trobadora: (Grimm - OT3)
([personal profile] trobadora Jun. 28th, 2017 10:55 pm)
Dear RarePairFest writer,

thank you so much for writing a story for me! I'll be absolutely thrilled about anything you can create about the relationships I requested, and everything important is in the requests themselves, but if you'd like some additional info/ideas/thoughts, here's some of it:

General Preferences

Fic Likes & Dislikes )

I hope this is useful for telling you about the kinds of things I like to read. :)

Now for the fandoms and ships I requested, in no particular order:

Requests

Doctor Who - Twelve/Jack/Missy, Jack/Missy )

Grimm - Nick/Renard/Juliette, Nick/Renard, Renard/Juliette )

Legend of the Seeker - Cara/Darken Rahl )

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Sarah Connor/Catherine Weaver )
scaramouche: Beyonce wearing a suit and tie (beyonce in suit)
([personal profile] scaramouche Jun. 28th, 2017 04:31 pm)
It's been a subdued Eid this year, which is a kinda fitting wrap-up for a subdued Ramadan in general. It's probably a combination of things -- my grandmother's heart attack, work stress, the sweltering weather, plus general happenings that made the festivities somewhat less shiny than usual.

I did manage to get quite a bit of reading done during the trip down, thus catching up on the reading I'd missed during Ramadan itself. I finished Sara Cockerill's Eleanor of Castile: The Shadow Queen, which is about Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I of England.

I realized about halfway through that pretty much all the books about royal women I'd read before that point were about women who were notable for being "troublesome", i.e. women who made things difficult for their husbands and/or children and/or birth families. Eleanor of Castile, as argued by Sara Cockerill, was one of those women who didn't rock the boat in any overt way, but instead had (at least visibly) an excellent personal and working relationship with her husband that was (also, at least visibly) free from big drama. The question may be posed then, what is the value in examining this queen in a biography? Cockerill argues with a deft hand that a working marriage is notable in itself for how relatively rare it is, and that Eleanor would've been a remarkable woman to be able stand by Edward Longshanks and against his mother Eleanor of Provence, the latter of which went and outlived her daughter-in-law, which must've been stressful as hell.

Cockerill also puts forward an comprehensive argument that Eleanor had a tremendous role as a property manager and business woman (another necessity, when there are two queens to rely on what was then a single dower), and with a temper to boot. The book is structured a little differently from most other biographies I've read, with a really interesting middle segment which stops the chronological retelling for a hollistic view of Eleanor's personality, habits and relationships as a whole. You'd think it'd set everything grinding to a halt but it doesn't, I found it clever and useful in developing my mental image of Eleanor as a person.

It was a nice read overall, and really interesting in how Cockerill frames her argument convincingly. I also really like Cockerill's snide jabs at other authors who argue that Eleanor was uninteresting or just incomprehensible because of the different reports on her temperament, arguing what should be an obvious point that women are complex.

On a lighter note, I had my mind blown a little at the bit about how Edward had physical crosses (monuments with a cross on top) erected all over England in tribute to Eleanor after she died, and one of said crosses was put up in Charing, making it the... Charing Cross. SURE the one that now stands there is a Victorian replica since the original was destroyed, but I KNOW THAT CROSS. I didn't know it was even called a cross! I'd only ever thought of it as that vague triangular monument in front of the train station. LEARNINGS. (Though I reckon that even if I did read up before on what that cross is, it would've still had less resonance since I did not yet know who Eleanor of Castile was.)
Tags:
Are we seeing the end of the Left and the Right, as we know them?

Americans who can find North and South Korea on a map are more likely to prefer diplomacy to war.

Which country is our strongest ally? After dumping (on) Britain and Europe, Republicans are leaning toward Australia.

Being forgetful may mean your brain is working properly. Do I really have to remember the essay I wrote for the NYS English Regents exam?

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer's dissent warns that the US is turning into a prison state. She's not wrong. Read this.

Body shape analysis with kittens.

Obama on the Trumplackofcare bill. Ignore the grandiosity of the webpage and drop down to the speech. And the Congressional Budget Office's crunched numbers show 22 million would lose health care. Essentially, it is the cynical and uncaring RetroRepublicans trading lives for tax cuts.

And an editorial on why people are in politics, and how this week will define them. Quoting behind the cut: )
[community profile] holmestice reveals have happened! And the whole fest has been so much fun, I can't wait for the next round. I've even already made notes for my next sign-up! Any other Holmes fans around? Because you should absolutely join, it's a blast. :D

(Though I'll really need an ACD icon, or at least a more general Sherlock Holmes one. Not that I haven't been looking ...)

But first, here's the story I wrote for this round:

Title: The Question
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes - ACD
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty (with appearances by Lestrade, Watson, and Moran)
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: none
Summary: Of all the unanswered questions I had collected over the course of my career, none weighed upon me as much as that posed by the inexplicable inaction of Professor Moriarty.
A/N: Written for [personal profile] graycardinal during the Holmestice 2017 Summer Round. Many thanks to [personal profile] fluffyllama and [personal profile] wojelah for all their help!

Originally posted at the Holmestice comm and at AO3.

The Question )
purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
([personal profile] purplecat Jun. 27th, 2017 09:06 pm)
People compare Mark Gatiss who stories to the Pertwee era surprisingly often to my mind. I think he's on record as saying it's his favourite era of the show and it's true his stories tend to have a straight up monster or villain but the Pertwee era is typified, I would say, by the presence of overtly political themes (absent from Gatiss') work and a fairly sparse and functional approach to setting where Gatiss' (possibly because of his interest in Victoriana) tends towards the Gothic. In fact, apart from the fact Gatiss doesn't borrow from Horror tropes, I would have said that the Hinchcliffe era was a better point of comparison.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that, no matter what the rest of the Internet might think, I can't really imagine Empress of Mars in the Pertwee era.

More under the cut )

This is, I get the impression, the episode that Gatiss has always wanted to write and I think it shows. It is having a lot of fun, telling a ripping yarn, and manages to feel both like a Doctor Who story and like a Scientific Romance.
My grandmother Nellie had a younger brother, Jack, who was friendly and cheerful and helpful and became a baker (and all-around general cook, but that was later). He taught my mother his recipe for piecrust, and it never failed either of us: behind cut -- my comments in ( ) )

Jack was the kind of character that I wish I'd met when I was older -- I think I met him once when I was 4, which wasn't that memorable. As I said, he was a baker, and he was engaged to this girl that everyone in the family liked (which might have been difficult, since Jack was the youngest of 9 and the family tended to be protective of their littlest brother, never mind that he was in his 20s.) And on the day of the wedding ... she didn't show up. Neither did his best man. They'd eloped.

It broke his heart. He couldn't stay in the Ottawa Valley any more; it was just too uncomfortable. So he took a job as a cook on a ranch in Alberta, took the train west, and came back at Christmas when he could. He taught my mom to knit, because he knew how to knit his own socks, and held her skeins of yarn for her while she wound them into balls, telling her stories of the ranch all the time. He taught her how to make piecrust, and a cake that wouldn't fall, and a lot more. Nellie would write to him and get frustrated when he didn't reply -- someone from the ranch would stop at the post office in town once a week or so -- so after two attempts that got no answer one year she put on the address, "If not claimed within two weeks, addressee is deceased; please return to sender." He wrote back really fast after that, and made a big joke of it.

When he came back during World War I, both his parents were dead (his mother a few years earlier but his father died in about 1917-1918) and were buried out in the little cemetery by the river church, without a headstone. He went around to visit all his brothers and sisters, asking for a little money to pay a stone cutter, and got nowhere. And yeah, he could understand that farmers and small merchants had a hard time during wartime, but there was family pride at stake too. So he dug into his own pocket, and one day a gravestone, a tall, elegant granite marker, appeared over their graves. Engraved on it was, "Sacred to the memory of Daniel and Catherine McNeely," and their dates and I think (it's been a while since I saw it) a pious verse of some sort. But in another line, underneath, "Erected by their son, John McNeely." (Never mind his three older brothers, and five sisters.) Nobody in the family took it badly, and some found it really funny, but under it all people were grateful that it had been done. And they all thought it was very much a Jack thing to do.

When he died in the late 1960s, after several years in a nursing home back in the Ottawa Valley, near family, he was buried near his parents, and the marker was altered to add his name and dates.

So, please, use Uncle Jack's Piecrust Recipe, and welcome, and pass it along. I don't want it to vanish into the place where good memories go when nobody remembers them any more.
sashataakheru: (Default)
([personal profile] sashataakheru posting in [community profile] dailyprompt Jun. 27th, 2017 09:22 pm)
Today's prompt is 'cold'.
Tags:
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
([personal profile] twistedchick Jun. 26th, 2017 09:55 pm)
It was the first day at St. Bonaventure University, to which I was transferring after two years above the Adirondacks at Potsdam State. One of the girls down the hall, who had been there for a couple of years, was showing me around the campus and filling me in on which professors to take for which classes, and which to avoid because they weren't as good, and which to avoid because they hit on the students -- all good things to know.

After we'd wandered around most of the buildings, she took me to the nature trails, on the wilder part of the campus by the river. The trails had been there for a century or more, weaving through the woods and the nearby swamp; the longer trail we ended up on ran from the village to the west, past the campus, and into a park halfway to the city of Olean, on the east. It was well-worn dirt, not bad for walking, and she was talking and gesturing as we walked and I listened.

Then I looked up.

There were trees on both sides of the trail, so we were walking under the arch of their branches. And on one of those low branches -- say, 15' from the ground -- there was a bald eagle, and it was staring at me. It shifted around on the branch to face me full on.

I tried to get her attention; I couldn't manage to interrupt her, and we kept walking forward toward that branch.

The eagle lifted off, watching me the whole time, and swooped low, its claws nearly touching my head, and swung off into the woods.

The girl with me never saw a thing.

I learned later that the eagle was one that had been found injured in a farmer's field, had been taken to a branch of the Audubon Society, where they had a vet who patched up wounded birds, and rehabilitated. When she was released, she built a nest on the edge of the swamp, near the river. That wasn't a bad choice for a fish-eating bird -- that river had four-foot carp, not to mention catfish and other fish.

I used to see the eagle again, when I was walking through the trails, taking a break from class. There was a small clearing in the woods, with a stone bench that caught the sun, and it was a good place to study or catch up on reading -- I've never been able to study with other people around me. After a while, the animals would come out to see what this odd thing was that smelled like a human but didn't move like one. I would see deer fairly often, and parts of wild turkeys (you never saw a whole one -- they always kept part of a tree between you and them), and once or twice a fox. But they left when I moved, and none of them gave me the intense close encounter that I had with that eagle.
purplecat: (dinosaur)
([personal profile] purplecat Jun. 26th, 2017 09:23 pm)
We were supposed to be going to Bristol Comic Con but they cancelled the con. So instead we were let loose on the unsuspecting Bristol countryside.





More pictures under the cut )
trobadora: (Castiel - headache)
([personal profile] trobadora Jun. 26th, 2017 08:41 pm)
Oops, where did the last month go? I seem to have fallen out of the habit of regular posting again, so let's make an effort to change that. Some random things I neglected to post about recently:
  1. Wayward Daughters is actually happening! Well, it's called Wayward Sisters, but still – I never thought this would actually happen. Here's hoping it takes off, I really want this show.

  2. Bizarre yoghurt flavour of the day: coffee/orange/chocolate balls. Not bad, actually!

  3. [community profile] holmestice: the anonymous period is nearly over, and I actually managed to read almost everything I meant to read, yay! Some lovely fic in there, including my own gift, an ACD Holmes/Moriarty fic about the early period of Holmes becoming aware of Moriarty's existence. Fabulous! ♥

    And here's a guessing post, if anyone wanted to take a stab at guessing what I might have written. Not that it's any great mystery if you know me at all, or have been listening to my Sherlockian ramblings for the last few months. *g*

  4. Doctor Who: MISSY MISSY MISSY. I'm so in love with her, and with the show, and I really need to write a proper post, but the suspense is killing me, and I really need to see the finale before I can properly sort out my thoughts. In the mean time: OMG MISSY!!!!!1!!11!eleventy!1!

  5. Over on [community profile] wintercompanion, we're busy preparing for Summer/Winter Holidays, which will start on the 1st. Some really fabulous entries again! And we're still waiting for more.

  6. My [community profile] everywoman fic still needs some editing, and then I need to spend the weekend focusing on my NPT fic. Why is everythin so busy at the moment, including work? *hides under blanket*

There, that's a start, right? Here's hoping I'll manage to post more frequently again!
brewsternorth: Electric-blue stylized teapot, captioned "Brewster North". (Default)
([personal profile] brewsternorth posting in [community profile] dailyprompt Jun. 26th, 2017 01:47 pm)
Today's prompt is "the adventure of the thin client".
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Preet Bharara, the crusading US attorney who was investigating Trump's NY connections until he and the other US attorneys were fired, has a new job in media, where he plans to continue to explore justice and fairness issues and provide in-depth analysis of legal cases.

The 50 most powerful women in NYC.

The Supreme Court is taking a case on whether the federal govt. can track cell phones without a warrant; a privacy issue.

What's at stake for McConnell (he wins even if he loses), Conservatives and the GOP (the backlash to the Trumpcare Senate bill that hurts their base could throw them all out of office.) But no matter, McConnell wins even if the bill doesn't pass. The only way he loses is if it doesn't come to a vote.

Meanwhile, the House GOP is dillydallying over the budget.

Oh, really? Now that the transcript of the Comey tapes has emerged, Trump is saying he doesn't know if they exist.PANTS ON FIRE!!! And from the NYTimes, Trump's Lies. (currently updated edition.)

Younger Republicans are more pro-immigration and same-sex marriage.

Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz has resigned.

Scientists are considering a tsunami warning system for the Great Lakes -- because they do have a type of unpredictable wave that has killed people.

College students want to talk about sex and consent, but don't know how. There are some good ideas in this article that I wish I'd had when I was in college.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
([personal profile] twistedchick Jun. 25th, 2017 10:55 pm)
Why Travis Kalanick resigned as Uber president. Quote: As Axios’s Dan Primack wrote, “Someone close to Uber recently said to me: ‘It’s wrong to say that Uber doesn’t care about women. It doesn’t really care about people, and women are people. It’s incidental.’ ”

In some of the Midwest, the problem is too many jobs and not enough workers.

In NYC, fighting for the immigrants of Little Pakistan.

Liberals in strange places... like Montana.

There may be a way to kill the Trumpcare bill.

Natives on the Hill -- an antidote to homesickness for Native Americans at the Capitol.

A superhero power for our time -- handling the truth.
Ifixit.com, the free repair manual.

The world's first waterpark for people with disabilies.

Facebook now provides resources for journalists' safety.

Trump has shut off the televised feed -- and all cameras present -- at press conferences (thus ensuring the only video record of what was said is in his hands), and journalists condemn this -- but they're not boycotting the conferences.

The Washington Post is using an AI to moderate comments to the paper.

Johnny Depp opened his mouth at the Glastonbury Festival and dropped a big one: When was the last time an actor assassinated a president? As if that weren't enough to catch the morning edition, his financial woes -- what is this, spending $2 million a month? -- may sink the Pirates franchise. I look at his spending habits and all I can think is, this is a guy who was a kid who was really poor at some point, and it has never left him.

Famous women have been denying the mores of fashion (and conservatives) and wearing menswear for years. Here are some photos.

Trump is being sued for intentionally destroying presidential records. And also, he's played upon the grief of people whose family members were killed by undocumented immigrants (whether in a car accident or otherwise) to get their support.

Canada is tired of dealing with Trump, so now it's doing business with individual states and cities.

Trump also has dropped a grant for a nonprofit that helps people leave violent right-wing groups. It's like he and his crew want us to be harassed by neoNazis, isn't it?

Sen. Warren blasts the blood-money cuts in the Republican anti-health bill.

Unfortunately for us all, the Senate can't slow the progress of the GOP bill once it's written, so they're doing all they can now. And here's the Economic Policy Institute on what we have to lose.

And five Republicans refuse to support the bill -- one because it's too harsh, four because it's too liberal. I have some concerns about the mental health of those four. And McConnell may think he will win by losing if it goes down at a vote. Why? Then it's over for this year and they can go on to amending the tax code to reward the wealthy and steal from the rest of us. What a thoroughgoing scoundrel!

I don't want to say this, but there are strong rumors that Supreme Court Justice Kennedy may want to retire at the end of this term. That means either we go back to an 8-person court or we get another retroRepublian, for the next 30 years. But, in the meantime, the Court has agreed to hear a bill on gerrymandering that will affect Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Maryland (and probably others as well.)

Bill Cosby, who will face another trial in the aftermath of his mistrial,
plans to give speeches on how not to be arrested for sexual assault. No printable comment on this is possible.

More on Yellowstone grizzlies losing endangered-species listing. Thing is, they don't always stay in Yellowstone, and they can be hunted if they stray outside.

Here is a graphic from NARAL that you are free to share where you will.
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