batyatoon: (Default)
Once again: the full list of books I read in the past year. Not counted are comic books, graphic novels, fanfics, works in progress that I have edited or beta-read, or webcomics. (For this year, that means that among other things I am not counting having FINISHED HOMESTUCK.)

Titles behind the cut-tag. )

My total count is up considerably, from 142 to 163. First-time-read count is likewise up, from 35 (25% of all books read this year) to 56 (34%).

My five most-read authors this year were Lois McMaster Bujold, Naomi Novik, David Eddings, Diane Duane, and Dorothy Sayers. Topping the first-time-read chart this year are Maggie Stiefvater, Dorothy Sayers, Catherynne M. Valente, Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch, and Jo Walton (with the last two tied).

William Gibson's Pattern Recognition and Jo Walton's Among Others are still my most-reread books over the nine years I've been tracking. Following them are Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy, Lois McMaster Bujold's The Curse of Chalion, Janet Kagan's Hellspark, and Dorothy Sayers's Busman's Honeymoon.

And because I didn't say so the other night: Happy New Year to all, and may this year be better than the last. (Please and thank you, God, okay?)
batyatoon: (mightier than the sword)
Oh god, I won.

2016 Pegasus award, Best Filk Song: "Creatures of Dream."

I ... have a lot I want to say about this song and this honor, but there's one thing I really should have said upon acceptance, and that's gotta come first. "Creatures of Dream" wouldn't exist without Jesse Dangerously, who introduced me to nerdcore and told me that there was no reason I couldn't write rap and said super nice things about the first lyrics I sent him, and cobbled together the original beat for this song in a cave out of a box of scraps. (Said scraps including Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer's "Shadows of Evangeline", and voice samples from the late greats Jim Henson and Gene Wilder.)

The other really important thing is what I did say on acceptance, and that's that if you don't usually like rap but you like this song, then I guarantee you: there is other rap you will like. And over the next week or so, hopefully with Jesse's help, I will be putting together a long list of tracks and artists you should check out, because without all of these other brilliant lyricists and rappers I couldn't have written anything like this.

And, well ... I also couldn't have written it, or had any faintest notion of performing it for anyone, if it weren't for the filk community. Because this song is quite possibly the most viscerally autobiographical thing I've ever done -- and I knew, the whole time I was writing it, that there were people who would listen to it because in filk we listen to everybody, and who would both sympathize and understand. That these things I was saying, that were fundamentally true about me, were also fundamentally true about a lot of you too. You know where I've been, because you've been where I am.

(As evidenced by the fact that "Creatures of Dream" and one of the other nominees this year, Vixy and Tony's "We Are Who We Are", are basically twins.) (-- and while I'm on that subject, can I just say? There was not a single song in the category this year that I would not have been proud to lose to. Such a great, great ballot this year, you guys; I fully intend to nominate all of these songs again until they win.)

I'm still a little overwhelmed and I don't see that passing anytime soon. To the filk community: thank you. Thank you all so much.

If anybody would cross-post or link to this on Facebook, wherever filk people will see it, I would be most grateful.
batyatoon: (bookhenge)
Once again: the full list of books I read in the past year. Not counted are comic books, graphic novels, fanfics, works in progress that I have edited or beta-read, or webcomics. (Which means that this year I'm not including having read the entire run to date of Order of the Stick.)


Titles behind the cut-tag. )

My total count is down again this year, from 152 to 142. First-time-read count has gone way down, from 62 (41% of all books read) to 35 (25%). Last year was kind of an outlier, though; this is much closer to my average.

My six most-read authors this year were Terry Pratchett, Robert Jordan, Diane Duane, Anne McCaffrey, Stephen King, and J.K. Rowling (with the last two tied). Topping the first-time-read chart this year are Edgar Rice Burroughs, Intisar Khanani, Seanan McGuire, C.S. Lewis, N.K. Jemisin, and Patricia C. Wrede.

William Gibson's Pattern Recognition and Jo Walton's Among Others are still my most-reread books over the eight years I've been tracking. Following them are Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy, Sherwood Smith's Inda series, Lois McMaster Bujold's The Curse of Chalion, Janet Kagan's Hellspark, Janet Kagan's Mirabile, and Dorothy Sayers's Busman's Honeymoon.

And because I didn't say so the other night: Happy New Year to all, and may this year be better than the last.
batyatoon: (l'chaim!)
Seen on tumblr, and very much taken to heart: "May 2015 treat all of us with more kindness than we need or deserve."

A good night and a good new year to all of you, my dear ones. May it be better than the last.
batyatoon: (cool stuff weird things)
I have a tumblr account.

That isn't new; I've had it for some months now in order to follow the tumblr blogs of people I like, plus other blogs I was finding interesting. What's new is that my account is no longer zero-content, because I have finally started reblogging things.

Why? Well ... about mumble-something years ago, there was this guy I knew in Gargoyles fandom. We were involved in producing various fanworks together, including both of us being on the staff of The Gargoyles Saga ... but what we mostly collaborated-slash-competed on was filk. I mostly fell out of the active fandom around the time when I got married (though I visited the conventions again a time or two), and while we followed each other on LJ for a while, Patrick and I sort of gradually lost touch.

And sometime in December I re-encountered him on tumblr -- I believe by way of looking at the tag for Disney's Frozen. And then this happened.

Followed by this, this, this, and this...

And finally this.

As I said in one of the posts: Whoever had January 14 in the betting pool for “how long will it take before she breaks the no-content policy”, or either “filk” or “connecting with an old friend” for “what’s going to finally make her actually post something,” please stop by the office to collect your winnings.

I am not sure yet how/whether I'm going to connect my Dreamwidth/Livejournal account to my tumblr account. Any thoughts? Also, are there any of you lovely people who have (or wish to recommend) tumblrs that I should know about?
batyatoon: (Default)
The year in review, as seen through public posts in this journal. Leaving out last year's end-of-year memes. (Bolded phrases are subject lines; unbolded are first lines of the post, used where no subject line exists.)

January: a random act of kindness
February: [purimgifts] Dear Author
March: Safely and exhaustedly arrived back in NY. Consonance was amazing.
April: Pesach recipe round-up
May: a postcard from the magical land of sick
June: Conterpoint ahoy!
July: So we saw Pacific Rim today.
August: a mazel tov
September
October
November: (It is completely ridiculous that I haven't posted a thing since August.)
December: words, words; they're all we have to go on
batyatoon: (l'chaim!)
The guests have all gone home, the leftover food has been put away, and I am slowly sliding toward sleep.

Whatever 2013 held for you, good and bad together, my wish is for 2014 to be better.

Happy New Year, my dearests. You know I love you.

a mazel tov

Aug. 6th, 2013 10:33 pm
batyatoon: (family)
The newest addition to my extended family was born this evening to my sister in Rochester! I am informed that mother and baby boy are both in good health and good spirits, although both are doubtless exhausted.

In accordance with Jewish tradition, my new nephewlet does not yet have a name; he will get one in eight days' time at his bris.

Welcome to the world, tiny new human!
batyatoon: (gashlycrumb)
So my fever broke dramatically yesterday evening, leaving me damp and exhausted and still light-headed enough to find hilarity in singing fever has brooookeeeen to a possibly recognizeable tune. We decided to wait and see how I was feeling this morning before deciding, and the verdict was: while I am still not at 100%, [personal profile] sdelmonte and I have made it to Balticon after all!

I don't know how much filking I will be doing -- I plan to be nice to my throat and avoid singing at all tonight, at least; for the rest of the weekend, we will see how things go. If I can manage it, I will be backing up a certain bandmate of mine at her concert Sunday evening. :)

Internet folks: I hope to be back at my usual evening haunts by Monday night. Till then, be excellent to each other and don't set anything on fire that we can't replace. Love you all. <3
batyatoon: (golden teeth and golden tones)
So here's a few things I've been meaning to post about, and I am doing that very rare thing of posting from work on my lunch break because I don't know if/when I'll manage to get online tonight. First, recent stuff:

Purimgifts! I participated in this fic exchange again this year. I received a thoroughly adorable trio of BtVS ficlets from Green: Family Means No One Gets Left Behind, Baker's Surprise (including a recipe for chocolate hamantaschen!), and To Life. My own contribution, for the_ragnarok, was a three-part Bible/Temeraire crossover (idek) called Three Things And Four.

Consonance! My second ever West Coast filk con (after Conflikt a few years back), confirming my impression that West Coast filkers are generally excellent people. I really hope I get the chance to go back another year.
[personal profile] ladymondegreen has a full report of the rehearsals and the concert here and here, plus a little bit of costuming we did Saturday night for the open circle she hosted. *cheerful* (One of my favorite bits involving the costumes: [profile] kanef, on first seeing us, asking me "So ... is this some new really, really strict religious observance?")
The concert was downright exhilarating, the costuming was insane fun, the open filking afterward was wonderful as it always is, there was opportunity to meet some wonderful new people and to talk to old friends and acquaintances I very seldom see, and basically what I'm saying is it was the best kind of filk con. Even if the jet lag flattened me for days afterwards.

Family visiting! My brother and my dad are here from Israel, and have been staying at our house since Monday night. I have missed them both terribly; it's been great having them here.

Which leads me into upcoming things:

Nephew's bar mitzvah! This evening we (we being me, Alex, my brother and my dad) are driving up to Rochester, where we will spend the weekend celebrating the bar mitzvah of my sister's oldest kid. (How is he thirteen already. HOW.) Don't expect to see me around the internets tonight; I may or may not be on Saturday night, depending on family goings-on and internet availability. We return Sunday night, whereupon I will be plunging directly into frantic preparation for:

Passover! And hosting a seder at my own table for the first time in my life. aaaa panic panic aaaaaaaaaa We've cleaned the whole house except the kitchen already; we won't be turning over the kitchen until the night of Saturday the 23rd, leaving a very narrow margin for all the food prep we have to do in advance. Since cooking is permissible on holidays, I can leave some of it for later -- but anything requiring an electrical appliance such as a blender? Yeah, that's got to happen before sunset on Monday the 25th. Which includes the charoset.

FUN TIMES, MY FRIENDS. See you all when I see you!
batyatoon: (street penny)
So on my subway ride home from work on Friday, I was feeling a little down.

There was a teenage girl seated across from me for most of the way, wearing headphones and writing in what I took to be a journal. Wearing a sweatshirt saying SENIORS and CLASS OF 2013 on it; there was a slogan, 2 + 0 + 1 = 3 and the only class that adds up. I remember noticing her, wondering idly what she was writing, looking away again. Thinking distantly She's pretty. I hope she knows it.

And either I looked a lot more down than I was feeling, or I was feeling a lot more down than I realized. Because as we were both getting up to leave the train, she said "Excuse me" and handed me a folded page from her notebook, and then went on out before I could ask anything further.

On the page was a drawing of a smiling face with big bright eyes, and the words:

have a smile
you look like you need one

you're awesome,
keep on going.


And I very nearly cried.

Thank you, lovely unknown senior of '13. You're awesome too.
batyatoon: (the world is quiet here)
The year in review, as seen through public posts in this journal. Leaving out last year's end-of-year memes. (Bolded phrases are subject lines; unbolded are first lines of the post, used where no subject line exists.)

January: "Hello, folks! So yeah, while I will not be leaving LJ behind completely, I am slowly starting to make my way over to DW."
February
March: "omnomentaschen"
April: "Tonight is the first night of Pesach. Zman cherutenu; the time of our liberation."
May: "traveling plans"
June: "home again, home again"
July: "home again / Home again, in more ways than one."
August: "There's been so much going on this past month that I keep wanting to post about..."
September: "Closing the year"
October: "My pants: so bankrupt."
November: "Signal boost: NYC-area apartment needed, short-term rental"
December: "mumblesomething years ago"
batyatoon: (come further in)
The illustrious [personal profile] ladymondegreen has given me a meme; the premise is "what were you like at a specific age?" and the number she gave me was twenty. My answer is supposed to address relationship, where I was living, what I was doing for work and school, what I feared, and my best memory.

Follow me behind the cut-tag: )

If any of you would like to pick up this meme, ask me for a number and I will give you one! (If I don't already know your age, I may have to ask for at least a ballpark.)
batyatoon: (and we don't know here)
There's been so much going on this past month that I keep wanting to post about -- my first housefilk in over a year, craziness at work, new recipes, seeing Into the Woods in Central Park with [personal profile] sdelmonte and [personal profile] ladymondegreen and [personal profile] skygiants and [personal profile] innerbrat and my dad -- but somehow I keep never doing it.

This one thing I kind of have to post about, though.

Today I stayed home from work, and went with my mother-in-law to see my dad off at the airport, where he got on the plane to Israel. Where he plans to live from now on, in the same neighborhood as my brother and his family.

I'm still a little weepy. I'm going to miss him terribly.

At least video chat is a thing.

home again

Jul. 1st, 2012 09:40 pm
batyatoon: (music: sing)
Home again, in more ways than one.

Alex and I got home from Concertino a little over an hour ago -- many thanks to [personal profile] scifantasy for giving us a lift both there and back.

And I've been to my first filk con -- my first con of any sort, and my first group filksing -- in over a year.

Damn it's good to be back.
batyatoon: (jerusalem cat)
So as some of you already know, [personal profile] sdelmonte and I are leaving this coming Wednesday night on a trip to Israel to visit my brother and his family there. Our trip will overlap both the holiday of Shavuot and my mother's first yahrtzeit. We will be returning sometime on Sunday, June 3. I don't know what our internet situation will be like while we are away; odds are good I will be able to at least access my email periodically, but don't expect to see too much of me during that time.

Be good while I'm gone, peoples. You know I love you.
batyatoon: (the world is quiet here)
The year in review, as seen through public posts in this journal. (Bolded phrases are subject lines; unbolded are first lines of the post, used where no subject line exists.)

January: "hitting the road again"
February: "I am smug like a smug thing and posting about it very belatedly."
March: "I'd Do NEFilk For You"
April: "Tomorrow night is the first night of Pesach. Zman cherutenu; the time of our liberation."
May: "[unfiltered] here's how it is."
June: "Tonight is Shavuot."
July: "write like a girl"
August: "That Icon Meme Again"
September: "closing, closing, closing the year"
October
November
December: "i'm still here. i'm not gone."
batyatoon: (the world is quiet here)
Man, have I really not posted in here since September? *brushes dust off of random flat surfaces*

Things I could post about but haven't been:

  • Recipes! I have recently made, among other things: low-carb kishka, sugar-free and dairy-free chocolate ganache frosting, and whole-wheat sourdough bread stuffing.
  • Books! For some reason, this year I've been reading a lot more new things than I have in previous years. Including finally picking up the Hunger Games series, which oh my god, you guys.
  • Music! I have been living on the acapella offerings that my wonderful friendslist supplied me with back in the summer, further fortified by the various albums available on Spotify. (College acapella has changed some since I was in college. Everybody has vocal percussion now, apparently.)
  • TV! Doctor Who is on hiatus, Supernatural has not been making me as happy this year as it has in years past, and ... truth to tell, most of what I've been watching lately has been older stuff. Some of it much older, including original-series Who.
  • Writing! Seriously, did I never even post links to my purimgifts fics from last year? WTF, past me?
  • Work! ALWAYS FUN.
  • Homestuck! I got sucked into this webcomic about a year ago and have been mildly obsessed with it ever since. It is bizarre and amazing and there needs to be filk about it. Speaking of which:
  • How much I miss conventions and housefilks. But that's a sad topic. :(
  • Another sad topic: how much I miss my mother.


It's been getting better.

I was talking to somebody recently about why I haven't posted a lot, and it seems to be at least in part that I have lacked the energy to polish anything I write -- and the inclination to post anything I haven't polished. As my dear [livejournal.com profile] sdelmonte says: the perfect is the enemy of the good.

This post isn't perfect, but it's going up anyway.

Hi, gang. You know I love you.
batyatoon: (star of stone)
The thanks

I received in the mail over the past week (1) a gift certificate for the Digestive Wellness website, and (2) a notification that a donation has been made to Sloan-Kettering in memory of my mother, Cynthia Galler Levin. Both of these had [livejournal.com profile] phoenixchilde's name on them, but she tells me that both of them are group efforts from The Internet.

All of you who contributed to this: thank you. Thank you guys so much. I love you all.


The request

(But first, an explanation)

So as many of you already know: in keeping with Jewish (Orthodox) law and tradition regarding mourning, I will be refraining from certain things during the year following my mother's death. These things include parties and group celebrations of any kind (including conventions), buying new clothes (except for serious necessities), and ... listening to music.

If you know me at all, you know the last one is the one that's going to be hardest. However, there is an exception: I can listen to recorded music, provided it is acapella. Voices only.

My current collection of acapella music is about 19 hours' worth. Much as I love it all, it is not going to last me a year.

This is where the request comes in. I would love it if all of you out there could recommend or share any acapella music you may have or know of. I'm going to post a list of what I already have so's to avoid duplicates -- look for that in the next hour. (Note that this is not limited to acapella groups; plenty of singers do tracks with no instrumental accompaniment.)

There's no immediate rush on this, but it would help a lot.


ETA: And since LJ doesn't seem to want to let me post a new entry (wtf?), my list of current acapella is here. I hope. *prods GoogleDocs suspiciously*
batyatoon: (fallen)
Because a lot of people saw my last friendslocked post and didn't know what was going on. I realized I've been remiss in telling people about the state of my mother's health; it's been really hard to talk about.

Last spring my mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She's been in and out of the hospital (Sloan-Kettering) since then, with varying frequency; they had it under control for a good while, and then they didn't.

I cannot overstate how excellent Sloan-Kettering was through all of this. They took such good care of her, I can't even begin to tell you.

Yesterday they released her to home hospice care. And while it's good that she can be home now, the reason they released her is that at this point there isn't anything else they can do.

They've said weeks.



So this is why [livejournal.com profile] sdelmonte and I aren't at Balticon this weekend as we'd hoped to be. I'm sorry to miss all of you who will be there.

My brother and his family have come in from Israel, and my sister and her family from Rochester, and my mother's siblings, and family friends. And our whole community is organizing to help. And my mother is as comfortable as we can make her, and she's in good spirits, and ... that's pretty much all there is to say.

Again: those of you who are inclined towards prayer, please pray for her.

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