But in terms of classes, as of yesterday at 10:00 PM, I am officially DONE!
Threeeeeeesome! \o/\o/\o/ Or, you know, Duke/Nathan or Duke/Audrey. Basically, I'd be happy with Duke and whoever he damned well wants. ( General spoilers for season 4. )
What to tell me what to talk about? Go here on DW or here on LJ.
cesperanza said, "Your favorite Navarone novel and WHY!"
That would have to be the third novel, Storm Force from Navarone, (1998) by Sam Llewellyn. It is authorized fanfic, and thus gives us a whole lot of what I loved in the first novel, like blowing shit up! Loyalty in dire straits! Clever ploys! Main characters showing vulnerability! Extreme competence! Did I mention blowing shit up? There's also plot and double-crosses and desperate measures and ethically murky behavior on the part of third parties.
There are also despicable enemies. This last is very important for war stories, because if the author reminds you that the guys on the other end of the guns are also human, just folks who ended up in this machinery that has swallowed their lives, then stories about killing them suddenly become a tragedy rather than a Ripping Yarn. For my escapist reading, I want Ripping Yarns, but I do recognize the moral bankruptcy in dehumanizing people. Even Nazis.
(To go off on a tangent:
The first novel (Guns of Navarone by Alistair Maclean) and especially the first movie (Guns of Navarone) were pretty good about acknowledging the humanity of the foe. In some ways, the movie is an anti-war movie.
The second novel (Force 10 From Navarone by Alistair Maclean) gives a nod to the idea, but is mostly a lousy novel, made into an enjoyable-but-not-very-good Ripping Yarn war movie. Best two things about that movie are: first, a scene with Robert Shaw and Harrison Ford when they're blowing up the dam (If you've seen the movie, you'll likely remember the one.); and second, Edward Fox as the explosives expert gleefully sowing confusion among the enemy, and somewhat among his friends.
The fourth novel (Thunderbolt from Navarone, (1999) also by Sam Llewellyn) is firmly back in the Ripping Yarns category. I can just see Llewellyn being told, "yes, we'll pay you to write another one, only this time make the bad guys more despicable and have the good guys blow up more stuff" and I can see Llewellyn roll his eyes and deliver a parody that then gets edited into a straight-faced story. So if you want a Ripping Yarn about Blowing Shit Up, and don't mind the text demonizing of Germans and nonheterosexuality... this is the book for you.)
Okay, back on subject: Stormforce! Spoilers ahead, although I'm trying not to be too specific.( spoilers, sweetie! )
There are very few ships that I won't end up going 'huh, yeah, I can see that' since I am pretty sure I was born with 'multi-shipper' tattooed on my ass or something. But I do generally have preferred ships in a canon, and they are usually an OT3. I know. This is absolutely shocking. So. Favorite ships of mine in no particular order:
( These are a few of my favorite ships )
I'm going to go with Jake, for my Young Americans vid. See, that vid was made for Festivids. The show (which I've described in great detail here) is mostly about an ensemble of 5 teenagers, and there are two main romance storylines - Scout/Bella and Jake/Hamilton. I am ridiculously, irrevocably in love with Jake/Hamilton, but my Festivids recipient preferred Scout/Bella.
Different vidders have different thoughts about what to do when this happens with Festivids. My view (speaking personally, not as a mod!!) is that if someone requests a character/pairing that's really not where my fannish id is, the best compromise is for me to make an ensemble vid - because presumably, they like the source well enough to enjoy a general tribute, and if I've offered it, I'll like it well enough to handle a general vid - and then, I just make sure the ensemble features a healthy dose of their preferred character/pairing.
So that's what I decided to do. Except I am so in love with Jake/Hamilton, you guys - and particularly Jake - so she kept trying to shove her way even further into the vid. What ended up happening was, I featured Jake/Hamilton at some critical dramatic points in the vid - like the climax leading into the second chorus - and then I ended on a moment between Jake and Bella. Which I really shouldn't have done - it was an ensemble vid, it deserved an ensemble shot - and my beta even told me not to, and she was right - but Jake's face in that scene. I couldn't help myself.
So. That's what happened.
( Full list of questions )
There are a couple of different kinds of dried shrimp. One kind, which is whole (including heads and shells) and completely dried to the point of brittleness, is used in Mexican cooking and I haven't tried them. The other kind has the head and shell removed, is only partially dried (which means the shrimp should be kept refrigerated), and is used in southeast Asian cooking and apparently sometimes in Chinese cooking. That's the kind I'm talking about here. There are a lot of different brands; I've used Caravelle and BDMP brand and they both tasted about the same to me.
When I was talking about fish sauce, I said that you don't have to like fish to like it. The same is not true of dried shrimp. They are shrimpy. They are very shrimpy. Not in a bad/spoiled way--if your dried shrimp taste spoiled, they probably are spoiled--but in a highly concentrated way. Each tiny dried shrimp is an intense little burst of umami and seafood. I think of them as shrimp jerky, which is also a good approximation of the texture. They're not an ingredient you want to use in large quantities. A tablespoon or so per person is plenty, which is handy because they're not cheap. Where I live they run about $7 for a 3.5 ounce (100 gram) bag.
Although I have seen recipes that call for dried shrimp to be used uncooked, I think it's generally recommended to cook them before eating. If you cook them in oil you'll get the most flavor and also crisp them up somewhat. I usually stir-fry them in little oil over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes, until they're nicely browned. I gather that it's actually more usual in Thailand and Vietnam to deep-fry them, which makes them very crisp, but that's too much bother for me. One thing to note is that cooking them in oil will make your entire kitchen, the clothes you're wearing, and possibly the rest of your dwelling smell shrimpy. It's not a bad smell and it fades in a day or so, but it's disconcerting to find that your pillowcase smells like dried shrimp, so you might want to open some windows and use the exhaust fan, if your stove has one.
You can also roast them in a dry pan (use a medium heat), which produces less odor but the shrimp won't be as crisp or flavorful. I only dry-roast them if I'm going to be grinding them up, in which case the oil would make them grind less well.
Dry-roasted and ground, they're used in salads. I've only had them in cucumber salad dressed with fish sauce, a little sugar, lime juice, chile-garlic paste, and a little sesame oil, and topped with dry-roasted peanuts. It's fantastic. You can make the same salad without the dried shrimp, but it's not quite as good. I've also, in a lazier mood, just added whole dried shrimp cooked in oil to the salad, but I think I like them ground up better--the flavor is not so overwhelming.
Left whole and cooked in oil, I've used them in noodle dishes and Thai-style fried rice. One improvised dish I really like is to stir-fry some vegetables (bean sprouts, green onions, maybe some bok choy, gai choy, or other Asian greens), add soaked and rinsed rice noodles and stir-fry until the noodles are warm through, add fish sauce and chiles or chile paste to taste, clear a space in the center of the pan and scramble an egg in it, mix everything together and add the dried shrimp at the last minute. Squeeze some lime juice over the top right before serving. I actually really like this for breakfast on a weekend, but it's a great quick lunch or dinner, too.
You can also add them to soups. I used some in a butternut squash soup with Thai red curry paste, and it was delicious. You can soak them before adding or, if they're going to cook for a while, just drop them in right out of the bag.
As always, I welcome corrections from anyone with better knowledge/more experience of these ingredients. And if you have recipes you want to share, that would be great!
Next time I'll move off the seafood theme for a while and talk about curry leaves!
I swear I'm going to get on answering comments soon. I just haven't had the brain to do more than nod in response for a lot of things, but now that my board meeting is over and work should be mostly quiet until the new year, maybe I can do that, and also some writing. The Yuletide deadline approaches!
31 Days of December meme: 12/6: my favorite ice cream! (to make and to eat) for tsuki_no_bara
I think my overall favorite ice cream of all the ones I've made is lemon sour cream (I basically halve the amount of sugar in the recipe, otherwise it's too sweet), though the mocha chip and the strawberry cream cheese tie for a close second. All three are really easy, no egg/no custard ice creams, which means you can mix them up quickly, and they're all really creamy and flavorful.
I also like the Nutella ice cream, which is miles easier than making your own gianduja (and I haven't found a non-Nutella one in grocery stores, though I know more high-end versions exist), though I have done the thing where you toast and grind your own hazelnuts etc. and I did not find it all that rewarding.
And of course, the grapefruit champagne sorbet is a real winner and also super easy.
This is perfectly timed, as I'm in the midst of trying to work out what ice cream to make for Christmas gifts this year, since it was such a hit last year, and when I said I was maybe going to try pie inna jar instead, people seemed upset. So ice cream it is!
Right now, I believe I am going to swap out the banana, the orange, and the pineapple swirl from last year, and add in apple cider, amaretto, coffee, and cannoli, and possibly a batch of the champagne sorbet, since the latter two recipes didn't make all that much.
This is what the list looks like right now:
= chocolate peanut butter
= lemon sour cream
= mocha chip
= apple cider
= salted caramel
= strawberry cream cheese
= grapefruit champagne sorbet
I purchased a third freezer bowl for the ice cream maker, so I can make three kinds of ice cream a day (I don't care what they say, I have never successfully frozen two batches in the same bowl - it is always too warm for the second batch), and I've added a couple things that make smaller batches to the list to mix it up a little. Friday, 12/20, is my last day at work, so I'll have that weekend, plus 12/23 and 12/24 to do it, and make fig cookies. I think it's doable. I guess we'll see.
( 8. What's in your handbag? )
But, we're doing a head CAT scan today, just in case it's like, a brain tumor, or something.
It's not. I know it's not. But that doesn't keep my brain from going into doomsday scenarios.
The appointment's at 2:30. Amuse me until then?
They have to be tall, they have to be brown, they have to look sturdy, they have to have good grippy soles, they have to be waterproof. I like an equestrian-based look and a dark, waxy leather. I want the boots to be capable of functioning if I have a steampunk costume emergency. Here are some I was looking at.
1. Remonte "Acca" 2. Kickers "Groove Up" in brown
3. Office "Achilles" in tan suede 4. Timberland 14" premium in dark brown
5. Timberland "Charles Street High" in brown 6. Rocket Dog "Terry" in Brown Vintage
I need to play some mini games, too, because I know most if not all of them give up a heart piece if you do well enough. I would much rather find heart pieces by doing puzzles on the overworld or going through caves, but I do want to get 100% so I can't avoid the mini games forever. (I'm especially dreading this stupid octorok baseball one as I've seen it done in a couple of the let's plays and it looks really fiddly.)
2. Wow, super busy day at work again today. I really did not think the holiday rush would be starting this early, but it seems it really is? It wasn't busy the whole day, but there was a big rush in the middle of the day which is really not normal (we usually get a lunch rush but this wasn't just people buying lunch). I bet this weekend is going to be really busy, and no one is scheduled for extra holiday hours yet so I will probably be rushing around doing stuff on the floor. -_- I did manage to get the bulk of my work taken care of today, though. I did all of the invoices from the past couple days except for the big beauty department delivery that comes on Thursdays (not only is it a lot of invoices but the beauty department stuff requires a lot more extra work to process them and it's always a pain in the ass).
3. Day off tomorrow!
I’m in my new house and I thought I’d do a quick photo tour. These are the “before” pics — I have a lot of unpacking and organising yet to do! I wanted to document what it looks like right now, though.
Let’s begin out front, approaching from the street…
( Read the rest of this entry » )
Case in point:
( Treasure Planet and Iron Man 3/Avengers...not at the same time obvs )
Oh man, I loooove Veronica Mars, the show and the character. I actually contributed a fair amount of money to the Kickstarter campaign for the movie, because I love it so much. Yeah, the third season is kinda sad, and the second season isn't as good as the first, but honestly, I don't care. Even the less than wonderful stuff was still better than pretty much anything else on TV at the time. And how many shows are there with a spunky girl detective who can take care of herself and who has a loving relationship with her father and who has a male best friend? Not a ton of them, for sure.
Veronica is who I wish I could have been. She's nearly fearless, and when her courage is strongest is not when she herself is threatened but when someone she cares about is. I loved her friendship with Wallace and with Mac, and especially with Weevil. It takes a lot for me to care about a character like Logan, and in that first season, the way they turned the story around into Logan and Veronica falling for each other as he slowly revealed a better human being underneath his horrible exterior, really wowed me.
I think that's why I was dissatisfied with subsequent seasons, because the way they drew us in to that relationship was so masterful, that the on again off again that happened later was not as interesting. But honestly, I always wished she would get together with Weevil anyway, I always felt like he was the one person who seemed to be most on her wavelength.
Although, you know, not having her with anyone would have been fine by me. If I could change one thing about the show, it would have been the coupling -- I don't think it's always necessary to have relationshippy things in a series, and I always kind of felt like that might have helped a lot of what was less successful in the second season and the third. Because Veronica on her own, solving crimes, interacting with her dad, being friends with awesome people like Wallace, Mac, and Weevil...well, it was all just grand, and really could have been enough. (I realize of course all the Veronica/Logan folks would strongly disagree, but sometimes I get sort of weary.) So many clever lines, so many clever put-downs, so many clever cases she solved. I don't know that we necessarily needed more than that (and I don't even want to get into the whole thing with Piz in S3).
Who wouldn't want Veronica as their best friend? That's what was so great about the setup of the first season -- all of us in the audience, of course, knew that Veronica was the best ever, but so many people in her school treated her like dirt. That conflict drew us to her as a character, made her story so compelling. And then you throw in the issues surrounding her father and his fall from grace and you get a perfect storyline that viewers can rally around. We needed to see Veronica and Keith solve Lily's murder, to take on those small cases that turned into something bigger. We wanted to root for them against all the dickheads in their town who couldn't see how amazing they were. I always love those kinds of stories, the misbegotten ragtag heroes (especially ones who had fallen out of favor) who are so clearly better than the people who think they're above them.
I also loved the adult relationships -- Keith and Wallace's mom, for instance, was delightful, and the way they handled Veronica's mother and the possible parentage issue was quite well-done and compelling. It's often hard for a show that focuses on young people to have believable adults, but they did that with grace most of the time.
I am truly excited for the upcoming movie. I know there will be a huge focus on the love triangle stuff, but that's not what I will be going to see it for. To me it's all about the brilliant, clever, witty Veronica solving a case with her friends and her dad, and if I get that, then I will be happy indeed.
Nothing, because I finally finished the book I was reading!
What did you recently finish reading?
Hataraku Maou-sama! vol. 1! I planned to do the Wednesday reading meme today rather than on Wednesday because as of last night it looked like I still had about thirty pages to go and I knew I wouldn't finish it in time. But then I went to bed to read the last of it and found I had really been just two pages from the end and the rest of the pages were character bios and stuff like that. *headdesk*
But yes, I'm very happy to have finished that because it means I have now read a whopping three books this year. XD Wow, that's probably my worst year ever? idk. Whatever. I have read 98 vols. of manga, though. XD
Anyway, I really loved this book! It was just as much fun as the anime and I'm really looking forward to reading more and getting to some plotlines that I haven't seen before. From what I can remember of the anime, it seems like vol. 2 will have been covered, too, but probably not vol. 3.
What do you think you'll read next?
I definitely want to read more in the series, but I think for now I'll take a break and read some more manga. I've got a bunch of stuff on my phone I want to read, plus I'm now a couple months behind on Jump, so I should catch up on that, too. And then it's Yuletide coming up and I'll want to read fic again (and I guess at some point read the rest of those fan_byproducts fics? I wish there was a way to download an entire collection. I'm too lazy to do it fic by fic but I also don't tend to read fic when it's just in my browser and not on my phone).
Melinda May (Agents of SHIELD). Hot like burning and hits my competence kink about as hard as she kicks in doors. Damn.
Rick Castle (Castle). (Okay, this may actually have more to do with my deep and abiding affection for Nathan Fillion; I do not usually crush on actors, but Nathan Fillion is a giant exception.) I think what I love most about Castle is that he's such a dork -- and a fanboy, and a goofball -- and at the same time he is really smart, and capable of being extraordinarily sweet, and he loves his mother and adores his daughter and is a genuinely good dad and did I mention that he's played by Nathan Fillion?
Joan Watson (Elementary). This is more of a platonic friend-crush thing, partly because I love that Joan has friends -- they're not a huge part of the show, obviously, but they're featured often enough to make it clear that Joan actually does things like catch up with friends over lunch, which I love. And I would just like to be one of those friends, hanging out over a second cup of tea and hearing about Sherlock's latest shenanigans, because I think Joan is awesome: sharp and clever and quietly keen on learning new things, no-nonsense and fond of sleep and really, really done with everybody's bullshit, including but not limited to the sexism and condescension she sometimes encounters at the precinct.
Blaine Anderson (Glee). Well, sort of. I'm not sure I have a crush on Blaine so much as I want to provide him with a big plate of cookies and a whole lot of therapy and all the sheet music his little heart desires. Whatever, I think he's adorable. I blame Darren Criss. (My crush on Darren Criss at least has precedent: as previously mentioned, I don't generally crush on actors, but I have a loooong history of crushing on musicians. Heh.)
Abbie Mills (Sleepy Hollow). I mentioned my competence kink, right? Part of what I love about Abbie is that she isn't superpowered, she's not specially trained; she's just smart, determined, good at her job, willing to adapt to new situations -- and also kind-hearted, though not especially demonstrative. (Though, okay: that fist-bumping scene!) In many ways, Abbie fills the Olivia Dunham-shaped hole in my heart.
For sheer power an emotional resonance, nothing beats the Frankenstein Monster as played by Boris Karloff in the 1931 film Frankenstein (and to a lesser extent in Bride of Frankenstein and a much lesser extent in Son of Frankenstein). Anyone arguing that monster acting is somehow less than "regular" acting should immediately review the scene where we meet the Monster for the first time. Karloff, under heavy makeup, uses awkward, stilted-but-not-stiff movements to evoke the otherness of this hapless being. Then, in one of my favorite movie moments, Doctor Frankenstein opens a slat in the roof and lets the sunlight pour in. The Monster, who in his brief time on Earth has only known the darkness of the lab and its dungeon, reaches up, stretching for the light, his eyes full of confusion and wonder. And just as soon as he finds something hopeful in his life, the doctor closes the slat, his experiment moving on. And Karloff's hands go out in this helpless, pleading gesture and I. just. fucking. break.
Karloff's performance throughout really captures the soul of the Monster, an Other born into a world that didn't want him and that he didn't ask for. It's a 75-minute commitment that I suggest you make. Now. I'll wait.
While I do love Bride of Frankenstein, I think it loses some of the Monster's pathos for a number of reasons. The movie is played much more strongly for comedy, for one thing. The Monster also spends a good chunk of the film playing henchman for Dr. Pretorious, which becomes his go-to role for the next several films, serving one human master after another, until he becomes a pawn to be left off the play board until the end of the movie by the time House of Frankenstein rolls around in 1944. Of course, Karloff exited the role after 1939's Son of Frankenstein, an excellent film that, unfortunately, reduces the Monster's role to boogeyman at the beck and call of Bela Lugosi's Ygor. Don't get me wrong, I love their dynamic and Lugosi kills it in that movie, but it's clear that they've burned through all of their interesting ideas for the characterization and development of the Monster.
If I had to pick a Universal monster that absolutely did it for me in all of the films in which it appeared, it would have to be The Wolf Man/Larry Talbot. But that's an essay for another day.
Oh my oh my dear me dear me. Alice Morgan. Sherlock Holmes (right now the Johnny Lee Miller version, but I have high hopes.) Loki. CKR now and forever. Simon Baker's hair! (Simon Baker's hair should have its own fandom, right?) Also I suspect that Orlando Jones is shaping up to be the new David Hewlett*; Orlando Jones, how are you so awesome?
David Hewlett, I still love you. You can still be the old David Hewlett.
( hospital/medical stuff )
Today has been sort of the last vestiges of my rapidly fraying temper. I am 100000% done. I came very close to screaming at my uncle in the hallway of the ICU, which, even if he was being a dick (accurate) I need to not do. So. My bro and SIL are here, my mom gets in late tonight, my grandma will probably have more support than she'd like (accurate). I'm spending the night with Grandpa again tonight and then heading home to Chicago tomorrow afternoon. After which I plan to cry uncontrollably while clutching a reluctant cat and then sleep for a very very very long time.
More than a week's worth of questions left for claiming at the original post.
The first fictional crush I can remember having was on Ursula LeGuin's Sparrowhawk, and he may have been the source for my most enduring fictional type: smart, solitary, heavily emotionally guarded, a deep well of loneliness surrounded by stone walls. Sherlock Holmes, Severus Snape, Benton Fraser ... need I say more?
BBC Sherlock is a jackpot because it's got two of them. And Sherlock is great fun to watch, and great fun to write, but in this variant of the Sherlock Holmes mythos, John Watson is the one I want to lick.
This is a story I'm not going to write for many reasons LOL but here it is in all its glory. It's an oldie but a goodie I have C&Ped from a post I made years ago.
Sheppard and Caldwell are captured by slave traders who specialize in . . . wait for it . . . SEX SLAVES! And they are trained in the sensual arts over a long period of time by this one guy who decrees that they must always be naked. And oiled. Their training starts with erotic massage and culminates in full-on manloving. But it takes an excruciatingly long time between steps; so all they do for two weeks is give each other backrubs LOL before moving forward to KISSING and so on. The fantasy also involves a lot of the Trainer watching them on video and wishing they would just get on with actually doing it, which they don't for a long time because they're military. And because they don't really like each other. But eventually, they do have sex and FALL IN LOVE but no one can ever know when they're rescued because of DADT but Rodney figures it out because he and Sheppard are best friends and Rodney connives a trip for Sheppard and Caldwell to the mainland for which Sheppard is eternally grateful as there's fellatio in a jumper and then DADT is repealed after months of pining for each other and Elizabeth is shocked but supportive and Ronon and Teyla don't see what the fuss is all about.
I don't read a lot of slave fic anymore (although I used to read it all the time), but this story still appeals to me. The problem is that I don't want to write it; I want to *read* it. LOL
processfest Day 1 Prompt: Where do you create? What does your work space look like?
This is where the magic happens. I sit in my recliner at the right-hand end of the sectional with my feet up and misuse my lapdesk as a horizontal surface to hold my Diet Coke, and in between refreshing Tumblr and whining to people over IM and IRC about how much I hate writing, I write.
You can't see it from screen glare, but I also put 750words.com in the picture, because that is also where I do a lot of my writing. When all other motivation fails, sometimes the satisfaction of keeping a streak alive or earning another animal badge gets me moving. I didn't even know there WAS a badge for racking up a total of 500,000 words on the site (which took me three or four years) until I hit that milestone and the badge appeared. WHO KNOWS WHAT I COULD STUMBLE INTO NEXT? Maybe there's a special badge for writing a really epic number of NC-17 rated 750s. MAYBE I WILL FIND OUT. FOR SCIENCE.
Cultural Exchanges (1162 words) by Molly
Fandom: Teen Wolf (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski
Characters: Derek Hale, Stiles Stilinski
Additional Tags: Christmas Fluff, Humor, First Kiss
Summary: "It's Christmas," Stiles says. "Or it was, anyway. You missed the big day, so happy new year, I guess. Here." He shoves a package into Derek's hands, messily wrapped in the comics section of the Beacon Hills Weekly Gazette.
which crossover pairing would you rather see and why... Dean Winchester/Duke Crocker or Castiel/Eleventh Doctor Who?
Okay, so I immediately ruled out Cas/Eleven because I don't care how adorable that might be, no one should ever give Castiel access to a TARDIS. Ever. The universe would not survive. shudders at the thought of the sheer scale of damage he could do.
And then I was, like, yeah...huh...Dean/Duke. A vacation in Haven might actually be quite lovely for Dean, I thought. Once you talked him out of killing everyone (and I think he'd be open after Benny), I think Dean would really be quite good with Troubled people, especially the kids. And he and Duke could totally bond over Daddy issues and rejecting an unwanted destiny that's been thrust on you. And then Duke could demonstrate what healthier coping skills look like and take him out on the boat to chill and manage to get Dean to actually talk about his feelings by sneaking it by in fluent Dude language. And I was really into it until I remembered. But Dean. I mean, yes, it would be good for him...until it wasn't. And it would be Duke left in the smoking crater of fallout from however Dean managed to fuck it up (and he would). And I love Duke. And he doesn't deserve that for being so awesome and taking care of Dean like that (and you know he would). And then I was sad.
And so my conclusion is that Dean and Cas should stay in their own universe together instead of spreading the destruction around to other universes. Keep it contained and all.
(The job. The job is... wow. Wow, the job.)
A short meme question today, because I am so tired. thingswithwings and such_heights both asked me about vidding: how it differs from writing, for me, and about those times when it's not a terrible awful no-good hobby!
Okay, so. Shim said something nice about my writing the other day, which was this: it's laconic. Like, it can be fancy, but mostly it's not: it sounds like someone leaning against a door and saying, well, like, some stuff happened. Which I think is great, and also congruent with how it feels from the inside: mostly, it comes easy. (Well, it doesn't, writing is hard.) But mostly I think I know what I'm doing. I mean, if you asked me, right now, to write about that time X and Y did Thing A and then B happened, I could probably do it straight into the comment box, and it wouldn't be great literature, but it probably would be competent.
Vidding... is not like that. Obviously part of that is just the nature of the form - you rip, you clip, you realise that wonderful scene in your head is, well, in your head, you stick it together, the rhythm is wrong, the light is bad, everything is awful, it's the worst hobby ever - and part of it is my inexperience. I'm only on vid number four so far and it's all about the process, very much so - I'm still refining my workflow and eavesdropping when other vidders talk about how they do it and figuring out what all the damn buttons do in Final Cut. I am definitely capable of vidding major disaster, I mean, there is no basic competence level here.
The thing is, that makes it sound as though one day I will be a grown-up vidder who can turn out beautiful vids on demand, which is not at all true. I have no visual artistic ability. As long as I've known myself, that's been true - I can picture beautiful things in my head but I can't show them to you. Sadly, my small forays into manipulating vid footage for artistic rather than practical purposes have confirmed this. I can a flip a clip because it looks better mirror-imaged. I'll never be the sort of person who can create, I don't know, comic book panels or amazing manips. But that's okay! I can do stories. And I love music. For me, that's more than enough. And vidding is a great hobby - an awesome hobby, the best of hobbies - when you stick clips on a timeline and work on getting the rhythm right if nothing else, and render and then press play and you've sort of been doing it mindlessly and you don't know what it's gonna look like - and it looks, well, like music ought to look like. It's great. I feel like my vids are not - fandom-typical? I don't know, maybe I just haven't watched enough of other people's vids. But, anyway, that tiny chance I've got, possibly for the first time ever, into really being able to show, not tell - yes! Worth all that wailing about aspect ratio.
But once I actually sat and thought about it, there was only one answer I could give, and that's ( Odo )
And while I was writing this, I heard of Nelson Mandela's death. Another person with big ideas and the integrity to live them out - though perhaps with more of a talent for forgiveness. We are richer for his life, and poorer by his death.
ANYWAY. I do come bearing good news: More Joy Day is a GO for January 9, 2014! What is More Joy Day, you may be asking yourself? Well I will tell you! Cribbed from the original post back in 2008 (omg):
Awhile back, I was reading the American Idol recaps over on Televisionwithoutpity.com and I came to this paragraph, written by the recapper Jacob:
Some dick cuts you off on the highway, and you give yourself the pass to be a dick to the next five customers, and your bad mood fades by lunchtime, and you forget the dick on the highway, you forget the color of his car, you forget how he was on the phone with his ex-wife, yelling about custody of their kids, and how he never meant to cut you off in the first place, he was just distracted. Your day continues as planned, and at lunch you check your websites and read a funny recap, and you maybe laugh out loud, and you go home and watch TV. But those five guys give themselves the pass to be dicks to the next five -- they're having a bad day, so it's okay just this once, and they're happy again by lunch -- and those twenty-five become six hundred twenty-five, and those six twenty-five become a million, and you've added to the sum total of anger in the world. But it works with love, too, and kindness. ... Your donation is something tangible, but what it means is something altogether more powerful, and it's that you continue to stand, and you continue to remember that you're not alone, and with reverence for this fact, you can't help but add to joy. Which is your entire job, from the day you're born until the day you die: more joy.
So hereâ€™s my idea:
In the interest of spreading more joy, Iâ€™m proposing that on More Joy Day we each engage in one act, either here on or outside of LJ/DW, which brings joy to another person, in the hopes that that person will spread that joy further, and exponentially onward.
Some ideas I had of things we could do:
Write a fic, make an icon, make a vid, or make a fanart for someone. Buy someone paid time or userpics. Leave someone a nice comment. Say something nice about something fannish someone else loves. Say something nice about something fannish you love and encourage squee (and squee on someone elseâ€™s post if they make one!). Offer to beta for someone. Offer to donate five dollars to the charity of someone's choice. Send flowers to an online friend in a different city. Buy someone you know online a present. Or a virtual present. Plant a tree or a flower in someone's honor and take a picture of it and post it to your journal/tumblr/whatever. When somebody cuts you off at work, wish them well and hope they get where theyâ€™re going safely. Make somebody a friendship bracelet. Or a construction paper heart. Call someone you love and tell them so. Or anything else you can think of!
Then on that Thursday, make a post saying what you've done (or a note that it's More Joy day), and that will hopefully help spread things further.
This will be our SEVENTH YEAR doing More Joy Day, and I'm hoping for a great turnout this year. The key is not the size or quantity of your MJ Day effort, but just that you take a moment to consciously do a good deed for someone else, to give them a moment of happiness just for the sake of spreading happiness further into the world. I have found in past years that just treating the day as a scouting opportunity to do something nice for other people has always always always made it a happier, joy-filled day for me. The attitude I carry with me on More Joy Day transforms the day itself, without fail. Please join me for another transformational day this year!
Last year I belatedly put up a post for people to list things they might like to receive on MJ Day. It wasn't very well attended (either askers or givers), so what are your thoughts on me doing that again? I could put it up the week before this time? Or just let people do what they will for the day? I can't decide! Input welcome. :)
One last thing - I wasn't sure if people knew where to find my social media presence these days, and I've been contemplating how I make the decision to post what, where these days, and so if you're interested in following me, here's where I am and what I post there:
LJ/DW: SDWolfpup. (Hi, you're here already! This is where I put my Puplet/Puptoo posts, my long-form TV/book/movie thoughts, post my vids (ha ha ha, like I vid any more), talk about life, and generally just kind of randomly blather about stuff that may or may not involve fandom. Everything posted publicly except the Puplet/Puptoo posts, which I have an opt-in filter for. I should re-post that poll for folks in case that's changed.)
Twitter: SDWolfpup. (Short-form blasts about shows, mostly Sleepy Hollow & Brooklyn Nine-Nine as I watch; brief Puplet/Puptoo anecdotes; RTs of stuff I find interesting/funny/important; random crap that is not worth making a whole post to LJ about, like my addiction to Chopped. Everything posted publicly.)
Tumblr: AJobLotOfJunk. (Mostly reblogging all of the stuff I love for many many MANY different fandoms, social justice-related stuff, art, other people's pictures. Very little actual discussion. All posted publicly.)
Tumblr: TJGPhotos. (My photography blog. Sadly neglected right now but I am going to post more; I've been making an effort to take my camera out with me more, just need to edit the photos for posting. All posted publicly.)
Facebook: My real name. (I don't give this out, so if you know my real name, feel free to find me there, otherwise, I'm sorry. Very little fannish content, mostly just real-life stories and a way for me to keep in touch with family and friends who aren't fannishly inclined. Everything posted friends-locked.)
I think that's it. Heh.
I grew up in Indiana. Indiana is a state with a no-honk policy; if you honk at someone, you are alerting them to information they need and nothing else.
Seattle is also a no-honk state, but it has something Indiana lacks: TRAFFIC. I know people in the LA and NYC areas think their cities are the only ones with real traffic, but Seattle is no slouch in the trafic department, either! This is because for much of the city, the commute between work and home goes over two bridges-- one with two lanes, one with three plus a switchable express lane. And one of those bridges has an expensive toll.
Chicago is a place where people honk to express emotion. And so is, famously, NYC. We had been on the road only a few minutes before I heard the first flurry of honks, and I looked around to see if something was wrong before realizing that no, that's because we are now in a Honk Place. It's definitely going to take some getting used to!
In France, I looked up road rules from in the car when Grant and I saw someone in the far left lane signaling left. We saw this too many times for it to be forgetful people with their blinkers on, and finally discovered it means, "You're going too slow in the fast lane! Move over!" (Also, Europe is the only place I've been where people rigidly obey the "keep right except to pass" rule.) I also discovered that France is a no-turn-on-red country, which we were glad to know before getting into less populated areas where that would come into play.
Also in France, they have gorgeous, pristine toll highways. These are expensive as hell, but meticulously maintained and lovely, including their rest stops. (Though some rest stops on other toilets are not so state-of-the-art... it was in one of these that I discovered the squat toilet for the first time!)
Of all the taxi rides I've taken, the most harrowing have been in one city: Las Vegas. What people may not realize about Vegas before they've been there once or twice is the sheer SCALE of that place. Vegas is unimaginably huge, so big that you can spend 15 minutes walking at a fast clip from your hotel room to the exit. In a straight line, no less!
So as a result, when you're covering distances that are just a few hotels away, you're going miles. And when you need to go across town, you're going huge huge distances away. And then there's the traffic, which is constant stop-and-go at literally every hour of the day on the Strip. Cab drivers do everything they can to minimize their time on the Strip, so you end up taking bizarre routes through back alleys and zipping down the highway and weaving through traffic... at about 90mph the whole time, because Vegas is really big and it takes a very long time to get anywhere.
So Vegas cabbies are very fast and very fearless, whereas during one cab ride, Grant and I clutched each other's hands, positive he was going to careen into traffic. We were fine, though!
So far our driver is as fearless as a Vegas cabbie but not in as much of a hurry. I see Manhattan in front of us! I hope we get to our hotel soon, and I cannot wait for dinner and drinks. Woo!