vid rec: This Night (Skyeward)

Feb. 27th, 2015 10:34 am
astridv: (Default)
[personal profile] astridv

Great editing. Love the style and the song choice.

(This vid was recced by Brett Dalton. The man has taste :).)
umadoshi: (Sailor Moon - Haruka & Michiru (tofsla))
[personal profile] umadoshi
[personal profile] owlmoose's prompt for me was: "talk about your history in fandom. How did you get started? What keeps you here?"

I feel a bit like I'm jumping ahead if I start with how I got into fandom, because there were things I felt fannish about before I found online fandom, and I did have some contact with offline fandom. So to summarize those things: I grew up watching Star Trek (TOS and TNG). I was fannish about X-Men starting around third grade (technically, Power Pack was my gateway drug) and into high school, and about Elfquest starting...early in junior high, I think. I had sporadic contact with snailmail fan organizations, and I went to a handful of local SFF cons while I was in high school (which is how I met [personal profile] scruloose, so I'd say that worked out!). I have very fond memories of all of those things, and I'm very much a lifelong geek.

But according to my heart, to the part of me that loves fandom, it started in earnest with my family Getting An Internet Connection as I was finishing high school, and with my getting into Sailor Moon the summer before I started university.

Several years ago now I wrote a short essay for on how Sailor Moon changed my life, so I'm going to drop that link for an overview. The bare facts are that the Sailor Moon fandom--specifically on the newsgroup--was my real introduction to anime/manga and Japanese culture in general (filtered heavily through the lens of North American geeks in the late '90s, I hasten to add). I lurked a lot, but I posted sometimes. I started writing fanfiction that other people could read (as opposed to my Elfquest fics, written longhand in notebooks in junior high and never really read by anyone). I made my first online friends, some of whom are still friends today.

And through lurking and just being interested in other Sailor Moon fans' chatting about other geeky things, I learned a fair bit about their facets of online fandom, and it was fascinating--enough so that even when I drifted out of the Sailor Moon fandom and proceeded to primarily be a lurker between 2000-2004 or so, I stayed keenly interested in fandom itself. But while I fell in love with other things, primarily Evangelion and Utena and The X-Files, I was essentially silent (other than when I wrote a lone fic each for Utena and Rurouni Kenshin).

Or at least, that's how it feels in my memory. It's probably not literally true. I lurked a lot but spoke up sometimes; I also had a lot of my social-geek needs met in person, because 2002-2004 was when [personal profile] scruloose and I lived in Toronto, and our entire social circle there was geeky to its core. (And oh, I loved it.)

At any rate, by the time I found an active fandom again (Fruits Basket, which IIRC I technically was first exposed to in late 2003), I'd also become fairly fannish about fandom itself. Fandom has its flaws, obviously, and of course for all of our attempts to label it, there is no single thing that answers to "FANDOM" and can be tied up neatly in a bow. There are too many aspects and rituals; we come from such a huge variety of backgrounds, even just in terms of our online environments* and the resulting social expectations from each other. But I'm drawn to fannish people, whether they ID as "having a fandom" or not--people with that huge, glorious love for something that lights their eyes and spills over into practically everything they touch. For all of fandom's reputation for conflict and drama, I love it as a whole.

That's what's kept me here even when I didn't have an active fandom (once Fruits Basket ended), and now that I'm in such a small fandom**. Which...means I'm a cranky misanthrope who sticks around for the people. Even given that I think I'm crankier in my head than on the page, that strikes me as amusing. *g*

*My online trajectory goes something like: newsgroups --> Yahoo Groups/LiveJournal --> Dreamwidth/Tumblr/LiveJournal.

**I may never fully wrap my head around how deeply many people love Newsflesh compared to how infrequently I see fic for/discussion of it, but the scarcity certainly means I've learned to appreciate every bit of it, which I tell myself is a valuable life lesson. *g* Hell, I talk to strangers if Newsflesh comes up, despite being introverted, shy, and socially anxious. (Anyone who met me here because I wandered into your comments one day and said, "Um, I see that you like Georgia...?", that's...not really typical for me. ^^;)

(no subject)

Feb. 27th, 2015 12:00 am
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1666 aged 52 Luisa de Guzman(my
Mother of Catherine who married Charles II. Luisa was the daughter of
Spanish nobels, and married the King of Portugal, she was Regent of
Portugal when her son was a child King.

Born on this day in 1370 to King Charles V of France and Joanna of
Bourbon Mary of France(my
Died aged 7. Aunt of Catherine who married Henry V.

(no subject)

Feb. 26th, 2015 04:35 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1275 aged 34 Margaret of England(my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of Henry III. Married the King of Scotland when she was 11 and he was 10... they later had 3 children (the first when she was 20).

Born on this day in 1361 to King Charles IV of Bohemia and Anna von Schgweidnitz, King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia(my toy,wikipedia). Half sister of Anne of Bohemia who married Richard II. Bohemia is now (roughly) the Czech Republic, somehow "Bohemia" sounds much more romantic. Wenceslaus was apparently a popular name, and this one is not the one in the song.

(no subject)

Feb. 26th, 2015 10:23 am
fadeaccompli: (chores)
[personal profile] fadeaccompli
I was reminded, in passing, of an excellent example of an opening line in a book:

"When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen."

As a child, this immediately made me inclined to like Mary. As an adult, I admire that it cheerfully deploys our protagonist in the passive voice (twice!) and explicitly tells us about her (instead of ~showing~) and still manages to give the reader an excellent idea about the protagonist, her personality, and her surroundings.

In any case, now I'm going to go read The Secret Garden again. Mary is so grouchy. I like her.

In fact, have the whole first paragraph, it's a delight. )

(no subject)

Feb. 26th, 2015 09:00 am
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
This post should appear at 9am on Friday, will it?
umadoshi: (feminism - she's someone (iconriot))
[personal profile] umadoshi
[personal profile] kate's prompt was, "Tell me about how you're different from the person you were 7 years ago. Or if you're not different!"

I've been pondering this one for a while (long enough that it feels like I surely must have a lot to say as a result, but clearly not).

I've changed a lot in my Adulthood So Far, in all kinds of ways, so I keep feeling like I must have changed noticeably in the past seven years. Seven years ago was 2008, and I was 29-30, so at that point most of the really big changes in how I think and in how my brain works had happened: my religious expression, my brain chemistry, and most of my major relationships evolved a lot in the few years before that.

So I think the single biggest change is probably increased awareness of social justice issues. I had the basics down before then--the surface level "everyone is equally worthy of respect and fair treatment" awareness--but I don't think I had much awareness of the underlying systemic issues. I never thought sexism or racism or any of the multiple other axes were "over", but until the last several years I didn't realize how blatantly awful it still is for basically every group except able-bodied cishet white dudes, and how much work needs to be done.

I'm still constantly learning on all of those fronts, but I'm fundamentally more aware of how much I don't know, and (I think/hope) more open to realizing/being told that I'm deeply wrong about something and need to stop and reevaluate. And I'm definitely a lot more outspoken about these things than I used to be, which took another few years; there was a fairly significant chunk of time when I felt...fairly aware of how screwed up things were, but not up to the task of effectively communicating about it. That's still not something I feel really confident about, but I do feel more able to answer basic questions and address some issues, and I have a much stronger sense of where to direct people who sincerely want to familiarize themselves with social justice issues and who want to hear what people who're directly affected have to say. (I knew I hoarded links for a reason.)

This feels like an incomplete answer somehow, but I think it's what I've got right now.

Reading Wednesday

Feb. 25th, 2015 07:45 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Still reading Mecca, not finished anything new. Changed "next book" plan to the Just City since fivemack has offered the loan of a copy.

(no subject)

Feb. 25th, 2015 09:59 am
sixbeforelunch: michael from burn notice wearing a tight green tshirt and leaning against a truck, no text (burn notice - michael weston in a green)
[personal profile] sixbeforelunch
I did not watch the last episodes of either Agent Carter or Parks and Rec last night. The former because I have a strict no TV after 9 rule, and the latter because NBC decided to air the episode after Yet Another Talent Reality Show, and so it ran into the no TV after 9 rule. I am not overly worried about Agent Carter spoilers, but I am trying to avoid even yay/nay opinions on Parks and Rec so that I can go in with no preconceived ideas, and that will likely be harder.

Instead, my 8-9 TV hour was taken up with the end of Mary and Max, a brilliant little claymation movie with the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman giving voice to one of the two title characters, and proving that once again that he was a genius at bringing people to life. After that, I watched the very start of A Monster in Paris, which looks like it has potential.

Call the Midwife this week was lovely, as always. Spoilers. ) This show has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to characters, and I'm only sorry that an hour is too short to showcase all of them each week.

(no subject)

Feb. 25th, 2015 05:56 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1458 Ralph Neville(my
So boring he doesn't even get a wikipedia page. His half-sister
Cecily was the mother of Edward IV. His half-brother Richard's son
(also Richard) was the Earl of Warwick known as the 'kingmaker'. The
Nevilles got their fingers in a lot of pies in the 15th century; or at
least from the way I'm confused about which of them is which it feels
like it.

Born on this day in 1885 to Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess
Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine Princess Alice of Battenberg(my
Mother in law of Elizabeth II. She married her 5th cousin once
removed, which is quite a distant cousin really. During WWII she
sheltered Jewish refugees from the Nazis, later she founded an order
of Orthodox nursing nuns. Congenitally deaf and diagnosed with
schizophrenia her life can't have been exactly easy, even with piles
of money. She lived her last years in Buckingham palace, after the
Greek monarchy was booted out. Battenberg is the name that was
Anglicised as Mountbatten, which prince Philip has because (I guess)
his father didn't have a surname? Anyway, Battenberg is better,
because it reminds me of cake.

(posted by email! does this work? yes, yes it does)

A few more quick links

Feb. 25th, 2015 02:30 pm
umadoshi: (Agent Carter - back to back (asthenie_vd)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Current weather: a frigid mess slopping out of the sky. Mmm, mmm.


I've seen less-than-optimistic murmurings about Agent Carter's odds of another season/mini-series on Twitter, which doesn't help with my mood. :/ But FWIW, there's a very easy form for giving ABC feedback about Agent Carter (or their other shows). (No registration required.)

EDIT to add: this just came across my Twitter feed: "Comic Book Writers Matt Fraction & Kelly Sue DeConnick Sign Deal With Universal TV, Will Adapt ‘Sex Criminals’ To Series".

The Akagami no Shirayuki-hime manga (as-yet unlicensed in English, but I've very much enjoyed what I've seen of it) is getting an anime series this summer.

This news is several days old now, but Sarah Rees Brennan's Unmade (the final Lynburn Legacy book) is up for the 2014 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, which delights me. [Link goes to the full Nebula nominee list.]

At the AV Club, Genevieve Valentine wrote "Won’t they? The power (and pitfalls) of ’shipping".

Given that I don't much care about either awards shows or red carpet fashion (personally--no judgment on other people's enjoyment), it's a little strange that I enjoy Genevieve Valentine's overviews of said fashions so much. Here's her post on this year's Oscars at [ profile] glvalentine.

As of February 24, Sock Dreams is offering free international shipping to qualifying countries with purchases over $30 USD. My sock-loving Canadian heart is deeply pleased about this. My freelancer's wallet is quaking in its boots.

A YouTube video of Tori Amos performing "Merman" solo and "Siren" with string quartet in 2011. I still regret not managing to see her when she toured with the quartet.

And while I'm linking her, I love Tori's performance of "Concertina" on From the Artist's Den--solo and very different from the album version.

Not linking a specific song, but I've been enjoying Savannah Outen's acoustic covers of a variety of songs.
umadoshi: (kittens - Jinksy - looking up)
[personal profile] umadoshi
My theoretical plan for the evening involved making a concerted effort to get some writing done, be it on fanfic or a blog post, but it turned out Jinksy had other ideas.

I started reading Genevieve Valentine's The Girls at the Kingfisher Club right before dinner, and after we ate I lay down to read another chapter or two...and then Jinksy came and snuggled up on my legs and fell asleep there. On the sofa. On Claudia's blanket. Seeing as he almost never sits on me anywhere but at my desk (and then not for terribly long), and has only slept on me a handful of times before ever, the upshot was that I read the whole book while he napped (and while I lost almost all feeling in my calves).

On the one hand, oops? OTOH, it was a cozy way to spend the evening.

It seems like a particular bit of cruelty on the part of the TV Powers That Be to schedule both the Parks and Recreation series finale and the Agent Carter finale (especially if the show doesn't get renewed) on the same night. I'm still way behind on this season of Parks and Rec, so it's not hitting me as hard personally to have them both land at once, but still. ;_; We at least got a good long run with Parks and Rec, but oh, I'll miss it. And the thought of not having Peggy on my screen again after tonight's episode breaks my heart. Please, please let it be renewed!

(I won't get to see Agent Carter until tomorrow. No spoilers, please!)

Meanwhile, it looks like Kas and I are going to go see Jupiter Ascending on Monday night (in 3D, if so, which is annoying, but it's what there seems to be). Since I last mentioned it here I've had several people flail excitedly at me about it (Ginny just saw it tonight, and going by Twitter, she was very pleased), so now I'm kinda fidgety about seeing it.

We have a snowfall warning for tomorrow (10-20 cm, possibly changing to rain at some point). Dear winter: STOP. JUST STOP. The weather has driven us to acquire a snowblower, which lessens the dread somewhat, but the side streets still aren't well cleared, and that's right in the actual city. :/ We are done, done, DONE.

Quick unsorted linkspam

Feb. 25th, 2015 12:19 am
umadoshi: (dumpling (iconic_notions))
[personal profile] umadoshi
The tab situation is escalating back towards "status: DIRE". *sighs* (Currently at 232, and that's after closing the tabs that held all the links below.) These are disproportionately via Facebook, since they're the easiest links to just toss into my ever-regenerating file.

Via [personal profile] shiroiko:

--WarpZone Prints offers a wide array of geeky cookie cutters.

--"Chocolates That Represent Japanese Onomatopoeic Words To Describe Texture".

At Lifehacker: "The Best Lesser-Known Services for Legally Streaming Movies and TV". (Many of which are likely to be US-only; I haven't investigated further.)

Fuchsia Dunlop on London's Chinatown.

Via Facebook:

--"Ghostly Watercolor and Ink Cats Bleeding into the Canvas": art by Serbian artist Endre Penovác.

--"How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life ".

--"Archaeologists Discover a Cheese That’s Almost 2,000 Years Older Than Jesus".

--A company that makes plush versions of your pets.

--"CT Scan of 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue Reveals Mummified Monk Hidden Inside".

--"Urban explorer [Andre Govia] reveals an abandoned world, frozen in time".

Things I Like: The Invisible Library

Feb. 24th, 2015 07:21 pm
fadeaccompli: (roles)
[personal profile] fadeaccompli
(This is mostly a repost from my review over on Broken Forum.)

I just finished reading The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. Or possibly rereading, because I read this one in an earlier draft; the author's a friend, so I'm not a completely disinterested party, here.

That said! I quite honestly feel that this is an excellent book. Irene is a Librarian, with capital letters and all because she works for the Library: a vast information archive (mostly in the form of books, but not exclusively so) that sends its agents on interdimensional missions to retrieve, well, books. She gets a mission to a world that's got a Fae infestation, resulting in vampires and werewolves and zeppelins and the occasional giant clockwork centipede attempting to murder you while you were just having a polite talk with a consulting detective about a mysterious murder connected to the book you're trying to find. As one does.

So anyway, it's a delightful romp, with lots of excitement and action and some silliness, and multiple interesting magic-esque systems that get worked out logically and collide in interesting ways. The characters are fun, the story is engaging, it's very fast-paced. There's an obvious sequel hook at the end--and more books coming in the series--but it's quite satisfactory as a standalone novel, I think. The nearest equivalent in feel that springs to mind is Aaronovitch's Rivers Of London, though it's a bit higher on the action and lower on the paperwork/procedural than that one.

The one downside is that it's a UK-only release right now, so if you're in the US, it's hard to get a look at it. I bought my copy from The Book Depository, and I continue to hope it'll get picked up in the US so that I can get a copy of it in ebook form eventually.

(no subject)

Feb. 24th, 2015 05:33 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1525 aged 45 Richard de la Pole(my toy,wikipedia). Nephew of Eward IV. Rebelled against Henry VII, unsuccessfully.

Born on this day in 1500 to King Philip I of Castile and Queen Joanna of Castile Emperor Charles V(my toy,wikipedia). Father of Philip who married Mary I. Charles V was in charge of an enormous empire, unfortunately not *very* in charge of it. Have a YouTube video about him:

Focus? What's a "focus"?

Feb. 23rd, 2015 11:30 pm
umadoshi: (Frozen - groggy Anna (herbskillz))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Today and yesterday were improvements over last week in terms of how much rewriting I got done (thank goodness), but my brain is still refusing to focus on anything else. Full stop. If it had to pick a single thing to sort-of focus on, it picked the right one, but I'd really like to be able to settle on a thing and do it instead of having this constant swirl of I could write some words or watch something or read things in open tabs or write a blog post or or or.

That said, I did read a novel over the past couple of days, so it's not literally the case that I can't focus on anything else, but reading isn't the same sort of endeavor.

I was still holding out hope for getting something done for the Porn Battle Golden Oldies Round (which is on for two more days!), but given that I don't have a draft and ideally I'd like to ask [personal profile] wildpear to give anything I finished a once-over...yeah, that's not happening.

(Question is, without the external motivation, will I stick with this little fic before going back to one of the longer ones? No idea. This WIP, for the record, is a Georgia/Shaun fic that would've been for the "ratings" prompt. So far it's ~2300 words of cut to spare those who'd prefer to avoid the description of smut ))

Anyway. I guess this post wound up being a public statement of "fic event participation: not happening", so hopefully I'll stop feeling like I ought to get this finished in the next twenty-four hours.

(no subject)

Feb. 23rd, 2015 04:01 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1554 aged 37 Henry Grey(my toy,wikipedia). Henry Grey was the great grand child of Elizabeth Woodville by her first husband, and the father of Jane Grey. A zealous Protestant Grey is mostly remembered for his attempt to make his daughter Queen. He escaped execution over that, but was later executed after a different failed plot to overthrow Queen Mary.

Born on this day in 1708 to Duke Adolphus II of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Princess Christiane of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Duke Charles of Mecklenburg(my toy,wikipedia). Father of Charlotte who married George III. Adolphus was a musician and served in the army, as well as Duke.

Rainbows and emptiness

Feb. 22nd, 2015 08:50 pm
juliet: (Default)
[personal profile] juliet
We still do not have permission for our solar panels, although we have an official form planning letter which mostly doesn't apply to us. On Thursday it will have been 3 weeks and thus I can chase the planning officer to find out what the problem is with issuing a certificate stating that our lawful development is, in fact, lawful development. (Gah.) On the upside, Patio Dude has just sent an email saying he'll be round next week (which I sincerely hope means a week tomorrow and not tomorrow, for which I would not be prepared) to take up old patio and install new patio, new fence, and new pergola. In some glorious future year the pergola will, I hope, support GRAPES. (The grape vine already exists, but is quite small.)

Leon is now teaching himself to count in other languages (French, Russian, and Mandarin, so far). The internet has a lot to answer for. He is also keen on rainbows (from a colour perspective, rather than as a meteorological phenomenon), and the bin lorry. ("Taking the things to the recycling, to make them into new things!") In a slightly scary step we have taken away the stereo-pen (ie the baby pen that corralled stereo instead of child) without any incident resulting. I believe we are beginning to enter the "why" phase...

I have been GETTING RID OF THINGS in a middling dramatic fashion, and feeling very good for it. My room looks -- not empty, but the stuff that is there looks uncluttered. And I have now kept my desk actually clear for about 3 weeks now which is an all-time record.

And I have not one but two short story deadlines upcoming, which on the one hand is a good state to be in, and on the other hand, deadlines, writing, editing, etc. Yesterday I read through one of them and thought that it was pretty much OK which always makes me nervously wonder what I've missed or if I have lost my critical edge. (Did I ever have a critical edge? who knows.)

Now to finish sewing rainbow patchwork for Leon's upcoming birthday.

(no subject)

Feb. 22nd, 2015 05:40 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1371 aged 46 King David II of Scotland(my toy,wikipedia). David married Joan, daughter of Edward II. He was defeated by the English and exiled to France for a bit, and then invaded England (from Scotland) to assist the French but alas captured by the English, but later he got away and went back to Scotland. The Scots and French spent a lot of time being friends, especially when they both hated the English (it is important to have a common enemy ;-p).

Born on this day in 1403 to King Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria, King Charles VII of France(my toy,wikipedia). Sister of Isabella who married Richard II. He was an unlikely King, having 4 older brothers, who all died childless. At the start of his reign Charles had little of France, which was mostly held by the English under Henry VI; then he encountered Joan of Arc, and with her help reclaimed much of France. Later he had an unpleasant falling out with his son Louis, who followed him as King.

Died yesterday (oops) in 1554 aged 42 Sibylle of Cleves(my toy,wikipedia). Aunt of Anne of Cleves who married Henry VIII. She married the Elector of Saxony, and in his absence defended Wittenberg. She was a staunch supported of the Reformation and they were at times at war with the Emperor, who was not.

Born yesterday in 1397 to King John I of Portugal and Philippa of Lancaster, Isabella of Portugal(my toy,wikipedia). Grand-daughter of John of Gaunt. She married the Duke of Burgundy, her third cousin. She was a capable leader, and devoted mother, but her marriage was not very happy.


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