bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Today is Patriots' Day in Boston, a.k.a. Marathon Monday, a.k.a. the day most people in the city seem to have off from work and school except us. My usual commute is bisected by the marathon line, so I came home the long way tonight, through the city: a packed train of tourists, Sox and Bruins fans, and an international collection of runners in foil cloaks, some limping and leaning on one another and some looking like they just went for a jog around the block.

This afternoon, per tradition, a few of us walked to the local portion of the marathon course to cheer on our now-former coworker as she ran by. The crowd was quiet enough this year that she heard us, smiled and waved as she continued along the final stretch. (It was hot today and she's injured in two places, yet she still ran the thing in less than 4 hours. Unbelievable.)

*

Friends are great. Some came over for a seder on the first night of Passover; some were in town for lunch this weekend; some will be moving here from far away; some are helping me sift through an enormous amount of source material for this multifandom vid. I've only sent out a handful of emails so far, so if you volunteered for something and haven't heard yet, stay tuned.

Since last we spoke, I've watched or scanned through a whole bunch of movies and short TV shows. Let's see: Crazyhead (fun), Cleverman (difficult but rewarding), Extant (derivative but enjoyable), Travelers (meh), now starting Timeless (fun); the "San Junipero" episode of Black Mirror (not traumatizing, hooray), the Green Fury episode of Powerless (I liked parts of it, but sitcoms are still not my thing) and the new Doctor Who premiere (winning me back over); Pacific Rim (meh), Fantastic Four (2015) (Action Movie formulaic emptiness), Z for Zachariah (great), The Fits (as wonderful as promised). I am not a huge TV fan compared to the general fan community -- some of my dearest and most passionate fandoms have been TV shows, but I'm not well-"read" in TV and don't love the medium as a medium as much as I love movies -- so this endeavor presents an interesting challenge.

There is still a ton to go, but it feels good to have made a dent.

*

Meanwhile, my de-stressor and pre-bedtime media over the last month or so has been a BBC show made for five-year-olds: Sarah & Duck. Have any of you seen it? It's so lovely and chill, wholesome, and often funny. Sarah is curious, imaginative and accepting, and every day seems to be a vacation day, which sounds nice right about now. From time to time the art is really beautiful, too. You never know when the plot will go full-on surreal or stay within the realm of the plausible -- well, given a reality where ducks sort of understand English and ladybugs play small trumpets. I am a particular fan of Duck wagging his tail, Sarah when she gets really excited about things like baby manatees, and Scarf Lady's long-suffering handbag.

I'm almost out of episodes on Netflix, though, and then whatever can take its place?
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Oh, friends. You are fantastic. Within about 24 hours, 15 of 16 outstanding sources for this vid project, plus 8 new sources, had at least one volunteer, and your comments have already helped me refine the character spreadsheet.

I will be contacting you soon, probably in order of my enthusiasm about the source.

Meanwhile, I accidentally missed a handful of shows on the list. Is anyone up for consulting on these?

Follow-up poll )

Also to do: somehow figure out whether the characters currently flagged as "key" -- in bold here, built from Sigrid's and my opinions plus some of yours from the last post's comments -- are the "right" ones. (Thinking there is an objective way to determine this may be my problem here, heh.) Thoughts welcome.
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)
(-) 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)
[warning: stress dreams involving violence]

Awake brain: I know I have work and vidding deadlines, but I feel pretty good.

Unconscious brain: Ha ha ha! Have some dreams about bears, and a horse peeing on you, and performing as Captain Kirk in a Star Trek play but you forget all your lines and musical cues so everyone has to cover for you, and experiencing people's startled reactions to your face after you lose most of it in an accident, and forgetting to buy a dress and write a speech for your sister's (nonexistent) wedding, and missing your trains to get downtown!

...Yet I still feel pretty good? Well, less good now that the work deadline looms and the time I set aside to vid keeps getting diverted to procrastination activities ranging from cooking to watching long-ago completed vids. :/ I did finish the Elf one, as you may have seen, but that still leaves the four [community profile] festivids-in-progress.

Of the good: Made it unexpectedly to most of Boston Fannish Brunch today; there will be a [personal profile] roga in town for the beginning of Hanukkah; going to visit [personal profile] deelaundry and family for Xmas; going with [livejournal.com profile] disgruntledowl the next day to a National Theatre Live screening of Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellen's latest play, followed probably by New Year's Eve hangouts with old movies.

Ah, that's the oven timer. Round one was meat for the week, round two is veg, round three will be baked apples (with much less sugar). I've been peeling, coring, slicing and baking apples with a simple dusting of cinnamon afterwards, so am attracted to this recipe that involves only coring, even though baked apple skin looks to me like death.

(Dear brain: That is not an invitation for another stress dream.)

ETA: The apples are delicious, like an inside-out crumble, although I wouldn't say they're less work than what I was doing before; maybe because I don't have a melon baller or apple corer. I used about 1 tsp brown sugar and a generous shake of cinnamon along with the oats.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
(Aside from current events like the DAPL breakthrough. \o/)

I’m not a good sleeper, but last night, with the help of a "non"-drowsy allergy pill, I went to bed at 9:30 and slept until 7:30 and woke in my little quilt cocoon to a dusting of snow outside, feeling like life is beautiful. Why can’t every night be like that?

I found some books for gifts and for me at the twice-yearly Harvard Book Store warehouse sale this weekend: some cookbooks, a slim volume about narrative craft by Ursula Le Guin (originally written in 1998 and updated last year) and four nonfiction books I’d been eyeing for a while. That’s part of the good thing. The other part is that work is going to cover most of those because they’re job-related. Hooray; that frees up this month’s book budget for other treats.

While exchanging a defective jacket, I found a cowl-neck "tunic sweater" that fits. It was on sale and it makes me happy. I have not been feeling good about myself body-wise for a while, and a well-fitting article of clothing helps. It’s long enough to be a short dress, but I wasn’t brave enough for that today, given the chill, and am wearing it with black pants.

Since it is the Month of Capitalism, I also browsed around for stovetop tea kettles, because I’ve finally grown embarrassed enough about boiling water for guests in a battered saucepan to search for an alternative. (It was more of a small-kitchen, don’t want specialized gadgets thing than an affordability thing.) Thus was I introduced to the modern world of programmable electric kettles, where you can set the shutoff at various temps below boiling for perfect tea steeping. I think this is where my Hanukkah gift card from the stepfamily will be going.

Culinary rescue! A pre-Thanksgiving cider-braised chicken recipe came out way too sweet and I ended up sticking most of the constituents in the freezer: leg meat, barley, onion, too-firm diced carrot and celery. Yesterday I tried reinventing it as a soup and am pleased to report that it came out great.

A roasted spaghetti squash, not so much. Overdone to mush. I would turn it into soup if there weren’t already soup this week. The internet says it can be puréed into a sort of mash, with butter/margarine, salt and pepper. Any other ideas?

Friends came over on Saturday to work on various laptop projects, "alone together"; I made some progress on the Elf vid, and we experienced the first two episodes of Yuri On Ice. Waiting for the second Grantchester S1 DVD to arrive; started watching S3 of The Fall on Netflix. Was pleased to learn that it began as a medical drama! With Richard Coyle from Coupling, no less.

<3 to all of you while this good mood lasts. Later in December will be much more stressful, on top of whatever fresh hell the news brings.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
1. Having [livejournal.com profile] synn for a friend. She waited in yet another line at the SPN con she's attending this weekend to get me Sebastian Roché's autograph on an 8x10 I mailed her with a homemade montage of his late '90s roles on Roar and Odyssey 5, and she took the time to email a description of how he reacted to it. ♥Longinus♥ ♥synn♥

2. Friends in general. This week included a Boston tourism day with [personal profile] alpheratz and [personal profile] seascribe, a small dinner party at a grad school classmate's house, the usual wonderful deep conversation with M. (hereafter [livejournal.com profile] disgruntledowl; she got an LJ for Yuletide!), and heckling the latest pair of Project Runway episodes with [personal profile] thedeadparrot.

Next weekend there will be a [personal profile] deelaundry; we're going to see Robert Sean Leonard in Connecticut in his latest play: Camelot.

[personal profile] alpheratz's visit reminded me to get out more to parts of the city I don't usually visit. The South End and the Back Bay segment of Comm Ave are so lovely this time of year.



3. Roasting trays of zucchini, eggplant, yam and cabbage for meal sides this week. ♥autumn♥

4. Playing with a few vids. One is an Elf vid for Xmas that I've been wanting to make for years. The others will be Festivids; TBD if assignments or treats. They are among the five-and-counting requests from people that I'd love to make, and there are still a couple of movies to watch before signups close in case they can be added to my offers. Much better than last year at this time.

5. Books to read. One enjoyable SF series: the Young Miles compendium by Bujold, beginning tomorrow, having finished Shards of Honor and Barrayar a week ago and NK Jemisin's The Obelisk Gate on Friday. One guilty pleasure: Vampire Romance 2 by assorted contributors, begun last night. (You may recall an anecdote about volume 1.) The first two stories weren't anything special, but since they were apparently publishable quality, they did make me think optimistic thoughts about generating simple beginning-middle-end ideas for marketable het paranormal romance or erotica short stories: a possible goal in the not-so-distant future. (Though it's mysterious why I think I can write a short story when I can't even finish a "one-shot" fic WIP... maybe because I wouldn't have such personal investment in the short story. TBD.)
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)
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 [twitter.com profile] marginaliana, [twitter.com profile] verymilkytea and [twitter.com profile] windtheme and getting to know them better.

[twitter.com 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)
Writing

Conversation at fannish brunch on Saturday turned to holiday fic and vid exchanges, as tends to happen this time of year. People persuaded me to skim the Yuletide requests spreadsheet, in which I discovered not one but two prompts that are right up my alley. The first was so intriguing, in fact, that I couldn't stop spinning out in my head how the story might go and started writing it the next day. It's now about 1,500 words and growing. Yay.

Want to write the other treat as well. It will take some thinking, but the discovery that a second person out in the world wants this story to exist may ensure that it happens.

This will be the first time I've participated in Yuletide. Feels strange.

Vidding

This will be the… fifth? sixth year I've done [community profile] festivids, and my assignment vid is drafted, which may be the earliest that's ever happened.

Somewhere between one and four treats for various recipients are on the docket now. Guess it depends in part on how long the Yuletide stuff takes.

Going

Mixed feelings about traveling for Thanksgiving this year. With luck, there will be downtime for writing. At least I will get to see [personal profile] par_avion and then a room full of [personal profile] no_detective, [personal profile] ahab, [personal profile] linaerys, [personal profile] scribblinlenore, [profile] barely_bean, [profile] krisdia, [personal profile] stlkrchck etc. Rumor has it there will be Magic Mike XXL and pie.

Watching

Season 6 of the Vampire Diaries on Netflix. Still flawed, but overall less boring than it has been in the past, and scarier, with the introduction of victim-stalking human killer Kai. Having fun superimposing Wanda and Pietro from MCU onto Liv and Luke.

Looking forward to checking out Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter's faaaace on my TVVVV) and The Man in the High Castle but probably not for a little while.

Have also been watching/rewatching stuff for Festivids in the interstices. At some point will get back to Gilmore Girls, but S6 has been kind of tiresome.

Dealing

RL updates can wait for their own posts.

Thinking of you all and hope you are well. ♥ ♥
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Went: To [personal profile] cinco and R.'s wedding, and it was so, so lovely, the ceremony, the celebration, the morning-after brunch, seeing them so happy. As well as the concentration of most of my DC-area friends in one place. [personal profile] deelaundry was able to meet for a last-minute lunch and then was kind enough to drive me from the airport to [personal profile] alpheratz's where I was staying. So I got to catch up with them and [personal profile] corbae and then see [personal profile] ellen_fremedon and [personal profile] jrho and [personal profile] holli and [personal profile] sansets and [personal profile] siegeofangels and [personal profile] inlovewithnight and [personal profile] v_greyson and S. whose online handle I can't remember, and ♥.

Watching: Finished Great British Bake-Off, alas. alpheratz & corbae were (re)watching S1 of Hannibal over the weekend so I saw some episodes of that. At first I found it too dramatic to take seriously, but the one with the girl who thought she was dead ended up suitably creepy and suspenseful. Now I guess it's back to S5 of Gilmore Girls.

Listening: Took advantage of the plane rides to finally listen to the Hamilton soundtrack so I can follow what everyone on Twitter (it feels like) is talking about. It's a brilliant artistic achievement that, arguably even more so than 1776, brings a set of American historical figures to life for today's audiences, like translating Shakespeare into modern vernacular. Other people have talked about the importance and the joy of the casting, and the multiple levels on which the use of rap and hip hop works.

Especially as someone who strives to do similar things in a different field for my job, I love what it's doing for students of history, or students who don't know they're into history. What better way to teach kids -- or anyone -- the formalities of dueling than through "Ten Duel Commandments"? What more engaging way to portray what it might really have been like in early government meetings than "Cabinet Battle #1" ("I'll show you where my shoe fits"/"whatever the hell it is you do at Monticello")? How many more people now have heard of Hercules Mulligan?

It's funny, it's dramatic, it's informative, it's catchy, it's smart. It's clearly inspiring people to talk about these characters and look up historical documents, and it's calling out themes related to modern society as well as the universal human condition. That said, I find that my appreciation for the soundtrack is intellectual; I don't share fan friends' emotional attachments to various characters and relationships, which are themselves another indicator of Miranda's success. Maybe it's a function of only having listened once straight through without reading lyrics, not having been able to tell all the characters apart, not having seen any bodies interacting on stage? Maybe it's that I'm not generally a big fan of musicals? Maybe it's just the way I'm going to connect or not connect with this particular text.

I'm glad to have the mp3 files, anyway, and to be able to experience the show in some way when getting tickets is not feasible right now. Some of the tracks I've found particularly fabulous so far are the two above, "Right Hand Man" (boom! and that neigh!), "Wait For It," "Guns and Ships" (Lafayette!), maybe also "Stay Alive" and "Hurricane." Also kind of hilarious the way King George's numbers sound like songs by Mika.

Doing: Fall/winter arts calendar is picking up. We are going to see a live-scored version of Nosferatu tomorrow night at the symphony. Then National Theatre Live's syndicated Hamlet in December, as well as Joanna Newsom with Alela Diane as opener, whee. Hat tip to [personal profile] ldthomps for letting me know about the concert while we were hanging out Tuesday with a visiting [personal profile] ignaz.

Vidding: On hold for just a few more days until Festivids assignments go out. Only two of the things I offered have been requested so far, which is weird, since all but one were for things other people nominated. I guess more people than I would have expected nominate fandoms that they want to offer rather than receive? In many ways this process felt pleasanter before I was on Twitter and knew about the back-end signups tracking page.

Coping: I was feeling pretty down last week and over the weekend because of this health news. [personal profile] synn, [personal profile] deelaundry and [personal profile] alpheratz are good friends who lent sympathetic ears. Still, the emotional fragility persisted, and on Monday (I took a day off to recover from the weekend trip) I started writing a Mary Sue story set in an AU I constructed last year, almost certainly never to see the light of the internet, to work through stuff. And... it seems to be working? I mean, in combination with taking recommended RL actions, but I think it really has helped. Having Mary Sue voice my insecurities and sadnesses while vampire prince charming offers reassurances. Because while I'm hard on myself, apparently I can write someone being nice to Mary Sue!me. Talk about the power of creative writing. ♥
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Fretting: I got some disheartening but not unexpected test results today re: health. Dealing with it properly will involve behavior changes and possibly-temporary pills. I am trying to approach it with a "you can do it" attitude, but it's hard. Dietary advice, for example, is all over the map. I guess we'll see what the nutritionist says at my next appointment.

I also have to figure out what to do about my knee, which has gotten unsteady, probably because I overtaxed it with high-impact activities; and now the issue has traveled up to tighten my hip, which has given me problems before. Perhaps I can find a physical therapist/massage therapist to dig in her elbow. Just, grr. I keep thinking I'm too young to be dealing with these kinds of issues left and right, but here we are, so I guess not. Maybe I'll focus on how the hip helps me empathize with Breq.

Also have been ruminating on how I'm not performing as well in my professional field as I am in fandom, and whether that's a problem, and why ego has to get mixed up in everything. That's a topic for another post.

Going: To DC this weekend for a friend's wedding, and I think it will be just wonderful. Seeing a slew of fan friends and celebrating happiness.

Watching: Whatever season of the Great British Bake-Off/Baking Show they've put up on Netflix. As people have said, it's charming and much more supportive than your typical reality competition. More attention to the craft as well. It's something nice and light to look forward to each evening. And a welcome break from Gilmore Girls. GG is enjoyable but after four seasons in a month it's time to mix things up more.

Vidding: Have four or five back-up ideas for Festivids sources. Do I start to make one before getting an assignment? It seems like something fun to do, but it doesn't seem right to work on an assignment or a treat without first knowing what the recipient is hoping for.

Reading: Finished Step Aside, Pops!, which was fine. I liked "I had fun once and it was awful". Am about 4/5 of the way through Master and Commander; it's funnier but also choppier than expected. Dunno what's next. I sort of petered out on Prydain.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (turkey pin)
Thanksgiving was a lazy affair. Relaxing.

Probably a bit rude, though, which is uncharacteristic, in that I spent too much time on the laptop instead of interacting with family. Rationalized by (a) the fact that I'll be back in three weeks, and (b) I was writing! Actually writing! 7,700 words of OFC story that will almost certainly never see the light of the internet, just that old write-for-yourself kind of story that hasn't wanted to come out of my brain in a long time. It isn't finished and the impulse to write has already tapered off, but wow, that was refreshing, and it gave my optimism about my ability to write not-for-work stuff a boost.

(I blame Anne Rice re-reads.)

Another great thing that happened was being able to join the annual post-Thanksgiving gathering of NYC fan friends whom I hadn't seen in two or three years. [livejournal.com profile] no_detective and [livejournal.com profile] scribblinlenore and [livejournal.com profile] ahab99, and [livejournal.com profile] pun for too short a while, and met [livejournal.com profile] stlkrchck, and other long-lost lovelies, although, alas, no [livejournal.com profile] linaerys or [livejournal.com profile] lanthano. Ate tasty potluck dishes, watched many vids including hockey and Smallville, experienced my first tastes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Grantchester, and generally sat on the couch pleased to let the conversation wash over me.

Also watched Night at the Museum 1 & 2 with my dad. I hadn't seen them before. Hank Azaria was such a hoot. That had to be a Jeremy Irons impression with a lisp on top, no? The first Ra brother wasn't too shabby either. Mm, Hollywoodized ancient Egyptians.

Busy and/or dead on my feet until the weekend, so we will end on that odd note. Hm.

*waves*

Followup

Sep. 20th, 2014 06:23 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Ha -- then I ran into Theon Greyjoy professor this afternoon on the Greenway! What timing.

.

My best college friend R. is in town and we were able to hang out today. That was great. I hadn't seen him in three years, in large part because we have lived on different continents and/or coasts since 2004. Had a great time. After a quick tour of the MBTA-themed Google offices and lunch on the adjacent rooftop garden, we enjoyed the Ig Nobel informal lectures and then walked along the river & over to South Station.

I'd only been to the lectures once, the year I was at MIT. That batch featured slime molds solving mazes and studies about duck necrophilia and about Coca-Cola as a spermicide, so it holds a special place in my heart. This year's wasn't bad. Highlights: the physics of slipping on banana peels, dogs aligning themselves on the north-south magnetic axis when they pee, cured pork as a solution for uncontrollable nosebleeds, and Norwegians dressing up as creepy polar bears to study reindeer behavior. We had no idea what to make of Dr. NakaMats.

.

And now for a quiet evening, likely to include Project Runway and Doctor Who.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
I had a great weekend at [livejournal.com profile] con_txt. It was so nice to see friends again, and to make some new acquaintances.

I was concerned about the programming because I haven't been feeling enthused about any particular canon on the docket in a communal-fannish way lately, and because mass squee can be scary; but there turned out to be plenty of meta panels and entertaining moderators to make the experience enjoyable.

I also appreciate how, while con.txt is a slash con by definition, those of us who do not exclusively enjoy slash are welcomed and able to have discussions about a variety of sexual identities and relationship types in fandom (and life), plus gen topics.

In case you are interested, I jotted down some notes. Nothing fancy or thorough. con-txt.net has panel descriptions and mod names.

Werewolf Torts and Undead Annuities )

Small Fandom Dating Game )

Fannish Pictionary )

Vid Show )

Monetizing Fandom )

Inverting Tropes )

D/s in Fandom )

Not My Fandom's OTP )

Awesome Robots )

Checking in on the Fannish Diaspora )

Small Fandom and Between-Fandom Support Group )

Dubcon F***ing: How Does It Work )

Rule 34 in a Magical Universe )

Bi-invisibility )

Also attended a panel about tagging and another about AUs.


Note to self: Action items:

- DS9 essential episodes list for [livejournal.com profile] corbae (post likely to follow)
- Riddick recs list for [livejournal.com profile] monkey_pie (ditto)
- Read [livejournal.com profile] bmouse's Garak/Bashir collection
- Check out stuff from Small Fandom Dating Game
- Figure out naming issue and start a new Twitter to keep in touch with fan friends?
- Grin and bear it open a Tumblr account???
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
1. Yikes. I picked the best(/worst, if you like staycations with unknown retroactive pay status) time to leave federal service. My thoughts are with you, friends who're caught in the furloughs or suffering from cut services.

2. In less important, happier news, Starships! was linked from the Amazing Stories Magazine website. As they say in emoticons: *_*

3. I attended the last of the required orientations for work yesterday. Knowing I was going to be very early, I brought that newly acquired Vampire Romance book along. Left it face-down on the table as other earlybirds who recognized me from previous orientations trickled in and sat at my table.

I should have known that there was nothing to be embarrassed about in front of four other young women, even at Prestigious University. The one next to me caught sight of the spine and said she's been a fan of the genre too since reading Anne Rice; she mentioned Linda Lael Miller, the Sookie Stackhouse novels and something I've forgotten that wasn't Anita Blake but was similar. The young woman across the table returned from the coffee/breakfast table to say she'd heard the start of the conversation and wanted to know what recommendations were shared; confessed she also loved Anne Rice back in the day. Table-wide discussion ensued of True Blood books compared to TV show, etc.



(I'm quite enjoying the anthology. The writing could be better--lots of adverbs and euphemisms, that sort of thing--but the series of short stories of seduction is working well for me. I guess it was just the ticket in this time of change and potential loneliness, in a city where I once rekindled my love of the Vampire Chronicles and wrote thousands of words of fic for it.)

The news

Aug. 26th, 2013 07:25 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Life takes a turn for the exciting, on both RL and fannish fronts.

RL news - Moving to Boston!

You guys, I applied for what is basically the 9-to-5 of my dreams, and (several interviews and tests and negotiations later) they gave it to me. Then I went up to apartment hunt in the best/worst real estate season of the year there. I was so stressed out I got off the plane shaking, yet somehow I was incredibly lucky and landed my first choice. I am thrilled, even though it, like everything else in the city, is $.

Which means in less than a month I will be living in a beautiful 1 BR instead of a studio, giving the work I have been wanting to do for years a try, at a Prestigious University that I didn't expect to have a chance to be affiliated with.

Is this my life? I'm not sure this is my life. Something is bound to go wrong. Right?

(The downsides: becoming yet another person leaving my office, leaving some coworkers I like and sticking them with a lot of work; and, more important, leaving friends behind. [livejournal.com profile] deelaundry, [livejournal.com profile] cincodemaygirl, [livejournal.com profile] alpheratz, [livejournal.com profile] ellen_fremedon, [livejournal.com profile] recrudescence and [livejournal.com profile] v_greyson whom I've hardly been able to see, etc. etc., and of course [livejournal.com profile] synn, although we have already weathered three or four interstate separations. :( :( :(

It will be nice, though, in exchange, to see more of the Boston-area fanpeople - Ny and parrot and thirdmouse and kass, maybe get in touch with [livejournal.com profile] bathsweaver if she's still there, whom I barely got to know before I moved away last time - plus some grad school classmates who stuck around and also my college friend S., the fellow Trekkie I've mentioned here a few times over the years.

Whom else do I know or should I meet up there??)


Fannish news - Starships remix is live!

I have been remiss in not pointing you to [livejournal.com profile] jetpack_monkey's remix of Starships, along with a source list and a side-by-side comparison that will knock your astrosocks off. He used all black and white footage, all pre-moon landing air dates, aglow with hope and joy and silliness and the sort of string-and-matchsticks special effects that hold a special place in so many of our hearts.

As if the effort he put into securing and cleaning up the footage over the better part of a year weren't enough -- seriously, be sure to read the vid notes -- he scoured it all thoroughly enough and worked the speeds well enough to achieve pretty much a shot for shot homage to Starships. Cigarette smoking, salutes, bubble helmets, launches and crashes, little flying pellets, you name it. Chess for poker. Astro Boy for WALL-E, holding up the sky. The Lost in Space robot for Data the android, embodying the way technology and the sources themselves have evolved over the decades. A flying submarine for the flying Winnebago, because ridiculousness endures though it may change shapes. Billy Mumy for Nog, the boy wonders. And the TARDIS, stretching across eras. So many brilliant choices. So many I have yet to fully appreciate because I don't know all the source material.

It's an absolute thrill to see [livejournal.com profile] jetpack_monkey's vid come to fruition and receive the accolades he and it deserve. It's a humbling tribute to what I rushed to put together last year, and it absolutely stands on its own as a love letter to the sci fi shows and movies of yore.

What are you waiting for? Go watch it. (Or, you know, go watch it again.)

(I've been able to watch some other Vividcon vids and need to do a recs list. One of these days, in between packing boxes and getting paperwork settled.)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Back from a nice weekend visiting my friend and this little guy:

baby with mobile

1. If you didn't see on account of the holiday or whatnot, I posted my WisCon vid, Boy with the Bubblegun, about Katniss in The Hunger Games. It ended up being one of the vids covered during the discussion panel afterwards! Along with a fascinating Twilight vid by chaila that focuses on and strengthens Bella's (and the other female vampires') agency. I know this because futuransky/heyiya posted excellent panel notes.

2. Read the last Fifty Shades book on the plane. Need to do a recap after replying to vid comments.

3. Dreamt last night that I explained fanfiction and the nature of the OT3 to Elizabeth Burke from White Collar. *shrug*

It's raining the rain of a humid summer evening. There's a salad on the table and yellow tulips in a glass of water. Life is good.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
In addition to the wet/messy/dirty character/actor cups, I made items for last night's birthday party to score a line bingo. This is a diagonal on my card from upper left to lower right, filling the squares for anonymity, confined/caged, tentacles, medical kink and breathplay.

Preview:

Photobucket   Photobucket   Photobucket   Photobucket   Photobucket


Close-ups and step-by-step processes behind the cuts:

Anonymity )

Confined/Caged )

Free square: Tentacles )

Medical Kink )

Breathplay )

Guest contributions

Of course, I was not the only one who brought stuff to the party. Among the other amusing, clever and/or delicious offerings were:

vanilla kink from alpheratz, a plethora of kinky drinks and ageplay items from deelaundry, a gag/blindfold combo from cinco, sort-of-vehicular from v_greyson, a furry cake from synn, and more. )

And that, I believe, about covers it! It was great fun, and I'm glad to be able to share it with you.

Will post the vid list at some later point here.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Watched the House finale last night. Was not thrilled. Am trying to pull my thoughts together for a proper post about the final arc and the retrospective, and about looking back at how my online life has changed since I started watching the show and participating in that fandom.

Until then, some things that are of the good:

Vids. Found out this afternoon that Soccer Practice will be showing at [livejournal.com profile] con_txt in June! This will be the first time that vid shows at a con and the first time I'll be present at a con where a vid of mine is showing. Quite excited for that.

Writing. Wrote 1,400 words of fic today! That's 1,400 more than I've written in the past few months. Never mind that when I appended the new text to the file it belonged to, I discovered that it should have been in past tense instead of present.

Friends. Visited [livejournal.com profile] synn over the weekend in beautiful weather, with two new cats, lots of movies, a little work, and an Amish farm store. Mm, strawberries and sugar snap peas. Surprising, quirky delights in the form of The Host (Gwoemul) (is it horror? comedy? drama? social commentary? spoof? answer: all of the above) and Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (what the hell age group was that intended for? also: one million famous people, including Ken Wantanabe with a giant head). Then got to stop by [livejournal.com profile] deelaundry's on the way home and enjoyed conversation along with playground swings and barbecue.

Radio. Good podcasts during the road trip: Radiolab episodes "Guts!" (fun times; I especially liked the story about the fistulated man) and "Help!" (what to do when you are your own worst enemy, with examples such as quitting smoking and overcoming writer's block; discussion of the Ulysses bargain, where you enlist others to help you resist future weakness/temptation as he did with the Sirens, and the …Xenophon? X-somebody-Greek scenario, when you back yourself up to a cliff and have no choice but to do what the rational part of your brain wants you to).

Summer. With luck, this summer will see me take a proper vacation for the first time since I quit my last job to go to grad school. With extra luck, that'll involve Iceland and Finland with friend A. and husband. Also looking likely that my mom will come down for a long weekend on the Eastern shore of Maryland/Virginia, where I am told there are beaches and wild ponies. And, eep, I'll be turning 30; I'd better start thinking about something special to do, if it's not one of the above.

Clean things! Impromptu emptying and wipe-down of the refrigerator yesterday; laundry's running right now.

The week ahead. Happy hour on Friday. Yann Tiersen in concert on Saturday. Dee & family. Sister in town on tour one evening next week.

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