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31 July 2009 @ 11:27 pm
196: Make My Day. Ideally, Make It Better.  
The other day, a blogger I read intermittently said she really loved packing and moving. I had to leave the computer for fifteen minutes to avoid leaving a comment that a) called her a psycho lying liar pants b) advised her to seek therapy IMMEDIATELY for the sake of her children and c) begged her to come take care of our move, since she likes it so very much.

It's at this point that I need to make it clear that I am not in my right mind. And I have good reason to be crazy. Back in college, I knew every semester would end in tears. And not because of the finals, or the yay-finals-are-over relief - because I had to pack up my shit. I would happily have taken finals forever to avoid that.

And that was when a) I was a college student, so my major possessions consisted of a stereo system (this was back when we had stereo systems), three pots, and inflatable furniture and b) I moved every semester, so you'd think I'd've had it down to a science.

Now - well. We've lived in this house for ten years. We've been moving for four months. I hate this so much I can't begin to tell you. And that's actually the good part of this week. Other highlights include :
  1. I realized that, because of the many and assorted delays of contractors and escrow, we will be moving into the house we started buying in February in the middle of August.
  2. This, yup, means we will not be at Vividcon. I cannot tell you how sad I am about this, but there is just no way to supervise a move from Chicago. (I mean, it was one thing to miss VVC because I had a new baby. That is an excellent reason to miss a con. Missing a con because no one in the entire world can do anything when they say they will do it and how they say they will do it: not so acceptable.)
  3. Best Beloved's car died irrevocably. At a car dealership. We are trying to be amused by this, but mostly failing, because that means we now, in addition to buying a house, are also buying a car.
  4. I would actually rather buy another house. Seriously. With all the misery that entails. We've only been shopping for a car for one day, and we've already been reminded that there are only two ways we will ever be treated at a dealership. Either we will be ignored or we will be lied to and generally treated like morons who are longing to just give money away for no good reason. I can only conclude that people go into automobile sales because no one was hiring supervillain sidekicks that day.
So, really, life is sucking a fairish amount right now. (Did I mention that the earthling is on a new medication that makes him tired and cranky? No? Yet another fun factor in all this!)

Obviously, it's time to rec something. But this time, I am hoping to make it interactive! See, I will rec three stories that have alleviated quite a lot of misery for me, and then maybe you can recommend a fourth one to me!

Because, wow, I need the escapism right now.

The One That Proves That the Difference Between Marines and High School Boys Is - Something. Probably. I Will Figure It out Eventually. Get Some, by hackthis. Generation Kill, Brad Colbert/Nate Fick.

If you don't know what Generation Kill is, you don't entirely need to - the joy of an AU this long is that it's basically self-contained - but I hear there are weird purists out there who like to know what the characters look like and stuff. If so, there's a primer here. (Warning to people like me: this is a show about Recon Marines. Which means they spend all their time in camouflage and big-ass hat things that make them look like khaki Q-tips. Which means, of course, that to me they are all identical. So if you're like me, skip the photos and just read the summaries. Or, hey, just read the story.)

I read this story like five times the week it was posted. And here's the kicker: I don't like high school AUs. College AUs? Absolutely. But my feeling about high school is that I did that, sort of, even though I ditched four days out of five and spent most of one year in detention and skipped the last year altogether and - you're probably starting to see why I don't read high school AUs.

But I read this one. I love this one. hackthis has a knack for making me love characters I normally wouldn't - I'm thinking of sending her a letter about this, but the thing is, I can't figure out if it would be thanks or threats - and she succeeds in spades here. I mean, I was already reading Generation Kill because she made me (I am pretty sure I recall that gunpoint was involved, but I could be remembering wrong), but this story took it to another level. A frankly embarrassing level, in that I was silently beaming messages to the earthling: Be hungry. Ask to nurse. I need to finish my story.

This AU satisfied a need in my soul. I don't know what that need was, but you know that feeling you get when something is exactly perfect and shaped just right for you? I got that from this. I am betting a lot of you will, too.

Bonus: walks down memory lane for people who remember 1994!

The One with the (Fake) Giant Well-Hung Golden Bull. Perhaps I Should See If I Can Get One of These for Our New House. Operator, by troyswann. Stargate: SG-1 x The Matrix, Daniel Jackson/Jack O'Neill.

My love for the Matrix series has been well documented in these pages, and of course by "love" I mean "oh my god what what what did they seriously just spend three-quarters of my life DANCING, and also what the fuck was that with the electric crucifixion thing?"

So I am not exactly panting for Matrix crossovers. But I read this, because frankly I would read anything she wrote, up to and including a crossover between SG1 and Regency England, and I was not at all sorry. This, my friends - this is the awesomeness that I was promised with the Matrix movies. (Seriously. People kept saying, "You love science fiction! You'll love this SO MUCH! You have to seeeeeeeeee it." I finally saw it, and I loved the first, like, 20 minutes, nad then I spent the entire rest of the time hissing things like, "Entropy doesn't WORK THAT WAY" to Best Beloved. Normally I am better behaved in movies. I was better the second time through the first movie, and then I saw the second and third ones, and it allllll went south again. Like, Antarctic-south. I think I sustained permanent damage from all the eye rolling.)

I love this story. I love Jack as the captain of one of those ship thingies (what are they called?), Sam stuck inside the matrix (Sam is so awesome here), Daniel the operator, Vala the reluctant fighter for good (I mean, she's not reluctant to fight, you just get the feeling she wishes there was more moral ambiguity involved), and, of course, Teal'c. Teal'c is awesome.

This isn't necessarily a story I could crawl into, but, oh, it's escapism at its very finest.

The One That Shows Us That True Love Is Killing Spiders. (Really True Love Would Be Killing Cockroaches, and I Mean All the Cockroaches in the World. Why Don't Mad Scientists Ever Get on This? Mad Science, You Have Failed Me.) Junk Cheap, by devildoll. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay.

I have read this AU several thousand, thousand times since it was posted. I don't know why I haven't recommended it before. It's one of those inexplicable oversights. (Except maybe not, because this story always makes me want to make lasagna, and I went through enough of that in TS fandom. There are only so many lasagnas a woman can make, fandom! I am perilously close to my lifetime limit, and will soon have to pay an extra Surplus Lasagna Fee for each one.) But I am remedying that now.

The key concept here is: John owns a junk shop, and Rodney does not want him. Not at all. No siree. Who wants to sleep with a junk shop owner? Not Rodney, that's who! Even if he's, you know. Kind of hot.

This seems, perhaps, overly simple. I assure you it is not. There is action! There is the other kind of action! There are leaky showers! (I assure you leaky showers are extremely compelling within this context.) And did I mention that there is lasagna, and also baked goods of various kinds? (You don't get to eat them.)

But the real joy of this, and the reason I come back to it again and again, is that it is absolutely the kind of story I can crawl into and pull over my head when things get bad. There's true love, and comical old people, and a junk shop, and just enough conflict to keep it interesting without raising my blood pressure unhealthily, and it is just adorable and fun in the same way that old movies starring Audrey Hepburn are. I love it. And, right now, I need it.

So. Now it's your turn! Rec me something? Something fun and escapist? (Vulcans are appreciated, but in no way necessary.) I suppose the ideal story would be an AU where there are no real estate agents or car salesmen, but I will gladly settle for any kind of happiness. Really.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
terrioterrio on August 1st, 2009 07:13 am (UTC)
One of my favorite pieces of comfort-fic is frostfire_17's The Hostage Major.
putting 'costumed vigilante' as my occupation: greatresponsibilitytartanshell on August 1st, 2009 07:16 am (UTC)
I'm sorry life is sucking for you right now. I hope it gets better soon. ♥

Here's a rec for you: Black Tie by ion_bond, a crossover between Spider-Man/ Daredevil/ X-Men/ Iron Man/ Fantastic Four/ Incredible Hulk movieverses, written for the marvel_crossing ficathon. Even if you know nothing about some (or any!) of the superheroes, it's a really delightful read, with people being super in pretty much every conceivable way.

Edited at 2009-08-01 07:16 am (UTC)
Alethia: GK Brad Happyalethialia on August 1st, 2009 07:17 am (UTC)
"Get Some" is epic and gorgeous and BRILLIANT. So much love for that story. Great rec.

And in that vein there is a whole lot of comment!fic set in that universe. (The story continues!) It kinda got crazy, so the cleanest way is to point you to the post I did detangling all the comment!fic. If you look through the links I noted when a piece was part of the "Get Some" universe (now with bonus additions by romanticalgirl). Very fun.

Edited at 2009-08-01 07:23 am (UTC)
aspiring iconoclastantihysteric on August 1st, 2009 07:36 am (UTC)
This piece of femmeslashy fanart (ST:XI/DCU crossover, Gaila/Poison Ivy), while unfortunately lacking in Vulcans, has brought me much N-quite-SFW glee recently.

I don't know if you do TOS-fic, but I've been getting a lot of comfort-reading mileage out of Surgeon's Mate (Spock/McCoy) and Incident Report (Kirk/Spock), too.

Pretty much anything in Holmes fandom by Katie Forsythe, along with Absurdly Simple by Irene Adler, cheers me up.

Aaaand cereta's Hanging Work (DCU, Bruce/Dick) is ♥!
innocentsmith on August 1st, 2009 07:47 am (UTC)
Seconding the rec for Katie Forsythe, who writes just about the best Holmes/Watson out there, and pointing out that there's even more at her LJ - katieforsythe. A particular favorite for adorability is the Holmes POV on "The Speckled Band," "Some Further Notes on the Roylott Matter," parts one and two. In which Holmes totally does not have a phobia of snakes. Not at all.
Daegaerdaegaer on August 1st, 2009 07:39 am (UTC)
Feeling down yesterday, I reread an old GO crack fic, and laughed till it hurt (doesn't take long at the moment, but I'd have laughed longer if I could have): Gender-swapping reptile fic with meaningful glances it-preg and salvation, by lovelyzelda

(Have a look at her other stuff too, especially My Little Ethereal/Occult Beings! Other fic by Lovelyzelda - if there are any estate agents, they meet well deserved fates).

Oh, oh! I also want to rec the (non-fic) Disgusting History Lessons by meltedpeep, a series of potted histories of (mainly) Europe illustrated with the characters from Hetalia (you don't need to know the fandom, just the concept that the characters are personifications of countries). meltedpeep's posts are delightful, informative and hilarious, and there are absolutely no estate agents at all.

Edited at 2009-08-01 08:04 am (UTC)
09 f9 11 02 9d 74 e3 5b d8 41 56 c5 63 56 88 c0laura47 on August 1st, 2009 07:42 am (UTC)
No vividcon? So much sad! I.... I wish I had a cheery story for you, but I haven't read anything lately, and I get my best stuff from you anyway. Awwww. This'll be my first vividcon. Maybe we could set up skype and point it at the vids. :-)
Cats. Not to be trusted.: sga awesomecatwalksalone on August 1st, 2009 07:53 am (UTC)
For making me laugh a lot purposes, I like to read One Leg At a Time by Mallory Klohn. It's John/Rodney and John's obsessed with Rodney's not wearing pants (for lifesaving purposes!).
mutelorelei: cherrymoonlightmutelorelei on August 1st, 2009 07:59 am (UTC)
My fiancee and I are seriously thinking about moving to lower our rent (and get more bedrooms, oddly enough, but then we're currently living in a place with inflated rent which seemed like a good idea at the time, but now that prices have fallen elsewhere...) But we have too much crap, especially him, and I'm not happy about the thought of sorting and boxing it all. If we decide to really do, it's definitely time to jettison books that don't get read and clothes that don't get worn and furniture that we don't strictly need. I've moved so many times in my life (never stayed anywhere more than three years and often less than one) I learn to live more and more minimalistically. I hate the process of moving, but I've got itchy feet.

Edited at 2009-08-01 08:00 am (UTC)
carnadosacarnadosa on August 1st, 2009 08:38 am (UTC)
Happy Hour First time old school clex. Always makes me smile.

I don't know if you read fanfic in the Marvel universe (which is crazy, I used to think crack fic was the end of the line until I read some of their plot summaries) but I love Captain America/Ironman (Tony Stark/Steve Rogers). Fanart, safe for work. Steve is the blond.

Right, so I Never is a fluffy little first time fic. Knots is a really excellent rope bondage pwp. Momentary Paws. Tony is turned into a tiny kitten. He hates it, but he gets to cuddle with Steve so...

Bookchanbookchan on August 1st, 2009 08:38 am (UTC)
the24thkeythe24thkey on August 1st, 2009 09:05 am (UTC)
The first one that came to my mind is The Tragic, Doomed, and Epic Life and Loves of Elizabeth Jean McKay, Plus Other Interesting Stuff by captanddeastar. It's McShep and kidfic, not really tragic, but sweet, funny and one of my favorite comfort-fics.
Vanilla  ... Spiked with Slivovitz: day's work (Lorne) by taibhrighjenna_thorn on August 1st, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
So much love for this story. Then, I adore Lorne, too. 8-)
busaikko on August 1st, 2009 09:18 am (UTC)
Do you listen to podfic? If you do, thingswithwings has a ton of great podfic recs over at her DW: podrecs galore!

(P.S. I am excellent at packing boxes and I have been known to travel nearly an hour to friends' houses to kill their roaches. If you are in the Osaka area, let me know. I would be excited to accept payment in more fic recs from your wide reading experience *g*)

Edited at 2009-08-01 09:18 am (UTC)
janne_d: beautiful dayjanne_d on August 1st, 2009 11:04 am (UTC)
Fics that never fail to make me happy:

They Grip the Ground, Torchwood, by giddygeek

Damsel in Distress, Merlin, by thehoyden

Paparazzo, SpiderMan/Iron Man, by basingstoke

'The Bodyguard' and 'Eight Sessions' and 'About a Dog', dS, all by Speranza, all here

Rogaroga on August 1st, 2009 12:23 pm (UTC)
astolat's written some truly amazing, happy making American Idol RPF fics:

Favorite Son (gen), where David Cook and David Archuleta survive a plane crash in the middle of snowy nowhere, and its sequel (slash).

Time of Your Life -- amazing, epic post-Idol Cook Archuleta fic, fin and funny and yay.

real forever if -- Cook/Archuleta post-Idol set in a bonding AU, kinky and hot and overall happymaking.

She's also got great stories from this season (Kris/Adam), but most of them are short. Other than the zombie apocalypse AU, which is awesome, but it includes all the top 10 Idols, so I don't know how much you'd love it if you don't know all the characters. All the other stories are pretty firmly focused on the main characters.
Fishfish_echo on August 2nd, 2009 04:30 am (UTC)
Fair warning, if you have had any survival training, 'Favorite Son' is actually very annoying.

The other two David/David fics I quite like :)

(deleted and reposted due to fail)
Bonethisisbone on August 1st, 2009 12:50 pm (UTC)
*hugs you tight*

As you know, we are in the midst of our big move as well. We're actually in the new house now, but the thought of posting an update is so daunting I've opted instead to glance at my friends list once every couple of days and comment randomly, rather than go to the effort of distilling the past month into something I can put under an LJ cut. Suffice to say I sincerely hope we don't have to move again anytime soon.

I do have a suggestion for your car-buying, because I HEAR YOU on that. They're all shitheads and liars. So. Do you have a Costco nearby? If so, you might consider buying a membership there so you can access their Auto program. We used it when we bought my beloved CR-V seven years ago. It was, hands-down, the most pleasant car buying experience of my life. We paid about $400 over dealer invoice, IIRC. I went online, plugged in some info, including the car I wanted and where I lived, and a dealer nearby contacted me. No fuss, no muss, and we had the almighty Costco at our back. It was fast sale for the dealer, and a hassle-free purchase for us as buyers. We went down and test-drove the car, just like we would for any other car purchase, but the price was the price. Period. Sweet, huh?

I've been hoarding "Get Some" for a day when 1) I have time to give it the proper focus and 2) I could read it on something besides my iPhone. Today is probably not that day, but I'm going to format and ship it off to my Kindle and there it will be, waiting for me when I have the perfect moment to read it! Thanks for the reminder!