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Pens 3, Panthers 1

pens, fleury
* I didn't think it was possible for us to get MORE INJURED, but behold, we are MORE INJURED. No Ehrhoff, no Martin. Three of our D were under the age of 23 (and that's not even counting Olli, who it looks like may very well be out for the season with his shoulder *sob*). Please note three of our top 4 D are out.

* On the plus side, we're getting to exercise all that defensive depth! Like Pouliot scoring a goal in his first NHL game.

* On the other hand, the defense's defense, hoo boy. Flower stopped 45 shots out of 46. ALL HAIL FLOWER, but dude, that is crazypants. We should not be making him do that, like, ever.

* But hey, Vezina, anyone? Fleury's 3rd in the NHL for save %, fifth for goals allowed, second in wins, and tops in the league with six shutouts. It's pretty much him and Rinne in the standings right now.

* In other news, Letang got in a fight (!), Downie got 17 more PIM, and Geno roughed up baby Panther rookie Aaron Ekblad, among the many, many crimes and misdemeanors of this game.

* In conclusion, FLOWER.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

blargh

Spike disapproves
Heads up, I seem to be incapable of directly accessing LJ right now, even via the mobile interface, which is my usual fallback. IDK if this will change before the new year, so, don't expect from replies from me on LJ anytime soon. :\

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

I have a theory (it could be bunnies)

Gwendolyn
Saga spoilers through #24, also NSFW artCollapse )

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March solicits!

x-men, Storm
I've been feeling just much more enthused about Image than Marvel lately. It isn't that Marvel isn't producing stuff that is at least in theory relevant to my interests; in March alone there's an all-female team book, 10 female superhero solo books, the Peggy Carter + Howard Stark team-up, and a Princess Leia solo. Compared to even a year ago, that's AMAZING.

The thing is, I've been reading Marvel for a year and a half and I'm already tired of falling in love with books only to have them canceled, tied up in crossover events half the time, or on the creative team merry-go-round. Then there are the ones that I can't fall in love with because they are so deeply mediocre; I don't know if that's better or worse. I am particularly sick of all the things I like getting canceled while all the things I find so mediocre go on for 30-40 issues. I covet that kind of length for the titles I love, so that writers can really dig in and take those characters places.

Meanwhile, over at Image, we get the same creative team for dozens of issues, crossovers are vanishingly rare, and when things get canceled, at least we can chalk it up creator decision and not that of some marketing department somewhere. Plus, from Image I can get my space western AND my pulpy women's prison AND my cosmic SF myth retelling AND my space opera. And no prior knowledge required!

Basically I'm starting to believe that standalone comics with the breadth and artistry and creative control we see at Image are the wave of the future, and in fact the future might already be here.

Ahem. With that, on to the March solicits.

Image
* New title Descender, Dustin Nguyen (!!) does a sad child robot story. Just lookit this cover:
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* Southern Cross - the actual premise doesn't do a lot for me, but come on, grungy SF + weird fiction + female protagonist + Becky Cloonan? I'll definitely give it a try, at least.

* Otherwise my comments this month are primarily "Yay! More issues of that comic I like!" Such comics include Bitch Planet, Ody-C, and SAGA (YAY MORE ADVENTURES OF [SPOILER] AND [SPOILER] :DDDD)

Marvel
* New Hawkeye. Very much doubt lightning strikes twice, but apparently it is still a book with two Hawkeyes, so I'm pleased to see that, at least. The cover art is intriguing; I wonder if this is anything like what we should expect from the interiors:
coverCollapse )

* Silk, Spider-Gwen, and Spider-Woman. Someone will have to tell me which if any of the spider-lady books to read.

* Judging by the Thor solicit, the identity of the lady Thor is STILL a mystery in MARCH. Erg. How are we supposed to get any kind of character development when the book won't even tell us who she is?!

* Again, someone will need to tell me if this Operation: S.I.N. book with Peggy Carter and Howard Stark is good. Likewise, if G. Willow Wilson manages to rescue X-Men from the mess it is, someone let me know. Apparently March's issue is big on Psylocke, and that is a plan I support heartily.

* Black Widow summary continues not to enthuse, but I think I quite like the cover design:
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* More Ms. Marvel, yay. More Storm, yay. Those are my two favorite things out of Marvel right now, I think.

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comics linkage

Psylocke
Artist Jake Wyatt is selling prints and originals on Etsy, including several original pages from Ms. Marvel.

Meanwhile Comixology is giving away free #1s of various books, one per day through the 22nd.

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Fleury: not quite perfect

pens, fleury
One aspect of the game where Fleury has not been good at all is scoring. 647 NHL regular-season and playoff games, and not a single goal scored! That's even worse that Zack Sill, our 4th liner who presently holds the NHL record for number of games played by a forward without a goal.

However, Fleury's failure to score is not for lack of trying, as he showed again last night:
gif behind cutCollapse )

One of these days!

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and now hockey

fleury close
Pens 4, Tampa Bay 2. Wow, that was a game. We were SO TERRIBLE that first period, I really wasn't sure we were even going to get a goal. And then we got four, including a short-handed goal for Sutter and two first NHL goals, one for Rust and one for Dumoulin. Good job, kiddies.

But meanwhile in that first period Fleury was SO GOOD. Wow. As soon as a gif turns up of that one really spectacular head-to-post save, I will link. EDIT: Here it is. You finally get a really good look at about the 20 second mark.

I just looked up his numbers, and he's .926 for the season so far, which if he maintains will be his best season EVER - even better than 2007-2008, which all the naysayers call a fluke. There's evidence that suggests we're seeing more this season than statistical variance, however. Mike Darnay at Pensburgh calls it the Mike Bales effect, which includes a graph that shows both how much more consistent Fleury's play has been since Bales was hired as the goalie coach and how his play is on the whole trending upward.

I've seen discussion of the fact that Pittsburgh, cash-strapped as it was when Fleury arrived, never really found him a goalie coach in those early years, and how the guy who eventually filled the position before Bales was not so much a coach as a cheerleader. So what Fleury's getting with Bales may very well be the first NHL-level goaltender coaching he's ever had - and hey, it only took nine years in the organization to get it. It means he finally has someone helping him consciously develop his positional play, his puck playing skills, and similar technical skills to supplement the famous athleticism that even all the detracters agree he has.

(Just think if he could have gotten that kind of instruction five years ago. Ouch.)

So basically, Fleury's best years may very well be ahead of him. Certainly all signs point to him being in one of them right now. As someone deeply invested in the Fleury Redemption Story, I could not be happier.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

one more Saga thing today

Marko plot, Saga
One piece of Saga meta I have seen is this panel discussion of the first three volumes by the ladies over at [community profile] ladybusiness. I particularly like the ideas tossed around about how the structure of the story, with Hazel narrating, might affect the story down the road.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

Fiona Staples, Saga, and splash pages

Alana
(So right now my plan for dealing with my Saga feelings is just to make a whole bunch of observations which are maybe obvious but which I nonetheless don't see anyone making. For being a hugely popular comic, I've seen very little actual discussion about it, what it is, what it's doing, or even what's happening in it or how its plot elements fit together. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places. Anyway, more observations of dubious value forthcoming.)

One of the things about Saga that I think is neither good nor bad (though some might disagree) but definitely different from a lot of comics, especially mainstream superhero ones, is how simple the page design is. Greg Burgas at Comic Book Resources has been analyzing comics art every day this year (which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND), and in the scans he's chosen of significant comics artists, there's a lot of pyrotechnics going on in page design. Staples forgoes all that. She never goes for scenes bleeding into each other or overlapping panels. Her panels rarely even have anything but square corners (or corners that are clipped, like photos - I guess for visual interest?), and they pretty much ALWAYS read left to right and top to bottom. IMO it's one of the many reasons Saga is such a great comic to start people with - as comics go, it is super easy to read.

She's also fonder of splash pages than most artists I can think of. It feels a little self-indulgent sometimes, because the story doesn't usually need full pages devoted to a single panel - it's not like we're using the extra space to show off a battle scene or spaceship schematics or anything like that. But man, she uses them so well. Frequently she introduces new characters that way, which means we get to luxuriate in her absolutely gorgeous character designs. The introductions of The Stalk and Gwendolyn are both great examples. Another one is these guys, the fishy journalist boys in love from Jetsam:

imageCollapse )

More often, though, Staples uses the splash pages as emphasis. Often they function as reveals - of new characters, changed situations, what have you. Other times, you know, we really just need a full page of The Brand in her tie and crash helmet, saying pithy things about governments and PR.

Below we have one of those changed situations. It's also the last page of #24, so beware huge honking spoilers, but ugh, this panel made me SO HAPPY.
spoilery image!Collapse )

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The Will and children (Saga meta)

Marko plot, Saga
(Can we pretend someone requested I talk a bunch about Saga for the talking meme? Because if we do, then look, a talking meme post!)

So I've been rereading Saga from the beginning, and I'm noticing things I didn't the first time. I actually have a whole bunch of observations, but it's late, so one long one is all you get. Spoilers through #24 (the most recent issue) under the cut.

spoilers!Collapse )

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Willow magic
As of Jan 1, Pinboard is going to an annual payment model versus the one-time-only payment model it uses right now. Which is to say, if you want a lifetime account for $10.55 on what is as far as I can tell the internet's best bookmarking site (to be fair, I don't know of any others besides Delicious), do it by the end of the month.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

spiffy hockey ad

crosby
There seems to be no way to make DW embed this properly, but this Pens ad is by far the coolest hockey ad I've seen since, well, since Sidney Crosby recited a bunch of hockey terms. (Except that one was more hot than cool.) Really like the editing on this.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

insmallpackages

malkin
* Look look, someone made me Geno icons! I think I'm snagging numbers 1 and 5 for immediate use, but if anyone wants to nab any of the others, I am happy to share. :)

* Someone asked for Spike/Buffy prompts, and I am trying to oblige, but SO MUCH Spuffy fic has been written, and I'm having trouble thinking of things I haven't seen. Most of what I'm coming up with is either verrrry Snick specific (for example, a/b/o) or things that are not new ideas, but that I just want new treatment of. I was not happy with a lot of Spuffy fic at the time for it treated their dynamic, but now I'm a lot more able to put my finger on things that bother me, most of which boil down to Spike being predatory towards Buffy and the fic treating that as both okay and IC for Buffy to put up with.

But "Write this premise lots of other people have written, only better" leaves something to be desired as a prompt. I think this person may very well end up with a space AU as one of their prompts.

(If it turns out the person with that request is on my flist, I'm going to be very amused.)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

hockey things

pens, fleury
* My favorite part of yesterday's game was probably the bit where Flower took flight in order to glove a puck. Just look at that third image. HOPPY GOALIE.

* The bit where Geno made a one-touch "pass" off his skate was pretty incredible, too.

* Very pleased with the Klinkhammer trade. He has solid possession numbers, sample size of one game says he draws penalties, his cap hit is miniscule, and hey, we got him for free the price of one Philip Samuelsson! Also, most important: NOT INJURED.

* I'm sure I would find the Andrew Shaw vs James Neal incident below just as funny even without my Jame Neal grudge. Almost just as funny. (It's Shaw shoving his legs over after the check is already finished that makes it.)
gifCollapse )

* Now this is media management: Sens coach Paul MacLean was asked how his lines will look today. Deadpan, he said, "We'll have 12 forwards and use them in groups of three." (x)

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talking meme: soul mates and soul bonds

Buffy Dawn sister love. S5, Buffy Dawn
Someone - [personal profile] lettered? - asked me a while back how I distinguished between soul mates and soulbonding as tropes, and lacking the wherewithal to address any of the talking meme questions anyone has actually asked me, I'm going instead expand on my answer to this one.

First, definitions: by soul mates I mean people who are destined to be together - your one perfect match, the person at the other end of your red thread, the person whose name is a magic tattoo on your wrist - written in their handwriting, even! A soul bond, OTOH, to me means something formed between you and another person that connects you somehow metaphysically in a way that affects you mentally, emotionally, and/or physically.

As suggested above, the soul mates trope presents in all sorts of different ways. There's the wristname tropes, the red thread trope, I think in one fandom there's something about having matching beauty marks? (MLP:FiM? Possibly I'm confusing soul marks with cutie marks.) Or just the warm happy glow in your chest that appears when you first meet your match and never fades.

Regardless, the sense of destiny hangs over everything, which right off makes the trope less appealing to me, especially if that destiny specifies that your soul mate is your perfect fit and the person you will be happiest with and if the narrative supports that interpretation. How boring! And in fact in most of the wristname fic I've read in hockey fandom, the conflict centers on people finding their soul mates in the first place, because what conflict could you possibly have with someone who is the most perfect person on earth for you to be with?

Actually, I think there's still a lot of potential there for conflict; see Emma Caulfield's quirky, unsettling movie TiMER, about a world in which you can have a device implanted that tells you the amount of time you have left until you meet your soul mate. What if you meet them when you're still a teenager? What if you won't meet them for forty years - what do you do in the meantime? What if you find someone you'd rather have than some unknown, however soul-mate-y? But fic generally seems less interesting in asking those questions.

(Also, this video, purportedly about Finnish people meeting for the first time, is clearly actually about Finnish people meeting their soul mates for the first time. See the slow opening of the eyes! The nervous smiles, the awkward introductions!)

In addition, the worldbuilding that goes with some of these particular expressions is just wonky. I've been reading a lot of wristname fic recently, so, who is it that decides whose name goes on whose wrist? Are you telling me that's somehow a natural process? Unless you do some work building a world in which wristnames are a natural expression of this, that, and the other magical fact, I pretty much have to conclude there's a deity putting their hand in, and I can't say I care much for that either. And what about the hundreds of millions of people in history who were illiterate - did they just have an X on their wrist? The basic premise drives me batty. And then even once we accept it, the world that results from the premise rarely makes any sense. Why isn't there some database somewhere, in this world of digitization, that keeps track of everyone's wristnames and helps match them up? Is it because there is a massive cultural accretion of taboos and mores that prevent it? What would those be? Fic rarely answers these questions for me.

That said, I've read some wristname fic that does do some neat cultural stuff that I've liked. There's a really excellent WIP on the kinkmeme where wristnames are rare and finding your other half is rarer, and there are hints at some of the expectations and conflicts that arise from those facts, and [archiveofourown.org profile] sherlockelly's Benn/Seguin fic does some exploration of how wristnames might work in general, especially in a world that still has a lot of homophobia.

On the whole, though, soul bonding is much more up my alley, because it's basically forced intimacy cranked to 11, with all the potential conflict that implies. While you might for a soul bond with your soul mate in some universes, in most fics I've read soul bonding can happen between lots of people. Sometimes there's an element of compatibility, but other times it's just a matter of them doing the right (or wrong) things at the right (or wrong) time. Accidental soul bonding is a special favorite of mine, as you might guess. Maybe they don't like each other! Maybe they don't even know each other! Maybe soul bonding right now is just really inconvenient. But like it or not, now this unfortunate pair has no choice but to feel each other's feelings, read each other's thoughts, and/or spend time in each other's space, depending on the rules of the world.

In fact, take away the mindreading and maybe the empathic component, and soul bonding is just regular old biology-based bonding or mating, like a person might find in a/b/o or werewolf fic. I have an a/b/o fic that I've been working on for a while that I figured out pretty fast is actually basically my soul bonding fic, even if souls don't really come into it as such. There's still the forced proximity because of physically needing to be around each other a lot, the affecting each other's moods, and, bonus, the occasional need to have sex with each other.

Again, there are a bunch of ways to expand on this that I haven't seen very much yet, but I have seen fic where hockey players bond voluntarily to improve team chemistry, or where a person is expected to have both platonic bonds and a romantic bond. I've heard tell of poly bonding, although I don't know if I've read it yet. And I would be deeply remiss if I didn't mention Fastening One Heart to Every Falling Thing, by [archiveofourown.org profile] thefourthvine, the story of Geno who can't bond and Sidney who really doesn't want to, and which is single-handedly responsible for me being in hockey fandom.

So: soul bonds. Soul mates. Can work quite differently, depending on context! Which do you prefer? Recs?

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Vancouver 3, Pens 0

crosby
Everyone is injured. By the end of the game our top six wingers were Spaling/Downie and Comeau/Megna. Hornqvist went out after a hit in the second period and didn't come back. Also, Crosby missed an open net, the Pens got their first second-period shot on goal twelve minutes into the period, Greiss misplayed the puck on that last Vancouver goal, and the Pen with the most shots by the end of the game was Craig Adams.

Everything is terrible.

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wow

Buffy Willow
Between new acquaintances and the December talking meme, the first page of my DW flist has forty entries just in the last two days. The first page of my LJ flist has forty entries in the last three days. For the first time in ages, I feel like I can do fandom via blogging platforms rather than having to go to Tumblr (ugh) or anon memes (which I am fond of, but which I'd rather not have as my sole fandom interaction).

This is amazing.

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Wednesday reading

mood reading
I am so pleased I have things to report this week! I got tons of reading done over the holiday break. (Although I got basically no writing done in the same timeframe; this may be significant. You have to read to write, though, IMO; the one fuels the other.)

What I have just finished reading:
The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater. In which a daughter of psychics is drawn into the quest of four private school boys for a sleeping Welsh king. This was superb. Stiefvater has a precision with language that takes my breath away. Her five main characters are all so distinct in their strengths and private conflicts, and she sold me on her plot despite my total disinterest in tarot cards, ley lines, and imported Welsh monarchs.

spoilersCollapse )

I said on Tumblr that the proof would be if I liked the book well enough to put a library hold on the next book, and I just today picked it up from the library, so.

The Story of Christianity, Vol I, by Justo L. Gonzalez. The first volume of two, this is a nice very basic survey if you have an extremely weak grasp of European history, which I do. Gonzalez is a historian, and I thought he did a good job of balancing page constraints with specific detail. I found it very readable. This first volume was from the time of Christ to right before the Reformation, which I shall now being reading about in volume II.

The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula Le Guin. I'd read all her major novels except this one; not sure why it took me so long. I'd been spoiled for the basic premise by her much later short story, "Coming of Age in Karhide," which is all about someone experiencing kemmer, sexual characters, and sex for the first time, and was therefore altogether much more interested in the juicy details of those topics than the original novel was. I was thus somewhat taken aback by how much politics there was in it, especially in the first half or so.

In fact, since the first-person POV character through most of it, Genly Ai, is a first-time visitor and envoy to the planet, the book maintains a pretense of objectivity for quite a while, mixed in Genly's rather pettily expressed personal concerns, which makes for a somewhat dryer book than I was expecting. Also, Genly's kind of insufferable for quite a while - small-minded, self-centered, and sexist, although IMO he gets better on all those counts eventually, which I think was a major point of the book. In that way this book reminds me some of A Wizard of Earthsea, except that Genly is never as overtly obnoxious as Ged and also doesn't get hit over the head with a moral lesson the way Ged does. It does make for rough going in the first half, though.

The sexism might have been what grated the most, though, and what I think dates this book. The fact that Genly isn't sure how to deal with an agender population isn't notable, so much as the lens through which he does try to deal with them. Gender essentialism is rampant in his thinking in ways that I would hope an interstellar diplomatic organization would train its ambassadors out of - he talks about one citizen as having womanly hips, another having masculine energy. Like, dude. Have you never met a genderqueer person in your life?

He also refers to all the citizens of Gethen with male pronouns, with the reasoning that those are more universal and less gendered than female pronouns, which is I think clearly meant to point up his gender assumptions, but at the same time gives the reader the impression that this is a planet made up wholly of men. It has a weird flattening effect on the worldbuilding around gender that I think Le Guin was trying to get across.

And yet despite all these caveats, I ended up really liking it, largely because the last seventy-five pages or so feature a get-there-or-bust, two-month mad dash across a glacier with his Gethenian ally, and that hits like half a dozen of my iddy spots. It's there that we realize that this novel has a much more intimate story at its core than I thought it did, about two people from different planets coming to understand each other after a lot of cultural misunderstanding and a lot of mistakes and hiccups as a consequence. I really liked the way that snuck up on both me as a reader and on the characters.

So the gender stuff did not do precisely what I wanted it to, but it gave me plenty to think about, as you can see, and the interpersonal stuff more than made up for it, IMO. I like this one more the longer out I get from it, and the more I chew on it.

What I'm reading now
I'm working very slowly on a reread of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, but I keep being distracted by other things. Likewise I still want to finish Peter Enns' Inspiration and Incarnation.

What I'll read next
As I said, I just picked up the next Raven Cycle book at the library, and I'd like to get started on the second volume of the Christian history book. It's also time to start my annual Hogfather reread! Yet another thing I've suddenly realized I have a looming Christmas deadline for.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

Raven Cycle + Hockey

anya bunnies, ep OMWF
* Look look, my Raven Cycle friends! [community profile] ravencycle_kink! I am not far enough along to take a peek yet, but I KNOW I have people on my flist for whom this is relevant.

* Today’s Featured Recipe: A Quick and Easy Stanley Cup Championship. The "comments section" on this is AMAZING. Oh, Montreal. Oh, Edmonton. OH, EVERYONE.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)
crosby
Finished The Left Hand of Darkness over Thanksgiving, and now obviously I need a hockey AU. Obviously Gethen has hockey - another name for the planet is Winter, after all! A bunch of players of indeterminate sex 26 days out of the month and male or female the other four, at random, when they're in kemmer.

Possibly the very best part of this plan is that I can have female hockey players on my team, and it won't even be notable. None of the players will have an sexual characteristics 80% of the time anyway, so it will be completely unremarkable if some of their names are Julie and Hilary instead of James and Thomas.

Obviously that other 20% will also feature in the story. Obviously a kemmer house must be visited at least once (and bless Ursula Le Guin for coming back twenty years later to write the salacious expose fic to her work of Serious SF Literature). Probably a pair will vow kemmer to each other at some point.

I wonder if there's a "Alternate Universe - Left Hand of Darkness" tag on AO3...

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

talking meme: me + cooking

Buffy hungry
This post is for apgeeksout, who asked about my favorite dishes to prepare and to eat, and for [personal profile] schneefink, who also asked me about cooking.

To be honest, I have a love/hate affair with cooking. On one hand, nothing makes me feel so much like an accomplished, able adult than pulling something solid and filling out of the oven or off the stove burner. It comes with a sense of well-being, of providing and being provided for. When I dish up a bowl of soup on a cold day and eat it while looking out the dining room window at gray sky and stark empty branches, I feel a sense of being in the right place, of belonging in the space and time I occupy that I don't get in the same way from any other thing.

On the other hand, I don't actually like doing it very much! ghostyouknow27 and I frequently lament the fact that we have to eat at all. It's such a pain! I especially hate the uncertainty of trying new recipes, of spend an afternoon on something not even sure I'm doing it right, much less whether I'll enjoy the results even if I have done everything right. Plus everything takes longer when you cook something new.

I enjoy cooking recipes I know well a little more, though. I cycle through the main season-appropriate recipes I know and like until I get tired of them. Right now there's a lot of corn/beef/bean casserole with Fritos, potato soup, oven-fried chicken plus side, and oatmeal with either peanut butter or apple sauce. Pretty soon I'll be roasting a lot of yams, too. I love yams.

Probably one of my favorite recipes to eat is beef stew, but that one is a ton of work no matter how many times I do it. Those of you who knew me while I was in Honduras may remember the housemate; one of the many reasons I loved living with her was that she was totally willing to dredge and brown the meat if I'd do the rest. IT WAS GREAT. Dredging/browning is so messy and so boring and takes forever.

And if you're going to have stew, you also have to have biscuits. I use a recipe I got from my dad, who got it from Modern Cooking, published in the 60s with a distinct and amusing housewifely vibe to it. The biscuits are delish, though. And if you end up with more biscuits than you have stew, you can spread the remainders with butter and homemade strawberry freezer jam, which incidentally is what God made freezers for. YUM.

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how time flies

alpha/beta/omega
I am looking over The Epic A/B/O List and remembering when reading all the a/b/o on AO3 and picking out the good ones was a feasible project for one person. Can you imagine? I even searched kinkmemes and stuff, because there wasn't enough being posted to AO3.

There still isn't enough a/b/o with women, though. That hasn't changed. :\

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

a post of hockey things found via Twitter

mood who me, Dru who me
I've been digging through my favorites, so some of these are old.

* Alex Ovechkin once showed up at the rink in Daisy Duke type shorts. Steve Eminger confiscated them "for the good of everyone."

* Probably concerned parties have already seen this, but Geno congratulates Sergei Gonchar on his 800th point. With a homemade sign. On a tiger.

* Phil Kessel's explanation of his shot: "I just kind of shoot it".

* Flower fails to sooth a baby (someone else's, I assume? IDK)

* Geno gives a tiny, far-traveling Russian fan a puck

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hockey kink meme recs list

Heyer depraved
[community profile] thesinbin continues to make me very happy, so I'm making an effort this weekend to advertise it a little. One part of that effort is a promo post on Tumblr - feel free to reblog if you like. And the other part is a collection of fic recs specifically for the kink meme. If you've been reading my hockey recs for a while, then you'll probably already have seen a lot of these, but I wanted them all in one place.

So, here's an idiosyncratic, Snick-specific collection of links to show why the kink meme is great. These are mostly short on kink and long on feelings, but there's plenty of stuff at the meme that's more hardcore, too – see the Delicious for all the links. :)

Asterisks on the stuff that's never been posted anywhere else, AFAIK.

delicious recsCollapse )

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February solicits

x-men, Storm
Snick's somewhat-monthly reaction post to solicits news returns!

Image
* SAGAAAAA. Saga is back, as is almost the entire cast! :DDDD

* This new #1 sounds intriguing: The Empty, by Jimmy Robinson: Tanoor lives in an empty apocalyptic world of poison and decay. Her village is all that remains of humanity as they struggle against mutant beasts and rotting bones.But Tanoor finds a chance to save her people when a stranger drifts into town. A stranger armed with the power to grow life from death. A stranger who could change the world—if Tanoor can keep them alive in the deadly world of The Empty.

* Likewise Postal by Hill/Hawkins and Goodhart: The townsfolk of Eden, Wyoming wake up to the first official murder the town has seen in 25 years. Their reaction to this isn’t normal, and there’s a reason for that. Eden operates as a haven for fugitive criminals who remain here while new identities, often including facial reconstruction, are created for them. There is zero tolerance for any illegal activity that might draw attention to the town and an “official murder” is the last thing they want. A single, tight-knit family runs Eden with the youngest oddball son Mark Shiffron overseeing the postal branch, the only means of shipping in or out of the city.

* Lots of next issues for series I'm enjoying, including East of West, The Wicked + the Divine, Lazarus (although I'm behind on that).

Marvel
* Elektra canceled. The art was so pretty, but the story was so cold. IDK. I wanted to love it.

* Lots of new female-led titles: Spider-Gwen, Silk (both Spider-man affiliated, kind of? Spider-Gwen is AU somehow), and by then we'll be three issues into Angela: Assassin of Asgard, which I must say is not a book that I'm filled with hope for, although I do like women are involved in both the writing and the arting.

* Jorge Molina is taking a shift (or taking over?) on Thor. Given the kind of style he had when he filled in on X-Force, I think he'll be a good fit, especially if they keep the same colorist. Solicit seems to imply that we still don't know new Thor's identity?!

* MS MARVEL VERSUS LOKI. ALL MY DREAMS ARE COME TRUE. I mean, just look at this cover. (Sad we don't have Jake Wyatt back, though - artist this issue is Takeshi Miyazawa, whom I'm not familiar with.)

* I will be interested to read the rest of X-Force once it finally comes to MU. This Fantomex-as-antagonist thing seems designed to make me unhappy, but Spurrier is a clever and complex writer. IDK.

* Storm #8 - Phil Briones arting this issue. I recall quite liking his work on Humphries' UXF, although not as well as I've liked Ibanez.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)
Marko plot, Saga
This is kind of a gimme topic, because I am always happy to tell you about what comics I am excited about, but it's what dhampyresa asked for, so. Here are the comics I'm most excited to read each month:

comics below!Collapse )

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

sheer randomness

anya bunnies, ep OMWF
1. I was looking at old posts I'd made to buffyversetop5, and I was dismayed to find that ALL the icon links in my icon recs post had broken except for the handful where I linked directly to my own icons from my profile. WOE. *clutches Buffyverse icon stash to chest*

2. I just figured out that this new DW layout I got switched to recently includes tags in its archive listing. Like, if you want to see subjects for posts made in January 2014, behold! THIS IS AMAZING. Especially given my habit the last couple of years of titling posts with things like "Tuesday things."

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

talking meme

Twin Peaks
Okay, y'all. I can't commit to posting every day in December, because holidays, but I posting every day from now to December 16 seems a more manageable goal. So! I would be interested in topics people might be interested in hearing from me about.

I will probably also nab topic ideas from the talking meme I attempted to do in January and then promptly failed at after two days, if you want to see what other people have requested in the past or put in a second vote for them. I'm not going to schedule things, though, because I think that way lies failure.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

DW friending meme!

Buffy Willow
[personal profile] theladyscribe is hosting a friending meme, very well-timed since I had just in the last week been feeling sad about the state of my flists. (Or circle, whatever. We're old school. We know it's actually an flist.)

So, go forth and find new friends. Shoo.

Edit: ALSO. THERE SEEM TO BE MANY HOCKEY PEOPLE THERE. Where many = six or so? But that is more active hockey people than I have ever seen on DW at one time. So, my hockey people, this meme is for you.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

a TV post

SS1, SD in the beginning
Bored and in need of free TV, I started watching Jane the Virgin. Let's be clear: this is not the show the title says it is. The title sounds like a sex comedy to me, but in fact what they seem to be going for is a play on Mary the Virgin, ie, immaculate conception. You see why everyone in the titling department should be fired.

So instead of a sex comedy, what it is is a humorously self-aware English-language attempt at a telenovela, or Spanish soap opera - in this case, one about a virgin who accidentally gets artificially inseminated and is now pregnant (which is the first of many, many unlikely happenings). And it's actually really cute! Jane's relationships with her mom and grandmother are complicated but loving, and the main actress in particular is adorable.

I also really love that she is basically constitutionally incapable of lying, which means she spends little to no time hiding things from people. I had NO IDEA how much I wanted this until I started watching this show. People making things harder for themselves by not communicating facts to other people stresses me out; this show is therefore so relaxing for me.

Unfortunately everyone else in the show seems to be some degree of terrible, except for the star of the in-show telenovela, who is terrible but also hilarious, and the narrator, who is just hilarious. I would like to root for the baby's father's sister, a screw-up who's presently banging another man's wife, and the father's wife, who is still unmitigatedly terrible, so I am hoping they both produce some sympathetic qualities soon so I can.

--

I watched the 200th ep of SPN. spoilersCollapse )

--

I suspect I may want more TV now with colder weather (26 on the way to work this morning!) and shorter days. Who knows, maybe I'll finally make it through B5. Also I have decided Sleepy Hollow would be the perfect show to watch with ex-roommates - cute characters for the girls, apocalypse for Mr. Roommate. So you may be hearing about that as well.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

Gaiman

mood fantasy, dragon
Just finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman's most recent novel. It was fine? The writing and weaving of myth into everyday life was excellent as usual. I was not entirely satisfied by the ending. In terms of tone and emotional complexity, though, it read like an extended chapter of The Graveyard Book or maybe a much less vibrant Coraline, both of which I consider Lesser Gaiman anyway. It is still certainly Gaiman doing Gaiman things, though.

I say that Gaiman is one of my favorite authors, but in fact he's really only written two books I care about, American Gods and Neverwhere. It's just that I care about them a LOT (albeit for different reasons). I also enjoyed Anansi Boys quite a bit, and I've liked some of his short stories. I found Stardust pleasant but forgettable; I actually liked the movie better.

So, I think we may have fewer hits than misses at this point.

(Has anyone read those YA novels he's writing with Michael Reaves? The Interworld series? Are they worth a try?)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

Sochi Olympics plea for help

hockey
So I am attempting to write this fic that has the Sochi Olympics smack in the middle of it, and I am having a heck of a time finding information about athlete experiences there. If anyone has any articles, blogs they followed, anything like that that went into specifics of how athletes got to Sochi (did the entire US men's hockey team fly to Russia together?) and what they did once they got there (how and when did they get their security passes?), I would be extremely appreciative.

What I'd really love is some first-hand accounts from athletes who competed, but I'm not finding anything like that; so far I've only been able to find spectator accounts.

Ugh, research. :P

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

TV fic recs

G'Kar, b5
Still working on cleaning out my recs backlog. Here we have recs for TV fic!


Jeeves and the Inferior Valet, or, Thomas and the Kindest Man in England
, by [archiveofourown.org profile] Alex51324 - Jeeves & Wooster/Downton Abbey crossover
Thomas Barrow + Jeeves/Wooster, 13k. Recced to the moon and back already, but I shall rec it again, because it is delightful. Wooster rescues Thomas from an unfortunate situation, but of course it's up to Jeeves to actually bring things to rights, which he does, despite how Thomas's utter ineptitude as a valet pains him. The voices are perfect throughout. I laughed out loud multiple times. Highly recommended.

What Is Dark Within Me, Illuminate by [archiveofourown.org profile] sprocket - Babylon 5
Timov, 2.6k. I've read almost no B5 fic on account of avoiding spoilers, but someone told me that Timov never returned to the show, so I felt comfortable reading this one. It's set mid-episode and gives us Timov's own perspective and state of mind, and I was immediately fascinated by Timov in the episode, so I enjoyed this a lot.

Keep the Bouquets, Throw Away the Grooms by [archiveofourown.org profile] Netgirl_y2k - Game of Thrones
Margaery/Sansa, 2.8k. You guys, it's Margaery/Sansa arranged marriage fic. It is made of sunshine and light and knowingly raised eyebrows. I would read another 40k of it if I could.

Queen in the North by [archiveofourown.org profile] brutti_ma_buoni - Game of Thrones
Sansa/Brienne, 1.6k. The world is burning, Sansa and Brienne are fleeing north, and they find some unexpected solace in each other. Bittersweet and exactly the right length.

Go Wash Your Heart in the River by [archiveofourown.org profile] mardia - Sleepy Hollow
Jenny + Abbie + Crane gen, 13k. A casefic aside in which a woman is murdered and the trio is haunted by crows. This has everything I loved about Sleepy Hollow when I tried to watch it - Crane vs the 20th century, Abbie and Crane's weird but willing relationship, Abbie and Jenny's damaged sibling relationship still in the process of mending, and a gray New England moodiness - and only glancing reference to the stuff I didn't, like the apocalypse plot. Basically if the show were this, I would watch it every week, and as it isn't, I would gladly read tons more fic in this vein. (Recs welcome.) Everyone here feels like a fully-realized person on their own right, with all the complexity that implies, and the Jenny-Abbie part of it in particular gets some lovely nuanced development. Just wonderful.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

FIC: lots of fics!

Meg Cas
[community profile] trickortreatex authors are revealed! I wrote five things, which I'm lumping here all in one post for convenience. I had a lot of fun playing in basically all my fandoms, especially since the Buffy characters I want to write usually aren't eligible for exchanges.

However, out of the bunch I definitely had a couple of favorites: the hockey fic (which at 4k feels absurdly long for a treat in a 300 word exchange, but oh well) and the steampunk Meg/Castiel. Because, you know, steampunk Meg/Castiel. Even if the fic doesn't really have a plot, as such.

When In Doubt, Set It On Fire - hockey RPF, Crosby/Ovechkin, 4000 words
First Sidney tells Alex Consol's ice is cursed. Then he says he has a plan to fix it. Then he stops talking to Alex very much at all, and that's when Alex starts to get worried. -- More monster-y than actual horror, it turned out. Oh well.

bright wings - SPN, Meg/Castiel, 1200 words
Castiel has metal wings. Meg has an oil can. -- AKA the steampunk fic. :DDD

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship - SPN, Meg + Bela friendship, 700 words
Meg goes to hell in search of loyal subjects. She thinks she may have found one. -- A treat for gryfndor_godess, with bonus Meg kvetching of Crowley's redecorating scheme. :D

Enough to Make a Girl Feel All Gooey - BtVS, Buffy/Faith, 500 words
Buffy told Faith to stay in Cleveland. Yeah, right. -- A treat for brutti_ma_buoni, theoretically an AU of the Wishverse. Yes, an AU of the AU. Hush.

wherever you go, there you are - MCU, Natasha + Bucky, 500 words
Natasha thought about the places she’d like to hide, given a choice. She ordered them by practicality, and she started at the bottom. -- My first MCU fic! Behold!

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

More Flower \o/

fleury close
Pens have signed Marc-Andre Fleury to a contract extension to the tune of four more years at $4.75 million per, which takes us through 2019.

The Internet has a lot of strong feelings about this. Fleury's had some bad playoff runs, but he's gotten a lot better under new goalie coach Mike Bales, but his save % last year was still average at best, but his save % the year the Pens won the Cup was actually lower, but the goalie options in 2015 free agency are slim, but but but.

My feelings are simpler. Flower's one of my very favorite people on the team and a Pens institution, and I'm really glad we get to have more of him. So, yay.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

insmallpackages!

mood Christmas


I will probably skip this year because I'm signing up for two holiday exchanges and also have just spent an entire year doing a LOT of fannish events, but I've enjoyed it in years past. Other folks should totes sign up and get/make fun things. :)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

buffyversetop5!

anya bunnies, ep OMWF
This is just to say that buffyversetop5 is doing is annual classic recs round, so if you want to get in and rec some pre-2014 fics or fanwork, now is your chance. Or if you just want to browse, there are oodles of goodies.

I'm not reccing because I think I've recced all the categories I can think of to rec, but if you're curious, you can go to the comm and click the little "Filter" icon at the top and filter on my username. (This works on other comms, too. I was probably on LJ six years before I noticed that feature.)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

comics reviews by other people

x-men, Storm
Over at CBR, Brian Cronin has a pair of reviews for Copperhead #1 and #2. He praises the art, which I also adore, and the worldbuilding happening in the background. I've quite liked the first two issues of this book and am looking forward to more, so I'm really pleased to see someone else giving it some attention.

Meanwhile, Rachel Edidin of Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men reviews Storm #4. I agree that the plotty aspect of #4 is weak and disappointing, but also that the character work in the first half is great, and that Ibanez' art continues to be fantastic. Specifically (emphasis author's):

There’s a tendency in comics–superhero comics in particular–for artists to make female characters pretty instead of interesting. That’s not to say a character can’t be both–but there are serious limits to what you can do with facial expressions and body language if you’re not willing to let women look anything other than model-perfect; on top of which the adherence to specific and narrow cultural standards for beauty have contributed to the significant problem of whitewashing in superhero books.

Ibañez’s Storm is beautiful, but above that, she’s expressive. Distinctive. Her face–and this is a tremendous and frustrating rarity for Storm–isn’t anglicized. Her anger and anguish and joy are raw and believable. Her face and body are narrative. Ibañez is a strong if not particularly standout artist in other areas–layouts, action–but his character art? This is our Storm.


Edidin includes screencaps that illustrates what she means; you should definitely take a gander and read the whole review.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

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