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Showing posts from January, 2015
So, everybody else enjoying Snownarok 2015? Jazmin and I were pretty well trapped in our apartment for about 36 hours. We met up Monday evening before the snow really got going and enacted our Joint Household Emergency Preparedness Plan, which consisted of plugging all of our favorite widgets in now, in case the power went out later, and then wandering around the Stop & Shop for half an hour, looking for foods we felt would pair well with a regional weather emergency.

I'm pretty used to this, from my days as an undergrad. My alma mater is in a ski town that has a population of 50k when school is in session, dropping to 30k in the off season. Municipal services are a bit of a joke, and Arizona has little regard for human life. Hand to God, my favorite part of weather panics in Boston is that they shut down the T, which means the city is closed for business by default. 'We could technically still run the subway,' is the thinking, 'but if we do that, some idiot will t…
Have reminded Jazmin once again that PC + HDD + HDTV = S-T-E-R-E-O. She's enough younger than I am that she might just have generally grown up with everyone using their own Walkmans and MP3 players and iPod docks, I suppose; or possibly I just had an aggressively teenage and self-centered mother who enjoyed sharing her music with the neighbors at window-rattling volumes. I used to have a proper component stereo, with a real amp and a couple sets of speakers, but I eventually gave it up in favor of being able to move, which I had to do frequently, without giving myself a hernia.

In any case, Milkdrop looks pretty bitchin' in 1080p.

I recently had a run-in with a group of performance artists who espoused the philosophy that one should let dance/movement pieces grow "organically" out of a key concept. Failure was had when I tried to explain that they needed to give me some better parameters than "anything that comes into your head" when confronted with the ini…
I lose my brain to Cracked every so often, and sometimes they even publish something useful.

http://www.cracked.com/article_20629_6-ways-life-insanely-different-when-you-hear-colors.html

I didn't realize #4 was a synaesthetic thing, although I really should have -- I do know how eyes work. I suppose that explains my eternal frustration at not being able to color things to match what I see in my head. And also why other people have no idea what I mean when I describe something as 'that peculiar shade of teal-purple'.

It does happen with purely imaginary colors -- pterry's octarine is a color which is pumpkin orange and at the same time kelly green, hth -- but it also kicks in sometimes with things that exist in the real world. I gather from the common descriptions of colors "shifting" that  most people perceive things like peacock feathers and opals and iridescent glass beads as magically changing from one color to another as their viewing angle changes. I do s…
I sat down and watched Fantastic Four last night, because sometimes I'm a masochist. That is a goddamn terrible movie. Not even terrible because the person who wrote the script has never read the source material -- although it is also that -- just terrible in the way that movies are terrible when they are made by people who do not know how movies work.

This movie is bad, and the people responsible should feel bad. They should never be allowed near a screenplay again.

Victor von Doom is a petty twit. I do not recall him ever coming up with a plan that involved killing only four people. I last saw the actor on Charmed and he had the acting talent of a wooden plank then, too. He is properly and bizarrely obsessed with the scar on his face and with making sure Reed Richards fails life on an ongoing basis, but frankly I don't think Reed needs any help with that here. I don't remember him ever caring about Sue's existence at all, aside from an awareness that killing her woul…
After the fangirl rant last week, I feel compelled to tell you guys that I do not sit down to watch things looking for gay. Many of the standard slash pairings mystify me. Skinner/Muldur in the X-Files? No idea where it comes from. I only vaguely see where they're getting anything involving Krycek. And I watched that show religiously for like the first four or five years.

I wasn't watching Marvel movies looking for it either. I just thought Cap2 was kind of blatant.

They were plainly setting Steve and Peggy up in the first film, and when I found out Black Widow was in the second one, I figured I'd be grinding my teeth for two hours, because as wonderful as Evans and Johansson are in those roles, that is not the kind of chemistry they have together. When the nurse across the hall turned out to be a SHIELD agent, I figured that was Sharon and he'd be orbiting her by the end of the film.

I figured these things, frankly, because they're action movies. Action movies are…
Upon further investigation, I appear to have inadvertently collected all of the props I need to embark upon a career in rhythmic gymnastics. Not pictured in the pile of shiny things was the jump rope, which I tend not to consider a prop because it's not especially pretty. It's just black nylon with some handles and a bunch of knots tied in it for length -- exactly like the one I had when I was nine, in fact, except that I was nine years old in 1990, when everything was blinding and the only color available was neon pink. I didn't think I should have to cough up eight dollars for eleven cents worth of Chinese plastic, but I didn't think it should have taken me more than eight minutes to find a jump rope without fourteen widgets and a rotation counter attached to it, either. Clearly I do not know where the grade schoolers buy their playground equipment anymore.

This worries me slightly, because it wasn't intentional. If you went on Family Feud and had people start sh…
Have been poking around tumblr in search of attractive men, mostly as a distraction for Moggie, who has a grad school interview in the morning and would otherwise be all fibberty-gibbert. I note the following things about Chris Evans:
He has done a lot of terrible movies.Also several really good ones, even aside from Captain America.Jimmy Fallon has gotten him to play beer pong on the air. Twice.He's not great at beer pong but he's fascinatingly good at handling the ping pong balls. I have a feeling he's trying not to drink his beers like Ford Prefect was trying not to drink his Ol' Janx Spirit.His idea of doing a character piece for an entertainment magazine is to invite the reporter out with his friends and drink her under the table. He did later fill her in on what happened between the last bit she remembered and the part where she woke up still dressed and probably still hammered in his guest room the next day.He is loud and cantankerous about LGBT rights. Like, baf…
Sometimes I despair at the state of humanity. I just ran across an article about how young women, who apparently read and/or write way too much crap slashfic, are starting to fetishize actual gay men, and are frankly creeping the gay men out.

Really? ashdfkahsjkdhfasdf WHY ARE PEOPLE INSANE? Jesus.

I have friends. Some of these friends are guys. Some of these guys are gay. It's... kind of a non-issue? I just remember to get them hot fireman calendars when a sexy gag gift is required, rather than hot bikini girls. I think it's adorable when they get together with someone they're crazy about who turns out to be crazy about them back. I also thought it was adorable last week when one of the women I know proposed to her boyfriend during the curtain call of a show they were both in. It's adorable because they're my friends, and it makes them happy.

I do read a lot of slashfic, among other kinds. About characters from movies, TV shows, comics, and books. My brain conside…
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This. This is going to be my new scary-awesome party trick. I've just decided.

(Video source [ x ] It's a featurette on the BluRay edition of the movie.)

It's rubbish as an actual fighting tactic, of course. The cross-body catch leaves his entire right side open. In a realistic fight, he'd have gotten either a fist or fuck-off huge metal disc right in the kidney, depending on which hand Cap had his shield in. (Mostly right, actually. Traditionally a buckler is on the left arm, but he uses his as a weapon as much as anything.) But it is very flashy, very impressive, and involves spinning the thing he's tossing around, which I have just this year discovered I can do.

(You're supposed to start juggling with rolled up socks or tennis balls, which I dutifully tried for many years; I have no idea where they're going or where I should be catching them, and they all eventually hit the floor and roll into the corner, where I forget about them. Fuck that. It turns o…
I am stuck on a project. I'm writing a 5-minute monologue for the Sextacular Show, which I am in. I know what I want to say -- it's a brief rundown of how I got from 'moving to Boston with $300 and nowhere to live' to 'taking off my clothes in front of a thousand people at the Hynes Convention Center on First Night' -- but I keep getting jammed up on the way to say it.

See, the basic idea here is that economics made me realize you make a lot more money with your tits out, and sociology led me to realize that anyone who had a problem with that could go fuck themselves. The problem is that both these being good ideas in current society is predicated on me having the factual knowledge that I am very attractive. Not to everyone -- no one is attractive to everyone -- but to a large enough number of people in my own culture that, even if one specific person doesn't find me attractive, they don't question why someone else would.

You don't say that. Ever. N…
A (fixable, yet annoying) bank snafu has just occurred in my life. None of you want to hear about my bank, so I am going to rave about an internet thing which is simultaneously unimportant to the fate of the cosmos, and absolutely vital to many people. It will be long and contain many digressions and footnotes and spoilers for comics you may not have read and potentially movies that are not out yet. You have been warned.

I've been going through a lot of Captain America fanfic lately.


As I mentioned yesterday, you will never convince me that Captain America: The Winter Soldier is not the story of Steve Rogers going out to rescue the love of his life.

Don't believe me? Go watch both of those movies again, while mentally swapping the roles of Peggy and Bucky. Peggy becomes the childhood friend and protector who watches over Steve until he kind of accidentally succeeds in enlisting and gets Vita-Ray'd by Dr Erskine. Bucky is the mysterious and awesome government agent who sweeps Steve off into the war effort and keeps an eye on him until he gets the chance to prove that he really is made for more than star-spangled dance numbers. Friend Peggy goes missing, gets rescued, has one-liners about his new size, snipes for him on missions; then gets peevish that suddenly Steve is spending all of his time with the cool kids, and she's been busted from beloved caretaker down to ensemble support. Agent Bucky finds Steve canoodling with the WACs and WAVES and Wrens an…
On a far less depressing note, Sebastian Stan impresses the fuck out of me. Jazmin is also a big fan of the Marvel movie universe, so we've been watching things, including the Captain America films. In between gratuitous but certainly not unappreciated ass shots of Chris Evans, it has come to my notice that Stan does know how to act. Quite well, in fact.

Bucky and the Winter Soldier share virtually no body language. To the point where I had to double check to make sure that was the same actor. And Sebastian Stan shares virtually no body language with either of them, to the point where I caught an interview of the leads from Cap2 and had to check again to make sure that was him and not some part of the head production crew being shyly silent on the end of the line. The only recognizable thing about him is that he does actually use Bucky's lopsided picking-up-girls grin on reporters sometimes. Stan isn't particularly uncomfortable on stage, but he has no pressing need to be …
I'm going to lose one of the rats soon.

Binky has been deteriorating for a while now. It's one of those inevitable rodent things. They have a pretty firm expiration date, rats. I'll spare you the details; she looks a bit terrifying.

I know she is sick and she's going to get sicker. But right now, she is still performing her normal ratly duties with alacrity. Eating, sleeping, grooming, smelling things, demanding attention, chewing holes in nest boxes. She squabbles for food and sits on the other rats so she can groom them until they squeak. She is personally affronted by the suggestion that perhaps not all of the stale cheez doodles in that bowl were earmarked for her. She is still very much a RAT.

We offer euthanasia to our pets in the hopes that we can give them a quicker, kinder death than they might otherwise get. If I took her in now, it would be quicker, but it would not be kinder. She'd spend the entire journey in a blind panic, trying to chew her way out th…
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Got some photos back from First Night. No really nice ones of the hoop act, sadly. A couple good ones from the cyberpunk strip.

That is my left foot right there, planted square in front of me. My head's blocking the view, but the way I get that foot there is by slinging my knee forward over my shoulder. I must say, it's interesting to see that from this angle, because I don't really get to -- I do stuff like that with a pretty fair frequency, just not in front of a mirror, and some of the viewpoints you get in pictures aren't possible in first-person.

I may have to reconsider whether I am actually dislocating things to do that. I assumed that I wasn't, because it doesn't hurt, but there is definitely something sliding around -- usually it feels like 'up and over' something else -- in the major joints when I push them through their full range. Then a friend of mine mentioned that people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome tend to dislocate and relocate things ra…

A Rumination on Home Entertainment

The most important thing to keep in mind when hooking together an entertainment center, I have found, is that drunk people watch a lot of movies.

People who are sitting down to watch TV do not want to get up six or seven times to move plugs around, solve a switch puzzle, and place three crests, two engraved tiles, and a keyed crank in accordance with the instructions in a creepy antique nursery rhyme, in order to make their goddamn movie show up. This is an entertainment center, not lab equipment for the Umbrella Corporation. A lot of these people are going to be tired, inebriated, or both. In an ideal world, I'd be able to design a setup where you could get the input you wanted with one button press in a dark room without getting off the sofa or putting your beer down.

I haven't quite gotten there yet, but I'm trying.

Jazmin was given a new laptop for Christmas, and since the two main features of the old one are a busted screen and a working HDMI port, it now lives on the…