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[sticky post] Fic Master Post

All Star Trek stories are Kirk/McCoy unless otherwise stated.
All Avengers stories are Steve/Tony unless otherwise stated.

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Obligatory Statement on LJ

I've been crossposting between LJ and DW since the servers were being moved to Russia; I've also deactivated my auto-renew account for lj because I don't want them to have access to my financials. I don't think the recent LJ TOS statement will be legally enforceable in the US, but I also don't foresee any organizations going to the mattress about it either.  That said, if LJ ups and closes shop, all my stuff is at my DW account: caitri.dreamwidth.org. 

Good night and good luck, I guess.

A Lot of Disparate Thoughts

I've been wanting to write a post on various things going on, but have put it off because there just always seems to be too much. Anyway, here's a bunch of random things:

We were worried our car had died and were fretting because Now Is Not The Right Season to figure out getting a new car, but luckily, the autoshop diagnosed a problem with the engine and alternator, and it only cost a couple hundred books and they promise there's plenty of life in the old girl yet.


I finished my first proper fic in ages for [community profile] space_wrapped !! [personal profile] fritz42 was such an awesome beta and cheerleader and I am so happy! Will be posting on Dec. 23.


[Insert disjointed incoherent thoughts on how stressful and difficult holiday shopping and preparation is.]


Was so astonished and relieved about Doug Jones's Senate win last night. Was texting with Todd, who said that his brother texted him to say "This is proof that God exists and God hates Roy Moore." Todd wrote back "Maybe this is proof that God is a fourteen-year-old girl."

Another political note: I am so fucking tired of all of my [white, straight] friends complaining about sad and tired politics makes them. Bitches, how do you think everyone ELSE feels? But that's why you have to just keep fighting. [N.B. These are the same people who will share BLM stuff on social media but don't appear to have any actual POC friends. Both of which require a whole lot unpacking, mental acrobatics, whatever.]


Outlander season finale feels: OMG I love how they fixed the Willoughby plotline, and I hope the next season(s) can similarly fix the issues with race in the translation from books to screen, because I don't think I can handle white people shrugging off the genocide of Native Americans and slavery with a shrug of "well what can we do, nothing's gonna happen in 70 years anyway." I've already had a couple arguments with people about this on social media where they use the whole "men of their time" argument that never fails to piss me the fuck off, because it does such a disservice to everyone who was "ahead of their time" and, you know, ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY.


Ongoing in Our Weird Old House: We're working on the master bathroom--will be doing most of the work--ourselves--and discovered that the previous owners had at some point converted a full bath to a 3/4 bath. So...that project just became a bit more complicated, but it's still kind of a cool thing to find.


A while back I got a job rejection letter that basically went, seriously, "You are so qualified and very impressive, but we're not going to interview you. Good luck with life!" Which, *flail* so I'm going to try to volunteering with my local library just to try to get a toe in the door and also hopefully build in some opportunities so I can renew my CA in a few years. I had a good meeting yesterday with the admin who coordinates thing and will likely be doing social media stuff for them for a bit. So, here's hoping.


My diss. I'm trying to finish a chapter and....it is so hard. Why is it so hard? Still continuing on, anyway.


Will have some sort of year-end post for year's end, hopefully.

Today in "I Am Absurd"

John Boyega was stranded in Atlanta because of the snow and Scott had to fly into Atlanta for a work thing this morning, and all I could think was "What if Scott walked by John Boyega but didn't recognize him because he doesn't recognize faces??"

Bookmark: Interview with Samuel Delany



Don’t romanticize science fiction. One of the questions I have been asked so many times I’ve forgotten what my stock answer to it is, “Since science fiction is a marginal form of writing, do you think it makes it easier to deal with marginal people?” Which—no! Why should it be any easier? Dealing with the marginal is always a matter of dealing with the marginal. If anything, science fiction as a marginal genre is more rigid, far more rigid than literature. There are more examples of gay writing in literature than there are in science fiction.

Recipe: Tea-Rubbed Maple Turkey

Source: Milk Street

Tea-Rubbed Maple Turkey

12 Servings

Don't cover the turkey before it goes into the refrigerator; leaving it uncovered helps dry the skin overnight, which produces crispier skin.

Time: 3 TO 3½ HOURS Plus 24 hours to season.

For the Turkey & Gravy






To prepare the turkey, set a roasting rack inside a large roasting pan. Using paper towels, pat the turkey dry inside and out. Tuck the wings underneath.

Gently push your hand under the skin over the breasts, thighs and drumsticks to loosen. In a small bowl, combine the tea, salt and white pepper. Using your hands, spread half the mixture evenly under the skin.

Sprinkle the remaining mixture over the skin, rubbing to coat evenly.

Set the turkey breast side up on the roasting rack and refrigerate, uncovered, for 24 hours.


Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lowest position. Pour 4 cups of the water into the roasting pan.

Pull the turkey legs up and forward and insert a long skewer through one thigh to the other thigh.

Roast for 2 hours; the thickest part of the thigh should register 155°F to 160°F.


While the turkey roasts, prepare the glaze. In a large saucepan over medium, combine the maple syrup, brewed tea and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until large bubbles form, adjusting the heat to prevent boiling over, 8 to 10 minutes; you should have about ¾ cup glaze.

Reserve ¼ cup; transfer the remaining ½ cup glaze to a small bowl, stir in the vinegar and white pepper and reserve to serve with the turkey.


Remove the turkey from the oven and brush with half of the reserved ¼ cup of glaze. Return the turkey to the oven and roast until the thickest part of the breast registers 160°F and the thigh registers 175°F, brushing with the remaining glaze every 30 minutes, 1 to 1½ hours longer.

Tilt the turkey to let the liquid run out of the cavity into the pan, then transfer to a carving board. Let rest for 45 minutes.


To make the gravy, pour the liquid from the roasting pan into a fat separator and let settle for about 5 minutes. Pour 2 cups of defatted liquid into a large saucepan over medium-high and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 3 tablespoons water and cornstarch.

Whisk the mixture into the simmering liquid and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy and the reserved glaze.


STD "Into the Forest I Go" Thoughts

1) I hate that this cliffie is all we have until January.

2) I think not where, but when.

3) Right now I want nothing more than a cameo of Avery Brooks as Ben Sisko.


Bonus: Outlander "Doldrums"

Thank the GODS the writers continue to improve on the Willoughby storyline. I thought his entire speech/performance was well done both in terms of the actor's performance and for the character. Also, I approve of how Claire continues to call him Yi Tien Cho, because respecting names is fucking important.


 I got my first ever ~invitation~ to speak at a conference!!

As opposed to the usual, where you send a proposal and they say yes or no, this was an email from the organizer specifically asking me and asking if either of a pair of dates worked better for my schedule. Each participant speaks for an hour, so....that's something I've never done outside of specifically teaching; most presentations are like 15-20 minutes. So I am excite!!!!!!!


This amused me

For Want of a Verb

 Working on an essay today when I needed a term I couldn't conjure.


For want of a verb, an argument was lost.
For want of an argument, an essay was lost.
For want of an essay, a publication was lost.
For want of a publication, a CV was lost.
For want of a CV, a career was lost.
For want of a career, an academic was lost.
And all for the want of a verb!

Kate: OMG stahp!

Me: No one appreciates my pastiches.

Kate: I appreciate the wine I'm about to go pour.

STD Thoughts: "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum"

"If you want peace, prepare for war."

This episode felt a little off because it's such a prologue to the mid-season finale, I guess. I think it will hold-up better when binge-watching though.
Anyways, thoughts:

SPOILERSCollapse )


Bonus: Outlander "First Wife" Thoughts

Having reread the book so recently, I keep getting tripped up in the little tweaks they are making so that it's clear the characters and the audience are all Up To Date On Things. I feel like it slows down the momentum of the plot a lot, but anyway. I did appreciate the tweak they made to explain the Laoghaire/Jamie thing, which was always So Dumb, by here making it all about her adorable kids and Jamie's desire to be a father. Seriously, the Hogmanay dance scene with them was So Cute!

I also appreciated the added scenes with Jenny, but....since they even brought up the fact that they told Murtagh about time travel and have a little dialogue about Not Telling Jenny....it seems EVEN MORE DUMB that they don't tell her. An awful lot of interpersonal issues--that don't even exist in the book--could be solved with one conversation. *frustrated sigh*

Behind On Life, Basically

Yesterday I had a follow-up with my other doctor, who modified my prescription slightly and wants me to go do bloodwork in 6-8 weeks and see how that's doing. She said I "just look sad" and I told her a bit about my depression because of Candace's passing, and she said to let her know if I need anything, which in retrospect was maybe offering some anti-depression meds? Which I have mixed feelings on, because on the one hand I am totally behind on life, and on the other I worry about having yet another medical cocktail when I'm trying to write and so on. So, *jazz hands* basically. Oh, I also lost a bit of weight, apparently, which is to me mostly interesting since ISTG I spent all of October eating snack-size Kit-Kats, but go me anyway, I guess.

I'm about 1500 words into my Space_Wrapped fic, which is at least encouraging. (Hey, remember when I could start a fic and actually finish it? .... That was a long time ago. Geesh.) I have only the vaguest attempt at plot, but apparently there's going to be biweekly word wars at the Jim and  Bones chat room, so I'm going to try to hit those. 


The screencap from STD I really needed

These anonymous Fleeter girls dancing together.

Everyone else dancing in this scene is a couple of some kind. Just <3
I really loved tonight's episode; once they got the show where they needed it to be the writing has been so solid! But I particularly like how this episode felt like a fic, with its emphases on relationships and so on, and also re-telling the familiar time loop trope, but this time mostly from the pov of someone who ISN'T remembering the same day over and over again. Also, I love that apparently there ain't no rave like a Starfleet rave (which sure calls back to Stamets's reference to speed last week)!

SPOILERSCollapse )
Anyway, I love all these characters so much, and another episode and then we're going to be on hiatus for a month, and I don't know how I'll handle it?? Or the year-long break that will be between seasons. Like, part of me recognizes it's gotta be that way to maintain quality, and part of me just wants to go NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! into the void.
The First Outlander Printing Post No One Wanted.

All screencaps are from 3x07 "Creme de Menthe." So, remember how the last post was about everything they got right about printing? Well, this one is about everything they got wrong.

So the big plot point in both the books and the show is the excisemen connecting "Jamie Roy's" smuggling business to "A. Malcolm's" printing operation. In the books this involved a lot more off-screen discussion of the excisemen going around Edinburgh taverns tasting brandy to locate the stuff Jamie's smuggling and then getting to the print-shop where they also find his seditious pamphlet trade. As happens.

Step one to seditious printing: Don't put your fucking name on it, for one thing.

And in fact, most seditious material would have neither a name nor an address on it, which would be illegal because 17th c. printing ordinances actually REQUIRED all printing to have physical addresses on it for these reasons. If you had a "press in a hole" it meant you were moving your press around pretty regularly to avoid the authorities, and often doing shitty printing as a result. When you look at something dodgy in the 18th c., though, what you see is printing with FAKE addresses and imprints on them instead. There's actually some neat scholarship on this topic, because it turns out, it's easy to put a fake address on something....but you can look at the type, ornaments, composition (which is to say, how the compositors placed page numbers, assigned gathering signatures and catch words, etc) and successfully identify true origins of these things.

But anyway. Lemme show you a scene that has bugged me for YEARS. So Young Ian confronts the exciseman in Jamie's printshop and a fight scene ensues. The exciseman pulls a gun and tries to shoot him, hitting a wall of clear jars behind him, the liquid of which falls down and starts a fire. In the books, Gabaldon says this is alcohol for making printing ink, except you don't use alcohol in printing ink, you use oil varnish. (Oil varnish is pretty flameable though. Fun fact: There were in fact laws requiring ink makers to not do so within five miles of city limits because you make oil varnish by boiling oil which has a tendency to combust when oxygen hits it, so you have to try to control the boil by leaving the lid on the cauldron and adding bread and onions to mitigate the temperature and make a nice luncheon. Anyway.)

Okay, so the "alcohol' drops down onto the banked stove-looking set-up which we also saw last week. In the book, this is described as the little "forge" where damaged type could be melted down and recast. You'll see here that young Ian grabs the small ladle of lead (and tin and antimony) and throws it into the face of the baddie which is enough for him to drop to the ground writhing in pain and then falling unconscious like he's Prince Viserys or something.

LOL, no.

Okay, so, small things first: The lovely thing about type metal is that it has a low melting point (about 800 degrees F) and a high cooling point. If you throw the tablespoon of molten metal at someone's face, they are going to yell "Ow! Motherfucker!" and that's about it. I've seriously gotten worse heat blisters from pot handles or hot tea than with molten type metal. To really damage someone, you'd need to pick up that WHOLE POT YOU GOT THERE and dump it on someone, but it would be pretty heavy, so you'd have to ask said someone to hold still while you poured it. Basically this is just a dumb dramatic scene, which is also ahistorical, because by the 18th century, no one was really doing this anymore.

Image result for casting lead type

Now, this is probably the scene Gabaldon had in mind; this is a woodcut by Jost Amman, Frankfurt, 1568. In the early days of printing, there was a closer relationship between printers and typecutters/typefounders, so you COULD do this in your shop. by the 18th c., however, the professions had diverged significantly. Typefounding, making type and the matrices for the fonts, required a very different skill set and what is basically a proprietary technology. Think of it like you working at your computer--sure, you use Microsoft Office all the damn time, but can you write to code for it? Nope. That's why you download updates and buy new software packages and so on. Although fun fact: Ben Franklin managed an early "hack" when he was working as an apprentice in his brother's print shop, rigging some matrices to cast some type (likely from sand moulds) until he was able to make the NECESSARY TRIP to Europe to buy some.

Anyway, the one thing the show got right with this whole sequence is a scene not in the book, where Jamie physically moves a press so they can escape.

That's right: one big dude, moving a press by himself. I like this bit because there's some conventional wisdom by non-printing scholars that presses were ~so heavy, and especially ~so heavy that the womens couldn't use their feeble women strength to work them. LOL, NO. A wooden press is lighter than my beat-up Ikea couch, man.

Anyways, then the printshop burns down and then the other plots have to be set in motion. We won't see a printing press again until they adapt book 6, assuming they do so. *sighs wistfully* In which case....see you in three years for more rants?

Outlander printing video

(Found at Todd's behest.)

*dreamy sigh*

The Outlander Printing Post No One Wanted

I have waited three years to make this post, ISTFG.

This one is from 3x05 "Freedom and Whiskey." Apparently they made two common presses and sent Sam Heughan to "printing school" so he could operate them properly. (They had a consultant at Reading University, so I wonder if they sent him there?) Apparently a lot of the prints you see onscreen he actually did himself. Good job, boyo.

Anyway, this is a nice set-up here. My only complaint is piling that much stuff onto the closed tympan; that much printing paper is **heavy.**

This next series of 'caps are all from 3x06 "A. Malcolm." Here's Jamie checking his prints first thing in the morning, probably to see if they dried properly. Note the combination of wooden dowels and hanging ropes to hold all the printed sheets. Absolutely correct.

Jamie's got his apron on (and I covet that beautiful leather apron that is....absolutely spotless. *thinks about the distressed aprons in my 'shop* *sighs*) A minor blooper here; when we see the bed of the press the chase is totally empty, but when he gets to work a few minutes later the type is locked up.

This is a shot from the "Inside the World" featurette after the episode. Note that they did the lock-up properly with all wooden quoins and furniture rather than cheating and using modern (metal) speed quoins. My one hiccup here is that the bed is half-empty, and he's shown printing small bi-folios rather than quartos. It just wouldn't make any sense to print that way when you're doing pamphlets. Anyway, I think they may have done proper handset type here instead of cheating and using zinc plates, which is what you ordinarily see in print scenes in movies and whatnot. Although minor complaint: Throughout the shop you see all the equipment, all the paper stock, etc. etc., but you don't see any typecases or cabinets. And fwiw I have a small hobby operation and I have four type cabinets, so. They take up space.

Now what impressed me here is they got almost all of the inking correct! However, Jamie grabs the pair of prepped inkballs off the cheek of the press, where....they shouldn't be first thing in the morning, or they should be capped with a damp rag if they are. Why? Turns out the leather pelts used can dry out over night and makes it harder for them to pick up the ink; really you should start up first thing in the morning by taking the pelts out of a bucket of water where they would sit over night, wringing them out, then freshly stuffing the ink pelts with carded wool, then nailing them to the stock, and THEN prepping your ink.

You do see Jamie working the ink with an ink knife from a jar on the inking stone. However, when they cut back to it its all spread out properly, which means someone likely worked it over with a modern brayer to get it perfectly ready to go. But he applies the ink to the ink balls correctly, then applies them to the press correctly. My heart went bat-bat-bat-bat just like the ink on that type, I tell ya.

Okay, here we see him pulling the bar:

My one hiccup here is--he doesn't pull back at an angle, which means he's not using a footbrace. Contrast with my bro Todd at work:

See how he's got his knees bent just a bit? You got to make the press's leverage work for you when you're doing your pulls.Now, both Sam/Jamie and Todd are big guys, so they don't really need to. But back in the day, people were shorter. So, there's that. Now, back to Jamie:

Jamie checks his impression. Nice and even, particularly given he was using undampened paper from the post behind him. A couple more nitpicks: We don't see tables for the fresh paper OR the stack of prints that they would be producing (and you wouldn't hang them straight away--they need to dry off a bit). You also need to dampen your paper overnight because printing ink is incredibly thick stuff, and the wet paper picks it up much more easily and evenly than dry paper does. But as I said in my live-blogging, It's okay, Jamie. I've fucked that up too!

I didn't get a decent screencap of it, but he's also printing using "duckbills" or small folded bits of paper attached to the tympan to hold the paper in place, rather than "points" (thumb-tacks, basically). As far as I know the duckbills are a 19th or early 20th c. thing rather than 18th, but I've also never been able to confirm this, so who knows.

Anyways then Claire comes in and drama ensues and he never cleans the type or anything, which is totally gonna bite him the next day if this were real life, but whatever. Also, he has a 2 press shop with like 1 dude working for him, which is INSANE. A 1 press shop would have 10 people at a minimum (overseer who can double as corrector, 2-4 pressmen, 2-4 compositors, 1-2 apprentice minions for cleaning, gophering, etc.), so really Jamie have like 19 dudes & ladies going full-time, but whatever. (Gabaldon fudged her research on the printing in ways that totally went over my head the first time I read the books TWENTY FUCKING YEARS AGO, JESUS, but now I'm just like, "where did you even GET that?!" when rereading. For instance, she consistently claims that printing ink consists of powder and alcohol, which, no. That would get you some writing ink, though mostly you'd use water instead because alcohol was expensive. She also does some funny stuff with typecasting which I can comment on next week, assuming they do that scene.)

Anyways, there's my feels. SORRY NOT SORRY.

PS They made a small dialogue addition I appreciated: When Claire tells Jamie he can't possibly be "just" a printer because he's so fit, Jamie rightfully says "Ever worked one, Sassenach?" PREACH, BOY!

STD "Lethe" Thoughts

In a lot of ways tonight's ep was the most Star Trekky we've seen so far, so a shorter post. My main thought though is it ended very differently than I was expecting, which made me happy because with most tv I'm used to calling a lot of the plots ahead of time. Anyway:

1) Stamets is so delightfully weird when he's not being a dick.

2) I like how we continue to see Sarek as a flawed character--and confirm that Michael is older than Spock/"left home" first.

3) I'm really starting to like Lorca--he is way more than the warmongerer he's been presented as/ he's incredibly damaged and in a believable way.

4) Still totally shippin' Lorca/Tyler and Burnham/Tilley. Yup yup.

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