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[personal profile] evil_plotbunny posting in [community profile] fic_corner
Have you written? Are you writing? You've got about 2.5 days to go till deadline. If you don't think you'll make it, I'd appreciate it if you defaulted soon so that I can find someone else to write for your recipient.

I've got more pinch hits to post to the mailing list after I've had breakfast. You can sign up for the pinch hit email list here. Due to the rapidly approaching deadline, if these haven't been claimed by lunchtime (assume approximately a 3 hour window), I'll be posting them here and probably on the yuletide comm. Deadline for these pinch hits will be the same as for assignments. Any pinch hits that come up later in the weekend may have a later due date.

One other bit of housekeeping...since the exchange is so small this year, I'm not going to bother opening a separate collection for treats. Please post any treats in the main collection.

Chorus dilemma

Aug. 14th, 2017 08:48 pm
ysobel: A kitten on a piano keyboard (music)
[personal profile] ysobel
In addition to everything else going on in my life (migraines, fatigue issues still, having to find new roommate, my mom is moving and therefore stressier than normal, etc -- oh, and something church related, a committee that I am halfway through a theee year term on, has me going "nononono" like that one cat, so I'm having to figure out how to respect my reaction and boundaries there without being an asshole to the other committee members and-or drowning in guilt -- but that's another story), I have a dilemma re chorus.

There are two choirs I could sing with this coming year, and I don’t have energy to do both. (I don’t know for sure that I have energy for either, tbh.)

Choir A has good rehearsal times (twice a week 4-6), only three concerts a year (Dec, Mar, June), performs at the Mondavi Center, and is free ... but the repertoire for this year is uninspired and dreary, the director is close to retirement and so doesn't have many fucks left to give and therefore isn’t as good as he used to be, and honestly the group hasn’t really been fun to sing with the last few years.

Choir B has an awesome director, and the planned repertoire for the year is amazing (including the mozart requiem, which is practically a must-sing for me) ... but it meets 7-9:30 (only once a week, but I’ve been going to bed at like 8), it’s $65 a semester, I don’t like the rehearsal location, December is crazy with concerts, and there’s an obligatory citrus sale drive every year (like Girl Scout cookie sales but eat less cute or yummy).

Some of these are bigger issues than others (e.g. I can probably get my dad to cover the cost* for choir B), but.

I don’t know what to do.

...What would be ideal is for choir B’s director to come do choir B’s repertoire with choir A, but that’s not possible.

I also don't know how much of my fatigue issues are self-creating. Not just because my Inner Critic likes calling me lazy, but because I've gotten out of the habit of Doing Things, and I'm enough of an introvert that socializing is kind of a mental muscle. It's like when you have the flu and sleep for a week and then spend a while super weak and wobbly because your body got out of the habit of doing.

...sigh.

* footnote thingie, not related to choir: I've been doing reiki, which is sort of an energy manipulation not-quite-massage thing that I'm working on a post about, and I'm doing extra reiki during the roommate transition thing -- whether or not it's "real", it really does help me with stress. I'm doing it through the church, which has scholarship funds for people who want reiki but can't afford it, so I asked and got way more of a discount than I was expecting. Except my mom -- who doesn't even know how much of it I'm scholarshipping, just that I'm getting some scholarship help -- thinks that my dad can damn well afford reiki, and has this way of, like, guilting me *and* being snide about my dad st the same time. And on the one hand I do kind of see her point -- though my dad would probably be skeptical as all get-out at reiki as a concept, much less spending money on it, so I don't want to ask him, and really I'm getting Charity regardless of whether it's my dad or the church, and I think the church people like helping me -- but omfg I wish I knew how to tell her to NOT DO THAT AUGH WTF

Though a bigger priority is getting her to stop making snarky comments about how chubby nephling is. He's a fucking baby, chubby is *good*, he does not need to "slim down" ffs. ::rageface::

Heh

Aug. 12th, 2017 01:56 am
ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
I was going to complain about how my brain keeps trumpifying the songs going through my head. "Oh, I stuck my head in a little trump's hole" and "hey, mr tangerine man..." and the like. (As opposed to skunk and tambourine.$

And being awake at 1:30 and feeling smartass, I was going to jokingly refer to the first of these songs as "the song about boundaries skunks"

except

I realized

it really fucking *is* a song about boundaries

and this is somehow (see also the fact that it's 1:30 and I should be asleep) blowing my mind.

(For those not familiar with the song -- there are several tunes, and some variants, but it starts: oh I stuck my head in a little skunk's hole, and the little skunk said well bless my soul, take it out, take it out, take it out, remoooooove it. Well I didn't take it out, and the little skunk said, if you don't take it out you will wish you were dead, take it out, take it out, take it out, remoooooove it. ...and tl;dr the narrator gets sprayed and "phew! I removed it ,,, too late". As a kid this is the epitome of hilarity. As someone who is struggling with enforcing boundaries? It's ... kind of profound in a weird way.

Whee

Aug. 9th, 2017 02:10 pm
ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
I don't get story ideas much any more because I don't write. (Partly I don't write because the mechanics are hard and awkward, and writing a paragraph feels like a marathon. But partly there is a self-reinforcing cycle where I don't write because the ideas don't come (or they come as a vague concept with no idea for execution, or they come and then immediately die in the throes of logistics) which means I don't write which means the ideas don't come which means...)

But lately I've been wanting to do a retelling of Beauty and the Beast where "Beauty" is an ironic nickname: she is disabled, deformed, probably has vitiligo, whatever. And so they call her Beauty to mock her. Maybe even she's visually impaired so they're doing it to mock her intelligence/perception as well (ha ha she doesn't even know we're making fun of her, how pathetic is that)

And then today I realized: the Beast, often, is cursed such that they look like they act. I don't know quite how disabled!Beauty meets her Beast, but I have this image of her hearing the curse story and going "what no that's *bullshit* i mean do i look this way because I'm a horrible person? Does (Gastón analogue) look like he acts? Pretty sure not. Fuck this."

...and then I'm like well what if part of the purpose of the curse is that the pre-Beast had an attitude of "disabled people are inferior" and so got made disabled as a very ineffective morality lesson

...and then I spent about half an hour flailing about because AUGH NO, red alert red alert, you are going to fuck this up in completely ableist ways, flaiiiiiil.

Because my brain is logical like that...

Media log

Aug. 6th, 2017 09:40 am
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
Reading

After a long stretch of not reading very much at all, I've picked up several books to prepare for my trip to Russia in three weeks....

Russia and the Russians by Geoffrey Hosking is a decent one-volume history, although it has very little good to say about the orthodox church.

The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia by Orlando Figes is a monumental work of social history. Difficult to follow because there are so many stories included as part of it, but a page-turning account of the worldview of ordinary Russians under Stalinism. Humans will go through so many mental contortions to make their lives livable, understandable or justifiable for themselves.

Second-Hand Time by Svetlana Alexievich is a collective oral history of the transition from Soviet to post-Soviet Russia. She won the Nobel prize for literature despite writing non-fiction; this is an amazing collection of stories. Impressionistic and vivid. One of the most emotionally difficult books I've read, ever, but this is not a dis-recommendation. Just be prepared.

And on top of this I'm trying to get back into my Icelandic. Another go at Pálssaga by Ólafur Jóhann Sigurðsson, which tells the story of Iceland in the World War II era from the point of view of a young journalist.

Watching

In the wake of the Tour de France, there have been so many different cycling races on simultaneously. I picked the Vuelta a Burgos partly because of the start list but mostly because of the commentating team of Matt Stephens and Brian Smith. They're not as tactically oriented as David Millar but they offer great insights on the riders. OK, they did spend about five minutes talking about one rider before remembering he wasn't in the race, but that was endearing.

I've been hearing here and there about Comrade Detective, the new Amazon comedy whose shtick is that it's a 'rediscovered' cop show from '80s Romania intended to glorify Communism. Reviews are mixed. The Guardian liked it a lot. Neither Variety nor Vulture think it's actually meant to be funny. Vanity Fair focuses on the idea that it's meant to be a statement about propaganda.

But I would like to hear more thoughts from Romanians. There's some unsurprisingly unamused commentary from vrabia on Tumblr, which has only whetted my appetite for a detailed deconstruction.

Anyway I've watched the first episode and... I wouldn't call it good, but it's intriguing? The setting, the visuals seem really well done, and I'm half willing to watch it just for its evocation of '80s Bucharest. The fact that they hired Romanian actors and then dubbed the whole thing as a star vehicle for American actors probably tells you all you need to know. Very literally talked over. The characters and plot are formulaic but that's the point... it's an evocation and celebration of the (Western) genre. The Communist ideology seems notably off-kilter and I say that as someone who's not an expert in Communist ideology. And yet there's something fascinating about how mixed and meta and just weird the whole thing is. In cultural appropriation terms it obviously gets a 9.9 out of 10, but I may keep watching because I'm curious. I wonder whether it will be a Yuletide fandom, and if so, what people will do with it.

(This also makes me want to watch more films/TV that were actually made behind the Iron Curtain. Someone seems to have uploaded a selection of Russian classics to Daily Motion... The Irony of Fate, Office Romance, Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears...)

I keep trying to decide whether or not I actually want to go and see Dunkirk. By the time I decide it won't be in the cinemas any longer.

And finally I really want to see Icarus, a new documentary about drug testing in cycling that accidentally revealed exactly how much the head of Moscow's Anti-Doping Centre knew about how to beat the system.

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