hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
My head is a bit scattered today (see below) but I must at least register the WOW at the Person of Interest finale. Talk about game-changers! I'll need to watch it again (next Tuesday will be the first opportunity, I think) but really: this is the show that hangs "procedural" out in the wind and lets the birds shit on it. When it's good it's very good, and even where things don't quite make sense the aura of drama carries it through. I'm hoping they don't give us a quick resolution back to routine next season; I'm not sure they could, really.

a few quick spoilery thoughts )

I also saw the finale of "Once Upon a Time," and there were lots of clever (and viciously painful) things happening, though I am still stuck with that impression of game-changers and near-immediate take-backs (though at least some of the deaths this season seem to have been permanent). I do like that the journey from "ethically challenged" (yes I am rereading the Rivers of London books) to purely good is a rocky one, with lots of temptations to power and revenge to trip over.

Off tomorrow for the long weekend and graduation in Houston, which should be easy enough to pack for and is for me and J, but P's itinerary is slightly more complicated (Houston-Albuquerque-(Denver)-Philadelphia-(London)-Accra, Ghana, over the next week) and he hasn't exactly been home much to organize for it, so I suspect today will be a hair-pulling festival of last-minute searching and shopping. Whee.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Wow, Elementary, that was a nice twist! And probably one related to original canon. I actually like that the show doesn't feel obliged to echo the Holmes stories, just nod at them occasionally, but I've been waiting for the end of the "Mycroft is" sentence all season.

Because I am on my own this weekend, I'm also catching up on "Once Upon a Time," which I'd abandoned for a long while. Still have many episodes to go, but I'm feeling (in the post-Pan period) that they're lobbing game-changers and then taking them back, and causing whiplash and cynicism in the process - not that one can take the show too seriously anyway, and I'm sure it worked better on a weekly basis.

Okay, must now get ready to go talk to people about vegetable gardening for four and a half hours.
hedda62: cover of Time for Tea (time for tea)
So… tell me, those of you with opinions, should I read the Outlander series? This comes up again because two of my friends mentioned it in emails in response to my book announcement. I read the first one lo many years ago, and frankly hated it; I mean, it was a gripping read and I tore through it, but then I felt kind of sick, between the beating and the homophobia and not really liking any of the characters (except the one I think I was supposed to despise). But people seem to love them, and perhaps there are redeeming qualities in the sequels?

I'm not sure I have the time, actually, and when I do I'd rather (thank you [personal profile] yunitsa) have a nice angsty Lymond reread, but I thought I'd ask.

Speaking of books, I filled in the most recent of the holes I'd left in Louise Penny's series, The Beautiful Mystery, and ah, if I thought the others were good this one was transcendent. Okay, it takes place in a monastery full of Gregorian chants, but that does not a lovely book make on its own. What does is being able to describe what music does to people, in ways both sublime and ridiculous (Gamache gets into a conversation about chickens, thinks of Foghorn Leghorn, and gets "Camptown Races" stuck in his head, amongst men with gorgeous voices singing the most beautiful music in the world). Also, having read the books before and after, it was good to finally witness the horrible yawning abyss that had swallowed a major character in between. In a way, I mean.

Also have watched the latest OUAT (see my tumblr post about epiphytes) and aha, the secret: it really truly IS commedia dell'arte, at least in having one of those plots where everyone's related to each other. (This is a comment many OUAT viewers have made after many different episodes, thinking each time that finally the family tree has acquired so many twisted branches it can't possibly survive any longer. And somehow it keeps on getting worse.)

(A family tree with epiphytes. I am tempted to expand on the metaphor, but I have better things to do.)
hedda62: Harold Finch, half in shadow, text: Oh, Mr. Finch (finch)
I'm sort of caught up on TV shows now (not entirely on Castle yet, and obviously not on Breaking Bad), and the visual dump is having the usual where-did-I-see-you-last effect where guest actors are concerned. I was less affected in this regard by Aaron Staton in last night's POI, or by Lisa Edelstein on Castle, than by Warren Kole (last seen as Creepy Stalker Ian on the never-speak-of-this-again POI "Bechdel episode") turning up as a plot-significant FBI agent on White Collar, and getting coffee with Neal in Washington Square. Spotted there earlier: Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson (I have only caught two Elementary eps this season, though). I really wanted them all to run into Harold and Bear.

Also, if Peter Burke gets the DC promotion, he should obviously move into the apartment Rick Castle found. I'm sure it's awesome.

So: White Collar and Castle gave me the same "not what I thought the season would be about!" whiplash effect regarding early plot developments (well, White Collar's was worse). Plus ça change, I guess. Once Upon a Time is the same old *headdesk*-ooh! combo, and I have no fannish urges about it (Captain Yawn) but I want to see what happens with Henry. Sleepy Hollow has sucked me in, even though I keep protesting with whimpers of historical inaccuracy. The Good Wife is just as beautifully tense as I could have imagined. And POI… if they are doing what it looks like they're doing next week (well, in three weeks, more likely), you'll be able to hear the fandom screaming from space.

Though not me, because I'll be watching the Nov. 26 episode probably five days late. Ack.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Trip to the north went well, except that I returned with a cold: luckily not a bad one, but I'm coughing more than I would normally with just the allergies, and my energy level is low. Lots to do, though. I think today is mostly cooking and repotting things, but I have many many photos of teacups waiting to be sorted through.

Last night we watched more Breaking Bad: "Kafkaesque" and "Fly," of which... oh my God, wow. The first is everybody getting Emmy-worthy speeches in a row and somehow it all being plot-coherent, and the second... how is this show so good, I mean seriously. I still hate everybody, but... well, even that isn't true anymore, I'm afraid. I am especially stupidly fond of Jesse. Which I'm aware is tragedy in the making. But the box. And the ladder. (And Walt, the things you say under the influence. And the tension they manage to build out of them. Literal gasping on this end.)

Also, I now want to add "Bitch" to the end of all significant sentences.

In somewhat less heartbreaking news, I'm caught up on Once Upon a Time, and still loving it while trying not to snorfle too often. And ooh, canonical lesbian pining.

I am desperately hoping that Person of Interest doesn't break my heart in the not-so-good way; the writing has just not been up to standard so far this season, but I still have faith they'll pull it together.

Hope to have more to say when my head isn't full of snot.
hedda62: Harold Finch on ecstasy, dancing (drugged finch)
Probably the less said about POI 3.03 the better, except that I loved everything to do with Root and with the developing relationship between Shaw and Bear (and, with considerable caveats, between Shaw and Reese). All other discussion belongs to Person of Interest Chat.

Due to a couple of exhaustion-marathons, I've finished Once Upon a Time season two, and remembered why I enjoy this show so much. It's equal parts completely ridiculous and marvelously clever, full of fantastic coincidences and long-calculated plot twists and unapologetic MAGIC!, and I talk back to the screen a lot, mostly OOH and NO YOU ARE KIDDING NOT REALLY, and every once in a while I try to construct in my head that explanation you provide when you're trying to talk someone into watching a show, and laugh. Because OMG WHAT.

But actually - POI writers? Watch this show for hints on how to do Ladies Episodes. (I'm thinking particularly of the Emma, Snow, Mulan and Aurora adventures, with Cora as villain, but really... all of it.) It's not perfect, and it can be really smarmy (I am all for a moral compass, but every mention of Snow's pure heart makes me gag a little), but it tries.

Aside from that, I am in the car tomorrow afternoon, driving for Narnia and the North, with possibly intermittent internet, and I'll get to watch POI 3.04 in a hotel next week.
hedda62: pay phone with "green roof" (phone)
Things:

1) Final big garden show-off event of the season tomorrow. And we are already planning next year's events, which is cool with me; I think I'll need the lead time.

2) I have, however, failed at posting every day on the garden blog. It's hard! Not so much finding things to say, as long as I accept the inconsequential and the inane, but remembering that it is a day and I have to put words online before it's over. Oh well.

3) Both having trouble remembering/scheduling and having trouble making decisions are symptoms for me of mild depression, so I'm watching out and moderating expectations. But it doesn't take much to get me revved up again, and I think what little time I have next week I'll use for working out more book details - I've done a lot; I need to fill in gaps and make a firm schedule now. And the following week Younger Son and I will hopefully be photographing a teacup on the rocky shores of New Hampshire.

4) In the meanwhile I've been editing Time and Fevers more, so that will be ready to go when Time for Tea is out. I think a few months' gap between is reasonable, and then a nice anticipatory wait for Time Goes By. I'm still taking out words; this is good.

5) In TV World, we've just barely started Breaking Bad s3; watched the opening episode of the new season of The Good Wife, which I thought hit the ball out of the park; and of course watched Person of Interest. The first two episodes of this season were strong for character re-introduction, nice ensemble moments, and setting up interesting potential conflicts. And I'm finally watching s2 of Once Upon a Time, which for some reason I dropped the ball on last year; I'm not fannish enough about it to care about being a year behind, and hey, now I finally get all the Lost jokes. :)

6) I'm making regular visits to the library to check out CDs; what they have is totally unpredictable, but it's free music and I am doing a lot of walking and weeding and other activities that require distraction (since I don't happen to be plotting a book at the moment, though I'll need to start that in the spring). There was this great ultra-nostalgic day last week when I picked up Rod Stewart's "Every Picture Tells a Story," which we had on vinyl when I was a teenager, and REM's "Document" and "Murmur" which are uselessly on cassette tape somewhere. Also the soundtrack of "Pippin." Music insinuates itself into your brain chemistry in a way nothing else does, and the physical reaction I have on hearing songs again always amazes me, and the way it stimulates memory, and how well I recall tunes and lyrics that should be long-vanished. Oh, and yesterday: Joni Mitchell's "Free Man in Paris" - wow, I hadn't heard that in *guesses* 25 years? And it's all there.

7) Current state of the Oh, Mr. Finch playlist under the cut, just in case you're interested.

albatross, blackbird, blue jay, bluebird, buzzard, crane, crow, cuckoo, dove, eagle, goose, heron, lark, nightingale, raven, rook, skylark, sparrow, vulture, wren, etc. )

8) I have finished all the Rivers of London books that are available in the US, and am tapping my fingers with impatience for February (I mean - February??) but I'll manage. So, any guesses on how Nightingale is related to Finch? *grin* Although the crossover I really want is with the Bryant & May books.

Wow, we just had a little rainstorm. I mean, really brief, and it won't make any difference to speak of in this drought (which has been unusually hard to adjust to after all the rain earlier in the season) but at least I don't have to water things today.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Summer temperatures today (well, ideal summer, not actual summer), and everything is in bloom.

Playing catch-up, as usual. Let's see. I taught my gardening class, which went really well aside from the emergency dash home just before it started due to a technical difficulty (always, always bring the laptop, even if it has battery issues; don't count on the thumb drive working). That (and a good dose of Imitrex against the inevitable morning baby migraine) gave me a bit of a rush, which likely helped me then talk for two and a half hours straight.

Went that night to a concert at the National Cathedral that included Mozart's Requiem (mmmm) which then made me want to watch "Amadeus" again, so I did the following evening - the director's cut, which I'm not sure was worth staying up till midnight on a school night. I suspect my great affection for that movie says something about my attitude toward historical accuracy along with, no doubt, much else. But oh dear God, F. Murray Abraham, I adore you. And I've had little Papageno bits stuck in my head all week.

Read: the latest Nevada Barr novel, The Rope which is another example of the doubling back phenomenon, in this case documenting Anna Pigeon's debut as an investigator and a Parks employee. No one can torture her protagonist like Nevada Barr; this is the place to go for lessons. Also read: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, finally, which made me think a lot about... present tense, for one thing, and why it works for historical novels. Sense of immediacy, I guess. Makes me wonder more about my choice to use present tense for the one thing I've written in the voice of a character from the past (doubt I could keep it up for a whole novel, though). I also greatly admired the use of language, how it managed to grab and shake and stir while never breathing too hard, and the way the book as a whole compels sympathy for someone who likely didn't deserve it (without twisting the facts too badly; it's no "Amadeus").

Speaking of telling stories, I'm still following "Once Upon a Time" and being sufficiently intrigued by it to keep going; it is, in some ways, a very silly show, and some of the acting reflects this, but I like the way the fairy tale background is revealed out of order and sets up contradictions and parallels to the modern day story, and I can guess what plot gaps need to be filled without being able to predict how that will happen. Keeps me amused.

Also, not to appear too fantastically behind the times, but we switched phone providers recently and along the way acquired a new phone with (ta da!) caller ID, which has Changed My Life; I cannot tell you what a relief, especially in these days of political robo-calls and (worse) live appeals for donations. Also we got a new and amazing printer that actually works (mostly) with wireless, instead of failing at the worst times as the old one routinely did. So I am technologically pleased.

That's all for now, I think.
hedda62: my cat asleep (Default)
Things That Are Surprisingly Like Barrayaran Political Strategy: vegetable garden planning. I am seriously thinking of investing in some colored plastic flimsies to represent crop rotation, succession planting, etc. (This is for the large demo garden I help run, not my own small collection of raised beds, though I could stand some planning there too.)

Things You Wish Reporters Would Ask: I was listening to NPR last evening and there was a story about Burmese pythons in Florida, how they got loose and are wreaking havoc among the local wildlife, 99% reduction in raccoon populations, 85% or something in deer, and they went on with a good discussion about possible other factors like habitat and water loss and so forth, and meanwhile I am sitting there saying THEY EAT DEER? I'm assuming these are the same whitetails we have in excess around here (SEND THE PYTHONS) rather than some exotic Florida form of mousedeer or dik-dik. (My neighbors just got back from a trip to Kenya. Great photos. Dik-dik aw.) Seems... a large initial bite. *has The Little Prince pictures in head* Not to joke, this is a real problem, but I suspect it won't be solved unless the pythons start eating cats and Chihuahuas in large quantities.

Things, Um, About TV: For whatever reason I am still intermittently catching up on "Once Upon a Time" which continues amusingly overacted and hovering on the edge of interesting plotting but not falling over. The most recent episode featured Richard Schiff being obviously bored as King Leopold (Apparently Snow White's Father), his one moment of animation occurring ironically as he was being bitten to death by vicious snakes (not Burmese pythons). And speaking of actors turning up in unexpected places, Hilarie Burton was on "Castle" last week, very not-Sara as a Kim Kardashian clone (with a dog the right size for a python snack), excellent work. And I hear Shirley Maclaine is going to play Lady Grantham's mother on season 3 of "Downton Abbey." Myself, I am not yet finished season 1, in which I am enjoying Penelope Wilton not being the Prime Minister, and Sam Tyler's mother as the head housemaid.

June 2016

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