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Monday Works Roundup 5/23/16 May 23, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Poe as Poe (art | Poe | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
This is a public ocean (comic | Ivy/Holly | worksafe)
Lace and body pillows (comic | Violet/Rowan | NSFW, barely)
This is a public garden (comic | Olive/Magnolia | worksafe)
Fancy Rowan (art | Rowan | worksafe)
Not!phone sex (comic | Annie/Birch | worksafe)

Black Butler
Dance with the devil (art | Sebastian/Ciel | worksafe)

Fake News
How Far I’ve Gone, How High I’ve Climbed (fic | Jon/”Stephen”, Steve, Sam, others | T)
In the darkness with you (art | Jon/”Stephen”)

Homestuck
Homestuck sketches (sketches | Dave/Karkat, Davepetasprite^2 | worksafe)

Star Wars
Force Hairstyling (sketch | Rey/Kylo | worksafe)
Stormpilot cuddling (sketches | Finn/Poe | worksafe)
Lightsaber Summer Fun Buddies (sketch | Finn/Rey | worksafe)

Steven Universe/Politics
Big Angry Cheeto Puff vs. Big Angry Cheeto Puff (art | Trump, Jasper | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Infinity tattoo design (text tattoo, worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Start of a new chapter. How’s Jany been doing lately?

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Our heroes plan for their not!date. Then: Holly goes on a field trip.

Erin Reads: Dorothy Must Die, then some Oz Original Flavor May 19, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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Latest relief for my long work day: an epic re-listen of the Oz books — all fifteen of Baum’s. (Librivox has free recordings of the whole set!)

The inspiration to do this was kicked off after listening to the unsubtly-titled Dorothy Must Die, one of the endless Darker And Edgier modern Oz fan-sequels. The premise of this one: an adult Dorothy came back to Oz, went grimdark along with her friends, and took over. Our heroine is a modern-day US girl — a grouchy trailer-park teenager with pink hair — who’s been summoned to help overthrow her.

It…has its ups and downs. A female sidekick character gets killed off fairly early, in such a nasty way that I thought it had to be a fakeout, but nope. It uses the character designs from the MGM movie — e.g. Dorothy has technicolor-red shoes (which are also evil, of course…possibly so evil that they’re what caused her to go grimdark in the first place).

There was a point when I was underwhelmed, and considering dropping the book without finishing it…when suddenly Ozma shows up.

So I stuck around.

For once, a series that doesn’t just take the MGM movie and make up its own backstory for everything else! The author has clearly read Baum! Ozma and Mombi both have roles in the plot., and there are cameos from later books — the Nome King, the Shaggy Man, Polychrome. The main character has seen the movie, recognizes those characters, but is clueless about the bookverse ones, which is a shame. There’s one book-backstory-related twist that she only gets in the last few pages, when I saw it coming halfway through the story.

Anyway: the whole thing builds to a confrontation which fizzles out in order to end on a sequel hook. Instead of picking up the sequels to see more beloved characters get name-dropped, I figured I’d go back to the originals.

Plus, I want to see Dorothy being awesome, not a stock Sexy Evil Overlord with Dorothy’s name.

~*~*~*~

The weird thing is? In the book version of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy does…almost nothing.

That is, she goes through a bunch of adventures, but it’s all her bumbling aimlessly along whatever path someone sends her down. The party goes through challenges that (in classic fairy-tale style) are neatly solved by the Scarecrow doing smart things, the Tin Man doing loving things, and the Cowardly Lion doing brave things. Dorothy gets none of that. I kept expecting her to take initiative or make a suggestion, and nope. She’s the little kid that they, parentally, protect.

Dorothy spends book 2 (The Marvelous Land of Oz) being an unseen Ozian legend, and only returns to the narrative in book 3 (Ozma of Oz) — and, aha, here’s the Dorothy I remember! It feels like a couple of years must have passed on Earth, because she’s distinctly older. The story opens with her going out into a storm to rescue Uncle Henry, which is how she gets swept into adventure in the first place. She’s brave and determined. She gets involved in conversations and plans with her party.

When the Wicked Witch kept her prisoner, little Dorothy obediently went along with it, doing what she was told. (In the movie, she throws water on the Witch as part of defending the Scarecrow; in the book, it’s basically an accident.) When Princess Langwidere of Ev tries to order her around, older Dorothy puts her foot down, and responds to getting locked in a tower by flagging down a rescue party. Development!

Plus, there’s a sequence where she’s just rescued an even littler kid, and she takes on the protective caretaker role for him. Super sweet.

Book 3 is just overall such a good read. There’s a complicated plot that everything ultimately fits into. The Nome King is a great villain — I had forgotten that he isn’t introduced as Obviously Unsubtly Evil. He seems jolly and affable! Dorothy’s first impression is to be reminded of Santa Claus!

Then things get eerier and more ominous, one step at a time. There’s a scene with Ozma in the Nome King’s caverns — it has genuine atmosphere. She has to pick the right enchanted bauble from a museum’s worth of ornaments and treasures, and she only has one more guess — so she decides to put it all in fate’s hands, closes her eyes, and guesses the next thing she touches without ever seeing what it is. The writing is downright haunting.

Also, this is the book where Dorothy and Ozma meet for the first time, and instantly adore each other, and it’s wonderful.

~*~*~*~

I would rec Ozma of Oz all on its own, but you gotta read books 1 and 2 first.

Even if the writing of the first book can be pretty wobbly, it’s worth it just to clear all the MGM-related fanon out of your head and re-establish what’s really part of bookverse continuity. For Baum’s loose values of “continuity.”

Book 2 puts Oz through a revolution — literally, the palace gets taken over and everything — which lays the groundwork for what becomes the Ozian status quo in all the books to follow.

Also: it features an early (1904!) example of literary Weird Gender Stuff, that’s not treated as icky or shameful or dysfunctional in-universe. The LGBTQ appeal of Oz didn’t start with Judy Garland (chill though she was). That bell had already been ringing for decades.

Book 2 is also the one that features a parody of suffragettes, and it doesn’t read as terribly affectionate to modern ears. The thing to keep in mind is that Baum was an active feminist. As in “secretary of his local Women’s Suffrage Club” feminist. As in “when Susan B. Anthony came to town, she crashed at his place” feminist.

So. Get your backstory down, get your worldbuilding foundations in order, then you can dive into the world of Dorothy Being Awesome and Ozma Being Elegant and general Dorothy And Ozma Being Best Girl Friends.

Disability, language, history, and per se &. May 16, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“It’s a person’s right to identify however the hell they want. If they’re more comfortable as a ‘person with a disability’ than as a ‘disabled person’ then that’s nothing to do with me. […] ‘Disabled’ is the best word in the world for describing the barriers I confront and no non-disabled person has the right to try and take that from me.

We may be able to ask questions about typical and atypical developing children that we couldn’t ask if we only examined typically hearing children.” Deafness, ASL, autism.

Discussions about what non-native English speakers think of the English language.

Quiet updates made to the latest edition of Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever. Good ones! Gender-neutralizing ones, for starters.

In the early 1800s, school children reciting their ABCs concluded the alphabet with the &. It would have been confusing to say ”X, Y, Z, and.” Rather, the students said, ‘and per se and.’ ‘Per se’ means ‘by itself,’ so the students were essentially saying, ‘X, Y, Z, and by itself and.’ Over time, ‘and per se and’ was slurred together into the word we use today: ampersand.”

Monday Roundup, 5/9/16 May 9, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Take Me To Her (wallpaper | Miranda | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Magical Ivy (art | Holly, Ivy | worksafe)
Spring Twirls (art | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)
Lacy underthings (art | Violet/Juniper | NSFW)
Kitchen sex (comic | Leif/Katya | NSFW)
Service topping (comic | Violet/Olive | NSFW)

Fake News
Colbits sketch (art | “Stephens” | worksafe)
“Stephen” On Your Shoulder (art | Stephen, “Stephen” | worksafe)

Phineas and Ferb
Doofensmooch. (comic | Perry/Doof | worksafe)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica(/various)
Duelist Sayaka (art | Sayaka | worksafe)

Steven Universe(/Sailor Moon)
Moon Princess Universe (art | Mamoru/Steven | worksafe)
Peace and love on the planet Earth (art | Steven/Peridot | worksafe)

The Wizard of Oz
Don’t make me get out my Belt (art | Dorothy | worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Ask a BICP Character! Possibly week 1 of 2? All your burning questions, answered.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Thorn talks with an old mentor about secret orders, vampire hunters, and Dread Pirate Robertsing.

Giant rubble LEGOs, ocean plastic filters, job creation, swords into ploughshares, and other good things. May 5, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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Turning earthquake rubble into pseudo-Lego bricks, then using them to build new houses. Apparently they even meet serious construction safety standards.

Launching in 2016: a fast and (by all estimates) wildly effective ocean-cleanup array, designed to filter all that plastic we’ve been dumping into our waters.

Every article that discusses pros and “cons” of the SNAP program should open with this: “The USDA estimates that every dollar in SNAP spending generates $1.79 in economic activity. ‘People think of it as a drain,” says the Urban Institute’s [Elaine] Waxman, “but it’s an economic generator.'”

“The study by the Colorado Health Foundation found that the Medicaid expansion created 31,074 new jobs and added $3.8 billion in economic activity.

“Owner of Coastal Kitchen & Mioposto says [of raising the city minimum wage is] that he “certainly won’t open another business in our beloved Seattle”… then opens two more businesses in Seattle.”

San Francisco cops talk a suicidal man down from a ledge…with the help of his cat.

Trump (and Ben Carson) are record-setting in terms of how many lies they tell. The silver lining is that, for politicians, both Bernie and Hillary fare pretty well.

“In an echo of the Biblical vision of beating swords into ploughshares, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in California said [last July] it would melt approximately 3,400 confiscated firearms and use the steel as concrete reinforcement.

Some delight from the Onion: “Organizers confirmed President Obama has greeted heads of state from more than 2,000 alternative realities, a gathering of leaders that includes 139 different versions of himself, a parallel U.S. president Mitt Romney, a pulsing being of pure electrostatic energy, Earth-7491’s King Lyndon B. Johnson IV, and a hooded group of unspeaking figures known only as “the Council.””

There are so many flavors of racist stuff here it’s like a seven-layer racism cake. May 3, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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People killed by police, 2016. 389 and counting.

Compare it with this time last year: “In May, the Washington Post analyzed the 385 fatal police shootings in the United States that had occurred so far in 2015. The Post noted its number, which came out to two officer-involved shooting deaths per day, was more than twice the rate that the government had recorded over the past decade.

[Video] Putting a fake cover on a Bible and reading verses, claiming they’re from the Quran. People react pretty much exactly as badly as you’d expect them to.

30% of GOP voters (and a full 19% of Democrats) are in favor of bombing. They don’t need to know anything about the people they’re proposing to bomb. As evidenced by the fact that you can give them the name of a made-up country, and they won’t notice or care.

So [on March 7] the president killed roughly 150 people in a country where the U.S. is not at war. The Pentagon issued a five-sentence boilerplate statement declaring them all “terrorists.” And that’s pretty much the end of that.” GDI.

“The weary F.B.I. agent replied: ‘Toby….Seriously. Get some sleep.‘” An American amateur tries to investigate a (fake) ISIS agent on Twitter, and ends up getting more than a year in prison for his enthusiasm.

“Garza testified that Santellana never threatened him nor did he feel that Santellana was a dangerous person. Yet that did not stop him from recklessly approaching the vehicle with a loaded weapon and firing when Santellana did not obey orders from this large man in gym shorts, who did not initially identify himself as an officer or show a badge.” No justice for Jonathen Santellana.

Mr. Pean had expected an apology after the shooting. Instead, during four days in intensive care, prosecutors charged him with two counts of felony assault on a police officer. They accused him of attacking with four “deadly weapons” — an unspecified piece of furniture, a wall fixture, a tray table and his hands.”

“Scott Collins, a spokesman for the Inglewood Police Department said that the couple refused to obey the officers’ commands to exit the vehicle. The officers then feared for their safety and opened fire on the car — killing the couple.” Here’s the kicker: the people in question were asleep. No justice for Kisha Michael or Marquintan Sandlin (or their now-orphaned children). Black people can be literally unconscious and cops will still profess to being too terrified to do anything but gun them down.

Well, here’s at least one case of the police being in legitimate danger…from each other. Cops raid wrong house, shoot and kill the dog, shoot the man who owns the house, then one of them shoots and kills another of the cops.

Monday Works Roundup, 4/25 April 25, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Afghan Patrick (art | Patrick | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Sex tape (comic | Tiernan, Thorn | worksafe)
Character Height Chart II (art | ensemble | borderline NSFW)
‘Studying’ while the roommate is out (comic | Juniper/Delphinium | NSFW)
Fall fashion (art | Leif | worksafe)

Homestuck
Jasprosesprite^2 (art | meow meow motherf@#%ers | worksafe)

Oz books
Good Morning, Princess (art | Dorothy/Ozma | worksafe)

Steven Universe
Temple Fusion Chibi (art | Mystic Aura Quartz | worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Drama, rescue, callbacks, and Rocky Horror references.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Leif is hospitalized, and Thorn is left to stew in his fear.

Monday Works Roundup, 4/18 April 18, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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Leif & Thorn
Alternate definition of ‘chill’ (comic | Leif/Rowan | NSFW)
Bringing a Sword to an Axe Fight (art | D, Juniper | worksafe)
So much leather. (comic | Holly/Olive | NSFW-ish)
This cuddling got too intense, v2 (Olive/Geranium | worksafe)
April Footsie (wallpaper | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)
Don’t stop (comic | Plum/Clover | NSFW)

Fake News
Obama-kun and Hillary-chan 2016 (art | Yatterman!Obama & Hillary | worksafe)
Fake News Host Gems (art | Gem “Stephen”, Larry, Jon, Olivia, John, Trevor, Sam | worksafe)

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
We Will Be Adored (Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze, Sonata Dusk | worksafe)

Steven Universe
Terraforming Gems (art | Lapis, Desert Glass | worksafe)
Fluffy Centipeetle (art | Centipeetle, Steven | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Tiled hexagon background (free tiled pattern, worksafe)
Aldern (reward chibi, worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Miranda’s got this. Meanwhile, Jany’s got…something.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Thorn bonds with his niece, over a newfound appreciation for anti-vampire protests.

New Sailor Moon Crystal arc3 transformations April 7, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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I…like them?

They’re all hand-drawn/2D animation, under a new director. Little bits of CGI, but nothing too distracting. Character proportions look a lot less like anything’s going to snap off.

Lots of the choreography is recognizable from the classic series, which feels like a missed opportunity…but even with that, I think they’ve got the magic back. The moment Mars’s rings of fire snapped into position, I got chills.

Crystal was such a heartbreaking letdown (the cheap animation shortcuts! the continuity errors! the way our heroines got more screentime knocked-out than they did fighting!) that I stopped watching before the first arc finished. Didn’t figure Toei would ever bother to change it in a way that could win me back.

But this? This is a change. And it has my interest.

Guys, I’m gonna give arc 3 a chance.

Wednesday Multifandom Rec Post, 3/30 March 30, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Recommendations.
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The Cat in the Hat | ensemble | G | Bad SF dystopia: Hats have been banned and the government controls cats.
http://fail-fandomanon.dreamwidth.org/183479.html?thread=997415607

The sun did not shine / There was no time for play / As we sat in the safehouse that cold, cold, wet day.
Akimbo Comics – Comics Everyone Can Hate
http://www.akimbocomics.com/?p=924

“Do you even know what we’re supposed to be doing? Stories are supposed to lift people up! They’re supposed to be bright and fun!”

[This gives me fresh chills every time I re-read it. So good.]

Steven Universe | Connie, OC, Gems | G | that which they defend
http://archiveofourown.org/works/4168281

You never really thought much of Connie Maheswaran. She was just that one shy, nerdy girl. Then, she comes back in seventh grade and it’s like she’s a completely different person. And this person has a sword.
Sailor Moon | Makoto, Inners | T | The Aerodynamics of Friendship
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11782522/1/The-Aerodynamics-of-Friendship

When Mako faces a troubling school assignment, it’s up to her friends to come to the rescue! For some value of “rescue”.
Fake News FPF | “Stephen”/Sweetness, “Stephen”/Jon | M | Weapons of Misdirection
http://archiveofourown.org/collections/yuletide2015/works/5458844

A love story (or two) through the sights of a gun.
Narnia, Lord of the Rings | Susan, Eowyn, Ents | G | a home for every season
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5393945

Susan was across the battlefield when Eowyn faced down the lord of the Nazgul, Merry and his little dagger at her side. Susan was sending arrows into orcs and oliphaunt drivers, guiding her horse with her calves and heels and shifts of her weight.
Sailor Moon | Haruka/Michiru, Kunzite/Zoisite, senshi | T | Haruka and Zoisite Get Together :O
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11749856/1/Haruka-and-Zoisite-Get-Together-O

Haruka’s sad because Michiru is too busy with Sailor business to play monopoly with her. Zoisite’s upset because Kunzite got fed up with opening jars of pickles for him. When the two meet up and start hanging out, what will this lead to? Will Michiru and Kunzite be able to get their partners back? Will Zoisite learn to open pickle jars? Will Michiru ever put some clothes on?
Jeeves & Wooster | Jeeves/Wooster, Madeline/Honoria | T | The Rummy Affair of the Brinkley Ball
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5465822

BERTIE STOP THE MOST DREADFUL THING STOP THERE IS TO BE A BALL AT BRINKLEY COURT STOP H AND I SURE TO BE DISCOVERED STOP CALL UPON YOUR HELP STOP SOME SUBTERFUGE WILL BE CALLED FOR STOP H SAYS NO USE ASKING YOU BUT PERHAPS JEEVES STOP
Galaxy Quest (1999) | Gwen/Jason, others | T | Touch the Sky
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5466935

Starships were meant to fly.
Better Off Ted | Veronica, Linda, Ted, Phil, Lem | G | In Lighter News
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5519276

“And in lighter news,” Veronica said, reading on, “despite the combined efforts of both the American and Chinese cyber-divisions, Jabberwocky has gained control of the stock exchange.”
Leverage | Parker/Hardison, Eliot | M | The Underwire Job
http://archiveofourown.org/works/3144

Parker recruits Eliot for a side job. Comedy and horror ensue.
Better Off Ted | Ted/Veronica/Linda, others | T | Rated B for Brillig
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5458985/

“I can’t believe your solution was to invent an imaginary project,” Linda said. “Isn’t that what got you into this Jabberwocky mess, having to come up with a new product?”
Cabin Pressure | Martin/Arthur | T | Contents May Have Shifted
http://archiveofourown.org/works/241089

Martin gets stuck in the flight deck locker with Arthur. More than once.
Dave the Barbarian | Dave, Candy, Fang, Chuckles | G | Meanwhile, In Udrogoth
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5479136

Everything was fine until the Yule bears invaded.
Cabin Pressure | Douglas/Martin, Arthur | M | A Very Good Place to Start
http://archiveofourown.org/works/3253451

“Believe it or not, Martin, there isn’t actually an SOP – updated or otherwise – for getting stuck in a foreign country due to a volcanic ash cloud, having to impersonate a married couple with your fellow pilot and then accidentally snogging them whilst watching Julie Andrews play the guitar.”
Hellsing | Heinkel/Yumiko | T | Dualität
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5307233

Yumiko has an important question for her partner.
Welcome to Night Vale, The Dresden Files | Carlos Ramirez/Cecil, Tamika, Harry, ensemble | T | Love is All You Need to Destroy Your Enemies
http://archiveofourown.org/works/2207475/chapters/4837680

There are a few things that Carlos may have neglected to tell Cecil. Like his last name. Or how he hasn’t actually dated anyone since his junior year of high school. Or that he’s a wizard of the White Council and the regional commander of Wardens in the western United States and not, in fact, a scientist.
Welcome to Night Vale | Carlos/Cecil, Dana, Kevin, ensemble | T | From the Ground Up
http://archiveofourown.org/works/1273615/chapters/2632999

Carlos is a loyal company employee, who has never been to any place called Night Vale and never met anyone named Cecil…which doesn’t explain the mysterious woman appearing in his lab, or these dreams he’s started having…
Cabin Pressure | Martin/Douglas, Martin/Gordon, ensemble | M | A Million By Tuesday
http://archiveofourown.org/works/878377/chapters/1689101

AU: Gordon Shappey’s disgruntled ex-employee, Douglas Richardson, seeks revenge by kidnapping Gordon’s trophy husband, Martin.
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon | Usagi, Phobos, Deimos | G | Feathered Friends
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5091191

Usagi makes friends very easily.
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