Open Thread: Tiny Wax Person


Because who needs snow when you have cheese that comes sealed in wax?

I do note that while the traditional "stack of three shapes each progressively smaller, huge pointy nose, arms that don't match the rest of the aesthetic" style has been maintained from the clear snowman roots of the concept, the progressively smaller shapes making up the body and head are rounded cubes with some irregularities, not balls.

This was a creation of the munchkin weasel.

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Time Quintet: Turkey Dinners and Light Promises

[Wrinkle Content Note: Fascism, Hypnotism, Captivity]

Wrinkle Recap: The kids have gone into a very big building, asked questions of strangers there, and are now being detained by a random man.

A Wrinkle in Time, Chapter 7: The Man with Red Eyes

I realized today I haven't been including recaps at the top of each entry in this series like I do with Narnia. I apologize and have added a recap now, though coming up with the recap was a bit jarring. I'd not noticed as a child just how much this sequence feels like a railroaded plot from a harried dungeon-master.

The kids were dropped on a hill and told to wander around until something happened. They walked through a village, interacted with a couple of NPCs, then came to a city that seemed strangely featureless except for one enormous building that is bigger than the biggest thing ever. They went into the imposing building after pursuing a line of logic familiar to most gamers: why is the building there if we're not meant to go into it? Then they asked an NPC who they are and what they do here and the NPC is now taking them to the level mini-boss (The Man With Red Eyes) and the boss behind the mini-boss (IT).

Unfortunately for our children, they're about to learn why you need to grind a level or two before you meet up with the boss. All that magic equipment on your character sheet will only get you so far.

Open Thread: Hardware Moose


I don't know much about hardware moose, but I think that when the antlers fall off people harvest the tools and such then sell them in the store this representation of one was on the outside of.

This was seen between the rhododendron droppings and the bus station.  I had to go a bit out of my way to get a decent shout because there was initially a parking lot between me and it and all the cars and such were in the way.  The green bag is mine for most intents and purposes and one of the wonderful things about not being stuck on crutches is that I can allow a bag with wheels to take most of the weight while I pull the thing with a crutch-unencumbered hand.

This was taken on my longest walk since breaking my ankle.  It's not back to normal, but it is worlds better now (and definitely still improving.)

-

I spent a while debating with myself whether to have the usual Friday open thread this week since the emergency back up open thread has barely been used, what with it being less than two days old.  It's probably a sign that when an open thread is getting long in the comments we should break out an emergency back up open thread sooner than happened this time.

Anyway, I obviously did finally decide to make this thread, it would be weird if you were reading this and I hadn't.  What I figure is that the other open thread can be a place to continue the discussion of comics with all of the thorny territory that implies (bad accounting, unfair practices, racism, and Nazis, and not-really-Nazis-{but-totally-Nazis}, canceling popular series starring POC, and so forth) as well as the Dresden Files and all of the thorny territory that implies, and maybe also mixing up names and words and such, though that's a good deal less thorny.

This thread, by contrast, can be for everything else.  You know, like every other open thread.

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Open Thread: Rhododendron Droppings


I'm not even sure what to say.  It was all over the sidewalk.  For a value of "All over" that means "under or adjacent to a rhododendron.

-

Wednesday Something!  We're in the middle of the week and already got over a hundred posts in the Friday open thread.  Apparent'y we have much to say.  Converse on.

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Narnia: Horses and Horses

[Narnia Content Note: War, Threat of Rape, Centaur Sex (sorry) ]

Narnia Recap: Shasta has united with the Narnian army and Corin has strong-armed him into being his "bodyguard" for the upcoming battle. Obligatory note about racism, intent, and Lewis is here.

The Horse and His Boy, Chapter 13: The Fight at Anvard

The Narnians are marching to war and all I can think is how non-fantastical their army is. We have humans, dwarves (who are apparently the same size as humans, since a fourteen year old boy can wear their armor), giants (who are nonspecifically large humans), and Horses on which the humanoids all ride--so far a pretty normal medieval army. Lewis then waves vaguely in the direction of Talking Animals by including Dogs, Bears, and a few Big Cats, but that honestly doesn't seem very impressive to me?

Feminism: Poor Relations and Early Concerns

I wrote this Storify after a new book was announced on Twitter. If anyone can help hook me up with an ARC when they come out, I'd be obliged.

Full storify under the cut. [Content Note: Forcible gender reassignment surgery on cis people.]

Open Thread: Jar Lid


Technically, I suppose, it's a picture of the entire jar in which the lid is obscuring the rest of the jar.  I was only trying to get a shot of the lid, you can only see the lid, so I'm going with "Jar Lid".

Not my jar or my lid; saw it at my sister's house.

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Narnia: Truffaut Was Right

[Narnia Content Note: War]

Narnia Recap: Shasta has united with the Narnian army and Corin has strong-armed him into being his "bodyguard" for the upcoming battle. Obligatory note about racism, intent, and Lewis is here.

The Horse and His Boy, Chapter 13: The Fight at Anvard

We didn't have a Narnia thread for April and this is honestly because I think this book has broken me. I don't mean it has made me sad or upset (though it surely has done so in the past), but I mean that it just doesn't work. Trying to analyze this book as a piece of fiction is like trying to explain a fever dream according to the rules of conventional storytelling. This book was not written to those rules because its author didn't care about conventional storytelling.

I'm honestly not sure what Lewis' intent was writing this--the best faith interpretation I can give this mess is that he'd gotten this far and people wanted more so he tried to give them something entertaining in as short a time and with as little effort as he had to spare rather than turn them down and send them away empty-handed--but we can say fairly certainly that things like Coherent Plot and Consistent Characterization and Not Breaking The World-Building With Impossible Details were not high on the list.

Repost: Susan, Problems of

[Ana's Note: By popular demand, this is a re-post of an old deconstruction, partly to have content while I struggle with my ongoing disability challenges and partly so that newcomers can comment on old conversations.

The original post is here. I have not edited the content.



[Content Note: Body Mismatch, Hostility to Consent, Mental Health]

Narnia Recap: "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" has finished and we are now reading "Prince Caspian".

Prince Caspian, Chapter 1: The Island

There is a Problem with Susan.

The Problem isn't one that is immediately obvious to everyone. It's not one that is always agreed upon by everyone. And it might not even be one Problem; it might be a whole host of them. But there is a Problem nonetheless with Susan, and there's no sense in trying to avoid it any longer. 

Open Thread: Ornamental Fence Bottom


At eye level and above the fence around Lincoln Park in Portland (once home to Occupy Portland) is a very simple utilitarian design of square metal upright bars connected by a single crossbar.  If one keeps their eyes up the only particularly interesting thing to see, other than rust patterns, is the "posts" between the fence sections (holding up the sections.)  Those are somewhat taller, have a footprint of a regular octagon and eight bars to match, also two octagonal cross loops.  Truly a sight to behold.

In other words, it's a fairly boring fence.  It's not ugly, and it can be appreciated, but it seems to be a place where utility almost completely triumphed over style, with the only concession to style being, "I suppose we could do something different with the posts since they're completely different constructions anyway."

If, however, one looks down, that changes.

It's not as if there are spectacular friezes depicting the mythological history of Portland, Maine or the life of Lincoln, there's just a repeating pattern of circles and lines.  It is, however, something different.  Instead of the straight vertical and horizontal lines that characterize the higher fence sections and the posts, there are multiple sizes of circle, 45 degree lines, variable depth, and, well . . . style.  Right at the bottom.  So your ankles will get a nice view.

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Art: Aniyah and Miyuki 4Evah

The wonderful and talented @layahimalaya has drawn Aniyah and Miyuki from Survival Rout and I am now the proud owner of an Aniyah-and-Miyuki themed notebook from her store, as one does. I had to share because I haven't stopped happy-squeeing yet.

I really love everything about this but oh-so-especially Miyuki's in-betweenie size. I love xer so much. And I love how carefully Aniyah is being held and holding in return; I know her spine hurts her today. (Because mine sure does.)

These two characters are my heart.


Asking for help

Hello there; I'm your friendly neighborhood Kristycat! I don't post as often as I used to, but I'm still here lurking around!

I find myself in a small crisis. Due to some factors beyond my control, my household is going to have basically zero income for the next few months; we have a little money saved up, but not enough to see us through the summer by a long shot. It's a little scary; I've spent the last few days quietly, calmly panicking.

However, what I DO have is a backlog of random writing! At Ana's suggestion, I've gone ahead and set up a Patreon account in order to trade stories for money. It's at https://www.patreon.com/kristygriffingreen - please take a moment to check it out, and if you can spare a pledge, even a small one, I would be extremely grateful!

In a shamelessly blatant effort to tug at your heartstrings and incur your pity, I will now include a picture of my child and a quiet mention that her fifth birthday is going to take place during the aforementioned lean months.


(Added note: I'm not too proud to beg for charity if it comes to that, but that's not what this is. The things I write are actually really good - and this is coming from someone who has low self esteem about everything. So if even I think they're good, they're actually good, lol. A few bucks a month isn't a bad deal.)

Open Thread: Where not to buy anvils and catapults


I had to stay with my baby nephew, so I didn't go inside this famous institution with the others, but I know from years of watching Wile E. Coyote (Super Genius) that buying anything from them is a very bad idea.  It always goes wrong.  Always.  Yet, somehow, they manage to stay in business.

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Writings: The Swordsmith's Daughter

[This post was previously posted on my Patreon blog.]

March! Ages ago, I stumbled across this Tumblr post and it has haunted me ever since.

thefairyknight: Just once I would like the mentor's beautiful daughter to actually, sincerely hate the hero's guts.

Like, not like 'belligerent sexual tension' hate his guts. Not 'learn a valuable lesson about resentment and gets over it' hate his guts. No, just straight up, 100%, wouldn't-piss-on-you-if-you-were-on-fire, the-sound-of-your-name-makes-me-puke-a-little-in-my-mouth hate his guts.

And my entire kingdom for a story where she 'helps' him train and then goes and hands a detailed list of all of his weaknesses and strategies to his rival like 'kick his fucking ass'.

technoturian: Alternatively, how about the 'hero' is actually the villain, because it turns out that the mentor not trusting his own daughter's capabilities enough to let her be the chosen one and instead granting phenomenal cosmic powers to the first rando farmboy who comes along actually wasn't the smartest idea he's ever had.

thefairyknight: Yes this a good addition

In honor of these two wonderful minds, I present this fic for the first of our March stories: The Swordsmith's Daughter. [Trigger Warnings] I tried to keep the story light, but living with the threat of sexual assault is mentioned, along with the usual triggrey things that come with overlords and oppressive regimes. There is mention of sex that is not desired but submitted to in service to a goal. Additionally, there is an ailing parent who dies of natural causes.

Review: Pride and Prejudice (Manga Classics)

Manga Classics: Pride & PrejudiceManga Classics: Pride & Prejudice
by Stacy King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

MANGA CLASSICS: Pride and Prejudice / B01LW0JIK6

I love a lot of Jane Austen, but I've always been the odd one out in English major circles for not caring much for Pride and Prejudice. I liked the plot just fine, but I never could get around not liking Darcy. At all. Even a little bit.

No, no, come back! The thing is, despite the fact that he's very proud and reserved and shy and such, it did feel like he spent so much of the novel being rude to Elizabeth that it was hard for me to stomach the turnaround later. This manga adaptation of P&P does an excellent job of overcoming that barrier for me by adding that most powerful tool in the actor's toolbox: facial expressions. We're able to see Darcy's embarrassment, chagrin, and regret as actions unfold and I find I like him so much better when his cutting remarks are accompanied by a wincing expression as he reflects on what he's just said.

Overall, I feel this is an excellent adaption of the source material and I stayed up late reading until the end, which is quite a feat given that I already knew the ending! The art is gorgeous, especially for Elizabeth and Jane, and I feel that the supporting characters and side panels are well-depicted in ways that better foreshadow Darcy's concerns (which make his actions easier to stomach, understand, and forgive). I will add that there are some cutesy "chibi-style" panels where Mrs Bennet is a little tiny doll waving her arms around; nothing manga fans won't be used to.

The only thing I did not like is that Mr Collins is drawn in a very strange style and he stands out against the more realistic characters; I realize we aren't supposed to like him but his cartoonish appearance in contrast to the others made his arc difficult to enjoy. It was just very jarring. I considered taking a star off for that, but the rest of the book is so good that I think it overcomes that fault. I'll say 4.5 stars, rounded up.

NOTE: This review is based on a free electronic Advance Review Copy of this book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

~ Ana Mardoll

Writings: Finding Out The Hard Way

[This post was previously posted on my Patreon blog.]

Recently, @DynamiteComics was called out on Twitter for featuring an upcoming cover which included the words:

"She was a He! I found out the hard way!"

I do not know the exact context of these words (the comic isn't published yet), but based on the cover, the tweets in response to the call-out, and the history surrounding those words, it seems DynamiteComics were trying to evoke an "old-school" feel of gritty transphobia in exploitation mags with stories intended to scandalize and titillate readers. The words "I found out the hard way!" conjure a situation where a man is pursuing a sex with a woman only to find her genitals aren't to his expectations: in other words, a trans-panic narrative that is still regularly used to justify the vile and inexcusable murders of trans women.

In short: This is transphobia and I urge folks to tell @DynamiteComics how inappropriate this is. They've said the words have been removed from the cover and they are having a meeting over the incident, but they need to hear this isn't okay with their readers so it doesn't happen again. It shouldn't have happened at all.

But this incident got me thinking on what would be an actual "hard way" to find out someone is transgender. Too often our coming out experiences are described in terms of the impact on others: authors focus not on the trans person coming out but on a cis person's hurt feelings at the world not being how they expected. This is a problem of framing. The "hard way" to find out someone is trans shouldn't be a way that centers a cis person's hurt feelings; this narrative teaches us that it's better to stay in the closet rather than risk "hurting" a cis person with the revelation of our identity. That's a pile of garbage we will not further indulge.

But if hurt cis feelings aren't the "hard way" to find out someone is trans, what is? Well, the obvious answer is a conversation held during a pirate battle on a boarded galleon. That is the "hard way" to find out someone is transgender, because pirate battles are hard. Alternate scenarios involving ninjas are also acceptable, as are pirate-ninjas.

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Writings: The Wish-Giver

[This post was previously posted on my Patreon blog.]

I spent the week watching people fight TERFs on Twitter and occasionally wading in when I could. One of the things that bugs me most about TERFs is the bigoted and frankly nonsensical belief that a woman who is born with a vagina is somehow more special than a woman who had to go out and get herself one.

I made a joke about how trans women with vaginas went out and "fought a dragon" for that vagina, and then... well... this happened. I gave myself feels and The Wish-Giver was born. I hope you enjoy reading it; I needed this, to be honest. All typos are because I was crying too hard to see my screen at points.

Open Thread: Glass Octopus


I finally found primary camera.  I'm away from home (watching a baby) and have no relevant cords.  Here's something that I bumped into on the internet.  A hand crafted --for the value of "hand crafted" that involves, "glass is too hot to touch when it can actually be crafted"-- glass octopus.

I think that's all I'll say because "no relevant cords" includes the power cord and my computer is telling me, repeatedly, that it's going to cut out due to lack of power any moment now.

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Time Quintet: Grammar Nazis

[Content Note: Mention of WW2, Fictional Portrayal of Fascism, Racism]

A Wrinkle in Time, Chapter 7: The Man with Red Eyes

Hey, everyone! I was going to write this sooner but then trans stuff happened on twitter and I got sucked into a black hole. I've shared my Storify account with you here before, yes? (I hate using storify after that one time they set a stalker on me, but it's still the best tweet aggregator out there.) Anyway! We're on Chapter 7 which is honestly a good chapter because things start happening again, so I'm really excited and also I just had a lot of sugar. Let's do this!

Open Thread: Double Boxed Cat


I give you my cat ... in box, which is inside another box.  Also bits of the massive mess in my house visible in the background.

She was actually significantly cuter before I turned the camera on, but the noise woke her up and I think it's a rule that, no matter how cute they are regardless, cats and babies/small children must move into a less cute position whenever a camera is pointed in their direction.

Secondary camera is still really helping me get pictures for these threads.  Not the most inspiring pictures since I'm mostly stuck in one room, but pictures none the less.

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Back |