Also, yesterday, my consolation birthday present arrived - a beautiful red patent leather Love Moschino tote bag (wow, there were three left in stock when I ordered mine and now there are none! I'm glad I got there in time!). During the whole epic search for a new bag, I coveted a red patent leather bag, but couldn't find one (or, rather, couldn't find one that was less than, like, $800 and while I'm profligate, I'm not that profligate), since I guess they aren't in style right now? Except it's red patent leather so I can't imagine how it could go out of style? But whatever. On a whim on Wednesday, I checked Zappo's to see if there were any available, and lo and behold, there it was. It's beautiful. It's big and kind of unwieldy (and unpleasantly sticky against the bare skin of my arm in the heat), but I don't care, because it's gorgeous.
Bosses 1 & 3 both admired it as I unpacked it from the box, and they were like, "Are you going to save it for special occasions?" and I said, "Hell no!" (note: I did not actually say "Hell no!" I just said, "no! I bought it so I could use it! Because it is beautiful!") And I recommend to all of you to use your beautiful and special things rather than waiting for some mythical special occasion to crop up, because frequently, you will be waiting forever and never get to enjoy the beautiful thing you bought for yourself. Using a special bag/wearing your beautiful new shoes/opening that expensive bottle of wine - they can all make a regular occasion special, and I recommend you do that rather than wait for some occasion arbitrarily deemed "special" enough to break out the fancy lipstick or whatever. Live your best life whenever you can, people!
I know exactly why I walk and talk like a machine (24327 words) by terminally_underwhelmed
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Minor or Background Relationship(s), Pre-Harry/Draco - Relationship
Characaters: Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Narcissa Black Malfoy, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Blaise Zabini, Luna Lovegood, Arthur Weasley, Astoria Greengrass, more like ace-storia amirite, various OCs, Minor Characters
Additional Tags: Epilogue What Epilogue, War Aftermath, Emotional Growth, Bureaucracy, Pre-Slash, Friendship, headcanon dump
Series: Part 1 of Solitaire/Mercenary
They're together when the Dark Lord falls.
Draco is barely aware of his own senses, half-blind and exhausted from months upon months of corrosive fear, and whatever shred of reality is still allotted to him is in his father’s urgent grip on his shoulder and his mother’s hands around his and the way he leans on both of them.
* I cannot finish your urgent project in a timely fashion if you keep interrupting me to ask when your project is going to be finished! Please stop!
* We have already done Thing based on all your requirements (and with your approval!) last quarter. We can just update it instead of spending so much time trying to come up with a new way to do it (only to come up with basically the exact same Thing). There is no need to spend hours reinventing the wheel!
* You have to decide whether you need a meeting to happen ASAP or if you need everyone involved present, because it's July coming up on August, and half the people you need will be out on vacation at any given moment and I have no control of that.
* I don't want healthy snacks in the vending machine. If I am driven to getting food from it, it's generally because I want Frito Lay corn chips or terrible plasticky cheap chocolate, not some sort of chip made from beans or some kind of granola bar! WTF?
Shout-out to the folks working at UCSF Mt. Zion -- they've all been both both friendly and competent medical professionals (the super-enthusiastic residents were THE BEST. One of them bounced little on his feet, holding the clipboard for consent signing out to me).
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (www.blackalliance.org) is having two webinars on the State of Black Immigrants.
Part 1 is July 18, tomorrow, at 5pm;part 2 is July 25, both 5 pm EST.
Wednesday reading meme:
What I've just finished
Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey, which I enjoyed a lot, mainly because Avasarala is the best and also Bobbie! ♥ Holden still needs a lot of punching though. Ugh. Why is this guy the main character? Not only is he a dead bore, he's a ridiculously common dead bore!
I like TV!Prax better than book!Prax, I think, but I also think the show compresses the timeline in a way that means I don't get bored with a character having repetitive beats, the way I can, and do in this case, in a book.
What I'm reading now
Still, I picked up Abaddon's Gate and started it this morning, so I'm still entertained enough to continue.
What I'm reading next
The next book in this series, probably. I don't even know what the name of it is. *looks it up* Ah, Cibola Burn.
I also read two really long stories that both turned out to be in progress, which I probably should have noticed but didn't. I mean, when I see a thing is 175K words long, I figure it's done. I mean, who has that much to say in one story? But no. Sigh.
In my recent fanfic readings, I learned that I will nope out of a story if you kill off Wedge Antilles. Which was a surprise to me - how strongly my kneejerk NOPE was - but there you go. Do not want! (I mean, I don't care for any character death in my fic, and generally not in canon either! but I get that some AU premises require it. But like Bartleby the scrivener, I would prefer not to.)
I also learned that I don't really ship Bodhi with anyone but if I did it would have to be Jyn and Cassian. Gotta keep the Star Wars OT3 pattern going, I guess. I just don't find Jyn and Cassian all that compelling. *hands* I'd much rather read about Baze and Chirrut being the most married. (I think Rebels is the only place that doesn't have an OT3, but I am okay with that. I'm already bracing for Kanan and Hera to get an undeserved tragic ending.)
I also realized that in addition to believing that Luke Skywalker is asexual, I believe Anakin is demisexual, and both Leia and Padme are bisexual. Ahsoka is mostly into women except that I also ship her with Anakin (and Rex, a little), so there are exceptions? And Obi-Wan is pansexual and flirting his way across the galaxy at any given moment.
Which is probably more than anyone cared to know about my Star Wars head canons. *snerk*
Star Trek TNG: "The Price" is such a god-awful episode that when it leaves those two Ferengi in their shuttlecraft stranded in the Delta Quadrant and doesn't bother to tell us what became of them, that's not even the worst of its crimes. (The worst of its crimes is probably what Crusher and Troi wear to do aerobics.) Anyhow, yes, the Ferengi were acting like jerks, but they didn't deserve to die the kind of death that you'd die stranded in a shuttlecraft 30,000 light-years from home. I think either they should reappear as part of the Borg collective, or the Voyager crew should find them.
Due South: More Ray&Ray. Doesn't everyone want more Ray&Ray? Make RayK go to meet a new informant and discover that it's the Bookman.
The Princess Bride 2: the story of how Buttercup wound up being the Dread Pirate Roberts.
I caught this week's Orphan Black.
( spoilers )
Ugh I stayed up way too late last night reading and I'm paying for it now. I just want to sleeeeeeeeeeep.
- Traditionally, about a third of it was worthless due to sentimentality.
- More recently, another third of it is worthless because capitalism endlessly churns it out in identical shiny plastic pieces.
- When it's bad, there's nothing worse.
- When it's good, it captures the human spirit so well that it brings tears to your eyes.
A. I had a most excellent birthday dinner on Saturday evening. L and I went to Uva, which I had never been to before and it was so worth it. They have an adorable little courtyard in back, so we sat outside and drank a lot of wine (A LOT OF WINE) and ate like queens.
2. I was going to make myself a birthday cake, but then I was sad and also I wasn't sure it would be good and I didn't want to make a cake that big and have it be terrible (because then I couldn't foist half of it off on my coworkers). That would just be one disappointment too far. I still want to make it though. It looks amazing. And terrible. But mostly amazing. (I would have made fresh whipped cream though instead of using Cool Whip. I'm not much of a food snob, but fresh whipped cream just tastes better, regardless of authenticity.)
iii. The A Wrinkle in Time trailer looks fantastic.
D. Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Behind the Scenes. I might have burst into tears when Carrie Fisher said, "It's all about family," but you can't prove it!
5. I posted a story for my birthday:
Sing a New Song (@AO3)
Star Wars; Vader, Leia, Luke, Obi-Wan; AU; g; 4,130 words
In which Ben has a bad feeling, Luke makes it to Tosche Station, Leia takes control of the situation, and no one understands how hard Vader's life is.
This is the sequel to Just a Little Bit of History Repeating but probably not the one that people were asking for. *hands* I'm probably never going to write a long involved epic AU where they actually overthrow Palpatine. I'm just not that kind of writer. I just want the fraught family reunions where the Skywalkers get to be all ~dramatic~ at each other.
I don't usually write multiple POV stories anymore, but this one seemed to require it, so we could see Luke's "Wtf?!", Obi-Wan's "I have a bad feeling about this," Leia's ability to roll with the weirdness (and also ameliorate the tension between Vader and Obi-Wan), and Vader's misguided belief that he has control of anything, let alone his kids.
As I said in an endnote on AO3, the title is from U2's "40" (and not the Mountain Goats' "Psalms 40:2"*) and I kind of feel like the title of the concluding story of this little trilogy should also come from Psalm 40 but right now it's tentatively titled "How Soon Is Now" for ~reasons. I still have to figure out how to actually write it. Because I couldn't leave Ahsoka out! The story was originally going to end with that - I felt like Vader saying "no, there's someone else" was kind of analogous to Yoda's "no, there is another," but given that it was Luke's section, I thought he ought to have the last word.
Anyway, I like how it turned out, and I'm glad some other people did too. *g*
*which I still think should have a SPN vid made to it, and from which I already used the title "If I'm Not Beyond Repair" for Bucky, or you know I'd be using that for a Star Wars story ("Lord, send me a mechanic, if I'm not beyond repair" could definitely be a Vader and Luke story, you know? Though I could probably do something with "in the burning fuselage of my days" or even "feel bad about the things we do along the way, but not really that bad" if the right story idea struck. Huh. *adds them to the list of titles to use someday*)
My choice fell onto Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series -- the first two novels feature Verity Price, a cryptozoologist-slash-ballroom dancer in New York City; I like them for the setting, frankly, and the richness of this imagined world of non-classified monsters in our midst.
The following doesn't spoil plot points, but it does give an outline of characters and places.
( ''Discount Armageddon'' & ''Midnight Blue-Light Special'' )
( ''Half-Off Ragnarok'' & ''Pocket Apocalypse'' )
Ultimately, these are entertaining, so I may stick with the InCryptid series because of the dearth of diverse urban fantasy (true fantasy has gotten much better on that vector these days; read Ancillary Justice or The One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, or or or). Again, if anybody new is reading this who has recommendations for books or series similar to Rivers of London by Ben Aarononovitch, please let me know!
The one show I managed to finish is iZombie. And I do recommend it.
( Zombie S3 )
The question this show poses about humans and zombies is: Can't we just all get along? The answer potentially being, OH HELLS NO! But...not necessarily.
Because I so loved Doctor Who for its undying sense of wonder.
The last show that conveyed the incredible, the vast strange beauty of the universe that well had been Farscape -- a different show, of course, heavy into the psychedelic, with even more whump and the personal perk of never taking itself seriously. But then Russell T. Davies' New Who came along, and finally I understood what all these other nerds and geeks with their t-shirts and telephone boxes had been about all along.
( You already know the below if you've been following this blog; I'm just summarizing my experience with Doctor Who in the past and looking to the future )
So yes, I'm back to Doctor Who. Buckle up, companions.