Munich Film Festival III

Jun. 29th, 2017 12:52
selenak: (Carl Denham by Grayrace)
[personal profile] selenak
Parting (Raftan), directed by Navid Mahmoudi, is an Afghan-Iranian drama about a young Afghan couple trying to make it to Europe via Iran. The director himself arrived in Iran as a child, the film is dedicated "To my immigrant parents", most of the cast consists of lay Afghan workers living in Iran - the leading lady was one of the few who had professional actor training, but the leading man in rl is an Afghan worker in Teheran -, and Mahmoudi, who was present for a Q & A after the movie, said he knew he wanted to make the film when he saw the news in 2015.

Our hero and heroine are Nabi and Fereshtre, who fell in love back in Afghanistan, but because her family was against it could not be together. Her father then moved the family to Teheran. The couple remained in contact and made plans which were accelarated when Nabi's brother killed someone, which started a blood feud, which meant Nabi had to get the hell out of Afghanistan sooner rather than later and thus is in Teheran sooner than expected. That's when the movie starts, with Nabi arriving in an overfilled vehicle in Teheran, where Fereshtre wants to join him. She hasn't told her family, but they are planning to go to Europe on the dangerous Turkey-Greece route. Nabi's sister knows, is horrified (news of drowned people being everywhere), and tries to reach them via phone at different points in the film, which takes place during a single day.

As with other Iranian movies I've seen (all at the Munich Film Festival, as it happens), this one sticks to certain censorship rules - no kisses, despite Nabi and Fereshtre being an established couple (he introduces her as his wife to the various people they encounter, but technically she isn't, due to her father's objection), or other physical contact that could be deemed erotic, for example. But the movie doesn't need it, as the longing looks between them and gestures like Nabi covering Fereshtre with his jacket carry all the tender familiarity that is needed to indicate the state between them. That said, later during the Q & A you could see somewhat of a culture clash happening when a German viewer (male) said Fereshtre was such a passive character and didn't decide for herself, and an Afghan viewer (female) protested that Fereshtre by deciding to be with Nabi was already doing something very transgressive because leaving the family is such a strict no. The Afghans in the audience generally voiced much approval; one man said he'd taken the same route to Europe Nabi and Fereshtre want to take in the movie, and the behavior of the smugglers was very much as it had been for him.

This is very much an working immigrant movie - Fereshtre's family seems to be doing okay, but she's still working at a tailor's who doesn't pay his employees their promised salaries, very aware that most of them aren't there legally; Nabi's one friend who is already in Teheran as well as some other contacts work in construction, and are considerably poorer. And most of them either arrived as refugees themselves or have family who is trying to make it further, to Europe. At one point, one of them finds out his brother was on the latest ship that went down and whose passengers drowned, and despite the audience not having spent much time with this character, it's heartrendering. Of Teheran, we see only what the characters see - mostly construction sites, or fragments of a city through the air holes in car boots. The colour palate of the movie is thus mostly brown and sandlike yellow, with the occasional red via the women's headscarves, and some blue and grey inside half finished buildings where there are improvised meals and hot tea sharing. Spoilery observation for the ending. )

Gook, directed by Justin Chon, who also wrote the script and stars as one of the main three characters. The title, as Chon informed his German audience which didn't know that in a short speech before the movie started, is an US-Englsh racial slur against East Asians, while the same word in Korean simply means "country". This movie takes place during the Rodney King riots twenty five years ago, and Chon in the same brief introduction speech mentioned his family's store was looted on that occasion as well, when he'd been 11, so he does have personal memories, but that wasn't the sole reason for making the movie - as important was that their store getting looted was pretty much typical because Korean immigrant shops were a primary target during the riots. Chon first wrote the script and imagined someone else would direct it, but the people in question all wanted at least one white character in the story to give a famous actor the chance of an audience-drawing cameo, preferablyly someone who says "you gotta go, there are looters coming". Whereas, quoth Cho, the cops had left to their fates d during the riots, and besides, another reason why he wanted to make the movie was because Asian Americans stiill don't get many roles in the US media, "and if they show up, they're usually good at match and all go to Harvard, and well - not true for anyone I grew up with!"

The result is a movie featuring solely Korean-American and African-American characters, mainly from two families - the brothers Eli (played by Chon himself) and Daniel (David So), who sell shoes in South Central Los Angeles, eleven-years-old Kamilla (Simone Baker, who is amazing in the part) who loves to hang out there, and, in minor but important supporting roles, her older brother Keith and older sister Regina. Also important: the cranky old Korean shop owner on the other side of the road who exists in a state of mutual loathing re: Eli and Kamilla.

(Kamilla, btw, started out as a boy named Kamal when Justin Chon wrote the first draft, but then, he said in the Q & A after the movie, he realised that black girls were as underrepresented as Asian males, and changed the kid's gender.)

Daniel and Eli have inherited the shoe store from their father (there's a backstory there which is only revealed in the last third of the movie, but it's just one factor in a complex pattern) and are just barely getting by, with some fraternal tension because Daniel would rather do something else; Kamilla and her older siblings are orphans (see also: slowly revealed backstory) and she's not really supposed to be at the store, but has made the brothers into her other family. All of which is put to the test when after the judgment in the Rodney King trial Los Angeles explodes.

Chon spreads the trial news through the early part of the movie, keeps it in the background, and mostly lets the fragments speak for themselves except for one heavy irony scene when one of Keith's pals says that now there are cameras everywhere, cops won't get away with beatiing up people anymore; but when the judgment itself is announced, we see all of the movie's characters react, and it's the big turning point from which the pace accelerates as the situation becomes more and more dangerous. Even before that, though, the racial tensions are ever present, both in blunt form ("Gook" getting sprayed on Eli's car) and more subtly (Kamilla, who helps out Eli and Daniel at the store, makes a joke about being held against her will, and all at once the three (black, female) customers who a moment ago had been chatting with the guys fall silent and narrow their eyes in suspicion, until it becomes clear Kamilla was kidding.

Kamillla is a great character, endearing without being saintly, and sometimes in the wrong (she steals from the cranky Korean shop owner across the street), fierce and joyful, with a temper of her own. Asked how he cast the young actress, Chon said at first he looked at young professoinal Disney actors, but they were already too polished and he wanted someone more raw, and then he found Simone at a community art center. I hope she'll keep acting; she does some amazing stuff in this movie, and is really the heart of it. The film is an ode to friendship across those invisible dividing lines, but be warned: your heart will also be broken.

The movie is shot in black and white, both, as Chon frankly confessed, for budget reasons and to make any anachronisms about South Central Los Angeles that's supposed to look like 25 years ago less obvious. At first it feels a bit odd, especially since I remember Los Angeles at that time, but now I can't imagine the movie in colour. Not least because the black and white really allows for a stark picture of just how poor the neighborhood is. Music wise, it uses both original music and one or two hits of the day. It makes for an intense, captivating whole.

Wednesday reads, politics, woe

Jun. 28th, 2017 20:42
cofax7: XKCD boom de yada (Boom de Yada)
[personal profile] cofax7
Oh, it's Reading Wednesday! Cool!

Just Finished: Jackalope Wives and Other Stories by Ursula Vernon ([personal profile] tkingfisher). A nice collection, of which I'd read most of the stories before, but not all of them. I do enjoy Vernon's attachment to women of a certain age as her protagonists; it's a pleasant change from much of the world of fantasy.

Prior to that I read the last Lady Trent novel, In the Sanctuary of Wings, which I enjoyed, and wished there were more.

I also picked up, and put down, Hugh Howey's Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue, because I found the characters intolerably irritating and his portrayal of an 18-year-old girl unpleasant. It was just ... off. Bah.

Currently Reading: Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters for book club. It's long, but I have more than a month, and it's a pleasant read so far.

Next Up: Erm. Probably Tremontaine Season One, although there are some new books coming out I'm interested in. Like City of Miracles, which I will drop everything to read once it comes in at the library.

*

Power in the Absence of Money: Why Trump hates bureaucrats so much. I love this article and the respect it shows to the civil service. [T]hat's what we're talking about when we talk about the federal workforce. We're talking about a whole bunch of people who go to work every day trying to keep us safe, whether they're carrying an M4 and wearing body armor over in Mosul, or manning a computer at the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Health and Human Services. The terrible "swamp" Trump has such contempt for sits there every day in drab offices they endured heavy traffic to get to, and they regulate the excesses of the vaunted "market" Trump and his billionaires are so worshipful of.

More on the plan to destroy the civil service. This is a smart, long, well-researched article.

And on that note, here is a report on what it's like inside the EPA right now. It's not good.

Masha Gessen on The Reichstag Fire Next Time: The coming crackdown. Argh, and eeps.

*

ETA: Let's end on a better note, with this ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY AMAZING video of "Immigrants" from the Hamilton Mixtape. So. Good.

Gratitudes

Jun. 28th, 2017 21:12
kass: lilacs, "zen fen" (zen lilac)
[personal profile] kass
1. Days when it is not yet dark out at 9pm. I mean, it's no longer daylight? But it's not completely dark.

2. Watching the sky change. My wee solar-powered lights against the backdrop of the changing evening sky.

3. Glass of rosé. I think this may be the Summer of Rosé for me.

4. Having an ARC of a book I am totally totally psyched to read. (Alas I am exhausted and am not going to stay up to read it tonight, but I have hopes of reading more of it tomorrow.)

5. I got my ticket to Vividcon! I'll be there Thurs-Mon this year, and I already can't wait.

Links

Jun. 28th, 2017 21:58
selenak: (Londo and Vir by Ruuger)
[personal profile] selenak
This week, Potterdom had its twentieth anniversary. I always felt somewhat on the periphery of the fandom - I enjoyed the books and read some of the fanfic, I did have some opinions and theories while the books were published, but I never felt compelled to write fanfic myself, I didn't ship anyone with anyone else, and I don't think I had a Harry-Potter-related argument with anyone. Oh, wait, I think I did argue, but only in one post, about how whoever sorted the Beatles into HP houses and put John in Slytherin and Paul in Gryffindor was completely wrong, and then I wrote some silly meta fic to prove it. But other than that.

Anyway: I'm still fond of the books and some of the fanfic, and so I was delighted to see [profile] fernwithy celebrated the anniversary by writing a story about Harry shortly after Voldemort's death, trying to figure out where to go from there, and, not so coincidentally, what to do with Grimmauld Place 12, which as you'll recall Sirius left him, co-starring Kreacher and Andromeda Tonks, with cameos for Dudley and Petunia Dursley,

Broken

It captures grief, survivor's guilt, empathy, hope so very, very well.


Meanwhile, I just found there's this lovely bit from the last convention which both Stephen Furst and Peter Jurasik attended:



Boo on the cheapness of Warner Brothers, but aww on these two.

Wednesday Reading Meme

Jun. 28th, 2017 12:34
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
[personal profile] sineala
I got three hours of sleep and I keep coughing myself awake. Ugh. I hate everything.

What I Just Finished Reading

Elizabeth Letts, The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse that Inspired a Nation: The reviews of this are split between "wow, this is poorly-written" and "OMG HORSIE." I have to say it is indeed very poorly written, but the story is compelling -- I mean, horse rescued from the slaughterhouse, turning out to be a champion jumper? It was pretty good. Also I learned that the US Army had horse breeding programs up through WWII even though horses were much less useful than they'd hoped.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Black Panther #15, Defenders #2, Infamous Iron Man #9, Mighty Captain Marvel #6, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #20, Secret Empire #5, X-Men Blue #6 )

What I'm Reading Next

I have no idea.
musesfool: boxing!Kara (but you can see the cracks)
[personal profile] musesfool
Wednesday! Books!

What I've just finished
The Five-Minute Marriage by Joan Aiken, which is delightful! If a little short on true romance. But the shenanigans are pretty hilarious and enjoyable, so I didn't mind the lack of feels too much.

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, which was very charming. The funny thing is, I never really knew what it was until I read Between Silk and Cyanide (which I highly, highly recommend), because Leo Marks, the author of that, was the son of the owner and he mentions it in his book, and I was like, "wasn't that a movie? or something?" but now I have read it and I feel like a gap in my cultural knowledge has been filled. *g*

What I'm reading now
Speaking of gaps in my cultural knowledge, I never did manage to read The Three Musketeers, though god knows I tried, and I have seen numerous adaptations (I didn't keep up with the most recent BBC one, but gosh, it had a super pretty cast), so I have a sketchy outline of the story in my head, and it seems like Musketeer Space by Tansy Rayner Roberts is following it pretty well, except D'Artagnan, Aramis and Porthos are LADIES (and numerous other characters have been genderflipped as well) and it all takes place IN SPACE. So I am utterly enchanted with it, though I kind of wish Constance had been left a lady too (I am very fond of Constance and Constance/D'Artagnan). I guess the dude version here is all right. And Athos is somehow more enjoyable here than I usually find him. It seems like it should be ending soon and yet somehow I'm barely halfway through, so maybe there is more stuff I just don't know about coming! I'll report back next week! *g*

What I'm reading next
*hands* I know I mentioned The Lie Tree last week, and there's a ton of other stuff on my iPad, so we'll see. My recent viewing choices may have an influence.

So last night, I finished season 1 of The Expanse. Unfortunately, I can only get the last 5 or 6 episodes of season 2 streaming on Syfy or via on-demand. What even is that model of streaming shows? If I can't watch the beginning of the season of a highly serialized show, why on earth would I watch the ending? Maybe if it didn't cost $30 for 13 episodes I'd spring for the season, but as it is, I'm just annoyed.

ANYWAY. That has nothing to do with the show, which I enjoyed, even though I can't say I'm all that invested in most of the characters.

Otoh, I am really digging the whole "Amos is kind of a sociopathic hothead whose first resort is always violence, so he uses Naomi as his moral authority" thing they've got going on. I haven't gone looking for fic because I don't want to be spoiled, but surely someone must be writing stuff where she doms the hell out of him, yeah?

spoiler )

Otoh, I want to know EVERYTHING about Naomi Nagata. And her service sub, Amos, who I like way more than I probably should. I think it's the fact that he looks like the love child of Aaron Douglas and Stephen Amell, and he has such dewy wide eyes. And great biceps. Idek. *facepalm*

On the third hand, the world-building is a lot of fun, Jared Harris is clearly having a ball, I yell CUTTY every time Fred Johnson appears, and Shohreh Aghdashloo is a joy to behold. If you are looking for a show to fill the BSG-shaped hole in your heart, this could do it, though sadly the characters are nowhere near as viscerally endearing as Starbuck, Roslin, and Adama were for me from the start.

Now I have to decide if I want to spring for season 2, or just wait until it shows up on Netflix, though even season 1 isn't on Netflix atm. Sigh. I think I have the first book in the series - is it worth reading?

***

Happy birthday to me.

Jun. 28th, 2017 00:53
sineala: Detail of The Unicorn in Captivity, from The Hunt of the Unicorn Tapestry (Default)
[personal profile] sineala
It is now my birthday! Go me!

(no subject)

Jun. 27th, 2017 12:07
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Today is PTSD Awareness Day! Do you have questions about PTSD that you've been afraid to ask? Wondered about stuff that you couldn't find an answer to online? Been curious about something? Feel free to ask me - I am so, so happy to talk about everything I know about PTSD. ♥

Munich Film Festival II

Jun. 27th, 2017 11:28
selenak: (Orson Welles by Moonxpoints5)
[personal profile] selenak
The Infiltrator was part of the Bryan Cranston retrospective and basically came across as a well-made routine thriller without anything being either bad or having anything innovative going for it. I.e. if you've watched thrillers about undercover cops working to bring a drug cartel down, you can predict all of the story beats. (Other than one spoilerly bit ).) It's entertaining and does what it sets out to do, and needless to say Cranston is reliably good in the part, but I wouldn't say it's a must.

City of Ghosts, otoh, was a fantastic documentary, directed by Matthew Heineman, about the citizen journalist group Raqqa is being slaughtered silently (RBBS). Before I watched it, I was unfamiliar with the phrase "citizen journalist" , but it's really a perfect description, because before the IS came to Raqqa, only one of them was a journalist, the rest had professions like high school math teacher or engineer. Nonetheless, they took incredible risks getting out photos and film evidence of the atrocities the so called Islamic State visited - and still visits upon their city. The surviving founders of the group had to flee but they still have some members in Raqqa, trying their best to continue getting material out. I'm always hesitant to use the phrase "real life heroes", but these people are truly heroic, and one thing that galls me especially is that when they've made it alive to Germany and safety, they promptly run into one anti-refugees march by the godawful AFD in Berlin.

The documentary starts during the "Arab Spring" in 2012, for which the Assad Regime going after Raqqa school children was one of the local triggers, and ends last year. We follow the core group of RBBS; Heineman is an invisible presence, he lets them narrate their stories, and when there's background information/exposition, such the way the IS uses the media for recruitment changed radically from the very early static speech videos to the Hollywood style big production videos that came into use after the fall of Raqqa, the activists are doing the explaining (subtitled, for the most part, everyone talks in Arabic) while the audience sees excerpts of the videos in question. BTW, I'd never seen an IS recruitment video before, and I have to say, the exact copying of action movie gimmicks and aesthetics (complete with following-the-bullet shots, soundtrack, etc.) is nearly as unsettling as the content. It's not much of a comfort that RBBS was able to puncture the IS self image enough by getting videos and photos showing the true state of Raqqa out to counteract the IS claims about it that the IS forbade any satelites in Raqqa and ordered the inhabitants to publically destroy theirs, so they regain control of the imagery. But it's something.

If the excerpts from the IS videos go for action movie gloss on violence, the mobile phone camera made videos of the RBBS are shaky, abruptly cut off, full of (inevitably) strange angles - and shocking in quite a different way. For example, the first time we see executions, the abrupt deaths and the already dead bodies lying around are bad enough, but without either the camera or any narrator pointing this out, what is as gruesome is what you see in the background. Yes, these are heads on pikes on what used to be the town square, not cheap movie props in the latest zombie splatter, but real human heads.

There's a lot of survivors guilt among the activists; one of them had to watch his father being executed in punishment, all of them are directly threatened by the IS who calls for their deaths, one lost his brother who was among the refugees who drowned in the Mediterranean, and when he talks about his dead brother, he says he still sends him messages per Facebook (as the account hasn't been taken down). "I am broken, my brother. Broken." And yet, and yet, they still continue to risk their lives. There's also a lot of comraderie we see, being physically comfortable with each other, and the rare moment of pure joy, such as everyone having a snowball fight in Berlin. You feel for them, and admire them - and hope the movie will be seen by as many people as possible. Maybe it will remind them that 95% of the victims of IS terrorism are Muslims - and said victims won't, shan't be silenced, are doing their best to fight back.

L'Intrusa, directed by Leonardo di Costanzo, is, like The Infiltrator, "based on a true story", with organized crime in the background, but the contrast couldn't be greater. While delivering a tight narration, there's nothing routine or slick about this movie, which is set in Naples and manages to avoid every single cliché. The fact you don't see the Vesuvio or the bay anywhere is just one of them; L'Intrusa is set in one of the poor quarters. The central characteris Giovanna, who has organized a miixture of daycare centre and social centre for kids and teenagers to offer them a life off the streets. When the film starts, the centre is well established and has been running for years, has been embraced by the neighborhood - but then something happens that puts Giovanna in an unsolvable dilemma. One of the small to mid level gangster's wives - Maria - and her two children have come to the centre, claiming refuge. Giovanna, Maria's daughter Rita and Maria are the three main characters; the supporting cast is also individualized, from Giovanna's right hand woman Sabina to the widow of a man Maria's husband has shot to the little daughter whose father was beaten to a pulp by Maria's husband right in front of her.

L'Intrusa never shows on screen violence. It doesn't show the Camorra doing what the Camorra does, but the after effects are present everywhere. This was a deliberate choice by the director, who in the Q & A said that if you depict Mafiosi "from the front", i.e. put them in the centre of the narration, even if you position them as villains, you end up making them in some ways sympathetic or even glorify them. "So, in my films, I only come at them sideways" - i.e. they're not there on screen, but there's no mistaking the terribile effect they have. Now, the centre is a film full of life and joy, with a community acting together, and it's rare and very attractive to see that. But it's not utopia, and in fact the need for it directly grows out of the unseen horrors around it. Not surprisingly, more and more parents object to Maria's presence. Giovanna gets accused of prioritizing the perpretators over their victims. The aunt of the little girl who has seen her father beaten into a pulp demands to know how she should justify to her sister letting her niece interact, let alone play with Rita, what that would do to her niece. Things come to a head when Rita and some of the kids argue, a normal kids' argument, with the parents drawn into, but Maria isn't just any parent, and so when she says "if you touch my daughter again etc.", the awareness that this is the wife of someone who casually kills people, even if he's currently arrested and hopefully won't get out of prison any time soon, makes this a direct threat to the other kids.

Otoh, Giovanna's argument is: if you ever want to break the cycle of violence, you need to make sure that the Marias of the world don't raise their children to follow their fathers' footsteps. That these children learn other values, learn something different. If she turns these children away from the centre, this will not happen.

As I said: it's an unsolvable dilemma, and the movie doesn't simplify it. It even adds to the stakes because Maria at first comes across as arrogant and rude (it's not until well into the film when you see her alone that you realise she's shattered and scared as well). Not to mention that she starts out by deceiving Giovanna, and there's early on not much to justify Giovanna's hope that Maria actually wants a change for herself and her children - nothing but the fact Maria is here instead of being with her rich sister-in-law, who in the movie shows up twice in a big car to retrieve Maria, in vain, and evidently lives the well funded Mafia spouse life. Basically: you understand where everyone is coming from.

Something else I learned in the Q & A was that most of the actors were lay actors, actual Neapolitans whose main job is in social service (though no one played themselves), with Giovanna being played by a woman who is a dancer and dance choreographer. "Because Giovanna doesn't say much, she's so stoic, she expresses herself through her body language," said the director, "I wanted someone who could do that, that's why I picked Raffaela Giordano." Who indeed is able to express much by the way she looks at people, by her movements, and who looks like she's closer to 50 than to 40. Everyone looks "normal", i.e. like people you could meet on the streets, not like well styled actors with a daily workout. But none act amateurishly in the sense that you're taken outside the story or feel they're talking stiltedly; given Rita and the other children are a big part of the story, that's especially amazing.

Favourite detail: one of the projects the kids in the centre work on, and the one Rita falls in love with and participates with, is building a robot they name "Mr. Jones" out of old bicycle parts. You can bet that in most other movies, Rita and her baby brother would have changed placed in age and it would have been a little boy fascinated with the robot.

In conclusion: probably my favourite movie so far, and highly reccomended

toothpicks and glue

Jun. 26th, 2017 23:30
runpunkrun: combat boot, pizza, camo pants = punk  (Default)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
One of my closet doors has been messed up for a long time, and after years of it grinding along horribly and throwing metal shavings all over the place I finally got tired of it. So today my dad and I fixed it with—I swear to god—some glue and a couple of toothpicks. It's just such a dad move, as well as completely in character for him. Apparently it's a trick he learned from my mother's father. So I'm having a moment of belated father's day reflection.

And now my closet door actually slides in the track and I can reach the clothes on that side of my closet again! Thanks, Dad.
musesfool: art deco brandy ad (been drinking since half-past three)
[personal profile] musesfool
I was completely useless last night after several hours of day drinking. it was a lot of fun, but oy the headache that hit around 7 pm! Even though we definitely hydrated.

Now I have version 3 of some sort of bug bite balm cooling on the counter - it uses coconut oil, which I don't really like the smell of, so hopefully the tea tree oil, peppermint, lemongrass, and lavender essential oils will cover that up. Though I would bear the smell if it meant the itching stopped.

I know I said I was done with trying to make anti-itch cream - hot water, ice, and rubbing alcohol in conjunction with benadryl and zyrtec seem to work best, tbh - but I figured third time's the charm? And I had all the ingredients so...I guess we'll see. Or maybe I am just super itchy, since i am super allergic to bites and swell up and get all welty.

I guess that's all the exciting news from here.

***

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 17:05
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
It's twenty years today since the first Harry Potter book was published. I didn't read it at the time - I entered around the time Azkaban came out - but it was a book destined to work change in my life and bring me into the world of fandom, from whence came this blog. I'm more irritated with than appreciative of JK Rowling of late, but HP got me through the end of grad school, cemented a variety of awesome friendships, and introduced me to this thing called fanfic.

So, in celebration of all that is good about HP, here's the very first piece of fanfic I ever wrote, a good 12.5 years ago now. Excuse purple prose and such - I was a newbie :D

[Bonfire Night], Remus/Sirius, G, ~1500 words.
Remus has toffee, and it's not the only thing that Sirius wants

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 11:33
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Thank you a thousand times over to everyone who's bought me a cup of coffee. I'm especially touched by the single cup donations - you have no idea. And I'm working on my feelings of guilt and shame around this whole bankruptcy business. I'm turning things around in my mind piece by piece and I will absolutely get there, I promise.

I went to see my psychiatrist this morning. They had me pee in a cup to make sure I wasn't abusing Adderall, which is either a really smart policy choice or kind of invasive - I can't quite figure out how I feel about it. And then I was seen by the nurse, who had just stuck herself with a needle by accident and almost passed out because she hates needles (and yet is a nurse?). She asked me what are, apparently, some standard questions about how patients are doing, one of which asked me to say if I was partially recovered, almost recovered, or cured. "Are you kidding me?" was not an acceptable answer (though she was amused). The whole experience was so odd. Were there more options near me I think I'd be looking for a new one, but my friend G has been to the only other psychiatrist recommended in a 75-mile area, and he refused to prescribe on the first visit. Which again - perhaps a smart policy? But it left her without any ADHD meds and he had no openings on his calendar until the end of July.

*hands*

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Good job, you guys! \o/

Jun. 26th, 2017 08:44
goss: (Together - hands)
[personal profile] goss
A very big THANK YOU to everyone who helped signal boost the [community profile] drawesome community over the weekend! We gained more than 30 new members yesterday, so well done everybody! *high-five*

So far, even though we seem to have a lot of new community members, only a handful of people have ventured into the Introduce Yourself page to break the ice. I understand how it can be a bit intimidating, to put yourself out there in a public comm.

So if any of you guys want to add a contribution to the post (whether comment or sketch) to get the interaction going, that would be awesome! Drawesome, even! LOL.

Orphan Black 5.03

Jun. 26th, 2017 07:58
selenak: (Allison by Spankulert)
[personal profile] selenak
And my show love is back! Woo hoo! That was a fantastic episode.

Read more... )

Harry Potter trends on AO3

Jun. 25th, 2017 18:05
beatrice_otter: Luna Lovegood, Hermione Granger, Cho Chang (Girls of Potter)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
I read Harry Potter fic, even though I'm pretty sure I've never managed to read any of the novels all the way through, or watch any of the movies start to finish.  Whatever, that's fandom.

Anyway, I periodically go through looking for new fic on AO3, and the best way (imo) to do this is to click on the Harry Potter works tag, sort by date, and then put "kudos>100" (or whatever other kudos threshhold you choose, today I picked 1000 because it's such a huge fandom) so you only get stuff a lot of people have liked.  (If you just go "sort by hits" or "sort by kudos" in a fandom as old as Harry Potter, you only get the oldy-goldies, which I've mostly read already or know I won't like.)

I also have AO3 Savior, a greasmonkey script added on to my browser that allows me to blacklist tags and such.  Items tagged with stuff I don't want to see show up in Works lists as blocked, with reason for blocking.

I went looking for Harry Potter fic today.  Apparently, a VERY high percentage of popular fic right now has either character bashing or Voldemort sexytimes.  Also!  I have "*/Tom Riddle" and "Tom Riddle/* both blacklisted (the asterisk tells it to block anything there, so I don't have to go through and list alllll the possible Tom Riddle pairings).  But apparently, if I want to block threesomes with Riddle, I have to ALSO blacklist "*/Tom Riddle/*"

Why do so many people want to write and read about Voldie sexytimes?!?  I do not get it!  I'm not judging, you do you, but gah.

(The bashing is, alas, a Harry Potter trend of longstanding.  Thank you to everyone who a) realizes that that is what you are doing and b) tags it properly.)
sineala: (Avengers: Tony: I win)
[personal profile] sineala
We were invited to post early, so here is my and Wren's Cap RBB:

Tony Stark and the Mysterious Marksman (18510 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel Noir
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Tony Stark
Characters: Tony Stark, James "Bucky" Barnes, Steve Rogers, Invaders (Team), Nick Fury, Carol Danvers, Victor von Doom
Additional Tags: Action/Adventure, Secret Identity, Identity Porn, World War II, Hero Worship, Doombots, Latveria, Snipers, Explosions, Canon-Typical Violence
Summary: The year is 1943, and the war is swinging into an unexpected front: the Allies need to get their hands on every magical item they can find before someone else does. There's no one more qualified for the job than Tony Stark, former adventurer for Marvels magazine. When Nick Fury sends him on his latest mission, Tony finally gets the chance to work with Captain America... and the guy won't stop extolling the wonders of his partner, some kid called Bucky. But when Tony gets back to base, he meets someone even better than the Bucky of Cap's stories: an enigmatic -- and incredibly handsome -- marksman by the name of James Barnes.

That's right, it's Marvel Noir Winteriron identity porn! I've never written Winteriron before, but this was a lot of fun! It was written to accompany Wren's gorgeous art, which you can view here. (The stargazing art was the original art, she drew the sniping art to go with the story, and the art at the end she drew to have more Noir art and I asked if I could steal it and put that scene in. So I did.) I originally wasn't even going to write for this, but the art just won me over (because OMG NOIR) and then I had an identity porn idea and... all of this happened.

I hope all three of you who like this pairing will appreciate this story. :D You probably don't need to know anything about Marvel Noir; I explain it at the beginning if you're curious.

(no subject)

Jun. 25th, 2017 17:00
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Sunday has been slow and pleasant. I went for a walk early, before most of the neighborhood was awake, and I did about 3000 steps. Talked to my mom - wow, the judicious editing that went on in that conversation, because I absolutely was not going to tell her about the bankruptcy - and to another friend, and then, bit by bit, tidied my house. I cleaned up the kitchen, did a whole bunch of laundry, and pulled together my clothes for my trip to Boston this week.

It's a lightning trip - the folks organizing my meeting have me arriving late on Wednesday night and leaving again Friday afternoon. Between times I am booked solid. I'm excited to be part of the stuff we'll be working on this week, but I wish I had more time to see the city, and to see friends (several of whom are on here). I'll be so near and yet so far.

I've spent a little time with the numbers from the bankruptcy today and it's going to be mighty close. I'm locked into contracts on my cell phone and cable/wifi. My car insurance is sky high, of course, because of the accident, and my initial looking around suggests I won't get better rates elsewhere with that on my record. The places I can economize most are going to be on utilities (using the a/c units as sparingly as possible), and food. I am lucky in many, many ways - I get to keep the house, I get to keep my stuff, and I can make cooking into a challenge so that I try to find the cheapest ways possible to eat well. (I know there are some great websites out there about this). There are positives here. But I'm also being realistic about the fact that it will be a long, hard slog.

One of the slogs will be getting from today to payday (which is Friday). I will be reimbursed all the expenses related to my trip, but that means I have to outlay them first, and I am broke. So please forgive this, but I'm sticking a little 'buy me a coffee' button on this post. It's through Kofi, which gives a person the ability to literally donate the cost of a coffee to someone else. I don't deserve support - god knows I have done this financial stuff to myself - but if you have a cup of coffee to spare, I would be so grateful.

And now I'm going to go resolutely not think about things and fold laundry.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Baby birds!

Jun. 25th, 2017 12:54
marinarusalka: (Default)
[personal profile] marinarusalka
The gulls and cormorants at the imaginatively named Bird Island in Pt. Lobos have had their chicks. \

Click on the thumbnails to see the bigger pictures.







All we do is fade away

Jun. 25th, 2017 12:07
gwyn: (8ball wizzicons)
[personal profile] gwyn
[personal profile] goss has created a cool new community for fan artists called Drawesome. If you're an artist or just interested, go check it out. I keep thinking about trying to learn to draw--I'm completely wihtout talent, I can't even draw stick figures, and I really don't know how to even go about it, but I'm surrounded by artists and they're always grousing at me that anyone can learn, you don't have to be born with talent. I don't believe this, but I still want to learn, at some point.

Drawesome on DW
[community profile] drawesome: A Drawing Community for Fan-Artists



___

I haven't been making this public much yet, but I feel like I have to, just so everyone knows what's going on. They found a cancerous tumor during the colonoscopy Thursday, so…yeah. Guess who has cancer. Did you guess me? You're correct!

It's weird, I've been expecting this for years, but not this one: I figured it'd be melanoma or the thing that killed my twin sister, ovarian cancer. This one is my ultimate nightmare--I'm phobic as hell about bodily functions, and there's so much awful stuff that results from colon cancer that I'm completely freaked out about.

I don't see the surgeon till Thursday so right now I don't know much. I had a CT scan yesterday to see if there's more cancer anywhere else and additional bloodwork, and then I had to put on my everything's normal face and go do a guest lecture at the UW. This one woman waited till I was saying thanks goodbye to pop up with a question, and to say she had resting bitch murderface is to put it mildly; I wouldn't be surprised if her whole family was axed to death and they're buried in her basement. And she asked this totally angry, pissed off question and I just didn't have spoons to answer so I was like a deer in the headlights.

Anyway, my biggest fear is that this means I can't go to Vividcon. Like, I care way less about my life, especially these days, and am totally willing to wait till after so I can go. I have a feeling they will not like this. But it's the one thing keeping me together. Not to mention very expensive nonrefundable tickets. The doctor kept stressing how early they'd found it and how good that was. But he also smiled when he said I might have cancer so who knows what's going on with him. Oh and also I got notice that the insurance I have through the ACA is going away next year--the only reason I was able to afford the colonoscopy was that this insurance was really good, and the only other decent one doesn't work with my doctor and clinic. So even if the fucking republicans take everything away in two years, I'm out for 2018 just when I need it most. (And they're such fucking liars, they blame this on market volatility and say it was such a hard decision…no, it's not, you just want more money lining your bonus pockets.)

I'm turning off comments, even though yes, I am really sad and depressed and feeling very lonely. My family's all gone, and most everyone lives far from me or useless (like, I love my BFF, but he's useless) so it's a lot to expect of people. It's been hard just doing day to day stuff like I'm fine. But I have a lot of this in my future so I have to get used to it. I hate the not knowing the most, though.

This week in writing, 6/25

Jun. 25th, 2017 18:23
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
Not a particularly epic word count, but !!!!!

WIPs currently active: 4, because I finished Slavefic #5!!!

Words written this week: 7,711 

WIPs that got no words this week: 3 - broken dick epic, Born in the Blood, sequel to “Ring the Bell Backward", for the second week in a row. RELENTLESS FOCUS ON STUFF THAT NEEDS TO GET FINISHED. (But I am def gonna finish my RBB fic TODAY, so this coming week will involve blowing the dust off these and getting back to work and DEFINITELY NOT STARTING ANYTHING NEW YET UNLESS I REALLY REALLY WANT TO REALLY BADLY. ahem.)

WIPs that did get words this week:

Slavefic #5 (THE DRAMATIC REUNION): 3,267, and DONE!!! Just waiting for beta and propitious timing to post–should be all out by July 4th!!! :D

Dragon!Bucky/Tribute!Steve Cap Reverse Big Bang Story: 4,444, and FINISHING TODAY I MEAN IT! Posting date is June 30th!!!!

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2u3R00f
via IFTTT
musesfool: head!Six (and they have a plan)
[personal profile] musesfool
I went to bed last night around 1 am but couldn't sleep so I ended up getting up and writing about 2000 words of a sequel to Just a Little Bit of History Repeating. I am sure it's not the epic sequel some of the commenters asked me for, but it's the emotional conversations I am interested in. It's also multiple POV, which I generally don't like to do, but in order to capture everybody's !!!! responses, it seems like the way to go. I haven't reread what I wrote yet, though, so hopefully it makes sense. *snerk*

I finally took a benadryl at around 3 am and slept until 8:45 so I guess I'll call it a win. Then I stayed in bed and finally read 84, Charing Cross Road, which [personal profile] innie_darling lent me the other night as it doesn't come in an ebook yet. What a darling little book! I highly recommend it.

And I just finished watching this week's Orphan Black: Beneath Her Heart. Alison once again proves she's the stealth MVP of clone club, and also who knew it would ever be possible to love Donnie so much? What a great episode!

spoilers )

Now I am getting ready to meet L. for boozy brunch so I hope you all have a lovely Sunday.

***

Operation: Signal Boost is a go!

Jun. 25th, 2017 10:50
goss: (Dee Dee - wheeee!)
[personal profile] goss
[community profile] drawesome is ready for launch. :D

You can use use any of the banners below to start spreading the word...

Banner #1:
Drawesome on DW
[community profile] drawesome: A Drawing Community for Fan-Artists



3 more banners )

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