artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)
Dear Yuletide Author,

First and foremost, thank you for volunteering to write for one of my fandoms! Also, I am very sorry (again, still, in perpetuity, this year and every year) about the delay in posting this letter. I continue to be the actual worst. Please feel free to disregard everything in this letter and write whatever you damn well please. That being said, I have tried to cover my general likes and dislikes, and provide a few (totally optional!) ideas.

General Information

In any and all fandoms, I am 100% OK with receiving any subset or combination of characters requested.

I enjoy both shippy (slash, femslash, het, poly, whatever strikes your fancy) and gen fic of all flavors and genres and ratings, from unapologetic schmoop to grimdark, bad-ending, Terrible Things to out-and-out smut. Kink-wise, anything goes; just show me the characters being themselves, and being into it, and I'm game. In my signups, I may have mentioned ships I particularly like. Please feel free to write gen, or a totally different ship if that's what floats your boat. If you'd like to write it, go for it! I am happy to be convinced.

A note on characterization: In cases where I have mentioned my oddly specific character feels, please do not feel obligated to incorporate them if they don't work for you. My perceptions of characters are almost certainly not exactly the same as your perceptions of them. I know mine; please introduce me to yours!

I love worldbuilding, especially the mundane details of daily life (what is Character X wearing? Sleeping on? Eating for breakfast? What do the surroundings smell like? Tell me about the weather! Tell me about politics!). I like complicated feelings and human (and other sentient being) complexity, and morality that isn't merely gray so much as polychromatic.

My one hot-button narrative squick is embarrassment-based comedy.

I personally have no triggers; I urge you, however, to apply content warnings as appropriate for the health and safety of other readers.

My Requests

CAVEAT: All of these are optional details which are optional. If there's something you were aching to write when you offered, please go for it. If there's something you'd like to write that bears no resemblance to any of my nonsense, by all means write it! The story you want to write is the story I want to read.

English and Scottish Popular Ballads - Francis James Child )

Iolanthe - Sullivan/Gilbert )

Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome )

Uprooted - Naomi Novik )
artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)
Dear Yuletide Author,

First and foremost, thank you for volunteering to write for one of my fandoms! Also, I am very sorry (again, still) about the delay in posting this letter. I am, as I was last year, the actual worst. Please feel free to disregard everything in this letter and write whatever you damn well please. That being said, I have tried to cover my general likes and dislikes, and provide a few (totally optional!) ideas.

General Information

In any and all fandoms, I am 100% OK with receiving any subset or combination of characters requested.

I enjoy both shippy (slash, femslash, het, poly, whatever strikes your fancy) and gen fic of all flavors and genres and ratings, from unapologetic schmoop to grimdark, bad-ending, Terrible Things to out-and-out smut. Kink-wise, just show me the characters being themselves, and being into it, and I'm game for anything. In my signups, I may have mentioned ships I particularly like. Please feel free to write gen, or a totally different ship if that's what floats your boat. If you'd like to write it, go for it! I am happy to be convinced.

A note on characterization: In cases where I have mentioned my oddly specific character feels, please do not feel obligated to incorporate them if they don't work for you. My perceptions of characters are almost certainly not exactly the same as your perceptions of them. I know mine; please introduce me to yours!

I love worldbuilding, especially the mundane details of daily life (what is Character X wearing? Sleeping on? Eating for breakfast? What do the surroundings smell like? Tell me about the weather!). I like complicated feelings and human (and other sentient being) complexity, and morality that isn't merely gray so much as polychromatic.

My one hot-button narrative squick is embarrassment-based comedy.

I personally have no triggers; I urge you, however, to apply content warnings as appropriate for the health and safety of other readers.

My Requests

CAVEAT: All of these are optional details which are optional. If there's something you were aching to write when you offered, please go for it. If there's something you'd like to write that bears no resemblance to any of my nonsense, by all means write it! The story you want to write is the story I want to read.

Famous Flower of Serving Men - Martin Carthy (song) )

Fury (2014) )

Swordspoint Series - Ellen Kushner )

The Matrix (Movies) )

Enchanted Forest Chronicles – Patricia Wrede )
artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)

Dear Yuletide Author,

First and foremost, thank you for volunteering to write for one of my fandoms! Also, I am very sorry about the delay in posting this letter. I am the actual worst. Please feel free to disregard everything in this letter and write whatever you damn well please. That being said, I have tried to cover my general likes and dislikes, and provide a few (totally optional!) ideas.

General Information

I enjoy both shippy (slash, femslash, het, poly, whatever strikes your fancy) and gen fic of all flavors and genres, from unapologetic schmoop to grimdark, bad-ending, Terrible Things. In my signups, I may have mentioned ships I particularly like. Please feel free to write gen, or a totally different ship if that's what floats your boat. If you'd like to write it, go for it! I am happy to be convinced.

My approach to kink in fic is as follows: I'm in this for the characters. Show me the characters being themselves, and being into it, and I'm game for anything.

A note on characterization: My perceptions of characters are almost certainly not exactly the same as your perceptions of them. I know mine; please introduce me to yours! In cases where I have mentioned my oddly specific character feels, please do not feel obligated to incorporate them if they don't work for you.

I love worldbuilding, especially the mundane details of daily life (what is Character X wearing? Sleeping on? Eating for breakfast? What do the surroundings smell like? Tell me about the weather!).

I like complicated feelings and human (and other sentient being) complexity, and morality that isn't merely gray so much polychromatic. The one thing I absolutely cannot get on board with is embarrassment-based comedy.

I personally have no triggers; I urge you, however, to apply trigger warnings as appropriate for the health and safety of other readers.


My Signups

CAVEAT: All of these are optional details which are optional. If there's something you were aching to write when you offered, please go for it. The story you want to write is the story I want to read.
 

 

The Railway Series – W. Awdry )

 

Girls und Panzer )

 

 

The Eternal Sky Trilogy – Elizabeth Bear )

 


Unusual Dragon Hoards )

 

artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)
My sincerest apologies for failing to post my letter on time.  This past week has been a mess.  I'll have it up asap.
artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)
New NaNo Goal: 50,000 words total on main project by end of month.  If 50k isn't enough for a full draft (as seems a genuine risk), then I will at least have assembled what I've got into chrono order and outlined the missing bits.

Seems doable.
artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)
Hello there, internets.  It has been a while.  Some updates, kind of in order.

Yes, I finished my degree.  No, I am not likely to post the last semester's installment of final exams drama.  Respectable grades all 'round, in the end, and a completed thesis, but it was sufficiently horrible that I just won't go there.  If ever it becomes mellowed by age, such that it's hilarious in retrospect, then maybe.  But not now.

I missed Yuletide noms.  Then I missed Yuletide reg, by less than an hour.  Oh well.

This month, I must kick my ongoing job search into the highest of gears.  I must also finish knitting a cardigan for the Sibling Critter by Christmas.  For these reasons, I have just signed up for NaNoWriMo.

...No, that doesn't make sense to me, either.

I've actually already got ~24,000 words of my main project written.  My goal for November is to write an additional 50,000 words and complete a full draft of the story.

This will be interesting.
artifactrix: A tiny child in a giant lab coat and a paper bag hat peers at a cookie, and says "I will do science to it." (science)
As predicted by the internets, my beer starter remained an unprepossessing, sour-smelling slurry all week.  It did eventually develop some bubbles, but not very impressive ones.  Nevertheless, yesterday morning I mixed up some dough using the following:

1 cup starter
1 cup water, warmed in the microwave
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
Sufficient whole wheat flour to hold together a dough
4 tsp vital wheat gluten

I left this in an oiled bowl under a damp tea towel all day, and kneaded perhaps another cup of flour into it when I got home from the lab, all-purpose white this time.  Then I abandoned it again and went to visit the Boy, leaving it to sit in its bowl and think real hard about rising.  Apparently it didn't, though, because when I came home this evening, it was only very slightly embiggened.

Having lost patience, I heated the oven up to 420 F (215ish C), plopped the recalcitrant dough into an oily baking pan, slashed the top of it, and baked it for 45 minutes.  It did rise a bit in the oven, but not much.

But oh, it is tasty and it is nice.  It's fine-grained and dense and has a nice tang to it.  I am eating it, still slightly warm, with cranberry-tangerine conserve and very sharp cheddar, and it is delicious.  Entertainingly, something about this combination of flavors is reminiscent of hops; the plain bread does not taste of them at all.

Meanwhile, the starter, which got fed 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour and perhaps 2/3 cup water when I started the dough, did noticeably better, and was nicely bubbly when I checked it this evening.  Encouraged, I have mixed up a second batch of dough and fed the starter again; having been in proximity to the oven vents, it is already bubbling away and smelling much sweeter (i.e. less like sour beer).  The new batch of dough is doing its thing on the countertop, and I'm already looking forward to it.

Happy New Year, internets.
artifactrix: A tiny child in a giant lab coat and a paper bag hat peers at a cookie, and says "I will do science to it." (science)
Every year since I was tiny, my family has baked bread on New Year's Eve.  In earlier years, we used the baguette recipe from the Preschool Power video series, which often turned out dense and chewy and typically tasted overwhelmingly of Fleischmann's active dry yeast.  Bleh.  After acquiring the River Cottage Family Cookbook, we started using the white bread recipe found therein and never looked back.  Recent years' bakings have included wholemeal, fruit, nuts, olives, and other tasty variations.

This has been my first New Year's not spent at home with family; I returned to school shortly after Xmas, and spent First Night with the Boy instead.  Fun times were most certainly had: we went skiing in the morning, then went out on the town for drinks and a surprisingly excellent concert by Prydein, and kissed at midnight with fireworks in the background.  All well and good.  But it just isn't a new year without bread.

Unfortunately, I forgot to buy yeast, but I had a bottle of Blue Moon (unfiltered wheat ale) in the fridge.  In the past, I've gotten good results from a starter which began life as ale lees; it took several feedings to really get the hang of eating flour rather than malt, but once it hit its stride, it made some tasty bread.  On the principle that yeast is yeast, on January 1st I poured it out into a pyrex dish, making sure to get all the sediment out of the bottom of the bottle, and added flour until it had the gloppy (that's a technical term) consistency of a sourdough starter, then stirred in a teaspoon of white sugar to kick-start it.

After googling around a bit, I found a recipe page which suggests that I basically did it right (scroll 2/3 of the way down).  It looks like I can expect to wait a week or so before doing any actual baking, but I'm hopeful (willow willow waly).    Based on the instructions linked above, and on this thread, it looks like I'm on the right track.  It's going to look pretty sketchy and dead for a few days, but apparently that's normal for beer starters, and it should take off and behave more normally after its first feeding.  We shall see.

Edited to add links.  Oops.
artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)
Systems: B+

Manufacturing: A-

Biomaterials: A+

Statistics: A-

Capstone Design: B+

Machining: A

So there's that.
artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)
...that's Yuletide accomplished!  \o/
artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)
Monday: 

Did adequately, if not precisely well, on Systems exam.  Manufacturing was a miserable slog through seventy short-answer questions in a row, but was tedious rather than difficult.

After nonstop brain work 0730 - 1600, went for Mexican food with the Boy because enough is e-fucking-nough.  Went to rapper practice, then went home and made slides for Biomaterials.

Tuesday:

Biomaterials went very well- full marks for both the presentation and the paper, and a confirmed A+ for the course.  Statistics was easier than expected, and I feel good about my performance on it.

Aside from the fact that the difficult bits of it came off perfectly fine, most of the rest of Tuesday blew goats, starting with the bit at the beginning in which I didn't sleep properly and had to scrape myself out of bed at 0830 ill-rested and cross.  Studied Stats for three hours, revised slides for another hour, went to Biomaterials all keyed-up and panicky and desperate to get it out of the way so I could finish up my Stats revision...

...and waited in the hall for forty minutes, because we were all locked out of the classroom, and then waited another forty minutes while other people presented.  After presentations finished up, spent my last hour before Stats frantically reviewing my notes.

Finished Stats exam at 1815, leaving just enough time for me to go home and change, then turn right 'round and go to longsword training.  Which is exactly what I did, because I had earned it.

Know what's super therapeutic?  Hitting people with fifty inches of steel, that's what.  Also, hot baths, one of which I had afterward.

Edited to fix italics.
artifactrix: A ginger cat which bears an uncanny resemblance to a muffin. (muffincat)
...but the weather outside's delightful.  I may still be chipping away at my studying at ten past midnight on my first day of exams, but the Finals Week Snow is right on schedule, falling in fluffy white flakes after two weeks of unseasonably high temperatures.  In addition to being downright picturesque and a general balm to my soul, this bodes well for opening day at Bolton (this coming Saturday, postponed from yesterday due to insufficient snowfall).
artifactrix: Tony Stark in Iron Man armor (no helmet), disheveled and slightly bloody.  Captioned "A dubious role model at best." (role model)
So I had just gotten home and settled on the couch, when there came a sudden flash and a crackle just outside the window.  Looking out into the parking lot, I saw some clever young thing holding a lit firework tube in his hand while it launched various flashbangs and other incendiaries into the air.  He then lobbed the spent firework at someone's car and ran away... into the parking garage, which has even better CCTV coverage than the parking lot does.

I expect we'll be getting email from the management about this.

artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)
Sponsor Liaison is liaised-with, and Preliminary Design Report is in.  System Dynamics project is well underway, and I'm going to do some more work on it later.  It's a nice change to be working with a partner who actually gets shit done, although our third member doesn't seem to have improved much since the Freshman year design project we did together, lo these many years ago.

Tentative Schedule:

Saturday 12/8:

     Study Systems
     Study Manufacturing, and prepare equation sheet (1 x 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper, double-sided)
     Safety documentation for design project
     Extra-credit assignment for manufacturing
     First-pass review for Statistics
     Additional work on Systems project as necessary

Sunday 12/9:

     Study Statistics, and prepare equation sheets (3 x 8.5" x 11" sheets of paper, double-sided)
     Prepare and rehearse slides for Biomaterials
     Attend Statistics review session
     Review Systems material
     Review Manufacturing material
     Final revision of Systems project

Monday 12/10:

     Take Systems exam, and turn in project
     Take Manufacturing exam, and turn in extra-credit assignment
     Review Statistics
     Rehearse Biomaterials presentation

Tuesday 12/11:

     Biomaterials presentation
     Take Statistics exam
     Outline and draft progress report for thesis

Wednesday 12/12:

     Rewrite and polish progress report for thesis
     Send finished report to committee
     Study for Capstone Design Seminar exam

Thursday 12/13:

     Take Capstone exam
     Committee meeting
     Drink

Friday 12/14:

     Sleep

Is it Friday yet?
artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)
Today is the last day of classes in the penultimate semester of my undergraduate degree, which means it's time for another riveting installment of me grousing about my exams.

Things What I Have Got To Do:

     Monday 12/10, 1030: System Dynamics exam, plus project due.

     Monday 12/10, 1330: Manufacturing exam, plus extra credit assignment due

     Tuesday 12/11, 1330: Biomaterials presentation

     Tuesday 12/11, 1630: Statistics exam

     Thursday 12/13, 1030: Capstone Design Seminar exam, plus Preliminary Design Report due

     Thursday 12/13, 1400: Last Thesis Committee meeting of the semester, plus formal progress report due

That's quite a lot of things.
artifactrix: The back of Derecq Twist's head, ensconced in a black topper with white ribbons and a fluffy red feather. (morris)
1. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

Characters: Titty Walker, Nancy Blackett, James "Captain Flint" Turner, Timothy "Squashy Hat" Stedding

2. The Bridge Trilogy - William Gibson (Virtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrow's Parties)

Characters: Skinner, Chia McKenzie, Colin Laney, Rei Toei

3. Morris: A Life with Bells On

Characters: Derecq Maximilian Twist, Endeavour Hungerfjord-Welsh, Sonja Walton, Professor Compton Chamberlayne


My first Yuletide! I am excited. ^___^
artifactrix: Tony Stark in Iron Man armor (no helmet), disheveled and slightly bloody.  Captioned "A dubious role model at best." (role model)
Yesterday night, in the midst of some fairly bibulous good times with friends, I decided that what I really wanted was Irish coffee. Unfortunately, I lacked both Irish whiskey and cream. I did, however, have Pusser's Rum (medium-dark, kind of woody in a whiskeyish way) and sweetened condensed milk. What I ended up drinking was strong coffee with a shot of rum and sweetened condensed milk stirred in to taste, and it was glorious. Definitely something I'll be repeating, and as such, I need something to call it.

As far as I can tell, the closest preexisting beverage is the Pharisäer, which, like Irish coffee, is meant to have a discrete layer of cream on top, rather than mixed in.  Most other coffee-and-rum drinks contain additional liqueurs, spices, or citrus. 

Opinion questions: a) does coffee + Navy rum + sweetened condensed milk constitute a new and different tipple? and b) if so, what shall I call it?
artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)
For a day that started at 0530 with spontaneous inability to sleep, and has consisted so far of an hour of early-morning studying and ~6 hours of back-to-back final exams, today is actually pretty good. :)

I feel super awesome about how Elements went- like , damn-near-perfect-paper-type awesome. Not half bad considering my studying for that involved like five practice problems and some sticky notes in the textbook.

I knew going in that Heat Xfer was going to be tricky, which is why I did all of the studying for that and none of the studying for Elements, and I think it paid off. Computational problems all went well, except for the one where I couldn't remember what the hell Nu_s was, which I solved symbolically instead. In accordance with longstanding tradition, my conceptual question responses were pretty effing weak, and I didn't manage to do the extra credit project, but whatever. It's over.

Also: Professor Heat Xfer was 20+ minutes late to his own final. This is my not-impressed face.

Working on my Honors Thesis Proposal now. Later, packing ALL THE THINGS, and Avenger Prequel Movie Night.

...I saw "The Avengers" on Tuesday, but that's a whole lot of keyboard smashing for another time.
artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)
Of my five courses this semester, three are now over and done with. Final project in Embedded Systems is in (save for group evaluation form), Mechanical Engineering Lab III exam taken in class last Monday (a week ago yesterday), and just finished up Anatomy & Physiology this morning.

Remaining Things for the Week:

-Design of Elements, 0730 on Thursday

-Heat Transfer, 1030 on Thursday

-Heat Xfer design problem for extra credit which I really need, 1030 on Thursday

-Honors Thesis Proposal, due by Friday

-Packing ALL THE THINGS and finding a place to put them for the weekend


This has not been a good semester for me, academically speaking. Too much time spent with the Boy, and not enough time spent doing work. Fortunately, last semester was pretty excellent, so hopefully it will come out in the wash. *fingers crossed* I think I can still manage a B in Heat Xfer if my final is solid. Elements, I don't even know, because we're getting back our design projects (30% of semester grade) at the final. So yeah, this will be fun.

On the plus side, I think my Senior Design project for next year is a small-scale hops pelletizer, which ought to be good fun to work on. Still waiting to see if I get the assignment, but it didn't seem too popular, so I'm hopeful.
artifactrix: My pseud, written on graph paper. (Default)
...So I may have just stayed up literally all night reading ALL THE HUNGER GAMES. As in, started at 11:00 PM on Sunday and just finished as of post timestamp minus fifteen minutes.

This may not have been the best plan, because now I have thoughts and feelings and stuff about them, and also I have class at 8:30 and haven't slept and yet it somehow seems like the best idea ever to be telling dreamwidth all about this mess instead of showering or caffeinating or some other productive thing.

Today, I do not win at being a responsible pseudoadult.

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Artifactrix

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