daeseage: Jade napping, using Bec as a pillow; from the webcomic Homestuck (Default)
I think my New Year's Resolution each year for the past few years has been to keep better records -- a planner, a journal, a budget. Anything, really. And yet again this year I am attempting to journal. We'll see how it goes. Feelings don't really belong here, in public, where people might read them, but longer updates and things can be fun to write, so I shall try to keep better track of them.

For the record, today is January 3rd, 2013, I haven't posted since July, I finished my undergraduate career several weeks ago, and I am attempting to stave off boredom, now that the holidays are over and there is still another week minimum before I will start working. In the last week, I attended several performances of the Reno Chamber Orchestra's annual Nevada Chamber Music Festical with EB, finished Rose Macaulay's "The Towers of Trebizond" and Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter's "The Long Earth", and didn't mail off thank you cards or finish very belated Christmas presents for my sisters and EB. I should maybe work on that...

I think I've really enjoyed the holidays this year, although there has been the looming worry of un/underemployment hanging over my head since about October. That's when things started to unravel, as my dad was avoiding me after coming out, midterms were picking up, EB was getting sick, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I ended up quitting rugby after spraining my ankle on Halloween at practice, and I'm still glad and sorry that I did so -- I was starting to make friends, and now I will have to start all over again with another group. But that's okay, since that's one of my Resolutions!

By Thanksgiving, I was practically in a panic -- sister the younger was having issues at home with my dad and in danger of failing some classes, and I was stressing about possibly moving her up here for her last semester and never being able to go home again. My dad still wasn't speaking to me, so the plan to go home for the long weekend to dogsit and keep him company while sister 2 and my mom were at a soccer tournament was scrapped, as was going back to the seed company, since I wouldn't have any place to live while I got settled. I ended up sleeping most of it and eating some of EB's family's Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. I don't know how she handles not being out to them and their apparent craziness. My family does some infuriating things sometimes, but I couldn't handle them not loving me for who I was. Even my dad's silent treatment was more him trying to process things, and the rest of my family has been incredibly supportive. I knew that graduating would be a surefire way to prove that I am still who I have always been and to make him proud, and I did barely scrape this semester together with straight Ds, and he did start calling again and everyone but sister 1 who is stuck in New York came up for graduation and went out to lunch and met EB and now I feel like I have a family again for sure.

Maybe that's why Christmas at home was such a relief.

And there I go, calling it home again, when it's not really. I only spent 4 days there, and yet I was itching to be back in Reno, where I belong, before we even got Christmas dinner on the table. I missed the quiet of my apartment and curling up with EB and all of the little things that I've become to used to. I left her my keys, since my roommates were out of town with their families so she could sleep somewhere safe and quiet and warm between overtime shifts, and she was there when I returned on the 26th, and that was like coming home. She then spent the best part of the last week staying at my apartment, and it felt so right. She found a house in midtown that we're going to look at soon. Together. To live in. The both of us. Together. I am so excited I could about burst!

The last few years have been nervewracking, and I don't really expect 2013 to be a walk in the park, but the first few hours of the New Year were some of the best of my life, and I think that makes for a really auspicious start! Here's to a new home, new friends, and a new job in the New Year!
daeseage: (bunp)
Earlier this week a coworker of my mother's gave her half a flat of apricots from a family friend who runs a local orchard. In the interests of actually consuming all the apricots before they went horribly bad in all sorts of interesting and unusual ways, we thought we'd try making preserves! Only neither my mother nor I have ever done any sort of canning at all. Ever. And to top it off, our go-to recipe book didn't have an apricot-specific recipe.

Which meant improvisation time! It turned out all right, so here are some step-by-step instructions for a pretty tasty sort-of freezer apricot jam!

clicky-here for humorous guidelines )

About 6 hours after finishing, I checked the pop button-thing on the glass jars in the freezer, and they seem to have sealed alright with no cracks! In the interests of testing before releasing this to the internet at large, I tried some of the jam in the fridge on some coconut butter crackers that have been lying around, challenging me. It's still pretty runny, sort of the consistency of honey (we leave ours on the counter year-round, so ymmv), but I think it might thicken after being in the fridge longer. Perhaps the pectin shouldn't have been heated? It's pretty delicious anyway -- albeit very sweet -- and passes as a cracker/toast spread! If anyone has canning/preserving tips I would love to hear them! -- my tomatoes will be ripe soon, and there are going to be more than I can possibly give away!
daeseage: (DOWN WITH THIS)

[livejournal.com profile] pectinouscube just let me know about an artist friend of theirs in need of some funds to pay for a new tablet pen and her school tuition. The offer is $20 for a very pretty, colored digital sketch (no background/full-body sketches; see the banner above for examples). [tumblr.com profile] xiiau's got some gorgeous pictures up on her tumblr and deviantart that you should totally go check out. Right now! For more details or to commission Xiiau see her post on tumblr. Although she's accepting payments through paypal, I understand that she'd rather discuss the commission first through tumblr. Now if I can only decide what I'd like to ask for/determine if I can afford something... =/

As added incentive (as if the artwork alone wasn't enough!), [tumblr.com profile] pigeonsoup is offering free prints/buttons/paper crafted piece of your own work if you commission Xiiau. I'd also like to offer short-ish recordings of podfic (or the phonebook. Whatevs.) if you're able to commission her. Or a recording of any length if you're able to track down a replacement Intuos4 pen that can be sent to Hungary (or the equivalent in donations/commissions). [I'll take care of any author negotiations if it's not your own work or by someone who has given blanket permission.]

daeseage: Jade napping, using Bec as a pillow; from the webcomic Homestuck (cuddle times)
A tribute to an amazing grandmother )
daeseage: (wizard party time)

Title: ThEy CaN FiX mE PrOpEr WiTh A bIt Of LuCk :o(
Fandom: Homestuck
Text: AO3
Author: [tumblr.com profile] rainbowbarnacle
Reader: [personal profile] daeseage
Rating: PG (by author, for content. Be warned, however, that Karkat and Gamzee have two of the foulest mouths in any universe.)
Length: 00:19:35; 18 MB
Summary: In which Gamzee falls victim to food poisoning and Karkat has to do some quick thinking in order to help pay the bills on time. Another bit of fluff set in Emily Hu's 4Chords AU.

Mediafire Download

Points: 5+2+10+10+0=27

I first recorded this back around New Year's, when I was sick as a dog with some foul kennel cough my sister brought back with her from basic training. I wanted podfic to keep me company so bad (and I'd been reading my favorite sickfics on repeat), I sat down and read through the whole thing using just the built-in speaker on my laptop in the middle of the night. I'm pretty sure I was feverish, and ought to have been in bed, asleep. This copy, riddled with coughs and nigh unintelligible from feedback and a poorly placed, overworked fan noise, is no longer among the living. Sometime later in January I re-read the whole thing, this time after unearthing an actual microphone and with fewer coughs, although I guess it was when my ears were still wonky because the pacing is totally overcompensating for the fact that I had to concentrate waaaaaay too hard on the enunciation. I still think that it's a bit too slow (and I just realized that I can hear the clock ticking in the background at the beginning. *headdesk*), but hopefully that's alright. =]

I have a bunch of favorite parts in this fic (*cough*thewholedamnthing*cough*), but I had to keep re-doing Gamzee's lines because every time I tried them, I'd bust out laughing. I mean really. Motherfucking Prego.

I would also like to recommend that you don't do the bulk of your editing while sitting in a crowded Starbucks with peppy jazz playing in the house speakers. It's distracting, to say the least. =T

Crossposts: fillapod; amplificathon; [tumblr.com profile] homestuckpodfic

As usual, please leave any feedback you have in the comments! I would really love to hear your opinion of the recording, especially areas for improvement!

daeseage: (fuck!)

So over at [livejournal.com profile] fillapod we're working on assembling a most righteous podfic of Broadcaste System and Quadrant Queries, full-cast style. In the interests of expediting the assembly process, I spent all morning recording the narration for the first couple chapters, then playing hooky from physics at Peet's working on editing in [livejournal.com profile] themuffinator3's Dave and Tavros lines recorded last year. Only to realize, when nearly done with the chapter, that I'd forgotten a line. Grargh. I was guess I was laughing so hard at the line about the Low Rider cowbell intro (which took about 17 takes, I swear, because I could not manage it with a straight face/voice) that I accidentally deleted the line before it. Now I have to try to either match the missing line, or redo the whole chapter. Luckily it's less than 5 minutes of narration for the chapter, but it's an entire morning of editing, wasted, and I was planning to work on Unfolding (which I am reeeally behind on. I wanted all the reading done by now) and ThEy CaN FiX mE PrOpEr WiTh A bIt Of LuCk :o( (which I just got permision from [tumblr.com profile] rainbowbarnacle to post!). =[

On the plus side, I did swing by Barnes and Noble on the way home and pick up a couple books. =D I read some of "The Garden Primer" by Barbara Damrosch last year when I was first planning out the garden, and I've wanted to read "Battle Royale" for ages, so I'm really excited!!

Bonus picture of Ranger being totally pathetic because I'm dicking around on the computer and not playing with him. =O )

daeseage: (bunp)

This has been one of the most interesting weekends I've had in a while: my parents and sisters were out of town for a soccer tournament in Las Vegas so I had the whole place to myself for the long weekend. Well, myself and three dogs and a cat. All of whom are very needy individuals. =]

Let's take a look at the poor choices I made, shall we? )

if you'd just like some poly fic recs, start here )

daeseage: nepeta (homestuck) wearing equius's broken sunglasses (STRONG glasses)

I would like to return from several weeks of silence to bring you this important PSA, courtesy of everyone's favorite [tumblr.com profile] vastderp/Luka on behalf of the awesometastic [tumblr.com profile] rainbowbarnacle. It's important, yo, but I'm going to guess that most of you have already seen the backstory floating around tumblr, so you can skip on past Luka's orginal post if you want. Feel free to catch up if you need to!

Read more... )

RainbowBarnacle has written some of my very favorite works in the Homestuck fandom, and her work on [tumblr.com profile] brainbent has been nothing short of awesome. (Oh the love I have for her Gamzee!!). She's going through some crazy stuff right now, and I want to help out as much as possible with PROJECT LESBISNATCH, and there's only so much I can afford to send (sometime in the near future, when funds clear. =/ ). SO, here's what I'm going to do:

You send funds (whatever you can spare!) via PayPal, to the appropriate party at tattooedbum@gmail.com, and let me know in the comments/via e-mail/telepathy that this has happened. And then I will read you thing(s) of your choice!! Podfic is love, right? You pick your fandom and pick your story, and I'll try my damnedest to take care of things like Characterization and Author Permissions. Please keep in mind, though, that things on the shorter side (if you feel like counting, <1500 words is ideal -- the longer your pick, the longer it will take to get to you!!) and not too graphic (busy house & little sister) will be easiest for me, but you're the boss, and I can't think of anything that's really too squicky when it's for a good cause! =D

Hell, I'll read you the entire restaurants listings in my local phone book or the PROJECT LESBISNATCH: LET’S STEAL THE DYKLERATION OF INDEPENDENCE as quoted above if that's what you really want. And you'll get your very own shiny "Read For: GENEROUS YOU" tag in the intro to the reading. (If you want. That shit's tooooooootally optional.)

"But daeseage!", you ask, "you can barely keep up with all the grand plans you already have! How're you gonna swing this??"

The answer, lovely, generous reader, is that where doing it man

where making this hapen

That's what.

daeseage: Jade napping, using Bec as a pillow; from the webcomic Homestuck (Default)

Well, there's still technically a few minutes left of Friday in my timezone, so here's a quick Five to keep me on track.

  1. I finally got to release my very first podfic, and the author, vulturer, seems to really like it. =] I know I shouldn't be so proud, but I totally am. Mostly because they really liked it, and Star, Heart, Horseshoe is one of my very favorite fics. I'm working right now on a Big Bang Theory short series by shinysylver, and trying to decide which fic I'm going to try to get permission for for the Podfic Big Bang. Soooo excted!!
  2. I finally got my prereqs cleared for physics at the community college! Yay me!! Unfortunately the last seat was filled while I was waiting, but I'm confident that someone will drop or I can get an override. I NEED this class!
  3. Since it's already Saturday here now, the rest of these are going to be recs. Please click the links, and I hope you love them as much as I do!!

  4. "Frontierstuck", by ShinjiShazaki. It is pretty much just amazing, with Rose and Kanaya being badass flighty broads, and crossover crazyness with some Full Metal Alchemist-style alchemy. I first found it searching for podfic (the author has recorded the first few chapters, and you can find them here, here, and here. It is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!
  5. "With the Door Wide Open, No One Can Leave", by angerliz. I can still hardly believe how invested in this one I was. It's Jade, Rose, and Kanaya (with the rest as support floating in the background and generally being secondary-awesome) after the game. This was written for Ladystuck, and as such includes cannon through the latest intermission as history, if you're worried about spoilers. I think I can best describe it as fluffy sadstuck, without giving too much away. And that makes it the very best kind of sadstuck!
  6. Last one for today is "A very Important Day", by cambion. It's a Dave/John fic, and it's really rather remarkable the shear number of fics about he two of them, since I don't really ship it. I mean I do, in the sense that I don't not ship it, but if pressed I would have to say that I don't really see the two of them working out together. THAT SAID there are some abso-bally-lutely fantastic Dave/John fics out there, and this is the most heartbreaking of them all. If you've read Brodad's "Rings", I honestly think this one may top it for shear, aching, totally perfect, there's-nothing-else-I-can-do-about-it levels of sad. =[ Normally I'm all about the lighthearted fluff and the crazy-intricate plot-based fics, but this is an absolutely incredible Dave character-study, and you should go read it right now. Seriously, stop reading this journal entry and click links.

Why are you still here????

daeseage: eridan (from Homestuck) with a fly-away shirt shouting "Why Am I So Perfect?" (perfect eridan)

I hope you like alliteration as much as I do. =]

Cut for a couple large-ish photos. )

daeseage: .gif of WV from homestuck dancing around in his mayor's sash (mr. mayor)

Title: star, heart, horseshoe
Author: vulturer
Reader: [personal profile] daeseage
Fandom: Homestuck
Pairing: Equius Zahak/Jade Harley/Nepeta Leijon
Rating: General
Length: 0:07:35; 6.96 MB
Link: Mediafire
Summary: Adventure Log, Day 13: today they swam in a lake.

This is my very first podfic, and I could really use whatever sort of feedback you can give me!! There's a serious dearth of Homestuck podfic, and I hope that other folks decide to get into this. =]

I'm also crossposting to [community profile] amplificathon and [livejournal.com profile] amplificathon.

daeseage: Jade napping, using Bec as a pillow; from the webcomic Homestuck (Default)

First order of business for today is a progress update on Megan's blanket. I'm having a lot of fun working on it, actually. I thought it would be really repetitive to work on such a large project, and it is, a little, but I actually like how the simple pattern lets me focus on other stuff, like reading fics or concentrating on an audiobook/podfic. I'm about 40% done, and just checked out a recording of Neil deGrasse Tyson's "The Pluto Files", so wish me luck!

Here's a photo for you:
Baby Blanket for Megan

The other big thing for today was the tantrum that H threw when I was at work. As mentioned, he has preschool in the mornings, and by the time I get there at 2pm I think it is just too much to ask that he sit and focus on things. I need some fun projects that will keep him awake and involved. I may also speak with his mom about coming a bit later so that he has time to take a nap; his mom says that he doesn't usually sleep during the day, but he's only 5, and I think he really needs one!

Hell, some days I need a nap! =]

Does anyone have any tips for working with preschoolers? This is all really new to me, and I think it's especially tricky in that I'm working at his home, with his mom present, and although he will chatter on and be super talkative in Arabic, I don't have a clue what he's saying 3/4 of the time, and just guess at how the converstation should continue in English. I want to play pretend, which is what I usually did with the kids I babysat for in high school, but I don't know how to go about that, what with the language barrier an' all. Halp?

daeseage: Jade napping, using Bec as a pillow; from the webcomic Homestuck (cuddle times)

The last month has been one of the most hectic in a while. There was the near break-down in mid-December, related to finals, the knowledge that I was failing classes, and the fear of not being able to pay for school and living expenses, etc. In the course of 36 hours I made the decision to withdraw from school and move back home for a little while. Although it was kind of ridiculously rash in retrospect, the relief that I felt at being able to shuck a few responsibilities, namely a full course-load and club leadership, was tangible, and honestly the best and least-stressed that I'd felt in weeks. I still had to coordinate moving home with my mom and get through explaining my apparent temporary failure to my dad, but everyone seems glad to have me home, and I'm soooo glad to be here. I miss Reno, and I miss my friends, and I miss some of the independence that I had living on my own, but this seems to be the right choice for me.

I've picked up a couple hours tutoring ESL to a pre-schooler who just moved back to the states from Egypt, and it's really interesting, and a lot of fun!! I'd never really thought of myself as a teacher, and I know that I don't get along with kids as well as my middle sister does (she's got some magic charm where she can get them to do pretty much anything, and they adore her for it. It works on a lot of adults, too. =/ ), but my student seems to like me well enough, and he's learning really quickly! I would actually like to spend more time with him, but his parents enrolled him and his little brother in a Montessori preschool, and really want him to get used to hanging out with other kids his age in a school environment. I still want to go to grad school and be a research Biologist, but I'm leaning more and more towards getting my teaching creditial when I settle somewhere and maybe spending a few years as a middle/high school science teacher. I have this fantasy where if I ever get together with EB, she'll go off to be her wonderful film-library self, and I can follow along to look after the house and make sure that she sleeps enough every night. I think I could do that as a teacher.

And this is where I do a 2X FACEPALM COMBO for being a romantic sap where people I know aren't looking, because I haven't even talked to the woman in a week, and I don't know if she even still wants to be friends. =/ It's totally my fault for not responding to a text last Saturday, but I was sick and had to take care of New Year's fireworks-panicked dogs, and then spent nearly all of last Sunday sick in bed with the worst headache I've had in years. I could have started up the conversation Monday, but I made the excuse that I had to help S pack up and get ready to go back to the army. And Tuesday she texted me to say she got my package, but I was too wrapped up in worrying about my interview and nervousness at talking again that I didn't respond. Wednesday I stared at my phone and went to work, and Thursday I hung out with Chloe and talked about Ladystuck and shared the best works that we've found so far. Friday, I worried some more, but decided that it was time to start in earnest on the housework I decided I'd put myself in charge of as part of compensation for living at home rent-free; I also got a text from EB saying she sent me the package of mix-CDs she'd been putting together since I left Reno. (OK, so maybe she does want to be friends...) and I made goulash for dinner. It was really good, too! Today I sent a her a "sorry I'm a moron" text explaining my tendency to panic over interrupted correspondence (I am the QUEEN of whatever nonsensical panic kingdom, which is why I rarely maintain friendships with people when we stop seeing each other regularly). I haven't heard back, but I'm going to try to keep my end of it up this time.

In other news, as mentioned above I've decided that I'm going to make an effort to keep the house and yard nice. Part of this includes a couple of large projects, like reseeding the back lawn and getting the garden ready for planting. Other parts include daily things like staying on top of the laundry (it's amazing the amount of laundry four people can produce!!) and the dishes. I also want to keep my room and bathroom neat. The latter may be more difficult since I share it with my youngest sister; she's a good kid, but she likes to look nice, and sometimes the counter looks like a hurricane ripped through when she's done getting ready in the morning. I also want to visit my grandma more often, finish a baby blanket for an old friend who's due in April, knit a whole bunch of things for a whole bunch of other people, participate in the [community profile] podficbigbang, do more podficcing in general, get an A in physics (although first I have to jump through flaming hoops at the community college and UNR to prove my prereqs and actually register for the damned class), and not go crazy being back in my hometown. It helps that I've got my own room this time around (my granmother's old room) and have my own space for the first time in about forever. All in all,. I'm looking forward to this year and this term, and I really hope that I can keep my stuff together this time so I can graduate next December and get my grown-up show on the road!



Friday Five

Nov. 4th, 2011 10:45 am
daeseage: Jade napping, using Bec as a pillow; from the webcomic Homestuck (Default)
Remember how excited I was to be all caught up on everything a couple weeks ago?

Yeah, me neither.

In the interests of brevity, let's just jump straight into the 5.

1. The last Friday of October is a holiday here in Nevada, so I took the chance to visit my best friend in LA.  It was so much fun!  I got to see the California Science Center on the USC campus; take LA public transportation for the first time; meet a bunch of her friends; go to a lesbian night club (where I got danced on before I was drunk enough to deal with new people, and had a very close call with a panic attack -- yay crowds and strobe lights!  I make a terrible queer. =/ ); drove to Sea World (which was kinda neat!); and got to go to the Santa Monica beach just before I left.  I had so much fun, and I got to see the bestest best friend ever!  (She is also my moirail, so step back, y'all.)

2.  The downside to having a weekend of fun and not quite debauchery is that I fell behind on everything.  Most of it wasn't too bad to catch up on, but I just can't manage physics.  Lectures are at 8 am, and the exam this morning was the first time I've been since before the last exam (which I slept through).  I crammed last night, and feel so-so about the exam.  I just have to try harder on the remaining two!  If I get at least a B on both of those, I should be peachy keen.  The high A in the lab, helps, too. (I've got the best lab partner EVER.  I so wish he'd been in my other labs!)

3. It's about the time of the semester to be starting on all my independent projects/term papers/etc., and I'm really looking forward to the one in my ecology lab!  Sunday my group is going to go out to the University Station Farm, and walk up into the hills North and West of it, to (drumroll please!) collect wild horse dung!  Well, what we actually want are the seeds that may or may not be contained in the horse fecal matter -- we're looking at whether or not wild horses contribute to seed dispersal.  Personally I think that this would be a better summer study, and it completely overlooks things like sticker burrs and goatsheads that will stick to the coat, but aren't likely to be eaten and pass through the horse's digestive system intact.  But still, SCIENCE!  I'll let you know how it goes. =]

4. As some of you may know...the End of Act 5 flash animation was posted last week! I know I'm a bit behind the curve on gushing about it, but it was (is!) fantastic.  Personally I think that it makes a lot more sense after reading the 4-part explantions Andrew Hussie posted on his tumblr, but it's still a delight to the eyes and ears.  I'm working my way back through the archives, and boy does it take a while! I think I'm in Act 3 right now; Jades's just been introduced, and I love her so much!  Okay, time to step away from the exclamation points...

5. Because I couldn't let you run away from Homestuck just yet (seriously, why would you even try?!), I'd like to plug one of my favorite AU's: Brainbent.  It's a Humanstuck, where everyone is either a resident or employee of The St. Lobaf Residential Treatment Center (LoBaF = Land of Brains and Fire; the author reeeeallly loves Sollux).  My favorite thing about it? (Well, besides everything.) It's run by LUKA DELANEY!  That's right, folks, author/draw-er dude of my very first favorite web comic, Kagerou.  So go check it out -- it's not like you were doing anything else, right?
daeseage: Jade napping, using Bec as a pillow; from the webcomic Homestuck (Default)
I got this idea from Sarah Dessen (one of my favorite YA authors, whose blog I may or may not subscribe to via RSS so I haven't missed a post in 4 years...).  I figure I may not be able to justify writing something as often as I would like, but 5 items every Friday shouldn't be too bad, right?
Anyway, here goes:

1.  I'm getting back on track with all my school stuff, and it feels sooooo great.  I let myself get behind, blaming the con and then being sick, and it was wrong and it was lazy, and while I enjoyed catching up on the Homestuck and Sherlock fandoms (oh I nerrrrd so hard) it's been seriously detrimental to my actual, required productivity.  I've let a few more assignments than I really should have slide, but I'm able to pretty much start fresh right now, just in time for midterms so I should be okay. =]

2.  My grandma's in the hospital after an MS flare-up and some really bad eating/self-medicating choices, and I'm really worried about her.  I'm driving home this weekend to go see her (when depends on whether not someone can take over my shift tonight.  Stupid homecoming bonfire.).  I can't really afford it, and my mom says she'll probably be fine, but I'd never forgive myself if she took a turn for the worse and I didn't take an opportunity to see her.  If anyone knows any nice florists in the Sacramento Area please let me know so I can pick up something pretty for her on my way there.  Otherwise it's Raley's flowers.  I'm also thinking of trying to find some Rita Mae Brown or Poirot audiobooks at the library.  I'm pretty sure the local one has some; I just hope they're not on the wrong side of the county!

3.  S is doing better at Basic Training, and I'm so happy that she's coping better.  I haven't heard from her directly, but she called home again this past Sunday and my mom played relay and updated me on her letters.  I wish the one that she said she sent me would come -- it's been almost 2 weeks!  I want to know what she thinks of His Dark Materials.

4.  I updated my iPhone to iOS 5 the other day, and I actually really like it!  I don't watch videos through iTunes very often so the the split of music and videos doesn't affect me much (I may change my mind if I ever put those genetics and ecology video lectures from iTunesU back on, but meh.)  I really like the addition of the Reminders app -- I'm awesome at ignoring To-Do lists, but this one is always right there, and items slide right off once I check them, so there's not a horrid mess of crossed-out words obscuring the remaining tasks.  I wish that Apple would allow you to remove stock apps that you have no use for, though.  I have no use for Stocks, GameCenter, Compass, or Notes, and I just want them to go away!  It's not like there couldn't be a stored copy in iTunes in case I ever changed my mind.

5.  I have read an incredible number of fabulous Homestuck fan fiction in the last couple weeks, and I'd really like to pimp a few of my favorites:

Not What We Planned On by elemental is a great post-SBURB fic!  I love the characterization, especially the interactions between characters.  It's fairly lighthearted at first, but shit has just started to hit the fan in the last couple updates.  For anyone who likes podfics, she's planning to record the whole thing, and has snippets of chapters available to listen to here.  It's up to 6/14 chapters and already 70,000+ words long, so you've been warned!
Actually, that's the only one I'm going to rec this week, because I really want you to go read it!  It's rated Teen for language, and for those of you concerned about these things, there are a couple ships, but it honestly only adds to the story, even if they're not your ships. =]