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Here, have a post all about me. me me meCollapse )
23rd-Aug-2015 11:49 am - Where did my summer go?
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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6th-Jul-2015 10:39 am - on hold
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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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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27th-May-2015 08:31 pm - ouch and TV
not again (my boobs are fired)Collapse )

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.

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12th-May-2015 08:29 pm - there's a movie this time
The Avengers: Age of Ultron -- spoiler-ishCollapse )

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

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 fourCollapse )

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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Person of Interest season four finale: spoilers, of courseCollapse )

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3rd-May-2015 08:58 pm - more tv than books this time
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 4.21Collapse )

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 warningCollapse )

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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23rd-Apr-2015 06:04 pm - 'tis an update (don't faint in shock)
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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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 reactionCollapse )

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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24th-Feb-2015 05:20 pm - oh, the weather outside is frightful
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 spoilersCollapse )

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

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.

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22nd-Feb-2015 06:00 pm - tv and sewing
no good
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 HollowCollapse )

Jane the VirginCollapse )

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. :(

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27th-Jan-2015 08:13 pm - whee, it's a drive-by post
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?)

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12th-Jan-2015 08:30 pm - a bit more TV
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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8th-Jan-2015 05:52 pm - (belated subject)
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, obviouslyCollapse )

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.

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2nd-Jan-2015 08:52 am - whoa, time to catch up
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 hereCollapse )

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

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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4th-Dec-2014 06:53 pm - *takes a deep breath*
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.

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16th-Nov-2014 08:14 pm - quick update
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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29th-Oct-2014 08:46 pm - one book and two shows
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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