August 25, 2014
I recently saw someone on FB post a picture of her sewing space rather than her writing space, and I decided I wanted to do the same thing. Especially since it’s relatively clean and organized right now. (I had company, see.) When I moved, I was able to set up a designated sewing/craft area in the basement, and I just love it. I love not having to clean up projects in the middle of working on them, like I did when I was sewing in my office or on the kitchen table. Now, I can just drop everything and come back later.
The sewing machine is my mother’s. I just sort of took it and never gave it back. (I let her borrow it whenever she wants…) It’s a Kenmore, I think 30 years old at this point and still getting the job done. I’ve got my eye on a serger, though. I think that would be fun to have. Maybe for Christmas.
And yes, that is a picture of a dragon riding horse on the wall. Just because.
August 18, 2014
August 4, 2014
One of the reasons I like the Marvel movies so much is that I just get so darned excited about them. I haven’t fangirled this hard over anything since the first few years of The X-Files. It’s nice to have something to get excited about. Even if I do end up spending way too much time online searching for things like “dancing baby groot.”
August 1, 2014
So, it turns out that werewolf beer is a thing. At least, on several occasions now I have been gifted with werewolf-themed beer, like this Newcastle Werewolf. Alas, for all that I am a fan of drinking, I am not at all a beer drinker. Like, at all. So it’s made me a bit sad that I keep getting werewolf beer, but there doesn’t seem to be any werewolf wine available.
And then I got this:
I decided that yes, The Big Bad Red Blend fairy-tale themed wine was totally close enough. I mean, it’s got a wolf on the label. Even if it isn’t a full moon. (Verdict: totally acceptable inexpensive drinking wines. But I’m the person who says there are two kinds of wine: the stuff that’s gone bad and the stuff that hasn’t. So I may not be the best judge.)
EXTRA NOTE: I’ll be going to see Guardians of the Galaxy tonight. I may post my review early rather than waiting until Monday, so stay tuned.
July 21, 2014
I cry a lot while watching movies and reading books and looking at art and. . .well, I cry a lot. It doesn’t even have to be sad, it just has to be beautiful. If something is beautiful, emotional, and hits me right in that vague spot where my sense of wonder and heart live, I’m going to cry. The opening credits of Lilo and Stitch, for example, make me cry. I’ve been thinking a lot about how that works this week, because of a couple of things.
During my trip, my connecting flight out of Chicago Midway was delayed, and I was kind of miserable. The airport was super crowded, loud, uncomfortable, and for whatever reason I just didn’t have the reserves of willpower to deal with it. So I thought, “I’ll hide in a corner and read my favorite comic books.” (I have like 50+ comics on my iPad at this point.) So I picked a random issue of Planetary, which I suspect is going to be my favorite comic for the rest of my life unless something really amazing comes along. I only got about four pages in before I had to stop because I was crying. Part of it was I was already kind of emotional and upset. And part of it was I just love this book so much, and being with these characters made me so happy, I couldn’t contain myself. It was this specific scene that tipped me over:
Elijah: We keep angels here.
Jakita: I don’t like that I didn’t know about this, Elijah.
Elijah: I know.
– Planetary, #19, Warren Ellis.
There’s a ton of characterization in these lines. When Elijah says, “I know,” he isn’t being snippy or confrontational. He’s sad. He’s made mistakes and he’s trying to amend them — he didn’t tell her about the angels before, but he’s telling her now. Because of how much he cares about her. They’re a team. And I started crying because I love these characters so much. (That thing I talked about last week, about how tired I am of stories where people in dire circumstances are constantly being horrible to each other? Planetary is the exact opposite of that. It’s about unironically saving the world.)
Objectively there was no reason that scene should have tipped me over. I’ve probably read it a half a dozen times before without crying. But this time — yeah, it got me.
Then I went to see Jersey Boys, because sometimes I do go see movies that aren’t science fiction, and I grew up listening to The Four Seasons because that’s the kind of music my parents listened to, and I just adore their music. So this one? It starts, the screen is dark, and an instrumental version of “Oh What a Night” plays as the opening credits starts. And not two bars in I started crying.
(Aside: I really enjoyed Jersey Boys, both because of the music and because I was sitting next to my full-blooded Italian friend who completely and utterly lost it from laughing during one scene that he said happened pretty much exactly like that during his own childhood. Indeed, I was impressed at how many people in the movie talk just like the people in his stories about growing up.)
So, for me, this emotional jugular, this thing that makes me instantly cry after just two bars of music or two lines of dialog, is as much about memory as about story or mood or wonder or greatness. It’s something that makes me happy, something that I remember making me happy. It’s a cozy blanket for the brain, and I love that.
July 11, 2014
So I was thinking about CA: The Winter Soldier and how really really nice it was to see a big tentpole action superhero flick with a man and woman lead, working together, with absolutely no romantic involvement, or hint of one, or suggestion that there ought to be one. Steve and Natasha are friends, or become friends, and are totally professional. I think that’s just great.
Then I remembered the Necklace. THAT NECKLACE.
The necklace was definitely supposed to remind us about Hawkeye, and that Black Widow and Hawkeye might be an item. Was the necklace there expressly to tell the audience that Steve and Natasha won’t be romantically involved because she’s already “taken?”
On the one hand, this is a nice, subtle bit of signalling — much nicer than some ham-handed on-the-nose conversation would have been. On the other hand — is that kind of signalling even necessary? Is the only way to keep the audience from thinking that Steve and Natasha won’t hook up is to tell them that she’s already taken? Like they can’t just be friends? Like Clint has to frakking mark his territory or something? Argh!
Or am I reading too much into the whole thing?
June 27, 2014
A couple of months ago I went to an SCA camping event for the first time in a while. I had a great time, especially thanks to some friends who let me stay with them. They have a round period pavilion — very nice. Since we all fence, they had a system for storing our many rapiers and daggers to keep them out of the way. So this is what I saw when I woke up in the morning: