bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Just to say that Geek Burlesque was a total hoot. You haven't lived until you've seen a young man strip down to nothing but briefs and a Boba Fett helmet. Or a coy female Cthulhu in a green bodysuit and mask lowering her bloomers to reveal the tentacles peeking out of her bikini bottom.

Also ran: a brilliant, joyous Robin; Catwoman with a whip, subduing and teasing Commissioner Gordon; Captain Hammer dancing to "Can't Touch This"; Spike singing the "Rest in Peace" song from the Buffy musical and then doing a striptease with his leather duster and red shirt, etc.; the Power Rangers defeating a monster with the strength of skin-baring, and also gymnastics. Oh, and a routine involving the cubes from Portal. Plus two (I think) "regular" burlesque acts with fantastic performers, one a doll/puppet and her puppeteer, and the other breakfast food-themed.

All hosted by a "George R. R. Martin" clearly inspired by the South Park parody. (One of the many floppy wiener jokes involved a broken microphone stand. During the raffle, when he was having trouble getting a ticket out of the Tardis-shaped container, he said, "Winner is coming.")

*trails off with glitter and snap pants*
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (turkey pin)
Things I am especially grateful for tonight:

- Working heat, and a hot meal
- Still having my mom (and dad) around
- Friends who remain so over long distances
- How this move worked out so well, physically and professionally
- Being accepted in and engaged by this community even when I've only been participating sporadically of late

.

Most recent instance of things going click: Discovering that the gorgeous voice in the pop/dance song Wake Me Up (acoustic version) belongs to the same man who sings the song Ticking Bomb that I bookmarked last week after hearing it in a video game commercial: Aloe Blacc. He does a mean, bluesy rendition of California Dreamin', even if he doesn't quite hit all the notes live (in the second half, anyway).
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
One year ago tomorrow (or yesterday, depending on how you count it), I dove into making Starships!. As if to celebrate the occasion, this just happened:

statistics chart showing a peak hit count after starting out near zero

I haven't been able to piece together a timeline of what led to what, but for some reason Starships! had a huge resurgence in popularity last week. By which I mean the Vimeo video went from 9,000 views (Aug.-Mar. total) to 34,800 35,300, and the YouTube version has garnered 2,700 views and 180 likes in its first week and a half. Together that makes it my most viewed vid ever. Measuring by hit count, the next most popular is, of all things, the SGA tentacles vid, at 27,500, and even that has 20,000 more than the third-most viewed (Satisfaction). LJ comments for Starships! also passed the 500 mark, which is about 350 more than any other of my fanworks has received as far as I can recall. o_o

Metrics, Google searches and tips from friends tell me that a tumblr post that had been around since August exploded, shooting up to 5,000 likes/reblogs (375 of which are comments, wow), including from the OTW and at least a couple of accounts that must be widely read (like albinwonderland?). The tumblr post got featured on TheMarySue.com last Wednesday, which led to other posts on individual blogs like this one. The vid also showed up on a Finnish TV site (second highest play count after tumblr and before TheMarySue), something called SourceFedNews, a French blog, and Facebook and Reddit, among other places.

It's awesome, although I'm still baffled as to what set it off. The vid had been up on YouTube for several days already, and the YouTube version isn't the one that's been making the rounds for the most part; ditto for the lyrics-to-clips chart timing; and Swancon and Muskrat Jamboree happened a couple of weeks earlier. *shrug* Not that it matters, in the end. I don't know how those kinds of numbers compare to other people's vids, but it's a thrill from where I'm sitting.

.

Interesting things that occurred along the way:
  • Thanks to the third-party platforms, received objective feedback from strangers who may or may not have expected the vid creator to see what they said. Common criticisms: "This vid is invalid because Babylon 5/Red Dwarf/Andromeda/Lexx/anything anime/something else isn't in it." (I added a note to the Vimeo & YT posts saying that I agree but it was made under deadline, for what that might be worth.) "I hate the song, but this vid is still okay." "I hate the song, so you should play ___ instead while you watch the vid." It's been excellent to see that side of people's reactions, even when there's an itch to engage; and it's been excellent as well when others have replied to comments here and there with rebuttals or with background about the deadline etc.

  • On the subject of fellow fans stepping in to support the creator: this tumblr post from [livejournal.com profile] greensilver about credit etiquette re: the original tumblr post, echoed in [livejournal.com profile] anatsuno's comment to TheMarySue post. Interesting stuff. Personally I want things to be credited, because credit is all we have here in non-monetary fandom. However, I hadn't thought beyond that to whether a label on an embedded video is enough or whether more attention should be given to attribution in the rec, other than that doing it in text makes it easier to ego-search, heh, and therefore to see comments from people who don't make it back to the original post.

  • Learned a little about how tumblr works. Not enough to feel comfortable navigating it, but something, anyway.

  • Discovered that at least three people linked George Takei to the vid on Facebook. ! My life would have been fulfilled if he'd reposted it, but having evidence that he might have watched it is plenty exciting.

The other super awesome thing that is not related to the above other than in how it ramped up my excitement is that [livejournal.com profile] jetpack_monkey is making a remix of Starships! using all black and white SF source. (!) No one has ever remixed a vid of mine before, unless you count the bizarre spambot thing that slapped effects on Masters of War, changed the song, and produced a long, head-scratchy YouTube description. Anyway. [livejournal.com profile] jetpack_monkey's legitimate remix is almost done, it's a ton of fun, and it's going to premiere at Vividcon in August, at which point you can join me in urging him to do some kind of commentary about it. Full circle in one year.

.

(And hopefully that all comes across as wanting to share the happy news instead of as bragging.)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
One excellent weekend at Vividcon, another out on the Delmarva peninsula with my visiting mom (hadn't seen her in 13 months, whoops), and now it's back to work work work.

+ Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] rubynye for the heads up—Teresa Nielsen Hayden recced Thirteen Ways of Looking at Rodney (AO3 version) alongside many other interesting-looking literary and/or crossover-type fics in a blog post over at Making Light. !! So cool. A couple of commenters also mentioned that Starships! is linked over there; I finally found it on the sidebar under the "Jim's Diffraction" links. Alexis Lothian did a whole awesome post on the vid, too. Basically: Eeeeee!

+/- I do feel like I should add a note over in the vid intro about how it wasn't intended to represent a history of spaceship media or anything, being entirely English-language and Western-centric, no anime, etc. No one has called me out on it but a few people have made celebratory remarks about how "everything" is in there and, you know, really it isn't at all. That's the major thing I'd have fixed if I'd had more time.

+ Despite lingering Vividcon-acquired germs and about 450 miles of driving, we quite enjoyed our three(ish) days out on the shore, browsing in non-chain stores in various coastal towns such as St. Michaels and Lewes, waving to the wild ponies in Chincoteague/Assateague, taking pictures of ourselves in cardboard-cutout space suits at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility visitor center, eating lots of seafood and other delicious fresh foodstuffs, playing Skeeball and dropping into ridiculous tourist shops on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, and even making it to the beach a couple of times between drizzles. The hotel we stayed in the second night had a glowing sink and ice bucket.

+ In one store, we found and acquired a Star Trek-themed crossword puzzle book. It's hard even for we two Trekkies and crossword aficionados (Puzzle 1, clue 1 across: "I.K.S ___-H'a, Klingon ship in 'The Chase' [TNG]"), but it's great fun nonetheless.

+/- Looked like I was going to have three weeks of evenings and weekends in which to do whatever I wanted, but then I went and acquired a volunteer job putting together a fast-turnaround newsletter. Sigh. (Those of you who knew me in grad school might remember a particular research foundation I worked with; it's for them, because I want to maintain the relationship.) So that'll be the next little while. It's cool, though. I like being "in the know" on breaking news. :)

+ Wrote 1,900 words of Mary Sue fic yesterday (the beginning of the Karin/Makor saga). *coughatwork* It's been a while.

Happy weekend to you all.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Back from a weekend that was full of adjectives: lovely, refreshing, exciting, fun, nostalgic, stimulating, unexpected, much-needed, too brief. I got to hang out for the first time in a while with most of my grad school classmates, one of whom brought her seven-week-old son. We delivered and heard a bunch of interesting and/or entertaining presentations, and I talked with dozens of people in a way that wasn't draining like networking usually is, because it was all natural and mutually interested conversation (and because it was interspersed with lectures, ha). I got a kiss on the cheek from a favorite professor. There was much wining and dining, and yesterday a fellow alum/friend introduced me to a nearby bakery that had opened up after I graduated. Mm, tea and fluffy Mediterranean quiche.

At one of the events I encountered a man with my last name, which has never ever happened before. It's a rare name, so it wasn't a surprise after the initial discovery to find that we are related.

On Friday, I got to meet [livejournal.com profile] rubynye! I get nervous sometimes when meeting a new online friend one on one that we won't be able to sustain a conversation, but she is an absolute delight and we had a great time in one of Harvard Square's new-ish coffeehouses. Well, I did, anyway; I shouldn't speak for her. :) I am not just saying that because she brought me a hand-made tentacle magnet and some baked goods. The few hours we had together went too quickly.

The other surprise of the weekend was that I actually won one of the eight thousand raffles I entered in a travel expo a couple of weeks back, which, if no more catches present themselves, means I am the recipient of two round-trip airfares to one of a few select destinations... provided I buy the minimum night stays at their hotel(s) at said destination. I read the terms of agreement and think it will still be worth it, given air travel costs these days.

Mostly it was one of those weekends where you really needed a change of pace and didn't realize it until you had it. On either side, the flights provided welcome reading time. For those of you keeping track, the penultimate few chapters of My Own Country broke my heart, not because of the author's difficulty taking care of terminal AIDS patients (redundant at that time, in the mid- and late '80s) or his marital problems but because of his portrayal of the families when they started losing their adult children and siblings and spouses to this disease that had no treatment, the descriptions of what happened to their bodies and minds as they faded, and especially the chapter in which Verghese worked out the pattern and the cultural narrative of infection from his Tennessee base: a generation of young men who migrated from small-town, mainly small-minded U.S.A. to the coastal cities to celebrate gay and bisexual liberation only to contract this illness and make their painful ways back to their roots for care until they died.

Next up, a change of pace: The Hunger Games. Might as well, right? Almost everyone appears to be out of town the next couple of weeks anyway.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I made a thing!

Title: Found Poem: I'll Always Remember / The Time the Aliens Made Us Do It
Fandom: SGA
Pairing: Nonspecific/multiple, but mostly John/Rodney, with many onlookers
Rating: R-ish
Word Count: 1,600
Summary: They’ve all grown wary—understandably so—of alien initiation rites. A meta-AMTDI story.
Contains: "Aliens made them do it" trope, and all the accompanying dubious consent issues; voyeurism/exhibitionism; bondage and blindfolds; other people's characters, plots and words (credited at the end)
A/N: An attempt at a "found poem" for my Kink Bingo voyeurism square: every line comes unedited from a preexisting story. Inspired by [livejournal.com profile] linabean's brilliant SGA_storyfinders-based found poems. Thanks x10 to [livejournal.com profile] synn for coming up with the idea, tracking down some fics, making me finish this and cutting the two unnecessary endings. And thank you to everyone who's written an SGA AMTDI story. This is my love song of sorts to them.


There's just the matter of the welcoming and friendship ceremony / the purification ritual / this fertility ritual / The offering ceremony / The harvest festival... )


Credits )

x-posted to mckay_sheppard, sga_noticeboard
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
You guys, [livejournal.com profile] sabinelagrande has created a podfic of my SGA story Upside Down and Inside Out, in which John, whose body has temporarily been turned into that of a woman for unexplained reasons, gets tied up and hung from the ceiling and brought off in three marvelous ways by Rodney (who is not temporarily in a female body) at the behest of off-screen aliens.

It is a marvelous podfic, read quickly and expressively and with audible enjoyment. Granted, that is a biased review on my part because this is the first time a story of mine has been podficced and I am beside myself with delight to hear the scene brought to life like this. Nonetheless! It is a joy to listen to, it sounds clever and peppy and tight, and the occasional infusions of Southern vowels are charming, as are the parts where Sabine-as-Sheppard tries to speak around the rope in her-his mouth. Even if the whole experience is a bit unreal since all podfics have to date been readings of stories by people who are not me. It is also fitting that Sabine chose to read this particular story for her "suspension" Bingo square, as the fic was written to fulfill a kink-saturated prompt of hers a couple years back.

I hope you will give it a listen and tell Sabine what a fun job she has done.

...

On the subject of cars and car shopping, I can only say this: Why on Earth do all these new models have such narrow windows and ill-placed rear-view mirrors and headrests? Is it so much to ask that a car be something you can see out of? No wonder so many people go for backup-view cameras and blind-spot sensors. This is like when I tried to get a watch in December and found that four analog models out of five lacked hour marks. Why would you want a watch that does not tell you what time it is. I am not looking for jewelry masquerading as a timepiece. I am not looking for a sporty body masquerading as a safe-to-operate vehicle. Ugh. What next, flatscreen TVs that don't actually hook up to provider services?
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Where did my Monday go? Oh, right, it disappeared into 5,300 words of consent play essay. Whoops.

It went up on [community profile] kink_bingo this morning here as part of the ramp-up to the next round (which starts tomorrow, plug plug) and has already generated some wonderfully thought-provoking comments that I need to try to respond to intelligently.

For my own OCD archiving needs and for the sake of anyone who might not like reading or commenting on Dreamwidth, the essay is reposted in its entirety below. Hope you like it. *insert noncon joke here*


* * *


Force Me, Please: On Noncon and Noncon Play in Fanfic

This is an essay about nonconsensual sex (noncon) and noncon roleplay in fanfic, why I love them, why they may work for other people, and how approximately one zillion kinks complement them. With 45 recs sprinkled throughout.

A bit about where I'm coming from )

What this essay will not cover )

On the difference between fantasy and reality; ethical dilemmas; freedom of kink )

Making distinctions: noncon vs. play, and all the shades of gray )

Ruminations on why this kink is attractive )

Great tastes that taste great together )

And in conclusion… )


* * *



Thank you again to those of you who chimed in when I asked under f-lock for thoughts on why consent play works. If you'd like to be credited for anything, just let me know and I'll amend.

Questions, comments, recommendations, requests to go into more depth, all welcome as always. I'd love to keep the conversation all together at the original post, but feel free to comment wherever you're more comfortable.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (khan con)
First, some weather pictures for roga et al: )

* * *

Okay, so! [livejournal.com profile] con_txt. A really well-run con with great people, slash-oriented but omni-friendly (though there wasn't much kink talk, unless I was hanging out in all the wrong places). And you, by which I mean me, can't beat the location.

[livejournal.com profile] synn arrived Thursday evening and we chilled in general exhaustion at my apartment. We watched the True Blood season premiere only to realize, too late, that nothing actually happened in it, except for that one scene people have been talking about. Oh well.

Friday, the con began with volunteer security duty and an icebreaker bingo game where you had to find con-goers who filled squares like "first fandom was Trek" and "prefers OT3 to OTP" (also "has written tentacle porn"—surprisingly not hard). Cons make me eerily, happily social, so within a couple of hours I had a blackout—if only [info - dreamwidth.com]kink_bingo were that easy—and earned some raffle tickets for it. The raffle table included a John/Rodney manip poster and a signed photo of Joe Flanigan; I put one ticket in the poster cup and the rest of my bingo tickets and the $5 more I bought and the $5 [livejournal.com profile] synn bought for me into the autograph cup. [livejournal.com profile] love_keller won that, the lucky duck, but I did get the poster. Which, heh, ended up being uncontested.

Pic: Yay, one of my walls is no longer plain white. )

Then [livejournal.com profile] synn broke the raffle by putting one ticket each into a bunch of cups and having her name drawn like five times until the con comm said she couldn't have any more gay erotica or duck memorabilia.

Also, there were panels! Which included: Love the characters, hate the show; rare pairs; slash and the dream of actually gay characters; SGA: DNR?; procrastination... )

…Why do these things always end up being thousands of words long?

Anyway, last but not least is Saturday night's vid show! )

And then the con was over and [livejournal.com profile] synn and I ran out of time to do stuff and people had to fly home and I had to go back to work. Alas!

The end.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] thingswithwings wrote a story for meeeee! It is the Kink Bingo Arbitrary Mod Prize she and [livejournal.com profile] eruthros bestowed last round and it is called Germination and you should go read it.

To describe it one way: At first blush, to me, it's about the hesitance and awkwardness and ultimately the freedom and satisfaction of exploring new kinks in a relationship, and about overturning expectations of how a woman might feel empowered by something that others call monstrous.

To describe it another way: It has tentacle roleplay and functional Jennifer/Rodney and wonderful morbid humor and emotionally!hopeless!John and a running gag about animal transformation and sestina-like recurrence of the phrase "hive ship" and also pegging!

Or, to put it a third way: It is like a mix-remix of my "Seed" vid that won the mod prize and my beloved Rodney/Katie story that helped complete the bingo. In "A Week in the Life," Katie wanted Rodney to dominate her; in "Germination," Rodney wants Jennifer to dominate him. In the "Seed" vid, icky scary tentacles became erotic; in the fic, Jennifer's horrible transformation becomes a source of desire. Nifty!

It makes me happy. Even more so, as I'm not in Remix this year and haven't had anything creative to offer in a while.
bironic: text against a background of "?!" (i don't even know this fandom)
I have conquered [livejournal.com profile] festivids! And I am here to point to what I enjoyed most and want to share with you if you haven't been by already.

I know some of you don't like or aren't familiar with vids, and/or aren't interested in seeing stuff about shows and movies you don't know. That's how I feel about [livejournal.com profile] yuletide each year—a bit left out because I don't know the vast majority of sources and therefore can't really enjoy the stories written for them or take part in the communal celebration of multifannishness. Plus, there are an overwhelming number of stories.

[livejournal.com profile] festivids—a post-holiday gift vid exchange for rare fandoms—turns out to be different. First, there are a manageable number of entries. I've seen them all (except the one for Slings and Arrows, because I'm planning on watching the show and don't want to risk being spoiled) in three sittings. Second, it only takes a couple of minutes to experience each entry, as opposed to the time investment in reading a long story in an unfamiliar fandom. Third, the quality ratio is extraordinary. And fourth, the vids are designed to be understood by non-fans on some level, to summarize the source, and/or to pitch the source. They may not resonate as much as they would if you knew what they're based on, but they're accessible. I knew maybe a third of the fandoms here. Sometimes I felt lost, but it didn't matter, because the ride was so enjoyable. Only a few left me unmoved.

[livejournal.com profile] fan_eunice has some convincing arguments to make for taking a look, namely: new music, new shows/movies to taste-test, social interaction while enjoying the entertainment and artistry, and, to reiterate the above: "you also do not have to know or be particularly interested in the fandom to still have one hell of a good time." I've been introduced to Joshua James and Rose Polenzani, become interested in two shows and a movie I'd either dismissed or not heard of before, and learned more about spectacular video editing.

And of course, if you do know a small fandom in the 'fest, it's probably pretty great to see a vid (or three) made for it.

Okay, that's the hard sell. Now for some recommendations. Not a problem, said I, when I first started watching; I'll just note the good ones. Okay, except they're pretty much all good. Then I decided to write down my favorites. Which, whoops, totaled about 30. I'll just pick ten, I said when I began this post. Well, I couldn't do it, so here are 15 of the vids I think shouldn't be missed, with handy emoticons to indicate the mood of each. Again, I hope you won't skip any on account of not knowing the source. Some of the best work lurks in the most obscure places. Of course, obscurity is relative.

Favorites behind the cut: )
 
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Hm. I said I was going to stop writing summary posts like this. Another time, I guess.

This week in a nutshell:

Furniture. Up to NY on Saturday—saw my sister for half a day between a gig and the next leg of the tour, rescued her from a flat tire when she had no money and a dying cell phone, played a rousing game of "where the hell are the table legs?" in a house full of stuff from my dad's moving-in girlfriend, and ate sushi—back from NY on Sunday, and now I can has furniture. Well, the table/chairs, an area rug, a small bookshelf, a little papasan chair, and a metal cart left over from college, anyway, but at least now most of my things aren't on the floor.

Oven. Adventures in broken-down apartment features this week included the smoke that came steaming out of the oven when I tried to use it for the first time. Long story short, it took one day for maintenance to identify the problem, another for them to come back and fix the problem instead of just telling me about it, and another for me to find out they had come, because they sent a note to the previous tenant's email instead of leaving the piece of paper on the door like they'd always done. Aie. I had, naturally, just bought a chicken to roast; the poor thing ended up in the fridge for a day, cooked for ten minutes on day two, put back in the fridge for a day, frozen for another day, and it's now defrosting so I can cook it tomorrow. If I die of salmonella or something when I finally eat it, please all of you play nicely as you divvy up my things.

Hair. Attend: I am making a pact not to use elastics anymore (except at the gym, where I have been trying to go most evenings right after work). Gone with the ponytail of yesteryear, I cry! Thanks in part to a book about curly hair recommended by [livejournal.com profile] hannahrorlove and wisdom accumulated five or so years ago the last time I got a good haircut, I am trying to care for my hair with conditioner and gel so it can do its thing without frizz, and plan to use some freelance money to get a good-quality cut at a real salon in a few weeks when a spot opens up.

Alcohol. For the first time in all the years I've been over the legal drinking age, I bought a bottle of alcohol for myself. Two, actually: amaretto and sweet-and-sour mix. I plan to use it as a wise professor once advised me, to lower inhibitions so I can actually write without the impending deadlines of Kink Bingo. Okay, his advice didn't mention Bingo, but the rest is true.

Plants. A coworker who gardens potted two small plants for me, a spider and a philodendron, and they make a disproportionate difference in this place than their size would suggest. The spider plant is in a pretty earthenware pot that's glazed deep blue-green with brown streaks in the light. She said it reminded her of my eyes. Aww.

Job. I have absolutely sucked at work this past couple of weeks. Just sitting there all day getting nothing done. I have to get my act together and make up my mind about which of the two offers I have I'm going to take, because while neither is ideal, I can't keep stringing people along and agonizing so much that I'm totally unproductive. On the bright side, just got a raise and will have health insurance in November. On the dimmer side, that means a two-month lapse in coverage; need to find a stopgap plan, because there are prescriptions to fill and possible illnesses and accidents to be prepared for.

DVDs. After following up with Amazon, the postal service, and the place I used to live, a refund was attained, a new order placed, and SGA S5 finally arrived here on Thursday. Hopefully that'll kick-start the vid-that-was-in-progress about how Pegasus people are angry.

Fanpeople. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] kassrachel, I was put in touch with a local cluster of fans who gather weeklyish to watch sci fi down the street from me. I met many of them for the first time last night and it was wonderful. We watched the Vividcon premieres along with a few others, had tasty food, and chatted about the usual hit-and-miss collection of fan topics -- vidding, knitting, cats, various Star Treks, works in progress, textual analysis, slash, Canadians, mpreg. Okay, the last was my fault for having brought up, as we were leaving, the fact that I was glad we hadn't talked about it, after [livejournal.com profile] barely_bean scarred me for life the first time I hung out with the NYC brunch crew.

Good vids included [livejournal.com profile] greensilver's American Tune, a tribute to The West Wing set to Simon & Garfunkel that moved me even though I barely know the show, and another viewing of Seah and Margie's spectacularly unsettling Dr. Who vid No Handlebars (again, need not know the source material), and Learning to Crawl by [livejournal.com profile] jarrow (BSG, ditto). A couple of nice vids introduced me to lovely songs, including Greg Laswell's It Comes and Goes in Waves (vid) and Jars of Clay's Boy on a String (unlinked vid of the same name was by traykor).

Okay. Off to see the wizard Laundrys for the first time in a while, and then… long weekend!
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I.

My dreams last night involved: being John Sheppard's first kiss... )

Then I saw a rainbow on the way to work, even though it hasn't rained in days, which (a) made me exclaim "Ooh, a rainbow!" despite being alone in the car, and (b) was ten times better than yesterday morning, when a 3/4" striped spider that had fallen from a tree crouched on the hood of my car for half my commute before scurrying off out of sight, leaving me to wonder whether it would suddenly appear inside the car and make me freak out and cause an accident. Thankfully, it did not.


II.

Attended the semi-regular fangirl brunch on Sunday and had a great time. Between the food ([livejournal.com profile] linaerys's onion and fontina tart, [livejournal.com profile] moonlash_cc's mushroom omelettes, mimosas, salad, bread, cured meat, fruit, cheese, wine and [livejournal.com profile] scrunchy's spicy chocolate cookies) and the company (the above-mentioned, plus [livejournal.com profile] pun, [livejournal.com profile] krisdia, [livejournal.com profile] ahab99, [livejournal.com profile] lanthano, [livejournal.com profile] barely_bean, a recovering [livejournal.com profile] scribblinlenore, and a couple of people whose screen names I haven't yet learned, all of whom I'm getting to know as the "usual crew"), the conversation (skipping from topic to topic, both fannish and other, and this time for the most part I followed even the squee over shows I'm not familiar with that almost everyone else watches/watched) and the screenings (slashy Heroes DVD extras and the Burn Notice pilot), who wouldn't enjoy him/herself? It's really a blessing to have this kind of social outlet and to get to know new people with varied backgrounds and common interests. Like LJ, but in person.

Also, *waves* to new LJ friends!


III.

Work has been deader than House's sense of tact lately. The dull details. )


IV.

Friday at least was saved by an all-day "covers" theme on the radio, during which I was introduced to the glory that is the song "Jolene." Originally by Dolly Parton (1974), it's about one woman begging another, Jolene, not to "take [her] man." On Friday, the station played a cover by The White Stripes (2000), which not only transformed the original earnest plea into a dark and broken cry of despair, but also added a delicious homoerotic layer to the song, since Jack White kept the lyrics as they were rather than changing everyone's genders. Boy begs girl not to steal boy. Truly, few things are hotter than a young man with a desperate tenor and a Gothic face singing, "Well, you could have your choice of men / But I could never love again / He's the only one for me, Jolene."

Full lyrics behind the cut. )

I haven't been able to find a recording of the 2000 version, which was crisp and clean, so unfortunately I can only offer you the mediocre live 2004 version ("Under Blackpool Lights"), where Jack White's voice is sometimes overwhelmed by the audience as it sings along, and he doesn't hit strong high notes because of his smoking habit, and he does strange and unnecessary things with his voice in places. Still, the emotion is there, and it should give you some idea of the awesomeness that is this cover. Video here or audio-only here.

ETA ETA ETA: [livejournal.com profile] thewlisian_afer to the rescue! The 2000 B-side vinyl release for your listening pleasure, right here. The tambourine! The electric guitar finger-picked as though it were acoustic! The minor chords! The slower pace! Seventies folk meets toned-down twenty-first century alternative/punk! Yay! Of course, now I have to get used to it after living with the rawer live recording over the weekend...

This is the Dolly Parton version. It's catchy and her voice is sweet and it's the only song of hers I own.


V.

I'm excited to read the stories that will be cropping up during the next two weeks based on the current theme at [livejournal.com profile] sga_flashfic: the Wordless Challenge, or "stories where the characters have to deal with a communication barrier, and there's a lot of different ways to take that on (situations that impose silence, medical conditions like deafness or aphasia, dealing with a literal language barrier, etc.)." It's one of my favorite tropes in fiction... )


VI.

In "pimp my friends' blogs" news, a wonderfully talented and all-around brilliant college friend of mine has started a blog over at Wordpress, Bardolatry, detailing her experiences as an actor with the American Shakespeare Center, which she joined in June. Though she commenced with the caveat that she may not update frequently, so far there have been several informative and entertaining posts covering topics such as the original staging practices the troupe follows and the advantages and disadvantages of participating in the madness that is "Renaissance Run" rehearsals. I recommend it to anyone who has an interest in Shakespeare (reading, performing or watching), acting, directing, period theater techniques, or windows into the life of someone who is doing something out of the ordinary. If you find yourself as charmed by Ellen's writing as I am, you can subscribe to the LJ feed. And/or perhaps you might catch the ASC if they perform somewhere near you this season.

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