[food] Beans bourdeto, sort of

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:24 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
I went to Corfu! I was introduced to Corfiot bean stew! I was a fan. I am also struggling to track down a recipe that will let me recreate the But That's Amazing Though that I experienced there, because it's generally made with fish and there are relatively few recipes online, which means my ability to take the average of multiple recipes is limited. Nonetheless!

Read more... )

... which I served up with The Rice Of My People, which I'd apparently somehow not made for A before; he is a Fan. It turns out. Read more... )
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Includes current politics + mental illness, HURRAH.

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this may always have happened

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:10 am
fox: my left eye.  "ceci n'est pas une fox." (Default)
[personal profile] fox
Lately it seems I am constantly - constantly - irritated by a loose hair tickling my arm below the hem of my sleeve or stuck in the band of my bra. It's a well-known issue as my hair grows, and I'm about six months to a year from cutting it (that is, it's been - huh. I don't know how long it's been since the last time I had it cut off. At least a year, maybe a year and a half). But I don't remember this happening as much before I was pregnant as it seems to be happening now. Possibly my hair is falling out more now than it used to? Or possibly the nine-ish months of hardly any hair falling out got me accustomed to no tickly stray hairs and now it just feels like it's happening all the time. AUGH.

In other news, I noticed a couple of months ago that every morning when I start up the breast pump, for the first few seconds I have a little mini anxiety attack that feels like I want to cry. I have no idea why this should be. For a while I didn't understand what was happening, just that I felt a little flash of sadness every morning; and then I managed to link it to the pump; but it doesn't seem to happen when I pump during the day, so I don't think it's a confirmation bias thing? I mean: I'm always paying attention to see if it happens, so I could be bringing it on myself, except that it only happens first thing in the morning. (I don't remember if it used to happen at other times or not, but I don't think it does now.) It's ten or fifteen seconds and my heart kind of does a flutter and squeeze that I totally recognize as anxiety from when I was fretting about my dad's illness all those years ago. Sometimes my breath catches just a bit in my throat and sometimes it doesn't. And then it goes away and I'm fine. The milk supply is not affected. This is quite reliable and totally mysterious to me.

[food] Clafoutis/flaugnarde

Aug. 15th, 2017 09:40 am
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
On Sunday I conned Adam into going blackberry picking with me (it's a bit more complicated than that, but the short version is he hadn't realised how much more tedious and unpleasant it is to pick wild blackberries than it is to pick pick-your-own strawberries), so we've got a large tub of blackberries that I'm gradually turning into beverages/desserts/etc. We also had the end of a pound-a-bowl bag of blueberries from the market, and I have been meaning to try clafoutis for years, so! Lightly adapted from River Cottage.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Aug. 14th, 2017 10:29 pm
raven: white text on green and yellow background: "ten points from Gryffindor for destroying my soul" (sbp - destroying my soul)
[personal profile] raven
I am tired and wound up about my book, which seems to be my default state of being at present. (The book is now necessarily modified, "the stupid book", "the thrice-damned book", "the bloody book", "the book that I HATE and is DREADFUL and the BANE OF MY LIFE" etc.) Part of it is that my confidence as a writer has been significantly dented as everything else in my life has been, recently: I also don't think much of self as lawyer, friend, etc., and I'm working on it. (I am doing much, much better than I was. I'm very grateful. But piecing one's life back together turns out to take time.)

I'm also not doing well with reasonable self-care related to the book, which I should, because finishing the version that went on agent submission - in a several-month, every-spare-minute sprint - was what precipitated my last visit to the bottom of the well. (Perfectly nice as wells go, but not one to revisit.) But I keep wanting to just finish it and get it over and winding myself up in the process. And of course I'm aware that I have read it approx fourteen thousand times over the last two and a half years and naturally I'm seeing nothing but flaws? And perhaps other people might not think it is the worst thing ever committed to paper? In my more rational moments I think this. And yet, oh my god, I hate this book. I want to bundle it up and throw it into aforesaid well and write SOMETHING ELSE. It never gets less ridiculous. I spent four days trying to think of a 1940s-appropriate preferably-funny insult? And it had to be two syllables because otherwise the sentence wouldn't scan? And then [personal profile] tau_sigma suggested "strumpet", because she's a perfect human? And all of that hungama was about literally one word? etc.

Etc. Two months ago I was about as a far from a clean, well-lighted place as I could be. And now I'm not, but nothing terrible will happen if I don't finish this book soon. (Or ever? Like, it would be sub-optimal after two and half years, but I'm not writing Hamlet here.) And nothing terrible will happen if it's not as good as I wanted it to be. And nothing terrible will happen if I do it in ten-minute, 100-word chunks. This is quite a rubbish pep talk but there you are, it's what I've got, and it's better than the alternative.

In other news: I'm enjoying being back out in the world. I'm enjoying seeing friends and going for walks and learning to love this city again. I miss my legal practice and my Gaelic. I'm looking forward to returning to both in the autumn; I'm ready for the new terms and the start of the year.
sfred: (faun)
[personal profile] sfred
If there's anything you want to say to me after BiCon, feel free to do so here. Comments are screened and will remain so.

(no subject)

Aug. 14th, 2017 06:27 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett

2. [tumblr.com profile] kaberett continues explicitly Things That Make Me Happy, all the time, no politics. [tumblr.com profile] kaberabbits continues... all the rabbits, all the time. In case this is relevant to your interests. (Anything political would go on [tumblr.com profile] kaberants, but I just... Haven't Been.)
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
[personal profile] vass

Read Megan Whalen Turner's Thick as Thieves, the fifth book in the Queen's Thief series, about Kamet (Nahuseresh's secretary.) I enjoyed this a lot. She does some very cool things with past canon -- I did not see (spoiler) coming, and was delighted. I loved the ending.

spoilers )

Reread/skimmed through most of King of Attolia after finishing Thick as Thieves, to remind myself how much I love Eugenides/Attolia as a pairing. They're so complicated and intense, and their love makes the trauma worthwhile but doesn't make it not exist.

Read Omar Sakr's These Wild Houses. Poetry book by a bisexual Arab Australian poet from Western Sydney. It has a very strong sense of place -- I'm not from Sydney, but Melbourne's West is like that too. Tender poems about his family and the good and the bad there. Wry poems about what he expects his audience to assume about him from his demographic notes. Lyrical poems about landscapes and interiors, the launderettes and mosques and living rooms he knows. I particularly liked 'Call Off Duty', about coming out to his brother.

Started Max Gladstone's Four Roads Cross. That moment, very early on, when I went "IS HE DOING THE SUBPRIME MORTGAGE CRISIS? HE IS, ISN'T HE. fuck" I love this world. It's common in fantasy and SF to make a point of how the zombies and vampires etc are NOT metaphorical, because otherwise the non-genre readers will assume they are and try to find what their exact Real World Analogues the vampires etc Represent, as they were taught to do in eighth grade literature because if the supernatural entities weren't here to teach an Important Moral Lesson about our world then that would be Escapism, which is Bad and Unhealthy. And I understand that impulse, and I do like reading about vampires that are actually vampires, but I do also love that Gladstone's not afraid to get very allegorical indeed.


Dumbing of Age: I am so with Carla on this. Yeah, enemies-to-lovers worked for Ruth and Billie, but that doesn't mean Carla should put up with Mary's bullshit. They're totally incompatible. If they were X-Men supervillains, Carla would be Arcade and Mary would be Senator Robert Kelly... okay, that metaphor might not be very helpful, but my point is, even their flaws aren't compatible. (Since then, Carla/Mary got jossed, to Carla's great relief. Also Mary used Revelation 3:16 on Joyce -- that's gotta sting, since it's probably something past-Joyce would have believed about now-Joyce.)

(Side note: I had to wiki-dive to find the names of the supervillains I was thinking of. Along the way, I learned that the villain Jay and Miles were talking about in the X-Plain The X-Men episodes I've been listening to before falling asleep, whom I thought was named Nastier, is actually spelled N'astirh. And to think that people tease J.R. Ward for having characters named Vishous and Tohrture!)

Questionable Content: Winslow's body-shopping is making me so happy and also so envious. I want a robot body!

TV and Movies

Watched the first episode of Cleverman season 2. The season 1 finale left them with a problem in terms of where to go from there. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate what a plausible Australian dystopia this Australian dystopia is? The white Australian dudebros who get stuck into Waruu (who, btw, does not appear to have learned anything at all from the previous season) are drawn entirely from life, as is the detention centre, the politicians, and the news people.


Listened to clipping.'s midcity, the second album of theirs I've listened to. It hurts a lot worse than Splendor & Misery, and not just in the sense that they're deliberately making the noise really painful sometimes. (Sometimes having sensory integration stuff is helpful with an album like this. I know how to listen to painful sounds, and how to like sounds that aren't traditionally musical or beautiful.) For example, there's a track where they replace the swear words with more and more censor bleeps until the bleeps are just one steady piercing tone.

Not a good one to listen to in the car (I have a bad habit of classing albums I listen to along the good for car/not good for car binary.) ...I typed that, and then heard Daveed Diggs rap, in a tone of deeply amused incredulity, "They say they want that raw shit, that raw shit / That turn that beat up in your car shit, your car shit [...] They say they miss them old school gangstas..." And yeah, that might be this album's thesis statement. This album gives gangster rap a long, hard stare. If I were gangster rap, I would look away first. (I am not gangster rap. But then, neither is gangster rap.)

Listened to Ghoul's Dungeon Bastards. Thrash metal. This, by contrast, is good car music. Or if the site you go to for housekeeping advice instructs you to "put on some peppy music" and you don't do peppy but do need something energetic to clean to, this might be your go to album for that. I could say something about how this album expresses themes of nuclear anxiety and rebellion squarely placing the songwriters in Generation X, but I couldn't do so with a straight face.

Listened to clipping.'s CLPPNG. cut for length )


Played Dream Daddy, the queer dad dating sim. Access note: you know that effect some visual novels have where the screen suddenly shakes back and forth? It overuses that really badly. I had a headache by the end of it (it's less bad, but still not absent, if you choose the lowest graphics option.) Apart from that I liked it. My first playthrough, I was a good dad to my daughter Amanda, and she got the happy ending. I tried to romance Mat the barista-musician, but he wanted to just be friends, probably because I was so bad at the piano minigame. (Later I found out that you're meant to sing into the microphone. The what? I don't have a microphone.) Second play-through, I romanced Damian Bloodmarch, goth dad and closet animal shelter volunteer.

There was wank on Tumblr because of this game, and yeah, I am calling this fandom wank not Discourse because no, fuck you, not even. So... like a lot of visual novels, notably Hatoful Boyfriend, Dream Daddy has a goes-to-eleven ridiculous dark route. Or had -- it's not playable. It was gonna be a Halloween special or something. But some players found it anyway and got very angry because it's problematic or homophobic or something for one queer character out of seven to turn out to be evil. Or something. I read the script for the unplayable bad route, and I liked it. It's fun, it's entirely genre-compliant, and omfg if that's too dark for you, please never play Hatoful Boyfriend.

Finished all the Hexcells Infinite achievements.

Started playing Super Star Path, which is an arcade game where you're a rocket pilot who shoots aliens (with the goal of re-stealing the technology we stole from the aliens, which the aliens have taken back.) The boss fights are very danmaku/bullet hell, and the missions before the boss fights are a maze that can be rendered unsolvable very, very easily. I'm dying a lot.

[community profile] hexarchate_rpg is going to some interesting places. One of us has just made first contact with the sentient enslaved alien powering our ship. Another character's just discovered yet another character's real identity, although she doesn't know what she knows yet. Most of the rest (including my character) are making polite conversation with a scientist and a diplomat who may or may not be trying to entrap us into confessing to heresy. I'm holding a tray and asking the scientist about his research. It's a heavy enough tray that my definitely not-a-fighter character hopes to use it as a shield if things go badly enough.


Tried out a recipe for homemade laundry powder I found on Tumblr. (Recipe is here, but all you need to know: grate a bar of plain soap, combine with one cup of 'lectric soda (sodium carbonate, aka washing soda, aka soda ash) and one cup of borax. Add some essential oil if you really want. Use 1-2 tbsp per wash.)

It worked fine. The only part that didn't go as usual was that when I changed into my freshly laundered pyjamas, opened the closet, and threw the day's clothes into the laundry hamper in there, the thud of the clothes was followed by a sudden meow from inside the hamper. The closet door had been ajar, but so close to closed I wouldn't have thought anyone could get in there.

Got around to installing Audacity and recreating a ringtone/alert sound I had back when I had an iPhone (iOS uses m4r for ringtones. Android uses mp3 and doesn't know what an m4r is.) It's the first couple of bars of the Indigo Girls' 'Galileo', that little marimba (xylophone?) riff. Neatly trimmed so it repeats properly. I like it, and I like that it's so possible.


Beatrice's x-treme grooming continues: Dorian's temples are completely bald. I should have called her Barbara.

books and TV

Aug. 11th, 2017 07:25 pm
kindkit: Man sitting on top of a huge tower of books, reading. (Fandomless--book tower)
[personal profile] kindkit
Being able to stream Netflix on my phone is leading to me watching a lot more (old) TV than I used to. After I finished Leverage, I tried a couple of comedies: Master of None, which I noped out on after about two minutes (explicit het sex plus pregnancy talk, nope nope nope nope), and Bordertown, an animated show about two families on the US-Mexico border. It's made by Seth McFarlane, so I should have known better--I lasted about ten minutes.

Several more TV shows under the cut )

When not staring at the extremely small screen, I've read Charles Stross's latest Laundry Files books, The Delirium Brief. The books have been getting grimmer for some time now, and this one most of all. A good book, but not recommended if you're already in despair about the state of the world.

I also read the new Rivers of London novella The Furthest Station, which is enjoyable as a side story to the main narrative. As usual, there is not enough Thomas Nightingale. I suspect that all those fans who interpret Nightingale as gay (I'm one of them, and I know Aaronovitch is aware of them because reasons) have freaked Aaronovitch out and we're never going to get another tender emotional moment between Thomas and Peter. Indeed, we seem to get less Nightingale with each successive book. *is sad*

Coming up, I want to watch a bunch of the Gay Britannia programming from the BBC. There are two shows about men falling in love during World War II! Oh, BBC, it's like you read my letter to Santa. I don't know yet if either show is any good, but I'm hoping.

Oh hey, there it is

Aug. 11th, 2017 09:40 am
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
I was commenting last night to a couple of friends that I was not as fatigued by the holiday as I had expected.  And then as I got back to our apartment in the early hours this morning, I felt that familiar drag set in.  Spoke too soon!   So Tony is getting the 'night passes' for the rest of the con and I'm going to be pulling bedtime cover with the children.

(This holiday so far is being an excellent illustration of just how much we have life-at-home optimised for everyone's needs and just how much work it is to cope without those optimisations.  I'd thought my physical stamina was going to be the limiting factor on what we got done; instead it's the family's collective emotional comfort level with being in new places and Doing Stuff.)

Before staying up too late talking to lovely people, last night I danced my legs off at the Clipping concert.  Clipping's hip-hop Afrofuturist dystopian concept album is up for the Hugo award for Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form, and the con managed to persuade them to come over and play a gig to a bunch of geeks.  The queue for entry was long, and the room was set up with seating, but the band basically said "ok, we're not allowed to get rid of the chairs - we asked - but there's a lot of space here at the front", which was enough to get [personal profile] ceb up and dancing, and I followed.  It was ace.  I think that about 90% of the population right in front of the stage was female-presenting (and within that, mostly white, and mostly around mid-thirties or older).  I am not sure this is Clipping's usual audience demographic? I had a moment of looking around and realising I was dancing in the vicinity of a number of amazing women who I admire greatly and just feeling overwhelmed and joyous and incredibly lucky to be there at that time.  (Speaking of,[personal profile] mizkit also liked the gig.)

So I not only danced at a Clipping gig a few metres away from Daveed Diggs, I had a short appreciative conversation with him in the bar afterwards, and my internal squee may not stop for days.

Totally worth being shattered today.

fic! (chips-related)

Aug. 10th, 2017 09:12 pm
nostalgia: (moar insane)
[personal profile] nostalgia
Okay here is a (Not Very) Lovely Story, it is called Chips (AO3 link).

It is about Bill going to visit Missy in the vault and she takes her some chips. Perhaps surprisingly this does NOT lead to happy carefree moments of bliss and/or Sapphism. It has no pairing as such and it is rated G because it does not even have swears in it. (Go me!) But it is a bit horrid, I should probably mention that.

(no subject)

Aug. 9th, 2017 12:45 am
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
My anxiety disorder can fuck right off at any minute now.


Aug. 8th, 2017 08:18 pm
kindkit: Sherlock Holmes, with overlaid computer screen text: no access (Sherlock: no access)
[personal profile] kindkit
When I first add people to my reading list, I tend not to give them access because I don't know them very well. I always mean to go back and add access later. And then I always forget to do it.

So: comment if you'd like access to my locked posts.

I don't actually post much under lock anymore. Mostly it's personal stuff: some job-related, some trans-ness related, some random. Plus the very occasional rant about fandom foolishness. If that's of interest to you, feel free to request access. However, you must be cool about my being trans. It's okay if you have questions, but you don't get to have objections to my identity on my journal.

Comments are screened.

(no subject)

Aug. 8th, 2017 07:32 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
[personal profile] klgaffney linked to an excerpt from a new book by American journalist Suzy Hansen that's largely about unlearning the myth of American exceptionalism, and hit me right in the feels.

Growing up Canadian has been like the epitome of, "First remove the beam from your own eye, then point out the mote in your brother's eye". Of course we can see how toxic and wrong American propaganda is (and British propaganda, and...) but at the same time, we were raised as a country eating it regurgitated. Of course America isn't a righteous empire--but Canada, the beautiful multicultural mosaic, land of peacekeepers, we are benevolent and good.

fic (twissy pr0n)

Aug. 7th, 2017 01:12 am
nostalgia: (twissy touchy)
[personal profile] nostalgia
YEAH BITCHES IT IS DONE. It is not quite 10,000 words but nearly, which is odd because not much really happens in it?? It is, erm, Twissy fic with lite pr0n content because it is about aliens going into heat and making sweet yet frantic love to each other. Thusly it is rated "Mature" so children are not allowed to read any of this under any circumstances whatsoever. I dunno, it'll have to do because I don't know how to rewrite it any better than it is.

Here is the AO3 link, yo.

Pls enjoy and be kind about it??


Aug. 6th, 2017 05:47 pm
kindkit: 'A man in WWII-era military uniform drinks tea in front of a van painted with "The Soldiers' Drink: Tea" (Fandomless: Soldiers drink tea)
[personal profile] kindkit
I saw Dunkirk today. I really wanted to like it, but I'm afraid I didn't.

A few thoughts under the cut )

fun Turkish fact of the day

Aug. 6th, 2017 01:10 pm
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
[personal profile] kaberett
I had been remembering the Turkish for red, kırmızı, by associating it with "crimson". Today I finally got around to looking up whether that's a false cognate, and nope, it isn't: they're both from the Arabic qirmiz (i.e. Coccus ilicis, as in the red dye cochineal, i.e. the insect family from which it is prepared), ultimately from Sanskrit.

(Today I have learned a thing about entomology! "But Alex, don't you mean etym--" "No. It's a bug."*)

* If you can remember which web comic it was that I read this joke in recently I'd be very grateful.

Media log

Aug. 6th, 2017 09:40 am
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht

After a long stretch of not reading very much at all, I've picked up several books to prepare for my trip to Russia in three weeks....

Russia and the Russians by Geoffrey Hosking is a decent one-volume history, although it has very little good to say about the orthodox church.

The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia by Orlando Figes is a monumental work of social history. Difficult to follow because there are so many stories included as part of it, but a page-turning account of the worldview of ordinary Russians under Stalinism. Humans will go through so many mental contortions to make their lives livable, understandable or justifiable for themselves.

Second-Hand Time by Svetlana Alexievich is a collective oral history of the transition from Soviet to post-Soviet Russia. She won the Nobel prize for literature despite writing non-fiction; this is an amazing collection of stories. Impressionistic and vivid. One of the most emotionally difficult books I've read, ever, but this is not a dis-recommendation. Just be prepared.

And on top of this I'm trying to get back into my Icelandic. Another go at Pálssaga by Ólafur Jóhann Sigurðsson, which tells the story of Iceland in the World War II era from the point of view of a young journalist.


In the wake of the Tour de France, there have been so many different cycling races on simultaneously. I picked the Vuelta a Burgos partly because of the start list but mostly because of the commentating team of Matt Stephens and Brian Smith. They're not as tactically oriented as David Millar but they offer great insights on the riders. OK, they did spend about five minutes talking about one rider before remembering he wasn't in the race, but that was endearing.

I've been hearing here and there about Comrade Detective, the new Amazon comedy whose shtick is that it's a 'rediscovered' cop show from '80s Romania intended to glorify Communism. Reviews are mixed. The Guardian liked it a lot. Neither Variety nor Vulture think it's actually meant to be funny. Vanity Fair focuses on the idea that it's meant to be a statement about propaganda.

But I would like to hear more thoughts from Romanians. There's some unsurprisingly unamused commentary from vrabia on Tumblr, which has only whetted my appetite for a detailed deconstruction.

Anyway I've watched the first episode and... I wouldn't call it good, but it's intriguing? The setting, the visuals seem really well done, and I'm half willing to watch it just for its evocation of '80s Bucharest. The fact that they hired Romanian actors and then dubbed the whole thing as a star vehicle for American actors probably tells you all you need to know. Very literally talked over. The characters and plot are formulaic but that's the point... it's an evocation and celebration of the (Western) genre. The Communist ideology seems notably off-kilter and I say that as someone who's not an expert in Communist ideology. And yet there's something fascinating about how mixed and meta and just weird the whole thing is. In cultural appropriation terms it obviously gets a 9.9 out of 10, but I may keep watching because I'm curious. I wonder whether it will be a Yuletide fandom, and if so, what people will do with it.

(This also makes me want to watch more films/TV that were actually made behind the Iron Curtain. Someone seems to have uploaded a selection of Russian classics to Daily Motion... The Irony of Fate, Office Romance, Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears...)

I keep trying to decide whether or not I actually want to go and see Dunkirk. By the time I decide it won't be in the cinemas any longer.

And finally I really want to see Icarus, a new documentary about drug testing in cycling that accidentally revealed exactly how much the head of Moscow's Anti-Doping Centre knew about how to beat the system.
vass: a man in a bat suit says "I am a model of mental health!" (Bats)
[personal profile] vass
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