Where the time goes

Jun. 29th, 2017 07:29 am
dr_tectonic: (Default)
[personal profile] dr_tectonic
My group at work is having a check-in meeting this morning, and I feel like I have gotten nothing done since our last check-in because I have made very little progress on my main project (the R package I'm working on). But then I went through my email and tallied up all the things I did instead, and realized, oh, right, it's because there were literally a dozen other things that came up, and each of those took a day or two to deal with. Plus I went to Italy. And there you go, that's five weeks. It's all the context switching that really kills me.

Wedding preparations proceed apace. It's kind of alarming how much there is to do and how quickly time is passing, but we have lists and we're making progress on them, and everything seems to be on track. And really, pretty much every detail could fall apart at the last minute and it would still be fine. We'll be there and our friends and family will be there and that's the bit that counts.

Let's see, last weekend we had ice dyeing and Craig's housewarming and Floyd BBQ, and the weekend before that we had games at Jeff & Alice's (Sentinels, Seven Wonders, that Cthulhu investigation game) and Wonder Woman, and that's mostly all we've been up to.

Oh, and Douglas passed on to us a portable A/C unit -- one of the stand-up rolly ones that vents out the window -- which we picked up last weekend from Bob & Jeff's old place. It is AMAZING. I can cool the entire living room area, and about twenty minutes after turning it on, one of us says to the other "Are you cold? I feel kinda cold," and we turn it back off.

So close no matter how far....

Jun. 29th, 2017 08:57 am
klgaffney: (Default)
[personal profile] klgaffney
Daily Toss for 06-29-2017. )

How Are You? (in Haiku)

Jun. 29th, 2017 09:40 am
jjhunter: A sheep with shaded glasses and a straw hat lies on its side; overhead floats the pun 'on the lamb' (as in baby sheep). (on the lamb)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Pick a thing or two that sums up how you're doing today, this week, in general, and tell me about it in the 5-7-5 syllables of a haiku. I will leave anonymous comments screened unless otherwise asked; feel free to use this to leave private comments if that's what you're most comfortable with.

=

Signal-boosting much appreciated!

(no subject)

Jun. 29th, 2017 08:30 am
meganbmoore: (flower in prison: scenery)
[personal profile] meganbmoore posting in [community profile] icons
  138 x The Flower in Prison



@ my DW

The Big Idea: Jean Marie Bauhaus

Jun. 29th, 2017 12:07 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

First books in a series are often easy to write — fresh ideas, new characters, cool situations. What about the second books, where you have to continue with the rules you already set out? How do you keep it fresh for the readers, and the author? It’s a question Jean Marie Bauhaus confronts in her new novel, Kindred Spirits.

JEAN MARIE BAUHAUS:

Sometimes ideas come easy. For example, walking out of a movie theater many moons ago after having seen The Grudge, I had the thought that if being violently murdered can turn someone into a murderous vengeful spirit, then what about the spirits of the people murdered by said vengeful spirit? Wouldn’t they want vengeance, too? What if instead of taking their anger out on innocent people they instead turned on the ghost that killed them in the first place? That idea stuck with me and eventually grew into the plot of my debut novel, Restless Spirits.

When it came to writing a sequel, however, nothing was so easy or clear cut. Kindred Spirits actually took me years to write because although there were a few things I knew for certain, none of those things added up to a story. I knew, for instance, that the spotlight would shift from the first book’s ghostly protagonist to her living sister, medium Chris Wilson. I knew that Chris would purchase and move into the haunted house featured in the first book, where her sister’s spirit still resides. And I knew that living with her overprotective big sister’s ghost would prove to be complicated, and also pretty annoying.

I also knew that I wanted the second book to stand on its own two legs, to be a self-contained story that could be understood and enjoyed without needing to have read its predecessor. This seemed like a tall order.

Despite knowing these details, a story didn’t start to take shape until I conceived of an antagonist who not only didn’t believe in Chris’s abilities but also had the power to seriously complicate her life. That character became Derek Brandt, a cynical TV crime reporter who believes he has a duty to expose Chris as a fraud. Which leads to the question: what would Big Sis do to someone who went after Chris in such a way?

The answer: haunt him, of course. At which point hijinks would ensue.

But that still wasn’t a story. It was only a starting point. Things didn’t really start to come together until I sat myself down and asked myself, what is the central idea of this story?

Restless Spirits developed along the theme that love is a powerful force that gives good people the strength to do what’s necessary to overcome evil, so powerful that it outlasts even death.

It occurred to me that here I had an opportunity to explore the flip side of that idea–that love can be twisted into a destructive force by twisted, broken people, used as both an impetus and an excuse for evil actions. With that central idea in place, other characters quickly came into being and their motivations and goals became clear. Derek Brandt, as it turned out, had good reason for his cynicism and distrust of Chris Wilson and her ilk. He also had a brother, whose unsolved murder became the central plot.

Finally, I had a story to tell.

That story turned out to be quite the mashup. One part ghost story, one part romantic comedy and one part murder mystery with a dash of thriller, served with a liberal sprinkling of a Gilmore Girls-esque relationship between sisters who won’t even let death come between them.

The romance and comedy came naturally, as did the darker supernatural and suspense aspects of the book. As someone who grew up bouncing back and forth between the likes of Lucy Maude Montgomery and Stephen King, I tend to have a wide range of sensibilities that creeps into my writing.

The mystery part, however, challenged me and took me places that as a writer I never expected to go. It turns out that writing a mystery doesn’t simply involve deciding who the killer is and then planting clues for your protagonist to follow like bread crumbs. You also have to do so in such a way that doesn’t make the killer’s identity completely obvious to the reader–which is harder to do than it sounds. Giving the killer layers, with sympathetic motives that make him or her seem like a human being and not a Disney villain, was also a concern.

I think I managed to pull it off, but that’s up to the reader to decide. At any rate, whereas the first book is a love story at its core, so too is this one, but it’s as much a story about how love can become corrupted as it is about its power to heal wounds, overcome darkness and make forgiveness possible. Whether it does one or the other ultimately comes down to the condition of the soul who’s driven by it.

—-

Kindred Spirits: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Kobo

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s blog. Follow her on Twitter.


Desmond's Climb - Portal(s)

Jun. 29th, 2017 08:59 am
aldersprig: (lock and key)
[personal profile] aldersprig
First: Slaves, School
Previous: Force and Shields


It was almost as if their schedule had alternated interesting and boring classes. Their next class, with Professor Resaginotel, a tall woman with brilliant white hair shot through with streaks of black and a collar that matched, was on paperwork and regulations regarding magic and collared people. Desmond struggled to pay attention until they reached the overview of the accounting.

The nation owned the collared people, or at least it owned their time and service.

But people paid for those services and that time - for things like guarding a boat when it went on the water, or protecting a caravan, or moving a lot of rock. So there were hours to be accounted for, and a rate dependent on a large list of factors. For about twenty minutes, Desmond was in heaven, figuring out his current hourly rate for different tasks and helping Doria do the same.

Kayay still hadn’t returned when they moved on to their fourth class, which turned out to be Portals and Doorways.
Read more... )

Want More?

daf bit: Bava Batra 158

Jun. 29th, 2017 08:35 am
cellio: (talmud)
[personal profile] cellio

The mishna on today's daf discusses a case where a house collapsed on a man and his wife, killing them both. The heirs of the man argue that she died first (and so he inherited her and they inherit everything), while the heirs of the wife say that he died first (following the same logic). Beit Shammai rules that the estate is divided, just like any other property of unclear ownership with two claimants. Beit Hillel, on the other hand, rules that property that she brought to the marriage goes to her heirs and property that was his goes to his heirs. In the g'mara, Reish Lakish (R' Shimon b. Lakish) in the name of Bar Kappara says they divide -- so he's siding with Shammai even though Hillel usually wins their disputes. The daf then moves on to the next mishna, so I don't know what the final ruling is. (158a-b)

The talmud doesn't discuss jointly-owned property; my understanding is that this wasn't really a thing when it came to marriages. She owned some property (that she brought in) though he had use of it; he owned everything else and was responsible for maintaining her. The deed with both names and the joint checking account are later developments.

Can You Spot the Fish?

Jun. 29th, 2017 05:00 am
[syndicated profile] icanhascheezburger_feed
Try to find the fish at the new photo challenge by Hungarian artist

The Hungarian artist, Gergely "Dudolf" Dudás, who turned a panda hiding in a group of snowmen into a viral sensation is back at it again, this time with a more summer-appropriate landscape: the ocean.
So can you spot the fish at the bottom of the ocean? If you give up, you can find the solution HERE.





Submitted by: (via Gergely "Dudolf" Dudás)

Interesting Links for 29-06-2017

Jun. 29th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
[personal profile] ron_newman posting in [community profile] davis_square
The city has published the final list of candidates in this year's city election. Yesterday was the deadline for submitting nomination petition signatures. Only the candidates listed in red have qualified for the ballot.

There will be a citywide preliminary election for Mayor on September 19, because two candidates, Payton Corbett and Kenneth Van Buskirk, are challenging Mayor Joe Curtatone. Preliminary mayoral elections have become rare in recent years, but Mayor Joe ousted our previous mayor, Dorothy Kelly Gay, in a 2003 preliminary election. The last preliminary election for mayor happened in 2007. The top two finishers in the preliminary go on to run against each other in the November 7 general election.

Ward 1 residents will also have a preliminary election for School Committee. Three candidates are running to replace incumbent Stephen Roix, who is not seeking re-election.

All four current aldermen-at-large are seeking re-election, along with challengers Stephanie Hirsch, Will Mbah, and Kevin Tarpley (a former Ward 2 alderman). Since there are fewer than nine candidates, there will not be a preliminary election for alderman-at-large.

Ward Four alderman-at-large Tony Lafuente is not seeking re-election. Two candidates are running to replace him. All other aldermen-at-large are running for re-election, and they have challengers in wards 1, 2, and 3.

Having a Twitter Break

Jun. 29th, 2017 11:01 am
miss_s_b: (Mood: Sorry)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
The deluge of awful news is just too much for me right now. Sorry.

Music meme: day 11 of 30

Jun. 29th, 2017 10:53 am
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
A song that you never get tired of. I am kind of over-thinking this one, because there are a few songs I have definitely liked for 20 years or so. Once I've been listening to a song for ages, rather than getting tired of it, I'm more likely to feel warm towards it because it's so much part of my life. At the same time, there are a few songs I've got into more recently, which I expect to always love, but I can't be sure that I won't ever get tired of them.

So I think the best candidates are:
  • Teardrop by Massive Attack
  • Nothing else matters by Metallica
  • Concrete by Thea Gilmore
Of those, the Metallica is probably the most musically interesting, so I'm going to go for that as the one I'm most likely never to get tired of. Also Concrete doesn't appear to be on YouTube, so I've linked to the Last.fm page which may or may not let you listen to the track via Spotify.

video embed )

HOWDY

Jun. 29th, 2017 09:28 pm
glazelazer: (Default)
[personal profile] glazelazer posting in [community profile] addme_fandom
 howdy!! 

my name is whatever you wanna call me and im looking for other people who like homestuck to follow!
i just got here so who knows what kind of wacky stuff ill be posting

other info:

she/her
lesbian
seer of mind



QotD

Jun. 29th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"imagine not politicising tragedy. imagine acting like it's just a natural fact of the world that landlords let children burn to death" -- the absolute girl (@bristling), 2017-06-14

[syndicated profile] icanhascheezburger_feed
A designer sculpts her hair into beautiful shapes

21-year-old Laetitia KY is a 21-years old fashion designer from the Cote d'Ivoire and she takes "good hair day" to a whole new level by sculpting her natural hair into whatever she feels like. When asked by Teen Vogue, where did she get her inspiration, she explained: ""Generally, the ideas come spontaneously.What really inspired me to sculpt my hair was an Instagram album I saw a year ago. It presented the hairstyles that women wore long ago in some African tribes that were really impressive and artistic. It made me want to use my hairstyle as one of my means of expression."

Submitted by:

Tagged: hair , art , designer

Daily Happiness

Jun. 29th, 2017 01:12 am
torachan: devil boy from sinfest holding a CD, looking like he's just been in an explosion, with the text "smokin" (smokin')
[personal profile] torachan
1. Taking the car in tomorrow to see what the damage is. I'm really glad the insurance just told us where to take it (and that it's just down the street), rather than me having to find somewhere on my own. It's much less stress to have to deal with.

2. Tonight I finally finished (well, except for a short afterword, which I will do tomorrow) a project I've been working on for ages. It still needs to get typeset, and the group I'm working with on it still needs to get the last volume I translated typeset, and that was finished over a year ago, so who knows when this will actually be released, but it feels good to get it done.

3. So many silly sleepy Jasper poses.

ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the May 2, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] janetmiles, and EdorFaus. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Warning: This poem includes some intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. This is hardcore hurt/comfort. It features an intertribal biker gang, Native American spirituality and superpowers, cultural dissonance, gaybashing, a young man tangled in a barbed wire fence, graphic description of injuries, messy medical details while hours away from expert care, which includes a substantial amount of pain that's only partially controllable with resources at hand, panic, trust issues due to previously violations of hair and other body parts, references to the Sun Dance, difficult decisions, risky motorcycle stunts, gender issues, two spirits, and other challenges. However, the overall tone is positive and people take good care of each other. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

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