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For those who don't know, my dog Clara is the most energetic, pestiferous, pushy, bratty, annoying, trouble-making little knee-high creature I have ever encountered. She makes up for it by also being the most loving and affectionate animal I have ever known.

I was on a run with the dogs today when a passerby stopped me and asked to meet them. This happens from time to time, and they love people, so I just issue a warning that Clara jumps and then let them make friends. So she petted Streak and Clara and then went on her way. By this time we were walking the last stretch toward home, and the woman we'd just met was running, so of course Clara tried to take off after her.

"Clara, walk nice!" I said. "Try not to gag yourself on the leash, hm?"

Our new friend turned back. "I'm sorry, but what's her name?"


"Oh." She was walking back to us by then. "My dog was named Clara, too. I had to have her put to sleep yesterday. She was fifteen and a rescued dog."

And my little pest, besides being generally affectionate, is very good at providing extra love when someone really needs it. She wiggled right up to the other Clara's mama and licked her hands and looked up with her big brown eyes, and both of us humans started crying.

"Thank you," she said, before she went on with her run. "It's kind of nice, for New Year's Day."

Miriam and I call it, "Clara magic." That absolute and unconditional love and affection that can improve even the worst possible day, and that makes it worth dealing with her sensitive stomach and unreasonable amount of shedding and all the brattiness. I'm glad she got to share the Clara magic with someone else who needed it.


Merry Christmas

Happy Christmas, friends!

I got a fantastic Magids fic for Yuletide! And books and t-shirts and workout equipment and candy and coffee for Christmas!

Also, I made M. a Doctor Who scarf (my sister-in-law made the Tardis cross-stitch in the photo), which is finally finished! Well, it still needs a fringe, but the body of the scarf is done.

I got to see both my parents and Brad and Janet and Cute Nephew last night, but it was overwhelming because there were ~10 members of Janet's extended family there, too, and also two babies, and their house isn't really big enough for all that. "Breakfast for dinner" as a holiday meal is brilliant, except it meant our hosts were cooking for two hours while the rest of us drank and made awkward conversation. Mostly it was good though.

Today I need to do some boring household stuff, but also M. and I have big plans to watch ALL the Doctor Who Christmas specials.

Dreamwidth and LJ

I have both! I'm going back to crossposting to both for now. If we have each other friended one place but not the other, let's fix that! (And if I don't have you friended at all and you'd like me to, drop a comment!)

my Dreamwidth
my LiveJournal

I don't feel like talking about the politics of all this just now, because I've had a difficult couple of days and it's Christmas Eve-Eve and I prefer to think about puppies and knitting and food and Doctor Who. (ETA: And Sherlock. *flails*) Cool?

I also have a Tumblr, which does not mirror the other two. It tends toward the shallow and pictorial, with lots of foods, cute animals, pretty ladies, and "Texts from [fictional place]" reblogs. You can follow me there if you like!


Fortune and Fate

Six months later, I've finally finished Fortune and Fate. Yay!

thoughts. spoilers. i like it.Collapse )
And why do all the Enterprise-D crewmembers have sons rather than daughters, anyway? There's Wesley and Alexander, plus Troi and Picard each have a one episode "son." The only exception is Data's one episode positronic child, who chooses to be a human female.

So possibly I need to write fic in which Geordi's ex is assigned to the enterprise and brings along an eight-year-old daughter. So there.

Better yet if she's all about the martial arts and wants to be a security officer when she grows up, because it would be fun to write Geordi and Worf commiserating about how they just don't understand their kids.

Possibly the little girl will be on the Enterprise with her mama and step-mom, to keep kid!fic from bogging down in "do they or don't they get back together?" and also as an excuse to write more female characters.

Yeah, this plot has legs.

*needs a Geordi icon*
Have I mentioned my love for lentils? I love lentils.

Let me tell you about this thing I've been eating for dinner this week.

  • box of whole wheat pasta (14 to 16 oz)
  • can (28 oz?) of Progresso lentil soup (which is too highly salted for me to want to eat on its own)
  • smaller can (16 oz?) of not-very-interesting tomato sauce/spaghetti sauce
  • 3 cups total diced veggies (onions, celery, peppers)
  • spoonful of garlic
  • little bit of vegetable oil
  • finely shredded Parmesan-type cheese

Saute the diced veggies for a few minutes with the oil. Add the garlic. Cook until they start to brown. Add the soup and the tomato sauce. Simmer ~10 minutes.

Cook the pasta, drain, serve with the lentil-tomato stuff as a sauce. Garnish with cheese.

The bland tomato sauce and over-salted lentils balance each other nicely, the lentils provide extra protein in a cheap, vegetarian mostly-out-of-the-pantry meal, and fresh garlic & red peppers always make me happy. Nom. (I even got the red peppers on clearance for $1 a pound; I diced and froze them all and will be enjoying them for the rest of the year at least.)

A pasta recipe again. I know. I like pasta!
What I was going to say on Friday:



I picked the wrong time to go poke the Mastiff board at Goldenlake. Now I'm two-thirds of the way through the book, spoiled, distressed, and too tired to finish reading tonight.

Also my knee hurts.

Now that it's Monday, I've been finished with Mastiff for two days and I'm still reeling. I loved it, even though it broke both my brain and my heart into itty bitty pieces. I dreamed about it Saturday night -- I think I was Beka in the dream? I'm not sure. Anyway, I'll put up a longer post on that if/when I can get my thoughts in some kind of order. For now, have a warning: likely spoilers in comments.

My knee still hurts, casualty of a 6.7 mile run/walk on Friday. But it was so worth it, just because there was a stretch of a couple of miles in the middle where it felt like we could run forever. I haven't had that feeling since... early October, maybe? It was grand.

I'm getting in the habit of stretching again, which is why it was possible to go so far at all. During the summer I was cross-training by biking 1-2 days a week, and I stopped stretching before runs because it didn't seem to make any difference. It does now. I'm going through some basic leg stretches before and after running, as well as in the morning on days I don't run and before bed every day, and the leg pain that plagued me through most of November is gone.

Other things that are gone/done, or nearly so:
  • NaNoWriMo (I finished November 29).
  • The suspense over what happens in Mastiff.
  • Ficmas fics (the one I wrote, and the awesome one written for me).
  • The owners of my company (out of the country from the past weekend until late March of 2012! Which will make all of our lives so much easier!)
  • College football season and the ridiculous weekends it brings me (last game was November 26).
  • My epic rewatch of Star Trek: The Next Generation (I have just six episodes to go and the next two days off work).
  • The little monsters I'm knitting for the out-of-state nephews (should have them done by Wednesday, too).

Meaning... I don't quite know what I'm going to do with myself. I have other holiday giftie stuff to knit, and I just acquired a book that gives awesome detailed instructions on knitting sweaters to fit boobs and other curves, so I am not going to be bored. But I have to/get to make some decisions!

Speaking of: I need to settle on a new show, too. Candidates include:
  • the original Star Trek
  • Deep Space Nine
  • Supernatural
  • Jeremiah
  • Dollhouse
  • the rest of Missing

Comments from the peanut gallery?

Er, sometime I need to get serious about reading source material for Yuletide, too. Maybe Wednesday? And sometime I need to put together an episode guide for Guinan episodes for where_no_woman.

Or, you know, I could reread Mastiff and then write heaps of fic for it instead of doing anything else, ever. That would be cool, too.

Dec. 1st, 2011

As I just said in a comment on q_sama's journal, MY BRAIN IS ALL MASTIFF ALL THE TIME! I expect to finish it by Saturday and then I can return to Pierce fandom with all my flailing and commentary. :D

Well, also part of my brain is mega-ridiculous-work-stress with a side of, "dammit, why did I schedule myself to go in for one day in the middle of my time off?" And part of it is worryworryworry because Miriam has a bad cold that is likely to become bronchitis or worse. And part of it is headache/nausea because I really should have eaten actual meals today instead of just soup, apples, chocolate and wine.

So you see why I prefer to binge-read Mastiff and hide from all the rest.

I love Beka Cooper so freaking much, and I love Achoo, and now I see why so many people requested Farmer fic for Ficmas, and apparently I'm not waiting until I finish the book to begin flailing. Mastiff!

*clears throat*
Post fic-exchange season, it may be necessary for me to write some Geordi and Data fic. Or Geordi/Data. Regardless, there will be one about Geordi attempting to train Data's cat. BECAUSE. PET!FIC IN SPACE.

Relatedly, guess who just got the whole entire series of TNG at 70% off from Amazon.com's pre-Black Friday sale? Awwwwww yeah!

Good day is good!

Day off has resulted in 5300 more words on the NaNoWriMo novel -- so I am now caught up to within 100 words of today's goal! -- and a 5.4 mile run/walk with the puppies, among other things.

Now enjoying all-natural pecan pie, Ginger in the Rye beer -- both thanks to my wonderful, wonderful best friend, TardisAlert -- and soon to be watching Sherlock!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow but I'm feeling the thankfulness already. ♥

Nov. 21st, 2011


I'm very excited about my assignment! It is the crackiest of the crack and I will have so much fun with it!

In typical fashion, though, I just ordered two items I've never experienced before and plan to familiarize myself with at least one of them and then write fic. Yeah, IDEK. It's just that people write such fascinating requests that make me go, "Yes! I want to read that story!" even if I'm not familiar with the canon itself yet.

So I hope to get two things started and then see which one pans out best. If things go very well, I will post them both.

Dear Yule Goat

Dear writer,

Thank you so much for signing up to write for me! I'm so excited, and I'm sure I'll love whatever you chose to write! If you'd like some ideas or suggestions, though,read onCollapse )


Save the Internet. It's kind of a big deal.

Originally posted by nyxmidnight at Save the Internet. It's kind of a big deal.

PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

BoingBoing.Net -- The MPAA, RIAA, Hollywood knows that they have been flying in CEOs of as many companies as possible, recruiting people to get petition signups at malls in California, and here's the big point-- they know they have gotten their message through to Congress -- the worst bill in Internet history, the one where government and their corporations get unbelievable power to take down sites, threaten payment processors into stopping payment to sites on a blacklist, and throw people in jail for posting ordinary content is about to pass before the end of this year. The only thing that is going to stop Hollywood from owning the Internet and everything we do, is if there is a big surprise Internet backlash starting right now.

PROTECT IP (S. 968)/SOPA (HR. 3261) creates the first system for Internet censorship - this bill has sweeping provisions that give the government and corporations leeway and legal cover for taking down sites "by accident," mistakenly, or for NOT doing "enough" to protect the interests of Hollywood. These bills that are moving very quickly through Congress and can pass before Christmas aim to give the US government and corporations the ability to block sites over infringing links posted by their users and give ISPs the release to take any means to block peoples' sites, including slowing down your connection. That's right, some say this bill is a workaround to net neutrality and is bigger than net neutrality.

This is the worst piece of Internet legislation in history - the lawmakers who have been sponsoring (Leahy, Lamar Smith, Conyers) this bill need to be shamed by the Internet community for wasting taxpayer dollars on a bill that would break the very fabric of the Internet, create an Internet blacklist, kill jobs and great startup companies, huge blogs, and social networks.

How this affects you, personally:

EFF.org -- Let’s make one thing clear from the get-go: despite all the talk about this bill being directed only toward “rogue” foreign sites, there is no question that it targets US companies as well. The bill sets up a system to punish sites allegedly “dedicated to the theft of US property.” How do you get that label? Doesn’t take much: Some portion of your site (even a single page) must
  1. be directed toward the US, and either
  2. allegedly “engage in, enable or facilitate” infringement or
  3. allegedly be taking or have taken steps to “avoid confirming a high probability” of infringement.

If an IP rightsholder (vaguely defined – could be Justin Bieber worried about his publicity rights) thinks you meet the criteria and that it is in some way harmed, it can send a notice claiming as much to the payment processors (Visa, Mastercard, Paypal etc.) and ad services you rely on.

Once they get it, they have 5 days to choke off your financial support. Of course, the payment processors and ad networks won’t be able to fine-tune their response so that only the allegedly infringing portion of your site is affected, which means your whole site will be under assault. And, it makes no difference that no judge has found you guilty of anything or that the DMCA safe harbors would shelter your conduct if the matter ever went to court. Indeed, services that have been specifically found legal, like Rapidshare, could be economically strangled via SOPA. You can file a counter-notice, but you’ve only got 5 days to do it (good luck getting solid legal advice in time) and the payment processors and ad networks have no obligation to respect it in any event. That’s because there are vigilante provisions that grant them immunity for choking off a site if they have a “reasonable belief” that some portion of the site enables infringement.

At a minimum, this means that any service that hosts user generated content is going to be under enormous pressure to actively monitor and filter that content. That’s a huge burden, and worse for services that are just getting started – the YouTubes of tomorrow that are generating jobs today. And no matter what they do, we’re going to see a flurry of notices anyway – as we’ve learned from the DMCA takedown process, content owners are more than happy to send bogus complaints. What happened to Wikileaks via voluntary censorshipStop the Internet Blacklist Legislation will now be systematized and streamlined – as long as someone, somewhere, thinks they’ve got an IP right that’s being harmed.

Stop the Internet Blacklist Legislation

Writer's Block: It's payday!

What would you do if you had a million dollars?

Ohhhh, have I thought about this one!

  • Pay off my debts and Miriam's, mortgage included
  • Sell donate my gas-guzzling vehicle and replace it with the most fuel efficient vehicle I can find that will accommodate 2 or 3 largish dog crates in the back
  • Invest at least half of the million; use it as necessary for unexpected expenses -- for my household and/or to help my parents
  • Get a moped for commuting/solo trips and learn to ride it. Or maybe a Smart Car, not sure about this
  • Get a puppy
  • Get a tattoo of a compass rose with my favorite Dar Williams quote snaking around the outside of the symbol
  • Visit my sister in Hawaii, my friends in Alaska (bring Miriam along for that part of the trip), and littlemissgriff in Texas -- not all at once, necessarily, but during the next year
  • Redo my kitchen
  • Fix our busted central air conditioning system
  • Go to the dentist and get everything taken care of that needs it
  • Without a mortgage or a credit card payment, I can start investing for retirement out of my paychecks and I can make the charitable donations I always want to make but often don't
  • Look for a new job! Without debts, I can take something that starts at a lower rate of pay and work my way up again, so it's worth looking

Recipe Help?

I'm supposed to come up with a couple of Indian cuisine specials by Tuesday and I know next to nothing about Indian cooking. One of the pub's owners requested gobi Manchurian -- battered cauliflower with "spicy Manchurian sauce" -- which sounds doable. I think I'll serve that as an appetizer, so now I need a soup and an entree. The entree should be vegetarian, or something that can easily be served in a vegetarian and, say, a chicken version.

So hey, friends, would anyone be willing to help me with links or ideas? I would love you forever! Also, I offer up cooking advice and/or recipes for American, American-vegetarian, and Mexican cuisine as a trade (or just because).


I am well enough to contemplate Doing Things again!

I spent almost all of yesterday in bed watching TV, sneezing and knitting. I didn't even write, didn't walk dogs, didn't do anything.

If I can write 4000 words today and another 4000 tomorrow, I'll be back where I want to be. I think I should be able to catch up on the around-the-house stuff by tomorrow, too.

I'll be even further behind at work, since I went home six hours early yesterday, but that's just too bad.

I'm thinking about Yuletide, trying to decide if I want to participate this year. I just saw The Secret of Moonacre (and why isn't it Moon Acre anyway?), which is the sort of not-quite-fairy-tale kind of thing I always request, but this time in movie form (since I haven't been great with reading books lately).

OR I COULD REQUEST TWELVE HOUSES FIC! Lisa, Kit, Rosie, Elscy, are any of you up for Yuletide this year? It would be lovely if a few of us could request and/or offer in this fandom!

Other candidates include the books Will Grayson Will Grayson, Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes/The Last Little Blue Envelope, and Five Children and It, or the TV show Missing.

... which kind of answers that question: yes, it seems likely that I'm doing Yuletide this year.

writing and life updates

Well, I made it through Friday closing/Saturday early shift/Sunday morning one last time and henceforth I can unload the Friday closing shift on new supervisor R. I cannot even express how happy that makes me. I absolutely hate that Friday closing shift, particularly because I've effectively been short staffed since D.'s last day -- I've been unable to schedule a middle-of-the-day catch-all/support person to back me up. Now things can return to normal, meaning I'll be the mid day catch-all person, and someone else can handle the direct supervising and closing-up at the end of the night.

Unfortunately I am sick. Snuffly, scratchy throat, more irritable than usual, skin feeling sensitive and itchy, food sounding terrible, no sense of smell kind of sick. No running for me this week, then. I wish I could call in sick today, but orders have to get placed, at least. Anyway, I'm sure it's just a cold that will go away soon.

The big good news is the writing! My NaNo story is at 8000 words! My original goal was just to write my smallfandombang, and I ought to have the 10,000 words for that by... tonight, if all goes as planned. The story's not halfway told, though, so obviously I'll keep going until it is. If it gets done before 50,000 words, I'll start on another story within the same series -- which may be cheating, yes, but you know, I'm okay with that.

I'm drawing on an idea I started in summer of 2010. When there's talk about, "How would you do movie adaptations?" in Pierce fandom, I always say that Circle of Magic should be a TV show instead. So what I'd like to is write a series of long-ish fics that take place in Summersea, post Will of the Empress, and follow our four protagonists as they solve magic-based crimes and mysteries, have romances, sort out their career plans, and generally go about their lives. I made a lot of progress on the first installment, but somehow never finished it, so I hope to go back to that story. The one I'm writing at the moment is a later installment -- let's call it the second, unless I have a particular reason to move it. I also have a couple of key OCs I've introduced in drabbles and ficlets elsewhere, and they need to somehow be introduced within the main story.

So that's what I'm doing. Here's how: I haven't outlined anything. I have a short page of notes and details to include later in the story, but that's it. I don't know who my villain is; I just yesterday figured out what's causing the big problem Our Heroes are trying to solve. I'm probably going to re-order everything. I'm probably going to scrap half of what I've written so far. I'm not even clear on who my POV character is (but that might be all right, for Circle of Magic fic). And I'm good with all of this! I'm having fun. Last night I knocked out 2000 words in less than two hours. The words just come. I have no doubt that I'm capable of getting to 50,000 words by the end of the month. And the story will come together in its own way. Editing the thing will be a whole other adventure, but there's no need to stress about that now. It'll happen. Or maybe it won't, but that's okay too.

Contrast last year, when I had spreadsheets and outlines and was hell-bent on winning. I did win, and I'm pretty happy with my story, and it was a really, really good learning experience. One of the things I learned is that outlines and shit are not for me. So I'm taking a completely different approach this time, and I fucking love the experience so far.

Nov. 2nd, 2011

Okay, cracky Emelan long!fic is officially begun. So far I have a litter of puppies who look like Little Bear, a mysterious droughtwort failure, Briar and at least two girls freaking out over it, and Tris magically spying on the herb sellers and discovering other herbs are also affected. Daja, supposedly my main character, has barely made an appearance. But. This is NaNo and I'm just gonna go with it!

I'm PeroxidePirate there, too, if anyone would like to be writing buddies.

Mississippi Personhood Amendment

The following was originally posted by gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment.

Okay, so I don't usually do this, but this is an issue near and dear to me and this is getting very little no attention in the mainstream media.

Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.

Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.

What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.

The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.

So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.

If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.

What to do?

- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.

- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.

- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.

- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.


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