September 21st, 2017
china_shop: Raja from Aladdin saying "What?" (Whut? Raja)
posted by [personal profile] china_shop at 11:44am on 21/09/2017 under
1. Has anyone found an easy alternative to Gchat's Available/Busy/Inactive/Offline indicators? Those were my lifeline, and not having them is making me saaaaad.


2. Recently my Dreamwidth pages have stopped defaulting to https, which means sometimes I get a log-in screen instead of the post, and if I get the post, I'm not logged in. I have HTTPS Everywhere for FireFox, and the Dreamwidth HTTPS beta option turned on. What is happening?

It may have started when FireFox updated last, or it might be part of my general computer woes, idk.
china_shop: Neal, Peter and Elizabeth smiling (Default)
posted by [personal profile] china_shop at 11:36am on 21/09/2017 under , ,
Reading
Over the weekend I read Sarah Gailey's novella River of Teeth, an alt-US-history Western with hippos, which I've seen mentioned around the place. It spent a lot of time on character introductions, and the ending felt rather TBC, and I'm not sure I'll read the next one. I think I would have preferred a stand-alone novel to what felt like the first instalment in a longer story, or perhaps I'm just not in the mood for Americana (though it reminded me enough of Richard Brautigan's The Hawkline Monster that I dug that out and may read it sometime soon).

In the meantime, I've started Moon Over Soho, the second Rivers of London book. I read the first some years ago (when I bought my Kindle and went back to occasionally consuming things other than fanfic) and found it too gruesome for my fluffy-fanfic-reading palette, but I've been encouraged to persevere. Not gripped yet, but it's early days.

Kdramas
I just finished Another Oh Hae Young, like, in the last half hour.

Huh. It started promisingly. I liked the convoluted set-up and was intrigued to see how they were going to get Do Kyung out of the enormous hole he'd dug himself into, but in the end... they didn't really bother. Rambling. Spoilers. ) Also, overall, this might be the drama I've watched with the highest alcohol consumption and the worst communication (and that's really saying something, on both counts!). Not one I'll be rewatching or would particularly recommend.

I haven't planned what I'll solo-watch next, but I think it'll be something very different.

Pru and I finished Moonlight Drawn by Clouds yesterday, and next week we're starting Mystery Queen, a Sherlock Holmes AU where Sherlock is a housewife.

J and I have one more week (three episodes) of Goblin to go, and then I suspect it's a Hong sisters drama, either My Girl (which I haven't seen) or Master's Sun (which I have).

My teacher and I are still in the middle of Chief Kim.

Other TV
Parks & Recreation season 5.

Films
We watched Rogue One over the weekend. I think I enjoyed it more this time, having read some fanfic.

Writing
Not a word.

Computer
*weeps*

Politics
Election this weekend. My sister and I nearly went and advance voted yesterday lunchtime, but during the trudge up Featherston St to the polling place, I talked myself out of it on the grounds that if I vote on Saturday, if the outcome initially seems close or unfavourable, I can tell myself they haven't counted my vote yet and it will make all the difference. /dork

Also, I was supposed to go sign-waving this morning (and got up early specially), but the other person cancelled and then the forecasted rain arrived, so I finished Another Oh Hae Young instead.

I am trying SO HARD not to get unhealthily invested in the election outcome; I can't afford to get sick over this. *crosses all my fingers and toes, while still trying to maintain emotional detachment, ha*
September 17th, 2017
marina: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] marina at 12:00pm on 17/09/2017 under ,
I have been writing a post about Top of the Lake for literally like 4 years. FOUR YEARS. I keep writing drafts and never finishing them, because it all just feels so enormous and too much and I need like an entire day to get all my thoughts in order.

But, it's happening today friends. IT'S HAPPENING TODAY. SO HELP ME, THERE WILL BE A POST. It will be cobbled together from different drafts I've started over the years, but IT WILL EXIST.

So, below are my thoughts, which were written a few years ago, before I'd seen Mad Max: Fury Road, before Jessica Jones, before Wonder Woman.

Anyway, this post is still not even a fraction of the thoughts I have in my head about this show, BUT. We are doing this. THIS POST IS GETTING POSTED.

*

Well, there's now not one, but two versions of Broadchurch (both starring David Tennant!) and I still haven't gotten around to the show that, to me, is the far more subversive, far more interesting, far richer and more beautiful original version of what has now become a multi-season franchise.

I haven't been able to write about Top of the Lake until now because my talents do not lie in talking about the things I find overwhelmingly amazing. I had to wait such a long time for the edges to fade, for this show to settle in my head and become digestible (this is after multiple viewings, because of course I rewatched parts of it ad nauseum) and analyzable and describable.

The non spoilery version is this: Robin (Elizabeth Moss) is a detective who comes back to her small town in New Zealand to visit with her gravely ill mother. At the same time a 12 year old girl in the town is discovered to be pregnant. Robin is called in, because of her big city specialist training, to help interview the girl - however the girl claims she remembers nothing, and Robin ends up leading the investigation into what happened. To unravel this mystery Robin will have to face old friends and enemies, the local gang, police corruption and the secrets of her own family.

If you, like me, are utterly bored by detective stories and mysteries, let me attempt another pitch: Top of the Lake is probably the greatest story I've ever seen about a heroine who is flawed and competent and human, who's allowed to unravel, whose power is never undermined even when she's as low as she's ever going to get, even when the odds are insurmountable. Robin is a heroine you root for when, like Buffy, she has nothing left but herself, her body, her wits. She's someone you root for while you recognize her blind spots, her privileges, her biases. Robin is someone who always, always comes through. Stripped down to the bone she rises, like Lazarus, unstoppable in her passion, her moral duty to do right by the marginalized, her incredible strength.

The amazing thing about Top of the Lake is that it's about a girl who loses everything, but never loses herself. It's about trauma, it's about survival, it's about revenge, it's about justice, it's about compassion and love and forgiveness, it's about asking the ugly questions about ourselves and being uncomfortable and trying as hard as you can to be the best person you can be. It's about trying to make sure no one has to suffer the way you've suffered.

And of course - Jane Campion is an amazing director, and stepping into her world for 7 episodes was like suddenly finding myself in an alternative universe where complex, challenging visual stories are told for me, as a woman. Where the male gaze is not even a distant memory.

Here's one last way of putting it: Robin and Leslie Knope (of Parks and Rec) are two extremes on the same continuum. Leslie is Robin in a light-hearted, brightly lit comedy - Robin is Leslie in a graphic, gritty detective story. Robin is the grown up version of Veronica Mars. The settings, the moods, the tropes are different but the women are the same - beacons of resilience, fortitude, open-eyed optimism, competence, who are the heroes rather than the victims of their narratives.

spoilers )

*

And now an addendum written by today!me:

Top of the Lake is the spiritual mother of so many modern shows, and I'm so happy (SO SO HAPPY) that I get to place it a broader than ever tapestry of women heroes of all kinds.
September 14th, 2017
china_shop: Neal, Peter and Elizabeth smiling (Default)
Reading
Finished Whatever: or how junior year became totally f$@ked by S.J. Goslee and The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley. Whatever was enjoyable, but I was shipping a non-canon pairing (cf my penchant for friends-to-lovers vs antagonists-to-lovers) so was disappointed by the ending. But the book was mostly about the process of coming out as a teen, to self, family and friends, and that aspect was great.

The Bedlam Stacks was a slow-starter and very world-buildy, and I don't think I was the right audience for it. I'm super-non-visual and there was a LOT of description, most of which didn't settle in my head. I can imagine it really working for some readers, though. I liked the ideas, and the way the magic realism came together.

Next up: no idea. Maybe something by KJ Charles or Cat Sebastian, neither of whom I've read before. I have various books and sample chapters stacking up on my kindle, as always.

Kdramas
I spent a few days idly contemplating Secret Garden OT3 scenarios (Seul/Oska/Ssun, natch) and not starting anything new, but on Monday I dipped a toe into Another Oh Hae Young, and now I am hooked. Grumpy perfectionist Park Do Kyung, in a moment of drunken weakness, let himself be goaded into getting revenge on Oh Hae Young, the woman who jilted him at the altar, by seriously messing up her new fiancé's business. The fiancé broke up with Hae Young (for her own good) before his business disasters cascaded into bankruptcy and imprisonment. Except it turns out to be a case of mistaken identity! A different Oh Hae Young! Do Kyung has epically ruined the lives of two innocent people! Cue oh my god what have I done?!?!? and everyone suffering through the fallout.

There's also some unexplained deja-vu/precognition going on, because of course there is, and Seoul is the size of a postage stamp. I'm good with that.

Past half-way on Chief Kim, and it's still really engaging. There's not even any romance yet; it's pure redemption arc/found family/David vs Goliath.

Moonlight Drawn by Clouds and Goblin rewatches continue. Goblin is especially good to revisit, now that I know what's going on. #immortaldorks

Other TV
The boy and I are continuing our Parks & Recreation rewatch (spurring me to finally buy the last two seasons on DVD).

Films/DVD
We watched a NZ documentary called Tickled, which starts off being about competitive endurance tickling and turns into kind of an investigative thriller.

Writing
Nope.

Computer
The list of things that are no longer working now includes torrenting.

Posting
I started a rambly post maybe a week ago, and keep poking it. I seem to have forgotten how to chat to the internet. *waves instead*

Politicking
The election is 9 days away. I've been sign-waving and leafleting for the Greens, and yesterday I went to a branch meeting and talked more than I intended (ie, > 0).
September 13th, 2017
marina: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] marina at 10:29am on 13/09/2017
I know everyone is tired of hearing how busy I am, lol, but this week has been truly ridiculous. In a lot of ways it's been filled with wonderful things, as well as boring stressful things (contacting city hall, the water company, the electric company...), and in a way I'm grateful that I can survive this kind of week now, disability-wise, since I definitely couldn't have a year ago. But I'm... intensely at the end of my rope, and things are not going to calm down for like, at least another 48 hours, and IDK if I can honestly survive that long.

stuff and things )
September 11th, 2017
kiwisue: sleeping koala in the fork of a gumtree stump (koala)
posted by [personal profile] kiwisue at 10:04am on 11/09/2017
Trip planning has been put on hold for a day or two while I sort out some things that are happening this month!

But I'm very interested in this: )
ETA more up to date info )

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