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: 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: Pabu from LoK taking a nap next to an old-fashioned radio. (kashira kashira)
Because I wrote this and might as well get it up before the episodes tomorrow -

Korra 3x01-03 )

And I guess because Nickelodeon's new viewership strategy is to air this show on a night teens don't watch television, burn through it as fast as possible, and then don't make it legally accessible ANYWHERE else... we'll see when I'm able to watch the next episodes! Thanks dudes.

And in other stuff... most of this week was getting stressed over my uncompensated work. On the bright side, I'm kind of over the stress now, and I think I have a better sense of... why I'm stressed and my own direction. So. Okay!
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)
I haven't posted since January, and of course it's going to be this, but I feel like I have to get it out before I go to sleep and have wacky internet access for the rest of the day:

Hannibal thoughts, spoilers everywhere, includes stuff from the AV Club walkthrough. )
aberration: Pabu from LoK taking a nap next to an old-fashioned radio. (the stars all have names)
For December 20 (LOOK WHATEVER I'M HERE!!) [personal profile] swankyfunk asked Talk about film noir, such as what interests you about the genre and/or what your top 3-5 favorite films are.

So I should preface this by saying I have no particular film experience whatsoever. I count taking one film class in college and that time I beat a bunch of NYU film students in an Oscar pool. That's all! I have no expertise in film nor or film noir in particular as a genre. I wouldn't even consider myself particularly steeped in it; a lot of what I've been doing for the last month is watching a lot of these movies for the first time.

Disclaimer out of the way! I have an aesthetic attraction to media with dark color schemes and depictions of systems that work despite social alienation. Which can often be basically film noir in a nutshell. When it comes to mysteries, I do definitely prefer stories about private detectives to cops – and if there are cops, I prefer the cop to be on the outs with the force or otherwise somewhat compromised. I can enjoy the cynical tone and perspective, particularly when it applies to its own characters. I like mysteries – I don't like police procedurals that much because I'm just kind of sick of police and prosecutors (there was a time when there were more PIs and defense attorneys in media, dammit), but I do like a well-structured investigative mystery. Or even a less well-structured one.

Also I like good noir dialogue. It's like candy to me. It's not how real people in any way speak, and that's sort of why I like it. I mean, I think I like it the way people like fantasy elements – sure they're not real, but it's fun to imagine this made up setting where people do talk like that. The turns of phrase and wordplay are just fun. I've kept a document full of notes while watching movies this past month, and they are pretty much all just quotes I like.

List of films below the cut. )

That wasn't really meant to be exhaustive, and I don't have... anything like expertise in this, but I hope you liked it!
aberration: Art of Princess Bubblegum and Marceline from Adventure Time looking at one another. (why do I want to)
This is going to be a super long media post to make up for all my pretty much LoK only posts!

Sleepy Hollow )

Agents of SHIELD, which isn't that positive. )

Parks and Recreation )

Nikita )

I've also been watching Adventure Time (and watched the Thanksgiving Parade just for the Finn and Jake balloon because I am ten years old), Dragons (and also the Toothless balloon because STILL TEN), Elementary, Scandal (which despite that Lisa Kudrow gifset NO DON'T JOIN ME), and Raising Hope. And isn't Justified supposed to come back soon? (Yes, in January.)

Oh and the Doctor Who special was pretty much everything I would have wanted, in which I mean I was entertained throughout the entire thing.

But movies!

Catching Fire )

Frozen )

And also...

... Korra, lol did you think I was actually done, okay whatever I just have a few more parting thoughts. )

And I decided after LoK I would inspire myself for Republic City Noir by checking out a lot of movies from the New York Public Library and reading The Maltese Falcon. These movies mostly fall under the categories of "film noir" or "Asian crime drama." Or both! These have been:

The Big Heat - It was fun. I'd been trying to avoid things that centered around a woman's murder, and that wasn't… quite the case here, but I kind of got distracted during That Part near the beginning, and I actually do enjoy the 'cop on the outs' trope, so.

Infernal Affairs - Speaking of that trope, ahhhhhh I loved it. And the ending was really interesting, especially when compared with The Departed. Speaking of that, though, what I found most contrived in the latter movie was the Vera Farmiga character, which made me all the more annoyed when I learned that was as a change from this. I loved mole-in-the-police's wife! She was sweet and funny! And I liked the aspect of comparing his life of personal prosperity with mole-in-the-triad's dysfunction and sacrifice. I can't remember if that was really in The Departed. But this generally had a lot of tropes I love.

The Big Sleep - I liked Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall a lot, though I didn't really get that invested in the mystery. There were a lot of fun lines, though.

Stray Dog - This is a definitive 'both' movie! And to really show how much I go for ridiculous noir, this movie had the line "You're as slippery as the eels on the menu here." and I was so happy oh my god. (Actually just watch me watch Brick sometime and be so happy at all the dialogue, it's so sad.) But aside from all the awesome dialogue, of which there was plenty, this was also a really interesting immediate-post-war-Japan story, and I actually really liked how straightforward its mystery was (which entirely centered around a rookie cop tracking down his stolen pistol). And then at one point the characters go to a baseball game and one of them says "And a bullet's nothing like a foul ball." and I have a problem.

Out of the Past - The private detective character in this just didn't do much for me, nor did the femme fatale, but there was some dialogue I liked.

Shanghai Triad - As well made as Zhang Yimou movies generally are, but the crime angle was more about the setting for the movie than any kind of mystery or even sort of … political maneuvering?, and I'm not sure I was in the mood for something as consistently depressing as it was.

Princess Mononoke - The exception! But I'm still definitely overly attached to my feeling Asami should be a Lady Eboshi without the Ahab-obsession with the Deer God.

(On a not entirely related note, this may be why I'm never going to get a Ronia, the Robber's Daughter Miyazaki movie, which makes me sad.)

Other than that, I have holds on The Stranger, Drunken Angel, Stranger on the Third Floor, Inside Man (which is really... just an American crime drama, I just want to see it again, but I'm going to have to wait forever because there are 66 holds wtf), and 2046 (which I don't think really qualifies for either, I just want to see it), and am open to suggestions, as at the moment I'm really just flipping through Wikipedia lists.

... maybe sort of relatedly, I thoroughly failed at NaNo. I mean, I wrote a little, and then I got massively distracted and stopped. Things I managed to get distracted with included:

- I can't really talk a lot about this, but I contributed something in a case at place where I volunteer, and it was actually... kind of a big deal and helpful and so that was cool.

- Job apps.

- Writing all those ridiculously long Korra posts, duh. And also a bunch of RP stuff with so much research and I hate myself. And completing a general AU outline that it's not like I'll need for ages and that I still have to write down, but I am just terrible at prioritizing.

- Coding for a site wheeee.

- Duolingo is super fun okay?

- Not Writing Other Stuff I Should Be, wait what.

- I got a copy of my canon for Yuletide, okay. And that was surprisingly challenging.

- ... whatever, in a month I'm going to have to be filling in change-of-address-forms-for-EVERYWHERE, so.
aberration: Close up of Korra from LoK, her eyes glowing because she's finally in the fucking Avatar state already. (chorus so sublime)
Veronica watched all the rest of Korra last night so maybe this will be the last you have to hear about it for a year. Yay!!!! It's very positive and then... not as much, but starts with positiveness. )

And that cut text should have a note of Unless You Are Some People On My Flist who I probably will bother a lot before that so sorry :DDDD

... and I think I could theoretically make that "Breath of Life" vid I still want to, but now I will be even more sad :(
aberration: Close up of Korra from LoK, her eyes glowing because she's finally in the fucking Avatar state already. (chorus so sublime)
Korra 2x10 was amazing but also... )

Speculation for the rest of the season, including knowledge from synopses of future episodes and shipping stuff which I don't even care about why!!! )

Also I'm eventually going to reblog this because it's amazing, but I mentioned the music when talking about Beginnings, and someone did a great post discussing the influences of Beijing Opera on the episode and its music, and seriously it's so good and I suck so much at talking about music that when I see other people do it I'm like o______o

And I've... done other things that I will talk about later I hope really >__> But now I need to eat or something
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)
1. So I might actually get paid for the work I did today? I think. Maybe. And in the spirit of my entire history of paid employment, it wasn't for anything that required my brain, but instead my ability to apply white out and black marker. (Fun fact: If you try to redact things with black marker alone, the underlying text will often show through on scans/copies!) Anyway.

2. So I'm signing up for Yuletide this year! Which I've never done before, for reasons including my finding fic exchanges super intimidating. And also having finals a lot of the time. But screw it I'm doing it this year!!! Something.

(And I even nominated! These are my nominations!) )

3. Brief Korra thoughts. )

4. I've been watching television that is not Korra, so briefly (not lying this time) –

Sleepy Hollow )

Breaking Bad )

Also the How To Train Your Dragon show came back and I have a thing I need to remember to show [personal profile] innerbrat...

5. I'm going to visit Boston again this weekend! After many delays mostly borne out of my being the worst prorcrastinator ever. But now that that thing's done it's... time to get a new thing to procrastinate on! Erm.


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