arkster: Robin giving you the side-eye. (Robin - Surely you jest!)
What did I just watch? I just. I don't even. I'm not really sure. Let's make this a Cracked article.

SEVEN WTF MOMENTS
Okay this cut is for spoilers even though I'm not doing plot details so whatever )
FIVE COOL BITS

There are a few more spoilers here I guess. Not really though. )


So, final word.

Everything they kept from the first movie: awesome.

Nearly everything they cribbed from other movies, genres and tropes: not so awesome, also, waste of time. I think there was maybe an hour of Sherlock Holmes Movie in my 130-minute Sherlock Holmes movie. 90 minutes, tops. The rest was Sherlock Holmes... starring In Something Else.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Don't cry for me)
NYCC's over, and the paper due in 15 minutes is just barely half-complete. It's a no-sleep night after four long days. It feels like my life's accelerated to the point that Twitter is in fact the right medium to document it. I have so little perspective on what I'm doing that I have to cling to the few flashes of long-view I get and just hope it's all rushing in the right direction. I don't know how I'm going to make it through final-papers time.

Sometimes I just want to punt it all to the curb and Occupy but I'm doing better for myself and for others where I am

I think.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
A deep dark lagoon indoors, craggy rock running up to smooth tile encasing it all, two arced points of black glassy rock formation not quite meeting, the greenish water between them swirling almost black. A warp point. Not enough for a Gate. Good.

(This companion was almost Saria in aspect, slight and broody and sharing no information but useful in most contexts - from the back row. Ze sat crouched on the rocks after the I-protagonist had gone to bed, calculating. Hir inner monologue appeared in text, and I dream-read it.)

「 ... Robo was fighting to try to reconstruct a past that never was, while Ayla was working too hard to create a future she'd never see the full range of.

a SEREMSET
a SULIMJYAR
and a SOLYNPEP

only, out of the Nine who would become the Yggdrasil.

It'd have to do. 」

Wordvomit.

Sep. 8th, 2011 09:53 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Don't cry for me)
Holy hell how is it only 9pm.

I got up at 6 this morning to finish the homework due in the 8am class. (This tardiness was not my fault; I was exhausted last night and the download for the audio part was going to take like four hours. Anyway.) Class ended at 9.15 at which point I buzzed up to midtown to get my silicon mold injected with wax a couple times. This took so long that I ended up leaving the mold at the casting studio and coming late to 11am Sociolinguistics.

At first SociLing was really discouraging; there are six students in the class and the other five have all been in school longer than me. Three already have linguistics MAs. I am also, I think, the eldest student. What am I even doing here? I asked myself. What do they all know that I'm going to have to scramble to keep up with?

In the second half of the class, we touched on gender and language use, and the question of whether you can tell someone's gender from hearing them speak came up, and the immediate class response was 'yes: a man's larynx is bigger, so his speech is pitched lower.'

Which I didn't make an issue of. I took a breath, two annoyed notes, and let it pass. But I went up to the professor afterwards and just said, "I had a problem with connecting 'larynx size' with gender instead of sex on the whiteboard, but I didn't want to derail you." And he said, "Yes, well, for example [the boy behind you] is dedicated to studying only formal syntax, and it would have taken at least twenty minutes to sidetrack and explain things to him. We'll touch on that later."

So... yeah! I may be the oddball out, but I'm at least putting together a thesis that he said is "definitely a sociolinguistics topic." Which is apparently not true for at least three out of five classmates.

And I have thought about other things than my PhD for some part of the last three years. So there's that too.

Anyway class was out at 2pm and it was back to the casting studio*, and then BACK down to campus for a mostly unsuccessful textbook run - but I did get school supplies! Footsore and weary from hitting up four bookstores for Weber's Protestant Ethic (among other things,) I settled my butt at an Italian barstaurant that serves unlimited and delicious fingerfood to anybody who drinks there between 5-7. The bartender – not Maurice. Maurelio? Argentinian dude – was just starting work that day. On hearing that I'd just snagged a new job**, he refilled my lemon ice vodka on the house. So of course I tipped 50% and still only paid $10 for two sexy drinks and a healthy dinner in Manhattan. I call that a goddamn win.

After that I cruised on over to the student center to print out my Weber*** and hit up the Comic Book Society. A cute group of undergraduate nerds, but when your 5-person officer board is all-male and your club attendance is 80% female it says something. We'll see what the gender balance is like next week when there isn't free pizza. Assuming I go back, of course – I plugged my bookstore and let them know about Kate Beaton's book party, but they're not my crowd. They still think DC is salvageable and Whedon can do no wrong. Do I really need to be a grizzled voice of bitter reason? I think not.

Then again, I might want to submit something to the quarterly student anthology.


*I also picked up wax carving tools at the neighboring metalshop. Because I totally needed another crafting hobby.

**New job: On the weekends. More details to come, maybe. I will not have free time this semester.

***Printing out Protestant Ethic at ten cents a double-sided page: $4.20. Copies of same in your standard bookstore: $20 and up. You know, some days I just can't wait for Print-On-Demand to put pricing like this out of business.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Chibi Lovelace investigates!)
Photobucket

Oh howdy, folks.

Photobucket

My life's been pretty exciting as of late.

Contained within: relevance. )

!!

May. 15th, 2011 05:12 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Chibi Lovelace investigates!)
Ommatidia is done!

2003 101-word stories. Reliably popping up at least once a weekday, if not more.

Man. I'm going to miss those stories, those characters.

Now I have to start writing more.

Thor!

May. 11th, 2011 11:47 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Behold my artistic genius)
So last night we went to see THOR!

It was pretty full of THOR!

Thor was great! Jane Foster, surprisingly, was great! Thor and Jane together I wanted to fast-forward. Past it all. YAWNING. Loki was pretty effing amazing, ngl. I haven't enjoyed a Marvel villain in a movie so much since maybe ever. Supporting cast A+, especially enjoyed Jane's attendant life. The movie fit in Guy Story, Girl Story, and SHIELD much better than Iron Man II, not that that's hard.

Also IT'S CLINT! HI CLINT. HI. Hawkeye betta be back for Avengers, his cameo was pretty sweet. They characterized him well, in the four lines he got! Also also, Asgard and Jotunheim were both deliciously built and animated and sparkling. FLAT EARTH PHYSICS YEEEEEAH

ps, Heimdall basically won at Norse Godding, racist bastids only hatin' 'cuz he was so GOOD.

Definition

May. 2nd, 2011 08:15 am
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Dragon kitten!)
Successful karaoke night (n) – When half the bar sings along to your duet rendition of the Cell Block Tango.

(The female half.)

Aw yes.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Popcorn.)
So yeah, it's not a good watch.

I know, I know, everyone told me it wasn't worth it. But it's Ghibli! And Earthsea! I had to at least try.

It's basically like The Golden Compass. Only more boring. )

Blech. I am disappoint.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Take a bite)
One thing I hadn't expected about living in New York? Laundromat living. Taking all my clothes on my back and hauling them half a block to be whip-washed and tumbledried, and maybe folding the contents of my sock drawer on the long table while I'm waiting for the sweats to dry.

Efficiencies develop differently in different places. The dorm laundries in college were similar in that they were long rows of big machines, but different in that they were secluded in a basement instead of tumbling my underthings in full view of the street. My bittypartment in Japants had a laundromat nearby for those few times when I needed a dryer, but what I used was the tiny, plastic, water-efficient washer on my back balcony. I hung my wet washing to dry like everyone else. No panty thieves dared make the climb.

The hosts in India had a similar, if more battered and less used, plastic washing machine. They hauled it out with great ceremony for me, and I expressed gratification and was duly impressed, but... it wasn't really very useful, when the power cut out twice daily and once at night.

So I hand-washed, like the hostmom taught me, with two buckets and a faucet and a brush, and a bright orange-red box of Tide just like the ones on the shelves ten feet from where I'm sitting now.* Soak first, wring out, lay out, scrub, rinse twice, hang up. Wave hello to the neighbor kids watching me do laundry on my rooftop. Smile and laugh and duck behind the pants for the little ones, who shrieked in laughter when I reappeared. Sing songs to myself, sometimes, always aware that someone on the road or a neighboring rooftop was listening.

(Retreat into my box, more often than not, and curl up on my bed with my laptop where at least no one could see me for a second or a minute or fifteen)

and emerge smiling, and take down the dry laundry after dark. Or sometimes not until the next day. But always, always, before the boy students appeared that afternoon for tutoring.

I pull my undies out of the dryer in plain sight here. Sometimes I even fold them while I'm waiting for the rest to dry! But always, always, I'm looking over my shoulder or down the table or out the window, just glancing, surreptitiously: who's watching? (Am I shaming someone? Will that kid tell his parents about it?) And sometimes I move around the table, so I'm blocking the view of my ~unmentionables~ from the sidewalk.

But I'm friends with my laundromat owner! He's a cool guy. Speaks Chinese. There was a stray book in Japanese left behind on the table, so I picked it up and started reading, and he promptly gave it to me. Said it'd just been kicking around the place anyhow. We discuss politics and world events, and when the dryer heating broke he comped my wash.

And, luxury: a dryer-warm rug, felt with bare feet.



*It was the brand names that jarred me on a daily basis. There I was, nodding hello to the shepherd who was shooing his flock along the dusty road, and one of his charges would be gnawing away at a chemical-bright reflective bit of plastic that said Frito-Lay.

I've mostly not eaten things out of hard polyurethane bags since I came back. It probably doesn't make a difference. I definitely don't make a Big Personal Stand out of it. But I don't buy popcorn or chips or things like that.

Everything else was dusty, but the imported advertising was bright. The sanitary napkins sold at the lady-run general store just outshone the whole place.

I think of the marketing executives in this city who made the decisions that led to that. I'm still peeling out what I think, and how I feel, a year and a half later, and to be honest all I really have to show for it is a vague bilious clot in the back of my throat. And a personal aversion to Ruffles.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Dragon kitten!)
McNally Jackson Bookstore is now printing books.

I am quite literally at this moment having a tea in front of what looks like what would result if Bane from Batman were actually a villainous xerox machine, and he's just bulked up to three times his muscle mass in blocky gray plastic and monitor screens on swivel arms.

There's a dude sitting on the floor opposite, fiddling with a screwdriver and occasionally hopping up to check one of the monitors. Boxes of recycled blank printing paper line the wall under the magazine racks. So clearly this is a brand new thing.

And it is, as I'm sure you're aware, super-exciting. This is it, the future is here! Print-On-Demand publishing is sitting right in front of me. It has a little sign hanging above it what says [For custom publishing, make an appointment with our editor.]

I can see the fantastic future, and it's right here now. As these clunky beasts get faster, cheaper, and easier to run, they get installed in bookstores the world over. Books in the public domain are now only as expensive as the paper they're printed on and the ink they use.

Too, [livejournal.com profile] newsboyhat painted a corporate picture for this: a publishing world in which the companies sell the electronic file of a book like it's a song on iTunes. The bookstore sells a copy, pays the publisher, and prints the book all at once.

Less waste, more choice. Indie empowerment.

Feels good, you guys. Feels right.

Now if the tech guy can just get it up and running.

You know

Apr. 6th, 2011 10:33 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Karma will get you back)
I wouldn't do tarot readings for myself so very often if they weren't so freaking accurate all the time.

Yeah.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
" the partridge in church symbolism indicates abandonment of faith, the partridge being known as a bird that deserts its young. (here it may imply fickleness.) the pear tree possibly refers to a one-time christmas custom wherein a young girl, upon backing into a pear tree, then circling it three times, was to be rewarded by seeing the image of her true love. the three french hens are breton hens, the four colley birds are "collied", or coal-black. the five golden rings refer to the ringed pheasant. .... since this is traditionally a time of great ceremony, it is thought by some that the gifts of the song refer slyly to penances exacted for failure to observe certain fine points of ritual. "

-- Ben Shahn, a partridge in a pear tree
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
It's okay. We get it.

This was the fourth episode in which the rich, overprivileged private school kid turned out to be the sociopathic murderer attempting to escape the consequences for her evil deeds. (Three out of five perps were ~spoiled girls~; of the two boys, one of them was a sympathetic figure.) In three of these episodes, Booth spends most of his Character-centric Navel-Gazing time angsting about not being able to send Parker, his adorable boychilde, to a fancy private school just like the ones that -- surprise! -- turned rich kids into murdering snots. Three of them! Get a clue, Booth. You live in a world where public schools may turn out attitudinal FBI agents, but private schools manufacture tiny little psychos. Notice this already!

Also, the navel-gazing. LORD, is there a lot of navel-gazing this season. I am really seeing almost no character development, in the sense that any character changes from one ep to the next, and instead just getting a lot of characters stewing in their own juices. Hodgins and Angela in particular are getting annoying as shit. The only one who seems to be moving anywhere is Brennan, and she's moving in the depressingly familiar Will-She-Won't-She trajectory that will end in her snogging Booth. I find this entire "romance" belabored, unnecessary, and sadly inevitable, the way Hodgins and Angela's breakup was inevitable, the way Rigsby and Van Pelt had to break up in The Mentalist in order to keep status quo. Bones is a TV show in which the two main characters, one male one female, spend a lot of screentime bantering. Ergo, eventually, they will ~*~end up together.~*~ Everybody else will remain lonely and snarky supporting cast, with no progressing lives of their own.

I had higher hopes for Bones but I guess I should've known better. It's just a boring execution of a hackneyed plot, and I'm this close to being done with the whole mess.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Tir: =])
So tonight, I went with a friend to the Life Cafe. Yes, the one in RENT. Yes, their burgers are delish. PS, feta cheese on a salmon burger == yes.

And then on the way back, on the subway, a busker got on and started strummin' his guitar. I usually block 'em out with the headphones but I figured, what the hell, I'll give him a shot. And he started singing

上を向〜いて
歩こ〜う
涙がこぼれないよ〜うに

Ue wo muite / arukou / namida ga koborenai yo~uni

yes. In Japanese and then in English.

And tomorrow I'm off to see a pair of rare Miyazaki shorts in Carnegie Hall. Yup. Life's awright!
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (O reeeeeeeeeeally)
MIT discovered fandom! No wait, they call it a "co-viewing clique". A BNF is now, officially, according to the MIT computer-graphics-and-wordbarf-processing department, a ~"pro-amateur media critic"~.

Don't you all just feel so validated?

:')

But seriously, data wonks: somebody help me out here. The comments over there seem evenly split between awe and kudos for the sheer volume of data processed and/or the shiny visualizations created therefrom, and serious underwhelm-ment at the results. What exactly, other than discovering fandom*, has this guy done?

More to the point, and p'raps more fun to think about, what COULD he do? What would YOU do with all that linked data? It seems a bit like a 3D map of a web we all navigate, by years of practice that's made the moves instinctual to us but maybe completely foreign, to non-fen.

Think of how you might hear about, and then find, a piece of fanfic. Maybe somebody on your friendslist links it, but the link's broken, so you end up trawling FF.net or AO3 before you realize, wait, it must be posted on the kink meme! So off you go, and by the time you've read it (and six other fics in the same thread) you've forgotten how you got there. This data could, presumably, plot your course on a physical-seeming map...? but the practical applications of this, to me, are not evident.

It could also, I suppose, plot the course of a fanfic to all its readers? Marketers do this kind of data-mining in the hopes of better selling through statistics, but... otherwise, again, why?



*He could have walked down the hall to the MIT Anime Club. They could've at least told him what it's called.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
And so yesterday, for the second year in a row, I spent Valentine's Day heading back to New York.

I'm not sure what I learned over the past year, but I think there's been a number of small things. I'm discontent with what I haven't accomplished. I'm uncertain as to what I do next.

Life is complicated you guys. I think I'm going to blog about my trip with a series of photoposts starting tomorrow.

Opinion

Feb. 15th, 2011 10:44 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (O reeeeeeeeeeally)
The great irony of RENT is that One Song Glory is an infinitely better song than Your Eyes.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Popcorn.)
Johann Hari – the best journalist I'd never heard of. That I first heard of him in regards to Kenneth Tong was the only possible palliative to having to hear of Kenneth Tong at all.

He links in turn to Jack of Kent, an eloquent and interesting lawyer-type. His posts on Love, Actually and the War on Terror and the Goering testimony at Nuremburg especially have stuck with me.

P.S.: Tom DeLay got three years! Fuck yeah. Also, I love that he calls Travis County of Austin, Texas the most liberal county in America. Ha. HA.

Slam that jackass behind bars already. Do it now, do it do it do it.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
LJ Retrospective Meme: The first bit from the first post of each month this year.

January: Happy new year. New decade. New life.

Enjoy it.

Februrary: The Ninja Turtles are becoming a theme for this blag.

ps, Bacon chocolate was a religious experience.

March: Reading selection around me in the subway: Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead
Count of Monte Cristo
Some fashion mag that might then again be a photography journal
WW2 novel re: Korean emigres to Honolulu

April: " In July, when the eruption ceased, the people of Heimaey Island returned to assess the chances of rebuilding their homes and lives. They found tons of ash covering the ground. The Icelanders are a tough people, however, accustomed to the strange and violent nature of their Arctic land. " -- GRE Practice Module

May: May is gonna be my month.

I can feel it.

June: The Girl Who Played With Fire is somehow even better than the first book, and will undoubtedly make the better movie. Thank god it's over, though, I can sleep again.

July: And it's going to be okay (State of the Lina)

Amazing how much better I feel when I get shit done.

August: Book review: Girl with a Dragon Tattoo

September: Excerpt from diary, 7/4/2010.

4:27pm
Someone was screaming on the northbound F train from 21st St Qbridge. I didn't
-

October: Coming Soon To A Shelf Near You:
'Bloody Jane' - Jane Austen the vampire. 'And you thought her wit was biting!'
A marriage counseling book with Ted from Buffy season 2 holding an unsuspecing wife pictured on the cover. Really, it's him.
And a book with the subtitle 'Yet another troll-slaying eleven-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl'.

November: Voice Post, Auto-Transcribed:

"There's no into town. Only on Parking 58 or so but there's no and I'm in town. That's it."

December: Whirring buzzing roaring snapping never sleeping again

A drunk guy on the street addressed me as "fuckin' Mary Poppins". I knew there was a reason I liked this hat.

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arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
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