bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Greetings from rural Maine, where the seafood is plentiful, the speed limit is 70 mph and the highway signs warn of possible moose in the road. Local streets include Raspberry Lane and Otter Pond Road.

On the drive up I was thinking about a summer exactly 20 years ago, when my family took a vacation in Acadia and Bar Harbor. I had read Stephen King's The Stand that spring and delighted in seeing signs for Ogunquit, which had featured in the book. But more so, my memory of that trip is of being lost in my imagination as I wrote part of my first really long fanfic, for the Vampire Chronicles, back before I joined any online communities (or at that time, web rings and mailing lists), when our newfangled laptop computer weighed about 10 pounds and I could curl up in the back seat of the minivan and spin any scenarios I wanted. I had written stories and fragments for years by that point, but I'll never forget the rush of liberation I felt for the first time that summer when, in writing a vignette for the Vampire Chronicles, I realized I could write whatever I wanted. That anything I wanted to happen in the story could happen, however sensual/explicit or personal or "weird" or "wrong"; it was that simple. It didn't matter how it might be perceived by others, because I didn't have to show it to others.

This week I'm taking an After Effects course for work, which I expect will also boost my vidding skills. I had visions of attempting to dabble in some fic writing in the evenings, given those geographic echoes, but life had other plans. This post comes to you from one of the campus computer labs because when I got here my laptop decided it didn't want to boot up anymore. TBD whether the school's IT team is willing and able to assist or if I'll need to make my best attempt after returning home. I did back it up about a month ago, but I'd like to at least recover the newer files, if not rescue the whole machine. (It's not my vidding machine, which is a desktop computer, if you're wondering.)

This is extra fun because it comes on the heels of another equipment failure: My apartment refrigerator quit last week. Thank goodness for friends and neighbors who were willing to host my most valuable frozen and fridge items -- at one point my meat and fish were upstairs, my cheese and yogurt across town, and my lunch ingredients at work in the next city over, heh -- and for a responsive landlady who, despite dealing with a health issue at the same time, managed to have a replacement installed within a week. Fingers crossed that I don't return home to a kitchen lake in which swim my defrosted chicken thighs.

Meanwhile, education + excellent food that I didn't have to cook + adult students from across the country + walks through the nearby coastal towns = a good start to the sort-of vacation. Yesterday we saw a groundhog/woodchuck clambering up the wooden steps to someone's deck at dusk and visited a statue of Andre the seal. I went for a swim at the local Y and discovered that despite being in the middle of nowhere, it puts my regular Y to shame. Eight 25-yard lanes instead of three 20-yarders! Actual windows! Water that tastes like water and not chlorine (which is really chlorine bound to everyone's contaminants)! Friendly lifeguards! And the workshop lodgings are country-inn lovely.

Off to dinner in a bit. Hope to check in again soon.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I passed a miserable morning yesterday procrastinating on this work assignment, but it did result in discovering a great new Vampire Chronicles fic:

Moon Above, Sun Below (9764 words, Explicit) by [ profile] monstersinthecosmos. Author's description of the pairings: Armand/Daniel, Daniel/Half of NYC.

The author's summary had me at "Armand used to watch Daniel have sex with people," and the fic delivered. Women and men brought in to arouse Daniel and serve as a conduit to/for Armand, who starts to direct the proceedings before gradually becoming more involved. There's a lovely scene set in the Met, too, where Armand thinks about his past and his place in the world and Marius and Daniel. The fic is sexy and well-paced, makes excellent use of Armand's telepathic powers, and does an admirable job of getting inside Armand's head and depicting his relationship with Daniel, which I think is hard to do.

I also bookmarked Desecrating our Sanctuaries (1812 words, Mature) by [ profile] morbidromantic, but I wouldn't call it a rec unless you, like me, enjoy a Marius/OFC biting vignette.

ETA: Wait, did I never rec other VC fic here? Could have sworn I did, but I can't find them. Here are two others I enjoyed a lot the last time I went trawling through the tag, almost two years ago:

Lupercalia (4812 words, Explicit) by [ profile] Greekhoop. Marius/Mael. Author's summary: Marius amongst the wolves. Set during his captivity in Gaul.

Sedge and Bee (4126 words, Explicit) by [ profile] Greekhoop. Enkil/Khayman. Author's summary: The first time Khayman went to war.

BTW, as usual, finding good VC fic on the AO3 is akin to panning for gold through mounds of muck like this:
The rosy nipples were still red and swollen from impetuouly sucking lips They rose from his milk white skin like two pearls of sugar. The androgynous boy's amber eyes were overshadowed by long lashes and he languidly gazed into space whilst memories came to life on the bottom of those honey filled orbs.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
- I'm glad the library only had it on 7-day loan because it pushed me to keep reading when I might have trailed off

- All in all, I'm glad I did finish it, because the last sections, unlike the rest, recaptured a shadow of what made the earlier books enjoyable

- The narrative picked up 250 pages in

- The vampires I care most about (Marius, Armand, Lestat, Louis, etc.) finally had a few small, memorable moments ~400 pages in

- The book could have been titled Vampires: Midichlorians -- or, sorry, Folic Acid and Nano-Luracastria

- The uncovered "science" of vampirism and the nature of its Core made no sense; even Lestat admitted he couldn't hold the explanation in his head, and the vampire physician-scientist Fareed threw up his hands and said he may as well have studied theology

- Let us not speak of the pseudohistory & technology of Atlantis and the surrounding human settlements

- I also don't want to read the word "mammal" for a while

- Did I mention the bird people of Bravenna? *shakes head*

- ETA: Ohhhhhh God I forgot about the part where a disembodied arm grew a mouth on its palm and crawled back over to its previous owner to suck on his nipple uggggh

- The writing needed help. The first half dragged, nothing happened without at least two people recapping it, there were too many poorly fleshed-out characters (same as in Prince Lestat), tensions that seemed like they would culminate in major conflicts instead fizzled, those climaxes that did come rose and fell in the middle of chapters without much catharsis, and Rice kept doing this weird thing where narrators repeated characters' names in their comma-filled thoughts. Here are samples from a particularly egregious few pages near the middle of the book:

Cut for spoilers )

It made sense for Derek, who latched on to Kapetria after years of trauma, to think that way, and I suppose it made sense for Rhoshamandes too, who felt Benedict was the only thing he had left to live for; but not so much for the others. It made me think of Faulkner and The Sound and the Fury: I wish Rice had had Derek think in these anxious, post-traumatic, obsessive repetitions while giving others their own distinct styles. Nor was it a consistent enough style throughout the book to be fully explained by the next point.

Where that repetition worked for me was when Rice described the linguistic patterns of Atlanteans and then, one time, had [spoiler character] slip from speaking ordinary modern English into that old language, which I thought was actually quite lovely.

Cut for spoilers )

In all: Worth having read the second half. Marius gave Lestat a fierce hug, Lestat kissed some men, and Armand showed some young-boy vulnerability, and that was pretty much what I was there for. Still uninterested in most of the series' theological and philosophical debates (In this case: What are souls? Is suffering noble, evil or a way for aliens the Church to exploit people?), even though the conclusion of this book can be read as an embrace of humanism. Equally unable to stop reading these books in search of those brief moments of character- and relationship-based Feelings.

ETA: Goodreads reviews that made me laugh: Devann, Tammy
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
1. The "Elf" vid is pretty much ready to go, pending one last beta's feedback. Hemming and hawing on whether to post tomorrow evening (Eastern) or Saturday morning. Probably the weekend. I don't know anymore when the best times are to post things. Do you?

2. Friday morning's low is predicted to be 3 degrees F. Factoring in wind chill, -15. I might need to figure out an alternative plan to get to the office that involves less exposure to the elements, since telework isn't an option. By Jove, though, I'm going to book club tomorrow. It's Vorkosigan night at last.

3. Facing the return of Arctic chill and armed with expiring coupons, I went boot shopping after work. Found two fun burgundy pairs but I didn't have enough brain to decide between them so I ended up bringing them both home, where I can try them out more extensively and decide which one to keep. I was leaning toward the chunkier, more wintery ones in the store, but the shiny, better-with-a-skirt ones are calling to me now. (They're redder than that picture suggests.) Opinions welcome. They were the same price ($34), so that's not a factor.

4. Watched some TV. I don't seem to have the werewithal to review with substance, but we can talk: the newly released third season of Mozart in the Jungle, which I still don't know what to do with, and which nudged me from apathy about Hailey to active dislike; Grantchester season one, having already seen season two, both so lovely in story, pacing, setting and characterization; and The Fall season three, which might have been the best season of a very good show, or maybe that's because I especially liked all the medical procedure stuff and it didn't 50% consist of dead-eyed Jamie Dornan saying "Stella."

5. Started reading the latest Vampire Chronicles installment from Anne Rice: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis. ~120 pages in, nothing in the text has rescued the title; the story still suffers from prose- and character bloat. Everyone is wearing very nice, very expensive clothes, all the male vamps still pleasantly go around either kissing one another and declaring their devotion or plotting revenge, and Lestat, although he has matured remarkably, still doesn't know why he does anything. BUT: conceptual spoiler basically revealed on page 23 ) Two great tastes that taste great together? Or two great tastes whose combination has been failed by the chef? TBD.
bironic: Fred reading a book,looking adorable (fred reading)
The Golem and the Jinni is over, leaving me filled with  :,(  :)  <3.

Their personalities and physical descriptions are different, but there were times when the Jinni reminded me of other characters I have loved. Marius, Dustfinger, Odo. Behind a cut for vague not-really-spoilers but just in case. )

My book crush on him remains undiminished. Will this lead to fic? I hope so. Because I want a lot of post-canon stories: )

The fact that somehow there are only three fics on the AO3 may help. Plus a long plane ride tomorrow followed by a few days of loosely structured vacation. But we'll see. Recent experience tempers expectations. It's a hard writing style to get right, and I'm not sure I'm up to meeting that level of characterization. Maybe jotting down those bunnies is as far as it goes. Or maybe I can channel my interest in the Jinni into finishing that Dustfinger poly story from last year.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
(It is raining.)

Doing: Just returned from a five-day trip to my grandparents' in Florida, with my dad. Some ups, some downs, as happens when one's family is dealing with age-related health issues and dwindling ability to remain independent. Or codependent, as the case may be. In any event, it was good to see them, they appreciated the visit, and my dad and I did make it to the beach one beautiful morning. Two hours of swimming and of resting in the shade of an umbrella: divine.

Watching: A collection of Turner Classic Movies with the grandparents: Bringing Up Baby, With Six You Get Eggroll, Anna and the King of Siam (with Rex Harrison, not Yul Brynner), and 15 minutes of The Man Who Would Be King before I quit in distaste. Oh, and we caught the last 20 minutes or so of Transcendence, because apparently Paul Bettany movies now follow me wherever I go.

On my own, beginning of season three of Gilmore Girls, with the occasional ep thrown in of season three of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Haven't yet started the new series of Doctor Who.

Have also been getting together once every couple of weeks with [personal profile] thedeadparrot to alternately heckle and admire Project Runway, which is great fun.

Reading: Re-read of Ancillary Justice complete; Ancillary Sword half complete. Still wonderful. The series works for me on every level: concept behind the main character, basic plot, worldbuilding, personally and societally relevant themes (schisms in identity, class conflict, racism, suppression/absorption of minorities, social justice, police brutality, white male privilege, love and grief and revenge), favorite sci fi tropes (artificial intelligences, alien contact, awakening after centuries in cryo freeze), subtle and indirect emotions that sneak up on you, use of "she" as gender-neutral pronoun so that the universe feels filled with women. Not least, I relate to and envy the main character in numerous ways. Today's delight: remembering how Translator Dlique sounded a touch like Luna Lovegood as well as Delirium of the Endless. Can't wait for Ancillary Mercy next week.

Ummmm also I mentioned this on Twitter but I discovered last week that Ann Leckie recced Starships! in August and I retweeted her and then she replied to me and I may have died a little.

Before that, read Saga vol 5--excellent--then finished The Book of Three and barely started The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander, in the Chronicles of Prydain series, for book club. Eh. So far it is template fantasy; I found myself playing Spot the Comparison to things like Lord of the Rings, The Once & Future King, Earthsea and the Fionavar Tapestry. Young Eilonwy is a hoot and the prince whose name I've forgotten is written to be nice and sexy in a kids' book sort of way--in fact, young male protagonist Taran reads as though he's in love with him without really realizing it--but the books have not grabbed me so far. Gwydion. Will try a little more and see how it goes. Favorite line so far: "She is the only oracular pig in Prydain."

Vidding: Submitted my most favorite source ideas to [community profile] festivids (who will make me a book trailer for Ancillary Justice???) and am trying to think of whether there are any more. Glanced really quickly through the list of nominations and spotted something that soon after generated an idea, woo.

Also we will see if a vid gets generated for Halloween, my most successful vidding holiday to date. Have a bunch of source already ripped for one potential project. Unfortunately, have a bunch of RL stuff in October, too.

Writing: Not a lot outside of work. Adding some words here and there to that Marius/Mary Sue story. Speaking of posts that met with crickets.

Meeting: Got to hang for a couple of hours with [personal profile] such_heights and [personal profile] happydork last weekend when they stopped by Boston Fannish Brunch on their way across the country for their honeymoon; that was a treat.

Eating: Culinary highlights of September included a lobster roll from James Hook & Co., which lived up to its reputation of understanding that mayo and bun should take a backseat to the lobster meat, and a scoop of Noodle Kugel ice cream from JP Licks, which was cinnamon-spiked vanilla ice cream studded with cooked-then-frozen egg noodles. Because how can you pass up a specialty Rosh Hashanah ice cream flavor?

ETA: Wait, I forgot the other two excellent foods. First, following some nutrition advice, I tried broiled mackerel from the local Japanese restaurant and it was fantastic. Savory and salty and firm with a crisp skin. Will attempt to make something like it at home one of these days and see if the resulting oily-fish smell is worth the meals it produces. Second, I discovered the cayenne-mango flavored almonds from Q's Nuts in Somerville and cannot get over the perfect blend of spicy and sweet. Nom nom afternoon snacks.

Dreaming: of autumn. It's still 80+ degrees out, and nearly October. Come on.

Also I had a dream the first night in Florida that Chief O'Brien showed up to try to save me at the end of a godawful tennis match and I was disappointed (but also relieved) that Bashir wasn't there. And then that I had to explain to Tony Stark how I was feeling after a traumatic event, so I phrased it in relation to his life: "imagine if the Iron Man suits were all destroyed, and Pepper was hurt, and Rhodey'd been killed..."

Whew. Okay, let's return after this to normal-sized, focused posts.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I have been meaning to post, and then I do not post. Such is the way of things.

Here is an entry about vampires.

Reading: I am leisurely rereading Anne Rice's Blood & Gold, a.k.a. the Marius novel. I hadn't revisited it since my sister first bought it for me in 2001 because it was so disappointing and dull. Thus it's been a pleasant surprise to find that it's not as terrible as recalled. I mean, it's not good, but there have been a few engaging passages and enjoyable character/relationship moments, and many things I hadn't remembered about Marius' history. Down to silly stuff like how he takes a nice hot sexy bath in the beginning with Thorne the Viking vampire.

Maybe it was Pandora that I really hated. Though I still rolled my eyes at the Botticelli worship and skipped Zenobia's Eudoxia's history, etc., and Marius' excuse for not going after Armand following the Santino disaster still rung hollow. If we start listing flaws, we will be here for a while. I continue to believe that stories involving Marius, and Armand, and probably others, are best told in third rather than first person.

Writing: Concurrent with the above, have been playing around in an old Mary Sue storyline where the girl who had been together with but then dumped by Marius gets turned into a vampire after a complicated (and, on reflection ~15 years later, not entirely logical) bring-her-close-to-death-so-Marius-has-to-decide-right-now plot set up by Armand.

That all was written already; this week I've been jotting down the scene where she takes her revenge on the humans Armand hired to hurt her. So she moves from being a victim to making them her first victims. It's been enjoyable to explore what the changes in her personality might be post-transformation.

Just as it's been enjoyable to contemplate how the story has evolved each time I've come back to it over the years. This feels like a more grown-up segment than the breakup fight I wrote when I was 20 (friends-locked, sorry), which felt like a more grown-up segment than the puppy love I wrote at 15. These Word documents are like an archaeological dig of my psyche, or like a diary in the form of melodrama.

The writing is coming out flat, though, as so much of my fiction has for the last couple of years. Something to do with not connecting to or conveying emotions, I suspect. I'm trying not to dwell on it, but rather to let the words come while they want to. Rewriting to change the POV from Marius to Mary Sue might do the trick, so we hear more of what's going on in her head instead of watching her.

Rereading this book has also made me realize I may have been better at capturing Marius' personality back in high school and college than I gave myself credit for. Which is nice.

Thinking: About how much the Vampire Chronicles may have influenced my feelings about polyamory and bisexuality, in addition to its more obvious role in my introduction to male homosexuality. So much of the VC narrative concerns men loving men, of course. But also men loving both men and women. Sometimes at the same time.

Because I read the books starting in my early teens, I'm not sure whether they shaped my preferences and showed me what was possible or whether I fell for them so hard because they articulated and affirmed how I felt or would have felt anyway. (I suspect it's the latter, in part because the books' obsession with Christian theology and sin and souls and damnation didn't rub off on me at all.) About how there can be such easy, deep, emotional and physical affection regardless of gender, and how vampires--a.k.a. individuals traditionally not considered in the mainstream--a.k.a. regular people--can love more than one person simultaneously. Without causing drama. Nor conflating bisexuality with promiscuity. A few exchanges in Blood & Gold brought the thought to light today, when Marius was telling Bianca about Pandora:

Excerpt )

It's all obvious and ordinary and wonderful to me now, especially after so many years in fandom where queer identities are the norm rather than the exception, but the awareness and the embrace of what I didn't see around me in real life growing up must have started somewhere, probably not entirely from within my head, definitely before college, and I wonder if this series wasn't a significant contributor.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Had a lovely time in San Francisco.

I stayed with my college friend R., which was a treat. Also got to have dinner one night with old friend G. & his fiancée, and another night with the most excellent [ profile] laurashapiro.

Four days was barely enough time to get a sense of the layout and a taste of the neighborhoods, so it served as sort of the sampler tour. Highlights for me were: )

I caught a cold on the way home, so basically all I've done since then is watch a lot of TV and movies and spend a few days at the office.

On Saturday I decided to make it fun by setting up mini-marathon themes, like "Australia" (more of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries season two, Tracks, Rabbit-Proof Fence). Other times, random pairings turned up unexpected similarities. Like how Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Turbo both featured a sudden and hilarious Auto-Tune song. Or how Talk of Angels and the second Bridget Jones' Diary turned out to have f-->f-->m love triangles.

Hm, what else did I watch? 12 Mile Road with Tom Selleck, which was like The Horse Whisperer lite; Touching the Void, which was pretty good; and Her, which I'd give maybe a B? I can't decide whether the ways in which it broke formula and tried to have insightful commentary on gender, relationships and societal attachment to technology outweighed the parts that were same old, same old. Interested in seeing Ex Machina at some point.

Caught up on Game of Thrones and John Oliver; watched some Ace of Cakes reruns; tried to watch the season premiere of Penny Dreadful but got bored.

Plan is to see Clouds of Sils Maria tonight with childhood friend and Avengers: Age of Ultron tomorrow with fan peeps. Kristen Stewart is my main draw for the former, and Hugo Weaving and Thomas Kretschmann for the latter, although I am given to understand that Weaving will be in the mask and TK has only a small part? Alas. We'll see.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Was supposed to hang out with friends this morning but it was a rough week and I finally managed to sleep in, and it turns out I don't feel well, so that didn't work out. It is maybe a mini return of this intermittent mystery illness that started over the summer, which is unfortunate timing as I just saw a doctor about it yesterday and told him it hadn't been back since Columbus Day. Sigh. They are still sending me for a test on Friday so I guess we'll see.

Meanwhile I tried to work on my main Festivid and discovered we are at the stage of the process where I become convinced it will take psychotherapy to get me through the draft. :/

Fittingly, therefore, after giving up on staring at Premiere, I have spent the afternoon/evening watching episodes of that TV show In Treatment that was on HBO a while back, with Gabriel Byrne. Never saw any until now. Specifically, I'm watching the thread involving Sophie, played by a very young Mia Wasikowska. She's so great. It's like a less sophisticated David Mamet play. I would watch the two of them talk in a room all day.

...I have been watching the two of them talk in a room all day.

It's raining. But the show is good. And I'm about two-thirds of the way through rereading The Queen of the Damned, and while it's of course not as magical as it was in the early years, there are still many moments to love, or to remember loving.

And, to be honest, still a lot of ♥Marius♥-type feelings. I don't think I'd realized how much of my fondness for Marius came from what was written right there on the page in TVL and QotD. Lestat (and therefore likely Anne Rice) had a now-quite-obvious crush on him. Plus it's been a joy to reexperience personal favorite moments: his boot heel hooked on the rung of the stool at the vampire bar; the description of him crushed by the ice; him being all bitter and grumpy about what happened with Akasha's awakening and the elders' aloofness, then getting worried that his impudence will prevent him from being able to reunite with Armand, and melting when he finally gets to see him. (Seriously, won't someone write and/or point me to the story where Armand reads TVL and learns that Marius is still alive?) Looking forward to a remembered moment toward the end of the book where he lounges against a door jamb in a red turtleneck. I may have imprinted on Spock as Hanok Henoch.

The trouble remains that these few books make you want more, and then you read later books and... they're not what you wanted. Like, with The Vampire Armand (er, excepting Certain Scenes) and Blood and Gold, it's as if she shouldn't have expanded the stories. As if she's best, or you're best able to lose your heart, when she gives a character or a relationship just enough enticing attention and then moves on. And then there's hardly any fanfic to be found, whether because of the Geocities takedown or the cease & desist letters over the years or my not knowing where the right archives are, or all of those things. So no easy "more" to be had. Hence the desire to write, I suppose. For so long as it lasted.

How're you??
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
I got under the covers last night and finished the last 150 pages of Prince Lestat, and all in all, I'm glad to have read the book.

Trying not to spoil anything specific:

The good )

The not so good )

Final opinion: If the series stopped here, it would be a decent conclusion. Unlike half the stuff she put in Blood and Gold and whatnot, it felt like this story really happened (in the Vampire Chronicles world). I'll almost certainly buy a copy when it comes out in paperback. And then skip many sections on re-read. :)

ETA for reference: Guardian review on the digital age angle; Nerdist; WaPo; PissedOffGeek on the science vs. faith theme


And now, the cooking done, it's back to vidding. Two vids in progress as of yesterday, two different sources, two different tones and styles. Helps to switch between them when feeling stuck or bored on one.

...Okay, after this. Aisha Tyler is on PBS watching someone cook octopus.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
1. I made a (Festi)vidlet today! That feels good. Then moved on to actual assignment and got a few short segments of clips laid down. I'm starting with the easy one(s), lest the process and/or daunting editing job scare away whatever oomph has come back. It took a few tries to remember how to even get clips from the preview window onto the timeline in Premiere.

2. Reserving judgment until the end, but to my surprise, halfway through, I am mostly enjoying the new Anne Rice book. It helps immensely that it's a sequel to The Queen of the Damned, the last good one IMO. Even though new characters and characters from the books in between are in it, like Benji and Thorne and some ghosts and Talamascans and stuff, the events concern what happened in QotD and the ancient history outlined therein. It's kinda fun. As long as the Voice doesn't turn out to be divine.

2a. This brick of a library hardcover has actually become a good conversation starter. The hairdresser griped with me about the QotD movie while he set me up under the dryer yesterday. (p.s. Annual haircut achieved! It's short and side-parted and I think I just have to keep fluffing it until it relearns how to behave.) A neighbor told me that his wife liked the first few back in the day. A couple of people at work said they preferred the Mayfair series. Etc.

3. Is it possible to approach a movie with low expectations and high hopes at the same time? That is how I felt going into Interstellar. It turned out there was no need to worry. Spoiler-free reaction ) The rest of the day, my mom and I were all *happy sigh*.

4. Then I showed her Star Trek: Into Darkness and commiserated as she whimpered at the utter destruction of all she holds dear in TOS. She did like Karl Urban's McCoy, and despite her protest at Scotty becoming the comic relief she laughed at him calling Kirk "mad bastard."

5. A story came to me out of the blue yesterday morning before I got out of bed. Aliens and size differentials and erotica and maybe entirely OCs. IDEK. We'll see if it gets written down.

Back to work tomorrow. Possibly with vid song still stuck in my head.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)

I assumed this was on Tumblr somewhere and that everyone who had a feeling about The Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy would already have seen it. But it seems perhaps not. Therefore I share with you: If 'The Avengers' Were Cereal Mascots... Because: Groot Loops! Loki Charms! So cute.


Aw, see, this is why I liked Theon Greyjoy professor. His reply to my email after we crossed paths, wherein I said I wasn't sure if he'd remembered me at first and would he like to have coffee and catch up sometime:
Hi [bironic]. I have a horrible memory for faces and names with most people, because they're boring, but I certainly never forgot yours whatsoever. I would love to get together with you sometime, for coffee/tea or even a more grown-up drink somewhere. [...] I'll save my ruminations on things gallifreyan till we meet in person. I am LOVING series 8 & capaldi. It seems as if someone's given Moffat a much-needed kick up the arse or a dressing-down or something.


I have been sick a lot in the last couple of months in several different fun and exciting ways, after not having been sick at all since moving to Boston. I am ready for it to end. *coughs*


At [ profile] thedeadparrot's this weekend I mentioned how The Fast & The Furious's focus on Dom's family & chosen family, particularly the 6th movie, which we were watching, reminded me of Lilo & Stitch's "Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind," and then it turned into a sort of drinking game in which we were not actually drinking. Now I kind of want to do a vidlet of F&F set to L&S audio.

That is separate from the ridiculousness that is The Rock's biceps in that film. So large. So large. He can't put his arms down at his sides, you guys.


Did you know Anne Rice has a new Vampire Chronicles book coming out? I did not know. Prince Lestat. She is coming to the Harvard Bookstore on her tour to sign it. Unfortunately it is at noon on a Tuesday and costs something like $30, so I will not be going. But I put a hold on the book at the library. We'll see if there's anything decent in it. The title is, you will probably agree, not promising.



Now off for bedtime reading. After Hark! A Vagrant and Being Mortal, there is Best American Comics 2013 to try. Interested in knowing more about current comics & graphic novels. I wanted to check out Saga from the library after hearing it recced on Pop Culture Happy Hour, but the first volume was unavailable. Also want(ed) to read Sex Criminals but didn't see it on the shelf at a glance. Oh, well.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Cast Alexander Siddig as a Martell in Game of Thrones*

Buy the rights to the Vampire Chronicles and promise a new movie series**


*Oh! And Keisha Castle-Hughes as a Sand Snake!
**Oh, no, except Alex Kurtzman/Roberto Orci were announced as producers. I'll try not to let that dampen my excitement until a director and writer are chosen.

In related news, I was looking up my undergrad thesis advisor to see if he's still teaching at the university and found a page for him on He's got one chili pepper, and a student reviewer said, "He looks like Theon Greyjoy from Game of Thrones!" Made me laugh. It's sort of true, and the prof is not unappealing; it's just that I wouldn't say Theon is good-looking. (I have a memory that the prof and I used to talk about how he [prof] looked like Eric Stoltz.)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Was so good. So good. Worth the wait since [ profile] no_detective first posted about it six months ago. (Her February review.)

I'd been wondering if this might be the Anne Rice movie of my dreams that the actual Anne Rice movies didn't achieve, and in a way it was: these beautiful creatures in beautiful clothes drifting through centuries, drinking in art and literature and music and science and technology with blood as more of an afterthought, some of them angsty and others full of endless wonder, traveling to the corners of the globe, living away from and reuniting with their beloveds with a depth and permanence of feeling most of us can only envy. It appeals to all the same desires to become a vampire for the sake of becoming the ultimate aesthete.

In another way, it was like Der Himmel über Berlin/Wings of Desire: a love song and a dirge for a city (in this case, Detroit) at its nadir, complete with long shots of damaged architecture and indie music performances that capture something about the current era, while a pair of benevolent supernatural creatures watches humanity from a remove. Not that it achieved the level of quality of Wings of Desire, but the resemblance was remarkable.

Which is not to imply that Only Lovers wasn't also very much its own movie. The plot summaries don't do it justice. This is the kind of movie I want when I complain that today's mainstream movies don't leave time to think about anything, including all their plot holes or nonsensical...ness. This movie takes its time, because the characters have all the time in the world. (When they talk about a white dwarf that's only 30 light-years away, you realize they could actually visit it on some spacecraft one day without having to worry about intergenerational planning or cryo.) The movie talks about appreciating culture(s) and nature to the fullest. Tilda Swinton's Eve literally stops to smell the Amanita muscaria. It's about different approaches to life and immortality. It's about maintaining a relationship. It's sort of about the recent history of American music. It touches on elitism/privilege and the contamination of our bodies and our planet.

And it's funny, and beautiful, and tense in the last third when the fragility of their survival becomes clear, and full of references to artists throughout the centuries. Although, if I can nitpick for a sec, you'd think that a pair of vampires as old and educated as these two would have more diverse and obscure references and favorites to toss back and forth. Byron I'll take because Tom Hiddleston's Adam follows so much in his image, and Tesla, too, because he's among the favorites of today's hipsters, whom Adam also embodies-slash-laments, and Darwin worked because it made a good joke/point. I just would have liked less well known names in the mix, and more subtlety. Adam putting on a name tag that said "Dr. Faust" was great, but it lost a little something special when another character called it out. The photo/illustration wall in Adam's apartment did a better job. (Oh, ha, and in one corner was the same pic of Neil Young I posted about the other day.) Unless the point was for us to get all the references and therefore empathize even more with the characters for what they love. Or maybe the lesser references are meant to be uncovered on repeat viewing, among the records strewn across Adam's apartment and the books Eve browses while packing her suitcases.

Okay, but also, since Adam is supposed to deeply appreciate science and electrical engineering, it made me cringe when he said to Eve that Einstein's spooky action at a distance isn't a theory because it's proven. Ugh, writers, you should know that in science, a theory is a pretty damn strong case, and you can't prove something, only disprove it.

Also also, apparently in this universe, vampirism bestows not only fangs (great makeup job there), pale skin and luminous eyes but also very dry hair.

In sum, highly recommended even when it's a bit ridiculous, & want to see again.

ETA: And here is a perfectly valid dissenting opinion from [ profile] daasgrrl!
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
1. Thank you to [ profile] grammarwoman for making Strange Times for me! It was the Strange Days vid I'd been hoping for for years.

2. If you haven't already, do check out [ profile] deelaundry's entry, Part of Me (Now You See Me), which I had the pleasure of beta-watching. I haven't seen the movie so can't comment on the whodunnit plot, but as another commenter said, this does a lovely job of conveying the joy and wonder of the characters' performance of magic.

3. I made three Interview with the Vampire vids for [ profile] sol_se for [ profile] festivids 2013-2014. This entailed more angst than even a vid involving Louis and Depeche Mode would have indicated, because I love [ profile] sol_se's work and wanted to make her something worthy and wasn't confident I had come anywhere close. But: She indicated happiness, and each vid received a couple of lovely comments that made me feel it was worth making. Weeks later, we (in the royal sense) have made peace with our creations.

Title: Precious
Music: Depeche Mode (edited)
Length: 2:57
Summary: "She should never have been one of us."
Content notes: Brief female nudity; graphic/lethal violence against vampires of all ages
Physical notes: None
Thanks: To [ profile] deelaundry, [ profile] synn and [ profile] ignazwisdom for trying to help me fix this when I was convinced it was broken, broken, broken, and to [ profile] cincodemaygirl for the extra reassurance.

Notes )

Embed etc. )

Title: Snake Song
Music: by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan (edited)
Length: 1:57
Summary: Santiago the trickster.
Content notes: Sexually charged male-on-male threat (:36-:42), brief gore (1:37-1:41).
Physical notes: None.
Thanks: To [ profile] deelaundry, [ profile] synn, [ profile] ignazwisdom and [ profile] cincodemaygirl for looking this over and letting me know the endings didn't work.

Notes )

Embed etc. )

One of these things is not like the others.

Title: Trouble
Pairing Louis/Lestat
Music: "I Knew You Were Trouble" by Taylor Swift (edited)
Length: 1:56
Content notes: Sorta nonconsensual seductive vamp-making.
Physical notes: I don't think any.

Notes )

Embed etc. )

Comments and concrit are always welcome as I try to improve my vidding.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
1. Yikes. I picked the best(/worst, if you like staycations with unknown retroactive pay status) time to leave federal service. My thoughts are with you, friends who're caught in the furloughs or suffering from cut services.

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

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

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

(I'm quite enjoying the anthology. The writing could be better--lots of adverbs and euphemisms, that sort of thing--but the series of short stories of seduction is working well for me. I guess it was just the ticket in this time of change and potential loneliness, in a city where I once rekindled my love of the Vampire Chronicles and wrote thousands of words of fic for it.)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Thank you, everyone who took a minute to offer advice for the Great Basement/Attic Cleanout. Your voices were in my head as we worked last week. ("Resist the urge to move piles around!" "Only keep items for people if you have someone specific in mind." "Take this chance to model letting-go for your father." "Don't just throw everything away.") After six 12- to 14-hour days in NY, a day at the office, a holiday, another day at the office, and a day to recover, I'm feeling together enough to tell you that it went well and to share some pictures.

Before and afters )

It was tough in several ways. It was exhausting and filthy, and decision fatigue set in each day before I was done. There are some things I'm remorseful about, including the way I treated my dad a few times.* Bringing my notebook was an excellent idea, although I didn't leave much time for thinking; it's a defense mechanism, keeping busy. I was also reminded in more than one way why I don't live there anymore. And there is so much more to be done. But I'm glad we tackled our portion, I'm glad my sister was there most days to join me—we hadn't spent that much time together at once in years—and I think we accomplished what we set out to.

*He was up and down in his handling of the mess, the dust, the hubbub, the idea of letting us let things go. Sometimes he'd hover or pick through our piles, then sometimes he'd volunteer to shed some of his own stuff. Sometimes I'd ask him a question about what to do with a particular item and he'd freeze up. E. had to take him out of the house at least once.

I enjoyed two breaks: dinner Saturday night with my dad and E., and brunch Sunday with [ profile] ignazwisdom, who braved two trains to come visit from Brooklyn. Hadn't seen Iggy in ages and that was great. As was brunch, mm. We are going to try to re-watch some TOS eps long distance, so don't be surprised if you start seeing posts about them around here.

Some fun stuff we uncovered, incl. fannish and baby items )

Thanks for reading. ♥


Did manage to sign up for a Kink Bingo card, which I started brainstorming for when I had a chance to breathe on Thursday. There should be a picspam soon. Watch this space.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Title: They Want More
Fandom: Jurassic Park movies
Rating: R
Music: "I Want More" by Elton John (edited demo from Lestat the musical)
Length: 3:31
Summary: The inevitable outcome of cloning giant carnivores.
Warnings: Dinosaur-related violence, gore, cruelty to animals, morbid humor. One clip has possible overtones of sexual threat. There is lightning at :23-:24 and 1:18-1:19.
Dedication: Made for Festivids 2010 for Dogstar ([personal profile] leanwellback), who shares my love of "Dinosaurs! Also, DINOSAURS."

A/N: You guys. This vid. I made something silly, hoping it would make the recipient laugh as much as it made me laugh, and then it ended up accruing more comments than anything else I've ever posted.

If you've known me for a while, you know that I loved the original Jurassic Park to pieces (complete with blushing crush on Jeff Goldblum -- shut up, I was 13) and that I nearly vibrated out of my skin with anticipation when the (godawful) Lestat musical finally happened. Between that and the fact that this vid is basically my Wraith vid, all vampires & POV-switching only this time with dinosaurs (and without the aspect ratio and interlacing issues), you know why I thought LJ friends might easily recognize the vid as mine.

So that happened, and I am thrilled.

Embed, download and vidder's notes )

Feedback & concrit are always welcome as I try to improve my vidding.

This vid has shown at: Escapade 2011, Vidukon 2011 ("Best of Festivids" vidshow), Swancon 2011, Vividcon 2012 ("Let's Put on a Show" vidshow), Vidukon 2015 (Pets vidshow) and... I'm forgetting something. :(
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
So. "Lestat."

It has been more than a week since we went to see this latest tragedy of an adaptation of the Vampire Chronicles, and the details are fading as fast as Lestat's recollections of Heaven. Nonetheless it must be reviewed, so I'll do my best to recap the plot and highlight the most ridiculous, entertaining and dramatic moments for you adoring readers.

Where do I even start? )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Ah ha ha ha, of course I can read 300 pages of Interview with the Vampire and finish the first draft of the House fic for betas and research five grad school programs and annotate two books of Byron/vampire essays and write a letter to P. and publish three websites by April 15th. *cries*

No, seriously, I've found this fantastic new community for Vampire Chronicles fans, [ profile] the_elitist_vc, arriving just in time for a group reading and discussion of the series starting with IWTV. Everyone over there seems very bright and opinionated and witty, and I'm really looking forward to the craziness that is sure to come out of this project. And because I can't say no even when it might mean the liquefaction of my brain, I'm going to try to participate. The musical has in its own flawed way rekindled my love for the first few books, and I need to re-read them anyway if I'm ever going to expand my thesis from school, so why not now?

Going to see "Threepenny Opera" tomorrow with Jess. Since Alan Cumming has the lead role, in honor of his lotion/perfume line we have dubbed the play "Cumming in a Theatre." Will post a review along with the much-delayed one for "Lestat."


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