bloodygranuaile: (little goth girl)
 So, reports of my death and/or abandonment of this spiffy lil blogging project have been greatly exaggerated.

Why, then, you may ask, have I not posted in so darn long? Surely I have not gone an entire month without reading a book?

The Seven forbid! What I have been doing, curious and/or indifferent readers, is rereading the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series in preparation for July 12th's release of A Dance with Dragons. Since I have already read the first four books, I was planning on just doing one big blog post after I'd reread the lot, and doing a second blog post for ADWD since that one will be a new read. I partly planned this because I cannot seem to bring myself to waste time pounding on the keyboard when I finish one volume instead of moving on IMMEDIATELY IF NOT SOONER to the next one. They are that addictive. And they always end in really cliffhangery places.

I was sort of going to do a post when the first season of Game of Thrones finished airing on HBO, but I got distracted getting one of my new roommates hooked on True Blood instead. Bwahaha. Perhaps I will discuss it later. Perhaps I will also discuss Season 4 of True Blood, when I can move my brain beyond "WHAT 80S GOTH BILL WHAT" and kind of a o.O face.
 
Anyway, here are Fun Facts in My Life as A Giant Dorky ASoIaF Fangirl:
 
-GRRM is doing a signing in Burlington, MA on the 12th. I will be there. Wild direwolves couldn't keep me away.
-Twice recently on the subway, I have been reading one of these books and someone reading *the same book* gets on the T and stands RIGHT NEXT TO ME. I am generally not a "talk to strangers on the subway" type of person and I usually disapprove of interrupting people who are reading, but both times I just HAD to be all like "I like your choice of reading material and I hope you are enjoying it!" (I am also seeing a lot of people reading Harry Potter, presumably in preparation for the last movie. I want to reread that whole series too, but ASoIaF is more important.)
-I recently realized that the motto of House Targaryen is "Fire and Blood" and the motto of the Salvation Army is "Blood and Fire," and I wonder if GRRM did this on purpose. 
-Apparently, the day after Ned Stark got Boromired on AGoT, some dude stabbed Sean Bean with a broken bottle outside a pub, and Sean Bean just went back inside and got another drink. This has nothing to do with me but I figured I'd pass it on as a warning to anyone who was ever planning to mess with the King of Dying Really Medieval Deaths.
 
Anyway, I am going to return to basically shooting up on black-tar Westeros, and I will see you all when I, or more likely a strung-out shell of my former self, re-emerge shaking and sweating from my fangirl junkie haze sometime after next week.
bloodygranuaile: (good morning)
I think I may need to rediscover the LJ-cut for this post.

Here Thar Be Spoilers )

 

bloodygranuaile: (Default)
I kind of want this to be my personal theme music. I think I would just be so much more productive and epic if this played every time I went somewhere.



\m/ >_< \m/

For comparison purposes--and also because the visuals are gorgeous (and weirdly steampunky for a medieval-based show)--here is the original:



I may be musically illiterate but I do like me a strong epic theme song.

whee

Apr. 9th, 2011 10:05 pm
bloodygranuaile: (ed wood)
Hokay, so:

Lately in life I have watched a lot of stuff about King Arthur and the Borgias, played a lot of The Sims Medieval with Liz, read a book on whales, been a huge dork about Jane Austen, gotten a job offer as a proofreader in Boston for the next three months, given Holly Black another shot and totally not regretted it, and bought a car. Well, I am halfway through the process of purchasing the car.

Next up, I need to find housing in Boston starting ASAP because commuting from Worcester will eat my soul and also my lease runs out in eight weeks anyway. Also, I will give another shot at doing a newsprint manicure. Will post pics if I don't bork it up this time. Also, really need to get some friggin' writing done.

Game of Thrones in ONE WEEK. YAY.
bloodygranuaile: (Default)
Have spent this weekend watching two very, very, very different takes on the King Arthur legend.

I watched the first two episodes of Starz' new show Camelot, which is being billed as "the King Arthur legend for adults," which I guessed was TV-speak for "We made it as brutal as it probably was originally, but with many more awkwardly lengthy sex scenes because we are a premium channel." It appears I am fluent in TV-speak because this is exactly what it was.

The sets and costuming are gorgeous, as is most of the cast. King Arthur is played by the guy who played Anthony in the Tim Burton version of Sweeney Todd, which fits quite well with the show's very... modern characterization of Arthur as basically being an irresponsible pretty boy who has to grow up really fast when the plot lands on him. Eva Green is a beautifully bitchy and witchy Morgan le Fay, although I think her eyeliner might not be super historically accurate. Merlin, for some reason, is not an old wizard dude, but instead is Joseph Feinnes, being ridiculously badass.

The show seems to stay more or less close to the plotlines of the legends, or at least what I remember of them (I am not as well-versed in Arthurian stuff as I should be), although the whole "Sword in the Stone" thing is taken up to eleven by having the sword stuck in a rock at the top of a gigantic waterfall. It is very epic, and very pretty, although a bit cheesy and overdone at times. Kind of like the whole rest of the show.

I will, of course, have to see how the rest of the show plays out before I can come to any sort of serious conclusions on it. For the moment, I like it enough to keep watching, even though I will probably collapse under the weight of following this and The Borgias and Game of Thrones all at the same time. There will be so much pseudo-medieval costume drama ridiculosity and terrible sex that I will go mad. Mad, I tell you!

I also started watching the first season of the BBC's The Adventures of Merlin. God help me, this show is so doofy and adorable. Merlin and Arthur and Morgana and Guenevere are all awkward teenagers, and Anthony Stewart Head is awesome as Uther Pendragon, bizarre combination of legendary British king Uther Pendragon and the obligatory Close-Minded Adult Who Doesn't Believe Those Silly Kids No Matter How Many Times They Save The World. For some reason there is an awkward budding romance between Merlin and Gwen, although there also seems to be some degree of weird subtext between every combination of the four of them, except Morgana and Merlin. They seem like they could totally just be platonic best buddies.

I was inordinately amused by the sets, which are very clearly made out of very modern concrete and cinderblock, and by the terrible CGI. The costumes are decent, though, although they do not quite reduce me to weebling "I WANTS ALL THE DRESSES" like the Camelot ones.

In addition to Merlin being an awkward teenager, he is also Prince Arthur's manservant. Morgana isn't evil (yet), and is King Uther's ward instead of being related to Arthur. Gwen is Morgana's maid, and the daughter of Camelot's blacksmith, and has a weird habit of accidentally sort of insulting Merlin and then putting her foot in her mouth even further when she tries to fix it (I am hoping this particular running gag doesn't go on forever; I could see it getting old).

The plots all seem to revolve around magical things happening, and King Uther's hardline anti-magic stance getting in the way, and the court physician being wise and telling Merlin not to do anything stupid (Merlin is also apprenticed to the court physician, to secretly study magic). Then Merlin does something stupid, Gaius (the physician) berates him for it, and then he and Arthur and sometimes Morgana and Gwen team up and miraculously save the day, without Uther finding out that Merlin used magic to do it. At some point, Merlin also goes down to the dungeon and asks the Dragon what to do, and the Dragon says something about his destiny, and Merlin goes "BUT THIS CAN'T BE MY DESTINY I'M CONFUSED", and the Dragon flies away on its chain. I am hoping it might get a little less formulaically episodic as the show goes on, but we will see.

I now find myself really wanting to rewatch that old TV miniseries Merlin that came out in 1998, but it is not on DVD yet. Maybe I can find it online somewhere.

Tonight: The Borgias premieres! This is gonna be fun.
bloodygranuaile: (Default)
Wednesday I had what was officially the sketchiest job interview ever. It contained almost zero of them asking me questions to find out if they wanted to hire me, and lots of discussion about how awesome they are to make me want to work there. And then they wanted a decision right then and there, and also $99 for some class fee. (I think that second part is illegal in New Jersey.)

I was uncomfortable with this and asked if I could think about it and get back to them. They promptly scheduled me for a second interview this morning. I went, but only because I was so skeeved out over being asked for money the first time that I left my coat there, so I had to go get it back.

The "move back to NJ, freelance and work on my novel" route is looking more and more appealing every day.

On the upside, I also had a non-sketchy interview today, and have found one or two promising leads on cars (because mine is disintegrating around my ears), and I got a good review on the freelance assignment I'm doing, and I have my coat back. So I am feeling somewhat okay, all things considered.

Also on the upside, I read Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising Sequence.

Utterly unrelated to anything: Castle has GOT to do something about Dr. Motorcycle Boy sometime soon. He can't just sit around being conveniently inconvenient for Castle and Beckett forever.
bloodygranuaile: (Default)
My goal for 2011 is to log at least something about each book I read. This might slow down the 50 Book Challenge for the year, but I will do it anyway. I failed 2010's 50BC, which is particularly egregious since I was actually going for the 100. (In 2007 I beat the 100BC; in 2009 I failed it but I at least hit 50.)

Anyway, this blog gets devoted to books, movies, TV shows, vampires, and Nightwish videos. Not necessarily in that order. Particularly not today. Today the order is:

Vampires (also books)

The first book of 2011 for me was Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian, which is about Dracula. Specifically, it is about Vlad Tepes, known as "the Impaler," a Wallachian prince in the fifteenth century who was nasty even by princes-in-the-fifteenth-century standards. It's an amazing combination of really well-researched stuff about Eastern European medieval history and Vlad Tepes, and more modern elements of a vampire story. It also has many of the tropes that are particularly near and dear to my heart, including:

-kickass ladies (Helen Rossi is the main one; also the narrator and Aunt Eva are pretty cool)
-vampires that actually are really scary and drink blood
-lots and lots of churches
-letters
-book nerdery
-WACKY LIBRARY HIJINKS

I am so not kidding about the wacky library hijinks. The basic plot of the book is that Dracula really does not like people researching him and trying to find his tomb, so the people involved in researching him keep getting attacked by vampires in university libraries and stuff. It's amazing.

The book is very much in the nineteenth-century-novel tradition of being long and deliberately paced, although it has avoided most of the ways in which long and deliberately paced nineteenth century novels suck; namely, the plot does show up fairly near the beginning of the book. (If you've read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which you should, you'll have an idea of what I mean by "stylistically very nineteenth-century except not bad.") It also uses my favorite framing device EVER, which is "giant packet of documents format." I don't know if this format actually has its own name or if it is considered a derivation of epistolary format (which I personally tend to think of as "a letter or packet of letters from one character to another, or a letter correspondence between two characters only"), but it is the format used in some of my favorite nineteenth-century novels ever, like The Woman in White (which is framed as a police "case file" for the mystery), and is--something which I find particularly delightful and most people probably don't care about--also the format used in Bram Stoker's Dracula. (The book even copies his notice about all the documents being put in the order that makes the most sense.)

Anyway, if you like vampires,  history, books about books, and stories about scholars being all action-hero-y, you should drop whatever you're doing and read this immediately.

Books

My second book of 2011 was [livejournal.com profile] tammypierce  's Bloodhound, the second book in the Beka Cooper series. This is Tamora Pierce trying her hand at pseudo-medieval police procedurals. The awesomeness potential of combining all the awesomeness of pseudo-medieval fantasy stories with all the awesomeness of cop shows will not be lost on anyone familiar with Terry Pratchett's Night Watch subseries of Discworld books, and I am glad to say that Tamora Pierce does not waste this potential. Beka is a hilarious narrator; her magic powers are cool and creepy but she's still a clever and resourceful heroine in her own right, not in any way a passive cipher for "wouldn't it be cool if I had those powers; I wouldn't have to ever try to be an awesome person in regular ways again" fantasies (I am looking at you, Bella Swan... and 90% of pulp fantasy). This series takes place a century or two before the Song of the Lioness series starts, and the differences between the two settings are fascinating--similar enough to be definitely the same place; different enough to show a marked change in history and social progress. The really interesting thing to me about the Beka Cooper series is the way in which it clearly demonstrates that sometimes society "progresses" in ways we think of as "progressive"... and sometimes it backlashes. In Beka's world, slavery is still legal in Tortall, something that has been outlawed in most of the Eastern Lands by the time Alanna shows up (although not in Carthak or the Copper Isles, which always have fascinating imperialism/colonialism storylines). However, gender roles are much freer in Beka's time--Bloodhound hints at the emergence of a "cult of the Gentle Mother," a sort of Victorianesque angel-in-the-house type of thinking that Beka mostly ignores but makes the reader, if the reader has read all the other Tortall books, go "NOOOOOO NOT THAT IT IS GOING TO RUIN EVERYTHING" and what's really interesting is, that is kind of true. The Victorians were much more restrictive than a lot of times and places in history before them, for all that the Victorian era was relatively recent. Beka's world still has lady knights as a matter of course (a bit rare, but perfectly legal and definitely in existence), as well as female police officers, female heads of organized crime syndicates, female mercenaries, and gender-neutral public bathhouses. And for most of the book, this is presented as completely normal. Pretensions towards femininity, and the apparently "new" idea of female modesty (a passing mention of nobles "starting to" have sex-segregated bathhouses), are luxuries of the very uppermost classes.

Pierce's books, looked at in the order they're written rather than the order they take place in, are actually a pretty solid case study in phases of feminism (and probably most social justice movements in general, these just happen to focus on women):

Song of the Lioness Quartet: very much Wave 1: "I can do the same things the boys can do, and you're wrong to tell me I can't." Dealing with very blatant (including "enshrined in law") issues of being restricted from doing things on the basis that girls are lesser and can't do the cool stuff. Straight-up fight-the-patriarchy. (Also crazy plot about necromanced dukes and throne-stealing and stuff! Man, I need to reread that series.)
Immortals Quartet: Deals with women and power that's not been coded specifically masculine. Daine has animal magic, something that is pretty rare in the Tortall books, but a lot of the aspects of "wild magic"--including its first manifestation of "talking to animals," and particularly "I have a pony and I can talk to it and it's my best friend"--are, out in this universe, basic Disney Princess powers. The Immortals quartet revisits "feminine" coded tropes and instead of eschewing them for being feminine, it develops, expands and explores them to create  story in which "talking to animals" magic is the first stage of seriously crazy powerful magic that results in shape-shifting abilities and saving the world from horrible things that want to suck it into the Chaos Realms. It's also seriously deromanticized--Daine's animal magics result in her spending time running around the woods thinking she's a wolf, and stuff like that.
Protector of the Small is the book for what happens when you've stopped being specifically barred from stuff because you're female, but you're still facing non-legal hurdles: Kel gets put on probation for a year for no reason whatsoever, and, while only a few seriously cranky old misogynists will flat-out argue that she shouldn't legally be allowed to be there, she is very much not welcome. She is othered, alienated, judged extra harshly, doubted and singled out, etc., and has to deal with all of that. This is also the first series where Pierce begins talking substantially about other social justice issues, such as homosexuality.
The Trickster quartet deals somewhat less with femininity and a lot more with colonialism. Intersectionality is very important. There are some interesting scenes between Aly and her mom that have some parallels to issues of intergenerational/"waves"-of-feminism conflicts, though. But mostly: racism, colonialism, class warfare! These are all important things for feminists to know about, since gendered power is only one facet of a dominance-based social order and all the other types of power dynamics all play off each other in weird ways. (In a word: kyriarchy.)
And then we get Beka Cooper, where we have: NORMALIZATION. Where we get to stop invoking stereotypes (and stereotype threat) altogether; we get to stop saying "Prove you can do what the boys can do" and it's just portrayed as perfectly normal that you can, why would you bring up the idea that you couldn't? Beka doesn't have to be the groundbreaker or the pioneer or the martyr For The Cause. The Provost's Dogs are predominantly made up of male-female pairs, but Beka spends most of Bloodhound with Clara Goodwin as her partner (Tunstall's injured for a good chunk of the book), and... they fight crime. They are allowed to focus on fighting crime and having an awesome adventure trying to break counterfeiting rings and shit instead of having their gender made a focal point of every page. This series also introduces (who I think is) Pierce's first transgender character, Okha. (Okha's awesome, btw.)

The one downside to this series: The language is a little different than the other books, in that it takes place two hundred years earlier and as such the "medieval" street slang is two hundred years more medieval. If you ever laugh at modern American authors using terms like "lads and lasses," be prepared to bust a gut over "lads and gixies." It's actually a fascinating set of vocab (cove, mot, spintry, doxie, bardash, honeylove, looby, pox, murrain... God they are so much fun to say) but it definitely starts to remind you of the awkwardest people you run into at Ren Faires.

Movies

I am afraid I gotta let you guys down on this one. I've had Scarface sitting around for a week. I'll watch it soon!

TV Shows

Castle is awesome, as always, and the latest episode, Nikki Heat, was no exception. Watching somebody make Beckett uncomfortable is way more fun than it should be; I usually love that Beckett is all cool and in control and basically awesome in every way, but seeing other sides of her definitely humanizes her a lot. And uncomfortable-Beckett is really, really funny because Stana Katic just does everything about the character so well. Also: Ryan and his girlfriend are so adorable I almost cried. Also also: I forgot Esposito's first name was Javier and for some reason I found it really jarring to hear Ryan call him that, probably just because mostly he never does.

Nightwish videos

I Wish I Had an Angel is one of my favorites.


bloodygranuaile: (Default)
This is a tripartite post!

Part the First: Stuff that is not actually happening in my life

This means this part of the post is about television.

Season 3 of Dexter was exponentially better than season 2, because Lila wasn't in it, also because Deb's taste in men gets somewhat better with each season (season 3 dude is a drug dealer, but is not a serial killer, or older than her dad, and she doesn't throw over anyone who is actually awesome to be with him). Despite the OMG Pregnancy And Marriage subplot, this season is not about le awesome power of romantic love, and is only about as much about le fucking-you-up power of family, but is very much a Power of Friendship season, which is a type of relationship that has really not had much show time in Dexter so far. Of course, Dexter's BFF winds up being just as frakked up as he is, but cuddly new cupcake-wielding LaGuerta definitely showcases the positive transformative power of having cuddly cupcake-wielding bestest friendses. Rita still awesome, in her soft-spoken cute-little-mommy way, and handles falling headfirst into A Pregnancy Plotline with maturity and grace. I give this season an A for massive personal growth on the part of everyone who doesn't die.

Dollhouse: I don't wanna spoil things for people who haven't seen this week's yet, or who did not know season 2 had started because Fox sucks and seems to be allergic to actually advertising the damn show, but: I think Joss Whedon is a Man on a Mission to get every single cast member of Battlestar Galactica on the show. Tahmoh Penikett's been on it since the beginning, obvs, and the weird cockney lawyer dude was on it sometime in season 1, and then Jamie Bamber was on last week, and this week has another Special BSG Guest. Here's to hoping Tricia Helfer and Katee Sackhoff show up soon!

Also: last week's Dollhouse and this week's Castle totally both used the word "frenemies." Which I had previously heard, like, once, several years ago.

Castle: Last week's fantastic. Really exciting for the upcoming week's. This week was about models, but it was an episode of Castle, which means it'd be fabulous if it were any other cop show and I was thoroughly entertained by watching it, but the moment the mystery was solved I stopped caring about the main plot. Hopefully they won't subject us to multiple "because so-and-so was/I thought (s)he was cheating on me"-motivated murders in a row again, like the beginning of season 1, because even as non-predictable as those plots manage to be when they're still unfolding (this is Castle, after all) they always leave me feeling like That Was Totally Unoriginal, Sheesh.

On the movie front: Today I watched Soylent Green. Some bits of it were surprisingly good, especially compared with how bad some other bits of it were. Overall it was better than I expected.

Unfortunately I am not having much time for reading outside of school. Northanger Abbey awesome, as Austen usually is. Am about halfway through A Long Fatal Love Chase (the NEW Louisa May Alcott book!) and so far it is a hell of a lot better than the front or back covers would have you believe.

Part the Second: In Which I Annoy Everyone I've Ever Met By Being Really Cranky

Mega uber super crackdown on club sports procedure and paperwork this year. Like, they used to be like "handing in your med forms is nice, and here's the deadline for financial stuff" but now they have gotten utterly fascist about it. All forms must be in by Tuesday or they freeze the club! They are sending people to observe us, so that if anything is being done not by the book they will freeze the club! Tuesday we are still on motherfucking break, but the forms still need to be in by five o'clock or they will freeze the club! Grad students cannot practice with us, or they will freeze the club! I asked, what about the loopholes to the grad students policy me and Shay and Shihan discussed with Mike McKenna last year? If we jump through those hoops, can they stay? No answer. I asked, if people want to join and get me their health forms after Tuesday, can they still do that, since karate club often has people join at weird times in the semester? I was told... get all your forms in by Tuesday or we freeze the club! So I'm not sure if that's a yes or a no, but apparently it is very threatening to ask them complicated questions so they needed to threaten me back. Aaargh.

Part the Third: Why I Should Totes Not Be Writing This Entry

It is the holiday weekend and I have a ten-page novel synopsis due next Friday and I had very little plot development in my head, just the premise and ending. So now I am home, in a nice empty house (mom is out of town til tomorrow evening), so that I can actually figure out what the frak happens in my story.

I spent all of today worldbuilding, and outlining my plot mountain (yes, I plan stuff in on a visual of that 'plot mountain' shape they teach you about in sixth grade), and wrote the first page or so of the actual synopsis, in addition to going to the gym and drinking wine (Gnarly Head is on sale at Gary's, whee) and hunting centipedes (ew) and a few other things that were not actually writing. Oops. But I did get some stuff done.

Tomorrow needs to be more productive, though, so I's going to bed now.

Goodnight!
bloodygranuaile: (Default)
Man, I am all sorts of behind on logging stuff.

So far, Season 7 of BtVS is better than Season 6 (or 5, for that matter, both of which were mostly wangsty wangst with the occasional brilliant of-the-week plot thrown in). Season 3 of Angel is so terrible I haven't bothered to watch it in two weeks (VAMPIRE PREGNANCIES??? I EXPECTED BETTER OF YOU, JOSS WHEDON, YOU'RE USUALLY NOT COMPLETELY FUCKIN' STUPID.)

So, last weekend we went down to Ally's shore house, where we mostly sat around and chatted and drank and played board games (Encore is the most irritating game ever. [livejournal.com profile] elladarcy, you would have fun, though), and watching movies. Yay, movies!

Newsies: Yes, I confess, I had never seen Newsies. I am now horrified and appalled and starting to be more aware of what a culturally deprived child I really was, just reading all the time. Despite the amounts of luridly ridiculous no-sense-at-all-making, I frickin' loved it--it has ridiculous New York accents! And inspirationally successful class warfare! And hilarious manly dancing! And SINGING DANCING TEENAGE BATMAN! Also very very tiny little boys who are Hardened Criminal Badasses And Everyone Takes Them Rilly Seriously, which is always adorable.

Office Space: So my boss (Diane at Hanover, not my AAS boss, who already watches pretty much all the same shit I watch) had threatened to lend me this movie and MAKE me watch it, after an incident involving the bitchy temperamental printer from hell that they recently installed on our floor (and TOOK OUT ALL THE PRINTERS THAT WORK TO DO SO. Die in a fire, Xerox 8). Apparently this is one of those classic movies that everyone in the world but me has seen. But I'm very glad we rectified this, and not only because I now feel sightly better about wrestling with Xerox 8. (It is also because I now understand wtf the Pieces of Flair application on Facebook is all about, which is nice because people have been sending me flair for about two years now.) Ally brought to my attention that Milton ("I think you have my thtapler?") is the same dude that plays Eddie-the-fat-accountant-vampire-who-likes-Heroes on TrueBlood.

Drop Dead Gorgeous: Mockumentary about a beauty pageant in Minnesota. The Midwest scares me. Beauty pageants also scare me. Kirsten Dunst kind of scares me too, actually. But beauty pageants and attempted murder plots are a combination that has never failed to make me really happy, ever since I was in seventh grade and Miss Congeniality came out (now that was a Jersey pride movie). I think DDG was actually a lot darker in that people really did die, and also it was a teenage pageant so you had the Insane Parents angle which is always quite terrifying.

I's not doing so hot on books right now, though. My Hundred Book Challenge sits at 32 so far, and it is over halfway through the year. (This is what I get for reading grown-up books instead of doing a Rediscovering Childhood Favorites phase. Should probably go read some comic books.) But I did finish The Godfather the other day, which I actually liked better than the movie, probably because I remember having a difficult time remembering who was who in the movies (I'm terrible with complicated casts sometimes). Not really sure there's much to say about the Godfather story that hasn't been said already... it's just brutally awesome, and very character-driven, like a mob drama should be.

I finally bought American Gods, like people have been bugging me to read for like three years now. I started reading the second ASoIaF novel though, so it might be a week or two before I start.

...Apparently HBO is doing an ASoIaF series. I hope it'll be awesome. I'm also dead certain that HBO will exploit the amount of ugly-people-getting-laid that already proliferates in the novel and squick its audience as much as possible in the name of adding a bit of realism to high fantasy, and also because they managed to get The Sopranos to be the highest-rated show in the history of ever despite half of it being James Gandolfini running around in his boxers and bathrobe. (I've also decided that HBO is dissatisfied with most of its characters in TrueBlood being relatively young and fit, which is why they try so hard to make them as unerotically classless as humanly possible, and that's also why their vampires explode so unpleasantly. Also, they're now putting shirtless!Eddie into season 2, even though he got exploded last season.) Because HBO thinks that if they CAN do it, they MUST do it. Of course, the reason they can get away with dumping so many unpretty images on their audience is because they do everything else brilliantly.

Season 2 of TrueBlood is awesome so far, except for me starting to hate Bill earlier than in the books. Eric has the best excuse for a haircut ever (I am morally opposed to haircuts, so yes, it needed an excuse in my book). I'm actually liking the Jessica character, which is a nice surprise. Tara is AWESOME, AS ALWAYS, and Sam is starting to be less of a prick, which is nice because I like Sam except for the last four or five episodes when he is a total crankypants. And Jason is totally going to bang Steve Newlin's wife, and it'll be hilarious.

IN OTHER NEWS:

I'm doing a Turtle Tamer run in KoL and today I finally got around to taming turtles. Most adorable skill ever.

The vein that runs over my biceps now pops visibly when I do curls. Feel very manly. Might be manliest person in the Ocho, which is interesting, since five of us are actually men.

The rain beat a hole in my umbrella yesterday. Not sure if this says more about how hard it was raining or how friggin' old my umbrella is.

Wah-Bo Grill is awesome.

Why is it impossible to get decently ripe avocadoes in Worcester? They're always either hard as a rock or already browning. DDD:

I was supposed to have left for Jersey an hour ago and am REALLY bored.
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Man, I haven't book/movie logged in a really long time.

Ermmmm. So, recently, I read The Sweet Far Thing, the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels, which is about as long as the first two put together. TSFT definitely gets a lot more explicit with its This Is A Progressive Book For Progressive Girls message, which occasionally seems a little contrived in its deliberate attempt to treat every single social issue ever (women's rights, child rights, worker's rights, race relations, class warfare, and GLBT), but it might just seem like that to me after an entire semester of reading really long, meandering Victorian novels in which we had to pick out the ways the Victorian British Suck At Life In Relation To Race, Class, Gender And Empire ourselves. Also, still hate the Kartik subplot; he's still following in the mold of Obligatory YA Love Interests where they give him irritating-as-fuck random mood swings as a shortcut for making him mysterious/realistically flawed/has-a-complex-personality or some shit instead of developing him as a character. Other than those two gripes, however... it was so nice to see Gemma and Ann and Felicity and Pippa again! Dead!Pippa is wonderfully creepy, especially. The plot twists are ridiculous, and as usual the juxtaposition between all the crazy hardcore magic politics and fate and destiny shit of the Realms, and the stiflingly infantilized world of everyday Victorian privilege, is simultaneously appropriately jarring and brilliantly tied together via ~forbidden magic powers~. Also, Felicity just keeps getting more and more awesome.

Then I read Jessica Valenti's The Purity Myth, which has three basic tenets: 1. the virgin/whore dichotomy is complete BS and needs to go, 2. the Christianists/right-wing abstinence nutters are dangerously insane and have way too much political power, and 3. the notion of "masculinity" is at least as dangerous a lie as #1 and needs a serious overhaul, pronto. It was very informative, but also scary, especially reading it right in the wake of Dr. Tiller's assassination.

Now I's reading The Godfather. Go me.

In screen-staring at news, I finally watched Memento, which is really hard to say anything about because it's a very complicated movie and the full strength of its awesome cannot be communicated by telling you that it's about a dude investigating a murder, and he has short-term memory loss so he has to take pictures and tattoo shit all over his body. It's much more brilliant than it sounds.

I also started Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, which was interesting since I know nothing about the Terminator franchise whatsoever, but Summer Glau is in it so I figured I'd watch it anyway. Not far enough along to figure out their time-travel rules enough to pass judgment on them as internally consistent or making sense. There is a major inconsistency in Summer Glau's character--namely, that when we first meet her she passes herself off as a normal human decently well for about two scenes, what with making and understanding jokes and all that, but the minute we find out she's a robot it goes into comical Robot Lady Is Social Retard territory and she can't go two seconds without making somebody's life really awkward. Other than that, there are lots of explosions, and also time travel and Summer Glau, so overall I'm inclined to keep watching.

Do need to finish Buffy season 6 at some point. Have kind of stalled at the musical episode, because it was so awesome I kind of just want to stay there. Oops.

What have you been reading/watching?
bloodygranuaile: (Default)
"In case de curse does not succeed, dis is me lucky stake. I have killed many vampires wit it. I call it Mr. Pointy."

I have certain too-cool-for-school biases that I am learning, slowly, to get over. They have caused me to deprive myself of too many of the wonderful things in life. Like Joss Whedon shows.

One of the unfortunate things that tends to happen to people when they discover Joss Whedon is that they get very, very excited and, regardless of whether or not they'd first mention Buffy or Firefly if someone merely asked them "What's the best television show ever made?", the moment they find out you haven't seen it they go completely evangelical berserk on you. Any militant nonconformist, like many of us styled ourselves in high school, have a knee-jerk bad reaction to this sort of enthusiasm. As such, I put off watching Firefly for a very long time. How was I supposed to know people were actually *right* about how awesome it is?

I had similar snobbery issues with Buffy, for many years. Got sick of people always bringing it up when someone mentioned vampires; developed a sort of "hexcuse me, I am busy reading Montague Summers here, I do not have time for the crappy 90s television version of this myth" *FLOUNCE* attitude. Also, highly biased against the recent development of vampires completely transforming their physical appearances to feed--in books, they look like what they look like. Any physical changes are limited to eyes flashing red (very old old demonic trait) or their fangs getting longer (logical, biting's sort of a big thing with vamps). When was the last time you read a book that was all "and then his eyes flashed red and his fangs grew longer, and his skin turned sort of green and his nose got all squished, and his forehead grew bigger..."? Yeah, didn't think so. Also, WTF sort of name is "Buffy"? Dumber than "Sookie," seriously.

And I still, actually, think the vampire makeup and the name "Buffy" are kind of dumb. But this is more than outweighed by the fact that the show is awesome.

Some people have compared Twilight to Buffy. Actually, no, that's not true. People have said that they'd ASSUMED Twilight would somehow compare to Buffy, but NOBODY with reading comprehension can draw more than superficial similarities. I mean, you can compare anything, and you can especially always compare one paranormal romance to another. You can compare True Blood to Twilight, and not just 'cos they're both popular. But they're nothing *like* each other. And Buffy really reminds me a lot more of True Blood, mostly in that the main character has a personality and is not so militantly emo-ly Outside Teh Shallow Cultural Mainsteam OMG Aren't I Better Than Everyone Else? I mean... seriously, I'm a Goth, I probably *have* more in common with Bella on the socially awkward not-going-to-school-dances end (and CERTAINLY did in high school!), but I really LIKE that Sookie and Buffy *aren't* dark and brooding. Sookie and Buffy are strong, with the occasional appreciation for being "girly," like wearing no pants, ever. Bella covers being a stereotypically weak female by being concerned with ~deeper things~ than girliness. MAN UP and LIGHTEN UP, Bells. This is almost making me want to go blonde.

The vampire boyfriends in all three stories are still dark and brooding; it's apparently necessary. (Only Edward is a CHRONICALLY PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE MANIPULATIVE CONTROLLING ARSEHOLE about it, though.) The Buffy/Angel thing did clear up part of what looked like inconsistency in Twilight for me, though (because OF COURSE it can't be Stephenie Meyer being inconsistent!), the whole bit where Edward was like BUT I CANNOT SHAG YOU, IT WILL BE FATAL but then does anyway and it doesn't kill her? It is not fatal because he will squish Bella with ~vampiric manliness~, it is because if he shags her, he will NOT BE EMO FOR TEN SECONDS, and this is the kiss of death for melodramatic vampire boyfriends of human chicks. IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW.

The show also has a nice balance of vampire-related plot to other-paranormal-stuff plot, although as the show is progressing they're getting more and more interrelated to form a recognizable plot arc, which I guess is standard for most shows--more episodic at first, more cohesive as it progresses. But it stops the vampires from getting to be too much. And all the other weird shit they run into is just so much fun. (My favorite episode so far is still when Xander and some other kids get possessed by hyenas, partly because hyena-Xander has so much more class than normal Xander. Also they ate the principal. Which... made me hungry?)

I supposedly have to wait until school starts again to get season 3 from Simon, although I might have to find a way around that. Or I could chill out and read the next three Sookie Stackhouse books. I should probably do that. (And watch the Sopranos. Variety is good.)

In other news, the gym Mom joined is ridiculous. I'm very glad to have a gym to go to over break, since I always eat too much and spend most of the day reading/watching movies, for three weeks, which is bad. Paul has agreed to take me for an "advanced driving" lesson on Saturday, and I'll be taking a defensive driving course sometime this break, and then maybe we'll be able to start looking at replacing my car and having me actually be prepared to not crash it this time. (Have been trying to deal with the anger and embarrassment by looking at this as a learning experience. I have learned that sometimes I'm *not* just being a wimp when I'm not comfortable with something, that grown-ups aren't always right and copying them is not the way to learn things, and that some things are dangerous to learn by mucking about by yourself. Next, I'm going to learn to drive better.) It's almost Christmas: I love baking, I hate sappy Christmas music (Make cake, not love!). I am still being antisocial and haven't seen any of my friends since I got home. Hanging out with Mom is fun but if she's not around I'd rather it just be me and my mood swings. I never thought I'd write that sentence, ever. Crate & Barrel is selling those adorable half-size martini glasses they have at Moynihan's, and I am coveting them for post-Christmas shopping, even though I have a ridiculous number of martini glasses already (and all from Crate & Barrel). And that is about the most exciting stuff going on in my life right now. It's so good to be on break.
bloodygranuaile: (Default)
During the House party (by which I mean five people watching House, MD):

METAL ADAM: Is that a dental dam?
JON: It's ORIGAMI PAPER!

House is pretty awesome, btw, even though medical stuff makes me very squeamish unless it's happening to me. Apparently I can watch people getting shot all day, but stick a needle in someone's eyeball and I go crawling under the couch.

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