bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
onewingdippedinblood's Dear Festividder post excited me the most of anyone's during signups, so I was very happy to get them as my assignment. Dark City was the original plan, but the description of Waxwork & Waxwork II sounded right up my alley, so I watched those as well, discovered that we liked some of the same parts, and ended up with a treat idea.


Title: Sunny Days
Fandom: Dark City
Music: Theme to "Sesame Street" by The Kids
Length: 1:53
Summary: Can anyone tell me how to get to Shell Beach?
Content notes: Syringes in heads, dystopia, physical and psychological manipulation, major movie spoilers.
Physical notes: For some reason, the director decided lights needed to pulse and flicker in half the scenes. I'm sorry. There's also some quick and possibly vertiginous cutting around 1:04-1:11.
Thanks: to [personal profile] deelaundry and Mr. [personal profile] deelaundry for audiencing.
A/N: For [tumblr.com profile] onewingdippedinblood for [community profile] festivids 2016-2017. Originally posted here.

Dark City is a long-favorite movie, but round after round I couldn't come up with a song to vid it to. Then, this. I don't even remember what made the Sesame Street theme occur to me, but once it did, I knew I wanted to make it. It felt like such a wonderfully discordant match, highlighting the dystopian nightmare as Murdoch tries to find his way out via Shell Beach. I had fun resisting my usual impulse to tell a clear, linear story and instead play up the confusion and glorious weirdness.

Sunny Days )


Title: Something's Going Wrong
Fandom: Waxwork (1988)
Pairing: Mark/China, Mark/Sarah, China/Dracula, Sarah/Marquis de Sade
Music: "Is She Really Going Out With Him" by Joe Jackson (edited)
Length: 3:07
Summary: Alas, poor Mark. He just wants China to like him. Or Sarah. Or any girl, really. But they keep falling for classic horror hunks.
Content notes: White male tears, a phallic weapon, whips & chains
Physical notes: Strobe lights intermittently 2:19-2:46
Thanks: to [personal profile] thedeadparrot, [personal profile] deelaundry and Mr. [personal profile] deelaundry for audiencing.
A/N: For [tumblr.com profile] onewingdippedinblood for [community profile] festivids 2016-2017. Originally posted here.

"I also ship China/Dracula and China/Stephan. And, I have such a wrongdirtybad love for Sarah/Marquis de Sade," onewingdippedinblood wrote in their Festivids letter. And you know what? So did I after watching the movie. It's too bad the vid had to be from the POV of the sadface dude character who kept trying to be smooth with the ladies and failing (and then, even worse, not failing), but I think the vid makes enough fun of him to make up for it.

(I did make a mistake, though, because I misremembered the male character's name and thought that onewingdippedinblood liked the trio featured here, when in fact they liked the two young women and one of the other guys. Oops.)

P.S. Watch the movie, it's fun. The sequel, though less well paced, also has lots of fun with intertextuality as the hero and heroine go movie hopping through Frankenstein, Alien, a Bruce Campbell thing, and more.

Waxwork )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Title: Behind Blue Eyes
Fandom: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Music: by The Who (edited)
Length: 2:13
Summary: HAL just wants to be loved.
Content notes: Morbid humor, character death.
Physical notes: Some camera spinning and odd angles/vantages.
Thanks: to [personal profile] synn for beta comments, and also [profile] disgruntledowl and R.
A/N: A treat for [profile] cherryice for [community profile] festivids 2016-2017. Inspired in part by I Think We're Alone Now by [personal profile] sweetestdrain. Originally posted here.

Look, it just happened: I was skimming the requests list alongside my song collection, thought of this match, saw cherry's Dear Festividder letter -- "You could go against type and work with delightfully incongruous music" -- and knew I had to give it a try. Quite possibly the idea wouldn't have occurred to me if it hadn't been for sweetestdrain's Club Vivid vid cited above. Two drafts later -- after the first attempt, I felt the middle needed to be sped up more and beta watchers felt the end needed to be slowed down more -- we have this.

Slowing down music in Premiere is a b*tch, by the way; there's no time remapping feature. Possibly all you Premiere vidders know this, but I did not. Because I preferred to do it in Premiere and not, say, Audacity, I ended up cutting the audio track into pieces and slowing down each one a certain percentage more than the last, cross-fading where needed and checking the box to maintain the original pitch. Of course, not even that worked the first time, because there's a bug or something in Premiere where doing the above makes the whole edited section go mute. Turns out you have to switch the timeline settings from 44100 Hz to 48000 Hz or vice versa so it's whatever your song isn't.

Anyway, enjoy this vid that may be either hilarious or creepy depending on your POV. Personally, I cackled through making it. The slow zoom I added to HAL's eye on "to be hated" and the rise of the shuttle pod on "my dreeeeeeeeeams" are some of my favorite parts. On the creepy side, I also really like Dave's head tilting right after "vengeance."

HAL )

ETA: This vid screened at Vidukon 2017 (Festivids vid show)!
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Title: Going through space with the world
Fandom: RPF – Chris Hadfield
Music: Intro to "Act on Impulse" by We Were Promised Jetpacks
Length: 2:08
Summary: From "day in the life of an astronaut" videos to international stardom; or, Chris Hadfield and his adorable mustache.
Content notes: None.
Physical notes: The camera is generally stationary, but microgravity = lots of things float around + Hadfield often appears sideways or upside-down.
Thanks: to [personal profile] stultiloquentia for beta.
A/N: A treat for [personal profile] thirdblindmouse for [community profile] festivids 2016-2017. Title from Hadfield's TED Talk; footage from the Canadian Space Agency and other sources. Originally posted here.

This source request caught my eye during the nominations period, and after seeing tbm's Dear Festividder letter, it actually became the first vid I started making, while assignments were still being determined. I had only known Chris Hadfield from a couple of those "What happens when you wring out a washcloth in space" clips and his music video, but soon after starting research for the vid I fell for his other "how to" videos, his smiles and sense of wonder and commitment to education.

I wanted to make something that showed the expansion of joy from schoolchildren to science/space fans to celebrities and guest appearances and was on the lookout for an instrumental piece that built accordingly without being super long, so I was glad to re-stumble upon this song in an NPR guide to last year's SXSW.

And as surmised, a couple of people did guess that [profile] cherryice had made this, because science + Canada. :)

Hadfield )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Title: She Walks In Beauty
Fandom: Let the Right One In
Pairing: Eli/Oskar
Music: by Sissel Kyrkjebø and Nicholas Dodd, adapted from the poem by Lord Byron
Length: 2:07
Summary: All that's best of dark and bright / Meet in her aspect and her eyes.
Content notes: Blood, brief gruesome injury, underage relationship.
Thanks: To [personal profile] anoel for cheering me on on Twitter, even though she didn't know this was the vid I was struggling with.
Physical notes: I don't think any.
A/N: A treat for [personal profile] quizkwatsh for [community profile] festivids 2016-2017. I'm sorry this turned out more Eli/Oskar than just Eli. Originally posted here.

This vid took four or five tries to make, including a couple of afternoons where I was ready to throw the whole thing out the window. Despite that, and even though I hadn't expected the middle sequences to feature so much linear narrative, I'm glad it finally came together; I'd been wanting to set this source to this song for a while and to try to play up the haunting quality of the refrain, the mix of horror and allure bundled together in Eli's character. I wonder if it worked for people, since the original post didn't get much feedback.

Personal favorite parts are the opening clip, Oskar making up his mind and hugging/accepting his new vampire friend as the music swells, and the cute "grr"s at the end. I had hoped to make that arm-stroking clip quite long, overlaid on the attacks, but I couldn't figure out how to do it the way I envisioned. Oh, well.

In other news, I thought this vid had "bironic" written all over it, but no one guessed me for it at the guessing post. Or rather, no one took a guess at all for it. Maybe because few people watched it? IDK. Stealth achievement unlocked?

eli )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I have solved the problem of effort by not actually writing out why I like these vids; will do so in comments to the vids themselves, and to the dozen+ others I enjoyed. Also, I will not say whether any vids by me are on this list.

ETA: Now with vidders' names added.

First, shoutout to To the Edge, which was made for ME by [personal profile] elipie for the French erotic thriller Stranger By the Lake. \o/ My thoughts are at the post.

OTHER FAVES, organized by FEELINGS

D:
escape the day by [personal profile] leanwellback (for quizkwatsh) - 10 Cloverfield Lane
Human by [personal profile] hollywoodgrrl (for kiki_miserychic) - The Keeping Room
Voodoo In My Blood by [personal profile] hollywoodgrrl (for evewithanapple) - The Witch

:(
English Summer Rain by [personal profile] violace (for theletterelle) - How I Live Now

:,)
Little Man by [personal profile] odessie (for Little Heaven) - How To Dad
Gone, Gone, Gone by [personal profile] fiercynn (for niyalune) - One Hundred and One Dalmatians

:,|
Battle Cry by [personal profile] thingswithwings (for himundergreen) - Luke Cage

:,(
A Better Son/Daughter by [personal profile] eruthros (for cupidsbow) - RPF - Carrie Fisher and Gary - vidder's notes

o_o
May Fortune Favor the Foolish by [personal profile] actiaslunaris (for larissabernstein) - Galaxy Quest
Two Against One by [personal profile] seekingferret (for skygiants) - Blazing Saddles

:)
Get Loud by [personal profile] heresluck (for Anoel) - Ghostbusters (2016)

<3
You're So Beautiful by [personal profile] anoel (for eruthros) - The Get Down

\o/
Tanz aus der Reihe by [personal profile] violace (for bingeling) - Ku'damm 56

:D
500 Miles by [personal profile] elipie (for such heights) - Pokémon GO

Notable especially for editing technique:
Wriggle by [personal profile] thuviaptarth (for Anoel) - UnREAL
Brooklyn Gamma by [personal profile] bingeling (for Scribe) - Killjoys


One thing I like about [community profile] festivids is the opportunity for exposure to unfamiliar movies, TV shows, graphic novels etc. So it makes me sad when people talk about skimming the masterlist for fandoms they're familiar with and then stopping there. Yes, a few of the vids will feel inaccessible, and some will be spoilery, but lots more are made to be enticing and/or to provide all the context a viewer needs.

Preaching to the choir here, maybe.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Hwooof, that was a tough week, but this weekend was the best that's happened in a while, so all's well that ends well, I guess.

(It was just a trough of stress. Political stuff, work stuff, probably body chemistry stuff. I am finally getting started with seeing a therapist and then I missed an appointment because I was so discombobulated I thought it was the next day. I had never missed a doctor's appointment before. I felt so stupid until [personal profile] deelaundry said a kind thing that hadn't occurred to me: When I said, "I look like a flake," she countered with, "You look like someone who needs help." Self-compassion is a thing it would be nice to learn.)

The good stuff:

Socializing: In support of this year's goal to get together more often with friends I like to talk to and/or want to get to know better, a few of us went to a play yesterday and had a satisfying coffee shop chat afterwards, and then I accepted an unexpected invitation to another blossoming friend's low-key Superbowl dinner. All good.

The play was called Trans Scripts, a synthesis/melding of interviews with trans women from the US/UK/Aus. It was elegant, illuminating and well acted -- two cast members were particularly strong -- although I thought it faltered in a few spots when it shifted from "showing" through anecdotes to plain proselytizing. [personal profile] marginaliana wrote up some of her thoughts.

A phone conversation the previous night:
95-year-old grandpa: Oh! I didn't expect you to be home on a Saturday night. I thought you'd be out with your friends.
Me: No, I'm boring. Well, I'm going to see a play tomorrow, but it's a matinee.
Grandpa: Oh, yeah? What is it about?
Me, bracing myself: It's based on interviews with transgender women about their lives.
Grandpa: Oh. You know, there's this woman I know from the temple, who lives with another woman, and it turns out they're--what do you call it--lesbians? Lesbians?
Me: Mm-hm!
Grandpa: So that's very interesting! I just knew them as women from the temple, you know.
#NotAllGrandpas

Doing: Had a computer-free day Saturday involving a mall run, errands and two movies. In addition to some necessaries for work and winter weather, I treated myself to a grommet-studded cut-out shirt that I probably won't wear anywhere but at home and Club Vivid (because I am me) but love anyway.

Reading: Was delighted by Unbeatable Squirrel Girl vols 1-2: plucky, witty, metatextual, intertextual, often involved the defusing of supervillainy through psychology/sympathy rather than fisticuffs. The '80s horror of Paper Girls turns out to be not as much my aesthetic, although the introduction of overlapping timestreams in vol. 2 is getting interesting.

Watching: Saw Moonlight and Lion. Loved the first and really liked the second; cried through them both; my heart aches for Chiron. Hope to see I Am Not Your Negro and Hidden Figures this week. Catching up on what I missed in Dec-Jan when too much else was going on.

Vidding: I remain in the planning stages of the two auction vids, and am figuring out if I can make the multifandom Club Vivid vid I've been preparing since the fall or if it'll need to wait another year. I watched all the [community profile] festivids -- slim masterlist this year, half the usual total -- but haven't commented on any or recced any here because I'm afraid the gaps would give away what I made, and the thought of doing fake comments/recs to throw off the scent makes me tired. I'll probably just post the rec list after reveals.

Cooking: A pleasurable week is in store of chicken breast and goat cheese sandwiches for lunch and stuffed cabbage for dinner. Also, the supermarket was selling chocolate-covered banana chips, which I didn't know was a thing but I am all over it, mm. Banana chips were such a treat when I was a kid.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Oh, wow. That post the other day, when I tried once more to describe that weird thing that's happened on and off for 20 years? I went and dug up a diary entry I remembered making about it in high school, and there were a couple more symptoms mentioned in it that match the clinical description of simple partial temporal lobe seizures: Behind the cut if you are curious )

I'd forgotten about the stronger physical manifestations; they don't seem to happen anymore. Even though we don't have a family history of epilepsy and my parents confirm I wasn't dropped on my head as a child :), I really wonder if that's what's up! I will ask my doctor about it the next time I have an appointment (and will stop talking about it in the meantime because probably this is not super interesting to read about if it's not happening to you). Er, and hope that if this does turn out to be the explanation, it doesn't open a can of worms of tests or "preexisting conditions."

But I do want to say thanks for inspiring me to think this through and revisit those internet searches. Knowing you are there to talk to -- or to post to -- means a lot.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Five Festivids. Five fandoms. Three and a half months. One satisfied bironic. We'll see what the recipients think this weekend.

I've only managed to make this many Festivids once before, in 2012, but that entailed three for one fandom (Big Eden) and two for another (Dead Poets Society), so this feels like an even bigger accomplishment. Part of the key was getting started early, like October early, especially given what happened in RL soon after assignments went out, and not doing anything particularly ambitious.

That brings my seven-year Festivids total to 23 vids created and 7 received. Interesting.

*

More things I can't say about these vids: )

*

I've got to call it quits now; am behind on other tasks. (Have got to stop reading the news, too, for a little while, before I become incapable of functioning.) Good luck to those of you who are still working on treats, and hooray for everyone who's looking forward to watching the glut of new vids in less than three days!
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
First of all, thank you to everyone who posted photos or descriptions of your experiences at Saturday's marches.

After much angst, I chose to stay with my mom rather than to go the NYC rally. In the end, that turned out all right. The marches clearly had robust attendance, and while at home I was able to open my mom's eyes to the scale of the movement and the nature of the marchers' concerns—she hadn't known about the events at all and said she'd never seen anything like it, even given the Vietnam protests of the '60s—and spend more time debating her boyfriend, a staunch conservative who honest to goodness argued with TV coverage by shouting, "What about white people?" and "All lives matter!"

Not to mention that having all-day news and social media access gave us clearer access to speakers, performers and commentators and a broader perspective across the nation and the world than would have been possible while packed into a crowd.

Instead of berating myself for being on that day the sort of complicit bystander we decry in history classes, I try to remind myself that witnessing is also important.

.

Executive orders. Cabinet confirmations. Federal hiring freezes and gag rules.* Lies and distractions and tangled-up media relations. Standing Rock now, too, OMG. I only have so many dollars to donate, so one of the things I did today was ask the [tumblr.com profile] FandomTrumpsHate mods to extend an invitation to the runner-up in my vid auction in addition to the winner. We'll see if she's interested. If I can raise $210 for charity, that's another drop in the bucket of resistance. Or some metaphor that makes more sense.

I'll definitely be making a vid for the winner, though: [personal profile] deelaundry! We are discussing options.

*I worked at an HHS agency for several years; I'm very glad I'm not there right now, for both practical and ideological reasons. Friends who are Feds or contractors, I hope you know my thoughts are with you.

.

I've created a new DW/LJ tag, "politics," both for organization purposes and so those of you who want to can unsubscribe from it. That said, I still intend for this journal to remain primarily a fannish space.

.

And now for something a little lighter.

A few months back, Dee gave me a Liz Climo 2017 daily calendar. It is punching above its weight in emotional support. Today's cartoon is going to get tacked to the bulletin board:

image behind the cut )

Meanwhile, Mr. [personal profile] deelaundry gifted me a subscription to a monthly spice mix service. I had never belonged to one of those food-by-mail clubs before and wasn't sure what to expect, but the first trio of envelopes arrived yesterday and it’s a winner: four types of red chiles ground together, a cumin-oregano rub, and za'atar, with recipes curated by the head chef of the marvelous café at the National Museum of the American Indian. I have a baggie of sumac in the kitchen, but you can never have enough.

Tonight, hoping to finish the last Festivids treat. Golive on Saturday is a light at the end of the week.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I've been feeling weird these last few days. Current events? Inexplicable insomnia? Hormones? The anxiety of returning to "real life" after a 9-day break? All of the above? Who knows. I had a sort-of-nightmare the other morning and have been skirting the edge of That Feeling at bedtime, which I should write about again one of these days.

(I've done some reading since that last post and found some similarities to my experience in descriptions of the auras that can precede temporal lobe seizures, although I don't have seizures. Even if it's not the same as what's been happening to me, I did derive comfort from hearing that one of the features of the psychic/experiential components of such auras is that they're hard to describe. The only consistent trigger pattern I've been able to piece together is a combination of exhaustion and exposure to some media manifestation of raw male sexuality that elicits an attraction-repulsion response, but why the phenomenon doesn't occur every time those factors coincide remains a mystery.)

This time, it was set off by the hair of a low-budget Fabio-type guy in an, er, adult video clip. Last time, May 2016, it happened while hearing the opening lines of "I Found" by Amber Run as the long-haired actor in the music video* got out of the car and opened the front door to the house. See also: Yul Brynner in the dream sequence in Futureworld, Maman coming into the room in one particular scene in Slumdog Millionaire, Guy Pearce's face in part of [personal profile] elipie's haunting On My Way Home (Two Brothers) vid, the chorus of Linkin Park's "Castle of Glass," all the examples in the previous post…

*warning: kidnapping.

Okay, I guess I'm writing about it now and not later. :)

ETA: Hmmmmmmm, on further reading it sounds like "aura" for temporal lobe epilepsy can mean the experience preceding a complex partial seizure (loss of consciousness, twitching/lip smacking, language difficulty, etc.) OR the description of a simple partial seizure/focal seizure itself. So maybe the latter is what is going on?? How nice it would be to put a term to this.

ETA 2: Follow-up post
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I.

Quick reminder that bidding for the vid I'm offering for charity ends at midnight tonight, if you would like to make a pledge. Sorry/happy to report that the current bid is $110, in case that saves you a click.

I put in one bid, for a Remus/Sirius/someone fic from [personal profile] setissma, but [personal profile] thedeadparrot outbid me. :) That's only fair, since she'd been bidding before I stuck my nose in.

II.

I'm at my mom's for the week and she's doing well. Big relief. Last week was tough, being in another state and waiting for updates while trying to work. Now we are just lying around the house listening to music, watching TV and old movies, occasionally playing Scrabble* or this Star Trek trivia game** or yelling at a Banff National Park jigsaw puzzle whose pieces all look the same.

*Geekiest hand of the game

**We shuffled the trivia cards so the movies and series would all be mixed together, but then we realized we didn't know Voyager or Enterprise and by the end we just shamelessly cherry-picked TOS for her and DS9 for me, with occasional Wrath of Khan and The Voyage Home thrown in.

III.

Persuant to the above:

TV: My mom and her bf are into reality TV, so I've been introduced to shows like Wicked Tuna, Living Alaska, and Alaskan Bush People, plus many reruns of Property Brothers, House Hunters, etc., and the usual Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Let's not talk about the news.

Movies: I brought down one of the DVDs from a grab bag [personal profile] jetpack_monkey put together, and we are two for two so far: Attack of the Crab Monsters, which featured the immortal line, "Once they were men. Now they are land crabs," and Not of This Earth, featuring space vampires and questionable transfusion practices. YouTube trailer for the double feature. Tonight we'll try the third, War of the Satellites. Maybe we'll even get to the .avi file of The Frozen Dead that's been on my computer for about three years since my coworker tried to get me to watch it.

Books: Binti was great. I haven't gotten more than a third into Akata Witch because of all the TV, but I look forward to finishing it. Then The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl vols. 1-2, which was supposed to be for book club but just got outvoted by Paper Girls vols. 1-2, which I guess is next-next.

IV.

The neighbors' college-age son has gotten into Game of Thrones, grew his hair into several inches of curl, got himself a sword at a garage sale, and now does cosplay of Jon Snow in a fur-shouldered Night's Watch cloak. It's impressive!

V.

Okay, she's out of the shower, so that's all for now. Hope you're all hanging in there.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I'm offering a custom-made vid as part of the [tumblr.com profile] fandomtrumpshate charity auction! Bidding is now open, and runs through Jan. 19.

Context: What is this? What charities are eligible?

Here is my contributor profile on Tumblr, and here is the list of vids I've made to date. The short version of what I'm offering, which will look familiar if you remember last year's Vividcon auction, is:
TV shows: Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Stargate: Atlantis, Roar

Movies: Star Trek before the reboots (especially 2/4/7). I'm a big movie fan and am open to lots of one-off possibilities. Feel free to contact me ahead of time to check something you have in mind; otherwise, probably best to have more than one idea so we can find the best match for us.

In general: If it's science fiction or if it has vampires in it, chances are good. Another "yes" is movies that involve Paul Bettany, Vin Diesel, Sarah Polley, mid-career Jeff Goldblum, Alexander Siddig, Vincent Perez or Thomas Kretschmann. You can browse stuff I've loved (& not loved) in the last few years at my movie reviews tag – maybe you'll spot your fave(s) there, including many non-English-language films. Also, here is a random sampling of DVDs I own in case it's helpful: Queen of the Damned, Bride of Frankenstein, Little Women, Care Bears Movie II, Inkheart, Inception, Priest (the one with Linus Roache), Stargate, Queen Margot, X-Men.

Dance: I'm also a casual fan of ballet and Irish dance, and it could be interesting to try to vid a performance or a ballet-themed movie if you're into that.
How bidding works

(See also What to ask before you bid)

Here is the bidding spreadsheet where you can see who has bid on my offering so far, and here is the bidding form if you want to enter your own bid. I hope at least somebody bids before the end or this will be embarrassing, heh.

Several friends with top-notch skills, including scribe (who's offering a vid), thedeadparrot (fic), stultiloquentia (fic or beta), celli (fic or beta/culture-pick), ETA: serrico, likeadeuce, monanotlisa, and I'm sure more, are also participating. You can go to [tumblr.com profile] fandomtrumpshateofferings and enter names, fandoms, or fanwork types in the search bar at the top.

Feel free to link this around, reblog the contributor post, etc.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
This general uptick in Dreamwidth activity has been great. Hello, new friending meme people! I should do an intro post soon about things I'm into these days. Tonight, though, I am packing for a trip to my mom's and more or less beta-watching a documentary by a coworker. Or—*checks clock*—possibly neither of these things. It was sort of a rough day.

Reading update: Three books came in today at the library: Binti and Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, spurred by the monthly SF/F book club I go to, and A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women by Siri Hustvedt, which I am excited to dig into but may have to return and re-request because it's only a week-long loan and I'll be out of state when it's due back. Alas. Meanwhile, I've been picking through the e-book of Speculative Fiction 2014: The Year's Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary, a collection of reprints of SF/F fandom meta. [personal profile] thingswithwings is in there!

Writing update: Need to work on an essay for a zine that's coming out in the spring, since it's due at the end of January. Details TBA. It sounds like it's gonna be cool.

Vidding update: Last fall on Twitter, I asked:

I'm happy to report that the answer is Yes. In fact, I may be able to squeeze in a fifth. It depends on how it goes at my mom's (she's having surgery; I'm making no commitments), but I've rewatched the source and started laying a few clips on the timeline. It's an idea I had a few [community profile] festivids ago and never got a chance to make somebody.

If that's not vague enough for you, how about this?

Statements I can't make about Festivids in progress )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
(-) My mom is having semi-elective abdominal surgery next week. If all goes as planned, I'll drive down to NY when she's discharged from the hospital to help with the initial recovery at home, which is supposed to be slow but smooth -- but things never seem to go as planned when it comes to her health. Wish us luck?

[Mutters to self: Positives, positives, focus on positives.]

(+) First Festivid submitted! Other drafts continue apace.

(+) I signed up to offer a vid through [tumblr.com profile] FandomTrumpsHate. They say more than 500 fan creators are participating! Bidding will run Jan. 12-20.

(+) My officemate's departure means I now get the window side of the room. I'm all moved in, and I and my spider plants are enjoying the light.

(+) I got to do lunch, brunch, Christmas light ogling and first-night-of-Hanukkah activities with [personal profile] roga, who came to the U.S. over the holidays, and [personal profile] thedeadparrot, who hosted her. We lit a well-traveled menorah and made many potato latkes and caught up on everyone's lives. ♥

(+) Saw Moana with [twitter.com profile] windtheme. Brief faves: ) Hanging with [twitter.com profile] windtheme was lovely. I have an informal goal this year to spend more time with a few Boston-area fan people I'd like to get to know better, if the feeling is mutual.

(+) Visited [personal profile] deelaundry and family, which I used to do all the time when I lived in DC and had been missing since coming up north. A lovely respite filled with friend time, good food (that I didn't have to cook myself), movies & TV, and a bit of touristing. One highlight was seeing the restored original model of the U.S.S. Enterprise at the Air & Space Museum! They turn on the blinky lights every few hours and everything.

We also watched Rogue One, which I liked fine* and which I thought really enriched the story of A New Hope; the current season so far of Brooklyn 99, good fun; and a pair of AMAZING early '70s horror-comedies, Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein. More details, pix, fic idea )

*Except this and that and the other thing, but now is not the time.

(-) Yuletide as usual made me crabby, #UnpopularFannishOpinion, although there is a promising Grantchester fic I'd like to try. However, the universe separately provided a second fic by that Vampire Chronicles author who made me happy the other week: In the Trials of the Heart by [archiveofourown.org profile] monstersinthecosmos (10,500 words, rated M), Armand/Daniel, Daniel/Marius and combinations thereof.

...Sorry, stored up too many things for one post!
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
A work thing I expected to stress me out in December is instead stressing me out now because I am slow and there wasn't enough time to finish before the holidays, plus I kept bouncing off it when I tried to work on it over the break. :/

Also my officemate L. quit before the break, on the heels of another member of our close-knit subgroup of coworkers in October. Even though L. had many reasons to leave and we'd been braced for her to do so for nearly a year, I like(d) her a lot and am really feeling her absence.

HOW EV ER, in the midst of feeling rotten about turnover and office politics and wondering if learning how to care less about my job would make things better, it occurred to me that a gap can be an opportunity, and I started to change my thinking to something more positive: presenting a case to my supervisor that I should be promoted, now that she doesn't need to worry about stepping on the more senior L.'s toes.

I gathered my arguments and was going to make them tomorrow, but the head of the office gave me the perfect opening first thing yesterday morning and I ended up pitching it right to her. And instead of grilling me on why I deserved a new title or telling me it couldn't be done because of budget or other priorities, she said it sounded like a good idea and asked me how we should tweak our office structure to accommodate the new role! My supervisor also voiced her support when I talked to her, and now the other managers are brainstorming about how best to use me, so to speak. Long story long, basically I'm being encouraged to design my own position. \o/

It remains unclear how long this might take, whether HR will approve a revised job description, and how closely that description might resemble what I want to do, but for now I'm super pleased by how readily my request was accepted. After three years and a few months on the job, it would be nice to show progress on my resumé.

(Now if I could just finish this #$%*! assignment.)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Previous Roundups
2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006


9 vids in 9 fandoms )

1.5 fics in 2 fandoms )

1 meta )

4 Mary Sue stories in 4 fandoms )

Favorite media & fannish events of the year )

Stats )

Quick-and-dirty fanwork goals for 2017:

- Round out the vids in progress for a proud total of 5 Festivids
- Do the "Fandom Trumps Hate" auction and probably the VVC auction again
- Try out the new [community profile] equinox_exchange (spaaaaace)
- Write more, especially Mary Sue stuff; continue rediscovering and expressing the evolving id
- Finish Jinni/Dustfinger fic
- Get back to Inkheart OT4 fic?
- Take concrete steps toward repurposing existing stories for pro erotica publications
- Meet with new "behavioral therapist" to get at the roots of procrastination, mood stuff, negative self-talk, etc. – I suspect this will help with fannish activities in addition to RL
- See also: Make judicious use of the ColdTurkey program
- Hope there is practical and mental space to do these things while grappling with next year's sociopolitical environment
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Continued from here

This looks a little silly in the middle because of Festivids-related redactions -- sources I am and am not vidding -- which I will try to remember to restore in February after reveals. ETA: Now filled in.

35 movies and many TV seasons )

As always, happy to talk about any of these. Except the redacted ones. :)

And, so, okay, this is my movies-per-year baseline count; it comes to a little less than a movie every other day, which sounds about right. Interesting.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Continued from here

26 completed, fiction and nonfiction )

48 complete books in one year: I'm calling that a resounding success. Thank you once again, bus commute.

Links go to previous book review posts. As always, happy to talk about any of these.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I passed a miserable morning yesterday procrastinating on this work assignment, but it did result in discovering a great new Vampire Chronicles fic:

Moon Above, Sun Below (9764 words, Explicit) by [archiveofourown.org profile] monstersinthecosmos. Author's description of the pairings: Armand/Daniel, Daniel/Half of NYC.

The author's summary had me at "Armand used to watch Daniel have sex with people," and the fic delivered. Women and men brought in to arouse Daniel and serve as a conduit to/for Armand, who starts to direct the proceedings before gradually becoming more involved. There's a lovely scene set in the Met, too, where Armand thinks about his past and his place in the world and Marius and Daniel. The fic is sexy and well-paced, makes excellent use of Armand's telepathic powers, and does an admirable job of getting inside Armand's head and depicting his relationship with Daniel, which I think is hard to do.


I also bookmarked Desecrating our Sanctuaries (1812 words, Mature) by [archiveofourown.org profile] morbidromantic, but I wouldn't call it a rec unless you, like me, enjoy a Marius/OFC biting vignette.


ETA: Wait, did I never rec other VC fic here? Could have sworn I did, but I can't find them. Here are two others I enjoyed a lot the last time I went trawling through the tag, almost two years ago:

Lupercalia (4812 words, Explicit) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Greekhoop. Marius/Mael. Author's summary: Marius amongst the wolves. Set during his captivity in Gaul.

Sedge and Bee (4126 words, Explicit) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Greekhoop. Enkil/Khayman. Author's summary: The first time Khayman went to war.


BTW, as usual, finding good VC fic on the AO3 is akin to panning for gold through mounds of muck like this:
The rosy nipples were still red and swollen from impetuouly sucking lips They rose from his milk white skin like two pearls of sugar. The androgynous boy's amber eyes were overshadowed by long lashes and he languidly gazed into space whilst memories came to life on the bottom of those honey filled orbs.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
- I'm glad the library only had it on 7-day loan because it pushed me to keep reading when I might have trailed off

- All in all, I'm glad I did finish it, because the last sections, unlike the rest, recaptured a shadow of what made the earlier books enjoyable

- The narrative picked up 250 pages in

- The vampires I care most about (Marius, Armand, Lestat, Louis, etc.) finally had a few small, memorable moments ~400 pages in

- The book could have been titled Vampires: Midichlorians -- or, sorry, Folic Acid and Nano-Luracastria

- The uncovered "science" of vampirism and the nature of its Core made no sense; even Lestat admitted he couldn't hold the explanation in his head, and the vampire physician-scientist Fareed threw up his hands and said he may as well have studied theology

- Let us not speak of the pseudohistory & technology of Atlantis and the surrounding human settlements

- I also don't want to read the word "mammal" for a while

- Did I mention the bird people of Bravenna? *shakes head*

- ETA: Ohhhhhh God I forgot about the part where a disembodied arm grew a mouth on its palm and crawled back over to its previous owner to suck on his nipple uggggh

- The writing needed help. The first half dragged, nothing happened without at least two people recapping it, there were too many poorly fleshed-out characters (same as in Prince Lestat), tensions that seemed like they would culminate in major conflicts instead fizzled, those climaxes that did come rose and fell in the middle of chapters without much catharsis, and Rice kept doing this weird thing where narrators repeated characters' names in their comma-filled thoughts. Here are samples from a particularly egregious few pages near the middle of the book:

Cut for spoilers )

It made sense for Derek, who latched on to Kapetria after years of trauma, to think that way, and I suppose it made sense for Rhoshamandes too, who felt Benedict was the only thing he had left to live for; but not so much for the others. It made me think of Faulkner and The Sound and the Fury: I wish Rice had had Derek think in these anxious, post-traumatic, obsessive repetitions while giving others their own distinct styles. Nor was it a consistent enough style throughout the book to be fully explained by the next point.

Where that repetition worked for me was when Rice described the linguistic patterns of Atlanteans and then, one time, had [spoiler character] slip from speaking ordinary modern English into that old language, which I thought was actually quite lovely.

Cut for spoilers )

In all: Worth having read the second half. Marius gave Lestat a fierce hug, Lestat kissed some men, and Armand showed some young-boy vulnerability, and that was pretty much what I was there for. Still uninterested in most of the series' theological and philosophical debates (In this case: What are souls? Is suffering noble, evil or a way for aliens the Church to exploit people?), even though the conclusion of this book can be read as an embrace of humanism. Equally unable to stop reading these books in search of those brief moments of character- and relationship-based Feelings.

ETA: Goodreads reviews that made me laugh: Devann, Tammy

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