Animantarx is better than your favourite dinosaur

For the 5th January (LJ | DW[personal profile] swankyfunk asked about my favourite dinosaur. Everyone, of course, has a favourite dinosaur, I think it’s compulsory for being a human being. As a child, my favourite dinosaur was Protoceratops, but now I always answer with the same answer: Animantarx.


Animantarx is a nodosaur, one of the armoured dinosaurs related to Stegosaurus. I always feel nodosaurs and ankylosaurs get short shrift in the popular depiction of dinosaurs: they don’t appear in Jurassic Park (Well, they appear briefly in the third movie), the Ankylosaurus in Fantasia is asleep, and Spike in Land Before Time is a non speaking role. This is frankly a ridiculous move on behalf of the dinosaur publicity people, because ankylosaurs rock. They were huge animals covered in armor and spikes, and ankylosaurs (not nodosaurs, and sadly not Animantarx) had a whopping club on the end of their tails. They make stegosaurs look like lightweights.

Paleontologist R.S. Lull once said of ankylosaurs that they must have been an ‘animated citadel,’ and it is this phrase from which the name Animantarx derives - animus, living, tarx, fortress.

Animantarx was about 4.5 m long, and comes from the Cedar Mountain Formation in Utah, at a horizon where the fossils are somewhat radioactive. It was discovered by a retired radiology technician called Ramal Jones, using a radioactivity-detecting scintillation counter that makes it the first dinosaur to have been discovered remotely – with no surface exposure before excavation.

So there you have it – my favourite dinosaur is a radioactive, spike-covered ornithischian with a fantastic name.



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shiny, thing

I like driving in my car

For the 4th January (LJ | DW[personal profile] herdivineshadow asked how it feels to have the driving test thing done. And the answer is REALLY QUITE NICE, ACTUALLY.

Bit of background: I failed my test three times when I was eighteen. Considering I had unresolved attention and anxiety issues, this should surprise absolutely no one. Then I lived in London for ten years, and New York for three years, and not only did I not really have much use for driving, I also didn’t really want to learn to drive or keep a car while I was there. Also, other priorities. But ALSO, driving is sort of scary.

But my parents don’t live in a big city with excellent public transport. And I don’t currently live in a big city with excellent public transport. And occasionally jobs will come up in museum education that requires the ability to drive between sites, or to transport objects to learners, or to take learners to objects. So it’s nice to be able to tick that box on my job applications.

When I couldn’t drive, I was pretty much completely dependent on the kindness of others: I was only able to attend derby practice twelve miles away because an (at the time) total stranger offered to give me a lift twice a week. I was only able to see my best friend because she drove down to see me. Every single social occasion I wanted to attend had to involve friends picking me up at pre arranged times or me organising public transport. And the thing here is: I am terrible at asking people for things, because it scares me to the point of aversion, and I am also pretty bad at organizing things in advance. So the fact that I could go to Chrissy’s Christmas party in Reading by just jumping in my car and riving to Reading, the fact that I can go to a party tonight by just jumping in my car and riving to Wycombe, that I can leave when I like, that I am not obliged nor placing an obligation on ANYONE…

…that’s bloody amazing.


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judd winick

Debi likes archers.

For the 3rd January (LJ | DW[personal profile] herdivineshadow asked for my least favourite comic I am reading at the moment, which just isn’t fair, because I don’t read comics I don’t like.

(This is actually a big leap for me, and for many comics fans, who sometimes find ourselves accidentally hating half our pull lists)

My ‘reading at the moment’ list goes like this: Hawkeye, Daredevil, Captain Marvel, Lazarus, Chew, Invincible, Red Sonja, Locke and Key (which has now finished but I haven’t caught up on quite yet) and the old Palmiotti/ Conner run on Power Girl. And I like them all.

But my least favourite? Right now it’s probably between Chew (which annoyed me last year by killing off my favourite character) and Hawkeye, which miiiight be getting a bit old now. It started great, but seems to be falling into a bit of a rut now? And I’m not sure how much I like Fraction’s Kate Bishop. But it’s still a great book!

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earth, hhgttg

Derby Space Nine

For the 2nd January (LJ | DW) [personal profile] herdivineshadow asked for my thoughts on how a Deep Space Nine roller derby league might go.

(For my thoughts on Deep Space Nine itself, you’ll have to hang on for a couple of weeks)

Terok Nor Roller Derby is a co-ed league (in a world where co-ed leagues are the norm) which recently went through a major upheaval: the previous trustees were kicked out following a league-wide vote of no confidence, which left the League with very few experienced skaters. Appealing to friends and local leagues, a number of transfers from the Paris Fleet Foots came in, in order to prevent TNRD from having to disband completely. The current line up is a but of a mix of abilities and backgrounds, and they haven’t quite ironed out their infighting yet.

Collapse )

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Yuletide Reveals

I wrote three stories this Yuletide. Not too bad, considering that my computer was dead for about a month in the middle there.

The theme this year was “People called Barbara,” and also “people called Dick,” genderswapping characters, banter, and Bruce Wayne not appearing.

I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down. (7048 words) by innerbrat
Fandom: Batgirl: Year One (Comic), DCU (Comics), Batman (Comics)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon
Additional Tags: Case Fic, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Dick/Babs if you squint, Mind Control
Summary: Batman is on a mission out of Gotham, leaving Batgirl and Robin as the city’s protectors.

I actually matched with this recipient for three fandoms, but I could not resist the urge to write Babs and Dick being Babs and Dick. It turns out writing actual plots for detectives to solve and be detectives about is hard, and now I understand why plot holes happen. BECAUSE THEY JUST DO, okay?

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait (2843 words) by innerbrat
Fandom: The Sherwood Ring – Elizabeth Marie Pope
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Barbara Grahame/Peaceable Drummond Sherwood
Characters: Peaceable Drummond Sherwood, Barbara Grahame, Richard Grahame, Uncle Anthony
Additional Tags: Genderswap, Alternate Universe – Gender Changes, Crossdressing
Summary: It was all Anthony’s doing from the beginning.

So Becca sent me an email informing me that someone had requested genderswapped Peaceable Sherwood, and given that I like genderswapping protagonists for historical romance novels, wouldn’t I like to do this?

No, I said.

Three days later I sent her this to beta.

The Women of Tomorrow (5921 words) by innerbrat
Fandom: Ame-Comi Girls, DC Elseworlds, DCU (Comics)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Kara Jor-El, Jonathan Kent, Martha Kent, Natasha Irons, Barbara Gordon, Carrie Kelly, Helena Bertinelli, Lois Lane, Kara Zor-El
Additional Tags: Hints of Power Girl/Batgirl, Backstory, Alternate Universe – Canon, Hints of Power Girl/Lois Lane,
Summary: A tale of the Woman of Steel, and the effect she has on the people around her.

Ame-Comi’s Power Girl has Clark Kent’s backstory. So this was basically like writing a gender-swapped Superman but actually canon. I had a bunch of fun with this, including the discovery that I’m interested in Steel and would like to know more. No canon knowledge of Ame-comi OR the mainstream DCU is needed for this.

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Blogging on Demand #1

For the 1st January (LJ | DW) [personal profile] Holly asked for “hanging out with the family” which is nice and broad and something I get to do way more of now than I have in the last three years!

I’m living with my parents right now, which results in nightly family-wide TV watching, which I’m a big fan of. It shuts the day down at teatime, and means that evenings are spent in family time, and I like that. I’ve been using it to introduce them both to Castle (and finally watch it myself), and I like to think that’s been a success. Mum and I also go to Pilates together twice a week.

One of the best things about passing my driving test recently as well is the freedom of movement it gives me, particularly now I’m living in the Green Belt, so I can do what I did last night, for New Years, and just hop into my car and drive to the neighbouring village where my sister lives for the evening. The kids stayed up for me, and we watched Ben and Holly’s Magic Kingdom, then read Harry and the  Dinosaurs before bedtime, after which the two of us watched Modern Family  and drank – in my case non alcoholic fizzy wine.

As an aside: non alcoholic, “alcohol-removed” wine is my new drink of choice. I got a White Zinfandel for Christmas, and it was delicious! I’m waiting for the catch.

Anyway, there’s very little I like more as a social activity than sharing a couch and watching the tellybox, so I’ll probably be looking for an opportunity to do that again soon.

On the niblings front: I get to see them both at least once a week right now, as I’m volunteering for their mother at her school on Tuesdays while my parents watch Charlie, and Abby, after school. Yeah, Abby’s at school now. Yeah, it blows my mind, too.

Charlie is really into dinosaurs and trains, right now. Well, he’s really into assembling railways and making a train go round them, and he’s really into grabbing dinosaur toys or wearing dinosaur clothes and screaming RRRRRAAAAAARRRR, and I think that counts. Abby – well, Abby’s well ensconced in the Princess Phase, which is the perfect excuse for me, my sister, and her to do things like watch Frozen for her birthday.

(I have a lot of feelings about that movie, by the way.)

On top of all that, my grandmother is also living very close, now. So I get to see her at her nursing home – much less than I should if I was a perfect granddaughter, but still often.

It’s the absolute best thing about being where I am right now – my whole blood family is within twenty minutes of me at all times, and I love it.

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go baby go

State of the Brat: Summary post

I’ve had five suggestions since yesterday on what to write about in January  (LJ | DW), so there’s twenty six slots to fill. And it occurred to me – maybe people just don’t know enough about what’s going on with me right now. So here’s a quick run down that you might get suggestions from.


Applying for jobs (boo)

Volunteering (yay) at the Natural History Museum and a high school

Playing Roller Derby with a local league

Learning to drive and passing my driving test two weeks ago.

Hanging out with the family including my niece who is 5, and nephew, who is 3.

Watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Arrow, Sleepy Hollow, RWBY, Korra, Agents of SHIELD, Elementary, season three of The Paradise, season one of Castle, and a whole bunch of soft British murder Mysteries.

Reading comics, mostly.

Writing Yuletide.

Sewing and Knitting as per usual.

Aaaaaand – that might be it!

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sheep, meme

Blogging on Demand

Hello, internet! How’s your December winding down?

I know I’ve hardly been with you this month – blame my computer woes, mostly. But I have a hard drive and I’m getting back into things, and [personal profile] skygiants failed to talk me out of doing this thing that the rest of you have been doing in December – only of course I will be doing January, starting Wednesday, if you’re quick enough.

How this works is – pick a date below and give me a topic, from Allosaurs to Zatanna, and I will say something about it, of varying lengths depending on the time I have on hand.

(Spoiler: I have nothing to say about Zatanna)

1st January - hanging out with the family – for [personal profile] strangecharm
2nd  January – how a DS9 roller derby league might go – for [personal profile] herdivineshadow
3rd January – Least favourite comic you are reading at the moment – for [personal profile] herdivineshadow
4th January – How it feels to have the driving test thing done – for [personal profile] herdivineshadow
5th  January  – Your favorite dinosaur – for [personal profile] swankyfunk
6th January – Favourite 5 things about the Natural History Museum – for [personal profile] herdivineshadow
7th  January
8th January
9th January – What global or cosmic hero/es do you like, be it Marvel, DC or other publisher – for [personal profile] bjornwilde
10th January – I want your thoughts on A:TLA/LoK! – for [personal profile] shoroko
11th  January - One thing you miss about NYC, and one thing you don’t – for [personal profile] sdelmonte
12th January
13th January – The Disney acquisition of Marvel, and any ramifications you can think of – for nadriel
14th January
15th January
16th January - thoughts of home whilst you were away? Or how you felt about being away? – for rhythmaning
17th January
18th January
19th January
20th January – it’s your turn to talk about all that DS9 we’ve been watching! – for [personal profile] skygiants
21st  January
22nd January
23rd January - Pick a couple of decades from the 20th century and then cast superhero films with actors from that decade  for [personal profile] magister
24th January
25th January
26th January
27th January
28th January
29th January
30th January
31st January

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Find that story

Hope everyone had a great day yesterday, and continues to have a great day today. Today is my presents-and-food day so I will be entertaining niblings all day, between continuing to read Yuletide stories.

Yes, this is the only time of year I seriously read and talk fanfiction, but it’s also the only time of year I seriously write fanfiction. So on that note, who wants to play a game?

I have written three of the stories in this collection. And I’m willing to give a prize – probably something small and creative, like icons or a drabble, but it might be I buy you a drink – to the first person to guess all three.

(Becca, Ana, and anyone they’ve blabbed to are ineligible, obviously.)

I will answer unlimited yes/no questions in the comments of this post.

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shiny, thing

A second Yuletide gift

It should be obvious why I'm not posting this on the medium that will be auto-posted to Facebook, which my family reads.

Let me start by telling an anecdote that dates back a few months, when [personal profile] swankyfunk and I went to the BAM to watch the Cornetto Trilogy. We were joined by rushin_doll and [personal profile] skygiants for At World's End and the Q&A session with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost afterwards.

I asked "So having seen all these movies together today, how would you say they work as a trilogy - particularly how does Hot Fuzz fit in as a second installment?" And I got a long, rambling, very satisfying answer from Simon Pegg about evolution, revolution and devolution and how the movies reflected and intersected each other. He used words and phrases I'd never heard before, having not been an English of Film Studies student, and I was very happy with it.

Swanky asked: "Hey, Nick, what was it like fighting your best friend?" and got a long, rambling, very satisfying anecdote that resulted in the boys finding porn under Nick's bed.

Coming out of the theater: I said "I got the long involved meta, you got porn." To which Ana cut in: "It's JUST LIKE FANDOM."

Which is true. Thanks to the things I ask for and the things I volunteer, I never get porn. And it's not like I don't like my high brow, fantastically written meta (and sweet shippy utterly perfect Leonardo fics) but I never ask for porn.

So last night I went into Yuletide chat just as someone was announcing: "Right, I've finished this fic, who wants it gifted to them?" And I said "ME. I WANT IT!"

And THAT is how I got Mulan pegging fic for Yuletide.

The Erect Butterfly (2066 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Mulan (1998)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Fa Mulan/Li Shang
Additional Tags: Yuletide Treat, Pegging, Honeymoon, Anal Fingering, Weddings, Genderbending, Historical Inaccuracy

This was Mulan's honeymoon gift to Shang.

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