scordatura: (scene: chair through door)
Hello friends!! I've been behind on pretty much all the usual posts just because I haven't been up to much, but I've been doing a fair amount while in Belgrade, so I figured I'd send this update off while I was still here. \o/

• First things first: my grandmother continues the worst! :") Shocking news. She's gotten way, way worse healthwise; she was way more of a terror before because she could enforce her nonsense dictates and follow us around the house, and she was strong and mentally present enough that we were pretty much obligated to spend time with her. Now, though, she walks with a walker and pretty much lies in bed all day and barely even talks-- when she does it's still terrible, ha, but it's basically a million times easier to ignore and move on with your life. I don't really feel anything for her anymore, either in the realms of hatred or love, so that also makes it much easier to ignore! >_> But she's had a couple screaming matches with my mom and the women who take care of her, and she's incredibly obnoxious and whiny and unable to stand things not being her way, so... the status, it is quo.

• The first ~three days we were here it was SO hot-- highs around 100, relentlessly sunny, and it's a former-socialist brutalist city with lots of concrete, lmao, so when it's hot it's REAL hot. So we pretty much just sat inside with the a/c running, I got writing done and applied to jobs, unbothered by anyone-- bliss! :") Friday morning we went to see my cousin, who lives in what used to be my paternal grandparents' house; he has a three-year-old son who is PRECIOUS and ridiculous, and his wife is pregnant again, which is v exciting! He's about ten years older than me and we don't have a lot in common, but his dad and my dad grew up like siblings (they're technically first cousins, but bc Serbs refer to cousins as "brothers/sisters of [specific familial relation], I just save time and refer to them as uncles/aunts lmao :")) and I'm really fond of him and his wife and kids (and their hella spoiled basset hound, lmao). So it was nice seeing them!

• Last weekend, we went on a tour of a bunch of cool shit in eastern Serbia!! We saw an ~ethno-village (basically leveled-up glamping; authentic cabins taken from rural areas of Serbia, each hooked up with a/c, wifi, and satellite TV, spa and three pools on the premises), the ruins of the palace of a Roman emperor (Serbia's only UNESCO heritage site!), a couple of assorted heritage museums, a monastery, a village famous for its wine cellars (we sampled... so much wine lmao), and the cave of a historic outlaw! It was SO much fun-- my mom had never even been to all of these places, so it was just this great adventure, seeing things we'd never seen and learning a ton. We almost never get to do touristy stuff even in the city, let alone outside of it, when we visit, since we're so busy seeing family and friends and two weeks is barely enough to fit even MOST of them in, lmao, so this was such a pleasant change of pace!!

• What else have we been up to? Ordered new prespcription sunglasses for me, met my godbrother's girlfriend and hung out with them and my godmother, went out to a v trendy cafe with my other godfamily, went out into the city for my mom to meet an old friend, went along with my mom to see another friend because her daughter had a cat (a good little buddy!), hung out with a cousin at his country house (he ALSO has cats, FOUR OF THEM) and caught up with his art (he's a p successful painter, as is his mom), and wandered around the city a little before meeting up with a cousin and his gf for lunch (would have been way more fun if it hadn't gotten SO GODDAMN HOT again sob!!). So, lots of good stuff! Mostly seeing people, as per usual, but a little city exploration, too. I wish I'd gotten to a little more of the latter, but... WEATHER. One day I'll be able to be here during a non-impossible season!!

And now I'm heading home tomorrow! It'll be weird but good for sure-- I've got SO much to get to (diss proposal rewrites! Continuing the ol' job hunt! Unpacking and organizing! Planning how to start other stuff! Hanging out with my sister before she heads back to college! Cooking and cleaning while it's just me and my dad till my mom gets home!), and it'll be good to get started. :3
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OKAY, I'm still waiting to hear back on some important things, but I feel like it's been a while since I've talked about my actual life in a coherent longform manner, lmao, soooo HERE GOES, ye olde general update post!

• I'm officially moved back in with my parents-- most of my stuff is still hanging out in our basement, lmao, but I've unpacked some things! I still need to do a lot of organizing; my room is definitely set up for short-term stays and I need to move a lot of shit around to make it actually livable (and to make room for all of my things!). I've gotten a fair amount done (some of the closet and shelves, but I'm gonna be rearranging some of them [book organizing.... shudder] and I've got a loooot more closet left to sift through); thank goodness I undertook some intermediate cleaning last summer-- makes things a lot easier now! I already miss Boston so much, of course, but there are nice things about being back home (the food, the companionship, the finally organizing my room...).

• I'm going to be in Belgrade with my mom from the 8th to the 21st (we leave tomorrow afternoon)! I'm so, so excited-- I didn't go last year and it took me a few months to figure out how much I missed it, since I've been almost every year for as long as I can remember. It'll suck because of my very fragile, senile, emotionally abusive grandmother, of course, but as always I'm going to try to be as patient with that as possible and not let it bring me down (horrible as it sounds, it should help that she's doing a lot worse? :\ hopefully it at least, like, makes her calmer). I'm so very excited to see my giant family and eat so much good food and spend time in that wonderful filthy ridiculous terrible beautiful city. ♥

• No significant updates on either dissertation or jobs; on the latter front, I've gotten rejected from a few more, but I haven't had a chance to send out a ton of new applications (mostly bc I just haven't had time to commit to a new search?? sigh!!). On the former, I've sent my committee a draft of all of the revisions I'm going to make without actually writing them; it's been a saga to put together, but we can set a preliminary proposal defense date if they agree to it (one down, one to go!). Though, of course, my terrible chair wants to see a full draft first, even though she's signed off on everything in the meantime ??? Who knows, man. But fingers crossed it all happens somewhat soon!

• Nothing else terribly exciting has been happening in my life-- I did finally launch [community profile] writedayandnight, the fabled goal-setting-and-enthusiasm-generating origfic comm I've been talking about for months, which is pretty cool! I'm about to have a LOT going on in the next couple months-- next month I might be defending my proposal (fingers fuckin crossed man???), plus I've got an anniversary trip to see Boyfriend to plan; then in October there's a Rick Riordan event in DC (!!!), followed by my cohortmate's wedding back in Boston! (Plus my dad is trying to schedule a hip replacement surgery, so a lot of these plans have to try to revolve around that whenever it happens, yiiiikes.) And in the meantime, I've got to unpack all of my things and organize my room, then start learning to drive and figure out what else I'm gonna be working on (coding?? languages?? opening up writing commissions to the general public?? part-time work mb???) and settle into a new routine?? I guess I've got a ton coming up!! And I'm excited to get started. :3
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Hey gang! I'm going to make a life post, as promised, sometime soonish.... probably... (I'm waiting to hear back on a couple of things, SIGH, so fingers crossed I do so soon!!), but for now, Wednesday reading! \o/ An even mix this time around, of stuff I really liked and stuff I... pretty didn't, lmao. :")

Stephanie Danler, Sweetbitter
I should have known that p much any super highly praised new literary fiction (the ~voice of our generation!!) would underwhelm me, and I should have known that a book with a Sappho epigraph that stars a hetero romance would be bullshit!!! (In all fairness, there were two lesbians in it! They... were both terrible, but so was everyone else, so.) But yeah, overall... highly underwhelming. I thought the plot of someone working at a restaurant and the drama it involved would be interesting, but the style was super weird (like, that strange slightly false artsy-for-the-sake-of-artsiness excess nonsense a lot of literary fiction tends towards) and the plot made no sense?? I spent like 75% of the book just having no idea why anyone was doing the things they were doing, and I think a large part of it was a first-person narrative from a person who had no personality. Like, every time another character described something about her I was like "news to me!" bc the actual narration did nothing to give me even the remotest idea of what kind of person she was. It just sort of felt like most of the plot happened because... it was happening? And not for any actual reason? All of the food stuff, too, just felt... so weird and pretentious (man, why can't I read a food book with good food descriptions!!), and next to none of the characters were even remotely sympathetic.

I will say this: about 75% of the way through the book, the plot started getting interesting and the characters started behaving in ways that made sense! And I actually felt compelled by the story! Amazing! The ending still felt... very weird, and I definitely wouldn't recommend it, unless you LIKE weird literary fiction nonsense with annoying characters and incomprehensible plot, but it was slightly less terrible than I had previously thought, which is always nice. :")

S. J. Goslee, Whatever
Ugh... man, I really wanted to like this book? Published origfic! So many tropes! But... just... ugh! I couldn't do it. I didn't like the writing style at all; I should have known from the, like, first few chapters just being about the MC getting high and doing nothing that it wouldn't be my jam? Also the book did that thing a lot of debut novels do where they're just... clearly so enamored of every single detail they've thought up that they want to cram as much as possible into the narration, even though it often detracts from the actual narrative and is distracting. Also, like, there was... so much misogyny in the narration?? So much referring to boys as "girls" or "pussies" and I just... mb that's realistic for teenage boys, but it's not what I want to read about?? It's not at all relatable or fun or a character trait I empathize with??

And speaking of which, I didn't like most of the characters-- they felt more like stock high schoolers than actual well-rounded people with legit relationships in which I was meant to be invested. I couldn't get invested in or fond of Mike at all-- he just dicked around SO many people, especially Rook, and I didn't understand his thought process at all. Also I felt like there was a lot of like... nonsense (for lack of a better word, lmao) that was meant to be ~cutesy or relatable but was actually awful and dickish? e.g., Mike's grandmother referring to him being bi as "indecisive," but it's hilarious and great bc she's accepting that he's gay! It's cute that Rook beat up Mike when they were kids bc ~he just wanted an excuse to touch him! (Seriously, Mike was fucking awful to Rook, but I can't believe that past bullying was just never fucking brought up after they kissed??? ??? How is that okay??)

So just... overall, ugh. Not my jam. Not cute or quality or compelling enough to even be fun trash fluff reading. (Also, minor nitpick, but why the heck would you give a character a cool name like "Rook" and then not use it!!! Rude!!)

Sharon Shinn, General Winston's Daughter
A wild reread appears! These have been rare this year! :") But since I'm about to be moving, I didn't want to overwhelm my book selection with stuff I was unsure about, so I went with a lot of fluff and a tried-and-true classic. As you know if you know me at all, you know that I adore everything Sharon Shinn does, and this book is no different-- a gorgeously wrought world, a beautiful love story, a wonderful female lead who grows and changes and has great female friendships... The "imperialism is bad" story arc is, of course, pretty heavy-handed, as such arcs tend to be, lmao, but the plot twist helps to mitigate that somewhat, I think. And I love all of the characters and I love the story, and it's such a good and fun reread that I love coming back to again and again!

Laura Wettersten, My Faire Lady
This book got picked up as one of aforementioned fluff books -- I expected it to be silly YA nonsense, and it sure was, but it was actually surprisingly good overall!! Of course the Renn Faire environment endears me to the entire cast instinctively (GOOD NERDS), but it was just so sweet and good-spirited overall: a lovely found family with great well-rounded characters, a hilarious and relatable lead with so many good friendships, a great story arc about discovering one's dreams, and a genuinely adorable love story with a dude I LOVED (a rarity in YA! :")). I wanna read a sequel or like watch a whole TV series about this, because it had such a lovely sweet cute tone that I just wanted to live in. Would def rec to anyone wanting some high-quality fluff!
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HI PALS, it's been a while!! I have a lot going on in my life, so I'll do a general-update post soonish, but for now, a wild Wednesday reading appears! In the form of a post I kept forgetting to put up the past few weeks, oops!! >_> But as always is the case when this happens, at least y'all get a HELLA extra-long post, soooo. :")

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Hello friends!! At long last, here is my ~commission post!~

A couple of things: 1. please don't link anyone to this or share it with anyone I don't know; I mayyyy at some point open it up to everyone, but for now I would really like to keep it small and manageable, given the circumstances. 2. wrt to the writing, I'm going to leave it pretty open-ended, without any guarantee as to how soon it'll be done-- I'm really sorry for that, but I hope y'all will understand that between inspiration/not wanting it to suck and my current situation, there's not much of a choice there. ♥ 3. I may at some point change my mind about offering the baking (since it's the only thing on here that requires actual materials/labor/set chunks of time in which I can't do anything else), so please let me know as soon as possible if it's even something you might consider, so I have a good gauge as to how much I might be doing and I'm not COOKblocking anyone (HO HO HO)!

If you don't have any requests but would just like to toss me a lil money, or tip me for any of this, here's my Ko-Fi; I am also happy to, for each tip, offer a 500-word progress update on any of my origfic or fic in progress that you most like. :3

And, of course, I super super intensely appreciate and adore anyone who would be willing to offer me money in any capacity, let alone for my ridic creative stuff. ♥ ♥ ♥ Y'all are the best.

(priced by word count)
<1-2k: $5-$10 (we can talk discounts for anything REALLY short)
~2k-6k: $10-$25
~6k-10k: $30-$50
10k+: we'll discuss!
(The price range is both meant to encompass the range of word counts and a sliding scale; we can talk specifics based on what you're able to pay and what you're requesting! The higher numbers are sort of Ideal Tier, so please don't be intimidated by them, and please feel free to just give me a "max I could pay" number or something instead. We can always figure something out! <3)

Please don't feel obligated to give me a specific word count; estimates are totes fine, or just give me a prompt (optional: and your budget!) and I can estimate! If it ends up a little longer than said estimate, no worries on pricing up, but if it ends up being way longer I might ask for a little extra.

You can find a non-comprehensive fandom list here; please feel free to ask about anything not on the list, but no guarantees!! I'm also happy to do origfic, either of anything existing I've got or of whatever other plot. :3 I'm also happy to write in any of my existing origfic verses, if anything there inspires u--!! :") Esp wrt fairy-tale retellings, I will write u ANY fairy-tale retelling, I fuckin swear!! (Depending on the complexity, I may ask for a couple extra dollars for some origfic, but it might not be necessary!)

I'm happy to write gen, canon ships, non-canon ships, plot, fluff, etc.-- the only thing I ask is for SOME kind of prompt, no matter how vague. You can give me anything ranging from a really specific scenario to a song lyric to a simple AU to, like, a WORD; I am just so awful at coming up with ideas on my own, I need at least a little to get me started. :'D (I've got a bunch of prompt posts bookmarked for just this reason, lmao, so if you would like some inspiration!) If I end up needing more inspiration after already starting to write and poke you for further details, we can talk a small discount. >_>

There are only a few strict DNWs for me in terms of writing (mostly along the noncon/excess-trauma-for-trauma's-sake lines); I don't think any of you are so diametrically opposite my own tastes so as to request them, lmao, but should they come up I'll let y'all know and you can request something else! I'm willing to write any and all ratings, but may request you shoot me an extra dollar or two if you explicitly want porn. :")

(priced by word count)
<5k: $5/1k
~5k-10k: $5/1k + $3 flat rate
~10k-15k: $5/1k + $6 flat rate
~15k-20k: $5/1k + $10 flat rate
20k+: we'll discuss!
(Again, if these are too high, let me know what you can afford and we'll work it out, especially if you're looking for less intense edits! <3)

The prices above are for SPAG edits: if you're looking for characterization and/or plot comments as well, it'll be an extra $2 for under 10k and $4 for 10k-20k; if you're looking for sentence structure/flow, it'll be the same. Again, give me a heads up if any of this starts getting too pricey, we'll figure it out!!

I'm willing to edit pretty much anything, though if it's a canon I dislike or am so unfamiliar with I don't think I'd enjoy reading it, I may say no? And I'm willing to give it as thorough or as cursory a look as you want-- I like editing a lot and I'd like to think I'm p good at it. :3

Also, don't consider this limited to fic and such, either-- I'm willing to edit cover letters/personal statements/papers/etc. etc. as well! Just, again, if I'm not super familiar with the subject or it seems too dense, I may decline, but try me anyway. ♥

One container: $20
(~a dozen cookies, ~a dozen brownies/bar cookies, ~8-10 cupcakes/muffins)
Two containers: $25-$30
(lower prices for cookies/bar cookies, higher for muffins/cupcakes)
Any more: we'll discuss!

I can also make herb flatbread crackers or cheese crackers; if you're interested, we'll discuss price, since I don't make those as often and so have NO IDEA how many/what recipe proportions fit into a container, lmao. :")

Sadly, unless you're a local friend, I can't talk discounting for smaller amounts here, because most of that price is just to offset shipping costs. But that does mean that if you want more, I can probably not price it too much higher if more containers will fit into the same flat-rate box! u win some, u lose some. :'D

I am happy to include more than one variety of thing, but if you want multiple types of one dessert it'll be an extra $5, and if you want more than one type of dessert, it'll be $30 total if it fits into two containers (and if it requires more, as I said above, we'll talk!).

I can't ship anything with ingredients that need to be kept cold, so no cheesecake or frosting; I would prefer not to make anything like pies or cobblers or other fruit-heavy things, since they take more time and require more expensive ingredients, unless you are willing to pay more accordingly!

Some of the things I can make, which I've done in the past--
Cookies: chocolate chip, double chocolate, oatmeal, snickerdoodle, chai snickerdoodle, peanut butter, sugar (I can do salted caramel sugar, apple cinnamon sugar, lemon sugar, banana split sugar, or chocolate sugar, too), harvest spice, chocolate sables, maple shortbread *
Brownies/bar cookies: brownies (cakey or fudgey), salted caramel brownies, jam brownies *, blondies, Nutella brownies *, red velvet brownies
Muffins: whole wheat apple cinnamon, cinnamon streusel blueberry
Cupcakes: vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, chocolate stout *, pumpkin spice *, Nutella swirl *
Cakes: raspberry buttermilk, devil's food, applesauce, cranberry vanilla coffee cake *, pound cake, gingerbread
* - might cost a little more, just due to ingredients being more expensive
Most cakes can also be made in cupcake form!

I am also happy to use whatever recipe, or to improvise based on fillings/flavors you think you might want! :3
scordatura: (words: stop this nonsense)
Hello friends!! As promised, this is my update on my fic-writing/fic ideas/shit I've written but need to edit for posting post. \o/ I'm gonna sort by fandom bc that seems easiest-- I've got a couple of fandoms for which I have multiple things on the docket and then a bunch of miscellaneous shit, ha, so I'll sort accordingly, then also mention the stuff I have done that needs editing! I'll also mention some stuff I've sort of considered posting to a Trash Account but am now thinking I might just set up to a different pseud, under the umbrella of "stuff that's super out of date/long since jossed but that I still like and want to share"?? THOUGHTS ARE WELCOME. ♥

(Not included here: my fics based on random solicitation for sex pollen prompts, including currently-in-progress Leo/Frank/Hazel from Heroes of Olympus and Colin/Phillip from the Bridgerton books [SOB] and on-the-docket Jake/Amy/Rose from B99, Napoleon/Ilya from The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and Kell/Lila/Rhy/Alucard from the Shades of Magic trilogy. >_>)

Writing! )
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It's been a while since I've written one of these!! So I have a fair amount of TV to catch up on. :'D

American Gods
I'm still not caught up with show (I'm on ep 5 right now!), but I'm really... excited/confused as to what the other three will include?? :'D Since I feel like the show has... pretty much covered everything up until the House on the Rock (which I think is where they've said S1 is ending?), so ???? WHAT'S NEXT. The Laura episode definitely didn't super resonate with me (I don't tend to like cold, overly-logical characters to begin with, and turning Laura into that type for like... no real reason doesn't sit well with me at all), and the fifth episode was... also weird?? Like, fun, but weird??? As I said the other day on Twitter, I think I like the details of the show more than I like the overall structure and plot?? But again, I think I'll need to see the full arc before I decide this for sure. Sigh!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
AAAAAHHHHHH THAT FINALE !!!! I can't believe how this show likes to escalate, lmao-- from going undercover to losing a captain to witness protection to GOING TO GODDAMN PRISON, FUCK!!!! But it all comes back to the squad being a family and all of their relationships (esp Jake&Rosa and Rosa&Holt !!!) are so so good, and I can't WAIT to see how they work to get Jake and Rosa out of this, aaaaahhhhhh. (Sidebar: Gina and Charles's cousin are super goddamn cute. :'D)

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
I can't believe I'm almost done with the second season now!!! I only have a few more episodes left!!! I'M GONNA MISS SHOW (until it comes back for S3 !!!). I'm waiting impatiently for how badly Josh/Rebecca is gonna crash and burn this time around; I'm SO glad Rebecca and Paula made up (and that Rebecca is being better!!); I LOVE Rebecca/Heather/Valencia (and ship it so hard tbh); and I just met Nathaniel and I am so excited for him too. :'DDD WHAT A FUN AND WEIRD AND DELIGHTFUL SHOW.

Happy Endings
I don't have too much to say about this one-- I'm about halfway into S2 and it's still really fun and enjoyable. :") I think Brad is my fave thus far?? But all of them are fun and I do a literal lol at least once per episode and I'm having fun with it!!

Master of None
THIS SHOW, ON THE OTHER HAND, I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY ABOUT!!! I just rewatched S1 (like, RIGHT before the S2 release date dropped, lmao, I am a god) and it reminded me again of how much I liked the entire arc up until the last episode?? It's such a good and fun and smart and snappy and relatable and surprisingly realistic show-- it makes such good points that never feel preachy and has such great dialogue that never feels fake. And then the last episode just sort of drops that gross message of "oh ur not really living unless u drop everything and go do something ~crazy and impulsive!!!", totally ignoring the fact that you can only do shit like that if you have enough money/security to float yourself both in a foreign country and when you come back home. SIGH. It's just a gross overlooking of financial privilege for a show so good at discussing other forms of privilege and it makes me mad!!

So I moved on to S2 while Boyfriend was here and, again, mostly really enjoyed the first eight episodes! (Especially the first dates and the Thanksgiving one. DENISE IS SO GOOD.) And then... ughhhhhhhh. Just, ughhhhhhhhhhh. What an awful, awful storyline, start to finish. A plot that hinges on the impossibility of (straight) men and women just being friends, a vacation fling being touted as a be-all end-all love story, a single man who repeatedly encourages a woman to cheat on her fiance and gets mad when she's conflicted about her choices, an engaged woman who's horrible at setting boundaries with her single male friend and instead encourages really inappropriate intimacies.... UGHHHHHHHH. I was just so angry and disappointed and felt so gross and bad about the whole thing. I hope there's a long time till S3 because I CANNOT deal with more disappointment over a season finale of this show anytime soon. :/
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Hello friends!! A two-second life update before we get to Wednesday reading: stuff is moving slower than hoped for, lmao, and I keep not super wanting to talk about everything until it's all more certain?? So hopefully I'll have some good news soonish-- I might also have a TV post up tomorrow, and I'm gonna try to put my commission post up by this weekend at latest! And then, like I said, hopefully soon some good news wrt both diss and moving stuff going forward. \o/ But for now, let's catch up on some books!! There are so many of them!!

scordatura: (words: watch this space)
Hi friends! As promised, here's the post talking about all of my (non-Gay-Werewolves) origfic in progress/with strong ideas brewing. I'm excited to hear all of your thoughts on it and if there are any you'd particularly like to see! :D I also really wanted to talk about fic in addition to original stuff, but then, uh, this got long? :") So I'll do a separate post for fic at some point, and also stuff I'm done writing but still need to edit and post!

Stuff to write below! )
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Hey friends! So it's the end of the month, and usually that would mean a recap post, buuuuuut sadly due to Life Circumstances, I'm gonna put a pin in those, and on my overall week schedule/planned resolutions. Life is getting super hectic for several reasons (which I'll discuss below!), and with it looking pretty likely that I'll be moving back in with my parents before the end of summer (current tentative plan is end of July, a week or so before my birthday), it's just not a great time to be focusing on anything but the stuff in my life that requires immediate attention, or to be trying to do anything that's not dissertation revisions + job hunt + packing + trying to make money now (and even that last one is sort of a more distant aim!).

I'm definitely a little sad to be doing this, because I really did enjoy working towards those resolutions-- hopefully if I do move back home and a few other things get sorted, I'll be able to set up a weekly schedule again and maybe work out some adjustments to the resolutions. But because things are in such flux, it's probably not something I'll be able to rework for a while yet, sadly. /o\

So I'll still try to post about certain things that I feel like are accomplishments (for example, I just was able to do 200 lunges, a goal I've been working on for LITERALLY YEARS LMAO !!!!), but when I've got so much other stuff to focus on, it seems silly to prioritize watching new TV/movies or writing fic, or to try new recipes when I'm trying to get rid of food rather than accumulating more, etc.! And I'll try to update on how my new focuses are going, at least over the next month or two, accordingly. :3

Dissertation proposal edits. Hoo boy. So a rather large part of me hoped that given how ridiculously hard I've worked on this proposal, my committee might just let me schedule it right away without really extensive revisions... and that, uh, is not happening. :'D I don't super want to go into detail about this because it's making me anxious and unhappy as fuuuuuck, but suffice it to say that while I'm certainly not being told "this is shit and you can't do it," lmao, the revisions are such that I'm pretty sure it's going to take me the better part of this month to fix them. Ughhhhh. (I think that while I was hoping I'd have put enough effort into it that it would be a great polished final product, the opposite happened-- I've worked so hard at tailoring it to one specific person's vision, it's not going to fly for anyone else. SIGH SIGH.) So I'm meeting with my other two committee members to talk it out, and I'm trying not to go into Despair Mode before that happens, but... ugh. I'm so concerned. /o\ I hope that once I do hash out the edits and make a list of everything that needs doing, it won't seem so intimidating or scary or overwhelming, but like... who knows. Ugh!!!!!

Job apps. Since both of my most hopeful prospects have somewhat officially fallen through (well, at least for the time being), this is becoming more urgent!! I've sent 92 total apps out since mid-January (WHEW /o\), and currently have 25 more bookmarked jobs to apply for! And more searches to run, sigh sigh (I've got a really broad set looking at city/county/court jobs as well as universities that I haven't done in a month or so, and a smaller set of job sites that I try to run every few days, which is obviously not always successful, lmao). So I'm trying to stay on top of this and apply for as many things as possible!

Packing up all my things. Regardless of what happens next -- if I'm looking for my own place wherever I get a job or moving back home if the search is unsuccessful -- my lease is up end of August, and if I'm traveling that month (as I almost certainly will be if I'm jobless), it makes sense to try to get everything together and move out before then. So it'll need to happen in stages: figuring out what I'm getting rid of, figuring out what among that I should throw out and what I can sell/donate, and packing up all of the things I'm keeping. And I've got to go through it slowly but surely so I'm not overwhelmed by all of it! (I have... a lot of stuff. :'D) I'm gonna try to work on it a little at a time and do at least one thing every day, and I'll check in as to how that's going. \o/

Money-making/commissions So at the moment I'm about $600 short on my rent/utilities for the next two months-- add in grocery costs as well as a bit of fun money (ik I should be as frugal as possible right now, but I can't imagine not spending ANYTHING on myself for two months??), and I'll prob need about $1k to ride out the summer. So I'm doing as many of the research studies I've been consistently doing for money (I'll have a couple focus groups coming up that should be about $100-200 total, too!), and I've gotten in touch with the temp agency where I interviewed in January (I haven't had the best of luck with them -- this is my FOURTH try -- but I figure I'll give it another shot since a cohortmate of mine swore by them), to see if anything can happen there. I was also thinking about opening general commissions for writing/editing/baking/etc., but I'll definitely not have time for that-- I do, though, think I might put up a commission post just for friends and mb try for a little side cash that way. Like, at some point the proposal edits WILL get done and will go in for review again, so I'll have more free time then?? And it'll feel nice to be doing some creative things (and, yk, not feel like they're a waste since they're making money!) in addition to all this hard work grind. :| So keep an eye out for that!!

In light of all this stuff, here are my current goals for the next few days:
• Outline all of the edits suggested by committee; make note of questions/clarifications as needed for meeting with them.
• Apply for 25 jobs by Monday, then run a really thorough new search.
• Make a list of all of the things I'll need to go through in the apartment and throw out/sort/etc.
• Make that commission post; contact the temp agency through someone else if the person I e-mailed doesn't reply by Monday (I e-mailed Wednesday morning, so I think that's fair!).

So I'll update on this progress in a few days-- Boyfriend is also visiting soon, which is delightful, so I'll try to get this done before that happens! I've also got a mostly-finished post I started before I made this decision that talks about all of my original writing projects, which I'll still post bc I like it and I think it'll be fun to talk about and share with y'all and hear your thoughts. :3 So I will be back shortly with that + updates! ♥
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Hello friends, it's Wednesday reading time!! It's been a while, lmao, but I haven't been reading SO much, so still shouldn't be too long. :'D

V.E. Schwab, A Conjuring of Light
!!! !!!!! !!!!!!! I obvs can't talk too much about this bc spoilers, but aaaaaahhhhhh read these books they're so good!!!! I love everyone but especially Rhy, my wonderful precious darling son; I had so many unexpected Holland emotions, and ALUCARD, AAAAHHHH, and Lila is as amazing as always, and Kell!!! And!!!!! UGH I loved this so much, it was such a good conclusion to such a wonderful series and I'm crying about it forever goodbye!!!!

Catherynne M. Valente, Six-Gun Snow White
This was, much like Palimpsest, very weird and very interesting?? I'm not sure if I'd recommend it-- it started off cool, then veered into very weird, then got cool again, then got ???, then ended on an interesting note. :") I liked the take on the fairy tale -- definitely not like anything I've ever read before -- but the actual plot definitely fell a little short (again, much like Palimpsest, lmao). Things I did especially love: the origin of Snow White, Deer Boy, and the very end. Otherwise, eh.

Cecelia Ahern, Perfect
This is the sequel to Flawed, which I read a few months ago and liked okay? I described it as "slightly above average dystopia fluff" which I still think holds true, lmao. Nothing too shocking or innovative happening in this book, though the slight twists were kind of fun; I also thought this one took a slight nosedive in writing quality, which was unfortunate. And, of course, the v stereotypical and unnecessary moving-way-too-fast het romance, sigh. But overall fun and readable and generally optimistic about humanity, and I did like it.

Natasha Pulley, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
There were a lot of things I liked about this book! But there were also more things that I... either didn't or wasn't sure about? It's kind of the sort of book I'd rec to people that I think would be into it more because of the material than because I liked it so much. I feel like I almost certainly would have DNFed it if I hadn't been told in advance it would be gay-- it took a long time for things to happen and I didn't love the writing. I thought the plot was difficult to follow (it's always hard to tell with books like these if you're not getting stuff bc it's not well-constructed or bc you're supposed to be confused??) and I really wasn't a fan of the only major female character being so not-like-other-girls-y and villainous? I was never quite sure how to feel about Mori, even though I wanted to like him, and I'm never fully sold on main characters/narrators who are as self-contained as Thaniel, since it's way harder to get to know and care about them. The setting was fun if sort of... inconsistently magical? And I did enjoy the clockwork octopus, ofc. :") I'll probably still read the follow-up, but overall, solidly lukewarm feelings that would almost certainly have been much more negative were it not for The Gay.

I also DNFed a ridic tropey prince-falls-in-love-with-girl-on-vacation YA fluff (it wasn't BAD, p cute and fun European settings, just... nothing special and I kind of got bored), and also read the first book of Bella Andre's Seattle Sullivans, which I've owned for ages but haven't gotten to till now (it's typical contemp romance novel fluff, but I enjoyed!!) and Laini Taylor's short story collection, which is chock full of the delightful creepy magical lovely prose I've come to expect from her. :") Delightful all around. And I'm also midway through yet another anthology of fairy tale retellings, this one called Beyond the Woods; I'm enjoying it bc most of the stories read more like actual retellings than just fairy-tale-inspired short stories (which I also love! it's just a v different flavor of writing). I've been a pretty big fan of most so far, though as of now Holly Black's faerie story is the only queer one so it's an obvious runaway fave. :")))
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Hi all! Here's a quick travel recap/general life update post bc I can!

• Interview for the Chicago job went well; I felt like the presentation I prepped went really smoothly, and they gave me a live reenactment prompt of a scenario I'd gotten in the previous interview, which I also felt went pretty well (they said I did a few things they would never have thought of and hadn't seen anyone else do and really liked!!). I def think I could have answered some of their questions better, and I did feel like I could have come off a little more genuine (it's always hard to balance friendliness and professionalism in more casual settings like this!), but overall I'm p pleased with how I did, and I'm genuinely fine either way whether I get the job or not. (I still haven't heard back and it is killin me a little bit. :'D)

• I also had a nice day in Chicago! Pretty much entirely just eating stuff, lmao, bc I didn't feel like I had time to properly do any touristy things and it wasn't quite warm enough to be hanging out outside. But I did get to spend some time at my favorite tea cafe and try the Nutella bar at Eataly. :9 Sadly because my bus was delayed on my way back for my flight home, I didn't have time to hang out in the city and thus didn't get a chance to eat at EITHER of my two fave doughnut places, which was v disappointing. But at least I got one day!

• Seeing Boyfriend was, of course, lovely as always. Between him having shit to do and my interview (plus me not really being there for very long!), we didn't really do that much-- we had his weekly trivia, a friend of his had a Kentucky Derby party, and we went to grab cupcakes at my favorite local place, and that was pretty much it. Otherwise it was just chilling and watching TV and such, but it's always nice to just be spending the time with him. And now because my future is still uncertain, I sadly have no idea when I'll see him next. :( But hopefully we'll figure it out!

• Other job stuff: Cambridge job e-mailed me (the afternoon before my third interview, thanks guys!!) to let me know that they decided to hold off on hiring to fill the position they were considering for till the end of summer and will get back in touch with me once that happens. So if nothing else works out, like, I guess that's still on the table? It's definitely better than being outright rejected, but since it was the job I wanted more, it's still pretty disappointing. Sigh!

• Other scheduling things: I'm catsitting later this week, which I'm pretty excited for, I love cat!! And then I'm gonna try to see my aunt, since it's her birthday on Friday and I haven't hung out with her and my uncle since they visited my family for Christmas. And then once Chicago gets back to me, I'll be able to figure out seeing family for my sister's birthday (v convenient of her to be born around Memorial Day, lol), and I can figure out the rest of my life, aaaahhhhh. :'D

• Other life things: saw friends on Wednesday and it was delightful! Attempted to sell some books and clothing in an effort to declutter; books were pretty successful, clothing sadly less so. Did a library writing day on Friday and it was awesome! Had an eight-hour end-of-semester brunch with friends yesterday; also delightful! Saw cat's human briefly today in one of our usual very chill sitting-on-couch-snacking hangouts; also also delightful! :") So much is about to be happening in my life one way or another, and it's been a good leadup to it overall. ♥
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Hello friends, I am home and it's a wild Thursday post!! I've started a couple new shows and continued watching several others, so I figure it's time to catch up. :D Hopefully I'll get a travel recap post up sometime soon too!

American Gods
So, uh, !!!!!!! Holy SHIT this show is bringin it. I think some of the timeline changes they've made are interesting and I'm not fully on board, but I think it's harder to swallow when watching in serialized format; I won't know for sure if it Works till it's done as a whole unit. But what they have done so far is!! Really good!!! I love everyone's casting (esp Ian McShane, obviously, aaaaahhhhhhh), I LOVE the aesthetic (these visuals might have singlehandedly convinced me to give other Bryan Fuller shows a try, ha), and the entire concept put in visual form is just !!!! So so cool. And the intro credits might be the single greatest and most appropriate intro credits ever created, don't @ me.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
I!! love show!!!! The precinct-possibly-closing storyline was so stressful, so I'm v glad that's been resolved, and the Moo Moo episode was one of the single most poignant and relevant and on-point and beautiful episodes of television I think I've ever watched?? I'm so so fond of this ragtag group of ridiculous humans, and the show is so consistently delightful and funny and warmhearted, and I'm not ready for this season to be over in two weeks!!

Happy Endings
I just started this a week or so ago-- I'm about halfway through the first season and enjoying it! I needed a new fluffy half-hour sitcom to watch and I've heard good things about this, so it was a good time to give it a shot. I don't have a whole lot of nuanced thoughts yet, just that I'm fond of everyone, I like the ensemble dynamic, and it's fun! \o/

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
I watched the first few eps of this months ago and I'm finally continuing and !!! I like it so much! The cringey parts are SO cringey lmao but it's augmented by how #relatable and fun and hilarious it is. I kind of love everyone?? Even the terrible people??? And I'm so excited to continue (and eventually meet Cappie-from-Greek's character !!!). :")

I also watched the first ep of The Handmaid's Tale with Boyfriend and... I'm not sure if I'll keep going? I think it's being done in an interesting way, but it's just... not entertaining? It's SCARY? idk if I want to keep being alarmed by it :") With the book at least you can enjoy the writing with some level of detachment, but the show is so all-encompassingly foreboding, it's just not enjoyable to me. But at the same time I'm def kind of morbidly curious about how it's gonna go on, so... who knows!
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Welcome to the new and improved month recaps! I won't talk a lot about this past month except as to sort of inform where I'm going from here; I want to set specific goals for May and then report how I'm doing wrt accomplishing them. There will also be general month things (I still want to watch a new movie every month, for example), but I think I'll feel better setting some specific goals depending on where I'm at each month! So let's see how this works. :D

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Omg I super blipped on posting this in any sort of timely fashion last week, lmao, so I'm gonna do a two-in-one week recap now! :") THAT'S HAPPENING.

Monday: academic work.
Last week: Well, since I hadn't gotten proposal edits back, I used this for job applications-- I got five whole ones done (!!). I ended up just going to my bakery for a couple of hours in the evening, as the marathon prevented me from library-ing or feeling like going too far. But it was a success nonetheless!
This week: Went to the library to write up the references for my proposal! It was... not fun. :'D But as always the library makes me feel productive and awesome, so.

Tuesday: cooking/baking.
Last week: I actually did this, despite my also having a total mental breakdown, lmao! I made tomato sauce to freeze for pasta, possibly this weekend (I have other food I need to get to too, but the tomatoes were also starting to go bad, so this was urgent). Also, I def got better breakdown-wise, so win-win all around. :'D
This week: I didn't this week, just because I didn't need to-- I had made mac and cheese and chicken salad last weekend, and so had plenty to eat. :3 I was also so goddamn busy with diss edits I didn't even think about making a dessert, ha. (WHITHER MY RICE PUDDING... ONE DAY.)

Wednesday: creative writing.
Last week: Done, at my favorite Starbucks! I got a little less done than usual, in part due to some computer nonsense and in part due to general distraction, ha, but I did manage over 1k of Gay Werewolves rewrites, and I'm well into this scene I'm really enjoying. :3
This week: At the Starbucks again! And also at the bakery! I got nearly 3k done, and I'm SO close to being done with the chapter that means that I can SEND IT OUT, AAAAAHHHHH. Nerve-wracking and exciting!!!

Thursday: language-learning.
Both last AND this week: Ugh, am I ever going to actually do this?? Maybe if I fit it back in as a regular routine other days, I can make this easier? Sigh. I really don't want to give up on it, but for some reason it's been hard to make it happen. >:( Gotta set it up!!

Friday: going out somewhere.
Last week: Done! Had a lovely day at the MFA; I've been breaking it off into chunks (doing half of the first and second floors at a time-- I still have the ground floor and the third floor left), and it's been great. This time around I got to see the Monet room, so I wore my Water Lilies socks and brought my Water Lilies notebook. :") I'm a fucking nerd, I know, but they're my favorite paintings and I live for that #aesthetic.
This week: I hit up Faneuil Hall, which is the tourist-iest area of Boston imaginable, but where better to continue a potential farewell tour! It would have definitely been more fun if it hadn't been SO unexpectedly warm; I had dressed a little too warmly for walking around outside, and I had also worn boots bc it was supposed to maybe-rain, so it was not a good combo. :") Still, I did get to hit up the Public Market, a Fave Place, and eat a Boston cream doughnut from my fave place, AND even grabbed some cheap fruit from the weekend outdoor produce market. An overall win!

Saturday: new TV/movie.
Last week: I saved the last episodes of Trial and Error for this, hard as it was!! Aaaahhh, I'm sad show is over but I enjoyed it SO MUCH, y'all should 100% watch with me and have ridic found family emotions. (And, uh, time to start planning that poly AU properly, I guess. >__>)
This week: I started Happy Endings, bc I need a new half-hour show and I just recently saw it was on Hulu! Fun so far. :D Also I marathoned all three High School Musical movies, because why the heck not, and it was delightful. :'DDD

A couple other things: my parents are back from Belgrade and they brought me the best chocolate in the world and I'm SO impatient to have it! I saw Jonny Sun and the @dog_rates guy at MIT and it was incredible! I have a third phone interview scheduled with Cambridge job and an in-person with Chicago job !!!! !!!!! I spent all last weekend rewriting my dissertation proposal and I want to die! I'm visiting Boyfriend for a week on Tuesday and I'm extremely excited! I genuinely have NO IDEA what my life is going to look like past the next two weeks???? It's more than a little nerve-wracking. :'D

So bc of travel and such uncertainty, this'll be the last week recap for a while, probably-- and sometime soon I'm gonna restructure the month recap posts a little, too, bc as I mentioned they've been feeling somewhat formless and I think setting them up as specific goalposts will be more helpful for me! (And that, ofc, might get restructured again if my future becomes more definite in the meantime, lmao. A CONFUSING TIME FOR ALL.)
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Wednesday reading! The past two weeks' books have been... all over the place, lmao. :'D

Catherynne M. Valente, Palimpsest
OH MAN this book was... wild??? Like, I genuinely don't know how to describe it. There was... sort of a plot?? And sort of a general ability to understand what was happening?? I couldn't decide if I found the style compelling and beautiful or excessive and cloying, and it was all so deeply deeply WEIRD and intense and confusing but I somehow really enjoyed it anyway?? I'm not sure if I'd universally rec it since it WAS so weird, lmao, but goddamn it was such a trip. I rarely read books that are so gloriously unapologetically strange that they fully make you feel like you're in another world, so I did appreciate that aspect of it, even as it confused and overwhelmed me, lmao.

Rachel Caine, Prince of Shadows
Man, I am not having luck with the Romeo and Juliet adaptations I'm trying lately! Which is a shame, because I feel like there are so many fun things to do with the story, and people just keep... not doing them. This one was like a weird Dark/Gritty retelling made even more violent, starring Benvolio, who occasionally sneaks out to steal stuff, then falls in love with Rosaline and also Romeo/Juliet happens because of a curse. Which gets cast by Mercutio, for revenge when they kill his lover because being gay is a Sin. ... IT'S... NOT GREAT, GUYS. The writing was pretty okay, which is more or less the only reason I kept reading (and also to see just how balls-to-the-wall bizarre it was going to get), but like... wow. Dialogue taken directly from the play, which was contrasted uncomfortably and inconsistently with the author's own; dumb forced hetero all-but-love-at-first-sight; BIG TIME bury-your-gays; the primary villain being a fifteen-year-old girl with next to no redeeming qualities (why??? I still don't understand this decision omg); and possibly worst of all, the entire crux of the plot revolving around a curse, which was the single! element! of non-realism!! in the entire story!!! And it is never explained how curses are real but like, nothing else magical seems to be?? You can't do this shit!!! I just... do not understand why this is a thing that was even written, lmao. Do not recommend.

Laini Taylor, Days of Blood and Starlight and Dreams of Gods and Monsters
So!! This series was such a trip!!! I genuinely loved it-- the second book was a great bridge, Karou settling into her new life and identity and the melding of the chimaera/seraphim/human storylines was so fun, so much weird exciting new shit going on. And then about 3/4 through the third book, I started going " this going to be yet another series in which at the eleventh hour we hear 'oh this is what's actually been happening all along!!'"And... it sort of was? But to my surprise I ended up being mostly okay with it?? I do wish the Stelians had showed up a little sooner, and same with Eliza (I!! loved her!!! where is my Scarab/Eliza spinoff omg!!!!!!), so my standard eleventh-hour-bonus-plot complaints still hold some water, but I actually was okay with the plot itself; it seemed to parallel the real plot, only on a bigger scale, so it made sense, and it sort of made more sense than an "okay that's over!! good war everyone!!"-type resolution would, lmao. It's realistic that the scale of the problems would be bigger and that they would then have to deal with those! But I did super enjoy the series overall and I love everyone in this kasbah (Zuzanna!! Issa!! Mik!! Ziri!!! Eliza!!! Liraz!! Karou and Akiva!!!!), and I hope she writes more in this world one day, aaaaahhhhhh.

Laini Taylor, Strange the Dreamer
Ahhhh I'm so glad I started reading Laini Taylor-- I'm enjoying her style and worldbuilding and characters so, so much. I didn't like this nearly as much as Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but I still loved it; what a cool and interesting world, and I am always in favor of superpowers and gods and shit. I loved how bitter and dark a lot of the setting was, while someone as bright and idealistic as Laszlo was our hero. I loved Sarai, too, poor sweet isolated Sarai, and her "siblings" and the ending !!!! !!!!!!!!! How am I gonna wait for the next one?? Gonna be over here on the edge of my seat forever, okay??

Nicola Yoon, The Sun Is Also A Star (DNF)
(Sidebar: I'm very glad I started feeling like it was okay to start giving up on books, because man, life is too short! And so many books are so not good, lmao! I can't imagine slogging through the rest of this mess.)

So Nicola Yoon is just not for me, as it turns out. I wanted to like this, especially since the premise sounded better than Everything, Everything, but man, I do not like love-at-first-sight type teenage stories. Like, I'm sorry, but "seventeen-year-olds spend a single day together and decide that they're deffo one another's True Loves" is ridiculous?? And I'm also very over the trope of "overly logical/scientific teenager doesn't believe in love," especially when they have, like, family and friends?? ??? It makes no sense and it always comes off really annoying. Also ugh @ "dreamy romantic boy wants to ~become a poet~ despite his Strict Asian Immigrant Parents wanting him to be a doctor!" bc those tropes always play it like the dichotomy of choice is "soulless money-making security of what your parents want for you" and "your Dream," like, there's no other option in there, clearly, no possible compromise?? And I wasn't a huge fan of the format, the weird little interjection stories and histories and stuff; it was more distracting than anything else. And, uh, are we just going to ignore the fact that a lawyer allowed a family to be deported because he was too busy cheating on his wife, and that relationship is literally described as "happily ever after"??? What the heck, y'all. Just... ugh. Not my jam whatsoever.

I also finished The Starlit Wood and loved both Kat Howard's Snow Queen and Naomi Novik's Rumplestiltskin; now I'm reading A Conjuring of Light and FUCKIDJFD DYING???? IT'S SO MUCH. ;;;; MY BABIES, MY CHILDREN.

Week Recap

Apr. 16th, 2017 11:57 pm
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Week recap time!! It's been a productive one all around!

Monday: academic work. Done and DONE, in that I sent my chair a full draft of my dissertation proposal !!!! I wrote my original draft back in November and we've been reworking it almost from scratch ever since, and it has been so obnoxious and lengthy and I'm sure there will still be issues, but this let me relax for a couple of days!! I did this at the library, which I won't be able to go back to till Wednesday now because of the marathon tomorrow (the finish line is like half a block from the library, plus it's a local holiday so it's actually closed, boo). So I'm glad I enjoyed it while it lasted, ha.

Tuesday: cooking/baking. Done! I made chai snickerdoodles for a friend's wedding package, and they turned out pretty darn good. :D

Wednesday: writing. Done! I had to be on campus for TA purposes midday, so I used that time to write, and then went to my local cafe in the evening. Very productive-- wrote nearly 2k of Gay Werewolves revisions (I'm eight pages into revisions, but draft #2 is nearly 16 pages because I keep adding stuff, ha), started a new prompt meme fic (I've been delaying it because I needed a bit of a canon refresher, but now we're good to go!), and the Elle/lady Emmett fic has surpassed 5k, lmaoooo help. :'D I also decided to write a Trial and Error fic, but not till S1 is over, so I just did a brief snippet of that. >_>

Thursday: language-learning. Ugh, I super wanted to do this, and... I don't remember why I didn't, lmao, but I super didn't. GET IT TOGETHER, MAJA.

Friday: going out somewhere. Boy did I ever do this!! I went to the Institute of Contemporary Art, which is a museum that I don't love (it's v small, especially when one of the exhibit halls is closed!), but find very peaceful because it's located right on the coast, so the view is amazing. And then I saw a Harvard production of In the Heights, which was so good!! It was at p much my favorite theater of all time; it has a bar and it's set up as immersive, so actors will go among the audience and up on the bar and on the balconies around the stage. Which was so great for this show, since you felt like you were in the neighborhood, too!! A++ all around, super well done and awesome.

Saturday: new TV/movie. Done, with the new Trial and Error ep that (randomly??) aired on Thursday! I LOVE SHOW, PLEASE WATCH SHOW WITH ME.

Some other week stuff, while I'm at it: didn't have the second Chicago interview, sigh, but it did get rescheduled for this week! (Why am I having such bad luck with actually conducting scheduled interviews??) Boyfriend's bus got hit by a car the other day, which was an alarming call to get, but he and everyone else is fine, thankfully. My parents are in Belgrade and I'm thus getting the usual annual updates on family; my godfamily on my dad's side is having SO many health problems (my godmother has macular degeneration and my godbrother has leaky gut !!), and my grandmother is looking really really awful (which is not surprising-- she's 91 and broke her hip last year, and is p much 75% alive on pure spite at this point, as I said on Twitter). But hopefully they can catch up with everyone and there'll be some better news from other friends/relatives!
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Wednesday reading!! It's been a while, but HOO BOY have I made up for lost time. :D I was gonna post last week but forgot, and in the meantime I have read SO MANY MORE BOOKS, ha. Let's catch up!!

Daniel Handler, Why We Broke Up
I... am not sure how I felt about this?? I started it after the disappointment that was Bright Smoke, Cold Fire because I figured I'd be guaranteed to like it, given how much I love ASOUE. But it was... weird! And took a long time for me to get into? And I still don't know how I feel about it!! The style felt both familiar to Lemony Snicket stuff and foreign-- more stream-of-consciousness and less outright funny, but still almost recognizable. And the whole arc was interesting in that it always sort of teetered on the edge of feeling like more than just slice-of-life YA but never quite getting there. And the style and setup of the book (illustrations and all) did make the tropes feel a little less tired and more unexpected, but it's weird to think that it was just a very normal story about a brief teenage relationship, at its core. I'm still not sure if I liked it or would rec it! A very strange reading experience overall.

Julia Quinn, Stefanie Sloane, Elizabeth Boyle, and Laura Lee Guhrke, Four Weddings and a Sixpence
I love all but one thing that Julia Quinn has ever done, and the one thing I don't love was one of her first books, so I always keep abreast of her new stuff, and I'm never disappointed! This was such a fun read with such a fun premise-- I do wish that there had been more friendship, under the circumstances, the four heroines spent way too much time apart and the scenes with all of them together were so fun. But each story was so cute and so delightfully tropey and adorable and fun (friends to lovers/falling in love despite not wanting a love match! childhood friends/fake dating! childhood friends/enemies to lovers! nerd bonding! [okay, that's not really a trope, but JQ always delivers so I don't care :'D]). I definitely now want to check out these other authors, too, since I liked all of the stories so much.

Julia Durango, The Leveller
This book somehow managed to be, like, a depressingly cliche teen trope storm despite a sci-fi setting?? But it was a p typical five-minutes-into-the-future excuse for the author to use modern references with a cool gimmick, a somewhat not-like-other-girls protag, a Cool Dad and Nagging Mom (I swear if I never read another YA with those it'll be too soon :|), a forced hetero romance, weird gender roles.... The writing style was also super typical of someone writing their first book, sort of reminiscent of fics I read or even wrote as a teenager. Despite all that I still had fun reading it; it was twisty and enjoyable enough to at least keep reading, even if it did wrap up way too fast. Probably wouldn't rec it, though.

Melinda Salisbury, The Sin-Eater's Daughter and The Sleeping Prince
I read these books last year and LOVED them-- they're among the most creative new fantasy YA I've read in a while, and I found the characters and the plot and the mythos so engaging. I reread them now because the third book is out (!!!), but I've been so stupid busy I haven't had a chance to go read it. (My library is frustratingly holding out on getting it, sigh sigh.) I'm so impatient!! I have to know how it ends. *__* In the meantime y'all should read these and stress with me!!!

Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone
I've been meaning to read these books forever, and hoo boy they have been WILD so far. I loved the mood of them, the almost-horror urban fantasy, the epic scale of the conflict, how long it took for any true information while dangling enough engagement to still keep me wanting to go, the compelling relatability of all of the protagonists (Zuzana is my daughter, but I'm also bizarrely fond of Akiva), the whole mythos !!! I'm so hooked, and I love how long they are; there's so MUCH to unpack and to get sucked into, and I'm so excited to keep going in them (I'm about halfway into the second, and aaaaaahhhhhhh !!!! SO MUCH IS HAPPENING!!!!).

I've also been reading a collection of fairy tale retellings called The Starlit Wood, which has been fun-- a lot of them have been weird and a lot of them have been great, as fairy tales do. :'D Standouts: body-stealing witch thwarting lesbians in love Sleeping Beauty (my fave, obvs!!!) by Marjorie Liu, weird drug dystopia Hansel and Gretel by Daryl Gregory, supposed-friendship-but-like-I'm-gonna-read-it-as-lesbians-fuck-u crossover adventure by Amal El-Mohtar, hilarious sci-fi Jack and the Beanstalk by Max Gladstone, and urban fantasy The Shadow (which I had never heard of before this and BOY is it fucked up) by Theodora Goss. But I still have a couple to go, and I've enjoyed most of them!!

Week Recap

Apr. 11th, 2017 10:26 pm
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Week recap time! A little late, because I'm lazy and forgetful, but. >_> Last week was really productive, both academically and creatively, even if I didn't have a chance to do all of the things I'd usually like to.

Monday: academic work. Done! I went to my campus library and it was great; I managed to find a spot on the silent floor way back in the corner, so I was in my own little cubicle against the wall and no one could see me and it was beautiful. :D

Tuesday: cooking/baking. I was out most of the day, including for dinner with friends, so there was no need for this. But this week I'll definitely be using it as a baking day! :D

Wednesday: creative writing. Done! Went to both my favorite Starbucks and my local cafe, and wrote nearly three thousands words of Gay Werewolves revisions !! Got through the first chapter and a good start on the second, aaaahhhh. :DD

Thursday: language-learning. Did not do, but I did a ton of other things (job interview !!, academic work, food-making), and like I said last week, while I'm in crunch mode it's hard to find time to focus on other things. So SOON, hopefully!

Friday: going out somewhere. Done! I went to the MFA and had a lovely time, as I always do there. :D Very relaxing, did a lot of reading and writing and it was a great break from all the stupid work I've been doing. :")

Saturday: new TV/movie. New TV again this week as I continue making my way through new episodes of Trial and Error! I have to say I'm still really enjoying this show-- I love the wacky but heartwarming dynamics of the cast, I consistently laugh out loud at the jokes, and I'm so invested in the actual plot, every new break in the case has me going !!! I want more people to watch so I can talk about it!!
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OH LOOK, A THURSDAY POST!! Thanks to Boyfriend and family I HAVE consumed a TON of new TV and movies, and I'm super excited to finally talk about all of them. :3

Uhhhh obviously I loved it?? It was more colorful and more subtle than I had anticipated; I really want to read the script, because the performances were so understated and sparse but still conveyed a wealth of emotion and meaning. I loved the arc of the story, how as much was left out as was shown; Mahershala Ali was so good, Janelle Monae was incredible, Naomie Harris was goddamn heartbreaking, and I loved how differently each of the Chirons and Kevins played the roles. I loved that the ending was realistically hopeful, and I loooooved the entire diner scene !!!!! I mentioned on Twitter that I spoiled myself for the plot a while ago and so I, for some reason, thought the diner scene would be pretty short and that it ended the movie. So every minute that it kept going felt like a slow evisceration of my heart (in the best possible way!!), and when they left the diner I was like !!!!! Ugh, it was so beautiful and so emotional and so well-shot and !!!! I really want to see it again!!

I obviously loved this too!!! I kept not having a chance to see it in theaters because I didn't want to go alone, so I'm delighted to have finally watched it with family. The music was so good, OF COURSE, and Moana was so adorable and good, and I loved her relationship with Maui and HEI-HEI IS MY HERO and the end !!!!!! And the island was so beautiful, as was the ocean, and I loved the myth and the setting and the plot and !!! Everything!!! I cried so many times and I really want to see THIS again too. :')))) (Also, I've been listening to the soundtrack and Lin's demos pretty much nonstop ever since. SO GOOD.)

Watched this because parents wanted to and I was curious, and... ehhhh. It was definitely not the worst biopic I've ever seen, but it was... so boring? IMO Jackie herself came off super unsympathetic, and I'm sure the voice Natalie Portman was using was accurate, but boy was it grating, which didn't help the unsympatheticness, ha. There was no real sense of connection to any part of the movie; I liked the framing device of a journalist and a priest, and there were a few emotional moments with the kids, and I liked the little musical motif they gave Jackie, but otherwise... ehhhhhh. Super forgettable and unremarkable.

Captain America: Civil War
Ah... the trash portion of proceedings. :") For a blip of time there I was super Marvel-- I watched Iron Man 1 and 2, the first two Caps, Thor, and the first Avengers, and then my interest sort of... aggressively waned, lmao, especially after I heard so much garbage about Ultron. But Boyfriend expressed he'd be okay with watching this one, and I enjoyed it! It felt like a realistic setup for the conflict, and it played out p sympathetically for most of the people involved (I HAD A LOT OF BUCKY FEELINGS), and it was just fun and emotional and a good ridic watch!

The Good Place
So Boyfriend and I watched all of this show and !!!! GOSH I loved it. Hilarious, full of weirdly relatable and charming terrible people, and SUCh a creative premise. And what a twist at the end !!!!! I've been rewatching and it's been SO FUN knowing what I know and seeing all of the hints and such. *__* I also can't wait for S2 bc WHERE DO U GO FROM HERE, AAAAHHHH. Def one of the best new shows I've watched recently!!

Trial and Error
We aso just started this show and I'm really enjoying it! It's def not amazing or super special, but it's consistently funny and fun and unexpectedly twisty and I like it a lot. It can veer somewhat classist, but I think it's skirting the line more towards the fish-out-of-water side rather than outright offensive/judgey? And I like the characters and their interactions a lot, and also there is a cute puppy, SO that's always a bonus. :") So far I would def rec it!!

And we also finished S1 and S2 of Steven Universe!! !!!! Gosh, what a good show. Every episode gives me so many emotions and I love everyone and !!! I was so excited for Jail Break and The Answer and they were even better than I'd hoped for!!! Peridot's transition from villain to weird family member!! Connie's transition from excited side friend to sword-wielding badass!! STEVONNIE!!!! I don't really know much about what happens in later seasons except vague outlines, so I'm really excited to continue; it's such a fun and deep and emotional and hilarious show.

And I've also just finished my Brooklyn Nine-Nine rewatch and I MISS IT SO, COME BAAAAACK. I can't believe it left like that and I am DYING for more, I love show!!!
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