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 (Default)
Hi! So, I finally migrated to Dreamwidth. Let's see if this cross-posting thing works. I expect to be messing around with friend/subscription/access settings in the next little while to make sure filtered posts are accessible to DWs & openIDs while trying to minimize duplication of reading lists.

And since most people aren't even based at Dreamwidth anymore, I've gone and started a fannish Twitter account (@bironicwastaken) in addition to the recent Tumblr account.

So far I'm liking Twitter much more than Tumblr. Chatting with long-lost LJ friends! Although Tumblr remains enjoyable for looking at Paul Bettany's face and old behind-the-scenes Star Trek stuff, plus keeping tabs on what's on fandom's collective mind.

The lack of LJ/DW cross-reference links on older posts and the possibility of new comments on past posts accruing in two different places is making my head hurt when I think about keeping things neat and easily archive-able. But I will survive, I'm sure.

Here is a picture of my other weekend achievement: window boxes with some pretty leafy plants for the back deck.

Two images behind the cut )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Three pictures from today. Click any for bigger:

20131203_200649_resized   20131203_205713_resized   20131203_205920_resized

Garrison Keillor at a lovely 80-minute talk/recitation/hymnal/Q&A on the occasion of his new book of "light verse"; bicycle with a neat shadow; Christmas-type planter hanging from a street lamp. I liked the light.

(Keillor on writer's block: It means you're trying to write something you're not supposed to. It's for people who want to have written something.)

(Oh, the audience had such a beautiful collection of voices; the unexpected songs he led rose in the space of the church with exactly the four-part harmony he asked for.)

Still taking ideas for the posting-prompt meme.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
And then last night happened. First there was the screening of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the classic there's-a-mole-among-the-spies thriller (says she who only knew of it because of a Garak reference in DS9) which in this incarnation focuses on character relationships over action, and then there was the Q&A with Gary Oldman and director Tomas Alfredson, who'd previously done the beautiful Let the Right One In.

After walking halfway to the Metro with my coworker afterwards, I… may have turned around, gone back into the theater, and waited in line for an autograph and photo. Because—Gary Oldman! Light of my film-crushes life! One of the first actors whose oeuvre I plowed through as a teenager, overcome with adoration.

More on that in a second. First: It was an overall enjoyable movie.

The short pitch: Character spoilers! )

The longer pitch: Excellent performances from an all-star cast. I expect fandom will have a small seizure when it's released more widely. I mean, look who's in it:
  • Gary Oldman
  • Colin Firth
  • Tom Hardy from Inception
  • Benedict Cumberbatch from the Sherlock TV show
  • Mark Strong from the recent Sherlock Holmes movie
  • John Hurt
Also half a dozen other biggies, including the guy who played Barty Crouch, Sr., and Ciaran Hinds, whose name I finally realized I recognized because he was in that play The Seafarer with David "Tritter" Morse a few years back and played the devil. Here, he didn't get to do much but look vaguely evil.

More about the movie and post-movie discussion: strong homosexual undertones, themes of loneliness and (broken) romance. ~1,000 words. I've tried to keep the spoilers vague. )

So, that was interesting, and worth seeing a second time to pick up on more details and examine the writing and some of what came up during that discussion. (Gary Oldman also talked about how the hardest part for him is doing these tours and having to analyze what comes intuitively. What was he thinking in that last scene, someone once wanted to know; he said he told them he was thinking about walking into the frame at the right moment, looking at a table of people who weren't there, and where the camera was. He said he and Alfredson often worked by telepathy during shoots, where Alfredson would say, "That needs to be more…" and rub two fingers together, and Oldman would say, "I know exactly what you mean," and do it a different way, and Alfredson would say, "That was… yes!" and neither of them could articulate what it had been.) Despite its rocky start, the movie has had my coworker and me thinking about the characters all day, and that's definitely in its favor.


And now: Pictures! It's craaaaaaaaaaazy Gary Oldman! )


Happy pre-Thanksgiving to all you celebrants. I'll be attempting travel tomorrow; fingers crossed that the predicted heavy rain won't be too much of a problem.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
18 Oreo turkeys: made!



larger behind the cut )

My friend A. came over to help put them together. They will be transported to work tomorrow—somehow—to feed the colleagues.

Also tomorrow: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, with Gary Oldman and the director doing Q&A after. <3

Fry Day

Oct. 21st, 2011 06:05 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Managed to have dreams last night about House (House had stitched up an internal injury on himself and now he was morbidly obsessed with seeing how the sutures were healing, so he kept doing self-destructive things to try to incur an open abdominal wound and take a look, and Wilson was tearing his hair out trying to stop him), Inception (something about Arthur and Eames; don't remember) and Project Runway (Anya was saying she and Joshua weren't getting along because they'd slept together earlier in the season). I don't even know.

This week has been a bit of a roller coaster. Let us focus on the good things. Like having made several donations; everyone and their brother seems to be doing pledge drives this week. Or how [livejournal.com profile] catilinarian emailed from the UK slash con Connotations to say "They Want More" appeared in the vid show! Or how I love my Festivids assignment and there are also two possibilities for treats. Or how I will totally be making these Oreo turkeys for Thanksgiving gifts. Or how I discovered this amazing, if possibly permanently incomplete, Doctor Who noncon/dubcon tentacle slavefic PWP with Amy/alien and past Amy/dom!Eleven. You're welcome.

Renaissance Festival turned out to be lots of fun last weekend. It was large and nicely shaded, the weather was great, and I was impressed by the quality of many of the arts and wares for sale—dresses, capes, vests, masks, intricate metalwork (helmets, goblets, battle axes, chain mail, jewelry, etc.), leather-bound journals, mead, spices, musical instruments. (I got to play a hammered dulcimer! Took a little while to get used to the way the notes are laid out on the board.) Not only meat but a whole array of foods available on a stick, including chocolate-covered cheesecake and macaroni and cheese. There was a large intersection with Harry Potter themes and fans; magic wands for sale, Hogwarts outfits, that sort of thing. A couple of girls next to us in one costume shop were having a conversation about how cool it would be to wear item X to the Quidditch World Cup that is apparently coming up in NY or somewhere.

Pix! )

In conclusion: By Jove, I will either finish this House Halloween-themed WIP from 2007 by next Monday or I will amnesty-post it as is and stop thinking about it.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Had a really lovely time last weekend visiting [livejournal.com profile] synn for what is likely to be the last time before she moves (from 8 hours away to 2, hurrah!). We wandered through some thoroughly enjoyable local artist galleries, had all sorts of good food, and made ourselves a Neapolitan belated birthday cake: chocolate cake layer, strawberry cake layer, white cake layer, all with slightly different batters, and butter icing with strawberries, finished with a silver metallic spray and purple piping with black sugar pearls at the tip of each peak. By "we," I mean I served as assistant to synn and her ever-growing baking expertise. *cough* While darting back and forth to my laptop to make the AMTDI poem.

pix and links: cake, art, etc. )

One night we tried to watch Plan B, a low-budget Spanish movie about a young man who tries to get his ex-girlfriend back by seducing her new boyfriend, who BTW looks like the lovechild of Gael Garcia Bernal and the dark-haired coworker on Chuck. The logic of that was not clear… )

We ended up fast-forwarding through a lot of it and then watching Eyes Wide Open (Einayim Petukhoth), an Israeli film about a Hasidic butcher in Jerusalem who falls for the new hired help… ) The younger actor in many moments reminded me of Tom Hardy.

.

On the plane I read a short story collection by Roger Zelazny,* The Last Defender of Camelot. One of the novellas in it, "He Who Shapes," which was very good, would appeal to Inception fans, I think: a psychologist who shapes people's dreams for therapeutic purposes gets caught up in the mind of another prospective dream-shaper and struggles against falling into limbo.

Another novella, "For a Breath I Tarry," which may be my favorite, started out awfully like Wall-E, then shifted into something more like Faust, then veered into Bicentennial Man, and ended up somewhere cyber-Biblical. The last few lines were beautifully poetic.

Not to judge the stories only by comparing them to other works. Intertextuality, whether it's intended by the author or happens because the story has influenced subsequent works, enriches my reading experience, and can help in pitching things to other media fans. :)

*Also fascinating to follow some of the conversations that have been going on on LJ/DW surrounding NPR's "100 best" SF/fantasy books list, which, like so many authoritative "best of" lists that don't quite define whether "best" means "most literary" or "most influential" or "most popular" or "most enjoyable" (unlikely) or something else ETA: after making plain that it is a popularity contest /ETA, consists mainly of white American and British men, Zelazny among them. Working through [personal profile] eruthros's crowd-sourced alternative list promises to expand my SF reading horizons.

.

Finished my John/Radek fic, too, so keep an eye out for that. I hope there are still people around who are interested in SGA rare pairs (and hot hot kink!).
bironic: (sirius remus potter)
Wrote 3,600 words or so this weekend. \o/ Will write some more tonight, if all goes well—John/Radek for Kink Bingo.

Took a long weekend in Florida to visit my grandparents, coinciding with my father and his fiancée's visit. Was… interesting. The daily thunderstorms were most exciting. One blew in while we were visiting the Miami Seaquarium; the wind started to gust, the parrots and macaws started squawking like nobody's business, and the whole thing felt like an avian version of Jurassic Park as the hurricane rolled in. The next day, a mid-morning storm hit while we were trying to sneak in some beach time. It was fine at first (there were these cute little swimmy ankle-kissy fish in the water, for one thing, and it was sunny and the water was warm), with most of the looming clouds and curtains of rain off to the south or out at sea, but then the wind blew—these storms seem to come in fast and hard—all the beach umbrellas uprooted themselves and went flying, kids screamed, shins and ankles got sandblasted, the palm trees whistled, the gaps between the rain bands closed, and when the lightning started flashing a few miles out the lifeguards called everyone in. Then it rained for hours. Oh, well.

a few pix: storm, friendly lobster, bendy skyscraper )

.

I found these Harry Potter doodles in my photo folder and felt like sharing, now that the movies are done and all. I dashed them off with a mechanical pencil one night in… 2004, must be, the summer of Convention Alley and The Shoebox Project. My sketching skills haven't advanced beyond, oh, third or fourth grade, but I think these turned out really cute.



3 more doodles )

So, let's see: That'd be Dumbledore with McGonagall and Hagrid; Harry, Ron and Hermione with their pets; a Marauders scene; and Snape brewing wolfsbane for Lupin. ♥

Those were the days.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)


Spent a lovely long weekend out in Shenandoah National Park with my mom, who is now well enough to do things like hike 1 mile up a terrifying Appalachian mountain peak for a 360-degree view, thanks so much for the total lack of warning about the sheer drops and rock climbs, Mr. Park Ranger. We had a good time other than the accidental terror: took a couple of hikes through meadows and along wooded streams, drove the 100-mile park from top to bottom, sampled blackberry festival treats (BBQ sauce, salad dressing, ice cream, breakfast syrup), heard a mediocre but enthusiastic dulcimer player, saw a clogging troupe performance and played some Scrabble in the exhausted evenings.

Wildlife sightings included:

  • 22 deer
  • 1 coyote
  • 1 groundhog or possibly woodchuck
  • 1 bright blue flash of reptile of indeterminate origin
  • 1 barred owl
  • 1 (heard) woodpecker
  • 2 curled-up maybe-centipedes
  • 6 chipmunks
  • Many butterflies, including monarchs
  • Many ravens and hawks
  • 4 baby chickadees in a nest
  • 1 bluebird and 1 yellow bird (sorry, not a bird expert)
  • 2 dead beavers, 1 dead raccoon and 1 dead skunk (road outside park)
  • 1 Chihuahua with a motorcycle helmet and goggles
  • Countless gnats, bees, ants, flies and spiders and 1 green stick bug
  • 0 bears (unless you count the 50+ stuffed, ceramic, photographed and refrigerator magnetized versions in the gift shops and the life-sized doll in one lodge)

14 pictures of the aforementioned: hike of death, waterfall, Chihuahua, sunset, giant mushroom, etc. )

All in all, a good weekend. You?
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (festivids)
Something (fannishly) wonderful happened this weekend.

Well, several good things happened. I had dim sum with [livejournal.com profile] alpheratz and we went to see Never Let Me Go, which left me with several haunting images. I visited the Laundrys and was gifted with sustenance of several kinds. I listened in awe as [livejournal.com profile] neotoma, [livejournal.com profile] twistedchick and [livejournal.com profile] ellen_fremedon debated over pho the fine details of post-apocalyptic farm life in Kansas and the friendships between angels and Norse and Aztec gods. I made pumpkin bread and two kinds of soup, and I reconstructed what I'd had and began to fill in more of a serious SGA vid that I hope people will like as much as I do.

(Huh. When I put it that way, all the hours of listlessness in between don't seem so bad.)

The particularly wonderful thing was that, when I perused the [livejournal.com profile] festivids list of qualifying canons out of idle curiosity, someone had nominated Roar. You have to understand—I considered nominating sources just to nominate Roar, but I ended up not contributing because my vidding computer was making noises like it wanted to die again. So of course I expected the show wouldn't be on the list. But it was!

So I signed up.

I've never done Yuletide, and honestly I haven't been tempted. [types and deletes long explanation] But [livejournal.com profile] festivids seems manageable. Hopefully my computer will hold out long enough and the requests I receive will spark a workable idea. I've never vidded to a prompt before. With luck it will go better for me than surprise-prompt ficathons have gone lately.

I will not think too hard about my dried-up writing abilities, because it's depressing.

I will not.

.

Oh, and I took a couple of pictures for you all at a local park. It's like a movie set there at night: a dark, silent, creepy carnival ghost town where neon lights glow CUDDLE UP to no one.

   
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)
Well, that's interesting. It's not a big leap to restricting access to sites that offer fan-produced work.

In less worrisome news, turns out my weekend was spent in gorgeous fog on the bay in southern Jersey instead of nowheresville northern Jersey:


There's a bridge back there, lost in the mist. (click for bigger)

Alas that now I'm back in D.C., it's 90 degrees. And barely April. It is -- *checks* -- 79 degrees in my apartment. Time to get out of this town.

You may have seen that House Big Bang went live. I made some art for it: two covers and a pinch hit. The first one is what I worked on the most, and turned out, I think, the best.

Misc.: Saw and greatly enjoyed Naissance des Pieuvres (Water Lilies). The comment thread by Ediane at AfterEllen's review is the closest I've found to my own thoughts. Bizarrely, neither NY Times nor Variety discussed queerness in their reviews, when the movie is about a girl who falls in love/obsession with another girl, who may or may not be attracted to her in return.

Lastly, have a rec: spike21 and harriet_spy's From the entrance to the exit, it's farther than it looks -- SGA, post-series, very NC-17, and hit so many of my soul-deep kinks in the first half to two-thirds that there was this thrill running through me I haven't felt in a long time, reading. It's John/Todd/Teyla, too, and has pretty much everything you could hope for in that grouping. IMO. I'm not sure what to make of the ending yet, and there's an iffy bit in the beginning equating alienness with monstrousness, but the story is absolutely worth checking out.


p.s. Even in the company of 7 non-fannish people and making no attempt to turn conversation or channels in that direction, some subjects and programs are apparently unavoidable, such as SGU, the Merlin episode with the slash dragon, Top Gear, and my friend's brother's discussion of the attractiveness and sexual preferences of Anderson Cooper.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Greetings from Washington, where the cherry trees are in full blossom.

 


Bigger within )

What season is it? Tuesday it was in the fifties and windy as the tundra. Tomorrow it's going to crack eighty. Who the heck knows anymore.

I have no poems or fools for you today, but the Vowel Outage made me laugh this morning. ETA: Also this from the Archive of Our Own team -- a tool I think all writers would appreciate.

Hitching a ride to Nowheresville, Jersey tomorrow in my new polka-dot dress -- catch you on the other side of the weekend....
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
*giggles*

Vid snippet )

Not cross-posting that anywhere because it's going to be part of that string-of-vidlets project I mentioned yesterday.

.

I maybe included that to justify yet another weather post, to the effect of:

- Blizzard all the day, wind continues all the night. Video & pix of what I woke up to this morning. )

- I have power and Internet, but nowhere to go.

- Today topped off a seasonal snow total for D.C. higher than any other on record.

- Tomorrow the office is closed again, making this (according to my former department head) the longest stretch the federal government has remained closed in history.

I definitely chose the right year to come down here. Even if I'm still mourning the fact that I have to work if I want to get paid while most of my coworkers shovel deal with fallen trees play in the snow with their kids.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Twenty-eight hours of snow and counting. Not that it justified everyone running screaming to the supermarket to buy all the chicken before the apocalypse*, but it's not an insignificant amount accumulating out there.

One of my few complaints about living where I do is that it's hard to see just how much snow falls, because there's really just the street and the roof of the building next door to look at. The courtyard gives a better idea; looks like the foot and a half we were promised on the low end.

*Dear Washington Post, the National Weather Service, and other professional news outlets: please stop saying "snowmageddon" and "snowpocalypse" every other paragraph and in place of useful phrases like "the blizzard of December 2009." You sound like idiots.

ETA: OMG, NY Times, what is wrong with you. Apparently a blow with shoulders obliterated Washington, leaving the Potomac an enchanted gray pewter plate studded with aerodynamic ice cream blobs from a lost civilization.



Preview:




8 snow photos and a tart. The fruit kind. )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I have last-minute houseguests, and yesterday I discovered that the second season of True Blood is finally on On Demand, so most of my plans for the weekend went kablooey.

However! I wanted to duck online for a minute to share this sign I saw outside a lab, because I didn't know people actually used them outside of those one or two "It's been X days since our last offworld incident" SGA fics I can't remember the titles of.

bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I haven't mentioned here yet that there's a Mormon temple nearby. When I get on the Beltway going west and turn the first corner, it appears above the trees like Cinderella's castle. It's hard to describe how unreal it looks: like a matte painting in a movie, flat and oddly lit, golden-tipped towers glinting in the sun. It is, however, quite real, as I confirmed last night when the Laundrys and I went to see the forest of holiday lights set up out front.

Teaser:




Lights, temple, sunset. )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Season's greetings from [livejournal.com profile] synn's cozy home! I got in safely yesterday after some minor travel delays. There are blankets and fresh-baked prosciutto/provolone/fennel biscuits and a beautiful white tree, and now also there is an Internet, for to be sharing some pictures with you from this week.




Cut for size – herein be snowy landscapes, prize-winning gingerbread creations, gigantic fireplaces, and prezzies. )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Mmm, harvest.

October is the best part of the best season of the year. The leaves change, the air crisps, the sky turns an intense blue. There are harvests and pumpkins and apples and baked goods and cider and hay and Halloween.

The rain and my cold notwithstanding, this morning I drove out to experience as many of the above as possible. About an hour into Virginia from D.C. is a century-plus-old family-run farm that was listed among many in the local entertainment magazine this week. I liked its name—Crooked Run Orchard—and its website, so I chose that one. Even though once again I managed to miss peak apple-picking season, I did pass some beautiful orange- and red-tipped trees on the drive out into the hills, like Bob Ross paintings; saw the Blue Ridge Mountains not too far in the distance; walked around in the muddly, thistly pumpkin and gourd fields; and came back with:

- Three medium-sized pumpkins for cooking—two green-striped ones the guys working the farm stand said were delicious, and a Blue Moon variety, also for cooking, because, hi, it's blue;
- A butternut squash;
- Some string beans, picked from between rows of sunflowers; and
- A half-gallon of cider. Yum.

I was going to make an apple pie, but for lack of apples, plans changed to pumpkin pie. Then, lacking a rolling pin and table space and oomph, that became pumpkin bread instead. Have never tried making it before, but I like eating it, so that should work out. One of two loaves is in the oven riiiiight now. It smells divine.

How about an autumnal picspam?





This way. )


And before I forget: Recipes welcome for butternut squash soup and pumpkin pie! Or other things to do with pumpkins -- since I've used only one of the three and just half of it went into two bread loaves.

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