topaz119: (shamrock love)
Catching up with my media consumption over the last few months, cutting because it got loooong...

books )

tv )

movies )

Virtual cookies to anyone who made it through all that!
topaz119: (somanybooks)
The Winter Sea, by Susanna Kearsley--it is, like all of her work, very, verrrrry detailed. It also turns out to be about D’s family (the Scottish clan from the 1700s, so nobody we know), which I didn’t realize when I snagged e/audiobook on whatever Deal of the Day I got it on. It was a little bit of a kick when the Countess of Erroll showed up as a character. (I seriously doubt D’s family is from that exact branch of the family, but they were/are that clan. It’s given me renewed interest in digging through genealogy records. After 4 or 5 generations, it’s just so many names on a screen to me, even with my own family.)

Designing Your Life, Bill Burnett & Dave Evans--the book form of their Stanford course on using design principles to figure out what you want to be when you grow up (even if you're already there, ie, old.) I mostly got this to see if it might help #2Son with his less-traditional life plan, but I'm enjoying it on my own, too. (I do enjoy a good self-help book and this one is low on the woo-woo scale, which is even more endearing to me.)

A Second Chance At Paris, Cole McCade--I've completely lost the battle to stop adding to my (already staggering) TBR pile, both virtual and not, and this is one of the romance kindle deals I've been unable to resist. But seriously, the heroine is an astrophysicist with a father suffering from Alzheimers--how could I pass that one up? So far, it's not bad. There is some serious lack of communication in the main couple's background, which usually sets my teeth on edge, but since this case involves high school miscommunication, I'm letting it slide for now.

Since the last time I checked in...

Turn Coat, Jim Butcher, audio by James Marsters -- #10 or 11 of the Dresden books; I can't remember the last time I've lasted this long in a series, but now I'm at the point where I'll be damned if I stop. (Also, good on Butcher for letting the Luccio situation play out the way he did. I'm also to the point where I think he actually planned it that way, too.)

When Gods Die and Why Mermaids Sing, C.S. Harris -- #2 & 3 of the Sebastian St. Cyr books (Regency-era badass ex-military viscount with an Irish actress mistress & a former street-rat of a tiger), both of which I very much enjoyed. There was one point where I was a little worried that the actress was ripe for fridging, but in the next chapter Harris set up her agency and involvement so that while I am not entirely sure she'd going to survive much longer, it probably will have more to do with her own (valid, understandable) choices. The setting is spot on, too -- no wonder my mom loved these books.

I have a couple of Beverly Jenkins' books on my bedside table so I think those are next up. Also, 2 more St. Cyr mysteries.

You all know I almost never watch anything as it's actually airing, but I'm making an effort for Poldark, if only because of my mom (again.) Even if I can't call and dish with her about this version and even knowing the general plot line (we watched the original series way back in the day), I can't let it air without watching. I have to say that I think this Elizabeth is much more sympathetically written, because I *never* saw her point back in the '70s (omg, Team Delmelza all the way) but now I am rooting for her to find some way to happiness (so long as she keeps her mitts off Ross.)

The boys have been shepherding me through Parks and Rec, which never appealed to me when it was on, but that was apparently because I watched in the first season. We skipped clean over S1 & S2 and I am having a *blast* with S3 onward. We're up to Leslie's campaign for city council and while it is striking a little too close to home these days, I still get all the warm fuzzies from it.

I'm tiptoeing through Daredevil and Jessica Jones, mostly because I fell hard for Mike Coulter in the first episode of JJ and really want to watch Luke Cage with the proper background, but I can only take about 1 episode a week because of the dark (themes, not settings.)

Other than that, all I watch is HGTV and the Food network. :D

For some reason, I have been in this total Bollywood mood. Maybe because Sonali Dev's writing reminded me how much I loved the drama and flair? (She has a new book out right now and I ended up re-reading her first two on various planes this summer.) Luckily, the library has an excellent collection of the genre, because it’s otherwise a pricey addiction. So, yes, lots of giant dance numbers, except my 2 favorites turned out to be straight drama, not musicals. (Dil Chahta Hai, which is a coming-of-age arc about 3 friends and their romantic entanglements; and Monsoon Wedding, which does have the obligatory wedding but where the wedding is the catalyst for the drama in that everyone comes together and Stuff Happens. I am not ashamed to admit I cried through parts of both.) I'm still on the waiting list for Dil Dhadhakne Do (which sounds like the same big family Drama, only with a 30th anniversary cruise) and Band Baaja Baharat (friends to lovers against a backdrop of wedding planners. Dear lord, the bulletproof tropes that one hits for me...)

Sidenote: Last weekend D wanders into the bedroom asking if I had RSVP'd for his friend N's wedding, which, uh, no? Your friend, your chore. I haven't even met the bride-to-be, though I do like the groom a lot. He's adorable. (He taught with D for years.) So, they're a modern couple and everything is set up online, which forces D to go through the (agonizing, seriously, no one ever had to do so much stuff to rsvp a wedding, yes, my eyes are rolling out of my head) process of downloading the app and finding the wedding and then he's all, 'a sanjeet?' (he's spelling it out for me), 'what is that and why do I have to rsvp for that, too?', so yay for cultural diversity in reading and watching and still being able to impress the husband even after 30 years?

I am the world's worst gamer--my hand-eye coordination can handle typing & that's about it, but I am managing to play Knight of the Old Republic with much support from the HoB. I'm so proud? Also, on my phone I have been playing Regency Love for a couple of months & might just find myself running off with a most unsuitable beau. Also on the phone, I have just started Fallen London, but I have no idea what I'm doing there, so I'm expecting to die a horrible death at any moment.
topaz119: (somanybooks)
Still listening to Storm Front, the first Dresden book. Worked my way through the pre-Avengers comic tie in (Fury's Big Week) and the prelude to Thor: The Dark World for my [ profile] marvel_bang, though they *only* thing I'm using from that is this panel, because, mmmm, Hawkeye. Still haven't thrown in the towel on The Lost Sisterhood, but I haven't made much progress either. On the plus side, the hold list coughed up Rhys Bowen's next Lady Georgie mystery, Heirs and Graces, which almost always satisfies my itch for cozy mysteries, so that's ready to go. The hold list is also coming through with all three TPBs of Saga, so I can re-read 1 & go right into 2 & 3.

I finally finished off S2 of Once Upon a Time and gave in and sent some money to Hulu so I could watch S3 w/o having to jump through hoops (like I'm going to have to in order to finish off this season of Arrow--*why* CW doesn't make it available somehow w/o me having to buy the whole season on itunes is beyond me.) The interwoven stories still do it for me--the boys think I'm fairly funny when I cackle at who turns out to be what fairy tale character. (FWIW, I think my favorite encounter of the entire series is Neil telling Mulan about her movie.) Also, still watching Penny Dreadful, though I stalled out at 1.04 and haven't gotten back into it. Again with the loving all the interwoven stories and characters, but oy, I have to psych myself up for the blood and sex and horror.

FINALLY got to see X-Men: Days of Future Past and... well, let's say my inner 14 year old is still delighted to see her secret obsession playing out on the big screen. And, in a way, it's better that I didn't know this storyline as that obsessive teen, because there was my world, the X world, but someone was telling me a new story in it. Kinda like why I'm so into fic. I mean, I generally knew the storyline, but it wasn't the one that broke my heart in the 70s (hi, Dark Phoenix.) cutting for a spoiler from the end (not the post-credits scene) ) So that was good.

We also got Rush on DVD, which I was mostly watching for the clothes, while the rest of the testosterone-fueled house was in it for the Formula 1. I did get a kick out of telling them that the part that had Hollywood-liberties taken with it wasn't that Lauda was back in a race car after 6 weeks, but that Hunt & Lauda were actually friends & roommates as well as rivals, not just rivals who came to respect each other. I also had to explain the whole Richard Burton/Elizabeth Taylor thing, which none of the HoB had ever heard of. I think I'm taking that as a win, parenting-wise.

And also for the [ profile] marvel_bang, I re-watched Thor 1 & 2 & all the deleted scenes, which I know you know was such a hardship, :D.

ok, my house is a freaking disaster area and I am out of time to procrastinate about getting it shoveled out. Ciao, bellas!


Mar. 10th, 2014 12:03 pm
topaz119: (earthrise)
You know you work for a geeky place when you overhear 3 separate conversations gushing about Cosmos on your way to get your first Diet Coke of the morning.  (For the record, I watched it live last night and then again this morning alongside BabyBoy while getting ready for the day.)
In other news, I could swear I posted at some point in March, but apparently I’m composing and posting in my dreams. So, to update: nothing terribly exciting is going on. Work, kids’ schools, life… you know. D is in the middle of baseball season so he’s barely around. The weather has maybe stopped with the cold stuff? The daffodils are blooming, at least. 26 days and counting until spring break. I managed to post a chapter so I only have 3 more to go and I’ll actually be finished with the Agents of SHIELD/MCU/Hawkeye Clint/Coulson. Crossing my fingers that I can keep this mad canon meld going long enough to get to a happy ending, because my brain is screaming for it now.
How are you all?
topaz119: (A-Babies!Nat)

So, I'm writing an Avengers/Agents of SHIELD/Hawkeye Clint/Coulson that I've wanted to write right from the start of AOS, and I'm posting it a chapter at a time, because that's the only way I can reliably finish anything these days... and that got long and boring )

...and that was probably 100x more than what you signed up for around here, but it feels like I just freed up my brain to keep going on the writing, so cut-text it is.

I feel vaguely guilty for doing anything but trying to write on this thing (I, er, underestimated how long it was going to take to claw out of the angsty hole I dug for everyone, so instead of a nice 15K fic, I'm about to crack 25K and still have a third of it to go, whoops), but I have managed to read a couple of books (I finally realized I could put my iPad in a ziploc bag and read in the bathtub, which makes life SO MUCH BETTER, duh.)

What I've Just Finished
So [personal profile] poisontaster not only sorted me out on where to start with Barbara Hambly, but also loaned me her pick, so Bride of the Rat God, it was. I enjoyed it immensely, especially the setting and atmosphere of 1920s Hollywood, which was vivid enough to be a character of its own. So, that was fun.

And then I resolved to actually *read* some of the sale-of-the-day e-books I compulsively buy, so I dove into the first of the Phryne Fisher mysteries, Cocaine Blues, and didn't come up until I'd gone through Flying Too High and Murder on the Ballarat Train (and #4 is on the way from the library.) I think it's safe to say I enjoyed the series--it's nice to read something outside the usual post-WWI setting of England/NYC (these are set in Australia) and Phryne is entertaining enough in her own way. Plus, dear lord, the *clothes*. I find myself googling her designers and imagining my grandmother (who was a knockout in her day) in various and assorted outfits. The mysteries are fine -- I never bother trying to work out who the villain is when I read these things, I just float along and (if all is working right) am entertained by the spectacle, which these are doing nicely.

What I'm Reading Now
Nothing, at the moment -- or, well, cookbooks as I sit around assorted therapist/orthodontist offices. Canal House Everday and Bouchon Bakery (which qualifies as strength training, too, as it is huuuge.)

What I'm Reading Next
Phryne Fisher #4--I can't remember the name, just that it's waiting at the library and tomorrow is conveniently enough a work-from-home day, so I can grab it on my errand run around the little town we live near.

Other random stuff
Spring break -- I am experimenting with a third-party broker for Disney Vacation Club properties and have a savanna-view studio reserved for approximately the price of a moderate-resort room. (This is mostly so that #2Son can hang out in the room and have something to see if the rest of vacationing gets to be too much for him.) I will report back on how it all turns out, but so far it's been pretty painless. I also started making dining reservations in November, as soon as D confirmed that the varsity team was playing in a WWoS tournament, so I'm holding Saturday evening fireworks-timing at the California Grill, a reasonable time for dinner at Le Cellier, and an actualfax dinner table at Be Our Guest. (My squee is only barely contained at this trifecta of Holy Grail restaurants.) The Flower & Garden Festival is doing food booths again this year, so that's cool; the new MK daytime parade starts in about a week (and has so many steampunky elements I might have to see it more than once); and the construction walls are down from around the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, with the possibility of it being in soft-opening by the time we get there. For this being my 4th trip in 9 months, I am ridiculously excited by all of this.

TV -- Behind on everything except for SPN but that's only because BabyBoy has caught the bug and watches it in the morning before school. I was very happy to see who I saw this week, even if I'm seriously ready to start smacking some sense into people named Winchester.

Movies -- We finally (!!!!) coordinated schedules and went to see The Hobbit last weekend, and all I can say is that I have given up trying to be rational about those movies. As soon as the score begins, I just fall into this place where I'm catching up with friends I haven't seen in decades and while I can objectively see where the first part was a little slow, I honestly didn't care. I think we're trying for the Lego movie this weekend; I have promised not to make loud comments about Manic Pixie Dreamgirls while there (note the 'loud' part, because that's as far as I was willing to go.)

Anyway. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I'm still here (and on tumblr and twitter and goodreads and pinterest -- come see me if you're hanging out there, too!)
topaz119: (path through the woods)
Hello, lovely peoples! I've been meaning to post for days and days now, but it has been A Week, and for no discernible reason other than there having been too many weeks like that in the recent past.

Summing things up:

  • Thank you for all the birthday good wishes! In spite of the stupid week, I did get to have deconstructed gumbo and coconut cream pie at Watershed on Peachtree. Since I count the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot as a birthday trip, the rest of my gifts are (much) lower key--just things like new cooling racks (just in time for the holiday baking season) and a new pepper grinder. Still, lots of fun.

  • Also on the birthday topic, [ profile] rogoblue, thank you for the cheeses, they were/are very yummy! (I somehow lost your email address, which is why one should never clean out inboxes uncaffeinated.) Also, the, uh, odd gift that will probably arrive w/o a note is from me. (I could not figure out how to add a note to the order and then it processed before I could go back and change it. I got a shipment notice on it, though, so it did get sent. Someday, I will manage to do presents w/o all this attendant drama. I live in hope that it's before I go on Social Security.)

  • BabyBoy and I went to see Thor 2 and had an excellent, popcorn time, though I think my favorite part was the 5 minute Cap 2 trailer (yes, we did 3D--13 year old boys don't go for anything else.) I seriously cannot wait for that movie. Back in Thor-land, I have this Clint/Darcy that's been kicking around on my hard drive for the last 6 months that seems to have been kick-started by all the snarky Darcy in the movie, which is a pleasant surprise. Extra bonus points that what I already had didn't get jossed by the movie--maybe I'll even manage to find an end for it at some point?

  • I finished an actual, full-length novel last week--will wonders never cease? It was one of my Victorian-widow-turned-private-investigator mysteries, Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily series. It was fine, but suffers by comparison to Raybourn's Lady Julia/Brisbane series with which it shares a fair number of similarities. But sitll: a book! of fiction. Finished!

  • Still watching SHIELD (May continues to own me, but FitzSimmons are growing on me fast; also, so far not-jossed on the AOS/Avengers Clint/Coulson, writing as fast as my brain will process); Arrow (Oliver and a sense of humor--I so approve; still on the Olicity train); Sleepy Hollow (I'm not sure which is more fun: the IchAbbie or Orlando Jones live-tweeting the episode). Still lagging behind on SPN and OUAT, and Castle gets watched in bits and pieces in the mornings so I'm watching but I'm not entirely focused.
  • topaz119: (Default)

    What I Just Finished
    Thanks to a VP who is alll frothing at the mouth about efficiency, I haven't read much but things associated with Getting Things Done this week. Don't get me wrong--I find this system of managing tasks, projects and the inboxes of Doom to be my favorite and it has been for years, but I could have done without the "lunch and learn" discussion groups. (New VP. All energetic and stuff. Go team?)

    Anyway. The only non-work-related thing I read this week was a novella I found while cleaning up my kindle library (said cleaning being a part of the great We Will Become More Efficient mandate, and quite frankly, one of the better results. I mean, who really cares if I went through 11,000 emails in my inbox and assorted folders? Nice, but doesn't hold a candle to reading material I'd forgotten I had) -- one of Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julias. The wedding one, to be exact. V. v. enjoyable, mostly because it had high crazy-family-to-Julia/Brisbane-fighting-about-how-involved-she-should-be ratios and those are always my favorites. Also, Aquinas was at Belmont Abbey to oversee the nuptials and I do love me some competent, organized butlering with a heavy side of sarcasm (cf. Jarvis.)

    What I'm Reading Now
    Amazon/Audible have a thing where you can get a narrated book for cheap if you have the kindle edition, and they do a free one every month. This month happened to be Little Women, the kindle edition of which is also free, so hey, Marmee and Jo and Laurie are currently living on my phone for freeeeeeee.

    I've got Mary Shelley (thanks, [ profile] ariadnes_string!) to fill in around where last week's free verse biography left me itching for more details.

    Hey, I actually have watched some! Cutting for spoilers...

    Arrow )

    Agents of SHIELD )

    Supernatural )

    I might keel over before we actually get to Cap 2 next spring. The boys are already preparing to point and mock when we hit Thor 2 this weekend and get the bonus Winter Soldier footage. And let's not even *talk* about Days of Future Past. The X-Men were my first comics love and I read them religiously in the 70s. I usually count Han Solo blasting Darth Vader away from Luke's X-Wing as my fannish triggering event, but Jean/Scott/Logan had me primed for that trigger.

    Has anyone seen a post-Avengers timeline? IM3 happened the Christmas after the Chitauri, but have we nailed down how Thor 2 and Cap 2 fit in? I have all these ideas that need to be slotted into a timeframe.

    If you got that far, please! have a virtual cookie! mwhah!
    topaz119: (happy endings)
    Thing the First: White chocolate candy-corn M&Ms are not half-bad. Can't say the same for the pumpkin spice ones, but that's where the HoB comes in handy. An open bag, two minutes and it's all taken care of.

    Thing the Second: BabyBoy and I watched Sleepy Hollow last night and had a blast. We'll be back for more. (I'd do the what-I'm-watching post, except y'all know I can't keep up with more than a few shows, so it's looking like SH and SHIELD and then a bit of Castle and SPN (loving the promo I've seen around!) and Once Upon A Time (if I get caught up.))

    Thing the Third: I am thinking about [ profile] extreme_bigbang -- 100,000 words in 10 months -- but I'm not sure what plot bunnies I have that would make it to the 100K mark. Which is kindof the point--sign up and see if I could do it, but I'm sitting here trying to find the true end to the [ profile] marvel_bang and work out the [community profile] polybigbang, too, so my brain is totally in WTF?MORE? mode. hmmm, thinking.
    topaz119: (it's a bookworm thing)
    hello, good morning afternoon, happy monday, etc, etc, etc

    So not in the mood for the reality of alarm clocks and calendar reminders. Let's talk about what I've been watching instead. Cutting for potential spoilers:

    SPN )

    Downton )

    Skyfall )

    Les Mis )

    Still trying to catch up on SPN and Once Upon a Time, and, no, I still haven't seen The Hobbit, fml.
    topaz119: (linus)
    Getting the flu on December 6 (and only now feeling like almost normal again) is not optimal. Just sayin'.

    I somehow managed to make it through picking up Oldest from his dorm, taking all three boys to the small museum with the amazing Egyptian collection on their free day; spent the next day in bed, calling in to assorted work-related meetings; spent the *next* day in Middle Earth (Fellowship started at 11:15 a.m. and we were walking out of the credits of RotK at 12:05, technically the following day); and then spent the rest of the week gradually working up to reality again.

    As of this morning, I had 2 (of the 20 needed) gifts purchased. aieee.

    I'd do the TV meme, except I can summarize it in 1 line: started watching Once Upon A Time. Didn't ditch anything old, though I'm behind on everything but Castle and Leverage (but only because BabyBoy watches them in the morning while he's waking up, so I see them as I'm running around doing my own morning routine), which means SPN and H50 are still taking up space on my DVR. Downton Abbey and the new Upstairs Downstairs also rotated through but I've watched all of them.

    Good things:

  • I finally finished the curtain-fic epilogue for the Clint/Coulson I wrote during the summer, which is also known as the part I really wanted to write but couldn't make sense of for the longest time. It is very nice to have that out of my head!

  • I really couldn't believe how quickly the time passed while watching all three LOTR movies. I don't even know how many times we've seen them, so I thought we'd probably get bored in the middle, but no, not at all. Watching them all together on the big screen was really amazing, even if it did wipe out the entire weekend (and make me vaguely nauseated at the smell of popcorn now.)

  • There was a groupon or something (living social? maybe?) to have a Christmas tree delivered to the house -- $70 for an 8 ft Fraser fir, including delivery and I decided that after last year's Home Depot travesty of a tree, this couldn't be any worse, so I went ahead and did it. Not only was it not worse, it is quite possibly the best looking tree we've had in years and the nice man brought it right to my front door. This is good, because I doubt we'd have a tree yet if it hadn't just shown up at the beginning of the month. But! it did, and we do, and other than a slight mishap that resulted in a decapitated angel tree-topper, we have achieved Tree. See? )
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