Hidden Mall 57: It’s Dead, Jim

Feb. 18th, 2019 07:27 pm
[syndicated profile] lynthornealder_feed

Posted by Lyn

“‘Via?  Olly?” Abby moved to the other side of Olly.  “What’s – “

In the grey shadows of the mall, three translucent figures were staring back at them.  Two of them were definitely her. The third she didn’t recognize at first, a taller man with a gaunt face and protruding bones.

“Abby?” Olly whispered.  “Abby, is that you?”

Abby hoped not.  One of the two grey women was missing a good third of her throat.  The other one had an axe settled in the middle of her chest. It looked—

It looked horrible.

“It’s not… it can’t be,” ‘Via whispered.  “It can’t. You’re too mean for that.” The ghost was reaching for her, the one with the axe.  “You’re too—”

Abby grabbed her and yanked her backwards away from the ghost.  “Come on,” she suggested. “Left. Left, this way, come on. And upwards. Don’t let them touch you.”

“Why not?”  Olly was backing up away from the one with the missing throat.  “I mean, they’re, they’re see-through. Are they ghosts, do you think?”

Abby needed another hand.  She took Olly’s hand and glanced at Liv, glad her friend was still following along.  “I don’t know. They could be illusions. They could be poison of some sort, or ghosts, or something even nastier.”


“I don’t know,” Abby repeated.  “It’s just, so many things here are deadly or dangerous, and we know that the mall is trying to kill us.  Err.” She cleared her throat. “Me, I guess, but since it doesn’t mind the collateral damage…”

“It’s all right.  It’s trying to kill us.”  Liv squeezed her shoulder.  “So we don’t want to go through them.  That makes sense.”

‘Via squeezed tightly on her hand.  “It’s… It’s you. I thought, I thought you were undefeatable.”  She was barely whispering. “I thought you were immortal. And here you are-”

“’Via, there’s a good chance that’s, if it’s a ghost at all, someone else’s Abby.”  Olly turned their line into a circle, stepping in front of Abby so she could wave her free hand in front of ’Via’s face.  It was enough, or at least enough for the moment.

‘Via blinked and shook herself.  “Right. Right. Okay, where are we-?”

In front of Peony’s.”  Liv took a step forward.  “Well, what used to be Peony’s.  So let’s see.” She seemed more herself than she had been in ages as she looked around, pointedly ignoring the ghosts in front of them.

The third one, she finally realized, was Kevin.  Or it had been Kevin. She swallowed hard as Liv said “this way!  Onwards and Upwards!”

‘Via snorted – but very softly, softly enough that nobody but Abby heard her.  Olly chuckled cheerfully.

“It’s nice to remember being that happy,” she whispered.

Abby winced and tried not to process that too much.  This was her friend.  Or a version of her, two versions of someone that she’d grown up with and had – was she really that bad in any other world?

“Liv, don’t get too far ahead,” she called, because she didn’t know what else to do.  “Ready? ‘Via?”

“I-” ‘Via was staring at the ghosts again.  With visible effort, she looked at the hand Abby was holding and then up the arm to Abby’s face.  “You’re right here. You’re alive.”

“I’m alive,” Abby agreed.  Something they could agree on.  “And we’re in a new mall. Let’s see what we can find.”

Want more?

[49/365] Spring training

Feb. 18th, 2019 08:17 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Today I Skyped my parents to get the debrief of their dull old-white-person Florida vacation.

I spent last week thinking of the tragedy that is my dad who, when friends convinced my parents to join them on a trip to Fort Myers, could not get them to go any later than the second week of February.

A group of Minnesotans went to where Minnesota's baseball team spends its spring training. As long as I can remember, spring training has been a big deal: in the middle of a Minnesota winter, we cling onto any evidence that green grass and baseball exist somewhere in the world. For as long as I can remember, my dad has talked about wanting to go see the Twins spring training one year.

And now? Pitchers and catchers reported

But they did get to see the ballpark and he bought a souvenir hat ("it says '2019 spring training'," Dad said "And it's peach!" Mom said "Mango," Dad corrected her) so he's still happy.

Children with Lego Robots

Feb. 18th, 2019 07:13 pm
purplecat: (General:Lego Rovers)
[personal profile] purplecat

A girl and a boy, both standing.  A Lego Robot has just reached the girl's feet while the boy operates the control pad.

Two inquiries about Lego Rovers have come from primary schools in Huyton in the past week. There is obviously some kind of Teacher whisper-network there that has just found out about me. My best guess is that I ran an after school club session in a high school out there last term and the primaries have found out about it somehow or it might be the primary school in Widnes I'm visiting next month who found out about me because of the sessions we ran at Speke Hall in the summer.

Mind you, this picture is from a school in West Derby that I visited last week. The are trying out a "challenge" I set them where they have to see how close they can get the robot to each without actually touching - made more difficult by the fact that control of the robot is on the Earth-Moon communications delay.

I gotta buy a shredder

Feb. 18th, 2019 09:54 am
blackmare: (it's safe)
[personal profile] blackmare
I’m about 1/3 of the way through the Kondo “Tidying Up” thing. Did the clothing part (I had not much to cull, but a lot of reorganizing) and discovered I felt SO MUCH BETTER, and that it’s shockingly effortless to maintain.

“Effortless to maintain” has not been my experience of anything organization related ever in my life prior to this.

Next up was “Books.” Books are not the problem I have, so I skipped to: PAPERS.

Papers are the problem I have. Paper is the avalanche, the snowstorm, the relentless flood in my life. I am ditching pay stubs, defunct insurance policies, class outlines for classes I don’t teach anymore, pay stubs, credit card statements from 2008.

I don’t wanna buy a shredder but it is February in Minnesota and I live in an apartment: a bonfire doesn’t seem practical.

(no subject)

Feb. 18th, 2019 09:02 am
kay_brooke: Stick drawing of a linked adenine and thymine molecule with text "DNA: my OTP" (Default)
[personal profile] kay_brooke
Pokemon Community Day February 2019 was much more successful than January, because of lack of snow and also the addition of a portable charger so I could play for more than an hour. I almost didn't play on Saturday because Swinub is about the last Pokemon I care about actually having, but I wanted a pin.

As someone who's only ever played casually, I want to ask more experienced players: is there anything special about shinies or collecting shinies? Like, is there a point to collecting a bunch, or is it just a "collect them to have them" sort of thing? The way I play, I catch a certain type of Pokemon until I find one with good stats, then I'll star them and keep them around to evolve/fight in gyms. I transfer all the rest of that type away (and also continue to catch more to transfer away to get more candy). That way I usually only have one of each type of Pokemon. Exceptions are shinies, Alolan variations, and the various-hatted Pikachus, which I will also keep, but again only one of each type. So, like, I caught three shiny Swinubs on Saturday, but transferred away all but one. But should I have kept them all? The way people were making a big deal about shinies made me wonder if there's something useful about having a bunch?

(I just don't like having a whole bunch of one type of Pokemon. It messes with my sense of organization. I would love it if we could make sub-storage for some Pokemon, like a separate folder to throw shinies into so they're not cluttering up the main Pokemon storage screen. Then maybe I would keep more shinies.)

Anyway, I also caught Paklia in a raid. I don't do raids often because unless I'm downtown at the canal (as I was on Saturday), there usually isn't enough people around participating in the raid to take on the big ticket Pokemon. So most of the raids I do are the lower level ones I can defeat by myself, so that's very dependent on those raids actually going on and how long I have to wait. If I come across one that's going to start in the next few minutes, that's fine, but I'm not going to wait around half an hour for a Kirlia, you know?

I know I'm probably doing it all wrong.

(no subject)

Feb. 18th, 2019 07:29 am
anke: (Default)
[personal profile] anke
I'm 36 years old, and today I woke up from a nightmare about schoolyard bullying.

If you have kids, please teach them to not be lullies, because telling bullying victims to "just ignore it" DOES NOT HELP

Prompt for 2019-02-17

Feb. 17th, 2019 07:02 pm
brewsternorth: Electric-blue stylized teapot, captioned "Brewster North". (Default)
[personal profile] brewsternorth posting in [community profile] dailyprompt
Today's prompt is "in the aftermath".

Alita: Battle Angel

Feb. 17th, 2019 06:24 pm
konsectatrix: An ornamented brick theater dating from the 1920's. (media)
[personal profile] konsectatrix

So hey, let me tell you I forgot that 90's anime knew how to do a baby girl power fantasy with a side allegory snarl at authoritarian bullshit and how this sort of social/spiritual/economic set up corrupts and destroys everyone and everything (and before you come @ me about how 'this movie is full of problematic whitewashing HDU enjoy it', check yo'self. The manga was set in post-apocalyptic Kansas with the idea that people from all over fled there, and that's what the movie depicts. Not every anime is Ghost in the Shell, ok? OK.)

Cut for the not spoilery flailing. )

Now for the spoilery as hell story stuff )

Here's an actual warning that is also spoilery. )

I think the reasons why I enjoyed A:BA was less that it's a shot-for-shot adaptation, then it's just that I feel like they raided my memories of the parts that stood out and resonated, or that I loved because sheer cool, and the parts that made me go "....ow my heart" and distilled that and seasoned it and made it better, and the end result is more faithful to the idea than the shot for shot might be. So yeah, I am down with this.

Is it the perfect movie or something? Nah. No such thing. What would that even mean? Would I own it/see it again? Hell yeah. This is a rare live-action adaptation that not only pleased me now, but it went out of its way to jump in a time machine just to make my nineteen-year-old animation-obsessed heart SO HAPPY.

(no subject)

Feb. 17th, 2019 05:30 pm
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
thirsty in the desert with a bagful of gold (5317 words) by AlexSeanchai
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Miraculous Ladybug
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Adrien Agreste | Chat Noir/Marinette Dupain-Cheng | Ladybug, Marinette Dupain-Cheng & Tikki, Adrien Agreste | Chat Noir & Plagg, Adrien Agreste | Chat Noir & Chloé Bourgeois
Characters: Marinette Dupain-Cheng | Ladybug, Adrien Agreste | Chat Noir, Tikki (Miraculous Ladybug), Plagg (Miraculous Ladybug), Chloé Bourgeois
Additional Tags: Episode: s03 Climatika 2 | Stormy Weather 2, sitting these two clowns down to talk about their feelings, Discussion of Extinction
"Hey Hawkmoth, Take A Bath Before We're All Extinct (or, Stormy Weather Would Not Have Stopped)"
—μcat, Schrödinger’s Miraculous: physics in the City of Heroes (may work differently when observed)
It was Mme. Mendeleiev's fault, really. She liked bringing current events into her lesson plans, and μcat the superhero-science blogger had done a lot of research and a lot of math in the four days after the second go-round with Stormy Weather. Marinette, looking at all the equations and cited sources and clear, concise prose salted with wordplay, wondered if μcat had slept at all in those four days. If she focused on how long it must have taken them to read each article, run each set of numbers, write each paragraph, then she had no attention to spare for the words "extinction event", and needn't think about what it meant here and now. What it implied. What it must have taken to make it not.

(Adrien whisked Aurore out of the classroom the moment he saw the essay title. He then casually leaned on the door frame, blocking Chloé from following. Marinette should have thought of those herself.)

Marinette lasted two more days before she cracked.

Squid in their own ink

Feb. 17th, 2019 03:42 pm
kay_mulan: (Default)
[personal profile] kay_mulan posting in [community profile] omnomnom
Ingredients: 2 lbs squid, 1 large onion, 7 garlic cloves, salt, 1 glass grape juice, flour, paprika, 3 tablespoons grated or powdered dark or semisweet chocolate

1. Clean squid of beak and eyes, put ink sacs aside

2. Cut into pieces and lightly fry in frying pan. Then add onion, grape juice, chocolate powder, and paprika.

3. Blend ink sacs with some salt and water, add to saucepan, leave to boil. Serve in sauce.

Conger Eel In Parsley Sauce

Feb. 17th, 2019 03:29 pm
kay_mulan: (Default)
[personal profile] kay_mulan posting in [community profile] omnomnom
Ingredients: 2 lbs eel slices, flour, salt, olive oil, 1 cup chopped parsley, 7 cloves garlic, 5 cups vegetable stock, one large onion

1. season eel with salt, coat in flour and fry in very hot oil, set aside

2. in very hot oil, lightly fry two tablespoons flour and one chopped onion until later golden; add stock and boil for a few minutes after adding parsley and smashed garlic cloves

3. combine

Still fairly sick

Feb. 17th, 2019 03:02 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
I don’t actually feel completely horrible?

But Read more... )

Month of Letters and Stationery!

Feb. 17th, 2019 07:34 pm
[syndicated profile] lynthornealder_feed

Posted by Lyn

I’m still doing LetterMo (and InCoWriMo)!  As of today I have mailed out 22 letters/postcards/cards (with one ready to go in the mail), received 3 replies and one letter-not-a-reply, and drawn castles, maps, lava, clouds, and barns.

I’ve talked about the weather a lot, Ithaca, winter activities, and whatever else came to mind – including often the paper or card I was writing on.

And Friday and today, as a reward for finishing my work self-evaluation and then for getting the taxes done and sent, I bought a bunch of stationery. 

Some of this is from AliExpress which, if you haven’t encountered, is great when you’re not in a hurry.  That is, most of the stuff is shipped ground from China, so times for arrival are like twenty to 65 days.

Again, this is fine for things you’re cool getting whenever.   Not good for like Christmas presents or anything else on a schedule.

But so pretty!  And that 20-60 day shipping is freeeeee.  So yeah, I guess I’ll be sending some letters in … April? May maybe?

Good encouragement, I suppose, to keep writing letters!

I got some from Etsy, too – Husband and I spent like an hour looking for things in my qualifications (matching envelopes, natural images, preferably lines, half-sheet size) and he finally found some really nice stuff from La Papierre on Etsy.  Win!

And then, gentle readers, I went looking through my stash.

(possibly poor timing there)

I found… two boxes of cards I had bought in collegeBack in the first two years of college when I still sent a lot of snail mail.  So, 1995 or so.

I found letters I had bought last year.  I found envelopes.  I found three father’s day cards, never sent, and even a St. Patrick’s Day card.

(you can buy cards for anything)

(except, at the grocery store, a cheerful small-child-friendly just-hello card)

I also found some  – but not all – of the cards sent to me from Reddit, a pile of letters from the last LetterMo I participated in (2017), two piles of Christmas cards and some empty envelopes saved for the return addresses, some stickers, some stuff I bought for Alder by Post…

Two thank you letters sent my my Aunt.

I, uh, well, buying stationery may have been premature.

I think I’m going to be writing a lot more letters!

Luckily, I already wrote one today!  That’s a start, right?

…Hey, April is the US Postal Services Letter-Writing Month…

[48/365] Bi Coffee

Feb. 17th, 2019 06:26 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I got to Bi Coffee a bit late today -- a shame since I'm an organizer, but I got there as quickly as I could after work so I didn't feelttoo bad as there wasn't anything more I could've done -- and there were already half a dozen people there: most I knew, but a couple of new ones.

The empty seat was across from one of the new ones. Soon he was telling me he'd traveled from some place with Welsh place name I didn't catch, but he told me it was "on the other side of Wales" and a two-and-a-half hour drive away. Bloody hell, I thought. I made some jocular remark about how I hoped it'd be worth it for him, and he said it was good for him just to have done it for himself, because he'd assembled a bunch of other reasons to come to Manchester today -- something about his wife, and picking people up at the airport, etc -- and they'd all fallen through. He said he wouldn't have thought twice about making the drive for other people, but it was difficult to justify it as only being for himself so it was a big deal that he had. That makes a lot of sense to me, as someone who's so much better at looking after other people than myself, and so much kinder to everyone else than I am to myself.

He did seem to be having a good time, though. So that's nice.

Another person, who's been a few times before, said she'd been looking forward to this all month. That was nice to hear.

Sometimes it doesn't feel like a big deal, just to turn up at a coffee shop at a specific time. But it really does seem to be good for people. It's really nice to be reminded of this.

if not for bad luck...

Feb. 17th, 2019 11:01 am
celli: Hawaii Five-O's Danny making the WTF face and gesture (Danny WTF)
[personal profile] celli
let's review:

ice storm
power out
heat out
water out


problems with the remediation from all the above
my sister lost her mentor unexpectedly
my nieces and sister have had the flu for SIX DAYS WTF
my BIL had surgery and his two day recovery is...not

When I am the healthiest, most upright person in the household, things are concerning. And *I* have had a loss (though not as close to me as the good twin) and really bad job stuff and am sliding into depression. So that's great. But, you know. I'm needed so I'm compartmentalizing.

Space Icons!

Feb. 17th, 2019 02:47 pm
purplecat: A Radio Telescape pointing upwards under a meteor shower. (General:Space)
[personal profile] purplecat

A satellite disk pointing upwards under meteor shower (not that you can really see the meteor shower at 100x100 pixels Bright star on the right, faint space dust on the left. Hubble image of rather dramatic space dust, most coloured orange with a spike of formation through the clouds. Bright star top left, edge of planet bottom right. Hubble image of swirling pink and yellow coloured space dust
Snagging is free. Credit is appreciated. Comments are loved.

Original pictures taken from Astronomy Picture of the Day except for number 4 (no idea where that comes from).

And I'm very annoyed about it, too.

Feb. 16th, 2019 09:22 pm
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
I'm writing "Stormy Weather 2" out of the Miraculous Ladybug canon.

Also I'm going to make "Stormy Weather 2 What Stormy Weather 2" an AO3 tag. It is going on all my future ML fics that do not explicitly deal with this episode.

Virtual tea party...

Feb. 16th, 2019 05:25 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
I have a cold and feel vaguely terrible but also want company, so I’ll be watching this space.

My current tea: generic black tea a la Lipton, coz I can’t taste it. Going to make some peppermint sweet tea in a bit though.

What’ll you have? *puts kettle on*

ETA: Various folks have brought scones, ginger snaps, and Girl Scout cookies, which may be assumed to be baked in whatever sort of gluten-free, low-glycemic, dairy-free, or whatever manner the eaters desires and feels necessary. We also seem to have All The Tea at this point, with special attention to things that help knock back colds and other minor illnesses. Teatime manners here consist of being not deliberately knocking someone’s tea on the floor ( eying fellow felines known to exist in various households ) though if it should occur by accident I also have All The Paper Towels.

Old friends and new acquaintances are both very much welcome.

ETAA: this particular tea party is now excused to go tidy up or take naps, but given the enthusiastic response, I will repeat this event!

(no subject)

Feb. 16th, 2019 04:52 pm
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Hey, do I know anyone affiliated with a Girl Scout doing online cookie sales (with, one hopes, ship-directly-to-buyer as a delivery option) in the Little Brownie Bakers region? I wanna buy a bunch of Thin Mints.

ETA: sorted!

#Icon Dump 5 : Random

Feb. 17th, 2019 03:55 am
magicrubbish: Coffee in a red mug (Default)
[personal profile] magicrubbish posting in [community profile] iconic

See the rest - here

[47/365] social consumption of media

Feb. 16th, 2019 10:04 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I am full of curry (it arrived so late, after a day when all I ate was breakfast) and I've about doubled the amount of Star Trek: Discovery I've watched (I'm still in the first season though so sshhh!). It has been a good evening.

[personal profile] diffrentcolours invited me around to watch it, apparently because me saying I was going to get around to catching up on it wasn't happening quickly enough for him (which is fair enough: it wasn't happening at all) and he wants to tell me things about the second season stuff.

Before this, I watched an old movie called The Body Snatcher because [personal profile] magister wanted me to know who Val Lewton was. It was good (but cringeworthy in its disability politics because it's like seventy years old) but I am looking forward to not watching any new things for a while now (I watched some Babylon 5 with Stuart on Thursday too). It helped a lot that Disco has audio description though. I continue to be so grateful for it.

I was home for approximately zero minutes and three seconds to drop off my backpack this afternoon and Gary was so excited to see me the first time but even more excited the second time I came back, just now. This second time he was also immediately keen for me to go upstairs to bed. With him. He was welcome to sit on our bed by himself, but many nights he decides that isn't good enough: he'll run up but if I don't follow in a minute or two he comes back downstairs and continues looking at me expectantly until I get the hint. This is what's happened tonight. And who am I to argue with him. Bed sounds good.

~ E N T E R ~

Feb. 16th, 2019 02:45 pm
midnight_mods: A black and white photo of clock face partially obscured by artistically added shadows. (Default)
[personal profile] midnight_mods posting in [community profile] midnight_rp
The door with no room at the end of a hallway you found as a child. A trapdoor in the floor of your family's basement you never noticed before last year. The mysterious doorway standing in the middle of a forest, just yesterday.

Whatever and whenever it was, you opened it, and you were drawn through a portal - transformed to an anthropomorphic animal and deposited on the streets of the city, Midnight.

All the residents of Midnight came, once, from another world - or so they say, although after a time, some seem to forget what their lives were like before, or how long they've been there. And there is no way to go home again.

Welcome to Midnight.

no recent events

New? Start Here

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball

Feb. 16th, 2019 03:59 pm
thnidu: edited from img383.imageshack.us/img383/3066/ss35450qf7.jpg (smiley)
[personal profile] thnidu
From SNL Transcripts Tonight— For Die Hard Saturday Night Live Fans

Happy Fun Ball

Kid 1…..Jan Hooks

Kid 2…..Dana Carvey

Kid 3…..Mike Myers

[ open on three kids playing with their Happy Fun Ball ]

Kid 1: It’s happy!

Kid 2: It’s fun!

All Three Kids: It’s Happy Fun Ball!

Announcer: Yes, it’s Happy Fun Ball! The toy sensation that’s sweeping the nation! Only $14.95 at participating stores! Get one today!

Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to Happy Fun Ball.

Caution: Happy Fun Ball may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds.

Happy Fun Ball contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.

Do not use Happy Fun Ball on concrete.

Discontinue use of Happy Fun Ball if any of the following occurs:
    •    itching
    •    vertigo
    •    dizziness
    •    tingling in extremities
    •    loss of balance or coordination
    •    slurred speech
    •    temporary blindness
    •    profuse sweating
    •    or heart palpitations.

If Happy Fun Ball begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.

Happy Fun Ball may stick to certain types of skin.

When not in use, Happy Fun Ball should be returned to its special container and kept under refrigeration. Failure to do so relieves the makers of Happy Fun Ball, Wacky Products Incorporated, and its parent company, GlobalChemical Unlimited, of any and all liability.

Ingredients of Happy Fun Ball include an unknown glowing green substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.

Happy Fun Ball has been shipped to our troops in Saudi Arabia and is being dropped by our warplanes on Iraq.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

Happy Fun Ball comes with a lifetime warranty.

Announcer: Happy Fun Ball! Accept no substitutes!

Click headline for story

More thoughts on Ben Solo....

Feb. 16th, 2019 03:16 pm
sathari: split iage of Rey and Kylo with the respective captions "Light" and "Dark" (Rey and Kylo- Light and Dark)
[personal profile] sathari
In my last, and somewhat flippant, post, I talked about Ben as having too much ambition for his own good. And I've been meaning to make a post about how I see his affect versus how a lot of the rest of fandom apparently does. And I think these issues mesh.

Point the first: I am not sure if Ben's so much ambitious in and for himself, as he is trying to living up to the standards he's used to other people expecting of him*. It may be less his own personal desire for power/etc. and more that it's just been assumed, by everyone, all of his life, that he's supposed to Achieve Great Things. I suspect that somewhere in the back of his mind, there is a subroutine that goes something like, "Anything less than actually ruling the galaxy means you are a failure and a disappointment."

Which goes to the second point. A lot of fandom seems to see him as spoilt/shallow/whiny... and I really never have. His affect always read to me as almost the opposite, especially any time he's got the mask off**--- he looked terrified and miserable to me. Not like someone who thinks he deserves to have more, but someone who's terrified that he hasn't done enough.
Cut for length and canonical violence seen through the prism of abusive mentorship... )

So, all joking about John Dean parallels aside, I think Ben is a lot less driven by personal ambition, and more by a desperate need to live up to the expectations that other people have placed on him, and a fear of the consequences of his failure--- which for most of his life have included "possibly being killed by your mentor."

*h/t to [personal profile] anghraine 's recent meta about Pride and Prejudice for inspiring me to organize my thoughts here.

**The mask is significant here; the mask, I think, simultaneously gives him that connection to Grandfather (the only member of his family he hasn't failed yet)*** and also lets him hide from being embedded in his family expectations. It gives him a sense of anonymity and of being his own person that he doesn't have.

***I'm a sentimentalist, but I'd love an ending for him that includes him getting to say to Rey something about how he did manage to outdo his grandfather's legacy, because in the end he didn't let down the woman he loved. (Even if those are his dying words and/or Rey doesn't necessarily feel moved to return his affections.)

DW should invent posting from brain

Feb. 16th, 2019 11:05 am
konsectatrix: (Default)
[personal profile] konsectatrix
Because I still think in posting form a lot, and it would be so much easier if I could just beep my nose or pull my ear and telepathically post a thing than actually try to remember to post later.

Haunted House 37: Preparations

Feb. 16th, 2019 03:16 pm
[syndicated profile] lynthornealder_feed

Posted by Lyn

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.


“I still think you should take the silk dresses to sell.”

Mélanie had been losing this argument for three days, but she was still determined, if not to win it, to lose it having fought her battle very well.

“And I think they look delicious on you, or will with a little taking in.”

“But what possible reason do you have to dress your – your partner -”  She didn’t dislike the phrase so much as still think Jasper was lying to both himself and her a little bit, but it was growing on her. “-in silks?  They’re not all that good for mucking out the stable.”

“And you know the stable mucks itself. And you don’t have to clean the whole House.”

“The House likes being clean and you know it.  She’s been a lot happier since I swept the front porch, and I don’t think it ruins the effect at all.”

“You’re right,” Jasper allowed, with a little huff and a smile that told her he wasn’t actually upset.  “You are. But I still like you in silk, and, besides, there’s other things to sell.”

“Half the dresses.”  She was definitely giving in.  She’d always known she was going to give in, after all.  But she was going to make him think before she did so.

“A quarter of them.”

“That’s … a dress and a half,” she protested.’

“One dress then.  I want to know where someone got silk this fine anyway. And you, you wear the other one to town with me.”

“If that’s what you want…”  Mélanie let herself smile, because she’d gotten him to agree to one!  “Good advertising.”

“And I get to show off my lovely partner.  Which I find a very nice added side benefit.”

Mélanie’s hands went up to her neck – her neck that was still bare – and she froze.  SHe cleared her throat after a moment. “You-“

“Oh, oh no.”  His arms went around her in a hug that seemed to take him as much by surprise as it took her. “Oh, no, beautiful sweetheart, did I hit a nerve?”

“It’s just-”  She leaned into the hug.  Beautiful sweetheart.  “It’s just that you… show off…. You didn’t….”

“I’m not going to collar you,” he assured her firmly.  “I’m still tempted by the idea of a piercing, but unless you feel a strong need for something marking you as mine, I don’t think it’s a good idea.  You are – I am – together – uh.” He cleared his throat. “You are my partner who belongs to me right now, and I am proud that I have you and glad that I have you with me and is that okay?”

She didn’t quite manage to stifle a giggle. “If House isn’t hitting you, I imagine it has to be okay.  So what else do you want to sell?”

“Well, now that you’ve sorted everything out, I was thinking some of this pile here, the men’s clothing that won’t fit me without a lot of work.  A lot of this stuff is more serviceable. And a couple of the pretty dresses that really won’t suit you.” He picked out a few things and added them to a pile.  “That’s enough for us to get some good trade in without it being so much that we look like someone ought to club us over the head and take our money. Hopefully.  And then – then we’re going to trade for some information, which will probably be this little pile of goods you sorted out for us.”

“What did you do before me?”  She was teasing him – she thought.  On the other hand, it was very nice to be acknowledged for the work she’d done.

“Generally I would spend a day working on finding useful things, maybe more, sometimes helped by a Kept, often very much with complaining by her.  You didn’t even complain about cleaning all of this.”

“Well, the House helped a lot.”  Mélanie giggled, although it was a little weak feeling.  “I remember – I remember when I first came here.”

“The house  – and the property, and the area around it – does have a bit of a reputation.   A little more than a bit. I’ve never really asked the house if she minds, I suppose.  Maybe I ought to-“

“Maybe you ought to,” Mélanie agreed.  “She might enjoy being clean and pretty again, don’t you think?  I know she has it in her. She’s beautiful. We could spruce her up like she’d never been abandoned at all.”

“But the people -“

“You can have a house with a reputation for eating people that happens to be beautiful,” she countered. “I mean, that’s almost more insidious. Maybe we’d have to have a couple more people… experience something scary but not fatal-” was she really suggesting this?Was she really saying we? “-but if someone’s going to try to attack the place or loot it because they think that it’s ‘safe’ because it’s pretty, I imagine giving them a fright that sticks isn’t a horrible thing.  You don’t have to eat their minds,” she added, a little more hurriedly than she’d really meant to.

“I won’t eat anyone’s mind.  Even when I did that, it was never permanent.  It was just a way to make everyone frightened.”

“It worked.”  Mélanie shuddered. “I’d heard of this place and I lived – it must have been two days’ travel away.”

“That close.”  He clucked. “Have you been that close to your home all this time?”

“I’m not sure,” she admitted.  “My last two owners, I wasn’t allowed off the property at all.  The one before that, sometimes I was allowed into town, but it wasn’t a town I’d ever been to, although I’d heard of it.  And I didn’t ever – well, there was once.”

She looked away.  She was closer to home now. “I might see someone I used to know,” she muttered.

“You might.  If you don’t want to go, that’s fine.  Or if you want to talk to your old friends and tell them how you’re doing, that’s fine, too.  I’m sure some of them are worried about you.”

“Maybe,” she muttered. “Maybe we can, I can play it by ear?”

“That seems like a brilliant idea.  And for now, let’s get these things packed up so that we can display them.  Perhaps in that valise…?”

Want more?

Random Doctor Who Picture

Feb. 16th, 2019 12:56 pm
purplecat: The Eighth Doctor (Who:Eight)
[personal profile] purplecat

Book Cover for the Infinity Doctors by Lance Parkin.  A White background with the Doctor's Ring showing a swirling galaxy in the large blue stone
The difficulty with this book is where to shelve it since it is clearly intended to be an AU in which the Doctor never left Gallifrey though. Until about halfway through the book, I was kidding myself that I could pretend it was set after he had returned to Gallifrey at some point in the future but no. Anyway, since the Eight Doctor adventures occur in canon in publication order I eventually opted to shelve it among them in publication order.

Saturday 6:54 am

Feb. 16th, 2019 06:54 am
konsectatrix: (Default)
[personal profile] konsectatrix
Jareth would like me to get up so he can help me pick out my clothes for work.

Creative Jam

Feb. 16th, 2019 01:46 am
ysabetwordsmith: (Crowdfunding butterfly ship)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posting in [community profile] crowdfunding
Welcome to the seventy-eighth Crowdfunding Creative Jam! This session will run Saturday, February 16-Sunday, February 17. The theme is "Growing Up."

Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Everyone is eligible to post prompts, which may be words or phrases, titles, images, etc. Prompters may request a specific creator, but everyone else may still use that prompt if they wish. Prompts may specify a particular character/world/etc. but creators may use the prompt for something else anyway and post the results. Prompters are still encouraged to post mostly prompts that anyone could use anywhere, as this maximizes the chance of having creators make something based on your prompt. Please title your comment "Prompt" or "Prompts" when providing inspiration so these are easy to find.

Prompt responses may also be treated as prompts and used for further inspiration. For example, a prompt may lead to a sketch which leads to a story, and so on. This kind of cascading inspiration is one of the most fun things about a collective jam session.

Everyone is eligible to use prompts, and everyone who wants to use a given prompt may do so, for maximum flexibility of creator choice in inspiration. You do not have to post a "Claim" reply when you decide to use a prompt, but this does help indicate what is going on so that other prompters can spread out their choice of prompts if they wish.

Creators are encouraged, but not required, to post at least one item free. Likewise, sharing a private copy of material with the prompter is encouraged but not required. Creative material resulting from prompts should be indicated in a reply to the prompt, with a link to the full content elsewhere on the creator's site (if desired); a brief excerpt and/or description of the material may be included in the reply (if desired). It helps to title your comment "Prompt Filled" or something like that so these are easy to identify. There is no time limit on responding to prompts. However, creators are encouraged to post replies sooner rather than later, as the attention of prompters will be highest during and shortly after the session.

Some items created from prompts may become available for sponsorship. Some creators may offer perks for donations, linkbacks, or other activity relating to this project. Check creator comments and links for their respective offerings.

Prompters, creators, and bystanders are expected to behave in a responsible and civil manner. If the moderators have to drag someone out of the sandbox for improper behavior, we will not be amused. Please respect other people's territory and intellectual property rights, and only play with someone else's characters/setting/etc. if you have permission. (Fanfic/fanart freebies are okay.) If you want to invite folks to play with something of yours, title the comment something like "Open Playground" so it's easy to spot. This can be a good way to attract new people to a shared world or open-source project, or just have some good non-canon fun.

Boost the signal! The more people who participate, the more fun this will be. Hopefully we'll see activity from a lot of folks who regularly mention their projects in this community, but new people are always welcome. You can link to this session post or to individual items created from prompts, whatever you think is awesome enough to recommend to your friends.

[46/365] oops

Feb. 15th, 2019 07:15 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Technically I am a few hours late but I'm going to backdate this. I didn't write anything "today" because I basically fell asleep, curled up on the couch, about 7:30 last night. I woke up when the Doctor Who finished, about nine, and Jennie was like "maybe you should go to bed?" so I did. I don't know why I was so tired, that's a very odd thing for me to do, but I did. And I went straight to sleep and have slept until the wee hours of the morning.

I had another frustrating time with buses yesterday morning. I spotted a 191 coming, stuck my hand out, and neither that nor my white cane was enough to make the bus stop. I get so mad when that happens. Because I'm not even asking for accommodations at that point, I've done as much as anybody ever needs to do to catch a bus. And when it isn't enough...what else can I do? I was in the middle of composing angry tweets about this when a 197 zoomed by. At that point I went from angry to just wanting to lie on the ground and have a temper tantrum.

I had the other problem on Monday, the one where the drivers don't tell me what number bus they're driving, so I got the wrong bus and was so late for work I was worried it wouldn't be worth going at all (since I can I only work for an hour before I have to leave for uni). When I complained about that I still got defensive replies about all the reasons buses might not stop (they clearly hadn't read my tweets or they'd have seen this wasn't the problem I was having! maybe I've got a reputation), including "no passengers waiting at the bus stop," and I don't know how that could be a problem I could have unless...blind people don't count as passengers. That would fit with how it feels to me, too.

Anyway, I get so sick of talking about disability stuff. And I did loads of other stuff this week: went to see The Favourite on Monday and loved it. I finally got my screenreader fixed on Wednesday (first time it's worked this academic year! I counted up the chapters/essays I'd been assigned to read so far this semester and it was fifteen; screenreader-less, I'd so far managed two). I was on a tiring LGBT "intersectionality" panel on Wednesday too. Thursday I got to see Stuart for the first time in more than a month -- too long! Now I'm in Brighouse, mostly sleeping apparently! It's still dark, so good night.
konsectatrix: close up of an exhausted hedgehog falling asleep on the carpet. (my brain is tired now.)
[personal profile] konsectatrix
I think this is like round 3?, 4? on this damn series since I started it. I managed to get Z-Corp past the collapse but I never even quite posted the original end of the S&F blog series, though I have bits of it, in chunks and pieces, with big gaps between. The reboot ate it.

And now I'm trying to whip it into shape. A shape (I figured out that part of the problem was that S&F wasn't a Hero's Journey or a Building's Roman Bildungsroman exactly, it was more alchemical. A Fool's Journey, more like.)

Read more... )

I am not even going to apologize for this metaphor. February is for shit-posting, I'm told.

Anyway, hi, I'm really grumpy about this story right now and I'm making zero progress and I think I'm going to bed. That is all.
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Read more... )
[syndicated profile] lynthornealder_feed

Posted by Lyn Thorne-Alder

First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Consummation



The thing about an Imperial Bed was, even if it wasn’t exactly comfortable in an emotional sense, it was always perfectly comfortable in a physical sense. The spells that Deline used to keep her lodgings tolerable were the basis of the magic on the Imperial bed, but then there were layers and layers of other work there.  One could lay here forever and not get the slightest bit uncomfortable – or at least for decades, until the spells wore off.

One wouldn’t die – there was a rumor that one could not die whilst in an Imperial bed, and that one Empress, several generations back, had been kept alive that way a good fifty years past when she might have normally died – but eventually, one might think of getting up and doing something else.

Deline was pretty sure that time would come eventually, but she was comfortable and content with her head on Carrone’s chest, listening to his heartbeat and his breathing.

And then he said *wait.*

“I wasn’t going anywhere.”  She looked up at his face – or at least his beard – lazily but didn’t feel the need to move yet.

“No, I mean.  Wait. The names of all three Imperial Wives are known, like the Emperor’s name and his heirs are known.  None of them are *Deline* or anything close to it.”

“And if you married me, the name that went in the record books would probably not be *Carrone*, either.  My Imperial Name is not the name I use in day-to-day living or in operations, else people would be saying ‘Oh?  Like the Imperial Wife?’ and then they would look at me and possibly think of the portraits and then, well, I am not very secretive.”

“I don’t think I’ve seen portraits of the Imperial Wives, except maybe the first wife.”

“We let Aucheria handle most of the matters that involve being out in public and having her face shown.  That way, I can do-” she sighed. “I could do all of my work without much chance at all of being revealed.”

“So what’s your Imperial name?  Did you take on Deline as a second name, or your Imperial name like a sort of fancy robe?”

“Both, actually.  Deline is the name I took as a Bear Claw, and then my Imperial Name goes on after that like another robe.  I was birth-named as Marush.”

“How do you know what to answer to?”

She propped herself up.  “Do Halorans keep the same name their whole life?”

“Priests don’t, and some of the other strange professions.  but most people, the name your parents give you is the one you wear your whole life.  My parents called me Carrone, and so did people when I worked in the guard, and so on.”

“Marush is the sort of name that most people don’t carry into adulthood.  It’s, uh, it’s a word for a bear-cub, and most people outgrow being a cub.”

“So you were Marush, and then you were Deline…”  He shook his head. “What do you parents call you?”

“In private? Marush.  I’m going to be a little cub forever to my parents.  I think most kids are.” She propped herself up and looked at him.  “Does it matter that much?”

“It feels like – it felt like you were hiding what you were from me.”

“Well, I was.”  She didn’t huff at him, but it was a close call. “Well, in a manner of speaking.  I *am* Deline the Claw of the Bear. That is part of who I am, just like being Marush  Mianmear is part of who I am. I was hiding being the Emperor’s wife from everyone, not just from you.  Because people were literally trying to kill me, and would not have been trying less if they knew that the Emperor’s wife had been in Dekleg causing trouble.”

He frowned at her.  She frowned back at him.  Why was he so *thick* about things that mattered and so determined on things that didn’t matter at all?

“I didn’t lie to you about my name.  I didn’t lie to you about being the Emperor’s wife-”

“You haven’t told me your Imperial name yet.”

“We’re not in the Capital yet.”

“You can’t just-”  He stopped mid-sputter.  “I suppose it’s safer that way.  And if people are still trying to kill you – you’ve already told me more than you ought to.  The less I know, the less can be taken from me.”

She snuggled against his bare chest. “Nobody is going to do that.” That was ridiculous, of course, although her identity was probably not what people coming after them would be the most interested in. “You already know that I’m a wife I’d the Emperor. You already know why — more or less — I was in Dekleg.”

“And I know you didn’t kill those priests.”  He stroked her back gently. “I understand, ah.  Wetwork. Dark work. And I know it has limits.”

He sounded so *sincere*.  She looked into his eyes and wondered if she was missing something.  Some urge? Something that-

She didn’t snort out loud, but her lips turned up in  a bit of a strange smile. She was definitely overthinking this.

“Mmm?”  She titled his head and looked at her as if trying to figure out what was going on in her head.  She leaned in and kissed him, the sort of kiss today – and he – deserved, long and tender.

“I was thinking it had been too long; I forgot what afterglow feels like.   I forgot lying around feeling silly.”

“Mmm, it really has been too long.  For me, too – well.” He cleared his throat. “Quite a while, at least.  I think I’m doing enough being silly for both of us.” He snorted “‘Wait, what’s your name?’ isn’t something I’ve had to ask someone in a situation like this in a long time.”

She chuckled.  “So I guess I should ask too.  Do you have more name than Carrone?”

“It’s Carrone the Hunter – or it was.  I was Carrone Carronne-son for a long time growing up, or just Carrone the Little.”“Little, hrrm?”  She found herself grinning.  “Sir, there is nothing little about you.”

Want more?


Dear Facebook, explain yourself

Feb. 15th, 2019 10:07 am
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Just now I opened a tab to my Facebook feed. I was required to log back in, and I was not able to access the site until I either accepted Facebook's decision on a post of mine they hid from view or requested manual review of that decision.

The post in question is my share, without comment, of a blog post entitled "She's Fucking Nine", by Sunflower Punk on the Orbit. Content notes: the post describes an unnamed man sexually harassing Sunflower Punk's nine-year-old daughter.

image )

Facebook community standards, as cited in this screenshot, suggest Facebook wishes to create an atmosphere free of "intimidation and exclusion", free of bigoted attacks based on such characteristics as race and gender. Facebook is also, I'm certain, an organization with children's safety as a core value. Sunflower Punk attacked no one in this post. They only discussed an incident of gendered, likely race-based (Sunflower Punk and their daughter are Puerto Rican) harassment directed at a nine-year-old. Since Sunflower Punk did nothing wrong here, only called attention to this incident, I am at a loss for what I did wrong by sharing the post.

I requested manual review.

(If y'all want to show support for Sunflower Punk and their daughter, their Patreon &c are linked from that post. Signal boosting this or any other of Sunflower Punk's work is also great.)

Religious lingerie (relingerie?)

Feb. 15th, 2019 09:46 am
thnidu: edited from img383.imageshack.us/img383/3066/ss35450qf7.jpg (smiley)
[personal profile] thnidu
(Seen elseweb)

A man went into Victoria’s Secret to get his girlfriend a bra. He was completely flummoxed by the endless choices everywhere he looked. The saleswoman pulled him aside and, with sympathy, explained that there were really only four kinds of bras, all of them religious. This completely confused him, so she explained:

“There’s the Catholic bra, which holds up the masses.

There’s the Salvation Army bra that lifts the fallen.

There’s the Presbyterian bra that keeps them upright.

And there’s the Baptist bra, that makes mountains out of molehills.”

“Well,” he said, “Sometimes she wears a bra and sometimes she doesn’t, and I can’t always tell by looking.”

“Maybe you want the Agnostic bra: Is there a bra or isn’t there? You just can’t know.”

“Hmmmm... You know, she’s a Quaker...”

“So she needs a Quaker bra,” said the saleswoman, showing a bra that was virtually invisible. “Quakers hold them in the Light.”

This is just a status update.

Feb. 15th, 2019 10:26 am
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
I am struggling.

Don't comment.


aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)

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