rivendellrose: (Scully)
So, after seeing yet another of those "Hey, we're tired of Tumblr fandom's shit" and a lot of people commenting with basically "I would love to go back to Dreamwidth/LJ but it doesn't seem to be active," I decided, well, hell, if that many of us feel that way maybe we should just flipping try to post here again. Because hell yeah, I'm sick of a medium that doesn't allow the kind of conversation that made me interested in fandom to begin with.

So anyway, this is me, putting myself out there to say hey, I'm still here! I would totally still be here all the time if other folks were still here, too!

As far as fandom stuff goes, I'm mostly just waiting with bated breath for Star Trek: Discovery. Will it almost certainly disappoint me? Yeah, now that Bryan Fuller isn't leading it anymore I'm resigned to the fact that after the first few episodes the amazingness may taper off and I might not actually like it, and also it is going to be a giant return to the usual Klingon obsession, which is sad. But freaking Doug Jones is playing an alien regular, Michelle Yeoh is playing a Starfleet captain, and Sonequa Martin-Green is the lead character. I can't miss the possibilities represented there, even if they wind up not being quite everything I'm hoping for.

Also, Moana and Arrival were both fabulous movies. And [personal profile] hearts_blood is currently doing a fantastic job of dragging me back into our old Minbari headcanon universe. She also got me the Crimson Peak artbook for Christmas and it is flipping gorgeous.

How's everybody else doing out there?
rivendellrose: (To be or...)
Dear Santa Bryan Fuller:

I've been a very good girl and I have been a loyal viewer of your shows (we can talk later about my reasons for only having actually seen a few episodes of Hannibal, but suffice to say I was a devoted fan of the show anyway, and did everything I could to support the social media campaigns and whatnot to save it), and I can't wait for American Gods, but I have a few requests, sir, for when you get around to the new Star Trek series, which I'm told is now officially called Star Trek: Discovery. These are, of course, only my personal opinions, but since they're based on watching the entirety of TOS, TNG, and DS9 at least once as well as watching about half of VOY and, well, eleven episodes of ENT (I'll come back to that in a minute), not to mention a good portion of the old and new movies, I think I know whereof I speak when I talk about this franchise. So. My requests, in no particular order: )
rivendellrose: (Morgana)
So, as part of my attempt to recover from the woe and angst and whatnot documented in my last post, I returned to a guilty pleasure that I'd picked up some months back--watching select episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. I didn't watch it back when it was actually a new thing, you see (or rather I watched about 15 minutes and decided that I could live without a series who started off by deciding that the Vulcan girl needed to get down to her underwear). Fortunately for me it improved later... sort of.

See, I say "selected episodes," and that is exactly what I mean: I only watch the episodes with Jeffrey Combs' character, Shran, in them.

Partly this is because I've adored Jeffrey Combs in many other sci-fi shows of roughly similar vintage, and partly it's because honest to god that character is the one thing that made me at all interested in watching. Years and years ago, back in college, I was in a bubble tea place that my friends and I frequented and they had the TV running, and an episode of Enterprise with him in it happened to be on and overlaid with Korean pop music. And it was the slashiest thing I'd ever seen. I was delighted to find out that his character was nearly as slashy without the Korean pop, and by informing me of this [personal profile] hearts_blood eventually convinced me that okay fine, I would watch an episode with him in it. And then another. And another. And then write some ridiculously bad fanfic bits just for our mutual consumption. And then watch even more, and write a bit more ridiculously bad fanfic, and so on. I never did get around to watching a single episode without Shran, and probably won't, because none of the other characters particularly interest me.

However that has led to a problem. I took a niiiice long gap in there, so it took a while for me to arrive at this point... but I've now watched all the episodes with Shran in them except for the very last episode, which I have on very good authority is unspeakably terrible. So, uh, there goes my trashy happy TV watching, I guess? And the one thing I've managed to rouse myself to write fic about in the last while?

Can't there just be more of it? Specifically more with Shran, mind - I still don't give a flying fuck about anybody else on the show... but given that it ended as a rather epic failure eleven years ago I have a pretty strong sense I won't be getting anything else out of it.

So, basically... shit.

(For the record, my mood has improved and I am not, like, on the verge of a breakdown or something anymore, particularly not because my trashy television of choice is done. But still! I am sulky.)
rivendellrose: (Delenn)
I think I understand now why some people, when they feel like their life is stuck, wind up having a kid. I always thought, oh, that's a terrible way to go about things, a baby isn't going to solve your problems! But it turns out, it's just really nice sometimes to look around and think, well, hell, just try and tell me I'm not doing something important right now, motherfucker - I'm growing a human being inside me.

It's kind of weirdly freeing. Like, I was sitting here watching cake-making videos on YouTube while knitting a baby cardigan, and I thought, "Wow, normally I might feel like I'm really wasting my evening and I should get up and do something productive. But... nope, not right now. I had a crummy, tired, ache-y day, and I just want to sit here and watch some woman make fancy cakes while I'm knitting, and that's okay, because I'm growing a person while I'm doing that."

Kind of neat, actually. Or at least oddly soothing for a person who always feels like they're not doing enough.


Feb. 29th, 2016 09:21 pm
rivendellrose: (Tea)
Had an appointment with the OB today, and generally things are going well. I unfortunately do not have the okay to do any kind of exercise for exercise's sake (including walking), so that sucks, but generally she seems to think I'm on target apart from the bleed still being a thing. The one thing I'm not on target on... is gaining weight. I've only gained about 6 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight, and the OB would prefer that I'd gained 9 or 10.

This is not a surprise. I've been watching the scale every time I go in, hoping it would creep up a little faster... but no luck.

We talked about a few simple things I can do to add some extra calories to my diet without feeling too full or eating junk food, things like nuts, avocados, replacing my current low-fat yogurt with full-fat, and adding in an Odwalla protein shake or other smoothie. That last one is especially helpful because even though I know they're full of calories (300-370 a bottle) they don't feel like I'm eating extra food, and they have basically no risk of making me feel full. And, as a bonus, they've actually got pretty good amounts of B vitamins and iron and stuff (the iron being particularly of concern since there's some risk of my becoming anemic since I've been bleeding semi-continually since December). So that's good.

Navel-gazing regarding gaining weight, and the entitled but still problematic weight issues that come from being small. )

So really there's two things going on here - the first being that I'm a little nervous about gaining weight even though I know I need to (and that supposedly breastfeeding will help it to come off after), but the second and probably bigger issue being that I'm afraid of losing my lifestyle. Even when I do walk now I have to be so careful to walk more slowly so I don't jostle and jar things more than I have to or be too active, I'm not even walking like myself. And that scares me immensely more than the thought of gaining ten pounds. More than anything I'm afraid of losing the way I've always walked miles without thinking about it, walking to the local parks and all that. I keep saying that I'll get back to it as soon as I can after the baby's born, and then back to the gym once I'm back to my usual self outside, but I'm genuinely nervous about not being able to recover as quickly as I hope.

And until then, there isn't a damned thing I can do except the exact opposite - sit here quietly, try not to get much activity at all, and eat an extra little bowl of cottage cheese so that hopefully I'll have gained some more weight at my next appointment.


Feb. 26th, 2016 05:54 pm
rivendellrose: (*snerk*)
Boy, it's a good thing I'm not any further along in my pregnancy than I am, since I found out at 5pm today that some tree roots have found their way into the pipes and messed up my building's water system, meaning no running water (including toilet flushing) for us until at least 7:30pm.

We're going out to dinner, and maybe to a movie after if we can find something that looks good to us.

Meanwhile, I've already had to mutter "don't flush, don't flush, don't flush," to myself after peeing, and then immediately turned on the faucet, got my hands into it, then remembered (duh, what was I just telling myself about the water system?), quickly turned off the water and dried my hands, then panicked and then ran to find hand sanitizer because, hell, I don't know, and I'm pregnant so every little possibility of contamination is instantly twenty times scarier than usual.

At least the electric tea kettle was still mostly full from earlier, so I was still able to pour myself a glass of non-suspect water to drink.

(Also my poor cat freaked out when the apartment manager knocked on the door because SOMEONE WAS KNOCKING ON THE DOOR, and more than half an hour later still had to sliiiiiiink cauuuuuutiously out of my office like he was afraid the (totally not-at-all) scary man might still reappear at any instant. Dude didn't even come in the door, and the cats have seen him several times since we moved here, but Theo has turned into a huge wimp in his old age and suddenly is afraid of pretty much everyone but The Boy and I.)
rivendellrose: (Scully)
Women who blithely talk about how much they enjoyed their pregnancy (which they usually went through 10+ years ago if they’re saying that, I notice) should just stfu. Not necessarily because I think they’re lying (spoilers: I totally think they’re either lying or the hormone-induced brain-wipe worked REALLY well on them), but because the rest of us who have kind of frankly miserable pregnancies with all kinds of problems and painful symptoms just don’t want to fucking hear it or even remember having heard it, okay? Just... just don’t.

If your pregnancy really was nine months of unadulterated bliss, good for you. Now screw off and leave the rest of us mere mortals to our suffering.

(Yup, still pregnant. Nope, not at all sure that'll continue as far as tomorrow, let alone 20 more weeks. Why so dismal? When you're already bleeding regularly and at risk for pre-term labor and everybody is like "call the hospital right away if you start getting cramps or more bleeding," and then you get debilitating pains that are almost certainly gas pains but who the hell knows the difference between those and cramps anyway, you have a tendency to panic slightly. Research indicates we are probably not really in crisis mode yet, just... in for another uncomfortable evening of the late 2nd trimester.)

Also, on a related note, gas pains can go jump off a fucking bridge into a volcano.

NOTE: This post is not actually intended as an attack against anybody, and no, I don't actually think anybody should stfu about their pregnancy. Not reeeeally, anyway. I'm just feeling really shitty right now, okay?
rivendellrose: (letters)
This year might actually be the first year (at least the first in a long time...) that I try to do NaNoWriMo and don't succeed. The short version is that I've got some positive-but-distracting home stuff going on, I'm taking on new responsibilities at work and taking a leadership class there as well, which will require homework once I've got through the first session this Wednesday, and today, my big day for catching up, I felt pretty sick and didn't get nearly as much done as I needed to so far. I was hoping to get 5,000+ words today (5,000 to catch up to par for today, and then additional words to make up for the fact that once again I'll probably be low on words during the work week). So far I've only done 2,870. Which is pretty good given the afore-mentioned sick feelings, but not nearly as much as I need. So... blah.

And I've got an executive board meeting for the local editors guild on Tuesday night, so not much will be getting written then. At least I have my hour long lunches at work back this week? Maybe I can get something in then, if I'm quick about it.
rivendellrose: (Tea)
I really, really, really cannot be getting sick right now. Now is, quite literally, the worst possible time for me to get sick. Not even joking, actually quite serious, can't get sick.

Please. Please no sick. Please nothing going wrong. Not saying with what because Superstition and also Tempting Fate. But just.... seriously. Nothing going wrong, please.

Now, I really have to go make myself a giant pot of lemon ginger tea and hope this sore throat goes away, along with whatever else it brought with it. Because no.
rivendellrose: (*snerk*)
I've been doing a lot more coding at my job the last several months, because the auditing thing that was my primary job function for the last four of my eight years at the company finally got automated and I guess they decided I'd better actually do the thing that my job title says for a while.

Anyway, I mention this here not because I've become so brilliant at web dev (spoilers: I haven't), but because, strangely, I think of LJ/DW most days while I'm working. Because one of the things I often need to do is use CSS alter the appearance of some aspect of our standard platform (since our flexible website platform is pretty much anything but flexible), and... often times that means eyeballing something and thinking "50 pixels to the right? Will 50px do it? And... 100px down?"

And always, always, when I'm trying to do this, the unit of measurement that my brain works in... is LJ/DW icons.

(Yeah, I know, there's tools to measure that shit. I'm lazy, and installing anything on my stupid work computer requires a HelpDesk ticket. Plus, I already have to trial-and-error just about everything, so...)

We now return you to our regularly scheduled hour of staring at NaNoWriMo thinking "I'm sure I had an idea what I was going to write about on October 31..."
rivendellrose: (letters)
Trying out this Dreamwidth thing again, because Tumblr is annoying the crap out of me. I mean, seriously. Remember back when everybody was like "Oh, LJ staff are so awful, let's all LEAVE." And then they went to Tumblr for some reason?


Anyway, since this place is actually functional and has a working comment system that no one is thinking of removing, and you can actually have conversations without exploding everyone's dash/f-list into a nightmare of incoherent replies, I figured I'd try posting here again. Maybe this time it'll actually stick.

I still miss my kitty mood icons, though. The bats are cute, but they're not as cute as the kitty icons I had on LJ.
rivendellrose: (Default)
I haven't decided for sure yet, but there is a possibility that I may be letting my paid account lapse over on LJ. This might mean that I become even more absent than I have been in the recent past. My hope is that this will not be the case... which is why I have actually made crossposting work with my Dreamwidth, finally, so that I can post from there, at the very least, and still keep my LJ going to some extent. It's been my home on the internet for oh dear god I don't even know way too long, and while Tumblr and all that are fun, they're just not the same. So. ♥

If you're over on LJ and you want to find me on DW (or, for that matter, Tumblr) I've got the same name there that I have everywhere else, and I'm always happy to see a familiar face!
rivendellrose: (letters)
Two questions on the subject of cross-posting and imports to and from LJ:

1. When I post something with cross-posting enabled, DW tells me that it will send a request to LJ. Presumably this means I have to somehow allow the post on LJ. How do I do that?

2. Why, for the love of all that's good and holy, do all my comments that were imported from LJ show an icon that, yes, I definitely remember having once upon a blue moon about a million years ago, but which I have long since replaced with other icons, and which is no longer uploaded on either DW or LJ? I can understand (quite easily) that it reverts all my main post icons to my default on DW, because I don't have the same keywords for my icons on both systems, but... why this random icon that doesn't exist anymore? (And apologies to anyone who thinks I've gone utterly mad and am still using an icon of 20-years-ago Sarah Mclachlan... I swear, I'm not... at least not intentionally...)

This post not cross-posted, for obvious reasons.
rivendellrose: (letters)
We're trying another experiment with cross-posting from Dreamwidth. I will always love LJ, but I've been getting twitchy about not having any way to back up my entries, and now that I'm up to date on my import to Dreamwidth (with a little manual work to catch up all the way), I'm going to try to keep up from now on. Which means either cross-posting from Dreamwidth, or copying entries by hand, which, frankly, is a bit of a pain.

I have no intention of giving up my LJ, just for the record. I love it, and I've had it for almost ten years. I am just regarding this as the best way to get a back-up going.

Short version: This entry is basically just a test to see if cross-posting works. ♥
rivendellrose: (Default)
Drive-by links:

Fascinating piece on sex ed from the NYTimes (apologies if it shows a login screen - it works for me, but I can never tell when I link out to their stuff what it's going to do for other people)

And, also from NYTimes, We now have software to rate how drastically photos are retouched in magazines and so on. Seriously, check this out, it's a real eye-opener if you (like most people) have ever looked at a magazine cover and instantly felt your sense of personal attractiveness go down something like twelve points. "Why can't my skin be as perfect as hers? Why can't my stomach be that flat?" Well, because hers isn't either. Check out this gallery of photos before and after photoshopping to see some really fascinating examples of what's going on.

MoveOn.org has a petition to stop the current internet censorship bill that's being debated in Congress right now. Definitely worth putting your name to, for the American folks here.

Lastly, go check out all the glorious stuff that's being auctioned off to benefit Terri Windling and her family over at [profile] magick4terri. There's some seriously cool stuff over there, and a ton of it, so be sure to page through the previous entries. It's a great way to help out one of the grand dames of fantasy, and get some of your holiday shopping done to boot! Or, hell, just fabulously fun browsing to go through and coo over all the stuff wonderful people have donated to help out. ;) There's also a Facebook page, and please do spread the word!
rivendellrose: (Morgana)
Just finished watching the latest Merlin... Spoilers for Merlin, through episode 4.09 under the cut! )
rivendellrose: (try science)
Okay, seriously, this is awesome.

In a blog post bearing the fabulous title "Iterating Toward Bethlehem," here is the story of a teeny little spider with "a pinpoint brain with less than a million neurons, somehow capable of mammalian-level problem-solving. And just maybe, a whole new approach to cognition."

More details, and links to the original articles in PDF, are at the link above. ♥ Further sample quote:

[W]e have here a spider who eats other spiders, who changes her foraging strategy on the fly, who resorts to trial and error techniques to lure prey into range. She will brave a full frontal assault against prey carrying an egg sac, but sneak up upon an unencumbered target of the same species. Many insects and arachnids are known for fairly complex behaviors (bumblebees are the proletarian's archetype; Sphex wasps are the cool grad-school example), but those behaviors are hardwired and inflexible. Portia here is not so rote: Portia improvises.

Nature is so freaking cool. ♥
rivendellrose: (snerk)
I couldn't resist.

Fandom: BSG (2003)
Characters: Kara and Socrata Thrace
Timeline: Pre-series.
Warnings: For once, for a miracle, I can think of nothing to warn for! Except possibly dubious craft practices. I'm fairly sure one could make ornaments this way, but I've certainly never done it, and I'm sure it'd be trickier than I've indicated.
Note: For [livejournal.com profile] deborah_judge. I didn't manage to get Leoben in there, but I managed to explain why Kara was making these ornaments... ♥

Holiday Maelstrom )
rivendellrose: (scully red)
One of the neat things about the Flipboard app on iPad is that it makes a quick scan through news and other happenings online veeeery easy. This morning, while I was drinking my tea and going through my usual mix of New Scientist, assorted news feeds and various lifestyle blogs (where I found this lemon cake that I am now dying to try to make for Thanksgiving, but sort of afraid I am not sufficiently baker-skilled to manage), I found something (else) very interesting: it was a picture of some really beautifully-preserved mummies that had, in life, been subjected to skull flattening.

What's skull-flattening? I'm glad you asked, imaginary reader!

You see, our modern cultures around the world today aren't the first Human cultures to get the idea that something unnatural (like, say, over-inflated lips or silicon filled breats) are attractive. Most cultures throughout history seem to have practiced some kind of body alteration for the purpose of beauty, basically based on the idea that if you're spending a bunch of time and energy doing (x) to your body (or your kid's body), you must have enough resources not to be worrying about whether or not you're going to eat today. Body modification, whether it's scarring, foot-binding, or, in this case, strapping boards to your infant's head to flatten and elongate his or her skull while it's still soft, is a great way to advertize that you don't have to spend your time working. In other words, it's like having really absurdly long fake nails, high heels, absurdly exaggerated musculature, or a perfect tan even in winter. It's a sign that says "I'm so successful I can waste my energy on stuff that doesn't make sense from a pure survival standpoint!"

Think of it like the Human equivalent of a peacock tail. It's a shitty idea as far as avoiding predators, but the people around you (particularly the lady peacocks) think it's damned impressive, and from an evolutionary standpoint, that's what matters.

So, hey, this is exciting! I've seen illustrations of people with flattened foreheads, and I've seen a few dull pictures of the skulls, but I'd never seen anything so nicely preserved. I got very excited. ...And then I noticed the headline next to the photo.

"Scientists think this triangular skull belongs to an alien"

Um, what? No... no, not if they've ever so much as flipped through a basic archaeology textbook, they don't. Especially not since the skulls were found in Peru. Guess what region notably picked skull-flattening out of the bazillion body-modification options available to pre-industrial humanity? Peru. I even looked it up for you, to prove it - a quick Google search for "peru skull-flattening" gets you this Wikipedia article on artificial cranial deformation, which is the technical term for this kind of body mod. Down under "Reasons" you'll see a great little diagram of the methods the Mayans used, and next to the "History" section are a pair of skulls pictured underneath an 18th century painting of a Chinookan child undergoing the process, being held by a woman on whom the adult result can be seen. The top skull is labeled as Incan. Where did the Inca live, ladies and gentlemen? Peru. Relevant quote:

Artificial cranial deformation, head flattening, or head binding is a form of permanent body alteration in which the skull of a human being is intentionally deformed. It is done by distorting the normal growth of a child's skull by applying force. Flat shapes, elongated ones (produced by binding between two pieces of wood), rounded ones (binding in cloth) and conical ones are among those chosen.

Take another look at that Inca skull. Now look at the 'alien' mummies. I think I'll rest my case.

I shall refrain from commenting on the probable credentials of those Russian and Spanish "doctors" who think these things are from outer space, except to say that there's no law anywhere saying a total crackpot nutjob can't have a PhD in something. Io9 has an article about the same thing. I like to think they're being more than a little tongue-in-cheek about it, which makes me happy, but they're not quite clear enough about the "wtf, no" as I might prefer.
rivendellrose: (snerk)
[livejournal.com profile] deborah_judge, this made me think of you:

I was looking around Anthropologie online today, because I do strange things when I'm being lazy, and they have a Rippled Suncatcher Ornament that I think Kara would recognize. The progression of colors isn't quite perfect, I don't think, but I still had a moment of OMGWTF when I saw it. ♥

I'll be over here, telling myself that if I bought this lovely $50 ornament, yes, it would amuse me immensely to put it up on our tree... but only until my cat knocked it off and broke it into a million destiny-inducing (and inevitably sharp) pieces.


rivendellrose: (Default)

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