bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)

Better. Taking a three-day weekend helped, and I'm trying to learn how not to be upset by work-related things that I don't think I should care about so much. That said, even during what felt like a good weekend, my brain delivered five stress dreams in two nights.

A few friends came over for the first night of Passover; we had good conversation and lots of food and drink. It would be nice to figure out a better furniture arrangement in this small space to accommodate more than four diners for occasions such as these; some people were left out, and that's not a good feeling. Recipe-wise, would rec these almond flour jam thumbprint cookies and a chremsele/pancake batter made of matzo meal (1/4 c), eggs (4) and cottage cheese (1 cup).

The monthly local fangirl Bad Movie Night had more attendees than usual, which made for a lively viewing experience of The Fate of the Furious. It struck me as the Batman vs. Superman of the Fast & Furious franchise, in that the basis of the conflict made no sense, a lot of it dragged on and there was gratuitous urban destruction. But a few of the action sequences made up for the rest. And as others pointed out, it had more colors than the DCU, which is to say, it had colors.

Last weekend a clutch of us saw a burlesque performance of Dracula by a group called The Slaughterhouse Society that had the highest production values, most consistent talent, and most coherent storyline of any burlesque I've seen, the runner-up being the Slutcracker, the annual local burlesque Nutcracker that as a result of its source material suffers from a comparative lack of sexy biting. Details )


The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie. TBD whether this falls on the side of Ancillary Justice, which you ~may recall~ I adored, or Provenance, which I thought was fine with occasional delights. So far, about 150 pages in, it's like the premise of American Gods got tossed in a blender with the "I" and "you" structure of The Broken Earth trilogy, which I'm not sure is a winning combination for me, although it's spiked with Leckie's talent for humorous linguistic play and her interests in intercultural politics and the power of language, which may explain why a couple of people who blurbed it compared it to Ursula Le Guin. Recent chapters did introduce themes about the meaning of life and the tug of war between wanting to be connected to others versus wanting to be, literally, a rock, i.e. an eerie echo of stuff my therapist kept bringing up before we ended our sessions, so there's that.

(We had our last appointment last week. Here's hoping for improvement through other avenues.)


I woke up Saturday, fixed a couple of things that had been bothering me about my [community profile] equinox_exchange assignment, and then… made a second vid? In about three hours, juuuust squeaking in under the deadline? (I backdated it on the AO3, so this isn't giving anything away.) So that happened. I'm not saying it's a great work of art, but a [redacted] vid now exists where none existed before, and that is pleasing.

Anyway, the exchange went live, and someone made me a Julian Bashir character study vid, yay: I Won't Back Down (DS9) by ?. The vidder covered the spectrum of ways Bashir learned to be brave, plus they featured lots of clips of him looking sexily mussed, dirty, or roughed up, so either we like similar things or they know my heart. :)

Other than that, my favorite in the collection is Stars (Romeo+Juliet), a haunting Mercutio vid by ? for absternr.

Other favorites:
- Sound of Her Wings (The Sandman comics) by ? for mithborien
- Like, Wannabe (Clueless) by ? for bessyboo
- Ice ice baby (Demolition Man) by ? for theletterelle
- Juke Joint Jezebel (The Matrix) by ? for AudreyV
- Take Over (The Craft) by ? for GhostTownExit

And more. Overall a pretty solid collection. As with Festivids, I like the inclusion of more YouTube-style vids and still-source vids. It'll do the community good to continue evolving.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I have been thinking a lot—shocker—about many things.

One of them is how I haven't been as good or kind a person lately as I'd like to be. That's in large part because of unhappiness at work and the aforementioned personal stuff, but causes are less important than actions. I have already started pulling back from conversations at the office that perpetuate negativity. I need to stop approaching situations assuming I know more than the other person or people. I need to resist the impulse to show when I do know something, because that stems from insecurity. I need to stop blaming my recent low productivity at work on entirely external forces; they don't help, but they're not the whole story. To name a few examples.

I don't like that I posted those two entries about my grandfather's private life. I needed an outlet for my surprise and delight and my other feelings, and it was tempting to tell a "funny story," but I think it was not a kind thing to share. Though I denied it to myself, does it not boil down to ageism? Why did I feel driven to tell everyone about exactly the sort of thing that would mortify me if the internet, let alone my family, found out details of my sex life and/or relationships? How much must it suck to reach an age where, as in childhood, it can once more be a struggle to maintain privacy?

Thank you to the couple of commenters who raised related points and questions.

I'm leaving the posts up for now. I wrote them and I should deal with the consequences, even if the consequences seem at this stage to be restricted to feeling some negative feelings when I scroll back and see the entries there. The important thing is they still lack identifying information. Later I will probably lock them.


Another thing I've been thinking about relates to that set of movie reviews I just posted as well as other media-related stuff both recent and forthcoming, which is the uptick in my absorption and thinking through of books, movies, poems, essays, songs, podcasts, etc. by and/or focusing on people from Native American, First Nations and other indigenous cultures. It's a decades-long interest, but with my habit these last few years of posting lists of everything I read and watch, combined with a few more fanworks than usual focusing on Native characters (*cough Zahn McClarnon*), what would once have been a quiet endeavor now risks coming across as performative. Plus, my ever-evolving understanding of and attempts to resist romanticizing or fetishizing the real people these characters represent becomes open to critique from others, and that's vulnerable and scary.

(I do realize, as I started to say in my review of Dawnland, that of course while media may be a good place to start learning, it is a bad place to stop, and I continue to take steps to deepen my education and involvement in community activities, support, and activism in the real world at local and national levels. Having more than like two Native acquaintances would be another good start. Following people on Twitter only goes so far.)

When I write these reviews, especially the quick ones, my inner voice vacillates between "You don't know shit, what are you talking about here, you're just a white girl who wants to sound 'woke,'" and a more compassionate understanding that I've progressed from maybe a 101 level to 201 in self-directed "Native media studies," am trying to put into words what I'm learning, am trying to apply the principles and frameworks I read and hear about to the movies I'm watching. You're watching me work through it all. I'm just afraid I come off as ignorant or overconfident, or, as my LJ header used to say in honor of Hermione, like an insufferable know-it-all. I don't want to get stuff wrong, but I'm going to, and doubtless already have. I hope you will (continue to) let me know when I do.

bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Having reviewed 0 of the 44 movies I've watched so far this year, last night I thought, let's try a bunch of two-line reviews, or set an egg timer for each and whip through them that way.

An hour later, I had three one-paragraph blurbs.

Oh, well. Here's a start:

Road to Paloma (2014)

Sort-of road trip movie directed, co-written and co-produced by and starring Jason Momoa. Some parts tedious, others fine. Some nice shots. Terrible sound mixing. Half the plots are trigger warning )-related, which may or may not be your cup of tea. A couple of questionable casting decisions, ethnicity-wise, e.g. Sarah Shahi as Mojave.* Mostly, I continue to be glad Momoa is in a position to make his own movies.

*Momoa (native Hawaiian) and Wes Studi (Cherokee) make up the rest of the family, and although they're not Mojave either, IMO at this stage of my cultural education, it's so typical for Native American, Pacific Islander and First Nations actors to play characters from any tribe on or near the continent that it's harder to complain until we support films and filmmakers enough that more directors cast people predominantly from the cultures being featured, if that is the goal.

Dance Me Outside (1994)

A bad thing happens on the Kidabanesee Reserve in Ontario, and we watch and wait to find out whether the teenage protagonists will ruin their chances of getting into auto mechanic school as they decide how to respond to it. Enjoyable movie with a range of emotions. Featuring baby Adam Beach and spunky supporting female characters, including Jennifer Podemski, who went on to star in the Canadian TV show "The Rez," which I hadn't known about before. I like discovering that Michael Greyeyes has a history of being cast as the heartthrob.

Based on a story by the same W.P. Kinsella who wrote the book that inspired Field of Dreams.

Drunktown's Finest (2014) ♥

Three adolescents' lives—a guy with one last chance before he loses his shot at enlisting in the military, a trans girl trying to find love and hoping to make it onto the local swimsuit calendar, and a college-bound orphan raised by white people who's seeking her birth family—intersect in Gallup, New Mexico, on the Navajo reservation. Directed by Sydney Freeland, a Navajo trans woman who grew up in Gallup. I don't know a lot of movies that star trans Native actors as trans Native characters, in this case Carmen Moore as Felixia, so that was neat. Tension was an important part of the experience, so I'll put this quick note behind a cut: spoiler ). Kiowa Gordon, who I'm learning plays handsome miscreants more often than handsome woobies, had a supporting role.

Oh, no, the internet says that Moore died in August?! That sucks.

Bee Nation (2017) ♥

Adorable, well-structured and moving documentary about kids competing in Saskatchewan's first provincial First Nations spelling bee. Just really nice family support, nice pacing, nice portraits of people trying and succeeding and failing. Never have I identified so hard with someone in a documentary as with this young, serious, perfectionist boy crying while trying to practice at home. "Stop being so hard on yourself," his mother says with great tenderness. "You're eight years old. This is supposed to be fun." (His name is William Kaysaywaysemat III and I want to hug him.)

Te Ata (2016)

Formulaic biopic, but formulas persist because they work, as this one pretty much does, even though you can tell it's been simplified and de-thorned, perhaps in part because it was co-produced by the community whose folk hero Te Ata is/was, the Chickasaw Nation. With Q'orianka Kilcher as performer and cultural ambassador Te Ata/Mary Thompson Fischer, Gil Birmingham as her father, Graham Greene as the tribal governor, and Mackenzie Astin as a nerd love interest whose bleach job and makeup, intended to age him up, proved unexpectedly sexy.

Horror of Dracula (1958)

[personal profile] disgruntled_owl has been writing in this fandom and I wanted to deepen my appreciation of what she's doing. She never needs to be asked twice to (re)watch Peter Cushing movies, especially those that co-star Christopher Lee, so she showed me this one evening. It was a good time, with several 'shippable combinations as well as a random comedic figure in the morgue. Michael Gough, who plays Arthur, looks SO FAMILIAR but I can't tell why even after reading his IMDB page, only that my enjoyment of his face must be related to the reasons I enjoy Noah Taylor's, Bill Irwin's and Otto Sander's.

Beezus and Ramona (2010)

Based on the Beverly Cleary book. Wholesome family feelings. Lots of wide blue eyes and cropped brown hair in the tradition of Mara Wilson. I admit: it made me cry. In an indication of my connection to Today's Youth, I did not realize that was Selena Gomez as Beezus until the credits rolled.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) ♥

Huh—people said this was good, and they were right! Totally kooky humor that startled barks of laughter out of me in the same way the Batman Lego movie did. Lots of callbacks. Nice feminist B-plot with a "weather girl" who knows her stuff but has been socialized to play dumb and hide her passions.

ETA: See also the second half of this post, a sort of meta-analysis of reviews like these.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Doing: I confess I am not doing great, friends. It's probably just cyclical biochemistry, but combined with shenanigans at the office and acknowledgement that I need to turn back to medicine in search of help for stuff that therapy didn't budge after two years—even though it was dissatisfaction with medical solutions that sent me to therapy in the first place—there's been more than the usual amount of existential reflection and droopiness. Work is not getting done. Fun is not really happening either. I feel defeated in several arenas. Stuff annoys me everywhere I turn: an intractable audio delay on the Roku I bought over the holidays because the old one couldn't run apps anymore, road closures, bloggers' overuse of parentheses, con and other event organizers inviting original submissions without enough lead time, continuing frustration that so many Twitter users who cross my dashboard don't, to name one of many behaviors, track down original sources before RTing commentary.

This, too, shall pass.

Good things: Friend J. and I attended a book talk and signing with a powerhouse trio: G. Willow Wilson and Helen Oyeyemi interviewed by Kelly Link. It had its moments, but I wish it had gone deeper. The bookstore event organizer and Link both mentioned a conversation the authors had had earlier in the evening, and that sounded better than what we got. By contrast, last night coworker R. and I went to an alternately entertaining and illuminating talk with Werner Herzog, done conversation-style with a classics professor who has collaborated with him on ten films. It ran two hours with Q&A and could have gone longer, as far as we were concerned. Well, not the Q&A part; the questions and "questions" were of that painful sort that come from university students trying to sound smart.

My sister came to town for about 36 hours on her latest gig, with the Russian National Ballet, so [personal profile] disgruntled_owl and I got to hang with her. For those of you who are new here, my sister is basically a freelance tour manager for musicians. My favorite part was when one guy, whose English was better than most of the troupe's, gently teased her in the green room for eating sushi without drinking beer, and then a few minutes later, while watching the evening's performance of Swan Lake, I discovered he played the prince. Having seen the dancers offstage at the hotel and at the mall added a fun layer to the viewing experience: that one over there, she's the one who made an adorable pout when told the venue wifi wasn't working, and those two have just recovered from a bad landing and a fight, respectively…. Also, did you know the ballet has alternate endings? In this version, to the probable benefit of the children in the audience, Rothbart got defeated and Odette and the prince lived happily ever after.

Last and perhaps least, I replaced the living room area rug I'd disliked for five years. Pretty. (Not my apartment.)

Reading: Local friends are wrapping up a March mini-version of our autumn reading challenge. I decided to use the communal motivation to finish some books I was stuck on, plus one I'd had on the shelf for 20 years, A Canticle for Leibowitz. So at least some books made it back to the library completed after the maximum number of renewals and a few cents in fines.

Fanfic-wise, I tried some Star Trek: Discovery fic and have enjoyed this person [ profile] Alethia's collection of Christopher Pike/Michael Burnham stories, except for one thing. They have excellent banter and good character voices and a variety of simple yet enjoyable premises, but there's little to no attention paid to the incredible breach of protocol inherent in a ship's captain sleeping with a crew member. It's either not mentioned at all, or it's brushed aside in a line or two. For me, that's a big disappointment. Also, the author likes italics more than I like reading them, because you shouldn't have to rely on them to indicate what you want emphasized, and even if they add force and movement to words like thrust in a sex scene, you don't need them multiple times per paragraph. Okay, see above re: being easily annoyed. At least it's not The Magicians, where, I'm told, fandom has decided fic should be written in the style of e.e. cummings.

Watching + Vidding: Ask me about the time I watched an entire TV show for Equinox Exchange after saying it was going to be a low-effort project. That's done now, and over the weekend I returned to a sports movie vid I'd been planning two years ago but set aside when Fandom Trumps Hate came along. It has structure. Structure is my friend. When I'm feeling less despondent I would like to work on the vid I suuuuuper owe [personal profile] deelaundry, as well as other projects recently mentioned here. And, you know, actually finish something.

How are you?
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I don't even go here, as they say, but [personal profile] toft & J. & [personal profile] marginaliana & I were talking about this rectangular livestock meme popularized by The Museum of English Rural Life, and one thing led to another. Happy early birthday, [personal profile] toft.

Title: Squares Are Everywhere (AO3)
Fandom: "Absolute unit" livestock meme
Music: by StoryBots (edited)
Length: 41 sec.
Content notes: Improbably shaped farm animals, brief ram genitalia
Physical notes: A few slide/push transitions
Credits: Images mostly via [ profile] TheMERL, with some from Ars Technica, Medium, eBay, etc. Info about the meme here; warning for fatphobia at top.

Embed & lyrics )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)

Work has been… not good lately. My boss' boss killed a long-term project of mine at the 11th hour that I was really proud of and looking forward to sharing with people. The nix came out of nowhere and despite approvals by all the other necessary parties, proposed compromises from me and vocal support from the rest of our team. That has taken the wind out of my sails.

I also struggled in the last couple of weeks with a series of decisions that shouldn't have been that hard. Well, I've got issues, but I realized this go-round that it's not all me, it's also other people not accepting a first "no thanks." Plus I think I have to quit my therapist and find someone less frustrating. Or just stop. Perhaps not surprisingly, I've had a strange, pressure-type headache for a week and counting.

However! Summer travel provides something to look forward to. I was approved to attend a conference in Switzerland, whee, and later will be spending a low-key week with some friends on the Cape, where I have never gone despite having lived in Boston for more than 10 years when you add it all together. Grateful to have been invited.


Achieved my first fannish goal for the year by upgrading to a paid Spotify account. Being able to play music on the TV (via Roku) has made a huge difference in how often I listen, and already the influx of new artists and songs has lifted my spirits and begun to replenish my dwindling collection of viddable music. One song wants to be about The Good Place, even though I had no plans to vid that show.


Back to usual habits: 26 movies and 3 seasons of television so far this year. No oomph to write reviews, but I'm sure the time and inclination will return at some point.

Some of that TV is a new-to-me 1990s show in case it sparks an idea for [community profile] equinox_exchange, because our matched fandom isn't working out and I don't know how to do things in half measures. (I talked to my mom about defaulting or phoning something in, and she reminded me that I won't be happy making something I don't like.) There is a movie option, but the right song hasn't presented itself. TBD, I guess.

Funny story about that: One actor struck me as good-looking in atypical way, and when I looked him up I learned he's the son of another actor whose photos I've had on my computer for years because he is also good-looking in an atypical way. Consistent taste is consistent! Now I see the resemblance, although I don't think I would have figured it out on my own, especially since they have different last names. /cryptic


1. For stress relief and a friend's birthday, I spent half a day making a vidlet of the best kind: simple, silly and short. Stay tuned.

2. Intermittently editing a Longmire vid that didn't work out for Festivids: Mathias+Walt (or Mathias/Walt), Mathias POV, hopefully funny. Somehow there are zero Mathias/Walt fanworks among the 289 Longmire entries on the AO3, despite the characters having similar jobs and the type of contentious relationship fandom usually loves.

3. Planning [personal profile] deelaundry's auction vid.

Also, [personal profile] trelkez's Self-Curated Vid Show collection went live, in which 31 vidders submitted playlists they constructed from their own vid archives in whatever ways they desired. I've got two playlists in the mix. You can watch them here if you like. I'm looking forward to getting a better sense of people's bodies of work in the coming weeks.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Hm. My [community profile] equinox_exchange assignment is technically a match, but we're interested in completely different characters for our large, shared source. Am instead exploring a couple of other sources among their requests. Oh, well.


I went to a small gallery opening last night at Harvard Divinity School in which a recent graduate, a self-taught artist, painted a series of icons in the Byzantine tradition that depict Star Wars characters. So instead of Mary and baby Jesus, there's C-3PO cradling R2D2, radiant against a gold background, with their names transliterated into Greek.

The collection is called "Saints of Star Wars" and it is a super fun exploration of the intersection of fannishness and worship.

The artist, Alex Ramos (artist bio | academic bio), spoke for a few minutes and made himself very available for discussions with the few dozen attendees. Two faculty members also introduced the exhibit. As someone with only a cursory education in Christianity and art history and medium-level knowledge of Star Wars, I appreciated the context they provided and the framing questions they posed, such as:

- What is for us today an icon?

- Some contemporary SF/F properties convene religious communities. Ex. Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, Jedi-ism as a self-entered minority religion on official census documents.

- Explanations of the inspirations behind individual paintings. Chewbacca after John the Baptist with fur cloak and curly hair. Luke after St. George and the Dragon. Anakin as an icon of redemption.

And as a Renaissance finale, a version of the Last Supper featuring Jabba the Hutt, which, if I heard correctly, the Divinity School commissioned. Ramos told a few of us about the decisionmaking behind placement of certain characters, notably Leia in the position of betrayer. In the second version he painted, she doesn't have a halo.

With bonus filk! Topping off the event, a local family choir performed two original Star Wars songs, one detailing Jabba's excuses for why he can't be nice and the other sung by Anakin Skywalker about the benefits of turning to the Dark Side. It was amusing in the sometimes cringey way of amateur performances.

On a personal level, I enjoyed chatting with not only Ramos but also a visiting scholar from Tuskegee University who studies at the confluence of bioethics, faith and gender; a young woman priest from Boston's Trinity Church; a biologist; and a faculty member at the design school.

Never has there been a more appropriate venue to overhear the exchange: "May the Force be with you." "And also with you."

ETA: The internet reveals a similar, digital series, Imperial Saints, designed by Patrick King.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Signups for the fall/spring vidding comm [community profile] equinox_exchange close tonight. This round's theme is "1990s source." There are enough personal favorites on that list that for the first time, I'm signing up rather than waiting to see people's prompts and deciding whether to make a treat. (Given other projects & commitments, I'm trying to think of this one as an easy fill rather than a big investment like Festivids.) Dang it, though, I didn't think to nominate Powder or A Simple Twist of Fate.

Here are my requests!

Fandom: Brimstone (TV)
Characters: Ezekiel Stone, The Devil (Brimstone)

There need to be more Brimstone vids in the world! Like probably everyone, I enjoyed Zeke's flirtations with the Devil. A more spoofy song about how Zeke's manpain and fridged wife maybe haven't aged super well in the last decade could be fun too. I did unironically love many of the demons of the week, especially Gwen. Or: it's fun to be the devil?

Fandom: Roar (TV)
Characters: Longinus, Tully

Longinus!!!! Go whole-heart for Sebastian Roche's face + hair + angst, or make fun of it, or ship him with someone, whatever you like.

Alternately, I don't think I've seen any Tully vids, like, ever?

Or: If you can do a gen vid that makes the show look... like it was good/deep? That would be cool! :D

Fandom: Multi-Fandom
Characters: Alex Mack, Odo

Won't someone cross over Alex from "The Secret World of Alex Mack" + Odo from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"? Liquefiable detectives FTW!!

Fandom: The Crow: City of Angels (1996)
Characters: Ashe, Sarah

I love Vincent Perez and Mia Kirshner's beautiful goth/emo faces. <3 <3

Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Characters: Odo, Weyoun, Dukat, Damar, Julian Bashir

Show of my teenage heart. Some ideas off the top of my head for favorite characters:

- Weyoun's worship of Odo
- Odo character study - justice & gray areas, search for identity as not quite changeling not quite solid. relationships with quark or laas or lwaxana or that femme fatale from that one episode where he gets to have a sort of romance. not into the odo/kira romance, though.
- Cardassians! Damar character study? Damar & Weyoun comedy hour? Dukat's hopeless obsessions with Sisko and/or Kira?
- Bashir character study - arrogance and humility in medicine? personal growth? individual relationships?
- Also see above re: super-niche request for a crossover with The Secret World of Alex Mack!
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
What's that? Tentacles and morbid humor? Count me in.

It Came from Beneath the Sea is a classic B-movie about an oceanic creature that starts encroaching on human ships/submarines/beaches/cities because radiation. It features the special effects of legend Ray Harryhausen. There are a bunch of human scientists and military types, but whatever, we know who the real protagonist is. I was pleased to be compared to [personal profile] jetpack_monkey when someone guessed that he made this vid. :)

Title: Part of That World
Fandom: It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)
Characters: Giant octopus, civilians
Music: from Disney's "The Little Mermaid"
Length: 2:34
Content notes: Sea monster attacks treated humorously
Physical notes: Stop-motion animation
A/N: A treat for [personal profile] gwenfrankenstien for Festivids 2018-9.

Summary: Out of the sea
Wish I could be
Part of that world

Links, embed & lyrics )

Commentary! )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Hey, did you know I like Longmire and Zahn McClarnon??? And yet only [personal profile] alpheratz guessed me for this vid? Probably because not a lot of people watched it, comparatively. Small fandom, last page of the collection index on the AO3, maybe scary-sounding warnings. I hope some more people give it a try after reveals; I really like how it turned out, sad and sweet, with a flow that hopefully conveys both the impact of individuals and the interconnectedness of community. (One person suspected [personal profile] sholio made this, which IMO was a good guess!)

No source knowledge required to watch this vid. I aimed to make the narrative accessible by telling a series of very small stories underscored by the lyrics. Of course, that said, knowing the characters and plots should certainly add depth.

Title: Hey, Brother
Fandom: Longmire (TV)
Characters: Ensemble, Cheyenne reservation
Music: Olivia Penalva covering Avicii
Length: 3:06
Summary: From hugs to bail money, from job creation to public protests, members of the Cheyenne community have got one another's backs.
A/N: For [personal profile] dirty_diana, who wrote, "I also love the recurring themes of handling trauma, both individual and generational," and said she liked Henry, Jacob and Mathias. Thank you to [personal profile] stultiloquentia for beta.

Content notes: Deaths, including of a teen; suicide by hanging; physical assault, briefly; implied domestic violence; off-screen kidnapping of children
Spoilers: 1x1 (Lilly Stillwater), 1x5 (Neel Cody), 2x13-3x10 (Henry's trial), 3x5 (Hector), 3x10 (David Ridges), 4x6-4x9 (Gab), 5x4 (Mingan), 6x7 (Tate)
Physical notes: Some camera movement

Links, embed & lyrics )

My goal was to scrape together enough footage of Cheyenne characters being visibly supportive to sustain a vid. Several challenges presented themselves. First, Longmire is a crime procedural, which means bad things happen to people more often than good things, and I didn't want this to turn into torture/sadness porn. Second, the main characters are white, so even though there are many episodes that focus on Cheyenne community members, the stories are usually told from an outsider POV, with Walt Longmire or Cady or Vic literally centered in the frame. That all meant that sometimes a short or awkward clip was still the best (or only) clip to use to show a particular character, set a scene or tell a coherent story.

It also means this vid depicts only part of the picture of Cheyenne plotlines on the show. Maybe a misleading one, for those unfamiliar with it? I hope no one tries Longmire expecting it to look like this vid all the time. It's still about Walt and his department, foremost.

More in-depth commentary coming soon!
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
This year's favorite [community profile] festivids:

Goodbye by ? for walkthegale (The Innocents) - A vid of the movie based on the ghost story/novella The Turn of the Screw. Slow and spooky. Awesome establishing of pace and mood.

Dance to Another Tune by ? for thingswithwings (Runaways) - That subjective magic of source + song match, mood, progression, turning ordinary shots of things like the paper snowflakes into something haunting, a series of smart choices down to details like the cult choosing kids who theoretically won't be missed.

It's nothing at all by ? for runawaynun (Battle for Sevastopol) - The choice of Radiohead and the cutting style together create a beautiful flow of horrific events.

Unlock the Lock by ? for runawaynun (The Expanse) - Another good match of song and source and editing, a lovely portrait of Chrisjen and Bobbie and what connects them.

I Know What I Am by ? for colls (Ocean's 8) - How do you handle a source with so many characters? By using a song with two vocalists trading off repetitive verses, of course. I do love a well-structured and well-paced vid.

Plus 8 more )

Last but not least, thank you to ??? for making Graveyard Smash, an appropriately tongue-in-cheek fusion of the wacky, bloody, adult-rated film duo of Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein. In addition to reveling in the characters' over-the-top expressions, necrophilia, voyeurism, etc., the vid presents a series of fun lyric matches, such as the play on party/Party and the poor "Wolf Man." I promise there's more to the movies than inappropriate sex, should you ever wish to check them out. :)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
May 2019 will mark the 10th anniversary of posting my first vid online, and I thought it would be fun to do some write-ups about the journey, the process, some of the vids I've made and some that didn't make it or haven't yet.

Masterlist on the AO3

Let's start with something that feels contained: audio editing.

A rough count reveals that of 55 vids I've posted to date, 38 of them, or 69%, contain edited audio. Why?

Five reasons: )

Hope this is interesting to people! More to come. Still taking suggestions for topics.

Fic musings

Jan. 7th, 2019 03:06 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
You never know which story will call to you, or when. One of the documents I've been returning to lately is an old Stargate-movie Mary Sue story about one of Ra's body servants. It's different from other universes I've played in in that, while we the readers view Ra as an alien possessing a human body, to the protagonist, he is divine; so the narrative intermingles deity/worshipper and ruler/subject and lover/beloved, and because much of it is told from the young servant's point of view, she does not question--in fact, wholeheartedly devotes herself to--what we could label an exploitative relationship. After tweaking little bits here and there of a draft that has remained stagnant for perhaps a decade, this weekend I added 1,000 words of a new scene. I am happily bewildered.

Strange things happen regarding time. There's this whole batch of stories I started in my, I guess you'd call it golden years, from late high school through shortly after college, which still serve as the foundation for most of the Mary Sue writing I do that's technically fanfic but isn't likely to ever be posted. I still think of them as fairly new, except, on reflection, even the newest of them started more than 15 years ago. What the hell.

("What the hell have I been doing with my creative life in those 15 years" is a follow-on question it's best not to wallow in.)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Mini-reviews of the billionty books I read last fall. Most are adapted from the communal spreadsheet we kept for the autumn reading challenge.

From Spinning Silver to Murderbot & Wayfarers to rereads of My Teacher Is an Alien & The Vampire Diaries )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Which we shall now call "lightning round" in quotation marks, since one blurb took another few months to come back and finish. Book version to follow ASAP.

Atomic Blonde )

Nights in Rodanthe )

Mamma Mia! )

Starman )

Dawnland )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Continued from here.

I've got an unfinished set of book and movie reviews titled "Lightning Round" because it was going to be super quick. It's dated September 23. Ha ha ha. Here is the list anyway. If and when I finish that post, I'll add the links here. ETA: Link added!

24 novels, 3 novellas, 7 graphic novel volumes, 5 short story collections, 3 nonfictions, 3 poetry collections, 1 play )

Total for the year:
  • 35 novels
  • 8 novellas + 1 partial
  • 12 graphic novel volumes
  • 6 short story collections + 1 partial
  • 9 memoirs & nonfiction
  • 3 poetry collections
  • 1 play

a.k.a. 74 complete + 2 partial, a.k.a. about 25 more books than usual.

Quick-and-dirty demographics:
  • Women & nonbinary: 39 authors/poets + 4 coauthors/illustrators, 31 books
  • Native: 28 authors/poets, 8 books
  • Other non-white: 5 authors + 2 coauthors/illustrators, 7 books
  • Translations: 2 books + some poems

As always, happy to talk about any of these.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Continued from here.

54 movies )

16 TV seasons or specials )

That's still low for me on movies, a lingering result of all the skimming for "The Greatest" plus my slide over to watching TV shows with Zahn McClarnon in them.

As always, happy to talk about any of these.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)

I just returned from a week in rural Tennessee, where my mom's boyfriend bought a house for them to retire to in a few years. It's perched on the side of a mountain abutting Cherokee National Forest. It felt like vacation as soon as I heard running water and smelled wood smoke. Beautiful land,* spacious home, largely off the grid, although the steep slope made me nervous. We saw turkeys and Carolina chickadees along with many neighbors' pets and livestock. Went for easy hikes, ate venison steaks, played games, sang along with my mom's guitar on Christmas Eve—she has adopted the bf's Italian-American Catholic traditions—and discussed the ups and downs of their relationship. I fired a gun for the first time; took out some bottles with buckshot. When in Rome...

*stolen, sigh


Hauling my desktop (vidding) computer 800 miles proved worthwhile, as I squeezed in two productive editing sessions. The draft is nearly complete. I'd like to send that out for beta soon and try for a treat. It would be sad to break the streak of making at least two Festivids per round.

Vidding anniversary

May will mark the tenth anniversary of posting my first vid. I'm planning some short write-ups for the occasion that can be spaced throughout 2019, like "favorite opening credits" and "vids that never made it." Is there anything you'd like to know?

In memoriam

I was saddened to hear about the recent passing of [personal profile] stardreamer. I had only just begun to get to know her here on Dreamwidth, where she was an engaged, insightful, compassionate commenter. It took longer than it should have for me to subscribe to her journal, which is when I learned that she had been struggling with pancreatic cancer for a while. It finally got the better of her in November. A real loss. Among other things, I'm sad I didn't finish the Midnight, Texas fic in time for her to read it; it's a tiny fandom and she'd said she was looking forward to it.

May her memory be a blessing.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Previous Roundups
2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

I will remember four things about this year:

1. Finished the most ambitious vid I've ever attempted, The Greatest, and, by taking the risk to invite further donations, raised an extra $1,000 beyond the initial bid for U.S. & international charities. It couldn't have been done without friends and the wider fannish community.

2. Dove into the Zahn McClarnon project and fell hard for Longmire.

3. Put forth my most sustained effort to date in consuming Native-centric and Native-produced books, movies, poems, podcasts and documentaries/nonfiction. Simultaneously enjoyed the art (or critiqued it, depending) and tried to evolve my understanding of what it means to live as colonizer and colonized in what we call the U.S. and Canada. To be continued in 2019.

4. Participated in the local friend group's BookIt!-style autumn reading challenge, modded by [personal profile] disgruntled_owl. Read a ton of books, shared reactions with the other readers, blacked out the Bingo card, went to an excellent wrap party.

Well, and 5. Attended the final Vividcon.


I posted three vids this year: two Festivids, followed by the gigantic project that was "The Greatest." The break it was necessary to take after that vid lasted longer than expected, but I'm getting back into the groove now, and besides, some of that creative energy went to fic writing, which I'm not going to complain about.

Vid links )


The year Zahn McClarnon characters revitalized my fic writing! I also wrote a story for the Trick or Treat Exchange for the first time.

Fic links & WIP notes )

2018 fanwork goals

How did we do? )

2019 fanwork goals

  • Write some posts about vidding for the 10th anniversary of making my first one
  • There are several vids I'd like to make, most notably The One with All My Longmire Feelings, deelaundry's belated #FandomTrumpsHate vid, and, if I still feel like it, a small multivid based on Zahn characters. Plus the above-mentioned one expressing my Mary Sue vampire feelings, but no rush on that. And something for FanWorksCon? Maybe the sports multivid I tabled a couple of years back? Eh, we'll see.
  • Caption remaining uncaptioned vids
  • ✔ Upgrade to a paid Spotify account so I can be exposed to more new music and generate vid ideas
  • Actually use AfterEffects before I forget the training from last year

  • Finish the Zahn stories, or at least the Red Road one
  • Finish that stubborn Jinni/Dustfinger crossover before the new Helene Wecker book comes out!
  • Continue to experiment with adjusting day-to-day habits to facilitate writing

  • Go to the new FanWorksCon in August
  • Go to Longmire Days in Wyoming if Zahn will be in attendance??
  • Choose a cloud backup service

ETA: Whoops, and people too, of course! This year we acquired a [personal profile] toft & a J., which has been great. Synn and I got to spend a whole afternoon with [personal profile] xenakis & [ profile] lunarflares when we visited Montreal in the spring. I met one of my vidding role models, [personal profile] sol_se, at Vividcon. On Twitter, I've especially enjoyed the added company of [ profile] mk_york_books and [ profile] glassesojustice, who, among other things, share the Longmire love. Locally, a couple of core fan-friend groups continued to strengthen; I enjoyed spending a little more time than usual with [personal profile] unfinishedidea; and in the new year, I'd like to see more of [personal profile] linaerys now that she's closer to town, as well as some people whom I only seem to run into at cons in other states, such as [personal profile] inkjunket. It's also long past time to visit friends in D.C. for its own sake, not attached to a business trip or whatnot. In the words of Karloff's creature: Friiiiiieeeeeeennnnnds goooooooooddddd.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
The good news: I laid out some clips for that Festivids idea last night and it made me have an emotion.

The bad news: On rechecking the recipient's request letter, she dislikes both that genre of music and that style of editing.

So: Plan B, methinks, even though it doesn't quite line up with the characters she asked for; I don't know what else to do.

I still want to make that other one, though. Probably it's best as a response to someone else's earlier request anyway.

How're everyone else's holiday season fanworks going?


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