neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
( May. 15th, 2015 06:10 pm)
So, my computer basically ground itself to death on Tuesday. I took it to the local MicroCenter, where I had originally bought it, to see if it could be repaired but the cost of repair estimates were high enough that it was basically the same price to buy a refurbished computer from stock and proceed from there.

I also bought an enclosure and pulled my old computer's hard drive, rather than pay the data transfer fee -- $20 vs $70.

Sadly, the best computer for my money was a Windows 8 machine, which has a terrible interface that is so frustrating that I wanted to smash the screen within 30 minutes of trying to navigate it. Fortunately, you can find freeware skins to emulate the Windows 7 layout, which I did immediately after installing Chrome and Firefox.

So I have a new computer and another couple of hundred dollars in debt, but I'm not trying to search job postings from my Kindle. So that's good.
Looney Labs is hosting an International Table Top Games Day from 1pm to 5pm tomorrow in Eastern Market.

It sounds like a fun outing. Anyone interested?
Pink lady apples, probiotic raspberry yogurt smoothie, cream, cubalaya eggs (peewee sized, so small batch baking!), pastrami from Urban Butcher (oh nom nom nom!), onion, a head of hydroponic lettuce that I immediately stuck in a pot of dirt, and a six-pot of johnny-jump-ups for [profile] hollimichelle's front flowerbed.
The Power of Chocolate is a special event at the National Museum of the American Indian this weekend... who wants to meet me tomorrow to attend? With or without a possible side trip to Cherry Blossom Festival. There's definitely going to be a trunk show of vintage Japanese garments at the Sackler, among other things...
So next Saturday is Pi Day -- 3/14/15 -- so I'd like to do something to celebrate.

Either I make some pies -- apple, sweet potato, chicken plum pot pie? -- and host a boardgame night, or go to a pizzeria - I was thinking District of Pi -- and have a dinner with friends.

What would you prefer?
It is predicted to get below zero tonight -- 0°F, which I believe is -18°C -- and the management office at my apartment distributed flyers reminding everyone to keep their thermostats set to 68°F at a minimum and turn the faucets on to a trickle tonight to keep the water pipes from freezing.

I'm contemplating sleeping in the living room tonight, because my bed is right up against an outside wall, and my heater has not been able to keep up -- it's been running almost constantly today and the temperature in my place is about 65°F.
neotoma: Elrond (cool blue ocean) (Elrond (cool blue ocean))
( Feb. 18th, 2015 01:53 pm)
So, just before lunchtime today, I got called into a meeting. When I saw that the HR director was there, I know instantly what was up. Ever since we lost one of our contracts I was expecting them to lay people off, and was looking for other positions inside the company, but no bites.

I've got 6 weeks of severance coming, as soon as I sign the paperwork. I'll start looking for a new job tomorrow, since I'm on the "don't come in, but we'll pay you like your working for the next two weeks" plan. I'll also have to sort out my medical insurance, which will be 'fun'.
I've created a page for Jo Walton's The Just City at TV tropes. Anyone who has read the book want to add to it?

If you haven't read The Just City yet, it's a pretty awesome book -- Athena with the help of 300 adults from across human history, tries to create The Just City from Plato's The Republic on Thera, before the explosion. It goes about as well as you might imagine, given 300 idealists from many different eras, whose only commonality is that they've read Plato in the original Greek and prayed to Athena to let them create the Just City.
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neotoma: Elrond (cool blue ocean) (Elrond (cool blue ocean))
( Feb. 11th, 2015 06:21 pm)
Someone threw half my mint pants, my primrose, all of my smaller strawberries, and my smaller shadbush into the trash and recycling bins today. I managed to rescue a bunch of them, but I'm pretty pissed off.

I'm really afraid it was the groundskeeping staff at my apartment, who have been around pruning (badly) and I generally haven't trusted since they planted rows of boxwoods all over.

So now I have to decide whether it is worth complaining to the housing office, or whether they'll say it's my fault for leaving my outside plants outside over winter.
Cameo and Jonathon apples -- the Cameos are huge, for cobbler, and the Jonathons are small, for lunch -- onion, turnips, an espresso chocolate cookie, and a 4.5lb stewing chicken, with its feet still on, that will be made into stock overnight and then into chicken and dumplings.

Also picked up seed at the hardware store: bluebonnet, bambini viola, foxglove, snap pea, fava bean, radicchio, artichoke, and cardoon. If I plant the artichokes this weekend, I can vernalize them next month and get a harvest this year. Also found out that Baker Creek has Truly Tiny Bananas among its live plant offerings, and am really tempted to get a pair, as they'd be extremely fun to grow, not to mention tasty.
[personal profile] greenygal just informed me that the Lego Research Insitute set is back!

This is the set with three female scientist minifigs -- the chemist has a small laboratory with beakers and syringes, the astronomer has a star chart and telescope, and the paleontologist has a magnifying glass, microscope, and dinosaur skeleton! It's been sold out and unavailable for months! I've just ordered a set for myself and another for my nephews!
[personal profile] greenygal and I went to see The Wizard of Oz on Saturday, as it was playing at the local arthouse cinema. It was a lot of fun to see it on the big screen -- there's a lot of detail that only shows up well that way. I did come up with the alternate characterization that Glinda is manipulating Dorothy into knocking out rival witches -- it's the only explanation that makes sense to me for why she didn't tell Dorothy how to get home at the beginning, and why she magicked the ruby slippers onto Dorothy's feet too. I was also struck by just how many geeky references come from Oz directly.

After the movie and lunch out, we went back to my place and watched Over the Garden Wall. If you haven't seen it, it was a miniseries that the Cartoon Network ran the first week of November, and it's gorgeous. Also, cute, surreal, and deeply eerie.

It starts off with two brothers, one a teenager, one a younger boy, lost in the woods and trying to get home, and unfolds from there. It takes about 40 minutes for the plot to get rolling beyond 'surreal and cute', but then it's amazing![personal profile] greenygal as a little upset that I'd only told her it was cute, but I didn't want to spoil the story. Among other things, the original music is fantastic, and they got opera singer Samuel Ramey do to the voice of the villain. Elijah Wood plays the older brother, with Christopher Lloyd, John Cleese, Tim Curry, Shirley Jones, Chris Isaak, among other voices you might recognize. It's available on Amazon and iTunes for about $10, at least in the USA.

I did have one theory about the show which I haven't seen anyone else come up with I think that spoiler ) Of course, that's just speculation.
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
( Oct. 26th, 2014 10:33 am)
I've decided that I'm not going to participate in Yuletide this year, despite nominating fandoms, because I simply don't have the energy to be sure I'd be ble write even a thousand words. Which is really not happy making.
I had plans for today! I was going to go to the farmer's market, then to the Noir City film festival for one movie, and then home to plant one section of fall crops in my garden bed.

But I ran out of spoons at 11 after making myself pancakes. bleagh. I'm going to nap and/or read and see if that helps any. Hopefully I can at least make some lunch for tomorrow so that I don't have to eat canned soup...
a comment from someone calling themself 'Sean Bahr' on NBC Says Title Character Of 'Constantine' Is Straight. Fans Disagree

but this isn't about a show that represents the entire worlds population as a whole. this is about a story, a very particular story.

why not make gandalf a woman? why not make lukeskywalker handicapped? we cannot keep altering artists vision to suit what we think is the new social norm that must be championed. an artists vision is an artist vision. this tv show is someone vision and their idea for where the narrative needs to go. don't like it? make your own show. but please man, let creative people be creative.


... did this person miss the fact that Luke Skywalker experienced a traumatic amputation at the end of The Empire Strikes Back? The fact that he has a prosthetic hand is kind of important in The Return of the Jedi as it links him to Darth Vader as mirrors of each other.

Because seriously, my reaction to reading this was "Luke Skywalker is disabled, you idiot! Darth Vader cut off his hand! ON SCREEN!"
neotoma: Roadrunner fetish goes "beep beep!' (roadrunner)
( Aug. 22nd, 2014 06:01 am)
This weekend is the Battle of Bladensburg 1812 Undaunted Weekend -- as there are free shuttles from U of Maryland and Landover Metro I think I can make it. Anyone else interested?

Saturday August 30th is the National Book Festival -- this year there is a graphic novel super-session from 6pm to 9:45pm, but SF&F seems to have been shorted entirely. I'll still go.

I'm probably going to have a Labor Day get-together. I usually make an entree and have everyone else bring sides as a potluck.

Small Press Expo is in 3 weeks! Weee!
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
( Jul. 22nd, 2014 07:20 am)
I had my surgery yesterday (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] fabrisse for sitting with me beforehand), and stayed the night at [personal profile] meri_oddities because even with outpatient surgery, one really shouldn't be alone the first 24 hrs afterwards.

Medical details, possibly tmi )By about 2 am I could lay flat, and this morning I managed to take a shower and dress myself. I'm going to be very cautious about lifting anything with my right arm for the next few days, but hopefully it won't be a problem by the end of the week.

And maybe I'll actually be hungry soon, since I've eaten two pudding cups and two cups of yogurt, but the attempt at soup and soft bread I had to give up on after only a few spoonfuls. Ginger ale seems to help, or at least has calories -- I can get a 32 oz glass of water down, but it takes a couple of hours... and a straw, since my neck is still stiff.

Anyway, I seem to be on the mend, and hope to be up to light socializing soon.
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
( Jul. 20th, 2014 10:22 am)
I'm going to be recovering from surgery for the next two weeks, and I'd like recommendations for reading material to occupy my time while I'm doing it.

I like long plotty stories where if there is a romance, the successful resolution isn't the end of the story -- if there's an AU and it's dystopian, the world is still awful even if two characters are having sex, and the plot should still go on. I also like well done trope-inversion stories.

I've mainly been reading in Pacific Rim these days, but I also like Doctor Who, Torchwood, Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Comics (The Flash, mostly), Supernatural (season 1-5, mostly), Vorkosigan, and several other fandoms, which you can see at my pinboard.

I'd also like recs for SF&F stories, and non-fiction books on history, anthropology, and any interesting topics you can think of for the layperson. I might not buy more than 1 or 2 of them, but the public library isn't too far for me to get to.
At Con.txt, I moderated the Asexuality Roundtable panel (which had 10 to 20 people attending, much better than I expected for the last panel on the last day, especially when scheduled against the hockeyfic panel), and promised a resource post.

Here it is:
Asexuality - general information )

How To Be an Asexual Ally )

Asexuality in Fandom )

Writing Acefics )

Reading Acefics )

I'd really appreciate more links for demisexuality and grey-asexuality, either informative or fic recs.
Pan-Pacific Voices: 10 years, 5 interviews

Summary: 10 years, 5 interviews -- A selection from the Pan Pacific Voices Intiative of Storycorps, archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. aka Neotoma writes the surviving characters interviewing each other a la StoryCorps.

Written for the 2014 Pacific Rim Mini-Bang on Tumlbr. Art by Karmabees - so pretty! so cute!
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