Another Monday, let's go

Jan. 23rd, 2017 08:38 am
inkstone: Alex from the Gangsta voice card (sing your song)
[personal profile] inkstone
Hello pals! I know I've been quiet these last few days, but never fear! I'm still here, being trouble. :)

I also haven't forgotten about the meme! I will be answering it this week, so feel free to drop a request if you haven't already. Hope you're all well!

(no subject)

Jan. 23rd, 2017 12:27 am
skygiants: Nellie Bly walking a tightrope among the stars (bravely trotted)
[personal profile] skygiants
I just finished reading Sylvia Townsend Warner's Summer Will Show -- a deeply weird, depressing, idealistic, fascinating, occasionally horrible book. I think I loved it but I don't know at all whether I feel OK telling anybody else to read it, so I'm just going to talk about it and we'll see where that gets us.

Summer Will Show -- set in 1848 but written in 1936, and if you read it you will not forget it was written in 1936 -- focuses on Sophia Willoughby, a pragmatic, stoical, narrow-minded, extremely upper-class Englishwoman who has banished her philandering husband and is engaged in raising her two children on her well-ordered estate.

Sophia is very competent at fulfilling her role but feels deeply trapped and frustrated by every aspect of it, including being a mother. She hates having to worry about her sickly children and all the things that could conceivably kill them; she dreams of retreating to a cottage and doing things that it would never conceivably be allowable for her to do, like chopping her own damn wood. Obviously it is nonetheless awful when within the first forty pages or so, both of her children catch smallpox and die.

At a loss for purpose and next steps, and maybe not exactly in her clearest state of mind, Sophia decides to go to Paris and demand that her husband get her pregnant again so she can at least have something to do with the rest of her life. She happens to land right at the start of the February Revolution and the rest is lesbian revolutionary spoilers. )

(no subject)

Jan. 22nd, 2017 03:28 pm
meganbmoore: (arang: boat)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 The grocery store I usually frequent is having a sale this weekend for 20% off bulk food items and natural healthcare items, so I have now spent an absurd amount of money of spices, seasoning mixes, and various nut/chocolate/dried fruit mixes and such, granola,and fancy soaps.  I regret nothing.  (They've had this sale before, but I've never had enough disposable incoming to properly take advantage of it.)

The main purpose of this post, though, is to say that I've finally gotten around to making an account at mydramalist.com, if any of my asian drama watching followers also have an account there.  (My lists are pretty accurate as far back as 2014, and i'll be adding what I can from early in the near future.)  I'm SwordsandParasols over t here.

(no subject)

Jan. 21st, 2017 06:19 pm
meganbmoore: (Default)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
My “currently watching” queue on Netflix is empty as of earlier today (well, except for Ice Fantasy, but I’m just leaving that on to play when I think of it when I go to bed or work so it gets the viewer count because I want Netlfix to get more ancient/wuxia/xianxia cdramas without editting out 80% of the show.) and I feel very accomplished about that. I mean, that’ll change pretty quickly, but still!



I also got my first ever order from Lush today, which is neat except for the part where a couple of the bath bombs were broken. Bath bombs I’ve bought locally before have always been individually wrapped in one way or another, but these were all in a tin with shipping peanuts in the tin but no wrapping. I mean, the pieces are there so I can still just toss all the broken pieces in the bathtub at once, but that part of it is disappointing.

ETA:  Looking more closely at the Lush order (as in, actually moving the bathbombs around instead of what I could just see from the top) 5 of the 12 bath bombs are broken, though one not as badly as the others.  There's a bear shaped one that was beheaded...

[politics]

Jan. 21st, 2017 02:47 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
I'm going to be posting anti-Trump stuff under the tag "potatoes of defiance" (thank you Terry Pratchett!) for anyone who wants to filter it out.

Anyway, I finally managed to set up a few recurring donations yesterday and am deciding what to do with the rest of the money I've budgeted for donations. And I made my first call to my Congressperson. It went to voicemail, and I stuttered a bit, and I don't even know if it was helpful, but at least that was a start!

Also waving a fist in solidarity to everyone going out to march today. CB is out there, but my cold has triggered my asthma so I'm not =(. The pictures of people around the world protesting are great though.

And as an FYI, I've stopped crossposting to LJ and am still debating over deleting all my posts there and/or my account.

January Talking meme: January 20

Jan. 20th, 2017 11:51 pm
meganbmoore: (gnsk: sakura reads)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
January 20 - Favorite recent (as in the past five years or so) manga and/or anime! I am about five years or more behind and trying to catch up... ( [personal profile] oyceter  )

I may actually not be the best person for this, as I haven’t been keeping up with them well myself! I think the only new-to-me manga that’ve really jumped out for me in the last couple years are Ancient Magus Bride and Kamisama Kiss. Both are “semi normal girl and immortal magic guy” type stories, though AMB is more mythological and soul searching while KSS is more fluffy shoujo fun (with iffy parts in recently licensed volumes) with reverse-harem elements. Between the two, AMB is probably more your style and it’sthe better of the two, but KSS is a nice bit of entertainment. I also discovered 7 Seeds in that time period, but I’m petty sure you read that.

Akatsuki no Yona/Yona of the Dawn is one that I discovered in both anime and manga form, and need to catch up on the manga, and isprobably The Big Deal for me of the things in this post. It’s an “exiled princess seeks to reclaim throne” shoujo action series set in fantasy-ancient Korea. It’s a full blown reverse harem series, which usually turns me off, but not this time. The anime fllows th first 2 major arcs and few side things from the manga pretty faithfully.

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime/Snow White With Red Hair is the other recently popular shoujo series with a redhaired heroine in a pseuho-historical world, this time medieval Europe. It’s much calmer and combines adventure and slice of life pretty well. The heroine, an apothecary, has to flee her homeland after it’s prince decides to force her to marry him, and ends up befriending the younger prince of a nearby kingdom. It’s less exciting than AnY and a little more prone to sometimes have the heroine play the secondary lead, but still very fun.

Shirobako is an anime about an anime studio making an anime. Very worth watching for the premise. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is a comedy series about making shoujo manga. The initial premise had me going in with low expectations (girl confesses to her crush and he mistakes her for a fan because he’s a shoujo mangaka in secret, and she ends up becoming one of his assistants) but it ended up being a wonderful meta series.

After trying and failing to get into Durarara!! several times over the years, I fell in deep just before the 3rd part of the second season started airing. Urban mythology, social media, street gangs, a headless woman and stalkers everywhere. If ou liked Baccano! you’d probably like this after you got through the first couple episodes. People I thought would hate this like it, and a couple who it seems would don’t, so this one’s individual success rate is a bit hard to judge.

Sports anime has been big lately, though Chihayafuru, about a girl who wants to be a professional karuta player and starts a karuta club at her school, is the only one that I’ve been into. It’s also noteworthy for being one of the few Josei series that got adapted into anime. I haven’t watched them, but Free, Yuri on Ice and Haikyuu are other sports anime that have been popular among some mutual friends.

For a not-quite-anime rec, Thunderbolt Fantasy is the only series that I stuck with for more than a few episode since last spring. It’s not anime, but a live action show featuring puppets by Pili, and it’s a great wuxia deconstruction series that has a happy ending in spite of also being from Gen Urobuchi. (Which is probably the biggest spoiler possible for the series in the Urobutcher context, but possibly a needed one.)

icons: Dark Matter

Jan. 19th, 2017 08:19 pm
meganbmoore: (chiana and jool)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
168 x Dark Matter

 

here )

[meme]

Jan. 18th, 2017 02:02 pm
inkstone: chibi!Ace & chibi!Luffy from One Piece (better days)
[personal profile] inkstone
In lieu of actual content, I offer you a meme by way of [personal profile] thebonesofferalletters:
Comment with a fanfic trope and, if you'd like, a character/pairing, and I will tell you:
• how likely I am to write it
• A few lines of theoretical fic

(no subject)

Jan. 17th, 2017 09:06 pm
skygiants: Anthy from Revolutionary Girl Utena holding a red rose (i'm the witch)
[personal profile] skygiants
Intisar Khanani's Sunbolt Chronicles is an ongoing fantasy serial which currently consists of Sunbolt (novella) and Memories of Ash (novel.) It stars Hitomi, a Plucky Street Urchin with magical talents; she begins as a bit player in a revolution and subsequently bounces through a rapid succession of plot elements including but not limited to:

- an escape from a sinister dungeon!
- a bond with a life-sucking supernatural individual!
- a mentor with a mysterious past!
- a mission from a phoenix!
- a missing mother with inexplicable motivations!
- a wedding invitation in the middle of a feud in the middle of the desert!
- vampires!
- werewolves!
- tanuki!
- magic school!
- a heist!
- SURPRISE AMNESIA!!!

The series definitely has a protagonist and it definitely has a villain, but otherwise it is structured more or less as A Series Of Interesting Events; Hitomi always has a goal of one sort or another, but she's frequently thrown off-course into other adventures in a way that makes the story feel TV-episodic in a way that novels usually don't. I find it interestingly difficult to predict what's going to happen next. Part of that is because of the serial structure, and the other part of it is --

OK, you know how when you read a novel it is frequently very easy to tell who the thematically important people are going to be, especially love interests, because the author will take a moment to indicate something about their appearance or manner that's interesting, and you're like, ah! We're meant to care about THAT person, they will most likely play some sort of important role later on.

The thing is that pretty much every named character who shows up in the Sunbolt Chronicles gets this treatment. Everyone is important! It's pretty refreshing! This, and the interestingly weird weird structure, and one or two other factors (one and a half whole books in and there has as of yet been no romance!) make it stand out for me from the other present-tense first-person YA which it otherwise resembles.

movie: Kubo and the Two Strings

Jan. 17th, 2017 09:06 pm
meganbmoore: (when princesses grow fangs)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
Kubo and the Two Strings is the latest movie from Laika, the stop motion animation company behind Coraline and ParaNorman (and at least one other movie that I haven’t seen, and can’t recall the name of.

In ancient Japan, Kubo is a young boy who lives in a cave on a mountain with his mother, Sariatu. During the day, he travels down the mountain to the nearby village to play his shamisen and retell the stories his mother tells him. While he does so, origami papers fold themselves into figures and act out the stories he tells. Sariatu has always told him that he must return to the cave by nightfall so that her father, the Moon King, and her sisters will not find them, and he does so until one night, the villagers invite him to attend the Obon festival. Kubo does so, hoping to communicate with the spirit of his father, Hanzo. Hanzo does not answer his pleas, but his aunts find him, and destroy the village, causing Sariatu to lose the last of her power to send Kubo away. The rest (and bulk) of the movie is Kbo’sadventures to find Hanzo’s armor and escape his aunts. He’s joined by a talking monkey assigned to protect im by Sariatu, and an amnesiac, anthromorphic bug ho claims too be a retainer of Hanzo’s who is under a spell.

The movie is beautifully animated, and both charming and creepy, as well as being stuffed full of Japanese folklore and mythology. It appears to be at least partially inspired by the tale of Kaguya-hime, or a story like it (I want to say I’ve read a story that’s a more fitting comparison, but cant remember what it is). The only downside is that, while it had Japanese consultants and a numbr of Japanese actors in minor roles, all the major characters are voiced by white actors, and I believe the same is true of the major behind-the-scenes creators.

Trailer:


raindrops fall like lists

Jan. 17th, 2017 11:38 am
inkstone: a woman with a fan (dangerous lady)
[personal profile] inkstone
1. The convention was a lot of fun. Great panels, good food, and I came home with a sword. As you do. ;D

2. I checked my mailbox to discover that I'd received a package from [personal profile] yhlee containing BPAL. Including Spooky, my most beloved scent of scents! For those of you who don't know, Spooky is a LE BPAL blend and I'd been carefully rationing out the three bottles I'd been hoarding. But ALAS! I finally ran out early last year. It was pretty sad. But no more! I can enjoy Spooky once again. Thanks again, [personal profile] yhlee!

3. I started a self-defense class last Tuesday. The second class is tonight and I'm really looking forward to it. My 30-day trial at the yoga studio down the street ended, so I've been doing some home practice for now. On the bright side, another local yoga studio is offering a free class on Friday. I have the day off, so I'm taking advantage of it! Trying to maintain some physical activity throughout this winter has been good for my brain. Normally, I'm a wreck during January, but my energy levels have been nicely high. :)

Hope y'all are good. Did I miss anything exciting while I was gone?

(no subject)

Jan. 16th, 2017 09:46 am
skygiants: (swan)
[personal profile] skygiants
As mentioned, I had a strong urge to reread some E. Nesbit thanks to Everfair, so I took The Enchanted Castle with me on vacation.

The Enchanted Castle is quite possibly the ur-Nesbit. It has everything:

- a group of squabbling but affectionate siblings
- a ring of invisibility! (or is it a wishing ring?) (or is it a TOKEN OF THE GODS THAT EXACTS A TERRIBLE PRICE FOR ITS USAGE?) (or is it just going to make you repeatedly and unfortunately late for tea?)
- SECRET TREASURE
- a background tragic long-lost romance
- people turning into statues! statues turning into living statues! (quite useful, as it turns out that "all statues that come to life are proficient in all athletic exercises")
- implausibly friendly Greek myths come to life; see also 'living statues' (Eros is "a really nice boy, as the girls instantly agreed" and Psyche is "a darling, as any one could see")
- A DINOSAUR; see once again 'living statues'
- an unsubtle critique of capitalism
- a fair bit of probably accidental period classism
- a brief unfortunate incident of blackface
- a collection of construct puppets that come horribly alive and demand, in the most Uncanny Valley fashion possible, to be shown to a really good hotel!

The bit with the puppets that come alive is probably the most memorable set piece of The Enchanted Castle, a book that contains a number of extremely memorable set pieces; they are simultaneously so disturbing and so hilariously banal, requiring Our Plucky Heroes to screw their courage to the sticking point and NOT ONLY cunningly walk them to the tunnel where they plan to imprison them, but ALSO at the same time answer polite questions about their schoolwork and whether they play sports. The worst of all possible things!

Really, nowhere does E. Nesbit show how much she knows her way around writing kids more than in The Enchanted Castle. The magical adventures are wonderful, and occasionally rise up into the numinous and almost haunting -- I'm fascinated by the dropped remark at the end that this book would have absolutely been an epic tragedy, were it not for the convenient fact that the people who found the magical ring were children and not yet adults -- but the parts that are just kids hanging out complaining at each other without any magic at all are just as compelling, and also hilarious.

More Nesbit rereads are almost certainly in my future, though I don't remember loving any of her books quite as much as The Enchanted Castle. (Edward Eager rereads, too, since every single thing he ever wrote is an ardent love letter to E. Nesbit, which is how I discovered her in the first place.)

January Talking Meme: January 15

Jan. 15th, 2017 11:34 pm
meganbmoore: (swr ahsoka)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
talk to me about Satine  Kryze and Bo-Katan! ([personal profile] musesfool )

Under a cut for spoilers for both Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars.  I forgot with the Ahsoka post that a coupe of people who follow me are still catching up with both.  Apologies if you saw unwanted spoilers.



here )

(no subject)

Jan. 15th, 2017 06:44 pm
skygiants: Clopin from Notre-Dame de Paris; text 'sans misere, sans frontiere' (comment faire un monde)
[personal profile] skygiants
Nisi Shawl's Everfair is an alternate history in which a group of British socialists and African-American missionaries form an unlikely partnership to buy up a parcel of land and found an independent Utopian nation in the Belgian Congo. Unsurprisingly, things do not go 100% Utopian from there. On the downside, the colony has to deal with international intrigue and attacks by hostile Belgian forces as well as internal conflicts about race and religion and governance; on the upside, everyone does get mechanical limbs and mechanical airships!

The book covers about 30 years of story-time, beginning in the 1890s and progressing up past the end of WWI. Some things change as a result of the existence of Everfair, and others don't. As a thought experiment, it's extremely compelling and well-thought-out. As a story, I found it interesting to read but a little difficult to fall into completely -- the story progresses as a series of brief chapters from a variety of POVs, and often skips ahead months or years in between chapters. This allows for a thorough and complex picture of the whole colony, but, on the flip side, made the individual character arcs feel really choppy (at least to me).

The only character thread that really spans the whole book is the fraught romance between Daisy Albin (AU E. Nesbit -- most major characters are AUs of historic figures, but she was the only one I could recognize without looking it up because I am not an expert on the Fabian Socialists but I am an expert on E. Nesbit's Life Choices) and Lisette Toutournier (AU Colette, whom I feel I ought to have recognized, but did not, because I have never actually read any Colette.) Spoilers )

Anyway. Everfair is worth reading, and I'm glad I read it, but I did not like it as much overall as Shawl's short stories, which I now want to reread. Along with a lot of E. Nesbit.

(no subject)

Jan. 15th, 2017 08:38 am
meganbmoore: (badlands: butterflies)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
Trailer for season 2 of Into the Badlands



Between this and Underground, Spring TV is looking good for me.

January talking meme: January 10

Jan. 14th, 2017 10:33 pm
meganbmoore: (swr ahsoka)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
what do you think Ahsoka Tano's legacy is to Star Wars ([personal profile] grimorie ).



This was delayed so that I could finish my rewatch of season 5 of The Clone Wars

cut because at least one person is still watching the show )

(no subject)

Jan. 13th, 2017 07:15 pm
meganbmoore: (Default)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
New trailer for season 2 of Underground:

Be Good!

Jan. 12th, 2017 07:33 pm
inkstone: Nami from One Piece winking (wink)
[personal profile] inkstone
Headed to a convention tomorrow, so I'll be scarce for the next few days. I'm trying to use this as an opportunity to internet detox. See you later & take care!

Time to Soar

Jan. 10th, 2017 06:17 pm
inkstone: Tenjho Tenge's naked Aya sitting on a tv, draped in a sheet, caption: dragon (dragon)
[personal profile] inkstone
If you found me through the friending meme (and maybe even if you didn't), you'll know that I listen to a lot of podcasts. For the most part, they're Forteana-themed (e.g. true ghost stories, supernatural experiences, and weird phenomena), horror fiction (like NoSleep and PseudoPod), or horror serials (loved Darkest Night). But I also listen to one writing podcast: 88 Cups of Tea hosted by Yin Chang (aka the token Asian girl from Gossip Girl).

I don't even remember how I found the podcast. Possibly by just scrolling through the discovery tab on Stitcher. The thing is, I don't actually like listening to writing podcasts. For example, everyone recommends No Excuses. I've listened to a couple episodes. It does nothing for me. (I'm sorry. It's true. Don't throw rocks at me.) But for some reason, Yin's interviews with various authors really appealed to me and I stuck around.

Or maybe I simply stumbled upon the podcast at the right time. This is some writing nonsense. I understand if you'd rather skip. )

So I'm taking a break from the YA novel for the next couple weeks. Want to come back at it with fresh eyes! In the meantime, I think I'll write some fanfic. Maybe that Marco & Maverick fic. Maybe another Nicolex fic. Maybe I'll even poke at that Nami-centric One Piece AU! It's pretty exciting.

icons: Carmilla

Jan. 9th, 2017 07:30 pm
meganbmoore: (chi/red)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 109 x Carmilla



here ) 



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