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, [ 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!
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
( Jun. 12th, 2014 08:06 pm)
Con.txt starts tomorrow -- well, there's a little pre-game get-together tonight -- and I plan to be there bright eyed and bushy-tailed (figuratively. I am not dressing as Squirrel Girl).

Of course, I haven't actually picked out my outfit for Disco Duck, or even tried to come up for something for the Con.Txt/Txt.noC mirror universe theme. The only thing I can think of doing is going in office drag, and I don't really have the shoes for that...

Also, I'm going to be moderating the Asexuality Round Table at 2pm on Sunday, so if you're there and interested, do stop by. I suspect there will be a lot of talk about Sherlock, since it's one of the largest fandoms to have ace!fics.
Anyone have suggestions for what to take for cramps that doesn't invovle NSAIDS?

For reasons, I can't take painkillers like aspirin or alleve this week, or anything that might have the side effect of thinning the blood. I've already eaten a bar of dark chocolate, which often helps, but right now I've got the restlessness and persistent backache that are my normal symptoms during menstrual onset, but I'd rather avoid this 'climbing the walls' feeling if at all possible.
It's been two days. LeVar Burton's Reading Rainbow Kickstarter has blown past it's $1,000,000 dollar goal and is at $2.1 million pledge as of this moment.

Sometimes the world is a wonderful place.
Someone (Games by Play Date) has turned coming up with fan fiction pairings into a card game! I found out about this Thursday, when [personal profile] greenygal and I went to Board Game Night at Labyrinth. We played the early American history version of Chrononauts, Pandemic on the extra-easy level, and a couple of rounds of Anomia. As we were walking out the door, I saw a gamebox on another table entitled Slash: Romance Without Boundaries.

It's a card game where you have several cards with different pop-cultural characters and brief descriptions written on them -- well known ones are worth 1 point, not so well known 2 points, and obscure are 3 points. Players take turns being the Matchmaker, who puts one of their character cards down on the table, and the other players have to put down a character card with the idea of the two characters making a great romance. The Matchmaker decides whose pairing suggestion is the best, and awards that player both cards and the points on each for their victory pile. Players can dispute the decision, but then have to come up with a narrative that explains why their pairing was a better choice, which is then voted on by the table. The game ends when one of the players reaches 20 pts.

This sounds like a hilarious game to play with a bunch of fangirls. There is a print and play option where you download and print a .pdf, but I just might buy the regular version and bring it to Con.txt. It seems like it would be a hit, and might be a great icebreaker or midnight room party game.
Who wants to meet up to see Xmen: Days of Future Past this weekend? I think a Saturday showing down in the city would work for most people -- Gallery Place or even out in Virginia somewhere?
neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
( May. 3rd, 2014 08:57 pm)
I got picked up by [ profile] karmabees, who was interested in my StoryCorps-based summary. I still have to work on Raleigh's monologue, and the back and forth between Herc Hansen and Mako Mori (seriously, I'm having trouble figurng out what Hansen does after the end of the movie but retire and commit suicide, and I don't want that to be his arc in this story), but I think the structure of it is pretty good. I also have to keep some of the chattier characters from monopolizing the narrative, but at least I've got some one talking to me.
So, I'm making progress on my PR mini-bang with [personal profile] fabrisse's help. I'm going with the StoryCorps idea, which might be weirdly American given that the characters are from many countries, but I think I can make it work.

If anyone with more knowledge then me wants to pick over the character bits for the characters who are Australian, Japanese, or German, that'd be a great help. Right now I'm kindof stuck on Raleigh Beckett, since he's really not the kind of character I usually write, even though he's totally wonderful in the movie -- seriously, he subverts so many action-hero tropes and I love him for it. I think I might have to change who he being interviewed by to his sister who is from the novelization (which I bounced off hard because omg, dudebro POV!).
The USA Science and Engineering Festival is this weekend and it sounds like it might be a lot of fun and it is free to the public, which is always nice.

Next weekend (May 2nd-4th), the AFI is showing the original Godzilla, with restored footage. This week it's the Olivier's Hamlet, Henry V, and Richard III adaptations, and My Neighbor Totoro in the Studio Ghibli Encore.

Next weekend is also Free Comic Book on the 3rd, and the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and the Old Takoma Art Hop both days. I'm hoping to go to MSWF and at pick up a pair of horehound plants, as I saw some last year and I've had no luck growing them from seed.
neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
( Apr. 20th, 2014 09:08 pm)
[personal profile] greenygal and I went to AwesomeCon yesterday -- arrived about 1:40, stood in line for a few minutes (but they moved fast, the lines were well-organized) and then hit the exhibit hall.

We first found Carla Light McNeil -- she's been doing the art on a series of My Light Pony: Friendship is Magic books, which looked adorable, and also cover art for Smut Peddler, which is just as gorgeous as I'd expect from her.

I bougth all five prints and the Loki bonus story from Sarah Schanze who does Thistil Mistil Kistil. The prints I need to have matted and framed, since they are all of a piece being character portraits from the webcomic -- I love her Loki design with his owl feather cloak and ridiculous grins.

I also picked up the first volume of Alex Heberling's The Hues, which is post-apocalyptic magic girls and is wonderful for the diversity of cast -- personalities, skin colors, body types, and awesome powers.

We also found a woman who is behind reviving Nelvana of the Northern Lights -- she's gotten reprint rights, tracked down copies of the original art, and was selling first issue reprints and Nelvana portraits. She said that [personal profile] greenygal and I were among the first people who knew who was Nelvana right off the bat. I got a lovely print of Nelvana by Sanya Anwar, who I'm definitely going to keep my eye out for because her stuff looks gorgeous. Also she's having a bit of a trunk show at Fantom Comics tomorrow 5-6pm if you're interested in Nelvana and didn't make it to the con.

I also picked up a sketch card of teddy-bearifed Booster Gold and Blue Beetle from Nick Davis of The Teddy Bear Tales.

We stopped by Interobang! Studios, where [personal profile] greenygal picked up a set of sketch-cards portraying her favorite superheroines as roller girls and I got a small print of a chibi-Carl Sagan with pie. I almost picked up their Disney Queens image for a friend (aka "No one does drag like Gaston!") but you really have to be sure your friend is that big a fan of Disney princesses, and I wasn't quite...

At Alex's Misfit Toys, I picked up a Totoro necklace - mine is glossy but otherwise very similar. She had an enormous collection of cute and affordable stuff -- there were some Cthulu earrings that were just charming.

I wound up talking to artist of Pirate Eye about Charles C Mann's 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created for a bit -- if you're a fan of the comic and there winds up being a storyline with a Japanese swordsman patrolling the Mexican silver roads for the King of Spain anytime in the next year or two, that's totally my fault.

I also picked up a firebird print from Rebecca Solow -- she had an art ashcan as a teaser for a book of Russian fairy tales she's been working on. Just from looking at her black and whites, it's going to be gorgeous.

At the very end of the day, I comissioned a piece from Rachel Blier -- because I was expecting to see some Pacific Rim posters, found none, and she'd been just as fannish as me about the movie when I asked her if she had any PR art. She was very enthusiastic when I outlined my request -- [personal profile] holli, you know how you pointed out that given the ages of all the characters they almost certainly read Harry Potter and played Pokemon as children? yeah, we're going with that. I should get my comission in two or three weeks. It'll be fun. also, it came out that she's read [ profile] irisbleufic's Anthology, so that was totally a cute.

I picked up a ton of artist's cards and a few flyers -- there is going to be a cartoonists-supported blood drive in Takoma Park on May 31st, and this coming weeksn on Firday and Saturday there is a Live-Action Graphic Novel called The Intergalactic Nemesis at Artisphere that looks interesting...
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
( Apr. 17th, 2014 06:53 pm)
Is it just me, or does this gorgeous photo look just a little improbable in its gorgeousness, like it should be the cover to an SF novel about terraforming Mars or a background to a Star Trek episode. It's the pink cloud, I think

Giraffes and pink cloud )
Since I've signed up for the Pacific Rim Mini-Bang, I'm going to brainstorm a couple of things. Feel free to chip in with ideas and comments -- discussion helps me shape plots.

Story Idea A: A StoryCorps based series of interviews between movie characters and their friends and family members, with the idea that there is a special StoryCorps initiative to collect interviews of PPDC veterans. Maybe adapt Raleigh's opening narration from the movie into the first interview, have Mako talk about Toyko, Stacker Pentecost, and growing up in Shatterdomes, Vanessa interview Hermann about how they coped with living apart, Tendo and Alison interview each other, Newt interviewed by Hermann's kid... that sort of thing.

Story Idea B: The fifth or tenth annual Hong Kong Shatterdome survivors reunion, or maybe a Jaeger Academy reunion with a where-are-they-now feel. Raleigh or Tendo's POV, with Raleigh having become an elementary school teacher, Mako a civil engineer doing reconstruction, Tedno some sort of emergency/contingency logistics planner.

Herc Hansen, the Wall, kaijufication, and more )
neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
( Apr. 7th, 2014 10:51 pm)
I've gone and signed up for the Pacific Rim MiniBang on tumblr, now that I think I've finally found the right viewpoint character (Tendo, for those of you who are interested). Expect occasional posts about world-building and complaints about how the writing is going.

The rough draft is due May 1st and the story only needs to be 5K, so I think it's completely doable.
neotoma: Bunny likes oatmeal cookies [foodie icon] (foodie-bunny)
( Mar. 30th, 2014 12:30 pm)
I went out to lunch with [personal profile] holli, [personal profile] ellen_fremedon, and[personal profile] coyotegestalt yesterday, and we got to talking about bread baking, and the odd variants of bread recipes, and what the definition of 'spoon bread' is.

But what came out is that we would all be interested in having a bread baking party sometime before it gets too hot to do so -- basically, sometime before June, or possibly late May.

I'm interested in making anadama bread, and probably more pita. But I'm looking for suggestions for other interesting yeast-leavened breads that might be fun to make at a foodie party like that.
I went with [personal profile] holli and [personal profile] greenygal to see Muppets Most Wanted on Sunday. It was highly entertaining, farcical, meta, and absurdist in the extreme. You should go see it.

Tonight, [personal profile] greenygal and I met up to go to Labyrinth's Thursday Board Game night. We watched two people play Morels, and I wound up taking over for one player half-way through when he hared off for a more interesting game. Then we played a round of Pandemic, which was a lot of fun even though we all died at the end. I would definitely go back, though I think I have to pack a Barre Bar or the like in bag, because we got sandwiches at La Pan Quotidien beforehand, and the shop was packed when we arrived 15 minutes after the start of game night.

I did buy Early American Chrononauts -- Chrononauts itself was a lot of fun -- so maybe [profile] ellen_fremedom and I can combine our decks and get a game of UberChrononauts going the next time we get a group of mutual friends together.
I had dinner with [personal profile] holli and [personal profile] ellen_fremedon tonight where we discussed the script that [personal profile] holli has written for a YA SF comic that she's planning to have finished in time for Small Press Expo. It sounds like a lot of fun, but both [personal profile] ellen_fremedon and I thought that a corportatist world that had so much control over media that people had to come up with labor actions from first principles was in for a rough time of it -- peasants' revolts tend to kill a lot of people, for example.

After the pizza, we went back to [personal profile] ellen_fremedon's place and played a round of Chrononauts, which was a lot of fun and I would definitely play again. I might even buy it for my nephew for his birthday next month. You get dealt cards for your mission and your identity, so you have two secret win conditions, either of which wins you the game if you complete it before anyone else and without 13 unresolved paradoxes on the table.

Playing cards like 'Discontinuity -- everyone pass their cards to the player next to them' and 'Time Vortex - collect all player's cards, shuffle them, and without looking deal them out evenly starting with yourself' is a way to get yourself accused of playing as chaotic neutral and as The Meddling Monk (I described myself as 'puckish'). Considering My mission's win-condition was 'Cretaceous Park' -- I had to get 3 of the 4 living dinosaur cards in play among my artifacts -- I was definitely The Rani.

As it turned out, [personal profile] holli's win conditions included World War III, which eliminated 1999, which was a key point in my ID win-condition, so I focused on getting my dinosaurs and sowing enough confusion that neither she nor [personal profile] ellen_fremedon could be quite sure what I was aiming at -- [personal profile] holli's focus on averting the Hindenburg disaster was kind of a give-away that it was part of her win-condition, at least after the third time she changed it...

Anyway, through sneakery, good luck, discarding interesting but not useful cards, and keeping one on my dinosaurs in my hand instead of on the table, I managed to get one of the action cards that one ruffle through the draw deck for any single card just after the entire discard deck had been shuffled and redealt as the draw deck. I got my third dinosaur, and won!

And then I kind of turned into a pumpkin, because I have work tomorrow... but it was fun! I definitely need to play more table games with friends.


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