dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Brad - Black and White)
Also this happened tonight on the spreadsheet where I track how much I write each day:

I only started tracking daily word counts (as opposed to the final word counts of posted fic, for which I have had a spreadsheet for years) a little over a year ago, so I don't have any apples-to-apples data to compare this to. At the start of this year I figured that, from my experience of my writing, it wasn't unreasonable to expect to average about 25,000 words a month; I figured I would take January off from writing goals and try for 50,000 words in November, and--assuming I would be prone to falling short--I would hope to write between 250 and 300,000 words in 2012.

I also figured I would complete the GK wolf-verse before Yuletide got going and write an original novel and, uh, I guess Teen Wolf happened? In any case: I've done a lot of writing this year, I think probably more than in past years, and upon reflection that pleases me. :)
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
This morning I added my birthday books from [livejournal.com profile] helaaspindakaas (A Paradise Built in Hell: the Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster and Debt: the First 5,000 Years) to my home library catalog, bringing my total of Non-Fiction books owned up to 152. (Arranged by Dewey Decimal call number. Naturally. It's a small collection, not oriented to heavy research.) (Cataloging for Fiction and A/V materials remains shamefully incomplete.)

After doing the necessary shifting to fit them on the bookshelves, it occurred to me to wonder where this put me along my quest toward an Old English Bryant or one of the subdivisions thereof (it being fairly obvious that on the metric scale this put me at .152 Bryants, or a little over one and a half Decibryants).

When I looked up the old scale, though, I was terribly charmed to realize that I have about six and a half Wallshels, as the shifting did in fact start the Non-Fiction collection onto its seventh shelf.

(Which means, I suppose, that my Ikea Flarkes are more or less Bryant-compliant.)
dira: My home is not a place ... it is people. (Home is not a place)
Meme from [livejournal.com profile] rubynye: Post the names of all the files in your WIP folder, regardless of how non-descriptive or ridiculous.

(This icon: appropriate to every WIP listed, in some respect or another!)

Welcome to my WIP folder, which is actually just called Text. )
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
(People with actual significant knowledge of syntax look away now.)

My sophomore year I took a syntax class where I sat next to [livejournal.com profile] thelionforreal and we wrote each other notes about popslash. We learned that syntax is like a machine for making chocolate chip cookies and yet I somehow got an A-.

My professor was a good descriptivist like most (probably all?) trained linguists, but all the same he assured me confidently that sentences ending in prepositions were ungrammatical--which meant, in his terms, not that they were incorrect according to some sort of style guide but that they would not be naturally generated by any speaker's internalized rules of language. They literally should not exist, and the fact that they did was evidently some sort of massive and ongoing series of errors in speech or writing.

I offered him an example, influenced by the construction that impeded my path back to my dorm that year. "That area is hard to get to." He appeared baffled and then dismissed the sentence, or possibly my argument, as either incomprehensible or imaginary.

Since then, I have thought a lot about the injustice of his position, and I have come to what is probably an obvious conclusion: there are a lot of sentences that appear to end in prepositions but really they don't. They end in words that look like prepositions that are really part of a verb or some other compound phrase.

Prepositions are words that indicate where something is in relation to something else: "the mouse is ______ the desk." Under, over, behind, below, before, beside, at, and so on. If I just said "The mouse is at" then you would presume I had trailed off in the middle of my thought. That would be a poorly formed sentence--something that I might say or write down for whatever reason, but which I would not mentally compose as a complete utterance. (My syntax professor was big on that point--few things people actually say or write are a good reflection of the syntactic process in their brains, he said, because of all the stammers and hesitations and half-repetitions and self-interruptions and so on.) "The mouse is at" would not arise naturally from my syntax as a complete thought--I would have to have thought "the mouse is at the desk" and then suffered some interruption or error en route to producing the actual words. That is an ungrammtical sentence in a linguistic sense. I would have to put a little asterisk next to it on my linguistics homework.

But if I say "the mouse is hard to get at" that is not what happened at all, because "get at" is a verb. It means something different from "get" + "at", and it is perfectly capable of occurring at the end of the sentence. You see what I'm getting at. For example. My suspicion is that the vast majority of sentences ending in "at" or "to" or "with" do so when those words are attached to verbs are perfectly coherent and thus, in linguistic terms, perfectly grammatical--and who gives a damn about Stunk & White and their attempt to make writing style in English conform to the structure of Latin anyway.

Uh. This pointless, pointless rant brought to you by one too many posts from Reasoning with Vampires, also available as [syndicated profile] reasoningwithvamps_feed. It's pretty entertaining, if a little strident on certain rules of usage.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Jack O'Neill - *facepalm*)
Having segued pretty directly from reading Patrick O'Brian (Post Captain, HMS Surprise) to reading Diana Gabaldon (Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, and now Voyager in the span of ... a week or so?) I just spent about twenty minutes sitting at my desk reading Jeremy Hugh Baron's article "Sailors' Scurvy Before and After James Lind: A Reassessment" (Nutrition Reviews, v.67 n.6, pp.315-332, June 2009) and wishing that he'd talked more about lime juice.

(The upshot seems to be, for those desperately interested in scurvy and lime juice, that lemon juice was the vastly preferred preventative recommended by people who actually dealt with actual scurvy cases, while lime juice was subsequently recommended by people ... engaged in growing limes, and was far less effective than correctly-preserved lemon juice. Lime juice came into use much later and was never as widespread, globally speaking, hence getting attached as a nationalist tag to British ships/sailors/etc.)
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
For [livejournal.com profile] shaws_ghoti and [livejournal.com profile] darthfox and [livejournal.com profile] ellen_fremedon, if they have not already seen.

I was attempting to sing along even before I'd caught all the words. ♥

I love all semiotics - and not just lexical!
Boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada...
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Obama - srs smoothie)

Best political flash game ever. And not just for the Mario Bros. flashbacks.

Well, okay, maybe a little bit for the Mario flashbacks.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
1) Drinking while watching Sports Night was accomplished without harm to anyone; clearly [livejournal.com profile] iuliamentis and I are getting old.

2) Speaking of which: today is my twenty-seventh birthday (and, yes, it's been quite happy so far).

I had a professor, when I was an undergraduate, who opined that twenty-seven is the age at which twentysomething placeholding activities (living at your parents' house, working a McJob, etc.) stopped being charmingly slackery and started being An Issue. For some reason I took this to heart, so as my birthday approached I'd been kind of assessing where I stood in relation to What I Want to Do, and for the most part it's going pretty well: I'm living on my own, I actually personally own the car I'm driving for the first time in my life, I'm working at a professional job in my chosen field, and then, well, then there's writing.

Cut for self-satisfied nerdery. )

So, in short: \o/
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (K/G Dork Love by Heuradys)
PHASED = 1. Adjusted to be in phase, or in the desired phase relationship; synchronized. 2. Planned or carried out in stages or gradually.

FAZE = trans. To discompose, disturb.

He was UNFAZED. It did not FAZE him. F A Z E.

Thank you and good night!
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Joe - What? by quettaser)
Me: (peering over [livejournal.com profile] riverlight's shoulder) You know, I've never really understood the whole font thing, how you get them, what you do with them when you have them.
[livejournal.com profile] strangecobwebs*: Sort of like drugs.
Me: Yes! I could no more procure a font than crack cocaine! Although they would probably both be fun to have.

* - under the influence of over-the-counter and prescription remedies for sinus infection
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[Poll #1115908]

ETA: It's occurred to me that I should have named this poll "Vale, nauta!"
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] misspamela asked me to post about this, as apparently there is some confusion on this point and it was causing her pain.

A hopefully non-wanky PSA for bandom: The bands which comprise bandom are not boybands.

Boybands are a specific musical phenomenon with several distinct characteristics. Naturally there are boybands which do not display one or more of these traits, but a preponderance one way or the other should be sufficient to distinguish a boyband from a band, whose members are male and (by some definition) young.

A boyband:

  • First and foremost is exhaustively managed and produced. Image and fashion are tightly controlled by people other than the band members themselves. Shows will feature members of the band wearing coordinated costumes - not just occasionally, or for the duration of a particular tour or in relation to a particular album, but throughout the life of the band. Multiple changes of coordinated costumes throughout a show are not uncommon.

  • Is primarily a singing group. Band members rarely, if ever, play instruments either live or in the studio. Performances will feature highly choreographed dancing, usually synchronized, frequently with additional backup dancers. Complex vocal harmony is typical.

  • Performs songs whose music and lyrics are almost never written or otherwise controlled by the members of the band. (ETA for [livejournal.com profile] merryish: Unless and until the band makes a strenuous effort to take control of their music, a la later-years NSYNC.)

  • Are frequently formed by producers/managers who audition individual boys for singing/dancing ability and marketability and then assemble them into a band. Band members normally have pre-defined roles ("the baby," "the bad boy," etc.) which will be re-inforced through heavily image-controlled marketing.

  • If there are members of the band who can be identified as the songwriters;
    If the band plays instruments while they sing, and dance only in their own spastic and individual fashions onstage;
    If there are any band members who do not sing at all;
    If the band's clothing choices are entirely at their individual whims or a decision by the band to have a thematic look in relation to a particular tour or album (or include any item of clothing that visibly has not been washed since the beginning of tour);
    If the band formed, and performed, significantly before it had a manager;
    (ETA, from [livejournal.com profile] lovelypoet): If a member of the band is acting as the primary producer for other artists' albums...

    ...Then I am pretty sure you are not talking about a boyband.

    And for whatever it's worth, Wikipedia agrees with me.

    If you see anyone being misguided on this point, feel free to link them here, for what good it might do. *g*

    ETA: To see the distinction in action, check out Kasha's Sessions, in which Pete Wentz is in a boyband ("the sullen one") and Patrick Stump is a session musician helping to manufacture their sound. Or watch Pete's version: Fall Out Boyz.
    dira: Billy Tallent's life is so complex. (Billy - Complex by pearl_o)
    There is something so viscerally unpleasant--so nearly physically painful--about the title no, don't look under the tag, really ) that I am looking forward to the day when I might quit this job with all-new fervor.

    On the other hand, for almost entirely work-related reasons, I now have a photocopy of the cover of the Jan/Feb 1997 Skeptical Inquirer--a photo of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, with insets of the X-Files logo and Chris Carter--on the bulletin board above my desk. So there.
    dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Rodney - Geek Chic by lamardeuse)
    Further evidence that my undergraduate alma mater is, was, and ever shall be the very coolest of public universities.

    (That's the Undergraduate Library, in the first part of the clip, just downstairs from where I used to work, and then the main computer lab, fondly known as the Fishbowl, for which I pine every time I visit one of the crappy, tiny computer labs here at Maryland.)
    dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Don & Charlie - Sniper Zero by xx_murder)
    So now that school is done, I'm not getting my RDA of dorkiness from going to class and doing my homework, but that's okay, because! TV Ratings.

    I'm sure you're all excited to know that Numb3rs won the timeslot, and the night, last night with a 7.7/14. That's down some from previous weeks (the last four new-episode ratings, three of which fell in November sweeps, were 8.0/14, 8.2/14, 7.9/14, and 8.0/14) but still above the pre-sweeps ratings from the first six eps of the season. I think it's time to cave and admit that Numb3rs is doing significantly better with Close to Home as a lead-in than it did with Threshold (poor, poor Threshold). And while Johnny's-psychic-girlfriend-Alex-from-The-Dead-Zone makes a pretty annoying prosecutor, Lindsey-from-Angel is kinda cute as her husband, so I guess it'll do for last-ten-minutes-before-Numb3rs viewing.

    A couple of other Numb3rs thoughts. )

    Anyway, this morning I am rewatching "Toxin," for reasons totally not related to not working on my Yuletide story AT ALL, and. I LOVE DON AND CHARLIE AND THEY LOVE EACH OTHER. Don says, "Young Eppes!" as he walks into Charlie's office. Don does MATH on the FLOOR. (Well, okay, marks maps on the floor, whatever, it's adorable and hot.) And Colby is madly in love with Edgerton. And now Charlie and Don are alone in their motel room, so I have to go.
    dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Wilson - Smile by daughtershade)
    So I've started taping episodes of House, which is to say that I taped last week's (episode 1x13, first-run) on the tape that was already on the VCR. This was at least the third thing recorded on that never-labeled tape and, shockingly, when I rewatched the episode, the recording quality kinda sucked. Colors were fadey, sound levels were wonky - it was watchable, but not great. I went out and bought a new tape to record tonight's rerun (episode 1x03), and have resigned myself to the fact that I'll be recording any of the first twelve episodes in any order I can get them, so the tape will be all over the place - still, it's a fresh tape, so the quality should be decent, and, of course, it's all just stopgap until the DVDs come out, which will doubtless be very soon after the season ends.

    So. I've already labeled the tape with 1x13 on it, and, obviously, there's plenty of room on it for at least the next five new episodes. Having them all together and in order on one tape pleases my archival-order instincts; the question of recording quality is almost a lesser concern. Almost. I think what it actually is is a precisely equal concern. I have another never-labeled tape here which has probably been recorded on once at most, and I could always scrape together three bucks to buy another videotape. But I seriously just. Don't. Know.

    So I made a poll, which, er, strayed a bit from the problem at hand: Behind the cut )
    dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
    Apparently, mold will not grow in a half-full can of Diet Coke, unlike the similarly half-full cans of Pepsi that decorated my dorm room back in the day. I guess it's the Aspartame, right? No real sugar = no life-sustaining nutrients for mold to grow on. The simultaneous failure of mold to grow in the Mountain Dew suggests that either a) environmental factors are at least partly responsible for the absence of mold, or b) Yellow Dye #5 really is as inimical to the propagation of life as teenaged boys seem to believe.

    Uh. Not that anyone coming over to my place today should take this to mean that I had any reason to suspect that there was mold growing in my kitchen. At all. Really.

    *goes back to cleaning*
    dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
    [livejournal.com profile] iuliamentis came over today to watch some movies and buy me meals and show off her new car, whose name is Teppo, all of which was successfully accomplished. We watched Spy Game first and, let me just say to you slashers on my flist, if you somehow haven't already heard me say this, go watch this movie. Not because I wrote fic for it, but because you'll want to write fic for it too. Or you may not even feel the need to write fic before it, because OMG THEIRLOVEISSOTHEWHOLEPLOT. We spent much of the movie alternating between "rrrowr" and "awww!" noises for Brad Pitt, augmented by periodic "rrrrowr" and "j00 r0x0r!" noises for Robert Redford, and periodic outbursts of "I want an icon of that! No that! No! That!"

    Then we watched The Shawshank Redemption (which was my favorite movie in the world from the time I was fourteen until the day I saw Wilby Wonderful, which, incidentally, is now available for preorder from amazon.ca, and while the exchange rate isn't as favorable as it's historically been for those of us south of the border, it's worth every penny, American or Canadian) and discovered that, yep, I still know pretty much all of the dialogue verbatim, so we felt free to spend pretty much the whole movie saying "Icon. Icon!" And then Iulia called "Mood icon!" on something or other, and we spent the rest of the movie constructing a mood theme. Elmo Blatch: deranged! Tommy: resolved! And then we got to that one scene in the warden's office, and both pointed to the screen and yelled "Obtuse!" and cracked up.

    For, lo, we are dorks.

    In other news of me being a dork: website stats. OMG website stats. How incredibly entertaining are they? Apart from what would appear to be incontrovertible evidence that people read my stories, I get stuff like search query terms! And because I'm a dork, often when I get the search query terms, I go and plug them into the relevant search engine and try to work out how bored/desperate the person had to be to find my site by searching for that.

    So today, I noticed quebecois slang in the search terms, and thought, Huh. Well, I did use that phrase in apologizing for Code-Switching, so I guess... So I plugged quebecois slang into Google and, uh.

    The translation notes for Code-Switching are the first result. Above, y'know, french.about.com, or the Alternative Quebecois Dictionary, or the Wikipedia Quebec French page that I consult on a regular basis. I feel like I should apologize to the internet.


    dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
    Dira Sudis

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