dancinguniverse: (genius)
Wait... was that just the most perfect episode of Merlin ever? Because I think it was.

Spoilers! )Actually I think this season so far has had one of the best runs of good episodes I can remember for the whole series. I just keep thinking, "Wow, that was unexpectedly awesome!" over and over again. I think it helps that Merlin's goofiness is a lot less embarrassing now that Arthur's insults sound genuinely affectionate, and they're letting Merlin be a lot more assertive these days. He used to be the guy who just spoke out of turn, and even when he was right it was cringeworthy, but he's much better now about speaking up like a man, and finding more appropriate moments for it, when Arthur will actually listen.

I guess what I mean is that Merlin and Arthur finally seem to be getting some character growth, and it's a pleasure to see.

On a completely separate topic, I found this vid yesterday, and I can't believe how much I needed that in my life. I have a very solid list of comfort media. But while my comfort books are awesome YA fiction, my comfort movies are mostly ridiculous. The list is something like: Princess Bride, The Fast and the Furious, Muppet Christmas Carol, and Dirty Dancing. I watched Dirty Dancing when I was in middle school, probably, and thought it was fun, with great music. I rewatched it in college and realized huge chunks of it are practically soft core porn. But it's also the perfect popcorn romance. Baby's romance is exactly the romance story I fall for every single time. And REM's "You Are the Everything" is also literally on my playlist titled "Comfort."

All you hear is time, stand still and travel
Feel such peace and absolute stillness, still
That doesn't end but slowly drifts into sleep.
The stars are the greatest thing you've ever seen
And they're there for you.
For you alone, you are the everything...

Voices calling somewhere in the house
Late spring, and you're drifting off to sleep
With your teeth in your mouth.
You are here with me.
You are here with me.
You have been here and you are everything.
dancinguniverse: (newworld)
H50 )

Also, I made this chicken stock and soup for dinner. I made the stock last night and the soup tonight. The recipe said to let the stock simmer for three hours, but that meant it cooked down way past what was predicted. I only got 4 cups, instead of the promised 8. Which, it was stock, I just watered it down later. But the soup also turned out super thick, even after watering down the stock. I wouldn't add anywhere near that much arugula. It's a leaf, so it cooks down immediately, and by a huge amount, but it still seemed out of proportion to everything else. Maybe I just don't like arugula that much. But I added an extra cup of water near the end, because with the couscous and the chicken, it wasn't even soup consistency, it was just... a bunch of chicken and couscous in a tiny bit of broth. I would also add more lemon, but I am obsessed with lemon and lime, and often add twice as much as I should to things, so maybe other people wouldn't agree.

That may seem like a lot of complaints, but I actually really enjoyed the soup. Maybe it's just because I'm not used to how fast my gas range cooks things, and I boiled off more liquid both times than I meant to. And honestly, the thickness of the soup was good, just surprising. So the only thing I'd really change would be to use maybe half the arugula called for. The chicken, peas, couscous, was all really nice. Not the strongest flavored soup, but it was super easy, and it had a nice balance. It'd be even easier if you didn't bother home-making the stock the day before, but I did the grocery store rotisserie chicken thing, so at least I got a chicken dinner out of it as well.

Tomorrow I'm going out with my mom to the Korean barbeque place in town, which I've been trying to visit since I got back from Korea. I'm really excited, because Korean barbeque was awesome, and I'm hoping it tastes the same here in the states.
dancinguniverse: (starbuck)
The Good Wife )

I also saw that movie In Time, and lol. It was kind of ridiculous, but possibly more so for me than some people. Then again, I might have enjoyed it more, for the same reason, which is that I cannot separate characters and actors. Sometimes because it makes things more fun (this movie is infinitely better if you assume Matt Bomer is still playing Neal Caffrey than whoever he was actually playing, and ditto for Vincent Kartheiser playing Pete Campbell), but mostly I just connect better, though maybe not in the intended way, when I know actors from something else. This had Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphey, Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde, and Johnny Galecki, on top of the two I've already mentioned. And that's pretty much everyone who has a speaking role, except for the gang members. I don't usually have this problem with movies, and I think it's because usually movie actors are in one thing, and then another, and I don't have time to make those weird connections. But this was almost entirely people I know from TV roles, except for Murphey and Timberlake, and both of them were in two of the most fannish movies from last year (Inception and The Social Network).

So yeah. Even without all that, it was sort of absurd (sooo many time puns), but enjoyable, I thought. Especially if you like all the people I just mentioned, and I know that fandom does indeed like many of those people.

Speaking of fandom, movies, and not being able to separate characters from actors, "Tom Hardy and Chris Pine Eames and James Kirk beat each other up to win the love of a woman, and also because it's fun" is a movie that's coming out at some point. Don't let me down, fandom.

I finished my homework today, carved a pumpkin with the Batman logo, and roasted pumpkin seeds. Proceed, Halloween!
dancinguniverse: (yo momma)
Okay. So it is completely my fault that I forgot my purse at my grandparents' house today. I will own that. Luckily, my credit card, bank card, and license were all in my back pocket, as per usual. I'm more annoyed that the book I'm currently reading was in the purse than the fact that I'm missing my checkbook (which I use exactly once a month, to pay rent) or any gift cards.

But my grandparents will be driving within a MILE AND A HALF of my apartment tomorrow morning on their way to the beach. But my grandmom won't drop it off, because traffic in the morning can be terrible, and she might get lost, since she's never been here before. So now I'm going to need to drive a half hour up and back at some point to get it, on roads that I can't travel for hours out of the day, because of how bad traffic is between here and there, unless I wait until next weekend to get it.

Okay. The bane of my existence these days is traffic, but the whole point is that she would already be on the highway near my house. She would get OFF the highway, and travel a mile and a half down a road that never has traffic, knock on my door, drive a mile and a half back to the highway, and continue on as if she had never been interrupted. There is no way this would cause her to hit any more traffic than she would anyway, since she was already planning to be on the highway that time of morning.

I love my grandmother dearly, but she just sets her mind on things being difficult, even when they're incredibly simple. A few Christmases ago, a holiday which was already awkward because it was just my mom and stepdad and me (I think holidays are supposed to be about lots of family, so three people just seems lonely and awkward to me), she was supposed to come out for Christmas afternoon and dinner. She canceled, because of weather. Blizzard, you might assume. Or at least slippery snow. Or driving rain. Ice storm would be a good reason. No. It was a little foggy. It was well above freezing, but a little foggy. So they stayed at home. I offered to go pick them up, but she told me not to dare, because it was too dangerous, and she didn't want me getting in the car.

Oh, grandparents.

In other news, goddammit, DVR, figure out football. I'm sick of you thinking you're recording The Good Wife, and instead getting the last half of The Amazing Race, and only the first 40 minutes of TGW.
dancinguniverse: (hug)
I just heard this odd, acoustic version of the Old Irish Blessing, sort of - listen here. And it reminded me that at the end of the summer, I had gone to the beach to stay with my grandparents for a few days while I studied for quals. It would be quiet, and I would have few distractions, since their apartment doesn't even have internet.

It was super nice, hanging out with them, and when I went to leave, my grandfather took my hand and held it and recited the entire Old Irish Blessing to me. He's such an amazing guy.

I went to Renn Fest for the second time today. I had this weird thing last night where I didn't want to wear the same thing as last week, even though most people only have one outfit that they wear, garb being as expensive as it is. But I went through my closet for fun ways to dress up one of the two garb-type shirts I have, plus my corset I bought last year and my boots. I ended up wearing grey woven tights, my long sleeve shirt with awesome sleeves, and then put one of my sundresses overtop, with the corset over that. The sundress is this straight, hunter green, square-neck, sleeveless deal, and when I pinned it up shorter and wore it over the shirt and under the corset, it worked perfectly as a tunic. So I got to go as a squire of sorts, which I really enjoyed. Two girls, probably high school age, walked up to me in one of the shops and told me they really liked my outfit, which always feels good when you're wearing something objectively ridiculous, but especially when it's cobbled together like mine was.

Now I really want to cosplay Alanna somewhere. And also make chainmail. It's like knitting, but hardcore.
dancinguniverse: (reading)
Holy crap. This is one of those times when I just freaking love fandom, because there's no way the Avengers movie, when it comes out, will be anywhere near as good as this fanfic. Tomorrow Belongs to Me. Warning: seriously long, and seriously awesome. Also hilarious.

It is Steve/Tony, but that's not actually why I love this story at all, and it's not even the main driver for huge chunks of the story. It's an amazing team story, with an actual plot. Seriously, this should be the movie. Even without the slash, I just know this is a way better story than anything we will get in theaters next year, and that makes me sad.

I love Thor, and Clint, and Darcy, and Jane, and Natasha, and Rhodey, and Loki, and obviously Steve and Tony. I love that the author takes what is a serious sausage fest and makes sure that Darcy, Jane, Natasha, Maria Hill, Sharon Carter, Pepper Potts, Sif, and even Frigga all get their moments - and plenty of them. And I also love that even if the story is Steve/Tony, it doesn't forget that Tony and Pepper were a thing, or write it off as that confusing heterosexual period of Tony's life. And it takes Tony seriously to task for all his shit.

Which is funny, because I've seen a large amount of fandom consensus that while Steve/Tony is a wonderful pairing, Steve is far too good for Tony, and Tony needs to shape up before he can date that nice boy from the forties. So it's nice to see that being addressed. But the best part is that it's not done just as a vehicle to make Tony good enough for Steve. It's also Tony realizing he's an asshole, and the people around him deserve better, whether he's sleeping with them or not.

I was also giggling out loud at sections. Thor is my favorite, except when it's Clint, or Darcy, or Loki, or anyone else. Seriously, if you have any interest in Avengers fanfic, or if you've been thinking, "I don't really know the characters all that well," this story is still for you, since I think it does a really good job of introducing characters - it's not like we've met Hawkeye in the movies yet anyway, aside from a cameo.

Also, it's long, so there's no way I can find all the parts that made me laugh, but it's also really funny in parts. Steve wants one of those tiny phones everyone has! Thor has a strange, stupid brother! So does Loki! Steve tells stories of valor with Asgardians!

Anyway, fun times all around! Please read and enjoy.
dancinguniverse: (space)
Tonight is a good night. For this one small moment, I feel caught up and responsible. I've got my homework done that's due tomorrow, and a list of questions to ask the prof about what's due on Wednesday. I watched my team lose at football in real life (seriously, Ravens, what the hell?), but won at fantasy for the week. I went through my inbox and used up my $5 in Amazon mp3 money, which I used to buy a Decemberists album, which I'm enjoying while my cat nuzzles my arm and purrs.

And now I'm going to read some things I promised friends from a while back, and go to sleep early so I can get up early and beat the traffic into work. Where hopefully I will actually get things accomplished. But I think I've finally hit a point where I need to ask my adviser what's going on. Not because we have interesting results, but because I'm still confused about what exactly our data is supposed to show. Right now, I made something that I can plot, but the counts look suspiciously low to me. But there's all kinds of things I don't trust my instincts on in this project, since I'm looking at a single star with a transiting planet, instead of an entire galaxy. Also, I went into this project expecting to do the science I read about in the proposal. Instead, we're going to spend the first chunk of time investigating instrumental effects in our data. Which isn't as boring as it sounds, I guess, but it's not as interesting as looking for water bands in transiting planets, either. Still, we'll get there eventually.

Wait. The Decemberists just broke into "Raggle Taggle Gypsy Band" in the middle of a song. It's "Rox in the Box," for anyone who knows the Decemberists better than Nickel Creek/The Chieftains. Odd, but nice. This is why I am trying to learn more about the Decemberists. I love the sound of their music, but I sort of hate the singer's voice. I mean, I got the album for free, so this is my chance to see if I can learn to like him.

Back in astronomy news, apparently the James Webb Space Telescope has guaranteed funding through 2018, though there appears to be a bit of a debate about whether the funding is on top of the NASA budget, or whether we're expected to take it out of other programs, which would be problematic, since we're also focusing on a new heavy lift rocket in the next few years. But JWST is awesome, so I think we're taking this as good news.

And lastly in news, I just got a smartphone, a Droid 3. It's quite shiny, with a slideout keyboard that I'm quite fond of. It may mean paying a data plan every month, but considering everywhere I go has wireless, I don't see myself using more than the minimum plan. And now I have a GPS with traffic report, on top of a fun toy and handy email checking. Though now I understand why people check their smartphones so incessantly. They're so much fun, it's hard not to answer when a notification pops up. My only thing so far is that it only fits in my back pocket, and I'm scared of sitting on it, so I just end up carrying it in my hand everywhere, which is awkward, and really makes me look like I can't separate myself. Possibly this will get better once I start wearing jackets more once fall gets here for real.
dancinguniverse: (Default)
Alright. So, I started a new research job, my second year of grad school (and hopefully last semester of classwork), and caught up on TV. Life is back to normal, pretty much, except for all the ways it's sort of weird right now.

Life )

And since I pretty much have to read/watch something before going to bed, I've been catching up on shows before the fall premieres. I've had the last two episodes of Supernatural on file since they aired, the H50 finale, and half a season of White Collar. I got through White Collar and Supernatural, so I'm going to catch up on H50 this week I think.

TV )

Comics )
dancinguniverse: (reading)
Spoilers for Storm of Swords and everything up to that. )

Okay, time out here, because I have to say that I fucking love Brienne, I love the entire idea of her in these sort of books, and I love GRRM for creating her (and Arya, and Catelyn, because you don't have to hold a sword to be strong, and Asha, and Cersei, because she may be an Evil Queen, but by god, she's a strong character, and of course Danaerys, but I love her for all the shallow reasons you'd expect, namely, she's a fucking magical dragon queen of horse-people or something - possibly a goddess - I would believe almost anything about her at this point). GRRM, your feminist card has been written in gold ink, please display it proudly. This is all I'm asking. I mean, I have plenty of strong female heroes, but in books, most of the girls come from girl writers (L'Engle, Pierce, McKinley), and it shouldn't have to be that way. My other huge exception is Philip Pullman, because Lyra Belacqua is a fucking badass, plus we get witches and Mrs. Coulter and Ma Costa and it's so nice to see writers not take the easy out of guy-hero, damsel-in-distress. Actually, glancing around my book shelves, I'm gonna hand a shout-out to Garth Nix (Sabriel) and Charles deLint as well, who are dudes who write seriously awesome girls.

And, to totally derail here, I think good writers should just be able to write men and women, but in genre writing, they just get away with tropes way too often. I shouldn't have to overlook that shit. And I'm delighted when I find ass-kicking girls in my Middle Ages knights/kings/dragons story. Okay! Back to spoilers. )
dancinguniverse: (six)
Guys, Tamora Pierce has a livejournal. My online world is a little more complete.

In other news, I realized now, the day before I leave, that I never posted a link to my Korea blog, so here it is: Korey in Korea.

A short summary of the trip, and things I've learned about myself. )

The stupidest thing I'm looking forward to back home? Finally getting to see Harry Potter, Captain America, and maybe Cowboys and Aliens, which I was super excited about, but I've been reading pretty awful reviews. DISAPPOINTED!
dancinguniverse: (angelina)
Oh my God. this is exactly why I shouldn't be allowed on tumblr. But now I'm following nothing but awesome shit like this.

Seriously, I'm not planning on posting anything, I just got it to follow hilarious people. Like above.

The internet may be the most destructive thing mankind has created.
dancinguniverse: (Default)
So I saw X-Men First Class last night... that was as good as I could have possibly imagined. I thought when I first saw they were making this movie that it was going to be in the vein of the Wolverine movie, which was, I think we can all agree, absolutely abysmal.

This was so good!! I mean, aside from having everything I loved in terms of characters (I have wanted a Magneto/Xavier backstory for so long), it was just a really decent movie, I thought. Except sorry, January Jones, I love you, but you always sound like you're reciting lines, not actually talking. It kind of works when she's Betty Draper, but not so much as Emma Frost. Can we switch actresses and get an Emma Frost movie?

Yay, mutants!

Also, that was possibly my favorite cameo in any Marvel movie yet. Not bad for a day's work, yeah?
dancinguniverse: (starbuck)
Doctor Who spoiler for aired episodes (through episode 6) and LOTS of speculation. )

tl;dr: I can't believe how amazing this show is, I'm so excited for next week, and I am so frightened of how long I'm going to have to wait after next week, until the second half of the season. Now I know how Lost fans felt with their theories.

Also, why don't I have a Doctor Who icon?
dancinguniverse: (girlpower)
Game of Thrones!!! I would do a cut for spoilers, but I don't think it's a spoiler if all I want to say is that Daenerys Targaryen is fucking awesome.

Okay, specifically she is awesome because  )

In other news, I TA'd my first lab tonight, and despite screwing up a few things in Excel (stupid typos), it went well. Everyone was suitably impressed with how big the solar system is when made to scale (though no one laughed at my Douglas Adams joke), and people were generally friendly. It's the class for mostly non-science majors, and in fact appears to be largely made of kids who are seniors or even super-seniors, just trying to get those last required science credits out of the way. But they were good sports, and I think we'll do okay. I graded about half the labs already, and so far they actually all managed to do their math right, which impressed me.

I also started packing today, but I used all my boxes up packing books, and I'm only about halfway done. With the books, that is. I put my winter clothes in bags and dismantled my big bookshelf, and that's as far as I got. I have until Monday, so I'll be fine. Just a lot to do at the end of the week.

But tomorrow, after finishing a bit of work, I get to hopefully finally finish watching Avatar. This has been going on since last summer sometime, but we're into the third season, and they're short, so I figure we'll finish tomorrow, or at least get close enough that I'll just finish on my own sometime this week. From what I hear, yay lots of Zuko!! I feel like a Draco fan when I cheer for him, but I do love the emo firelord. What a cutie.

God, when did it get this late? Bedtime!
dancinguniverse: (angelina)
The Good Wife )

That said, I want Kalinda to do something different with her hair. I know the other women never actually change their hair either, but it's different if you just leave it down all the time, especially when it's short. But she always has it up in back with the pieces tucked behind her ears. Doesn't she ever just put it in a regular ponytail? I don't know why this bothers me so much.

Then again, I remember my roommate's bf asking me one time why I always wore my hair the same way, and telling me it would look nice if I wore it down sometimes. I was really surprised, because I wear it down all the time. But he almost always saw me in the evenings, after I'd cooked dinner, so no matter what I had done earlier, by then it was usually in that pony-tail where you only pull it halfway through the binder. My hair's long enough that a regular pony-tail still gets in the way.

To continue that tangent, I've gotten compliments that I think were sincere both times recently when I've french braided my hair one day, slept in the braid, and then just folded the braid up with a giant clip, and pinned down the shorter side pieces that are always falling out. It's really not an attempt at styling, it's what I do because I forgot to take the braid out when I went to bed, it's my off day for washing my hair (I usually wash my hair every other day), and it would look horrendous if I undid the braid and did anything else. But apparently people think it looks like some fancy hair-do. Or I'm totally missing the sarcasm when people note my bad hair day. *shrug*

Pretty sure I crushed my Stat Mech exam this evening though. At least one thing went right. One more paper to write, and then I'm done with this semester.
dancinguniverse: (angelina)
Supernatural spoilers )

God, this is like watching Smallville all over again. No, it's not good. I can't even pretend on that front. But it is fun as hell, and c'mon, at this point, I have to watch just so I can keep my Mark Sheppard quota up. Between this episode and Doctor Who, Mark Sheppard is pretty much my favorite person on TV these days.

Also, saw Thor last night with people, and it was pretty awesome. Non-spoilery discussion. )
dancinguniverse: (math)
My new/usual trivia group messaged me to warn that turnout would be low tonight, and then sent a second notice that "Passsover claimed the rest of the group," and there would be no trivia group tonight. Which was fine, because I had an exam, and I don't know if I have a cold or allergies, but I'm congested and exhausted, and possibly still allergic to the same something that made my whole face puff up last week, but now it's my neck. Which is still a huge improvement over my eyes, so we'll see what happens. It was also something like 87 degrees here today, and hot and sticky really was not an improvement over the crap my body was already doing.

Word to the wise? If you're not sure if you have a cold or allergies, the solution is NOT to take both Dayquil and benadryl. At least, not if you actually want to study for your exam. If you want to feel high and take a nap though, go for it, it'll be great.

Also, since Passover is claiming my trivia group, I have to ask: is it traditional for Jewish families to have awkward, large family reunions around Passover, like Christians do for Easter? There were apparently fifty people at my aunt's house on Sunday, and I knew eight of them, including the four people I arrived with. To be fair, it's my step-dad's sister's party, and she's something like fourteen years older than him, so they're not very close anyway. But yeah. I really resent "family reunions" where I don't actually know anyone. It's not a reunion - it's just weird. It's also sad when I recognize the amazing cheesy broccoli casserole from years past, probably more than I would recognize whoever makes it.

Now... to attempt homework, or to watch Game of Thrones and go to sleep? Hahahahahaha. Yeah.
dancinguniverse: (yo momma)
Oh, come on!

Last week, I watched Game of Thrones sitting downstairs on my couch, watching it on the TV, like a normal person.

This week, I actually DVR'd both it and Treme, because I wasn't sure what time I was going to get back tonight, and I had some studying to do. I still have studying to do, but I'm fighting a cold as well, and I was ready, at 10pm, to give up studying and go downstairs to watch the premiere of Treme followed by a rescreening of episode 2 of Game of Thrones.

And HBO wouldn't come up on the TV. So I called the number on the screen and entered a "quick code," which is bullshit, because then they transferred me three times, had me give my phone number twice, and finally made me go dig up an old bill anyway for verification purposes, only to tell me that I don't have HBO on my account, and is there anything else they can help me with tonight?

I always feel bad taking out my rage on the poor schmucks who answer the phones, so I don't*, but I settled for being pretty short. I don't know what I could have said in her position either, to my, "But I was watching it last week." If it's not on my bill, it's not, and I'll check it later on my side, but I'm inclined to believe her if she looked it up.

And I do recall canceling a bunch of stuff because our bill was so high, but that was months ago, and I watched Game of Thrones last week. Did they show the first episode for free? That would be a really good marketing campaign, but I don't remember hearing anything about that. My roommate said the cable box wasn't working this afternoon, so he reset it. He wonders if maybe the cancellation from before didn't go into effect until he reset it this afternoon, which... ok, but still. MONTHS ago, I changed our order. I do not understand.

Guess I'll just pirate it, like I do everything else. I fucking pay for cable these days. Why do I still watch everything on my laptop from illegal download sites?

*One of my least favorite stories from my teenage job years occurred when I was a cashier at a grocery store. Our credit card readers were down for all the registers, so we couldn't take cards. We hung signs, and I warned her before I started ringing her up that was the case. She bitched the whole time she had to find her checkbook, and then stopped and said, "I know none of this is your fault, you have no control over this." And then continued to tell me what a shitty store I worked at, and how much this messed up her finances, etc., etc., etc. I have a pretty good ability to let stuff like that roll off me when I'm working in a public type job. When I was a waitress, when I ran a register, I was like, "I am a good employee, I do my job well, some things are beyond my control, this person either does not know that or is too stupid to realize it at this moment, but it's not my place right now to correct them." And that was fine. But to have someone stop, realize they were being a bitch, and then deliberately choose to go right on being a bitch just struck me as the absolute bitchiest way to do it. I still didn't say anything. When she said, "Maybe I'll just take my business somewhere else," I was just like, "Okay."

But yeah. Consequently, I don't think I've ever actually bitched someone out at their job. Because the people who are responsible for screwing shit up are rarely the people at the front of the house or answering the phones. More's the pity. Some of them probably do deserve to get yelled at a bit more.
dancinguniverse: (together)
I miss living near my friends. It's a really nice afternoon, and I want to go for a walk, but I want company. This was so easy in college, or even most of last year, when my roommate and my nearby friends all loved taking walks around. I mean, I could just go on a walk anyway, and I might, after I've eaten dinner and I'm not so hungry. But I would rather go with a friend. My friends here are not taking walks kind of people, or they live too far away for this kind of thing.

On the other hand, my next door neighbor and I both have our windows open, and he is playing the piano quite well. A few minutes ago he was singing Your Song, by Elton John. My neighbor plays better than he sings, but it was still really sweet to hear.

Hm. I was thinking, I might like walking by myself more if I had books on tape. But then I realized: podfic! Now I am downloading podfic. Let's see how this goes.
dancinguniverse: (puddlewonderful)
I notice that when they were showing all of the cast of Game of Thrones talking about they'd never seen anything like this before, and it was amazing, the sets and costumes and how real it all felt, that they neglected to ask Sean Bean what he thought.

I hope he just wandered around and corrected people on how to wear their costumes and ride their horses the whole time.

Bring on the awesome fantasy, and also Jason Momoa's most naked body.
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