adventures (and errors) in media

Mar. 1st, 2015 08:53 pm
kindkit: The Second Doctor and Jamie clutch each other in panic; captioned "oh noes" (Doctor Who: Two/Jamie oh noes)
[personal profile] kindkit
My allergy problem segued into a sinus infection problem, leading to several unpleasant days on which my entire face hurt, but I'm better now and feeling mostly human again.

Today I was reminded that while the Granada Sherlock Holmes series was mostly excellent, towards the end it went off the rails. I checked out "The Eligible Bachelor" from the library. I'd never seen it before, and ye gods was it terrible. About a third of the storyline was based on two ACD stories, the rest was a lot of overheated Victorian melodrama, terrible special effects, and scenery-chewing. Even Jeremy Brett went a bit over the top; only Edward Hardwicke kept his dignity and grace as Watson, but unfortunately he wasn't in the story much.

In another instance of bad media choices, I also checked out The Explorers: A Story of Fearless Outcasts, Blundering Geniuses, and Impossible Success from the library. I was in a hurry and didn't look closely at it; I just saw from the blurb that it was about the Burton and Speke expeditions to find the source of the Nile and thought it would be interesting. It turned out not to really even be about the expeditions, apart from a few scattered pages. Mostly it's about seven personality traits supposedly associated with explorers, and how they can help the reader succeed in their own life. So, scads of self-helpish generalities and dubious neuroscience. Also, it turns out the author is a frequent ghostwriter co-writer for right-wing television pundit Bill O'Reilly, whom he enthuses about in the author's notes.

I only skimmed but still managed to be irritated, especially by author Martin Dugard mentioning Richard Hillary as an example of the brave, persevering explorer type. Hillary, Dugard writes, was a pilot "shot down and killed during World War II." Now, this is technically true, but not the way it soulds. First he was shot down and seriously burned. After surgeries, rehabilitation and a lot of badgering of doctors and commanding officers, he managed to get himself cleared for flight retraining even though his hands were stiff from scar tissue. During training he crashed his plane, killing himself and his radio operator. Hillary, when his story is told honestly and not fudged, doesn't strike me as an admirable example of ceaselessly striving for your dreams, but rather an example of the value of knowing when to quit.

I've made at least one not-mistaken media choice by starting to read Chaz Brenchley's Outremer series, which is set in a fantasy version of the crusader settlements in the middle east, aka Outremer. It's a bit grimdark, and given how important religion is supposed to be, the religious issues aren't clearly defined, but it's a good story so far and I like that there are queer characters who are central and have plots roles well beyond their queerness. I should note that the books aren't really standalones; they need to be read in order and so far they tend to end abruptly.

So how are you all? I miss you!

Arrow season finale speculation

Mar. 1st, 2015 10:03 pm
alchemise: Oliver as Green Arrow (Arrow)
[personal profile] alchemise
Okay folks I am calling it now.

I've been thinking and thinking about all the fan theories that seemed to make so much sense but so far haven't happened. Now I think they really will. Only not until the last few moments of the finale. I say we're going to end on one hell of a cliffhanger this year.

Note: I am always wrong about this show so take this with a massive grain of salt. Or assume it's a spoiler for exactly what is not going to happen in the finale.

theory )
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
[personal profile] moetushie
Originating in Tumblr, adapted for Dreamwidth:

In a new post, list ten FICS that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” works, or even all the same pairing or fandom, just the fics that have touched you or that stuck with you somehow.

1. The first fic I remember reading was in the Slayers fandom. It was fairly explicit het, and the pairing was the clone of Rezo the Red Priest/a one-off female character. I remember being really impressed by the emotional honesty of the works, as well as the quiet comfort and domesticity of it all. I was eleven at the time, so my tastes were pretty suspect.

2. Now We Have A Map of the Stars by zauberer_sirin, The Master/Martha, Doctor Who. Baby's first time following a WIP! Oh, I remember loving the hell out of this fic and out of this pairing as presented by zau's writing. I'm kind of afraid to reread this now. Better to keep the memories, right?

I always wanted to write fic for Doctor Who, but never quite built up the courage to do so.

3. The Water-Horse by Thamiris, Sir Gawain/Green Knight. My first explicit slash I remember reading and really, really liking? I read it back on the old Yuletide archive and I thought Yuletide must be very special indeed, to produce such great writing -- a special event for special people! I've reread it pretty recently and it holds up. Maybe it's a little lilac, but I don't mind.

4. Bakcheios by emilyenrose. A fandom classic for a reason. Again with the Yuletide mystique! I was so intrigued that I signed up the next year.

5. Neither Speak Nor Sing by Darth Fingon, Fingon/Glorfindel, The Silmarillion. Darth Fingon's Fingon is one of the best, most memorable Fingons out there, despite/because of his cousin-lovin', dubious-consent takin' ways. What an amazing buttface!

I guess Glorfindel is also there.

This was also the story that prompted me to finish reading The Silmarillion in 2009. (I had tried in 2000, when I was eleven -- wasn't emotionally ready for it, I guess. I'm going to try very hard not to have the rest of these as Silmfic. (BUT IT'S HARD.)

6. Long Time Falling by Himring, Fingon/Maedhros, The Silmarillion. Reader, I cry every time I read this.

Beleg's Doom by Tehta, Beleg/Túrin, The Silmarillion. Every joke lands, every joke is hilarious, I imagine Beleg as having a slight Minnesotan accent.

8. Trembling on with steady aim by gloss, Bucky Barnes gen, Marvel 616. Comicverse Bucky is a second-generation Japanese-American, he serves under Captain America and there are tons of painful ironies.

9. Jason and Me by hradzka. It really distills all of my Jason feelings and my Steph feelings. The author's kind of an ass, but the work stands for itself.

10. Contagious fogs by Naraht, Puck gen-ish, Midsummer Night's Dream. Actually I had to think serious about this, because Naraht's 'A brisk young sailor' and angsty betentacled Ralph. It was a struggle, but I think I made the right choice.

There was a bit of fic discussion on Tumblr on story length versus popularity. My response here, although now I'm starting to doubt myself. Most of the stories mentioned above are fairly short, but completely memorable (to me, anyway.) God, who knows what makes something stick in the human memory? If I knew that, I'd be Shakespeare or something.

Because it's what I need

Mar. 1st, 2015 07:02 pm
serene: mailbox (Default)
[personal profile] serene
I gave myself until March 1st (hey, that's today!) to decide whether or not to turn in my grad-school applications and pursue my Masters in rehabilitation counseling (basically, counseling adults with disabilities).

I've decided not to do it. At least not this year. Rather than spend next year doing school and work both, racking up more student-loan debt, and changing career paths, I've decided to spend that energy/time/money on actually finishing some writing projects. This week, I'll decide which project(s) I'll be prioritizing, but I already feel happy and relieved, which is one way I can tell it's the right decision for me.

I may start blogging a lot about writing. I will try to be considerate with cut tags. Wish me well.
[syndicated profile] papersky_feed

Posted by Jo Walton

"If you, my reader, have enough freedom from other serious matters to attend to this, I ask that you read my essay through, harboring neither contempt nor lack of sympathy, and that you ponder whether anything is sweeter or more desirable than a friend, one with whom you may talk about anything just as freely and safely as with yourself, and one who equally rejoices with you in all good, happy times and warms you with consolation in adversities. Such a friend, I know, is not easily found, and once found, may be lost, causing great torment to your soul. The passing of Roscius was such a heavy loss to me that I feel compelled to express this eulogy in the hope that it may help perpetuate or even enhance his memory. When posterity names the three or four most notable, long-standing pairs of friends, I hope the friendship of Minus Roscius and Philippo Beroaldo will be among them."
Beroaldo, Filippo, 1500, Oratio Proverbiorum, Bologna.
Translated in Beroaldo, Filippo, 2009, “Appendix B: English Translation of Filippo Beroaldo’s Symbola Pythagorica (1503),” in Christiane L. Joost-Gaugier, Pythagoras and Renaissance Europe: Finding Heaven, Cambridge, 248-265.

If I could draw I'd draw Beroaldo
sitting, with pen in hand, and Roscius
behind him, hand on shoulder, bending low
to point a word to him, without a fuss.

Raphael could have caught them, full of light,
books on their desk, their hands with penman's grip,
their thirty years of work to get things right
full of the joys of friendship, scholarship.

This world holds nothing better for the soul
a friend who you can talk to, work beside,
rejoice in good times, and in bad console,
and trust with thoughts that come back magnified...

...and lose, and grieve, across five hundred years
so all who have such friends are moved to tears.

Nabi (manhwa)

Mar. 1st, 2015 08:22 pm
yhlee: Korean tomb art from Silla Dynasty: the Heavenly Horse (Cheonmachong). (Korea cheonmachong)
[personal profile] yhlee
Does anyone want the ten volumes of Nabi (manhwa)? Shipping is on me, anywhere in the world. The big caveat is that the manhwa is in Korean. My Korean, personally, is just not that good, and I also found Nabi: The Prototype's English translation rather incoherent and not my cuppa. But you might enjoy it for the art, or you might be more fluent in Korean than I am. :)

ETA: Oh! I have also found the English-language translation of the prequel volume, Nabi: The Prototype, which will also be included.

(BTW, read left to right, not right to left as in Japanese. :p)

Here's the cover:

And a two-page spread behind the cut: Read more... )

If more than one person shows interest by whenever, I'll use a random number generator. If there are no takers, these will just end up getting donated to the library.

Question of the day: betas?

Mar. 1st, 2015 06:50 pm
jae: (writinggecko)
[personal profile] jae
Fine fannish folks: if you were looking for a beta with a very specific sort of expertise to look over a story just for that one specific thing (a specific dialect, in this case), where might you go to ask?

Prompt for 2015-03-01

Mar. 1st, 2015 08:47 pm
brewsternorth: Electric-blue stylized teapot, captioned "Brewster North". (Default)
[personal profile] brewsternorth posting in [community profile] dailyprompt
Today's prompt is "traitor to love".

Photos, early 2015

Mar. 1st, 2015 08:31 pm
metawidget: me, Oscar, Elizabeth with Viv in front (family)
[personal profile] metawidget
Here are some selected photos from 2015 so far — we get out, we weave stories, we make trouble and go to things.

Oscar and Vivien looking at each other with the piano and a grownup in the background.

The kids looking at each other... another photo post!

10 more… )
minim_calibre: (Default)
[personal profile] minim_calibre
Note: my job put a crimp in my ability to view stuff. MOST ANNOYING.

Read more... )

yhlee: Fall-From-Grace from Planescape: Torment (PST FFG (art: maga))
[personal profile] yhlee
- recent reading
Marie Kondo. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. [personal profile] daedala recommended this to me and I'm glad she did. Not only am I in need of a better decluttering method (as in, one that works at all), this was a lot of fun to read. Maybe not for everyone--as the author notes, no one will die of a little clutter [1] and you don't need to do this, but if you want to, why not?

The basic method is simple. You go through your possessions by category and ask yourself of each one, "Does this spark joy?" (I may not have the exact quote--I bought the Kindle edition and it's currently out of power because it's been a while since I recharged it, whoops.) If the answer is no, get rid of it. After that, you organize things, preferably using very simple containers (she recommends repurposed shoeboxes, although even if I got rid of damn near everything in my house I don't think we own any shoeboxes anymore because we've always recycled them immediately), again by category, all in one place. The book goes into more detail explaining the motivations for these methods and other methods that the author has tried and why she saw they weren't working for her or her clients. Apparently she makes a living helping people declutter. It sounds rather nice, actually. In any case, part of the philosophy seems to be that clarity about your physical environment leads to/facilitates clarity in the rest of your life. And I'd buy that, actually.

Getting rid of clothes was downright damn fun. But I hadn't expected getting rid of books to be so rewarding as well! I mean the deadtree ones (although I should probably pare down my ereaders' collections as well, because they're getting cluttery too and it becomes annoying to find the things I actually want to read). I'm down to about 20 fiction novels of any type. Now, there's an important caveat--I'm not messing with books that belong to Joe or the lizard, so there are certainly more than 20 fiction books in the house. But I had about 40 Battletech tie-in novels that I was going to donate to the library and Joe stepped in and declared himself owner of those books, so now they're his. :p Even if I've never seen him reading them, even the ones he hasn't already read. But, not my problem. And thanks to me we have plenty of shelf space now anyway. :)

The other caveat is that Kondo notes that while ordinary people can often get down to a very small number of books, people in special professions--including authors, notably--will need to keep more books. I did a lot of reducing to my nonfiction collection (as in, I actually have a fair bit of shelf space now), but I kept a bunch of books that, while I can't say that "spark joy" precisely, are likely to remain useful for the moment.

Anyway, Kondo expects decluttering to be an "all at once" process rather than a little at a time, but by "at once" she means over a period of six months. (I was very relieved to read that! But then, I presume at least some of her clients have, you know, day jobs. Incidentally, I got the impression that her clients were overwhelmingly female, but I could be mistaken.) The idea is that once you've figured out what your personal sweet spot is for the Things in your life, and how you want them arranged, the results will be so pleasant that you will naturally tend to maintain this state of affairs.

I don't know if this will work, but I figure I have nothing to lose. I mean, the stuff I have gotten rid of is genuinely stuff that makes me happy to have gotten rid of it. I've already won. :) But I will keep on--I'm currently still in the process of throwing out papers (there are a bunch ensconced in the attic that I have to get rid of) and then I will have to deal with the biggest and most intimidating category of all, komono, which apparently translates as "miscellany." But the thing is? I'm really looking forward to it--either getting rid of or, in some cases, gifting things that are no longer of use to me.

I am, however, going to cheat on storage solutions because have I mentioned my lack of shoeboxes? Although I found a lovely high-quality box for an AEG game (Thundersomething?) that was sent to me that I have no intention of ever playing. Out with the cards, and now I have a box I can use! I will have to buy a few containers to accommodate basic things. But one thing at a time.

[1] She's obviously not referring to hoarding levels, just ordinary human clutter.


hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)

October 2014

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The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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