- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw: different trailer, still like getting bludgeoned with testosterone.
- 21 Bridges, has extra opening seconds. I would like to think that Chadwick Boseman is going to pick movies that are thoughtful about the police's exercise of power, and there are a few hints toward that maybe, but based on this it's a hell of an uphill battle to get me to believe it.
- The Lion King: I just can't even.
- Long Shot, but none of the trailers at IMDB seem to be what we got? Anyway: oh look, Seth Rogen screws things up for Charlize Theron, whee.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters: that's a lot of giant monsters, none of which looked really convincing, and also you don't get to use "One X to rule them all," sorry, you just don't.
- Gemini Man, has about one extra opening second. Will Smith fights his younger clone; I have no feelings about this.
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The thing is, okay. The Last Jedi had major problems, but I feel, in retrospect, that it was at least trying to do something that wasn't just "coast on nostalgia," that it had a point of view that it was trying to express? And this does not give me confidence that that's going to be carried through. Because giving a trilogy to different directors and letting them do, apparently, whatever the fuck they want is a bad creative decision.
I wasn't planning on seeing it Thursday night, because I had an oral argument scheduled for this afternoon and I knew it would be very tiring (it was, much more so than usual—good, I mean, I love oral argument, but), but that's how logistics worked out. (Reserved seats are so great.) And, as I've said at various points here, I did not have high expectations. So I went in feeling somewhat muted and cynical, reflected in my choice of t-shirt.
Let's do it in this order: non-spoiler content note; general reaction with no plot details; spoiler content note; all the spoilers.
Anyway, if you have a name for this let me know, and if you have other examples also let me know because it's a genre I really enjoy, as I have been reminded by reading Caroline Stevermer's When The King Comes Home, which kate_nepveu was extremely correct to recommend to me an age and a day ago.
The protagonist: artist's apprentice Hail Rosamer, who has recently become obsessed with the work of Famous Historical Artist Maspero, who lived about two centuries prior and did a lot of work around the profile of Historically Good King Julian.
This means that when Hail stumbles over a distressed-looking hobo under a bridge with Good King Julian's exact profile, she knows exactly what to do.
HAIL: omg you're Good King Julian returned, just like in the stories! I recognized you from Maspero's art!
A MAN WITH GOOD KING JULIAN'S EXACT PROFILE: well, it's complicated, and there's an evil necromancer that -
HAIL: TELL ME ALL ABOUT MASPERO. 😍 WAS HE AMAZING. 😍 WHAT COLOR PALLETTES DID HE USE
A MAN WITH GOOD KING JULIAN'S EXACT PROFILE: ... you mean the Maspero who occasionally moonlighted as an artist?
HAIL: YES 😍
A MAN WITH GOOD KING JULIAN'S EXACT PROFILE: ..... I mean I can tell you he drank a lot and owed me money?
HAIL: OKAY BUT WHAT ABOUT HIS LINEWORK 😍
Obviously, the fact that a dead king has been brought back from the dead by an evil necromancer does in fact turn out to have sociopolitical implications in which Hail becomes inextricably involved ... mostly by trailing around on various efforts to stop the necromancer, attempting to engage anyone and everyone in conversation about Maspero and his artwork until they're all thoroughly sick of it. I love her? I love her. 3/4 of the way through the book she participates in some important art magic and also is forced to grudgingly admit that Maspero's color work may not have always been up to the highest standards.
I mean, don't get me wrong, the tone of the book is as much wistful melancholy as anything else -- the underlying themes are about death and the inevitability of loss and the myths we tell ourselves about the past -- but also, it is truly an enormous amount of fun to watch the entire plot unfold through the lens of a hyper-focused art student.
( Some of my other favorite scenes are mid-book spoilers )
But this was a wonderful episode.
I hope to heck they renew this show.
*Also my second period was _so good_! They got things done really fast and we had to start on the next day's lesson because they were DONE!
*During my third period I got to tell a couple of seventeen year olds not to bite each other, because apparently last-quarter seniors and kindergardeners are indistinguishable.
*Stayed for over an hour with my favourite student to help her get ready for the quiz next week (she's doing great!)
*Graded all the entrance tickets from this week *and* entered those grades. Graded a very small handful of more entrance tickets.
*Met with four parents for conferences. Yay!
*Date night with Austin! Which involves a non-zero amount of Homestar*Runner, because yayyyyy!
*We cooked a food! It was soooo good!
*Only got six hours of sleep, but did wake up without hitting snooze. Also, I successfully showered last night.
*Ate breakfast, AND lunch AND dinner. This is a fucking phenomenal thing.
*Practiced the first step of Bonnie Dundee briefly, which is also somewhat phenomenal.
*Day 139 of writing at least 750words.
*Haven't done emails yet, but maybe can do that now.
*Three dreamwidth entries! Take *that* dying friends page :p
Die Vampire, Die is _incredibly important_ in terms of mental health and creativity. It is a take-no shit battle anthem and I love it without qualifications.
Nine People's Favourite Thing is...more complex. It's framed (more or less) as the climax of the show, as the declaration around which all their work has been building to and all they have achieved.
I'd rather be nine people's favourite thing, than a hundred people's ninth favourite thing.
It dovetails very nicely with my favourite-ever quote about fame, something Tailsteak said offhand to me at one point and I have proceeded to share with everyone everywhere ever since --"Andy Warhol got it wrong. In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people." It's the idea that sure, you could keep yourself meek and mild and have broad appeal but what your goal really should be is to just DO YOUR THING as loud and proud and dramatic and strong as you can, and hope that you find those other little sparks of light in the world that are people who look at YOUR THING and find themselves hopelessly entranced. Find your nine people, your fifteen, and they will give you all the creative fulfillment you need!
Nowwww, realistically, that's...not quite right. Who would I consider myself in the nine people for? Well, Tailsteak obviously. SJ Tucker. Seanan McGuire. I consume _everything_ they do, or I at least try to1. But what about, say Shaenon Garrity? I've contributed to every Skin Horse kickstarter so far (or mom has in my name) and own two copies of the Complete Narbonic. But I don't follow her monster of the week, I don't buy CousCous collections with her work, I've never gotten around to Trucktown or Smithson2.
Or moreso, what about Jeph Jacques? I own a couple of the Questionable Content books, and I've been reading it for approximately 37583 straight comics. But I don't own _all_ the books, and I've never bothered to get into his music. I don't even subscribe to his Patreon.
I read a wonderful essay for creators about one point, about the importance of recognizing your different levels and types of fans. Your nine people are incredibly significant! They're the ones who will do that wild and crazy high level kickstarter level4 that you threw on there on whim.
But those hundred people for whom you're the ninth favourite thing...don't forget that's _significant_. You can't pop a kickstarter on nine hundred-level pledges alone. You need that bread and butter of 200 people paying thirty bucks for the book and another 500 paying ten dollars for a PDF. They're not your superfans but they are still fans, and they will tell their friends about you in passing, and add to your view count and your ad revenue, and get your books checked out in the library, and throw you a buck a month on patreon.
And all of that is well and good to wank about as someone who doesn't have a nine, and doesn't really have any fans5 at all. I'm not a creative professional, hell, I'm unfortunately not even a creative amateur. But what happens when I take that nine-people sentence and my slightly cynical outlook on it, and apply it to the thing I *am* creating every day.
I would rather be nine students favourite teacher than a hundred students ninth favourite teacher.
Any day of the week.
1: *looks wistfully at the seven unread books on their shelf, the whole of Alleykat Jones, and the fifteen monthly downloads unlistened.
2: Although I honestly may be the only person in the world with a L'il Mell strip hanging on their wall...
3: I could probably do some research and find exactly where I started, but it was in the early 200s.
4: Okay, so like, several of my Skin Horse books have marginalia of the characters answering questions for me, and okay that is amazing and I love it so maybe I am also one of Shaenon's nine after all, or at least one of the Narboniverse's nine.
5: My biggest fan is my friend Valarie, who is the nicest human in the world, and was so genuinely happy for me when I got my dream job I thought she would pop. I love her, so much!
Okay, yes, also my sister and Veronica and mom and Har and mek. Fine.
Apparently I have -- once again -- underestimated Colleen, who is awake, wisecracking, planning meals for RainbowCon, and saying she'll be there come Hell or high water. I don't doubt it. She's probably been taking indestructability lessons from my mother.
When I left for home yesterday she'd been unconscious or nearly so for a solid week, and on a ventilator for two days.
She was looking much more alert when I came in around 10am. They took out her breathing tube at 10:47; she was talking within seconds (asked "are you breathing okay?" "Yeah."), telling the nurse that she was hard of hearing within minutes, and discussing sewing projects and menus half an hour after that. We have our Colleen back!
Quote of the day:
Colleen: (when told not to scratch near her PICC line) "I'll be good."
me: "If you can't be good, be careful."
Colleen: "If you can't be careful, be wicked."
I often warn people that she's an easy person to underestimate. I should listen to myself.
If I make a professional mistake, and learn from it, and grow, and add to my toolbox, and develop new skills, and come up with new ideas and get better, that still doesn't help the students I had before that happened, who I did not teach as well as I could've, and who genuinely deserved better.
Improvement over time is great, and a genuinely good thing, and I really do think it is happening to me. But it feels rotten to know that it comes on the backs of the students I underserved.
Oral argument this afternoon, big dumb movie tonight, so just a few things:
Cool rocks I found while out with the kids this weekend.
The kids making bunny ears with their bunny cake.
Max Gladstone gets meta (no spoilers) in the amusing The Conversation Tony Stark and Thanos Should Have Had.
thefourthvine asks what story you would like to get the Spider-Man treatment—rebooted every five years—with the caveat that you have to watch each version. I'm leaning toward something heist-y like Leverage or Ocean's 8, because I could always use more heists, but I'm still thinking about it. You?
Edit: also please see these pictures and then give me hair style advice?
*Did normal workday things!
*Adapted a resource from a coworker and made it more thorough for my Algebra kids
*Put in all the participation grades from this week
*Afterschool PDs, yayyyy.
*Spent like...an hour after PD chatting with coworkers and kvetching cheerfully about school and stuff.
*Found anu3bis on my commute home, followed him to his new house and spent an hour chatting with him and balsamic_dragon and the LionCub. We're gonna have dinner a week from Friday! I might show them Anna and the Apocalypse that night! This is all REALLY AWESOME!
*Veronica pinged me and was all "do you wanna Do A Skype Tonight?" and yes, yes I very much do, so I am currently Skyping with Veronica while she knits and I do my words. Veronica is best <3!
*I did not go to bed before 11 last night, but I did go to bed before 11:30, and I did set my alarm for 7 hours. I think I woke up briefly before it went off, but trusted the alarm and went back to sleep.
*Also I got up without hitting snooze, but that only sorta counts because I was at Austin's and it's a lot easier to not hit snooze if I know that by jumping in and out of the bed I'm being obnoxious to my partner.
*WENT TO HIGHLAND for the first time in a month and we did FOUR DANCES which is a _lot_ of dances, sheesus. Including Bonnie Dundee which is so hard and I hate it, but I am demonstrably better every time I actually make it there. But we did sword dance, which I tend to like, and Hornpipe, which is the only Highland dance I definitively love.
*Caught up on today's emails, including the four or five from yesterday after I had "caught up". Not even *delaying* on them, the ones that needed action, I took the damn action (be it reading the patreon post, responding to the personal stuff, or sending in my kickstarter surveys).
*Am writing my words for the 138th day in a row. They're not done yet, but I think I will probably make it.
*Edit: I did successfully do it! Also almost 400 of them were _fiction_, so that's clearly amazing.
*Gonna take a shower, shut up, it's allowed to be an accomplishment. Unfortunately, I'm probably not going to wash my hair, which I do need to do sometime soon, but still. Regular shower is good!
*School lunch today was _really good_. It was mashed potatoes and tangerine chicken (sortof a sweet-glazed style) and carrots and damn, I was so satisfied with all of it.
Yes, I'm going to continue to do these until I get bored and distracted, so don't worry, like three more days.
- not one, but two separate fake engagements!
- one of which involves a completely imaginary fiancé!
- an overwhelmingly responsible heroine who spends the entire book Consumed by a Minimally Dark Secret!
- marriage of convenience!
- romantic bonding over faking the death of a small child! (for the greater good, of course)
Less tropily, it also includes:
- lots of strong sibling relationships
- a major plotline about dealing with a parent with dementia, which does not get magically fixed by the end of the book
- ( sort of a spoiler )
This is very much a Western Historical Romance that is interested in leaning into the required beats rather than subverting them, which may or may not be the sort of thing you like. However if you want to spend a very enjoyable few hours watching two serious and socially awkward eldest siblings play 'I'm too responsible to date you!' chicken with each other, this is currently ninety-nine cents to purchase and I'm only sorry I was too impatient to save it for my upcoming plane ride this Friday.
( Keep that Rail a Rolling )
I'm not sure how long these rail trains will be here before they move along and the next set of workers come through to actually replace the old rail with the new rail this crew is dropping alongside the tracks.
I wouldn't expect that Union Pacific would be too worried about scrap metal thieves in this case, as a quarter-mile long length of steel rail is a bit difficult to haul away by hand.
There was a cat named Minion in the bathroom. He must be the minion of some evil overlord. He bit Virginia and gave P. some trouble. Finally he got moved downstairs; having a cat like that around when visitors wanted to use the bathroom would have been a bad idea.
Cricket is still there too. Cats are being adopted at a pretty good rate, but both Cricket and Quentin are the more outgoing of pairs MRFRS wants to keep together, so it's taking a while to find the right people for them.