I've been craving some good Check Please fics lately, but have had a bit of a struggle finding them. I'm sorta looking for something largely in-universe, in character, maybe longer... 30k+ words. Honestly, most of these are very loosey-goosey. I just want some real good fic stuff going on.
Anyone have any favorites to share?
(My boyfriend is usually a pretty grounded person, but every once in a while he comes up with some crazy thoughts. We’re cuddling on the couch watching TV when suddenly he comes out with this:)
Boyfriend: “You know what would be crazy? What if, instead of hind paws, cats had tiny human hands that were cat sized? Then instead of kneading you, they would grope you with their tiny back hands.”
Me: *stares at him bewildered* “Umm…what?”
Boyfriend: “Also! What if they spoke English instead of meowing? Not speaking English per se; they wouldn’t know what they were saying. But instead of saying ‘meow,’ each cat would have a single, random sentence they said over and over and over. Like one would always say ‘Where’s the butter?’ and another would only be able to say ‘I like short shorts!’ and so on, so that each cat had its own unique phrase it would say instead of meowing.”
Me: *hugs him* “I’m sorry, sweetie. I don’t know how I broke you, but I’m sorry I did.”
(Cue my boyfriend laughing hysterically.)
(I am at the store with my mom and sister. A lady next to us is buying clothes and sees a picture of twins hanging up.)
Lady: “Oh, what beautiful twins.”
Cashier: “Thank you.” *smiles politely*
Lady: “They look like my grandkids.”
Lady: *cutting her off* “…before they died.”
Lady: “They were 15 minutes old before they went… Well, have a nice day.”
(She left as if everything were normal.)
Then last night I had a dream where I took Monkey to a specialized vet because -- and my subconscious is being super subtle here -- I had two weeks earlier taken her to my regular vet, who thought she had a UTI but there were two tests and one said yes and one said no so they weren’t sure but suggested I go to this other place, but I waited until after I got back from a week-long trip that included going to some sort of conference; and the new vet was yelling at me about how I needed to take better care of my cat, I should have canceled the trip and brought her in right away, blah blah blah.
No cats were harmed in the making of this dream, but, like I said: subtle. I wonder what it means...
(Called my doctor’s office, which was a hassle and a half -- partly because I don’t have most of the typical UTI symptoms like pain or burning or urgency, partly because they kept wanting me to make an appointment and I kept having to say “I am disabled and can’t give a urine sample at the doctor’s office, she’s going to want a urine test anyway so I should do that first, I’m fine with making an appointment but I want to get the urine test done first yes I fucking well ‘have trouble walking’ I am in a fucking wheelchair and can’t fucking use regular toilets what the fuck (paraphrased; I didn’t swear), my doctor is familiar with my circumstances please just send her a message” -- it would have been less work to message her myself (“suspect uti, please order test”) but that doesn’t always get seen the same day. We shall see what happens.)
In other news: For all that I am way behind on making the yarny stuff I want to make, I find myself wanting to make a small stuffed bunny for someone I’ve never met. (I don’t remember if I posted here or not about the 11 year old girl with FOP that was in ICU because of complications of parainfluenza and FOP-created scoliosis, and she had to be intubated, which can cause FOP issues but was kind of a Hail Mary as it was? She’s still in the PICU and will be for a while, but she’s doing better; got extubated yesterday and is on bipap, and in much better shape, though there’s still a long way to go. I asked her mom what her favorite animal and color are (bunnies/turkeys and pink/purple respectively) because I just … I don’t know, want to do something for her. And a crocheted pink bunny seems doable?)
Much has been written about the design of the Daleks and its contribution to their success. It's difficult not to be impressed. Even today most Doctor Who monsters definitely adhere to the "man in a suit" model, so seeing something from so early in the show that really doesn't look remotely like a man in a suit. The fact that the fundamental design of the Daleks has altered so little since then is probably a testament to its longevity. Even the sink plunger which ought to tip them over into the ridiculous seems to work, and to continue to work. While the design of the Daleks has been much praised, the design of their City is also pretty impressive, both in terms of the exterior shots of the whole city and the internal corridors. There isn't anything in this story that looks risible and a great deal of it looks very good indeed.
Some of the dialogue is also surprisingly nuanced for Doctor Who and a reminder that, at this point in time, its writers viewed it as an ensemble show. I'm particularly thinking of the discussion in the forest over the morality of pressurising the Thals to help them, though I'm not quite sure (even in 1963) why the dynamic of this is the Doctor and Barbara attempting to persuade Ian to persuade the Thals, as if the Doctor and Barbara can't have a go at a bit of persuading themselves. In fact, I'm not at all sure what this story's attitude is to the concept of Ian as the leader. It seems to be implicit in quite a lot that happens, but then the script also undermines him - particularly in the sequence when it becomes clear that only Susan can venture back to the Tardis to fetch the anti-radiation drugs where Ian is basically a bit of a tit about the whole situation.
On the down side, the Thals are rather bland, more so than I remembered from the novelisation - though they do avoid the 1970s mistake of looking like a bunch of actors who have never done a day's physical labour in their lives. They are almost uniformly kind, thoughtful and a little bewildered looking - the only excepion really being Antodus who's cowardly and bewildered looking. My memory from the novelisation is that they were better differentiated than this, but the novelisation is a slightly different beast. I was aware that there was supposed to be a potential romance between Ganatus and Barbara and so spotted the various hints of this, but Tame Layman was a bit taken aback at the end when it was made more explicit in their farewell. Susan is also fairly ill-served by the story although I'm beginning to feel that Susan is often ill-served. While the Randomiser re-watches have improved my opinion of many of the 60s era "screamer" companions, I think my opinion of Susan has dropped. Sadly, the most interesting thing about her is her background. Otherwise, an awful lot of the time, her role in any story just to scream hysterically and panic. Here she is given a moment to shine, when she fetches the anti-radiation drugs, but the script undermines her even then by focusing mostly on her fear and not on her bravery.
I don't know why I formed such a low opinion of this story the first time I came across it. It is mostly intelligently written, well-designed and pretty pacey to watch. As the story that first introduced the Daleks its significance in the history of Doctor Who is clear and it is a story which I think a moderately tolerant modern viewer could easily enjoy.
Many thanks to heron61 for bringing it to my attention.
Actually, I take immense pleasure in imagining that the Minister of Rites walks in mortal terror that Marquis Yan will give him a stern look or something, because Yan stepping back into court affairs has got to have everyone in the older generation running around yelling “Fear! Fire! Flood! OMG, we’re all gonna die!” behind the scenes, plus now he’s spent years studying ritual.
I also like to think, though, that Yu’s wife’s brother is still in charge of the Review Court and is making life a petty, picayune /pain in the ass/ at every opportunity, and god but Cai wants to throw him off a tower, and Shen is rubbing his forehead and reminding everyone that they’re supposed to be /civilized beings/ here, and Jingyan is acting like he totally wasn’t about to hand Cai a sword, annoyances, for the stabbing of, no of course not.
Plus, of course, the Minister of War was a supporter of the old Crown Prince and is /sure/ to be on the take somehow. So many lovely possibilities for military affairs to be fucked up right when a) they really need to be solid and b) Jingyan can’t go kick things into shape in person any more. *sadistic happy sparkles*
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2ri4vw2
With your made-up eyes and your grown up gown
And the glitter on your cheek
When the pink balloons come tumbling down
You’ve been waiting for all week…
Dance little girl, dance with delight
Let nobody tell you that it isn’t right.
To a Latin beat, when you twist and sway,
With your body wild and free
Where nobody cares who’s straight or gay
And you’re just where you want to be…
Dance little girl, for the world is good
Let nobody tell you you never should.
With your slicked back hair and your rose tattoo
To the heavy metal beat
And your friends are singing and dancing too
Who you came tonight to meet…
Dance little girl, dance for today
Let nobody tell you that it’s not the way.
So dance, for no one can stop the dance
They may try to make us fear
But for Manchester, for Orlando, France,
We will keep on dancing here…
Dance little girl, we’re all dancing still
It’s right to dance and it’s wrong to kill.
(In an interview in Paris yesterday somebody asked me if I was engagee. I didn’t know what it means. It means “an activist”. I don’t know that I’m an activist, but I’m alive in the world and I’m not a stone, I can’t not have a reaction when things happen, and if I can find a way to process that into art, well, I’m going to.)
(My school’s team is the Red Hawks, and we’re having a pep rally to get everyone psyched up for the game that night. The principal is at the mic, talking about what a great team we have and how excited he is for this season. The guy a few rows behind me is getting really into it, and I freeze as I hear:)
Guy: “F*** yeah!”
(Everyone freezes. The principal, to his credit…)
Principal: “That is exactly what I’m talking about. Hawk yeah! HAWK yeah! I want that kind of school spirit at the game tonight!”
(Everyone exhales. At the time, I was relieved that the principal had misheard, but now I wonder if he knew, and just decided to give the guy a pass!)
Dad caught his son stealing. He asks him if he’d rather get his Xbox back, or get a beating.
Son who repetitively blamed stealing on siblings was caught red handed in a trap set by parents. This incident took place just 5 minutes after a discussion with his son about stealing.
Are Parents Always Right?
She...does a really bad job of staying on top of the mowing. It got so bad a year or two ago she was afraid to go out because of ticks and stopped letting her dogs into the backyard and had to hire someone, which took weeks because the contractors (understandably) wanted to use one of the machines you ride around in, and they couldn't fit it through the side yard.
Every time we offered to help, she would put us off with "No, give me a couple days, I'm handling it, any day now."
Late last summer, we agreed to split the costs for landscapers to do the lawn every couple of weeks. She hired them, they eventually came, it was fine.
Then this year, she told me she told the landscapers not to come until mid-June. Seemed weird to me, but okay, if she's planning on mowing before then.
Turns out, she was not planning on mowing before then. I had to nag her into doing it. The weeds in the front yard were almost to my hip. I would have done just the front yard, but the lawnmower is in the shed in the very back of the backyard, and you have to wade through tick-land to get there.
I tried emailing her, offering to cover the landscaper costs, asking her how much money I should give her, etc. No response.
We tried asking her for the phone number of the company so we could nag them into coming ourselves. No response.
Eventually my partner pinned her down in person and discovered she was behind on payments to the landscapers, which is why they refused to come. They had also tried pulling the "$250 for leaf-blowing you didn't ask us to do" trick last fall, which she was apparently planning on paying for when she had the money.
Now, I had sent her multiple emails offering to contribute money, so I'm not sure why she couldn't communicate any of this to me.
My partner offered to help if she gave us invoices. She tried asking us for the $250 for the leaf-blowing, which, when my partner told me, I laughed at and went NO. That's the kind of charge you contest. (I have a pretty successful history of contesting medical bills.)
My partner asked her again for the invoices for the mowing and snow blowing so we could help with the back payments; we can even help with contesting the leaf blowing. Her response, "Oh, I don't know where they are, I'll let you know if I find them."
Uh, okay, you're turning down free money here and your last rent check just bounced, but okay.
We offered to hire a landscaper of our own and take over lawn maintenance, she said, "No, just give me a couple days (this after a month of nagging), I'll get it sorted."
Well, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. My partner wanted to give her a couple weeks, but I pride myself on my pattern recognition skills. I tried sending her an email telling her I was hiring someone else, please give me the name of the company she hired so I don't rehire them, no response.
WTFever, I just went ahead and hired someone. I've informed her that she should cancel service from the other company, I'll be paying for this one.
When I announced this to my partner, she said something that made me laugh. "What, we're going to stage a coup d'état?"
Me: "Yep! Fait accompli. Allons enfants!"
The new landscapers showed up today, I asked the guy in charge to make sure to leave the gates closed so the dogs don't get out. His response, "Sure, no problem! Uh, do you clean up after the dogs?"
Me: "Nope. They're not my dogs. I'd be mowing myself if the neighbor cleaned up after her dogs. That's what I'm paying you for. Sorry!"
I have never seen someone look so visibly crestfallen. His head actually fell.
It's a pretty big yard, and that's one large dog and one medium dog. I tried mowing the backyard exactly once, last summer. It took forever, and a lot of bending over and collecting weeks' worth of piles of droppings, and I still missed a couple. Never again.
I just realized, while writing this, that her dogs are now costing me hundreds of dollars a year. Sigh. She's lucky I've now got enough money that it's worth my time. Three years ago, I didn't.
Landlord not useful in resolving this. His suggestion: hire someone to mow the lawn.
The previous tenants, btw, got fed up with this and tried building a dog run. I guess that didn't work out. But at least they had their own dogs, so they didn't totally draw the line at picking up after dogs in the backyard, or at least they didn't have the money to hire someone.
I'm now wondering if I should try to push some of the costs back on the landlord and propose taking it out of the rent. See if that lights a fire under his butt to get on her case. Or if he just accepts it as the cost of doing business. Hm. If I liked my landlord better I probably wouldn't, but he is *so* bad about overpromising and underdelivering on repairs, and this house is falling apart. And he has to be nagged into doing *anything*. I think maybe he deserves it.
ETA: Landlord emailed. Let's see how he reacts.
Marie Brennan’s In the Sanctuary of Wings. What a wild ride this book - this whole series! - has been. A+++ do recommend, with the caveat that the first book is alas a bit of a slog, but unfortunately it’s a slog that’s vitally important set-up so you can’t skip it. But the four books after that are all wonderful! Each one better than the last!
What I really love about these books - aside from the worldbuilding, which I do quite enjoy, although in general I feel dubious about worldbuilding that draws so heavily on the real world - is that they’re plotted around the pleasures of research, of discovery, of learning something new that no one else knows. It’s a bit of the same pleasure as reading A. S. Byatt’s Possession, except without the protagonists’ sad personal lives to get you down; Isabella’s personal life is many things, and one of them is occasionally “tragic,” but sad or pathetic never.
And I’ve given up on Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton. Life is simply too short for 700 page biographies that aren’t grabbing me!
What I’m Reading Now
Well, I was reading No Holly for Miss Quinn, but then I took it along with me and forgot it at my parents’ house, so that’s on hiatus for now. I am reading Village Centennial instead.
What I Plan to Read Next
Esperanza Rising, which I’d better get on if I intend to finish it by the end of May for my reading challenge.