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catch up meme

Oh, this is a good idea. Grabbed from pennyplainknits.

So what have you been up to?
Just my usual: working, napping, watching my stories, reading my stories, being emotionally compromised by Steven Gerrard leaving Liverpool and as a result pretending football doesn't exist, also pretending hockey doesn't exist for the moment. I got into the Adult Coloring Book fad. I went to a Nicki Minaj concert. It's been a pretty crazy summer.

Major life changes? Same old same old?
I moved to the Washington DC area and started my first full time permanent job. Not gonna lie - life is pretty boring here compared to NYC. And I don't really know anyone here. But I'm not that lonely, really. I talk to my family all the time, and I enjoy my solitude. Still, it is kind of weird, after having a pretty active social life in NYC (for me - for a New Yorker I was a hermit).

What fandom are you in/do you spend most of your time in?
A Song of Ice and Fire. I'm doing a reread book club with my sister - we're almost finished with ASOS. And I spend a ton of time on reddit (yikes!) reading crackpot and perhaps not-so-crackpot theories. I also love Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire and the podcast History of Westeros.

Where do you hang out online?
Well, I still always check my flist. I am sporadically active on tumblr. It's just such a time suck. I end up wasting an entire day on there if I get on it. Plus, I tend to be behind on my shows, and you know tumblr savior is always going to miss that one post that spoils everything.

What are you reading?
Ohhh, yay! Fun question! I'm in the middle of a couple of books right now:

  • A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin - Reread - still holds up! And the foreshadowing is veeeery obvious upon reread. I'm eager to get to AFFC and the stuff I barely remember, though.

  • Time and Chance by Sharon Kay Penman - The second book in her Eleanor of Aquitane/Henry II series. I tend to read SKP in big spurts, and then forget about the book for weeks. It's not the kind of thing you casually pick up before bed.

  • Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson - Love that mad BSands worldbuilding. He's kind of ruined other fantasy that has really shitty, handwaved worldbuilding for me.

  • Harbor by John Ajvide Lindqvist - A pretty weird, slow horror story. But I still kind of want to know what happens, so I'll probably finish it.

  • The Friar and the Cipher by Lawrence Goldstone - Supposed to be about the ~mysterious~ Voynich manuscript, but so far mostly a biography of Roger Bacon.


What are you watching?
My favorite shows that are currently airing/recently aired:

  • Another Period - OMG this show is so sick and twisted. I love it. All of the actors are fantastic. Simultaneously a perfect sendup of Downton Abbey and Kardashian TV.

  • Scream - This is surprisingly enjoyable. Not as good as the movie, of course, but still pretty good. The three main characters are surprisingly likable.

  • Dark Matter - This is so surprisingly fun! A good SyFy show! Who knew they could still do it. I really like the characters in this one as well.

  • Pretty Little Liars - I find this show so comforting in its ridiculousness and stupidity. It's always there for me, being goddamn idiotic and over the top. And dammit, I love those girls.

  • Hannibal - I'm saving eps for when it's all over, so I'm behind. But I have seen through Will and Hannibal's Epic Breakup, Take 35.

  • Unreal - What a weird, messed up, super dark show - on freaking Lifetime. I thought it was great.


What are you making?
Um, I color in pictures using markers. And sometimes colored pencils.

What are you squeeing about today?
Alas, today is not a super squee-filled day. I had an almost migraine and took a two hour nap when I got home from work. I'm squeeing about the hypothetical future in which I read The Winds of Winter.

If you could rope old fandom friends into a new fandom, it would be.....
Come learn about insane ASOIAF theories with me. Daario is Euron! Immortal vampire Roose Bolton! Bloodraven created TPTWP prophecy!

I should really watch/read/dive into _______ and then come talk to you about it!
Hmm, what's the youth into these days? I tried to watch Mr. Robot, but I couldn't deal with that moment where Elliot humiliated that guy with the cat instagram. It made me so goddamn sad. THAT POOR GUY JUST WANTS TO TAKE CUTE PICS OF HIS CAT. I realize that's silly, but that's one of my things. I really don't like to see nice people hurt and humiliated and made to feel small. I know it is fictional, like I said, it's just my thing.

What else is on your mind?
I would kill for an NYC bagel.

MY ICON HAS NEVER BEEN MORE APPROPRIATE

Yeah, so I'ma gonna need some time to process this. I cannot actually believe this is real life. All those times we got so close, I kind of believed it would never happen. To see little Lahm lifting that trophy. And as much as I would want to win however we could, I'm so glad we won playing good football and with an absolutely gorgeous goal (Goetze!!!!).

DEUTSCHLAND!!!! FOUR STARS!!!

the originals and hannibal

First of all, WHAT THE SHIT, ORIGINALS. Probably that should be WHAT THE SHIT, JULIE PLEC, YOU HELLBEAST. That's usually a good bet for who to blame. more about that, spoilery but you"ve probably heard about it if you"re into tvd-verse stuffCollapse )

In happier news, I finally started watching Hannibal, because I'm on anti-anxiety meds now and won't become convinced beyond reason that I will be serial killed in some horrible ritualistic way if I watch stuff about serial killers. Anyway it's great, and I devoured (harhar) all of the aired episodes last weekend. Did have some weird dreams but nothing close to Will Graham levels. Although maybe not the best benchmark.

more thoughts on thatCollapse )

the originals and the vampire diaries

Oh my god you guys, I have totally become obsessed with The Originals with the last couple of episodes. And certain happenings on TVD have really reignited my interest in that show as well (even if Elena/Damon still makes me roll my eyes).

spoilers for all aired episodes of the originals and tvdCollapse )

Between these two shows and Teen Wolf seemingly back on track and much more enjoyable this season(b), I am very happy to have my teen supernatural shows back to being enjoyable instead of painful to watch.

baby it's cold as balls outside

I'm cold-ed in. It's so cold outside they've basically shut down the city and closed all the roads. Right now it's -14F with a real feel of -41F. It's also snowed like two feet, but that's not as much of a problem as the temperature. So basically I haven't left my house in days, or worn a bra in that same time. I got caught up with two seasons of Pretty Little Liars, played a lot of Fruit Ninja. I've been reading Here Be Dragons by Susan Kay Penman, which I'm really enjoying. I've decided this will be the year of epic historical novels. I have a lot I've been meaning to read - other SKP novels (especially The Sunne in Splendour, which I started reading last fall but kind of forgot about), Hilary Mantel, Dorothy Dunnett, anything else you think I should read.

I have started to have some problems with reading a lot of historical fiction (and non-fiction): the historically accurate sexism and misogyny just gets a bit exhausting at times. Even the women who attain some level of power of their own, like Eleanor of Aquitane and Caterina Sforza, have to fight so hard and sacrifice so much to get even a tenth of the power noble men are just born with by virtue of having a goddamn penis. It's infuriating, how much a woman's lot in life (and still so many women's lots in life today) is wholly dependent on their luck of the draw with fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, etc. I know this is preaching to the choir, but sometimes it gets a bit rough, and as much as I want to respect the pain and suffering and amazing strength of the billions of women who've dealt with having this lot in life throughout history by witnessing their strories, sometimes I just want to read a book where women aren't treated as property to be traded between men, but there are still castles and mountains and noble steeds and things.

Of course, in Here Be Dragons, Llewellyn is about the best you could expect for a man from 13th century Britain, but I hope Joanna will continue to develop a backbone and be able to stand on her own. She's gotta make grandma Eleanor proud! Having come to this story after reading a biography of Caterina Sforza, who was basically a force of nature, I can't help but wish Eleanor of Aquitane didn't die so early on in the book, because I could really use a fearless Amazon of a lady right about now.

Also does anyone have any recs for non-British history related historical fiction? Especially Renaissance Italy. Or really anything. Not that I don't like British history, but it would be nice to broaden my horizons.

december meme: lost girl and consent issues

cetacea asked me: How do you feel about the potential for non-consent with Bo's powers? (Warning: Obviously this post will discuss non-con.)

I've definitely had some issues with this over the run of the show. There's the issue of, if Bo is touching someone, how can she ever know that the sex is consensual? I feel like she needs to be getting very firm, verbal consent before ever touching a person skin-to-skin if she's going to have any sort of physical intimacy with them. Obviously there are the people she's in long-term romantic/sexual relationships with, like Lauren and Dyson, where that's sort of a given (although it would probably be best if they had had that conversation at some point). I think dealing with this issue could potentially be really interesting for the show, but as much as I enjoy it, I don't think Lost Girl is that ... introspective. As far as I can remember, no one Bo's ever slept with has gotten out of their succubus-induced sex pollen state and been like, "Hey, I didn't actually want to have sex with you." Which is sad because I think it could do Bo a lot of good to realize that there are negatives to her power besides physically harming people by sucking out too much lifeforce.

Although in the Lost Girl world, everyone is extremely sex positive. I mean, not Bo's human family that she ran from, but the fae world and most of the denizens of whatever Canadian city they're in are pretty sex positive, so issues of someone not wanting to have sex with super hot Bo never seem to come up.

Also, I think this is an issue with all the fae that can control or alter other fae's or human's minds and bodies. They all use their power with little regard for the consent of the people (especially humans) they're using them on. It's just that Bo's power is explicitly sexual, so it has that extra problematic layer. Although most of the fae end up using their powers for some sexual means anyway, so.

december meme: a book I wish existed

linaerys asked me: what is a book that you wish existed in the world but, to your knowledge, does not? I'm way behind on these, but I only have a couple more to do, so I'm sure I can finish them before the New Year.

What I really wish existed is the subversive tropey-ness of fanfic, with that attention on queer relationships of any type (so just.... not the traditional monogamous cisgendered f/m relationship), or much much more interesting het relationships than what you usually get in mainstream fiction. I love the fact that romance is fully embraced, but if you look a little deeper you can find fics with amazing plot and worldbuilding and really interesting ideas. So basically, I wish we could get the kind of amazing novel-length fanfic that I love to read, but with original fic. I mean, some fanfic basically becomes original fic that just builds very loosely off canon, but it is still fic at its heart.

So I wish you could take what I love about fic, then pair it with the sort of epic plot and drama and high stakes action of a profic book. Again, this is not to say that fic doesn't have these stakes, but for some reason in my mind I still have this mental block where, because it's fanfic and you can get so close to the person writing it and know so much about them and see so much of the writing process, that I don't really buy into the stakes as much as I do with profic. I think it's because, as much as I absolutely love a fic, it will still really never be what actually happened. There's always that part of me in the back of my mind that is comparing it to canon and sad that it's not the actual canon.

Stuff that comes the closest to this is probably the first three books in Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series, where the gay UST is totally acknowledged and resolved and becomes the heart of the series. Also freece's Captive Prince, which is now for realsies published. It has so many tropes that are fangirl catnip. And The Steel Seraglio by Mike Carey, Linda Carey, and Louise Carey is the closest femslash version of that I can think of. That was pretty much a perfect book for me. [I actually wish more femslash was like The Steel Seraglio (rather than the other way around), because I find most femslash pretty boring, as it seemingly lacks all of the awesome tropes and humor of m/m slash and just has a lot of giggling and dreamy sex. If there is good novel-length, plotty or trope-y femslash out there, please direct me towards it.]

december meme: my fandom history

mistakency asked me: Your fandom history! How you got into fandom, the best and most terrible fics you've read, your formative experiences, etc.

my fandom historyCollapse )

december meme: metadata

aurora_84 asked me about my love of metadata.

I think what I love most about metadata is how it gives you this reason to really analyze a certain subject and figure out exactly how it works, what relationships there are - it forces you to come up with ways to describe things that are semantically meaningful and machine-readable. I love that you can use how you define things to provide inherited information that you don't need to explicitly state. Like you could classify something as a dog, and because you've made dog a subclass of mammal and animal, that dog will inherit all the information associated with all mammals and animals without you ever having to repeat or explicitly state that information. And the really important thing is that the computer can pick all that up too.

I also love the order of it all. As a librarian (in training) it's so frustrating to try to classify things in 2013 using these outdated content standards that are meant strictly for print materials. We want to be able to classify ALL THE THINGS. Sadly, libraries and other cultural heritage institutions don't make much use of those kinds of specialized metadata schemas. They tend to just stick with boring ass Dublin Core so that everything is as interoperable as possible. And I know it would require a ton of work and money to be able to use all these really specialized metadata schemas, but personally I wish they would just give us more money and hire more people! But obviously that IS in my self-interest.

As a huge nerd, I really enjoyed getting to study something I love (flags) for a class project for my metadata class. And it's also just so satisfying to get to make use of the fact that we have a fucking internet and can add so much more contextual information to documents and records to make it so much more useful just on the computer's end. Yeah, semantic web, bitches!

december meme: sydney and sark

eretria asked me about Sydney and Sark. Fangirl's first OTP! I'm a little behind on these, but I am getting them done!

This was very much the pairing that first got me into fandom. I'm still friends with a lot of people I met through Alias fandom and specifically Sarkney fandom (ah! mushed up names!). I think what I really liked about it was that the idea of Syd being with Sark was tied to an idea of freedom for her. It didn't mean she would suddenly become a bad guy or anything, just that she could be freed from the expectations of life with Vaughn and the CIA. I always thought that Sark saw a part of her that was not quite so perfect and well-behaved and embraced that about her, rather than shying away from it like most of the other men in Syd's life. Also, they were pretty together and had awesome chemistry. I always thought the adventures Sydney could get up to with Sark were so much more interesting than what was going on on the show.

Beyond this, I kind of imprinted on Sark like a baby duck. So that character archetype is like catnip to me: amoral, self-serving, intelligent, sophisticated - a trickster who transgresses boundaries and can't be categorized easily, but one still capable of forming intense bonds to a very limited number of people. (See also: Gaiman/Carey's Lucifer, Alice Morgan, Krycek, Eric Northman, Loki obviously!) The ultimate survivor. Possibly why one of my favorite paintings is this really creepy Magritte, The Survivor.

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