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Shannon
11 September 2014 @ 09:01 am
Ugh!  Why are they discontinuing the only Apple product I like!

Soooo, if you haven't heard, they are discontinuing the iPod Classic.  This is a disaster.  I have a ton of music, and I want to put all my music on my device, because I may not know what I want to listen to on any given day.  Some days it's classical - and some days it's a specific kind of classical.  Or it might be soundtracks, or new music, or music from high school and college, or oldies, or classic rock, or WHO KNOWS.  I NEED ALL THESE OPTIONS AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES.

I also like not having to charge my device every day/every other day.

I also like just being able to use a scroll wheel, instead of having to actually look at my device, unlock a screen, go through apps and programs, etc.

I JUST WANT A REGULAR IPOD THAT JUST PLAYS MUSIC AND DOES NOTHING ELSE.

I mean, I have an iPod Classic, but it's about six years old, and who knows.  Anything could happen.  I could drop it tomorrow.  It could freeze and I might not be able to reboot it.  I could spill coffee on it.  (That has the greatest likelihood.)  The little port for the plug-in might get a little bent thing in it or something.  ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN.

So I needed to buy another one.  But it's not available to just buy online because reasons, and my local stores don't have any available, so I just bought one to pick up in-store at a Target like an hour away and it says my order went through but I will not believe it until I get my confirmation "your item is ready to pick up!" email and even then I will need to have it in my hands.

Just.

I hate you, Apple.

ETA: UGH I JUST GOT AN EMAIL THAT IT'S NOT AVAILABLE AT THAT LOCATION.  CHANGING MY PICK-UP LOCATION.  SO HELP ME GOD.

ETA 2: Okay it's available and ready for pick up at the other location, which is even farther away.  Blessings on that Target's family, blessings on that Target's cow.
 
 
Shannon
27 August 2014 @ 02:53 pm
"The Testament of Dr. Mabuse," 1933, directed by Fritz Lang.  Oh, some would probably quibble with classifying this as horror, but I stand by my choice.
Picspam under cut...Collapse )
 
 
Shannon
13 August 2014 @ 01:14 pm
Ah, guys.  It's been an emotional couple days.  I honestly feel as though I am grieving for a family member and not just an actor.

Unlike a lot of people my age, my first experience with Robin Williams was in Mork and Mindy.  I watched a lot of Nick and Nite as a kid.  As a weird, hyperactive child, I had such an affinity with Mork, though I wasn't remotely conscious of it at the time.  This might sound strange, but I really do feel like Mork was a positive role model for me growing up.

And then there was Hook, and Aladdin, and Jumanji, and Mrs. Doubtfire.  Hitting high school age, I saw him in more dramatic roles - Good Will Hunting, Insomnia, Dead Poet's Society, Awakenings.  (Dear God, was he wonderful in Awakenings.)

One of my little sister's favorite movies is RV.  Not one of his most critically acclaimed roles or films, not by a longshot.  But I've seen it probably ten times with her, and every time I watch it, the scene where he's typing up his report and climbing on top of things trying to get cell phone reception makes me laugh even harder.

There are still many movies of his that I haven't seen.  I think it will be a little while before I get to them.

I saw a comment somewhere yesterday that put it best for me.  Robin Williams wasn't just an actor, and he wasn't just a comedian.  He was a part of our culture.

I just miss him so goddamn much.
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Shannon
31 July 2014 @ 10:25 am
...is what my doctor said to me when I finally went in for my finger.  They did an x-ray and didn't see anything, though my doc's sending it out for someone else to look at.  The most she would guess is that there's inflammation in the joint at the base of the finger, and she gave me a splint to wear to immobilize it, and I'm supposed to take ibuprofin regularly.

Sigh.

I made homemade flour tortillas this weekend for the first time, and I think I may just make them myself from now on.  So tasty, and really not all that difficult, though the process would be sped up quite a bit if I used two skillets.  I cold-brewed some coffee last night for my iced coffee today, and it was triumphantly perfect.  I'll never go back to brewing coffee regularly and either pouring it over ice or waiting for it to chill - cold-brewing is where it's at.

Tonight I'm going to make Guinness brownies with whiskey frosting, probably some banana bread because I have two bananas now too ripe for me to eat straight, and my sister's going to make zucchini bread.  When you bake in the summer, might as well go for it as long as you have the oven on.  My sister also made some salsa from tomatoes and peppers from Grandpa's garden, and I'm about ready to decant a jar.  Mmm, cooking.

There's a fine line when getting comments on fic between encouraging a writer and bullying them into writing more.  Especially when I've already replied with my thanks for the review, but I'm mostly focused on original work now and while I am trying to finish my WIPs (seriously, I am), I have no plans to write a bunch of new stuff, and I get another reply telling me to write more anyway.  I suppose it's flattering?  And I try to take it that way and brush off the rest.  But sometimes I want to say, it takes me a hell of a lot longer to write a fic than it takes you to read it, I have a lot of stuff on my plate, y'know, and bottom line, I am not your fic monkey.
 
 
Shannon
25 July 2014 @ 03:27 pm
When you're writing a scene and it doesn't advance the plot, and it's not revealing anything new about the character, and it's thematically redundant to an earlier scene that did both of those things, but you just...keep...writing...it...anyway...
 
 
Shannon
I've been trying to cook more of my own food lately rather than relying on boxed stuff, and it's been pretty fun!  Some of the things I've made recently.

  • Homemade graham crackers.  I ended up buying graham flour online because I couldn't find it in a store - and then as soon as it did I found some, haha, oh well.  The dough itself was easy to make since there was no kneading, but rolling out and cutting the crackers was a little tedious.  Taste-wise they weren't really anything like packaged graham crackers, quite a bit more gritty from the graham flour, but still very good.  They were amazing broken up into a bowl with milk for breakfast.  I think I'm going to make another batch shortly for a fancy icebox cake.

  • Icebox cakes!  Easy to make, easy to adapt.  The first one I made was regular graham crackers, real whipped cream, a dusting of cocoa powder between layers and chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans.  Incredible.  The one I made this week was graham crackers, instant chocolate pudding and Cool Whip, with mini-chocolate chips.  Cheaper, easier, but definitely not as good.  I want to do one with Oreos of some kind - maybe mint - and then real whipped cream.  There's definitely a difference in taste that is worth the time and money involved in real whipped cream.

  • Granola.  I did a mix of rolled oats and rolled wheat flakes, with flax seeds, peanuts and almonds.  Baked the mess up with real maple syrup and honey, added in dried cherries and cranberries after baking.  There was some cinnamon in there, too.  I find it tough when making homemade granola to get the right temperature/length of baking combo so that the granola is nice and crunchy but isn't burnt, and this is as close as I've ever gotten to perfect.  Also great with milk in a bowl for breakfast.

  • Pan pizza in my cast iron skillet.  I used a standard pizza dough recipe that called for eight minutes of kneading, which is a pain since I don't have a Kitchen-Aid that can do my kneading for me, but the crust turned out great.  If you have a cast iron skillet and you've never made a pizza in it, I highly recommend it.  Assemble the whole pizza, then put the skillet on a burner on high for 2-4 minutes to cook the bottom of the crust - be preheating your oven as hot as you can get it in the meantime.  Then 10 minutes or so in the oven should finish it off, with maybe a minute or two under the broiler after that.  The "oven as hot as you can get it" is why I haven't done this in a few months.

  • Flatbread pizza on the grill.  Perfect way to do homemade pizza in the summer!  I made a very garlicky naan dough, grilled one side, then topped it with fresh tomato slices, mozzarella, fresh basil and oregano, sliced olives and some bacon.  By the time you're done topping the pizza the other side is about cooked, so it's a matter of closing the grill lid for a minute or two to melt the cheese, and you're done.  A sprinkle of grated parm and you're set!

  • Shakshuka.  This is one thing that didn't quite turn out as I'd hoped.  I'm not the biggest fan of unadulterated tomato taste, and thought the garlic, chilis and onion would make more of a sauce.  But I enjoyed it nonetheless.  Next time, though, I think I'll go with a more Italian vibe, poach my egg in a straight-up marinara.  All told, though, it's hard to go wrong with poached eggs.

What injury, you may be asking?  The problem is...I'm not sure.  I went jogging Sunday night, and as sometimes happens, my fingers got swollen.  It's a thing that happens, it's irritating, but it usually only lasts 5-10 minutes and it's not a big deal.  Monday morning, just my middle finger on my right hand was still sore.  Weird, but okay.  And it hurt on Tuesday.  And it hurt yesterday.  Today it's so sore that I taped it to the ring finger, almost more as a reminder not to use it than anything else.  (Typing this has been fun.)  I don't remember hitting the finger against anything, so I don't know - it's very strange.  Pain-wise it feels like a broken finger, but I've broken a finger before and like an hour later it turned a violent purple and swelled up a huge amount; neither of those things have happened at all.  Can you sprain a finger?  At any rate, I've been going back and forth on whether I should go to my doctor and ask for an x-ray or see if it just gets any better.

I feel like the whole thing is stupid, though.
 
 
Shannon


As the temperature goes down, my life force goes up!  I just want to, like, roll around outside.  I can't be hyperbolic enough about how excited I am about the weather right now!
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Shannon
In my last LJ post, I said I had started a new screenplay but it wouldn't be done in time for anything.  And that was true - I haven't written a single page since then, actually.  It's dead in the water at 30 or so pages; I'll have to sit down, actually write a fucking outline, and think about it.

But I did write a completely new, different screenplay!  I started like May 3, finished like May 30, just in time to submit to Austin Film Festival.  It was a comedy - I've never written a comedy before.  I didn't have an outline, a synopsis, even a log-line.  I just sat down one day and started writing.  On the whole, even if it's not the best thing I've ever written (and it's definitely not), it was just such a fun experience for a change, to have an idea and just go with it.  And it was heartening that I knew how to write a movie without having to actually write out all the technical framework first.  So quite fun.

Community was canceled.  I started watching in the beginning of S2, so I missed that first "will it be canceled or renewed?" crisis, but every season after that, I lived it.  S2, S3, S4, each time I was sure this was it, it was finished.  And then it would get renewed!  This year was the first time that I had been confident in renewal - the numbers were good, Sean Saves the World and The MJF Show tanked, #sixseasonsandamovie, etc.  I wasn't even worried!  And then.  And then...  So yeah, that was pretty devastating.  For the next two weeks, I would remember "Community got canceled" at the most random times and would literally get sad.

More work on the basement.  Closets framed in, sump pump framed in, a couple more walls.  We found a desk someone had put out for trash that just needs one drawer to be fixed up, new hardware, and a fresh coat of paint, so that's sitting in our basement waiting for my next big Project Day.

We also put in a garden!  It's doing really well so far, though I think we haven't harvested anything yet.  But having a yard feels more legit when there's a garden in it.

Community was renewed!  So I read the news, then I texted my friend, "YAHOO has picked up Community.  YAHOO.  Is this real?  It this a thing that is happening?  YAHOO."  Seriously, I had to read like three articles before I was convinced it was real and wasn't a prank or something.  I'm very excited, obviously, and glad to hear the budget will be the same; after my initial swoon of joy, I worried it would be all cheap and low-rent and such.  I know a lot of people have been disappointed with the show's last couple seasons (I mean, seriously, S4 was not good at all, really), but I wasn't ready for it to be over, and S5 was such a comeback, and like.  I'm happy.  :D

Worked a lot on The Orphan Queen.  I'm over 200,000 words now, and a lot of the random little details I stuck in here and there are finally paying off, which is so satisfying.  I guess you could say I do the George R.R. Martin style of writing when it comes to this novel, in that I plant a lot of things to sort of see what happens later on, knowing the rough end goal but not having a strict outline as such beyond that.  So when disparate threads come together, there's this wonderful click that just can't be recreated.  (Of course, that also means I sometimes go back and weed out things that didn't pan out, like some random love triangle-ish subplot runner that went nowhere.  But even that can be fun!)  It's turned into such a monstrously long novel, I just write and write and write and I make progress, of course, but the idea of ever finishing it seems very unattainable.

Someone plagiarized a wallpaper of mine.  That means I've made it in fandom, right?  They apologized and took their posts down, which is the best-case scenario, I guess, but it was still pretty frustrating, especially since I think they still don't quite understand why I was upset over the whole thing.  (Sadly, my overall reaction to the whole thing was being kind of sad that I don't really do graphics anymore.  I need to get back into that thing, even if it's just random icons here and there.)

I also had a falling out with some friends, but that kind of thing warrants a post of its own, I think, so suffice it to say I haven't been as social as usual.  I'm okay with how things have ultimately turned out, but that doesn't mean I'm sad when I think, "oh, normally I would ask so-and-so to come over, but that's not happening now, welp."  Such is life.
 
 
Shannon
29 April 2014 @ 10:01 am
•Watching Hannibal!  We rewatched season one, have been watching and rewatching season two; I've been reading all the recaps and comments and reviews and behind-the-scenes blogs and Twitters and jeez, not even being active in a fandom, just being a lurker, take up a lot of time.

•Watching other TV!  I think this is the first time since I was an undergrad that I have at least one show I watch every single day of the week.  It's...intense.

•Writing!  I've added about 30,000 words to "The Orphan Queen" since we spoke last, started a new screenplay (which regrettably will not be done in time for any of this year's competitions, but that's okay), and did a revision on a screenplay from last year.  I also dusted off some old fanfic and am trying to get some WIPs done.  (And I know I've said that like half a dozen times before, but I mean it this time.

•Yard work!  I have pictures I need to upload, but we planted a bunch of perennials by the brick walkway leading to our back porch, and spread out rock in our garden.  (The house had termite problems before we bought it, so we took out all the mulch when we first moved it, and have slowly, paycheck by paycheck, been replacing where the mulch was with rock.)  I also tried something I saw on Pinterest, making a little herb garden with concrete blocks, and it actually turned out good!  The stuff I try that I see on Pinterest always ends up terrible, but this one actually worked.  Pretty exciting for a change.

•Basement work!  We now have three walls up and drywalled, and we cleared all of our boxes out of the back "room" to prep that for work.  So now we have a support beam and air ducts to enclose, and the sump pump to box up, and some closets to put in, and then it should be pretty smooth sailing thereafter.  My dad has been replacing electrical as we go, and it's been quite neat to see him going from being super-nervous and freaking out about it, to becoming very confident in the work.  And it's nice to know we have nice new wiring when we get around to putting in new lights and hanging up a TV, etc., instead of fifty-year-old dusty jury-rigged crap.

So that's about it.  Boring, for sure.  But that's life, I guess.
 
 
Shannon
02 March 2014 @ 02:02 pm
I'm not tremendously enthused about the Oscars this year, just because I haven't seen so many of the movies and don't really have a horse in this race, but I like to make my guesses every year anyway.  Let's see how I do!

Predictions under the cut.Collapse )

I got 18/24, which isn't bad at all.  I underestimated how many techs would go to Gravity - which I did a few years ago with Hugo, too.  Need to remember that they end up just voting down the line for one movie than actually thinking about each individual award.  (Which is not to say that Gravity isn't deserving, but that tends to be what happens.)  I was feeling pretty good about my against-the-grain Gravity for BP pick up until the very last minute, because of all the tech wins.

Pretty excited about correctly guessing 2/3 shorts.  You really just need to read the descriptions sometimes to know what they're going to go with!

It was a rather dreadfully boring show, unfortunately.  I am glad they cut down on most of the random montages and such; the couple they had weren't bad, were relatively short, though I was a bit flummoxed by P!nk singing a tribute to The Wizard of Oz.  No real fashion mis-steps; I'll probably have to go with Angelina as my best-dressed, because she really pulls off those grande dame full-sleeved dresses.
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