A WINNER IS ME.
I guess in a couple of hours, I'll be hypomanic/super-stable, all chronic pain will be totally gone and my sinuses will be extra SUPER clean! XDDDDDDD
(if brains are so fucking important you'd think they'd work right)
INTERNET: GUESS WHAT ANOTHER ADDICTED ARTIST WITH A MOOD DISORDER IN YOUR GENERATION DIED, WANNA GUESS HOW, GO ON, JUST GUESS
MOI: //would set shit on fire if not glued to couch
Everybody's sharing that "Hunger Strike" duet but I can't fucking listen to that right now, although they both look so joyful, it just breaks my heart. Been listening to this on repeat instead.
One promise you made
One promise that always remains
No matter the price
A promise to survive
Persevere and thrive
And dare to rise once more
and this one made me feel a little less crap.
The weather in Los Angeles is so humid at the moment, I feel like I must've inadvertently brought it back from Boston with me. I look forward to the return of our customary dry heat.
I only bought one book at the Dealers' Room: So You Want To Be a Robot by A. Merc Rustad, which I'd been looking forward to snagging, but as it does every year, Readercon greatly added to my to-read list. I attended the Shirley Jackson Awards (wearing my The Haunting of Hill House t-shirt) and cheered when The Starlit Wood won for best edited anthology. As always, there wasn't enough time to see everyone and attend everything I would've liked.
Now I am doing laundry and battling Jetlag Part 2. It is good to be home.
T: ....did you remember to take your sertraline and oxcarbazepine before 3 PM?
MOI: -- MOTHERFUCKEDY
(I should really take one of each in the morning and again in the late afternoon, but LOL I can barely remember to take ALL my pills once a day in a huge bolus, good fucking luck to my continued existence if my body ever depends on taking different medication at different times during the same day)
If you follow me on Facebook you’ll possibly have seen me periodically posting about how my neighborhood in Kenmore is overrun by wild bunnies in the summer, and this year is no exception. One of the things I quite enjoy about the walk up and down our hill when I’m doing my daily commute is looking for bunnies–whether they’re hanging out openly in someone’s yard, or ducking under bushes, or what have you.
I take pictures of them when I can. Like, say, this one!
You might notice, though, that this picture is kind of soft and fuzzy, and I mean that in a “not just because it involves a bunny” kind of way. The reason for this, I have discovered, is because the iPhone (at least up through the 6’s, as well as the non-Plus 7, according to specs on apple.com) uses digital zoom. And digital zoom gets problematic the closer in you try to zoom.
The common wisdom I’ve seen is that if you want to take a pic with an iPhone, you need to not zoom at all, and crop to get what you want. This is fine if what you’re taking a pic of is pretty close to you. Like this bunny! (This remains my very favorite bunny pic I’ve taken to date.)
But if a bunny is more than two or three feet away from you, you kinda have to zoom to shoot it. Because if you try to get closer, it will very likely sense your presence and bolt.
Which brings me to how I saw Dreamwidth friend cruisedirector posting her own bunny pics! She’s got some nice ones here and here and here, and in general, I’m rather jealous of her zooming abilities! She informed me that Samsung rather gets the credit for this, and if I google zoom specs for Samsung phones, I see things like “10x optical zoom” for the Galaxy S4 and yeah, that’d be why she’s taking better bunny pics than I am. ;D
So then I got all “so what can I do to solve this problem?”
Googling around led me to learning that there are assorted third-party lenses that have been made for the iPhone. The top two contenders I saw in my research were the Olloclip and the Moment, and of the two, camera nerds I read up on have been saying that the Moment is the superior lens.
The problem for me though is that the way the Moment works, they expect you to glue a mounting plate onto the back of your device, and screw the lens into that. I was rather dubious about this–and moreover, decided that I didn’t want to go hunting for one of these, even though I’d read in an article I found posted on the Seattle Times from 2016 that indicated that these lenses would be on sale at the Apple Store in Bellevue.
So instead I opted for the Olloclip. And specifically, I bought this thing, which gives me a telephoto lens and a wide angle one. The telephoto one is the one I’m interested in, since it gives me some optical zoom capability… 2x optical zoom as well as a shallower depth of field. It’s super-easy to pop onto the phone, and I can flip it around to use the wide angle lens. Both lenses can line up with the front and back cameras.
The one drawback here is that I do have to take the phone’s case off, but I’m okay with that.
And so far, the one thing I’m not entirely happy with is that test shots I’ve done with notable amounts of sky in them have caused there to be a bit of a dark halo effect in the corners. So to account for this, I will need to practice aiming and then cropping to get rid of that.
Also, if I change phones and want to continue to have an external lens, I’ll need a different one because this one is specifically designed for the iPhone 6. So far though I’m okay with that, too! My current phone is still perfectly lovely and I won’t be updating it in the near future.
So for now this little toy should be perfectly lovely for my bunny-photographing needs, and I will also be taking it to Quebec with me–because I’m hoping the improved zoom will let me do better at taking pics of musical performances, too. 😀
Here are a bunch of test pics I’ve done with the lens clip so far (and if the thumbnails aren’t coming through for some reason, you can find them directly on flickr here):
Happy with the purchase so far. Playing with this is already fun! Looking forward to learning more!
Mirrored from angelahighland.com.
So yeah, assuming you were paying even remote attention to the Internet yesterday, you’ll have heard that Jodie Whittaker will be our next Doctor, as of the Christmas Special this year.
Jodie Whittaker, comma, a woman.
In case you didn’t see that news before and you want mere coverage, here you go:
Doctor Who’s New Time Lord: The 13th Doctor is Jodie Whittaker and The Moment Has Been Prepared For: Jodie Whittaker and the Future of Doctor Who on Tor.com (and note that the first Tor.com link has the trailer video where Thirteen is introduced)
Naturally, the BBC has a quite a bit to say about the matter, including a bunch of commentary from assorted Doctor Who stars.
Sixth Doctor Colin Baker has a particularly tasty reaction here:
Change my dears and not a moment too soon – she IS the Doctor whether you like it or not!
— Colin Baker (@SawbonesHex) July 16, 2017
Dara had to point out to me the significance of this–this is a paraphrase of Baker’s own lines after he regenerates in The Caves of Androzani. 😀
As for me?
This is the most excited I’ve been about Doctor Who in years. I watched the intro trailer, and felt a little catch in my heart at the simple visual of a key materializing in a female hand–and the TARDIS answering to a female presence.
The idea of a woman leading the adventure, of being blindingly brilliant, of having the sort of boundless compassion that leads the Doctor over and over and over again to standing up for humanity is heady and exciting. I am very, very much looking forward to seeing Thirteen show us what she can do.
And I’m very much hoping that she’ll open the door wider to a future where anyone can truly be the Doctor. I want to see an actor of color for Fourteen, are you listening, BBC?
But until it’s time for Fourteen, I’ll be there to see what new parts of time and space Thirteen will have to show us!
Mirrored from angelahighland.com.
Snarfed off the Tor.com ebook club:
- Kushiel’s Dart, by Jacqueline Carey. Fantasy, rather renowned, and it’s been on my To Read shelf for a stupidly long time. Grabbed the ebook to up the chances I might actually eventually read this thing. ;D
And meanwhile my author friend
- Sojourn, Book 1 of her Tales of the Unearthly Northwest. Cop crashes his car and winds up in a ghost town–and his version of Brigadoon is not a carefree musical.
- Much Ado in Montana. Contemporary romance. Which, I might add, has been previously featured on Boosting the Signal!
- Cross-Country: Adventures Alone Across America and Back. Non-fiction. An account of the author’s travels across the country! If you like travelogues, you might want to check this out.
- Homesick: A Time in Yellowstone Story. This is a novella, Book 4 of her Time in Yellowstone series.
- New Year’s Eve in Conconully, another Tales of the Unearthly Northwest book.
- Reunion, the third Tales book.
24 for the year.
Mirrored from angelahighland.com.
Nicola Griffith's Slow River on an accurate recommendation from watersword. So good. Wow for the realistic abuse content, ggggnnnnnngggh for the competence in water treatment facility management scenes. I feel like people who liked China Mountain Zhang, for the personal journey stuff and the mundane futuristic scifi stuff and the emphasis on physical labor and managing complicated processes, might be likely to also like this.
(Reread) a few Tamora Pierce books from The Protector Of the Small quartet for comfort. Still comforting.
All the Birds in the Sky: finished, LOVED everything except the last 10 pages which were just okay.
Started Hild and am having a tough time getting the world into my head.
Am most of the way through Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which is fairly breezy.
A bunch of Jon Bois stuff which is SO GREAT.
In Transit, documentary, loving and unexpected. Way more about people and way less about the train itself than I thought we'd see. I had a lot of nostalgia for my times on the Empire Builder.
Schindler's List -- saw this for the first time. Stunning, of course. I'm glad I saw it on the big screen. I am glad I saw it on a Friday night when I'd had a good day and I didn't have anything in particular to do the next couple days.
Jurassic Park -- awesome and fun, maybe my 3rd or 4th time seeing it. I could probably see this once every 12-18 months.
Steven Universe -- all caught up now, love the songs, love Lion, amazed and surprised every few episodes.
A Man For All Seasons -- saw this in high school I think? So many good burns in this movie, and a fascinating portrayal of an actual conservative.
Wonder Woman -- better as an Event than as a movie (in contrast some movies don't have to be Events, like, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever or whatever). The message the movie wants to speak is in direct opposition to the basic visual and structural form of a tentpole superhero blockbuster film. But there are fun bits.
Yuri!!! On Ice -- I'm glad I saw this and I respect it a lot but I don't love it. I think that it's the restaurant that doesn't punch you in the face for a bunch of the intended audience, and I'm not part of that audience.
Leonard's podcasted conversations with our friend Lucian about 90s nostalgia -- I enjoyed Lucian's recurring "because Kurt Cobain" explanations of his teenage quirks.
But addicts don't need treatment covered by health insurance, right? We can kick it with, IDEFK, fairy dust and willpower.
~ The teacher had been given the wrong schedule and wasn't expecting me (but very graciously rearranged his plans);
~ I kept moving around the table where the kids were working on their experiments to get away from the poop smell, but there was more than one kid who smelled that way;
~ Not to mention it's stupid hot today so they all smell bad in a different way;
~ The kids were extra loud and kept wandering away from the table randomly;
~ The teachers sat on the sofa 5 feet away from the table and talked loudly (probably because the kids were so loud, but dude, seriously, you don't have to be that close, there's 8 of them and you know I can handle them as I've been teaching classes in this venue, with you as the lead teacher, for 5 years) about Marvel movies. I had to fight both the volume of their conversation and the urge to join in their conversation.
I came home for lunch with a headache, ugh. Have to go back in a few minutes and teach the younger group, who usually take their cues from the older kids.
Then I'm going to come home, take a shower, and possibly nap. Screw the to-do list. It's going to hit 99 if the forecast is right, and the little vampires have sucked out all my motivation.
FIRST LINE: //arrives
OUR HEROINE: Woohoo!
FIC: //takes a turn off to the left and is presently 1200 porn-free words of broody Angsty angst
OUR HEROINE: no wait
FIC: //more angsty, less porn, even more words
OUR HEROINE: FUCK. MY. LIFE
Hello, and thank you for signing up to write at least one of these amazing relationships! This is my first time writing for this exchange, and I'm excited to see what comes out of it. Gen fics were my gateway drug into fandom and I still love stories about platonic friendships. I'm about to go into a lot of detail, because that's the way I am, but please don't let that intimidate you. I am very flexible about everything but my DNWs; feel free to ignore most of this if you already have an idea you're excited about writing. Write something you love spending time with, and I'm sure I'll adore it, too.
( Read more... )
Thank you again for writing for me, and I hope you have a great experience!
Point of interest: I have decided to add a fifth story to the Walk the Wards book, a Kendis short I’d been playing with as a concept back before I wrote Bone Walker… and which I think now does deserve a place in this book.
Part of the reason for this is to just add a bit more length to it, to make it comparable to my other releases in word count. But part of it is also that with both a Jude story and a Kendis story in this thing, I can more legitimately call it book 2.5 of the Free Court series.
This Kendis short will be called “Diminuendo”, and is likely to be novelette-length, or maybe short story, don’t know yet, still working on it. As to what this story is about–it’ll be set between Bone Walker and Warder Soul, and will be the story of why Kendis is going to have a change of cats between those two books. More than that I will not say, because spoilers.
Relatedly, I can also report that all the other pieces in this book do in fact now have their own titles. Most of them I mentioned in this post, and to those I will add that Jude’s story is now called The Light Beyond the Gate.
Let it also be noted that Elizabeth’s, Oscar’s, and of course Caitlin’s stories are all also set in present day. Caitlin’s story is set very shortly after Faerie Blood, just long enough after that book that Christopher’s family in St. John’s have gotten the word as to what happened to him.
Let it be further noted that I’ll be reaching out to the same artist who’s done the cover for Warder Soul to do the cover for this release, too–as soon as I decide what I actually want on the cover. 😉
As of last night I’ve topped 34,000 total words written on this collection, and I’ve written about 6,000 words so far on this month’s Camp Nanowrimo effort. I continue to be hopeful about making decent progress this month!
More bulletins as events warrant!
Mirrored from angelahighland.com.
There are some people making speculative fiction right now who don't get enough mainstream attention, in my opinion, or even enough attention from the circles of feminist scifi fans I generally hang out with. Like, some of you know about them, but others don't, and if you don't, I feel an urge to shake you by the lapels as I tell you about them, to ensure you are fully aware. Like, Alexandra Petri is consistently doing really interesting speculative work in her Washington Post column. Alexandra Erin's "Women Making Bees in Public" is an amazing piece about the necessity of being fierce and spycrafty in order to be a woman, about bees, about unexpected beauty, and about doing a chunk of work every day and witnessing what emerges.
And Jon Bois does some digital humanities writing and videos (often using the lens of sports history to dig up interesting stories and statistics), and writes fiction, again, often using the lens of sports to think about meaning, uncertainty, loss, and kindness. Jed's blog post about Bois's fiction pointed me to a few of his pieces and I'm just enthralled -- The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles is 40,000+ words and is complete, and 17776 is in serialization right now (here is a MetaFilter thread where I'm discussing the chapters as they go up).
His work is so loving and he's so consistent about making connections, stories, ideas that feel immediately real and of-course-it-would-be-like-that, finding the alien in the familiar and the familiar in the alien. The humaneness, that is what I am trying to get at. I need to sleep -- I hope you give him a try.
I see their names and hold my breath. You do this when you’re a 40-something hip-hop head and you’ve glimpsed the name of an M.C. your age trending in the news. Once it might have meant tawdry scandal or legal shenanigans. Now, too often, it means someone’s been struck down. Not by bullet or blade. But by illness.
It’s like watching the return path of a deadly boomerang from our youth. That projectile picked off a cohort of young black boys via gunshot and incarceration. Now it’s having a second go around at those it missed via our blood and bones.
Also, next time I'll just buy a jar of artichoke hearts. The one I deconstructed was a PITA and I felt like I was throwing too much of it away because I've never done that before.
The best part: opening a nice bottle of white wine to cook with that is also verrrryyyyy drinkable.