aberration: Anthy and Utena in the Utena movie, dancing in the flooded rose garden above their reflection. (we shall all be healed)
Or: super long media talky post from hell, I'm sorry. Also, it's kind of image heavy, somehow.

First, unsurprisingly: Staaaaaaaaaaar Waaaaaaaaaaars )

More things!!!!

My thoughts upon finishing The Man in the High Castle, which are trippy rambling nonsense due to my not giving a shit and sometimes recognizing that someone who reads this might not have seen the show, and sometimes not caring! Also, spoilers everywhere, and discussion of racist, antisemitic, and ableist violence, as would be expected from not only 'Nazis' but 'the Nazis won.' )

Jurassic World )

The Martian )

Deadpool )

Jessica Jones )

Master of None )

Cloud Atlas (the movie) )

The Theory of Everything )

Network )

The Breakfast Club )

Die Hard )

Other things about my life right now:

- I hate dogs I haTE DOGS I HATE DOGS. And anyone who wants to judge me for that can get charged by a pack of dogs while trying to walk to the grocery store. No but seriously, if you have an aggressive dog that you don't properly restrain when people need to come to your place, you are a shitty person. (And yes, they're treated badly – but there's not a lot I can do about that and I still have to get followed around by possibly rabid dogs so, thanks.)

- I know the election is happening. Being out of the country hasn't really shielded me from that. I plan to vote in my primary, but given that it's not until May 3 I'm still thinking things will be essentially decided by then. Which is fine with me, to be honest. I'll just phrase my opinions as, growing up far-left in a deep red state maybe paradoxically made me pretty pragmatic – I'm not a principled voter, I'm a survival voter. Which may seem like damning with faint praise but... it's not, at least not for me. And also [long lecture about electoral systems and how they determine election outcomes, nerrrrrrrd.]

- I am super behind on writing about books! Which I guess is a good thing on the one hand because it means I'm reading a lot of books, but on the other hand, !!!!

- On that subject, one of my daily life patterns has been to come home, light a fire in my stove, and put on classical music and read until the place warms up. At first I was using iTunes Radio which was both nice and bad because they give you the little option to buy whatever's playing really conveniently right there and I probably used that five times in the first month of my doing that. But now all iTunes stations are subscription only, so I switched over to a New York classical music station. Because I'd rather listen to ads than pay a subscription, and oh yeah, I won't have to anyway because literally no classical music stations use advertising. But now I won't be dropping any more money on iTunes and their super-convenient-way-of-doing that, so... good job iTunes???

- And I guess I could talk about some things in my real life, so... it's okay! I feel like I've hit a slump at work, but I think that happens for a lot of people, and in particular some stuff is going on that made it sort of inevitable. I need to get the motivation and energy to push through the kind of stasis that's built up, and I'm... working on that.

- But my mom visited recently so that was really nice. I also now feel a little bad about ... I don't know, doing this now, being so far away. (Even for where I am, for various reasons, I'm additionally far away, and that can be difficult.) But I got to spend a lot of time with her and she bought meals at a lot of fancy places in the capital for me for like a week, so that was cool.

- I've been playing waaaay too much neko atsume. If I can't be a real crazy cat lady, I'll be a fake one, dammit.

- OKAY, and briefly, J.K. Rowling and the Magic in North America fiasco )

- ... and yeah, I think that's really probably long enough...
aberration: Art of Princess Bubblegum and Marceline from Adventure Time looking at one another. (why do I want to)
So it is... a little over a month before I am leaving, and mostly at the moment I'm kind of like – I wish I was here or there, rather than being in this weird leading-up-to-the-end kind of tandem between the two. Which is pretty typical for me, I like change but hate transitions. There are a lot of things I still want to get done before I leave, but I guess I'm... looking forward to be there rather than panicking over packing.

So I'm following up my last post in asking about Things That You Like, with ... even more questions asking about things that you like! I have a giant external hard drive that needs filling, okay?

- What artists/albums would you recommend to me? I actually have… way too much music as it is, but whatever, recommend me more anyway! I wish I could give an example of what I like, but I… have zero consistency when it comes to music. I will say that I'm actually interested in compilations of classical music if anyone happens to have any recommendations for that. Otherwise, I mean... the most recent album I bought was the new Delta Rae one, and I'm super eager to get the soundtrack for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. I like basically everything!

- What are your favorite episodes of television? I'm asking this specifically because what I'm thinking of is getting recommendations for episodes from TV shows I've already seen, but might like to have with me when I'm there. I've already been going through this with some shows like The Office and picking out absolute favorites. This could also work if you have episodes from shows you like that I haven't seen, but which stand alone reasonably well enough that you think they're worth getting anyway. I can't really afford to buy entire series/seasons (only Parks and Rec got this honor and I REGRET NOTHING), but if you have specific suggestions as to episodes I may check them out and then… see what I can do later on if I want to see more.

- What were your favorite books as children? While I'll be teaching high school English, it looks like at least some of my training will involve younger children, so having simple English books might be helpful. And I remember zero about what I read as a child. Like literally nothing. I vaguely remember something about The Wind in the Willows and that super elaborate mystery picture book with all the animals and I guess East of the Sun and West of the Moon (though I less remember reading that than having it) and mom trying to get me to read Boxcar Children books and then at some point I was 11 and read Harry Potter. I was not a great reader as a child.

Finally, for those of you who have blogs/websites outside Dreamwidth/Tumblr, do any of you use third-party hosting services for your content (i.e., Dreamhost), and if so what do you recommend? I want to set up a blog before I leave, and I'm kind of on the fence about how I want to do it. I may end up just going through Tumblr anyway, but regardless I'd like a host that could store audio files and I wouldn't want to use Tumblr's audioposting for that, so. If you have opinions let me know!
aberration: Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon transforming, her body surrounded by rings of fire. (scorched earth)
So now that I've finished the LoK meta from hell, I can post about other things!


- Mongolia is steadily approaching, and I'm really more apprehensive about the transition than the actually being there. I just want that part to be over with. That being said there are also a zillion things I need to do before I go, and I really need to ... get them done.

- I guess there are other tv shows I watch. I GUESS. But I don't have any theses to write on them. Parks and Rec was pretty much everything I wanted it to be, though I think my favorite episode of the final season was "Leslie & Ron." I loved the finale, but that one really broke my heart in ways I wasn't expecting. The whole season was pretty much great, though.

And... other things I don't have a lot to say about. I somehow feel lucky that more than one of the shows I've been following for ages wrapped up or is wrapping up this year. Except for Hannibal, which I think will probably air entirely during my PST. So I will probably have to wait and download it all during a visit to Ulan Bataar/someone will have to send it to me and I can watch it while freezing in my wherever and hoping no one randomly shows up while I have the cannibalism show open in one tab and like korrasami fanart in the other. Sadly I am already considering how I'm going to have to put all femslashy fanart I have in my rotating wallpapers folder in a separate folder so that doesn't... just pop up :(

In any case, I'm going to move on to a question for you guys. Reading definitely seems to be a major PCV activity, and I want to take this chance to read some books/authors I haven't yet. I've already started making a list of what to collect (preferably in kindle editions) before I leave, but! What are your favorite books/what books would you recommend to me?

(I know the biggest difference between me and a lot of my friends is that, to a degree, I've never been that into sci-fi/fantasy books. It's hard to say how exactly this works for me, because I loved books like Never Let Me Go and Slaughterhouse Five, which I'd consider sci-fi, and then of course Harry Potter, but I couldn't get very far in say, A Game of Thrones or Fellowship of the Ring. That being said, I don't necessarily want to put particular limitations on recommendations – who knows what I'll get into now! So.)
aberration: Pabu from LoK taking a nap next to an old-fashioned radio. (kashira kashira)
And now I'm going to talk about my really not a secret thing, just – yes. Right.

Cut for my real life stuff. )

But yes, that's what the next two or so years of my life are looking like! And I'm really looking forward to the teaching and living in Mongolia, and I do hope that I'll have fairly consistent internet to keep in contact and maybe, you know, keep a blog about what I'm doing while I'm there. I may just add the "this is not Peace Corps-endorsed" disclaimer to this journal! We'll see.
aberration: Fruit pies arranged on a rising set of circular shelves. (warm and safe and)
So I'm going to try to stop being the worst and at least get this post up before author reveals – YULETIDE! I got three fics again this year!

My gift was:
Secret Santa Shindig (1337 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Pushing Daisies
Rating: Teens and Up
Warnings: None
Characters: Emerson Cod, Olive Snook, Narrator (Pushing Daisies)
Summary: Emerson Cod just wants to be left alone to knit. Olive has other plans. Nefarious breath holding plans. Well, kind of.
The facts were these... after several weeks of persistence; Emerson had finally given in to the continuous pleas from the terrible tag team trio that was Chuck, Olive and Ned. His giving in, of course, referred to his participation in a Secret Santa Shindig. A Secret Santa Shindig that meant gifting a present upon someone else in secret at the Pie Hole’s first annual Pie Hol-e-day. Not that Olive had taken any notice of the secrecy part of a Secret Santa Shindig and had taken upon herself to become the detective out of the quartet finding out whom each and everyone had gotten for everyone else. A job she was currently failing at with regards to one grouchy, grumpy, gruff, Grinch of a detective.

“You know you’re not even holding your breath.” Emerson muttered grumpily.

The Pie Hole has a Secret Santa! Olive is trying to figure out who got whom! Emerson is annoyed at everything! It is the best. Super adorable, and basically makes me want ALL the Pie Hole holiday shenanigans. (I'm pretty sure Chuck would have the most amazing Hanukkah sweaters, I'm just saying.) And also all the Emerson as a detective-mentor for Olive shenanigans. Because they are clearly the greatest. The author does such a wonderful job with the narrator voice and the two of them, I could easily see the scene in my mind, it was so great.

And I also got two Yuletide Madness treats!

economy of movement (120 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Brick (2005)
Rating: Gen
Warnings: None
Characters: Brendan Frye, The Brain (Brick)
Summary: Information is seeing things.
"Fresh bump on the back of your head," Brain said, as Brendan tossed him the Rubik cube. "You hanging with Kara now?"

I'm leaving it at that because I'd get too tempted to just quote the entire thing, but. It's Brick prequel fic, from a time I really love to see glimpses, and Brain makes fun of Brendan, which I also love. And the author totally nails the dialogue, so yes I am so delighted someone wrote this!

Perks and Caffeination (3902 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Parks and Recreation
Rating: Gen
Warnings: None
Characters: Leslie Knope, Tom Haverford, April Ludgate, Andy Dwyer, Ann Perkins, Ron Swanson, Donna Meagle, Ben Wyatt, Chris Traeger, April Ludgate
Summary: When lot 48 is about to be replaced by another shop, rumour has it the replacement could put both Leslie's store, Perks, and her competition from Eagleton, Caffeinenation, out of business.
“But Star-” started Tom before Leslie raised her index finger.
“Do NOT say that name, Tom.” She shook her finger back and forth. “You know we have to say They Who Shall Not Be Named, just like He Who Shall Not Be Named in the Harry Potter books.”

“You mean Voldem-”


Parks and Rec coffee shop AU! It is super adorable, I am always for Leslie Knope's enthusiasm for EVERYTHING and also Harry Potter-related fanaticism. It's all-around really cute and hilarious.

And hopefully I will get around to reading more of the Yuletide collection. I have just been distracted recently with:

- Being sick (I'd kind of like to say that the end of Korra gave me literal heart palpitations... but it was more like not sleeping for three days made my body just go NOPE. But I'm better now!)
- Writing Korra meta (the last two minutes has like 1000+ words right now so help me)
- Scheduling 500 doctor-type appointments (maybe one day I won't mess up the insurance issues or get the date wrong and I will actually go to one of them!!!!)
- Other things I will talk about very soon! Yeah.
aberration: Close up of Korra from LoK, her eyes glowing because she's finally in the fucking Avatar state already. (chorus so sublime)
So it's my birthday and I spent most of the day asleep or cleaning because I procrastinated so much on my Yuletide >____> And it really would've been fine for me to just stop earlier in writing it, but then I ... decided not sleeping would be a better plan, and now it is super long and done but I adlkfj.

It also didn't help that I had some other stuff I had to research/write this week, too. Anyway, I'm taking a break from writing and editing... at least until tomorrow.

But I am going to write up Korra meta sometime soon, which I'm guessing is going to end up being meta for the series as a whole. I kept trying to write something midseason, but the last two seasons especially have made me feel like it was best to just wait and look at the show as a whole. Which ha ha ha the finale sure drove that home. BUT THERE WILL BE META. Once I am recovered enough to write again.

... okay this is NOT META but is just some very quick comments on the LoK finale, you know what I'm talkin' about, but seriously spoilers. )

(And yes, Colbert ended on the same night, and it was so good! ... but it was Korra that just utterly destroyed me.)

There is also something... pretty big I'm going to have to talk about soon. It's not really a secret, I'm just still kind of pulling everything together and I want to wait until I've done that and my head's in a better space to talk about it more. But it's good news, and what I'm hoping will be great part of my life, so, yeah.
aberration: Katara from A:TLA leaned forward, her braid and arm behind her as she directs a whip of water. (there is a war coming)
Discussion of Korra (oh god I almost wrote Kuvira here I hate everything) season 4 so far. It's not even that long! Only 2000-ish words! )

I do also want to finish my Hannibal book blogging, if only because if I had to read that ending I'm going to make anyone willing to click the cut tag suffer through it, too. I've just had the set back of being busy with classes and also losing a bunch of a draft because I am an idiot, don't write your only copy of something directly into a text editing window especially when your browser is getting closed all the time. But blah whatever it will happen.

And my classes! Now I teach classes to help people applying for citizenship pass the test. I feel like the end result is now I could really super pass the test, but my Arabic is terrible so I don't know how great a job I'm doing for everyone else. I am learning all sorts of new words that will yet again be of no use to me whatsoever, like "Constitution" and "Declaration of Independence." I also feel kind of guilty about it, because I really have to teach to the test because this is not my Howard Zinn-esque vanity project of teaching American History and Government Like It Really Is, it's help the students get their citizenship time. But out of 100 questions that could be asked, two of them are about Native Americans (they lived here before the Europeans "arrived", and name one federally recognized tribe yaaay -______-) and I guess EVENTUALLY we're going to get to The Question About Slavery. But hey they now know at least one of the writers of the Federalist Papers because THAT'S what's important, right????

Long story short I make a lot of flashcards for them. And I get through the monotony of making a zillion flashcards mostly by mainlining It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

And I may... eventually... hear back from the Peace Corps... at some point? We'll see.

And I... have been watching other things? I'm actually enjoying Sleepy Hollow more this season, I think because I've just given up on everything else and made it the Ichabod-Abbie and Lyndie Greenwood show in my mind, and I love both of those so okay. I also spent the hiatus period watching Brooklyn 99 and Bob's Burgers, so I have those now. And I did pick up Black-ish, Marry Me, and Selfie (oh god I had quit this halfway through the pilot, but since then it's been tolerable enough for me to watch because I love Karen Gillan and John Cho, damn it). I guess I didn't pick up any new dramas? I wish I could watch How To Get Away With Murder, especially as I dropped Scandal, but I know it falls far too squarely into 'I actually know about this and so know everything that's wrong' territory. I've been trying to get through a few unifinished series I have - The Sopranos, Twin Peaks, and True Detective (I have ONE EPISODE of that left what is wrong with me), but I usually watch an episode and then... switch back to It's Always Sunny. I don't know, sitcoms probably make better while-making-flashcards fare.

(And Queen Seondeok! Which has really shown me how much Game of Thrones misses out by not having any major plots about nobles fucking with the grain markets to force farmers into a slave-feudal system. Also ladies.)

I've also been really lucky to get to go to a couple panels over the last couple weeks: the emotional farewell LoK panel at NYCC (with [personal profile] attractivegeekery, and I think that weekend can be accurately summarized as us quoting A:TLA/LoK back and forth pretty much nonstop), and the Hannibal panel at Paleyfest. I had debated going to the latter because I just had a cheap "secondary viewing area" ticket because I'm cheap, and I figured if I was just going to be watching it on a screen I could do that at home, but damn it I'd spent that fucking $25 so I was going. And they were super nice and let us sit in the main room after all, and the cast and Fuller were all sweet and hilarious (and I thiiiiink apparently Hettienne Park and her baby were in the audience? And Fuller kept making faces at the baby, it was adorable), and I answered a trivia question and got a signed script and photos as a prize, so yes good decision-making self!

And now I have to make Yuletide decisions. And more flashcards. Flashcards until the end of time, basically.
aberration: Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon transforming, her body surrounded by rings of fire. (scorched earth)
So let's see if I can post before Korra comes back and I... end up just blogging that, let's be real:

- I um, applied to the Peace Corps. A while ago. I've been nominated to a program in Mongolia that would start May 2015. I don't feel comfortable being especially hopeful about... anything at this point, though, so that's all I'm really going to say about it now.

- Except that because of that process, I've also been volunteering teaching English at the Arab American Association of New York. Most of which is really working to try to convince the women in my classes to talk and that it's okay to not know very much because seriously listen to how crappy my Arabic is. They are so impressed when I like, manage to remember numbers or days of the week, and they speak so much more English than I do Arabic???

- And then I was waiting for the bus to Boston and this Egyptian hot dog vendor was hitting on me and I was thinking about how he must have to learn English faster because having a job outside the home makes him use it. To tell me about how he's been in the country for two years and still doesn't have a girlfriend.

- Dude you're not the only one without a girlfriend. I didn't say.

- On that front, I've been working on an okcupid profile. And thinking my self-summary probably shouldn't be "I may be living in Mongolia for two years and want to make out with some people first."

- I also probably shouldn't put "cannibalism" under "I spend a lot of time thinking about."

- Since coming back from being abroad (I was out of the country most of May), I've caught up on The Americans and Game of Thrones. I enjoyed the former a lot (noooo Ninaaaaaaaaa) and the latter... I dunno, I liked some parts, but I feel like I'm thinking "oh, no, I know what happens now can I just skip it???" a lot too. And the penultimate episode felt like 45 minutes of what I don't pay attention to when I go to a movie. Can I watch the Missandei and Grey Worm spinoff?

- I need to also catch up on Orphan Black, but right now I'm cycling through season 3 of Bob's Burgers, season 2 of Orange Is the New Black, and True Detective.

- And I watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine in two days. Erm. Also, I'm not watching it, but I made the mistake of reading the comments on the AV Club review of 24... whatever most recent episode, and man I sure didn't miss the number of people who think our whole legal protections thing is a huge waste of time and spoiler, I guess ) Wow.

- I also saw some movies! Thor 2 on the plane, The Lego Movie, How To Train Your Dragon 2, and Belle. [personal profile] skygiants says I have to write up thoughts on Belle because blah blah legal stuff, so here you go:

Belle and history and the law and wow that makes it sound boring??? Spoilers... sort of, but I try to be vague on things that aren't historical fact. )

- I'm also working on a case. From home. Working from home should be good but I'm sure I'm checking tumblr waaaaay too much. At least they fixed the likes page issue before I was stuck with 5800 likes FOREVER.

- Oh, and I read The Old Man and the Sea! And liked it! Pretty much because some dude fishing was the only thing that happened and it took me the space of three subway rides to read. I can deal with that.

- Aaand I... really need to do more work on my case now. must. reroute. brain. from. distraction.
aberration: Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon transforming, her body surrounded by rings of fire. (scorched earth)
Of course, Korra 2x08 reactions – I really enjoyed two-thirds of it and hated one-third, guess which is which!!! )

Also quick Sleepy Hollow question. )

In other news, I briefly visited Indiana and took more Continuing Legal Education classes where I learned important lessons like Don't Steal From Your Clients and Don't Be Mean To Paralegals Who Make More Than You Do and Seriously Don't Steal From Your Clients. I don't know, I'm going to try to go into it further, but I'd rather do that behind a lock.

Also, the New York Times recently had an article about a case I worked on. And when I say 'worked on' that includes a lot of frustrated rants about how the relevant statute is horrible in so many ways, including for anyone who actually has to try to explain it ever. But. It's an important case! And coverage is important!

And aside from all this, I have been absolutely terrible at writing, so I'm going to go... try to do that. With things that are not Korra meta or otherwise so related. Somehow.
aberration: Pabu from LoK taking a nap next to an old-fashioned radio. (silence glaive)
Korra! I'm sweet on this show again yay!!!! )

I'd also say that this is an episode I'd recommend if you haven't been keeping up with LoK. What it delves into is so fundamental to the Avatar universe, and the spoilers that are there... I think are minimal. It's also just generally gorgeous, and for tackling such an important aspect of the world, I wasn't disappointed.

In other news, my Yuletide assignment is delightful! I almost feel like I lucked out on it because it's so lovely!

And I have... officially not renewed my current lease, so I'm going to be moving! ... in December! And all to enact my secret plan of reclaiming all the plastic containers I'd forgotten over the last year because otherwise I would have had to remember and also hold them on the subway for like half an hour and really only so much can be expected of me.

... I swear I do things besides watch LoK, and maybe I will write about them while it's off for a week. It's just that by the end of writing this kind of thing it's been 2000 words and I'm tired. And there are also a zillion other things I need to be writing.


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