aruan: (Default)
2014-05-25 11:58 am

meme in 10 movies

[personal profile] elipie suggested summing ourselves up in 10 movies. I didn't get too deep, but this is a decent cross-section of what cranks my wheelhouse. )
aruan: (30 Rock - bored now)
2014-04-27 12:52 am
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Let me tell you a story only you will understand, DW

I am having my third drink of the night. I can't tell you the last time I went to more than one bar in one night, but this is a press trip and 23-year-olds can be very persuasive. So I sucked it up and walked back out of my hotel room at 11pm even as everything inside me wailed, "I'm 37, please don't make me go to Brooklyn." Except I am neither 37 nor in NYC, but Liz Lemon is my spirit animal. Anyway, it's cool, the kids are fun and downtown Roanoke doesn't suck for a town that once got wiped off the face of the Earth. But I just got an AO3 notification that my favorite story (holla @ wordstrings) has been updated, and we're talking sneak off to a toilet stall at work to take a personal 15 priority story. Is it weird that I'd rather go back to my hotel room and read myself to sleep than... pretty much anything else?
aruan: (GG - glamorous life)
2014-03-26 10:49 pm

you people win, I now have Game of Thrones feelings

Though I am not the tiny reporter Kristian Nairn (Hodor) got down on one knee for, I did stand next to her for the red carpet premiere of Game of Thrones' fourth season in New York City last week. My official story is up on, but here are a couple things that didn't make it into print:

Even before the show has aired, newcomer Pedro Pascal, who will play Oberyn Martell, has been overwhelmed by the "vastness of the Internet," so good job y'all.

Finn Jones (Sir Loras Tyrell), the most ebullient and always smiling man to come down the red carpet, is wasted on the dour dealings of Westeros. He swiped a flowery hat from a reporter at one point, too.

And my favorite moment was Thomas Brodie-Sangster’s three-second pause before answering my question about whether he gets recognized more for Game of Thrones or Love Actually these days: "It's different in the States. In the States, Game of Thrones is a lot bigger than it is in England, but in general it’s still bloody Love Actually." Sorry, dude, you were adorable in it.
aruan: (Iron Man - hello Tony)
2014-02-12 01:24 am
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...were upon us more than two weeks ago. I only got through about 70% of them before reveals went live, but I did watch them all! And oh, so many amazing vids. Here are my top 20. )
aruan: (Sherlock - 221B)
2014-01-28 10:18 am

going to ride these endorphins for a long minute

'Sherlock' recap: Season 3, Episode 2, 'The Sign of Three' | Metro US

You guys, I was the toast of Tumblr last night after basically every BNF in Sherlock fandom linked to my Metro recap of The Sign of Three. I'm 99% fannish enthusiast, not creator, so the last 12 hours on the other side have been like one long fizzy high. I mean, I had a ton of fun writing these (here's The Empty Hearse, which IMO is funnier and just as ho-YAY!) and could say that's its own reward, but there is nothing more validating than the enthusiasm of hardcore fans.

PS. All fannish emotion aside, I could defend every word of it to my editor as an unbiased assessment of what happened in the episode. This stuff writes itself.

Slight spoiler in the editing question. )

PPPS. This one time, South Korea was not exaggerating.
aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2014-01-24 01:04 am
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I got 99 problems with the new season of Sherlock, but His Last Vow ain't one

I'd like to respond to marsdaydream@Tumblr’s list of the bitterest pills we were expected to swallow in season 3, especially His Last Vow which contained, for me, the most consistent characterization of them all. Here's how I see them. )
aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2014-01-21 01:51 am

how I learned to stop worrying and love The Empty Hearse

I'm not the comedian in my social circle. As the enthusiastic magpie, my forte is effusive bursts of emotion on the esoteric subjects I know a ton about. To that end, I've spent many happy hours between Tumblr and the AO3 "preparing" for the third season of Sherlock. Meta, fic, art - my fannish life of the last two years consisted of little else.

Which was exactly the problem when it came time for The Empty Hearse. )

Back in September, as my newspaper's resident Sherlock expert, I agreed to write episode recaps, which we try to make amusing (nothing TWoP-caliber, but not everyone wants to read a few thousand words on a single episode of their favorite show, either.) The formula works: While I watch neither Homeland nor Scandal, our synopses are often so amusing that I almost forget people die with some frequency on both shows. So it was with that goal to find humor that I approached my recap of The Empty Hearse - and realized what I've been doing wrong from the first scene.

Summarizing something forces you to focus on what's happening in the story, and only that, while being funny puts the drama in perspective. I learned to love the episode by setting aside two years' worth of emotional investment (which still needs a good catharsis - this is the closest I've come). Take things as they happen. Let the characters react in their own ways. Instead of allowing a scene totally jar me out of the story, take a deep breath to consider that the people who made it probably weren't intentionally setting out to fuck with their audience. Allow things to unravel as the writers intended instead of imposing limitations and requirements. I know you're all rolling your eyes, but as a journalist I'm trained to look ahead and anticipate what's next - but the effect is prejudicial in the real world, and joy-killing in entertainment. With that in mind, the episode actually turned out to be damn good, accomplishing everything it needed to without becoming maudlin. I'd give it a solid B+.

tl;dr Sometimes the characters serve the plot, and sometimes the plot is determined by character development - and both are valid storytelling approaches.
aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2014-01-06 03:15 am
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The Sign of Three, totally spoiler-free reaction edition

I can't find the interview just now, but I believe it was Mark Gatiss who once told an interviewer that they put all this time and effort into crafting the cases for Sherlock, but in the end all people want to see is Sherlock... being Sherlock.

And if The Sign of Three, and to an only slightly lesser extent The Empty Hearse, is how they see Sherlock behaving in his own life, then I'm glad we at least got six episodes of coherent and entertainingly told stories before trotting out every fanfic trope in a single season.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to finish this bottle of wine and hope the last hour and a half were just a bad trip through the AO3.
aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2014-01-05 11:37 am
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on the potential of Mary Morstan

More than anything else, The Empty Hearse ended up being about Mary Morstan for me (and Mycroft Holmes, but one appreciation post at a time). And it’s the height of hipster nonsense to say I liked her before she was famous, but it’s true. )
aruan: (Star Trek - we've got a badass over here)
2014-01-04 07:04 pm
Entry tags:

holy crap I finished a thing

Title: I Can't Do It Alone
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Music: I Can't Do It Alone from Chicago
Summary: Then we wow the crowd again.
Notes: After The Empty Hearse, I wanted something happy damn it (no spoilers).

aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2014-01-03 10:35 pm
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for the sake of law and order, I suggest you avoid all future attempts at a relationship

I know we all played this game almost two years ago, but from what Moffat and Gatiss have said in interviews (I’m spoiler-free for The Empty Hearse) there won't be much in the way of explanation for the events of The Reichenbach Fall. Which seems a shame, even if from a storytelling perspective John Watson is perfectly right in the Series 3 trailer to say it's not about how Sherlock did it, but why. (Though the audience already knows most of it: kill yourself or your friends die; John had to watch because otherwise he would've ended up ruining his life trying to find out the truth like Anderson(!!!) and coming with Sherlock would've given away everything.)

That doesn't mean I can't spend a few thousand words (>.>) tying up the loose ends. )

As an aside, this post would be more thoroughly sourced if more than half of the links I’ve come across weren’t inactive due to people changing/deleting their Tumblr handles. Such a black hole of fannish history.
aruan: (Star Trek - we've got a badass over here)
2013-12-14 10:11 pm
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a gentle reminder that we live in Orwell's future

Facebook Wants to Know Why You Didn't Publish That Status Update | Slate

In case anyone needed reminding, Facebook makes money when you generate content. And when you choose to not generate content by deleting that half-formed thought, you're denying Facebook revenue because it shows targeted ads based on what you share.

I use Facebook for many reasons. It is valuable to me as a social tool because my friends don't just live in Brooklyn or Washington Heights - they're in Abu Dhabi, Britain, Japan and Australia. I hate phones. Sometimes, all I have to say is a single photo, and I don't just want to send it into the abyss of Tumblr, which isn't where my personal life lives anyway. But I don't know how much I love the idea of being part of a grand social experiment run by advertisers.
aruan: (Iron Man - hello Tony)
2013-12-11 12:41 am

so that's where Peter Jackson spent his whole budget

So, our cable company randomly stopped being an inefficient corporate monopoly and gave me two tickets to an advance screening of The Desolation of Smaug tonight. With free popcorn and drinks!

Holy crap that's an amazing CGI dragon. (SPOILERS) )

Then, on the way home, I had a missed connection, because between never knowing the right thing to say when the moment calls for it and living in fear of embarrassment means I don't introduce myself very often. Anyway, I may have posted it to Craigslist, because why not. If you're interested, read it below. )
aruan: (30 Rock - bored now)
2013-12-10 06:27 pm
Entry tags:


A partial list of fact errors in last night's World of Warcraft segment on The Daily Show: )

Love you anyway, Aasif and Jon.
aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2013-12-08 12:55 am

on and on through the night and the milky way

Aside from a pleasant Thanksgiving spent with friends and their family (though B. gets credit for making a ridiculously fiddly Hungarian dessert, the latest attempt to sublimate the stress of long-term unemployment with baking) there just wasn't anything notable about November. We bought a vacuum during Black Friday, but it was through Amazon so that doesn't quite count. And now, somehow, it is improbably December. I just want some real snow soon, is all I'm saying.

Oh! Actually, there was one thing. Back on Nov. 11, I attended the book release party for Rene Redzepi: A Work in Progress, the new memoir-cookbook by the head chef of Noma in Copenhagen. There was free champagne and lots of people dressed in black who looked like they don't actually eat anything, and I managed to snag a brief chat with him. Amusingly, here is a video of him utterly terrified about just how serious coffee people can be.

In ALL the news of the past week, Sherlooooock. Last year, fandom had [personal profile] greywash's advent calendar with the 26 chapters of as many names as snow, and this year we seem to be getting daily interviews, photos and other chum in the waters ahead of the Jan. 1 premiere of The Empty Hearse. As if we needed any provocation, but I'll take it. For the record, mustache haters to the left, I am ALL IN.

In college football news, I don't have any strong feelings about Michigan State but good job breaking Ohio's 24-game winning streak because, though reveling in Urban Meyer's pain may be shallow I'd drink his tears if I could. Yes, this Gator is still bitter.
aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2013-10-08 08:04 pm


The New Year | greywash (Sherlock/Lestrade)

Also known as fizzygins on Tumblr, where she is often hilarious and sometimes gives teasing glimpses of more Good Morrow to come, she's probably my favorite author in Sherlock fandom. Her stories leave me breathless (and not just because her sentences tend to go until she runs out of breath writing them, I suspect.) The writing style isn't for everyone. Take the warnings seriously. But it's genuinely the best story in this pairing.

I don't remember what got me into Sherlock/Lestrade a couple months ago - it probably has to do with Sherlock's time as an addict, before he formalized his detective work. And he is all of those messy things in this story, sneaking into labs to do his work, pushing everyone to the edge because he's unable to channel his arrogance. But this is Lestrade's story, and instead of the usual guilt trips about Sherlock's age or trying to clean him up, it's selfish, agonizingly emotional and so, so plausible.

And now it's back to Game 4 of Rays vs. Red Sox. Keep yesterday's momentum going and make this a real series, boys.
aruan: (30 Rock - bored now)
2013-09-28 12:17 am

I guess that's love

The tl;dr of my three-week radio silence after the fannish renaissance that was VividCon was a whole lot of real life stuff crashing down on my shoulders, and my response to stress is keeping as busy as possible so I can't think about anything else and just collapsing into bed at the end of the day.

So let's talk about the fun bits of the past week!

I have it on the good authority of a guest star that Tom Mison, who plays Ichabod Crane on my favorite new guilty pleasure, Sleepy Hollow, is a very funny man who finds humor even when it wasn't in the script. They had me at doughnut tax outrage.

Speaking of new fall TV: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Blacklist, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Big Bang Theory, Masterchef Junior )

We had a seasonal beer tasting at work on Wednesday (journalism doesn't suck ALL the time) where many good brews were had, but the surprise of the event was finding a pumpkin-flavored beer I actually like: the hoppy and not at all sweet Saranac Pumpkin Ale, a 125-year-old brand brewed in upstate New York.

It looks like I've got a lead on a pair of Bastille tickets for Monday's show at the Bowery Ballroom, at face value too, which would be an amazing birthday gift to myself. The milestone birthday was last year, but we were too busy trying to get settled in New York to do much more than eat take-away Chinese food just before midnight and pretend the fortune cookies held some particularly profound significance. This year, to say that we don't have anything to celebrate is an understatement, but damn it there won't at least be good music.
aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2013-09-09 11:25 pm

these streets will make you feel brand new

Are there any apple orchards or pumpkin patches within train/bus reach of NYC? This is what people do in New England during fall, I'm to understand. In Florida, we celebrate with an al fresco meal and packing up our sweaters because businesses stop over-air conditioning their offices.

My good intentions of starting a post-work walk routine, since I can't develop a rapport with the rowing machine like the Mr., were waylaid by an impromptu nap. Look, some of you might be heartless enough to move a cat that has just snuggled against you, but I'm made of softer stuff.

I've been soul-deep in Sherlock for so long that no other fandom's managed to pique my fannish interest since last January, but the new season of The Vampire Diaries might just do it. I suppose one of the pleasures of being a vampire is infinite second chances. Interested to see how the Salvatore boys will screw up getting everything they ever wanted.

The world is conspiring to get me to watch Breaking Bad, just as it's ending. I don't love the idea of committing to a source just as everyone else is preparing to move on though, and that may ultimately be the reason why I don't watch it. I had my epic television love affair with Battlestar Galactica, and prefer my conflicts speculative or internal rather than agency-sapping things like cancer and the rotten state of American health care.
aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2013-09-08 10:41 pm

drink that Kool-Aid, follow my lead

Nothing much ever happens on Sundays because from 1-5 p.m., I invade dungeons and fight monsters on the Internet with nine other like-minded raiders. This was our last chance to take down the final boss in Throne of Thunder before the new raid tier goes live on Tuesday, and let's just say that not killing Lei Shen was the least of our problems.

In cat news, the Mr. and I bought plastic tubing meant to protect our computer wires because one of our cats likes to punish us for not feeding him whenever he thinks it's time by chewing through the nearest cable. We've lost count of how many computer mice, chargers and headphones have been lost to his tyranny, and are slowly transitioning what we can to the cordless life. But recently, he claimed a new and much more serious casualty: the power cord to the Mr.'s monitor. Hence, plastic tubing to protect all our precious things, and his precious kitty face in the process. Except he's decided that the tubing's texture is DIVINE and obviously, like everything else in this world, meant for his mouth. Sigh.

There was also a bit of Naruto Shippuden (didn't see the Village Hidden in the Leaves being wiped off the map coming, *sniff*) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (still as angry about the confrontation with Snape on the lawn as ever), catching up on LJ and fiddling with my Sherlock vid after getting some beta feedback. I'm a writer but not of fiction, so I haven't ever really put a subjective work up for an audience before, and it's been fascinating to see what people notice.
aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2013-09-07 11:31 pm

he could become my little problem

It feels like there hasn't been any new news for two weeks. Of course, this doesn't mean we didn't put out a paper, because the 24-hour news cycle doesn't need something worthy to happen to keep churning along as anyone who's watched cable news will tell you. But it did make for some long coffee breaks while we wondered what the hell the world has been up to, and the hilarity of a weeklong Miley Cyrus twerk binge morphing into whether we should retaliate for the chemical attacks in Syria.

Speaking of those long coffee breaks, a male colleague told us about a party where they played a game that involved everyone trading phones and having free rein for five minutes, and I can't imagine a more heinous way to spend five minutes. I don't want to know that much about anyone else, and vice versa.

Rewatched Order of the Phoenix today, and didn't remember the showdown in the Ministry for Magic being that underwhelming. However, this was only my second time watching this movie, since of all of them it was the worst offender in terms of omissions.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Frappucino: An A+ way to tide your cravings over until the weather turns cold enough for lattes.

There will come a time when my life isn't all Nicki Minaj all the time, but this week was not it. Now if you'll excuse me, my pumpkin coffee and I are going back to scrolling through all the beautiful pictures of Cumberskittles at the Toronto Film Festival (speaking of him, ICYMI, there's now glorious footage of the Star Trek Neutron Cream prank.)