owlmoose: (quote - B5 avalanche)
[personal profile] owlmoose
Between North Korea and Charlottesville and everything else happening, it's hard not to feel like everything is burning down. But until the world actually ends, it's better to proceed as if it will keep on turning, so have some linkspam.

scaramouche: All four members of Queen in silhoutte (queen silhouette)
[personal profile] scaramouche
Avengers Academy's Armor Wars event has been cracking me up with its A+ dialogue for Crimson Dynamo, like this bit:

Screencap of Crimson Dynamo & Wasp

And after rolling around in glee, I had to go write fic.

Fandom: Avengers Academy
Pairing/Characters: Steve/Tony, one-sided Crimson Dynamo/Tony
Genre: First kiss, humour, silly, fake relationship
Rating: General
Words: 1800
Crossposting: AO3
Summary: Steve's more than happy to step up when Tony's in trouble.

Strategic Thinking: Armor Wars Edition )

Merch trawling

Sunday, 13 August 2017 09:39 am
scaramouche: Captain America's shield & Iron Man's arc reactor; Civil War artwork (steve+tony)
[personal profile] scaramouche
I've migrated away from backpacks to totes, but I'm loving the design of this one that's based on the MCU costume, it's... really tempting.

A Captain America backpack. )

But what would I use it for? The only backpack I use these days is my laptop carry-on when I travel, and I'm really happy with the one I have right now.

A satchel, now I would definitely use in the day-to-day, but I don't like the design as much.

A Captain America satchel. )

FFXII fic: "Inappropriate"

Saturday, 12 August 2017 06:11 pm
owlmoose: (ff12 - ashe)
[personal profile] owlmoose
Title: Inapproriate
Fandom: FFXII
Rating: Teen-ish
Wordcount: 7902
Characters: Ashe/Balthier, Ashe/Al-Cid, Penelo, Ondore
Spoilers: Yes but nothing really blatant.
Notes: A few months ago, I was complaining about not having any fic ideas, and [personal profile] renay pounced on me with a suggestion of Ashe/Balthier and fake dating. This is the result. Thanks to Nay for the bunny and to [personal profile] justira for a super-helpful beta read. Also thanks to Square Enix for releasing The Zodiac Age, thereby giving me the opportunity to put the characters' voices back in my head.

Summary: Beset by advisors who are pressuring her to marry, Queen Ashe reacts by bringing sky pirate Balthier as her escort to an important state event. Just having a bit of fun at her council's expense... right?

Posted on AO3.

Book Log

Saturday, 12 August 2017 05:32 pm
scaramouche: Gene Kelly dancing in the rain, from Singin' in the Rain (singin' in the rain - umbrella)
[personal profile] scaramouche
I picked Vanessa Collingridge's Boudica to read next, because I'd just finished Mary Beard's history of ancient Rome, which mentioned Boudica's rebellion in the later chapters, and was in the mood for more of that.

Collingridge isn't a professional historian, so her book isn't like the other historical biographies I've read so far. Instead of a compilation of mostly-chronological info, it's a collection of interviews with historians and collectors, analysis of historical pop culture to modern pop culture, with Collingridge's passion-driven expansion on the story of Boudica set to known Roman history and context.

It's pretty interesting once I adjusted my expectations, for Collingridge is upfront about being a storyteller, plus the fact that there's extremely little that is known about the historical Briton queen, who may not even have been a redhead. The mostly-known facts of Rome's invasion of Britain are the framework, with Boudica's rebellion roughly sketched on top of that with her guesswork, using various archaeological finds such as pottery and the burn layer of the three towns that Boudica sacked.

The earlier part's a little thin because of the necessity of so much guesswork, but I reckon the more interesting part of the book is Collingridge's later analysis of what Boudica means as an icon in British consciousness and patriotism, despite being a barbarian who'd rebelled against imperialism. I was a little skeptical at first with her opening speculation of historical Boudica being one of the building blocks of Elizabeth I's cult of Gloriana but man, Collingridge commits, following through her thesis to the misogyny of James I's rule (when Boudica was portrayed as shameful and/or love-weakened in various plays) to Queen Victoria (when her imagery came back) and the eventual conflation of the chariot-riding warrior queen Boudica with noble world-conquering Brittania (HA). That is not something I'd expect to get out of a historical biography, but it is fascinating, and a great way to cap off the read. Also, I learned quite a bit about Celt medieval history and its evolution to modern Celt identity, which is cool.

OH MY GOD

Friday, 11 August 2017 10:31 am
owlmoose: (heroes - hiro jump)
[personal profile] owlmoose
LADY BUSINESS WON THE BEST FANZINE HUGO.

IS THIS THE REAL LIFE?

More when I can actually be coherent about it.

Unknown Woman

Friday, 11 August 2017 09:23 am
scaramouche: Sabrina Alouche holding up rock fingers, with "rock on" in text (scaramouche rock on)
[personal profile] scaramouche
I've been watching the K-drama Unknown Woman on and off for the past few months, and unlike the last few K-dramas I skimmed that had a similar trope of a Woman Done Wrong Who's Out for Justice, this one has fully committed to the Count of Monte Cristo grey morality premise, where the main character, Son Yeo-ri, is focused and unapologetic about righting the wrongs that were done to her (to HER, specifically, instead of her family, though her rage later includes the wrong done to her daughter) instead of deviating to various softer subtropes that aren't that interesting to me even if they make for more sympathetic protagonists.

Now, aside from tickling my id something fierce, last night I noticed something that this show has done, or more accurately, not done, which has upped my appreciation. Basically, the main couple is in full harmony and cooperation, working together for the sake of justice/vengeance, and there's 0% conflict between them. Where the last few similar-premise K-dramas had some drama and misunderstandings between the main pair for romantic purposes, Unknown Woman doesn't care about romantic drama* -- it set up and dealt with the conflict of the main couple ages ago, and since then they've been a united force, trusting each other and TALKING to each other every step of their vengeance plan way, and it is amazing. (BATTLE COUPLE!)

*All the more unusual because the main plot is set-up to easily slip into a triangle/quandrangle, what with Son Yeo-ri's vengeance path taking her against her ex-boyfriend with whom she had her kid, and the new man she's fallen in love with being said ex-boyfriend's young uncle.

It's just such a nice change of pace to have a story where the main female character, when she does cry, only does it over herself and her daughter, and not over a dude she can't have. To be true, we're still something like 20 episodes from the ending so that may change, but I hope not. There's still a great deal that needs to be settled for the final stretch.

Day off! (Kinda)

Thursday, 10 August 2017 10:32 am
owlmoose: (cats - tori sun)
[personal profile] owlmoose
My regular work schedule is officially Monday through Wednesday, but what with one thing and another I've been working a lot of Thursdays lately. But today, I am not (except for a call in a couple of hours), so I am free! (Mostly.) Currently I am doing the "laptop in cafe" thing, which is usually how I spend my non-working Thursday mornings. Then I'll head home for the call, maybe do a little work, and then I'll have a free afternoon until it's time to meet people for dinner. But I'm sure what I'll actually do is sit around and be jealous of everyone who is in Helsinki for WorldCon.

Speaking of WorldCon, have I told you all how very excited I am for next year? WorldCon in my back yard. And so many awesome people are coming. I wish I could invite everyone to my place and have a big party, but it's 1. too small for a large gathering and 2. about 40 miles from the venue, so it's not like we could just pop over. But if you are attending, and plan to spend any time in San Francisco before or after the con, let me know! I am happy to play tour guide. Everyone should come to San Jose, and we will have excellent adventures together.
owlmoose: (da - flemeth)
[personal profile] owlmoose
July was a busy time for me at work, and then I went on vacation, and as usual political events moved really quickly. It seems like years have passed since the last time I did one of these, although in reality it was just under a month. So it goes when you're on Trump time. But Congress is on its summer recess (mostly -- the Senate pulled a procedural trick to keep the chamber officially in session, so that Trump can't make any recess appointments; this isn't an unusual practice, though), and the big man himself is on a seventeen day vacation (because he's been SO HARD at work these last several months, you know), so maybe things will be a little quieter for a bit, and we can catch up.

It's nice to think so, anyway.

  • The big story on Twitter this weekend is an anti-diversity memo making the rounds internally at Google. The full text was leaked to Gizmodo; I'm not going to link to it, since it's 1. easy enough to find and 2. the same tedious MRA/alt-right bullshit we've all seen a million times about how women are too emotional to be good coders and "meritocracy" and why Google's REAL diversity problem is not enough Young Republicans (although Anil Dash's short version is pretty entertaining). However, I will link to this ex-Google employee's response, which is excellent. I also direct you to Dr. Nerdlove's Twitter thread on why "at least it's promoting discussion" is exactly the wrong response.

  • The Washington Post examines exit poll data from the last few president elections in search of "Trump Democrats" only to find that they basically don't exist. Most of the voters who switched from Obama to Trump were Republicans who crossed the aisle to vote for Obama. Yet another reason for the Democrats to stop chasing this demographic and focus on pleasing their actual base.

  • Speaking of, yet again more nonsense about the DNC/DCCC giving money as support to anti-choice candidates. Stop. Just stop. It's never helped us before and it's certainly not going to help us now. I will never forget how anti-choice Democrat Bart Stupak almost derailed the passage of the ACA by pushing for anti-abortion provisions. I don't believe in ideological purity tests, and I know that not every regions of the country is willing to elect loud and proud abortion activists. Candidates and elected officials can believe whatever they want, and take more moderate positions on the issue. But when it comes down to it, if you are a Democrat, you support reproductive rights. The end.

  • That said, I have a huge issue with purity politics in general. Bustle has a good article on why women politicians in particular are hurt by an insistence on ideological purity. I'm really ready to be done with circular firing squads now.

  • On the lighter side, sort of, it recently came out that Trump considered buying the San Francisco Giants back in the 1980s. Sports writer Grant Brisbee reacts with the appropriate levels of existential horror.

  • On the occasion of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller impanelling a grand jury, Vox presents a really handy explainer of the probe, what Mueller's authority is, and how the investigation might go.

  • Hey, remember back when we thought Trump's real endgame for his campaign was to launch his own TV network? Well, would you take a look at that.

  • Because of the time gap since my last post, I missed the rapid rise and meteoric fall of never-quite-officially White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci (aka "The Mooch"). He'll be a great trivia answer in about ten years. Anyway, Jay Smooth had a great take on the whole thing.

  • The central topic of my last linkspam post was the Senate's continuing attempts to ram through some flavor of ACA repeal; as we all know, that didn't happen, in dramatic eleventh hour fashion. One of my favorite stories about that night comes from Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat from Connecticut, who shared his view from behind the scenes.

  • You may recall a senator with cancer who got a lot of attention for his last-minute no vote. I'd rather celebrate Senator Mazie Hirono, who flew to DC from Hawaii right after surgery for Stage 4 cancer, held the line on every vote, and gave a beautiful, impassioned speech.

  • Speaking of credit where credit is due, let's not forget two other Republican Senators who have stood firm against ACA repeal, almost unwaveringly from the beginning: Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.

  • Here's an interesting report on the number of Congressional challengers who have already filed to run in 2018 and comparing them to other elections at this point in the cycle. It's worth reading the whole thing, but the upshot is that, in wave elections like 2006 and 2010, opposition party candidates file early in considerably larger numbers than those from the party in power, usually about twice as many. This year? It's an order of magnitude. (209 Democrats vs 28 Republicans.)

  • In the interest of this post not being five million pages long, I'm not even going to get into the whole Donald Trump, Jr., saga, but I was amused in an eye-rolly sort of way by this report from The Hill that Junior is "miserable and can't wait for his dad's presidency to end". Join the club, kid. (Note, autoplay video at that link.). Also, from the BBC, an article on whether this might be the smoking gun, and whether a smoking gun is even enough anymore.

  • Finally. this article is a little older, but it's from the man who coined the phrase white fragility, and it is a very good examination of the subject. Every white person should read this essay with an open mind and a willingness to learn.
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
[personal profile] starlady
source: The Clone Wars
audio: Daft Punk, "C.L.U. (Paul Oakenfold remix)"
length: 4:40
stream: on Vimeo for people in Germany, password: theforce
download: 217MB on Dropbox
summary: Beware the dark side. 

My 2017 Club Vivid premiere! 



tumblr | AO3


I watched all of The Clone Wars over the course of the past eight months or so--the (re)watch was originally scheduled to coincide with the release of Rogue One, but then November happened. Somewhere around October, I realized that I wanted to make a vid about the show, and that I wanted to use this track. This is the easier vid to make from the show; its complex exploration of sentience, personhood, and free will playing out with the clones and the droids is more difficult. I also decided fairly early on that I wanted to make this vid by colors--the lightsabers go from blue to green to red by the end of the vid, just like the galaxy slides further into chaos and the fall of the Jedi and the Republic. The black darksaber, something of a wild card in the morality play of the lightsaber color codes, appears at the beginning, middle, and end. 

I'm really happy with how this vid turned out. It was a fairly easy vidding process, possibly because I was using an extensive spreadsheet and because the realities of who fought who meant that I was somewhat constrained in my clip choices at each point through the timeline, until I hit the wall of trying to find copies of episodes that weren't TV rips with logos and started tearing my hair out. Anyway. May the Force be with you.

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