bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
In honor of Buffy the Vampire Slayer turning 20 -- which I still can hardly wrap my head around -- here is an unfinished Willow/Giles story I wrote 13 years ago, before I had a LiveJournal or started participating in fandom beyond quietly devouring fic.

Although I can't seem to articulate the profound impact BtVS had on me the way some of you have been able to do over the last few days, I have been thinking about how, in addition to its brilliant storytelling and dialogue and themes and rich characterizations, the show and the fanfic both depicted characters that I yearned to be (or be with) and provided ways to explore thoughts that were tumbling around in my head as I went off to college and tried to figure out whether I would ever be desirable and what I wanted in a relationship, for example. When I re-read this story, I see one angle of what I loved about Willow/Giles; an attempt, after a very different first draft, to take the usual flow of events in a different direction; and an examination of my own habit of developing crushes on teachers and professors.

Anyway, here it is if you're interested, college-age writing quirks and all. 1,500 words, rated T or something. IIRC, back in the day, [livejournal.com profile] synn suggested that Giles analyzes the situation too quickly, but I never did fix that. Feel free to pretend that he pauses to make tea and gather his thoughts at some natural break in the conversation.

It's easier to love someone who is a bit of a mentor, a role model. )

And, hey, have my favorite line from the original draft, which gave the Word document its title:

Call me Ripper, he whispers in her ear.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Oh, friends. You are fantastic. Within about 24 hours, 15 of 16 outstanding sources for this vid project, plus 8 new sources, had at least one volunteer, and your comments have already helped me refine the character spreadsheet.

I will be contacting you soon, probably in order of my enthusiasm about the source.

Meanwhile, I accidentally missed a handful of shows on the list. Is anyone up for consulting on these?

Follow-up poll )

Also to do: somehow figure out whether the characters currently flagged as "key" -- in bold here, built from Sigrid's and my opinions plus some of yours from the last post's comments -- are the "right" ones. (Thinking there is an objective way to determine this may be my problem here, heh.) Thoughts welcome.

Vid help?

Mar. 5th, 2017 06:10 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
One of the vids I'm making for the Fandom Trumps Hate auction, requested by [twitter.com profile] sigridellis, is a celebratory snapshot of characters of color in current SF/F & horror film and television. It is a neat project, although it means I've gotten myself into a pickle with the scope! I haven't quite figured out how many sources will be feasible, but we've started a list off the tops of our heads and flagged characters who are Sigrid's favorites and/or who feel particularly important to serve as the core set.

If you're willing, I could use some help on two things, outlined below. I hesitated to post about it because I don't want to be That Person Who Keeps Making Big Vids That Require Other People To Do Work, but then a friend said that she finds contributing fun, and I do believe this will be a better (and more efficiently produced) vid with a little help from some friends, so here we go.

(1) Flagging important characters and identifying major gaps in the character list. I don't want to turn this into an encyclopedia entry, and in fact don't even know if I can include everyone who's already on the list, but I don't want to miss someone significant either.

General guidelines as things stand now: non-white characters, who are not covered in makeup (i.e. Gamora) nor are only voices (i.e. Maz Kanata), in live-action SF/F & horror sources from the last 3ish years. Prefer them to have a significant role of some sort in their canon. There may be more space for women than for men. Am not sure yet how the vid will handle villains. Feel free to pitch me an argument against these limitations if you think they unfairly distort the portrait we're trying to sketch.

How does the Google spreadsheet look so far? Is someone not marked as "important" (bold font) who should be? (Female characters are in the top half, dudes below. Don't mind much beyond columns A and C.)

(2) Volunteering source knowledge. I've never made a vid before with so many unfamiliar sources where clips from those sources need to be appropriately contextualized with the lyrics and narrative flow. i.e. This isn't like the electricity vid, where visual parallels took precedence over needing to know characterizations and plotlines. The song we're using will work best if I can tell stories about these characters' struggles and triumphs.

Now, I've already begun to watch some of the sources I don't know (Sense8, Suicide Squad), and there are more in the queue, but others I can't handle (American Horror Story, The Walking Dead), and still others are big and/or not super interesting to me and I could use some pointers on key episodes for the characters in question.

With that in mind, is anyone willing to serve as a consultant on the following sources?

A poll )

Thank you. <3

ETA: Follow-up poll.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Doing

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

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

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


Vidding

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

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

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

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


Reading

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

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


Watching

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

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

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


Listening

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


Writing

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


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

Hope you are having good weekends.
bironic: Fred reading a book,looking adorable (fred reading)
Last night I finished reading The Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2016 & 2015, the only two years they've done the anthology so far. They accomplished what I hoped for, which was to include some excellent stories and to help me get a better sense of the contemporary SF/F short-fiction landscape by introducing me to new(-to-me) U.S. authors (who are not all white men) and magazines.

I thought 2016 was stronger than 2015, or maybe the stories were more my taste; but 2015 closed with a story that made me cry, and I want to recommend it to everybody, because it's about robots and people who like robots and people who wish they could be robots and autism and asexuality and polyamory and depression and struggling with suicidal ideation and it's just really moving. While I was reading it I heard many friends' experiences echoed in the text, but I know that can make something difficult to read, so, you know, assess the rec and warnings accordingly.

How to Become a Robot in 12 Easy Steps by A. Merc Rustad

(Follow the link in the author's blog to a podcast transcript. The short story is reprinted a little ways down the page.)


Other favorites from the 2015 collection

"The Blue Afternoon That Lasted Forever" by Daniel H. Wilson - A frightening and touching apocalypse story with a father/daughter relationship at the core, featuring a protagonist who may be a man or may be a robot, but who, if he is a robot, clearly has human emotions about family.

"A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai'i" by Alaya Dawn Johnson - Vampires who farm different "grades" of humans after taking over the world! Nice worldbuilding in a few strokes.

"Tortoiseshell Cats are Not Refundable" by Cat Rambo - Did what most film/TV stories about female-coded A.I.s should do but don't do.

"How the Marquis Got His Coat Back" by Neil Gaiman - An enjoyable romp of a revisit to some Neverwhere characters, even though I don't recall liking Neverwhere overmuch.

"The Bad Graft" by Karen Russell - Classic-feeling, spooky tale about a Joshua tree that tries to take root inside a young woman.


Favorites from the 2016 collection

2016 had a strong start, with:

"Meet Me in Iram" by Sofia Samatar - Which felt too smart for me to understand, certainly not on first reading -- it felt like the sort of story we would have read in a college class followed by a discussion question of "What is Iram?" -- but was deep, beautiful and memorable.

The Game of Smash and Recovery by Kelly Link - Siblinghood, personhood, artificial intelligence and the detritus of interstellar colonization. Or: two strange kids and their robots on an abandoned moon.

Planet Lion by Catherynne Valente - Alien life corrupted by human civilization, and the humans don't even realize what they've done until it's too late.

Then a dip, when "Interesting Facts" by Adam Johnson failed [personal profile] marginaliana's "a dude wrote this" test. [Note: link includes mention of fictional sexual assault]

Then a recovery with stories such as:

"The Mushroom Queen" by Liz Ziemska - Joins the rank of "wonderfully creepy stories about humans merging with fungi"; see also auburn's SGA fic The Taste of Apples and... something else I just forgot The Girl with All The Gifts.

Tea Time by Rachel Swirsky - Alice in Wonderland fanfiction with a striking prose style that reinforces how the Mad Hatter and March Hare exist outside of time. Also, bestiality.

"Rat Catcher's Yellows" by Charlie Jane Anders - In which the protagonist struggles with her wife's decline from a brain-degenerating plague and the question of whether a VR game sweeping the world is a balm for plague victims or some kind of conspiracy.

And several others.

However, I really don't know what to do with "The Heat of Us: Notes Toward an Oral History" by Sam J. Miller. Told in the format of a newspaper article featuring witness testimonies, it's an alternate history of the Stonewall uprising where the bar patrons revolt against police using pyrokinesis. Is that an empowering fantasy, or does it undercut the bravery of real people who stood up for themselves without the safety net of supernatural abilities? By focusing on gay male characters, does it not also erase the real trans women who have struggled so hard to get the credit they deserve in the long fight for civil rights? Would the story have been better or worse if set in a totally fictional scenario? I struggled against this narrative and am interested in looking around to see if people have written about it.


Any recommendations for other short stories or authors to continue to catch up on what's happening these days in SF/F?
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
"My name is [personal profile] bironic. I like things in space and things with vampires," I wrote at [personal profile] st_aurafina's friending meme in January, then realized my 5 Festivids consisted of 3 set in space and 2 involving vampires, one of which was set to a Byron poem.

This year I made:

Sunny Days (Dark City)
For onewingdippedinblood. My actual assignment.

Something's Going Wrong (Waxwork)
For onewingdippedinblood. I hadn't heard of this movie before reading onewingdippedinblood's Festivids letter, but watched it, was delighted, and thought of a vid song right away. Kudos to [personal profile] mific for guessing that I made this! #onbrand

Behind Blue Eyes (2001: A Space Odyssey)
For cherryice. Because the song match was too terrible/great to pass up.

Going through space with the world (Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield)
For thirdblindmouse. Because space and science and a joyous expansion into celebrity.

She Walks in Beauty (Let the Right One In)
For quizkwatsh. I'd been wanting to make this one for a while and wish it had gone over better; I wonder if it's because people don't know the source or if the vid itself is not compelling.

More notes on each vid at the posts linked above.

As for those vid-related remarks I couldn't share at the time... )

Also, it turns out [personal profile] elipie is the one who made "To The Edge" for me! Check it out, with vidder's notes. I know the subject matter will not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's a very good vid, at once cerebral and visceral, and it didn't get a lot of love and it deserves more. ♥
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
onewingdippedinblood's Dear Festividder post excited me the most of anyone's during signups, so I was very happy to get them as my assignment. Dark City was the original plan, but the description of Waxwork & Waxwork II sounded right up my alley, so I watched those as well, discovered that we liked some of the same parts, and ended up with a treat idea.


Title: Sunny Days
Fandom: Dark City
Music: Theme to "Sesame Street" by The Kids
Length: 1:53
Summary: Can anyone tell me how to get to Shell Beach?
Content notes: Syringes in heads, dystopia, physical and psychological manipulation, major movie spoilers.
Physical notes: For some reason, the director decided lights needed to pulse and flicker in half the scenes. I'm sorry. There's also some quick and possibly vertiginous cutting around 1:04-1:11.
Thanks: to [personal profile] deelaundry and Mr. [personal profile] deelaundry for audiencing.
A/N: For [tumblr.com profile] onewingdippedinblood for [community profile] festivids 2016-2017. Originally posted here.

Dark City is a long-favorite movie, but round after round I couldn't come up with a song to vid it to. Then, this. I don't even remember what made the Sesame Street theme occur to me, but once it did, I knew I wanted to make it. It felt like such a wonderfully discordant match, highlighting the dystopian nightmare as Murdoch tries to find his way out via Shell Beach. I had fun resisting my usual impulse to tell a clear, linear story and instead play up the confusion and glorious weirdness.

Sunny Days )


Title: Something's Going Wrong
Fandom: Waxwork (1988)
Pairing: Mark/China, Mark/Sarah, China/Dracula, Sarah/Marquis de Sade
Music: "Is She Really Going Out With Him" by Joe Jackson (edited)
Length: 3:07
Summary: Alas, poor Mark. He just wants China to like him. Or Sarah. Or any girl, really. But they keep falling for classic horror hunks.
Content notes: White male tears, a phallic weapon, whips & chains
Physical notes: Strobe lights intermittently 2:19-2:46
Thanks: to [personal profile] thedeadparrot, [personal profile] deelaundry and Mr. [personal profile] deelaundry for audiencing.
A/N: For [tumblr.com profile] onewingdippedinblood for [community profile] festivids 2016-2017. Originally posted here.

"I also ship China/Dracula and China/Stephan. And, I have such a wrongdirtybad love for Sarah/Marquis de Sade," onewingdippedinblood wrote in their Festivids letter. And you know what? So did I after watching the movie. It's too bad the vid had to be from the POV of the sadface dude character who kept trying to be smooth with the ladies and failing (and then, even worse, not failing), but I think the vid makes enough fun of him to make up for it.

(I did make a mistake, though, because I misremembered the male character's name and thought that onewingdippedinblood liked the trio featured here, when in fact they liked the two young women and one of the other guys. Oops.)

P.S. Watch the movie, it's fun. The sequel, though less well paced, also has lots of fun with intertextuality as the hero and heroine go movie hopping through Frankenstein, Alien, a Bruce Campbell thing, and more.

Waxwork )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Title: Behind Blue Eyes
Fandom: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Music: by The Who (edited)
Length: 2:13
Summary: HAL just wants to be loved.
Content notes: Morbid humor, character death.
Physical notes: Some camera spinning and odd angles/vantages.
Thanks: to [personal profile] synn for beta comments, and also [profile] disgruntledowl and R.
A/N: A treat for [profile] cherryice for [community profile] festivids 2016-2017. Inspired in part by I Think We're Alone Now by [personal profile] sweetestdrain. Originally posted here.

Look, it just happened: I was skimming the requests list alongside my song collection, thought of this match, saw cherry's Dear Festividder letter -- "You could go against type and work with delightfully incongruous music" -- and knew I had to give it a try. Quite possibly the idea wouldn't have occurred to me if it hadn't been for sweetestdrain's Club Vivid vid cited above. Two drafts later -- after the first attempt, I felt the middle needed to be sped up more and beta watchers felt the end needed to be slowed down more -- we have this.

Slowing down music in Premiere is a b*tch, by the way; there's no time remapping feature. Possibly all you Premiere vidders know this, but I did not. Because I preferred to do it in Premiere and not, say, Audacity, I ended up cutting the audio track into pieces and slowing down each one a certain percentage more than the last, cross-fading where needed and checking the box to maintain the original pitch. Of course, not even that worked the first time, because there's a bug or something in Premiere where doing the above makes the whole edited section go mute. Turns out you have to switch the timeline settings from 44100 Hz to 48000 Hz or vice versa so it's whatever your song isn't.

Anyway, enjoy this vid that may be either hilarious or creepy depending on your POV. Personally, I cackled through making it. The slow zoom I added to HAL's eye on "to be hated" and the rise of the shuttle pod on "my dreeeeeeeeeams" are some of my favorite parts. On the creepy side, I also really like Dave's head tilting right after "vengeance."

HAL )

ETA: This vid screened at Vidukon 2017 (Festivids vid show)!
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Title: Going through space with the world
Fandom: RPF – Chris Hadfield
Music: Intro to "Act on Impulse" by We Were Promised Jetpacks
Length: 2:08
Summary: From "day in the life of an astronaut" videos to international stardom; or, Chris Hadfield and his adorable mustache.
Content notes: None.
Physical notes: The camera is generally stationary, but microgravity = lots of things float around + Hadfield often appears sideways or upside-down.
Thanks: to [personal profile] stultiloquentia for beta.
A/N: A treat for [personal profile] thirdblindmouse for [community profile] festivids 2016-2017. Title from Hadfield's TED Talk; footage from the Canadian Space Agency and other sources. Originally posted here.

This source request caught my eye during the nominations period, and after seeing tbm's Dear Festividder letter, it actually became the first vid I started making, while assignments were still being determined. I had only known Chris Hadfield from a couple of those "What happens when you wring out a washcloth in space" clips and his music video, but soon after starting research for the vid I fell for his other "how to" videos, his smiles and sense of wonder and commitment to education.

I wanted to make something that showed the expansion of joy from schoolchildren to science/space fans to celebrities and guest appearances and was on the lookout for an instrumental piece that built accordingly without being super long, so I was glad to re-stumble upon this song in an NPR guide to last year's SXSW.

And as surmised, a couple of people did guess that [profile] cherryice had made this, because science + Canada. :)

Hadfield )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Title: She Walks In Beauty
Fandom: Let the Right One In
Pairing: Eli/Oskar
Music: by Sissel Kyrkjebø and Nicholas Dodd, adapted from the poem by Lord Byron
Length: 2:07
Summary: All that's best of dark and bright / Meet in her aspect and her eyes.
Content notes: Blood, brief gruesome injury, underage relationship.
Thanks: To [personal profile] anoel for cheering me on on Twitter, even though she didn't know this was the vid I was struggling with.
Physical notes: I don't think any.
A/N: A treat for [personal profile] quizkwatsh for [community profile] festivids 2016-2017. I'm sorry this turned out more Eli/Oskar than just Eli. Originally posted here.

This vid took four or five tries to make, including a couple of afternoons where I was ready to throw the whole thing out the window. Despite that, and even though I hadn't expected the middle sequences to feature so much linear narrative, I'm glad it finally came together; I'd been wanting to set this source to this song for a while and to try to play up the haunting quality of the refrain, the mix of horror and allure bundled together in Eli's character. I wonder if it worked for people, since the original post didn't get much feedback.

Personal favorite parts are the opening clip, Oskar making up his mind and hugging/accepting his new vampire friend as the music swells, and the cute "grr"s at the end. I had hoped to make that arm-stroking clip quite long, overlaid on the attacks, but I couldn't figure out how to do it the way I envisioned. Oh, well.

In other news, I thought this vid had "bironic" written all over it, but no one guessed me for it at the guessing post. Or rather, no one took a guess at all for it. Maybe because few people watched it? IDK. Stealth achievement unlocked?

eli )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I have solved the problem of effort by not actually writing out why I like these vids; will do so in comments to the vids themselves, and to the dozen+ others I enjoyed. Also, I will not say whether any vids by me are on this list.

ETA: Now with vidders' names added.

First, shoutout to To the Edge, which was made for ME by [personal profile] elipie for the French erotic thriller Stranger By the Lake. \o/ My thoughts are at the post.

OTHER FAVES, organized by FEELINGS

D:
escape the day by [personal profile] leanwellback (for quizkwatsh) - 10 Cloverfield Lane
Human by [personal profile] hollywoodgrrl (for kiki_miserychic) - The Keeping Room
Voodoo In My Blood by [personal profile] hollywoodgrrl (for evewithanapple) - The Witch

:(
English Summer Rain by [personal profile] violace (for theletterelle) - How I Live Now

:,)
Little Man by [personal profile] odessie (for Little Heaven) - How To Dad
Gone, Gone, Gone by [personal profile] fiercynn (for niyalune) - One Hundred and One Dalmatians

:,|
Battle Cry by [personal profile] thingswithwings (for himundergreen) - Luke Cage

:,(
A Better Son/Daughter by [personal profile] eruthros (for cupidsbow) - RPF - Carrie Fisher and Gary - vidder's notes

o_o
May Fortune Favor the Foolish by [personal profile] actiaslunaris (for larissabernstein) - Galaxy Quest
Two Against One by [personal profile] seekingferret (for skygiants) - Blazing Saddles

:)
Get Loud by [personal profile] heresluck (for Anoel) - Ghostbusters (2016)

<3
You're So Beautiful by [personal profile] anoel (for eruthros) - The Get Down

\o/
Tanz aus der Reihe by [personal profile] violace (for bingeling) - Ku'damm 56

:D
500 Miles by [personal profile] elipie (for such heights) - Pokémon GO

Notable especially for editing technique:
Wriggle by [personal profile] thuviaptarth (for Anoel) - UnREAL
Brooklyn Gamma by [personal profile] bingeling (for Scribe) - Killjoys


One thing I like about [community profile] festivids is the opportunity for exposure to unfamiliar movies, TV shows, graphic novels etc. So it makes me sad when people talk about skimming the masterlist for fandoms they're familiar with and then stopping there. Yes, a few of the vids will feel inaccessible, and some will be spoilery, but lots more are made to be enticing and/or to provide all the context a viewer needs.

Preaching to the choir here, maybe.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Hwooof, that was a tough week, but this weekend was the best that's happened in a while, so all's well that ends well, I guess.

(It was just a trough of stress. Political stuff, work stuff, probably body chemistry stuff. I am finally getting started with seeing a therapist and then I missed an appointment because I was so discombobulated I thought it was the next day. I had never missed a doctor's appointment before. I felt so stupid until [personal profile] deelaundry said a kind thing that hadn't occurred to me: When I said, "I look like a flake," she countered with, "You look like someone who needs help." Self-compassion is a thing it would be nice to learn.)

The good stuff:

Socializing: In support of this year's goal to get together more often with friends I like to talk to and/or want to get to know better, a few of us went to a play yesterday and had a satisfying coffee shop chat afterwards, and then I accepted an unexpected invitation to another blossoming friend's low-key Superbowl dinner. All good.

The play was called Trans Scripts, a synthesis/melding of interviews with trans women from the US/UK/Aus. It was elegant, illuminating and well acted -- two cast members were particularly strong -- although I thought it faltered in a few spots when it shifted from "showing" through anecdotes to plain proselytizing. [personal profile] marginaliana wrote up some of her thoughts.

A phone conversation the previous night:
95-year-old grandpa: Oh! I didn't expect you to be home on a Saturday night. I thought you'd be out with your friends.
Me: No, I'm boring. Well, I'm going to see a play tomorrow, but it's a matinee.
Grandpa: Oh, yeah? What is it about?
Me, bracing myself: It's based on interviews with transgender women about their lives.
Grandpa: Oh. You know, there's this woman I know from the temple, who lives with another woman, and it turns out they're--what do you call it--lesbians? Lesbians?
Me: Mm-hm!
Grandpa: So that's very interesting! I just knew them as women from the temple, you know.
#NotAllGrandpas

Doing: Had a computer-free day Saturday involving a mall run, errands and two movies. In addition to some necessaries for work and winter weather, I treated myself to a grommet-studded cut-out shirt that I probably won't wear anywhere but at home and Club Vivid (because I am me) but love anyway.

Reading: Was delighted by Unbeatable Squirrel Girl vols 1-2: plucky, witty, metatextual, intertextual, often involved the defusing of supervillainy through psychology/sympathy rather than fisticuffs. The '80s horror of Paper Girls turns out to be not as much my aesthetic, although the introduction of overlapping timestreams in vol. 2 is getting interesting.

Watching: Saw Moonlight and Lion. Loved the first and really liked the second; cried through them both; my heart aches for Chiron. Hope to see I Am Not Your Negro and Hidden Figures this week. Catching up on what I missed in Dec-Jan when too much else was going on.

Vidding: I remain in the planning stages of the two auction vids, and am figuring out if I can make the multifandom Club Vivid vid I've been preparing since the fall or if it'll need to wait another year. I watched all the [community profile] festivids -- slim masterlist this year, half the usual total -- but haven't commented on any or recced any here because I'm afraid the gaps would give away what I made, and the thought of doing fake comments/recs to throw off the scent makes me tired. I'll probably just post the rec list after reveals.

Cooking: A pleasurable week is in store of chicken breast and goat cheese sandwiches for lunch and stuffed cabbage for dinner. Also, the supermarket was selling chocolate-covered banana chips, which I didn't know was a thing but I am all over it, mm. Banana chips were such a treat when I was a kid.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Oh, wow. That post the other day, when I tried once more to describe that weird thing that's happened on and off for 20 years? I went and dug up a diary entry I remembered making about it in high school, and there were a couple more symptoms mentioned in it that match the clinical description of simple partial temporal lobe seizures: Behind the cut if you are curious )

I'd forgotten about the stronger physical manifestations; they don't seem to happen anymore. Even though we don't have a family history of epilepsy and my parents confirm I wasn't dropped on my head as a child :), I really wonder if that's what's up! I will ask my doctor about it the next time I have an appointment (and will stop talking about it in the meantime because probably this is not super interesting to read about if it's not happening to you). Er, and hope that if this does turn out to be the explanation, it doesn't open a can of worms of tests or "preexisting conditions."

But I do want to say thanks for inspiring me to think this through and revisit those internet searches. Knowing you are there to talk to -- or to post to -- means a lot.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Five Festivids. Five fandoms. Three and a half months. One satisfied bironic. We'll see what the recipients think this weekend.

I've only managed to make this many Festivids once before, in 2012, but that entailed three for one fandom (Big Eden) and two for another (Dead Poets Society), so this feels like an even bigger accomplishment. Part of the key was getting started early, like October early, especially given what happened in RL soon after assignments went out, and not doing anything particularly ambitious.

That brings my seven-year Festivids total to 23 vids created and 7 received. Interesting.

*

More things I can't say about these vids: )

*

I've got to call it quits now; am behind on other tasks. (Have got to stop reading the news, too, for a little while, before I become incapable of functioning.) Good luck to those of you who are still working on treats, and hooray for everyone who's looking forward to watching the glut of new vids in less than three days!
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
First of all, thank you to everyone who posted photos or descriptions of your experiences at Saturday's marches.

After much angst, I chose to stay with my mom rather than to go the NYC rally. In the end, that turned out all right. The marches clearly had robust attendance, and while at home I was able to open my mom's eyes to the scale of the movement and the nature of the marchers' concerns—she hadn't known about the events at all and said she'd never seen anything like it, even given the Vietnam protests of the '60s—and spend more time debating her boyfriend, a staunch conservative who honest to goodness argued with TV coverage by shouting, "What about white people?" and "All lives matter!"

Not to mention that having all-day news and social media access gave us clearer access to speakers, performers and commentators and a broader perspective across the nation and the world than would have been possible while packed into a crowd.

Instead of berating myself for being on that day the sort of complicit bystander we decry in history classes, I try to remind myself that witnessing is also important.

.

Executive orders. Cabinet confirmations. Federal hiring freezes and gag rules.* Lies and distractions and tangled-up media relations. Standing Rock now, too, OMG. I only have so many dollars to donate, so one of the things I did today was ask the [tumblr.com profile] FandomTrumpsHate mods to extend an invitation to the runner-up in my vid auction in addition to the winner. We'll see if she's interested. If I can raise $210 for charity, that's another drop in the bucket of resistance. Or some metaphor that makes more sense.

I'll definitely be making a vid for the winner, though: [personal profile] deelaundry! We are discussing options.

*I worked at an HHS agency for several years; I'm very glad I'm not there right now, for both practical and ideological reasons. Friends who are Feds or contractors, I hope you know my thoughts are with you.

.

I've created a new DW/LJ tag, "politics," both for organization purposes and so those of you who want to can unsubscribe from it. That said, I still intend for this journal to remain primarily a fannish space.

.

And now for something a little lighter.

A few months back, Dee gave me a Liz Climo 2017 daily calendar. It is punching above its weight in emotional support. Today's cartoon is going to get tacked to the bulletin board:

image behind the cut )

Meanwhile, Mr. [personal profile] deelaundry gifted me a subscription to a monthly spice mix service. I had never belonged to one of those food-by-mail clubs before and wasn't sure what to expect, but the first trio of envelopes arrived yesterday and it’s a winner: four types of red chiles ground together, a cumin-oregano rub, and za'atar, with recipes curated by the head chef of the marvelous café at the National Museum of the American Indian. I have a baggie of sumac in the kitchen, but you can never have enough.

Tonight, hoping to finish the last Festivids treat. Golive on Saturday is a light at the end of the week.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I've been feeling weird these last few days. Current events? Inexplicable insomnia? Hormones? The anxiety of returning to "real life" after a 9-day break? All of the above? Who knows. I had a sort-of-nightmare the other morning and have been skirting the edge of That Feeling at bedtime, which I should write about again one of these days.

(I've done some reading since that last post and found some similarities to my experience in descriptions of the auras that can precede temporal lobe seizures, although I don't have seizures. Even if it's not the same as what's been happening to me, I did derive comfort from hearing that one of the features of the psychic/experiential components of such auras is that they're hard to describe. The only consistent trigger pattern I've been able to piece together is a combination of exhaustion and exposure to some media manifestation of raw male sexuality that elicits an attraction-repulsion response, but why the phenomenon doesn't occur every time those factors coincide remains a mystery.)

This time, it was set off by the hair of a low-budget Fabio-type guy in an, er, adult video clip. Last time, May 2016, it happened while hearing the opening lines of "I Found" by Amber Run as the long-haired actor in the music video* got out of the car and opened the front door to the house. See also: Yul Brynner in the dream sequence in Futureworld, Maman coming into the room in one particular scene in Slumdog Millionaire, Guy Pearce's face in part of [personal profile] elipie's haunting On My Way Home (Two Brothers) vid, the chorus of Linkin Park's "Castle of Glass," all the examples in the previous post…

*warning: kidnapping.

Okay, I guess I'm writing about it now and not later. :)

ETA: Hmmmmmmm, on further reading it sounds like "aura" for temporal lobe epilepsy can mean the experience preceding a complex partial seizure (loss of consciousness, twitching/lip smacking, language difficulty, etc.) OR the description of a simple partial seizure/focal seizure itself. So maybe the latter is what is going on?? How nice it would be to put a term to this.

ETA 2: Follow-up post
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I.

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

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

II.

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

*Geekiest hand of the game

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

III.

Persuant to the above:

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

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

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

IV.

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

V.

Okay, she's out of the shower, so that's all for now. Hope you're all hanging in there.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I'm offering a custom-made vid as part of the [tumblr.com profile] fandomtrumpshate charity auction! Bidding is now open, and runs through Jan. 19.

Context: What is this? What charities are eligible?

Here is my contributor profile on Tumblr, and here is the list of vids I've made to date. The short version of what I'm offering, which will look familiar if you remember last year's Vividcon auction, is:
TV shows: Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Stargate: Atlantis, Roar

Movies: Star Trek before the reboots (especially 2/4/7). I'm a big movie fan and am open to lots of one-off possibilities. Feel free to contact me ahead of time to check something you have in mind; otherwise, probably best to have more than one idea so we can find the best match for us.

In general: If it's science fiction or if it has vampires in it, chances are good. Another "yes" is movies that involve Paul Bettany, Vin Diesel, Sarah Polley, mid-career Jeff Goldblum, Alexander Siddig, Vincent Perez or Thomas Kretschmann. You can browse stuff I've loved (& not loved) in the last few years at my movie reviews tag – maybe you'll spot your fave(s) there, including many non-English-language films. Also, here is a random sampling of DVDs I own in case it's helpful: Queen of the Damned, Bride of Frankenstein, Little Women, Care Bears Movie II, Inkheart, Inception, Priest (the one with Linus Roache), Stargate, Queen Margot, X-Men.

Dance: I'm also a casual fan of ballet and Irish dance, and it could be interesting to try to vid a performance or a ballet-themed movie if you're into that.
How bidding works

(See also What to ask before you bid)

Here is the bidding spreadsheet where you can see who has bid on my offering so far, and here is the bidding form if you want to enter your own bid. I hope at least somebody bids before the end or this will be embarrassing, heh.

Several friends with top-notch skills, including scribe (who's offering a vid), thedeadparrot (fic), stultiloquentia (fic or beta), celli (fic or beta/culture-pick), ETA: serrico, likeadeuce, monanotlisa, and I'm sure more, are also participating. You can go to [tumblr.com profile] fandomtrumpshateofferings and enter names, fandoms, or fanwork types in the search bar at the top.

Feel free to link this around, reblog the contributor post, etc.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
This general uptick in Dreamwidth activity has been great. Hello, new friending meme people! I should do an intro post soon about things I'm into these days. Tonight, though, I am packing for a trip to my mom's and more or less beta-watching a documentary by a coworker. Or—*checks clock*—possibly neither of these things. It was sort of a rough day.

Reading update: Three books came in today at the library: Binti and Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, spurred by the monthly SF/F book club I go to, and A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women by Siri Hustvedt, which I am excited to dig into but may have to return and re-request because it's only a week-long loan and I'll be out of state when it's due back. Alas. Meanwhile, I've been picking through the e-book of Speculative Fiction 2014: The Year's Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary, a collection of reprints of SF/F fandom meta. [personal profile] thingswithwings is in there!

Writing update: Need to work on an essay for a zine that's coming out in the spring, since it's due at the end of January. Details TBA. It sounds like it's gonna be cool.

Vidding update: Last fall on Twitter, I asked:

I'm happy to report that the answer is Yes. In fact, I may be able to squeeze in a fifth. It depends on how it goes at my mom's (she's having surgery; I'm making no commitments), but I've rewatched the source and started laying a few clips on the timeline. It's an idea I had a few [community profile] festivids ago and never got a chance to make somebody.

If that's not vague enough for you, how about this?

Statements I can't make about Festivids in progress )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
(-) My mom is having semi-elective abdominal surgery next week. If all goes as planned, I'll drive down to NY when she's discharged from the hospital to help with the initial recovery at home, which is supposed to be slow but smooth -- but things never seem to go as planned when it comes to her health. Wish us luck?

[Mutters to self: Positives, positives, focus on positives.]

(+) First Festivid submitted! Other drafts continue apace.

(+) I signed up to offer a vid through [tumblr.com profile] FandomTrumpsHate. They say more than 500 fan creators are participating! Bidding will run Jan. 12-20.

(+) My officemate's departure means I now get the window side of the room. I'm all moved in, and I and my spider plants are enjoying the light.

(+) I got to do lunch, brunch, Christmas light ogling and first-night-of-Hanukkah activities with [personal profile] roga, who came to the U.S. over the holidays, and [personal profile] thedeadparrot, who hosted her. We lit a well-traveled menorah and made many potato latkes and caught up on everyone's lives. ♥

(+) Saw Moana with [twitter.com profile] windtheme. Brief faves: ) Hanging with [twitter.com profile] windtheme was lovely. I have an informal goal this year to spend more time with a few Boston-area fan people I'd like to get to know better, if the feeling is mutual.

(+) Visited [personal profile] deelaundry and family, which I used to do all the time when I lived in DC and had been missing since coming up north. A lovely respite filled with friend time, good food (that I didn't have to cook myself), movies & TV, and a bit of touristing. One highlight was seeing the restored original model of the U.S.S. Enterprise at the Air & Space Museum! They turn on the blinky lights every few hours and everything.

We also watched Rogue One, which I liked fine* and which I thought really enriched the story of A New Hope; the current season so far of Brooklyn 99, good fun; and a pair of AMAZING early '70s horror-comedies, Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein. More details, pix, fic idea )

*Except this and that and the other thing, but now is not the time.

(-) Yuletide as usual made me crabby, #UnpopularFannishOpinion, although there is a promising Grantchester fic I'd like to try. However, the universe separately provided a second fic by that Vampire Chronicles author who made me happy the other week: In the Trials of the Heart by [archiveofourown.org profile] monstersinthecosmos (10,500 words, rated M), Armand/Daniel, Daniel/Marius and combinations thereof.

...Sorry, stored up too many things for one post!

Tags

Style Credit

Syndicate

RSS Atom