Music Monday :: my thoughts on If I Was

30 Mar

The Staves: one of the approximately 50 bands I have fallen in love with thanks to rabbit trailing on Spotify.  I don’t even remember how I found them, but I did, and I love them, and here’s a new album!

“Blood I Bled.”  I know I’ve played this track before (I guess they prereleased it or it was on an EP or something, because it’s definitely on the list of songs I keep just for “maybe I will mix with this” reasons) and I absolutely adore it.  It’s so beautiful and plaintive.  I assume also the “if I was” of the album title.  There’s something completely epic about it.

“Steady.”  I mean, I really like the other albums that are a bit more stripped-down folksy in places, but this one so far is so full and lush and rich and beautiful.  Also, I did not know until tonight they were from Hertfordshire.  That’s nice.  Gosh.  This is good right now for me.

“No Me, No You, No More.”  “I don’t need you but I want you back a little bit more.”  I love that this is so harmony-rich.  Three-parts on everything.  Gosh.  I’m really glad to be listening to this right now.  I want to wrap it around me like a blanket.

“Let Me Down.”  I think I might have heard this one before, too?  I can’t remember.  It’s really nice and plaintive but the twang for some reason is comforting tonight instead of painful?  I think it’s the harmonies, maybe.  There’s always a catharsis in lady harmonies.

“Black & White.”  Oh oh it’s rocking all… Raconteursy.  But ladies.  Gosh.  There’s guitar and harmonizing and I’m lost and I love it.  I want it in my car.

“Damn It All.”  Okay, so it’s a slower sort of admonition.  “Even though I love you, I want you to go.”  There’s a sort of strummy middle-of-the-end-of-the-movie sort of quality to this, and I like it.  I like it a lot.  There’s a vintage car driving off into the horizon, packed with somebody’s life.  I have it turned up quite loudly and I’m just flopping in it.

“The Shining.”  In short, yes.

“Don’t You Call Me Anymore.”  I’m not entirely at full speed today.  Various emotional hangovers and physical aches from the con, mostly.  So I’m finding it very easy to just fall into this and stay there.  Wrap it around me, sort of.

“Horizons.”  Oh, this one has a sort of 1970s quality to it that’s soothing in a different way.  It’s got the vintage harmonies and the horn and the sweet major key.

“Teeth White.”  Harmonies.  “I’m the only one not having fun.”  Also cheerful, but it’s not cheerful.  it’s cheerfully not-cheerful.  Because that’s just how this kind of song goes sometimes, and that’s nice.  Because, you know.  Sometimes life is like that.

“Make It Holy.”  Okay, this one seems proper Gothic-country aesthetic.  Possibly because of the twang and possibly because of the holiness in the lyrics, both of which suit.  Is there like, Anglican Gothic or something?

“Sadness Don’t Own Me.”  Mm, all right.  This is a useful song, I think.  I need something like this sometimes.  It’s sort of melancholy but it’s not too lost in the gloom.  And that’s important and nice.  This is just nice.

–your fangirl heroine.

oh noes

Sundry Sunday :: ECCC, day 3.

29 Mar

And first general pictures from the rest of the convention.  Because other people make kickass costumes too!

This is a picture of me with the only other plainclothes Peggy I saw.  By plainclothes I mean not in some variety of the military outfit or the blue suit/red hat combination from the first episode and promotional photography.  I saw dozens of either of those varieties, many of them wonderful, but there were no other alternative varieties.  So obviously, I had to take a picture with this one.

And then on Saturday, when Jemma, I got it in my mind that I wanted to take a picture fangirling over a Peggy.  When I found a Peggy, though, I wasn’t actually with any of my people so there was nobody to take the photo.  “Selfie?” this kind Peggy suggested.  So this is my fangirling selfie face, I guess.

I saw this Nick Fury and asked for a photograph.  “Oh!  Are you Jemma?” he asked.  He was the first person I’d spoken to all weekend who called her by her first name, and this was important to me, so while the ecstatic smile on my face is in character, it is also because I was genuinely happy.


Some of the excellent Game of Thrones costumes I saw.

And speaking of Game of Thrones!  My everything friend in the Ygritte costume (with a bow and arrow set I recently modded), another friend in the Oberyn costume, and me in the updated Dany costume.  More on this later, and also pardon my face, I don’t have any other pictures of the other two from today on my own camera.

And these two as Bucky and Tasha.

ANYWAY.  Quick highlights: Chloe (who acknowledged our Skimmons enthusiastically and appreciated crafts thoroughly), Hayley (who was generally beautiful and sweet), Gina (who is a goddess), Finn Jones (who poor buddy was often lonely and thoroughly seemed delighted by the flower crown I gave him).  Panels were nice, walking was nice, seeing things was nice.  I saw a lot of costumes that I was incredibly impressed by but did not understand well enough to take a picture.  I made many line friends.  It was pleasant.

–your fangirl heroine.

Spectacular Summaries Saturday :: ECCC, , days 1 and 2.

28 Mar

Hi, friends.  So it’s been… a weekend!  The hotel internet is, ah… not useful for photo uploads.  So, here are both yesterday and today’s photos.

Yesterday, she was the Winter Soldier.

Today, she was the Summer Soldier.

Yesterday, I was Peggy Carter.  (More on the details of my costumes later this week.)

Today, I was Jemma Simmons.  Again.

Yesterday, my drift partner was Angie.

Today, she was Skye.  Again.

Yesterday, my everything friend was Dottie Underwood.

Today, she was season one Buffy Summers.

All of the other people cosplays will be posted tomorrow.  In a giant post that also details happenings of the convention.

–your fangirl heroine,


Television Tuesday :: television and mental health

24 Mar

All truths that also apply to real life, conveniently.  These are things that television characters need to take into consideration when dealing with their or their cohorts’ mental health situations.  (This is a doubtlessly incomplete list of things that writers of television should take into consideration when writing characters dealing with mental health situations.)  Presented without commentary and coauthored by my drift partner.

  1. Just because you are hurting does not mean other people are not also hurting in different ways.
  2. When people have been through trauma, they should probably talk to someone about it.  This can be laypeople (i.e. friends) or professionals (i.e. psychiatrists) or hopefully both.
  3. Your pain does not mean that you get to be a dick to others.
  4. To writers specifically: some characters have a reason to be wary of psychiatrists, and that’s reasonable, but if we could all stop writing psychiatrists as ineffective or assholes or untrustworthy or, barring that, writing all characters basically not believing in psychiatrists or finding them a joke… that would be awesome.
  5. Just because someone appears to be okay to you, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re okay.  So don’t assume.
  6. If someone is trying to talk to you about their feelings, do not shut them down or tell them they are wrong.
  7. The only moral high ground that should be taken in mental health situations is if someone is using a mental health situation to consciously abuse someone else; if two people are having mental health situations, one of them should not get to claim that theirs is more important or belittle the other person’s just because it’s different.
  8. Depression can’t be magically cured with exercise, thinking positively, or love.  These may be beneficial but should never be the only treatments, because depression is an actual illness.
  9. Asking for help with mental health situations does not make you weak, and neither does taking a while to cope with them, because again, depression and other mental health situations are actual illnesses.
  10. Relapses, setbacks, and bad days don’t mean the person’s doing something wrong. They happen, just like with other illnesses and injuries.
  11. Mental health situations are not the same thing as being crazy.
  12. Mental health situations come in all different stripes.
  13. Sending people into an isolated environment is really a horrible way of dealing with mental health situations.
  14. Let people having mental health situations have input into their own treatment.
  15. Vague metaphorical advice, while often meant kindly, is rarely helpful.
  16. One’s own mental health situation is neither an excuse to drag other people down into potential mental healths situations nor an excuse to decide that you know best how to handle other people’s mental health situations.
  17. Someone having a mental health situation does not mean that they necessarily need to be handled with kid gloves, but it does mean that they should be handled with respect, decency, and caution as needed.
  18. After a loved one, teammate, or other associate dies or is seriously harmed in some way, someone will likely experience survivor’s guilt, which can manifest in a variety of ways.  This is valid, normal, and should be treated with sympathy and kindness.
  19. To the writers: allowing narrative time to be spent on hurting characters productively talking to each other about situations can always be done more.
  20. How a person presents themselves in everyday situations may be a poor indicator to how they handle mental health situations.

–your fangirl heroines.

what the royal fuck

Music Monday :: my thoughts on Kintsugi

23 Mar

Hello, Death Cab.  Been a while, missed y’all.  Like, of the guy singer-band-derivations I follow everywhere, they’re fifth on a list of five, but I do enjoy them and they’re useful and nice.

“No Room in Frame.”  Like there’s something just so… standard and calming about Death Cab.  Some of the songs stand out, most of them are part of a general sense of comfort and niceness.  Slightly moody niceness, but still.  It’s just… it’s a vibe.  I don’t know.

“Black Sun.”  I’ve heard this one previewtracked on the radio and I super like it.  It’s all lyrically appropriate and “whiskey in the water” and “beauty in a failure” and “grace within forgiveness” and a lot of general ambiance that I approve of wholeheartedly.  It’s good driving in the dark music.

“The Ghosts of Beverly Drive.”  Well, I like music ghosts.  Except… oh, oops.  I think I just felt something.  This is so chipper given the subject matter.  Oh, oops.  “You wanna teach but not be taught, I wanna sell but not be bought, so let us not be lonesome, so let us not be lonesome, lost in between our needs and wants” oh dear.  This is rather lovely, but I’m emoting.

“Little Wanderer.”  I’m just trancing through this album.  Also, “when the network overloads.”  Gosh.  I’m not having any intelligent thoughts about this album but I’m liking it quite a lot.  And oh, “when we kiss in the baggage claim.”  That sounds cute.

“You’ve Haunted Me All My Life.”  More ghosts?  There’s a little more twang to this, though Ben Gibbard’s voice uh, does not tilt Gothic Americana at all, ever.  It’s still very nice though!  “You are the mistress I can’t make a wife.”

“Hold No Guns.”  Is Pacific Northwest Gothic a thing?  If so, this might suit.  There’s a sparseness that suits, though it’s not quite the same kind of dark twang as other Gothic Americana.  I’m interested in this.  “As numbers change and people fall, friends they always splinter” oh no oops feelings again.

“Everything’s a Ceiling.”  Oh it got 80s all of a sudden.  More, like, John Hughes 80s than tinsel-electronica, but definitely there.  Death Cab is very 21st century John Hughes.  That’s a very appropriate description of their vibe.

“Good Help (Is So Hard to Find).”  This is also 80s.  I’m grooving on this, it’s very pleasant.  I haven’t gotten any particular deep vibes from this, but I’m liking it.

“El Dorado.”  Wow, no deep feelings at all but it’s damn nice to listen to.  It’s good neutral pleasant vibes.  It’s good on soundtracks, I expect.  It sets a feeling. There’s wistfulness but not particular moodiness, hope but not, like, longing.  It’s pleasant.

“Ingénue.”  Also pleasant!  Also nice.  It’s one of the songs that sounds like he’s singing through a speaker within the speaker, which is a slightly different sort of ambiance but one that feels very familiar with Death Cab stuff.

“Binary Sea.”  Zoning, zoning, so pleasant.

–your fangirl heroine.


Sundry Sunday :: my urban dictionary: social convenience

22 Mar

Def.: Things that are done (often in the form of interpersonal interactions) not because one particularly wants to but because it’s easier than not doing for whatever reason.

Usage: Most of the conversations I have at work are shallow, in part because when I do say something that reveals a modicum of personality it often ends in my receiving a funny look and in part because it is mere social convenience.

–your fangirl heroine.

hey nope

Spoiler Alert Saturday :: my thoughts on Cinderella

21 Mar

Well, it was a very serviceable movie, and I think it’ll best be served by some bullet points.

  • Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera, as the stepsisters, did seem to be having quite a lot of fun.  I adore the former even when she’s cartooning it up and the latter did what she needed to do also.  They had the most outrageously absurd costumes in the entire movie, and that’s really, uh, saying something.
  • Here is my biggest rant, and I’m getting it out of the way now.  When a local university put on the musical version of Cinderella a few years ago, I spent most of the production being cranky about how the costumes they’d pulled out of storage or rented or what have you made no cohesive sense: the director might have said “period gowns,” but “period” is, uh, a rather large range.  Combining elements from multiple periods to create a fantasy world’s style is one thing, but having one character dressed like they’re at the English court in the 1600s and another dressed like they’re trying to show Miss Scarlett up at a birthday party drives me nuts.  I was really hoping that this, being a full-blown professional movie, would not fall victim to the same trap, but… alas.  The extras’ costumes spanned from 1400s to 1850s in our approximation; Cinderella’s mother (lovely Hayley Atwell) looked not unlike someone in a country scene in the early 1920s, Cinderella herself (Lily James) was more “period,” the stepsisters traversed anywhere from Elizabethan (the underwear) to 1950s (cashmere cardigans, the sweater/A-line skirt combination of the final scene) to bad 1980s (their giant floral-printed/embellished ballgowns), the stepmother (Cate Blanchett) had the skirts of ballgowns or a 1950s vamp formal dress mixed with the tops and hats of someone in the most elegant 1930s, the fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) .  It rather made my head spin.
  • I did appreciate the slight attempt at dimensionalizing the relationship between Cinderella and the prince (called Kit, played by Richard Madden).  Not quite as involved as the new book to the musical, but the fact that it was based in his apparent awe of her kindness and goodness and she in turn was in awe of his human decency or whatever, that was… something at least.  And I liked that he knew it was her.  That helped.
  • I also appreciated that the fairy godmother specifically did do magic to make her not known to her stepmother and stepsisters at first.  It didn’t quite explain how the stepmother figured it out enough to go looking in Cinderella’s sneaky floorboard hiding place for the glass slipper, or if it did I just missed it, but still.

Overall, palatable.  Unremarkable, but palatable.

–your fangirl heroine.

troubled fidgeting


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