shadowkat: (Default)
1. Interesting article on Slate regarding authors complaining about people tagging them in negative reviews posted on Twitter.
Read more... )

2. All caught up on The Passage now. It's gotten better. Yes, it does require a bit of a suspension of disbelief and plays hard and fast with various government conspiracy cliches. Other than that -- it's compelling and I like characters, all of which are being developed in depth. The set-up, much like Manifest, reminds me a little of Lost. Where each episode -- the writers find a way to give us a flashback into the characters previous lives or backgrounds.

It is laughable in places, making me think it's not taking itself all that seriously:
spoilers up to last week's episode )

3. Also all caught up, well almost, just one episode behind on Manifest. I don't like it as well as The Passage. The kid/Dad team aren't as compelling, and it falls into cliche and plot muddles more than the Passage. Both borrow heavily from Lost in both plotting and narrative structure, but I think the Passage is the better written and structured of the two -- so far. I'm finding Manifest's plotting to be a bit muddled. Also it's characterization is all over the place. But alas, there are characters I care about, so I can't let go of it.

Spoilers )

4. Borrowed my first E-Book from the Library -- on to my Kindle. I think this may work. They don't have as wide a selection as Amazon, but it does help. If I don't like the book -- I'm not out any money at least. Free pleasure reading -- interesting concept.
shadowkat: (Default)
It's that time of month again, so I'm in a snarkier mood than usual.

I keep deleting posts before they post, or in the case of one FB post, after they post. (I do that. Delete. I refuse to apologize for it. My journal/my FB, my rules.)

1. Cousin on FB...

"I unfollowed another bigot."

Okay, first I posted this on FB and I will post it here:

Just want to thank everyone on my flist on DW for not being a bigot, a homophobe, an asshole, or an insane trump supporter. I've not had to unfollow, defriend or avoid anyone because of this. You are all exceedingly kind and gracious people, who care about others and refuse to demean anyone on the basis of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or beliefs. And you are all willing to stand up to people who are bigots and hurt others. Thank you. I'm feeling very grateful and lucky tonight. Not everyone is so lucky to have such wonderful friends.

It's true here as well. Thank you for being kind and wonderful people. And a haven from the insanity.

I am exceedingly grateful. The social media outlets that I'm presently on are wonderfully bigot and hate-free. Only kind people are posting on them.

2. Saw two articles online this weekend that..I felt the need to comment on.

* Ok Cupid Ad...
Read more... )
* Chris Pratt and Ellen Page's fight over a church.

I don't remember the name of the church, Hollyspring something or other. It's an evangelical. And endorsed by Justin Bieber.
Read more... )

3. Queen's songs are ear-worms. I can't get various lyrics out of my head...right now I have "Supersonic" going about. Also, apparently they've released the movie soundtrack which has twelve previously unreleased Queen songs.
Read more... )
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Two of my coworkers decided to debate the potential plot of the new Breaking Bad movie in front of my cubicle at work on Friday. Read more... )

2. Hmm..Amy Acker is cast as Ameila and Derek's sister...Katie on Grey's Anatomy -- so did she do this on hiatus from the Gifted? (Not that I've been watching the Gifted, I finally gave up on it. I was bored.

3. Just finished watching Bohemian Rhaspody which finally came on Optium On-Demand. And..I have been discussing the film off and on with movie buddy and frustrated music critic, cjlasky, who wrote a critique of the film when it first was released in his journal.

I agree with his review completely. Is it a good movie? Eh, not really. It's good when it focuses on the music business. It's horrible when it focuses on Mercury's personal life. Why? Because it's sort of obvious that the film makers have no clue what really was going on in Mercury's head or in his personal life -- they got all their information from his former band members (who co-produced it and were heavily involved, and Mercury died in the 1990s and was so intensely private, no one knows what he thought.)Read more... )

4. Had a very interesting conversation with my favorite co-worker this week, Lando.
Lando is the frustrated prosecuting attorney, race-car driver, and R&B musician that I work with. He owns a electronic key-board, sound-system, recording studio, organ, piano, and for a bit played in a Sambo band. Right now he has started recording music again, creating, and publishing. And wants to get into publishing and licensing.

We had a long conversation this week about the music recording process and the publishing/licensing and editing of music. (I could listen to Lando for hours.)

Anyhow, he explained to me that the money in the music business is in "publishing rights" not performance. Read more... )

5. Television shows..


* Grey's Anatomy this week's episode reminded me once again why I despise the character of Maggie Pierce. Outside of Maggie, I liked the episode. Whenever the episode focuses too much on Maggie, I get annoyed. Spoilers on the episode and why I despise Maggie )

* A Million Little Things

Still only like Eddie, Gary, and Maggie. Everyone else still gets on my nerves. Ugh.
Also no progress made on the mystery with only two episode of the season left. Really?

The best scenes were anything with Gary, Maggie or Eddie. Also this is clearly a show written by men -- we're mainly in a male perspective and women are depicted oddly.

* This is Us -- a better episode than the last one. I really liked Rebecca in this episode, and found Kevin to be interesting. Randal continues to grate. Read more... )


6. Somewhat productive day. Feel better than yesterday. Had a nice long chat with Wales, which made me feel less lonely and more connected. (Wales is similar to some ways to Rebecca Bunch in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and in an odd way, watching Crazy Ex has made it possible to reconnect to Wales or figure out how to -- establish firm boundaries.) Also, renewed my Brooklyn Library Card -- so I can now check out books online and check out videos etc. I haven't used the library since 2003. Needless to say -- it's changed a bit since then.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Hee.

ME: Looks like the Amazon deal is off.
Co-worker: No, the Governor wants it, it will happen.
Me: Not if the company pulls out.
Co-worker: They won't just a bargaining tactic.

And he was so smug about it.

Cubical Mate: Amazon pulled out!
Me: Send me the link! So I can to tell GT...who smugly told me it will go through.
(sends me the link)
Me to Co-worker aka GT: Turns out I was right!
GT: We shall see.

Mother: Looks like Amazon pulled out.
Me: GT doesn't believe it.
Mother: No, they definitely have. They got surprised by the negative response from the community and don't want that. So decided to just build their presence in NYC through other avenues, while putting their headquarters only in Virgina and Nashville without hunting a replacement for NYC.

Very happy about this. Having high tech jobs coming to Long Island City, Queens is not a good thing. That's about 25,000 more commuters coming into a very crowded city that already has 85,000 people commuting into it daily, with over 12 Million residents. And we do not have the infrastructure to support it. Also it would push for less affordable housing, jack up rents, jack up the cost of living (which just no) and not provide jobs for the people already there. Hence the reason that people were actively protesting the idea.

Take that Mr. Mayor and Mr. Governor -- it was, by the way, the only thing they've both agreed on.

Amazon was smart -- since I'm a huge user of Amazon and I was considering discontinuing if they moved here.

2. Blackface and comedy..

Has anyone seen Hannah Gadsby's Nanette ? Go see it if you can. It sort of addresses why this type of comedy is harmful to our societal soul.

Then when you've finished? Watch S1 and S2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maizel who looks at it from another perspective and addresses the historical complexity of the painful nature of comedy.
Read more... )

3. Saw the doctor today. Read more... )
shadowkat: (Default)
1. When I logged onto Firefox -- there was article headline that stated: "Russia Considers Unplugging from the Internet".

This made me chuckle. Then I thought..."you couldn't have done that about five or six years ago?"

[I doubt it's true, but the headline was hilarious. My Uncle, who lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan (and yes there is such a place, believe it or not, the US has fun with place names, we also have Intercourse, Pennsylvania, but Sleepy Hollow doesn't exist -- that's Tarrytown). Anyhow said Uncle was going on a tear a while back on FB about misleading Headlines. He got upset about FREEP's headline on Lake Michigan freezing. I told him, it's a catchy headline -- and it made you look.
In a content saturated market -- it's all about the headlines. I restrained myself from telling him this. You can't lecture people on social media -- it's like swatting at a hornet's nest.]

2. Miracle Workers -- this is the new TBS series starring Daniel Radcliff, Geraldine Viswanathan and Steven Buscemi as God. It's basically the Good Place meets the Office, but not quite as good as either.

[As an aside? I'm sensing a pattern here? Is it just me or do all white aging television sitcom writers think heaven is basically "the Office" or "Dilbert" and if there is a God, he would be like them?

Sigh. The biggest flaw in human thinking regarding the Universe is that we all appear to all think it's run by someone like us, who is human or thinks like a human or is like us. All evidence to the contrary. I mean if it was run by someone like us, do you honestly think there would be a Universe and we'd exist?]

The set-up? spoilers )

3. Roswell, New Mexico

This is getting really good. The pacing is good, the plot makes sense, and it keeps surprising me. Also they don't drag things out (like they did in the previous version, hence the reason I did not stick with it...well one of the many reasons.)
Quick moving plots are a thing of beauty and apparently something Julie Plec of Vamp Diaries excels at.

spoilers )

Right now, Roswell is surprisingly enough my favorite new series. I did not expect that.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Every new TV pilot in the works

Hmmm...outside of the fact that I don't think we need any more television shows at the moment, and wow that's a lot of them..I got tired and gave up mid-read -- the following ones leaped out at me:

*Triangle
What if the Bermuda Triangle was not a watery grave in the middle of the ocean, but a land lost in time that has trapped travelers over the course of human history? When a family is shipwrecked in this strange land, they must band together with a group of like-minded inhabitants — from throughout history — to survive and somehow find a way home.


Jumped out at me -- because it sounds like a remake of Fantastic Journey which was this weird sci-fi series that aired on NBC from February - June 1977.

The series concerns a family and their associates who charter a boat out into the Caribbean for a scientific expedition. After an encounter in the area of the Bermuda Triangle with an unnatural green cloud, the group find themselves shipwrecked on a mysterious uncharted island from which they are unable to escape.

Anyone else remember it? Probably not. My parents were into wildly obscure television series in the 1970s and 80s. As a result, I got used to series I loved being cancelled very quickly.

Also...

Read more... )

2. I'm with oursin, can't find a common thread in Good Reads 200 Most Difficult Novels List either. For a bit, I thought it was the books you want to impress others that you read list...that is until Stephen King's Gunslinger and Gone with the Wind popped up. I can't really imagine bragging about reading either. Or Atlas Shrugged for that matter.

Good Reads is admittedly diverse in age, gender, demographics, nationality, pretty much everything. And I'm guessing they probably polled people on what their most difficult book was and tallied the points? (shrugs) People do define reading difficulty differently. Not everyone defines it in regards to the writer's style, sometimes it's the subject matter, or in the case of Little Women having seen one too many adaptations...and thinking, eh, bored now.

Sometimes I struggle to finish a book because the subject matter doesn't engage me or the style puts me off or the story irritates or annoys me to such an extent that I want to burn the book in effigy. I mean there are other reasons why I couldn't finish a book or get through it or found it difficult -- outside of just an incomphrensible writing style that would require a degree in linguistics to figure out (I'm looking at you Foucaul't Pendalum, Finnegan's Wake and well anything by Gaddis, really).

But...

IT is admittedly an odd list.
Read more... )

3. It snowed then it sleeted, then it rained. Snow will be gone by tomorrow -- I hope, otherwise it's a slushy mess to walk through to and from various trains. Days like these, I envy people who drive. I much rather drive in the crap them walk in it...although definitely feel safer doing the walking. And on Thursday it will be 56 degrees again. Meanwhile Seattle got 10 inches of snow. And there are polar bears invading a Russian Fishing Village.
shadowkat: (Default)
A somewhat amusing NFWS example of how easily you can get yourself humiliated and taken down on the internet.

A guy attempts to fact check a female photographer on the difference between vulvas and vaginas...

I sort of feel for him...I've had it happen, although not on that. Usually on something more innocuous like what really happened in a television episode or book.

My headspace app states before posting a response to anything on the internet or responding to an email, to pause and take a couple of deep breaths. [Or research first.]
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Looked at DVR selections for tonight, and decided to watch West Side Story on Netflix -- for the fiftieth time. Read more... )

2. EW has taken up the whole mag with lists of Rom-Coms from the 1980s forward (because apparently it thinks the Rom-Com began in the 1980s, it didn't.) I don't tend to like the ones most people do. (ie. Dorky guy gets goregous girl trope or dorky girl gets goregous guy trope, when in reality the girl is goregous...is lost on me. I don't consider those romantic comedies. Also anything by Judd Apatow or Amy Schulmer with few exceptions doesn't work for me. The only one that worked was Train Wreck -- which surprised me.)

My fav's?
Read more... )

What are yours?

3. Re-watched Avenger's Infinity War last night -- highly rewatchable, all sorts of things I picked up on that I hadn't seen the first round. Also, hands down the best of the ensemble super-hero films, with X-men Days of Future Past and Captain America:Civil War slightly behind. It's better plotted and builds more on what came before, also less gimmicky.

I almost want to compare it to Last Jedi and the MCU films to the DC and Star Wars franchises -- to sort of show why the MCU films work and the Star Wars and DC franchises are a cluttered mess. (Although cluttered messes are much more fun to write fanfiction about and be fannish on...just because you desperately want to de-tangle and make sense of them.)

Things I picked up on...little details:
Read more... )

4. Still puttering away on my novel. It seems to be going on forever. Finding time to work on it during lunch and at night here and there. Cancelled PT for tomorrow due to snow and ice storm -- it was actually the rain and ice that concerned me.

5. Sigh...lots of television adaptations, no time nor money to see them all. We're in a content glut. OR television critic heaven.

List of shows...on or coming:

Read more... )

Ack.

Name your poison -- it's been adapted somewhere or will be, you just have to have the wherewithal to find and afford it. I had to draw the line somewhere. Will most likely cancel Hulu again. Keep Amazon, Netflix and HBO for now. Can't afford them all. Netflix is the most cost effective with 900 shows and counting. Amazon also is cost effective -- because gives me other things. Not quite seeing it with Hulu -- so far only watched one show on it (Runaways) tried another (Handmaid's Tale -- but it frustrated me, so no.).

Update Meme

Feb. 9th, 2019 12:35 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
1. What are you reading?

Lots of X-men comics. Adventures in Bad Taste (AIBT) has some interesting bits as well. Honestly, taste is in the eye of the beholder.

Finished Uncanny X-men (2018-11) by Matthew Rosenberg and Salvador Larroca.
The problem with the X-men -- is they have a tendency to just use the same title and renumber. So we have Uncanny X-men 11 - 2015, and Uncanny X-men #11 - 1990s...so it's really hard to find the issue in Good Reads.

Anyhow here's the somewhat spoilery review:

spoilers )

Still reading a romance by Laura Kinsale, The Shadow and the Star, which would either make you roll your eyes or you'd enjoy. I fall somewhere in between. Read more... )

Also reading Age of X-men -- which is sort of the flip-side of Age of Apocalypse, where the X-men live in an isolated Utopia, with no humans. A nice commentary on utopian views and how they are great in theory but not in practice.
And being a long running serial -- there's some nice character touches along the way.

Finished both Age of X-men - Alpha and Marvelous X-men -- which is the lead title. There's about five or six titles, five issues each, and an Alpha and Omega -- patterned after the Age of Apocalypse. And it is a critique of a certain set of current political idealogies that are cropping up. Ayn Rand's Individualism aka Objectivism and the whole concept of letting go of negative emotions, connections, and isolating oneself in a peaceful existence of contemplation -- no tribal connections of any sort. One big unifying family, with children created via a hatchery. Oh, Brave New World...indeed. (Reminds me a little of Adolus Huxley.)

It's well done. The art has a sort of calm look to it -- peaceful pallet, simple lines, reminds me a lot of post-modern literary comics. And the X-men are the Avengers. They live in their own nice homes, solitary, and meet as a team to fight the world's ills. There's no romantic love or love, so no strife. Everyone is friendly. No family ties, just loose friends. No biological connections. Individualism reigns supreme. And we're given the philosophy -- it's a utopia of sorts. Yet, there's a quote after each segment..."At the heart of every so-called utopia is tyranny" and in Age of X-men, "revolution is in who we are, not just what we do...the desire to fight for freedom" -- from Ursula Le Quinn's The Dispossessed.

These new writers, artists and editorial staff have something to say. It's odd, but most ideological and socio-political critique is found cult art or pulp. Sci-Fi, Fantasy, comic books, soap operas, then really in the more literary or mainstream fair. It's no accident that Buffy was the first broadcast television show to depict a lesbian relationship, or that All My Children was the first to do so, and pre-dated Buffy by about five years with not one but two relationships, along with a gay storyline. Daytime Soaps often tackled serious social issues that prime time series steered away from. Why? Because they fell under the wire of the censors and the advertisers during that period were a bit more open-minded. Comics are the same way -- often going right for the juglar regarding complex socio-political issues. It wasn't surprising to me that both Captain America-Civil War and Black Panther tackled serious socio-political issues that most films steer clear of. Or that we see them tackled in horror films. Perhaps being able to use metaphor helps? It provides enough distance from the reader/viewer and the topic for it to be discussed?

I don't know. But it is to a degree why I've always been drawn more to genre, and in particular comics and soaps. Well that, and the fact that you can't find better character arcs and analysis anywhere else. Nobody explores characters better than a long-running serial. That may explain, why I don't think characters in sitcoms are well-developed and seem a tad shallow. Mainly because we don't get to look at them from every angle imaginable.

2. What are you watching?

Finished Russian Doll -- earlier in the week. See posts for reviews. It's good, but the Groundhog Day/Time Travel gimmick still annoys me and does not work from a plot perspective. (shrugs)


A Million Little Things -- it's okay, irritating in places, but compelling in its' own way. I'm interested in the mystery but find the individual emotional character subplots -- annoying and poorly written also very cliche ridden in places. spoilers )

And I gave up on it -- and wandered off to do laundry. Shows how well it was holding my attention, doesn't it? Then came back and finished.

spoilers )

*Grey's Anatomy -- which was a whole lot better and once again made me cry.
Sigh. I do like how these writers handle love triangles -- which is to sort kick them to one side. That said, why they feel the need to push people to have romantic relationships...Read more... )

* Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Well they are doing a great job of wrapping up all the character arcs. Also in explaining mental illness and Rebecca's journey through it. While at the same time, critiquing romantic shipping and how our society pushes romance, careers, etc to equal happiness. Rebecca is now pursuing her dream of being a musical theater star.

3. Doing?

Did Laundry. Four loads. Huzzah. The laundry gods were with me.
shadowkat: (work/reading)
There's an article about fanfiction, fandom and shipping in the new romance magazine Blush, that's just been launched. (Got it via Smartbitches. )

1. Critiques?
tiny print and what is cult not cult )
2. Wrong-headed shipping or shipping bad guys with heroes...such as Kylo Ren and Rei, or Draco Malfoy and Hermonine, or Angelus and Buffy.

Quibbles aside..I don't ship the way the person being interviewed does. I don't really do or tend to do "wrong-headed" shipping. With a few rare exceptions -- and usually those are one's that fit the story thread and are canon. I don't tend to ship counter to the canon.
Read more... )

3. Canon vs. non-canonical shipping (not to be confused with m/m or f/f slash - which can be canonical or non-canonical depending on the series.).

Per the above, I ship with the canon or with the story-thread. And don't have a lot of patience for shipping against the story-thread. It's rare that I'll ship characters that aren't going to end up together, aren't written to be romantic love interests, and aren't written to be friends. And if they are friends or lovers or married and the story-thread leads to their inevitable separation and the demise of their relationship in a convincing manner that tracks -- and shows why, doesn't tell, I'll go along with it. (See Buffy/Angel above as an example. The writers successfully broke that ship up for me in S1 Angel.)
Read more... )

4. Where the line should be drawn regarding shipping...

shippers who try to influence the writing of the show )

5. My ships or the one's that I have shipped the hardest in recent years and still do to an extent?

Canonical Ships:
Read more... )

Nothing new though. I don't ship much any longer. Shipping for television shows is ridiculously painful.

Non-canonical?
Read more... )
But I can't say I was passionate about any of them.
shadowkat: (Default)
These things are oddly related.

1. Work was horrible, but just as I'd give up, the universe surprised me and one of my co-workers came by and offered to take a horrid assignment that my boss sprung on me today (without warning) off my incredibly stacked plate.

She asked if I'd like her help or for her to just handle the whole thing. I looked at her in complete shock, somewhat speechless.

DP: So do you want me to help you or take it over? It's no problem -- you don't have to do anything, just forward anything to me. I'll duck my head into his office and let him know I'm taking it over. He won't mind.
Me: Uh...
DP: You can wait until tomorrow to decide.
Me: Yes, please. Thank you. Thank you so much. I just want to hug you.
DP: No thanks necessary. But I'm open to hugs.
Me: I can hug you?
DP: Yes.

So we hugged. That was the one bright spot in my day and really the only part I want to focus on. The rest -- I'd frankly like to let go off, if that's okay?

2. Russian Doll

While predictable (if you happen to think and perceive reality like I do - I've found the Good Place to be weirdly predictable this year too, but I also tend to think like that), incredibly comforting and funny. I did love it. But I also figured it out by the fifth episode. (What can I say, except that I've read and seen too many of these setups? Also I see patterns in things and can see sort of how each thread affects the others. It's why I can usually figure out most story threads and plots -- with few exceptions. The one's that do not follow a discernible pattern or have one too many patterns to follow - I can't predict, like soap operas.)

The casting is odd -- but I rather liked Natasha Lyon, who is actually the only person I liked in it. And I thought Elizabeth Ashley was dead. (She's not.)
Everyone looks really odd in it. Maybe it's the lighting or the costume design?

Also I'm not sure where it is supposed to take place. Guessing NYC, because everyone sounds very New York. But it looks like it was filmed somewhere else -- possibly Toronto? They do that a lot. Doesn't matter -- no one will notice but New Yorkers.

People say to avoid spoilers -- except I don't think the plot matters all that much. It has some holes and meanders. Tight - it's not. This is really more of a character piece with metaphysical/philosophical underpinings than a plot piece. Also it works far better on a metaphorical level than a literal one.

It's sort of trippy. And I will state that it does a nice twist on the whole Groundhog Day story. In that it addresses what constantly resetting the time line would do to everyone else and time itself, which always irritated me with the whole Groundhog Day or continuous time-loop trope. It also does an excellent job of addressing the narcissistic nature of the trope -- in that it appears to focus on one person and everyone is subject to their decisions or choices. (Which I've always found to be highly annoying.) It seems to realize that it's story and plot don't quite work -- because Nadia, the main protagonist, constantly winks at it.

The set-up? Nadia on her 36th Birthday - has to keep reliving the night of the party, Ground-Hog Day Style. (Everything else would be a spoiler. I will state that it does not go the usual tract. It sort of takes a left turn by Alberque around the third episode.)

Spoilery review -- major plot spoilers, do not read if you want to watch )

Overall rating? Eh...B+/A- (Better than most of the stuff I've seen lately, but it you consider what I've been watching that's probably not saying all that much. ;-) )
shadowkat: (Looking Outwards - Tessa)
So, based on two social media recs...one on FB and one on DW, I decided to try Russian Doll on Netflix. I'm on episode 6. It's hilarious in places, and I think I've figured it out. Also cleverly plays with the Groundhog Day or Eternal Time Loop Trope that is very popular with television shows.

spoilers up to episode 6 )
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Ah...the Fosse Series Trailer is up. This is the one being co-produced by the people behind Hamilton and starring Sam Rockwell as Fosse, and Michelle Williams as Gwen Vernon. It's about their ill-fated romance and successful collaboration.

Fosse on F/X - April 19, 2019 )

2. I finally saw all of Rent on Fox's On Demand (I kept getting interrupted -- it's two and half hours because of commercials). Borrowing heavily from NBC's method of telecasting last years Jesus Christ Superstar. Fox wisely used a staged production with a multi-tiered stage and an audience surrounding it. As opposed to filming it on a film lot with the audience in bleachers. It works -- the audience is part of the show and you feel like you are watching a live theater event (even if it was pre-recorded).

Also it's much better than the movie. And I think Jordan Fisher may be better in the part than Anthony Rapp was -- Mark Cohen -- in that he comes across as both younger and more naive. Rapp came across as a bit more whiny and pretentious -- which was actually the original role -- Mark Cohen was supposed to be a stand-in for Larson and the audience, those without AIDs, HIV, or real issues who were sort of playing at being Boho. He's a commentary on a media saturated culture, where everything is constantly being documented, but not always with much soul. It's a very complicated piece of theater. And ground-breaking in a lot of ways -- when it arrived on Broadway in 1996, there wasn't a lot stuff out that discussed AIDS and other things in this way. It was also before other ground-breaking rock operas, and brought in video footage.

3. Warmer today. Quiet. Got some writing done. Took clothes down to the farmers market. Took shoes to the basement disposal area -- where people can grab stuff. Bit by bit I'm purging the old apartment of stuff. Or trying to.

Also need to go back on the Paeolo Diet. I don't want to. I don't like it. You have to read the back of everything and make a lot of stuff from scratch -- which is fine if you like to do that sort of thing, have the time, the kitchen, and the fridge/cabinet space -- I do not. So dragging my feet. But I'll get there.
shadowkat: (Default)
Just got back from seeing the film Vice with movie buddy (cjlasky) at the new Nighthawk Cinema in Park Slope. Of course the trains were screwed up this weekend so we both had to sort of go around robin hood's barn to get there. (Frigging MTA and their constant and seemingly endless weekend track work and signal work during the weekends.) Also, the same thing happened with cjl that had happened with Wales...which means I have to really clarify to folks where I am when I get to the theater before they arrive. (ie. I'm in the bathroom.) Because he said he was rounding the corner. I went outside, couldn't find him. Desperately had to pee. Me and my stagefright bladder -- had to pee twice before I left. So, ducked into insanely tiny stalls -- that were built with skinny stick figures in mind. Which took more time -- getting into and out of stall than peeing. Only to exit and still no cjl. Do I buy ticket? What? I find out he's bought his ticket and is on the fourth floor at Theater 4. I quickly buy mine (worried it will sell out since the 10 AM and 7PM did.) But I'm safe. Note to self -- text message that you are in the bathroom and will be out shortly next time.

First a review of the cinema.Dinner Cinemas apparently don't work the same way as Dinner Theaters...unfortunately )

On to the review...

One thing the theater did that was different -- was instead of previews or other news items. We had news items, footage, and movies related to VICE, including SNL skits, news footage, etc. I found it confusing at first, and wondered if the movie had started. I've no clue if this was specific to the theater we saw it in or specific to the movie.

Vice directed by Adam McKay, produced by Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, and various others. Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Sam Rockwell, Steve Carrol...

Is it good. Yes. (Although in desperate need of a good editor. I liked The Big Short much better. Also the Big Short was a bit more even-keeled and less politically divisive in tone.)

It's very similar to the Big Short, which is a weird hybrid of documentary and fictionalized bio-pic, with various in-between little explanations on things. If you didn't like how the Big Short was done, you won't like this. I happened to LOVE how they did the Big Short. Also it reminded me a little of how they do "Legion", and if you had issues with that -- you won't like this. (I loved it -- that sort of thing really works for me. As does the Good Place which sort of does the same thing. I find it hilarious and highly informative. If only this were the way they did lectures in school -- I'd have learned a lot.)

Another problem with the film -- if you are conservative and a fan of Bush, Regan et al -- you most likely will hate this movie. [ETA: I read some reviews last night -- and everyone universally agrees that Christian Bale and Amy Adams were amazing, but that the film is rather biased against conservatives and Republicans in particular.) I honestly cannot imagine many of my co-workers watching it and/or various extended family members. It deftly and with an insane amount of detail eviscerates the Republican Party from Nixon through George W, Bush -- the only one who sort of gets off unscathed is HW Bush. I think, not sure, Mckay respected Bush Sr. It speaks a wee bit too much to the choir, and not enough to the congregation -- the Big Short was better in this regard and a tad more objective.

Also apparently Lynn Cheney went to my old alma matter, Colorado College. Although McKay ditches CC -- by stating it's no Yale. (It started out life as a Women's College, it's not any longer.) I found this hilarious, I think cjl had no idea why I was amused. (I laughed at a lot of things in the film that no one else did.) Both Cheney daughters went to CC -- I already knew that. Liz Cheney was a year behind me apparently. No, I never met her.

But it is not really a satire. Read more... )

Vice - B+ or A-

Nighthawk Cinema - C-
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Well, it's warming up -- I know because I'm sort of hot in my apartment. Been doing a mediation package on Re-Framing Loneliness...and it makes an interesting point about how loneliness often sets in around others, not when I'm alone.Read more... )

2. A Million Little Things -- I admittedly am still watching this because I can't figure it out and am curious. (Also I like Gary, Maggie, Eddie and Eddie's son. Everyone else I still have an urge to smack upside the head.) The plot makes no sense. I've jumped between real estate scam to a murder cover-up. Starting to think it's a murder cover-up.

Spoilery speculation )

3. Roswell, New Mexico

Weirdly, just like A Million Little Things, the mystery is more interesting than the romantic elements. Although there's bits here that are interesting on a thematic level as well -- the old legal immigrants, who fought hard for their status resent the immigrants who came into the country illegally. And they have layers...

spoilers )

4. The Passage

This series is actually getting better writing wise. The performances are still strong and what is holding it together. But the episode had less of the kid -- and too much of the pretty blond Shawna spoilers )
shadowkat: (Default)
1. The bad news? I can't take Aleve or Ibuprofin near my blood pressure meds. Also can't take the omeprazole at all -- that's dangerous. But I can take Tyenol...so. Also got my new blood pressure gauge today -- took first reading. It's 144 over 93, which I'm told isn't too bad.

2. What I just finished reading...

The Essex Serpent by Sara Perry

First off -- the description and cover are misleading. This is not a gothic fantasy romance or horror novel about serpents and repressed Victorian sexuality. It's a character study, with not a lot of plot and a heavy focus on social issues during Victorian times. While there are romantic moments and an oddly written sex scene -- that turned me off, it's not a romance.( This writer is not good at sex scenes or action scenes.)

The writer does a lot summarizing. Reminds me a little of what annoyed me about Pamela Dean's Tam Lin, actually, although Dean had more of a plot and was far less literary in style. We're told in various spots what the characters are up to, and how they are living their lives -- then we jump back to the action. I found it a wee bit jarring and unnecessary, as if the writer was getting tired and thought, okay, I'll truncate 100 pages to 20 by summarizing what happened, which I totally understand. But I'd rather you just get rid of it altogether.

I also went from loving all the characters in the book to despising 85% of them. Which is interesting, often it is the opposite. Usually characters grow on me, but here? It went in the opposite direction.

spoilers )

There is a heavy feminist theme at the center of the novel -- and it does show how men view women as an extension of themselves or a means to provide them with pleasure and comfort. Not as separate human beings worthy of praise or kindness. Which I found disquieting.

It's not really written in Victorian Style, which I found to be a relief -- for the most part. I'm not a fan of Victorian writing -- it grates. But at the same time...it did make it hard at times to remember when I was -- I kept forgetting it was during Victorian times. It could have been anytime between 1885 to 1935.

Overall an okay read, but I was rather disappointed in it and it took me forever to finish. So, reading slump continues.

What I'm reading next?

Eh, I'm currently reading Vol #2 of X-Men Blue which is surprisingly good for a comic book. A lot more interesting than Essex Serpent, believe it or not. Magneto is overseeing the original five time-displaced X-men. Basically the teen versions of Cyclops, Jean, Iceman, Beast, and Angel. There's a rather interesting character bit with Cyclops/Jean and Emma Frost that surprised me. Also we have Polaris and Magneto working together and bonding as father and daughter.

The art, however, is a bit wonky.

And I think I'm going to read another Laura Kinsale novel -- the Shadow and the Heart. My mind feels too scattered for more literary novels that spend most of their time meandering about, and depressing me.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Good Place S4 Teasers...

Eh...decidedly mixed feelings regarding this.

teaser spoilers for S4 from the show-runner of the Good Place )

2. Read THIS story about Lorena Bobbit Gallow this morning.

And what struck me about the article was:

The documentary mostly unfolds in 1993, the dawn of Court TV and a proliferation of gossipy daytime talk shows. In Rofé and Peele’s hands, the 24-hour news cycle becomes a voracious, multiheaded monster that eventually engulfs everything. “There is a third character to this story besides Lorena and John and that is us, society, and what we did with the information we had available to us,” Peele said.

The rest of it is pretty triggering, so you may not want to read. But that statement I found interesting and important. I think it's what fascinated Jordan Peele.

Been thinking about how we create our own narratives and often our narratives or the one's we've created aren't real.

3. US Midwest Freezes While Australia Burns, the Age of Weather Extremes

I was telling a co-worker yesterday that I prefer moderate temperatures and climates. Actually I prefer moderate everything -- which is why I'm struggling at the moment. Because everything has gone "extreme".

Although the weather is wonky. According to the news the high today is 16, next Thursday, it will be 56 and raining. This makes it very hard to put clothes away or know what to wear. Also hard on the sinuses.

OTOH, I prefer this to several weeks of frigid temps. So...no complaints.

Cousin told me it is not -60 in Chicago as the stupid media is telling you, but actually -25. It was -30. And today the windchill will go away, so it may get warm enough for her to go across the street and pick up groceries. By warm enough, she meant above 0.
shadowkat: (clock)
1. Taking a personal day tomorrow -- for a doctor's appointment. Read more... )

The worst part? I have to get there -- and it's going to be frigid. Read more... )

Speaking of...I found John Scalzi's post on this rather amusing.


Also, it’s cold as balls right at the moment: -2, without windchill. Yes, I know other places in the US are colder at the moment. You know what? -2 is cold enough. This isn’t the Freeze Your Gonads Off Olympics. And if it is, I’m happy to let someone else take the gold.

Hope if it’s cold where you are that you’re keeping warm. And if it’s warm where you are, well. Have your smug little moment, I suppose.

Read more... )

2. Hmmm...per SmartBitches of all places.. The Mysterious Discipline of Narratologists: Why we need stories to make sense.

(Well, not all of us do. Seriously speak for yourself. If I needed them to make sense, I wouldn't have made it through Slaughter House Five, Ulyssess, and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.)
Read more... )

3. In other news on Smartbitches...EL James has written a new book, this one actually appears to take place in England (so she's at least writing about a place she's been to and knows), and the characters are both adults and experienced. But, eh, I've burned out on badly written erotica -- so sorry. In fact, I'd be insanely bored by 50 Shades now. I read my posts on it and thought, what was I thinking and who was this crazy person? What can I say? My tastes change. Also after awhile, most erotica is the same and my mind can come up with far more interesting stories.

Also, Smartbitches asks if I was a fan of the Nanny (really not, her voice was like a nail going down a chalkboard). Me and situation comedies tend to be generally speaking, unmixy things. I've loved a few, and despised many. (I don't tend to like slapstick, scatalogical, sex/ethnic joke, or embarrassment humor -- which is basically 98% of situation comedy humor in the US.) I like absurdist humor, witty, dry intellectual, and often satirical (if it is subtle, American Television Writers generally speaking aren't good at subtle).

Situation Comedies that I loved:
Read more... )

Good night. Taking a shower -- mainly to keep the water going through the shower and to clean the sinuses. And to bed.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. I picked up Carter and Lovecraft... for the below description...



I love this series, it’s noir crime fiction with a Lovecraftian twist. And the author made Lovecraft’s descendant a black woman as that would have really, really pissed him off.

The start of a thrilling supernatural series that brings the H.P. Lovecraft mythos into the twenty-first century, optioned by Warner Bros TV.

Daniel Carter used to be a homicide detective, but his last case-the hunt for a serial killer-went wrong in strange ways and soured the job for him. Now he’s a private investigator trying to live a quiet life. Strangeness, however, has not finished with him. First he inherits a bookstore in Providence from someone he’s never heard of, along with an indignant bookseller who doesn’t want a new boss.

She’s Emily Lovecraft, the last known descendant of H.P. Lovecraft, the writer from Providence who told tales of the Great Old Ones and the Elder Gods, creatures and entities beyond the understanding of man. Then people start dying in impossible ways, and while Carter doesn’t want to be involved, he’s beginning to suspect that someone else wants him to be. As he reluctantly investigates, he discovers that Lovecraft’s tales were more than just fiction, and he must accept another unexpected, and far more unwanted inheritance.


Yeah, it would have pissed off Lovecraft, who was a white asshole of his time, in other words, racist and sexist. White male pulp novelists of sci-fi, horror, fantasy and noir detective fiction were as a general rule sexist and racist assholes. I know, I've read them. It's also a problem in the comic book genre and the romance genre.

That's not to say there aren't writers out there who aren't like this -- there are. You just have to read a lot of the bigoted ones to find them. I personally blame the publishing houses and ahem, the fandom. (SEE LJ circa 2004 big sci-fi fandom kerfuffle along with the HUGO Puppy kerfuffle.)

2. Netflix refuses to tell us when the big shows are premiering on it -- Lucifer, Stranger Things, Crown, basically the ones that are highly anticipated. Damn them.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. All caught up on Manifest -- good news, it didn't go where I thought it was going...bad news, it is even more convoluted and has decided to go down that oh so slippery slope of television time travel drama. (Ugh. Television writers should stop trying to do time travel. Unless they can outline and plot the entire series in advance, block out all the twists and turns, all character arcs, etc. Which is impossible to do in television. You can do it with books and movies but not with television shows -- particularly television shows airing on broadcast network channels.)

Oh well, at least the time travel is "future" as opposed to going back in the "past". But still.

Did like the new love interest/character for Micahla, because Jarrod irritates me.

2. If you are into comics..comxicology is a great find, it provides free comics. I read half of the Buffy comics for free, also over half of the X-men comics for free. So much cheaper than buying direct from Amazon or Marvel or the comic book store. Also got the first two volumes of Saga and Ms. Marvel for free.

I continue to thank Ponygirl2000 for this recommendation.

Also digital comics are easier on the pocket book (they are discounted at 10-15% or free), and storage space.

3. I wish politicians would stop emailing me. No, I'm not going to campaign for you. No, I'm not going to give you money. I might vote for you -- depending on your platform and what evil beasties are running against you.

Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren? I'm looking at you. (If I had to choose, Kamala would get my vote, although right now I'm swinging towards Kristen Gilbrandt, my home Senator. Wish Michelle O'Bama were running in 2020-- I'd vote for her in an instant. I love Michelle O'Bama.)

4. I keep seeing articles about how 1 in 10 people are lonely. My mother wanted to send one to me. I pleaded with her not to. People have always been lonely. The only reason it's a huge epidemic now is well..the internet and social media, which is guaranteed to make you feel miserable if you spend too much time on it. Not only does it feel the need to tell all the activities you should be doing, the life you should have, and the items you should own, it also feels the need to analyze why you feel miserable in excruciating detail. Often providing you with information that frankly...you were better off not knowing.

Feel miserable?

Get off the internet and social media for a bit. Works wonders.

Every time I spend too many hours on social media -- I get really depressed and anxious. Also have troubles sleeping. And my blood pressure goes up. Seeing a pattern here.
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