schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
I'm sick, and it sucks. I especially hate the timing because during my skiing vacation I felt full of energy and I was hoping that it would carry over to when I'm back, instead this. I should be fine in a few days, at least.

To distract myself I'm half watching, half listening to more Critical Role. Thoughts on episodes 36-45 )

In hockey news, Sid got his 1000th point and then a beautiful OT goal on a fantastic pass by Geno, these two together are just so great. But Olli is out six weeks and Jeff Schultz may also be injured >.< On top of all the other injuries, joy. The trade deadline is soon and it will be very stressful, fuck. Hopefully before that the Pens win the outdoor game against Philly.
schneefink: (ahsoka)
I got home from a vacation at my grandparents' on Friday. The weather was warmer than I'd hoped, but LB and I had four great skiing days :) The snow was great, the visibility was mostly fine, there was little wind and it wasn't too cold, and there were few people on the slopes. Skiing is awesome. I have very pretty pictures, but I'm too lazy to upload them right now, maybe later.
I also got rejections from jobs I applied for and had a braindead day yesterday. Today probably would have been the same, except DD&I met with Lisa&Nati and Mark&Alina to play Cards Against Humanity; L&N didn't have the cards so we just hung out with food, also nice. Dates with bacon, lightly fried, are delicious.
I still feel good about the coming week because skiing was great & I had the energy for it, including getting up earlier than usual and plus socializing and doing some editing work for my friends' company in the afternoon/evenings, so the energy is there and I just need to use it.

I started watching Critical Role. Why oh why did I think it was a good idea to start watching a canon with 80+ episodes of on average ~4 hours each. I mean I know why, it's because I kept seeing recs about how great it is and I was looking for something new to watch/listen to and I'd recently (over a year ago now, wow) started playing D&D myself, but I didn't plan on getting into a canon so large. Not that finding new fandoms ever goes as planned.

I tried watching/listening to the first episode twice, but got distracted, so following recommendations I found I started with episode 24, the Briarwood arc. Ep24 has a great cliffhanger, and after the first big fight I was hooked. The stakes were high, there was a lot of tension but also hilarious weird stuff, there were many feelings and also character development. I just finished episode 35 and I enjoyed it a lot so far.

Some moments that stuck in my mind )

The format – live-streamed D&D – does have some disadvantages, like occasional pacing issues, but the extra tension that comes from important dice rolls can be pretty intense. Watching CR live must be something. Ugggh catching up will take so long. I wish I was better at staying away from spoilers, I already know of many important developments in the most recent episodes. It's a long time until then though.
schneefink: picture of Relena looking at the viewer (GW Relena)
I watched Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" yesterday (yay Disney movie nights with friends!) and enjoyed it a lot. I liked Phoebus a lot more than I expected, starting from his fight with Esmeralda in the cathedral, and at the end I was surprised how much I wanted to read the continuing adventures of Esmeralda&Quasimodo&Phoebus.

Frollo was scary, an excellent villain.
- in a position of power
- convinced he's a better person than everyone else – his villain song literally starts with that:
"Beata Maria / you know I am a righteous man / of my virtue I am justly proud. / Beata Maria / You know I'm so much purer than / the common, vulgar, weak, licentious crowd." Great villain song.
- hatred of a specific ethnicity and the desire to destroy them
- delights in power games and sees people only in the sense of how they can be of use to him
- has command of a military force, which mostly goes along with the immoral actions, and when one of them refuses he declares him a traitor
- is convinced none of his mistakes are his fault
- has no problem with casual killing
- preys after a woman
- uses his powers ruthlessly in pursuit of personal goals
- can only be destroyed when the whole town rebels.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

The happy ending in the movie is nice, but I couldn't help but worry that the King or another higher authority wouldn't be at all happy with citizens resisting a minister and there's a good chance of repercussions, especially for Esmeralda's people. I don't think Phoebus is likely to get a pardon (maybe, depending on the next minister, but the odds are worse if he keeps associating with Esmeralda), so now he'll be an outcast too, certainly not an easy transition. And if Quasimodo gets implicated in the rebellion/Frollo's death, he might be considered a criminal too, though the priest would probably try to protect him. In any case, plenty of future story potential.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
On Saturday I finally watched Moana (Vaiana here, apparently because of copyright issues?) The rest of the day was a completely surreal mix of listening to the Moana soundtrack on repeat, and following the awful news from the US on Twitter. For a few hours in the evening I was at a summer choir camp reunion party, it was like a strange bubble. Then I came home and continued following the news, and also watched the first half of the NHL All-Star Game. Weird mix of fun and ineffective distraction, strange contrast.
The political news is infuriating and terrifying and exhausting and I don't even want to imagine being someone more directly affected by it. Thoughts and prayers.

Speaking of prayers, today in the morning I went to church, for the first time in a while and for the first time in the parish nearby. I just really wanted to hear in person someone tell a community to do the right thing. And it worked, kind of. The priest didn't talk about anything political in detail, but there were strong themes of how following Christ means helping others and helping the weak, even when it's hard work and doesn't offer an immediate reward. (That so many US Republicans call themselves Christians is unbelievable.)
Afterwards I went to the after-mass coffee&cake get-together and talked to a few people, it was nice. (On one of the tables, next to some flyers, lay "Fifty Shades of Grey" o.o) I'm not very, almost not at all religious right now, but I made an appointment with the priest to talk about some of the issues that I have and I look forward to what comes of it.

I really need to write at least one job application today. But, even though I know it's silly, it feels so, idk, strange to apply for trivial jobs while so many important and terrible things are happening. And it's very easy to get distracted.

First though, more nice procrastination: Moana! I loved it, it's a great film and I'm very happy that I saw it in the cinema. It's pretty, the music is fantastic, the story is nice. not really spoilers but still. )
schneefink: picture of Relena looking at the viewer (GW Relena)
I told myself not to care about it, I knew it would be stupid, I'm trying not to care, but I'm still annoyed about the NHL's stupid Top 100 players list. No Geno! No Thornton, or Iginla, and instead Toews and Keith and that other Blackhawks asshole. Bad list. If they had to have too many Blackhawks, couldn't they at least have chosen Hossa? I know it wasn't his choice, but I hope Toews is terribly embarrassed about being chosen, because he does not deserve it at all.

Better things to care about: D&D. Battle! Rocks fall. )

I love my character so much <3 By now she's powerful too, and will soon become even more so. I'm trying to decide what color her robes are so I can picture her better. (Something with color but not too flashy. She's made of light grey stone, her cat is grey and her beetle mostly-black chitin; many of her spells are fire spells but she's learning more about necromancy. Maybe pale gold, with maybe dark red embroidery? Colors are hard.)
schneefink: (Kaylee with umbrella shiny)
I saw several people in my dw circle post about "The Good Place": apparently the season finale had an amazing twist, and that made me curious. It's very short so far, 13 episodes with half an hour each, so I decided to check it out.
Now some people, knowing that there was a twist coming, might try to watch carefully for clues and try to figure out what was coming. But I decided not to because it made watching more relaxed, and I wouldn't get attached to any theories that might turn out to be wrong and might spoil the surprise twist. It worked out well.

Spoilers )
schneefink: (Fleury)
After getting a short intro to HTML and CSS last weekend, this weekend I got a crash course in JavaScript. Coding is fun! …provided in the end things work as intended. At first I thought the most frustrating thing is looking for a mistake for a long time and then finding out it is a stupid typo in the easiest line, but later I learned that even more frustrating is a bug that our teachers couldn't solve or even explain either and that meant I couldn't complete the last two exercises. (Tbf it would probably have been less annoying if the teachers had approached it better.)
Despite that, the teachers told me they think I have a talent for coding. They said that I seem to understand it quickly and also ask the right kind of questions, and they encouraged me to keep doing it. Always nice to get compliments :) Who knows, maybe I really will study it a bit more.

Last D&D session a new player joined us – and next week he might not be able to make it, and then he'll be on vacation for three weeks, so I don't think the timing is very good… Eh. If he keeps playing the party will have another primary spellcaster; we're pretty magic heavy, I hope that won't turn out to be a problem at some point. Well we already know that the extremely powerful Citadel's view of talented magic users is "with us or against us" and the latter don't tend to survive very long, so there will definitely be repercussions.
Other things that happened last session: theft and surprise attacks )

For the first time in a while, today I managed to watch a complete Penguins hockey game in real-time :D It is so much fun, especially when like today they're winning. The first line is so great <3 Sid and the kids. Conor Sheary is smoking hot, indeed. Sid is so amazing to watch – that pass on the Rust goal, whoa. On sequences where he doesn't score too, that don't show up on highlight reels so much. Best player in the world.
Geno is also amazing, though he wasn't as outstanding today as he can be (and he took another stupid minor penalty, as he tends to do.) He and Sid seem to take turns with who looks better any given night. The chances that at one point this season the two of them could be #1 and #2 in the scoring race are not bad :)

I have many plans for tomorrow, fingers crossed.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
A bit late, but: In my fandom_stocking I got great recipe and story and vid recs, and great stories :)
In the Hour of the Ox by [personal profile] naye, a Nirvana in Fire canon-divergence hopefully-fix-it with Lin Chen and Jingyan and absent MCS being very much themselves (with all that entails *facepalm*); and
Tubbs, In Repose by [personal profile] nenya_kanadka, a fun and adorable Steerswoman/Neko Atsume crossover.

Yesterday I played Cards Against Humanity with friends and we had a fantastic time. I'm also a bit proud of myself: in the past often most of the time I've been invited by my friends to do stuff, and for a while now I've wanted to initiate doing stuff together more often from my side, so the friendship is more equal in practice too. I organized the game on Thursday and it turned out great, and the people I introduced to each other got on as well as I hoped they would. I hope I'll be able to do it more often :)

Every once in a while, when people in my dw circle post about what they've read in a week, I'm amazed at how many books they read. Those are weird moments, because I'm a fast reader and I read a lot. And then I think back to how many novel-length fics I read each week and it makes sense again.

I had a therapy session on Monday that felt fairly brutal, but I've been more active in my job search this week than in many previous weeks so she probably knows what she's doing.

After the HTML+CSS basic course last weekend, this weekend I'm being introduced to JavaScript. I'm looking forward to it, even though I'm sorry to miss the Woman's March in Vienna, and I know I'll be exhausted on Monday. D&D on Saturday is not ideal, but I'll make it somehow. At least today is my dad's birthday party and there will be cake. And maybe I'll finally get around to trying out the smoothie machine my roommate Nadine got for New Year's.
schneefink: (Feldgatter)
I recently finished the "Nightrunners" series by Lynn Flewelling. It was fun! I liked the earlier books better (it took me a while to even finish the last one, but it was a nice series ending.) The books have great h/c, a lot of it that felt "just like in fic," and some that would be OTT even for many fanfics. I liked the relationship between the main characters a lot.
Spoilers )

For some reason I thought of the "Tales of the Otori" series again that I read many years ago, and I feel like rereading it just so I can write, or at least imagine, fix-it fic for "Harsh Cry of the Heron."
Other next stories on my to-read list: "A long way to a small, angry planet", "Stories of the Raksura", and several long fics.

I was unexpectedly offered to take an html+css class for free this weekend. I feel too tired to actively look forward to it, but it could be interesting, and it'll probably look good on my CV. I'm curious where it'll start, because I know a little bit of html but I have no clue how much "everyone" knows.

Snowflake challenge, day 13: In your own space, write about a moment in fandom that meant a lot to you.
Technically no fannish content, but definitely in fandom: May 26, 2013 (wow, over three and a half years ago), when everything I hadn't been coping with somehow got me to a keyboard and ask for a much-needed hug, and the responses to that gave me the strength to finally get the help I needed. I probably would have gone to a therapist eventually, but I don't know how much longer it would have taken, and having that encouragement and support helped a lot. Ever since then I've known that when I need something like that I can get it, and that's worth so much.
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
I've been having a few bad days for no reason, and some of the usual support methods (I went climbing, I met with friends, I baked, I went to the zoo) didn't help either. (I made it to the top of the climbing wall twice! On the easiest route, but still. Now I know I can do it, and fortunately next time we're bouldering again.) So it's probably a good time for #8 of the Snowflake challenge: Make a list of at least three things that you like about yourself..

- I have an active&creative imagination. I'm good at creating worlds and characters, I'm good at entering different worlds and expanding on them, I'm not bad at creating stories, I can come up with weird stuff on the fly, and I enjoy it.
- I'm smart. Not exceptionally so or anything, but smart enough that I always approach problems with the attitude that I can understand them if I try, and solve them if I try hard.
- I try to think critically about important issues, and even more importantly, I'm willing to change my mind when confronted with better arguments.
- I like how I feel music, the way I can feel it when I sing or dance.
- I can be good company. I can be entertaining and funny.
- I think I give good hugs.

D&D puzzle

Jan. 8th, 2017 09:47 pm
schneefink: (FF Kaylee in hammock)
We spent about an hour past midnight at the last D&D session trying to come up with a solution for the scenario below. Usually I wouldn't involve people from outside our party, but in this case the DM already admitted that he planned for this situation to be unsolvable, so I think asking for brainstorming help just in case there is a solution after all is fine in this one case.

We are trying to save a town. )

I think these were the important details. Ideas welcome :)

This was my procrastination for the day (instead of the official session summary that I should be doing.) I also made very good chocolate muffins, and tomorrow I plan to make a banana topping and introduce myself with cupcakes to the neighbours that I don't know yet despite living in this house for a year and a half. Somehow I never got around to it.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
I went ice-skating on Saturday, for the first time in about ten months. The weather was great and the natural body of water near my parents is frozen over. I still can't do the things I couldn't do a year ago and I can't do some of the things anymore that I could, which was completely predictable but I was still disappointed. My usual problem while skating is that I'm too timid to fully commit to the movements, and when I don't even have protective gear on it's even worse. One day! In the meantime I'm reminded that when you fall down from the climbing wall there are thick mats to prevent bruises, and on the ice there aren't. During a game I don't usually notice, but it's annoying afterwards. Plus, natural ice is more uneven and the danger of falling is greater. Clearly I need more practice, or it'll be embarrassing when I sign up for another hockey class.

Noragami chapter 72, finally! Spoilers )

We had another D&D session on Friday :) In this new timeline the gods are alive, and we're not sure if that's a good thing because it looks like most of them are jerks. Also the NPC we sent back in time has started an industrial revolution.
Next decision we have to make: do we risk angering a major god, or even provoking outright war, to save a town of 100,000 that that god wants to destroy? And if we do, what's the best way to do it? I'm still looking for other ways to save the town but time is running out... Asking for ideas and help here is probably cheating, right? But then my character _is_ smarter than I am.

Our DM got me an amazing late Christmas present *_* A shirt with an adorable drawing of a cat on it that says "I'm harmless, I swear", and in the dark the kitten has a glowing skull <3 Perfect.
schneefink: Parker grinning, from First David Job (Parker smiling before jumping off a buil)
Hi new friends! I'm too lazy to do an intro post right now (also I never know what to say), so I'll talk more about my evil undead cat familiar instead. (That's probably also more indicative of the kind of stuff I usually post about, so honest advertising.) Some highlights from the last few D&D sessions:

Also we are now in a different timeline. )

First session in three weeks hopefully soon! I still need to finish choosing new spells after reaching a new level. At first that was always fun, but by now I'm more anxious about picking the right ones so it's harder. Still, I look forward to using my new abilities :) I haven't once used Animate Dead yet, my cat is becoming impatient. (I even have a complete Shrunk troll skeleton in my bag that I could use…)
schneefink: picture of Relena looking at the viewer (GW Relena)
This was kind of a weird year for me.

Fannish Things )

Non-fannish things )

Plans for next year:
- Get a job. This is important.
- Go on at least one date. I haven't been on a date in years.
- Expect more from myself. For some time now it's been too tempting to settle on what I know I can handle, energy-wise, instead of trying for more and risk failure, and it's a dangerous trend towards stagnancy.
- find a new choir
- be more active about spending time with friends
- do sports twice a week
- write more/more regularly
- spend less time in bed in the mornings (seriously, it's getting bad.)

As always, I can't express the many ways in which being part of the fannish community, specifically on DW, has helped me and enriched my life this past year. Thank you all so much. 2017 threatens to be challenging, but nevertheless I wish you and your loved ones good fortune, health, courage, and joy.

2017, day 1

Jan. 1st, 2017 07:56 pm
schneefink: (A:tla group hug)
Happy 2017!
I celebrated New Year's Eve with Lio&Maria and Lisa&Nati, and Maria tried out about ten or so different cocktails, yum. Three other people showed up for a while and drew Lio into a discussion on politics, and I hated that on the last day of 2016 while I wanted to play a game and enjoy myself I couldn't help but hear someone argue on the other side of the room that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were equally bad options. Bleh. Fortunately they left before midnight. We sang a bit (including to Level Up and This Year), and after midnight we played four rounds of cards and I won all of them :) I came home so late that I narrowly missed OT of the Pens-Habs game, but the Pens won so that was good too.

I wrote two stories for Yuletide this year:
See Your Silhouette for [personal profile] lilacsigil
Fandom: Gladiator – Dami Im
1.3k, background White Warrior/Princess
Summary: She hadn't seen the Princess in fifty years.
My assignment. It was pretty frustrating because the prompts were good and I had ideas, but it was hard to put them together into a story, and at some point I planned something much longer and more complex before I condensed it to its current length. It probably made the story better, but there were a few elements I'm sorry I lost.

Step Forward for [ profile] alessandriana
Fandom: Nirvana in Fire
1.6k, gen, canon-divergent AU
Summary: Jingyan had known this day would come, but for years xiao-Shu had done him the favor of allowing him not to think about it.
The first time I actually finished a Yuletide treat! Jingyu dies from natural cases and so there is no conspiracy. I'd started sketching this AU before I even saw [ profile] alessandriana's letter, and when I saw that she prompted it it gave me the push I needed to finish. I really like this AU, and there's a possibility that I'm not done with it yet because I keep thinking of more things that would be interesting to explore in it.

There are many Yuletide stories I still want to read (thanks to everyone who recced stories), but I decided to put those aside for now and try to write something for [community profile] fandom_stocking.
I also still need to do my 2016 year review, aaand I decided to try and do at least half of the [community profile] snowflake_challenge this year, so at least 7 days.

Day 1: In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Huh. I think I'll cheat a bit and refer to "Step Forward" above, because I really like the concept of this AU and I feel like I wrote a good look into it.

Dark Blue Skies, a Steerswoman fic: "In the third year of Willam's apprenticeship with Corvus, Abremio came to Wulfshaven." It's one of my longer works and I'm quite proud of how it turned out.

Assuming Shape, a Young Avengers fic, Teddy Altman's mom's backstory. (I can't remember if her name is from canon somewhere or if I took it from another fic.) I wrote it because I wanted to make her more real (which makes canon even sadder) and I feel like I succeeded.
schneefink: (Feldgatter)
Last post of 2016! It's a good thing I told myself days ago that I would post recs today because otherwise I'd almost certainly be too lazy, even though I like reccing exchange fic before author reveals.

Live Free and Die Hard, The Bletchley Circle, Killjoys, Hero from Otherwhere, The Dark Tower, The Martian, Men's Pole Vault RPF, Good Will Hunting )

See you in the New Year! May it be a better one.
schneefink: Babylon 5 (Bab5)
Vorkosigan Saga is a fandom that gets good Yuletide fic every year (though it probably won't be eligible for much longer, I was surprised to see it this year.) Last year I didn't get around to it, so here are recs from the last two years.

Yuletide 2015:
Vorkosigan's Viper by [personal profile] lannamichaels
1.5k, Aral Vorkosigan/Ges Vorrutyer, a/b/o AU
Summary: Five ways Ges shows his love.
Why I love it: I was highly dubious about the premise, but when I actually read it I loved it. The story is almost just incidentally an a/b/o AU, most of it is about the political ramifications of the marriage between Ges Vorrutyer and Aral Vorkosigan. Ges is ambitious, and Aral isn't but Ges doesn't let that stop him, and he uses power differently than Aral but he uses it well.

The Iron Gates by [ profile] sunsmasher
10.1k, background Miles/Ekaterin, Diplomatic Immunity missing scene
Summary: Miles is dying, nobody is listening, and Ekaterin is doing her damndest.
Why I love it: BAMF!Ekaterin, fuck yeah. The book just glossed over this part but this fic does an amazing job showing what was at stake and what Ekaterin had to do and how she did it, and it's great.

Yuletide 2016:
Intelligent Disobedience by [ profile] Philomytha
1.3k, gen, Shards of Honour missing scene
Summary: A well-trained dog obeys his master, but the very best dogs know when to refuse to obey.
Why I love it: I love loyalty as a theme, especially when it's put to the test, and this short missing scene between Illyan and Aral hits that button beautifully.

peace and quiet by [ profile] alessandriana
5.8k, gen
Summary: Light and genteel laughter spilled out of the foyer. A large group of Barrayar's high society had just arrived, clustering in small groups as they waited to be greeted by the Emperor. Ivan hesitated on the edge of the group, mind racing in circles as he scanned the crowd. He resisted the urge to rub at the spreading patches of red on his hands. I don't want anything to do with this.
Why I love it: Wonderful h/c, with great Ivan & Gregor.

Troublesome to Others, but a Torment to Themselves by [ profile] ozymandias314
9.8k, Mark/Kareen
Summary: Miles Vorkosigan is the world's biggest cockblock.
Why I love it: This is a lot of fun, with the exact right amount of angst that comes from Mark being Mark. Plenty of Mark&Miles sibling feelings too.

Never Getting Back Together (Like, Ever). by [ profile] lannamichaels
1.4k, Aral Vorkosigan/Ges Vorrutyer, epistolary, crack
Summary: My dear Captain, I need some scripts for dealing with my Darth Vader ex, who happens to be the brother of my ex-wife.
Why I love it: This is a hilarious crack crossover with Captain Awkward, and I spent most of it figuratively with my head in my hands laughing and moaning about Aral Vorkosigan. If anyone could use some advice on how to cope with his emotions more healthily, surely it's Aral.
schneefink: (ahsoka)
Pre-New Year's resolution: I'll try to post fanwork recs every day from now until the 31st. Should be doable.

I just noticed I forgot to post my review of the fourth Raksura book, Edge of Worlds, which I also liked: Edge of Worlds )

Now that I read all four novels (I'm planning to read the short stories before the next one comes out), fic :)

Salt and Sea and Weathered Stones by [ profile] mpatientdreamr
2.6k, gen, book 4 coda
Summary: A series of conversations on the way home.
Why I love it: Lovely Moon&court friendship fic, with Moon making his own traditions.

Where You Belong by [ profile] Flamebyrd
1.1k, gen
Summary: Ember settles in to Indigo Cloud.
Why I love it: Very nice look at Ember.

The Consort Bower of Indigo Cloud by [ profile] MarbleGlove, art by [ profile] pentapus
7.4k, gen
Summary: Before Moon arrived at Indigo Cloud Court, the consort bower had been empty for some years and the court as a whole slowly dying. Something had to change. The three consorts of Indigo Cloud (Stone, Moon, and Ember) had had very different expectations, but the reality surprised each of them.
Why I love it: This is such a nice warm family story about Moon becoming an ever bigger part of Indigo Cloud and finding and making his place there, and with Stone and Ember.

Etiquette in Foreign Courts by [ profile] pentapus
2.2k, background Moon/Chime
Summary: Ember was being unusually insistent.
Why I love it: Very nice & warm character piece about Ember, Moon, and Chime.

Celebration by [ profile] LilTheHunger
3.5k, Jade/Moon, book 3 coda
Summary: After the events of THE SIREN DEPTHS, Jade is in a mood. Fortunately she's got a moody consort to help her out.
Why I love it: I may never get enough of stories where people, especially from Indigo Cloud, tell Moon how much they love and value him. Lovely coda.

Decision by [ profile] merellia
1.7k, Moon/Jade, AU
Summary: “Celadon’s back. With a queen,” Moon says to Dusk.
Why I love it: Moon grew up in Opal Night and Jade was the one who lost her court, but they're both still them. Very nice AU with a Moon who's no less willful and stubborn.


schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)

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