chases, explosions, exploding trucks, guns, guns, guns, flamethrowers, crossbows, knives, hair-raising stunts, chasing chasing chasing, forlorn hopes, sad deaths, hairs-breadth escapes, nail-biting action, betrayals, and heart-stopping twists.
It had that, and it went beyond it.
spoilers will die in blood and fire )

Bridal Terrors

May. 27th, 2015 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by The CW Team

A lot of brides like to give their bakers a photo of their dream wedding cake, in the hopes that they might, in fact, get a cake that looks at least vaguely similar.

However, as you long-time readers know, this can be a lot like asking Francois the painting ferret** to whip you up a quick Mona Lisa. Some of the colors might be right, but in the end it's probably gonna be covered in fur and little poo nuggets. (The painting, that is, not the cake.) (We hope.)

For example:

Amanda C. asked for this, only in white and with a C:

 

And, in the baker's defense...

...that is most definitely a C.

 

Jei gave this picture to the head "chef" at a "luxury" beach "resort":

 

And she got...this:

I can't decide which is classier: the oozing cake or those water bottles.

Do you think the bride had to spring for those? [chortle]

 

Candice F. wanted this mushroom cake:

 

And her baker's interpretation?

Aw, those bakers: such fun guys.

 

Joanne and Elena wanted this stunner for their wedding:

 

And, to be fair, what they got did leave them stunned:

I would ask what happened to the flowers, but those squiggles have left me speechless.

 

And finally, Christie D. wanted her cake to look just like this, only with silver ribbon:

Pretty simple, right?

 

Well, here's an interesting factoid: did you know that "silver ribbon" can be translated as "duct tape"* in some bakeries? It's true. Here's proof:

That's "35 years of experience" right there.

So I'd hate to see what only two decades' worth would look like.

 

Thanks to brides Amanda C., Jei, Candice F., Joanne & Elena C., and Christie D. for making me feel better about my $80 Publix wedding cake.

*Note: Not actual duct tape. Duct tape is prettier.

 

**Loyal Wrecky Henchperson Shannon S. sent in this helpful illustration:

Quick! Somebody give me a clever ferret pun!
(I love my job)

 

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

The Big Idea: Alma Alexander

May. 27th, 2015 10:53 am
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

An idea can seem silly, wacky or frivilous — which can be great — but there’s always a chance it can bloom into something else… bigger. In Wolf, this was Alma Alexander’s experience. She’s here to tell you how.

ALMA ALEXANDER:

When the original call came for an anthology featuring “unusual” stories about Were-kind, one that specifically specified that writers should try and be a smidge more original than wolves howling at the full moon, I had a brainwave which I think might be the closest thing to an actual Original Idea™ that I’ve encountered in a long time – the concept of a Random Were, a creature which doesn’t have a “fixed” form as such but can Turn into the last warm-blooded creature observed before the metamorphosis begins. ANY warm-blooded creature. The potential for merry mayhem was obvious and hilarious, and that was the way the story originally went – it was funny. (One of the characters – via an unfortunate farmyard accident – was thus transformed into a Were-chicken…)

The deeper I got into what was supposed to be a short story, the more I realized that I was trying to stuff a triple-layer chocolate cake into a cupcake baking mold. Not only did this thing not want to be a “short” anything, it wanted to be far bigger than I realized. It wanted to be a novel. And then it decided it wanted to be three novels. (Not a trilogy, mind you. A sort of triptych, where a central story arc was seen through three different points of view (with ramifications specific to the POV character). An ambitious and intense structure on which to hang what had very quickly outgrown the original amusing little concept.)  This story was bigger and darker than I could have imagined from its humble beginnings. And its gifts, in the end, were many – not least the three POV characters, one better than the other, some of the best people to grace any of my stories ever.

But the Random Were – big as that idea was –proved to be just the beginning. The bigger idea by far was the creation of the world in which all this happened. A world very much like ours but with the addition of an under-class of Were creatures who live amongst us constrained by  rules and laws imposed on them by a fearful majority which does not Turn. The Were live and work and go to school among us… but they are obliged by law to be locked away during their three days of Turn, and if they cannot oblige adequately by themselves then they are forced to report to places known as Turning Houses where they can be kept sequestered and away from the public eye (out of sight out of mind) for the duration. The Turning Houses are terrible places. And underneath even that evil lurks something deeper and greater still.

Most importantly… the Were aren’t just beleaguered by the mundanes of their world. They are slaves to their own biology and physiology… and there are those within the Were kindred itself who have agendas of their own and are pursuing them in secret and ruthless ways. And to get here, I had to do something that I had not done before now.

I had to go back to my educational roots.

I hold a MSc in Molecular Biology, but that has long been left behind, receding in the rear view mirror as I move forward in life. I worked in a research lab, briefly, but I bailed before I pursued a PhD and then went sideways into first scientific and then general editorial work, and then into writing my own books. My chosen genre had never really approached that original layer of science education… until now, until the novel called “Wolf”, until I was suddenly faced with the surprisingly enthralling opportunity to do something that I don’t think I’ve ever really seen done before: figure out the genetic basis of the Were (including the curve I had just thrown myself, the concept of the Random Were, which changed all sorts of fundamental ideas). On a molecular DNA level, I was going to work out exactly what kind of creature they were, and why, and how they were different to the rest of us.

And I loved it. And I loved the idea that I had wrapped empirical science (the basic building blocks of an entire species)  into social science (creating a society where all of this functioned, warts and all) into a layer of fantasy that makes it all so much larger than life and easy to sink into.

With this kind of depth, with a complex and tightly woven structure of a kind I have never attempted before, with the kind of characters who stepped up to carry the story… the Were Chronicles (“Random”, “Wolf”, and the forthcoming “Shifter”) may be the best thing I’ve ever written. And on so many levels, quite possibly the most important. The Big Idea here surprised even me; I often tell people that I am an instinctive writer who plants a story seed into fertile ground and then waits to see what kind of thing pops up, a daffodil or an oak tree. With these particular books, what grew was a redwood. And I am left – grateful, and not a little astonished – sitting in its shadow.

—-

Wolf: Amazon|Barnes & Noble

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s site. Follow her on Twitter.


New Fic

May. 27th, 2015 12:03 pm
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
Trapped in the quiet coach on a Virgin train to London without Wifi I put the finishing touches to

Episode Two: Beruna

Fandoms: Cabin Pressure, Chronicles of Narnia
General Audiences
Author chooses not to warn.

MJN Air fall into Narnia.


For [personal profile] kalypso and [personal profile] clanwilliam

#94

May. 27th, 2015 12:06 pm
goodbyebird: Avengers: Faded image of Natasha. (Avengers redrum redroom)
[personal profile] goodbyebird in [community profile] spankulert
01-17 mad max: fury road
18-20 batman returns
21-24 person of interest
25-27 gone girl
28-28 transparent
29-32 agent carter
33-36 selfie
37-48 the 100




We are not things. )

Gym is a verb, occasionally

May. 27th, 2015 01:09 am
echan: Kaworu Nagisa from Evangelion (Default)
[personal profile] echan
I've been going to the gym lately. I've had a membership to a YMCA nearby but have had poor luck going consistently in the past. At least the Y is charity-like, so all those months I paid for nothing I can tell myself it was a donation.

I try to go every day -- wake up, roll out of bed and into clothes and off to the gym before everything but xanax. It was much harder trying to go on a schedule; it made every day require too much thought, decisions, anxiety. Now, I don't make it every day, but I try to.

I have no gym goals. I tend to see far off into the future, goal-wise. Occasionally that long view is motivating. The rest of the time the distance feels impossible, the small actions today an insignificant amount of progress, and the whole thing becomes a depressing failure.

A scorecard for my gym excursions would look something like this:
  • wake up at reasonable / earlyish hour
  • leave apartment w/ gym bag
  • arrive at gym
  • change into gym clothes in locker room
    • increased difficulty rating for someone else in same isle, or group of people talking nearby
  • rowing machine
    • increased difficulty for someone using the other machine (there's only two in the whole gym)
    • double increased difficulty if both machines are being used, because wtf am I supposed to do with myself while basically loitering
  • free weights (in the less intimidating of the two weight rooms; eventually I'll probably need to 'upgrade' to the other one)
    • increased difficulty if there's anyone else in that part of the room
    • increased difficulty for trying anything new
    • super increased difficulty if anyone is doing things close to what I'm planning on doing (currently this has always resulted in me NOPE'ing right out of there)
  • shower & change into street clothes in locker room
  • leave gym (basically a freebie for getting this far)

A goodbye (of sorts)

May. 27th, 2015 08:50 am
nymeth: (Default)
[personal profile] nymeth in [community profile] ladybusiness
I could start by saying this will be my last post here at Lady Business, but I hope that would soon prove a lie.

It’s been nearly five years now since Renay, Jodie and I first started talking about starting a blog together, and during that time my life has changed considerably. Five years ago I was getting ready to start my MA in Library and Information Management; although that was a busy period for me, I was much better able to manage my workload and still write regularly than I am now that I have a rewarding but often exhausting full-time library job. Add to that my perpetual confidence issues when it comes to writing for a more polished and professional venue and the result was a level of contribution far below what I hoped for when Lady Business was first launched. In its turn, this led to a permanent state of angst and guilt over not being able to be more involved, which brings us to where we are today. I’ve been on hiatus since the start of the year to make sure that whatever decision I came to in the end would be the right one for my life, and I’m now as certain as I think I’ll ever be.

I’m sad to announce that I’m stepping away from my formal role in Lady Business. Read more... )

Meme: Ten Fics That Stayed With You

May. 27th, 2015 09:44 am
selenak: (Borgias by Andrivete)
[personal profile] selenak
From [personal profile] intrigueing and [personal profile] muccamukk:

In a new post, list ten fic that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” works, or even all the same pairing or fandom, just the fics that have touched you or that stuck with you somehow.

I'm sure I could come up with ten more, but these are the ones that came immediately to mind (and which I could find again online!):

1.) From Me To Q by Julia Houston (Star Trek: The Next Generation). Star Trek in its first three incarnations is one of my oldest fandoms, and the time when TNG and then DS9 were broadcast was when I started to get aquainted with fanfiction, first via fanzines and then via the earliest online archives. Finding this particular story was like striking gold. It's TNG; it's plotty, like a well written episode complete with ethical dilemmas; it's Picard/Q (which was what I was looking for when finding the story) but uses the entire TNG ensemble well; it takes the most reviled of fanfic clichés, the Mary Sue, and gives it a highly original twist. (Well, back then it was original, for all I know, it's been often imitated since.) Also, the dialogue sparkles. In short, I fell in love, so much so that I gave Voyager, which I had almost given up upon, another shot, simply because Julia Houston back then was also writing Voyager reviews and I adored her writing that much.


2.) Last Set Before Closing, by Kat Allison. (Highlander: The Series). HL was another early online fandom of mine, and this story left me shaken and breathless the first time I read it. On the surface, not much happens in this tale, which is set several years after the series ended; Joe Dawson is very old, not far from death, and his mind has started to wander; Duncan visits. Behind that simple description hides one of the best and most gutwrenching stories I've read in any fandom, which at once gives us the relationship between Joe and Duncan, and how both of them relate to Methos, about friendship, about mortals and immortals, and at the same time manages to say something very personal to anyone who has an older relative. (Until then, I don't think I had ever read fanfiction tackling a rl subject such as aging, its physical and mental decline, so unflinchingly, and with a beloved character, no less.) Another reason why I love it is this: at the time when it was first posted, its take on Methos was pretty much unique and went directly against how most fans then wrote him. (Probably still does.) And yet I find it entirely plausible.


3.) Changed Utterly by Parda (Highlander: The Series). Another HL story. Parda was a writer I interacted with a lot during my HL days, both as a reader and as a writer. This story is still my favourite of hers, and at the time it was first posted struck me as one of the best meditations onf grief and surviving I had read i nthe fandom. It's set about a year after the show ends, wherein Duncan is still dealing with Richie’s fate, when he sees Cassandra again. Not present in body but very much in thought are Methos, Connor and Richie. What to do when you’ve both done and experienced the unforgivable is a question with a dozen answers and none, and all the characters here are dealing with it. Poetic and profound.


4.) Father's Heart by Fernwithy ( Star Wars). Still my favourite Star Wars story, many years later (this was written shortly after The Phantom Menace was released). Set between trilogies, it pulls off something a lot of people tried since, and does so in a credible way: Vader and the child and later teenager Leia forming a tentative friendship, which falls apart with a vengeance as she grows older and experiences the Empire at its worst. In addition to a terrific take on Leia and Vader, Bail Organa and his wife (who in this version is one of the former handmaidens, Sabé) as well as some original characters are compellingly written. ( Not to mention it caters to two of my narrative soft spots: non-romantic intense relationship, relationship that breaks up because of politics and ethics (and rightly so). ) I was only ever at the periphery of SW fandom, not least because I happen to like the prequels, but this story made me search for and read a lot of SW fanfiction for a while. It was years before I found its match.


5.) Freefall by Penknife (X-Men movieverse). This is an X2 AU, ensemble story, Scott pov, and one of the earliest [personal profile] penknife stories I read. X2 had just been released. As after X1, I hunted for stories that weren't Wolverine/Rogue. Hard to imagine for current day fans, but back then it was actually difficult to find Magneto/Xavier stories, or stories that featured Mystique in a prominent role, or stories that featured Scott at all. Bingo, thought I, when I found this one, and little did I know I had also found a favourite writer in many fandoms more. Oh, and I think this was the first AU I really liked (the twist is that Scott realises a bit sooner what's going on during the prison visit at the start of the movie, with the result that he and Xavier end up as fugitives together with Magneto and Mystique; it's Jean who gets captured instead). Until then, I had avoided AUs. After reading it, I gave them a shot.

6.) Ten Thousand Candles by Andraste. This is another early story by a future favourite writer; Charles Xavier post X2, trying to cope with all that happened (read: spoiler for big X2 twist )). Back then, Charles Xavier centric stories were incredibly rare; stories in which he wasn't either the wise mentor type or trying to win Erik back were even rarer. What he experiences in X2 is pretty horrifying, and I loved finding a story which addressed that. Of course, Andraste turned out to be the biggest Xavier expert in the planet, but I didn't know that then. :)


7.) Bed of Bones by Roz Kaveney (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): I had spotted Roz on a couple of Buffy discussion mailing lists (remember those?), but this was the first BTVS or fanfiction in any fandom tale of hers that I had read, and it was sharp, poetic, and made the First Slayer(about whom at this point we only knew what Restless had mentioned) into a fascinating character. I was wowed. It also raised my standard of expectation re: fanfiction creating mythology in present day or futuristic fandoms to no end.

8.) Queen of Spades by Astolat (James Bond: Casino Royale): Ah, ye golden days when the Craig Casino Royale had been released and for the first time in my life I actually went and looked for Bond fanfiction, because Dench!M and Craig!Bond dynamic in that movie had gripped me in and fascinated me. (I had also loved Eva Green as Vesper and her relationship with Bond, but not in a way that made me look for fanfic.) And again, I hit gold. I think this probably was the first Bond/M story online. It set a most pleasing trend - for the next few years, you could rely on Yuletide including some great and sharp Bond and M fanfiction. (And then came Skyfall which brought the avalanche of Bond/Q and the Bond movies were no longer qualified for Yuletide, but that's another story.) Now, most combinations that have one character in a position of power over the other character are hard to sell to me as pairings, but there are exceptions, and Queen of Spades made me realize Dench!M and Craig!Bond were such an exception for me, because wow. (It also made me realise that I had a new story or rather old story archetype, not necessarily always as pairings, I love the gen variations, too, but: Morally ambiguous queens and their morally ambiguous battered knights, bring them on! Though only if the Queen is the older of the two. Read: Dany/Jorah does nothing fo rme.)


9: Working Order by Eatscissors (Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles). John/Cameron is a pairing that intrigues me but which I find more interesting on the actual show than in most of fanfiction, because, imo as often, fanfic tends to simplify and dispense with much that makes this particular relationship so layered, starting with the fact that Cameron is a machine, no matter what she looks like.Some spoilery ramblings about John and Cameron on the show ensue. ) Working Order, by contrast, addresses this and the other issues between them head-on while also being one of those stories where the explicit sex is part of the character exploration instead of reading as just being there for its own sake. For a reader like me who often finds sex scenes (both slash and het) reading like involuntarily funny gymnastic mannuals, with the participants interchangable to other fandoms and thus not very interesting, this was an eye opener. Really well written.

10.) Petrarchan Sonnets from the Vatican by Petra (The Borgias): I was and am grateful for all the stories I got in exchanges, and often loved them to bits, but this one will always remain special. Its just that awesome. It's a story in the guise of a fake article about the discovery of sonnets between L.B. (now who could that possibly be in Borgias fandom?) and person unknown, female and apparantly her tutor. Complete with the sonnets. And the commentary. Absolutely delightful, needless to say, poetic (my Yulewriter's ability to compose Petrarchan Sonnets with clever allusions to events from the show's first season still stuns me), and full of subtlety, and the wit and love for language that the characters in question display on the show as well (and did in history). (And now I'm grieved again that the Lucrezia and Guilia relationship post s1 fell by the wayside on the show, but never mind me.) If I could ensure that just one bit of Borgias fanfiction survives, this would be it.
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Tone policing is when someone says "you would have a good point, if only you would sound less angry and more reasonable when you say it". It is generally used as a tactic to shut up people who are talking about how they are being oppressed or exploited by various systems, by those who support and benefit from those systems. Sometimes those who are (or claim to be) on the side of those who are oppressed and exploited by a system will use tone policing because they genuinely think that if only everyone was nice then the oppressors would listen.

Such is the case with Iain Roberts' recent article about "demonising the rich" on Lib Dem Voice. I've met Iain, several times, & he's a genuinely nice, well-meaning, conscientious Councillor. And yet in that article, and more so in the comments to it, he comes across as a smug, self-satisfied, arrogant, patronising arsehole. I am dead set certain that he isn't any of those things, and also that this is not the tone he was going for when he complains about the tone of people on the left, but it's an inherent problem when you tone police people who already feel like you are not on their side.

His article has a germ of a point: in order to stem the rising tide of inequality "the rich", however you define them, need to be brought onside. Where I differ from Iain is that I don't think if we all just ask nicely it'll magically happen. History shows that asking nicely is all well and good, but a big legislative stick is the only thing that actually works.

So to those who say "you may have a point, but you'd be more persuasive if you were less angry" I say this:

You may have a point, but you'd be more persuasive if you sounded less like an apologist for oppression.

How about maybe we ALL think about our tone when speaking? I'll try to be less angry and sweary if you stop using a tone that's guaranteed to MAKE me angry and sweary?

Daily Happiness

May. 26th, 2015 11:25 pm
torachan: arale from dr slump dressed in a penguin suit and smiling (arale penguin)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I got a lot done at work today.

2. I may have to work overtime a bit tomorrow to get everything done that I need to get done, but I don't think I'll have to go in on Thursday.

3. I got some translating done this evening and even posted some manga!

Scanlations: Himegoto ch. 39-40

May. 26th, 2015 08:00 pm
torachan: yoshiki from himegoto (himegoto)
[personal profile] torachan


Title: Himegoto
Original Title: ヒメゴト~十九歳の制服~ (Himegoto~Juukyuu Sai no Seifuku~)
Author: Minenami Ryou
Publisher: Big Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 8 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Audrey + Krim
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: This is the story of three college freshmen with secrets: Yuki, aka Yoshiki, a boyish girl who gets off on wearing her old high school uniform skirt; Mikako, who acts innocent around her classmates, but at night pretends to be a 15-year-old and has sex for money; and finally there's Kaito, who's obsessed with Mikako to the point of dressing up like her.

Chapter Summary: Mikako invites Yoshiki over to visit, but first she has to get rid of Sho!



Chapter 39: Temptation
Chapter 40: Falter

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