Sep. 25th, 2017

  • 10:08 PM
skygiants: Kozue from Revolutionary Girl Utena, in black rose gear, holding her sword (salute)
I happened to see on Twitter that today was the 30th anniversary of The Princess Bride, which I guess makes it a good day to post about As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride.

This is Cary Elwes' memoir of the making of the film, a book I had vaguely meant to read for years, but did not actually get around to until our new roommate left his copy in the house this summer as a sort of placeholder before actually moving in. It's very charming! I'd sort of always had a vague sense that Cary Elwes must in some way resent being forever branded as The Man In Black, and I'm sure that at some points he has and does, but this write-up is probably the most overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic Hollywood making-of memoir I've ever read. It's clearly intended for people who love the film and want to go on loving it, without a complicated feeling in sight.

My favorite part was probably the enthusiastic things that Cary Elwes and everyone interviewed had to say about Robin Wright and her acting as Buttercup; they're all like "we sailed through on jokes! playing the straight man is the hardest role in the cast! ALSO SHE CAME FROM SOAP OPERAS, SOAP OPERAS ARE SO HARD, DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY LINES PER DAY --" I went in braced to feel vaguely defensive of Robin Wright and Buttercup, as I so often do, and instead I was charmed and endeared!

I also enjoyed accounts of:
- Mandy Patinkin turning up to the first rehearsal with six months of sword practice under his belt, much to Cary Elwes' dismay
- William Goldman freaking out about Rob Reiner setting the leading lady on fire
- Andre the Giant accidentally conking Cary Elwes out on set
- Cary Elwes carefully arranging himself on the grass in an elegant lounging position to hide that he'd broken an ankle joyriding in a golf card
- so much detailed description of sword training and fight choreography! *__* SO MUCH

Remix Revival - Plus One

  • Sep. 25th, 2017 at 10:30 AM
gramarye1971: Viktor Nikiforov from Yuri!!! on Ice, soaking in the onsen (YoI: Onsen Viktor)
With my creativity currently at an ebb, I hadn't intended to write anything for Remix Revival Madness, but a very, very last-minute fic idea jumped into my head during this past week and started doing the plot bunny equivalent of banging pots and pans together in an effort to make itself heard. So in a mad dash, I duly hammered out about 1500 words for it, and would like to have made it longer, but for now I think it'll do.

So to remix [profile] elstaplador's La Forza dell'Amore, an invisible fandom work about the opera that Yuri!!! on Ice's Stammi Vicino aria and duet might have come from, I wrote A Gala Performance (They're Playing Our Song Remix), in which Viktor Nikiforov buys out an entire Mariinsky Theatre box for a performance of La Forza dell'Amore and goes through an entire package of tissues almost by himself...except for the ones that Yuuri and Yuri end up using, that is.

(I have a longer story planned about the performance of Eugene Onegin briefly mentioned in the fic, but that's for another day.)

Remix Revival Reveals

  • Sep. 24th, 2017 at 3:47 PM
gramarye1971: white teacup of green tea with wooden chopsticks (Tea and Chopsticks)
For the [community profile] remixrevival exchange, I was matched with [archiveofourown.org profile] makiyakinabe, and ended up going a little outside of my comfort zone to remix an AU I've never tried to write before: a daemon (His Dark Materials) AU of the World War II espionage anime Joker Game. The original fic, tools of the trade, put an interesting spin on the concept, so I kept the basic plot structure and made some tweaks to reinterpret the concept for a non-Christian culture. The result came out as Tsukumogami (The Subtle Knife Remix), and though I had to rework the ending a few times before I was completely satisfied with it, I think this idea turned out well.

In turn, I very much enjoyed the remix written from my own story -- Turn the Page (Don't Fear the Ending) by the always-delightful [personal profile] edenfalling! Based on The Monster at the End of This Book, a missing-scene fic for Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories, the remix does an excellent job of presenting one of the important implicit themes in the book, about the choices that people (and women in particular) make when they feel that they aren't in control of their own stories. I highly recommend both the original book and this fic!

Tiptoeing back into fandom

  • Sep. 24th, 2017 at 10:20 AM
in_the_blue: (bamf & pirate kitty)
If you're looking for an anything Marvel-based exchange, nominations are now open for this year's edition of [community profile] marvelismarvel.

We have a long nomination period so everyone has time to consider both Marvel Is Marvel and Yuletide. We had a great time with this exchange last year, and are looking forward to more beautiful fanfic and fanart.

Sep. 23rd, 2017

  • 10:50 PM
skygiants: Clopin from Notre-Dame de Paris; text 'sans misere, sans frontiere' (comment faire un monde)
Thanks to the kindness of [personal profile] aamcnamara in loaning a copy so I did not have to fight through the library line, I read The Stone Sky - third in N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy, following up on The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate - last weekend.

I don't think Essun destroyed any cities at all this book! I'm so proud!

The rest is disconnected spoilery thoughts )

Vertical storage! Vertical space!

  • Sep. 23rd, 2017 at 8:53 PM
newredshoes: red-winged blackbird (<3 | this moment to arise)
So... okay, so, I saw six apartments today, and one of them seems... like it could be so good. I really, really liked it when I was in it, and then a few hours later, I was waffling like hell and doubting whether I really liked it that much and whether I should hold out for another and whether I should feel more strongly and why am I not feeling strongly... Broker pointed out that I could be gun-shy, given what apartment-hunting got me last time. I'm trying to stay balanced about the whole thing, but I don't!!!!! know!!!!!!

Me waffling about a super nice apartment )

All that said, as I was typing this entry, a friend I had lunch with checked in to see how the showing had gone. Between her reaction to the pictures and how excited I felt telling her about the place (and realizing that actually I do have places to put all my bookcases that make sense, and I could definitely work with those tiny bedrooms by painting an accent wall)... I'm leaning much more heavily yes. I should sleep on it! We'll see!

Sep. 22nd, 2017

  • 8:24 AM
camwyn: (knitting)
Sentences I honestly had not expected to see at any point during my day when I got up this morning:

"In more than 30 years of cymbal cleaning I have used everything from ketchup to gasoline."

(I was trying to find out whether Noxon, a metal cleaner I remember using as early as Montessori preschool, would remove green discoloration from Artistic Wire, which is copper with a colored or clear coating. Turns out the process of cutting the wire into little bits and bending/looping/etc. the bits to make figure-of-eight chain exposes a lot of copper to the air and provides the opportunity for verdigris to form.)

The Good Place: Season 2, Episode 1

  • Sep. 21st, 2017 at 12:32 PM
rachelmanija: (Default)
Absolutely fantastic. Do not click on cut unless you've already seen it. The whole series is streaming on nbc.com.

Read more... )

Sep. 20th, 2017

  • 9:48 AM
silveraspen: silver trees against a blue sky background (Default)
Went with [profile] wickedtrue​ and [personal profile] vivien to watch the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural game, which happened to be against the Colorado Avalanche.

Looks like the Golden Knights are going to have a solid team. And it also looks like the Avalanche still have a lot of work to do if they ever want to get back to the glory days of 1995-2001.

[Crossposted to Tumblr.]

Tags:

Sep. 20th, 2017

  • 8:42 AM
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Confession time: I had been kind of almost sorta hoping Jose would be a little stronger this morning so I could work from home. I am aware, yes, that even if the storm had been stronger, my area would not have born the brunt of it and other people whose livelihoods and homes depend on the ocean's weather not killing them would have been badly hurt. I am also aware that I used to work for the Red Cross and would feel obligated to join one of the local chapters in any relief efforts to this area should such a storm strike occur even though I haven't been a member in years.

Every so often there are areas in which I cannot help but consider myself a little bit of a terrible human being, and rooting for extreme weather even though I know I am not the one who is going to pay the consequences is one of those areas, and I am very sorry.

Sep. 19th, 2017

  • 9:56 AM
rachelmanija: (Default)
I just spent several minutes trying to figure out where the hell the mysterious rustling noises were coming from.

One of my cats (Alex) was entirely hidden within the depths of a shoebox-size Priority Mail box. He has just now emerged, and his sister Erin has vanished inside.

No cat photos because I don't have an X-Ray camera.

the ones that love us never really leave us

  • Sep. 18th, 2017 at 9:02 AM
silveraspen: inara crying (firefly: some days aren't worth it)
Many of you know this already through other channels, but since I haven't said it here yet --

My father passed away due to complications from heart failure on August 25, 2017. I am very fortunate that I was able to be there with him when the time came, as was my mother; he didn't leave this world alone.

Since my mother was in ICU at the same time (in the same hospital, at least) and is still recovering, plus a few other things, we will be holding a memorial service for him sometime in November. That's what he wanted, anyway, rather than a big funeral shindig, so.

By then I will have better words to share here in his memory. For now -- I loved him very much, and he loved me. Even when we disagreed on things, that was always a constant. I am grateful to have had him in my life for as long as I did, and I will miss him always.



(Before you ask - no, I'm not okay, not really, but I'm getting through it one moment at a time. All of you have been a great help.)

Sep. 17th, 2017

  • 11:23 PM
gramarye1971: Fakir looking up from a library book (Princess Tutu: Fakir)
Still around and reading, just a bit quiet. Finishing my Remix Revival fic tapped out quite a bit of my creativity. And I keep starting and deleting entire screeds about the current state of North Korean politics and nuclear brinksmanship because I am a rank amateur when compared with the good folks in the disarmament business who can look at a missile for five seconds and say things like ah, yes, that's a second-generation Iranian-produced Scud-D model, only painted black and with extra fins added to it for no good reason that we can determine. I hate feeling only half-informed, if that.

At this point I am crossing off days until my folks swing down from the Frigid North to visit in mid-October, and to my planned Japan trip in mid-November. If anything else creative or similarly productive gets done during the interim, I'm not sure whether it'll be in spite of or because of my own efforts.

But still around and reading, as mentioned.

I accidentally walked 7.2 miles today.

  • Sep. 17th, 2017 at 9:03 PM
newredshoes: it's good to feel things you want (<3 | lust lust lust)
A rough decision: This afternoon, I saw an apartment in my dream location. It's literally exactly where I would want an apartment to be, right down to equidistance to my favorite things in the neighborhood. It's within my budget, it's pretty light-filled, it's in the back of the building (a brownstone!), so it should be quiet. I feel like I should be ecstatic.

But the more apartments I see (so many of them utter, utter stinkers!), the more I realize 1) how important having a non-miniscule kitchen is to me, and 2) how little I want to live in the exact same apartment I've lived in since college. This is a steep fourth-floor walkup with no particular amenities, a sloping (and unpretty) floor, bad caulking and a bizarre kitchen (there's a ledge acting as an island that divides it from the living-room area). Plus, no pets. I just have Betta Barnes right now, but I'm really sad any time I think of not having the opportunity to get a dog without moving.

I pretty much have a week to find a place I really like if (and this is still an "if") I plan on going to North Carolina to dogsit Gus while Dad and J are in Thailand. I have to give my management company 30 days' notice that I'm leaving, and honestly, my broker explained today that the most danger I'm in (if that ) is losing my security deposit (which obviously I don't want to lose, but it's also kind of ceased being real money in my head, since it's been out of my hands for three years???).

So, this is my big stress right now. Presumably any place I could sign on for would ask for an Oct. 1 move-in date, which will mean 1) paying rent on two places at once, but 2) the opportunity for a staggered, gradual move. I'm trying to focus on this for the moment, because more immediately, some condensation from a glass of iced tea dripped into my trackpad on Friday, and my laptop has been almost unusably haunted since. (Please let it go away, I don't want to have to buy a new computer too, especially since I don't like any of the new Macs and I'm locked into the dumb system.)

Okay, going to hit post. Hi, friends. I would love to be someplace new already!!!!

The Oldest Living Bachelor in Oakdale (MCU)

  • Sep. 17th, 2017 at 2:52 PM
misslucyjane: (side by side (steve & bucky))
The Oldest Living Bachelor in Oakdale (3130 words) by misslucyjane
Chapters: 1/?
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Major Character Death
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Bruce Banner, Betty Ross, Peggy Carter, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Sharon Carter (Marvel), Georges Batroc
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - No Powers, Work In Progress, Alternate Universe - Romance Novel, Grief/Mourning, Second Chances
Summary:

Sweet, shy Steve Rogers had had it! He now held the dubious title of oldest unmarried man in Oakdale — and a virgin, to boot. It was high time he shed his scholarly shell and unleashed the temptor within. Problem was, he didn't know the first thing about men, let alone seducing one….


Heartbreaker Bucky Barnes had been away for twelve years, and boy, had things changed! The innocent boy who once had tutored him in math now was a man in need of his help… to snare a man! He'd always admired Steve, but his stunning transformation was too much for any man to resist — even a sworn bachelor like him...


Adapted from The Oldest Virgin In Oakdale by Wendy Warren

Sep. 16th, 2017

  • 9:08 PM
skygiants: Beatrice from Much Ado putting up her hand to stop Benedick talking (no more than reason)
If you are currently in Boston, you have one week left to go see Or at the Chelsea Theater! As [personal profile] aamcnamara put it on Twitter, "it is the Restoration queer bedroom farce spy writing-themed play of your dreams."

Or features three cast members, playing, respectively:
- former spy and ambitious playwright Aphra Behn
- Charles II of England and also Aphra Behn's ex-lover double agent William Scot
- Nell Gwyn, and also Aphra Behn's elderly and extremely cranky maid, and also in one memorably stamina-requiring and scene-stealing monologue Lady Mary Davenant, manager of the Duke's Company of theatrical players

Most of the play takes place in Aphra Behn's apartment, with cast members popping in and out of side rooms as Aphra Behn vainly attempts to keep all her love interests separate AND ALSO thwart a hypothetical plot on the king's life AND ALSO and most importantly finish writing the final act of her career-launching play by a deadline of 9 AM the next morning! Which nobody will let her do! Because they keep wanting to make out with her and/or tell her about plots on the king's life! It's all very frustrating!

The dialogue is delightful, the actors do a fantastic job rattling out natural-sounding rapid-fire iambic pentameter, I laughed aloud at the final plot twist, and the ending contains a solid dose of much-appreciated optimism; it's an extremely enjoyable experience and one I would strongly recommend.

Tags:

Sep. 14th, 2017

  • 6:16 PM
skygiants: Hikaru from Ouran walking straight into Tamaki's hand (talk to the hand)
At first I expected to write a rather scathing post about Rachel Kadish's The Weight of Ink, and then I got like 2/3 of the way through and realized that there were in fact some things I really liked about the book to counteract the things that made me stare into the camera like I was on the office, and THEN I got to the end and -

-- ok let me backtrack. The Weight of Ink is a serious literary novel about a pair of academics (the favorite protagonists of serious literary novels) who have discovered a treasure trove of 17th-century documents in a staircase written by Ester Velasquez, a Portuguese Jewish woman who Confounded All Tradition by acting as scribe for a London rabbi. The book proceeds to interweave Ester's story and POV with that of the academics as they discover various bits of evidence pointing to the things that Rachel Kadish will then later explain to us in Ester's narrative sections.

Ester's story is .... it's mostly good? I think I have come around to largely thinking it's good. It starts to pick up around the middle of the book, when Ester starts writing letters to various famous philosophers under fake male names so that she can Engage in the Discourse.

[ACADEMIC A: [Ester's fake name] did not get much attention during his career or make any important allies -
ACADEMIC B: Oh, why is that?
ACADEMIC A: Well, basically, he was very rude to everyone he wrote to.

I will admit I was charmed.]

Ester's most important relationships are with the rabbi -- a good and wise man who respects her intellect and cannot support the ways in which she chooses to use it -- and with Rivka, the rabbi's housekeeper, a Polish Jew who acts as Ester's foil in a number of significant ways, not all of them obvious or expected. Both of these dynamics have an interesting and complicated tension to them that goes well beyond the standard 'I, A Misunderstood Woman Ahead Of My Time.'

Also there is another young upper-class Jewish woman who is rebellious in wildly different ways than Ester is; a pair of brothers who are both interested in marrying Ester for profoundly different reasons, neither of which is true love; and, for a brief period of time, a love interest. The love interest is hilariously lacking in personality and equally hilariously irrelevant to Ester's life on the whole, and mostly exists to trigger a series of philosophical musings related to desire about which Ester can fight with Spinoza. I guess The Distant Shadow Of Spinoza is also one of Ester's most significant relationships.

Anyway, I appreciate the weighting of these relationships, and the way in which the narrative emphasis shifted from what I expected, and especially all the relationships that were not grounded in romance, but in other forms of love and duty and resentment and complicated emotional bonds.

And ... then there's our modern academics.

Helen Watt is a stiff-necked elderly British specialist in Jewish history, who is on the verge of retirement due to Parkinson's disease. Helen has a Tragic Backstory: in her youth, she spent a month as a volunteer in Israel in the 1950s and had a summer fling. Sorry, let me rephrase: she met an Israeli soldier who was the love! of her life!! (For a month.)

The pivotal scene in their romance occurs when Helen shows up for one of their few actual shared off days to have a date, and he hands her a copy of The History of the Jewish People and then LEAVES and REFUSES TO COME BACK until she's READ IT COVER TO COVER. This is the only way she can understand our endless, endless oppression!

(Meanwhile, he lurks outside, and periodically brings her snacks. THIS SCENE IS SOMEHOW NOT MEANT TO BE COMIC.)

Alas, Young Helen in her frailty decides it's all a LITTLE too much for her, and subsequently regrets her lost love until the end of her days. But, inspired by the world's weirdest date, she decides to dedicate her life to the study of Jewish history, so I guess ... that's all right .....?

She is assisted in her endeavors by Aaron, the third POV character. Aaron is an insufferable American Jewish Ph.D. student. He is working on a dissertation about Shakespeare and the Jews, for which he has no evidence, so instead he spends the entire book obsessing over an unattainable Cool Girl. (And she is so textbook Cool Girl! The coolest girl of all! A girl who poses nude for artists who capture a certain something about her, a girl who's just realer than other girls, THE MAGICAL IDEAL.) He sends her incredibly long, pompous emails after a one-night stand which took place on an evening in which "he waited until Marisa was on her second beer -- he kept track from a distance, biding his time. When he approached at last, his own untouched beer dangling casually in his hand --" OKAY AARON, THANKS AND GOODBYE, YOU AND I ARE DONE.

But alas, we are not done with Aaron, we are not done with Aaron at all. Eventually Aaron does come to realize that he's insufferable! A significant part of this realization comes when he visits an archive and meets a shy, demure archivist who's bad at flirting, and is suddenly struck by how desperately sad it is that people like her may never find love because they're all overlooked by assholes like him. If only people like him paid attention to people like her, their lives might be fulfilling and the world would be better! ALAS.

(There are two other archivists in the book, The Interchangeable Patricias. They have a few moments of heroically rising to Helen's aid but mostly their role is to stand as icily competent, largely humorless glowering gate-guards over the sacred text, because of course.)

So basically everything about the modern sections was nonsense to me. (Also, I got mad every time they found a document that explained to them a Piece of the Mystery in a way that was way too narratively convenient. 'Oh, look, Ester doodled out her real name and her fake name next to each other and added a note that said 'HEY IT'S ALL MY NAMES!' Isn't that handy!')

Still, Ester's story in and of itself was good and compelling and interesting, and grudgingly I became invested in it despite myself...

And then spoilers! )
newredshoes: sign: what's stopping you (<3 | what's stopping you?)
Nothing clarifies one's determination to move out, even if the space and the neighborhood are nice (well, certainly the neighborhood), like spotting Violent Neighbor's husband lingering on the sidewalk in front of the building, talking in a hangdog way with someone clearly blocking the main entrance. I spent 45 minutes sitting on a park bench rather than chance running that particular gauntlet. And weirdly, no one should have to live being scared of that, even if nothing was happening!!! So this evening I've been on the phone and corresponding with varying brokers and agents about no-fee one-bedrooms that are vastly out of my comfort zone financially but which score well on RentLogic, look nice on the inside, have some amenities (a dishwasher!!! A FEW IN-UNIT W/Ds!!!!) and seem to be in interesting neighborhoods. My weekend is quickly getting silly, but shoot, it will definitely be worth it.

In other news, I finally remembered today that when one has an ongoing low-grade cold that doesn't go away with sleep or soup, you can actually just buy cold medicine and it will help a lot.

Trick or Treat Exchange

  • Sep. 14th, 2017 at 5:10 PM
rachelmanija: (Default)
For those who don't know, Trick or Treat is a fun, low-pressure fic and art fest - the minimum is only 300 words! Treating is encouraged. Signups are open now. You can see the tagset of available fandoms here.

Treats (and tricks) in unrequested but known-to-be-favorite fandoms/characters of mine are always welcome!

My god, this is long. Sorry!

My fandoms are The Darkangel, The Dark Tower (book), The Girl With the Silver Eyes, Hamilton, Ladyhawke, The Magnificent Seven (2016), Marvel 616 (aka X-Men comics), Saiyuki, The Stand, and The Windsingers.

Prompts below cut. Read more... )

Sep. 13th, 2017

  • 10:38 PM
skygiants: Sheska from Fullmetal Alchemist with her head on a pile of books (ded from book)
Juliet Takes a Breath was our book club book for the month of August. I am glad for the existence of this book in the world and I am glad I read it, and with that said my experience of reading it was largely one of OVERWHELMING CONTACT EMBARRASSMENT.

Juliet Takes a Breath is the coming-of-age story of Juliet Milagros Palante, a young Puerto Rican lesbian from the Bronx who's spending the summer of 2002 interning in Portland, Oregon! with international feminist sensation Harlowe Brisbane! author of "Raging Flower," a book about VAGINA POWER!

Unsurprisingly, pretty much every time Harlowe Brisbane spoke a sentence I wanted to retract my head all the way back inside my nonexistent turtle shell until a million years had passed and womyn power white lady feminism was a thing that could be discussed with distant scholarly complacency, like galvanism or the Cathar heresy. This is completely expected and indeed clearly intended by the book, but nonetheless, OH LORD.

Anyway, not everything is Harlowe Brisbane being exactly the way you'd expect; a great deal of the book is Juliet dealing with a wide range of family reactions to her coming-out (the width of the range in particular is really good!), and Learning New Vocabularies, and finding comfortable queer POC spaces, and attending lectures about intersectional solidarity in the wake of 9/11, and making romantic gay teen mixtapes full of Ani DiFranco songs! But oh, lord. At least one book club member said it rang extremely true to their experience and memories of Portland in 2002. Myself, in 2002 I was nowhere near Portland nor any of the Cool Yet Problematique gay spaces that Rivera is writing about here and it's PROBABLY just as well, but it does seem quite likely to me that walking around Portland in 2002 was a lot like walking around a physical manifestation of certain bits of tumblr, and that is indeed the sense I got of it from this book.

[a sidenote: the acknowledgments in the back include pointed thanks and reference to the time that the author spent with Inga Muscio, author of 'Cunt: A Declaration of Independence.' I'm not necessarily saying this book was a callout post, but .... anyway Inga Muscio also cheerfully blurbed the book on the front so it seems there were no hard feelings on her part and all is well.]

Profile

thewickedlady: (Default)
[personal profile] thewickedlady
thewickedlady

Wicked Truth

I'm a southern girl making my way through Yankeeland with a history degree and an artist's soul. I'm a geek and a dork, and I'm okay with that.

Sometimes, I even wear pants when blogging.

[community profile] realistica



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