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hamster
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soleiltropiques
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My book reviews/critique de livres! :-)

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July 17th, 2020

Given the fact that Yahoo/Geocities, in their infinite wisdom (*choke*, *splutter*, *cough*), have elected to delete all free websites from their webhosting service, I am posting the content of my two websites to my livejournal.

Regarding the recommendations pages, please note the following. If we have an email address for an author, we will post it with the thought that feedback is a nice thing for authors and we like to do what we can to encourage it. If however you see your email listed here and would prefer NOT to have us post it, just drop us a line (soleiltropiques1@gmail.com) and we'll remove it. Thank you! (Please feel free to drop us a line if you have anything else you would like us to change with regards to a fic you have written. We simply wish to pay tribute to the fanfiction authors mentioned herein and we would certainly not go against anyone's wishes!)
Coucher de Soleil's fanfic and Fanfic Favorites (formerly Geocities websites) can be found here...Collapse )

June 28th, 2019

Links to my ontd_p posts

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So, I've posted quite a bit to ontd_political in the past few months. I thought I'd just link to those (many, LOL) posts here. (A friend of mine has been having me send her the links, so I thought I'd post them here, too.)

Cut for length...Collapse )
I try to keep abreast of what's going on around the world (i.e. I also try to read from many sources) and that's pretty much where I get ideas for these posts. There are some really important things going on that we often don't hear about that much.

December 16th, 2016

Aujourd'hui, je pensais vous régaler avec une série de fait (réels!) vécus dans le transport en commun de ma ville.

(1) Assise dans l'autobus qui est bondé. Je tourne la tête à gauche, à droite... Et j'entrevois mon voisin, qui se tente de se récurer les narines avec son doigt.

Sans gêne aucune. (En l'occurrence, il faudra multiplier cet événement par un facteur de 100 afin d'avoir une réelle idée de sa fréquence.)

(2) Assise dans (à nouveau) dans l'autobus. Le jeune homme devant moi décide de faire un nettoyage de ses oreilles. En extrait la cire et la peau morte.

(3) Assise à une table lors d'une conférence. Ma jeune voisine décide non seulement d'extraire les détritus de ses oreilles, mais en plus elle construit un petit tas de ces matériaux devant elle, sur la table.

J'ai dû m'éloigner afin de ne pas avoir un haut-le-coeur.

(4) Encore dans l'autobus, en été. Jeune homme porte de lourds souliers qu'il décide d'enlever, afin de mieux extraire la crasse de ses ongles d'orteils.

(5) Assise (et oui, encore) dans l'autobus. Ma voisine crache dans sa main et jette à terr la flaque d'eau qui en résulte. À de multiples reprises. En essuyant la main sur son linge.

(6) Encore dans le transport en commun. Ma voisine ronge ses ongles. Et ronge ses ongles. Et ronge ses ongles durant tout le trajet. Que fait-elle de ses trognons d'ongle? Les a-t-elle jetés dans ma direction (voire sur moi!)?

Et oui. Les joies du transport en commun quand les gens ne comprennent pas l'idée de l'hygiène de base!

November 30th, 2016

Fanfic recs update! :-)

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Aaand it's time for another fanfic recs update. :)

Criminal Minds

-What Are You Thinking?, by blythechild. NC-17 (Reid/Prentiss, some Hotchner/Prentiss). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Emily Prentiss has a variety of personal fantasies. She considers them harmless and convenient in light of her career and general disappointment with real relationships. She's not looking for complications in her life. But a work indiscretion blurs the lines for her and leads to far more issues than she could have anticipated. All of a sudden, her fantasy life seems less harmless and more like a trap she's set for herself.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

Crossovers

Eye of the Storm, by Dark_K. Teen Wolf/Star Wars. PG-13 (Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski). Recommended by Angela. (Currently incomplete fic -is being regularly updated however!)
Author's summary: Great change is often brought about by the smallest actions - when the Jedi interfere in the Kalee-Huk conflict, none of them knew they would be starting a chain of events that would change the whole Galaxy forever. Caught in the eye of the storm, Jedi Stiles must figure out his place in his Order and in the war, even as he discovers that the Jedi Order isn't what he had always thought.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

Guardians of the Galaxy (i.e. Marvel universe)

-Rootsong, by inlovewithnight. Rated G. Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Groot needs more room to grow.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

Hunger Games (The)

-And the Book, by thegirlonpeetamellark. Rated NC-17 (Katniss/Peeta). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: "Peeta says it will be okay. We have each other. And the book. We can make them understand in a way that will make them braver." A look at the specific things Katniss mentions that went into the book at the end of Mockingjay and how they come back and reappear throughout the rest of their lives.
Bea's comments: This one is amazing. I love how the reader is shown how Katniss learns to live with her grief.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

-I'll Set You Up Against the Stars, by oh_la_fraise. Rated PG-13. Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: “Once upon a time, there was a girl on fire.” The eldest Mellark learns the history of her parents.
NB: More fic by this author can be found at their livejournal.

-Inception, by Taywen. Rated R (i.e. for violence and dark themes). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: There's a reason why District Twelve never wins the Hunger Games.
Bea's comments: This fic is incredible -it actually WORKS and fits in the canon universe, for one thing. It really threw me for a loop.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here and is recommended in this section (i.e. 'The Hunger Games').

-Learning to Swim, by imaginarycircus. NC-17 (Katniss/Peeta). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Peeta and Katniss grow back together. Takes place at and after the end of Mockingjay.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

-Out of the Night: An Interview with a Mockingjay, by a thousandwinds. Rated PG-13 (a bit of Katniss/Peeta). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: "I didn't love Peeta. That was all for the cameras." After twenty-five years, Katniss Everdeen breaks her long silence to speak to our star reporter.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

-Wedding (The), by MockingJayFlyingFree. Rated NC-17 (Katniss/Peeta). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: What if, instead of being reaped for the Quarter Quell, Katniss and Peeta were forced to get married as soon as they turned 18? Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. Well - this one is not.
Bea's comments: I have to admit that, while I liked the fic in question, I did not like the sequel (I couldn't even finish it). Please note that am not recommending the sequel to this fic.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

-Yearning, by Taywen. Rated PG. Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Four people who wanted to be Katniss and the one person Katniss wished to be. Who hasn't wished they could be someone else?
NB: More fic by this author can be found here and is recommended in this section (i.e. 'The Hunger Games').

Star Trek: reboot universe

-Best Ship is Friendship (The), by synia09. Rated PG/PG-13 (a bit of Kirk/Spock). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Five people Jim tried to hook up with who became really good friends and the one person who was supposed to be just a friend who became everything.
NB: More fic by this author can be found at their livejournal and is also recommended in this section (i.e. Star Trek reboot 'verse).

-Command Track Senior Seminar, by rabidchild. Rated R. Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: The lectures for Captain Pike's advanced command track seminar are very comprehensive.
Bea's comments: This had me LOL.
NB: More fic by this author can be found at their livejournal and is also recommended in this section (i.e. Star Trek reboot 'verse).

-Prepares You, by rabidchild. NC-17 (Kirk/Spock slash). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Nothing they say prepares you for your first pon farr.
Bea's comments: Please note the content warnings (i.e. provided at the top of the story page).
NB: More fic by this author can be found at their livejournal and is also recommended in this section (i.e. Star Trek reboot 'verse).

-Rage of Reason Closing In (The), by dreamlittleyo. NC-17 (Kirk/Spock slash). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: In which Spock is emotionally compromised and nothing goes the way it should.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here and is also recommended in this section (i.e. Star Trek reboot 'verse).

-Time to Realize, by Caliente. Rated PG-13 (Kirk/Janice Rand). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Five times James T. Kirk belatedly realized something somewhat obvious about Janice Rand and one time she proved what he'd always known.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

-Turn Not Back, part 1, part 2, by ladyblahblah. Rated NC-17 (Kirk/Spock slash). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Pon farr hits and Spock finds himself without a mate. Except... wait, when did that happen? Accidental!bonding fic.
NB: More fic by this author can be found at their livejournal.

Star Trek: Voyager

-Things I Cannot Say, part 1, part 2, by Shayenne. NC-17 (Janeway/Chakotay). Recommended by Bea.
Brief summary: Initially loosely woven around the events of the episode 'Human Error' (i.e. where Seven of Nine creates a hologram of Chakotay to practice social interactions), this eventually takes things in a new direction.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here and is recommended in this section (i.e. Star Trek: Voyager).

Star Wars

-Dinner Party (The), by Ash Darklighter. NC-17 (Luke/Mara Jade). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Leia and Han invite their friends over for dinner. Not all things going to plan.
Bea's comments: I'm usually not the biggest fan of PWPs, but this one was quite funny and sweet. Please note that this fic is set within the Star Wars expanded universe.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

-Dream Deferred (A), by frodogenic. Rated PG-13 (a tiny bit of Luke/other). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Luke Skywalker saw a lot of pilots die in the fight against the Empire. Most of them were friends. She was almost more... A oneshot in honor of Valentine's Day. Canon-compliant.
Bea's comments: This is set somewhere between 'A New Hope' and 'The Empire Strikes Back'.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

-First Test (The), by Ash Darklighter. Rated G. Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Luke dreams of a life beyond Tatooine, but he has things to learn first.
Bea's comments: This is set years before 'A New Hope'.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

-Force Works in Extremely Irritating Ways (The), by resperella. Rated NC-17 (Luke/Mara Jade). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Luke and Mara screw things up and make a soulbond. In the process of trying to get rid of it, they accidentally fall in love. Set after The Last Command; if you haven't read the Thrawn Trilogy, this will all make very little sense to you.
Bea's comments: Please note that this fic is set within the Star Wars expanded universe. Also, the trilogy of books mentioned by the author were written by author Timothy Zahn (published 1991 - 1993) and detailed summaries can be found here (i.e. just click on the book titles).
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

-In Tandem, by nymja. Rated G. (Some Han/Leia). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Leia tries to picture Han as a father. She envisions her infant son being asked to hold a plasma torch as dad attempts to weld a coupling that’s come undone for the fifth or sixth time. Han tries to picture Leia as a mother. He sees his kid, with tons of hair. Just. Lots and lots of hair.
Bea's comments: This fic is set in the same universe as 'The Force Awakens' but several years before the events of that film (i.e. post 'Return of the Jedi'). Also, this fic is both hilarious and incredibly adorable. :)
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

-Made of All the Little Bones of Our Fathers, by arestlesswind. Rated PG. Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: She has no name, is barely more than matter and energy, and Luke loves his daughter. Always has. Always will, regardless. This is his charge, his mission, his truest responsibility: to be the father he never had, only had, for hardly longer than a heartbeat.
Bea's comments: Please note that this fic is an attempt to reconcile the Star Wars expanded universe with the events of 'The Force Awakens'. I thought it worked pretty well.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

-X-Wing: Knights of Plooma, by JediMara77. Rated PG-13 (Luke/Mara Jade). Recommended by Bea.
Author's summary: Luke and Mara are recruited by the Rogues to assist in diplomatic negotiations on a planet where Old Republic Jedi are revered. They are also forced to pretend that they are married...for two long weeks.
Bea's comments: Basically, this was a really fun parody. :) Please note that this fic is set within the Star Wars expanded universe.
NB: More fic by this author can be found here.

November 16th, 2016

I posted the following comment in response to comments posted here, regarding Carrie Fisher's recent admission of an affair with Harrison Ford while she was roughly 19 years of age: see here for the details on that.

I was rather disgusted by several of the comments, some of which were along the line of, "It was the 70s and everyone f*** everyone! Who cares!".

If consent was dubious, it was dubious. Or so it would seem to me.

My comment (for some reason it wouldn't post over there, it apparently got marked as spam):

Yeah given the comments I've seen so far I know I may regret commenting here.

Here are some references referring to scientific research suggesting that an 18-19 year old brain is simply not at the same maturity level as that of a 34 year old:

"Most of the privileges and responsibilities of adulthood are legally granted by the age of 18. That's when you can vote, enlist in the military, move out on your own, but is that the true age of maturity? A growing body of science says, no. That critical parts of the brain involved in decision-making are not fully developed until years later at age 25 or so." (From this reference, which is an interview with a neuroscientist discussing recent research in the field: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=141164708)

See also the following:
(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892678/
(2) https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-teen-brain-still-under-construction/index.shtml#pub7

Now, I will grant you that this was not known at the time. However, I would argue that, when I actually *talk* to someone of this (i.e. young) age I can tell that there is a certain... lack of maturity there. I mean, if I give a damn about ethics, I don't need a scientific manual to tell me this.

Also, there is the additional dimension of substance use. As Fisher herself notes, she was 'wine sodden' during their first encounter, for instance, which adds another dimension to the discussion of consent: could she really consent if she was under the influence?

(Comment slightly edited to fix crappy grammar because I'm a loser.)

November 9th, 2016

So Donald Trump won...

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...but he's still a pus-filled abcess on the backside of humanity.

(Actually, calling him 'human' is probably too generous.)

Side note: I think it is really annoying to be told that, because one is not American one does not have the right to have an opinion on this. This is an election which will literally affect the entire planet, so yeah, we non Americans care and have the right to our opinion. Especially given the *vigor* with which successive U.S. governments have interfered in the affairs of other countries (frequently to the detriment of such countries), so that really don't think it's unreasonable to have an opinion about theirs.

I've just read several comments on the political comm I participate in, which were of the type, "All you guys who ever criticized Clinton are responsible for this!". Such comments are really overly simplistic and insulting, IMO.

I admit it: I criticized Clinton's past actions and positions. I happen to think that's a vital part of the democratic process. I was also really disheartened at the shoddy possibilities/choices in this U.S. election. I really resent the notion that I should somehow feel guilty for that.

That doesn't mean I wanted Trump to win. I mean, it is still possible not to like Clinton and yet to have wanted her to win against Trump.

I also get and really sympathize with people who are angry with third party voters. I guess we'll have to wait for detailed breakdown of votes in different states but I've seen some sugestion that Clinton would have taken more states if Jill Stein's votes had gone to her (i.e. that Clinton votes + Stein votes > Trump votes). It's certainly a valid possibility.

However I don't think that negates the validity of several important critiques of Hillary Clinton which I read.

Remember something called freedom of expression, folks? That also applies to things you may not like to hear.*

*I am however purposely stating here that I do not include racist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic or other hate speech as speech which should be protected. (To my mind, much of Trump's discourse as well as that of his supporters could and should be labelled as hate speech.)

September 21st, 2016

Sexual harassment

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Wow.

WARNING: Trigger warnings for sexual harassment and sexual assault, as well as a serious dose of misogyny.

Trigger warnings: sexual harassment and sexual assaultCollapse )

August 23rd, 2016

Pooch photo

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This is our sweetie, Hubert (=male Australian shepherd).

IMG_1859

(He is sitting in this pic. :-)

Here is a link to a pic of our dearly departed doggie Félix (1999-2014).

August 22nd, 2016

Microsoft Word

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I just needed to say that Microsoft Word occasionally (frequently?) is the most idiotic program known to man.

When the program ASSUMES things (e.g. with regards to my document's formatting) that: (i) I have no idea WHY it is assuming I want, (ii) it becomes extremely difficult to get it to STOP assuming whatever formatting issue it has been assuming.

Sometimes a basic text editor would be so much simpler!
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