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 No longer updated with new stories as of December 2007.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: 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.
owlmoose: (kh - roxas)
Did I really not say anything here about Kingdom Hearts 3 finally being a real thing that I will actually be able to play soon? Wow, I really am out of the habit of posting.

Anyway, after literal years of teasing the upcoming game, I didn't learn that there was a release date until quite recently. Maybe in November? That release date is January 29th, i.e. less than two weeks away, and I'm getting pretty darn excited. After some waffling about which edition to get, I pre-ordered the regular edition from Amazon a few days ago. As long as I was there, I also picked up Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far, which includes the HD remasters of KH, KH 2, and almost all the other games in the series. I've only played the two main titles, and I never picked up the earlier remaster collections -- all I had were the original PlayStation 2 discs, and since we said goodbye to our PS2 some years ago, it only made sense to own versions that I could actually play.

Speaking of playing: now I need to figure out which, if any, games I want to get through before starting KH 3. The disc arrived last night, and I was already overwhelmed with potential choices. Careful readers will notice that I played Kingdom Hearts 2 without having ever played Chain of Memories. After I played, I went back to catch up on what I'd missed -- I read through a script and some plot summaries, and at some point I watched a movie of all the cutscenes strung together -- but I went into the new game cold. For the most part it was fine, but there's been a LOT more between-game content this time, and I'd like to see about catching up on at least some of it.

On the other hand, that's a lot of content to consume between now and a week from Tuesday. So I'll probably need to triage, at least a bit. In a perfect world, I would've bought this collection three months ago and embarked on an epic complete replay, but obviously that is not going to happen in ten days. So KH and KH 2 are off the table for now, and I also don't feel the need to play Chain of Memories. Another thing that helps is that some of the "games" are not full games, just an HD remaster of all the cutscenes with text to connect them together. So I can just sit back and watch KH 358/2 Days, KH re:Coded, and KH X. That leaves me with three actual games to play: Birth By Sleep, Birth By Sleep 0.2, and Dream Drop Distance. Last night, T and I decided to give Birth By Sleep a try, since it's a prequel and can presumably be played any time. (We started with Terra and got three worlds into his story -- good so far, and I appreciate the opportunity to get used to KH-style gameplay again.) And today, I watched an hour or so of 358/2 Days, because it's the Roxas backstory, which I find interesting. So we'll continue with both of those for now. I suppose my only real question is this: will I be missing out on anything vital if I wait until after KH 3 to watch the others and play Dream Drop? Any thoughts and recommendations are welcome.

I still remember the day so many years ago, when the first KH3 teaser trailer dropped at E3, and my Tumblr timeline went berserk. I hadn't realized I followed so many big KH fans-- heck, I didn't realize that I myself was that big of a KH fan! We've been waiting, and now it's really going to happen. I kind of still can't believe it's real. Maybe I won't until I hold the game in my hands.
owlmoose: picture of a snow leopard (cats - snow leopard)
Hey remember how on "create your own challenge day" I suggested participating in a friending meme, but I thought it might take some work to find one? Turns out it was actually pretty easy.



If you're here via the meme, welcome, and say hello! :)
owlmoose: (teamoose)
Day 15: Talk about why you participated in Snowflake &/or what you got out of it.

I participated in [community profile] snowflake_challenge for two main reasons. First, given the recent Dreamwidth renaissance, I wanted to get more connected to people and communities here, and this challenge seemed like a good opportunity. Second, posting to this journal more often is a significant goal of mine this year. Participating in Snowflake seemed a good way to begin as I meant to go on.

Only time will tell if I'm successful in my second objective (although I'm pretty proud that I posted on more than half of the days of the challenge), but I feel confident in saying that the first one was a win. I had the opportunity to interact with many folks I'd never met before, and I look forward to meeting even more in the upcoming friending meme. I got out of my comfort zone a little bit, and also made some practical updates that came directly from challenges (updated my friending policy and my transformative works statement).

Thanks to the Snowflake mods for creating a great challenge, and I hope to participate again in 2020. :)
owlmoose: (Default)
Day 14: Talk about what you think the future holds for fandom.

That's not a small question, is it? Certainly not one with an easy answer. But it's one that's often on my mind, and especially now, given how it feels like fandom is at a crossroads of sorts. Not just because of the changes at Tumblr; although certainly a factor, I feel as though people have drifting away from Tumblr for awhile now, and different sites have been attempting to supplant Tumblr as a fannish platform for awhile now -- there was the Imzy experiment, and now Pillowfort seems to be giving it a go, although I don't have much confidence in them. The resurgence of Dreamwidth continues, and so far has seemed more successful than past efforts to lure folks here from Tumblr. But there are reasons to think that might not work out long term -- in this post, [personal profile] muccamukk suggests that the lack of active fannish communities makes it too hard for new fans to meet each other, and that's a legit concern. (h/t to [personal profile] snickfic for the link! I still need to read through the discussion, which at first glance looks really interesting.) I also think people are going to miss the ease of sharing, and the multimedia options that Tumblr provided. So while I imagine that there will still be some fandom activity on DW in five years, I don't know that it will become the one true fandom platform.

Inasmuch as fandom ever had one true platform. I suspect that LJ is the closest we ever came, but even LJ wasn't a good home for artists, vidders, and other multimedia folks. There's a reason Tumblr took off the way it did. If Tumblr had ever embraced fandom -- allowing friends lock, better blocking and filtering tools, follow lists, and other better ways to personalize the experience -- I don't think we'd have ever left. But Tumblr was alway hostile to the way that many fans prefer to interact, and disallowing adult content was the last straw. (Has any fannish platform ever truly survived an adult content ban to remain a primary hub for fandom? FF.net, LJ, Tumblr... I seem to recall that was also one reason for the exodus from Yahoo! Groups.) Meanwhile, AO3 and DW were built by fans, for fans, and although their backend models are quite different, the end result is similar. Neither platform will ever serve every fan's needs, but I doubt that's possible anyway.

If I have an in-five-years prediction, it's this: AO3 will remain a significant platform for fanfiction, and DW an important hub for personal journals and conversation, but at least one shiny new site will rise to take their place, at least for a little while. (Probably a platform we can't even imagine yet.) Meanwhile, fans will continue their retreat into "walled gardens" like Discord and Slack -- private spaces for private conversations. Part of me hates this trend, but I also entirely understand the appeal. Public spaces have grown more treacherous to navigate in recent years, and it can be nice to have a place to escape from it all.

For me, it comes down to this: when choosing a social media platform, the social is more important than the media. Different media platforms attract different types of community, to be sure, but if the community I want to be part of is on a particular platform, that's where I'll be. That's why I stuck with Tumblr as long as I did, and that's why I hang out on a private Slack, and that's why I'll be on DW and Twitter and even Facebook as long as people I care about are also there. And I don't think that's about to change any time soon.
owlmoose: (ffx2 - baralai scissors)
As long as I'm here, I wanted to mention that my finger is healing well!

I saw the doctor last week and he was pleased with my progress, so he took me out of the permanent splint and put me in a plastic one that's easier to take off and put on. For two weeks, I'll wear it most of the time, taking it off to gently exercise the joint a couple of times a day. Then I'll wear it only while sleeping for another two weeks, and after that I should be done. The fingertip still droops a little bit, but less every day, and I'm now able to hold it straight with a little effort. So it's all good news, except that the new splint is actually harder to type with than the old one. But I'll take a mild annoyance for two weeks if it means I'm more likely to get full range of motion back.
owlmoose: (da - hawke squares)
The Day 13 challenge is to set some goals, but I've already done that, so instead I'm backing up to Day 10: Create a fanwork. Possibly this is cheating, because I didn't write this today, nor on the actual Day 10 -- most of it was drafted over a week ago, and I've edited bits of it over the intervening days. But I polished it up yesterday, and got it posted, and editing and posting is an important phase of creating a fanwork, at least for me. So here it is!

Title: Constructive Solution
Fandom: Dragon Age
Rating: Teen
Wordcount: 660
Characters: Isabela/f!Hawke
Spoilers: Yes, through All that Remains
Notes: Written for [community profile] ladiesbingo, "Episode Tags and Missing Scenes" prompt. Starts in the final moments of All That Remains. I have now committed fic of this moment for every romance I've played. The Hawke is Sylvie, my purple mage; I haven't talked about her much here, although I'm sure I will once I finish her playthrough.

On AO3.
owlmoose: (avengers - a little help)
Day 12: Create your own challenge.

Here's my thought, and it's fairly simple on the surface, although harder for some than others, and it might take a little research to complete. But since my hope for 2019 is to see a more active Dreamwidth community, I think it's a worthwhile one:

Comment on a friending meme. Then read through the meme and find at least one person to add to your circle.

Where does the research come in? Finding the friending meme! There's usually at least one or two running, and it's been more of a thing lately with the recent migration from Tumblr, but I admit that it might be a challenge. Try searching interests, or browsing your network page, or checking out communities like [community profile] fandom_on_dw and [community profile] fandomcalendar. Or if you can't find one, create your own and promote it in the communities above! (And on that note, if anyone knows of and/or decides to start a Critical Role or Dragon Age friending meme, hit me up.) I've met some great people through friending memes, and I highly recommend participating whenever you can.

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