Dec. 28th, 2011

oops, I fell off the internet

Which isn't really true, I just was terribly busy this holiday season - work was crazy, then I was out and about all the freakin' time, so when I was home I didn't really want to do anything but read Avengers and Iron Man comics. (I love my Marvel Digital Subscription!)
I haven't really been doing anything creative, but I have been making plans.

Right now I'm in the lovely suburbs of Philadelphia, in the Great Valley area. My goddaughter and her parents are hosting me for a week of craftiness, cooking, game-playing, and reading excellent books. (Maya just got started on the Chronicles of Narnia, and is reading A Wrinkle in Time.) I have two volumes of the adventures of my beloved Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin in my luggage, but I'm mostly rereading Iron Man fanfiction (Civil War fix-it fics - so schmoopy.)

I have been keeping up with a few fests, but not in any big way - I'll have to catch up when I get home.

So, quick fandom / genre-related hits:

  • Finished S4 of Merlin, loved it. Beautiful visuals, excellent acting, and the problematic parts were not sufficient to keep me from loving it.

  • Doctor Who Christmas Special - really enjoyed it. This was an amazing episode. Had a really good time with it.

  • Got my parents watching my Marvel Cinematic Universe Collection. \o/ (I ♥ Phil Coulson!)

  • Christmas was pretty awesome - it's not really my holiday anymore, but we have a secular gift-exchange at our house since my dad likes giving us things. He apparently ransacked the BBC store for me this year - Merlin action figures and Doctor Who gear all over. We were really cute about making sure the various animals gave people gifts, too. And all five of us actually spent a good portion of the evening together and we GOT ALONG and it was beautiful. Dinner and a round of Ticket to Ride: Europe made for a fantastic family fest.

  • Watched Super 8 with Sam and Keet last night, and it was really awesome. Sam described it as "The Goonies if JJ Abrams had directed," (more lens flare!). I thought that was pretty accurate. Maybe the Goonies + E.T. It surprised me, how much I really enjoyed it. It was nothing at all what I was expecting. So, yay!

  • I found the elusive Iron Man / Captain America Annual 1998 in an anthology in a comics store here in King of Prussia, so I know it exists now. I did not buy the anthology (too big, too expensive - I'm an all-carry-on traveler this trip), but I will look for it or order it when I get home. \o/



I am looking forward to a New Year's season full of jigsaw puzzles (a tradition), board games (\o/), and bonus Cheesemas! Yay Cheesemas!
At some point I'll post photos, when I get them off my phone.

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Nov. 18th, 2011

ART: Don't Go, Jane (Jane/Rochester, G)

So I finally watched Jane Eyre, the film with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. I have had a shit week, and today was especially full of things going wrong, so it was lovely to relax with dinner and wine and this movie.

And then I made art, in the moment after the movie when this scene was just stuck in my head.

Title: Don't Go, Jane
Artist: [personal profile] zephre
Rating: G
Fandom: Jane Eyre, 2011 film and book
Characters: Jane, Mr. Rochester


full image under cut )

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Sep. 9th, 2011

quick hits

My twitter account is full of randomness today, but at least it's moved from trauma to humor. Sort of. After discussing the inevitability of flashbacks due to a combination of 9/11 Anniversary coverage and the FIRES that are filling the sky with smoke, raining ash on homes, and making the air smell of burning (yeah, no flashback potential there AT ALL), we decided that the best solution would be for TX to send truckloads of shamwows to the flooded areas. They mop up the water, send them back, and we wring them out over the fires.
Done.
Now, we will address the deficit and jobs crisis. Ok, no we won't. We'll actually address Hollywood and it's crazy crazy remakes.

me: Russell Crowe as Javert. Hugh Jackman as Valjean. I may need to sit down.
Jaye: wow. is Hollywood making a movie just for you?
Man, they might be. They really, really might be. I'll have to take my dad! (Les Miz is one of our shared musical interests!)

And today's moment of Latin Zen: [This is full of Classics snark, and if you aren't familiar with at least I, Claudius it may make no sense.]
We were discussing historiography, Livy, and Livy's presumed friendship with Augustus. Livy produced an incredible body of work, a complete history of Rome from its founding to his present day in 142 books, writing an average of 3 books per year for forty years. The problem: only thirty-something books survived to modern day, and none of them about Livy's own time. Certain hints from later historians writing about Livy, as well as textual interpretations by modern historians, create a belief that Livy and Augustus got along very well, shared some opinions and values, and were quite possibly friends. One item that is cited as evidence is the fact that Livy was a tutor to young Claudius.
So one of the young things in my class (possibly stalling for time, I admit), asked whether there was any possibility that Livy could have known at the time of his teaching that Claudius would one day be the emperor.
I thought to myself, "NO WAY."
And then the prof said, "ABSOLUTELY NOT," making big negative arm motions.
It made me laugh.
I have to keep reminding myself, unformed larvae, unformed larvae, unformed larvae*. Some of them may be up to their ears in classical civ at that age, after all, I was, but the prof made a good point when he said that he didn't want to assume too much about the class's knowledge of the Augustan Age. (Not that I could really be considered an expert or anything, geez. It just feels like I've been pickling in random classical trivia from that general period for most of my life.)
Anyway. ZEN LATIN SNARK.
[*For all that I snark at them, they're actually quite good at Latin. Better than I am, most days!]

I walked back to my office from class and it was, alas, still really hot even with the "cool snap" we're getting. 90-something is no joke when you're walking across campus in blue jeans.

And I just took some time explaining to someone the difference between block level and in-line tags in XHTML, but I don't think I did it very well. I should work on that. Yay for validating her markup for class, though.

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Jul. 16th, 2011

Saturday

Brief updates:

- Work deadline got away from me, with the result that the last few days at the office were frantic with updates, and we barely got our stuff done. I have a long list of rushed items for next week as well. Fun times.

- Difficulties with having a dynastic name: people looking for my brother on Facebook often friend my dad instead. Is it wrong that I find that hilarious?

- So so so addicted to more fanfic. Holy cow. X-men fanfic is eating my life. In the best way. Also, my obsession with mpreg has successfully translated from Harry Potter fandom. What is wrong with me. ;)

- Went to a preview showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and it was AWESOME. I need to go back again. I have a few nits to pick about it, and one big issue of an internal logic hole, but on the whole it was amazing and such a beautiful experience. The audience was not totally fans, so when I squealed and clapped I had a few companions but not as many as I had when watching the movies at Cons. Also, I ♥ Neville.

- My nonprofit corporation obligations are increasing, bringing with them a slew of committee meetings. This will hopefully lead to some great things for the organization, but it is definitely something that I will have to adjust to in my schedule.

- Except for the illustrations for my paperlegends big bang, I am frustrated by art. I am incredibly inspired lately, but stymied by my own ability, not only with art in general but with the software and digital techniques in particular. Big Bangs have a separate category for me, since they are so often done with extreme time limits - working at marathon fast-paint settings loosens some of my internal critic's stress, and allows me to produce without too much angst. I think I need to try some other prompts or subject matter, after this big bang is done. I may take a break from fan art, even though that means that I'll probably get even less community feedback. (boo.) Just to try to push some skill envelopes.

- Writing? What writing? At least the writers' meetup has been going well.

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Jul. 13th, 2011

progress

Made a bit more progress with the Big Bang art. Have lots of meetings to look forward to this month. Most of them related to the nonprofit corp, but some others.
Meet-ups were great. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Group has EXPLODED with new members. It's kind of awesome.
Tomorrow is Harry Potter - I'm definitely looking forward to it. I may even wear my hat, if I remember to bring it with me to work. I have to leave extremely promptly so I have time to eat before the 6:30 show. I love preview showings. ;)

Reading SO MUCH X-men fanfic, with a few Merlin binges thrown in, and some nostalgic Harry Potter revisits. It's been fun.
Recs, anyone? Especially X-men rarepairs, by which I mean Alex/Armando. Ahem.

Must it be true that if one is having a steampunk submarine adventure, there must at some point be a giant tentacled sea monster? Just checking.

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Mar. 26th, 2011

feeling good

So, I finished my glomp_fest entry (the one that got eaten by my Painter crash) today, then did my laundry while introducing my parents to the Star Wars prequels (my brother wails, "How could you do that to them?" but we really enjoyed them), and made some significant progress on my portrait of Amidala and Leia.

IMG_5417
I came home and put all my laundry away first thing, too - I feel like such a grown-up.

I'm not entirely happy with the color so far - as Dad pointed out, I lost a bit of likeness when I transferred to the new paper and took it to color, so I'm going to cue up some Natalie Portman photos and try to recover that with the pencils in a bit. [ETA: Recovered a pretty decent likeness this evening, yay! Replaced the photo above with the new one. The other is still on Flickr, for comparison.]

But I really love to be working with them again, and I have my dancer to finish, too. Plus I have my workspace cleaned off so I can draw at my drafting table, instead of just using it for storage.

Yay!

Tomorrow, mixed birthday shenanigans with the Scion and girlfriend and parents, at the Menil Collection. Awesome!

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Mar. 5th, 2011

Sean Bean made me do it

Oh, lordy, I started reading A Game of Thrones again, and this time it took. I am having trouble putting it down, in fact, to do other things like, you know, eat.
Amie said I would like it, but I was stubborn because I didn't get into it years ago when it first came out. Now, though, I may have given it another chance because the "Winter is Coming" web presence is just that compelling.
Hello, Sean Bean in another book adapted to film. Perhaps I should read that book, too, just like I did with the others.
Dammit, I am really really into it!
(And only, like, a quarter of the way through it.) At least the newest volume is supposed to come out soon. I have a nice fresh volume awaiting me once I slog through the previous four. Then I can join the rest of the folks waiting for the last one. (Something my parents and I are quite familiar with - I remember when they were waiting on tenterhooks for the last volume of Niccolo (Gemini (The House of Niccolo, 8)) and hoping that Dorothy Dunnett would finish it before she died. It's not an unfamiliar position for any fan of series or epic fiction.)
Is it terrible that I also can't wait to get through the books so I can see what the fandom looks like? :D

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Dec. 31st, 2010

Tangled report

Holy cow, this is the first Disney Princess movie I have seen where my immediate reaction (after the choking up and gushing) was wanting to write fanfiction.
Seriously, I was SO INSPIRED by this film, I spent an hour after it with my tarot cards and some blank paper plotting out a story (original, that is), and imagining the fanfic in my head.

I want to go see it again.

New Year's festivities are in full swing here, Maya has danced and sung her crazy little heart out, we've played some games and had a great dinner and more festivities are still to come.

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Nov. 25th, 2010

dying of cute

OMG, my parents and I are stuffed full of food and watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and HOLY COW EVERYBODY IS SO YOUNG! They're babies! All of them are so tiny and adorable and lovely! We can't even stand it.

Earlier when I arrived my parents were watching the Dog Show and that was full of adorableness, too! We had a grand time ogling all the super-groomed puppies.

Watching this movie back to back with Half-Blood Prince is disconcerting in the extreme, but also kind of interesting. Bits of interaction among the kids just keep echoing through all the films, even through the changing directors.

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Nov. 21st, 2010

it's a magical weekend

So on Saturday it was a grand episode of Merlin!
3x11 The Sorcerer's Shadow )

Then I went out today with my parents to catch the matinee of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1, which we all enjoyed.

Needs Moar Luna )

And Peter met us for a late lunch after the movie, which was lovely. I am happy when the four of us can sit around and just be together. And often silly. :)

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Sep. 3rd, 2010

Symphony of Science and other neat things

Last night one of my old friends had a birthday party - it was a "Swango Dance Party" and there were some very impressive dancers. I met up with more old friends, mostly from high school, and met some new people. I may need to check out the dance scene here - not club dancing, but social dancing. Apparently there's a thriving tango and swing culture that I've just missed.

Here, Symphony of Science, just to put a smile on your face (And in case the embedding doesn't work, you can just go watch it on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cd36WJ79z4:





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Aug. 27th, 2010

Top 5s: Places, Movies, Snupin Stuff

Ok, this is me caught up on my Latin homework (for the moment) and continuing the Top 5 Meme.  I'm going to try to knock out several in one block this time.  I am saving the crafty / art ones until I have the time to actually sit with my various sites and portfolios and things.  Plus I took photos of the first sophisticated doll I ever made, when I was 14, for Emily's Top 5, so I'll have to post those before I can do that one.
Also, I have a shoebox full of photos from my high school trips abroad and my college years - those are going to be scanned soon and posted to Flickr.  So watch out, college buddies. (I admit there are a few folks I wish I could airbrush out, but I will maintain the integrity of the photos.) 

from [personal profile] glockgal

Top 5 places you've visited (and loved) )

Top 5 things you do to stop being bored
1. Read fanfiction.
2. Draw something.
3. Start a crafty project
4. Grab a beloved book off the shelf to re-read.
5. Start organizing my apartment. 

from [profile] dizilla
top 5 favorite sci-fi movies (or if not enough, fantasy too) -- Oh, Diz, I could do five of each!  And in fact, I think I will! 

Top 5 Science Fiction Movies )
Top 5 Fantasy Movies )
Top 5 Snupin Kinks/Cliches )

Also, I thought of a woman to add to my favorite characters list: Philippa Somerville from the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett.  In fact, most of the women in the Lymond Chronicles are rockin' awesome, with Sybilla right up there after Philippa. I still haven't finished the Niccolo books, I have got to get on that.

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Aug. 22nd, 2010

Top 5 Characters, any fandom

Continuing the Top 5 Meme:
Well, if this were a list of characters in any ONE fandom, I would be listing from Babylon 5, because that show has a lot of favorites.  Just so you know.  ;)  Also, this is one of those lists that may change at any moment, for random reasons. I remember great characters all the time, and my obsessions change with fandoms. In fact, I could rewrite it right now... but I won't.  It's stuck for now.
I think it would take a lot to knock G'kar off the top slot, though, I'm just sayin'. I'm going to include 5 runners-up, just because I can.

it's too hard to choose! )

I'm kind of disappointed in myself that so few of these are women. And hey, lots of them are from Babylon 5 anyway. It's just that good.



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May. 31st, 2010

and now, movies

In less sober Memorial Day news...

- My family enjoys watching some of the Memorial Day movie marathons put on by AMC and TCM and other such stations.  So when I got to the parental homestead yesterday with my laundry, I walked in to see some German soldiers on screen in tight quarters, speaking German with no subtitles.  Mom look up at me expectantly and asks if I recognize it. So I said, "The Guns of Navarone?"  And Mom busts up laughing and looks at Dad in the kitchen and says, "All those years of Memorial Day movie marathons paid off have ruined them!"  Seriously, I was actually thinking it was a submarine movie until the scene cut to an interior of an elevator cut into rock. [ETA: Mom tells me I remembered her comment incorrectly! ;)]

- We watched Bill Maher's Religulous, which was both funny and depressing. I don't really have a lot to say about it; I thought he was often correct, often funny, and often confrontational. He found some great folks to talk to, and featured some crazy crazy clips.  It was both educational and adversarial. I'm glad I watched it, but I don't know if I would watch it again.

- We watched Avatar together. It was actually really disappointing, after all the crazy build-up. Mom's verdict, as the credits rolled: "Titanic was better."  mild spoilers )  It felt like an attempt to combine allegory and adventure movie that fell flat on multiple levels.  I thought the best part of the whole thing was actually the way the tree roots lit up when they were walked upon. 

- Winding up the evening we watched Operation Petticoat.  It's a hilarious comedy classic starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis on a submarine in the Pacific.  The sub is in a constant state of disrepair, breaking down and needing parts.  Over the course of the movie, through various hilarious machinations of con-man Curtis and twists that confound commanding officer Grant as they try to get things into working order and into the combat zone, the sub ends up painted pink, hosting five Army nurses and a passel of civilians, and seeing some action from both sides of the conflict.  It's a real hoot, one in which every other line is a subtle (or blatant) innuendo, and the whole thing increases in hilarity if you add "in my pants" to the dialogue.   Most hilarious family moment: in the interior of the ship one of the nurses has fixed part of the sub's machinery with an item of clothing that stretches from several snaps. I had to look over at Mom and ask, "Ok, what is that?" and she laughed and told me it was a girdle, and how nice must it be to live in a year when I don't recognize one.

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May. 27th, 2010

catching up - the bullet points version

So, I keep meaning to post something and then getting sidetracked.  I've even drafted things and then closed the window.  Fun times. It's been busy here, though.

- Of course, ApolloCon is coming up very soon and that takes up a lot of bandwidth.
- I blew through the Twilight saga at last, on Donna's recommendation, and actually I really enjoyed it. I didn't find nearly as many objectionable political themes as some reviewers, and while I found Bella rather unappealing as a protagonist I certainly enjoyed the world and many other characters in it.  I also watched the first two movies, and they were pretty blah. The second was better than the first by miles, which is true of the books as well, but I don't hold out too much hope for the translation of the books to screen.  Look what movies did to Harry Potter.  Anyway, the point is that they were fun books and I enjoyed the heck out of them, and while I won't be jumping to find some Bella/Edward fic on the internet any time soon, I would totally be down for some explorations of Caius's experiences with the Children of the Moon.  Anybody? 
- Still enjoying the heck out of the new Doctor Who, and very much in love with the characters, most especially Rory.
- I am now reading Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld book, and it's quite fun. On deck are a whole slew of YA fantasies from the library, and then I really must get back to the Dresden Files so I can catch up and stop avoiding spoilers.
- Enjoyed a great benefit concert at House of Blues Houston with the family. It was really nice to be out just the four of us, and it was an interesting evening full of fabulous music.
- Went to my first Geeks Who Drink pub quiz in Houston with a co-worker, her husband, and their friends.  I hope it will become a regular thing. It was a fun quiz, with the usual moments of woe and of genius, plus bonus outdoor patio bar with friendly dogs. I wore my Heroines of Science: Marie Curie t-shirt to commemorate the occasion.
- I was accepted as a College Associate for one of the residential colleges here, which basically means that I get to have lunch in their servery sometimes and hang out with the students, support the college in its projects on campus, and maybe be more involved in other things as well.  I understand the definition of the role is still somewhat fluid, so come the fall semester I'll find out more. It'll be nice to have a connection on campus proper, since my office/cave is off on the far side and I don't get to mingle much with the undergrads or faculty.
- I've been mainlining Legend of the Seeker Season 1 on Netflix for the last few weeks.  It's a bit awesome and a bit awful, not sure yet where the balance will end up. I may be slightly skewed in my viewing after watching part of Season 1 of Xena, though.
- Been getting a lot of "Thanks for your opinion, but I'm on the opposite side of the issue" replies from my congressional representation again, which is typical but for some reason coming in floods now.
- I had a brilliant idea for a story while on my morning commute the other day, listening to Democracy Now! on KPFT. I'm not certain it will work, but it's exciting to feel inspired.  Also, I have some direction on my current WIP that my crit group will love to see, if I can get it all typed out in time to turn in on Monday.
- I'd really like to take an art class this summer, so I'm counting pennies and figuring out schedules to see if I can work something out. Hopefully I'll still feel like working after showing my illustrations at ApolloCon (eep!). At least I finally got my drafting table and lamp set up. Yay workspace! Now I just need to break out the watercolors again.

And now it is time to sleep.

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