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Here, have a post all about me. me me meCollapse )
13th-Apr-2014 06:27 pm - navy is the new black (sez I)
Hi, I'm still here, though I haven't been around much the last week or so. If I missed commenting on your post and I should have, I was cleaning, hosting a guest, grading papers, and experiencing a sudden resurgence of the sewing virus.

As for that, my next project is to work my way through the pile of jeans, trousers, and skirts that need elastic inserted in the waistband. Which is the easy way to get rid of that gap I nearly always have at the back waist of clothing. (I can post more about that, if anyone is curious. It's not complicated at all.)

Anyway, here are a couple of sewing links: a lot of free clothing patterns. These are from Lekala, a Russian pattern company. They offer a service where they'll tailor a pattern to your measurements, but you can try out a few the non-adjusted patterns for free.

25 awesome DIY blogs for the refashionista. While I do plan to sew some garments from scratch this year, my main sewing activity is modifying and altering existing clothing. I'm usually fairly conservative: my trousers remain trousers, or maaaaaaybe shorts. But there are people out there doing amazing things with clothes, like making a long tartan skirt into a cute short dress, two pairs of trousers and a skirt into an entirely different skirt, or this fantastic peplum dress made from a man's shirt.

Other topic! Typefaces that are more user-friendly for people with dyslexia.

And lastly, Texts from Jane Eyre, which made me laugh and laugh. Of COURSE Rochester texts in all-caps.

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17th-Mar-2014 09:56 pm - fic about the women, whoooo!
Hey, there's a thing: [community profile] femmeremix. Right now is the time to comment/participate in the survey to try and get the fandoms in which you qualify on the final list. Sign-ups later.

In other words, any of you who write fic and read my journal should probably mosey over there. Remix challenge! Specifically about women characters! Woohoo!

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10th-Mar-2014 06:19 pm - this is an update
hey Mickey!
Oh, hi there. Still alive!

I just started trying to make my summer vacation plans more definite: I'm looking at ticket prices and places to stay. Best to do all of that now and get everything settled. Woohoo, summer!

Of course, there's close to three months of school left before any vacation traveling can start, but still... it's exciting to think about.

I finished reading Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. As a 'journey' book, I liked it, though I have very mixed feelings about the ultimate destination of the two main characters. But it was interesting and well-written.

Still watching Person of Interest, although that was touch-and-go for a while. The last episode that aired (3.16 "RAM", I believe) was the first one I genuinely enjoyed since the Terrible Thing happened. Also still watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which has been very enjoyable so far during its freshman season. (And I'm still watching Elementary, although I'm behind on it. AGAIN. Somehow that keeps happening this season.)

Depression: trying a second medication, since the first one made no difference. Debating over other options, but waiting to see if the second medication helps first.

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13th-Jan-2014 09:05 pm - trying to watch TV (and failing)
Oops, I forgot to watch Sleepy Hollow tonight. I thought I'd try watching it live, since I'm at the point now where I watch everything online... ah well. Guess I'll catch it tomorrow. Online. Like all my other shows. (There really aren't that many. Parks and Recreation, Sleepy Hollow, Elementary, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Person of Interest is still on the list right now, though it's on probation.)

Speaking of that, I wrote a fic! First one finished in months and months. It was a pinch-hit fic for a gift exchange--for which I didn't actually sign up, heh. I just filled in when someone else couldn't finish their assignment.

title: Meal Plan
characters: John Reese, Harold Finch, Lionel Fusco, Joss Carter, Leon Tao, Sameen Shaw
rating/contents: G or PG at most (mild language)
summary: Five times Reese provided a meal (to someone who didn't ask).
spoilers through early season three
word count: around 2800
Thanks to sabaceanbabe for beta-reading.

On or on AO3

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Fan-related presents: I received a lovely Christmas card from one of you lovely people--you know who you are, and thank you!

I also received a sweet little story in Yuletide Madness: Time Enough, a post-finale Sarah Connor/James Ellison fic. About 500 words, rated PG.

What else? I've been reading some. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was beautiful and depressing, and I don't know if I'd recommend it to others. (There are a couple of instances of child molestation. Not graphic, but with a big impact on the characters involved.)

The Duchess War by Courtney Milan is a fun romance novel; it had a good balance of plot and character interaction. I read a couple of other romance novels and remembered why it had been so long since I last read one, so... nothing else to recommend there. (Not even the other two I tried by the same author.)

The latter book I read on my new-to-me Kindle. When I get home again (from visiting family), I need to dig out my library card so I can start checking out books online to read on the Kindle. Whee!

Saw the second installment of The Hobbit with my nephew and enjoyed it about as much as I expected. Which is to say, well, that was two and a half hours of prettiness, without much else to recommend it. I liked Peter Jackson's work with LotR, but there's just not enough story to The Hobbit to justify the same amount of screentime. And LotR just had a lot more plot depth by comparison. So I guess I view my movie experience as part of a cultural experience: now I can discuss it with my co-workers. (And I did discuss it with my nephew, so there's that.)

Oh, and I watched the second Hunger Games movie as well, several weeks ago. I'm pleased with the actor who played Finnick; that's a pivotal role in this and the next part of the story. (Are they dividing the third book into two movies?)

Aaaaaand... that's probably enough for now. I hope your holidays were lovely, and that we all have a splendid New Year.

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21st-Dec-2013 01:03 pm - yay, music!
I've been blogging and reblogging some Christmas music favorites on Tumblr, because that's an easy thing to do.

Looking around for some of my old favorites led to this version of Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, written for three-part treble (boy soprano) choir and harp. This is done as written--a boys' choir rather than adults. They're incredibly talented.

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16th-Dec-2013 09:11 pm(no subject)
So I found this quote about depression (because sometimes Tumblr is actually helpful):

back hereCollapse )


It was one of those aha! moments for me. Because that's what I've felt like for a while now. It's gotten worse just recently, so I went to a psychiatrist and I'm trying the meds route again. So we'll see in a few weeks if this one works for me. But I just really appreciated that someone else was so eloquent about that feeling classified as 'lack of motivation'.

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21st-Nov-2013 07:21 pm - TV: a very reactionary post
Ron Swanson has a plan, crying
So I watched Person of Interest 3.09 "The Crossing" and had a plethora of feelings.

spoilers, obviouslyCollapse )

In other TV news: still watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine--I like comedies that don't make me hate humanity. Way behind on Elementary, which seems to happen now and then. I'll catch up next week. I decided to skip Parks and Recreations's recall vote episodes, because the whole "Bad things happen to Leslie" is NOT why I watch that show. Wake me up when that part is over? Sleepy Hollow continues to be ridiculous and awesome, though I haven't watched this week's episode yet (no spoilers, please!).

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Happy Halloween!

The Fringe userpic is for Kirk Acevedo, aka Charlie, who made a guest appearance on Person of Interest 3.06. His hair was shaved, which was EVER SO DISTRESSING. The episode was good; not the same caliber as 3.05, but that's a high level of excitement to sustain. Weirdly enough, Acevedo's character was a bit of a weak link for me. I think they made him too sweet; he needed to be a bit more prickly.

Anyway, back to Halloween stuff. cleolinda has amusing? creepy? Babysitting instructions.

And back here you can watch the best zombie movie I've ever watched. Okay, the only zombie movie I've ever watched. I don't like zombies, but this is only seven minutes long.
maybe have a tissue ready?Collapse )

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I need to get off this couch and go make a dessert for tomorrow. (Co-worker's birthday.) But I don't waaaaaaaaaaannnnnna get up. Also, Buckeye Brownie cookies or chocolate chip cheesecake? Huh, looking at the second recipe, it calls for two 3-oz. packages of cream cheese. I don't think I've ever seen cream cheese sold in packages that tiny. The package in my fridge right now is eight ounces.

The school year continues apace. That is a really weird word, now that I think about it. Apace. And I'm pretty sure I've only seen it used with the verb continue. You could say he worked apace, but no one does, right? Or She ate apace. We danced apace. Etc.

Okay, rather than write about the other stuff I was going to mention the next time I posted, I'm going to get up and make dessert. Cheesecake wins, simply because I have an inherent distrust of recipes that call for boxes of cake/brownie/cookie mix. (Or rather, that don't make a list of what supplies you could use if you don't happen to have the required box mix on hand.)

Really, cheesecake wins because CHEESECAKE.

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13th-Oct-2013 07:20 pm - Yuletide 2013 letter
Dear Yuletide writerCollapse )

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Okay, all of those exciting Yuletide letters pulled me in, so I went to look at the list of available fandoms, and I found a dozen that I could probably write.

Oops. I didn't mean for that to happen. And I do, in fact, have enough ideas for requests in different fandoms to meet the minimum requirement for that, which leaves me wondering: YULETIDE YES OR NO? (Sign-up deadline is tomorrow. Wow, that's really early compared to previous years.)

Unrelated, since Person of Interest isn't available for Yuletide this year, but I watched a spoilery clip from an upcoming episode--the clip was screened at New York Comic Con--and now I am all agog and impatiently waiting for episode five. And we haven't even gotten episode four yet. It's all over Tumblr, so if you want to avoid rather than embrace the spoilery nature of the clip, stay away from the Person of Interest tag. And the Joss Carter tag. And anything else related, as well.

It's good to be excited about upcoming stuff, since spoilers for Person of Interest 3.03Collapse )

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2nd-Oct-2013 07:51 pm - busy, but life (and media) go on
dani-kevlar otp
Ack, I've already entered the "can't ever catch up on grading papers" zone! Nooooo! *sigh*

I was at the thrift store a few weeks ago--a place I visit regularly, because I like clothes and I like cheap and I like reusing stuff that still has some usefulness--and found a copy of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones. It was two dollars, so I bought it. I finished a week ago and I've already forgotten the names of most of the characters, and my smidge of interest in what happened next was completely extinguished by peeking at an online description of book two and realizing that I just didn't care about any of these characters. Not even enough to read a short and spoilery summary.

I started a book by Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl, and couldn't even make it past the first quarter without terminal disinterest.

Time to find a new book.

TV: I've watched the first three episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It's a sitcom set in a police station, with an ensemble cast. Andre Braugher is the new precinct captain; he's always fun to watch. The element that concerns me the most is Andy Samberg, who's young and theoretically funny, and who hasn't been very interesting for me. In spite of that, I'm still enjoying it enough to watch when I have a moment. Not a ringing endorsement, I know, but I'm not much of a sitcom fan, so consider this a recommendation if you want a sitcom to watch.

Interesting link about TV and other media: I'm always sad, I guess, when people feel jilted by creative works that show age or have flaws. Good things burn through their periods of greatest creativity and go down blind alleys now and then, while less complex things often don't, for the same reason real plants die and plastic ones don't. You know what never lets me down? Judge Judy, because it's a plastic plant. It doesn't change, and it's nobody's baby. It's there to decorate and specifically to require no upkeep and no attention.

belated addition: Person of Interest has started season three. The show is clearly evolving, with two new cast members for this season and Carter's change in work status. That means it feels different, but that's not necessarily bad. non-spoilery thoughts for season three so farCollapse )

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24th-Sep-2013 08:43 pm - ah, ludicrous (and less ludicrous) TV
Uhura!Prime, LOLZ
I finished season two of Scandal. Somewhere midway through the second season I started comparing Olivia Pope and Fitz Grant to Cathy and Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights; they're semi-tolerable facsimiles of humans on their own, but together they're toxic. The AV Club's profane review puts things into perspective really well: Characters in Scandal don’t have relationships so much as play two-person improv scenes based on interactions they have seen other, healthier humans have. Heh.

This show really didn't do what season one (which, as a mid-season replacement, was only seven episodes long) established. These people are not the good guys. They may not be the worst guys, but they're not in the right, they're not heroes, and when they "save the day" people get damaged. Ultimately, the season ends in a sudsy (non-literal), gory (literal) mess. It was weirdly compelling, but I don't know if the writers can compete with themselves for a third season. Will I watch just for the "what are they going to pull out of that hat now?" effect? Will I watch because Scott Foley has pretty eyes and I want to know if he makes it out alive from that underground cell? Will I watch to see how Olivia lies to herself in new ways to renew an affair with Fitz? I don't know.

And speaking of Fitz, NPR's Linda Holmes says that Fitz is the most dumpable man on television. Haha, so true.

I also watched the first two episodes of Sleepy Hollow, which is just as ludicrous as Scandal, but with far more sympathetic characters. Scary only if you're really good at suspending your disbelief. Entertaining as long as you don't expect it to make any sense. I liked it enough that I'll go for episode three.

And lastly, Person of Interest comes back tonight for its third season, so... catch you later, I'm gonna go watch my show.

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Hi! *waves* I've been feeling a bit swamped with the new school year, but my brain has been nicer about it than last year, so that's a plus. In other words, some of the depression-related stuff is not so bad right now, in spite of stressful situations. Which is good.

At some point last spring I declared that I was going to alter at least five items of clothing in May. Pretty sure I missed doing that before the end of May, but I did do several sewing-related things over the summer: sliding elastic inside the waistband of a few jeans and trousers, fixing some tears and hems, etc. I even sewed a couple of new shirts, using a really simple pattern. The second one turned out quite cute, if I say so myself. (And it was made from a curtain panel and men's XL tee-shirt, whic makes it weird unique.) I haven't done any pics yet because my current camera doesn't take good pics when I use the timer. Maybe I should dig out the older camera and try that instead.

Anyway. Media stuff now:

Finished reading The Gift of Asher Lev, and I'm not sure what I think. I sort of knew how the end was going to work out, and I don't know if I like it or not. Potok's writing style is catchy, which makes me want to take my current stuck-on-this-and-can't-finish fic idea and rewrite the whole thing in first person present tense.

Maybe that's why I'm so stuck on the fic, come to think of it. Heh. (I really don't plan to rewrite it in first person present tense.)

Reading Potok's work so soon after The Poisonwood Bible was an exercise in frustration at times, because PB had the voices of four women alternating throughout the story. Asher Lev only had Asher's voice. I wanted to know what the other characters were thinking and feeling, especially Asher's wife and mother.

I've started watching Scandal--through episode 2.03 so far--and I'm certain that the way I appreciate it is NOT what the show creators intended. It's a soap opera/procedural, and Olivia Pope is the center of the show. She's been labeled (by herself and others) as a white hat, but I don't believe it. She's trying to do the right thing (I think? by her definition of it, anyway), but at this point I find myself rooting for (former) district attorney dude to find out all the laws she's broken and bring her to justice.

Also, the show's favorite couple is my anti-couple, the pair I find completely ridiculous to the point of actually yelling at my TV screen when they're together. Hee!

It really is fun in a sudsy, over the top way. What makes it perfect, though, is that enough of the information is verbal that I can grade papers while 'watching'. Which is why I'm moving forward with it instead of deleting it from my Netflix queue.

Scandal has edged out Longmire and Nikita in recent viewing for the simple reason that I actually like the other two enough to watch, and I haven't had time lately.

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reese (the *other* messed-up Reese)
Announcement: I have no strong feelings about Ben Affleck playing Batman in a movie. Just thought you should know. Heh. (Apparently I'm supposed to be literally angry with rage at this news, or some such thing.) Though I do have slightly positive feelings toward the idea that someone other than the Nolan brothers would be adapting this version of Batman, I also think that 1) it's really too soon, and 2) if it's the same team that made the newest Superman movie, this may not be an improvement anyway.

So I watched Savannah through Amazon's instant video service. Poor movie--it's like it wanted to be three or four different films, but succeeded at none of them. Even the soundtrack suffered from a weird split between genres. I liked parts of it, but the film didn't work as a whole.

Conclusion: if you're a completionist sort of Caviezel fan, it's certainly not going to scar you for life, but... eh.

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red, poet
My summer travels are really over, instead of mostly over. So you know what happens next. (Work. That's what happens next.)

I've been reading The Gift of Asher Lev, the sequel to Chaim Potok's well-known My Name Is Asher Lev. Someone should tally up how many times the author switches from past to present tense. It doesn't really bother me, and when I do notice, I can almost always pinpoint a reason for the switch (it's deliberate, not random), but it's definitely weird.

In addition to watching occasional episodes of Nikita (2010), I've started watching Longmire on Netflix. I'd call it a cowboy procedural. :) It's set in Wyoming, and the crime-fighters are a sheriff and his deputies. Katee Sackhoff is one of those deputies, which was part of the initial draw, but it's proven to be enjoyable as its own thing so far. I've watched maybe nine episodes?

As for Nikita, I'm about halfway through season two, and I'm not in a hurry to finish that, because season three isn't available on Netflix yet. Which probably means I won't be watching season four 'live' anytime soon. Hm. (Live usually means online within a week or so after it airs. That's how I watched Elementary, at any rate.)

One last TV note: I watched the first two episodes of The Bridge. It's a summer show on FX, a remake of a Swedish/Danish production. I actually used my blu-ray player to watch through Amazon's instant video service, which was way easier than watching on the FX website. (I did have to pay, however.) Anyway, I just couldn't keep watching: too much suspense waiting for another woman to get murdered, too much of Ciudad Juarez as "that place where the murders happen" and nothing else to the town. Too bad, though, because I really liked the possibilities of the show.

Seriously tempted to use Amazon's instant video thingy to watch Jim Caviezel's movie Savannah. Chiwetel Ejiofor is in it! And so is the woman who plays Sif in Thor and Thor 2. Anyway, maybe this weekend.

Any interest out there in a post filled with pictures of France? If yes, one big post or split into three or four?

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24th-Jul-2013 03:18 pm - still here
I've been traveling--visiting family in the US for most of it, though I did take a trip to France as well. It's been almost a decade since I went to Europe, so I took one of those organized tours, just to France. It was great, but far too short. I want to go back and just stay for a few weeks in one area.

Anyway, I'm not quite done with summer trips, even though mentally? I'M SO VERY DONE TRAVELING.

Media consumed recently: this is not a complete list, but oh well.

I saw Pacific Rim, which was thoroughly entertaining. Yes, giant robots punched dinosaurs with huge ships. No, it wasn't deep. But it was nicely plotted and characterized for a B movie, so if you think you'd enjoy it, you probably would.

During airplane trips I watched Populaire, which was a very silly French rom-com. Enjoyable fluff, but the best part was the clothes, since it was set in the late 1950s. The women's outfits were just fantastic. I want to own all of the dresses.

The other airplane movie was Blancanieves, a black and white Spanish tribute to silent movies. Made last year but set in 1920s Seville, it was a work of art, and I'd love to see it again on the big screen. Or just on a bigger screen than the back of the seat in front of me, at any rate. As for the title, it means Snow White... and this version of the fairy tale has a decidely Grimm/grim twist throughout. (DB, there's a section early on with a little girl, and I think you'd enjoy it.)

I finally finished reading the memoirs of Queen Noor. Leap of Faith: An Unexpected Life was primarily a straightfoward chronology of the woman formerly known as Lisa Halaby, leading up to the death of her husband, King Hussein of Jordan, in 1999. Personally, I'd love to know her perspective on she's done since then as well; she's only 61 now. Anyway, it was interesting, reading about the politic maneuvering juxtaposed with the efforts to raise a family. Lots and lots of politics here, although that's to be expected. Very readable, even with all of that.

The Poisonwood Bible was my most recent book. Most of the story happens in what would now be the Democractic Republic of Congo. Narrated by a (white) woman and her four daughters, their lives are permanently altered when the husband/father takes them from the still-segregated South (USA) to Africa in the late 1950s so that he can do missionary work there. I'm still not certain whether I liked the book, but it's definitely one of the most memorable stories I've read.

Right now I'm dithering over which sewing project to do, so... back to that, I guess.

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