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It's Saturday, and I'm sitting at my computer trying to get this preview book done. Which is really all I've been doing for the past week and particularly the last few days. And you know, it is important! Career blah blah blah promotion blah professional blah. But dammit I'm a NERD! A NERD! So I'm making a nerdy LJ post about a nerdy thing I've been wondering about.

So, generally speaking, when a friend or associate shows some vague interest in Avatar but isn't sure if they'll like it, this is what I tell them: )

Which leads me to my question!

If you had to pick 5-10 of the 61 episodes of Avatar that you feel really embody what the show is about, what would they be? (And why would you pick them?) Not necessarily the BEST episodes, but representative ones. Such that, if Prospective Viewer liked them, you'd feel completely confident in assuring PV that they'll like the rest of the show, too

(I'm not entirely sure what my own list would be, aside from "The Storm" and "The Blue Spirit" for the aforementioned reasons of THEMATIC RELEVANCE. <3)

BONUS QUESTION: And what about AMVs? Any that you find particularly persuasive/representative/of interest to those who haven't already seen the show?
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So [livejournal.com profile] rawles and [livejournal.com profile] sainfoin_fields both did this meme, and it sounded like a pretty good time!

• Post ten of any pictures currently on your hard drive that you think are self-expressive.
• NO CAPTIONS!!! It must be like we're speaking with images and we have to interpret your visual language just like we have to interpret your words.
• They must ALREADY be on your hard drive - no googling or flickr! They have to have been saved to your folders sometime in the past. They must be something you've saved there because it resonated with you for some reason.
• You do NOT have to answer any questions about any of your pictures if you don't want to. You can make them as mysterious as you like. Or you can explain them away as much as you like.


But due to the COMPLETELY INSANE volume of images on my harddrive, I had to impose a few extra rules upon myself: no photos of me, no artwork drawn by myself or my friends, nothing on the external harddrive, no livejournal icons, and only ONE screenshot from Avatar. Oh -- and I also couldn't spend THE ENTIRE EVENING digging through folders.

EVEN SO, MAN THIS WAS REALLY HARD. )
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Tonight Scott and I went to see "Moon," a new film being distributed by Fox Searchlight starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey, both of whom turned in fantastic performances. It's about a man on a three-year, solo contract running a mining operation on the dark side of the moon. And it was so fantastic that I'm kind of in shock.

It's also in limited release, and I can't seem to find any indication as to what plans for wide release might be. I suspect box office numbers will help determine that? So if you live in or near New York or LA (which seem to be the only cities playing it) go out right now and buy a ticket and bring a friend and help make a Juno out of this thing. Because it was THAT. GOOD.

And...seriously, if you know me? You'll know that while there are many things I enjoy, there are actually very few that I put a hardcore stamp of unconditional THAT WAS AWESOME approval on. And "Moon" just became one of them.

Short okay not-so-short, unspoilery explanation of LOVE:

"Moon" is a hard science fiction film. It's set in outer space, and its plot is intimately tied to that setting. But it's the kind of science fiction that we so rarely see anymore -- thoughtful and interesting, a future that quietly goes about its business in the background, technology that's convincing in part because it looks like it's been used. It's a one-man moon colony but it's also a mining camp and a home -- there's dust and dirt, grey old spacesuits and rumpled clothes, photos taped to mirrors and postit notes stuck to the robots, hair that he's let grow a little too long and weird, awkward messages from home.

It's hard SF. There's no handwaving away of inconvenient details. It's neither a fluffy popcorn romp nor a needlessly high-strung thriller. I don't want to say anything else because I don't want to spoil it (I REALLY DON'T WANT TO SPOIL IT) but it never did any of the stupid, cheap things I worried it might. I can't tell you how long it's been since I felt that way about a movie that's set in space. Or a movie that has much of an SF plot at all, really. (SO. LONG.)

So, yes. The plot and setting are as straightforwardly SF as they come. (Which isn't to say they're dull or predictable, as they aren't at all.) But the movie -- the experience of watching it -- is deeply, beautifully human. And "human" doesn't mean wallowing in angst and pain and awfulness. It doesn't mean people screaming at each other for scene after scene.

Sam is a man who's lived alone on a space station for three years. His struggles make perfect sense, are real and simple and quiet and all the more beautiful and heartbreaking and satisfying because of it. He never becomes a characature; he's never forced into some mold or another for the sake of the story. He's Sam, and he's kind of lonely, and sometimes he doesn't bother to shave for a while, and he can't wait to go home and see his young daughter.

So. Yeah. GO SEE IT if you possibly can. If there's some way to ask your local indy theater to try and get ahold of it, do so.

I'm going to go see it again if anyone's interested?

(I was going to write a few specific, spoilery thoughts behind a cut, but...has anyone else actually seen this? If not, you know -- you really REALLY don't want to spoiled for this film, so I'm not even going to provide the temptation if there's no point in doing so.)

ETA: There may be spoilers in the comments! Just a fair warning!
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I have a meeting to get ready for so I can't do much myself ATM, BUT!!!

Fandom Superlatives!
SUMMER 2009 EDITION: GO VOTE


I'm counting on you guys.
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
So I think I've figured out what's bothering me about Farscape. Now, this isn't to say I'm not enjoying anything about it, because I am -- I really like Aeryn and Zhaan, and Chiana is veeeeeeerrrrry slowly growing on me maybe -- but I've found it very difficult to watch and almost impossible to comfortably settle into. And I have a theory as to why.

As far as I can tell, it's a combination of three big things: Spoilers and grumbling behind the cut. )

ALL OF THAT SAID! There are some things that I enjoy quite a bit!  )

Annnnnnd that's all I've got for now. Off to finish the rest of the season I guess? *FORGES AHEAD*
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So I'm sitting here...um...well mostly working on Chronin but also dealing with residual annoyance regarding "fandom awards" and what they inevitably devolve into.

But you know, it doesn't HAVE TO BE THAT WAY. I'm convinced of this! As a staunch supporter of Fannish Unity and Positive Thinking I have to imagine there is a way to have fandom/fanfic awards that are as hilarious/ridiculous/cheering/insane as they should be. And after having talked to [livejournal.com profile] jlh about it last week, it seems the solution is to....um...well, not take them seriously at all. Also, to create categories designed to maximize all of the above qualities. Like "Best use of Momo" or "Most Awesome Insult Directed at Haru's Goatee."

So I guess what I'm asking is if anyone else would find this entertaining?

I'd make award graphics! Possibly with animated glitter!

ETA: SUGGESTIONS FOR CATEGORIES WELCOME!

ETA2: Should these be awards for specific stories/drawings/etc or more like character superlatives? I had meant the former but if y'all prefer the latter that's worth knowing! I COULD DO BOTH?!
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So [livejournal.com profile] a_white_rain posted her top ten Disney songs, and I found that I couldn't actually resist that level of temptation.

I have listened to pretty much all of these soundtracks on repeat for days at a time, particularly when I was in my early teens and at the height of my love affair with Disney Musicals. As such, it was actually really hard for me to not just link to the soundrack versions as opposed to the clips from the films, because OH MAN there's all this TALKING and SOUND EFFECTS and weird editing MESSING UP THESE SONGS OF MY HEART.

I'll try to keep the commentary to a minimum because I actually do have a lot to do today AND that's a long, dark path to start down. So you know....Here are my top ten! )
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There are approximately ten kabillion other things I should be doing right now, not the least of which is replying to comments on my previous entry, but I'm trying to start a new scene (which I hate doing) and I'm drinking coke and tequila (which I love doing but is not helping anything) so you know....TIME FOR A SHIP MEME FROM [livejournal.com profile] sainfoin_fields I GUESS?!

Note that I had to stop following everything with "AND I AM SO ASHAMED" because it was getting repetative. So just assume that this entire meme is a black hole of dignity and go from there.

::My top ten of all time in something resembling chronological order::

Goliath/Elisa (Gargoyles)
The Phantom/Christine (Phantom of the Opera, I was one of those teenagers I'm sorry)
Odo/Kira (Deep Space Nine)
Mulan/Shang (MULAAAAAAAAAAAAAN)
Ellie/SPACE (Contact)
Remus/Sirius (Harry Potter, AND CANON AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED)
Saki/Madarame (Genshiken)
Mai/Zuko (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Jet/Zuko (...*sighs* This started out on the first list and then I had a SHAME ATTACK and had to move it to the second and then I felt I was being dishonest so I MOVED IT BACK AGAIN.)
Emma/William (EMMA, as in the manga, though that reminds me to add Darcy/Elizabeth...)
Fakir/Ahiru (Princess Tutu)
Ohno/Chigake (Antique Bakery!!!!!!!!!)
Akira/Hikaru (Hikaru no Go)
Barney/Robin (How I Met Your Mother)
John/Cameron (SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES D: D: D: D:)

Shut up there were totally ten you just counted wrong.

The wholly unsurprising confession continues behind the cut )
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I've been rewatching Hikaru no Go as a break/reward between other things for the past few weeks. I kept meaning to make mid-series posts, and half-composed various bits and pieces of them in my head. But in the end, I watched the show too quickly to have time to actually write anything out.

I just finished episode 75 about thirty seconds ago. I will definitely be making a full post about this show soon. But I just wanted to say, briefly, that having now experienced this story three times over in its entirety, both as a manga and as an anime?

Hikaru no Go is one of the most beautifully-crafted, deeply human and personally satisfying serial narratives that I have ever read or seen.

It isn't a show for everyone. But it is very much a show for me.
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- Finishing the model I was building in Google Sketchup (of the interior of a house I'll have to draw A MILLION TIMES in Chronin) which took me three days but will hopefully save me a lot of work.

- Nearing the finish line of the GIANT-ASS AU FANFIC that I've been writing/NOTPOSTING since September (endless piles of thanks and adoration to [livejournal.com profile] kittyjimjams, [livejournal.com profile] clio_jlh, [livejournal.com profile] boredgods and [livejournal.com profile] gulliblesnail for keeping me sane on that front, holy shit)

- Delicious hot dogs.

- Recovering from the stomachache that resulted from that last item.

- Having the sound of thunder and pouring rain outside my window.

- [livejournal.com profile] bookshop articulating some of the very seriously misogynistic bullshit going on in Watchmen.

- Rewatching Hikaru no Go (<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3)

- SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES HAVING A SEASON SERIES SOME KIND OF FINALE THAT WAS SO AWESOME I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.

- Videos in which large groups of people dance in public places )

- ETA: fuck it...TIME FOR SOME FERRIS BUELLER )
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
Another meme, apologies. But perhaps it'll be interesting, at least!

1. Reply to this post, and I will pick five of your icons.
2. Make a post (including the meme info) and talk about the icons I chose.
3. Other people can then comment to you and make their own posts.
4. This will create a never-ending cycle of icon glee.


Eleven icons and explanations behind the cut! )

So there you have it! Handy table code, created by [livejournal.com profile] bzzinglikeneon, is as such:

ali_wildgoose: (Default)
Guys, I won't lie. I really really hate April Fools' Day. 1) Because I'm the most gullible person on the planet and I always fall for EVERYTHING! 2) Because I am not a fan of pranks in general and mean-spirited ones specifically. 3) Because sometimes ACTUAL STUFF happens on the first of April, and I don't like spending 24+ hours running all information through my nonfunctional bullshit detector.

So I am just going to post a list of things that are TOTALLY TRUE. BECAUSE SOMEONE MUST TAKE A STAND.

  • I have a new cat! His name is Miles. (My other cat's name is Julien. Yeah. YEAH I WENT THERE.)
  • I am going to a convention on Long Island this weekend, and plan to spend the entirety of it writing fanfiction in the hotel lobby.
  • I just started on the last chapter of Volume One of Chronin, which means I may actually be done with it in...not a huge amount of time!
  • I spent most of this morning drawing Sokka and Zuko's swords. No really.
  • I spent most of the afternoon reading a series of excellent essays about Deep Space Nine
  • I am now drawing Japanese landscapes, using various 19th century prints of Tokaido post towns just east of Kyoto as reference.
  • I am about start my first attempt to watch Farscape.
  • I am way behind on replying to comments and should probably be doing that instead of writing this entry if I'm going to be faffing around on LJ anyway.
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I seem to be in a foxhole of freaked-out productivity at the moment, which I will hopefully dig myself out of over the course of the day. HOWEVER! I wanted to toss out a couple links in the meantime that y'all might find interesting.

As you may have noticed, I had some issues with BSG and the things it chose to be and the way it generally conducted itself. A blogger named Abigail Nussbaum has quite conveniently articulated her own thoughts on the series, nearly all of which line up with my own but are far more elegantly stated, and I'd recommend in particular a couple of her posts I read this morning: Doomed to Repeat It: Battlestar Galactica, Thoughts at the End and Out of Focus: Thoughts on Battlestar Galactica's Mutiny Arc. The latter concentrates on one story arc but, within that, talks about the larger problems with the way the writers handled questions of ethics and human emotion; the former uses the failures of the series in general and the finale specifically as a springboard for talking about what BSG's widespread acclaim might mean for SF as a genre and how it will be handled in the future.

They're both of moderate length and worth reading, but there's one quote in particular that I wanted to pull out, as it touches on an issue that I just...COULD NOT get over, and was a large part of what ultimately made the show unwatchable to me.

I'm reminded of Fred Clarke's monumental, years-in-the-making takedown of the first Left Behind novel, and his oft-repeated complaint that this book posits the disappearance of a third of the planet's population, including every single child, as nothing but a starting point for its plot, with almost no acknowledgment of the awfulness of this event or the scale of grief and rage that should follow it. Battlestar Galactica isn't quite as bad as that, but its depictions of the reactions to the destruction of humanity are on too small a scale. People miss their spouses, their children, their dogs. They're angry at the discomfort and danger they live in every day. There's no sense of the magnitude of what they've lost--not just family and friends but culture, history, art, society--nothing on the level of this passage, from just a few chapters into The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

Nelson's Column had gone! Nelson's Column had gone and there would be no outcry, because there was no one left to make an outcry. From now on Nelson's Column only existed in his mind. England only existed in his mind--his mind, stuck here in this dank, smelly steel-lined spaceship. A wave of claustrophobia closed in on him.

England no longer existed. He'd got that--somehow he'd got it. He tried again. America, he thought, had gone. He couldn't grasp it. He decided to start smaller again. New York was gone. No reaction. He'd never seriously believed it existed anyway. The dollar, he thought, has sunk for ever. Slight tremor there. Every Bogart movie has been wiped, he said to himself, and that gave him a nasty knock. McDonalds, he thought. There is no longer any such thing as a McDonald's hamburger.

He passed out. When he came round a second time he found he was sobbing for his mother.


This is a comedy. It's played for laughs, and yet Douglas Adams comes closer in this passage to what it means to lose your entire world than Battlestar Galactica has done in three and a half seasons of misery and torment.


...

Yeah.

Kinda yeah.

(Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sainfoin_fields for the link!)
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I don't really talk much about BSG here because I don't really watch it. I mean..I kind of do. I saw most of the first season and significant chunks of what followed. I have had the story related to me at length by various friends, and know all the major twists and turns and loves and hates and so on. There are reasons why I don't ACTUALLY watch the show which I will....not get into right now, at least not here in the main post. Because really, the show's over in less than two days and I'm not actually an asshole.

HOWEVER.

THE SHOW IS OVER IN LESS THAN TWO DAYS!!!!!!

So guys, seriously: TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN. What you hope will happen. What you hope WON'T happen. What could happen that would make you laugh forever and ever, tears of mingled joy and agony running down your cheeks. WHATEVER COMES TO MIND!

Personally I'm hoping we'll pull out from a shot of Kara standing on the ruined Brooklyn Bridge, farther and farther, until we reveal that it was all taking place inside a snowglobe in the hands of an autistic child.

But failing that, you know, I'm curious!

FAIR WARNING: there may be snark and nonsense and Unkind Things Said about Certain Show Creators in the comments, so don't look if that's not your thing, eh?

ETA: Seriously, I mean it.
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So I finished reading Hikaru no Go. And it continued to be really excellent, straight through to the end! In fact, in some ways I enjoyed the latter chapters more -- as Hikaru and the others got a little older and their world became more complicated, I found them and their relationships with each other more interesting. While I would have liked for the character arcs to be tied up a bit, I do feel like the series had a very tight thematic arc, and overall it seems to have done exactly what it set out to!

THAT SAID: I know perfectly well that LARGE NUMBERS of you folks are in (or have been in) the Hikago fandom, and I have some QUESTIONS. IMPORTANT QUESTIONS FOR YOU. )

Also: I made like 150 icons. Yeah, I know.
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So I seem to have been nominated for some crazy fanfiction award thing? I realize that I'm supposed to laugh this off dismissively, but I'll admit I'm at least a little pleased as I have never been nominated for a silly internet award before! FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING?

That said, I don't actually have any desire to harass y'all into voting for me as that is 1) ridiculous even by my standards and 2) completely pointless, as Stormbenders is nominated and dude, that fic has like 10,000 reviews, who am I kidding?

So uh...I dunno? GO VOTE FOR RAWLES AND FOXYSQUID?!?! Hahaha though they will probably kick my ass for saying that.

Now I want to start my own silly internet award. But what would it be for? Right now I am leaning toward "Best Song Lyric Quotation In Livejournal Subject Line" or "Most Artful Use Of Blingee.com"

EDIT: Okay so as soon as I posted this I actually WENT to Blingee.com and I personally think Mirai's never looked so FOINE... )

(I blame Wonkette)
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I wasn't going to post about the Oscars. But I keep sitting here Twittering about them and talking to Clio and wanting to use my my Slumdog Millionaire icon, SO I HAVE GIVEN IN.

OSCAR SPOILERS BEHIND THE CUT BITCHES )

ETA after watching more of the red carpet:

RYAN SEACREST: It seems like sudden, overwhelming fame!

RPATTZ: I still can't really get over it. I was sort of laughing about it in the car on the way here, it's completely ridiculous.

RYAN: So the producers call and say they want you to present at the Academy Awards, and you say...yes?

RPATTZ: I thought it was a joke but...I seem to be here?

YES, RPATTZ. YOU WERE, INDEED, AT THE OSCARS. FUNNY THAT.
ali_wildgoose: (Default)
So my friend [livejournal.com profile] tl__dr did a meme a few days ago wherein she gave various people five topics they should ramble on about in their own journals! Mine were a pleasing combo of serious and WHOLLY-UN-SERIOUS topics, and now that it's Saturday and I'm sitting in bed with some coffee, unwilling to rejoin the rest of the world just yet, I figured I'd sit down and blather on for a bit.

1. Jet/Zuko )

2. Anti-racism )

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles )

4. Newsies )

5. Wild geese! )

Wow that was a lot of text.

BLAME [livejournal.com profile] tl__dr. IT IS WHOLLY HER FAULT.

Profile

ali_wildgoose: (Default)
Go make some new disaster.

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