podcast update, volume five

Aug. 15th, 2017 04:51 pm
runpunkrun: combat boot, pizza, camo pants = punk  (Default)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Most Notorious is a true crime podcast hosted by Erik Rivenes, who has a different guest for each show. Rivenes interviews them and occasionally adds some background information, but the guests do most of the talking so the success of each episode really depends on the personality of the guest. Plus they're interviewed remotely, so you often have audio noise to content with. I listened to parts of three episodes, but found it unengaging.

Next I tried Unsolved Podcast, which is independently produced and hosted by Heidi Galore, who has a background in law enforcement. The episodes are short—less than twenty minutes—lo-fi, and pretty bare bones. Like the title suggests, these are unsolved crimes. I listened to one, and Galore's voice has a muffled character to it, like trying to talk through a retainer. Thankfully, there was a transcript of that episode—with linked sources—on the website, but there are only seven episodes up, and some are just audio with no transcript or sources. Galore offers basic facts and some speculation about the crime, but I've realized I like the mystery part of true crime as well as the storytelling aspect, and I just need more drama in my storytelling.

And then, in an abrupt left turn into no murder—but maybe some ghost stories—is Slumber Party with Alie & Georgia, that's Georgia Hardstark of My Favorite Murder and her friend Alie Ward. This is a casual, funny podcast. I already loved Georgia from MFM, and Alie Ward is also cool and likes science and bug facts. Georgia and Alie usually have a guest and they play slumber party games where they ask the guest their favorite embarrassing snack, what they're reading, or if they've ever seen a ghost. It's light and fun, and Georgia and Alie are comfortable with each other and easy to listen to. The show is currently on hiatus, but has a back catalogue of nearly a hundred one-hour episodes, so there's plenty to listen to. I don't even recognize most of the guests, probably because they're from podcasts I don't listen to, but there are a few guests I do know, like Tony Hale, James Urbaniak, and of course Karen Kilgariff, who tells a ghost story so quietly upsetting it nearly made me cry.

This Week in Fandom, Volume 59

Aug. 15th, 2017 03:09 pm
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Janita' written beneath the OTW logo (Janita)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
This Week in Fandom

This Week in Fandom: Hugo Awards wins for women of colour, casting news for the Good Omens tv series, and more: https://goo.gl/ehCxxZ

Home and home and home

Aug. 15th, 2017 09:46 pm
naye: the sky and mountains above lake geneva (mountain dawn)
[personal profile] naye
Just a glimpse. More to come. This is Lake Geneva from a window in the Chateau de Chillion.

The week in Switzerland was, despite the in-law stressors, an amazing experience. Being near the mountains of my birth always recharges my soul in a way I can't put into words (but I have some pictures for later that might help). Seeing stars wheel over the jagged black alpine silhouettes against the soft summer sky and then waking to slanting light cut by mountains as it streams into a valley is home. Walking along the lake so wide it sometimes seems like a calm green sea as seagulls whirl overhead is home... and of course restful hours spent gazing out the window of clean and spacious trains that (mostly) run on time is also home (though not as home as the backseat of an old SAAB struggling up the hairpin curves with the smell of hot asphalt and fresh hay wafting through the cranked-down window).

And I got to visit the home of my heart; my mountain home. I was in my grandparents house (if not their exact flat) again, where they lived from the early fifties and until the end of their lives. I walked the corridors and lawns where I roamed as a child, and I saw lizards and friendly cats and swifts and sparrows and clouds coming to sweep the mountains in their soft embrace.

Plus I got to spend time with people I love and kids I adore and family whose lives I want to be a part of.

Leaving was hard (leaving home is hard and I missed my grandparents even though I've had years - years and years and years for some - to get used to them not being around and I missed childhood) and our flight was late and today was full of errands and dentists and an embarrassingly slow & halting 6k. There was Twin Peaks to make up for it - we rewatched last week's ep and new-watched Sunday's ep back to back with cherry pie - and that was pretty awesome.

And then tomorrow - 5am start ugh - I'm going to Sweden by myself to look at (and hopefully secure!) an apartment where we can make our next home. In our new home town. Where neither one of us has ever been. And if that flight is late... Well that's a disaster to deal with then. (I'm nervous. Of course.) Then Thursday I meet my new library and my new colleagues (gulp) and then I fly back in time to sleep and go to work on Friday in our current home.

It's... it's A Week, that's for sure. (And that's not even going into any of what's happened in the rest of the world this week!)

But when I'm back - really back, properly rested and recharged back - I have pictures that I want to share. Of my home. The mountainous one. ♥

2017 Election Results

Aug. 14th, 2017 06:04 pm
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[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
OTW contested election banner

The Elections Committee is proud to present the following new Directors: Claire P. Baker, Danielle Strong, and Jessie Camboulives. Learn more here: https://goo.gl/tr4ej4
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[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Fandom Haven Story Archive banner

The Fandom Haven Story Archive, a multifandom fanfiction archive, is being imported to AO3. Learn more here: https://goo.gl/9KSKtf

Five Things Chien Said

Aug. 13th, 2017 12:38 pm
otw_staff: Sarah Loch OTW Communications Staffer (Sarah Loch OTW Communications Staffer)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

In Five Things, Chien discusses life as an OTW volunteer without wifi, & how her work can be a conversation starter https://goo.gl/zSvj6r

sholio: Peter from Guardians of the Galaxy looking over shoulder (Avengers-GotG-Peter)
[personal profile] sholio
This is one of the two GotG vids I made back in May/June, now remastered with HD footage! In addition to replacing all the clips with better-quality ones, I also swapped out a few of them and recut a couple parts of the vid, so it's a little different now than it was. (The old one is still on Youtube if you want to compare. Original DW entry here.)

Fandom: Guardians of the Galaxy 1&2
Song: Holy
Artist: Frightened Rabbit
Summary: He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn't your daddy. Parenthood, family, and divinity, by way of Peter Quill.

Streaming: https://youtu.be/sn2J-gAG3Cs
On AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/works/10920468
Tumblr: here

Download: MP4 - 72 Mb (zipped) | DivX - 110 Mb (zipped)
Subtitles: Download zipped SRT file

Embed and lyrics under the cut.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Holy - remastered )

Vorkosigans for the win! (Literally.)

Aug. 11th, 2017 01:40 pm
sholio: (Books)
[personal profile] sholio
There aren't very many years when I have really strong opinions on Hugo award winners, but this was one of those years when there was one category where I did have very strong opinions, and I'm completely delighted that the Vorkosigan books won for best series. (Full list of winners and nominees here.)

This isn't specifically because of my personal feelings about it (all the nominated series are ones that I either personally really enjoy or have heard good things about). It's because, of all the series on the list, it's the only one that I consider really, truly groundbreaking at the time it came out. Yes, the series has dated badly in some ways, but it's still kind of amazing to me that these books (the first half-dozen or so, anyway) were written in the 1980s. They stand out much less today, with so much more diversity of books available -- not just in the kinds of people in the books, but the kind of books that are around in the genre. But even by modern standards, these books are kind of weird (one part mil-SF, one part generation saga, one part comedy of manners). And at the time they were written, they were really, truly visionary. There just wasn't anything else like them. I think they were the first SF books I ever read where gay and agender and disabled characters were just there, as an ordinary human component of the future -- and yes, I know that is one aspect of the books that hasn't aged very well, but it was the 1980s! One thing that sticks in my head is LMB's account of what made her write Ethan of Athos: as a mom herself, she had a conversation with some male friends about whether men would be able to raise children by themselves (without a woman in the picture). She thought it was possible. Not a single one of her male friends agreed. I mean, literally didn't think it was a thing that could happen. So she went and wrote Ethan of Athos about an all-male planet to prove them wrong.

That's how much the world has changed in the last 30 years, and that's the milieu that the early books in the series were written in, and yet, books like Shards of Honor and the early Miles books are still completely readable today; they've dated a bit, but to me, anyway, they don't feel nearly as dated as the vast majority of 1970s/80s sci-fi does now.

So yeah, that's why I had strong feelings on that category, and that's why I'm really thrilled it went the way I was hoping it would go. The other series are excellent books. All of them have their own individual strengths; many of them do well what the Vorkosigan books don't. But I wanted LMB to win because, though they have their flaws, I think her books are really, truly visionary, groundbreaking, and influential in a way the others aren't, and that's what I think the Hugo awards (ideally) should recognize.

bitchin' party 2018

Aug. 10th, 2017 12:56 pm
runpunkrun: benton fraser carrying his pack as he walks into chicago (never chase a mountie off a cliff)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Hey, folks, Bitchin' Party is in the works for 2018. It's a small fan-run con held in Issaquah, Washington, and it'll be running April 13-15 this time. Traditionally it's been a con dedicated to due South and its extended Canadian enterprises, but interests shift over time, and the con tends to go where fandom goes—panels are proposed by participants and then voted on—so you tend to get whatever's hot that year, like MCU or Hamilton, and then there are also technical panels on things like writing or podcasting. There's a con suite to hang out in, a vid show followed by a dance party, and often private room parties, too. As far as the attendants go, there's usually a strong podcasting presence, as well as writers, knitters, vidders, and what I can only describe as nail polish fandom.

The con's pretty low-key, and I know in years past local folks have been surprised to hear it was even happening, so here's a heads up. Check out [community profile] bitchinparty if you want more info.

Or, come talk to me if you have questions. I've been to the last (*counts on fingers*)...four? (*checks email for receipts*) four. There's a new group of con organizers this year, so things won't be exactly the same, but it's in the same place, with a lot of the same people, so I imagine the core of the thing will have the same attitude behind it.

(no subject)

Aug. 10th, 2017 06:13 am
naye: ruby and sapphire from steven universe hugging (hug - su r&s)
[personal profile] naye
At in-laws. Kids are delightful. Adults are being very nice to us but the fact that my wife's brother-in-law got annoyed at Steven Universe while drinking beer elsewhere in the flat and now tells his kids (8 & 10) that it's stupid (!) and they're not allowed to watch it (!!) is upsetting. The kids even told us he thinks we've been a bad influence because we introduced them to the show when they were younger and now when they try to watch it he gets mad and turns it off.

I know I shouldn't be judging people on what TV they let their kids engage with but... seriously who bans Steven Universe of all shows?! (It's not cartoons in general or anything like that either. It's specifically this cartoon being "stupid".)
lebateleur: Sweet Woodruff (Default)
[personal profile] lebateleur
What I Just Finished Reading

The Black Cauldron – Lloyd Alexander
Oh, they just do not write YA novels as good as this anymore.

Unmentionable – Therese Oneill
This has been on my TBR list since I read a WaPo review of it when it was first published. Oneill opens by chastising women who want to return to the glory days of the Regency and Victorian eras of balls, courtship, chivalry, and frothy dresses. This seemed like a bit of a strawman set-up to me: I imagine that plenty of fans of the era are aware that the reality was less rosy than a BBC Austen adaptation: that is the whole point of fantasy. The book improved considerably once Oneill got down to the business of describing the realities of the era. She writes with a very Bust magazine or Jezebel-esque snark that was hit-or-miss but left me guffawing more than once. Oneill is upfront about her decision to only examine the lives of middle-to-upper class women, but there's still quite a bit of cherry-picking going on in the examples she discusses. Which isn't to say that the attitudes and contentions they reflect weren't horrible, only that I doubt people accepted them whole cloth. (After all, present day material makes much of the necessity of a Brazilian for good female hygiene or the inferiority of various social, ethnic, and racial classes, but not everyone believes it). All that said, I think this review is making me sound less a fan of the book than I am: I read it in under a day, laughed a lot, and enjoyed Oneill's commentary even as I cringed at the historic material.

What I Am Currently Reading

The Castle of Llyr – Lloyd Alexander
I'm glad to see Eilonwy get a little more real estate in this volume, and I'd forgotten how much Rhudd irritated me back in the day.

The Waste Land – T.S. Eliot
Perhaps my favorite poem ever written; I like to read this one slowly.

China – Kathy Flower
Still truckin'.

The Tarot: History, Mystery, and Lore – Cynthia Giles
This week's passage discussed the origins of the word “Tarot.” (Conclusion: no one really knows where it came from but there are a lot of spurious etymologies out there.)

Tarot: Beyond the Basics – Anthony Louis
Ah, yes, this is what I need from a Tarot book: none of this "intuitive" crap, I want systems for my bogus future-telling methods, and Louis provides them in spades. This week's passages dealt with attributing planets and zodiac signs to the various major and minor arcana, and the differences between classical, chaldean, and modern correspondences. Louis assumes a level of astrological knowledge that I don't have, but I'm enjoying reading it regardless.

Clariel – Garth Nix
Having been spoiled for the ending, I don't feel the sense of urgency I otherwise might as I approach the conclusion, but the writing is still descriptive and atmospheric, and I like the character of Clariel very much.

A Conspiracy of Kings – Megan Whalen Turner
Turner is such a good author, and has my deep respect and love for writing a new novel every time. I read The Thief in 2003, and have eagerly awaited each subsequent book...and while I've always liked them, it isn't until the second read that I come to love them, because there is that small part of me that just wants the newest volume to be a rehash of the old so that I miss the genius of what she's done until I revisit them.

What I'm Reading Next
Finally, FINALLY The Bedlam Stacks has arrived! And when that's done, Thick as Thieves. It's going to be a good week for reading.


ah failure, tastes like pound cake

Aug. 8th, 2017 05:45 pm
runpunkrun: lex luthor biting into an apple, text: A is for appetite (a is for appetite)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
So, I finally made pound cake, and while it wasn't an unmitigated disaster, it was close.

The good news is:
  • tastes delicious
The bad news is as follows:
  • overflowed the pan
    • even though I used a one-pound loaf pan
    • as specified, ridiculously, by the recipe
  • the edges burnt
  • the middle sank
  • and started to foam
  • I repeat: it started foaming when I poked it with a toothpick
It can no longer charitably be called a "loaf." Even "cake" is pushing it at this point. But it does taste good, and it'll be great under some nectarines where you can't see it how hideous it is.

It's a good thing I'm not feeling fragile right now. I was momentarily bummed out, but whatever. It's so messed up that it looks like it was staged. Like someone needed an example of a horrible kitchen disaster and this is what they came up with. It's kind of hard to do anything but laugh. Plus I smartly put a sheet pan under it to catch all the drips while it baked; the overflow is totally edible, and I didn't set the kitchen on fire. So really, I'm ahead. I have cake(ish), and no fire.

And next time I'll use a bigger pan, Kyra.

Off to the in-laws

Aug. 8th, 2017 10:07 pm
naye: zoro cradling his sword with a smile, with the word "breathe" (one piece - breathe)
[personal profile] naye
Ways of staying sane: occasionally allow self to forget all about #45, including the really terrifying newsflashes.

In other news... Tomorrow we're off to what was originally planned to be a visit to my wife's niece and nephew, where we'd hoped for maximum kid time and minimum in-law interaction. However, a little while ago my parents in law decided to invite themselves to come at the same time. And I can't fault them (or, well - we keep inviting them to visit us here and in five years they've just... not), because it's rare to get their two kids and grandkids at once but. Well. It'll be different than originally planned.

But it's just for the week. It'll be fun seeing the kids and good - if not entirely thrilling - to fulfil family obligations. I will give my in-laws credit for being very sweet and completely accepting (to me - my wife gets low-key hassled by her mom) of our very gay relationship. Considering they grew up during the Cultural Revolution, this is probably not something they ever imagined dealing with, and they're showing admirable grace with the whole queer thing.

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