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Floria Tosca
10 November 2016 @ 10:16 pm
The family is still doing cheap menu planning.  This time: an experiment.  Can a family of three people, with good transportation, a fully equipped kitchen, and access to a supermarket, be decently nourished on $4/person/day?  It seems to be working out so far.  We're eating a lot of oatmeal.

Also, we got a dog.  He is a big brindle boy of a vaguely Molosserish persuasion.  Most of the time he's pretty mellow (which is reasurring, since he is MIGHTY), but he sees it as his job to guard our household from all threats foreign and domestic, including interloping deer in the neighbor's yard.
Floria Tosca
13 September 2016 @ 03:41 pm
The budget menu project has been upgraded to $3.50/day, and I decided "to heck with it" with regard to iron and calcium intake and just budgeted for vitamins.  But it's done!

  • I used the regular price for things - store club card discounts applied, but I didn’t allow for coupons or sales.

  • I went to three stores: Safeway, Big Lots, and Trader Joe’s - all of which are in the same shopping center less than a mile from my house.

  • For the purposes of budgeting, I assumed I had access to all the money at once and could buy in quantity if I’d be able to use it all up before it went bad.

  • I prorated the vitamins, but allowed for the up-front cost of everything else, including the spices.

  • I assumed that the hypothetical person using this menu has access to nonstick or well-seasoned cookware and doesn’t need to use butter or oil every time they want to fry something.

  • Nutritional requirements are based on online sources.

  • Nutrition info is approximate, because food compositions differ (even different flavors and brands of canned tomatoes have slightly different nutritional profiles), and I didn’t allow for things like seasonings and exactly how much onion I’m putting in the soup.

  • Menus are lacto-ovo-vegetarian, because I am.

  • Thursday and Friday menus are different because those are my predictable work days.  (Sub jobs are more random.)  I also have D&D Friday evenings, so Friday dinners can’t take too long to cook and eat.

The menusCollapse )
Floria Tosca
29 August 2016 @ 10:33 am
My latest project is a "Can I have a balanced diet on $3.25/day?" grocery shopping and menu plan.  It was a spinoff of the $2/day challenge, but I decided to up the budget a little and try for a fuller balance of nutrients instead of just adequate protein and calories.
Protein isn't too hard, fiber takes care of itself (so. many. lentils.), Vitamin A hasn't been a problem (carrots are fairly cheap where I live), but iron and calcium have been sticking points.  I eventually just bit the bullet and budgeted for a good affordable brand of multivitamins with iron.  Maybe that's cheating, but six servings of lentils a day is a bit much even for a vegetarian.
Floria Tosca
27 July 2016 @ 10:20 am
I finally saw The Room.  It was kind of underwhelming, to be honest.  It would have been a more enjoyable movie if it were a little bit worse, or at least bad in a juicier way, but as it was, I found it a little too dry and dull throughout most of it to be properly so-bad-it's-good.  Maybe a drinking game would have spiced things up.  Or maybe Ed Wood's just ruined me for more subtle forms of auteur weirdness.
Floria Tosca
05 July 2016 @ 04:20 pm
Post-Captain America: Civil War.  Steve Rogers's birthday.  And a bit of food porn, because it's me.

Literally born on the 4th of JulyCollapse )
Floria Tosca
01 June 2016 @ 10:35 pm
Guess who has JURY DUTY!  And it's a deuced annoyance to work one's schedule around, I can tell you.

As a means of venting my bad mood through fiction, here's my take on "Rorschach's infamous monologue, if post-CA:TWS Steve Rogers had said it instead."

No wonder the people in charge are afraid of us.  I’ve seen what they’re capable of. The halls of power are full of dark corners, and behind every door there’s a closet full of things never meant to see the light of day.  And one day the closets are going to overflow, and the fruit of all their corruption and greed and power-hungry callousness is going to tumble down on their heads like something out of Fibber McGee and Molly.  And as they lie groaning under the rubble, all the politicians and power brokers will look up and shout ‘Save us!’… and I’ll look down and whisper 'Ask nicely.'”

Floria Tosca
21 May 2016 @ 09:18 pm
My latest story is up here: http://archiveofourown.org/works/6925288
Gen, POV Sam Wilson but all the post-AoU Avengers get cameos, my attempt at giving characters an Adventure rather than just writing them hanging out having feelings and bantering.  I googled so much weird stuff for this story.
Floria Tosca
02 May 2016 @ 07:47 pm
(Inspired by an essay on AO3 that had some interesting points, but could be a bit defensive of traditional m/m fandom in my opinion and also the author didn't seem to have gotten the memo that too much complaining about "SJWs" puts you at risk of sounding like a stereotypical grumpy right-wing white guy.)

I do think that if one is going to start seeing the kinds of fanworks a fandom puts out as any kind of social good, diversity should be a higher priority than purity.

Especially since when it comes to emotionally loaded issues, which are the bread and butter of a lot of fanfic, there is no universal rubric for Doing It Right. Even nuanced stories that avoid gratuitous offensive cliches can legitimately upset some people because everyone’s squicks and triggers are different and one person’s “so true!” can be another’s "too close to home.”

A lot of fanfiction’s iddier genres, by their nature, rely on an odd blend of intense identification and objectification for their particular appeal. Without the empathy, whump becomes creepy torture-porn. Empathy with less objectification can create some good stories, but then the genre shifts and becomes a bit more serious and ‘elevated’. H/C emo porn without the “pretty when he cries factor” becomes psychologically oriented recovery-fic, which is a noble genre in its own right but scratches a different itch. And really, any kind of fanfiction involves treating the character as a prop for the author’s and reader’s amusement. So if a character from a demographic that doesn’t often get to be protagonists is going to level up from ‘precious cinnamon roll’/’flawless queen’ to true object of fannish devotion, this is probably going to involve behavior from the fandom that would be unseemly and potentially problematic if the creative team overindulged in it.
(Example that does not involve race or gender: Making the only disabled character in the main cast the Designated Woobie would be a potentially problematic choice in pro media, and yet the Daredevil fandom would be much poorer without the ability to bond over Matt Murdock’s beautiful sad puppy eyes and trash fire of a life.)
I’m not saying that Good Is Boring or that only “edgy” stories are emotionally satisfying or whatever. My personal tastes are pretty tame, actually. But for a fandom to thrive, it needs an atmosphere in which people feel like they can loosen their stays and let their ids off the leash.

I know what it’s like to be deeply invested in a character you identify with, and I can only imagine it’s more intense if you connect with them in a way that isn’t commonly represented in fiction. It can be very stressful to let people be Wrong about something/someone who means so much to you. And I’m not saying people aren’t allowed to air differences of opinion. But just, pick your battles, and remember that a big wide-open fandom includes more of all kinds of fanworks, probably including more of the stuff you like unless you have very specific tastes. And that if a Wrong work really bothers you that much, remember that it’s no more canonical than anything you might write, and if you really feel the need you can set things right with a fix-fic or some ranty meta or something.
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Floria Tosca
12 April 2016 @ 12:28 pm
Hypothesis: the complicated relationship between Kara Danvers (adorkable 20-something literal space alien) and Max Lord (rich xenophobic libertarian tech bro) is a metaphor for the current tensions between the up and coming generation of nerd women and a certain subset of male geekdom that see themselves as the guardians of "nerd culture."

So here we have the newly visible nerd girl (Supergirl), stepping out from lurking and going public and drawing attention to herself. And she's a likeable person who means well, but even though she isn't trying for world domination or doing anything else objectionable by any reasonable standard, her very presence and visibility heralds a possibly irreversible change in the status quo and balance of power, and that makes some people nervous. Certain people who had a lot of influence under the old system (Max Lord, General Lane) see this as a threat not only to themselves and their own unquestioned privilege, but by extension, to a greater social order, and use this to justify their preemptive hostility before Newly Famous Nerd Girl has actually done anything that wrong.

Bizarro as the ultimate expression of doxxing culture?

So with this extended metaphor, would Astra be based on paranoid fantasies about social justice warriors?
Floria Tosca
08 April 2016 @ 06:13 pm
Some people make fanart or fanmixes for their favorite fanfiction. I create a tvtropes page.