Update - Today Looking Up

Apr. 22nd, 2019 12:43 pm
heron61: (hopeful cat)
[personal profile] heron61
I haven't been awake that long, but things are definitely looking up. I woke up after 4 hours of sleep, but managed to get back to sleep for a total of almost 7 - I'll see if I can manage to get to sleep earlier tonight, but definitely a step in the right direction. Then, my email contained a note about my book out for approvals:
"A few more small comments, but consider this approved!"
So, that's a vast load off my mind.

Then my mom called, which filled me with terror and anxiety. She was in tears, and apologized profusely - I think this makes something like the 4th or 5th time in my entire life she has apologized to me. She wants me to come out on June 3 - June 7, which I'm not eager for at all, but I'll do it. It's troubling and strange to realize that because she's entirely alone (my parents have no local friends and both are only children, so they also have no other remotely close relatives), that she can no longer afford to abuse me w/o consequences.

Also, I just called back the counselor that left me a voice mail on Friday, and I have an appointment tomorrow at 11 am - it's a bit early for me, but I'll schedule the others later.

Hopefully, the day will continue well.

General Update + Parent Stress

Apr. 22nd, 2019 01:12 am
heron61: (Heron - About Me)
[personal profile] heron61
I’m so tired I’m slightly dizzy. On Friday, I made my plane tickets to see my parents from June 3 - June 7, amidst conflicting messages from my mother about how I needed to come visit, but that coming to visit that far after my dad’s birthday (May 11) was completely unacceptable, and I should visit earlier. I didn’t mention [personal profile] teaotter and I visiting our dear friends in Oakland from May 16-22, and I will need to lie about this during my daily phone calls to my mom then, because that wouldn’t serve as an excuse, but simply as another reason to attack me, just as she had attacked me for wanting to spend the time around Mother’s Day with [personal profile] teaotter due to her mother dying last year at that time.

In any case, early Friday evening, I was just about to call my mom back and ask her straight out if I should cancel the tickets, and just before I picked up my phone, she called me and complained more about the tickets, so I cancelled them (in time for a full refund, yay). I have no idea when I’ll be visiting either around then or in August, since one of my mom’s threats was saying that I couldn’t come out in August if I didn’t visit in May, meaning I’d need to foot plane flight to GenCon myself, rather than flying to see them and then flying to GenCon and heading home. Flying from Portland to Indianapolis rather a lot of money for me - more than I can currently afford. At this point, I think I’m willing to miss GenCon. I have friends that I like among the various gaming industry people, and I get work there, but I get work in other ways too, and I’m simply not sure that going it worth the emotional stress with my parents, unless that’s the only visit I do this Summer. OTOH, that may work, we shall see.

In any case, I was a complete mess on Saturday, and my awesome partner [personal profile] amberite figured out that handling stuff with my parents, and the fact that I effectively have a separate persona/interaction mode for dealing with them, that had been getting increasingly frantic was the reason I was so messed up. That provided me with much needed clarity.

Then, today, I went over to see my amazing new friend [personal profile] alatefeline, and kept them company as they cleaned and organized their space. After that, I talked about my parents with them, and they were utterly drop dead amazing at providing insights and most of all, much needed comfort. It was a lovely and wonderful visit, and then the two of us went out for ice cream with [personal profile] amberite, which was also wonderful. [personal profile] teaotter was writing fanfic and has been erratic in a variety of ways trying to get her supplements to all function together, and seemed slightly better tonight, but also far from full functionality, which is stressful to her, me, and [personal profile] amberite. Among other things, [personal profile] alatefeline helped me realize that while if my parents weren't rich, and thus an upcoming source of money needed money, I'd cease letting my mom try to control me, and I'd also only call every few weeks and would visit a Christmas and no other time, but that I wouldn't cut them out of my lives, which is not a comfortable thing to realize about abusive parents, but is very useful to know.

I often think of myself as rather morally "flexible", I know that the rules that I live by are rather eccentric, and I often do not consider myself a good person, but after that conversation with [personal profile] alatefeline, I wonder if I actually am.

In any case, I got home many hours ago, and have done little, until recently when I realized exactly how exhausted I am, which I hope is a good sign. My mom has been exceedingly vicious for more than a week, and during that time I haven’t managed to sleep more than 5 ½-6 ½ hours a night – regardless of when I go to bed, I wake up that many hours later and can’t get back to sleep, along with having something resembling hot flashes when I wake up (many medical tests, combined with observation clearly showed there’s nothing going on with me except stress). Both of these serious stress symptoms that first showed up more than a year ago, after I became exceptionally upset about our semi-nazi government, and they got worse whenever I visited my parents and when Becca’s mom died and Becca went to the funeral.

In any case, what was different this time was something I haven’t had for well more than a decade – before now, I wasn’t tired despite not having nearly enough sleep for more than a week. I didn’t feel good, but I felt completely alert, and that’s over. Between help and comfort from [personal profile] amberite and [personal profile] alatefeline, I’m at long last completely exhausted (or am at least aware of this fact). I’m a bit scared to get to sleep because I worry about waking up too soon again, despite what I’ve been taking to help me stay asleep, and I’m also deeply troubled that I need to talk to my mom again tomorrow, but I’m also taking my tiredness as a very good sign indeed.

On the positive side, I’ve been looking for a counselor, and after several places having no openings or no opening for someone taking my insurance, I finally got a call back on Saturday, to call someone tomorrow to set up an appointment, so that makes me nervous too, but it’s also a very good thing (I hope).

Also, not only is one book back for approvals again (crosses fingers), but I also both got my writing on my current project done for this week, as well as ¼ of my writing on that books done for next week, so I’m close to finished, and don’t need to work very hard next week. One ability I’m deeply thankful I possess is the ability to turn extreme stress into solid productivity – I don’t end up any less stressed, but I do at least get necessary things done. In the coming week, I shall work and read novels next week, and attempt to relax.

Daily Happiness

Apr. 22nd, 2019 12:30 am
torachan: a cartoon owl with the text "everyone is fond of owls" (everyone is fond of owls)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I posted manga again today. Two days in a row! :D

2. I was really tired today for some reason, so I'm looking forward to just staying home and resting tomorrow.

3. Look at this Molly enjoying a box!

Scanlations: Eve's Slumber ch. 9

Apr. 21st, 2019 08:59 pm
torachan: (eve's slumber)
[personal profile] torachan

Title: Eve's Slumber
Original Title: イヴの眠り (Eve no Nemuri)
Author: Yoshida Akimi
Publisher: Flower Comics
Category: Shoujo
Genre: Sci-fi, Action
Status in Japan: 5 volumes, complete
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations
More Info: Baka Updates
Read Online: MangaDex

Summary: Arisa Kurosaki lives on a coffee plantation in Hawaii with her parents, Lu Mei and Ken, and her younger brother Shinji. With her ability to sense the spiritual power of mana, she has often been called the dragon's daughter, but for the most part she's just an ordinary teenage girl. That is, until a boy claiming to be the son of her parents' old friend comes to Hawaii from China just to warn her that she's in danger...

Chapter Summary: Will Death succeed in kidnapping Arisa?

Chapter 9

It is spring

Apr. 21st, 2019 10:02 am
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
I look out into the back garden. There is a rustling in the undergrowth and a little black one-eyed panther appears, trotting towards me. "Mrrah? Mrrahh?"


The heated towel rail in the bathroom has been turned off and therefore I'm making the switch from cotton to linen bath towels.


This being the UK, spring may be revoked at any moment without notice. Much like Brexit.

Daily Happiness

Apr. 21st, 2019 12:34 am
torachan: tavros from homestuck dressed as pupa pan (pupa pan)
[personal profile] torachan
1. We've had some nice chilly weather the past couple days. I just checked the ten day forecast and it looks like it's going to stay that way for a while, too, which is nice.

2. Posted manga tonight.

3. It was kind of hectic at work today for a little bit but not too bad.

4. Look at these Chloe paws! I love when she snuggles under the blankets.

Vidding 101 Begins

Apr. 20th, 2019 10:54 pm
elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
[personal profile] elf
I picked up Sony Vegas 14 at HumbleBundle a while back, and finally got around to installing it.

I want to make a vid. I want to make a vid I know damn well nobody else will make, so I guess I gotta learn vidding.

However, the vid I want to make is complicated and involves several sources from different eras, which I know is a pain. So first, I gotta make an easy-for-beginners vid to get used to the software.

Criteria for beginner vidding:
* Ideally, single video source (a movie or single episode)
* Video source you don't mind watching a zillion times because you don't know what you're doing so you're going to see a LOT of it
* Song you don't mind hearing a zillion times, for the same reason
* Not your dream vid project - this is not going to be perfect

Various other vidding tips apply: something visually interesting, song that has enough "story" or tempo changes to give you some structure, avoid songs or vid material that's been used lots of times unless you want to be The New Version of one of those.

I figured out what I want to do.

I think I'm ready to try this )
torachan: (shibito no koe wo kiku ga yoi)
[personal profile] torachan

Title: You Will Hear the Voice of the Dead
Original Title: 死人の声をきくがよい (Shibito no Koe wo Kiku ga Yoi)
Author: Hiyodori Sachiko (Uguisu Sachiko)
Publisher: Champion Red Comics
Category: Shounen
Genre: Horror, Humor
Status in Japan: 12 volumes, complete
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Nostal
More Info: Baka Updates
Read Online: MangaDex

Summary: Sickly Kishida Jun has the ability to see ghosts, but in his opinion, it's a stupid power and nothing good ever comes of it. Considering the number of grisly situations he seems to find himself in after the ghost of his childhood friend Hayakawa Ryoko starts following him around, he may have a point.

Chapter Summary: In this three-parter, a secret society attempts to capture Ghost.

Chapter 55: Ghost Requiem Part 1
Chapter 56: Ghost Requiem Part 2
Chapter 57: Ghost Requiem Part 3

And this is the end of another volume, so here's a full volume download for those who want it.

Books to Savor - Paladin of Souls

Apr. 20th, 2019 02:00 am
heron61: (Books)
[personal profile] heron61
Most books I read quite fast. In college, I discovered that I could read novels so fast that I swiftly forgot what happened, although I enjoyed the process of reading. I remember reading Patricia McKillip's Harpest In The Wind, and realizing at the end of it, I had little memory of what had occurred. So, I taught myself to read a bit more slowly and retain what I read better, but I still read most novels quite rapidly - just not as rapidly as before. However, that's not how I read all books. Some few, like [personal profile] graydon's brilliant Commonweal novels are for slow and careful reading, as I attempt to extract all the complex wonder and fascinating ideas from them.

However, there's also a rarer pleasure found in some books, I read them slowly to savor them and fall into them. Nina Kiriki Hoffman's The Red Heart of Memories and Past the Size of Dreaming are novels like this, and so is Lois McMaster Bujold's Paladin of Souls. My awesome new friend [personal profile] alatefeline loaned me this book, and told me it was one of their favorites - I now see why.

Although this week had too much work, with both writing about dragons and revising the book I'm developing, I found a bit of time for reading, and read the last third of the book tonight. It is a lovely book. It's not one of those with brilliant new ideas, and I was familiar with the setting from Bujold's quite good Penric novellas. Instead, it a book that focuses on its characters and their choices, and above all on the protagonist and her choices and her life. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Daily Happiness

Apr. 20th, 2019 12:09 am
torachan: sakaki from azumanga daioh holding a cat, with the text "I like cats" in Japanese (sakaki)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Had a really good night's sleep last night for what felt like the first time in a while. I didn't sleep well the night before so I was extra tired and that helped. Hopefully I'll sleep well again tonight.

2. I did a lot of reading and playing Yoshi's Crafted World today, and just generally had a relaxing day off for the most part.

3. I also had a suuuuuper sweet cuddly Jasper. He was so happy to have both me and Carla home today that he was just extra cuddly all around.

4. Carla made Trader Joe's meyer lemon cake and we had that with strawberries. That cake is so good! Glad they brought it back again this year.

5. The face of a sweet cuddle bun.

Tarot layout: Moon in Libra reading

Apr. 19th, 2019 11:17 pm
elf: Crowley's Queen of Wands (Queen of Wands)
[personal profile] elf
The topic of specialized readings came up on a Discord channel, so I made a layout for the full moon in Libra (that's today, technically in about 5 hours; the next day and a half or so are still considered "full moon" for magical workings).

Large image under the cut )

Weekly Reading

Apr. 19th, 2019 09:33 pm
torachan: arale from dr slump dressed in a penguin suit and smiling (arale penguin)
[personal profile] torachan
Currently Reading
I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves
This guy has a show on Netflix now that sounds interesting (about a gay disabled man, based on and played by himself) but I haven't watched it yet, but when I was reading an article about the show it mentioned his memoir as well, so I picked that up. Only read the intro so far.

Inner City Blues
No progress.

Triple Threat
About halfway through and enjoying it. I'm sad that this series ended after only three books.

Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood
Got to the start of the 1930s. So far it's been really interesting, though I've been going at a slow pace as I've been focusing more on other books (thankfully was able to renew it as it's due back at the library in a couple days and I'm nowhere near done).

Recently Finished
The Frangipani Tree Mystery
This was so good! Definitely going to read more books in the series.

Gaikotsu Shoten-in Honda-san vol. 4
I enjoyed the first three well enough but there was really not enough material for a fourth volume and it's super padded out with random stuff.

(no subject)

Apr. 19th, 2019 09:14 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I was stuck in a car for six hours today, since I'm joining Pat on his monthly trip to see his kids. I spent most of that time writing up a post on history and culture explaining why white people smile awkwardly and say nothing when someone commits a social faux pas. I've gotten some pushback on how I'm only describing the behaviour of a small subset of all white people, whose experiences get generalized to everyone in the same ethnic group, but that's... kind of a feature, IMO, not a bug. The sooner we can demonstrate that racial constructs are artificial bullshit, the better.

I feel so tired though. I worked the two days before this, and did other important stuff like decluttering my stuff in preparation for packing and applying to a job I really want.

The newspaper headlines in southern Alberta are all jubilant. The UCP won the election and the Flames are in playoffs; what more felicity could be demanded from the world, this early in the year?

LGBTQA Characters On TV

Apr. 19th, 2019 04:21 am
heron61: (Default)
[personal profile] heron61
More than a decade ago, I came up with a prediction for the sorts of action + soap opera shows that the CW is noted for, and that I watch far too many of. That concept is called “TV Bi” – the idea is that once we get past most of the homophobia in both our culture and in producers and writers of mass media, then later versions of shows like Buffy or The Vampire Diaries will have many bi characters, because the potential for romance (and the all too common and annoying jealousy plot lines) will greatly increase, since every character could be interested in every other character. I expect this to eventually catch on in a major way.

I couldn’t find a post about this to link to, but I found this one on stages of media acceptance of subcultures, which is relevant, and based on Vito Russo’s brilliant book The Celluloid Closet.

So, I’ve seen what may be the precursor of this, on the CW now less, with the character of Michael in Roswell New Mexico. He’s a male bisexual character who is interested in two of the other major characters (one man and one woman, who are also best friends), and it’s well done and interesting. The other characters on the show are also well done, sadly, the show is quite terrible. The writers can craft good dialog and the actors are pretty good, but the plot is beyond dreadful – it drags on, it’s dumb as a bag of hair, and if the characters weren’t good, [personal profile] teaotter and I would have stopped watching it.

In any case, acceptance of media subcultures has definitely changed since I wrote the above link in 2003. Now, almost every show I watch has at least one gay, bi, or lesbian character, and I’m watching two shows with transsexual protagonists played by trans actors (Supergirl, with Nia Nal, and Pose, which has several trans characters). It’s nice to occasionally look back and notice the progress.

Daily Happiness

Apr. 18th, 2019 11:03 pm
torachan: close-up of a sleepy kitten face (sleepy molly)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Day off tomorrow! I'm really worn out, so I'm looking forward to it even more than usual.

2. I've been keeping up with my daily pushups and I can now do sixty in a row without stopping. I'm definitely feeling a difference in my stomach, chest, and arm muscles.

3. We had pizza for dinner tonight. I haven't had pizza at all while Carla's been gone because I don't like pizza very much when it's not freshly made, so usually I just eat it the first night and leave the leftovers for her, so there's no point getting it when it's just me.

4. Cutie desk Molly!

Tumblr link roundup

Apr. 18th, 2019 07:30 pm
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)
[personal profile] elf
I know it's hard to find anything on Tumblr, so I found some of it for you. Five things make a post, right?

This is where we are in the current fannish drama about "underage characters":
"aging up a character and continuing to say/commission/draw/write nsfw with them in it isn't okay, because you still looked at a MINOR, an ACTUAL CHILD, and found them attractive, and made them an adult to try and justify your attraction to them..."
(It continues. Gets worse. Is followed by comments from other people, with screencaps of other... fascinating perspectives on relationships between characters of different ages.)

Fic Rec
Family Feud by codenamed-queenie, Batfamily, short and hilarious. Gen, no warnings.

Teacher Shenanigans
How scantron tests are made

Tech Tips
How To Track Anonymous Asks on Tumblr, using "view selection source" and "view page source" to find out who sent them.

Writing Tips (also tabletop RPG tips)
Estimating walking travel time (In good circumstances, "an adult can do about 30 miles (approximately 48km) in a day.")

(Western) Easter weekend reflections

Apr. 18th, 2019 05:24 pm
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
How kind of the Attorney General to time the release of the Mueller report so that we all have something to read over the long Easter weekend, during the current Brexit lull. (The end times have clearly arrived: I'm voluntarily watching CNN.)


Having been to the library this morning, my actual Easter-adjacent reading is Why Angels Fall: A Journey Through Orthodox Europe from Byzantium to Kosovo by Victoria Clark and Antisemitism: Here and Now by Deborah Lipstadt. (This might seem an odd choice but given the content of the Holy Week services, I always feel a bit of a moral obligation to give some thoughtful attention to antisemitism over Easter.)


My father gets to choose where my parents go for dinner this Sunday because it's his Easter, but he's suffering from indecision because where he really wants to go is the Puritan in Manchester, NH, that Greek community institution (my grandmother worked in their ice cream shop as a teenager). And of course their Easter specials won't be till next Sunday, which is why my parents will probably go then. He says he's spiritually Greek. What he means is that he really likes their lamb.


As for me, I think I'm going to go to Magdalen College Chapel tomorrow at noon because their Good Friday liturgy is featuring Tallis's Lamentations of Jeremiah.

I was in Durham earlier in the week and made it to half of Evensong on Tuesday evening by racing up the hill at high speed the minute my work appointments were done for the day. I might not have made the effort were it not for the news about Notre Dame: you might think you can always visit another time, but it isn't always true. Naturally there were prayers for Notre Dame, "our fellow World Heritage site."

At the top of the nave was a tall wooden cross hung with burgundy fabric. After the service everyone just filtered out, some people stopping to talk with the priests, but I couldn't resist the instinct to go up and kiss the cross. These Orthodox instincts, I don't know.

By Easter (but which Easter?!) I'll probably have reached my limit with church services, and stay home. We'll see.

Work + My Cat

Apr. 18th, 2019 02:50 am
heron61: (Cats)
[personal profile] heron61
I'm done with my revisions on the book I have out for approval, but I'll be checking it tomorrow before I send it in. Doing this, and doing my normal workload for the project I'm currently writing has been exhausting, but I'm done and checking it over won't take long, and my part of the Dragons book remains well on schedule, if not a bit ahead.

However, what I'm mostly thinking about is my cat Josie (pictured here). She's not the brightest creature - our kitchen (where all three cats get fed) has 2 doors. The other cats know that if they see one door closed to go to the other one. Josie just sits in front of the closed door - although perhaps this is due to her bossy personality rather than limited intelligence, since I then either pick her up and carry her (a process she enjoys) to the open door, or open the closed door.

However, one of her oddest behaviors is something I've never seen another cat do. When we feed them, they all typically run in, and both Flash and Button start eating. More than half the time, including tonight, Josie stops and stares at the eating cats, then she stares at her food, approaches it, again looks at the other cats eating, and then starts eating. Tonight, she was sleeping and came in late, and the other cats were done eating, and she still stared at the other food bowls and at where the other cats would be.

We regularly joke that Josie is either an alien who needs to be reminded how to pass as a cat, or that she is somehow baffled by the sight of food, despite her being the biggest eater (and largest cat) of our three. We also regularly narrate this process "What are they doing? What's that in the bowls? Are they eating? Oh, hey cat food."

Daily Happiness

Apr. 18th, 2019 12:14 am
torachan: a cartoon kitten with a surprised/happy expression (chii)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Super hectic day at work today but I got everything done that urgently needed to get done and the rest can wait till tomorrow.

2. I have to get up early to pick Carla up at the train station tomorrow, but I'm pretty tired right now so hopefully I won't have any trouble falling asleep.

3. The blankets hanging down from the sofa make such a nice hideout for kitties!

Three things make a post!

Apr. 17th, 2019 08:15 pm
emceeaich: The Queen Mother Has a Plan. Be glad you do not figure in it. (hwa yong)
[personal profile] emceeaich

I've seen "Cheese Tea," the salty dairy topping, at more boba tea places, and even shops that specialize in it like Happylemon, and now I've learned what goes in the 'cheese' (it's milk and cream cheese whipped together). At 85°C Bakery, you can get iced coffee with the topping.

If you want to understand where a country is heading pick a 2nd or 3rd tier city and revisit it over many years. - User researcher Jan Chipchase

I got a PyPortal from AdaFruit and have been playing around with it. It's a micro-controller with an attached display. It runs a subset of python and defines a function for grabbing a chunk of data and putting it on the display. Great for dashboards, or Oblique Strategies.


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Ceri B.

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