owlmoose: (cats - tori carrier)
Here is a list of all my currently active public accounts on the Internet. Will be kept updated as things change.

Journals and Micro-blogging

Dreamwidth: [personal profile] owlmoose
My journal and my primary home base on the Internet. Personal posts, political posts, fandom posts, cross-posting of fic and other announcements. If it's important, it will end up here sooner or later.

LiveJournal: [livejournal.com profile] owlmoose
A mirror of my Dreamwidth. Stopped crossposting in April 2017.

Twitter: [twitter.com profile] iamkj
Brief daily life tidbits and interesting links. This is where I'm most likely to share the kind of links I used to share via Google Reader. December 2016 update: Probably the place I am most active and interactive right now.

Tumblr: [tumblr.com profile] lifeofkj / [tumblr.com profile] owlmoose95
The first was active until July 2017. It's not going anywhere but should be considered an archive. I check in on the new one a couple of times a week these days. Occasional crossposts and reblogs. DW and Twitter are much better ways to get in touch with me.

Fanfiction

AO3: [archiveofourown.org profile] owlmoose
Fanfiction. This is my fanfic archive, complete starting in November 2009, and some older works are there as well. Some things will be posted to DW or Tumblr first, but AO3 will always be the place to find the definitive version.

FF.net: owlmoose
My older work, all Final Fantasy X/X-2. No longer updated with new stories as of December 2007.

Writings of an Owlmoose
My WordPress-based fanfiction archive, complete through December 2010.

Other

GoodReads: owlmoose
Updated fairly regularly. Usually, but not always, crossposted to Twitter.

Pinboard: owlmoose
Links to cool and useful things. Mostly for my own saving purposes rather than sharing, but I'm always happy to add people to my network!

This list is current as of January 13, 2019. Subject to change as communities and my online participation shifts. Feel free to follow any of these accounts, no need to ask. If you introduce yourself, or we have otherwise already interacted, I will most likely follow back. See my profile for more details.
owlmoose: (avengers - assemble)
When I saw Captain Marvel on opening night, I went with some friends who have seen most of the movies in the MCU, but not all, and haven't lived and breathed the details of canon the same way that I have. Although they enjoyed the film very well, they were confused by a lot of the deeper lore, particularly everything relating to the various alien races and the Infinity Stones. Then they started talking about rewatching the entire canon in order to better understand what might be going on. Given that Avengers: Endgame comes out in just about a month, that seems rather an ambitious project, so I offered to come up with a suggested watch list, based on what seemed most useful for understanding both Captain Marvel and Endgame.

First, here's a table that I created for all the movies and ABC shows, with notes on the Infinity Stones and alien-related content, as well as suggestions of other interesting connections. I skipped the Netflix shows entirely because none of them have content of relevance for this purpose, at least not to my knowledge. Of necessity, there are LOTS of spoilers within, although most of them are alluded to rather than outright stated. Bear in mind that I am just guessing about what might be connected to Endgame, since we don't entirely know what will happen. Also, Maybe a spoiler for Captain Marvel, connected to Carol's backstory ).

Second, based on their request, here's a proposed rewatch plan. Cut for length and MCU spoilers throughout.

My suggestion for powering through 21 movies and seven seasons of TV in a month. )

So this is what I propose, but I'm open to suggestions! Anything really vital that I'm missing? Or can this list be pruned even further? Let me know what you think.

Space!

Mar. 19th, 2019 09:27 pm
owlmoose: (star wars - han woohoo)
With all the cool and dramatic things that happened on my trip, I forgot to mention one of the coolest and most dramatic: we got to see a rocket launch!

It was Friday, March 15th, as we were sailing back for Fort Lauderdale. Kennedy Space Center was about 300 miles away, with only open ocean between us, so it seemed pretty likely that we would see at least something. It was supposed to happen right after sunset, but it got delayed a few times (the story linked above has some of those details), so by the time it actually launched, the sky was quite dark and all we saw were a couple of streaks of red-orange light. I suppose that doesn't sound all that exciting, but I still found myself a little awestruck. Sure, it was just a military communications satellite, but still. I watched something go to space! And I did it surrounded by a huge gathering of nerds, all congregating in the parts of the ship with the best view, trading info about the equipment and the latest information about the delays. The excitement level was high, and contagious. It's hard to think of a better set of circumstances for such a thing.

Apparently, one can sometimes see the SpaceX launches out of Southern California from here, when the visibility conditions are right. Maybe T and I should try to get down there someday.

Ship's Log

Mar. 18th, 2019 08:14 pm
owlmoose: (owl)
I am back from my tropical adventure! Actually, I've been back since lateish on Saturday night, but yesterday ended up being mostly a rest-recovery-run urgent errands day. As will happen when one takes vacation for over a week, and one's cell phone does not survive the experience. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

So as I mentioned, the purpose of this vacation was primarily to attend this year's JoCoCruise. A group of my friends went two years ago and have been talking about attending again ever since; this year, the stars aligned, some of the group got together to make reservations, and T and I decided to join them. If you're not familiar, JoCoCruise is a sort of convention/music festival at sea, headlined by nerd rocker Jonathan Coulton and co-hosted by comedy music duo Paul and Storm. Other attendees include SFF authors, comedians, musicians, and podcasters -- and this year included a special appearance by They Might Be Giants. TMBG were one of my main incentives to attend, along with the fact that San Juan, Puerto Rico, was one of the ports of call, a place that sounded exciting to visit, and that I was happy to support with my tourist dollars.

As I often do with cons, I had hoped to jot down notes about each day as it happened, but it's probably no surprise that I didn't manage this. So I'll share my thoughts and memories as best I can.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this got very long )

JoCoCruise was a great experience, and under the right circumstances I'd go again for sure. But ultimately I would say that it's not quite my type of con. It's very gaming oriented, especially board-gaming oriented, and otherwise centered on a corner of Internet nerd culture that is not quite my own. The gender balance was pretty good, but it felt very white -- even whiter than most of the con spaces I'm in, which admittedly are also quite white. I believe that JoCo has been doing outreach into marginalized communities, in particular working on inviting more white women, LGBTQ+ people, and people of color to be featured performers, but I suspect they have a ways to go. Finally, it's quite expensive. The cost of a cruise, of course, and then a fair bit more on top of that. I could easily have gone to WorldCon in Dublin for the same amount, not even including the flights to Florida. And while I don't regret my choice at all, if I'm deciding where to put my con-going dollars, I'd rather do an international WorldCon or 3-4 book/media cons in the US, where I already have a community and the events more closely hit my interests.

That said, if you have any interest, and the means, I absolutely recommend this cruise. It's a fun time with fun people, and you won't be disappointed.

Sail Away

Mar. 1st, 2019 03:24 pm
owlmoose: A bright blue butterfly (butterfly)
I realize this is likely a long shot, but is anyone I know going to be on this year's JoCoCruise? (Well, besides the group of friends I'm going with. :) I know them.) If by some chance you'll be there, let me know and we can connect! This is my first time attending, and I"m pretty excited.

The downside of this happy adventure is that I will miss FogCon for the first time ever this year. This is extra disappointing, because Becky Chambers is one of the guests of honor, and from the WorldCon panels of hers that I've seen, she's going to be fantastic. But I can't be too sad, because JoCo has a fun line-up (some of my hoped-for highlights are John Scalzi, Jean Grae, They Might Be Giants, Charlie Jane Anders, and the entire McElroy family) and a tropical vacation is sounding really good right about now. I just wish it had been literally any other week.

Meanwhile, I still have a lot to get through between now and then: a concert (ironically, Vaughn Williams "A Sea Symphony", which makes me feel like I am on a boat and does nothing to dull my anticipation), two more days of work, my birthday (for which I have made no plans -- I figure I have enough other stuff to deal with), and a whole lot of packing. Can it be next weekend now please?

(PS for those who I will miss at FogCon, I hope to see you at WisCon instead! I'll be there for sure, and will nudge folks about meeting up there closer to the time.)
owlmoose: (owlmoose 2)
Days written: 18/28
Words written: 6,083
Words of fic written: 2,097
Stories worked on: Two
Stories posted: Two

Charts knew this would be a down month, but not this far down. )

1. Write an average of five days a week. Not quite. I knew this was a stretch goal for this particular month, though.

2. Finish the Ladies Bingo story and write another. Just under the wire, with the second story posted just today!

3. Post regular KH gameblogging updates. Does three count as "regular", considering that we finished it in just over two weeks? I suppose it might.

4. Write at least one media review that is not KH-related. Assuming that squeeing about The Search for Grog counts, then yes.

My secret 5th goal that I forgot to add to the list last month was posting four days a week in February. Although I didn't manage this, I did get pretty close to three days a week on average. So I'm glad about that.

Next up is March, another month that is often slow for me, writing-wise, and this year includes a vacation on which I will not bring my computer, and expect to have little-to-no writing time. So let's set some achievable but not too easy goals:

1. Write five days a week except while traveling.

2. Finish the last Ladies Bingo fic. Prompt is "Factories and Other Industrial Spaces"; I have nothing specific in mind at the moment, so I need to figure that out.

3. Write two reviews for Lady Business. One is already planned, and I'll have to figure out the other.

4. Write at least one story, and ideally more, for [community profile] multifandomdrabble, a drabble exchange I plan to sign up for. Due date is March 27th. I haven't written drabbles in literally years, and I think it'll be fun to flex that muscle again.
owlmoose: (ffx2 - rikku)
Title: Beached
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts (with canon from Birth by Sleep 0.2 and KHII)
Rating: G
Wordcount: 1525
Characters: Aqua, Rikku, Yuna, Paine
Spoilers: For Birth by Sleep, particularly BBS 0.2
Notes: Written for the current round of [community profile] ladiesbingo, to the prompt Elves, Fairies, Pixies and Brownies. I had various ideas on this one, then remembered that fairies are canon in the KH universe and came up with this bit of idea.

On AO3
owlmoose: (critical role - vex)
I watched the VOD today. (My preference is for Twitch because I can watch without ads, but it's also on YouTube.) Much as I have grown to love the Mighty Nein, spending a few hours with Vox Machina again was priceless. I've missed these kids so much.

A few spoilers. )

On another note, in the art reel that preceded the stream, there was a drawing of Vax in Grey Warden armor. That is such a brilliant crossover idea that I might just have to write it. Some ideas might be brewing. We'll see.
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
They are out, and at a quick glance it's a great and diverse list.

https://nebulas.sfwa.org/2018-nebula-finalists-announced/

I'm actually reading Witchmark by C.L. Polk right now!

The games list is a little odd. I have mixed feelings about the Black Mirror "choose-your-own-adventure) episode being included. I haven't seen (played?) it, so I can't comment on its quality. It's essentially a visual novel, and I gather it was written in Twine, so I can't argue that it doesn't qualify, but given that this is a brand new category meant to honor games, should the first winner really be an episode of an already-popular SFF TV series?

Any of you have favorites among the finalists?

Vanilla

Feb. 19th, 2019 12:06 am
owlmoose: (cookies)
T and I are long-time subscribers to Cook's Illustrated, a magazine put out by the same folks as the PBS cooking show America's Test Kitchen. One of the regular features is taste tests, where the editors taste different types of the same ingredient to determine which one tastes best, and which is the best value. Not too long ago, they published the results of their vanilla testing, which pointed to imitation vanilla as not only the best value (since it's something like 10x cheaper per ounce) but equally good in flavor to their preferred pure vanilla. On some level this isn't too surprising, since the chemical that provides the actual vanilla flavor, vanillin, is chemically identical in both the artificial and natural versions, but it still took us a bit aback. And it took our friends R and S so far aback that they decided we needed a vanilla tasting of our own. So we got together for brunch, and then did a bunch of baking, and had our taste test today.

We tried six different kinds of vanilla -- the imitation brand that won the Cook's taste test, three brands of store-bought pure vanilla, one vanilla that our friend Jen made herself with vanilla beans and vodka, and a vanilla powder -- in four different dishes: pound cake, shortbread cookies, pudding, and whipped cream. And, although the imitation vanilla wasn't anyone's favorite, only one person liked it the least. I put it in about the middle of the pack, ranking it higher in fresh applications than in baked goods. My favorite was actually the homemade, but I didn't like it so much better that I feel the need to start making it for myself. And fortunately, my second or third favorite was the kind we currently have in our house (which happens to be the natural vanilla that the magazine editors also liked the best).

Maybe the most interesting outcome was that, especially in the pudding, people tended to prefer different vanillas mixed together to any one vanilla alone. It's like the slightly different flavors complement each other in unexpected ways. Not necessarily to the point that I would recommend having six different vanillas in your house and making custom blends. :) But it certainly is a thing that one could do.

It was a fascinating experiment, and I'm already considering whether we can do similar trials with other foods in the future.
owlmoose: (kh - xemnas)
So, that was pretty good, and mostly satisfying. I am only a little bit confused. I think.

It was much shorter than I expected, based on previous games. Less than 40 hours! Partially that's because we didn't really do any sidequests, but I think it also has to do with how the game was structured. Thoughts about that and other things, under the cut. )
owlmoose: (kh - roxas)
We've made a bit more progress, three new worlds since I last posted, including what I presume are all the worlds in the second world map area. I'll put it all behind the cut for spoilers.

A personal note about that, since there are many new folks here since the last time I gameblogged anything: for myself, I am very anti-spoiler, and tend not to even seek out lots of promotional material for a game I've been anticipating, so I ask that you avoid saying anything in comments that alludes to events past the point I've reached in game. I feel like that's a courtesy not just to me, but to anyone else who wants to click through to comments but might also not be finished. That includes spoilery icons as well as commentary, and also any informed answers to any speculative questions I might pose. Thanks so much!

Finished what seems to be the main plot in our current world; our next step appears to be simple exploration )

That's about it for now. But I find myself very unsure of what's going to happen next, and that's kind of exciting.

Weekend

Feb. 10th, 2019 01:09 pm
owlmoose: (tea - it's good for you)
Friday: Friends cooked spaghetti and meatballs and invited us over, followed by a sampling of Girl Scout cookies. Thin Mints continue to rule the pack. Much yummy food and fun conversation.

Saturday: Slept in. Made chicken marsala for lunch (that was supposed to be Friday's dinner before we got the invite out) and watched Moonlight, which was a beautiful movie with brilliant acting, if a bit short on plot. Dinner was all-you-can-eat crab at a charity dinner in Alameda. I won two bottles of wine and two bottles of vodka in the raffle! Even more yummy food and fun conversation.

Today: Slept in again. Bacon and eggs for breakfast. Soon I'm heading out to another friend's house for Indian takeout and season 2 of The Marvelous Ms. Maisel.

Pretty good for a rainy weekend, I think. :) I hope all is well with all of you!

Quick posts

Feb. 8th, 2019 06:52 pm
owlmoose: A bright blue butterfly (butterfly)

I wish I could even remember what kinds of things I used to write quick posts about. Sharing links? Memes? I miss memes. I wish Tumblr-style memes would catch on here. (I actually saw one today, but it was about ranking favorite fanfic tropes and since I'm not really a tropes-based reader, it didn't speak to me.) What I really miss are fic prompt memes. We should bring those back.

I know -- I can share an actual tidbit of useful information! Did you know that DW supports Markdown? Just put "!markdown" at the top of the box, and DW will interpret Markdown syntax -- like those italics above. Super useful for simple formatting. Much less trouble than HTML. If you're not familiar with Markdown, here's a basic guide. I forget who shared this on my reading list recent, but whoever it was: thank you!

I hope everyone has or is having a lovely weekend!

owlmoose: (kh - xemnas)

I guess it's not so early. We've played 12 or so hours, onto the second world in the second zone. I'm having fun with it so far, although as usual it's not always clear what's going on. I am very very thankful to have picked up the Story So Far collection, and especially to have played both Birth By Sleep games. I still feel okay without Dream Drop Distance for now, but only because I watched a couple of recap videos. If you're planning to play KH3 without having played all of the previous games, I definitely recommend doing your homework -- there are in-story recaps, but you still meet an awful lot of people without knowing who they are.

Minor spoilers, only revealing new Disney property that have mostly been announced elsewhere )

The overall story is... complicated, as to be expected. Cut for more significant spoilers )

Maybe it will be explained and maybe it won't. After all, Kingdom Hearts means never having to say "I totally understand what's going on." As long as I enjoy the journey, it's okay if I don't get all the answers.

owlmoose: (stonehenge)
Title: Mind Tricks
Fandom: The Adventure Zone: Amnesty
Rating: General
Wordcount: 604
Characters: Dani/Aubrey
Spoilers: Allusions to spoilers but nothing overt. Set right after Episode 20 (the second "lunar" interlude)
Notes: Written for the current round of [community profile] ladiesbingo, to the prompt Telepathy. Connection to prompt is pretty loose.

Also on AO3.

The door to the lodge opened, and Dani looked up from her book to see Aubrey walk inside, stamping snow off her boots.  )
owlmoose: (moose - sign)
By now I imagine most of you have seen the "Dreamwidth is for shitposting" February challenge. I meant to add something about this to my writing goals and then completely forgot. Like many folks I've seen discussing the topic, I've never quite been sure what is meant by "shitposting", and I don't really care for the term anyway -- it seems to devalue the process of sharing your thoughts, regardless of how thoughtful or lofty those thoughts might be. But I agree with the overall sentiment that DW doesn't only have to be a place for long, thoughtful, perfectly polished discussion. Lord knows LJ certainly wasn't that, all the time. :) So in that spirit, I'm adding another goal to my list: in February, I will post to my DW at least four times a week. Short posts, long posts, silly or serious. And who knows, maybe the habit will stick this time.

Also I'm going to try and comment more, which is where I have seriously fallen down on my DW participation. Hard to set a specific goal for that, of course, but I hope I manage it.
owlmoose: (cats - black kitty)
Days written: 23/31
Words written: 12,770
Words of fic written: 1,518
Stories worked on: Three
Stories posted: One

Charts are off to a pretty good start )

Specific goals:
1. Write an average of six days per week. Almost.

2. Write two fics for [community profile] ladiesbingo. I only posted one. Bit off more than I could chew with the second, so I started to write a third and made good progress but it's not quite done. (Also it might be in the process of being Jossed by TAZ canon. So we'll see what happens there.)

3. Participate in the 2019 [community profile] snowflake_challenge. This one was easy, and quite fun. Also I posted a lot -- almost every day for the first two weeks of January! And then fell off a bit, but I still enjoyed it. All posts at this tag.

4. Search my DW interests and try to find at least one active, interesting community for all my main fandoms. Follow this community and participate at least once per week. I undertook this project but unfortunately didn't find much for my fandoms that I don't already follow. The main issue is the lack of active communities in my fandoms, which I suppose shouldn't be a surprise. Even the Kingdom Hearts communities I found don't seem to have had an appreciable uptick. It seems like all the action is in personal journals right now, which given the habits Tumblr instilled isn't too surprising. We'll have to see what happens with this one.

And now February, which is historically a down month for me AND this year happens to contain one of my most anticipated video game releases in years. (Okay, it came out this week but practically speaking, in terms of when I will play it.) So, realistic goals:

1. Write an average of five days a week. (Let's be honest, I'll be lucky to hit this one. Still, I want to try.)

2. Finish the Ladies Bingo story and write another.

3. Post regular KH gameblogging updates. (These will be tagged and behind spoiler cuts for your convenience.)

4. Write at least one media review that is not KH-related.

Wow, this is super modest; but that's on purpose. Realistic goals, that's the watchword. Hold me to it.
owlmoose: (kh - roxas)
We finished it last night.

This game is old enough that maybe I shouldn't bother to cut for spoilers, but I'm going to do it anyway. It's probably good to cut for length, too. )

I find myself wishing that I'd bought KH: The Story So Far a month or so earlier -- then I'd have had time to play Dream Drop Distance, too. But I don't want to wait that long to start KH3, so I've read a plot summary and will take my chances with being confused. Let's be real: given that this is Kingdom Hearts, there's a fair chance that I'd be confused anyway. We did, however, start Birth by Sleep 0.2 (what a terrible name for a sequel) almost immediately after finishing Birth By Sleep (we watched the True Ending while updates were downloading). Didn't finish yet, but the prospect of getting more Aqua story is pretty exciting, and I hope it serves as a good bridge to KH3.

At this rate, I'm hoping that we get to start KH3 tomorrow. I literally cannot wait.
owlmoose: (coffee)
Back at the beginning of December, I was out of town for work, and T texted me to ask what I thought were the two or three best episodes of Friends. He had heard that the series would be taken off Netflix at the end of the year, and he wanted to revisit the show a little while he still could. Off the top of my head, I recommended TOW The Embryos and TOW Chandler in a Box... and then I felt the urge to start over from the beginning myself, just in case I never had the opportunity again. As it turns out, either T was wrong about Netflix losing the rights or something changed, because it's still there -- and good thing, because I just finished on Saturday morning. I skipped a handful of episodes entirely, and fast-forwarded through parts of many others, but overall I found it a satisfying and close-enough-to-complete rewatch -- while reminding me why I don't often watch it anymore.

Turns out I had a lot to say. )

I recall a contract negotiation in which the six core cast members were asking for more money. This happened during Season 6, and when that season finale was filmed, no one knew if there would be a Season 7. That episode ended with Chandler and Monica's engagement, and sometimes I think that might have been the perfect place to draw a line under the series. Some good episodes and arcs came out of Chandler and Monica's marriage, Phoebe's relationship with Mike, Rachel's pregnancy and the birth of Emma, and Joey developing feelings for Rachel (I actually liked that relationship a lot better this time through). But I don't know if it was worth all the lazy writing, growing homophobia, and other problems that got worse as the show went along. I actually considered quitting my rewatch at that point, and if I ever revisit the show again, that's what I'll probably do. But more likely, I expect I'll watch a favorite single episode or arc from time to time, if I need some comfort food television, and for the most part leave the show where it belongs, as a fond memory of another time.
owlmoose: (art - gorey neville)
I finished the Netflix series today. It was kind of thrilling to go into a final episode of a show and have literally no idea what to expect. When the entire premise of a story is that things will always go sideways, your best efforts will inevitably backfire, and happy endings are a myth, how do you manage the endgame in a way that's narratively satisfying without betraying everything that came before?

It's a hard problem, and I wouldn't say they managed it perfectly, but overall I was happy with it. Putting a spoiler behind the cut. )

I kind of want to watch the whole thing again, with all the information, to see how it all hangs together. Definitely I prefer it to the books. I read the first six, and found them somewhat repetitive. And you basically don't learn anything at all about the conspiracy, which is the most interesting part of the story to me, until right at the end of book 6, which was too late to keep me reading. More spoilers, pretty vague. ) The cast is fantastic, as is the production design. It's not a show to watch if you aren't up for something gray and moody -- the aesthetic pervades the entire series, and it's super effective. But if you are, and can tolerate scenes of child endangerment, I definitely recommend it.

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