Jun. 26th, 2012 10:28 pm
alexiscartwheel: (Default)
FYI - With the latest round of LJ silliness I finally decided to set up shop on Dreamwidth. My DW username remains the same: [personal profile] alexiscartwheel. I plan on crossposting for the foreseeable future, but if you're on DW you can follow me there too. (Was I partially motivated by wanting to have more than 6 icons without having to pay LJ for them? Possibly.)

Okay, now go about your business. I shall try to have some more fascinating to say later :D


May. 7th, 2012 08:23 pm
alexiscartwheel: (Default)
I have now seen The Avengers TWICE because I thought it was a really fantastic idea to go again with some friends on a school last night. I'm pretty tired today, but I REGRET NOTHING.

(You have to understand here how unusual it is that I would go see a movie twice in a theater, let alone twice in the same weekend. I hardly ever see things, ever, to the point where I'm constantly having conversations explaining that I haven't seen Movie X that everybody knows. Most recently the entire Batman and Alien franchises. I actually started this whole Marvel journey when I admitted to [livejournal.com profile] bookwench31 and [livejournal.com profile] jumperkid that I had never seen Iron Man and they decided we need to watch it RFN. But I digress.)

I'm not really sure where to start except that I thought it was fantastic, which should really be no surprise considering: a) Joss Whedon and b) THIS CAST.
Spoilers after this point, so if you haven't seen the movie, don't read. And go see the movie instead. )
alexiscartwheel: (aj reads the news)
[livejournal.com profile] lunamystic introduced me to two amazing fanvids this weekend!

I can identify the episodes of most of the scenes. I have clearly seen The West Wing too many times!

In which we discovered that costume dramas have lots of rain. And that Richard Armitage is really swoonworthy.


Mar. 6th, 2012 09:59 pm
alexiscartwheel: (marie antoinette)
Attention! I have a Tumblr now. I still don't know what it's for, but I'm trying. For science.

Anyway, carry on.
alexiscartwheel: (dw - nine & rose)
And today, in the spirit of randomness, my answers to a set of questions from [livejournal.com profile] isiscaughey

Comment to this post, and I will list seven things I want you to talk about. They might make sense or they might be totally random. Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.

Her questions and my answers under the cut )
alexiscartwheel: (Default)
I still don't really get Tumblr, which is why I don't have one. But I must admit the Tony/Steve Tumblr is pretty kick-ass, because it has things like this.

Oh, fandom.

I will likely start reading the comics soon, because there's not a ton of great fic in the movieverse, so I need to get my fix somehow! (Have read very few American comics, it's kind of daunting, really. All these characters have been around for decades! It's very different from manga series, where even the most sprawling that I've read eventually end)

For good measure, the comic is referencing the teaser trailer for the movie. Which looks awesome! (P.S. Joss make more TV shows! P.P.S. Fox don't cancel them!)

alexiscartwheel: (reading)
Earlier today I finished reading Simon Pegg's autobiography Nerd Do Well, the first Kindle book I borrowed from the public library. (Sidebar: I was really impressed by the simplicity of downloading a library Kindle book—just a few clicks and the book appeared%mdash;especially when contrasted to my experience trying to borrow audiobooks last summer.) The book was nothing earth-shattering, but if you're both a) a nerd and b) familiar with Pegg's work (particularly Spaced and Shaun of the Dead) it's a light and amusing read. For me, the best bits were when he analyzes some of his favorite films, including the original Star Wars trilogy and numerous 1970s zombie classics.

What surprised me was that I put the book down really wanting to write something. I think what Pegg captures really well is that urge that nerdy folk have to go out and create things in the tradition of the things they love. His continued love of stories from his childhood and wonder at being able to participate in those (like meeting Spock while filming Star Trek) really shines through. Creating things isn't really something I've done much of late, and I feel like that's leaving a gap in my life. I guess this could be considered a resolution of sorts for the new year: I'd like to spend more time doing creative things, probably mostly writing, but drawing or music count too. It'll help me strengthen those skills that have been sadly neglected for some time, and hopefully give me some fulfillment outside of work, which, given the current state of things, is something I very badly need.
alexiscartwheel: (reading)
As is customary, here's a list of the books I read in 2011! I haven't reviewed many here, but there are some reviews and ratings for all at my Goodreads profile.

the list is hiding under the cut )

Looking back, there were definitely some books on the list that I expected more from, as well as some that surpassed my expectations. Here's hoping for more of the latter in the new year's reading choices!

As ever, feel free to ask me about anything on the list!
alexiscartwheel: (reading)
I keep meaning to do a real life update, but that will have to come at a later date, because I saw this end of the year reading meme on [livejournal.com profile] isiscaughey's journal and decided I needed to do it instead.

1. What's the best book you read this year?
Oh, I am never good at superlatives. I'm going to cheat a little bit and say Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis, which is essentially one novel in two volumes. I've really enjoyed some of her other novels, but this one really sucked me in. Time travel and the London Blitz? I'm so there. I was really immersed in these for a few days.

2. Any other reading highlights?
Bossypants by Tina Fey: Because it's really, really funny.
The False Princess: Because I'm a sucker for fairy-tale-esque stories, and this one went beyond the norm with some actually unexpected twists.
All Men of Genius by Lev AC Rosen: Because it's got some Shakespeare, some Wilde, and lots of kickass characters. If more steampunk were like this, I would be way more enthusiastic about steampunk.
Divergent by Veronica Roth: Because who doesn't enjoy YA dystopia. (Probably plenty of folks, actually.) I described this to a friend as "The Giver for people who liked The Hunger Games. In Chicago."

3. What's the most challenging book you read this year?
There are multiple ways I could interpret challenging, but I'm going with Letters Home which is an edited collection of Sylvia Plath's letters to her mother from her enrollment at Smith to her death. I started the book in January and finished yesterday. It was challenging for me both because of form (letters don't have much of a narrative thread) and subject matter (Sylvia almost always presented her life as if everything was perfect, up to the last letter she sent).

4. What's the worst book you read this year?
This is a tough one. As some of you may recall, [livejournal.com profile] bookwench31 gave me some awesomely bad ARCS that I reviewed on this very journal. However, I think the honor of worst book of the year goes to Death's Daughter by Amber Benson. This was the book that finally convinced me that I had way too little time to read to justify spending on reading awful books just for the hell of it (peer pressure be damned!).

5. Which authors featured most prominently for you in 2011?
That would be Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant (she's the same person, yo). If you haven't read any of her books, DO IT. She's an incredibly productive writer, which is great for me. This year I read the two latest in the Toby Daye series (my favorite urban fantasy series), Late Eclipses and One Salt Sea, and the first two in the Newsflesh series (my favorite zombie apocalypse series?), Feed and Deadline, plus the prequel novella Countdown.

6. Were you part of a reading challenge? Did you meet it?
Not anything formal, but I challenged myself to finish at least one book a week (that would be 52 total) for 2011. I'm currently at 55 with a few days left, so go me!

7. Are you signed up for any in 2012?
I'll probably try to top this year in 2012. Which should hopefully be easier now that I've finished watching Buffy and SGA.

8. What books are you hoping to get for Christmas (or buy next, if you don’t do the holiday gifting season thing)?
Not a specific book, but my mom and brother gave me a Kindle for Christmas! Right now I've got a few books from the public library and another from Project Gutenberg, because even with my new fancy toy in hand I am super cheap.

9. Which books are you most looking forward to reading in 2012?
I'm sure there are others but off the top of my head: Deadline by Mira Grant (OMG why is it not out yet?!), Discount Armageddon and Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire (hey, are we noticing a theme yet?), and Insurgent by Veronica Roth.

10. Any final book thoughts?
I've said this to Patty before, but I really miss working in a public library and getting to see all the new books as they come across the counter. I feel like I have to work much harder now to keep up and to find stuff that really grabs me.
alexiscartwheel: (kaylee)
I can't remember if I've said, but one of my roommate's has two dogs, and they are adorable, if a bit needy. I'm currently dog sitting, which basically just entails giving them food twice a day and keeping them company. So right now I'm sandwiched in between two snoring dogs on the sofa. One of them has somehow burrowed his head under the side of my cardigan because he must be as close as possible. This is a REALLY HARD JOB guys. I swear!

I've been sick the past few days, so it definitely is a pick-me-up to walk in the door and have the two of them act like I am the most exciting and fabulous person they've seen all day. :)
alexiscartwheel: (kaylee)
I have new LJ friends, and am thus feeling inspired to actually post something!

For the first time ever, I didn't go back to Ohio for Thanksgiving. As much as I love my family, I think it made for a more relaxing weekend, especially since I didn't have to waste the better part of two days messing around in traffic. I had Thanksgiving dinner at the home of some friends of friends, where in addition to eating delicious food, we played lots of board games, some Wii games, and watched some Community. (OMG Community! I recently watched all of seasons 1 and 2 in a single week. I love it.)

[livejournal.com profile] bookwench31 is trying to pull me into Avengers fandom. She will probably be successful. Yesterday I hung out with her and [livejournal.com profile] flyingcarpet and we watched both Iron Mans and Captain America, ate lots of snacks, and tried to figure out how old Howard Stark is. (Answer, we're not 100% sure, but Dominic Cooper is pretty and John Slattery seems more like Walt Disney than a guy that builds deadly weapons.) Now I just have to see Thor, which is next on my Netflix queue.

On the job front, the list of places I do not have a job grows ever longer. But I do have an interview coming up in two weeks. That had better go well cause I've only got four weeks of work left and unemployment would totally cramp my style.

And I think I'll go watch some more Firefly. I've been feeling a bit down, so I decided a Firefly rewatch was just the thing to pick me up a little. Just like early West Wing, it never gets old.
alexiscartwheel: (Default)
Tonight I coaxed myself to briefly leave the safety of my basement dwelling to engage in "commerce" and interact with "people" at a "store."

Target Cashier: How are you?
Me: I'm good, thanks.
Cashier: (looks puzzled)
Me: Good, thanks.
Cashier: I was just asking how are you?
Me: I'm good.
Cashier: (looks at me like I have three heads)

I remember when I lived in Montreal, the awkward conversations I had with store clerks happened because we actually didn't speak the same language.
alexiscartwheel: (reading)
The fannish-inclined among you should go read [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire's new post I know a little girl and her name is Mary Mac: The Misuse of Mary Sue. (And then you should go read her books too... can't remember if I've said on here, but I recently read One Salt Sea, which is one of the best of the Toby Daye books thus far.) I definitely think it's worth examining that the term "Mary Sue" is usually thrown at female characters--often by female fans!--as an easy way to dismiss them.

Also, from her essay...
We've all met her. She's the violet-eyed, crimson-haired, secret daughter of Amadala and Obi Wan, sent to be raised on the hidden planet where the last Jedi ran to escape the war, and she has just emerged back into the universe with her spinning light saber batons to save her half-brother Luke from falling to the Dark Side.

I would probably read that! And I bet [livejournal.com profile] d4ni would too! It's that shared love of Star Wars and bad fanfic.
alexiscartwheel: (Default)
Well I'm still watching Stargate Atlantis—in fact, I'm almost finished with it—and it is still alternately fabulous and ridiculous. (Potentially spoilery to the end of paragraph, if you care.) For example, gate team goodness if fabulous, Rodney suddenly fancying himself in love with Keller is ridiculous. Because clearly he is in love with John. Anyway... Aside from the writers constant inability to acknowledge the slashy not-so-sub-text, I though Sam Carter's abrupt departure at the beginning of season 5 was weird. I assume she left to go to Sanctuary, but it still would have been nice if she didn't just lose her job suddenly (especially since based on the reasoning Elizabeth should've lost her job a bunch of times).

Other shows that are, you know, not already over yet? Well I recently mainlined the entire run of Eureka just in time to watch the last three episodes of this season live. (TV! When it actually comes on! With weird breaks for people to sell me things!) I started watching Eureka on Netflix when I finished Buffy, and it only took me a couple episodes to be completely hooked. I love that it celebrates being smart and creative (including showing over and over again that's there more than one type of intelligence) and has great relationships between the main and supporting cast members. If you've never seen Eureka, it's basically all about smart people teaming up to fix wacky problems caused by scientists at the top-secret research facility in town, with a side of personal problems and Jack's talking house. (And sometimes Jack's talking house has her own personal problems.) The romantic relationships on the show are generally well done, but it's some of the non-romantic relationships that impress me the most. In particular, I always enjoy scenes with Jack and Jo. They've really come a long way from butting heads when Jack first became sheriff to being close friends and adopted family by the current season (Jack is basically Jo's big brother).

(Slightly spoilery paragraph again... forewarned!) I friend had told me how not cool it was that this season was basically a reset... but it's really not that at all. Yes, the timeline changed, and some very essential things are different, but I think it's been really interesting seeing how the main cast copes with the changes. Everyone's had some good and bad. Take Fargo: he lost his girlfriend, but got an awesome job, except he doen't feel ready for it, and everybody hates him. He really matures grows into the position though. (And the addition of Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day to the supporting cast give him great people to play off of.) And again, Jo. Guh. Her life really sucks and she's pretty much floundering, but she gets to mess up sometimes without being portrayed as this awful person. I do really hope things get better for her next season.

A.D. Skinner, he is in everything. Specifically this episode of SGA that I'm watching, and one of the recent episodes of Leverage, which I just caught up with the other day. Another awesome team show. (I guess that's my thing right now?) I always especially enjoy Parker and her joy in crazy things like jumping off buildings and Elliot's gruff demeanor and his very distinctive... everything. But it's on hiatus now, which is sad. :(

Oh, but actual fall TV? The only thing I'm currently watching/listening to at work is The Sing-Off. It's a music competition that's actually about music. Yay! Some of the groups are seriously good, even if you're not normally an acapella fan. This season there are more groups in the competition, which means more episodes. Woot!

So, wise flist, is there anything in the new crop of fall shows that I should be paying attention to? I have been meaning to try out Ringer, since it's Sarah Michelle Gellar, and I hear Jason Dohring's supposed to appear.
alexiscartwheel: (Default)
Blargh technology! I consider myself reasonably technologically proficient, but as it turns out I just do not get audio/video stuff. Mainly, why can't they just pick a standard and stick to it?

What I'd like to do: hook my four year old laptop* up to my schmancy TV, the back of which is covered in various audio/video inputs. I went digging through my box full of cables and dug out what I've identified, with the help of the internet as mini-DVI to DVI, mini-DVI to s-video, s-video to composite, and DVI to VGA apapters. (Just for fun, the mini-DVI to DVI and DVI to VGA adapters won't work together, though they should.) One of these actual helps me connect the video (no audio!) to the TV. Oy.

Can't there just be one easy, magical cable that just works, so I don't have to dig through a pile of old crap that doesn't even work with anything anymore? Also, wouldn't it be nice if the adapters were actually labeled so I could tell what they are and how to use them without Wikipedia?

*My laptop is showing it's age. I recently replaced both RAM cards, and now I've maxed out my hard disk space... again. I found out the other day that the soon to be retired iPod "classic" has the same amount of storage as my poor laptop. I guess now I take on replacing that too? At least it's less expensive than buying a new computer.


Sep. 17th, 2011 11:36 pm
alexiscartwheel: (reading)
Okay, I think that the number of books I'm reading at the same time is getting a little out of hand. Granted, one is an audio book I listen to when I have time at work (which it turns out doesn't happen often since I've been doing lots of training lately), one is actually for work, and another I'm (re)reading for a very silly blog.

I've been making a valiant effort at Zombies vs. Unicorns even though I am very bad at finishing short story collections, but my copy of One Salt Sea finally came in at the public library, and my life needs more Toby, so I had to start it too.

But I suppose there are worse vices than wanting to read EVERYTHING all at once.
alexiscartwheel: (carmen ohio)
Every weekend should be a three day weekend. (Except for the part where I'd no longer be able to pay the rent, that would be AWESOME.)

It's been a very relaxing and geeky weekend. I had dinner with [livejournal.com profile] bookwench31 on Friday night, and in addition to tater tots, I got an opportunity to talk Sci-Fi TV, including Doctor Who, Stargate Atlantis, and my recent obsession, Eureka. I started from the beginning of the series about two weeks ago, and I've almost caught up to the currently airing episodes. I'm sad that it got cancelled just as discovered how great it is.

Saturday was a football sandwich. Ohio State vs. Akron (Go Bucks!), then a trip to Ikea (on the weekend after students moved back to campus, smart), then Georgia vs. Boise State. Once again I missed the marching band alumni game. Maybe someday I'll make it back.

I'm reading two books: Death's Daughter by Amber Benson and The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde. The former is pretty awful, and I'm basically just reading it because [livejournal.com profile] chuunthor, [livejournal.com profile] d4ni, and I for some reason thought that would be a smart idea. The latter is Fforde's latest, which hasn't been published in the U.S. And Seanan McGuire's newest comes out this week!

I'm currently rewatching the Library episodes from Doctor Who series 4 with friends. Now that we know more about River Song it seemed necessary. There's been a lot of Ten this weekend... Gridlock, Blink, Midnight, Turn Left, and now Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. That plus the last two new episodes. Semi-related, I think I'm going to put together an Amy Pond costume for Halloween this year. Maybe I'll even go all out and dye my hair red.

Back to work tomorrow. :(
alexiscartwheel: (bsg - roslin)
In the summer of 2014, I virus wiped out thirty two percent of the worlds population was wiped out by a dangerous infection. Cures for cancer and the common cold joined forces, resulting in the mother of all side effects, reanimating the dead. Decades after the zombie apocalypse, life in the United States goes on, but things have changed. There's much more fear of being eaten, for one...

I know zombies are really trendy, but I've never been that interested. I've seen Shaun of the Dead (funny) and read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (meh), but that's about it. But after three recs for Feed I realized I had to give it a try. Then I realized that Mira Grant is also Seanan McGuire, the author of the October Daye series, a.k.a. the author who actually made me like a book about fairies. (I know, I know, no zombies, no fairies, what kind of fantasy/scifi stories do you like? Well, I am partial to women with swords.) Luckily, even writing under a different name, she didn't disappoint. Feed really blew me away.

More review under the cut. But don't worry, it's not spoilery. )
alexiscartwheel: (tw - action gwen)

  • Is it just me, or is the currently LJ header extremely busy and annoying?

  • Torchwood is all grown up and being written about in The Atlantic! I was trying to explain Torchwood to a friend who'd never seen it, which is always... interesting.

  • Time has a kinda decent article about fanfic. Nothing earth-shattering to learn if you're in fandom, but you can at least get a chuckle about the sex pollen. Or the reminders of how you met two people at a party and scared off the crowd discussing Snarry and twincest in HP fandom. Good times. Gotta say, though... Time's website is really annoying. Must you break up each article with unrelated links. "See the top 25 films adapted from fantasy books about orphaned wizards!"

  • I'm on Google+ now... it's mostly pretty quiet. Like Facebook, with fewer people, and no Farmville.

  • I failed to mention the other day that I've finally made it to Season 7 of Buffy (and Season 4 of Angel)! Spike and Xander are roommates again! There are evil goings on at Sunnydale High! Weird Anya backstory! Needs more Giles, though.

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