hannah: (Zach and Claire - pickle_icons)
I can believe it's less than three weeks to my next birthday, but not that I don't really know what to do for it.

Also, that I've got a free Friday night in a couple of weeks and no idea what to do then. Usually they're scheduled well ahead of time, but this first Friday in March is wide open in a nigh-unprecedented way.

So, anyone in the area interested in going out for something then? I'm usually game for most anything if someone else is coming along.
hannah: (evil! - ponderosa121)
The Tesla showroom in Manhattan offers free Keurig cups to visitors. It's the most apt thing I could ever have hoped to see, because they both strike me as things that are simultaneously very much in keeping with the future we're creating and very wrong about how we're going about it.

Electric cars aren't a new thing; the technology predates gasoline-fueled engines by a few years. Instant coffee and powdered drinks are well established. It's the precise application of these creations in these particular fashions. Keurig cups are inefficient and unsustainable and frankly make a poor cup of coffee, and Tesla cars' design and form seem less emphasized towards practicality and widespread applicability and more on unreachable luxury. It didn't feel like the future as it should be, either from fantastic leaps or organic development. It felt like what the past thought the future was going to be like.
hannah: (Captain Jack Harkness - darththalia)
Walking up Riverside Park today, I looked up at the sky as I always do. There's always stuff to see, whether it's clouds or just the blue of the sky. Today there were birds, and an airplane, and a temporary UFO.

Temporary, because after half a block I could tell it wasn't flying, just hovering. Too small and too close for a helicopter and totally the wrong shape for that - the right colors for a seagull but again, wrong shape. Then it moved a bit, and I could see it against objects and buildings and not just the sky, and that's when perspective set in and I realized I was looking at a drone. Coming down just off 79th street and West End Avenue, down into the street. Into the park. With the light to cross the street turning green.

So I set out to meet the pilot.

A very charming fellow, the kind who reminds me - and I should declare it here to remember - that I need business cards with my contact info for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is letting strange men I randomly talk to in public parks come find me later. He'd been a little confused over why I was headed right his way, especially after spotting his drone from a couple of blocks away, but softened up when I explained I was more curious than anything else.

I didn't know drones had such good GPS they can't take off on the Eastern side of Central Park because that's within five miles of one of the big airports, and he didn't know who Frederick Olmsted was, so we each got to be one of today's lucky ten thousand. We talked about the applications of drone photography, how he doesn't know his drone's name yet but he knows he's got a girl, how to narrow down UFOs into IFOs, and we soon went our separate ways, both of us crunching through the snow. I didn't get his name and he didn't get mine, but we had a good few minutes together just the same.
hannah: (Marilyn Monroe - mycrime)
Oh my goodness, The Lumineers.

Oh my God, I needed that catharsis.

And oh, my God, there was this moment late in the show when Jeremiah Fraites took the stage alone for "Patience" that I couldn't even hear because the backdrop behind the stage that'd been playing all these abstract images suddenly materialized into real pictures, California bridges and a dandelion and geese, these lovely geese migrating in their urge for going - I can't remember the music to them or where it was in the show but I know just how stunning it was, seeing those geese, up behind that stage.

I'd been in the nosebleed section because I waited until the last minute to buy a ticket for a sold-out show. Seriously, it was my seat and then the roof. But it wasn't totally sold out, because sometime in the first third one of the ushers came up to me and said there were better, unsold seats if I wanted one. A better, unsold seat five people up from the dance floor, on the other side of the stadium, perfectly positioned to see the whole place light up when people held up their cell phones like fireflies for songs like "Charlie Boy."

The Lumineers is a great band for the "hit the lights" aesthetic.

Also a great band for getting onto your feet and dancing, even from the stadium seating.

I didn't cry at "Charlie Boy" but I did for "Cleopatra" and "Gun Song" and Andrew Bird's revised version of "Tables and Chairs" and it struck me how Andrew Bird is an artist who'll use whatever he wants and whatever he can get to create the sound he wants - effects pedals and xylophones and whatever he's got around. In contrast, the Lumineers use exactly what they need and nothing else. They've got a richness in their feelings, a precision in their sound, and utter sincerity in their efforts, and together it's all a potent combination.

(Speaking of sincerity, another usher I met kept saying "step right up" to ticket holders coming into the stadium - and yes, he loved saying it. Another was happy for the chance to talk about her job and the shows she's seen since she started working there.)

I jumped, I danced, I clapped, I laughed, I sang, I wept. I cheered hard for the Andrew Bird-aided cover of "Subterranean Homesick Blues." I feel better than I did before I went. And I'd better head off to bed.
hannah: (On the pier - fooish_icons)
Someone asked me what my current writing project was about, and the word I used wasn't the first one I thought of.

What I thought was, magic.

What I said was, "Responsibility."
hannah: (Toast and butter - obsessiveicons)
An impulse purchase of a rare object at last Saturday's greenmarket became today's labor-intensive breakfast. Because you can't just smash a goose egg's shell. They're too beautiful for that. Too rare and lovely. So I did the trick I read about in a picture book decades ago, making a small hole in each end and using a long needle to scramble the white and yolk inside the shell and then blowing the contents out to save the shell.

It felt like I blew out my jaw, but it was worth it.

As for how it tasted: like a chicken egg, but wider and deeper. The higher fat and protein content translated into a richer, lighter flavor that still tasted like egg and was hearty enough the last three bites were almost too much.

Then, tonight I made this, without the crumb topping and a half-cup of dried cranberries mixed in, to be brought into work tomorrow.
hannah: (Sam and Dean - soaked)
The realization that I have an idea for a fic that I don't trust anyone else to write, that I feel an urgency to create because there's almost a need for it to be there, that feels the same way I did about Stubborn Mouths, probably means I'd better roll up my sleeves and give it a shot.

After I've finished the shitty first draft of the thing I've already got going, at least.
hannah: (James Wilson - maker unknown)
The coconut bread was a hit, with most of it gone by the time I left work, but I've got the odd experience of not knowing if I should bring in something again next week or any time in the future.

I got a number of compliments on it, which was nice, and two of my co-workers each gave me a sort of cheerful berating over how they were on diets, which was more puzzling than anything else. Without getting into any of the reasons or philosophies behind personal food choices, it's that they didn't ask me to not bring in stuff later. Nobody said anything to the effect of "it was very generous and kind of you but I need you to not do this again." They joked how I must have known they were starting diets and that I was tempting them. Stuff like that.

I can understand not bringing in baked goods because it'd violate office decorum, or someone politely asked me not to, or it's a kosher workplace and my kitchen's not up to their standards. Those are all solid reasons. But the joking they did has just left me baffled. I don't know if they were bothered by the coconut bread's presence or not; I definitely don't know if I hurt their feelings in any way. I don't think I did. Even if I go from the words alone in their jokes and discount tone and context, I'm still pretty sure they weren't being mean. I really couldn't tell what they wanted me to get from that.

So I might make a simple chocolate cake two weeks from now, and see what happens.
hannah: (Sam and Dean - soaked)
Coconut bread made with coconut oil, milk, and sugar with extra vanilla extract smells astonishingly good. I'm taking deep sniffs and greatly enjoying myself. I figure three weeks is enough time at work to get used to the place before bringing in baked goods, though I'm still adjusting to the atmosphere. It's a fast-paced environment, but as it's a medical practice, it's fast-paced around a small number of individuals instead of larger-scale concerns like Jewish holidays or international book campaigns. So that's a new mentality I'm figuring out.

Also, how to talk to my coworkers, who are lovely women and very good at their jobs and perhaps not so intense in terms of social interaction as happens when I meet other people from fandom. As much as I recognize and admire them for their greater amount of responsibilities and the vastness of their tasks I couldn't manage to do - they do phone calls all day regarding payments and insurance, keeping track of money and plans and all I do is scan documents to the inter-office system - I admit there's a little wanting in me for a few moments of the sort of conversations I get at fan brunches and conventions.

Incidentally, for anyone in the New York City area, the Saint Agnes Library Book Sale is on this Saturday, and I can personally vouch for its delightfulness. Plus, there's several good coffee shops in a fairly small radius around it.

In the meantime, I'd better get ready for bed because I've got to be at work tomorrow, to deliver this coconut bread.


Jan. 19th, 2017 09:42 pm
hannah: (Robert Downey Jr. - riot__libertine)
Yesterday, my brother and I went to the Nick and Toni's clearance sale, which was open to the public if not designed with it in mind - almost everything was put into lots for large-scale bidding, and even singular items were built to a restaurant's scale, like the pizza oven. Yes, they were selling the brick pizza oven. They were selling everything. Not even the chairs were sold as individual objects. By the time we got there, even the kitchen had been cleared out, and the walk-in freezer had been scrubbed spotless.

Then I realized we were in the subterranean levels, and we should absolutely open that random door and walk down that empty corridor. So we did. And it was - more of the restaurant. Mostly it was an object lesson in stacking objects in a dense city, because we'd gone down to the basement level of the building, walked through the kitchen and down what was essentially a windowless concrete hallway, and arrived at another storage area. Modular wire shelving, staff lockers, the door to the boiler room, all stuff that could be kept together in one specific area in a place like Pittsburgh. You might need a basement, but not a hallway that took you underneath the clothing store next door. So that was pretty neat to see. I'd promised my brother a peek into restaurant-scale operations, and even if we didn't get our hands on any cutting boards, we got something out of it anyway.

We walked back down the hallway and took the door up from the basement to the street without going back inside the main body of the restaurant. I suggested we go back in, for the amusement value, but we decided to go to Trader Joe's instead.

Today I confirmed the theory that I'm less tired when I get home if I walk about a mile through Riverside Park than just coming straight back to my apartment after work. It's less of a struggle to get my thoughts together when I sit down to write anything.

Tomorrow I'm baking challah. On Saturday, I'm going to the greenmarket to do some grocery shopping. On Sunday, I'm going to clean out pigeon cages. And it's still and always you and me against the world.
hannah: (Marilyn Monroe - mycrime)
Day 15

In your own space, write a love letter to Fandom in general, to a particular fandom, to a trope, a relationship, a character, or to your flist/circle/followers. Share you love and squee as loud as you want to. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so

A brief thank-you note suitable for Pancake and Frank's cards

Dear Fandom,

We've been together for more than half my life. In many ways, you're my most consistent relationship and my constant companion. Every day I'm aware of your presence, whether it's a smile over a fond memory or a decision based on your lasting influence, and every day I'm thankful you're here. I don't know where I'd be without you, except less. Less happy, less engaged, less myself.

Fandom, you help me be myself.

And for that, I will always thank you.


Day 14

Jan. 14th, 2017 05:15 pm
hannah: (Perry Cox - rullaroo)
Day 14
Go forth and commit an act of kindness. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it, tell us about it if you’re comfortable doing so.


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hannah: (Marilyn Monroe - mycrime)

Day 13
In your own space, write about a moment in fandom that meant a lot to you. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

The two fics I've written for Deep Space Nine, Stubborn Mouths: Humans In Translation and Woven From Your Brown Hair, both focus on an explicitly autistic Julian Bashir. I wrote them because there wasn't anything else even coming close to approaching the concept in almost twenty years of DS9 fandom - I looked hard - and I didn't want to wait around for another couple of decades for someone else to get the idea when I knew I could roll up my sleeves and get to work right away.

I also knew that if I felt the need for this story to exist so sharply, other people probably wanted to read it, too. And I was correct, as the kudos, comments, and bookmarks bear out.

It wasn't writing stories with fairly good staying power and popularity that mean so much to me. That's nice, but it's not the moment.

The moment's come over and over, and every time it happens I have to look away to collect myself and sometimes hold back some tears. Every time. It's when people say "Here I am" or "I heard myself" or "You helped me see myself and I think I know what I am". And I want to shout I'm sorry! I shouldn't have this much power! I didn't -

But then I stop, and I look back, and I recognize the honor that it is to be the one who gave someone else that moment of their own.

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hannah: (Support - fooish_icons)
Day 12

In your own space, post a rec for fannish spaces and resources - comms, challenges, twitters, tumblrs, etc. Tell us about where you hang out. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

[community profile] thisfinecrew is doing a good job of focusing energy and action, and providing ways to use the steam generated by anger and fear.

Franz Kafka said that in a fight between you and the world, bet on the world. Places like [community profile] thisfinecrew offer reminders that it's rarely just you; more often, it's "you and me against the world" and that's often got an even chance.

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hannah: (Rob and Laura - aureliapriscus)
Day 11
In your own space, talk about a creator. Show us why you think they are amazing. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Most of inkandcayenne's icons are lost to internet entropy, and her fic is fairly well split up between small Tumblr posts and her Archive of Our Own account. That said, she still does fabulous work with graphics programs when time allows, and more than once I've stayed up way past my bedtime spitballing crazy AUs and silly crack plots that leave me laughing myself into coughing fits and giggling on the subway for days afterward.

She writes fics with a lot of quiet to them that capture the characters in moments of graceful stillness. She tags like nobody's business, she can lay the meta smackdown if necessary, and she always gets it.

In short, she's the sort of person who makes me unhappy that teleportation doesn't exist because I'd be on her couch practically every weekend if I could, braiding hair and baking cookies and discussing the semiotics of musical cues and color theory while sighing over James Marsters' natural curls. But as it doesn't, I have to settle for gushing about her here.

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hannah: (Dan Rydell - exitmusic__)

Day 10

In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme. (More than one is okay, too.) Tell us about it, tell us why you love it, give us some examples and recs. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I've been thinking about this on and off for the past couple of days, thinking hard, and I'm struggling because one of the motifs I love most out of all fiction isn't something I really know easy, preexisting words for. Not even the concept of taking a crack idea and playing it as deadset serious as the canon allows, which happens to be one of my favorite things, because that's easy enough to communicate.

What I love are the bad rats.

Bad rats aren't spacetoasters, though they've got some things in common, like the social alienation and the tendency to stand apart from the rest of the group. Children and animals tend to be easier to get along with. Hugs aren't always welcome. There's a lot of trouble with grasping feelings, and research is necessary to parse out social interactions. Research is sometimes necessary to understand their own feelings. Both bad rats and spacetoasters skew more towards male characters than female ones.

But where the spacetoaster gets their emotions beamed in from a space station orbiting Jupiter, where things have to align in very specific circumstances for a clear, steady broadcast, bad rats have them coming in from the closest radio tower on whatever frequency's available. Spacetoasters have low signals, but a very good signal-to-noise ratio, an almost enviable one, with almost no noise to speak of. Bad rats have too much signal, and too much noise, and sometimes when both are coming in at once there's no way to distinguish between the two.

Julian Bashir was one of my first and best bad rat loves, when I was starting to figure out the concept. He's got a surfeit of feelings and emotions right from the start - and they're not often the proper feelings for the given social interaction, but he can't course-correct because he doesn't usually know what a given social interaction is supposed to be. He takes refuge in his role as a doctor, wearing it as his armor against the world and taking refuge in it as needed - and many times, taking refuge from reality by immersing himself in fantasies and games. When it comes to the people around him, whatever the species, there's a huge learning curve that he can't explain, that he can't get rid of, that exists for pretty much every species he encounters, up to and including his own. He'll believe almost anything, no matter how many times people pull something over on him. He doesn't know where social limits are unless someone comes right out and tells him, and when it comes to extrapolating certain concepts, it's not that he can't do that so much as it is he doesn't know how. But give him a problem, and he'll cut straight through it without thinking or blinking.

A surplus of feelings. Too many badly-connected wires inside the frame. Too much noise for the signal to be clear.

Spike, a recent introduction, someone who's capable of being a deeply monstrous person, who has the literary advantage of a metaphoric condition already built in, and as monstrous as he is, was still capable of being a person. Suzanne Warren, my darling, who was never seen as she was and never got the chance to learn the words she had to use to get the help she needed. Dan Rydell, who manages to be an incredibly stealthy bad rat, is in major need of someone to mend his wiring. At times, Castiel straddles both categories, though I haven't seen the show in several years and can't speak to its ongoing developments.

If anyone has any recs or suggestions of bad rats in media, I'd love to hear them. Because I'm fairly well sure there's more out there that I'd love to meet.

(Oddly enough, the first so-named bad rat I ever met in media isn't a bad rat as I think of them. But it was the best phrase I'd ever seen to even come close to describing what I needed to name.)

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hannah: (Support - fooish_icons)
DAY 9:

Send feedback to two fannish people — they can be anyone you want: a writer who’s made you happy, a moderator of your favorite exchange (not us!), a fanartist you avidly follow… There are so many possibilities. Just let someone know you appreciate their work.

Done! Messages sent out.
hannah: (Library stacks - fooish_icons)
Because I've been on a massive adding spree from the friending meme, and I don't know what people want to know, I'll borrow from [personal profile] darjeeling and open up the floor:

Because we never really know each other as well as we think, in response to this post I'd like you to ask a question. Anything about which you are curious, anything you feel you ought to know about me. Silly, serious, personal, fannish. Ask away.
hannah: (On the pier - fooish_icons)
Day 8

In your own space, make a list of at least 3 things that you like about yourself. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I like that I look good in red.

I like that I can surprise people, and make them happy.

I like that I've learned to recognize the point of diminishing returns - when it really won't do me any good to keep going and I'd be better served stopping for the day, the night, or the week, and returning to work after some time away.

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hannah: (Dar Williams - skadi)
Day 7

In your own space, create a fanwork. Make a drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. Arts and crafts. Draft a critical essay about a particular media. Put together a picspam or a fanmix. Write a review of a Broadway show, a movie, a concert, a poetry reading, a museum trip, a you-should-be-listening-to-this-band essay. Compose some limericks, haikus, free-form poetry, 5-word stories. Document a particular bit of real person canon. Take some pictures. Draw a stick-figure comic. Create something. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Qualifications, MCU, 100 words, gen.

They’d met at one of the bigger after-mission parties. She hadn’t known who she’d started talking to, just diving right into the city’s nighttime beauty and different phones’ graphics capabilities and reception capacity. Now, Darcy knew exactly who she was sitting across from. And it wasn’t for an interview, but a job offer of personal assistant to Miss Pepper Potts herself.

“And you want me because I don’t care who people are?”

“Exactly. Miss Lewis, I need you because I can’t afford to see everyone. And for that, I need the best. I need the woman who took down Thor.”

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