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    Thursday, July 10th, 2008
    12:55 pm
    No, I'm not dead.

    No, I'm not hibernating.

    No, I'm not pissed off at some of the negative responses to my Snarry.

    Hmmm, let me see: I think that covers all the email questions I've been getting.

    What I am is wiped out. Not only was the end of the year a real 'treat', but I've come down with something called "benign vertigo". Mind, my definition of benign doesn't seem to be that of the person who so named this aliment.

    It's like walking on the deck of a ship. On good days, the sea is calm and there's just some gentle rocking. But on the bad days, the ship is in the middle of that so-called perfect storm and I need a cane to stay upright and stable.

    Rapid eye movement (like reading) can set it off as well as patterned flooring and wallpaper. So can a sudden turn of the head. Or moving my sight back and forth, or up and down. (No tennis games permitted!)

    Right now, today is a good day, but I can only watch a screen for a very limited amount of time.

    There are more good days than bad these days, but I don't want to set them off, hence I am avoiding LJ, IJ and all the other Js.

    And that's what's up with me.

    I've been told that once I go a whole week without trouble, the BV will probably be over. It's been 7 weeks and the bloody thing is hanging in for dear life.

    So that's what's happening to me. :-)

    Hugs to all. I miss you.
    Monday, May 19th, 2008
    2:24 pm

    Oh, come on! I know you feel overwhelmed by all the fic that's appearing. Long stories, some with superb, brilliant, wonderful dragons in them and some with not-even-barbecued phoenixes even.

    The early stories got tons of feedback, but the more recent ones have barely been holding their head above water.

    Yes, I know. Long stories, twice a day. And you have Real Life to contend with as well. And you were reading all those H/D that were popping up at the same time.

    May I offer a potential solution?

    Start reading today's posts. Go back later to the previous ones (if you want). Come on, you know you didn't read every Smutmas or H/D that was posted and you didn't feel guilty about that. Don't feel guilty about this solution.


    Just pick one team (preferably, for example, not that I'm biased or anything, TEAM DRAGON) and just read those and then go back and read the stories posted by That Other Team.


    Go to the Half-Way Mark post and read the stories written by your favourite writers, or the ones with the summaries that tickle you for some reason.


    Read every story posted on even-numbered days only. Or odd-numbered days.


    . . .

    Look, frankly, I don't care what you do, but please, go read some of the stories that are up there. They cost only a bit of your time. No Canadian versus American versus European pricing. No PayPal converting to your home money standard. No VAT/GST/State Tax.

    You can find stories about Harry and Severus getting together, romances, break-ups, mentoring, proxying; based on RL, based on fairy tales, based on history (well researched!); bittersweet stories, funny stories, sad stories, stories that will make you cry, stories that will make you sigh, stories that will make you horny.

    And please, if you don't like a story, stop reading and try another.

    If you like a story, leave feedback. That's your only cost. (Well, until a certain date, you can also vote. *I* can't, but you can.)

    And it doesn't have to be much. Just: I liked this. OR Good story. OR even just a :-)

    You can do that.

    (I know that you can.)
    Thursday, May 15th, 2008
    5:41 pm
    REC: Darco's "Act Five: Deconstruction of an Architect"

    1. This is simply a masterpiece. AR, Victorian time setting and extremely well researched. ([info]darco has the library fines to prove that last bit.)

    2. WARNING: this one is also being accused of not being a Snarry, but frankly, who the hell cares? Go read. (If you do care, then DON'T READ IT!)

    3. This has to be one of the very best AR!Snapes I have ever read in the five (six?) years I have been in this fandom. Sympathetic, pragmatic, human, and with a hint of feeling in spite of himself.

    4. It is, for this year's Snarry Games, relatively short. A mere PERFECT 8500 words.

    5. What are you still doing here? GO!!!

    AND DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT! (Stern teacher look!)
    Sunday, May 4th, 2008
    8:05 pm
    Ashamed but can't resist
    OMG! A groaner!

    A friend just called me and reminded me that is the only day when one can say, with a straight face:

    May the fourth be with you.

    I did warn you that it was a groaner!
    Tuesday, April 8th, 2008
    5:17 pm
    The literate man's response to homophobia.

    (Caution: no drinking while reading)
    Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
    7:13 pm
    And they call Quid a neverending saga!
    Fans of GRRMartin?

    Have you seen this?

    Tuesday, March 4th, 2008
    2:30 pm
    I'm back...I think
    The last three weeks were more than what I bargained for. End of term came with a series of weird meetings with the administration, dealing with parents, dealign with students who either didn't hand in their projects OR did them incorrectly.

    The good news is that I do have a job for next year (YAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!). The weird news is that the admin has decided that we shall be teaching ESL (English, second language) in a new manner.

    Well, new to them. I listened while the admin (just him and me) was explaining how the set-up will change for next year...he was quite wary, almost as though he was expecting me to challenge him, or snarl at him or something (wonder if that's what my colleagues did to him?). I smiled at the poor lad and told him that sounded very much like what we had done in the 1970s, even if they have given it a new name this year. Then I sang him the line of "Everything old is new again". He looked relieved, but mentioned that he wouldn't know as he had only been in the profession since the mid-1980s.

    Other than that, the weather is getting me down. I'm on March Break and I should be spending lazy days catching up on LJ life, reading, and other fun things, a little every day. However, due to the weather, I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Gotta get errands done while the sun is shining 'cause we are getting yet another 10+ cms tonight (snow, ice pellets and freezing rain), with another 10 tomorrow. Thursday, we are in between yet another storm front, which should begin delivering between 20 and 40 cms of crap for the weekend.

    So much for pleasure spring-like weather.

    I'm meeting friends for supper tonight and should be home before the crap begins. Thursday, I'm off to see a play. Thank God it was scheduled between storms.

    I want this stuff to STOP! I know this is Canada, but what the hell! We've had over 300 cms of snow so far. The four municipal dumps are full to overflowing. The city finally got provincial approval to open two more sites. And Environment Canada is predicting a very late spring. PLUS we're changing hour again this weekend? Isn't that supposed to be a SPRING thing?


    I know I'm getting old because I am getting to be very short-tempered with change.
    Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
    2:51 pm
    I beg to differ!
    MY definition of flurries is NOT 10 inches of snow on the roof of the car!


    (Only 10 projects left to mark. There is LIGHT at the end of the TUNNEL!!!!!! As for sanity, I'm not certain. Maybe if I scrape the sides of the jar...)
    Wednesday, February 13th, 2008
    7:23 pm
    Coming out from beneath the dumps of snow (yet again with more on the way!) and the end of term marking to wish you all:

    HAPPY ST. VALENTINE'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Saturday, February 9th, 2008
    9:23 pm
    And another little goodie!
    I have a student (in the same class as the previous postings) who is, according to what I hear, a superb drummer. Will probably be his profession when he graduates from high school.

    He's not particularly fond of school.

    So, I am reading his book report and by the second page, I get that 'feeling'.

    Now, when I think on the matter, I never actually saw him read the book he had selected to read as he sits in the back of the classroom. (The front is packed with 'problem' kids.) When I checked with him that first reading day, he told me he'd left the book at home, because he'd started reading it there (which is plausible since he's lived for a couple of years in Toronto, so his English is really very good...when he puts in the effort), but he gave me the name of the book, "The Book of Dragons", which title exists on several books, one of which I know for a fact is a novel-- I own it. He assured me that it was over 200 pages (their minimum) and I moved on to the next kid.

    I didn't think any more on it. When we had reading periods, he was quiet and seemed to be reading.

    But his book report indicates that the author is one Michael Hague. Now MH is an award winning illustrator. When, I ask myself, did MH write a book? So I log on to Amazon and check. Hmmmmmmmm.

    Don't you love that section where you can read the table of contents? Seems the MH book is a collection of short stories. Nine of them in all. With illustrations by Michael Hague. Number of pages: 160. (Far too short. I never would have permitted this book.)

    Now then, reading his report, it would seem that my little drummer has selected the shortest of the entries and has tried to pass it off as the *entire* book.

    One story out of nine done. Hmmmmmmm.

    So, at the top of his Book Report, I have written: 1/9 of the book read, 1/9 of the marks assigned. 1/9 of 200 is 22. Oh, but he wrote his report in pen, which is something ( for a long list of reasons) I never allow in my class. Not even black pen, which is what he's done his report in. So, he loses the usual additional 10 marks for using a pen. End result: 12/200 or 6%.

    I await his oral interview...which is based on the book he's supposed to have read. And his written term exam, which, though they don't yet know, is a summary (200 - 225 words) of their novel.

    Being the bitch that I am, I shall wait until after the written exam to arrange his interview.

    Sigh. Kids must really think we teachers are really stupid.
    Thursday, February 7th, 2008
    7:09 pm
    That extra-special assignment handed in
    Well, the kid's parents contacted the school this morning and asked me to call them. They admitted to helping, but only insofar as correcting his spelling and grammar.

    My principal says I have to accept the work; that we are always telling parents they have to help, and when they do, we have to accept it.


    That's life.

    I still met with the kid at lunchtime and had him write several sentences for me. It matches the one on the book report, though not the one of the pre-Christmas test. Which brings up questions of its own.

    Well, I did my best.

    Life goes on.
    Wednesday, February 6th, 2008
    5:22 pm
    Calling all parents.
    Okay, so your kid's got an assignment due the next day and he (sorry, will be using the masculine due to the fact that the example I will be using is a masculine one) is freaking out.

    Hasn't mentioned that he's had many, many days (since before Christmas) to work on his assignment, due February 4th: a book report for example.

    Parent decides to do ... cough, cough, sorry. Parent decides to "help" the kid with his assignment.



    Try to conform to the kid's handwriting so that it is not so obvious that he didn't do the work. Why? Well, teachers are real bitches, you know. They often have samples of their students' handwriting to compare.

    So, if your kid prints only, don't write his work out in cursive. Or if he's really messy, don't hand in a clean copy. If his letters are all different sizes in a word and irregular, don't do it in your best handwriting. If his letters are all straight up, then slanted printing is a no-no.

    Better yet, dictate the responses so that the assignment is at least in the kid's own handwriting.


    Kids do not write sentences the way adults do. For example, a student who, still after all this time, can't use auxiliaries properly, nor negatives, NEVER EVER writes compound-complex sentences...well, you, as a parent 'helping', needs to be aware that proper usage would then be a real give-away.

    For example: This from a kid who can't write a seven-word sentence correctly.

    Because it's (Spelt correctly, which the kid still can't do) the culmination (Yeah, sure...he uses this word every day, eh!) point of the story,(proper comma) where (proper relative pronoun) he finally knows (a correct present tense! No way!) why he got cursed, what were the intentions (plural verb for a plural subject...not one of his strong points, even when the S comes before the V!) of the gypsy and how to get back his normal life.


    Again, know the kind of language your kid uses. A student who never ever looks a word up in the dictionary and will invent words (Oh, forgot to mention that this is an enriched ESL class...) from French, like dropping accents and the like, would NEVER EVER use words like "culmination".

    Learn his quirky errors, like I is always i, there is used for their, i not understand for I don't understand.

    BTW: Never spell WHICH properly when your kid regularly gets it wrong (wich) in the weekly dictations I now hold (He's had to write it out correctly 3 X 25 times so far and he still spelt it wrong again this week.) Ditto WITH (whit) and WHAT (waht). (No, he is NOT dyslexic. He's been tested...they all have been at one time or another these days!)

    Do more than sign your kid's homework; take a look at it as well. This is how you will know these things.


    The proper use of punctuation, such as commas and periods, is another give-away when your kid is forever losing marks for NOT using punctuation. If capitalisation of the first word in a sentence is something else he doesn't do on a regular basis, then don't begin each sentence (which you ended with a period) with a capital letter.

    Hope this helps.

    Oh, and my kid: I left a message on his home answering machine that I want to see him in my office at 12:25 (lunch) tomorrow, to discuss his book report.

    I sincerely hope he read the book (Thinner, by Stephen King -- his choice, not mine!) because his oral mark interview is based on the book (In cases where I suspect a student hasn't read his/her book, I tend to ask for details about the secondary characters, not the main ones, 'cause I am a bitch!) and 50% of the writing component this term will be his writing a resume of the story (with guidelines to follow).

    This is a kid who got 46% on his mid-term reading exam. That's worth 50% of the reading component for this term, with the book report the other 50%.

    Let me see: 46 + 100 = 146/200 = 73% and therefore a pass.

    Hmmmmm, I think not.

    I shall present my lad with two options: ZERO for this work OR he can spend his study periods and his lunch periods with me over the next four days and redo it. No, I most certainly will not allow him the 'original' work.

    I wonder which he will chose?
    Sunday, January 27th, 2008
    5:24 pm
    I'm in the Snarry Games! I'm in the Snarry Games!
    1) The word is out. Yes, I am participating in the SNARRY GAMES, in the best team of all, TEAM DRAGON, where I am with the most incredible people!

    2) I needed a dragon icon. In 2006, [info]caladan_dd made me the most beautiful dragon picture with Severus in it.

    Then, in a moment when all the luck was with me, I actually managed to make myself an icon from it. (See my new icon?)
    Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008
    5:29 pm

    Thanks, [info]bethbethbeth.

    I'm more tired than I thought.

    Current Mood: and depressed
    Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008
    5:08 pm
    God help us all when this generation takes over.
    Well, we went to see the Scottish play at the National Art Centre Monday. I threatened my kids within an inch of their lives re:behaviour.

    I should have saved my breath. THEY were well behaved. Around them...OMG!

    — kids talking throughout the play...and I mean throughout the play!
    — kids putting their feet up on the top of the seat in front of them
    — kids eating – chips, passing around candy, rattling gum boxes
    — kids with cell phones – holding conversations with their pals
    — kids listening to their iPods, loud enough for those around to hear the music
    — kids watching movies on their iPods
    — kids applauding and cheering with Lady Macduff and her boy are murdered.

    Teachers? Oh, not many. In my section, I was the only adult for the eight rows I could check out. Where were they? Grouped with their parent supervisors, all together, as far away from their responsibilities as they could get. (Not all...but sadly most.) My parent supervisors were with their groups and I was with the largest batch.

    The parents were horrified by the behaviour of the kids around them. The Parents' Council paid for these tickets. I think should I ever take a group again to see a play, it will NOT be at a student matinee. We'll pay the full price rather than put up with that kind of behaviour.

    And the day had begun well: my car didn't start. I had to call 4 taxi companies before one could come and get me to school in time for my first class. CAA wait was three hours. (We hit -25C Sunday-Monday)

    I got home in the late afternoon and the bloody car began right away– the sun had shone on it. Got it to Canadian Tire and a new battery, though that took some 2 hours.

    This morning, I drive in slowly as we're having another bloody snow dump...and then we get some misty-like rain. I'm not driving quickly. I got snow tires for the car three weeks ago...and at a downhill slope, I hit ice, can't stop and hit a car.

    Thank God I was driving soooo slowly. No damage done to either car, nor to the drivers other than shaking. But when I tried to get out of the car to go see how the other driver (an elderly woman) was, I ending up flat on my face, the road was so icy.

    Up here we say, "Jamais deux sans trois." (Never two without three – aka, things come in threes.) That's a double whammy re: the car. I shall be very wary tomorrow morning on my way to work.
    Sunday, January 20th, 2008
    4:04 pm
    Back into Fest mood

    artwork by [info]red_rahl banner by [info]janicechess

    The list of writers in the four teams (Canon, Fanon, Epilogue, EWE) are soo good that I feel (personal prejudice aside, being the Slytherin that I am) that the above banner best sums up my feelings on the H/D challenge.

    For the list, go here:
    Saturday, January 19th, 2008
    12:00 pm
    In which I contribute to the fandom wank and other things
    [info]westmoon, who keeps me up to date with fandom wank, has sent me these links, not all of them having to do with the CE wank. One has to do with Cordelia, Aral and Miles Vorkosigan.

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    But this is a new site for me: Dear Author, which reviews romance, sci-fan and other books. Lots of authors post there. Their take on plagiarism is passionate (as it should be!) and interesting.

    DA on Cassie Edwards:

    DA on LMB (Warning: lots of gushing here):
    Friday, January 11th, 2008
    8:12 am
    New Fic: For GMTH, in thanks for the many hours of reading Smutmas provided
    Title: The Circle of Light
    Author: Josan
    Rating: NC-17
    Pairing: Gina's favourites.
    Disclaimer: I don't own them, I'm only playing with them.
    Beta: [info]sylvadin. Thank you, ma chère. Your comments are always what I need to read.
    Summary: Nope. You're either going to going to read this or not, so why provide you with a summary? Besides, I have no idea how to summarise this.

    Warnings: I've been reading John Preston, which means that this ficlet has been influenced by one of his novels. If you've read John Preston, I don't need to say more. If you haven't, what are you waiting for?

    Warning 2: It may squick some of you, though there is nothing to do with bodily fluids, whips, the usual instruments that one associates with BDSM. In fact, it's amazing how a simple little Muggle item can be used so very effectively in the hands of a Master.

    Dedication: This is in thanks for all the time and effort you, Gina, have put into this fest since Day 1. What a wonder you are! I shall miss the fest and the challenge of writing this particular pairing.

    Because only for you, ma très chère Gina, would I ever write this pairing.

    (Don't forget to act surprised, eh? :-)


    The Circle of Light )
    Sunday, January 6th, 2008
    10:54 am
    Smutmas fic, same old fandom: Part 2/2
    On with the show! )
    10:51 am
    Smutmas fic, same old fandom: Part 1/2
    Title: THE TRYST
    Author: Josan
    Recipient's Name: [info]cluegirl
    Rating: NC-17
    Pairings: Hermione/Harry/Ron
    Disclaimer: The characters are the property of JKR and WB. No profit is being made from this usage of them.

    Betas: Many thanks to [info]kaiz, who played sounding board and has a major role in the Preface. Continued appreciation to [info]sylvadin, who pointed out a few inconsistencies and who laughed at all the right places, thereby confirming that what I was trying to do had been done. Grand merci to [info]lmondegreen, who braced herself through reading several personal squicks to make certain that sentence structure was English and not Franglais. Without these three, what you would be reading would be quite different and probably quite dull.

    Summary: See PREFACE.

    Warnings: Other than the presence of some het sex, see PREFACE.
    ETA: According to comments, it seems I should add a warning about the dialogue. It's been referred to as: "cheesy porn movie" dialogue, "70s B movie dialogue", and in more than a few places, just plain "bad" dialogue. The story itself has been rec'ed as a "purplish harlequin romance". Consider yourself warned.

    Author's Notes: ETA: I know it is traditional to comment in the Header about the recipient's requests and how this gift proposes to accomplish that. However, all I have to say here is: see PREFACE.

    Abandon hope all ye who enter here. )
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