spatz: bare feet kicked up, beach in background (beach kicky feet)
Today, I took my 93-year-old grandmother to vote for Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte. ♥ (this was actually a tad surprising, since she is *also* the kind of person who listens to Rush Limbaugh, but apparently the abortion debate cranked her off enough to take up the opposition. Atta girl, Granny.)

My other pasttimes lately have been avoiding my email and other forms of communication with people while watching the entirety of Lewis, and consequently falling prey to all the Oxford scenery and doing my annual re-read of Gaudy Night. I haven't even considered Yuletide yet. Ack.

I continued on to re-read Murder Must Advertise, which is my favorite of the non-Harriet novels, and was struck once again by how acutely, almost depressingly perceptive Dorothy Sayers was. Her cynical observations about advertising still ring true 80-odd years later, as do vast swathes of Gaudy Night -- the discussions about women and education, the scene where Annie's daughter proclaims her intention to run a garage and drive a motorcycle, Harriet's thoughts about partnership, profession, and marriage.... Aside from loving the cases and the shenanigans and Peter's piffle, I get something new out of her books every time.

Anyway. Lewis! spoilers through S7 (aka S8 US, because PBS is dumb) )

book meme

Aug. 5th, 2014 11:41 pm
spatz: book cracked open over armrest, caption "happiness is" (book happiness)
Meme from [personal profile] ignipes: List ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the "right" or "great" works, just the ones that have touched you.

Like Kali, most of these are from childhood:

Dinotopia by James Gurney: I wanted to live in Dinotopia SO MUCH as a child, I wrote a poem about it in my diary. Literally. And to this day, I love the imagination and adventure and camaraderie of it, the way the island is not really a utopia but actually pretty complex and constantly negotiating old ways and new faces, how science is valued by the protagonists, and the stunning art.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren: Who doesn't want to be Pippi when they don't grow up? Funny, bold, adventurous, and most of all kind, as loyal to her friends as they are to her, even when it involves sailing to the middle of nowhere and fighting off pirates with coconut projectiles.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli: I'm still kind of heartstuck on how this book was partly epic and mythologizing, but also quietly realistic about poverty and racism and homelessness and loneliness.

Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson: Well, this one scarred me for life. I remember being SO MAD at my older sister for giving it to me, because it made me cry so much.

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers: Still my favorite romance ever, even if it is ostensibly a detective novel. Also makes me want to learn and read and create, which is the highest compliment I can give anything, IMO.

Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede: Formative feminist fairytale remix, plus funny as hell. We literally read our copies until they fell apart, and I still have the taped-up remnants.

Sheepfarmer's Daughter by Elizabeth Moon: So the end of this trilogy got bafflingly Christ-image-y, but the first two were solid gold in terms of women being flawed yet pragmatically kickass as a career, plus surviving trauma and related h/c.

The Truce at Bakura by Kathy Tyers: Really this is a stand-in for the whole Star Wars Expanded Universe, but it was my first exposure to the idea that the story doesn't have to stop at the end of the movie. Also, there were soul-stealing lizard aliens. Who doesn't like soul-stealing lizard aliens?

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss: Another book I literally read to pieces as a child, ridiculous ecology and all. Honorable mention to Island of the Blue Dolphins and Hatchet in the category of novels about surviving in the wilderness in isolation -- but I will want a treehouse to live in until the day I die, so SFR won.

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley: Nngh, yes, flawed awesome ladies and their destined but hard-won badassery and their equally kickass and conflicted love interests who can't stop with the hearteyes. These are things I like. Also, magical swords and nearly-magical highly-trained horses. Yes.
spatz: cartoon bunnies on stilts with caption "dramatic character-driven stories... or stilts?" (Bunnies stories or stilts?)
Yuletide reveals are up, yay! I wrote gimel for [archiveofourown.org profile] donutsweeper, a quiet little Arrow team story about Oliver and Diggle crashing Felicity's Hanukkah celebration. Many, many thanks to [personal profile] inmyriadbits for the beta job of awesome, and to [livejournal.com profile] arsenicjade for doing a last-minute Judaism-pick for me. ♥

I got three awesome stories this year, which was a new and delightful experience!!!

gifts: Lockout, B13 )

I also beta'd three fics this year, all of which were awesome.

betas: Bletchley Circle, Arrow, & Curse of Chalion )
spatz: Dani Reese in profile against a sunlit wall (Life Dani sunlight)
Love and Marriage (POI) by [personal profile] astolat
In which Reese and Finch get married for financial reasons - except really not, as anyone might guess. I am deeply amused that they *never* actually talk about the whole 'oh hey, we're in love' thing, and yet it's super obvious. I love this show. Also, the scene in the Rose Garden *killed* me in the best way.

The Incident of the Fellow in the Fellow's Garden by azdak
Pitch-perfect crossover between the Lord Peter Wimsey novels and The Man From UNCLE in which Peter is invited to Cambridge in 1955 to investigate a suicide that might be murder, and Illya Kuryakin is the prime suspect. The author nails Peter's piffle and insight in equal measure.

Death Star was an inside job
Star Wars video parody of Loose Change, a 9/11 conspiracy video. *Hilarious*, and I'm irresistably reminded of Holmes' hobby on Elementary.

It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being 'It'
A group of friends have been playing a game of tag for 23 years. And the WSJ wrote an article on it. Yessssss, delicious comedy. An illustrative scene:
Mr. Konesky tiptoed toward Mr. Dennehy's bedroom, burst through the door and flipped on the light. A bleary-eyed Mr. Dennehy looked up as his now-wife yelled "Run, Brian!" Mr. Konesky recalls. "There was nowhere for Brian to run."
spatz: book cracked open over armrest, caption "happiness is" (book happiness)
I love libraries and librarians, but sometimes I just really appreciate the self-checkout machines. I can't imagine what someone would think about my latest haul of books - possibly that I was planning a revenge-flick-style sniper attack on someone who traumatized me, rather than the correct answer (i.e. writing fic about Clint Barton).
spatz: cartoon bunnies on stilts with caption "dramatic character-driven stories... or stilts?" (Bunnies stories or stilts?)
Dear Awesome Person,

Wow, we have so much more time this year! And yet I still did things at the last minute. /o\ Sorry for any and all sleep-deprived babble in my submission details. Hopefully this post will help? If you don't want details for the fandoms, I've included some general likes and my lone hardline squick below, and then you can do whatever you like.

The Basics )

If you DO want more details, I'm happy to provide! Step into my parlor )

Most of my requests this year are nicely small in terms of canon, so if you get stuck on whatever we matched on and feel adventurous, that's a plus - B13 is two movies, Men in Black is three movies, Bletchley Circle is three episodes. (The Millenium trilogy is not so easy, alas - 3 books, 4 movies, and counting! But well worth the time, IMO) I hope you have fun (especially if it's your first time with Yuletide), thank you so much for your time and your passion for these small fandoms. Hopefully this post will be useful to you in making the process easier.

Previous Yuletide letters, which may have helpful details:
2011
2010
spatz: Gene Kelly pantomiming ridiculously in period dress, caption "OH NOES!" (SITR oh noes)
OMG, just wandered onto Facebook (everyone who knows me in RL, stifle your shock: I was going there to sign out because I saw myself signed in elsewhere and I find it very creepy when they track my movements like I'm a wounded commerce gazelle) and discovered that my kindergarten best friend has married.

And reproduced.

Twice.

With a guy who resembles Pete Wentz to a remarkable degree.

THIS IS VERY WEIRD FOR ME. I feel like we just dropping a block of concrete on my toe and playing horsies only yesterday! Of course, then there was the moving away and the moving back and the turning into the temporarily-evil queen bee of 4th grade drama. (there was a playground rebellion against her, I kid you not. I have valid reasons for despising drama! It was traumatic!)

Meanwhile, I'm over here figuring out how to sign up for basic utilities for the first time.

...Fuck it, I'm going to go preorder some books to comfort myself.
spatz: Lex holding birthday cake and laughing maniacally, caption "Even Lex Luthor has birthdays" (Lex birthday crack)
PLEASE TELL SOMEONE IS ALREADY REQUESTING THIS FOR YULETIDE:
Secret Agent Calvin and Hobbes: Meet Dr. Robin

(ooh, bonus motorcycle chase!)

*****

Here, have some links to people being awesome in low-tech ways that they came up with because they loved something:

Tiny libraries around the world

Florida guy who runs coral reef nurseries

Giant rats trained to detect landmines...and tuberculosis

Nine-year-old boy builds a handmade arcade out of cardboard

*****

I'm going to go read ridiculous h/c now. If anyone has any recommendations, I'd be much obliged.
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (books)
Yuletide is here! I got an amazing story for the film Weekend, which about a man named Russell having a one-night stand with a man named Glen, that turns into something more. It's a stunning little film, far and away my favorite of the twelve movies I saw at SXSW this year - now available on Netflix streaming, thank goodness, because it doesn't have DVD distribution in the US yet.

My gift was you cannot conquer time and it is GORGEOUS post-movie fix-it fic that somehow perfectly captures the characters and the tone of the movie (which I can barely believe the *movie* did, sometimes). Basically: 15,000 words of exactly what I wanted. *g* Yuletide Author, you are the best!

*****

Other awesome stories so far:

Taking The Stairs (Life)
Charlie, Ted, and Tidwell get stuck in an elevator together. I mean - the concept *alone*, right? But it's also a hilarious combination of Charlie in full-on Zen babble mode and some lovely character moments. ♥

The Team Player (Sports Night)
In which Kim is a PR ninja and everyone should worship her in awe. Why are there not already a million fics of this? It's basically canon.

A Madcap Proposal (Lost in Austen)
Post-miniseries, Caroline Bingley and Wickham team up and have Heyer-esque shenanigans in London. All the hysterically catty comments and engagement-of-convenience a girl could want!

In Uniform (B13)
Leito has feelings about Damian in his police uniform. JFC, awesome study of how violence and passion are intricately intertwined in their relationship. And fucking hot.

give me courage not to fear no one (Attack the Block)
Four weapons Moses used, and one he didn't. Why hello there, pitch-perfect Moses voice.

*****

Hey internet, can you recommend some good scifi books of the more lyrical/attention-to-prose/well-written vein? My sister [livejournal.com profile] ersatzemma was asking for recs for her boyfriend, but we basically came up with Ursula LeGuin. :| Ya'll can do better than that, I'm sure! He likes the beat poets, if that helps narrow it down any.
spatz: cartoon bunnies on stilts with caption "dramatic character-driven stories... or stilts?" (Bunnies stories or stilts?)
Best of July: recs and opinions )

And the best of all, [livejournal.com profile] ersatzemma arrived yesterday for a visit! *waves*

And now for a meme!
Give me a pairing (canon or fanon) and I will tell you at least two of:
1. What they most commonly do during sex
2. Who has prettier hair
3. What they argue about most often
4. Who'd cope best if the other one died
5. The happiest plausible happily-ever-after I can think of for them.

meme

Jun. 6th, 2010 10:22 pm
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (Default)
An oldie, but a classic! Tagged by [livejournal.com profile] gingerwall.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4-7 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest (unless it's too troublesome to reach and is really heavy. Then go back to step 1).


Luckily, I had the book I'm reading tucked beside my mattress, and I've already read page 123. It's really an adorable conversation, but all the jokes are sadly out of context here:

'Cabin'd, cribb'd, confined,' he supplied, adding grandiloquently: 'I'm bookish, too.'

A ripple of laughter broke from her. 'So I perceive! And that is just how it was in my family.'

'Was? Still is!'


Black Sheep, by Georgette Heyer

*****

Vaguely related: Has anyone read [livejournal.com profile] jimhines's novels? I keep getting linked to his posts, where he seems pretty consistently awesome and intelligent, and he seems to write fairy tale retellings with awesome ladies, which sounds right up my alley. I'd kind of like to buy his books in support of such a bastion of sanity, but I hate buying books that I end up not liking. Getting rid of books always feels like throwing out the Velveteen Rabbit, as silly as that sounds.
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (SPN x-ray ribs)
[livejournal.com profile] fannish5
List the 5 series (tv, book, or movies) that best kept their quality, from beginning to end.

I didn't let myself consider any TV still on-air in case I jinxed it, so this is what I ended up with:

1) Avatar: The Last Airbender
Far and away the TV show that never let me down

2) Vorkosigan saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Let me tell you how much I love this series and how it shaped me as a person. No, it is too much, let me sum up: MADE OF AWESOME.

3) Due South
So awesome it still has an active and recruiting fandom after two cancellations, a lead actor switcheroo, and 15 years gone

4) The Thief series - Megan Whalen Turner
Not only is the world fascinating and the characters human and complex, but each book pulls off some sort of insane narrative innovation on top of an amazing plot.

5) Ouran High School Host Club
A delightful little gem of cracktastic adorable, all the way through.

Hmmm. It's interesting that 2 of the 3 TV shows I chose are animated. I wonder if that has to do with the amount of preplanning that animation requires, and how it effects the continuity of the show.
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (Default)
First of all, I haven't been getting some of my comments and replies - has anyone else had this problem?

The first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender is streaming on Netflix, if any of ya'll haven't had the chance to watch it yet. I really can't stress how much I love this show - it's this wonderful, epic, delightful thing that spends three seasons telling exactly the story it set out to tell, and doing so many things right along the way - awesome characters that are both heroic and still children, kickass female characters, incredible world-building and continuity, beautiful animation.

Animator Vs Animation: An utterly hilarious and creative Flash animation, in which a stick figure and cursor do epic battle in Paintshop Pro. Laugh-out-loud funny, and make sure to turn the sound on.

I've been craving good Holmes/Watson/Mary fic since I saw Sherlock Holmes, and I finally found some I like. recessional on Dreamwidth has been writing prompt table responses and her Mary is most excellent, and the balance of the three in the relationship is pitch-perfect.

Is there HTML code to link to DW users from LJ? I feel like I've seen it somewhere, but I can't recall how to do it.

Speaking of Sherlock Holmes, I've been reading a book about Victorian London, which, hilariously, starts with a chapter called "Smells", describing the sewage situation in the mid-1800s. There's a map of the sewer system used to drain and upgrade the old lines, and I was tickled pink to see that if a boat was heading downstream from the Houses of Parliament, there is in fact a major sewer line crossing the river's edge just past the bridge, port side, approximately 100 yards. See?
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (Default)
There's been an uptick in bandom activity lately - more fic being posted, more Twitter/pic squee, with corresponding blog posts/music releases - but I appear to have drifted out of primary fannishness without noticing. I'll read flist fic and recs, but I don't go out looking for stories anymore. I dunno, new albums might spin me back into the fervent heights of fannishness, but the first blush is gone.

It lasted a good year and a half, though! Starting when Lindsey showed me the video for But It's Better If You Do and tempted me into reading Forever, Now and Star Shaped back in January 2008. I've met scads of cool people, in RL (*waves to Texas crew*) and online, and how could I ever regret Gerard Way? ;)

The end of an era is always a little sad, though.

******

Lindsey is at a bartending job and I don't want to wash dishes, so have some links while I procrastinate and catch up on LJ:

Discussion about female masturbation: I am a big fan, both of the act and the talking about it ;)

Houston elects openly gay mayor: yay Texans!

Leverage 2.5 promo: can I just say spoilers )

Holy shit! When I was younger, I read this wonderful pair of books that was both an Arthurian legend twist and a post-apocalyptic setting (on reflection, my love for Dark Angel and Merlin make more sense). APPARENTLY THERE'S ANOTHER ONE! Dude, 20-years-later-sequels are to be respected.

AND! A movie version of another childhood favorite (with awesome explosive-guerilla-warfare and teen drama), Tomorrow, When the War Began is being released next year! As a bonus, one of the main characters is being played by Rachel Hurd-Wood, who was Wendy in Peter Pan. ([livejournal.com profile] gingerwall, we are going to see this together. You cannot escape.)
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (heroine addict wondy)
Fannish Friday 5
Who are your 5 favorite non-humanoid characters?

1. Diefenbaker (Due South)
2. Hobbes (Calvin & Hobbes)
3. Appa (Avatar)
4. Pilot (Farscape)
5. Bernard & Bianca (The Rescuers)

This was more difficult than I originally thought, because I realized non-humanoid is not the same thing as non-human, which rules out 99% of Star Trek, Star Wars, and other aliens & monsters. The first three spots were easy, but competitors for the last two included Elda (Dark Lord of Derkholm), Bunnicula, the Disreputable Dog & Mogget (Abhorsen books), Faithful/Pounce (Tortall books), Aslan (Narnia), Kazul (Enchanted Forest Chronicles), the Cowardly Lion (Oz books), and the Beaver (I Want to Go Home!).
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (heroine addict wondy)
It's always terribly disconcerting to find that favorite fictional characters are younger than you.

For instance, Elizabeth Bennett was 20 in Pride and Prejudice. Miles Vorkosigan was 23 in Brothers in Arms when he managed to talk his clone out of 17 years of assassin training (bless his heart). Veronica Mars was 16/17 when her best friend was murdered, Aang is 12 and expected to save the world in less than a year with almost no training, Smallville's Clark Kent started out as a 14 year-old who just found out he was a super-powered alien, reboot Jim Kirk is barely 25 and captain of a starship with hundreds of people in his care, Buffy was 16 and knew she was going to die, Harry Potter willingly sacrifices himself at 17.

When you're a teenager, all this seems quite natural and fun, and it's often not unbelievable as an adult, but it takes on certain wistful, heartbreaking aspect when you're 22 and comparing life stories.

Books

Oct. 2nd, 2007 02:41 am
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (Sundown)
Oh, dear. I made the mistake of reading the first few pages of Luck in the Shadows on Amazon, and ended up ordering the whole Nightrunner trilogy by Lynn Flewelling. Considering the number of recommendations I've had for it and my own appreciation of the opening, I suspect that I'm safe, but I wish I hadn't already ordered Empire of Ivory - it would have saved extra trips to the mail. As it was, I was forced to add Martha Wells' Entanglement to get free shipping: such a sad fate is mine.

Now the question is: when the hell am I gonna find the time to read them? Last weekend was literally the first time since school started that I haven't had to a) shoot a film or b) drive to New Haven to buy apartment crap at IKEA (also an excuse to visit my roommate's adorable brother at Yale, with whom I always end up arguing the merits of film vs theatre).

I'm having a fantastic semester: three film classes and West African dance. Heaven! So I've watched over 20 movies since school started, and that's not including all the one-reel silent films from my Action and Adventure class. Higgins does love his silents, but he provides hilarious commentary, so we love them, too.

A lot of them are for my Race and Film class, though, and therefore heavy on the offensive/bad end of the spectrum. I watched Birth of a Nation on fast-forward (the benefit of it being silent and me being fast at reading intertitles).

Additional trivia:
--Isabella Rossellini donated money and some of her mother's collection to our film center, a fact learned while snacking outside the editing room.
--My production prof used to teach at UT/work in Austin, so we bonded over missing Tex-Mex the first day of class. Also, he make ninja filmmaker jokes.
--I have three radically different types of dance this semester: West African, rapper sword dancing, and swing.
--I haven't watched a single TV premiere or pilot :(
--All my classes are within 100 feet of each other.
--Rudy Valentino was a damn attractive man, but don't watch The Sheik. Skip straight to the sequel, Son of the Sheik, in which Rudy has some great scenes with himself.
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (quest)
The day did not dawn auspiciously - I lost my fangirl badge for thinking the midnight release was Saturday night rather than Friday night, then we tarried too long at my uncle's dinner and I had to resort to driving to a 24-hour HEB at 11 PM, where I finally secured their second-to-last copy. I returned home triumphant and finished reading about half an hour ago, in the same chair where I read the first book - a chance pickup by my father at the library when I was 12, thinking I would like it. I certainly did - I couldn't put the damn thing down until I finished, and then made Lindsey read it rightawayOMG.

Spoilers for Deathly Hallows )

Meme

Feb. 9th, 2007 03:20 pm
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (Heroes Claire sunshine)
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open it to page 161.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

"However, since I am fairly trapped, let me make the best of it."

From Boswell's London Journal, 1762-63, ed. Frederick A. Pottle

Hmph. Frankly, the first sentence was much more juicy:
"Thus ended my intrigue with the fair Louisa, which I flattered myself so much with, and from which I expected at least a winter's safe copulation."

Wow, sounds like a real charmer.

Book glee!

Sep. 21st, 2006 03:39 am
spatz: green bird perched on a hand (happy beach feet)
I am such an idiot. I thought, "Self, how about starting His Majesty's Dragon, just to lull you to sleep?" And now I'm 200 pages in and I really don't want to stop. Damn, this is hella cool. Dragons! Aerial battles! Comraderie! Napoleon! True love friendship! Temeraire is so *awesome* and all the characters are well-written, and Laurence's cadences are so patently British and you immediately get a sense of his character.

I suppose my lack of self-preservation has some practical purpose: I have come to the tail-end of my cold, reading so late, and no longer...drip so horrendously. (I'm sure you all needed to know that - happy to oblige)

This was such a good decision! A new world to play in, with more books and possible Peter Jackson movies! Naomi Novik rocks, and I would be eager to tell her so should we ever meet.

*prances off to read more* I really can't think of a better reason to attempt an all-nighter. I probably won't last that long, but I can try!

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