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insufferable know-it-all
12 January 2017 @ 09:30 am
I'm offering a custom-made vid as part of the [tumblr.com profile] fandomtrumpshate charity auction! Bidding is now open, and runs through Jan. 19.

Context: What is this? What charities are eligible?

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

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

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

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

(See also What to ask before you bid)

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

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

Feel free to link this around, reblog the contributor post, etc.

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/350192.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
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insufferable know-it-all
09 January 2017 @ 08:22 pm
This general uptick in Dreamwidth activity has been great. Hello, new friending meme people! I should do an intro post soon about things I'm into these days. Tonight, though, I am packing for a trip to my mom's and more or less beta-watching a documentary by a coworker. Or—*checks clock*—possibly neither of these things. It was sort of a rough day.

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

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

Vidding update: Last fall on Twitter, I asked:

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

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

Statements I can"t make about Festivids in progressCollapse )

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/349757.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
04 January 2017 @ 10:27 pm
(-) My mom is having semi-elective abdominal surgery next week. If all goes as planned, I'll drive down to NY when she's discharged from the hospital to help with the initial recovery at home, which is supposed to be slow but smooth -- but things never seem to go as planned when it comes to her health. Wish us luck?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/349442.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
A work thing I expected to stress me out in December is instead stressing me out now because I am slow and there wasn't enough time to finish before the holidays, plus I kept bouncing off it when I tried to work on it over the break. :/

Also my officemate L. quit before the break, on the heels of another member of our close-knit subgroup of coworkers in October. Even though L. had many reasons to leave and we'd been braced for her to do so for nearly a year, I like(d) her a lot and am really feeling her absence.

HOW EV ER, in the midst of feeling rotten about turnover and office politics and wondering if learning how to care less about my job would make things better, it occurred to me that a gap can be an opportunity, and I started to change my thinking to something more positive: presenting a case to my supervisor that I should be promoted, now that she doesn't need to worry about stepping on the more senior L.'s toes.

I gathered my arguments and was going to make them tomorrow, but the head of the office gave me the perfect opening first thing yesterday morning and I ended up pitching it right to her. And instead of grilling me on why I deserved a new title or telling me it couldn't be done because of budget or other priorities, she said it sounded like a good idea and asked me how we should tweak our office structure to accommodate the new role! My supervisor also voiced her support when I talked to her, and now the other managers are brainstorming about how best to use me, so to speak. Long story long, basically I'm being encouraged to design my own position. \o/

It remains unclear how long this might take, whether HR will approve a revised job description, and how closely that description might resemble what I want to do, but for now I'm super pleased by how readily my request was accepted. After three years and a few months on the job, it would be nice to show progress on my resumé.

(Now if I could just finish this #$%*! assignment.)

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/349410.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
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insufferable know-it-all
31 December 2016 @ 07:32 pm
Previous Roundups
2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006


9 vids in 9 fandomsCollapse )

1.5 fics in 2 fandomsCollapse )

1 metaCollapse )

4 Mary Sue stories in 4 fandomsCollapse )

Favorite media & fannish events of the yearCollapse )

StatsCollapse )

Quick-and-dirty fanwork goals for 2017:

- Round out the vids in progress for a proud total of 5 Festivids
- Do the "Fandom Trumps Hate" auction and probably the VVC auction again
- Try out the new [community profile] equinox_exchange (spaaaaace)
- Write more, especially Mary Sue stuff; continue rediscovering and expressing the evolving id
- Finish Jinni/Dustfinger fic
- Get back to Inkheart OT4 fic?
- Take concrete steps toward repurposing existing stories for pro erotica publications
- Meet with new "behavioral therapist" to get at the roots of procrastination, mood stuff, negative self-talk, etc. – I suspect this will help with fannish activities in addition to RL
- See also: Make judicious use of the ColdTurkey program
- Hope there is practical and mental space to do these things while grappling with next year's sociopolitical environment

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/348769.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
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insufferable know-it-all
30 December 2016 @ 01:16 pm
Continued from here

This looks a little silly in the middle because of Festivids-related redactions -- sources I am and am not vidding -- which I will try to remember to restore in February after reveals.

34 movies and many TV seasonsCollapse )

As always, happy to talk about any of these. Except the redacted ones. :)

And, so, okay, this is my movies-per-year baseline count; it comes to a little less than a movie every other day, which sounds about right. Interesting.

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/348545.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
30 December 2016 @ 01:02 pm
Continued from here

26 completed, fiction and nonfictionCollapse )

48 complete books in one year: I'm calling that a resounding success. Thank you once again, bus commute.

Links go to previous book review posts. As always, happy to talk about any of these.

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/348367.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
20 December 2016 @ 06:52 pm
I passed a miserable morning yesterday procrastinating on this work assignment, but it did result in discovering a great new Vampire Chronicles fic:

Moon Above, Sun Below (9764 words, Explicit) by [archiveofourown.org profile] monstersinthecosmos. Author's description of the pairings: Armand/Daniel, Daniel/Half of NYC.

The author's summary had me at "Armand used to watch Daniel have sex with people," and the fic delivered. Women and men brought in to arouse Daniel and serve as a conduit to/for Armand, who starts to direct the proceedings before gradually becoming more involved. There's a lovely scene set in the Met, too, where Armand thinks about his past and his place in the world and Marius and Daniel. The fic is sexy and well-paced, makes excellent use of Armand's telepathic powers, and does an admirable job of getting inside Armand's head and depicting his relationship with Daniel, which I think is hard to do.


I also bookmarked Desecrating our Sanctuaries (1812 words, Mature) by [archiveofourown.org profile] morbidromantic, but I wouldn't call it a rec unless you, like me, enjoy a Marius/OFC biting vignette.


ETA: Wait, did I never rec other VC fic here? Could have sworn I did, but I can't find them. Here are two others I enjoyed a lot the last time I went trawling through the tag, almost two years ago:

Lupercalia (4812 words, Explicit) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Greekhoop. Marius/Mael. Author's summary: Marius amongst the wolves. Set during his captivity in Gaul.

Sedge and Bee (4126 words, Explicit) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Greekhoop. Enkil/Khayman. Author's summary: The first time Khayman went to war.


BTW, as usual, finding good VC fic on the AO3 is akin to panning for gold through mounds of muck like this:
The rosy nipples were still red and swollen from impetuouly sucking lips They rose from his milk white skin like two pearls of sugar. The androgynous boy's amber eyes were overshadowed by long lashes and he languidly gazed into space whilst memories came to life on the bottom of those honey filled orbs.


Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/348118.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
19 December 2016 @ 08:10 pm
- I'm glad the library only had it on 7-day loan because it pushed me to keep reading when I might have trailed off

- All in all, I'm glad I did finish it, because the last sections, unlike the rest, recaptured a shadow of what made the earlier books enjoyable

- The narrative picked up 250 pages in

- The vampires I care most about (Marius, Armand, Lestat, Louis, etc.) finally had a few small, memorable moments ~400 pages in

- The book could have been titled Vampires: Midichlorians -- or, sorry, Folic Acid and Nano-Luracastria

- The uncovered "science" of vampirism and the nature of its Core made no sense; even Lestat admitted he couldn't hold the explanation in his head, and the vampire physician-scientist Fareed threw up his hands and said he may as well have studied theology

- Let us not speak of the pseudohistory & technology of Atlantis and the surrounding human settlements

- I also don't want to read the word "mammal" for a while

- Did I mention the bird people of Bravenna? *shakes head*

- ETA: Ohhhhhh God I forgot about the part where a disembodied arm grew a mouth on its palm and crawled back over to its previous owner to suck on his nipple uggggh

- The writing needed help. The first half dragged, nothing happened without at least two people recapping it, there were too many poorly fleshed-out characters (same as in Prince Lestat), tensions that seemed like they would culminate in major conflicts instead fizzled, those climaxes that did come rose and fell in the middle of chapters without much catharsis, and Rice kept doing this weird thing where narrators repeated characters' names in their comma-filled thoughts. Here are samples from a particularly egregious few pages near the middle of the book:

Cut for spoilersCollapse )

It made sense for Derek, who latched on to Kapetria after years of trauma, to think that way, and I suppose it made sense for Rhoshamandes too, who felt Benedict was the only thing he had left to live for; but not so much for the others. It made me think of Faulkner and The Sound and the Fury: I wish Rice had had Derek think in these anxious, post-traumatic, obsessive repetitions while giving others their own distinct styles. Nor was it a consistent enough style throughout the book to be fully explained by the next point.

Where that repetition worked for me was when Rice described the linguistic patterns of Atlanteans and then, one time, had [spoiler character] slip from speaking ordinary modern English into that old language, which I thought was actually quite lovely.

Cut for spoilersCollapse )

In all: Worth having read the second half. Marius gave Lestat a fierce hug, Lestat kissed some men, and Armand showed some young-boy vulnerability, and that was pretty much what I was there for. Still uninterested in most of the series' theological and philosophical debates (In this case: What are souls? Is suffering noble, evil or a way for aliens the Church to exploit people?), even though the conclusion of this book can be read as an embrace of humanism. Equally unable to stop reading these books in search of those brief moments of character- and relationship-based Feelings.

ETA: Goodreads reviews that made me laugh: Devann, Tammy

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/347700.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
18 December 2016 @ 06:57 pm
[warning: stress dreams involving violence]

Awake brain: I know I have work and vidding deadlines, but I feel pretty good.

Unconscious brain: Ha ha ha! Have some dreams about bears, and a horse peeing on you, and performing as Captain Kirk in a Star Trek play but you forget all your lines and musical cues so everyone has to cover for you, and experiencing people's startled reactions to your face after you lose most of it in an accident, and forgetting to buy a dress and write a speech for your sister's (nonexistent) wedding, and missing your trains to get downtown!

...Yet I still feel pretty good? Well, less good now that the work deadline looms and the time I set aside to vid keeps getting diverted to procrastination activities ranging from cooking to watching long-ago completed vids. :/ I did finish the Elf one, as you may have seen, but that still leaves the four [community profile] festivids-in-progress.

Of the good: Made it unexpectedly to most of Boston Fannish Brunch today; there will be a [personal profile] roga in town for the beginning of Hanukkah; going to visit [personal profile] deelaundry and family for Xmas; going with disgruntledowl the next day to a National Theatre Live screening of Patrick Stewart & Ian McKellen's latest play, followed probably by New Year's Eve hangouts with old movies.

Ah, that's the oven timer. Round one was meat for the week, round two is veg, round three will be baked apples (with much less sugar). I've been peeling, coring, slicing and baking apples with a simple dusting of cinnamon afterwards, so am attracted to this recipe that involves only coring, even though baked apple skin looks to me like death.

(Dear brain: That is not an invitation for another stress dream.)

ETA: The apples are delicious, like an inside-out crumble, although I wouldn't say they're less work than what I was doing before; maybe because I don't have a melon baller or apple corer. I used about 1 tsp brown sugar and a generous shake of cinnamon along with the oats.

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/347590.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.