community | brain wrinkled

Biscuit... Coffee... Biscuit... Yoohoo!

Way back when summer was still new and I was celebrating being freshly off work for an extended period and therefore had nothing to do -- HAPPY, HALCYON DAYS -- I got super into Korean dramas again. After watching City Hunter a few years ago and it knocking every standard for drama out of the park, I didn't feel like watching any other K-dramas, feeling quite certain none of them would measure up.

Over the summer, I managed to get over it and get three more under my belt (and a few that I started and then just ended up reading recaps for instead): School 2013; Pinocchio; and Signal.

They're all great in different ways, though if I only get to rec one, I aggressively rec Signal. More on that in a bit.

School 2013
What's awesome about it: It's a high school drama about a low-performing school and more specifically, about the "bad" class, the quiet, still-waters-run-deep student who doesn't listen to lessons but hears everything, the inexperienced teacher with her heart in the right place. It's kind of difficult, actually, to pin down an easy summary for it, because it's all about the relationships between the characters -- and I'm not talking romantic relationships; in fact, what worked so well for it was that it didn't have any canon romances, and centered itself on character growth instead. Also, it has THE CUTEST, ANGSTIEST BROMANCE EVER. (And the actors are BFFs in real life; SO ADORABLE.)

Pinocchio
What's awesome about it: A female lead who says what she means, doesn't take any crap, and goes for exactly what she wants? THANK YOU, I'LL TAKE TEN. No noble idiocy or inane love triangles to be found here; the lead couple are refreshingly communicative and honest with each other and cute cute cute.

Signal
What's awesome about it: It's my new City Hunter. After watching this, I'm off K-dramas again. The premise is a time paradox: a police profiler hears someone calling his name over a radio transmission and he finds an old walkie-talkie and starts getting messages from the past to help solve cold case crimes, from a detective who, in the present, has been missing and presumed dead for over a decade. It's part murder mystery(/ies) and part thriller, grounded in profound emotion. It's about the human connections we make, the decisions that change the course of history, the lifelong regrets about the things we never said. I can't tell you how many times I cried while watching this -- and listen, I cry at A LOT of things, but I know when I'm being manipulated to cry and when I'm not; Signal isn't by any stretch of the imagination a tearjerker melodrama. It earns every tear and gasp and howl of injustice. And the acting in this by actors who play the veteran detectives, OMG.

I will say, I didn't get fully hooked until about episode 4, so if you do give this a looksee, make it at least that far before you decide whether or not you want to go on. AND YOU WILL. (Also, watch it on Dramafever. At the time I watched it, Viki didn't have it fully subbed.)

tl;dr: Watch Signal. Do it do it do it.
  • Current Mood: pessimistic pessimistic
mst3k | strawberries

They don't allow you to have bees in here

Have I ever told you guys about my superpower? It is the greatest, and by "the greatest" I mean the most disgusting affliction known to mankind. Let me elaborate.

Listen, I will eat a lot of things. Among the people you know, I am very likely at least in the top three of the most adventurous eaters. Fish eyes, pig's ears, every innard available -- they all go happily down my gullet. However, I do draw the line at insects. I mean, all the power in the world to you if you have no problem with them, but I do. I find them repulsive in every way. Which is probably why they manage to worm their way into my food with amazing frequency. (sarea_okelani will tell you the look on my face when I found, on separate occasions, a caterpillar in my ramen and a beetle in my spinach salad.)

A few days ago, I was out buying cleaning supplies for washing my walls (for repainting; omg, the walls look so good now - pictures forthcoming, once I properly unpack all my worldly crap) and for my troubles, I thought I'd treat myself to a taro milk tea. A lovely plan, and foiled incontrovertibly by the fact that IT CAME WITH A COCKROACH IN IT.

Let's let that sink in. A COCKROACH.

Sarea and I are heading down to LA for a little bit (to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, YESSSS) and meet up with jade_okelani, who is now reconsidering eating meals with us (me). Lol. It is, sadly, my curse and my cross to bear.
  • Current Mood: nauseated nauseated
community | brain wrinkled

Maunderings

A kind soul left a very complimentary comment on one of my Bradley/Colin fics on AO3 today, which got me to reading a couple of my old Merlin fics. There is something so strange about knowing with a hundred percent certainty you strung all those words together into a story and yet thinking, omg I wrote that?, because some of it was actually quite good?? And yet if I were to sit down and write that very same story today, it might well suck a big toe. Is it because I'm out of practice -- after all, in my most active days of fandom, I'd churned out something like a fic a month, and now I put out a story once a year, if that -- or did I already peak as a writer several years ago without anyone telling me?

I'm not necessarily looking for an answer; the thought just comes up every so often. And I do cycle through periods where the last thing I wrote is what I consider my best, and then a few months later, I reread it and think it's hot garbage, and then several months (or years) after that, on further reread, think perhaps it might be a worthy effort after all.

So I guess what this all means is that my opinion can't be trusted. Oop.

  • Current Mood: pensive pensive
community | empowerage

Sir What and Draco the Magnificent

The other day, sarea_okelani, slitherhither, and I decided that we were going to form our own informal book club (because real book clubs are intimidating and there's way too much pressure to be insightful), and reread the Harry Potter series again. Every other time we get together we talk about how we've forgotten so many things from our first reads (mostly me, because my memory is not even a sieve, it's a springform pan that long ago misplaced its bottom), and how we sped through the last book especially just because we needed to find out what happened next. So I've started on the first book again, to read while I'm bored at work and/or avoiding work at work.

It got me reading some of my past Draco/Ginny works again, and while there's definitely room for improvement, I'm totally enjoying some of the things I wrote years and years ago. Which is nice. I tend to go in circles of liking what I write when I write it, being really pumped when I finish and post it, and then, after all the dust has settled, thinking it was complete and utter garbage. It's nice when it comes back around to the part of the circle where I think I'm actually kind of decent at writing.

I also found deep in the recesses of my GoogleDocs a really cute D/G fic about them falling into a choose-your-own-adventure book that I was a few scenes away from finishing. Damn this short attention span and constant writer's block; if only I had finished it when I'd had the inspiration and could've posted it. It's totally adorable, lol. Alas. And the D/G fandom's so dead now; everyone's long since moved on to other fandoms, myself well included, that there's really no point in trying to spruce it up and post it, even assuming I had the time slash gumption slash writing spirit. Ah well, insert dreamy nostalgic sigh here.

  • Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic
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mst3k | whimsy overdose

Watch out for soggy bottoms

I've been watching the Great British Bake-Off recently on PBS. They're two seasons behind -- it's the one with custardgate, which I only know of because of the Big Fat Quiz of the Year -- but it's new to me, so shhh on spoilers. :) GBBO is great; it's one of the only reality competition type shows I like (the other being Face Off). There's no manufactured drama or backstabbery or sniping, and all the contestants are super sweet and seem to genuinely like and respect each other. Best of all, they're crazy talented, and there is such delight in watching talented, passionate people do what they do.

Of course, watching it makes my mouth hungry as hell for everything they make, and it's also tickling the dormant baking monster in me.

bakeymonster
Please can we bake? Oh please, oh please, oh please?


Back when I was living in Chicago I used to bake all the time; I'd bring in stuff to work just about every Monday (to the point where people got upset and demandy if I didn't). There's something about baking that's so therapeutic and satisfying -- when it comes out right. But then I moved, out of the country, so I had to shed a lot of belongings, and much of the bakeware didn't make the cut.

[moment of silence]

After yesterday's episodes of sweet doughs, featuring lots of brioches and buns and tea loaves, I decided I had to -- had to -- make my own tea loaf. So today I ventured out after work for a loaf pan, thinking Goodwill would be an excellent place to get a decent pan for little to no money. How wrong I was! The cheapest and, incidentally, crappiest one was six dollars. Six dollars? At Goodwill? NO THANK YOU. I popped into Fred Meyer next, where they were having a 25% off sale on their bakeware, so I got a brand new loaf pan for $5.50. Take that and an emphatic tsk as well, Goodwill. You used to be cool.

Anyway, my raisins and cranberries are now soaking, and if all goes to plan, tomorrow I shall be cramming a fat lot of tea loaf into my face.
  • Current Mood: hungry hungry
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community | brain wrinkled

Do you know more than me? That wouldn't be fair.

Remember how I was slightly iffy on Mr. Robot a few weeks ago? Well, I changed my mind. I'm recommending the crap out of it. You should all definitely watch it, and, as I told sarea_okelani, sooner rather than later, because you do not want to be accidentally spoiled for the twists that happen in the back half of the episodes. There are two more to go before the season wraps up (ten episodes in all; not a huge commitment), and it's already been greenlit for a second. Super, super strong writing, and when it doesn't seem like it, there's a reason. Watching Rami Malek go about his business is a seized-by-your-lungs pleasure; he's phenomenal playing the brilliant and brittle lead. All the awards!

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mst3k | danger small talk

The TV! The TV!

Is anyone else watching Mr. Robot? I've mostly been keeping up with it; haven't yet gotten around to the most recent episode, though. I like its premise and the unreliable narration from the main character (played by Rami Malek, who is really, really good in this role), but other aspects I'm iffy on -- like Christian Slater and, once in a while, the odd foreign film aura it takes on, so I'm not sure how I feel overall about it, or if I'm recommending it. Thoughts, anyone?

  • Current Mood: okay okay
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mst3k | whimsy overdose

Eat like you give a f*ck

I just bought the Thug Kitchen Official Cookbook! sarea_okelani brought it to my attention a few months ago, and reading it is a delight. It yells at you in a completely supportive way and makes you want to take control of your crappy, tiny kitchen. For example, this caption on their whole wheat biscuits recipe: Make your own biscuits because that store-bought shit is shady as hell. Food shouldn't be packaged like a stick of explosives. That shit is unnatural. Heh. I haven't made anything from it yet; it just arrived yesterday. But I'm excited to! Maybe I'll even post the results! But let's not get our hopes up about that!

I also like those really metal recipes on tumblr, like this one for a waffle ice-cream sandwich: ONCE YOU HAVE THOSE TWO LITTLE SHITS IN YOUR HAND THROW THEM ACROSS THE ROOM SO THAT THEY LAND PERFECTLY IN YOUR TOASTER. IF YOUR AIM SUCKS ASS JUST PUT THEM IN GENTLY WHILE TRASH TALKING YOUR TOASTER BECAUSE YOU’RE STILL HARDCORE. Hell yeah. I guess what this tells us is that being yelled at about cooking really gets my ass in gear.

Also purchased a handheld milk frother, which is SUPER COOL :D I'm going to froth EVERYTHING.

  • Current Mood: excited excited
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mst3k | plot thinnens

San Diego 2015: Comic-Con or Bust -- Part III

PART I | PART II




DAY 5: I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE WORD STRATEGY MEANS, BRYANT GUMBEL

We weren't able to get Saturday tickets, and although we were missing several things we would have loved to see, like Dylan O'Brien's face at the Scorch Trials panel, having a day's reprieve from the nonstop madness of Comic Con was quite nice. Instead, jade_okelani and ropo drove down from LA to pick us up and ferry us all to more spa goodness. Sarea went back to Cascade, and the rest of us carried on to Karma. We all met up afterward at Oscar's, because those octopus tacos deserve to be eaten more than once. A girl in line behind me asked for a recommendation; obviously the immediate answer was the octopus taco, but she was not about that business, so I recced the surf and turf instead. Her grave loss.

Not for the first time, we lamented the lack of such good stuff in Seattle. We're a seafood town, too; why can't we accomplish the same standards?

I mean, reallyCollapse )

  • Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
mst3k | plot thinnens

San Diego 2015: Comic-Con or Bust -- Part II

PART I




DAY 3: THE LINE FOR ___ BEGINS HERE

Our first day of Comic Con! Our hotel was on the Pink shuttle route, the stop just off the corner curbside. Based on my long-ingrained penchant for turning up to things much earlier than I need to, we aimed for the 7:30am shuttle to get to our 10am panel, and got in line behind a few other con-goers.

It's a tad early...
Adelagia: "Hooray!"
Sarea: "... I guess."

Long days aheadCollapse )