tsarina: (Grey Wardens)
I am listening to Bruce Springsteen play the final Clinton rally of 2016's endless election season. It makes me ache.

I've gone into elections anxious and keyed up, believing they would have significant impacts. I've voted in every presidential election since I could in 1998. Voting for Obama was the first time I backed a winning horse. The feeling of being on the verge of momentous, life changing things is not unfamiliar. But never have I gone into Election Day with actual fear about what the consequences might be. Never have I had a sobbing breakdown in fear about the risk to all of us, to this country. Never has an election given me panic attacks.

Even if Clinton wins, the virulent hate won't disappear. This year has opened the floodgates on the bigotry we've so often pretended doesn't exist except as an outlier. This year should make us acknowledge that the hate is mainstream, that the misogyny of the nation is so real and deep that a completely inexperienced narcissistic madman was considered a viable candidate next to an accomplished public servant.

Mostly I hope that the best of America turns out to repudiate this year of horrors.

Someone on twitter said tonight was a mix of Christmas eve and the night before potentially life ending surgery. I'm feeling it.
tsarina: (zombies)
It's Halloween. Many things are better. Some are the same. Work is still dumb. I cover a lot of shifts because other people are fuckwits.

There were very few kids trick or treating this year. Very few. I wonder if it is the clown stories, or the election year fears, or something else. Mike did frighten a few children, and our house is now a neighborhood fixture for candy and screams.

I don't know what I'm going to do with the eleven million temporary tattoos I got to hand out with the candy. But I'm hanging out watching Crimson Peak, and Blade, and drinking wine.

I voted last week in early voting. It took an hour. Worth it though. Everyone's so fucking scared.

Got two days off, and I'm just gonna try to keep myself sane. Thinking a lot about what I might cook for the holidays.
tsarina: (yulecookies)
That's the quickest I've ever seen a Yuletide assignment.

Unfortunately my assignment has so little information, I'm mildly concerned. As in one line in optional details, and no letter. I'm sure it will be okay. I can write something for this. I just wish I had a better idea of what they would like? Since it's a gift? The canon is dark, so this is either going to go well or really, really bad.
tsarina: (yulecookies)
Hello writer!

After a couple year hiatus, I've returned to my favorite fannish event of the year. Yuletide is always such a wonderful thing for me. I have fairly broad tastes, which I hope will make you sigh and say "thank (deity/expletive)" at this point. So hopefully this letter will be helpful.

General information!
All ratings from the mildest G to the hardest "check your ID at the door" Explicit are welcome. This applies to sex, and violence. I'm comfortable with dark themes, and a happy ending is not a requirement. I love ships, I love genfic, I love PWP. I will read just about anything, if we're honest. While I have requested some things that are ships, please don't feel bound to write ships if it just isn't working out for you. I'm very happy to receive something that's just world building, or focused only on a single character.

The do-not-want list:
- Pregnancy, kidfic
- the "sold as a slave, falls in love with owner" trope

Things I do enjoy:
- Any and every AU you can come up. If you can build it, I'm interested. Especially if you have niche knowledge to really flesh it out, I'm down. War zone reporters? Esoteric academics? Line cooks? Marine biologists? Landscapers? Construction workers? Whatever it is, I'm down. I love AUs.
- Polyamory. I would like to avoid painful love triangles and have more poly in the world.
- Hurt/comfort fic is one of those things I enjoy, okay. A lot.
- I enjoy the slice of life, missing scene and curtain fic pieces a lot.
- Messy relationships, ones that are fucked up somehow.
- Functional relationships, people who work well together.
- Ghost stories
- The partners in crime tropes, us against the world
- Holiday fic, and all sorts of autumn/winter fic (October-December is my favorite time)
- Found families, families of choice
- Food as an expression of love, cooking, any excuse for food descriptions

Sexy times:
It's hard to find a blow job I didn't like somehow. I enjoy everything on the spectrum of enthusiastic consent to the dubcon/noncon side, vanilla to kinky. Special love for well written BDSM scenes. See my YulePorn comment for more information.

Specific fandom information! Firewatch, Morgan (2016), Stranger Things, Crimson Peak, Ex Machina, Only Lovers Left Alive )
tsarina: (coffee)
Going back to work today was weirdly exhausting. The effort to present a certain persona towards the public is terrible and draining. Thankfully I have tomorrow to not speak to anyone.

The beach was nice. The ocean was mostly calm, aside from a bit of storm and rough waves the first full day there. There were sea turtle nests on the beach, and big silvery fish. I ate too much ice cream, but didn't eat terribly badly. Lots of seafood, mostly grilled. Fruit. French toast one morning.

One of the things that reassured me was the complete absence of the unpleasant shortness of breath and chest pain. I've had two different doctors check me over and not find anything. It's definitely anxiety doing this.

I read a lot. An excellent, sad novel about boys sent to war. A gripping account of the end of the Comanche people and the colonization of North America. Some magazines. Didn't write a damn thing.
tsarina: (coffee)
My quiet Sunday has been full of charging electronics and making sure they all have cables. I bought a couple new albums and rearranged my mp3 player. There's new Nick Cave and new Bastille just in time for the flight.

I'm hoping a few days away will be good. Maybe I can quit obsessing about my own mortality and my blood pressure. I probably won't be successful at this new healthier diet, but I'm going to do my best and not torture myself over it. I'm staying in this fancy hotel because I want to eat ice cream and drink wine. (I am taking some graze snacks so I'm certain to eat at least one healthy thing.)

But days on the beach, with no obligations. Paperbacks, swimming, pretty clouds, watching the sun come up over the water. With any luck, I can get some writing done and come down from this year. The next few months will be a lot of work.
tsarina: (coffee)
I did my nomination first thing today. Got in the wives and Lady Beatrice for Crimson Peak, as well as my Firewatch Jam and ladies from Morgan. Really hoping someone else saw this movie. The reviews are terrible, which is a shame. I don't think it's terrible. It's short, so it cries out for fic and more depth.

Officially on vacation for a week now.
tsarina: (Grey Wardens)
I think I might have to shake up my yuletide nominations just because I went to the movies tonight. I saw Morgan, and it was a crying shame that only two people were in that theater. Because it was an elegant, intense little film about humanity and consciousness and self. With bonus of having a cast that put forth many women as main characters, which is nice to see in science fiction. It's got an excellent cast, and beautiful economy of shots and frames. From Ridley Scott's kid apparently!
tsarina: (cow!)
I have started playing Pokemon. I'm giving myself permission to just enjoy the dumb thing. But really, the genius thing is that it forces me to walk around. In the past three days I've walked for at least an hour every day, sometimes more. It's slow walking, but it's walking.

God it's so damn hot. I don't know why people enjoy summer. Fifteen minutes into a walk when the sun isn't even over the horizon and I'm already sweating. I came home the past two days and could actually wring my shirt out over the bath tub. I might just have to start wearing a back pack with more than one water bottle or something. I deeply want someone with some entrepreneurial spirit to set up a stand by the park where there are multiple stops and a gym. Someone please just sell lemonade or cookies or something. I will pay. It would be a great fundraising tactic for kids sports or charity or something.

Genuinely considering taking myself out to lunch now. Just trying to do some little things to combat the horrific summer/politics/current events depression.
tsarina: (coffee)
Things are a bit better than last week. I have a temp crown on, and in a week or two they'll put the real thing on. It was expensive but it is crazy metal and should be good for me. My dentist is pretty kind and the best with the injections. Plus they let you flavor your nitrous - mine was mint.

Things are strange and tense on the friend front. I'm trying to just let it go. I can't control everything, no matter how hard I try.

Weird to think my birthday is in just a few days. I don't feel this old. I'm having the traditional anxiety. So many panic attacks about death.

Just trying to make it through my days. Writing, wishing some things were different, that so many people didn't suck, that the world was a little more just. I'm hoping work levels out, is less stressful for a few months until the big move.
tsarina: (coffee)
Something I hate: Mosquitoes. Is there anything like the horror of looking down and realizing a creepy insect is stealing your blood and leaving you with itchy, terrible bumps? Not to mention the diseases. I wonder a lot if it would destroy the planet to eradicate mosquitoes.

Something I love: Marshmallows. I love the texture of marshmallow, the unrepentant sugariness, the squish of it. Marshmallows are one of my favorite things to mix into ice cream, and I've got three packs of marshmallow Peeps leftover from Easter still.

Somewhere I've been: Mont Saint Michel, which is an island depending on the tide and has a little road that winds up and up and up.

Somewhere I'd like to go: Montreal. I've never been to Canada, but it is awfully close by.

Someone I know: I feel like Mike is the obvious answer. Though I also want to say my coworker Marian, because I like that name.

A film I like: Marie Antoinette. One of my favorite period pieces, of utterly lush and gorgeous visuals with a superb soundtrack.

flu

Apr. 3rd, 2016 03:50 pm
tsarina: (coffee)
I caught the flu coming home from my emergency trip, probably on that hellish swing through Orlando. At first I thought it was just jet lag and being up for so long. But by the next day the fever started, and every joint in my body ached. That's the worst part of the flu, that weird diffuse pain that strikes everything. I haven't been this sick since I had bronchitis about five or six years ago, I think. I've missed work for the first time. My throat has just given up, and I've not had a voice in about two days. Amazing what you can't do when you don't have a voice - no calling the doctor's office, no drive throughs, no asking for help when you're trapped in a mess of road closures.

Mostly I resent all the wasted time that I could be doing something more productive with that sitting here hacking and staring into space because being sick is so exhausting.
tsarina: (coffee)
What would I do with $800 and a weekend to myself?

Well, in a perfect world I'd be able to go get another tattoo and spend the weekend recovering from the itch and burn, lazily eating breakfast tacos and watching movies. But if the tattoo wasn't an option, I'd buy some expensive new shoes and go try one of the French places in town that I haven't been since my favorite restaurant is no more. And pay for a cab so I can have a couple glasses of wine.

What was my favorite book as a child? What is it now?

That's tricky. I was a voracious reader as a kid, and consumed a ton of books. One of the fantasy series I read when I was about 9 or 10 was Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry. It was the first fantasy novel I ever read that drew from "the real world" and put characters in a fantasy setting. It introduced me to a lot of fiction tropes like multiverses as well. It's really stuck with me through my life and I still love it, so I'm going to say that was one of my favorite childhood books.

Asking me to pick a favorite book now is damn near impossible. I recently read Garth Greenwell's What Belongs to You, which was haunting and beautiful and queer in all ways I love. (Seriously go read that) I think my favorite book comes time and time again to The Engineer of Human Souls, by Josef Skvorecky. It's a big, sprawling novel and it's so painfully, beautifully human. Skvorecky is always there for me when I need to understand why we are the way we are to each other.
tsarina: (coffee)
I love avocados. I would eat them all the time. They are delicious, full of healthy things. They have a good texture when ripe. They improve just about everything you put them on, and of course guacamole is basically heaven. A friend of mine was put on a diet by her nutritionist that included the phrase "eat all the avocado you want." I mean, that sounds like heaven to me.

One of my favorite products we carry at work is actually a product that was part of a kickstarter I backed! The FoodHugger Avocado Huggers are fantastic. They sit flush with the surface of the avocado. Once you get used to putting them on, you can get it just right so it locks out all the air and you get minimal to no browning. I kept half an avocado for two days this way, which was a record in my life. Normally I try to eat the whole thing. But maybe you aren't on an all avocado diet.

There's just something very satisfying about avocados, with their pebbly skin, cool green interiors and their giant smooth pit.

ice cream

Mar. 17th, 2016 01:04 pm
tsarina: (coffee)
as Supreme Commander of the Universe, you can select the One True Ice Cream flavour - the only one available anywhere in the world. what's it gonna be?

I feel like the reasonable answer is to do something like sweet cream, which you could add anything to right?

But if you can't add things, then I need to have like a coffee rocky road - coffee ice cream, chocolate bits, nuts and marshmallows. I like my ice cream to have varied texture.
tsarina: (coffee)
It's a very difficult choice. I find myself going back and forth between Scary Monsters and Outside. Those are my two favorite Bowie albums. Scary Monsters was one of the first Bowie albums I ever heard, and it has a frantic dark energy that I love. Outside was the first Bowie album I bought myself. They're both dark albums with strange insular worlds. It's almost a coin flip. The choice feels different on different days, and I've been thinking about this ever since I wrote my desert island album list.
tsarina: (coffee)
No one asked, but I thought about it.

Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario 2, Super Mario 3 and Super Mario World: My favorite video game of my childhood. Still really enjoyable for me to play. Nothing else has ever really compared for me.

Audiosurf (all verions): Would require a good musical library, but honestly one of my most favorite games of all time. Super relaxing, incredibly fun, very zen in its way.

Dragon Age series: one my favorite RPG games ever. A world I find myself super invested in. So much depth and possibility. Angsty mages, one of my favorite tropes forever.
tsarina: (coffee)
I found it strangely hard to choose albums. I have a fairly wide ranging musical taste, but I've fully embraced the future of downloading individual tracks. I buy less whole albums these days. My top choices tended to be older ones as well, things I've already kept around for some time. (With a few newer exceptions) It skews more rock heavy than I think my musical taste is, but eh. This could change every day.

The Killers - Samstown
The Cure - Disintegration
Counting Crows - Recovering the Satellites
The Glitch Mob - Love Death Immortality
The Wonder Boys soundtrack
Nirvana - Nevermind
David Bowie - Scary Monsters
Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
Bastille - All This Bad Blood
Perturbator - Dangerous Days
tsarina: (coffee)
Movies I could happily watch up the end of days. I tried not to worry too much about this, about whether these were "great" films or whatever. These are movies I love, movies I could leave on repeat on the DVD player and enjoy multiple times in a row. Crime movies, movies steeped in a certain period of time, or a certain emotional resonance.

The Big Sleep - I love Bogart and Bacall snapping at each other

Only Lovers Left Alive - I love everything from the people to feeling it soothes in my soul

A Perfect Murder - perfect rich NYC scenery, Michael Douglas being evil

Love, Actually - all the feelings

My Neighbor Totoro - strangely joyful and magic

Heat - utterly beautiful, perfect crime drama

Heathers - the perfect dark 80s comedy
tsarina: (red apple book)
The question didn't say how many I get, so I'm going to try to limit myself!

Looking at my bookshelf, I'd say I would take the following library of every fictional piece by Josef Skvorecky, William Gibson, Edith Wharton and Fay Weldon. Those four authors encompass quite a lot of what I love in fiction and all of them do it with style and strength.

If I had to go with just a few:
Skvorecky: Engineer of Human Souls, The Miracle Game, Two Murders in My Double Life
Gibson: Neuromancer, Idoru, The Peripheral
Wharton: The Reef, Twilight Sleep, The House of Mirth
Weldon: Mischief, Splitting, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil

Bonus books: The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay, The Sundering by Jacqueline Carey, Cyteen by CJ Cherryh, The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman, Transmetropolitan series by Warren Ellis.

These are books I love. Books that left a little piece of themselves in my heart somewhere, books I would read over and over and over.
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