Winter Sunlight

This week's Expanse (5x08, I think?)

It's been long enough since I was actually following a weekly show as it was released that it's really interesting to notice the difference between marathoning a show all at once vs. watching it week to week in how it keeps it at the top of my brain. The one-sitting shows either stick or sink - mostly sink, if they don't happen to grab me in a particular way. With ongoing shows, though, there's that constant refreshment of emotional tension and speculation from week to week. Expanse didn't really hook me in a fandom way - I mean, I enjoy the show, and as sci-fi I think it's one of the best shows I've seen, but it wasn't a new obsessive thing for me. However, having new episodes coming out is a constant source of low-level refreshment of interest. It makes me wonder about the long-term impact on fandom of having so many shows drop all at once these days, rather than being strung out over a season like they used to be.

Anyway ...

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Winter Sunlight

'Even Quentin, with his almost limitless capacity for ignoring the obvious ...'

I'm rereading the Magicians books, and this evening Orion happened to pick up The Magicians after watching me haphazardly rereading the series for the last few days ... and is now halfway through it and can't seem to put it down. I really wasn't sure if these books would be his kind of thing; he's really more of a sci-fi guy. He did like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings though.

These are definitely my favorite book discovery of the past year, and even though they are by no means without flaws (and in fact there are a few parts of the first and second books I'm skipping on the reread) overall they are just so delightful. I'm picking up a ton of foreshadowing this time around I didn't notice when I was reading them for the first time. I also love Q so much more after spending three books with him, something I noticed in particular at the start of the second book, which is significantly more cheerful and funny and just generally fun than the first book. Originally, of course, I had just come off of book 1 and Q in book 1 is definitely ... something, so it took me a while to warm up to his somewhat less depressed, self-centered, and hard-to-handle self in the second book, but after three books of character development, my reaction to him now in book 2 is mostly "BAAAABY" with occasional interludes of "Q, stoppit."

I think one thing I'm really noticing on the reread is how well these books capture the overall feeling of growing up and realizing that your flawless childhood favorite books are actually flawed as hell, rejecting them out of a combination of disillusionment and early-20s Wokeness, and finally reaching a point of "fuckit" where you re-learn how to love the best parts of the things you used to love with a clearer-eyed awareness of their flaws.

Except dialed up to 11, because epic fantasy.

But in general, the books do a lot of things well. I really like what they have to say about creativity, and about the interplay between losing yourself in fantasy and forgetting how to appreciate the real world, vs. losing your childhood dreams and only thinking of reality without aspiration. I like how they handle depression and the way that it can rob you of the better parts of yourself. (Being able to see flashes in the first book of who Q is later on, after getting to know what he's like when he's not utterly miserable and mired in self-hatred, is really something.) The worldbuilding is goofy and neat, obviously derivative in some ways but also very interestingly its own thing. These books make me feel again what it was like to be a little kid and find (I kid you not, this is actually where I found it) The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe in a random box of books under my parents' bed with no idea of what it was - that sort of magical, serendipitous discovery of beloved books and the way they make you feel when they're fresh and new. Except with a more grown-up worldview that clicks nicely into my more cynical and jaded 40s-aged brain. I remember scoffing at the whole idea of these books being Harry Potter for grownups, which is essentially what they were billed as, but that is actually exactly what they feel like, not because they're mocking or sneering at it (even if the first book does occasionally go there, at times) but because they really get at the same feeling except, well. Grown up.

I just really like them. This entry is also posted at https://sholio.dreamwidth.org/1365474.html with comment count unavailable comments.
Winter Sunlight

Expanse 5x06

Scattered thoughts on this week's episode:

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It's fun to have a show to follow from week to week, especially one that's twisty enough that I don't know what's coming (not having read the books). I haven't had one of those in a while.

Edit: I decided that if I'm posting about this show regularly, I should have an icon for it. I found some very pretty icons here if anyone else is looking for one, including this one! (They're from seasons 1-2 I think, but are just character icons without any spoilers to speak of.) This entry is also posted at https://sholio.dreamwidth.org/1365027.html with comment count unavailable comments.
Winter Sunlight

You know what?

Watching the last 20 minutes or so of the NYT livestream of the Congressional electoral vote confirmation was totally worth it, in part because I got to see Pence stand up and read out loud that Biden won the presidency in realtime, but also ...

-- I just feel really, stupidly proud of them, you know? They just had an absolutely horrific day; they had to evacuate and hide, someone was shot, and then they went back to work and stayed up 'til almost 4 a.m. finishing what is technically a stupidly long ceremonial vote. They could have gone home; no one would have blamed them for going home and reconvening tomorrow. But they stayed and they got it done. And yeah, in the grand scheme of things, something like this isn't like ~profiles in courage~ or anything. But it is strong, and it is brave, and it's a 538-member strong fuck-you to an attempt to subvert our democracy. And I feel ridiculously, weepily proud of it. I feel like the only thing the Trumpists actually managed to accomplish was galvanizing Congress (well, most of them) into actually being the people we elected them to be. It feels like a giant and very satisfying fuck-you to everyone who tried to break our democratic process today. This entry is also posted at https://sholio.dreamwidth.org/1364815.html with comment count unavailable comments.
Winter Sunlight

Nature, go home, you're drunk

I need to introduce you to something which has made my life 1000% better: loons trying to fly.

So apparently loons are extremely optimized for swimming. Their legs are located in the back of the loon. This makes them incredibly good at swimming.



.... in an uncanny valley sort of way.

When they get on land, things go wrong.



(Skip to about 0:49 for the loon climbing out on land.)

So yeah, the legs are in the back and all the weight is in the front, so the closest they can manage to walking is a sort of awkward flopping. This also means they can't take off from land because they can't get up enough speed. Apparently they sort of struggle with that in water as well, because they don't have hollow bones (makes them better at diving) and are extremely heavy. The only way they can achieve liftoff is by frantically running along the surface of the water flapping, and it is FUCKING HILARIOUS.





I think part of what makes it so funny, aside from the cartoonlike frantic flailing, is the way that it goes on far beyond where you would expect a duck, say, to actually take off. It's like - okay, liftoff now? Nope, still running!!

I wonder if this is an intermediate stage on the way to a penguin. I mean, you could see them eventually achieving verticality and being able to walk around on land again.

This does explain why we don't really have loons around here. (I mean, not Alaska in general, which is full of them, but the valley I live in.) They make an incredibly distinctive noise that can be heard a long way off, and sometimes in the summer I'll hear a very distant loon wail, but I think the lakes we have around here just aren't big enough for them. This entry is also posted at https://sholio.dreamwidth.org/1364077.html with comment count unavailable comments.
Winter Sunlight

Fanfic snippets for Fandomtrees

[community profile] fandomtrees is revealed! I got lovely things! I got beautiful icons (Agent Carter AND spycraft) from [personal profile] leesa_perrie and [personal profile] st_aurafina, and and two absolutely delightful and both (perfectly) dragon-themed ficlets: Ward and Danny and a curse from [personal profile] yhlee and an Agent Carter dragon rider AU from [personal profile] glorious_spoon! Thank you so much; I love my gifts! ♥


Here are the fic bits that I wrote for it!

1. Iron Fist for [personal profile] yhlee, for a request for the characters playing D&D

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2. Dark Matter for [personal profile] acherry, for a prompt for Three/Android (among other pairings) and a character receiving a cybernetic body part

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3. White Collar for [personal profile] leesa_perrie, for a request for June & Neal friendship (post-finale, a bit angsty)

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Winter Sunlight

Dear Chocolate Box Creator

Thank you so much for making something for me! I am very easy to please; just give me something for one of my requested pairings and I'm sure I'll love whatever you create. Prompts are for suggestions only. I requested fanfic for my main gift, but if you would like to make me an art treat, I would welcome it!

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Fandoms:

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