Here's to hoping that this is for real! Also that Dot and Mac are in it! Miss Fisher isn't the same without Dot and Mac (or Bert and Cec and Mr. Butler and Jane, but Dot and Mac are my favorites).
Here's to hoping that this is for real! Also that Dot and Mac are in it! Miss Fisher isn't the same without Dot and Mac (or Bert and Cec and Mr. Butler and Jane, but Dot and Mac are my favorites).
Helping Hands - Guardians of the Galaxy - Gamora & Nebula: Nebula returns.
Here Be Unicorns - Eye Candy - Bubonic/Tommy: Why did no one ever tell Charlie that unicorns are human-hating jerks.
Round Two - Eye Candy - Bubonic/Tommy: “Time heals all wounds,” Katherine says, asks. Tommy is unconvinced.
What is His - Eye Candy - Bubonic/Tommy: Charlie will take care of this.
Smile - Agents of Shield - Daisy Johnson/Grant Ward: She is trying to smile.
Ghost in the Machine - Pacific Rim - Raleigh Becket/Chuck Hansen implied: You can drift with the dead.
Many Happy Returns - Supergirl - Kara Danvers/Mon-El: There is the first hint of silver in his hair.
And then I discovered 1010! Which is like Tetris but without the blocks dropping - instead you place them wherever you like/they'll fit to make complete rows etc. And I have spent the past few days enthralled and exhausted because I've stayed up way too late doing this. I even paid $1.99 so I could have it ad free!
And then last night when I looked up from my phone after many, many games, and it was 12:45 am, I deleted it, because I can't be having with that. I was seeing it behind my eyelids while awake, and dreaming about it when I was asleep. Ugh. It was so nice and soothing too. But since I can't control myself, I had to get rid of it. Sigh.
Anyway, Wednesday means books, so buckle up!
What I've just finished
Babylon's Ashes, the last currently available Expanse novel, which I liked a lot. Are these books perfect? No. There's still too much Holden, though I did like that ( spoilers ) Avasarala, Bobbie, Naomi, and Amos are still my faves, and Alex makes a good showing here, too. This and Nemesis Games are really one long arc, and should probably be read together.
Buried Heart by Kate Elliott, the conclusion of the Court of Fives trilogy. I enjoyed it, though I still think maybe Jessamy made some assumptions that she had no real basis for which turned out to be true (this happened in the first book too), which is a downside of first person POV, because I kept waiting for her to be wrong about some things and she wasn't (well, she was wrong about a bunch of things, but not some of the things I thought she might be wrong about). Anyway, I found it a satisfying if slightly pat conclusion, and as with the Cold Magic trilogy, I found the revolution a lot more interesting than the romance.
Bombshells vol 3: Uprising - after Recent Events, I decided to go back to this and finish it, and the titular uprising made me tear up on the subway. Also, MIRI MARVEL!!! I don't know if I knew about that? But I LOVE IT. ♥♥♥ I can't wait to pick up volume 4.
Star Wars: Kanan: The Last Padawan volumes 1 & 2. These were fine. I enjoyed them, but they were somewhat repetitive when read in trade - there was a lot of catching up in the narration, which is good for a monthly comic but less good when reading it all in one go. Also, every other page, he's like, "Don't call me kid!" which got a little old. Mostly interesting to me for sad Jedi details, like Caleb saying Styles was his first friend even though we see him with Tai and Sammo - were they not friends? That's so depressing. Unless he meant first non-Jedi friend, which is better. I'm just going to pretend that's what he meant so I can be slightly less sad.
Also notable for explicitly referencing the "Jedi code" which I hear a lot about in fic but am not sure I'd ever seen in any currently canon material, and it was "emotion, yet peace; chaos, yet serenity; death, yet the Force" which is interesting to me because it makes so much more sense than the other formulation I see in fic a lot: "there is no chaos, there is serenity" etc. I mean, you know me and my "take what I like and ignore the rest" approach to canon, so it's nice to have it there as needed, but as always I find the way things get flattened in fanon so interesting.
Because I mean, yeah, the Jedi were certainly culpable in both Anakin's fall and their own demise, because they were hidebound and corrupt the way any millennia-old organization made of people would be, and they definitely had some blindspots about a variety of things (providing therapy to members who needed it, using a slave army, being co-opted by the Senate, etc.), but they didn't deserve what happened to them. Let's not ever actually grace Anakin's horrific dumbassery ("from my POV, the Jedi are evil!") with any validity. Like, sure, Yoda gave him some poor advice, and Mace Windu was critical sometimes, and they made some compromised decisions, but that doesn't justify slaughtering anyone.
Anyway, it was also nice to see Rae Sloane, despite her poor life choices.
I also read Star Wars #34 this morning, which is mostly a standalone issue featuring Sana Starros swindling everyone in the galaxy from pirates to Hutts to Imperials and back. I would watch a whole movie about her. She might be Han Solo's fake (ex?)wife, but she's also Aphra's ex-girlfriend, so that would be amazing to see on screen. You could cast Nicole Beharie as Sana and Arden Cho as Aphra, and let them go be con artists together and I would line up multiple times to give Disney my money. Especially if Hondo showed up, too.
What I'm reading now
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the third book of the Broken Earth trilogy. But I'm only a few pages in and it's taking me a little while to get back up to speed, especially since my brain isn't working so well today because of my lack of sleep. *g*
What I'm reading next
The next Craft Sequence book comes out in a couple of weeks, but before that, I dunno.
I want to write him a summary of the Soviet Army officer's career path, what service branches are available, etc., but nothing I can find tells me the basic stuff. It's all focused on generals and stuff. (Looked on Wiki, looked on Google, neither helped. I found a monograph on dtic.mil that was from 1975 and provided *some* detail, but expected me the reader to know more than I do to make sense of stuff.)
To quote his draft summary: "(1) Early life. Born in 1959, he follows a similar course to Putin (joining the military instead, but attached as an "adviser" to one of the Soviet Bloc countries after a tour in Afghanistan which gave him a scar on his upper right arm from a Taliban attack). He resigned with a TBD officer's rank in the middle of the 1991 coup attempt (a la Putin; he's simply younger) rather than join in the attempt (which he percieved as doomed)."
He's trying to figure it out in more detail than that, but the problem is that he (the player) and I (the GM, one of two, responsible for helping him draw up his character - he does the important work of figuring out policies and stuff, the meat of gameplay, himself) can't find anything much about anything re the company-grade and field-grade officers of the Soviet Army and how they were trained, or how their careers progressed, or anything.
1. As the character was born in 1959, presume he enters officer training from civilian life sometime around 1977. How long is his officer training, and how is it decided whether he goes, say, infantry or airborne troops?
2. What's the career path like from initial officer training (including "what rank does he enter service at?" - the materials I can find state "Lieutenant", but the Soviet Army has 3 Lieutenant ranks!) to, say, battalion command?
3. What additional school-type training would he undergo during that career path, and at what times during his career? (I can help the player figure out good tour-of-duty mixes once I have that information.)
4. What service arms existed in the Soviet Army? I often hear of officers referred to as a "Colonel of Infantry", "Colonel of Air Defense", "Colonel of Strategic Rocket Forces" - but what are the possible options for the "of x" formula?
5. Were ordinary officers even assigned as "advisors" to Warsaw Pact forces, or only Political Officers?
I know these are really detailed questions in some regard. I'm trying to keep them general, but even the general stuff is hard to figure out. My objectives for this are:
B. Figure out what his career would have looked like - where would he have served, at what levels, doing what? (Especially key to figure out when he would have served in Afghanistan.)
C. Figure out if the early life posited is *plausible*.
I thus don't need to know deep details (at least not until a player requests a detailed bio of their Russian adversary from their intel people, at which point I may be back...), but only be able to work out a summary. I can do the hard part of the work myself and with the player, but I need help figuring out the foundational stuff before I begin that.
(Edited to add: Link to something Google *did* dredge up for me, and my note that what I was sent was a draft summary of the character, not a full bio. We'll be working on the full bio once we have the summary agreed to.)
In breathtaking irony, he's the kind of person who thinks people like me are "the problem with racism in Australia".
A clip by SBS Viceland played on this so hard, it was wonderful: A Message From Australians Who Look A Bit Foreign.
Anyway. There's a meme going around somewhere? where you post the first lines of some of your works in progress? so I thought, why not? I sure have enough of them. So here are the first lines from a few of my wsip:
Half-Truths and Hyperbole (Star Wars; Obi-Wan/Satine Regency AU)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a planetary ruler being targeted by assassins must be in need of a Jedi bodyguard.
how strangely my life is curved (Star Wars, Ahsoka unfrozen in the TFA-era)
"There's a message from Lando," Leia says.
How Soon Is Now (Star Wars, sequel to Sing a New Song)
Time moves differently on Malachor.
nobody move, nobody get hurt (Star Wars, Anakin/lady!Obi-Wan au)
Obi-Wan learns two things in the immediate aftermath of the disaster that is the mission to Naboo: one, it's harder to be a master than she ever thought, and two, she cannot--will not--replace Anakin's mother, and the boy won't settle down and learn until he's assured of his mother's safety.
the movement and the spin (Star Wars, Anakin/lady!Obi-Wan au, companion piece to nobody move, nobody get hurt)
Maybe one day he'll look back on this and laugh, but right now, Anakin hates being fourteen.
The Bonds That We Save (Peggy Carter & Etta Candy crossover)
A secretary leads Peggy through a bewildering series of corridors that are clearly meant to confuse the unobservant; even she might have a difficult time finding her way back out.
Drive It Like You Stole It (Star Wars, Han/Leia)
Leia's back hits the mattress, Han's body a warm weight above her, and she thinks, I don't deserve this.
That seems like enough to be going on with.
Also she has prompted my meal planning for a bastardized primavera sauce for later this week, which is an entirely different type of pasta sauce. Though it does have mushrooms in it, and parmesan, which will contribute nicely to the umami. (I really can't stop myself.)
(Also it might be time to try another run at that delicious fresh fava bean and parmesan salad, even though fresh fava beans are a gigantic pain to peel. But it was SO GOOD. I just need to remember to get a loaf of good sourdough or French bread to toast first to soak up the sauce.)
Also she will forgive me for not ending a nested parenthetical properly.
Though she will laugh at me. Probably a lot. (I will deserve it.)
But the nice thing about pasta sauce is that I can cook it gluten-free and she can still come over and eat it ANY TIME. We can have a GF pot and a gluten pot of pasta. Which she knows. This is the joy of pasta. The pots wash and the gluten comes off. It's not like flour, which gets in the nooks and crannies of the KitchenAid and stays EVERYWHERE.
Though I do have a nifty recipe for GF peanut butter cookies from Smitten Kitchen if we ever want to get together and bake something. I could use a hand mixer or a wooden spoon instead of the KitchenAid. Also you do the GF stuff first, before you get the flour in the air, so that you don't cross-contaminate.
When I first started posting about social justice online, on my fannish livejournal, I posted about racism a LOT, with lots of self righteous LET ME EXPLAIN A THING. And then two of my non-white(*) friends said it was ruining my blog for them: one because she felt like I was speaking over her experiences, which didn’t match the monolithic How POC Feel Narrative I was ‘explaining’, the other because it was causing my clueless white friends to say racist crap in the comments. I had to fight back a defensive “But DON’T YOU WANT ME TO FIGHT RACISM??” reaction.
Ten years later and I’m still trying to figure out how to discuss racism in ways that actually help fight racism, and make the spaces I control supportive of POC/non-white people, rather than simply making the loudest possible noise about how it’s REALLY BAD YOU GUYS.
( Read more... )
Read up quite a lot about Charlottesville and the responses from Christian leaders who haven't sold their soul to nationalism over evangelism:
Two from the Auburn Seminary:
Will Christian America Pick Up Its Cross?
Every word of every book in the scripture was written by a person who was colonized or under threat of colonization by empire. The good news of The Bible must be considered good news to the colonized!
What I Saw In Charlottesville
The courage of the clergy present inspired me. In public gatherings and in private conversations before Saturday, participating clergy were warned that there was a high possibility of suffering bodily harm. A group of clergy (pictured below) walked arm-in-arm into the very center of the storm, so to speak, delaying entry to the park as they stood, sang, and kneeled. (Lisa Sharon Harper shares her reflections here.) This symbolic act took a great deal of courage, and many who did so were spat on, subjected to slurs and insults, and exposed to tear gas. I hold them in the highest regard.
Even Tim Keller has something to say:
Race, The Gospel, and the Moment
First, Christians should look at the energized and emboldened white nationalism movement, and at its fascist slogans, and condemn it—full stop. No, “But on the other hand.”
In Australia, the government has decided to waste $122million (estimated) on a survey of whether same-sex marriage should be legal. It's a survey because it's non-binding and non-mandatory vote. (A 'plebiscite' is a non-binding, mandatory vote on a constitutional matter, and a 'referendum' is a binding, mandatory vote on a constitutional matter. Aren't you glad I told you?)
The most godly Christian response to the whole situation that I have yet seen has been given by someone who wasn't even on my radar in Australian Christianity. But it encapsulates everything that I wanted to say about what's going on and how Christians are reacting/behaving.
Hey Christians, Watch Out For That Plebiscite
As per usual, it is advisable not to read the comments.
In 1939, I didn’t hear war coming. Now its thundering approach can’t be ignored... by Harry Leslie Smith, survivor and soldier of WWII.
I know most of you are here for the fic and the giggles, and I imagine that you're a little pissed off that I'm putting up links about politics and faith. Fair enough.
Truthfully, I'm just having a perfect storm of real-world issues relevant to my interests as a Christian, as an Australian-born Australian of Chinese descent, as the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants and refugees, and as a woman.
Charlottesville-based organizations that can take your money. (The Twitter thread have been going around; this is a blog post that rounds up the links.)
"'I was expecting him to come home, not to be buried,' [the 16-year-old's grandmother] told the station. 'I was telling him, give yourself a little while and you’ll be home with me.'" Justice for Aries Clark.
"We are among the vast majority of Americans who believe that we must take sensible steps to prevent massacres like the one that took my daughter’s life. We will continue to speak up. We will not go away."
2014 FBI study: "There were, on average, 16.4 [mass] shootings a year from 2007 to 2013, compared with an average of 6.4 shootings annually from 2000 to 2006. In the past 13 years, 486 people have been killed in such shootings, with 366 of the deaths in the past seven years." This was commissioned by Obama post-Sandy Hook, and was the first FBI study of its kind.
"...two officers who encountered the armed off-duty officer ordered him to the ground. He complied. When they recognized the off-duty officer, they told him he could stand up and walk toward them. Another officer just arriving at the scene saw the off-duty officer get up and, not knowing he was an officer, fired his weapon once at the man."
"Southaven officers went to the wrong house to serve a warrant on Monday, which resulted in the shooting death of a man who did not have any active warrants out for his arrest." Worse, they shot Ismael Lopez through his front door.
= thank you to everyone who commented on my post about the offer being accepted! I'm still working on replying, but your cautious yays are much appreciated. *g*
= One of my co-workers recently left for another job, and upon her departure, she gifted a number of us with tiny succulent plants in tiny plant pots. I dutifully looked up how to care for a succulent, because I have a black thumb and have never succeeded in keeping any plant alive (my mother was so good at plants, you guys! and I have always been terrible at them), so last week I watered it as directed, and this morning when I got to my cube, it looked like it had given up on life. It was all slumped and faded. Boss3 was out on vacation last week, so her little plant got no water, but lots of light. It had actually grown by a visible amount! So I just gave her mine to put on her windowsill. *hands* We'll see if it survives, or if my black thumb has claimed another hapless victim.
= I have been in contact with my new loan officer (the one referred by my broker), and she seems very on the ball. She sent me a list of required documents and I diligently attached all of them to my response. She also asked for two forms of ID, and since I have a valid in-state driver's license, according to the instructions, I could use my work ID as the second form. Alas, when I went to scan it, I discovered that my last name had been spelled incorrectly. I've had this ID card for 8 1/2 years, and never noticed that before. Not even last summer when I lost it and found it and had it replaced. (I knew my name was spelled wrong in ADP, but since it's right on my pay stubs, and my money gets deposited every two weeks, I don't really care. Of course, it's spelled wrong in a different way. idek.) So I couldn't use it. I thought I might have to wait until tomorrow, because my passport is at home, but they say they'll also take a utility bill, so I downloaded the latest one from ConEd and sent that along.
= My attorney received the new contract, so hopefully one day later this week I'll be able to sign it and get the ball rolling in earnest on this whole process. The contract lists a closing date of 'on or about' October 14, which would be amazing if it actually happened that quickly. I can be hopeful but I don't really expect it to happen like that. (Of course, after closing, I would still have to have some painting done and also the floors, but that shouldn't take too much time, right? *meep*)
= Last night, I was looking to watch something easy and comforting, and I remembered The Toast's recent take on The Hunt for Red October, and it's available streaming via Amazon Prime, so I put it on. I have a fondness for submarine movies in general, and this one in particular - my dad and I saw it together, as we did many other movies over the years. For a while in my teens and twenties, we had a standing Sunday movie date (in the 80s he was even okay with going to movies on opening weekend, and occasionally even on opening night - I'm pretty sure I saw ESB and ROTJ as well as Temple of Doom and Last Crusade with him the weekend they opened), and even in later years I could sometimes chivvy him out of his recliner to go to the movies - especially once reserved seating with in-theater recliners started being available. The last movie we saw together was CATWS, which seems right to me.
= And now, lunch.