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branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
And, lo, here we have the Subscribe to Filters poll.

I tend to post a lot of things locked and filtered. Some security decisions I make myself, but most of my filters are content filters. The divisions are as follows:

Filter descriptions and poll )
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
Okay, now we see why this season of Bungo Stray Dogs spent the first handful of episodes with a flashback to Dazai’s past with the Port Mafia. Because, with this episode, that history comes to the fore and settles into its prepared context: Dazai is not a good guy, which, honestly, was already relatively evident but is now absolutely inescapable. Dazai is an epic adrenaline addict who loves fighting in deadly danger and has deep, deep ties to the people who could keep up and fight alongside him.

For serious, I thought he was going to stop Nakahara’s rampage by kissing him. That’s how Old Married Couple they were acting.

Though, given his gift, I’m fascinated by how clearly Dazai is not the voice of restraint in any way, shape, or form. He clearly /is/ the control or safety (indeed, the “sheath”) for the whole Port Mafia, as far as gifts go, and now the way he was training Akutagawa also makes more sense. Dazai was fulfilling his function, training Akutagawa to have control, possibly while doing his best not to get attached in case Akutagawa couldn’t do it. In which case, given what else we’ve seen, I suspect it would have fallen to Dazai to kill him. But that function is not in line with Dazai’s basic nature, which is to be a smartmouth asshole who lives to tempt deadly fate and ride the combat high.

So now the ground is prepared for us to appreciate the conflict Dazai is about to find himself in, between the life and fellows (student, partner) he spent so long in and clearly enjoyed so much, and the new, less to his taste, life he’s created in the name of his lost friend (and possibly the new example of how to live it he may have found in Atsushi).

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branchandroot: Havoc totally blitzed (Havoc apathy)
So, yesterday I went and submitted my paperwork for passport renewal, which I had to do from scratch because I changed my name since the last one. As a public service, here are tips for others who may be doing the same.

1) you will need your parents' birthdays and places of birth (state is okay if you don't know the city), and also for your spouse or ex, if you have one. Do not believe the online application if/when it says it's okay to leave those blank. You also need to fill in prospective travel destination, even if you fill it in with "none".

2) don't try to take/print your own passport photo, seriously, just go to Walgreens or similar, it will save you hours of frustration.

3) you will want to look up whether acceptance facilities take walk-ins or require an appointment. Most drop-off points will require an appointment. My county clerk's office did not, and thankfully had extended hours on Tuesdays, which made it worth taking the bus down, but all the post offices needed appointments.

4) almost everywhere will require you to pay the passport fee and execution fee separately. Because reasons. Take you checkbook, your credit card, and cash just in case. You don't want to go through this twice. You cannot use cash for the actual passport fee, so make sure you have a check or money order for that part.

5) if you have an old passport that is even slightly damaged, write up a brief statement that it was damaged in a flood/plumbing accident/the dog ate it/whatever, to sign and include if called for.

6) take every piece of identification you own, birth certificate, old passport, marriage license, court order of name change, social security card, DEFINITELY the driver's license. Just take everything, just in case, because once again, you don't want to haul through this twice.

7) if you are doing this for a child, either both parents must be present or else you need a signed release form from the parent who couldn't come. Consider bringing along custody paperwork if you were awarded sole custody.

8) they will take away the originals of your ID, except the driver's license. Don't panic, you will get them back, but they will come in separate mailings from your passport.

9) I would not consider it amiss to take along at least a good photo of the kitchen sink. If nothing else, you may make the acceptance staff laugh, which they are surely in need of.

10) on which note: bring along your patience. There are sure to be people ahead of you in line, quite possibly people who are upset and nervous. Soothing music, phone games, a hip flask, whatever gets you through.

Personally, I'd schedule a stop by the pub in the way home, to celebrate wending your way through all that bureaucracy. *lifts her glass* Good luck!
branchandroot: one tree in an open field (calm solitary tree)
isolohr:

Facebook - Flickr - Behance - Website

© Jürgen Heckel

This pine forest picture reminded me.

Back when I was in 7th grade, I went to a week-long camp, having spent a month or two stumping around the neighborhood with my grade-mates selling overpriced cheese and meat products to raise the money. It was a standard summer type camp, for the most part, but with odd “educational” things pasted on here and there.

One of those things was an extremely peculiar exercise that involved having the whole camp draw cards to see what “animal” we were, and then being turned loose in the patch of forest behind the camp to run around (without maps) variously “mating with” or “preying on/being preyed on” by each other. At the end of the game, we would be scored based on how often we’d “mated,” “fed,” or “died.”

Yeah, looking back I kind of wonder what the organizers were smoking, too.

But that wasn’t the most peculiar part. No, the strangest part was that, after clattering around the deciduous area, rubbing our animal-name cards against each other (our rather embarrassed consensus gesture for mating) or else gingerly negotiating to reveal what animal we were preparatory to either running like fuck or chasing like mad, a lot of us came out into a small pine forest. Like the one pictured above, it was old and established, with straight trunks going up quite a ways before branches reached for the sun, and several inches of old needles turning the ground soft and silent underfoot.

And in that area, we all just… stopped. Stopped “mating” and “preying” and just wandered around in the quiet green and gold light, nodding silently at each other now and then, “rabbits” leaning against old trunks next to “wolves” just… being.

It was a suspended moment, in that bizarre “naturalistic” scenario, when we all just dropped aside our assigned hierarchy, ignored the prompts of the teachers, and sat together.

And today, today when I’ve been crying at my desk on and off all day, when I’ve seen, not the normal one or two, but six emergency vehicles run past the window with sirens on, all of them ambulances, when views of my stories have skyrocketed and all I can do is be glad I can, in some small way, be there for someone… Today, I’m glad I remember this.

A bunch of kids, given permission, even directions, to be their rawest selves to each other, shrugging it all off, sitting together under the shelter of old evergreens, just being.

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branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
*watches the first episode of Yuri!!! on Ice and dies laughing*

Okay, this is beautiful, but also no one can convince me that this is not going to be BL on ice skates.

Also also, I seriously think that Suwabe may have read Nikiforov’s part, gotten nostalgic, asked himself “what if Atobe were an adult champion Russian figure-skater?” and just kind of run with it from there.

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branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
So, I'm re-watching HunterXHunter, and remembering exactly why I /hate/ the Chimera Ant arc, or at least the Gon parts. It's because that was the most smashing writing failure ever, and it could have been fixed so easily.

Because, see, as written, Gon is a filthy, selfish little traitor. We've spent the whole story seeing the bond between him and Killua grow, seeing what it's based on, seeing how iron-clad it is, and then we see Gon turn his back on Killua, deny him, lash out at him and ignore how selflessly Killua is supporting him, all for the sake of a man who, as written, means next to nothing. An old buddy. Someone who gave him hunting tips. That's all we're shown. And for that, Gon drags Killua, Killua who has repudiated his whole previous life for Gon's sake, through hell and finally tries to kill himself in front of Killua.

And it would have been so easy to fix! Just a sentence here and there, creating a persistent thread, about how Kite is Gon's only living connection to his father, stood in his father's place, taught him things like morals and ethics, is the one who made Gon who he is (the person who could pull Killua out of the darkness like he did). Just some subtle reinforcement of that, at key points, and this whole fiasco could have been fixed!

But no. We don't get shown any of that. All we get shown is Gon betraying the one relationship we have actually seen developed in depth. Total. Writing. Fail.

Fuck's sake, it's enough to make a person start shipping Killua with fucking Hisoka.
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Star Driver, Triskelion
Characters/Pairings: Agemaki Wako, Shindou Sugata, Tsunashi Takuto, Wako/Sugata/Takuto
Summary: The drama club is putting on a play with some scenes worth of Wako's fantasies. Takuto has to work a little to wrap his brain around the whole thing.
Meta: Humor, Romance, Fluff, I-3
Wordcount: 2959

"We are the future of the world." Sugata's words filled the space, low and intimate. "What do you wish to make of it?" His thumb stroked over Takuto's lips slowly and Takuto felt his whole face flush hot.

"I... um... The... The world..." Takuto's hands scrabbled at the wall behind him as Sugata leaned closer. "Help...?" he finished, strangled.

The corners of Sugata's mouth quivered as he looked at Takuto. One breath, and then two, and he finally lost it, dissolving into helpless laughter.

"Takuto-sama!" Yamasugata-senpai scolded. "If you forget your part, the word is 'line', not 'help'!"

A Language of Daisies )
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Star Driver, Triskelion
Characters/Pairings: Agemaki Wako, Benio/Tetsuya/George, Gouda Tetsuya, Honda George, Shinada Benio, Shindou Sugata, Tsunashi Takuto, Wako/Sugata/Takuto
Summary: Wako has an epiphany and decides it's time to break the deadlock between her boys in a way neither of them anticipated.
Meta: Drama, Romance, I-3
Wordcount: 2188

Was that what they'd have to do, to stay together? Not let anything be romantic or... or anything, between them at all? Because, for all Shinada-senpai teased their schoolmates sometimes, none of those three had ever dated anyone. Certainly not each other.

Basically Three )
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Star Driver, Triskelion
Characters/Pairings: Agemaki Wako, Gouda Tetsuya, Honda George, Katashiro Ryousuke, Miyabi Reiji, Nichi Kate, Okamoto Midori, Shinada Benio, Shindou Sugata, Simone Aragon, Tsunashi Takuto, Wako/Sugata/Takuto, Watanabe Kanako
Summary: The anime's ending leaves a great deal up in the air; this story takes up some of those loose threads. Picks up immediately after the end and throws everyone a little further into the future.
Meta: Drama, I-3
Wordcount: 9045

"Takuto is with him," Wako said firmly, eyes fixed on the sky. "They'll be all right." Takuto's look had promised her that, in that long, silent moment of fierce understanding they'd shared before she'd agreed to break the southern seal. And she was going to hold them both to that promise, if she had to regenerate Wauna and go up there herself to make sure of it!

And Like A River Continues )
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Akatsuki no Yona, Standalone
Characters/Pairings: Il, Joo-Doh, Soo-won, Yona
Summary: Joo-Doh tries for a long time to contain, or at least conceal, what Soo-Won's anger at his father's death might lead him to do, and in the process misses exactly what Soo-Won is doing and what part he may have to play in it.
Meta: Character Study, Drama, Loyalty Porn, I-3
Wordcount: 5934

Joo-Doh was beginning to worry about Soo-Won.

Months after his father's funeral, the boy walked the halls of the palace as if he were still in the funeral procession, stumbling and uncertain. Joo-Doh was a little afraid that, if the princess stopped coaxing him to eat like a pet bird, he genuinely wouldn't remember to do so. And Joo-Doh didn't know what to do, now, any more than he had years ago when it was the queen who had been killed and Yona who was wild with grief.

Actually, that wildness had been easier to deal with than Soo-Won's pale, stunned silence.

The Blood of Kings )
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Akatsuki no Yona, Standalone
Characters/Pairings: Son Hak, Soo-won, Yona
Summary: On a night, soon after affairs in the Water tribe's territory are concluded, Hak, Yona, and Soo-won think about each other, what they've become to each other, and what may wait in their future.
Meta: Drama, Character Study, Loyalty Porn, Light Angst, Sort-of Threesome, I-3
Wordcount: 2692

Hak tried not to be grateful that Yona's hands were as sure, now, on her bow and sword as they were, once, on her long sashes and bright over-robes. He tried hard not to be grateful for that.

It wasn't because of the old king's memory and his determination to keep his daughter and people free of blood, though Hak still respected that. It wasn't because he was her guard, should be her sword, should never allow her to be in danger, though he still felt that. It was because of where the gratitude came from.

Under One Sky )
branchandroot: Ed giving a thumbs up (Ed thumbs up)
Happy new government, Canada!
branchandroot: Hatsuharu looking pissed (Haru black)
HA! YES! SUCK IT, APPLE, I'M GOING TO CHANGE MY SYSTEM FOLDER ICONS WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!

*breathing hard*

For those who have updated to El Capitan and lost their custom icons:

-Shut computer down.
-Hold down Command + R and restart (release buttons once the gray apple icon appears on the screen)
-Wait for the dialogue box on a dark gray screen; bypass the dialogue and go up to the menu bar and select Utilities > Terminal.
-Type in: csrutil disable
-Hit return. Close Terminal and select Restart from the apple icon on the menu bar.

-Fire up LiteIcon or whatever icon swapper you use and swap out icons.
-To do it by hand navigate to System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle; right click and select "Show Contents" for CoreTypes; navigate to Contents/Resources; replace the system icons by hand.

-Now do that reboot, Cmnd+R, Terminal song and dance again.
-This time, type: csrutil enable
-Close out and restart, and lo you will have both your custom icons and your system integrity protection.


This process complicated, in my case, by the fact that none of my computer's boot screens will accept a tap on my trackpad as select/enter, and I had to go fish out my spare mighty-mouse from way back when to actually CLICK on anything.

*gives Apple two middle fingers, quite vigorously*
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
Okay, so for a month and a half or so I've been having stabbing pain between my shoulder blades every morning. On a scale where 0 is no pain and 10 is throwing up and losing bowel control from the pain, this was about an 8. Neither my LMT nor my family physician had any idea what it could be, so I promptly googled to see about possible causes and found several very long threads worth of people going "oh my god, you too?! yeah, my doctors don't know what the hell it is either!" which was, needless to say, a bit depressing. It wasn't acting like a slipped disc or bone spur at all, no tenderness on the spine anywhere, and not like a pinched nerve either; we were all stumped. And, in my case, in increasingly intense pain.

Having spent a solid two weeks sleuthing through physiology with my LMT, I can report at least one cause of this kind of pain: my ribs were misaligned and locked up, and referring the pain up related back muscles. Causes and treatment reported below, for the benefit of posterity and the next poor sucker wondering why they're in agonizing upper back pain after lying still for several hours.

Rib bone connected to the spine bone )
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
Oh wow, the new Chalion ebook novella is adorable. I mean, after the Ivan book I was dubious, but this story is unconnected (directly) to any other Chalion story and that seems to be enough to bring life back to Bujold's writing.

Who knows how the coming Vorkosiverse book will pan out, but this one at least is definitely worth paying some money for.

I suspect that Bujold may just be burned out on long-form writing lately, and honestly that's not surprising. A lot of authors seem to hit Novel #20 or so at a slog, and you can just feel how fritzed out they are, wandering off down plotless paths of "well, this is an interesting idea" that utterly fail to go anywhere. But short-form doesn't demand as much in terms of plot-depth, and lets the author wallow around happily in a small bit of world-building and one or two engaging characters. That's where Penric's Demon falls.

(Incidentally, it's where A Net of Dawn and Bones could also have fallen if Vathara hadn't, unwisely in my opinion, tried to make a larger work of it.)

tl;dr: yeah, buy it, it's way cool.
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
Does anyone know of good software (either a) produces a good result or b) is straightforward to use) for adding closed captions to existing video? I figure DW is the place to ask, if anywhere.
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Daiya no Ace, Standalone
Characters/Pairings: Chris/Miyuki, Miyuki Kazuya, Takigawa Chris Yuu
Summary: Chris finally notices just how much Miyuki has been seeking him out and decides it's his turn to speak with his actions.
Meta: Romance with Physiotherapy and Fluff, I-3
Wordcount: 4746

He wasn't sure whether to kiss Rei-san or curse her for carting him off to Chris' father's gym for his physical therapy. He thought there might be discounts involved. Either way, there was Chris involved, and he was very aware of how pathetic it was to want to show off via physical therapy, thank you, he just... couldn't quite stifle the impulse. He'd never been able to completely stifle that particular impulse, around Chris.

Cool, Clear Water )
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Daiya no Ace, Standalone
Characters/Pairings: Chris/Miyuki, Miyuki Kazuya, Takigawa Chris Yuu
Summary: Miyuki spends some time contemplating Chris' hands.
Meta: Drama with Romance, I-3
Wordcount: 764

Miyuki Kazuya tended to watch people's hands. He watched their whole bodies whenever they were throwing, of course, but especially their hands. It was the hands that told you exactly where the ball was going.

At Your Fingertips )
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
All right, all my old anime meta sites are fully transferred to Dreamwidth for archiving! Which may have briefly disturbed a few people's drolls, sorry about that. So now, for your reading pleasure, we have my old pages for:

Gundam Seed

Prince of Tennis

Bleach

Utena

Fullmetal Alchemist

Petshop of Horrors

Final Fantasy VII

Essays from when I was a little baby-fan.

And unfinished Weiss Kreuz and Gundam Wing pages.
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Daiya no Ace, Standalone
Characters/Pairings: Chris/Miyuki, Kuramochi Youichi, Miyuki Kazuya
Summary: Four moments when Miyuki actually thinks about his hair, often to keep from thinking about something else.
Meta: Drama with Angst and mild UST, I-3
Wordcount: 2057

His mother always combed his hair for school.

Long, Like Memory )
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: KnB Standalone, Kuroko no Basuke
Characters/Pairings: Imayoshi Shouichi, Imayoshi/Kasamatsu, Kasamatsu Yukio
Summary: Imayoshi may have a bit of an exhibitionist streak, and Kasamatsu may be incapable of turning down a challenge, and this may eventually get them both in trouble. They should probably stop--but maybe not just yet.
Meta: Porn, I-4
Wordcount: 976

Imayoshi Shouichi was enjoying himself.

So was his current partner, to judge by the sounds Kasamatsu was making, and Shouichi leaned closer, pressing Kasamatsu more firmly up against the wall to purr in his ear, “Careful, now.  You don’t want anyone looking down here, do you?”

Kasamatsu pushed him back far enough to glare at him in the dimness of the arena service hall they were currently taking advantage of.  “Like you’d care,” he hissed.  “You like doing this practically in public.”

Flirting With... )

November 2016

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