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1. Having bizarre television issues. I came home from work yesterday to discover there was no audio on my tv. My television is admittedly more than 10 years old. It's... Polariod FlM 323 B- LCD TV -- although I think it is more a 25 inch than 32 inch. I called Optimum, and we tried literally everything over the phone. They set up a technician to come out. I went online, and discovered others had similar issues -- so tried everything they suggested. Discovered in the process that the headjack worked -- there was audio with ear phones or speakers plugged into the headphone jack. Weird. Not sure if it is the HDMI cable -- because I unplugged it and replugged it and even switched the Fire Stick HDMI with the cable HDMI.

It has been telling me that there is an issue with the HDMI.

Discussed with a co-worker today, who is an expert and has recalibrated television sets -- also used to set up AV rooms, he gave me his computer speakers -- which he was no longer using. Free of charge. (Saved me a trip to Best Buy to hunt for some small computer speakers that would fit on my console and wouldn't block the tv. He also advised that I keep my appointment with the Optimum Technician on Thursday, who might be able to replace the HDMI cable and fix it. Because it probably is the HDMI cable cord. He also advised that I buy a new tv -- a TCL 6 series - 55 inch Roko.
(I have an Amazon Fire Stick not Roku, but apparently you can use the Amazon Fire Stick with it...and Roku has the same channels). He said it was the best bang for anything under $600. And I could buy it over the weekend, most likely on sale.

Sigh. I hate buying things. This is why I have a tv that I bought in 2006, and I'm procrastinating buying new furniture. I'm not a shopper (except where books are concerned...I have more books than I can ever possibly read in one lifetime. Seriously, if it weren't for Amazon telling me I'd already bought some of these books, I'd have accidentally bought them twice.)

2. Books

I'm reading a historical romance by Laura Kinsale, which I keep forgetting the name of. I think it is Moonbeam something or other. The title doesn't fit the book, so I keep forgetting it. Kinsale is an odd romance writer -- her characters can often be on the abrasive side, and I often want to smack her heroines upside the head. They also always have various physical and emotional disorders. In this book, the hero stuttered as a child and is terrified of heights, he also likes everything neat and orderly, while the heroine is an inventor, flakely, somewhat obsessive/compulsive and a touch on the autistic side of the fence. She's wickedly bright about certain things, and utterly stupid about others -- and doesn't have a wit of common sense or much empathy for those around her. She's invented a speaking box that the hero needs her to perfect to beat the French, and he also has to protect her from the French, who have tried to kidnap her once already. Meanwhile, she's far more interested in being the first to invent an aviation device that enables humans to fly. The hero is terrified of the device and doesn't want her to work on it or use it. Much chaos ensues.

There is a point in the book -- where the hero sort of seduces her. She's inadvertently given him a potent aphrodiasac and he can't keep his hands off her. She likes it so goes along with it. Some readers saw it as rape, and I thought, eh, no -- he was the one who was drugged by an absent-minded inventor. A lot of reviewers don't think critically.

Next up...probably not a romance, I'm getting burned out.

3. Knackered. Slept horribly last night, due to spending far too much time trying to fix stupid television set. And figuring out what to do about it. I have this sinking feeling Optimum is going to charge me $80 for their visit on Thursday, damn them.
But I'm afraid to cancel it -- in case they have an easy solution that could mean delaying trying to find a new tv.

Also I need to rearrange the apartment...and get rid of stuff.

As a result of being knackered, I slept walked through work.

4. X-men Marvel Movies...and television series?

While the MCU Avengers verse in the movies has been well-plotted, devised, and received, not so true of the X-men verse (as portrayed by Fox). Fox, starting with the animated series in the 90s, and straight through the filmverse, has been uneven.
There are about two excellent films, and two decent ones, the rest are abysmal. Television wise? One good series. That's it. One. Out of three animated series, and three live action -- there's only one good one.

What are the good X-men movies and series?
Read more... )
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1. Damn Smartbitches...they keep advertising things on sale on Amazon Kindle for under $3.00 and I can't resist. The latest?

The Inheritance Triology by N.K. Jemsin

After her mother's mysterious death, a young woman is summoned to the floating city of Sky in order to claim a royal inheritance she never knew existed in this award-winning fantasy trilogy from the NYT bestselling author of The Fifth Season.

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

The Inheritance Trilogy omnibus includes the novels: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, The Kingdom of Gods, and a brand new novella set in the same world: The Awakened Kingdom.

This is the Hugo winning novelist of the Fifth Season, which I also own, but haven't gotten around to reading yet.

That's three books for $2.99.

2. Work

Me: I don't know about doing a negotiation in your trailer at the work site, it's not that big.
Project Manager: Well, considering it's raining in the trailer at the moment -
Me: Wait, what? It's raining inside the trailer??
Project Manager: Yep, pretty heavily actually.
Me: Where is this trailer located?
Project Manager: Under the tracks. From the outside it looks like a sturdy enough structure, but it leaks like you would not believe.
ME: So now it's a moldy trailer?
Project Manager: Well not yet but soon.
Me: Okay, we are definitely not meeting in your trailer. I don't need a tour of your site, I see it on the way to work each day.

Also, I apparently forgot to take a required ethics refresher course prior to April 5. In my defense, I thought I had until the end of the year and they didn't actually inform me otherwise. Whoops.

3. Am behind in television viewing, in that I have not seen Game of Thrones season opener yet. I'm waiting for the weekend. But, I have seen:

* Killing Eve which was
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1. I'm back from my four day trip to visit my parents in South Carolina.parents health and well being )

2. The weather was lovely, clear blue skies for the most part, with the occasional afternoon or evening shower. Read more... )

3. Saw some TV shows with my Mom. We watched the first episode of Fosse/Vernon together and the first of "A Discovery of Witches" - enjoyed both a great deal. But I'm going to wait until I see all of them before writing a full review.

4. It's good to be back. Tired. On the plane ride home was astonished to see three families in first/business class. Where it's $44 more a seat. I didn't pay that much because I used frequent flier points. The trip down and back was blessedly uneventful. We had some traffic on the drive to and from the airport, both ways. In NY - typical NY traffic. Although I was bit astonished to see heavy traffic on the BQE and Belt Parkway, also in line for the terminal at 5:00-5:45 AM in the morning.
In Savannah -- it was a four car accident that had backed up traffic for several miles, but just two on our end. Didn't delay us that much though.

5. Got into a weird-ass mini-debate on an FB fanboard. Nothing serious -- it's too heavily moderated for it to become serious. But at one point, one of the moderators yelled "TROLL IN THE DUNGEON" and I thought...uhm, okay, who? Read more... )
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Just finished watching two movies rented via "on demand", for about $3.99 and maybe $4.99. Much cheaper than the movie theater, which is $16.99. Plus I could rewind, stop in the middle, and eat whatever I want during. And talk back to the television screen. Granted my mother interrupted me twice with a phone call -- but we can't have everything.

1. If Beale Street Could Talk -- directed by Barry Jenkins and adapted from James Baldwin's novel of the same name.

This is the movie that should have gotten the Oscar nomination and won, not Green Book. The fact it is the opposite speaks volumes about our establishment and why the Oscars are well...

Anyhow, the film is about a young woman upon discovering she is pregnant, pulls out all the stops to attempt to get her falsely convicted lover released. It wasn't what I expected. It's told almost entirely through her perspective and through her mother and family's perspective. Regina King plays her mother.

The film made me angry, and is not a feel-good movie, but equal parts indictment, and an uplifting piece about hope, family, and making the best of a bad and impossible situation, despite the insurmountable obstacles in your path.

plot spoilers )

Not a feel-good movie but a real one - that makes you feel the characters pain and their struggle.

2. Into the Spiderverse

Watched this as a palate cleanser for the first -- I needed something funny and positive.

This is the film that got the Oscar for best animated film -- and, it deserved it.
It's a brilliant piece of animation, blending multiple styles, to provide a complex and layered story. Along with a commentary on the comic form and superhero stories, showing why people love them so much.

If you are a lover of graphic art, animation, and the medium, this is a must see all on it's own. It blended at least five different animation styles and did it seamlessly. That, my friends, is hard to do well. I've seen other try it and they did not accomplish it nearly this well.

Also, it does a lovely job of commenting on the number and variations of a superhero, and why there are numerous variations -- making it both a joke, and also a theme. The over-arcing message is a simple one -- "we all can be heroes, if we choose to be, anyone can be Spiderman".
plot set-up, not major spoilers )
It's comical at times, as the original Peter Parker makes fun of the plot, and Miles does as well. But the heart is there, and the art is amazing. I was blown away by it.

Highly recommend.
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1. Where I talk Wales into meeting me late tomorrow afternoon at a cat and rat cafe in Brooklyn. There was a story on NY1 about how they use pet rats to help acclimate the kittens and befriend them.

ME: There's a cat cafe in brooklyn heights I want to check out. We can do tea or coffee at the cafe where you can play with kittens and weirdly rats.
Wales: Wow. How sick is that? Cats and rats. Ok.
ME: Okay found it, it's in Brooklyn Heights -- (I send her the link.) But I wouldn't bring your cats (which are feral) because they'd probably eat the rats.
She calls me. (This was texting.)
Wales: Okay, you've intrigued me -- this is a life-long fantasy of mine. I've always wanted to see kitties and rats get along. And I really want to play with friendly kittnes. Can we do this!!!
Me: Uhm okay - but I may have to do laundry at 12 noon - because best time to do laundry.
Wales: We can do it while you do laundry.
Me: Won't work -- it only takes two hours to do laundry and you sort of have to go in and out..
Wales: How about 3PM -- where do you want to meet?
Me: How about at the cafe?
Wales: I will be there. We can do dinner after. This is so cool.

Afterwards, we'll go eat, maybe stop by an ice cream place opened by a top tier Indian (India - India) graduate of NYU and Johns Hopikins Business School and Ice Cream Making school -- who has created Indian flavored ice creams and opened a shop in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. NY1 had a story on both -- and I was about to jump to my soap, but paused to watch the story.

So...will update you on what happens after we go.

2. Hmmm...SmartBitches does a podcast with the readers who researched the plagirism case "CopyPastCris" and tabulated the number of books the writer plagirized -- which is more than 50 books and counting.

somewhat insane story about how two readers have managed to figure out that this individual has cleverly plagarized over 85 romance novels and counting...without any personal gain or direct investment. )

They make a good point about how the romance genre gets no respect, and it should because it's about interpersonal relationships. True. Female specific genres get traditionally crapped on by people.

Seriously, it's an interesting listen.

Why You Don't Plagiarize Nora Roberts and what she went through with Janet Daily who did it

Robert's response to Copy Paste Cris

I don't understand why folks do this.

And... Apparently there are people out there who write a book, sell it, then sell their work to someone else, they repackage it and sell it as their work... Alrighty, then.
The information age has created that.

And Claire Ryan created Similar Works logrithym where you can discover if someone has plagiarized your work. I know people were doing this in fandom back in 2008. See, it's not a good idea to try and plagiarize in the digital/technological age -- where there are coders/programmers out there who can create programs that can catch you at it.

And here's the list of books that were plagiarized.
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Found on Facebook...which I'm rarely on, I tend to spend most of my time on private group sites on FB due to FB being overly crowded by crazy-ass family members and church acquaintances.

1. What Actually Happened for this Sign to be Needed? - shows a picture of a sign post on a women's states: "No Horses Allowed".

Yes. Really.

2. In my neighborhood site...a driver got this note placed under his windshield.

"I am selfish. I take two spaces. When others don't have..."

The person who got the sign posted it on the Kensington Neighborhood Site with this message: "If you left this nice note on my car last night. Thank you for reminding me who i am and why I do what I do."

Someone asks if he did it?

He responds of course he did, what would you expect me to do -- park in my driveway, pshhh.

[Have I mentioned lately how happy I am that I don't drive? And how insane you'd have to be to drive and own a car in this crazy-ass city?]

3. Cousin: The Mueller Report has disappeared from the News, why?
Me: Don't worry it will be back...with bells on.

And sure enough... The Justice Dept is Fighting With Mueller's Team on what should be released to the public - Note they've been fighting over this for several days, they took a break on Monday and Tuesday to inform the Doofus and Justice Dept, that no they can't invalidate the Affordable Health Care Act and Enforce the Borders with Mexico ending all trading with the South, without a)destroying the economy, and b) costing themselves the election. Now that that's over, they are back to fighting over the Mueller report. But hey,it could be worse...

A UK friend posting on FB...about Brexit, she has my sense humor regarding politics (which is rather dark and snarky): "They told me that if the UK voted for Brexit, it would eventually bring the nation together as one across age, gender, race and political beliefs. AND IT WAS TRUE... - Sky Data Poll Reports 90% of Britains state that handling of negotiations is a national humiliation"

4. A philosophical discussion about free will and determinism that took me back to my college days - also the All Things Philosophical Board about Buffy and Angel The Series. There's nothing philosophy buffs like to argue about more than free will and determinism.

My take?
Read more... )

Same is true with the other part of the discussion I saw on FB, about good and evil, where they state that the two are not necessarily separate concepts. Read more... )

That said, what I really liked about the item I'd read on FB, was the discussion on how we place far too much emphasis on "praise" and "blame" or rewarding allegedly good deeds and punishing allegedly bad ones...without looking deeper, or instead of placing blame at all -- see it as problem or challenge to be resolved or something to be improved upon. Well, that didn't work, whoops, let's try this instead. Also instead of feeling "proud" for accomplishing a good deed, feeling gratitude for being given the opportunity to have done it -- since it's a stroke of luck that this opportunity presented itself to you at that point in time -- in which you were in the correct place, time, and mindspace to act accordingly. I've noticed that all people, everyone on this planet, dead and alive and to be born is capable of good and evil things, at the same time. Depending on the circumstances, situation, etc.
And but there for the grace of God go how that happens.
Read more... )
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1. Hee...

Apparently some high school put on a play adaptation of the Ridley Scott Film Alien -- yes, THAT "Alien".

2. And there's FINALLY a movement to do older people in romance What's Age Got to Do With it? It also explains why every romance novel for years has women between the ages of 16-28 in a romance, but no one over that. And we wonder why our society is wacked. Why? Because the publishing industry was under the delusion that people don't want to read about older people getting it on -- all evidence to contrary. (Were they blind to the success of Bridges of Madison County?) Also weirdly more men write older women romance novels. They don't write the younger ones. Interesting. (The article didn't say that -- I just picked up on it.) I noticed it in the fanfic too, women (lesbian and het) wrote young innocent gal older guy erotica, while men did not. Interesting. I wonder why? (Of course I may be completely wrong on this -- it's not like I made a study of it or anything, just a random observation.)

Anyhow, another thing I noticed? It's bloody hard to find historical romance novels with older heroines. I've found a couple. Reading one now, actually. Easier to find contemporary with older heroines. Although, you do have to look. I'm actually sort of writing one -- except my book sort of defies description at the moment.

3. You can stream Jordan Peele's premiere episode of the Twilight Zone for free on Youtube. Go HERE. Yes, this is a blatant attempt to get subscribers. They haven't gotten me yet. But that's mainly because I've more television shows to watch than I know what to do with. Having widely diverse tastes or eclectic ones -- comes with its downsides in content saturated marketplace.

4. Hmmm..

Seeing Red - She begged for her life" post by itsnotmymind (nifty name by the way), is about how the writer's made the interesting choice to have Buffy beg Spike to stop in the attempted rape sequence, not just kick him off right off the bat -- while neither of the slayers he killed begged for their lives.

What I find interesting -- is I saw two television shows deal with domestic violence and assault in the last two weeks. Both showed it solely from the victim's perspective. One showed the aftermath, and the victim's helplessness, and inability to do anything to the attacker or defend themselves, the other showed the victim finally killing him, after literally fighting for her life.
spoilers for Grey's Anatomy, Seeing Red, and 9-1-1 )
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What? I happen to love April. March I could do without. (Hmmm, note to self, start taking mid-winter vacations to exotic locals in March, preferably the last week of Feb and first week of March. And somehow swing around the Spring Breakers.)

1.* Avengers Endgame -- The Final Trailer -- really can't wait to see this movie, it's looks epic and awesome, and if it is half as good as Infinity War -- I'll be happy. It drops on April 26. (I'm thinking of dragging movie buddy to it two weeks after...assuming Movie Buddy hasn't left town on another camping trip with his family, in which case I may have to see it by myself. Also thinking of seeing in RPX-- although I'm not sure what RPX is exactly? If it's 3D, no way in hell.)

2.* Fosse/Verdon drops on F/X on April 9. The reviewer didn't like it and called it another musical bio-pic (seriously it can't possibly be worse than Bohemian Rhapsody, which currently holds the title for WORST BIOPIC EVER, which insanely got nominated for awards by people with colossally bad taste. Okay, it should be noted that I've seen a lot of rock documentaries...I realized this when EW listed the top must see rock documentaries, and I'd basically seen all of them, including the mockumentary This is Spinal Tap (which every guy I've ever friended or dated loves for reasons that defy explanation. Not only do they love This is Spinal Tap, they can annoyingly quote dialogue from it and act it out. Can't remember if my brother was into it or not.)
I expect to love Fosse/Vernon -- if only for the great song and dance numbers. (I'm not really watching it for in-depth exploration of the leads -- I already know all that. Hello. Theater geek.)

3. * Discovery of Witches drops on AMC and BBCAmerica at the same time on Sunday, April 7 at 9 pm, I think.

4. *And right before it, on both channels? Killing Eve Returns for S2 -- complete with the great performances and twisted humor.

5.* Game of Thrones Final Season drops April 14 at 9PM on HBO and various other related channels globally.

6. * His Dark Materials is set to air at some point by HBO and BBC, but no clue when. I really want to see this.

7. Also.. The New Adventures of Sabrina S2 is premiering this month, along with Jordan Peele's Twilight Zone, and Native Son on HBO.

8. Hmmm, Hugo nominations came out. Not that I care that much...but it is mildly of interest:

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Annihilation, directed and written for the screen by Alex Garland, based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer (Paramount Pictures / Skydance)
Avengers: Infinity War, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Studios)
Black Panther, written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, directed by Ryan Coogler (Marvel Studios)
A Quiet Place, screenplay by Scott Beck, John Krasinski and Bryan Woods, directed by John Krasinski (Platinum Dunes / Sunday Night)
Sorry to Bother You, written and directed by Boots Riley (Annapurna Pictures)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman, directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman (Sony)

[I have seen only three of them, but I'd say still a MUCH better listing of films than the Oscars. Much better films, and more interesting.]

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

The Expanse: “Abaddon’s Gate,” written by Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck and Naren Shankar, directed by Simon Cellan Jones (Penguin in a Parka / Alcon Entertainment)
Doctor Who: “Demons of the Punjab,” written by Vinay Patel, directed by Jamie Childs (BBC)
Dirty Computer, written by Janelle Monáe, directed by Andrew Donoho and Chuck Lightning (Wondaland Arts Society / Bad Boy Records / Atlantic Records)
The Good Place: “Janet(s),” written by Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan, directed by Morgan Sackett (NBC)
The Good Place: “Jeremy Bearimy,” written by Megan Amram, directed by Trent O’Donnell (NBC)
Doctor Who: “Rosa,” written by Malorie Blackman and Chris Chibnall, directed by Mark Tonderai (BBC)

Sigh, does Doctor Who ever NOT got nominated in this category? (Not that I didn't like the two episodes nominated, just...Jeremy Bearimy was a hundred times better.)

Here's The Listing for the curious.

The only novel or books I read on the list are Children of Blood and Bone (eh, okay, but the writing disappointed me), and Saga Vol 9 (I've only read the first three volumes, which again, eh, okay. I enjoyed them. Not sure I'd hand out awards.)

Honestly? There's very little that I would give an award to, and I'm not entirely sure it makes sense to do so for books, movies, television, theater, music, cultural things, art -- partly because quality is well, in the eye of the beholder. (How else do we explain Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody winning awards let alone being nominated for them?) Read more... )

Although, with the Hugos, this is mainly fan nominated, so a lot of these books are found or discovered by fans, and not necessarily best-sellers or pushed by crazy marketing people.
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1. Caught up on the following:

* Legacies - this series surprised me. A lot better than expected, with likable and relatable characters. That didn't fall heavily into established tropes or cliches.

These writers are really good at world-building. The monster is an interesting one, and not one I've seen done before. Also the series has done a rather good job of building on the prior series, without relying or being dependent on them. It expands on the mythology.

spoilers )

* This is Us

It's bugging me. Beth's character arc doesn't quite work and she comes across as a bit whiny. I agree with Randall, she's playing the victim, when she's anything but.
And she resents the fact that he's got to shine and she hasn't -- ignoring everything else.

The writers are making the women the bad guys in this -- and it's irritating. Very much a male viewpoint series. A problem I have with television in general over the years -- is a heavy male centric gaze.

mini rant about this past episode )

* Grey's Anatomy -- that was just painful. I could have done without that episode. I felt really sorry for Alex and Joe.

Read more... )

* Rosewell, New Mexico

Well, that was predictable and a touch disappointing.

spoilers )

*Station 19 -- well it put me to sleep. Never a good sign. Read more... )

*9-1-1 is the exact opposite of Station 19. It's believable. Read more... )

* Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The season finale is next week. I liked this week's episode better than usual. This season has been doing a good job referencing previous seasons and commenting on them through another perspective, showing how the characters have all evolved and moved past their one-dimensional craziness. This episode satirized the dating game, the Bachelor, and pretty much romantic dates in general -- showing how exhausting they are. Read more... )

2. Aquaman -- saw this "On Demand" on Saturday night., it's not that good. I'm very glad I didn't pay $16 to see it in the theaters or drag an unsuspecting friend to it. It's not exactly awful, but it isn't exactly good either.

Read more... )

3. To follow up on most impactful television series of my life. Outside of Buffy and Angel, there have been too many to count. Really, there have been too many. Embarrassingly so. (What can I say? I like television. A lot.) So I'll narrow it down to the stuff that is completely and utterly in the WTF are you thinking category, and willing to bet very few people were fans of these shows. In sort? Wackadoodle television series. Basically, proof that I like weird stuff. ;-)

Ten Wackadoodle Series That I've Loved )
shadowkat: eleanor the good place (wonder)
Worth watching or listening to: Tim Ferris Interview with Neil Gaiman -- he discusses among other things the little known fact that Ian Fleming hated writing, but was a great plotter and gave Ronald Dalh two of his best plots and Gaiman even tells us the plots.

1. Apparently at 15 he started a Magazine where he interviewed writers and artists.

Read more... )

2. Gaiman gets across how hard it is to write.Read more... )

3. He does talk about how hard it was getting started --Read more... )

4. He was a late night writer --Read more... )

5. Where Ideas Come From..
Read more... )
6. Terry Prachett and Good Omens
Read more... )

How did Terry Prachett approach mortality? And Alztheimers?
Read more... )
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1. Marvel Studios Releases 36 Avengers Endgame Character Posters - Depicting Definitively Who Survived the Snap and Who Did Not

2. New Avengers Endgame Trailer

It's premiering April 26. So I guess I'm seeing it in May?

3. Was today a holiday or spring break or something for NYC schools? Because the commute was pleasant for once.

4. This is the Best and Simplest World Map of Religions

My biggest take-away? Judaism is the least represented -- who knew? Jews are a minority.

Muslim and Christian seem to the most represented, along with Hindu (India) and Athesist (Europe) and China. Buddhism comes slightly behind.
shadowkat: (Default)
Saw this on FB:

Most impactful TV shows of all time? Not just ones you liked, but ones that got you through stuff, made your heart ache, made you feel like the characters were your friends. Ones you couldn't wait to see the next episode of because you were so invested in what happens next. Ones you'd record on your VCR if you're old like me because you couldn't bear to miss them and waiting for a rerun or video release just wasn't an option.

My answer?

Gee, I don't know, guess?

answer )

What are yours?
shadowkat: (Default)
A couple of things..

1. I have a very dry sense of humor. One online friend, D'Herblay from the ATPO Board, after meeting him in person -- told me that I had one of the funniest driest wits that he'd ever come across. It is a defense mechanism. And I inherited from my father and brother. Unfortunately it does not always come across very well online -- a lot of people take my self-deprecating dry humor literally or seriously. I mock myself all the time. But as my father puts it -- dry sardonic senses of humor aren't necessarily appreciated by fellow humans. I state this by way of an apology -- also you probably shouldn't take half my personal posts seriously, particularly if they are somewhat snarky in character. Some people find me hilarious, wit goes over their heads and they get offended. Don't.

I've also been told that I'm hard to get close to or get to know, which perplexes me, because I think I overshare, and need to apply filters.

2. Fan Conventions.

I was thinking about this today. I can't do them. If I was going to do them it would have been between 2002-2010, when I was obsessed with Buffy, or obsessed with Farscape and BSG. Although really only Buffy and Angel.

For one thing, crowds and me are unmixy things. I spend the entire time hunting the exit ramp. I don't do lines well. Hate big groups of people -- anything over twenty people is going to make me crazy. Actually prefer groups limited to five - ten. I remember a friend being bummed out that fifty people weren't coming to her party, only about ten-twenty were, I was relieved. I don't hold parties -- the idea of throwing a party scares me. It probably has a lot to do with my mother who had anxiety attacks every time she entertained.

I also do not like meeting famous people. I've met a lot of them -- it makes me uncomfortable. I'm talking to someone whom I know more about than they know me, talk about uneven playing field. And the idea of having them sign an autograph -- ack. I can't do this -- I had to have a friend get an autograph for me.

I also can't abide being worshipped or worshipping things -- fame scares me. There's something almost cultish about it.

So conventions scare me. It may because I haven't had the best of experiences at the business ones that I had to attend in the 1990s. I don't know.

How do you feel about them? Do you go? If you do -- do you meet new people or just stick with people you already know?
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I've been reading comic books again. X-men Comic Books )
shadowkat: (Default)
1. TV Show Premiere Dates:

*Discovery of Witches starts on Sunday, April 7 at 9pm on BBCAmerica and AMC at the same time.

*Fosse/Verdon debutes on April 9 - not sure of time on F/X

* What We Do in the Shadows - the comedy spawned by the vampire mockmentary, stars on FX on March 27 at 10 PM -- it's about bloodsuckers getting into hijinks on...Staten Island (of all places). Some day, I need to visit Staten Island. It's the only borough that I've never been too. Places I've not been to in NY -- Airondacks, Lakes, Albany, North of the Catskills, Hamptons, Niagra Falls, Buffalo, and Staten Island.

2. Listening to X-Plain the X-men Panel Pod-Cast about Age of X-men, where they sit down live at Emerald City Comic Con with writers Vita Ayala, Seanan McGuire, and Leah Williams to talk Age of X-Man, the intergenerational legacy of X-Men, and telling stories in the pauses.

Basically these writers are LGBTQ, POC and Women -- for an X-men comic series.They've also been told to play. Age of X-men is pocket universe that was created by extremely powerful mutant and the X-men, along with all the Mutants fighting Nate Grey and Legion (two reality bending mutants) were sucked into it. The universe is basically fascist -- no intimate or familial loves are allowed. But of course there are secret relationships. They also discussing what writing for the books means to them and what the X-men means to them. One mentions that she sees the X-men as a musical overture. Also mentions the problems of setting up a canon. Another writer, not sure which one it is -- mentions what she relates to the most about X-men is the lonliness -- and that's what I identify with -- the lonliness. And how they reach for each other, desiring connection.

Read more... )

3. Right now, most of my life seems to be metaphorically represented by the black plastic bag hanging from a tree that I can see out of my living room window but can't remove. Today the Universe mocked me by showing me various torn plastic bags stuck in the tops of trees that I cannot remove. (You have to understand -- I love trees. They talk to me, I feel them. I feel safest near trees. It's why I can't live in the Southwest or West, I need trees. I can't breath if I'm not near trees.) So seeing all these damn plastic bags caught in the tree branches is just painful. But I can't do anything about it.

4. Chidi (coworker who looks like Chidi and has some of the same mannerisms) -- saw US and told me while it is definitely horror, but it is not scary. Read more... )

[I still think I may wait to watch on TV. Mainly because the trailer bugs me.]

5. For Veronica Mars and Good Place fans, the actress who portrayed Chidi's love interest Simone (the Australian neurology professor) is joining Veronica Mars opposite Kristen Bell. (YAY!) But it's on Hulu, which I cancelled. Dang it.
shadowkat: (Default)
Hmmm...I re-watched The Avengers today doesn't work from a plot perspective. There are plot-holes that you can drive a truck through. Also the difference between The Avengers and Infinity Game in plot, special effects, character moments, dialogue, direction, etc is night and day. The movies have really upped their game since 2012, which was what six years ago?

The Avengers is fun, but cheesy and way too interested in establishing portrait shots. Also, the Hulk's arc makes no sense. He goes from being unable to control The Hulk to suddenly, out of the blue, being able to do so. And states his secret is he's always angry? Really? There's also this whole bit about Stark saving the world -- which is repeated in the Age Ultron, which doesn't quite work. Nor does Captain America's stragetizing or for that matter why they put him in charge of it -- it's poorly set up.

After seeing Captain Marvel -- it's clear that the writers forgot some of the plot points in this film or changed how they were plotting the story and the villains after it. Whedon paints Thanos as a black and white villain in the first film. While Infinity War is a little less clear cut about it. And provides Thanos and the aliens with more depth, and makes them far deadlier. Captain Marvel spoiler )

The direction and script feel messy, or as if the writer is distracted by other things. It's all over the place, heavy on exposition -- almost too heavy -- and busy. The films that don't work as well in the MCU are the ones with too busy a plot -- it's better to simplify the villain's goals and plot, and focus on the character moments. If you go the other way -- you spend far too much time explaining the science and mechanics of the plot, and lose the character moments that pull in the audience.

I remember being disappointed when I saw it in the theaters in 2012, but not clear on why -- now I get it.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. There's a black plastic bag, somewhat tattered hanging from a tree outside my living room window. It's too far away for me to take a clear pic with my phone. I tried. I don't know why this is -- I can see it clearly enough from my arm chair. My phone for reasons that I do not understand seems to take pictures as if the objects are much further away than they actually are -- one of us has depth perception issues. While I'm aware that I do, in this instance, I'm thinking it is the phone.

It's an interesting and pretty tree. And that black bag, tattered, is bugging me. But the tree is completely inaccessible and in the backyard of the apartment building next to mine. Even if it were in the backyard of my own building, there's nothing I could do about it. It appears to be caught on an upper branch, and soon, once the tree flowers will be invisible. But for now, I see it and ....It's not that it is ugly (which it is) but that I feel for the tree, who certainly didn't ask for a plastic bag to be caught in its branches. The tree didn't create the bag. Or purchase it or put anything it and then recklessly disregard it. But now that bag is caught. And it may never leave. It may become part of the tree. And it is bugging me.

2. The Great Tragedy of the Buffy HD Remaster -- even if you aren't a Buffy fan, this is interesting in how it explains the importance of light filtering and film grain in film and digital imaging. And why an image with film grain can often look fake or plastic.

What's also fascinating is the studio took great pains to remaster lesser known or praised television series such as Charmed, but failed to do this with Buffy.
Apparently Fox didn't like Buffy all that much or care? (shrugs) Maybe Disney will fix it?

But it's worth watching the video just to discover how important film editing and remastering images correctly are -- and how every little thing matters. If you crop the picture wrong, change the light filter, or filter out the noise -- you change the image in a critical manner.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Read an article a while back in the times, I think it was, or the Huffington Post, about a woman who cancelled her FB account, and her life is great.Read more... )

2. Mary Poppins Returns

It finally arrived - On Demand. So I watched it.


Not as good as the original. Read more... )

3. The Village

Bored. Nothing grabbed me. I appreciated what they were trying to do -- but it was heavy-handed and there were too many characters introduced at once. The writing and performances did little to bring me into the story. So, weirdly, I think I agree with the USA Today critic on this one. I never agree with them, so...I guess there's always a first time?

I got too many tv shows to watch as it is. So not bothering with this one. If it doesn't hold my attention in the first episode, and no one on my DW flist, workplace, friends or family has heavily rec'd it -- it's gone.

4. Other shows.

This is Us -- I want to talk about. But I can't find anyone who has seen the latest episode. Ugh.

spoilers )

Grey's Anatomy -- made me cry sloppy tears.

spoilers )

9-1-1- also made me cry sloppy tears. I love Angela Basset. Honestly I'd watch her in anything.

spoilers )

4. Been eating too much sugar again. I swear it's like heroine. A spoonful of sugar keeps me awake..dammit. (Actually it was a lot more than a spoonful...more like a couple of pints.) No wonder it's midnight and I'm still wide awake, after being tired all week long.

Meant to work on my novel today. Oh well, at least I got laundry and my bed made up clean today. Also some cleaning done. Progress. Writing can happen tomorrow.
shadowkat: (Default)
Horror is a Must See Genre Again - What's A Scaredy Cat to Do?

Feel her pain.

I was discussing this with co-workers.

Me: Are you seeing "US" this weekend?
Chidi: I plan to, yes. But I can't find anyone to go with me -- they all don't like horror movies.
Me: Well, I have problems with them -- some I can't see -- too traumatizing. And the description of US reminds me far too much of Skeleton Key.
Chidi: You keep referencing that..I should see it.
Me: plays with the idea that if you believe something is true -- it will happen, but only if you believe in it. Also a lot with mirrors. US also plays with mirrors, and mirrors freak me out. That and shadows. While Get Out didn't bug me.
Chidi: Nah, didn't bother me either -- wasn't that scary. But you might want to avoid Heredity - that movie is amazing, but it will screw you up and play with your head. How about the Exorcist? Did you see that?
ME: Yes, but it didn't bother me.
Chidi: Really? Why?
ME: I don't believe in demonic possession. (I also don't believe in demons.)

When I was a kid, one of my best friends and next door neighbor -- adored horror movies and television shows. Particularly anything with a monster in it. If we were at her house -- we watched them. (I did not like them. They scared me.) And my grandfather (on my father's side) adored the horror genre. He had lots of horror novels and liked the movies.

I have seen all of the old Godzilla movies as a result of this. Also all of Lost in Space, Night Gallery, Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and pretty much all of the old sci-fi horror flicks. My brother also loved the horror genre.

There was no escape.

Now, I will only watch them on television and sparingly. A Quiet Place and Birdbox didn't bother me, nor did Get Out. Haunting of Hill House on the other hand...
shadowkat: (Default)
1. The Path to the X-men joining the MCU movieverse Just Got a Lot Clearer...along with the Fantastic Four

I've mixed feelings.
Read more... )

But this is a good time to be a superhero comics or a comics fan in general. All these lovely adaptations of comic books popping up. Hey I have to get my jollies somewhere, right? Also, whenever the news gets dire -- we get an upswing in superhero action movies and musicals.

2. My flist keeps recc'ing Umbrella Academy. Seen Recs here and on FB. So should probably check it out soon. Although what I want to do is rent and re-watch The Avengers and The Avengers Age of Ultron. I'm in one of THOSE moods, apparently.

3. Ford Will Build its First Driverless Cars in 2020 -- so do you think I'll be able to afford one in ten years, let alone that they will be ready by then? Because that would take care of the whole not being able to drive problem...

If I wait long enough, technology may solve my worries for me. Go technology. And just after I spent half my week cursing you...

4. Remember that book I read for the SmartBitches Book Club, which disappointed me?
Mercerny Instinct Book Club Discussion.

The Gist? They liked it better than I did. But I'm guessing they haven't read some of the science fiction novels I've read -- either.

Also, their recs are hit and miss for me.

I left a comment. I'd been waiting for the podcast. Curious to see what they thought of some of the problematic sections.
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