musesfool: mal & zoe, out of gas (can't take the sky)
[personal profile] musesfool
Monday night, [personal profile] innie_darling and I met up to see the new Jake Gyllenhaal/Tatiana Maslany movie about the Boston Marathon bombing, Stronger. The acting was good, I thought. It was not the kind of movie I would have sought out on my own, but I was glad to have seen it.

While we were waiting for the movie to start, we were talking about fannish things as per usual, and about how I sometimes classify a pairing as "I don't not ship it" and in thinking about it more over the past couple of days, I came up with my own personal taxonomy of shipping:

- OTP OF OTPS (i.e., the all-time greats, ironclad, no matter what)
- OTP
- I ship it!
- I don't not ship it
- I could/might be convinced to ship it
- I don't care (i.e., if it shows up in a story that otherwise has things going for it, I'll keep reading, but I don't seek it out)
- meh, I don't ship it / it bores me so I don't read it
- I dislike it but whatever, other people can do what they like, I can scroll past
- NOTP (i.e., it's blocked so I don't have to sully my eyes with it)

Generally, when I talk about a pairing as as "I don't not ship it," I mean that they are people who are most definitely weird about each other, which is one of my personal flags for shipping, but in this particular classification, I don't care if they are having sex with each other or not (or with other people, depending), as long as they are somehow together – partners, brothers, whatever. I think (I hope!) it's implicit that I understand why people would ship them*, but I just...don't take that particular read on the relationship under most circumstances.

*as opposed to pairings where I don't.

And if they are having sex, I personally prefer it not to be framed romantically? Or, rather, in most cases, in terms of canon (rather than AU) settings, I don't find the usual shippy romantic tropes particularly interesting with these sorts of pairings. I mean, sure, 'there's only one bed' or fake dating are always on the table, but I don't feel like even those tropes should follow the regular narrative path. The clearest examples we came up with were Sam/Dean and Mal/Zoe, and I mean, I don't see either of those pairings as people who go on dates or have traditionally madcap rom com hijinks (which isn't to say that that couldn't be done with great results, but I don't think it could be played straight, as it were [I mean, Sam/Dean is incest, so it has its own challenges]). And she threw in Middleman/Wendy (which I do ship more traditionally), and I brought up Obi-Wan/Anakin, which is what I'm having complicated feelings about lately, and so it seems like a useful category to have. idk.

***

Leave it to the other girls to play

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:05 am
musesfool: Jason Toddler shows off his new costume to Dick (everybody starts somewhere)
[personal profile] musesfool
Board meeting went well, even though it rained so the rooftop terrace at the venue went unused. Sigh. I went home afterwards and fell into bed at 8:30 pm after eating cookies and milk for dinner. I win at adulting!

Of course, the one night I go to bed without checking my flist, it turned out there was a question about my yuletide nominations. It is a spoiler for Crooked Kingdom but spoiler! ) As of this morning, he was approved without my having to say anything, but I did comment anyway to say what I said under the cut.

Now Gotham Academy has to be approved! I'm sure there'll be a question about Damian Wayne there too but he does show up more than once over the course of the comic. Which I guess is as good a lead-in as any to discuss Second Semester:

What I've just finished
Gotham Academy: Second Semester, which I enjoyed, though boy they do not shy away from making the kids selfish, thoughtless and highly teenagery. spoilers )

I did like that they have all really gelled into a team - I enjoyed Colton and Pomeline sniping at each other while they work together a lot. And any Maps+Damian team-up is A++ in my book. Best Team! For yuletide, I just want schoolgirl (and boy, though I care less about the boys) supernatural detective shenanigans, with occasional Robin.

Though have we ever gotten an explanation on why/how MacPherson knows Bruce Wayne is Batman?

This morning, I also read the Star Wars Annual #3 which is a nice Han/Leia story with some fun Indiana Jones references and Leia being her usual awesome self. I also liked how it explained Han sticking around with the Rebellion, neatly giving him an excuse he could live with to cover up the real reason.

What I'm reading now
Still A Ruin of Angels. I have to admit, I find "Trust me! / Don't you trust me? / I didn't tell you this hugely important secret because plot reasons it was too dangerous!" to be super irritating in a character so a lot of the plot machinations are making me say, "If Woody had gone to the police, this never would have happened!" "If Ley had just told Zeddig what was up, things might have played out differently!" Like, things still would have gone to hell in a handbasket, but I'd have a lot more sympathy for Ley when they did. Otoh, Izza and Kai and Tara! <333

And speaking of Crooked Kingdom above, yesterday I was thinking about how dropping the Crows kids into the Craft universe would work, since so much of the magic etc. in the latter is based on negotiation and deals, and the deal is the deal, right? Someone who isn't me should write that.

What I'm reading next
Two weeks until the new Magnus Chase comes out, so who knows? I do have a ton of stuff on the iPad, ready to go!

***
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Last night, R and I watched a bunch of documentaries, including one on Willie Nelson, which referenced his smash album Red Headed Stranger.

R: In the RV park, Red Headed Stranger is the only album I feel comfortable playing over my external speaker system. It’s the only music everyone can agree they like.

Sam: Isn’t Red Headed Stranger a concept album about going on the run after murdering your family?

R: People can relate. 

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they wanna make me their queen

Sep. 19th, 2017 01:55 pm
musesfool: Batwoman (your name in the title)
[personal profile] musesfool
ZOMG this day! Board meeting imminent!

I just wanted to let people know, in case they didn't and were interested, that Alice Hoffman has written a prequel to Practical Magic about the Aunts, and it's coming out in October: The Rules of Magic! I only found out the other day!

I love both the book and the movie, though they are very different, and I'm excited to read the Aunts' story! #please don't suck!

***
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Come in, please, come in. I can’t entertain you shipboard as I once could, but there is tea and plenty of food, and I understand you’ve done well for yourself at the gambling tables. I suppose I can afford to lose a little now and then. My late first husband was a wealthy man and I magnified his wealth – well, you know how.

I think there should be discipline in everything, you know, even lawlessness. When I ruled the sea and the Red Flag Fleet, no one disobeyed me. Literally. Those who did were beheaded. But, on the other hand, I think my rule was mainly benificent. Did you know I forbade those under my command to steal from villagers who supplied us? That only made sense, of course. Death was also the sentence for any assault on a female captive. One makes these laws when one grows up as I did.

I also insisted that anything taken from town or ship was to be presented, registered, and given out amongst all – oh, the original taker got a percentage, and twenty percent is better than nothing, you know. That’s how you keep a sailor happy.

My dear second husband, he also issued some laws, I suppose, but they weren’t written down or very well enforced. What were they? Who knows. What does it matter? My laws were what mattered.

Eventually, of course, it became easier just to tax the local cities than to keep sacking them. Nicer for all concerned and not so much work for us. Bureaucracy will have its day, sooner or later, always.

That is how I came to be here, you know; several years ago, after I defeated their entire Navy, the government offered amnesty to pirates. Well they might; what other option did they have? But I was wealthy, so why should I continue to work when I was no longer a criminal? It was in 1810 that I left crime behind forever and opened this little gambling house. Here I am content, you know, and I think I will be until I die. Hopefully not for a long, long time!

Oh, I am called many things. I was born Shi Xianggu, and I am called Cheng I Sao, sometimes, but mostly I am known as Ching Shih – the Widow Ching, wife of two pirates, but a pirate empress myself.

(After all, it’s Talk Like A Pirate day, not Talk Like Every Pirate day. I chose Ching Shih.)

(Also if you enjoyed this, consider dropping some spare change in my Ko-Fi!)

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but some things may stay the same

Sep. 18th, 2017 04:56 pm
musesfool: text icon: somewhere in this building is our talent (somewhere in this building is our talent)
[personal profile] musesfool
dear universe,

I have some complaints:

- as per this xkcd (hat tip to [personal profile] twistedchick), & should be used for friendship and / should be used for romance. Please stop getting my hopes up that there is new pairing fic to read in my rare pair when it is not, in fact, pairing fic.

- it's bad enough that I'm following a bunch of works in progress now, but what is up with people getting to the penultimate chapter of a work (and I'm not talking anything short here, I'm talking well over 100K words) and then just...never posting the last chapter? I would plaintively cry, "who does that?" except I am now in possession of such knowledge and it's more than one person! (And I know this because it'll be listed as 53/54 or whatever.)

- this is less a complaint and more a bit of bafflement, but I never know what to say to people who leave feedback along the lines of "I hope you keep writing!" or "I hope you've written more!" Like, click on my name in the by line? There'll be 700+ stories there? I mean, thank you! But yeah.

- why is writing such a garbage hobby? when I have the words, I don't have the time. when I have the time, I don't have the energy. when I have the energy, I don't have the words. Bah.

- subset of the above: I actually opened a story to work on last night, wrote one (1) sentence in two (2) hours, and gave up when I realized it would need to be all porn from there on out. Bah.

no love,

me

***

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:45 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Before we start, a quick note because I've had a handful of issues with this lately -- if you want to bring a cause to my attention the best way to go about it is to fill out the Radio Free Monday form (also linked from the sidebar of my tumblr page). It's not just that I might not see a post tagged to me or that it saves me a ton of time, but also that it makes sure I get the information I need to describe the situation, link the appropriate pages, and name and gender people correctly.

The form doesn't ask many questions, doesn't pull any metadata (literally it doesn't even record the date you entered the information), and is as anonymous as you want it to be -- there are options for complete or partial anonymity for the person submitting the item.

Ways To Give:

[tumblr.com profile] prismatic-bell linked to a fundraiser for Congregation Beth Yeshurun and their attached day school, which were flooded by Hurricane Harvey, which hit two Jewish neighborhoods in Houston especially hard. The families are currently attending Temple Brith Israel, and the children from the day school have had to scatter among several schools temporarily. You can read more about the damage here, reblog here, give directly to the rebuilding fund, or purchase toys and learning materials or replacement books for the school directly through Amazon.

[tumblr.com profile] reesa-chan is preparing for surgery and gathering supplies to make recovery go as smoothly as possible, but they're coming up short on a few things and surgery is looming. They have a Amazon Wishlist available here and have their paypal giving page here.

Anon linked to a fundraiser for [tumblr.com profile] poplitealqueen, who is trying to help her mother get some experimental medical treatment which might allow her mobility without the use of a wheelchair. You can read more and reblog here (including links at the top to Patreon and Ko-fi) or give directly to their Ko-Fi here.

[tumblr.com profile] quinfirefrorefiddle linked to a fundraiser for [tumblr.com profile] niines9s, who is trying to escape an abusive home and needs funding for housing after graduation. They are offering commissions and also taking donations; you can read more, reblog, and find paypal information at their post.

Anon linked to news about a Christian group, Faithfully LGBT, who are fundraising to aid transgender people with gender-confirming surgeries as a way of atoning for religious discrimination against transgender people. You can read and reblog the story here or give directly to the Tithe Campaign here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

News To Know:

Anon linked to a post called Saving Your Grades From A Mental Health Crisis, which is about what to do if you're in college and dealing with mental illness.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
musesfool: baze and chirrut (i don't need luck i have you)
[personal profile] musesfool
Last night, L and I went to the premiere of this English language musical version of The Romance of the Western Chamber (Xi Xiang Ji in Chinese?).

It is not, in fact, Romeo and Juliet, or it kind of is in terms of love at first sight and climbing up balconies and exchanging poetry in letters, but without the tragic ending. Which I was glad for.

It's very charming, though the male lead's voice was not up to the singing, imo. The ladies were all fantastic, especially Mari Uchida as Hong-niang, the matchmaking maid. The women's costumes were lovely; the men's were...well, they started out all right, but Mr. Chang's wedding outfit was made of what looked like baby blue lamé, which is not a look I personally endorse.

Afterwards - and it was not a short play! - we attempted to go here, because it was a beautiful night for a rooftop bar, but apparently my randomly picking a place in the vicinity of the theater because it looked cool meant I'd actually picked someplace popular and happening? There was a large line outside the door anyway, so we were like, we are too old to wait on lines for bars - even rooftop bars! - so we hopped in a cab and had dinner at the bar around the corner, and then stopped off at Insomnia Cookies for cookies. Which I didn't eat last night, but which will be my breakfast this morning.

All in all, it was a lovely evening, and I got to wear my star-print sun dress from eShakti, which is such a pretty dress, guys. I love it a lot.

I also have been catching up on Gotham Academy so I can make my yuletide request, and when Amy showed up in Second Semester, I at first thought, ugh, did they try to shove Harper in here as well? but I sincerely doubt Harper would ever do the nasty things Amy does, so it's not her undercover. Whew. I'll probably have more to say on Wednesday!

***
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Wow, you guys, the me of 2014 was such a good bro, he bought an extra three years of premium-level warranty coverage on his laptop.

I wasn’t even looking for whether I was still covered by warranty, I just assumed I wasn’t, but I went to Dell’s website to get the model number of my laptop so I could look up how to open it up properly and fix the terrible groaning noise my fan is making. And Dell was like hey, here’s your model number, also your warranty is good through June of 2018. 

I’m still gonna try to open it up and fix the fan myself, but if I can’t, I can send it in and get the fan fixed AND get a repair on the housing that’s starting to crack. 

Good job, 2014 Sam. You had no idea the crazy shit that was ahead of you but by god you knew you’d need three years of warranty. You and me, buddy, we’re fucking killing it in the adulting department lately. 

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copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Me: R’s in town this weekend so we may meet up.

Mum: Send me a picture of you and R when you’re hanging out!

Me: Not sure when it’ll be yet but I’ll do my best. It’s a little uncertain right now.

Mum: If it were certain, I’d be worried it wasn’t really R.

She knows us both so well. 

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musesfool: Princess Leia (so what level up)
[personal profile] musesfool
I left work slightly early yesterday and today has been calmer, thankfully. I'm still dragging and my brain is on a bit of a time delay - why is sleeping so hard? even when I'm so tired? - but it's Friday and it's almost over.

Today, while I've been collating etc., I've been thinking about how in Leia, Princess of Alderaan, spoilers )

I really want to read that story without having to write it. You should get on that, stat.

***
musesfool: Artemis from animated Young Justice, drawing her bow (a woman's got ambition)
[personal profile] musesfool
I missed reading Wednesday in all the madness, but things are slightly calmer at the moment (though the MTA didn't help this morning with the 1, 2, and 3 being suspended. I had to walk through that long tunnel to the A, C, E at 42nd Street, which is at least slightly less rank than it used to be but also this morning it was full of a ton of extra people unhappy about being there), so books:

What I've just finished
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, which I loved after I got over my slight disappointment about it being an origin story. I liked that Diana got to save the world with a couple of teenage girls and recontextualize Helen of Troy a little while she was at it. Also, it reinforced the notion that spoiler ).

Star Wars #36, which I'll talk about by itself, since it is pretty self-contained. This is the issue where Artoo finally gets to the Devastator(? I think?) to rescue Threepio, and it's very cleverly done imo, with the narration telling us all sorts of typical instruction manual specs about the R2 astromech line, and Artoo being his usual badass self, thanks in part to some programming upgrades, some very skilled teachers, and of course, a complete lack of memory wipes. Everyone knows he's the real hero of the rebellion. (Sadly, he doesn't ever get to give Vader the tongue-lashing he deserves but I will just go on including that in every story I write, because it pleases me to do so. *g*)

What I'm reading now
A Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone, which is the sixth Craft sequence book - featuring Kai Pohala and her previously unmet sister, with a cameo (so far - could end up being more?) by Tara Abernathy. I'm enjoying it so far, but as usual, the random references to our world always make me blink - is this a super alternate universe? a far-flung future? Like, I guess I could accept a coffeehouse employee being a barista, even though there is no Italy in this world, but then it makes a Rent or a Casablanca reference, and I'm like, that is very specific to our world! I dunno. It's kind of a weird thing to get hung up on, but it strikes me every time.

What I'm reading next
*hands* One of the things I did last weekend, in addition to getting rid of more books and dvds, was to start sorting through all the books I've downloaded and adding them to iBooks or Calibre (though I can no longer dedrm kindle books via Calibre, which sucks), so I have a lot more books than I realized and they're mostly sitting around on my iPad waiting to be read.

Lastly, here's a link: Ranking the Robin Hood Adaptations — Which Tales Fly Truest?

It gets it right, I think, though there's a sad lack of appreciation of Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham, which is the only reason to watch the Kevin Costner version, and Robin and the Seven Hoods doesn't even get a mention! But I think the one-two punch of Errol Flynn and that Disney fox is the correct answer.

(I feel like there is also a sad lack of Jason Todd references in this post - after all, he was Robin and now he's a Hood - but I'm too frazzled to come up with good ones. Take it as read that Robins as in Batfam are never far from my thoughts.)

***
musesfool: jason todd is not all right (always all right)
[personal profile] musesfool
Yesterday, I ate my breakfast at 12:30 and then just didn't eat lunch. I could rant about what I think is poor time management and poor organization, which given the fact that I have never in my life not procrastinated on a thing to the last possible moment, would be really saying something, but I won't. It's pointless. I'm just here to redo all my edits because someone kept editing a(n old version of a) document after they sent it to me for updating. Whatever.

Monday night, I was here late and then L and I met up on the spur of the moment and I had three pints of beer, which I haven't done in years and which I should never ever do on a weeknight again. Ugh. I am officially too old for this shit.

Last night, I got home by 7 and just sat on the couch refreshing Tumblr and playing 1010 until it was time to go to bed. Yes, I know I said I deleted it off my phone, and I did, but that didn't remove it from my iPad, so I still have it (and I re-downloaded it to my phone the other day when I was waiting for a train) but I also found it online so I can just play on my laptop now. *hands*

In better news, I heard from the loan officer that my loan commitment letter is preliminarily approved but they needed me to send a bunch of documents I've already sent them twice, plus one new thing that just proves what a dumb racket the whole credit thing is because I have excellent credit, but since I've tried to purchase a home, my credit has been checked three times since April, which is concerning to them. The fact that it's all been in service of trying to get a mortgage, and that no additional lines of credit have yet been opened, doesn't seem to matter. It's like if you have too many accounts, they tell you it has a negative impact, but if you close an account to have fewer, that is also a negative. You carry a balance, which means you have debt! but if you pay it off every month, then that's a negative because you have no outstanding loans! No matter what you do you can't win, which is a clear indication that the whole thing is rigged against you.

I might just be exhausted and ranting. I don't even know. Anyway. Once I get the loan commitment letter, I have to send in the board application package and hope they call me for an interview. Of course this is happening at the same time I'm prepping for my actual board meeting (see above re: work), so the timing is terrible.

I did have a very cool dream where I visited [personal profile] destina and she fed me very fancy pasta and then we went to a murder mystery reenactment.

Lastly, I did my yuletide nominations while I had a free moment, because I didn't want to forget, so this is what they are right now:

Six of Crows
Inej Ghafa
Kaz Brekker
Nina Zenik
Nikolai Lantsov

The Middleman
Wendy Watson
The Middleman
Ida
Noser

Gotham Academy
Olive Silverlock
Mia "Maps" Mizoguchi
Pomeline Fritch
Damian Wayne

I guess I'll let you know if I change my mind.

***
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
You guys today I researched someone who is such a rank evil motherfucker that the person who was going to meet them to ask for money came over to my desk after seeing my research and was like “What a rank evil motherfucker.” 

And I was like I DIDN’T EVEN PUT THE WORST OF IT IN BECAUSE WE CAN’T PROVE THE WORST STUFF SINCE IT’S ALL TECHNICALLY SPECULATION BY LIBERAL WATCHDOG GROUPS BUT I KNOW THEY DID IT. They gave millions of dollars to climate-change denial (which I learned today is referred to as CLIMATE INACTIVISM) two weeks ago. 

But I am heartened that a) the fundraiser saw through my VERY CAREFULLY professionally neutral report to the truth of the matter and b) they called their boss and were like “I’m not taking this meeting” and THEIR BOSS read my report and said “Yeah this is a PR disaster waiting to happen, don’t take the meeting.”

And normally I’d be like “yes take their money, take it all, take them for everything you can wring from them” but what makes this one so unsettling is that their donations always come with creepy post-contract strings. If we take the money, we’re gonna pay for it down the line, so I’m just as glad we aren’t. 

Once in a while in my profession I come across someone who is such a force for destruction on an international scale that I genuinely hope they will die in some very public and ironic way. I yearn for the day I read of their demise.

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and you say how appropriate

Sep. 11th, 2017 04:52 pm
musesfool: jar of flower petals, spilling (but there is this)
[personal profile] musesfool
this day is always weird and solemn, and for the past 15 years, I would call my dad and we'd be thankful he'd survived a terrorist attack (2 actually, since he was there in '93 too), but now he's gone.

The six-month anniversary of his death is Thursday, and then the fourth anniversary of my mother's death is a week from Saturday, so this is a rough stretch to get through, I guess.

On the other hand, work has been so ridiculously hectic that this is the first moment I've had to breathe since I walked in the door, so it kept my mind occupied, which is good. I might just crawl into bed when I get home. I feel like I could sleep forever, but the rest of this work week is going to be busy too, since we're gearing up for a board meeting next week. Boss1 bought me flowers to brighten me up.

***

(no subject)

Sep. 11th, 2017 07:40 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon linked to a fundraiser for Melissa, a trans girl who recently escaped an abusive home and is struggling to make ends meet. She has been unable to get car insurance, and is also recovering from expenses and injuries from a recent accident. You can read more and help out here.

[tumblr.com profile] nivcharayahel and her sister are raising funds for help with September's rent, to avoid eviction; they are dealing with recent unemployment and underemployment. You can read more and help out here.

[tumblr.com profile] butnotinthisone is dealing with fallout from hurricane Harvey, including being unable to return to their apartment due to continued flooding; their apartment is on the first floor and they will likely be facing property loss and damage from the water. You can read more and help out here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Help For Free:

[livejournal.com profile] rua_m linked to Zooniverse, specifically their Weather Rescue project, which allows you to help recover forgotten weather data by transcribing Ben Nevis observatory records. Zooniverse is a great site that lets people participate in citizen science and historical preservation by categorizing and transcribing documents; I'm actually a member and work on some of their animal-related stuff.

Anon linked to Halloween Lifestyle, a Halloween website recently put up (and so still a little sparse) by the mother of [tumblr.com profile] nextrrickanvils. You can read more and reblog here or go directly to the site here.

Housing:

[personal profile] in_the_bottle is looking for a new housemate in London, in Fulham SW6, bordering Hammersmith. Two professional females, at least one fandom friendly. You can read more and get in touch here; they also have an ad up on SpareRoom here with photos.


And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
musesfool: lester bangs on rock'n'roll (music)
[personal profile] musesfool
Yesterday, I had that awful achy skin feverish feeling and got nothing done. I just wanted soft, comforting things, so I went to finish my AtLA rewatch and discovered that it was no longer free as part of Amazon Prime! WTF?! I didn't feel like digging out my dvds (hush), so I ended up watching the back half of The West Wing season 2, and then this morning I watched "Two Cathedrals" and those final six minutes set to "Brothers in Arms" might be the best use of music on a tv show ever.

Which started me thinking about other iconic musical cues from TV shows, and this is a very short, very incomplete list:

- "Renegade" in the SPN episode "Nightshifter"
- "Don't Fear the Reaper" in the SPN episode "Faith"
- "Bad Moon Rising" in the SPN episode "Devil's Trap"

I could probably fill this list with ONLY SPN moments, so here are some others:

- "Full of Grace" aka, "the song at the end of Becoming II"
- "Devil Town" in the opening and closing episodes of s1 of Friday Night Lights
- "Come Back" in the FNL episode "Wind Sprints"
- "Eli's Coming" in the Sports Night episode of the same name
- "There She Goes" in the pilot of Gilmore Girls
- "Momentary Thing" over Veronica and Logan's kiss in VMars
- "In Your Wildest Dreams" in the HLotS episode "Full Moon"

I'm sure there are many others - what am I missing? I know "Life" used music excellently but I'm blanking on any specific moments right now.

*let's take any moment that uses "Hallelujah" out of the running for now. I still haven't recovered from its overuse in the late 90s.

***
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
On April 1, 1985, a piece by George Plimpton was published in Sports Illustrated, called “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch”. It presented a new rookie pitcher for the Mets: Sidd Finch, an aspirant Buddhist monk and French horn aficionado, who could throw a pitch around 160mph. If you’re not familiar with baseball, a 90mph pitch is a good ticket to the majors, and the fastest pitch on record is around 105mph. The article was a joke, of course – April Fool’s – but the reaction especially among Mets fans was electric. Within sports journalism it’s widely considered to be one of the best hoaxes of all time.

Plimpton eventually expanded the article into a novel in 1987, and I finally got around to digging it up and reading it – it’s what I’ve been reading on the train to the last few Railcats games of the season. The Curious Case of Sidd Finch, as a novel, is in a way a time capsule; it captures a very weird era for the country and a pre-player’s strike, pre-Moneyball era for baseball. But it’s not really a book about baseball, despite Plimpton being primarily a sports journalist. It’s easily accessible if you don’t know a ton about the game, primarily because neither does Sidd Finch.

Rather, the book struck me as drawing heavily on what I think of as the “parable novel”, a genre popular in the seventies – part religious/philosophical treatise and part self-help book disguised as a fictional narrative (the most famous is probably Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach).

The novel’s narrator and fictional author is Robert Temple, a former journalist living in Florida and suffering from a decade-long writer’s block; he literally can’t write anything, including shopping lists and notes to self. (I’ll come back to this.) By a chance of fate he learns that the Mets have a rookie player named Sidd Fitch who can throw a 160mph fastball with uncanny accuracy, but who is still uncertain he actually wants to sign with the club. After getting thrown out of his boarding house for bringing a girl over, Sidd and his girlfriend Debbie Sue end up living with Temple at the request of the Mets, who hope Temple can convince him to sign with the team while he attends spring training in Florida.

It’s a really compelling read with enjoyable characters, and there’s some good tension set up in the question of whether Sidd will sign with the Mets, and whether it would be good for both Sidd and the sport as a whole for him to do so. And I appreciated that the one full pro game Sidd pitches isn’t the climax of the book – this is not a book about sport but a book that uses sport to meditate on other matters.

It does have its issues, however. Temple, the narrator, draws the reader in because we understand that he was a writer and no longer is, but we don’t know why – we know he’s suffered some terrible psychological blow, just not exactly what: 

If he had taken the time to check it out, he would have discovered that I was not capable of writing a paragraph, much less a line of copy. I was a completely defused member of the communications industry. 

[….]

I took my sister by the elbow afterward and I said, “Well, that’s my problem, isn’t it? I’m not really alive. I’m perhaps a quarter alive.”

“You’re coming along,” she said. 

I think it would have been best for that information to come out slowly in drips here and there, perhaps eventually being told more fully when Temple explains to Sidd or Debbie Sue why he can’t write. Instead we get an early-on chapter about it – basically a brief autobiography where he goes to Vietnam to cover the war as a journalist, has a breakdown, and retires to Florida where he fills empty days with pointless tasks as a way of keeping himself alive. It’s…not the most interesting chapter. And then he can’t really explain it to the others because we’ve already sat through it once. 

This complicated history is also a problem with Sidd, our young pitcher – Sidd is struggling with both his faith and what his purpose in life should be, and that’s immediately something people can identify with. The issue is that Plimpton, the actual author, built on the biography he created for Sidd in the Sports Illustrated article, which was a joke and thus comedically complicated. Sidd is an orphan from England adopted by an English anthropologist who then died in a plane crash when Sidd was a teenager, and he found Buddhism while looking for his father in the Himalayas. Sidd also, randomly, is very good at the French horn. This is a complex backstory for a baseball player and it’s not entirely well-told within the boundaries of the book, though it’s also a pretty ripping adventure story as Sidd runs away from boarding school to look for his dad and eventually ends up an aspirant monk who uses Buddhists lung-gom teachings to train himself to throw a 160mph baseball.

We never really get to the heart of why Sidd walked up to a Mets talent scout one day and decided to get himself recruited; there are hints here and there, and it does lead to a masterful set of discussions about why baseball is a game for mystics:

“Why baseball?” Frank Cashen asked. “Why didn’t he go back to England and play cricket?” 

Dr. Burns put his fingertips together. “Baseball is the perfect game for the mystic mind. Cricket is unsatisfactory because it has time strictures. The clock is involved. Play is called. The players stop for tea. No! No! No!” Burns sounded quite petulant. “On the other hand, baseball is so open to infinity. No clocks. No one pressing the buttons on stopwatches. The foul lines stretch to infinity. In theory, the game of baseball can go on indefinitely.” 

[…]

“I got very interested in the idea of causing a commotion at Point B when standing a long distance away at Point A. To throw an object that connects those two points is a very heady thing to be able to do…especially if you can do it time and time again with accuracy. It is something archers and hunters know all about – the trigonometric closing of lines.” 

[…]

I suddenly had a clear image of what Sidd was doing to the game. It was what the listeners were suggesting – he was changing the properties and the essence of the ball itself. It struck me how often the ball is inspected during a game, as if anyone who touches it has to make sure the ball has not changed its properties. If the ball disappears over the fence, another, like a youngster’s dream pinball game, emerges from a black sack at the umpire’s side. He looks at it and gives it to the catcher, who rubs it briefly, and after a glance fires it out to the pitcher; he looks at the ball and rubs it with both hands, his glove dangling from its wrist strap, and then, as he stares down at the catcher for the signal, his fingers maneuver over its surface feeling for the comfort of some response – yes, this time it will do exactly as he wishes! […] Football players do not have this kind of kinship with their ball. Most of the players don’t even touch the thing during the course of a game. It sits stolidly on the grass. The center comes up over the ball from the huddle and barely giving it a glance turns it under his hands; his eyes are staring across the line of scrimmage at the unpleasant visage of the nose guard opposite. A defensive tackle is so uncomfortable with the ball that if he chances to pick it up on the practice-field he tends to throw it end over end to get rid of it. […] Tennis balls are not kept on the mantlepiece. Too many of them around. Who cares?
 

But there’s never that moment where Sidd says, this is why I came to America to play baseball. Especially since he knows so little about it going in. I suppose Plimpton had to make him a foreigner so he wouldn’t know much about the sport, but honestly, you can grow up in America and not know much about baseball, especially at the pro level. Though I do enjoy some of the eccentricities of the game that Plimpton chose to focus on: 

“They have shown me the heavy ring that one slides on the bat to make it seem lighter. I had thought originally that the heavy ring was a talisman to bless the wood. No! One has only oneself to rely on within the confines of the batting box.” 

There’s also some pretty lowered stakes in this book because everyone, even Sidd, is wealthy. Temple can afford to do nothing all day for a decade while still seeing an expensive private therapist about his writer’s block (and eventually supporting Sidd and Debbie Sue when they move in) because his family is rich and supportive. Sidd, an innocent who travels with very little, still has access to his father’s fortune and has a mansion waiting for him in England. Debbie Sue, the free-spirited beach bum that Sidd falls in love with, comes from a wealthy family and was attending an ivy league school before she left it all behind to windsurf full-time in Florida. Even the most desperate people in the book, namely the coaching staff of the Mets, are only desperate to get Sidd to play. Nobody’s life or livelihood is riding on anything in the book, which to me makes it slightly less effective as a philosophical treatise because everyone starts from a place of wealth and comfort. On the other hand, it does allow the reader to engage fully with the psychological side of things, and there’s something to be said for not having to worry about where Sidd’s next meal is coming from:

Rather haltingly, Sidd asked me if I would come to New York and see him through August and September…perhaps share an apartment. He didn’t feel he was going to feel at ease in the city. Over the phone he made one of his brilliant vocal imitations – the sound of a taxi horn, a police siren, and the sigh of a bus pulling away from its passenger stop.

“There are no mantras,” he said, “to take care of this sort of thing.”

All that said, it is a really fun book. Everyone in it is charming and funny, Sidd’s bewilderment over the rituals of pro baseball is touching, and there’s an interesting hint of threesome-ness (probably unintentional) to the bond between Sidd, Debbie Sue, and Temple. As a baseball fan I appreciated the thought Plimpton put into how and where the characters and the sport interacted, and you can tell he has a genuine love of the game. He also appears to have done his research about Buddhism – it’s not just a stand in for woo-woo esotericism, the way it was a bit in the original article. There is some of that, but there is also a lot of genuine discussion of Buddhism which seems, in my admittedly very limited experience, to be correct.

Sidd smiled…very much as Dennis Brain probably had on the stage of the Jubilee Hall. “There’s a saying of Buddha,” he said. “Be earnest in cessation although there is nothing to cease; practice the cessation although there is nothing to practice.” 

So yeah, do recommend The Curious Case Of Sidd Finch if you’re interested in baseball or just in a pretty good story about a baseball player. 

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musesfool: text icon: Gryffindor: We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty. (we have done the impossible)
[personal profile] musesfool
Here's a fanfic meme from [personal profile] misbegotten, but it's 50 questions long so I'm breaking it up into parts and will eventually answer them all.

So here's part 1:

Fandom Questions

1. What was the first fandom you got involved in?
Online? Homicide: Life on the Street. alt.tv.homicide was the first newsgroup I lurked on and then participated in. We're coming up on the 20th anniversary of that: November 1997!

It was an amazing newsgroup to break into online fandom with, and it was highly influential on my online behavior.

2. What is your latest fandom?
Latest, and also one of my oldest fandoms: Star Wars. I blame The Clone Wars and also The Force Awakens. The former for making me care about Anakin Skywalker *shakes tiny ineffectual fist* and the latter for giving me Rey and Finn and GENERAL ORGANA.

3. What is the best fandom you’ve ever been involved in?
Aw, they're all great (and terrible) in their own ways. Maybe MCU circa 2012 when Avengers came out, because it was sort of the culmination of friendships that formed when I was in XMM twelve years before. Harry Potter was great because it was such an upswell of creativity and making connections with other fans.

I don't really feel like I belong to any one fandom these days - everything is so disconnected and I don't really have a sense of community in Star Wars. It's more like my DW flist is my fandom, and to a lesser extent, my tumblr dash.

4. Do you regret getting involved in any fandoms?
Ahahahahaha. I regret the way my participation in a couple of them ended.

5. Which fandoms have you written fanfiction for?
Ahahahaha! According to AO3, and including one-offs, and lumping various comics and movie properties into umbrella fandoms, here is the list:

~68 or so fandoms )

6. List your OTP from each fandom you’ve been involved in.
I don't always have an OTP, but here are a few:

HP: Remus/Sirius, James/Lily, Harry/Ron/Hermione
Star Wars: Han/Leia, Rey/Finn/Poe, Baze/Chirrut
Ocean's Eleven: Danny/Rusty
Narnia: Cor/Aravis
MCU: Steve/Bucky, Tony/Pepper
DCU: Tim/Kon, Clark/Lois
XMM: Logan/Rogue, Charles/Erik
The West Wing: Josh/Donna
Gilmore Girls: Luke/Lorelai
FNL: Coach/Mrs. Coach

7. List your NoTPs from each fandom you’ve been in.
I don't always have a NoTP, but here are the ones I very definitely do have:

Marvel: Steve/Tony
Star Wars: Reylo
XMM: Jean/Logan
SPN: Dean/Cas
DCU: Clark/Diana
Gilmore Girls: Christopher/Lorelai

8. How did you get involved in your latest fandom?
It's Star Wars? I've been involved in it, or at least a fan of it, since 1977? If you mean how did I suddenly start writing fic for it after years of not writing fic for it? Well, Ahsoka Tano's appearance is a major key to that, as well as the sad lack of stuff dealing with Leia and Vader's relationship. And of course, the Clone Wars made me invested in Anakin Skywalker, and also provided me with characters like Satine Kryze and Asajj Ventress, whom I love! Those were the main things that I was interested in, and then Rey and Finn came along and I wanted to know more about them, too.

9. What are the best things about your current fandom?
Nearly everybody knows a little bit about it, so you can enthuse about it in public without getting odd looks from people. (Otoh, when you say something like, "But I really like Anakin Skywalker!" be prepared for people to judge you, and not even silently. *hands*)

10. Is there a fandom you read fic from but don’t write in?
Oh yeah. Mostly Yuletide fandoms (e.g., Queen's Thief, Gentleman Bastards, Rivers of London) or things like Discworld or Good Omens, where I would like to write but just haven't really had any good ideas. This also goes for a lot of the one-off fandoms I've written in - I'd like to write more iZombie or Arrow or Sports Night, but I just don't really have ideas for them.

I guess that's a good start!

***

I'll find my soul as I go home

Sep. 8th, 2017 10:42 am
musesfool: baby Terry from Batman & Sons (it's always time for hugs)
[personal profile] musesfool
Friday grab bag:

A. Ugh, the trains were disgustingly crowded and slow this morning, and then there was some sort of croissant crisis at the other Starbucks, so the waiting area was jammed with people waiting for pastries that were never going to come. On the plus side, it's Friday! on the minus side, we're back to full days on Friday. *sob*

ii. I forgot Timeless on my potential Yuletide noms post yesterday! Certainly Wyatt, Lucy, Jiya, and Rufus should all get nommed by someone who isn't me. Agent Christopher, too, I hope!

3. Some reading material:
- Donald Trump: the First White President by Ta-Nehisi Coates

- And something a little lighter: Mets Legend Keith Hernandez On Baseball, Books, Broadcasting And Battles at SI.com

d. And speaking of the Mets, y'all saw Dylan O'Brien throw out the first pitch the other night, right? He was very cute about the whole thing, though if I closed my eyes, he sounded like uncannily like my older nephew.

V. from the we make our own fun file: Batman & Darth Vader: two sides of the same coin? I amuse myself, anyway.

5a. And for more serious meta: the dark side is a choice. Oh Anakin. I'm probably gonna have to read this book aren't I? Sigh. #i'm not mad i'm just disappointed #i hate that i have ~feelings about darth vader now #the most problematic fave

5b. and for my own amusement - and from a different comic - someone telling vader what we'd all like to.

***

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