wintercreek: Partial view of a woman's shoulder, hair and ear, face outside the frame, with the text "J'aime et j'espere." ([general] I love and I hope)
[personal profile] wintercreek
Surprising no one, I'm now almost three weeks behind on the December Talking Meme. Better late than never?

[personal profile] piscaria prompted, "In your sticky post, you mentioned learning Spanish and yoga as skills you were working on. If you've kept up with them, I'm curious how you are enjoying them. If you haven't, I'd love to hear if there are any other skills/habits you're working on acquiring these days."

Skills )

[personal profile] kass prompted, "How do you experience the (northern-hemisphere) midwinter holidays, and is there a theological (thealogical? :-) component to them for you?"

Rambling about northern-hemisphere midwinter holidays )

And there, finally, is week one. Phew! On to week two.

Buy ALL the groceries!

Dec. 20th, 2014 12:40
skud: (Default)
[personal profile] skud
This is a crosspost from Chez Skud. You can comment here or there.

Remember when, back in the day, I used to post pics of my market haul? I was inspired by the excellent book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats which shows photographs of families from around the world with a week’s groceries.

Well, today I did what passes for a Christmas shop at my place, which is to say I went to the shops with the main intention of buying tasty things to see me through the next week or so, and without being too finicky about the budget. I wound up spending $93, which is about the national average for an adult’s food for the week, but way more than my usual (which is half that or less). That’s okay; I got lots of tasty stuff, plus I restocked a few pricier items that I’ve run out of lately.

groceries laid out on a table

The full haul: $93 worth.

Read the rest of this entry » )

(no subject)

Dec. 19th, 2014 13:52
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
I used to be one of those people who used their dubious high-school French skills to do second-gen English manga translations. You can recognize us because sometimes the word "hazard" shows up in weird places.

YUKIMURA: But what a hazard to meet you here! KYO: Is it really 'a hazard'?

Because come on, we don’t fucking know what “hasard” means! We already had to learn "chance" and "destin," what are we gonna do with a third word. God.

Don't even talk to me about "sort."

(no subject)

Dec. 19th, 2014 12:03
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
I circled a pixel in a Homestuck panel and posted it on Tumblr last night, and it's going to outstrip everything else I've ever posted there in terms of notes. I can feel this coming.

It's gotten like a hundred more notes since I started writing this.

I hope the tea lies post comes back to life.

Wrapping up the year

Dec. 19th, 2014 20:16
skud: (Default)
[personal profile] skud
This is a crosspost from Chez Skud. You can comment here or there.

It’s a cliche to blog about how seldom you blog, so I won’t. Instead I’ll just take the opportunity to reflect a bit on 2014 in terms of my home life.

It’s been a dog of a year. It’s been difficult to focus on anything much, let alone communicate about it. The first half of the year I was buried in personal stuff, and the second half of the year had more of that and then a lot of travel and busy-ness piled on top.

Most days I’m happy if I eat regular meals. I’ve had some great food this year, but mostly it just seems like a slog, trying to balance my body’s need for fuel, my inner self’s food-related hangups and issues, and the logistics of having food in the house, and having space and time to prepare it. I’ve had to cut myself a fair bit of slack on convenience foods and on food waste. Sometimes it’s better to buy a pile of fruit and vegetables just so I have them as an option, even if in the end I don’t eat them all and some of them wind up in the compost. Or to open a jar of something perishable so I can eat well now, even if I’m going away tomorrow or the next day and know I can’t finish it.

When times are hard I just keep trying to slog through it, do what I can, and remember nobody’s standing over me with a clipboard awarding points or writing down criticisms in red pen.

Some things I cooked/ate this year and didn’t post to the blog:

broad beans and leek from the garden, with ham, on homemade sourdough

broad beans and leek from the garden, with ham, on homemade sourdough

salad with red rice, sprouted lentils, tomato, kale, fetta, olives, and marinated artichoke hearts

salad with red rice, sprouted lentils, tomato, kale, fetta, olives, and marinated artichoke hearts

nettle soup

virulently green nettle soup with potato and ham


nachos with black beans and fresh jalapeno peppers from the garden

birthday lunch of ethical pork and beef ribs, corn bread, and coleslaw (eaten in a blanket fort! best birthday lunch!)

birthday lunch of ethical pork and beef ribs, corn bread, and coleslaw (eaten in a blanket fort! best birthday lunch!)

I’ve been doing a lot, a lot, of knitting and other crafts. Not least because I’ve had periods where all I can do is watch soothing TV and do something calm and repetitive. I’ve not been good at posting about it, though, nor updating Ravelry, and I have to admit that I’ve been casting on an awful lot of things for the “whee!” feeling of a new project, and not completing them. By my count I currently have at least 17 WIPs, most of which haven’t yet hit the “half done” mark.

I’ve instituted a kanban board on the wall of my living room for my craft projects (with an extra, innovative “> 1/2 DONE” column, because casting on and then putting it aside is a big issue for me) so I can see how many I have to finish. Sadly, it doesn’t work all that well to stop me casting on new things, because I just conveniently “forget” to add a sticker for the new project. Sigh. Oh well, at least every so often I can bring it up to date and it helps me remember what I have going, better than a pile of mystery project bags in the coffee table drawers ever could.

A week or so back I decided to try and reduce my WIPs considerably. My new rule (and let’s see how long I stick to it) is to have one large and one small/portable project out and work-on-able at any time, choosing the easiest to complete at any given time, according to the debt snowball method. Right now I’m working on a pair of fingerless mitts made from the tail ends of two colours of Mountain Colors Bearfoot, and a deathly dull product-knitting slog: a black hoodie in Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 8 ply and in mostly stocking stitch. Both are made-up patterns, the hoodie being vaguely EPS-based, and the mittens basically just tubes with thumb-trick thumbs.

half-finished black hoodie

boring hoodie of boringness

red and brown striped fingerless mitts in progress

slightly less boring, but only just

My only escape from the “get through some bloody WIPs” effort is that I’ve told myself that I can knit hats for charity using wool from my charity-knitting basket, which I gathered up from all the odd scattered places and put in one pile last week. A hat usually takes about 2 evenings and is a quick distraction if I really must cast on something new. There’s at least a dozen hats worth of wool there, or roughly one for each reasonably-finishable project on the WIP list. (Some of the WIPs aren’t reasonably finishable, as they’re things like a mitred sock yarn blanket that will take years to gather odds and ends to make, or are super low priority, like the charming half-finished Scandinavian cross stitch table runner I found at a craft swap day — I have no qualms about that sitting quietly where it is for a long time.)

As for the garden… it’s a mess, and I’m late with planting everything, and that’s okay. I’m eating from it if not every day, then definitely every few days, and I have tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant coming along nicely for later in the summer. No clipboard, no red pen, right?

One thing that has been going well for me is that I’ve been making a pretty steady practice of getting rid of stuff. Somehow I’ve got to a point where it gives me a good, clean feeling to finish something and not have it any more, or to put something unused in the pile for the op shop (which seldom gets bigger than I can carry in my bike basket). Yesterday I had a momentary bout of “what if I applied for this amazing job and had to move house again?” and it made me think even more about how much stuff I have that I don’t need. I’m not going to apply for the job, but it did give me a kick in the pants about all my stuff.

A friend’s recently been talking up a decluttering guru who talks about getting rid of things that don’t spark joy, and it’s been good for me to think of my excess stuff in that way. It makes it much easier to say “no”. I don’t think I’m anywhere near Japanese minimalism (lol, no) but it does make it easier to get rid of things I’m keeping out of a sense of “ought”.

Finally, today I got a cleaner in, and she’s going to be coming regularly. I’ll be interested to see how much it changes my sense of overwhelmedness and whether it helps me get back on a more even keel with some of the other stuff I want to spend my energy on. I’ll give it a few months and then evaluate the costs/benefits; it’s a big chunk of my fairly tight budget, but I hope a worthwhile one for my mental health, which in turn is good for my so-called “actual” work.

I’m not going to make any new year’s resolutions, because they don’t work well for me. But here’s hoping 2015 is a good one!

The 100, 2x08

Dec. 18th, 2014 23:39
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
Apparently I am watching all the CW shows, all the time now. (Well, not Jane the Virgin yet, but it's next.)

I wanted to write up a general post before this, but I got stuck, so maybe some other time.

Spoilers )

(no subject)

Dec. 19th, 2014 03:01
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
I'm lying in bed, and the cat is lying over my shoulder with his paw on my chest and his cheek against mine, as if he is reading Tumblr reactions to the Homestuck update along with me. His whiskers keep getting in my nose.

(no subject)

Dec. 19th, 2014 01:34
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
I can no longer communicate in any language other than Homestuck. Regressing closer to Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff every day.
skud: (Default)
[personal profile] skud
I'm afraid I'm going to have to mostly bail on [personal profile] liv's question, asking me to talk about "when mainstream feminism goes around reproducing lots of other hierarchies and oppressions", because I've been turning it over for a few days and I'm really not sure what to say.

I guess the short answer is: this is something I've been learning about and working on for the past 5 years, and I've been trying to improve my own practice around it, and to speak to people when they do faily things and I think I can usefully help out as an ally. The other thing, I suppose, is that I don't really engage much with "mainstream feminism" if by that you mean the sort of institutionally established liberal feminism that's out there; my feminism is Internet feminism, informed by fandom and geekdom and twitter and tumblr, and I'm not very involved in the stuff that actually gets covered in mainstream media or gets funding from mainstream bodies or whatever. And the feminism I am involved in is pretty aware of "other hierarchies and oppressions" most of the time, I hope.

Anyway I think this answer crosses over a bit with what I wrote for [personal profile] transcendancing under how my feminism has changed over time so I'll just point you there as well.

Sorry I couldn't write more :(

Yuletide update

Dec. 18th, 2014 16:54
naraht: (other-Yuletide squee)
[personal profile] naraht
Since everyone else is doing it...

I have finished and posted three full-length fics, albeit I'm still worrying at two of them slightly. A fourth fic is halfway done; it might not be entirely done till Christmas Eve but I'm fairly determined to finish it too. And that is it! Total projected length... 19k or 20k, maybe?

I have also written at least 15k across at least three fics that are not going to be finished in time for Yuletide. It's been an indecisive year, what can I say. One of them was shaping up to be 15k-20k minimum and, as promising as it looked, I simply didn't have the time or mental space to commit to it. But expect to see some developments on that front between Yuletide and the reveal date of Renault Exchange 2015.

I have received, apparently, five gifts so far. A bit of an embarrassment of riches but, if you're reading this, don't let it stop you giving me another one. :)

Deeply, deeply excited. And how could I not be, with fandom counts already like this?

The Charioteer - Mary Renault (7)
The Marlows - Antonia Forest (4)
Purposes of Love - Mary Renault (1)
Return to Night - Mary Renault (4)

OTW Fannews: Small Scale Fandom

Dec. 18th, 2014 11:42
otw_staff: Janita OTW Communications Staffer (Janita OTW Communications Staffer)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Banner by Rachel of a generic Newspaper banner with the OTW logo and the words OTW Fannews

The Baker Orange featured a campus fangirl who discussed her fannish history. "Although she chooses to forget about her fangirling over the Twilight series, she says it was the show that 'started it all.' When she went to the midnight premier for the first movie, the atmosphere of the event really turned her on to the idea of being a fangirl. 'It was a bunch of fans getting together. I think thats what made it so much fun because everybody was there because they wanted to see the movie the second it came out... Then I realized that there were fandoms for tv shows and books, all the fun stuff... It’s really easy to get so involved with it when your on social media. It makes it a lot easier to freak out with people who understand."

Being a fan is both an individual & community practice & those experiences can be found around the world.

(no subject)

Dec. 17th, 2014 23:41
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
Don't take Lamictal. Your digestive system will attempt climb out and hit you.

(no subject)

Dec. 17th, 2014 22:41
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
ThePirateBay is down! I noticed this because I download the updates to the Dwarf Fortress Starter Pack from there, because the server the guy hosts it on is cruddy. I've been doing ThePirateBay wrong.


Dec. 17th, 2014 20:58
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
The joke in those tags was that characters in Valdemar books really do die and become horses. Mercedes Lackey genuinely thought that this idea was really cool and that it belonged in her books.


(no subject)

Dec. 17th, 2014 20:56
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
Characters in Bleach die and go to Yami no Matsuei, and characters in Yami no Matsuei die and go to Bleach.

Characters who die in both consecutively go to Dragon Ball - aka, hell - a realm where there is no true death, and therefore, no hope of escape.

#'but where do characters who die in homestuck go preacher' #'they become horses in mercedes lackey books'
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
Mom has forbidden him from bringing home any more animals, so he's trying to get me to adopt some for him to play with. Earlier today, I for probably the dozenth time explained to him that I think Dubiety the Cat needs to be a lone cat, given that he is terrified of Tragedy the Cat - who is seventeen years old, half his weight, badly arthritic, deaf, and going blind.

So he comes over to the house this evening, sits there playing with Dubiety for a while, and then asks me hopefully, "do you think he'd like a friend?"

I gave him the cookies I fucked up. I don't think he noticed they tasted funny.

(no subject)

Dec. 17th, 2014 17:00
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
Why does this cat need to be right next to me 100% of the time. Does he think bad guys are going to get him if he goes into the other room. Does he think bad guys are going to get me. What is either of us even going to do about bad guys, whine at them.


Dec. 17th, 2014 07:56
inkstone: (goth girl santa)
[personal profile] inkstone
[community profile] fandom_stocking is ready for your fandom stuffing pleasure!

SIGH. So my December posting has certainly gone off the rails, hasn't it? I apologize. Maybe next month.

done dids for wednesday

Dec. 17th, 2014 15:00
skud: (Default)
[personal profile] skud
Structured procrastination du jour

* sent email to someone who's involved in a large seed-sharing project in India, to talk to them about their data use etc
* sought an introduction to someone who founded an open food project centred on nutrition data
* talked with some people on IRC about Growstuff values and with another set of people about attracting and onboarding designers in open source projects
* finished writing up report for work I did last month (project X woooot!)
* phone meeting re: work for the first quarter of next year
* sent out emails about next year's work (being vague on purpose!)
* womanfully avoided getting into a heated discussion about trigger warnings as an accessibility measure (and thanked someone who stepped up to say the thing I wanted to say, but said it much more calmly)
* made a decision about dropping some work I don't seem to be able to do effectively, and made some steps toward finding a replacement (a different project X potentially off my plate! also woot!)
* arranged time with lawn mower (for vague definition of "arranged" as the time seems to be constantly being pushed back)
* went to shops/ATM to get cash for lawn mower person (and also snacks and gin)
* ate snacks, drank gin
* phonecall with project X that I'm dropping, let them know I'm dropping them, offered to help find replacement, chatted a bit with friend who is my contact there
* improved Growstuff's README to have more information on contributing for designers, writers, etc (it previously only had information for coders)
* wrote fairly epic Get involved page for Growstuff wiki
* decided that since I've been enjoying the December posting meme, I might do a monthly blogging plan thing for the future; set up google spreadsheet for this
* read interesting blog posts about UX and design and stuff

(to be updated as I do stuff)


ahorbinski: shelves stuffed with books (Default)
Andrea J. Horbinski

December 2014

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