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Welcome to my humble corner of the internet!   Here there be geeking out about Doctor Who, Sherlock, biology, books, and whatever else has caught my eye at the moment.

If you're here looking for fannish things (fic, recs, meta, general squee or ranting, etc.), those are mostly posted publicly.  Posts about my personal life are pretty much always friendslocked.  You can feel free to add me or unfriend at will.  A comment introducing yourself would be a nice gesture, but don't feel obligated if you're shy.  I may or may not add you back depending on how I'm feeling that day on the social vs. crotchety scale and whether we have interests in common.  It's not a personal judgement.

I am also on Tumblr.

Occasionally, I write fanfic. You can check out my author pages on AO3 or A Teaspoon and an Open Mind (for Doctor Who fic).  Here's the complete list, organized by fandom, then series, then chronologically (oldest to most recent).

Fic IndexCollapse )


I was going to try to get more done this afternoon, but I've spent more time than expected on the computer, looking at the news from Paris.  My heart aches for the victims of this atrocity.  The scale of the attacks is truly awful.  My heart aches also for those affected by the bombings in Lebanon earlier in the day, where over 40 people were killed by the so-called Islamic State.

Events like this bring out the best in people as well as the worst.  Parisians on twitter created a hashtag to offer to open up their homes to strangers who needed a place to get inside.  The hospitals issued a call for blood donations, and as morning arrives in Paris people are queing up to donate and crashing the blood donation service's website with the sheer numbers who are trying to find out how to best give of themselves.  I'm sure as more survivors' stories are told we will hear many tales of people risking or giving their lives to protect others.

But on the flip side, incidents like this have the potential to bring out cruelty in the responses, as if the evil of the attacks wasn't already enough.  If policy-makers restrict rights excessively in pursuit of unachievable security and if people take out their anger at the extremists on peaceful Muslims, then the terrorists win.  Terrorists want fear.  They want to ignite a holy war.  We can vanquish them only by keeping our society open and free and by living our lives in a spirit of love, peace, and multiculturalism.

I've been to Paris once, back in 2006.  I was visiting a college friend who was attending theatre school there.  In many ways Paris was exactly what I'd hoped and expected to see.  Art, museums, and historical monuments were everywhere.  People carried bags of baguettes through the street.  A mime juggled on the subway.  My friend took me to parties with her friends, an international mix of Bohemian artist-types.  (One of them looked uncannily like Johnny Depp; when he greeted me with a double cheek kiss I was rather glad that my inability to speak French gave an excuse for making a garbled response, because I was dazzled enough that I don't think I could have managed full sentences in English right then.)  One day we had to reroute ourselves around a protest march of some sort.  It was beautiful and sophisticated and lively and all that a city should be.  There were only two things that really surprised me about Paris:  (1) here in the US, Parisians have a reputation for being super rude, but this was not my experience at all.  People in Paris (including strangers on the street, not just friends of my friend) were no ruder to me than people in any other large city.  Given how little I spoke of the language most were remarkably patient and welcoming.  (2) I knew that Paris was a multicultural city these days, but I was still a bit surprised by just how much of a rainbow of humanity lives there.  It looked at least as diverse as New York.  I liked it.

I hope that despite the death and horror the people of Paris can hold on to their kindness and multiculturalism.  I hold in light the people of Paris and all those whose lives were touched by this tragedy. I pray that the carnage stops here.

Winter Soldier Reactions

It is immensely entertaining to watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier with someone who is unspoiled about the Winter Soldier storyline.  When I was watching it in the theater for the first time, the friend I was with gasped and covered her mouth with her hands when Steve first recognized Bucky. (I was involved enough in fandom that even though at that point I hadn't read the relevant comics I already knew the Winter Soldier's identity.) Tonight, I watched it with a different friend who is good with faces, so as soon as the Winter Soldier was unmasked she said out loud, "Oh my god, is that his friend?!?"  Experiencing the reveal vicariously through unprepared non-fandom people is super fun.

Having just re-watched CATWS, I am once more awash in feelings.  All I really want to do is read fic.  Alas, I have an early start and a punishingly long work day tomorrow, so I need to go to bed.

Spreading the Love for Fanworks

After seeing it on andrea_deer's journal, I've just signed up for a fannish festival/challenge/event/thing that I think is a great idea.

Rectober aims to have people posting recs for all sorts of fanworks during the month of October.  I love sharing the delight of my favorite fanworks with friends and hopefully sending some loving feedback to the creators. I hope some of y'all will join in, because I'd love to see what you recommend.

If you participate, you get to choose how much you want to post.  Some people are setting daily posting goals, while others are only committing to two posts the whole month.  For myself, I'm setting a goal of seven rec posts over the month of October.  That's about twice a week with one built-in skip.  I may try for more if the posts go quickly, but seven seems like about the maximum that I can reasonably promise.

I'm probably going to do themed rec posts with a mix of fic and vids.  I'm still trying to work out what those themes will be, but some candidates include:
-Excellent Ensembles
-This Broke Me Into Tiny Pieces, Please Share My Pain
-Golden Oldies (fics/vids more than 4-5 years old...obviously fandom goes back much farther than that, but since I started bookmarking fic in 2007 this is a good cut-off)
-Three (or More) Cheers for Poly Ships
-Avoid Beverages Or Risk Keyboard Destruction (crack/humor/general silliness)
-Long Reads Worth the Time Investment
-Fanworks Other Than Fic and Vids (meta, fan art, crafts, fanmixes, etc.)
-Awesome Ladies Being Awesome (focus on one or more female characters saving the day...this may have too much overlap with what I'd rec for everything else)
-Fairy Tales & Fantasy
-Crossovers of Great Win
-This Doesn't Fit My Other Categories But It's Too Awesome To Ignore

Obviously this is more than seven categories, so I'm either going to whittle it down, make some rec posts include one or more categories, or just make more posts.  Feel free to comment if there are some of these categories you're especially interested in seeing or if you want to suggest others.

I hope some of you will join me in making LJ lively with the celebration of fannish creativity this month!  Click the banner if you want to officially sign up.

Meanwhile, the good news is that Doctor Who is getting a spin-off.  The bad news is that this spin-off is NOT about Madame Vastra and Jenny as Victorian interspecies lesbians who fight crime accompanied by sidekick Strax and a pack of plucky street urchins.  It's also not flashback/prequel Doctor Who starring Paul McGann.  It's not a revitalization of Torchwood, or any other form of spin-off that fans have been asking for.  Instead, the spin-off is about teens at Coal Hill School dealing with aliens/monsters, with no mention of characters from previous shows appearing.  I will certainly give it a try, but this just feels like a missed opportunity.

Magic and Monsters of Doctor Who

First, there's a fun multifandom ficathon going on write now.

You should all head over to check out the fascinating prompts and maybe fill some or leave some of your own.

While over there, I accidentally a Bad Wolf Rose ficlet.  (Predictable, I know. I am a one-and-a-half trick pony regarding fanfic.)  It's rather darker than my usual take on the Bad Wolf theme, and also unbeta-ed and written in second person, so enter at your own risk. But hey, I wrote something!

Second, I watched the Doctor Who S9 opener, "The Magician's Apprentice" and actually liked it a good deal.  The opener was marvelously creepy.  While it had a lot going on, it lacked the "throw everything in the pot whether it goes together or not" quality of some of Moffat's episodes.

[mildly spoilery thoughts within]

Peter Capaldi and Michelle Gomez are just so good in their roles.  I can't decide if the failure to explain HOW the Master survived is wonderful or maddening, but I'm mostly on the side of wonderful.  An explanation would just have been meaningless fantasy-technobabble anyway.  I loved the little glimpse of Four in "Genesis of the Daleks."  The "axe" fight and early introduction of the word "dude" amused me.  Of course a lot will depend on the resolution this week.  Moffat's frequent failure to allow lasting consequences could really mess up the themes of accountability and long-term grudges that the first episode set up.

Characters and Music meme

For this entry, I am going to resurrect a meme that I did quite some time ago.

Choose fifteen characters. Then put your playlist on shuffle. Your first song with lyrics is your first character, and so on. For each song, choose lyrics that resonate with the corresponding character.

Last time some of the matches were pretty hilariously bad, while one or two were spot on.  Let's see how many novelty songs or environmentalist protest songs we get this time!

Character list:
1.  Steve Rogers (MCU)
2.  Mary Morstan (BBC Sherlock)
3.  The Doctor (Doctor Who)
4.  Alec Hardison (Leverage)
5.  Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel comics)
6.  Peggy Carter (Agent Carter/MCU)
7.  Martha Jones (Doctor Who/Torchwood)
8.  October "Toby" Daye (Seanan McGuire's October Daye novels)
9.  Eliot Spencer (Leverage)
10.  Doreen Green (Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comics)
11.  Melinda May (Agents of SHIELD)
12.  Rose Tyler (Doctor Who)
13.  Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
14.  Molly Hooper (Sherlock)
15.  Mr. Spock (Star Trek, I may do either TOS or AOS movies depending on the song)

Now for the songs.

Songs and attempted justifications under cutCollapse )


cat problems and fanvid recs

Cat lady problems:  I was sitting in my desk chair scrolling through tumblr when I heard Noodles meowing to come in to my bedroom.  I got up and let her in. While I was closing the door again for roommate privacy, she jumped on to the desk chair and lay down very cutely.  Normally I'd deal with the cat taking my seat by sharing it with her, either by shoving her towards the back and perching myself on the front edge of the seat or by lifting her up, sitting down, and setting her in my lap.  However, it is way too hot today to share a small chair with a fellow warm-blooded creature.  Too much endothermy for one piece of furniture!  I considered moving her from the chair to the floor or the bed, but she looked so relaxed and started purring.  I considered taking the laptop to sit on the bed, but the laptop is also a source of too much heat to be on my lap right now.

So now I am kneeling on the floor to type at the desk while Noodles sleeps on the chair.   It is the only logical solution.

Meanwhile, I have some fanvid recs to share!  First, stop what you're doing and watch this Agent Carter/Captain America vid right now:

I love this SO MUCH.  Here are Peggy and Steve, losing each other but getting on with their lives and being amazing and badass.  That's what the other would have wanted, after all.  The song choice is perfect and the editing is great, with so many wonderful character parallels.  (I think my favorite may be when Peggy is balanced on the ledge on the outside of the building, being very careful not to fall, and then the vid cuts to Steve just throwing himself through a window way too many stories up, because he has superhuman endurance no common sense.)  Bittersweet and joyful all at once, this is basically everything I want out of a Steve/Peggy vid.  Here's the vid post on LJ so you can comment to the vidder or download the vid, or on AO3 here.

Next, here is an excellent multi-era Doctor Who vid focusing on the companions, especially those whose lives we know about after leaving the Doctor or in between adventures with him.

It's so much fun, and I love the focus on the companions' lives not at all ending when they're not with the Doctor.  Also, the section with the Brig and his "getting real tired of your shit, Doctor" expression is great. Here's the vid post on LJ.

Update:  Noodles left the desk chair, so I claimed it back for myself.  She returned and briefly attempted to sit in my lap before rapidly deciding that she agreed with my rule that until it cools down there can be only one warm-blooded organism per piece of furniture.  Now I'm still in the chair and she's on the bed.  Everyone is content.


Too lazy for a real post, let's do a meme

Here's a meme grabbed from theladymore.

Give me a character and I'll tell you:

1: sexuality headcanon
2: otp
3: brotp
4: notp
5: first headcanon that pops into my head
6: favorite line from this character
7: one way in which I relate to this character
8: thing that gives me second hand embarrassment about this character
9: cinnamon roll or problematic fave?

Fandoms you might want to ask about include Marvel Cinematic Universe (including tv), Doctor Who/Torchwood, Sherlock, Leverage, Whedonverse tv, Star Trek (TOS/AOS), Sleepy Hollow, or whatever other fandoms you've seen me talk about around here.
(Note that I am posting this and then going to bed, so don't expect a prompt answer.)


Link dump and notes on pelicans

Time for a short link dump!

First, a fic rec!  I loved the Leverage/Marvel Cinematic Universe crossover Nerds of the Earth, Take Note! by Betty and Emeraldwoman.  SHIELD needs some hacking done by someone outside not connected to their organization, so they kidnap Hardison and get him to do it.  Features some high quality banter (Hardison and Tony Stark conversing is a thing of beauty), Coulson getting all the credit, a rogue AI, lots of orange soda, and answers to the questions you might have about what might happen if the Leverage gang and SHIELD went up against each other.  No particular spoilers for either universe.  Written back in 2010, so has been jossed by more recent canon, but not in an especially distracting way.

Next, for those who like judging other people by the contents of their bookshelves (I certainly do!), I took pictures of my bookshelves for a meme over on tumblr.

From the realm of cool news, scientists have discovered a beautifully preserved fossil of an ancestral snake with four legs!

Finally, here is a video of actor Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries, Lost) holding a rehabbed pelican prior to its release. I saw a photo of this occasion someone had brought into the wildlife rehabilitation center where I volunteer.  I hope your day will also be improved by footage of an attractive man holding a pelican!  Some further information about pelican holding (disclaimer that I am a fairly casual wildlife rehab volunteer, so errors are possible):

-If you hold a pelican that has only recently come in from the wild, you are probably going to get feather lice running up your arms since many pelicans have nasty infestations of them.  Feather lice don’t bite mammals, but they feel and look super creepy.  The pelican in this video is almost ready for release, so it may have been treated with anti-parasitics to get rid of the feather lice.

-Unlike most birds, pelicans need to be able to breathe through their beaks, so if you hold their beaks closed you choke them.  You need to hold on to the bill so it doesn’t gouge someone’s eye out but keep a finger in between the jaws so it can breathe, as Ian is demonstrating here.

-During handling, keeping a sheet or towel over them when possible keeps them calmer and more under control.

-Keeping control of both of a pelican’s wings and the beak and preferably the feet too often feels like it requires several more arms than the average human possesses.  Those things are friggin’ huge.

-If a pelican needs to be given medicine or force-fed, you have to stick your arm WAY DEEP into the pouch to squirt the meds/meal replacement down the bird’s throat.  The inside of a pelican’s pouch and throat is covered with thick goop known among wildlife rehabbers as “peli-cheese.”  That stuff is rather hard to scrub off your skin.  Working with wildlife:  so glamorous!

-If you or someone you know goes fishing in an area where there are pelicans, please make sure to never feed fish waste to the local pelicans.  (Really don't feed your fish waste to any local wildlife, but pelicans seem especially prone to getting into trouble from it.)  They develop the habit of hanging around fish cleaning stations instead of foraging for themselves, and often end up either getting coated in fish oil that wrecks their feathers (requiring washing much as if they got contaminated in an oil spill) or trying to eat a partial fish carcass with bones or spines sticking out that can get stuck in the pouch or rip up their throat.
in honor of the United States of America's Independence Day, I suggest that everyone celebrate by repeated viewings of "Freedom Ride," an extremely serious and important Captain America fanvid about Steve Rogers, fandom bicycle.

(Here it is on AO3 if you want to comment to the vidder.)

This is the most patriotic thing I've ever seen.  America, fuck yeah!  ;)

Alternatively, I suppose you could stick to celebrating the actual history of how America's founding fathers talked about liberty a lot while still perpetuating the oppression of everyone who wasn't a white dude considered the difficult question of whether to declare independence from Britain and/or open up a window to cope with the heat...all while breaking into song.

Ah, 1776. How fortunate that some clerk made note of the actual melodies sung during debate in the Continental Congress so this historically accurate reenactment could be made.
Some people in tumblr fandom have declared July 1 polyshipping day, a celebration of all sorts of ships involving more than two people.  I wrote some meta to post over there, but I thought I'd post it here too to take advantage of LJ's ability to have a conversation in the comments.

My favorite underutilized polyshipping trope: sedoretu marriage!Collapse )

Not Dead! Also happy news and recs!

I haven't been on livejournal much lately and haven't made a post of my own in far longer, which is a crying shame.  So I suppose I should start by saying:  Not Dead.  Just lazy and distracted by tumblr and without much to say.

Last week was one of those very rare weeks with multiple really good things in the news.  The subsidies for Obamacare remained legal (meaning I can continue to afford health insurance that only sorta sucks) and MARRIAGE EQUALITY IS THE LAW ACROSS THE US!!!!!! I am so damn happy.  Of course this isn't the end of the journey towards equality, but it's a pretty huge step.  I spent most of the day Friday liking all the happy posts on social media and playing the corniest love songs in my music library.

I finally finished watching Leverage, and damn I am so in love with that show!  I'd slowed down my viewing a lot when I got to season 5, mostly because I didn't want it to be over, but I finally realized there was no point in putting off the ending further.  While S5 had been a teensy bit uneven in quality, that was one of my favorite series finales of any show ever.  It was true to the characters and the spirit of the show, exciting, delivered satisfying closure while making it clear that the story went on, and most of all full of FEELS. [Slightly spoilery?]Also, I am pretty sure that my Parker/Hardison/Eliot OT3 is about as close to canon as any OT3 I've ever shipped.  Until my dying day, oh my goodness.
The whole show was just so great.  If you like found families, heists with exciting twisty plots (but rarely annoying gotcha gimmicks), complex and lovable characters, relationships that take a long time to develop in a way that feels natural to the characters, a willingness to shine a light on the way corporate power hurts ordinary people, lots of humor that is almost never mean, geeky references, and all-in-all quality television, I highly recommend Leverage.  It's all on Netflix.

After I finished the finale I found this amazing Parker/Hardison/Eliot vid, which I honestly watched at least four times in the first 24 hours after I found it and several times since then.  Spoilers for the whole show.

"Parachute" by thingswithwings.  Here's the vidder's dreamwidth post if you want to leave a comment or download.

Meanwhile in Marvel cinematic universe fandom, I have a fic rec!  A Long Winter by dropdeaddream and WhatAreFears is a Steve/Peggy and Steve/Bucky canon divergence AU where Steve doesn't "die" in the plane crash but instead lives on and marries Peggy.  In the 60s, someone finds Bucky's unsent love letters to Steve and leaks them to the press.  This fic is amazing!  The authors have clearly done a ton of research and tied the events of Steve's life to historical events and moods.  This is the bisexual Captain America that all decent Americans hope for; he truly, deeply loves Peggy but will also never stop loving Bucky and mourning his death.  Of course, we readers know that death is not actually what happened to Bucky.  The writing is lovely and packs an emotional whallop.  There's a sequel that I haven't read yet.  In fact, I think that's what I'm going to go do now.

What's up with y'all?  Are you also not dead?  What fanworks or tv/books/comics/movies have been making you happy? 

It's that time of year again, fandom

The time is upon us once more.  Get yourselves over to f_march_madness right now to support your favorite characters in a cross-fandom battle royale!

Sources of entertainment include:

-Campain for your darlings with gifs, meta, vote trading, desperate pleas, or whatever else might convince someone to vote for them.

-Fill out an office poll to attempt to predict the whims of the community and possibly be rewarded with GLORY.

-Read the passionate comment section to giggle at out of context jokes and be introduced to shows that you might want to watch.

-Stare in shocked horror or throw popcorn when a wankfest develops.  It's war out there.

-Grumble about the mods' totally inexplicable choices of which characters to include from each fandom.  (Mary Morstan left out of Sherlock voting FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW, despite the inclusion of characters with much less screen time like Sarah Sawyer or Anderson?  Is this an anti-Mary plot or just negligence?) (See, the previous source of entertainment is already operating.)

-Wail and gnash your teeth at being forced to choose between amazing characters.

The prelims, which select the champion for each fandom, are going on from now until Friday at ~1 pm Eastern/10 am Pacific.  Head on over now, and may the best character* win!

*Clearly, that's Peggy Carter

Holmes and Watson (Mrs. Watson, that is)

Sherlock is filming.  I dislike spoilers, so I've thus far avoided looking at the setlock photos and speculation.  However, I did end up clicking on an article on The Mary Sue that shows two of the costumes.  I have some thoughts about the costumes themselves (no information or speculation on the plot.)

[Spoilers for some costumes from the upcoming Sherlock special. If you live under a large Sherlock-related rock, the costumes raise a lot of questions. Those questions are not addressed here.]

LOOK AT MARY'S BOOTS!  I have a might craving for those gorgeous boots.  Really I covet her whole look (including her face and her choice of walking companion).  That jacket!  The waistcoat!  The jaunty hat!  The trousers, as if she's dressed to go riding or to be a wild and stylish velocipedestrienne! Well played, wardrobe department.  The boots are definitely the best though.  I would wear the hell out of those.

Uh, I guess Sherlock is actually wearing an inverness cape.  That's cool.  But right now I am all about my girl Mary and her outstanding ensemble.

For anyone commenting, I'm really not looking for further spoilers or to go down the rabbit hole of intense speculation .  This is an entirely shallow clothing appreciation post.  (Light pondering and analysis of the outfits are okay.)

Four things make a post!

Various tv, movie, and fandom things that have been pleasing me lately:

-As expected, I am utterly besotted with Agent Carter.  Everything about it is glorious.  I love every Bechdel-passing, smashing-men-with-hefty-objects, magnificently costumed moment of it.

-I have also watched the first two episodes of Leverage, a show I've been meaning to watch for a while.  After seeing that Mark Watches had just started the show, I decided that the time was ripe.  I am already smitten with all of the characters.  (Lead white dude--Nate?--less than everyone else, but whatever.)  Hardison is so great.  I am impressed by how much has been crammed into each of the first two episodes and will be interested to see how well they keep that up.  I appreciate that it takes a critical stance towards corporations.

-On a heavier note, I saw Selma over the weekend.  It was really powerful and well made.  It was both inspiring to consider how much courageous people changed society and upsetting to consider that parts still felt far too relevant.  It is also worth taking the time to recall that the events of the civil rights movement really weren't that long ago in the arc of history.  John Lewis, who is portrayed in the film as a young leader within the movement, is still going strong as the congressman for the district in Atlanta where I grew up.

-Gallifrey One is less than a month away!  Among the many, many excellent guests, John Barrowman will be there.  I've seen him before at DragonCon, but he's always hilarious, and the smaller setting should be nice. I really need to figure out what I want to put on ribbons this year and order them.

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