Tue, Jun. 3rd, 2014, 01:25 am || FYI...

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Flight Rising registration opening in about four hours! Friend me if you join (and let me know if you want a dragon)! I'm oyceter (lair id 35180) there as well, and a lot of us are also on [community profile] flight_rising as well.

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Fri, May. 30th, 2014, 08:23 pm || Wiscon 39 prep: non-Western fannish things panel ideas

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[personal profile] inkstone was brainstorming non-Western media panel ideas for Wiscon 39, and so many people got into the conversation that I was using 3/4 of my allotted characters just to @ them! Ergo, post.

(Also, this makes me so happy!! I am going to sound like such an old fogey, but *shakes cane* I remember the days when we didn't have any anime/manga programming at all and [personal profile] coffeeandink and I had to organize "spontaneous" programming so we could talk about it!

(I was so sad to see I missed panels on Utena and fairy tales in shoujo and was kicking myself for somehow skipping those panels until I realized that was one of the years I didn't make it to Wiscon.

(It has also been really nice seeing younger people in the audience in the past few years; hopefully I will be more encouraging next year and get them on panels too. My goal: having non-Western fannish panels that are not entirely populated by the same six people, myself included, even though I love you all a ton and love hearing what you guys say.)

Anyway, my goal this year is to organize a book club for F. Compo + Hourou Musuko (and/or other works with trans protagonists? Specifically, canonically trans, as opposed to genderbending or crossdressing.), esp. since [personal profile] jiawen has been trying to get a trans people in anime/manga panel for forever. That way even if it doesn't make the cut due to lack of panelists and/or audience members, we can do spontaneous programming. And I really like panels that focus very specifically on one or two works.

Also, AMVs in playlists for the vid party that aren't specifically being "The AMV Playlist"!

Other ideas I vaguely remember from Twitter:
- Bollywood
- Magical girls (and Sailor Moon Crystal!)
- Women in shounen
- AMVs and vids
- Moe
- POC in SFnal music (+ weird over-the-top fantasy CPop music videos?)

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Mon, May. 26th, 2014, 11:45 pm || Magical girls vid playlist

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This is my playlist for the Wiscon 38 vid party. Er, and for anyone who was there, I embarrassingly sent the wrong link to the organizers, so this includes the actual link to the Utena vid I was planning on showing...

Next year: more AMV playlists, including playlists that just include AMVs as part of a theme!

General warnings: I think AMVs tend to do much more visual overlays and faster cutting than media vids in general, so I hope I managed to give enough notice re: flashing lights and strobe effects, but not sure! Also, I worry a bit that I underwarned for the vid show because I have a hard time figuring out the line between action movie violence and disturbing violence so I am adding some just in case.

Magical Girls: Sparkles and Subversion
(or: morally ambiguous dark-haired girls and the pink-haired girls who love them)

  1. Hika Yagami - Magical Girls Take a Stand! (multifandom)
    no warnings
    (stream/download | subtitles)

  2. Moezy-chan - Red Star (Sailor Moon)
    Physical warnings: flashing lights and strobe effects
    Psychological warnings: horror imagery
    (stream | subtitles)

  3. WUNETTI Productions - The Utena Symphony, Part II: Rosa Infinita (Shoujo Kakumei Utena)
    Physical warnings: flashing lights and strobe effects
    (stream/download | subtitles)

  4. Chiikaboom - Devil's Game 2.0 (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
    Physical warnings: flashing lights and strobe effects
    Psychological warnings: horror imagery (also I find this series creepy like whoa and have a hard time with scenes in the vid, but I don't know if it's as creepy if you haven't seen the series? Comments?)
    (download | subtitles)

  5. Tidirium Studios - Hold Me Now (Princess Tutu)
    Physical warnings: flashing lights and strobe effects
    (stream/download | subtitles)

Random commentaryCollapse )

Anyway, I hope people enjoyed, and if anyone wants me to flail at them re: the various series and why you should watch them, I am more than happy to do so! (Except Madoka. Madoka continues to terrify me.)

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Thu, May. 22nd, 2014, 07:42 pm

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Hi! I have not been posting about Wiscon because I have been too busy with Wiscon prep (6 vids subtitled, whoo!).

Anyway, will be arriving some time on Friday, leaving at some time on Monday. Hugs ok as long as it's not randomly from behind, she/her, and I forgot to print my icon for my badge, oh well. Also, I am crap at checking anything outside of email though I will try my best to keep an eye on Twitter messages.

(And will definitely be at the vid party, whenever that is! Come by! See my magical girls AMV playlist!)

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Thu, May. 15th, 2014, 04:17 pm || Subtitle help?

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Would anyone be up for helping me subtitle the AMVs for my Wiscon playlist? Trying to get them in by tomorrow...

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Tue, May. 6th, 2014, 12:22 am || Hwang Jin-Yi, ep. 01-09

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This is a 2006 drama about the life of Hwang Jin-Yi, a Joseon period gisaeng who was famous for her poetry, art, music, and dancing. We begin with wee!Jin-Yi, who has been raised in a Buddhist monastery, as her mother, a gisaeng herself, wanted Jin-Yi to be able to escape gisaeng life. Unfortunately for the mother, Jin-Yi ends up watching the performance of a gisaeng troupe and immediately deciding that that is what she wants to do.

So far there are:

  • Dance training sequences involving being hung upside down by the foot

  • Steadfast friends who matchmake

  • A demanding taskmistress who feels that suffering pain will only make your art greater!!!, and whatever, what is life being married on a farm when you could be MARRIED TO YOUR ART?!

  • A rival troupe, lead of course by the old rival of Jin-Yi's troupe leader (aforementioned demanding taskmistress), who is determined that she will BEAT HER FINALLY! And if she can't do it, she will get in the way of anyone else who tries to!

  • A rivalry between the most promising girl of the rival troupe and Jin-Yi, in which the rival girl is horrified to hear that Jin-Yi is too sick for a competition because she wants to beat her fair and square as an accurate measure of their talent!!

  • Societally forbidden love with a yangban boy

  • The tragedies of gisaeng life and having to sleep with whatever man has enough to purchase you for the night

  • And I can't even describe how much costume porn

There is so much costume porn I would probably watch this solely for the costume and dance scenes even if the rest of it weren't good, but the rest of it is very good!

Jin-Yi herself is awesome and as stoic as only Ha Ji-Won can be and firmly within the shounen sports manga school of "I must perfect all the dance by any means necessary!" and I'm also enjoying how they're slowly fleshing out some of the other gisaeng as well.

SpoilersCollapse )

And on a totally random note, I am amused that a ton of stuff in this drama and in Arang (and possibly most sageuk?) is filmed at the 한국민속촌 and that it's always attributed as such!

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Wed, Apr. 30th, 2014, 12:19 am || Daily happiness

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Oops, apparently I wrote yesterday's and then forgot to post!

1. Wow, it got really warm. That part is annoying because my apartment gets so hot in the evening, but it's really nice to be able to wear skirts without tights or leggings again! And sandals! Also, sun, yay.

2. Yeesssss, I got my Shadow dragon that will soon be a spiral! And then I will only have one dragon left to go until I have a collection of elemental spirals.

3. Child of Light comes out tomorrow! And found a deal on Lifehacker that says if you preorder on Amazon, you get and extra $5 of game credit.

And for today:

1. Pearl milk tea on a hot day is so nice!

2. CB brought over the TV cabinet he got from someone in his company, and they ended up giving it to us for free! He just spent a ton of time (and lots of swearing and sweating and banging) putting it together, and now everything looks organized and beautiful AND the cats can't get to the wires.


3. Going to see a really nice apartment a block from BART that was also the size of my bedroom makes me feel like my apartment is super big right now.

4. Cold blueberry-currant juice. Also cold water. And cold ginger beer.

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Fri, Apr. 11th, 2014, 12:43 am || Flight Rising!

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Flight Rising, aka that dragon game I keep talking about, is opening registration for April 14!

I haven't been playing it as much lately, but I am having fun collecting assorted pretty dragons and scavenging and opening treasure chests. I'm Oyceter there as well, and this is my lair (id: 35180).

Also, a few of us show off our dragons and complain about site downtime (it's getting better!) at [community profile] flight_rising.

I found tips and tricks for beginners, tips and tricks for beginners 2, and an unofficial FAQ really helpful.

Lemme know if you have questions! Also if anyone joins, I have some dragons if you want ^_^.

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Thu, Apr. 3rd, 2014, 11:04 pm || Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier

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Initial random thoughts! (With spoilers for the comics arcs as well.)

SpoilersCollapse )

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Tue, Mar. 18th, 2014, 12:18 pm || The Americans, 1x01-1x04

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Philip and Elizabeth Jennings look like your normal suburban couple, complete with two kids and a sedan, but they're actually Russian spies. Things get complicated when a counterintelligence FBI agent moves in across the street, especially since Cold War tensions are only getting worse.

So I love spy stuff, but there's a serious dearth of awesome female spies who don't play second fiddle to their male counterparts. I was hoping this series would be an exception, since Keri Russell is billed as the lead, but so far, it doesn't look very promising. I love her character, who is ruthless, incredibly devoted to her mission, and pretty badass, but the narrative keeps undercutting her and giving more weight to her husband and to Agent Beeman. Boo.

It does have less gratuitous female nudity than Game of Thrones (I realize this is a low bar), but we're introduced to Elizabeth when she's seducing someone for spy purposes, and she's repeatedly put in more sexualized situations than her husband is.

On the plus side, there are multiple female characters, and I'm pretty sure the show passes the Bechdel test in each episode.

Spoilers (TW for rape and dubiously consensual situations)Collapse )

So. I do like the spy stuff and all the 1980s stuff, but the gender and nationality stuff is too off-putting for me right now. Anyone knows if it gets better in this regard?

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Sat, Feb. 22nd, 2014, 01:18 am || Sochi 2014: Women's free skate

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SpoilersCollapse )

And now I shall look forward to the exhibition programs.

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Fri, Feb. 21st, 2014, 10:49 am || PSA

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Hey people who have been reading my Anuja Chauhan posts, there is a boxed set available on Con or Bust!

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Fri, Feb. 21st, 2014, 09:26 am || Sochi 2014: Women's short program

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Haven't watched the free skate yet! Please do not spoil me!

Women's short programCollapse )

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Wed, Feb. 19th, 2014, 04:34 pm || Chauhan, Anuja - Those Pricey Thakur Girls

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Many things are happening for the Thakurs of Hailey Road: Justice LN Thakur's brother is having troubles with his wife, said wife has moved in with Justice Thakur and family, three of the five Thakur daughters may or may not be having romantic problems, and the Justice isn't on speaking terms with the third daughter and close to doing to the same with daughter #2.

The main plot of the book mostly focuses on Debjani (the fourth oldest daughter), who has just begun as an anchor at DD, the primary news channel in India at the time. This puts her in conflict with her father's card buddy's son Dylan Shekhawat, an investigative journalist trying to implicate high-up politicians for their role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and rather looks down on Debjani for spouting government propaganda.

This is my favorite out of all of Anuja Chauhan's books and feels very much like what I've been waiting for. I love that this is in third person POV, compared to the first person of her past two books; I felt I got a much better sense of Debjani's community and the various family dynamics (in two families! that was nice). I did like the romance a lot, especially Dylan, but like her other books, I also really like the non-romance relationships. And my favorite bits were actually the investigative journalism. Another plus was that the Debjani/Dylan relationship got much further before undergoing the usual relationship crisis: families met! And the crisis was in part based on a big misunderstanding, but at least with more of a twist than the usual.

SpoilersCollapse )

Other random bits: I REALLY want to know about sister #3. I was kind of confused about Eshwari's maybe romance; at times I thought Chauhan was telegraphing that no, you don't always have to return someone's crush on you, but I wasn't completely sure that was what the book ended on. Also saw that there is a sequel about Dabbu's nephew (by marriage) and niece, which I really want to read. I'm also not talking about various little moments, like Dylan's parents' romantic anniversary or Debjani always being overshadowed by her oldest sister or how the rocky bits of Debjani and Dylan's relationship really affects their families, especially their fathers.

And I very much liked the look at 1980s India, the sense of things changing and bringing with it more access to foreign goods, the changing role of the press and the gradual loss of government control over said press. It feels very real, how the characters all react to some of that without the book just being about social change, which is something that many authors have a difficult time balancing... either it feels like the characters are a bit out of place in the supposed historical setting, or that there is too much "look how much I researched xyz!" Also, some of it is a bit nostalgic for me, particularly things like finding local versions of foreign imported junk food in corner stores or trying to emulate clothes. I don't really remember a lot of the details of political change going on in Taiwan because I was a kid at the time, but a lot of the KMT stronghold on Taiwan was lessening right around me being in high school. And ditto the flood of imported goods and whatnot.

Anyway! I very much enjoyed the Anuja Chauhan book club, and thanks to [personal profile] deepad for organizing the entire thing. And I hope I can get my hands on an ebook, or a US publisher decides to bring her over here or something, because I really want to see grown-up Thakur kids.

(Also, apparently Chauhan wrote a short story prequel to Zoya Factor for Valentine's Day!)

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Wed, Feb. 19th, 2014, 12:36 pm || Sochi 2014: Men's free, ice dance (short and free)

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Well, after watching a lot of Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski commentating on the official NBC broadcast, I kind of miss the lower-key commentators on the online streaming site. (Johnny Weir, can you please stop talking about the ice dancers as peacocks?!) Though I will have to find pics of what Johnny Weir was wearing every night!

Also, based on Yuzuru Hanyu's outfit and one of the ice dancers' outfits (the woman from Azerbaijan?), I have decided multicolored, large sparkly jewels on an outfit always look bad.

Men's freeCollapse )

Ice danceCollapse )

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Sat, Feb. 15th, 2014, 12:35 am || Sochi 2014 figure skating through men's short program

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OMG with the new team event, watching all the figure skating is like a sport in and of itself! I have not yet seen the men's free skate or the results: SPOIL ME AND DIE!

(CB just got spoiled by a well-meaning friend, and I have only barely avoided them everywhere! And this is when I'm trying to Google ice dance programs from five years ago!)

(apologies for all name misspellings; I am not risking Googling it right now)

Team skateCollapse )

PairsCollapse )

Men's shortCollapse )

For women's skating, I am wondering how Kim Yuna will do, since it sounds like she hasn't really been in the competition circle for a while, and I hope Mao Asada does well. I think the last I really watched her was when she was retooling all of her jumps, and it was so painful to see. Also happy to see Akiko Suzuki on the team. Aaand aside from that, I really don't know much re: what's going on.

It's so weird: I feel all the skaters I used to watch when I first started getting into figure skating are now retiring (or have retired), and I can't quite believe the new judging system is ten years old!

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Fri, Jan. 31st, 2014, 12:26 pm

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Happy Year of the Horse!!! Have some singing minions:

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Tue, Jan. 21st, 2014, 02:06 pm || January posting: books

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Sorry people with the last few questions for this meme! I have not forgotten you! I have just left the questions till last because I haven't been able to think of stuff.

So, [personal profile] vass asked about books.

This is more a problem of having too much rather than not being able to think of stuff. It's also difficult because I feel like I stopped reading books during grad school and never quite picked it up again, and given how large a role books play in my life, it feels like a quiet betrayal of sorts. I think I stopped tracking everything I read in my database around four years ago, and I stopped writing everything up (or a fairly large percentage) around then as well. In some ways, I miss it, because I love talking about books, especially with people here. But in other ways, it was starting to feel like pressure, and I would catch myself not starting new things because I would then have to log them or write them up, which is not how I want to think about books. Ditto with feeling like I was not reading the "right" thing by defaulting to comfort stuff, which frequently corresponds with white authors for me, or not checking out things that are Very Serious and Weighty.

Some of it was lack of brain to hold so much long-form narrative, especially while in grad school and basically up through last year, which is when I found a meds combination that has been working much better. I still feel like I can't quite cope with that much story, though possibly that is just a kneejerk reflex by now, because I have been dipping into things more and keeping up with TV (okay, Sleepy Hollow, but that's better than the past few years!) as well.

Some is just less time than before; being in a relationship is so time-consuming! Ditto having more friends in the area! And these are good things, and I have been WAY more social than I used to be. And a pretty large part is getting into casual games and a faster payoff.

I don't know! I am conflicted because I do want to read more and talk about books more, but I also have eight billion other things I am trying to do more, and I'm trying to prioritize so my brain doesn't do the giant list of every life goal I have failed to progress on thing.

So I guess that's where I am with books right now.

(On a more physical note, I am now trying to do everything in ebook when possible, as I didn't end up moving any non-graphic-art books out of the condo. I love this! It is especially awesome because my little apartment doesn't have that much room to begin with.)

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Wed, Jan. 15th, 2014, 01:40 pm || Reading Wednesday

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What I've read: Finished Anuja Chauhan's Those Pricey Thakur Girls! It's by far my favorite of her books, and now I kind of wish there were a version of Battle for Bittora done in rotating 3rd person POV, because I would have LOVED to see Pushpa Pande's sections. Hopefully a longer review to follow soon!

Also finished Chi's Sweet Home volume 2, which is just as cute and full of cat as the first volume. Definitely comfort reading for me, and I laughed especially hard at Chi getting mad at people ignoring her, climbing up on the table, and sitting down on the postcard people were looking at instead of where their attention should rightfully be focused (Chi, obviously).

What I'm reading: I finally started reading comics on my tablet! I say "finally" because that was the original reason I wanted a tablet in the first place. Anyway, I'm in the middle of the Greg Rucka Wonder Woman run (I blame [personal profile] chaila) and generally enjoying it. There are WAY more women than I usually see in superhero comics, though I am super skeeved out by Doctor Psycho and all the rape stuff he jokes about. I mean, you are supposed to be skeeved out, but given that the art is still male-gaze-y, it feels like one of those having your cake and eating it too things.

Also, totally get the appeal of Diana. She reminds me of why I like Captain America, at least in the MCU, and I really like that mostly her idealism and desire to do good and be good are genuine and not made fun of. It's so hard to find depictions of nice and good people who are interesting and have depth; most writers seem to save that for the morally ambiguous characters. And I looooove that she just goes ahead and makes decisions and her staff has to flounder to figure stuff out in her wake, and while she might apologize, she never angsts about it or questions her choices.

The art is mostly okay, given the genre? I think? I've never followed superhero comics closely, so I am not sure. I do love that Diana so far has very consistently been drawn with really broad shoulders and narrow hips; it's a silhouette I don't see very often on women. Still a lot of the twisted torso poses to get T&A in, and I rolled my eyes when one villain stepped out with her face entirely in shadow... but her naked body was of course visible!

It's also always weird getting into a new superhero/team and figuring out who the standard villains and secondary characters are. Various wiki articles help, but because comics is so convoluted, I hit a point when my eyes just glaze over as the details of betrayal! new allegiances! resurrection! secret identity! world resetting! and whatnot go on and on and on.

This is also interesting because it's my first foray into the DCverse that isn't centered around Gotham and its ilk.

What I'm reading next: Probably a lot more Wonder Woman.

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Mon, Jan. 13th, 2014, 02:59 pm || January posting: anime music videos

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For [personal profile] lovepeaceohana

AMVs! They were actually my first introduction to the fannish vidding tradition. The very first one I ever saw was an Utena vid to Natalie Imbruglia's "Torn," and it took probably two full days to download and was the size of a postage stamp. Oh dial up...

In retrospect, the song choice was probably not quite right, and there was a lot of literalism, but hey, the literalism made it much easier to figure out what was going on! And I suspect the vidder picked the song based on "Illusion never changed / into something real."

I don't remember if I found more after that, but by my sophomore or junior year of college, I had started up an anime club, and some of the people there had entire tapes of AMVs from cons and the like. Also, thanks to college ethernet, I had begun downloading a ton of AMVs, most of which were based on Evangelion. I think there was a very big focus on lip syncing at the time, as well as a lot of technical effects. And a lot of audio from trailers of popular movies (a lot of Star Wars Episode II) with footage from various anime series. Because I came from AMVs, I was really confused by Western media vids when I first watched them, though nowadays I have probably seen much more of the latter than the former.

This is also reminding me that I wanted to catch up on AMVs prior to Wiscon, so maybe I will go off to do that!

Also, on a funny note, when CB and I were first emailing each other off OK Cupid, I mentioned vids, and he was kind of skeptical, because all he knew were the bazillion Dragonball Z vids on YouTube done to some specific dramatic song I don't quite remember right now. Then I showed him the Princess Tutu AMV as an example, and he was blown away by the fact that people timed things! To the music! And had narrative! (I have sicced a lot more on him since, bwahaha.)

(I know I always say this when I talk about AMVs, but more recs are always welcome!)

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