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Oct. 19th, 2017 09:22 pm
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
[personal profile] sholio
The Stranger Things phone game is too addictive for my own good. Send help.

... Well, it's semi-addictive. I tend to play in bursts of 30 minutes or so because the gameplay is slightly repetitive and I get tired of it quickly, but no more so than, say, the Lego games - I just get bored with punching things to collect stuff. I played for a couple hours today because after a day or two of beating my head against one of the puzzles, I managed to figure out the solution without having to look up any cheats, and this got me into a whole new dungeon and I didn't want to stop.

It's an adorable game, though. It's got retro 80s-style graphics and puzzles that are just hard enough to be challenging without being flat-out impossible. I've had to look up a cheat to get through one level so far, and I also wish I'd figured out in the beginning that it's very useful to do a bunch of the side quests before you try to fight through too many of the dungeons because you level up on health and carry slots, so it makes the dungeons slightly easier and less frustrating when you aren't dying all the time.

I don't play very many games and I'm having a blast with this one, so take that for whatever it's worth.

Leaving Day

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:38 pm
naye: a photo of a yellow flower floating in a puddle with dead leaves (höstblomma)
[personal profile] naye
Tomorrow is my very last day at work in Cambridge. I started in August 2013, which makes this the longest I've ever been at the same job.

It's very strange.

I won't miss most of what I do, because - meh, it's just not very interesting, even though I do it well?

I will miss the people, though. Even though I'm not super close to anyone, there's so many people there I like.

And it will be extremely odd to not be doing this job anymore. To look ahead and realize it won't be until January 2022 I will have been at my Swedish library job as long as I was at my random UK admin job.

Time is weird. Change is hard. Stress is happening, but also anticipation - and to be fair, immense relief to be rid of a lot of aspects of the role that had been grating on me.

Makes it hard to know what I'm feeling, exactly.

So I watch Yuri on Ice with [personal profile] doctorskuld and tear up at all of Yuri's Free Skates and also when sweet things are said and done and it feels so close to my heart and also like I first watched it an eternity ago...

Thank You!

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:43 pm
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Claudia' written beneath the OTW Logo (Claudia)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, October 12-18, 2017

However you took part in #otwdonate, thank you for getting us started on our next 10 years! We've got some numbers for you about how this membership drive turned out: https://goo.gl/SMZamk

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naye: robin from one piece reading, with the words "book love" (book love)
[personal profile] naye
This week of farewells (and teaching my replacement as much as I can cram in without making her head explode) is... exhausting. Good, because I feel appreciated and missed, but also it's weird to have what have been my everyday interactions tinged with so many emotions now.

Phew.

Books have been a blessed distraction from all the things these past couple of weeks, and since my last post I've finished...

Maelstrom (Whyborne & Griffin, #7) by Jordan L Hawk
Fallow (Whyborne & Griffin, #8) by Jordan L Hawk
Undertow (Whyborne & Griffin, #8.5) by Jordan L Hawk
Draakenwood (Whyborne & Griffin, #9) by Jordan L Hawk

These are all so perfect I can't even. They hit right in the feels, every single time, and I'm such a sucker for the ongoing themes of found family (which grows as the series goes along!), adorable husbands, and copious amounts of h/c and assorted peril. I have so many favorite things about this whole series, but one of them was the incredibly sweet and different f/f romance that develops in Undertow.

Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant, #3) by Ben Aaronovitch
Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4) by Ben Aaronovitch

My re-read by way of listening to Kobna Holdbrook-Smith narrate the Peter Grant books continue, and continues to be hugely enjoyable. After five years here I understand that dialects are a thing and I can make a rough sort of distinction between North and South; between posh and working class; between England and Scotland and Wales - but I can never "hear" them properly when I read the books myself. With Holdbrook-Smith's narration it's all right there and it really enriches the experience of the story. Plus I do love the forays into tube tunnels, sewers and brutalist architecture we get in these two books. (Also the plot does the thing which I can never brace for and always hits really hard.)

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by KJ Charles
Remnant: A Caldwell & Feximal/Whyborne & Griffin Mystery
by KJ Charles and Jordan L Hawke

Yes so I got to the Simon Feximal book because I wanted to read the crossover with Whyborne & Griffin (of course I did) and then I was rather happily swept up in the characters and their paranormal Victorian adventures and romance - so different from the sweet Whyborne & Griffin one, but nevertheless hugely charming and absorbing. And the crossover did NOT disappoint! I may in fact have made a few dolphin noises reading it...

An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities, #1) by KJ Charles
An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities, #2) by KJ Charles
An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities, #3) by KJ Charles

And having been so enthralled by KJ Charles' writing I had to go seek out some more, and I was so pleased to find this series! It's one plot told over three books featuring an overlapping set of characters in Victorian London. Each has two main POVs - the characters who (spoiler?) - get together in the course of the book - so these are different in each. It's a really neat device that works a treat here.

I was incredibly charmed by the POV characters, many of whom are struggling with how the world sees them; how what makes them who they are is something that their society or family just won't (or don't want to) accept. It was quite wonderful to see aspects of my own relationship in all of these - but particularly #1 and #3 has things (such as a non-binary character with a pansexual eventual partner) that really, really resonates with me. And that I don't think I'd come across in fiction before!

I'm currently reading...
A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant, #5) by Ben Aaronovitch

As for what I'm reading next - honestly, probably a lot more KJ Charles and similar, because they are sweet and comforting and I need all the sweetness and comfort I can get as I spend over a month separated from the love of my own life.

ten awesome ladies

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:24 am
runpunkrun: chibi leslie knope eating a waffle (knope waffle)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
I got tagged for a meme on Tumblr and I liked this list so much I'm just going to post it here: Ten of your favorite female characters in ten different fandoms.

1. Dana Scully - The X-Files
2. Chloe Sullivan - Smallville
3. Nyota Uhura - Star Trek
4. Leslie Knope - Parks & Recreation
5. Britta Perry - Community
6. Hermione Granger - Harry Potter
7. Samantha Carter - Stargate SG-1
8. Joan Watson - Elementary
9. Olivia Dunham - Fringe
10. Elise Wassermann - The Tunnel

Look at all those awesome ladies. I could have gone on for another ten. Like I didn't even mention Lana Kane from Archer, or Blue Sargent from The Raven Cycle, or Teyla or Lois Lane or Beverly Crusher or Princess Leia or Buffy or Pepper Potts or—

{also posted to Tumblr}

Dark Matter 3x10

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:14 am
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
[personal profile] sholio
I was reasonably okay with the show being cancelled until we started to get into the last few episodes of season three. And now it's killing me. AAAAAUUUUGHHH.

Spoilers are making unwise life choices like usual )

A strange and dangerous sky

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:44 pm
naye: gif of creepy road in the dark (dark road)
[personal profile] naye
We didn't feel very much of Storm Ophelia over here - it's so often gusty it was like any other cranky October day, wind-wise. But we did get the strange clouds; the light breaking as if through panes of amber.

I can't recall seeing anything like it before - not even when in literal Gobi dust clouds in Japan. My phone camera tried to "fix" the white balance, but I argued with it, and we came to a compromise that captures some of that strange jaundiced atmosphere:

2017-10-16_10-43-58

If it wasn't bedtime, I think I would do some research to find out what this phenomena is called and why it happens...

Dark Matter 3x08 and 3x09

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:41 pm
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
I need to catch up on comments (I did forget what a timesink comment-answering on DW can be), but we watched 3x08 and 3x09 tonight! Only 4 more episodes, noooo ...

Spoilers are doing unwise things with experimental technology )

Writing, maybe

Oct. 15th, 2017 06:36 pm
theladysnarkydame: (Frank's legs!)
[personal profile] theladysnarkydame
 So I missed the deadline for Yuletide sign ups by a few hours  last week -- I didn't join in last year, but I wanted to this year, because I haven't written anything in a while and feel like I need to stretch those muscles, you know?

So, instead, I think I might do Nanowrimo?  At least, unofficially.  
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
So the comments to the previous pimping/recruiting post are getting steadily more spoilery, and even as a spoilerphobe myself, I'm basically THE WORST at not talking about spoilers with people I'm trying to recruit into a thing (I told [personal profile] rachelmanija something about the show in email last night that I really wish I'd kept my mouth shut about), so let's do a post for ALL THE SPOILERS.

... well. Some of the spoilers. The thing is, I haven't seen past 3x07 yet - the Six-focused one. I've slowed way down on my watching speed because the last few episodes of season three are ALL WE'LL EVER HAVE *cries* and I want to make it last. So I would really like to remain unspoiled as possible. Under the cut are the things I particularly want to be unspoiled about (cut because the questions themselves are spoilers for season three):

Spoilers start here )

So yeah, bring out your spoilers. :D
naye: (new beginnings)
[personal profile] naye
I'm back from my first week at my new job in Sweden. Tomorrow I'm going to start my last week at my old job inducing my successor. And technically I came back Friday night but yesterday I was so exhausted I did very little except cuddle my wife, cuddle my cats, eat food and rewatch sweet, comforting Yuri on Ice.

In short - it was overwhelming, but good? Stressful, but not more than I could handle. A random mix of happy fizzy feelings and vague dread that I wouldn't be good enough. Mostly the happy fizz, but also spikes of anxiety with highlights such as OH NO I BROKE MY AIRBNB HOST'S SHELF and OH NO I SET OFF THE ALARM AND I'M THE ONLY ONE IN THE BUILDING.

And more low-level anxiety such as having 1-on-1 introduction meetings scheduled for an hour with each and every one of my 20 or so colleagues. I'm still not done with those, obviously, but it's a lot to take in. Fun, in many cases, but also intensely social and I am good at that sort of thing (at least in these circumstances with clear parameters - find out more about what everyone does; engage in small talk if it arises naturally) but also easily exhausted by too much extroversion.

I can't even do a "week in brief" thing because there was nothing brief about my week. But I can write some of it up with pictures, because - pictures!

That's what's below the cut )

But those are just the mishaps and fun after-work adventures I've been having. There was an enormous amount of work-related things happening, which were fun and exciting and informative but would take far too much explaining to be interesting to anyone not already familiar with the particulars of Swedish academic libraries.

In brief, it was really weird to be back in Sweden, but in a wonderful way. I've never missed Sweden much, but the longer I've been away from things I used to take for granted, the more magical they seem. Like: all education in Sweden - including at university - is free for all citizens. FREE EDUCATION. Totally free. Wow. So universities aren't paid for by students or alumni - though they do accept donations! - but by the government. Which makes them government ministries, just like the Migration Agency or the military. (Which, by the way, receives less government funding than universities do in Sweden!)

Also: Unions are a thing! And they're useful and people take them seriously!

And people speak Swedish! Which is something I've done very little of this past decade, but being back in a Swedish-speaking environment listening to all of the dialects I hadn't heard for so long was like hearing a familiar but forgotten melody, all nostalgic and sweet. So strange, this thing with languages and nations and what makes a place a home...

Anyway! There was a lot more to the week, but instead of going on and on about it I'll post some more of those pictures I promised:

Street art and office comparisons )

Slade House, by David Mitchell

Oct. 15th, 2017 10:37 am
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Slade House, by David Mitchell: I'm reading spooky/ghost/horror stories for October, and this was almost exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. It's a ~literary ghost story, which means I liked the concept, but the characters were barely filled in, and Mitchell was absolutely pushing my buttons with the racist domestic abuser cop, I mean, first of all, could you be more predictable, but mostly, no, hard pass. Sadly his was the second chapter, so it took me a while to realize I was enjoying the book.

It goes off the rails at the end when it gets too explainy, but until then, it's an interesting cross between a murder mystery and a haunted house, with some Inception thrown in for color.

Contains: animal harm, fear of dogs, references to domestic abuse, racist remarks, racist police officers, racist police officers having sex with someone who is concealing their true nature—so dub-con, fatmisia, and mention of eating disorders.

Looking Forward

Oct. 15th, 2017 12:02 pm
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Claudia' written beneath the OTW Logo (Claudia)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Donors in the last 10 years have allowed the OTW to offer what it does today. Will you help us achieve more over the next 10? http://goo.gl/uF2LiA

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And in conclusion

Oct. 14th, 2017 10:14 pm
sholio: man chasing flamingo (Flamingo)
[personal profile] sholio
Other stuff I'm up to lately:

- Still writing paranormal romance
- Webcomic
- Failing spectacularly at Inktober (go me)
- Posted my [community profile] trickortreatex fic today! \o/ (Reveals aren't until the end of the month, so I'm early.)
- Almost there on several bingo lines

I would love some icons for Dark Matter or Stranger Things. Does anyone know where I might find some?

What I'm into: Dark Matter

Oct. 14th, 2017 09:27 pm
sholio: Text: "Age shall not weary her, nor custom stale her infinite squee" (Infinite Squee)
[personal profile] sholio
No spoilers past mid season three, please! I'm not caught up yet!

So here's the other thing that's eaten my heart/brain/soul over the last week or two: Dark Matter

dark_matter_cast

What is it? It's a 3-season Syfy spaceship show, by some of the same people who did Stargate. All of it is streaming on Netflix.

What's it about? Six people -- seven counting the ship's android -- wake up on a spaceship without their memories. Evidence suggests one of them is a traitor. Further evidence suggests they're part of a galactic conflict they can't even remember. They have to figure out who they are and who they can trust before their pasts catch up with them. Basically this turns into found-family on a spaceship, as it does. (Also, to make it less confusing if I end up making more posts about this show, most of the main characters have numbers for names, because they don't know their real names for awhile and adopt numbers as shorthand.)

Why is it awesome/why might I want to try it? FOUND FAMILY ON A SPACESHIP. I've really missed having a spaceship show in my life, and this one hits my team-love buttons like few things have since Stargate.

It’s got femslash, slash, and het potential. It’s got a ton of interesting character relationships, including kid-mentor ones and sometimes-enemies learning to trust each other (”Stop saving my life. … Now you’re just doing it on purpose”) and a relationship that’s a lot like Janeway/Seven of Nine in which one is a woman of color. It’s got canon h/c and teaminess and all the sci-fi tropes (e.g. the characters meet their evil alternate universe doubles, trapped on a prison world, taken over by mind-control goo, on a spaceship fulla zombies, time loops, etc). It has redemption arcs and snark and themes about the meaning of life/what it means to have a soul and characters running around doing action stuff in long coats and leather jackets while rock music plays in the background. It's got several Stargate actors in recurring roles, including David Hewlett playing a character who is basically Rodney McKay as a seedy fixer, and Evil Elizabeth Weir.

It has a female Asian captain, a cast that (depending on the cast makeup from season to season) is frequently at least half female and less than half white, and multiple recurring female villains for your foe-yay needs. Plus a number of different characters being incredibly hot in black leather, and actually some pretty cool sci-fi worldbuilding, such as travel-via-cloning in which instantaneous intergalactic travel is accomplished by animating a disposable clone of yourself in a different location, and a galactic milieu with a higher-than-I'm-used-to level of background multiculturalism; they really do a pretty good job of making this feel like a plausible hundreds-of-years-in-the-future Earth-colonized galaxy, at least I think so.

It also contains an episode that has managed to make the coveted "[personal profile] sholio's All-Time Favorite H/C Episodes" list. :D (Er, this list does not exist in reality. But now I think it's a list I should make. And post.)

What might turn me off? There are some questionable writing/casting choices (my least favorite of these is that one of the main characters is basically Space Samurai from Space Samurai Planet, and he doesn't really have a whole lot of characterization other than that). In general, since it's by the same people who did SGA and Stargate Universe, it unsurprisingly shares some writing weaknesses with earlier Stargate shows. I'm watching it with my husband and I get the impression that the handwavy science and occasionally WTF plot resolutions are driving him crazy on a regular basis. I personally could not care less because I am there for FOUND FAMILY IN SPACE, but ymmv.

Also, it got unexpectedly cancelled after season three. I suspect (though I don't know for sure, since I'm not there yet) that it's going to end on a forever-unresolved cliffhanger.

Anything else? Based on what I remember from the last time I posted about Dark Matter when I watched the first season, there are people following me who dislike Three. Which is fine, but keep that to yourself around here, please, because Three is AWESOME and no one can tell me different. :D (Although it's tough to pick a real favorite; as of season three, I think the entire cast is my favorite. It's one of those shows.)

ETA: If you haven't watched the show, beware of spoilers up to early season three in the comments!

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