A · Life
It's been forever since I wrote anything. I just don't have room for it in my life. I signed up for a fanfic challenge because nothing gives you instant happy feedback like scratching fangirls' (and guys') itches. It was kind of great, and I hadn't done anything like it in forever.
So I have a fic up, a SG:A fanfic (McShep, as that's the nature of the challenge) for the final-ever edition of the McShep Match. They're anonymous thru the end of the month; cookies to anyone who can guess which one I posted. Hints: I'm on Team Cool, and it's long, and it's already been posted. So go, if that interests you, and read, and vote: The Last Annual McShep Match Challenge
. Try to guess which one's mine. :)
In the wake of that, I've been posting all the deleted scenes-- I was so absorbed in it, and it had been so long since I'd written anything, that I wrote probably a hundred thousand words, and just picked the tens of thousands that best fit the prompt to put up for the challenge. I managed to cadge an invite to AO3, finally, from a McShep teammate, and now I owe him a ficlet featuring thigh holster porn. I am ruminating on this as we speak, because, mmmmmm, thigh holsters. Yep.
(edited to add: duh, AO3 link. http://archiveofourown.org/users/bomberqueen17/works
The other thing I'm working on is that a Pennsic buddy persuaded me to come to a WWII re-enactment with him. French Resistance, which means that I, dressed as a woman, can historically-accurately run around and shoot blanks with the boys. I'm kind of psyched; my father only ever did military stuff, and of course there was no room for women; I used to dress up as a boy and go along, but I really, really, really can't pass as a man nowadays, not with 40" long hair and 36HH boobs. No way.
So I have some cheapish faux-leather oxfords from Amazon, a straw cloche hat from Amazon, a linen button-up collared blouse from the thrift shop, a proper girdle (i already owned it, of course), and a model 1917 US rifle
borrowed from my father. I thought the rifle was a bit of a stretch but looking it up, it was actually issued to the Free French Army by the US in WWII so it's not entirely implausible.
I also have a 1937 Voigtlander Bessa
camera that a customer gave me when he heard why I was looking for one. It takes 120 film, but I can't get the shutter to operate; if I can, I'd be able to really use it. So in our fake identity papers, my friend has listed my occupation as a "photographer's assistant". A functional camera would be so much cooler than a decorative one, but either way, it's pretty cool. It's definitely a beautiful object in and of itself.
I'm still working on getting Z to actually dress up. I got him some corduroy trousers at the thrift store today on my lunch break, and bought him some suspenders from Sockdreams.com. That plus a non-button-down collared shirt plus his old beat-to-hell chukka boots will do it, I figure. He has no interest in carrying a gun. Which is just as well, since I don't have one; Dad had a perfect WWI .45 pistol (the original M1911 Colt), but I don't have a pistol permit and wasn't about to transport it across state lines or hell, even across the doorstep without one. Not with all the current rampant hysteria. Z was kind of worried about the rifle but please, it's a bolt-action rifle of a type that can't even accept a magazine (you can use a stripper clip to load 5 rounds at once, but there's no magazine whatsoever). Still, Dad offered me live bullets in case I had a chance to get to a range, and I said no, and only took blanks. I don't need that worry-- you can still maim yourself pretty good with a blank, but it's nothing like a bullet that, Dad explained, that gun can throw about six miles. ("It won't be going very fast when it lands," he hedged, "but it'd still be going, if you judged the curvature right and the wind didn't do anything crazy.")
The thing's insanely heavy, but I was reassured that I'm actually a decent shot with it. I hadn't fired a gun in a long time; it's fun, but I'd usually rather take photographs of my family while they do, so I've gone along and not shot lately. I do like doing it.
Dad was reserved about it, but it sort of slipped out toward the end that he was cautiously a little pleased that I was interested in re-enactment, because he has all this stuff, all the eras he's researched, all the stuff he's collected, and it sort of makes him a little sad to think that none of his children are interested. I'm interested, I'm just, well, a woman, and can't use the military stuff. (He happens to be a very small man-- waist size about 32-- and I'm a large woman, more like a 42 waist.) But I did decide I should probably get a pistol permit-- I don't really want a pistol, in my current lifestyle it would just be a headache to keep track of the damn thing, but as Dad gets older he's worried that if he dies and none of us has a permit, the guns will be confiscated. My younger sister keeps saying she'll get a permit, but never does, so maybe I'll just do it. I hope I don't have to actually get a pistol to get the permit, though. I don't have a range locally that I care to patronize and don't want to become a Gun Person, y'know?
That's what I'm up to.
And oh, while I was visiting my folks to pick up the rifle, I helped Dad paint the sign he's making for our parish's church cemetery. (I paint a lot, so I was freehanding the border around the largest letters for him.) I was sitting in the driveway doing this when Dad suddenly perked up and ran to the end of the driveway, and called my name. I stood up, and heard the sound of a very loud airplane.
"That's a B-17," Dad said, and sure enough, it was. Four Wright Cyclone engines, growling and throbbing, and the thing lumbered by, north to south, the Liberty Belle, on its way back to the Albany Airport, where they were doing rides for $450 a pop.
I considered it a good omen and am proceeding with my life accordingly.
Just wrote an update on Tumblr, so I'll be lazy and link to it. http://bomberqueen17.tumblr.com/post/54252013038/state-of-the-me
I have other things to discuss over here, though, where I feel more comfortable being rambly.
Caution: I'm not going to lj-cut anything because I am a miserable bitch. Just FYI.
That entry (not everybody always clicks) is about how miserably ill I am with a wretched yet inconsequential summer cold. There's something so dissatisfying about being horribly uncomfortable and unable to function normally, yet actually trivially ill-- not worth calling in, not in any way worthy of concern, not even worthy of particular sympathy, and yet utterly miserable.
And yes, knowing how direly, desperately, agonizingly ill it is possible to be doesn't really help-- I take a moment to be grateful this is as bad as I have it, but the fact remains, I normally have it better and that pisses me off. Nothing wrong with acknowledging the feeling except the part where you gotta then move on and keep on keepin' on.
OK OK OK. I'm distracting myself with sewing. Mentally enormously hung up on the fact that I have not yet finished Nephew Caleb's birth sampler. He was born in 2009. I'm fucking serious. This thing... Ugh. I'm designing it as I go and I'm almost done and I just. Can't. Finish! Argh.
Goal: September, that's when I see him next. (Sob, I wish I saw them sooner. He is SO DAMN CUTE.)
OK, brief pause for Caleb picspam:
That's old, it's from Christmas, but it was entirely his idea to pose like that.
I am incredibly fortunate at this point to have two nephews and a niece, all children of my older sister. My baby sister, as it happens, is about to Facebook-announce her own impending motherhood-- due in December-- which makes me a spinster. (God almighty, if you know us in real life, will you not say anything on Facebook. That's the metric nowadays. I'm gambling nobody does because I know I'll forget to update here when she finally gets around to The Big Public Facebook Reveal, and I'll feel a right tit when I come back here talking about yet another nephew or niece that came out of nowhere.)
Incidentally at work on Friday I was printing some smitten mother's cute baby photos and was suddenly stricken with the overwhelming feeling of Ugh No Way about kids, so, huh. Maybe my intermittent wouldn't-babies-be-nice feeling is hormonal after all? Why can't this shit be easier to parse? God.
Anyway, I'm letting myself sew something for ME, which I almost never do. A bag to hold light stands and umbrellas that I just bought myself. And also a purse organizer as per this tutorial
. So, good for me?
I'm also plugging away on the fanfic, as it's the only kind of writing I've been able to muster the absorption for in the last, uh, like, year? I signed up for mcshep_match
and was given a prompt which I am dutifully attempting to follow. It blows my mind that the fandom's nowhere near dead, given how long it's been since the last episode of Stargate: Atlantis aired. But even random people I mention it to remember it, so, I guess it was memorable. I have no perspective on this. I'm making Z watch the series with me, every episode, in order, and we're halfway through the second-last season already, so... I figure I have until we finish to wrap up the obsession, and then it'll have to be on to something else. It's just... Sheppard is a great character because he's completely the opposite of how I ever, ever do the Manly Hero, and it's really entertaining to write him, and even more entertaining to pair him against McKay, or with McKay (I've written both slash and gen for them so far) and I'm having a good time with it. It's diverting, at least. Absorbing. Also there's shitloads of brilliant fics already written, and yet, I think, maybe, I might be able to come up with something a little different. So we'll see. :)
xposted from Tumblr.
@neiltyson is doing a series of Tweets on Things you might say if you never took Physics. I've only seen a couple; the first was something asinine to the effect of thinking perhaps you'd be better off in a car accident without your seatbelt. I sort of huffed and rolled my eyes at that, but today's was "I'm overweight even though I don't overeat."
OK what? I was willing to let it slide before because generally he's all about the importance of science, and I like science and am generally sympathetic to the cause of more education being better. But "overweight" is based on BMI which is completely bullshit science, and "overeat" is meaningless (by whose standards??), and the whole statement is completely perpendicular to science at all. (Plenty of people who don't overeat are overweight; basically every athlete ever is overweight according to BMI tables. Personally, I just gained 30 pounds from antidepressants without changing my diet or activity level. I'm writing this on a damn smartphone so I don't have links, but Google "diets don't work" or look up Shapely Prose or, I don't know, Health at Every Size, or fucking pay attention for a second, and you'll find the same things I did.)
But all of this is tangential to the issue at heart, for me: I never took physics. I love science; most of my closest friends are scientists or engineers. I grew up conducting impromptu physics experiments with my dad. I placed out of freshman science and got to take Biology early.
But I have a math learning disability. I have dyscalculia. I scored so poorly in my algebra classes that when I tried to sign up for physics my school did not allow me to do so. My science education formally ended at chemistry (which I was OK at, but the math was incredibly hard). I have never been able to overcome my disability enough to master functions, although I excel at trigonometry.
So no, I never took physics. I understand how the world works, have a decent grasp of the scientific method, and know fine well what a seatbelt does for you in a traffic accident. I also have a decent grasp of the complexity of the human metabolism.
But I don't really understand what @neiltyson is getting at. And I kind of want to curl into a little ball. I'm a learning-disabled athlete, and a person I admire greatly, one of the world's foremost proponents of science education, has just dismissed me as a fat lazy ignoramus.
Good Lord it has been a long time since I posted here.
Tumblr doesn't do it. I try, but no.
The latest rage is Snapchat. Everyone on my team is on it, and we send one another mundane photos of our lives, with boners crudely drawn atop them and witty captions like "BAG OF DICKS" and "LOLZ".
We are intelligent people, but there is just something hilarious about crudely drawn boners. Especially hairy-balled ones with lines presumably representing ejaculate of some sort, in bright candy colors because Snapchat doesn't have any other colors in the palette.
To this is discourse reduced, in our modern era. Yadda yadda.
I'm posting because I'm having a fantastic evening, however. I'm marginally tipsy. This morning I took our portable dishwasher, which we rarely use because Z mostly does the dishes and doesn't like the thing, down to the basement, and now we have this like, normal human-sized space to enter the house. The only place we could put that little dishwasher (our kitchen has nowhere we can put a normal-sized dishwasher so we've had an RV-style countertop one for like seven years now) was right by the main entrance to the house, which left the entry way so narrow that I couldn't get my skate bag through easily, and had to do a ridiculous little dance to get by to the basement staircase with a laundry basket, and so forth.
So now the kitchen is bright and airy in the entryway area. Last week I lost my mind and reorganized the spice rack and steamed the floor twice. The week before that we set up the sunporch and cleared out the guest room to be an office. (Z just changed jobs and now works remote; he works from home about 1/2 the time, and rents space downtown at a coworking space the rest of the time.) So we now have FIOS and little by little more of the house looks like grownups live in it.
I am back on antidepressants and they're sort of working, but mostly it's just that the sun is back. It's not even like I care about sunshine, it's just that my brain works better with it there. The antidepressants mean I don't constantly obsess about my social awkwardness, but even with them I still have no actual ability to process real-world situations. Oh well. (I'm also still hella fat but that doesn't bother me too much. Thank you fatshionista
I survived the depths of this winter's depression by obsessively watching and re-watching Stargate: Atlantis. About six years ago I had a ton of LJ friends who were huge McShep shippers. Now I'm one and nobody's doing it anymore. Oh well.
I still have the kind of depression where you just sort of can't get off your ass and do anything because you can't believe it will actually help anything. But I'm alive and slowly making progress on things I like and so on. Not really writing much but hey. Alive.
I took a bunch of photos recently; I went to Savannah and visited my big sister and her babies. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonlady7/sets/72157633414019156/with/8705382409/
GO LOOK AT THE ADORABLE CHILDRENS.
All my friends are having babies. I'd promised myself I'd have my nervous breakdown about that when I was 29, but I'm having it now-- I totally think babies look like a fascinating hobby and I'd love to have one of my own. Unfortunately, while I was sort of ambivalent about this before, I began a decade-plus-long relationship with a dude who's pretty sure he doesn't want kids. So if I want them I'd kind of have to go find someone else to have them with, and that'd be a bummer. I've always known that if I were with someone who really wanted babies, i'd totally be into it; now I'm in the awkward position of being pretty into the idea but with a partner who is pretty into the not-having idea. So that's a bummer. I don't think I'll leave him over it (we've gotten along great since 2002 and also we have amazing sex and I wash his socks and he mostly does dishes and gets my jokes
, where the hell would I find anyone better? Nowhere!! I know I have great tits but my sense of humor is actually really awful and I fart a lot, there's no way I'll find any other dude this hot who can tolerate me) but I am probably gonna be pretty miserable riding out this biological clock thing, and then in my old age when I have the inevitable regrets that's gonna be a bummer. Goddamn it, can I borrow someone's babies for the critical shit? I don't even mind when they shit on me.
Being a 33-year-old woman in a dead-end job still saddled with useless student loan debt kinda doesn't give you a shitload of options. But, my life is comfortable and I am overall happy. So there's that.
So I'm gonna leave you with some recipes.
First off I'm totally into cold-brewed coffee. Coarse-grind some decent whole beans, put them in a French press for 12-24 hours with cold water, stir well and press.
Then you can make an Iced B-52, which rocks: For 2, I used an ounce each of Bailey's, Kahlua, Cointreau, and white rum, and filled the glass the rest of the way with cold-press coffee.
My mania lately has been to pre-mix the booze part of drinks and put them into the freezer in Mason jars. I put the boozey part, above, in the freezer, and rinsed out the glasses I was gonna use and stuck them in the freezer too, for like 2 hours while we ate dinner and watched the season finale of Season 3 of Stargate: Atlantis. (I watched the whole thing, and have been rewatching in order with Z. He likes it more than I'd expected; mostly i watched it for the man candy. Sheppard should've had his shirt off about 90% more than he did, which was basically never.)
The other drink we had tonight was the Sazerac, which is one of those annoying ones that has like a zillion ingredients.
For one, it's 2 oz rye whiskey (better, but you can substitute whiskey or bourbon in a pinch), a splash absinthe, 1/2 oz simple syrup (50/50 water and white sugar, heated and stirred until dissolved, then chilled), 1/4 oz lemon juice or some lemon zest, and four dashes of Peychaud's bitters.
I have a huge collection of bitters now. I'm serious; I have ten different kinds, at least. More, now-- my sister Fiona just gave me two bottles of homemade bitters. Oy.
Yeah so mostly the whole time I've been gone has been more of the same-- I lost my mind, mostly, but I'm getting by.
Hey, my roller derby team's going on 3 years of being undefeated. Finals are June 1. Let's see how that goes, eh?
Lately I don't add a lot of content to the world. I read much, write little.
Most recently I have been struck by a desire, I don't remember whence it came, to revisit the dizzying heights and complexity of LoTR fanfic circa 2004. Oh my gosh.
I had forgotten much of how it was. It took a lot of searching but I finally rediscovered (via a Google search that took me to my own Livejournal of that era!) Oak and Willow
. I don't have time to get into it but if you know who Celeborn and Galadriel are then it's worth reading. If you don't recognize those names you probably won't care enough to get you through the thicket of Feanorians.
I just read an article about the demise of LJ. Oh, I know, there have been articles like that for years. Shoot, I closed the tab. This entry grows pointless. ah well.
But it did make me remember. Remember a time when I used to write more than I read, and when I used to distill my thoughts by writing, and how I used to be fluent at expressing myself in writing. And when that meant something.
Now I must go to Tumblr to reblog that photoset of the Boston Terrier in costume. The one where he's wearing wax lips-- oh! how I laughed! Oh it's made my day.
That's how I deal with the Internet nowadays...
Killer whales are incredibly smart,” he says. “We just don’t have the means to understand how smart they are. They’re enormous, and powerful, but capable of the most delicate movements— their lips are dextrous, like fingers. I’ve had one come up behind me and unfasten the velcro on the back of my diving glove.” He mimics the gesture, thumb and forefinger, drawing across the back of his hand as if fastening a narrow band of velcro. ( How K Got All His Ribs Broken At Once, Except The OneCollapse )
In another phase of K's life, he served in the ranks of a particular water-based armed force for a large North American nation. But in the spirit of not spelling anything out, we're being needlessly coy here. Roll with me; one of K's endearing features is a healthy sense of paranoia and he's sure someone's going to come get him if they find out he's been talking. (Another of K's endearing features is that sometimes it's hard to tell when he's kidding.)
He has many, many stories about this, since he happened to serve partially during wartime, and over the course of his career had numerous positions of increasing sensitivity. Alas, even in coy rephrasing he won't let me write down the stories from once he had a particular security clearance. So this one is from when he was simply a shipboard firefighter.( Go Fly A KiteCollapse )
In 2007, I attended my first Pennsic. I camped with friends-of-friends. It was all very magical, and overwhelming, and amazing, and it was very hard (and remains very hard) to distill just what… what it was, what happened, what it was even about. That’s the magic of Pennsic.
But one of the first amazing things that happened was that the neighbors, a new household on the block, came over to introduce themselves as I was getting my bearings and just beginning to set up. The heads of the household were a married couple about ten-twelve years older than I was (I was in my late twenties). They recognized the tent I had as being a replica 18th-century tent. They were former Civil War re-enactors. They turned out to be the most interesting people at the entire event. (This is saying something, as there were 11,000 total weirdos at that event.) They were, of course, K and his wife S. And the most representative thing for me about that event was the evenings I spent drinking by the fire listening to K tell stories.
K has stories. He has stories, and stories about stories, and stories upon stories. He is a prepossessing guy, charismatic and outgoing and usually one of the focal people in any given group. And he has had the most bizarre, eclectic, incredible life. S is a little quieter with strangers, a great deal less outgoing (ha, until she gets either comfortable or drunk or both), but she and K have been together since they were barely adults, and know one another incredibly well. A significant part of K’s charm is how, despite his crudeness and occasional violence, he is visibly hearts-in-eyes in love with S, as if they were still twenty-two and had just met.
Over the years I have grown closer with them, and now am not only part of their Pennsic household but am trying to start a business with K (if we can ever get the logistics squared away). At my fourth Pennsic I camped with them in a combined-household situation, and it was then that I decided to start writing K’s stories down. Most of the foundation of that work was done at an event just after that Pennsic when S was sick, my boyfriend was committed elsewhere, and nobody else came, so it was just K and I, and we sat by the fire and drank and he told me stories for about eighteen solid hours.
So the K stories series is my attempt to tell the stories as they were told to me. It’s an exercise in semi-fiction. Because I didn’t record them; this isn’t just a transcription. And most of them, I have now heard more than once, or they were told in a fragmentary fashion and I am trying to compile a clear, thorough narrative from the fragments, often interrupted with other events. I am also trying to capture K’s distinctive voice. I may not be doing this consistently, as it’s tricky— he doesn’t have a distinctive accent, and he’s a bundle of contradictions. He works in construction, but is very well-educated; like many natives of the South, he has an accent that he turns up or down depending on circumstance, audience, drunkenness, mood, etc.
Note: elsewhere in blogs I have mentioned K by name, or with identifying details, so readers of this may well know of whom I speak. I am attempting, however, to keep his legal name and actual identifying details out of these stories, because of course, some of them have details such that it’d be best if they weren’t public. So wherever possible I’m anonymizing, taking out proper names or place details, and so on. That’s why the coy tone— I’m not exactly trying to hide anything, but especially since some of these may well be semi-fictionalized, there’s really no need to go attaching real names and dates and places to them.
Though I admit, as I began the work of compiling these stories, I did engage in a little bit of… not exactly fact-checking, but corroboration— mostly because if I had to fill in a detail, I wanted to fill it in accurately. And I did discover that actually there are a lot of verifiable details; K fibs a whole lot less than you’d assume given how sensational most of the stories are. He’s a person of considerable integrity, though that doesn’t always mean truthfulness— but his logic is generally internally consistent.