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Managing Editor. Organized Play Member. 549 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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John Woodford wrote:
Judy Bauer wrote:

For some reason I've been reading lots of pairs of books lately.

Nalo Hopkinson: Skin Folk and Midnight Robber
Victor LaValle: The Changeling and The Ballad of Black Tom
....
How was The Changeling? I very much enjoyed TBoBT.

I quite liked it, and kept being surprised by its twists and turns. :-)

Now reading Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, which is too gripping for reading before bed! At some point I realized it was 1am, switched to Herodotus (my insomnia standby), and was out by the second screen.

Next up is Akata Warrior (the sequel to Akata Witch), which just came out!

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3 people marked this as a favorite.

I am so excited to have all these excellent people on our team—they're super sharp and a pleasure to work with!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

For some reason I've been reading lots of pairs of books lately.
Nalo Hopkinson: Skin Folk and Midnight Robber
Victor LaValle: The Changeling and The Ballad of Black Tom
Helen Oyeyemi: What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours and White Is for Witching

And for something completely different...
Marie Kondo: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up
(We're now mid-purge; we've offloaded a bunch of chaff and have found a number of useful things we'd forgotten we had! Also, Spark Joy unexpectedly has solid advice on maintaining your home emergency kit.)

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9. In addition to washing your hands frequently, carry and use hand sanitizer.

10. Bring layers! The high will be in the 60s the first two days of the con, and even inside, the level of AC can vary wildly between rooms.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Pizza Lord wrote:
I think the item's purpose is to allow the use of the Profession (beekeeper) skill by giving you a believable way to be tending bees as you move around and are offering your services to farmers and herbalists and such by allowing your bees to pollinate their crops and plants rather than as a honey-production method, similar to how a herder or farmer would...

This, plus occasional bee-swarm combat mayhem. ;-)

Regarding production, for a beehive staying in one place, a one-basket hive could produce... maybe 20–40 pounds of honey plus 2–4 pounds of wax in a year, depending on conditions. (You could maybe supplement that with specialty products like propolis.) Not bad!

BUT...
• Most of that honey is needed to feed the bees during the winter, unless you're ok with replacing your colony in the spring.
• Opening your hive with any frequency makes the bees less productive; they spend more energy on defending the hive and less on foraging. (In modern beekeeping they recommend monthly check-ins.)
• Your hive is also less productive if you're traveling—you'll have to seal the bees inside so they can't forage while you're on the move or they won't find you when they return from foraging, plus unsupported comb is susceptible to damage from bumps and jolts.

Tl;dr: It'd take a lot of traveling hives to support you if you're trying to model the real world.

All that said, it's more important to make beekeeping a fun and viable profession for your character than to accurately model real-world beekeeping—let that be your guide. :-)

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Rosgakori wrote:
Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indriðason.

Based on your recommendation, I borrowed several of his books from the library, got this one first, and forgot to check where it was in the series—last.

Spoiler:
Wow, talk about full-circle endings! Best read next to a fire, burrowed under a blanket.

Back-tracking to The Draining Lake now, with Hypothermia following on its heels.

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Provenance, by Ann Leckie—set in the Imperial Radch universe, but in another human society with three genders. Great world-building, lots of heist and intrigue elements, and numerous queer characters!

Kingfisher by Patricia McKillip, an urban fantasy blend of the Mabinogion and Parzival—the setting has a lot of PNW flavor, and there's so much talk about good food!

Also reread Patricia McKillip's Riddle Master Trilogy, with much paging back and forth this time to cross-check revelations, which made it much more satisfying.

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4 people marked this as a favorite.

After a brief sojourn in the homeland, it's a pleasure to be enjoying Seattle's drizzly, low-40s (both high and low) weather. Also adding to my displeasure with the homeland, I recycled a book on Disney promoting the gay agenda that my sister's caregiver snuck into her book stash (fortunately, there was zero chance of my sister reading it anyway). I guess I should be glad said caregiver is perfectly friendly to me and my wife in person? But ugh.

On the other hand, I DO recommend Ann Leckie's new book Provenance, which has a ton of queer and genderqueer characters. (It's set in the same universe as the Imperial Radch trilogy, but stands alone fairly well.)

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7 people marked this as a favorite.
David knott 242 wrote:


And even if they meet the homosexual couple, if the party and the merchants that they are dealing with stick to business and no personal life issues are brought up, how would the party even know that they have met a homosexual couple?

"Hon, could you please grab that potion from the back room while I get the rest of these fine heroes' purchases tallied up?"

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm playing a noncombat mechanic, and my stealth drone has been working out great—not only for scouting, but also for breaking into facilities and hacking systems while my underarmored and -armed character hides a safe distance away. The Int penalty hurts, but not as bad as my character's terrible Stealth would.

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5 people marked this as a favorite.

So glad to hear from you, Cindy! That's rough news, though—my thoughts are with you. :-(

Unrelatedly, for everyone: Please check your phone and see if it has an option to set an emergency contact (ICE) on your lock screen. If so, set one! That way if something happens (or even if you just drop your phone while running for the bus or whatever), EMTs or a helpful bystander can alert your loved ones. (Spoiler: All involved are now safe and sound, but I was sure glad to get that call.)

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Reading Rebel Mother: My Childhood Chasing the Revolution by Peter Andreas, an amazing true tale of family dysfunction and leftist international politics of the late 20th century. I'm enjoying it, but am glad to have been spoilered in advance that...

Spoiler:
everyone in the family survives the main period covered by the book (the book's frame is that the eponymous mother had recently passed away, but of natural causes at age 71).

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11 people marked this as a favorite.

My wife is a proponent of Habitica for the same purpose. Since playing games like that don't work for me, we've worked out some goals where she gets points for me doing things. (While I'm not personally motivated by points, I am motivated by her clear satisfaction at earning them.) In the same discussion, she also asked me what habits I wanted her to work on. We've found that each targeting a couple behaviors that bug the other person has helped reduce frustration and nagging and generally had a disproportionately positive effect on our relationship. :P

Three cheers for support systems that enable and reinforce success!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

For folks in Seattle, the Twist queer film festival is coming in mid-October! I strongly recommend I Dream in Another Language, which I saw at SIFF. Looking forward to an enjoyable evening browsing through the other offerings (though the films with knitting and luchadors seem like strong contenders)!

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Recently finished: Turn Right at Machu Picchu (spoiler: farmers were living at the site when Hiram Bingham "discovered" it; also, the Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu is appallingly overpriced) and The Bridge at San Luis Rey (he didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition!).

In progress: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (recommended by numerous friends as professional development) and The Fire of Peru, which I can't read for too long at once or I get too hungry!

Next up: The Subversive Copy Editor and ongoing browsing of Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tinalles wrote:
The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin, sequel to The Fifth Season and the Obelisk Gate.

Aha, THAT was the series I meant to recommend to a friend who enjoys disaster fiction, but left off my list. Thanks for the reminder! ^_^

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

A hard copy of Station Eleven arrived at the library just as I finished the third volume of the Chronicles of Alsea, so I've switched gears to mostly reading that, reserving the fourth volume of the Chronicles for kindle/insomnia reading.

Saved for the future: Newsflesh 3.2: How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea (conservationists fighting zombie wildlife in Australia!)

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

I loved these books so much. The themes of colonialism, minority rights, de facto slavery, complacency/unwillingness to rock the boat of those in power (rather than monolithic evil), etc. run through all three, getting more overtly central in books 2 & 3. I got the same feeling as Davia D that those two books felt more like two halves of a whole with the first book standing on its own more.

I also really enjoyed the notion of a music-obsessed ship AI using her ancillaries as a choir (and successfully got One Thousand Eggs stuck in Sutter's head :D). And it was unexpectedly relaxing to read sci fi that wasn't a dudefest—other than a couple characters who are gendered via in-world translation into languages with grammatical gender, you're free to imagine people as you will, and the physical descriptions of characters almost entirely support that.

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3 people marked this as a favorite.

Between SIFF and Pridefest, we saw the following:

Check It: Documentary about what is possibly the first ever LGBTQ gang, formed by kids in the DC projects for self defense. I have not felt my privilege so hard in years.

Forever Pure: Documentary about a Jerusalem soccer team backed by far right nationalistic fans; the team's Russian war criminal owner hires two Muslim Chechen players. Spoiler: It does not go well, though no one ultimately dies.

I Dream in Another Language: My favorite of the bunch, a magical realism-style film about a linguist trying to reconcile the last two speakers of a dying language, who haven't spoken in decades. Beautiful and heartbreaking and funny story.

Mr. Long: The unexpected marriage of Tampopo and a hardcore gangster film, it had both a shockingly high body count for a cooking film and a surprising about of heartwarming interactions with wacky and intrusive but sincere neighbors for a gangster film.

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All my library holds came at once! Looking for something lighter, I sped through The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones (finished by her sister Ursula Jones). I didn't realize until I got to the end that it was completed by another author, which is a mark of success—helped in this case by them having grown up telling stories together and Ursula being a playwright in her own right.

Next was Kalpa Imperial: The Greatest Empire That Never Was by Angélica Gorodischer (translated by Ursula K. Le Guin), which is all lyrical and episodic and sometimes inexplicable and whose stories are bookended by humorous heckling of the audience by the storyteller-narrator.

Now on to Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee as a refresher of the Ninefox Gambit universe before the sequel, Raven Stratagem, comes out in July!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

mechaPoet wrote:

Glad to hear that it sounds like you're feeling alright, John.

I'm headed up to Seattle today to hang out with a friend this weekend. Anybody have any good suggestions for what to do while I'm up there?

Consider hitting up some of Three Dollar Bill Cinema's free Pridefest film showings!

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2 people marked this as a favorite.
Anetra wrote:
The only downside to this was actually caused by a combination of the unexpected late start + one of my games being left off of the posted schedule outside the Cascade rooms; as it wasn't listed, a group of people quite reasonably assumed the table was vacant and open for pickup games, so my players and I all showed up at 2:00 with no table.

Potential approach that might help: "reserved" signs for tables with event times listed on them. *adds to feedback list*

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These are great—and tough—questions. Keep 'em coming! We'll also set aside time during the panel for additional audience questions if folks think of anything else at the last minute. ^_^

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

Aviso: If you're down with drip coffee, you can get free refills all day next to the coffee kiosk.

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Hey folks, I know luggage space is tight with all the books and maps and minis and lucky dice, but I'm planning on bringing some yarn I just destashed to give away, and if anyone else brings extras, we can have a full-on swap. ^_^ Looking forward to seeing what everyone's working on!

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Managing Transitions, which has turned out to be both unexpectedly timely and extremely useful. :-(

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7 people marked this as a favorite.

Best farewell gift: giving us a glimpse of the best of ourselves and each other. Thank you, Wes!
#TotallyNotTeary #PokerFaceDefintelyIntact

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James Sutter wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:

Psst... minor correction: Kostchek

Fun fact: It's only Kostchek in the core book because we told Judy, "Dude, regardless of how awesome it is, we can't have a shirren named Kostchtchie in the core rulebook." :D

In fact: Kostchtch! Kostchtch has no regrets about their choice of name... though they might had some cultural misunderstandings about humans' ancient history. *waves appropriate arms dismissively*

Also, if you think shirren courtship is complicated, consider sedoretu, and the Oankali.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


System has been cleaned, with dust found in places that I didn't even know dust could *get into*.

This can happen with your dryer, too, and as our neighbor learned, can start fires. :-/ (Spoiler: They caught it really fast, so injuries or major damage, but scary.) If your dryer seems wimpy (often the first sign), get it delinted!

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6 people marked this as a favorite.
Uncle Teddy's Bear, Fred wrote:
* lets out a might roar to banish all the darkness, negativity, and general badness away *

Now I'm mentally recasting My Neighbor Totoro with bears. Thank you! :D

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2 people marked this as a favorite.
Andrew Hoskins wrote:
Run by... LZP? Or yourself?

There are not enough exclamation points to express Linda's delight when she learned of this event. :D

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Selene Spires wrote:

Yeah...I am probably getting too paranoid...it is not like my parents have ever gone through my mail before.

I will order then online Thursday if I can not find them.

If ordering from B&N, you can also have books sent to your local store. (And if the system still works like it did 10+ years ago, contact details for orders placed through the store did not have to be verified in any way—people would sometimes order books as J. Doe + fake phone number and pay in cash to preserve their privacy.)

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just finished Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee, which was EXCELLENT. Dystopian space opera, with surreal future warfare shown from both the command level and the boots-on-the-ground level, that has great character development, humanization of the lives touched (whether friend or foe), multiple queer characters, queerness presented as no big deal, and actual gender balance (!!!). And special bonus dark humor.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Don Juan de Doodlebug wrote:
Oh, the book is Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi.

Hold placed! Also now waiting on The Kingdom of Gods, because I forgot the rule of ordering sequels when you get the book before, at the latest.

Btw, Comrade, there was a convo of "dubious historical merit" with a Communist taxi driver in The Shadow of the Wind about the state of Stalin's health, which made a pleasant comedic break from people being beaten in the street by Franco's police while neighbors look on in guilty fear from their doorways.

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Turns out being in flu-recovery mode for me means sitting around reading for hours. Read The Counterfeit Madam and The Fourth Crow by Pat McIntosh (1490s murder-mysteries set in Glasgow). Best read with internet access to decode the Scots dialect terms and investigate the fascinating details of material culture, like pattens and box-beds. I also started but abandoned The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Now rolling on The Broken Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

While flu-infested this weekend, I read Shadows by Robin McKinley (similarities to Sunshine, but YA), and then The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón—which was excellent and relevant, but it's set in Franco-era Spain, so... violent.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Taste of Honey was great! Highly recommended. I've put off Verne for a bit to read Dynasty of Rogues—the writing is perfectly cromulent rather than amazingly lyrical, but it's an exciting tale of intrigue and treachery with all female characters, which is a delightful reversal of most such books.

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Coriat wrote:
The DC version was packed. So packed that if you wanted to move over ten feet it might take ten minutes.

Yeah, even out here, starting near the end of the marchers, the first 5 blocks took 2 hours. (It sped up significantly once we hit a long straightaway.)

Also, good luck, LuniasM!

Spoiler:
If you haven't been on a panel before, see if you can meet with the other folks in advance to working out talking points, answers to likely questions, etc. That'll help you all guide the conversation. ^_^

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Just finished The Winter Over—fundamentally implausible (more below) but the mayhem in the constant darkness and –60°F of Antarctic winter and the tough, capable main female main character made it a fun read.

Spoiler:
The experimental design is appalling and the ultimate villain is Agatha Christie-esque. There's also climactic villain exposition. But there's also creepy ice caves, survival in an extreme and precarious environment, and Antarctic traditions, so still net positive.

The Taste of Honey and Lighthouse at the End of the World both came in from the library at the same time, so now I'm spoiled for choice on what to read next!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

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Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
And, speaking, of adaptations, Mr. Comrade insists that we should go to the musical-ized version of The Parable of the Sower coming to Boston in March.

Oooh, passed on to my Boston compatriots! I hope the show travels eventually, would love to see it.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Read The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (this is the way the world ends—race politics plus all the natural disasters and planning for multi-year catastrophes!), then raced through Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson (fantasy Africa with queer protagonists). I recommend both, and they make a good pairing! Now reading The Original Dream by Nukila Amal while I wait for my holds on two more Jemisin books, another Wilson novella, and Verne's Lighthouse at the End of the World.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Crystal Frasier wrote:
Really sick of this "crazy trans lady is a murderer" trope, when we're so frequently the victims in violent crimes and so rarely the perpetrator.

(Do not) see Pretty Little Liars for more of the same. We were hopeful about it for a while, since multiple queer PoC as key characters, but the final season happened. (Not that it was unproblematic before, but ugh.)

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5 people marked this as a favorite.

For anyone in the Seattle area or who's visiting for PaizoCon, I want to plug Outsider Comics, a new comics store in Fremont that's super welcoming to women, queer folk, and other marginalized people. My wife subscribes to Princeless through them, and says they're super helpful to people like her who are just getting into comics... and other friends report they're also very good at introducing even addicts to things they didn't know they urgently needed. :P Sounds like the store has periodic events, too (a friend is already in talks with them about cross-promotions for a queer romance writers' conference she runs), so we're hoping to check that out soon!

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Took a break from Bede's Ecclesiastical History (and Bede's hammering on the wicked perversity of celebrating Easter on the wrong day) to read Mastodonia]Mastodonia, which I found on a library's free shelf while visiting relatives in the Midwest. Highly recommended for people curious about how to structure tax shelters for time-travel-based businesses. I'm now extending my break from Bede to race through The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women, and quickly increasing my list of authors to read more of.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Speaking of love prevailing, oh my gosh, we just saw an early showing of Loving last night, and it was so good! We were very teary and enjoyed it very much. Lots of actors who were new to us, moments of humor, good chemistry between the main couple. If you have the chance, see it this weekend when it opens (which is apparently the only weekend that matters for judging whether movies are successes).

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3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'll pass your words on to the moderators, mechaPoet.

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8 people marked this as a favorite.

Just checking in to say how grateful I am that you're all here, to thank everyone who is offering comfort, and encourage everyone to do all they can to take care of themselves and each other.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Qunnessaa wrote:
Judy Bauer wrote:

In other news, we saw The Handmaiden this weekend—it was gorgeous but not for the faint-hearted.

** spoiler omitted **

I hadn't heard of it, but then I very rarely get out to watch any films. If you don't mind elaborating on your comments for the benefit of fussy strangers...

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
I think it's different enough. It's not as different as a Kurosawa take on Shakespeare, but has been significantly reinterpreted. Most of the Mrs. Sucksby plot is gone, the plot surrounding the uncle is much more complicated (as well as creepy), and there's a whole side business of colonialism and Korean vs. Japanese identity politics going on, too.
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189birds wrote:
Does anyone know any fantasy literature with LGBTQ protags? I've been looking for some!

When in doubt, ask Goodreads! From that list, I enjoyed Malinda Lo's books, and several friends recommend Ginn Hale and Astrid Amara.

In other news, we saw The Handmaiden this weekend—it was gorgeous but not for the faint-hearted.

Spoiler:
Trigger warnings for torture, child abuse, and attempted rape; the situation with Lady Hideko's uncle is much grimmer and creepier than in Fingersmith, the book it's inspired by. Also I had a strong sense that the erotic bits were choreographed and shot with an audience other than PNW lesbians in mind (see also After Ellen's review). BUT, it had a happier ending than Fingersmith, which was a pleasant surprise.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

6 people marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:

Though Wormysqueue still has a point that the nature of the representation can be as important as the amount.

If women appear as princesses to rescue or daughters to marry or as an entire table of prostitutes, that's "representation", but not really helpful.

Absolutely! (And we track that too.)

Based on our experience, though, increasing representation often improves quality of representation, too. When we made a push to increase the % of female characters, NO author's solution was to simply add more prostitutes or people to rescue—instead, they wrote female NPCs who filled a wider array of roles, like guards, advisors, merchants, con artists, etc.

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