Sunday, August 31, 2014

My parents’ dog, Dottie! She is mostly Jack Russell terrier, with a bit of something else mixed in. (We suspect Dalmatian, because of her facial structure and spots.)

The first picture is her curled up on the sofa at the cabin last summer, looking soulful. The second picture is her sprawled across my couch tonight, giving me a look that probably translates to, “Why am I here and what are you pointing in my face?”

wherein Liz has company!

I have a dog!

…For the next two weeks, that is. I am dogsitting Dottie while my parents are off in Cambridge and Casablanca. Dad is giving a paper in Cambridge (he’s only mostly retired, you know, and historians can keep on writing without formal jobs), and Casablanca is the site of this year’s Meteoritical Society meeting, which of course includes the presentation of the award Ardis established in my Grandpa’s name.

Mom drove up with the dog and her supplies — food, toys, bed, leash, toothbrush, etc. — and left after what was either a belated lunch or a very early dinner. I am typing this post with Dottie on my lap, which is slightly awkward but very warm and companionable. She’s a little confused, and a little sad, but I think we will get on well together, as we have in past dogsitting incidents.

And hey, it will be nice to have an external structure imposed on my life, since I’m demonstrably bad at imposing one of my own volition. Plus, I’m getting paid. That is always a bonus. :-)

Maybe someday I will be able to afford a dog of my own. *wistful*

Saturday, August 30, 2014

[Fic] “For Science!” - Homestuck

Summary: Jade is a scientist deploying an experimental satellite around a neutron star. Karkat and Dave are the pilots of the ship she hires as transport. Together, they… don’t actually have sex on-screen, but you know where I’m going with this. ;-) (550 words)

Note: For Asuka, who asked for DaveJadeKat meeting on a space station AU. Inspired by the 8/3/14 15_minute_ficlets word #197.

For Science!

"Is the human body even meant to work like that?" Karkat muttered as he watched Dr. Harley vanish halfway into her… whatever the hell it was. It had started life as a basic stellar orbiter, the same kind used in navigation buoys all through the galaxy, but this one had so many extensions and antennas and weird experimental sensor suites it looked more like a very spiky and asymmetric art exhibit than anything. Also potentially very painful if the good doctor lost her balance and fell onto one of the pointy bits.

"Do I need to demonstrate yoga for you again, schnookums?" his asshole copilot said. "And if so, in or out of bed?"

Karkat growled, pro-forma, and clarified: “Humans who don’t spend stupid amounts of my valuable time pretending to be prima donna ballerinas when they could be doing ship repairs or sweet-talking their supposed network of contacts into finding us new jobs.”

Dave shrugged. “If she’s not used to stretching, she’s gonna have one hell of a backache tomorrow, but yeah, we’re pretty bendy compared to you. Got a couple more vertebrae, I think, and our hips are set a little different, to say nothing of our shoulders. Why? You wanna rub all the ouchies out of her skin?”

"Argh, get back here you little fucker!" Dr. Harley snarled, and wiggled a little further into her machine. Even through her heavy work gear, the taut, muscular line of her legs was unmistakable. And the flex of her ass.

"Uh," Karkat said.

"Dude," Dave agreed.

Something in the depths of the repurposed orbiter went spang. “Gotcha!” Dr. Harley said. “And stay there, or else!” She eeled out of the cavity and stuck her microwelder back into its slot on her toolbelt. “I think that’s the last adjustment, guys. We can launch whenever we hit the designated window in the local magnetic—”

She trailed off as she turned and caught them before they could rearrange their expressions into something more neutral and professional.

"Huh," Dr. Harley said.

"Shit, um, listen, this isn’t what it looks like and I swear we won’t do anything to make it weird and can you just pretend you didn’t see us making complete asses of—"

Karkat slapped his hand over Dave’s mouth. “We’re shitheads and we’re sorry,” he said.

"Oh, don’t worry," Dr. Harley said. "This saves me a lot of time, actually. It’s obvious you two are hate-dating, or at least engaged in a long term red-black quadrant vacillation, but I had no idea if it was exclusive or if you might be open to a fling." She smiled, sharp and bright and somehow wolf-like. "So. What are your feelings on threesomes, and does either of you have any experience with massage?"

Dumbly, Karkat raised his hand. “I do?”

"Excellent! Sex after an intensive engineering session is very invigorating, but it tends to lead to muscle strain the next day. I’ve been meaning to see if massage might counter that side-effect," said Dr. Harley. "And call me Jade. I prefer to be on a first-name basis with anyone I invite to my cabin."

She turned and strode across the cargo bay, hair swaying behind her like a battle flag.


They missed the first launch window by several hours.

[Fic] “Excelsior” - Homestuck

Summary: It’s hard, having an egg for a lusus. But Terezi has no regrets. (375 words)

Note: 1. I wrote this with the vague intention of participating in #protect terezi pyrope week, because I am all in favor of giving Terezi things to be happy about. 2. This is part of my Alternian Nights series. It’s a little hard to place since it’s a character study rather than a specific single incident, but there are references to the Team Charge Flarp disaster and its aftermath, so it’s currently the last in the sequence. 3. This ficlet was inspired by the 8/17/14 15_minute_ficlets word #199.


There are no dragons on Alternia. Not anymore. Not since the Time of Exile.

Your lusus is the only remnant, presumably left in place because nobody wanted to disturb the doomsday scale on which it sits. You’re not entirely certain how she got onto the scale, or what you’re going to do when she eventually hatches, but your current working theory is that it’s all a massive trick designed to confuse and annoy a hapless exterminator squad into fudging their paperwork and giving the species a last, desperate chance at survival.

You are very glad she has survived long enough to choose you as her daughter!

It’s tricky, of course, since she can’t move around and can’t communicate much either — just a sort of formless projection of warmth and pity and flight that takes the edge off your daymares when your sopor shipments run late. Which they do, a lot. You don’t live in a listed residential zone and you’re not high enough on the hemocaste to override most drones’ patterns. You only got one construction drone to help build your hive, so you’ve had to add all the extensions yourself. You can only get your allotted deliveries about half the time, so you’ve learned to hunt and gather to stretch you through the gaps. And if you lose your connection to the satellite power grid, you’re stuck relying on the solar panels you scrounged up to requisition and painstakingly installed yourself (with some hilariously grumpy advice from a yellowblood you met online in a DIY hardware chatroom).

You took up playing Flarp as much to make money as because you love roleplaying and a good challenge.

It’s hard, having an egg for a lusus. It’s hard, and none of your friends understand.

But you wouldn’t trade your mom for the world. You’re strong because of everything you’ve had to do on your own. You know she’s proud of you. You’re proud of her, too. She’s survived centuries without the mesh of other dragons’ thoughts that should have sheltered her own dreams. When you needed her the most, she woke up sweeps too soon, still trapped in her egg, and taught you a new way to see.

And somenight, when she hatches, the two of you are going to own the sky.


So that’s my tiny finger-exercise for the day. :-)




#protect terezi pyrope week

starting now, going until the the seventh because fuck you terezi deserves a really long week

write fic for her, draw pictures and comics of her, do fanvids, write about why you love her, write about what makes her awesome, meta, shipping, whatever

just give her something to be happy about

Friday, August 29, 2014

[Fic] “The Time-Traveler’s Kismesis: Counterthesis” - Homestuck


Summary: Shortly after the Dolorosa flees the brooding caverns with the Signless, she meets the Demoness for the second time… at least from her perspective. 

Note: Back in 2013 I had a story idea for the Ladystuck Dark challenge, which I called “The Time-Traveler’s Kismesis.”  It was born from a couple stories I’d seen that had the Demoness tracking the Condesce through her life, and hating her passionately.  And I thought, yeah, that works… but the thing the Demoness would hate most isn’t casual entitlement.  It’s hope.  And the person who has that, the one who tries to change the world for the better, and most particularly the one who also has personal experience with slavery, is the Dolorosa.  The Demoness knows nothing is ever going to change.  Nothing will ever matter.  And the Dolorosa, despite being caste-bound into a form of servitude, and having her son killed in front of her and his movement destroyed, and being mind-controlled and raped, keeps on going. 

I never did write that story.  But this is one of the scenes that would go into it.  Inspired by the 8/24/14 15_minute_ficlets word #200.  (850 words) 

The Time-Traveler’s Kismesis: Counterthesis

The Demoness is waiting at the crossroads.  You don’t slow down.  You can’t afford to waste time and it would be foolish to show fear.  But you wrap the grub more firmly in your spare skirt as you approach. 

You turn off the wide main road and take the narrow path into the wilderness.  The Demoness falls into step beside you, as casually as one old hatefriend meeting another. 

If you didn’t know her, you would never guess her name and function, not with her wands and her magic hidden away.  Her horns are impressive, her posture unsubmissive, and the color of her dress borderline illegal, but those descriptions apply to many lowbloods.  The Condesce’s attention has turned away from Alternia this past century, since the improvement in helmsblock technology that let your people expand to the stars.  The planet is restive without her strong hand. 

The Demoness is a harbinger of chaos.  Small wonder she walks the world these nights. 

You do wonder, though, at her interest in you.  She is immortal, second in power only to Death himself.  Surely there are other, greater challenges within her reach.  Yet here she is, walking close enough to touch, refusing to explain her presence though simple courtesy dictates that she — as the interloper — should justify herself to you. 

You grind your teeth and vow not to break the silence first.

Read More

Next-day reblog. Also, just FYI, the story is now up here on AO3. :-)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

And the rest of the peppers! Generally speaking, the ones in the terracotta pots have done better than the ones in the plastic pots. The one in the squarish gray-blue pot, however, is doing excellently, and the one on the far left just in front of the onion seems to have been badly affected by the pesticide I sprayed back in early July, since its leaves went all funny at the top and it never developed buds at all. (And it was bent in half by a squirrel last week; I’m not sure it’s recovering well from the shock.)

As you can see, some of the plants have begun to bloom, and a few of the flowers have even dropped off to reveal the beginnings of actualfax peppers! There would be a lot more of these, but, as always, SQUIRRELS. In fact, the tiny baby pepper in the final photo is no longer with us, having been chomped off sometime before this evening. *shakes tiny fist of rage*

I have purchased some animal-be-gone spray and will attempt to apply it tomorrow. The trick is, I can’t spray it directly on the pepper plants since they are meant for human consumption. But I can spray the mulberry tree, and the porch railing, and the porch floor, and the garage roof, and so on. Hopefully that will be enough to set up a perimeter of safety.

My bonsai pepper!

I first put it outside around July 25th, whereupon it was promptly mauled by a squirrel. I got it rerooted before it could dehydrate and shrivel, and brought it back indoors to recover. Then I put it back out in early August.

It survived my vacation in style and continues to grow despite some incidental scuffling with the local squirrels. It’s still tiny, and still running behind the other peppers — it’s at least a week or two away from flowering — but hey, it’s cute. :-)

Pepper time, I guess?

So, the saga of the Better Bell pepper Mom gave me, hereinafter referred to as Mom’s pepper. You may recall it was decapitated by a marauding squirrel back in late June, but managed to recover from the shock enough to grow new leaves and even put forth some slightly misshapen flowers.

Well, around midafternoon on August 11th, it got beheaded again. :-(

This time I held onto the severed leaves and dropped them in the empty pot (which was empty because another pepper had been completely murdered earlier in July). Then I went away on vacation for a week. When I got back, the leaves were inexplicably not dead. O_o I think they may be in the process of dying now, but they’re acting as a squirrel distraction so I guess the sacrifice is not in vain?

Also, the roots and remnants of Mom’s pepper are trying to regrow from ruins a second time. I doubt the poor plant will make it to the flower stage again, let alone produce actual peppers, but even so. I am VERY impressed by its tenacity!