ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
Fingers are crossed that Longmire gets a fourth season. I really enjoyed S3, even though it went a little darker than the first two. I think the stand-alone episodes were my favorite this year though - the writing seemed stronger when they weren't trying as hard to tie all the other subplots together. The cinematography remains pretty as ever.

We just finished watching both seasons of Orange Is the New Black and really liked it. I'm usually leery when a show is a critical darling like this, but was pleasantly surprised to find that while the show is billed as The Prison Adventures of Piper Chapman, A WASP's Tale, from the second or third episode on, the majority of the focus shifts to the other women in the prison around her. Piper becomes more of a gateway into the stories (and yes, they have actual stories, not just the roles of the token POC and queer inmate populations) of the other women. While often idealized for television, most of the backstories presented as character revealing flashbacks are revisited as they drive the current-day plot forward. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreakingly human, and often both in the same scene, OITNB has set a new standard for representation.

Also, if Kate Mulgrew had played her Captain Janeway to be as fierce and terrifying as her OITNB character, Red, the Borg would have turned their cubes on their corners and gotten the hell out of the Delta Quadrant. Damn.
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
It's been so incredibly long since I last posted that I don't even know where to start. Short form: Got my boat operator's license card (it says I'm Competent. whoohoo!), recovering from a minor car accident takes way longer than I'd like (being 20 definitely wasted on 20 year olds), but the kayaking is helping with the upper back problems so long as I don't overdo it. I overdo it. Work was soul-crushingly busy. Went on holidays. Returned to work. Less soul-crushing, but still busy. I can live with that.

Some kayak photos:
here there be photos )

Started reading Wool by Hugh Howey, but had to put it down after the first chapter because those kind of gory bait-and-switch surprises are not what I'm looking for in my summer vacation reading.

Then I read The Giver by Lois Lowry, which I really enjoyed, right up until the ending, which I felt was a cheat for the character of Jonas. Again, the kind of twist not a summer reading priority, however the book is a deeper social commentary than it first appears and I'm still thinking it over.

Books I did enjoy so far this summer: The Martian by Andy Weir, for it's sly portrayal of space exploration in the Chris Hadfield-age of social media (not to mention that it's sometimes downright funny to the space exploration geek in me), and Percy Jackson - The Titan's Curse (Rick Riordan), because it was handy and surprisingly immersive for children's lit, despite the writing style.

Currently reading Mr. Mercedes (Stephen King) because at least I know to expect death and destruction and not to get too attached to any of the secondary characters (or even the ones in the opening chapters - no thank you Hugh Howey)

Watching: What, are you kidding? It's summer! Why are you people in front of your tv's?
Ok, seriously, watching Longmire still and I take back my grumblings at the beginning of season three about dropped plot lines. I'm going to need a second watch of this season end-to-end without all the Viagra commercials though. Graham Greene is killing me playing the bad guy after growing up watching him play mostly the stereo typical comedic or wise Indian roles on tv here.

So. Hi. How are you all?
ziparumpazoo: (Literature)
I signed up for Remix 11 and wrote a thing:

Title: The Song of Sarah (The Long Road Home Remix)
Fandom/Rating: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Gen
Characters: Sarah Sisko, Jake Sisko, Joseph Sisko
Summary: It’s not until much later that Sarah learns those missing years were not the waste she'd always thought.
Notes: Original story: In Due Season by [personal profile] beatrice_otter
AU because I was reminded that in canon, Sarah Sisko dies not long after leaving. She deserved a better fate.

The Song of Sarah (The Long Road Home remix) )

Remix rec

May. 12th, 2014 08:43 am
ziparumpazoo: (Literature)
Remix Redux 11 went live last night and I was the happy recipient of:

Dark and Stormy (The Last Tent Remix) (1442 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Jack O'Neill, Sam Carter, Daniel Jackson, Teal'c (SG-1)

Sleeping in tents in a storm on another planet was just like old times.

A fantastic remix of Though Never So Rough and Grim (SG-1, Gen), it takes the snarky one-shot of an original and fleshes it out into something warm and nostaligic. All I can say is "squeeee!".
ziparumpazoo: (Literature)
1. I have now beaten last year's record of one PB fill:

Find out I'm wrong (when I thought I was right) (2558 words) by ziparumpazoo
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Longmire (TV), Walt Longmire Mysteries - Craig Johnson
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Walt Longmire/Victoria "Vic" Moretti
Characters: Walt Longmire, Victoria "Vic" Moretti
Additional Tags: Porn Battle, Outdoor Sex, Trucks
Summary: He's happy to ride shotgun for her.

2. My sister made me a new knitting bag for my birthday:
don't think there' sandy chance of mixing it up with anybody else's knitting... )
ziparumpazoo: (Literature)
Been picking at other PB prompts and almost forgot I'd been messing with this one...

First Press (896 words) by ziparumpazoo
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Almost Human
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dorian/John Kennex
Characters: Dorian, John Kennex
Additional Tags: handjobs, First Times, porn!fail, pornbattle
Summary: Dorian has a problem. John has instructions.

*non-photographic fannish content! *gasp!* IKR?
ziparumpazoo: (Literature)
I have written words! Apparently the secret is to pick the tiniest, quietest fandom? Linking here for completeness:

A Fire Infolding (1294 words)
Fandom: Walt Longmire Mysteries - Craig Johnson, Longmire (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Walt Longmire/Victoria "Vic" Moretti
Characters: Walt Longmire, Victoria "Vic" Moretti
Additional Tags: book canon, first person POV, Missing Scene
Summary: He found himself glad she hadn't wanted to be alone either.

Following up on the tiniest fandoms theme, a few PB prompts. Not sure if they'll pique anybody's interest, but I wouldn't even mind fills that qualified under the 'gen' or 'porn!fail' tags either, should anybody be looking for inspiration.
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
Yeah, so no questionnaire this year - the list is far too short. Fringe gave me an ending that felt complete, and while I enjoyed The Americans, I felt in no way fannish about it. The rest of the year was spent reading books and trawling the old archives of closed-canon fandoms. RL didn't leave much in the tank this year, and the brain, she needed a rest.

So, without further ado, 2013's Fic Review - A Collection of Snippets, smut, and obscurity...

Worship - Fringe (R/Explicit), Peter's never considered himself a religious man. (Olivia/Peter)
Living Like There's Nothing Left to Lose - Fringe (Mature), Post episode 5.08, Olivia and Peter take a moment to breathe
All In - BSG (PG), Kara says, "Marry me, Lee" and the crowd around the table goes quiet. A rescued snippet that lost its ending somewhere...
Two Years Later (and Olivia's back in Mid-World) - Fringe (G), Timestamp prompt fill.
Down Passages We Did Not Take - Longmire (novel canon), Post A Serpent's Tooth, Walt's always been an expert when it comes to shouldering the blame.
ziparumpazoo: (DockPhto)

Technically, not the best photo of the evening - the lights, they danced ).

However, I like the composition here, especially how the neighbor's furnace exhaust demonstrates how frickin cold and windy it was. (-28C/-18F, -42C with the windchill). At those temps, my camera battery lasted just over half an hour.

Dear Santa, I could really really really use a new parka this year.
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)

I've been playing around a bit with Lightroom - it's about as complicated a piece of software as I can handle for post-processing without getting frustrated and finding something better to do. The other night gave me some really good material to work with:
low light, long exposures, and empty spaces... )

In other news... two things actually -
1. iOS7 seems to have killed wifi on my iPhone 4s. Which would be more annoying than anything if it weren't for the fact that some process or another is still running in the background that I can't kill and is draining my battery at an alarming rate. I've even gone so far as reset it to factory image, but no luck. We'll see what the Apple store people have to say about it today, even though it's off warranty. I feel naked without it at the moment.

2. Google's Photo is using Picasa as their in-browser photo editing tool now. This is probably old news, but new to me. I use the app and like it a lot for it's simplicity and control, as well as it not depending on a bunch of pre-set filters heavy on the retro look. (you can use those too, but they're not your only option)

*Eta: it's not iOS7 to blame, but one of the four hundred or so times I've dropped my phone that broke the antenna. Crud. Need Velcro fingers or something...
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
Two words that I can never, ever remember when I'm looking at the objects in question. We had a tamarack tree in our back yard for years and no matter how many times I'd see it, I'd go blank if I tried to use it in a sentence. I'd call it 'the bird tree' for the sparrows that liked to ride it in the wind.
The strange case of the hole in Walter Bishop's memory, or why he never called her Astrid )
Interestingly enough, when I see a bottle of turmeric in somebody else's kitchen, I never forget what it's called. Brains are strange that way, eh?
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
Went to go stargazing and this happened:


Six more of varying degrees of interesting )

Related, I got two separate requests for pre-orders on the yearly calendar I put together this past weekend. In years past I've just been uploading the photos to Walmart, filling out the template, and then having them printed at the closest store to whomever was picking up the order. Price/convenience/quality, it was the easiest, however now that I'm printing more than a handful, it makes sense to use it to partially finance my hobby. Just trying to figure out how to do it without a) a huge investment on my part, and b) not losing the trust of the people interested in the first place.
ziparumpazoo: (Angry Birds)
Excerpt from a recent email I sent regarding the bird situation in my yard:

Here the drama is unfolding this afternoon between a sparrow who wants the birdhouse on the play structures (and I can never figure out why such twitchy things like birds feel safe nesting where kids are climbing and yelling six inches from their eggs, but whatever), and the European Starlings that have already claimed the birdhouse and judging from how the noise has escalated from them this week, have eggs in waiting. The starlings sound like half-chewed squeaky dog toys. The robins, who are competing with the starlings over who has dominance over the choice branches in the willow, are upset with the killdeer next door, who are extra shrieky because the bunny has a nest of babies under the deck where the good rocks are and keeps chasing them off. And then in the midst of all this, there's some threesome flirtation going on between the little yellow finches, the female having forgiven the male last year from falling off the branch when he was courting her, or else she's found a new, less clumsy guy who can hold on to a branch in a strong wind, and last year's suitor is chasing them around the yard in a fit of either jealousy or woe.

I'm sure if I watched long enough, I'll see some interconnecting theme tying all these individual species' stories together like a Guillermo Arriaga movie.

The cast:
starling ...The Starling
killdeer ...Lady Killdeer
rabbit ...Bunny
goldfinch ...Jilted Finch
IMG_4318 ...Robin
ziparumpazoo: Yoda with a headache. (Jedi Mind Cramp)
- Apparently I'm incapable of staying awake through the entirety of the first Iron Man movie. That's four attempts and four failures now. Always at the same spot. Subliminal messages, perhaps? Hypnosis?

- I'm four months behind on reading my National Geographic subscription and I feel kind of guilty about that because it was a gift. And it's not that I don't find the articles interesting; it's just that the theme of every single piece since the most recent editor took over seems to be how humans are destroying the planet. Even in a recent story about rare and dying languages, they managed to slip a line or two in about it. Now, I'm not oblivious to the impact humans have on our planet and how that shapes our cultures, far from it - one of my personal photography projects is documenting the wild spaces around where I live before they are swallowed up by development. But generally your NatGeo target audience is already well-aware of the fact and don't need the point driven home story after story. I just don't look forward to feeding my guilt complex every month by mail anymore.

- Checked out Defiance finally because I saw it had Rockne S. O'Bannon's name attached to it. Early show analysis? Needs more Muppets. That is all.

- I would be finished the sweater I've been working on all winter if I only had one arm. Didn't I just do this part? How do you keep interested in long projects when you're thisclose to the end?
ziparumpazoo: (SmoothAstrid)
Jasika Nicole on Scandal tonight. Loving Huck's storyline this season.

Catch it if you can.
ziparumpazoo: (Literature)
Memorable, no? Presenting, The 21 First Lines meme:

My 21 favorite: )

I always struggle with the first line - not only does it need to set the hook for the reader, but it also sets the tone for me for all the rest that come after it. Sometimes I have to stop myself from spewing the entire story out into that one first sentence. If I were writing anything right now (which I'm not because of reasons that are trivial), it would be fun to have a ficathon where your prompt was your first line.
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
Took this photo this morning:
(April 5th/2013)

One year and two days later, and at the exact same spot I took this photo... )
Something seems wrong here, no?
ION, because all the people listing it in their "what I'm watching on TV posts" lately, I caught up with The Americans, and while I don't quite feel fannish about it (it's one of those shows where I get the feeling that I'm watching a different show than everyone else even though it's the same time slot and channel - different experiences and upbringing = different set of viewing glasses), I do find it very intriguing and actually one of the few shows that manages to keep my undivided attention for the full hour as it subtly contrasts things like cold-war era American vs Russian upbringings and culture and women's roles and expectations in that era. I might have more to say on it some other time, but for now, it's hitting a lot of my character-focused storytelling buttons. Also, I can't help wondering where the heck they found so many early-80s cars in such mint condition...

Also tried Lost Girl, but it didn't stick. Sad for me. I never can get hooked on shows that are drive by supernatural/mythology/fantasy-type plotlines. I missed out on the whole Buffy experience too. Just not my wiring.
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
Happy first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere...
Monday's storm brought three-foot drifts across my driveway. Last year at this time we were wearing shorts.

The ISS passed over my house this morning. I waved, but I don't think they saw me among the snowdrifts.
TV I am watching right now: )
Also, I heard rumor that Fringe's Jasika Nicole will have a guest spot this season. \o/

Books I have recently read: Longmire )
So, in summary, I'm looking forward to June and the next novel's release. Also, looking forward to A&E airing season two of the series sometime over the summer.
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
From the front, they're these little espresso-cup sized birds with the red head tuft and the pretty song are cute, but from the back they might belong to the vampire family instead:

spring is soooooo far off still... )
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
Sooooo..... a long while back I was taking timestamp prompts and [personal profile] rainer76 asked for "Two years later, Olivia's back in Mid-World"

I haven't forgotten this one; quite the opposite. I just couldn't get a handle on what I wanted to do with it for a long time. There is apparently more to this story than the 100 words called for in the meme, but in the spirit of filling the final request, here's a snippet for the larger work:
Two years later... )