hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
We went to see "The Force Awakens" yesterday, and I also finished reading Ancillary Mercy, which is probably a very interesting coincidence that I will not explore in detail. The latter I enjoyed the most of the trilogy, probably because I had a clue what was going on understood the ins-and-outs of the universe from the beginning and was able to jump right in and ride. It's a nice trip, and I got a deeper sense of the characters this time, and a sense of the time depth of the world - which I think is important to getting how things have been for a good long while and how they are changing. Also, I would like to see Ann Leckie write straight-up comedy.

The Star Wars movie I had a great time with, and on the whole really liked, and then we came home and dissected it into tiny pieces, so I don't have to do that again here, but if anyone cares to discuss in the comments I'll put a few talking points behind a cut.

spoilers of course )

There was an interesting opinion piece in the Washington Post yesterday about how [spoiler] is totally our fault because we can't stick our endings any more in today's genre world (link is, since they oddly haven't updated it, to an older version of the piece where the writer hadn't seen the film yet and didn't know for sure that [spoiler] would happen, but it says essentially the same thing). I do agree that one can get tired of franchises, but I'm not tired of this one yet, and I think that [spoiler] may have been exactly the right thing to happen, and then I read this in Ancillary Mercy:

Entertainments nearly always end with triumph or disaster--happiness achieved, or total, tragic defeat precluding any hope of it. But there is always more after the ending--always the next morning and the next, always changes, losses and gains. Always one step after the other. Until the one true ending that none of us can escape. But even that ending is only a small one, large as it looms for us. There is still the next morning for everyone else. For the vast majority of the rest of the universe, that ending might as well not ever have happened. Every ending is an arbitrary one. Every ending is, from another angle, not really an ending.

Which I entirely agree with, while still appreciating the climactic boom.

We saw the film at the iPic, which offers (for a steep ticket price) reclining comfy seats, free popcorn, and waiter service for food and drinks including alcoholic ones - I had a mocha martini, which is not a martini at all of course but was yummy - which was a great experience for this particular film, not eclipsing my first viewing of "The Empire Strikes Back" at a huge movie palace in Boston, with a thousand other people for whom "I am your father" was a total shock, but creating its own memory. Probably the only time we'll go there (if we go back, I hope they'll have fixed the huge lines for parking ticket validation and put enough toilet paper in the women's room) but I'm glad we tried it.

rad

Mar. 5th, 2014 08:04 am
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Ooh, it's been a while. Today is Younger Son's 20th birthday, and we are hosting his girlfriend and her parents for several days starting this evening, so I don't (and haven't had) a lot of time, but wanted to let you all know I wasn't dead. Hi.

a) That was a great episode of Person of Interest last night. In fact, I believe the word you are looking for is "awesome."

b) YS enticed us into starting Hannibal, which I was trying to avoid, because what do I need with another fandom or even just another cunningly-plotted TV show. It kind of makes me want to cook vegetarian. Which coincidentally I have to do a lot of this week, so.

c) Things on the shopping list: chocolate, tofu, lotus root. Our lives grow more interesting daily.

d) Six more inches of snow happened Monday. This can be it as far as I'm concerned.

e) On the weekend we watched "Thor: The Dark World." I fell asleep, predictably. In between appreciating Hiddleston, of course. We did realize that we missed a major opportunity not naming our (big, ginger; small, black) cats Thor and Loki, but I suspect it's been done.

Have to go roast sweet potatoes and clean the kitchen now. Talk amongst yourselves.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Random update:

Thing One: Trying to write my Irrelevant Gift Exchange story in a few days (with absolutely no guidelines, since I never heard from my giftee, so going with "what pleases me"). It will be fine, I'm sure, if I can just get myself to put down words.

Thing Two: Watched "The Time of the Doctor" the day after Christmas, and was distinctly underwhelmed. It all felt unoriginal and… I'm not sure "unrealistic" is the right adjective, considering the framework, but yes, that. Alas.

Thing Three: Went out with Younger Son to see The Hobbit Part the Second last night, and found it great fun, viewed as an action movie with occasional Brooding Dwarf. I reread the book quite recently, and noted how very uncinematic it is, at least by today's standards, so I have no objection to the changes made, though really it was pretty much all changes. I especially enjoyed minor spoilers ) It's also tremendous fun that they get to reference and foreshadow Lord of the Rings, adding both dramatic tension and little jokes (wee Gimli!).

Thing Four: Also, played some Vienna Teng in the car on the way to the theatre, and ha, how great is it that I can now be the Cool Mom sufficiently to introduce the nearly-20-year-old to music that is not really old and that he likes.

Thing Five: So thanks again for that to [personal profile] raven and also congrats on being Really Completely Married Now. :)

Thing Six: It is almost the end of the year and how did that happen? At least I got one big thing done that was on my list, heh.
hedda62: Harold Finch, half in shadow, text: Oh, Mr. Finch (finch)
Oh hey, I wrote a thing with Shaw and Grace and Harold and John, and it is here: Fierce. It's kind of silly and serious all at once, and I would likely go on at length about why but it's 11:30. Suffice to say there are moments when I think Harold is an idiot, and in one of them I had a flash of Shaw and Grace passing the Bechdel test, and this is what came of that.

I was going to write vegetable gardening fic today about John Reese a prickly lettuce spy disguised as Romaine, but I didn't get to that. And no, I didn't have a cocktail until this evening.

Also I just watched "The Cabin in the Woods" and I'm pretty sure I liked it; at any rate I feel drenched in blood. Fran Kranz is still awesome. Dude.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Things I did yesterday:

1) Got stung by a BIG-ASS BEE while attempting to tame the elderberry jungle that used to be my vegetable garden. I assume I disturbed a ground nest, which means not a carpenter bee (since they nest in wood), though my passion for amateur entomology was somewhat dampened by having a bee inside my shirt. (It flew into my cleavage first, while I was bending over pulling up weeds, and then kept following me around and finally stung me on the back of the shoulder. I hate not being able to see the thing that's attacking me.) I must have been an entertaining sight as I went from laughing hysterically at "Cabin Pressure" to shrieking and running up to the house, where I still had Martin and Douglas snarking in my ears as I gasped out "Get this bee off me" to my surprised husband. Luckily, BIG-ASS BEES pale in comparison to medium-size ones when it comes to venom, so I just had a small swelling along with my dose of embarrassment.

2) Went back down later to get the black raspberries I can now reach after removing thickets of elderberry, pokeweed and bedstraw. I guess I'll finish the job... another day.

3) Loaded even more "Cabin Pressure" onto my phone along with some new playlists (such as "Ambiguity" which starts out with "Do You Want to Know a Secret?" "What's Happening?" "Don't Explain" "Maybe I Will" "What'll I Do?" "I Can't Decide" with a later sequence of "For All We Know" "I Don't Know Why" "Don't Know How" "I Think You Know" "God Only Knows" "I'm Not Calling You a Liar." I have to keep myself amused somehow).

4) Went down-county to see "Much Ado About Nothing" (which, if it was a song title, would fit nicely into the above). Oh, Joss and his friends. It was lovely, if distractingly full of familiar faces. I was a bit worried I'd have trouble with Amy Acker as Beatrice, what with having seen her as Root a lot recently, but she was perfect in her blend of vulnerability and steel, and the only time I didn't believe her was in the "Oh God, that I were a man!" sequence, because it was quite obvious that she'd have no problem killing Claudio herself (though it's also a way of testing Benedick). Denisof was a pretty good Benedick; Fillion was himself; Fran Kranz (who is familiar though I don't know why, because I never watched more than a few episodes of "Dollhouse") was a great Claudio; but my favorite aside from Amy Acker was Clark Gregg as Leonato. I mean, a small part of me was saying "Look what a lovely house Agent Coulson has" but really, he belonged there, in that timeless black-and-white-and -gray world they'd created, with endless food and entertainment and scenery and glasses of wine. Oh, and Sean Maher is surprisingly good at being evil. Highly recommended, not that any of you were going to wait for my recommendation before jumping on this. (Also, theatre with enormous padded fake-leather seats almost justified $11.50 a ticket.)
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
So in the end we watched Love Actually again, rather than Downton Abbey, last night. Mostly because it was P's last night at home and he wanted to, and he wasn't caught up on DA (like, having just started the first season).

*favorite Christmas movie ever* Speaking of which, I never did my list of Christmas books, but I don't feel like dragging them all out now (for values of now not meaning "now" but after I get back from driving to Allentown in an hour) and there is always next year. I did read A Mixture of Frailties mostly on the plane, so got my fix.

Having rejoiced in a little wavelet of fannish attention in the last few days (including, out of nowhere, several comments on my otherwise-ignored O'Brian story "The Language of Home," which cheered me as much as the Lewis love) I now need to concentrate on getting some work done, so among other things I will probably stop reading the Lewis comms temporarily as I don't see getting around to watching (by whatever devious means) the new eps immediately (though if my iron nerve breaks, you'll know).

Okay, must run now. Try not to disturb the eels.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
1) Merry Christmas, to them what celebrate.

2) Saw "The Hobbit" this evening (perfect time! Bearded man and a passel of flying dwarves; Bombur sort of has a red glowy nose I guess). Review is pretty much what everyone else has already said. My first 3D experience; managed to put it off this long but no longer; only moderately impressed but I suppose they said that about the phonograph too. And, no surprise, my irredeemable crush on Martin Freeman continues such. (And on Ian Holm, for the record, a long-time one that. I suppose I have a Bilbo-type Thing. It was early-nurtured, what can I say.)

3) Last night saw/heard lovely lovely concert by Chanticleer (in one of those churches that looks like it had a gold explosion at some point, or a dragony miscalculation (actually the theatre tonight was like that too, old movie palace in Oakland, all drapes and faux malachite and gold leaf)). So, so gorgeous: plainchant procession in the dark with candles all the way through to spirituals and "Silent Night" at the end. My very favorite (after the mesmerizing opening) was a Franz Biebl "Ave Maria" so absolutely sweet and longing and yet with sufficient odd harmonies to remain the right side of schmaltz, but no matter what those guys sing it is beautiful. *sigh*

4) I decided, perhaps in my own dragony miscalculation, to throw up the songfic meme pieces on AO3; they won't get a lot of hits I'm sure, but oh, what the heck, I think they've turned out well, and I need to balance all the long seriously-nurtured things a bit (will add the final two when I get them written). ETA: decided not to do this after all; took them down. Still available here, of course.

And I am generally, unspecifically happy with fannish attention at the moment. I'll do a year in review thingy when it is actually the next year (and possibly I'll be done with the "Sparrow" sequel by then, but no guarantees. Haven't actually had much writing time on this trip).

5) Knee is functional. I have not done my share of the shopping and it didn't care for the steep SF hill we had to get down for dinner last night, but I can walk, so that is good.

ETA: 6) I have another cold. Damn immune system doesn't like this lack of exercise. But hey, Merry Christmas *she says more firmly*!

Best wishes to all and to all a good night.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
And in non-reading news, managed to see "Hugo" (on small screen) and "The Artist" (on large) on sequential evenings this weekend, which might be too much silent film homage at once, but they were both quite good.

Reading: as mentioned before, John Lawton's A Lily of the Field and Philip Kerr's Field Gray, both of which bring up another phenomenon of series fiction, the looping back and filling in effect that happens when a series starts out covering a wide period of time and then the author wants to keep writing and so dips back in and elaborates on parts of the protagonist's life that were ignored or merely summarized before. It tends to lead to odd structures: the Lawton book spends the first half with newly introduced characters and then turns into yet another Troy of Scotland Yard Solves a Case, war period and post-war respectively; the Kerr starts out in 1954 and has flashback sequences in 1931 through 1946 (IIRC). They work because the grip on the central character is so good, at least for the author and the faithful reader, but would be odd for a first-time reader.

Also, two nonfiction books: Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff, which tells the story of a plane crash on a recreational flight over the territory of an isolated New Guinea society during WWII; and Measure of the Earth by Larrie Ferreiro, the tale of a French-Spanish expedition to "Peru" (currently Ecuador) in the 1730s to make measurements that would determine the shape of the planet. Both of them deal to some extent with the attitudes of whites toward colonial or otherwise-dominated lands, but (aside from the sheer adventure, which is related pretty well in both cases) I would read the first as an example of what happens when military people get bored and need another outlet besides actually fighting (and this applies to the native New Guineans as well - no noble savages these), as well as a case study of sensational journalism (not Zuckoff's, I mean, but that of the contemporary journalists), and the second as a carefully-researched report of stunningly bad personnel and mission management. The most interesting part of Measure is actually the description of how they all got home again - or not, in some cases. It's also fun to have read enough in this period to appreciate stuff like one of the Spanish soldiers going home on a ship that stops to pick up the survivors of Anson's Wager. And Voltaire pokes his nose in a lot.

Then I zoomed through Laura Lippman's novella The Girl in the Green Raincoat, which is "Rear Window" with preeclampsia, and I'm well-started on the newest Charles Todd. I should be reading Gaia's Garden, too. I have been PowerPointing my head off in preparation for Saturday's class.

In other news, I am now the mother of two adults, as Patrick turns 18 today. OMG.

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