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JFC, another earthquake. We just had one on Monday, dammit. Has Beverly Hills angered the gods?

...Probably, tbqh.

(It was another pretty minor one, for the record. Being a native Californian, I didn't even bother getting up from the couch. But my internets were down for ten minutes. Unacceptable!)

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I'm just saying.

Really starting to wonder why members of Congress don't have to pass some kind of basic competency exam before being elected, covering such topics as the definition of "fascist" and "socialist," basic environmental science, evolution, and, most recently, reproductive biology.

...I mean, I know that there'd never be a curriculum or test that could be approved for such a purpose. But still. Good God, all you Republican congressmen who believe that conception is somehow magically impossible in cases of "real" rape. LEARN TO BIOLOGY. Also, LEARN TO BASIC HUMAN COMPASSION.

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...I am weak.

So. Um. I have a tumblr now. Tumblrs are cool. You should follow me, and/or let me follow you!

Still something of a n00b, and deeply frustrated by the lack of substantive commenting or ability to trace down where anything came from originally. But I do like the ease of reblogging pretty shiny pictures, so.

(But people, for the love of God, please don't post your fic on tumblr. Or, I mean, previews of your WIPs, or drabbles, or not!fic: sure! Makes sense! I can even live with full length fic being there as long as it's also posted on AO3 or the Pit or...somewhere. But please don't make me suffer through several K worth of bright pink nine point type on a black background when there's no style=mine option. I beg of you.)

Also, I've been meaning to draw this for a while now, but was hindered by, um, not actually being able to draw. But I came across it again today, and so:

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Best super chocolate-y chocolate ice cream. Go.

(Ideally, I'm thinking something broadly available, but if you want to describe the gelato they make at your corner store out of the tears of angels fed only bourbon and devil's food cake with fudge sauce for forty days and nights, be my guest.)

For me, it's a four way tie between Talenti's Double Dark Chocolate, Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Therapy, Snoqualmie Gelato Mukileteo Mudd, and the Salted Chocolate at Scoops in Los Angeles.*

* Los Angeles! City of dirty angels! City of dreams! Where even the freaking ICE CREAM STORES have independent short noir films about them. God I love my town.

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Guys. Guys.

"The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show" - a one hour special done in 1982 as a "pilot episode" is available on YouTube.

Watch it. Seriously. Aside from it being AN HOUR OF OLD SCHOOL MISS PIGGY, it's chock full of hilarious parodies of different kinds of shows, early 80s fashion, and early 80s celebrities like John Ritter (who has an out-of-control crush on Piggy) and Andy Kaufman (as Tony Clifton, which I didn't remotely get as a kid but still thought was fun).

Kermit getting all jealous when Piggy seems too into another guy and messing with her cameras from the control room: BEST THING EVER.

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Partway through a quite lovely fic, the characters are served a dessert including chocolates filled with "fine champagne liqueur."

With...what now?

Can't figure out whether there actually is such a thing: I'm sure there are liqueurs made in the Champagne region, and I think there's more than one place also called Champagne in the Cognac area, but you wouldn't call those Champagne liqueurs, would you? It wouldn't tell you much of anything about the drink itself.

All I can imagine is some sort of syrupy, sweet version of Champagne, and as someone who loves both liqueurs and sparkling wines, I have to say: ew.

I feel relatively sure that this is just a non-drinker trying to come up with something that sounds luxe, but I'm still poking around Wiki and bartending websites at 2:30 am trying to figure it out, rather than sleeping or even just shrugging and moving on with the fic.

My brain's priorities, especially when I'm sleepy. Folks, IDEK.

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New winner for most terrifying first message I've received on a dating site! In its entirety:

are you an organ donor



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So I"ve been thinking, today, about fanfic and its particular strengths and weaknesses and weirdnesses, in literary terms.Collapse )

The distinguished and lovely [personal profile] x_los has argued that, although fanfiction tends to be referred to as a genre, it's really better understood as a literary mode, like camp or satire. And I think this is really true. Because, like, people who look at, say, a pastoral poem and say, "But this doesn't accurately reflect the experience of hardscrabble rural life!" or at an allegorical novel and say, "But this is all just a thinly veiled metaphor preaching religious values!" are kind of missing the point. And so, in the same way, are anti-fanficcers who go, "But you haven't created anything new! You're just borrowing someone else's world and characters without permission!"

You can absolutely dislike a particular literary mode because it clashes with your own aesthetic or personal values or just doesn't do anything for you. But criticizing it for its main distinguishing feature is just sort of fatheaded.

And I think there are some things that fanfic does much better than most canons, and some things it doesn't. For example: emotional continuity, and associated issues. A lot of fic is largely inspired by a fan going, "...But why the hell would that character do that given their past experiences? And how are they even going to cope with all the trauma they've experienced in this episode? They are going to need SO MUCH THERAPY and possibly healing sex to get over this," and being frustrated when things are never mentioned again in canon.

On the other hand, relatively few fic writers can really be said to be all that strong on plot, in the way a writer of, say, a TV show has to be. Some are, no question! And are accordingly admired for it by readers. But in general, IMHO, cranking out a plot-heavy story that would, if filmed, fit into certain time and budget constraints without changing too much about the characters or edging above a certain rating is not at all something fic writers are interested in doing. And I'm sure it's tough to do, and do well, regularly enough to turn out a season of TV. But I don't think it's something that's more important than other considerations in an absolute scale of creativity, if such a thing could exist: it's just required by some kinds of writing more than others, and calls upon different writing skills.

Other things I'd say good fic in general does better than most canons can manage: emo-porn, experimental writing styles (mostly because of the lack of constraints of producing a predictable product) and plot construction, AUs, crossovers, more and different kinds of romantic relationships, and, obviously, erotica.

There's probably a comparison to be made between the collaborative nature of producing most media canons - the cooperation of writers, directors, actors, camera techs, etc. coming together to make a whole - and the big collective consciousness of fandom, where most work is individual but part of a larger, and more insightful and complex conversation than can be had in one work. But that's another post, and anyway I can't quite figure out what I'd say about it.

Anyway. tl;dr. But do you guys have any thoughts? What does fic tend to do better, or worse, than canon, and why do you think that might be?

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So library and info studies students know how to tie one on at the end of a quarter.

No, but for real. This is me drunk!posting, but I have to say, as I was saying to one of my colleagues at the End-of-the-Academic-Year shindig/hootenanny: I believe deeply in the value of transformative works and culture; I am proud of whatever small part I can lay claim to as a fangirl and friend to fangirls and fanboys. I honestly and for real believe that in 10-20 years cultural studies peeps and lit majors will be all over the phenomenon that is fandom and the community that surrounds it.

Seriously, every time I meet fangirls in person I am knocked out by the insight and charm and wry wit they're capable of bringing to text. I love you all.

...And given that I've had, like, 2 bottles of Two Buck Chuck Pinot Grigio at the end of the year LIS party, I should probably not be posting.

But I just wanted to say. I love you all. All, all, I love you. Every single one of you, in all your doubts and feels and overanalysis; your meta and fic and stifled wanky resentments; your passions and affections and apathy and uncertainty.

I love you all. And I love you forever. For realsies.

...I should probably go pass out now. But! This does not invalidate anything I've just said. Because it is FROM THE HEART, y'all. I have met more and better and more awesome people in fandom than in any other place. You are the wind beneath my wings, the cream in my coffee, the filthy unexpected trope in my kinkmeme.

I just. I wanted you to know that.

On an individual, personal level. You. Yes, you. I love you. I think you're amazing. I want to know you better, and bake you pie, and hear all the things you've been embarrassed to confess un-anon, and fall asleep with my head in your lap and my email in your address book for future interactions. Because you are amazing, just exactly how you are.

Peace out.

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So obviously there are some titles that every fandom has to have one or two examples of. "Shattered" is a classic; also "Sins of the Father." And basically every line from every poem e. e. cummings ever wrote.

I'm not disparaging the fics with these titles: some are great, some are terrible, and it's really no indication of quality one way or another. The number of times I've stared at an open doc for several minutes and then just typed in song lyrics doesn't bear thinking about. Titles are hard, yo.

But I've noticed that, in just about every fandom that has a character who's a captain (whether military, law enforcement, pilot, pirate, con artist assuming the rank, etc.) and even some that don't, there will always be at least one fic titled, "O Captain! My Captain!"

...Am I the only person who reads those words and thinks Abraham Lincoln with a mortal head wound? Because I can see it as reasonable if the story's about the loss of a leader/father figure or something, but often it's applied to cheerful or at least non-angsty romance fics and. Just. The associations I have with that title, they are not sexy.

I get that it's a famous poem and all, but I haven't seen a lot of fics titled "When Lilacs Last In the Dooryard Bloomed."


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So, I recently acquired a secondhand iPod Touch, and have thereby been catching up with the rest of the universe with regard to browsing for apps. In the Top Free Book Apps, I came across this.

Wattpad: The Best Place To Discover and Share Stories

Anyone know anything about this? There are categories for historical fiction, romance, comedy, etc., but the most popular one seems to be Fan Fiction.

If you love FanFiction stories, check out these stories and meet writers and other Fan Fiction fans! You can use the Search Bar above to find exactly what you're looking for. New stories are added everyday. Like a story? You can leave comments for the writer and recommend your discovery to your friends.

...Revolutionary concepts! I have to admit, the graphics are pretty - I think they're user-made? (Wonder where the photos come from and if they get permission for use.) Definitely prettier than, though of course that's the very faintest of praise. Didn't recognize any fandoms other than The Hunger Games, and the comments seem hilariously full of low-grade wank and jockeying for readers and awards.

Also, I get a pretty strong FanLib vibe from the About Us page, and I note that, per the Code of Conduct, "Pornography and erotica are not permitted on Wattpad." Uh, and you're hosting fanfic? I wonder if this is enforced, or one of those rules that everyone cheerfully ignores unless they're called on it. And the lone section on copyright just says:

Do not upload copyrighted material for which you do not own the rights to or have permission from the owner. If you are a copyright holder and believe any user submitted content infringes on your copyright, you may notify us here or by email at [address]. Include a reference to the copyrighted work and contact information of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner. We will act promptly to investigate such claims.

Which, again: And you're hosting fanfic? I mean, copyright is supercomplex and I wholeheartedly believe that fic and other fanworks constitute fair use. But that isn't even touched on. And while I think challenging the old model of publishing is great and would think this had potential as a site for people to be posting original work...well, actually, I think I'd still be skeeved that the writers don't seem to profit except by comments, but the hosting site makes money with their ads.

Seriously, do any of my fellow OTW members know anything about this? Because. Just. SKETCHY. There's a page on Fanlore for it, but it's a stub.

Still! Baby fangirls! So cute! *pinches their little cheeks*

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Holy wow, it's been a long time since I've posted.

1. I'm getting towards the end of my first year in grad school, and tbh I kind of constantly feel like I'm only barely keeping my head above water. (Or, to be more exact, as though my head is in fact underwater but I'm pretty good at holding my breath and I'm hoping I'll be able to kick my way up to the surface.)

Nevertheless, I remain ridiculously smitten with my program, the profs, and my fellow students. For example: last week one of my Systems Design assignments was to come up with a way to transform an object. One of my collegues did "bra-hacking," i.e. how to most effectively tuck away stuff one might want to carry in one's bra. (The few dudes and the guy teacher were all, "Wait, this is a thing? Outside of the Renaissance Faire?" The rest of the class went, "LOL obviously.") Another explained how to turn fresh produce into sex toys, and passed around a cucumber she'd transformed into a vibrator.


(For the record, I explained how to make fabulous glittertastic goldfish shoes. The photos don't really do them justice.)

2. Have just started watching "Lost Girl." OMG, madly smitten. I have never seen a show more clearly designed for the bisexual female gaze: it's astonishingly full of girlslash of all kinds and descriptions, but also has lots of beefcake, the main partnership is f/f and I honestly can't decide whether I prefer the two of them as a femmeslash couple or awesome ladybros. And it is cheesy and full of supernatural shenanigans and goofy special effects and just. LOVE.

3. Meme! Give me a character, or a character dynamic (romantic or not) and I'll give you a song for them and tell you why I think it makes sense.

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Remix Madness is...a thing? OMG! I've always wanted to participate in a remix, but given my highly distractible nature when it comes to fandoms, I never seem to collect enough finished stories in a single fandom to qualify for one of the big exchanges.

My signup, if any of you are interested. :D? Also, you should sign up too! (I mean, not if you're anti-remix or would be uncomfortable with it, obviously. But otherwise.)

This also reminds me that I've been meaning to put together a fic masterpost, with blanket permission for remix and podfic. Like, I've been meaning to do so for over a year now. Um. I should get on that. But just for the record: I am always totally open to any kind of transformation of my work.

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Mayfair Eggs 4 EVAH, omg.

There's a cafe/diner place three blocks away from my apartment that does an unlimited champagne brunch on the weekends. I'd already known their french toast - made of thick slices of homemade cinnamon swirl bread - was fab, but I've just gotten back from a long late breakfast and knocking back an entire bottle of cheap bubbly, so I am feeling no pain. And pretty cheerful about it. I love a good champagne buzz, I love walking in the rain, I love my town. And I am giving some serious thought to making this a regular occurrence. Any of you guys in the LA area who want to join me would be more than welcome!

So hey, I've been pretty quiet recently, I know. This quarter has been tough - two of my classes had major group projects involved, which no doubt will look lovely on my resume someday, but have meant vast amounts of stress, lately. And ye olde depression issues have not helped. Really not sure how grades are going to turn out, but oh well. They were interesting things to work on, anyway, and I've learned more about subjects as disparate as copyright and the migrant laborers movement in the late 20th c. So that's cool.

And I've got Bitchin' Party coming up, crazy soon! I am so stoked, you guys. I had a fantastic time two years ago, and I am greatly looking forward to seeing people again, and the panels, and just...being surrounded by fangirls. MY PEOPLE.

How are you all doing this fine Sunday?

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Via [personal profile] x_los, I see Dear Author's going to be doing a weeklong series on fanfic. Huh. The thing is, fanfic has been lately increasingly visible in the mainstream media, but right now it doesn't seem like there are any particular standards about credible sources or levels of knowledge. Which, I mean, there really isn't a way to say "I know ALL THE THINGS about fandom!" because it's wild and creative and decentralized and countercultural, and these are some of the things that make it great. So gatekeeping something that by its nature has no fences is a bit silly. But god knows most of us have probably seen lolariously bad or sort of bland and pointless articles or references to fic that make you wonder why anyone thought that person knew what they were talking about. So:

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Incredibly elaborate, meta-tastic dream this morning about Jane Eyre being a Time Lady. Started out that I was reading a crossover fic (Yes, I have dreams about reading fanfic. Shut up.) with not very good characterization, then it became a cut-rate TV movie I was watching, with lots of painful anachronisms I was pointing out (Yes, I am pedantic even in my dreams. Shut up.), and then, finally, I was inhabiting the world, though not as any particular character. Just sort of as a third person omniscient narrator.

(Jane wasn't fobwatched. The story was that she'd wandered off a TARDIS as a toddler, and her parents, OC!Time Lords, had accidentally left her behind and then come back a decade and a half late, so she'd grown up believing herself to be human. Obviously this doesn't actually make any damn sense with Jane Eyre's canon, but there was something very entertaining about Rochester's befuddlement and the way Jane's parents were scandalized and adamant that Jane needed to dump this human guy and come back to Gallifrey and the Academy, pronto. And something weirdly moving about the idea of Jane staring into the Eye of Rassilon, and seeing the whole of time and space after having had this very sheltered, temporally and spacially limited upbringing - though that may just be my own weird associations. IDK, man. Dreams.)

It's kind of ridiculous that, at 11 pm, I'm still turning this over and over in my head. Nevertheless.

Jane Eyre would be an excellent companion, though, don't you think?

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Haven't posted in a while, so I thought I'd break the absentminded silence with a recipe.

I've been looking around for a definitive chocolate chip cookie recipe for a while. Everyone's got their preferences: me personally, I like a slightly chewy, slightly crispy-at-edges cookie, moderately sized, with a medium amount of good quality bittersweet chocolate chips, and a dough that tastes of butter, vanilla, and brown sugar in equal measure. I'm agnostic on the subject of nuts/no nuts, but if they're there I prefer pecans to walnuts.

So this latest batch...this turned out pretty damn good. I adapted it from the bag of Trader Joe's chocolate chips - which, by the way, Trader Joe's chocolate chips are SHOCKINGLY good, especially considering the price, which is less than most supermarket brands. I used to swear by Ghirardelli, but seriously, these are like half the price and may actually be better. Further investigation suggests that this is because TJ's gets their chips semi-secretly from fancy chocolatier Callebaut, in a similar manner to the way they sometimes get expensive wines for crazy-cheap because premium wineries can't afford to sell all their product for that year under their own brand name.

Also, I gave one to a fellow grad student yesterday and a couple hours later I got this email:

That was the best homemade cookie I've ever had, thank you so much! The texture, the size, the flavor--everything about it was SO GOOD! If the cookie monster ate one he'd probably tear up at its perfection. Seriously.

I don"t actually think they"re THAT good. But still, invoking the Cookie Monster, that"s pretty high praise.Collapse )

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That's what she said.

Damn and blast. The logic board on my newest computer has crapped out, and repairs are prohibitive for the age of the machine. Is anyone out there looking to sell a laptop in good condition at a reasonable price? I have a strong preference for Macs, but I wouldn't say no to any really good deals.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?


Pick up the nearest book to you. Turn to page 45.

The first sentence describes your sex life in 2012.

Okay, the very nearest is a library science textbook, and I can't come up with any clever innuendoes for a passage about Cutter's rules of cataloging. So the next nearest is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and let's see, page 45...
"Why not?"

Why not indeed. :D?

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The dryer in the laundry room down the hall in my building has had a worn...something for a while now, and it squeaks, loudly, when it's in use. I don't know whether maintenance is waiting for a critical mass of people to complain, or what. It used to be annoying, but I'd shut my patio door and it would recede into background noise.

At this point I can hear it in every room in the apartment. It sounds like the death birds of Satan shrieking their morning orisons in Hell. It's been going on for forty minutes now.

And for extra facepalm, I need to do laundry sometime today. I feel that the other people in my building would be entirely justified in strangling me.

Ho hum.

So how is YOUR Yuletide going?

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you're always running into people's unconscious

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