bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
My sister visited for about four days: a lovely time. We went to an arts/farmers market (note to self: never again drive to the South End because parking is a lie), hosted a small dinner/Game of Thrones viewing party, played Star Trek Scrabble, took a long walk, went swimming, etc. She left this morning.

We watched World War Z, mediocre but entertaining, and The Way Way Back, inspired by a Festivid, which we liked a lot, minus the gross and totally unnecessary ogling of a couple of women's bathing-suited bodies. We tried The Kids Are All Right but quit after about 15 minutes.

I finished my two vids for Vividcon: the book trailer for [personal profile] revolutionaryjo's "No Source? No Problem" vid show, and the Auction vid for [personal profile] jetpack_monkey. The Auction vid turned out well. The trailer, I dunno. Could have kept working on it for another 9 months and there are things that I and my betas would like to fix but it had to be called done sometime.

Also I've got a handful of vid project ideas after months of drought. That feels good. Some are small and one is big but the big one would be for next year's Club Vivid so there is plenty of time to piece it together. Not complicated or deep, just multisource because of the structure of the song.

I read and loved The Girl With All the Gifts by "M.R. Carey" and have started Life After Life by Kate Atkinson on [personal profile] nightdog_barks's recommendation.

Work has calmed down as hoped. Even better, it looks like I will be able to attend a week-long video editing course this summer for professional development! It's a room-and-board thing in Maine and it sounds wonderful.


At the same time, awful things are happening everywhere, to some of you and to other friends and to broader communities, and it's just... Saying "my thoughts are with you" doesn't feel like it cuts it, but it's true. I'm trying to listen and witness and talk to the people in my life who want to talk, and to help where I can. ♥
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
The rest of 2013 had better be less exciting than the first two weeks of it. Otherwise I am in for a year of (ETA: minor, even humorous in retrospect) run-ins with the law, awkward romantic prospects, glancing blows from deer, hacked accounts, insects, insomnia, tech troubles, and a roller coaster of nutrition and physical activity success. On the upside, it would be a year of fannish productivity, more frequent than usual get-togethers with my sister, high quality media intake, successful financial negotiation, promising new leadership at the office, enjoyable social gatherings, and a super-tidy apartment.

All by way of saying that life has been interesting lately. Today, at least, everything appears to be fine. Last night I got to hang out with my sister for the second time in as many weeks, this time in the company of Kris Allen & his group, last time with a cool band called Delta Rae, whose soul/gospel-y song Bottom of the River—especially the bass-pounding, drumstick-cracking live version, which sounds more like this (wait for it at 1:52)—caught my ear. Here are a couple of pictures I took because it was cool to see the stage from the side:

sound mixing board and jillette on stage - purple tinge

At the 9:30 Club, with opener Jillette Johnson (my sister's current employer); click for bigger

slit in curtain w sis and jillette - red tinge

At Jammin' Java, ditto

Dee and I went to this thing called Nerd Nite over the weekend at a club. The two of three lectures we stayed to hear were entertaining and chock full of trivia about gonads and architects, but otherwise the whole event was an organizational disaster. Let us not dwell on it.

How about a movie recommendation for ballet fans: First Position. Anyone else seen it? It followed the standard structure for competition documentaries, except as opposed to something like Jig, all the featured kids, aged 9 to 18, were mature and sympathetic. Not to mention excellent classical and/or modern dancers.

Also, the American Ballet Theatre has a filmed performance of The Dream (a 45-minute ballet version of A Midsummer Night's Dream) available on Netflix, which was cool to be able to finally see. Ethan Stiefel was all right as Oberon; he and Alessandra Ferri as Titania looked wobbly and straining to me, although apparently I am in the minority for that opinion. Herman Cornejo stole the show as an acrobatic Puck, and there was some fun choreography for the two mortal couples' antics. Beautiful costuming, too, as the promo shot promised.

Something I am looking forward to: Three days until [ profile] festivids goes up! That means 100+ new vids to watch, comments from recipients on the five (!) vids I made, and the thing I always somehow forget: that there will be a vid for meeee.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Just saw Nostalgia de la Luz (Nostalgia for the Light). Absolutely beautiful movie. It focused on the confluence of astronomers, archaeologists and traumatized citizens who sift through the dust and stars in the Atacama desert in search of relics from Chile's recent and prehistoric pasts and clues about the origins of humanity and the universe. Moved me to tears, twice. Patient, thought-provoking, emotional in the truest, non-sentimental sense. Bone-chilling at times (e.g. exhumed bodies). Kind. So kind to all of its subjects. And had one of the best, poetic closing lines I can remember.

It reminded me of Terrence Malik's The New World, which I tried to watch recently but could not stand. Malik, from what I've since read, evinces a sense of timelessness, of epic themes, of the world's grandiosity and humankind's simultaneous insignificance and deathless universality, by holding on shots of nature and human bodies over long musical notes. I found them intolerable, and the characters' mumbled philosophical lines laughable. Guzman's (the director of Nostalgia) transitions from sand to galaxies to skin to dust were clunkier, his subjects' musings and connectedness more spelled out, but they worked much more for me.

Maybe that is a fault of mine. Some of the reviews for The New World certainly make it sound like a moral/aesthetic failing, a lack of sophistication, to not appreciate the filmmaking genius that is Malik, his spurning of Hollywood narrative structure and America's dwindling attention span. And I do want to try his forthcoming The Tree of Life. We had no idea what we'd just witnessed when the trailer showed before Black Swan, but (a) it did look intriguing, more so than the New World trailer, and (b) maybe it's a different experience if you know what sort of three-hour molasses-paced nonlinear philosophical experiment you're in for ahead of time. Perhaps afterwards, if I feel the same way about it as I did about The New World, I will not lack the courage of my convictions to say his style is a matter of taste, and that taste is just really not mine. See also: Richard Linklater and Paul Thomas Anderson.

Anyway, if you like transcendent documentaries that give equal attention to cosmology and dictatorship atrocities, do go see Nostalgia.

* * *

My sister visited for a few hours this week, which is about our usual length due to her schedule. Ended up going with her to the Jimmy Gnecco show she was here for, which was excellent as always, except this time while I watched and listened, I was thinking about how Jimmy is one of the people my sister knows who would be super-popular in fandom if fandom knew and cared. I mean, to put his physical appeal in fannish terms, imagine Ryan Robbins' head (on a good day) on Joseph Gordon-Levitt's body -- Jimmy used to be a gymnast -- with Tom Hardy's tattoos and a voice like Bono's if Bono were singing Rufus Wainwright songs. In short, he is a fine nearing-forty specimen who weighs 100 pounds with his boots on, and I may have to draw heavily from this solo acoustic performance if there are tattoo or sensation play squares on my Kink Bingo card.

Or you could just look.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Hee, I used to work with people who were world experts in what the patient had, so I guessed it a little sooner than the reveal. Such are the small delights of life.

That's all I've got on that, because I am half-asleep and have been all day, because I am one of those geeks who need eight hours of sleep a night to function and I was out late last night seeing my sister at a local show. Good show, though, even with a cadre of passionate David Cook fans in attendance. I've now unintentionally seen Ryan in concert more than I've seen anyone else. Fair enough; my sister and I have an osmosis system going: I absorb musicians from her without being an especial music buff, and she absorbs Trek & Harry Potter &c from me without being a fan. Hey, it works.

Elsewhen during the weekend, spent Saturday reinventing my vidding method. I think, if tonight's experiment is successful, that this new way will work. Then I can choose whether to be smart and responsible or sacrifice my professional life for a month getting something done for Vividcon. I have never been to Vividcon and want to offer something. But maybe I should stay out the first time and get a better lay of the land, as it were. Dunno.

One day I'll write something again.

...I'd better, or else I'll have a minor identity-related breakdown.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Happy news, for some of us:

1. Remix signups are open. Each year I fear what I'll be assigned, but I'm three for three now, so that must mean something, right?

2. Getcher automatically generated Kink Bingo cards here. I am excited, although who knows whether I'll be able to follow through with a whole bingo. My card contains tentacles again (!), and medical play (I have a House WIP I want to finish for this), and consent play (a secret favorite of mine; and I've been wanting to do a story where it is clear from the beginning that the participants are playing, with mutual consent and enjoyment; none of that 'surprise, it wasn't a real attack!' stuff), and other goodies. It would be great if I could find a way to write in some fandoms I haven't shared online before, like DS9 or BtVS or the Vampire Chronicles.

2a. I feel like I've posted mostly gen and vanilla or ordinary kink (i.e. bondage) slash here, but I thought about it while glancing at people's Bingo cards and realized I've done some weird edited 2011, for and with sensitivity: a surprising variety of stuff, often unintentionally: bestiality, double penetration, aphrodisiacs, bizarre object insertion, facial/bukkake, biting/vampires, scars; and, in stories offline, suspension, consent play, student/teacher, god/mortal, celebrity/fan, alien/human, guard/prisoner, virginity, electrodes, bloodplay, gang bang, and humiliation. Huh.

3. Now is the time to leave House/SGA crossover prompts for the upcoming Porn Battle. That semiannual 'fest has been great for not only generating lots of PWPs in many fandoms but also stimulating me (heh) to produce a few new ficlets of my own, often after a dry spell (heh heh). Hopefully this round will be no exception, even with my daytime hours out of commission.


On the walk home before from the bus stop, the clouds over half the sky looked lumpy underneath, like bubble wrap with the big bubbles. But nothing's come of it. We must have only caught the tip of the system. Too bad, because it was horribly sweltery today, and D.C. gets great thunderstorms.

Second day of work today; first full day. Place and people seem nice. There's enough work to keep me busy, and they're encouraging me to take on what I find interesting. The hours are also flexible, and it's seven hours a day (eight if I want a full hour for lunch, which most of the time I won't), not nine. What a change from my last company. Not having LJ/email access is going to be a good thing, too; I'm focused, not tempted to stall with easier, more comfortable, irrelevant stuff, and there's a neat little collection of posts and messages to read when I get home. (Though I did smile to myself when the two-hour security training I completed this morning warned multiple times against accessing or transmitting sexually explicit materials.)

I melted part of a spatula-turner-thing yesterday. Note to self: Gas stoves burn hotter than electric, and scraping stainless steel pans with nylon utensils is not recommended. It was my—subleaser's?—spatula, too, so I'm going to have to replace it with the same model before I move out.


It is very weird, and wonderful, to see one's sister appear in a YouTube video a stranger took from the audience of a David Cook show. It's a funny clip, actually. A cake is thrown.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Okay so! The first draft of my thesis is TURNED IN and I don't have to think about it until next week. There was a phrase from a story by [ profile] astolat, "Under the Sea" I think, that described some frat boys the morning after a party as "hollow-eyed and stunned-looking." That is my last little while in a nutshell.

Now let's unload what I've been saving up all that time.

Well, first of all, while disappointed that the skies didn't deliver as much as the forecast promised, I was pleased to wake up this morning to snow: )

That would be the Charles River, always an interesting shade of puce in winter. The ice floes remind me of the flabby petroleum jelly in Drawing Restraint 9.


I escaped twice during the marathon: once to see astrophysicist/TV host/McKay nemesis Neil deGrasse Tyson give a talk about his new book about having been blamed for demoting Pluto, and once to go to a birthday party. I took your advice on the former—okay, I was going to do it anyway, but you said it was all right—and teased him about having been on SGA. He said he's a terrible actor; I said, but you only had to play yourself!; and then he said something else I don't remember. Then we talked about my professor who knows him, and he signed two books for me. It was fun.

Here are a picture and two video clips I took that I thought might entertain:

talking, dancing and reading a letter from a seven-year-old. )

I kicked myself afterwards, though, because it was only when I was on the train home that it occurred to me to have had him dedicate the second autograph to Rodney.


At the party there were fangirls and cake and juice and a game of fannish charades, which I'd never played but now recommend to all, so long as the people involved share fandoms. My favorite part was how the group had their own shortcut movement for "John Sheppard/Joe Flanigan" where the charader would put her hand behind her head and stick fingers up like turkey feathers. (Sproing!) I submitted "Sam the Whale" for consideration; someone else had "[someone I don't remember] goes grocery shopping with Dr. House."


Speaking of Sheppard, I had this terrific series of classes a couple of weeks ago in which we got to do textual analysis (my long-ago love!) not only of some pieces of writing but also Beethoven, Glenn Miller band, a Hungarian Cold War film I now want to see, and Dirty Harry. The prof started out by reciting from memory Adrienne Rich's Storm Warnings, which I remember from high school, when I was the only person in class who knew that "the glass has been falling all the afternoon" meant that the barometer signaled the approach of a storm, not that it was icy outside or that shards of glass had been falling on her all afternoon. Byron was even mentioned at some point. I was in my happy place. But here is my point: the end of Dirty Harry, and SGA's "The Eye"—

John Sheppard = Clint Eastwood, y/n? )

Oh and hey, that's Andrew Robinson (Garak) with the bandage across his nose. He looks more like Harvey Keitel to me. Shudder.


What else. My sister is on tour for two months with her musician and David Cook all over the south and midwest, I passed Henry Jenkins in the hall the other day, I haven't washed the dishes in like two weeks, tomorrow I will finally get to catch up on House, I'm going to Florida in a few weeks to see my grandparents, and there are two fun events coming up on Wednesday and Thursday that I'm looking forward to telling you about.

Also, does anyone know of any Audacity tutorials?
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
How awesome is my sister? She made me this SGA Valentine's card: )

While we're here, wanna rec some Valentine's fics or vids you like? I was gonna be all MY H/W V-DAY FIC IS MY FAVORITE YAY but [ profile] friendshipper posted four gen SGA ficlets for the occasion and they're all wonderful, so you should go read those and tell her how great they are.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Back from grandparents' house. Had a nice time. We ate a lot and sat around and chatted and napped and read (with the plane rides and siestas, I got through one Discover magazine and 3/4 of Ursula K. LeGuin's The Dispossessed). They were so happy to see us, so appreciative of our company in addition to everything we did for and with them (e.g. run errands, chauffeur them around, cook, attend physical therapy with them at the pool at the local Y, go to Friday night services, install a new doorbell); it was pretty much five days of basking in unconditional love, which I guess is the ideal relationship for grandparents and grandchildren, even if it induces guilt and discomfort when it continues for so long (e.g. It's only a doorbell! We're not so good to you; it's been two years since I last came down to visit!). It was difficult, though, to see them failing physically and mentally, with our grandmother confined to a wheelchair whenever they go out, and both of them repeating conversations and jokes without realizing it. Still, they're in pretty darn good shape for being almost 90.

Top five moments of the trip include:
5. Geckoes! On the porch and sidewalk and once in our bedroom. Adorable.

4. Beautiful stained glass at our grandparents' temple (estimated average age of congregants: 65). Four floor-to-ceiling panels on stage right (bima right?) with brilliant colors and pleasing patterns, leafy bushes, flames, tents in the desert, pack animals under the planets and moon, fluffy clouds in a radiant sky, Vulcan hands over the sea, doves and a Star of David, a menorah, and, strangely, goldfish.

3. Watching a PBS program on emperor penguins and Wilson's lost expedition in Antarctica, we saw a segment on mating behaviors. Male penguins fighting for dominance is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Standing mostly still, belly to belly, heads tilted up so their beaks don't clack, they whack each other with their flippers and try to keep their balance. The only thing I think could be more hilarious would be a pair of t-rexes attempting a slapfight.

2. At the Ours concert on Thursday (during which I happily played bodyguard to prevent people from bumping into my sister's achingly new half-sleeve tattoo), the singer caught sight of her in the middle of his between-songs talk and asked her what the hell she was doing down in Florida, to her thrill, my amusement and other people's curiosity/jealousy/confusion. Then they played my favorite song off their upcoming album. Then mosquitoes snacked on my legs as we waited for Jimmy to come out afterwards by a pond that had formed in the rainy venue courtyard, but I'm counting the evening as a success.

1. My grandfather fell asleep while we were visiting his sister, and she told us stories, hushed and giggling, about how delinquent he was as a kid. We'd never heard anything of the sort before, and were delighted.
I was very happy to find that they did get the Sci Fi Channel down there, and we returned from services two minutes before SGA started. Also: caught Spaceballs on TV and decided that John Sheppard loves that movie like he loves The Princess Bride and has taken great inspiration from Bill Pullman's character.

Have a lot of catchup to do now: came back to a ton of emails, voicemails and new projects at work; have some personal emails and comments to reply to; bookmarked about 40 posts to read on LJ. Don't know when I'll get to those last, but I'm looking forward to them, from new "Aftershocks" chapters and other stories to House & SGA episode reviews to personal posts. I did take a moment to check out the emo Wraith poetry 'fest (spoilers for SGA 4x5, "Travelers"). Ginsberg and Williams and Heaney, oh my. *shakes head* Once again, let it never be said that fanfic writers aren't an incredibly literate bunch.

Well, back to the grindstone. Leg is already bouncing as I sit here. It's chilly today, inside and out; colder than when I left last week, and far colder than the sunny shorts-and-sandals humid heat we just left yesterday. I don't really know what time it is, either: one clock says 10:24, one says 11:27, and the third says 10:06. Ah, well. All I need to know is it will be dark by the time we get out of here later.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
First of all, a great big Happy Birthday to [ profile] thewlisian_afer! (A little early.) May this year bring you love, health, clarity, and most of all, happiness. *hugs*

Second, I've got jury duty starting tomorrow. Possibly also ending tomorrow; don't know yet. Am so happy not to have to go in to the office, even though the courthouse is all the way on the other side of the county. I actually wouldn't mind being selected for a jury; I've never served on one, and it may mean more days off work.

Anyone see the lunar eclipse last night? It rose here just after totality, but we still saw it fully in shadow (at least, when those pesky clouds didn't obscure the view), all orangey-red, and took some time-lapse photos before the sliver of brightness started to shine. We also tried looking through our telescope, but the thing's such a piece of crap that we couldn't keep the moon from sliding out of view even when we locked the scope in place.

My sister and a few of her friends have taken a mini-vacation to L.A., staying with Ryan in his beach house in Malibu and did I mention she's so much cooler than I am? So get this: she called me Friday to inform me that Ryan had auditioned for the role Dave Matthews landed on House. How insanely awesome would that have been, to have known someone doing a guest role on the show? My sister said she "totally would have hooked [me] up with that." It kind of hurts to think about how close I could have been to RSL and the rest of the team in some way or another.

Until recently, I'd always been a serial monogamist when it came to fandoms, with the occasional threesome (the Star Treks, BtVS and Angel) to spice things up. When I read fanfic in more than one fandom, usually just one was active and the other(s) were old favorites. Now it looks like I'm a fallen woman. This last week, I've read fic in and/or watched MI-5, House, Harry Potter, Stargate: Atlantis and The Return of Sherlock Holmes. I feel so... dirty. And yet strangely liberated. Does there come a point in every fangirl and fanboy's life when s/he rises above mere monofannishness and enjoys fanfiction as a phenomenon free of fandom specifics? I've been pondering this especially over the past few months as I've made a habit of reading fic in completely unfamiliar fandoms, first with Yuletide and now MI-5 and SGA.

One of the SGA fics I became engrossed in was the 183,000-word "Coming Home" by Xanthe (indexed here), an adventure/love story set in a well-realized AU where bisexual dom/sub relations are the societal norm and it's the "monosexuals" and "nondynamics" who face prejudice. John (top) and Rodney (sub) square off, gradually come to understand that they're perfect for each other, work through external and internal obstacles, almost die a few times, and explore the frightening and powerful depth of their relationship. I liked the first half best, from John and Rodney's introduction through their first few sexual encounters. They seemed most in-character there, and that's where all the tension lay. From there on out, the story focused more on the dynamics of dominance and submission—showing how BDSM must be consensual, and how dom/sub may be the ultimate expression of love and trust, and how difficult it is for the partners in both roles to fully inhabit their positions—, and on the mystical aspects of the life-bond that only the most deeply compatible lovers experience. My disinterest in the latter was a purely personal preference; the former... maybe it was a matter of not being able to entirely follow each man into his headspace as the relationship progressed, but I'd have liked more John/Rodney and less "his top"/"his sub," 'it was the best thing Rodney could ever imagine, surrendering everything he had to his top' kind of thing. Also, there were moments where John and Rodney's relationship tipped over into something too conventionally, sappily romantic for me, and the sex was mostly fairly straightforward: a surprising dose of normativity within the deviance. I'd like to write Xanthe to talk about it before going into more detail here, get a better idea of her goals when writing and her opinions once it was finished. But if anyone's interested, I'd recommend the story.

And that's all. Have a nice Monday!
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Finally remembered to watch Blackadder on TV last night. One of the local PBS stations picked it up a month or two ago, and I keep -- well, kept -- forgetting to tune in. It seems they're running "Blackadder Goes Forth." Hugh Laurie will forever and always be the jovially dim-witted, "Hurrah!"-crying Prince Regent in my heart,* but George is a close second, and this is the only series I've seen in full, so I feel particularly attached to it. Of all possible episodes, it was the one with the music hall skit starring "Georgina," followed by the one with the brash airplane pilot who keeps bucking his hips and going "Woof woof!" Ha. It was fun to see D'Arling again and enjoy HL in full drag for the second time this week and hear Stephen Fry bleat and try to follow the endless similes and ponder the irony of how HL now plays the exasperated cynic instead of one of the idiots surrounding him.

* It's still freakin' hard to reconcile Blackadder-Laurie with House-Laurie.

Speaking of good times, I saw my sister for about 20 minutes yesterday for the first time in a few weeks, since she's been all over the country tour-managing for/with Ryan since Rock Star: Supernova ended in August, and when she is around she keeps different hours so I still don't see her. We put our limited time together to good use by chatting about this week's House, heh. Now she's in Montreal -- and she just told me the guy they're staying with is David Shore's cousin. WTF. Unfortunately I can't think of a way to use this to our advantage.

In other news, the NEPCA conference went well last weekend, though it was poorly attended in part because of the bad weather. Paper topics ranged from gender and sexual-orientation stereotyping in What Not to Wear and Queer Eye to images of women and singleness to "egocasting" on MySpace to Buffy fans to fostering professor/librarian cooperation when it comes to acquiring pop culture materials for permanent collections; met some very cool and interesting people; and the eight-hour round-trip drive was pretty, including some fairly impressive cloud formations on the way back as the storm cleared, though the foliage had already dimmed down to the late-season browns, orangey-browns, reddish-browns, mustard yellows and evergreens, with occasional white birch trunks. This weekend I'm taking [ profile] synn to the ballet to see "The Green Table," which ought to be fabulous even the third time 'round. And besides that, hopefully finishing up some writing projects.


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