Via sgamadison, an update on Stargate Origins: be aware that the new digital episodes are only going to be ten minutes each.
"A Woman, Explaining Things". [Sarah Gailey on the casting of the thirteenth Doctor]
"Towards a Definition of “Fanfiction”: 3,564 people took our survey. Here’s what we learned". [Fansplaining]
"Does God exist in the Marvel Universe?" [Salon]
"Akiko Higashimura's Princess Jellyfish Manga Ends on August 25". [ANN]
"Radical Cartography" is...hard for me to describe. Very cool things with maps...and stuff...?
"All of my work on the “Irish slaves” meme (2015–’16)". In case you ever need to debunk the "but the Irish were slaves too!" crap that some flavors of racists like to whip out.
"Gratitude for Invisible Systems: One way to improve democracy is for more people to appreciate its complex technological underpinnings".
"My Father Spent 30 Years In Prison. Now He's Out". This is lovely and heartbreaking.
"Updated Syllabus for Journalism 101". [McSweeney's]
"This Is How Tough It Can Actually Be To Follow High School Prom Dress Codes". [Buzzfeed]
Via bell, "When Your Teacher Keeps Saying You Can’t Draw Cats, But Your Paintings Are Photorealistic".
"Make a Magical Carpet Cat Hammock With an Old Towel".
"This Guy Spent A Year Exploring The Subculture Of Competitive Punning".
"How to Fall Down". [Lifehacker]
"Sapphic Stories || Around the world". "Sapphic Stories – Around the world does not intend to be a rec list that is ultimate and finalized, but just the beginning of a search for more pluralized stories. There are many other stories out there that we need to look for. Still, I believe that this post could be a nice start so that people can recognize these stories set in the places they grew up in or to know more about what it means to be sapphic in other places. This list contains F/F fiction books, books that have at least one women who feel romantic/sexual attraction to women, short stories, anthologies, and nonfiction about how it is to be LGBT+ in some places of the world."
"tim walker photographs all black cast for alice in wonderland themed pirelli calendar".
Via dine, "Superb Cut Paper Artworks by Pippa Dyrlaga".
Today was a pretty lousy day because of my depression, so I unfortunately didn't get much done. It was that feeling where you're bored but you're also too depressed to do anything, or for anything to seem interesting, so you just stay bored all day instead. I hope tomorrow is better, especially because I was planning to fill out some job applications, so having energy and motivation would be helpful.
I also took two naps today, which kind of helped but kind of just made me feel groggy.
Fandom-wise I've been trying to write this fluffy Data/Geordi fic about Data wooing him with flowers etc, but I keep being over-critical while I'm writing. I need to try and turn off my internal editor and just write. I can fix it later, but I need to get stuff down on the page first! :\
I have this short attention span, so I'm consuming Doctor Who in three different ways right now (re-watching first Doctor stuff, watching all the Doctor/River episodes, and listening to the Eighth Doctor audios). I'd probably get farther if I focused on just one, but it's hard for me to stick with one thing at a time.
A few of my neighbors have the "no matter where you're from we're glad you're our neighbor" sign up (https://www.welcomeyourneighbors.org/
I like these signs. They tell me who is definitely not a Trump voter and I like knowing these things about my neighbors.
I agree with the message of these signs - I like multi-origin communities, and I like people who like them.
At the same time, I would never put this sign up myself. It would feel weird. In the heat of an argument I would (and have) insisted on my right as a citizen to welcome whomever I like into my country, but without the adrenaline rush I guess I just do not feel sufficiently American.
I finally was able to start playing Mass Effect: Andromeda and have fallen back in love with the whole ME universe. I know a lot of people didn't like ME:A, but I really loved it. It's not my favorite game (that's still ME2), but I do think it might have moved to the #2 spot on my list. Could it have been better? Sure. But that doesn't mean I don't love it (and the characters) any less.
On a somewhat related note, I still love Dragon Age. I haven't been playing it as much lately, since ME has been taking up so much of my time, but I've gone back to working on fic. Which is a good thing, because DA is one of those rare fandoms that makes me want to write longfic. Even though I kind of suck at writing longfic and take forever to finish stories that are more than 5000 words.
I've also continued with my Critical Role obsession, to the surprise of nobody. The current storyline is slowly drawing to a close, and I'm expecting Vox Machina's tale to come to a close by the end of the year. Which makes me sad, since I love the characters. But on the other hand, a new story! With new characters! My chances of convincing people to start watching will greatly increase when they don't have 400+ hours to watch in order to get caught up.
Speaking of which, Dungeons & Dragons continues to eat a lot of my free time. I have two weekly games that I play in online via Roll20, one on Friday nights and one on Sunday nights. Then I have another Roll20 game on Saturday nights where I'm the DM. And then, because I have no sense of self-preservation, every other Sunday afternoon I walk over to the gaming store near my apartment to play in another campaign.
So, basically, every other week? I play four D&D games in a little over 48 hours. And even when I'm not cramming four games in, I'm still playing three. Which isn't much better.
Um, let's see. What other fannish things should I talk about?
Geek and Sundry and Alpha are behind most of the webseries that I'm watching nowadays. There's Critical Role, of course, which I've already mentioned. Then there's Eric's TBD RPG, an awesome Doctor Who RPG that just recently came to an end and was replaced with Shield of Tomorrow, a Star Trek RPG. Oh, and Sagas of Sundry which is just... gods, it's hard to describe. It's creepy and amazing and I highly recommend it.
I'm not watching Vast yet (another one of their RPGs), but I've heard good things about it. It's definitely on my list, whenever I have free time again. (I also watch The Wednesday Club, but it's a bunch of geeks sitting around and talking about comics for two hours each week rather someone I'm particularly fannish about. It's a lot of fun if you like comics, though.)
Based on the recent Doctor Who casting news, I'm cautiously optimistic that I might be able to start watching regularly again. I managed to watch some of the episodes from this most recent series but not all of them. Still, the ones that I was able to watch reminded me just how much I miss this show. I really hope that, once Moffat is gone, it will feel more like Doctor Who to me again.
The upcoming fourth and final season of Star Wars: Rebels has me both excited and terrified. I want to see what happens, but at the same time... well, it's Star Wars. I know going in that there was a good chance a lot of the characters wouldn't actually live through the show. The question is this: who and how?
I really need to start thinking about Yuletide and what fandoms I want to nominate this year, since it's coming up fast. This might be the first time in years that I haven't even started thinking about it yet, though. That will deserve its own post in a few weeks, when I try to start brainstorming.
Work has been ridiculous lately. It's not really something that I can talk about in detail, but there's definitely quite a bit of tension between the higher ups and, well, a large percentage of the employees who aren't being paid six figures annually. Let's just say that the amount of work expected of most employees has gone up while salaries haven't (except for the higher ups, who magically were able to get raises when people making significantly less than them weren't), and I'm very worried the directors are going to find out first-hand just how screwed they are if a large number of people all turn in their notice and walk.
Mainly because I'm not in a position where I can afford to do that, no matter how much I might want to sometimes. Which means I'll also be somewhat screwed if anyone turns in their notice.
Add in the aforementioned extra work and the fact that several people have been out for health-related reasons, meaning our workload is even heavier, and... well, needless to say, it's not been fun.
Let's see... I should probably talk about the cats, huh?
Garrus and Percy are getting along surprisingly well. The first few weeks were a bit rocky, but once they got used to each other (and realized just how similar they are), things became a lot smoother. They're at the point where they're regularly grooming each other and sleeping just a few inches apart, which is a lot better than I was hoping for after less than two months.
I still miss Tali a lot, obviously, but the fact that Garrus and Percy are getting along so well is definitely helping. Percy is a doll, and I'm already at the point where I can't imagine him not being here. I just, you know, sometimes wish that I could have had all three of them, even though the realistic side of my brain knows that I never would have met him if I hadn't lost her.
VividCon is next week, which... I have complicated feelings about. ( Brain weasels! Aren't they fun? )
Anyway, I'm hoping that my brain weasels will go away once I'm actually in Chicago. At the moment, though, I'm not nearly as excited about the con being next week as I usually am by this point. Which makes me sad. Hopefully that will change somewhat over the next week-and-a-half?
... oh, I just realized that I never posted about my week of hell with FedEx here on Dreamwidth. I should rectify that. I want to make a separate fandom-related post first, and then I'll post the whole terrifying tale.
Nothing major has changed since last year, but please look over the rules again, even if you've signed up before.
All times are 6pm EDT
26 July-10 August: Nomination Period
13-23 August:: Signups open
26 August: Assignments will be sent out by this date
7 October: Fanworks due
13 October: Archive goes live (or as soon as everyone has a gift)
21 October: Creators revealed
Associated sites: LiveJournal Feed & Tumblr & AO3 Collection & Tag Set.
- Before signups, we will have a nomination period for people to pick fandoms and relationships that they would like included in the fest. Each person can nominate up to five fandoms, with up to five pairings within each. Please only nominate fandoms that you plan to offer or request.
- All fandoms in all media are welcome. Canon or non-canon pairings are welcome. Original works are welcome.
- For the purpose of this fest, femslash is defined as fic or art containing a relationship between two or more characters who identify in canon as either female or genderqueer. (We do not mean to imply that genderqueer = female, but would like to include as many pairings as we can, and leave gender definitions to the participants' discretion). That means you may not request gender-altered/Rule-63/spectrum-shifting works for canon male-identified characters. To be clear:
- You may request works about cis female-identified characters.
- You may request works about transgender women, such as Ms Hudson from Elementary.
- You may also request works about canonically genderqueer and gender-questioning characters regardless of their assigned gender, such as Franky from Skins UK, Alister/Athena from Huge, and Xavin from Runaways.
- You may request a canonically always female alternate universe version of a character who is male in the main universe, such as Natasha Stark from Marvel 3490
- You may not request works about characters who are male-identified in canon.
- You may not request works about male-identified characters who are temporarily transformed or body swapped into an assigned-female body, such as Guy Gardner in Guy Gardner: Warriorette (if you don't know, don't ask).
- Poly: We do allow poly groupings, so long as all the characters involved are eligible (f/f/f = fine; f/f/m = not in this fest, though you may list it as an option in your optional details.)
- Crossovers: Please nominate crossovers as under the fandom: Crossovers - Fandom, and list the characters with their fandom after the character name (Example: Pepper Potts (MCU)/Seven of Nine (Star Trek: Voyager)
- RPF: RPF characters must be 18 or over at the time of nomination, and must be public figures in their own right (no girlfriends/kids/parents of public figures permitted).
- You must have an Archive of Our Own (AO3) account to participate in nominations and sign ups. If you do not have one already, you can leave a comment here or e-mail the mods for an invite code. (For more on AO3 and how to sign up, go here).
You can edit/delete your signup until signups close.
This is an exchange fest, which means you must produce a fanwork for someone else. If you withdraw, it is harder for everyone involved. So please, think carefully if you have the time before signing up. If you discover after signing up that you can't finish in time, contact the moderators as soon as possible.
- You will have an option to select whether you would like to receive art, fic or both. Obviously, "both" increases ease of matching, but you don't have to request a format you do not want.
- Signups must include 4-6 fandoms from our list of nominated fandoms, and each fandom must have 1-6 pairings from the list of nominated pairings. We encourage people to request more than the minimum, as the more pairings you ask for, the easier matching will be.
- You will be matched on fandom, pairing and format (fic or art).
- While the description section is optional, we strongly suggest you include Do Not Wants. Any DNWs/triggers included in the description will be enforced by the mods. Other things to consider are the inclusion of general likes, rating restrictions, prompt ideas, or anything else you’d like the writer or artist to know. However, please remember that these are optional for the person assigned to you. If you've requested art, please remember that not all fic prompts translate well into art (more on that here). If you have a lot to say, consider linking to a letter in your own blog with the extra details.
- In your signup, do not imply rank for pairings or otherwise specify a favourite pairing. There is no need to make the person you are assigned feel bad if you want something they are not comfortable writing or drawing.
- You may offer to make art, write fic, or both.
- You may offer between 4-10 fandoms, with 1-10 pairings per fandom. Obviously, the more pairings you offer, the easier matching will be. You can also choose to offer "any" pairing in a given fandom, but please check the tag set to ensure that you're comfortable writing or drawing any pairing listed.
- You will be matched on fandom, pairing and format (fic or art).
- In the event we have issues matching someone, they will go out as a pinch hit right away. You can find the pinch hits here.
- You do not have to have an AO3 account to pinch hit, as you may submit via the mod account. The mods will edit in credit and links to your own platform after the end of the anon period.
- If you do pinch hit, you'll have the option of adding your requests to a special prompts post, so that those who'd like to can reward you with the gift of femslash!
- Your fanwork must focus on a requested pairing, and must include a romantic and/or sexual relationship of some kind. This is not a friendship ficathon. That means there should be some kind of f/f romance, longing, kissing, love, and/or sex. You're welcome to offer or request work featuring asexual characters as long as it's in the spirit of this rule.
- You are not obligated to produce something for ALL pairings on which you are matched. Pick whatever you are comfortable with. However, if you want to write or draw more than one thing for your recipient, feel free.
- You don’t have to write or draw the fandom/pairing you were matched on if something else your recipient requested interests you.
- Creators are required to avoid featuring their recipient’s DNWs in their gifts. While it is not required, if possible, please consider using one of your recipient's prompts.
- Betas are not required, but are strongly encouraged. Fic submissions with excessive spelling, punctuation and grammar errors and art submissions that look like drafts will be rejected. If your submission is rejected for this reason you can resubmit it after you've polished your work. We will have a beta sign up post.
- Due to the nature of this fest, it is hard for extensions to be given. If you know you won't be able to submit by the due date, please default as soon as possible. If you default prior to the due date, you may participate next year with no problems. If you default two years in a row, simply fail to submit your work by the due date, submit an unfinished work, or delete your already-completed assignment, you will not be able to participate in the next fest.
- If you withdraw and the person assigned to create something for you withdraws, you will not be assigned a pinch hitter.
- If you have a problem with, any questions about, or cannot complete your assignment, please contact us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please finish your assignment before you start on treats.
- You do not need an AO3 account to post treats; you may do so via the mod account. The mods will edit in credit and links to your own platform after the end of the anon period.
- Treats of polished art and fic over 1000 words may be posted at any time. Please wait until the mod gives the word before posting shorter fic and sketches.
- This fest has mandatory anon period for fic. Author names will be revealed one week after the archive goes live. Please do not promote your fic before that time.
- The anon period for art is optional. Because of concerns about crossposting without attribution, artists may sign their work and may link to it, but they are requested not to crosspost the full art until all the end of the anon period. (For more on this, read here.)
Be respectful. Please realize that everyone has different likes/interests/squicks.
- All fic have to be a minimum of 1,000 words, and be of a quality that you'd be happy to receive as a gift.. There is no maximum word count.
- Art must be polished, and be of a quality that you'd be happy to receive as a gift. There is no maximum size for art or page limit for comics. Art must be hand or digitally drawn. We are not accepting manips at this time.
- Submissions may be any rating.
- Submissions must be femslash, and must focus on a requested pairing.
- Please don't talk about the specifics of your assignment in public until the creators are revealed. We'd like it to be a surprise for everyone.
- Gfts can't be part of a previously posted series.
Please do not hesitate to leave a comment here or contact us at email@example.com, if you have any questions/comments/concerns.
Rules compiled from rarepairfest and femslash12.
— Thinking. Maybe a little, maybe a lot.
— Planning and / or researching.
— Sending things to the beta.
— Relaxing, taking a break, etc.
— Other stuff-ing. Look at the comment.
Today's question: Do you post any of your writing anonymously? (Goodness knows I do.)
Senate Republicans on Tuesday will begin debating legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, making good on the party’s most enduring campaign promise of the last seven years.
Or maybe they won’t.
The Senate’s next move on health care has been cloaked in mystery over the last several days, as President Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell try to clear a crucial procedural vote while preparing for the increasing possibility that it will fail.
McConnell is determined to call up legislation the House passed in May to replace Obamacare as a means of starting formal debate in the upper chamber. But the Senate wouldn’t ultimately be voting on the House bill. Instead, McConnell would immediately move to substitute the House bill with a different proposal—either the bill he drafted to partially repeal and replace Obamacare, or a copy of legislation Republicans advanced in 2015 that repeals but does not replace the health law.
Which one will come up? McConnell won’t say, and that uncertainty is frustrating Republican senators. It’s also infuriating Democrats, who accuse the majority leader of using subterfuge to pass legislation that would overhaul the nation’s health-care system and affect tens of millions of Americans. The GOP plan, which would still need to go back to the House, would cut Medicaid by more than $700 billion over 10 years while repealing Obamacare’s insurance mandates on individuals and employers, as well as some of its taxes.
Yet McConnell’s maneuvering might end up being too cute by half. That first vote, known as the motion to proceed to debate, requires the support of at least 50 senators, and right now McConnell doesn’t have them. “I presume the vote tomorrow will fail,” a senior Senate GOP aide told me on Monday afternoon.
A once-confident Trump has turned pessimistic about the outcome as well. After trying to cajole Republicans at a White House meeting last week, he has lashed out at the party’s wavering senators in recent days. “If Republicans don’t repeal and replace the disastrous ObamaCare, the repercussions will be far greater than any of them understand!” he tweeted on Saturday. In a Monday morning tweet, he warned that the GOP had “a last chance to do the right thing.”
Later in the afternoon, the president used the trappings of the White House to send a similar message. Appearing with families that he said were “victims” of the current law, Trump described Obamacare as something akin to the apocalypse. “It was a big, fat, ugly lie,” he said. “Obamacare,” Trump said at another point. “That’s the one that’s death.”
Once again, he reminded Republicans of the pledge they had made to voters for seven years. “Remember ‘repeal and replace?’” the president asked. “Repeal and replace. They kept saying it.”
“We as a party must fulfill that solemn promise to the country,” Trump continued. “So far Senate Republicans have not done their job in ending the Obamacare nightmare.”
“Tomorrow,” he said in his most direct appeal to Republican holdouts, “the Senate will vote on whether to allow this urgently needed bill to come to the Senate floor for debate. The question for every senator, Democrat or Republican, is whether they will side with Obamacare’s architects, which have been so destructive to our country, or with its forgotten victims. Any senator who votes against starting debate is telling America that you are fine with the Obamacare nightmare, which it is.”
Trump’s pitch was largely the same as the one he made five days ago, and there’s little indication it has altered the underlying dynamic that has stymied Republicans for months. The party’s narrow Senate majority is divided between lawmakers who believe McConnell’s bill repeals too little of Obamacare and those who believe it scraps too much. The GOP can lose no more than two of its 52 senators on any health-care bill McConnell puts up, and early last week four came out in public opposition to the latest version of his Better Care Reconciliation Act. So the majority leader pivoted and announced that the Senate would instead vote on a straight repeal of most of the law, pleasing conservatives. But within a few hours, the opposition of three Republican women—Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia—torpedoed that plan, too.
Now McConnell is simply urging his members to vote for the motion to proceed on the grounds that they will have a virtually unlimited opportunity to amend whatever bill he brings up. What he’s really doing is trying to buy more time for a compromise to emerge, or for mounting pressure on wavering senators to flip “no” votes to “yes.”
Yet the hurdles for the Senate plan have only multiplied over the last week. First, Senator John McCain’s brain-cancer diagnosis left Republicans at least temporarily with one fewer vote to spare. McCain is still in Arizona consulting with his doctors on a treatment plan, and a spokeswoman on Monday could provide no timetable for his return to Washington. (Senator John Cornyn of Texas told Politico Monday there was still a chance McCain, whose diagnosis was revealed Wednesday, could make it back for the vote.)
Then on Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office found that revisions to McConnell’s earlier plan had yielded virtually no improvement in its projected impact on insurance coverage or premiums. The CBO said that 22 million more people would still be uninsured as a result of the bill and that average premiums would first rise and then fall over time. Because Republicans retained more of Obamacare’s taxes on high earners in the latest version, it made a deeper reduction in the deficit. But the CBO also found that deductibles would shoot up in many plans, increasing overall costs for consumers.
On Friday, the bill took an even more serious hit when the Senate parliamentarian issued a preliminary ruling that several important provisions did not comply with budget rules allowing Republicans to pass the measure on a party-line, simple-majority vote. Those included anti-abortion policies prized by conservatives, state-based carve-outs used to garner votes in the House, and key changes to insurance regulations.
Yet another obstacle is still looming for McConnell, even if he can scrounge up 50 votes to begin debate: Neither the CBO nor the parliamentarian has weighed in on an amendment demanded by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas that would allow insurers to sell cheaper plans that do not adhere to Obamacare standards alongside ones that do. Insurers have warned that the proposal is “unworkable in any form,” and an aide said Monday that based on the parliamentarian’s first set of rulings, it was expected that the Cruz amendment would be thrown out. Cruz and Senator Mike Lee of Utah, however, have demanded some version of the plan be included in the bill.
Those challenges come on top of a bill that was already short of votes to begin with. A group of Republican senators from states that expanded Medicaid—Capito, Rob Portman of Ohio, and Dean Heller of Nevada—were already withholding their votes and pushing for more money to be restored. Heller is facing pressure to oppose the bill from his state’s GOP governor, Brian Sandoval, and Portman is facing the same from Governor John Kasich of Ohio, who on Monday said it was “a mistake for senators to proceed with a vote” and urged lawmakers to oppose the motion to proceed.
Leading GOP senators have suggested that if the motion fails on Tuesday, the party could try again later, either once McCain returns or if they eventually strike a deal encompassing 50 of their members. But after so many fits and starts, and so much time and political capital expended, it may be that the procedural vote is, as Trump said, the Republican Party’s last chance to make good on a fading health-care promise.