shadowkat: (tv slut)
2017-09-19 09:30 pm
Entry tags:

Too many TV Shows...Too Little Time

According to Entertainment Weekly there are roughly 145 television series. I actually don't see many new ones that spark much interest, more interested in the returning ones.

Most of the good ones are popping up in October. I remember when everything popped up the week after labor day. Now we have revolving television seasons. And about 145 shows per season, which is about well multiple that by four seasons...and that's a lot of television. That said, most of them are hard to find or require a device, a smart television, cable subscription, and payment. None of it is really free. Well, maybe the five or six broadcast channels.

Returning shows that I'm watching or thinking of watching...or haven't given up on quite yet

1. Lucifer - Now at 8pm on Fox. Starts October 3.

vague spoilers and casting spoilers from the mag on Season 3 )

2. Poldark S3 Returns to PBS at 9PM on October 1. (Poldark goes to France with the French Revolution, while Demelza must deal with her troublemaker brothers, and Elizabeth has her kid.

3. Good Behavior S2 pops up on Oct 15 - at 10PM TNT. Basically a con-artist/thief, her hitman love and her precocious son living the family life.

It's really good. A twisty and somewhat humorous noir series.

4. This is Us returns on Tuesday (used to be on Wed, confusing) - 9/26/17 at 9PM on NBC.
I can never remember what channels these shows are on. They were discussing at work what channels they watch...I was thinking I don't really watch channels just television shows.

This is Us is an ever-surprising non-linear family saga about a husband and wife who lose a triplet during childbirth and adopt a third baby at the hospital, as well as the journey of the three children, Randall, Kate, and Kevin as children, teens, and thirty-somethings.

It's the best family drama I've seen and one of the best serialized dramas of last year. If you liked Brothers and Sisters, Parenthood, and Friday Night'll probably enjoy This is Us.

5. Riverdale returns 10/11 - CW at 8PM. (I personally would have put it at 9pm for the adult content, but what do I know?)

This is basically Archie Comics by way of Twin Peaks, except without David Lynch. So S1, Twin Peaks.
It's dark, gritty, sexy, and twisty in places.

6. The Good Place returns on 9-20 (ie, tomorrow), on NBC at 8:30 PM (yes, it also moved nights, again, confusing -- I wish they'd stop doing that, stupid network programmers. OTOH, probably doesn't matter, since most people just DVR it or watch on demand or stream.)

This is the comedy with the weird twist. I actually had given up on it, until I found out about the twist and went back to watch and decided it had a charming satirical edge to it.

Anyhow, Eleanor and her friends think they are in heaven. She believes she landed there by mistake. Except heaven is rather irritating and problematic. It's also run by a well-meaning but rather inept and bumbling Angel, who has built a new heavenly domain or so we think....spoiler )

* There's all sorts of satirical jokes on American culture, politics, and religious mythology.

7. Grey's Anatomy returns on 9-28, Still Thursdays, at 8PM. It's Season 14. It has Supernatural beat by one season. Supernatural is on S13. But NCIS has made it to Season 15, and The Simpsons and South Park are on Season 20 something.

Some shows can't die.

They are rebooting or refreshing it with new interns, a refurbished and remodeled hospital (it was sort of blown up last season), and new love triangles...because it's actually a soap masquerading as a serious medical drama. Entertainment Weekly provided a flow chart showing all the incestuous and soapy relationships between the characters...basically proving my point.

8. Once Upon a Time reboots itself on 10-6 at 8PM on ABC and it also appears to have changed nights.(Because the network programmers are bored apparently?) It's now on Fridays.

It also has basically re-written itself from scratch. You honestly could come into this without having seen the previous seasons and be fine. Instead of the story revolving around Snow White and the Evil Queen, it's revolving around Cinderella and her Wicked Stepmother...and StepSister. With Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) as a sort of portal jumping Rumplestilskin character. And the Princess from Princess and the Frog as Cindy's friend. Also, POC cast. Which is interesting. And Henry is apparently in the Emma role now, or rather an adult Henry is.

Very odd. I am admittedly curious. But the writing has been ...disappointing to date. So we'll see.

9. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Pops up on 10-13, still on Friday. CW. It has managed to survive, probably because it is on the CW. The CW is rather interesting in that regard.

This is a cool sitcom, doesn't always make me laugh, but it has its moments. Sometimes it makes me cringe. But it is a great satirical critique of our gender issues, how our society views romantic love, etc. Plus it has song and dance numbers.

10. Stranger Things S2 -- shows up on Netflix on 10/27. In time for Halloween.

11. Big Bang Theory --- returns on Monday 9/25 at 8PM (Season 11)

Shows...I'm giving a second chance to:

* Lethal Weapon (I'm curious what they do with the cast shake-up)
* Gotham (Bruce Wayne is becoming Batman)
* Outlander (I may do the Starz trial and check it out)
* The Exorcist - Jon Cho
* Better Things
* Will & Grace (okay it's new, but 11 years later...)
* Poldark (see above)
* Great News (which I didn't try last year)

It's late, bed calls. Will do the new shows some other time.
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-18 08:46 pm
Entry tags:

The filmmaker and his/her audience

Been reading reviews of Darren Aronofsky's allegorical film mother!, including finally the director's explanation of his intent behind it. Aronofsky - "Requiem for a A Dream, Black Swan, Pi" is sort of similar to David Lynch in that he's an acquired taste. People either like his movies or really hate them. I actually always found them to be rather interesting, nightmarish, but interesting. Like Lynch, Aronofsky delves into a sort of psychological/allegorical sense of horror or notion of it.

Cinemascore and the mainstream critics, such as Owen Glieberman with Entertainment Weekly despised the film. Cinemascore gave it an F, but Cinemascore also gives things like Batman vs. Superman high, you can't really go by them. And film like all art or so I'm finding is in the eye of the beholder. For example? Some people love the Kevin Costner film Wyatt Earp, others despise it. I've had friends rank on me for loving Pretty Woman and LadyHawk. We are a culture that has a tendency, like it or not, to foist our opinions onto others as if they are gospel. Which may be why we're in the culture wars?

On one site, people were ranking on the actress Jennifer Lawrence, stating she was a horrible actress in everything but one movie -- I'm guessing Winter's Bone. (Having seen her in just about everything but Passengers, which I skipped, I strongly disagree and wonder what drugs they've been imbibing or what they consider good acting? See, there I go flinging my opinion at you.) While one respondent to the site stated that the film had made them scream laugh with absolute delight...and they felt it was a marvel to behold. What turned everyone else off turned on this guy, for some reason.

And well here's the most recent, and rather fascinating review I read about the film

his film is also not for everyone.

As I said, it’s not a horror film, but horrific things happen, which are harrowing to watch. There are two scenes in particular toward the end that are immensely disturbing. If you don’t do well with violence (specifically against a woman, or against children), this is not the movie for you, and you should know that.

However, you should also know that the violence I’m talking about very much has a purpose that is integral to the film, especially if looked at through a particular lens. If you can stomach filmed violence at all, so long as it isn’t oppressive in nature (ie: against marginalized people), gritting your teeth through it might be worth it to you for the greater overall experience with the story.

That said, it’s also not for people that don’t want to have any kind of thinky-thoughts when they go to movies. This film isn’t escapism. There’s nothing wrong with escapism; I’m a huge fan of escapism, but I don’t believe that every film has to be, or should be, escapist. While very often, something being “confusing” is indicative of faulty storytelling, it’s equally the case that sometimes people don’t want to have to think that hard when watching something, and get angry when they’re required to look past a surface and don’t know what they’re looking for.

Then they provide a link to Aronfsky's explanation of the film, which wasn't exactly what they saw in it. But close.

As for the writing, that’s where I found it less successful. I saw mother! before reading Aronofsky’s explanation of what it’s about, and came up with what felt like an air-tight explanation for the goings-on in the film … that was not what Aronofsky set out to convey. While the film certainly can be read his way, there are a couple of things that muddy the water just enough to seem like failures in execution.

THIS is what Aronfsky explained. Which I found rather interesting. The whole film is an allergorical essay on our relationship with Mother Earth. Jennifer Lawrence's character sort of represents mother earth and is relentlessly tortured throughout the film in her octagonal house that she lovingly built.

Aronofsky considers Mother!’s final 25-minute sequence—a deeply disturbing crescendo of violence—“one of my best accomplishments, just because it’s a nightmare. It just builds and builds on top of documenting the horrors of our world, and throws a pregnant woman into it.”

Lawrence herself said that after seeing the images unspool on the big screen at the Venice Film Festival, she was “shaking” and wondered whether they had “gone too far.” Though Lawrence has said she is proud of the film, and hopes that it will inspire audiences to exhibit more empathy, Lawrence also told Toronto International Film Festival moviegoers, “I don’t know that I would make a film that made me feel that way again.”

As for Aronofsky, he clarified: “I think it’s important for people to recognize I am not condoning the violence in the movie. Some people might think, ‘Hey, it’s messed up.’ But we wanted to show the story of the world and how it feels to be her. And what we as a species do to her . . . We also wanted to make something that would floor people.”

Aronofsky said that he edited out a few scenes that “went a little too far,” but did not make any major changes in post-production. Because the film is such a carefully engineered climactic build, taking out one on-screen atrocity would have been like upsetting a game of Jenga.

Some critics have called the final sequence—particularly what is done to Lawrence—misogynistic. Entertainment Weekly even titled its review “Jennifer Lawrence Gets Put Through the Torture-Porn Wringer.”

But Aronofsky has a response for those people: “They are missing the whole point. It’s misogyny if it says that this is good . . . I think [any spit-take revulsion is] just like an initial reaction to being punched. We are telling the story of Mother Nature turning into a female energy, and we defile the earth. We call her dirt. We don’t clean up after our mess. We drill in her. We cut down her forests. We take without giving back. That’s what the movie is.”

The reason I felt the need to post about well it touches upon various things that I have been discussing lately online, often with a great deal of aggravation as if we are circling around the elephant in the room, but from another angle.

I think art, regardless of how well it is done or how well we like it, is a reflection of our society and world. Sort of the shadow we cast in the mirror. I don't like mirrors. Never have. They unnerve me. In part because the reflection is never the same, it always shifts and changes depending on the light and the angle of the cast. Similar to photographs, which are similar to mirrors. They capture an image inside them via light. But unlike mirrors hold on to it. Art, painting, television, film acts like a mirror -- it takes on and often distorts the images thrown at it, depicting what lies beneath the surface.

Oscar Wilde's brilliant book, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, is a psychological horror tale about a man who stays beautiful while his portrait ages and becomes ugly, taking on all the ravages in his soul, depicting the true man beneath the surface. Instead of being a beautiful portrait, it's actually
ugly and gross and horrifying. Aronsfsky's films like the portrait of Dorian Gray, show us the bits we don't want to see.

Mirrors also lie to us, they show us what we wish to see. Just as art can lie and show false truths.

The artist's intent may not come off as intended, it may get lost in translation or be misinterpreted by the viewer. Many viewers and critics saw "mother!" as either torture porn or misogyny. And I read similar reactions to Black Swan.

While the artist intended an allegorical tale of what we're doing to mother earth. The gut-wrenching pain of it. Yet, oblivious to it, blind. Until faced with the consequences.

I find the interactions between the audience with the art and the artist with the audience and work to be fascinating. I remember my brother, a conceptual artist, telling me once that all art regardless of the medium was interactive, or risked being self-indulgent. That people interact with the art, and the art is representative of our culture, ourselves and society at large. If we hate a work of art, we should dig deeper and ask what it is reflecting of our society...and what is our relationship to that.

I haven't seen the movie "mother!" and from what I've just read about it? I don't think I'll be able to watch it. Not a huge fan of allegory, and graphic torture isn't something I can watch easily. But, knowing and overall being fascinated by Aronfsky's work...I'm admittedly curious and might rent it on On Demand or Netflix.
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-16 09:20 pm

(no subject)

There's apparently a Syfy app now on Amazon Fire Stick, where you can watch all the Syfy shows for free. Does have commercials. But not as annoying as on demand. But you do need a cable provider to access it.
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-15 08:12 pm

This that and the other thing...

1. Iraq + 100 is an anthology of science fiction stories by Iraqi writers regarding the Iraq war.

The editor of the anthology, Hassan Blasim, asked a simple question–how could you imagine your nation 100 years from now?

The question posed to Iraqi writers (those still in their homeland and those who have joined a world-wide diaspora), has produced an amazing project, a roadmap of what their country might look like following the disastrous foreign invasion of 2003.

2. The Chicago Newberry Library is looking for people who can translate ancient medieval spells from 17th Century archaeic Latin and English

Do you love libraries? Have a penchant for casting spells? Particularly well versed in 17th century archaic Latin and English? Well the Chicago Newberry Library might have the perfect job for you!

Crowdsourcing for spells is probably one of the coolest techno-magic surprises that 2017 has bestowed upon us, and Christopher Fletcher, the project lead, says you don’t even have to be an expert to get involved. “[The initiative] is a great way to allow the general public to engage with these materials in a way that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise,” Fletcher told

The three magical manuscripts are called The Book of Magical Charms, The Commonplace Book, and Cases of Conscience Concerning Witchcraft. You can explore them at the research library’s online “Transcribing Faith” portal.

3. Cassini's Greatest Saturn Discoveries and Photos

Some really amazing photos from Saturn. Cassini is the probe that they sent to Saturn.

4. People keep raving about The Shape of Water on various entertainment and cultural cites, so I watched the trailer and okay, I get it

Guillermo del Toro‘s latest film is shaping up to be one of the year’s best. The Shape of Water has already won itself the Best Picture award at this year’s Venice Film Festival before going on to be quite the crowd-pleaser at TIFF. I’m honestly pleasantly surprised and optimistic about the buzz surrounding del Toro’s fantastical drama because the combo story of woman-meets-fishman romance and Cold War thriller is not one I thought audiences would gravitate towards. As this new red-band trailer for The Shape of Water shows, however, the story is in good hands with del Toro and Fox Searchlight.

The new trailer lays a lot of the plot out for viewers, but it’s told in such a way as to keep things from getting too spoilery. Folks who have already seen the movie may disagree, however, so if you’d rather go see The Shape of Water fresh, feel free to pass. For the brave, this red-band trailer features a lot more interaction between Sally Hawkins‘ Eliza Esposito and Doug Jones‘ creature character known only as “The Asset.” It also shows Michael Shannon losing his cool, which is always a treat. Rounding out the cast are Richard Jenkins and Michael Stuhlbarg, who you can also glimpse in this new trailer. Keep an eye out for The Shape of Water in theaters on December 8th.

It's about a death/mute who rescues the creature from the black lagoon from the CIA.

5.Someone finally asked Harrison Ford about his affair with Carrie Fisher, which she disclosed in her book before her untimely death

His response?

Now, Ford has commented on Fisher’s book and the news of the affair.

In a lengthy profile with GQ, the actor’s asked, “How strange for you was it when Carrie Fisher put out her ‘Star Wars’ book?”

“It was strange. For me,” he replied.

Ford recalled that he was given advanced warning “to a degree,” but he didn’t go much more in-depth on his thoughts.

“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know. You know, with Carrie’s untimely passing, I don’t really feel that it’s a subject that I want to discuss,” he said.

The interviewer, Chris Heath, still pressed a little more:

GQ: Can I ask you whether you’d prefer that it hadn’t been written?

Ford: Yes. You can ask me.

GQ: Do you want to answer?

Ford: No.

GQ: Can I ask you whether you read it?

Ford: No. I didn’t.

That’s likely all we’re going to get from the actor on the subject.

Throughout the rest of the profile, Heath consistently brought up how little Ford wanted to answer questions, especially ones like that.

At the time of Fisher’s death, Ford remembered his friend and “Star Wars” co-star in a statement, calling her “one-of-a-kind … brilliant, original.”

“Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely,” he added.

Which in a nutshell is why Ford has been successful in Hollywood. He's careful. Also to be fair, it happened over 40 years ago, in 1977-78.

6. Global Giving for Hurricane Irma Relief...I think this is a good one, was rec'd by Smart Bitches

* Adopt a Family in the US Virgin Islands

* Community Foundation for the Virgin Islands Fund for Relief

* List of Places to Donate for Hurricane Relief in the Virgin Islands

7. And now I'm following Amber Tamblyn on Twitter...more or less because of this, not so much James Woods, who frankly has always given me the creeps.

8. Ah, Found the GQ Interview with Harrison Ford, by Chris Heath that various sites keep quoting from. (I didn't look for it, it fell into my lap.)

Apparently Ford once punched Ryan Gosling in the face, accidentally on purpose and apologized by pouring him a glass of scotch. It's actually an interesting interview -- Ford hates interviews, which is why it is interesting.


Ford: “I've been accused, usually by women in my life, of being unreflective.” A short laugh. “It's just that there's enough going on right now. I just don't think too much about it.”

Heath: What do they mean when they call you unreflective?

Ford: “We're going down the wrong path,” he answers, as though appalled at the door he has inadvertently opened. “I just…I remember these things, but I don't remember them with very much emotional attachment. I think the reason maybe that you become an actor is that you see things from here.” He gestures to indicate a perspective from outside one's body. “From outside. Slightly above.” He laughs. “And a wider lens. And so you see life in a slightly different…askew…maybe a degree of separation. And so what's happening around you becomes more interesting, because you're only a part of it. It's not all about you. And so you can imagine yourself being somebody else. You can imagine knowing things other than what you know.”


Ford: “I punched Ryan Gosling in the face,” Ford confirms. Then he adds, by way of clarification, that “Ryan Gosling's face was where it should not have been.”

Heath: Explain further, if you will.

Ford: “His job was to be out of the range of the punch. My job was also to make sure that I pulled the punch. But we were moving, and the camera was moving, so I had to be aware of the angle to the camera to make the punch look good. You know, I threw about a hundred punches in the shooting of it, and I only hit him once.”

Heath: So he should be grateful?

Ford: “I have pointed that out.”

Heath: And the one that did connect—that's 100 percent his fault?

Ford: “No.” Ford makes as though he's carefully weighing this. “I mean, I suppose it's 90 percent his fault.”

And...for shapinglight, a snippet on Bladerunner. Unless there's someone else who loves Bladerunner like I do? (It's my favorite science fiction film of all time. Just perfect blend of story, character, theme, and world-building.)

Bladerunner )

I saw Bladerunner in a half-empty movie theater with my mother, back in the 1980s. We both loved Science Fiction and Harrison Ford. And we adored the film. Neither of us understood why it didn't do well. Actually, the best thing in Bladerunner wasn't Ford, but Rutger Hauer. Who was so compelling, Anne Rice had him in mind when she wrote her Vampire series in the 1980s and 90s.

Interesting, Ford and Scott have had an on-going disagreement over whether Deckard is a replicant in the film or human. Ford played him human and felt it worked better from an audience and story perspective if he was human, Scott strongly hinted and strongly believes Deckard is a replicant and that's the twist. What's interesting is that in the original Philip K. Dick novel, When Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Deckard is a replicant. Except that book is nothing like the movie. They have almost nothing in common, except possibly the twist that Deckard is a replicant but doesn't know it like the woman he's become involved with.

Because Deckard doesn't know it -- it actually works that Ford plays him as human. Because from Deckard's perspective, he is human, and you can't tell. And it pulls on the question - "what is human?" (Our emotions and ability to feel empathy and care for others make us human, according to the film and to a degree the novel. Cold rational thought -- is inhuman. Yet, in some respects, the replicants care more than many humans.)

And on Star Wars

Read more... )

I think he's done with Star Wars. Personally, I'd rather have more Han Solo than Indiana Jones. I don't know why we need another Indy movie. (They are making one. Yes, seriously.) Star Wars, of his film franchises, was the only one that I felt required a sequel -- it had the world for it. The other two, I really didn't need sequels for, they felt self-contained and good in of themselves. Also the sequels to Raiders were...ahem, with the exception of Holy Grail, bad.
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-14 10:39 pm

(no subject)

Should just go to bed these bits reading list:

1. Rebel Seoul by Axi Oh - is basically a sci-fi novel about girls who have been weaponized and operate robots. In short the writer combined Sailor Moon with Gundam Wing. (I vaguely remember both. I, ahem, went on an anime binge back in the 1990s when they were hard to get a hold of. People are spoiled now with Netflix and Disney and other venues. But back in the 1980s-90s, you had to look for them. Often in cult video stores (aka not Blockbusters) and on pirated VHS. So I was devoted...because I managed to find them comic book stores (which had them) and hole in the wall video stores. So I've seen Lupin, Gundam Wing, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Vampire Hunter D, Sailor Moon, Battle of the Planets (which I loved), among many others that I can't remember. I also read Magna back then, which was also difficult to come by. So not that many.)

Anyhow this looks interesting. I may have to get it. I'm thinking I may need to switch from the romance genre to sci-fi soon. I'm getting bit irritated by the romance genre. (Although I probably should have thought of that before I went on a couple of book buying sprees a while back -- smartbitches had these .99 cent - 2.99 deals they were posting...and well...)

2. Discovery of Witches Television Show casts Game of Thrones and Sherlock stars -- so, hmmm, they are adapting Discovery of Witches as a television series? I admittedly couldn't get into the books. But the series idea sounds intriguing.

3. Television shows?

Teen Wolf? Would someone over the age of 45 enjoy this? Is it like Vamp Diaries or...more like
Shadowhunters? I liked Vamp Diaries, Shadowhunters got on my nerves and I gave up after episode one. Is this on Netflix? Or Streaming?

Killjoys? Is this on Netflix? Or Streaming? How many seasons?

Any others???
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-12 09:07 pm

Cool and Interesting Trailers

There's some odd movies coming out...that I didn't know about:

1. The Current War starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Thomas Edison), Michael Shannon (Westinghouse), and Nicolas Hoult (Tesla).

2. The Man Who Invented Christmas starring Dan Stevens (Dickens) and Christopher Plummer (Scrooge). It's more similar to Shakespeare in Love, hardly accurate, but looks fun.

3. The Jungle starring Daniel Radcliff - who keeps doing weird horror meets Jungle, Jungle wins.

4. Downsizing - starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz and Kirsten Wigg...directed by Alexander Payne, (and yes, I see a trend here too that there aren't many women in these movies..) is a weird film about people choosing to miniaturize in order to afford the world. (I'd worry about the spiders, personally, and the bugs. But that's just me.) It's not a horror film.

5. Jeeze, there are lot of Marvel adaptations at the goes on and on and on... (And they forgot to include all of Fox's properties. Legion, X-Men, The Gifted, and The New Mutants...which are actually more interesting and less campy.)

6. Wait. There is a sequel to Mama Mia? Why is there a sequel to Mama Mia?

7. Goodbye Christopher Robin...about AA Milne. A biopic about the creation of Winnie the Pooh, it's really a story about Milne and his son, and the consequences of writing the book and how if affected that relationship.

8. The Alienist adapted as a television series on TNT - from the Caleb Carr book.

9. Molly's Game starring Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba and written by Aaron Sorkin based on the true story of a woman who ran a high priced poker club.

10. A Wrinkle in Time - adapted into a movie
This is the favorite Madeline L'Engle Book.

And, Top 10 Upcoming Fantasy Movies... notable for the one's that have already flopped, such as Dark Tower.
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-12 06:25 pm

Links...worth commenting on...

1. What it is like to ride Japan's Cat Cafe Train - thanks to conuly for the link.

Bill Adler moved to Tokyo from Washington, D.C., about three years ago. Over the phone, he lists a few of his new home’s virtues: “Beautiful country, great food, interesting people,” he says. “And cat café trains.”

This past Sunday, September 10, Adler and a few dozen fellow travelers rode on one of those cat café trains. They were joined by about 30 rescue kittens, which spent the trip climbing the legs of besotted passengers, running back and forth on train benches, and napping on laps.

2. Logo for New Mutant's Film

New Mutants readers will know that's basically just the comic series' classic logo with a little blood-splatter added for effect. It's doubtful that we can expect the exact same image when the film starts putting out teasers and posters. What is interesting, though, is the snowy landscape in the background with a single character (who I would guess is Mirage) standing in a bloody patch. Boone has made no secret of the fact that he intends to make this film not a superhero movie, but a horror movie. To that end the film will, in some way, adapt the iconic "Demon Bear" saga, pitting the young mutants against that particular creature. Based on this very vague image, it looks like that's still the plan.

3. Your Work Schedule Could be Killing You

ER doctors are shift workers, and their hours are spread over a dizzying, ever-changing schedule of mornings, afternoons, and nights that total 20 ­different shifts a month. That’s meant to equally distribute the burden of nocturnal work across an entire team of physicians. But despite those good intentions, Herring says, the result is that every single one of them is exhausted and sleep ­deprived. That’s dangerous for doctor and patient alike.

4. Hadrian's Wall - Unearthed Lost Secrets of the First Roman Soliders -hmmm, reminds me of a certain Doctor Who episode.

Archaeologists are likening the discovery to winning the lottery. A Roman cavalry barracks has been unearthed near Hadrian’s Wall, complete with extraordinary military and personal possessions left behind by soldiers and their families almost 2,000 years ago. A treasure trove of thousands of artefacts dating from the early second century has been excavated over the past fortnight.

The find is significant not just because of its size and pristine state, but also for its contribution to the history of Hadrian’s Wall, showing the military build-up that led to its construction in AD122. The barracks pre-dates the wall: the Romans already had a huge military presence in the area, keeping the local population under control.

5. Reasons to Save/Watch Dark Matter -- so the Mary Sue is trying to convince me to watch Dark Matter. It makes some good points - space opera, strong female characters, diversity of casting, makes you laugh - but the show's been cancelled. And it's been cancelled prior to wrapping up key story-arcs. Been there done that. (See Sense8) Sounds a wee bit masochistic to do it again. Makes more sense to continue watching the Expanse or trying Kill Joys, which got a two season stay of execution and plenty of time to wrap itself up.

Also, I think the writer of the article completely misinterpreted "The Expanse". Which happens. I read Leviathan Wakes, so had a completely different interpretation of the story and plot than they did. But I thought it clear enough in the show.

This brings up a bit of interesting conversation I over head at the end of the day.

Manager: People just refuse to see the other side. They are so stuck in their own point of view.
Minion (or Supervisor): True, but sometimes you can be so emotionally attached to a situation that you can't see outside of that. I know, because believe it or not, I've been in that position and often haven't been able to see the other side's perspective as a result.
Manager: Oh I believe it. (laughter)

This conversation stuck with me, because it is so true. It's why it's never good to enter into discourse or debates when emotions are involved. You can't talk to someone who is furious for example. The more emotionally invested someone is in their own point of view, an idea, a television show or character, etc, the less likely they will see any other point of view. It hurts too much.
That's why we have fandom kerfuffle's and well...kerfuffle's over everything.

6. Apparently JJ Abrahms is now directing the next Star Wars film (this is the one premiering in 2019, after this one, which they had to completely rewrite because of Carrie Fishers Death.

Also it's debuting December 2019, one week before or after (I forget which) Wonder Woman 2, which is being directed by Patty Jenkins. (That bit wasn't in the article it was in another article which you can google on your own.
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-11 06:28 pm

(no subject)

1. The Mary Sue is getting on my nerves again...(ie. yes, I know you think such and such movie is a hateful racist or anti-feminist or both bit of scorn, that needs to be boycotted and can't be permitted to exist...but honestly, it's just a movie. And one of about a trillion movies made yearly. Where people get a salary, so they can make better movies or send kids to school or feed themselves. Find something worthy to rant about. Like, I don't know, the DACA repeal? Climate Change and the burning of the northwest?).

Co-worker said what we are seeing is a failure of our educational system. I tend to agree. There's a lot information out there, but no one has been taught how to critically disseminate it. And way too many people skip over foundation - such as the humanities, art, social science, history, literature, music, and skip to business school, computer school, hard sciences, etc. Which honestly, you can pretty much teach yourself -- once you have a good foundation. But so many people don't. A lot of my co-workers for example, are financial and computer whizzes, but have no idea who Lyndon Johnson was or any knowledge about the Civil Rights Act or the First Amendment. It's scary.

2. Good news...I'm feeling grateful today. All of my family members weathered the hurricane from hell with no serious injuries. And to my knowledge no major damage to their homes. My cousin lost power in Orlando. (My mother doesn't know yet if her new house suffered any flooding or damage from the storm surge -- there's flooding on the island. But she's rather blase about the whole thing. Figures -- if there's damage, she'll just stay in her old home later, and wait for them to fix it. Her old/current home which she's selling, is fine. No damage at all. She heard from her neighbor.
And tonight's movie is Notting Hill, which will be shown to the evacuees on a big screen.) My Aunt didn't have any problems, nor did my Uncle -- there was no flooding, power outage or anything in Tampa. Apparently the storm surge hit the east side of the peninsula not the west. Very weird storm -- it was 500 miles across, and the locations opposite where the eye landed got hit the worse. Miami had more damage apparently than Naples, where it came in. And Orlando was hit worse than Tampa. Also Tybee Island and the Islands along the coast of Georgia suffered more of a storm surge than the areas along the Gulf Coast...yet it went up the West Side along the Gulf.

My mother tells me that they are getting the winds and rain now in Charlotte, North Carolina. So it is moving a lot faster than predicted.

3. Saw The Orville last night. Seth McFarland's homage/spoof on Star Trek and various other sci-fi shows. And...I agree with the critics. It's stupid. Also the acting is very stiff. Poor Adrianne Paleki(sp?) the actress from Friday Night Lights cannot catch a break. I felt sorry for her. She plays McFarland's First Officer and ex-wife, and is the best thing in the show. McFarland, I noticed has an asymetrical face, one eye is differently shaped than the other, also he's a bit stiff as an actor. I was disappointed.

The story is rather cliche. I feel like I've seen it before. It feels like a poor rendition of the original Star Trek. Lacking the charisma of the former players. Galaxy Quest this isn't.

It might get better, but I doubt it.

Sigh. Why can't this be on CBS All Access, and Discovery be on Fox -- where I can watch it for free?
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-10 06:10 pm

(no subject)

1. Good news, Irma has made landfall in Naples as Cat3, and rapidly downsized to a CAT2, I think my Aunt and Uncle will be okay. (fingers crossed)

Bad news...while we're all paying attention to the noisy hurricanes, Northwestern Canada and the Northwestern United States is on fire. Literally. Montana has lost over 1.34 million acres, just Montana. There are over 65 forest fires burning in the United States alone, not counting the many more in Canada. The combination of severe drought and above average temperatures in the 100s has resulted in forest fires and bad air quality.

While Hurricanes plague the South, the West is on Fire.

2. Took a lovely and long meditative walk from Brooklyn Promenade to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Lovely scenery and a beautiful sky blue day for it. In the park, lying on the grass on a towel, was a naked white guy in his sixties. He had long white hair. And wasn't wearing anything but a thong. Or a yellow jock strap. I stared at his naked back and bun for five seconds, and looked around, no one else appeared to notice or care, and I shrugged, "only in New York City", and wandered onwards.
It's in the low seventies here, with a nice crisp breeze. It is not in the 90s. He also was pasty white with a bit of bronzing burn. So I have no idea what he was thinking.

Other than that, it was a lovely walk. Wildflowers, trees, lovely views.

The world can seem overwhelming at it helps to take little breaks.
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-09 09:27 pm

(no subject)

1. We Can't Leave Florida.

I have family members shaming my Aunt M for not evacuating. I even told her she should and then started to do a bit of research...and well, found the above article.

2. Reboot of The Greatest American Hero with an Indian-American Woman in the lead -- I'm guessing Indian as from India? This is an issue ...up until roughly the 1990s, Native Americans were referred to as Indians.
Why? Because an Italian explorer named Christopher Columbus decided to prove the world was round by sailing from Spain to the West Indies. Instead he ran smack dab into the Americas. So he called the natives there Indians. The Europeans being entitled self-centered asses, invaded the new world and decided to name the inhabitants there Indians, as opposed to using their actual tribal names, and named themselves Americans. Why Americans? Because another Italian named , Amerigo Vespucci actually figured out this was a new continent and not the West Indies like Columbus thought. He was a bit brighter. So to celebrate these two Italians, and give Italy a ego boost, the new world was called Americas, and the inhabitants Americans. And to celebrate Europe's successful invasion and colonization of this new world, we have Columbus Day, which also celebrates Italian heritage.

Don't remember Greatest American Hero? It's that 1980s show that starred Robert Culp and William Katt. I found the original hilarious in places. Although the best thing in it was Robert Culp.

Actually now that I think about it, an Indian-American playing the role is fitting. Although considering the ahem, American etymological history of the words Indian and American...the two together sound a bit redundant.

3. Alias Grace Premiering this Fall on Netflix...this looks really good. Better actually than "A Handmaid's Tale" which frankly never appealed to me. (ie. less preachy, more complicated.)

4. The Mary Sue is Hiring an Assistand Editor -- anyone (ahem under the age of 35) looking for a job editing, writing, and researching content for a radical liberal feminist blog, with a location in Manhattan? Writing about fannish things, such as role playing games, comics, television, film, etc with a LGBTQ and feminist bent?

It looked appealing to me, but I'm too old this stuff, and I'm about to hit my ten-year anniversary at the Railroad, which is a tad more financially secure and a lot more stable. This is young gal's gig. (Something one worries about past middle age. If I was 25, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But I'm a wee bit past that..and find myself bewildered and rolling my eyes at the fact that there is actually job like this that actually pays money, and where was this over twenty years ago, when I'd have applied for it?... LOL!)

5. Flirting with television shows...

* Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix)
* Black Sails, White Princess, Outlander (try again), American Gods, on Starz as a trial
* Fortitude - Netflix
* Expanse
* Broadchurch

Or just working on my book...half my mind is on the damn hurricane, and worried about other personal stuff.
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-09 09:00 pm

(no subject)

1. That's it I want to live in the television world of the Great British Bake-Off. Where there is no disease, people make lovely tasty treats, have tea parties on a beautiful big lawn, help each other, and are exceedingly kind, while making jokes. Even though it's a competition, everyone is exceedingly kind, the losers are hugged and comforted, the winners get kisses and flowers and a cake platform. There's a bit tea party on grassy lawn. No sexism, no racism, no prejudice, no homophobia, no xenophobia...and the worst that can happen might be a gentle rain or cake disaster.

2. What are five comfort television shows?

* Great British Bake-Off
* Mozart in the Jungle
* This is Us
* The Gilmore Girls
* Buffy the Vampire Slayer
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-08 06:15 pm

Frigging Irma...

Trying not to obsess over crazy-ass monster Hurricane that is the size of Texas or all of the Briitish Isles and France, due to pummel Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Tenessee, Kentucky and Alabama, after already wrecking havoc over the Caribbean Islands. Barbados -- over half the island is homeless. St. Martin's and The Virgin Islands pummeled. Puerto Rica kicked. Cuba wasn't hurt that bad. It's going over the Bahamas tonight, slated to make landfall in Florida on Sunday, Carolinas by Tuesday.

Half of Florida is under a mandatory evacuation -- as is the eastern coastline of Georgia and South Carolina.

So think about this for a minute -- Florida is a major tourist destination and point of departure for various cruise lines. Most of those people don't have cars. And they are now competing for flights home with people trying to evacuate. And the airport is not a secure evacuation area.

Even if they did have cars...there is grid-lock, nothing is moving, no gas, no water, no food, and no hotels available, everything is packed to capacity.

Here's the current trajectory.

OR better yet, National Hurricane Center Trajectory

According to ABC News, it's predicted that it may hit the Florida Keys as a Cat 5. This is worth watching -- it shows how impossible it is to evacuate the state. There's no flights after 8PM tonight. And a gas shortage.

They aren't sure how it will hit or how bad. Just that the Eye will pass right over the heart of Florida. And are predicting that this may well be the Natural Disaster of our time.

I'm really worried about my Aunt M (who is just north of Tampa on the northwest coastline), Uncle (south and in the middle), and cousins (Orlando) down there, who can't leave and are sticking it out.

Talked to my mother, she's en route to Charlotte, North Carolina to wait out the storm with a bunch of people from her new neighborhood. She said it's stop and go traffic, it's moving but barely. She's been on the road on a bus since 11:30 AM this morning. They'll probably get in late, but at least they have a bathroom (a nice one) on the bus. Got lunch on the bus, and water. So much better than driving themselves. (My parents are very smart when it comes to evacuations. My mother is a logistical worrier like I am, it's possibly genetic.)

It is the worst storm to hit the continental US in years, and predicted to be even worse than Andrew. And there are two hurricanes in the Atlantic right behind it.

I don't's as if 2017 looked at us...after 2016, and said, honey, 2016 was just a prelude, wait and see what I've got in store.
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-05 09:27 pm

(no subject)

So Hillary Clinton has not been resting on her laurels since the election, she's written another book...the one entitled What Happened -- which basically addresses what happened during the election and its aftermath.

While she has dealt with Trump in the book (how could one not?), she also decides to deal with the Bernie Saunders supporters.

What Happened With Bernie.

This was unfortunately my perception of many of the Bernie Sanders supporters on Face Book, and among the reasons that I could not support Sanders. It got so bad at one stage that I was hiding posts right and left. (Clinton who had learned her lesson in 2008 election, regarding hateful rhetoric against Obama, which had been among the reasons I did not vote for Clinton in 2008 and voted for Obama, had taken a different tact and did not give into it. Nor did her supporters. While unfortunately her opponents did. This to me, at least, proved she alone possessed the character and qualifications for President. Clinton had taken responsibility and learned from her mistake.) The hatred many Sanders fans threw at Hillary and Hillary's supporters, made it impossible for me to take them seriously or listen to anything they said. The more they railed hate at Hillary and anyone who supported her, the less I respected their choices. I hope those supporters have taken a hard look at their behavior and realized that perhaps if they chose a different way of supporting their candidate, we may be living in a world that is markedly different than the current one. While we cannot change the past, we can at least learn from it, take responsibility for our actions, and try to be more mindful of our interactions online and off next time -- in doing so, we can change the world for the better.

"As pretty much every Clinton supporter on the internet saw firsthand, sexist attacks during the election season weren’t just coming from the right. Clinton writes about how “some of his supporters, the so-called Bernie Bros, took to harassing my supporters online. It got ugly and more than a little sexist.”

“When I finally challenged Bernie during a debate to name a single time I changed a position or a vote because of a financial contribution, he couldn’t come up with anything,” she goes on. “Nonetheless, his attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign.”

The fact that someone as unethical and unscrupulous as Trump could label Clinton “crooked” and actually get that label to stick would be laughable if it weren’t so depressing. Trump has proven just how effective aggressive repetition of a catchy moniker can be in getting people to believe a message (“fake news,” anyone?), even when that message is as ludicrous a lie as the idea that Donald Trump is more honest or more qualified to be president than Hillary Clinton.

I agree with Clinton that Bernie Sanders leaned into that false narrative. As she puts it, “he had to resort to innuendo and impugning my character.” He called her unqualified, a claim with no basis in reality, despite its ubiquity. He called her dishonest, when really many of his (and his supporters’) issues with her seemed to be more with the party than with her. Which is absolutely valid. There’s a lot to be criticized when it comes to the Democratic Party. But he was actively seeking the nomination to lead a party he openly hates–a party he is not a part of. As Clinton writes, “that’s not a smear, that’s what he says.” She says, “I am proud to be a Democrat and I wish Bernie were, too.”"
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-05 08:45 pm

(no subject)

1. Mother is worried about Hurricane Irma, which at the moment is clocked as the strongest and most powerful hurricane to ever be spotted in the history of weather reporting in the Atlantic (the media does like to over-hype things, doesn't it?). Apparently just calling it a Category 5 Hurricane didn't feel strong enough. Less put some extra weight behind it. And tell people that it could hit Miami, Tampa, Orlanda, rocket up the coast like Matthew and decimate the Carolinas, or just wipe out the Caribbean. Because it's not like we don't have anything to worry over or be anxious about at the moment.

This is going to be a LONG-ASS hurricane season. Note Hurricane Season begins roughly in August and lasts until November. Sandy hit NY in late October. Matthew hit before Columbus Day.

Meanwhile, the northwest is on fire. And by on fire, I mean everywhere from Montana clear up to British Columbia..due to extreme heat, dry temperatures, and wild fires. And India is apparently being flooded by torrential rains. Far worse damage in India than in the US.

Gotta love Mother Nature. OR the media for freaking out over Mother Nature. Personally, I think 2017 is just determined to show us how much worse it can be than 2016. You think 2016 was rough? Just wait1

2. Sci-fi geek co-worker felt the need to discuss television today, and complain about all the people he's run into who love Twin Peaks. "How can anyone in their right mind love this show?" He rails at me.

Read more... )

3. I finished The Windflower by Laura London and absolutely adored it. And now, miss it. Ever have this feeling after reading a really enjoyable book? That once you've finished it...there's this weird sense of loss. Sort of similar to eating a scrumptious desert. Wait, there's no more? I want more. Dang it.

Best romance novel that I've read in ages. (Will not state best I've read ever...since that's a sliding scale that changes as the wind blows. I don't really have favorite books, I have a lot of books I love at various points.) But I've been on a bit of a reading slump of late and this book was the first one that had me sitting for hours curled in a chair escaping via word pictures into another world.

The characters are so well developed. The plot tracks all the way through. There's a hint of historical realism. It contains a self-deprecating sense of humor and a dry wit. It's subversive and does the exact opposite of the trope. And is unpredictable as a result.

And I bloody well don't care if anyone else likes it. This is a classic that has been out of print for twenty-five years, and has just recently come back into print as a cheap Kindle e-book. Prior to that you had to spend $100 to get a copy or hunt it down in a used book store. Issues were stolen from library shelves due to its scarcity. I can sort of see's a precious gem in an unfortunately somewhat paint-by-numbers genre.

Note to romance novelists and the publishing industry? Guidelines aren't your friend. Kick the guidelines to the curb and have a bit of fun. These guys did.

I already miss the book.

Up next is "Her Every Fear by Peter Swansen" which is a mystery thriller that I'm reading for a book club that I discovered via meetup groups online. They are meeting at a Korean restaurant near Penn Station at 6:30PM on Sept 19. I'm working up the courage to go to it. We'll see if I do and don't talk myself out of it at the last minute.

[I went back to edit because I realized that I've developed the highly annoying habit of skipping over words as I type. Weirdly the word "the", and "this". I have no clue why my brain is doing this. IT just is.)
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-04 09:16 pm

Sigh...too many tv shows too little time..

There's not exactly a derth of television series at the moment. Although there's also a lot of the same thing. So I'm hunting things that are different.

Started streaming Mozart in the Jungle S1 which is uneven and at its best when it's focusing on the music. It's about the lives, relationships, and struggles of the members of the New York Philarmonic Orchestra...the fictional members. It's about thirty minutes per episode. So you go through them quickly.

Flirting with IZombie (which I tried several years back but didn't hold my interest at the time - too many zombie shows and films at the time, I'd grown weary of the genre), Ozarks, Fortitude, and Borsch.

I don't know though. Still have 12 episodes of The 100 and 8 episodes of The Expanse to watch. (I gave up on and deleted Will, Still Star Crossed, Younger, Claws, Salvation and Midnight Texas.)

New shows that are premiering this fall that look interesting, mainly because they are a bit different:

1. The Orville (which appears to be on Thursdays for some reason)
2. Star Trek: Discovery (which will jump to CBS All Access...and uhm, probably won't)
3. The Inhumans (has received horrid reviews, but I'm curious - because it's basically I Claudius with Superheroes)
4. The Gifted (a X-men series with a's focusing on a father and mother, with no powers, who had been studying mutants and imprisoning them who find themselves with mutant kids they'd do anything to protect.) [Airs right after Lucifer...]
5. Young Sheldon -- takes place in the 1990s or 80s, and focuses on Sheldon Cooper as a kid.
6. Alias Grace - Netflix series based on Margaret Atwood Book
7. The Collection - PBS - about a French Fashion House
8. Dynasty reboot, which is interesting in that Jeff Colby is black and bisexual (the love triangle is between Fallon and her male driver), also Sammy Jo is not Crytal's niece, but her nephew and he sleeps with Steven Carrington. In short it has a diverse cast, and mainly homosexual cast. The original Dynasty was notable for being among the first time series with a male leading character who was gay on prime time television.
9. Kevin PRobably Saves the World -- A guy who has lost everything is visited by woman (who only he can see and tells him she's a Warrior of God, and informs him that he's one of 36 righteous souls responsible for keeping hope alive and he has to find the others.
10. Ten Days in the Valley a television producer/show-runner who produces a crime drama/thriller, one night while she's writing her final script...her daughter is kidnapped. Stars Kyra Sedwick.

There's also a new doctor series by the creators of House, starring the star of The Bates Motel, entitled "The Good Doctor" -- the lead is an autistic surgeon. (Which apparently makes him a typical surgeon.) And a bunch of wonky sitcoms...Me, Myself and I (about a man at three stages in his life),
The Mayor (about a rapper who is elected Mayor) - executive produced by Daveed Diggs from Hamilton.

And a lot of military shows...SEALS, SWAT, VALOR, THE BRAVE...Yawn. I'm willing to bet half of them are gone by mid-season.
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-03 08:26 pm

(no subject)

1. Cloudy day, after non-stop pouring rain last night and this morning, and I've spend most of it reading a subversive 1980s romance novel, also watching my favorite season of "The Great British Bake-Off", which is S6 (S3 on PBS) where Nadia won. I love all the people on this one. They are incredibly interesting and diverse. Not all the seasons are this diverse.

Ah the sun just came out, with the clouds rolling back, white and puffy, revealing blue sky at twilight. Only to disappear again behind gray clouds, as it set. The view out my living room window is of rooftops, trees, sky and back yards overtaken by weed. With crickets and cicadas chirping in competition with jet planes and cars whooshing by in the distance.

2. Trying to make up my mind about a two-seater sofa (aka love seat) and armchair at Pottery Barn, neither are part of their Labor Day Promotional sale, but alas what I want.

3. Tried to watch Ann with an E which is a new adaptation, and a relatively grim one of "Anne of Green Gables". Half-way through the first episode, I was angry and talking back to the tv set.

The Huffington Post has a rather clear-eyed review of it... HERE. Wherein the review critiques the series for handling issues in a modern way, that would not have been discussed or handled in that matter 100 years ago.

This brings up an interesting issue or challenge regarding current adaptations, in some respects "politically correct" re-interpretations of old and classical works of fiction. Ignoring the historical context in which the work was written, and the sentiments of the people of the time. I'm not sure it's a good idea to run roughshod or in some cases remove those sentiments or incorrectness, no matter how offensive.

Not that in some cases it hasn't worked to do a modern adaptation, or lent a certain clarity to the work, previously lacking...for example, the works of Shakespeare, Dickens and Austen have had modern interpretations, as have the Brontes and Bram Stoker which have worked rather well.

But, in the case of Anne of Green Gables and William Golding's Lord of the Flies, I'm not so certain. Just as I'm not so certain Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, or say Middlemarch and Tess of the D'Urbvilles work in a modern setting. Nor does All Quiet on the Western Front. Some works have a distinct and important historical context. It's embedded within the work of art.

Also, Anne of Green Gables had a lightness to it, that this adaptations yanks away for prestige purposes or a desire for hyper-realism. I'm not a huge fan of hyper-realism in fiction, paintings, music or anything else. It grates on me for some reason. I prefer an element of fictional whimsy. In short, I prefer metaphor over literal.


There was apparently a kerfuffle recently on twitter and various social media forums and onzines regarding the adaptation or rather reinterpretation of William Golding's Lord of the Flies as all women. Read more... )

Frak all that...after flitting around through Netflix and Amazon, I finally settled on Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon, thinking, I'll just watch one episode to see if I like it. And well, seven episodes later (this happens a lot on streaming devices), I realized I love this. It's so comforting.
And it makes me really happy. The music is just...really uplifting and beautiful.

Have you seen this? Shapinglight rec'd it recently as a happy show. So I pondered. And yes, a happy show. Like Great British Bake-Off, except with beautiful music and occasional dance performances.
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-09-01 09:25 pm

(no subject)

1. Trailer for the Film IT.

While "The Mary Sue" is admittedly starting to grate on my nerves for various reasons, its bits on pop-culture can be hilarious. Particularly if you identify with them. Which I did in this instance.
The writer of this article appears to have the same love/hate relationship that I do with horror movies. (ie. They look really good, but alas, I'm an insominac, prone to bouts of sever anxiety, with a vivid imagination and do not need help not sleeping. Horror movies are sort of like caffeine for my brain.)

2. Opening Sonnet in Romeo and Juliet in accent most used in Shakespear's Time

This is wickedly cool. Well cool if you are one of the following or all of the following:

* shameless theater geek
* Shakespeare geek
* linguistic scholar
* English historian

And the guy doing the accent is charming. I want to attend his classes. (I don't want to be an actor, I just want to go the seminars. Honestly, I think I should gotten a degree in film and theater studies, with the caveat that I wouldn't have to make films or perform.) However, more than happy to write them. I'm a writer not an entertainer.

3. Reading The Windflower which I managed to tempt my mother into reading. We are weird. We discuss books and television series for hours over the phone. Often pulpy ones.

Me: Uhm have you started reading Windflower yet?
Mother: Yes -
Me: Is it just me or does that book manage to put more adjectives in a sentence than anyone?
Mother: I haven't really noticed...
Me: Really? I'm finding it distracting, I keep wanting to edit it.
Mother: Well, that's because you are a writer. That stuff never bothers me. I just skim the descriptive bits. I do the same thing with the sex scenes, I'll read the first one and skim over all the others.
(This explains how she manages to finish books in a day or two.)
Me: It has sentences that make no sense. Such as..."He found himself lost in the myriad diamond effect of the rosewater sunshine gleaming off her ragged sunburnt strands." Uh, what the hell does that even mean?
Mother: I just skim over that.
Me: It is admittedly funny in places and I like the characters. But the descriptions are giving me a headache.

This book is considered a beloved classic. They love it. And the story is good, I like the characters, but I want to edit the hell out of it.
shadowkat: (Default)
2017-08-31 09:08 pm

(no subject)

1. Cranky, haven't been sleeping well. Hoping to get to bed around 9:30/10PM tonight and maybe read a bit. Did laundry tonight, and had to work around someone who beat me to it, which also made me cranky. Other than that it's been wonderfully mild here weather wise.

2. Did a little research on Houston. Houston is the fourth largest city in the US, after NYC, LA and Chicago. It has 2.3 Million people and a bit of a sprawl. To put this in context? Imagine Liverpool under water. Because Houston is also an industrial city with chemical plants, oil/gasoline plants, and NASA. Or Vancouver. Or Cannes.

Most of the city is underwater. And it's a city that's not done a good job with zoning, so there's a lot of concrete. And no place for the water to go, no green spaces. The devastation is worse than Hurricane Sandy and closer to Hurricane Katrina. Having seen the cost of Sandy on infrastructure and how long it takes to recover -- they are going to be at this for years and the cost is going to be in the billions. [Hmmm.. Costliest disaster in US history with a price tag of $160 Billion With Hurricane Sandy, we're still digging our way out of it. [Meanwhile the Doofus wants to cut disaster funds to pay for a border wall. Yeah, good luck with that. I have a feeling if things continue down this road, there will not be a GOP by 2020.]

You can most likely find links to all this online, just don't feel like taking the time to hunt them down.

Other than Houston, I've been avoiding news for the most part. I don't know what it is like elsewhere? But here, it's just toxic. And I've discovered when I avoid it, I'm happier and less angry and cranky. In short, we do what we can to maintain our mental health. The news makes me feel helpless and angry.

3. Someone wrote a book based on a urban legend about a Catholic School Girl running a banned book library out of her locker. It's entitled "Ban this Book by Alan Gartz".

4. Great British Bake-Off still a Treat for Viewers - thnanks to petz for the link, but alas it may never make it across the pound. Dang it. The main critique of it? Too many commercials. LOL! Yeah, cry me a river. Why do you think I prefer streaming? You think you have too many commercials.

Although, will state that back in the 1980s I was amazed that the British had commercials prior to their movies, but seemingly no commercials with many television shows. Back then the US did not have commercials prior to movies, just previews. (Then apparently some movie theater owners went to Britain and discovered you could do that...and ah, those were the days, because now, we have them, along with thirty minutes worth of previews. I remember watching Wonder Woman, and thinking, okay, is the movie ever going to start? Because I've been sitting here for thirty minutes now and just watching movie trailers.)

5. Reading meme?

Finished reading The Wicked Duke by Madeline Hunter, which contained a mystery and took place right after the death of King George the III, or rather during it. At least I think it was George, might have been Charles. Can't remember. And I can barely keep track of all of the US presidents, let alone England's Kings and Queens, who for some reason, many of which have exactly the same names much like the Popes. Why they did that never made sense to me. I guess to avoid having a Queen Nancy, or a King Beauregard? (shrugs). Doesn't matter, it's a historical romance. Although Hunter tends to do research. There was a mystery, which I figured out in the first three chapters. I thought it was obvious, but none of the reviewers did.

It was okay. The sex scenes were better than the last one I read, as was the plot and execution. But the heroine got on my nerves.

Started reading The Windflower by Laura London, which is a psuedonyme for a husband/wife writing team, Tom and Sharon Curtis. They too did their research, and the wife apparently has a degree in history, and lived in London. While the husband was a television writer. Their book was written in the 1980s or thereabouts. So, it's more realistic, better character development, not as politically correct (ie. the men are tad more roguish, and less civilized), and better development of supporting characters not to mention more plot, less sex. Romance novels written prior to 2000, seem to have less sex and more plot for some reason.'s about a young woman who gets swept up by Pirates en route to England from the US with her Aunt during the War of 1812. One of the Pirates is a British Spy during said War. Interesting, don't often get romance novels that start in the States during the War of 1812, with someone who actually feels a need to relate the history.

It's highly rated by folks. A lot of people say it's the best romance novel they've read. (Eh, I don't know...I don't think I have a best or most favorite book. There's books I've loved, whether they are up for discussion. And there are books that I thought memorable. And one's that I thought were extremely well-written, but can't say I loved. I honestly think its in the eye of the beholder.)

Every time I read a bad review of a book, I try to get a feel for what other things the person has read and what they like. It seldom helps. People are frighteningly inconsistent regarding their likes and dislikes.
shadowkat: (tv slut)
2017-08-29 09:14 pm

Wynnona Earp - S1

Finished watching Wynonna Earp S1 on Netflix last night. It, unfortunately, does not have S2 available as of yet. So, the options are to 1) buy it on Amazon or 2) watch it in SD on "On Demand".
Right now I'm trying Demand, but I miss the clarity of HD.

Wynonna Earp is basically a horror/Western thriller. Similar in concept and tone to Sleepy Hollow and Supernatural except it merges Western elements and mythology, as opposed to urban legends or Northeastern rural horror tales. In some respects it's a little bit more innovative because of that. (There are no vampires or werewolves. There are however, plenty of demons.). It also doesn't go down the same well-trodden Christian mythos as Supernatural. (ie. Angels and demons are at war, whoa boy. That's actually what turned me off of Supernatural and to a degree Sleepy Hollow, well that and Sleepy Hollow was a bit too gory and scary for my delicate sensibilities.) In some respects it appears to have more in common with Buffy and Angel in how it handles the demon mythology (except no vampires, because done to death, but does have zombies...).

The series is based on a graphic novel, similar to The Preacher and Lucifer series. Except I think it sticks a bit closer to its source material. Written and created by a female show-runner, and has garnered a few awards in Canada. It's a Canadian-American series, filmed mainly in Canada, with Canadian actors and crew.

Much like Sleepy Hollow, one of the male leads is an anachronism, or out of time, in this case it's John Henry "Doc" Holliday, the gunslinger, gambler, law-man, and best friend of Wyatt Earp. Who has been cursed with immortal life by a demonic witch. Then thrown down a well, which he manages to climb out of in the first episode. Portrayed by Tim Rozon, he's oddly captivating. And is sort of the rogue with a heart of gold character...

The heroine or hero/chosen one is bad girl Wynonna Earp, who upon her 27th birthday and due to the untimely death of her eldest sister as a child, has become the "heir" and is cursed to protect the Gold River Triangle, and kill demons aka revenants. The Revenants are the people that Wyatt Earp killed, either directly or inadvertently, along with the assistance of his friend and Deputy, Doc Holliday. Doc can only be killed by a knife or a gun, he can't die of natural causes. Nor does he age. In order to break the curse, Wynonna must kill all 77 revenants, if she dies prior to this, then they all come back for the next heir, assuming there is one.

The Revenants are trapped in the town of Purgatory and can't leave. They all live in "Purgatory" which in turn is in Wyatt Earp County. I'm not entirely sure where this is, either Kansas, or Colorado. Seems a bit wooded and hilly for Kansas. Most likely filmed in Canada.

The mythology is soaked in old west lore. With references to Native American skinwalkers and other things. And in the first season, the characters are quickly developed and various mysteries rapidly resolved. It doesn't string it out, nor is the audience relentlessly teased. A love triangle of sorts is set up between Wynonna, Dolls (a black badge agent), and Doc Holliday. (It's rather annoying and my only quibble with the series. Not a fan of love triangles.)

Wynonna starts out as a bit of a reluctant hero. By the end, she's accepted her lot in life. More or less. Tough as nails, vulnerable core, with a rifle and mean kick. But I'm mainly watching for Doc Holliday, a bit comical, but also tragic, and a tad ambiguous regarding motivation.

The demons are not necessarily evil here, it's not always clear cut -- and there's a heavy American Western motif surrounding them. Some of themes and metaphors are intriguing...and surprised me. I've seen a lot of these things so...and I didn't expect to like this one, mainly because of that. But like I said, it surprised me. One episode focuses on a demon that kills people via a mirror (possibly among the better episodes), and another on, unfortunately, Jack the Ripper, which is worth watching for the character development and the developing relationship between Dolls and Doc. You can for the most part ignore the bits concentrating on Jack.

I'm shipping Doc hard at the moment. But there are other characters, Wynonna's sister Waverly enters into a lesbian romance with a female cop. My one quibble with the series is the women look a bit alike and are all skinny twenty-somethings, while the men are more diverse. We do have strong female characters and they are front and center, with a black male lead and Doc. In some respects I find the men more interesting than the women, although I like Wynonna a lot.

Just wish the whole thing was on Netflix.
shadowkat: (tv slut)
2017-08-28 10:21 pm
Entry tags:

GOT - S7 - The Wolf & The Dragon

Just finished watching the GOT S7 finale...and...

OMG! That was frigging brilliant.

No wait...

That was even better than last week's episode!!!

They managed to tie up not one but two major mysteries at the same time! Plus great banter.

Spoilers galore )

[Oh, finished Wynonna Earp S1 -- highly recommend. Will review tomorrow.