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Skipped a week because there really isn't all that much reading/watching going on. I'm either working, running condo-related errands, or at MUTEK. I carry a few comics in my bag so I have something to do during intermissions and subway rides, but that's it. (And even then I mostly play Candy Crush or Blendoku. XD;)

Books bought:

* I-Ching: nice big bound edition, $5.
* Fodor's Guide to Greece: vacation planning.
* C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems (Daniel Mendelsohn): if you want your Cavafy with 300 whopping pages of historical notes on dudes like Julian the Apostate, this is the edition for you. The translation strikes me as felicitous, though my sense is that modern English is one of the better languages for re-rendering Greek poetry anyway. Of course, we're still within the same constellation (i.e. Carson, Yourcenar, Borges... E.M. Forster appears in the margins. I should get back to A Great Unrecorded History; sort of wandered away from it a third of the way through, way back when, but it's good to read the occasional biography about someone who was truly nice and liked).


cut for mild spoilers )


Watched a few more eps of JoJo. Am up to 15 now, I think?

I downloaded a couple of eps of Hannibal because the Tumblr flotsam itself was giving me weird dreams, and anyway it's been renewed so I figured I may as well just watch it. XD; Haven't had time, of course. If/when I do I'll write it up with Matthew Herbert's One Pig performance at MUTEK (in short: a sound collage composed/abstracted from a pig's life/death. At times quite disturbing. One of the live miked inputs was a chef cooking a complex pork-based dish onstage. I am not sure what it was exactly, but it smelled delicious. XD;;).

The more I thought about Star Trek Into Darkness, the more it seemed like one of those "Yes, but it would be a grillion times better if you did X instead" movies. Luckily, [ profile] ladysisyphus wrote it up in exhaustive detail so I don't have to. (Great minds think alike?)

Mostly, they should get someone other than JJ to direct, though that is probably inevitable now anyway. Given that they're going to make these, they should've made this one two years ago.
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Went to see it twice: once with group of friends (Trekkie), once with sororial unit (non-Trekkie). Will write it up for the weekly read/watch meme, probably.

Spoilers, but everyone who means to has seen it methinks. )

OK, there is this (seen in various places):

I have 32 works archived at AO3. Pick a number from 1 (the most recent) to 32 (the first thing I posted there), and I'll tell you three things I currently like about it.
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What are you reading/watching now?

I'm beginning to think I ought to do this meme on Mondays rather than Fridays; I usually start books on weekends. (The resolution for this weekend is to finish the stuff I've left hanging.) In any case, the actual answer today is An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, which has been my iPod reading project for a while now. Cut for stuff. )

What did you just finish reading/watching?


A couple of first issues, in the bath -- a Sherlock Holmes one, the prequel to Star Trek Into Darkness...

Joan Didion, Slouching Toward Bethlehem. Notes. )


Stoker. It's Park Chan-wook, all right. I mean like "haha, weird to see an all-white cast in a Korean movie" obvious Park Chan-wook. It is dialled down some, but my personal opinion is that Park improves by dialling down (or "maturity," if you prefer). Cut for length and mild spoilers. )

The Incredible Hulk. I'm starting to feel a bit fandom-deprived (the good stuff starts coming out again in May), so I got around to this. Cut for notes. )

Also, I did indeed go see the Peruvian art exhibition at the MMFA. ARQUEBUSIER ARCHANGELS.

What will you read/watch next?

Maybe some comics? Maybe I'll pick up some more Star Trek comics. XD;

EDIT -- It is still Friday night, so I'll note here that I just watched Star Trek V: The Final Frontier on Netflix. Cut for... cut. )

BONUS QUESTION: what books/movies did you acquire?

None, but a whole lotta records!
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1) Montreal Comiccon. That was before-last weekend. I'd managed to muddle my dates despite looking forward to the thing and didn't make it to the Palais until Saturday afternoon, so no, couldn't find the middle volume of the Deadpool and Cable omnibus. On the other hand, totally discovered there is a reboot of Red Sonja and it doesn't suck! That and some other stuff I bought. )

Other than shopping I sat in on Star Trek celebrity panels. I wanted to live tweet but Twitter was locally down because of everyone else doing the same. The thing that nobody ever explained is that listening to William Shatner and Patrick Stewart shoot the breeze and take questions live is a sonically beautiful experience. Also, Shatner does better with a tsukkomi to play off of. Supposedly on the Friday evening they went for a caleche ride in the Old Port with their SOs... I could transcribe more salient points but I'd be here all night.

2) Karaoke. On the Saturday night I went to karaoke with my sister and a friend for five hours straight. I continue unable to sing in a language I don't read, which eliminates all the K-pop. Puzzlingly, I remember the rap in "American Boy" far better than the sung tune.

3) Pop Montreal. stayed in and slept on Wednesday. Elite Gymnastics and Grimes on Thursday (dancing on the balcony in Club Soda). David Byrne and St. Vincent on Friday (dancing on a pew in St. Jean Baptiste church), followed by Bertrand Burgalat (dancing on the stage at Cabaret du Mile End). Blew budget at Pop record fair and flea market on Saturday. Then Woodpigeon and Patrick Wolf on Sunday (sedate and sit-down at L'Astral). More comprehensive reviews on Tumblr at some point, most likely.

4) Books and movies. Reading The Constant Gardener, which is OK except for how awful the (dead) female lead is, and any time Le Carre pretends the setting is this century. Watched the film version of Less Than Zero, after sororial unit bugged me to do so. It's a memorable movie with some obvious strengths and flaws. )
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There is some proper nerdy conceptual stuff in there. Moffat and Gatiss talking about power balance in the Holmes-Watson relationship as a chain of command thing, for instance - ship's captain and ship's doctor (who overrules the captain on certain issues). Kirk and Bones. ...Aubrey and Maturin? One suddenly realizes this is its own instantiable class. Also, this made me ping that the BBC version of Dr. Watson is just like Bones with the ladies, although he probably doesn't hate the universe as much. It's not a usual thing, Bones's way with the ladies! I wonder. XD

Moffat really does state that Holmes is asexual,** and Eleven tends in that direction, although Ten doesn't. It finally crystallized for me today, reading a fic by [personal profile] dira on the topic of Jack Harkness and Aral Vorkosigan XD;; and thinking, what's interesting about this story is that Jack plays in it the same micro-role as his most effective macro-role in the Wmedia fanfictional multiverse i.e. vanishing mediator between the 1980s+ cultural mores/pressures that created slash and those of the Moffatian 50th century AD (as often happens, an object closer than it appears in the SF mirror)... So here you have Russell T. Davies, whose basic tendency (one of, at least) is to normalize - such that the companions are delicately delineated mundane archetypes with vivid mundane Earthbound support structures, and the Doctor himself is more human than he's ever been - and therefore his Gay Agenda(tm) is ppl who just happen to be, dotted here and there unremarked in the landscape; but subject to an unconscious normalcy bias nonetheless (m/m singles and couples, fewer f/f, trans and other nonexistent); whereas Moffat's basic tendency is to exceptionalize - Amy, at the point you meet her, is inherently special already - he is a het dude who on a really fundamental level does not see the world in a queer way or instinctively populate it with Muggle gays, but he will write characters whose sexuality are part and parcel of their extraordinariness: the omnisexual futurist (Jack and River), the asexual genius (the Doctor and Holmes); if he writes a trans or gender-fluid character in future I'd be less than surprised. Moffat's out in the double ring of the dartboard, IOW, where representation is a matter of pointing out that these options exist at all, rather than are not weird. But he's interested in them because they present as weird, to him.

** I suspect Gatiss is not ttly onboard, though he's careful to preserve a united front. XD; You can tell he picks and chooses which points to endorse outright in the commentary (and ahh debunks the whole Irene Adler romansu bit). Epigrammatically I'd say Moffat believes John is straight and Sherlock is asexual, and Gatiss believes John is bi and Sherlock is tsundere.
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I need to find other people who have been blogging their Trek (re)watches. I mean, I personally know like five ppl who rewatched the whole TV series after the new movie came out, y'all are just lazy. XDD And the folks out there all seem to be obsessed with totting up the number of Significant Looks per episode between Kirk and Spock and concurrently sniping at babe o' the week, which is awesome and all, but there is so much other hilarity happening in this thing.

TOS S01E20 The Alternative Factor: for instance, my Significant Looks per episode at Spock's bum as he hunches over his space viewer thingy. I note in passing that they've improved the ergonomics of the bridge science station in the new movie, for definition of "improve" with which a million ZQ fangirls would beg to differ. Reboot Kirk doesn't know what he's missing, poor thing.

Other than aforementioned opening shot, this was a bona fide bad episode, the first thus far. You can sort of glimpse the germ of a cool idea that could have worked as a textual short story, but that becomes doubly incoherent when 1960s F/X limitations bump up against an event that's as intuitively representable in visual linear narrative terms as the square root of -1.

TOS S01E21 Tomorrow Is Yesterday: whereas this one is just like ROLLING 4EVR. Maybe because I'm a X-Files + Unsolved Mysteries fan of long standing; I mean, can you imagine if the Truth... that's Out There... is that... *TREK THEME STARTS* *cut to shot of USS Enterprise wobbling its awkward-swan way across the blue Midwestern sky*

It's just, yeah. Too much pop culture baggage, forty years of alien abduction scenarios and Star Trek both, but for once it's working for rather than against the intended effect. Looking at the FACE of the second guy they accidentally beamed up was like insert yr own gag re: anal probes and Mr. Spock. But that would be twice this post wouldn't it.

The ensemble dialogue and doing-stuff was brilliant too, including the Spock-McCoy interaction. It's kind of a fine line for me, I find - my close friends' circle doesn't do that kind of hardcore teasing/sarcasm, and I wouldn't be able to suck it up personally if they did, so half the time I'm like OMG NOT FUNNY DD:. But it totally depends on the episode (i.e. whoever's writing it). And lots of Sulu! Oh yeah and when Kirk was jimmying that door in the airbase I was like "...Sonic screwdriver! No wait, wrong series," and then IT TURNED OUT TO BE A SONIC SCREWDRIVER, BAWLING. I guess now we know where the Doctor goes to pick those up.
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S01 E18 The Squire Of Gothos: I am sort of over whimsical omnipotent alien beings dicking around the crew of the Enterprise for lulz, which... yeah. NOT LIKE THIS HAPPENS A LOT IN TREK OR ANYTHING. This ep is pretty explicit re this sort of... contemporary longing... for mommy and daddy some more advanced civilization to put an end to humanity's Playtime With Nuclear Holocaust, but in general the series resorts to deus ex machina to pull Kirk's nuts out of the fire pretty often; I guess because they keep setting up situations where if one were writing a standalone SF short story rocks would simply fall and everyone would die and it would be deeply meaningful and shit. XD; Possibly I think this because I'm reading The Martian Chronicles, which kicks off with no less than four, count'em, four White Man Bad Endings before American imperialism succeeds in making the red planet its own (via unintentional biological warfare, no less! If you really feel like writing an effed up Star Trek story one day, make it one where someone beams down from the Enterprise with a head cold and the virus wipes out an entire alien civilization). It's blackly hilarious, in a futuristic Edward Gorey sort of way.

S01 E19 Arena: speaking of "advanced civilizations", LMAO when the Metron dude was like "does my appearance surprise you" and Kirk is just like notoutloudnotoutloudthatrobeiskindagayshitwasthatoutloud. Anyway I started off thinking "Everyone makes fun of this episode but it's actually pretty good, there's a budget and explosions and action and stuff!" and then I got to the halfway mark ROTFL4EVR

(Something about the juxtaposition between the Looney Tunes nature of the battle and Shatner's "emotive" monologuing... actually I rather liked the narrative parallel between the "sophisticated" portable cannon they use at the beginning and the one Kirk cobbles together out of rocks and bamboo, but yeah there's no real way to take this shiz seriously. XD;)
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"Shore Leave" was not a fluke, Bones is deffo the smoothest one with the ladies. @_@ idek maybe this is stylistic preference, like Kirk's thing is he looks at you like he's completely smitten and generating this adoring glow (which I'm starting to suspect is actually one of the more arcane 60's lighting effects rather than something Shatner is projecting), whereas McCoy just puts across that you have brightened up his day considerably by being an attractive lady in his immediate vicinity. It's disarming because you don't get the sense he expects you to do anything, even when he asks straight out. Not gonna lie I can see how someone would marry then divorce this guy, the surliness doesn't show at all at the initial dating stage. XD;;

Very good ep *tick* with essentially nothing of the 23rd century about it. brb lol 4evr at all the COMPUTERS ARE INFALLIBLE flailing, gentlemen I would like to introduce you to a quaint 21st century artifact known as Final Cut Pro, you may have heard of it

Sailor fuku aside lieutenant lawyer chick's paisley thing was reasonably non-fug IMO, I'd wear it to a party. Lieutenant lawyer herself also entirely sensible vis relationship with Kirk which apparently constitutes an awesome lost weekend every 2 yrs 7 mths punctuating a high-flown career at Starfleet JAG.
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I thought I was doing well because I hadn't been Derailed By Gawking for, oh, about 8-9 eps? But it just happened again, because oh my gawd is that girl wearing a FUTURISTIC SAILOR FUKU yes she is Kirk is being punched by a kougakusei in a shiny futuristic sailor fuku. Court martial, you don't say.

...I'll be back once I've watched the actual episode.
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I am waiting for someone to write a fic about Spock playing FARMVILLE.
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Some brief comments on TOS eps I watched previously:

S01E08 Balance of Terror: "Quiet on the bridge, the Romulans will hear us!"




S1E09 What Little Girls Are Made Of: I was saying to Subdee that one of the most salient characteristics of TOS!Kirk is nerdery. So far he hasn't gotten into trouble because of women; women are how he gets out of trouble. What gets him into trouble is FANBOYING OVER SCIENTISTS. Invariably said scientists turn out to be ME GO TOO FAR! ME AM PLAY GODS!! I'm not sure what the creators are trying to say. XD;

I like how the pr0n version of Andrea's outfit is less revealing as the Hustler crew apparently couldn't figure out how the original was constructed. True couture genius.

S01E10 Dagger of the Mind: like the Gary Mitchell one in that I'm really not sure what you're supposed to assume Helen Noel is thinking. The way that I parse it is that Kirk is so obviously reluctant to deal with her, talking over her to shut her down etc., that she just starts messing with him (and she is at times borderline unprofessional during the mission). She's very effective w/r/t "action" stuff and is genuinely upset when Kirk is made to fall in love with her, which suggests she came up with her imaginary seduction scenario for teh lulz. Which... >_> One suspects Kirk was no match for her at the Christmas party.

S01E11 Miri: it's worth noting that nowadays the networks would risk an interracial makeout or a gay crew member, but they wouldn't risk this. I do think that's the prudery du jour: it's silly to treat a tweenager's crush on an adult - which Kirk handles as reasonably as possible - in the same way as one would treat a toddler masturbating (which also happens in the wonderland known as Real Life), although I wouldn't give it the undertone of wistful romantic untouchability a la David Hamilton that was perfectly acceptable at the time. XD; Luckily one can always turn to the Japanese, who even now must assume the indispensibleness of a visit to Planet Loli.
petronia: (get your own coffee)
Wore a geeky costume for Halloween. I did do the Star Trek costume, and it was great: moves well, neither too warm nor too cool for late October, no danger of wardrobe malfunction because I am not Captain Kirk, and everyone knows what it is. Strangers kept giving me the Vulcan salute. Halloweek social calendar recap )

Did community radio. Basically I signed up to replace Ced when he took off to HK, although not strictly in his time slot as I speak Mandarin, and also have no idea what i'm doing. Thursday night was meant to be another "training session" but rapidly turned into "err half the volunteers haven't shown up, do you feel up to blithering about the Coco Chanel movie on air for a few minutes" orz. The other girls are cool, though, and I have been made arts correspondent because I am obviously "hip" and "plugged into the local scene" (community radio is supposed to play local indie music as a matter of policy; I gather Ced was handling this part as well). Chinese ppl being Chinese ppl the Local Attractions segment also includes restaurant reviews i.e. we have instituted a weekly foodie group, CANNOT LOSE. The technical aspect of the thing is fun too, for whatever reason I feel like I'm really taking to it despite being A/V equipment-onchi normally.

(I think I have mentioned this but ppl have told me I ought to do radio/presenting all my life. Finally after ELLEN FREAKING KUSHNER said this I was like, fuck, OK, I have got to try it. orz So that is 102.3FM Radio Centre-Ville, TTH 10:30PM, if you're in town.***)

Signed up for Yuletide. Are we allowed to post a final list of what we're offering? Or is that not kosher? I ask because I would like to spread the lulz around, but probably I'll take it to carnet (if I get someone I know there I would be astonished). XD; I was insanely picky about my offers and the Novikware probably hates me at this point but at least I'm confident of delivering the goods. Note that it took me about four years to come to terms enough with the idea of an anonymous pan-fandom exchange even to READ THE STORIES, and then during b-school forget it, of course.

NaSomethingWriMo proceeds apace, but more on that later.

EDIT -- Made Skittles vodka. Forgot about this one ahahaha. I first heard about this on the Peter Doherty fan forum lol it is all the rage. Great time of year for it of course (deals on bulk candy). However dude on Instructable was right, the red flavour is liable to taste like cough syrup particularly if you use unsmooth downmarket vodka. T_T

TONIGHT: Art loft party w/ open mikes and workshops! I'm bringing sketchbook and Skittles vodka, friends are bringing ukelele and musical saw.

** Halloween compilation CD, model's own ($1.50 at a clearance outlet). Will maybe rip and upload as it is boss.

*** And, uh, speak Mandarin. Hey, I figure it's trial by fire - if I can manage talk radio and DJing in Chinese an English podcast ought to be no problemo.
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It's that one "recreational" planet by which we mean they put LSD in the drinking water! FACEBOOK PROFILE PIC TIME WHAT WHAT

Highlights of this ep:

* McCoy's face
* McCoy's pimpmeister skillz
* Kirk's awkward nerd past
* everyone's 30-second attention spans
* the fact that the episode makes no effort to explain why a samurai attacks Sulu, cos it's Sulu and this is like the third time already
* I mean you're more surprised he didn't meet D'Artagnan, Batman, and the Master Chief on the road while he was at it
* I would burn a stick of incense to the spirits of Roddenberry and Sturgeon to get a look at the script directions for the backrub scene
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Session 1 of Star Trek: The Leadership Seminar. >_> Some of this is otm, some of it beggars belief in order to belabour the main point - it would be a wonderful thing indeed if acting in accordance with logic meant people/things other than oneself were constrained to act logically as well; Spock works with McCoy, though, so I'm not buying that as his initial hypothesis. In any case, Spock is only 1% of the dick that counsellor dude was. Srsly, you would think he was the one having a giant Neolithic stone implement shoved up his butt. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate, know what I'm sayin'.

Meanwhile there's no offending Scotty in his delicate emotions, but he's an engineer after all.

There is no "I" in "team"; nor is there an "I" in "assraped by badly thrown spear."


On a different tip, I thought Shatner was really good here, even though the only thing he did for the entire episode was Look Worried. XD; That is sort of the thing, though: you see Kirk under emotional duress in previous episodes, similarly clamping down hard in order to keep going, but you don't get a moment where it all rushes to the surface. Here you get that, and it's quiet.
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G-good thing Spock's not inherently evil, you guys. If he were intelligent life in this universe would have a hard time of it. LOL METAPHYSICAL BULLET DODGED ._.;;;

The aesthetic tenets of Talosian cinematography strangely resemble those of 1960s American television series.

srsly though the whole first part of this ep is deeply frightening
it's like any other story where something benign and beloved in daily life goes haywire
without seeming reason or warning
like air turning noxious or the angel statues in that one Doctor Who ep or the birds
in Hitchcock
oh god the birds
Kirk has that shellshocked look on his face like
there is Spock perched on the bridge as usual hopping about
with his clever black eyes
and then
petronia: (so not awake yet)
Because I expanded on them. XD;

NuWho S03E08/09 "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood": Yeaaargh )

NuWho S03E10 "Blink": I always suspected time-out dolls of this very ability )

TOS S01E12 "The Conscience of the King": S-suddenly Shakespeare )

fff I am skipping ahead to the Captain Pike Inna Box eps cos everyone keeps talking about it

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