mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (quilt - zipper)
I said I would come back and talk about the backs of my quilts, so I might as well do that! Bear in mind that I haven't made a quilt in several years now so things may have changed, some, and/or I may have forgotten a thing or two. But I think the basic idea of it's still valid.

This first one is a more simple example of how I used to do the backs of my quilts. Even if you're doing the same fabric all over, you're going to have to put at least one seam in the back for most quilts, unless you buy special extra-wide quilt backing fabric. (That does exist but it's a bit pricey and the selection is relatively limited.) I just figure, given that, why not run a few seams and use up some scraps?

This was a quilt that KarenD and I did together. I know that fish fabric was hers, and the batik was a fabric we picked out online. I'm not sure any more which one of us contributed the other pieces. Basically, though, the idea is just that you just keep going until you get something big enough.Make a row that you know is wide enough, and then make another row, til it's big enough with several inches each way to spare. (Cutting it too close is a bad idea, here - if something comes out short you're really screwed.)
back of the fish quilt

Here's a more elaborate example (this is the back of the one that's in my icon). I had lots of little pieces left over - it's the "teeth" part of the zipper, see - and I just put them together in big strings, like so:
zipper+scraps.jpg
(I actually went and dug out the link from my old quilt blog because I knew I talked about this there. It's got more detail about the dimensions and stuff, and why I did it the way I did, but unless you're actually going to make a quilt you don't really need to know all that. That blog is unfortunately just a mass of dead links, mostly, so I really need to make some effort to pull the "good parts" out and catalog them somehow!)

Anyway, if you clicked over there, this is just a bigger version of that same picture. I worked the strips of small pieces between the bigger rows and this is what I ended up with for the back:
the+back+of+the+zipper+quilt.jpg
(A lot of it is things I didn't end up using on the front!)

Added: it occurs to me that people might want to see the front of the thing in a larger size than icon size, so here's that (with Rob's head peeking out at the top). Note that the binding is not whipped down here, but other than that, it's done.
no title

I've actually found a few more pictures of the back of things so I might have another entry about this eventually.

Holidailies - blue
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (buffy quote - death star)
Some movie and movie-related(-ish) stuff, starting with the Rogue One tickets. I'm excited about this and apparently so is Rob - at least, when the trailer came on for it the other day, he looked over at me and said, "Next week?" "Next week, yeah," I said. I didn't buy the tickets a month ahead like I did with The Force Awakens, but we've got them now and I'm excited. This is Christmas, to me. They did de-embargo the reviews today, apparently, because it went from "no reviews" last night on Rotten Tomatoes to 83% today, so yay. If it'd been 30% like Suicide Squad I would probably have gone anyway, but I'm glad it's not.

I know I've talked about this several times, but the movie theater we go to is a bit atypical (or maybe it just seems that way to me). It's Premiere Cinemas, a small chain. They own theaters in Texas and a few other places around the South. They started in this area, I think, because they used to just have a handful of theaters, including the one in my hometown, which I notice is not listed any more (so that probably means they sold it somewhere along the line). They've built some theaters from scratch in places that were "underserved" for movies (including Galveston, which for quite a few years didn't have a movie theater at all) and in our general area they also have the "dollar theater," which is on the freeway right next to the big Cinemark. We go to the dollar one a good bit (I forget, I think the tickets are actually about $2 except on certain weekdays that are cheaper) but mostly for first-run movies, we go to the one that's in the next town over from us. I started to say it's a small-town theater, but that's actually not true - in fact it's in one of those fast-growing suburbs that's coming up on 100,000 residents or so. Still, it's like a small-town theater: it's in a strip center, it's hardly ever terribly crowded like the Cinemark is, and it's cheaper. Even for things like The Force Awakens, we did have to stand and wait for a few minutes for that one, but nothing like the chaos I've experienced at other theaters. So I'm expecting to get into Rogue One without much trouble, too. It's about equidistant for us to go to the Cinemark or to go in the opposite direction to the Premiere, but the only time we go to the Cinemark these days is if we want to see something that's not showing at Premiere. (The Cinemark has 18 screens to this particular Premiere location's six.)

I've been playing Squirrel Girl in Marvel Heroes and I was amused to see a Squirrel Girl reference in today's Questionable Content. I wasn't sure I would like playing SG but I do. For one thing, there are a few heroes that I can't play because the things they say (each character has a limited number of these and so you end up hearing them a lot) annoy me so much I can't stand it. (The #1 example there is Invisible Woman, who's basically a nagging mother, in a really obnoxious way.) But Squirrel Girl's comments still just seem funny to me, where IW's are clearly intended to be funny but are actually funny maybe once, and then not at all after that. Squirrel Girl is also massively overpowered, as befits somebody who's supposed to have beaten both Doctor Doom and Thanos, and that also makes her pretty fun. Plus, y'know, massed squirrel attacks are just sort of inherently funny, and I'm surprised at how much I continue to think so even after a couple of weeks of it.

And then I haven't mentioned that we went to see Dr Strange again last weekend. It was my third time and Rob's second - I think that he liked it better the second time because he knew what to expect. As I think I discussed previously - yup - Marvel Heroes taught me plenty of background on the doctor - and the Wand of Watoomb and the Mindless Ones and other assorted Strange trivia - so that was never an issue for me. I still enjoyed the heck out of it, myself. (Rob is kind of hard to read, even for me, sometimes, have you figured that out?)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (fireworks)
I made a decision when I decided to do this "connections" Music Advent theme that I was going to let myself wander a little out of my comfort zone, if that's where the connections took me. So far I've sort of wandered back and forth, into my usual kinds of things (like 80s New Wave) and back out of it again. You'll see that happen again here.

So I ended up the last entry with Joe Jackson - late 70s but wandering into a New Wave sort of vibe. I was in college in the late 70s, and while there was nothing especially avant-garde about my tastes then, I do think this isn't the only place in my album collection where those sort of influences were creeping in. This song is also from 1979 but to be fair I don't think I knew it until later.

(The connection here is that Joe Jackson later did a song for an XTC tribute album.)

Did anybody know that the three surviving members of The Monkees released a new album this year? I have to admit that I did not. I do actually like their old stuff, though - I'm old enough to remember when their show was originally on, but I was a kid and I didn't understand what the heck was going on with it then. (I looked at it much later and thought, "It's a take-off on A Hard Days' Night" but did I know that when they were huge and I was 7? Heck no.) I learned a better appreciation for them later by watching reruns, seriously. (Nick at Night, maybe? I'm not sure.) Don't mock me, Last Train to Clarksville is a good song.

This is also a surprisingly not-bad song. It was written by Andy Partridge of XTC, which is how I got to this in the first place. I didn't try to listen to more of the album but there were some other well-known songwriters involved so there may be some more "hey, not bad!" moments in there. Also Micky Dolenz' voice sounds quite good for a 70-year-old man.

While I was looking up The Monkees, I saw something about how Don Kirshner was their producer early on - he was the one who wouldn't let them play their own instruments. If you know anything about the history there, that's a pretty well-known argument that went on. Kirshner was eventually fired so The Monkees won that one. But the main reason I know Don Kirshner's name at all was (like a lot of people Of A Certain Age, I think) from Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, which was on all through the 70s. (Also because Paul Shaffer used to mock him roundly on early SNL.) So I went looking for clips, and there are a lot of them on YouTube; they all have these same annoying white titles across them regarding the licensing. (But it could be worse, at least they let them put them up on YouTube at all, I suppose!) Anyway, I ended up with very early Jackson Browne:

This is "Looking Into You" off of his first self-titled album (the one everybody used to call "Saturate Before Using" because it says that on the cover).

I had all of Jackson Browne's early albums, back in the late 70s, and I also had and loved Karla Bonoff's albums. So, fortunately just in time to keep this from being an all-white-men entry, we have a later (80s) Bonoff song, her only big commercial hit. (She is better known as a songwriter, now, really; she wrote several of Linda Ronstadt's songs and some for Bonnie Raitt and others.)

Honestly I had forgotten that this song was hers at all. I actually meant to post a different song, but this is not a terrible song, just sort of middle-of-the-road. And Jackson Browne and Karla Bonoff were moving in the same circles at around the same time, so I imagine that you could connect them up in a number of different ways, but the way I followed was through the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: Jackson Browne was a member, very early on (which I didn't know at all) and Bonoff recorded a song with them much later. (I flirted around with using a song of NGDB's and couldn't come up with anything I was too crazy about!)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Dr Who - adipose)
A couple of people have written entries about coffee for Holidailies in the last few days. I started to write one yesterday and it only got as far as how my parents both drank their coffee black before veering off to talk about the other things I drank over the years (large quantities of iced tea, Diet Coke, and Shiner Bock, at various stages of my life). So instead I'm still going to start with coffee but I'm not going to pretend that I'm going to write a whole entry about it. I do have a serious Starbucks habit these days, but it's a relatively recent thing and really has nothing to do with my parents and their (really revolting, as far as I'm concerned) black coffee habit. I only drink my coffee with large quantities of milk and artificial sweeteners, and I don't care how bad Equal is for me, so don't try to tell me. (I'm pretty sure that the Starbucks drive-through people at two different locations in two different towns know it's me just from my order.)

When I was trying to write about this yesterday, I also tried to look up "supertaster" because I've been told several times that I probably am one, but what I got from that search is that the only people who claim to know what a supertaster really is are people who are trying to sell you testing kits. It's definitely true that I'm sensitive to bitter foods, especially, and I basically can only tolerate them if they're highly watered-down in some way. But I'm also generally a picky eater in a number of other ways. I'm super-sensitive about texture - which is why I don't eat shellfish, because ugh, rubber - and I'm far too fond of the kind of traditional Texas diet that's heavy on grease and starch and meat. So I don't really know where all that gets you.


Let's see, what else - we're still watching Jessica Jones, and we're now maybe about halfway through the season. (I haven't looked to see how many episodes there actually are. Daredevil had 13 but I don't know if J.Jones is the same.) We did two episodes today and one yesterday, which is about as fast as we ever manage to go with shows like this. We don't have Netflix set up on our TV, for one thing - our regular (U-verse) television feed is still hooked up to my mom's old TV, which is a large and incredibly heavy old CRT. We keep saying we'll get a flat-screen when that one goes out, and it hasn't so far. It's got to be something like 13 or 14 years old because my mom died in early 2007, coming right up on 10 years ago, now, and I know she had it for a good while before that. So when we want to watch Netflix I have to pry myself off the computer so we can watch it there. It's all very out-of-date, I know, but it's worked for us so far.

I would like to cut the cord and not have regular TV at all, but Rob is a TV addict. One reason our crazy schedule works for us is that he goes to bed a lot earlier than I do (at which point I generally turn the TV off) and then he gets up much earlier than I do, of course, and he spends his mornings (the part when he's not working out, that is) watching old re-runs, which I can't stand. He loves Andy Griffith and Gunsmoke and all that kind of old stuff, which I can tolerate in small doses but generally got sick of years ago. (I got up to pee one morning this week and could hear Edith Bunker's voice from the bathroom - I didn't even know he'd been watching All in the Family.) I have my old Dell computer; I'd like to just buy another monitor like this one (20" Samsung, I see it's less than $100 on Amazon) and hook it up to that for TV-viewing. I don't think Rob would let me cut off the "real" TV, still, though.

Anyway, we both really like Jessica Jones a lot, and I was really happy when we got to this last episode where Luke reappears, which probably means I'll be ready for one of those Luke & Jessica icons by the time we finish. (Is there a cutesy name for Luke/Jessica? Lessica? surely not...)

(I think I'll post this and then go play Marvel Heroes some more. I really need to get Storm through chapter 4.)

Holidailies - blue
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (quilt - zipper)
I was reading today about how the Color of the Year is Greenery. (I wrote a nail blog post for this earlier with a lot more information - look for that tomorrow night, but I can't link to it directly til then.) "Greenery" is sort of a spring green, not-quite-lime color - it's not a color that I would wear, really, because I don't think it would be flattering on me - but it's a color I like. And then that made me think of this quilt.
Faceted Amethysts
Some of y'all who have known me for years have seen this quilt before, probably many times, but honestly I hadn't taken a good look at it in ages, it seems like. It's physically in my dining room right now but it's kind of shoved back in the corner and I tend to forget it's there!

I put this quilt together using blocks from a swap. I love the colors in this, but if I had made all the blocks for it back then - it was more than 10 years ago - I would never have used these colors. And it's the greens I'm talking about, not the purples. Apparently I was afraid of lime greens back them. If you look you can see that a couple of the blocks are quite bright, and I remember getting these back and wondering what I was going to do with them. I finally came up with a layout that went from palest at the top left and worked down and to the right to the brighter and then a few in the bottom corner that were a bit darker. Purple and green used to be a fairly unusual color combination but I don't think that's as true as it used to be. On a color-wheel, they're two-thirds of a triad, meaning they're one-third of the wheel apart from each other. I think maybe it makes more sense to say that what they have in common is blue, because purple is blue + red and green is blue + yellow, right? Anyway, I wasn't looking at a color wheel or any of this when I came up with this combination, I just decided they looked pretty together. This quilt was finished before I ever looked at a color wheel and figured out why that was.

For those interested in the pattern, this was a commercial pattern called "Faceted Jewels" and if you google that name you'll come up with a bunch of multicolored versions of this pattern (plus a really nice red & white version that I've never seen before) - the multi version was the way it was done in the original pattern. I called mine "Faceted Amethysts" since I used purples for the "gem" sections. It's basically a variation on some standard blocks, though. It's two very standard quilt blocks that alternate. It doesn't have any curves in it although it gives an illusion of curves. One of the blocks is usually called "54-40 or Fight" but the way the colors are arranged in that block is not the standard way, so it looks different. And the other block is just a combination of a square in a square and flying geese (the triangles are the geese, see). I can't remember offhand if that block has a particular name.

(Oh, wow, look at the very tiny version of this pattern in this post.)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (fireworks)
I have another four Music Advent videos to show you, so yay, I don't have to stop and consider what to write about next. (See here for the explanation of this year's "connections" theme.)

So where I stopped in the entry linked above was with "Wicked Game." And it wasn't a stretch from there to think "Wicked Witch" but using Wicked the Musical seemed like an uninteresting choice, and the Wicked Witch in the old movie doesn't sing. So the other thing that occurred to me was "The Wiz" which I'm not really familiar with at all. I looked it up and the Wicked Witch there is named Evillene and she does indeed have a song - apparently only the one, near as I could figure out. I knew (or well, I was prodded by the internet to remember, anyway) that Mary J. Blige did this role in the recent "Live" TV version, but again, that seemed like an obvious/less interesting choice. I hunted around and found this rather amazing version from the old Wiz movie. This is Mabel King, who apparently also did this same role in the original Broadway production. I love that costume, for one thing - how many crowns is she wearing? about five? - but also, going from the lead-in to the number, this full-on gospel-style number is just not what I expected. It's pretty awesome, and now I may have to (finally, after all this time) go back and watch the whole movie and find out if there are more gems like this there.


As I said, I planned out the first few days and after that I realized that this is not really all that hard, coming up with connections, and I could just wing it. The next day, I started poking around in the Wikipedia article about The Wiz, and what I found that I eventually used was that Mabel King was the Wicked Witch and Lena Horne was the Good Witch. So I decided to do a Lena Horne song, and pretty much the first thing I found was "Stormy Weather" (which I think may be from a 40s movie of the same name) which seemed thematically appropriate as well. Heck, the way the wind is blowing in the background for most of that song, it looks like there's gonna be another twister any time. Also, if you're interested in such things, be sure to stick around for the ballet number (!) that follows the song.


So then, the next night, I came home and read the Wikipedia article on Lena Horne for inspiration. I found connections to both Harry Belafonte and Tony Bennett, among others I could have used, but I also found that Janet Jackson was once cast as Lena in a biopic before Nipplegate put a stop to that. And I wasn't really wanting to stay with these really old songs that badly, so I went with Janet. I picked this one, just because I like it:


And then we come to this last night. I was driving home in the car thinking about this, and I went, well, if we're avoiding the obvious, the really obvious thing here would be to jump to Michael or the Jackson Five or something like that. And from there I thought, well, how about a different Jackson? Like Joe! And then "Steppin' Out" immediately started playing in my head, but I really never liked that song that much. I did really like Joe Jackson at some point, I remembered, though, and I knew there had to be some more songs to choose from even if I couldn't remember exactly what they were, at that exact moment. And luckily I was almost home by that point and didn't forget my new inspiration before I got there. So instead of that song I don't like (which I wouldn't have used, anyway - I would have gone to Janet's Wikipedia entry for more inspiration, rather than that), we have this, which is a live version from the Jools Holland show in 2003:

(From his reaction, this must be a much more enthusiastic response of "WHERE?" than he was accustomed to - he nearly cracks up both times.)

And I have no idea what I'm doing next. you'll have to check my Tweets (or the tag) or wait another four days to find out!

Holidailies - blue
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Potter - sit down)
I did a quiz! Online quizzes seem like an artifact of the old Livejournal days, to me. This one is about "secondary" Harry Potter characters - apparently everybody other than Harry, Ron, Herminone, Voldemort and Dumbledore are secondary, in somebody-or-other's opinion (even Snape!) - but anyway, this thing has something like 84 questions and I got 94%. I couldn't remember which one was Crabbe and which one was Goyle, and the rest of them I missed were pretty much the really minor characters, the ones that stayed in the background, mostly some of the most minor adults. (I've read the books more times than I've seen the movies, so it's putting the faces with the names that I tripped up on. The spelling of the names is not a problem for me.)

Anyway, that reminded me that I meant to come back and talk about Fantastic Beasts and How to Find Them, because I don't think I said anything about it other than that we'd been twice and that (obviously) we liked it. I'll try not to be spoilery, because the main thing I wanted to say was that if you haven't seen it you really ought to. I read somewhere that while its first weekend wasn't spectacular, it's holding on really well and it's going to end up making more money than they first thought - it has "good legs" as they say. And that tells you that the word of mouth is good. I guess the #1 thing that I liked about it were the CGI animals, because they are gorgeous, but the rest of it is awfully good too. I have never been a huge fan of Eddie Redmayne's, but he is really good in this as well, as is, well, everybody else. Other than Redmayne and Colin Farrell and the (cough) surprise guest (which I won't spoil) at the end - and, well, Jon Voight, but that's also practically a cameo - mostly this is a cast of relative unknowns. They're people who have been around, yes, but aren't really super-famous. -- Anyway, everything else I can think of to say seems to veer into spoiler territory, and to avoid that, I better just stop here.

Regarding the title of this entry, the "Wizarding World" thing seems to be what they're pushing as an overall name for the two series, since "Harry Potter" doesn't exactly work any more. (Before this I had only heard it as the name of that theme-park thing in Orlando.)


Holidailies - blue
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Calvin - not fair)
We're almost a week into December and I've barely said a word about Christmas. I did mention having made paper chains and of course I mentioned Holidailies and I mentioned Music Advent, but actual Christmas or gifts or anything? Not really. We do have plans for it but I can't say I'm feeling enthusiastic about it, and I guess that's why. I'm looking forward to Rogue One more than I'm looking forward to Christmas. (I think I said basically the same thing last year - or rather I said that the day we went to see The Force Awakens I felt like a kid at Christmas, which amounts to more or less the same thing.)

Christmas is when I miss my mother the most, for one thing. I try not to dwell on that because I'll be a big bawling mess in no time if I do, but it's true. My mom was very childlike in her love for Christmas, and she liked getting gifts and I enjoyed buying them for her. (She liked giving them too and of course I enjoy getting them, as well, but honestly I loved picking out gifts for her more than anything else. She and I spent so much time together in the last ten years or so of her life, especially, that I always could figure out stuff to give her.) I enjoy buying presents for Rob, too, but it's not the same, somehow. Rob and I are both very pragmatic about gifts and we either pick out gifts for ourselves or we give very clear hints, at least. I think it comes of not having much money for most of our lives together. And I've given up even trying to buy gifts for my sister because for many years she wouldn't have anything to do with Christmas at all, and now she works for a luxury department store (I usually avoid saying the name of it anywhere public, but it's based in Dallas and it used to put out a famous Christmas catalog, you know the one) and anything I could buy for her of that sort she can buy for herself at a discount. I used to send her jewelry that I'd made and stuff, but now I just send her a handmade card and have done, because I can't figure out what else she might want.

My parents have both been gone for a number of years now, but this is the first Christmas Rob has been parentless. Last year he went to Ohio at Christmas because we knew his mom was going downhill fast, and it was good that he did because she died in early January. (And he ended up going back up there for the funeral right in the middle of the Snowpocalypse, remember that? I didn't even go with him, mostly because I freaked out at the very thought of flying... but all that's really another story.) Anyway, all that plus the awfulness of 2016 in general makes it real hard to get into the Christmas spirit, that's what I'm saying.

We are going to do what we usually do at Christmas and go see my aunt and my cousins, who live a couple of hours away and who are the last remnant of my mom's side of the family. Usually Christmas is the only time we see them, most years. Because of Christmas being on Sunday and the fact that we have the whole next week off, we have to work the evening shift on Friday the 23rd like we normally do on any other Friday, and so I told my aunt that we weren't going to try to come on Christmas Eve and we would just come up on Christmas Day. It seemed simpler. Usually we go up there Christmas Eve and it's just a long afternoon of hanging out doing nothing much. I think I'll llike this new way better, actually. And I'm going to try real, real hard not to let a word of politics come out of my mouth.

I guess I should go find some sort of little gift for my cousin's three granddaughters, who are in the sort of 5-10 y.o. range now. I think I have enough stuff to go around for most everybody else. (I'm doing the same thing I've done the past several years for all the female people old enough to wear makeup, and making up little gift bags out of Sephora samples, etc., which they all seem to love. I'll have to take a picture of the pile of stuff I have - I haven't remembered to the last couple of years, but it's usually pretty substantial.)


(I put the "it's not fair" icon up there because I dislike the tone of this entry - I feel like I'm being childish. And I'm not as depressed as it makes me sound, so don't freak out about me or anything. I was tempted to just delete it but I'm not.)

Holidailies - blue
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Black Widow)
I had a new icon yesterday and I have another one today. I saved a few more so you may see some more new ones, eventually. I go poking around in my icons every December, because I have so many I don't even know what all I have. They're kind of a record of my years at Livejournal, really - baseball, Buffy (TONS of Buffy), Harry Potter, m15m, WoW. Kingdom of Loathing - that last one goes back a while, especially. I've deleted a few over the years - usually the ones that I most rarely used, anyway - but there are still lots of old ones there. (I saw "NaBloPoMo 2007" for one, and I doubt that that's the oldest one still here, either.) The first one I remember having as my default was one of the m15m Harry Potter ones - I think it was Snape saying "sit down and shut up." Actually if you look at my userpics page, they seem to have the current default first and after that they appear to be chronological, so if I'm correct about that, the Snape one IS actually the oldest, or the oldest that's still there, at least.

Anyway, I don't see anything Marvel in my existing icons. I suppose it's been so long since I was really a regular poster here that it was mostly before Marvel became a big thing. But I have been doing movie posts all year and if you paid attention to that you might have noticed that the bulk of the movies I've seen this year were superhero movies - a few DC but even more Marvel. There's a post somewhere in there that talks about what I read as a kid (Wonder Woman) and didn't read (anything Marvel, really). (Here's that entry.) I got gradually more into the Marvel movies as they came out, and then - as I mentioned in that entry - I started playing the Marvel Heroes 2016 game this year and that really got me even more into it because I'm gradually figuring out big chunks of backstory. Anyway, I figured it was time I had a Marvel icon and so I went and poked around again and Natasha here was the first one I found that I really liked. (I can't make a habit of spending time looking for icons, though, I have enough time-sucking hobbies already without adding more.)

If I'd found a good Daredevil or Jessica Jones one first, though, you might be seeing that instead. (I did eventually find a couple of them but half of them were Luke/Jessica and I'm not into it far enough yet to be invested in those two as a couple.) We just re-started Netflix a month or so ago after a LONG hiatus - like, a couple of years - and the main reason we re-started it was for the Marvel stuff (and Stranger Things for Rob, but we haven't gotten around to that yet). We finally got through season 1 of Daredevil last night and we watched enough of Jessica Jones after that to determine that we did in fact want to watch it. I was pretty sure I would, but I wasn't sure about Rob - then once we got really rolling I realized that this is right the heck up Rob's alley. It's practically a horror movie, or at least it's creepy-as-hell suspense. Anyway, we're only two episodes in and we haven't even really seen David Tennant's face yet, but we're pretty into it. We're both off tomorrow so hopefully we can get at least one ot two more in.

(Have I ever mentioned that my mom thought when we first started dating that Rob was some kind of serial killer or something? Because he liked horror movies and stuff about Charles Manson. Heck, practically every guy my age likes that stuff. My mom had some weird ideas sometimes.)

I hear Daredevil season 2 is not as good as season 1, which is disappointing because I really, really loved season 1. We may watch season 2 eventually but I figured it'd be nice to see if we could catch up with at least Jessica Jones & maybe Luke Cage too before any more Defenders stuff comes out.


Holidailies - blue
mellicious: pink manicure (nails)
I said last night that I didn't have any nail polish icons, and so after I posted, I went and poked around in the icon communities, and to my amazement, among all the fandom icons I actually found a nail polish one. So don't think this is my nails or anything (my nails haven't been as long as the ones in that icon for some time now!) but hey, I have a nail icon! (And this is my 200th icon, for the record. I've been on LJ for a long time and I was a paid member and then a permanent one, so because of all that I have a lot of space for icons. I think it said I can have up to 235, now.)

That said, I'm not planning to write a whole entry about nail polish again, I'm not saying that might not happen before the end of Holidailies, if I can't think of anything else to write about, but definitely not today, anyway. Instead - as I usually have regularly for the past several years - I'm going to write about Music Advent. (Although there is a nail polish connection down here somewhere.)

I think this is the fourth year they've had Music Advent, where you pick out a music video daily from Dec.1-25. (This mostly takes place on Twitter using the hashtag #musicadvent, but has also expanded to other social media platforms to some extent, I think.) They've had other themes in other years, but this year it's modeled on something called The Chain, which is a BBC Radio thing. You just have to come up with a connection between one song and the next - any connection. I sat in the car one night on the commute home and came up with most of the ones I've used so far, but now (after the four in this entry) I'm just winging it. I figure if I get stuck I can just google the song and figure out some sort of connection to some other song - same producer, maybe, or same year - the possibilities are pretty endless.

So I started out with a connection in mind that I didn't actually use, but I figure if I get organized enough to be clever, I can work back around to it at the end and make it a circle. The one I didn't use was that this first song was on the mixtape that we used at our wedding reception. So if I end with another song from that tape, then I'll have a circle. (I don't think I remember what all the songs were on the tape, but we spent quite a lot of time on that tape and I remember quite a few of them, even after nearly 30 years.)

This song, was, in fact, the first song played at our wedding reception - "Chapel of Love" by the Dixie Cups:

Rob came up with some stuff that I wouldn't have thought of, and some of my friends from Austin helped, too. I was never a really huge fan of all the 60s girl-group stuff, so on my own I would never have thought of this song. (If you followed all my many Music Advent posts from past years, you may already know that I'm a much bigger fan of the oldies of the 80s - although we got married in 1987, so they weren't even oldies at the time - than the 60s.)

For Day 2, my connection was "from the chapel to the wedding" - which maybe wasn't the most glib phrasing I could have come up with, but anyway, it works as a connection.

This is definitely one of my 80s songs. I remember watching this one on MTV, back when MTV was relatively new and people actually sat and watched it.

So this second song was actually the first connection I thought of, because I had some Pandora 80s channel on in the car that night. It's not highly original but oh well. It's Billy Idol/American Idol. Rob and I watched American Idol for years so it was a pretty obvious one to me. And then I picked this particular song because it fit into the next connection, but I'll get to that in a minute.

Once I got to American Idol, I figured I could use anybody who was ever on Idol, really, but the most obvious people to use were Kelly and Carrie, because they were the biggest stars to come out of Idol in the US. Then once my brain got to that point, I thought, "Ooh, nail polish." Because Deborah Lippmann nail polishes all have names that are song titles, and I knew for sure that there was at least one that was a Kelly Clarkson song. I actually got on the website and made a list of songs I might want to use. The song I originally thought of which I knew was a polish was Stronger, but in fact I found at least four songs that I could have used: Miss Independent, Stronger, Before He Cheats, and Superstar. (I don't know which "Superstar" Ms Lippmann actually had in mind, but I knew that Clay Aiken sang it on Idol at some point.) I did get as far as looking for a video of Clay singing "Superstar" but I wasn't blown away by that video, so I went with Miss Independent instead. I do like the "Stronger" video but it's not my favorite of her songs. And I'm not a huge country fan (although I do like Carrie Underwood alright) so that's why I thought the older, more rock-inflected Kelly video reflected my taste the most, of those choices.

And then the other video I used the next day, which is also a Lippmann nail polish, is another 80s song, Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game":

This video feels familiar to me, but I doubt that this is the exact video MTV used back in the 80s because it's a bit risque for back then. (I mean, it's really not, because you can't actually see anything much, but just the fact that the girl in this video doesn't seem to have a top on for a good portion of the video probably was too much, in the 80s, even if it was cable.)

(and four videos is plenty for one entry so I'll continue this later)


Holidailies - blue

Nail candy

Dec. 4th, 2016 01:46 am
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (nothing to say)
I didn't get around to writing an entry on the 3rd, mostly because I spent way too long playing with the new nail polish that showed up from a Black Friday sale and then writing an entry in my nail blog about it. (That's here.) I've resisted the impulse to use my nail polish blog for Holidailies - somehow it doesn't feel right - but I have been really, really steadily posting there for most of this year. I started this project where I talk about my polishes a couple at a time. I went all the way around the nail wheel by color, posting once or often twice a day, and now I'm working on the things I missed the first time and re-doing pictures I wasn't happy with and things like that. There were a lot of pictures I wasn't happy with so that may occupy me for a good while longer at this rate.

I got a new iPhone for my birthday, back in April. It's my second one and I had the first one for five years - man, that's forever in internet time. It was an iPhone 4 and it was seriously getting unusable by the end - like, most of the apps were refusing to update and stuff like that. I justified the new one (mostly to myself, although of course theoretically since it was a gift it came from Rob) because I also had an even older camera that had also crapped out. It was a 10-year-old Canon and I figured by getting the iPhone it was killing two birds with one stone, since I'd heard how much better the cameras are in the new generation. It was effectively a new phone and a new camera in one.

What I got was an iPhone SE, which in case you're not already aware is basically the guts of an iPhone 6 stuffed somehow into the case of an iPhone 5. I didn't really want the bigger footprint of the 6 so it seemed like a good compromise, and it was quite a lot cheaper. Of course now there's the 7 and all that is theoretically obsolete anyway, but I don't care. It's a helluva big upgrade from the 4 and the 10-year-old camera, let me tell you. And we've recently put daylight bulbs in our living room (they're so bright Rob doesn't even like to turn them on) and I discovered that if I turn all of those lights on and take my pictures in the living room, they come out really well - or well, much, much better than my old ones, anyway. I don't spend enough time futzing around with my pictures to get anything like professional-quality pictures, but at least I'm up to "decent amateur" status now.


(Hmm, I don't even have a nail polish icon. That seems like a significant oversight.)

Holidailies - blue
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (HP - Phoenix)
I was going to write something about "Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them" - which we saw twice, once the weekend before Thanksgiving and again on Thanksgiving Day - but I can't figure out what to say past "I liked it a lot and so did Rob." This may have more to do with my state of body/mind right now - I feel kinda like crap, honestly - than with anything having to do with the movie. Obviously I'm going to have to come back to that topic later.

Man, I hope I'm not getting sick.

Well, here, I'll throw you a couple of random holiday-related pictures. I found a paper-chain kit at Target last week, in the $1 section, so I bought three of them. They came color-themed so I bought one of each in red, green, and gold, and I alternated them when I put them together. It's not something it ever occurred to me that I needed a kit for before, but now that I have paper-chains draped all across the living room, I think they're pretty brilliant. It was just pre-cut strips of paper and some stickers to hold them together with.
paperchainkit.jpg
It doesn't say how long of a chain you're meant to get, but with three kits' worth, it wraps most of the way around two sides of the living room. I estimated I have something like 18 feet of chain, altogether. Here's part of it:
paperchains.jpg
I just taped it up and so far it's holding fine. I think it's kind of awesome, really.

(I'm all into creative use of tape, lately. Late one night I used most of a roll of flashy purple mylar tape decorating the edge of my computer monitor, and you can also part of see the results of that in this picture.)

Thus far the only outside decoration I've put up is my big silver wreath on the balcony door. I'm sure I'll get around to doing some more of that later.

Holidailies - blue
Holidailies
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (autumn - fall leaves orange)
Because Holidailies is starting and this seemed like a good introduction.

1. EVER BEEN GIVEN AN ENGAGEMENT RING?
Huh. Actually, no, even though I've been married forever. We didn't have any money so I told him not to bother. I'm not a big fan of diamonds, anyway.
2. LONGEST RELATIONSHIP?
30 years and counting. Married 30 years next spring - that's so hard to believe.
3. LAST GIFT YOU RECEIVED?
Probably nail polish.
4. EVER DROPPED A CELL PHONE?
Oh hell yeah. Without Otterboxes I could never have an iPhone.
5. WHEN'S THE LAST TIME YOU WORKED OUT?
Does three minutes count?
6. THING(S) YOU SPEND A LOT OF MONEY ON?
Lately, moisturizer.
7. LAST FOOD YOU ATE?
A piece of streusel cake.
8. FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT THE OPPOSITE SEX?
Height, I suppose.
9. ONE FAVORITE SONG?
Yellow. (I know it's uncool to admit to liking anything by Coldplay, but for some reason I love that song.)
10. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
Houston suburbs
11. HIGH SCHOOL YOU ATTENDED:
Small Town USA (actually it's about 10 miles from here)
12. CELL PHONE SERVICE PROVIDER:
AT&T
13. FAVORITE MALL STORE:
Sephora, I suppose, although usually when I actually go in a Sephora store I end up pissed off about something.
14. LONGEST JOB YOU HAD:
Secretary for a bunch of accountants.
15. DO YOU OWN A PAIR OF DICE?
There might be a Monopoly game stuck in the closet somewhere, in which case, yes.
16. DO YOU PRANK CALL PEOPLE?:
I did when I was 12 or so. Recently? No.
17. LAST WEDDING YOU ATTENDED:
My cousin's. Which was a while ago.
18. FIRST FRIEND YOU'D CALL IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY:
I'm not sure I'd tell anybody. (I probably wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut, but I think it'd be the best idea.)
19. LAST TIME YOU SAW YOUR BEST FRIEND:
Well, if my best friend is the person I play games with, he lives on a different coast than I do and I last saw him in person in, like, 2005.
20. FAVORITE FAST FOOD RESTAURANT:
Since McDonald's started serving sausage biscuits all day, I'd have to go with them.
21. BIGGEST LIE YOU HAVE EVER HEARD:
What did Trump say today? (I guess that would be something to the effect of "Oh no, we're not giving any tax breaks to Carrier!")
23. WHERE'S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT WITH FRIENDS?
THE place around here for socializing is a Mexican place called Gringo's, so let's go with that.
24. CAN YOU COOK?
When I bother, yeah.
25. WHAT CAR DO YOU DRIVE?:
2009 Toyota Corolla
26. BEST KISSER:
Rob, although it took me a while to come around to his kissing method.
27. LAST TIME YOU CRIED?:
I tear up really easily, so if we're talking a little stealth crying it probably hasn't beeen long. Full-on crying? Not so recently.
28. MOST DISLIKED FOODS:
Slimy things: squid, oysters.
29. THING YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOURSELF:
I'm smart.
And I have good hair.
30. THING YOU DISLIKE MOST ABOUT YOURSELF:
I'm fat. (Honestly, I probably have worse bad points, but that's the obvious one.)
32. LONGEST SHIFT YOU HAVE WORKED AT A JOB?:
I used to work in a restaurant and we did 11 a.m. to close on weekends - probably 13 or 14 hours, a few times.
33. FAVORITE MOVIE?
Let's say Aliens. (Tomorrow I'll probably say something different, though.)
34. CAN YOU SING?
I was a voice major once upon a time. Nowadays, not so much.
35. LAST CONCERT ATTENDED?
It was so long ago I'm not even sure.
36. LAST KISS?
Earlier today.
37. LAST MOVIE RENTED:
No idea. We don't have a working player so we don't do Redbox or anything. I've probably rented something or other from iTunes most recently but I don't remember what.
38.ONE THING YOU NEVER LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT:
iPhone
39. FAVORITE VACATION SPOT:
Las Vegas (as long as it's not summer)
43. LAPTOP OR DESKTOP COMPUTER?:
Desktop. I know, I'm all retro and stuff.
44. FAVORITE COMEDIAN?:
Jon Stewart, I guess.
45. DO YOU SMOKE?
I did for about six weeks in high school. I suspect I never really inhaled.
46. SLEEP WITH OR WITHOUT CLOTHES?
Without, unless I'm cold.
47. WHO SLEEPS WITH YOU EVERY NIGHT?:
Nobody. We've been married for nearly 30 years, we have conjugal visits but we don't actually sleep in the same bed. (Free marriage advice? Separate beds are a wonderful thing - especially once you get to the point where somebody starts snoring.)
48. DO LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIPS WORK?:
Never tried it.
49. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN PULLED OVER BY THE POLICE?
Enough over the years that I've lost count. Last time was a couple of years ago. I was legit speeding but he let me off with a warning.
50. PANCAKES OR FRENCH TOAST?
If forced to choose in a restaurant I'd take French toast. I like Rob's pancakes but not anybody else's.
51. DO YOU LIKE COFFEE?:
Oh hell yeah. (As long as it has lots of milk in it, I don't do black.)
52 HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR EGGS?
Scrambled. And if they're runny I won't eat them. I'm a picky eater, can you tell?
53. DO YOU BELIEVE IN ASTROLOGY?:
No - although I am a bullheaded Taurus and I do occasionally think that's an interesting coincidence.
54. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?:
My aunt. Actually that's not true, it was some random caller at work.
55. LAST PERSON ON YOUR MISSED CALL LIST?:
Some random number, probably.
56. WHAT WAS THE LAST TEXT MESSAGE YOU RECIEVED?:
Well, now that the election is over it's probably not Hillary. It's more likely to be some robo-text thing than a real person though.
58. NUMBER OF PILLOWS?:
Several. No specific number required, though.
59. WHAT ARE YOU WEARING RIGHT NOW?:
A Longhorn t-shirt and some ill-fitting knit pants that I never wear outside the house.
60. PICK A LYRIC, ANY LYRIC:
Not all those who wander are lost. (Hmm, that's actually a poem, does that count?)
61. WHAT KIND OF JELLY DO YOU LIKE ON YOUR PB & J?:
Grape. (I like blackberry on English muffins but grape on PB&J. Go figure.)
62. CAN YOU PLAY POOL?:
I know how, more or less. Haven't tried in years, though.
63. CAN YOU SWIM?
Sure.
64. FAVORITE ICE CREAM?:
Vanilla
65. DO YOU LIKE MAPS?
I do. I like them a lot, actually.
66. TELL ME A RANDOM FACT ABOUT YOURSELF:
I had heart surgery when I was 12.
(Hey, where's 67?)
68. EVER ATTEND A THEME PARTY?
Sure. Not lately, but that's because I'm kind of a hermit.
69. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON
Fall.
70. LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED AT SOMETHING STUPID?
I do that all the time.
71. WHAT TIME DID YOU WAKE UP THIS MORNING ?
9:00. Then I went back to sleep.
72. BEST THING ABOUT WINTER?:
I live where winters aren't very cold. The best thing about winter is that it isn't 90 degrees all the time
73. LAST TIME A COP GAVE YOU A TICKET?:
Probably 2008. (I briefly a had a very peppy Ford Focus and the Galveston police caught me speeding on the way in to work a couple of times that year.)
75. NAME OF YOUR FIRST PET?
Tiger.
76. DO YOU THINK PIRATES ARE COOL OR OVERRATED?:
Only fictional pirates are cool. Real ones are horrible.
77. WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS WEEKEND??
Nothing much, probably.
78. BIRTH DATE
April 26... a long time ago.
79. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE:
Um. Rich?
(more missing numbers, that bothers me.)
85. ARE YOU ON A LAPTOP?:
No.
87. ARE YOU SMILING?:
I am now.
89. DO YOU MISS SOMEONE RIGHT NOW
Again, not until I thought about it.
90. IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
London, maybe.
92. ARE YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL?:
Ha. Not for a long, long time, no.
93. DO YOU HAVE A CRUSH?:
No, thank goodness, I seem to have finally gotten over those.
94. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NAME?
Moon Unit
95. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR BATHING SUIT?:
Blue.
96. DOES YOUR SCHOOL START IN AUGUST?:
The one where I work does, yes.
97. DID YOU GO ON VACATION LAST MONTH?:
Not unless you count Thanksgiving.
98. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ON A CRUISE?:
Nope. It's my worst nightmare. (Claustrophobic, see. I want to be able to get OFF if I want to.)
99. DO YOU HAVE A SISTER
Yup.
100. ARE YOU UPSTAIRS?:
Yes.
101. ARE YOU IN LOVE?:
Yes.
102. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN THE HOSPITAL?
Yes. (See above, about heart surgery.)
103. DO YOU WISH YOU COULD SEE ANYONE PARTICULAR RIGHT NOW?
My mom, I guess.
104. WHAT JEWELRY ARE YOU WEARING?
None.
105. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO AFTER THIS SURVEY?
Fart around on the internet some more, probably.

Holidailies - blue
(Huh, why is it cutting off the end of my little graphic?)

Holidailies - blue
(There, that's better.)

holidailies
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (fangirl squee)
omg, they gave LJ entries a like button? That's just wrong.

Rob was out of town two weeks ago when Doctor Strange started. I hadn't been to a movie by myself in ages but I bestirred myself for this one. As I've mentioned (probably several times), I've been playing Marvel Heroes for... coming up on six months now, I think, so I'm all into that stuff. I'm not a fanatical Benedict Cumberbatch fan but I do like him, and he's definitely a good actor. And I adore Chiwetel Ejiofor (although I had to look up how to spell his name but not how to spell "Cumberbatch" - go figure). I was a bit uneasy about the whitewashing issues but I do like Tilda Swinton a lot, too, and I do pretty much buy the argument that this movie was gonna have some issues related to race no matter how they cast it, just due to the way it was written 50 years or so ago.

So I went, and I pretty much loved it. (Surprise!) Not unreservedly, because when do I ever love anything completely without reservations? I'm pretty good at seeing at least some of the flaws in most things, no matter how much I love them. This movie is pretty much the same old Marvel stuff, as far as the plot is concerned, and those amazing cityscapes certainly do owe a lot to Inception, and, well, I'm sure I could think of more if I worked at it, but you get the idea. It has flaws, plenty of them. But still, it's a good movie. And especially since I had been playing that damn game and I knew a lot of the lingo in advance, the magic stuff was really fascinating. And the effects were gorgeous, even the Inception ones. Especially the Inception ones, really.

It always floors me when people walk out of a Marvel movie before the credits. Actually about 90% of them stayed until the Thor bit, after the main credits (is that what you call them? the ones that would be at the beginning except they're at the end) but after that about 90% of the people who were still there, got up. I had already checked on my phone and I knew there was more at the very end, but it's always a very small group that stays. Of course I was in Pearland, and Pearland is weird, but still. I don't know if they don't know or don't care or just have to get the kids to the restroom, but most everybody left.

Well, anyway, so then during the next week Rob came back. Rob and one of his brothers talked about going to see the movie in Ohio, but Rob had gotten up at something godawful like 3:30am or maybe it was earlier - I've already forgotten - and spent most of the day travelling, and he said he just didn't have the energy to stay up any longer by that time, and you can't blame him for that. And I wasn't really unhappy about that because I really wanted to go again anyway, and since Rob hadn't seen it, that gave me an excuse, and so last weekend we went again. And I really enjoyed it, in a different way from the first time. To tell you the truth I'm not sure how much Rob loved it. He didn't hate it but he didn't have much to say about it - probably partly because I was talking too much and he's too polite to talk over me while I told him about relics and stuff.

I always watch different things the second time I see a movie, but they vary. Sometimes I get really involved in the music on repeat viewings, but I didn't really get as far as paying much attention to that here. I remember that I was watching the way they had Strange's hair turn gray at the temples over the course of the movie. And I was paying extra attention to the names of the relics and the spells and all that stuff. Anyway, it was definitely still fun. I wonder if I can talk Rob into going again in a few weeks?

The theater was still pretty full on the second week, but still, 90% or so of the audience was gone after the Thor sequence in the credits. People are just weird.


I think we're going to see Fantastic Beasts thingamajig tomorrow. Rob always liked the Harry Potter movies so I didn't have to talk him into that. I'm kind of excited for that one, too, really.


Oh, and Holidailies registration is open, yay. (No worrying about whether it's happening this year, they'd already updated the site by the time I got around to checking. So expect a lot of the usual babble in December.
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Frank - zombie)
Let's get the controversial part over with - yes, we did go see Suicide Squad for a second time, and dammit, we enjoyed it too. I don't know why I like this movie that everybody else (particularly the critics) hates, but I do. Question: Do you think some of the hate for this movie has to do with (a) people's feelings about Leto and/or (b) the size of the Joker's role? I feel like that Joker-related feelings of some sort must seriously factor into it. People don't like Leto or don't think he should've been the Joker, or else they wanted to see more Joker and are upset that his role was so small. I actually had read a bunch of stuff about this movie along about the time that first trailer came out, and one of the subjects discussed there was how likely it was that the Joker's role was not as big as people seemed to think. So I was sort of prepared for his role to possibly be smaller, and also - I hate to say it but it's true - I'm not a Joker fan to the degree that a lot of people seem to be. So I really didn't mind a bit that he was a minor-ish character.

Anyway.

Re Kubo: it's awesome. Go see it immediately while it's still to be found in the theaters.

(I'm sure I would have more to say about this subject but it's very late and I'm exhausted and maybe some other time.)
mellicious: Retro Houston Astros logo (Astros - retro)
I forgot I hadn't talked about Suicide Squad. I had started writing a longer entry, but the paragraph below is as far as I got and it'll do for a quick review.

I went into Suicide Squad with really low expectations. The reviews are bad; they talk about a noisy, plotless, messy, violent movie. But Rob wanted to see it anyway, and so did I, really. I was interested in it and I was curious to see if it was really as bad as they said it was. And honestly, for me, it was not that bad. It's certainly not a great movie, but it's not the absolutely terrible one that the reviews led me to expect. Your mileage may vary of course. It was messy, violent and noisy, yes, but it did have a plot. It was an extremely simple plot but it was there. (Note that Rob liked the movie pretty well, overall, but he thought the beginning was boring - they go through the main baddies character-by-character. I was not bored by that part, for whatever reason. Added: I read somewhere that the structure of the beginning was a last-minute change done after early screenings.)

(Note: if you haven't seen Civil War and you still intend to, there are some fairly vague spoilers below. You have been warned.)

So that was a week ago. This weekend, Captain America: Civil War finally showed up at the cheap theater (it's coming out on dvd in september, I read) so we went to see that again. We had seen it back when it first came out in early May, and I knew I didn't remember the plot terribly well. I was especially aware of that because I've been playing Marvel Heroes all summer (I started at the end of May) and it reminded me of the things I didn't remember very well all the time. It may be a much better movie overall than Suicide Squad, but it's still a 21st-century comic-book action movie, and it has things in common with it - it's noisy and violent, too, if not quite so messy and certainly not plotless. If anything it had a little too much plot, which is why I was having so much trouble remembering it all. And its heroes may not be anti-heroes, exactly, but they are mostly very fallible, just the same - Tony, the former arms magnate, set against Bucky, who did many, many bad things over the years but was never the one in control of what he was doing - and between them is Cap, who's normally the infallible one. (To me the really devastating part of Civil War is Bucky saying, "I remember everything.")

MCU canon may be that Bucky remembers everything, but the Marvel Heroes game can pick and choose between years and years of comic-book canon and various retcons, and Bucky (who's officially called Winter Soldier in the game) says specifically that he doesn't remember everything, there. But he apparently has Hydra out of his head and is operating on his own terms. I've played a lot but not all of the Avengers - I have both Cap and Iron Man, but they aren't really that much fun to play. (Cap is a great team-up for all the ranged characters, though, so I use him a lot for that.) The Avenger I've played the most is Hawkeye, actually - not because I love Jeremy Renner so much but just because an unlock dropped for him early on and I found I liked playing him. I've played WS a lot and also Scarlet Witch, and lately I've been playing Black Widow, too. (The various heroes - there are 58 of them currently, something like that - have little remarks they say when certain other heroes walk by. Bucky said something to Natasha that sounded like they'd once been an item, and sure enough, I looked it up and yes, they were.)

There's just so much canon - what, 75 years or so of it now? I have to look pretty much everything up that's not in the movies, too, because I never read the comic books. I did read comic books some when I was a kid (I was big on Wonder Woman) but I didn't keep up with it once I was a teenager. My game-playing partner Columbine is constantly surprised about how little I know. Wonder Woman is DC, of course, so I never read Marvel superhero comics AT ALL. I didn't know that Bucky was originally a teenage sidekick (I just learned that one from Wikipedia last night, in fact) or that Magik was Colossus' sister (and I only knew who Colossus was because of Deadpool) and... well, I could go on but you get the idea. I really know virtually nothing that isn't in the movies. So this has been a crash-course in the Marvel (Comics) Universe for me - I've been piling up all these little factoids. The first time I saw Civil War, I didn't know that the prison out in the ocean was called The Raft or that Black Panther's guards are called Doras, and now I can pull all these bits and pieces of info out of my head. But there's still a ton I don't know and I'm certainly not going to go back and read 75 years of Marvel comics. You could look at it that I'm a middle-aged lady and nobody really expects middle-aged ladies to know anything about comic books, but on the other hand I'm not the usual middle-aged lady, either. It bothers me more than it really should, this massive ignorance. I guess I'm used to having a lot more geek cred than I have here.
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (ST - slash)
I actually have seen three movies that I haven't talked about, but one was Deadpool (at the dollar theater) for the second time. It holds up really well - I still thought it was hilarious.

Then we saw Finding Dory (also at the Dollar Theater) - it was really good and funny and I'm glad we went to see it. Maybe not quite as good as the first movie but surprisingly close. Funny thing: I had just put that RunPee app on my phone and I sat there during the credits and checked to see if we actually needed to stay til the end (Me: "It's not a Marvel movie, so we don't need to stay" - but it turned out we did). There is a very funny bit at the very end that's a callback to Finding Nemo. It's brief, but it was worth sitting there to see. And obviously RunPee is worth it just for that feature.

Star Trek Beyond was really good, too. I have enjoyed all the Star Trek movies ever, quite honestly, even a couple that I was rolling my eyes at even at the time (Star Trek V, I'm looking at you) but really most of them are at least "not bad." (Rob and I actually had a conversation the other day about how the first Star Trek movie isn't really as bad as its reputation, and I haven't seen it in a long time, so I can't be sure what I'd think now, but I know that then we really loved it. I stood in line with friends to see it and we collectively thought it was pretty awesome back in 1979.) So what it comes down to is, I'm a big fan and furthermore I'm old enough to remember it from the first time through, even though I was six when it started and didn't understand too much. I thought it was awesome back then too. I think Star Trek is in danger of becoming something only us "old" people care that much about - which I guess is why they gave it to the guy from the Furious movies to direct. I'm not sure it helped with the age range of the audience, but he did fine. I had seen it described as being like a two-hour Original Series episode, and I think that's a reasonable way to describe it. It's not great art but it's enjoyable.
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (buffy quote (Giles) - earth is doomed)
I said I wasn't going to see it, and then we caved and went to see it at the cheap movie. This was actually several weeks ago, so I've already forgotten a lot of detail, but... it was better than I expected, I have to admit. It was... quirkier... than I expected. It was odd, in a sort of interesting way. I don't have a better way to explain it than that, especially not weeks out. Henry Cavill is pretty but seemingly not a terribly good actor. Affleck is broody, as expected. Wonder Woman was really the best part. But honestly, I wasn't bored until the big finish, which went on way too long, but still, for a movie as long as it is, that's an unexpected plus.

(I shoulda written this ages ago, when I remembered the details better. I've been busy playing Marvel Heroes and Rift, though.)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (buffy quote - action figures)
So, non-spoilery: it's really, really good. If you're at all interested in things Marvel you should definitely go see it.

Note that once again I have gone a whole month without seeing a movie - there was just nothing interesting out there. (I skipped Batman v. Superman - did I already say this? - because it sounded dull & depressing and I'm not much of a Superman fan anyway. I might see it eventually.)

Possible spoilers under the jump, though.
Read more... )
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (baseball - Kissimmee)
The Star Wars movie (I never think to call it "The Force Awakens" unless I've had time to consider the words before they come out of my mouth) is showing at the two-dollar theater near us, and I'd been dropping hints that I'd like to see it again, so we went this afternoon. Rob didn't seem to be as gung-ho to see it again as I was, but I think he enjoyed it anyway. We hadn't seen it since sometime during the Christmas holidays, so three months ago, or very near it. I had forgotten a lot of it, as far as the details and how the set-pieces fit together and such - and I think I caught a number of details that escaped me earlier, too. I enjoyed it a lot, but then I knew I would.

There just haven't been a whole lot of movies we were dying to see. I would have been more interested in "Batman vs Superman" if the reviews were better, but the trailers looked grim and gray, and going from the reviews that's about what you got. I just couldn't work up any enthusiasm for it. (Apparently that didn't stop it from making a ton of money just the same.)

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