Interesting Links for 18-10-2017

Oct. 18th, 2017 12:00 pm

QotD

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] dglenn

"If you want to change the future, start living as if you're already there." -- Lynn Conway, 2013-07-14

[Though I think taking it too far and living as if "I don't have to work toward this because it's already done," might be counterproductive. Still work to make the change you want catch up to you.]

Hard Things

Oct. 18th, 2017 12:09 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?

Desire becomes more of a need

Oct. 17th, 2017 09:51 pm
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
[personal profile] fayanora
There's this book Alex has had on his Amazon wishlist for a long time, NATURAL SATANIC WITCHCRAFT - Traditional,Spiritual,Orthodox (Volume 1)" by Kindra Ravenmoon, that he wants mainly for the fact it contains "malevolent uses for gemstones," information we can't find anywhere else.

Well before, this was just a curiosity and not a very high priority thing, but now I'm doing the Dalia Ravenstone story, I now feel this book has become something I NEED, since those malevolent uses for gemstones could come very much in handy for this story at some point along the way. The book is only basically $23 (and trust me, that's pretty much the cheapest I can find it anywhere), so I'll probably get it next month with something else for the free shipping. But man, that feels ages away right now, and $23 is a lot of money for a book. I rarely spend more than about $10 for any book. But that information about malevolent uses for gemstones is just too tempting to resist much longer.

Of course, if anyone else wants to buy it for me now and send it to me in a few days, I would be glad to pay you back plus interest when I get money again November 3rd.

Gah. That reminds me, I also need the first volume of The Crystal Bible. It took me like, a year or more to figure out that I had *volume* 2, not *edition* 2. Only figured it out because it didn't have rose quartz in it. (Though lilac quartz ended up being better for what I wanted than rose quartz was.)

(Yes, I could just make something up, but I'm trying to make magic in the Ravenstone universe as close to real-world magick as possible, just a lot more powerful. And honestly, it's easier to buy this book and see what this list entails than it would be to try to think of things myself, since I don't know much about the *regular* magical uses for gemstones; I keep having to look things up online.)

Med Care Pro-Tip!

Oct. 17th, 2017 06:19 pm
peristaltor: (Default)
[personal profile] peristaltor
When you find yourself in an uncomfortable waiting room, vomit loudly. You will be whisked to somewhere more private lickety-spit!

(Ooo, maybe not a great word choice to close THAT sentence….)

In other updates, still no diagnosis.

Animal Houses

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:26 pm
captainsblog: (Default)
[personal profile] captainsblog
Oddly, our most annoying companion- Michelle the evil cat- has given us the least to write about over the past few days. Here's the rest of the menagerie news.

I awoke Sunday morning to a Facebook feed full of bad news from near and far. One friend, in Philadelphia, was awakened overnight by gunshots outside, and she soon learned that they had hit a man two doors down from her. (He later died of his wounds.) Another, closer to here in a suburb on the other side of Buffalo, was also awakened overnight- by a drunk driver, who sped down her quiet side street, hit a parked car, came to a brief rest in her front garden and finally gave one more push to crash into her front porch. (He ran away and was caught three doors down; everybody inside the house was fine, but if the parked car and garden hadn't slowed down the idiot, my friend's son on the other side of the porch wall might not have lived.)

So it seemed hardly in that league of news to realize that Zoey, our youngest kitty and perhaps our sweetest-ever furry friend, had gotten out during the night. No sign of her when the bowls went down, but moments later there was mewing at the back door. It hadn't been raining and was stupidly warm that night, so there's no way to tell if she got out on the dog run at 9, midnight or 4, but there she was....

and, after we got back from Eleanor's checkup on Monday afternoon, there the fleas were. It's amazing how quickly she can pick them up out there. We then attempted to hold her down long enough to medicate her for it- and off she went, flying into an unknown corner but not before getting a good bite in on Mommy in the process. She finally turned up under the guest futon, was toweled into submission, and was back to purring a few hours later. (In front of a heat register, which by then was putting heat out instead of the air conditioning of a day earlier. Welcome to Buffalo in October.)

----

Yesterday, the kitty news was from afar: Cameron was at a lumberyard, and a nearly newborn kitten came across his path. Here's how Eleanor reported the conversations about it with Emily:

Clearly abandoned. No one else doing anything about it. He brought her home, where they already have two cats, all their lease will allow them. They called all the local SPCAs, which were closed. Somehow they got in touch with a local rescue person, who promised to pick the little one up [the next] morning, and during the night (the rescue woman works nights) texted Emily with tips on how to care for such a little baby (they think she just opened her eyes shortly before she was found).

Emily kept saying last night and this morning, that she felt sad that she wasn’t “able to do something substantial for her”. I said no, she DID do something substantial for her! If Cam hadn’t picked her up, and the two of them hadn’t done everything they did, she probably would have died without her momma! She stands a better chance of living because of Em and Cam! I sent Em this:

🏆Best Human Beings of the Day Award!


Once I saw her picture, I was sure they were done for, and they (or we) would wind up with her-



-but they made the handoff just fine today, and kitty stands a much better chance of finding a good forever home because of them.

---

That leaves our dear old dog, and I do mean old; she'll be 15 in a couple of months.  I'd been putting off Ebony's annual vet visit to the limit just because of how much it stresses her out, but we were out of meds after today and that's when I was able to make the appointment for.  As she's done the past several times, she showed her initial displeasure by taking a dump in the waiting room- then panting and pacing the whole time we waited in between the tech and the vet coming in.  But when they're actually working with her (and plying her with treats), she's fine- and other than being down a couple of pounds, her vitals were all good and her chronic symptoms- some eye glaze and some puffiness in the hind legs- don't seem to be any worse or causing her any problems.  They took her back for her heartworm test draw and a mani-pedi- which reminded me to do the same for Zoey when I got home.  Everybody's now home, fed and free of stress and distress.

Even Michelle, who will likely shit in my shoe just because I said nice things about her:P


Essay Prompt: How Old are You?

Oct. 18th, 2017 12:23 am
cahwyguy: (Default)
[personal profile] cahwyguy

A meme is going around Facebook highlighting a draft HHS Standard that supposedly defines life as beginning at conception. As Snopes notes: “Conservatives and pro-life organizations have welcomed the change as a much-needed corrective to Obama-era policies, but women’s health and pro-choice advocates see it as a harbinger of future federal efforts to restrict access to medical services such as contraceptives and abortion.” As an example, Snopes quotes the document’s second paragraph: “HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of 61 activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.

I was thinking about this proposed definition this morning. In many ways, it struck me as lip-service to the notion of life beginning at conception, just as the whole abortion debate is lip-service concern about life (for, after all, if there was real concern about life, then that concern would continue after the child is born — ensuring health care and minimal living standards).

Just like we know that a concert isn’t over until the instruments stay off the stage and the house lights come up, “life begins at conception” won’t be the real until there is elimination of the birthday. After all, why celebrate the day you were born if that isn’t when your life began. Being born becomes just another milestone, like starting kindergarten or going to college. Get rid of the birthday entirely. Put the date of conception on the drivers license. All those age based limits — those are based on birthday, not conception day. You should be able to vote at 18¾. Drink at 21¾. Collect social security at 65¾.

But as long as our society remains centered around the birthday, the whole notion of “life begins at conception” is bullshit. In society, life begins when you are born or able to live independently from your parent’s body. Earlier than that, and you are theirs to do with. You are, pure and simple, a body part. You are like a fingernail, or a finger, or excess belly fat. It sounds crass, but that’s what it is. If you are unable to get a government ID card or a social security number, are you alive?

 

I’m not saying this all to be silly. There is a reason that the Supreme Court decided as they did in Rowe v. Wade. If the foetus cannot live independently, the mother must have the right to treat it as any other part of their body. Once it can live outside their body, it can apply for a social security number and get a birthdate. Conception date is not a birthday.

===> Click Here To Comment <==This entry was originally posted on Observations Along the Road as Essay Prompt: How Old are You? by cahwyguy. Although you can comment on DW, please make comments on original post at the Wordpress blog using the link to the left you can sign in with your LJ, FB, or a myriad of other accounts. PS: If you see share buttons above, note that they do not work outside of the Wordpress blog.

Cooking class in Kyoto, January 2015

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:01 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Posted by Toby from Glamorous in Retrospect | http://wp.me/p5ldry-6A

(Resurrecting a post that’s been sitting in the Drafts folder for almost 2 years now, and testing a new crossposting plugin at the same time.)


We are not social people. Well, okay, we’re selectively social. We have our groups of friends that we see now and then, but we don’t generally seek out new acquaintances. This will become important in a bit.


But we do like to cook. When looking for things to do on this trip, Stephanie found this cooking class that covers several Japanese dishes, and includes a main dish of actual Kobe beef. We figured, “Sounds cool!” and signed up.


Read more... )

Tuesday Yardening

Oct. 17th, 2017 04:04 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is sunny and mild to cool. 

I planted 6 double early mix tulips around the barrel garden.  These put out fluffy flowers in warm colors, some solids and others bicolors.

Later I'm hoping to get back out and move firewood from the yard into the woodbin on the porch.

EDIT 10-17-17: We moved one wheelbarrow of wood from the yard to the porch.

EDIT 10-17-17: I went back out and planted 25 mixed crocus around the row of saplings beside the driveway.  These are purple, white, yellow, and white with purple stripes.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Our theme this month was "Otherkin and Other-nesses." I wrote from 1:15 PM to 4:30 AM, so roughly 13 hours 15 minutes, allowing for lunch and supper breaks. I wrote 7 poems on Tuesday and another 6 later in the week.

Participation was lower this time, with 15 comments on LiveJournal and another 45 on Dreamwidth. However, please welcome new prompter [personal profile] elinox, whom you can thank for the second freebie.


Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the October 3, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"Fisheye Lenses"
"The Green Monkey"
"Grow into a Scary Place"
"Liminality"
"Overkineralization"
"The Source of Each Other"
"Telltails"
"Transpeciation"

"Gliding In" (Polychrome Heroics, August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl spillover and Creative Jam)
"Transcend Apparent Limits" (Polychrome Heroics: Cuoio and Chiara, August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl)
"Come Closer in Kinship" (Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses, July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl spillover)


Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, see the unsold poetry list for October 3, 2017. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.

Currently sponsored poems from this fishbowl have been posted. This month's donors include: [personal profile] kengr, [personal profile] mama_kestrel, Anthony & Shirley Barrette, [personal profile] chanter_greenie, and [personal profile] janetmiles. There were no new donors this time.

The Poetry Fishbowl made its $200 goal, so "Transcend Apparent Limits" is the free epic. It also make the $250 goal, so that's three tallies toward a bonus fishbowl, which will run mid-November.


The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.

Dragon Night

Oct. 17th, 2017 02:21 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Last night we turned on the kerosene heater for the first time this season.  :D  It always makes me think of dragons, that ruddy glow putting out so much heat.

Today we lit the woodstove.  The EcoFan is spinning merrily atop it, although it doesn't seem to put out a great deal of breeze.  I think it will still be better than nothing when the power goes out and all we have is the stove, not its electric fan. 
cahwyguy: (Default)
[personal profile] cahwyguy

As I have been reading Facebook the last few days, I’ve been seeing the flurry of “MeToo” posts from far far too many of my friends. As a hetero cis man, I’ve been trying to figure out what is the proper response. At one point, I wanted to write a post about how I never understood how men could behave that way. I don’t get why men are punitive in divorces towards their partners. I don’t get why men would force themselves on someone who is unwilling. I certainly would never behave that way (or at least I thought). Then I saw a friend who had a different take on the situation, acknowledging our role in the process. Then I saw a third friend with an interesting take on how to fix the problem. Then last night, I began to wonder how this fit into my earlier discussions on Culture Wars, and how the universe of entitled “traditional” males would receive all of this. The result: This essay prompt, asking the question #NowWhat?

The impact of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse revelations, Mayim Bialik’s opinion piece in the NY Times, and the #MeToo response thereto has demonstrated that sexual abuse and harassment is far too prevalent in society today. As men, the question is: How do we respond? Saying “I hear you” is insufficient, as is believing that it is all those “other” men that have caused the problem. The way to move forward is to start by acknowledging our culpability as men in society, and establishing a new path forward. We also need to figure out how to address the inevitable push back that will come from the Culture Wars.

Our Culpability

In examining the part we play as men in creating the problem, we need to realize that what most of us have been taught is flawed, and it resulted in some level of flawed behavior. One friend on Facebook posted the following:

#Ihave
I have acted as if I was entitled to my partner(s)’s attention and body.
I have pushed boundaries to get what I wanted.
I have put my wants in front of my partner(s).
I have guilted partner(s) into feeling obligated to intimacy.
I am sorry.

Reading this, as Noel Paul Stookey said in one of his Peter, Paul, & Mary comedy routines, brought me up by the short hairs. It is highly likely that most older men have behaved in this way towards their partners or potential partners at some point in their lives. After all, we’re products of the time and society we grew up, much as we hate to admit it. Much as we might have consciously tried to avoid the behavior above, we have slipped into it a few times. As we teach our children, apologizing cannot make something right. Changing the behavior can.

But behavior towards partners is not the only place we’ve likely fucked up. Some of us may have done similar behaviors towards co-workers, friends, and colleagues. From a sexist comment, a gesture, an oogle — all can come across as a form of harassment.  There are those, I’m sure, that have done even worse. After all, all those #MeToos came from somewhere.

No one can promise that they won’t slip into that behavior at times. We’re human, and we all slip up. But the first step in not doing a behavior is realizing that you do it. Then you can be increasingly aware of when you are starting to do it again … and stop before you do.

Whether you are in your 50s like me, or a young teen or twentysomething, society has learned and changed from when you were little. What might once have been acceptable is no longer. What you see in older movies, TVs, and in popular song is not the way adults should behave today, no matter how you rationalize it. We are not entitled to anything with respect to sex or intimacy; it must be given by our partners freely, with cognizance, and without coercion.

Moving Forward

Another Facebook friend shared something from one of his friends that was a succinct summary of how to move forward. It begins by recognizing that almost all your female friends have been sexually harassed or assaulted. The harassment started when they were children. The catcalling, the groping in a crowded place, the sudden rage when a man realizes that a woman won’t sleep with them. All of them. So what do we do?

  1. Stop harassing women. That includes asking strangers to smile. That includes raging at your female friends who “friend zone” you. That includes not taking no for an answer. At this point you know what’s right and what’s wrong and what’s unwanted. Stop.
  2. Stop interrupting conversations about harassment and assault. Stop pointing out that not all men are harassers. No shit. But clearly enough do that this is a problem. You aren’t contributing
  3. Stop victim blaming. Entirely. We need to move the conversation away from what the victim could have done to prevent it. Don’t ask what they were wearing, why they were traveling alone, if they fought back, why they didn’t come forward sooner. This isn’t a problem that victims need to solve.
  4. Stop injecting yourself into the discussion. Can men be harassed and assaulted? Of course, and it’s terrible and we wish it didn’t happen. And we can have that conversation, but not while we’re talking about this. Two separate problems, two different solutions. Don’t derail this conversation so that we’re addressing that this is two problems that affects some people instead one problem that affects all women. Especially if you don’t want to talk about your experience, you’re just diluting the discussion.
  5. Shut it down when you see it. Call out harassment when you see your friends do it. Maybe they’ll change, maybe they’ll stop being your friends. Either way, call that shit out. Dudes, this is where you are most powerful. Stop letting this sort of thing be ok. Public stuff like catcalling. Private stuff like ranking women. Shut it down.
  6. Fathers, uncles, older brothers: if you have young men in your lives, teach them early about respect and consent. Don’t let them joke about a cartoon “raping their childhood” or laugh about grabbing a girl’s butt. Make sure they grow up knowing this isn’t normal and it isn’t ok. Make this behavior extinct.

To recap:

  1. Shut up
  2. Stop other dudes from harassing
  3. Make sure the young men who learn from you never start harassing.

My wife also pointed me to another list of how to treat women better from The Guardian. Here are some  items from that list (adapted just a bit); I recommend you read the full list:

  • Talk to your friend who is “kind of a creep” at work. Don’t need to literally witness a man being horrible in order to believe that he’s horrible. Trust and believe women.
  • Don’t talk over women. When you see another guy talk over a woman, say: “Hey, she was saying something.”
  • If you are asked to be on a panel/team and see that it’s all men, say something. Maybe even refuse the spot! [Read this great post by Spaf on the subject]
  • Don’t call women “crazy” in a professional setting. Don’t imply that their success due to their looks. Don’t imply their success is due to anything other than their talent and hard work. [Read this great sermon on sexism and implied sexism]
  • Don’t use your “feminism” as a way to get women to trust you. Show us in your day-to-day life, not in your self-congratulatory social media.
  • Do you feel that any woman on earth owes you something? She doesn’t. Even if you’re like, “Hm, but what about basic respect?” ask yourself if you’ve shown her the same. If you do the right thing, don’t expect praise or payment or a pat on the back or even a “thank you from that woman”. Congratulations, you were baseline decent.
  • Don’t send pictures of … anything … unless she just asked for them.
  • Consent: Obtain it, and believe “no” when it is said. If a woman says no to a date, don’t ask her again. If a woman has not given an enthusiastic “yes” to sex, back the hell off.  If a woman is really drunk, she cannot consent to you and she also cannot consent to your buddy who seems to be trying something. Your buddy is your responsibility, so say something and intervene. Don’t touch women you don’t know, and honestly, ask yourself why you feel the need to touch women in general.
  • Involve women in your creative projects, then let them have equal part in them.
  • Don’t make misogynistic jokes.
  • Don’t expect women to be “nice” or “cute” and don’t get upset when they aren’t those things.
  • Don’t make assumptions about a woman’s intelligence, capabilities or desires based on how she dresses.
  • Pay women as much as you pay men.
  • If a woman tells you that you fucked up, and you feel like shit, don’t put it on that woman to make you feel better. Apologize without qualification and then go away.
  • Don’t punish women for witnessing your vulnerability.
  • Don’t get defensive when you get called out.
  • Don’t use your power to get women’s attention/company/sex/etc. Be aware of your inherent power in situations and use it to protect women, especially via talking to other men.
  • Stop thinking that because you’re also marginalized or a survivor that you cannot inflict pain or oppress women.
  • If women’s pain makes you feel pain, don’t prize your pain above hers, or make that pain her problem.
  • Don’t read a list like this and think that most of these don’t apply to you.

If you want yet another list, here’s something from Groknation on combatting toxic masculinity.

Culture Wars

In my essay prompt on culture wars, I discussed how the “war” has come about because society is changing in a way that many don’t want. Entitlements and privileges that some segments had in the past are disappearing; the segments are also being “forced” to accept as equal segments of the population they previously viewed as inferior. A primary segment feeling this way are the cis het males in society, particularly White cis het males. This is what led to the election of Donald Trump; this is why Donald Trump’s boorish and insulting behavior towards women was ignored by this segment. Bluntly: The way they were raised, they saw nothing wrong in the behavior. Men have power and authority over women; they should use it.

Those men among us who are enlightened see the fallacy in this attitude, but then again, we see the fallacy in many attitudes of this group.

So now ask yourself:  How will this group react to the #MeToo flood. I’m sure some will be in the “They asked for it crowd.” Others will be in the “Well, I treat my wife with respect, it was some other guy.”. Even more will be: “So what?” There will also be the minority that begin to see the problem, and then ask themselves, “Who have we elected?”

But for many, this will just be another salvo in the Culture Wars. It will be yet another attack on male privilege and power, and they will likely double-down on the behavior.

We must, in response, emphasize that society has changed. As the friend from whom I snarfed #IHave said:

The good news is that our culture’s perception of sex, consent and negotiation is changing. When I was learning about this stuff, and/or trying to figure it out for myself, the assumption was that the person interested (usually a guy) would attempt to “up the game”, by kissing, touching a bit further etc. The other person (usually a woman) was expected to decline the advance at first, and then until the initiator had sufficiently turned them on to be interested in going further.

Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of cases where one person unknowingly violates another’s consent. Even worse, there are still a lot of people, on both sides, that think that it is still the way things are, or should be, done.

I can’t do anything about things that have already been done, but we can all work to prevent things from happening in the future.

We must make clear that, just like discrimination against Blacks or Jews or other racial minorities is no longer acceptable, this abuse of power and privilege is no longer acceptable. There must be freedom from real or perceived harassment, and it is our responsibility as men to set the example to simply not do it.

P.S.: To explain the user icon: This comes from a campaign in 2006 against men who believed they needed endangered sea turtle eggs as an aphrodisiac. In reality, there is only one aphrodisiac: a freely willing partner.

P.P.S. H/T (Hat tip) to those who have posted or brought to my attention things incorporated herein: David Bell (and his friend’s friend Mitch Kocen), Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik, Larry Colon, Karen Davis, and Gene Spafford.

DW Note: This is a first attempt at trying the SNAP autoposter. Expect refinements.

===> Click Here To Comment <==This entry was originally posted on Observations Along the Road as Essay Prompt: #MeToo, #NowWhat, and Culture Wars by cahwyguy. Although you can comment on DW, please make comments on original post at the Wordpress blog using the link below; you can sign in with your LJ, FB, or a myriad of other accounts. PS: If you see share buttons above, note that they do not work outside of the Wordpress blog.

solarbird: (widow)
[personal profile] solarbird

Widowmaker brought herself in from the cold, one day, exchanging a list of Talon agents for sanctuary, and at first couldn't or wouldn't say why. Her first breakthrough in explaining herself came in a talk with Lena Oxton, who then helped her break through Angela Ziegler's insistence that Widowmaker was not really a person, and that Amélie Lacroix could yet be recovered. But despite that truth, sometimes, some of Amélie's last memories - mostly but not always tightly compartmentalised away - trouble the spider, and this is one of those times.

This is the sixth in a series of stories set in the It is Not Easy to Explain, She Said continuity, a timeline largely compliant with known canon as of July 2017 (pre-Doomfist/Masquerade), which is when I wrote and posted the first story. It is not part of the on overcoming the fear of spiders AU.

This story follows "It's not easy to explain, said Lena Oxton" in chronological sequence. [AO3 link]


"Do you remember what it was like?"

Lena held Widowmaker's hand, gently, as they sat together, otherwise alone, mid-afternoon, in the smaller canteen at Gibraltar. She drank tea, cream, two sugars. Her counterpart drank obscenely hot coffee, unsweetened, strong, and dark.

For the most part, Amélie's memories stayed safely in their place, out of Widowmaker's way, but there were a few, occasionally, at the border between her birth and the previous woman's death, that picked at her, at times. Dr. Ziegler suggested that was because of the emotions around them - emotions could, perhaps, last long enough, even if the thoughts themselves didn't, to become Widowmaker's emotions as well.

"A little," said the former Talon assassin, after some delay. "Not very much, thankfully. I do not think she was making new memories very well, by then. But there are some."

Lena shuddered a little. "I can't even imagine it."

Widowmaker shook her head. "For her, it was not even the fear of it happening. It was..." She pondered a moment. "It is not easy to explain."

"I can't imagine it would be."

"She would feel, and think, one way, one thing, and then, she would find herself thinking another way, a different thing, a thing like I would think, sometimes, but she would be thinking it, and not me. And sometimes it would be something neither of us would think, but something they very much wanted her to think. And she would believe what she thought, and what she felt, but she would know, she would remember, moments before, thinking very differently about the same thing."

"And she'd fight it," assumed Tracer, "and that would hurt."

"No - but yes? Both would feel like it was her. There was nothing for her to fight. But the difference in the two... that, she found horrifying."

Lena let out a long breathy hoo sound, and took another sip of her tea, before continuing. "So they were making her think... their thoughts, then."

"My thoughts, at least, at times." She leaned her elbows against the table. "Or, to be more correct, the kind of thoughts they wanted me to think. About... how lovely, how beautiful, how perfect it would be when they put her back, and she killed Gérard. And she would believe it, because she could already feel it." The assassin smiled. "As I do, when I kill."

Tracer shuddered. She knew, she knew that the assassin enjoyed her kills - that for a long time, it had been all she lived for. But making Amélie feel that, and Amélie knowing they made her feel that... "Was it you, then? When they did it?" she asked, hoping for an unlikely yes.

The blue assassin laughed, a sound that still made Lena's heart ring every time it happened, no matter the context. "No. I could hardly have imitated Amélie so well for so long. I'd've been discovered, almost immediately. No - it was still her." She took a sip of her coffee. It had cooled a bit, but remained hot enough for her tastes. "That's why it took her two weeks to strike."

"So in the end..." the teleporter said, voice distant in her own ears, "Amélie killed Gérard. And enjoyed it."

Widowmaker nodded. "In a way. They were never above to achieve everything they wanted with her, but they were able to recondition her enough to kill - at least, for a time. And so, she assassinated Gérard, but being torn between the grief and the guilt and the ecstasy..." She shook her head. "That all but shattered her. When she returned, as programmed, they took her apart completely. And built me."

"But you feel some of her... emotions, from then? Her conflict?"

"I do," she said, a tinge of sadness in her voice. She put down her cup. "It was the only death about which I felt conflicted, until Mondatta, and the fight with you."

Lena put a third sugar in her tea. She needed something sweet right then. "D'ya ever wonder," she said, as she refilled her cup from the teapot, "if they'd done a better job sealing her off, if you might not've started to, y'know, think on your own?"

"Internal conflict as the source of self-awareness? Dr. Ziegler has suggested that idea as well." She shrugged. "I do not know. But let's say it's true - in which case, Talon did me yet another favour. They..." she picked her cup back up, sipped at the coffee, and put it back down, "left me open, on accident, to you." And she smiled again, just a little, at the side of her mouth.

The Overwatch teleporter let out her breath, and her eyes softened just a bit, as she looked into those metallic eyes. "Aw, luv. That's..."

"May I kiss you?"

Lena blinked, putting down her tea. "...you... care about..." She shook her head, just a little. "...things like that?"

"I don't know." The spider shrugged again, this time with something artificial in the nonchalance. "But I am finding I... may. At least, with you. Shall we find out?"

Lena wasn't sure what she expected. Would she be cold? Would she feel wrong, would she feel like some dead - and then no, she did not, she was not, she was none of those things, she was cool, yes, but not cold, cool like the first breezes of autumn, like the first hints of snow off the mountains, not chilling, but invigorating, and Lena returned the kiss, almost involuntarily, herself warm, no, hot, like summer sun, like the last day at a Spanish beach before the turning of the weather, and Widowmaker was just as surprised, finding herself melting just a little bit more, and she gasped, pulling away, panting, looking down at her coffee, thinking, How can she be so warm?, before looking back up at the one who had reached past her eyes of molten gold, and finding she had no words then at all.

"Blimey, luv..." managed Lena, after a moment. "You're... only the second woman ever to make me feel like that with a kiss."

"For me, you," breathed Widowmaker, eyes wide, "...are the first."

"I hope it don't make you feel like killin' someone," Lena half-laughed, half-serious, half-joking, a lot nervous and a little afraid, and if that made more than a whole, so be it. "Chiefly, me."

"Never." Widowmaker reached across the table, grabbing Lena's hands with both of her own. "Do you understand? Never. I could not."

She pulled Lena forward, close, quickly, knocking the teacup across the table, shattering it on the floor, and the smaller woman gasped, startled, but did not flee.

"I do not know why, and I do not know how, but..." The spider kissed the teleporter, again, the meeting short but intense, "...I have found someone I could never kill."

Hooooooo, thought a part of the teleporter, unexpected emotions swirling around her mind, throwing her into responding before she even knew she was doing it. This is not gonna be easy to explain, to... to anybody.

Endearing little tricks

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:17 am
warriorsavant: (Renovations)
[personal profile] warriorsavant
Did I mention how much I love having kids, especially their endearing little tricks and adventures, as they develop and become more capable. For example, the other day, Wallstreet pushed a chair so he could climb up on the counter, manipulated the lid on my coffee canister… and spilled it all out on the floor so he could play with it like sand. Arggggghhhhhhh. To quote Evil Secretary, "Fish! I shoulda had fish. Then I could have flushed them when I got tired of them." Or at the very least, fish can't climb onto counters and don't have prehensile grasp. BTW, Hedgedfund is figuring out how to open the magnetic childproof locks on the kitchen drawers. Not that worried, as she's past the age where she'll randomly take things out of drawers, and so far Wallstreet hasn't figured those out. These were planned at the start of the renovations; by the time we'd actually moved, we'll have need of them for maybe 6 months. Didn't even bother to put in childproof gates on the stairs. Hedgefund is okay on stairs by herself, and Wallstreet is close to being okay. I'm considering hiring a nanny (or six), or alternatively getting more duct tape and taping them to a wall until they're 18. Naw, that would damage the new paint.

Interesting Links for 17-10-2017

Oct. 17th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

QotD

Oct. 17th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood." -- William Penn (b. 1644-10-14, d. 1718-07-30), +++verify source&work+++

DIY Medication

Oct. 17th, 2017 01:00 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
A new-old option is entering the field.  Remember that everyone used DIY medication until it became a viciously protected industry.  If you find the health care system accessible, affordable, and effective then by all means use it.  But if you can't access it, then studying how to do things for yourself is better than dying because some bastard decided to murder people by jacking up the cost of lifesaving medication by 6000% or whatever.

Sexual Diversity

Oct. 17th, 2017 12:52 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 ... is not a binary, but rather a spectrum with many variations.  They're just kind of hard to see when doctors routinely cut off genitals they find offensive.  It particularly aggravates me when people argue the "isness" of gender not based on scientific fact but a casual glance at the crotch, which is often wrong in intersex cases.  At least a chromosome reading would tell you what the sex chromosomes say.  Which is sometimes XXY, XYY, X0, or other things that aren't the standard male or female -- leaving those people legally obligated to lie about their sex on almost every form, which only offer male/female in official contexts.  Someone really needs to sue the government for rampant sex discrimination.  I mean, imagine if the forms only offered "male" and all women had to lie or go without services.  They'd be as pissed as they were back when a lot of places had only men's toilets.

Gravity and Light

Oct. 17th, 2017 12:45 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 ... have been sighted making waves together.  This is cool.  However, these discoveries are moving humans closer to graviton technology.  This concerns me.  While it's always exciting, it's also extremely dangerous.  They haven't even figured out how to use nuclear power safely, which could largely destroy the biosphere.  A graviton accident can crack a planet in a half, a developed weapon can pulverize one, and farther up the scale you get sunkiller bombs.  *looks at the steaming pile in the Oval Office*  I am not sanguine about Earth's survival.  :(

We should probably mail some algae and tardigrades to Mars and the water moons while we can.

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