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Dec. 13th, 2017

A happy holidays to Roy Moore's attorney, and anyone else celebrating it.

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Does anyone remember the DS9 episode "The Visitor"? The basic premise is that Sisko apparently dies but the accident actualy traps him in subspace and "tethers" him to his son Jake. Meaning he occasionally resurfaces in Jake's vicinity and has a short window of time to live a lie with his son. The problem is, Jake becomes so obsessed with rescuing his dad properly, he gives up on his writing, ends up divorced and with no family. The ep ends with Jake given a chance to "die" in a way that lets him and his dad avoid the accident.

Laid out like that, it seems rather dry, but it's one of the tenderest, most interesting and moving episodes I think I ever saw in that universe. It just has this sense of longing to it.

Anyway In my current status of "just because you can't actually write doesn't mean you can't dream up plot bunnies, I can't help imagining a Johnlock version of this. What if, instead of Sherlock actually coming back after his "death," John goes for decades of struggling against the shape his life takes in the absence of Sherlock I can imagine some sort of magic realism working well - Sherlock making a mephistophelean bargain where he actually died, or at least is forced out of the narrative as it were, and only gets bursts of life with John, becoming fewer and further between as John's life becomes less imprinted with Sherlock's spirit, as it were - as he builds a life that's premised on Sherlock not being there, I guess.

Which sounds rather more like "A Christmas Story" than what I was imagining. Maybe if it was twisted around so John made the deal - Sherlock's survival at the pool in exchange for not being in his life, then it going increasingly pear-shaped for both of them until finally John has to "die," snap back to the crisis point, and get them out of their stand-off in a different way.

I don't plan to write it, or work it out in any great detail. But somehow the possibility is a really nice one to sit with for a while.

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Guess who just landed an unlocked cell phone for $119, tax inclusive?

*two thumbs up*

This girl.

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Martha Stewart would be turning in her grave, if she had one. Store-bought pies for the work potluck?

The reality is: I like playing with cookies and muffins and the like, can get pretty adventurous, but I've never actually baked a pie. I've not even baked a proper cake in this oven. And I'm a bit nervous to try with a proper function. Probably wise, but it does feel like a domesticity failing. Not that I've ever claimed great skill there!

Also, let's be honest: 1) Mrs. Smith makes a better pie than I ever would manage (and they're getting two and whipped cream), and 2) it's $5 Tuesdayds at the movies. I know where I'd rather be.

Must say, though, this little fellow is tempting.

(I may give him a try with the community table meal I'm helping with on actual Thanksgiving day proper. A bigger kitchen, and those kids deserve the fun more than the sourpuses in my office anyway. :-) )

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Big News in the Tolkien Fandom


Amazon is putting together a miniseries set before LOTR, most assume the gap between 2941 [The Hobbit] and 3019 [LOTR]. With no justification that I can see, but it does seem natural. My first impulse was that I thought it would be neat to see, but that I was really struggling with how you'd create a standalone story arc out that time period. But then miniseries and series generally can be more episodic.

I'm curious: if you were coming up with a miniseries based off of those years, how would you structure it? What events would you zero in on, and how would you give it a conclusion of some sort? My fantasy version would focus on the hunt for the Ring, building on Gandalf's friendship with Bilbo, the Dwarves of Erebor's unwillingness to give up his identity, maybe Bilbo's adoption of Frodo and even a kind of time-compressed Gandalf guiding Aragorn through the Thorongil years and searching the archives himself, with some nice Denethor tension. But I still can't see how to give it a good conclusion.

Of course, there's nothing that says they have to be telling that kind of story, an adaptation of canon at all. One idea I've seen floated is it will be the Shire and Rohan and Mirkwood and all that, but a totally new adventure involving original characters. Maybe television's answer to LOTRO or something of the sort? Can't say I'm overjoyed at that idea. Could be well and good, but all I can think of is how my least favorite parts of the Hobbit movies involved them going off script.

Maybe we're going to have more of that in the future, though, because of the other big news:


Christopher Tolkien's stepping down from the Tolkien Estate! I'll admit, my first thought was "it's about time," and I owe him more respect than that. Speaking as a Numenor fangirl - I owe him for the Akallabeth's existence in a big way. But at the same time, I've always found his more obvious editing to be heavy-handed, and I do think he's a bit stuffy when it comes to JRRT's legacy and proper respect for it - which means he'll want adaptations to be more canon-compliant, traditionally interpreted.

Personally I'd love to see a miniseries adaptation of The Silmarillion if it was done right (a big if!). Not a film or even film series by anyone, it's just not structured that way. But I think it could be really interesting, and if the new "Thor" movies teach us anything (I'll be vague and spoiler-free here), it's that the heart of myths can still play well when you modernize it the right way. Not that I want a Marvel version of Turin or Maedhros, but certainly this assumption that the Silm is hard to get into doesn't have to be true. And the thing is, right now the Silmarillion is completely off the table for adaptations, and obviously it's a very personal story for Christopher and the family generally - Beren and Luthien as JRR and Edith and all that.

Interested in folks' thoughts here. About Silm adaptations, but more about CT stepping down. Do you think it's a good thing or not?

PS - If re in a fic mood, maybe check out my story Bronwe Athan Harthad. It's a look at how JRRT might have been affected if Christopher had died in World War II, written through letters to his dead son. Interspersed with lines from John Mayer's "Say," of all things. It really shouldn't work, but I have it on good authority (not my own!) that it really kind of does.

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In a bit of more positive news...


This is the state university in the town where I grew up. Pretty durned cool!

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It's been one heck of a week. Not all bad, but definitely a roller coaster.

Monday was long and exhausting like it always is, but no worse than most front-desk days. ALso got out and got my hair cut, which has landed me a few compliments this week. Which is lovely!

Tuesday I got into a heavy conversation with my boss and was the closest to quitting I've ever been. Don't really want to get into specifics, and I'm actually not 100% sure it wasn't me overreacting because I've been in a bit of a funk. But the upside was it prompted me to get out of there early, and I went home, changed, and went out. And on Wednesday S. actually apologized (sort of), and called me specifically to thank me for some minor routine task I'd done for the head of the law firm. It was sweet, if obviously inspired by earlier this week. But much more responsive than I had any right to expect in even a good professional environment. I think he really does want to make me happy though he's not completely equipped (personally or materially) to do it. That count for a bit, no denying it.

Still, it's exhausting! Staying angry or feeling wanted by themselves are fine, but this back-and-forth just has me feeling thoroughly pooped. Also like motivation to kick the job search off again. (I won't lie, I haven't been making the time for sending out resumes, even though I'm no less "stuck." If I didn't actually have the job, I'd be in that segment on the other side of the unemployment bubble who aren't actively looking for work anymore.)

In less depressing news:

1) Watch "Land Girls" if you haven't already. I binged on it last weekend, and at just 15 hours it's very watchable. Also wonderful. If you're not familiar, it's about British women who work the farm as a kind of civic service while their husbands are away. And it's not a soap-opera, but there was something about the high stakes that made me finally *get* the appeal of this. Also pretty deep on pro-life issues (In the modern American political sense). Loved all the actresses!

2) I've been toying with a new fic. I know, I know - I'm always talking about writing, never actually writing, but this feels a little more... concrete, I guess? Something got me thinking about the frustration you hear expressed by people who don't like slash (generally or in a particular pairing), that it downplays friendship when you talk about two characters being "just" friends vs. being romantically involved. Which got me think how a character who was actually romantically attracted to his friend but still had the same kind of frustration might parse it. Enter John Watson, sessions on the couch and long-overdue conversations with Sarah Sawyer, set in the weeks after Battersea.

"Just write the thing" is the most driving thought just now. I'd like to. I'm afraid exhaustion and depression might get the better of me (more than anything I feel the need to sleep for at least twenty-four hours just now). But the idea is intriguing, and I'm imagining how specifically it might play out.

Ah, well. Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Oct. 31st, 2017

Tonight I saw what looked like a teenage girl, maybe 13-14 years old, collapsed half in the street and half on the sidewalk. She was wearing a bright green windbreaker and dark pants. She wasn't moving, but equally I din't try to wake her. I didn't want to get involved, so I got on my bus. The lady waiting with me at lest flagged the bus down so he wouldn't hit her.

I did call 911 but only after I got off in my neighborhood. And I had to explain that yes, I didn't know her and yes, I was no longer in the vicinity but yes, she wasn't moving and even if she wasn't injured she was extremely vulnerable both to traffic and people who might want to harm her. Because the South Bronx is tough enough on a good night, but on a holiday we people want to cause trouble? Yeah.

The weird thing is, I feel more guilty than if I'd not called it in. Maybe because I had to reconize I really should have done more - walking away completely might have given me an out-of-sight-out-of-mind absolution? I don't kow. I did more than anyone else who saw her, but it still feels like I fell short, bigly.

Thank goodness for police and EMS, though!

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Today, I adulted

Managed a difficult work conversation without making it all about me. (Short version: I'm ten months overdue for a salary review and haven't been bringing it up because I know we can't really afford a raise for me, but combined with other factors it was leaving me feeling very underappreciated.) I'm actually kind of proud of how I generalized it so it wasn't just me.

Then I ran downtown to KMart and picked up some things. Bless that store: two blouses, a dozen pairs of socks, new underwear, and a new sheet set, all or under $60. Of course, one could also say curse that store, because it's apparently impossible of getting out for less than $60 when you just went out for the sheet set. Also had fun poking around their Christmas section. Yes, already! But it was shiny and bright and smelled like wintergreen, so....

Yesterday night I skived off work a bit early (for me) and went to see "Blade Runner." AMC has a special going on for $5 tickets on Tuesday, so I splurged and saw it in IMAX. Sexist, to be sure, and with enough sex and violence to earn the R rating (though not excessive to my mind), but so visually stunning! And with some nicely deep theology/philosophy that got me thinking, though to be honest I'm not sure I'll soon get over Jared Leto as the kind of metaphorical God. Nope! Definitely a fun viewing though, and I'd encourage you to see it on the biggest screen you can afford.

Must say, after two nights of Manhattan excursions, I'm pretty thoroughly worn out.

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Turned on "Belgravia" as background music at work today, and I was really blown away by how beautiful all the acting is, but Martin Freeman's partcularly. The passion in Battersea, the way he confronts Irene - there's really something more than just cohabiting, even the disappointment and personal investment we see in TGG. And then the way it just turns so soft at the New Year's Eve scene.

I am trying my durnedest not to see this through shipper's goggles. I certainly don't want to turn this conversation into one about romantic vs. platonic love. And really, I suppose one could read it as nonplatonic love, though that's contortions I'm not driven to go through just now. I'm not even interested in that question. It's just... this is a love story, and it's beautiful, one of the purest love stories I think I've ever come across. The characters click, they make sense, they work. Really, it's just so beautiful.

... Also, arguably this was more engaging than background noise should ever be. I'm keeping a tally and because I've written so much fanfic around ASIB, I've watched it start to finish 23 times. How is this not old?

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