And Yet

25/3/16 00:27
taste_is_sweet: (My OTP has issues)
So, Empire Online posted this thing about how Captain America: Civil War is a love story but Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes are not boyfriends (Which I found out via this Tumblr post originally by YouNeedToStrut). For those of you who aren't into links, the Empire post by Phil De Semlyen talks about how director Joe Russo refers to Civil War as a brotherly love story, saying:

"These are two guys who grew up together, and so they have that same emotional connection to each other as brothers would, and even more so because Bucky was all Steve had growing up."

Now, I made my own post about that whole 'Brotherly' thing back in February, generally going on the assumption that the Russos were madly trying to avoid a mass homosexual freakout. And then Sebastian Stan said this:

"I think it’s easy and generalising [sic] it to say that they’re lovers, when you’re forgetting that one has a lot of guilt because he swore to be the protector of the other, the father figure or older brother so to speak, and then left him behind." Adds the actor: "I have no qualms with it but I think people like to see it much more as a love story than it actually is. It's brotherhood to me."

Here's the thing. He's not wrong, and the Tumblr post I mentioned above has some thoughtful discussions on that fact. I know for myself that even way back in my Star Trek: Enterprise fandom days, I would occasionally wonder if we slashers were devaluing male friendship by interpreting the male characters' chemistry as romantic so much of the time. And I'm certainly aware that friends can love each other platonically.

And yet, I'm just so freaking disappointed.

It doesn't matter to me that the Russos' Word of God is that Bucket and Steeb are only friends. I'm used to creators overlooking or blindly ignoring aspects of their own work, especially when it veers towards territory they're uncomfortable with. Given what I've seen of Disney properties, it seems reasonable that even if the Russos were all over the Stucky like Red on Johann Schmidt, the mouse paying them would never, ever go for it.

But this is Sebastian Stan, who has played gay characters before and is actually playing Steve's long-lost whatever now. And if the actual actor who made Bucky Barnes live for us says Bucky and Steve are bros, not lovers, then...Then it's true. Then my wanting to see their relationship as anything other than that feels wrong. Illegitimate. Not a reinterpretation of canon, but a desperate scrabbling for something that never existed.

It's weird. I shipped Danny Williams and Steve McGarrett even when Hawaii 5-0 kept throwing women at Steve like spaghetti at a wall. In Stargate: Atlantis, I happily wrote around the cannon Rodney McKay/Jennifer Keller relationship to keep him with John Sheppard. I love Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton shacking up even though they were both with other people in Age of Ultron (then again, I ignore a lot of things about Age of Ultron). But Sebastian Stan calls No Homo and suddenly I feel like a kid sneaking porn.

I wanted his approval, damn it. Not for me or my fic, because that's pathetic and creepy. But for the possibility that went into the fic. I wanted him to say, 'sure, that's cool,' and instead I got condemnation.

Maybe it is overly facile to see romance where there's only deep affection. Maybe we (female) writers are just picking out nonexistent subtext for all the same varied reasons we enjoy slash in general. Maybe we're just seeing what's not intended to be there, because we've been trained to (I urge you to read this brilliant essay on that subject). Maybe an actor's opinion about the character he plays shouldn't carry more weight than my own, but it feels heavier all the same.

This issue is that, as a writer who also writes fanfic, I'm always fighting the sense that my hobby is illicit; that I'm furtively dabbling where I don't belong. Allowing myself to do what I do is hard enough, without the knowledge that one of the actors who inspired it wouldn't accept my perception of his work. The fancy of tacit approval, no matter how spurious, is far more liberating than the certainty of its opposite. And honestly, I was expecting the guy who made his career playing troubled, gay sons to not reject the thought of a gay romance out of hand. Maybe seeing a romance in every love story is generalizing and easy, but that didn't mean he had to make it difficult.

The two seconds of the film wherein Bucky is happy
taste_is_sweet: (What?)
As you all know, I had a new fantasy book out in November. I posted about it here, with a lovely cover image and the book description. Please do take a moment to check it out if you haven't seen it yet, just because the rest of this will be more relevant if you do. And probably funnier. :) I'll wait.

So far, I've had some terrific reviews and ratings on Goodreads.com, and two excellent reviews on Amazon.com. And then I got these: Cut for length and O.o )
taste_is_sweet: (Run Bucky Run!)
Back in September, the YouTube Channel Honest Trailers did an 'honest trailer' for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I didn't know about it because I never really know about anything until it appears on my Tumblr dash (yes, I have a Tumblr account! Come be my friend!), but I saw the fake trailer and read the nifty Daily Dot article that went with it.



The nifty part is how the Russo bros are not only fans of Honest Trailers, but specifically made sure the movie wouldn't have any plot holes for Screen Junkies (who run the channel) to make fun of. Now, HT found a couple anyway, because that's what they do. But mostly, because of the Russo's diligence and paying attention to their own goddamn script, the parody actually praises the film.

For comparison, Age of Ultron didn't come off nearly so well, though the Screen Junkies were admittedly sympathetic with all the different threads Joss Whedon had been forced to pull on when he made it.

The thing is, though, why don't more producers and directors (and studios, for that matter, since they all ostensibly work together) do this? Making sure your film doesn't have enough plot holes to give a parody channel much to work with seems like a no-brainer. Hell, I try like hell to avoid plot holes whenever I write anything, and I'd love to be famous enough for my work to be parodied to thousands of viewers.

Well, okay, maybe not. But the point is that one of the big things I worry about with my own plots is what I call 'internal logic', which is just making sure that all the elements in the story make sense. I know that some films have that harder than others, especially when, say, setting up three different future plots at the same time the way AoU had to (Captain America: Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War, though I still could've done with less Hulk fighting Iron Man and more justification for his out of the blue relationship with Black Widow).

But that's Age of Ultron. I don't think, for example, that Green Lantern necessarily had that issue. But it's internal logic was so poor, it ended up with a lot of other issues.



A lot of other issues.
taste_is_sweet: (Captain America)
I seem to have a severe problem with bobbleheads.

You may think I'm kidding, Best-Beloveds, but it's true. Read on and weep with me.

My sad saga of sadness (and bobbles) starts but a few months ago, inspired by my dear friend [livejournal.com profile] brumeier's request for Captain America and Winter Soldier bobbleheads for her birthday.

Bru has a picture of the two star-crossed lovers long-lost friends here, along with Thor and Deadpool. Aren't they adorable with their little soulless black button eyes? Of course they are. So I decided to get my own.

They didn't have Steve and Bucky at my local Target, so I got a couple of mini-bobbles in 'blind boxes', which means you don't know who you're getting until you open the box. Like Schrodinger's Cat, only six bucks and plastic.

The first one I got was Thor, who'd been out of his blind box for about two seconds when my darling son grabbed him and twisted his head. To see what would happen, I think.

Well, mommy got pretty fucking peeved, that's what happened. Jav tried to fix Thor, but all the twisting in the world couldn't make him stop looking right.

Tis a bird! Tis a plane! Tis Iron Man!

Only somewhat daunted, I got Vision. He's very fuchsia, and was looking right straight out of the box. At least he's more subtle about it.

Fascinating

Of course, what I really wanted was Steve and Bucky, so I ordered them from Amazon. Steve came this evening. And came out of the box looking left. I tried to fix it, and this is what happened.

Bucky!

And this is all three of them together:

I wonder what it is over there

I love how Vision's more subtle about his gawking, whereas Thor doesn't care who knows what he's looking at. And Steve of course is just looking for Bucky.

I'm a little worried about getting the Bucky bobblehead at this point. On the other hand, he'll probably actually be looking straight ahead; he's always been the contrary one.
taste_is_sweet: (Vague)
I tell ya, O, best-beloveds, sometimes I think that Americans have a hell of a lot of trouble with the metric system.

Now, I readily admit that the basis for my hypothesis is pretty thin (compelling argument though it is, the loss of NASA's Mars Orbiter due to engineers using imperial units instead of metric happened way back in 1999). But when I come across conversion errors, they tend to be kind of mind-boggling.

Like the sci-fi book I read some years ago, where the narrator was describing that 18 degrees Celsius was cold enough for his breath to mist. That's around 64 Fahrenheit, which is definitely too warm for ice crystals. Unless the author actually meant 18 degrees kelvin, which is -255 C or -427 F, in which case, yes. Definitely breath misting. And a much shorter novel due to the protagonist instantly freezing to death.

Admittedly, that novel was also published in the 90s, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and you couldn't just type '18 degrees C in F' and get an instant answer. But in 2012, there was no excuse for messing up the metric versus imperial thing. And yet, the sci-fi novel I'm currently reading was first published in 2012, and messed it up within the first few pages.

Overall, I've been enjoying Gravitational Attraction by Angel Martinez immensely. Unlike loads of other M/M novels, there are very cool female characters in it, and the main character isn't white. And so far the plot's compelling with H/C in spades (which, you may remember, I love like kittens).

Pictured with his girlfriend Nicole Alexander, who is 5' 2" (1.57 m). She can literally climb him like a tree.
Shaq and girlfriend

But--and you knew there was one--the love interest is described at being "well over" two meters tall. Well over two meters, people. And yet, somehow, the crew of the space courier that rescues the guy can find pants long enough for him. Though really, as a reader that was the least of my concerns.

Here's the thing: Two meters is 6 feet, 7 inches. "Well over" that is getting into Shaquille O'Neal territory (He's 7' 1", which is 2.16 meters).

Unfortunately, so far the novel hasn't said how tall the protagonist is, but he's clearly of Japanese descent and described as slender and obviously smaller than his giant boyfriend. So I'm going to guess not much over 5' 10" or 1.78 m (As of 2004, the average height in Japan was 5' 6" or 1.59 meters, so I'm being generous).

This is close to what it would look like, as demonstrated by Peter Meyhew, who is 7' 2" (2.19 m) and Harrison Ford, who is a mere 6' 1" (1.85 m):

You gotta admit though, it is kind of adorable.
Peter Mayhew

I'm not sure if that discrepancy is what the author intended, especially if his or her slender, small protagonist is shorter than Harrison Ford. Which he probably is. Especially as I'm fairly certain the size difference wouldn't end at height, so to speak.

Because, if the apparently seven-foot tall love interest is, shall we say, proportionate everywhere (and there was specific mention made of him being lucky to find a pair of boots that fit. And you know what they say about men's foot sizes), then, well. I just hope he goes for a lot of preparation, that's all I'm saying. I mean, sure, Shaq is obviously not pulling a Vlad the Impaler on Nicole every time they knock boots (which they can't, because he's too tall). But, you know, babies come out of there; there's a certain amount of leeway.

Not quite so much with the menfolk, I'm thinking. And ass-babies only exist in fanfic.

So, either the author is going with the reverse meaning of 'size doesn't matter' (that's a myth, for all my SGA homies), or 'two meters' doesn't mean what he or she thinks it means. Either way, like a hapless NASA orbiter in the hands of Lockheed Martin engineers, there's going to be a lot of crashing and burning. Or at least burning.

Definitely a lot of burning.

taste_is_sweet: (The Best Part of Disney Land)
I love Disney World.

I have to admit I didn't think I would. After all it's expensive, generally crowded and full of, well, Disney characters, many of whom I don't actually appreciate. The rides all skew to small children and to be able to truly experience the parks you need to get there before it opens, which means getting up at the crack of dawn.

But wow, it was fun. My son had a blast and most of the rides are just amazing (except Peter Pan's Flight. Don't do that one), and almost everyone who works there really, really love their jobs and are about the nicest people on the planet. It definitely earns its rep as "The Happiest Place On Earth".

Except for one problem.

See, one of the reasons I was nearly as excited to go there as my kid was the Marvel stuff. After all, Disney's produced a few Marvel movies (you may have heard of them). So I was all set to enjoy Marvel-themed rides and buy Marvel tee-shirts and blush at the Disney "Cast Members" (as they're called) in superhero outfits wandering around.

And especially to get this bad boy:

Plastic, yet still menacing
WS action figure

This particular figure is only available at The Disney Store. No problem, I figured. I'm going to the mother-lode of Disney Stores. I'll snap one up the first day.

This did not happen.

Nope, no action figures at the parks, except some really lame ones of Captain America. No tee-shirts except two styles for guys and also really lame. No one in costume. No rides.

Undaunted (well, not entirely daunted) I set out to find out what the hell was going on. I asked at the park stores; I went to 'Downtown Disney', which is an outdoor mall entirely devoted to Disney merchandise; I asked cast members at the rides. And this, after literally days of primary research, is what I finally found out:

1) The Disney Store is owned by a separate company to the stores at the parks. You can only find them in malls, and they carry different merchandise. Like Marvel Select action figures.

2) Universal Studios Orlando also have rights to Marvel characters, rights that they bought years before Disney thought it might be cool. Universal's Islands of Adventure has a Marvel section with rides featuring Storm, Spiderman, The Hulk and Doctor Doom. They have employees wandering around in X-Men costumes circa 1996. They have loads of Marvel action figures, including the Marvel Select that you can otherwise only find at the Disney Store.

3) There are Marvel things at Disney Land in California, but Universal very, very cleverly bought the exclusive rights to have Marvel stuff in their Florida theme parks. That's why Disney has to more-or-less pretend that their super successful films don't exist.

As you can imagine, Disney is working to change this. As I'm imagining, Universal is probably asking for Walt Disney's soul in exchange. I can't wait to see how the deal goes down.

And to get to the Disney Store and finally get my damn action figure.

taste_is_sweet: (Felicity)
You guys know what I'm talking about--that episode where normally competent, logical and sane characters lose their collective minds in order for a plot to happen. My personal favorite (and by 'favorite' I mean 'most hated') is the Stargate: Atlantis season two episode The Long Goodbye, where the same people who were nearly blown up by a starship commander with an alien entity in his head the episode before, decide to let alien entities into the heads of the military commander and leader of the entire expedition. Naturally this goes just as badly as you'd expect. Hyjinks ensue.
And this kiss, which made all the McKay/Sheppard shippers cry.
Kiss


There were even worse violations of logic and sense that season (::cough, Michael, ::cough::), but I know SGA is far from the only series of any genre which has given the characters collective brain damage when convenient. A more recent favorite of mine is another second season episode (and is there something about year two?) of Arrow, where despite constant and deadly hijackings, aid trucks continue to be sent into a destroyed and lawless part of the city with no protection and their logos clear on the vehicle sides.

If only we could do something about that!
Capture

But nowhere, nowhere, is this example of joint idiocy more prevalent than in any plot requiring a normally intelligent character to somehow not recognize another character in a flimsy disguise.

Arrow, of course, is a perfect example of this. And while I know that the whole show would collapse if Officer Quentin Lance ever noticed how very similar Arrow's height, breadth and the lower half of his face was to Oliver Queen, or if Laurel Lance ever recognized the enormous cleft in The Canary's chin as belonging to her sister, the absolute impossibility of this lack of recognition is both hilarious and irritating as hell.

I mean, we're not talking Batman-esque cowls here. We're talking teeny little eye masks with a wig and/or a hood. As an example, I made a hero of my own:

My husband by day...
Dom as is

And as a badass superhero! Let's call him, 'The Engineer'.
Dom the superhero


I know that none of you know him as well as I do, but seriously. How long would it take you to recognize him after speaking to him face-to-face day after day for several minutes at a time? And his nifty steampunk goggles actually make his eyes harder to see than the characters' eyes in the show. Quentin is a cop, for Pete's sake. His daughter Laurel is a hotshot lawyer. Presumably they'd be good at noticing stuff, like how similar those two vigilantes are to people they've known for decades.

"I can't help but feel I'm missing something."
Paul Blackthorne

Or if that's too much to ask, what about the fact that The Arrow and The Canary only appeared shortly after Oliver Queen and Sarah Lance returned from the dead?

And yet, the selective idiot ball keeps getting passed around. Maybe one day, Starling City's finest (former) Detective will actually detect that that Arrow guy is awfully familiar...

And hopefully he'll deal with it better than these guys.

taste_is_sweet: (Gilded)
I took the kid to watch Thor: The Dark World on the weekend. I can say without any spoilers whatsoever that it is a gripping, exciting and surprisingly dramatic movie that, IMHO, didn't deserve the bad rap it's been getting from critics. I loved it.

One of the many things I loved about the movie at the time was how Thor (i.e., Mr. Chris Hemsworth the beautiful) spent a short scene without a shirt, giving the audience a long, pleasant eyeful of the results of his extensive workout regimen.

Here is a picture for your edification, because I'm nothing if not thorough when it comes to research. (I know the picture is from his first movie, but the only differences are that in Thor 2 he's wetter and wearing different pants.)
You're welcome.
 photo Thorshirtless.jpg

As I said, I loved it, though that love was as much from the knowledge that it was complete and utter fanservice as it was from getting to see the dimples above the man's ass. (And it was even acknowledged as fanservice, in case you were wondering--poor Hemsworth struggles through discussing it here.)

I've posted about fanservice for women (and gay men) before, and my feeling is still that it's about damn time we females and non-het males get some of our own back too.

Mostly, anyway.

The thing is, when I was enthusing about the movie to my sister [livejournal.com profile] squeakyoflight that evening, she told me that she didn't like that scene precisely because it was fanservice. Objectifying men as well as women is still objectification, she said. And no one deserves to be treated like an object.

At the time, my argument was that since North American (and world, really) culture is patriarchal, that it's impossible to objectify men the same way we objectify women. We were seeing Thor's power there, as much as just seeing his body. But I've been thinking about it since then, and now I'm no longer so sure.

There was a great deal of completely reasonable uproar about the gratuitous scene showing Alice Eve in her underwear in Star Trek: Into Darkness, and in that scene Dr. Marcus's near-nudity is at least barely (ha! 'Bare'-ly) justifiable (she was changing into a special suit for diffusing a bomb). Hemsworth's scene in TtDW is not. It exists for no better reason than for the audience to admire him.

Fascinatingly, in the video interview I liked to above, Hemsworth says that the idea for the shirtless scene came from Joss Whedon, who said the movie needed a little 'romance' (which is I guess what they call fanservice in Hollywood). Whedon, of course, probably knows something about the male gaze, given his reputation of being one of the only Hollywood feminists out there. (Though admittedly your mileage may vary on the 'feminist' part.)

So on the one hand: thank you, Mr. Whedon, for recognizing that not every member of the audience for a superhero movie is going to be a straight male. On the other hand: really? Is this what you're advocating now, purposely setting aside screen time just for ogling? And why is this supposed to be okay?

It's not okay. It's definitely pretty and certainly amusing, but much as I've joked about it and I admit I enjoy it; even I know it's really not okay.

But as long as it's continuing, I'll still be happy that the men are getting semi-naked too. Maybe two wrongs don't make a right, but they do make things a little more fair.

(Movie still is from The Everett Collection.)

taste_is_sweet: (What?)
Tell me, my dear ones, what would you do if, on Halloween, your child came home with this note in her treat bag?

All that yummy fat shaming!
 photo Letteredited.jpg

Oh yes, that is real. It's also everywhere on the internet, though to check its legitimcacy I found it here at USA Today and here at Global News in Canada.

The woman, who probably regrets sending the letter to her local radio station, apparently sees it as her duty to solve the problem of childhood obesity by refusing to give the lil' chunky monkeys candy one night a year. Not only that, but by informing the obviously ignorant parents that their child is too fat to deserve candy. On Halloween.

You can probably tell what I think about this, but the first thing I thought when I saw this wasn't 'that's mean', but 'that's stupid'. How can this woman purport to know which child is 'moderately obese'? And what, exactly, is her criteria? Unlike adults, determining the BMI range for children is far more complicated. Worse, it's not even terribly accurate. If you can't tell if a child is at a healthy weight by measuring, how can you tell just by looking? And who or what gave her the right anyway?

I'm not sure how she thinks this is going to help. First of all, it's pretty damn likely that the parents already know. Second, telling a kid that they're too fat for candy isn't motivating, it's humiliating. And--which I'm sure comes as a big surprise to absolutely no one--fat shaming doesn't work. And it certainly won't work if some person the child likely doesn't even know shoves a note into their treat bag.

As other people said in comments on the sites carrying this story: if you don't want to contribute to childhood obesity, then don't give candy. Give stickers, or raisins, or pencils. Or turn off the porch light and don't give anything at all.

Personally, I'd much rather be known as the stingy neighbor who's never home on Halloween than the bitch who humiliated someone else's child. Though she might end up known as the house everybody toiletpapers or eggs. After all, it takes a village to do some serious pranking.

taste_is_sweet: (Vague)
Sleepy Hollow, Ladies and Gentlemen: a recent debut on the pit of voles Fox network with the winning premise that mixes The X-Files with Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and CSI. Ichabod Crane, instead of being a dick, is a warrior-scholar who was BFFs with George Washington, as well as resurrected over 200 years after he croaked while putting the 'Headless' in 'Headless Horseman'. Two requisitely beautiful heroes banter and angst a lot and together they solve crime.

But, there is one major aspect of it (leaving aside the general crazyness) that bugs the hell out of me, and I'm not the only one.
He's trying to breathe, not getting a blow job.
 photo normal_sleepyhollow0101-0105.jpg

Ichabod never changes his clothes. The same clothes he was buried in.


"The mildew and rot remind me of happier times."
 photo normal_sh103-0300.jpg

Now, the show's writers and producers are obviously aware of this. Entertainment Weekly even quotes the Executive Producer as saying that "It’s like his security blanket... He can never feel comfortable in our world. The minute he gets comfortable, the show is over." (Because jeans and a fresh shirt = instant acclimatization.)

On the costume-design blog Hello, Tailor, the blogger says:

The show needs to keep him in the 18th century costume for more than a couple of episodes, purely to remind the audience that he’s from the 18th century. It’s a visual cue.

Which makes me glad the SH producers didn't also make The Avengers.




Who the hell are these guys?
 photo theavengershq-5148.jpg

Do I buy that? Well, sort-of. I mean, yeah: anyone newly tuning-in will need a bigger clue that Ichabod pulled a Captain America Lazarus than a ponytail and sexy accent. But how many people will start watching the show without knowing what it's about? And sure, while I can buy both that Ichabod is used to wearing the same stuff for weeks on end as well as that he's clinging to the security of his outfit, this is an outfit that he was buried in. In an underground cave, which he then dug himself out of after 200 years. Now, I don't know about you, but I might forgo a bit of familiarity to not smell like a swamp.

It's gotten to the point where Ichabod's outfit is distracting attention from the plot, and I can only imagine how much Lieutenant Abby Mills wants to stand downwind of him. Maybe in a future episode the fungus doubtlessly growing behind his lapels will help repel a demon. Because that outfit's gotta be repelling everyone else.

( All screencaps from Screencapped.Net.)

taste_is_sweet: (Name that poultry)
Tuesday night I watched Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with my darling husband. The episode started with a Big Climatic Fight Scene, only to immediately switch to Coulson and Skye discussing job perks over the subtitle of "19 Hours Earlier".

I hate that trope, but what made me really notice it in MAoS was that I'd already seen the time-jump twice already. The week before, DH and I had watched a CSI ep that started with a funeral, then jumped back two days to show us who died. And the week before that, the season premier of Revolution started with the main characters in the midst of personal vendettas, before jumping back six months to show where they'd been.

(I don't actually watch CSI and Revolution, but my husband does and I like staying in the living room in the evenings. Yes, that was important to me to mention.)

And for some reason, this has been a thing for years. Hell, "Sunday" (otherwise known as The SGA Episode That Launched a Thousand Fix-its) used the time-jumping trope, though IIRC it was more original because it jumped back by increments, rather than just hauling ass to the very beginning.

I also remember a show called Fast Lane from 2002, which in no way capitalized on the Fast and Furious movies, but did use the "____ hours earlier" trope for every single show.

These completely logical poses are indicative of a typical episode.
 photo Fastlane.jpg

I didn't mind the jumping in Fastlane because it was their thing, like putting pretty boys in ridiculous circumstances. But I really, really mind it everywhere else. It reminds me a lot of some of the SGA fanfic back in the day, where it would start with Team Sheppard being chased by the requisite villagers with torches and pitchforks... And then the next scene would be how they got to that point. Which was inevitably boring and, given the nature of the show, completely unnecessary.

I don't like the back jumping because it feels cheap and lazy: Trying to hook the audience with the most exciting part first, in the assumption that they'll be willing to find out how the heroes got there. It seems to me that, if you only have one really good part in your story, the answer is to make the rest good too--not blow your wad and only then go for the foreplay.

Or, in the case of MAoS, blow something up and then make us go back 19 hours to find out why. Just begin at the beginning, guys; we'll get to the end if you take us with you.

taste_is_sweet: (Rodney Work)
Hey, Flisties! I've just donated to Global Giving for the Oklahoma tornado victims, but I was hoping I could participate in an auction as well. Do you know if there will be or is a community like [livejournal.com profile] help_japan for Oklahoma? I tried to find one yesterday but was unsuccessful, though it was probably too early.

Thank you!
taste_is_sweet: (Vague)
I had the lovely experience of being able to share Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy with my son last week. I hadn't watched any of the movies since The Return of the King came out in 2003 (It's been ten years? Really? Wow), so I had almost as much fun as the Jav reacquainting myself with the story and the beautiful actors production design.
Beautiful production design (Actor Karl Urban)

But--and there always is one--watching the movies reminded me of some of the things that had confused me the first time.

I still think the eagles should have given Frodo a lift to Mordor. Just saying. )

taste_is_sweet: (Name that poultry)
This week's Entertainment Weekly (it's my husband's subscription, I swear!) had an article about the Wizard of Oz movie prequel, which I didn't really care about but read part of anyway because procrastination is my friend I was bored. I didn't actually finish the article (TL;Not going to watch the movie), but I did come across something that made me go O_O.

According to the article (which I can't link to, so you'll have to take my word for it), even though it was legal for Disney to create Oz the Great and Powerful, because the original novel by L. Frank Baum was published in 1900 and therefore is in the public domain, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer owns the copyright for the 1939 The Wizard of Oz film based on the book and apparently sent lawyers to the prequel movie set to make sure that Disney didn't actually copy anything from the film. Okay, sure. Not unreasonable. Except that one of the things MGM's lawyers wanted to make certain Disney didn't copy was the shade of green of the Wicked Witch's skin. [Emphasis mine because WTF?]

 photo Goodgreenandbadgreen.jpg

Roughly four and a half shades darker than Kermit.


That particular fact was so WTF-ish for me that I've been thinking about it for several days. And while yes, I can sort of vaguely understand the concept behind why MGM would worry about something like that, what I still can't understand is the point.

Follow the legal shade of yellow brick road )
taste_is_sweet: (Brave Little Toaster)
Yes, oh best beloveds, I am now on Twitter. You can find me there either via Aundrea Singer or Taste_is_Sweet. I haven't tweeted anything yet in terror of it disappearing into the ether with a deafening and humiliating silence. Because I'm assuming that, like LJ, if you follow someone you can read their tweets, but no one will read your tweets unless they follow you, right?

I feel like the new kid in the high school cafeteria, here. Does anyone want to be my twitter friend? I promise I don't pick my nose in public and I bathe regularly.
taste_is_sweet: (But some of us are looking at the stars)
Does The Soul Exist? Evidence Says ‘Yes’ -- Psychology Today

Does The Soul Exist? Evidence Says ‘Yes’

Actually, despite the author Dr. Robert Lanza's eloquent enthusiasm, all I really got from this article is that because particles move like a wave when they're not observed but move like particles when they are, somehow means that we have a soul because reality is only an extension of our own perception.

I say 'somehow' because I don't get it. Why would the one thing (our perception = universe) mean the other (our perception = universe = soul)? I readily admit that I often miss the key points in articles like this (and stories; and movies; my brain just doesn't seem to work as required), but this one just flew past me like a ghost on the way to the afterlife. ::rimshot::

So, anyone else want to take a stab at it an explain it to me? I also realize that the article is almost a year old now, which isn't too bad in terms of scientific papers (which I also know it's not), but might still make it figuratively old news as well as literally. But, it's still interesting. At least as far as I can understand it, which sadly isn't very.

Don't get me wrong--I would love for there to be scientific evidence of a soul. But I don't think this offers any, alas.
taste_is_sweet: (Really You Can)
For some reason, back around 2006 I decided to write everything in present tense. Why, brain? Why? This is the second WIP I've had to put into past tense before I could continue it. My present tense sounds so pretentious sophomoric silly strange now. I just can't get into it. Weird.
taste_is_sweet: (Carry This Weight)
Thank you, Lego, for really, really missing the point.

Lego Introduces Ladyfigs, Yes, That's Minifigs For Girls | The Mary Sue

The thing is, and oddly what no one seems to get, is that if you actually marketed the regular Lego toys to girls as well as boys, girls would--drumroll, please--play with it too! But when they're inundated with advertisements on the Cartoon Network that only ever have boys playing with regular Lego, why should they feel it's also for them? I remember how weird I felt as a child, wanting something like a Star Wars toy and having the intrinsic knowledge that I wasn't 'allowed' to have it, because it wasn't marketed to me.

Seriously, though, if this trend of gender segregation continues, I figure this is what the future will look like:

Mother: Doctor! Doctor! Please help me! It's my son...he...::chokes:: He likes the color pink!

Doctor: Oh, this is bad. This is very, very bad.

Mother: What do I do? I've tried to tell him boys can only wear navy blue, black and dark green, but he won't listen! He stole his father's salmon dress shirt and wore it to school! It looked like a dress! ::sobs::

Doctor: Get a hold of yourself, woman! Do you think you're the only person with these kind of problems? I have a woman back there whose daughter only wants to wear pants! Without rhinestones or piping! How do you think she feels?

Mother: ::sobs::

Doctor: Nurse! I have another patient here, presenting the same symptoms as the last one! Bring me a lobotomy kit and DVDs for the Disney Channel! Stat! And this time make sure they're the right colors, you dunderhead! The pink lobotomy kit is for the girl!
taste_is_sweet: (What?)
As many of you may remember, such is the social whirlwind that is my life that I'm occasionally plagued with messages from people I've never heard of. This hasn't happened via my phone for awhile (the email doppelganger in New York is having quite the academic career however, considering how many university mailing lists she seems to have signed me up for), but I was reminded of how particularly dumb some of the local young men can be with this morning's thankfully brief conversation:

::Phone rings; I pick up::

Me: Hello? ::Silence:: Hello?

Random guy who thinks he knows me: You motherfucker! (He sounded pretty happy, so maybe that's just how he greets his really good friends.)

Me: You have the wrong number, dude!

Random guy who thinks he knows me: ::Hangs up::

I can only hope that he hung up so quickly out of deep embarrassment that he was so rude to a total stranger, but an apology would have been nice. At least my son didn't pick up the phone, especially as he was expecting a call about a play date.

What is it with College Station guys? This is the second time that a male with my city's area code has made an ass of himself by calling me by accident (the previous young man refused to believe that I wasn't his girlfriend), then not even being nice enough to apologize before they hung up.

I suppose I could always call this guy back and demand an apology; I do have his number. Heh.
taste_is_sweet: (Vague)
What the hell is it with me and commas? Seriously, it's like I'm personally responsible for the health and well-being of the damn things. If I'm not paying attention I start spraying them all over whatever I'm writing with very little logic and almost no sense that I can think of. Seriously, at least half the time I don't even put them where I'd actually take a breath if I was reading the sentence out loud. And yet, there they are.

I thought I'd gotten over this little...problem about three years or so ago around the same time I stopped (mostly) repeating stuff for emphasis. But I just re-read something that I posted just a few months ago, and there they are again: Commas. Too many of them. Either I somehow didn't think they needed removal the first time around, or they bred in my WIP folder while I wasn't looking. Maybe I need the digital equivalent of AMDRO.

Or maybe, just maybe, I need to pay more attention, when I write.

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