rose_griffes: (Default)
Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 08:58 pm
Author Maggie Stiefvater has a book series, The Raven Cycle (still incomplete), that starts with The Raven Boys. Apparently it's fairly popular; I had to wait to check out the digital copy from my library.

I like Stiefvater's prose more than some other recent YA novels, but it was hard to distinguish between two of the main characters' voices. So... I doubt I'll read more anytime soon. Maybe try something else by her where there aren't four teenage boys to recognize.

TV: Person of Interest has yet to be renewed or cancelled for a fifth season. And I'm left indifferent by this. spoilers for 4.20 and 4.21 )

So for me, cancellation is not a "bring tissues" kind of event. Remember when this show was THE show for a while? The only show to inspire me to write a multi-chapter fic. (It's been over a year since I've posed any fanfic, by the way. PoI isn't THE show now, but neither is any other show, apparently.)

The Flash caught my attention again, and I caught up on recent episodes. Thank goodness spoilers for 1.20 and a warning )

Anyway! As someone who never got into comics as reading material, this show is a fun watch. Pretty people, and Barry "No Chill" Allen is a goofy and happy superhero, in spite of angsty (dead mother) backstory. Tom Cavanaugh as the ambiguous Dr. Harrison Wells is great. I love Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and robot boyfriend Eddie Thawne (he's not really a robot), and Barry and Iris...

Also caught up on Elementary, which currently deserves the secondary title of Friendship is Magic, or something of the sort. Alfredo! Detective Bell! CLYDE!!!

And just one episode until I'm caught up on Jane the Virgin again, so maybe I'll wait to post about it. I'll just say that it's living up to its telenovela roots.
rose_griffes: (Default)
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 06:04 pm
Ack, it's been how long since I last made a post? Good thing I've actually been using my Goodreads account to track what I've been reading lately, because otherwise I'd forget it all. All of these are fiction books, by the way. No real demons to account for in my reading selections...

I've read three of the Maggie Quinn books by Rosemary Clement-Moore. They're fast-paced and fun. The series reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a smaller Scooby team. No actual vampires, but there's some demon-vanquishing. The first book is set in Maggie's high school, then it moves on to college.

Want more teenage girls with supernatural problems? Try Liv, Forever, by Amy Talkington. I liked the premise--dead girl works to solve her own murder. Thumbs up, but not way up.

China Dolls, by Lisa See, tracks three women (two ethnic Chinese and one Japan-born) living in the US (and aiming for stardom) before and during World War II. The story is compelling; the prose is a bit stiff. Ultimately I'd say it was worthwhile, because I learned a lot about the time period, and it was interesting.

As for TV, I tried the first four episodes of Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix. I think it's too violent for me. Plus I know a few spoilers, and I don't think I'll enjoy it enough to continue for now. Maybe over the summer, when I'm not as busy... but it's not a top priority.

Drop Dead Diva was a Lifetime series that I'd never heard of until last week. I've seen three? four? episodes so far. Spoilers for the pilot (and whole premise): beautiful but shallow woman dies, gets a second shot at life as an overweight attorney. Sounds... not so promising, I know. But so far I've been pretty charmed by it; they've avoided some of the worst potential missteps, and there are WOMEN! WHO ARE FRIENDS! WITH EACH OTHER! That part is lovely.

There's a bunch of seasons of it on Netflix now.
Tags:
rose_griffes: (Default)
Sunday, March 15th, 2015 08:46 pm
Author Terry Pratchett died last week. While I don't have the level of fannishness about his books as many of my friends (RL and online), he was still a favorite of mine.

Related topic, I've now read all eight books in the Toby Daye series by Seanan McGuire. Which means I'm stuck waiting for book nine.

Also read Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. It was... not like anything else I've read. Some romance, a bit of history, several assassin nuns, and a surprisingly interactive god of death. I've already downloaded book two, which apparently switches to the POV of a minor character in book one. Which definitely means more assassin nuns.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan, is a YA novel set after a zombie apocalypse. Sadly heavy on the love quadrangle and light on the whole survival thing. Too bad; the author did some compelling world-building, but the characters themselves didn't really interest me.

Hey [personal profile] chaila, I've read three of the Thief books by Megan Whalen Turner. The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia. They're interesting, though I want more of the women's POV. Maybe after I read book four I'll look for some fanfic.

TV: series three of The Great British Sewing Bee has been so much fun. Thanks for letting me know it was airing, DB. I haven't watched the finale yet, but I'm pretty sure about who's going to win. This season has been a delight because several men participated, and talked regularly about how much they liked sewing for the women in their lives.

(Real life sewing: I made a trial run garment of a blouse last week... good thing, too, because the pattern needed some adjustments. So now I have the pretty fabric cut out, and just need to sew it.)

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a new series on Netflix and mild spoilers, my reaction )

Agent Carter finished its eight-episode run. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and hope that it will be renewed. The shorter format may have worked in its favor, so if they go with another tiny season, I won't be too upset.
Tags:
rose_griffes: (Default)
Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 05:20 pm
A lot of people have written a lot of things about Sleepy Hollow's second season, and I feel a bit like one tiny bee in a hive mind right now. mild spoilers )

So with bad weather, I ended up watching Broadchurch season one on Netflix. vague spoilers )

Daybreak brought the third season of The Great British Sewing Bee to my attention, so I'll probably dive into that next. Already watched the first episode, in fact; it was posted on youtube, so check there first, if you're interested.

Time to figure out something healthy-ish for dinner. Handfuls of almonds, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips probably don't fit that bill.
Tags:
rose_griffes: (Default)
Sunday, February 22nd, 2015 06:00 pm
Hi! *waves* Alternating between "Yeah, things are fine" and "Bleh, depression is the worst" lately. But I have done some TV-watching, so here's a quick update on that:

Sleepy Hollow )

Jane the Virgin )

Person of Interest has fallen in the ranks. It's now a show I watch while multi-tasking. It hasn't fallen to the 'grading papers' category, but I've been browsing Tumblr or Facebook while watching the last two episodes. *sigh* Hard to believe that this is the same show that interested me enough to write a multi-chapter fic.

I accidentally gave up watching The Flash. Turns out I somehow recorded the not-HD versions of recent episodes, and so far I haven't cared quite enough to hunt those episodes online. Maybe I'll catch up this summer. I do like the actors playing the leads, Grant Gustin and Candice Patton. Mostly I like seeing them looking pretty and smiling, which I can do by looking at Tumblr while watching Person of Interest.

Still watching Elementary and Brooklyn Nine Nine.

Other stuff! I like button-front blouses, but so many of them that have sleeves (I do like sleeves) have long sleeves, or worse, three-quarter sleeves. From Friday night until today, I've altered the sleeves of four shirts and one dress. They all have short sleeves now, with some variation to them.

Coming up next in the sewing department: I need to finish my little project for the kiddos I teach in Sunday School, and I need to try a different pattern for a blouse I want to make. Trial run garment first, because I don't want to waste my pretty pretty fabric. I already did one trial run garment (over Christmas break)... and it was a good thing, too, since that pattern didn't work for me. :(
rose_griffes: (Default)
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 08:13 pm
I keep missing Parks and Recreation, which is back for its seventh and final season. I haven't seen any episodes yet. Oops. Anyone been watching? Is it worth seeing? Season six was uneven enough that part of this is probably just lack of interest on my part.

ABC series Galavant ended as it started: unevenly. Though I still enjoyed it immensely, and hope that they'll go ahead and do a second season at some point. Karen David as Princess Isabella was a delight, and I loved Sid. And the evil king (the first one, not the second one). And the landlocked pirates. Oh, and cook and his lady-love. :D

And... that'll do it for now. We had a work thing last night, so I have yet to watch Jane the Virgin, The Flash, and Sleepy Hollow for the week. (How did half of the shows I watch up on on the same night, anyway?)
Tags:
rose_griffes: (Default)
Monday, January 12th, 2015 08:30 pm
I take back what I said about not watching more TV with a DVR in the house. Though that's not particularly motivating me to keep it around...

Anyway. It's time to start new shows to replace those that have been cancelled. I watched Empire's pilot episode, mostly for Taraji P. Henson. It was better than I might have expected, but still not something I'm likely to watch on a regular basis. I like some sci-fi with my sudsy programming. Family dramas also need robots with feelings, or something like that. Heh. Though if you like that kind of drama, Henson was very memorable. Striking, you might say. *snickers*

Agent Carter had a good debut. Apparently they're planning a seven episode run. I don't know if that means that's all, period, or if that's just a trial run for a potential second season. I liked it enough to keep watching, even though period pieces don't often catch my attention.

Galavant is a medieval comedy musical, and thoroughly silly. Thumbs up. Here's one of the songs:



As for books, I'm now on the third book in McGuire's Toby Daye series. They're entertaining and straightforward fairy tale mysteries, which is a cool combination. (Apparently they get compared to the Harry Dresden series quite often. But I've only managed to read two of that series, over a much longer period of time. So take that for what it's worth.)
Tags:
rose_griffes: (Default)
Thursday, January 8th, 2015 05:52 pm
I have not-LJ writing to do! But instead I'm here, at least for a brief moment.

So glad that the library system in my town is gradually acquiring more e-books. I have three books on hold right now, and when they're (finally) available, I'll get an e-mail and then download them, all from my comfy couch. It's pretty nifty. I'm currently reading the second book in Seanan McGuire's series with Tobey Daye. I'm wondering if my guesses about two things will be correct... still no guess on the actual murderer yet, but maybe soon?

Oh, hey, one of those books is As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride. It's by Cary Elwes, who played Westley. Eeee, can't wait to read this! If I liked audiobooks better, I would consider buying it in that format, since I've read that the voice impressions were really funny. But... I'm not really an audiobook person, unless it's a full BBC radio production with major actors and sound effects and so forth.

Time for TV now. So, Tuesday night's Person of Interest -- spoilers, obviously )

Currently I have a DVR in my home, and TV channels and everything. Giving it a trial run. Pros: big, pretty picture, and the ability to skip commercials. Also, no lag time on the video. Cons: I'm still not watching any more TV than before, and all of those shows are still available on the internet for free. So... dunno if it's gonna stay.
rose_griffes: batman: "Despite all my rage, I'm still just a bat in a cave" (bat in a cave)
Friday, January 2nd, 2015 08:52 am
I finally faced the consequences of watching a zombie movie, though it was weeks later: zombie nightmare, urgh. There are reasons why I don't normally watch zombie movies.

Oh, and I apparently didn't post about that here. So: I watched World War Z, since it was available on Netflix livestreaming, and it had been described to me as a zombie movie for people who don't like zombie movies. more about the movie AND the book World War Z back here )

I saw Mockingjay, Part I a few weeks ago as well. only tiny spoilers for the movie )

Another book? Oh why not. Seanan McGuire has a series with half-fae half-human all detective Tobey Daye, starting with Rosemary and Rue. Very enjoyable, and I have the second book on hold at my library.

And hey, another movie too. (Wow, it's been awhile since I posted.) Into the Woods was another entertaining movie that was bound to annoy fans of the original source material. Which I would now like to see, by the way. Having read a summary of the musical, it sounds much better than that movie was. Even though Sondheim's musicality is apparently not my thing, I like the ideas behind his musical.

One last book! Terry Pratchett's Raising Steam, which I ended up skimming, because the character Moist Von Lipwig is not one I find particularly endearing. I like certain elements of Pratchett's Discworld series more than others, and am therefore not a diehard fan of all his books. Honestly, his best are probably with Tiffany Aching. Or Death--I like Death quite a bit.

Well, that's a lot of blather. Hope your new year is starting well! I think I'll celebrate my last official day off (I still have the weekend, but that's normal for me) by doing the mundane task of highlighting my hair.
Tags:
rose_griffes: (Default)
Thursday, December 4th, 2014 06:53 pm
I've ended up staying late at work every day this week, trying to catch up on everything. I think (fingers crossed) I've finally made enough headway that I'll be able to do some normal not-school things this weekend. Whew.

I would post some TV reactions, but honestly? I haven't had time this week to watch anything but my comedy stand-by, Brooklyn Nine Nine. And since I'm watching for free on hulu, I'm a week behind. (It's one of the shows that requires a paying membership to watch within the first week of a new episode. Same with Sleepy Hollow, and probably a lot of other shows, but I don't watch them.)

Speaking of Sleepy Hollow, I'm going to have to join the consensus I've seen online and say that season two has gone off the rails. And they don't have much time to get it back on track, I'd say, because I'm going to stop watching soon if there's not a substantial improvement. Too bad; I still like the two leads as characters.

So, er, hi. And bye. Time to figure out what's for dinner tonight.
rose_griffes: (Default)
Sunday, November 16th, 2014 08:14 pm
I'm DONE DONE DONE with this whole cold weather thing. And it's only mid-November. Oops.

Trying to decide whether to splurge on airplane tickets to visit my sister during Christmas break. In spite of low gas prices, airplane ticket prices remain high. So far the sales prices haven't worked for my particular departure and arrival cities.

Has anyone else noticed a lessened capacity for high fantasy as you get older? I started a book by N.K. Jemisen and realized that I was going to have to learn a whole set of made-up names and cultures, and I just... well... I'm still reading it. We'll see if I make it all the way through.

On to TV: Elementary is back from summer break. I never did watch most of season two, but so far that hasn't been a problem. So far I like new character Kitty Winters, and am rooting for Kitty and Joan friendship. They have interacted, and it's slowly heading that direction, so I'm hopeful. Also, Joan has a boyfriend, yay!

The Flash and Jane the Virgin are still holding strong as TV newcomers. I let Forever slip off my radar; forgetfulness is a clear indicator of disinterest, and there are other shows I'm enjoying more.

I don't really have anything to say about Person of Interest, because my feelings are so mixed that I'll never untangle a comprehensible set of words from the mess of my thoughts. But I will say this: co-writing fic (which is mostly me directing and my co-writer writing) is a lovely refuge. Beloved characters are still alive and will have a happy ending! Eventually! After multiple chapters of angst, of course.
Tags:
rose_griffes: (Default)
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 08:46 pm
You might know of Sarah Vowell from her many different turns on (US) public radio. I first heard her talk about insomnia; she has an incredibly distinct voice, both in audio quality and in word choice.

Oh, and she also did the voice of Violet in The Incredibles.

Anyway, when I read anything she writes, I hear that voice in my mind. Unfamiliar Fishes is her take on Hawaii's messy history as it ties into the United States. It was an interesting read. I never used to read non-fiction, but lately it's been creeping into my reading diet.

More TV... I know! The first two episodes of The Flash were entertaining enough to keep me interested. So I'll watch it, when I remember to do so. The leading man has that kind of face where you think, "Eh, forgettable" and then you see the character in action. Charm can really alter perceptions of attractiveness.

Person of Interest: this week's guest star had a mustache, which is now American shorthand for a man whose entire life is a joke. The plot was accordingly ridiculous, but it fell on the good side of that line. And no Root this week, which meant I didn't spiral into an existential crisis about implausible character evolutions, so... that was good, I guess? (Short version: I found Root more credible and interesting as the Joker than as a messiah figure. So when the story spends a lot of time on that element, I get antsy.)

And now I'm supposed to grade papers. But I don't wanna. :(
rose_griffes: Crying: acceptable under two circumstances (Ron Swanson's pyramid of awesome) (crying)
Sunday, October 19th, 2014 05:38 pm
So, ABC's Forever is apparently a new version of New Amsterdam, and I'm taking the latter show as a clear indicator of what will happen to the former. I haven't bothered looking up numbers, but I'm betting that Forever doesn't make it past a first season.

Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying all of it, but the glaring plot holes and over-reliance on Henry's magical everything (knowledge, competence, charm and English accent) are both problems that aren't easily glossed over without something else to pull viewers in. So I'll enjoy it while it lasts, but I don't expect that to be very long.

Brooklyn Nine Nine is back for season two, and full of its usual charm. It's my happy comedy show while Parks and Recreation is on hiatus until Spring. Speaking of P&R, I finally watched the end of season six, now that it's on Netflix. I'm guessing they were told that the show was actually canceled, considering that over-the-top finale.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent has been taken off Netflix livestreaming, which breaks my heart. I still had several seasons to watch... while grading papers, of course. That was the BEST show for that purpose: just interesting enough to keep the whole paper-grading process a bit more upbeat, not so interesting that I got sucked into actually watching the show instead of grading. *sigh* What am I gonna do now?! There's always SVU, but I just got so tired of the parade of victims of sex-crimes.

Maybe I'll try Longmire again. Except that Katee Sackhoff is distracting, what with her awesome acting and deputy badge and so forth.

eta: Ooh, I almost forgot... I watched the pilot episode of Jane the Virgin, which is a US adaptation of a telenovela, and it was a lot of fun. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to handle the love triangle aspect--I really dislike villainizing one character in order to get us to like the other option--but maybe the show won't go that route?

So we'll see.
Tags:
rose_griffes: Olivia, Walter and Peter from TV's "Fringe." (fringe)
Sunday, September 28th, 2014 08:03 pm
Various TV shows are starting up again, some returning and some new. I watched the pilot episode of Gotham and decided that it was too grim and violent for me. Not to mention that the one shining light among the adult characters thought it was a brilliant idea to consult with a recently orphaned twelve-year-old about taking down crime in the city from the inside. Not a good plan, not-yet-Commissioner Gordon.

The pilot episode of How to Get Away With Murder also left me feeling that there was a lack of adults who are trying to, y'know, do any kind of good in the world. Morally ambiguous characters can be fun, but a whole show full of them? It's a bit much. Also, the idea that a law professor is letting her students muck around in a current murder trial where she's serving as the defense attorney just hurts me in the logic.

Both of these shows have some great filmography and fantastic actors and compelling plots, but that doesn't mean they're what I want to watch.

Black-ish isn't on my must-watch list yet--the pilot had some funny moments, but the humor didn't always work for me. I might give another episode a try in a week or two, to see how it's going once things are a bit more established.

As for returning shows, Sleepy Hollow started off with an episode that highlights everything good, bad, and implausible about it. I loved it almost unconditionally, complete with anachronistic Ben Franklin's kite experiment. (Franklin did, in fact, take "air baths", but the kite experiment happened a decade or two too early for our Ichabod Crane to be helping with them. No matter, though!) Still great: Crane and Mills and Mills. Still lacking a plot: vague spoiler )

Person of Interest was in transition mode to start its fourth season, so this episode had more to do with shifting the show's universe than anything else. It felt a bit slow for me at first, but the pace picked up by the end. As for spoilery stuff )

PoI is on my 'watch, but if this goes somewhere I don't like, it's gone' list. We'll always have AU fanfic, whether I'm watching the show or not.

And... hm. I think that's it? Oh, I've also watched four episodes of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, an Australian show on Netflix, set in the 1920s. And I'm almost done with season two of Call the Midwife.
rose_griffes: (Default)
Monday, September 15th, 2014 09:25 pm
Austenland, by Shannon Hale: well, it was a book. It didn't end up in the "I hate it so much that I'd like to fling it against the wall" category, but I definitely didn't love it. Which is a bit unfortunate, since it was loaned to me by a friend who was certain that it would be just my thing.

The basic premise of Austenland itself was part of the problem. It's a creative premise, I'll grant that. If you're a rich enough woman (this fictional universe only talked of women clients), and you have enough of an interest in Jane Austen's novels, you can sign up for their package vacation, in which you play a character and interact with other paying participants and paid actors. Heck of a vacation. Add in the idea that the management wants its clients to have a satisfactory Austen-esque romantic experience, and then throw in a leading character who is struggling to figure out why her own love life has been so dismal, and I just ended up feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed. So. Not a ringing endorsement for the book. Maybe ten years ago I would have enjoyed this a lot more.

In more positive news, I just rewatched Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and it's still delightful. Though I was amused to discover that one scene looked very different in my memory than how it played onscreen, and the ending was far more shippy than I remember it.

It's available on Netflix streaming now, so if you haven't watched it yet and have Netflix, give it a try.
Tags:
rose_griffes: (fangirls)
Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 08:52 pm
I just made this recipe for banana oatmeal "cookies". Please note, the term cookie is used in the sense that they're roundish and sweet-ish. Otherwise there's no flour, hardly any added sugar, and so forth. I only made them because I had two over-ripe bananas and I didn't want to go to the trouble of making banana bread. Too much work; this was easier, and a theoretically healthy snack. (Note: these smell better than they taste. Not that they taste bad to me, but when they were baking, they smelled amazing, but when they were done, they were a pleasant fruity-oaty snack. So take that for what it's worth.

Er, somehow I finished watching season one of Call the Midwife. I'm not sure how that happened, although some of that can be attributed to the fact that there are only six episodes in season one. Okay, that's not so bad, then. Anyway, if you give it a try, have some tissues at hand. I ended up sobbing near the end of episode four. Not just teary-eyed, not just sniffly, but full-on sobs. So. But it's really, really good, I promise!

What else? Hm, I think that's it. I have stuff I should work on, but I just baked! Or 'baked'. So clearly I deserve a bit of a rest now. ;-P
Tags:
rose_griffes: Leslie Knope loves her pancakes (pancakes)
Monday, September 1st, 2014 03:38 pm
I think it's an appropriate Labor Day (USA) activity: watching a show that includes women in labor. Heh. At any rate, the first episode of Call the Midwife made me cry, and the second one was a close thing, so...

So glad that Nurse Brown (Miranda Hart) is going to be on the show more than just one episode; I really like her. As for Nurse Lee, she has a spectacular wardrobe that I covet, and she's very pretty. I'm sure I'll like her more as time goes by. I don't dislike her; Nurse Lee does a great job in introducing us to this world that's still very new to her, so I appreciate her role. I just like others more. Like the nun who's a bit senile (but not really), and the blonde nurse who gave the speech about how she used to believe that she deserved a medal.

Anyway, yes, the show is lovely so far. All of you who told me that I would probably like it were right. :)

Happy Labor Day to my fellow Americans! I'm enjoying my day off from work.
Tags:
rose_griffes: Mickey Smith holding a bat (hey Mickey!)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 05:01 pm
I ended up reading another book by Chris Bohjalian: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands. It's his most recent novel, the one that first piqued my interest when I heard an interview with him talking about it. v. mild spoilers, trigger warnings, and my reaction )

So there was a new episode of Doctor Who last night. I still haven't finished watching season seven. Somewhere along the way I lost interest, and I can point to Clara as the new companion as that moment: yet another woman with a mystery. How many mysterious women whose pasts are secretly entwined with the Doctor do we need? As someone who identified pretty strongly with the (ordinary human) companions, it left me feeling like an outsider.

I may watch the rest of season seven now that it's on Netflix... or I may not. I tried episode 7.06 the other day, and it wasn't an auspicious re-entry point.

Feel free to tell me why I should give season eight a try in real-time, if you wish.
rose_griffes: (Default)
Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 10:10 pm
One way in which depression has been... useful? I guess? is that I grew out my bangs. I've tried before, but normally I get so annoyed that I either chop them short again myself or call and make an appointment with my hairstylist. But thanks to depression, I did neither of those things.

Er, I had a different point in mind than depression for this post. Got sidetracked. Anyway, now that my hair has gotten long enough to look like actual long(ish) hair, my hairstylist is feeling defensive of it. So basically I had to tell her that I have too much healthy and pretty hair, so please cut it shorter. It was a bit surreal, considering that when I said I wanted to grow it out, she was against that as well. Apparently my hairstylist doesn't deal well with changes in her customers' hairstyles?