Ari's Fellow Rodents|
[Word of Mouse]
Below are 49 things that people who mostly aren't me have recently said.
[ << Older 49 ]
[ << Older 49 ]
|Monday, December 9th, 2013|
|In Which I Fanboy Over Avatar: The Last Airbender
We’ve finally finished watching all three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender. I’m going to go ahead and say this is one of the best shows I’ve ever watched. Here’s the official show description from the website, for anyone who’s unfamiliar with it:
Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Only the Avatar was the master of all four elements. Only he could stop the ruthless Fire Nation from conquering the world. But when the world needed him most, he disappeared. Until now…
On the South Pole, a lone Water Tribe village struggles to survive. It’s here that a young Waterbender named Katara and her warrior brother Sokka rescue a strange boy named Aang from a cavernous iceberg. Not only is Aang an Airbender–a race of people no one has seen in a century–but they soon discover that Aang is also the long lost Avatar. Now it’s up to Katara and Sokka to make sure Aang faces his destiny to save the tribe–and himself. Did we mention he’s only 12?
I don’t know how best to talk about a three-season, 61-episode show, so I’m just going to randomly celebrate some of the things that made it work so well for me.
The Characters: Almost without exception, every character has his/her own personality and story arc. The Big Bad Fire Lord was pretty much the only one who struck me as one-dimensional, and that’s partly because he barely even shows up until the very end. Everyone else felt fully human. They struggle. They make mistakes. You can connect and sympathize with almost everyone, even the villains. These are interesting people, and I wanted to spend more time with them.
The Animation: This is a beautifully animated show, from the background artwork to the various spirit creatures to the different cultural styles of dress and architecture to my particular favorite, the gracefulness of the four styles of bending. It’s gorgeous to look at.
The Joy: Aang’s backstory is incredibly painful. He’s the last of his people, a hundred years out of his time, and is tasked with saving the world. At the age of twelve. Yet he never loses his joy in the world. He jokes, he laughs, he plays, he dances. He believes in people … but not to the point of foolishness. The show hits notes of both very real pain and ridiculous silliness (poor cabbage guy), and the full range in between. That’s a hard thing to do well, and incredibly powerful when done right.
I’m putting the rest behind a cut tag, because of spoilers…
( Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
|Blogcember: Mystery and Poison Trees
What about an unsolved mystery or mysteries you find especially creepy/interesting? It can be an unsolved murder or weird unexplained phenomena or whatever.
(I went browsing through your tags for inspiration as suggested, and wtf does "fight the poison tree with pokemons" mean?).
The second question is easier to answer, so let’s start there. It’s a reference to the amazing website of a crazy right-winger named George Hutchins who has the best website on the internet. I first posted about him here.
There are so many great things about his website but the best phrase was his answer to a forum question on what he could do to improve the site:
A few of those...what do you call them? Pokemons.
I think pokemons will bring in the younger generation as well.
WE NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET TO FIGHT THE POISON TREE!
In other words, it’s shorthand for “your argument makes so little sense that I’m convinced you’re tripping balls. Stop talking about politics and get some sleep.”
As to unsolved mysteries, well. It’s much harder to put into words, but it’s something like a sense of the uncanny that is just one degree removed from ordinary reality. I’d compare it to walking down a familiar road when your mind wanders off for 30 seconds and you’re suddenly on an unfamiliar one, which is just slightly
off; you can see just enough that you recognize to understand that you’re completely lost. You can even see your regular route, but for whatever reason, you can’t get to it.
Creepypasta is a good example of what I’m talking about. It’s horrifically silly, intentionally so, but my favourite creepypasta sounds just enough like something that someone could theoretically experience that if you’re reading enough of it late at night you can creep yourself out. Candle Cove
is the sort of thing I’m talking about—you remember weird and slightly questionable shows from your childhood, but not clearly, and it’s mixed up with your nightmares and the fact that early childhood is basically one long acid trip, but worse because you know it when you’re on acid but a child has nothing to compare it to. At least, it was like that for me.
The Lost Decade Theory,
which I’m currently writing a novel-type-thing about, is another one. Again, it suggests that you’ve experienced something that you don’t quite remember but lies just beneath the surface.
The best mysteries, for me, capture this sensibility, and involve an intricate, gradually unfolding paradigm shift. There is probably
a completely mundane explanation, but there’s also the possibility of intrusion from what Iain M. Banks termed an “Outside Context Problem,”
(warning: link goes to TVTropes), the possibility that your own secure reality is, in fact, neither reality nor secure.
|News Post: Game of the Year
Gabe: I didn’t watch the VGX awards live but I checked out all the coverage online after the event. When it comes to awards you’re never going to get everyone to agree. Even knowing that, I have to say I was really surprised at some of their decisions. I’m not going to go category by category but I figured I’d talk about game of the year. GTA V picked up this award and I can understand why, but personally I’d have given it to The Last of Us. From game play to visuals to story this game had it all. I can still remember finishing it and just sitting on the couch with tears in my eyes.…
|my Sunday feeling
This was a weekend that was both relaxing and busy at the same time, oddly enough. Saturday I had lunch with a dear friend, which was nice, and the rest of the day was spent working on an article on the WildStorm Star Trek
comics for an upcoming collection called New Life & New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics
, which will be published in 2014 by Sequart.
This morning was a kids tournament at the dojo, at which I assisted as a judge, as well as assorted other duties. It ran longer than expected, so I was there from 8am until 3pm, coming home and crashing for a big-ass nap. Wrenn came in and joined me for that nap -- she hadn't actually done much by way of physical activity, but on occasion she'll engage in sympathetic napping and join me for one of mine.
Tonight, I used the chicken carcass from last night's dinner to make chicken stock, which is currently simmering away on the stove and making the apartment smell yummy. The article's going off to the editor tonight. We also watched The World's End
, which was tremendous fun, as expected from Simon Pegg and his band of loonies.
Tomorrow, I try to once again brave the healthcare gods in their lair
and work on Tuesday's DS9 Rewatch. I also plan to start working on the mystery, finally...... Current Mood: content
|Sunday, December 8th, 2013|
Copied out my basic princess sloper, added ease, copied some details from the Vogue pattern and ran up a muslin - which doesn't sound like much four hours' work, but there you go.
Tried on the muslin, decided that I'd added too much ease in the back, as I rather suspected I would. Also decided to hell
with the double-breasted closure, I was going to do a center-front opening with a faux double-breasted look, as I rather suspect Tennant's coat is. Ever see him wear it closed? Exactly. Besides, I need to save yardage. I'm still not sure I'll have enough as it is...
Tweaked seams to take in the too-much ease in back - managing to get the cut a bit closer to the rather dramatic lines of the Vogue pattern. Hemmed and hawed about doing the same in front but, really, the fit there is good. I had to gentle the side-front curve as it was a little too roomy, even for my bust, but that only shaved off an eighth of an inch, or so.
Took a tiny bit in at the armscye in the back, as it was too big for the sleeve provided with the Vogue pattern and, honestly, that was a bit big, already (the perils of a plus-sized pattern when one is, um, plus sized in an inconsistent manner). Tapered sleeve, slightly - probably a drafting no-no, but I like it better - and knocked a good three inches off the length. Along with short little legs, I have short little arms, it seems.
Spent FAR too much time redrawing the line for the opening of the coat. Going from the overlapped front of a double-breast opening to something more like a regular overcoat changed the angle of the neckline, which, in turn requires a change to the lapels (which were by now FAR too wide) and, oy, three rounds of back-and-forth between checking seamlines and tweaking the width of the collar and lapels...
But! I think I've got it right. I won't really know until I take apart the muslin and re-sew it, but that won't be too
aggravating - just trimming off bits here and there.
As I say, not much for about six hours' work - total - but I'm actually very pleased with it. I have high hopes for the next muslin.
The remainder of my evening shall be spent with the freshly baked batch of cookies my Swain was kind enough to make before dinner time and The Fellowship of the Ring
on the DVD player.
|Monday, December 9th, 2013|
|Tweets for the Week of 12-02-2013
- On-call doctor allowed ONE Tylenol to see if fever was stupid human suit vs emergency room. Temp dropping. Feeling better #CopingWithCancer 20:16:28, 2013-12-06
- Why do I always spike fevers on the weekend after all my doctors go home? 100.5F. Waiting for the on-call doctor now. #CopingWithCancer 19:01:11, 2013-12-06
- RT @TungstenHippo: There is folly and danger in impulsive words. Once released, they cannot be unspoken; the gods listen. @eugiefoster, htt… 11:10:25, 2013-12-06
- [Blog] Hello, Peripheral Neuropathy http://t.co/oIa8GICS08 via @eugiefoster 11:46:00, 2013-12-05
- RT @nonteentitan: Just finished #RMSF by @eugiefoster , excited to grab this for LIRR commute later today http://t.co/736YvN1pWq 11:14:26, 2013-12-05
- Received today: my contrib. copy of anthology The Book of Apex: Volume 4, and it is gorgeous. http://t.co/l2cIJhULDw 11:07:21, 2013-12-04
Originally published at EugieFoster.com. You can comment here or there.
|Sunday, December 8th, 2013|
|I would like to know your opinion
I haven't completely determined my 2014 writing schedule yet. It could be completely taken up with work on series I've worked on before or am working on currently.But I might also have some time to write a novel unrelated to any novel I've done before. I have a few ideas I'm mulling over.So I'm curious. Assuming that you like my stuff in the first place and would consider buying any of these, which sounds most interesting?A heroic fantasy story that would combine real-world history with a whole imaginary universe. (Sorry, I know that's vague.)
A dark, horrific urban fantasy, heavy on the undead.
A Cthulhu Mythos novel starring the protagonist from my short story "The Things That Crawl" (which is in my collection THE Q WORD AND OTHER STORIES.
If you've got an opinion, I'd like to know what it is, although I don't promise to go with the option that gets the most votes.
|A selection from "Death in Keenspur House"
For those who may be interested, here’s yet another sample of what you’ll find in my new heroic fantasy collection THE PLAGUE KNIGHT AND OTHER STORIES. This excerpt comes from “Death in Keenspur House,” another adventure of the mercenary turned fencing master Selden.
The steps debouched into dank crypts, festooned with webs the spiders spun to snare the beetles, and smelling faintly of incense, embalmer’s spice, and rot. The lesser Keenspurs lay behind graven plaques in the walls. The principal lords and ladies had their own private vaults, where stone sarcophagi, the lids often sculpted into likenesses of the occupants, reposed on pedestals in the center.
I assumed Yshan had rated one of the latter, and found him quickly. If his marble likeness could be trusted, he’d possessed the sharp features characteristic of his line, honed beyond the point of gauntness. It gave him a look of fanaticism and spite, which the sculptor had accentuated by rendering him with glaring eyes and a scowl instead of the usual expression of serenity.
I inspected the lid of the sarcophagus, trying to discern whether anyone--or anything--had opened it recently. I couldn’t tell. Not unless I opened it myself.
Assuming I could. It looked damnably heavy for a lone man to shift. But I meant to try. I set the lantern down, then, with a dry mouth and sweat starting beneath my arms, tried to work the pry bar into the crack between cover and box. The iron tool scraped the stone.
The lid flew up and to the side, like the cover of a book, straight at me.
It could have shattered my bones, but my reflexes jerked me backward, and perhaps that robbed the impact of some of its force. Even so, the sculpted marble slab slapped me like a giant’s hand, knocking me into the wall. I fell, and the lid fell with me, crashing down on top of my legs.
Meanwhile, Yshan, who had, by dint of either magic or prodigious strength, flung his graven image at me, reared up from the sarcophagus. He was relatively intact. The embalmers had evidently done their work well, and his box had protected him from rats and worms. But his face was shriveled, flaking, and streaked with black leakage. His right eye had gone milky, while the left had crumbled inward. A few slimy strings stretched across the vacant socket.
You can find THE PLAGUE KNIGHT AND OTHERS here:http://www.amazon.com/Plague-Knight-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B00H1EN9BU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386384739&sr=1-1&keywords=the+plague+knight+and+other+stories
|No SMOFCon for me
Because of some things I'm contemplating, I had additionally contemplated (although it's likely part of the same... Never mind) attending SmofCon
here in Toronto.
It's a recurring travelling convention for convention organizers. I think it would be interesting to get perspectives from people who run events. But this weekend was a holiday one, with parties and screenings and planning of parties, so it just fell by the wayside. Such is life. Current Mood: contemplative
|RTBTCKI There are Storms on the Horizon Edition
It is one of those lovely fronts that if it moves one way we get snow or the other way and we get rain.
Either way I got the holiday light up yesterday so that is done. I try to get them up around Thanksgiving or at least by Caroline’s birthday but this year a couple of things came up and I got it done yesterday. It looks nice. I am slowly replaces the strands that are totally unsalvageable with the new LED lights which last longer. I saw some battery powered lights that I am going to see when they go on sale and pick up a few strands for a project I have in mind.
I am going to try to watch the NFL at some point. There are a couple of games that have win or go home consequences. Right here in NY it is interesting when listening to WFAN and hearing the convolutions that have to happen for either the Jets or the Giants to get into the playoffs. You know your team is in trouble when you have to count on another team losing to get in.
Trying to figure out what I am going to work on today. I have five projects on my list. Priority is the invoices for the books that we are selling. I can put laundry and some other stuff in there as well. I need to go to the butcher today to get some meat for the household dinners. I am going to pick up some bread as well since we are down to three slices. With the weather the way it is, I have a feeling that there is going to be a run bread, milk, eggs, and toilet paper.
Looking forward to tonight’ episode of Once Upon a Time which is the next to the last for this half of the season. It will be back in March. A number of shows are doing this. I can remember that December had reruns during the holiday period, but not total vanishing of shows. I guess cable won. They created this short season or split season idea and now network TV has embraced it.
I need more coffee in my system.
Sometimes I think fans of certain things should take a serious step back and a deep breath before posting on the Internet. Caroline was looking at some My Little Pony stuff on the Hub feed on YouTube. She was watching an “ask a pony” segment that fans ask various ponies questions. A nine year old girl asked Rarity about pony fashion. Caroline happened to glance at the comments and rolled her eyes. She pointed it out to me and said, “The Bronies are at it again.” And sure enough in the comments section of a video about a show that is aimed at pre-teen girls, there were grown men complaining that they never get to ask their serious questions about MLP. Serious questions about MLP? Come on. They get catered to elsewhere and frankly it would be a little creepy to see grown men asking questions of animated ponies? Between that and some of the Whovians, Supernatural fans, and Oncers, I am thinking about abandoning fandom for a while. It was fun but currently it is not fun and I don’t have time for not fun that I can avoid. I have enough not fun in my life as it is.
For my Florida Peeps, Peter S. Beagle is going to be at the Sun Ray Cinema next weekend for the Last Unicorn tour. So heads up on that. If you live in the area and haven’t visited the venue, well here’s a good reason to. And their popcorn is amazing!
How many all inclusive entertainment systems do we need? I can remember when game consoles played games and that was it. The newest versions are touting themselves as your all in one entertainment console. What they don’t say is that this wonderfulness comes at a price. In fact for many of the new whistles and bells, you have to subscribe to their service to get them. I’ll stick with the previous versions which work well at playing games. Also connecting the handheld into the system seems weird to me but then I am an old gamer. I remember Pong as the cutting edge in gaming tech.
Yeah, I am pretty random today.
Caroline has been practicing her flute for her winter concert next week. She has come so far in a year. Last year about this time she sorted out how to make a noise with the flute consistently. Now she is playing whole songs and doing it well.
I need to kit bash something for Dragon Con. I am figuring out how I am going to do that. Costuming skills activate!
Also need to start figuring out what I am going to be doing for my entry into the Puppet Slam for Dragon Con this year. Might have to pull out all the Docs again maybe by that time we will have pics of Capaldi’s outfit. Or do a set of Avengers….Hmmmm.
Speaking of Doctor Who, Peter and I were discussing how far the show has come in the US. It was a clue on Jeopardy this week and they had Capaldi’s name as part of it. It is part of main stream continuousness rather than a niche program. I don’t have to explain to people what Doctor Who is because they know.
OK onto the next thing that needs to be done.
I am grateful for LED lighting.
|Blogcember: Phil Ochs primer
This one was suggested by ironed_orchid
and seconded by princealberic
, and, I have to admit, is the one thus far I’m most excited to write about. I kind of feel like I have blogged about Phil Ochs before, but maybe not enough. Also I have new readers.
So, I don’t always agree with Christopher Hitchens (in fact I devoted a fairly large number of posts to trash-talking him over the years), but I love what he has to say in this interview,
which is part of the excellent Phil Ochs documentary “There But For Fortune.” (Which you should all totally watch, by the way.)
“There was a difference between people who liked Bob Dylan—anyone could like Bob Dylan, everybody did—and those who even knew about Phil Ochs.”
That’s the most hipster diss ever, but it’s true. Both Dylan and Ochs were played extensively in my house when I was growing up, but for some reason it was Dylan who remained in the cultural zeitgeist, whereas I went years without remembering who Ochs was until I was collecting songs for a mixed CD about the Spanish Civil War and found, appropriately enough, the chilling and gorgeous Spanish Civil War Song.
While I knew that the singers on all of the other songs were dead, this one sounded fairly modern, so I figured I’d contact him to see if it was okay to use it on the CD. To the internet! Wherein I discovered that, no, he was also dead, at a tragically young age no less, and also he was the same guy who wrote that Draft Dodger Rag
song that my mum used to play when I was a kid.
Hence, at age 20 or so, I re-discovered the awesomeness that is Phil Ochs.( This is long.Collapse )
|words are hard.
I really like the looks of the December talking meme, but I've held off because I really doubted I'd get prompts. That said, it looked like fun, so why not. :)
Pick a date in December and give me a topic, and I'll ramble on. I'm good at talking. It can be anything from fandom-related (specific characters, actors, storylines, episodes, etc.) to life-related to pizza preferences to whatever you want.
I reserve the right to decline prompts that I don't feel equipped to meet, but really, that's pretty unlikely.
In other news, I've been rereading the Belgariad by David Eddings, reminded by recessional
's awesome next-gen fics. I've seen this sentiment expressed elsewhere, but many of my issues with this series would be solved if the narrative treated Polgara as scary and controlling and inappropriate instead of basically approving of her.
Also, I want to change my dw style/layout, but that means trying to find all my existing settings and save/record them because I'm changephobic and what if I hate my new choice?
And now I'm going to bed, because I've done something painful to my shoulder/neck and the painkillers are making me drowsy. Goodnight, sweet flist! (/dwircle.)
|Ten Years After I Published The Book, Dancing Barefoot Gets an Audio Version
When I was writing my first book, Just A Geek, I ended up with a lot of stories that just didn’t fit within the narrative. I didn’t know what to do with them, until my friend and editor, Andrew, said, “Why don’t you put them in their own book?”
I was hesitant, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was a very good idea, so that’s what I did. I asked my friend Ben to draw some illustrations to keep the stories company, and I published it all on my own, before Just A Geek was even completely finished. The book is called Dancing Barefoot.
After I released the audio versions of Just a Geek and The Happiest Days of Our Lives, a lot of people asked me when I was going to do an audio version of Dancing Barefoot, to round out what I’ve just decided to call a trilogy. The truth is, I never intended to do an audio version of it, because I felt like I’d grown as a writer since it was published, and it would sound and feel strange to revisit that book without wanting to rewrite the whole thing.
But something really changed in me when I turned 40 last year, and I stopped worrying so much about things like that. I accepted that it was the best I could do then, and even if it’s a little rough around the edges, it’s because I made it that way.
So about a month ago, I booked some studio time with my favorite audiobook producers, and finally recorded an audio version of Dancing Barefoot.
It felt a little strange to record something I wrote over a decade ago, as I was entering my thirties, and looking into my past in order to understand my future. It was written during a tumultuous and uncertain time, when I was struggling so much just to make it month to month. Reading it now, knowing what my future actually held, both wonderful and terrible, made it a more emotional experience than I expected.
From Houses In Motion
I had this weird sense of nostalgia as I read it, like nesting dolls: I remembered the stories that I told, I remembered writing them down on my blog for the first time, then editing them into Dancing Barefoot for the first time, and then shipping thousands of books around the world, out of my living room. I remembered how excited I felt when Anne and I opened the first box of books when they were delivered from the printer, and how happy it still makes me feel when someone hands me one of those books to sign for them.
Real quick, before I get to the link for the album, I want to say something to those of you who have been here for a decade, especially those of you who bought Dancing Barefoot so long ago: Thank you. Without your support then, I wouldn’t be here now. There’s a straight line between you buying that book from me, and me working on Eureka, Big Bang Theory, Leverage, and everything else. There’s an even shorter, straighter line between me shipping that book to you from my living room floor, to me writing all my other books, magazine columns, and posts of varying quality on this blog.
F. Scott Fitzgerald is credited with declaring that “there are no second acts in American lives,” and before I began this journey a little over a decade ago, I believed him. But because I people like you kept coming back to read my blog, kept coming to see me perform on stage, and bought my books when I published them, I feel like I may be one of the exceptions to that rule.
I’m incredibly grateful for the life that I have now, the life that I worked so hard to build. Every single day, I’m afraid that I’m going to wake up and discover that it’s just a dream, or a cruel trick in some episode of The Twilight Zone. I worked really hard for what I have now, but I didn’t do it alone. People I’ll never meet took a chance on me and made it possible for me to do what I’m doing now, and I can’t thank you enough.
Okay, I’m rambling, so I’ll just get out of the way. Here’s the product information:
It’s available now on my Bandcamp page, you can listen to the entire thing there for free, or you can buy it for $10 though the weekend, before it goes up to $20 next week. It includes a digital booklet with all the illustrations Ben did, scanned by me from my original author’s copy of the book.
Here’s the description:
Available for the first time in audio, read by the author.
In this wonderful Freshman effort, actor and author Wil Wheaton shares five short-but-true stories about life in the so-called Space Age:
Houses in Motion – Memories fill the emptiness left within a childhood home, and saying goodbye brings them to life.
Ready Or Not Here I Come – A game of hide-n-seek with the kids works as a time machine, taking Wil on a tour of the hiding and seeking of years gone by.
Inferno – Two 15-year-olds pass in the night leaving behind pleasant memories and a perfumed Car Wars Deluxe Edition Box Set.
We Close Our Eyes – A few beautiful moments spent dancing in the rain.
The Saga of SpongeBob VegasPants – A story of love, hate, laughter and the acceptance of all things Trek.
|Saturday, December 7th, 2013|
|Play: My Dear Watson
http://grubbstreet.blogspot.com/2013/12/play-my-dear-watson.htmlThe Hound of the Baskervilles
, Based on the Original Story by Arthur Conan Doyle, Adapted by David Pichette and R. Hamilton Wright, Directed by Allison Narver. Through December 15
This is a Rep production, top to bottom. You know that in this space I kvetch about how it is called the Seattle Rep, and then they bring in some successful company from elsewhere or a one-person show or puppets, for god's sake, and I opine how I'm not sure that it is living up to the Repertory in the name. However, this adaptation of the classic a Sherlock Holmes novel is both original and native top to bottom. Adapters Pichette and Wright are both actors whose work I've enjoyed, and I've appreciated director Narver's work as well. And the bulk of the capable and competent cast list use the winning phrase "was last seen at the Rep in..." and then lists some of the titles we've reviewed here.
In addition, this could be a play that could easily taken on the road and play with great success back east (take THAT, other Rep companies!). In the theater calender, this would be considered the "safe" holiday play - something you could bring the out-of-town in-laws to, and it pulls out all the stops for stagecraft and presentation. And, of course, the subject is well-known to everyone, as all have encountered Holmes to some degree or another through their years.
And Holmes is hot. We have the action-hero steampunk Holmes on the big screen. We have the sociopathic modern Holmes (US and UK varieties) on the little screen. We have numerous PBS-versions of Holmes still haunting the DVDs, and various other media adaptations. And we have the original texts of course. And of the Holmes stories, the best-known is probably the Hound of the Baskervilles
, with its spooky moors and man-killing, glowing yeth hound. And while watching the play I kept referring back to the Basil Rathbone movie version, and I would not be alone.
So we have an extremely popular character in that character's well-known work. Do we call spoilers at this point? Do you have to say "The kids die" about Romeo and Juliet? Does Celine Deon's voice swell in song and you lean over and tell your seatmate "The ship sinks, you know."? But there are some differences between original and adaptation so let us call spoilers and be done with it. Some characters have evaporated, or have their roles taken up by others, and scenes occur that work in the play (they hold a dinner party for the locals to bring everyone onto the stage at once, for example), that are not necessary on the printed page. And it does change the story, but let me deal with the excellent actors, first.
Darragh Kennan is an excellent Holmes, fitting well within the various Holmesian hordes. His Holmes is smug, often haughty,but extremely competent. More than a touch OCD. He knows his tobaccos and accents but not his Shakespeare. He is often wrong. He makes mistakes. He is a much more human Holmes than the iconic version and Kennan plays up the self-satisfied, too-clever-by-half version of him well.
Andrew McGinn balances Holmes acerbic nature as the more welcoming, warmer, more human member of the partnership in Watson. Watson is a continual quandry in Holmesiana, is that he is a capable Doctor but often takes the back seat as the expository character, the one which Holmes reveals his thought process to, and thereby to us. As a result, he tends to come off as a bit of clod, while it is through Watson that we see Holmes in the first place. In Baskervilles
, Holmes disappears for a good bit of the plot (part of the first act and almost the entirety of the second) and Watson soldiers on, collecting the clues and interacting with the locals on a level that a chilly Holmes never could.
Oddly, the character that steals the show (and there are several would-be thieves in the talented group), is Connor Toms (previously in Red
) as the Canadian heir to Baskerville Hall, Sir Henry. Recently imported from the Great White, this adaption runs with the fish-out-of-water comedy throughout, the front-facing Sir Henry trying to shake hands with everyone, tip the servants, and insisting people call him "Hank". He runs into the very proper English with its stoopshouldered serving class and repressed emotions like a hurricane making landfall in Scotland.
I mentioned others engaged in stealing the show as well, both with main roles and as part of the ensemble. Rob Burgess as the horrified butler Barrymore. Marianne Owen as both Barrymore's wife and a wondrous turn as Mrs. Hudson, both tolerant and knowing where to draw the line with her famous tenants. Basil Harris as the Doctor who brings the case to Holmes and serves as an interesting mirror to Watson. Charles Leggett as the bad neighbor with a generations-long grudge, Quinn Franzen as the of-course-he's-a-bit-spotty butterfly hunter and Hana Lass as his slightly-psychic sister. Within the confines of the play, they have a bit more suspicion cast upon each in turn as Watson (and Holmes, when he appears fully) has to examine when dealing with a phosphorescent hound on the moors.
And here's the thing that offended at least one purest in our group - in removing a couple of characters from the book they messed with some of the plot, and ended up in a different final place than the novel. It is interesting, but given the shotgun approach to modern Holmes stories, it is perfectly permissible. But it does feel odd, given that so much is so right. And what bothered me that we got a "villains speech" at the end when the mastermind explains all, which doesn't feel right for Holmes as well. Holmes is the guy that gets it right, explains it all, pulls off the sheet to reveal the entire plan, and the culprit says "Ay, that's correct. It's a fair cop." Not here, and now, a week later, I'm still not sure about it.
The stagecraft, by the way, was the Rep at its best, filled with sliding walls and projected images. They choreograph a chase through Paddington Station that is positively brilliant, capturing the feeling and flavor through other members of the ensemble, sliding pillars, pirouetting staircases, and perfect timing. This is to handle something that theater handles badly, given its limitations - showing a chase which involves more than running from one side of the stage to the other.
runs for another week, then must close, so you should order tickets. This was the first Sunday matinee I've been to in a long time where the main floor was sold out, and a friend who knew someone at the ticket office said there would be no rush (last-minute, cheap) tickets. It is popular show, well-down and well-presented, and sums up everything that Rep company is supposed to do for its audience. A very proper, Holmesian Christmas present, indeed.
|Not everyone is going to like the thing you made, and that’s okay
I recently worked on an upcoming video game from Double Fine, called Broken Age. I got to play a really fun character, and I had a super good time working with one of my favorite directors in the industry.
Double Fine announced my participation in a video that includes some shots of me recording, and the response from people who chose to respond was overwhelmingly positive.
Earlier this morning, the following Tweets appeared in my timeline, back to back:
When I was younger, I would have completely ignored the first one, and obsessively focused on the second one to the point of feeling shitty about myself. Part of having Imposter Syndrome is believing that people who praise you are dupes, while the people who criticize you can actually see through everything. But the thing is, the guy who isn’t thrilled has every right to feel that way, and I don’t take it personally. Not everyone digs what I do and what I bring to a project, and that’s totally cool. At the same time, it’s also pretty awesome that a lot of people do dig what I bring to a project, and that is also cool.
Consider this, about having perspective on criticism: If you enjoyed making a thing, and you’re proud of the thing you made, that’s enough. Not everyone is going to like it, and that’s okay. And sometimes, a person who likes your work and a person who don’t will show up within milliseconds of each other to let you know how they feel. One does not need to cancel out the other, positively or negatively; if you’re proud of the work, and you enjoyed the work, that is what’s important.Don’t let the fear of not pleasing someone stop you from being creative.
The goal isn’t to make something everyone will love; the goal is to get excited, and make a thing where something wasn’t before.
|Big Bang Theory’s Autism Simulation
I just posted this over on Tumblr, but wanted to share it here as well.
I’ve criticized The Big Bang Theory for things like its ongoing obsession with fat jokes, its casual sexism (OMG, girls don’t read comics/play D&D/etc), the handling of Sheldon’s autistic/OCD issues, and an ongoing sense of laughing at geeks instead of with us.
But I want to give a shoutout to something the show did recently in “The Itchy Brain Simulation.” Leonard discovered a DVD he had forgotten to return for Sheldon, and started worrying about how Sheldon would react. Because we all know Sheldon can’t let anything go, and would be completely annoying and freak out about the unreturned DVD, right? And then we the viewers can all laugh at the neurotic genius and ask why his friends put up with him.
Only it didn’t play out that way. Sheldon countered by asking why Leonard didn’t consider how annoying and difficult these things were for him. As far as I know, this is the first time Sheldon’s ever stood up for himself in this way. He took it a step further, saying he’d remain calm about the DVD … if Leonard wore an itchy sweater he had gotten as a gift until the DVD was returned.
Animated gifs ahead. (I did say this was being copied from Tumblr…)
( Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
[ hairypolack ]
[ conuly ]
|slouching toward healthcare
So yesterday was the day when I sat down and would, for the first time since Terri and I split up in 2009, get healthcare, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Wrenn had already done likewise on New York's ACA site
, and it was time for me to sit down and do so. I'm actually a lot more concerned about Wrenn, as she's asthmatic and hasn't been under a doctor's care since she got laid off in 2009. (Her contract gig didn't come with health insurance, nor did it pay her enough to see a doctor without it.) I've been able to at least get the occasional checkup through my doctor here, but Wrenn doesn't have a physician up here to see. I've honestly been scared to death for her for a while now, given her chronic condition, and I can't begin to tell how glad I am that she can finally be under a doctor's care for the first time in four years.
(This, by the way, is why I have no
, with the opponents of ACA. Not the people who find fault with the bill, which has faults up the wazoo, but rather with those who find fault with the notion of giving Americans affordable health care. For the last four years I have lived in fear of tearing my ACL while training or of Wrenn getting a cold that moves to her lungs and gives her pneumonia, because if either of those things happened, or if one of us got hit by a bus or something, we were totally fucking hosed
. More fundamentally, though, ACA will allow people to do regular maintenance on themselves. When Wrenn finally does see a doctor in 2014, we're both afraid of what they'll find because she hasn't been looked at by a physician. I know far too many people who died because they waited until their condition was debilitating before seeing a doctor, because they didn't have the insurance to cover an ordinary visit. Had they been under a physician's care regularly, the cancer that killed them might have been caught in time to treat. Whatever the ACA's flaws, people won't die who would've died otherwise because it's there. That's the only yardstick that matters.)
Anyhow, I spent the day going through it, and I made more than one mistake. For starters, I missed the box that said I'd need help paying for it, so when I got to the end and they hadn't asked me any questions about my income, I was confused. So I went back, found that I forgot to check a "YES" box, and then went through and did all that.
I'd already figured out my yearly income from 2013 but because I'm self-employed, they wanted three one-month estimates for three months in 2014, which they then extrapolate to a yearly income, rather than just a dollar figure of what I made last year. (They also have my tax info for 2012.)
When I got to the end where it said what my eligibility was, it said I was eligible for Medicaid.
I went back and upped the figures, to the point where it was in excess of 200% over the poverty line, and it still
said I was eligible for Medicaid.
So I called the number. After being on hold for half an hour, I got a person who tiredly informed me that I was the ninth person that just she
got on Friday who was told they were eligible for Medicaid. Obviously, something on NY.gov's site was borked yesterday.
All my info is saved, and the nice woman at the other end of the phone (who really did sound exhausted and frustrated -- I did everything I could to be polite and considerate, as I always am with folks who answer phones, as you always get farther with politeness and friendliness than rudeness) told me that it should
be resolved by Monday. We shall see.
Despite this one issue, the site actually is fairly easy to use, and I'm pleased that I should be able to finally go see my doctor again in the new year. As glitches go, this is fairly standard when you've got a massive implementation of a web site with this level of infrastructure and this many moving parts. I'm honestly impressed that more didn't go wrong -- especially since I've been down the rabbit hole that is the New York DMV site.................. Current Mood: awake
|Blogcember: Pizza preferences
asked about pizza preferences. I have strong opinions
on pizza, you guys.
First of all, what is with some pizzas not having tomato sauce now? This is unacceptable. Besides a crust that is pizza-shaped (here's where the New Yorkers and the Chicagoans start arguing about crust, I guess), tomato sauce is what defines a pizza and makes it Good or Not Good. I like pesto as much as the next person but putting it on a pizza is pretentious and a sign that you have deficiencies as a human being.
Second, I like thin crust over thick, though obviously it needs to be thick enough to accommodate the fuckton of toppings that I like on it. Whole wheat is nice if done well, but it's usually not done well. Crust exists solely as a delivery method for toppings; I don't know why people get so uptight about it.
Let's talk toppings. Top tier: black olives, grilled eggplant, artichokes, jalapeno peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms (preferably portobello but I'm not actually that picky). Put any of these on pizza and I'm happy.
Second tier: green olives, tomatoes, banana peppers, goat cheese, and spinach. These are all good too.
Third tier: non-spicy peppers, onions, extra cheese that's not goat cheese. Fine, happy to eat it, but you went for one of the default vegetarian pizzas, didn't you?
Bad: Any kind of non-tomato fruit. Like pineapple. That's disgusting. Meat, obvs. I'm not particularly keen on sun-dried tomatoes but you can pick those off, so.
Adding extra garlic, chilli flakes, and basil is always a good thing.
Now I'm craving pizza.
|#_______ of _______ people
Recently I have been seeing a lot of lists and articles about behavior both good and bad. You can read about 10 habits of happy people or 20 habits of unhappy people or 7 strategies of important people or whatever. We are endlessly fascinated by how people do what they do or act how they act and we seem to like to distill that down into lists.
Part of this might be because I am keeping up with my Facebook feed which is off and on for me. Facebook seems to be made of lists and memes…and games lots and lots of games.
I know that blogging is still going on. I read various people’s thoughts on a variety of subjects still on Live Journal or another platform. I think I am starting to understand Tumbler. Pinrest is still not making much sense to me over all. I use to GetGlue but much less since the physical stickers are now gone and right after the Doctor Who marathon of stickers. I have a Twitter account but it is more for reading than commenting.
There was an article in the NYT about how one’s social footprint may influence which college they get into and what sort of scholarships might be offered to them. There was another article I read about Human Resources looking at one’s social footprint as part of the vetting process for a job. A candidate which looks good on paper and interviews well can find themselves not getting the job because of what they say on the Internet or what others say about them. So those “I was so drunk Friday night” messages present a person without self control and, if there is a pattern of these messages, a person with a potential problem. It seems that how you present yourself on the web is as important as how you present yourself in person.
I am thinking of joining Linkedin but I am unsure what I would do with it. I am looking for work but most of my leads have come from direct contact with people. Not that I have found a job or any freelance work recently. But this year has been about family needs more than anything else.
I am wondering what historians are going to make of our Internet footprints. What patterns are they going to see and what data will they mine? The world seems to be moving fast and we are moving closer together because of these electronic mediums. In some ways we have never been closer but in others we have never been further apart. And is there too much sharing?
I am grateful that I got on the Internet early in its existence.
|A selection from "The Cheat"
For those who might be interested, here’s another sample of what you’ll find in my new heroic fantasy collection THE PLAGUE KNIGHT AND OTHER STORIES. Specifically, this is the opening of “The Cheat.” Like several others stories in the collection, “The Cheat” stars Selden, a fencing master who was once a mercenary and who still hires out his sword on occasion to help those menaced by sorcerers, demons, and the like.
Falnac was nervous. I could tell by the way he kept swallowing.
I put my hand on the lad’s shoulder. “Use what we practiced,” I said. “Leap into the distance, feint to the groin, and finish on the outside.”
“Yes, Master Selden,” he whispered.
“And if the two of you wind up close together, stay there and stab like a madman. Alsagad’s taller than you are. Close quarters will make him awkward.”
I could have said more, but a swordsman about to fight for his life can only retain so much advice. Indeed, given that this was Falnac’s first duel, it was an open question whether he’d remember anything I’d just told him, or anything from his six years of lessons, either.
When they deemed the light sufficient, the seconds called the duelists to a patch of ground where there were no tombstones to trip them up. As they advanced, Dromis caught my eye. He was Alsagad’s fencing master as I was Falnac’s, and the protocol of dueling required that we treat one another with solemn courtesy. Instead, the big man with the curling mustachios, pointed beard, and hair all dyed a brassy unnatural yellow gave me a sneer, as if to assert that my teaching and my student were so inferior to his that Alsagad’s victory was assured.
For a heartbeat, it made me want to see Alsagad stretched out dead on the dewy grass, and then I felt ashamed of myself. Like many quarrels, this one had materialized over a trifle, and any decent man would hope to see if it settled by, at worst, a trifling wound.
The seconds gave the principals the chance to speak words of reconciliation, and of course, being proud young blades of Balathex, they didn’t. So Alsagad’s second whipped a white kerchief through the air. That was the signal to begin.
The duelists circled one another while waking birds chirped, a cool breeze blew, and dawn stained the river on the far side of the graveyard red. Then Falnac sprang forward.
His blade leaped at Alsagad’s crotch in as convincing a feint as I’d ever seen. But the move didn’t draw the parry it was meant to elicit. Instead, Alsagad simply cut into Falnac’s wrist. Falnac’s blade fell from his hand.
The seconds opened their mouths to shout for a halt, but they were too slow. Alsagad slashed Falnac’s neck.
Falnac collapsed with blood spurting from the new and fatal wound. Dromis crowed and shook his fist in the air. “Yes!” he bellowed. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
You can find THE PLAGUE KNIGHT AND OTHERS here:
|Dreams vs. Goals
(Hey, for once the Picard icon is doubly appropriate. Merry Christmas - here's a plan and a deadline! Heh.)
Writing has been getting slightly easier. Making it into a daily habit (much like yoga and guitar) has been notably beneficial - I haven't been perfect about it (especially this past week, which has been monstrously busy with out-of-town friends visiting and Brian's work Christmas party), but I've done it enough to get over the initial hump of self-loathing, and I'm getting better at just turning my forebrain down and letting the words come. ("You can't go meet your friend until you've done your writing", less than an hour before I have to leave, is surprisingly good motivation.) It's still not great stuff, but I'm finally realizing - to quote one of those oft-repeated writing-advice nuggets that I've read dozens of times but only seem, for some reason, to just now be absorbing - first drafts are always crap. Even people who've done this for years - theirs might be better than mine, but it's still crap. That's the whole point of editing and revising.
I don't know why it's taken me so long to get past this. I suspect part of it is my two main forms of writing up to now being blogging and paper-writing. Blogging is ridiculously easy for me - I jot my thoughts down and click "post". If I'm feeling particularly ambitious I give it a once-over (often after the fact) for misspellings or confusing sentence structure, but mostly I can get a passable (if not particularly organized) post out with minimal effort. (Only occasionally, on contentious topics, will I set out to properly research, cite, and structure a post in order to form an argument, and those posts tend to take several hours.) Paper-writing, similarly, has a set format that requires little imagination
, and while it would take me a bit of time to do the research, I could usually churn out a rough draft that only needed a little bit of polishing to make the transition to final-draft status. Which means that consistently, for a decade and a half, I haven't had to deal with crappy first drafts, or even really do much work when it came to writing. So probably it's a classic case of "talented person finds something they aren't good at and decides it can't be done because it doesn't come easy to them".
Back when we moved to Arizona (which was the last time I thought seriously about writing, though I ended up just kind of BSing around for six months), Brian got me a magnet with a great quote on it: "A dream is just a dream. A goal
is a dream with a plan and a deadline." I had kind of an ambivalent reaction at the time, because while I recognized the truth of it, I've always had a panic reaction to the concept of actually putting together a proper plan for anything I've wanted to do.* (Never quite been certain why. It's not that I can't
put together a plan - quite the opposite, really. But for music or writing or acting or anything I really wanted, the thought has always made my heart pound and eyes go wide.) Frankly, I still do have that reaction, but I'm kind of sick of it - or maybe just sick enough of office jobs where I'm finally motivated to get past it. Or at least a little more motivated than I have been in the past. I hope.
To that end, I've not only been writing, I've given myself a deadline - June 30th, a little more than six months away - to start earning some cash via art, be it from busking, story sales, coffeeshop gigs, what have you. It doesn't have to be a livable wage - I'm thinking a $100/month minimum sounds reasonable enough, as it's what I made in my best month busking/gigging in Bisbee - but I need to motivate myself, and that seems a good bar to set. Plus I'll feel like a lot less of a wealthy dilettante when people ask what I do and I say "I'm a musician."***
I've got a few ideas on how to get there; the quickest cash is likely going to come from setting up an Amazon self-publishing account and selling the various porn stories I've written over the years.** There's a huge market for erotica on the Kindle, and it'd be a good way to get familiar with the ins and outs of self-publishing. And I've got a halfway-decent plan already sketched out for it, much of which will transfer over to "serious" writing - starting (and posting regularly in) a writing blog, finding other writing blogs/message boards I like and interacting with people there, editing the stories themselves, learning the ins and outs of formatting and pricing and all that jazz, etc., etc.
People say getting started is the hardest part, but honestly, I think it's consistency. All of this is going to be a pretty big time sink, and there's going to be a good-sized chunk of investment required before I start seeing returns. So that's what I'm crossing my fingers for now - that the fear of the continual minor-level frustration of another office job will help me both get started and stay consistently motivated.
Here's to building foundations under those castles in the air.*If this were a romantic comedy, I'd make some quip about how "I'm more of a 'seat-of-your-pants' kinda gal," and it would be charming and adorable and also reinforcing negative gender stereotypes - woo!
**You can add "porn" to the list of "types of writing I can churn out a decent rough draft of in not much time". Possibly because the climax - literally - is set from the beginning, so it's just a matter of winding my characters up and watching them get there.
***Right now, I usually follow it up with "...which is a nice way of saying I'm unemployed." Funny how getting people to give you money for something makes you feel much less like you're playing at it, no matter how serious you actually are.
Originally posted at http://missroserose.dreamwidth.org/875533.html because all the cool kids are on Dreamwidth now. If you're not worried about being cool, you can still comment here. Current Mood: optimistic
|Friday, December 6th, 2013|
DANGEROUS WOMEN is here. The anthology was released on December 3 in hardcover and ebook, and should be available from your favorite local bookstore or online retailer. This is a monster, as those who have already snagged a copy can testify, a massive crossgenre assembly of all original stories about women warriors, femmes fatale, and kickass adventurers, containing not only "The Princess and the Queen," my own 30,000 word account of the Dance of the Dragons, but all sorts of other terrific stuff as well.
Here's a story about the book from today's PASATIEMPO, the magazine of the Santa Fe NEW MEXICAN.http://www.santafenewmexican.com/pasatiempo/books/readings_signings/damsels-who-distress-dangerous-women-an-anthology/article_2b831a74-dac3-5826-b1eb-5a4b1f89d4cc.html
Our table of contents:
The full table of contents:
INTRODUCTION, by Gardner Dozois
SOME DESPERADO, by Joe Abercrombie
MY HEART IS EITHER BROKEN, by Megan Abbott
NORA’S SONG, by Cecelia Holland
THE HANDS THAT ARE NOT THERE, by Melinda Snodgrass
BOMBSHELLS, by Jim Butcher
RAISA STEPANOVA, by Carrie Vaughn
WRESTLING JESUS, by Joe R. Lansdale
NEIGHBORS, by Megan Lindholm
I KNOW HOW TO PICK ‘EM, by Lawrence Block
SHADOWS FOR SILENCE IN THE FORESTS OF HELL, by Brandon Sanderson
A QUEEN IN EXILE, by Sharon Kay Penman
THE GIRL IN THE MIRROR, by Lev Grossman
SECOND ARABESQUE, VERY SLOWLY, by Nancy Kress
CITY LAZARUS, by Diana Rowland
VIRGINS, by Diana Gabaldon
HELL HATH NO FURY, by Sherilynn Kenyon
PRONOUNCING DOOM, by S.M. Stirling
NAME THE BEAST, by Sam Sykes
CARETAKERS, by Pat Cadigan
LIES MY MOTHER TOLD ME, by Caroline Spector
THE PRINCESS AND THE QUEEN, by George R.R. Martin
And for those in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, or the rest of the Land of Enchantment...
Tthis Monday, my co-editor Gardner Dozois and I will be at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe with seven of our writers. So come join me and Steve Stirling and Melinda Snodgrass and Diana Rowland and Gardner Dozois and Carrie Vaughn and Diana Gabaldon and Sam Sykes and Megan Lindholm/ Robin Hobb for an evening of DANGEROUS TALK ABOUT DANGEROUS WOMEN,
So come and hear us if you can, and get your books signed as well. We should have copies of many other titles by our attending writers on hand, along with a big stack of DANGEROUS WOMEN itself. Current Mood: excited
|Saturday, December 7th, 2013|
|News Post: Changes
Tycho: The 18th of last month was Penny Arcade’s 15th Anniversary. There was never a lot of time to think about what we wanted Penny Arcade to be like. It’s like us, I guess, by default; sort of a mess. We just tried to make the best decisions we could, any time a decision was called for. It doesn’t always work out. And sometimes, you do things because “that’s what you do.” You “grow your business,” for example. You “extend verticals.” I honestly don’t know about the second one. …
|Friday, December 6th, 2013|
Q: So why is the mayor allegedly hanging out in a crack house in Etobicoke?The whole interview is comedy gold.
Doug Ford: Well, you know something, I know, OK, let me cut to the chase, Don (Peat, Toronto Sun reporter). Because your paper’s gone a little offside.
Q: The paper that endorsed you in 2010?
Ford: Everyone changes. Until the media —
Q: So did the mayor.
Ford: Can you let me finish, Don? Until the media, stops it’s [sic] Soviet Stalin-era Pravda journalism, and for the folks that don’t know what Pravda journalism, back in the day of Stalin, that tries to coerce, get the people to believe in what they’re doing.
Q: What are you talking about, Doug?
Never change, Dougie.
I'm going out of order here, because the next Blogcember prompt was about pizza preferences (which I do want to write about!), and it felt a bit weird to have a serious post about Nelson Mandela that's getting linked to all over the place, followed by a post about pizza.
asked: "What you're going to do in Morocco! Also, what is a VLPA or some gathering of similar initials?"
So! The background to this is that I've wanted to go to Morocco since I was a little kid. This is as a result of knowing someone who went and came back with photos of the architecture, and also reading way too much William S. Burroughs at far too early an age. MY CHILDHOOD TRAVEL DREAM AND I'M DOING IT, you guys.
I'm going on a tour, because that's the only reasonable way to see all the places I want to see in a short period of time and my command of French leaves much to be desired. (My command of Arabic is non-existent.) I'll be in North Morocco: Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, Chefchaouen, and Marrakech. What I'm doing? Seeing stuff. As much stuff as possible. Particularly architecture.
VLAP is the thing that makes the whole thing possible. See, when you're a teacher, you get crazy amounts of vacation (and need it). But it's only at Christmas Break (when it's expensive to fly and most people have some sort of obligation), March Break (a week long), and summer. You can't take vacation any other time. I'm not complaining, and I'm totally willing to pay more because the perks of my job are awesome, but the thing with Morocco is that the temperatures average around 90-100°F in summer. I am actually willing to endure that for the sake of my childhood dream, but the friend I'm going with is much more sensible than I am.
Now! Rewind back to the shitty contract we got enforced on us last year. As shitty as it was, like most neoliberal economic ideas, it was short-sighted and actually didn't save anyone that much money. (When we had 20 bankable sick days a year, the average teacher took 7—and I took way less than that until I got Maggie. Now we get 11 non-bankable sick days, and there is zero motivation to not take all 11, since we lose them otherwise. A supply teacher costs $250 a day. Your homework, boys, girls, and genderqueers, is to do the math.)
In another effort to save money, the Board started offering a Voluntary Leave of Absence Program (VLAP), where you can take up to five days of unpaid leave. That amounts to a substantial pay cut, but I saw that and went, "fuck it, I can attach it to my March Break and go to Morocco! Hells yeah!"
And that's what I'm doing. Because childhood dream.
|News Post: Dickerdoodles 2013
Gabe: It is that time of year again. No I’m not talking about Christmas. I’m talking about Dickerdoodles! That’s right, it’s time for all you sickos to put on your aprons (and nothing else) so you can bake some sweet sweet cookie pornography! Over the years we’ve had some pretty amazing entries. You can look through all the past galleries right here. Be warned these cookies are very NSFW! As always I will pick my favorite three and give each of those lucky winners a prize pack full of PA merch. I want to remind you all that anything you send me can and probably will get…
|News Post: PA Merch
Gabe: I’m still trying to take care of all my Christmas shopping and you might be in the same boat. If you are looking to the Penny Arcade store for your Christmas gift needs I should point out that today is the cut off day for items shipped first class international to arrive before the 25th. You can see the rest of the shipping deadlines over on the front page of the PA store. It’s also worth noting that the Pinny Arcade Christmas pins are now available for pre-order. These should start shipping on the 12th of December and Brian has told me he will do everything humanly possible to get them…
|News Post: Incorporated
Tycho: Once Assassin’s Creed 3 entered canon, it became possible to have a pretty sophisticated philosophical conversation about the setting. That’s the one people don’t like, of course; the one with the best twist, the one that drops the mask. The one that makes you understand at the edge of a knife that your entire conception of the narrative is essentially propaganda. It’s also the end of a discrete trilogy, even if the second game is a trilogy by itself. Don’t think about it too much unless you’re in the market for an embolism. But…
... is going to become a TV series! Based mostly on the second book, Elfstones of Shannara.
I tried posting this several times before, but it kept balking; I have to assume because of the link to the story. Let's see if this one posts, as I've left the link out this time.