thedeadparrot
29 September 2014 @ 07:55 pm
Title: Hand Covers Bruise
Fandom: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Pairing: Bucky/Natasha
Rating: NC-17
Word count: ~11,000
Summary: Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows. Natasha finds Bucky on a rooftop in Berlin, and things snowball from there.
Notes: So much love for ladyofthelog and zulu for their excellent beta skills.

AO3 | Tumblr | DW | LJ
 
 
thedeadparrot
29 September 2014 @ 06:33 pm
Just as an FYI, I am like 90% sure I'm going to be going to muskratjamboree this year.


Also, Bucky/Natasha fic is going to be landing tonight or tomorrow morning, depending on how long it takes me to get the last bits sorted.

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thedeadparrot
26 September 2014 @ 07:22 pm
Okay, I know there are maybe like two of you who enjoy my posts about video games, but I just really wanted to rec this whole series of columns about sex in video games: S.EXE.

It explores everything from freeware text adventures to AAA games that are ostensibly about driving. The latest column about Gone Home is so lovely, so starkly personal, and so wonderfully about what it's like to grow up female and have to learn to become comfortable with your own female-ness.

Here, have a quote:
I don’t think I’d ever seen a bottle of nail polish in a video game until Gone Home. I stared at it for a good five minutes when I saw it, wondering about all the open world environments I’d traversed, all the fancy worlds, all the adventure games I’d played where the elements of being a woman were strangely absent in the environment. I had the same experience looking at a discarded bra on the floor of a woman’s bedroom in Dishonored. I looked at that discarded bra shocked, and thought, yes. I’d leave my bra on the floor if I lived in this room. Someone who has seen this happen before made this game.

It is almost as if women are not invisible. They might be leaving a trail of their existence.


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thedeadparrot
24 September 2014 @ 03:56 pm
I am in the new place, but I am missing both cable/internet and my new couch. The couch is more worrying than the internet, because it's been sitting around in the warehouse not being shipped for a few days now, and I want to host people here this weekend, and no couch, well, I'm sure people will enjoy sitting on the hardwood floors. My old futon is not going to want to leave its room without tools that I don't have.

Also, my nose and throat are scratchy and gross right now. It's probably because I've been inhaling dust for about a week straight now, but I like to think it's because I'm allergic to moving.

My stomach has been displeased with me for the past week as well, blech. Hopefully it'll all start evening out as I get settled. So much to unpack and set up! I think I've churned through about 10 boxes already, but there are at least 8 more, not to mention my suitcases and things like my bedsheets, my desktop, and my Xbox.

But for now, my feet are to be kicked up while I listen to my (in unit!!!!) drier hum away in the background, my cell phone that I'm tethered to resting as my side. I've got a few days left. I can take a break.

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thedeadparrot
23 September 2014 @ 07:14 pm
I am freaking out about my move tomorrow because the parking reservation in front of my old apartment does not seem to be where it should be, and this apartment is on a small, narrow access road, and my boxes are still not fully packed and my garbage is still sitting around and my towel from my shower refuses to dry so I can't pack it yet, and some of these secondhand boxes don't want to be taped shut, and I need to wait until tomorrow to pack up stuff like my networking equipment and my bed linens, and I am now eating an apple to calm myself down while my boxes remain untaped, and I am a total failure at moving apparently. Ack.

You guys are going to be so glad that I don't have internet tomorrow.

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thedeadparrot
20 September 2014 @ 06:43 am
This is a fly-in, fly-out review of The Magician's Land, because I have some thoughts and some feelings about it, but I really should be packing. Right Now.

Anyway, so I've read all three books now, and I actually forgot what happened in 90% of the first two when I started reading this one, so whatever.

I think Grossman does a lot of things well, which is why I keep reading these books. He's got really lovely imagery and the ability to construct really cool narrative hooks. And I always love a good blend of the "genre" and the literary, so it's always interesting to see where the two intersect throughout the narrative.

At the heart of the book, it feels like a giant exorcism of someone's Narnia feelings, and that overshadows everything else. Those parts are reasonably well-constructed, but they feel like they undermine something in the book. The mundanity, maybe. That's always what I like about these sort-of crossovers, because the literary does the mundane so well, and this series, when it does mundane, it does them spectacularly. But at the end of it, the book can't keep that up.

There's a message in here, about growing up, about giving up childish things, but it's too big, too grandiose. The metaphor swallows up the message and leaves it hollow, IMO. The ending has power, but I don't like it.

Also, there are tons of long-winded side-stories -- mostly told by one character to another -- that are in the book, sometimes to convey character information, sometimes to convey plot information. This is nitpick, because generally the long-winded side-stories are interesting or imaginative in and of themselves, but sometimes they seem like they're slammed into the book because Grossman had a lot more worldbuilding he wanted to get onto the page.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Off to do more packing.

ETA: Found my thoughts on the Magician King (tons of spoilers for that book). It's nice to see that my opinions remain mostly consistent.

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thedeadparrot
17 September 2014 @ 07:34 pm
One week until move! I am not packing as quickly as I should be, sigh, but I did take all of next week off so that I could focus on getting packed, moved, and unpacked. It's a little weird. I've lived here for four years, and I've loved it, but I don't feel a whole lot of sadness right now (or maybe it's a 'not yet'). It's probably because I'm still in the same city, and I've already started paying down my mortgage (first payment made today, eep), but it doesn't feel like this huge change.

I have completed an editing pass on the Bucky/Natasha, and I think I'll need to do a couple more. It still feels lumpy, and I didn't know how to fix it this time around. Sigh. I guess some of my dissatisfaction with this story is that to some degree, it feels like a story I've written before, the story I write over and over again. On some levels it's comforting, to be writing this story, but I hate the thought that I'm trapped by it, and I don't have anything new and interesting to write. But maybe it just feels familiar because all stories have similar shapes, and this one is just shaped more like other stories I have written.

Welp, tomorrow they're dropping standalone Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall on us, hopefully along with the importer from the old Shadowrun Returns engine into it. I'm not sure if I'm ever going to 'finish' that project, but I think I'd like to at least mess around with it some more. It'll give me a chance to avoid being a responsible adult for a little while.

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thedeadparrot
but that's not even worth it.

I still love video games. It's what I've been doing instead of writing or being a responsible adult over the last few days. Hooray.The Humble Indie Bundle 12 is out, and you should get it because Gone Home and Papers Please are great, even though I still haven't finished Papers Please /o\.

Also in /o\, I got good beta feedback on my fic, but I am ignoring actually working on it in favor of playing video games. Whoops.

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thedeadparrot
04 September 2014 @ 07:13 pm
Thanks for all the kind words, guys! It made my birthday a lot brighter. Anyway, here's that post about #GamerGate that I mentioned, because I just have too many feelings about it.

If you want a summary of it, there's an extremely short version. There's far too much in all sorts of different places for me to summarize, and some of the 'evenhanded' summaries are giving way too much credit to retrogressive fucks that do not deserve it.

Mostly, I'm done. I'm not even in the game industry, and I'm pretty much exhausted, anxious, and miserable watching it all play out because I have terrible self-preservation instincts when it comes to internet drama. So here's a collection of thoughts.

I have been playing video games for as long as I can remember. I played Tetris on my grandmother's old handheld, the kind that was only black and white and only played one game. I played SNES and NES games on my neighbors' systems back when my parents wouldn't let me have any for myself. I have nearly hosed my finals because I spent most of that week playing Zelda instead of studying. I have played through all of the Mass Effect trilogy multiple times. I have always been here.

There's this game called Arkham Asylum. You get to play as Batman. I love Batman. This game was lauded from every corner of the game industry. I wanted to play this game. I tried the demo, and when we met this version of Harley Quinn I quit the game then and there. The game couldn't have said THIS GAME IS NOT FOR YOU any louder than it did. So I didn't play it. I'm sure someone would tell me that I'm being unfair for not looking at how great the game is. I don't care. I know that the game doesn't want me there. So I'm not going to give them money and I won't play it.

#GamerGate is the cries of a bunch of whiny babies who have always had their needs catered to, who have never had to slice and dice their cultural milieu for the things they like and the things they have to grudgingly accept. I wonder how many of them realize that the things they are feeling, their claims of being ignored, dismissed, attacked, and insulted, are how women have felt in the industry for decades.

I have no sympathy for the ones who feel anxious about the attacks on the term 'gamer'. Men have been policing it as a way of excluding women forever. Despite the reports that women *gasp* enjoy pleasant mental feedback loops as much as men do, men have been dismissing the games women enjoy as 'casual games', though the real difference between Bejeweled and Tetris has never been clear to me. Outsider, experimental indie games (frequently made by women) have been labeled 'not games'. The neverending war against 'fake gamer girls', girls who have the audacity to enjoy some games without feeling the need to have an encyclopedic knowledge of them, is still ongoing. As far as I can tell, gamers have been reaping what they sow.

Oh, and there's been lots of claims that Anita Sarkeesian is faking the death threats made against her and her family Seriously, fuck you. In order to combat this, she produced a small sampling of the torrent of abuse (warning: extreme misogyny) that she has received.

So yeah. I'm done. Fuck the gaming community. Fuck their self-important bullshit. Fuck their misogyny. Fuck their inability to understand journalism or science. Fuck their complete lack of empathy. I'm going to go play this pigeon dating simulator now.

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thedeadparrot
03 September 2014 @ 06:16 pm
So it's kind of my birthday today. It's been mostly boring, just work stuff, but I did stop by my favorite bakery to get a mini Boston Creme Pie. No candles, just going straight into my mouth.

I guess I was considering ruminating on the last year right here and how I feel like I've turned into an unbearably cynical person and how I'd like to try to fight for that tiny bit of optimism back. There would probably be a prolonged rant about #GamerGate here as well, because that shitstorm has eaten up too much of my time and attention lately.

But instead, here's this; I have a job that I love (most of the time) in a city that I love (again, most of the time) and have friends that I love (all of the time) and a new place that I'm excited to move into. My life is pretty awesome right now. I'm glad I could grow up -- that I'm still growing up -- with you guys. You've been great. ♥



(Oh, and the best kind of gift I could get today is a comment on or about a story of mine that you've enjoyed. Juuuuuuuuust saying.)

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