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insufferable know-it-all
27 April 2016 @ 02:26 pm
Continued from here

Movies & TV seasons watched, Feb. 7-Apr. 26:

31 moviesCollapse )

For the record, 13 of those were for vid research.

TV:
  • Girls S5
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt S2


Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/332747.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
20 April 2016 @ 07:37 pm
Vids

Thanks to [personal profile] heresluck and [personal profile] corbae, it looks like [personal profile] jetpack_monkey and I have found a song for our Auction vid, hurrah. At least, we both think it's a good fit and now we will see if it works when the editing begins. Am psyched. I had a lot of fun watching the movie we're using, and will be subjecting* my mom to a rewatch when she visits this weekend.

*Not really; she said it sounds great.

Books

Finished The Dispossessed and got really into it in the second half or last third as Shevek became more humanized and humorous (especially with kids and animals! cute!), more aware of the ways Annaresti culture was deviating from its founder's ideals, and better able to articulate the problems on Urras and their (un)solvability, and as he struggled to break through with his grand unified physics theory and get it into the right hands when no one's hands seemed right.

Flipped through Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, an overstuffed, unself-aware mess that nevertheless had a few things to recommend about it. Content warnings galore.

Now wrapping up Deathless by Catherynne Valente and not sure yet what to make of it. Certainly makes me wish I knew more about Russian fairy tales and folklore. And that readers weren't so distanced from the main character after the first section. Some truly striking images, though. A bit like Uprooted with hints of Gaiman's Endless, among other things, but very much its own entity.

Recs

Grenade by [personal profile] fiercynn and [personal profile] scribe, which I beta-ed and have been remiss in not recommending. Full-hearted multifandom vid about self-sacrificing sidekicks who don't get the love they deserve. Rory Williams! Sam Gamgee! Sam Wilson! Many more!

Phase Changes (BtVS, 18,000 words, explicit) - a Giles/Xander/Willow fic that is locked to AO3 readers and so I assume I shouldn't name the author here. A diamond in the rough unearthed during an id tag search in the archives. Giles gets hit with a freeze ray; Xander and Willow, who are a couple, stay with him to keep him warm; things progress as you'd expect; and then the author truly won my heart when Willow has an issue with reaching orgasm and Giles gives them a sex ed lesson. Things don't end easily, either, as the next morning they debate whom, if anyone, to tell, and Buffy struggles with what's developed. Nicely written. Choosing to ignore the Wesley/angel and Spike/demon consciences the author gives Giles in the second half, like the hula-dancing "subconscious" from 50 Shades, which I remember reading somewhere was a holdover thing from anime fandom?

To the Victor, the Spoil by Annakovsky (Hunger Games, 13,000 words, explicit) - Katniss/Haymitch, Katniss/some other people, Capital corruption, Finnick and state-coerced sex, bleak and beautiful.

Tasks

Forthcoming Mom visit + Passover = tidying up, planning activities & choosing Haggadah materials. Looking forward to hosting a couple of friends for the seder and using these beautiful glass seder and matzah plates I acquired in Tel Aviv while visiting [personal profile] roga years ago. Looking forward to pulling out of this slump, too.

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/332348.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
10 April 2016 @ 12:55 pm
Music: NPR/Stephen Thompson's Austin 100 lasted most of the drive to/from New York this weekend. It provided a dozen new-to-me songs I'm calling keepers, including four that sparked vid ideas. Two of the vids I'd definitely like to make at some point. One of those would be perfect for Club Vivid -- next year, that is -- once I figure out what fandom(s) slot(s) into the structure it presents.

Books: That thing where I said I was re-reading The Dispossessed because I'd made it almost to the end last time but petered out? I'm a little more than halfway through now and have no memory of anything beyond the middle of chapter two. It's a perfectly fine story of character, comparative politics and cross-cultural communication barriers. I'm beginning to suspect I didn't read much of it at all and have been confusing it with Stranger in a Strange Land, which I similarly didn't finish years ago.

Brain: Day four of four days off, and I'm feeling better than last week, although still not great. Took care of a lot of to-do's yesterday. Could use more days. Unfortunately, this is another week of Many Things To Do At Work + several evening engagements. Also feeling all a-roil regarding my career path after -- well, a lot of things, but most recently a grad school alumni party at our professor's house last night, at which many people shared the impressive things they are doing. I will continue to plug away at my tasks and do my PT exercises and see what happens.

Food: Taking care of myself by making sure meals are prepared for the week. Tried a couple of new recipes today that came out well. If you are interested: chicken and white bean chili (subbed a can of chicken near the end for raw breasts, and milk & yogurt for half-and-half & sour cream) for lunches; the simplest, silkiest cauliflower soup for afternoon snacks; and quick sautéed mushrooms with garlic, parsley and a mix of butter and olive oil to bring to a friend's tonight.

Now to figure out how to spend the 2 1/2 hours until the get-together.

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/332281.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
04 April 2016 @ 08:22 pm
"Oh. Maybe I'm more depressed than I thought": A periodic discovery by bironic.

Brief details.Collapse )

I'm taking two days off later this week. Going to see my 95ish-year-old grandparents. My dad relocated them last month from FL to NY for care management purposes and there hasn't been a chance to visit until now, with everything that needed to get done at the office. I am told there is a Family Night happening at their new nursing home; will probably be cute.

Planning on taking more days off here and there, not for travel but for relaxing and working on artistic projects. Want to finish Jinni/Dustfinger story instead of staring at it and adding three sentences per day. Want to work on book trailer. And want to make a good to-be-determined vid for [personal profile] jetpack_monkey, who won me in the Vividcon Auction. \o/

Finding out I will be vidding for Nate was a bright spot this weekend. As was, in a more fleeting way, a random dream about Garak/O'Brien (??). TV-wise, the two episodes of S2 of Grantchester that've aired so far on PBS have been so, so lovely. Difficult subject matter and characters who are struggling, but the show is made with such compassion and high quality that I find it relaxing to sink into. The Sidney/Geordie subtext doesn't hurt, either.

After not having read a proper book in a while, started rereading The Dispossessed today, since we'll be discussing it at the next book club. The last time I tried, years ago, I trailed off ~20 pages short of the end and had lost interest much sooner. Have higher hopes for this attempt.

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/331905.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
26 March 2016 @ 08:39 pm
pickles

I had a hankering last weekend for pickled red onions and tried a recipe with white vinegar, water, sugar, salt and peppercorns, and they came out terrible. I should have predicted that my disgust for white vinegar above all vinegars would make it impossible to eat vegetables soaked in it. Next time, will try cider vinegar or maybe rice vinegar. Don't suppose any of you have favorite quick pickle/refrigerator pickle recipes?

texts

I'm writing that Porn Battle ficlet, yay. Crossover between The Golem and the Jinni and Inkheart: two men with fire inside them. It is basically for me, but I still hope it finds an audience. Never mind that it's 700 words of conversation and no sex yet.

Friend C. lent me Frankenstein Underground by the guy who did Hellboy and it was great! Really pretty. The color and lighting especially. Actually I liked the art more than the story, but the story had plenty of items of interest: Frankenstein's creature + tentacles + statues of Mesoamerican-style gods + below-ground steampunk Egypt-worshiping secret societies battling dinosaurs + stuff. Here, NY Mag has a PDF of the first part. Reminds me that there were too many sound effects for my taste as well.

Meanwhile, Take Your Fandom to Work Day is staging a comeback. I'm trying to figure out whether to attempt a story. Once upon a time I thought about doing an SGA AU, but (a) there was no plot and (b) I'm really not sure I'd be comfortable "revealing" my job in fandom, no matter how often I remind myself not to flatter myself that anyone would care enough to "out" me. The fun thing about doing SGA is that a handful of the characters could more or less keep their jobs.

tv

Who knew? The SyFy series The Expanse continues to be pretty great. Complex social/class politics, many major characters who are not white men (though not the two ostensible leads), interesting dialects. The dialogue isn't torture to listen to like Defiance's is/was. Lots of different kinds of ships. I like that they're doing creative things with depicting gravity, even minor-seeming moments that show how characters live everyday in low- and zero-g environments. The world feels lived in. I'm sure the fact that the show was adapted from a book series explains a lot. Three episodes to go.

peeps

Not the Easter kind, although: Have a good Easter, those of you who observe. I went to Boston fannish brunch today for the first time in a while and sat with some people I haven't had much chance to converse with, and it was lovely, even when we didn't all share particular fandoms. As they'd say on Twitter: Hay, new fronds!

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/331489.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
21 March 2016 @ 04:15 pm
Oh hey there. Long time little update.

DOING

I've been working a lot. I'm just... really tired. I worked straight through last weekend and while it was necessary it was also not a great idea, so this weekend I did not work at all, and even though my work is not done, that turned out much better. Saw A St. Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn with some coworkers and went to MST3K night at [personal profile] thedeadparrot's: the poorly executed sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon -- do not subject yourselves to it! Hung out with friend C. and watched TV and worked on a vid; see #2 below.

Ann Leckie came to town for a sci fi con, and [personal profile] thedeadparrot, [personal profile] stultiloquentia, [personal profile] jjhunter and I went to her reading/signing on Thursday. She read from Ch. 4 of Ancillary Mercy and answered questions -- a LOT of questions; the bookstore staff really should have put a stop to it after an hour, but it went for almost two. Then I got my trilogy signed, told her what I loved best about it, and shed enough inhibitions to say thanks for retweeting "Starships!" a while back. She said she bought the song after seeing the vid because she hadn't heard it before and afterwards it reminded her of the spaceships. :D

It snowed a few inches this morning and then warmed up so now it looks and sounds as if we are in a nature documentary about springtime in the mountains, snowmelt streaming from awnings and flowing alongside the curbs.

VIDDING

1. I am trying something new this year and have volunteered for the Vividcon Auction, where people bid for vidders to support the con and then a collaborative vid is born. I am a little scared and a little excited. Here is the list of participants and what they are & aren't willing to do. Bidding starts Saturday if that is a thing you are into.

2. I've also been working low and slow since Oct/Nov on a book trailer for Ancillary Justice. Upshot: Clip hunting takes a lot of time. I'm super excited about it, though, especially in the last couple of days, when I started taking what I've got and putting stuff down on a Premiere timeline. Will probably unlock a post about it in the coming weeks -- it was filtered to just a few people in case I got matched on it during Festivids -- to see if some of you have ideas for sources that might have visuals to fill the remaining gaps.

WATCHING

Lots of crappy movies & TV shows in service of the trailer project, heh, although the show The Expanse is pretty solid. Did they cast actors with Marfan syndrome to play Belters or what?

Season 5 of Girls is exactly what you'd expect, and I did manage to see Deadpool last month: an enjoyably irreverent meta romp.

Oh, and rewatched the second episode of Penny Dreadful with C., who's experiencing the show for the first time. My heart, oh my goodness, my heart still beats for Victor Frankenstein and Mr. Proteus. ♥ ♥

READING

All fiction pales in comparison to The Golem and the Jinni, so I switched to nonfiction for a while. I have conflicted thoughts about A.O. Scott's Better Living Through Criticism; his movie reviews are great and he said all the right things at his book tour reading/Q&A, but the book itself is surprisingly off-putting, considering I'm embedded in a community that lives and breathes pop culture analysis and should be among his core audiences. Don't feel up to writing a dissertation about it at the moment, though.

Now working my way through Best American Magazine Writing 2015. The first few articles were just as infuriating the second time around as when they were published: some for examining societal injustices whose solutions never seem to gain traction (racism through the lens of real estate, misogyny on the internet), and one for whining about the poor young men who're soooo victimized in the hunt to punish those who commit sexual assault on college campuses. Written by a woman (Emily Yoffe, no surprise). Ugh.

WRITING

I wrote a Golem and the Jinni ficlet -- you may have seen -- and would like to do a thing for the Porn Battle that starts today tomorrow. Specifically, I have an Ahmad/Dustfinger idea. A jinni and a fire-dancer walk into a bar... Because the answer to not getting many readers on a ficlet for a book is to cross it over with an even rarer book.

How're you all?

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/331029.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
14 March 2016 @ 01:13 pm
I don't know if this would be right for me, or what the interest level would be, but Vividcon announced signups for this year's Auction and it's got me wondering about how vidders set the various parameters available: "fandoms [you'll] work in, how the song will be chosen (as long as both parties are happy with the final choice), preferred styles of music, how much input the bidder can have on clip choices, etc." Do any of you have insights?

Just idle speculation at this point, but am curious, in case I do decide to give it a try, this year or some other year. I've never done anything more than Festivids for vid-to-order.

ETA: Uhhhh okay I signed up! We will see how this goes!

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/330948.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
Tags:
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
And lo, one of the post-canon fics I desired has come to pass! I was able to write 2/3 of it on the plane to Vancouver and then polished up the rest over the last couple of days. If you give it a try, I hope you enjoy it. It was a nice writing voice to sink into for a while.

AO3 | DW | LJ

Title: Here rest, interred without a stone
Fandom: The Golem and the Jinni
Characters: Ahmad/the Jinni, Fadwa al-Hadid
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 950
Summary: Now he was real and she was the dream.
Content notes: A missing-scene story. Spoilers for plotlines related to these characters.
A/N: Title from "Epitaph" by Philip Freneau.

"Have you been wandering all this time?"Collapse )

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/330705.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
24 February 2016 @ 08:52 pm
I previewed some pix on Twitter, but posting about Friday's visit to the opening of the Vancouver Art Gallery's giant multimedia exhibition on 20th-21st century mashups felt daunting until I realized I don't actually have to write an essay on that history and the place of vidding within it, nor an analysis of the objects the curators chose for inclusion and the way they organized the collection. Because I am interested in and have thoughts about those things, but don't currently have the wherewithal to explicate.

Suffice to say that it was satisfying to see the curators acknowledge fan vidding as a notable form of remixing with artistic merit worthy of being placed alongside household names like Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Brian Eno. Fanfiction and especially the annual Remix Redux would have had a home as well. Starting on the fourth floor and working down provided a more or less chronological tour through the many ways people have appropriated existing media materials and subverted, built on or otherwise transformed them into something new and wonderful. I nodded at familiar examples of fan practice's cousins (e.g. Jamaican dub, William S. Burroughs' cut-ups, T.S. Eliot's dense intertextuality, Quentin Tarantino's metacommentary on film history) and ancestors (e.g. Victorian photo collage, by women, fittingly*) and learned a lot about other fascinating members of the family tree both close and distant. I was particularly entranced by a sound poem written and recited by Kurt Schwitters presented alongside a song version composed by Brian Eno, Kurt's Rejoinder. Little change through time of the kinds of critique, censorship, copyright battles and celebration their -- our -- works have engendered.

*I'd been worried about how male-centric the exhibit would be, based on the promo materials and early exhibit descriptions, so I was glad to see that it pays homage to the critical contributions of women from the very beginning. The introductory curator's card on the top floor begins with Georges Braque and Picasso, but then in the second paragraph, there are the women collage-makers. Cuttin' up ur magazines, shakin' up ur art. "These collages were often enclosed in personal albums, made more for the amusement of small social circles than for wider public exhibition and appreciation" -- sound familiar? While gender wasn't balanced overall, many women were nevertheless featured on each floor. [ETA: More on that from straight.com.] Heavy on Western work, though.

And now I will switch over to glee at seeing Starships! and six other vids by five other vidders on the walls of the museum! My original announcement here if you have no idea what I'm talking about. Also a more recent one from [personal profile] heresluck.

About the opening reception, how people interacted with the vids, and some pictures & video clips!Collapse )

More about the rest of the trip at some point. So much good fish, two excellent plays, contagious vowels, and a lot of beautiful First Nations art.

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/330041.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
17 February 2016 @ 04:23 pm
The Golem and the Jinni is over, leaving me filled with  :,(  :)  <3.

Their personalities and physical descriptions are different, but there were times when the Jinni reminded me of other characters I have loved. Marius, Dustfinger, Odo. Behind a cut for vague not-really-spoilers but just in case.Collapse )

My book crush on him remains undiminished. Will this lead to fic? I hope so. Because I want a lot of post-canon stories:Collapse )

The fact that somehow there are only three fics on the AO3 may help. Plus a long plane ride tomorrow followed by a few days of loosely structured vacation. But we'll see. Recent experience tempers expectations. It's a hard writing style to get right, and I'm not sure I'm up to meeting that level of characterization. Maybe jotting down those bunnies is as far as it goes. Or maybe I can channel my interest in the Jinni into finishing that Dustfinger poly story from last year.

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/329731.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.