Music Monday :: my thoughts on Bright Star

2 May

I’m going to try a thing where, in an effort to get back in touch with my Broadway thing, I’m going to listen to cast albums every time NPR puts them up.  This is Bright Star, by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, and it’s bluegrass so I’m willing to give it a try even though the blurbs sound… rather heterosexual.

As in the style of my Hamilton listen months ago, I’m just going to comment when there’s something to say.

Well, at least it’s POV a female character.

I really hope the dead mom in the second song is not the same woman singing the first song.  That would be less nice.  This is also one of those musicals, apparently, where the lyrics occasionally narrate the action (“let’s go [over there] and lay a rose upon her grave“).

Oh look, a title song.

I’m a smart guy, and I know” that I care so little.  “Someone will put you on a pedestal, someone will tell you you’re incredible.”  But not you????  “Somebody’s gonna buzz around me like a buzzing bumblebee” yikes that’s some “People Will Say We’re In Love” but meet-cute bullshit I’m not.

Where, where, where you been? You shoulda been helpin’ in the kitchen… you’re the black sheep, a little lost lamb, should have raised you with a firmer hand…” okay, so what I’m getting is that the female protagonist is stubborn, rebellious, and she’s over it, meanwhile everyone is going to chastise her in a way that makes me uncomfortable.  “Swear I’m gonna have to rein you in.”  Yikes.

A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do…. a well-bred wife…” wow, I’m so turned off by this although I’m not sure it’s not meant as a social criticism?? “You can’t expect the future to be just like the past.” Well, that’s a better thought, younger man.  I’m still not into this.

It’s not bad.  It’s just… not my thing, plotwise.

If you’re like your daddy, all the girls will be chasing you” NOPE

She has to give up her bastard son what the fuck is this Westeros is this the Tower of Joy

What a man’s gotta do is take someone’s bastard son away? I’m so??

I’ve heard of evil in the world, but you and I are flesh and blood, he was just a baby, he was my son” DID EVIL GRANDDAD KILL THE BASTARD SON

How did we go from a dead baby to a jiving ode to alcohol?

I think they lost me.  I like the instrumentation well enough but I just.  Don’t care.

This has had like four finales.

–your fangirl heroine.

indignation

 

 

 

 

Spoiler Alert Sunday :: her thoughts on 10 Cloverfield Lane

1 May

Quick apology from me before she begins: I have just been awful at getting to the movies lately, for a whole variety of reasons.  Also, I’m really glad she vetted this one for me because I would not have wanted to go alone but nobody in my proximal location for going together would have wanted to go and also it… well.  I’ll let her explain.

This movie is an interesting one: it’s a movie you should know as little as possible about going in, but it’s the kind of movie that could be really upsetting if you don’t know anything going in. So I’ll try to be as vague as possible, but I will say that this movie does suspense amazingly well. I read the Wikipedia plot summary a couple of weeks before seeing it, so I knew basically what was going to happen, and I was still on the edge of my seat the whole time. The movie does a lot with chase sequences, but it also does a lot with quiet moments, building the tension nicely. So if that’s something that’s going to aggravate your anxiety or something, probably find a summary so you’ll know what’s coming and hopefully that will take the edge off. Another note: much of the tension is centered around impending violence and male anger. One of the male characters has a temper and frequently flies into a rage at the smallest provocation. I could see this being extremely triggery to someone who has been in that kind of abusive relationship. I wouldn’t say it’s an overly violent movie, but some scenes involve detailed gore and quick shots of mutilated bodies (human and pig). Again, you may want to look up spoilers, or avoid altogether if it might be too much for you (it’s a shame if you’d have to, but better to keep yourself safe).

Now to the movie itself. The premise is this: Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) flees her apartment after having an argument with her fiance, only to get into a terrible accident. She wakes up disoriented, chained to a wall, and with an injured leg. The only person she sees is Howard (John Goodman), who at first refuses to explain what is going on. As far as she knows, she is trapped in a cellar with no help and no one who knows her location. As she begins to earn Howard’s trust, she uncovers a terrible mystery about just what led her to this cellar and what Howard’s true intentions are.

As I said, this is a suspense movie, and it’s really the music and performances that carry it. There are only about five characters in the whole film, two of which barely appear, and the three leads (Winstead, Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr.) are working in a handful of locations. Goodman is absolutely terrifying, and Winstead deserves awards for playing a realistic, likeable protagonist in a horror/suspense film. Gallagher Jr. isn’t given a lot to work with in comparison, but he’s charming and funny and brings a lot of much-needed levity. Bear McCreary, my favorite composer, provides a soundtrack that builds delicious excitement in a way that isn’t distracting or overbearing. It’s the kind of movie that makes you marvel at filmmaking as a medium in a different way than a well-made blockbuster might. It’s so simple, so elegant, that it’s a bit of a miracle that it was made at all.

Of course, here is my single problem with the film. It was originally not a Cloverfield tie-in at all, as a script called The Cellar, but there were concerns from the studio that the lack of recognizable name might make the film difficult to market. So in the last fifteen minutes or so…well, I haven’t seen Cloverfield and don’t plan on it, but let’s just say the film abruptly changes genre in these final scenes. I’m not so sure this was the best way to connect it to Cloverfield, since these final scenes, while engaging, don’t seem to fit in with the emotional journey of the movie. I found myself thinking, as I watched them, “can’t this poor girl catch a damn break?” That being said, if Fox is bound and determined to keep releasing Alien sequels, I nominate Winstead as a far worthier successor for Ripley than Noomi Rapace.

But even these shaky final scenes weren’t enough to ruin the film for me, just sour it a little. It was still a gripping and well-made suspense film, and it’s a tragedy that it will probably get overlooked come awards season.

listen20closely

Sarcastic Saturday :: 5 pieces of advice for managers

30 Apr

This is a common-sense list.

5. Managers should not espouse personal beliefs constantly.
Particularly about topics that fall under that sex-religion-politics general umbrella.  Expressing strong personal beliefs one way or another about these topics can make employees feel very uncomfortable if their opinions differ, which can lead to a tense workplace.

4. Managers should not have any personal bias toward or against their team members.
If there is a company policy, it should be upheld equally, not just where some employees are concerned.  All employees should be expected to do the same amount of work and get away with the same kind of behavior.

3. Managers should not assign or raise wages based on arbitrary characteristics or guidelines, or in the interest of the company rather than the employees.
There are some pretty straightforward rules and/or guidelines about how to work payment in companies and also just in general.  Paying some workers more than others for doing the same job is generally not acceptable, barring things like experience in or out of the company.  The minimum wage exists in an attempt to ensure that workers are paid a living wage, and trying to weasel out of paying that wage by creating a system based on how productive employees are is illegal as well as immoral (particularly because new employees will not be able to meet the standard of production that would earn them the minimum wage immediately).

2. Managers should respond to conflict, both business-related and interpersonal, in a professional manner and not immaturely.
In short: don’t he-said-she-said or spread rumors, don’t pit employees against each other in any way, don’t behave passive-aggressively.

1. Managers should make the effort to show their team members that they are working just as hard, if not harder, than them, even if they aren’t doing the exact same duties.
This is fairly self-explanatory, but if your team feels like you’re not working, or if they think you’re hiding in your office avoiding work, it will hurt morale and make them feel like you aren’t as committed as you should be.

–your fangirl heroines.

happy20surprise

Fashion Friday :: Westerosi influence on wedding fashion, part one

29 Apr

As I’ve before said, I watch a lot of wedding dress shows.  I don’t actually care about weddings, particularly, but I like dresses.  And one of my mom and I’s favorite games is “spot the Game of Thrones dress.”  Now, the actual Kleinfeld’s website, for example, is terrifying, couture, and massive, so I’m going to illustrate my point with David’s Bridal.

screenshot2014-04-19at7-34-05pm

Tonight, wedding dresses a la Margaery Tyrell.  The following are by no means the only dresses reflective of this (subtler versions of elements are found throughout) but are some good examples of what constitutes the style.

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This Flower Lace V-Neck Wedding Dress with Empire Waist, while not alike in every way, has a particular shape to the open back.  Note the almost pointed top, how wide open it is.

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The Illusion Deep Plunge Neckline Lace Trumpet Gown differs a bit in that Margaery’s wedding dress was not so much a trumpet as a gown with a long, long train, but the general effect – cap sleeves, open back, low neck, long train – is very reminiscent.

margaery203

So the shape is a little off and the neckline is a little high, but this Melissa Sweet 3D Cap Sleeve Wedding Dress has a train covered in three-dimensional flowers.

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And there’s always the formal dresses inspired by Margaery’s other styles, specifically the s3 blue and gold.

margaery204

This Two Piece Beaded Prom Crop Top with Tulle Skirt dress would not exist if it was not for Margaery Tyrell.  I can say this with surety.  It’s not the same shape, but it’s gold and blue and crop top and I’m kind of convinced the entire crop top dress trend is sort of Margaery’s fault a little bit?

margaery205

This Cap Sleeve Chiffon Prom Dress with Beaded Cutouts is entirely different colors but there are some telltale side cutouts.

–your fangirl heroine.

seriously

Things in Print Thursday :: another list analysis

28 Apr

This is a Goodreads list of “Books Featuring Children and Teens With Autism.” It’s a list of “books handpicked by Master’s in Counseling Students” but I want to see how these summaries of books describe their characters.

Oh, and I want to see how many are about women on the spectrum.  And if the autistic character is the protagonist or not.

  1. Autistic people cannot understand how the world works like we can and have difficulty understanding how people think, but we can. We have that capacity to understand them, if we choose too we should take advantage of that capacity. If we don’t accept that our children are autistic, then we are only condemning ourselves and our children to a life of frustrating misery.
    Well, the author is not the autistic one in this true story. The autistic people in it are boys. This chunk of text is sending up red flags.
  2. Why does everything seem so easy for everyone else? As Jewels recounts her adventures from Kinderprison to Muddle School, she looks for clues to what sets her apart. Could she be an alien, a superhero, or something completely different?
    Well this actually sounds really cute.  +1 autistic protagonist, +1 female autistic protagonist.
  3. a young boy, Albert, who is on the autism spectrum
    NT female protagonist, autistic male friend.
  4. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket.
    Again.  Well, +2 autistic protagonists.
  5. Marcelo Sandoval hears music no one else can hear–part of the autism-like impairment no doctor has been able to identify–and he’s always attended a special school where his differences have been protected.
    “autism-like” huh. +3 autism-like protagonists, with a hint of sideeye.
  6. The autism diagnosis ripped away every dream these parents had for their child.
    This was recommended by Master’s in Counseling students?
  7. Incomprehensible for this list.
  8. This journal is my story as a caregiver, weathering the storm with a seven year-old girl with autism.
    This seems to be a running theme. I’m not particularly into it.
  9. the young autistic boy [with trees as a special interest]”
    +4 autistic protagonists.
  10. Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger’s, she doesn’t know how.
    +5 autistic protagonists, +2 female autistic protagonists.
  11. Incomprehensible for this list.
  12. Lexi’s got phobias about lots of things.
    +6 autistic protagonists, +3 female autistic protagonists.
  13. Jason Blake is an autistic 12-year-old living in a neurotypical world.
    +7 autistic protagonists.
  14. This one is an advice book for Asperger’s syndrome teens, so doesn’t really count for the tally.
  15. No summary provided, but from the title it seems to have +8 autistic protagonists.
  16. “[a mom fighting in] her child’s corner who ‘isn’t disabled enough’ for much professional help beyond education in a college’s Special Educational Needs department
    Ehhhh.  Another one about a mom and her “learning-disabled” daughter, but it’s fictional.
  17. Denise is autistic
    To the point.  +9 autistic protagonists, +4 female autistic protagonists.
  18. Advice for kids with autism/ADHD.
  19. I cannot tell.
  20. I cannot tell.
  21. Away from her biology-obsessed, autistic sister.
    This time the protagonist is a sister fed up with her autistic sister.
  22. Advice for kids with Asperger’s/ASDs/etc.
  23. Families, world experts, and persons on the autism spectrum share their experiences in this collection of stories.
    Doesn’t specify who they are, though, so, not tallyable.
  24. But not until late in his teens, when this surfing phenom was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, did the deeper reasons for his obsession—and his astonishing gift for surfing—become clear.”
    +10 autistic protagonists.
  25. Crystal is a reserved autistic person and wants a detailed plan for everything.
    +11 autistic protagonists, +5 female autistic protagonists? I can’t tell exactly if they’re equally protagonists though, her and her NT sister.
  26. Lucy, that’s Daniel. He has autism.”
    NT female protagonist, autistic male friend.
  27. because Temple Grandin is autistic, a woman who thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us.
    +11 autistic protagonists, +6 female autistic protagonists.  Temple Grandin is badass.
  28. Kiara has Asperger’s syndrome.”
    Again, straightforward. +12 autistic protagonists, +7 female autistic protagonists.
  29. But the story of Kristine’s journey with Jake is all the more remarkable because his extraordinary mind was almost lost to autism.
    NT mom (with health issues of an unspecified nature), autistic savant kid.
  30. Darren is a sixteen-year-old musical genius with Asperger’s.
    +13 autistic protagonists.
  31. Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism
    +14 autistic protagonists, and oh my god this one is actually written by the autistic kid.
  32. Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan
    +15 autistic protagonists, +8 female autistic protagonists, but “but.”
  33. I cannot tell.
  34. Same as 32 but not mentioned.
  35. her autistic son”
    NT mom, autistic kid who, based on this being a romance novel, I assume is little more than a plot point.
  36. Same as 5.
  37. I cannot tell.
  38. My friend Zack has a disability called autism.”
    NT protagonist, autistic friend.
  39. Drea’s mom and a rotating band of psychiatrists have settled on ‘a touch of Asperger’s.’
    +16 autistic/etc. protagonists, +9 female autistic protagonists.
  40. A children’s book written by eight year old Ethan Rice who happens to be autistic. In this fully illustrated book Ethan explains what autism means to him and why he feels so very blessed that God made him this way.
    +17 autistic protagonists.
  41. Colin Fischer cannot stand to be touched. He does not like the color blue. He needs index cards to recognize facial expressions.
    +18 autistic protagonists.
  42. Advice book.
  43. Language/advice book.
  44. Language/advice book.
  45. Offers a glimpse of life from the perspective of a child who has severe autism.
    But basically, an advice book.
  46. No summary.
  47. a young woman with Asperger’s Syndrome
    +19 autistic/etc. protagonists, +10 female autistic protagonists.
  48. “Charlie has autism. His brain works in a special way. It’s harder for him to make friends. Or show his true feelings. Or stay safe.”
    NT sister (and mom/author), autistic boy child.
  49. One [boy] has autism, the other does not.
    NT friend, autistic friend.
  50. An illustrated children’s book about Andy, a boy with autism.
    NT sister, autistic brother.
  51. Answering the question Why is Sam different?, this heartwarming story tells of the challenges of living with Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism.
    Half story about an autistic boy, half advice.
  52. Advice book.
  53. her autistic little brother, Ian
    NT sister, autistic brother.

19 autistic protagonists, half of whom are girls; at least 9 books about NT family members or friends “dealing with” autistic people in their lives.

–your fangirl heroine.

getoutofherewithyourstupid

Whimsy Wednesday :: in which exposition dump and domestic lesbians.

27 Apr

“The Queen of Darkness Returns.”  Wherein Sailor Moon brings back a big bad in a new season!

(Guys, I’m excited and terrified.  I have never seen this before.  This is my first time watching s5.)

Let the record state that I hate this new theme and I protest lol

BABY HOTARU

Baby Hotaru is having visions or something underneath a tree.  Neo Queen Serenity has wings and has turned into Eternal Sailor Moon.  That’s what she’s known as this season.  I know this from my internet wanderings as a child and also the fact that she just said “Eternal.”

“Is it something Daddy wouldn’t understand?”  YUP

Setsuna is here for the baby!!!  THERE IS A RAINBOW STAR THING

Also, see, they are in high school, they have new uniforms.

“Why’re you so cheerful?” “Because I’m happy.”

Minako is going to the same high school now!  Rei isn’t though.

Stop making all these plans for your free time, girls. It’s not going to happen.

Also highly doubt Chibi-Usa is going back to the future just sayin’.

Oop it is Nehelenia!  Now there’s a creepy voice talking to her!  She is freed!

Nehelenia sees that the light above the city is in fact the fault of those who punished her but who she thought she killed.  This isn’t going to end well.

“I saw them fall to the ground!”

This mysterious voice has filled Nehelenia with even more rage it has manifested in a “black lacquer mirror” that represents her heart.  She has to break it, and then the Earth will be fucked.  Yes, listening to this random voice is a great idea, Nehelenia.  Seeds of discord raining like glitter on the Earth.

“It’s too many” (meteors) says Ami.  Rei senses something strange.  Meteor got shiny gold evil in Mamoru’s eye.  THE PORTAL IS BEING INTERRUPTED TOLD YOU YOU WEREN’T GOING HOME KID

HEARTFLUTTERS IT LESBIANS

“I feel calmer when I’m at the wheel.”

GAY GAY SO GAY.gif

“So, what did you want to tell me?”  WELL

“I believe in you”

MICHIRU JUST KISSED HARUKA’S HAND TO GET THE GLASS OUT THIS IS NOT A DRILL

Oh look it another sexy statue monster here to sow discord

SO MANY

“I’m sensing immense negative energy.”

PLUTOOOOOOOOOOOO

“You’re… “ “It can’t be…” BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT SHE WAS DEAD OH MY GOD I AM EMOTING

“We’re back into battle again.”  “It’s our destiny.”  As Pluto literally stores baby Hotaru in the bushes yeah that’s a great plan

UGH I MISSED THEIR MUSIC

“You shouldn’t be eating so many sweets.”

“Save those sweet comments for when we’re in bed.”  I AM DEAD

Hotaru!!! Killing monsters with energy even as a tiny baby.

Rebirthing the others with new powers to match the others’ super transformations oh my god this is weirdly beautiful

WHY ARE THEY SO HOT

Yeah, Neptune, I’m guessing they’re a new enemy.

Oh look Hotaru just fairy-aged and now she’s a very small child.  “Change is coming,” she says, remembering the vision she had this morning when an infant.  “If this continues the Princess will be in danger.”

Damn.  This season wastes no fucking time.

This season’s moon wand is by far the most ridiculous, if that short clip in the intro was any indication.

“I can do things high schoolers do…”  OH MY GOD USAGI

The balloon is setting off Mamoru’s poison gold dust eye BAD BAD BAD

“Are the two of you actually studying?” Ami asks, sweatdropping as Mako and Rei freak out about a television English presenter.

Haruka Daddy, Michiru Mommy, Setsuna Mommy I AM DEAD OF CUTE

Lesbian moms at a house in the forest holy shit this is the cutest thing I have ever seen

“She’s using the laws of physics to simulate past events.”  Hotaru is a fucking badass holy crap.

“Wicked intentions loom.”  She’s also prescient and alarming.  What a tiny cutie.

“Look! Look!” BOYS!  Ami cares so little.

Mamoru what are you coding that isn’t good for your mirror dust eye

“Something’s the matter with me.”  No.  Shit.

Nehelenia you creeper stop creeping.  Are you just embedded in reflective surfaces?

STOP IT YOU’RE SCARING THE BABY

Now she’s awake though! To take Saturn like… into her or something?  SHE REMEMBERS EVERYTHING SHE REMEMBERS THE HAT AND THE PICNIC AND THE FIGHTING AND THE EVIL DEMON THAT POSSESSED HER AND HER DAD AND SHE IS CRYING THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE BUT SHE IS AWAKENED

She’s now approximately eleven and lurking naked.  Good times Hotaru.

Yup.  Nehelenia is possessing mirrors.

AW SHIT THE NAKED MIRROR LADIES WITH KNIFE FINGERS ARE HERE

I think I realize why they never did this season in my original dub.  There is no way to hide the gay this time.

“Sorry we’re late, cute little kittens.”  CUTE LITTLE KITTENS I AM SO DEAD

CHIBI MOON’S LITTLE FACE SEEING HER GIRLFRIEND OH MY GOD

Everyone nods and hums and shuts their eyes and it’s time to evolve Sailor Moon again.

BY YOUR POWERS COMBINED

YUP that wand is ridiculous

Eternal Sailor Moon is her “true form” oic

WHOA NEHELENIA GET OUT OF MAMORU’S HEAD THAT AIN’T COOL

–your fangirl heroines.

admiration20is20go

Television Tuesday :: current TV in haiku, part 2

26 Apr

Amended standards:
Breathing girls is good, BUT GOOD GOD
LESS DAMN HETERO?

–your fangirl heroine.

ouchies

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