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)
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: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I thought it would be fun to keep track of the movies I watch so at the end of the year I can remember what they were and to see how many I actually go through. What happened alongside this endeavor is that my decision-making process and my behavior immediately changed. I started trying to watch more to make the list longer. This week it occurred to me to switch from a numbered list to bullets. We'll see how that goes.

Here we are for Jan. 1 - Feb. 6:

24 movies )

(For the record, 6 of those were for vid research)

+ TV seasons: Mozart in the Jungle 1-2

...

Thanks for your feedback yesterday on Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. I decided to bail and picked up The Golem and the Jinni instead. Three pages in and it's already a pleasure to read. In fact, I'm debating whether to sit on it for a week and a half and bring it on the plane to/from Vancouver.

Speaking of which, went on a quest today for an outfit suitable for a gallery opening. Found this very pretty dress but it fit like a box, alas. Oh, haha, there was also a collection of dresses suitable for Star Trek cosplay. Will probably wear what I wore to [personal profile] cinco's wedding, then, or my gray plaid skirt + black top if that's not too casual; hard to tell. The trip was not entirely in vain, however; I got a green and blue gradient sweater.

We had a beautiful snowfall on Friday -- storybook icing on the tree branches once the winds died down, followed by a pink and orange sunset. All of our million inches of snow last winter was powder; none of it stuck like this. Boston Globe curated some shots. More forecast for tomorrow. Good luck to every one of us trying to get home from work in the middle of it!

Fall turn

Oct. 5th, 2015 09:06 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
1.

I have so many things I want to say after rereading Ancillary Justice & Sword

(what would a happy ending look like for the main character? what is her name, really? who could be fancast in a vid trailer for the books? is anyone besides me interested in an exploration of what attracts me to the protagonist as a reflection of how I wish I could be? look at all these levels of class conflict, from family status to imperialists-vs-indentured-workers to Radch ship attitudes to the realization that all those things are ultimately meaningless if the Presger decide humanity needs to go, similar to how Westeros needs to wake up and stop the infighting because the White Walkers are the real problem)

and I am so excited for the last book to come out tomorrow that I actually had an anxiety dream about it last night. But every time I sit down to post about it, nothing happens.

2.

After some pleasant conversations with my new neighbors upstairs over the last six weeks or so, I left a note on Friday asking that when they get around to acquiring rugs (the house has wood floors and our leases mandate a certain amount of coverage), could they be sure to pad the area in the bedroom where they walk while getting ready in the mornings, because I've been waking up with them. They not only left a nice note back today, they tied the note around a bag of homemade coconut kettle popcorn. I think we are going to be okay.

3.

Work is busy this month and entails some weekend obligations. Need to make sure I stay on top of things before they stress me out (more). Unfortunately, sports are not an option for a little while because my knee is bothering me. Maybe reading and playing with a feel-good vid in the evenings will suffice.

4.

This post is boring, isn't it? I'm sorry.

5.

It's fall! It finally happened! It happened so suddenly that the transition is quite noticeable. There were sundresses and sandals and air conditioning and now a few days later people have broken out their pea coats and knit hats and gloves and tights and boots. Boots everywhere. I wore my ankle boots today, one of my few stylish pairs of shoes, with a fun orange top and gray cardigan and corduroy pants. Because it's 55 degrees instead of 80. We can sleep with blankets on the bed. I declare it acceptable to talk about apples and pumpkins and harvest recipes and foliage. I turned on the oven this weekend and roasted things. Ahhhhh, fall.

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

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

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

On the docket for the day:

- Matinee of Furious 7 with friends and friends-of-friends
- Do overdue beta of friend's vid
- Rip the last of the DVDs for Club Vivid vid, and lay down more clips
- Laundry
- Group watch of Into the Woods
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
It was all worth it just so we could receive this sophisticated graphic from the National Weather Service.

winterrecord

(context)

drive-by

Feb. 26th, 2015 07:18 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Posts I want to make when there is time (a.k.a. not this week), in no particular order:

- Unanticipated long-term snow-related issues*
- Request for recommendations for seeing/eating/staying in San Francisco
- What it was like to take a R.A.D. class while having a consent play kink
- The Fall: It was pretty great
- Crowdsourcing -- well, crowd-confirming -- Club Vivid vid material
- End of epic TOS rewatch with iggy

*Post I will make now: The subject lines of emails from coworkers in my inbox Tuesday morning.

Severe Orange Line delays
Comically severe for Medford busses
35 minute delay on commuter rail
Two hour train ride and counting...
On the bus, packed in tight. Moving slowly...
Every road into the city is a parking lot
I feel better knowing we're all in this together

In closing, a photo from our three-hour tropical getaway at the Gardner last week:

20150219_175757

Ketchup

Feb. 20th, 2015 07:32 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Reading: Finished A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, for the next book club. Thoroughly mediocre. I wouldn't have read it except it was billed as a vampire romance. That wasn't false advertising. But it draaaaaagged, oh my God, and as far as the romance plot thread went, it didn't understand the concept of the building and breaking of sexual tension. Plus its portrayal of the heroine's opinions on her independence, what she wanted out of a relationship, and her desire and ability to use her emerging Mary Sue super-magical powers got all messy and confuddled. The vampire, as perhaps should have been expected, was controlling and aloof, yet they fell all over each other. Without actually consummating anything. Which would have been the sole payoff by the end of the 600-page book. The history geek stuff and the supernatural worldbuilding were only mildly interesting. Will not be reading the rest of the trilogy.

Now about 150 pages into The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein, as recommended by several of you. It's lovely. Rowan is quite likeable in her capability, reason, powers of observation, and flaws, some of which grow out of her personality and others of which are the result of limitations of the land and time in which she lives; and Rowan-and-Bel makes for a great adventuring team. I read a thing somewhere—maybe on Goodreads—that turns out to have maybe been a spoiler? If so, I'm glad of it, as it's making the story more interesting for my own personal tastes.

Watching: I've been making my way through The Fall since [livejournal.com profile] alpheratz recommended it. It's engrossing and well-made and plays to some of my personal kinks, although I keep comparing it to Top of the Lake, another meticulously produced mystery miniseries featuring a strong female lead, unfavorably and perhaps unfairly. Gillian Anderson is doing a superb job, and her character is fabulous: cool, competent, smart. The visual and thematic parallels they've been drawing between her inspector and the serial killer are interesting, although I wish they'd push it further. Someone at work who just watched it told me to wait for the end of the second season, so the jury's still out, I guess. Two episodes into S2, the tension has ramped up quite nicely.

As for Jamie Dornan, I wish I'd seen the show before he'd been cast as Christian Grey, because it's coloring my perception of the role and his acting abilities. Mostly he seems like the dead-eyed version of Jude Law, and it doesn't sound like Fifty Shades tested his range.

Didn't get a chance to see Fifty Shades last weekend because of the storm. We're going to try again tomorrow night.

What We Do in the Shadows looks like fun. Happily, MeetUp group is planning to go, and I am planning to tag along. We'll see if weather/transit permits.

Vidding: Muskrat Jamboree accepted one of my vids for the vid show! I need to do a thing and then send it in. Also need to get cracking on a multifandom vid idea I have for Club Vivid (which would also be for Kink Bingo); the end of April, the usual deadline, will come up fast if I'm not careful.

Writing: I discovered that I've posted exactly one fic in the last two years. D: However, I've written 6,500 words in various Mary Sue stories since Jan. 1, and that feels great. One of them is for posting. We'll see how long it takes to get it into shape.

Going: Nowhere, because the city is still broken. However, last night a coworker, fed up as we all are with the rush hour commuting situation, invited me to join her at an after-hours event at the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum rather than sitting on the bus for two hours, and it turned out to be the perfect balm. At night, the museum's usual low lighting felt atmospheric rather than claustrophobic. Despite the icicle stalagmites (yes, from the ground up, I have no idea how they formed) and the pine needle-strewn snow pressing against every window and skylight, inside it was warm and humid. Palm trees and a quiet steel drummer in the sculpture courtyard. Wine, live Arabic/Balkan/gypsy fusion music, chatting, and, of course, art. A local getaway to soothe frayed nerves.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Previously, on "[livejournal.com profile] bironic Reads the Fifty Shades Trilogy":

Book two: Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades of Grey, part 3
Fifty Shades of Grey, part 2
Fifty Shades of Grey, part 1

Now, I did read Fifty Shades Freed right after finishing book two, but then I didn't post about it. It was going to take more effort than I had available to make sense of the final characterizations and explain my disappointments about the conclusion.

That was almost two years ago. Checking Wikipedia confirms that I have forgotten pretty much the entire plot. What I did do before returning the book to the library was type up some passages I'd flagged. They've been sitting in a Word doc. Even though the details of the story have fled my brain, I wanted to share these notes as we gear up for the release of the film adaptation.

You see, because I continue to want to dip into particular canons firsthand instead of relying on other people's often polarized and non-nuanced opinions, and perhaps because I am living out the saying that "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" with this series, I have this kernel of hope that the movie will do something right. Even if that something is not "distill this bloated 1,500-page narrative into two hours."

Notes on book three )

Sorry, that wasn't very funny. Have this GoodReads review I just found. It's great, except for the part between the Boy Meets World and jumping Jensen Ackles gifs, wherein she says not-nice things about EL James herself.

We'll see what the movie brings.

In the meantime, snow. How much is on the ground, you didn't ask? I will tell you anyway. There is so much snow on the ground that I cannot gauge how much new snow has fallen. Like yesterday I woke up and things looked exactly the same as Saturday but it turned out we got 3 inches overnight. It has been snowing since then, and it is supposed to continue to snow until the wee hours of the night. The Globe says we've gotten 12 inches in the last 24 hours? That's what Ana Steele said. I seriously can't tell. The picnic table and chairs in the backyard have been buried. The snow banks are taller than the cars wedged between and alongside them I am. More predicted for Thursday. Boston has already blown through its historical 7- and 30-day snowfall records. Wahoo.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Wow, I had no idea Don Hertzfeldt of Rejected fame ("My spoon is too big," etc.) and that unforgettable Simpsons opener had made a full-length feature film: It's Such a Beautiful Day (2012).

Watched it just now. An ordinary [lower-middle-class white] guy losing his mind. Started out with his trademark morbid humor, horrifying and funny at the same time. A little slow to start, but so unusual it pulls you along. How often does a film take the point of view of someone who swings back and forth across the line between ruminating on the bizarreness of daily life and downright losing his grip on reality? Followed by a fabulous sequence in Chapter Two about family history.

It was bleak and absurd and disturbing and fascinating and many other adjectives. And then, starting about 3/4 of the way through, it became sublime. Memory and personhood and the nature of time and the construction of narrative. Mortality and the sense of self through the years. The fragility of human connection. The simple beauties of existing in the world. A question of whether premature death or immunity from death would be worse. Metaphors. Cosmology.

The animation style itself was also really interesting. And beautiful use of some favorite classical pieces (Smetana, Rachmaninoff, Mahler, others).

So good!

Village Voice review went so far as to compare it to Terence Malick and David Lynch. Both of which are accurate. Although for me personally, this movie shared some attributes with their works but stayed coherent enough and grounded enough in a story to keep me happy. Perhaps my brain just doesn't know how to handle more extended abstractions. I would add Tim O'Brien to the comparison list, if Tim O'Brien were a filmmaker.

ETA: Okay, so apparently he has made several other short films, also award-winning. Must check them out.

.

Speaking of absurdities: More snow is happening. Another snow day tomorrow. At this rate, my car will emerge from its ice cap in spring like a bulb.

TGIF

Feb. 6th, 2015 09:58 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Well, hey. I just watched a movie that made me want to make a vidlet about it. And contrary to the few other times that has happened, I immediately figured out what music to use. \o/ Mayhap I will make it tomorrow; it is not complicated. Although this weekend is probably not the best time to post it, given that most vid viewers are likely still making their way through the Festivids masterlist.

Recs pending, btw. I have compiled about a dozen. Still have about 30 vids left to watch.

Commuting has been horrendous for the last week and a half because of the snowbanks/ice/low temperatures/narrow lanes/traffic/broken public transit system. It's sucked about two extra hours out of every day. :( That has left less time and brain for doing things like watching vids, and posting about this mediocre book we're reading for book club (A Discovery of Witches) or my expectations for the 50 Shades of Grey movie, and properly responding to thingswithwings' post about accumulating "I don't like X, but" comments until you feel like you are bleeding out from all the pinpricks.

I did go out to another MeetUp event, though. Successfully conversed with strangers about SF/F, check; got 12 out of 20 on a Star Trek quiz; and then played my first game of Slash with about 10 people. They weren't much for positing narratives -- just "pair someone with [character]," for the most part -- but there was great breadth of source knowledge in the group, and it was generally fun. My favorite pairing was Monolith (2001: A Space Odyssey)/VGER (Star Trek: The Motion Picture). I wasn't great at it -- in 20 rounds, I only won once, and I didn't even know the female character from Street Fighter (?) I'd paired Trinity from The Matrix with -- but that didn't matter. I'm looking forward to trying it again with LJ/DW fannish types. Oh, the stories that can be spun.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Whee, a proper snowstorm! We've got about 20 inches, which appears to be on the low side for eastern Mass. today, and it's not going to end until sometime overnight. TBA whether we are expected at the office tomorrow or can work from home again.

Thankfully, the power stayed on, in part because at 10 to 20 degrees below freezing it's so cold the snow is light and fluffy and isn't bringing tree branches down on power lines even in the blizzard winds. So it's been cozy here: sleep, blankets, wool socks, tea, a bowl of "Dad's" fish stew. (I do half shrimp and half fish, plus celery and carrots. Mm.)

And although the gym is closed today, I got quite a workout digging out the car. It took more than an hour to clear one shovel's width around it. Here is a time lapse series for your pleasure/schadenfreude: )

The Boston Globe has a decent photo spread of the city & surroundings, if you'd like a sense of how things look around here. Scroll down to the Pet Shop mural and the eerie-beautiful Brant Rock church in particular. ETA: And, as usual, the Capital Weather Gang in DC does a better job of discussing and depicting Boston weather than Boston does.

In related news, Boston Yeti and follow-up interview. Sigh/LOL, Somerville.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
(Because it's finally winter outside, and because this post contains... well.)

I don't tend to make New Year's resolutions. When I do try to change a behavior, I don't wait for January. But I've been thinking about whether there's anything internal I'd like to work on this year, and one thing is to continue to learn how to be nice to myself, and another is to think more seriously about, & then be more proactive about, dating. Which is why I was re-reading some Captain Awkward posts this afternoon about dealing with feelings of unattractiveness while dating (example). Because while I have gained a lot of confidence in the last 10 to 15 years that my hobbies and tastes are OK, largely thanks to fandom, and while I'd like to think I have developed pretty good social skills despite being a natural introvert, I do have a lifelong deep-set conviction that I am not good-looking, not helped by some health-related body changes in recent years, and people say there is nothing like entering an urban dating pool full of strangers to undermine your self-confidence in any and all areas, including the above.

Anyway, that is all still academic at this point. What I wanted to say is that the posts include people's anecdotes about eventually finding well-matched partners due to being one's authentic -- in many of these cases, geeky -- self in online profiles and/or in person. A practice I fully subscribe to. And then this very evening on the bus ride home, a young woman in a nearby seat wearing a knit Pikachu hat leaned over and excused herself and asked what I was reading because every time she'd glanced over it looked more interesting. (It was Saga vol. 4.) We had a little conversation about it, she mentioned that the wait between issues wouldn't be a problem considering the wait she is dealing with for The Winds of Winter (next Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones book) and some other stuff I wasn't familiar with, and then we went back to riding the bus. It was like an object lesson in how merely doing something you like in public can attract someone's attention, in this case in a good way and not a creepy way, to back up the Captain Awkward post. Same as last year when a dude I think of as Big-Headphones Guy saw me working my way through the Song of Ice and Fire series and asked me a couple of times on our way off the bus how I was liking them.

(I actually later learned Big-Headphones Guy's name because he sometimes orders breakfast at the same counter-service place I go to when I am not able to pack mine. But that is not important here.)

Number one, both of these are examples of how to talk to someone on public transit about what they're reading without being annoying or creepy. Number two, they were just nice encounters that served as reminders that pop culture is my favorite conversation topic with unfamiliar people, when in the mood to converse with unfamiliar people or when forced to at a party or whatever. (Not that that prevented me from being all flustered and nervous when replying.) Number three, they bolster the argument that displaying something you like could be enough to make an unexpected connection with someone. (Once again, assuming you are in the mood.) Which is nice. Even though I also understand that dating partners generally do not fall from the sky and so some effort is required to find interesting ones. Fortune favors the prepared mind, and whatnot. There was a good post about that somewhere but I don't think it was Captain Awkward.

Like I said: Rambling. :)

tl;dr someone asked about Saga on the bus today and I think she's going to try it out. Payin' it forward.

Also I hung up some curtains tonight with the hope that this side of the room won't be eight degrees colder than the other side anymore. It is not a big room. Must say I am not a fan of the cold-air waterfall that has been pouring down my neck on the few days this winter that it has been wintery. N.B. by "hung up" I mean "nailed to the window frame" because there are no rods yet.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
So cold out. So cold.

Today I am grateful for: Heat, blankets, sweatshirts, shelter. Week-ago!me's decision to freeze a leftover takeout portion, so today!me could microwave it for dinner. Time with friends. Music and dance. Good reading. Having time to finish the Doctor Who finale. Interesting articles.

Regarding that last:

Real life robots! A photo collection. So many fabulous kinds of robots in various stages of development. Even the ones that propel along ethical debates. And the ones that make you want to slap a dude. (Titan the robot looked amazing right up until the caption said, "Titan danced for the audience, made jokes and even tried hitting on Russian women.") To recover, let's contemplate the sight of a robot transcribing a Torah. Or the "Real Android Matsuken" doppelganger. Once upon a time, I would have written an essay on all this; today I do not have the oomph.

A lovely NYT piece on passwords - sometimes obvious, sometimes circular, more anecdotal than research-based, but still lovely in its musings on private personal narratives.

On Interstellar, love, religion and entanglement

And, having finished DW, a browse around the AO3 Twelve/Clara collection, because apparently I have fallen for Twelve/Clara. Still, nothing I found in the Mature to Explicit range got them "right." There was, however, a brilliant discovery in the form of author RandomBattlecry in general and "Promises, Promises (Explosions, Explosions)" in particular. "So put on your best eyebrows, and God save the Queen." Or: In which Clara is the Doctor, the doctor is a uni professor, there's an earthquake, and a plot summary does the writing zero justice. Rated Teen.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Happy November. We have achieved sleet! I guess that means it's okay to turn on the heat today. It's not remarkably early in the season for a (second, btw) nor'easter, but it's odd to see snow falling while the trees are still mostly leafed.

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

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

p.s. The Jeffrey Combs-as-Edgar Allan Poe play was enjoyable on Halloween night. More )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
It's sunny and in the 50s. The leaves are turning. Local stores are draped with leaves and corn husks, and scattered houses have Halloween decorations out on the lawn and orange fairy lights strung up over the porches. I've cooked half a bushel of apples into pies and dinners. Kids and dogs can be seen on the streets in costumes.

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

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



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

A selection of pictures )

It took about 45 minutes to walk through. Made me feel like a kid, excited to be outside after dark, surrounded by spooky lights.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
+ Snow! Appears we got about 10 inches. I love living north-ish.

- Polar air following the nor'easter = at least one of the pipes in the building has frozen. Upstairs neighbors have no running water in their bathroom. My sink is fine, hot and cold, but the shower is plugged.

+ Landlords & plumber are on it.

+ Office closed early yesterday and remains closed today = basically two weeks for winter break.

- A couple of office things are making me anxious, so I may work on them anyway to help myself out.

+/- Bought Riddick m4v yesterday instead of waiting two weeks for DVD to come out; was disappointed by it, but there's a good scene in chains for my vid that I will use; except the DRM issue is a bear; but after hours of searching/failed attempts, I acquired a program that should work; only it didn't the first few tries, and it takes two hours a pop; but it looks like it finally will this time. WHY IS THE UNIVERSE AGAINST ME MAKING A KINK VID

+ Brunch tomorrow with a couple of grad school classmates, followed by a small gathering of local Festividders, some of whom I haven't met. \o/

? How are you all faring so far in 2014?
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
1. I wasn't planning to go to Vividcon this year because of stuff, but seeing the programming post today is making me second-guess the decision. Most appealing to me are the panels on song choice, music theory for facilitating audio editing, and making fancy credits with Aftereffects and Photoshop. Also one on how vidder motivation and intention influence outcome and can differ from audience reception. And there is this vid show:
Out of This World - Vids in spaaaaaace! A vidshow for fannish sources located in outer space, or concerned with space travel/exploration. Aliens, spaceships, and supernovas, oh my.
Spaaace. I know the vid show playlists are posted online, so it's not that so much as missing the panel discussions. People like [livejournal.com profile] anoel take thorough notes, though, so there's some hope of being filled in...

2. Forecast snowstorm today was a bust ("Snowquester" --> "Noquester," quipped the Capital Weather Gang). Again. I mean, it snowed for about eight hours, but it's been above 40 for days and is heading for 50 as we speak, so nothing stuck. As opposed to everywhere west, NW and SW of here. Sigh. Thus continueth the D.C. record for consecutive days with fewer than 2 inches of accumulation.

ETA: This. This is what it's like to live in this city when the word "snow" is mentioned.

3. As a consolation while working from home, I hung those pictures mentioned yesterday. They are, against my nature, not even in straight lines! Credit again to Apartment Therapy for its resources on laying out and hanging a gallery wall. I went with the "arrange your frames on the floor, outline them on a big piece of paper and stage that on the wall, then nail through the paper" method.

wall with big piece of paper with outlines of picture frames photo 20130306_155146_zpsd36a49fb.jpg   wall with picture frames hung photo 20130306_163105_zpsa3fe8dbf.jpg

4. Now boredom looms, and on boredom's heels comes depression, so best not to go too far down that path. What will fill time now that the housing rush is subsiding?

*eyes vidding computer*

*or possibly the TV*

*or, actual good life choice, returning to better eating/cooking patterns*
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Internet! Never leave me again. *clutches*

We lost connectivity for about five days after the big storm blew through Friday night. Thankfully, we only lost power for about an hour. It's been a real mess in the area with huge downed branches and debris in the roads, traffic lights out, buildings closed, and friends and coworkers without power during a heat wave that still hasn't abated. They measured wind gusts of 80 mph. One week later, things are almost back to normal.

I wasn't even in town when it happened; I was up in PA visiting [livejournal.com profile] synn, hurrah, after she'd been away on a long business trip. We got quite the lightning show, but no audible rain or wind.

Things that have happened in the last week:
  • Went to an excellent barbecue for the 4th, where there were friends and friends-of-friends and also hot dogs (hot dogs! it'd been maybe a year), plus many fannish quotables that I didn't write down and therefore have completely forgotten. I made these patriotic strawberries for the occasion. Yum.

  • Got my Kink Bingo card, chose a column, and started a fic. It... may involve Beauty and the Beast characters. Two thousand words and counting.

  • Watched Thor (terrible, but the Asgard costumes were pretty) and Captain America (surprisingly enjoyable and much more heartfelt in comparison, plus bonus Hugo Weaving) with synn. Now am possibly up to speed on the whole Avengers blockbuster-backstory thing. Minus The Hulk, which I don't plan on seeing.

  • We also watched two fun/awful/sweet gay movies: Longhorns (2011), which started out ridiculous and managed to get even more so, and The Trip (2002), in which not!Armand seduced low-budget!Jake Gyllenhaal and then it was historical fiction set in San Francisco in the 70s and 80s and then it was a Mexican road trip/heist.

  • Still haven't gotten around to seeing Prometheus. Or Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Soon enough it will be time too for Batman: Inception.

  • Am up to Volume Two of the Top Ten comic series that [livejournal.com profile] holli lent me at [livejournal.com profile] con_txt. The first volume was interesting and clever, although I know I missed countless references because I'm not well versed in comics. The second volume so far is excellent. The first chapter/issue centered on the aftermath of a midair accident that fused some travelers together, sort of like splinching in Harry Potter, and was really haunting. Now there are gladiatorial games and angst.

  • Keeping up with True Blood, which is as wacky as ever. I swear, I'd have a single-fanwork blackout picspam from the few episodes that've aired this season if only the kinks matched up to my card.






Okay. Have to post a different picspam, catch up on people's posts, and, uh, do some work.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Finally, I am in town when an earthquake hits! Usually they strike when I have gone away for the weekend or whatnot; I have missed them in NY, MA and the DC area. That was cool. It rumbled and shook and kept rumbling and shaking until we all figured out what was going on. My office promptly fled the building because it's old and has questionable structural integrity, and then the whole agency was eventually told to evacuate until inspections can be done, so now I am home. \o/ And supposed to telework, but connectivity is terrible, so I think... vidding.

No injuries, no visible damage, just excitement. I'm only disappointed not to have seen what others in D.C. report seeing, i.e. walls flexing and the ground moving in waves.

Hope none of you are traveling along the northeastern seaboard today.

Next up: Flying to Georgia as a hurricane approaches.

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