If my pedometer is accurate...

Apr. 27th, 2015 09:36 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
...I walked four miles on Sunday, my best for a weekend. That's if the pedometer is calibrated right. But I think it's pretty close.

Just normal walking around for me on a weekend day, if I have places to go instead of sitting down writing, is usually between 2 and 3 miles, so I am very proud of myself. I did it by taking a deliberate walk, while I listened to BWV 4 in preparation for Tuesday's rehearsal. I went along the Schuylkill Banks path from South Street to Walnut Street, trying not to wince as bikes sped past, then continued walking to 38th Street; that was far enough that I felt it, in my feet, especially. Later on, I walked to visit the Adorable Tots, and we had a shorter walk later in the evening, and a trip to Trader Joe's with Geeklet glued to my side. It all totaled up to 4 miles exactly. What's currently recommended for health is 5 miles per day. I almost managed it once!

I wrote after the walking, 500 words. I think being tired might help for some kinds of writing, but not for the thing I was working on yesterday.

Friday's workout was a half-hour on the elliptical and three different weight machines for leg exercises. Saturday, I took as a rest day: I did walk to meet friends for brunch, but spent the afternoon and evening sprawled on a couch, watching MCU movies and vids and eating a cupcake with too much frosting and pepperoni/pineapple/broccoli pizza.

The story I was working on is due Thursday. I've revised my expectations - instead of aiming for the maximum word count, I plan to hit just over the minimum. What remains is the sex scene, and I figured out how that will work last night. I will finish this and submit it by the deadline!

Going on hiatus

Apr. 27th, 2015 08:49 pm
jolantru: (phoenix)
[personal profile] jolantru
I am going on a Twitter hiatus, as I have found that the noise on Twitter has flayed my nerves. Twitter is nice, but gosh, the noise is loud.

Not helpful for headspaces.

But I will still be updating DW and my Wordpress. And Tumblr.

Only keeping Twitter a barge-pole's length away from me for now.


Apr. 26th, 2015 04:25 pm
phoenixchilde: Animated icon of Sebastian from "The Little Mermaid" with both claws clamped over his mouth (the little mermaid: HORRORS)
[personal profile] phoenixchilde
"Well," I tweeted at 5 AM. "I just got woken up by a complete stranger flipping on my bedroom light."


(Everything's okay now, nobody got hurt and nothing got stolen, but there is not enough coffee in the goddamn world.)

Weights tonight? Who knows?

Apr. 24th, 2015 08:53 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I was pretty stiff and tired yesterday, but I did a half-hour on the elliptical anyway, in the hope it would loosen me up. And anyway, I need the exercise. I also had a ten-minute chair massage, which wasn't really enough but did help some.

Tonight is regular gym night, but if I'm still sore, that means no upper body. I didn't do any squats all week, so if I can't get a rack, I'll just use the Seated Leg Press machine, which is better than nothing. And then some cardio.

Saturday, I'm going to be sitting around watching movies, but with a little walking to and from. The pedometer makes me feel better about not going to the gym most weekends, because I can see that I walk more when not at dayjob.

Just a wee update

Apr. 24th, 2015 07:28 pm
jolantru: (Default)
[personal profile] jolantru
Exam period, marking period.

You know the drill. Rinse, repeat.
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I missed the gym on Monday due to being sick, and Tuesday due to dinner with friends. So, Wednesday was a bigger workout than usual.

I recently got up to the 35 pound dumbbells, 3 sets of 10, and I was going to do it again last night, but someone had the 35 pounders. A lot of young men had suddenly invaded the fourth floor where I had sought sanctuary from their hogging of weights and benches and their annoying habit of dropping weights from a height, sigh. I am a cranky old lady already, and not even 50 yet.

Anyway, no one had the 40s, so I gave them a try. They were fine for row - I did my usual 5 sets of 5 - but getting them into position for bench press was, as always, the hardest part, and I didn't feel entirely steady as I laid back and got up again. So I managed 2 sets of 10, instead of 3, which is how I began with the 35s, and I eventually improved with them, so maybe I have not reached my limit with dumbbells yet! I don't want to have to go back to barbells just yet, because that means weight room, and too many sweaty people all annoying me with their mere existence and the banging of their weight-dropping.

I managed to snag the 25s after their user wandered off and left them on the floor for the second time, but the 40s had done me in, and I could only manage a couple of short sets (5) of overheads with them, and those were terrible. Someone had the 20s, sigh, so I did two quick sets of 10 with the 15s, which hopefully was not useless. Then I used the 15s to do a couple of sets each of tricep exercises, and decided I might as well do deadlifts, using the 45 pounders in 5 sets of 5.

Then I was tired, as you might imagine, and my right elbow was hurting a tiny bit from supporting the 45 at full extension.

I finished up with a half hour on the elliptical, and some stretching that I sorely (get it?) needed.

I might need to do some light cardio or something tonight, to loosen up again.

Wednesday Reading

Apr. 22nd, 2015 08:35 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I read a lot of books in the last week!

The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells Mysteries Book 5) by Meg Cabot has a breezy, first-person tone that. It's set at the fictional New York College and involves a murder in the residence hall where Heather, a former teen pop star, works, linked to another mystery I won't spoil here. This author is light reading for me; I read it while home sick. I think I might have missed book four.

Second Position by Katherine Locke is all about recovery from trauma. I read it because I recently met the author, and because I like romances about performers. It's a New Adult romance about ballet dancers reconnecting years after a terrible car accident caused the male protagonist (Zed) to have his leg amputated and the female protagonist (Aly) to miscarry their child. Aly continues dancing professionally while dealing with anxiety, depression, and anorexia; Zed is in recovery from alcoholism and teaches music and drama to high school students. The characters were complex and satisfying, though I wanted a little less interiority and more of their lives outside of their heads. This will be a feature for most readers, I suspect. I have read very, very little New Adult, but I liked this.

Cherry Pie (Mercury Rising Book 1) by Samantha Kane is a contemporary small town male/male romance. I think it was in my TBR because the author has also written historical romance that I mean to try one of these days. As usual when I read small town settings, I felt almost as if I was visiting a fantasy world, but I enjoyed the characters, which to me is the whole point of reading a romance. I especially liked the way a past romance came into the story.

Kitty Goes to War (Kitty Norville Book 8) by Carrie Vaughn - I enjoyed this series quite a bit, particularly the intense volume 7, Kitty's House of Horrors (Book 7). This entry was...okay, I think mostly in comparison with my memories of the previous volume, which is hard to top for emotional intensity. There were some interesting issues raised about werewolf soldiers, and I wouldn't mind reading a spinoff about them, should Vaughn ever write one.

Daredevil 1.3

Apr. 19th, 2015 02:05 pm
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
1. I'm still impressed by how this show is showing the moral complications of vigilantism, even when it's against organized crime, without offering any easy solutions. Matt even makes a speech about morality in court. This episode goes along well with 1.2 in its thinkiness. Someone who has more brain than me right now could likely could a good essay out of those two.

2. I think they might be trying to have at least one or two gross-out moments per episode. Because it's Netflix, and they can? You could tell the same stories with less brutality and gore.

3. Karen Page is getting a better role than I had hoped she would get. But I still fear for what will become of her later on.

4. There's a nice continuity touch at one point - Matt bleeds on his white shirt, and when he shows up again, he's wearing a pale blue one.

5. Kingpin appears at the end of the episode, and he has a single, creepy line.

Daredevil 1.2

Apr. 17th, 2015 09:19 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Note there will be spoilers.

I found episode two much more gripping than episode one, probably because all of it was character-building, including the final, stumbling, exhausted fight scene.

1. Rosario Dawson as Claire was terrific. Her scenes with Charlie Cox absolutely thrummed with tension on several levels. I will be extremely sad if this character doesn't come back at some point, especially since superheroes definitely need their own medic.

2. This episode explored side effects and consequences of vigilantism. Though the most obvious was the physical suffering Daredevil endured from being ambushed, there's also his somewhat unconvincing assertion that he enjoys violence, Claire's ennumeration of injuries he's inflicted that have passed through her emergency room, and the uncomfortable notion of violence begetting even more violence.

3. The flashback plot to Matt's father, the boxer, being repeatedly pounded in the ring to support his son resonated with the A plot in complex ways. Battlin' Jack is ground down by endless defeats in life, and the choice he ultimately makes, though it saves his soul, leaves Matt without a father. Which is worse: a dead father who scored a final victory, or a living father, who will continue to fail but still be around to provide love to his son? I think the latter course is far more difficult abd rewarding, but perhaps Jack just had nothing left to give. Or: Jack wanted his son to be proud of him, and took the dramatic course to achieve that, but I think his final victory was more for himself than for his son. Matt already was proud of his father, and his hope for the future had not yet been crushed.

4. Foggy and Karen were absolutely adorable together. I still want to make Foggy wash his hair, though.

5. I wonder if the money Jack won actually made it to Matt, eventually? Or did the Irish mobsters track it down and steal it?

Daredevil (2015) 1.1

Apr. 16th, 2015 09:03 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I was a big Daredevil fan for a while in the 1980s, picking it up at the Elektra issues somewhere in the 160s and reading on to some point in the 250s. A big part of that time period was dominated by Frank Miller, if that helps you to orient. Packed away somewhere, I have a copy of issue 200 with the cover autographed by Frank Miller, though his pen didn't work all that well. A sharpie would have been better.

I chose the comic because I wanted to closely follow something else besides X-Men, and I happened to find several back issues at once, on one of those revolving racks at the drugstore, one Sunday night. They were a little bent from the rack, but I decided not to mind; this was to read, not collect. I liked the art: Daredevil's lean, clean lines, and the acrobatic style of his fighting. I was intrigued by the dramatic Elektra covers.

Sunday night was usually when I re-read that month's X-Men comic as well, so I could catch more of the enticing plot hints Chris Claremont often dropped and more rarely followed up on.

At that point in my life, I had never been farther north than Washington, D.C., so New York City might as well have been a myth. (My father went there, twice, both times before I was born, I am pretty sure. It was a sort of legend that he'd been.) For that reason, to me the show does not have to relate to the Real New York. It's in Comicslandia, where Hell's Kitchen never turned into Gentrificationlandia.

I haven't read the comic in decades. I do want to read the Brian Michael Bendis run at some point. Anyway, now you know why I wanted to be sure and watch the Netflix adaptation. Which I will finally get to now!

Episode One:

1. I am going to allow them to handwave legal issues. I am not a lawyer at all, and even I know...well, anyway. "Innocent clients"?! Never mind. Nope. That is not the point of this show. Daredevil beating up bad guys is the point of this show.

2. The criminal gangs are somewhat diverse. Two white accentless guys, one Chinese lady who speaks Mandarin, one Japanese guy (comics canon has ninjas, so maybe they're his?), two Eastern Europeans who are also white guys but have heavy accents - the Balkans are mentioned, but maybe they are supposed to be Russian mafia? Since that's the cliche of the moment. No Hispanic gang, no black gang, at least not yet.

3. The lady gangleader is the only female character so far who does not become a victim in one way or another. Karen Page has been an active character so far, but has also been acted upon. The comic was terrible for killing off women, so I don't have high hopes in this regard.

4. I like the actors, though I want to reach through the screen and wash Foggy's hair and give him a haircut. Also, I think Charlie Cox is faking his American accent. (I just checked, he is - he's faking it well, though.)

5. Where in the world did Matt and Foggy get the money for an office, if they have had no clients? A grant? Did Matt's dad sue the chemical company after Matt's childhood accident and put the money in trust?

6. The blind person stuff could be a lot worse? I liked that Foggy and Matt's long friendship is shown by him telling Matt about visual body language cues if that's needed.

7. Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) has not yet appeared except as a voice from the front seat of a car. His right hand man, though, was nicely evil and the actor has a terrific movie-trailer voice. Kingpin could be a way to tie this show into the new version of Spiderman set for the movies, as well.

8. Innocents suffering at the hands of big money/crime, I can tell, is going to be a big part of this show, which thematically harks back to the comic I remember. There's more rage from Daredevil than in the comic, though.

9. There's been no mention of Stick so far (Matt's mentor). But I liked how, at the end of the episode, Matt is shown boxing in an empty gym, a connection to his father's career.

10. The fight scenes are terrific. I like fight scenes, and these are beautifully choreographed and filmed examples. They are brutal at times, so be warned if you abhor tv violence.

Conclusion: I will watch the rest of the series.

Wednesday Reading

Apr. 15th, 2015 08:38 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
This week, I finished two books, well, one galley and one book. Uprooted by Naomi Novik is a first-person fantasy novel with a Polish folklore for underpinnings. I really, really enjoyed it; I stayed up late two nights in a row to finish it. The heroine, who never felt she was as special as her best friend, turns out to have amazing magic, but that does not make her life easy in the least. Sometimes, it makes it worse. I felt Novik handled that trope brilliantly. It's a pageturner not only because the narrator is so engaging, but because things keep getting worse in more and more interesting, unexpected ways. Also, I really loved the creativity and realistic feel of the magic system.

A Gentleman's Game: A Queen & Country Novel by Greg Rucka was essentially a modern-day Bond novel. The protagonist, Tara Chace, is, well, Bondish, though unlike a Bond novel, the antagonists have some point of view sections to demonstrate that they are antagonists rather than cartoonish villains. I probably won't read another one of these, but it kept me involved, mostly through resonance with real-world events.

The best fanfiction I read this week was The Mutant Games by TurtleTotem, which places characters from X-Men: First Class into an alternate universe version of The Hunger Games. Warning for many character deaths, as you might expect, though some might not be as dead as you think. Despite guessing the likely outcome of the story, I was gripped from beginning to end (and I wasn't quite right about the ending).

(no subject)

Apr. 14th, 2015 10:07 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
I have a profile on EastMeetsEast (which as far as dating websites go is pretty generic and rather subpar for what it's TRYING to do) and apparently I wrote this for my profile:

slightly neurotic science fiction / fantasy reader-writer-reviewer-critic-academic who loves earthworms, clothing (making and shopping for them), utopic dreams and justice-driven actions

i experiment with bilingual poetry, malaysianese prose, and beans and pasta and rice and dirt and skirt patterns

i dream rainforests and snow blankets, curse lazy cantonese, calligraph jawi arabic, craft cities and planets and castles in the sky

..... who the fuck is this.

somewhere ages and ages hence:

Apr. 14th, 2015 10:30 pm
ciderpress: default: woman with red umbrella (Default)
[personal profile] ciderpress
best beloveds, the last forty days have been full of ups and downs. My cat died. Then, at the end of March, my grandmother passed away and I had to fly to Seoul very quickly to make it to the funeral and be with my family. It was a dizzying time; I had to skip treatment, I had to fly first class out because the planes were chock-a-block, it's so busy at work that I can't take time off to get my head straight until May and I actually still can't tell what day of the week it is.

And Monday -- was that only yesterday? -- my consultant and the specialist nurse emailed me at 9.25am to tell me that my PNH clone had dropped beneath the magic 10% and I am officially in remission; they convened an emergency national meeting of specialists and agreed that I could stop having the Soliris infusions. They emailed me that news at 5.57pm. Something they thought might take ten years, if it happened at all, has taken three.

I've cried more in the last forty days than I've cried in maybe all the time before. I cried yesterday at my desk when I got the first email because all I could think was if only my grandmother had been alive to hear this news, it would have given her so much joy. She worried about me to the very end, wrote to my mother that she wished to take my illness away with her when she died.

These sea changes, my little brain and my dumb heart can't deal with it. I feel like I'm floating most of the time, not able to feel the sharp joy or pain that I thought I would. I'm sure when I'm ready, my emotions will be there to be dealt with but I am at the news sharing stage and so, here I am. I have known some of you many years, and some of you even longer: you know my story. I have been seriously ill since I was 22. I lived through many life expectancies. When I was 28, I went on a medical trial for the first medication ever developed to handle my symptoms. And ten years later, almost ten years exactly to the day of that first eculizumab infusion, by some coincidence, by serendipity, by miracle, by some grace or by sheer dumb luck, I am in spontaneous remission.

I have no elegant way of saying this so I'll just do it in my clumsy way now and maybe later, I will find a better way. Thank you so much for being there for me, thank you so much for listening to my sadness and despair and anger, thank you so much for being the answer back in the void when I needed you. Thank you for distracting me with fandom and hilarity when I needed those things too. Thank you for supporting me, for helping me when I - and the other people with PNH - needed help the most. I will never forget that feeling of community and how many people reached out to help. I hope to never forget that with the goodwill and trust and help that was given to me, my life is not just my own making and my own doing -- and so I should try to live as big as I can, to be able to pay that debt when and wherever I can. Thanks, I really couldn't have spent these last 15 years without you.

Muscles, muscles, muscles

Apr. 14th, 2015 08:53 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I got to 3 sets of 10 with the 35 pound dumbbells! I had to switch out and do something else (row) in between sets 2 and 3, but weirdly, set 3 felt a little easier. Go me!

After my workout, I went home and ate leftover Szechuan and took a Benadryl and crashed. It's raining today, so the pollen ought to be lower, but my ears are still stuffed up. Still, my eyes haven't been itching, they're just a little red. It's just the stuffiness and runny-ness (is that a word?).

I am loosely planning to do some uphill treadmill walking tonight, if I can get a treadmill. We shall see how my muscles are feeling. Walking helps sometimes with loosening me up, or maybe it's the stretching afterwards. I felt really stiff last night, even after half an hour of elliptical following the weights.

Writing: I'm about halfway through the fundraiser round robin chapter, which I started in a notebook. This means I need to type up the 3-4 pages I have; not sure if I'll type the rest, or handwrite. It's going pretty quickly, thank goodness. And I have to finish up the women in WWI erotica story that's due the end of this month.

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