My copy of Marble Hornets: Season One arrived today.
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Two hours later, I got a staticky, incomprehensible voicemail from an unpublished number.
If anyone needs me, I'll be under the bed.
Today kinda sucked. Here in Boston, it was gray, gray, horrible gray, and the day job wasn't much better. I ended up in a really lousy funk during work (and after, since I had to stay late), and this wasn't helped by the realization that I'd been listening to "Brian Wilson" by the Barenaked Ladies on a loop for a little while. Great song; not helping.
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As there's only so much I can do in these circumstances, I've been self-medicating with chicken soup, hot chocolate, and aggressively cheerful music. But since a lot of people seem to be going through the same thing, I thought I'd share. Misery may love company, but defiant joy throws better parties.
So here's four from my "Fuck You, I Refuse To Be Sad Right Now" playlist. Post some of your own music that chases off bad moods! Or cat pictures! Or corgi videos! Or anything else that makes you smile or brings back a little of the sunlight! ( Because fuck this rain, I refuse to be sad.Collapse )
I work in a building that frequently hosts conferences and conventions. This is sometimes annoying (hordes of boat enthusiasts), sometimes charming (music teachers sell strange paraphernalia), and sometimes just plain weird (Objectivist conference -- complete with Ayn Rand bookstore. aaaa no).
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At the moment, the conference is the Association of Physical Plant Administrators -- the people who take care of maintenance in large facilities. Buildings and Grounds people, in other words, like the ones at my old campus job. Nice folks.
However, it means that there are signs reading APPA 2010 all over the place.
It's taking all my self-control not to call "Yip Yip!" when I pass their booths.
(Now I want campaign signs. Appa/Momo 2010: We Know Fuzzy Math)
Good things about the weekend:
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- Climbed Monadnock on Friday, taking the long slow Cascade Link to the Pumpelly. It was a perfect day for it: warm and sunny and bright, few people even at the summit, dragonflies and hawks circling the summit and cold sweet water from Falcon Spring. I love this mountain.
- Disapproving chipmunk on the way down the mountain. Seriously, it sat there, about two yards away, staring at us and making that "chrrt!" noise over and over, as if chiding us for barging in on it. Didn't even move as we climbed right past it. Eventually it scampered to the next rock and eyed us balefully as we left.
- I couldn't have asked for better weather at the beach. I swam out to the rock twice, found it both times without any trouble (even though one of my landmarks appears to be gone) and spent evening hours dozing in the water.
- Barely any sunburn, even after all that time outside. I do have a couple of weird crescents around my shoulders where I missed spots, but I'm not a lovely shade of lobster.
- Finished a story to go to BRAWL this weekend. It's not bad. I need to start writing some different things or I'll get stuck in a rut, but this one was good.
- Watched Sherlock Holmes with thomascantor Saturday night. Oh dear Lord, what a goofily fun movie. I'm not sure that it really counts as "good," but I sure as hell had fun watching it.
- Pancakes Sunday morning!
- Slow mornings. Late nights. The sound of wind in the trees and the smell of sun on drystone walls.
Bad things about the weekend:
- Ow ow ow all of my muscles have been sore since coming down the mountain on Friday ow ow ow everything hurts ow why did I get old?
Most important thing about the weekend:
- One year together with thomascantor. (Okay, so it's closer to fourteen years, but one year with these little gold things on our hands.) He makes the world more awesome every day.
I am bad about opening loads of tabs and then forgetting they're open, especially with videos. This means that often the video's still running and I don't notice until I pull up something else to watch and find both soundtracks going at once.
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This is usually pretty noticeable as soon as I put on my headphones. But when one video may or may not actually have sound to begin with, I might not notice the problem for quite a while.
Today's discovery: the Marble Hornets videos are no less freaky but considerably more surreal when the only sound is that of the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam.
I'm certain worse ideas have come out of overtime. I just can't think of any at the moment.
If I write one of these at work (see yesterday's post for why), at the very least I'll keep the poor schlub whose job it is to monitor my email entertained. And possibly horrified. I'll post what I do write, but I make no promises (about schedule, quantity, or quality). (Why not just work on Third Book? Work saps away just enough concentration to keep that from happening. But goofy ideas are just fine.)
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What bizarre fic should I write to get through the rest of my holiday overtime?
Jeeves and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day
Sorting Hat/Companion Cube songfic
Dr. McNinja meets Dr. Tenma (and possibly Dr. Tenma)
The King of All The Cosmos/The King In Yellow/Burger King steel cage match
A Very Dalek Christmas
Moustachio the Thinkonium/Tik-Tok road trip buddy movie
Minsc (and Boo!)/Othar Tryggvasen angstfest
Minerva McGonagall/Gilbert Norrell PWP
Flash Gordon vs. Gordon Freeman
Temeraire/Tiamat, tea and biscuits
None of these will do! You should write this instead!
Guess who's still at work?
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Guess who's still at work late for the third time this week?
Guess who was at work till 9 on Friday?
Guess who's about to start gnawing on her cubicle walls?
Oh, ConHugeCo. Really, you make the "quit my job, shave my head, and go live in a garret" option far too appealing.
I'd ask for distractions, but there's no telling what will be blocked by ConHugeCo. (And, sadly, Youtube is out -- not blocked but out for other reasons -- otherwise I'd be watching A Muppet Family Christmas and clinging to my holiday spirit.)
Maybe I'll write total crack fanfic and mail it to myself, thus scaring whatever poor sap gets to go through my emails. Hmm...Sorting Hat/Companion Cube songfic? Moustachio the Thinkonium/Tik-Tok road trip buddy movie? Jeeves and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day? The King of All The Cosmos/The King in Yellow/King Kong steel cage match?
Actually, coming up with these prompts is kind of fun. Maybe I'll just come up with a big long list and make you all choose one.
- Waiting for the bus Friday morning, listening to music on my podling. The bus pulls up, and I can already tell that it's packed. I get on, and I realize that it really is packed -- with first-graders. Lots of them. Two or three classes' worth. All of whom are so very, very excited to be on the bus.
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The podling immediately begins to play "Yakety Sax."
It's frighteningly appropriate for the rest of the ride. My podling may be turning psychic.
- Searching the shelves Saturday morning for something better than cereal for breakfast, and deciding to make a coffee cake. Said coffee cake ended up being a winner, and one of those recipes I'm going to file away for later use on other "we have no cinnamon rolls! ohnoes!" mornings.
- Walking down by the river and back between Mount Auburn and Cambridge cemeteries, under a cloudless blue sky. The sun's warm on my neck, the air tastes like fall without the tang of oncoming winter, and I've worked out not only motivations but a general plot arc for the Potential Steampunk Novel, but the best part is the shruffshruffshruff as I walk through dry leaves up to my ankles. There's no other sound like that.
It's so perfect that the hawk taking flight as I pass is almost inevitable.
- Sausage-apple-onion pie in the oven Sunday evening, and the scent of sage and thyme and pastry filling the apartment. A spare pie (superfluous pie! how can this be?) in the freezer for another autumn day. This is one of those dishes that tastes even better than it smells, and damn it smelled good.
- I feel a little odd about taking my laptop to the laundromat, but since I have to be there anyway, I might as well get some work done. And something about the thump of the machines and the persistent reek of fabric softener seems to work on my subconscious, because "The Guilt Child" and "Ignis Fatuus" both start to take shape under the revisions.
I might even get work done before ThirdNovel comes back from group.
I'm trying to put together a good playlist for the reception (once the musicians have packed up their instruments and settled in to eat tasty foods), and it's becoming rapidly apparent that my iTunes is severely lacking in this department. Nor do I really have a good idea of what constitutes a decent dance mix. Granted, by this point in the reception I fully expect a lot of people to be off playing games, but since there will be some dancing, I'd like to have a good list put together.
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Suggestions? Artists, genres, particular songs that really ought to be played? Otherwise it's likely to be a playlist called The Shame of My iTunes, Vol. I. And if you must suggest ridiculous songs -- 4'33" is right out -- could you also give a few serious ones as well?
(Left unlocked so as to cast a wider net. Internet! Inform me!)
If I arrive at Wiscon twitching and muttering "no more, no more...", then you will know who to blame.
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This is either why I love him or why we're quite insane.
Attention Berkshire denizens!
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thomascantor and I will be visiting the Williamstown area this Friday and Saturday. We'll be getting in sometime during the day Friday (day off woo!) and leaving late Saturday. Anyone up for a visit/pancakes/games/wild mass trip to see the new Star Trek?
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Needs more pirates.
Needs fewer ninjas. (They're already there -- you just can't see them. That's what makes them ninjas.)
Needs you to get your butt in chair and keep working, dumbass.
Relax. You're still ahead of schedule.
It's back on the menu, boys!
If you must keep dismembered baby sheeps in your freezer, you have a moral obligation to make them tasty.
Clearly, this is a sign you need to host more dinners.
Dye it back to its original color, so you don't have to bother with it any more.
Keep the highlights through June at least.
A nice shade of flamingo would look lovely on you.
Two words: Cue Ball.
More Hurley! More Miles! More Juliet!
I'm waiting for them to reveal that the island is actually a gigantic whale.
Have you tried Hare Krishna?
Run a game sometime!
Run a game at WisCon!
Heck with that. Let's have a Shab-Al-Hiri Roach night.
Even if you cannot play, the spirit of ACME (tm) will be with you.
You've got it under control.
You've got it under control, except for the two or three things that must be done now OMG.
If your earrings do not match your napkin ring covers, then do not even talk to me.
Who cares, so long as you get to wear a tiara and kick butt?
"Son of a Preacher Man," naturally.
"Still Alive," naturally.
You mean you don't have a special couple song already? What's wrong with you?
Screw the dancing. Spotlight Race for the Galaxy!
Last night I dreamed a new episode of The Middleman.
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It involved fluffy kittens.
I'm rather sad that it doesn't exist, because Middleman+kittens=so much cute I woke up smiling.
This year, I had my first experience with the "I signed up to write what?" feeling of Yuletide. On reading my recipient's request, I'd actually considered writing a 20th Century Boys story, since she and I were the only ones requesting that particular fandom, and I honestly thought I was going to write one . . . right up to the point where I wrote 1600 words of and if they are not dead, a post-series Monster fic. (Okay, so I went from one Naoki Urasawa work to another, but still.) Spoilers galore if you haven't finished the series (either anime or manga), although I admit just knowing who's alive and who's dead by the end of the series is a bit of a spoiler in itself. I'm glad it turned out so well, thanks to my fantastic beta readers.
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After I'd posted it, I gave in to the spirit of Yuletide and wrote a treat at the drop of a hat: Alone Time, a bit of fluff for the Vorkosigan series. Cordelia really is my favorite character, and I saw TigerKat's request for some Cordelia/Aral fluff, and the story just wrote itself.
In terms of beta work, I gave beta advice for The Nine Defeats, a Dragonlance story set during the second trilogy. Man, it's been a long time since I read those. This is heavy, heavy angst, piled on the most angstmuffiny character in the whole series, and it works. Not least because of the sonnet and the minotaur alliterative verse.
I also contributed a little to the brain-breaking crossover The Hundred Acre House, though my additions were more along the lines of beta help than anything else. The twisted germ of the original idea was all the author's fault. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. (Incidentally, if you're at all familiar with House of Leaves, go take a look. There were two fanworks based on it this year, one serious and very well done, and...well...this was the other one.)
And I'd really like to thank telophase for my fantastic Master Li story Three Jade Mice, which was really just perfect to wake up to on Christmas morning. (And it's even more awesome now that I know the Peking Gazette was real! And the Golden Silk Cat! And, and -- oh, just go read it already!) It comes with its own bibliography and further reading, all of which I now have to follow up on. Woo!
Damn, this was fun. I am so doing it again next year.
Yet again I have to thank all of you (you know who you are) for getting me involved in Yuletide. I think it's one of the main reasons I've kept sane the last two Decembers. Okay, mostly sane. ( To the recs! Fandoms include Barry Hughart - Master Li series, The Middleman, Susan Cooper - The Dark Is Rising, Winnie-the-Pooh, Ergo Proxy, Lois McMaster Bujold - Vorkosigan series, and Portal. Yes, Portal.Collapse )
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Even if you're not familiar with Yuletide, I recommend wandering through the archive sometime. There is so much good fic here, from this year and years past, and it just makes me so happy to know this exists.
Corporate coffee: okay and not much more than okay. Even though I have the superpower of immunity to bad coffee, I can tell this isn't all that great. (And ever since emjay_dee wrote that one story, it's also kind of creepy.)
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Corporate "employee appreciation" event: okay. A little time to mingle with the other stealth geeks in my department is nice, but since it's the busy season, any time we spend having snacks is time we'll have to spend working to make up for it.
But corporate coffee + eggnog swiped from the event leftovers = UNDILUTED AWESOME.
I am exhausted. Work just went to ludicrous speed, and As I told sigerson, it's a damn good thing I'm getting writing done in the mornings, because by the time I get home I am pretty much useless.
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Memes are about as much as I can handle.
Put your media player on shuffle, and write down the first line of the first twenty songs. Post the poem that results. The first line of the twenty-first is the title. I, like my sisters, have cheated a little by arranging them poetically and adding punctuation.
Out on the winding windy moors
I. En Van Nuys there's porno stars
Catherine De Barra, you've ruined my thinking
Of all the women that ever I loved
You've done it all
Maybe I never told you
Everything right is wrong again
II. Had a northern lad
It was Christmas Eve babe in the drunk tank
In came the girl with the saddened eyes
I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Kenesaw Mountain Landis was a bad motherfucker
Time, see what's become of me
I used to be lunatic from the gracious days
Every night the dream's the same
They come over here and they take all our land
They bought a round for the sailor
III. Hey now don't make a sound
Water was running
Token back to Brooklyn fell between the grate
They call me Doctor Worm
Charades, pop skills, water hyacinths
Feel the vibe, feel the terror, feel the pain
Golden brown texture like sun
On the windy beach the sun is shining through with weather fair
At the moment, I'm in good shape. I've got a detailed outline of the new book, ready to transcribe to a notebook, from which I will be composing the first draft. (Judging by the last two, the outline will go out the window around chapter 8, but it's a start.) I intend to start in on Monday morning. My Yuletide piece is needing a beta, but it's pretty good, enough that I may write a second piece for my recipient if I can eke out time at work. I've got a weekend free for anything from cleaning the house to Christmas shopping.
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So what do I really want to do? Write character notes and fragmentary scenes for a novel involving Professora Lundqvist and Charles the batman and Colonel Dieterich and the clockwork menace, of course. I don't even know what a novel with them would entail. I just have ideas of things around the corners of the actual plot.
Bah. Looks like I'll be indulging my muse today, with an end result of nothing that will be usable for ages. But it'll be fun.
You may all feel free to bring this up when I complain later on about not getting anything done. It's obviously because of this.
Today could have really sucked. ( It was all set up for Rotten Day status, and then -- well. This.Collapse )
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Oh yeah. It's a good day.