Iron Monkey

Mar. 3rd, 2015 10:07 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I just rewatched Iron Monkey, a rather excellent martial arts movie with a final fight on poles above fire that just wows me. Like, I want to know how they did it, but I also don’t, because damn that looks awesome. Maybe they just set the fire and had a fight up on sticks, you never know. That’s what it looked like.

I like how it makes the bad guy being unbalanced their fatal flaw in a very physical way that clearly accompanies the moral/ethical/philosophical level. Earlier sequences with Chinese medicine made clear the importance of balance. Being evil just messes itself up.
Read more... )

So the form the fight takes is making a moral argument about all the flaws in the Evil approach, and demonstrating that being good to each other works better.

It’s pretty cool.



Iron Monkey also had a father and son working together, teacher and student, and a bunch of stuff about relationships and growing up, which was actually what I thought I’d be writing about when I sat down. But I made my 1000 words for the day mostly by talking about the fight scenes, so, I’ll leave that for tomorrow.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I win at vacuum cleaning.

also I noticed that the dust on my jewellery box is probably 15 years accumulation so I tried the vacuum cleaner hose on that. It didn't get rid of it but it did reduce it from dust civilisation to, er, icing sugar.
... *adds 'duster' to supplies list*

I might not have left the house much in the last year, but there's certainly a lot less mess in here than there used to be. There's only about a quarter of the bedroom still unsorted. well, and the contents of assorted boxes and shelves, but being boxed and shelved they're fine where they are for now.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
There are toilet brushes advertised for sale costing eight hundred pounds. £800. And they're not even solid gold. They are golden coloured, and made of glass.

Eight hundred pounds.

I thought they were getting ridiculous up around £50, and the glittery one at £72 was clearly having a laugh, but that's something else.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Tuesdays are awesome.

I have a clean house, I ate nice foods, I have nice liquid refreshment, all is well.

I did not order delivery shoppings yesterday but that turns out useful because the cleaner kept finding more things that were running out so now I can have them delivered before next Tuesday instead of slightly after.



Later I will do the vacuum cleanering (no, really, I am resolved) and hang up the laundry and put in more laundry.

Things need doing, things get done. Is great.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I am watching Total Recall, the more recent one, I'm 40 minutes in, and I'm kind of baffled by the choices thus far.

I mean I haven't watched the other one recently enough to compare, but just within the internal logic of this film, the editing baffles me. Or at least it does if they're even slightly trying to go with the unique selling point of the PKD background.

Read more... )


Okay, so, I've watched the whole of that film now, and I do not know why the makers wanted to make it. I honestly don't. The unique selling point of the Total Recall conceit was almost entirely discarded. All that was left... oh, all that was left was that balls they always use where an ordinary schlub with a deadend life is secretly the chosen one. Right. That would be why then. Not anything about memory and identity, nothing about the ambiguity of subjectivity, just... you too could be a secret agent. Played straight.

The fuck is the point of that?



I think by the end of that film I actually actively hate it.

I should read more spoilers and not bother watching more films.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I woke up feeling sure I was full of good idea. Something about characters that work well together, and grids, and teams, and span of control. That was about 12 hours ago, and my train of thought is long lost…


Okay, though, span of control: I think I first read the idea in GURPS, which used it to explain how many people you can be the boss of in a combat situation, but I’ve also seen it in training for EMTs being the boss of a major accident scene. The idea is that most humans can only really accept input from 3 to 7 people at once, optimising at around five. If they have more than a literal handful, they drop some. Which, clearly a problem in combat, or if there’s a lot of crunch happened already.

… that’s what I have it memorised as anyway, I should probably look it up but I can’t be bothered.

So my idea is, connect that with character numbers. Read more... )



There’s some tidy bundles of difference, like, Flight, Fight or… Friend? Fawn? Or the ruder version, of course. Three clear strands of ways to react to the unexpected.

Read more... )
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I am vaguely planning to go out and collect actual paper catalogs for places that do have websites
because the websites crash my browser a lot.

... or, I could get a computer from the same decade the website designers expect.

I tried, though, I took my desktop computer to the computer shop, they fixed it so it doesn't view https websites and stopped answering my emails. there are other computer shops but they've screwed it up far worse than that in the past. I just... how do you computer?

why can't we just have things that work?

... my plan to look at pretty things until I calmed down was more stressful than planned.
beccaelizabeth: fizzgig from The Dark Crystal is having a shouty tantrum made of sharp teeth. (tantrum)
and now I'm having a stompy strop because I went to buy a thing to cheer me up and the website was all 'new season!' and the thing was gone. and I cannot find a similar thing. anywhere.

and it was a very nice thing!
http://www.tesco.com/direct/cable-knit-heart-cushion-red/284-0388.prd

*sulking*



... yes I realise I have no actual problems right now, my sulk does not care.

...I should go meditate.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
and now someone is doing more clang clang thuds works downstairs. for some minutes already. in an ongoing way.

I realise the internet doesn't need to know and the problem is trivial, but, thing.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
no one is replying to my emails or answering phones at the place I keep trying to contact.
I grumpy now. All day awake, none the jobs achieved, because they involve contacting people who are not there.

... whyyyyyyy do they not prioritise meeeeee? Why am I not the center of their world, huh?
:eyeroll:

... it's just a bit frustrating.

ugh, alarms

Mar. 2nd, 2015 09:09 am
beccaelizabeth: Knight with sword out, defiant; word balloon says NO. (No)
there was a car alarm going off for a full quarter of an hour around 0200 this morning. and then beeping 24 times every five minutes for about another half hour. And then it went off again this morning, in case anyone was thinking of getting more than five hours sleep.

... I would swear about this but I'm too tired.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Last weekend I was doing interesting things with lots of people. This weekend I am in my flat doing laundry. Boo.

At Redemption I tried to do creative interactive type stuff, so I did a creativity workshop where we invented a TV show, and a flash fiction thing where we wrote a story in ten minutes and then read it out.

I think that flash fiction bit is the most fiction words I've done in years.

And really I should stop being depressed about that and just do some writing. Last weekend proved I can in fact just sit down, take three words of prompt, and make a thing that vaguely makes sense. I should just keep doing that.

And I challenged myself to write 1000 words a day every day this year, so writing fiction would be like I set out to do. ... what actually happens is I complain for a thousand words, which isn't as helpful as I'd intended.

I didn't go to the bit about writing Fighting Fantasy books, I prioritised something else (making the costume pretty), but I'm kind of sad about that. In the guest talk later he made it sound pretty cool. You get a precise number of scenes, and each of them has to be at least a bit interesting, which obviously every scene you bother writing should be anyway. It sounds like writing with cogs in, sort of thing, like scaffolding and it has to end up all working together. There was a bit about using hubs in game design that I made enough notes on to look up later. I hadn't even known that there were so many Fighting Fantasy books, when they stopped being in the local bookshop I stopped looking for them, but there's bazillions, and now they're apps as well. It's pretty cool. Though I like the Lone Wolf books better because you have an arc plot and recurring characters and you can gain skills and stuff.

When I play with RPG rules I mostly just fiddle about inventing a city or poking the magic rules or something, but making up a whole Fighting Fantasy style adventure sounds like fun. Or like at least triple the work? One of those.

... mostly I want to go play my FF books again. And maybe get more.

So that was a successful guest talk, from his point of view. though I didn't buy any of his books because I'm trying not to spend money because Plan.

I was thinking with the Lone Wolf books then the skills you choose at the start change which path you take through the book. Like, some of them are more aggressive and some of them can warn you about fights before you get into them. There's the sneaky way and the fighty way. And mostly you have to make friends with the right people and not accidentally kill innocents. And then there are consequences.

... and, last time I played through, one big boss fight that's purely impossible, but I suspect my maths slipped at some point, I don't know.

To do the Lone Wolf thing you usually needed a good balance of skills, because you'd need to do a little of everything at some point, but you could also make a book where there's the fight track and the sneaky one and the befriend everyone version. But then people would wander around choosing things so probably they'd end up mixing them all up.

There's people who've thought of these things properly. I should go do the reading.



I don't know why I'm so utterly unmotivated to do writing. ... er, no, actually, I do know, it's called depression, but that's a really annoying answer. But anything that leaves me unmotivated to, say, get out of bed in the morning, is probably doing a number on my motivation to write.

Guest talk dude whose name I've forgotten (oops) was asked by someone in the audience how to stick with writing, because audience guy always stalled after like 15K words. Guest dude said he was already writing novellas. I liked that answer, that was like, you're not a rubbish marathon writer, you're great at the 800m. But then you'd have to get a whole structure in and not just write a whole lot of beginning. Beginning is fun because you just throw things at things and make a bunch of plot threads. Middles mean you have to start weaving them together into interesting patterns, and ends have to actually make sense. If you're stuck writing only beginnings, is maybe not the same as writing whole novellas. Structure and craft is key.

I've got a file around here about the act structure for I think Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's pretty much a time limited version of the usual: First introduce people and their problem, then throw complications at them, then someone wins. Maybe have a cup of tea and have feelings about it for a couple pages at the end.

Fixed forms are easier to see how they work though. Got lots of engines and pushing bits. Like, commercials TV has to have something awesome happen before the commercials and be resolved after them, so it's got all these little extra pushes to keep the story moving. BBC shows can kind of flop around in the middle more because no ad breaks.

I need to pick a scaffolding, choose some characters, see what I could do to them.

There were notes in the creativity workshop that were handy too. Like, any set of characters work well for the show if and only if they will respond differently to any given situation. We pulled apart Red Dwarf for examples, and Piers B said about how Atlantis had to rejig it's main characters because it had two fighty ones so it turned them into a fighter and a diplomat, mostly by redistributing Teyla's character traits. If you're doing an RPG party you want your characters to each have a speciality, and that'll go some way towards giving them all a unique set of responses. D&D alignments will do the same thing, but you end up wondering why these people are even together. On Red Dwarf there was also a thing about attitudes to the rules, like Kryten is all rules and has to learn not-rules, Rimmer thinks the rules are essential but doesn't understand them, Lister is no fan of rules but can bend them to his will, and Cat is just, like, what rules? So they'll always do differently. That's not as flat as an Order/Chaos alignment but it's related.

It's a bit of a problem though when you've got the fighter and the diplomat, because the show tends to pick a side. Like, SG1 is not about Daniel making friends and learning about new cultures, Daniel tends to be instead the one who gets everyone else into trouble by attempting to make friends with the new culture. It's not even a scientist show, for all there is shiny, because it's made up shiny and the show would be pulling it's solutions from thin air every week. Boring. MacGyver attempts to use real scientific principles and do things that would in fact work, so it's a science show kinda, but then so far he's mostly improvising explosives from household items and/or figuring out new ways to trip people up and drop things on them. Which I still like better than guns, but somehow isn't what I was dreaming of given the pilot episode. So it's another kabooms action show. But something like... I want to say Ghost Whisperer but haven't seen it for a long long time... there are shows where the point is to make friends and resolve someone's problem every week. It can be done. And a fighter character on those shows? Would be the problem.

hmmm, that's a problem for the characters and for fans of the character who ends up hard done by, that's not actually a problem for the drama. If the characters stick by their role they continue to make trouble for the party which will then be solved in their unique styles.

See I tend to do... not exactly fanfic, but something that starts with my favourite personal versions of canon characters, puts them together and stirs until the serial numbers wear off. But my favourites do tend to have a theme. If I put them all together, am I going to get a balanced party?

Often my favourite slash pairings have built in conflicts. ... Magneto and Professor X spring to mind, obviously, or Giles and Ethan. Tony Stark and Steve Rogers too. They just have different world views, different approaches to every problem, different ideas of what the problem even is. So just the pair of them can drive a whole lot of different stories. A pairing like Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, while I can see them in canon getting along great, don't have the same pushing in opposite directions problem, except for that brief angsty time with the Winter Soldier. Everything else has Bucky just backing Steve up, come what may, which is clearly a great partner but not a very dramatic story.

But then I read a lot of Clint/Coulson and it's not like they're on opposite sides. Different approaches, sure, but after the recruitment stories... which I read like candy... very much same sides pointing the same direction. So, I like different things at different times. That's... that's going to help with writing, I'm sure.



Anyways, structure, characters that each respond different, and then a story engine, something that happens to kick things off. In a TV show, the thing that happens every week. What brings the story to you? And what successfully resolves it?

I should totally be able to do that.

... aaaaany day now...
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Good Things: Did Sunday Breakfast. Now I had food and have new shoppings. I win.

Not so great things: Realised I'd typoed an address two other people are using. Must correct all three of us.


Oh well. Might be irrelevant come Monday anyway. Shall see.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I'm tired and My Flat is back on Rightmove listed for sale so it is no longer Mine
(though honestly it was listed pretty much all last year and I was the only one who offered on it so I'm... vaguely hopeful it will hang around? Which seems mean to the vendors but if they'd just got their finger out and done what they promised they'd have sold it already. To me.)

Monday will involve a lot of talking to people to find out if dominoes all go splat or if the plan remains vaguely possible in some changed form.

I only want a Good Plan to work, but I really really really do not want to stay in this flat any more, this is not a good flat, this is somewhere everyone has been recommending I move out of for many years now, and it would be really frustrating if an arbitrary deadline messed that up forever.
beccaelizabeth: Hug (Zatanna hug)
Leonard Nimoy is dead and I am sad
and everyone else is sad
so I am sad they are sad too.

Hugs for everyone.

Excellent

Feb. 27th, 2015 11:35 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
The thing that was going BEEP is no longer going BEEP, however irregularly.
I phoned it in to say the Hush button wasn't working at about 0430, they upgraded the repair to an emergency at 0930ish and by 1130 the electrician had been and had swapped it for a whole new BEEP thing that was not BEEPing. ... he agreed it probably was just the battery, but he made it have a whole new thing anyway. *shrugs*
He was even shorter than me but he has a much taller ladder so that worked out.
I gave him a fortune cookie because yaay.
now, silence!
:-)


I may well go back to sleep, because sleeping 3 hours is insufficient.

I like my landlord's repair service.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I'm not very good at being interactive.
I go where the humans are, I attempt social, but quite often it's sort of minimally effective.
Sometimes it's because my brain has run out of words entirely, and sometimes it's because my speaking words are run out but passing around the notepad isn't going to work, and sometimes it's... a mystery to me, but people seem to be elsewhere instead.

I have heard since the convention that I seemed aloof and isolated. Another time the description was with us but not with us. At the convention someone made a point at the disco of saying I seemed unimpressed. Which is a mystery to me because I was surrounded by humans and having a nice party.

I think I was like 'no, no, my face just does the thing'. Sometimes my face does a thing and I don't even know what it's doing. Sometimes it kind of runs out and stops responding, I don't know what it looks like when it does that. From the inside it's weird cause it's like pressing the button but the lift don't light up. Or just before that there's a phase where some of the expression happens and I can only imagine what that looks like cause it feels all twisty and like the face muscles equivalent of typos.

I think these mysterious non verbal signals like eye contact and body language might be combining to say Keep Back or something, which is annoying because the only signal they're usually sending is Is Autistic Spectrum.
... which sometimes does mean I want humans to Keep Back, but generally by then I have my hat over my eyes or am curled up in a ball or something, and even then sometimes I'm having a perfectly nice day, I've just gone input-only.



I should probably get some of those little flip chart signs that say stop/caution/go for being social. Those seem handy. Not widely understood yet, but handy.


But I'd kind of also like to know what it is I'm even doing.

Priorities

Feb. 26th, 2015 06:54 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I'm watching more MacGyver. In the pilot he was risking his life to save more lives. That makes sense.
And sometimes he's risking his life for spy stuff, intelligence, which could be about saving lives.
But in two episodes so far he's risking his life to save someone's business. Lives for money. And in logic world they're going to die. I mean, seriously, there is no way these plans work in logic world. Also the last time the brown guy died and there weren't hardly any of the business left anyway. So then that's basically a fail. But I don't grok why he's even trying.

I mean they're using unstable explosives and trying to put out a fire because there's a ton of oil underneath it. And so far there's been three seperate points where logically they're all dead. Because money.

I realise money is someone's livelihood, they need to earn a living, but seriously, there have to be other ways.



Also in this episode is Nana Visitor. At least so the credits say. I'm not actually sure at this picture quality.



I guess it's easier to see why take the risk when it's something like 'keep on flying'. They can't live on mainstream planets because oppression, they need money to have air, doing stupid things for money is not in fact stupid. But if you can go somewhere else and get a different job or maybe retrain or whatever, I don't see why maybe actually frying is a good risk.


So then it's no fun because the smartest guy on the screen is using it for a really stupid cause.


It works out though because TV.



It's wearisome the way there's only ever one woman in these things. Implausible and wearying.
Also a salutary reminder that it could be worse.
But blah.

fail food

Feb. 26th, 2015 03:59 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I just attempted to make something that was calling itself 'dairy free cheese sauce'.
The nutritional information says it has 0.5g protein per 100g.
What even is in that?
I probably should have read the ingredients first. It's, like, basically cornflour? And some rice flour. And flavouring they're vague about that involves soya.
So I mixed it like the instructions said, more or less, and it's basically, like, whitish soup?
But hey, maybe it has a flavour?
So I poured it on some pasta, and the result is the most not-food food I've seen in a really long time. With a taste that reminds me of... I think bed and breakfast places waiting for boarding school? I knew they didn't use food in their dinners but had not previously encountered the taste elsewhere.

So now I'm giggling at the epic fail of non-food I have a bowl full of.
It's not even vaguely edible, I tried, I had like five pasta shells and it's ... no.

The problem with being away for the weekend is the food shopping routine gets interrupted. Mum wanted to go do something though so she's going to get the Sunday foods. I should probably order the Tuesday foods.

I'm watching MacGyver some more and it's kind of hilarious the number of improvised explosives I've seen him make in a couple of weeks? Like, I'm fairly sure teaching people how to do this at home isn't a good idea? And, also, that mostly trying to copy him would involve fizzles or maybe hurting themselves. But still, this wasn't the 'science can fix it' attitude I had in mind. Science goes KABOOM!

I did not go to the dentist today because cough, but now I do not cough mostly, so I think it was maybe not a good idea to not go. But I couldn't know that in advance and I get quite annoyed at people who go and cough in waiting rooms.

Mum arrived with foods, yaays!
... and then ate the not-food, because she has stronger stomach than mine. She took the stuff that is basically cornstarch, because you never know when you'll need a thickener.


... and the internet needs to know!
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
also today I have cancelled the dentist appointment tomorrow, cause even if all I've got is this annoying cough, the last thing a dentist needs is coughing. Plus, pointy things in my mouth, lets not.

oh, more laundry. I should go empty the laundry right now. and put more in.
joy.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
At the Dead Dog Party at the end of Red 15 I went around with a big sheet of paper asking everyone

What Was The Best Bit

... mostly I learned that people at the Dead Dog are up to 'I love everyone in this bar' so the usual first vote for best bit was 'All of it!' or 'All the people'. Which is cool.

But I'll type up the whole list under the cut:

Read more... )

My vote? Being interactive all weekend. Workshops and costumes and panels.
I like that there's so much to do you have to choose between things and then want a TARDIS to go choose the other things as well.
And yes, all the people. Because everyone is playing, and it's grand.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Dear self: That thing where you leave the weekly laundry to do after the con? Where you will then have two weeks of laundry plus whatever shiny things you only wear at cons? That is not a good thing.


Also, stop doing laundry now, it is Late.




I am tired and I keep hoping I'm only being paranoid about the sore throat and sometimes cough, but I think I should probably stock up for having a cold next. Or tomorrow. Soon, anyways.

Also I did not complete the Tuesday jobs because vacuum cleaner is loud and chair is comfy.



Also also I did not do 'write 1000 words' today. All weekend, yes, but not today, because tumblr.
... my queue is up to 111, and my dash is up to 9 hours ago. Very possibly that is too much queue. I might not get more caught up than 4 days ago for the forseeable future.
I have not read up to date on Dreamwidth or Livejournal neither.

4 days is a long time on the internet.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
so today I'm like, coughing? I do not cough! No, nope, no coughing here.
... the whole travel in public transport to meet upwards of 200 people many of them with colds is totally not going to be a problem...


(Also I have a dentist check up on Thursday so I really do hope I am not going to get ill. I'd have to reschedule and it would be irritating.)
(also, I am an idiot who schedules the dentist right after a con, why even, what was I thinking? Well, aside from it being a 6 month check and I hadn't brought my calendar, but still...)
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
improv game: Yes, And...

because it is really easy to shut down an idea or say yes, but or even no, but. and then no one is playing and it goes nowhere.

on the other hand it's really quite hard to be all 'yes, and' about every suggestion. so you have to get creative...
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
You know, my flat, routinely, is louder than a hotel room at a science fiction convention in full swing.

FFS this is ridiculous.

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