caitri: (Chris Vocabulary)
Writing: I've had a busy writing term: I written and turned in a diss chapter, three book chapters, and two sets of article revisions since January. That's.....not bad. Next up I have a long essay on reading, gender, and genre for a forthcoming reference book, another diss chapter, and a conference paper I need to finish.

Also, I miss fic. I keep thinking about some sort of Sleeping Beauty retelling with Finn/Poe that has to do with Poe being anxiously aware that in real life he has spent maybe half an hour with Finn and it's ridiculous to be projecting all these romantic notions onto an unconscious man in a medpod. Buuuuuut I can't seem to think beyond that.

~

Reading: Here are some books I've really enjoyed recently:

All Systems Red by Martha Wells.

A too-too self-aware organic-mechanical hybrid robot works security and has to protect the humans who want to project all their issues onto it. Hijinks ensue.

The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski.

This is the final novel in The Witcher series, which originally came out in 1999 but wasn't published in English until March. I have fallen so hard for these books; the same thing that makes them interesting also makes them kind of difficult to read, as they aren't actually a series so much as a single story told over five novels and two short story collections. Stuff happens and keeps happening and you don't really get any closure until the very end. There's also a lot of stuff going on politically, as these are written in the aftermath of post-war Poland, and so there are a bunch of resonances that just keep going on: reckoning with resistance under tyranny; confronting pogroms and concentration camps in other countries and the mass influx of refugees; balancing wanting to do the right thing with wanting to do the right thing in the right way. Also, Netflix just announced they are going to do a tv series based on the books and I am hella excited!!!

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison.

In which the half-elf, half-goblin fourth prince becomes the unexpected and hella-competent Emperor, with some straightforward commentary on what it's like when the government leader is dark-skinned and this Upsets people. It wraps up nicely, but I still wish it was a series.

~

TV: American Gods is fucking amazing and I'm glad it's already renewed for a second season, even if
it seems like there will be a massive drought between seasons. SO PRETTY. So in-your-face about racism and America.

Which, see also Dear White People. I know I'm always the person who listens because people will inexplicably tell me things, but oh my GOD, watching the show is nearly physically painful because I recognize nearly every one of the many and varied stories told. (Like, the incredibly awkward threesome-that-wasn't. I feel like I shouldn't be able to recognize that?? But ISTFG someone told me a story like that in undergrad.)

Supernatural I can't quit this show, even when I probably should.

Lucifer is still my favorite. I really want to read Chloe/Maze femmeslash but there's none on AO3 which makes me sad.

Also, just go watch Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms which is apparently the most watched Chinese drama ever. IT IS SO PRETTY. It's an epic fantasy with reincarnation, cool fight scenes, and sometimes dragons. So.

~

Uh, yeah. What have you guys been up to?
caitri: (bullshit)
It's bad enough to have a kung fu show with a superwhite white boy, but the level of BORIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING is inexcusable. At this point I bring something to read and make fun of it while Scott watches it. (Scott has patience. And is maybe a masochist.) 
caitri: (chris vocabulary)
I am not quite hate-watching the show; Scott enjoys it much more than I do, as he thinks it is much more "serious" than, say, Supernatural. I find the writing really clunky, and some of the monsters of the week are just boring or stupid. (I'm thinking particularly of the one with the Rom chick and the miners, and also, the fuck is with Pennsylvania and gypsies in pop culture right now?! Hemlock Grove did the same thing, and it's like, ok, of ALL of white America's prejudices, Romani isn't really one of them? And it seems REALLY fucking stupid to act like it is when, you know, freaking Ferguson is going on, you know?)

I also have really mixed feelings about the shift of the setting from London to Atlanta. On the one hand, man is it awesome to have black people on tv in a variety of roles. But--the Afro-Caribbean populations and history is SO DIFFERENT between London and Atlanta, you know? I mean, Atlanta is one of the very few American cities with a significant population of wealthy/middle/upper-class black people, but it is also more segregated than DC and Baltimore are. And it feels like they could be doing some interesting things with this white British dude nonchalantly driving a pick-up truck to go consult with this or that vodoun priest or African or Australian shaman, or whoever needs to do the exposition this week, but they--don't. And it seems to me that it makes more sense for these culturally interstitial crossings to be in London than, you know, freaking ATLANTA, because for all of the cozy "the city too busy to hate" motto, the city also encapsulates way more of contemporary American racial tensions and stuff.

That said, I did like that the climax of one episode happens at The Fox Theater and is actually shot inside of it, and there's also a bit when they break into a museum that may or may not The Fernbank (I haven't been since I was like 14, so I can't quite remember, but I also can't think of where else in Atlanta there would be a museum with dinosaur statues, so).

I *do* quite like Matt Ryan as Constantine--he is one of the few bits that feels absolutely organic and real to me. (I've only seen the one ep with Papa Midnite, and even though the film version got his characterization wrong, Djimon Hounsou **looked** like him perfectly.) That said--he's also too young for the role because, er, he's my age, which means he has the same relationship to the Sex Pistols and 70s punk rock that I do--through CDs obtained as a teenager. And **that** said, I do love the sequence where he has to avoid listening to cursed vinyl by listening to "Anarchy in the UK" because that seems like the most Constantine-y moment to ever be committed to film. But to me it just changes a lot of the character's life story in amusing ways to update him to now (the character was in his late thirties/early forties in the 90s), and now I basically just get entertained imagining Constantine going to shows of Blink 182 and being incredibly bitter about how pop 2000-era punk is, etc.

Anyway, I hope the show gets renewed anyway, just because it could develop in interesting ways once they get through the growing pains. Also, SPN is probably going to wind up this year or next, and I'll have a supernatural horror starring cute dudes gap in my life, and that will make me sad.
caitri: (Cait Yatta!)
Man, there's gonna be some great papers on this show next PCA. And if not--well, I can't dwell on that. Seriously, that second ep, I just kept thinking, "ooh, posthumanism, ooh, postcolonialism, ooh, let's talk about architects and design and society, IT'LL BE FUN!"

Also, is it just me or does that one guy-who-works-on-androids look, sound, and act like a badly aged Matt Smith? It's as fascinating as it is distracting.

Karl Urban's performance is a little uneven so far, but I think I could watch Michael Ealy forever. Let me repeat that. THERE IS A GUY ON SCREEN WITH KARL URBAN AND I AM SO TOTALLY FOCUSED ON THAT GUY. (I'm sorry, Karl. It's not you, it's me. But you know I'll always love you, baby.)

Anyways, between the Fox Network and the JJ Abrams, I am so terrified of loving this show, but--so far they are doing some interesting stuff. Admittedly it's interesting more in the "it makes my academic brain happy" than the "flailing fangirl happy" but--well, let's face it, most of the time it's not like I can tell where one starts and the other stops, y'know?
caitri: (Cait Yatta!)
My reactions largely went: GUNN!!!!!!!!! COULSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! etc.

Spoilers of Spoilerdom )

All things considered, I think it was a solid pilot episode: It set up all the characters, foreshadowed a bunch of possible plot-lines, and told a self-contained story. I'm pleased with it and am curious what's coming next, especially as it starts to set up its themes and such. So far what it reminds me most of thus far is Dollhouse, setting up these insider and outsider characters in this new world. SQUEE ON!
caitri: (Default)
Cos I tracked down a copy of Ishmael, a licensed Star Trek TOS novel that was a "crossover" piece with this show because Mark Lenard was on it.

I have come to two conclusions:

1) Clearly everyone was high in the sixties.

2) It actually bothers me when Mark Lenard smiles.

This is Sarek. He's not supposed to show emotion!

I am CONFUSED.
caitri: (Default)
Source 1. X-Men. Holy cow.

a) Mohinder is like stealing Beast's origin story wholesale. From Wikipedia: Hank isolates a "hormonal extract" allowing anyone to become a mutant for a short period of time, and uses the mutagenic serum on himself... *coff*

b) Days of Future Past and Days of Future Present ripped wholesale.

If Claire starts sporting a red leather catsuit with spikes and tats...yeah...

Source 2. Hulk.

Mohinder is freakishly green and veiny.

Source 3. Babylon 5.

Bruce Boxleitner for five whole minutes!!!!

Source 4. Greek mythology.

Pandora's Box much?

Source 5. Veronica Mars!

We missed you, Weevil!

Source 6. Watchmen.

Welcome back Ozymandias. Er, I mean, Mr. Linderman.

Some final notes for the ep:

Okay, Buffy Summers would be deeply ashamed of Claire. I mean, doesn't *everyone* know at this point that when dealing with a telekinetic you attack the head and DON'T STOP UNTIL THE BRAIN PAN IS MUSH?! Just sayin'.

I wonder if the African dude is Isaac reincarnated?

Also, how awesome would it have been if Matt could have heard the thoughts of the turtle? Cos that would be hellacool.
caitri: (Default)
Finished Spellbinder: Very meh. Everything wrapped up excessively neatly and nearly inexplicably. I am also unclear as to the logic of witchcraft=paganism, only you're born a witch rather than raised one, and thus there's a Roman Catholic Pagan Witch? So there's a nature vs. nurture bit to think on, I suppose.

~

The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Well I'm glad Summer Glau has work again, but she keeps flipping her hair too much. It's seriously distracting. Also when the series opens in 1999 and then we have a shooting in school (when a terminator goes after teenage John Connor) all I could think is, "Huh. So they went there??" (To those who may not remember high school back in '99, like me...yeah that was when Columbine happened. And then TV channels pulled a few eps of Buffy and maybe an episode or two of other shows because they were scared to show violence in high schools, or thinking about violence in high schools, or really anything involving high school that wasn't sweetness, light, and pretty people.

Then there's a time machine that takes them to 2007. I am curious if they will show the folks from far away '99 the ubiquity of newfangled things like, y'know, cell phones, and wireless internet, and, uh, Homeland Security. That'll be fun exposition!

~

Okay, who else is watching Masterpiece Theater doing "The Jane Austen Collection"? I know you all are out there.

First off, they have a rather inane intro by Scully, I mean Gillian Anderson, addressing the mysteries of Jane Austen. Like, how a woman with little "formal education" could write six novels, and the mystery of how those novels touch our hearts (or something), and...well, it went on for a while but it really gave me a headache honestly so I blocked it out.

Tonight's presentation was Persuasion. You may recognize the plot as it was cannibalized for Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (well at least the book) (no, I'm not making that up): boy meets girl, boy and girl break up, boy and girl get back together despite crazy families. The highlights were that the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) played Anne Eliot's aunt and Giles (Tony Head) played her dad. Well it made my nerdy lil inner geek happy.

~

Had friends over last night and was telling them about all the cool stuff in the archives at work. Was astonished that people with degrees higher than mine and whose careers necessitated research were flumoxed that if you wanted to go see, oh, say, a book that actually belonged to Tolkien, or anything else similarly cool, all you basically had to do was ask us. How does this happen??

~~

Note to local peeps:

Don't forget: Cafe Scientifique! This Tuesday, at Revolution. This month's topic is on chemical engineering and extracting fuel from biomass! Because, really, what says "fun" more than "biomass"?!
caitri: (Default)
...and Dr. Who is Jesus!!!!

I shit you not!!

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