This time two weeks ago I was drinking champagne with my mother, sister, [twitter.com profile] thelxiepia, and two family friends, worrying about the torrential rain that had suddenly tumbled out of the sky, and getting ready to head off to get married. In the end, my fears about the rain were unfounded: the storm stopped about half an hour before the wedding ceremony, and the skies cleared, meaning sunshine and warmth for photographs, and for our guests to enjoy sparkling wine in the gardens of our reception venue.

The wedding ceremony itself was wonderful. Many of my married friends told me they barely remembered anything from the day itself, and that everything passed by in a sort of blissed out blur. For my part, I can remember everything. We got married in Shire Hall (the registry office in Cambridge), in a room that unfortunately only seated fifty people (included me, Matthias, our photographer, and the celebrant), so many of our guests were only able to be invited to the reception. However, I was happy with the mix of people who were able to attend the ceremony: a nice mix of bridal party, family, and close friends from Cambridge.

Matthias and I entered the ceremony to the beautiful sounds of 'Black Water Lilies' by Aurora. We didn't write our own vows, and the celebrant mangled Matthias' middle name (pronouncing it in the English, rather than German way), but none of that mattered. We had two readings. The first, by Matthias' sister, was in German:

Da ist jemand,
der mich nimmt,
wie ich genommen
werden will;
der mich aufbaut
wenn mich etwas
niederdrückt;
der mich zu Herzen nimmt,
wenn mir etwas
über die Leber gelaufen ist;
der mir Gehör schenkt,
wenn mir das Leben
Rätsel aufgibt;
der für mich ist,
wenn sich alles gegen mich
verschworen hat.

Da ist jemand,
mit dem ich zusammen wachsen,
vielleicht sogar
zusammenwachsen darf.


Translation:

There is somebody
Who accepts me as I want to be accepted
Who lifts me up when something weighs me down
Who embraces me when something is bugging me
Who listens to me when life is posing me riddles
Who supports me when everything is conspiring against me

There is somebody with whom I may grow together
Maybe even grow entwined


(The play on words in the last stanza doesn't translate well, but basically involves two very similar sounding verbs, zusammen wachsen and zusammenwachsen, which I guess in English would translate as the two different meanings of 'grow together'.)

[twitter.com profile] thelxiepia read the second reading, an excerpt from one of my favourite poems, 'Homing Pigeons' by Mahmoud Darwish:

Where do you take me, my love, away from my parents
from my trees, from my little bed, and from my boredom,
from my mirrors, from my moon, from the closet of my life, from
where I stop for the night ... from my shyness?


Our friend Levi (for whom Matthias was best man four years ago) and my sister Miriam were our witnesses. While the marriage certificates were being signed, we played two pieces of music: 'All is Full of Love' by Björk, and 'Tonight We Burn Like Stars That Never Die' by Hammock. Here is a photo of us signing the certificates -- I think that gives a fairly accurate impression of our facial expressions for most of the day! After the ceremony, people left the room to the sounds of 'We Own the Sky' by M83. We then went off with our parents, my stepmother, our sisters, Matthias' brother-in-law and nephew, and Levi and [twitter.com profile] thelxiepia for photos in the gardens of our reception venue. Following this, the reception began, with drinks in the gardens, and then a four-course meal.

Everyone was really impressed by the food, which made me really happy, since we had put a lot of thought into the menu and food is generally the thing I most remember about events such as weddings. I was particularly glad that the vegans and vegetarians attending had made a point of thanking us for their meals, and that it hadn't simply been a meal with the meat removed but no substitutes provided. The cake was a three-tiered citrus cake: the bottom cake was orange, the middle lemon, and the top lime.

After speeches by Levi, my family friend and former editor Gia, and Matthias and me, we inflicted our absolutely glorious eurodance/'90s music playlist on everyone. It wasn't the danciest of weddings I've ever been to, but I had fun dancing, and so did those who joined in. I think there's some video footage of me, [twitter.com profile] thelxiepia and the other sraffies dancing to 'Saturday Night' by Whigfield floating around, but I'm not going to try to track it down! I'll leave that glory to your imaginations.

The entire wedding and reception were wonderful, and I wouldn't change a single thing. I was worried about so many things, and not one of them happened. I feared I wouldn't remember the day, or that I would spend the entire time fretting about other people, or that I wouldn't get a chance to eat, to dance, to talk to the people I wanted to talk to, and none of that eventuated. Instead, the whole thing was just a lovely party, with the person I've chosen to spend the rest of my life, and all the people we love around us. There were people there I've known since birth, since preschool, one secondary school friend (*waves at [livejournal.com profile] catpuccino*), friends from my postgrad years at Cambridge, sraffies (Philip Pullman fandom friends), and people I had just met that day. It really meant a lot to have my sister there (and indeed to have three 'sisters' as bridesmaids: my sister by blood, my sister by marriage, and my sister by choice), as well as those relatives who made the trek from Australia, although I was sad that not many of them were able to do so.

About marriage itself I feel complicated feelings. I'm an atheist, so I was always going to have a secular wedding, and don't view the ceremony itself as being sacramental. My own parents never married (nor is my father married to my stepmother), and I don't believe that marriage is necessary to be a good partner or a good parent. But I have always had a deep love of rituals and ceremonies marking important moments in peole's lives, and unlike my own parents, I always knew I wanted to get married if circumstances allowed, and that I wanted to have some kind of party to celebrate my wedding. Being married didn't make me feel differently about Matthias, or that our relationship had changed in any perceptible way (although, being a migrant, I am painfully aware of all the ways being married privileges a person in terms of immigration, visas, and passing on citizenship to one's children). Rather, I felt in the ceremony that we were publicly declaring something we have long felt. It feels odd to talk about 'my husband', or describe myself as someone's wife, but I imagine this will change over time.

The world is dark and frightening, and Matthias and I have gone through a lot to be able to live together as migrants in a country that is becoming increasingly xenophobic, but our life together is a light that gives me courage to keep working and trying and learning and growing. I wish that same light -- wherever you find it -- for all of you.
 
 
18 August 2017
There's an exchange called Spectre Requisitions, which is for rarer 'ships in the Mass Effect fandom. It's a lot of fun, and I've participated in it the last two years.

Anyway, I seriously lucked out on my gifts this year, so I need to flail about them a little. I know that I have some Mass Effect fans over here on DW, so maybe some of you will of interest.

First, for a treat, I received a lovely piece of artwork. ♥ I absolutely adore F!Shepard/Garrus/Tali (to the point that 15% of the works on the AO3 about that relationship are fics by me), so I was absolutely thrilled to get the notification for that.

But my actual gift really wins everything. Because someone wrote me 22k words of Ashley/F!Shepard/Kaidan, based on a prompt that I've included in various exchanges for something like three or four years now. It's amazing, and you should totally go read it if you're even remotely intrigued by the idea of that relationship.
 
 
 
16 August 2017
Just to note: my requests include Critical Role, Doctor Who, Dragon Age, Hunger Games, Mass Effect, and Crossovers.

First of all, relax! I'm far from being picky, and I can pretty much guarantee that I'll love whatever you decide to draw or write for me. These are nothing but guidelines, for you to take to heart or ignore to your heart's content. Also, hey! You're drawing and/or writing me femslash! What's not to love? ♥

That said, I thought that I'd elaborate a bit on my requests in case, like me, you're the type of person who likes to have something to work with. Feel free to use and/or ignore as much of this as you want. I've tried to include a mix of vague prompts as well as more detailed ones, to hopefully make things as helpful as possible whether you're drawing art or writing fic.

More details under the cut. )

Requests under the cut. )
 
 
Happy Wednesday!

Instead of writing about the actual Nazi-themed comics Marvel is currently putting out, I’m going to summarize/review the imaginary Captain America and/or Avengers-centric titles I wish existed.

So, this week is the second issue of The Falcon and Captain America, which debuted back in July and which so far seems to be about Sam and Redwing going on a cross-country roadtrip with their sidekick Bucky!Cap, supposedly so Sam can re-introduce Bucky to modern/twenty-first century America. The first issue ended with them driving off into the sunrise/sunset together to start their roadtrip. This one opens with them in costume together in a diner somewhere along the NJ Turnpike debating their route (Sam has a bunch of old-school road atlases, Bucky accuses him of having spent too much time with Steve) while a douchey-looking guy with a pro-Trump hat makes some comment to his buddies about how nice it is to see “the real” Captain America back. Bucky makes a comment to him on the way out about how “the real” Captain America would probably have stopped to teach him a lesson and he’s lucky Bucky’s only the understudy and he and Sam get into their little red hybrid and drive away. Then they fight Overdrive, who’s created a giant traffic jam by altering everyone’s cars into goofy-looking nonfunctional models to protest overconsumption of fossil fuel (power-creep alert – he apparently has “turbo-nanites” now that allow him to affect multiple vehicles at once now). Sam and Bucky eventually talk him down* and convince him that there are better ways to fight global warming than through traffic accidents and maaaybe this was a poor way to go about trying to turn himself into a good guy. It ends with them getting back in the Falcon-mobile and continue on their way. There was a brief flashback during the diner scene to Steve angsting at Bucky before they left (about having been brainwashed into thinking he was HYDRA, so now he knows how terrible Bucky must feel about having been The Winter Soldier), but hopefully that’s not going to be a major theme and we’ll mostly stick with Epic Roadtrip Adventures from here on out.

*This is when you find out that Sam’s car is a hybrid.

Next Week:
X-Women #3 (I still think this is a stupidly gimmicky title given that there have been multiple all-female X-men line-ups before and all of those runs had normal X-book titles, and that they should just make it X-Men: Red or something to go with the new Gold and Blue X-books, but it has Jubilee and X-23 in it, so I'm continuing to give it a chance)
 
 
16 August 2017
What I Just Finished Reading
The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis by Wes Davis
I'll admit that I started reading this as Guns of Navarone background, but even given that I found it pretty shallow. Basically it recapped almost entirely from the reports and journals of the British officers, with the odd German thrown in, didn't consider the Greek perspective in more than the briefest passing mention. I read the first two thirds and then sent it back to the library because I just didn't care.

Coed Demon Sluts: Beth (Coed Demon Sluts #1) by Jennifer Stevenson
I saw the author talking about this on Scalzi's blog, and decided to give it a whirl. Pretty much read it straight through on the plane, and enjoyed it, I guess. On the whole, there was way too much talk, and not enough action (or "action"). I didn't really connect with the characters because a lot of the time they sounded like talking points, not people. The actual plot, when it occurred, was engaging enough. Not sure I'll bother with the rest of the series.

(Though I did have the great pleasure of the preppy young man sitting next to me on the flight asking me what I was reading.)


Hold Me (Cyclone #2) by Courtney Milan
Enjoyed this one even more than the first one. I totally got the issues both MCs had, and why they set each other's teeth on edge, but at the same time their alternate relationship was totally believable and in keeping with that. They had great chemistry and I loved how their genuine issues were resolved by working things out and patience, not but Surprise Drama.


The Edge of Worlds (The Books of the Raksura #4) by Martha Wells
It's always good to get back to the three worlds, and I really enjoyed seeing how all the characters had grown over the years, plus all the new cultures and places they encountered on their adventure. The book also brought something I'd wanted from the start, the glimmer of hope for at least some of the Fell, in an exploration of their culture as well. Heck of a cliff hanger though.

The Harbors of the Sun (The Books of the Raksura #5) by Martha Wells
I'm sad to see the end of this series, but what a great send off. Everyone got something to do, we met all kinds of old friends again, and Pearl and Malachite got to hang out (the Pearl-Malachite show was easily worth the price of admission).

The last act was Very Dramatic (well a lot of the book was), but really how much had changed since the first trilogy, and I love how much of a family everyone now has, and how many forms that takes.

(Loved this series so much, the sting of loosing it is lessened by Murderbot being so good, and by the snippits that show up on Wells' Patreon.)


Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, narrated by Aidan Kelly
** spoiler alert ** I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It is a book about a gay man who is somewhat genderqueer who spends the entire book with the love of his life and is still with him at the end (they are in fact married with a family by about two thirds through). It was gorgeous. The writing was stunning. The content was often brutal.

Not in a Tragic Gay way, but in a wow the MCs were in the US army during the genocide of the Native Americans, and in the Union army during the civil war, and then we did another round of genocide in Wyoming. And so... yeah.

But on the other hand, it painted nothing as glorious, and I really appreciated a "Wild West" story that actually showed what was going on, and boy howdy did it not romanticise anything. And while it never excuses any of the characters, it does lay out how a lot of that happened, how even good men got sucked into being monsters.

So, gay HEA, beautifully written, uncountable slaughter, would rec the audiobook, as the reader has a pleasing Irish accent.

(This was strongly recced to me by Dad who goes in for depressing things with pretty writing. He also may have been trying to bond over queer content, which is nice. Your mileage will vary widely on how much you can handle the MCs being complicit in crimes against humanity, even if they were only foot soldiers, and in the army as victims of imperialism themselves.)


Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin, narrated by Ron Butler
I don't have a lot of the historical context for the first half, but the writing is so perfect, and the ideas are clear and sharp, and it's pure pleasure to read. (It's somewhat depressing how little has changed.)


Keeping Her Pride (Ladies of the Pack #1) by Lauren Esker
One of my favourites by Esker (still doesn't top Guard Wolf, but probably edges out Dragon's Luck)! I really liked Debi and her slow road to understanding and redemption. I love how her vision of herself changed, and part of that was just a matter of realising that yes, she could put sugar in her coffee. The business plot took something of a back seat until the end, but it's a fast read, and I mostly loved watching Debi grow.

Fletcher wasn't my favourite hero, but he was solid and his issues made sense. His complicated relationship with his ex wife and their daughter made sense. I liked that the kid was there to be trouble as well as cute, as four year olds tend to be. She was pretty cute though.

Nice guest spots by various agents from the other books, but this was entirely readable as a stand alone. I haven't read Handcuffed to a Bear, where Debi first showed up, and followed it just fine.

(I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which is horridly late. Sorry, Lauren!)


What I'm Reading Now
I've got the first Sharing Knife book going on audio, which I'm enjoying in a peaceable idfic sort of way. I can see why some people want to set it on fire. I quite like it.

I'm also drifting through Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories, a collection of mostly fairytale riffs by Jean Yolen, which is very good.


What I'm Reading Next
The Stone Sky is out. Once I've braced myself, I'll start that.
 
 
16 August 2017
What I Just Finished Reading

Therese Sellers, Alpha is for Anthropos: Look, I read a book this week! Okay, so it's a children's alphabet book for Attic Greek, but it's still a book and therefore it counts. Anyway, it's very cute; all the art is done in the style of red-figure pottery, and the accompanying little rhymes scan (more or less) to various children's songs.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Black Panther and the Crew #5, Generations Wolverine And All-New Wolverine #1, Invincible Iron Man #10, Secret Empire: Brave New World #5, Spider-Men II #2, US Avengers #9, Ultimates 2 #100, X-Men Blue #9 )

What I'm Reading Next

Dunno.
 
 
16 August 2017
It's the time of year for [community profile] femslashex! I've asked for either fic or art on all of my prompts and would be thrilled with either. All but one of my requests are canons with a visual component, but (as a long-time comics fan!) I'm very happy with different interpretations of the characters so don't feel tied down to their literal canon appearances if there's something different you want to do. The same goes for fic - while obviously I enjoy the tone of each canon, if you want to write something at odds with it, or from a different POV or using original characters to explore the canon pairings, that's all good too.

General likes: plot, women working together against common enemies, non-mundane AUs (coffee shop in space yes, coffee shop in modern day Earth no)

General dislikes: rape/non-con, non-canon character deaths, adult/teen or adult/child sexual interaction, mindless zombies, apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic AUs, character or pairing bashing

I've tried to put several prompts for each of the fandoms and a general idea of what I like about them, but if you want to do something else completely, please do! These are just suggestions.

Fandoms

American Gods (TV) )

Crossover - Denise Bryson (Twin Peaks)/Dana Scully (The X-Files) )

Marvel 616 )

Murder Most Unladylike Series - Robyn Stevens )
 
 
Title: Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: Teen
Words: 52k
Characters/Pairings: Root/Sameen Shaw, Harold Finch/John Reese, Harold Finch/Grace Hendricks, John Reese/Mark Snow, Michael Cole, Robert Hersh, Joss Carter, Kara Stanton, The Machine, Bear
Warnings/Content: Sentinel/Guide AU, mind-bonding, show level violence, show level torture, emotional hurt/comfort, canon character death (Michael Cole). Some Mark/John dubcon in chapters 4 and 5. Follows some events from Ep 1.10 Number Crunch, Ep 1.23 Firewall and 2.16 Relevance.
Notes: Written for [community profile] wipbigbang 2017.

Thank you to my amazing betas: [personal profile] lilacsigil and [personal profile] musyc. You guys were awesome and got me from "I want to write POI Sentinel/Guide fic with soft face touching" to actually getting it posted.

Title is from the Elton John song. ("Subway's no way for a good man to go down.")

Summary: In 2001, Harold advised on a project called Cascade, not knowing he was a Guide himself. Years later, he and John, a Sentinel on the run from Cascade, must help Shaw, who has just lost her own Guide when the Project turned on her. Complicating matters is Root, searching for Harold's Machine and interfering with their rescue of Shaw.

Also at the Archive

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Epilogue
 
 
 
 
I got my 50K fic off to my second beta/ameripicker. I feel weird. I, uh, finished something. It's due to be posted on the 15th. What even?

Interesting things I didn't realise until I had to edit 50K of my own writing )

I have actually written a lot of things this year!

Tinee Linkspam:
- via [personal profile] musesfool, OPI summer challenge
Leave prompts! (Please leave some more POI prompts!)
- From Facebook, Clydesdale foal leaves the stable for the first time - tinee leggy baby, big world, what do? How do you even horse?
- Also from Facebook, this terrible curse upon some burglars. CW: creepy doll faces
- From my local paper, big news in this part of the world: Giant puzzle solved. (The puzzle is literally a puzzle.)
- From McSweeney's via [personal profile] kalloway, I’m a Google Manufacturing Robot and I Believe Humans Are Biologically Unfit to Have Jobs in Tech. (Rolling my eyes right out of my head at that google dude.)
- From My Modern Met, What Happens When a Bird’s Wings Sync Up Perfectly with a Camera’s Frame Rate. (I have dreams where stuff like this happens, like where the laws of physics are apparently broken)
- Free crochet pattern: Stingray purse or pal (I'm not sure why not both? I could be pals with a purse.)

Root/Shaw things from my endless tumblr wanderings while I was writing 50k of fic:
- Silver Lining - a Root/Shaw doujinshi. Pls pls [personal profile] lilacsigil, read this to me?
- POI OST You Are Being Watched - this is brilliant. Gifs from the final scene over the score for the theme.
- Winter Soldier!Shaw is kinda… Swol - I am all over this idea as an AU.
 
 
 
So, the highlight of July was SDCC! As always, this was a delight, though not as much fun as last year, since Mom couldn't make it (she promised Rita a year of childcare, and BiL's parental leave ended the week before). Dad also kept procrastinating on calling his sister to ask if we could stay in their condo again, to the point where when I discovered he still hadn't asked, just assumed, it was too late for us to get in the hotel registration as a backup. So by the time he finally got around to it, his sister said we were welcome to stay again! Except she and her husband would be there for part of the weekend, too. The place is massive (EAT THE RICH AND TAKE THEIR CONDOS), so there was plenty of room for all of us, but it meant being on our best behavior and, as Dad thanked me for doing, discreetly leaving the room when conversation turned to politics. They're ~genteel~ enough to think Trump is vulgar, at least, and we were able to politely agree to disagree on some things, and even agree on a couple of things, so that was a win, too.

BUT it was still lots of fun anyway; I spent a ton of money, in keeping with tradition, and got some new art (I am gonna run out of wall space, but probably not anytime soon since I still haven't found frames for everything from last year) and other goodies. The main panel I wanted to get to was the Star Trek: Discovery panel in Ballroom 20, which I'd told Mom I'd at least try and get into on her behalf, since she couldn't go. The line was dreadful when I got there and I wasn't optimistic, but it moved much quicker than I expected and I actually ended up getting in three panels ahead.

DISCOVERY LOOKS SO GREAT, UGHHHHHHHH I HAD SO MANY FEELINGS.

Panel highlights )

Then there was some hilarity on Monday because my father had misread the tickets for our flight home. So we arrived at 8:30 for a 10:30 AM flight, went to check our bags...and discovered that, in fact, our flight was for 10:30 PM. To be honest, I just burst out laughing when we learned, but Dad and Doug spent most of the day sulking. I mean, it was annoying, sure, but it wasn't that bad. It's better, as Doug pointed out once we finally got home, than the time he was going to visit our parents in Australia, misread the tickets, and realized he was more than twelve hours late for his flight. I ended up finding a movie theater not far from the airport, the fancy kind with big reclining seats, good food, and alcohol, so we took a Lyft over there and saw Baby Driver. I had a couple of excellent Moscow Mules, which improved my tolerance for their sulking, and the movie was lots of fun.

I spent the following weekend popping large amounts of sparkling wine with Mom in our relief over the healthcare vote. CRIPES I can't even tell you how fucking relieved we were, Internet. And that Monday, the 31st, I took a half-day from work, and went downtown to have lunch with [personal profile] newredshoes. We have been friends for aaaaaages but have never actually met in person before and IT WAS SO GREAAAAAAT, we had brunch at Kramerbooks (and cocktails when they switched over to their lunch menu) and talked for ages and bought books and it was just a total delight.

So, all in all, July went pretty well, I would say. Well done, universe, that's definitely made it a bit easier to bear August.
 
 
09 August 2017
What I Just Finished Reading

Still nothing! Still writing a lot of fic.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Captain America #25, Defenders #4, Generations - Phoenix and Jean Grey #1, Secret Empire #8 Secret Warriors #5, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #23 )

What I'm Reading Next

Dunno.
 
 
Hey, it's worth a shot. Out of curiosity, do I know anyone who lives in Philadelphia who would have a sofa or clean(ish) corner on the floor available for someone to crash November 16th or 17th through the 19th?

I'm seriously considering going to PAX Unplugged that weekend since tickets are cheap and there are buses between DC and Philly for something like $20. The problem is that I've taken a look at my finances, and I really don't think that I can cover the cost of a hotel room. I've been looking at some potential Airbnb options (which are filling up fast, probably because of the con), but since that can definitely be hit or miss I thought that I'd check on the fandom front first.

Anyone?
 
 
 
Well, the first scene of one, anyway. There are about 35,000 more words where this came from, but no title.* Our working title of "Captain America & Iron Man vs. the Nazi Mummies" had to be discarded, because there are no mummies nor indeed anything remotely resembling mummies anywhere in the fic.Click for Iron Man rescuing people during the Blitz and gratuitous WWII aircraft fangirling )

*Title needed. Beta probably also needed.
 
 
07 August 2017
I'd been planning on sleeping in a bit on Monday morning, since we didn't have to be out of the hotel room until noon. My body had other plans, though, so I ended up awake around 8am. More under the cut. )

That said, I did have several lovely surprises waiting for me when I got home. First of all, I had some shiny new dice from a Kickstarter that I supported a while back waiting for me in my mailbox. Then I got an alert that a gorgeous Critical Role art print that I'd ordered ages ago had shipped. Then I got an e-mail that my custom miniature of my halfling paladin, for my in-person Sunday D&D game is on its way.

And then, on top of all that, I got an notification from the AO3 that someone wrote me 22k words of amazing Ashley/F!Shepard/Kaidan fic for the Spectre Requisitions exchange.

Overall? It's been a pretty good day, even if I'm exhausted.
 
 
07 August 2017
Because I feel like reccing some of the current Marvel comics I have been reading to people who might be interested in reading some comics but are not necessarily interested enough to click on my posts every Wednesday and/or don't know where to start!

SITUATION THE FIRST: I really enjoyed Spider-Man Homecoming and I would not be averse to reading more comics starring Peter Parker but there are literally eight hundred issues of Spider-Man and I don't know where to start!

Marvel actually has this one covered for you. If you want a current Spider-Man comic and you don't want to catch up on everything, what you want to read is Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man. There are two issues out so far. It's written by Chip Zdarsky, so you know that it's funny. It's light and entertaining and you don't need to know anything about anything and also Johnny Storm shows up a lot. (Yes, I ship it.)

SITUATION THE SECOND: All these non-canonical ships are well and good, but please bring me the canonically-queer people.

Iceman. You want to read Iceman. This is the character's first ongoing series -- for one of the original X-Men, he's always been kind of neglected in canon -- and he's trying to figure out how to be gay and a superhero at the same time. Most of the other canonically-queer characters (Billy, Teddy, America...) are from a younger generation of superheroes and so they get their teenage romantic angst and their learning-to-superhero stuff at the same time, but Bobby's been a working superhero for his entire adult life and is now trying to handle coming out, which I think makes it interestingly different. I personally am hoping he manages to come out to his parents soon, the poor guy. (And of course his younger self who has time-traveled to the present -- you know, because comics -- already has a boyfriend, so, hey, way to feel inferior to yourself, Bobby.) There are three issues.

(You want the queer teenagers instead? There is also America, but I haven't read it. Billy and Teddy also got their start in Young Avengers (yeah, yeah, I still haven't read it) and have shown up most recently in Ewing's last New Avengers run. Also IIRC there are queer characters in Runaways, and Rainbow Rowell will be writing a new run of that soon; I haven't read the original.)

SITUATION THE THIRD: You all seem very frustrated with comics. I want something that will consistently make me happy every issue.

You want The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Currently she is on vacation in the Savage Land, which is apparently now a dinosaur theme park! Whee!

SITUATION THE FOURTH: I think Captain America would be a great fascist dictator.

Congratulations; you'll be very happy with Secret Empire.

There you go.

Also, if you want to yell about Steve/Tony in comics with various likeminded people, the 18+ 616 Steve/Tony Discord server continues to have weekly book clubs. Last week it was the Sentient Armor arc of Iron Man, and this week it is my very favorite Avengers/Invaders. Come say hi!
 
 
07 August 2017
I didn't wake up on Sunday morning until 8am or so, after almost a full eight hours of sleep, which my body solely needed by that point in the con. More under the cut. )
 
 
06 August 2017
Hello, people who want to watch Yuri!!! on Ice! You can watch it free on Crunchyroll with ads, but I also have a bunch of free passes (for adfree watching) if you're interested.

I mean, you could also watch completely different shows, if you wanted. I'm okay with that. I guess.
 
 
 
 
 
06 August 2017
Considering how late I was up the night before, it surprised me that I woke up fairly early on Saturday morning. I was awake by 6:30am, which would be about the time I normally wake up back home. I was able to convince my body to let me get a bit more sleep after that, though, which was sorely needed. More under the cut. )
 
 
05 August 2017
(Trying to get back into the habit of posting, so this is a random piece of personal telephonic history!)

Lately, I’ve been in a bemusing battle of wills with my phone, where I tell it to sync certain songs and only those songs, and it does grab the ones I tell it to, but also randomly adds other songs from my music library, often ones I’ve never listened to. When I told Best Beloved about this, her take was that I should just live with it. I questioned the Queen of Solving Problems Right Now, Immediately, Using a Hatchet as Necessary on her surprising stance and she pointed out that she knew me in college. When I had the Let Me Call You Sweetheart phone.

See, my college did not have voicemail for landlines in the dorm, and this was back when people still used landlines sometimes. My parents, who were sending a 15 year old off to college, thought they might like to leave messages for me at some point, and so they bought me a combined phone/answering machine to take with me. And for a while, it worked as advertised: people called, I did not answer, they were invited to leave a message, they did, I sometimes listened to the message, I very occasionally called them back. (This is as good as it ever gets with me and telephones. Our relationship can best be described as “mutual disdain.” That’s also why I didn’t have a cell phone back then; smartphones hadn’t happened yet, and I could think of exactly zero reasons why I might want to be MORE available for phone calls.)

At some point late in the first semester, though, people who left messages started to sound a little amused. And then, after a month or so, they began sounding more … annoyed. I checked my outgoing message to make sure no one had recorded weird stuff on it, because, you know, college, but it was still normal and fine. So I shrugged and accepted it, until one of my friends suggested I call my own phone.

I did. The outgoing message played, exactly as recorded. But after it, I was treated to an extremely tinny instrumental version of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” that sounded like it was played on the buttons of a phone, followed by the customary leave-a-message beep. Bewildered, I checked the box, which I had saved for moving convenience. No mention of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” No mention of it on the manufacturer’s website, either. My phone had apparently developed a musical mind of its own.

Huh, I thought, and went about my life.

A few weeks after that, people started sounding really annoyed in my messages. I called my phone again. It now sounded like this:

Me, in a recording: Hi! You’ve reached me, and you know what to do.
Phone: Let me CALL you SWEETheart/I’m in love with YOU/Let me hear you WHISper/That you love me too
[Pause, as though the phone is about to emit that life-giving leave-a-message beep]
Phone: Let me CALL you SWEETheart/I’m in love with YOU/Let me hear you WHISper/That you love me too
[Pause, which only serves to raise hopes that will soon be dashed]
Phone: Let me CALL you SWEETheart…
[Repeat a painful number of times]

Eventually, it broke off in the middle of a line and beeped.

Well. There are only so many times that you want to hear that song, that way, and my phone had begun exceeding people’s lifetime limits in the course of a single call. I apologized, but what could I do? You can’t reason with a phone.

The year ended. I packed the phone into its box and took it home with me for the summer, which it apparently spent plotting. Then I brought it back to school.

Shortly after the school year started, I discovered that my phone had developed a new glitch. If I did pick it up when it rang, I couldn’t hear the person on the other end. On the other hand, if I waited until the answering machine got it and then picked it up, I could hear them, but they couldn’t hear anything I said. However, after extensive experimentation, I discovered they could still hear the beeps if I pressed buttons on the phone. So, as any reasonable person would, I changed my outgoing message to:

“Hi! My phone is broken. If I pick up, I can hear you but you won’t hear me. I’ll beep to show I’m there. Ask yes or no questions and I’ll give one beep for yes and two beeps for no. Thanks!”

(If you are now going WHY DIDN’T YOU BUY A NEW PHONE? – it never even occurred to me. Technically, some communication was still possible with the phone, after all, and I inherited from my father a gene that makes me very anxious in the presence of new objects. This is why my family had a garage door that you could only make work by inserting a penny into the innards of the opener, and that often went up and down on its own, sometimes as many as 60 times in an evening. It’s why I kept, for over a year, a computer chair that would occasionally just collapse, dumping me on the floor, and why I’m sitting on a partially broken chair as I type this. It’s … just who my people are, I guess. We are not so much “make do and mend” as “it’s fine, everything is fine, please stop talking about buying new things because that is the worst thing in the world to do and I’d rather just sit on the floor in the dark forever.”)

This led to a period of my college career where, to call me, you had to:
  1. Sit through what was, by then, up to 15 minutes of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” (I know because people timed it, since there wasn’t a lot else to do, and then shared the times with me. I think maybe they were trying to suggest to me that I should buy a new phone, but that kind of subtlety was never going to work. I mean, I come from a family that could afford a new toaster and willingly chose to keep the old one, even though it caught fire from time to time, enlivening many a morning. “Let’s just get a new one” is not a phrase in my vocabulary.)
  2. Listen to my outgoing message.
  3. After the first beep, say, “Hello? Are you there? It’s me, please pick up.”
  4. Wait for the beep that would indicate that I had in fact picked up.
  5. Hold a séance-like session with me wherein you were restricted to yes or no questions or, in cases where that just would not work, you had to count beeps for each letter of the alphabet. (You know: A=1, B=2, etc. Let me tell you from grim experience: it takes a LONG time to beep out even a single word, and also you tend to forget where you are halfway through letters like M and T. I honestly take my hat off to the fraudulent mediums of old. They worked for their money, by gum.)
  6. Hope that the phone didn’t just cut out altogether in the middle of the séance, as it was known to do.
Basically, communicating with spirits was, overall, probably slightly easier than talking to me. I for real do not know why anyone bothered. They did, though, which shows you what excellent and patient friends and family I have had in my life.

If you’re wondering about the resolution of this odyssey of disintegrating telecommunications technology: eventually my parents got tired of only being able to communicate with their youngest child via beeps. My mother (who does not have the “hates new things” gene) suggested several times that I buy a new one, but I beeped twice for no each time, so she, in direct violation of our precious familial traditions, went out and bought a new one and sent it to me at school. I kept it in its box in my room and avoided looking directly at it for a week or so, but then word spread among my friends that I had a new phone and was still using Mr. Beepy, and they basically held a technological intervention until I installed the new phone. (It worked fine for a year and then developed a glitch where it clicked a lot and would only record the first 15 seconds of a message, and no one minded at all because at least it wasn’t playing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” My life motto: I can always get over the bar, because I dug a hole in the ground and buried it.)

But times change! Humans age and progress and develop workarounds for their flaws! Which is why, when BB and I were attempting to explain this telephonic family history to our nine-year-old earthling (challenging, as he has never known an answering machine or a time when humans made phone calls to humans other than their senators), we had this conversation, which tells you everything you need to know about the people we’ve become:

Me, thinking back: You know, I probably should have just bought a new phone instead of beeping at people for months.
BB, also thinking back: I should have just broken your phone completely after it started playing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” more than once per call. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that.

Anyway. That was the start of my long and complex adult relationship with phones. I wended my way through many glitches and minor disasters to arrive where I currently am: in possession of a phone that has its own opinions about music. And, upon reflection, I am prepared to be satisfied with that.
 
 
Title: Anything for Love (Including That)
Fandom: Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, Dragon Age Inquisition, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, Mass Effect Andromeda
Music: I’d Do Anything for Love, by Meatloaf
Length: 4:27
Download: 1280x720, 83.7MB .624 mp4
Content notes: Sex, violence, and acts of terrorism
Source credits: Revan657, Teh Nazzy, Captain Charlie, SnipedByAGirl1, Kate F, MonkeySR1, Bunan Tsokolatte, Atheris, MassEffectUniverseFR

Summary: Thanks for the terrible romantic choices, Bioware

Streaming and notes )
 
 
Title: What'd You Expect Fairies to Do?
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: Teen
Words: 249
Characters/Pairings: Root/Shaw
Warnings/Content: Wingfic, Fairies (but not tooth fairies)
Notes: For [community profile] 15kisses, prompt = Wings. Originally posted at FFA.

Summary: Root knew it would be amazing when she and Shaw finally got together, but this exceeded even her expectations.

Also at the Archive

They finally had a chance to tear off each other's clothes )