Intro post

Feb. 2nd, 2020 08:57 pm
erinptah: nebula (Default)
This isn't my most happening social-media outlet, but it's the longest and most-stable one I've ever been on, so I'm not going anywhere.

Some content is mirrored on a Wordpress blog at [wordpress.com profile] erinptah ([syndicated profile] erinptah_feed). Locked personal posts and [livejournal.com profile] fail_fandomanon link roundups are exclusive to DW. Fic recs and regular(ish) work roundups are exclusive to Wordpress.

Writing, artwork, and more:


[personal profile] ptahrrific - fanfiction and mixes
[archiveofourown.org profile] ErinPtah - fanfiction
[deviantart.com profile] ErinPtah - fanart, original art
[tumblr.com profile] bicatperson - fanart, webcomic stuff
Erin Ptah on Patreon - original work updates, patron-locked bonuses

Other social media to say hi on:


[instagram.com profile] erinptah - comics, cat photos
[twitter.com profile] ErinPtah - general chatter, webcomic fanart/meta
[facebook.com profile] erin.ptah - nothing much, but friend me if you want

Webcomics!


But I'm A Cat Person

But I'm A Cat Person: Two ordinary graduates adopt a puppy…which turns out to be a magical shapeshifting battle monster. Now one of them is involved in a soul-binding ownership contract, rich and powerful people are lurking around looking to challenge them, and they still can’t find any companies that are hiring.

Featuring adventure, politics, magic, and lesbians. Combines the struggle of modern-day underemployed geeky millennials with the ethical dilemmas that you normally try not to think about while playing Pokémon.

Leif & Thorn

Leif & Thorn: Sparkly queer bilingual fantasy comedy. Dragonslaying hero Thorn Estragon and his team of loyal knights are assigned to guard a foreign embassy; Leif works there as a gardener, serving his native Sønheim in order to pay off a mysterious debt. Thorn doesn’t speak Leif’s language too well when they first meet — but he’s about to find a lot of reasons to learn.

Featuring trauma recovery, slow-burn romance, cross-cultural communication, and trying to pick the perfect song for karaoke night.

(Also still available: full archives of And Shine Heaven Now, the world's second-most-popular Hellsing-related comic.)
erinptah: nebula (Default)
"What's a dirty secret that everybody in your industry knows about but anyone outside of your line of work would be scandalized to hear?" Twitter thread, both DMs in screenshot and direct replies.

"An investigation found that [Tokyo Medical University] had reduced all medical school applicants’ initial test scores by 20%, before inflating the scores of male applicants’ exams."

"Some executives argued that women’s traditional expertise at painstaking activities like knitting and weaving manifested precisely this mind-set. (The 1968 book “Your Career in Computers” stated that people who like “cooking from a cookbook” make good programmers.)"

"At first, the military doctors in Germany refused to admit her, saying it was just period cramps [...] Finally, almost exactly a year after Lipe first started experiencing the pain, a private, nonmilitary reproductive endocrinologist and general surgeon in Jacksonville, Florida, figured out what was wrong with her — multiple small pelvic hernias caused by the ill-fitting body armor. It took two one-hour appointments, her records show, and they knew exactly how to fix it."

"Somehow, my personal autonomy, my health and my comfort didn’t rate high enough to outrank the desires of my future, then-nonexistent partner. And nothing I said could change my doctors’ minds, not the stories about my frequently dislocating hips, my mom’s complicated pregnancies or the increased rate of miscarriage and preterm labor for EDS patients." (Inconsistent attempts to use trans-inclusive language, but the point is serious.)

"The photo went viral because many viewers noticed how beautiful the subject was before they noticed his prosthetic leg. The image also landed me in Facebook jail. Facebook deleted it and suspended my account for six months. It was only after a huge public outcry and media inquiry did Facebook reinstate the photo, but shortly after reinstating it, they once again removed it, and my account was again banned."

"11 percent of users older than 65 shared a hoax, while just 3 percent of users 18 to 29 did. Facebook users ages 65 and older shared more than twice as many fake news articles than the next-oldest age group of 45 to 65, and nearly seven times as many fake news articles as the youngest age group (18 to 29)."
erinptah: Madoka and Homura (madoka)
Did my first Wizard World this year -- not in Artists Alley, didn't get under the sign-up cutoff, but I'm so local (to the Cleveland version) that it made sense to go just for market research. (Also, fun. There was that too.)

So here's how that went.

Friday

guy stopped at a booth trying to guess the ID of a magnificent X-Men cosplayer. She's trying to give hints, saying her powerset, striking the movie-poster pose...he seems to be naming random well-known female characters, nobody she looks like at all.
6:21 PM - 8 Mar 2019

I walk past behind him and call, "Psylocke!" Cosplayer lights up, nods/waves. Dude doesn't even register it, keeps trying to guess.

Kinda wish I'd stayed around long enough to hear whether he ever figured it out.
6:26 PM - 8 Mar 2019

He was in anime cosplay, so a genuine geek! Just...overconfident about the percentage of X-Men lore he'd picked up. (Dude, the lady wearing jet-black hair is not iconic redhead Jean Grey, nor iconic skunk-stripe-head Rogue...)
8:30 PM - 8 Mar 2019

Kid watching me draw: "Wow! That looks like a real cartoon!"

And then he asked if my eraser was a lucky rock.
7:57 PM - 8 Mar 2019

Jewelry vendor showed off rack of earrings, earnestly told me "they're for pierced ears, but we can make any of them into clip-ons too!"

...I think she was just rattling off a stock speech out of nerves, because there's no way I look THAT young.
9:53 PM - 8 Mar 2019

Saturday

#WizardWorldCleveland gotta get some loud-voiced volunteers to hold up Line Ends Here signs.

The entry queue has aisles drawn in tape on the floor. Nobody's looking at those, just milling around in a confused blob, and blocking the escalators while they're at it.
3:26 PM - 9 Mar 2019

Audience member at Diversity in Comics panel complains about "the need to put a gay black trans character in every TV show." Uh, what shows are you watching, and can I get recs?
3:49 PM - 9 Mar 2019

Complaints about "forced" diversity and how it doesn't work...in between acknowledging the smash successes of Miles Morales, Kamala Khan, and black Nick Fury. Guys. Listen to yourselves.
4:02 PM - 9 Mar 2019

...anyway, the current Leif & Thorn arc involves a pan black trans woman, who is also a single mom with a disability, which is not something you have to "force" because none of those traits make any of the others less likely! That's not how it works!
11:42 PM - 9 Mar 2019

Trauma presentation that followed was way better prepared and researched. (Speaker even used "triggered" accurately!) And he's persevered really well through the lack of any techie stopping by to hook up his Powerpoint.
5:14 PM - 9 Mar 2019

First con I've been to that was so vendor-focused. There's only about 3 programming things going on at any time...and most of them are *outside* the gated threshold where they check wristbands.
6:20 PM - 9 Mar 2019

Inside is the dealers' room/artist alley, and lots of carefully-scheduled autograph sessions. Plus a few live drawing type events, a photoshoot booth, and places to play games/read manga.
6:23 PM - 9 Mar 2019

Also a stage with live musical performances, but it's right by the entrance, so you can hear perfectly fine from the lobby. You could show up without a ticket and have most of the non-shopping part of the experience for free.
6:27 PM - 9 Mar 2019

Indie comics panel. Q: why indie? Most panelists talk about the various joys and advantages of going your own route. Last one in the line says "Marvel told me no."
6:47 PM - 9 Mar 2019

... and the less funny follow-up is, he stood in line to get Marvel portfolio reviews for years, followed their recommendations, finally someone said "you really are improving, we've seen, it's great, but we still won't hire you because your style is too urban."
6:49 PM - 9 Mar 2019

MC of the costume contest, pre-show banter with the audience, someone mentions Evangelion. "Is THAT how you pronounce it??"
8:57 PM - 9 Mar 2019

I only came here to sit in the back and listen to entertaining banter while I draw, but now I'm legitimately invested in who wins.
9:24 PM - 9 Mar 2019

Only an honorable mention for Flamenco Wonder Woman? She was robbed.
9:30 PM - 9 Mar 2019

Well-deserved prizes for color-changing Sleeping Beauty and gorgeous ballgown Him!

The other winners had high quality and technical precision, but my favorites are the ones that do something special and different with the characters.
9:36 PM - 9 Mar 2019

A stunningly detailed Ruby and Sapphire were also robbed, btw. Had the bad luck to end up in crowded and competitive categories, but even so...
9:39 PM - 9 Mar 2019

Sunday

I've been wearing my Kyuubei hat all weekend, and not a single person has accepted a contract to be a magical girl :(
12:55 PM - 10 Mar 2019

First person in the room for the @3geekspodcast pre-recording banter. At least one of them considered it!
12:57 PM - 10 Mar 2019

Razzing the audience: "This lady in the back is doing her homework." Me: it's a webcomic!

And y'all coulda given me a shoutout. (http://leifandthorn.com , volume 1 on sale now)
1:29 PM - 10 Mar 2019

Honestly bummed to walk out before the end, but the schedule overlapped with the LGBT panel and I wanted this one more.
1:33 PM - 10 Mar 2019

LGBT panel was well worth the whole thing. Speaker didn't use stage or microphone, just hung out in the seats with about 8 of us clustered around. Lots of feelings.
3:02 PM - 10 Mar 2019

Dithered over a bunch of Sunday deals and multifandom merch, but I've only ultimately spent $6. Maybe I'll circle one last time and look for last-second deals on the way out...
3:06 PM - 10 Mar 2019

Secret blog-only follow-up: I got a cookie. When I walked past one of the fandom snack booths, there was a Batman-themed cookie, and I considered getting it for my aunt (her cat's name is Batman), but it was unnervingly expensive.

So I told myself I'd come back at the very end, and in the last 30 minutes, I did. There were finally some low-price deals -- and the Batman cookie was one of only 2 left on the plate. I figured it was a sign.
erinptah: Cat in a backpack (cat)
...is Mystery Series With Incredibly Specific Niches.

She's Amish, and runs a quilt shop, and solves murders!

She's a baker, and has cats, and solves murders! With recipes!

She's a bookseller, and sees ghosts, and solves murders! At least that has a logical link...

How many murders would you expect to encounter, in the normal course of your job, when you're a florist and you cater to weddings? Apparently it's a lot!

And the titles all come in sets, mostly pun-based. I could swear I've shelved books from different cookery-murder series that are both (all?) called "Batter Off Dead." Nora Roberts Writing As J.D. Robb probably dominates the mystery genre in terms of patron popularity, but she's clearly not bringing the best title game.
erinptah: nebula (space)

and of course he remembers his life right up to the start of the first book, but nothing from afterward, and it's the greatest thing ever.

The rest of the characters have been cautioned not to tell him about anything that might give him a "shock." Let's see how well that goes.

Temeraire: Back away from this human, he's my captain!

Laurence: what

Temeraire: And also, an adopted Prince of China!

Laurence: whAT

Temeraire: Laurence, I'm really sorry that I didn't precipitate a major international conflict to rescue you sooner, please don't be mad

Laurence: um???

Granby: Oh dear, now you have to re-learn that we have women serving as officers, including this teenage girl in your crew

Laurence: WHOMST

Granby: Also, these two African kids, whom you took on after...uhhhh...let's not talk about the thing in Africa. Or the thing with the Inca Empire. Or your current rank and status with the military.

Laurence: uh

Admiral Roland (in a letter): you're doing great, sweetie <3

Laurence: uhhh

Temeraire: No, of course you aren't married, and that teenage girl is not your secret daughter!

Laurence: oh thank god

Temeraire: After all, you've only been getting it on with her mom for five years, and when you did propose, you got turned down

Laurence: WHAT

Temeraire: It's fine, she probably wouldn't want to move to Australia anyway

Laurence: wha

Temeraire: you know, the place we got exiled to? after the whole treason thing?

Laurence: W T ACTUAL F

Granby's secret boyfriend: ...yes...I've been awkward around you because of the...treason...definitely not any other sensitive personal info you might remember learning about at any moment

Laurence: ffffffff--

Temeraire: oh no, now you hate me, and you don't even know the worst of it, which is that...because of me...you lost ten thousand pounds

Laurence: ...and?

Temeraire: Uh. Apparently you forgot this too?? Ten thousand pounds is a lot of money

 

erinptah: (daily show)
FTH is a fanwork auction to raise money for a whole bunch of good causes. Here's their 2019 list of nonprofits. When you win an auction, you don't pay the creator of the fanwork -- you donate the money to the cause of your choice.

As usual, I'm offering fanart! Any fandom, and/or original characters; any ship.



Check my bidding spreadsheet to see the current going price, and place your bid here!
erinptah: nebula (Default)
"At first the brothers printed the sayings by hand. Since the lozenges were fairly large, they could accommodate long statements (Victorian favorites included “How long shall I have to wait? Pray be considerate” and “Please send a lock of your hair by return mail”)." The origin of Sweethearts.

"Impressive as this finding about hemimastigotes is on its own, what matters more is that it’s just the latest (and most profound) of a quietly and steadily growing number of major taxonomic additions. Researchers keep uncovering not just new species or classes but entirely new kingdoms of life — raising questions about how they have stayed hidden for so long and how close we are to finding them all." Guys, we found a New Science Thing.

"I emerged from the complicated underworld of toxic shock syndrome science with far more than I bargained for, including a lecture from an elderly man on the “art of making love,” a possible TSS-related upside to having sex early and often, multiple accusations of collusion, and the story of a bitter, decades-long rivalry between two prominent microbiologists. I also learned that everything you think you know about tampons, period sex, and toxic shock syndrome is probably wrong."

"On this page, you will find more information about The Green Hosting Directory. For every country, the list starts with Partners: the [Internet] hosting companies that provide proof of their green claim online."

"Greece has awarded citizenship to three migrant fishermen - two Egyptians and an Albanian - who rescued Greeks from a devastating fire near Athens last July. At a ceremony the Greek President, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, thanked the fishermen for showing "solidarity and humanity" by rescuing dozens of people. 'You are now European citizens too, and so you can teach all our partners who don't realise the values of Europe, to do what they ought to do.'"

"Le Guin – sanguine, curious, unconcerned – looked around at the Venus of Willendorf replica, the flyers advertising knitting circles and separatist meetings, the box set of Dykes to Watch Out For, and said, ‘I like it.’ She walked further into the store. ‘Let’s look around.’"
erinptah: nebula (Default)
After the December talking meme, I figured revisiting this would be a worthy follow-up!

YOU'RE ON MY FRIENDS LIST, I want to know 28 things about you. I don't care if we've never talked, never really clicked, or if we already know everything about each other. I really don't. You are obviously on my flist, so let me know with whom I'm friends!

1. Your Middle Name:
2. Age:
3. Single or Taken:
4. Favorite Movie:
5. Favorite Song or Album:
6. Favorite Band/Artist:
7. Dirty or Clean:
8. Tattoos and/or Piercings:
9. Do we know each other outside of LJ/DW the Internet?
10. What's your philosophy on life?
11. Is the bottle half-full or half-empty?
12. Would you keep a secret from me if you thought it was in my best interest?
13. What is your favorite memory of us?
14. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
15. Tell me one odd/interesting fact about you:
16. You can have three wishes (for yourself, so forget all the 'world peace etc' malarky) - what are they?
17. Can we get together and make a cake?
18. Which country is your spiritual home?
19. What is your big weakness?
20. Do you think I'm a good person?
21. What was your best/favorite subject at school?
22. Describe your accent
23. If you could change anything about me, would you?
24. What do you wear to sleep?
25. Trousers or skirts?
26. Cigarettes or alcohol?
27. If I only had one day to live, what would we do together? (If you have no idea, just say something crazy, it'll entertain me!)
28. Will you repost this so I can fill it out for you?
erinptah: (daily show)
"Settled in their new countries, as years and sometimes decades go by, they often find these objects precious reminders of the lives left behind. They're cherished long after the crisis has passed. In some cases, these keepsakes remind refugees and migrants of an essential part of who they are. NPR's story about how a toy monkey ended up becoming a connection to a previously unknown part of a German boy's family inspired us to look for other similar stories."

"The president’s video posted Wednesday did not shield the faces of special operation forces. Current and former Defense Department officials told Newsweek that information concerning what units are deployed and where is almost always classified and is a violation of operational security."

"Attorneys general from nine states and the District of Columbia wrote the court in January, 2017, urging the judge not to approve the recall process. The notices weren’t descriptive or informative enough, they noted, and Remington hadn’t even tried to find its rifles’ owners. [...] But in March 2017, Smith approved the settlement. By then, only 22,000 people had sent in their Model 700s. That left as many as seven million unfixed rifles in circulation — “guns,” the attorneys general noted, “that might go off accidentally at any time.”"

"Hate crime reports increased 17 percent last year from 2016, the F.B.I. said on Tuesday, rising for the third consecutive year as heated racial rhetoric and actions have come to dominate the news." (Notice the use of the passive voice, here.)

"I’ve long understood that the dangers of global warming are real and rising. I’ve seen its power firsthand in the form of receding glaciers, dried lake beds, and Sierra tree stands taken down by bark beetles. This is the first time, though, that I smelled and tasted it in my home."

"I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America. A glimpse of the suburban grotesque, featuring Russian mobsters, Fox News rage addicts, a caged man in a sex dungeon, and Dick Cheney." (Note: it's got sexual harassment & homophobia in the mix.) (On the plus side, it prompted me to offer this morning's cable guy a -- much-needed, as it turned out -- bathroom break.)
erinptah: nebula (hellsing)
Okay, these threads may all not be from 2018 -- I haven't done a [community profile] fail_fandomanon roundup in, uh, a while -- but I'm using this as an excuse to offload them all anyway.

A statistics anon did round up the 10 most active threads of 2018. There's the Tumblr implosion, the Yuletide lead-up, some multifandom threads...and a whole lot of Infinity War and Voltron, which I almost totally missed.

The final thread (with links to the rest) of Nonnie Reads Anger Is A Gift, in which someone else digs into all the failings of this book so you don't have to. (Notable because the author, Mark Oshiro, has built a career on social-justice criticism of other writers...and then he goes ahead and writes classic Bury Your Gays, aggravating plot holes, "a crowd of people picks up a disabled kid by the wheelchair without asking," and "narrator thinks 'this was what it took...he didn't know if it was enough' when his Hispanic lesbian supposedly-BFF gets beaten up by cops.")

"Linking historical events with supernatural influences/agents in fiction: What do nonnies think about this? Is it okay when the events are beyond living memory (‘the Beast of Gévaudan really was a werewolf’ or ‘the French Revolution and Reign of Terror were engineered by vampires’ or whatever) but not when they are more recent?" Good discussion.

"Should you warn for period attitudes towards minorities when discussing or recommending a book written in that period?" Another one. Covers a lot of different situations and nuances.

Studies indicating that sex ed is a good and healthy thing. In case someone wants you to back that up.

Jobs You Have Had: "What are they? Did you love, like, hate them? Any special skills a particular job really needs that aren't commonly known?"

Wildest experiences with rich people: "I used to work at a store that catered to women who were generally very wealthy and very cheap. I still remember the customer who returned a $600 set of dishes because they weren't dishwasher safe. This was a problem, she said, because "the help" took too long to handwash them and she'd have to pay them for the extra work hours."

"Disability in fandom: Your experiences? I'm still amused by how many people think it's impossible for blind people to use computers."

"Weird/dumb things you believed as a child." Unfailingly entertaining.

"What things did you like to do as a child that don't fit within the widespread typical expectations of 'how kids play'?" Same.

"Which [canons] blew your mind, changed your mind, or just taught you something or introduced you to something that deeply impacted your worldview?"

"It's just that bara tends towards the two body types of Man Subdermally Smuggling Watermelons and Man Subdermally Smuggling Watermelons But With Some Belly Fat instead of yaoi's traditional Willowy Man With Large Hands and Taller Willowy Man With Larger Hands!"

"Give Us Your Best Sith Name. Remember, you’re competing with Darth Insanius and Darth Icky."

And finally, an enterprising poet!anon writes of the passing of LJ fandom...
I met a commenter from an antique site,
Who said—“Two vast inactive comms of fics
Stand in the LJ. ... Near them, in style light,
A sad calendar lies, and links,
To sister comms and dead affiliates.
We see its users once those fanworks read
Which yet survive, behind these broken cuts;
The fans that sporked them, and the wanks they fed;
And on the profile page, these words appear:
"My name is Social Network, Megafandom;
Look on my Works, ye trendy, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal comm, boundless and bare
The self-replying spambots chat away.”
erinptah: Cat in a backpack (cat)

Finishing up the December talking meme, a respectably-short amount of time into January: Kaldra wanted me to write about cats.

Cats are great. They're beautiful, they're nerds, they're helpful, they're doofuses, they're adorable. I finally got on Instagram this year, and I'm making sure my gallery has a healthy proportion of cats, because I have a heck of a backlog of photos and it's not like I'm doing anything else with them.

I've spent basically all my adult life having Housemates With Cats. This is the beautiful fluff I've been living with since summer:

Cat on sketchbook

He is the cuddliest critter you ever will meet. He insists on sitting on my sketchbooks, sometimes when I'm in the middle of drawing in them. Every night when I go to bed, he follows me in and spends several minutes diligently licking my face.

I'm scheduled to move out tomorrow, to a place with no housemates, much less cats. Yet. There are vague cat-acquiring plans farther in the future. (I definitely want to get all the furniture in place first.)

erinptah: nebula (Default)

It makes people think every government program is coming to a screeching halt -- and if there are no visible effects on their lives, their next thought will be "wow, what do we need government for anyway??"

Even though, if the operation of the federal government did really shut down, they would Notice.

Imagine if all flights were grounded because the TSA wasn't in service. Imagine if Social Security checks went on hold, and Medicare service stopped being covered. Imagine no mail being delivered. Imagine how everyone with an international business would feel if the borders were actually closed, even for a very short time. Imagine not a single member of the Secret Service being on-duty.

And, on a slight time-delay, imagine the outbreaks of e.coli that could happen while the FDA isn't checking your food, or the terrorist attacks that could be planned while the FBI isn't listening.

What's really happening is "lots of government employees are continuing to come to work without getting paid."

...which is kind of amazing, if you think about it. Anyone who doesn't work in public service: imagine if your boss said "hey, listen, you're not getting your next paycheck, but keep coming to work anyway, we'll have you covered eventually." You wouldn't believe it for a second. You'd assume there was bankruptcy on the horizon. Maybe you'd stay long enough to raid the supply closet, but the next day would be spent sleeping in, watching Netflix, and updating your resume.

(Congress, btw, is not included in this deferment. Because of course they're not.)

(December talking meme.)
 

erinptah: nebula (Default)

What it says on the tin.

A response to various facets of Discourse...and if you cringed just reading that phrase, feel free to skip the whole thing. I'll completely understand.

In no particular order...

Strive in all things to be thoughtful and be chill. )

(December talking meme.)

erinptah: Cat in christmas lights (christmas)
Shard prompted "List off any gifts you received over the holidays, and if you'd like and/or want to fill space, tell us which one(s) you like most and why."

Okay, first one is this lovely Yuletide fic, which I'm pretty sure is the longest I've ever gotten, phwoah:

Holiday Hours (find us where we want to be) (11338 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 2/2
Fandom: Pet Shop of Horrors
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Count D/Leon Orcot, Chris Orcot & Leon Orcot, Chris Orcot & Pon-chan & T-chan | Tetsu, Count D & Chris Orcot & Leon Orcot
Characters: Chris Orcot, Leon Orcot, Count D (Pet Shop of Horrors), T-chan | Tetsu (Pet Shop of Horrors), Pon-chan (Pet Shop of Horrors), Honlon (briefly)
Additional Tags: Found Family, Christmas Fluff, Unresolved Emotional Tension, Surprise Party, POV Alternating, Yuletide 2018
Summary:

Where a pet shop in Chinatown explores the true meaning of Christmas, and what was obvious all along is finally realized. At least, in part.

Featuring, the cast of:

A Very Oblivious Detective (Leon Orcot)
A Very Put Upon Shop Owner (Count D)
All I Want For Christmas Is to Make People Happy (Chris Orcot)
A Merry Band of Misfits (T-chan and Pon-chan)
And Background Gossips (who ship it)



I haven't even gotten a chance to comment yet, it's so long -- but if you're in the fandom, go give it some kudos.

There are some family visits coming up in January, and more things designated Christmas Presents will be handed around then. Like I said in an earlier post, we're not real sentiment about specific dates.

So far: all the RL gifts are practical and useful, but not much to blog about. Literally towels, hangers, a chest of drawers, an afghan, a vacuum cleaner. A couple of large checks, some of which is getting invested in fandom merch (there are a few webcomic collections I've had my eye on), most of which will go toward rent, groceries, and my IRA.

Adulthood, everyone!
erinptah: Vintage screensaver (computing)
“A 61-year-old person in my sample told me that they lived the vast majority of their life as though they were a gay man and was mistaken often as a drag queen after coming out. They didn’t discover nonbinary until they were in their 50s, and it was a freeing moment of understanding that nothing is wrong. They didn’t have to force themselves into the gay-man or trans-woman box — they could just be them. They described it as transcendent.

"Evelyn Berezin, a computer pioneer who emancipated many a frazzled secretary from the shackles of the typewriter nearly a half-century ago by building and marketing the first computerized word processor, died on Saturday in Manhattan. [...] Ms. Berezin held nine computer-related patents."

"Motto and his team had enough data to determine that their work was unprecedented in the history of suicide research. In the first two years following hospitalization, the suicide rate of the control group was nearly twice as high as that of the contact group."

Parallax in action. (Someone put a light on a model train, then drove it around a dark room and filmed the beautiful shadows.)

"The people making these memes obviously have never seen some of the weird ass shit in old-timey photos." (Contains B&W vintage photography of what is definitely an old-timey fursuit.)

CollegeHumor sketch: the CEO of Tumblr makes the slow-building discovery of what all the content on his site is.

By the way, if you're on Discord, come take a look at the Comic Tea Party webcomic discussion group! They host regular chats on a variety of comics – and Leif & Thorn is scheduled for January 17.

A few more webcomic discord servers I'm on: SpiderForest Collective, Comicadia, and StArt Faire. (I sure hope all those links are current. Discord is...weird about that.)
erinptah: Cat in christmas lights (christmas)
"Democrats in North Carolina earned 48.3 percent of the total vote cast in House races but appeared to win only three seats; Republicans had 50.4 percent of the vote and won at least nine seats." The poisonous effects of gerrymandering. With maps!

"If they’re good people looking for refuge, we’re Americans and we should have a heart and we should try to help them. [...] How much suffering and effort are they putting forth to get to our border? They are after some freedom and liberty and a better life." When literally Cliven Bundy thinks your immigration policy is racist and terrible, whoo boy.

"Toronto police are investigating a fire they believe was deliberately set at a Toronto hotel housing refugees [in October], stoking fears in some that it was motivated by anti-migrant sentiment."

"Ivanka, a White House senior adviser, used a personal account to send hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, cabinet officials and her assistants – many in violation of federal records rules." Because of course she did.

"As a 17-year-old girl scout, Cassandra Levesque led a campaign to end child marriage in New Hampshire, and was brushed aside by a state legislator. [...] Rather than being deterred, Ms. Levesque decided to take her crusade a step further: She ran for the State Legislature herself, and won." Such a power move. (I remember the original news story, and I am loving the sequel.)

"We were all really supportive at the beginning [...] We figured we didn’t know all the facts and something would happen and this won’t be a long-term thing." So...next time Trump says something that doesn't make sense, will you keep assuming that he's actually right because of secret facts that only he knows, or will you catch on?

"By the administration’s own estimate, on its current course (if nations around the world do nothing more to respond to the climate change threat) the planet will warm by 7 degrees by the end of the century. It means, as one Twitter commentator pointed out, that climate change is not only real, but catastrophic… and the response is to burn more carbon because we’re all dead anyway." As always, the people running the con job know exactly how disastrous their ideas are. They just don't care.

"Six degrees of separation? That sick bastard was in my passenger seat. And I didn’t know because I was too busy loudly proclaiming that I was just exactly the sort of man who couldn’t be trusted with knowing." (At least for some people, the delayed self-awareness eventually kicks in.)

"Scott Warren has a far stronger claim as to the sincerity of his religious beliefs than Hobby Lobby did. He has a far stronger claim to such devout sincerity than any of the no-cakes-for-gays bakers or florists, too. [...] Warren’s actions on behalf of immigrants are in accord with the most-repeated commandment of the Hebrew scriptures and with the very founding of Christianity at Pentecost in the New Testament." I'm guessing it won't, but, listen, good for this guy.

"But [research on actually-proven-false rape accusations] suggests that every part of this narrative is wrong. What’s more, it’s wrong in ways that help real rapists escape justice, while perversely making it more likely that we will miss the signs of false reports." Important!

(Putting this on the December talking meme.)
erinptah: Cat in christmas lights (christmas)
Going back as far as possible for [personal profile] jesse_the_k's prompt, "Something you read|watched|listened to before high school that you still think of fondly today."

(And actually keeping it short this time, for once.)

When I was in kindergarten, my parents told me "hey, you're going to sit down with the principal and vice principal and read them a chapter of The Hobbit."

Many, many years later, it clicked that, hey, that was probably a test. Parents were trying to get school to recognize that kid was reading waaaay above grade level, school officials figured parents were being starry-eyed and unrealistic about their kid's abilities, a proof-of-concept demonstration was arranged.

But they wisely didn't tell me that, and I just figured, hey, this is a great book and anyone would enjoy having it read to them, so why not?

Bag End

I read chapter 2 -- past all the character introduction, but not so far into the adventure that you can't pick up the continuity. It's the one where they nearly get eaten by trolls, and are saved by some last-minute Gandalf counter-trolling.

Also, probably the funniest chapter. Not sure whether that was chosen deliberately, but it worked out well -- the officials could tell I understood what I was reading, because I laughed at all the right parts.

There are "series I discovered young and still appreciate" that are more kid-accessible -- the Oz books, Calvin and Hobbes, the Bailey School Kids, Madeline, Narnia, Aliens Ate My Homework, and half a dozen classic Cartoon Network shows all come to mind. But I didn't actually discover those first. Whereas Dad was an old-school D&D nerd, so a copy of The Hobbit was right within reach.

(December talking meme.)
erinptah: nebula (Default)
An anonymous commenter wanted to know (if it wasn't too spoilery), "I'd love to hear about Thorn's previous relationships, how they ended and why. Why is it he wasn't dating at the start. Who was his first heartbreak that you hinted at? Ditto for Leif."

Some of this will actually come up in the strip in a few weeks! So anyone who wants to experience it there totally unprepared, skip the rest of this entry.

No spoilers for any of the larger plot arcs, though.

Thorn:

  • First boyfriend: they were middle-school-aged, it was very cute, then the other kid's family moved away.

  • Second boyfriend: a couple years later. The guy had a thing about lying to make himself look good -- not so different from Holly's boasting in Fish Story, except that it was a long-term problem. When one of Thorn's moms died, and Thorn switched from "captivated audience" to "person in acute need of support," the boyfriend broke it off.

  • So the breakup was pretty scalding, but the loss of his mother was the real heartbreak. Thorn's emotions were really shut-down over the next few years, right into when he started military training. It was also during this time he settled on the idea that all the stress in his parents' marriage came from how much his mom "had to travel for work," so if he was going to be a knight, he couldn't have a serious romance for the duration.

  • He tried a bit of casual dating during the early days, found it unsatisfying, and gave up on the whole prospect...until now.


Leif:

  • Never dated in school. His parents' arrest happened before he got a chance to start. He wasn't pulled out of class and thrown straight into servitude, but his new status wasn't a secret, either.

  • He's had a string of friends-with-benefits arrangements with other servants, rarely lasting more than a few months.

  • Something I haven't settled on yet: we know it was highly exploitative when Leif got offered up as Stanczia and Imri's dubiously-consensual dinner. And we know it's legally possible to rent an indentured servant for sex, even without their uncoerced consent. It hasn't come up in the strip whether that's also happened to Leif or not. (Not that these would be relationships, but they sure would affect why he's reluctant to have any.)

  • So if I put that on the table, will it be a Buffy-style "the metaphor was covering your point just fine, and then you threw in non-metaphorical sexual assault and it made everything weird" situation?

  • Or if I leave it off, is that a case of "hang on, this is supposed to be a slaveowning regime, don't whitewash the awfulness of that by softpedaling any of the consequences"?


(Thoughts welcome!)
erinptah: (daily show)
I feel like Daily/Colbert fandom was destined not to survive the move to Tumblr.

Not least because there was no easy way to cordon off your RPF (or RPF-adjacent) discussion/fanworks/squee from the (very broad) general population of People Who Watch The Daily Show.



On top of that, the changing hosts didn't leave us much to go on.

Huge swaths of the legal online video archives were dropped, meaning new fans were locked out of access to the material.

There was no obvious replacement to fill the gap of "two young handsome men with a shamelessly homoerotic friendship."

John Oliver has done a lot toward "rich character-based quasi-separate reality with a funny internal mythology," but on a premium network with a smaller reach.



And I'm probably not the only one whose general ability to watch news-comedy shows has dropped off pretty hard.

Starting before the election, when some of them were making lazy jokes that reinforced sexist narratives people were buying into, and continuing afterward when even the on-the-ball ones (shoutout to Sam Bee and John Oliver) have had nonstop awful material to work with.

(Still mad about Colbert's sarcastic "yeah, sure, it's totally normal for a grandmother to want access to the nuclear codes." Whenever it's been a grandFATHER running for that position, literally nobody brought it up. Huh. Gee. How 'bout that.)



So it might be for the best that the fandom decline happened at just the right time to leave it mostly-unsullied by this era of politics.

And you all know I'm delighted that Jon and "Stephen" canonically went off to live in a cabin in the woods together.



(Cap from the Christmas special, but we can all assume it's probably the same cabin.)

Doesn't stop me from missing it anyway, that's all.

(Prompted by [personal profile] muccamukk in the December talking meme.)
erinptah: Human Luna (sailor moon)
Still catching up on the December talking meme, going off a prompt from [personal profile] melannen.

At some point when I was in school my family went on a trip -- I think it was either Toronto (out of the country) or San Diego (opposite coast) -- and we passed by this shop that was visibly full of anime merch. This was obviously not on Mom's list of Improving Tourist Stops, but I took one look at that window and by golly we were going in.

Sure enough, the place was packed with obscure stuff. Floor to ceiling. I only had eyes for the Sailor Moon merch (this must've been pre-Hellsing, even), and it did not disappoint. Lots of imports in the original Japanese packaging, including dolls that were actually on-model, and notebooks/stickers going all the way up to the Starlights, and all kinds of stuff.

Most of it I held onto from then all the way up until six months ago, when I did that big pre-move giveaway.

Here's the one thing I kept:



Lil' Sailor Moon coin bank! With the pose from the end of her SMR transformation -- and the DiC logo, so, not an import? Actual North-America-licensed merchandise that you'd think I would've been able to purchase anywhere in the US?

But I never saw anything like it in the various local nerd stores back home, before or since. So I'm glad I snagged it when I did.

Maybe one of these days I'll even actually use it for coins.

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erinptah: nebula (Default)
Where the towels are oh so fluffy
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