melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
([personal profile] melannen Oct. 17th, 2017 07:40 pm)
Last week's winners were not what I expected! But F goes to The Red Tent and K goes to The Magicians (which is WAY more hated than I had realized! For good reason apparently.)

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

This week's theme: I have no idea what this book is about, I'm pretty sure I only have it for the title.

Poll: Bail, Capote, Carey, Collins, Connors, Corliss, Ericson, Galloway, Gould, Morse, Shann, Shreve, Townsend, Wodehouse )
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([personal profile] seekingferret Oct. 17th, 2017 01:41 pm)
I'm up to date on The Orville and one episode behind on Star Trek Discovery.

The Orville, from day one, has been pretty clear about what it is as a show, and it's not what we thought it was going to be or what the trailers promised. It's not a space sitcom full of Family Guy style jokes. It's not in the Galaxy Quest vein. It's a pretty straightforward episodic modern take on Star Trek, created with deep respect for Roddenberry's ideals. Its particular lens on the material is a focus on the mundane: What if life in Starfleet was like a typical modern office? Your boss's boss is generally a decent guy but he sometimes says sexist things and he's in the middle of getting over an ugly divorce that sometimes bleeds his personal life into his professional life. Some of your co-workers are so burnt out they couldn't give a shit as long as it doesn't affect them. Your manager is way too inexperienced and seems uncomfortable giving orders. The fart jokes from the trailers, it turns out, weren't pointless sitcom props- they're character beats about how Starfleet means you are living 24/7 among your co-workers, and that means figuring out how to share bathrooms with people who are not like you. It's surprisingly well done.

I've been enjoying it, for the most part, though its basic mundanity sometimes blends awkwardly with its Roddenberry idealism. The Very Special Episode about transgender issues didn't quite fit together for me- the jokiness clashed with the seriousness of the question, making the question sometimes seem more trivial than it is. But I loved some moments from the episode- I loved seeing the human crew initially confronting the question from a position of revulsion- of course we in the Federation don't decide the gender of an infant, we let the infant grow up and make their own choice! It's no more obviously the right position- the Federation still clearly is a culture where cultural programming about gender roles matters. Still, it's so striking in just the right Star Trek way to say "Let's posit a future where a liberal orthodoxy about transgender issues has been completely adopted as a cultural norm... how does that liberal orthodoxy react to people taking a different approach to gender issues?"



Then there's Star Trek Discovery. I have no idea what to say about it yet. I don't understand it as a show. The first two episodes don't feature the ship Discovery that the show is named after, or most of its main characters. They're decent television, and the special effects are spectacular and leave The Orville in the dust, but they don't seem to have much connection to what the show is in its next two episodes.

It seems to be wrestling with what does Starfleet look like at war, except that unlike some past versions of the same, it doesn't entirely seem to be working from the expected premise that Starfleet at war is a fundamentally irresolvable tension. The first two episodes revolve around a mutiny driven by a violation of the apparent principle that Starfleet never shoots first, then the subsequent two episodes seem to revolve around a captain who has been charged by Starfleet to do whatever it takes to win the war. What does this version of Starfleet stand for? I don't know. What does this version of the Klingon empire stand for? Other than speaking endlessly in subtitled Klingon, making ST:D practically a foreign film, I don't know. Thus far, there's been very few scenes in the show not on the Shenzhou, the Discovery, or a Klingon vessel. Almost nothing on alien worlds, very little about alien races besides the Klingons and Vulcans. There is so little of what we expect from Star Trek here.

Amidst this general confusion of purpose, I've enjoyed moments. Sonequa Martin-Green's Michael Burnham, the only character on the show who's been at all fleshed out, is intriguing and well-acted, the brilliant loner so convinced of her own competence that she thinks as long as she survives and gives it her best, she can take everyone else along with her. Jason Isaacs has made the most of his limited work so far, giving off an extremely Shatnerian vibe in spite of the very different material he's being given to deliver. Anthony Rapp has been fun as a hardass engineer, and Mary Wiseman has been really effective as a mood lightener as Cadet Tilly.

I'm going to keep watching both shows- it'll be interesting to see where they go.
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
([personal profile] liv Oct. 16th, 2017 08:16 pm)
Sexual violence against women and girls is endemic. There's an absolute mountain of evidence that this is the case, from the experiences of my friends to any number of posts on social media to rigorous studies. A big part of the reason I decided to identify as a feminist is because women are routinely denied bodily autonomy and feminism seems to be the only political movement that cares about this.

links and personal observations about sexual violence against women )

I absolutely believe everybody else's experiences, people I know and strangers writing brave, brave columns and blog posts. I am just a total outlier, and I really shouldn't be. So I'm signal boosting others' accounts, because I know that I needed to be made aware of the scale of the problem, and perhaps some other people reading this could also use the information.
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([personal profile] mizkit Oct. 12th, 2017 07:15 pm)
"So what is apple butter anyway," you ask suspiciously, because frankly that sounds pretty weird.

It's not actually all that weird. It's really a kind of apple jam. It's a baked reduction and you can flavour it in a bunch of different ways and I'm getting better at it and it's getting better as I do. I believe it's called 'butter' because it's lovely and smooth with maybe just a hint of apple graininess in the texture, not because there's any actual butter involved. It preserves FOREVER--the stuff stays good, and stays good some more, and stays good after that--and although it's *time* consuming, it's also very easy to make. Most of the time is spent prepping the apples to cook down; everything else is really just putting it in the oven and remembering to stir it a few times while it does its thing.

We finally broke out the nifty apple corer/slicer/peeler that Ted's mom sent us and we put it to work on a bag of freshly collected apples. It worked BRILLIANTLY, reducing the time it takes to prepare enough apples for apple butter from over an hour down to about half an hour, and that included figuring out the ideal settings for it. If you have more than a few dozen apples to deal with, Iiiii would get one of these, 'cause wow.

The process for all apple butters is as follows; basically the only difference is how you decide to flavour it when you reach the "put sweetener in" stage.
the apple cutter in motion! the apple cutter in motion!

sproingy apple! sproingy apple!

Whrr! All done super fast. That was awesome. Into the pot!

then just slice once & put into the pot... then just slice once & put into the pot...

I didn't take any picture of pureeing the cooked down apples, but basically: put 1.5 cups of apple juice in with the apples, turn the heat on, stir a couple times as it boils to mush, then puree. I used my food mill this time, which is...honestly, about equal in pain-in-the-assery as putting hot apple glop into a blender. And then you've got applesauce to pour into a deepish flatish enamal cooking dish.

applesauce, pureed and tart as hell! applesauce, pureed and tart as hell!

Put in a slow oven (around 325F) and cook for about an hour, stirring once or twice, until reduced by half:

the 'waterline' there on the far side is proof in the pudding (er, applesauce) that it's cooked down by halfish. the 'waterline' there on the far side is proof in the pudding (er, applesauce) that it's cooked down by halfish.

Add honey, white sugar, and a teaspoon of salt. I used about a cup of honey this time, because that's what I had available, and about 3 cups of sugar. (Our apples are VERY sour. YMMV; taste after putting the honey in & see what you think.) Adding the sugar & honey will refill the pot to about the previous full mark.

reliquifided with added honey & sugar! reliquifided with added honey & sugar!

Return to the oven, stirring every 20 minutes or so, until reduced by half again, probably around 90 minutes.

such red! very color! such red! very color!

It turns an amazing shade as the sugar caramelizes. My favourite thing about making apple butter is the different colors they all turn, depending on what you've put in it. The honey is super red and lovely.

If you wish, stir in a teaspoon of cinnamon after you remove it from the oven.

Jar as you would anything else.

a bit of leftover honey apple butter that wouldn't fit in a jar :) a bit of leftover honey apple butter that wouldn't fit in a jar :)

Eat leftovers straight from the spoon.

om nom nom straight from the spoon om nom nom straight from the spoon


Miz Kit’s Honey Apple Butter
4lbs prepared (peeled, cored, sliced) tart apples
1.5 c apple juice/sweet cider
8 oz honey
3 c white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Put apples and apple juice into a large pot, cover, and boil until the apples are soft (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick and puree the mix in a blender/food processor/whatever until smooth. Turn into a deep, flat enamal-lined pan & put into a pre-heated oven at 325°F (150°C, 130°C fan assisted) and roast, stirring very occasionally, for an hour or until the puree has reduced by half.

Remove from oven. Stir in honey, sugar and salt. Return to oven for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring slightly more frequently. Jar as you normally would, or refrigerate and be prepared to eat a great deal of apple butter over the coming weeks. Makes around 48oz/6 8oz jars.
Asterix le Gaulois/Asterix the Gaul by Goscinny and Uderzo )

Truckers by Terry Pratchett )

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch )


So halfway in, here are our stats:

Read more... )

Okay, enough of that, now onto the yuletide letter polishing.... My yuletide match this year did not require any extra canon review? WHAT AM I GOING TO READ FOR THE NEXT MONTH? Oh right, those 7 fmk up there.
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([personal profile] liv Oct. 12th, 2017 02:40 pm)
Another song category I disagree with: A song by a band you wish were still together. A band breaking up is like any relationship coming to an end: if the people involved don't want to be together any more, who am I to wish they stayed in a situation no longer good for them?

It's also partly another example where I don't have the relationship with music that the meme seems to assume. I don't really have any bands that I follow in the manner of eagerly anticipating a new release, therefore none that make me sad if they split up and there won't be any new material coming. The existing songs that I like are still there for me to listen to. I do occasionally go to live gigs performed by ageing rockers, and that's cool, but it's not something I wish for more of in my life.

So I'm going to pick Joy Division. I wish at least that Curtis had lived for the band to split up due to creative differences, rather than coming to an end with his death. He'd be 60 now, and it's hard to imagine what Joy Division might have done if he'd had even one more decade with them let alone four. A lot of other bands from that sort of era, if they have carried on, have tended to get more bleepy and less raw noise, and New Order certainly went in that direction, but Joy Division were something else, and I imagine that they might have continued to innovate musically, maybe not all the way through to the 2010s but through the 80s and 90s at least.

Here's something a bit more gentle and thinky than their big hits like Love will tear us apart: Passover, by Joy Division.

video embed (audio only) )
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liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
([personal profile] liv Oct. 11th, 2017 05:15 pm)
Things that are not helpful to a [personal profile] liv recovering from an asthma attack: Cab drivers who smoke in their cars. I took a taxi to work yesterday because I wasn't sure I was up to cycling, and the cab smelled of smoke and air freshener, which maybe makes the smell less bad but also makes my breathing even worse than just stale smoke.

Things that are even further unhelpful: colleagues who observe that I am coughing a little bit (due to the smoke exposure), and passive-aggressively tell me that I ought not to be at work while I'm sick. I mean, I agree with the general principle that people shouldn't come into work with colds and infect and annoy everybody else. But nobody realistically expects anyone to actually stay off work for the several weeks it can take for a cold to completely clear from one's chest, once past the stage of being actively infectious and unable to think clearly. And I'm annoyed at not being believed when I said that my asthma was making me sound sicker than I really am.

To be fair, I'm annoyed at busybody colleagues due to factors which are not entirely their fault. Not their fault that I'm sensitive about being told off (even gently) for having asthma, due to a miserable year when I was 9 and my class teacher was convinced I was faking not being able to breathe for attention. (I certainly didn't want the kind of attention that involved an adult in a position of authority standing over me and yelling my face and never letting me be absolutely certain she wouldn't hit me, though she never quite got to the point of physical violence.) Not their fault that work has an annoying policy where being allowed to work from home is reserved for people more senior than me. But the upshot is that I've been given special permission to work from home today, and I resent being made to look like a slacker, but there you go.

So I have a moment to catch up with the meme that I've entirely abandoned for a month and a half while in the middle of moving jobs. And I find that I'd stopped just before the section where I have philosophical objections to the questions. A song you think everybody should listen to: there's no such song, because everybody has different tastes in music! And I don't believe in a moral obligation to listen to music, because it might be very good, but people get to decide what to do with their own listening time.

But let me try and post something anyway, cos I am completionist even when I'm very slow. I have sometimes wanted to sit people down and make them listen to The house of Orange by Stan Rogers. It's a very good song, with a message I think is important. But by no means everybody should listen to it, only people who have managed to pick up the foolish notion that sectarian violence is romantic. And, well, people who appreciate well-written but hard hitting songs might get something positive out of it, but I wouldn't go as far as to say should.

I think if I have to pick one song that if not everybody, then at least lots of people who are generally in political and musical sympathy with me might appreciate, I'm going to go for Tam Lyn retold by The Imagined Village and Benjamin Zephaniah. Because Zephaniah is an amazing poet, and The Imagined Village is an exceptionally interesting and innovative folk project. And because it's a really brilliant reworking and interpretation of the Tam Lin story, which itself one of those core folk pieces. I recommend it even if you don't generally like folk music; it's not in the musical style associated with folk at all. And because it's musically great, it's nearly ten minutes long and I usually have to repeat it several times every time it comes up on my playlist. And finally because I agree with its pro-refugee and pro-migrant message, so if I'm going to impose one song on everybody, this is my pick.

video embed )
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([personal profile] melannen Oct. 10th, 2017 05:31 pm)
#26! The projected halfway point of a year's worth of reading the backlog! And in fact I went in over the last couple weeks and sorted all of the remaining into piles, so I didn't end up stuck with just a bunch of boring mismatched ones toward the end, and it looks like it might actually come out to exactly 52 weeks without me having to try too hard?

It looks like there will be more non-spec-fic weeks coming up, though, I ended up with 8 more weeks worth of that. I know fewer of you get excited about those but that's what I have on my shelves. There's also four more anthology weeks.

This week's anthologies also did not garner a huge number of votes. I will reiterate you don't have to know anything about the books to vote! A lot of these I bought just 'cause I liked the title so you do not have to feel bad if you vote that way. I suspect last week's voting was on that basis, given that it was a dead heat between Carmen Miranda's ghost is haunting space station three and Brave New Girls: Girls and Gadgets. Brave New Girls won F in the end! Cats In Space won K. Surely... surely ya'll don't have something about Cats in Space? I read all the Catfantastics back in the day; I will have to at least check that one to see how much overlap there is.

I finally finished Locke Lamora, so I have three reviews to get through; IDK if I'll do that first, or a proper yuletide letter...

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

For the midway point, we have a very special theme this week: PEOPLE GETTING PAID PRO RATES FOR FANFIC! Hoorah!

Poll: Anderson, de Camp, Diamant, Fraser, Grossman, Lewis, Maguire, Maney, McCullough, Murphy, Niven, Scalzi, Stevenson, anthologies )
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([personal profile] seekingferret Oct. 10th, 2017 12:14 pm)
There's been some talk on Yuletide chat about creating a specific tag for people writing Judaism-oriented stories for Yuletide (putative 'Jewletide'), akin to the tag/subchallenges for female-oriented stories or smutty stories or stories featuring characters of color. The idea of those tags was both to highlight fic fitting the theme of the tag, and also to create a general encouragement to write stories that fit the tag.

I've been arguing violently against the idea in chat, surprisingly violently, honestly. I'm posting this to kind of work out for myself why I reacted so strongly against it.

One reason is that it was nearly 2AM. And, well, you know. Not anyone's finest hour. But anyway.

A brief summary of the history of Judaism and Yuletide- Millions of years ago, Yuletide was founded. It was basically a Secret Santa exchange for fanfiction of rare fandoms, with the stories revealed on Christmas Day, and particularly in the early years it was pretty common for people to write fic involving Christmas in some way (When I first started doing Yuletide, explicitly noting in your letter if you didn't want Christmas fic was a big thing). As it grew, it became less explicitly identified with Christmas, and it drew more and more of fandom in, including more Jews. Then one year, they decided to start sign-ups over the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. This pissed off some Jewish fans who started complaining about how frustrating it was that this big institution of fandom was constructed around Christmas and the Christian default and completely ignored the activity of Jewish fans. There was much wank. In the end, nothing much changed. Jews continued participating in Yuletide, while continuing to have our activity ignored, and founded Purimgifts as an alternate fic exchange that centered Jewish interests. Meanwhile some Jews argued that they valued Yuletide as a sort of alternative secular celebration on Christmas day that they could celebrate while all the goyim around them were celebrating various forms of religious and/or semi-secularized Christmas, and I am kind of confused by wanting to have that counterprogramming, but if that's how they want to think about it, bully for them. There are significant differences between how secular Jews regard Christmas and how more observant Jews do, and Jewish opinion is not a monolith that I can dictate. Anyway, that remains the status quo to this day- some Jews participate in Yuletide while the Christmas/Christian elements stick in our craw, and other Jews find the Christmas timing a sort of accidental bonus.


It's an uneasy status quo. Lots of Jewish Yuletiders I know wish that Yuletide would just suddenly not be so Christmas-oriented. But we know it's not going to ever happen and we accept that. There are also Jewish mods who are attentive to how observant Jews practice fandom and I do feel like a reprise of the particular Sukkot nonsense of '07 is unlikely (the nominations and signups did overlap Jewish holidays this year, but were advertised well ahead of time and with plenty of days not falling on the holidays.) [personal profile] evil_plotbunny talked to me last week about how she personally reviewed and handled the Hebrew script in the tags on a couple of my nominations, and I really appreciate that.


So I think the suggestion of using a tag like Jewletide immediately raised hackles for me because it reads as a sort of coopting of Jewish participation in Yuletide, to wish away the years of uneasiness and say Jews can participate fully in this institution without any reluctance in spite of there being no change in the status quo. I don't think this is fair on my part, as the people pushing the tag aren't, you know, The Powers That Be, they're just random Jews in fandom who have a different context on Judaism and Yuletide than I do. And who want to create a space within Yuletide that is for the Jews. But like I said, immediately hackles nonetheless.

I think this goes back to a thing I said to [personal profile] kass a few weeks back.


[personal profile] kass said: "...because I always experience fandom itself as a kind of Jewish enterprise (a community constituted through shared engagement with source texts -- that's fandom, that's Judaism, that's where I find my home)... "


And I responded: "I'm not sure I'm comfortable with 'fandom itself as a kind of Jewish enterprise', because I feel like that frames a very limited version of fandom in order to lay that claim, editing out the parts of the fandom that are less compatible with my Jewishness. But I do think it's possible to negotiate within fandom a Jewish path."


I think my response on chat was basically a rehash of this argument. It seemed to me that a tag for Jewletide was an attempt to say that within Yuletide as currently constituted, a full-blown 'Jewish enterprise' could exist. And my response was to say that there might be within Yuletide a Jewish path, but only if we remain aware of the ways in which Yuletide as a whole still excludes us and ignores us. Which is why I'm fine with people writing fic involving Jewish characters during Yuletide, and I'm fine with people tagging the fics as containing Jewish characters, but I'm not as okay with people supporting a subchallenge within Yuletide specifically oriented around Jewish characters. But clearly other people believe in Fandom as Jewish Enterprise, and while I disagree with them, they're entitled to their opinion.

I'm also wary as hell that if we added an element to Yuletide that encouraged people to write Jewish stories, it would offer encouragement to the people who don't know Judaism well enough to pull it off. I'm wary we'd see the shitty culturally insensitive fic posted under the tag.

Of course, that can happen anyway. Nobody's guaranteed a good story for Yuletide, just a story. And I'm not going to oppose writing stories about Jews for Yuletide just because someone might write an insensitive story, and I myself sometimes request Jewish characters for Yuletide. But Yuletide is not a place where you can always rely on authors being sensitive about Jewish culture, and the idea of positioning a subchallenge about Jewish characters within Yuletide makes me nervous because I'm aware of Yuletide's limitations in this regard.



Anyway, tl;dr is that I was an asshole in chat and overreacted, and I should apologize to people I snapped at (anon memes seem confused about whether I mansplained, goysplained, Orthosplained, or what. It's enough to say that, as sometimes happens, I was an asshole.) , but I still don't like the idea of a Yuletide subchallenge oriented around Jewish fic. And of course, if other Jews want to do it it's not like I can stop them anyway.
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([personal profile] liv Oct. 9th, 2017 02:32 pm)
TL;DR: I had a medical problem, I got appropriate treatment, and I'm now safe and recovering.

includes breathing difficulties, but not gory )

At this point, comments I would find helpful are: expressions of sympathy; discussions of healthcare policy. I would prefer if you could skip telling me your own stories about asthma and breathing troubles, and I don't really want to hear any experiences with prednisolone right now. I know that's not very socially appropriate of me when I've just told you a long story about my asthma experience, but I find other people's descriptions of asthma triggering and my breathing still isn't quite right. And prednisolone has an effing scary side effect profile, so I'm trying not to scare myself into believing I have any symptoms, so I would rather wait until after I've finished the course to compare experiences.
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([personal profile] seekingferret Oct. 7th, 2017 07:59 pm)
Dear Yuletide Writer,

Thank you for writing a story for me!

This past year fannishly for me has mostly been dominated by one project: Warning: Might Lead to Mixed Dancing, a multifandom Jewish dancing vid with over a hundred fandoms. A lot of the fandoms in the vid were fairly obscure, and a lot were new to me. So I had the sort of archetypal Yuletide experience more often than usual this year- discovering a new piece of media, looking for more fanworks in the world, and not finding it. All of my requests this year are things I watched while making my vid, and wanted more fanworks beyond their two second representation in my vid. I'll be excited to see whatever you come up with.

But on that note, too, I should note that all of these fandoms are fandoms where Jewishness is central to their storytelling. I'm an Orthodox Jew and my Jewishness is a major component of my identity, so a story that engages with that part of the story in an insensitive way has the potential to hurt me. But I'll say this: Engage with the story in good faith and I'll be able to tell, and that's more important to me than me not being hurt. It's okay sometimes if fiction hurts. That, too, is a central theme of all of these fandoms. [I'll also put this out, since it's not obvious to everyone- the fact that I'm Orthodox does not mean you should feel restricted to telling stories where people behave in accordance with Orthodox morality. Heck knows I don't.]


הסודות | The Secrets (2007) - Naomi (Hasodot)

tl;dr if you haven't seen it: Israeli movie about two young observant Jewish women in a seminary in Safed, who fall in love with each other as they fall in love with the dangerous Kabbalistic secrets of the Ari.

Prompt: I'm interested in exploring any of Naomi's relationships with other characters, particularly the central love triangle. I think the ending is so fascinating, how Michelle and Yanki's relationship is predicated on Yanki understanding that Michelle's feelings for Naomi aren't going away, but that they don't have anything do with her feelings for him. Something of Anouk's past returning to trouble Naomi and Michelle again would also be interesting. But what I would most like to see continued exploration of Naomi's relationship to the sacred texts of Judaism. Naomi going deeper into Kabbalah, going deeper into Shas, constructing a life centered around text. Naomi as a Rabbi, or Maharat, or Yoetzet Halacha, or Talmud professor, or serving scripture and the Jewish people in some other capacity. Naomi exploring Sufism or Zen Buddhism or other religious mystical traditions, from a position grounded in her knowledge of Kabbalah.

A Serious Man (2009) - Rabbi Nachtner (A Serious Man) Rabbi Marshak (A Serious Man) Rabbi Scott Ginsler

tl;dr if you haven't seen it: The slow downfall of a Conservative Jewish father in 1960s Minnesota; as his faith is tested, he desperately seeks answers in all directions.

Prompt: I love the tripartite folk tale that is the three Rabbi storyline, and would love any story that gives me more of them- other characters consulting the various Rabbis, the three Rabbis interacting with each other, the three Rabbis reflecting on the events of the story from a position down the line. The Marshak's funeral. Internecine shul politics. Interacting with the dybbuk storyline, or the tornade storyline. Anything else you can imagine.

לעבור את הקיר | The Wedding Plan (2016) - Michal (The Wedding Plan)

tl;dr if you haven't seen it: A Chasidic woman in Israel has her engagement suddenly broken off, and in a leap of irrational faith she decides to keep all of her wedding bookings and just find a new fiancee to plug in, in the next three months.

Prompt: I find the romance at the end of this story a little frustratingly abrupt, but if you could show their arc afterward I might be convinced, so I'd like to see what married life looks like for Michal. More than the romance, I love the female friendships in this story, and any look at any of those friendships would be great. Also, Michal and Yoss continuing as friends after she gets married would be interesting to me, they have such a sharp chemistry.

The Hebrew Hammer (2003) - Any

tl;dr if you haven't seen it: Parody of '70s blaxploitation movies starring an overly Jewish private investigator as he races to save Chanukah.

Prompt: This is one of those totally open-ended Any requests. This story is set in such a brilliantly weirdly slanted world and I'd like to see more stories that embrace the wackiness of it.
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([personal profile] echan Oct. 7th, 2017 12:05 am)
My wrists feel better lately, but that's only a relative improvement, mostly marked by "hands do not tingle or have tempurature changes towards the end of the workday" and "forearms do not ache for hours after work". I've been avoiding using a computer much outside of work, afraid of losing any ability to work. But it is frustrating the strange things that hurt after a short amount of time -- knitting, using scissors. I used to morbidly ponder whether I'd rather lose my sight or hearing (always a toss-up); I never thought to ponder physical limitiations.

[community profile] festivids is starting up soon. I haven't vidding in months. I'm also a bit O.o at Festivids, traditionally run on a combo of Dreamwidth and independent website, switching to exclusively using AO3 the same year that has seen a huge rise in indieweb and similar drives of web DIY / retro web / getting away from monolithic sites. I don't have an AO3 account, and have no plans to make one. I only ever did treats or a pinch hit though, never a 'real' signup, so who knows if it even matters.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
([personal profile] melannen Oct. 6th, 2017 04:29 pm)
Hi yuletide writer! This will be pretty useless to you so far because it's just a repost of my signup but I wanted it here for reference. Hopefully it will turn into a proper letter before you see it, but if not, have no fear. I am super easy to please as long as you write in one of these fandoms! And I believe wholeheartedly in ODAO and Yuletide Is Meant To Be Fun. Also feel free to scroll down this tag for previous years' letters, most of which still apply, and other thoughts of mine on these fandoms.

The Girl with the Silver Eyes - Willo Davis Roberts
Okay so: WHAT DID THEY DECIDE? AND WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THEY DECIDED? I feel like staying home would be the wiser choice, but going would be the better story. And there are so many directions it could go, once they go. Also, it's canon that there are other superpowered kids with all different kinds of superpowers there, so there is a lot of scope for crossovers there... I'd also love more about the lives and personalities of the other three silver-eyed kids - how similar are they to Katie? How different? How do they get along when it's not a crisis situation? I'm also really interested in all the grown-ups from the books! Also I headcanon that Ms. K also has some kind of secret psi powers. And ship her with Mr. C. And/or Monica.

The Murderbot Diaries - Martha Wells
I cannot get enough of Murderbot? So mostly I would just like More Of. Here are some ideas: Something set in the Preservation Aux camp (any POV) before canon started when all was calm, or Murderbot dealing with one of its previous more-soap-opera-y past assignments (either before or just after it hacked itself), or something from one of the surveys on the planet before everything went terrible - how different are they from each other personality-wise? How do they work together on group assignments?, or there's just a bare possibility that one or more of the other secbots survived - what did they do? maybe they got left behind for dead and learned how to hack themselves and became hobby archeologists; or everyone on the station gossiping about what Murderbot has done this time. I also really loved the glimpses we got of what life is like in the Preservation Alliance, so anything building on what the Survey crew do after Murderbot leaves would be fun!

DNW: Anything where Murderbot just needs to Learn To Make Friends And Talk About Its Feelings or equivalent. Let Murderbot continue to be someone who is happiest sitting in a corner with its shows! That is OK! Also: no Murderbot falling in love with anyone. Other Secbots making other choices is fine though.


James Asher Vampire Series - Barbara Hambly
I OT3 this hard! I just keep waiting for the point where James finally realizes he and Simon are in love with each other too and it's a triangle not a V, and it keeps not happening for me in canon. I really want a story set after Pale Guardian where James slowly comes to the realization that Ysidro has transferred his promise to watch Lydia into a promise to watch over James. I would also love any backstory for any of the three of them, though! I am also getting increasingly intrigued by Grippen and his relationship with James and or/Ysidro. I'd also enjoy anything about the ancient vampires Ysidro remembers from his youth. Also: would be okay with just a series of attempts by Ysidro to convince a cat to be his friend.

I am also okay with crossing over Ysidro into a far-future SF fandom, those are always cool and I'd love to see how Hambly's vampires work in that kind of world (Also see my Benjamin January request.)


Benjamin January Mysteries - Barbara Hambly
I love everything in this fandom? I would be super into anything about Hannibal's relationship(s) with Rose and Benjamin - OT3 if you want, but also just anything about their dynamic. Similar with the Dominique/Henri/Chloe. I would also be SUPER into solo backstory for any of the nominated characters. And of course the Meyerlings are always great. Also: Rose and/or Chloe doing SCIENCE!! (or science) and/or interacting* with any of the Great Men Of Science of the time. *where interaction could = explosion. And anything else in this fandom, really, honestly. Also, if you also know the Ashers books, I would love some of those vampires showing up in January's world - either via Hyacinthe, who almost certainly learned her piano from January, or just stumbling over them in their travels.

Mr. Trash Wheel (Anthropomorfic)
THE TRASH WHEELS ARE SOO GREAT
Stories you could tell about the trash wheels: what things have they found in their rivers? Say, maybe, a ring that shows fiery letters only after it has gotten warm on Mr. Trash Wheel's power supply. Or a magic sword? A cursed pirate coin? A mysterious message in a bottle? A space drive from a damaged UFO that's all ready to be installed? An unidentified body and a murder mystery to solve? A suitcase full of printed-out fanfic from the 1990s? Perhaps the spirits of Baltimore's waters need to appoint champions to fight a great threat! Maybe they get a visit from their future selves and kin who are the centerpieces of a Baltimorean solarpunk utopia! So many possibilities.

Fandom: Brennu-Njáls saga | Njal's Saga
So, I am not, like, a great scholar of the sagas, I just read this once and listened to the SagaThing podcasts on it, so you do not need to be a great scholar of the sagas either, but it is so full of things I would like fanfic of. I really enjoy headcanoning Njal as a trans man, so if you would like to do that, either in canon or in a different-setting AU, that would be awesome (He has powers! He could go to Mr. Cooper's school!) Also, I totally ship Njal and Gunnar and hateship their wives, so anything along those lines would be fun, or really anything exploring wtf was up with those four's relationships in any form. Other things I would love to see include: more CSI:Bergthorshvoll along the line of the famous cheese mold, Njal lawyering like a mofo, Things We Are No Longer Allowed To Do At The Allthing, Icelanders in Space, etc.
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
([personal profile] cesy Oct. 5th, 2017 06:39 pm)
I just figured out a thing. Part of why I keep tripping up over the Dialectic word in DBT is because I associate it with diametrically opposed, when actually it's about both/and, not either/or opposition. Putting it here to remind myself and in case it helps anyone else who was having the same issue.
The numbers have been in for years: "...and came back with an unambiguous conclusion: states that made it easier for their citizens to go armed in public had higher levels of non-fatal violent crime than those states that restricted the right to carry." (Levels of fatal violent crime, to be clear, aren't lower. They were unaffected.)

But for some people, it will never sink in until it gets personal.

The guitarist who was playing at the Las Vegas massacre finally got it: "We actually have members of our crew with CHL [concealed handgun license] licenses, and legal firearms on the bus. They were useless. We couldn't touch them for fear the police might think that we were part of the massacre and shoot us."

GEE, YA THINK.

Look, buddy, we could have used you five or ten or twenty massacres ago. But you're here now, and that's better than nothing. Maybe you can help us figure out how to talk to the kind of person you used to be.

---

You know, when I was in grade school, they never taught us that Puerto Rico was part of the US. It literally never came up.

"Now a former foreign disaster assistance chief under President Barack Obama, who said he was trying 'to be balanced' regarding Trump’s handling of the situation because he knows 'how hard this stuff is,' said that the report has finally made him snap — 'so mad I could spit.'"

"The family had almost run out of drinking water. Their isolated community of Caonillas had received no aid from the local or federal government, residents said. And they had no way to make the perilous trek to town; the winding roads had been obliterated and six of the family’s cars had been stored in a garage that collapsed, crushing five of the vehicles and sending the sixth sliding down the mountainside and into a river."

And Trump is showing up and chucking rolls of paper towels into the crowd, like the bouquet at the wedding, like a prize on a game show, because he thinks this is entertainment. Because he doesn't care. Because he is a disgusting stain on the soul of humanity.
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