laceblade: Ed from Cowboy Bebop riding a scooter, face = manic glee (Ed Samba)
Hello! It's been a while since I've hosted one of these.
Comment with any thoughts you have, however semi-formed. One thread per panel, please.

People can comment & try to come up with the best panels possible! Anyone can suggest panel ideas: People who run the convention, authors, attendees, or people who have never attended WisCon and never will. Please feel free to join in!

If the comments go in a direction you dislike, or you don't want to participate in a discussion, you can submit your own panel idea here on WisCon's website.

Things to know:
  • Not every panel idea that gets suggested ends up on the schedule. Programming typically has to cut about 50% of the panels due to space/time constraints.
  • People will be able to vote on WisCon's website for panels they'd like to attend, & also indicate their interest in being a panelist or a moderator. These votes matter.
  • The programming team edits panel titles/descriptions after they've been submitted. Sometimes they combine multiple panels on the same theme into a single panel.
  • This year, the submission deadline is January 21st.

Here are a few thoughts to maybe get you going:
  • Our Guests of Honor are Charlie Jane Anders & G. Willow Wilson. Which of their works do you want to talk about, and what kinds of themes?
  • Are there any sci-fi or fantasy TV shows, movies, or anime that you've enjoyed this year?
  • What about books? Ongoing comics, or manga?
  • Which online conversations have you found the most interesting in the past year that you wish to revisit, or expand upon?
  • Can we talk about how to document and preserve our fannish history when we keep having to pull up stakes and move house every few years?
What else?!
Programming recently posted a great blog post with an explanation of how to propose a panel. They also recommend now as a good time for updating your profile and inputting your availability, and provide instructions on how to do so.

Disclaimer: I am not on WisCon's Programming team and have no influence over their decision-making process. This is just a friendly place to generate some ideas and get them submitted!
laceblade: Screencap from FF7, Zak and Cloud escaping from Mako tubes in Shinra mansion (FF7: Cloud/Zack escape)

In your own space, share a favorite piece of original canon (a TV episode, a song, a favorite interview, a book, a scene from a movie, etc) and explain why you love it so much.

1) The OP for Samurai Champloo. This was the first anime for which I downloaded fansubs, because at college I finally had an internet connection fast enough to do so :*) The OP is stylistically perfect, imo. It perfectly sets the tone for an irreverent show about samurais set to hip-hop music, by the creator of Cowboy Bebop. I still know all the words ;) This show introduced me to MINMI, still one of my favorite artists to listen to. She did the ED, though, not this song!

2) Glee performance of a mashup of Rihanna's Umbrella with Singin' in the Rain, performed on the high school stage full of water. The umbrellas make great props both as canes and for twirling while open, and splashing the water with hands and feet is pretty cool. Everyone looks smart in their suit outfits, it's the end of a guest appearance by Gwyneth Paltrow, where she was pretty great with the kids. It's a great deployment of Matthew Morrison, letting him sing a Broadway tune, and a good use of the kids to keep the beat seamless between the two songs. And any time you get to watch Harry Shum Jr. having the time of his life = good.
I still have a hard time watching a lot of Glee footage that includes Cory Monteith and Mark Salling.

3) The Nibelheim flashback from Final Fantasy VII.

At this point in the game, all you knew about Sephiroth is that he just murdered everyone in the Shinra Building - including President Shinra, previously the biggest villain of the game. You followed a trail of blood throughout the building, having woken in the morning to find your characters' prison cells mysteriously unlocked, and everyone free to go, despite having spent hours breaking into their tough security.

The framing of Cloud's narration - telling the story to the rest of the party members - is the first time this band of randos has been able to talk after a fast-paced introductory section. Seeing Sephiroth's strength during the single battle you enter with him was chilling as a player.

It deepened the story, it introduced Nibelheim and its creepy music, and LATER ON the player's interpretation of reality as based on this flashback gets upended. This is why Tifa has a lot of, "..." going on even though she was present for this event that happened "5" years ago.

The mood, the creepy music, the haunted Shinra building, the human experimentation subplot, all of it was candy. Still my favorite part of the game, I think.

laceblade: Azusa offering piece of paper to the viewer, Ui in background holding cake (K-On: Azusa offer)

Rec at least three fanworks that you didn’t create.

These are recent-ish fics in my current fandom. To find out the fandom and the relationships, you'll have to follow the links, and also be logged into your AO3 account.* This is because the fandom is an RPF one, and we do not want these things to be searchable.

Between the Thought and the Action by [ profile] littlemousling and [ profile] moogle62
28k, sudden joint telepathy

if everything happens that can't be undone by [ profile] longnationalnightmare and [ profile] oops_ohdear
45k, regency au

But if I know you, I know what you'll do by [ profile] hopefor46
9.7k, fairy tale au that's a remix of a fic that I wrote!

*If you don't have an AO3 account and would like one, let me know. I have some extra invites. Even if you don't write or post fic, accounts are helpful for bookmarking your faves and marking fics to read later. And, in cases like this one, reading fic that has been locked to the archive.
laceblade: A curved dirt road in the middle of a forest (Up North)

Day 1: In your own space, talk about your Happy Place—the things that give you joy, calms you or keeps you sane

I'm not quite sure I'm fulfilling the prompt correctly, but I am going with digital "spaces," which are either fandom-centric or fandom-adjacent.

The first is Tumblr - my account is [ profile] ribbonknight, although my understanding is that my content is "dash-locked," meaning you need to be logged into your own account in order to see it. I do this because my current fandom is an RPF one, and we make every effort to keep our weirdo stuff AWAY from the people in question!!
Maybe it's because of the visual nature of the site, but I always find something to make me happy on tumblr. There are fandom-specific people and accounts that I follow, but I also enjoy the serendipitous nature of tumblr, where you get people talking about seasons or just funny comebacks, etc.

Another happy place is the Discord channel associated with my current RPF fandom. There had been a Slack, which then shuttered under semi-lolarious circumstances, and the Slack may or may not have secretly been replaced, idk! The Discord channel is populated by people who'd found each other through Tumblr, and it just facilitates a different way for us to talk to one another.
I'm technically also a member of the "oldschool fandom" one that had been linked around Dreamwidth, but it ultimately had too much activity for me to be able to keep up with it.

Lately, playing Animal Crossing: Wild World on my DS has been a happy place for me. The dreamy low-stakes nature of it reminds me of Glitch. I can also see that in addition to Stardew Valley having lifted a lot of its infrastructure from Harvest Moon games, it clearly took some things from Animal Crossing, too.
I'd played Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp in an app on my phone before coming to WW. I really liked the social nature of Pocket Camp, and being able to see how my friends decorated their spaces, etc. I honestly don't remember why I deleted the app - maybe just got too bored by the daily happenings? I'm not sure.
In WW, there are a few things I do every day - search for the rock that will dispense free coins, buy coffee from the pigeon named Brewster in the basement of the museum, search for fossils, collect and sell fruit, check the recycling bin in City Hall for cool shit, etc. The other townspeople and mail I receive provide some surrealist humor, and it's great all around.
Before starting Wild World, I had been playing Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns on my DS. I liked that game, but it did move SO SLOWLY that I semi-abandoned it in favor of starting a Persona 5 game on my PS4.
Anyway! This game, & this genre, is my go-to "I just got home from work and need to forcibly chill the fuck out after a miserable bus ride" evening activity ;)

I love logging my reading on Goodreads, as well as tracking "books I want to read in the future." I also love looking at other people's updates to see what they're reading. I am ribbonknight over there; my profile is here.

Lately I have been watching Veep, and am in the middle of season 5. Every episode makes me laugh, it pulls me out of every bad mood; I love it so much. ty to [personal profile] brdgt for having suggested it.
Young Pope ended up being too dark for me at the moment. This has happened to me a lot in the past few years with live-action TV.

Physically, my "happy place" is when I go Up North to where my family has a trailer on a lake, or when I go horseback riding on Chief. Fresh air, trees, open sky, a lack of buildings. So nice. If I had my way, I'd live in the middle of nowhere.
laceblade: Nana & Hachi, holding hands. (NANA - hands)
As I work on figuring out my gift list for Christmas, I come to Dreamwidth with what is basically the perfect question for this crowd:

Please rec me LGBT books for a 15-year-old girl. She's not super into ~discussing~ things with me, a family member [she has basically acted like a 15yo for the past decade], but this is my attempt at a show of solidarity.

  • Not super into comics but did read & like Ms Marvel a few years back

  • Okay with fantasy & SF but not REALLY their thing [despite my best efforts lol]

  • Overall preference for fiction, but she does get super interested in really interesting or WTF historical figures

  • Likes: 13 Reasons Why, Pretty Little Liars, Grey's Anatomy, Full House [idk why this show made a comeback on DVDs but here we are], v. into makeup

Have been thinking of Malinda Lo's Ash altho I can't remember for the life of me whether I've already gifted it to this household; [personal profile] were_duck thought When the Moon Was Ours. I'll likely be getting two books.
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Default)
The current week-long Black Friday sale that Sentai is holding is BANANAS, like so bananas that I am making a Dreamwidth post to alert random people to the fact that SO MANY SERIES are available for like literally $4.99 and EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT IT. Here is a link to the first page of the sale; series are in alphabetical order.

Yes, so many things are streaming & digital now, but having just watch a significant portion of my Crunchyroll queue get wiped out when Funimation broke off, I have more faith in discs that I can hold in my hand than subscriptions. (To be clear, I do still have and use subscriptions! But consider them ephemeral.)

Stuff I'm buying or already own & recommend:
Chihayafuru ($4.99 per 2-cour set)
CLAMP School Detectives ($4.99 for 2 cour)
K-On! & K-On!! ($4.99 per cour)
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi - ($4.99 for 1 cour)
Penguindrum - ($4.99 each for 2 cour)
Princess Tutu ($3.99!!!, 2 cour)
Shirobako (EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH SHIROBAKO IMO!!!) ($4.99 per cour, 2 cours)
Tari Tari ($4.99, 1 cour)
Yozakura Quartet ($4.99, 1 cour)

Stuff I'm considering buying based on what I've heard/am curious enough & it's cheap enough - lmk if you like it?!
Coffee Samurai / Hoshizora Kiseki [double feature] ($1.99) [Getting]
Flying Witch ($4.99, 1 cour) [Getting]
The Garden of Words ($3.99, movie) [Getting]
Glassslip ($4.99, 1 cour)
Hakukoi - various seasons & movies ($2.99-$4.99 ea) [Not getting! Watched first two eps; kind of thing I'd watch once but never again]
Maria Holic
Non Non Biyori ($4.00 per cour, 2 cour) [Getting]
Patlabor ($2.99 per movie; $10.99 for 7-ep OVA; $4.99 per cour for 4 cour, + 1 cour of 'New Files')
Sakura Wars ($2.99, 2 cour) [Getting]
Stella Women's Academy High School Division Class C3 ($4.99, 1 cour) [Getting]

Did anyone else see the Hibike!/Sound! Euphonium movie, "Liz and the Blue Bird," in theaters? IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL AND GOOD, I cried and it was so great to emote in a room full of people about a show I'd only watched by myself. I miss that part of Anime Club, and it was a great way to spend a week night.

I do wish that these special anime events, where Crunchyroll/whomever the fuck teams up with a theater chain to show something niche on 1-3 specific dates around the country, would be held in normal theater seating instead of the more expensive recliner seating, BUT. If it's all that's available, I have no choice but to luxuriate, right?

Series that I wish were on sale: Sound! Euphonium; Hanasaku Iroha
laceblade: Meelo of Legend of Korra, fists raised, mouth open. Shouting "JAILBREAK!" (ATLA: Meelo jailbreak)
I now have at least a month of HBO NOW, so that I can watch the Pod Save America midterm election specials.

I am wondering whether people have recommendations for other HBO TV shows. [ profile] nicasiosilang has already demanded that I watch Young Pope, in which the Pope is 1) American, and 2) played by Jude Law. SOOOOOO THAT'S HAPPENING. But I will entertain more suggestions to make the most of this month.
laceblade: fanart of Inner Senshi in street clothes, hugging & smiling (Sailor Moon: inners)
So, after my anxious Thursday night, once I left my apartment and actually settled into the hotel room I shared with [personal profile] littlebutfierce, my anxiety levels went down quite a bit. I guess this is something to know for future WisCons. I feel grateful to have been able to spend so much time with [personal profile] littlebutfierce while they were here.

Thanks very much to those of you who asked how I was doing, even if in passing. It felt nice to be surrounded by all of you.

I feel kind of guilty about how few people I saw, although I did make it to a handful of panels this year.
More than a few hours of my time were eaten up by Safety issues, some of which are public, and some of which are not.
Very cool of X's partner to point-blank refuse to help us contact X before blogging after asking whether it was for a Safety issue, and then saying, "No," and then, "I know what this is about. This is ridiculous, you people are ridiculous. I'm not helping you reach her." Which, fine. But nobody should claim that we didn't try. (Other methods were also tried.)

I feel satisfied and comfortable with the decisions made by the co-chairs and Safety leads.
At any rate, what I wanted to say is that I am available for people venting or etc. I have a position within the leadership structure, but I am not on the Anti-Abuse Team, and I (rightfully) do not have access to the totality of information that they have.
During the actual con, I weigh in and support Safety decisions as requested. Depending on the circumstance, I may be involved in relaying information as well, although generally my presence is saved as a last resort, :)

My own panel about the 2018 Midterms went well. I was able to share some information about Pod Save America/Crooked Media's plan to flip 8 House seats in California, the Crooked 8, with a guy looking for a way to help in a relatively blue city/state. I still feel very conflicted and weird about my own political activism, or lack thereof, which is balanced between a fulltime job and mental illness, as well as familial things like aging parents who live half a state away, horseback riding preferably twice a week, and this volunteer gig with SF3. I haven't gone door-to-door or made calls or etc. Maybe that will change once we get past Wisconsin's late gubernatorial/senatorial primaries before the election in November, but in the end I try not to feel guilty about what I can do. What I can do ultimately ends up being mostly online activism, but unexpectedly being able to weigh in, for example with a cousin who had some expected influence in a Q&A with a congressional candidate in a rural western state, connecting people with information, giving advice to people who might have some influence working on campaigns, and my usual hyper-active political tweets. I think we are all doing our best.

Per usual, I feel filled up with enough community and hope and inspiration to go on for another year.

Between my birthday and WisCon, I've spent a lot of the past two weeks in conversation with friends, and I feel lucky and grateful to know so many kind and intelligent people. I am grateful also for being able to converse with you all online for all the times we cannot hang out together in person.
laceblade: Miyamoto from Tari Tari, lying on floor with her legs in the air/on her bed (Tari Tari: kicking bed)
Have had [personal profile] littlebutfierce here the past few days, and was able to drop them off at the Concourse and get four hours of work in today.

I'd planned to go to the Guest of Honor readings at A Room of One's Own, but then was too anxious to do so.

After the time had passed by which I could reasonably make it, I then cried in bed for a while. Unclear why I am anxious in the first place, but have decided I'm not leaving the apartment for tonight.

I think I wish I had gone Up North instead, where at least I could somewhat function.
laceblade: Miyamoto from Tari Tari, lying on floor with her legs in the air/on her bed (Tari Tari: kicking bed)
(x-posted from Facebook)

New Mutants Classic, vol 3, Claremont & Sienkiewicz. (Pairing Bill’s art w Claremont’s writing elevated an already-great series)

The Vision, vol 2: Little Better Than a Beast by Tom King

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett (great end to a masterful trilogy)

Snotgirl, vol 1: Green Hair Don’t Care by Bryan Lee O’Malley & Leslie Hung (current fave running comic)

Monstress, vol 2: The Blood by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Usagi Yojimbo vol 7 by Stan Sakai (Have past this, I just think this was a particular standout)

Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Red Notice by Bill Browder

Buried Heart by Kate Elliott (everything I wish Hunger Games would have done politically, plus a million other fantastic things)

Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card, volume 1 by CLAMP

Nagata Kabi’s My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness
laceblade: Toby, Josh, and Donna of The West Wing, talking intensely (WW: 20 Hours in America)
AS YOU MAY RECALL, I attended the Pod Save America live show in Madison, on October 6th.

I had prepared a question for the Q&A session, work-shopping it the night before via text message with a friend who's also obsessed with this podcast, but felt too shy to get in line. My boyfriend then pointed out to me that everyone else in line was a dude ("Don't worry, these bros have got it under control"), and I bolted, beating another approaching guy and making it ON TO THE SHOW WITH MY QUESTION!!!

Anyway, I've finally written up a transcript with bonus material from December 26th's pod, as it had some related content that I'd like to look back on.


The audio to this episode can be found here.
I come in at about 1:21:00, aka the last question of the podcast.

ME: I guess, we had the #wiunion protests here, and it was a similar vibe to what I see going on right now, in that a lot of people were really excited about politics for the first time, we had people live-tweeting Senate floor sessions who previously didn't know who their senator was. It was pretty awesome. And, Scott Walker is like, weak right now, he has low poll numbers, he kind of got pushed around during the budget fights that ended recently, and my question is basically, when the gubernatorial candidates are kind of, um, basic? for lack of a better word, or the campaigns are kind of shitty, like, what can you-- what can we as voters and citizens do to get other people excited, and like, hold on to that energy?

[applause; PS as soon as I said the word "shitty," Jon Favreau broke into a huge grin.]

JON LOVETT: So what you're saying is, how do you get people excited to vote in an election that's really important, but they're not excited about the candidate on their side? Is that what you're asking?


ME: Yes.

DAN PFEIFFER: It's a hypothetical we'll probably never experience.


JON FAVREAU: Let's say...

LOVETT: So, I know a few things that DON'T work.

[uproarious laughter]

TOMMY VIETOR (?): Starting a podcast...

LOVETT: It's really hard. But, I think...I mean, you guys have anything? [gestures to co-hosts]


ERIN GLORIA RYAN: I mean, I don't know, I think that we all have this fresh example of what happens when you don't vote, or when people don't vote. And I think a lot of people who didn't vote probably feel bad about the fact that they didn't vote. It literally just happened. Just be like, 'Hey, remember that? In November? When that happened? And how much you hated it? Let's make it not happen again.'

FAVREAU: We are a personality-obsessed when it comes to politics, so all the stories about the candidates and the presidents and the politicians, and all the drama's around them, and it is at the expense of talking about the issues. And I think what you'd find if you talk to people, and you talk to your friends, and you talk to voters, what they care about is not the drama between the players and the game, but the issues that are actually going to affect their lives? And so I think we need to figure out a way to have the issues break through in the conversation, and to talk about THAT. And if you can get someone excited about climate change, and affording college, and healthcare, THAT can get them to the polls.


PFEIFFER: Also, Scott Walker is fucking terrible and we should get rid of him!

FAVREAU: That too, that too.

PFEIFFER: I'd lead with that!

LOVETT: Enthusiasm is also contagious. And if you care, and you can get someone near you to care, you can go and take that out there and make people passionate. So you have to stay invested in the fight, and you have to care a lot about how this fight ends.

From December 26th mail-bag episode, We're Saying 'Pod Save America' Again )
laceblade: Sasuke and Ponyo; Ponyo w/light over her head, expression gleeful (Ponyo: It's a light!)
It's time for Sparkler's annual kickstarter to fund their next year of comics. They have 3 days left, and they're only a little more than halfway there. They're doing great work, and they need help.
Most of our content is free to read and stream, but a paid magazine membership lets you read ahead of the free serialization, download the content, and support the creators.

Sparkler Monthly is a multimedia, digital shojo/josei magazine of original English-language fiction. Our carefully selected creators are paid advances for their work and go through a thorough editorial process. After a book or audio story is serialized in the magazine, it’s bundled with bonus material and sold as ebooks, limited paperbacks, and/or CDs in the Sparkler Shop (similar to the magazine –> tankoubon system in Japan). In addition, our paperbacks and products can be found at a number of retailers; see our Retail & Libraries page on where to buy, and how to acquire books for your business or library.

The primary audience for Sparkler Monthly is girls and women aged 15 and up, or anyone interested in the rough ballpark of Female Gaze. Our four founders and most of our staff identify as female and are committed to promoting inclusive, fem-positive, and ridiculously fun content. We welcome creators of any gender and are particularly interested in entertaining, engrossing stories that tap into the variety and diversity of fandom.

This is a link to their Kickstarter campaign. The FAQ gives great advice if the options are overwhelming.

I love their content, from scripted audio dramas to comics to light novels. I love getting paperback copies of things I've tried online, so that I can more easily share them with other people.

If you've thought about supporting Sparkler or trying it out, now is the best [and, potentially only] time to do so.
laceblade: "Pod Save America" yellow text in caps lock, laid over a headshot of most common George Washington portrait. He's wearing earbuds. (Pod Save America)
I made [community profile] podsaveamerica and I'm pretty excited and you should come hang out with me.

Three former aides to President Obama — Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor — started a media empire they named "Crooked Media," a hat-tip to Donald Trump. Their flagship podcast is Pod Save America, a freewheeling conversation about politics, the press, and the challenges posed by the Trump presidency.

Hang out at [community profile] podsaveamerica to discuss this podcasts and others by Crooked Media - Pod Save the People, Pod Save the World, Lovett or Leave It, and With Friends Like These.

In this community, we'll have discussion posts about each podcast. Talk about the guests, the conversations, whatever grievances were aired during the ads (lol). We'll also have posts about targeted activism. For example, during Resistance Recesses, you can discuss in the comments if/what you did. (The podcasts themselves frequently suggest specific action items for listeners.)

Listen to all of the podcasts, or just 1 or 2. No pressure.

Their mission statement says it all. [cw for ableist use of "sane" / "insane"]
Click to read Mission Statement )
laceblade: Chibi Tomoyo blushing with eyes downcast, hands clutching face (CCS: Tomoyo overcome)
Halfway Away, a vid for Yuri!!! on Ice by [personal profile] starlady
This is just such sweet vid, and makes me feel overcome by all the feelings I had when watching the show as it aired. That it's an excellent song choice doesn't hurt, either.

Field Work, a vid for the Indiana Jones series by [personal profile] eruthros
I will never look at Indiana Jones the same way again.

For the first time this year at WisCon, there was a drabble challenge, with results posted in a collection at the AO3: WisCon 41 Drabbles.
I particularly enjoyed the drabbles by [ profile] j00j and [ profile] TheAndy, but am probably biased because they are friends.

It's a small collection, but one of high quality, and I hope that they do it again next year. The idea of collecting works created in the same physical location, over a specific period of time, is pretty cool. Also, I was at the Best Superpowers for Banging panel, which inspired the "Lube Jets" drabble. To say that the panel was hilarious feels like an understatement.


May. 21st, 2017 05:05 pm
laceblade: Risa of Lovely Complex, contorting thumbs & index fingers into a heart, winking (Love*Com: Risa Heart)
I am not staying at the hotel this year. We'll see whether I end up deciding that's TERRIBLE or not. I justified it last year b/c I was co-chairing, but this year I have no such excuse lol.

I am not on any panels. I will appear on stage briefly during dessert salon/GOH speeches.

This year, unlike last year, I do hope to attend some panels, though.

For the first time since I started going, I think, I have not taken any time off from work. Having been on vacation for the entire month of April, I felt too guilty to request any, lol.
This means that I will not be around for the Gathering or any of the first programming items, but shouldn't affect much else.
I'll likely miss the GOH readings at A Room of One's Own Thursday as well, because I'll be horseback riding.

This is my 9th WisCon, but my 10th anniversary of when I first attended!

I don't discuss this much outside of locked entries, but I've not been in a great place mentally this past week or so. So if I seem subdued, it's not you; it's me.
laceblade: Sasuke and Ponyo; Ponyo w/light over her head, expression gleeful (Ponyo: It's a light!)
I had a "nightmare" last night in that somehow WisCon was happening and it was already Sunday night, and I was like, "God, I haven't even DONE anything yet, how the hell is this almost over?!"

That this now constitutes a WisCon nightmare for me is evidence of a healthier relationship, I think.
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Glee: Pezberry couch)
This concert was a complete surprise, announced while I was already in London for the month. Shoreditch was the neighborhood next to mine, so even though it cut into the weekend that we ended up traveling to York, I went to this concert, one of a handful Lea has had thus far to promote her new album, Places.

The line to get inside extended around the corner of a large city block, and there was some palpable excitement.

I had a balcony seat, and a decent view. The music being played overhead prior to Lea was all Bon Iver [I think]. I lost my shit a little bit when I recognized The Wolves, which is a song that's on my [Glee] fic playlist, although I had previously only been familiar with the Ellie Goulding cover and didn't even know it was a Bon Iver song, lol. BUT. SO MANY FIC FEELINGS UGGGHHHH.

When the lights dimmed imperceptibly, everyone screamed. We cheered and clapped for a long time, and eventually Lea kept trying to talk but couldn't because the clapping persisted. She was clearly overcome, thanked everyone sincerely for having come. Someone in the front yelled, "You deserve this!"

The band joining Lea on stage included a drummer, a cellist, a pianist, and some string instrument(s) I couldn't see, probably including a violin. This led to some different intros and interpretations, just because some of the orchestral/electronic effects couldn't be recreated on a live tour. For example, I remember really liking the percussive intro to Cannonball, the first song.

"Love Is Alive" was the first song to give me goosebumps. Like, her voice is just phenomenal, but there was a point of realizing, I AM IN THE SAME ROOM AS LEA. SHIT.
Her story introducing how she got this song [from a writer] was pretty hilarious, but I think completely loses its effect if not told verbally.

I eyerolled when she said she wished Darren [Criss] was there just before beginning Battlefield - he sang the duet with her on the album. Everyone else cheered, though, so I struggled to keep my reaction non-verbal so as not to ruin the moment for the people sitting to either side of me LOL.

Often on the slower songs, Lea would give a manual cue to the pianist/orchestra members to speed things up, making a "go" motion circling her index finger, which cheered me because slow songs tend to bore me live too, :D

When introducing "Sentimental Memories," she said something like, "One of the great things about being a singer is that you get to express these feelings...AND TALK SHIT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO FUCKED YOU OVER." lmao.

"Heavy Love" gave me some 'these strange steps' feelings, mostly due to the Dear lover / put another pill upon my tongue lyric.

Full setlist )

A tweet from Lea's twitter feed, showing her on the stage.

Since the concert, the whole Places album has been released. I'd like to listen to it more, and spend time comparing it to Louder, but I feel like her voice sounds healthier here, like you can tell she's had a lot of rest. I think her voice is still damaged from Glee, but it makes me happy how nice it sounded.
I want to punch the reporter who asked her whether "Hey You" was about Cory. The direct references in the lyrics make it completely obvious that IT IS, why ask her?

"Anything's Possible" gives me a lot of fic feelings. I'm adding it to my fic-writing inspiration playlist.
laceblade: Screencap from FF7, Zak and Cloud escaping from Mako tubes in Shinra mansion (FF7: Cloud/Zack escape)
So approximately a decade after it came out, I finally played Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus.
For those unfamiliar, this is a shooting game that uses one of FF7's tertiary characters as the protagonist - Vincent's even optional, in FF7! In FF7, he has a rich but underutilized backstory that is told primarily through wordless flashbacks. Much is insinuated, but not articulated.

It's hard to beat FF7's protagonist in terms of angst, in that he looked up to his culture's war hero, left home to join the army & be like him, only to have that hero burn down his hometown, killing his mother and everyone else he ever cared about...AND THEN you find out halfway through the game that this character's memories have been fucked, and he's not even the person he thought he was.
No, Vincent beats that! By previously working for the Corporate Bad Guys and being an expert marksman, falling in love with a scientist working on biological experiments whom he's supposed to be protecting, discovering she got pregnant by an unscrupable man he loathes, and that she did it FOR SCIENCE, injects herself with JENOVA cells, gives birth to a future serial killer/wannabe-planet destroyer before tragically dying & causing Vincent to feel like he personally failed her, getting SHOT by an unscrupable man he loathes & basically brought back to life and tortured/experimented upon against his will, and literally sleeping in a coffin for the next 50 years to atone for his sins in the basement of a mansion in a town that was supposed to have burned down, until you/your party wake him up to join the fight. ALL! OF! THE! ANGST!

The fact that the guy voice-acting for Vincent Valentine is the dude who did Spike's voice in Cowboy Bebop doesn't hurt, either. For a video game, I though the voice-acting in this was pretty great.

This story focuses primarily on Vincent, but Reeve and Yuffie are pretty prominent as well. I've seen some reviews complain about this, but I'm actually really excited for a game focusing on these three. Of course, that didn't decrease my excitement when the rest of the party showed up. TIFA!! I loved seeing Cid's ship - of course he'd have a skylight that rotates images of natural life on the planet.

I'd put this off for a long time because when I initially tried playing it, I failed hardcore with the setup. It is absolutely necessary to play through the tutorial, but this was made interesting for me because you got to play Vincent-as-a-Turk, :D With the help of the tutorial, you get your bearings okay, although playing games like Star Wars Dark Forces I and II probably have helped me become accustomed to shooters. Sometimes I had to replay parts of missions what seemed like an endless number of times to finally beat them, but then I'd get rewarded with ANGST and more story, so it was okay. Also, some of the mechanics are aimed at people used to RPGs, in my opinion, in that they make it easier. At all times, you can literally use a Phoenix Down on yourself so that if you get shot/KO'ed, you're immediately resurrected. They make a few things difficult in that the number of items you can carry is severely limited, but overall the difficulty was not extreme.

I'd expected the plot to make way less sense than it did. This game was better than it had any right to be, and the twists in the story were totally unexpected [to me], and tied right into the larger Final Fantasy VII mythology. It was fun that Lucrecia still had some secrets.

I LOVE part of the scene that auto-plays when you start up the game and just let it cycle, where Vincent climbs to the top of the Sister Ray towards the end of disc 2, and finds Hojo collapsed over the computer screens/controls, and Vincent just levels his gun. GAH!!

Being able to play around in Midgar and Kalm, finding LOVELESS posters on walls when you're zooming around with your sniper scope, EXPLORING THE SEWERS BENEATH NIBELHEIM, I feel like this game was a love letter to fans, and almost like it was created specifically for me.
As I try to finally plow through some PS2 games to find which ones I actually enjoy/are worth keeping [or, to use the KonMari phrase, which "spark joy"], I'm delighted to have fallen in love with this one.
laceblade: 5 girls of K-On! anime, carrying UK bags. Text: let's go abroad! (K-On!: Abroad)
Yes, I am behind on that meme and also on comments and also many things. I have plans for blog posts, though!

That said, I’m going to be spending the month of April in England. [My partner's employer has a retention problem that they combat by giving a month-long paid vacation anywhere the world for employee and a +1 every 5 years they work there.]

Do you know of any books, comics, or manga that are published/available in the UK that are not available in the US? Tell me about them, ;)

I’m also going to be looking into anime. While I understand that DVDs there are a different “region,” for a while the UK had the Studio Ghibli movie “Only Yesterday,” which was only finally released in the US LAST YEAR. WHAT IF THERE IS MORE. I’m willing to nose around a little, but if you have thoughts/knowledge on other forms of media you think I’d be interested in, I’ll take that, too.


laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, Reina holding Kumiko's face w/one hand, faces close enough to almost touch. (Default)

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