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garrideb
03 August 2016 @ 01:50 am
When August rolls around I start thinking about Halloween. I generally don't show movies at my Halloween party anymore because people would rather talk, plus guests arrive and leave at all times, so it doesn't work well logistically. But I have played shorter things, like creepy short films, or episodes of retro horror radio shows, or Welcome to Night Vale.

I've decided this year I want to do two parties; one typical mingle, chat, and eat party, and one for listening to old horror radio plays, and maybe playing a round of the RPG Dread, where every time your character takes an action, you have to successfully pull out a Jenga block or your character dies.

In pursuit of old radio plays, I came across an episode of Nightfall -- a Canadian radio show from the early 80's -- about a killer arcade game: "No Quarter". The sound quality is poor, but it gets better around the 30 sec mark. Anyway, Jen and I had fun mocking its moral panic over Donkey Kong. Then Jen found a horror story she'd written in 8th grade about a supernatural handheld video game and read it to me.

To finish off our theme of society's fears of new technology/society's fears of pop culture trends, we watched the movie Nerve ($5 Tuesdays at Point Cinema!) which is a YA novel adaptation about a girl who joins in on a city-wide game of dares played on smartphones, and gets in over her head when it turns out the Anonymous-like group behind the game is a tad vengeful.

It was actually pretty good. The acting was good and the cinematography was often striking, with neon colors and glittery cityscapes of NYC at night. The climax felt a bit over the top and thus silly to me, and there's a scene where the main character is essentially trying to shame Anonymous into doing the right thing, but to the movie's credit that doesn't work, and additional pressure is needed to save the day.

I also liked the messy, complicated friendship between the two main female characters. I already started plotting out a vid in my head to Broad-Shouldered Beasts that would be mostly about their friendship.

Ugh, not that I need another vid idea. Did I tell you all that I'm making my first vid in Premiere after using iMovie for way too long? Premiere Pro CC is very complicated, you guys. For every two minutes spent in Premiere I spend like, twenty minutes watching tutorials.

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garrideb
27 July 2016 @ 07:47 am


See that? In 1959, Carl Sagan lived in the house next to my current house. I'm pretty sure the railroad tracks behind our houses was there in 1959, so he probably used the tunnel that leads to Old Middleton Road, too. Probably while thinking about the vastness of the universe.

I found this out because my dad apparently went through a phase twenty years ago where he researched Carl Sagan's life, especially his time in Wisconsin. Then, a few months back he remembered that Sagan had lived on Craig Ave, but it wasn't until last week that he found his notes and the exact address. Here's the full page of the 1959 city directory:

Read more...Collapse )

Incidentally, 116 Craig was the address I had my eye on when my mom struck up a conversation with the owner of 118 Craig and found out he was planning on putting his house on the market. 116 never actually went up for sale (the condo organization decided to rent it, instead) and 118 was much nicer, anyway.

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garrideb
11 July 2016 @ 11:17 am
Craigslist Adventure

I finally sold my elliptical on Craigslist. I was very upfront about its issues - wobbliness and some cracked casing - and I was selling it VERY cheap. The guy buying it brought a minivan, and we could not get it to fit in the back. The vertical part of the machine was just a couple inches too tall. We were able to get it most of the way in, so I asked if he had any rope to secure it, but neither he nor I had any. So I ended up calling my parents -- who live only 2 miles away -- and my dad brought over some rope.

I was very grateful my parents gave me the rope -- and delivered it! -- because I was worried the buyer would just give up if he couldn't get the elliptical in his van.

Movies About TV Shows

Jen has an assignment to watch movies about TV shows (and some movies about movies, and some TV shows about movies, and some TV shows about TV shows) to see the ways the different industries portray each other. So far we've watched:

Ed TV: So very late-90's! References to beanie babies and the Macarena. Ellen DeGeneres was by far the best part. About a fictional reality TV show that follows a "regular Joe" 24/7.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: about Chuck Barris, the creator of The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and The Gong Show. He claims in his autobiography that he was an assassin for the CIA, and the movie posits that as true. Supposedly a comedy but not very funny. Very unlikable protagonist, and icky feeling that male viewers are supposed to relate to him.

Cinema Verite: about An American Family, the 1971 PBS show that sort of a proto-reality TV. The dad is cheating, the mom is miserable, and the american public wonders why they allowed themselves to be filmed for national broadcast. The best part was the eldest son, who is unabashedly openly queer. I think I would have preferred watching a documentary about this than this movie, but it was still pretty fascinating.

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garrideb
02 June 2016 @ 10:22 pm
Title: Control
Fandom: Monstress (comic)
Song: Control by Halsey
Summary: Maika has survived war and slavery with the help of a monster that lives inside her. But is she in control, or is the monster?
Warnings: fast cutting, comic book violence and body horror

This was originally screened at WisCon40.

Also posted to A03 | LJ | tumblr

Download from Sendspace:
mp4 file (164.17 MB)
srt subtitles (2.4 KB)

Watch on YouTube:



Or watch on Vimeo: (password is maika)



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garrideb
WisCon is fast approaching! Yay! I'm going to be on one panel: Female Friendships/Relationships In Comics. The description:
Despite the old standard 3-and-1 superhero team format, there have always been women navigating friendship in comics, from Betty and Veronica to the Birds of Prey to Princeless. Whether these were friendships, rivalries, romances, or arch-enemies, how women relate to each other has run the gamut from cringe-worthy to inspiring. Let's talk about the best, the worst, and everything in between.


That's going to be on Sunday at 10 PM.

So I'm making a vid for the vid party, but I swear I must have pissed off some gods of vidding because it has not been a smooth ride. Some of it is my fault: I thought I could make the vid in After Effects, inspired by [personal profile] ghost_lingering's beautiful Saga vid Your Mother. I subscribed to Creative Cloud and had fun following some AE tutorials, and even made a couple comic book panels into "3D" gifs.



But I soon realized I really didn't have time to learn the program enough to make a vid. So with only a week or so until the vid deadline, I fired up iMovie... only to discover it no longer displayed still images.

Googling around, I read that it was a common issue after updating the mac OS, which I'd done recently. There were no fixes; the old iMovie was simply incompatible with El Capitan OS. So I had to pay $15 for the newest iMovie. To be fair, I'm actually pretty pleased with the new layout and features.

So I ask for a deadline extension and then start vidding in ernest. And then, on Tuesday night, my laptop tries to restart but fails part way through, restarts, fails, resarts, over and over and over. I take it to the Apple Store right after work on Wednesday, and after several hours I get it back in working condition, $56 poorer.

I'm back on track and I'm pretty sure I'll get the vid done soon, but the amount of hurdles being thrown in my way is stressing me out. Now I'm worried about what else could possibly go wrong.

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garrideb
08 April 2016 @ 10:27 pm
C2E2 was a rollicking success! On Friday Jen and I drove down to Chicago. We stayed at the Red Roof Inn, which is a hotel with tiny rooms and crappy plumbing, but it's one of the cheaper downtown options and eh, it's reasonably clean and the service was friendly. We reserved parking through SpotHero.com at a garage a few blocks away. All that went smoothly.

We ate lunch at the convention center. It was a Lenten Friday so we had fish sandwiches at McDonald's. We sat at a large table with a few other guys. One of them had a subtle Spider-Man cosplay going on: a red and blue costume shirt visible underneath a regular button-down, a Daily Bugle name tag, and a camera. So we struck up a conversation with him, and he turned out to be the current artist of the daily newspaper cartoon Sally Forth.

We explored the con floor a bit. Jen had a paper to finish so she went back to the hotel in the evening while I went to some panels. I went to one that was on asexual representation, but left after about fifteen minutes because it wasn't a panel but rather one woman giving an extended rant. Then there was a panel on female characters in comics, except the panel barely mentioned comics, instead focusing on TV and movie characters. But still, relatively engaging. Finally I went to one on trigger warnings and disturbing content in comics. Hoo boy, that one was a mixed bag. There was one panelist who seemed to understand that trigger warnings aren't censorship. He was kind of the saving grace of the panel.

On Saturday Jen and I went to a Supergirl panel featuring Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers) and Chyler Leigh (Alex Danvers). Both women were very funny and insightful, and had great anecdotes. Also, they really, really like each other and appear to have an adorable sibling-like friendship in real life, which was really nice to see. Randomly, the moderator was Clare Kramer, who played Glory on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Why not?

We also went to a panel on the representation of black men in comics, which was moderated by a pastor. He had us hold hands at the end and... sort of pray? But it was a great panel and it inspired me to buy some comics from creators of color.

Sunday started with a chat with Fabian Nicieza. He talked about wishing he'd been older and wiser when he'd written Nomad. Which, considering the issues it tackles... fair enough. Jen brought up Cable & Deadpool, and Nicieza was very open in his bitterness over its cancellation. Jen and Nicieza then commiserated about the industry while I watched, entertained.

Chris Claremont was sitting at the table next to Nicieza, but his line was super long so I didn't bother trying to talk to him.

And I think those are the highlights, so here, have some cosplay photos:

IMG_8324

IMG_8287 IMG_8273

You can look at all my cosplay photos in my C2E2 2016 Flickr album!

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garrideb
14 March 2016 @ 04:17 pm
Song: Polaroid by Imagine Dragons
Fandom: Marvel comics, specifically Nomad (1990) and Nomad (1992)
Warnings: some fast cutting, typical Marvel comic book violence
Notes: This is for Vassalady, who got me hooked on these ridiculous and wonderful comics. Happy belated birthday!
Thank you to [personal profile] amuly for helping me find certain scans.
Summary: Jack Monroe is a failed super soldier and a fallen super hero. But he's also Nomad -- a man who travels across America and learns from his mistakes.
Also featuring Steve Rogers, Deadpool, Daredevil, and Punisher!

Also posted to A03 | LJ | tumblr

Download on sendspace:
.mov file (149 MB)
or
.m4v file (79.6)



Password is nomad



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garrideb
07 March 2016 @ 11:10 am
March is a whirlwind month, and not just because it came in like a lion with a snowstorm this year. I have so much planned! Here are a few things I'm excitedly anticipating:

1. I'm almost done with a new vid! Like, actually almost done. It's a gift to an IRL friend, so I need to screen it for her before I post it online, but it should be up in a week or two. It's about an obscure Marvel character, so I'm not expecting it to be terribly popular, but I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out.

2. C2E2! It's only 10 days away, omigosh. Last year I went with a large group, but this year there's been a lot of schedule conflicts, so it's just me and Jen. And that's cool; after the hectic excitement of the last couple C2E2s, I'm looking forward to a pretty laid-back con experience. I'm hoping to take some kickass cosplay photos.

3. Then the week after that I'm going to Chicago again for An Evening with Noel Fielding, He's the British comedian who makes up half of the double act "The Mighty Boosh" and although he's played in Los Angeles and NYC before, this is his first big American tour.

Boosh fandom has always been extremely enthusiastic, and it managed to stay connected despite the migration to Tumblr. Already there are meet-ups and parties planned. A "Booshlr Ball" is in the works for Chicago. (Boosh + Tumblr = Booshlr) I don't know if I'll make it to the ball (I'm sure it'll just be a hotel room party) but no matter what I'm looking forward to meeting fellow fans and maybe taking some portraits. My big hope is to get a nice picture of Noel Fielding.

Then I'm doing another Welcome to Night Vale show in Milwaukee and maybe OddCon (Marjorie Liu is a GoH) in April. WisCon is in May and programming sign-ups are open. For the first time in several years, I've signed up to be on a panel -- female friendship and relationships in comics. It's so up my alley it's not even funny.

Even though assignments won't be out for a while yet, I'm brushing up on some lady-lead comics -- Wonder Woman and the Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel for now. And of course Monstress. Is it weird that I've fallen in love with Tuya, who has only appeared in flashbacks so far and is pretty mysterious and unknown? I can't decide if I'd rather it be revealed that she's extremely powerful, or that she's just a unpowered human who cares for Maika. My gut feeling is that she's not simply human, though.

Anyone else here going to C2E2, or signing up for WisCon panels, or reading any good comics?

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garrideb
23 February 2016 @ 11:21 am
Allow me to tell you about two things in my life.

First of all, something really flattering happened to me. I got a message through my Flickr account from a woman at Penguin Books. She told me that Mara Wilson was publishing a book of essays in September and that she wanted to use a picture I'd taken of her at a Welcome to Night Vale show! Of course I said yes. They're going to send me a copy of the book when it comes out and I'm very excited. The picture is one from this post; it's the one of Mara by herself.

In other news, I joined a gym. I chose it based solely on its proximity to my house; I can walk there in ten minutes. It's nothing fancy, but it's clean and open 24 hours.

But I'm starting to think it might be a ghost gym. Several times when I've gone there around 8 or 9 PM, I've been the only one there. And the pipes are always making loud mysterious noises... and maybe it isn't the pipes. Could be ghosts.

One feature I do like is that they have a room to one side that has a projector and a large screen, and you can play various videos. I've been doing a stretch video which reassures me because I really don't know how much stretching one should do before doing basic treadmill/elliptical stuff, and at least with this I'm getting a solid full-body stretch first.

I'm going to post again soon about some of the things I'm looking forward to, such as two weekends in Chicago coming up in March!

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garrideb
15 December 2015 @ 04:41 pm
Two weeks ago, Jen and I went to a Frank Turner concert, and it was awesome. He has a great stage presence -- he's constantly smiling in-between songs, he dances and gestures, and he so obviously enjoys the audience.

I think it's a tie between him and Heather Dale for "most charismatic live performance I've seen."

Pictures!

Pictures and concert details under the cut!Collapse )

If you're thinking to yourself, this Frank fellow seems like an earnest musician, I wonder if I'd like his music?, then let me recommend a few of my favorite songs:

If Ever I Stray
Four Simple Words
I Still Believe
Get Better

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