graculus: (oh please)
In work news, I am counting down to leaving my current employers, as it's looking more and more like they're about to go down with all hands. Got some of my pay the day I was supposed to, though it was looking touch and go at one point as to whether anyone would get anything, the rest arriving in my bank account 2 days later. And then the director is sending snippy emails telling people to 'stop the chit chat' about the fact they haven't been paid/have little confidence they will and get on with their work. Looks like only a matter of time before they go under, if that performance is anything to go by...

In ferret news, poor Monty (had I mentioned I had to name at least one of the Lads, as he was off to the vet a while back and I didn't want to try and explain they didn't have names?) has suspected adrenal disorder and will be back at the vets on Wednesday for blood to be taken and a skin sample too. He's got a little monk tonsure now, with the bit of his head between the ears all wrinkled and bald - I'd noticed his head was warm, but hadn't put it down to anything other than the weather and then suddenly, no hair!

After going through the surgical side of things with Lily a few years back, which only really gave her another 6 months, I'm much more inclined to go non-surgical this time around. Research has moved on since then, with a hormonal implant usually used for chemical neutering being used to treat the symptoms of adrenal as well. It's not a cure, but at 5+ and with an already enlarged spleen, he's not the best candidate for surgery anyway - not sure if my vet would even want to operate, given it's still not particularly common and last time round I had to scour the Midlands for anyone who'd done the operation previously.

All of this will have to wait till after WorldCon, as I'm off down to London next Thursday for that. I've picked out a few panels etc. that I really want to attend but am still trying to not over-commit (which would be incredibly easy to do).

In non-fannish TV, Great British Bake Off is back! Is it wrong of me to want something to go horribly wrong? I was delighted last season (or was it the one before?) when someone used salt instead of sugar in something and next week is free-standing biscuit tableaux. Something is bound to fall over/collapse, though the likelihood of tears has dramatically reduced after the first exit of the series. I'm making a long-range prediction that Nancy is going to win, so we'll see if I'm right...
graculus: (Default)
Because I need new TV shows, clearly, I tried out two new contenders for the watchlist with varying degrees of success:

Fargo

I love the Coen brothers. I didn't love this. Not really sure why, except that I don't really find Martin Freeman all that interesting an actor any more (if I ever did) as all I can see is John Watson with a funny accent. Ho hum.

Turn

Came for Jamie Bell, stayed for Jamie Bell and Burn Gorman and incredible amounts of snark from a character called Simcoe who is played by a guy called Samuel Roukin. For someone who's spoilers for episodes 1-3 )

Since it's set in the US revolutionary war, there seem to be more Brit actors in it than not and so far it's managing to avoid the cliché of British-bad and American-good.


Oh, and Orphan Black is back and what Felix is wearing for most of the first episode of season 2 is well worth the price of admission on its own! ;)
graculus: (Default)
Best shows of 2013 (in no particular order), all back in 2014:

  • Orphan Black - just two words for why anyone should watch, those words being 'Tatiana Maslany'. Can't wait to see what season 2 has in store for us!
  • Hannibal - an unexpected addition to the list, helped immensely by how awesome Bryan Fuller is, looking forward to seeing where we go next...
  • Sleepy Hollow - it's a crazy idea for a show but the (beautifully diverse) cast is great, even if Orlando Jones' involvement with fandom scares me a little!
  • Almost Human - I love Michael Ealy, so this was a no-brainer and I'm really enjoying this show so far.
  • Elementary - more great performances from a fantastic (again nicely diverse) cast, looking forward to the rest of season 2!
  • Person of Interest - I want to be cross with TPTB, but I love what they're doing anyway, so I can't be too mad with them...
  • In The Flesh - great little zombie show, season 2 is on in March, highly recommend!

    Shows that didn't live up to their potential/hype:

  • Agents of SHIELD - alas, poor show, you had so much to give but ended up being 2-dimensional white folks and their angst with occasional Melinda May awesome crowbarred in.

    Gone but not forgotten:

  • Happy Endings
  • Fringe
  • Go On
  • graculus: (Default)
    So, after the most recent (apparently unfounded) panic over on LJ, I have finally taken the plunge and backed up my account over onto DW - who knew I had posted 1500 times, though that's probably a drop in the ocean compared to some folks? Now it's time to see if this cross-posting palaver actually works or not and tell you all the exciting things I've been getting up to.

    *watches tumbleweed blow across*

    Okay, so maybe not that exciting!

    I spent yesterday afternoon getting inducted into my new job, so I am now legally allowed to offer to take people downstairs in the special chair if there's a fire or other need to evacuate the building. It was quite entertaining watching the university students milling around on the stairs as we practiced. My proper shifts start next Monday and I'm not sure if I'd mentioned previously that I'll be working (mostly) nights? It's been a while since I've done that but hopefully it won't be too bad once I get used to it - it may just be easier on the whole to go nocturnal, though some of the weekend shifts are daytime so we'll have to see how best to approach it.

    I'm still keeping an eye out for other jobs, but at least this takes the pressure off a bit financially and also gives me a) a foot in the door (at the university and generally in that line of work, if this is where I end up going) and b) someone else other than my former manager to give me a professional reference if needed. Though I'm not sure if my new employer even contacted the folks I'd given as a reference this time around (two former colleagues, both of whom liked me and despised my former manager).

    I'm also enjoying the adult teaching course I've recently started, so I'm not committing myself yet to any one particular direction - most of what I might want to do, however, requires further training/qualifications and that means a significant cash investment so I'm keen to get it right before I jump in...

    In other news, thanks so much to my participation in fandom for making me no longer able to consume unthinkingly. Really, thanks for that. Life was so much easier before I was primed to notice things like the preponderance of white actors in shows or dodgy representations of women in general, not to mention other minority groups/cultures/sub-cultures. Or clunky writing and poor characterisation.

    It seems to end up being something of a bargaining process with the shows I'm currently watching - I'll take your overall positive casting/good writing of non-white actors in major roles but balance it against your specific dodgy representation of a particular minority group. Yes, Sleepy Hollow I am looking at you. I am still mostly enjoying the hell out of you and you have lived up to my hopes more than other shows - also congrats on getting a season 2 order only 3 episodes in! - but carry on with the (mostly) good stuff or else.

    In returning shows news, I am enjoying the heck out of both Elementary and Person of Interest, the latter being helped immensely by the presence of Shaw as a returning character. Some of the fandom seems quite ambivalent about her and it's always interesting to see the double standard well and truly in action where female characters are concerned. On the one hand, there are obviously folks out there who don't like Shaw because they perceive her as a 'threat' to Carter, both in terms of overall screentime and any potential romantic entanglements with Reece, but it's also quite possible to dislike a female character because you dislike the character, not just because she's female. In this case, imo, you'd be wrong but them's the breaks. ;)

    When it comes to Agents of SHIELD I'm an equal opportunity disliker, both of Skye and Ward so far, in both cases because I don't think they're particularly well-written or acted. That could change, for either or both, or the show could just drop off my watchlist completely? At present I am certainly watching for (in order) Melinda May, Coulson and the science twins, so who's to say what might happen as the season rolls on?

    Day 30

    Sep. 30th, 2013 09:50 pm
    graculus: (Default)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 30 - Saddest Most infuriating character death

    Either way, no contest but that it's Daniel Jackson - first off, you have PTB who can't stand that the character involved has a massive amount of fans and so when it comes to writing him out of the show for reasons, there has to be an element of spite that you give him a painful, lingering death of radiation poisoning that has his insides turning to soup while none of the characters who supposedly care for him can touch him.

    Still bitter? If that had been the end of things, I probably would be, but we all know how that little tale turned out... ;)
    graculus: (UNCLE)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 29 - Current TV show obsession

    While it's true that Tumblr is excellent for enabling anyone's obsession, I think I've managed to avoid getting completely sucked in by anything in particular. Part of that is comparing my viewing/engagement with shows to how I was with Stargate SG-1 and also wondering whether the fact I'm not writing for any of these shows (yet, I have to always say yet, just in case) helps with that.

    There's something different about a show you write for, I think, in terms of the engagement you need or the engagement it makes you have, I'm not sure which. You might, after all, need to know exactly how someone's apartment is laid out or just where the characters were standing in relation to one another in a particular scene. That sort of devotion to detail sets up a real obsessional feedback loop if you're not careful. In comparison, getting dialogue or character names right is much easier, all there at the click of a search engine.

    So, current obsession? Nothing like it - there's a lot of shows I like, some I really like, but obsessive? No way.


    Three fics uploaded on AO3 for [community profile] trope_bingo so far:

  • Maker - WWW fic, prompt 'au: apocalypse

  • A Proper Sense of Decorum - Mag7 WIP, prompt 'rivals to lovers'. I've wanted to write Nathan/Rain/Ezra for some time and I've got a plan to make it work. ;)

  • Hinterland - Man from UNCLE, prompt 'mind control'

    I'm currently working on finishing the WIP, still writing my 1930's UNCLE AU (now almost 21,000 words!) and no actual sign of anything resembling a pattern on my [community profile] trope_bingo card in sight! :P
  • Day 28

    Sep. 28th, 2013 07:56 pm
    graculus: (geek love)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 28 - First TV show obsession

    While my first TV show love (and certainly longest lasting!) was Man from UNCLE, I have to admit my first TV show obsession was Stargate SG-1 - it is, after all, the show I have to blame for being in online fandom in the first place. It was a search for information about season 2 when season 1 was first airing in the UK that led me onto the internet, then down the rabbit hole of fanfic. Let's not talk about my first experience of slash, which it also gave me, since I'm lucky it didn't psychologically scar me for life. ;)

    It was that show that has given me a wide range of experiences over the years, not to mention online friends who I've also had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with face to face on two continents. It taught me about the power of denial, as well as making me write thousands of words about characters I came to know better than I know members of my own family and certainly like a great deal more. And now, even if there are episodes of the show I'll never see that don't actually exist and I don't feel I have any further stories to tell about those characters, I can't deny the effect it's had on my life.
    graculus: (Snape)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 27 - Best pilot episode

    A solid pilot episode is a must for me - if I can't even make it through that, then I'm never going to watch the show. I think I'm going to have to go with Person of Interest for this, with honourable mentions for White Collar and Life - it does a really nice job of setting up the characters of Reece and Finch, as well as their relationship, while teasing for some of the things we now know about them and the world they inhabit.


    In other news, I had a trip out earlier this week for what was supposed to be a job interview but was more an informal guided tour of a possible workplace, leaving me really uncertain about whether or not I'd hit the right note with the guys I saw. However, I just got a call from the agency who were arranging this to say that I've been made an offer and so I should be starting work mid-October!

    Basically, it's student wrangling in one of the libraries of a local university - the money's not great and the hours are crazy, but it's a foot in the door if I decide I want to go into this line of work in general as I need practical experience for the MA I've been looking at. It's also experience for applying for similar jobs with better pay and less crazy hours, so we'll see how things work out as we go along.

    Meanwhile, I've also started that preparatory adult teaching course (which is 14 weeks) and there may be the possibility of some work via someone I met there too. Because it's shift work, we'll see how knackered the odd hours leave me and go on from there...


    In other, other news, I've also just purchased my ticket for Loncon next August, so I'm sure I shall see some folks from my flist there - this year is the first since the very early years of me being in fandom proper that I haven't been to a con and I don't like it. How could I miss going to an actual WorldCon when one's so close(ish) to home? Meanwhile, regardless of that, this con will be made possible by a substantial and extremely unexpected cheque from my former employer, who apparently has to pay me for the annual leave I didn't get to take... ;)

    Day 26

    Sep. 26th, 2013 10:42 pm
    graculus: (Snape)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season finale

    Oh, so now it's 'season' is it? Make your bloody mind up.

    *thinks* I think it's probably going to be Grimm for which the season finales have seen respectively spoilers for season 1 ) and spoilers for season 2 ). Both developments, and others, done with a significant degree of apparent glee by TPTB.
    graculus: (Snape)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 25 - A show you plan on watching (old or new)

    In this case, it's new rather than old, with an honourable mention for Almost Human (Michael Ealy, how are you so fine?) but top of my current list is Masters of Sex, a Showtime series about the sex researchers Masters and Johnson. I was already intrigued by the idea of this as the basis for a drama and then they cast Michael Sheen as Dr William Masters and I was definitely sold. US premiere is Sunday 29th September, UK premiere is Tuesday 8th October.


    In related other news, so far I have watched the pilot epiodes of The Blacklist (since I love me some Spader) and Agents of SHIELD as well as the first two episodes of Sleepy Hollow and while this view may get me actively shunned, I think Sleepy Hollow does the better job of introducing the characters and getting you to engage with them.

    Spoilers for The Blacklist )

    Spoilers for Agents of SHIELD )

    Spoilers for Sleepy Hollow )

    Day 24

    Sep. 24th, 2013 10:58 pm
    graculus: (sarcasm)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 24 - Best quote

    "No man is free who works for a living. But I'm available." Illya Kuryakin, 'The Bow-Wow Affair'.

    Day 23

    Sep. 23rd, 2013 11:20 pm
    graculus: (Snape)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 23 - Most annoying character

    Chances are, if I find a character that annoying it's probably enough to make me not watch/stop watching something or other but then it also depends on why they annoy me.

    The main reason I'll find a character annoying is if it's clear that TPTB have a hard-on for them and yet there's no apparent reason for it in terms of either how interesting/well-written the character is or the quality of the actor's performance - a case in point, Rachel Zane on Suits, about whom I have previously ranted at length. It got to the point when my liking of that show was on the wane, for me mostly because of that character, that I couldn't even tolerate pictures of her turning up on my Tumblr dashboard. That's when I know it's time to pull the plug.

    Day 22

    Sep. 22nd, 2013 08:34 pm
    graculus: (sarcasm)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 22 - Favourite series finale

    Hmm. Stuck here on whether this means 'series' finale (as in the end of the show completely) or 'season' finale (as in the end of a part of a show that then returns for another 'series', as US-ians call it).

    If it's season finale, I'm not really sure I have a favourite; often shows get canned and don't know it so they don't get to wrap everything up and that's really frustrating, but when it works well... okay, I have to admit that I've been impressed with both the mid-season and end of season finales from Grimm this year, complete with faux-apologetic end credits. Guys, we know you're not sorry to do this to us, so don't pretend you are, okay? Can't wait to see how season 3 works out now spoilers for s2 of Grimm ).

    Day 21

    Sep. 21st, 2013 07:53 pm
    graculus: (sarcasm)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 21 - Favourite ship

    Oh, this is an easy one, it has to be HMS Surprise. Though I have a soft spot for that old scow HMS Polychrest, 'the carpenter's mistake'.

    Day 20

    Sep. 20th, 2013 10:33 pm
    graculus: (sarcasm)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 20 - Favourite kiss

    Say what now? Struggling with this one to even think about television kissing scenes, since I have been known to fast forward past those bits and on to more plot... so, pass. Sorry. Next question?
    graculus: (sarcasm)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 19 - Best TV show cast

    At the moment (though ask me again tomorrow and my answer could be different), I think it's between Elementary and Orphan Black for this one, though I guess the presence of multiple Tatiana Maslany characters could balance things out a little too far in other direction?

    What I really like about Elementary is its non-tokenistic diversity, the fact that they've managed to cast a trans-sexual to play a trans-sexual, that Lucy Liu's portrayal of Watson has her character easily punching at the same weight as Holmes rather than being the bumbling sidekick and then there's Clyde. Oh, and Alfredo, whose actor has been an absolute revelation to me, having also enjoyed him very much in Copper.

    Where Orphan Black is concerned, even once you take away Ms Maslany's performance(s) you still have the awesomeness that is Jordan Gavaris as her foster brother Felix, a real scene-stealing turn from him and a bunch of solid supporting performances from everyone else we come across.


    Meanwhile, in other news I am still looking for work, which I fully expect to be the state of play for some time. Given that I was last actually unemployed in 1991, it's fair to say that things have changed a little when it comes to both dealing with the job centre and looking for jobs, though I wish there was a bit less duplication across the various websites I've been told to use. Been sending stuff off as directed but no joy so far except that...

    I got an unexpected phone call late this afternoon after I sent in a CV this morning and am off to sign up properly with that agency tomorrow, after which I should apparently expect a proper interview with actual employers. It's for a job at one of the local universities so I can see why they'd want someone in post asap and hopefully that someone will be me! *crosses fingers* ;)

    Day 18

    Sep. 18th, 2013 06:02 pm
    graculus: (Snape)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 18 - Favourite title sequence

    Do shows have these any more? Most of what I watch seems to have a single title card, if that, otherwise it's live action with names appearing at the bottom of the screen... For me, in terms of sheer inventiveness, I have to say Fringe for this - the titles were different depending on which universe or timeline you were in, they even had some charmingly retro ones for when the action in the episode took place in the 1980's.

    Day 17

    Sep. 17th, 2013 07:20 pm
    graculus: (sarcasm)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 17 - Favourite mini series

    Ignoring the fact that most US fans probably think all UK shows are mini series, given our predilection for 6 episodes rather than 22, I'm going to go with a show that has (so far) only aired 3 episodes but was fortunately so well received it's been commissioned for a second series...

    The show in question is called In the Flesh and first aired in March this year - essentially, it's about what happens after the zombies start appearing, looking specifically at how individuals who have now been treated for PDS (Partially Deceased Syndrome) are rehabilitated back to their communities. These zombies just 'happened', with a mass rising from the dead at a specific time, rather than as a result of being bitten.

    For Ren, one of those returning home, there are all sorts of additional issues, with both flashbacks to the things he did while he was afflicted and also that he had committed suicide before unexpectedly returning to life. The village to which he returns had taken a very militant stance and his younger sister had been among those hunting and killing zombies, which understandably causes additional tension.

    There's a fairly substantial wikipedia entry on the show, with substantial spoilers for season 1 and also an official website (though I'm not sure how much of that is accessible to anyone outside the UK). You can probably pick the series itself up from your usual internet sources for those kind of things... ;)
    graculus: (Snape)
    Orphan Black - 20th September (BBC3)

    Haven season 4 - 26th September (SyFy)

    Marvel's Agents of SHIELD - 27th September (C4)

    Graceland - 27th September (Universal)

    Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries season 2 - 1st October (Alibi)

    The Blacklist - 4th October (Sky Living)

    Sleepy Hollow - 9th October (Watch)
    graculus: (Snape)
    The fandom meme )

    Day 16 - Your guilty pleasure show

    I'm not sure it counts as a 'guilty pleasure' if you don't feel guilty about it (and hell, why should anyone feel guilty about what they enjoy, f*** other people if they make you feel that way, even if they/I think what you like is dumb...) but the show I got completely hooked on unexpectedly is a reality show called Catfish. I've also got quite a soft spot for Ramsay's Hotel Hell, which is real car-crash TV, but there's just something about Catfish that makes it the winner of this category.

    Basically, it's a show following on from the premise of a 2010 documentary of the same name about online relationships - it's hosted by the guy who was the subject of the original documentary, who now basically goes around the US meeting people who are in online relationships and investigating whether or not the person they think they're involved with is actually the person in real life.

    Anyone who's ever been online can probably figure out what the answer to that is going to be, with some really gullible people out there and also some who are clearly not wired up correctly (it's amazing how the 'oh, I had low self-esteem so I pretended to be someone prettier/more successful' line gets trotted out). Also, people, do you not use Google? If your online boyfriend tells you he's a successful rapper and is touring, wouldn't you just be a little curious to see what's online about him? Anyway, yes it's all faked but that doesn't stop it being entertaining as all hell.


    In other news, I'm trying to make some headway on my [community profile] trope_bingo card and have posted the first story (Maker, a Wild Wild West fic) on AO3 - I'll do a proper post here and on [community profile] trope_bingo when I have a few more done. I'm also still working on my 1930's UNCLE AU fic.

    I'm applying for jobs, though getting a bit frustrated by the amount of duplication on the various websites I've been asked to use, have signed up for some volunteer work (waiting to hear back on that) and am due to start a couple of courses next week. Since I'm getting JSA, I thought I might as well benefit from stuff where I don't have to pay course fees and am starting a preparatory course for teaching adults (I've run training before but have no formal qualifications so this is step 1 in getting those, as an option) as well as trying out Tai Chi. Since I am the least coordinated person I know, the latter should be very interesting!

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