bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[ profile] synn and I went to Universal Studios in Orlando to celebrate our twentieth friendiversary! The main purpose, besides seeing each other, was to wander around Harry Potter World.

We were dorks, albeit adventurous ones. W/pix. )

I am glad to be out of the land of $20 sandwiches and ubiquitous soundtracks, though. Whew.

Obviously this hurricane season is a nightmare and a lot of people fall somewhere between inconvenienced and in dire straits, and I'm doing what I can do help, but at the same time I was selfishly glad that our timing worked out so that we made it there and back between storms. I met some people on the flight down who were hoping to find their houses relatively undamaged and some families at the hotel who were waiting for power to be restored from Orlando and Tampa all the way down to Miami. Good luck to everyone.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
(Back to the strategy of posting about single, manageable topics. If "tell friends about Readercon!" feels like too much today, I shall instead share a happy discovery.)

I don't know why any of you would remember this, but hey, anyone remember a year ago spring when I admitted to a 24-hour crush on a long-haired actor in a music video*--one with just the right combination of sexy and scary (+ minor chords) to coincide with That Feeling**?

*"I Found" by Amber Run; warning for abduction plotline

**which at this point I should just call "maybe-aura" or something more articulate

Well, last night I was going through some favorited YouTube videos--which I don't remember to do often enough; it was nice--and watched that one some more. It inspired me to try again to find the actor's name. I hadn't had any luck last year, but this time either I did it right or there was new information out there. Lo: His name is Jon Campling.

Screen shot of man with long, gray hair in front of an RV. Image has a Vevo watermark

Knowing a name means being able to check IMDB, which says he's been in a bunch of indie movies and commercials, so there are more things I can check out to enjoy his face. And, hey--turns out I already have, because he was the Christopher Lee-looking Death Eater who stopped the Hogwarts Express train in Deathly Hallows Pt 1! See also this. And I guess Final Fantasy XV players might know him as King Regis?

It also transpires that he's from my extended family's hometown in Hull, England. ♥

Today I learned that he has a Twitter. A quick scroll revealed that a fringe play he's in is coming to NYC in September! So, uh, I'm quite tempted to go see it, since this 24-hour crush doesn't seem to be 24 hours anymore and tickets are all of, appropriately, $24. It doesn't sound like something I'd normally pick out of a lineup, but Campling does play Satan....

NYC friends, does anyone want to see a random off-Broadway play called TRIPPIN on the evening of Saturday 9/9? There's another interesting-looking one that afternoon called MENGELE.
bironic: Fred reading a book,looking adorable (fred reading)
One of the local Little Free Libraries had a copy of The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman and that finally motivated me to start reading His Dark Materials after all these years. People were super into them around the time we were going to Harry Potter aca-cons and of course there've been a million fannish AUs but I never got around to trying the series, other than going to see that forgettable film adaptation.

After an uncertain start, I got really into it, especially the human-dæmon relationships. I hadn't realized how into it until I found myself choking up at the descriptions of spoilery ). Also I hadn't realized how explicitly Pullman described what happens between dæmons when their humans get frisky together. Many years late to this party.

I bought the other two books yesterday and will read them in & around the new Harry Potter one that I pre-ordered but haven't picked up yet.

Obv. there are things to enjoy and things to critique and thinky stuff about Pullman's reaction to C.S. Lewis and the Church but we are not here for in-depth analysis right now. Work is rough these days as we undergo managerial transitions and as a result my entertainment has swung toward pleasure and comfort. See also: I've taken a break from vid-research movies and just rewatched the Twilight series. Well, that's sort of for vid research too, but a different project, and I wasn't taking notes. And I rewatched the beginning of the terrible-but-I-don't-care TV show Roar from 1997, because my heart.

Was sad to miss con.txt this weekend and all the friends who go with it. At least there's only a week and a half 'til Vividcon. Hang in there, self: Hugs and vids and conversation and mini-vacation are nigh.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
I dreamt a terrible dream about Voldemort ripping the side off a trailer where Harry, Hermione and Ron were hiding in a storm, and taunting Harry to come out into the driving rain and face him.

Then I fell back asleep and dreamt about sitting in John Hannah's lap while he kissed my neck.

And talking to Michael Dorn about the shows we'd acted in together, while Avery Brooks and the rest of the DS9 cast played Frisbee in a carnival field.


Last night at the Coolidge Corner Theater I got to see the filmed version of the play Skylight, written by David Hare and starring Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy. I'd tried to get a last-minute ticket while we were in London this summer, but no dice. They filmed it a few nights later.

It was just as fabulous as anticipated. Stellar writing and acting. Compelling characters whose backgrounds and motivations and flaws and strengths complicate with each turn of the conversation. Who also symbolize without being reduced to symbols. Good quality recording, other than a few microphone blips like when Mulligan would tuck her hair behind her ear or how loud a pot of sautéing vegetables sounded depending on her angle to the stove.

I'd known it was about a young woman re-encountering an older man she'd had an affair with years earlier. I hadn't known it was more broadly about classism and sexism and terminal illness and cultural tensions between people who pursue business (Nighy's character) and people who pursue careers like teaching and social work (Mulligan's), and whether there can be reconciliation between them (embodied by Nighy's character's son, Edward, played by Matthew Beard). As Hare said in an interview onscreen during the intermission, it was relevant in the 90s when he wrote it on the heels of the Thatcher era, and it's relevant now after (or during?) a similar governmental attitude, there and here.

Turns out the play is coming to NYC in the spring with the same cast. Very much recommended if you're local. If I hadn't seen it last night, I'd go. While the film version of course lacked the vibrancy of attending a live performance, the irony was I was able to see the actors' faces and the details of the set more clearly than would be possible in an affordable theater seat.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Just back from 10 days in NY with family. Tired. Glad to be home.

The first weekend was fun. Caught up with my dad, took a fantastic boat ride alongside Manhattan with my mom )

pix )

Surgery went well )

I brought podcasts and stuff to read out loud, but she couldn't concentrate on them. We watched/listened to/napped through a lot of TV. Mostly unengaging cooking and real estate shows, unless you count HGTV Bingo (stainless steel appliances! granite countertops! open concept kitchen! I can't buy this house, I don't like the interior paint color!) but by the end we did manage some good stuff IMO. Like Galaxy Quest, which we'd all seen enough times to know everything that was going on without needing to actually see it, and the second half of Jurassic Park and the first half of The Lost World. They hadn't seen The Lost World. I reminisced about reading the book back when I was a teenager mooning over Ian Malcolm and delighting in the suspense of the trailer scene in particular. I remember re-reading it on a day trip tour bus while on a family vacation in England. My dad probably kept elbowing me to put the book down and look out the window like he'd been doing on trips for years.

Also caught part of a Jesse Stone movie marathon. My mom liked Magnum PI Tom Selleck. My sister liked the golden retriever. My ears pricked up when commercials promised a new one at 9 p.m., but it turned out to be the "cable premiere" and I'd already seen it on Netflix. Alas.

And a Harry Potter DVD marathon from Prisoner of Azkaban to Deathly Hallows Part One. That was great. My mom got really into Deathly Hallows. I… thought I would have more to say here about HP, particularly regarding the experience of rewatching after so long away, and also about the Marauders generation on film, and also also how nifty it was to see the films for the first time since going to visit the sets in Watford, but either that was wrong or it's too close to collapsing-into-bed time to collect ruminations right now. TBD.

At some point I'll catch up on Doctor Who etc. Just have to get through four workdays, a networking event and an Atul Gawande book reading/signing first. Then a holiday weekend and a Vin Diesel movie night at [ profile] thedeadparrot's. Woo.
bironic: (sirius remus potter)
One day on our London trip we had the opportunity to catch a train up to Leavesden to tour the Harry Potter movie sets.

It was so much fun. I had been feeling lukewarm on HP, but as soon as we pulled up to the studios I started to get excited, and when it turned out that they had not only sets you could walk through but also costumes and wigs and prints and statues and items like the Triwizard Tournament trophy and the locket/horcrux that Regulus Black stole, things turned into allcaps. SIRIUS AND REMUS'S COSTUMES! THE NOBLE AND MOST ANCIENT HOUSE OF BLACK FAMILY TAPESTRY! THE MARAUDERS' MAP! SNAPE'S CLASSROOM! LUCIUS MALFOY'S WIG! THE BRIDGE FROM CUARON'S POA!

All in all, we spent about four hours there including a stop in the middle for sandwiches and butterbeer. (I had not known butterbeer was not beer. It was cream soda with a butterscotch-flavored foam topping. [ profile] deelaundry ordered one and let me try a sip. She is such a world traveler that she has now had butterbeer at both locations it is officially offered. :) The other being in Orlando, FL.)

Photo overview )

This link takes you to a slideshow version:

If you'd rather page through each photo, they are behind the cut. )

It was just astounding how much time, skill and money went into creating the visual version of this world.

Our only issue besides the difficulty of obtaining tickets -- word to the wise, plan further ahead -- was the gift shop. It was big and fun and colorful and all that, but they lost a major opportunity to make money off us when they didn't offer many print items. They had a few lovely prints in frames, but they were signed limited editions and quite expensive. No Marauders' Map, no prints of the concept art (permissions issue?), no acceptance letters or tickets to Hogwarts, no Umbridge proclamations, etc. I'm sure they had their reasons, but *shrug*. The merchandise was mostly clothes, candy and trinkets, heavily skewed toward Gryffindor, with a few luxury items like jewelry and really nice reproductions of Lucius' cane and a Firebolt broom and whatnot.

But that was minor, really, and there's always Etsy.

I was thinking about it again yesterday and concluded that the only world it would have been more personally thrilling/fulfilling to step into was that of Deep Space Nine. Am still bitter sad the Las Vegas attraction closed before I was able to visit it.

Anyway, hope that was enjoyable for some of you. It certainly was for us.
bironic: (sirius remus potter)
Five years ago (eesh), I dropped out of Remix because I felt what I'd written so far was too close to the original story and also because I didn't know how to end it. [personal profile] bell, who volunteered to beta at the time and who is smart, intuited that part of the problem lay in my not knowing what point I wanted to make about young women who develop crushes on their teachers.

It was a Hermione/Remus story. I read the draft yesterday for the first time since 2009 and found a lot to like in it, prose- and emotions-wise. But once more, I am drawing a blank on how to rescue it.

In the meantime, it's given me a hankerin' for Hermione/Remus stories. Or Hermione/Remus/Sirius. Trouble is, hardly any of them are on the AO3 because of their age. What's still around from mid-2000s HP fandom? What was that overwhelming archive with the mauve background, Adult Fanfiction dot net or something? Whoo, memory lane. I was so into Snape/Hermione back then, plus of course Remus/Sirius.

Long story long: Any recs to satisfy this little pang of nostalgia? Any rating would be fine.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Looks like I'll be going back to NY next week to help my dad clear out some of his stuff from the basement. That means it's time to sell some of my own things that we set aside last time.

I wanted to ask all of you first if you're interested in any of the items below, since they're fannish or fannish-adjacent.

Haven't had time to price everything out, so if something looks appealing to you, want to just make an offer? I will also ask you to cover the shipping, and promise to use the least expensive option when I go to the post office. Also if you love something but are strapped for $, drop me a line.

To borrow a note from thingswithwings, who's having her own sale: unfortunately the US mail service is awful, and even a small package being sent internationally (even to Canada!) is at least $20. So I'm happy to ship anywhere, but be aware that you'd be paying a lot for shipping if you don't live in the U.S.

All right, on to the inventory. For books, assume paperback unless otherwise noted:

Star Trek books )

SF/F )

Fannish books )

Arthurian )

Greek/Roman )

Poetry & Lit )

Misc. books )

Fannish toys/games/objects )

Arts & crafts supplies )

Also a ton of '80s and early '90s board games and stuff (Topple, Headache, Pizza Party, MTV Remote Control, etc.), although my sister may want to try our luck on eBay.

Probably forgot stuff, too. Will check back in when I remember.

Feel free to point friends here if you like. It would be really nice to clear these things out and know they're going to good homes. (Which the unclaimed items also will when we donate them.)


Drop a comment or PM or email if you'd like anything. I'm pretty sure PayPal will work, or we can chat about alternatives. I'll be most easily able to take stuff to the post office next week, but if you're interested or maybe-interested and that's too soon, let me know and I'll set it aside or take it back down to DC with me.
bironic: (sirius remus potter)
Wrote 3,600 words or so this weekend. \o/ Will write some more tonight, if all goes well—John/Radek for Kink Bingo.

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

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


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

3 more doodles )

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

Those were the days.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
The possibly not interesting stuff:

Thanks to the matcha powder I got in Annapolis and a simple recipe (mix 1 tsp matcha + 1 tbsp warm water to form paste, + 1 cup milk + ½ tbsp sugar, or substitute flavored soy milk and nix the sugar), I can now make iced green tea lattes whenever I want. Take that, Starbucks! Now I never have to go there again. Matcha powder was one of the more expensive teas in the store, but it's far cheaper than buying the equivalent number of lattes. Not that I get more than a few each summer.

Ordered a new, non-broken laptop, which arrived last week. It's not perfect, but I like it overall. It's an ultraportable business model (that was on sale/rebate/employee discount for almost half off, hurrah, plus contributions from both parents as a birthday present), so it's light and should be stable with better tech support, although it also means there's no optical drive and the keyboard isn't very much fun to type on. To balance out the smaller screen, it has a webcam, six hours of battery life and several times more storage space than I was dealing with, which says more about the pitiful capacity of my old laptop than the moderate size of the new one. Anyway, I should now be able to do things like watch Netflix and save Word documents without having to worry about the system freezing.

Just in time to bring it with me on three weekend trips next month without feeling like there's a brick in my backpack. \o/

The possibly more interesting stuff:

Tried to finish the SGA tentacle dildo fic but am still stuck at ~800 words. Have no idea where the story goes after John and Rodney get on the bed. :/

Have seen some good movies lately:

Sunshine (2007) with Cillian Murphy and Michelle Yeoh )

Beginners (2010) with Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor )

Harry Potter 7.2 – with spoilers )

And in conclusion, your moment of Zen:

"If you come home and your parrot says 'Who's a pretty boy?' that's one thing. But if your monkey says it that's something else," said Christopher Shaw of the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. (source)

(For a more interesting article from the same day that also centered on animals in research, try this one about a Project Nim documentary. The "hug hug hug" anecdote is pretty amazing.)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
I still don't have a poem for you, but I do have a McSweeney's article: Waldageddon. That's right: Walden Pond, zombies, Hawthorne and Harry Potter.

"A werewoodchuck! It wished to suck out all the marrow of life."
bironic: (sirius remus potter)
Where are all the Harry Potter posts? Are you all seeing it now? Are you all at Azkatraz? Did I mistakenly assume everyone would rush out to see it in the first 24 hours? (There wasn't even a line at the movie theater here, although I did go at an off time, and they were running every half hour.) I'm really out of touch with this fandom.

Spoilers for book/movie six and a mention of something in seven. )
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
You may recall my adoration of advice columnist Cary Tennis. Today's pleasantly surprising article is no exception, both in subject and in response:

I'm addicted to Harry Potter fan fiction!

The supplicant is a post-doc in her 30's who's afraid her obsession with reading fanfiction is impacting her professional and familial lives. In his lamentably brief but characteristically incisive response, Cary asks her some pointed questions about why she feels it is shameful and wrong to be immersed in these fantasies, invoking perceived social expectations of wives/mothers and academics and readers/writers and people in general, highbrow/lowbrow tensions, the suppression of imagination, and why it is a bad thing that she is not perhaps perfectly well-adjusted:
Is it you, I'm saying, or is it the world you're living in? Addicted? Full of shame? Shame about what? You say it hasn't killed you yet? No, it's keeping you alive, I dare say.

And who could blame you for crossing the line, when the fences between reader and text and writer have rotted and fallen anyway, when we are all enmeshed like strangers on a train in the same humming engine of creation and retelling?
(Also, I confess I'm a little in love with his reference to "the clitorectomy of the Ph.D.")
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
"The Beautiful Hospital" by Sally Tisdale (Salon, April 4, 2007)

An article on hospitals and doctors in medical dramas (specifically, House, E.R., St. Elsewhere, Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs) as compared with the hospital in which the writer works as a nurse.
The real message of medical shows is that brilliance goes hand in hand with emotional retardation. While this may be a debatable point, it has little to do with medicine as it is usually practiced. Most of the physicians I know are easy to work with -- oncologists, by default, tend to be at ease with teamwork. They are collaborative and respectful and although a few are quite handsome, they fall short of model status. (Wilson, House's oncologist friend, is played by Robert Sean Leonard. If only.)

"In Praise of Fanfic" by Cory Doctorow (Locus Magazine, May 16, 2007)

An article by a writer, directed at other writers, supporting the practice of writing fanfiction, which he depicts as a tribute to the original writer, an ages-old tradition and a natural product of active reading. One of the most considered, level-headed and comprehensive overviews of fanfiction-writing I've seen lately.

And for a giggle:

"Continuing the Magic" by Lon Tweeten (Time, May 21, 2007)

Six Harry Potter real-life crossover/spoof book covers and summaries, including cameos by Simon Cowell and Michael Flatley. I dare someone to write one of them.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Hey, folks. Sorry for prolonged radio silence, both on the posting and the replying-to-comments fronts. Haven't been feeling quite myself lately; not so good for the creativity or the sociability.

First, a very happy and very belated birthday to [ profile] lysa1 and [ profile] noydb666. Lysa, I miss your wonderful sarcasm and wish you didn't live half a dozen time zones away. Here's to another year of your deliciously naughty fic and beautiful art. Noydb, you've got some fascinating insights and I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. Many happy returns to both of you.

Quick update on life: Thanksgiving weekend was nice, if too short -- got to meet some new people and see old friends, cooked and tidied a lot, attended a concert (Ryan Star), saw a play (Little Dog Laughed) and rented a movie (Amores Perros -- unofficial Oscar nominee for Highest Number of Dead or Dying Dogs on Film Ever). And brooded, but that's not much fun to talk about. I hope those of you who celebrated had a nice holiday and those of you who didn't celebrate had a nice not-holiday.

Watched Goblet of Fire Wednesday night and noticed for the first time that Voldemort's tongue is forked. Guess I was always too distracted during the part where he's pressing his thumb to Harry's scar and imitating his cries to see the double tip when his tongue slides out. Very cool.

My brain also pinged on the foreshadowing of Arthur's "That's my boy!" at the World Cup, after Crouch et al fire their collective "Stupefy!" at the trio. Man, that line still wrenches the proverbial guts at the end. Relatedly: [ profile] kabale, you may be pleased to know that there's a little post-Patronus you-voice in my head that comments on the painful irony when the band strikes up at Harry's reappearance.

Hey, yeah -- remember when I used to post about fandoms other than House? Here's a little something to make up for it. Sort of a disjointed and hastily-written musing on heroes, solitude, teamwork, facing enemies and hitting rock bottom that I want to try to get down before any more Tritter episodes air.

Cut for discussion of *previously-aired* House episodes *only*, with references to BtVS, Angel, Harry Potter and Star Trek. )
bironic: (sirius remus potter)
Aw, it's my first Harry Potter story! After years of reading it and writing about it, I have made a contribution of my own to the body of Marauders-era fanfic. Hard to believe it took this long. But it is here, and it is of course Remus/Sirius, and it was such fun to write and I love how it turned out. Go forth and enjoy!

Title: Third Time's the Charm
Author: [ profile] bironic
Requestor: [ profile] literati
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Sirius/Remus
Rating: R
Word Count: 4,130
Summary: Sirius finds a way to keep Remus quiet so they can get down to business.
Disclaimer: Was the third book called Remus Lupin and the Prisoner of Azkaban? Exactly.
A/N: Written for [ profile] slashfest for the prompt, "Silencing charms are used for a reason."
Acknowledgements: Thank you to [ profile] synn, [ profile] michelle_nine and [ profile] thewlisian_afer for the betas and [ profile] captain_tulip for the last-minute Britpick. You guys are the best.

"I've been thinking," Sirius said, "and I have come to a few realizations."

x-posted to [ profile] slashfest because stories must be archived only over there till the 13th.
ETA: And to [ profile] remusxsirius because [ profile] ryokophoenix is persuasive.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Have any of you seen "The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy" on Cartoon Network? It's worth it at least for the Jamaican Grim Reaper and in-jokes for sci fi/fantasy/horror fans. This afternoon they ran a Christmas special with Santa and Mrs. Claus as vampires, and it was on again tonight during Adult Swim as usual, only in this episode, "One Crazy Summoner," Billy declared that to rescue his parents from a giant snake they needed the help of wizards, who communicate through toilets; he led Mandy and Death to the bathroom, they got sucked through the plumbing to a beach somewhere, and they were greeted on shore by a spotty dark-haired kid with thick-framed glasses and a moon-shaped scar on his forehead. "Harry Potter!" I cried. "Right, sure, quiet down," said my TV-watching buddies. "No no! Harry Potter! Look -- scar, glasses, wizard!" They shushed me and we went back to the show. The kid introduced himself as Nigel Planter, a boy wizard just hitting puberty, and in a constantly breaking voice he said he was a Partial Tongue -- stuck out his tongue and there was a hole in it. "Oh HO!" said I in triumph. But it didn't end there.

Nigel Planter explained to our heroes that he needed help getting a girl. Cut to a saucy redhead lying on a beach towel (looked like Lily Evans 'f you ask me), name of Herfeffone. Nigel's main competition was a blond hulk of a young man with a thick Californian surfer accent, named Dirko Malfly. Hijinks ensued as they tried to help Nigel win Herfeffone's heart, complete with love potion (but no Snape!) and enchanted chocolates. Here's the kicker. The froggy Headmaster of Nigel's wizard school, Toadblatt School of Sorcery, dropped by and drank the love potion by mistake, and the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes was this giant squid who'd been playing guitar to a crowd. "Squiddy!" cried the Headmaster, and they rode off into the sunset on a jet ski, cartoon hearts trailing behind them.

Oh yes -- Nigel lost Herfeffone to hunky Dirko and fell in love with his chocolates instead, and Billy's parents got eaten by the snake. But I was almost too busy being astonished at the flagrant Dumbledore/Squid pairing to notice.

...Also, just scrolling through the episode listings on, there's another one called "Toadblatt's School of Sorcery" and one called "Nigel Planter and the Chamber Pot of Secrets" whose description reads, "Billy, Mandy and Grim return to Toadblatt's School of Sorcery to rescue Nigel Planter from the evil Lord Moldybutt." Seems the Headmaster/Dean and Giant Squid/Sorting Hat/Professor (voiced by Weird Al Yankovic, how about that) are in all three. Note to self: Keep an eye on the listings...
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
My suspicion that today would be a waste was confirmed when I arrived at work half an hour early and was already slacking off at 9:10, reading today's issue of Salon. One of many film reviews was for "The Old World," the pretty-looking one about Pocahontas with woodland chases and bare-chested natives; the review was soundly negative but made me laugh when it said "At one point high muckety-muck David Thewlis is summarily executed for being a jerk." I trust that wasn't an upsetting spoiler for any of you.

It really was a terrible idea to make us work all day when clients were clearly not in their own offices to call us. By early afternoon I'd given up and started skimming Sam's archive at sam_storyteller, the shorter stuff, all Marauders- or Remus-centric, mostly things I hadn't read already (though I gave "Pilgrimage" another go because I'd liked it so much back in the paper-writing days when I didn't have the time to appreciate it properly). I liked this little bit from a Remus/Lily story, "The Bowl of Lilacs":
"Father!" James announced proudly, turning to them.
"Dibs on godfather!" Sirius shouted.
It struck me as very Sirius, and a lighthearted but entirely plausible take on how he would have reacted to the news. But, being tired more than anything, I gravitated towards the more melancholic stories, and bless Sam, he portrays humor and sadness with equal skill. This passage stood out so much that I wanted to share it with you specifically. From a quiet post-OotP story called "You That Have Whetted Consciousness":
Crouched that way, eyes searching for something, Lupin looked like Harry imagined he did at school -- happier, full of mischief like his father and Sirius, young. James was twenty-one when he died, which means -- adding Harry's age onto that, less one -- Lupin is only in his thirties to begin with. Everyone his father's age looks older; Snape from bitterness, Sirius from prison, Lupin from his disease. A wrecked generation, Harry will think later, though for now he merely thinks it weird.
Good fic like that pulls at my chest in the same way the half-unaddressed tragic Marauder moments do in the books. If anyone has quiet, melancholic MWPP recs, not tipping into angst if you can help it, please pass them along; I'm in the mood.

Off for a hopefully rejuvenating Friday night with Hogfather (thanks, Cat, for the rec) and Jeremy Irons' syndicated radiocast from the Salzburg Mozart festival.

ETA: Oh yes. Also in Salon this morning, Wil Wheaton wrote in an editorial about the War On Christmas as seen through the lens of his annual family get-together that he is one of many people who "use 'Merry Christmas' and 'Happy Holidays' and 'Season's Greetings' interchangeably, hoping that the recipient of my good wishes will understand that I'm really saying, 'I'm not religious, but I hope you have joy and love in your life, good health and happiness.'" That's what I hope each of you to whom my belated holiday cards are soaring through air mail at this very moment will understand if you open them up and discover that my sincere, if stilted, messages sound like they belong on a Hallmark product (or whatever the equivalent prefabricated greeting card company is in your area). The holidays, even if not celebrated by all of us, for me are a time to indulge in some healthy sentimentality, and if that means getting sappy on a card, so be it. I love you all and want you to know it.

Good night and happy holidays!


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