trinityvixen: (Four)
No, that's not a fanfic prompt, that has been my life this week. In convincing [livejournal.com profile] moonlightalice to read some Discworld this week and trying to explain Terry Pratchett's sense of humor and the way he has adapted his worldbuilding as it's started to have continuity, I told her that it was, in effect, much like Good Omens minus all that Neil Gaiman-y stuff. I could not, for the life of me, explain it better than that. Although Pratchett's work can be meaningful and sincere, it is, at the same time, irreverent. He has a sense of humor about everything, even things he and his characters believe in--if you love it, you should be able to laugh at it. Neil Gaiman, in my limited exposure to him, is very not that person. His work Has Meaning. The difference is perhaps most stark in the two writers' Deaths: Pratchett's Death is the ultimate straight man who may just be in on a joke you'll never get (but that's okay, you're privy to one he'll never know either); Gaiman's Death is personable and relatable and all the more tragic for it, however cute and playful she may be. I really felt like all the funny from Good Omens comes from Pratchett lightening Gaiman the fuck up.

Last night, while pulling out movies I own to suggest that [livejournal.com profile] moonlightalice watch with her sister and mother this weekend, I pulled Stardust, which is adapted from a Gaiman work. I find the movie, though completely ludicrous, entirely charming. It's silly, it's fun, it's an adventure story with a happy ending. The book it's based on...is none of those things. It's very Gaiman-y. Things are Serious Business, Usually Involving Magic. The ending is the one that The Story Deserves, Not The Ones That Coddle The Reader. It gets credit for being different, but for something so insubstantial, book or movie, I prefer the confectioner's sugar. He is very much a fantascist who believes in the old school Grimm's fairy tale.

Given my assessment of him so far, you might be surprised to learn that I found the episode of Doctor Who, "The Doctor's Wife," written by Gaiman, to be utterly endearing and really heart-warming. Though there is some of the pervasive, persistent melancholy about it that I associate with all of Gaiman's works, "The Doctor's Wife" threw in a lot of screwball romance that was genuine and sweet and funny. It helped that the episode confirmed some of my own opinions about the relationship between two characters that had, heretofore, never been able to be voiced on the show itself. (Though fanfiction, in what little I've read in Who-fandom, has covered.) So I was predisposed to like it as it agreed with the way I see things, but what I really loved was the setting placing the Doctor at the center of the story. New-Who, more than classic-Who, focuses on the companions, which is fine since that's the audience entry into the fantastic journey. The Doctor moves through most episodes on the periphery of the plot (despite always being in front of the actual action), showing up to poke at things and deliver exposition about why he can/cannot defeat whatever the monsters are. "The Doctor's Wife," on the other hand, manages to get rather close to the Doctor himself, his life, his choices, while simultaneously revealing nothing about him. (This is also a very good summary of the season as a whole.) The episode flirts with exposing secrets without really ever doing so, and it is one of the best teases ever because you really don't care. What matters is the relationship at the center, and it's adorable. Gaiman. Wrote. Something. A. Goddamned. Dorable. I tell you, the world, she is topsy-turvy!


it was one of the most charming episodes of Doctor Who I've seen in a good long while. It was an episode that managed to focus on the Doctor versus his companions. Instead of his moving through a story and mucking about in it, he was the story.  Well, he and someone else.
trinityvixen: (thinking Mario)
I finished the book a while ago (and am even within a week or three of finishing the second book!) but I had yet to watch the show. Honestly, I needed to give it time between book and show or it would end up being like Lord of the Rings all over again. I read The Fellowship of the Ring all of two days before seeing the movie and I was (it pains me to admit) almost bored by the movie because I was watching things I'd just read. (Funny how that doesn't work with seeing a movie more than once--by the time I'd seen Fellowship a second time, I was hooked.)

It was a good decision to wait. I've only watched one episode so far, and I already need a break. My mental images of the characters are completely out of alignment with the actors on the show. I can't tell any of the Stark boys apart. (One of them must be Theon, but don't ask me which one.) Despite repeated remarks about Catelyn Stark's red hair, I always pictured her as a blonde and much younger than the woman on the show (though it makes no sense that she'd be young since she has a child of fifteen). About the only person I adore is Sean Bean as Eddard Stark, but it's Sean Bean and saying I adore him is like saying I like to breathe. Arya is good, I suppose. She has the right hungry look. Cersei and Jamie Lannister are completely wrong. I don't get the vicious coldness I've come to expect from her from Lena Headey, and whoever is playing Jamie offends me. The one scene where that useless douchebag tried to start something with Lord Sean Bean Stark I was all, "NUH-UH, YOU DO NOT GET IN THE BEAN'S WAY, YOU PRICK."

Anyway, I'll get around to the rest of the series, but not in any hurry. I'd much rather make progress (and there is so much progress to make) on the sequel. I did come across this article about the female nudity on the show (spoilers for the end!) which I suppose will become much more grating as I get through the series. Unfortunately, I came to through this blog post telling this woman objecting to the objectification of women for no conceivable narrative purpose that she should shut the fuck up (and, presumably, since that's what women in these trolls' mindset are good for, shake her moneymakers). Reading feminist blogs has perhaps shielded me more than usual against this sort of lazy sexism. I'd forgotten how troglodytic is is. (Some commenter actually says that it's fine to have all the tits all the time because it's in the book! It's not the book's fault sexism happened in the Middle Ages! Even if the book is fantasy and not set during this Earth's Middle Ages at all!) ::rolls eyes::
trinityvixen: (Doom)
I went to drop off laundry this morning that probably should have been done a lot earlier. (It was exercise stuff, mostly, that had been soaked through when I rode home from work last Friday, and it smelled...unpleasant.) As I was waiting to get my receipt, another customer in the store saw that I was reading A Game of Thrones and started freaking out about how great the TV show was, and was I watching it? I told him, no, I wanted to read the book first. He thought that sounded like a great idea until I told him was 800 pages.

I'm now 700+ pages in, and I've just hit the scene that was the spoiler heard around the world. MY GOD IT TOOK 700 PAGES TO GET TO THIS, NO WONDER EVERYONE IS JUST WATCHING THE SHOW. I just want to be done. Of course, they start filming the next season in a month, and it'll be on before I've got time to read the second book if I don't push on. HELP ME.

On the spoiler issue: I talked about with my roommates about it last night. It's really not something I could help coming across. It was a spoiler so large the internet exploded. It wasn't careless people on Twitter (which I mostly ignore anyway) or reviews of the show itself on geek websites that got me. It was things like Entertainment Weekly not caring for anyone so lazy and poor as not to have both HBO and a TiVo that they could catch up on the show within a week that spoiled me. I'm not even a huge spoiler-hater person. I mentioned to my roommates how little I care to read reviews for anything I'm excited about because I tend to like some seriously crap stuff. And it has been my experience that the less a given film/show/book is esteemed, the less reviewers give a shit about spoiling important things. I agree with [livejournal.com profile] moonlightalice that basic plot outlines are not especially spoiler-y, but when you're talking about the difference between The King's Speech and something like Priest, a reviewer will, despite the formulaic and historical nature of the former, spare it and spoil the latter in a review. I do not care that I called the "surprise reveal" in Priest two seconds in--even if it's obvious, don't give it away, okay?

But, yes, I'm about to finish A Game of Thrones, and I've quite enjoyed it. I hope it manages, in the next 70 pages or so, to resolve enough that I don't have to tax my already exhausted reserves to finish the book after in order to feel any sense of closure. (This is where you don't tell me whether I do or not, okay? Save it for when I do a full review.)
trinityvixen: (fangirl)
I go through cycles of playing no video games to doing very little else. I had a lazy weekend, and I finally let myself play Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. I love it, of course. The story remains engaging, though I do wish we could move on from the character that the games have become about. I like the character, but he'll cease to be interesting if we stay exclusively with him. It's time to move on to someone else, another time period, maybe even deal with the present where our hero is. It's completely addictive, though. It is, in game form, what the XBOX is with its achievements: you just feel like, as you're playing, that, hey, what's one more item/quest/viewpoint? I can play another half hour. Maybe just one more...

Friends, I was up until 5 this morning. I'd been playing, almost without stopping, since 5 pm the day before. I'm actually not tired yet (that will probably come later), but my wrist is killing me. Part of the problem is that you have to hold one of the trigger buttons pretty much always. I think I have carpal tunnel. I didn't even do very much to advance the story. I just gleefully went around pointing at people I wanted to have die and having my baby assassins kill the shit out of those people. (My babies! I'm so proud!) I will get achievements or something for that, but it's really just fun to point and have death rain down from above.

Despite my twelve hours of gaming, I did manage to read, like, four hundred pages of A Game of Thrones so that I can eventually watch the TV show. It's very good--obviously I think so, seeing as I covered half of it's not inconsiderable length in a day (you know, the one I didn't spend gaming) and that I was able to keep reading even while being in the same room as [livejournal.com profile] moonlightalice  while she was playing Assassin's Creed. I don't know if I can sustain that pace, though. It's all very exciting to get into a book that much again, but it's exhausting to realize you can read THAT MUCH and still only be halfway through a book. I think I have worked something out about the structure, though, that gives away some of the game (no pun intended). I won't say what because a) it might spoil some of you and b) if I do say, some of you might spoil me by telling me whether it's true or not. Since I couldn't help but be spoiled for a major plot development as a result of its happening on the show and driving everyone watching that bonkers, I'm trying to avoid spoilers where I can.

Also, I can has a museum for this? Look at that catalogue, people. It is TO DIE FOR. I'm so sorry for Debbie Reynolds that she never got a museum for these pieces together. The thought of some of these festering in private collections away from the public is a goddamned shame. I love seeing movie costumes in person. I nearly died that time I went to the "Superhero Fashion" exhibit at the Met.

trinityvixen: (ivy what?)
I dreamt, vividly, last night, and I remember it so well, perhaps, because I was woken abruptly by a series of coughs that are the last remnants of a cold. (Yes, I caught a cold in summer. Sigh.)

Basically, I was walking up the steps to my parents house, after hanging out with friends, when two men--one of whom was James Van Der Beek--came up to me, rather agitated. In my dream, I instantly became alarmed because we had agreed not to meet for a while. This meant there was A Problem. They threw a metal tube (that was somehow also a drinking glass) at me and said that they couldn't keep it any more. It was a bit rusty, but I panicked because it could have easily been blood.

It probably was blood. We had killed somebody, months ago, and they were now throwing the last bits of evidence my way to hide/dispose of. As I ran into the house to sterilize and bleach out anything I might have touched ever (CSI says you can't type blood if it's been bleached!), I was trying to remember if, in fact, I had been a party to murder. How had I gone on living so indifferently since that sort of thing? I began to question whether it could even have happened, given that I hadn't really changed my lifestyle all that much. Was I a monster? What the hell...

Naturally, I awoke in the midst of that panicking and spent ten minutes at 5 am this morning coughing my lungs out trying to remember if I HAD KILLED SOMEBODY. Basically, it was a more macabre version of this dream that I do still have all the time. Unpleasant in the extreme, but it's good to know that dream-me is as appalled by the idea of my being able to kill people and live a normal life afterward as real-me is. I believe this particular twist came up as I was contemplating how I would have fared and, should I have survived, lived after participating in one of the Hunger Games. As for why James Van Der Beek was in my head, I blame this post on Project Rungay that I read yesterday.
trinityvixen: (Default)
I know I post a lot about movies and television, but I actually read a book now and again. The Hunger Games was only $5 for the Kindle version, so I picked it up. I've been meaning to read it--I'm a sucker for the subject matter, being a huge fan of Battle Royale--and my latest issue of Entertainment Weekly clued me in to the fact they're making a movie. I learned years ago that reading the book before a movie comes out is always better than reading it after, so I figured I'd make the effort. What with biking to work and studying for the GRE, I don't have much free reading time handy, though.

Turns out not to have mattered. I finished the book in the wee hours of this morning. I actually had to force myself to catch up on Supernatural earlier in the evening (so I could read the internet without fears of being spoiled) when what I really wanted to do was finish The Hunger Games. It's kind of addictive reading. It might not be telling a story that I haven't encountered before, but the language and pacing are first rate. I like the heroine, as she's both special and realistically drawn. I think I have already been tainted by seeing that Jennifer Lawrence is playing Katniss because she's who I pictured. But, in a way, that helped. Winter's Bone may have been the movie that made me miserable, but the situations of the two girls in that and The Hunger Games being so similar, it blended together to make a for readily present heroine.

It will be interesting to see if, outside of the premise of the first book, the series maintains its momentum. It's so nice to have some fiction to spice up my interesting but usually drier set of non-fiction books to read.
trinityvixen: (win!)
I will have an extensive post on how I lost at Christmas--and organized the means by which I failed--at another time. I just had to post this snippet from Matt Taibbi's thoroughly readable (despite the fact that it's almost entirely given over to machinations of the financial industry) Griftopia. I have been reading this book for three straight hours, with hardly a break. Taibbi is a brilliant, acerbic, unforgiving writer, this being not least evident when he is describing why people would suddenly be interested in speculating on commodities futures:

"Why not bet on something that people can't do without--like food or gas or oil? What could be safer than that? As if people will ever stop buying gasoline! Or wheat! Hell, this is America. Motherfuckers be eating pasta and cran muffins by the metric ton for the next ten centuries! Look at the asses on people in this country."

I escaped, hours ago, to read this book outside the interference of TV. Yes, you read that right. I, TrinityVixen, actually ran away from a TV in order to read--to read a book, no less! Because I'm still in Reno for the Christmas break, that meant coming down to the lobby. The people here have been, up until now, very easily ignoring me. My spluttering mirth has upset this peaceful live-and-let-live, alas.

I was planning on going to bed in half an hour. I may have to just finish this book. (It's not long.)
trinityvixen: (vampire smile)
I mentioned that I picked up a copy of The Monster Book of Zombies the other day. I'm enjoying it immensely, probably because the first few stories are as far removed from the post-apocalyptic, action-oriented, blood-and-guts zombie stories that I'm used to from movies and the odd modern zombie novels I've read. A lot of these so far have been authentic (Edgar Allen Poe) or endearingly retro-Victorian gothic. It's all very slow, very looming in a way that has not much to do with suspense so much as atmosphere. I kind of love it.

And today is a simply perfect day to be reading such things. Dark and soon-to-be-stormy day-verging-on-early-night. Cool and windy, a combination of which makes one want to wrap oneself in a blanket with a hot beverage in front of a picturesque window and read scary stories until one is jumping at sounds left and right. Of course, if I tried such a thing at my apartment, the view would be of a school (not quite scary for the right reasons, that), and any cozying up would feature a kitty claiming my lap and then insisting upon attention (which is fine, but the cuteness ruins the gothic mood). So I'll enjoy it on my lunch break and tonight on the subway, and sigh and wish I were removed upstate, where I could really wonder about being axe-murdered in my sleep and ponder whether or not they'd even find my body for days...

It's a funny thing to wish for, to be scared in quite so (un)realistic a way, I realize. I just, well, like being scared. Not in the terrorists-are-going-to-kill-us, global-warming-is-going-to-drown-us-in-CO2-and-ice-cap-water way. Those things are legitimately terrifying. I mean in the silly-fun way of rollercoasters, mesmerism (Poe, again), and horror movies. It's just that I'm so not scared by lots of things in everyday life that people get superstitious about (God, graveyards, that sort of thing) that it's fun and refreshing to be chilled by something. Just so long as it's comfortably removed from potential possibility, why not enjoy the thrill?
trinityvixen: (blogging from work)
This:

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

I just thought I'd share since someone is apparently making a movie of Atlas Shrugged and it's a foregone conclusion that even if the best and brightest of the movie business were working on this thing (and they're not), it would never be as good as the worst part of The Lord of the Rings--books or movies.
trinityvixen: (blogging from work)
I have to catch up on my list of movies that I've finished, but I just wanted to drop a recommendation for my friends with premium channels and/or Netflix Watch It Now.

Starz has a show called Gravity on right now that is very odd and oddly compelling. The show is centered on a group of suicide survivors--as in people who tried to commit suicide and failed--and their various tribulations. Thus far, five episodes in, we've seen how just about every one of them tried to kill themselves, and even the "funny" attempts are still kind of heartbreaking. I really like the lead characters, Robert and Lily, who are entirely believable as being definite suicides who are only just figuring out that they want to live. Lily skates perilously close to being a manic pixie dream girl, but she's grounded in her depression and serious enough to escape that categorization. The show is shot in better-quality video, meaning it looks almost like it's an expose on the news, which lends weight to the reality of the situation in which the characters wallow.

I don't know if this subject just is more engrossing for me (having known a suicide) or what, but I watched all five currently available episodes almost in one night. (If not for an internet break down, I would have.) I think part of the appeal is that it harkens back to a book I read and enjoyed until its ending went nowhere: Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down. Good book about desperate people forming a bond after almost killing themselves, but the ending is just another one of his go-nowhere-with-the-premise endings. Just ruins it. Gravity also bests A Long Way Down in that it features people who haven't come close to attempting suicide, but people who did and failed. If you'll pardon the pun, I think Gravity has the greater dramatic weight for the difference.
trinityvixen: (Stupid People)
Time for a good old-fashioned gripe. Here's what's annoying me this week!

1. People who pronounce things wrong.
I don't mean people who don't speak English well or have accents. They are lovely and allowed to speak with accents all their life for all I care, especially if they are British. (Or Australian. Or Kiwi. Or even South African, though I will probably confuse that with one of the others--or all of the others at some point.) I mean people who were born and raised in America and obviously speak fluent English who insist on pronouncing words that they clearly have only ever read on paper in a way that is stupid and obviously wrong, and worse, no one corrects them.

FIX IT FIX IT FIX IT )

2. People who are anorexic presuming to lecture other people about their eating habits. Yes, this article has to do with the Kevin Smith kerfuffle, which should be discussed in terms of customer service and has instead devolved into "Fatties deserve it." But it's a good read. Because even if you want to make this about someone being fat, end of story, you really, really shouldn't let anyone that obsessed with food tell you what's right and what's not when it comes to a) eating, b) obesity, c) anything else. Obsessed people make very poor philosophers.

3. The fact that I'm probably going to have to buy this expansion.
I hate this strategy. )
trinityvixen: (balls)
I keep leaving behind books that I'm really keen on. Weekend before last, I left my biography of The Beatles at a friend's place. This week, I've gone and left The Stand at another friend's apartment.

Pity, that, as The Stand is my inspiration for this first Friday Poll in forever! The motivation! )

I'm curious, though, if any of you have similar reading habits. Hence the poll.
[Poll #1524813]
trinityvixen: (somuchlove)
Despite how I may have represented my reading list in the past, I do, in fact, read fiction books. I actually shy away from genre titles because I've never been a huge fan of sci-fi/fantasy writing as I have sci-fi/fantasy anything else. (Yet I love genre comics. Yeah, I don't get it either.)

However, I have earned a reputation as a lover of non-fiction. It's cliche but true that life is stranger than fiction, and that has such a strong appeal for me. If I didn't read non-fiction, I wouldn't know that Alexander Hamilton had a friend named Hercules Mulligan. You can't make this stuff up. To whit, a selection from a book I got last night and am already disturbingly enveloped by:

"...by 1885, George Stanley had met and married a twenty-two-year-old Welsh girl named Annie Jane Millward, one of three daughters from a severely strict Methodist clan whose matriarch, Mary, refused to utter a word of the devil's English."

Mary Millward would be John Lennon's maternal great-grandmother.

The book I'm reading is The Beatles by Bob Spitz. I can tell I'm going to enjoy this. A little bit of wry humor mixed with a detail like that? Oh yeah. (Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah...Imaaaaagine I'm in love with you...)
trinityvixen: (Default)
So, how about a link to the next in the series of Austen-and-monsters literature? Could this be even better than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?

There is a trailer. Holy shit, these are going to make even better movies than books if this is any indication.
trinityvixen: (thinking Mario)
I find myself increasingly interested in non-fiction these days. Why is that, I wonder? )

My latest find is Your Call Is (not that) Important to Us by Emily Yellin. It's neither brilliant nor stupid, just a workable sort of book on the subject of customer service. It's part primer on the evolution of customer service and part sociology textbook (minus the laborious vocabulary). There's a lot of psychology running around, not surprisingly, and it's neat to see all points of view on it--from the frustrated customers (hello!) to the people providing the service, to the people providing the tools for that service. The give-and-take of economics and psychology is neat.

And very relevant: AIG could do with a read of this book.

The woman in the picture, Mrs. Sosa, was on Countdown on Monday, and Keith Olbermann made the point that AIG is doing themselves a tremendous disservice by being dismissive of the claims of the passengers from the flight that landed in the Hudson. This is an opportunity for them to show that they were worth the nearly trillion or so dollars we loaned them, and they blew it. It comes back to the balance of opposites in Emily Yellin's book--the corporate profit margin versus is public appearance. Refusing to pay for therapy for children traumatized by surviving a plane crash is not a good PR move even when you're the most beloved company of all time, to say nothing of those companies, like AIG, that are high on the public shit list. It's a failure of customer service, and customers are getting to that point where they are madder than hell and ready to raise some to get better treatment.

I hope they win.
trinityvixen: (Default)
I haven't even been able to think about catching up to LJ yet, so forgive me, I'll get there, but I have some trip-related updates. I'll be brief. There's really only so much I can say about a trip of four days where two were spent in the car. (I kid you not: 18-20 hours on the road both ways.)

First, non-trip-related: it was an electrical fire. All appears to be well now, though I have not been outside to see what the situation is on the street just yet.

Trip-related:
-Holy crap, I hate Rte. 80. The downside of a trip whereby your starting and ending destinations are on the same highway is that there is NOTHING to do. I will never be so ungrateful for exits, turns, and route changes ever again. The other reason to hate Rte. 80 is that it is, for every state except New Jersey (I have never been so glad to be in New Jersey as I was last night), a two-lane highway with a lot of trucks on it.

Oh, and they frequently close down one lane for MILES to do construction. On the way out, I took over driving near Joliet, Illinois and the traffic was so bad, I had time to paint my nails at the wheel. (Two coats! Both hands!) On the way back, my youngest sister (not the graduate; she's staying in Iowa) got stuck in Pennsylvania so I offered to switch. We were able to open our doors and get out and walk leisurely around and take up our new positions. As soon as it opened up, I did 80 mph from there until I got back to NYC.

-I had to actively try to take more pictures of graduation than I might otherwise have bothered doing (since I am a shitty photographer and there were plenty of cameras) because I didn't want to have fewer pictures of my sister's graduation than of my family and I at the future birthplace of James T. Kirk. (More on that later.)

-Though we weren't quite there at planting season like we were last year, a good part of Iowa still smells like manure.

-People are super friendly in the middle of the country. It is a nice change but a weird one. I'm still not quite sure how to react when people at Wal-Mart are like earnestly wishing me a great day and inviting me to have a root beer float.

-I got to go on a waterslide! There was one at our hotel! This is apparently something hotels have now? Whatever: indoor water slide!
trinityvixen: (thinking Mario)
In his short story "Lunch at the Gotham Cafe," Stephen King proposes, via his smoker protagonist, that there is a very clear and definite hurdle that all people seeking to quit a bad behavior or take up a good one face. This hurdle is the three-day mark. Once you hit and pass that limit, you're home free. The first three days are the test to see if you can make it in the long run.

I don't know that I agree with that exact limit, but I do think he's onto something. My thoughts )

The odds of slovenly recidivism are high, in other words. So high that I then have to question whether I do agree with Stephen King's notion of point-of-no-return adaptation. What do you all think? Feel free to conjecture about my own will power, I won't take offense, or your own if you prefer or muse on human will power in general. I'm interested in every angle, really.
trinityvixen: (blogging from work)
...another thousand movies I've watched. No, not really. Since I can't possibly capture your attention or wow any of you with my books-read-this-year total, time to do my annual recap of media I've consumed in 2008.

There seems to be a cap fast approaching, as I saw only three more movies in 2008 than I did in 2007. Television, however, fell off dramatically (25 seasons this past year versus 46 in 2007), and frankly, I'm astonished. I've been exercising regularly while watching episodes of television since July. I suppose the caveat there is that since I've been forcing myself not to watch shows when not exercising, I haven't been breezing through entire series of shows in a weekend. (::coughcoughDoctorWhocough::)

My recs and trends beneath the cut!

Movie magic )

Boob Tubing )

I said I wouldn't write about books. Naturally, I wrote THE MOST about them. )

And that's the year that was.
trinityvixen: (thinking Mario)
I'm feeling...stuck. I think two weeks of vacation wherein I do almost nothing at all and barely leave the place I am residing have finally gotten to me. I'm not the type to get stir-crazy, not really--I could spend a weekend locked away at home and doing nothing and be utterly content. But two weeks? Is pushing it. I couldn't go anywhere in Oregon. I was so trashed from jet-lag from that trip that I couldn't barely leave the apartment in New York. (Hurrah! I have NO FOOD!) And when I went to my parents' place this weekend, I tended to park in places.

As a result, I'm feeling a need to start attacking my living environment, seeing as the weather is not exactly conducive to me running around outside much. Which brings me around to resolutions for the new year. I was fishing for others' resolutions this weekend, but no one had any great ones I could steal. I took a look at the last ones I made (two years ago, woo-hoo), and I rather like that they were productive yet not impossible. In keeping with that, I've decided on the following resolutions:

1. Clear out the bins under my bed
This is a huge project that will involve my, five years later, finally putting together a scrap book of photos from my trip to Australia. Better late than never. While the distance from the events means I'm almost sure to have forgotten every detail, I will be able to part with the junk I've stored up there, which is all for the good, really. I will also work on getting all my photos scanned in so I have digital backups. To think: if I'd been born only a few years later, I'd have had digital copies to begin with, which is really the most sensible thing for me, given how lazy I am about photographing shit in my life.

Huge project--projects, really, as I suspect the Australia trip isn't the only event collecting dust down there--but doable. Certainly doable within a freaking year.

2. Finish my sister's wedding present.
Only four years late on that one! I'm really, really close. I just need to go some place away from cats for a couple of weekends (i.e. upstate), queue up a hundred movies, and sit and sit and stitch and stitch. This one I'd like to have ready before her birthday in August (if I really push myself, I might have it done by her wedding anniversary in March). After I finish it, I then need to sit down with her and discuss what the shit she'd like me to do with them. I have chosen the most useless hobby, I swear. Cross-stitching is useful for two things: framing and making pillows. I wouldn't presume she wants these things framed (because then she's more or less obligated to hang them whether they're to her taste or not), and they're far too intricate for pillows. I was thinking, though, that working them in as panels in a quilt or a quillow (that's a one-square quilt block that is attached as the outside of a blanket pocket--it folds into a pillow with the nice design on the outside, and is used as a blanket with the nice design safely tucked away in the pouch). Must work on getting that done, first, and planning what to do with it, second.

3. Read twice as many books as last year.
I think I read about 20. That's pathetic. I have about six or seven that I've accumulated in the insanity of holiday busyness, so I can get off to a good running start. I just have to not let my time get shanghied by video games, TV, exercise, or movies too much. I think I can do it. I'd also be happy to just read about half again as many. So 30-40 books. Let's go team.

4. Lose 20 pounds.
This was the goal I set for myself when I first programmed my profile into the Wii Fit. I set a timeline of 6 months which is fastly coming to a close with all of about two pounds to show for it. (Which means zip-o given that you can fluctuate that much in any given day.) Whenever I fail at that resolution, I'll reprogram my goal to be for the year. The 20 isn't a number, it's a BMI thing. And while I have trouble with BMI standards, it is a useful benchmark even if it's an arbitrary one. We'll see.

5. Be a better person.
Ah, the vague one. I've actually been pondering this some time now, and a new year seems a perfect time to put into action some notions I've been entertaining. For one thing, I'd really like to pay a genuine compliment to someone every day. It's something I've considered a while now, sparked by a few genuine compliments I've received here and there. It would be so nice to be able to, without seeming like a crazy person (must work on delivery, delivery is key), tell someone (whether I know them or not) that they are particularly sharp, seem blissfully happy, or look especially well put together. I have to be careful not to just fish one out (i.e. avoid studied and saved compliments a la Mr. Collins), but to really mean it. I think that would really improve my mood, too.

This also covers vague life goals upon which I have no direction--career aspirations (hah!), personal fiscal responsibility, intellectual stimulation and enrichment, improved sociability--without making it seem like I've failed to accomplish anything if I have no specific incident I can furnish as proof.
trinityvixen: (excellent)
...stay for the rat-fucking!

No, really, that's what I'll remember long after the rest of the details of Nixonland have faded from memory: rat-fucking. It doesn't mean what you think it means, it means something so much better, and it's awesome

I finished the book! Woo!

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