A Long Overdue Reading Wednesday

Jul. 30th, 2014 10:01 pm
yasaman: shelves and shelves of books,with text of bibliophile (bibliophile by obsessiveicons)
[personal profile] yasaman
Ahahaha, books what books? ;_____; I am so behind on my reading goal, let us not speak of it. Anyway, here's some stuff I've read in the past....four months.

Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher had a really fascinating premise with sadly not great execution. Psychologist Elizabeth Cole takes a job on a recently colonized world, where every colonist is bound to an alien who manifests in the form of a dead loved one. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, she soon realizes that she's not one of the colonists, she's her supervisor Dr. Murphy's ghost. Romance and plot happens, but alas, the romance is not believable at all. It went from "hey, I find you attractive" to "TRUE LOVE FOREVER," with frankly baffling and nonsensical speed. Plus, there's precious little sense of who Elizabeth and Murphy even really are. My inability to believe in or invest in the romance made the whole rest of the book flounder for me.

Mary Roach's Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex was an enjoyable pop science read about the science of sex. It was pretty hilarious, if sometimes a little too blithe for my tastes, and thanks to the nature of the available research, it's pretty focused on procreative, heterosexual sex. So just be aware this isn't, y'know, serious scholarship or anything. But it's readable and informative, and a fast read.

Julie James' Something About You was a forgettable contemporary romance about a US attorney and FBI agent. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't good either. I'd have done better to find a good het casefic to read, if such a thing was still prevalent in fandom.

Kate Griffin's A Madness of Angels, first in the Matthew Swift urban fantasy series, redeemed all those weeks of mediocre reading by being tremendously fun and a really great urban fantasy read. Protagonist Matthew Swift was a breath of fresh air compared to the other dark and angsty and brooding heroes so prevalent in other urban fantasy books. Matthew is just sort of sweet and open, and really winsome with it, while still being a competent sorcerer who's hellbent on finding out who killed him and who brought him back to life. Also, Griffin handles Matthew's unique situation (it's not just Matthew in his body) in a really great, unshowy way.

What really made the book for me though was its take on urban magic. It all just makes glorious, instinctive sense, and is a really brilliant way to root magic in the rhythms and rules of the city. Too often, fantasy series stick with the same old expected magical systems based on ~the land~ or the old magics or whatever. Griffin tosses most of that out the window, and instead the magic of the city gives us such amazing moments as Matthew building a magical ward with the Oyster card terms of service and spells built through graffiti and street art.

wednesday reading

Jul. 30th, 2014 09:27 pm
cofax7: Zoe Washburn: Dong Ma? (FF - Zoe Dong Ma -- Sabine101)
[personal profile] cofax7
Currently reading: The Golem & the Jinni, courtesy of the public library e-book lending program. I'm quite enjoying it: it's quite well-written, and the characters are interesting and the world of late-19th Century NYC is very well-drawn.

Finished: Finally finished The Long Ships, which was entertaining but not surprising. Also Shattered Pillars, and I'm eagerly awaiting the library's purchase of Steles of the Sky.

Oh, and I did want to note Deborah Coates' Wide Open, which was a really good paranormal mystery. The characters are well-done, and the sense of place--rural South Dakota--is distinct and vivid. I really liked it, and one of the things I liked was that the paranormal element was just weird and unsettling: it wasn't paint-by-numbers magic, and everything was not, in fact, explained by the end. I will happily read more by this writer.

Up next: Not sure. Maybe the newest St. Mary's novel, which just dropped onto my Kindle. The St. Mary's novels are a series of madcap time-travel stories by Jodi Taylor: sort of Connie Willis-light, with an entertainingly bullish redheaded historian as the narrator. They're far from brilliant, but they're pretty entertaining: the series so far has included Mary Queen of Scots and the Earl of Bothwell, dinosaurs, the burning of the library of Alexandria, and the Seige of Troy. If this is the sort of thing you like, you might like these.


In other news, I made these chili-cherry brownies tonight and they came out very tasty! NOM.

In other other news, I'm apparently on a rewatch of SG-1, as I watched two more episodes of Season 2 tonight. Including "Holiday", in which we learn that RDA was really crap at playing anyone other than O'Neill. Chris Judge, however, must have had a ball, being able to emote so much.

Happiness is --

Jul. 30th, 2014 11:25 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
-- realizing that your back is hurting horribly from having spent too much time in your desk chair this week, so picking up your laptop and moving to the hammock on your front porch.

(It's a balmy 72 degrees outside right now.)
wiscon_posts: (Default)
[personal profile] wiscon_posts posting in [community profile] wiscon
The WisCon concom has begun the voting process in its appeal of the subcommittee's decision on Jim Frenkel. In addition to reviewing the subcommittee's decision, the concom is also considering information that has been brought to its attention in the weeks since the July 18th announcement from the subcommittee.

Voting will close over the weekend. The concom's decision will be announced Monday afternoon (Seattle time).

(no subject)

Jul. 30th, 2014 04:48 pm
copperbadge: (butler did it)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Hello from Las Vegas!

Apparently I forgot to tell everyone I was going to Las Vegas. So! I'm going to Las Vegas.

Actually I have gone to Las Vegas. I am currently there. My hotel room could easily host a dinner party with orgy to follow, not that I'm planning on it. Although it is Vegas. You never know. (I have a balcony with a view of the Bellagio fountain, it's basically amazing. And kind of horrifying.

I'm here on a work-sponsored trip to a professional conference, which I think is really the way to do Vegas, because for all the talk of what a giant entertainment complex it is, unless you really love slots or drinking, it's not the place for you. So this way I go to the conference all day, and I have limited time at night so i don't feel bad if I don't get the full Vegas experience.

On the other hand there's a lot of anxiety tacked on to attending this conference; it's my first, plus it's being paid for by work, and while I know I don't HAVE TO PROVE MYSELF, I still have to prove myself. Feeling in over one's head is a frequent sensation when you're striving for high-achievement while suffering low self-esteem. The upshot is that I have to do well at this conference, be a credit to my team, and learn new things. I've given myself a pass on networking because I'm still so new, and as a team we're pretty well-networked, and it's not like I'm going to be looking for a job in the next two years at least (oh god I hope). But there's still a lot of pressure and anxiety wrapped up in this.

I just have to remember that it's basically grad school lite. You go to the sessions, you take notes, you eat, you rest. Everything else will fall into place.

Hindsight is d20

Jul. 30th, 2014 04:47 pm
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox

After spending hours and hours and hours photographing the board, editing PDF character sheets, and writing up power lists on [community profile] nentir_vale, I can conclusively state the following:

D&D 4e was not meant to be played online, unless you have a D&D Insider subscription and use the online tools. Especially the virtual tabletop, which doesn't exist.

Pathfinder's much easier to GM online, partly because combat does not last all day or require a game board, and partly because all the stuff that you need you can link to directly online.

D&D 5e looks like it'll be closer to Pathfinder, but its "Basic D&D" rules are a gods-damned PDF, and are far from comprehensive.

If we ever get up the energy to do another online RPG campaign, it will probably be Pathfinder.

How Are You? (in Haiku)

Jul. 30th, 2014 04:19 pm
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Pick a thing or two that sums up how you're doing today, this week, in general, and tell me about it in the 5-7-5 syllables of a haiku. I will leave anonymous comments screened unless otherwise asked; feel free to use this to leave private comments if that's what you're most comfortable with.


Signal-boosting much appreciated!

Claiming a bug on Github

Jul. 30th, 2014 04:41 pm
fu: Close-up of Fu, bringing a scoop of water to her mouth (Default)
[staff profile] fu posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
We discovered that you have to be a committer on a repository in order to claim a bug for yourself on Github. If you're not one, you have to ask someone to assign the bug to you.

This didn't really seem feasible, so we've fixed it. You can now claim an issue by leaving a comment with the words "claim", "claimed", or "claiming".

Case doesn't matter -- you can use capital letters if you want. You can also have other words be part of the comment, so you don't need to memorize a specific format. "I'm claiming this" will work just as well as "Claimed!".

Claiming will only work if the current issue is not yet claimed -- this will avoid the problem of accidentally grabbing the bug from someone else during a long discussion about claiming something else in a different context.

You *do* need to be part of the Dreamwidth contributors team on Github before assigning issues will work so we've gone and added everyone who's been active in the past year (if you got an email from Github welcoming you the Dreamwidth contributors team that's what that's about!). If you're a new contributor, you'll be automatically added when you give your CLA to [staff profile] denise.

For existing contributors, do double-check if you're on any of the Dreamwidth teams. If it shows you a list of teams you're on, you're good! If we missed you somehow and tells you that you're not on any teams, let us know and we'll add you ASAP.

Little manager

Jul. 30th, 2014 05:09 pm
puzzlement: (jelly)
[personal profile] puzzlement posting in [community profile] incrementum
Originally posted to incrementum.puzzling.org. Comments welcome in either place.

My mother has always said that one of the most interesting things about children when they first start school is that you can tell how they manipulate their parents. Do they cry when they want something? Do they bargain cannily? Do they wheedle? Do they throw epic tantrums? One of the things that V does (although he does throw epic tantrums too) is this very jolly, buddy-buddy managerial thing. He begins with a hearty “Well guys!” “So guys!” and states his idea in a very “let’s all be very jolly and upbeat about this” kind of way.

This is normally very amusing — “Well guys! I think we should all go downstairs together and watch TV! C’mon guys!” — but it’s been sad since Andrew got back from London on Monday, thus marking the end of six weeks during which we’ve all been together for only the middle two weeks. The things that he’s emphatically and heartily suggested to us over the last couple of days have been “family hugs!” and “Well guys, I think you should both stay here! Every morning!”

And there are other little tells. Late last week he became very interested in everything being preserved just as it was so that Daddy could see it. And when Andrew left very early this morning, he was most unimpressed, and Daddy’s movements for the day were intensely interesting.

Poor bubba. Luckily neither of us has another work trip on the horizon for a bit.

catching up on the smells

Jul. 30th, 2014 02:03 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
I'm so behind on wearing these to review/evaluate them -- I've mostly been smelling in the bottle as part of decanting and as part of my "order a screaming whackload of imp collections off eBay, pick through them for the ones you want to try, use the rest for decant circle frimps" orders. (Speaking of decant circle frimps: the Neil Gaiman circle is still taking signups, and thanks to the generosity of [personal profile] elisem, will also include prototypes sniffies.)

Behind the cut: reviews of Ginny the Reaper, The Floating Market, Ice, Enterprise of the Night, Yurei, Sin.

6 scents )

“Dragon” skull

Jul. 30th, 2014 08:02 am
puzzlement: (jelly)
[personal profile] puzzlement posting in [community profile] incrementum
Originally posted to incrementum.puzzling.org. Comments welcome in either place.

While I was in the States, V went and visited my parents, along with Julia and Barry. At the farm, he found a kangaroo skull, which he identified as a dragon skull. It lives in our back yard now:

"Dragon" skull

More recently, deciding it was a dinosaur skull, he started to explain to me how investigating its origin would work. “Now Mum, we need to think about this. What kind of a dinosaur has a long nose? A long nose and no spikes like a triceratops? What kind of dinosaur could this be?” He loves to list characteristics and define the boundaries of concepts, now.

On a similar note, here he is a couple of months ago:

Neat stack

That stack was created entirely spontaneously; no one suggested to him that it could be a neat rectangle, and no one coached him in choosing individual blocks for it. That level of organization is very new.


Jul. 29th, 2014 01:54 pm
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
Q: How was your vacation?

A: Ten days eight timezones away, with me and Mr. E plus both kids plus the in-laws, every single one of us getting sick, except me who was sick when I left, stayed sick the entire time because you can’t get better when you don’t get any sleep, and am still sick? Staying in a B&B so filthy there were actually insects in the bed, because there literally wasn't another free pair of rooms in town, so we came home to do a full bedbug decontamination on all our stuff instead of resting? That vacation?

Q: Yeah, that one.

A: Well, first let me say that I recognize that I am a very lucky woman. I’m in a position to take a vacation, which not everyone is. And I’m lucky that I have in-laws who are willing to pay their own way to come on vacation with us just to hang out with the grandkids, without which I honestly do not know what I would have done; because even with them, two days into it I would have cracked and tried to change our plane tickets to come back home right away, but I couldn’t because I was too sick to fly. And I’m lucky to have two kids who have such vibrant good basic health that even when they develop a 3-pack-a-day cough and pour snot out like giant ambulatory faucets, it doesn’t sap their energy or slow them down in any way. And hey! The baby is clever enough that at just over 10 months, he has worked out that he can avoid having his nose wiped, which he hates, by smearing his face all over our shirts the moment he feels snot on his face!

So all in all, vacation was absolutely better than childbirth, I would say. Though it did last longer. And I might even be willing to take another vacation again someday.

Not, like, soon, though.
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