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)
Thanksgiving and bereavement. )

Uh, so other than that, Thanksgiving was actually pretty good. The flight down was short, uneventful and scenic; my dad's fiancée made a sweet potato pie with marshmallows on top that we blowtorched and later had to scrape off because they melted into a charred, lumpy glaze; there were about nine hundred people at the stepfamily's annual Thanksgiving dinner, but my worst worries weren't realized: (1) no one talked politics* and (2) despite the absence of my sister, who usually serves as a conduit, I talked with many attendees and didn't need to hide in a quiet corner. Some of the older kids (high school and college-ish) even came up and started conversations.

*In fact, the total lack of politics talk slowly swung me from "whew" to contemplating the extended family's privilege and/or willful ignorance at not seeming worried by current events. It's possible they've been talking about it a lot not-at-Thanksgiving and took a break for the holiday?

In other news, that orig. fic vignette made it to 4,800 words before I left MA, I've been alternating between reading a dull book for work and acquaintances' shifter romance novels, and I still hope to see some fangirls on Saturday.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
1.

After an iffy start at the beginning of the nominations period, when it looked like there'd be hardly anything I could offer, I'm now excited about this year's Festivids. Have a handful of ideas it would be a lot of fun to make. Hope the sources end up being requested. Hope at least one of them becomes my assignment. Am preparing, optimistically.

(It wasn't until the last year or two that I learned how many nominations don't end up being requested, either because people nominate things before they've narrowed down what they want to ask for or because people nominate things they want to make and then hope they inspire someone to ask for them. At least now I know nothing is a certainty.)

Requests-wise, most of my Dear Festividder letter is ready to go. I'm going to try a "sales pitch" section for each request this year in case the summary or screen shots appeal to a participant who is not familiar with a source.

2.

Many friends have posted about how their Yuletide matches are for things they'd most wanted to write as treats, so, congratulations to you!

Nothing in the database of Yuletide letters has caught my treat-making fancy. That's a small disappointment, but it does leave more time for vidding and for working on half-done stories. Still determined to finish the Jinni/Dustfinger crossover PWP and the Inkheart foursome fic, small as those audiences will be. Did write a pleasing 1,500 words of DS9 Mary Sue a couple of weeks ago, inspired by the Damaya/Schaffa dynamic in The Fifth Season.

3.

[Warning: gross dog thing]

Last week while I was microwaving my lunch, the office puppy made hairball noises, barfed mostly undigested kibble onto the carpet, sniffed at the pile and ate it. It felt like a metaphor for how work has been going lately.

4.

On the brighter side, one morning on the way to the bus, the usually grumpy crossing guard exclaimed that someone had dropped a bag of chips and directed my attention to a cluster of pigeons pecking Bugles off the sidewalk.

5.

Been reading some stuff. We have been assigned five Vorkosigan novels for book club—so far, I have read one and a half Cordelia novels; the Young Miles compilation is next—and I'm glad to finally be experiencing and (despite Bujold's overuse of adverbs) enjoying them. The appeal so far lies in a combination of competence kink, aspirational relationship model and cross-cultural navigation, plus one particular scene that hewed deliciously close to a Mary Sue noncon scenario I adore. I also ended up really liking The Fifth Season and now have only a few days' wait until The Obelisk Gate arrives at the library.

6.

Been watching some stuff:

Last Action Hero, which, to my surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed. Cinephile boy gets magic ticket that lets him enter a movie and later lets him, the protagonist and the villain (redhead Charles Dance, no less) exit the movie into the real world. Much cheesy-delightful meta ensues, including debates about whether characters in a fictional narrative can be convinced they're in a fictional narrative, as well as a meeting at a film premiere between Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular action hero and Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Arnold Schwarzenegger who plays the action hero.

Afterwards I rewatched the quite similar The Purple Rose of Cairo—substitute Jeff Daniels for Arnold Schwarzenegger and add more movie exec hair-tearing and misogyny—which aged well conceptually but developed a level of creepiness I did not recognize when (a) I was younger and (b) we did not know as much about Woody Allen.

I thought about requesting both movies for Festivids but really what I want is a combo/multi thing about media superfans going into and out of fictional universes (see also: Pleasantville, the holodeck, etc.) so in the end I decided I'll probably make that myself.

Luke Cage. Uneven in pacing and dramatic effectiveness, and a couple of the actors seemed to be in a different show (*cough Willis*), but I liked it overall. Mike Colter, Rosario Dawson & Theo Rossi FTW. Spectacular commentary on, and fantasies about being unharmed by, racism-driven police brutality. Mostly I wish I'd been able to watch it later and at a more leisurely pace, but I cared enough to fear being spoiled on Twitter. I also wish there were more shows like it, for obvious reasons as well as because it felt like the poor showrunners felt like they needed to cram all of contemporary Black American pop culture and Harlem history into one 13-episode show because there aren't enough opportunities elsewhere. Except, at the same time, of course it's not even close to being all of either of those things, and the seam-bursting amount of music and literature and sports references and cameos &c can as easily feel jubilant and long overdue as overstuffed. Plus, ask me how many times I Shazam'd a song or jotted down a book to check out. :)

Westworld on HBO. I had been really looking forward to this, and ended up disappointed after the first two episodes. The themes are right up my alley but the dark tone is so over the top and the "edgy" meta walks the same thin, irritating line between cleverness and exploitation as Sucker Punch and Ex Machina; nor am I sure it's making me think anything new. Too much to go into for this post, though.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Do not. Do not do this to yourselves. The only good thing to come out of our group heckling of this movie was our collective crossover pitch, "The Bat and the Furious," TM my friend M., in which Gisele was secretly Wonder Woman the whole time and the superheroes have to team up with Vin Diesel's crew for car reasons.

7.

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

menu.JPG

(Click for bigger)

DRINKS

Klingon Bloodwine
Cherry juice with pulped fruit

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

MAINS

Scotty's Lemon Chicken
She cannae handle much more flavor

Ferengi Spore Pie
Mushroom-swiss quiche

Terran Salad
Mixed greens with vinaigrette

DESSERT

Cellular Peptide Cake
With mint frosting

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

trek cake 600.jpg

(Click for bigger)

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

Thanks to [personal profile] heresluck and [personal profile] corbae, it looks like [personal profile] jetpack_monkey and I have found a song for our Auction vid, hurrah. At least, we both think it's a good fit and now we will see if it works when the editing begins. Am psyched. I had a lot of fun watching the movie we're using, and will be subjecting* my mom to a rewatch when she visits this weekend.

*Not really; she said it sounds great.

Books

Finished The Dispossessed and got really into it in the second half or last third as Shevek became more humanized and humorous (especially with kids and animals! cute!), more aware of the ways Annaresti culture was deviating from its founder's ideals, and better able to articulate the problems on Urras and their (un)solvability, and as he struggled to break through with his grand unified physics theory and get it into the right hands when no one's hands seemed right.

Flipped through Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, an overstuffed, unself-aware mess that nevertheless had a few things to recommend about it. Content warnings galore.

Now wrapping up Deathless by Catherynne Valente and not sure yet what to make of it. Certainly makes me wish I knew more about Russian fairy tales and folklore. And that readers weren't so distanced from the main character after the first section. Some truly striking images, though. A bit like Uprooted with hints of Gaiman's Endless, among other things, but very much its own entity.

Recs

Grenade by [personal profile] fiercynn and [personal profile] scribe, which I beta-ed and have been remiss in not recommending. Full-hearted multifandom vid about self-sacrificing sidekicks who don't get the love they deserve. Rory Williams! Sam Gamgee! Sam Wilson! Many more!

Phase Changes (BtVS, 18,000 words, explicit) - a Giles/Xander/Willow fic that is locked to AO3 readers and so I assume I shouldn't name the author here. A diamond in the rough unearthed during an id tag search in the archives. Giles gets hit with a freeze ray; Xander and Willow, who are a couple, stay with him to keep him warm; things progress as you'd expect; and then the author truly won my heart when Willow has an issue with reaching orgasm and Giles gives them a sex ed lesson. Things don't end easily, either, as the next morning they debate whom, if anyone, to tell, and Buffy struggles with what's developed. Nicely written. Choosing to ignore the Wesley/angel and Spike/demon consciences the author gives Giles in the second half, like the hula-dancing "subconscious" from 50 Shades, which I remember reading somewhere was a holdover thing from anime fandom?

To the Victor, the Spoil by Annakovsky (Hunger Games, 13,000 words, explicit) - Katniss/Haymitch, Katniss/some other people, Capital corruption, Finnick and state-coerced sex, bleak and beautiful.

Tasks

Forthcoming Mom visit + Passover = tidying up, planning activities & choosing Haggadah materials. Looking forward to hosting a couple of friends for the seder and using these beautiful glass seder and matzah plates I acquired in Tel Aviv while visiting [personal profile] roga years ago. Looking forward to pulling out of this slump, too.
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)
And the weekend has gone very well so far. A few cards, messages and calls from friends and family, a few gifts tangible and intangible. Houseguest Friday-Saturday and fangirl movie party last night (Kingsmen: The Secret Service). Today I scored free breakfast at IHOP for a treat and then went with childhood friend C. to Revere Beach, where they were holding a sand sculpting competition. The forecast has been calling for scattered thunderstorms, but we gave it a shot and were pleased to find it didn't rain on us. Indeed, we passed a lovely couple of hours checking out the entries, walking along the ocean, chatting and grabbing lunch from two of the many food trucks.

Here are pictures of some of my favorite sculptures. One was called "Beauty and the Bot"; another was "Love is Eternal."

Insert Ozymandias reference if you desire )

Dinner with C. and her husband in a little while at a fancy place in Harvard Square neither of us has tried. Hopefully the food will live up to the restaurant's reputation. Even if not, it should be an enjoyable time. In general this weekend, keeping busy (but not too busy) has been good.

While we're doing a picture post, here are some nice ones from July 4. Taken from a boat with my mom and her bf: sunset followed by a beautiful fireworks display.

'How meta', said my sister of the first )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Happy Passover, Passover celebrators. As I eat scrambled egg over matzoh, I encourage you to (re)watch [livejournal.com profile] jetpack_monkey's vid Moves Like Yahweh for a dose of plague-filled, irreverent joy.

Happy National Poetry Month, poetry lovers. I am taking this occasion to -- incredibly belatedly -- rec a podfic (podpoem) [livejournal.com profile] susan_voight recorded of my SGA sestina, An Unanticipated Side Effect of Dosing Oneself with Wraith Enzyme to Deliver an Important Message. Susan did a regular version that is quite easy to understand, as well as a super-fast version (my personal favorite of the two) that mimics the way McKay's mind was racing. I'd always wanted to hear the poem read aloud like this, and am so happy these exist in the world. Give them a listen if you're interested, and be sure to leave Susan some feedback!

State of me: Long and boring story short, I had some unexpected issues for a couple of weeks but now things seem to be back to normal, i.e. I can get things done and string two sentences together and not vibrate out of my skin with anxiety. It's April; the snow is almost all melted, and we had a thunderstorm at something like 5 o'clock this morning.

On the docket for the day:

- Matinee of Furious 7 with friends and friends-of-friends
- Do overdue beta of friend's vid
- Rip the last of the DVDs for Club Vivid vid, and lay down more clips
- Laundry
- Group watch of Into the Woods

Holidaze

Dec. 26th, 2014 11:14 am
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Winter break: the joy of working for an academic institution. Chilled out at my dad's for a few days for the end of Hanukkah, which was nice. Survived a 30-person Hanukkah party with extended family. Then he and I made a beautiful wooden cutting board.

20141223_104636 <-- partway through the process

Currently chilling out at my mom's for Christmas, which she apparently now celebrates. There were more family dinner parties. Now, Star Wars jigsaw puzzle complete, a cranberry-orange-cinnamon-cloves mix is simmering on the stove, filling the house with a wonderful spicy cider scent, and we are watching TV.

(Me: So you're finally able to watch Mythbusters again, after we showed you James Bondage?
Mom: Ehhhhhhhh. It's... definitely different.)

Later, flying down to see [livejournal.com profile] synn, whee. It's been almost a year and a half.

And on the plane, I expect to finish Ancillary Justice and perhaps start Ancillary Sword. Ohmigosh, Ancillary Justice is so great. It is just as Pop Culture Happy Hour and a couple of friends promised. Such an interesting concept for universe and protagonist. It took a couple of chapters to get into, but then she won my heart on, what was it, page 26? -- singing with three mouths -- and there was that one chapter in the middle where everything happened, and I honest to goodness made noises at the book, I was so invested in the character. Couldn't tell you the last time that happened.

Giving gifts has been satisfying. And receiving some! My sister gave me music files on a flash drive and my mom found a Deep Space Nine clock for me on Etsy that is fantastic. Also a teacup that says "Potions Master."

Have bookmarked a handful of Yuletide stories to try. We'll see if there's any intersection among canons I know, canons I like, canons I'm interested in reading fic for, and good stories. Definitely want to try the Imperial Radch ones after I've finished the books.

Hope those of you who are observing winter holidays have had a good week, and hope those of you for whom the holidays are difficult have made it through all right. ♥
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*
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Happy November. We have achieved sleet! I guess that means it's okay to turn on the heat today. It's not remarkably early in the season for a (second, btw) nor'easter, but it's odd to see snow falling while the trees are still mostly leafed.

Well, we'll see if roasting this tray of vegetables takes care of some of the chill in here.

While I have had a blast doing and seeing so many different things lately -- I checked the calendar and there were 18 out-of-the-ordinary events in a month where usually there are like two, yeesh -- it's a relief to be heading into a few days of nothing but work and gym class Tue-Wed-Thu. Then my mom's coming for a visit, followed by pre-Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving busy-ness.

p.s. The Jeffrey Combs-as-Edgar Allan Poe play was enjoyable on Halloween night. More )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Festivids assignment is great, yay. It's funny: After reading various Dear Festividder letters, I'd added one source to my initial list of offers, and that is what got matched. Also have locked down what I want to make as a treat. It's going to be hard, but I think worth an attempt.

.

Went to see the National Theatre Live recording of Frankenstein last night. What an absolute joy. Details )

.

It's going to be a Star Trekky weekend: Jeffrey Combs tonight, George Takei on Monday. \o/

Happy Halloween! Are you dressing up? Do you wish you were?
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
It's sunny and in the 50s. The leaves are turning. Local stores are draped with leaves and corn husks, and scattered houses have Halloween decorations out on the lawn and orange fairy lights strung up over the porches. I've cooked half a bushel of apples into pies and dinners. Kids and dogs can be seen on the streets in costumes.

In other words: It's properly autumn, and I am happy.

Today [livejournal.com profile] thedeadparrot and I walked down a closed-off street where they were having kid-friendly Halloween activities. That was cute. Many dinosaurs and rocket girls and hot dog toddlers, and pumpkin carving with power tools, live music and free snacks. Our award for best costume went to a family of sharks: mom in a shark hoodie, dad in a shark costume, kid ditto, and also the dog, looking confused with its little fins and tail. They had dorsal fins in back and everything.



Even better than that was last night's trip to a jack-o-lantern walk at the zoo down in Providence, Rhode Island. Parrot and [livejournal.com profile] stultiloquentia joined. That was super great. So many jack-o-lanterns! Some art pieces and a lot of emotive faces, grouped in A-to-Z categories and all aglow against trees and water.

A selection of pictures )

It took about 45 minutes to walk through. Made me feel like a kid, excited to be outside after dark, surrounded by spooky lights.
bironic: star of david from a greeting card (star of david)
Shana tova, friends who are celebrating. ♥

I haven't joined a temple here, but thanks to the miracle of modern technology, there are streaming services to choose from online. And a plum-apple crumble in the oven, for sweetness.

Will leave you with links to my favorite songs of the high holidays, some of which, if you were reading this LJ in 2010, you may have already seen:

R'tzei by Cantor Sally Neff, and one with a youth group where the lead is occasionally off key, but it has the harmony the other version lacks -- dare you to listen starting at 2:22 and not feel your heart lift at the turn at 2:29

Sim Shalom by a full youth choir and two soloists, and another version with an adult choir

Avinu Malkeinu by the U Mich women's glee club and Chicago men's a capella

Full heart

Apr. 20th, 2014 09:33 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
1. The melody, harmony, vocal quality and especially the chord progression in Hero by Family of the Year bring me right back to growing up listening to the radio in the '80s. Probably reminds me of Phil Collins' and David Crosby's* own Hero. Maybe even the simple, earnest song that ended the second Care Bears movie, Forever Young by Carol Parks (not the same as Rod Stewart's).

2. Finished S6 of True Blood. Because of... stuff... I went back and rewatched The Scene with Godric (YouTube; spoilers) from S2's "I Will Rise Up." It's still excellent. I still love it in a way that's hard to articulate. The blood tears, the raw emotion, the ancient relationship, the slipping between languages. The unremarked-upon homosexual overtones. The crack in a favorite character's persona. Eric has never been so beautiful, kneeling there with his voice breaking. And enriching it all is the echo of Marius/Armand.

3. Mostly, though, lately I am too full of things. Emotions all over the place. It took longer than it should have to realize that the inability to write so much as an email or concentrate at work or sit still long enough to add clips to a vid, and the general irritability toward anyone asking me for something, arose from my trying to stuff too much into the week. Concentrating on nutrition and exercising, planning travel (more on that soon, it is going to be super), doing chores, consuming media, trying to make fannish things, balancing work and social events, worrying about budgets, worrying about health things, fighting poor sleep... Wish that habit of keeping too busy to brood were easier to fix. :/

4. Happy Easter, Easter-celebrating friends. Happy two-days-left-of-matza, Passover-celebrating friends. Happy Patriot's Day/Marathon Day tomorrow, running friends. My officemate is running. The heart of the city has been on its sleeve the past week, marking the anniversary of what happened last year.

*Trying to identify a young, long-haired singer in the background of a sessions shot with David Crosby on YouTube led to the startling discovery that Neil Young was good-looking back in the day! In the latter shot especially, he's got a lovely Hugo Weaving brow going on. Thumbs up. Most of the time, though, it seems he looked like the lovechild of Hugh Laurie and Joel McHale. Y/Y?
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Sometimes I wonder why I read the Globe's weather column when it is half dedicated to gardening and contains so many grammatical and typographical errors, like yesterday's "we are defiantly in an active wintry pattern" and "Some of you live in areas you can do burns this time of year, tomorrow would be a great day to set some of the brush ablaze" -- especially since on occasion the lack of a proofreader has made forecast statements confusing.

Then he says stuff like this, and I am reminded:

"Highs will reach 45-50F and it will feel very spring-like. Whatever Punxsutawney Phil says tomorrow, remember he's a rodent. While I might not always be correct, I tend to do better on forecasting the weather, although he can dig better holes."

Happy SuperGroundhogBowl Day. Have a video clip of my favorite scene from the movie.

bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
That thing where you don't post for a while and then you don't post because it's like a logjam? That is happening.

Re: the meme going around where friends request topics and you write about it on a given day in December: Let's try that! I can't commit to a post a day before winter break, but maybe three times a week? Will we even get that many requests?

ETA: Requested topics so far:

- fanvid recs! hmmm maybe some fun dancey vids?
- What's your favorite vid you've ever made, and why?
- Reminisce about your first fandom: what did you love about it?
- What got you into fandom? Does the same thing spark your passion now, or is it something(s) else that keep you inspired?
- Favorite actor and why you love them
- Favorite comic (you can interpret that as comic strip, web comic, or comedian)
- Science topics you would love to be asked to write about
- What combination of things would make for the Best TV Show Ever?
- Which female character would you most like to be? Which male character would you most like to be?
- What combination of things would make for the best fanfic ever?
- Anatomy!
- Your favorite holiday destination that you've already visited, and your favorite of the places you've not yet been to. (Intergalactic traval will not be allowed for the purpose of this question!)
- What do you use for media when starting a vid? Do you rip DVDs, convert .avi files or what? What editing software do you use and why? What is the next thing you want to learn/try in writing or vidding?
- 1-3 non-kink/sexual themes that are significant to you in media and why

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Thanksgivukkah happened. Loved hanging out with my sister, as always; joined her and her friends for the first time on Leftover Thanksgiving Friday for their traditional playing of Cards Against Humanity; got a ride back yesterday from her and her current touring musician. Got to know dad's fiancee's extended family a little more. Wore a silly turkey hat. Ate a lot. Read a book (How We Die by Sherwin Nuland). Only had to go to the supermarket twice. Watched more TV than is advisable (er... Star Trek III, Star Trek IV, TNG, South Park, Moominland cartoons, some Peanuts movie that took place in the French countryside, Top Gear, What Maisie Knew [again], That Guy Who Was In That Thing, TOS "Amok Time," probably other stuff I'm forgetting. Ah, right, Independence Day, and an episode of a travel show, in which Joel McHale went to Northern Ireland and had style). Avoided manual labor and basement clean-up except for helping move an armchair and a bookcase and the contents of the bookcase up a flight of stairs. Avoided heavy conversations until the last morning. Exchanged gifts. Did not make a turkey menorah, alas.

Now back to the land of functional computers. Even though Hanukkah is half over, 'tis the season of consumerism/sales and parties and lights against the early nightfall, and coming up soon for the first time in years, the aforementioned winter break. Happy December.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Happy Halloween! In case you missed them last week, I made two vids appropriate for the occasion:

And here are Halloween-themed vids from past years:

In no particular order, recent-ish things not by me that feel suited to viewing on this holiday:

...Surely there are enjoyable Halloween and/or Day of the Dead fics out there. Yes? AO3 says there are 1,400+ to sort through. Only I can’t remember any except for one Inception bit of fluff involving babysitting and trick-or-treating... I think. Wasn’t there a good one in the golden days of Harry Potter fandom about the night James and Lily died? (Although that’s probably like asking, Wasn’t there a good one about the Marauders?) From my own stuff I can only offer something like No Pain (House) because I never did finish the actual for-Halloween one that was gonna have the boggart (House, Harry Potter).

What are your favorite Halloweeny fanworks?

ETA: More reasons to like this apartment: Trick-or-treaters are happening! So far toddler Batman and the pre-teen girl hot dog are winning the contest for adorablest costume.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
I never wished you a happy Hanukkah. Happy belated Hanukkah! Mine was laid-back and enjoyable; potato pancakes and a Skype call with my dad & his part of the family on the first night, the giving of gelt and portable holiday-scented hand sanitizers to my coworkers.

And now, happy post-solstice, post-Christmas and post-most other December holidays as well. I spent a few relaxing days at [livejournal.com profile] synn's place with her and her visiting mom and her two cats that prevented the putting-out of gifts under the tree until the last minute due to their propensity for eating all the ribbons but who were forgiven on account of being fluffy. Games (including Star Trek Catan from my mom), TV (Psych, Firefly, X-Files, Storage Wars, a whacked-out movie version of the Nutcracker Ballet), food, crafts, conversation; who could ask for anything more? A joyous Christmas morning gift exchange followed by a Skype call with my mom & her part of the family.

Many excellent things were given and received. You all need to see these in particular, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] synn:



Star Trek watercolor portraits and three other nifty things! )

Drove back safely through sleet and snow yesterday, which turned into rain early enough that I made it over to [livejournal.com profile] deelaundry's after work for further celebrations. Among other things, she gave me a camel-colored cloche hat that matches my winter coat and looks super cute with the graduated bob I've had for a few months. I will have to be careful lest people mistake me for someone fashionable. :)

I did not send as many holiday cards as usual to fan friends, and some of them are likely to be late; I'm sorry. Thank you to those of you who sent cards—nightdog, rubynye, anyone else (roga ♥) whose cards might be winging their way to the mailbox.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (turkey pin)
Happy post-Thanksgiving/post-weekend. Long time no entry. (Again.) I spent a week or two finishing an extracurricular job and generally being too busy, and then one week in New York visiting family and remembering how to slow down.

The Thanksgiving trip turned out to be really nice. It provided an opportunity to reconnect with my mom, dad and sister as well as a chance to get to know better the people who are basically stepfamily now: dad's fiancée and her extended family, mom's boyfriend's son who is living at home for a while. Sometimes it involved troubling late-night conversations—more common as I grow up—but for the most part things were lovely. There was a day trip on a boat, some shopping, bonding time in the kitchen, ceiling painting, box packing and old stuff chucking, some couch lounging...

I also got to show my friends A. and Mr. A. around Long Island for a day, attended my other friend A.'s baby shower and spent a long afternoon at the company that used to employ me/destroy my will to live. You may recall stories if you read this LJ up until 2008. I hadn't been back since I quit to go to grad school five years ago. The visit was actually great. About a dozen people I'd worked with were still there, somehow, and there may be contract work in my future. The worst (aside from the fact that the office relocated from 25 miles/60 minutes away from my old house to less than three miles) was that one of my favorite former coworkers, who'd also left and for whom I'd done some freelance jobs, died of a freak intestinal issue over the summer. He was only 28 and had a brand-new daughter.

After driving back to D.C. with Pop Culture Happy Hour podcasts for company, I unpacked a bunch of boxes of books and CDs and assorted other things I'd never moved down here. The Vampire Chronicles! Sandman graphic novels! Poetry! School yearbooks! Old writing now on a Flash drive! Seder plate! Wine glasses! &c. &c. It's nice to have the books in particular. *hugs them* Three and a half years later, my little studio apartment starts to look well-furnished.

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What else. I told you about the Dracula ballet. [livejournal.com profile] synn and I went to the annual Crafty Bastards fair a few weeks ago and played Hipster Meme Bingo with the merchandise, keeping an eye out for moustaches, zombies, bacon, robots, T-rexes, tentacles, owls/cute baby animals, cupcakes and narwhals and stuff, with bonus points for combinations of the above (t-shirt with UFOs abducting dinosaurs! prints of UFOs abducting penguins! tote bag with Obama punching out a zombie!). So that was amusing. Not that I am immune to all of those tropes. No cephalopods this time, but I did get a greeting card with a tiny penguin.

'Tis the season for gift shopping/making/giving. And Festividding. (Half a draft done.) And snow. And sweaters and blankets. And maybe finally acquiring a TV stand that will hold my hundred-pound CRT as well as a shelf of DVDs. Dear vendors: giving load capabilities in flatscreen inches is not universally helpful.

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