[personal profile] greenygal just informed me that the Lego Research Insitute set is back!

This is the set with three female scientist minifigs -- the chemist has a small laboratory with beakers and syringes, the astronomer has a star chart and telescope, and the paleontologist has a magnifying glass, microscope, and dinosaur skeleton! It's been sold out and unavailable for months! I've just ordered a set for myself and another for my nephews!
[personal profile] greenygal and I went to see The Wizard of Oz on Saturday, as it was playing at the local arthouse cinema. It was a lot of fun to see it on the big screen -- there's a lot of detail that only shows up well that way. I did come up with the alternate characterization that Glinda is manipulating Dorothy into knocking out rival witches -- it's the only explanation that makes sense to me for why she didn't tell Dorothy how to get home at the beginning, and why she magicked the ruby slippers onto Dorothy's feet too. I was also struck by just how many geeky references come from Oz directly.

After the movie and lunch out, we went back to my place and watched Over the Garden Wall. If you haven't seen it, it was a miniseries that the Cartoon Network ran the first week of November, and it's gorgeous. Also, cute, surreal, and deeply eerie.

It starts off with two brothers, one a teenager, one a younger boy, lost in the woods and trying to get home, and unfolds from there. It takes about 40 minutes for the plot to get rolling beyond 'surreal and cute', but then it's amazing![personal profile] greenygal as a little upset that I'd only told her it was cute, but I didn't want to spoil the story. Among other things, the original music is fantastic, and they got opera singer Samuel Ramey do to the voice of the villain. Elijah Wood plays the older brother, with Christopher Lloyd, John Cleese, Tim Curry, Shirley Jones, Chris Isaak, among other voices you might recognize. It's available on Amazon and iTunes for about $10, at least in the USA.

I did have one theory about the show which I haven't seen anyone else come up with I think that spoiler ) Of course, that's just speculation.
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
( Oct. 26th, 2014 10:33 am)
I've decided that I'm not going to participate in Yuletide this year, despite nominating fandoms, because I simply don't have the energy to be sure I'd be ble write even a thousand words. Which is really not happy making.
I had plans for today! I was going to go to the farmer's market, then to the Noir City film festival for one movie, and then home to plant one section of fall crops in my garden bed.

But I ran out of spoons at 11 after making myself pancakes. bleagh. I'm going to nap and/or read and see if that helps any. Hopefully I can at least make some lunch for tomorrow so that I don't have to eat canned soup...
a comment from someone calling themself 'Sean Bahr' on NBC Says Title Character Of 'Constantine' Is Straight. Fans Disagree

but this isn't about a show that represents the entire worlds population as a whole. this is about a story, a very particular story.

why not make gandalf a woman? why not make lukeskywalker handicapped? we cannot keep altering artists vision to suit what we think is the new social norm that must be championed. an artists vision is an artist vision. this tv show is someone vision and their idea for where the narrative needs to go. don't like it? make your own show. but please man, let creative people be creative.

... did this person miss the fact that Luke Skywalker experienced a traumatic amputation at the end of The Empire Strikes Back? The fact that he has a prosthetic hand is kind of important in The Return of the Jedi as it links him to Darth Vader as mirrors of each other.

Because seriously, my reaction to reading this was "Luke Skywalker is disabled, you idiot! Darth Vader cut off his hand! ON SCREEN!"
neotoma: Roadrunner fetish goes "beep beep!' (roadrunner)
( Aug. 22nd, 2014 06:01 am)
This weekend is the Battle of Bladensburg 1812 Undaunted Weekend -- as there are free shuttles from U of Maryland and Landover Metro I think I can make it. Anyone else interested?

Saturday August 30th is the National Book Festival -- this year there is a graphic novel super-session from 6pm to 9:45pm, but SF&F seems to have been shorted entirely. I'll still go.

I'm probably going to have a Labor Day get-together. I usually make an entree and have everyone else bring sides as a potluck.

Small Press Expo is in 3 weeks! Weee!
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
( Jul. 22nd, 2014 07:20 am)
I had my surgery yesterday (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] fabrisse for sitting with me beforehand), and stayed the night at [personal profile] meri_oddities because even with outpatient surgery, one really shouldn't be alone the first 24 hrs afterwards.

Medical details, possibly tmi )By about 2 am I could lay flat, and this morning I managed to take a shower and dress myself. I'm going to be very cautious about lifting anything with my right arm for the next few days, but hopefully it won't be a problem by the end of the week.

And maybe I'll actually be hungry soon, since I've eaten two pudding cups and two cups of yogurt, but the attempt at soup and soft bread I had to give up on after only a few spoonfuls. Ginger ale seems to help, or at least has calories -- I can get a 32 oz glass of water down, but it takes a couple of hours... and a straw, since my neck is still stiff.

Anyway, I seem to be on the mend, and hope to be up to light socializing soon.
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
( Jul. 20th, 2014 10:22 am)
I'm going to be recovering from surgery for the next two weeks, and I'd like recommendations for reading material to occupy my time while I'm doing it.

I like long plotty stories where if there is a romance, the successful resolution isn't the end of the story -- if there's an AU and it's dystopian, the world is still awful even if two characters are having sex, and the plot should still go on. I also like well done trope-inversion stories.

I've mainly been reading in Pacific Rim these days, but I also like Doctor Who, Torchwood, Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Comics (The Flash, mostly), Supernatural (season 1-5, mostly), Vorkosigan, and several other fandoms, which you can see at my pinboard.

I'd also like recs for SF&F stories, and non-fiction books on history, anthropology, and any interesting topics you can think of for the layperson. I might not buy more than 1 or 2 of them, but the public library isn't too far for me to get to.
At Con.txt, I moderated the Asexuality Roundtable panel (which had 10 to 20 people attending, much better than I expected for the last panel on the last day, especially when scheduled against the hockeyfic panel), and promised a resource post.

Here it is:
Asexuality - general information )

How To Be an Asexual Ally )

Asexuality in Fandom )

Writing Acefics )

Reading Acefics )

I'd really appreciate more links for demisexuality and grey-asexuality, either informative or fic recs.
Pan-Pacific Voices: 10 years, 5 interviews

Summary: 10 years, 5 interviews -- A selection from the Pan Pacific Voices Intiative of Storycorps, archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. aka Neotoma writes the surviving characters interviewing each other a la StoryCorps.

Written for the 2014 Pacific Rim Mini-Bang on Tumlbr. Art by Karmabees - so pretty! so cute!
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
( Jun. 12th, 2014 08:06 pm)
Con.txt starts tomorrow -- well, there's a little pre-game get-together tonight -- and I plan to be there bright eyed and bushy-tailed (figuratively. I am not dressing as Squirrel Girl).

Of course, I haven't actually picked out my outfit for Disco Duck, or even tried to come up for something for the Con.Txt/Txt.noC mirror universe theme. The only thing I can think of doing is going in office drag, and I don't really have the shoes for that...

Also, I'm going to be moderating the Asexuality Round Table at 2pm on Sunday, so if you're there and interested, do stop by. I suspect there will be a lot of talk about Sherlock, since it's one of the largest fandoms to have ace!fics.
Anyone have suggestions for what to take for cramps that doesn't invovle NSAIDS?

For reasons, I can't take painkillers like aspirin or alleve this week, or anything that might have the side effect of thinning the blood. I've already eaten a bar of dark chocolate, which often helps, but right now I've got the restlessness and persistent backache that are my normal symptoms during menstrual onset, but I'd rather avoid this 'climbing the walls' feeling if at all possible.
It's been two days. LeVar Burton's Reading Rainbow Kickstarter has blown past it's $1,000,000 dollar goal and is at $2.1 million pledge as of this moment.

Sometimes the world is a wonderful place.
Someone (Games by Play Date) has turned coming up with fan fiction pairings into a card game! I found out about this Thursday, when [personal profile] greenygal and I went to Board Game Night at Labyrinth. We played the early American history version of Chrononauts, Pandemic on the extra-easy level, and a couple of rounds of Anomia. As we were walking out the door, I saw a gamebox on another table entitled Slash: Romance Without Boundaries.

It's a card game where you have several cards with different pop-cultural characters and brief descriptions written on them -- well known ones are worth 1 point, not so well known 2 points, and obscure are 3 points. Players take turns being the Matchmaker, who puts one of their character cards down on the table, and the other players have to put down a character card with the idea of the two characters making a great romance. The Matchmaker decides whose pairing suggestion is the best, and awards that player both cards and the points on each for their victory pile. Players can dispute the decision, but then have to come up with a narrative that explains why their pairing was a better choice, which is then voted on by the table. The game ends when one of the players reaches 20 pts.

This sounds like a hilarious game to play with a bunch of fangirls. There is a print and play option where you download and print a .pdf, but I just might buy the regular version and bring it to Con.txt. It seems like it would be a hit, and might be a great icebreaker or midnight room party game.
Who wants to meet up to see Xmen: Days of Future Past this weekend? I think a Saturday showing down in the city would work for most people -- Gallery Place or even out in Virginia somewhere?
neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
( May. 3rd, 2014 08:57 pm)
I got picked up by [tumblr.com profile] karmabees, who was interested in my StoryCorps-based summary. I still have to work on Raleigh's monologue, and the back and forth between Herc Hansen and Mako Mori (seriously, I'm having trouble figurng out what Hansen does after the end of the movie but retire and commit suicide, and I don't want that to be his arc in this story), but I think the structure of it is pretty good. I also have to keep some of the chattier characters from monopolizing the narrative, but at least I've got some one talking to me.
So, I'm making progress on my PR mini-bang with [personal profile] fabrisse's help. I'm going with the StoryCorps idea, which might be weirdly American given that the characters are from many countries, but I think I can make it work.

If anyone with more knowledge then me wants to pick over the character bits for the characters who are Australian, Japanese, or German, that'd be a great help. Right now I'm kindof stuck on Raleigh Beckett, since he's really not the kind of character I usually write, even though he's totally wonderful in the movie -- seriously, he subverts so many action-hero tropes and I love him for it. I think I might have to change who he being interviewed by to his sister who is from the novelization (which I bounced off hard because omg, dudebro POV!).
The USA Science and Engineering Festival is this weekend and it sounds like it might be a lot of fun and it is free to the public, which is always nice.

Next weekend (May 2nd-4th), the AFI is showing the original Godzilla, with restored footage. This week it's the Olivier's Hamlet, Henry V, and Richard III adaptations, and My Neighbor Totoro in the Studio Ghibli Encore.

Next weekend is also Free Comic Book on the 3rd, and the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and the Old Takoma Art Hop both days. I'm hoping to go to MSWF and at pick up a pair of horehound plants, as I saw some last year and I've had no luck growing them from seed.
neotoma: Loki from Thistil Mistil Kistil being a dingbat (Loki-Dingbat)
( Apr. 20th, 2014 09:08 pm)
[personal profile] greenygal and I went to AwesomeCon yesterday -- arrived about 1:40, stood in line for a few minutes (but they moved fast, the lines were well-organized) and then hit the exhibit hall.

We first found Carla Light McNeil -- she's been doing the art on a series of My Light Pony: Friendship is Magic books, which looked adorable, and also cover art for Smut Peddler, which is just as gorgeous as I'd expect from her.

I bougth all five prints and the Loki bonus story from Sarah Schanze who does Thistil Mistil Kistil. The prints I need to have matted and framed, since they are all of a piece being character portraits from the webcomic -- I love her Loki design with his owl feather cloak and ridiculous grins.

I also picked up the first volume of Alex Heberling's The Hues, which is post-apocalyptic magic girls and is wonderful for the diversity of cast -- personalities, skin colors, body types, and awesome powers.

We also found a woman who is behind reviving Nelvana of the Northern Lights -- she's gotten reprint rights, tracked down copies of the original art, and was selling first issue reprints and Nelvana portraits. She said that [personal profile] greenygal and I were among the first people who knew who was Nelvana right off the bat. I got a lovely print of Nelvana by Sanya Anwar, who I'm definitely going to keep my eye out for because her stuff looks gorgeous. Also she's having a bit of a trunk show at Fantom Comics tomorrow 5-6pm if you're interested in Nelvana and didn't make it to the con.

I also picked up a sketch card of teddy-bearifed Booster Gold and Blue Beetle from Nick Davis of The Teddy Bear Tales.

We stopped by Interobang! Studios, where [personal profile] greenygal picked up a set of sketch-cards portraying her favorite superheroines as roller girls and I got a small print of a chibi-Carl Sagan with pie. I almost picked up their Disney Queens image for a friend (aka "No one does drag like Gaston!") but you really have to be sure your friend is that big a fan of Disney princesses, and I wasn't quite...

At Alex's Misfit Toys, I picked up a Totoro necklace - mine is glossy but otherwise very similar. She had an enormous collection of cute and affordable stuff -- there were some Cthulu earrings that were just charming.

I wound up talking to artist of Pirate Eye about Charles C Mann's 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created for a bit -- if you're a fan of the comic and there winds up being a storyline with a Japanese swordsman patrolling the Mexican silver roads for the King of Spain anytime in the next year or two, that's totally my fault.

I also picked up a firebird print from Rebecca Solow -- she had an art ashcan as a teaser for a book of Russian fairy tales she's been working on. Just from looking at her black and whites, it's going to be gorgeous.

At the very end of the day, I comissioned a piece from Rachel Blier -- because I was expecting to see some Pacific Rim posters, found none, and she'd been just as fannish as me about the movie when I asked her if she had any PR art. She was very enthusiastic when I outlined my request -- [personal profile] holli, you know how you pointed out that given the ages of all the characters they almost certainly read Harry Potter and played Pokemon as children? yeah, we're going with that. I should get my comission in two or three weeks. It'll be fun. also, it came out that she's read [livejournal.com profile] irisbleufic's Anthology, so that was totally a cute.

I picked up a ton of artist's cards and a few flyers -- there is going to be a cartoonists-supported blood drive in Takoma Park on May 31st, and this coming weeksn on Firday and Saturday there is a Live-Action Graphic Novel called The Intergalactic Nemesis at Artisphere that looks interesting...
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
( Apr. 17th, 2014 06:53 pm)
Is it just me, or does this gorgeous photo look just a little improbable in its gorgeousness, like it should be the cover to an SF novel about terraforming Mars or a background to a Star Trek episode. It's the pink cloud, I think

Giraffes and pink cloud )


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