kass: glass of white wine (white wine)
I had a bunch of clementines that were past their prime -- skins too tight to peel and eat, but not yet going off. I knew I wasn't going to eat them. I hated the idea of throwing them away. So I did some googling.

I am making a batch of candied clementine slices now, and as soon as I buy some almond flour tomorrow I will aim to put said candied fruit slices on top of a clementine cake.

So yes, I'll be buying almond flour, which is an ingredient I did not previously have. Which means that this is not entirely successful as a money-saving venture. But if I manage to make something tasty out of fruit I would otherwise have pitched, I will be totally psyched about that.
kass: Shepherd Book; caption "The Good Book." (book)
[personal profile] anoel asked "What are some of your favorite childhood books? Any favorite sci-fi books?"

(She also asked about my vidding process, but I haven't made a vid in more than a year and right now I feel like I'm not a vidder anymore because it's been so long since I made anything. So I'm going to answer the book question instead. :-)

Favorite childhood books included The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett), Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë), a bunch of stuff that had been my mom's when she was a kid (like Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, Margaret Sidney), the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder oeuvre...

...and then around ten or eleven I hit a SF / fantasy streak that took me through a ton of Xanth novels (oh, Piers Anthony) and a metric ton of Heinlein. I went on a Heinlein kick starting around age 11 (the first book of his I read was Farnham's Freehold, which I think would be horrifyingly racist if I re-read it now but I wasn't particularly conscious of that at eleven) and I devoured everything of his I could find. (I think the only book of his that I could re-read now is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.) I also loved Ray Bradbury (especially The Martian Chronicles).

What amazes me now, looking back, is that while the early 20th-century "girls'" books I read were written by women, and eventually I discovered Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon, there were years in between where I read only things by men. And it didn't even occur to me that that was so. Today the SF/F that I read is almost entirely written by women -- NK Jemisin and [livejournal.com profile] matociquala and [livejournal.com profile] truepenny and Ann Leckie and Nnedi Okorafor and [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire -- anyway, I think I would find most of the SF/F I read as a kid to be dated and troubling and androcentric now, but it was formative at the time.

Want to ask me something? You still can!

You get idfic after all

Jan. 23rd, 2017 12:07 pm[personal profile] el_staplador
el_staplador: (Default)
The half of it that was opera synopsis. I abandoned the other half because it was about invoices.

La Forza dell'Amore (1992 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Additional Tags: opera - Freeform, Invisible fandom, ambiguous - Freeform, Alternate Universe, opera synopsis, everything's better with travesti, The Great Idfic Virus of Winter 2016/17

There's more to Enrico Bruni's opera La Forza dell'Amore (The Power of Love) than the famous Stammi vicino. A noted authority offers a quick synopsis, with a few gossipy digressions along the way.

And if the hit count becomes too utterly depressing I'll decide it was actually an opera AU after all and tag it Victor/Yuuri. (It wasn't meant to be, and still isn't meant to be, really, but it got a bit that way inclined in the course of writing.)

I have been having far too much fun working out what opera looks like in the homophobia-free universe of Yuri!!! on Ice. Don Carlo is only slightly slashier than it is here. Iolanthe is, of course, even more delightful than it is in this universe and ends with Mountararat and Tolloller married, Celia and Leila likewise, and the Lord Chancellor inserting 'doesn't' and deleting 'a mortal' in the fairy legislation. Princess Ida remains excruciating. Princess Ida is excruciating in any universe. I have no idea what's happened to Wagner.

But it's the operas that don't exist here but do there that are really intriguing. I am particularly interested in Rossini's Le Donne di Llangollen (he was cashing in on Donizetti's success with British-themed operas), which is a comic effort about the elopement, featuring several glorious duets for the ladies and a patter song for the baritone listing everyone who's subscribed to their crowdfunder.

Been sick, still/again

Jan. 22nd, 2017 05:47 pm[personal profile] dichroic
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

I thought I was finally getting over the cold I’d had since about January 5. Wednesday I took the day off (to do a supersecret thing I’m afraid to jinx by talking about it). Unfortunately by the time I was done doing the thing, which involve talking to a lot of people (and apologizing for my hoarseness and lingering cough) I was feeling like the best thing to do would be to go back to bed. Which I did, which is where I found out I’d spiked a101.4 fever. I was able to get an appointment at my doctor the next day luckily (just to see the PA, but I figured that was fine) and she diagnosed bronchitis. So I’ve been at home since then, doing some telecommuting and mostly just taking it easy.

Between the thing where it took me three tries to fill in Wednesday’s time sheet (which was just 8 hours of PTO) and the time when Ted asked me Thursday night whether I’d actually intended to put a box of dry noodles in the fridge (nope!) it was pretty clear I wasn’t exactly functioning at my best. I pointed out to Ted that, in recent years where he’s been working a lot more overtime than I do, even though he’s always pretty good about doing his share around the house, I had taken on a lot of the responsibility of running the house – not that I was doing all the cooking, but that I was doing more deciding what to cook which day (we decide together, ahead of time, on a few major meals for each week, but we don’t tie them to a specific day), and when, and making sure we had the ingredients, and that we didn’t run out of cat litter, and so on. I told him that while I’m down, we need him to step up and take over – make the decisions, consulting me for opinions as I usually consult him, figure out the timing and make sure it all happens.

I think he’s taken it more to heart than strictly needed, or he thinks I’m in worse shape than I currently am (after my 4th day on antibiotics). We just discussed when to have dinner, he suggested an hour, and I said ok but could we actually eat in an hour instead of just atartying to cook then. Next thing I know I hear him taking stuff out of the fridge and pantry. I pointed out that if I make the salad while he does the main course it will only take us half an hour to make dinner, but I got shooed back to bed and told it’s “all under control”.

Can’t complain – except that I feel like a bit of a freeloader, especially as he had the cold too, though not the bronchitis, and is still coughing.

Back to work tomorrow, hoping that’s not pushing things too far. It’s less than ten minutes away, so if I start feeling bad I’ll go back home. I do miss the Dutch way of doing things, where the doctor just says you can’t go back to work til you’re completely well – and sometimes you even need to be checked by the doctor onsite.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

kass: Harold and John wearing blue Santa hats. (Santa Harold)
[personal profile] laurashapiro asks: How do you feel about Christmas? What are your favorite Jewish-at-Christmas stories or memories?

My relationship with Christmas has shifted over the years.

Here goes! )


Jan. 21st, 2017 03:34 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: Zoe is made of awesome. (zoe)
1. All of y'all who are marching and protesting and demonstrating around the world. I am not, for a variety of reasons, but it heartens me to see so many pictures and videos and signs and tweets and and and and and. Thank you for giving me some hope in humanity again.

2. I am doing some A+ adulting today (realm: feeding myself) -- I'm trying a curried chicken and rice thing in the slow cooker, and I've just made a giant pot of steel cut oats with apples and raisins on the stovetop (which will become breakfast for the rest of the week, starting tomorrow.)

3. I found a plant stand on sale on Amazon, and assembled it, and now three of the plants in my living room are stacked one atop the other, which gives me more living room space and will hopefully enable all of them to flourish. The peace lily is blooming and the aloe and jade plants have space to grow.

4. An afternoon of cuddling with Mr. Kid, and playing games, and doing LEGOs.

5. I may not be marching today, but for tonight's work event I have a pink dress, at least.
gramarye1971: Fakir looking up from a library book (Princess Tutu: Fakir)
So, with the trope meme nicked from various and sundry:

Comment with a fanfic trope and, if you'd like, a character/pairing, and I will tell you:
- how likely I am to write it
- A few lines of theoretical fic

EDIT: Tropes written!
- Fake dating, Merriman Lyon (from [personal profile] rymenhild)
- Immortality AU, post-canon Mononoke-hime [Ashitaka/San] (from [personal profile] karanguni)
- Blanket fic, Hetalia [Prussia & Austria & Switzerland] (from [personal profile] batman)
- Soulmates, George Orwell RPF (from [personal profile] skygiants)
kass: Giles with a pile of books (Giles)
[personal profile] grammarwoman asks: What book(s) have you re-read the most?

I'll leave aside the obvious (for me) answer of the Torah, which arguably doesn't count. :-) Also all of the board books we re-read to Zaphod over and over again, like Pajama Time and Hola, Jalapeño and Little Blue Truck, since I'm not sure I was actually rereading those by choice.

In high school my answer would probably have been Heinlein -- Stranger in a Strange Land or I Will Fear No Evil, which I read more times than I can count.

In college my answer would probably have been Richard Bach's Illusions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. I suspect I still have it mostly memorized.

In the last 20 years, though... John Jerome's Stone Work is one. I often read it starting in the spring -- it begins on the spring equinox, so for years I've picked it up on March 21 or thereabouts and begun rereading. Rodger Kamenetz's The Jew in the Lotus is another -- it was formative for me and I've reread it a number of times.

Joann Sfar's graphic novel The Rabbi's Cat stands up well to rereading, too.

Honestly, though, in recent years when I am looking for the comfort of a re-read, I am likelier to turn to fic -- if I haven't memorized [personal profile] cesperanza's "Written by the Victors," it's not for want of trying. :-)

Want to ask me things? You still can!

Worth reading today

Jan. 20th, 2017 12:32 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: the megillah of Esther (megillah)
A Sestina for January 20, 2017. (395 words) by Lanna Michaels
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Original Work, United States Politics
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Additional Tags: More Joy Day, Sestina, Politics, Jewish Themes, It occurs to me that I am America

A sestina for More Joy Day. (note: not actually joyous.)


Jan. 19th, 2017 07:52 am[personal profile] kass
kass: a latte in a teacup with a heart shape drawn in the foam (latte)
1. Coffee.

2. Haircut! Oh, it feels so good not to be unkempt any longer.

3. Friends who ensure that when one returns from a long trip, one has essentials such as milk in one's refrigerator.

4. The slow-cooker cookbook that [personal profile] heresluck gave me. (Today I am attempting the lamb vindaloo that she and I intended to make when she visited, but then never made.)

5. Small household satisfactions: the plants are watered, the laundry is spinning, the crockpot is simmering.

How are y'all?

Current Manga Pull List

Jan. 15th, 2017 12:34 pm[personal profile] gramarye1971
gramarye1971: Yomiko Readman, engrossed in a book (R.O.D: Yomiko)
Since I have a bunch of new circle friends, I thought I'd give a quick rundown of the manga series I'm ordering from Japan as they come out. I'm also buying the English translation of Master Keaton, and currently I'm reading the official releases of Black Butler and Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service from the library, but (in alphabetical order) these are the series I'm enjoying enough to have shipped from overseas:

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun) - I liked the anime when it came out, and so I stocked up on the then-released volumes and added it to my pull list. (When I was in Japan, I also managed to buy the really cute comic anthology and the fan guide, both of which will be useful for eventually writing fic.) Reading yonkoma is helpful when I simply don't have the attention span to try to work my way through one of the more complicated titles below, and the wacky fun hijinks are always entertaining. Hoping for a season 2 of the anime, since there's plenty of new material to work with at this point!

Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Haisha-tachi no Eikou (Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Defeated) - Yes, I'm still a sucker for Gundam Wing, but the new manga is actually quite good. It's a full-on retelling of the entire series, incorporating just about all of the side stories and background material from additional volumes like Episode Zero and Blind Target, with solid artwork and good attention to detail. Volume 11 of the manga covers up to about EP 40-41 of the anime -- Milliardo Peacecraft has just declared war on Earth -- and volume 12 is set to come out in a few weeks. Right now, it looks like it'll be a 18-volume series, if they plan to go all the way through Endless Waltz.

Hetalia: World Stars - Still going, after jumping from Comic Birz/Gentosha to Shonen Jump/Shueisha. I can't quite tell what's going on with the Hetalia publishing schedule, since a release date for H:WS volume 4 should have been announced at this point based on the timing of previous releases. Nonetheless, this is an automatic pull, since I'm following the scanlations as well.

Saki - Mahjong and moe, on a glacial release schedule. The author is drawing about four different series in this canonical universe at this point, and I do wish she'd focus on getting through the main one. But at 16 volumes with the final tournament battle yet to begin and the titular character just about to confront her estranged older sister, I'm not holding my breath.

Shippuu no Hayato (Hayato Hurricane) - From the guy who created Dai Mahou Touge (murderous magical princess parody) and Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku (my beloved political mahjong satire) comes an OTT historical political satire on the life of Japanese prime minister Hayato Ikeda. I posted about the first installment early last year, and volume 4 is set to be released at the end of this month, so if Ohwada-sensei keeps cranking out the chapters I will snap them up as soon as possible.

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun) - This superpowered schoolgirls story is getting more complicated by the chapter, and I really need to go back and read some summaries to make sure that I'm understanding the plot of the newest arc correctly. But more Railgun is always of interest to me.

Toshokan Sensou LOVE & WAR: Bessatsu-hen (Library Wars Love and War: Extra Side Stories) - The follow-on manga from the original Toshosen L&W series is adapting the side stories written by the author. It's still really heavy on the romantic angle, as one might expect from a shoujo adaptation, but the main stories are often focused on social issues. The most recent volume (which I just received yesterday) had a really serious story about the library staff unexpectedly discovering a case of child abuse, and all feeling horribly guilty that they had mistaken the boy's bad attitude and tendency to run away from his mother as signs of disobedience, rather than fear. Child abuse is becoming a more prominent topic in Japan, with the number of reported cases on the rise, and I'm not surprised that the role of librarians in spotting and helping to protect abused children would be a featured storyline.

That's all at the moment. I can't add a new series to my pull list until I'm fully employed again, but I have my eye on one or two possibilities. Watch this space.

Normal service resumed

Jan. 15th, 2017 05:03 pm[personal profile] el_staplador
el_staplador: (Default)
An Eugénie/Louise fic: dressing room smut. Rather in the manner of Dorothy L. Sayers giving Lord Peter a new Daimler whenever she was feeling particularly broke, I have given Eugénie a flawless top G, and probably more beyond that.

Opening Night (1084 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo | Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Eugénie Danglars/Louise d'Armilly
Characters: Eugénie Danglars (Le Comte de Monte-Cristo), Louise d'Armilly, Original Characters
Additional Tags: Theatre, opera - Freeform, Community: ladiesbingo, Rituals, Singing, Oral Sex, Post-Canon
Series: Part 2 of Bright Gifts

No one disturbs the prima donna when she's warming up. No one except Mlle D'Armilly.

For the ladiesbingo prompt 'Artist'

This Week's Market Haul

Jan. 14th, 2017 10:49 am[personal profile] okrablossom
okrablossom: (somerville watercolor)

this week's haul from the farmers market

We still have pasties and meat sauce and just a bit more pork roast and carrot+parsnip soup, so everything here but the eggs and apples was really a bit superfluous. I also know we'll gobble it up. The tat soi is for the dragon tofu. The bacon is for breakfast. The cheese is for me. I am not sharing.
gramarye1971: Bottles of wine displayed in racks (Wine)
In an effort to stave off existential dread and panic today, I decided to give into the cravings I've been having ever since Yuri!!! on Ice infiltrated my general media consciousness: I wanted a big comforting bowl of katsudon. Thanks to this baked tonkatsu recipe and this general recipe for the egg-dashi-and-onion-based broth, I was able to assemble a fairly decent version.

I'm not a fan of runny egg, so I cooked the egg for a little longer than is customary. But the tonkatsu came out very good, thanks to having purchased thin-cut porkchops and pounded them down quite a bit. I also used the excuse to crack open a bottle of Onigoroshi (Demon-slayer) sake for the broth. I have three more porkchops in the freezer now, and once I buy another onion and some more panko to replace my current stock I'll certainly be making this recipe again.

As I mentioned elsewhere on social media, it only barely helps in keeping my equilibrium, but I will take what I can get.

a week for nesting

Jan. 12th, 2017 03:19 pm[personal profile] dichroic
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

It’s been a weird week, between cold (the illness kind) and cold (the weather kind). After spending all weekend firmly planted on the couch, a roll of toilet paper and trashcan beside me to deal with the nonstop nasal discharge), Monday I worked from home because I woke up with a fever of 100.6. Tuesday I managed to get to the office, then Wednesday I was at home again for Portland’s snowpocalypse. I know they got over a foot downtown; it was probably closer to 8″ by us. Today a lot of people are still out, as is Ted who now has my cold, but I decided to come in because it was just all getting a bit silly. Since I’d have had to completely clear off his truck anyway to get my car out of the garage, I just ended up taking the truck. Its advantage is, not only does it have 4WD, but the way you drive a behemoth like that is pretty much the way you drive in snow anyway: careful gradual stops and starts, wide easy turns, no sudden movements.

Tomorrow I was supposed to take a half day off, but the thing I was taking off for is being postponed, because the cold weather will continue a few more days and many people still won’t be able to get to work. Also, between ice and illness, I think we’ll probably stay in Hillsboro instead of heading out to the lake this weekend. I have plenty to read, plus enough tea, popcorn, pretzels and yarn, so I’m good no matter what. I may even venture back onto the erg today. Or maybe tomorrow.

The weirdest thing has been that I’ve had no sense of smell for the last several days, even though most of the time I’ve been able to breathe through at least one nostril. I sniff and just smell nothing, not even very strong scents (we’ve been using a vaporizer with some Vicks’ stuff in it. I’m told its scent is overpowering but I totally can’t tell). It’s oddly disconcerting – it’s nice not to have to gag because I got too strong a whiff from the cat food sack, but I hadn’t realized how much pleasure I get from the scents of soaps, sweaters, teas, wine, and so on. My sense of taste isn’t gone, but seems to be impaired: I can taste sweet and salty just fine, along with some woody, earthy or bitter flavors, but I seem to be missing out on subtle flavors and aromatics. For instance, someone gave me a tea blend with just a hint of berries; I can taste the tea and sugar just fine, but the faint fruit flavor is gone. And either I’ve got a particularly tasteless box of pretzels going, or I can’t taste sourdough either. Last night’s shrimp and broccoli tasted fine, though, as did the supermarket sushi I had at lunch. Apparently it’s possible to look your sense of smell with a cold and have it be gone for weeks, years or forever. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen!

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

This LJ/Dreamwidth thing....

NSFW Jan. 10th, 2017 03:21 pm[personal profile] lore
lore: (...on the map)
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )
gramarye1971: floating torii at Itsukushima Shrine in Japan (Miyajima)
Day 0/0.5 - Planes and trains
Day 1 - Akita and Aomori

Part of my reason for wanting to spend several days in northern Japan had to do with one particular destination: Osorezan (恐山), which translates to something like Mount Dread or Mount Fear or Mount Doom. This remote volcanic mountain is said to be the location of the gateway to Hell in Japanese mythology, not least because of the caustic, scalding water that trickles through the rocky landscape, as sulfuric gases vent into the air from fissures in the ground. A Buddhist template sits on the site, and is sacred to Jizo, the bodhisattva who is the guardian of souls who are suffering in the six realms of existence, especially souls in Hell. I came across a description of the place several years ago when I was reading about Japanese mythology, and when I looked at some pictures of the area Osorezan shot straight to the top of my Places I Absolutely Must See in Japan list.

All aboard for the afterlife, kids. (LOTS of pictures in this one - click on images for even larger sizes!) )

Next up: Adventures and misadventures in rainy Hakodate.
okrablossom: (Yule Feast)

greeny bowl salad

There have been a number of wonderful foods lately, from this greeny bowl salad [adapted from Sprouted Kitchen Bowl & Spoon, I think I got that name right] and the rutabaga pasties [adapted from River Cottage Veg].

The best thing, though, has been cooking dinner after eating it. I recommend this. It means you're never hungry while cooking which is an enormous plus for me. It takes a moment of planning ahead, because it means that Monday night, say, you eat something you've already made, then after you eat, you cook something else so that you have dinner made for Tuesday. It had honestly never occurred to me before to invert this cooking-and-eating ordering but it has made a difference to our happiness levels. I mean, you still spend the same amount of time cooking but I'm usually in a better mood, and less tired, to do it.

I saw a recipe recently for slow-cooker pulled chicken which then suggested three recipes in which to use said chicken and I thought, I like this idea. Make enough chicken for a handful of recipes but not have to eat the same chicken dish all week? Sounds good. But their recipes just really didn't work for me, so I thought, hey, maybe you folks had some recipes for leftover chicken you'd be willing to share?

Fandom Snowflake Day 10

Jan. 10th, 2017 09:22 am[personal profile] kass
kass: John and Rodney find home in each other! (home)
In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme. (More than one is okay, too.) Tell us about it, tell us why you love it, give us some examples and recs.

There are two tropes that vie for first place in my heart, but the one that comes out on top is chosen family. I love chosen family stories -- stories (whether fic / vids, or books / movies / tv shows) where a group of oddballs who maybe never felt quite at home in their families-of-origin find each other and create a sense of family together. I see that dynamic in a lot of the shows I have loved -- Firefly, SGA, Buffy, Leverage, West Wing. And it's all over the place in the fic I have most enjoyed, though often in fic I gravitate toward the subset of chosen-family fic that takes the form of two people becoming family to each other.

And that leads to my other favorite trope, which is the first time story. The story where two people are friends, and then something shifts and their relationship becomes more than what it was. Usually when I'm writing it, there's one character carrying a torch for the other who is fearful that the other won't feel the same way -- but of course, because I write happy endings dammit, it turns out that the feelings are requited. And they decide to take a leap of faith and risk something together. And it's as though their friendship is a kaleidoscope that's been turned and all of the pieces fall into their new configuration and it is beautiful and right and there is joy.

I've been in fandom now for eighteen years (holy wow) and I'd guess that some 95% of the stories I've written since 1999 arise out of some combination of those two tropes. (Not that I write much these days, given RL whatnot, but perhaps someday that will shift again.) On a related note, I love the trope of the protagonist with an enormous heart who has maybe always been a little bit afraid that they would always be "too much" for any potential partner if they actually let themselves be all of who they are, finding someone who embraces them in all of who they are.

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