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insufferable know-it-all
23 September 2018 @ 03:44 pm

More than advisable, this past week. I didn't expect to feel so competitive about our friend group's fall reading challenge—not even against other participants so much as there's a motivating factor in having a Bingo card I can fill out. Must! Get! Squares! Tweak and lengthen library queue for strategic sheep purposes! After I found myself rushing the end of a book on Wednesday, I dialed back.


I did not sign up for [community profile] trickortreatex in the end, but I did start a treat yesterday. Hoping to finish it. It's not long, I just don't have faith yet in my staying power since the return of the fic-writing urge is still so new.

Also have been puttering around with the Red Road and Longmire fics. The Longmire one (Mathias/OFC) now has something like four potential beginnings and no endings. I hit a bump in the Red Road draft (two noncon pairings) when I discovered that I don't think Jason Momoa's character would do what I want him to do. Gotta either get over it or change the plan.

…When there's time and mental space for writing. Sigh.


A handful of movies. Season two of The Red Road to get the character voices back in my head. Too bad that's all they managed before cancellation. If they'd moved faster, they might have done more interesting things with the Lenape plotlines about (1) the time it takes to sue a company that dumped toxic waste on the reservation when people need money ASAP to treat the life-threatening illnesses it caused and (2) internal dissent, plus competing external pressures, over whether to build a casino after the tribe won federal recognition.

I'd intended to see Starman (1984) in 70 mm at the Somerville Theatre a few days ago, our family having watched it often enough growing up that we continue to quote it at each other, but when I arrived, the ticket counter staffer said FedEx had neglected to ship some of the film reels and therefore they needed to reschedule to this Thursday. So that was a wasted pre-movie dinner out. Hoping to make the rain date, although I've got stuff planned after work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and a social engagement on Saturday, which is already about three more evenings out than usual for this poor introvert.


Not actively at the moment. [community profile] festivids approaches, and my nominations list is in good shape. Doing beta work on a vid by [personal profile] deelaundry that should make House/Wilson fans happy.


I put this last but I'm thinking about it the most. I'd been looking forward to a quiet autumn-into-winter in which I could read, write and vid more consistently by taking some of the vacation days that I'd been discouraged by my supervisor from taking in the spring, couldn't take in June/July and didn't plan well enough to take in August. Now our team is short-handed due to poor management and I'm being asked to handle two significant projects due before the end of the year. Combined with one Oct. houseguest and one Nov. trip, suddenly everything feels squished and stressful. :/

Time again to confront the limitations of spare time—and to experiment with new actions based on changing priorities, i.e. see what happens if I put my hobbies before my job for once and request those days off anyway. Ditto the possibility of staying home for Thanksgiving to do what I want instead of flying to NY. Selfish, or self care? Rhetorical question.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/375428.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
18 September 2018 @ 07:29 pm
An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (2017)Collapse )

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (2018)Collapse )

Guardian angels & other monsters by Daniel H. Wilson (2018)Collapse )

Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead (2018)Collapse )

New Poets of Native Nations, ed. Heid Erdrich (2018)Collapse )

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (2016)Collapse )

On the theme of enjoying sequels more than the originals, I'm almost finished with Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, which catered more to my tastes than Uprooted (which I did like), and the third Murderbot book, Rogue Protocol, came in at the library.

To review in a separate post: Art and Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/375087.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
16 September 2018 @ 04:34 pm

How many of you are of an age and region to remember the BookIt! program, where kids get stickers for reading books and then trade them in for a Pizza Hut pizza? [personal profile] disgruntled_owl has organized a fall reading challenge for our local fan group that serves as BookIt! for grownups, and I am inordinately enthused about it. Need to do a books catch-up post.


Change of season—theoretically; summer hasn't let go yet—means replenishing fall work wardrobe and sprucing up the apartment. Clothes shopping is hard, but five hours' work yesterday yielded a pair of plaid pants, a tunic sweater with side grommets and a corduroy dress that I really like, and everything was on sale.

I also picked up a trio of fairy tale-inspired prints at a local art fair and hung them in the bedroom. picCollapse )

It's funny because it turns out the artist is the same one who made a paper-doll Edgar Allan Poe pattern and various cute horror figure prints that caught my eye when I lived in D.C. The styles differ so much, I didn't make the connection.


I got a haircut and I think I don't like it. :/


Trying to decide whether to participate in [community profile] trickortreatex or [community profile] yuletide_admin for the first time or to sit out official signups, look at people's requests to see if anything sparks an idea, and concentrate on my own WsIP otherwise. I'm thinking no on Trick or Treat and maybe on Yuletide. Just in case on the latter, I nominated the fandoms I'd want to request stories for and/or that I feel most capable of writing. Three is not much when you don't expect to know most of the sources other people nominate.

Either way, the "Original Works" prompts for [community profile] trickortreatex are a lot of fun to peruse. They're listed under "Other Media" here. (I copy-pasted into a Word doc and added line breaks to make them readable.) Some faves:

- Actor Cast As A Vampire Who Is Actually A Vampire
- Businessman Who's Obviously A Poorly-Disguised Tentacle Monster
- Demon Who Has Accidentally Locked Himself Out Of Hell And Just Wants To Go Home
- Ghost of a Dried Up River
- Ghost of Highly Intelligent Octopus that Escaped From Its Tank
- Giant Robot Who Just Wants to Know Love
- Haunted Yarn From An Evil Sheep
- A Reader's Digest Condensed Book that Slowly Devours the Reader's Soul
- Reanimated Egyptian Mummy With A BA In Film Studies From USC


Wait, I thought of a fifth thing. I booked a flight to see my longtime friend A. in Tucson, AZ in November. She moved there five years ago and it took this long to visit, whoops. Recommendations welcome if you know the area. So far: Sonoran Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park, drive up Mt. Lemmon, a Mexican restaurant her family likes.

Which reminds me: This week marks five years since I moved back to Boston! It seems simultaneously like less and more. 2013 was the summer [personal profile] jetpack_monkey made the Starships! remix. Kink Bingo was still running. This is the longest I have stayed at a single job or school. While there are annoyances and stressful periods, I don't at the moment have plans to look around. I miss my D.C. friends (and my NY friends before that) but am glad for my Boston ones.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/374796.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
11 September 2018 @ 07:52 pm
The list of Zahn McClarnon-related sources to review is piling up. Let's start easy, with movies.

Spoilers for most of these. ♥ for the ones I'm glad to have seen.

Eight—well, technically seven—movies spanning 2007-2018Collapse )

No fics planned for any of these, although some should be useful for a vid idea I'm noodling around with.

While I'm not expecting to be a completist about his film catalogue, there are five or six more movies I'd like to check out, including Mekko whenever it becomes available.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/374738.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
10 September 2018 @ 03:31 pm
Shana tova, Rosh Hashanah-celebrating friends. I am starting the new year by eating snacks and writing noncon. *facepalm*

It FINALLY cooled off -- "fun" fact, Boston almost beat its record for number of consecutive nights when the low didn't go below 60F -- so I am ready to acknowledge the approach of autumn, my favorite season. Will this be the year I finally make that Grim Reapers vid? Probably not, looking at the rest of the fannish to-do list.

Late October is shaping up to be fun!

- Employer-sponsored screening of The Mummy (1932)

- National Theatre Live reprise of Frankenstein - so now I can see Benedict Cumberbatch as the creature and Jonny Lee Miller as Victor to complement the last time it screened here

- "Frankenweek" programming at Harvard, including a day-long symposium and series of Film Archive screenings, four of which I haven't yet seen: The Curse of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man

- Pumpkins? This year's theme at the Providence zoo jack-o-lanterns show involves magic, myths and superheroes. Granted, nothing will beat the year they did postage stamps.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/374492.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
First in an anticipated series of fics featuring Zahn McClarnon characters! I'm braced for crickets on this one but hoping to be surprised. Here's a quick backgrounder for the story if you haven't seen the show.

Title: Five Endings for Constance Heck (AO3)
Fandom: Fargo (TV)
Characters: Hanzee Dent, Constance Heck, Narrator | Barton Brixby
Length: 3,300 words
Rating: M
Notes: Rape/noncon, murder/strangulation, brief ableist language, spoilers for eps 2x8-2x9
Thanks: to theletterelle for beta

Constance had been one of the quiet ones before the phone call.Collapse )

(I think #2 is closest to what "really" happened, while #1 is what episode 8 implied would happen. #4 is my favorite.)

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/374054.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
To recap: I've been watching stuff with Zahn McClarnon in it, and I've got four fics in progress—one now complete—featuring different characters played by him.

Since the finished one is about Hanzee Dent from the second season of the Fargo TV show, we should talk about the second season of the Fargo TV show!


CliffsNotes version: What you need to know if you'd like background for the ficCollapse )

And that is it! The story is in beta, and I'm making a few other tweaks, but it should be in postable shape soon. Then on to finishing one of the other three, I hope.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/373920.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
03 September 2018 @ 11:13 am
Friends, I took that vacation.

Sort of: I booked two nights at a hotel a few towns over at a last-minute discount rate, purposefully did not connect my laptop to the wifi, and determined to work on fic all weekend. My biggest problem is giving in to distractions, and my biggest distraction is the internet, so locking myself in a mostly empty room seemed like it would help. It's silly because I know I could just turn off the wifi in my apartment, but for some reason it was easier to break the habit in a hotel by not forming the habit in the first place. The change of scenery and furniture also helped.

And it worked! My 750-word Hanzee/Constance story is now 3,200 words and compleeeeete, hooray. First fic I've finished in, what was it, two years and a bit? And it only took a week and a half after watching the show. Feels like longer ago.

Perks of the hotel plan: free breakfast and parking, air conditioning, kitchenette for storing and preparing food from home and/or takeout, heated swimming pool for breaks. Downsides: $, yelling children, loud doors at night, incorrect advertising of device hookup capabilities with the TV, ceilings that spring leaks at 11 p.m. But they're comping me for the second night on account of said leak, so the $ isn't bad at all. (I had to ask them if they were going to do anything to make up for the late-night room change, though. If I hadn't, the bill wouldn't have been adjusted. Yay assertiveness. Less yay customer service.)

The other silly thing is I ended up leaving my apartment for the two cool days in the middle of several weeks of oppressive heat and humidity. Now that I'm about to head back, it's swampy again. Sigh. I'd like to try this method again to take a break from uncomfortable weather, as well as by actually taking days off work, since I'm pushing the maximum accrual for PTO. A nice problem to have, for sure, but there always seems to be stuff I want to get done at the office when the writing or vidding bug strikes, and my supervisor has unpredictable reactions to time-off requests.

ETA: I did avoid the worst of Sept. 1, a.k.a. the day half of Boston plays musical chairs with dorms and apartments. Spotted 13 moving vans/trucks on the way out of town and 5 on the way back today.

Now I'll need to do that Fargo season two reaction post & fic primer. Not sure how many people will want to read it, between the warnings and the small size of the fandom. But I am happy.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/373650.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
28 August 2018 @ 04:03 pm

I need a vacation. I just want to sit in a room that is not mine for a few days and work on stories and let my mind wander without having to yank it back to take care of responsibilities. That’s what last month’s trip to my mom’s hotel in Worcester was supposed to provide, except I ended up needing to work. Now I keep going to the office and not really doing anything.

The silly part is that the only thing stopping me from taking time off is planning it.


My favorite college friend, R., is in town for a few days. We spent a good chunk of the weekend together. Due to a couple of near misses, we hadn’t met since 2015, and not in Boston since the year before that. I was all nerves leading up to dinner on Saturday, in part because he has "succeeded" more than me on multiple fronts and I do not have great self-esteem these days, in part because I’ve always had half a crush on him and want to make sure he still likes me too, and in part because it was a certain time of the month when anxiety peaks no matter what’s going on—but, to my great relief, I was reminded within the first few minutes that there’s a reason we became friends 17 years ago (!) and remain so now. He makes conversation easy, albeit with a hint of the know-it-all one-upmanship that tinges a lot of the relationships I had at school and still have with some coworkers. I was reminded once again that his life isn’t perfect either, and it matters a lot to me that he is comfortable talking about the challenges and disappointments we are dealing with as well as sharing joy in the things that are going well.

In any case, we ate interesting Italian/Peruvian fusion, enjoyed a breezy boat ride out to the Boston Harbor Islands, had a picnic, walked around some of the new developments on the waterfront despite being two very pale people in the summer sun, and talked a lot. <3

Later this week there will be dinner with a former coworker and a Star Trek-themed burlesque show with friends.


Zahn McClarnon characters continue to rev my creative engines.

750 words and counting of Hanzee/Constance (Fargo TV show, season two)
+ 2,240 Mathias/OFC (Longmire)
+ 1,940 Mike/Rachel and Kopus/Rachel (The Red Road)
+ 670 Zachariah/Pia/Lemuel (Midnight, Texas)
= 5,600 words since the beginning of July. \o/

Nothing is finished yet, and based on past experience, I’m worried about losing momentum and leaving everything incomplete. Even so, as [twitter.com profile] maralenenok said last week, words is words, and as I said in reply, I’m pleased with how all four stories depict very different characters and have different structures and narrative voices.


Planning three vids; waiting to see which gets started first.

Festivids approaches. I’m pondering requests old and new. The other day, I spur-of-the-moment gathered links to all the Longmire vids I could find on YouTube & the AO3 to confirm there aren’t too many for it to qualify.


Re: the above, I’ve been going through more of Zahn’s film & TV catalog and taking notes. In the last… week, OMG, I have seen or skimmed:

Fargo: Year Two - surprisingly engaging
Searchers 2.0 - golfing outfit!
Bone Tomahawk - dapper suit and walking stick, but only one scene
The Son - tiresome and cliché-ridden but at least he had a sizeable role

Started Into the West last night, also a skim. Spielberg tries to capitalize on the success of Dances with Wolves with a miniseries in the mid-’90s ETA: 2005, wow, the music and casting definitely feel a decade earlier. (Skeet Ulrich?!) So Zahn McClarnon was my current age when he filmed it.

Movie theater-wise, got together with various friend clusters to see Crazy Rich Asians, which was excellent, and Mission Impossible: Fallout, made by people who’ve mastered the art of the mainstream action film and more enjoyable than any James Bond movie I’ve seen. So many other movies to see; I keep running out of time.


Has been slow this past little while. Partly because I’ve wanted to do other things and partly because of the books themselves, I think. Right now I’m halfway through Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead, which is fascinating in its combination of carnality and lyricism.


About how, despite what roundup posts like this imply, I can write OR vid OR watch a lot of movies OR plow through a lot of books OR do in-depth media reviews OR go full-tilt at work OR be very social OR do everything I’m supposed to do food- and activity-wise to manage my health condition… but not more than one, maybe two, at a time. Thirty-six years old and I’m finally learning to accept the need for priorities and compromises and moderation instead of fighting against it, and to admit that I am not a machine running at 100 percent efficiency, and to see the rise and fall of different categories over the months as something that keeps life interesting rather than a flaw.

I do recognize the privileges that allow me to have even this much spare time and, more or less, the energy to do something with it. Still, that doesn’t mean I’m not sad about not being able to do all the things, always.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/373389.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
19 August 2018 @ 09:26 am
Continued from here.

I neglected to say in the last post that, while overhearing fandom conversations and watching vids over the past many years has made me conversant in many shows/movies I haven't seen, it's still nice when something you like pops up at VVC. I smiled at a couple of clips of Sebastian Roche in a Supernatural vid during Premieres. (There were approximately 500,000 SPN vids this year.) I also had a good time talking with [personal profile] kiki_miserychic about what turns out to be shared ambivalence over Westworld, with [personal profile] franzeska about the delights of Longmire (sorry for hijacking your convo, [personal profile] thirdblindmouse), and with [personal profile] grammarwoman, [personal profile] corbae & [personal profile] sansets about Westworld & the equally frustrating-yet-sometimes-beautiful American Gods. See also: "fandom nostalgia" in the recs section.

PanelsCollapse )

Vid Discussion PanelsCollapse )

Vid RecsCollapse )

Full programming list at vividcon.info.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/373164.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.