bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Two days after returning home from [community profile] vividcon, I was woken in the middle of the night by the pain of what I soon realized was a kidney stone: my second in ~8 years, and worse than the first. \o/ One trip to urgent care, one ultrasound, many phone calls, three pharmacy visits, five kinds of drugs and one week later, I'm waiting this out at home, in and out of discomfort. Grateful for sick leave and compassionate colleagues/supervisors.

New learnings: Toradol is made of unicorns and rainbows. But it can only be taken for five days, so my sister is here from NY for ~24 hours to babysit while I attempt a prescribed narcotic; having never taken one before besides codeine (which does nothing for me), I'm not sure what to expect today. The packet of warnings includes fun phrases like "VERY BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN." Points for plain language at the height of the opioid crisis.

Anyway, that's my life right now. I've been responding to vid- & con-post comments and tweets in batches when I feel up to it, because when the pain hits, I'm not good for anything, but when it ebbs, I feel fine. Watching TV and movies, or listening (Olympics until they ended, DS9, The Big Short, Lilo & Stitch, Save the Last Dance, Queen Margot); finished The Amber Spyglass and am now reading the second Captive Prince e-book; napping; drinking so very much water; pondering the mysteries of this new platform people seem to be into, imzy. Hoping against hope that this is over with by the end of next week, when I'm supposed to join [ profile] iggyw at a Star Trek con in NYC, in no small part because I don't want to have to eat the cost of the nonrefundable tickets.

P.S. My family sent a care package that included a bag of kidney beans and a Rolling Stones CD -- get it? -- plus an octopus- or squid-shaped pillow for hugging, and some other things. Friend C. and coworker brought soup. Support system = comforting.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Once upon a time [personal profile] elipie and I had separate ideas to put together a kink-themed vid show for [community profile] vividcon. Unlike me, [personal profile] elipie remembered to submit the idea when the time came. But she graciously took me on as a co-mod when I realized what had happened, and after a couple of weeks of merged lists, spreadsheets, IM sessions and gnashing of teeth, we settled on our 20 vids.

We wanted to feature vids that portray kinks and kinkiness in a positive light; tried for a variety of kinks, tones, styles, fandoms, vidders, pairing/moresome types and character demographics*; limited the list to one vid per vidder; and made sure to include at least some vids that hadn't been created for Kink Bingo, so the list wouldn't all be familiar to kink-vid fans who followed the community. [personal profile] elipie also cajoled [personal profile] anoel and [personal profile] thirdblindmouse into making premieres for the show on short notice! Definitely watch both of them; they are great. One has pain- and consent-play femslash and the other has alien sex!

*Some of these efforts panned out better than others, but I think we're both generally happy with the final list -- and hope you are too.

Playlist )

And the shortlist of runners-up. Some we had to remove because we were limited to 20 vids even if they fit within the allotted time; some were alternates.

runners-up )

Bonus vids that screened during Vividcon that it's too bad we couldn't include:

Switch Screens by lola (UnREAL) - voyeurism woo

Anything For You by Willion (Furry fandom) - such a sweet story about finding one's inner furry kink/identity

etc. etc. etc., so many other great kink vids out there, but also please make more. ♥

Thanks to everyone who pitched ideas to us in person, on DW and/or on Twitter. You helped strengthen the playlist, introduced us to new works by unfamiliar artists, and sometimes made us laugh (everyone be glad/sad we didn't put in the mechanical tentacle porn set to "Inspector Gadget").
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
A good weekend.

I saw some fantastic vids, danced with a T-rex at Club Vivid, met a baby, shared in a Shabbat dinner, hugged and was hugged, and caught up with several vidding friends and got to know others better. There was one rough patch, but with a little initiative and the company of friends & acquaintances, it soon passed.

My first time co-modding a vid show proved to be a positive experience thanks to the best partner, [personal profile] elipie, and the 20 or so people who came to see it despite it being scheduled right after lunch and opposite a Star Trek panel. We will post have posted the kinky playlist.

My three new vids went over well:

"Starships!" closed out Club Vivid before the traditional finale of "Can't Stop the Rock," and I can't articulate how it felt to witness a room full of fans singing along and dancing as it played, hands up to touch the sky.

Vid recs, show/panel notes and social stuff )

Other con reports: kass, seekingferret, anoel ...

State of Vidding from Morgan Dawn
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Title: Sing
Fandom: Ferngully: The Last Rainforest
Music: by Travis (edited)
Length: 3:30
Summary: "You have to find the hero within yourself, Crysta."
Content notes: The habitat of cartoon animals is threatened.
Physical notes: The camera does some swooping, panning and zooming.
A/N: Ah, the environmentalist movie of '80s children's hearts. Made at the last minute for Vividcon 2016, inspired by a Festivids nomination. Many thanks to [personal profile] cinco for beta comments.

Streaming, download, lyrics )

Comments and concrit are always welcome as I try to improve my vidding.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Title: "Ancillary Justice" book trailer
Fandom: Imperial Radch trilogy by Ann Leckie
Music: "Nad Dunaem" by DakhaBrakha and "Epic Drums" by Immediate Music (edited)
Length: 1:28
Summary: Nineteen years, three months, and one week ago, I was a troop carrier.
Content notes: Several people get shot or are threatened with guns by members of a military force.
Physical notes: Zoom effects on some of the titles and clips.

Notes & acknowledgements )

Streaming, download, lyrics )

ETA: Okay, for the record, because wow: Ann Leckie's blog post/Tumblr post/tweet, Metafilter,
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Title: To the Grave
Fandom: The Body Snatcher (1945)
Music: "Secret" by The Pierces (edited)
Length: 3:12
Summary: "It's like Burke and Hare all over again!" Or, Boris Karloff's amazing leers and a cameo by Bela Lugosi.
Content notes: Graverobbing and murder for fun and profit. On-screen strangling and implied (below frame) surgery/dissection. A bread loaf gets stabbed and a cat is stroked evilly.
Physical notes: Lightning flashes ~2:54.
A/N: Made for [personal profile] jetpack_monkey, who won me in the 2016 Vividcon Auction. What a delight of a project. Thank you to [personal profile] heresluck and [personal profile] corbae for helping us search for songs; this gem was [personal profile] corbae's find.

Streaming, download, lyrics )

Comments and concrit are always welcome as I try to improve my vidding.
bironic: Fred reading a book,looking adorable (fred reading)
Partway through the second book, and while replying to comments on the previous post about the first book, I realized that my shifting opinion on His Dark Materials stemmed from having expected author ) and instead gotten author ). Critique from within the system. Details ) Something to look up in reviews, thinkpieces, fic, etc. when I'm finished reading.

Also, there is a lot of explicative monologuing. Like, a lot. Characters have largely stopped speaking like actual human beings.

All that said, though, I'm still enjoying the story. Even with pacing and repetition issues in The Subtle Knife. The Golden Compass was better. We'll see tomorrow+ what The Amber Spylgass is like.
bironic: Fred reading a book,looking adorable (fred reading)
One of the local Little Free Libraries had a copy of The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman and that finally motivated me to start reading His Dark Materials after all these years. People were super into them around the time we were going to Harry Potter aca-cons and of course there've been a million fannish AUs but I never got around to trying the series, other than going to see that forgettable film adaptation.

After an uncertain start, I got really into it, especially the human-dæmon relationships. I hadn't realized how into it until I found myself choking up at the descriptions of spoilery ). Also I hadn't realized how explicitly Pullman described what happens between dæmons when their humans get frisky together. Many years late to this party.

I bought the other two books yesterday and will read them in & around the new Harry Potter one that I pre-ordered but haven't picked up yet.

Obv. there are things to enjoy and things to critique and thinky stuff about Pullman's reaction to C.S. Lewis and the Church but we are not here for in-depth analysis right now. Work is rough these days as we undergo managerial transitions and as a result my entertainment has swung toward pleasure and comfort. See also: I've taken a break from vid-research movies and just rewatched the Twilight series. Well, that's sort of for vid research too, but a different project, and I wasn't taking notes. And I rewatched the beginning of the terrible-but-I-don't-care TV show Roar from 1997, because my heart.

Was sad to miss con.txt this weekend and all the friends who go with it. At least there's only a week and a half 'til Vividcon. Hang in there, self: Hugs and vids and conversation and mini-vacation are nigh.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Oh, one more thing I wish had been true about Star Trek: Beyond:

spoiler )
bironic: insignia pin from star trek the next generation (trek insignia)
My birthday is in a couple of days, so after a small group of us went to see Star Trek: Beyond yesterday, we came back to my apartment for a Star Trek-themed party. Wish I could have invited more friends, but things are limited by the size of my apartment, and the timing conflicted with Boston Fangirl Brunch anyway. Instead, please consider yourselves part of the extended virtual celebration.


(Click for bigger)


Klingon Bloodwine
Cherry juice with pulped fruit

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. Cold.
Orange-Earl Grey iced tea


Scotty's Lemon Chicken
She cannae handle much more flavor

Ferengi Spore Pie
Mushroom-swiss quiche

Terran Salad
Mixed greens with vinaigrette


Cellular Peptide Cake
With mint frosting

We played a couple of card-based games, including Slash, which was fun. In the background we put on some TOS episodes, "The Trouble with Tribbles" and "The Gamesters of Triskelion" -- one iconic, one kinky/hilarious -- and then the Deep Space Nine revisit, "Trials and Tribble-ations." Also I found the scene from the TNG ep "Phantasms" where Data dreams that Troi has been turned into a cake (TW: strong noncon overtones), because that was the inspiration for the cake I made for the party.

trek cake 600.jpg

(Click for bigger)

I'd been looking for an excuse to make more recipes out of the Star Trek Cookbook for a while. This made me happy. Even if it involved turning on the oven on two 95-degree days! The trials of a summer birthday.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
General reaction )

Brief thoughts on the good and the bad; includes spoilers )

Okay, that ended up not being so brief. What did you think, if you've seen the movie? Being offline Thu-Sat means I probably missed the initial burst of reactions on Twitter.

ETA: And one more thing.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
1. I'm going to vid the Twilight movies. Without irony. So there.

2. Staying away from Twitter/Tumblr until we've seen Star Trek: Beyond on Saturday. However, I did just pop onto Twitter to relay an anecdote about how the young man who sold me the movie tickets this evening was wearing a Starfleet uniform (red, TNG style, three pips), complete with shiny insignia. On my way out he said to his dinner-eating, non-nerd-appearing fellow employee that he was a first officer, to which the fellow employee replied without blinking, "No way. They'd stick you down in stellar cartography."

3. Monday I was treated to a hangout with [personal profile] ignaz as she boomeranged through town for a work thing. We caught up a bit and saw Ghostbusters, which was fine. I hadn't expected to love it as much as many friends seem to, and that turned out to be accurate, but it was enjoyable on multiple levels, from Kate McKinnon's owning of the part to the game of Spot the Boston Location to the feminist metacommentary. Primarily, I hope their taking of our money -- which, btw, $14 for a non-3D/non-IMAX showing on a weekday?! -- convinces some thick-skulled Hollywood exec that non-romance-driven movies with quirky women of various races and body types and with unspecified sexualities have a market.

Among the highlights of the evening was running into [personal profile] marginaliana and her +1 at the theater!

4. I also had a really nice time at a birthday party the other week talking with [ profile] marginaliana, [ profile] verymilkytea and [ profile] windtheme and getting to know them better.

[ profile] verymilkytea helpfully demonstrated how Pokémon Go works; it was brand-new at the time. A coworker subsequently snapped some photos of me posing with two or three invisible Pokémon in my office. I don't play the game, but what I like about it is how its particular implementation of augmented reality makes it feel like ghost hunting or those science fiction stories where someone is slightly out of phase from normal: the idea that there's something there that you can't detect unless you have a special piece of technology that picks up some signature beyond our human senses. It's fun to pretend we're living in a reality where there's a Pokémon over your shoulder right now and you just need a smartphone camera to "see" it.

5. Busy period at work: late evenings, no lunch breaks, full and shifting meeting schedules. Still, it's better than the last few weeks, when I felt nonspecifically draggy-terrible and couldn't sleep deeply or think straight. I've got an appointment with a new doctor tomorrow with the hope of actually figuring out what's been going on in the last couple of years. TMI maybe.

Bonus 6. Bowl of falafel salad. Mm.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Continued from here (personal experience at the con)

In chronological order:

SF in the Classical Tradition, incl. Catherynne M. Valente )

The Life and Times of Mary Sue )

Why Women Become Protagonists, incl. Rosemary Kirstein )

Cozy Dystopias )

Robots as Proxies )

End of the World and After )

Bad Influences II, incl. Kelly Link )

200 Years of Frankenstein )

Sorting Taxonomies, incl. Kate Nepveu & Peter Straub  )

And that's it! Overall a good way to have spent the weekend. Would go back, but would do more work ahead of time re: which panelists would be better or worse to hear and which authors do good readings. Heard I'd missed a good time with Max Gladstone this year. I also learned I'll probably be happier avoiding panels on topics that fandom discusses in depth, because they're likely to feel superficial and frustrating.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] stultiloquentia clued me in to Readercon, an SF/F book-focused con that takes place locally: this year in Quincy. For my own mental health, I decided at the last minute to take a day off work and give it a try. Then it took more than a week to summon enough energy and semi-articulateness to write a post. Sorry about that.


- Meeting Rosemary Kirstein, author of the ongoing Steerswoman series! She spoke on a panel about how to motivate female protagonists besides trauma. No blockbuster notes from that session, but I went up afterwards along with a few other attendees to say how much I liked her books. She was nice. She mentioned how difficult it's been to pick up the next draft after her health scares etc., and agreed with a laugh that it's hard to sign an e-book since the series is largely out of print. Also I learned that it's Kir-stine, not Kir-steen.

- Meeting Kelly Link (author of Get in Trouble: Stories, among others)! She took part in a big, fun panel about "bad influences"—more on that in the next post—and agreed to sign books for two of us afterwards. Hilariously/embarrassingly, a combination of weeks-long brain struggles and being in passive panel-listening mode meant that I totally blanked when she asked me a few questions, like whether I write, what sources I've written fanfiction for and what town in Texas my friend lives in who recommended the book. *facepalm* At least her signing the other guy's book gave me the moments needed to recall a few books and TV shows I've written fic for lately; then we talked for a minute about The Vampire Diaries and how that introduced her to online fandom. She wore deep blue lipstick.

- Joining [personal profile] stultiloquentia on Saturday for lunch she arranged with people who turned out to be [personal profile] kate_nepveu, who runs Con or Bust, and [personal profile] yhlee, founder of [community profile] festivids, whose book Ninefox Gambit just came out. (I haven't read it yet but have it on order at the library.) I'd learned from the #readercon hashtag that [personal profile] yhlee was coming and I'd hoped to meet him, so lunch was serendipitous. And they knew my vids (!!!). An unexpected moment of LJ/DW/AO3-style fannish connection at a con focused on pro SF/F authors and editors and publishers. We talked SGA, metatagging, vidding, panel moderation, math and English education, storytelling in different media, recs for a project stulti's working on... They were both a delight to meet, if briefly. ♥ our people ♥

- Panel about robot narratives as slave uprisings, with bonus etymology + awesome Seder reference. Details to follow.

- Seeing Catherynne M. (Cat) Valente on a panel after our book club read Deathless. It seems Samuel R. Delaney was also a Readercon guest, but I missed him. :( :( Also Junot Diaz, obviously, but he's local and so I've been adjacent to him on many occasions, heh.


- Personal: I'd thought that, if anything, being around so much enjoyment and analysis of science fiction and fantasy texts would boost my motivation to get back to my own writing. Instead, I felt something closer to despair at the whole endeavor of publishing. So many authors and books I'd never heard of, current and past, even in my favorite genre; so many people struggling for their work to be recognized, or who've published numerous books to little effect… I asked myself, as I do every so often: What's the point? What are the chances of conceiving a compelling story, and telling it so well, that it rises above the voluminous mediocrity and makes a lasting mark? Is there a point to writing a book if it doesn't? Did I just go to a bad combination of panels for thinking about these questions? Does Readercon attract mostly a certain level of author that made this stand out to me? Is part of my brain simply trying to talk me out of attempting a novel one day because not trying is better than failing? When did I stop believing that I could produce something extraordinary?

(And yet, the satisfaction of producing a fic or a vid or a creative product for my job is often enough in itself, which suggests that it would be the same for a book, and I get all "eeee" inside when a single stranger compliments something I've made, especially if I trust their judgment. It's all very confusing.)

- Cultural: As a first-time attendee who didn't do her homework, I had no connection to the communities of panelists or attendees and only afterwards began to learn about other people's histories with the con (fx, I'd forgotten that Readercon was the one with the notorious harassment case), about what was going on around me, behind the scenes and in panels I didn't attend. I only witnessed a few of the instances of racism, sexism and lack of discussion on intersectionality that other attendees wrote about at length. I'd accepted that the con was book-focused, only to learn that others were expressing their frustrations with its reluctance to embrace other SF/F media and with some panelists' literary snobbery.

Further reading:

- The aforementioned mental health/biochemical stuff meant I missed Sunday's programming—panels on magic in space, blue collar SF and short story anatomy—the latter two of which seem to have been notable. Sad face.

Next post: Panel notes
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Continued from here.

37 movies, 13 of them for vidding )

  1. The Expanse S1 ♥
  2. Grantchester S2 ♥
  3. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries S3
  4. Unlikely Animal Friends S2
  5. Game of Thrones S6 ♥
  6. *Olympic trials (ongoing)

Happy to talk about any of these, such as the Scorpius-Borg hybrid villain or jigging robots from Lord of the Dance or Vincent Cassel in a corset from Brotherhood of the Wolf.
bironic: Fred reading a book,looking adorable (fred reading)
What I forgot to say about The Girl with All the Gifts, besides that it was vibrantly written and well paced and had beautiful f/f touch/avoidance kink and a perfect ending, is that it felt like 28 Days Later crossed with Auburn's SGA fic The Taste of Apples. I hadn't quite realized it was a horror novel that shouldn't be read before bed, but I really enjoyed it.

The only real trouble I had was that I kept picturing Melanie as black, not white & blonde. I choose to blame Octavia Butler's Fledgling, heh. The children's condition and many of the adults' attitudes toward them worked so well as a metaphor for racial minority and underclass that the occasional reminder of Melanie's whiteness startled. And so I was thrilled to learn last night when Mr. [personal profile] deelaundry pointed me to the movie trailer -- I hadn't realized the film adaptation was so far along already! -- that they've cast a black actress, Sennia Nanua, to play her. Well done, moviemakers!
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Title: Wreck of the Good Ship Atlantis (also on AO3)
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis (SGA)
Pairing: Gen/ensemble
Length: 4:26
Music: "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot (edited)
Summary: The tale of the good ship Atlantis, lost at sea with all hands on board.
Content warnings: Implied character deaths.
Physical warnings: Frequent lightning and flickering lights.

Notes: Cut for length )

Thanks: To [personal profile] yevgenie, [personal profile] zulu and [personal profile] thedeadparrot for their honest input on a first draft. Don't blame them for things that don't work here. To [personal profile] sheafrotherdon, whose advice kept me from doing something potentially offensive. To [personal profile] cinco for assuring me that doing a literal match of source to lyrics and tone was okay. And to [personal profile] deelaundry and [personal profile] synn for their support throughout the process.

Download, embed and lyrics )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
20ish completed + a few partial )

Happy to talk about any of these! Need to post about those last few.

Up next-ish: a few "B.P.R.D." graphic novels, Saga vol. 6, a book of modern fairy tales, a recent science memoir, possibly the sequel to Life After Life... I seem to be swimming in books at the moment.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)

I keep thinking I've updated recently but it's just placeholder vid posts for Vividcon. I ended up making a third vid at the last minute for Premieres. It is a simple little thing for the animated movie Ferngully: The Last Rainforest. Anyone else of a certain age remember Chrysta and Batty Koda and Tim Curry as the smog monster? I got the song idea when someone nominated the source for Festivids, but then no one requested it, so here we are.


Got back last evening from 5 days on Long Island -- well, 3 1/2 plus driving -- where to my disappointment there wasn't time to connect with my city fan friends nor a contingent of Brit fanquaintances on account of I spent most of the weekend with my childhood friend A. (who now lives two time zones away) & her family, who were in town for a wedding, plus dinner with my also-in-town-from-out-of-state cousin, boat ride with my mom and her bf, combo high school graduation/birthday party for various stepfamily members, visit with my remarkably old yet mostly lucid grandparents, visit with my dad & his fiancée, etc.

The beginning of the trip involved too much driving around and socializing, but by the end I had relaxed. It was a relief to eat meals prepared by someone else, and tasty meals at that, like Dad & E.'s grilled skirt steak with summer corn and bruschetta. My mom and I came across reruns of some TV shows we hadn't seen since my childhood (Night Court) or hers (George Reeves Superman). Dad & E. & I settled in for some of the Olympic trials in swimming, diving and gymnastics. I swam a little. Helped my dad organize some bookshelves that had been disturbed after a burst pipe, and then we squared up a six-foot-tall PVC cage around his pea patch that is the latest escalation in his battle against vegetable-swiping chipmunks.

I slept well the last two nights. I never seem to sleep as well anywhere else as I do when I'm in that bedroom where I lived from age 9 to 18 and college summers and a few years after that.

Packed a few more boxes of books and my old stereo to bring up to Boston. Sat for a while after I had gotten back and unpacked, looking at the new-old books on the shelves and thinking about who I was when I collected and read them and who I am now and strengthening the connections between the two. I've been slowly shedding books that I will never read or that I read and didn't like. These aren't going anywhere.


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