Three sentences about 2017-10-15

Oct. 15th, 2017 10:59 pm
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[personal profile] irilyth
Happy Eggplant Party Day! We (Amy) made deviled eggs, as we are wont to do, and we enjoyed various tasty foods made by others. First, though, Junie and her friend A, and A's parents, and her little sisters (two and four years younger), and Quentin and I, went on a bike ride! To the Cedar St playground in Cambridge, location of that XKCD meetup a little more than ten years ago. (I think we didn't go, but I think we may have been vaguely aware of it, or even driven past? I don't remember now, and I don't seem to have posted about it at the time.) A little over two miles, Junie rode her bike, I towed Q in the trailer. We played some with his new basketball, which he's very excited about, but the hoop wasn't adjustable, so he just dribbled an passed, but he didn't seem to mind not being able to shoot. :^) Home, lunches, a shower for me, and then the Eggplant Party, where we saw various nice people and had a generally good time. The kids had eaten a few small familiar non-eggplant things, so needed dinner when we got home, so I made orange chicken, which was well devoured. Oh, although first we watched Korra 2:7 and 2:8, a two-parter, aka "when it gets good", and indeed it was quite good. Oh, and we also built a bookcase in here somewhere, and then another after dinner, the last of the recent IKEA furniture purchase, and then installed them in the guest room after the kids were in bed. Now it's late and my bedtime too.

Three sentences about 2017-10-14

Oct. 15th, 2017 01:20 am
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[personal profile] irilyth
A pretty good Saturday, with a bit of stress at the end. Made some progress on paperwork/finances type stuff in the morning, with a particular breakthrough in the form of being able to scan things on our combo printer/scanner/copier thing (an Canon MX922) and send them directly to my laptop. I didn't get very far into my long backlog, but established a process for doing it that should make future progress much easier. I then took the kids to circus class, and managed to get a seat by the window such that I could actually watch them a bit, which was nice. Headed home and made them lunch, and then Amy took them out to see thy new My Little Pony movie -- which was sadly sold out! So they detoured to the elementary school's annual Harvest Festival instead (which had been the original plan, but it was raining, so a movie sounded more fun; but then the rain more or less stopped, so), where they each painted a cute small pumpkin. I napped while they were out, and after they got back too, thus being somewhat surprised when I woke up to go to the bathroom and found everyone home. :^) I napped a bit more, and then got up to take the kids to Friendly's while Amy went out to dinner with Kyra, who's in town for the Eggplant Party. That went reasonably well, and we came home and played a couple of rounds of animal stacking game Tier Auf Tier, which also went well... But after that, things fell off the rails a bit, as no one wanted to get ready for bed, then there was a lot of over-the-top physical play, eventually leading to angry shouts to stop, and a bunch of stomping around and self-recrimination. We talked our way through it, but didn't actually make it into beds until after 21:00, oy. :^( I read a bit more, while indulging Sweets Day with some Cookies & Cream M&Ms (weird but addictive) and TJ's Cocoa Truffles (not at all weird, melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and addictive), did a bunch more scanning, and now it's way past bedtime.

Three sentences about 2017-10-13

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:08 pm
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[personal profile] irilyth
Happy Friday The 13th! Spent a lot of time at work today talking with our very smart contractor about whether to do something complicated but superior from a security point of view, or simpler but less secure in theory but probably not realistically very different in practice. I suspected that Matt would side with keeping it simple, but he liked the idea of doing it the more secure way, which we've been talking about for a while, but haven't ever managed to get off the back burner. We concluded that if we were ever going to get it off the back burner, now was the best chance we were going to have, and we would like to do it at some point, so let's go for it. So, now I know what I'm doing on Monday. :^) (And ideally not any over the weekend, I could use a break.) Wrapped up the thing I'd been working on by the end of the day, came home and made some sauteed zucchini and mushrooms in tomato sauce while Amy made fish sticks and cauliflower, which was a nice combination -- I mostly ate the vegetables (and my usual spinach salad), Amy enjoyed the variety in vegetables (the kids really only like peas and carrots and broccoli (and the occasional cauliflower!), so jeebus loueebus do we eat a lot of peas and carrots and broccoli around here) and some of everything else, and the kids ate everything but what I made, so. :^) Despite some foot-dragging, we managed to get ready for bed in time to watch Korra 2:6 without staying up *too* too late, and a slightly late bedtime was then pretty quick. Amy and I then played a couple of games with the Knot Dice, the cooperative one where we're trying to make a compact but complete design (we didn't plan ahead quite enough, and failed to complete the design), and the fast simultaneous bananagrams like one, which I won but was close and back-and-forth over the course of it. Now it's time to catch up on some sleep.

Three sentences about 2017-10-12

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:10 am
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[personal profile] irilyth
A somewhat frustrating day at work, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why the hell one of our otherwise-very-smart contractors had set up some stuff in a weird and very hackish way, why it wasn't in synch with anything else, why there seemed to be a bunch of manual changes, etc. Finally got it more or less sorted, but I was feeling very frazzled by the end of it. Home, made yellow curry chicken and peas and carrots for dinner, did baths, watched Korra 2:5, and then headed to frisbee, for the first time in a while! It was ok -- my ankle was hurting a little, so I only played one point in two or three, and was worried about doing anything too aggressive on it, and touched the disc maybe twice, and decided to leave at halftime. Also weird was that it felt 100% fine once I took my cleats off, which makes me wonder if I need to do something with insoles or the way they're laced or something else weird like that. Or try a different style -- I got lacrosse cleats because they're higher, and I thought would have better ankle support, but if they're actually hurting my ankles, that's no good. :^p Maybe I'd be better off with soccer cleats and my Active Ankle braces; I might try playing pickup in sneakers the next time I go to that, and see what that's like. Anyway, it was good to get out there, but non-ideal. Shopped at TJ's on the way home, and got a bunch of work done afterwards, but stayed up way too late as a result -- probably worth it, but not without its price.

Oh! The other big thing that happened today is that Junie's glasses came in! They, and she, are super cute. :^)

Three sentences about 2017-10-11

Oct. 11th, 2017 10:55 pm
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[personal profile] irilyth
I nominally took the day off from work today, to take Junie to the optmetrist! (Lexington Eye Associates, on the recommendation of one of Junie's best friends, who's had glasses for a few years now.) First, though, since I wasn't going to the office, I did the kids' dropoff, which I hadn't done yet this year, since I've been in a hurry to get in, and it involves hanging around with Q until the bell rings and the kindergartners go in (as opposed to e.g. last year doing Junie's dropoff, when I'd let her out of the car a block away and make an easy turn onto Lake in the direction away from Traffic, and drive straight to work). Did a bit of work from home afer that, and headed back to Hardy to pick Junie up after our daily standup meeting. We then headed to the optometrist's, which she was a little nervous about, because instead of the "which is clearer, 1 or 2" thing that they do with adults, with kids these days they dilate their pupils and numb ("relax" was the term they used) the lens focusing muscle, and use an instrument to measure the precise prescription required. (It's the same instrument they use with adults (or, at least, with me), but they then tune the resuts with the 1-or-2 business.) So she was a little nervous about that, but it went fine, and she seemed more entertained than freaked out by the whole thing. The main bad thing was that although we got there fifteen minutes early for the appointment, and were done with paperwork five or ten minutes early, we then sat around the waiting room until 45 minutes after our original appointment time. :^( This was particularly bad since I hadn't brought a snack, figuring that we'd be out of there by 11:45, and home in time for lunch, but when we didn't even see anyone until 11:30, that wasn't looking like such a good plan. Fortunately, we had 20 minutes to kill while the drops took effect, and the building had a cafeteria. Unfortunately, the cafeteria was closed for construction. Fortunately, the building had some vending machines! Unfortunately, the vending machines took only small bills, and I had none. Fortunately, I had some quarters in my car! Unfortunately, by the time we schlepped all over the place doing that, and Junie actually ate her bag of smartfood, we were five or ten minutes late getting back to the continuation of the appointment. But fortunately, they weren't cross, and everything went smoothly from there.

We headed home after that, had lunch, and scooped up Amy, and the three of us then headed over to Medford Optical (recommended by the same friend, as having a good selection of kids' frames) to pick out frames and order glasses. Junie found around a dozen that she liked, which the optician then helped us whittle down to three, and Junie then picked one of those, which was a bit more gaudy than my personal taste (I liked the more plain purple ones best), but is pretty cute on her, so. :^) Home from there, dropping Amy off to pick up Quentin as it was about that time, and we hung out until they got back. Watched Korra 2:4, I got a little more work done, made mac & cheese for dinner while Amy to Q to shotokan, had a somewhat grouchy evening in which the kids were on track to get ready for bed and read Hat Full Of Sky but totally failed to stop screwing around and do it, but had a good conversation with Q and ended on a happy note after all. Then a quick TJ's run, because I'd forgotten earlier that we were out of milk; yet another bit more work, and now it's (past) time for bed for me.

Three sentences about 2017-10-10

Oct. 10th, 2017 09:17 pm
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[personal profile] irilyth
Tough morning. I woke up to find my main credit card had been stolen again; this time the fraudulent charges ($350 split between two cosmetics retailers) were declined, but still. Q was particularly difficult this morning, and I ended up really losing my temper with him, which I wasn't happy about. :^( Work was ok; I sort of flailed around a little early, but then got on track with a couple of things. I don't have one huge thing to do right now, but enough tractable smaller ones to keep me going. Shopped on the way home, Amy made pasta for dinner, I also had a spinach and mushroom salad (only so-so -- I'm not all that into raw mushrooms, at least not absent a rich creamy dressing), and tried some blackberries for fruit, which were a little sour but ok. Did baths, the kids were on track enough that we watched *two* episodes of Korra (2:2 and 2:3), and now they're in bed and soon me too.

Three sentences about 2017-10-09

Oct. 10th, 2017 12:02 am
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[personal profile] irilyth
Slept in this morning, which was delightful, got like nine hours. :^) But woke up a bit groggy, and the kids were fighting in stupid ways, and I was supposed to be working, so things were rocky for a bit there. Gigi & Bob then came over, and I headed upstairs, but still had trouble getting anything done, alhtough I've helpfully forgotten the details now. After lunch, everyone else headed out to the MFa, and the MassSave energy assessment guy showed up right as folks were leaving, so that was extra hectic for a while too. After he left, though, I had two major breakthroughs, one leading directly to a major accomplishment, the other sputtering out once folks got home from the MFA and I wasn't able to stay focused. I worked on it some more after the kids were in bed, though, and got it pretty well working, although I'm somewhat vexed by some Docker Swarm flakiness, which I can't tell if it's gotten better or worse due to this latest change... In between, we went out for dinner at Naked Fish in Waltham, where Amy and I split the seared peppercorn tuna (extra rare), a scallops appetizer, and a crabcakes appetizer, and the rest of the party enjoyed their various dishes too, including the kids (who had boring stuff like a cheese sandwich and fish sticks, but still, a positive restaurant experience is a positive restaurant experience). Now it's late, and I gotta sleep.

Approximately weekly diet report )

Three sentences about 2017-10-08

Oct. 8th, 2017 10:00 pm
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[personal profile] irilyth
Oof, I failed to get as much sleep last night as I'd hoped because I read for a bit in bed, and then "a bit" turned into a couple hours. ;^p I'm reading "Sapiens" by Yuval Noah Harari, and enjoying it a lot so far (about 1/3 of the way in). Reminds me of Guns Germs & Steel, probably flawed in some similar ways, but interesting stuff. Anyway, I did eventually get too tired to keep reading, and slept in a bit in the morning, so I wasn't too bad off. I headed to TJ's to pick up bacon, and made waffles for breakfast, which was well-received by all. Then up to finish Q's dresser, which is now safely bolted to the wall in the relevant corner of his bedroom, full of his clothes, yay. Took a nap after that, and a shower when I got up, followed by a Quentin bath because he'd apparently gotten somewhat dirty at a playground outing, as he is wont to do. Gigi & Bob were around again all day, and I chatted with them here and there, but they were mostly occupying the kids, so. :^) Amy made spinach salad with chicken and tofu, and some stuffing on the side (a good way to use up stale bread :^), and then it was time for some bedtimes. A bit more reading for me -- hopefully not too much this time...

Three sentences about 2017-10-07

Oct. 8th, 2017 12:02 am
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[personal profile] irilyth
I failed to sleep in, but did get more sleep than I have all week, which was nice. The kids were playing together when I got up, but I was awake enough that I couldn't easily fall back asleep, so I did a bit of wrap-up on ONE LAST WORK THING, plus the usual morning on-call business of sorting through backoffice job failures and such. The kids came down and had breakfast, and Q and I then worked on putting together his aforementioned new dresser, completing the frame of it by the time it was time to leave for circus class. Slightly longer, actually, but close enough that Junie was only a minute or two late for hers -- and when Q's start time rolled around, he was actually the only one there, although someone else showed up only a minute or so after Q and the instructor went in, and a few others trickled in over the next several minutes. I continue to be slightly sad that the redesigned space at Esh makes it so much harder for parents to watch the classes, because I'd enjoy watching them, but enh, it is what it is, and I obviously don't care all that much or I'd stand awkwardly by the poorly-placed window and bend at an uncomfortable angle to see throw it. (Part of is social awkwardness, too: Going to that much effort to watch makes me feel like I'm sending the message that I think I need to keep an eye on them for some reason, because otherwise why would I bother? Meh.) Anyway, I was yawning through most of that, so when we got back home, I pretty quickly crashed into a nap. I then had a somewhat hard time falling asleep after all, mostly I think because of the heat; after dozen off for a bit, but then waking up all sweaty, I eventually gave up and turned the AC on, which seems a little absurd in October, but I got another solid hour of sleep out of it, so. Amy's aunt Gigi and uncle Bob are visiting for the weekend (staying at a hotel, but hanging out with us a lot), and they were here when I woke up, but were off playing with the kids, so I didn't really see them until just about dinnertime. Amy made tasty salmon, with some delicata squash that were super yummy, and we had ice cream for dessert, and I had an absurd amount of other sweets too, but hey, if I'm only doing it once a week, I have fewer compunctions about going for it when I go for it. :^) Put the kids to bed, then headed to TJ's, since I hadn't had time to shop after work all week, but cleverly forgot the one thing I actually really wanted (bacon to make with waffles tomorrow), so despite having been there at closing tonight, maybe I'll be there again at opening tomorrow. :^) First, though, more sleep.

Three sentences about 2017-10-06

Oct. 6th, 2017 11:22 pm
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[personal profile] irilyth
Up at 04:30 for site-down database maintenance work, which went pretty badly, mostly because we used to do this particular maintenance task during a site-down release, but we don't do site-down releases any more in general, so we hadn't done it in a while, and had guessed wrong about how much of the site had to be down in order for it to succeed. :^p We didn't do any damage to the database, but we were down for about half an hour instead of the 10 - 15 mins we'd expected. (Oh, and this was further hindered by the VPN between our office and the data center being down, so I had to log in via the bastion host, and neither I nor our DBA could monitor performance using the web-based application we use for that, because it was too clever about redirects to work via SSH port forwarding.) The day got ... something, from there -- it's all just a frantic blur now, despite it all having happened like ten or twelve hours ago. Lots of oncall interruptions, trying to figure out why basically nothing was working any more, trying to help another team use the stuff that wasn't working any more, and having a hard stop to get out the door to dinner with Betsy & Sean. On the plus side, I figured out why basically nothing was working any more, fixed up a somewhat misguided change we'd made previously (stopping containers from restarting too many times to avoid them pounding the worker nodes to death, but in the process making any failure a difficult event to recover from), and made it to dinner only a few minutes late. We went to 9 Tastes, a Thai place in Harvard Square, and had a bunch of tasty things; we all (including the kids) liked it, although it was a little noisy for those of us who were feeling exhausted and/or sensorially overloaded. Headed home, had a hard time getting the kids into bed, eventually did, finished up documenting the stuff I'd been working on for the past couple of days (especially important since a big part of the point of it was to produce a procedure for doing it again), and finally finally finally it's time for bed.

Dear Yuletide Author! 2017

Oct. 6th, 2017 02:00 pm
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[personal profile] psocoptera
Hi Yuletide Author! Yuletide time again, yay! I like a wide variety of stories (gen, romantic, funny, fluffy, angsty, smutty) and there is very little I categorically won't read (no triggers or squicks you'd be at all likely to stumble into from any of these requests). If you enjoy the writing, I'm going to enjoy the reading!

1. Paper Girls
Erin Tieng

I would love a story where something weird is happening! And someone has an emotion?

This comic is such a mishmash of elements, but I love the girls. I picked Erin to request because I was so struck by her encounter with her older self but really I'd be happy with a story about any of them.

As of writing this, I have read the first two trade paperback collections, and will read the third one soon. I'm not worried about spoilers, if you want to incorporate stuff from more recent issues; I'm also happy for you to ignore everything recent and just base your story off of volume one. Whatever part of the canon made you think you'd like to write in this fandom, feel free to focus on that. I feel like a good way to write a Paper Girls story might be to not worry about trying to fit your story into canon, or trying to make the plot make sense, but just to drop some or all of the girls into the middle of some sort of situation without explanation. I will 100% buy anything as completely plausible - sure, they're riding a mammoth now! They found a baby! They're on a gameshow! They're hiding in an abandoned amusement park! They're in space! Why not! Or else the Six Months Later approach (or however long). I would prefer that they've all survived their adventures.

In my heart, none of them are straight, even if they haven't all realized that yet, about themselves or each other. Lesbian? Bi? Ace? Nonbinary? I'm happy with a story where they still don't know, where figuring out names for their identities is still some time in the future (and I certainly wouldn't think 12 year olds in 1988 would have even heard words like asexual or nonbinary yet, based on my own memories of being 10 in 1988). Or a story where that's irrelevant because they're too busy fighting robot squid or playing with a shrink ray or a transmogrifier or whatever. But I would love a kiss or some hand holding, or two characters talking about a third (in a gossip way? in a crush way?). Please nothing beyond kissing, if they're 12.

2. Wonder Woman
Diana Prince, Isabel Maru

I would love to know more about Dr. Maru - how much of what we saw in the movie was her innate personality, and how much was the influence of Ares? What might she do with her scientific gifts once she's on her own and away from that influence? I would be happy with a story where Wonder Woman has to fight her again or a story where they team up or a story where Diana tries to seduce her over to the side of good (or into seeing her own potential or beauty or something). I also really love Etta Candy so something like Etta meeting Maru or Diana talking to Etta about Maru could be interesting.

As far as shipping, I am very fond of Diana/Steve, but I like to think of Diana as having inherited some of Zeus's tendency to get around, except that unlike Zeus Diana would find it unthinkable to do anything without positive consent and is good for her lovers, like, anyone she's with is going to end up feeling good about it. But I see her as being able to find something to love in many people and as liking to have one-night stands, sex friends, longer non-exclusive relationships, etc. It's completely fine to ignore this if this is not your Diana, but I would rather there not be an emphasis on the language of monogamy, one true loves, etc, if there's any sex or romance.

3. Home Again
Alice.

So I don't have a fixed idea about what happens after this movie, but the one future I *don't* believe is "and then none of these people ever had sex with each other again, the end". Does Alice ever see George in a different light? Do Harry and George hook up and talk about Alice? One of the guys comes to Alice with a newly-discovered kink they only feel safe exploring with her? Alice gets a threesome or foursome with the guys? Harry and Teddy realize they like being sister-wives? Who is the first of the three to successfully take Alice on a date outside the house, and how many other failed attempts are there first? I love the wish-fulfillment aspect of her having this harem of nice, attractive young men, and their attraction to her competence and energy.

If you really don't want to write anything with sex or relationships, maybe something about an interior design job that Alice is really proud of, for an interesting client? Or Alice and the guys all dropping Isabel off at her first school dance?

I would prefer that Austen not appear or be mentioned in this story, boo Austen.

ETA: I mentioned kinks so I feel like I need to name some kinks. Something BDSM or pegging seem like the obvious choices. :)

Three sentences about 2017-10-05

Oct. 6th, 2017 05:46 am
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[personal profile] irilyth
Up at 04:30 for the site release, which went ok, a few snags but not too bad. Another day of progress at work, but a lot of flailing around, in part because I can't figure out why Terraform won't let me do something that it won't let me do, and in part because I was tired and stupid (among other things, too stupid to say "screw it who cares let's just do this in this broken-looking way which seems to work but might bite us later but probably won't", rather than furiously trying to figure out how to do it right, when I'm pretty sure it just can't be done right). Then things started breaking just as I was getting ready to leave, so I ended up stuck at work until like 18:30, ate stupid work snacks because I was angry and depressed, didn't get home until 19:00, didn't make dinner, didn't go to frisbee, ate slightly less poorly but still not great at home, and then forgot to post. But I'm giving myself credit for posting because I did it before dawn, thanks to getting up at 04:30 for some site-down database maintenance, which was a whole nother fiasco but that's technically not happening until tomorrow, so.

Murderbot and Squirrel Girl

Oct. 4th, 2017 10:43 pm
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[personal profile] psocoptera
Not actually related, that is, these are two separate works, not a team-up. But doesn't it scan nicely? (Murderbot and Squirrel Girl, walking through the forest, laughing back and forth at what the other has to say... okay maybe not, but now it's in your head too...)

All Systems Red is the first novella of the Murderbot Diaries, a new series by Martha Wells (who also wrote the Raksura books). I loved it - great character, snappy plot, perfect amount of story for its format. I can't wait for the next one, and I'll be shocked if this one doesn't make the Hugo ballot.

Squirrel Meets World is a prequel novel to the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comic series, written by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale (Shannon Hale: Princess Academy, Rapunzel's Revenge, Book of a Thousand Days, the Princess In Black series). It has both the prequel problem and franchise problem of the character and ending already being really pinned down, so there isn't a lot of space for anything really interesting to happen, and thus felt pretty missable. But it was sweet, and funny in spots (the bad: way too much of a running gag about the squirrels' slang, which was obviously vastly more fun to write than to read; the best: anything involving SG's thoughts about/interactions with other Marvel characters), and hit a couple of good beats on the perennial "who is the truest self, the wallet name or the cape name" question. And, you know, I am entirely in favor of the existence of more kid-friendly girl-centric superhero stories, and totally intend to see if Junie likes it (she's really into the Super Hero Girls series right now, which I haven't read any of yet, but I think she read the Squirrel Girl comics so might be interested). (Doreen is 14 in it; it read like middlegrade to me rather than YA, and that's how our library shelved it, but I've seen reviews calling it YA.)

Three sentences about 2017-10-04

Oct. 3rd, 2017 10:10 pm
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[personal profile] irilyth
Up at 03:30 for some off-hours database changes, which did not go entirely well, including a brief site outage, boo. Our DBA fixed things up, but it was definitely not the most fun thing ever. I got about another hour of sleep afterwards, which wasn't as much as I'd hoped, but was better than nothing. Then headed in, for another good day at work today: I did my main Omni thing (major network revamp), it was sort of a mess because there were changes that were hard to test before going live, but some of which I probably could have anticipated, oh well. It's done, though, and now that it's done, is great. :^) Also did release prep stuff, and documentation-writing, and am feeling like things are in a pretty good place. Now onto the next thing, the prod environment! For dinner, I tried some freezer mac & cheese from TJ's, hoping that it might be an acceptable alternative to doing it the long way; Q liked it, Junie didn't, Amy was lukewarm, so it looks like not, oh well. (Regular mac & cheese isn't like hard to make, but it takes a while (longer than the goulash type things), requires attention (unlike the bake-in-the-oven type things), and has a five-minute period at the end when I'm scrambling to do too many things at once and get them done quickly, which often happens to coincide with when the kids show up in the kitchen and want to jump on me, so it's extra bonus stressful. :^p I'll keep doing it, but it's far and away my least favorite of the meals I make on a regular basis.) After that we watched the first episode of Korra Season 2, which was a little cringeworthy in various ways, but I hear the season takes a turn for the awesome about halfway through, so I'm looking forward to that, and will be cheerfully snarky for a little while meanwhile. :^) Bedtimes, a tiny bit more work, some School Council follow-up mail, and now it's bedtime.

Three sentenes about 2017-10-03

Oct. 2nd, 2017 10:59 pm
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[personal profile] irilyth
Pretty good day at work today: Not enough progress on my main Omni thing, but some, too much time wasted working with our contractor trying to set up a Postfix relayhost of all things, too many oncall distractions. The first School Council meeting was tonight, and was good; I sort of feel like everyone else there is way more involved and passionate about everything than I am, but who knows, maybe having someone methodical and meticulous and analytical around will be a useful counterpoint. :^) My feelings of caring about the issues may not be as deep as everyone else's, but my my ideas about how to address the issues will still be kickass, so. Home in time to wrangle Q's bath, and do his bedtime, which included a really good (but long) conversation about fighting on the playground, and his "anger monster", and how to stop it from making him do things he knows he shouldn't do (and doesn't want to do). Then a bit more work, finishing a cut at my main Omni thing, so hopefully I can get that finished tomorrow.

Of Fire and Stars

Oct. 3rd, 2017 07:53 pm
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[personal profile] psocoptera
The worst thing about Audrey Coulthurst's Of Fire and Stars is that it was a 2016 book, so I'm a year late to the party. This is classic YA fantasy, now with 100% more gay: princess trained for an arranged marriage finally travels to her betrothed's kingdom... and falls in love with his sister. Their chemistry was so good, the tension of the slow build was exactly why I love YA romance, and this book did everything right: forbidden-but-unsuppressable magic is a clear metaphor for queerness, but there's also actual queerness; in the crowd of ladies-in-waiting our princess manages to befriend another lesbian (who I totally need the side novella about pls) so it's not the One Lone Gay trope. One does maybe wonder at points how this kingdom has survived this long but I live in the US so I can hardly complain about political stupidity and incompetence being unrealistic. Anyways, recommended; it's a standalone (but I want mooooore...) but her next book, Inkmistress, next spring, is a prequel in the same world, 200 years earlier, also a girl/girl couple. I look forward to it.

Ninjago movie

Oct. 3rd, 2017 09:01 am
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[personal profile] psocoptera
Meh. I really liked both the Lego movie and the Lego Batman movie (best Batman movie in ages) but not so much this one. They lampshaded the "only one girl and she's The Girl" thing but I feel ready to move past lampshading this and just stop doing it. I guess they felt constrained by prior canon (we haven't watched/read/played with anything Ninjago, but I have the impression there's a bunch out there) but a movie seems like a good time to shake things up. Even worse was the whole "boys can only learn physical skills from their dads, single moms can't possibly teach their sons to catch or throw or anything" gag. Kinda want to strap everyone involved to a chair and make them watch "Rookie of the Year" a few times, like, how is a 25-year-old movie so much more progressive?

But actually shitty gender politics weren't the thing that bothered me most. So, spoilers, the big resolution is that Lloyd forgives his evil-overlord dad and his dad decides he wants to be in his life and moves back in and they're one big happy family, and... aww, that's heartwarming I guess? Except, I don't know, I felt like it was totally throwing the possibility of having a *genuinely not-okay parent* under the bus. I mean, I don't have personal experience here, and I guess that in a kids' movie everything has to be basically fine and genuinely abusive or neglectful parents are adult topics, but, like, what about actual kids, in abusive family settings, who don't have the luxury of waiting until they're older to confront that topic? Don't they exist? What is it like to go see this movie, watch the dad character be repeatedly violent, break and destroy things, express flat-out that he doesn't care about his kid, steal from him, and then be told that reconciliation will heal all that, if you actually have a dad who has been violent, who has stolen from you, etc? What is it like to take your kids to this movie as a mom, if you had to leave your kid's dad to give your kid a safe and stable life, like the mom in this movie, and see it end with the dad welcomed back to the family? Maybe it's just fine! I don't know! Maybe I'm being a total concern troll here and it's none of my business how survivors of abusive dads feel about anything! But, like, the alienated dad in the first Lego movie was basically a good guy. Batman in Lego Batman has to connect with the Joker, but they still call each other enemies, it's more of a recognition that they're both in this game they've been playing, and the movie ends focused on the Batfamily. I can see where they thought they were just doing the same plot for the third time and it would be fine, but this time it felt over the line, in different emotional territory. Meh.

On the other hand the animation was *fantastic*, like, the textural detail was just gorgeous.
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