juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
What are you currently reading?
Possession, A. S. Byatt. Because I'm in a depressive episode, I've been frantic for distractions—in my reading that usually means fantasy, because there's more escapism and potential for distraction; it can also mean lighter, faster books which I can lose myself in despite the brainfog, which has reached Silent Hill-intensity. So I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying Possession—I love in this sort of post-modern literature how lush and aesthetic the heavy-handed parallel narratives/messages can be; there's a self-awareness, something even deprecatory, but also something enthusiastic; it knows the potential faults of the attempt it makes, but loves regardless, loves its characters and concept and indulgent format. It's a broad and contrived and richly intended book, and I adore it; I even adore a heterosexual romance! and how novel that is.

What did you recently finish reading?
The Giver, Lois Lowry, review here. There's a film adaptation coming out soon, with a 25-year-old playing Jonas who's 12 in the book, which—so the society of The Giver doesn't make entire sense and isn't untouchable gospel word, it's largely concept instead of execution, but Jonas beginning his coming of age with the discovery of the truth of his society is sort of the point; see also the correlation between Stirrings and sexuality and emotion: his society represses human biological and social nature, so that he's at the age to develop alternate/"natural" desires and relationships matters. In short, no, I have no interest in the film. But the book was an interesting reread; I found I remembered basically every page of it, which, no matter its flaws, indicates that the book does something effectively.

What do you think you'll read next?
I broke my ereader because of course I did—depressive episode, desperate for distraction, and so now my ereader is unusable (and my game controller is failing, too, of course it is). So I'm stuck with physical books already in my possession—getting to the library isn't feasible, again because of the depression—and that's limiting; I was already grasping at straws, and now there's significantly fewer straws to grasp. In short: fuck if I know what I'll read next.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
What are you currently reading?
Ariel, Steven R. Boyett. I've been reading the companion animal trope with intent for about two years ago, largely prompted by [personal profile] rachelmanija's rundown of a Siren's panel on the subject. I never read (or consume) anything in excess because I burn out fast; I'm particularly susceptible to that here because the genre is riddled with questionable quality. I'm mostly referring to Pern, Valdemar, and other endless series, but the trope as a whole is id-driven and frequently adjunct to the plot, and so sometimes shows up to serve unique functions in books I'd otherwise avoid. Ariel isn't necessarily one of those—I'm fond the post-apocalyptic—but its unicorn-in-a-dystopia is a decent example of what it means to read a trope, rather than a genre: I'm here for one feature, and when that feature isn't the core of its fictional world (Pern &c), it may instead show up in the weirdest places.

What Ariel does with the trope: There's a number of types of human/animal bonds in the book, including pets and thralls. Meanwhile, the protagonist's companion animal, a unicorn, has a human or super-human intelligence, their communication is verbal and their bond has psychic/magical elements; functionally, Ariel is the better-than-real partner Pete can't have—more than once he wishes she were human. There's a sensual/physical but non-sexual element to their relationship, and what prevents it from being sexual is primarily Ariel's body and secondarily the fact that Pete has to remain a virgin (because: unicorn). It's not unusual for sex to be part of this trope, but it usually appears in the form of humans experiencing their companion's sexuality or, occasionally, vice versa; to see it addressed as a possible component of the human/companion bond is frankly gratifying—if the bonds are that intimate, you'd think it'd come up more often.

What did you recently finish reading?
The Beast Master, Andre Norton, obviously in the same pursuit. What The Beast Master does with the trope, which I didn't mention in my review: The early passage I quoted in my review says more about what the trope could become than what it is; it goes underexplored, and didn't just seem that way because I was only there to explore it. Much of the book's emotional journey is about the protagonist surviving despite his bond animals, functionally as an aspect of the travelogue/survival plot but thematically as the protagonist's journey towards independent action and thought. He has multiple bond animals (which is deeply unusual in most examples of this trope), most are realistically animal, and each functionally serves as a trained tool—but the human/animal bond has a psychic element, and the bond big cat feels slightly more than animal and significantly more complex in her relationship with the protagonist.

What do you think you'll read next?
Not a companion animal book! I'll probably go back to Zelazny's Amber series; I'm currently between pentalogies. But five books is a lot (see: burning out on series)—I may need another unrelated book to cleanse my palate first.
juushika: Photograph of a row of books on a library shelf. (Books Once More)
What are you currently reading?
I'm about to go back to Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky. I took a break about 40 chapters in because HPMOR is long and it can grow, if not tiresome, then at least repetitive, less in what is says and more in the tricks of how it says it. I didn't want the book to begin to weary me because flaws aside, what it says is phenomenal—not flawless or inarguable, and not even always particularly well rendered, but the modes of thinking resonate with me even when I wildly disagree. These are conversations that I want to and do have, edited until everyone has a stronger message and sounds about twice as succinct and witty as they otherwise would; it's a near caricature of discourse and hugely engaging.

What did you recently finish reading?
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, for intentional but hilarious contrast. I've read Wicked Lovely before (review here), and my reactions now are almost a complete inverse but focus on the same subjects: Glaring to me this time was Marr's roughness; her fairies are creative but they come in a rough littering of descriptions instead of a unified aesthetic, and the voice is amateur, full of head-hopping and utterly without artistry. The plot, meanwhile, drags and suffers contrivances, but while it may have only one feasible ending that end has nice complexity—there's a real sense that Aislinn's choice matters, despite the restrictions placed on it. It's by no means good, it even feels teenage, awkward and idealized all the way down to the word choice, and I'd recommend against it. But it has potential; I wish I could read the book it might have been, probably if another author had written it.

What do you think you'll read next?
More HPMOR; when I need to break up HPMOR, probably another reread. I've been unwilling to write reviews lately, so have almost exclusively been rereading to take some of the pressure to review new books off of my shoulders.
juushika: Photograph of a row of books on a library shelf. (Books Once More)
What are you currently reading?
I'm at the tail end of the Fate/Zero light novels. The fan translations are exceedingly unpolished; elsewise this has been a phenomenal read. I loved the anime when I watched it, but revisiting it in a media I find easier to retain while in constant contact with a friend who's also a big fan has been intensely rewarding, because this story deserves minute observation and rumination. Fate/Zero's hallmark is a complex web of characterization, motivation, and interaction, and each of these is more explicit in the light novels (there isn't time or potential for similar exposition in the anime). As a result, every scene is fascinating and can stand up to the scrutiny it invites. This is what I talk about when I talk about id-level media: I eat this stuff up, even though I've been taking the novels at the same slow pace I approach any series. The anime may still be the place to start with Fate/Zero, because it's great and a little more accessible, but the light novels are perfect.

What did you recently finish reading?
The Secret Country, Pamela Dean (review here). I'm deeply unsure if I plan to continue the series. I want to read The Hidden land to complete this story, and The Dubious Hills interests me for its premise, but I only ever found a stray used copy of The Secret Country to begin with; both of my libraries have little Dean, and even if I didn't prefer to borrow first, I certainly didn't love The Secret Country so much that I feel compelled to search for the sequels. We're probably headed to Powell's next week, so I may find them then; we'll see.

What do you think you'll read next?
No idea! I try to keep a couple of books at hand without making specific plans, because when I read at whim with no sense of obligation I tend to enjoy it more. Right now some classic horror, a reread, and some Mary Renault are all in my maybe-someday-soon pile, but I may chose none of them.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
I am where memes go to die. [livejournal.com profile] cerulean_chains tagged me for this over on Tumblr about a week ago, and I wrote my answers then but never posted them. I'm supposed to provide more questions and tag people to answer them, but I have the energy for neither—so I'll just leave these here because who doesn't like to share their opinion.

1. A past time period with the best fashion sense?
I find a number of historical fashions fascinating and appealing, but don't have true favorites among them. Victorian is a good go-to I guess, pretty and fancy stuff all around. The only real favoritism I can rouse is for breeches (why did they ever go out of style), and I idealize eras in which men's fashion was almost as froofy and ornate as women's.

2. Science fiction or fantasy?
Since discovering the distinction between high fantasy (which I hate) and the rest of fantasy: fantasy. It's a genre I left unexplored before making that distinction (I really hate high fantasy), it's full of delicious subgenres, and it tends to be the one most likely to interact with my favorite tropes and literary predecessors.

3. Contemporary straight plays or classics?
For reading: classics. For viewing: either, with a slight preference towards classics. Shakespeare is my big bias; putting him aside, I only have passing familiarity with the art form, and am only willing to put so much of my time/effort/money into it, so the tried and true of classics tend to be the better bet—but my bias towards them is far from absolute, and it's fair to say that the plays my family sees at OSF are a 50/50 split between the two.

4. Favorite score?
I can't answer this as anything but Cats (Original Broadway Cast Recording). It goes beyond favorite to something more: it defines who I am; it is essential to my being.

5. Cassettes or CDs?
They still make cassettes?

6. Favorite musical instrument?
Piano. I played it all through childhood and adolescence, and have been missing it something awful these last few months. My big birthday gift this year may be a weighted keyboard, which is a compromise between quality/playability and size (I have an inherited piano whenever I have space for it, but it's not feasible here), and as a bonus I'll be able to play with headphones for those crazy hours of the night and while I recover from shitty, rusty piano player back to halfway competent piano player.

7. Did you jump in water puddles as a child?
Not to my knowledge. Caveat: my memory is pretty awful. But I've loathed standing water for most of my life, so instinct says no. Furthermore, it rains here about nine months of the year; water puddles are not particularly novel things, and there're better ways to get wet.

8. Favorite type of shoe?
Oversized bulky square-toed black Oxford. Thus this. I ended up buying these and they're 90% perfect. I wear the hell out of them.

9. Favorite guilty pleasure?
Dance Central, I guess. I have little guilt about any of my pleasures, however embarrassing—I believe in embracing one's dorkiness and lack of dignity. (A good thing, too.) But Dance Central is pretty well unforgivable. I know I look like a fool. I know the vast majority of the music is awful. This is currently my favorite routine. But it burns calories—yeah, sure, pretend that's it: I just love it.

10. Favorite spoken language?
Elizabethan/Jacobean English; Shakespearean English. I admire a lot of foreign languages, and modern English is my darling, but my love and aptitude for Shakespeare's strange tongue is unrivaled. I'm actually pretty shite at learning language, but this comes to me as naturally as mine own, and I've learned not to take that for granted. Also fascinating where "spoken language" is concerned: Shakespeare in the original pronunciation .

11. Do you feel ‘in-touch’ with pop culture? Why or why not?
No. It's not something I keep up with, and that doesn't bother me—it's energy I don't want to expend, and given my personal taste nor would it be worth it. There's songs and celebrities I've never heard of or only know because of internet memes, and I like it that way. I'm cool being clueless about things which are essentially a waste of time, and will willingly waste my time on non-popular culture which does interest me.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
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Since I'd been meaning to do this...

Books. Every book on my wishlist is one that I can't easily get via a library, or have already read, and either way know I want to own—my book wants are rarely frivolous these days. Moonwise by Greer Gilman and The Annotated Alice by Lewis Carroll, ed. Martin Gardner are probably at the top of my list, but I want all out of print Caitlín R. Kiernan.

Video games. I want new copies of Pokémon HeartGold and Dance Central, to make sure I get the Pokéwalker and can import songs to DC2 respectively. I also want Sims 3: Generations and Sims 3: Pets, eventually. But I have plenty more games on my to-play list which I wouldn't mind the least bit used, most of them for the DS: The World Ends With You, the Ace Attorney series starting at the start, Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded, Super Scribblenauts, and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky, as well as any obscure JRPGs that come recommended. ETA: Gimme—I mean, now that there's an English language version, Inazuma Eleven is also high on my list.

Socks, but in particular these socks. I have Rust and love them, and would love Paprika and Moss and Lichen and Carbon and even Blueberry, too (but Paprika most of all). At or over the knee, absorbent (cotton or rayon), solid-patterned natural-colored (but I could make an exception) socks are where I'm at.

Long-sleeved, long-torso'd shirts (probably size medium) with thumbholes. Pullover hoodies in fairly thin fabrics, thumbholes bonus. Armwarmers with thumbholes. Thumbholes everywhere.

Cellphone-style charms to decorate my portable gaming devices. Storebought or handmade, anything as long as it's awesome and durable. Plastic stars are awesome; Pokémon, too—here are some of my favorites, but all I really want for Christmas is.... Cute and 3D and probably plastic preferred.

A menorah. I'm finally getting to the point in my life where I want one for my own home. This is my family's, to which I am greatly attached; I think I want smooth organic shapes and copper or brass tones for my own.

BPAL. My wishlist remains out of date but not useless; I'm also in need of bottles of Dana O'Shee and Plunder. Handmade jewelry in copper or brass, peridot or amber; even better, jewelry designers to eye and lust over, asmy past favorites are going in new directions which are less my style. Serious chocolate: single origin, 75-95% cocoa content, artisan. I love cocoa nibs, too. Ruled hardback Moleskines. Pennies—I collect them. Letters, not gift cards. Good wishes.

As always, my contact info is here (can't see it? want to? just ask).
juushika: Photograph of a row of books on a library shelf. (Books Once More)
The NPR Top 100 SF/F Books list makes me want to brain myself, but having enjoyed seeing others's point-by-point responses to books on the list I present, in the style of a meme: what I've read, with notes.

Bold if I've read it, italicized if I plan to, underlined if I've read part but not all.

100 books and series. )

This list is in no way the best of anything, but it's representative of what a crowd of casual voters reads and thinks they should read, with uneven editor boundaries drawn between YA/adult, genre/not genre (and this genre/that genre, which is even more detrimental to this list), and book/series. What people read, by the way, are: white men (dead is optional), epic high fantasy, series (either trilogies or why-has-no-one-taken-my-pen-away endless cycles), cult-favorite authors (named Gaiman) and passing trends (called zombies), a few books which are famous just because they try to avoid the genre they write in, and a few challenging or diverse texts/harder bits of sci-fi/genre classics/books they may or may not have encountered in high school and college—or at least they read those once, and know they should again. They also read some truly random stuff because, hello, what is Sunshine doing on there?

It's not necessarily a bad list—but it's not the "best" of anything; it's pretty much just a glimpse of SF/F in popular culture. I've read—what, 52 of them? I even enjoyed quite a few. I get it. But oh god, I don't condone it.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.

Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.

1. Whether I have comments/emails/posties to look at. My social life centers around the internet and I'm prone to obsessive thinking, so it's no surprise that I'm constantly contemplating checking my email one more time.

2. My back. I think about it because it hurts, because maybe I can alleviate the hurt. I think about my posture and if I should stretch or take a break. I think about how I look to others when I'm dealing with it. I think about what my pain levels have been and if that changes what I can or should do. My back is always there, at the edge of my thoughts—and it should be, because neglecting it can only do harm.

3. What I'm compositing. I'm always compositing something—a few LJ posts and emails and a piece of fiction on any given day, and they're constantly in my thoughts. I muse over big ideas and specific word order, I work over roadblocks, and while I sometimes jot down notes unusually it just collects in my hindbrain, fodder to feed me the next time I sit down to write.

4. Food. I'm a nervous, possessive eater, never quite sure what my next meal will be or when, or if it'll be enough to satisfy me. I'm discontent with my body image, and worry about what I should eat or if I've had too much. I often think of, and worry about, foodstuffs.

5. Where my glasses are. I'm nearsighted and my focal range is at about three feet, which means I need my glasses to get around but take them off for close work (like reading or using the computer—both of which I do all the time). I'm also absentminded and clumsy. If I'm not thinking about my glasses, I'll take them off and put them somewhere and they end up lost, or on a chair and sat on, or on the floor and stepped on. So I think about them.

6. Sex and the related. This is complex and vast and I don't really feel like discussing it, but ah—call me predictable: sex is on my mind.

7. How I come off. This goes at the end of the list not because it's the least important, but because it's the hardest to pin down. Self-presentation and outside perception are the most common and important things on my mind: what others think, why I care, how I can change, if I want to change, if my intentions differ from my results. This makes up a fair chunk of my brain-crazies and is the hobbyhorse of my obsessive thought. It is always there.

Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.

Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.

Insofar l as I know myself: consider this list startlingly accurate, for better or worse.

1. Be unique. I find nothing more attractive than this. Don't take pains to be painfully special, and don't take "unique" to mean "incompatible with the rest of society," but have qualities which are distinctly yours—and own them. I love unique noses and extraordinary eyes, ingenious hair colors and body mods, strong styles and unusual methods of self-presentation; I love personality quirks and strong opinions, overused words and strange habits, remarkable skills and new ways of looking at the world; I love geeks and artists and the double-jointed, but I love little things too: moles and writing styles, small details that are you, distinctly you, uniquely you. I love people who are not ashamed of what sets them apart. I love to find what sets a person apart, to fetishize it, idolize it, and let it expand me.

2. Have nice hair. This probably doesn't mean what you think it means. I don't care about highlights and designer cuts, and I hate hair products. But I use hair to recognize people, and so hair is sort of My Thing. I like unique hair, I like touchable hair, I like beautiful hair. I like hair. I want to like yours.

3. Be honest. I find unexpected honesty and intimacy very seductive. Open up, lay yourself bare; say things not permitted by social borders and niceties, say things which are difficult to say. Share your opinions, expose your emotions. Make compliments and confessions. Online communication lends well into this, because we all feel a little safer behind a computer screen—but this is about more than anonymous catharsis. Surprise me with who you are.

4. Be weak, and changing, and strong. I don't believe in perfection or miracle improvement; I find self-knowledge and self-actualization powerful. Navel-gaze, discover your flaws, and be honest about who you are because vulnerability and weakness can be beautiful in their own right. Find ways to change and better yourself, and inspire me with them. Develop yourself, that you are always better to know, that I'm always discovering something new in you.

5. Expose me to something new, something to fall in love with. Maybe it's the art you make. Maybe it's the art you consume. I associate people with the beauty they bring to my life, so give me something to make me better, to make my days better, to make me think of you. (And always, always, give me books.)

6. Be passionate. Be the sort of passionate that we label geeky. Geek out with me. I desire both intelligent, fierce discussion and foolish fansquee, sometimes in the same conversation. What we love says so much about us: I want to dig into your brain and discover your whats and whys. I want you to encourage the failed academic hiding within me. I want overenthusiastic gushing to lighten the mood and create the sort of camaraderie only found in shared passion.

7. Take initiative and make allowances. I'm introverted and insecure and a little brain-crazy. If you reach out and make sure I don't retreat into my hermit cave, you'll assure that our relationship won't disappear to nothing—and you'll win my gratitude, and let me put my energy into building a deep relationship rather than maintaining its simple existence. Put up with my moodiness and eccentricities, and better yet appreciate them as a part of my total package. Don't bite back affection or compliments; say you love. Nothing is more reassuring or beloved than explicit and unabashed affection. Say you care, say you love. Don't worry: I say it too.

8. Take care of me. This the least universal of these rules, because not everyone should or can and not every relationship (no matter how intimate) warrants it. But I am, at heart, just another spoiled lap cat. I'm as self-sufficient as a kitten; I want gushy food and delicious treats, and a scritch behind the ear. Give me gifts and a soft bed, call me by a special nickname, spoil me, keep me safe and sound. Know that sometimes I'll squirm away or turn up my nose at the best offerings, know that in some relationships being babied is never welcome—but under the right circumstances, nothing makes me fonder.

Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.

Day Two: Nine things about yourself.

It was hard to come up with nine things which were worth saying but hadn't been said a billion times before. Whether I managed to find that balance, I don't know—but they'll do. This has sat around waiting long enough.

1. I present as female, and am fairly content to be identified as female, but the truth is that I don't have a strong gender identity. I relate to some female social roles, and given my body type tend to conform to some aspects of female self-presentation. I relate to many masculine sex roles and some social roles. More often, and especially where my therianthropy is concerned, I relate to a null-gender, more neuter than gender-neutral. I find myself somewhere between both and neither, with twinges of gender-related dysphoria in both my physical body and my gender presentation; I wish I could toss out the entire idea of gender, but don't need to do that or to redefine how I present and am identified. In other words: this is just enough of a thing to bug me, but not enough to hold a candle to the more significant gender issues that others face, so I try not to fuss about it overmuch.

2. I read an average of one page per minute. This proves to be a reliable and universal estimate, as long as we're not talking verse or textbooks; it's also damn useful, because I can use pages read as an approximate timer.

3. I dislike unfinished stories. I rarely read or watch anything that isn't finished—I can make allowances for TV shows (single episodes of crime dramas which don't have strong overarching plots, or finished seasons of long-running series), but I won't read manga that's ongoing and will rarely start books with sequels still to come (and I may not even read books in a finished series). In part this is pragmatism: I don't like getting to the end which isn't an end, waiting for the real end to come isn't my strong point, and I like to consume the media that has my attention now rather than the one that caught my attention with the first installment two years ago. In part, it's fear: like everyone else that began InuYasha a decade ago, I know that a promising start can turn into a painfully long and mediocre story; worse, some strong starts never reach their ends. And in part, I just think it's lazy and selfish to string along the audience for one more season, one more sequel, another year of waiting, another bundle of cash spent, on something which may not turn out to be good after all. I can and do bend this rule, some of my favorite pieces of media actually break it, but for the most part: I dislike unfinished stories.

4. After a lifelong habit, I stopped biting my nails in a single moment. Devon told me that saliva weakens nails (a casual search backs this up), and that was sufficiently strong and logical reason to stop, which apparently was all I needed.

5. I have little connection to my given name. Jessica just doesn't feel like me. It doesn't feel like it's not, me, either; it is null. I have a stronger connection to my screen name because I chose it and have used it for so long, but I wouldn't pick it to replace my given name. I have some connection to my middle name (Erin), because of its relation to my Celtic heritage and red hair, but I wouldn't chose to go by it either. I've considered going by Jesse, which as my maternal grandfather's first name is the source of my given name, but I know most people would hear it as Jessie, which is too cutesy and familiar for me. Sometimes I sign myself as J, which is a happy compromise but obviously not ideal. None of this bothers me overmuch, but it makes me feel a little unconnected, unknown, freefloating.

6. I've always had a strange relationship with my singing voice. While my speaking voice is high, my singing voice is fairly low (for reference, I tend to find Maynard James Keenan's range a good fit). I've long been shy about my voice and unwilling to sing in front of others, and I tend to have difficulty finding notes when singing without accompaniment. But when singing along to music, I'm adept at harmonizing or dropping an octave to stay in my range, and I find the act of singing satisfying in a physical, almost sensual way. Falling in love with Florence + The Machine has taught me to belt it out, and for better or worse—these days I love to.

7. I don't visualize. I mention this upon occasion, because it greatly impacts how I take in and interpret stimuli—but only on occasion, so it's not a bad fact to throw into a list of lesser known things about me. Rather than images, I think in words, often in full sentences. I've explained this in more detail in this comment. I also have what is probably minor dyscalculia, which gives me some trouble with numbers and distances but mostly means that I constantly reverse digits. I have a bit of synthesia-esque cross-wiring, and so read color into scent and feeling and sensation into letters and words. I have minor facial blindness, and primarily use hair to recognize people (even Devon somewhat a stranger after a haircut). I remember specific, random events rather than general trends or long passages of time. Oh and also I think I'm a cat, and I'm diagnosed with depression, anxiety NOS, and agoraphobia. (Now I've certainly grown redundant.) I do not think that I'm a special snowflake and that the eccentricities of my brain are particularly remarkable or extreme; I do find them interesting, and think that knowing and respecting them aids and helps explain me.

8. I have problems reading sideways or upside-down. You'd think, given how intimate I am with words, that these things would be easy, but even on an angle I have problems. This means that I have to sit upright to read subtitles, which sadly makes the bulk of my preferred visual media a little more inaccessible.

9. I run a more-or-less porn blog on Tumblr. It's probably not the sort of images you're thinking, no matter how well you know me—which is why I don't link to or mention it. You probably don't want to know what is there. I wish it were more popular, but I find a lot of joy in this silly little side project—in ways that are meaningful enough to justify in-depth explanation, perhaps, some day.

Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
Seeing this meme on my flist has tempted me to do it—so I will, why not. I don't promise consecutive days, because I'm lazy and because I have that cruise upcoming and all, but to begin...

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.

That these normally get written to anonymous recipients annoys me—it lends itself too well to passive aggression, and makes for a guessing game on the reader's end: Is that about me? Of course it's not—she doesn't care about me enough to write that. Of course it is! there's plenty of reasons for people to think bad things about me. You know, that sort of thing. So I'll be more explicit.

Amy: I have various types of online relationships. I have passing acquaintances—we share online space and some interests, but we aren't friends. I have casual friends who I care about and learn from, but we aren't bosom buddies—and that's fine. Intimate relationships are effortful, and not every friendship need become one. And I have intimate friends, heart-friends, people I love even if I mostly met, know, and keep in touch with them online. In my eyes you've gone from fellow fangirl to a startlingly intelligent, thoughtful, beautiful person, and it makes me glad to have met you. It also makes me want to know you a little better. I don't mean that in a creepy, demanding way! I value the relationship we have now, as friends but not best friends, and if it stays that way I'd be happy. But if you want to talk more (I exchange letters and emails with a few people, and sometimes use IM), I would welcome it.

Dee: I can't wait to see you. I want to talk Persona! I just started reading one of the books that I brought back from your place. There's plenty of little things that I could say to you—but on Wednesday, I'll have the chance to tell them to you in person. I'm thankful for that. But always, every day, I send my love.

Devon: I tell you that I love you a dozen times a day, but I don't tell you how thankful I am near often enough. But I am. I am so thankful.

Express: I am so proud of you. I don't want to keep saying that, because I don't want to blow things out of proportion or burden them them with praise and expectation or be at all condescending—but I am so proud of you, and so happy for you.

Grandpa: I say it in the most respectful way that I can, but: I really do not want to go on this cruise.

Janet and Doug: There is a bit of a story behind the pendant that you gave me for Christmas. I haven't told it to you because it's a little froofy, if you know what I mean; it has its gaze set somewhere between my navel and the stars, and I doubt that's quite your style. But that's why the gift moved me the way it did. Thank you.

Lyz: I had wanted to tell you that I was nervous about how our meeting went, and hoping that you didn't mind quiet little me—but we've talked since then, and now I'm not worried anymore! It does take a couple of meetings for me to relax, but I look forward to having those meetings with you. Instead, all I have to say now is that I promise to send a holiday gift your way before I head out for the cruise. When you get an unexpected package, chances are it will be from me.

Margeaux: I finally picked up The Secret History. I'm not sure when I'll read it—but it'll happen, sometime. I'll think of you.

Twila: I don't know how quite to communicate with you. You're the only person I know who has hearing problems, and I have such a quiet voice—I have no practice or experience speaking up and speaking clearly. I'm not very good at reaching out, and I probably will never come over on my own. But that you have invited me means the world to me. I do feel "always welcome" in your home. You make me feel loved and wanted. You are delightful. I'm hardly the ideal grandchild-(not)-in-law, but I am blessed to have you as family. Thank you.

Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
A picture meme, via [livejournal.com profile] honest_illusion, to take up a bit too much of my time:

*Post ten of any pictures currently on your hard drive that you think are self-expressive.

* No captions. It must be like we're speaking with images and we have to interpret your visual language just like we have to interpret your words.

* They must ALREADY be on your hard drive - no googling or flickr! They have to have been saved to your folders sometime in the past. They must be something you've saved there because it resonated with you for some reason.

* You do NOT have to answer any questions about any of your pictures if you don't want to. You can make them as mysterious as you like. Or you can explain them away as much as you like.

+9 pictures. Some large images, mild sexual and violent content. )

I'd have resized the large images, but it rather defeats the purpose in these specific cases. Some work is fanart for Lamento, Dragonball Z, Persona 4, Togainu no Chi, and Axis Powers Hetalia; some work is original. Source is provided where known. My picture folders have a very narrow focus (because I'm an anal-retentive completionist collector, so if the focus isn't narrow then the collection grows unmanageably large), so this is hardly the be-all, end-all of me—but it is a fair few of the parts of me that I explore via visual art.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
I have been waiting for the excuse to do this, man I cannot even tell you, because I love my wallpaper just that much.

Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] faeriesfolly, a wallpaper meme:

1. Anyone who looks at this entry has to post this meme and their current wallpaper at their LJ.
2. Explain in five sentences why you're using that wallpaper!
3. Don't change your wallpaper before doing this! The point is to see what you had on!

Needs! More! Exclamation points!

My current desktop

Yes, they are just dots. But they are dots which bring me unimaginable joy. I saw them on a random Pixiv artist's background and fell in love with them on the spot (hah, no pun intended). They are adorable, colorful without being bright, autumn-appropriate without being autumn-themed, and I love the texture overlay. For a long time I was using stripes on both my LJ layout and my desktop, stripes which I built myself, just rows of pixels with no texture; this change is refreshing and has much more personality.

Generally I never even see my desktop, because what's the point of a screen if you don't have windows open? But now I minimize everything just to peer at the dots.

I'm special, I know.

Feeling a strange desire for some dots of your own? Grab some fullsized dots behind the cut. )
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
From [livejournal.com profile] sisterite, a meme:

In response to this post, ask me about the first time I did something. It can be anything—the first time I used chopsticks, the first time someone I knew died, the first time I left the country, the first time someone of the opposite sex saw me naked. I'll answer in the thread. Then (if you like) put it on your journal and I'll ask you a question.

Call me strange, but half the reason I'm carrying this forward is because I like the way it's worded.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
I have a couple oh-help-me-flist questions—and a few bonus memes—that I keep meaning to get around to, so here I go shoving them all into one post for your commenting pleasure.

Can anyone recommend a Clive Barker book to me? I put out a request here but who knows, you might have missed it after the wall of text. Recommendations for a (standalone, good, preferably more than simply bloody) Barker novel would be much appreciated, before I give up on him.

Dear Simmers: I'm thinking of going back to The Sims 3 and would love to know if you recommend World Adventures—or the first stuff pack, or if you have your eyes set on Ambitions, or if there's something big and glaring that I'm unaware of because I've been long out of the loop. As I tackle the Herculean task of getting the game running again, these would be good things for me to keep in mind.

And then a pair of tell-me-what-to-write memes:

Everyone has things they blog about. Everyone has things they don't blog about. Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don't blog about, but you'd like to hear about, and I'll write a post about it. Ask for anything: latest movie watched, last book read, political leanings, thoughts on alfalfa*, favorite type of underwear, graphic techniques, etc.

Repost in your own journal—if you want to—so that we can all learn more about each other.


What kind of topics/entries would you like to see me posting about? Any particular questions you've always wanted to ask me but have resisted because the answer would be a huge essay? Ever want to wind me up and watch me go on a particular topic? Anything you've heard me say, "I should write that entry about XYZ I've been meaning to write" and have been patiently waiting for**?

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

* What's crazy is that as a guinea pig owner, I actually have thoughts on alfalfa.

** It pains me to end a sentence with a preposition. Yes, even when I didn't write the sentence. Yes, I know I'm outdated. Yes, I know I'm strange.
juushika: Photograph of a row of books on a library shelf. (Books Once More)
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] century_eyes and [livejournal.com profile] merrycalliope and maybe a few others besides: A book meme.

* Grab the nearest book.
* Open the book to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

She watched his looks with anxious affection, and their expression was always faithfully reflected in her own.
The Mysteries of Udolpho, Ann Radcliffe

Of the four books equidistant to me (it was a library day, shush), none of them have good lines at that specific location. Disappointing? A little.
juushika: Screen capture of the Farplane from Final Fantasy X: a surreal landscape of waterfalls and flowers. (Anime/Game)
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] tabular_rasa, a meme that I'm actually in love with—and a music meme, no less! This is unusual.

Put your music player on shuffle, and write down the first line of the first twenty songs. Post the poem that results.

Simple, I know, but the results are intriguing—sometimes funny, sometimes unexpectedly deep, but lines tend to find a way to group together rather tellingly. [livejournal.com profile] century_eyes: if you're still in search of some ideal-fuel for writing or photo'ing or otherwise creating a story, there's a lot to be found this way—it's making me itch to write, myself. True to form, I cannot leave well alone and took the liberty to skip a few songs and rearrange others, more in the second set than the first (there are two because it's hard to stop with just one). The second is also longer because ... it wanted to be.

The first, pulled off my personal playlist on Zune:

You know my darling I can't stand to sleep alone
The dreams are coming, wild and still
I have worked out every small detail
For those who slept

Doctors have come from distant cities just to see me
C'mon Billie, come to me
I have driven those roads so many times
Well it's three a.m., I'm out here riding again

Seems that I have been held, in some dreaming state
I am in love with you
Just for now
Unknown, talks to unknown

Doing the mess around
Who made up all the rules?
Mother spent ten years sitting by a window (scared if she spoke she would die of a heart attack)
A retinue of moons, of icy moons

In and out on this same path that I followed for years
Hang on, traveling woman
Here's the day you hoped would never come.
I don't mind being alone.

One more. )

I love the story in the first, which came together all by its onesie (I only had to help with the last line, which initially wanted to be "Hello, boys"—good but not so complete). The second mixes its metaphors a bit, but I love where it gets to—especially "I saw you in my bedroom again last night / I let the beast in too soon," which is begging to find a story to settle in. It meshes so well with all the Kiernan I've been (re)reading that I just can't get it out of my head. Ah, but I blather. It's a fun meme. You should post you less-tortured, potentially more amusing takes on it.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
I only answer this because the answers that have been appearing on my flist delight me.

[Error: unknown template qotd]

Woof (the dog): OMG! I love you. Touch me. Touch me more. Is it guinea pig time? OMG I think it might be guinea pig time! Let us pet the guinea pigs! Together! Hey are they gonna eat that?

Maidson (the cat): For I am great queen of the universe, and all lower beings must bow down to me. I think today shall be "sleep on the paper bag day." The paper bag does make beautiful noise, which delights my even-more-beautiful ears. Oh, hello. I didn't realize you were listening. Pet me?

Dude (the cat): I love you. I looooooove you. I love you more than I've ever loved everyone before. Pet me. Hold me. Allow me to climb upon you and shove my purring love in your face. I love you. You are my favorite person in whole world until someone else enters the room. Hold me...

Kuzco (the guinea pig): Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you, that's all I'm saying. Also: FOOOOOD! FOOD FOOD FOOOOOD TIME FOOD!

Alfie (the guinea pig): ...

Okay with Alfie I admit I'm stuck. I can't even pretend to imagine what Alfie is thinking, much less what he would say. I believe he thinks not in desires or thoughts as we know them, but in alien beeps and pauses—like Morse code, only undecipherable, and constantly punctuated by desires for carrots. So if he has words, it is a loud call for food. But the rest is nonsense not even Kuzco could understand.

Jamie (the dog): As far as we're concerned, James does talk in the best human-decipherable English she can manage in silence and as a dog.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
At the request of [livejournal.com profile] sisterite('s meme): 36 questions for you to answer, tucked away in a convenient text box.

There's some surprisingly good questions, actually. If you are anything like me, you will find 36 a fair ton, however. Because what fun, or good, would be a one-word answer? Feel free to use more than one reply, or to cherry-pick what interests you. But I would indeed love to read your responses.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
Friends filter is off. IP logging is off. Anonymous Commenting is on. Say something.

Leave a note, a confession, a picture, a secret, a desire. Leave anything you want. Whether you are a friend, a stranger, or a visitor, leave something. Do so anonymously, and I will not try to figure out who you are.


juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)

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