Things read, watched and heard

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:05 am
china_shop: Neal, Peter and Elizabeth smiling (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop
Recently read
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. I've seen the series mentioned all over the place, so I went in expecting to enjoy it more than I did (it's not really my genre). Some pivotal plot developments happened offscreen in a way I found frustrating, and the unreliable narrator thing didn't work for me, but mostly I felt it (necessarily) didn't have strong enough relationships for me to care very much.

Every Day and Another Day by David Levithan. The first is about a 16yo person who jumps into a different 16yo body each day, spending midnight to midnight in their host's life before moving on to the next one. And then they fall in love, and it all gets complicated. I enjoyed this -- it felt tropey in an interesting way, and I liked how it dealt with gender. (Warning for unexpected fat-shaming, though.) The second is a remix -- the same story from the fallen-in-love-with girl's POV. It was fine? There's a lot of repetition between the two, and I wanted the ending of Another Day to give me more.

Reading next
Probably the new Natasha Pulley, The Bedlam Stacks. Plus mergatrude has been luring me with Combeferre/Enjolras/Grantaire Les Mis recs.

Recently watched Kdramas
Finished Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. The last six episodes were pure candyfloss and sparkles, and I enjoyed them tremendously (and hardly cried at all!). Almost nothing happened! (There was half an episode dedicated to the trauma of having a pimple on one's nose, and resulting shenanigans.) This show has leapt into my top 10 Kdramas.

Still watching Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, which is tonally ALL OVER THE PLACE, and rewatching Moonlight Drawn By Clouds. Just started Capital Scandal (2007), set in the 1930s during the Japanese occupation. So far it's very confusing, but first episodes are often like that.

Other TV
We're a few episodes into You Me Her, a Netflix show about a m/f married couple who mutually (and rather awkwardly) fall in love with a female escort. It's a little cringey in the way that's currently fashionable for TV light-dramas, but I'm enjoying it despite that. The guy is played by Amy Poehler's brother.

Films
The NZ film festival is about to start. I've bought tickets for:
- a Turkish documentary about the cats of Istanbul
- an Irish documentary about the Voyager spacecraft
- a South Korean drama set in France, called Claire's Camera (no relation to Claire's Hat, as far as I know)
- a South Korean drama set (I presume) in Korea, called Yourself and Yours
- a Thai drama about an architect and an elephant, called Pop Aye
- a French drama starring Catherine Deneuve, called The Midwife.

That should help boost my USA vs Other Countries film ratio! I may randomly try to go to other things during the day, depending on weather, availability and organisational oomph.

Also planning to see The Big Sick, Baby Driver, and possibly maybe Atomic Blonde and The Hitman's Bodyguard, if I decide I need some silly action in my life.

Podcasts
Still working our way through NPR's Invisibilia and enjoying it very much. Still keeping up with Fansplaining.
musesfool: Reboot Uhura (never tell me the odds)
[personal profile] musesfool
So on Monday the realtor I've been working with sent me 10 listings to choose from and I said I liked five, and so I'm seeing 2 out of those five tomorrow evening (the two most expensive and also the two I was least interested in. funny how that works out. the one that was my fave accepted an offer yesterday and is thus off the market now. Sigh. eta: and there goes my second fave, with an accepted offer. but I'm seeing the last one on Saturday, so there's hope! I like each of these three, just not as much as I liked the other two and also they each have one drawback or another, I guess./eta). I'm trying to keep an open mind, but I'd really like to see the two I like more before I have to make any decisions.

How can it only be Wednesday? Yesterday felt like it was 8 days long in and of itself. Sigh.

What I've just finished
Nothing.

What I'm reading now
Still on Abaddon's Gate. I like it but not as much as the first two books so it's taking me longer to read (the fact that I haven't been getting a seat on the train hasn't helped). I feel like the new characters are not nearly as interesting as Avasarala and Bobbie, though I like Anna and Bull just fine. Melba, otoh... On the plus side, spoilers ) I'm about a hundred pages from the end so I'm guessing there's still some excitement to come.

What I'm reading next
Regardless, I did pick up the next book - Cibola Burn - because I do want to see what happens next. I just also wish we got the POV from the others on the Roci instead of all Holden all the time there.

***
musesfool: Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel (not alone in the dark)
[personal profile] musesfool
I cried my way through Gifted on Saturday, and I can only hope CEvans decides to do a sideline in loving dad roles going forward because it's a good look for him. Needed more Octavia Spencer, though.

And yesterday, I watched Orphan Black: Gag and Throttle
spoilers )

In SDCC news:

+ the Black Panther stuff all looks AMAZING
+ Thor: Ragnarok looks delightfully charming
+ Infinity War looks like a hot mess but features beardy Steve in a black stealth suit and Bucky with a new arm, so I'll get over Natasha's blonde hair, I guess. The ability of any movie to service so many characters, otoh...
+ Justice League looks like two separate movies being smooshed into one - I am into Wonder Woman and Aquaman, as well as Alfred and Jim Gordon, but skeptical of everything else. is this a spoiler? )
+ The Star Wars books in the lead up to The Last Jedi look like fun (CHEWIE AND THE PORGS! Legends of Luke Skywalker! A 16yo Princess Leia book! A Canterbury Tales-like anthology! With authors like Ken Liu and Elizabeth Wein and Saladin Ahmed in addition to Claudia Gray and Chuck Wendig!) I am excite!
+ I like that Captain Marvel is going to be set in the 90s - it explains why they cast someone so young as Carol, though I wonder if that means they'll recast for present-day Carol or what. And Nick Fury will be there! And maybe we could get a Peggy Carter cameo!

I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting atm, but work keeps interrupting. Sigh.

***

2182 / Orphan Black, 5.07

Jul. 24th, 2017 10:51 am
siria: (Default)
[personal profile] siria
The Thor: Ragnarok trailer looks just delightful:



Who knew I'd end up anticipating the third Thor movie over the next Avengers one? But Infinity Wars looks like it will be over-stuffed and unsatisfying on a character level, whereas this looks like quirky fun.

Orphan Black, 5.07, Gag or Throttle )

EARWORM

Jul. 24th, 2017 09:47 am
scaramouche: Aja from Jem and the Holograms (aja)
[personal profile] scaramouche
I watched Disney Descendants 2 over the weekend, and although on the whole I found it meh with a handful of bright spots, this song is now stuck in my head because the chorus is all PUMPED UP YASSSS LET'S GO PUNCH SOME PEOPLE



Basically, good workout music. :D

The actual choreography is a little awkward in places but it's really the attitudes of the actors that sell it at all. China Anne McLain is SUCH a joy, and such perfect foil for Dove Cameron that I almost wouldn't have thought it possible after Dove's heavy lifting in the first Descendants. (Although, why do they make Dove and Sofia do action/dance sequences in such chunky heels??? At least Dianne gets flats.)

Also I.... probably shouldn't find Harry menacing Ben to be as hot as I do. >.>
musesfool: Nick/Cassie, Push (ours is a forbidden love)
[personal profile] musesfool
For [personal profile] grammarwoman for the DVD commentary meme.

Driving with the brakes on
Push (2009); Nick/Cassie (Nick/OFC); adult; 13,650 words
Nick discovers a way to help Cassie see more clearly. It's a little sketchier than he's comfortable with.

I don't actually remember the genesis of this idea, but there's a post in my LJ that says, So I said to [personal profile] angelgazing, "Tell me not to write the story where orgasms make Cassie's visions clearer" and she said, "you should TOTALLY write that story" and two weeks and 13k words later, I wrote the story. Which is basically how these things go when [tumblr.com profile] angelgazing wants me to write a thing, especially if I already kind of want to write it anyway.

content notes: Cassie's 16; one reference to offscreen sexual assault of non-canon characters

All through the writing of this story, Cassie was 15. Cassie was 15 right up until I actually posted. Then I had a conversation with [personal profile] snacky and decided to make her 16 instead. I don't think it makes it better? But maybe some people are slightly less squicked? Idk.

But unless the moon falls tonight, unless continents collide, / Nothing's gonna make me break from her side )

~*~

I hope that provided some insight on what was a 13K word exercise in id-fic. *hands*

~*~
scaramouche: Marty McFly from Back to the Future (bttf: marty and the clocktower)
[personal profile] scaramouche
The fourth collection of IDW's Back to the Future comicbook series, and a great return to form. Where the previous two issues had big adventures with potentially destructive time continuum consequences, this one's a relatively quiet story about Marty's headspace, and explores that paradox first introduced in the first film -- if Marty has arrived in a changed 1985 where his parents are rich and have a great relationship, is he in fact displacing an "other" Marty for whom this 1985 is normal?

This comic doesn't try to fully explain away paradox, which is good, because there is no way you can. BttF's idea of time travel is plot-elastic, and that's fine. Instead it explores the characters' headspaces regarding it -- mainly Marty's (oh my heart), with Doc, Jennifer and George giving in their two cents. It's such a wonderful, self-reflective and occasionally heartwrenching story where Marty struggles with the realization that he may have usurped another Marty's place in the universe, i.e. that our Marty might be the "wrong one". THIS IS THE GOOD STUFF.

Marty and George talking about theoretical alternate timelines. )

Marty's nightmare about Other Marty coming to take back his rightful place. )

Basically this volume cuts down to the emotional core of Marty McFly -- he talks a big game but he's a dork with insecurities and it's not like he was all that assured of his place in the world BEFORE he started time-travelling. I forgot to mention that the first story in the collection is a flashback thing of how Marty and Needles met, which was another bit that had my heart swelling three sizes because Marty's a Good Kid, y'all. Doc isn't as critical a part to this story but he's right there to give Marty the support he needs plus to remind him that hey, he isn't alone in having questions in feeling out of step in the new timeline.

Plus there's also this bit, more easy dialogue between Marty and Doc which I was really missing in the last collection:

It's not exactly banter... )

Good stuff, I'm most pleased.

my love i am the speed of sound

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:42 pm
musesfool: Peggy Carter is gunning for you (your heart is a weapon)
[personal profile] musesfool
L and I made a spur of the moment decision to see Dunkirk last night - well, as spur-of-the-moment as you can with purchasing reserved seats ahead of time *snerk* - and I have mixed feelings about it. It is beautifully shot and I could watch Tom Hardy spoiler ) all day, but mostly I feel like it took an amazing real life story and didn't deliver on the emotional impact of it. spoilers )

I liked that it was nearly dialogue free (and I didn't mind that I couldn't understand half the dialogue that there was), but I felt that the structure was overly fiddly and unnecessary and it kept me from full immersion (um, pun not intended?) emotionally. Also the music was too loud and there was too much of it.

It also suffers a little from Band of Brothers syndrome in that I couldn't tell the two young dudes apart for most of the story. Once they're both wet so you can't tell which one has curly hair and which one has straight hair, I couldn't tell them apart, and I honestly didn't care that much about them beyond the generic - I mean, I didn't want any of those guys to die, and I felt there was nothing specific about those two to make me care more. spoilers ) (Otoh, casting Harry Styles - who was good, I thought - was a smart move, because I always recognized him, even half-drowned.)

Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh (and James D'Arcy!) were great, as was Tom Hardy. I mean, I would have watched a whole movie where Tom Hardy spoiler ) But overall, it's a B to B+ kind of movie for me. I wouldn't see it again.

If you do see it, I can say it was definitely worth seeing in 70mm, if you have that option. Otoh, if you have a fear of drowning, I don't recommend it for you.

Both L and I had similar mixed feelings. We discussed it on the walk to the bus stop, and my god, I have never sweated as much as I sweated yesterday - it was not a day for walking but I did a lot of it. I was so overheated that I never once felt cold in the movie theater despite being sleeveless, which has never ever happened to me before.

Before the movie we were going to meet at a Mexican place that looked good, but it was so jam packed with people, we ended up at the Cafe Tallulah, where the cheeseburger is fantastic, but again, on a day as hot as yesterday, wtf were the front windows all doing open, so you couldn't feel the air conditioning hardly at all? I never sweated so much in my life while doing nothing.

***

when the sun burst through the sky

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:05 am
musesfool: Stephanie Brown as Batgirl (can't hardly wait)
[personal profile] musesfool
I spent last night reading fic where Jason and Cass turn out to be biological siblings, not just adopted siblings, and squee!, that is one of my favorite Batfamily tropes. Plus, there was some awesome Jason-Cass-Steph bonding which I feel canon has repeatedly cheated me out of, even though they would get along like a house on fire (literally, probably, given Jason's involvement and enjoyment in blowing things up). Plus there is some hilarious snark at poor Tim's expense that made me laugh out loud repeatedly. Oh Tim. (There will be recs at the end of the month as usual, but here and here for those of you who are impatient and also not following my pinboard.)

Also, yesterday, my consolation birthday present arrived - a beautiful red patent leather Love Moschino tote bag (wow, there were three left in stock when I ordered mine and now there are none! I'm glad I got there in time!). During the whole epic search for a new bag, I coveted a red patent leather bag, but couldn't find one (or, rather, couldn't find one that was less than, like, $800 and while I'm profligate, I'm not that profligate), since I guess they aren't in style right now? Except it's red patent leather so I can't imagine how it could go out of style? But whatever. On a whim on Wednesday, I checked Zappo's to see if there were any available, and lo and behold, there it was. It's beautiful. It's big and kind of unwieldy (and unpleasantly sticky against the bare skin of my arm in the heat), but I don't care, because it's gorgeous.

Bosses 1 & 3 both admired it as I unpacked it from the box, and they were like, "Are you going to save it for special occasions?" and I said, "Hell no!" (note: I did not actually say "Hell no!" I just said, "no! I bought it so I could use it! Because it is beautiful!") And I recommend to all of you to use your beautiful and special things rather than waiting for some mythical special occasion to crop up, because frequently, you will be waiting forever and never get to enjoy the beautiful thing you bought for yourself. Using a special bag/wearing your beautiful new shoes/opening that expensive bottle of wine - they can all make a regular occasion special, and I recommend you do that rather than wait for some occasion arbitrarily deemed "special" enough to break out the fancy lipstick or whatever. Live your best life whenever you can, people!

***
china_shop: Eun Chan holding Han Gyul's face, both turned towards camera - cuteness! (Kdrama - Coffee Prince)
[personal profile] china_shop
I cried pretty much through the entirety of episode 10. Those poor sweet beautiful broken darlings!

I suspect I'm going to finish it this weekend (but not tonight; that would be excessive, and I already have a headache from all the crying).
china_shop: Eun Chan holding Han Gyul's face, both turned towards camera - cuteness! (Kdrama - Coffee Prince)
[personal profile] china_shop
I've fallen down the rabbit hole that is Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, and I don't want to come out!

OMG, this show is adorable. The main character is a weightlifter at a sports university, who is mostly very happy being a bull-headed hot-tempered jock, until one fateful day when plot spoilers happen )

I'm about halfway through. Events have transpired, and more spoilers )

I just. Bok Joo is giving me so many feels. She's about as lacking in EQ and self-awareness as Go Mi Nam from You're Beautiful (that is a wild overstatement; NO ONE is as clueless and un-self-aware as Go Mi Nam!), but seeing her grapple with not being traditionally feminine and the way everyone treats her like a hefferlump, and her humiliation at knowing she's being ridiculous leading her double life but she can't help it, and the moments of pure happiness she grabs whenever she can... is all hitting me pretty hard. *snuggles her heartbroken and befuddled self*

Also, the love interest is somehow awful and utterly adorable at the same time. I don't know how he's managing it, but I have high hopes that he will eventually soon realise how awful the awfulness is and make amends. He's getting there.


ION, I've rented the first disk of Black Sails, having decided to give it another try after bouncing off the pilot a couple of years(?) ago and since hearing many people squee. The warnings on the case include sexual violence; can anyone advise: how graphic is the non-con? Like, is it going to squick me and stick in my head for days? Does it happen to main/POV characters? /o\

IOON, we watched the pilot of You Me Her last night, and it was great. I'm looking forward to more.
musesfool: wendy watson in a wetsuit with a gun (come at me bro)
[personal profile] musesfool
Dear co-workers:

* I cannot finish your urgent project in a timely fashion if you keep interrupting me to ask when your project is going to be finished! Please stop!

* We have already done Thing based on all your requirements (and with your approval!) last quarter. We can just update it instead of spending so much time trying to come up with a new way to do it (only to come up with basically the exact same Thing). There is no need to spend hours reinventing the wheel!

* You have to decide whether you need a meeting to happen ASAP or if you need everyone involved present, because it's July coming up on August, and half the people you need will be out on vacation at any given moment and I have no control of that.

* I don't want healthy snacks in the vending machine. If I am driven to getting food from it, it's generally because I want Frito Lay corn chips or terrible plasticky cheap chocolate, not some sort of chip made from beans or some kind of granola bar! WTF?

no love,

me

***

2181 / Fic - MCU

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:41 am
siria: (ca - peggy)
[personal profile] siria
Lessons in Unsubtle Diplomacy
MCU | ~12,700 words | Steve/Peggy, AU | Thanks to [personal profile] sheafrotherdon and [personal profile] trinityofone for all their help with this. Written for [personal profile] thedeadparrot for the [tumblr.com profile] fandomtrumpshate auction, with thanks for her generosity and her patience.

(Read also on AO3)

Steve, Peggy, and a visit to an English country house after the war. What could possibly go wrong? )

Never knew no good from bad

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:55 am
musesfool: bodhi rook (honor the heart of faith)
[personal profile] musesfool
I went to bed early last night and I slept like a rock. I should not still be sleepy! Arrgh!

Wednesday reading meme:

What I've just finished
Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey, which I enjoyed a lot, mainly because Avasarala is the best and also Bobbie! ♥ Holden still needs a lot of punching though. Ugh. Why is this guy the main character? Not only is he a dead bore, he's a ridiculously common dead bore!

I like TV!Prax better than book!Prax, I think, but I also think the show compresses the timeline in a way that means I don't get bored with a character having repetitive beats, the way I can, and do in this case, in a book.

What I'm reading now
Still, I picked up Abaddon's Gate and started it this morning, so I'm still entertained enough to continue.

What I'm reading next
The next book in this series, probably. I don't even know what the name of it is. *looks it up* Ah, Cibola Burn.

I also read two really long stories that both turned out to be in progress, which I probably should have noticed but didn't. I mean, when I see a thing is 175K words long, I figure it's done. I mean, who has that much to say in one story? But no. Sigh.

In my recent fanfic readings, I learned that I will nope out of a story if you kill off Wedge Antilles. Which was a surprise to me - how strongly my kneejerk NOPE was - but there you go. Do not want! (I mean, I don't care for any character death in my fic, and generally not in canon either! but I get that some AU premises require it. But like Bartleby the scrivener, I would prefer not to.)

I also learned that I don't really ship Bodhi with anyone but if I did it would have to be Jyn and Cassian. Gotta keep the Star Wars OT3 pattern going, I guess. I just don't find Jyn and Cassian all that compelling. *hands* I'd much rather read about Baze and Chirrut being the most married. (I think Rebels is the only place that doesn't have an OT3, but I am okay with that. I'm already bracing for Kanan and Hera to get an undeserved tragic ending.)

I also realized that in addition to believing that Luke Skywalker is asexual, I believe Anakin is demisexual, and both Leia and Padme are bisexual. Ahsoka is mostly into women except that I also ship her with Anakin (and Rex, a little), so there are exceptions? And Obi-Wan is pansexual and flirting his way across the galaxy at any given moment.

Which is probably more than anyone cared to know about my Star Wars head canons. *snerk*

***

Non-existent episodes meme

Jul. 19th, 2017 04:43 pm
china_shop: Fraser's not so sure about that (Fraser Oh-I'm-not-so-sure-about-that)
[personal profile] china_shop
Invented by [personal profile] lunabee34: Tell me about the episode (or book chapter) that never appeared in one of your fandoms but should have.


White Collar: Neal is knocked unconscious during a case, cue Prohibition-era noir episode with singing, saxophones and threesome subtext, a la Moonlighting's "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice."

White Collar: Peter and Neal are captured and held in a confined space. Very confined. El, Mozzie and June work together to rescue them (with Diana and Clinton helping in the background).

Battle Creek: All of season 2.

Agent Carter: All of season 3.

Captain America: A Falcon movie, with the breezy tone of Ant-Man and Spider-Man. Basically, I want (more of) a Sam/Steve romcom. ;-P

in the corner garden

Jul. 18th, 2017 01:23 pm
musesfool: Daisy Ridley as Rey with lightsaber (you were not mine to save)
[personal profile] musesfool
You've all been watching Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, right? Leia, Rey, Ahsoka, Padme, Jyn! They're so adorable! I might be shipping Leia and Sabine a little bit now too. At least I said, "NOW KISS" at the end of "Bounty of Trouble." *g*

I caught this week's Orphan Black.

spoilers )

Ugh I stayed up way too late last night reading and I'm paying for it now. I just want to sleeeeeeeeeeep.

***

2180 / Beta?

Jul. 17th, 2017 09:20 pm
siria: (ca - peggy)
[personal profile] siria
Would anyone be interested in betaing something for me? It's a Steve/Peggy AU, about 12,500 words, some canon-typical violence. I just want to be sure there are no egregious plot holes and that the voice/characterisation rings true.
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