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Festivids recs 2019-2020

So much to catch up on. Let's start with @Festivids recs. These were my faves besides the ones made for or by me:

Horror vids are killin' it this year, pun intended. Heed all the warnings:

Tag, You're It by @winterevanesce a.k.a. Kitty (Tag/Real Onigokko)

Raising Hell by @bingeling (Ready or Not)

Let Me In by @trelkez (Train to Busan) - made me cry

Good as Hell by @findmeinthealps.twitter (Midsommar)

<3 and/or energizing/inspiring:

The Fire by @dirty_diana (American Ninja Warrior)

Body Talks by @odessie (Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movies)

Garden of Your Mind by @sandalwoodbox.ao3 (Critical Role/Dungeons and Dragons) - I did not know the musician behind Symphony of Science did a similar compilation with Mr. Rogers audio clips! Oh no, feelings about a source I barely know

Try Everything by @walkthegale.twitter (Bon Appetit Test Kitchen/Gourmet Makes) - The other Gourmet Makes vid got lots of attention but this one spoke more to me, about trying things even if they're not guaranteed to work

Relationships:

Queens by @thingswithwings (Killjoys) - Aneela/Delle Seyah. I got worried when the first few clips cut off in weird places or had talkyface, but wow, did it pay off to keep going

Children's Work by @trelkez (Star Trek: Discovery) - Michael and Spock, then and now

:D

Untitled Goose Vid by @eruthros and @thingswithwings - Well structured and well cut for maximum enjoyment

Thinky:

Dance Monkeys by @cupidsbow (Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movies) - This vid leveled up when the vidder confirmed that the edge of creepiness in the song choice was intentional. ETA: Definitely read the AO3 notes that were posted after reveals.

what's to come by @skygiants (Jesus Christ Superstar live telecast) - I only know the basics about the story and the production but the song and the editing make it clear there's a lot churning between these two and their frenemyship and power dynamics and desired vs. actual legacies

Also:

Cut Me Down by @seinmit.ao3 (Us) - Did I mention how many good horror vids there are this year?

seven devils by @quizkwatsh (Fantastic Four) - Really interesting focus on the horror of the quartet's body transformations and the power other people have -- or had -- over them

D&D 101 by @silly_cleo.ao3 (Critical Role/Handbooker Helper) - Still a sucker for a well-structured vid. Cute and clever and yes, educational

Money Good by @sisabet (Hustlers) - This will gain depth after I see the movie, but for now, great rhythm and sexy dangerous ladies mood

An American Primer by @JinkyO.ao3 (James Baldwin RPF) - Fascinating both in form and subject matter. The captions were helpful.

Also I think we hit the Vidders' Favorite Singers trifecta this year of Vienna Teng, Florence + the Machine and Dessa. Plus Billie Eilish, so maybe it's four now. Almost a Bingo.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/394695.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
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2019 Fannish year in review

Previous Roundups
2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006


Vids

For a while there, I was on track to make a vid or vidlet every month. Then… the summer happened. I'm picking it back up now, though. There's the Festivid in progress, and I'd like to finish some of the WsIP that've been hanging around semi-edited or in my head. Oh, and I made two playlists of my vids for @trelkez's community project.

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Writing

In which I continued the tradition of writing original fics as treats for exchanges. I would've liked to have written more, both for my fic WsIP (Red Road! Jinni crossover!) and my Mary Sues, but, as above, the summer happened. I'm actually shocked this year's word count is as high as it is.

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Fanwork goals:

Everything went out the window after June. I did squeeze out one post of a planned series for my 10-year vidding anniversary, which helped provide structure for the @Fanworks panel I co-modded with @killabeez, plus another I never actually posted. I did get that paid Spotify account to boost my music intake for vidding and for enjoyment, which has been fantastic. And I did go to the inaugural @FanWorks con in August, even though I never wrote it up here.

In 2020, I simultaneously want to make more than I did last year and take it easy and only vid/write when I feel like it. It's harder to strike that balance when it's not always clear when lack of creative energy and general feeling of "whatever" stems from anxiety/depression rather than a simple lying-fallow. It will be interesting how this plays out.

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Most significant posts of the year

Reflections on kindness and on my absorption of Native-produced or -related media

Student/teacher and other authority figures in fic (below spoilery review of Professor Marston and the Wonder Women)

In memoriam: nightdog_barks

"Saints of Star Wars" gallery opening

Vidiversary post #1: Audio editing

Moving


Favorite media of the year

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And, of course, people old and new. This year I met @zulu and @bell in person after many years of online acquaintance and introduced myself to @sovay similarly. At @fanworks I met lots of interesting fanpeeps, including but not limited to @dirty_diana, @absternr, @jellogwello.twitter, @libraralien.twitter, @rhythmelia.twitter, @marmolita.ao3 and Liz. Who did I forget?

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/394432.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
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Books read, Jun-Dec

Continued from here.

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By the numbers
Novels: 13 + 1 partial + 1 reread, + 4 kids, + 1 self-pub
Novellas: 2
Nonfiction/essays: 3
Graphic novels: 3
Short stories: 3
Plays: 2
Poetry: 1

So that's about 62 books for the year, including many non-challenging ones in the form of kids' books and romances. Not bad, especially considering the mid-year wackiness and ensuing slump. More than my previous yearly average of 50; less than last year's Autumn Reading Challenge-spurred extravaganza.

Currently reading: Genocide of the Mind: New Native American Writing (vol. 1, having read vol. 2 last January), ed. MariJo Moore - halfway done

Up next: Best American SF/F 2019, ed. Carmen Maria Machado; Wilder Girls, Rory Power

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/393559.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
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Fall into winter, part two: reading

@disgruntled-owl reprised last year's autumn reading challenge, much to our friend group's delight. This is where participants rack up points for pages read and for completing Bingo- and/or Yahtzee-style boards and then trade them in for small prizes at a pizza party because we miss the '80s. After reading almost nothing during this summer's chaos, I finished 24 books over the 11-week game. One short of a Bingo card blackout, but that's all right.

That's a lot of books (for you), you might say, especially since in the previous 11 weeks I'd read about four. And you would be correct. We are looking at the consequences of depression/moving recovery, obsessiveness and the motivation that arises from gamification. Also, a few of the books were for young readers.

Favorite read: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Runner up: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Least favorite: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (DNF)
Timely reads: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King and Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Took the most concentration: Squee from the Margins: Fandom and Race by Rukmini Pande
Featured the most butts: Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat: A Graphic Novel by Faye Perozich and Daerick Gross
Chewiest: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Consuming that much media in that short a time generated some interesting comparisons. Like between Life of Pi and the movie The Lighthouse: mirror souls/shadow selves, which story is "true," whether "the truth" matters. Or The Deep by Rivers Solomon and The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill: the problems that arise from loss of collective vs. individual memory.

Here are my thoughts on all the books, if you want them! Summaries are adapted from our communal reading spreadsheet.

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Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/393039.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
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Fall into winter, part one

Two months since last update, oops.

For a while there, writing in any form felt onerous. It took longer than expected to recover from the summer. I kept thinking the move shouldn't have rattled me as much as it did, but emotions are emotions, and life needed time to return to normal, aided by a meds switch. And then things got busy. And now it is now.

Let's catch up in increments.

Thanksgiving

For the first time in my nearly 40 years, I did not spend the holiday with family. I was worried I'd regret it, but forgoing travel proved the correct choice. I was able to visit friends for the holiday proper, host friends the day after and see my dad and stepmom this past weekend instead; soon I'll be spending winter break with my mom and her bf.

Our first snow came early and deep this year, starting at the tail end of Thanksgiving weekend. I used the quiet time to cook ahead, read a book and experiment with making caramels. The first batch of Smitten Kitchen's apple cider ones came out all right, so I tried the more time-consuming recipe from King Arthur Flour, which proved outstanding. I am so pleased. Making both of those taught me enough to do a better job when I made the second batch of the ciders. Now the fridge is packed with almost 400 caramels wrapped in cute polka-dot waxed paper and ready to be gifted.

New York

Two days after the storm, I drove to NY. I helped my dad around the house, including shoring up his ridiculous chipmunk-proof PVC pipe and chicken wire garden enclosure for the winter with a series of two-by-fours. He helped me with a couple of tricky tasks for my apartment: building aluminum air vent deflectors to stop the heat from blowing directly on the bed and living room chair, and cobbling together a weatherstripping getup to prevent said heat from being sucked straight out the gaps between the front door and the door jamb/door stop, since those gaps have been making an impressive vacuum sound as they pull my utility bill payments into the stairwell. I also cleaned out a bunch of books and paperwork that still remained in my old room. Best find: late '80s/early '90s sticker collection. Fuzzies! Oilies! Holograms! Neons! No scratch-and-sniffs, alas.

The highlight, though, was meeting my college friend S. in the city to see the Philip Glass opera Akhnaten at the Met, about the mysterious-bodied ancient Egyptian pharaoh, husband of Nefertiti and father of Tutankhamun, who upheaved hundreds—thousands?—of years of artistic and religious tradition only to have his changes and his legacy buried along with him. I like a subset of Philip Glass, and I'd loved learning about Akhenaten in school and on those early Discovery/History Channel shows because he was so distinctive, so I was really looking forward to this production.

It was as weird and beautiful as hoped! I loved it! Collapse )

To top it all off, Philip Glass appeared onstage at curtain call. He looked frail but happy as he gazed out at the standing ovation for the penultimate performance of the sold-out run.

R.I.P. Odo

That night I was sad to hear of Rene Auberjonois' death. He was such a sweet guy to his fans. I still belong(ed) to his official fan club. It's been both wonderful and difficult to read all the tributes from other Trek actors. When I got home, I watched a bunch of Odo episodes in memoriam.

This is why it takes me forever to post. More to come.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/392490.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
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Dear Festividder 2019-2020

Info about this year's exchange. Signups are open for one more day.

Dear Festividder and anyone who might like to make a treat -- complete with sales pitches and pictures:

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General notes, if they are helpful:

I like celebrating shows and movies that make me happy, but just as much I like queering texts, whether it's pairing characters who aren't paired in canon or inverting themes or highlighting kink or drawing attention to minor characters or changing the tone or telling a different story using the same footage. I like joyful and I like dark and I like sexy.

Music-wise, I like folk from pretty much any country, rock, classical, instrumental, bluegrass, movie scores, Celtic, "world," choral, country where it intersects with folk and rock, some pop, dance, hip hop, indie... Not fond of ska or reggae or discordant stuff. Possibly one of the only people in vidding fandom who doesn't like Florence + the Machine, sorry. I'm open to spoken word etc., but if you mix dialogue with music, please make the dialogue very clear/easily audible.

Thank you for making something for one of these newly or long-loved sources.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/392350.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
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Days of awe(some)

Fic rec: A second chance at firsts by [archiveofourown.org profile] dollylux. A Marius/Armand story set during and after Prince Lestat, a.k.a. the book that introduced ~medical science~ that allows vampires to have sex. I didn't know how much I wanted this story until it appeared before me. Of course the two of them would go to Fareed for a dose. It's true to the voice of the books. And it's one of those rare experiences where the fic actually seems to be living up to its premise, so much that you keep taking breaks so it doesn't go by too quickly. That said, IMO the build is better than the sex scene.

Music rec: Evening of Roses by Sheku Kanneh-Mason, a 20-year-old black British cellist. I heard a snippet of this during a pledge drive on the local classical radio station and managed to track it down. That's when I learned that it's based on a Jewish song, the Hebrew title being Erev Shel Shoshanim. "Oh, no wonder the harmonies attracted me," said I, only to have that sentiment swiftly change to, "Wow, has everyone heard of this except me?" when the internet revealed its 50+ year history of popular and liturgical recordings. Want the original choir version by Josef Hadar? Harp? Hammer dulcimer? You got it. So finally I settled on the "more cake" philosophy, i.e. "Yay, 50 versions to listen to!" ETA: LOL, it's even been vidded. ETA 2: Twice!

My mom visited the weekend before last, over Rosh Hashanah. I told her about the AO3 Hugo debacle because I was drinking out of the "AO3 Hugo Award Winner" mug that I had (1) ordered a few weeks ago because I thought it was funny in an ironic way, (2) canceled the order on because it started to feel not so funny, (3) got the reimbursement for, and then (4) for some reason received in the mail anyway. In any case: We went to Gloucester that afternoon because my mom is a big fan of the reality show "Wicked Tuna," whose fishermen are based there. Over lunch, we watched two seagulls fight over a fish or possibly a slice of pizza. Deadpan, my mom narrated: "'I won the award.' 'No, I won the award.'"

My dad and stepmom visited this past weekend. He helped me fix a bunch of small to middling things in the apartment, from hanging a large mirror the previous tenant left behind to refinishing two water-stained wood countertops. As a break, we went to see Montreal-based contemporary circus/dance troupe Les Sept Doigts de la Main/7 Fingers, performing their show Passagers/Passengers. Fabulous! Funny and engrossing and all about athletics and grace, trust and teamwork, human alienation and connection through the lens of train travel. Here is an atmospheric trailer and here is a peppy one; both are accurate. The eight-person troupe included five men and three women, such that pairing up in various acts gave us three f/m and one m/m couple. Loved that. Also loved the variety of body types, all at peak fitness, from the solidness of the hooper to the lithe height of the tightrope walker.

A sweet new year and an easy fast to fellow Yom Kippur observers.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/391504.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
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A late September made of disparate lines

I know it would be healthier to reduce my need for external validation, but today a professor who's famous in his field gave my work an extended compliment, and I hadn't realized how much I needed that.

The Vampire Lestat graphic novel adaptation from 1991 has a lot of well-muscled bare male butts. Like, a lot. It is quite funny at this ~halfway point how often they appear on page. I am glad the illustrator got to linger on what he enjoyed. (I can only assume.)

The anticipated post-travel, post-move mood crash has arrived. I have been feeling sad a lot, and flat a lot, and for most of the last month I've woken up after a full night's sleep feeling like I haven't rested. Plus side: I've been churning through books and listening to music, and I watched a couple of TV seasons. Minus side: That's because the day-to-day often feels empty and my compulsive tendencies are kicking up -- I play the songs on repeat, and the books are driven by a perhaps unhealthy need to fill out my Bingo card for the local friend group's fall reading challenge. And I may be overcompensating at social gatherings by talking too much? Filters lowered? Not sure.

Could be a simple hormone/meds thing. TBD at a doctor's appointment tomorrow.

Season 3 of True Detective was good. Maybe not as smart as it tried to be with its braided-timeline format and memory theme, but still good. I haven't seen the earlier seasons despite high praise for season 1, but Michael Greyeyes had a small role in this one and it looked like each season stands alone, so I started here. Mahershala Ali's performance was as great as people said. Co-star Stephen Dorff alternated between looking like Dennis Quaid, Jack Nicholson and someone else I've already forgotten. Christian Slater, maybe.

Is dipping back in to the old Vampire Chronicles love to blame for how, in the middle of the meeting with that professor today, I took in his shorter-cut salt-and-pepper hair and new beard and tried to articulate what it evoked in me and realized the word I sought was "sexy"? These are moments that make me think "gray ace" is more like "het in hibernation." Except it isn't like I would act on it, even if he weren't unavailable. So back to wondering.

At @fanworks last month, @bethofalltrades.twitter gifted me one of her Space Ace pins. She remembered the last time I posted a glancing reference to the question. That meant a lot. Also: space.

I watched the Deep Space Nine documentary on DVD. I'd expected it to elicit deep feelings about the show and what it was like to watch it for the first time. Instead, I mostly felt distaste at listening to and learning more about the bunch of dislikeable straight white dudes who ran the show. It hadn't sunk in until then just how straight-white-dude the whole thing was. They did so much I loved loved loved, yet it also explains many of the show's shortcomings. They don't seem to have internalized any lessons about the value of diversity in the intervening years, given, for example, the proportion of dude fans they gave screen time to, most of the women fans having been relegated to the section about being grateful for Kira and Dax. The writers' brainstorm about a season eight plot managed to make me glad they never produced one. They also didn't spend enough time on most topics, even though the whole thing ran almost two hours. Too broad a scope for that, I suppose. But it was nice to see the cast, filmed not long after @ignazwisdom and I saw them at the NYC con; Armin Shimerman remains a class act; Alexander Siddig remains unfairly handsome; Andy Robinson is obviously glad to be able to declare the carnal nature of Garak's interest in Bashir to all who will listen; and it provided some amusing anecdotes, such as how Avery Brooks socked Marc Alaimo while they were filming their fire cave fight and Alaimo had to go to the hospital in full Dukat makeup.

We got a new director at work this month, out of the blue. Within a few hours, boss's boss gone, new temporary person in place. It remains unclear whether boss's boss got promoted or put out to pasture in her new role until retirement. Either way, we all know the temporary person and she is great. Already, things are improving. It's amazing what good management looks like after six years of... not that.

My favorite poem so far from this collection of Joy Harjo's poetry -- How We Became Human, 1975-2002 -- is called "Grace." I am forever a sucker for prose poems that sound like sestinas. Here is the text, and here is Harjo performing it.

This is a weird post. Hm.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/390946.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.