World of May
Jul. 24th, 2013
You guys, somehow in the dead time that is summer TV (mostly it's time from mid-June to mid-July) I have found two shows that are fantastic.
Orange is the New Black is... I can't tell you all how good it is. I was skeptical at first, because it didn't really sound like something I'd want to watch. A privileged white girl goes to prison for something she did 10 years ago and this is her story? BORING. And also depressing, because prison. But it's not. First of all, the show never denies Piper's privilege, secondly the show tells the stories about ALL of those women. And they're individuals, even the ones you might think at first are stereotypes turn out to have depth and are much more than the stereotypes. As for the depressing angle, it's not. I mean there are story lines where I just bawled, because the tragedy is so real and so sad, but there are also moments that are hilarious. It's also not a hopeless show, because the show is mostly about how we as humans affect each other, good and bad. So I love it and totally recommend it.
The Fosters is just a really sweet show on ABC Family about a couple raising their kids. Their kids are one biological kid, a set of twins they've adopted and a brother sister pair they're fostering. Oh and the parents are two women. It's complete brain candy and hits the same sweet spot that Bunheads did last summer. (Is that coming back? I miss it.)
As for Pacific Rim. What can I say about it that hasn't already been said. I really loved it. LOVED IT. I grinned the whole movie and it just made me feel like I was a kid again. I fully bought the premise and I adored it. My one minor quibble is covered much better by Carrie Vaughn in her review of the movie here.
Jul. 8th, 2013
Jun. 22nd, 2013
So after much protestation that she didn't want another cat, we are now a two cat household again. The roommate came home with a cat on Friday. Adjustments are going about as well as can be expected, which is to say slowly. Right now he's shut behind the doors in the basement and Livie HOWLS in protest should I go in there, though she's getting better. She's not fond of the smell and has smacked both the roommate's and my hand after we've been petting the new guy. It will get better, it's getting better already I can tell. Before they meet face to face I'll be rubbing him down with a tee-shirt of mine that I've worn and smells like me. And we're thinking of switching them around for a bit so that she's in the basement and he has the house.
Anyway. Currently he's sitting with the adoption agency name which is Brick. I'm calling him Brick-a-Brak. Because reasons. But he looks like an anime cat, so Roommate is trying to think of an appropriate anime name.
Jun. 11th, 2013
02:45 pm - Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguire
I’ve just started reading Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguire, a husband/wife writer combo. And I have to say, I very nearly rage quit the novel about 2% of the way in (probably around page two- how does one navigate this in an e-book world?). See, we’re being introduced to the characters, two main characters one male and one female. We’re on the male POV and he’s describing his female partner. She has (paraphrased) short, straight, dark hair with a part that could be made by a slide ruler and she wears only a little pink gloss as protection from the elements. This is an excellent description. From this you get that this character is no-nonsense and meticulous. GREAT. And then the next line says something like, she found (face) paint to be a waste of time. And that’s the moment I very nearly rage quit. For a couple of reasons.
The first reason this bothered me is that it’s contradictory. This is OBVIOUSLY a woman who takes care in her appearance. You can’t have a short bob with such perfect lines unless you DO take the time to care for your appearance. So don’t say that this is a character who is cares little for their appearance, as is implied by the idea that she finds makeup a waste of time.
The second is linked to the first. This whole idea that a woman finds makeup a waste of time implies that women who do take the time to use make up are frivolous and silly. It also enforces this idea that really beautiful women don’t need makeup, they’re beautiful without it. And it pits women against each other, the ones who use makeup and the ones who don’t. Thanks but I’ll pass.
And the third reason this bothered me is that it makes this character a woman first and a person second. She is now defined by how she is different from other women and not by her own personality traits. Any time a woman is described by how she is different from other woman she is thrown in sharp relief against a backdrop of other women and not as an individual person but as one among many.
Basically this line, this one line, pinged SO HARD on my sexism meter that I had a hard time getting past it to keep on with the book. I have no doubt that it’s going to color my final opinion of the book as well. Unfortunately I did buy the book, and it’s sitting on my kindle and I have a strong dislike of not finishing books I’ve paid money for, so I’ll finish it. Sadly I’m not looking forward to it and it feels like walking through a minefield.
Jun. 4th, 2013
10:25 am - TV makes me happy
So I've finally finished the first season of Orphan Black. I am in love. LOVE with this show and it's epic twists and crazy plots. Also I am in AWE of Tatiana Mansalay's acting ability. There's a scene in Ep 9 where ( spoilersCollapse ) I mean the whole series is like that. Little body changes and she's a different clone. Seriously, IN AWE.
Also, Teen Wolf premiered last night. It was a set up episode, and thus felt way to short and like there wasn't enough info in it. BUT, BUT I loved it. Every single moment. I'm so stoked for this season.
Apr. 22nd, 2013
07:42 am - GOOD NEWS!!
I have a job. A real job. An OMG I can stop stressing about money job. I mean, I'm not raking it in, but I know I can do well on what I'm going to be making AND it's a real, steady job. OMG the relief you guys. I can't tell you. I cried when I got the job offer in my inbox.
And also (and I may be more ridiculously pleased about this one) I've lost weight in the past two weeks doing a lifting regimine. I have no idea exactly how much because I don't own a scale. What I do own is a tape measure, and going by that my body has reduced by an average of an inch. More in some places (like my waist) and less in others (why hello there hips) but averaging out to an inch. AMAZING.
Anyway, job starts today and I'm so very nervous. But I did get lifting in this morning already so YAY!!!!
Apr. 17th, 2013
I am having a very hard time not jumping all over a facebook friend for a post. Well her and the other person who commented. See, one of her cats (who presumabl is indoor outdoor) returned after six months of being missing. And she's just not sure what to do, does she keep him or let him go back to whoever's been caring for him. Because he's not skinny see? So OBVIOUSLY he's had an ok time of it out there. And the other person was all, LOL cats they take care of themselves LOL.
Oh look at that, I'm seeing red.
FFS, if you get an animal you take the fuck care of it. GAH.
Thing is, I know a lot of her casual attitude is a result of the area she lives in (Why hello there Provo) but OMG. Provo has a stray cat problem. A BAD stray cat problem. I beged her to take him in and not contribute to the stray cat problem as well as just TAKE CARE of the animal you already promised to take care of.
Add in that I watched Animal Cops this morning and I just hate people.
On a brighter note, I'm really enjoying Nashville. Sure, it has it's problems but it has lots of music coming out of it. Music I've really been enjoying. And there are some really great musica talents on the show, which is just all sorts of awesome. Plus I think the show creators are realizing that the most intersting stories on the show deal with the music industry and not politics of Nashville.
Mar. 13th, 2013
Guys! VERONICA MARS KICKSTARTER PROJECT. Yes, I know there were fandom wars that tore the fandom apart at the end of season one. And season two and three were fairly mediocre, but OMG I want this so badly. I would adore a VM movie.
Mar. 11th, 2013
02:41 pm - Oz the Great and Powerful
I went to see this over the weekend. I kind of had to. I’ve been an OZ child for as long as I can remember. When other children were knocking on the backs of wardrobes I was looking down every path I could trying to see if this road would lead me to OZ. So what did I think of it? Well, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Seriously SO PRETTY. And the OZ in it LOOKS like OZ. There’s one scene where the characters are talking and they go past a pasture with horses and they’re these rainbow colored things that aren’t quite horses and it’s amazing, because it’s totally just in the background. Which, granted would normally annoy me, because it’s special effects for their own sake, except in a movie about a fairyland, I think special effects for their own sake add to the world rather than detract from it.
The acting is a little stilted, though I think they were going for stylized. Not my favorite thing but I can move past it.
Obviously, there are some issues with the movie. OZ has always been a very female dominated world. And the Wizard himself was a con man and more than a little evil, or at least he’s portrayed so in The Marvelous Land of OZ. So to give us a whole movie where the Wizard is the hero, and a good hero at that, is a bit inconsistent. Except Baum himself is wildly inconsistent with the OZ books and that in books after The Marvelous Land of OZ the Wizard is much different and more helpful and basically I think he’s one of the main places where you can see how inconsistent Baum is with OZ. Though, I will add that one of my favorite things about the Wizard is that he’s only allowed to practice magic under the direction of Glinda, basically reinforcing OZ as a matriarchy.
However my real issues with the movie were not that. I think retelling fairy tales is fun, and as I said Baum’s own characterization of the wizard is inconsistent.
( There are major spoilers after this pointCollapse )
EDIT: OHHH, I'm going to leave a link here to Carrie Vaughn's great critique of the movie. I agree with this LOTS.
Mar. 5th, 2013
Loved this. Ladies being active. Ladies driving the plot. And it was written in the early eighties? How is this book more progressive than some fantasy coming out now? I’m not saying it’s perfect, there were a few things that bugged me but overall, it was awesome. ( spoilers? mabye, kinda sorta?Collapse )
What's killing me is that I have no idea how I missed this book while I was growing up. And I know I have this tendancy to forget books, but when I do that and re-read them unknowingly I remember about half-way through the book. Seriously though, I read EVERY fantasy book I could get my hands on when I was growing up. I read everything our library had, and they didn't have this one? Ok, yes small library. Still, I'm glad I found it now.
Feb. 28th, 2013
10:35 am - OZ Reimagined.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. There are some really great stories in this collection. I loved the art work that accompanied each story, a cover art if you will. That said there are a few things that bothered me.
First, I’m sure some of these authors haven’t read any of the OZ books beyond The Wizard of OZ. Now normally, I could care less whether someone has read beyond the first book in a series, but when you’re writing a short story for a book about OZ, I think it’s a little important to do your research. The best stories in the collection were the ones where I could tell the author knew OZ and its denizens very well. The ones that weren’t so successful, at least for me, were the ones where I could tell the author was only familiar with OZ in the briefest of sense: stories where I couldn’t tell if the author had done any research beyond watching the movie and reading a wiki page about the differences.
Secondly, there were far too many re-imaginings of the Wizard of OZ. As in complete retellings of that story in different settings. The Wizard of OZ in a mental hospital, as a cyberpunk story, ‘the real untold story of the Wizard of OZ, etc. It got old, particularly when the stories were back to back. I think it wouldn’t have been quite so noticeable, and thus annoying, if the re-imagined stories had been better interspersed throughout the book with the stories that built on OZ. Orson Scott Card’s story ‘Off to See the Emperor’, one of the reimagined ones bothered me a lot, a lot. From Amazon: Frank Baum's son has the real experiences that his father later fictionalized. Way to take a story that features a girl and make it about a boy there Card.
A couple of standout stories though. My absolute favorite, and a great way to end the book, was ‘The Cobbler of OZ’ by Jonathon Mayberry. It was sweet and lovely, with just the right amount of menace behind the story. Plus it could fit very easily into the OZ cannon as a story that only just pre-dates The Wizard of OZ. I adored it. I also really enjoyed Tad William’s ‘Boy Detective of OZ’. This was a more cyber-punk story, but it wasn’t a re-telling of OZ it was a real re-imagined version of OZ. Plus it featured one of my favorite OZites, The Glass Cat. I liked a ‘Tornado of Dorothys’, though that was one where I wasn’t sure if the author had read any of the OZ books, because it was a kind of ghostly, haunted look at story telling.
Overall, I’d re-read this collection, though I’d skip over some of the stories. Great addition to the OZ world.
I'm going to add one thing about Seanan McGuire's story. I really liked it, though IMO should Dorothy and Ozma ever break up (BLASPHEMY and it will NEVER HAPPEN, though excellently done in this story), she'd be far more likely to go with Betsy Bobbin or Trot, though I understand why McGuire went with Polychrome for the story. Honestly, I would SO READ a novel in this OZ universe she's created. It was an excellent advertisement for the types of novels that she writes, which is I suppose one of the purposes of collections like these. I have a small, teeny, tiny wish that she had stretched herself a bit and written outside of her comfort zone, but the story is awesome.
Feb. 3rd, 2013
Jan. 20th, 2013
This is an amazing Mad Men Vid.
Dec. 18th, 2012
In other news, I need crafting encouragment. My mother asked for a scarf for Christmas, a hand made scarf, about a week ago. I'm halfway done, and it's lovely and I'm really pleased with how it's turining out. But I'm burning out fast. I might take a break and work on the other gifts I'm doing (nothing as ambitious as a scarf) but ugh the thought of picking up a crochet hook is ugh inducing. Perhaps it'll be better tomorow.
Dec. 17th, 2012
I'm thiiiiis close to flipping my shit on facebook, because I swear if i see another post about how guns don't kill people or the mentally disturbed will find a way to kill with or without guns I'm going to loose it or something of that ilk. This isn't even a big red button issue for me. For the most part I don't give a shit about whether or not people own guns. I tend to think that maybe they should be better regulated, but I'm hardly adamant about it. But my god, from the posts on my friends list you'd think people were one step away from walking into these people's houses and prying the guns from their hands. It's a deflection from the issue and it's driving me insane. For fuck's sake people, no one wants to take away your guns, they want to regulate gun ownership. A gun is a dangerous tool for crying out loud what's so wrong with requiring a license to own one, a license you have to renew every five years or so. Because if you can't see that this country has a fucking problem with guns then you've got your head in the sand and are ignoring very real statistics.
Nov. 21st, 2012
In a discussion online about The Hunger Games a friend posted to this link, which points out that Peeta is a feminized male and claims that fact is a problem in the story. I’m not touching how insulting it is that that writer separates character traits into female and male roles, and then paints the female traits as negative ones. Oh wait, I just did. There is a problem with Peeta, but it’s not that his strengths are the more traditionally female ones.
To counter, I want to look at Brave. Brave was a movie I was worried about because I thought it was going to be a tomboy princess movie, where the heroine completely rejects any traditional feminine traits and is idolized for that. However, it wasn’t that movie at all. Instead Brave is a movie where the heroine has to learn to value those traditional female traits, without having to embody them. In other words, the movie is about a girl and her mother, their two ways of being female and it then points out that both of those ways are valid. The movie is all kinds of awesome for this.
One of the things I’ve seen a lot of people castigate Peeta for is that he hides from the more powerful tributes after his injury. Rather than fight back he slips down into the mud and waits to die, though people take to be waiting to be rescued a very traditional female role in stories. But we need to remember that when Peeta hid the games master hadn’t announced that two tributes could live if they came from the same district, therefore I’d argue that Peeta was waiting his death not rescue. Peeta says earlier in the book/movie that he doesn’t want to lose himself in the arena. He also acknowledges that his only real chance at survival is to outlast all of the other tributes. So when he is fatally injured he decides to hide, denying the Capitol a chance to revel in his death the way they do the deaths of all the other tributes. It’s a quiet fuck you to the people who have killed him. This quiet act of defiance, choosing the way that he dies, is not negated by the fact that he is rescued.
This kind of quiet defiance, patience over action, is traditionally given to females in stories particularly if that defiance happens mostly off screen as it does in The Hunger Games. That our society finds that type of patience to be a weakness is problematic. It is not an active form of defiance, but I wouldn’t say that it’s weak either. Peeta is not weak for hiding and not taking direct action. He is displaying a different type of strength, much like Eleanor in Brave. And like Merida, we need to learn to appreciate that type of strength.
However his hiding does highlight the main problem with Peeta, in that he is a passive not an active character. This is a completely separate issue. It has nothing to do with strength or weakness, or even female characters and male characters. The Hunger Game’s is not Peeta’s story, it is Katniss’s and thus the actor of the story is always going to be Katniss*. However if you wish to argue that you don’t like Peeta because he is a passive character, then those are the terms you should use, not that he is weak because he is a feminized male. It is insulting to equate passivity with femaleness. To say that passivity is a female trait in stories is to say that females belong in passive roles. Thanks but no thanks and fuck you.
* At least in the first book, my issues with the last book revolve around this issue.
Nov. 19th, 2012
So apparently I'm an insomniac now? This is week two of not being able to go to sleep before midnight. In the news of not fun, this is the top story. Not to mention unhealthy. I can feel the stress kicking in and jump starting the anxiety issues. And it's not really like I have trouble actually falling asleep once I'm actually in bed, it's that the desire for bed is completely gone. I don't want to sleep, I don't want to turn my brain off.
And I'm sort of wondering if it has anything to do with the rather vivid and terrifying dream I had a week or so ago where I, my spirit, my soul what have you was stuck in my dead body and I couldn't get out. I thought you weren't supposed to be able to die in dreams.
Mainly though I suspect the cause is stress.
Nov. 7th, 2012
I need to post here about how HAPPY I am about the election. Not just that Obama was voted back into office, but that Proposition 6 passed in Maryland legalizing gay marriage. That is so awesome you guys. SO AWESOME.
I am a little less happy about proposition 7 passing, which legalizes gambling, but ok.
I turned on the TV at about 8:30 last night and Romney was leading in the polls, so I put the TV on mute and read for a while and when I looked up at last they were calling the election for Obama. It was an awesome way to not be stressed for an election night.
Now to convince my cousin that she and her girlfriend should come out and visit...
Oct. 29th, 2012
My roommate doesn't like storms, they make her nervous. I've been mildly amused all day as she will randomly decide she's had enough of the storm and come camp out in my room. We both stayed home today, mostly because the whole of DC is shut down. So far I don't think it's been that bad out here. A bit windy, and quite a bit of rain, but nothing we haven't weathered before. Though that's just here in our area.
The cats have been handeling the storm really well, which is a little surprising. I thought Livie would freak out, but she seems to be ok. Possibly because I've been home all day, so she has that comfort when she needs it. I'm not sure you could ever really phase Genghis, all he needs is food.
Speaking of food, if you ever want to treat yourself, braise some meat (I did a beef brisket, but I imagine any braising type meat would be good) with some hard cider. Seriously, it was AMAZING. Carmalized onions, beef, carrots, hard cider, lots of thyme, and a little beef broth for a couple of hours on a low temp in the oven and it was heaven. A little sweet, a little tang. We're going to try it next with a pork shoulder.
Aug. 5th, 2012
11:10 am - One more day
I can survive one more day. I know I can. I woke up this morning feeling GREAT. I was going to go places and do things. I felt AWESOME. So I took one of the anti-biotics and a half hour later I was doubled over and throwing up. I'm just starting to recover a little bit now. That's not cool. A whole two hours of recovery time for taking something that is supposed to help me.
I keep telling myself that this is a cure. But it doesn't stop the feeling that my body is being fire bombed from space.
Still tomorrow is the last day I take these. I can survive that.
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