sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
First, previews:

Terminator: Genysis (or some other kind of misspelling). This. looks. awesome. On the one hand, how many movies can there be about trying to stop judgment day? On the other hand, who cares? I love this franchise and will definitely see this.

Avengers sequel: This looks pretty good. I may have made some squeaky noises at seeing these two trailers in a row. Marvel knows how to put a good trailer together, for sure.

The Lazarus Effect (Project?): a horror movie, thus I won't see it.

Ted 2. I was thinking, how did they manipulate Mark Wahlberg into making this film, but then I remembered that he has a bunch of shitty things in his past. This looks so, so, terrible.

Chappie. Another SF film that looks a bit like Short Circuit, but by the director of District 9. Probably will be violent. Hugh Jackman has weird hair in it.

spoilers maybe )

some links

Feb. 20th, 2015 11:22 am
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
A friend of mine had an article published in the Atlantic, exploring the "watchmaker" metaphor used by some people interested in intelligent design. A Failed Metaphor for Intelligent Design by Adam Shapiro. This information-packed article explores how the metaphor suited the British society from which it arose.

A really thoughtful, wonderful article by a woman who chose to have a double mastectomy (vs. a single). Contains some partially-nude photographs. shirts off, underwear on: play out, breast cancer and gender expectations by Melanie Testa.

Doing Science Sitting Down, and other thoughts about Universal Design by [twitter.com profile] jacquelyngill.
sasha_feather: Avatar Kyoshi from avatar: the last airbender cartoon (Lady avatar)
[personal profile] were_duck gave me the letter P.

Something I hate: Pants that don't fit right (more just a regular irritation these days). Politics in America might be more accurate.

Something I love: Pickles! Pop. Puppies. The word "precipice."

Somewhere I've been: Portland, Oregon

Somewhere I'd like to go: Panera bread for a nice bagel

Someone I know: I am somewhat acquainted with [personal profile] pennyplainknits.

A film I like: Pitch Black

A book I like: Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Feel free to ask for a letter if you'd like.
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
There's a new show on Comedy Central, "The Nightly Show", which I've been enjoying on Hulu. I'm overall impressed by their exploration of issues, and how they have a range of activists and comedians on the panels offering viewpoints. WELL. Last night (Monday), Marianne Kirby [twitter.com profile] therotund was on the show! She talked about fat acceptance and looked glamorous.
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
I will keep watching this, but I have mixed feelings about the pilot episode.

Read more... )

"Pride"

Jan. 15th, 2015 10:44 pm
sasha_feather: Moriary and his neck, Sherlock BBC (Moriarty)
I didn't do much today but it was a Twitter success day: re-tweeted by @Karnythia (29.8K followers) and Saladin Ahmed (24.1K Followers). If you care about that sort of thing. I used to have a locked twitter, so.

I watched the film "Pride" (2014) with some friends. I quite liked this film about a group of gay and lesbian activists in the UK who support striking miners. It's great to see a film about activists and politics; it reminded me a bit of "Milk" but was better because it focused on a group of people instead of one individual, and it focused on the politics and not on the drama of their relationships. It's a hopeful movie about the power of community activism.
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
Previews we saw today in front of "Big Hero 6":

Home. Looks like a Lilo and Stitch type movie, about an alien who doesn't fit in, and a black woman with a flying car; in other words awesome. We laughed a lot at the preview which is a good sign.

Minions. This looks cute and funny! The Minions themselves are unmarked gender, which is apparently "everyone is male," and that bothers me some. But the goofy, cute humor appeals.

Inside Out, from Pixar. This looks awful. The preview was sexist, annoying, and unfunny. Playing on base gender stereotypes and families being annoyed at each other is not fun.

Spongebob. I'll skip it.

A Lucas film offering with fairies; it looked dull.

--

Big Hero 6 was all-around wonderful. It was funny, beautiful, and moving. Highly recommended. There is an extra scene post-credits.
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
Sell Your Body to the Night by [archiveofourown.org profile] dsudis. Teen Wolf, Derek/Stiles, explicit, 121K words.

I've been thinking about this one for days since finishing it. Stiles becomes a runaway sex worker in San Francisco, living in poverty. I was utterly pulled in to Stile's emotional state, the way his world narrows down to the things he can cope with, and how he focuses in on his time with Derek because it is what makes life tolerable. This was a controlled, slow story that led the me expertly right where it wanted to go. Also there is a great water sports scene plus Laura Hale being awesome.

Some Legends are Told by elisera. Derek/Stiles/Lydia. AU. 23,921 words. explicit.

Lydia is in line to inherent the throne, and her country has been at war for many years. She takes charge and does things her own way. It is awesome. I enjoyed the way that the relationship between these three slowly develops. Also, it isn't only about their relationship-- they also have a war to fight and a country to run. The setting reminded me of some YA fantasy novels that I love (Kristen Cashore and Megan Whalen Turner books), and it was also great to read a story where Derek doesn't magically heal.

Tortoise

Jan. 6th, 2015 10:01 pm
sasha_feather: dog looking over a valley (dog and landscape)
What's Wrong with Me? by Meghan O'Rouke, in the New Yorker, 2013. A fantastic personal essay on having an autoimmune disease.

Lately I feel like while my peers and friends are making progress with their lives, I am barely maintaining mine. It's hard not to compare myself to other people and find myself coming up short. I'm permanently poor, my career is going nowhere, I'm chronically single, and I have no energy, etc.

It's comforting to be around animals, who are better at living in the moment. I'm meditating upon the tortoise, a cool animal that takes its time.

When I was about 18 or so, an adult friend of mine from 4-H and I were discussing shyness, and how she used to be shy. Her advice was, "give yourself ten years." It was good advice.

Give yourself time. Be the tortoise.
sasha_feather: neat looking overcoat (coat)
A while back [personal profile] longwhitecoats asked on Twitter about movies that influenced our queer identities.

I was thinking about this last night; and it's possible I've written about all or most of this before in 2009-ish. Queer identity is not static, but shifts over time. However, for me, my queer identity was most in focus when I was coming out, and the TV, movies, and other media I consumed mattered a lot.

Firefly-- specifically, Simon Tam. It's not just that the actor is gay, though that is part of it. It's that he's uncomfortable and feels unsafe, so he retreats into what he knows, which is medicine and manners. He acts differently around men vs. women-- women he treats as friends and confidants; with men there is something else going on-- the charge of attraction. He does like Kaylee, but I think what he feels is envy. Kaylee is comfortable in her skin, in touch with her desires, and free to act upon them. His opposite. (Also, it's nice when someone has a crush on you; but his supposed flirting is beyond awkward and into painful.)

About a Boy-- not a gay movie at all. But what I related to here was Will Freeman's solitude, the aspect that feelings and connections with other people are messy and scary, and it's better to avoid them and just be alone. The plot of the film involves Marcus and his mother disrupting Will's patterns and forcing Will to form connections, to be more honest and vulnerable, to have feelings. These might seem like small risks to some people but they are big risks for others, for those with anxiety for instance. For me, a big part of coming out was admitting that I am sensitive and anxious, and really dealing with having lots of feelings.

But I'm a Cheerleader-- So much love for this film. What strikes me now is Megan's concept of herself as a normal, good person, and how it's difficult for her mesh that concept with being gay. In many ways she's conformist, obedient, wants to please others; coming out means she really can't do so anymore. News flash: gay is normal; but it means you are going to be an outcast. I wish I'd seen this film sooner.

Queer as Folk-- I watched this really fast and doubt I'd enjoy it as much now; but at the time it was like an oasis in the desert. I was working a terrible, exhausting job, and I latched onto QaF and Buffy like my life depended on it. Gay people and sex and culture-- just, stuff I really hadn't had much exposure to, and needed to see. (Curiously, I later tried to watch the L word and hated it; idk.)

The Crying Game-- it's sad that this movie became a punch line to hundreds of jokes, because it's a beautiful film. I should watch it again; my memory of it is fuzzy but I remember having an understanding of what the characters were going through.

Top Five

Dec. 27th, 2014 01:11 am
sasha_feather: Simon Pegg from Hot Fuzz holding a gun looking tough (hot fuzz)
Top Five, written, directed by, and starring Chris Rock, rated R, 2014

This is a tightly written film about a comedian named Andre Allen, who reluctantly agrees to do an interview with Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson). They spend the day together talking as Allen does press for his new film and attempts to handle his reality-star fiancee (Gabrielle Union). There are lot of threads and characters, deftly handled, as the two wander around New York. They discuss addiction and recovery and Allen takes stock of his career, which is at a turning point.

This film has a lot going for it-- fun cameos, a lot of honesty from Chris Rock's character, and good pacing. However I cannot recommend it to my friends, and here's why.

There are two major sex scenes in the film. They are both disturbing and yet played for laughs.

Read more... )

Chris Rock seems to be savvy to a lot of issues, particularly involving race and snappy dialog, but he fails on this one.

Zuko I am disappoint!

Games

Dec. 14th, 2014 02:16 pm
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
Some games I've played recently

FTL (Faster than Light)

Love it. It's hard, but the difficulty keeps me playing.

The player controls a Federation ship staffed by humans and aliens, jumping between FTL beacons to explore the region and fight rebels and pirates. Hostile ships can destroy you, as can boarders and environmental hazards such as asteroid fields. You gather weapons, fuel, and scrap (money), buy things at stores, and upgrade the ship to do better. Progressing through the regions (levels), things get a bit harder until you reach level 8, where you have to fight the Rebel flagship. I played this game a bit obsessively until I finally beat the flagship, on easy setting, using the Engi cruiser ship. I like that there are different ships and settings-- this rewards multiple play-throughs. I like that the game is relatively easy to learn and has a science fiction setting. You can name your ship and staff anything you like.

Long Live the Queen

A visual Novel that I bought off steam at the recommendation of [profile] ribbonknight. You play a princess that is preparing to take over her Kingdom. You control what classes she takes, building skills that impact available decisions. You can also influence her mood by choosing activities. This is fun, low stress and has death achievements. It rewards multiple play-throughs because there are a lot of different things to unlock. I used some guides on Steam to figure out how to get a couple of achievements, because it was not intuitive to me. I also appreciate that the princess can have relationships with both men and women in this game.
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
[personal profile] boxofdelights asked: Is there a book you loved, as a kid, that you would still recommend to kids like you were?

Lots of them! I loved reading had access to lots of books. I'm focusing here on books I read in elementary school.

Some books are classic for a reason. Written in 1900, L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a childhood favorite of mine. I also read the sequels. I enjoyed the fanciful characters and illustrations and the wildly imaginative world. There were quite a few girl characters besides Dorothy. Ozma, for instance, starts out life as a boy but a spell is broken (or something) and she is revealed as princess Ozma.

Marguerite Henry has many rather sentimental books about horses; I especially loved Born to Trot, which again had wonderful illustrations. King of the Wind, Brighty of the Grand Canyon, and San Domingo: the Medicine Hat Stallion were also favorites.

I read many of Roald Dahl's books, which are fun and clever, and sometimes have a bit of a dark side. Matilda was a favorite of mine, and there are many many more to choose from.

I was just discussing with Jesse how I loved reading Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, about a boy who survives alone in Alaska after the small plane he's in crashes into a lake. It's the details of living in the wilderness the were great to read about. I read some other Gary Paulsen books but they didn't stick in my mind the way this one did.

I have not gone back and re-read most of these; but I have very fond memories of them; some of them I read repeatedly. I use to enjoy taking all my books off the shelf and re-arranging them.
sasha_feather: Avatar Kyoshi from avatar: the last airbender cartoon (Lady avatar)
Attempting to post more. Thinking about weight / size politics under the cut.

Read more... )
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
I don't want to schedule posts, but if you want to leave me prompts for the December posting meme, please do! I will do my best to answer them in what is left of December!
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
--I thought the moon was a planet.

--People seemed to pronounce wind chill as "windsheel", all blended together and soft, so I couldn't parse it and thought they were maybe saying "wind shield," even though that did not make sense.

--I thought that tourist meant someone who led tours (tour guide).

--I couldn't hear the difference between picture and pitcher.

--I didn't understand why "I" in the middle of a sentence should be capitalized.

--I didn't understand the subtle nuances that differentiated dinner and supper (this is still difficult because dinner means different things to different people).

What did you have a hard time understanding as a kid?
sasha_feather: Sherlock with his hand on glass (Sherlock glass)
I really liked The Hospital Suite by John Porcellino, a graphic memoir focusing on the author's experiences with illnesses. He has mysterious and severe gut pain, which turns out to be a tumor (non cancerous) requiring surgery. He loses a lot of weight and has trouble gaining it back. Eventually, though natural and alternative medicine, he starts to feel better physically, but then his old problems with anxiety and OCD act up, causing problems with his marriage. There are some intense descriptions in here including self-harm, thoughts of suicide, OCD symptoms, and food issues, which some readers will no doubt want to avoid or approach with caution.

I loved the no-nonsense honesty of this book. Porcellino doesn't have a lot of regard for his doctors, who misdiagnose him and don't show him much compassion. He furthers his studies with Buddhism and finds comfort in koans. Especially stark for me were panels depicting experiences of pain and mental illness, successfully using simple line drawings to show tension and pain.

What I continually admire from graphic memoirists is their ability to be so forthright about their experiences. Body, mind, soul, relationships are laid out on the page for all to see. I wonder if the simple cartoon format works as a distancing mechanism for the author.

Highly recommended.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k and I saw this together and we both really liked it.

Set at a Harvard stand in called Winchester, DWP focuses on 4 black students who are searching for their identities in a highly pressured environment. The houses that people live in feature prominently, as do the newspapers and satire publication. People's connections and activities have the inflated importance of the Ivy League environment. Race, class, and sexual orientation are addressed in a way that is natural to the characters and plot.

Samantha White, an activist and artist, runs for president of her house and wins unexpectedly. She becomes the de facto leader of the activist black students on campus, while struggling to find her own true voice and desires. She has a radio show called "Dear White People" and makes films.

Troy Fairbanks loses this election, to the disappointment of his father, the Dean of Students. Searching for something else to get involved in, he investigates the satirical publication Patische, (the not-Lampoon), which is run by the most entitled white boys on campus.

CoCo Conners wants to be a star and is willing to stir up trouble in order to catch the eye of a talent scout who is on campus. She is most definitely not an activist.

Lionel Higgins is a queer, geeky writer who doesn't fit in anywhere. He thinks about writing a story about Samantha, tries hanging out with the white journalism geeks, and ends up finding his place with the activists.

The villain of the piece is Kurt Fletcher, who heads up a fraternity and runs Pastiche. All of these people and threads come together when the fraternity throws a racist Halloween party.

There is a lot going on here but it's easy to follow, and easy to get drawn into these people's lives and dramas. They are realistic and sympathetic characters even when they sometimes make foolish choices. There are some very funny moments and some painful ones.

The experimentation and searching that people go through during college are familiar themes, and it's wonderful to see things like racism, homophobic bullying, etc, consciously explored through several characters' view points. Sure, everyone searches, but some people have more shit to deal with, and different people respond in different ways.

I hope this movie makes a ton of money and we get to see more like it.
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
Flat Out Bolli (her racing name) hails from Mobile, Alabama originally. She is a small black Greyhound with some white on her. She has a cowlick on her neck that makes it seem like she has a mohawk. She will be 3 in December. She is super chill and is already napping on the rug on the living room floor. She is interested in toys.

I plan on changing her name; I don't really like "Bolli" as a nickname. Taking name suggestions in comments!

Photo Album at Flickr

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