So.

Me and Amazon have had something of a relationship issue dating back from when Amazon turned parts of its clothing department into a valid reason to scream "WITCH". This would be when the static expressionless woman in an Nine West A-Line summer dress tosses you a soullessly saucy smile before prancing woodenly in place (sometimes jerkily because why the fuck make this in any way not wrong?) in a way that my ancestors--who left Germany because the Lutheran church was too Catholic-lite for them (and ethnic minority something, but mostly, the religion thing)--would convert to Catholicism to become witchhunters and burn me and my computer at the stake while screaming in Latin, German, and Wendish and I would die without even being able to google the Wendish because it's sort-of deadish. (Guess: 'Satan' probably in there somewhere. Possibly also disappointment that I still don't like sauerkraut.)

(My Great-great grandmother was like the stereotype of German women of mock-fear but a real person and fucking terrifying three digit years and a black and white picture away; two hundred fucking pounds of solid muscle, and her breasts could beat your skull in while she disjointed you like a shriekingly plucked chicken without getting blood on her freshly scrubbed floor. Her expression was stern yet kindly sociopathic, like maybe today she's not considering how one of her great-great granddaughters isn't entirely sure of the point of mopping (and is a witch who makes pictures dance) and so no burning her yet. (Yet.)

Here's the thing: I keep forgetting about it.

(Amazon, not great-great grandmother. It just bothers me how there are no records of hundreds of disjointed human bodies being found in the greater hill country (with heads quite battered), or even dozens of missing person reports, because how did she hide them so well? Just gets to me sometimes, that's all.)

I forget the dancing uncanny valley Amazon thinks will make me buy clothing from them and usually shriek (maybe she strangled them first? She didn't look merciful but anything's possible) while watching them twirl-skip-jerk-finish twirl in place with a sassy flip of a pixelated skirt.

Or worse: I don't forget.

I watch and wait and it's fine--no future creepypasta based on a true story here (has Unresolved Mysteries on reddit looked into this hill country cover-up? Why is no one asking questions about this?)--and I start to scroll and suddenly from the corner of my eye there's movement of platform heels and cue 'shriek' because what the fuck Amazon? You waited until I was just far enough down the page to trust and cue a bad remake of the shoes that make you dance forever while advertising DKNY?

Autoplay may indeed be of the devil (and my great-great grandmother's crimes will never be known at this rate) because there really is no other explanation why it exists. It's bothering me that everyone--and I do mean everyone--is picking up the crazy for autoplay and not just tumblrites who want to convey their pain with repeat-one Imagine Dragons singles; what happened to variety in your personal angst? Get a fucking playlist of it already.

CNN picked up this charming habit, even on articles I picked specifically for text, which isn't easy (picking, or awareness of this family secret no one else seems to know about) since they redesigned their site to be impossible to navigate and added autoplay streaming video on the off-chance you persisted in your desire to use them, and it has the added benefit of having to patiently wait for the video to start so you can stop it. If you forget--I still do--a Midwestern monotone will abruptly fill your headphones while reading (invariably about murder involving refrigerators or c-sections, because why not?) and make you jump suspiciously because you really are kind of two days away from turning in those tests you said were almost done and you're at work where technically, you should be doing them. Or so I've been told.

I feel like there needs to be an overall theme to this entry other than I hate autoplay and my great-great grandmother kind of still scares me, but there's really not. This is the inevitable result of mixing genealogy, shopping, and robitussin DM (half-dose) because you're kind of over this entire 'not sick enough to miss work' thing.
Things that are both weird and true: three quarters of my skillsets and knowledge base are quite literally pleasant side effects. There is quite literally nothing--and I do mean nothing--I learned by saying "I'd like to learn x, it sounds cool." I start with "I really need this; how do I make it happen?"

At work, people are generally wondering what the hell, because three quarters of the time I'm just the vaguely there employee who hates mornings and generally doesn't make extra work for anyone. In other words, functional, forgettable, and whatever. I don't mind, trust me; it helps, lets put it that way.

Then there's the other one quarter.

yeah, and about that )
So, to renew my habit of posting here more than once every three months (other than for fic):

I applied for a promotion at work, interviewed for it a week from last Friday, and got offered the position today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Yes, I accepted after staring at my manager and sub-manager like 'what?' Because I am really smart like that.)

The hilarious part is that during my interview, one of the interviewers (who is my lead) asked a question off script.

all about me and job, very boring a lot of digressions, it's been that kind of a day )
So yes, I've been super quiet, other than posting fic, for--well, months. I can honestly state a massive amount of it was my entire life was either work, editing and posting fic, and the rest my new nephew and my son, who turned eighteen in January and comes home today from a spring break class trip to Europe (Amsterdam, Paris, Valenciennes, Brussels, Istanbul, and Bursa (for skiing, hilarity) and graduates in May.

However, I got a new computer, which is--as everyone here knows--is a very important event in one's life, and kind of unexpected. My shift key on my laptop Sherlock broke--the laptop on its fifth year and just got refurbished because I was really attached. At the same time--this wouldn't be a problem, I've can fix that--Child decided it was time to tell me he really wanted a laptop and specifically, mine. So I got a new one.

You know how sometimes you only realize you've had a blank space in your heart only when it's filled? Yeah, that's Prince Hal 9000 (named for the creator of "Down to Agincourt's" name and author of the poem Harry Takes the Field about Henry V. When I first named my laptop Harry, [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar was like "Harry was called Prince Hal in his youth" and I'm like "And now we have a smashup of Shakespeare's Henry V and 2001: A Space Odyssey and this is destiny.")

You probably don't care, but much like anyone with a new, beloved child, Prince Hal specs:
Name: Prince Hal 9000
Model: Alienware 17 R2
Processor: i7 4710HQ
RAM: 16GB DDR3L
Drives: Two bays, one for up to four SSD M.2 and one 2.5 for anything. Mine is 256 SSD, 1 T 5400 RPM SATA 6Gb/s, upgradeable to 512 on SSD and the limits of current technology on the second.
Display: 17.3 FHD inch ten-point touchscreen (God, it's magic).
OS: Windows 8.1, which I still like less than Windows 7 but unsurprisingly works much, much, much better with a touchscreen. It also helps that I got the Stardock for my desktop, where all my common links are stored and can avoid the Metro screen (though I adapted that for non-frequent use). It helps a lot that I can swipe out of it when I accidentally end up there; that really does make all the difference.
Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB GDDR5
USB: 4 USB 3.0, one with powershare, and holy shit talk about fast data transfer on the 3.0
Other: HDMI 1.4, Mini-Display port, card reader, graphics amplifier port, two audio ports retaskable for microphone, mic headsets, external speakers, etc
Notes: It also has lights everywhere, and I can color them all. And nine extra random keys I can hotkey by keystroke or macro. God.

Yes, I bought a ridic overpowered gaming computer to write fanfic and code in my free time. I wish I could say this was an impulse buy, but it wasn't. I spent the better part of January doing every configuration possible before picking this one. And waiting for alienware to send out random discount codes (they did, thank God). Also, my mom's tablet stopped working, so she absconded with Castiel, my tablet, which means my laptop is my primary source of all things and now accompanies me to work.

and that's when things got complicated )
pros and cons of the Alienware 17 )
more about computers )
a historical digression to that time I almost set myself on fire for a netbook )
back on topic, whatever that was )
pretty sure this is creepy but I could be wrong )
creepy done, back on topic--anyone remember what that was? )
So I had a moment of buh while looking at my posting stats in AO3.

Total Word Count: 3,192,064
Down to Agincourt series: 541,405 (and in progress)
Percent of Total: ~17%

Granted, there are several things I haven't posted there, but still.

I posted my first fanfic circa 1999, but roughly 17% of my total posted output was in the last nine months with three novels, and two of those are one and two on my longest novels list (A Thousand Lights in Space and It's the Stars that Lie, respectively). My five longest novels are those, Jus Ad Bellum (X-Men), Map of the World (book one of Agincourt), and War Games (Star Trek Reboot).

When I started this series--which was a freaking writing exercise, for fuck's sake--three years ago and it started growing, I made a joke about haha, this could reach 300,000 words. According to my last rough word count in my Agincourt workbook, because it needed one, the series will top 1.5 million words, and numbers immediately lose meaning for me just writing that.

...and I still can't tell you how this happened. My last clear memory was when I sat down and thought "I wonder what Cas and Lucifer's meeting after Dean's death in The End would be like". And in A Thousand Lights in Space (book three), I have the better part of a chapter devoted to the characters digging a giant hole for a new mess and observational relationship drama (and coffee).

Like, years ago, [personal profile] hradzka described John Ringo's later books as man gets women and builds things and how that was super attractive as genre. I got it then, but I really really get it now; it's very fighting to save the world plus home improvement (...militia camp improvement?) and negotiating important trade alliances while learning to cook (and farm) and build a do-it-yourself camp LAN. There is something unbelievably satisfying about how after killing demons everyone goes home and works on that new addition to the cabin and fixing potholes and learning leatherworking and scheduling patrols in Excel before checking the reports you are adding to a Oracle database that patrol turns in on jump drives. And you have just enough time to go pilfer rugs from somewhere because the ones in the living room are hideous before cleaning your personal arsenal that takes up an entire closet and talking about what all your knives are made out of (titanium versus ceramic versus hardened steel).

Last clear memory: writing a angsty confrontation between Cas and Lucifer over Dean's dead body.

Current part I edited recently (about two books ahead): a sincere discussion regarding the pros and cons of certain colors of weather-resistant paint for Chitaqua's cabins. It's getting kind of heated and everyone is way too armed.
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 14/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13

a thousand lights in space, 14/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 13/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12

a thousand lights in space, 13/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 12/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11

a thousand lights in space, 12/14 )
I don't know what to say.
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 11/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10

a thousand lights in space, 11/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 10/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9

a thousand lights in space, 10/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 9/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8

a thousand lights in space, 9/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 8/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7

a thousand lights in space, 8/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 7/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6

a thousand lights in space, 7/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 6/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5

a thousand lights in space, 6/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 5/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4

a thousand lights in space, 5/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 4/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3

a thousand lights in space, 4/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 3/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2

a thousand lights in space, 3/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 2/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2
DW - Chapter 1

a thousand lights in space, 2/14 )
Title: A Thousand Lights in Space, 1/14
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 3
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: You're not a drop of infinity, none of you are; you are its creators.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World
Book 2: It's the Stars That Lie

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1

a thousand lights in space, 1/14 )
Because going to FFA is freaking dangerous.

Smart Bitches Trashy Books: Review of The Billionaire Dinosaur Forced Me Gay by Hunter Fox - much like the reviewer, I too can't help but wonder about dinosaurs running the global economy.

...I kind of want to read it now. For the economics.
So BestBuy.com's new improved system broke my ability to login to Best Buy and refuses to send me email to reset my password or validate my account. Literally, they can't send to jenn@thegateway email; it doesn't get to me. It sounds weird, right? Even when a phone rep tries to do it. I can get email from Best Buy, from customer support, and from Unboxed, but not an email to reset my password or validate my account. I am a weird unicorn of non-functionality and maybe a curse is involved due to that chain letter I didn't forward circa 2000? Could be.

I was wrong.

Phone rep told me to register on Best Buy Unboxed forum to ask for help, which is possibly the single weirdest way a corporation has ever told me to deal with a tech problem. And I found this:

One, two, three, four, five and that's random sampling going back to June.

I'm trying to work out how on earth this happened and the closest thing I can come up with is database corruption, and this is where it gets interesting.

I spent last night--because my life is a set of weird coincidences--helping [livejournal.com profile] svmadelyn with a project that required command line installation from an image into Ubuntu and nearly had a nervous breakdown (of joy, this is fun for me, not gonna lie) trying to make the outgoing email protocol work. Several ours and rebuilds later, I did a simple google search--don't say it--and read the obvious goddamn solution that was so freaking obvious I started laughing, because I'd skipped it on my mental checklist of things going wrong because it was so simple. And it worked, I released all the failed jobs and did some cleaning and then sat back and contemplated how I managed to make something so simple into four hours of rebuilds.

Hence, I feel my high tech ground on email issues is cut away from me. And I still can't login to best buy.

There was a moral here, I swear.
It's that time again--that would be time for more books. And I found my author to hit their works like the fist of a very literature-deprived god.

...but she has like a lot of books (two delicious series, even), so okay.

N.K. Jemisin - is The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms author-entry level or should I start with the other one first to get a better feel for her? It got amazing reviews (and is a trilogy), but I'm worried about another Neil Gaiman American Gods where I only found out after reading it that I should have started with Anansi Boys first to get a better feel of his style (as I loved Anansi Boys like beyond words).

So yes, no, maybe, do it alphabetically?
Scenes from Down to Agincourt, Chapter 4: A Very Hippo Chapter, Part Three by [livejournal.com profile] tkodami - In which the Victorian era discovered "Journey to the--" and hippos started at you with come-hither eyes.

...seriously. That last hippo is just, IDEK. Because TKodami is the most awesome ever.

Also, read her Author Notes on the art, which just makes it all that much more amazing.
Rather than be relegated to the dust-bins of history, as many older pieces of unpopular literature are (there are scads (scads!) of Arthuriana that we do our best to forget exist), Journey experienced a brief--though disastrous--heyday in Victorian London during the height of Egyptian Revival. [...]
Scenes from Down to Agincourt by [livejournal.com profile] tkodami, Chapter 3: A Wild Hippo Appears - in which the hero of "Journey to the--" sees his first hippo in the wild. Art is full of puns--God, so many--that our hero artist explains, so for God's sake do not skip the notes.

Also, note: breaking into startlingly loud laughter at work should be a warning not to check email during lunch break at my desk. Save it for after I go outside where I can pretend no one is in hearing range.
De Profundis by MollyC, SPN, gen - a fantastic and very spare and unsettling look at the moment when Castiel met Dean in Hell before his resurrection. She says it's inspired by Down to Agincourt, but I think it stands just fine on its own.
Okay, I finally got A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer and braced myself to read it, as reviews were all positive, but from them, I learned I should not expect a great romance and it would be bittersweet, so I needed to be in the mood for that.

That was not true. I love everyone who told me it was awesome, but that was totally a romance.

Below: my defense of A Civil Contract as not just romance but Romance, and an awesome goddamn Romance. With farming!

(I have feelings, okay? Paragraphs of them. PARAGRAPHS. With citations! Because...Wednesday?)

spoilers, so many )

I am willing to take contrary arguments, but they're wrong, telling you right now. Romance, people. All the romance. With farming!

(Also, note: this entire plot was used by another author in To Catch an Earl by Rosina Pyatt, and when I say plot, I mean Harlequin version. If you've read it, compare and contrast to A Civil Contract; it's kind of hilarious, though yeah, it goes Harlequin very quickly, it still sticks to the outline (the differences are very, very Harlequin-additions). Like a lot.)
Scenes from Down to Agincourt, Chapter 2: Journey to (the Great Swamp) by [livejournal.com profile] tkodami - first of set of four detailing out Cas's guilty hate-reading of pretentious poetry written by Greek students in Demotic Egyptian. READ THE AUTHOR NOTES. For reading them almost caused asphyxia via coffee of some people who unwisely read them at work.
Scenes from Down to Agincourt by TKodami - so when she told me she was going to do fanart, I was very excited. And yet, I underestimated my reaction to seeing this: it's gorgeous, an illustration from Map of the World, Chapter 11, and I'm still taking it in. Especially knowing the context, it's amazing and unsettling as hell.

Going to be staring at this for a while.
Just see if anyone else has this and may tell me the obvious:

1.) how on earth do I empty the trash? Or spam?
2.) Is there a select all anywhere here? Or even better, a select range?

Anyone who does not know what this is:

Inbox by Gmail which works in apps best and Chrome browser kind of (so much white space, appear/disappear left nav, not resizable, SO MUCH WHITE SPACE JESUS). There is bundling.

I like it, but I'm missing functionality here that's frustrating.
I just want to say, as a Texan, we already had Rick Perry. Ebola is just salt in the wound here.

In related news:

I have never spent so much time having to fact check people on ebola and google on my phone what it does, is, and how you get it. I have never spent time fact checking anyone, to be honest--generally, listening to other people be paranoid or wrong is an enjoyable hobby and one that requires minimal effort on my part, that being "staying awake", which gotta admit can be hard. Yet I do it, because not only is it bad information and wrong information, even when it's right conversation is drifting dangerously close to "And Obama will use this to take my guns so I cant' shoot ebola when it shows up" or so I assume; I'm telling you, it's getting very weird.

I get this is a horrible disease, I do. And I get that people are afraid, which makes sense: see "horrible disease". However, I'm also lazy; I don't get having to expend effort in feeling terror before we're at minimum out of single digits for the entire US. I don't even get out of bed for a tornado warning unless something achieves three feet levitation in my vicinity. How do people have this kind of energy?

Between Wikipedia's wealth of information on the cat genome, Cracked teaching me about the pros and cons of being a pickpocket or running Afghanistan as military governor, and trying to decide if I really need to go to the bathroom now (standing up?) or can wait (no standing up!) it's like--dude. You could right now be finding out all the forms aphasia can take and how many cities in India have a population greater than 1 million. And you are spending it on a disease in single digit numbers in the US. *

You could be on reddit reading in nosleep and realizing far, far too late what a terrible idea that was, but at least your irrational fear would be of cameras and eyedroppers--seriously, that was creepy.

This has been a message from me, as it's been a very long week.

* this applies to US citizens only, especially those on talk radio who really, desperately need naps or possibly muzzles.
Personal and cultural awareness thought, via FFA:
I was a cultural awareness class (nothing to do with Poles specifically) that had an example of the 'spaces' differences leading people awry. There was a hotel that had people constantly falling into their flower beds, till they investigated some and found out that it apparently occurred when persons accustomed to wide space interaction and persons accustomed to small space interaction met. The wide space people backed away to get more space and the small space people kept following to maintain the close connect. Eventually the wide space people ended up in the flower beds. - Nonny, FFA


I'm trying to decide if I'm Person Who Falls Into Flowerbed or Person Who Pursues Person Into Flowerbed and it's a toss-up. I think I would be Falls-Into-Flowerbed, but social anxiety can and does nail me into position every so often (it's random) where an earthquake wouldn't move me and you might crawl in my lap (not that I'm against this) and I won't move to save my life.

I'm also from the South, so I'm used to small space interaction to the point I have no idea if I naturally like it only that my body automatically assumes that position and God help me. The South (or Texas) also has the time-honored tradition of gossiping at the correct decibel so the person beside you (ie Gossip Subject) cannot hear, so there's that.

Currently, I'm breaking into hysterical laughter at the idea of watching this in action at this hotel. It's like everyone's in an unwitting horror movie lead-up, and half of them don't realize they're Michael Meyers slow-stalking the person who has no idea they're the latest victim until flowerbed dive.

So are you Flowerbed Michael Meyers or Flowerbed Victim One (or are you the Flowerbed of Retreat??????)? It's Friday and I literally cannot think of anything more useful to do with my time than get an answer to this pressing question.
For I am an aunt again!

My middle sister and her husband welcome M, an 11 lb, 8 oz, 22 inch boy (no, you read that right), delivered in the most common epidural way and holy shit, that's a lot of baby.

because seriously )

...that, by the way, is over one and a half Child at birth weight.

Heaviest baby ever born: 15.5 lbs, by Caesarean
Okay, so:

Closer to Home: Book One of Herald Spy by Mercedes Lackey.

Before I say this, I want to review the following: I have with only moderate irony liked these books. They were cracky and I took a very weird pleasure in reading them and reviewing them. I mean, keep that as the baseline here.

I finished the last in roughly four hours, and this is not only not fun, it's embarrassing, uncomfortable, and shitty in all ways and seriously, I don't believe Mercedes Lackey wrote this. At all.

Over one third of the book is a fucking earnest honest to God rewrite of Romeo and Juliet, complete with the fucking shitty Nurse, and I don't mean in the remix/deconstruction/parody level or even someone who understand what stories are or how words work. This is a rewrite in which a fourteen year old girl, Violetta (Juliet) is slut shamed for daydreaming and called a female dog bitch by her dad and Brand (Romeo) magically teh last few pages becomes a psychopath who tries to kill a miniature dog.

I want to repeat this--Brand, who until this point was kind of a careless Romeo-esque--tried to kill a tiny dog because he's actually evil and was actually plotting all this time to marry Violetta and kill all of both their families. Because reasons.

This is horrible, earnest, honest to god This Is How It Should Have Happened Let This Teach You a Lesson About Being Romantic and Violetta--fourteen, people, she acts like a little girl who likes to read romantic poetry--is fucked over and lectured by everyone, but that's okay because Amily is going to empower her or something and teach her fighting skills.

This is a bad, bad, terribly written book period, with a bad, bad, bad plotline and I don't know what I read but I hate it. There is nothing--and I do mean nothing--that makes this worth reading and I wish I hadn't; this is actually causing me issues with Valdemar and I unironically love all things Valdemar. That was uncomfortable as shit just to read, and thinking about it is gross. Whoever ghostwrote this should never be allowed near a keyboard ever.

Dude, even Todd McCaffrey's butchering of Pern didn't bother me this much. Shitty horrific sure, but it didn't cause active nausea.

I don't think I've loathed a book like this before quite so much. I feel betrayed. The person who wrote about Kerowyn and Talia and Tarma and even the later icky Elspeth is not the person who wrote this.

I need a drink. I actually want to see if I can forget this one.
Briefly surfing from my blanket fort of bronchitis and Robitussin to update. I posted to AO3 last night. (Note: Everyone in my household is sick or pregnant. Or at work today, granted. Casa de Seperis is the Plague House and my doctor can't see me until tomorrow morning. Yes, I am a little high right now and coughing is my new job.)

Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 12/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11

it's the stars that lie, 12/12 )
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 11/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10

it's the stars that lie, 11/12 )
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 10/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9

it's the stars that lie, 10/12 )
Duolingo added Danish, Dutch, and Irish to the beta language list for English speakers (for non-English speakers, there are others as well). As Irish sounded interesting, I decided to test it and see what happened.

Here's what I learned:

1.) Spanish infiltrates English speakers in Texas like you have no idea.

I didn't have any idea how much until I began on Irish and failed so utterly when in Spanish I did the first ten sections in like, a day, including repeats when I inexplicably didn't get full hearts in every lesson and I was anal about that. I'd go back and redo ones just to get full hearts and sulk if I missed something. Yes, I do that. Even the most rampant English-only speaker living in a border state cannot help but absorb the principles of the language at least in basic vocabulary.

(Interesting note: you're more likely to pick up a lot of it if you're lower/working class than middle class, due to migrant and undocumented immigrant labor. My dad wouldn't admit it to save his life, but he understood more Spanish than I did since he worked construction and I heard him talking to his coworkers, so come on. My mom didn't pick up much as a caseworker because she worked in a small town, but when I was a clerk and then a caseworker in Austin, my Spanish went high conversational within six months, and I could interview in it fairly well when needed.)

I tested this in French and Portuguese as well: French I can get two sections without noticeable effort (letter combinations start hurting me here), Portuguese three or four (Portuguese sounds to me like Spanish spoken at the back of the throat, and that's the part that throws me off). Irish--three repetitions for one lesson (One. Lesson) to get full hearts and honest to God I sweated through it.

2.) Irish is really different.

Yes, all languages are different, but this is a different-different for me as a primary English speaker and my language familiarity. If you dropped me in Mexico, I could likely fairly quickly get myself food, lodging, a bathroom, and directions to anywhere, and could make some very sketchy jokes with my new friends and probably carry on a fair conversation about my life and times (you'd be surprised how much you know when that's your only language option). If you dropped me in Finland, I could do the same but less conversation and more profanity because my host brother and boyfriend were good about teaching me that. My French would fail, no lie, because French, but I could eventually work out what I needed to say.

In Ireland, should I be without English speakers, Ithim úll, I eat an apple. Ithim an úll, I eat the apple. And I know the 't' will be silent. So I'm good for describing my action with the apple. That's it, and I'm currently I'm on the fourth section. Unless I happen to have a pad of paper and I can totally write out my drink choices sú úll and sú oráiste, apple or orange juice and uisce, water. Go me. I can't say any of them to save my life.

My first cousin is a linguist and polyglot, but all hers are the Romance languages, though she has a working understanding of a few others. If I remember correctly, her waterloos were (forgive generalities), South Asian (specifically I think it was Chinese that threw her off the most, but I can't be more specific). She adapted, but that was where she hit her first serious wall on comprehension, and as this is a woman who was trilingual before she began college and finished her degree in two years, yeah.

If I'm right--and I'm pretty sure I am--mine is anything that uses the alphabet I know in ways I don't understand (goddamn phonics). I still have the entire Cyrillic alphabet effectively memorized and never had a problem reading or understanding Russian at the level that Irish is bothering me. My roommate in college was Syrian-American and was bilingual in Arabic and English, and I never had a problem with what she taught me--this shape makes this sound and those sounds make this word, I could read it later and recognize the word without a major hiccup. (I can't do it now, but at one time I could say several truly indecent things and ask for a beer or water.)

It's like French (fucking French): those letter combinations that don't sound like I think they should (I wrote an essay about me and French) why do you hate me? I blame this on phonics.

3.) Retention is a problem written.

Not Irish to English; that I nail every time. English to Irish is giving me problems, which makes sense. Ithim, itheann, I eat, (he or she) eats isn't hard to recognize. In fact, none of the verb conjugations are hard to recognize and translate, it's just remembering the root and adding the conjugation is because of the slim/broad rule.

This is where I discover I don't like things that are too regular too soon (blame English, we don't do regular, we do exceptions). I don't trust last root vowel matching to get the ending, and I go through, not kidding, a three point series of questions to myself before I finally accept yes, this is a regular freaking verb why are you doing this to yourself? I don't know, but I still have to stop and go okay ith has a 'i' therefore slim ending 'eann' Itheann move on now after point one "what ending goes here, it can't be that simple" and "no, really, it can't be that simple".

This is the 'to eat' verb, for goodness sake. This is how I get an apple in Ireland.

4.) Retention is a huge problem listening.

This is where my phonics training fails until I internalize the letter combination pronunciations (this will take a while, I don't do well at this in my native tongue for fuck's sake)(for which we can blame English stealing all the words)(why didn't English steal more Irish?????????????????).

The secondary problem with this is that this is in beta, and while all the oral uses a real human voice--which is fantastic for clarity, btw, you can easily hear and repeat what they're saying, no problem at all--not all the oral parts are added yet, as this is, again, in beta. So sometimes, you get the word leabhar but not the pronunciation for maybe several questions after that (or a different lesson). Hint: for an English speaker, it sounds nothing like it looks, except that it definitely starts with an 'l' and ends with an 'r'. Uisce, no matter how many times I hear it--and I listened to the same sentence with it in there about a dozen times straight--will not register when I hear it again. Unless it's a sentence about drinking and then I know if it starts with a 'b' it's milk, an 'f' is wine, and the other one is uisce.

5.) My reading retention is shockingly good.

This shouldn't surprise me, but it always throws me a little to realize how textual I really am. And that has been a problem; I can pretty much force-pass the lessons on guesswork on the strength of translating Irish to English and slide by the rest with short-term memorization, but finishing with four hearts every time means I have to pass every question both written and oral and the difference is painfully obvious on how long I spend listening to the same sentence over and over until I can work out the words by more than first letter and context guessing (which also works). Or slowly, painfully pushing English to Irish. And honestly, retention of the sounds has to be a priority, which is annoying me. I'm used to flying through basics and I keep going back to re-run all the early lessons before I start a new one to retain the sounds correctly.

Why I like the beta languages innovations:

The Irish language has portals (this was not there for the other English to X courses) and when you start a new section, there are notes relevant to the lessons below, not limited to the explanation of the slender/broad conjugations, a complete list of pronouns, and some very useful grammar and terminology. I read it, did the lessons several times, read it, did the lessons, and slowly it came together but far better than if it left me on my own (Spanish I don't need it; Irish oh God yes, please). It's super useful once you accept in your heart that no, those letters will not sound like that and live with it.

I wish--desperately--that US schools did more foreign language training, though I do get historically why we didn't and why it's become a thing only recently to start pushing it earlier (Child's school starts in primary, I think).

I will say this: I reward myself with Spanish lessons and boy, I feel smart then. Four hearts, listening, speaking, reading, writing, watch me get all the hearts. Several times, even.

So anyone else try the other beta languages yet? I'm curious about Dutch and Danish. Also, if anyone else ends up in Irish, tell me! Especially how you nailed uisce. Seriously, this is haunting me Why won't it stick?
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 9/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8

it's the stars that lie, 9/12 )
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 8/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7

it's the stars that lie, 8/12 )
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 7/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6

it's the stars that lie, 7/12 )
I got the most realistic, coolest, most meaningful spam ever and it had everything; atrocities, evils of wealth, illness, dead husbands, life insurance, cancer (ovarian, even), children, one of the south Africa country (yes, really), and adoption (ha! didn't see that coming, did you?).

At my work email. So no penis enlargement today.

My duckling at work is from Cameroon, and every once in a while he breaks into evangelism on his country of birth, and therefore we look at Google World at every inch of Cameroon while he finds youtube videos because he thinks it's funny to start me off with Cameroon English that unexpectedly breaks into French (I automemorize lyrics and he told me once I was the best he'd ever heard at mispronouncing French so well that it sounded like a whole new (very sad) language, so you know, I win for that).

This is related; this is neither talent nor skill, I've mentioned this before, it's not even useful, but more like having the ability to spit Guinness World book record--I realized the probable reason why I never had a problem spelling anyone's names on our work board if I saw it once (our developers are from India or Nepal generally, so very few Western-oriented or Korean or Vietnamese, the latter two were communities in the right zip codes for my office to handle when I was a caseworker, yes, it's that random) or--historically--always got my written Russian homework flawless in class even if Russia itself might cry if it heard me speak the language. Also, given a list of any number of words and meaning once, I could use them perfectly in context and never miss spelling them by a letter, but if you do not tell me right then how to pronounce them--I mean right then--I will never pronounce them right in my head and this will follow me forever when I say them.

Not many of you probably know or care much about the education of children in the US being a thing that is debated hotly when it comes to teaching them to read; or you might, so you know every few years, they switch between Fun With Phonics and whole word learning. You want to watch a bloodbath, get any group of educators together and throw that out; if these were the days of duels, gloves would be slapping everywhere and dawn would be the new prime time for drama viewing.

My class was very Fun with Phonics (this changed and changed back every few years) and because of that I will shove a glove in your ass if you say it's not the best forever, but there's a price to be paid for teaching kids to sound out shit first.

1.) You learn adults are fuckers who fuck with you very early with 'the'.

That's the thing about phonics as reading; almost all the word at primary level are fine, but that's an article and you cannot get away from it. A lot of teachers roll with it, and some have to have taken that into consideration early on, but my most vivid memory of the kindergarten education process was going over and over to my teacher because I trusted her and I couldn't believe she meant it when she said 'the' did not sound like 'tuh-huh-eh'.

She just told me the entire alphabet, letters have sounds, sounds have meaning (there was a blackboard and a pointer), this can be expressed on a page beneath the cute picture of a girl (blonde, always fucking blonde) playing with a dog (brown, very). I nailed that shit, and it was true, all of it...except 'tuh-huh-eh' was not 'the', what is this bullshit?

Once I accepted 'the' into my heart as my phonics betrayer (it took a full year and we won't talk about how much that delayed literacy but again, a year), it got better; all the 'th' and 'ch' were allowed in my soul and eventually silent 'e's would join them along with all the others, but the scar of betrayal never really healed, Mrs. Figueroa.

2.) Your spelling will forever be fantastic except for all the ways it won't be and it's because of France.

Spelling was easy kindergarten through third grade, because again most words are phonetically consistent at that level, or so close that visual plus audio once and you're fine. Except.

You meet 'beau' and fuck everything ever. Buh-eh-ah-uuuuuuuthefuckisthis that is nothing like 'bow', that's buh-oh-wuh and we have one of those b-o-w bu-oh-wuh not b-e-a-u buh-eh-ah-uuuuuutheydon'tdothis, Mrs F didn't lie that much, did she?

...French, you say? Really.

Xenophobia is terrible and American exceptionlism is very wrong, but ask yourself; how many kids were perhaps influenced by getting a 99 but not a hundred because the French language exists and didn't get a golden star but a silver one--a silver one--on the paper when they got it back and an 'x' by that word? Not that I'm still bitter, just saying.

It might be the Norman conquest of Britain in 1066 causing the English language to be supplanted by Norman French, not even real French because fuck French we got the discount edition, causing only the lower classes to use English for centuries while French, being so very (discount) French, stuck its words helter-skelter into every conversation until Chaucer existed, married John of Gaunt's sister-in-law, and set the world right with many tales, and French--fucking French--eventually went away but those words stuck. English needed those because its development had been slowed, we had to catch up fast (German was mocking us with its vocabulary and Spanish was grinning very Catholicly), so we needed words and fast. What to do?

Fine, English said, picking up a sword, righteousness, a Revolutionary War, and a future Webster's dictionary, unrevised: shit just got real. Time to level the fuck up.

English takes all the words, all of them, the ones you wanted and the ones you didn't, sorry, but like a wolf who tastes the hot blood of a fresh kill for the first time (language is tasty indeed, nothing like it), it wants more.

B-o-w and b-e-a-u are 'buh-oh-wuh' and discrete plus discreet because Latin or Greek same meaning different context mostly, watch English laugh at your protests, bring it on, we have the 'c' and the 'k' and we like it, same sound but sometimes not, a-e-i-o-u and sometimes y because fuck you English does what it wants with consonants and vowels. Fish and fiche sound the same but mean different things, you want more? English does, too. Did you see phonics is ph but sounds like 'f'? We even have 'q' right there in the alphabet and it needs to get laid by 'u' to make a sound but fuck if we care, it's our letter and have fun with it. 'X' took many sounds for its own and uses them all and we let it because we like rebels.

Also, Latin? I split an infinitive every day just for you. And English told me to say 'hi' and fuck you.

Silver star. One. Word. Wrong.

3.) You will realize quite early that writing is better than talking for a lot of reasons and fuck everything.

Phonics works for many words and most kids will roll with it, but that doesn't change the severe cognitive dissonance that will haunt some few. Among that group will be those that can deal, and then there's the ones that have to live life with oral readings where you will be constantly translating b-e-a-u to 'buh-oh-wuh' because William the Conqueror was a douche but with many different words and that wears on you and sanity may not hold out long.

Reading and writing become havens of wonder because pronunciation wasn't fucking with us, which is why certain essays are college level vocabulary (content hilarious) while long division is still a mystery Mrs Young stop fucking with me you want me to carry what?

Writing is the perfect medium when you learn sarcasm as well (once you learn the definition of subtlety and forgive the b for being inexplicably silent and even now often forget), and a generation met the internet--all text, all the time--with the advanced tools necessary to troll the fuck out of it.

So I can spell anything I see at most twice (three times over five syllables, phonics is fun but also set to a four four beat to learn), but English/French youtube videos autolyric memoriation means I will sing things I can't pronounce and my duckling French speaker thinks it's funny because I can't pronounce fucking French.

People say they want to go to Paris all the time; oh, so do I, you have no idea.

I fly into that country, mispronounce 'Bien' awkwardly beneath pitying smiles, tell a cab driver three times where to go while he rolls his eyes at Americans because I took French while in Finland and I still couldn't get it right, go to the Eiffel Tower and climb to the very top.

And I will say: "William the Conqueror was a douche, I will split every infinitive I see, and b-e-a-u is not fucking 'buh-oh-wuh'!"

And give myself a gold star.

Next: Normandy. I can't wait.
You know, this isn't right I'm sure, but a thought exercise on why in the movie Splash in the eighties, Madison met a woman who told her one, Annie Hall was so passe and two, her daughter was so lucky because she was anorexic started this. believe it. or. not.

ruben, gout, mcdonalds, sugar, and the working woman in time and space: a reflection on the meaning of organ meats in the western hemisphere above the equator is that too vague? also, wal-mart. and thematic not-trees )
You ever have one of those days where it hits you like brand new that there is no way out of this? I can't think of one, and I have tried and tried.

This is human nature at it's most fundamental, I get that, and I get the rage on body shaming. I get that, it sucks when a woman doesn't conform to teh ideal and even more when she really doesn't, especially when it comes to weight. It's a nightmare, more of one that's in progress since birth for a woman, because the closer you get to the ideal the less nightmarish it gets, much like an improvement from being boiled in oil and now enjoy the Elysian Fields of slow strangulation: I myself aspire to an upgrade to dropping my oil temperature ten entire degrees and fuck the bitches who are gasping for air over there and tell my torturer how awesome the temperature is and those sluts over there created their own deep fryer life, turn it up by five degrees on them, right? and maybe I get another five degree drop because I am a fine daughter of the patriarchy and women's body's are public property because that's what they told me and they like me better now, five fucking degrees lower, fuck yeah, I'm almost in. To potential slow strangulation, one day, if I'm very, very good.

Or I might say "...this room has no door. Why doesn't it have a door?"

Context and original post: Maybe a 'Small' Sandwich

On an emotional level, I do get this; this is women's bodies and my God welcome to Hell there. On a vital self-awareness level, however, the gut-punch is the punchline at the same time: you will never, ever be good enough, and in case anyone, anywhere, thinks that even for a second, we as women have a duty to stop that shit.

a copy of my response here )
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 6/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5

it's the stars that lie, 6/12 )
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 5/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4

it's the stars that lie, 5/12 )
Okay, I can count on one hand the number of Henry V fanfics I've read in my life, literally. However, this one is a sonnet, which I can count on one finger because holy shit, a sonnet:

Harry Takes the Field by [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar - Henry V - Harry's thoughts before Agincourt and what was before him.

The funny thing is, when I first saw in it in her LJ, I didn't really read she wrote it (because I was just skimming my flist and came back to read it) and after reading it thought, ohh, I like this, I want to use that line for my title--as I needed one for this series--and then read back and realized she wrote it and felt oh so foolish and also holy shit a sonnet. About the spiritual successor of the Black Prince himself and the hero of Agincourt. (First cousin once removed if I remember my Edward III's and Philippa's extensive family tree; that was a lot of sons there.)

(College taught me via the brute force method to appreciate poetry; having to read and write an analysis of one three times a week teaches you to either loathe anything that could rhyme (or rhythm) or love it and if it's the written word, love will win if I kill myself doing it.)

Agincourt is hugely romantic; it's got everything: terrible odds, a single brave shining warrior, do or die, and knowing the history now, a (probably) insane French king, his (possibly) manipulative wife (the reason why Henry VI of England was crazypants depending on if you believe which historian on the relative sanity of Catherine de Valois), and all of English history riding on a single battle fought by a very young king who was truly the only one who believed that he could win.

(I have a very similar reaction to reading about Waterloo, Caesar crossing the Rubicon, and Joan of Arc's entire life.)

Me and Shakespeare have a very complicated relationship: I used to think he was hugely overrated and annoying and it hurts me in various ways to admit now he's not and it actually makes me enraged when anyone says that about him now because wtf it's Shakespeare!!!, which is so lowering you have no idea. It's just masochistic and annoying to feel so conflicted about your own love story with a dead guy, and a little uncomfortable, too.

(Beside the point. It's almost time for my yearly Shakespeare play and I still have no idea which one to throw myself at. I'm thinking Othello at this point; it's nice and obvious and I know the plot so why not? I've been putting it off for some reason, I think Richard III keeps upsetting me.)
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 4/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3

it's the stars that lie, 4/12 )
So just seeing how this sounds:

Vacation with entire extended immediate family including: mother, both sisters, sister's husband, sister's MIL, sister's three kids, other sister's kid, mother's parents, me, and Child.

In one house on the beach.

Okay, that does in fact look terrifying when seen in print. I was wondering. There will be the gulf and a confection store that makes their own fudge. I'm clinging very hard to that right now.

Wait, there's more:

Child in his infinite wisdom at some point in the past--who knows when--broke a tooth but couldn't be assed to tell me or care until Friday evening, when the entire left side of his face rounded out not unlike a ripe tomato. At first--not knowing the tooth sitch because who hides tooth pain? How?--I thought it was an unexpected reaction to a topical anesthetic we keep for those times you bite the inside of your cheek or poke yourself in the gum with a pencil which no, isn't something that happens to me because I have much better hand/eye coordination than that and will fight any comment to the contrary to the death if necessary or whatever. It became very clear, however, that it wasn't and he reluctantly admitted maybe there was a tooth that was bothering him maybe a little, which you don't say, ye who has lost any vestige of facial symmetry.

Saturday morning was spent frantically googling for a dentist open on Saturdays who took walk-ins or emergencies or both. Found one, who didn't have a time open and then listening to me start to dissolve into tears--seriously, over-ripened tomato Child, but not that color, it was unsettling--offered to fit him and for that will love her until the day I die. Fortunately--and this is literal--Child was still in pain and the appointment was in less than an hour, and even so, it was a bad ten minutes getting him dressed and to the vehicle while he protested--with asymmetry growing by the moment--that it didn't hurt that much and he was fine (I actually stopped to stare at him disbelievingly, wondering if the infection reached his brain already).

We shall not speak of what we discovered of Child's unbelievable lack of interest in what goes on in his own mouth (I whine when I poke my gum with a pencil, fine, judge away), but anyway, surprise, he broke a tooth and it got infected and how. So we left with antibiotics, painkillers, and a very serious speech that if he starts having vision problems to go to the ER immediately, which was one of those surreal moments where I stare at Child and Child acts totally shocked about how nature and infection work.

brief Child digression, for parents who haven't had to deal with this )

short family digression, related )

After this adventurous weekend, I wonder why there aren't more dentists who decide to specialize in 'emergency' and 'weekends' only because seriously, they could probably make a killing doing nothing else. Every weekend dentist I found (very not many) wasn't just packed, but stacking them up in the waiting room. I didn't even bother with trying to negotiate my (annoying) insurance and paid cash, I was that desperate and from the looks of those waiting with me and Child, that wasn't unique. And why isn't there a Dental ER somewhere?

Note: Child still looks asymmetrical but much better, and is hilariously following almost exactly the dentist's prediction on how long it would take for the swelling to go down and the pain to taper off.
Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 3/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry went to Agincourt.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2

it's the stars that lie, 3/12 )

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