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February 3rd, 2011 01:44 am - Victorian crossdressing
I would say the unifying themes of this post, to the extent it has any, are Victoriana, costuming, and crossdressing. Also, Things I Have Scanned. So let's get on it, shall we?

First, people wanted to see the pictures of the 1890s silk dress I was fixing last week, so here they are. )

And while I was scanning those I went ahead and scanned a few other things. )

Meanwhile, I have acquired another supply from my secret-source-of-free-comics-in-return-for-reviews! And they seemed to fit the theme, so, hey, since I have read them all already,a here are scans and reviews:

ADELE BLANC-SEC by Jacques Tardi. )

The CBLDF 2010 Liberty Annual )

Scarlett Takes Manhattan )

And, okay, the other comics that didn't fit the theme. )

(20 comments | Reply)

January 24th, 2011 02:57 pm - I can do five things. Sure.
1. Ebook piracy: the latest hot topic. I have been staying out of this discussion, mostly because: I have been listening to pirated audiobooks since before I could *read*, since pirated audiobooks meant "check the LP out of the library and copy it on to reel-to-reel tape." I worked through all my moral and ethical questions about the issue by the time I had hit kindergarten, with the assistance of the fact that *all* of my peers and authority figures did the same things; I had picture books that were photostat copies bound with brads; I had Boxcar Children books that were bookstore remainders with the covers stripped.

My father was a math and programming teacher in the early 80s; the county-wide department inservice days were the best thing ever, because Dad would come home with 5.25-inch discs holding pirated copies of all the latest Apple II games that all the teachers were trading around under the desks. (True story: I once asked Dad what the "kracker" did in programming, since all the programs we had at home had a "kracked by" credit before the opening screen.) In fact, I have never met a single teacher, at any level, and growing up a TK I've met a lot, who has taught for more than five years and doesn't routinely make illegal copies of things for her classes. When a law is that widely flouted (by pretty much everyone who doesn't directly benefit from its existence, and also often, quietly, by them as well), what you need to do is change the law, not human nature.

Which is to say, I got over this topic two decades ago. Can we move on and stop acting like fainting flowers about it? ^_~

2. Still listening to (pirated) Dresden Files! 3.5 books in have reached Step 10 in the getting-into-a-fandom timeline. Current fic bunnies: A Day In the Life of Father Forthill; 5 Times Harry Dresden Narrowly Avoided Learning About Slash; and Ray Kowalski Dances With The Winter Lady. Also did another meme fill, which was probably obvious to anyone who knows me and is reading over there. However, I've reached the point where I know just enough canon that I no longer feel comfortable writing fic without knowing it all, sigh, so that's stalled, mostly.

Luckily, the anon meme is keeping me in fic for now! Actually I was just thinking that maybe Dresden Files has finally cured me of politics RPF, given the relative numbers of times I've been reloading the two memes, but then Dresden Files fandom decided on its own to adopt Rahm Emanuel as a character, so I suspect I'm just cursed to read politics RPF forever. (Oh, Rahm, oh.)

3. I am almost finished with my mending basket! Which means time to start a brand-new sewing project, maybe! (Or go back to a years-old retired one.) The last thing in the basket was the Madelyn Mack dress I wore at con-txt and ripped the hem out of. It's 100-year-old black silk, so thin it's translucent in sunlight. I have a picture of my grandmother wearing it, c. 1930, in an "Old Hometown" history pageant; I have a picture of her grandmother wearing what might be the same dress, 30 years earlier. I was really, really nervous about attempting to repair a dress that's practically an artifact and such fragile fabric, too - until I actually started the repair.

I am at *least* the fifth person who has attempted to repair the hem of this dress! (And a better seamstress than at least two of them.) That makes me feel a lot better, and, somehow, love the dress a lot more, too. In fact, its value as a historical artifact may not so much be its value as a dress, as it is a record of Edwardian and early-20th-century home clothing repair techniques; this dress wears its scars proudly, and I'm learning things about effective and efficient repair just from studying it that even my mother's generation seems to have forgotten. (I never did get a picture of me wearing it last summer. Maybe once the repair is done I'll attempt a photographic record. Repair being done make take awhile - there is literally six yards of hem around this skirt.)

4. Last Thursday was the first 10 O'clock Live! It was not terrible! It could use some settling-in time, but it was legitimately good. It actually feels like it's kind of halfway between wanting to be the Daily Show and wanting to be something more like W$W - a serious but irreverent real current events magazine. Am looking forward to more.

...and then the next day Keith Olbermann signed off for the last time. D: D: He wasn't always right and he wasn't always good, but he almost always said the things that the American left needed said but was afraid to, and shouted them when they needed shouted, and now who's to do that?

5. I joined [community profile] inkitout - the DW community to challenge yourself to keep writing all year - and so far, thanks to Dresden Files, am doing okay. But! This week's support post was to introduce one of your characters, and I was like hooray! I always want to talk about my original characters! Until I tried, and realized I couldn't do it. original character wibbling )

(22 comments | Reply)

May 8th, 2010 10:31 am - Not Exactly Follow Friday (Again)
It says ... something ... about just what kind of a dork I am that I went to see Iron Man II, and while there were many things about the movie that I liked and would enjoy discussing, the actual squee!OMG! moments?


...I guess I am still a math geek at heart.

Also, a double pendulum (aka "Chaos Machine") is the best symbol for movie!Tony ever. I could go on and on about the scene with Tony and the double pendulum.

If I was the sort of person who could make things like that, I would figure out how to make a wind-up clock with a double-pendulum tick. I have wanted to for years. Since I can't, I am so tempted to go down to the cave tonight and build me just the pendulum, counterweighted to swing a long time like the one in the movie. With a box of scraps.

(Note: this is not cut because neither the pendulum nor the tesseracts have any actual spoilery significance whatsoever; they were set dressing. Thus my enormous levels of geekery.)


Click on this cut if you would like to see some racy vintage postcards of silent-movie era Hollywood Bathing Beauties. )

If you are not interested in racy vintage postcards of women wearing bathing costumes I would dearly like to own, then we clearly have very different tastes in postcards. But perhaps you would be more interested in one of these posts I have recently made on dreamwidth communities:

At [community profile] sca_attire, photographs of me wearing nothing but a period linen shirt! I understand some of you are interested in that sort of thing. Also featuring: discussion of crossdressing while re-enacting, and me whining about how sewing is hard.
At [community profile] topgearslash (locked) and [community profile] crossovers (unlocked), Part One of the Top Gear/Dr. Who(/Torchwood/Sarah Jane/Big Finish) crossover of doomy doom! (Featuring: men who love their cars and/or spaceships too much, and also bonus multimedia enrichment downloads.)
At [community profile] poetry, this week I am posting an elaborate four-part stealth argument-by-example for poetry as fanwork: NASA RPS from 1970, three variations on Dover Beach, and about a Flemish tapestry. And also some very silly things.
And at [community profile] common_nature, an account of a trip to the beach, in which there are kites, hidden treasures and fossil-hunting.


Also, overcome by election coverage (OMG, I have discovered that it is possible to be fannish over election results for countries that *are not mine*! So exciting: all the fun, 75% less stress. Hooray!) I have started writing up a post - probably to be posted to [community profile] punditfic - entitled "A Guide To British Fake News for Americans". Are there any British persons reading this who would like to look it over before I post it, for blatant errors?

I also now really, really want the alternate future where David Mitchell started the revolution, Charlie Brooker led it, Andy Zaltzman ended up Home Secretary, and mtf!Patchula J. Oliver spent years in prison after Bristol Palin was elected President of the USA. (They write these things *for* us, guys.)

And finally, if you would like to be on my "obsessing over diversity, privilege and appropriation re: my original characters as an excuse to not actually write anything in their universes" filter, first post to go up soon entitled "wow I have a lot of trans* characters", please click here:
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 38

I would like to be on the original fiction filter:

38 (100.0%)

(28 comments | Reply)

September 27th, 2007 07:35 pm
You know that antique wind-up traveller's clock I bought a while back? I have now resolved to have it ticking (and hopefully, chiming) in time for this. Probably with a Seal of Rassilon replacing the original ruined paper clockface. :D (Or maybe the chameleon-arch design, though that would be harder and less recognizable.)

I don't know if I'll get around to doing anything else, though. busy busy. Also I need to get started planning for Fear Day.

Anyway: I will be at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC on Saturday, all day. I traditionally use it to meet internets people. Anybody local planning to be there?

(5 comments | Reply)

September 8th, 2007 10:22 pm
This morning I bought a tiny 1927 wind-up alarm clock with a diameter of about two inches. It's pretty badly water-damaged and it only ticks for about ten seconds after it's wound, but it is little! And cute! And since it's little I can justify storing it, and since it's cheap I can justify buying it, and since it's already nonfunctional I can justify taking it apart to see what makes it tick.

...if I actually get it ticking that'll just be a bonus. (I don't expect to get it to keep good time, but I like the tick, what can I say. And it's little! And cute! And fits just right in the palm of my hand, like a newborn kitten! And I almost walked away, but I know I would have regretted it for years if I didn't.) I plan to take it apart this week while I'm home alone.

...that crusty white stuff in it just better not be Time Lord essence, that's all I can say.

(ALSO, they're showing Torchwood in the US finally! On *BBC America*, which the only way you can get it in this area is on satellite. How is that fair?? That probably means they'll never pick it up on a channel we get, too. I blame the vast right-wing conspiracy. And FOX. Oh, oh, I tried to be good, but Captain Jack, sooner or later you'll drive me to finally learn torrents. Alas.)

(15 comments | Reply)

September 6th, 2007 10:53 pm - Quail eggs.
Damn it, the two posts that I saw on m_f, jumped over here, and breathed a sigh of relief that nobody'd posted them JUST SHOWED UP. Dear flist: just because it's on metafandom and it's full of fail doesn't mean you should wank it.

In fact, if it's on metafandom it's probably full of Serious Business and you probably *shouldn't* wank it. Go look for something wacky and irrelevant, please.

(How quickly one gets jaded!)

Anyway, I went to do food prep for this fundraiser the local homeless shelter is doing, and as I was prepping about two hundred hard boiled eggs, I started thinking (as you do) about what the characters in my head would be doing in that situation.

Thing is, while the characters currently living in my head would totally have let themselves get roped into a church fundraiser, they live in early-copper-age Greece. Did they even *have* hen's eggs? I don't think they did. Did they have other kinds of eggs? (Were there quail eggs in Greece? Would there be quails in my alternate-fantasy-Greece with the Mediterranean landlocked?) Would they have fried things? What would they have fried them in (olive oil, I suppose? Or would there be animal grease to use for that? Is early Greek olive oil as messy as cheap American frying oils?) Was everyday cookware in the Mediterranean glazed, or sealed, or what? How would you have gotten grease out of it - did they have soap? Did they have hard soap? Would the rare copper have been used for cookware? (How would you cook in pots of unalloyed copper?) I know there would have been octopus and eel, but would there have been crab? How about other shellfish? Did they have mayonnaise? Would they have used cream sauces at all?

...sad thing is, last time I was working in this universe (NaNo four years ago) I actually read a book of Bronze Age recipes. Do I remember the relevant bits? NOOO. I have never missed being in walking distance of a University library more than now.

This is why I never get anywhere in actually writing my original fic. This is also why I was originally so attracted to fanfic - at least there, the canon is FINITE. 'Course, I still never get around to watching the canon when there's wikipedia articles I could be reading. It's also part of the reason I write in fantasy and SF universes instead of the real world; you can pick a point at which you've done enough research and it's time to just make shit up. (Not that I've ever gotten to that point. At least with the Copper Age mediterranean (and even more so when they eventually go to the Sahel) there will be a point at which I've exhausted what is currently known. I'm just not there yet. (I wonder if it would be a good use of my time to re-read Homer?)

(2 comments | Reply)

August 29th, 2007 12:49 am - Autumn is ycomin in
Spent most of the afternoon and morning working in the yard. I can't decide if it's awful or awesome that the black walnut tree is fruiting this year. We'll see what my opinion is after I've picked up another four or five bushels of mostly-rotten nuts. (Feel the burn in those thighs!) Haven't decided yet if I'm going to try to shell any this year or not - I did a bunch two years ago, the last time it fruited, and my fingers were this absolutely lovely mahogany color until mid-October. Then Mom, who has a vicious PUT IT IN TUPPERWARE instinct, sealed them up before they'd had a chance to cure and they all mildewed. Bah.

The squirrels get nearly all the good ones anyway. Anybody know how to tell a good nut from a bad before you shell it? Because that's a *lot* of effort for a very few good nuts.

Then I spent the evening shelving books on my LibraryThing.com account. It's not solved yet, but the remaining books are a lot more manageable now. (For those who haven't encountered me in hoard-brooding mode before - I live, with all my worldly possessions, in a 15x20 foot bedroom. Among those possessions: well over a thousand books. And I acquire new ones at a rate of about five a week, although in a good month I can easily do four times that. So it's a never-ending puzzle to get them shelved = good thing I love messing about with books! ATM I have eight separate bookshelves of varying sizes in the room, not counting the line of books across the top of my dresser, and I sleep on the top bunk of a bunk bed with a reading nook on the bottom. For all that, the room's surprisingly open and airy when everything's stowed away where it belongs.)

So now instead of four tall piles of random recent books under my bed, I have a pile of classic literature and a pile of books on the writing life and a pile of books that might be relevant to my NaNo. And *everything else* is shelved, which I honestly didn't think I'd manage until about five minutes before I finished. Yay!

(Yeah - I know what I'm doing for NaNo already, mostly thanks to [journalfen.net profile] limyaael's fantasy rants. I'm starting a good month sooner than the last five years though, so hooray! No worries, though - I'm fairly well certain I'll just do all the worldbuilding and then give up on the actual writing a week in, like always.)

Current Mood::

(4 comments | Reply)

July 6th, 2007 11:49 am - Speaking as a member of the Great Unwashed --
This is not exactly wank yet, but it's a really bloody amusing example of the complete *disconnect* between the two levels of fandom:

Evan Dorkin (of Milk & Cheese fame) has discovered (in Previews magazine) BPAL's Sandman scents, and has got his hate on about how terrible it is that "now fanboys and geekgirls of a certain fantastical persuasion can joyously cover up the wretched stink of bad personal hygiene." Completely missing the point that:

a) It's BPAL, they've been selling these things for years, and the only new thing is that it's being marketed in Previews and
b) That anyone who first found about BPAL by reading Previews is so far down the geek heirarchy already that they've no call to be throwing stones. Yes, even if you only read Previews so that you can complain about how stinky it is, and then go into frighteningly pornographic detail about your fantasies of being mobbed by unwashed fans.
c) The people buying it are geekboys and fangirls, not the other way around: and yes, there *is* a difference. Level of seething denial-based anger is one of them.

Yes, that means you too, Paul T. Riddell (best known for continually writing about how much he hates writing and how glad he is that he doesn't write any more,) even if you don't actually read Previews but prefer to savor the scent of aged cat piss in sheer ignorance: mature people either leave fandom or give up on the fetishized self-loathing by the time they've left high school, and BPAL has actually been making book SF-themed scents since before they did comics ones, from HP Lovecraft to Nathanial Hawthorne, and the only difference with the Gaiman ones is that they're not Public Domain ...

Comments on the two posts are equally amusing, especially how BPAL fandom wank has already started in the comments to Dorkin's post!

Man, I'm glad to be a woman sometimes.

Of course, I'm also glad I stay plugged-in enough to traditional 'fandom' that I get to see and understand these things. Because it's fucking funny. And context is the best!

Now, on to important issues, like why there is not already more Doctor/Master curtainfic.

Current Mood::

(3 comments | Reply)

June 4th, 2007 09:41 pm
Chocolate is, of course, the perfect emergency food.

It has sugar for a rush of fast energy, it has fat for a slow burn of backup energy, it has things like caffiene and theobromide and cannabinoids to serve as painkiller, stimulant, and euphoric, and it has a whole bunch of vitamins and minerals and nutrients to help a person stay healthy and heal.

Hurricane season started - what, earlier this week? and we've already spent the last two days getting drowned by a tropical depression, so I was repacking my emergency bag in the closet. Just in case. And because I spent most of my childhood reading books about kids who were shipwrecked or lost or trapped or abandoned and I still kind of hope something like that happens to me someday. :D

I always stick in a couple bars of dark-dark chocolate, the kind that so dark it's bitter, (mostly because the really dark kind is less likely to melt in summer temperatures.) Because chocolate is the perfect emergency food. I learned that especially the time I spent a whole night as a tornado refugee with no food or shelter - chocolate makes everything better.

The weird thing is, a bunch of those books I read knew that. Our heroes would be wind-whipped, wet, hopeless and hungry, but somebody would have saved their chocolate bar to share, or somebody would have brough chocolate knowing that they would need it, and everyone would huddle up and break off a couple squares and be able to keep going. But those books were all published from, say, the early 20th century to the mid-sixties. The only book since then that I can think of that uses chocolate that way is Harry Potter.

Very weird. It's as if, as the awesome properties of chocolate are more and more acknowledged by science, they are less and less part of the folk knowledge.

Anyway, any heroes *I* write will always have emergency dark chocolate in their bags.

ETA: Chocolate neurochemistry.

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