Happy Birthday!

Dec. 18th, 2014 11:10 pm
settiai: (Daniel -- dar_jeeling)
[personal profile] settiai
Happy birthday, [personal profile] jic!

Welp

Dec. 18th, 2014 07:48 pm
jetpack_monkey: (Tom Servo Lives!)
[personal profile] jetpack_monkey
I got defaulted on in Festivids. Unfortunately, I put all of my request notes in my Dear Festividder letter, so the pinch hit post seems suuuuuper-empty.

I called in sick to work today for separate reasons. I'm distracting myself with LEGOs and the D&D Monster Manual.

Talking Meme: Day #18

Dec. 18th, 2014 10:18 pm
settiai: (Fellowship -- padabee)
[personal profile] settiai
From [livejournal.com profile] helenllama: Middle Earth.


Okay, fair warning: this is a very broad topic, so there's a good chance this post is going to be a lot of aimless rambling.

The first time I tried to read The Hobbit, I was somewhere around 6. I got maybe a few pages in before deciding that it wasn't even remotely to my taste and giving up. The same thing happened when I was 7. And again when I was 8. I was probably 9 or 10 when I actually made it all the way through the book, mostly because my friend/rival from K-12 (Ben) thought it was hilarious that I hadn't read it so I had to get through it to shut him up. I thought it had potential, but it very much wasn't too my taste.

(Looking back, I think it's because it was purposefully written as a children's book. I was reading Charles Dickens and Jules Verne by the time I was 7. Books that were actually written on a children's level didn't always work for me because I was so used to reading books written for adults.)

Anyway, since I'd had so much trouble with The Hobbit, I basically refused to read The Lord of the Rings because I assumed it was going to be written in the exact same style. Ben teased me about it a bit, but then I won one over on him because I'd see all of Babylon 5 and he hadn't, so it got pushed to the side.

Cut to 2001.

I'd been involved in online fandom for a year or two at that point, mostly in anime fandoms although I was slowly starting to branch into live action TV-based ones. And when the first teaser trailer for Fellowship of the Ring came out, it basically broke the internet. Everyone was talking about, even on mailing lists and forums and Neopets message boards that had nothing to do with LotR. So, you know, I started to get curious.

And then more trailers were released, ones that looked interesting and... well, to be honest, not exactly like what I'd been expecting based on The Hobbit.

So I broke down and read The Lord of the Rings. Cover to cover. In, like, 48 hours. And then I read it again. And then, because Ben wouldn't stop laughing at me, I threw the book at him before reading it for a third time. And then I started on the various books in The History of Middle-earth.

The rest, as they say, is history. I slowly started participating in the LotR fandom, introduced myself to some people, made some memories... and then, like with most fandoms, my interest slowly started to wane after a couple of years. Until they decided to turn The Hobbit into a movie. At which point I thought, hey, maybe I should read the books again since it's been awhile. And then the movie came out. And then I was hooked.

I'm honestly not certain what it is about Middle Earth that I love so much. Part of it is the history major in me, I know that much. Tolkien did such an wonderful job, sculpting an entire world and doing is in such an amazingly detailed way. It's easy to forget that it's fiction sometimes.

I love the characters. All five million of them, if you start getting into everything that Tolkien's written. I love the potential to explore the world that he created. There's so much that's explained and outlined in detail, but there's just as much about other parts of Middle Earth that are left as nothing more than a footnote or a quick reference.

Don't get me wrong, there are weaknesses. You have no idea how much I'd be willing to pay to travel back in time and force him at gunpoint to include more women in his stories. And don't even get me started on the Easterlings and Haradrim. But overall? I really do love Middle Earth, despite the less-than-stellar aspects of it at times.

It's always going to hold a special place in my heart, even if it took me a little while to discover it. ♥

December Meme Day Eighteen

Dec. 18th, 2014 07:52 am
blueswan: (Life Dani Reese smiling)
[personal profile] blueswan
Things that make you flail.

Those would be the things that bypass my brain entirely. It's hard to be analytical and provide detail or even context for them. So here's a short list of that which appeals to me beyond the usual "oh, I like that!" level:

Sarah Shahi
Channing Tatum

Xena
Aeryn Sun

Parker/Hardison/Eliot
Audrey/Nate/Duke

Death is an option

Dec. 18th, 2014 06:43 pm
cat_77: (Gaius)
[personal profile] cat_77
I is sick.

I have a sinus infection and an ear infection and have meds and everything. I just. Can't. Stop. Coughing. We've reached the uncontrollable, deep from the depths of hell, make your head hurt and pull muscles in your neck and back coughing so hard.

It can stop any time now. For really.

[/whine]

(no subject)

Dec. 18th, 2014 11:49 pm
aralias: (darcy loves christmas)
[personal profile] aralias
usually i fear and dread a work party, but this one was pretty nice. i spent nothing (aside from £15 to get in, including wine and some not very good food - actually i suppose maybe i should try and eat some food before i go to bed. ok... i will do that) because various people bought me things. which was nice. and i knew quite a few people, so i could circulate rather than feeling trapped and out of it. also i told my drunk soon to be ex boss that i felt priviledged to have worked with her. she told me and clare that she had spent her whole life trying to find people as competent as us. i said - so why are you leaving????

but she still is leaving. suxxors.

anyway - it was nice. and hopefully tomorrow (last day of work) will be nice too, although i have several major pieces of work i need to do.....

never mind. i will do them. and hopefully other stuff will be nice.
falena: picture of Italian coastline; caption: Italy (italy)
[personal profile] falena
[livejournal.com profile] jillwise asked A (holiday, if applicable) tradition you love but everyone else hates, or that you hate but everyone else loves.

On January 6th (the feast of the Epiphany) in Italy we celebrate la Befana. La Befana is an ugly, witch-like old lady that flies on a broom and on the eve of Jan 6th visits the houses where children live and leaves sweets for the kids who have been good and coal for the naughty ones. Or at least that's how the tradition goes . (In reality, Befana will always leave some coal, but it's actually a kind of sweet as well).

Now, I don't have a sweet tooth at all, most kind of sweets, candy etc will make me quite nauseous and I'm not that big fan of chocolate either (I like very dark chocolate only, unsurprisingly). So, I've never been particularly excited about la Befana coming to visit. Except, my parents la Befana, being a cunning old woman, figured it out pretty soon and she took to leaving me a book in my stocking instead. That sort of reconciled me with the celebration a bit, but, now that I'm a grown-up and I don't get a book delivered to me anymore, I've gone back to my general indifference towards la Befana.

Also, we have a saying in Italian that goes l'Epifania tutte le feste se le porta via ('Epiphany brings all holidays to an end') and since Januray 7 is invariably the day where school started back after the Christmas hols, most kids do feel a bit ambivalent about la Befana. To this day, the night of the Epiphany I feel a bit sad that the Christmas season has come to an end.

Last but not least, every year on January 6th I get a text or a FB message or just an in-person comment by a friend/acquaintance (usually a man) who pipes up 'Elisa, what were you doing up so late last night? I saw you riding your broom!' Ha, bloody ha. So original.

So there. That's why I don't like la Befana much.

Belated Book Meme

NSFW Dec. 18th, 2014 08:15 pm
glinda: just trying to read (books/reading)
[personal profile] glinda
( You're about to view content which the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )
spiralsheep: A raven (spiralsheep Raven Logo)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
Cable cars across the Thames in moody weather. Spot the GIANT red wheel inside the terminal, and the plane from London City Airport in the last cap.

01 Cable cars across Thames, London 10-14

12 more small images )

Wednesday books

Dec. 18th, 2014 10:37 am
selenay: (Default)
[personal profile] selenay
A day late again, but at least I'm doing it this week...

What are you currently reading?

My digital read is Revelation by C. J. Sansom, because it and the next book in the Matthew Shardlake series were both on a good price on Kindle. I'm a big fan of these books, lovely meaty Tudor mysteries featuring a hunchbacked lawyer, so they'll probably keep me occupied for the next couple of weeks.

My physical read is The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith/J K Rowling and I've eaten the first five chapters in two days despite my terrible cold.. I appear to be in a mystery phase. I nearly picked up Wolf Hall, but then I realised that two Tudor mysteries at the same time would just be confusing.

What did you recently finish?

Symbiont by Mira Grant, which was exactly as amazing as I'd hoped it would be. As I always say, zombie lit isn't my thing but Grant writes fascinating near future sci fi with zombies, and that's a totally different thing. Still horrific and terrifying, but also thought provoking.

And Slightly Wicked by Mary Balogh was my last digital read, but I've already babbled about in my post on historical romance so I won't rebabble. It was fantastic, though :-)

What do you think you'll read next?

I still have Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger on my to be read shelf, so that will probably be next. Or a reread of The Dark is Rising because it's so delightfully Christmassy. And by the time I've finished the Shardlake books, the new Tessa Dare book should be on my Kindle, so I'll be hitting that hard.

Historical romances and me

Dec. 18th, 2014 10:14 am
selenay: (Default)
[personal profile] selenay
So, way back on December 10th, I was supposed to talk about historical romance for [personal profile] netgirl_y2k, but in the rush to finish Yuletide and so forth, it got...postponed. NOT FORGOTTEN. It's just that this is a trickier one for me to write, and my brain crumbled away and died whenever I tried.

I am currently feeling utterly awful due a bad cold, but ideas have had time to percolate so hopefully this will be coherent.

For the December talking meme, [personal profile] netgirl_y2k asked me to talk about what I like about historical romances and give some recs.

Cut for length )
shinyjenni: Mickey in front of an out-of-focus Christmas tree (mickey christmas)
[personal profile] shinyjenni
[personal profile] frayadjacent gave me two prompts! One of them I am answering today; the other will probably be tomorrow. (Unless it isn't. But I've drafted most of it already, so it's looking good!) Today's topic is What are your favorite character types and/or story tropes?

I love characters that don't really understand their own feelings but have a lot of them anyway (this is probably the source of my Batman problem, let's be honest), or who are trying to puzzle them out from first principles. (I wasn't going to buy the Angela comic in singles, for example, but then I read a review that said she was "weird and complicated and dealing with her emotions in awkward ways" and now my resolve is SORELY TESTED.) Characters who are a bit weird, or secretly (or not-so-secretly) giant dorks delight my heart.

I love characters who actively choose to be heroic because it's the right thing to do, who don't just do it out of instinct, duty or obligation. (I include Buffy in this because right from "Welcome to the Hellmouth" we see her over and over again rejecting the idea that she HAS to fight evil, and then choosing to do it anyway. ♥) I love female characters whose first instinct is to try and punch their way out of their problems, and I love seeing what they do when faced with a problem they can't punch.

One trope I like is "outsiders just can't understand their love", or relatedly, outsiders not being able understand something about a character because of stuff they can't talk about. That's not very well explained, is it? Hmmm. There's a bit in Bruce Wayne: Murderer where Bruce is accused of murder and he has no alibi because he was Batman at the time, so everyone in Gotham is talking about it and he can't defend himself... this is weird, isn't it? I'm OK with that.

I don't like villains, but I do like stories about reformed villains having to prove that they're definitely a good person now. (They have to be properly reformed, and ideally not to have been too villainous in the first place - I especially like it when they've been kind of villainous by default rather than by choice.) Which actually is kind of similar to the above? And also related to how much I love characters who choose to be heroes.

I like giant sprawling universes with oodles of characters and lots of history, and I like characters who already have established relationships with each other. (This was one of the things that hooked me on Birds of Prey, and thus comics in general.) I love happy endings and kindness, and characters who care about each other and who are trying their best to do the right thing, even if they can't always manage it. I would read/watch/listen to 10000000 stories about women mentoring other women, if I could only find them.

A group of misfit heroes coming together to form a team and a family will always make me happy, as will friendships in general, especially completely platonic male-female ones. I am a sucker for a hilariously punctured dramatic moment. I really like stories that take an old trope or story type and just change it enough to make it new, especially if the change is "everyone's queer" or "...but in SPACE". (Or, ideally, both.)

Also, highly intelligent people falling over. BEST.

Marco Polo on Netflix

Dec. 17th, 2014 10:57 pm
cleo: default (Stock: Flowers)
[personal profile] cleo
Hey, is anyone watching Marco Polo on Netflix?

I know reviewers weren't super thrilled with it because Marco is kinda boring, but Y'ALL!

i watched the whole season in two days. Yep, Marco is a boring hot dude, and there really isn't much of a tight, overarching plot involving him, and it can be a little slow at times. BUT I REALLY LIKED IT.

The production values are 1000% percent amazing. The costuming is 1000% amazing. The scenery is beautiful. The sword fights and battles are super cool. AND THE BEST PART IS THAT THERE ARE AWESOME WOMEN!

No, seriously, the women are awesome. I mean, there are gender issues inherent to the era, and there are some lingering shots that are gratuitous...though I didn't find them to be HBO level. But the featured female characters are so well rounded and nuanced.

I don't think it's fair for reviewers to compare the show to Game of Thrones in any other way than Netflix using it to try to get that level of hit show. It's more about Kublai Khan than Marco Polo. And of course there's the fact that it's a story about Asia being seen mostly (though not totally) through a European dude's eyes, which I find problematic. It would have been just as awesome if it was Kublai Khan and not Marco Polo. But it's interesting.

As an American, I feel like I wasn't taught enough about this time in history. We don't learn a lot about China and Japan and India etc at all, let alone their medieval periods. Uh, I'm pretty sure that the show isn't incredibly historically accurate, but it did get me to fall into an awesome Wikipedia hole. I mean, with that said, I wouldn't look for historical accuracy in the show, but I will fully say I am not the person to ask about that.

Anyway, it's GORGEOUS, if nothing else. I didn't find it boring, but I don't mind shows that are more character focused. And the characters are all fascinating. Well, except the titular one, which is fine by me. The show doesn't linger a ton on Marco, and if/when it does, it is during scenes where we learn interesting things about others.

Benedict Wong KILLS IT as Kublai. All the women kill it too--like kill it dead, y'all.

If anything, just go watch the main titles. They're GORGEOUS.

Happy Birthday!

Dec. 17th, 2014 10:34 pm
settiai: (Everwood Docs -- ezikielbpenguin)
[personal profile] settiai
Happy birthday, [livejournal.com profile] frostfire_17 and [livejournal.com profile] ria_oaks!

December Meme Day Seventeen

Dec. 17th, 2014 08:39 pm
blueswan: (Bruce Joy throwyourheadbackandsing)
[personal profile] blueswan
Musical episodes. Do they work for you?

I thought this would be easier to write, because I really do love musical episodes. Especially, if it is integrated into the story as the recent musical numbers were on Supernatural. I adore Once More with Feeling, of course. The first time I saw Xena's The Bitter Suite, it left me gaping in jaw dropped astonishment. I love that episode.

I love when a show goes AU for an episode and features musical numbers, like the brilliant Brown Betty episode of Fringe. Actually, even when the episode is written to allow an actor to show off his/her musical talent, I can usually find something to enjoy. Leverage did an episode set in the country music industry that allowed Christian Kane to sing on the show. I find the shows that pull out the "let's put on a show!" variety episodes are sometimes entertaining to watch. I'm thinking of the musical Oz episode, titled "Variety", that put Beecher and Schillinger together in a duet and allowed Rita Morena to showcase her lovely voice.

I know I'm forgetting a ton of them. Oh, Community! I know Psych did one in their final season. I meant to watch it but haven't gotten around to it yet. What else?

Talking Meme: Day #17 (Part Two)

Dec. 17th, 2014 08:18 pm
settiai: (Cora/Thane -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
From [personal profile] lafemmedarla: Favorite Shepards.


Okay, so, there are two ways to interpret this prompt. It could mean talk about my favorites out of my own Shepards, or it could mean talk about my favorites out of other people's Shepards.

Because it's me we're talking about, I figured: why not do both?

In this post: other people's Shepards! (Well, five of them. Because I had to draw a line somewhere, otherwise I'll never get any work done tonight.)


First of all, [tumblr.com profile] tarysande's Grace Shepard. Oh, Grace. ♥ I fell in love with her story a long time ago, and it's been so lovely watching it slowly unfold. Pre-ME1. ME1. ME2. Post-ME2. ME3. Post-ME3. An absolutely lovely maybe-AU/maybe-not-AU with the most adorable children ever. (Fic about her is here. F!Shep/Garrus, for the record.)

Next up is [tumblr.com profile] shadesofmauve's Rhi Shepard. (Fic is here, F!Shep/Joker.) How much do I love Rhi? Let me count the ways. It's been such a pleasure watching her relationship with Joker evolve.

[deviantart.com profile] gsjennsen's lovely Graceyn Shepard is next on the list. (Fic here, F!Shep/Kaidan). I fell in love with her over the 500,000 words of her story, and there are... some very spoilery aspects of her story that I totally can't mention at all without ruining the surprise, but I absolutely adored almost all of them.

Now we have [archiveofourown.org profile] KabiViolet's Elizabeth Shepard. (F!Shep/Garrus, fic here). When we meet Lizzie, she's barely more than a kid just slowly finding her way in universe, and it's a lovely journey watching her get from there to becoming the savior of the galaxy.

Last is [tumblr.com profile] swaps55's Shepard from Exordium (M!Shep/Liara), whose name I'm not entirely certain is mentioned in the fic. For some reason, I'm thinking that Swaps has mentioned the name "Matthew" in the past, but I might be making that up? And if I am, sorry! Anyway, he's an awesome character, and I one of the most interesting things about him for me is that he's both the Hero of Elysium as well as the Butcher of Torfan. It's a very unique idea that makes for some interesting moments where you honestly aren't certain where things stand with him.


Runners up (who I love but really don't have the time to type up a lot about) include [tumblr.com profile] servantofclio's Val Shepard (F!Shep/Garrus, fic here), [tumblr.com profile] w0rdinista's Thena Shepard (F!Shep/Garrus, fic here), [tumblr.com profile] thievinghippo's Sonya Shepard (F!Shep/Garrus, fic here), [archiveofourown.org profile] Drummerchick7's Miriam Shepard (F!Shep/Kelly and F!Shep/Liara, fic here), and [tumblr.com profile] missmeggo929's Ella Shepard (F!Shep/Zaeed, fic here).

... not to mention quite a few others that I'm sure I'm forgetting.

Talking Meme: Day #17 (Part One)

Dec. 17th, 2014 07:20 pm
settiai: (Garrus/Jay -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
From [personal profile] lafemmedarla: Favorite Shepards.


Okay, so, there are two ways to interpret this prompt. It could mean talk about my favorites out of my own Shepards, or it could mean talk about my favorites out of other people's Shepards.

Because it's me we're talking about, I figured: why not do both?

In this post: my own Shepards! (Well, five of them. Fiveish. It could possibly be read as six. I'm just saying. Shush.) This gets long. )

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