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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



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... )
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
Well, I guess now we definitely know how Fujimaki feels about writing an omake of the often-called-for Teikou reunion game.

The Vorpal Swords

*falls over, howling with laughter*

So, tracking back up the tree, this is a reference from the nonsense poem, "Jabberwocky", out of the book Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The poem, in-story, is in mirror writing and Alice, after deciphering it, observes that "Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas--only I don't exactly know what they are! However, somebody killed something: that's clear, at any rate" (65).

Whereby, I infer that Fujimaki also kind of likes the idea of a team reunion, but really didn't have any firm ideas about how to arrange it. We are forthwith warned to expect nonsense and dream-like demi-coherence as he trumps up a suitably "manxome foe" to be defeated by his "beamish boy[s]". Somebody will kill something, that's clear at any rate.

Coming on top of naming the opponents "Jabberwock", this is one of the least subtle "the editors are making me do this, and you asked for it" flags I have ever encountered. Congratulations, Fujimaki-sensei, on your nomination for this year's Anno Award.
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
So, I've loved Mushi-shi since it started, I have all the anime, I have all the manga, I love it to little pieces. I was hugely excited to learn that the second half of the manga would be animated.

Only, instead, after the first few episodes, this set of adaptations is changing in some very peculiar ways, and skipping stories to boot. This is not to the advantage of the series. One of the things I love about Mushi-shi is the tension of Ginko's character. His compassion for mushi and humans alike means that he is, at the same time, the character who always tries to give people information and let them make their own choices, and also the character who, if he sees harm being done, will act and take risks in a way that no one else dares. There are issues of the manga that don't foreground this as powerfully as most, to be sure, but the second season of the anime is not only selecting those in particular, it's also tweaking the dialogue and action to cut back on Ginko's centrality even further. I think the idea may be to make the people experiencing the contretemps more central, to make the anime a more classic drama/action series, but that completely misses the point of Ginko, the one who always travels on, being the axis of the manga, the thread that ties all the episodes together. His values are the ones that give the whole deeply episodic series a consistent theme and flavor.

To take that away is to take away what make the series so beautiful.

As long as we end on "Drops of Bells", as the manga does, I suspect I'll forgive the production team. But I'm not going to be very happy in the meantime.
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
The Psycho-pass writers went to a lot of trouble to parallel the gym scenes for Kougami and Tougane in the second ep, and I think I may have an idea why.

Neither Kougami nor Tougane are the actual main or POV character—that’s Akane. What they are, I think, are the characters who set the tone for the season and give us cues for how to understand the action.
commence spoilers )
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Kuroko no Basuke, Walk Through the Valley of Lilies
Characters/Pairings: Aomine Daiki, Kagami Taiga, Kuroko Tetsuya, Kuroko/Aomine/Kagami
Summary: Three moments in the developing relationship of Kagami, Aomine, and Kuroko as they all try to find a balance with each other.
Meta: Romance, Fluff, I-3
Wordcount: 802

Taiga had resisted for a long time, because there was such a thing as going down fighting, but the plain fact was that Aomine was cute when he was snitching food off someone.

Evening of Primroses )


May. 24th, 2014 02:14 pm
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
Server asked if I wanted another scotch 45 minutes after my first. What kind of livers are ther used to here? Getting beef tostadas instead and dropping a few ice cubes in my whiskey.
branchandroot: fractal in blue and gray spheres (fractal round)
So, I've just caught up with Kuroshitsuji, which meant that of course I had to go back and re-read Lizzy kicking zombie ass with swords, because that is the best scene in the entire manga, bar none. Elizabeth + swords = <3 4evar. Lizzy rocks the world so hard.

This, however, led, as such things do, to re-reading more arcs, and now I also need to squeal a bit over Ciel and Sebastian. Because every arc makes it clear that they are truly two of a kind, ruthless and manipulative, and basically very bad people. Ciel is seriously broken, and Sebastian seriously doesn't care, he just loves Ciel's response. Which is essentially: kill them all, burn the bodies, and sow the ground with salt. And perhaps uranium for good measure. I love that they are not good people, I love how viciously Ciel uses Sebastian, and how enchanted Sebastian is with Ciel's cold-bloodedness, I love how they spend so much time sniping sarcastically at each other and then share one of those smiles. The smile that says they will play the entire world like their personal violin, and they love doing it.

And yet.

And yet, there are still those moments of mercy woven through Ciel's manipulation and violence. Half the time, they're part and parcel of the manipulation and violence; they serve Ciel's own ends. But it's also genuine. That's the part that makes Ciel such a consistently interesting character. In this, Sebastian is the stand-in for the reader, fascinated by the contradictions of humanity.

That said, though, Lizzy is still the very best of all.
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Have and Hold, Kuroko no Basuke
Characters/Pairings: Kasamatsu Yukio, Kasamatsu/Kise, Kise Ryouta
Summary: Kasamatsu and Kise play bed games, and Kise gets the punishment he deserves. (And, more importantly, the spanking he wants.)
Meta: D/s, Porn, I-4
Wordcount: 1522

Yukio gave him a stern look, setting his fingers under Ryouta's chin to tip his head up and meet Yukio's eyes. "What did you do, Ryouta?"

"Well, Hayakawa-senpai was trying to beat his own record for successful passes after a rebound." Ryouta already sounded a little breathless, eyes wide under Yukio's steady gaze. "And I just mentioned that maybe it would help if he kept his energy up longer, and that I had a spare bottle of Yunker Fanti. Nakamura-senpai said that really wasn't the problem, but Hayakawa-senpai had already drunk the whole bottle."

Fitting to the Crime )
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Have and Hold, Kuroko no Basuke
Characters/Pairings: Aomine Daiki, Kagami Taiga, Kagami/Aomine
Summary: Kagami and Aomine have a quiet moment together--so quiet that Kagami wonders a little how they got to be like this.
Meta: Fluff, I-2
Wordcount: 559

One of the things that had come as a surprise to Taiga—and this was saying something considering that he’d never, ever expected to be in a B&D relationship, let alone a threesome of the same—one of the things was that Daiki was a cuddler when they were together.

Sun-warmed )
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Have and Hold, Kuroko no Basuke
Characters/Pairings: Aomine Daiki, Kagami Taiga, Kuroko Tetsuya, Kuroko/Aomine/Kagami
Summary: Kuroko decides to push Aomine a little further, and offers to spank him for breaking his collar (again). Aomine is perfectly pleased, but Kagami needs a bit more reassurance.
Meta: D/s, Porn, I-4
Wordcount: 2880

"You know," Tetsu murmured, fingers stroking over the line of Daiki's new collar, "sometimes I think you let them break just so I'll put another on you."

Daiki looked up at him, relaxed by the feeling of being collared again. "You did say that you would, as often as necessary."

The corners of Tetsu's mouth curled up faintly, and he set his fingers under Daiki's chin, keeping his head tipped back. "I did, and I will. Though I'm starting to wonder if I should punish you, when you break another one, for putting me to the trouble."

Ring Led )
branchandroot: Fay grinning (Fay grin)
It's been a while since I did an anime review, but this one is special.

So, you know how there's been a fad for "let's do something with the historical figure of Oda Nobunaga" anime lately? Most of them are silly or boring or both. This one... you kind of had to be there.

So, our main focal characters are a shy schoolgirl who's the reincarnation of Oda Nobunaga and a cool-type silver-haired bishounen who's the reincarnation of Jack the Ripper (only actually it's weirder than that). Together they fight alien monsters!

Along with the reincarnations of Mahatma Gandhi, lecherous schoolboy, and Issac Newton, busty blonde bombshell. You... kind of had to be there.

Our Heroine, Shiho, is a strategic genius when it's really crunch-time, and when she can take time out from madly fangirling the tanks and jets she suddenly finds herself surrounded by. Did I mention she's a total weapons geek without any influence from her "E gene progenitor" at all? She is. It's unspeakably cute when she starts getting shoujo sparkles over military hardware. And she invariably saves the day with her enormous gun. She's every shounen fighting trope ever, mashed up with every shoujo wallflower trope ever. I love it.

The best part, though, is how our focal characters are, in fact, a classic romantic trope! Kind of. They fight like cats and dogs, and only stop bickering to wreak bloody mayhem... at which point they really get along. They bond romantically over their mutual occupation as bloodthirsty psychopaths. They get these identically insane smiles. It's adorable.

...possibly you had to be there for that one, too.

The ending is a little abrupt if you're expecting several seasons of action, but if you watch it as, essentially, a one season romance of bloodthirsty psychopaths saving the world, it totally works. It also helps if you envision the writers running around behind the scenes jamming lampshades on every single trope they can cram in, cackling with glee all the while.

In short, I definitely recommend it!
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Have and Hold, Kuroko no Basuke
Characters/Pairings: Midorima Shintarou, Takao Kazunari, Takao/Midorima
Summary: Comes in the middle of "A Good, Free, and Unconstrained Will". Takao won the coin toss. Midorima doesn't actually mind that.
Meta: D/s, Porn, Fluff, I-4
Wordcount: 895

Shintarou lay waiting for him, breathing deep and quick, but still not looking. And that was why Kazunari let him keep that arm over his face for a while; he was, after all, a point guard, and no one should be surprised if he liked to be in control. The way Shintarou's breath caught when Kazunari's hands slid down his thighs to spread him wider, the open way he moaned when Kazunari's cock pushed into him, the way he relaxed into Kazunari's hands so easily, Kazunari loved all of those.

Heads or Tails )
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Fullmetal Alchemist, Tamashii
Characters/Pairings: Alphonse Elric, Edward Elric, Scar
Summary: Al finds his brother. In a way. LAST CHAPTER, INCOMPLETE
Meta: Drama, I-3
Wordcount: 632

Even asleep, Al could tell this dream was different.

The Simple and the Subtle - Chapter Five )

February 2017

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