neadods: (contemplative)
So, my doctor put me on a hypertension diet. Actually, she put me on "let's manage this with lifestyle changes" so now I'm also trying to exercise much more regularly (I'm woefully behind on both virtual races and Zombies, Run! missions), meditate and eat better.

Thing is, after lowering salt and adding more fresh fruit and greens, I've basically been sitting around going "Ummmm." And looking at my scary cookbook collection and going "Errrrr."

So I decided to join Blue Apron and have them throw food at me. This is in addition to being part of the Rancho Gordo bean club and halfsies in the farm share M has. As most of the Blue Apron recipes are far too high sodium for me to follow completely, expect a Blue Apron Hack tag to start showing up here.

I'm still going "um" a lot, but less so when my choices are being mostly made for me. When anything can be done, it's too much to focus on. When there's a specific set of food, then it's an interesting challenge to see what I can do.

In all the "figure out what to cook," and "figure out what to do with my career" (suffice it to say that I need to retrain ASAP), I wanted a nice, no stress surprise too.

So I signed up for a year of the Fandom of the Month Club. It's a small consortium of independent artists with gloriously nerdy names (Half Blood Prints; Geeky Cauldron) which provides a magnet, a drawstring baggie, and some jewelry/wearables for a random fandom per month. (They pick, not you)

Because they pick and not you, I was a little worried that I'd get something uninteresting and while statistically that is inevitable, my very first box was my very first fandom - Narnia! The bag had Reepicheep on it (my favorite character), and inside it was a lion magnet, lion earrings, a bracelet with details of each of the book covers (in Narnian chronological order) and a stunning bronze locket of the wardrobe door. When you open it, there's a tiny portrait of a lamppost in a snowy wood.

I couldn't be more delighted, especially as everything except the Reepicheep bag is subtle enough that I could wear it to work if I chose (and I do choose to wear the bracelet; you have to be very close to recognize what it is). It's perhaps 44 years too late for maximum over-the-moon squee, but overall an excellent omen for my relationship with the little cardboard box printed with an owl.

The teaser for next month's box is a black and white brocade headband with a bright yellow smiley face scrawled on it. I can't wait.
neadods: (sherlock)
Am about to read all comments from last night but -- I just realized that the only story actually name-checked in the special had a twin theme!
neadods: (sherlock_believe)
Legionseagle made a good start but I thought it would be fun to make a collaborative list of all the homages and shout-outs in The Abominable Bride to canon and other Holmes versions

(I'm seriously considering making a list of all the stories that were directly quoted and giving it to Sherlock fans who haven't read canon if they'd like to hunt 'em down in a reverse Easter egg hunt.)

Anyway... here's what I've got in no particular order. Sing out in comments Spoilers, sweetie! )

Legionseagle, where's the Rathbone reshoot?

I would have sworn that "regulation tread" was a quote, but I can't find it. The bit about bad/missing breakfast is also a homage, but all I remember of the original quote is "love romance" and googling "Sherlock Holmes" "love romance" gets... interesting... results.
neadods: (universal_roaming)
I'm not going to chronicle every step of my last 10 days in England, but I am going to try to pass on the best stories. I saw Hamlet, but that gets another post. Cut-tagged because yes, there are a lot of spoilers when discussing that play.

Theater seen:
- Hamlet
- The Play That Goes Wrong
- The Importance of Being Earnest (with Poroit playing Lady Bracknell)
- John Finnemore's Souvenir Cabin

Hamlet was brilliant... and I don't usually like Hamlet, which gives a clue to how much has been changed in the play. Mind you, being in Benedict Cumberbatch's spitting zone (and he is a spitter) didn't hurt. (No, he didn't get me, but the confetti did once.)

But blasphemously for a Shakespeare and Cumberbatch fan, my favorite was The Play That Goes Wrong. Describing it will make it sound just like Noises Off, and the similarities are overwhelming... but Noises Off is, no matter how hilarious, at heart the story of professionals acting unprofessionally. The Play That Goes Wrong is the story of an earnest amateur company finally tackling a play that lies within their scope and size ("Unlike our 2013 season, which included Checkov's Two Sisters; The Lion... and the Wardrobe, and our summer musical extravaganza, Cat") only to be betrayed by the set, the props, one of the tech crew, and their own inexperience. But they're trying Just! So! Earnestly! that you can't help but root for their uphill, howlingly funny climb.

Another highlight was the Radio Times Festival - well, not the festival itself, which was mis-advertised, packed with the wrong kinds of vendors (cat rescue, will lawyers, and a knife maker, among others) and run with the kind of efficiency you'd expect out of The Play That Goes Wrong.

But the "How the BBC Works" tent had a clip of their very first broadcast ("The shows at first will likely be uninteresting. Please bear with us.") and showed how to photoshop you into a photo of Twelve and Clara. And it had the Women in Sherlock Panel.

For Women in Sherlock, most of the audience questions went to Moffat, Gatiss, and Vertue because they could show what went on "under the hood" so to speak. But Una Stubbs, Amanda Abbington, and Lou Brealey weren't completely out in the cold - and while I have my opinions of Abbington, she was a champ signing with the fans while Lou went down the line, holding out her arm and waiting for people to duck under for photos.

I could do a whole post on that panel, and may. Must say, what I liked most of it was hearing Moffat speak without the gloss of other people selecting quotes, then telling me what he really meant and how I needed to feel about it.

After a week, it was off to Cheltenham for the Literature Festival. We stayed at the Queen's Hotel, which has the perfect location and luxury appointments, including wallpaper designed over 175 years ago for Parliament. I have to say, every time I saw the elevator doors open to the elegant Regency stairs, skylights, and historical wallpaper, I thought the very same two words:

The Shining.

The main event for me at the festival was Austentacious, a Jane Austen improv show based off of audience title suggestions. Our show was "Snakes on a Carriage," with the earnest, impoverished Mr. Addison Lee taking on the evil Lord Uber and his snake-dancing sister.

But I lie a little bit, because the biggest attraction was the Waterstones book tents, and their tempting ways of changing the book selection on the tables every hour or so. I'm a bit surprised that I managed to stay under the weigh limit on my luggage!
neadods: (sherdoc)
I was reading this post on Mrs. Hudson on tumblr and it made me go all thinky.

Part of the posts that set me off a few days ago was also dumping on Mrs. Hudson - how it was demeaning that she used to be an exotic dancer. The post linked above is a lot more nuanced.

One of the complaints laid at Moffat's door is that his writing is full of his own version of the manic pixie dream girl, which is the devoted badass sex ninja, and it's a valid complaint. Sooner or later, someone like River Song or Mary Morstan is going to wander into the plot, often with the line "Basically I will kiss you then kick your ass 7 ways to Sunday."

(Heinlein tended to write a lot of women that way too, and be all confused when people called him a sexist for it, pointing out that he based them all on his wife. Does make one wonder about Sue Vertue's hidden talents.)

BUT! Mrs. Hudson is neither manic pixie nor sex ninja... but she not only rolls with the weirdness that is Sherlock Holmes as a tenant, she, as the OP linked above points out, not only handles being smacked around by the CIA but tricks them into letting her get the macguffin they're after and successfully hide it. (If her husband was in the drug trade, I would not be shocked to discover that there was many a dime bag in her bra when the cops showed up. She's had practice.)

Molly survives Moriarty. Moriarty! I may not believe her when she says she broke up with him - I think it's far more likely that he just disappeared - but still. She's the only woman Moriarty used who doesn't end up in deadly danger, if not outright offed.

But neither one is ever presented as more than your bog-standard average woman, though. They really aren't. They both fall in love with the wrong guy now and then - but with the exception of Sherlock, when they've had enough (and he's still around) they let him have it. Mrs. Hudson threw a fit in Speedy's over being cheated on; Molly stabbed whatshisface with a plastic fork. Both women sort who seriously care about other people's feelings and want to make those around them happy. Both women exhibit stereotypically feminine interests - the color lavender or pink, cats, cooking and motherly fussing, daytime chat shows and Glee.

They are, in fact, utterly average and utterly strong and their strength comes from their normality. They aren't oversexed, but they're not plaster virgins. They aren't ninjas, but they'll wield a mean pan or fork when needed. They don't scale walls, but they listen - and that is one hell of a superpower.

Mind you, that said I do love that little fic I read once where Mrs. Hudson recognized Moriarty's hitman for what he was and had poisoned the tea she brought him.
neadods: (fandom_sane)
Engaging would be the world's most pointless use of my time, but I do have to come here to vent a little bit about having seen Molly Hooper dismissed as "we know little about her except ... she doesn't mind dead bodies" and that everything else came from Lou Brealey, not the script.

Doesn't. Mind. Dead. Bodies.

First off, she's a coroner, which is a tad above "doesn't mind" and heading well into "career." Second, she's not just "a" coroner, she gives every evidence of being THE coroner in those parts; she works directly with Scotland Yard, she never mentions a boss (her only citation of the people she works with is "the others"), and she apparently has the ability to set her own hours/reschedule "the others" because she waltzes into the morgue and takes over with no notice.

It's not hard to deduce that Molly's the damn department head, not from Lou, but from the scripts!

Not just the boss, but the boss who has the chops to search for a specific corpse and then make that body disappear, after having shoved it out a window. Molly may be jittery around Sherlock, but on her own turf, she's got clout.

And speaking of jittery around Sherlock - let's have that discussion. Let's talk about how it's sooooooooooo sexist to write that Molly puts on lipstick to attract Sherlock and then takes it off when he insults it... but sooooooooo twu wuv that John shaves his mustache off when Sherlock insults it. Let's talk about how pathetic it is that Molly dates a guy who looks just like Sherlock... but it's hilarious that John's last date before Mary was a dark-haired woman wearing a long coat and a scarf who has the line "Don't compare me to Sherlock Holmes." Let's talk about how wimpy Molly is because Sherlock drags her from meal plans with friends and wheedles her into anything... but how devoted and loyal John is to let Sherlock break up all but one of his attempts to have outside relationships and wheedles him into anything.

Do LET. US. have the conversation about how horrifically sexist Molly's character is for being female and lonely and liking cats when there's so little difference between her behavior towards Sherlock and John's... except, y'know, that Molly has a career of her own and Molly says a lot more to the point than "a bit not good" when Sherlock pushes his shit too far.

"Don't know anything except she doesn't mind dead bodies" my wide white ass.


Wow, I hope I can keep from ranting at Gridlock. I'm on the Women in Sherlock panel.
neadods: (sherlock)
I'm collecting various links at the moment, so here are some I want to keep and share:

Vid to One Week
http://namara-ashina.tumblr.com/post/65862430338/third-video-never-let-me-think-its-a-good-idea

Ben's Adobe Summit interview
http://alexxphoenix42.tumblr.com/post/117806820768/miyabi24451-2015-adobesummit-benedict

Youtube version of Adobe Summit
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnI1X5_nHbQ&app=desktop

Watson's famous list of Holmes' abilities superimposed on Sherlock scenes
http://bandersnatchmycummerbund.tumblr.com/post/118127750824
neadods: (sherdoc)
Squees, flails, runs in circles.

ETa: SPOILERS Sherlock S3 in comments
neadods: (sherlock)
Doubtless this is all over LJ like a rash already: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwntNANJCOE - the minisode.

I have one word:

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE*deep breath*EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE...

For those who haven't been keeping tabs, John's blog has also been updated - no S3 spoilers, but it does cover the minisode now.
neadods: (sherlock)
Clearing out a whole lot of things from the linkdump:

The smack talk between the Elementary writers and the Sleepy Hollow writers is a joy to behold and a thing of beauty forever. I fell off the couch at "our protagonist is cuter than your protagonist."
http://shaddicted.tumblr.com/post/63757218835/nowisthewinter-the-twitter-tennis-match-between

I'm not on any Night Vale newsletters or tumblrs (anyone have a rec for me?) and I don't see Cecil as having tentacles. Still, this schmoopy Cecil/Carlos fic is delightful. One smacks his lips. The other molts.
Bad Habits - winterhill
http://archiveofourown.org/works/993680

Annotated photos of the BBC Sherlock set props. For some reason, I find the idea of an Ikea lamp hilarious
http://shaddicted.tumblr.com/post/63644123511/mid0nz-the-annotated-221b-the-lounge-window

Jeremy Brett was gorgeous. That is all.
http://shaddicted.tumblr.com/post/63574242924/deducecanoe-mmmmm

Radio interview with Jeffrey Cranor and Cecil Baldwin
Can Welcome to Night Vale resurrect radio drama? - Q - CBC Player
http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/ID/2409883292/

Fan Art associated with that interview; also a streaming copy of the first episode of WTNV
http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2013/10/02/welcome-to-night-vale/

Chunky Monkey Overnight Oats (recipe archived so I can find it again)
http://www.stephsbitebybite.com/2013/03/25/chunky-monkey-overnight-oats/

Ditto: Overnight Oats — Kath Eats Real Food
http://www.katheats.com/favorite-foods/overnightoats

These are a bunch of templates for folding paper boxes and cards. I need to add this to my Christmas prep links, but until then, sticking it here.
http://www.paperandmore.com/content/category/howto/templates

Exactly what it says on the tin. Again, archived for self; public for anyone who's interested
Free Hand Embroidery Patterns - Pintangle
http://pintangle.com/2010/12/14/free-hand-embroidery-patterns-2/

The Ben Cumberbatch Vogue article
http://shaddicted.tumblr.com/post/58160242974/swissmisandry-benedict-cumberbatch-us-vogue

What it says on the tin: More Sherlock Macros, R for implications Move drinks away from monitor and read them all; the last is possibly my favorite.
http://221bsherlock.livejournal.com/297307.html#cutid1
neadods: (sherlock)
Now that the three episode titles have been announced, I do not have any idea how to shorten them into 4-letter codes like BELG and PINK in previous seasons, nor have I seen anyone doing so online yet.

Any suggestions?
(Title spoilers in comments, natch)
neadods: (sherlock)
http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/07/18/sherlock-comic-con-benedict-cumberbatch/

Despite what Ben the huge goof says, no spoiler for Sherlock. Spoiler for character ID in Star Trek (bit does anyone not know that at this point?). Martin earns his sardonic reputation.
neadods: (sherlock)
Posting this before I forget to flag it with

SPOILERS! PLOT SPOILERS FOR SHERLOCK S3!
Everything You Need To Know About The Sherlock Comic-Con Panel
http://www.buzzfeed.com/ellievhall/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-sherlock-comic-con-pan
neadods: (sherlock)
As usual, to not ruin it for spoilerphobes, I'll use only the 4 letter code uncut: HEAR )
neadods: (sherlock)
I'm not waiting for the next link roundup to pass this one on because it articulates everything I hate about the Moriarty character, from canon onwards: I'd Prefer Less Moriarty.

It's hard to sample the article and not just copy the entire thing, but here is the meat of it:

"Moriarty is always portrayed as an End Boss, the ultimate mastermind behind whatever the sinister plot is. He’s the baddest badass the Holmes character ever meets, and when he shows up, boy is it on. You know the stakes have risen.

Except that’s not what’s appealing about Sherlock Holmes in the stories (emphasis added). ...

The thing that bothers me about Moriarty, and especially when it came to Sherlock and now Elementary is that not only does he come in as the big bad, he also brings with him the old personal vendetta. He’s not The Napoleon of Crime, he’s The Guy Who Really Effin Hates Sherlock Holmes, and he doesn’t just do crimes, he has it in for Holmes specifically. Once he walks on stage, Holmes stops solving crimes and starts a deadly game of cat and mouse where this time it’s personal. What we tuned in to see is cast aside: we know who the bad guy is (Moriarty) and what the endgame is (defeat Holmes)."

So. Much. This! I LOATHE Moriarty as a character in canon and moreso in spinoffs and pastiches. He warps far more interesting and smart canonical characters into minions, or they're ignored because we're all supposed to be more impressed by and afraid of The Big Badass.

Dave then goes on to nail the heart of the problem with turning detective stories into mano-a-mano thrillers:

"It also bugs me at this point because it turns the plot into exactly the kind of plot I hate, the one where the good guy and the bad guy just have a giant pissing contest around the city and usually a bunch of faceless innocent nobodies get caught in-between. I hate this story. I don’t like it when the hero is in a situation where, honestly, we’d be better off without him."

Moriarty is not only a fairly uninteresting character, he diminishes Holmes. We already KNOW what's going to happen, just like we already KNOW what's going to happen when Superman fights Lex Luthor, Batman fights the Joker, the Doctor fights the Daleks, etc., etc., etc.

This is not interesting storytelling because there is no actual tension in reaching a predetermined outcome!

Moriarty sucks. Moriarty sucks precisely because we already know what's going to happen the moment he shows up. And what's going to happen is not what we signed up for - no deductions, no "singular" cases, no twists. Just the overwhelming stench of ammonia and testosterone.



PS - This is also proof that I can read and rec a pro-Elementary, anti-Sherlock article without bursting into flame. Just in case anyone wondered.

PPS - Yes, I know that the "fic rec sherlock" tag really doesn't have a lot to do with fic these days.
neadods: (Default)
The three words that are clues for the next season of Sherlock are under the cut for spoilerphobes )

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