attackfish: Neal & Peter text "We may someday attain a reltationship of mutual respect/ First I will see the gods walking the earth" (Peter and Neal MWT quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own White Collar. I am writing this fic under the fair use exemption for transformative works.

Summary: When the FBI captures Neal Caffrey, infamous thief and con artist, they discover that he is a runaway slave. Now recaptured and sold to recoup his owners' financial losses, Neal schemes and waits for his chance. After all he escaped once. But Neal isn't the only one plotting his escape, and not all of his fellow schemers have his best interests at heart.

Author's Note: Written as a prompt fill on livejournal for thetammyjo. Only took me five years to finish it. Thank you to duckie-duckduck on tumblr for the beta.

00316618525: Part One ).

To be continued...

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, there would be a a lot more Mai.

Summary: After escaping Ozai's school for the Gifted and Talented, Mai and Zuko fumble their way to love, trust, recovery, and redemption, and maybe, to learning how to be human. Superhero AU.

Author's Note: Written for May Maiko Week 2017. There is a five headcanons post for ths universe here: [link].

Neither Queen nor Pawn )

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, there would be no dead mothers.

Summary: Ursa lets her secrets slip to Kya one by one, until the trickle becomes a flood.

Author's Note: Someday I will be able to fill a drabble request from avatarsymbolism.

Meltwater )
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, there would be girls dating in that as well as Legend of Korra.

Summary: Mai has a car and Katara needs a ride, or seven firsts for high school students Mai and Katara.

Author's Note: I'd say this was the Maitara high school AU nobody asked for, but somebody did, and I have the ask to prove it. For avatarsymbolism.

I’m an Engine and your Secrets are Gasoline (They Make me Run) )

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did there would have been a lot more boring politics

Summary: More than a hundred years before, when the Avatar disappeared, life began to ebb out of the world, plunging the world into chaos. With his return, hope and vitality returned, and with them, a mad rush for power by clan chieftains, eager to make kingdoms out of the ashes of the old order. In the old Fire Nation, two chieftains remain, Mai in the west, and Zuko in the east. Each awaits the day that the other will seek to claim all of the Fire Islands for themselves.

Author's Note:
Written for Maiko Week 2016. Takes place in the Life Spirit AU. You can find a masterlist of commentfics and some meta about the 'verse here: [link] and some additional meta here: [link].

Where the Morning Light Shines )

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender, for which we are all very grateful, I'm sure.

Summary: It was just before the winter solstice when Earth Kingdom soldiers captured the prince of the Fire Nation and his uncle, the Dragon of the West. It was the dead of winter when they were brought to Ba Sing Se.

Author's Note: Written for [personal profile] floranna for the hurricane Sandy auction. Thank you to [ profile] aromantic-eight for beta reading. Any remaining errors are all mine.

Until the Walls Break Like Waves: Part Two )

Part One

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender, for which we are all very grateful, I'm sure.

Summary: It was just before the winter solstice when Earth Kingdom soldiers captured the prince of the Fire Nation and his uncle, the Dragon of the West. It was the dead of winter when they were brought to Ba Sing Se.

Author's Note: Written for [personal profile] floranna for the hurricane Sandy auction. Thank you to [ profile] aromantic-eight for beta reading. Any remaining errors are all mine.

Until the Walls Break Like Waves: Part One )

Part Two

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, it would never make a Y7 rating.

Summary: The first rule of the Spirit World is that Jet doesn't belong.

Author's Note: Written for [ profile] lilpocketninja in the [community profile] trickortreatex Halloween Exchange.

Hope Like Ash Like Memory )

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Written for the tumblr meme prompt, Mai, Steampunk.

Queen of Gears and Sorrow

Ty Lee cocked her head and looked at her sideways. Mai wondered if that made it easier or harder for Ty Lee to orient herself when looking at something, given that she was currently hanging upside down from a very ugly, very heavily reinforced iron chandelier. “What’s wrong?”

Even more disconcerting than hanging from assorted bits of architecture was Ty Lee’s gift for always knowing what Mai was feeling. In fact, Mai was tempted to go so far as to say it was the most disconcerting thing of all about Ty Lee, though it had remarkably stiff competition. Anyway, it meant there was no real point in denying it. “Some academy kid told me to tell my designer she’s amazed how realistic I am. Again.”

“That’s probably just because of where they saw you leaving from.” With a swing and a leap, Ty Lee descended to the floor, her feet alighting on the tile with flawless grace. “Don’t worry about it.”

That’s what Mai had told herself last time. They had probably seen her leaving her ancestral home, for a given value of ancestral, since families that had won their land in the conquest two generations back, and had only gained a title one generation ago, didn’t have ancestral anything no matter how grand. They had seen her leaving her ancestral home and now the home of the greatest clockwork inventor in the world. Yes, that was probably it, except: “I was leaving the tea shop.”

“Oh,” Ty Lee hummed, sympathetically. “Well if it helps, I’m pretty sure you’re real.” She wrapped her arms around Mai. “You feel real.” She squeezed. “Yep, I can feel your ribs.”

Mai squirmed. “You can feel my ribs crack.”

“Don’t be silly Mai,” Ty Lee chirped. “I’m not hugging you nearly hard enough to crack any bone in your body, including your ribs.”

Mai was pretty sure Ty Lee could tell her exactly how many pounds of pressure per square inch she was exerting, too. The six identical copies of Ty Lee in storage downstairs probably could too, and Mai had a sudden horrible vision of all of them hugging her.

Letting go, Ty Lee stepped back. “They’re idiots. You look perfectly human to me.”

“Thanks, Ty Lee.” She almost managed to keep the sarcasm out of her voice. Maybe next time she would succeed.

Ty Lee smiled as if she hadn’t noticed. “Like I said, don’t worry about it. Now, can you wind me up? I’m kind of at the end of my rope.”

Mai nodded as Ty Lee came forward and lifted up her braid. Deftly, Mai unbuttoned the little flap on Ty Lee’s jacket and pressed the key into the warm, living skin between her shoulder blades and turned. A shudder ran through Ty Lee’s body, her limbs curling tight into her body as if she really were made of the gears and springs she so skillfully manipulated. Her head bowed, and her braid flicked Mai’s arm, and when Mai was done, Ty Lee waited for her to button up her jacket flap before planting a quick peck on Mai’s cheek and darting away down toward her favorite workshop. Ty Lee was the greatest clockwork inventor in the world, and if she needed to pretend she was one of her own inventions sometimes, who was Mai to argue?
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: the Last Airbender, which is why that show is actually quality.

Zuko's pretty sure he has a ghost of a chance of escaping Azula's trap.

Author's Note: This was written for a tumblr meme, for which the prompt I was given was Zuko, modern fantasy/sci fi/horror.

The Spirit of the Thing )

attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
So during an *ahem* discussion of Azula and her abusiveness, I realized I have never sat down and written a comprehensive version of my particular theory of Azula's breakdown. I've talked about it in comment threads a lot, but I have never dedicated a post to it. So in response to a user on Tumblr who blogs under the name fireroyals, I wrote it up. I figured I should probably post it here The discussion this post is in reply to can be found at my tumblr [link].

The Three Pillars Theory of Azula, or Ozai is Horrible, Azula is Scary (but also Scared), and I Will Hurt Anybody Who Claims Mai and Ty Lee Betrayed Azula )
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
For those of you who wanted to know, the Holocaust menorah remained safely hidden away.  Mom seems to have forgotten about it, probably because I cut off the tip of my finger (not as bad as it sounds but there will be a scar) mom set fire to the oven, and I had a seizure, and then word came in that my dad's good friend, who has been a good friend to the whole family finally succumbed to his lung disease and passed away on the 26th.  My mom and dad drove to Albuquerque so my dad could give the eulogy.  So on the plus side, I tossed the horrible menorah in the trash, on the minus... everything else.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
Once upon a time, back when my mother had newly converted, and we were still attempting to accumulate all the judaica we needed to set up a ceremonially functioning Jewish household, my mother bought this beautiful menorah. No, seriously, it was gorgeous, very aesthetically pleasing, unfortunately. Each candle is held by a replica of a synagogue destroyed by the Nazis.

Now the last thing I want to think about during one of the few almost unshadowed holidays Judaism has is the Shoah. Really, no. This menorah became legendary among my Jewish friends in high school, in a sort of "Oh how was your Hanukkah?" "Well, my mom brought out the Holocaust menorah again," kind of way. The sociologist in me wants to say that I bonded with my fellow Jewish kids, and affirmed my Jewishness by talking anout having the kind of quirky Jewish mother who had a Holocaust menorah. I'll leave it to you to decide if that's what I'm doing now.

Anyway, ever since my mother bought the thing, I've been plotting its demise. First I tried to reason with Mom, by explaining to her just how horrifying it is, but sadly, she has remained intractable. In addition, each year, I have attempted to replace the Holocaust menorah, including one year when I made a confection of copper and brass wire that I still consider the single best example of my wirework. [link] That thing nearly killed me, literally, as I developed an asthmatic reaction to copper while making it, and really, that should have been enough right? No. Mom loves it. She says it's too pretty to use, she doesn't want to ruin it.

So at that point, grinding my teeth, I was almost ready to conceed defeat. But not quite. Sadly my grandmother caught me trying to lose it during the move, but I have other similarly ethically dubious tricks up my sleeve. This year I may or may not have hidden the Holocaust menorah in an undisclosed location, and while my mother is out of town visiting her father, put up every single other menorah we have, which given that I tried for ten years to replace my mother's inexplicably beloved Holocaust menorah, is kind of a lot of menorahs. I think I've done it this time. We'll find out when Mom comes home Friday. Wish me luck.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
Darren Wilson murdered a young man, and the fine citizans of this country can't even get their heads out of their backsides long enough to indict?  Why do things like this keep surprising me?  Michael Brown's family deserves some measure of justice, and the prospect of them getting any has become just that much more remote.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
My cousin, specifically my father's sister's daughter, got her mitochondrial DNA tested for heritage markers, and it came back that she was of German Jewish extraction, through her mother's mother's mother, etc., which makes me of German Jewish descent through my father's mother as well.  This doesn't surprise me in the least, since I have certain genetic issues much more common among Ashkenazi Jews that don't show up on my mom's side, but I thought it was through my father's mother's father, not her mother.

I'm delighted to have proof however, not because I'm glad to know I have more Jewish heritage (being Jewish isn't exactly something I feel insecure about), but because my paternal grandmother was a horrible, abusive woman who gave her children and grandchildren deep, lifelong emotional scars, and the only reason I was spared the same was because my dad cut off contact with her after she went after my sister.  Anyway, she was also deeply anti-Semitic, and it gives me a rush of spiteful pleasure to know she's of Jewish descent, and I only wish she could have known before she died.  I hope she's rolling in her grave.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
I am officially out of voluntary quarantine and no longer contagious!  Yay for antibiotics!
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
They make things like this:

My mom's dog Suzy with a goblet on her but in a shallow parody of a certain Kardashian.

Explains a lot about me, really.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
I just did field experience in an elementary school that had it going around (thank you anti-vaxxers) and I had never completed my vaccination schedule for it since I reacted so badly to the first shot, and I have all the right symptoms.  I feel miserable and gross, and have an appointment with my NP this afternoon for final diagnosis.  I'm coughing until I can't breathe, and I think everybody should pamper me and write me fic, you know, to keep my spirits up.

Also, I'm probably never going to get to see my baby niece again.  Damn it.  Good thing is, I've been staying away from her because I was worried I'd pick something up during field experiece. Turns out I did.

EDIT: Diagnosis confirmed.  I have whooping cough.  Big whoop.
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender. If I did, I would never have time for my quest to write the Great American Novel.

Summary: Toph has always had people trying to help her and hold her back. Or, the story of a little girl in a great big household.

Author's Note: Written for [ profile] Bonpri in the [community profile] trickortreatex Halloween Exchange.

On the Wings of a Boar )
attackfish: Jet and Zuko fighting in the teashop, text "Obviously this is the place to come if you want to get murdered by lunatics" (Jet Juko TDL quote)
Disclaimer: The music for this vid is "As I Am" by Heather Dale" and belongs to her and her authorized distributors. The footage in this vid comes from Avatar: the Last Airbender, which belongs to Nickelodeon, as well as to Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko.

Summary: Zuko asks Mai to see him as he is and love him anyway. She does.

Creator Commentary: It's my birthday, and if I want to make sweet, romantic vids about Mai and Zuko, well by golly, I'm going to do it.

attackfish: Discretion prevented me from saying that I thought she was a fiend from the underworld (Lin Bei Fong MWT quote)
Trauma in modern American media is a tricky thing. On one hand, the backstories of nearly everyone, heroes and villains alike are full of it. On the other, trauma is heavily shamed, and leaves characters open to accusations of weakness, or of being whiny. This means that while we want characters who go through traumatic experiences, we are extremely uncomfortable with expressions of trauma. Also, we are much more comfortable with some expressions of trauma than with others. Only certain kinds of traumatic expression are allowed, and like so much about culture, who and what a character is determines what kind of traumatic expression we as a society will allow them to have. Straight white men are given the most freedom to be traumatized, and stereotypically masculine trauma is the most widely viewed as legitimate within fandom in my experience. A character who was in battle and suffers symptoms of PTSD for example is much less likely to be called weak than a character recovering from an abusive relationship who has the same symptoms. A character who lashes out is much less likely to be considered weak than one who breaks down crying. A character who reacts with anger is seen as stronger than one who reacts with fear. There are very few roles for the traumatized woman or girl in American media. Traumatized women can be broken damsels in need of rescuing, but then once the danger is past, the damsel either recovers quickly, or disappears. They can be villains, who use their trauma as an excuse to hurt others, or they can... well. This isn't to say that portrayals of men coping with trauma are all that great either. For all there are so many more of them, they are usually not especially nuanced, though of course some are.

This is why I was so amazed and grateful when I saw Avatar: the Last Airbender for the first time, and why Frozen struck such a chord with me as a woman dealing with childhood trauma. Now, in Book Four of Legend of Korra, the narrative is once again giving a female character, this time its heroine, Korra, the space and the right to be traumatized. )
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)

I am not fasting for Yom Kippur due to my chronic illness (funny story, I mentioned the possibility of Yom Kippur fasting once to my doctor, and she started muttering about obviously suicidal patients), and this year, Mom’s joining me in not-fasting for the first time due to recuperating from the lung disease, and I would love it if anyone has any thoughts as to other ways the two of us can observe Yom Kippur without fasting, aside from the contemplation and seeking to right wrongs, and donating to the food bank, especially since Mom is still too ill to attend the longer service.

Also, I hope all of you who are fasting have a quick and easy fast.

attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
For anyone concerned after I mentioned the threat against my synagogue, the FBI figured  out who made  it, and it turns out it wasn't a threat.  The person who made it has a mental illness that features hallucinations, and they had a vision of the temple being attacked, and called to warn us.  Since this person is well meaning, and severely mentally ill, no charges are being filed, and hopefully, the person involved will be able to get the treatment they need.  Anyway, this means I will be going to Erev Yom Kippur services this year, though the full Yom Kippur service is still too much for Mom's health. She's  doing very well, by the way, and recovering from the lung disease with very little scarring, but she still thought it  best we pick the shorter service.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
I know I should have made a Rosh Hashana post earlier, but first services were canceled Wednesday because an  anonymous someone made threats against the temple, and the FBI had to be called, so I went to class instead,which was canceled because my teacher's husband was in the hospital, and the school email was down, so I didn't find out until I showed up.   Then I got home and sprained my ankle taking the dogs out.  At that point, I was kind of feeling like "And happy blankity blank new year to you too, universe!"  Thursday, I had a  bunch of appointments and a sick dog, and Friday I had a seizure, which I spent  yesterday recovering from.

But anyway, L'Shana Tova, everyone, may the new year be sweet, and to those of you who aren't Jewish, Nyah nyah, no new year for you.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
Dear Trick or Treat Writer,


I love politics.  I am one class away from a bachelors in Political Science, and I am a political junky.  I love fics that explore the politics and political wranglings of their settings, and all three of the fandoms I requested have lots and lots of room for thatkind of storytelling.  If this interests you, please feel free to write a political procedural.   You will not turn me off.

However, this doesn't mean that politics is  essential for my enjoyment, and I understand that a lot of writers don't go for it.  Other things I really enjoy are Alternate Timeline fics/Canon Divergence AUs, gen darkfic, gen more generally,  pushing characters past the point of desperation, fics where my favorite characters are held prisoner, disabled characters both in stories  discussing their disabilities, and in stories that don't, characters who belong to a gender/sexual minority, family strife, and families of choice. Also angst. I  eat angst up with a spoon.

DO NOT WANT - Rape, incest, character death, allegories to real world political situations, or "total AUs" like high school AUs or coffee shop AUs.  I am however A-okay with brutal psychological torture.

Avatar: the Last Airbender

It's not exactly secret that I enjoy torturing my favorite characters, especially Zuko, and making non-disabled characters disabled.  This is also my very favorite fandom for Alternate Timeline/Canon Divergence AUs.

Also, I'm kind of bummed by the fact that I found out about this too late to nominate characters, but Mai and Ty Lee are my babies and if you can find a way to include them, that would be amazing.

DO NOT WANT - Shipping Azula with anybody. She reminds too much of my first stalker, and it hits way too close to home.
Queen's Thief

Anything at all, but take special note about what I said about loving politics.
Old Kingdom Series

Anything, really, any wonderful thing you can come up with.

attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
[personal profile] sholio wrote an essay just recently about why Steve/Bucky AUs don't work for her (the AU part, not the Steve/Bucky part) and quite apart from the contents of the essay, it got me wondering about what we call AUs in fandom currently.  Back when I got started, *crotchety old fan voice* things like high school AUs and coffee shop AUs were called "ARs", or Alternate Reality fics whereas  "AU" referred more broadly to both ARs and also "what if" stories.  However, [personal profile] sholio only talked about AR-style AUs, and a number of her points don't really work for what if AUs.  A while back, I ran an Avatar: the Last Airbender AU meme, and after getting almost exclusively AR prompts (and most of those for fusions) I had to explain that what if prompts were definitely also accepted.  I periodically see meta about how the writer of said meta doesn't think AUs are enough like canon, then goes on to describe only AR-style AUs.

Did the meaning of AU narrow  and I didn't realize it? I would kind of like to know, most of what I write other than drabbles are what-ifs.  What if Lupin bit Snape when they were in school, what if Azula captured Zuko at the beginning of  "The Southern Raiders," what if Iroh died when he drank white jade tea. The story I'm working on right now is a what if: what if those Earth Kingdom soldiers in Book One had managed to capture Iroh and Zuko and take them to Ba Sing Se.  If these aren't AUs, I kind of would like to know what to call them.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
Not only did I wake up this morning and it was hot again, but also my oxygen concentrator is on the fritz and I have to send it to a repair shop in Tennessee.  I know this of course because I needed it.  Fortunately, it concentrated oxygen just fine for me, but it has a problem detecting my breathing, and it beeped at me constantly, which was not conducive to sleeping or reading, or thinking about anything.  So I have to arrange temporary oxygen now, for while it's gone.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
It's gray, drizzling, and cool outside, and I just turned a bunch of chicken bones, a head of celery, two lemons, three cups of wild rice, a bunch of parsley, two onions, and five pounds of chicken into ten servings of fantastic soup. Fall is finally here, and it's not allowed to leave.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
I almost didn’t pick this book up, in spite of it being written by Holly Black.  First of all, the cover really creeps me out (yes, I know it’s just a hand and a wrist with writing on it, but it does) and second, vampire novels have almost never done it for me.  But you know, still too lazy to go hunting another author to read when there’s this nice long book by an author I like just sitting there.

When she’s seventeen years old, Tana wakes up in a house full of corpses.  The only other survivor of the high school party turned bloodbath are her charming, irritating ex-boyfriend Aidan, who is already going cold, infected with the vampire disease.  Together with a vampire on the run from the ones who killed Tana’s friends, they have no choice but to head to Coldtown, the city of the undead, where no one who enters is ever allowed out again.

They looked absurdly gorgeous, glowing from the television like fallen angels. Even from the beginning, that was a problem. People liked pretty things. People even liked pretty things that wanted to kill and eat them. )

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
is definitely a standout vampire novel, and definitely worth the read, both for vampire fans, and people like me who are... not vampire fans.  If you don’t mind your vampires dead scary, this is the book for you.

Holly Black can be found online at her website,, or on livejournal, as [ profile] blackholly .
attackfish: Ron, drinking "felix felicis" while Harry watches, text "Always be specific when you lie" (Harry and Ron Rule 7)
Thank you for reminding me why I haven't tried to finish those two WIPs I have in the Harry Potter fandom.

At the risk of sounding too much like a Precious Princess, especially after I started Children of Mars, I attracted a lot of virulent partisans who slammed me every time I posted anything, because they didn't like the way I portrayed their special favorite baby.  One of the reasons I stopped writing Harry Potter fanfic was I was just tired of dealing with it.  I had to delete so many anonymous comments full of profanity and slurs that posting a new fic or a new chapter was something I dreaded instead of looked forward to.  Every so often, I get comments on my old Harry Potter fics, and most of  those comments are absolutely lovely and can brighten up my whole day, but sometimes they're that same old nastiness.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
I am too sickened to say much about the pseudo-military police occupation in Ferguson Missouri, except that I would love to know who the police think they are serving and protecting with their tear gas, assault rifles, and armored vehicles.  The only thing I can see being protected is their own power, and their own supposed "right" to murder young black men by shooting them in the back.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
Look at it!

It's been two and a half weeks since the last picture.  This tree's just going wild.


Aug. 10th, 2014 11:55 pm
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
I'm home now,and I've gotten to meet my nice, and hold my niece, and she is the cutest little nub in the history of little nubs, and if I'm not careful, this blog will become the "my niece is wonderful!!!!!" blog.  She woke up and blinked at me and snuffled at me, and when I rubbed her little arm, she sighed.


Aug. 8th, 2014 09:42 am
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
I have a niece!  She was born late in the evening two nights ago on the 6th of August, to my brother and his wife.  She topped out at eight whole pounds and nineteen inches long!  She made her poor mother endure almost twenty-four hours of labor, and when she came out, her face was all swollen.  Her huge cheeks made her look like a little bitty old lady queen Victoria.  The swelling is going down now, and we're finally getting to see what she looks like.

And of course, I'm stuck at my doctor's in California, so I don't get to meet her until Sunday. Until then, I am relying on the pictures my sister-in-law has been sending us.  My favorite one is of her mama holding her, and she's yawning.  I love her little yawn.

Anyway, if you can't tell, I'm smitten.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
Back in New Mexico, my family used to rescue dogs.  We lived out in an area where people would go to dump their dogs, and we would find them, take them in, and find homes for them, or most of them anyway, since Amy and Solo ended up becoming ours.  It was all very informal.  This isn’t something we do anymore, since we’ve actually not run across any stray dogs that we haven’t been able to find their owners since we moved to Alabama, much to my father’s relief.

A couple of weeks ago, my grandmother was driving past a construction site when she spotted a beautiful little wild mimosa tree that was slated to be bulldozed.  She asked the foreman if she could dig it up and take it home, and he gave her the okay.  Our yard man agreed to pick it up for us, and the next day, he went out to get it.  Well, when he dug out around it, he discovered that its roots were wrapped around concrete, and he had to cut most of them of to pry it free.  There was only this little stub of root material, and he never would have done it if the tree weren’t going to die anyway.

So he brings it over to our house, and plants it, and immediately, all of the leaves on it shrivel up, die, and fall off.  The yard man says he gives it maybe a ten percent chance of surviving.  The outer branches started to go brown, and it looked like he was right, and there was no way that tree was going to survive.

Then last week, the buds started to appear.  And they grew, and grew, and grew, and now look at it:

This little sucker is actually going to make it.

Anyway, back when it was still this bare stick my grandmother had insisted on sticking in the ground, she told the whole story about seeing it and rescuing it from being bulldozed, the poor thing.  My dad took one look at it, sighed, and said, “And here we have the start of the North Alabama Tree Rescue...”
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
So in less than twenty four hours, new Legend of Korra episodes will be on the actual TV for what may be the last time in forever.  Unlike a fair bit of this fandom, I don't think even a massive raise in ratings for these last two episodes will change Nickelodeon's mind about moving to an all digital release.  I think that the Nick execs made up their mind that Korra couldn't succeed, and so provided it with none of the tools necessary to make it succeed, and I also think that at this point, they would be able to talk themselves out of recognizing even massive success.  So I am not going to plead with my followers to watch, but I for one would kind of like this franchise's TV run to end with a bang rather than a whimper.

Also, I'm jealous, because I'm stuck at home finishing up the summer semester, instead of at Comic Con with all the cool kids.
attackfish: Discretion prevented me from saying that I thought she was a fiend from the underworld (Lin Bei Fong MWT quote)
One of the things I loved best about Avatar: the Last Airbender is that it faced head on issues that few other shows, for adults or children, were willing to touch.  Stories are how we learn to shape our own views of the world, and Avatar: the last Airbender did this with such a frankness, emotional honesty, and critical imagination that I ate it up with a spoon as eagerly as any child in the intended audience.  This is why I was so disappointed with  the first two books of The Legend of Korra, and also why I am so hopeful after seeing the premier of Book Three: Change.

Cut for All The Spoilers, and I'm also starting to think I need a Jewish tag )
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
What follows is almost completely spoiler free.

In all the awesome that is the new season of The Legend of Korra (and after all the problems with Books One and Two, it’s good to have that awesomeness back) I feel kind of like an ungrateful jerk for complaining about anything, but I do have a minor quibble: the Earth Queen’s allergies.  I’m getting a little sick (no pun intended) of seeing my disability played for laughs, and used to make the suffer look like a buffoon.  There’s a part of me that’s just glad that there isn’t any suggestion that the Earth Queen is faking her allergies, and in fact we get to see her allergies know Pabu’s around, even when he is hidden away.  But I don’t like the way my disability only ever seems to show up as the butt of a joke.  Also, lot’s of nice people who love animals are very allergic to them and have to avoid them because of it, like me with my birds, which I had to give up because allergies to them almost killed me and my mother.

tl:dr The Avatar franchise is usually so good with disability, why aren’t they good with mine?
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
So I guess I’m on a little bit of a Holly Black kick.  The local library has all of her books, and I’m lazy enough that I’m not going to go looking for another author before exhausting all of the ones I know I like first.  Also, as I may have mentioned, I’m trying to read more Middle Grade books for actual career reasons, so Doll Bones, being both by Holly Black and Middle Grade, it is.

For as long as they have been friends, Poppy, Zach, and Alice have been playing the same sprawling, never ending game of pretend together, and when they aren’t playing it, they have their heads together planning it, deciding where their dolls and action figures will go next.  Overseeing it all is a very old and very valuable porcelain doll that they have dubbed The Queen.  It’s the Queen who decides, after Zach’s father decides it’s time for him to grow up and throws away his dolls, to take things into her own hands.  hen Poppy tries to take her out of the glass cabinet she has lived in or as long as the three friends can remember, she begins to talk to Poppy in dreams.  Is Poppy just dreaming, is she crazy, is she pretending, or is the Queen really talking to her?  And if the Queen really is talking to Poppy, what does she want, and is she a good queen, or an evil one?

If she was real, then maybe the world was big enough to have magic in it. And if there was magic - even bad magic, and Zach knew it was more likely that there was bad magic than any good kind - then maybe not everyone had a story like his fathers, a story like the kind all the adults he knew told, one about giving up and growing bitter. Anything was better than no magic at all. )

This is sweet, sometimes scary story that kids and adults who like a little spookiness can enjoy.  Really one of my very favorite Holly Black books.

Holly Black can be found online at her website,, or on livejournal, as [ profile] blackholly.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
My father has a sizable and very fine American Indian pottery collection that he collected during the eight years we lived in New Mexico from local artists.  He purchased many of these pots in person from the artists themselves, and this collection is his pride and joy.  Yesterday, one of the shelves in his office tore its way out of the wall and came crashing down, taking almost a third of his collection down with it, including two of his finest pieces, one of which was a gift from my mother for their twenty fifth anniversary, and very special to them both.  I found him yesterday picking up the shards, crying in a way I had never seen him cry over anything that wasn't a death in the family.

However, all of us, my father included, are grateful it fell when it did, because I rushed downstairs thinking Amy, our elderly Chow/Akita mix had fallen, and when I couldn't find her inside, I went outside, where I found out that she had fallen, down the stairs that lead up to the porch.  Mom forgot to tell me she was outside when she left, and in this weather, Amy could have gotten heat stroke very easily, and died.  Because of the falling shelf, I got out to her in time, was able to cool her down with a wet towel and plenty of water, was able to call the vet and my parents, and got her leg, injured in the fall, checked out and treated quickly.

Amy is my dad's baby.

attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
So after Book One, and it's frustrating habit of almost going to cool places, and Book Two, and the way it seriously angered me, and went nowere near any of the interesting stuff from the first book, and was fuzzy on villain motive, and had unacknowledged abuse and assault issues, and yeah, Book Three, if the premier is anything to go by is shaping up to be awesome.  I mean really!  It's going good places so far!  Who knew?  And it's a good thing, because I still really care about these characters.  My emotions, people!

But it serves me right  for watching it on livestream.  Some creepy 4chan types put homemade Korra/Amon rape porn over the commercials, and I had to find a new stream right in the middle, because fuck no.

Comments should be presumed spoilery.
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
So I got an assignment to critique a certain movie and analyze what it says about teaching, and because I am who I am, I few into a little bit of a panic, you know, the "oh my God, oh my God, how do I do this?  I have no idea how to do this!" kind of thing.   And then I just gave myself a long look in the mirror and said to myself, "Honey, you're in fandom.  This is what you do."

And now it's done, so there.

attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
I so looked forward to this book.  Someone at the library had it on hold ahead of me, and I so wanted to read more adorable schoolgirl lesbians.  And then I got it.  And if anything the subtext between Agatha and Sophie has gotten deeper, dispelled not in the least by their mutual crush on Tedros.  They are explicitly referred to as true loves, and much is made of the fact that they have kissed each other.  But then there’s the rest of it.  I’m not really up for writing a whole review and digging into this book.  Just let me say it sucked.  It’s not that it’s badly written.  It’s fairly well written.  It’s just that the ideas in it are toxic as heck.

 According to this book, a girl choosing another girl over a boy will cause boys to become enraged and make war on the girls.  It will also cause girls to think they don’t need boys, and that will lead to girls and women all over the world rising up to hunt down and enslave men.  Feminism is evil and full of liars, and did I mention the enslaving men thing, and history really is all about the boys, and feminist scholars who try to highlight women’s stories are trying to change history.  Without girls, boys descend into a dirty, disgusting rabble, and without boys, girls are easily led by any slick megalomaniac who shows up.  Self expression and the idea that you don’t have to comply with artificial appearance standards is the bait in a feminist trap.  Your friends are still your real friends, even when they treat you like crap and body shame you.  Girls really are softer and more compassionate, and this really is all about the boys, because they so need that compassion. And girls should give boys compassion because they need it, and girls have it, and did I mention this is all about the boys?  Boys and girls need each other because they’re so different, and they complement each other, and it’s totally normal for your boyfriend to insist you never see your childhood friends again, because you have him now.  Also, a man trying to kill your best friend because she stands in the way of you being together is understandable, and you should forgive him.  Changing sex and changing gender are totally the same thing and it’s all “playing.”  Trans women just want pretty things.  Oh, and all the characters are still white.

In short, it’s sexist, gender essentialist, anti-feminist, heterosexist, transphobic, incredibly hateful mess.  A World Without Princes is four hundred thirty three pages of nope, double nope, no, NOOOOOOOOOOO! And what-did-I-just-read?-no.  Don’t give it one second of your time.

attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
Sometimes when I mention something anti-semitic that happened to me to a gentile, I get the response that is the title of this essay.  If it’s so bad, why do you stay Jewish?  I’ve even been told that anti-Semitism isn’t real oppression, because after all, I can stop being Jewish any time I like.  Well.

Let’s pretend for just a moment that it isn’t dehumanizing at all to ask someone to strip themselves of their cultural, religious, and ethnic identity in exchange for basic respect.  Let’s pretend that forced and coerced assimilation hasn’t been used as tools of oppression , and that this hasn’t let deep cultural wounds in people all over the world.  Let’s pretend that our culture isn’t something valuable to us.  Let’s pretend that after thousands and thousands of years of gentiles trying to do away with our irritating Jewishness through mass murder and forced conversions it isn’t horribly offensive to suggest Jews give up that Jewishness to be tolerated.  Let’s pretend that every Jewish person has the ability to up and move at a moment’s notice to somewhere where no one has ever met them or knows that they were “once a Jew” since after all, in the minds of many, former Jews are just as bad as current ones.  Let’s pretend all of that for the sake of this essay and ask, would it work?

In which I ramble about my family history back five generations. warning for anti-Semitic slurs and also some discription of racism against blacks. Short version, it doesn't work. )
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
I am going to be a teacher. I am studying to teach small children. I have a perfectly good excuse for wanting to read children’s books now, thank you very much, as I will be introducing them to my students. Or you know, it’s because I secretly haven’t left childhood behind myself and have no intention of doing so. No, couldn’t be it. Must be the teaching thing.

Anyway, since I have a better excuse to be reading Middle Grade literature than Young Adult, I’m reviewing a Middle Grade novel for a change.

Sophie's greatest dream for as long as she can remember has been to leave her little village, to be spirited away by the mysterious Schoolmaster who takes one very very good and pretty child, and one very very naughty child to The School for Good and Evil to train them to become fairy tale heroes and villains. She is sure that she would make the perfect fairy tale princess, and if she could make one wish, it would be to take her best friend, the weird and sullen Agatha to be her evil counterpart. But when the day finally comes, and Sophie and Agatha are kidnapped by the Schoolmaster's minions, it’s Agatha chosen to join the School for Good, and Sophie who is relegated to the School for Evil. Can Sophie and Agatha, who just wants to go home, band together to get to where they really belong, or are they stuck where they are and where everyone keeps telling them they are meant to be?

“Well, it’s just that in fairy tales, different usually turns out, um... evil.” )

A sequel for The School for Good and Evil is out, titled A World Without Princes. Chainani says that Prince Tedros will have a larger role in the sequel. Whether this lessens the beautiful, beautiful lesbian subtext, or whether it gets more intense, given that title, I don’t know, but I know what I’ll be reading soon as the library gets it in.

Soman Chainani can be found at his website, and more about the book The School for Good and Evil, and its sequel can be found at


attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)

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