Oh hey, comics has meta?
wrisomifu
dagonst
So today I found the comics meta section of the library. Sometime in the last decade, I'm not entirely sure when, the local library set up a graphic novel section on the ground floor, next to the sci-fi. (Their SF/F classification is ridiculously shoddy, but that's a different post.) I believe there is a corresponding set of shelves in the back, with child-safe comics.

Today I found the comics meta section. It can only be reached by an elevator that ...pauses... in a manner calculated to unsettle. It moves. It stops moving. You think: surely this is G? G for Ground? G for there are no basements in this city? So why hasn't the door opened omg it's not open- and then the door opens. Or there's stairs, but... call it claustrophobia or paranoia, but those stairs in that place: no. I rarely get past Fiction and Media.

But when they moved all the graphic novels and comics collections downstairs, they left things behind, upstairs. All the newspaper-type comics. The art books. The comics buying guides (really still?) The books about what makes good comics. The MU/DCU Universe encyclopedias. And the commentary. Apparently Grant Morrison has written a book, and he is far from the only one. And most of this I knew, except about Grant Morrison had written a book, because my last library shoved them all together... but it's been a while, so yay. I needed more to read.

Check your closets. You never know.
wrisomifu
dagonst
I heard about this early last week, and it's still amazing: newly-recovered recordings on wax cylinders that have been sitting in a box in Edison's laboratory.

They were able to scan and reconstruct, and start working on what was said, and who said it. So now we have voice recordings of Otto von Bismarck and Helmuth von Moltke. Not good recordings by any means - the RPM is a guess and there is serious static. The only part I could really make out was Bismarck reciting a bit of the Marseillaise.

(Which is actually kind of priceless.)

Doctor Who: Birthdays
wrisomifu
dagonst
I've been playing with Doctor Who fanfic* and one of the publishable results is the following: Birthdays, a snippet concerning the Master during the Time War.

I'm also flirting with Linux and Dreamwidth, so - change is in the air. Maybe. I like stability. I also like the idea of watching House MD when I'm at home, so stay tuned.


* That is, finding ways that the Master is not in fact dead. Because he isn't.
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Christmas snippet
wrisomifu
dagonst
I've been dabbling in Doctor Who, with three or four WIPs that haven't quite turned publishable yet.

One of them involves that alternate universe, and practically everyone scheming against the Doctor already, and then Lucy Saxon pushed her way in, like so. I'm afraid she'll get along just fine...
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Brick, Mortar, and Tubes
wrisomifu
dagonst
This week there's a NYT op-ed about Amazon's latest maneuver in its war against brick & mortar, and Amazon versus bookstores generally. It hits all the warm fuzzy points about how great local bookstores are, ignores much of the good of Amazon, and the comments section was very interesting. Farhad Manjoo at Slate fired back on behalf of Amazon (predictably).

I thought it would make an interesting exercise to look at more-or-less real data. So, here are the last ten books I remember buying: I regret nothing.Collapse )

And here's the breakdown:Collapse )

I haven't even gotten into e-books, because I... haven't really gotten into e-books, except the classics that are available free, to read on my phone. But I am running out of bookshelf space, and my local claims to be selling them, so I'm sure I'll come around.

And independent publishers like Lulu.com - my two books from there might be a fluke, but I do read a lot of blogs, and do buy books from those. Sometimes they're from regular publishers; this time not.

Then there's the library, which also has e-books. And paper books, new releases, DVDs, CDs, atmosphere, inventory, unbeatable prices, and booksales. I've been in a lull of library-going lately, but I still checked out at least ten items during the same period of time covered above. For, again, free.

Inbox Zero!
wrisomifu
dagonst
I miss wrisomifu. Very much. But my place is clean, the inbox is empty, and there's food in the refrigerator, so December isn't all bad.

I finished one story, Blindman's Bluff during the month. It's Dexter, with major Lithgow-season spoilers. I posted the first two parts in August, when I was mostly done with the third section. Then I froze up and November came. Done now!

And now I'm fandom-hopping again into Doctor Who. All my ideas for that are plotty and long and unfinished, but - fair warning.

I am pleased.
wrisomifu
dagonst
Today I thought of something that makes one of my projects, for want of a better phrase, not boring.

My usual creative outlets are writing and embroidery. The basic skills are very accessible - most middle-schoolers can string together a sentence and avoid tragic needle accidents. But there's technical competency, and then there's figuring out something that is worth saying. I have trouble with the latter, which leads to stories and projects that seem like a good idea generally but don't quite work.

It's a bad sign when I find them too dull to work on. With some leeway for having an off-month, or feeling more like sewing than writing, or getting inspired by a new show or something, of course. (I have a stitching project that's in its second decade.)

Today I was thinking of one particular project. I'd committed to doing it about two years ago, did all the preliminary research, and then... yeah, life, you know? And today, I realized that a different approach would serve the theme so much better, and be more fun as well. And now it is a much more interesting project that might even happen this year.

Dear Hollywood...
wrisomifu
dagonst
I am somewhat face-blind. In real life, this means that people recognize me more often than I recognize them, and which leads to hilarious-in-retrospect exchanges while I try to figure out if I know the person from work, school, volunteering, dating, friend-of-friend I've met once, ACK! Apparently that does not happen to other people.

For media, that mostly means that I'm ten times slower at recognizing famous actors than anyone else. But unless it's a Hitchcock film, or something with clones, or a remake of the Parent Trap... please, Hollywood, resist the urge to cast a bunch of people who would all be in the same police lineup Lots of people want to be actors. Folk of all races, body types, ages, genders, hair-lengths. Hire them. Hire them all. I beg you.

Or watch Reservoir Dogs until you figure out how Tarantino managed to differentiate a bunch of white guys with matching suits and no names. Or at least stock up on hair dye, and make your actors use it. These are stopgaps for films that would not be credible without nearly-identical characters (i.e. situations with clones, Nazis, or American Psycho).

I've heard wonderful things about Veronica Mars, but it had at least three interchangeable white bleached-blond teenagers, and it's hard to enjoy a mystery when you can't tell the suspects apart. The film I am watching now has five thin, mostly dark-haired, likely-Jewish men who all dress the same and have short hair. I was so lost before half of them were killed off. There is no need for this, Hollywood. Please don't.

The fourth time 'round
wrisomifu
dagonst
It's been my month for sequels.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean IV - Fun, but basically unserious. They've stopped pretending that people watch these movies for the Will/Elizabeth drama, and shifted the focus to Captain Jack and the person who is not his girlfriend. Ms. Cruz's relationship with the new Big Bad was more interesting than watching Sparrow played straight(ish). The new Big Bad was, in my opinion, the best since the first film. And since Barbossa is also in this film... win. I wish they hadn't ditched the Creepy Atmospheric Opening in favor of exposition, but there were awesome mermaids later on.

2. X-Men: First Class (IV, not counting the Wolverine movie that no-one saw). So serious it starts out at Auschwitz, just like X1. Splendid casting of Xavier and Magneto, again, and the movie is totally about why Stewart and McKellan are bitter exes. Mystique gets good back story; the new kids mostly don't. I think I actually like it better than the first one...

3. A Song of Ice and Fire: Dance with Dragons (V) - Things do happen in the book, but they are the things that GRRM originally planned to skim over before deciding he had to show-not-tell. Which means, they are not the things that everyone has been waiting for two novels to see. Most annoyingly: Tyrion and Danerys still haven't met. I read it in under 24 hours and found it a good use of my time - but anyone waffling might want to save it until right before Winds of Winter comes out, in 2020 or so.

4. HP7b - It's a Harry Potter movie! It's hard not to like these. It's Harry Potter, there's loads of great British actors... Most of the problems I had with the movie are problems I also had with the book. All Slytherins are evil. Sure.

5. Vorkosigan Saga: Cryoburn (book X of many) I like my Miles in moderate doses, with ample supporting cast. This time, he's off on his own with his Bunter and an eleven-year-old boy, probably so the author can avoid writing a new crop of children. There are no tricky people in this book for Miles to cope with either, until Lord Mark shows up (too late and tamely). The world itself was enough to keep me reading until the gut-punch ending.

Issues and Fanfic
wrisomifu
dagonst
I have issues and also fanfiction.

The fanfic: Trajectory, a bit of Sparrington fluff or angst or...whatever. It's a companion piece to One Shot, because I can't leave bad enough alone.

The issues... were detailed in the rather longer version of this post that got eaten. Perhaps later!
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