ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
I might just have accidentally watch two-thirds of the first season of Agents of Shield.

Damn you Netflix! Damn you!
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
I need to remember to actually post, instead of just writing them in my head...

Penguins of Madagascar - meh. What was funny in small doses is not so much over the course of ninety minutes. Or maybe I just fell asleep because it's the first weekend in a month without work or houseguest?

Home - Loved it. It doesn't waste effort trying to play to both audience levels, like the majority of kids movies, but does try to appeal to a broader, more diverse fanbase. The crowd scenes feature characters of different races and cultures, and while Jim Parson's alien, Oh, might be the initial draw in the previews (which showcases the majority of Oh's jokes), it's Rihanna's character, Tip who is the real star. It's Tip's adventure to find her kidnapped mother that drives the movie, while the growing understanding between Tip and Oh come in second. (And for a change, the alien is not the wise, all-knowing with something to teach humanity). I've read a lot of reviews talking about how important this movie is for young girls, especially non-white girls, and I agree, a million times yes! The look on my niece's face when she left the theater after seeing somebody who looks like her on screen is confirmation, however this movie shouldn't be ignored for little boys either. No, it's not 'for them', but kids are sponges - if they see variety, they'll accept it as the norm. I mean, my oldest still won't watch the original BSG because he can't get past Starbuck being a guy in that series - that's all he's ever known.

Atlantis rewatch. Trio remains one of my favorite episodes ever. If only because Jewel Staite may be queen of the reaction shots. Mostly I want a whole season of Sam, Rodney, and Jennifer go off and have adventures and mishaps throughout the galaxy.
The Last Man is a good episode in it's own right - a nice little AU, which I love. But of course it always makes me want to re-read [personal profile] mrspollifax's A Step Ahead of You. Because everybody needs a good cry, right?

A Step Ahead of You (8454 words) by mrspollifax
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death
Relationships: Sam Carter/Jack O'Neill
Characters: Sam Carter
Additional Tags: Angst, Tragedy, Alternate Timeline, Alternate Universe - Canon, Episode: s04e20 The Last Man

In the chaos of battle, sometimes an instant might as well be an eternity.

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: 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: 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)
Thanksgiving long weekend, followed by a short week wherein there is just as much to do as in a regular week is not as much of a holiday as it seems. However, there was, and still is pie.

Things have been too busy around here lately to have an opinion on anything, so here you go all at once. *g*

So, Fringe )

Books )

Seems I haven't made a post here in ages without spamming y'all with pictures. Wouldn't want to break that trend. ;)

I managed to find some cheap graduated neutral density filters and filter mount online a while back, and by cheap, I mean inexpensive - not brandname, but good enough for my level of photography that I can play with them and decide if this is something worth splurging on more expensive glass or resin filters. Basically, what a graduated ND filter allows you to do is use a slower shutter speed or a wider aperture than you normally would be able to use in bright conditions in order to allow more light (and hence, brighter colors, or that misty look to waterfalls and oceans) through the lens. You can also use them to even out the ground and the sky in a landscape shot without the need to over- or under-expose one or the other.

So, even though it was snowing/raining out the day they arrived, there I was sinking into the not-yet-frozen river bank to try them out:

Photography )
ziparumpazoo: (Xray)
but, I'm really enjoying Scandal. I don't know enough about US politics to actually care about a show about politics (and really, it's nice to watch something I don't know anything about so I can handwave the inaccuracies without caring), however the show mostly only uses it as a framework for the plot and not to drive it. It's, so far, very much a character piece centered around Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), former White House Communications Director, current private for-hire crises manager, woman of many layers, and all of them interesting. It's got a very West Wing feel to it, but with less tightly-packed dialog and smaller scale crises. Bonus points for having Josh Malina in a small role, as well as a few other notables in the ensemble cast.

Gosh, I think this is a the first show I've gotten hooked on in a long time that doesn't include aliens, wormholes, spaceships, the apocalypse, alternate universes, or time travel. How novel.


Feb. 27th, 2012 12:22 pm
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (Default)
You guys! Why didn't you tell me this show really takes place in Derry-by-the-sea?!

Okay, you probably did. I'm slow on the uptake. But freaky little paper boat washing down the gutter into the (possibly) evil clown infested sewer? Heh. I read that book. I've only seen episodes 2.01 and 2.02 and have no clue about the mythology, but so far I'm interested in the 'I can watch this show and chew gum and maybe even a couple other things at the same time' kind of way. As long as there are no vampires. Also, I really like Other Audrey.
ziparumpazoo: White cow with red, blue, and yellow polka dots (GeneTheWonderCow)
Filed under both "How Did I Not Know They Were Canucks!?" and "Most Fabulous Song Remake", I Wanna Dance With Somebody by These Kids Wear Crowns has me cranking the volume like Whitney never could.

Under "Shows I Did Not Expect To Like", BBC's Misstresses... a UK version of Sex and the City in premise only. I didn't like SATC, but Netflix kept insisting I would like Mistresses based on my previous picks, because it's in very much the same category as SeaQuest, Star Trek - The Voyage Home, Yellowstone Nation Park documentaries, and Curious George. Uh. Yeah. I don't think so. Algorithm!Fail. I caved and clicked because Orla Brady, who is waaaaaay too amazing looking at her age to be an adult Peter Bishop's mother, is listed as one of the main cast, and was pleasantly surprised to discover Anna Torv has a small role in the first season as well. (seriously, worth watching just for these two) The main difference between Misstresses and Sex and the City is that I actually like these characters and care about what happens to them; they're a group of college friends, regular women with regular (if somewhat pretty looking) lives, who makes choices and deal with the fallout, good, bad, or otherwise.

Favorite line of episode 1 (young daughters upon viewing their widowed mother putting on makeup for a coffee date with a single dad at school): "Mum! What did you do to your face!?"

And since categories are the name of the game today, "Scariest Software Upgrade Message Ever": "Restoring Factory Defaults" while upgrading the iPad to iOS 5.0, which was followed by the "Slide to Unlock" message showing up in Chinese. I've yet to upgrade my phone, but plan to this weekend once I've triple checked that everything is backed up (and not just relied on the iTunes backup features). This is a fulle iOS upgrade, not a cumulative one. If everything goes well, you do end up with some nifty features, including new ring tones, pop-up message notifications, wifi texting, and the ability to snap photos by using the 'volume up' button on the side of the device, instead of stabbing the screen with your finger. The iPad upgrade went mostly well. I did have to re-install all my apps, but could do so using the new iCloud featureto pick and choose from the ones I already had, instead of searching the App Store for them. This is my fault though for not ever actually synching my iPad with any one computer. (which I can now do over wifi)