topaz119: (treelights)
If my father had not already passed away from that heart attack a couple of years ago, I am telling you that the price tag on the Christmas tree I just bought would have bumped him right off.

(um, it is entirely possible that I am overcompensating for the general insanity of this last month, but I won't tell if you won't. and I will try for better pictures this year.)
topaz119: (it's a bookworm thing)
The refrigerator is still not really working, sigh. Fortunately, I have a coach for a husband, and he has a ridiculous number of big coolers that he uses during summer camps and practices, so the boys hosed them all out and I have everything packed out in them. Also fortunately, the freezer attached to the sad fridge is still working so I haven't had to find space for all of that stuff, too. I'm being super-creative and trying to use up everything I can, which is at least saving the money I'd usually spend at the store/restaurants this week. (Yeah, if the blasted thing needs replaced, that's a drop in the bucket, but every little thing helps, right? argh.)

Let's talk about books...

The Winter Sea, Susanna Kearsley -- yes, STILL. I finally broke down and put it on 1.25 speed on the Audible app, in hopes of getting through it, Scottish accents be damned. I'm not sure why I don't just ditch it, but for whatever reason, I keep coming back to it. It's not that I'm loving it all that much (the present day heroine is acting like a teenage ninny, not a 30ish successful novelist, which is really my sticking point, I think. I keep trying to re-frame it as a NA romance, but then there's the part about how she's done this all before, and that's before I keep muttering about how, NO, DNA DOES NO WORK THAT WAY.) Like I said, I really don't know why I haven't bailed, but here we are...

Magnate, Joanna Shupe -- Historical romance set in early 20th C New York, for a change. Rough and ready industrialist and sekrit!financial whiz daughter of Old Money. Marriage-by-blackmail! Overheard conversations! Insta!attraction! In other words, all kinds of tropey goodness in a surprisingly well-done historical environment.

Royally Screwed, Emma Chase -- You guys know I love me a well-done Common Girl/Boy Marries The Prince story, and this one definitely falls into that well-done category (also, the Girl category), with bonus points for how much I really liked the supporting characters and how they gradually revealed themselves as the H/H got to know them. Warnings for alternating first-person narratives and this definitely falls more toward the erotic romance category b/c there is a lot ("") of sex.

I dunno... I still have the next Black Widow book (Red Vengeance) and my hold for Eligible, the latest of the P&P cottage industry, just pinged up, so... On the other hand, I have way too many things hanging around waiting to be read...


Nov. 19th, 2016 03:12 pm
topaz119: (velma is thinking)
Oh, crap, crap, crap, my refrigerator is not getting cool, it is Thankgiving week, and the earliest I can get a repair appt is the day *after* Thanksgiving.


#2Son is currently on top of the fridge with a vacuum cleaner & hose, reaching for the external coil/fan in the back b/c we could not get the blasted thing to move out of its little cubby. We got the front coils vacuumed but struck out on any other way to get to the rear coil.

Moose!Dog thinks this is THE BEST GAME EVER and is jumping up and down with glee, all 70 lbs of him.

I say again, aieee.
topaz119: (somanybooks)
Let's get caught up on books…

Second Chance at Paris, Cole McCade – I really wanted to like this book more than I ended up doing. I'm all for lady scientist heroines, but a couple of things just yanked me out of the story (mostly related to how the astrophysics profession works, plus a few 'um, no, actual laws of physics don't work like that'.) And of course, once you get that break, you start seeing other issues, too, and the whole fragile illusion of stepping outside your normal life crashes down. So, I finished it, but only barely.

Changes, Jim Butcher – Book #12 of the Dresden Files, and I was spoiled going in for the big decision, so I spent the first half of the book 'seeing' the plot points getting ticked off to where Dresden has to make the momentous decision. #2Son & I listened to this while driving down and back from Orlando, so I got big chunks of James Marsters' narration, which is never a bad thing. spoilers ) Also, I like Thomas and Molly (and not as siblings, because something needs to jolt Harry out of his blue megrims.)

The Bookshop on the Corner, Jenny Colgan – You know how sometimes the right book presents itself at the exact moment you need it, and no matter its literary merits, you just fall into it and never want to climb out? Yeah, this book was all that and a cherry on top for me. I don't know that it's any better than your average small town romance, but it had Scotland and a little bookstore and a grumpy local dude and Scotland and a mad romance involving a train and books as a way to heal and find yourself, and did I mention Scotland? (Also, there was an improbably luxurious converted barn for the heroine to live in while she reinvented her life (the existence of which was actually explained, so points for that.) Oh, and it came with a soaking tub and high-end bath products. WHAT COULD BE BETTER?)

Where Serpents Sleep, What Remains of Heaven, Where Shadows Dance, C.S. Harris – Books 4, 5, & 6 of the Sebastian St Cyr mysteries, which continue to entertain me fabulously. I do approve of Sebastian's marital decisions, and I'm looking forward to see how actual parenthood knocks him even further off his equilibrium. I could wish for someone who could deal with Paul's fascination with learning how human bodies function and his unfortunate addiction to opium and give him a little companionship on the side, but that's a minor wish. I see where a fair number of people feel the mysteries are a little too complicated, but it was an exceeding complicated era and since all of the murders tend to be tied up with the events of the day, I'm pretty impressed that everything dovetails together. Also, major props for writing Prinny as the nightmare he really was.

Designing Your Life, Burnett & Evans – I do enjoy a good self-help book, though I got burned with the last one I read (ugh, I even bought the audio book) and have backed off the genre for the last 6 months or so. This one is based on the course that's Stanford's most popular elective and I have to say it was pretty interesting (though, really, I've known enough designers in my professional life to not just blindly accept that their process is The Best Thing Ever.) I had this from the library and will probably request it again and see if I want to buy it and foist it on the boys. :D

The Winter Sea, Susanna Kearsley – Again with Scotland, though this one isn't hitting nearly as many buttons as the one above. Honestly, I'm surprised I'm still listening to this. It's taking me forever, both because it's a long book (SK is into exhaustive detail) and because I can't really hit the accelerated playback and still understand all the variety of Scottish accents. Also, I am side-eyeing the heck out of the explanation for the memory sharing, because, um, no? DNA doesn't work like that. I think I would have liked it better with some woo-woo glossover. Now I'm far enough in that I'm not giving up, but I'm not really all that invested in who our modern heroine is going to end up with, and I already know the disaster that was the Jacobite cause in Scotland, so I mostly am listening just to see how she survives.

The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead – I swear to God, I don't understand how this country has survived its past.

Black Widow: Red Vengeance, Margaret Stohl – My only complaint about her first Black Widow book was that it spent more time on the younger characters than on Natasha, but by all accounts, this one remedies that. I am cautiously optimistic, but as I said after finishing the last one, it's not like I'm awash in official ways to let TPTB know that I like the character and would like to see (A LOT) more of her.
topaz119: (my first fandom)
I read this quote from Cory Booker somewhere in the gazillion blogs I follow: Never let your inability to do everything undermine your determination to do something.

It is sticking with me, so I thought I'd share.

(There's also this quote from Terry Pratchett: Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.

That's sticking with me, too.)

(Not a quote, but something I've been thinking: What would Princess Leia do? New ink isn't in the budget, but it's on my mind.)

In random news, my mother-in-law handed me $50 (for my birthday) when they were up to see BabyBoy's play this weekend, and I am tempted to just drop it in an envelope and forward it directly to the ACLU. Somewhat relatedly, I have been sitting with the word ‘elitest' this past week, as it gets thrown (or mumbled) at me a lot during discussions of the type we're going to have to have going forward. On one level, I get it—not only do I have multiple university degrees, but they come from schools smack in the middle of that description. On another level, I most certainly did not come from that kind of a background and I worked my fucking ass off to get there and not wash out, which people who actually know me should also know. So I tend to react defensively to that word and I'm trying to work past that so I can talk to people more effectively. I'm not exactly sure how all that's going, but I guess we'll see how quickly I get a migraine at Thanksgiving and take it from there.

On a happier note, BabyBoy's play was amazing. *He* was amazing. (Well, so was the whole cast, but omg, that was my baby up there on stage for almost the entire play.) I went on Wednesday to see their dress rehearsal and it actually managed to distract me from the horror show of real life. I am incredibly proud of him for getting up there and committing to it 100% and just being so good at it. We had guests all weekend, as people came and went to see the various performances, so that was also distracting in a real enough way and kept me running around enough that I slept almost as soon as I fell into bed. The tricky part is going to be keeping that going, because nothing is going to get done without good sleep.

Also on the distraction level, I asked for prompts for my birthday, and I got the first one finished over the weekend. It took a little longer than usual, but it also went on a little longer than your usual comment fic, so I went ahead and posted it to AO3 last night:

not entirely accurate, Leverage, gen-ish Parker/Hardison/Eliot, for [personal profile] schneefink's prompt: Leverage and spaceship(s) or aliens?
topaz119: (Default)
Ok. Here’s the deal: I am literally sickened by the election, plus, I live in a red, red, RED state already, so the atmosphere kinda sucks outside of the city anyway. But. I have a kid who is incredibly sensitive to anxiety (and who I am pretty sure is at least bi, if not gay, though we haven’t really ever talked about it, not even when his brother came out as bi) so I cannot, CANNOT, let this overwhelm me. Plus, I am just mad as HELL.

So. I totally understand the need to take a break and regroup, and totally support whatever you need to do to cope (but please, PLEASE, try healthy means. Please. I love you guys, and you have kept me sane over the years. I want you around for the rest of it, and if that sounds selfish, I’m sorry, I hope the support goes both ways.)

In that vein, I made chicken soup this morning, and took the new, crazy!dog on a walk, and will be spending the night with BabyBoy’s dress rehearsal.

(Ok. Small break in the sanity here. My s-i-l just texted me happy birthday greetings, and added: “And just for you, the US elected a new president!”




I have been married to her brother for 27 years, and with him for 6 more, and not especially reticent about my political views, and that’s what she texts me? Even if it’s a joke (and I’m not entirely sure that it is), seriously, what the fuck is she thinking?)

Right. MAD AS HELL. Coping strategies.

What I was leading up to before the stupid, oblivious text, was to say that I come from that branch of fandom where you bring the presents on your birthday, but I’ve been working on things that aren’t done yet, so perhaps today we could distract each other with ficlets? Leave me a fandom, and some characters (pairings or gen, either is fine) and a prompt if you want and I’ll see what I can come up with. I’m [ profile] topaz if you want a timestamp from something I’ve written, or I can see if I can fake something for a fandom I haven’t written in yet. I’m not sure my brain is functioning well enough for actual, 100 word drabbles, but I can try for them if you want.

(Sorry to the non-fandom ppl on my circle/flist, but geekiness runs deep and is my longtime strategy for keeping my sanity. Um, if you want, I can share a recipe with you if you’re not into the fandom thing? Food is my other coping method. :D Tell me what you like and I’ll see what I have stashed around (because it’s not like I don’t have a ToBeCooked list that’s as long as my scary, teetering TBR pile.)

So, yeah, tell me what to write to break the OMGNOWWHAT cycle for just a little bit…
topaz119: (it's the great pumpkin)
oh, ffs, the guy I sit next to at the new job is horrified that I handed out candy last night to kids who didn't live in my neighborhood. "But candy is so expensive," he's telling me. "They're taking advantage of you."


2 $14 bags from Costco? (which, for non-USians is about 11 lb/5kg/~500 pieces)

I mean, I know there are a lot of people for whom that *is* an issue, but it's not me, and it sure as hell isn't him.

ugh, people just suck, you know?
topaz119: (off to see the wizard)
So, you know, it’s always good to do a friending meme and introduce yourself and add interesting people and have others add you… and then disappear for a week or two.

Um, oops?


Hello to the new people! (and to the rest of you, too, who’ve been hanging around here for a decade or so, ILU.) The me (lj) | me (dw) tag has an introduction and assorted random posts (like favorite movies and books, etc.) Feel free to poke around and interact as much or as little as you’re comfortable with.

At least the disappearing act was for a fun reason: the Annual Epcot Food & Wine trip was last weekend, \o/. There was food! And wine! And I got a tiara! (I don’t know why, just that my friend L walked up and handed me what she assured me was a Belle (my favorite Disney princess) tiara, and that no, it wasn’t the $200 one from the shop in the Mexican pyramid so I shouldn’t worry about losing it. (She’d started making noises about how I needed a tiara then, but I put it down to the tasting flights of tequila layered on top of half a World Showcase worth of wine. Clearly, the idea stuck.)

Happily enough, it was really comfortable and hey, it was Disney World—nobody even blinked at the sight of a 50ish woman wearing a crown. So, yeah, I have sparkly headgear in about half the pictures from the weekend. It’s not the strangest thing that’s ever happened on one of these weekends.

surprising no one, this got long )

favorites )

And now it's almost Halloween and thus time to haul out all the creepy crawlie stuff, to further distract myself from the election insanity... I will try for pictures this year.
topaz119: (hawkeye&hawkeye)
Okay, random reading and writing notes:

I somehow went from #127 on the hold list for Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (this was yesterday evening when I was at the actual library), to having it show up on my account this morning as waiting to be picked up. I don’t actually understand, but I will be going by to grab it before they figure out where they made the mistake!

It is also getting to be time for the fall version of Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, which I have done for the last few iterations and HAD THE BEST TIME EVER. It is super low-key—I don’t actually try to read for 24 hours, but rather treat it as giving myself permission to sit and read all day, which I used to do all the time as a kid/teen, but is virtually unheard of now in my near-dotage. These weeks leading up to it are part of the fun, too: I wander through my out-of-control TBR stack (physical & virtual) and assemble a likely looking set of books, assemble tasty snacks and drinks, put the HoB on alert that I’m not available for chores (this is mostly to reinforce to myself that it’s a Day of Reading, not so much them) and dive in on the day. In the spring, it’s nice to sit out on the deck, but in the fall, I get the fireplace going (pro tip for warmer climates: those fake logs from the grocery store put out next to no heat, and a wooden wick candle picks up the slack on the auditory side. Oh! And this year I have my Bearded!ChrisEvans candle for olfactory excellence.)

On the writing front, it is once again time to sign up for [community profile] mini_wrimo / [ profile] mini_wrimo, for those of us who are not quite up for doing full-on NaNoWriMo. (While I might get to the point that 50K in a month isn’t an unreal concept, it’s probably never going to be during the month where I’m staging Thanksgiving and gearing up for the blitz of December.) But I can usually give MiniWrimo a good try, and will be attempting it once more this year. Sign-ups are open!

Also! [ profile] lostemotion is doing the crazy thing and running a Hawkeye-Squared fic exchange! (That’s Kate/Clint from Marvel comics, aka Hawkeye/Hawkeye. See icon for reference.) They tick all my favorite writing boxes: age differences, found family, super-excellent competence porn (as Hawkeyes) while flailing all over the place as functioning adults, with an excellent setup for friends-to-lovers (and all the good & bad that can call forth.) I haven’t done a challenge all year (except for [ profile] picfor1000, for which I coincidentally wrote HawkeyeSquared) so I’m in, \o/.

…aaaaand lunch is done, bye!
topaz119: (somanybooks)
The Winter Sea, by Susanna Kearsley--it is, like all of her work, very, verrrrry detailed. It also turns out to be about D’s family (the Scottish clan from the 1700s, so nobody we know), which I didn’t realize when I snagged e/audiobook on whatever Deal of the Day I got it on. It was a little bit of a kick when the Countess of Erroll showed up as a character. (I seriously doubt D’s family is from that exact branch of the family, but they were/are that clan. It’s given me renewed interest in digging through genealogy records. After 4 or 5 generations, it’s just so many names on a screen to me, even with my own family.)

Designing Your Life, Bill Burnett & Dave Evans--the book form of their Stanford course on using design principles to figure out what you want to be when you grow up (even if you're already there, ie, old.) I mostly got this to see if it might help #2Son with his less-traditional life plan, but I'm enjoying it on my own, too. (I do enjoy a good self-help book and this one is low on the woo-woo scale, which is even more endearing to me.)

A Second Chance At Paris, Cole McCade--I've completely lost the battle to stop adding to my (already staggering) TBR pile, both virtual and not, and this is one of the romance kindle deals I've been unable to resist. But seriously, the heroine is an astrophysicist with a father suffering from Alzheimers--how could I pass that one up? So far, it's not bad. There is some serious lack of communication in the main couple's background, which usually sets my teeth on edge, but since this case involves high school miscommunication, I'm letting it slide for now.

Since the last time I checked in...

Turn Coat, Jim Butcher, audio by James Marsters -- #10 or 11 of the Dresden books; I can't remember the last time I've lasted this long in a series, but now I'm at the point where I'll be damned if I stop. (Also, good on Butcher for letting the Luccio situation play out the way he did. I'm also to the point where I think he actually planned it that way, too.)

When Gods Die and Why Mermaids Sing, C.S. Harris -- #2 & 3 of the Sebastian St. Cyr books (Regency-era badass ex-military viscount with an Irish actress mistress & a former street-rat of a tiger), both of which I very much enjoyed. There was one point where I was a little worried that the actress was ripe for fridging, but in the next chapter Harris set up her agency and involvement so that while I am not entirely sure she'd going to survive much longer, it probably will have more to do with her own (valid, understandable) choices. The setting is spot on, too -- no wonder my mom loved these books.

I have a couple of Beverly Jenkins' books on my bedside table so I think those are next up. Also, 2 more St. Cyr mysteries.

You all know I almost never watch anything as it's actually airing, but I'm making an effort for Poldark, if only because of my mom (again.) Even if I can't call and dish with her about this version and even knowing the general plot line (we watched the original series way back in the day), I can't let it air without watching. I have to say that I think this Elizabeth is much more sympathetically written, because I *never* saw her point back in the '70s (omg, Team Delmelza all the way) but now I am rooting for her to find some way to happiness (so long as she keeps her mitts off Ross.)

The boys have been shepherding me through Parks and Rec, which never appealed to me when it was on, but that was apparently because I watched in the first season. We skipped clean over S1 & S2 and I am having a *blast* with S3 onward. We're up to Leslie's campaign for city council and while it is striking a little too close to home these days, I still get all the warm fuzzies from it.

I'm tiptoeing through Daredevil and Jessica Jones, mostly because I fell hard for Mike Coulter in the first episode of JJ and really want to watch Luke Cage with the proper background, but I can only take about 1 episode a week because of the dark (themes, not settings.)

Other than that, all I watch is HGTV and the Food network. :D

For some reason, I have been in this total Bollywood mood. Maybe because Sonali Dev's writing reminded me how much I loved the drama and flair? (She has a new book out right now and I ended up re-reading her first two on various planes this summer.) Luckily, the library has an excellent collection of the genre, because it’s otherwise a pricey addiction. So, yes, lots of giant dance numbers, except my 2 favorites turned out to be straight drama, not musicals. (Dil Chahta Hai, which is a coming-of-age arc about 3 friends and their romantic entanglements; and Monsoon Wedding, which does have the obligatory wedding but where the wedding is the catalyst for the drama in that everyone comes together and Stuff Happens. I am not ashamed to admit I cried through parts of both.) I'm still on the waiting list for Dil Dhadhakne Do (which sounds like the same big family Drama, only with a 30th anniversary cruise) and Band Baaja Baharat (friends to lovers against a backdrop of wedding planners. Dear lord, the bulletproof tropes that one hits for me...)

Sidenote: Last weekend D wanders into the bedroom asking if I had RSVP'd for his friend N's wedding, which, uh, no? Your friend, your chore. I haven't even met the bride-to-be, though I do like the groom a lot. He's adorable. (He taught with D for years.) So, they're a modern couple and everything is set up online, which forces D to go through the (agonizing, seriously, no one ever had to do so much stuff to rsvp a wedding, yes, my eyes are rolling out of my head) process of downloading the app and finding the wedding and then he's all, 'a sanjeet?' (he's spelling it out for me), 'what is that and why do I have to rsvp for that, too?', so yay for cultural diversity in reading and watching and still being able to impress the husband even after 30 years?

I am the world's worst gamer--my hand-eye coordination can handle typing & that's about it, but I am managing to play Knight of the Old Republic with much support from the HoB. I'm so proud? Also, on my phone I have been playing Regency Love for a couple of months & might just find myself running off with a most unsuitable beau. Also on the phone, I have just started Fallen London, but I have no idea what I'm doing there, so I'm expecting to die a horrible death at any moment.
topaz119: (wdw)
And we’re back for Part 2 of How to [Over] Plan Your WDW Vacation. :D

This part is centered on the Holy Grail of getting all my favorite WDW restaurants in a single Spring Break, which means I kind of have to figure out which park we’re going to on which day 6 months in advance of said day, because that’s when the Disney reservation system opens for restaurants.

I know, I know. It’s crazy. But here’s the thing: *you* really don’t have to get this obsessive, especially if you’re not going during times when schools are on break. I, however, have a husband who teaches and I still have a kid in high school, so I’m stuck going when the crowds are high. And I’m always much happier if I have good restaurants on the plan, so if you’re good with counter service (which is really very much improved around the World) or if you just want someplace where someone brings you your dinner, you probably don’t need to go to this extreme. I usually just think of it as gaming my vacation—I do it almost everywhere (you don’t want to see the spreadsheet I had for the trip to NYC this past summer) but WDW rewards my obsessiveness and creates a vicious cycle.

All that being said, though, if you want to get crazy, here’s how I do it.

crowd assessments and park selection )

Ok,*now* we finally get to the restaurant portion of all this! )

what to do if you don't have 6 months to plan )

Also, everybody always wants to know our favorite counter-service restaurants so here’s the list )

Helpful links:
Touring Plans Crowd Calendar's Menu Index (crowdsourced but often more helpful than official WDW)
topaz119: (let the wild rumpus begin)
We adopted a new dog! Wonder!Dog is getting older now and we didn’t want a new dog to have to fight the Replacement syndrome, plus we are hoping that a more active companion will be helpful for #2Son’s (slow, so slow I can’t even tell you, but it’s actually happening) advances against his anxiety and depression. So, we’ve been stalking several rescue organizations and finally went and met a few of their pooches in person over the weekend. #2 & I took Wonder!Dog up to the kennel on Saturday and ended up liking one dude who was everything we didn’t think we wanted, but who wormed his way into our heads (and to a lesser extent our hearts, at least that day.) He was big and youngish and not either of the dogs #2 had seen and liked. But we decided to go back on Sunday with BabyBoy and D in tow and, yeah, our guy came out and gave #2 a hug (literally—he jumps up and puts his paws around you, which, yes, we need to break him of the habit of just doing it, but it’s also super-sweet if you know it’s coming and are braced for it, so the command to learn is ‘give me some lovin’.’)

D loves big dogs, and this guy is (as best we can tell) 65 pounds (29 kg) of lab/border collie mix, gray and black and white, with the size and head of a lab and the color and markings (and feathery ears) of a border collie. He’s like a big gray wolf. BB wanted a lap dog for snuggles, so he was holding out until the dog basically climbed in his lap and sprawled out for a belly rub. All 65 pounds of him. Wonder!Dog was pretty chill about it all, just wandering around the meeting area and ignoring the youngster, so after another little while of the dog draping himself over people, and #2 getting attached, we said okay and started signing paperwork. #2 was super-good at getting him in the car, because the poor guy did *not* like the look of my SHIELD van and only got in after sitting on #2 and edging closer to the car every few minutes, which seems like a win in more ways than one.

Now, we just have to figure out what to name him. We have various geeky names under consideration:
  • Grey Wind (GoT) – A little too obvious with his coloring + all the direwolves die so horribly. I hate to saddle the poor dog with that karma
  • Oliver (Wood, HP) – D is *rolling* his eyes at this one, but I swear, the dog is the canine equivalent of that sweet, dumb Quidditch player. We eliminated Cedric (Diggory) b/c, hi, dead; also D might die with a dog named Cedric even before he got to the source.
  • Orome (the Valar of the Hunt, LOTR) – Oro is… okay as a call name? Maybe? D might not be able to survive explaining the origin of the name, though.
  • Shadow (Gaiman, American Gods) – Again, maybe a little too obvious with his coloring and we’re fighting off the Sonic gaming associations
  • Maximus (the dog that’s part of the Roman army at the beginning of Gladiator isn’t named, but he runs into battle with Maximus) – D is totally fine with Max, and we can all see this dog running flat out with horses, but BabyBoy feels it’s too boring. Also, I somehow doubt the dog survived Commodus’ rage, so again with the bad karma.
  • Strider (also LOTR) – Again, D might choke on explaining the name
  • Mouse (the Dresden Files) – He (the dog) does not particularly look like a Mouse, but we were grasping at straws.

    For non-geeky names:
  • Beauregard - I have mentioned that I married a good ol’ boy, right? Beau isn’t too bad of a call name, though. I guess. The kids are less excited.
  • Harry (not Potter) – Yesterday was the 950th anniversary of some pre-Battle of Hastings battle and Harold was the king at that point. D actually doesn’t mind this.
  • Viking - We were mourning that Odin’s wolves had names that nobody liked & D suggested just plain Viking.
  • Indy - #2Son offered that we could just keep calling him ND (New Dog), which slurs very easily into Indy, but I don’t know what D thinks of that.

    And finally, since he’s part Border Collie, if you look up the Gaelic clan name that D’s family is a sept of, you get a mouthful that could easily be shortened to Mac. That might sidestep BB’s ‘but it’s boring’ argument.

    Okay, there’s more stuff, but this is the big news and I think I’ve gone on long enough. I will be back with the name decision and some pictures (if we can get the dog to stay still long enough.)
  • topaz119: (wdw)
    I’m not sure how or why it’s already Monday, but here we are…

    On the plus side, I did manage to finish up that post-Star Trek Beyond Kirk/Pike sequel I’d been playing with (see my previous post), but the rest (ie, the mundane part) of my weekend to-do list is sadly un-lined-through. Priorities, yeah?

    So, a couple of people have asked for my Disney World planning strategies, and since I’m in the middle of planning out a trip with my brother & s-i-l for next spring break, I thought I’d do it in a series of semi-real time posts.

    First things first--where to stay )
    topaz119: (Pike)
    Title: Starlit Wave
    Fandom: Star Trek Beyond / AOS
    Rating: Explicit
    Length: ~8400 words
    Pairing: Christopher Pike/Jim Kirk
    Notes: Since it was pretty obvious that Star Trek Beyond was pretending that Into Darkness didn't actually exist, I decided I could do the same, too. So, yeah, that stuff with Pike in the beginning of the second movie? Nope. Never happened.

    Summary: So far as Chris could tell, with the warp capabilities of this particular ship, it was going to take a week and a half to get out to Yorktown, and probably the better part of the remaining half-week to finalize the approach and docking.

    That gave him two weeks to figure out what the hell he was doing.

    Link (AO3): Starlit Wave
    topaz119: (Default)
    …and another DragonCon is in the books. As I said on twitter this morning, you know it’s the Tuesday after DragonCon when your brain is just terribly confused about why breakfast isn’t coming with a background soundtrack of Jason Isaacs telling stories. (He’s really good at it, btw. Plus, you know, the voice (the real voice, not Lucius’s nasty little hiss—there’s a story there, too) and the accent and even from the back of the room, the eyes. Breakfast burritos never had it so good.)

    For a variety of mostly small reasons, it was an odd con this year. My nephew didn’t come up (which was more of a relief than a regret—he’s on the spectrum and is very exhausting—but I hope he didn’t come because he had something else going on, not because his parents decided he didn’t need to be around the weirdos) and L & her husband were out gallivanting around California wine country so I didn’t have my sit-at-the-Hyatt-bar-people-watching-and-drinking companions. (Probably a good thing, as you might remember the year when all the Bane cosplayers did not mix well with the alcohol and this year, the Suicide Squad Jokers were even creepier.)

    Also, BabyBoy was only down for Saturday night/Sunday during the day, as he had rehearsals all weekend. (Did I tell y’all that he somehow got cast as one of the big parts for the high school’s fall play? In typical BB fashion, he wasn’t even sure what play he was auditioning for; he auditioned with a dramatic monologue instead of a comedic one; and he read almost totally cold for the callbacks and still got the part. If that child ever focused, he would take over the world.) So that was also less fun, though it was one kid less I needed to worry about when it was 2 a.m. and he wasn’t in bed.

    Karl Urban had to cancel a few weeks prior, which threw my focus all for a loop. :( I was totally prepared to devote myself to his panels (speaking of voices and accents and eyes, oh my), and probably would have even gone for a photo op, but alas, it was not meant to be. (I whined about it all weekend, though, especially after we did an encore viewing of Star Trek Beyond on pay-per-view late one night.) Oh well.

    Joey and Chris were there, though! And [ profile] alittleblue and [ profile] kachera and I managed to get ourselves to their (#@%!!) 10 a.m. Sunday morning panel. (I don’t remember what the other two had been doing the night before, but I’d been out Rocky-Horror-ing until something close to 4. In the morning. That’s almost my normal wake-up time during the week, omg.) They were fun to listen to, though, especially Chris giving Joey a hard time about his hot dog stand that is about to open at the Florida Mall. (Yes, I know.) blue got pictures, so it really was just like old times.

    Sidenote: I waaaaant the sparkly stuff blue and k had in their hair. It was like Christmas tree tinsel (the icicle kind) but thinner and it was subtle enough that I stared at blue for half the *n-panel before I decided that yes, her hair *was* sparkling and it wasn’t glitter.

    #2Son & I had a good run with the Marvel people – lots of varied panels, with not just the same people and everyone very excited about the things they were working on. We also had excellent luck with the Star Wars and urban fantasy writers—it wasn’t just the same 4 guys and Chelsea Quinn Yarbrough, which it has tended to be in the past. They still have more that they can do, but I thought there was an effort put forth to expand past the usual, stereotypical panels and participants.

    We did get into the Masquerade on Sunday night, which was…fine? The costumes are amazing, but it’s just so crowded and by Sunday night I’m up against my personal introvert wall (and that’s after not fighting the crowds for the parade, as we could see it from our room this year.) I’m still not exactly sure why Joey and Chris were hosting, either, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t in the minority in thinking that. I think I would have rather gone to the steampunk ball and gotten to see blue and kachera and Totoro (who apparently now lights up, whee!)

    Alsoalso, I did not spend any money on the dealer floor, which is very perplexing. I was gunning for new t-shirts from We Love Fine, but the stuff they had with them was not singing to me and nothing else reached out and grabbed me. (Well, there was this lovely lady who made these beautiful long vests/coats that buckled like a Regency gown and laced up the back like a Victorian corset, but they were $250ish and y’know, that’s a LOT (“”) of t-shirt money. I managed to get my AmEx away from her. It was close, though.) Plus, I still haven’t gotten everything I bought last year framed, so I did not look too closely at the artists. I’m sure they’ll be there next year, right? Right.

    So, yeah, Jason Isaacs and the kid who played Joffrey (plus Alexander Siddig), a live performance of Rocky Horror and the Philharmonic playing geeky music, plus a bunch of writers and artists, that’s who I was geeking out over this year.

    But no Karl Urban, :(
    topaz119: (Pike)
    let's see...

    1. I'm on the Imzy train--no idea what I'm doing there yet, but I'm topaz119 there, too, and I have a zillion invites if anyone would like one.

    2. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time on the phone with Disney World tech support this past week -- as a software development professional, I am qualified to say that they got their Happy Path right (which is what 99.9% of you all will be doing should you ever decide to go & stay there for a while and it's really very nice) but more than half the time we do a trip, we are not on said path and it always takes a call (or 3) to sort things out. At this point, I am officially OVER the Food & Wine trip wrangling and will have Oldest use BabyBoy's Magic Band and FP+ schedule as it looks like BB will not be going and (of course) all of his stuff went through on the first try while Oldest somehow got dropped from the room reservation (which means I can't do his FP reservations for another month.)

    (Please don't take this as an indication of oh-this-is-too-hard, because, really, I'm trying to coordinate 16 people across 3 different Disney master accounts with a DVC reservation + a resort package w/the Dining Plan and a mad combination of 1-Day tix, APs & the package tix. Kudos to the people on the phone with me trying to sort it all out.)

    I can't wait to do this for NYE. /sarcasm

    3. DragonCon is less than a week away! Preliminary schedule planning is in progress and I am on a quest for the spare cell phone batteries. I know I have 4 or 5 of them but they are totally not where I think they should be.

    4. We have reached the conclusion that it is time to add a new furkid to our household and have been visiting with local rescue organizations and reviewing websites daily. BB wants a pug, my good-old-boy husband needs him something not-small and yappy, and I, of course, have fallen in love with a Shi-Tzu mix. Please stay tuned for further developments.

    5. I wrote something! (points to icon) Well, I'm almost always writing something, so I guess the proper verb is: I finished something! Except, not really? I got Part 1 of 2 done, but it's better than 400 words here and another 200 somewhere else, rinse, repeat with different files the next day.

    Anyway! When I went to see Star Trek Beyond, it was pretty clear (at least to me) that they'd mostly just ignored whatever the hell that mess was with Into Darkness, so my brain just skipped right over that one and started in on a sequel to my Kirk/Pike Trek Big Bang, Shining On The Quay, and it got longer and a little more involved than I expected, but there is definitely more to come.

    So, yeah, \o/:

    Starlit Wave, Kirk/Pike, ~3600 words (so far) of angsty schmoop, roughly summarized as Space!Husbands on R&R--sexy!times to follow.
    topaz119: (Default)
    It's 2 weeks to DragonCon & I woke up to this tweet:


    I... do not know how to deal with this. My worlds are colliding! I usually don't go to the actual Masquerade, but this could be ... interesting?

    On the other hand, I also see where they are going to try streaming DCTV this year, so I may possibly just keep with the usual plan of hanging out at the atrium bar & watch from there? So many decisions!
    topaz119: (somanybooks)
    So, I got all the way to Sunday evening at home, but then Oldest's car died on the side of the interstate and by the time we dealt with that and got everyone and everything where they/it needed to be, I didn't get to bed until 1 a.m. and the final laundry/cleaning/cooking didn't happen. :(

    Plus, the car is mostly dead (the timing belt blew and it'll take ~900 USD to even see what else got damaged when it went) and not worth fixing, so now I'm on a blitz to find the kid a new car so he can get back from his late classes, which means I've got another weekend of back-and-forthing coming up.

    Also, my aunt and uncle live in San Bernadino and he's a semi-retired fire chief and yeah, did that situation blow up overnight or what? I know there are several of my fandom friends who are affected by this situation, too, and I am hoping everyone is safe. ::hugs::

    But, since adulting means you better learn to let go of the crap when you can, so the non-crap can sustain you when you can't, here's the Wednesday book meme--

    The Royal Nanny, Karen Harper – a fictionalized biography of the nanny who raised Edward VII and George V and their siblings, including their youngest brother, John, who died as a teenager of complications due to epilepsy. I picked this up less because of David and Bertie and more because you almost never see mention of Johnnie in any book about the royals of this era. Despite my general dislike of fictional biographies, this worked well enough on most levels for me. I did appreciate the bibliography the author included, just for the ability to fact-check the narrative.

    What Angels Fear, C. S. Harris – You know I love me some Regency crack, especially when we’re dealing with the post-Napoleonic years, no matter the genre, but this one was extra helpings of catnip for me, what with the lone-wolf, PTSD-suffering, badass viscount of a main character. I really should have gotten to this series sooner—my mom had been talking about it for the last year of our daily ‘whatcha reading?’ chats—but now I’m on it. (Also, I would like to raise my hand for a ship with the calm, rational, plain, do-gooding daughter of the morally-ambiguous advisor to Prinny. Just sayin’.)

    Mr. and Mr. Smith, HelenKay Dimon—m/m novella of the secret agent variety. I could have gone for it being a little bit longer (I get the appeal of jumping right in, in media res, but if you’re going to give me flashbacks/dreams of happier times anyway, maybe give me a little base to build my worry on?) On the plus side: remember when m/m pro-fic was just atrociously bad? Yeah, this isn’t that. Definitely worth my amazon credits.

    Veil of Lies, Jeri Westerson – DNF, though I think it was b/c I wanted more Regency investigations (see above) and I couldn’t quite make the jump back in time to the Black Prince and Chaucer. I’m placing this on the Try Again pile.

    Turn Coat, Jim Butcher – More Dresden, still audiobooking the series (thank you, James Marsters), still rolling my eyes over Dresden’s particular form of idiocy. So far in this one, we have Thomas and Murphy and Molly involved, so my Found Family button is safely mashed. I’m beginning to worry about who really might be leading the Black Council, but I’ll just leave it at that.

    More of the aforementioned badass Regency viscount sleuthing around, I think.
    topaz119: (HeartsFromTheBeach)
    I'm almost embarrassed to post some of these, they're so old, but good fic never expires, yeah?

    17 recs--gen, het, slash, MCU, Inception, Bond, SPN, TFA )

    ...and the rest of the stuff I've loved over the years is on [ profile] topaz119
    topaz119: (KirkReboot)
    ...and ohhhhhhhh did *that* make me want to ignore ITD even more than I already do and write a Kirk/Pike-on-leave-at-Yorktown sequel to Shining On The Quay.

    Also, spoilers, really don't click )

    Also, also, I did get more than a little choked up a couple of times, for reals.

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