pedanther: (cheerful)
(via [livejournal.com profile] lost_spook)

Because this year, between various Yuletides and the fact that a few months ago I went through my collection of old fic and uploaded (and backdated) everything I was still willing to expose people to, there's actually some chance of being able to provide meaningful answers.

Read more... )
pedanther: (cheerful)
(via [livejournal.com profile] john_amend_all, out of several available options, because he linked to a handy template)
Read more... )
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. The Christmas show opened this week. Everybody's enjoying it so far. The local newspaper gave it a terrible review -- not in the sense of not liking the show, but in the sense that it spelled everyone's name wrong and gave away all the best jokes. (And it's going to be a while before we stop ribbing our New York-born lead actor about how impressed the reviewer was by the authenticity of his American accent.) Still, they say there's no such thing as bad publicity, and I remember what it's like to get no review at all, so I'm not going to complain. Much.


2. I'm still playing Doctor Who: Legacy on and off. I'm getting gradually better at it, and although I'm still not really invested in the "story", it's designed like most smartphone games to be easy to pull out and play for a few minutes while you're waiting for something else.


3. [livejournal.com profile] glvalentine has done another list for TV Club 10, this one 10 notable TV adaptations of 19th-century English literature. Strikingly, neither the 1995 Pride and Prejudice nor the 2004 North and South made the top ten, although they're the first two honorable mentions; as with the last list, there's a rule enforcing variety in the top picks, and they were beaten out by 1995's Persuasion and 2009's Return to Cranford respectively.


4. Over the last few years, Sesame Street has been making a series of spoof movie trailers in which Cookie Monster learns lessons about self-regulation skills like patience, perseverance, and consideration of the feelings of others. My current favourite is Star S'Mores, in which our hero plays the role of Flan Solo, accompanied by his faithful sidekick Chewie the Cookiee... which goes about as well as you might expect, considering this is Cookie Monster we're talking about.


5. Man, I love Cookie Monster. One of my favourite parts of doing Yuletide last year was watching Cookie Monster videos and calling it research. Here's a classic from twenty years ago: Monsterpiece Theater present Little House on Prairie.
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Agent of Change (re-read)
Terry Pratchett. Sourcery (e) (re-read)

In progress
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Carpe Diem (re-read)

In hiatus
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Saltation (re-read)

Non-fiction books in progress
Lundy Bancroft. Why Does He Do That? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men
Sara Douglass. The Betrayal of Arthur

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Terry Pratchett. Wyrd Sisters
pedanther: (cheerful)
Yuletide authors have been revealed, so I now know to thank [livejournal.com profile] chokolattejedi, petrichoral, and [livejournal.com profile] rabidsamfan for my gifts. Thank you all so much!


It also means I can talk about what I wrote.

I wrote two stories - one full-length, and one short "treat" - for shewhoguards. They're both set on Sesame Street, with references to other fandoms the way real Sesame Street includes high culture and pop culture references.

The full-length story is about Cookie Monster doing his Cookie Monster thing, with references to some of the other fandoms that were on shewhoguards' wishlist. (I'm afraid the Diana Wynne Jones references are considerably more extensive than any of the others, reflecting my own familiarity with the originals, but there it is.)

The treat started out as a set of throwaway jokes that I couldn't quite get to fit in the main story but didn't want to throw away entirely.


C is for Conjuration (1740 words)

"Hey there, Cookie Monster," says Luis. "You do know that there's no cookie on that plate, don't you? That plate is empty."

Cookie Monster stops his little song and looks up at Luis. "Me know that," he says. "Me using magic to make cookie."


Sesame Treats (260 words)

Our television correspondent rounds up some of the most popular shows on Sesame Street TV.

(Or, Yuletide 2013's three most-requested fandoms gain some Street cred.)


And here, because they're too good not to share, are some of the Sesame Street videos I watched as research for writing these. (Apparently I'm doing this wrong - isn't research supposed to be difficult and unpleasant?)
Read more... )
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. Last night was the annual Toastmasters Halloween-themed public meeting. (We've done it two years in a row, that makes it annual. If we do it again next year, it will be "traditional".) As we did last year, there were creepy costumes, disturbing foodstuffs, atmospheric decorations, and a mix of members and guests doing speeches or presentations on related topics.

This year, I was one of two people who did a poetry recital. Coincidentally, we both took the approach of picking, rather than a poem that was about ghosts throughout, a ballad in which all the principal characters die and then the last couple of verses are about how their ghosts are said to still haunt the vicinity: I did Alfred Noyes's "The Highwayman", and Firstname B did Banjo Paterson's "The Geebung Polo Club".

(There's a running joke in our club about how many of the members have the same first name, in particular the two stalwarts whose surnames make them Firstname A and Firstname B. Which makes another unplanned coincidence about the two poetry recitals, because I'm Firstname A.)


2. [livejournal.com profile] lost_spook's Obscure & British Comment Fest is still occasionally producing new fruit. The most recent was, to my delight, inspired by one of my own comments, and I love it.

The great disadvantage with stepping into drawings, mused Mary Poppins, was that one could never be quite sure what lay around the corner. The initial impression might very well be one of pleasant pastoral elegance, with green meadows and gently rolling hills; but on the other side of those hills might be marshes, or brambles. Or, as in this particular instance, caves. In the normal course of events, Mary Poppins didn't mind caves. A large, roomy, picturesque cavern was a grand place to be, and filled with opportunities to improve young minds. This cave, however, was dark and gloomy, and dripped constantly. In the normal course of events she would never have dreamt of stepping inside; but then, in the normal course of events, she wouldn't have been chased into it by an army of slavering orcs, either.

"Orcs." She managed to keep the lion's share of her displeasure from her voice. It wouldn't do to appear too ruffled, after all. "Orcs, Ronald?"


3. Tiny Games is a project I backed on Kickstarter that recently came to fruition. It's a smartphone app for people at a loose end, but instead of being a game you play on your phone while ignoring your surroundings, it has you answer a few questions and then describes a game you can play where you are with who you're with and what you have at hand.

("Choose and rearrange words from the restaurant menu to describe new dishes. The creator of the most revolting dish wins." "Knife beats fork, fork beats spoon, spoon beats knife. Keep playing until the toast pops, and then tally your final scores.")

One nice consequence of the publicity surrounding the Kickstarter drive was that they were invited to collaborate on an official Sesame Street app, which ended up being called Sesame Street Family Play, which uses the same mechanism but is particularly aimed at families with small children.


4. In the lead-up to the Doctor Who anniversary, the ABC is making some classic episodes available on iView. Already available are "An Unearthly Child" and "The Daleks", "The Tomb of the Cybermen", "Spearhead from Space" and "The Sea Devils", "The Sontaran Experiment" and "City of Death", and "Earthshock", with a new Doctor being added each Saturday over the next few weeks.


5. Carli Davidson's photography series "Shake" documents weird and wonderful facial expressions captured on dogs shaking themselves dry (the jowly breeds are particularly impressive). Now, there's also a video. (via)
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Justine Clark, Arthur Baysting, Tom Jellett. The Gobbledygook is Eating a Book
Mij Kelly, Mary McQuillan. Have You Seen My Potty?
John Masefield. Odtaa
John Masefield. The Taking of the Gry
Tamora Pierce. Lioness Rampant (re-read)
Ryk E Spoor. Phoenix Rising (e)

Non-fiction books, abandoned
Rossiter, Heather. Lady Spy, Gentleman Explorer: the life of Herbert Dyce Murphy

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Patricia Wrightson. The Nargun and the Stars
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. I have four books simultaneously in progress. This is unusual for me; my normal process is to pick a book, read it until it's done, then move onto the next one. The main reason for the current fragmentation that I'm involved in two separate paced re-reads; of the other two books, one has established itself as a carry-in-pocket-and-read-at-odd-moments book, and the last is a short story anthology.

The read-at-odd-moments book is The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles by Padraic Colum, the first (and so far only) book to get full marks at Read All the Newberys. It's the read-at-odd-moments book partly because it's an ebook, so I'm going to have it with me anyway when I get trapped in a doctor's waiting room or whatever, and partly because, although I'm enjoying reading it, I'm not in a particular hurry to get back to it when I'm not. It has to be admitted that, although I've not read this version before, I do have a pretty good idea how it's going to end.

I'm re-reading Tamora Pierce's Alanna series in synch with Mark Reads Tortall. Early Tamora Pierce has a somewhat clunkier prose style than I remember her later work having, and the pacing is oddly episodic. So far I'm finding them pleasant enough, but not so gripping that waiting between chapters is a trial.

I'm re-reading A Night in the Lonesome October according to internal chronology (the prologue is set at some point in September, then there are 31 chapters headed "October 1" to "October 31"). There's not a formal re-read community for this, but I know people who have done it (and even people who do it every year), and I decided to give it a try. Doing two re-reads at once may turn out to be pushing it, but if I'd waited for Mark to finish the Tortall books, he would probably have been reading something else interesting instead. Too early yet to tell if I'm going to regret having to stop at the end of each chapter.


2. Speaking of Mark, he recently started a new blog called Mark Plays, which is the same thing as Mark Reads but with video games. He started with Portal, right now he's nearing the end of Portal 2, and he's just announced that next week he's going to start on Dragon Age: Origins.

This has nothing to do with why I finished Portal 2 this month, which I'd already done before I read Mark's announcement, but the timing was good. I'm so used to the idea that everybody knows all the big plot twists in Portal (or at least their associated quoted-to-death catchphrases) that I was surprised and entertained that he was surprised and entertained by all of them. He is continuing to be caught off-guard by every plot twist in Portal 2, including the one that gives "Chapter Four: The Surprise" its title, which I would have sworn nobody would have actually been surprised by. But then Mark never sees any plot twist coming. It's a big part of his blogs' appeal.


3. I have finished my first-pass read-through of I Could Do Anything, If I Only Knew What It Was; it's only taken me nine months. (Finishing it at all is a victory; if I didn't have procrastination issues, I probably wouldn't have been reading it in the first place.) The book is now full of bookmarks marking the bits I could benefit from going back over in more detail, and actually doing the exercises instead of just skimming past them. (Reading Chapter Nine made me sad; it was exactly what I needed ten years ago. Though whether I'd have heeded it if I'd had it is another question...)


4. Did we really just blow through the entire year's complement of Doctor Who episodes in a single month? Apparently we did. Huh.


5. If you are interested in one or more of the following: Muppets, Doctor Who, The Avengers (the movie with Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey, Jr. and some other dudes in it, not any of the other things with that title), The Hunger Games, and/or Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom, this video has something for you.

Icon meme

Sep. 20th, 2012 09:23 pm
pedanther: (icons)
(via [livejournal.com profile] lost_spook)

1. Reply to this post, and I will pick five of your icons.
2. Make a post (including the meme info) and talk about the icons I chose.
3. Other people can then comment to you and make their own posts.
4. This will create a never-ending cycle of icon squee.

lost_spook asked about these five icons )

Fandom meme

Mar. 9th, 2012 12:39 am
pedanther: (Default)

Tell me you want to play and I'll pick up to three of your fandoms. Then update your journal and answer the following questions:

1. What got you into this fandom in the first place?
2. Do you think you'll stay in this fandom or eventually move on?
3. Favorite episodes/books/movies, etc?
4. Do you participate in this fandom (fanfiction, graphics, discussions)?
5. Do you think more people should get into this fandom?


Memed from [livejournal.com profile] lost_spook, who gave me Doctor Who, The Muppets, and Sherlock Holmes.

Read more... )
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Ben Aaronovitch. Moon Over Soho
Sid Fleischman. The Ghost in the Noonday Sun
Ellis Peters. Death and the Joyful Woman
Ellis Peters. Fallen Into the Pit (re-read)
Ryk E Spoor. Grand Central Arena (e)

In progress
Kim Newman. Bad Dreams
Kim Newman. The Hound of the D'Urbervilles

Non-fiction books in hiatus
Barbara Sher, Barbara Smith. I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Kari Maund, Phil Nanson. The Four Musketeers: The True Story of D'Artagnan, Porthos, Aramis & Athos
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
(anthology). Ocean
Ina R Friedman, Allen Say. How My Parents Learned to Eat
Ayano Imai. The 108th Sheep

In progress
Ben Aaronovitch. Moon Over Soho
Kim Newman. The Hound of the D'Urbervilles

Non-fiction books in progress
Barbara Sher, Barbara Smith. I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Kim Newman. Bad Dreams
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Babette Cole. Truelove
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Ghost Ship (e)
Mary Shelley. Frankenstein
Walter Simonson, et al. Thor by Walter Simonson
Caroline Stevermer. A College of Magics (re-read)
Caroline Stevermer. A Scholar of Magics
Eve Sutton, Lynley Dodd. My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes (re-read)

Non-fiction books
(none)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Kim Newman. The Hound of the D'Urbervilles
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Michael Lark. Gotham Central: Jokers and Madmen
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and Other Strangeness
Mike Costa, Fiona Staples. Secret History of the Authority: Hawksmoor
PC Hodgell. Bound in Blood
PC Hodgell. To Ride a Rathorn (re-read)
Bob Ingersoll, Tony Isabella. The Case of the Colonist's Corpse
Greg Rucka, JH Williams III. Batwoman: Elegy

In progress
Walter Simonson, et al. Thor by Walter Simonson

Non-fiction books
(none)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Mary Shelley. Frankenstein
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Dave Luckett. Subversive Activity

Non-fiction books
(none)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
PC Hodgell. To Ride a Rathorn
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Neil Gaiman. Odd and the Frost Giants
David A McIntee. First Frontier (re-read)
John Millington Synge. The Playboy of the Western World

Non-fiction books
(none)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Dave Luckett. Subversive Activity
pedanther: (Default)
Last Friday, Jim Henson was officially inducted as a Disney Legend. (Disney owns the Muppets now, of course, but even before that they had several fruitful collaborations, most famously probably Muppet*Vision 3D.) This report on the ceremony includes photographs and two videos: Brian Henson and Sesame Street's Leslie Carrara-Rudolph re-enact a skit from the old "Sam & Friends" days, and two familiar faces who haven't often got to work together sing "The Rainbow Connection".

[edited to add: Another video from the ceremony - includes a retrospective montage, the skit, Brian Henson's speech, and a deputation of Henson's offspring accepting the honour on his behalf]


This reminds me that I have a bunch of other Muppet-related links I keep meaning to post:

At Home with Animal

A collection of behind-the-scenes videos and extras - includes some extended and alternate scenes from The Muppet Movie

Behind the scenes at The Muppet Show (The scene being filmed here is one of my favourites in the series - if memory serves, I've already blogged the video of it in the past.)

Sesame Street art by Evan Cheng - a wide variety of Muppets in a wide variety of styles

I guess everybody's seen this already, but what the heck, I haven't reblogged it yet: Bohemian Rhapsody, Muppet style
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
James D Macdonald, Debra Doyle. The Confessions of Peter Crossman
Charles Stross. The Fuller Memorandum
Ursula Vernon. Digger Volume Six

Non-fiction books
(none)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
David A MacIntee. First Frontier

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