26 Sep 2012 06:14 pm

[sticky entry] Sticky: My vids

frayadjacent: drawing from hyperbole and a half: cartoon girl at laptop at night, text says "vidding" (!vidding)
All my vids: Angel, BtVS, Elementary, Friday Night Lights, Orphan Black, The Black Stallion, Whale Rider, and Xena )

Blanket Permission

Feel free to to post my vids, post critiques, analysis, etc, and use them in transformative works.  I would be honored if anyone engaged with my fanworks in these ways. But please refer people to the individual vid post or this post if you do so.

You're also welcome to link to any of my public posts. However, if you know my real name, please do not associate that name with this journal or pseudonym.


In all my vids I warn for graphic violence, sexual and domestic violence, and major character death. I also warn for stuttery cuts and bright flashes (which are more likely to appear in my vids than the above). I welcome any questions about content of my vids as well as recommendations for warnings I haven't used; feel free to PM me here or gmail me at frayadjacent12.

I'm slowly adding subtitles to all my vids; if there's a vid you want subtitled right away, please let me know and I'll get to it first thing.

frayadjacent: Adaped from the hyperbole & a half comic, stick figure girl is very excitedly shouting "vid all the things!!!" (Vid all the things!!!)
Current (Escapade) vid is the total and complete opposite of What's Mine is Yours. I have little trouble finding the clips I want, and matching them to the music is damn near effortless.

I did have a moment of "OMG this vid is terrible, I need to stop now", but it was because I was trying to force it into a structure that neither the song nor the footage supported. Lately when I get new vid ideas, my brain!vid is a lot less focused on imagining a few specific clips to a few specific moments in the song, and a lot more focused on how I'll structure the vid. "This verse will be about X, the chorus will be about Y", etc. It makes listening to my vidsongs on repeat a lot less fun than it used to be, but it's a helpful stage in the vidding (and idea elimination) process.

But with Current Vid, I was much more entranced with how the song made me feel a lot like how (certain aspects of) the source made me feel. And I wanted the vid to capture that. But then when I started vidding my brain went immediately to "structure! Which section is for which thing?!" and that was kinda ruining the vid. Last night I had an epiphany that this was the vid I'm always saying I want to make, a vid that's less about an argument and more about a feeling, that's less about coherently distilling something that struck me about canon (characters and/or relationships) and more about why I find this source so sexy.
frayadjacent: Buffy and Willow, who's the only part of the image in color and is wearing a silly outfit. Text says "adorkable". (!Adorkable)
1. I've been running code on ginormous climate datasets on my laptop all week. It basically uses all my laptop's memory, so I've mostly been stuck with my phone for everything else. Climate science is not meant to be done on laptops, y'all. I mean, I have access to a supercomputer and use it for a lot of things, but what I'm doing right now is separate from all the projects associated with the supercomputer and I don't have the required software licenses.

Part of the problem also has to do with the way I wrote all my code back when I was working with large-but-manageable datasets, and I didn't anticipate this. Anyway it's all very silly and a bit frustrating.

2. I've been thinking a bit about re-working my wardrobe somewhat so that I have more clothes that I like, so I've been trying to figure out what exactly that is. A big part of that is separating things that I enjoy wearing and feel comfortable/myself in from things that look good in the store or on other people. Another part of that is figuring out color so that I can mix and match more easily.

I *love* color, and I love looking at color palattes even more. But I realized I don't have the vocabulary to figure out what colors/palattes I like most, so I'm trying to learn a bit of color theory. Basically color theory makes no sense to me, especially because what is even a primary vs secondary color depends on whether it's print or on screen. I understand color in terms of different wavelenght bands of light and I have no idea how to connect that to theories that are related to design, besides that the order, ROYGBIV, is the same as the order on a color wheel. (But it's interesting that purple has a shorter wavelength than red or blue, but in terms of color theory or at least some versions thereof, it is a combination of the two.)

But I do finally understand the definitions of tint, shade, and tone: the first means a color with white added, the second with black added, and the third with gray added. But that still doesn't feel like enough to describe what colors and combinations I find most appealing.

3. I've successfully gone on a run three days a week for two or three weeks now, and I'm doing weight training twice a week as well. The pavement still makes my legs ache but I'm just telling myself to take it easy and build up slowly. I already want to stop weight training so I can run more but for now I think it's best to keep up this routine.
frayadjacent: Tara McClay smiling broadly, text says "yay!" (!yay!)
Still from The Muppets saying "More Joy Day"

As many of you have known far longer than I, today is More Joy Day! If you don't know what that is, here is an excerpt from [personal profile] sdwolfpup's post about it.
Remember, even a small act is all that's needed. A call to a friend you haven't talked to in awhile, flowers for a neighbor, letting someone in front of you in line, leaving a happy comment on someone's fic or vid or podcast or graphic, sharing a pic!spam of joyful moments on your journal, giving someone a compliment, planting a tree, or taking a moment to smile at someone else as you walk by them. It doesn't have to be expensive or complex, but whatever it is, I love to hear about it, so I'll do my annual post here for you to tell us what act you performed, and then we can expand the impact of your joy by vicariously living through your telling!
Here's how I'm participating:
  • I forwent my usual weekday morning routine of chores/social media/slow getting ready for work (I get up early so I have more time to putz around in the AMs) to instead catch up with a dear friend via Skype. It was lovely.
  • I will leave comments on at least three fics -- all at least a year old -- that have stuck with me and I've never commented on.
  • An offer (likely of most interest to vidders and/or iconners): I recently upgraded my webhosting account so I can have additional accounts, and I'd like to share the hosting. So if you want someplace reliable to keep your vids or fannish images for the next 3 years, please get in touch! Depending on the situation you might need to get your own domain or it might work to just use mine.
frayadjacent: Adaped from the hyperbole & a half comic, stick figure girl is very excitedly shouting "vid all the things!!!" (Vid all the things!!!)
A working from home day turned into "I have inspiration -- vid now and work later!" And it's a good thing too -- I'm taking stock of potential con submission deadlines. Here's what I have so far:

 - Escapade: 15 February

 - Club Vivid: late April or early May

 - Wiscon and VidUKon: early May

 - VVC challenge: late May

 - VVC premieres: mid/late June

It's highly unlikely I'll make all these, but some of my vid plans should line up. I've never submitted to Escapade before but my latest project seems good for it, so the deadline is great for motivation.

The list is very piled up in the first half of the year. Are there later events that I'm forgetting?
frayadjacent: Buffy in "Two To Go", with a bloody shirt and messy hair, looking determined (BtVS: Buffy bloody and determined)
After a five day hiking trip here:

beach with rocky hills and boulders with orange lichen in the foreground

and  few more days trying to decide if I was ready to go back online, I am caught up backskimming DW. I only had to go to skip=300! But I really wanted to see everyone's end of year memes, which I always enjoy a lot. I'll write my own soon, then work on those December meme posts.

It is a hot ass day and the thunderstorms are not cooling things down like I wish they would. Just making it more humid. I'm trying to write for work but my ability to focus is plummeting. Before the holiday I was obsessed with work, even working evenings and weekends which I almost never do. Now I have to ramp the motivation back up.

OTOH my vidding inspiration is back and I'm excited about my plans. Though at the same time, I have some vid ideas that I feel like if I finish I'll feel so accomplished as a vidder that I might be ready to stop altogether. It's oddly appealing.

I never make New Year's resolutions, but I've been struggling so much with motivation to run ever since I left Seattle that I finally decided to make one. My resolution is to run 3 times per week and at least try to train for a half-marathon. (Whether I can run that far is another question. The furthest I've ever run is about half that distance, and my feet always seem to hurt a lot more readily than many other people's in everyday situations like shopping. But I want to at least try. OTOH one thing I learned about myself on my hiking trip is that I can faint and vomit one night and the next afternoon walk 10k with 10-15 kilos on my back if I have to, so that's promising I guess.)

frayadjacent: Xena standing with Argo in a field, petting her face (Xena: Xena&Argo <3)
December turned out to be a super busy month for work, mostly due to self-imposed "shit it's the end of 2014 I need to publish some papers so I can get the next temporary job" deadlines. So I fell off not only posting but even keeping up with reading at times. I am still excited to finish the chatty December meme but I'll be doing it on a slower schedule.

I've also been completely uninspired to vid lately and I decided to just roll with it. I'm casually clipping for a hopeful Escapade submission but I'm not beating myself up over it. But reading people's end-of-year memes has been fun and is giving me some inspiration.

I'm about to go on a 5 day hiking trip over the New Year! I'm excited. And hardly worried at all about venomous snakes or drowning in rip currents. Plus no bears!
frayadjacent: Buffy walking into the library for the first time (!reading)
An epic headache derailed my plans to stay caught up on posting, but I'll get there soon!

I kinda want to reread a beloved series right now. I'm thinking either Harry Potter (have read all the books twice except book 1, the last reread was ~5 years ago) , The Hunger Games (I read all 3 books once about three years ago), or the Steerswoman series, which I only read for the first time within the last year but I already miss them!
frayadjacent: Buffy watching her beer being refilled, happy (!beer)
[personal profile] st_aurafina asked: US/Aussie living - little things you miss, little things you are surprised to have discovered?

This is going to be less US/Australia and more Seattle/Melbourne. And despite fairly different histories, the two cities are a lot alike. In many ways Seattle is more like Melbourne than it is like, say, Atlanta or Detroit or just about any rural area in the US. But I'm here to talk differences, not similarities! So here are some (mostly) little ones.

Landscape and climate: I heard that Melbourne's climate was similar to Seattle's, but Melbourne is a fair bit warmer and has way more interesting weather. I mostly prefer Melbourne on the weather/climate front, though summer is too hot at times here. Fuck 40 degrees. But generally, weather-wise, there isn't much to miss in Seattle.

However, I do miss the evergreen trees and the mountains and the hills, god I miss the hills. I've never lived somewhere flat before, and it just felt so *wrong* when I first moved here. Like it bothered me way more than I can possibly explain. Now I'm used to it, and it is pretty nice for cycling! But I still miss hills.

On the other hand, Australia has gumtrees. They are about as tall as the evergreens and they're beautiful colors and they smell amazing. I am a big fan. And what Australian mountains lack in height, they make up for in...aspect ratio? There are lots of cliffs here that, outside of Melbourne, make for some striking landscapes and coastlines. I thought it would be like the little roundy mountains like the east coast of the US, but it's quite different.

Birds: I miss the sound of seagulls. Melbourne has them, but they're a different kind and make a terrible screeching noise. But overall Melbourne wins on that front: Australian magpies make a lovely sound, currawongs are the weirdest, and there are parrots. Parrots! It's great.

Food: I really miss those bourgie ass convenience foods, like fancy box Mac N Cheese and frozen veggie sausages and just about everything one can buy at Trader Joes. And Amy's (Annie's?) goddess dressing. I've become a homemade salad dressing guy. Also Mexican food, and it's hard to find black beans and good salsa or Mexican hot sauce. Banh mi and sushi are available here but not nearly as much as in Seattle, or at least there isn't nearly as much in the areas I go to. Um also I really miss Grape Nuts. /o\

My favorite new foods I've found here are mostly sweets. Pavlova is pretty much the greatest thing ever, and I like lemon lime and bitters a lot too! Oh and chai lattes, which are liquid dessert. So foamy. So much honey. Yum. Also Chinese dumplings are way more common in Melbourne than Seattle and are probably what I go out to eat the most for.

Melbourne has, on average, better quality produce, I guess because most of the stuff is probably grown closer to here than in Seattle?

Both cities are convinced they have the best coffee outside Italy (or Ethiopia). They're pretty similar tbh.

Beer! There are way fewer varieties here (though there are good microbrews and honestly I think Seattle's going a little overboard with the hops these days) but they are soooooooo expensive. I pretty much never drink beer anymore. D: D: D:

People: People are a bit friendlier in Seattle. I do sometimes miss being able to make eye contact with people in public and not feel like I've invaded their sanctum sanctorum. I have some friendly neighbors but none of them are from Australia.

Wages: I make about 50% more than I would for the same work in the US, and Mr Adjacent (who works in child care) makes almost twice what he made there. The cost of living here is higher, but not that much higher. I know plenty of Australians struggle financially, but it's been better for us here, especially with Mr Adjacent working in an industry that pays super low in the US.

frayadjacent: Portrait of Buffy, text says "Buffy is my homegirl" (BtVS: Buffy is my homegirl)
[livejournal.com profile] kikimay asked for my Top 5 Buffyverse women!

Buffy Summers: For the ways she both resists and embraces her calling. For her kindness. For her determination. Because I love her sweet, silly early season self and her relatively hard, battle-worn late season self. Because she loves cheesy puns and figure skating and has a stuffed pig named Mr Gordo. Because the mission matters to her. Because she gets a visceral joy from slaying, and she knows that if she wasn't the Slayer, she'd lose an essential part of herself. Because she loves as deeply and brightly as the First Slayer tells her she does, and she expresses that love most fully not to a boyfriend, but to her sister.

Because her lot fucking sucks, and when she realises she can change it, can share her power and responsibility, she does.

Willow Rosenberg: I don't admire Willow the way I do Buffy, but I feel a lot of affection and sympathy for her and am in awe of the quality of her character arc over the show's seven seasons. Willow is intelligent, hard-working, ambitious and arrogant. She's insecure and in need of approval, and unlike Buffy and Tara, she doesn't have a super strong internal moral compass. She wants to fight the good fight alongside her friends, but she also wants to be important. She doesn't want to be wrong about anything ever, because if she isn't perfect then who will ever love her? If her friends don't need her, why would they want her around? She's at once complex and multifaceted yet very consistent. Sometimes she makes me angry, sometimes she makes me sick, but she is so very human and beautifully written and performed.

Cordelia Chase: it's possible I have a soft spot for pretty girls with hidden depths. She makes me laugh, she plays off other characters in a group incredibly well, and I love her transformation from selfish oblivious rich girl to a member of the team in Angel.

Tara MacLay: she brings a strength and emotional maturity to the Scoobies that no one else on either show possesses, with the interesting possible exception of Oz. The support she gives Buffy from "The Body" to "Older and Far Away" is wonderful and I love her so much for it. You deserved better, Tara.

Anya Jenkins: this last one was tough because I also love Dawn. Which matters more, my involuntary empathy for Dawn and admiration for how she grows in later seasons, or how much Anya makes me laugh? The episode "Selfless" was the eventual tiebreaker. Hands down my favorite character study episode -- when the character being studied isn't Buffy anyway.

Honorary mention (in addition to the one for Dawn) for Faith Lehane. She's a fantastic character, though funnily enough my favorite incarnation of her is on AtS S4/BtVS S7, when she's all emotionally mature and repenty. And when she arguably gets the least narrative attention.
frayadjacent: Buffy looking to the side in black and white (Default)
I'm not quite caught up, but I'm getting there!

[personal profile] siria asked: if you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

I go a bit back and forth on this one. A lot of days the answer is that I'd go home to Seattle. My mom is there, my family is in the region, Mr Adjacent's family is there, many of my friends and most of my closest political comrades are there. I miss them all terribly. Plus Puget Sound and evergreen forests and mountains and hills.

I'm feeling that even more now, when many of my friends back home are in the streets protesting police brutality and racism. It's isolating feeling, to be on the other side of the world where my political connections are tenuous. Activism is very important to me and it's hard to be so far from people I spent years building with.

But, then again, sometimes I think it would be cool to live somewhere with really great public transportation and an existing (and non-vanishing) social safety net. Bonus for a rural landscape that hasn't been totally blighted by shit zoning laws. I've been to the UK twice now and both times it's felt very much like somewhere I could live, though the short days in winter would be hard -- Seattle is bad enough on that front.  I haven't traveled much in the rest of Europe but there is a not small chance that my next job will be in the UK, Germany, or France, unless I say 'fuck it' to an academic research career and move back to Seattle, an option that is definitely on the table.  Perhaps my next job will be in Hamburg or Toulouse and I'll find it's the home I never knew I had, but I don't know much about those places now, besides that they sound nice.

I also spent two weeks in Darwin, Australia, last February and I loved it so much. You'll be hearing more about that when I answer [personal profile] umadoshi's question about my favourite kind of weather, but I also really liked the vibe of the town. It was very relaxed and just...easy to be in. I definitely daydreamed about staying.

TL;DR: at this point in my life, given my not huge range of world travel experience: if I could up and move my family and friends anywhere with me, I'd probably choose a UK city with a decent left political scene and some climate scientists.

frayadjacent: Xena and Gab sexily staring into each other's eyes (Xena: Xena/Gab sexy)
This one is for [personal profile] endeni! I'm so sorry it's late.

I carry on about my love for my primary ship, Xena/Gabrielle, fairly often, at least for my level of dreamwidth talkiness. So I'll just say a few things that I love about this ship.

The first reason is that it's femslash, which I tend to go for more than het or guyslash (with the general acknowledgement that I'm not super shippy generally, and also the hopefully obvious caveat that I'm not criticising het or guyslash, just saying that it doesn't usually hit my buttons). Another reason: the characters have great chemistry together.

But the bigger reasons have to do with the kind of epic love story that Xena: Warrior Princess tells. Xena and Gabrielle's relationship is built on the kind of trust that comes from years of fighting alongside each other, seeing the best and worst in each other, and changing each other.

I also love that, while things like jealousy and insecurity exist in their relationship, it's not the primary source of drama in it (they're much too good at communicating for that, plus, like I said: years of trust). Their drama mainly comes from the ways that Xena's past comes back to haunt them. From their need to constantly negotiate the tensions between their love for each other, what kind of people they want to be, and what kind of people the world requires them to be.

I'd love to find an ace reading of Xena/Gabrielle, that presents their relationship as a powerful, emotionally strong and deeply committed asexual one. I think that would be cool. I think some of the Xena/Gabrielle "friendshippers" are probably homophobes and some of them are probably coming from a perspective like that one.

Other ships I like:

Root/Shaw from Person of Interest, my only antagonistic ship. Those two have amazing chemistry. (I stopped watching mid-S3, but [personal profile] goodbyebird's cap posts of Root/Shaw sometimes make me want to start again).

Buffy/Spike, but ONLY in season 7, and I like it as much as a non-sexual partnership as anything else. Their "I've seen the best and worst of you and fought at your side" thing is somewhat similar to Xena/Gabrielle in its appeal, though to a much lesser degree for me.

Mulan/Aurora in Once Upon a Time. I haven't watched since the mid-season hiatus last year, so my most recent thoughts on this one are that they disappointed me, but for a while there they were the butch/femme ship of my heart.

Willow/Tara, in seasons 4 & 5.

M'Lila/Lao Ma, in an AU where they both live. My only ship that isn't canon or super strong subtext, and entirely born out of vidding Become You and realising they'd be awesome together.

I feel like I should note that Tammi/Eric in Friday Night Lights would be my ship, except their ongoing conflict about how they prioritise Eric's career over Tammi's hits me way too close to home. It's well-handled by the show, but their relationship is often painful for me to watch.*

All in all, I'm a pretty boring shipper. I don't like relationship dynamics that seem unhealthy to me, I'm generally not into hateships, I am mostly delighted by loving, supportive, long-term (would not need to be monogamous, but usually are) partnerships. Especially if they are between women. I think this is related to why I have so few ships. ;)

*For the record, this is not an issue in my current relationship. I am one of the very few women scientists I know with a male partner who prioritises his career after mine.

frayadjacent: Close up of late-season Gabrielle in black & white (Xena: Gabrielle)
Your thoughts on the worldbuilding in The Steerswoman books. -- [personal profile] frith_in_thorns

 [Please note that, while there isn't a lot in the way of plot spoilers below, there are spoilers for things that many people really enjoy discovering as they read. If you haven't read at least the first two books but are considering it, I'd give this a pass for now.]

I have to admit I haven't given this question as much thought as I could, mostly because world building isn't something I pay a ton of attention to when I read. Not that it isn't interesting or important! But unless it hits one of my specific interests -- how does this economic system work? does their weather/climate make sense? how is race socially constructed in this society (and what does it mean if it isn't)? -- I don't notice a lot. That being said, I was mostly happy with the world-building in the Steerswoman books, and I'll talk a little bit more about why.

First off, the world that we are introduced to in the first book has some pretty cool features, namely the existence of the Steerswomen themselves, but also the general lack of sexism in the broader society. Women are warriors, soldiers, sailors, farmers, merchants, and even wizards. I feel like a lot of fiction, but this is probably more true of film and television than books, create societies that they claim are nonsexist, but utterly fail to actually show that. Having not just the two main characters be women, but also having many of the people from all walks of life that they encounter also be women was incredibly refreshing to read. As was the general respect given to Rowan and Bel by most characters. They didn't have to constantly prove themselves to people who didn't think women could be strong or smart.

(Sadly, the same cannot be said for representation of LGBTQIA characters or orientations, sadly.)

But when I think about the world-building in this series, I don't think so much about descriptions of the landscapes and social structures as I do the slowly unfolding discovery that the world is not what it seems, and in fact the book is not even the genre we thought it was. Of course this has huge ramifications for the landscapes and social structures and technology and everything else, but it plays out differently than in most books I've read because of the way that the reader is discovering things alongside the characters, as well as being given exposition about the world that the characters already know.

Speaking of exposition, the steerswoman, with her emphasis on seeking and sharing information and thinking things through carefully, is a nicely non-clumsy voice for explaining the world to readers. She's kind of like Giles that way. :)

Anyway, I liked how aspects of the world building that initially seemed incidental, such as the units for distance used by different peoples, turns out to be important clues. When Rowan uses miles and feet, I didn't really think anything of it, but later when Bel uses meters and kilometers, the world they are in suddenly seems connected to the world that we are in in a very different way than I originally imagined. The world at the start of the book seems like a less patriarchal version of the sort of mythic vaguely late feudalist or early capitalist Europe that is standard fare in many Western fantasy novels. By the end of The Outskirters Secret, it seems much more likely that their peoples are the cultural descendents of Europe and the people that Europe has colonized.

The reason I put it that way is because while the names of characters and towns suggests western European origin, the range of skin color and hair color and texture that various characters are described as having, along with a complete absence of discussion about race, hints to me that this is meant to be some sort of "post-racial because everybody is mixed race" (or, I suppose, "everybody is mixed race because we're post racial") world. Which is not something I'm super fond of, but I'm glad at least that many characters are described as dark-skinned. And perhaps I'm being ungenerous in my interpretation.

Also, I know this is not important to very many people, but I have to give Rosemary Kirstein a shout out for some very impressive dynamic meteorology in The Outskirters Secret. Her descriptions of what kind of weather would be caused by a very intense heating of a huge strip of land was pretty on point. I secretly wanted a short story where Rowan establishes the first steerswoman school of meteorology after those events! And actually speaking of weather and world building, it is a bit funny that the Steerswomen are documenting every change in every stream but don't seem to have any weather stations. I would think at the very least they could manage a mercury or alcohol thermometer and a wind vane in each town. And I do remember some generally confusing inconsistencies in what kind of knowledge and technologies Rowan's people had, although I can't think of any examples right now.

At any rate, there are still so many unanswered questions in that series, many of which revolve around the origins of Rowan and Bel's societies and how they came to not only lose a lot of technology but apparently forgot that they ever had it. (Along with, of course, what the hell Slado is up to, but that doesn't fall under world-building in my head.) I have to admit that I had hoped that after four books that I know more about the world and its back story then I do, but I also have faith that it will all be explained in due time. Assuming anyway that Kirstein finishes the series. In the meantime, I am thoroughly enjoying the discussion on James Nicholl's reviews. As well as being reminded that I should re-read these books because I've already forgotten a ton.

frayadjacent: Hunger Games: District 11 hands honoring Katniss & Rue (Hunger Games: District 11)
I had a super busy week last week and didn't follow dreamwidth at all, so if for some reason you posted something and you really thought I'd see it and have something to say about it and i didn't -- linky please? Not that you're responsible for my DW reading and not that I think you post especially for me, but...you know what I mean, right? Sometimes when I post something there are specific people that I imagine will be interested and so I kind of picture them when I'm writing it, and if by some chance one of y'all did that with me last week I'd hate to miss it.

Ugh sorry if I sound full of myself. I missed you and am glad to be back. And excited for all the December posts coming soon!
frayadjacent: Buffy walking into the library for the first time (!reading)
Questions from [personal profile] chaila:

Favorite books you read this year?

Ha ha ha, is this a leading question? The answer is definitely The Steerswoman series, by Rosemary Kirstein. Though I read some others I liked, most notably Gullstruck Island by Francis Hardinge, The Steerswoman really won my heart. It was so full of love and sympathy for its characters. Like I was just swelling with indescribable love for so many of them! Bel, Steffie, Rowan, Zenna, so many Outskirters whose names I can't recall right now...<3 <3 <3

Its world was so refreshingly lacking in patriarchy. It had accurate meteorology! And the journey of discovering what the world was really about has been so great. I loved reading Rowan's thought process and working through the reasoning with her. I can't wait for more! Also I can't wait to re-read all the books; I have a feeling I'll be coming back to all of these. And maybe when I do I'll have more intelligent things to say, mostly I want to flail at them right now. And as I was writing this and thinking about tomorrow's post I started reading James Nicholl's review of The Outskirter's Secret and later (I never did read those reviews when reading the books) and now I *really* want to re-read. Speaking of ...

Are there any books that you always return and reread?

Not really, not since I was a kid. However, I tend to return to the same authors time and again. Almost all of my fiction reading from age 18 to about 24 was Ursula K Le Guin. I lived in a college town with a fantastic used bookstore that had almost everything she'd ever written on its shelves, and between that and the library I managed to get my hands on her entire oeuvre prior to 2004 or 2005 (when I stopped reading her new work). I discarded a few of her early novels -- I think I read Rocannon's World, her first novel, but neither of the two that came after despite having paid money for the trilogy. More shockingly, perhaps, I threw down The Left Hand of Darkness in disgust with her insistence on using male pronouns for characters who had no gender. I never got more than about 50 pages in, and never tried it again. Later I felt partially vindicated when I read an essay where she self-criticises that choice.

But I did reread most of my favorites: The Dispossessed, The Earthsea Cycle, The Telling, The Compass Rose, The Birthday of the World, and A Fisherman of the Inland Sea. The last three of these are short story collections; many of the stories are set in the Hainish universe, which I love and always longed for more of. And the last book contains what's likely my favorite short story ever: "Another Story". And The Birthday of the World contains a story set in the same world as The Left Hand of Darkness, but with a more thoughtful presentation of sex, gender, and pronouns, and it's a wonderful story.

As much as I loved Four Ways to Forgiveness, I was never able to reread it because it's so violent.

I got rid of almost all of my books, including all of my Le Guin, when I moved to Australia. Writing this is making me wish I had her stuff on hand, and it looks like a lot of it might not be available digitally. Oh well.

I've also reread the Harry Potter books and His Dark Materials, but again, only once. And Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents are high on my reread list. I have a strong impulse to return to fiction I know I love and an equally strong feeling that I aught to be more open to trying new things; the result is a stalemate where I don't read as much fiction as I used to.

Though part of it is also that I enjoy non-fiction as well. But I'm even less inclined to re-read that. :)
frayadjacent: Buffy looking to the side in black and white (Default)
[personal profile] silverr posted "reverse December meme" questions, and I want to keep up the posting momentum after December, so I've decided to take a few of them on for January.

1. What do you think the five most important SFF/genre shows for television newbies trying to get into visual media are (bonus from [personal profile] renay!)
2. First book you can remember reading?
5. Favorite "comfort food"?
6. Favorite type of games?
8. What's been your best fandom experience to date? What made it great?
10. Do you read comic books? Why or why not?
14. Favorite science show/book?
16. If you could be a FTL, indestructible spaceship, where would you go?
18. Things that aggravate you the most?
20. Favorite food or type of cuisine?
21. What superpower/ability would you most like to have?
22. Favorite period of history? (Like, if you could go back and visit any place/era as a ghost, where & when would you go?)
24. Your favorite fictional world -- and would you want to live there if you could?
26. Favorite fictional critter?
frayadjacent: Hunger Games: District 11 hands honoring Katniss & Rue (Hunger Games: District 11)
Note: major spoilers for all books and currently released films below!

I love the Hunger Games, but I don't love it the way I love other books and movies and television shows. I don't love it for the characters -- though there are many that I like, or admire, or care about quite a lot. I love it for the story, the themes, for what it does. (Not to say that I don't find much to love in story, plot, and theme in other media, but in The Hunger Games this plays a much more prominent role vs characters than in anything else I love.)

The Hunger Games is the multi-million dollar franchise of my marxist anarchist heart. I'm only slightly kidding. )

An aside about movie Coin vs book Coin. )
frayadjacent: drawing from hyperbole and a half: cartoon girl at laptop at night, text says "vidding" (!vidding)
I'm starting to wonder if I should think twice about vidding my favorite songs. "Starkville" is very high on a long list of Indigo Girls songs I looooove, but I still can't listen to it without thinking of the vid the whole time, to the point where the song is secondary. Plus vidding gets me listening to the song So. Many. Times and so of course I get a little tired of it.

Though a few weeks ago I was listening to Neko Case's Blacklisted, which I hadn't heard in some time. "Tightly" came on when I wasn't expecting it, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I wasn't haunted by images of "Under Stars" the entire time. So I guess it can wear off eventually. After two or three years. If you never re-watch the vid. /o\

Speaking of Indigo Girls and Xena vids I have made to their songs, I occasionally consider a post-series Gabrielle POV vid to Dairy Queen until I remember that it would break me. This song came on my mp3 player a few weeks after I watched "Friend in Need" and there I was, tearing up on the bus. Which is funny: that song used to make me cry because it reminded me of my ex-gf. Growth, maybe?

Sometimes I think I really should have just made a Xena fanmix and not a vid series. But I'm committed now.

frayadjacent: Xena riding Argo with a greenish background (Xena: riding Argo)
Since I committed to posting pretty often in December, I better get back in the habit by continuing my 10 great characters meme. Today's character is Xena. So here are some things I love about her.

Xena is ultra-competent. After the episode where she takes down an army, there isn't a whole lot of tension over whether she'll win most of the time. Instead, we get to enjoy the pleasure of watching her beat everyone all the time (sorta like early Veronica Mars, or every white male action hero ever) and the tension derives from her changing relationships, especially with Gabrielle, and from her figuring out how she can fight the good fight after all the evil she's done in the world.

What's more, Xena takes great pleasure in her competence. And that's a joy to watch.

Xena is morally sophisticated. In the early seasons, both Xena and Gabrielle treat Gabrielle as Xena's moral compass, and at times she very much is. But while Xena learns compassion and a desire to do true good from Gabrielle, she doesn't forget how people like Caesar or Ming T'ien or even random warlords function. If she wants to do good in the world, she accepts that she might have to do violence against people who will harm many more if she doesn't. In many ways she has a stronger moral compass than Gabrielle, whose naivete leads to some horrible mistakes early on.

Xena is open and honest with those she trusts. Which means that Gabrielle knows just how much she means to her. <3

Xena doesn't let herself do manpain
. Xena has hurt a lot of people, and of course after her moral awakening she feels terrible about it. But while the narrative may at times focus on Xena's guilt and regret more than it does on the pain she's inflicted, Xena herself never does.

Xena is charismatic. I mean look at this face: Xena's face: in love, in battle, in silliness )

She makes the show *so fun* to watch. And of course there's the little matter of Lucy Lawless's voice. It's a good voice.

frayadjacent: Xena standing with Argo in a field, petting her face (Xena: Xena&Argo <3)
ETA:  This is probably as many posts as I can handle in a month, but if you still want to leave a prompt, feel free and I'll get to it after the New Year!

Last year I did the December posting meme in January because I had out-of-continent visitors for much of the month, but this year I can do it at the same time as anyone else! So:

Pick a date below and give me a topic, and I'll ramble on. It can be fandom-related or not. Pretty much anything you've ever seen me post about unlocked, or comment on in other venues, is fair game. If a topic is uncomfortable for me (too personal or potentially identifying) or simply something I know very little about (unfamiliar canon, say), I may ask you to make a second choice. If you want to request more than one topic feel free, but in the unlikely event that I get more than 25 or so requests I may pick and choose between them.

(Wording snagged and adapted from various versions of the meme, but mainly [personal profile] renay's.)

ETA:  If you want a really specific date, keep in mind that I'll post on the day you request in my time zone -- nearly a full day ahead of North America and half a day ahead of Europe.

December 1: books ([personal profile] chaila)
December 2: worldbuilding in The Steerswoman books ([personal profile] frith_in_thorns)
December 3:
December 4: favourite ships ([personal profile] endeni)
December 5: if you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be? ([personal profile] siria)
December 6: Top 5 Buffyverse women ([livejournal.com profile] kikimay)
December 7:
December 8: US/Aussie living ([personal profile] st_aurafina)
December 10: Elementary: Joan, Marcus, fic ([personal profile] akamarykate)
December 11: Top 5 changes you'd make to Buffyverse canon ([livejournal.com profile] velvetwhip)
December 13:
December 14:
December 15: Catherine Weaver, Savannah, James Ellison and John Henry: the OTHER family in The Sarah Connor Chronicles ([personal profile] selenak)
December 16: Indigo Girls ([personal profile] raven)
December 17:
December 18: dead vid bunnies ([livejournal.com profile] rbfvid)
December 19: vids that inspired me most ([livejournal.com profile] rbfvid)
December 20:
December 21: favourite weather ([personal profile] umadoshi)
December 22:
December 23:
December 24: Climate change ([personal profile] isis)
December 25:
December 26:
December 27: Xena fic ([personal profile] luzula)
December 28: Sarah and Mrs. S ([personal profile] goodbyebird)
December 29:
December 30: Offline
December 31: Offline


frayadjacent: Buffy looking to the side in black and white (Default)

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