[sticky entry] Sticky: About

Feb. 28th, 2011 05:29 pm
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About Me
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After watching several MCU movies (particularly CA2) in preparation for Age of Ultron, I wanted more source material and ended up mainlining this despite being completely meh about it when it first aired. I'm still unconvinced that the writers think SHIELD is as sketchy as I do, which is frustrating, because they keep toeing the line of "SHIELD is untrustworthy" and then hastily backpedaling and reassuring us that Coulson is great and trustworthy, and therefore by extension, so is SHIELD.

On the plus side, the second season added some much more interesting new characters and threw a few wrenches in the "happy team yay" vibe from the first few episodes.

Spoilers )
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Er, if I haven't commented on people's comments or posts, it is because I haven't really been online for the past few months =(. I have, however, been watching a ton of TV! I feel like I have finally recovered from grad school brain and been able to focus on things requiring more effort and attention span, like books and TV. It only took five years, ha.

Arrow (spoilers through end of S3)

Spoilers have to become someone. Something. )

The Flash (spoilers through end of S1)

Spoilers became the impossible. )
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I've got a reservation for a room at the Madison Concourse for Wiscon that I won't be using, anyone interested in taking? It's from 5/22-5/25, $127/night, should be two queen beds.

Lots of TV

Feb. 20th, 2015 11:30 pm
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Hi, I am alive! Obviously I have been terrible at being online, which then goes into the whole "I have too much to write up, so I don't write it, so then I feel even more behind" thing. It also doesn't help that my laptop is getting slow so I spend most of my computer time on my phone, which isn't very conducive to commenting or posting.

Anyway, life stuff is going on, mostly not too eventful. And I am watching a lot of TV! Here, have some impressions since the thought of doing coherent write-ups of each show keeps me from writing anything.


This started out as my laundry folding show, except then I got hooked. It is probably not the best show ever, especially in terms of writing, but I'm fond of many of the characters and the focus on family. Also, plot like whoa. My main gripes are the romance storylines, since they are mostly terrible, and how you of course learn all things mystical and martial-arts-y in Asia. Or from Asians. (Or sometimes from possibly non-Asian people in Asia? Let's not go there...) My main delights are Oliver's relationships with his family, particularly with his little sister, and assorted Team Arrow teamwork hijinks.

Spoilers through Arrow 3x14 )

The Flash

So of course since I got hooked on Arrow, I started The Flash, largely because Grant Gustin is ADORABLE. I also love how deliberately non-gritty it is; Barry helps people because he likes helping people. I do wish they weren't making the same mistake Arrow made with Laurel, which is to keep Iris in the dark and thereby make most storylines having to do with her boring. This is especially too bad because the actress is a lot more likable than Katie Cassidy (sorry Katie Cassidy!). On the other hand, the Joe-Barry relationship is BEST.

Spoilers through The Flash 1x14 )

The 100

I have really been enjoying this show, and having a female protagonist is such a nice change from Arrow and Flash, much as I like them. I especially love how one of the main themes is Clarke becoming a leader. My other favorite thing is the various shifting alliances and groups and all the politicking. There are some things about the worldbuilding that questionable (Grounder culture, for one), but overall I love how much worldbuilding there is, and how large the world feels. This has really been scratching my SF/F genre itch.

Spoilers through The 100 2x11 )

Jane the Virgin

Yes, I am indeed watching all CW all the time.

This show! This is my new favorite and actually has me looking forward to something on Mondays. I love so many things about it, from Jane herself to the Villanueva family to the wtfbbq, telenovela-ness of some of the plot to Rogelio and his hashtags. This gives me all the warm fuzzies.

(Also, so many hearts to the show for having a bilingual household and not making it a big deal.)

Spoilers through Jane the Virgin 1x14 )

Agent Carter

I am enjoying this a lot! The Peggy and Jarvis snark is fun, and the bits fleshing out the larger MCUverse are nice as well. Mostly I am ignoring period accuracy but enjoying the clothes. Alas, this is also the whitest show on this post.

Fresh Off the Boat

This is the show I wish I were enjoying more than I actually am. I don't know how much of it is the sitcom humor, how much is the show finding its legs, and how much is stuff just feeling a little off.

One of the main things for me is that Louis and Jessica feel like second gen Chinese Americans, not first gen immigrants. Constance Wu's accent sounds a bit off (I'm not sure if Randall Park is even trying one? Which is probably the better option.), and of course, they don't speak Chinese at home! It's particularly glaring compared to Jane the Virgin's use of Spanish in the show. And when there is Chinese, it sounds a lot like it was written first in English and then translated.

That said, the 90's-ness of it cracks me up (even their light fixtures look it!), and I like it when the show focuses more on individual character quirks rather than commentary on being Chinese. Show! I hope you do well, even if you do end up being not for me.
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Apparently I am watching all the CW shows, all the time now. (Well, not Jane the Virgin yet, but it's next.)

I wanted to write up a general post before this, but I got stuck, so maybe some other time.

Spoilers )

Big Hero 6

Nov. 16th, 2014 04:07 pm
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I feel with this, Frozen, and Wreck-It Ralph, Disney is really entering another golden age (I know, all the critics say that...), which makes me happy despite all my issues with Disney because Disney is so much of my childhood. I was afraid Big Hero 6 was going to be too pop-culture-referencing and wink-wink-nudge-nudge, as well as being afraid that the main character would annoy me (that's my biggest issue with How to Train Your Dragon) and that the blend of San Francisco and Tokyo would feel pasted on and Orientalist. Instead, it's a really good movie that made me cry more than once, has some great relationships, and did what I thought was a pretty impressive job of balancing gender roles and portrayals as well as having POC representation.

(That said, Disney, I will be so happy if you make your next geek-oriented movie with a female lead!)

Also, the marketing department did a really good job with the trailer; I think it only goes into the first half hour of the movie and doesn't let on to some pretty big things while keeping the overall tone of the movie.

What most impressed me about the trailer was how the first ten or fifteen minutes of the movie completely recontextualizes a lot of the scenes, so even if you've seen them a lot, there's more there when you see them again in the movie. As I mentioned, I was worried I would be annoyed at Hiro, and I kind of was... and then they introduced another character that helped a lot. Then when something happens and Hiro gets acquainted with Baymax the robot, it adds a new emotional layer to all the boy-plus-robot scenes from the trailer. Also, Baymax is hilarious and adorable, as the best companion robots seem to be. (Are there any girl-and-robot stories that mix coming of age with teaching your robot how to be more human or something? Boy-and-robot seems to be a distinct subgenre, with this, The Iron Giant, Terminator 2, and probably more I can't think of right now.)

Cultural appropriation, gender, and other considerations )

I am talking a lot about the more political aspects of the movie and not focusing on just how fun the movie is, I think partly because so much of it is in the background and not that noticeable if you aren't looking for it. I thought this was a really great example of how to have diverse characters and places and make it feel organic and not the central issue of the story, and it's what I would love to see more of, especially in genre stuff.

A lot of the reviews I've read were tired of the whole superhero thing, but I did not realize it was a superhero movie going in (I had it more pegged as an Iron Giant thing), so when Hiro starts seeing everyone as a superhero team, it totally cracked me up. Because if you are a boy with a giant robot and a 3D printer, why not?

And finally, I LOVED how the entire movie was a celebration of engineering and science and making things; one of my favorite parts is Tadashi showing Hiro his "nerd school" and how clearly he loves it. I feel I should say so much more about this, because it was a huge part of why I loved the movie so much (that, and the Tadashi-Hiro relationship) and I've spent so many words on the background stuff. Except I don't really have anything outside of how much I love it and how much they made an effort to show that the whole maker culture thing isn't solely a white guy thing.

On a completely random note, I'm amused by the Disney-Pixar-Marvel mashup so that the movie has the now-famous animation short a la Pixar and the post-credits scene a la Marvel.
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So far, I am still watching because I am a sucker for Batverse, but I haven't really hit it off with any of the episodes yet.

Spoilers )
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Hello, show! I missed you in all your cracktastic glory!

Spoilers )
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I feel kind of stupid posting this right now, but I haven't been checking stuff online even though I was posting the daily happiness posts, and I just found out about [personal profile] delux_vivens.

I met her online when I was first figuring stuff out about race and racism, and she and Dead Bro Walking opened up so much to me and introduced me to so many people. She took me to my first powwow and shared a fry bread taco with me and laughed when I insisted on getting another fry bread for dessert (she was right, that was a bit too much fry bread for my stomach...). She shared details about her regalia and her beading projects and braved the dread lack of transportation to have craft circle in South Bay and meet CB. I was really nervous around her at first because I wanted so badly to not look stupid, and I felt she kind of took me under her wing and watched out for me. I hadn't seen her for a while, even though CB would sometimes ask, because he only met her once but thought she was awesome, and now I wish I had reached out more.
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Much like [personal profile] umadoshi, I was super excited when Chromatic Press started and cheered on the development of something akin to an English-language shoujo magazine, though I never got around to subscribing. Anyway, apparently the numbers are much worse than I had thought, and I was incredibly amused by the descriptions of various series that sound like a fun blend of female-friendliness and idtasticness. So I have subscribed!

And I apparently get a one month free trial I can give out! So, if anyone is interested, comment between now and Friday 8/29. If there's more than one person, I'll do a random number drawing.

Also, check out their membership drive and assorted prizes for hitting various levels.


Aug. 7th, 2014 12:04 am
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That meme where you pick up the first book next to you, flip to page 45, and use the first sentence as a summary of your love life:

"After configuring the devices necessary for connecting to the Internet, tap 'Internet Settings' in the System Settings menu."

(courtesy of the 2DS manual)

... I find this eerily accurate.
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Flora 717 is a lowly sanitation bee, but instead of being mute like the other members of her caste, she can talk and apparently make Flow to feed the larvae in the nursery. The sisters of the Sage clan (the priestess caste) take note and let her work in the nursery for a bit, since the hive is going through rough times and there aren't enough workers. Soon, Flora is experiencing things far outside the lives of the other sanitation bees, and she eventually realizes she is even more different than she realized, for she can lay eggs when it is a crime to challenge the Queen's fertility.

I keep seeing this described as "Watership Down with bees," which mostly seems accurate? Although I find it curious that Watership Down tends to be classified as fantasy while this is slotted under "science fiction" in Amazon, possibly due to the rural setting of the former and the more urban-esque landscape of the hive for this book. I'm also not sure I find it as political as the reviews comparing it to The Handmaid's Tale, possibly because the point of view is so alien in some ways. It's something I'd rather tease apart at a Wiscon panel or in discussion, because while some reviews have been classifying it as dystopic, I don't quite agree. There is too much actual bee biology for it to feel completely dystopic to me, particularly since the book is framed by a prologue and epilogue from the point of view of the humans who own the orchard the beehive is in; it didn't feel so much like it was comparing the human condition to the bee world and more as though Paull were focused primarily on fleshing out the bee world properly. I have to noodle a bit more on this, because I haven't thought it out enough.

She does a great job detailing her particular bee society and making it feel like a complete world, from the way the bees communicate via scent and chemicals to their worship of the queen to the foppishness of the drones. From the bit of browsing I did, it seems like most of the information is fairly accurate, except a spoilery bit in the end and the fact that bee roles are not nearly so harshly delineated irl. (Also, one beekeeper wrote a review in which they felt very put out about the negative depiction of beekeepers as the theives of the bees' carefully made honey. I have to say, I laughed.) I particularly loved the way religion and government are mixed up in the hive, and the look at the various castes and clans.

I did have some nitpicks, because it wasn't always as alien as I wanted it to be; Paull refers to things like bees bleeding or having their intestines torn out, which made me wonder if it were just a figure of speech or...?? Ditto mentions of things like goblets of nectar or plates of pollen. I also thought the prologue and epilogue should have been cut, because I am not here for human context and thoughts! I want weird alien life forms that are actually from this planet!

Anyway, this was a really fast, immersive read, and I still feel like there might be creepy-crawlies on me randomly throughout the day. (For insect-phobic people: I am pretty grossed out by bugs in real life and in pictures, but I'm mostly fine reading about them in books, from fictionalized bees to real-life parasites, so YMMV? I wasn't creeped out while reading, but my skin does start to itch when thinking about it afterward.)

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Potentially spoilery trigger warnings )

Spoilers )

Now I need more people to watch so I can flail about the gender role reversals re: manpain and how JIN-YI IS BETTER THAN YOU.


Jun. 3rd, 2014 01:25 am
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Flight Rising registration opening in about four hours! Friend me if you join (and let me know if you want a dragon)! I'm oyceter (lair id 35180) there as well, and a lot of us are also on [community profile] flight_rising as well.
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[personal profile] inkstone was brainstorming non-Western media panel ideas for Wiscon 39, and so many people got into the conversation that I was using 3/4 of my allotted characters just to @ them! Ergo, post.

(Also, this makes me so happy!! I am going to sound like such an old fogey, but *shakes cane* I remember the days when we didn't have any anime/manga programming at all and [personal profile] coffeeandink and I had to organize "spontaneous" programming so we could talk about it!

(I was so sad to see I missed panels on Utena and fairy tales in shoujo and was kicking myself for somehow skipping those panels until I realized that was one of the years I didn't make it to Wiscon.

(It has also been really nice seeing younger people in the audience in the past few years; hopefully I will be more encouraging next year and get them on panels too. My goal: having non-Western fannish panels that are not entirely populated by the same six people, myself included, even though I love you all a ton and love hearing what you guys say.)

Anyway, my goal this year is to organize a book club for F. Compo + Hourou Musuko (and/or other works with trans protagonists? Specifically, canonically trans, as opposed to genderbending or crossdressing.), esp. since [personal profile] jiawen has been trying to get a trans people in anime/manga panel for forever. That way even if it doesn't make the cut due to lack of panelists and/or audience members, we can do spontaneous programming. And I really like panels that focus very specifically on one or two works.

Also, AMVs in playlists for the vid party that aren't specifically being "The AMV Playlist"!

Other ideas I vaguely remember from Twitter:
- Bollywood
- Magical girls (and Sailor Moon Crystal!)
- Women in shounen
- AMVs and vids
- Moe
- POC in SFnal music (+ weird over-the-top fantasy CPop music videos?)
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This is my playlist for the Wiscon 38 vid party. Er, and for anyone who was there, I embarrassingly sent the wrong link to the organizers, so this includes the actual link to the Utena vid I was planning on showing...

Next year: more AMV playlists, including playlists that just include AMVs as part of a theme!

General warnings: I think AMVs tend to do much more visual overlays and faster cutting than media vids in general, so I hope I managed to give enough notice re: flashing lights and strobe effects, but not sure! Also, I worry a bit that I underwarned for the vid show because I have a hard time figuring out the line between action movie violence and disturbing violence so I am adding some just in case.

Magical Girls: Sparkles and Subversion
(or: morally ambiguous dark-haired girls and the pink-haired girls who love them)

  1. Hika Yagami - Magical Girls Take a Stand! (multifandom)
    no warnings
    (stream/download | subtitles)

  2. Moezy-chan - Red Star (Sailor Moon)
    Physical warnings: flashing lights and strobe effects
    Psychological warnings: horror imagery
    (stream | subtitles)

  3. WUNETTI Productions - The Utena Symphony, Part II: Rosa Infinita (Shoujo Kakumei Utena)
    Physical warnings: flashing lights and strobe effects
    (stream/download | subtitles)

  4. Chiikaboom - Devil's Game 2.0 (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
    Physical warnings: flashing lights and strobe effects
    Psychological warnings: horror imagery (also I find this series creepy like whoa and have a hard time with scenes in the vid, but I don't know if it's as creepy if you haven't seen the series? Comments?)
    (download | subtitles)

  5. Tidirium Studios - Hold Me Now (Princess Tutu)
    Physical warnings: flashing lights and strobe effects
    (stream/download | subtitles)

Random commentary )

Anyway, I hope people enjoyed, and if anyone wants me to flail at them re: the various series and why you should watch them, I am more than happy to do so! (Except Madoka. Madoka continues to terrify me.)
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Hi! I have not been posting about Wiscon because I have been too busy with Wiscon prep (6 vids subtitled, whoo!).

Anyway, will be arriving some time on Friday, leaving at some time on Monday. Hugs ok as long as it's not randomly from behind, she/her, and I forgot to print my icon for my badge, oh well. Also, I am crap at checking anything outside of email though I will try my best to keep an eye on Twitter messages.

(And will definitely be at the vid party, whenever that is! Come by! See my magical girls AMV playlist!)
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Would anyone be up for helping me subtitle the AMVs for my Wiscon playlist? Trying to get them in by tomorrow...
oyceter: (dramas dramas dramas)
This is a 2006 drama about the life of Hwang Jin-Yi, a Joseon period gisaeng who was famous for her poetry, art, music, and dancing. We begin with wee!Jin-Yi, who has been raised in a Buddhist monastery, as her mother, a gisaeng herself, wanted Jin-Yi to be able to escape gisaeng life. Unfortunately for the mother, Jin-Yi ends up watching the performance of a gisaeng troupe and immediately deciding that that is what she wants to do.

So far there are:
  • Dance training sequences involving being hung upside down by the foot

  • Steadfast friends who matchmake

  • A demanding taskmistress who feels that suffering pain will only make your art greater!!!, and whatever, what is life being married on a farm when you could be MARRIED TO YOUR ART?!

  • A rival troupe, lead of course by the old rival of Jin-Yi's troupe leader (aforementioned demanding taskmistress), who is determined that she will BEAT HER FINALLY! And if she can't do it, she will get in the way of anyone else who tries to!

  • A rivalry between the most promising girl of the rival troupe and Jin-Yi, in which the rival girl is horrified to hear that Jin-Yi is too sick for a competition because she wants to beat her fair and square as an accurate measure of their talent!!

  • Societally forbidden love with a yangban boy

  • The tragedies of gisaeng life and having to sleep with whatever man has enough to purchase you for the night

  • And I can't even describe how much costume porn

There is so much costume porn I would probably watch this solely for the costume and dance scenes even if the rest of it weren't good, but the rest of it is very good!

Jin-Yi herself is awesome and as stoic as only Ha Ji-Won can be and firmly within the shounen sports manga school of "I must perfect all the dance by any means necessary!" and I'm also enjoying how they're slowly fleshing out some of the other gisaeng as well.

Spoilers )

And on a totally random note, I am amused that a ton of stuff in this drama and in Arang (and possibly most sageuk?) is filmed at the 한국민속촌 and that it's always attributed as such!


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