alee_grrl: Rupert Giles looking up from reading a book.  Text: bookish (giles)
Several of my friend's/circle are doing the Snowflake Challenge this year. The responses to this daily challenge, particularly to the Day 5 challenge, specifically [personal profile] sperrywink's,response got me thinking about my own fannish origin story. So I decided that even if I did none of the other day's of the challenge I would like to do this one. Challenge and response placed under a cut for length )
alee_grrl: A color illustration of me listening to music and smiling. (music)
Today I gave in and signed up for a Hulu plus account because the things that I am most interested in watching right now are not available for streaming anywhere else (at least not the most recent episodes).

Am still madly in love with the show Forever. It's not the best writing but the acting is solid and the story is fun. I am also enjoying the dynamic between Henry (the main character) and everyone else. I am glad to hear that ABC has ordered more episodes and that this show will have a full season. It's a long shot that it will get renewed for a second season, but I can hope.

I'm currently catching up on Agents of SHIELD, which I was four or five episodes behind on. There is also Sleepy Hollow and Mysteries of Laura. I am apparently in the mood for shows that do not take themselves to seriously. :D

The other thing that has made me ridiculously happy is the continuation of [archiveofourown.org profile] Koyote19's In the Mouth of Madness. Several new chapters have been posted and the story continues to be amazing. If you have not read it, be warned that it and it's prequel have many dark themes and some very graphic content. Madness is not yet finished, but it is active again, which is awesome. Both are incredibly well-written and this has been among my favorite stories/series for about a decade now.

Also happy making are cuddles with animals, Christmas cards from friends, and tea.
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
As a child one of my favorite shows was Reading Rainbow. Not only did you get introduced to cool books, you also got to go on cool virtual field trips that explored themes also explored in the books. It was a show about the power of dreams, the power of knowledge, and the power of books. In 2012, LeVar Burton re-created Reading Rainbow as a mobile app. Now he and his crew are working to bring the series back to full life as a web based series accessible to anyone with an internet connection, and to bring it into classrooms complete with teaching supplements (all offered to schools for free). They put together a Kickstarter campaign to fund the program. Apparently I'm not the only one who wants to see this show continue, because within 11 hours they surpassed the initial goal of $1,000,000. They have since managed to pass the $2,000,000 mark in the second day of the campaign.

This was the show that truly taught me about diversity, about being myself, about dreaming, and so much more. This was the show that told me that it was okay to find comfort in books. I remember being so excited about Star Trek: the Next Generation because not only was it a new Star Trek series, it had the guy from Reading Rainbow. I'm going to go have happy nostalgia feels and be content to know that another generation will have the chance to know that they can go anywhere and be anything.

alee_grrl: Happy mouse from Aristocrats nomming cookie.  Text reads: Cookies! (cookies)
Or at least all the Hyperbole and a Half things. My copy of the Hyperbole and a Half book arrived today. So glad I pre-ordered it. It was a nice surprise. Trigger Warning! Some of the contents of Hyperbole and a Half may be triggering because of discussion of mental illness!Lots of squeeing about Hyperbole and a Half )

The book has new material in it, which is very exciting, and just what I needed. I screwed up my meds this weekend and accidentally increased by antibiotics too much, so I've been having an awful herx. Slept most of Monday and worked from home yesterday. But made it to work today, and made it through the whole day! Am going to crash very soon. But I had to share my excitement over this book.
alee_grrl: Coulson on hold with Natasha, text is the first line of chorus from "Girl From Ipanema" (coulson 1)
So I'm ridiculously bad at resting, especially just lounging around and watching something. It sets all kinds of brain demons off. This is probably why I don't actually watch many things, and that when I do watch things I tend to do other things at the same time. But since I am home sick and have very few concentration spoons I am working on besting this set of brain demons.

So far I have watched:

The premier episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. It was just as fun as I had hoped and keeps to the tone and continuity of the Marvel movie 'verse nicely. Plus I just adore Coulson. I've got a serious competence kink. :) I will definitely be watching this on a weekly basis.

The pilot of Sleepy Hollow. I've been seeing a lot of things about this over on tumblr. So I thought I'd check it out. It's an intriguing premise and I love the casting. I'm going to watch the second episode now.

It's really too bad that Pacific Rim isn't out yet, because I'm very much in the mood to see that again. Yesterday I watched a documentary on Scientology, and Hot Coffee which is a fascinating look at the Leibeck v. McDonald's case, the litigation reform movement, and media spin of cases. Turns out that the popular understanding of the case is pretty wrong.

Not sure what I'm going to watch next. May switch over to reading fanfic for a while if I have the concentration spoons.
alee_grrl: Dread Pirate Roberts relaxing in satisfaction (Satisfaction)
So upon starting my internship I was handed a project, which was to create a series of internal trainings on predictive coding (one of the hottest topics in the legal electronic discovery and big data world). I got handed the project because I already had a base knowledge on the topic since it was the focus of one of the massive papers I wrote last semester. I was given some more specific knowledge re: my company's software, and access to the internet (learning the basics of statistics and machine learning--very basics mind you--ftw!). I then had to break the topic down to be: a) accessible to a wide audience, including those of us who are less math-able; and b) short, bite-sized lessons. While I had some back-up from our talented graphic designers, who managed took my draft powerpoint presentations and made them even prettier, I did the design and scripting myself. I also learned a new program (Adobe Captivate) and did all the narration myself. Let me tell you, I have a whole new respect for voice actors and podcasters now. Not that I was lacking in respect before, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, I finished the last narration today. Got the lessons put up on our internal training site. And finished the last of the assessment quizzes. So yay! My sister located the local comic book shop and we took a family trip over after dinner. I treated myself to two graphic novels! I've been wanting to read the new Hawkeye series something fierce. So I picked up the first two trade paperbacks. Now I am tired and very ready for bed. Goodnight my friends.
alee_grrl: Disney's Cheshire Cat.  Text: You may have noticed that I'm not all there myself. (cheshire cat)
So I recently discovered the podcast series Welcome to Nightvale (all episodes available for free). I listened to the first two episodes on my way home yesterday, and the third and fourth on my way home today. It is a delightfully odd and creepy show, with wry humor and interesting music (otherwise known as "the weather" on the show). The narrator is the cool, and calm Cecil, who is madly in love with the visiting scientist, Carlos (or at least Carlos's perfect hair). But what made me rewind episode three and practically squee with delight was that Cecil also has Lyme disease! Making this the first fictional character that I have encountered who has Lyme disease. He mentions it when discussing the arrival in town of a creeping fear. He mentions that he has been paralyzed and afraid to speak, for fear that they may be his last words and quickly follows this report with an "I'm also battling Lyme." This made me laugh quite a bit because this sort of anxiety has been a common experience for me.

I'm going to need some Night Vale icons, clearly. :D
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
Non-spoilery review

Loved it. It was more than I expected and better than I imagined it could be. It surprised me in some very nice ways. The ending did feel a little rushed but the overall the movie was great and loads of fun. If you can avoid spoilers before you go see it, do. Please do not include any spoilers in the comments. :)

That is all.
alee_grrl: 9th Doctor and Rose walking towards the TARDIS.  Text reads: home is where the TARDIS is... (Tardis Home)
First drafts of both papers are in. I have comments back for one and should be getting the other back this week. Revisions will start tomorrow or Tuesday (tomorrow is going to be a busy day).

My plans for summer and fall are now officially worked out. The company I will be interning with this summer also wants me for fall. This is okay with the school so long as the two experiences are substantially different. So I'll do ediscovery and privacy research and work this summer, and work with their trial consulting team on litigation matters in the fall. I'm very excited.

I am excited and nervous to be moving again. I fell in love with the greater D.C. area and am looking forward to getting to hang out more with some of my favorite dreamwidth friends who live in that area. I am also sad to be leaving Vermont, which I have come to love over the years. I will get to visit the area fairly frequently since I have to continue seeing my doctor, and will also be up to visit my heart family. But it is always strange leaving a place behind. Even those places that we know are only temporary homes work their way into our blood and souls. Vermont's granite mountains, verdant fields, and rich farm air have offered me much peace and healing. I know I will carry it with me, just as I carry the bayous of my childhood and adolescence, the deserts of my earliest years, the dusty roads and palms of my late twenties, and the pine forested mountains I wandered in between.

I took a couple of days off this weekend, caught up on fanfic and had my own Dr. Who marathon. Dr. Who and Star Trek are perhaps my oldest fandoms, as those were the shows my Dad introduced us to growing up. They were among the first "grown up" shows I remember watching, and my Dad's enthusiasm was catching. I've been hooked ever since. I have rarely had the opportunity to watch classic Dr. Who in episode order, since we were limited to what our local PBS station was showing. My experience of modern Who has been similar in that I've only had the opportunity to see episodes here and there. But with Netflix streaming I have the opportunity to watch it from the beginning, a slightly daunting goal since there are 6 seasons available for streaming (the 7th currently being shown on BBCA).

So late last week I started my endeavor. Again, this is modern who (2005/6) not classic, but one day I'd like to tackle those seasons as well. I loved the first season. I don't think Christopher Eccleson gets enough credit for his stint as the doctor. He wasn't particularly interested in the part, and only took the role as a favor to Russel Davies who was working hard to get the series back on the air. But he does a phenomenal job. I have made into the first few episodes of season two as well. David Tennant is also amazing. I am constantly reminded of just how powerful a series Dr. Who is. It is full of passion, humanity, family, terrors and humor. It was also great fun to see characters that I know from either classic Who (Sarah Jane and K-9) or Torchwood (Gwen, Tosh, Jack). I finally had to break as I can only watch so much television all in one go. But damn I love this show. :)
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
I saw the movie version of Les Misérables tonight. I was absolutely gorgeous and I am very glad I remembered to pack tissues. I will admit to never having seen the play performed. I had heard some of the music and was vaguely aware of the story line. The novel is sitting on my shelf (in two volumes) but I have not tackled it yet. I wasn't sure what to expect of a nearly three hour musical and was a little nervous it might drag on or be tedious. It did not. I could have been in the seat longer and I likely wouldn't have noticed. I have a feeling this will be a movie that gets added to my collection and one I watch when I know I need to have a good cry.

alee_grrl: Illustration of the Shire (shire)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was delightful. I'm not sure I would recommend it for those who are not necessarily fantasy/adventure fans, or Tolkien fans. But if you are a fan of either, particularly a fan of Tolkien it is a wonderful movie and a fabulous adaptation. The pacing may feel a little slow in places to some, but it captures the long boring stretches of traveling that often occur on such a long journey. I found the pacing to be just right, with wonderful visuals and details from the story and tie ins to the larger Tolkien universe. It is clearly a work of love, a movie made by fans and for fans.
alee_grrl: Abby Scuito from NCIS (abby)
I thought I would share three things that made me smile today:

If you haven't been introduced to the Memos from Fury tumblr, I am deeply sorry. Especially if you are a Marvel comics or Marvel movieverse fan. Cause these are seriously laugh out loud funny. I would apologize for the time you are about to loose, but it is totally worth it for the laugh it will bring to your day.

Ellen once again proves that she is awesome with this hilarious response to the completely unnecessary and ridiculous Bic for Her For added sarcasm and snark read the Amazon reviews. I wouldn't advise reading all of them unless you have a lot of free time. But at least skim through some, cause they are very entertaining.

Finally I was absolutely delighted by this video which was shared as a link on Facebook. The video presents an honest and open discussion about how very complicated human sexuality is. It is a short video but is a great introduction to the topic which discusses, among other things, the differences between biological sex and gender identity (and the fact that biological sex is not as binary as we like to think it is); the non-binary nature of gender; and the differences between sexual attraction, romantic attraction, and sexual behavior.
alee_grrl: text only icon.  text reads: Insert fangirl squee here. (squee)
So my dear friend and fabulous writer, [personal profile] paganaidd is now on dreamwidth. Not only does she write some interesting stuff on paganism and animism, but she also writes fabulous fanfic. She's going to be re-posting her long, well-researched and well-plotted Harry Potter AU Digging for the Bones as well as meta posts containing longer author's notes and head-canon for the story. It is a dark, angsty story but it is one that I feel more accurately examines the darker elements of Harry Potter (child abuse, PTSD, etc). She's an EMT and has a lot of social work experience. So this story and her Memories series, which deals with the future of the Harry Potter characters, are well grounded and handled trauma and related issues realistically rather than glossy over them. Memories has pretty much become my personal canon in regard to the epilogue. :)

She's written in other fandoms as well and all of her stuff is great. A full list of her stories can be found here. If you like long, plotty, well-written stories check them out, and maybe subscribe to her journal. :)
alee_grrl: 9th Doctor and Rose walking towards the TARDIS.  Text reads: home is where the TARDIS is... (Tardis Home)
Am thinking of hosting a Dr. Who watching party, which would likely include some new to Whoverse folks. Which episodes would you choose to introduce this deliciously delightful show to someone?
alee_grrl: A color illustration of me listening to music and smiling. (music)
So Fun. has become my current musical obsession, or at least their Some Nights album.

I enjoyed We Are Young but not so much that I had to go out and find out if the rest of the album was as good. It wasn't until I heard Some Nights and Carry On, and more importantly saw Avengers vids using the songs that I became obsessed.

Awesome Captain America fan vid using Carry On:



Tony Stark - Terrible Privilege (fan vid using Some Nights):

alee_grrl: Open book with purple iris in crease, text reads poetry (poetry)
This poem is for [personal profile] primeideal who won [community profile] poetree's Climbing the Poet's Tree Challenge #12. There was no specific prompt, so I took the inspiration from [personal profile] primeideal's journal and AO3 site. I noticed ze liked both Harry Potter and Wicked, and this was born. It is a poem written by an adult Harry Potter, who took up writing poetry and journaling as part of his therapy in the years after the war.

Defying Gravity

The world has tried to hold me down.
Every insult another stone, heavy
on shoulders too tiny to bear
Atlas' load. Semper Gravitas--
leave your smile at the door.

We met by chance, your smile unfolded
as we sat, two strangers on a train bound
for a new adventure. Magic and mystery,
a world unforeseen--friendship at last;
tiny cracks form in the stones round my heart.

We two soon become three,
and gravitas fell to the side. Smiles
became more frequent and laughter abounded.
Insults still thrown, but heaven was found
the day my broom took to the skies.

The world fell away, the wind tugged
my hair; the sense of freedom surrounded.
Gravitas returned when my feet touched the ground,
but the pull no longer overwhelmed me.
Because now I knew how to defy gravity.
alee_grrl: Background is a textured yellow line over a textured blue background, text reads Talk Nerdy to Me Ravenpuff (ravenpuff 1)
I've always self-identified as a Hufflepuff. I'm hardworking, loyal and absolutely stubborn about things (badgers suit me nicely). However, like many I could just as easily identify with at least one other house. Being an academic at heart and loving to learn just cause learning is fun, Ravenclaw is also a good fit. Out of curiosity, and because the site looked like fun, I signed up with Pottermore and explored far enough into the first story to get both my wand and to get sorted.

My wand is 10 inches, made of yew with a unicorn hair core and is described as "surprisingly flexible." According to the notes on wand woods, yew wands are rare and has gained a reputation as being particularly suited for dueling and curses. The text then goes on to note that a witch or wizard matched with a yew wand is not necessarily more likely to be attracted to the dark arts, and that many attracted to the wands are fierce protectors. While yew is notorious for uses in dueling and curses, unicorn hair cores are generally the hardest to turn to dark arts. Unicorn hair makes for incredibly loyal wands apparently, and can also make for melancholy wands if they are not used frequently (many apparently that the hair must be replaced). The flexibility apparently denotes the "degree of adaptability and willingness to change possessed by the owner." So having a surprisingly flexible wand does suit my chameleon nature. I learned to adapt to life's oddities at a rather young age. I have no idea how a wand is selected (you answer some questions, but none of them are typical personality type questions), but it does seem to select an appropriate wand.

As for house, well I truly expected to be sorted into Hufflepuff (see my reasoning above), so was slightly surprised when I was sorted into Ravenclaw. Upon reflection it makes sense. I have always been a "book geek," and loved learning. I even went to a boarding school that focused on presenting college prep classes, had required study hours, and required a love for academia. Strangely enough Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts (yes, it's a mouthful--we usually just said LSMSA or Louisiana School), the school in question, had an eagle for a mascot and the school's colors were blue and gold. And of the friends I went to that school with who have been sorted at Pottermore, most (if not all) are in Ravenclaw. This makes me grin madly for some reason. Anyway, I still identify strongly with Hufflepuff, but I guess I need to get a few Ravenclaw icons now too.

ravenclaw
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
WOW! This is an amazing look back at 50 years worth of programming all framed around the teasing question left on our minds at the end of (modern/new) series 6. Makes me want to go back and watch the whole thing over again, starting back with the 1st Doctor. Most of the classic seasons are available on Amazon Prime...hmm...I might just have to do that. It'll take me ages to get through it all considering how little I watch anything, but it might be a fun endeavor.

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