For sheer power an emotional resonance, nothing beats the Frankenstein Monster as played by Boris Karloff in the 1931 film Frankenstein (and to a lesser extent in Bride of Frankenstein and a much lesser extent in Son of Frankenstein). Anyone arguing that monster acting is somehow less than "regular" acting should immediately review the scene where we meet the Monster for the first time. Karloff, under heavy makeup, uses awkward, stilted-but-not-stiff movements to evoke the otherness of this hapless being. Then, in one of my favorite movie moments, Doctor Frankenstein opens a slat in the roof and lets the sunlight pour in. The Monster, who in his brief time on Earth has only known the darkness of the lab and its dungeon, reaches up, stretching for the light, his eyes full of confusion and wonder. And just as soon as he finds something hopeful in his life, the doctor closes the slat, his experiment moving on. And Karloff's hands go out in this helpless, pleading gesture and I. just. fucking. break.
Karloff's performance throughout really captures the soul of the Monster, an Other born into a world that didn't want him and that he didn't ask for. It's a 75-minute commitment that I suggest you make. Now. I'll wait.
While I do love Bride of Frankenstein, I think it loses some of the Monster's pathos for a number of reasons. The movie is played much more strongly for comedy, for one thing. The Monster also spends a good chunk of the film playing henchman for Dr. Pretorious, which becomes his go-to role for the next several films, serving one human master after another, until he becomes a pawn to be left off the play board until the end of the movie by the time House of Frankenstein rolls around in 1944. Of course, Karloff exited the role after 1939's Son of Frankenstein, an excellent film that, unfortunately, reduces the Monster's role to boogeyman at the beck and call of Bela Lugosi's Ygor. Don't get me wrong, I love their dynamic and Lugosi kills it in that movie, but it's clear that they've burned through all of their interesting ideas for the characterization and development of the Monster.
If I had to pick a Universal monster that absolutely did it for me in all of the films in which it appeared, it would have to be The Wolf Man/Larry Talbot. But that's an essay for another day.
2) I think I'm in the process of declaring Tumblr bankruptcy for the first time since signing up two and a half years ago. I've kept up with it during previous bouts of Casual Job, and I kept up with it when we were in Japan for three weeks and constantly on the move in one way or another.
The "keeping up with it in Japan" thing turned out to really not be a good move in the long run. I've always been very resistant to the idea of not keeping up with everything, but since then there's the additional layer of "but if I could do it then, surely I can do it under any circumstance I can imagine!" Which is silly, and also, I intellectually know that missing several days of Tumblr posts is not in fact going to have a negative effect on my life.
3) Why have I not been on Tumblr in a few days (and counting)? Gosh, self, maybe it's because right now I'm working at Casual Job, doing freelance stuff, doing a bastardized version of the December posting meme, and still hoping to get a few fic things finished before Yuletide.
4) That said, it sounds like this stint at Casual job is going to be much briefer than usual (probably only through next week, which will make it two weeks and a couple of days instead of the usual autumn 5-7 WEEKS), and next week's hours are probably not going to be too bad. I have now said to both scruloose and my boss that at this rate I'm going to lose my right to feel grimly proud of not only enduring Casual Job's usually-murderous hours but also enjoying the actual job despite them. So far I haven't worked more than eight hours in a day. It's bizarre.
And 5) wildpear & family are home after a week and a half away, which despite Casual Job consuming most of my evenings felt like a really long time, since she and I have gotten so used to hanging out, just the two of us, regularly/frequently again in the last...year or so? Wow, not even that long, I don't think. It's a little hard to be sure, because a) it was before she read Newsflesh (and I know exactly when that was, since reading it was her birthday present to me *g*), and b) it's not like we ever often went more than a week or so without seeing each other. It's just that since Pumpkin was born, it had almost always been either in groups or with both of our husbands and Pumpkin.
Anyway! They're home, and since work didn't run too late last night and she's usually not free until later in the evening, it worked out that she could come hang out for a couple of hours last night. We were more in the loop with each other's lives that we have been the other times one of us has been away, because we're both making a more conscious attempt to email and because we were both doing wrisomifu, but it was good to actually sit down and catch up properly.
Oh, wow. They are so many fics that I have plotted out but just haven't gotten around to writing (or, at least, I haven't written enough for it to really count as working on them) because I haven't had the time/my muse hasn't wanted to cooperate/etc. Some of them I've mentioned in my WIP posts, some I haven't.
(There are vids too, but I'm less comfortable talking about them because I do plan on making all of them eventually, and I'd rather not give away my ideas. If I ever completely give up on them, then I'll throw them out to the wolves. :-P)
But, still, fics! ( So many. No, really, So. Many. )
Fandom/Pairing: Vampire Diaries, Damon-centric with Damon/Elena
Length: ~800 words
Warnings: Violence, disturbing imagery, murder, bloodplay. You know, the usual vampire stuff.
Summary: Damon Salvatore, love's bitch.
Here on AO3.
( Five Glimpses at Damon Salvatore )
I did promise, though, that I would tell the best "this is a song about" from the show that spuffyduds and I went to in Charlottesville a couple weeks ago. The song was, "The Way I Tend to Be," which, if you've never heard, you should take a moment to enjoy this live performance, because it's a sweet song and I'm about to ruin it:
OK, enjoyed? So the story was about how he wrote the song when he was touring through Australia, and inevitably when you tour Australia, someone eventually makes you hold a koala and take your picture with it. He admitted the koala was pretty cool *however* coincidentally, he used to date a woman who used shampoo that smelled like eucalyptus.
Frank then proceeds to play the song, leaving the audience feeling confused. Until he gets to the lyric, "I catch myself catching your scent on someone else" -- and, as he's singing this line, the audience begins to titter and then basically crack up. So, there you go, the song was inspired by holding a koala that smelled like his ex. Although, to be fair, one could point out that the song ALREADY contains the lyric, "I stand alone in airport bars/and gather thoughts to think," which to some tastes indicates that the song is PRE-RUINED. (My personal view is that every song writer is entitled to a few truly terrible lyrics and at least it's not the "Tea Parties and Twitter/I've never been so bitter rhyme from that Fun. album.)
Now, to actually catch up with Day Five: bay_alexison asked me for favorite food recipes. At which point I have to be lame and say I'm not very good about recipes. I usually get a recipe out of some 'healthy cooking' source or other (an old Weight Watchers cookbook, or Cooking Light or Real Simple magazine or just 'the Googles' -- note that a lot of times I ignore the 'healthy' components if I'm supposed to use lowfat cheese or something, but I just figure using these recipes gives me a better baseline) and make it a few times and get enthusiastic about it (usually the first time I screw it up a little and the second time it works). And then after that I forget where I put the recipe and try to reconstruct it from memory or I don't have all the ingredients and I make some substitutions. And it's fun for a while but then I get bored and look for something else. Basically, though, when I cook for myself I usually sautee some lean meat (usually chicken or pork; salmon when I'm feeling fancy) along with some frozen vegetables cooked with a little bit of chicken broth + sweet potatoes or brown rice or occasionally pasta.
Since I never seem to be able to post on the weekends (and we know I won't be able to post on the holidays), pick a day (Monday-Friday) and give me a topic. It can be any topic!
I won't limit the days to this month. If I run out of Mondays in December, I'll post in January. How does that sound?
So, come on. Give me a topic. Let's see how this goes!
( a selection of awesome ladies, a picspam )
…and I will stop there before it becomes too unwieldy, but I could go on. And on. There is a significant overlap between the "ladies I admire" and "ladies who make me swoon"!
The first thing that comes into my head on this subject isn't the band members actually wearing makeup (though I enjoy the Pete and Mikey in eyeliner eras as much as anyone, and wish Gabe had gone that angle at some point), but lyrics about makeup.
These are all Fall Out Boy, because I don't know my MCR as well as I probably should.
and oh, the way your makeup stains my pillowcase, like I'll never be the same
I wrote a goodbye note in lipstick on your arm when you passed out
The use of makeup in both of those lines as a temporary memory, something that leaves a mark but that you can still wash away, really clicks for me. It's frantically trying to hold on, while at the same time reserving the right to let go.
Also, that time Gerard Tweeted a picture of his makeup setup pre-show early on the Danger Days tour, then deleted it for reasons that never were made clear. I saved that photo! Sadly it's on my home computer and I'm typing this at work. Bro likes MAC in shades of red, though.
Danny Wells passed away on November 28th, at the age of 72. May he rest in peace. I only ever knew him as Luigi on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show--the only episode I really remember (which Kotaku links to) is where Luigi was possessed, and Ernie Hudson is dragged in to help.
Also, a quick note about the weather headed here: I'll be riding out the ice and snow storm (which begins sooner than expected, around 3 PM, and ends tomorrow night) combination at the other house, which has limited dial-up. When I get back over here, I'll update everyone on anything that transpired. Paducah appears to be in the area listed as having a chance for "isolated power outages." Rather than the notch we hit (according to a chart the local weatherman has) in 2009, of "complete and total collapse of basic infrastructure." So, there's that.
Despite rumors to the contrary, which apparently panicked a reporter, Jim Cantore is not currently in the area. (Which means I must link--again--to this little song a local radio station played in the aftermath of the ice storm back then.)
My very favourite has to be Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, aka Princess Sparklefists. ♥ I love her strength and the confidence that she has from years of being a pilot and a superhero and an Avenger. I love that when confronted with a problem, her first instinct is to find a way to punch it. (This characteristic is a cast-iron way of getting me to love a female character.) I love how grumpy she can get, and I love her friendships, especially with Steve and with Jess. I love that she has a tiny fangirl! She's really great and everything about her makes me happy.
Also up there is the Lady Sif, for, actually, very similar reasons. She too is tough and confident and likes punching her problems in the face. I fell in love with her MCU version when she refused to let Thor take credit for her trailblazing heroism, and I adored her when she headlined Journey into Mystery. I particularly loved her scene with Jane Foster in the latter: women respecting each other plus fish out of water humour as Sif tries to negotiate Midgardian ways? YES PLEASE.
I also really love Monica Rambeau, though I don't know her that well (anyone have any recs for good stuff to read about her?). I mostly know her from Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. and her world weary leader schtick was very appealing to me. ♥ Her team-up with Carol in Captain Marvel was great and I LOVED that she called Carol on taking the Captain Marvel name without consulting her, and that they came to an understanding about it and punched a giant robot in the face. (I want them to have a team-up book. CAPTAINS MARVEL.)
Finesse is pretty great too, I'm not 100% a fan of everything Avengers Academy did with her, but look, she's massively competent with everything except feelings, and that there is another character trope I really love. (I am never getting over the panel where she offered to lend X-23 her set of "understanding human emotions" flashcards.)
And then there's Natasha Romanoff, and her determination, badassery, stoicism and sense of personal morality. And moving into the MCU, I really like their Steve and Thor, the former for his quiet goodness and man-out-of-time wistfulness, and the latter for the way he is always trying to be a good person. ♥ I haven't yet found a comic that makes me like them as much, but I do usually enjoy it when they turn up in other things I'm reading.
Honourable mentions go to Jessica Drew - I don't really feel like I have a handle on her character yet, but I like it when she shows up - and to Annabelle and Ren from Fearless Defenders. I hope they show up somewhere else soon! And I am very fond of Peter Parker and his self-deprecating sense of humour.
And I haven't even got into any of the X-Men yet! Storm, Kitty, Jubilee, Pixie, Bling... you guys are all great too. And I'm really enjoying Prodigy in Young Avengers, and Kate Bishop of course, and America Chavez, and this post is a little out of control at this point so time to call a halt. ;D
(Still taking prompts for this meme, if anyone has anything they want me to talk about!)
This is for the December talking meme, and I still have slots and am having fun, so feel free to sign up for one, or another if you already have! :D
Well, let me preface this with: STEEEEEPH! <3
I would also like to add that I don’t have that complex thoughts about Stephanie Brown, she’s just cute as a button and I’m just happy she exists. Well. Existed. Stupid reboot. Anyway. This is partly because I feel like I don’t have the full picture with her yet, like I’ve read her Batgirl adventures but not anything before that. (Though I am excited to! Side note: Cass! <3)
She’s SO CUTE. Like seriously, this is cheesy but I LOVE what a ray of sunshine she is, she’s just so upbeat, and I kind of love that, especially set against the backdrop of Gotham and all things Bat and all the angst, doom and gloom associated with that, it strikes a really lovely counter-note. Like she actually gets called Pollyanna! More than once! (*mentally adds Pollyanna to list of vaguely festive children’s movies she wants to watch*)
I love that she’s quippy, she’s actually very Buffy-like in this respect, and it’s GREAT. <3 I love that her sense of humour is off the wall, like she’s busy wise-cracking and everyone’s a bit ‘…?’ at her sometimes.
I LOVE HER RELATIONSHIP WITH ORACLE. TEAM BATGIRL. <3 I love how important Oracle’s approval is to her, and I assume/am told Cass’s too. I love that Oracle really kind of IS the Giles to her Buffy, and I love that Team Batgirl is something Oracle helps her get going in like her spare time from the Birds. <3 I also love getting another facet of Oracle’s feelings about Batgirl post-The Killing Joke.
Her responses to Damian crack me up.
THE DIAGRAM OH MY GOD. (I think I’ve made everyone I see regularly in real life read it.)
I’ve not yet seen her interact with Cass but I can’t wait to! Batgirlfriends! Totally sold! (Let’s be honest, it’s femslash, it’s a seriously easy sell. Also, the name. Batgirl-->girlfriends=Batgirlfriends! Excellent.)
I love her relationship with her mom. Waffles!!
I also love that she still has growing up to do and that she does some of it over the course of the three books, that’s really nice too.
IDK, I had been meaning to read her books anyway, and then I was casting about for something to read after I finished Secret Six and was feeling a bit ‘…’ and well, flattened by the weight of my own feelings and it was seriously the PERFECT remedy.
OH!!! I LOVE that she’s friends with the other younger super-heroines, and their team-ups, especially Kara! I’m now picturing what an adorable team-up movie that could be, picturing Kara rather like the Justice League animated adventure she was in voiced by Summer Glau.
I also love the idea of Cass as Batman and Steph as her Robin.
Speaking of younger lady superheroes, I would LOVE for her to meet Misfit. Just cuz I have a huge soft spot for Misfit. Oh, also Black Alice, just cuz I think that would be quite a funny contrast and I think Steph could be good for her.
I really like that she got a secret identity love interest crisis, I have a secret soft spot for those thanks to Jem and the Holograms (which did it REALLY WEIRDLY BUT ANYWAY) and hers with Gage was really funny.
Um…I think these are all my thoughts on Stephanie Brown. They’re not terribly complicated. <3