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Thursday, August 17th, 2017 07:28 pm
Between the addictive nature of tumblr, my summer travels, and an ongoing resurgence of reading fiction (and not the fan-written type either, *gasp!*), I haven't posted on LJ/DW in aaaaaages. Now I'm trying to update my DW reading list to include anyone I followed on LJ who is active here. Which probably means posting a note on tumblr. Ah, the irony.

Anyway! TV: I'm still catching up on season three of The Flash. The season has very mediocre reviews, but so far I still like the characters enough to give it a shot. I need to finish Luke Cage season one, and since The Defenders will be available soon, it's time to rush a bit more.

After some hesitation I finished both seasons of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and I recommend it. It never undercuts its own premise, which is a pretty breathtaking accomplishment for a show that seems to be so sunny and happy on the surface.

FX's Legion has one short season, and it is... trippy. That dude who played someone snooty on Downton Abbey and the Beast in the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast (which I still haven't watched) is the male lead. It's an interesting show; not at all what I would expect from a comic book adaptation, but apparently the comic series itself is very unconventional, with an exploration of mental illness.

Still Star-Crossed is a summer show, and not one I'd say was brilliant (the writing could be better), but it's well-acted enough and the costumes are gorgeous so I'm enjoying it anyway. Oh, and everybody is so pretty, and Anthony Stuart Head is ambiguously evil. What more could you want?

Most of my fannish energy has been focused on Star Wars lately, but movies apparently aren't compatible with my abilities to write fanfic. Or even with my interest in reading fanfic. So mostly I reblog tumblr posts about Star Wars and admire the talents of the gif-makers.

Books: my favorite read this year so far is The Opposite of Everyone, by Joshilyn Jackson. Gah, I love it a lot. Sharp leading woman, a heartbreaking mother-daughter relationship, an eyes-wide-open look at another character with alcoholism... and yet it's still incredibly hopeful.

Second place book: hm, probably Crescent, by Diana Abu-Jaber. If you like tracking people's reading lists, I'm on goodreads. Send me a message and I'll let you know my username there. (Not posting it here because it includes my actual first name.)
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Sunday, October 16th, 2016 06:22 pm
Apparently my brain decided it had too many things to track, so livejournal/DW got pushed over the edge. But I'm still around! Just not... here.

I do use tumblr. More than I should, in fact, although that tends to go in spurts. I was internet-free for a month this summer, more or less. And some days I'm too busy to do any social media of any kind.

Anyway! I've been reading books lately. Or least attempting to do so.

  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was a bust. I didn't finish it, and don't care enough to try again. (I didn't know about Johnny Depp's film adaptation until later, so his ridiculous comments weren't a factor in liking or disliking the book.)

  • I did at least finish Magic Bites by Kate Andrews, but I didn't care enough about any of it to keep reading the series.

  • Seanan McGuire's tenth book in her series with October Daye came out last month: Once-Broken Faith. It was an enjoyable foray into her fae world. As usual, McGuire has nicely competent prose ad plotting.

  • McGuire's other pen name is Mira Grant, and I read her three zombie books that started with Newsflesh. Mixed feelings on one element, but it was still an interesting series.

  • E.K. Johnston's A Thousand Nights was gorgeous; highly recommend this retelling of Sheherazade.

  • The Memory Keeper's Daughter was a compelling look at America's recent treatment of people with Down Syndrome. Kim Edwards clearly did her research in creating this compelling fictional family.

  • Justin Cronin's vampire(ish) trilogy ended with The City of Mirrors. I still rec the first book (which I loaned to someone, but I don't know who?), but the other two... eh.

  • More post-apocalyptic narratives! Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel, gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from me.

ETA: Whoops again, I forgot to mention Discount Armaggedon by McGuire. Fine pulp fiction, I'd say. Very pulpy: monsters, competitive dancing, enemy/love interest boy, etc.

Also, I'm reading Taraji P. Henson's memoir Around the Way Girl, but I have a long way to go in that. Oh, and I haven't even mention the four or five re-reads I've done, but now this is getting way too long.

So... TV catchup post soonish? First I have to actually watch the TV that I'm behind on. Yikes. (Mostly I've been rewatching Parks and Recreation while grading papers, because my beloved Law & Order isn't on Netflix anymore. It was such a perfect grading-papers show!)
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Sunday, February 14th, 2016 06:13 pm
Wow, this may be my longest ever accidental livejournal hiatus? Oops! And hi!

I took a four week art class on painting with acrylics, which I've never done before. Acrylics are fun! I want to continue. For now, though, I'm going to switch to a drawing class, because a work friend of mine and I were talking about art and decided to take this one together. We start this week.

I've read... books by Mira Grant, Daniel José Older, and Andy Weir )

Lastly for books, I finished a re-read of the Harry Potter series in January. Yes, all seven books. Yes, for the fourth time, I believe.

TV! I'm behind on Jane the Virgin. There are enough writing missteps that I'm hesitant to catch up. I'm sure I will eventually. I'm team "Anyone but Michael unless he goes through some serious character redemption". Even though I like Michael and most of the story he's been getting. But not the part where he's a possible romantic partner for Jane.

Galavant came back for a fun second season, and if you're wanting a very silly comedy with fourth-wall breaking songs, I'd recommend it. It's short! There's a mostly-happy ending! Characters actually evolve in interesting ways!

Agent Carter has also returned and... well. a mixed bag )

Supergirl and The Flash are both still on my watch list. TF continues its tradition of writing women terribly, and SG continues its tradition of removing consequences from the characters it likes. To the point where I'm almost rooting for Maxwell whatisface, the villain of the piece. Ah well.

On to movies! While Star Wars: The Force Awakens wasn't exactly bold new territory in the storytelling realm, it was (mostly) exciting to watch, and they did make at least one bold choice by casting John Boyega (black British) as one of the leads. From what I've read, the (secondary) role of pilot Poe was initially going to be played by a black man, and Finn--Boyega's role--was going to be a white man. Instead we have Boyega in a leading role, and Poe played by Guatemalan-born Oscar Isaac.

Boyega was fantastic, by the way. Actually, the acting was very good all around, at least by Star Wars standards. The dialogue wasn't the clunky mess that Lucas wrote in the earlier films, whiched helped. All in all a good (re)start, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the story goes next.
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Sunday, September 20th, 2015 09:09 pm
Yay, book nine of Seanan McGuire's October Daye series came out earlier this month. I made time to read it this weekend. It's an enjoyable series, with a direct forward narrative and characters I like. Having them set so deeply in fae-land makes them a bit more distant to me than, say the Rivers of London series (which is pretty much like our London plus some magic/magical creatures), but McGuire's clean writing style and coherent universe makes for a good read in spite of that.

I broke my fabric-buying moratorium. *face of shame* This teal dress was lovely, but not quite something I'd wear, with the large fabric-covered buttons down the back. (Why would you want large, lumpy buttons running down the back of your dress or shirt? They'd be uncomfortable when you sit!) Also, the neckline is higher than what I like. So I found some teal fabric with a very subtle herringbone pattern, and ordered it. And I'm sorting through patterns; I have it narrowed down to two right now.

It's been a hectic start to the school year, but my classes are good. Most of them, anyway. There's a good enough balance in them to make for a nice chemistry.
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Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 11:49 am
Quick update! It was summer and I did things! Most of them were fun! Summer is fleeting! So is this post!

Okay, maybe not so fleeting for the post. I guess I'll highlight the new experience: I got to see (the northeast corner of) Ohio for the first time. It was so pretty. Apparently summer is far more fleeting there than it is here, when we're talking about the season itself and not the break from work that students and teachers have.

So yeah... full summer (briefly) in Ohio, high temperatures well below what they are here, wildflowers in bloom everywhere. It was gorgeous. And I went swimming in Lake Erie and lived to tell the tale! It actually wasn't as cold as I expected. (This does NOT mean it was warm. Just... not super-cold.)

Also spent some time in DC and Oklahoma again. And goofing off in my own home. It was lovely.

No real news to report for media consumption. Last night I finished rereading the Rivers of London books, the five in print as of now. I wanted to see if there were hints about [spoilery thing that happened at the end of book three], among other things. And I enjoyed them about as much as I did the first time around, so yay.
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Monday, July 6th, 2015 10:39 am
I was just about to type one-handed while on hold on the phone, but they finally answered my question. Or rather, they said they'd call me back. We'll see...

Anyway! Season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was better than season one. Or it just works better as a binge-watch show, perhaps. (Yay, Netflix!) Certainly watching them in a short amount of time helped me get through the Coulson stuff, since he's never going to be my favorite. I really enjoyed hating Ward--what a good villain he makes. But mostly I enjoyed the characters I grew to like the most: Bobbie Morse, Melinda May, Jemma Simmons, Skye...

Ooh, speaking of Skye, that was a really great arc for her backstory. Kyle McLachlan and Dichen Lachman were amazing in their roles connecting to her. So if Coulson isn't your favorite but you're willing to put up with him, I'd say give season two a try. Definitely not perfect, but an enjoyable run.

Book series rec! Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series starts with Midnight Riot (in the US / in the UK the first book title is the same as the series title). Newbie policeman stumbles across a good witness for his case, only the witness is a ghost. And so begins Peter Grant's introduction into a different side of London. There are five books so far, and while a lot of storylines are definitely in the middle as opposed to done, I can safely say that Lesley May is getting one of the more interesting arcs. And Peter is a very good POV character: observant, caring, occasionally an idiot. I'm waiting impatiently for the next book.

Been doing some sewing of the tailoring/modifying variety. Chopping sleeves, shortening hems, etc. It always takes more time than I think, but I'm slowly adding things I'll actually wear back into my closet.
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rose_griffes: Crying: acceptable under two circumstances (Ron Swanson's pyramid of awesome) (crying)
Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 11:49 pm
I finally finished The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo. It was mostly awesome, which is high praise for nonfiction from me. Especially nonfiction that isn't a memoir or autobiography. So if you have any interest in how Alexandre Dumas' biracial father fared in revolutionary France... or in Napoleon, or the French Revolution itself, you should read it. It was fascinating. Be patient with the prologues, though; they will eventually end. That's the less awesome part.

I also read Sunshine, by Robin McKinley. I finished it, and didn't even begrudge the book's existence, but I'm not keeping it on my Kindle. I'm still trying to diagnose why I didn't love it. The ideas behind the world-building were interesting, although I think they were introduced in strangely lumpy ways. I liked most of the characters, and honestly, some of them could have been fleshed out more. (Hehe... fleshed out... vampire novel... okay, enough silliness.) Anyway, if you're really into (fictional) baking, vampires, and minimal (though still present) love triangles, maybe give it a try? Otherwise, eh.

In book and TV news, there's an adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell on British TV now. I remember reading the book years ago and thinking, "Why all the hoopla for this?" Unlikely that I'll try the show, especially considering that I'd have to take some trouble to find it.

I've managed to watch eight episodes of Drop Dead Diva, which isn't exactly breathtaking speed, considering that I watched the first one two months ago. The second-hand embarrassment thing is a bit of a problem every once in a while, but so far I've genuinely enjoyed all of the episodes.

And now that season two of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on Netflix, I may try that again. Having tried two episodes of s2 so far, I'm reminded of my dwindling appreciation for Agent Coulson, which could be a problem. I particular dislike his tendency to give speeches. *sigh*
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Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 08:31 pm
not again (my boobs are fired) )

On a less sob-filled note... Drop Dead Diva continues to be sweet and delightful. I've only watched six episodes so far, because other things have gotten in the way, but I do like it. The sixth episode started with a dream sequence with Tim Gunn, and the tone was just right.

Netflix also has a newer offering, Witnesses (Les Témoins). It's a French murder mystery, six episodes. It's... well. Thumbs up overall, but the first four episodes were definitely better than the last two. The woman in the lead was consistently interesting, and there was good forward momentum overall. But some of the concluding elements were just too implausible. Also, cell phones exist, and the last episode sort of forgets that. Heh.

Currently reading The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo. It's about Alex Dumas, father of Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Black Tulip and lots of others). It's very interesting, but long enough that I'm not burning through it at my usual speed. The prologues (TWO of them) are a bit too adoring in tone, but after that it's fine.
rose_griffes: Olivia Dunham from Fringe: in the tank (fringe2)
Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 08:29 pm
The Avengers: Age of Ultron -- spoiler-ish )

Enough about that. Jane the Virgin had its first season finale last night. o_O )

Person of Interest has been renewed for a fifth season, but only for thirteen episodes. Honestly, that's okay with me except for spoiler for mid-season four )

Reading a very silly book about a witch and a vampire in love, and I've almost deleted it from my Kindle twice already. The worldbuilding is interesting enough, but the romance part is so very predictable, and not in a good way. Also: Her eyes floated up to his. Heeeeee. I didn't know witches had detachable eyes!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.)
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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.
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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.
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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. :(
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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.
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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: Mickey Smith holding a bat (hey Mickey!)
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 01:11 pm
I'm starting to get that running out of time feeling about summer. It's been such a lovely one, but there are so many things I wanted to do before work starts up again.

I read The Sandcastle Girls, by Chris Bohjalian. It was reasonably good, and not too long. Most of TSC's action (all of the stuff worth your time) is set in Aleppo, Syria, during and after the genocide of ethnic Armenians by the Turkish government during World War I. Honestly I think I liked it most for the historical aspects, and for two of the minor characters.

I would probably read another novel by Bohjalian--a later one, rather than an earlier one--if the subject caught my attention. But I'm not in a hurry to track one down.

This should probably be gardening week. Except I already have a swollen hand from overly-enthusiastic use of a hoe or pitchfork, and my left foot is all itchy due to ant bites. This is putting quite a dent in my gardening week ambitions. A fall garden seemed like such a good idea, though. If only the work would get itself done without any human intervention.

Time for the robots to do their thing. Why don't we have robot gardeners anyway?