bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Might as well post the movie & TV lists while we're here. Last year I did them by month; this year I collected them for longer in part for Festivids reasons and in part because I was embarrassed for a while at the proportion of sources that weren't for the auction vid. But that is chugging along now.

Averaging a little less than two movies per week, and more TV shows than usual, for vidding reasons )

As with the book list, happy to talk about any of these.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
So my computer developed a corrupt registry file )

*

ANYWAY, it's nice to have my machine back, with nothing lost. And the fridge and freezer are stocked again after an epic grocery trip, assisted by a rent credit from my landlady. I learned a ton in the After Effects class. mention of parental health issue ) So life continues okay.

Media has been a bit thin on the ground of late, as you might guess. I'm reading Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy many years after [livejournal.com profile] synn gifted them to me; after a slow start, am now ~100 pages into book two and so far so good. Watching Die Another Day and now Skyfall on TV in the background; first time seeing either. Need to get back to source watching for the auction vid, and there's a belated Equinox treat that's finally possible now that the movie I need is out on DVD.

It looks like I'm not bringing any vids to Vividcon this year, which feels weird. But I do get a [personal profile] corbae as a roommate.

*

Good wishes to those of you who are struggling. Greetings to everyone else.
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)
All that and I forgot to say I've registered for [community profile] vividcon in August and Readercon in July. Readercon's guests of honor this year are Naomi Novik and Nnedi Okorafor. Looking forward to hearing about more attending authors.

*

My hair is straight! For a couple of days, anyway. I went for a haircut with a new, recommended curl-savvy hairdresser who said she wanted to straighten it before cutting it to ensure the cut would be even, which is the opposite of what most people have proposed before. Now it's all swoopy and flippy and when I look in the mirror I actually feel pretty.

(Cue conflicted thoughts about societal notions of beauty and what it means that I like the result of this erasure of one visible aspect of my Eastern European/Russian Jewish heritage, but I think it's just that it frames my face really well right now.)

It hasn't been straight since my friend flat-ironed it 10+ years ago for a Halloween party where I went as Snape, so it is quite a revelation. The results are making me want to do it once in a while now for fun. Er, although I don't own a blow dryer or flat iron.

*

We had a snow day this week. It seems like ages ago already. I had grand plans for watching some vid-related movies & TV but then we lost power for half the day so I read,* wrote and shoveled. 1,800 new words on an old Mary Sue story. I'm liking this trend.

*Lagoon by Okorafor; I would put it behind Binti and ahead of Akata Witch for enjoyment level.

*

I did finally finish Suicide Squad tonight, which was as mediocre and eye-rollingly misogynistic/exploitative as promised, with bonus racism and overkill special effects. Even so, I did enjoy some aspects, including Will Smith, Jay Hernandez and the human Rocket Pop that was Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. But no one warned me that Adam Beach spoiler ).

*

Been seeing lots of movies in the theater, and there are still many coming up that are appealing. Want to post about them properly one of these days. Like Get Out, which was so, so smart, and Logan, and the Oscar-nominated animated short films, and soon Raw, and Life, and possibly Personal Shopper...
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Doing

Working a lot at work. Consequently, doing not a lot at home. My proposed promotion is still moving forward, although not approved yet. But I'm sad about feeling vaguely unwell so often. (No advice needed; docs have been consulted.) On the tail end of one of these periodic weeks of poor sleep, I had a gross dream about a manager in the office and had trouble looking at him yesterday. Then today my laptop died! Only I looked up the "symptoms" on my phone and fixed it via a method that indicated it was only an issue of built-up static charge, whew. We had an Arctic front sweep through last night; the same dry air made my lip split when I went to the library this afternoon.

Last weekend featured Boston fan brunch, always good, followed by fangirl movie night at [personal profile] thedeadparrot's, in this case Dune, for which [twitter.com profile] serenadestrong made a spectacular sand worm spice bread. On the downside, a friend moved away to NYC, and the whole weekend felt vaguely unreal because my ear was plugged for uninteresting reasons, so until these drops from CVS cleared it up I was half deaf and felt slightly feverish, maybe because I associate plugged-up ears with being sick.

...This is the kind of post people used to make fun of when they talked about the banality of blogging. I will stop complaining.


Vidding

No, wait, I will complain about one more thing, because it is upsetting me: Last Saturday YouTube blocked the Ancillary Justice trailer in the U.S. and Canada because of the DhakaBrakha audio snippets (although it's still up on Vimeo), and then last night Vimeo took down Starships! because of the Nicki Minaj song (although it's still up on YouTube) -- no warning, just down, with an email explanation of the copyright claim.

Things I have done:
- Emailed the OTW's legal team to see if they have experience helping vidders contest copyright claims for music rather than video clips
- Emailed the Vimeo support team to gripe about the sudden takedown and to request screen shots of the comments and last known view counts
- Asked vidding friends on Twitter for advice
- Added the YouTube link for Starships! to the biggest Tumblr post that's been circulating, although who knows if people will see it
- Begun preparing points to make in the appeals

I believe the book trailer has a better shot of being reinstated because it only uses a small portion of the full song and isn't competing with the original. Starships! I'm not super hopeful about, in the same way I haven't been hopeful about previous copyright matches for vids that got denied upon initial upload, and that sucks, because vids are clearly transformative works and I wish I could articulate how video clips transform the audio (rather than vice versa), or form a gestalt with it that the song wouldn't have done alone.

Meanwhile, I requested a song for Club Vivid and it got approved, although I'm not sure I can make it in time because of the scope of one of my Fandom Trumps Hate auction vids, which I am going to post about soon because I could use your help.


Reading

Those SF/F compendia. Also Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor. I liked Binti a lot and was pleased to learn of the sequel, which was also good, except for how it's a CLIFFHANGER, sigh.

Next up, The Dream-quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson, because the Nebula nominees were announced and some of the novellas looked interesting.


Watching

This week I got to see a performance of Tennessee Williams' Night of the Iguana featuring Amanda Plummer and James Earl Jones! More on that later, I think. We do not often get New York-caliber dramas in Boston, so that was a treat.

Also a bunch of random movies that I will not list exhaustively but that included 13th, just as powerful as advertised; some movies my sister and I used to watch all the time as kids but that I hadn't seen since then (Annie [1982] and The Neverending Story); Cloud Atlas, which was terrible in different ways from the book (the racebending makeup was creepy and wrongsighted); and Child 44, an action film that was utterly unremarkable except for its cast: Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Charles Dance, Noomi Rapace, Vincent Cassel and Fares Fares. It took place in Stalin-era Moscow and Volsk so of course they cast Brits, a Frenchman, a Swede and a Lebanese Swede and made them speak in "Russian" accents.

Want to see Get Out and Logan. My sister will be visiting next weekend and we plan to take care of at least one of those.


Listening

Stephen Thompson at NPR released this year's Austin 100, a batch of songs by artists he recommends ahead of SXSW. I usually find a handful of vid songs in these -- among the 2016 recs I found this year's Club Vivid song, the song I used for the Chris Hadfield vid, and the song I'm going to use for the Mary Sue vampire vid -- and am looking forward to this new collection.


Writing

Posts and emails, mostly. Did I mention that over Presidents' weekend I added some pages to some very old Mary Sue fics? It felt good to get words out and to extend those stories a little, even with the inevitable self-criticism over things like "Why did it take you all day to write two pages?" and "Why are you still thinking about teenage fantasies?"


Off to [livejournal.com profile] disgruntledowl's for dinner/movie. I made brownies. Before that, I made some mashed cauliflower. The apartment smells very confused.

Hope you are having good weekends.
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)
I.

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

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

II.

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

*Geekiest hand of the game

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

III.

Persuant to the above:

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

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

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

IV.

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

V.

Okay, she's out of the shower, so that's all for now. Hope you're all hanging in there.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
(-) 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)
Continued from here

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

35 movies and many TV seasons )

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

And, so, okay, this is my movies-per-year baseline count; it comes to a little less than a movie every other day, which sounds about right. Interesting.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I don't even know what to say. You all see what's happening too.

How I've coped this week:

Reading, Watching, Sharing, Doing
I've been taking in as much news as I can handle, which varies by the evening. Since it's all too easy for me to think about things and stop there, I've also made efforts to transform that intake and mental processing into actions. Things like setting up monthly rather than annual charity donations, signing the subset of petitions that have a shot at going anywhere, and building a spreadsheet of local, state and federal representative contact information plus specific issues to thank them for supporting or urge them to oppose. I haven't psyched myself up yet to, uh, actually make the phone calls, but I'm working on it. Still unsure which outreach efforts are most effective when I live in a Democratic state with kickass reps who are already writing joint statements and introducing bills to prevent or reverse the most atrocious developments.

Working
Nobody at our office got anything done the day after the election, but by the next day I was ready to bury myself in work. My monthly productivity is now on track to be one and a half to two times normal.

Vidding
[personal profile] thedeadparrot, [personal profile] stultiloquentia and [livejournal.com profile] disgruntledowl came over at various times last weekend for communal laptopping and to talk or not-talk about our government-to-be. I made a [community profile] festivids treat draft in 24 hours and picked at a few others. Current plan: four Festivids and one Christmas vid. Ha. Ha ha ha.

Cooking
Vidding only worked as a distraction through Saturday. Sunday I tried to sit in the computer desk chair but kept drifting into the kitchen to start some other cooking or baking project. By the end of the day, there was curried pumpkin-apple soup, pumpkin bread, an onion and feta frittata, baked sweet potatoes, roasted vegetable lasagna and lemon-basil haddock with spaghetti squash. It's kept me in leftovers for the entire week, plus extras in the freezer, and one loaf of the pumpkin bread fed my coworkers.

Reading
Not much fiction. Finished the Young Miles compendium -- enjoyed the Dendarii parts, gradually lost patience with the rest -- and am wrapping up Vampire Romance 2. Starting to do proper research into the paranormal erotica short story market. I did go to book club last Thursday despite only having read a few chapters of the book months ago (The Goblin Emperor), and was glad to have done so, for the company.

Writing
Picked up a high school- into college-era (!) orig fic last night and added 1,200 words in 60 or 90 minutes, which, if you've been keeping track, is a lot for me these last few years. Want to try some more tonight and over the weekend. There is a sequence of scenes I daydreamed about back in the day that for some reason resurfaced, matured with time, a couple of nights ago, and I'm trying to get them down on the page. A sort of recovery story, years after the hurt I put the hero and heroine through: probably another form of self-comfort this month to go with the blankets and hoodies and warm drinks and toast.

Watching
Not much besides current events. [personal profile] thedeadparrot and I did go to see Arrival last Friday and it was great; haven't enjoyed a new SF movie that much since Interstellar. Oh, and Westworld. I'm still ambivalent about it but there's more to enjoy than it seemed at the beginning. This week's episode had one particularly delightful scenario and one great twist. Still, laughably Dark and frustratingly male-POV even when it's focusing on Strong Female Characters.

Dreaming
Starting last Tuesday, I went from having never dreamt about politics or politicians in my life to dreaming about them almost every night. Am ready for this phase to pass.

And so another week comes to a close. How are you all holding up?
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: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Need to write the last part of the Star Trek con report (cast panels!) but not at the moment. Just wanted to say:

(1) Started N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season this week. Bit of initial... what's the term for when there's a hump to get over and then things are good? Anyway, I'm enjoying it now. I was trying to figure out who this one character, Essun, reminds me of, and realized it's Chava from The Golem and the Jinni. Brief elaboration. I don't consider this a spoiler but just in case; mentions vague stuff from <75 pages in. ) It's got me picturing Essun as large-framed now, even though I don't think her physique was described.

(2) Been watching movies again, both features and documentaries and in one case a blend of the two (Jafar Panahi's Taxi). Was surprised and delighted by how much I enjoyed this one movie, Wildlike, starring Bruce Greenwood and Ella Purnell. It found a whole panel of my buttons and pressed them. plot description, could be considered spoilery? ) I clutched my hands to my chest in joy during the last maybe ten minutes. And then the credits rolled to one of my favorite Alexi Murdoch songs. ♥ I don't even know what to do with my happiness about it besides luxuriate in it and read reviews. There's no fic to read, I don't think I have a fic in me to write, a vid wouldn't add anything, and rewatching the movie wouldn't replicate the experience.

(3) Still thinkin' about [community profile] festivids requests. I've got four movies (Queen Margot, Stranger by the Lake, Farewell My Concubine, Gods and Monsters) and one book (The Golem and the Jinni ♥), but am stumped on the last. This year I really only want to ask for things where any one of them would feel like my top choice if I got it. Haven't figured out a sixth one that would match the others. :/ Priest, maybe? The Linus Roache one, I mean. Not sure.

Are any of you asking for movies? Maybe there's something I can watch in the coming weeks to expand my repertoire of offers.

(4) Meta rec: On the Subject of Noncon Fanworks: Thoughts of a Reader, Writer, Survivor by Anarfea. Spectacularly cogent, moving essay about personal history, the difficulty of untangling experienced abuse from a penchant for power exchange/rape fantasy, the internal and external conflicts that happen before and after writing and posting a noncon story, noncon fic tagging and shaming in Sherlock fandom and beyond, and more. I'm out of oomph so if you are curious about my personal reaction just scroll down to my comment on her post. h/t to [twitter.com profile] krytella and [twitter.com profile] lurrel for the link.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Figured I might as well do this while I was looking for Festivids request ideas.

Continued from here.

30 movies, 12-ish of them for vids. )

TV:
  • *Olympics
  • *Great British Baking Show "season 3" ♥


*Documentary/nonfiction
Seen in a theater

Happy to talk about any of these, as always.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Two days after returning home from [community profile] vividcon, I was woken in the middle of the night by the pain of what I soon realized was a kidney stone: my second in ~8 years, and worse than the first. \o/ One trip to urgent care, one ultrasound, many phone calls, three pharmacy visits, five kinds of drugs and one week later, I'm waiting this out at home, in and out of discomfort. Grateful for sick leave and compassionate colleagues/supervisors.

New learnings: Toradol is made of unicorns and rainbows. But it can only be taken for five days, so my sister is here from NY for ~24 hours to babysit while I attempt a prescribed narcotic; having never taken one before besides codeine (which does nothing for me), I'm not sure what to expect today. The packet of warnings includes fun phrases like "VERY BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN." Points for plain language at the height of the opioid crisis.

Anyway, that's my life right now. I've been responding to vid- & con-post comments and tweets in batches when I feel up to it, because when the pain hits, I'm not good for anything, but when it ebbs, I feel fine. Watching TV and movies, or listening (Olympics until they ended, DS9, The Big Short, Lilo & Stitch, Save the Last Dance, Queen Margot); finished The Amber Spyglass and am now reading the second Captive Prince e-book; napping; drinking so very much water; pondering the mysteries of this new platform people seem to be into, imzy. Hoping against hope that this is over with by the end of next week, when I'm supposed to join [twitter.com profile] iggyw at a Star Trek con in NYC, in no small part because I don't want to have to eat the cost of the nonrefundable tickets.

P.S. My family sent a care package that included a bag of kidney beans and a Rolling Stones CD -- get it? -- plus an octopus- or squid-shaped pillow for hugging, and some other things. Friend C. and coworker brought soup. Support system = comforting.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
General reaction )

Brief thoughts on the good and the bad; includes spoilers )

Okay, that ended up not being so brief. What did you think, if you've seen the movie? Being offline Thu-Sat means I probably missed the initial burst of reactions on Twitter.

ETA: And one more thing.
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)
Continued from here.

37 movies, 13 of them for vidding )

TV:
  1. The Expanse S1 ♥
  2. Grantchester S2 ♥
  3. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries S3
  4. Unlikely Animal Friends S2
  5. Game of Thrones S6 ♥
  6. *Olympic trials (ongoing)

Happy to talk about any of these, such as the Scorpius-Borg hybrid villain or jigging robots from Lord of the Dance or Vincent Cassel in a corset from Brotherhood of the Wolf.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
My sister visited for about four days: a lovely time. We went to an arts/farmers market (note to self: never again drive to the South End because parking is a lie), hosted a small dinner/Game of Thrones viewing party, played Star Trek Scrabble, took a long walk, went swimming, etc. She left this morning.

We watched World War Z, mediocre but entertaining, and The Way Way Back, inspired by a Festivid, which we liked a lot, minus the gross and totally unnecessary ogling of a couple of women's bathing-suited bodies. We tried The Kids Are All Right but quit after about 15 minutes.

I finished my two vids for Vividcon: the book trailer for [personal profile] revolutionaryjo's "No Source? No Problem" vid show, and the Auction vid for [personal profile] jetpack_monkey. The Auction vid turned out well. The trailer, I dunno. Could have kept working on it for another 9 months and there are things that I and my betas would like to fix but it had to be called done sometime.

Also I've got a handful of vid project ideas after months of drought. That feels good. Some are small and one is big but the big one would be for next year's Club Vivid so there is plenty of time to piece it together. Not complicated or deep, just multisource because of the structure of the song.

I read and loved The Girl With All the Gifts by "M.R. Carey" and have started Life After Life by Kate Atkinson on [personal profile] nightdog_barks's recommendation.

Work has calmed down as hoped. Even better, it looks like I will be able to attend a week-long video editing course this summer for professional development! It's a room-and-board thing in Maine and it sounds wonderful.

...

At the same time, awful things are happening everywhere, to some of you and to other friends and to broader communities, and it's just... Saying "my thoughts are with you" doesn't feel like it cuts it, but it's true. I'm trying to listen and witness and talk to the people in my life who want to talk, and to help where I can. ♥
bironic: Fred reading a book,looking adorable (fred reading)
READING

Title of post because The Wise Man's Fear has all the faults of The Name of the Wind plus some fun new ones, like random ableism against a character who exhibits autism-like behavior, and taking a break from the very little happening to go on a tangent that leads to a tangent that leads to another tangent that appears to be leading to yet another tangent, only the third of which so far has contributed to the protagonist's ultimate goal. Is this how people felt when reading Tristram Shandy? On the bright side… canon bisexual background character?

Actually, my best (desperate) theory is that the whole story is a metacommentary on the construction of heroism and villainy and the nature of myth, from the points of view of both the heroes and the people who stretch and retell the stories that spring up around them. There is a lot of storytelling within storytelling and discussion of myth, from Kvothe deflating his own reputation to the revelation that fairytale figures do exist and have been destroying written and oral records about themselves. Still, 3,000 pages of self-congratulation and seeming aimlessness is a long way to go to explore this theme.

Yesterday I looked at the position of my bookmark and wondered why I was making such slow progress, only to remember that I've actually read 600 pages this week; it's just that there are still 400 left.

Before these two hardcover bricks, I read the equally hefty and aptly titled Leviathan Wakes, the first book the TV series The Expanse was based on. There was one striking moment toward the end in a part of the narrative the show hasn't covered yet, but overall this was an example of the adaptation being better on multiple fronts. I did gain a deeper understanding of the Belter creole and appreciated the explanation for why Alex Kamal's Martian drawl sounds so fake. I enjoyed assessing the changes the showrunners made. Mostly, though, the book was much duller than the show, its prose clunky and obvious and its depiction of women laughable. Have this excerpt from a Goodreads review:
Here is a brief list of how women are portrayed in this book:

1) Trapped in a box.
2) Sleeping with her boss.
3) Dead.
WATCHING

Game of Thrones. So far so fine as it wobbles off without its training wheels.

Scattershot movies and TV episodes for book trailer vid, which is coming along well.

Allow me a moment to flail at you over the unexpected delight of Horror Express, a 1973 B-movie about a monster-alien on a train that friend M. and I saw in a diner last month. Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing did their usual thing, and then Telly Savalas showed up looking like the lovechild of Yul Brynner and Tom Hardy and managed to upstage Lee & Cushing in his only two scenes. IDEK what he was doing, but it was hilarious.

Here is his second and most wonderful appearance. Maybe you have to watch a scene or two before to fully appreciate the WTFness, because until that point, we were in a normal monster movie—and then there was a Queens-accented Russian general, vodka gargling, and whipping.

"Everybody's under arrest!"

VIDDING

The aforementioned book trailer. It is going to be finished by June 10 for a Vividcon deadline, come hell or high water. *determined face*

After a fun start followed by some fumbling, the Auction vid for [personal profile] jetpack_monkey is back on track; looks like it won't be a scramble at the last minute to polish things up for the June 17 deadline.

Did I mention Boris Karloff? Boris Karloff, people. You know you're excited.

DOING

Have been working with [personal profile] elipie on the playlist for our kink-themed vid show for Vividcon. We're at the point now of contacting vidders, which is fun, but the fun is dampened by having to ask people to encode their files in a specific way for VVC. Maybe not a problem for some, but a headache for others, especially for people whose vids are older, who haven't made many vids and/or who are outside our part of vidding fandom. I'm trying to make things as painless as possible and look forward to a day when conversions aren't necessary.

Want to write more and vid more but either no time or no oomph. May was work, work, focused on work, so much work to do at work, trying to keep things confined to work hours, then movies and TV and sleep the rest of the time. June should be better. It's starting to feel like summer. Friend L. and I went kayaking on the Charles River on Saturday, and I swam last night at the local Y. Water is nice.

WRITING

Nada, but would like to get back to a couple of Inkheart stories in progress and maybe a Mary Sue thing. Have a half-formed dream of taking a few days off in June or July and bringing the laptop somewhere retreat-y.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I just saw A Bigger Splash starring Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Matthias Schoenaerts and Dakota Johnson, an intrigue-at-the-beach movie that seemed perfect as the weather here warms.

I was so sure it would end spoiler ) -- but with just enough doubt to keep things suspenseful, you know? But then spoiler ) instead, and emotional reaction to that ).

Was it supposed to be a twist that spoiler )

Aside from that, they set up a Chekhov's gun that never went off and had a subplot involving black "migrants" that went nowhere except spoiler ). :/

The film is a remake of La Piscine/The Swimming Pool, which I never got around to seeing. I'm going to fix that now. Maybe it had a more masterful grasp of tension. Even from the little I know of the original, I wish A Bigger Splash had departed more from it.

Tilda was marvelous, though, as always, and beautiful, whether in all white in her island retreat or done up in glitter as a David Bowie rock star. Ralph Fiennes had a few very brave scenes. And the film had some things to say about communication and how words can get in the way.

ETA: Wow, it has a 90% positive critics' rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I'll definitely be reading some of those reviews to see if I missed something or if we just disagree. ETA 2: Ah ha -- A+ agree with Village Voice, especially the last paragraph.

Tags

Style Credit

Syndicate

RSS Atom