bardic_lady: (couples-much ado)
[personal profile] bardic_lady
"Sure, why not?" she said. "Let's try this other social media platform that I've had an account on for years and never done anything with. It'll be fun!"

Also posted to my Tumblr.

So, 2014… That happened. Most of the year, honestly, was one of the most consistently grinding down bad years I can remember. But not everything sucked! Here are some bright spots:

Comics
  • Lumberjanes! I am so excited about basically everything about Lumberjanes! If the trade had been out, I would’ve given lots of people Lumberjanes for the holidays! I am excited enough that I submitted a proposal to present about it at Pippi to Ripley 3 in Ithaca in May 2015!
  • Lazarus. I don’t like dystopias, y’all. Except… when they’re written by Greg Rucka, apparently, and then I love them.
  • Black Widow. My Princess Tasha has her own solo series and it’s AWESOME and it’s not about her love life and she gets to be complex and multi-faceted and Phil Noto art is the best. Also, Liho.
  • Captain Marvel. Kelly Sue DeConnick is a genius and she’s FUNNY and FUN and FEMINIST and those are some fucking great F-words.
  • The Wicked + the Divine. It’s all mythology full and the art is beautiful and it may not be the most upbeat thing on the market, but it is really good and I’m looking forward to/hoping for more delving into past incarnations.
  • Secret Avengers. I read Nick Spencer’s Secret Avengers because it was a team book and it featured Natasha and Clint a lot, but it didn’t do much for me beyond that. I read Ales Kot’s Secret Avengers because it’s wacky and fun. In some respects, it’s filling the gap left by Kelly Sue’s Avengers Assemble, though it skews more out and out wacky and less really smart and team-centric. But I need a good fun team book.
  • Death-Defying Doctor Mirage. Because Jen Van Meter. You don’t need a better reason. JEN VAN METER IS WRITING A COMIC, ERGO, YOU SHOULD READ IT. Also it’s dense and interesting and the art is lovely.
  • Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether. Greg Rucka writes awesome steampunk swashbuckling lady space pirate. It’s like everything I want in life.
  • Nimona. Noelle Stevenson vaulted onto my list of favourite comics writers this year and Nimona is excellent. It’s smart, it’s funny but also heart-wrenching, and it explores the nature of societal labels and identity in really interesting ways.
  • Little Vampires. As my tag reads, “Rebecca Hicks rocks”. In the past year, the webcomic with the tiny corgi-riding horror film archetypes has tackled Shakespeare and art history in fascinating thought-provoking ways. Always a little goofy, but also educational and content rich. I’ve been super impressed and proud to call Rebecca a friend as well as a favourite artist of two commission series.
Books
Tumblr totally ate this section. I will probably be less effusive the second time through.
  • Phryne Fisher mysteries, by Kerry Greenwood. I admit, I started reading the book mostly because I liked the hats in the TV series. I was pleasantly surprised to find infinitely more depth and diversity in the novels. Plus lots of research and descriptions of many more hats.
  • Corinna Chapman mysteries, by Kerry Greenwood. This was the year of “Why haven’t I been reading Kerry Greenwood all along?” Corinna, unlike Phryne, isn’t the pinnacle of perfection, but she is smart, savvy, an independent businesswoman at the top of her field and, most importantly, a plus-sized heroine who neither apologizes for nor attempts to alter her size.
  • Bravo, by Greg Rucka. Rucka strikes again. Thought-provoking, intense, and featuring badass spy ladies (I think we all know how I feel about badass spy ladies). I don’t even like thrillers. See also, dystopias.
  • Unmade, by Sarah Rees Brennan. I love how crisp and bouncy SRB’s dialogue is. Her books are witty and culturally adept and well-put together. She would be sad to know that she doesn’t make me cry, but I do love her books.
  • Toby Daye series, by Seanan McGuire. I binge read a lot this year. I tore through 25 or so J.D. Robb novels, all 20 Phrynes, all 6 Corinnas, and all 8 Toby Dayes. I love a good female-centric urban fantasy and Toby fits the bill. She’s street wise, socially awkward, and an asskicker, which I love. The politics as the books went on didn’t sit quite right with me, but I’m still looking forward to the next one.
  • Tiaras: A History of Splendour, by Geoffrey C. Munn. Sometimes, I just need a giant art book of sparkly headdresses. It’s well-written and researched, and slightly gossipy on the social history, with enough big colour pictures to give me terrible ideas.
  • Apples of Uncommon Character, by Rowan Jacobsen. My family and everydayechos would probably rather that I hadn’t read a blurb about this book in an issue of Bon Appetit and tracked it down. I’ve been on an apple finding odyssey since September, tracking down all the apple varieties I can get and talking about them incessantly. The book is great, breezy and fascinating, though the author is occasionally, and I suspect unintentionally, misogynistic.
Music
  • Taylor Swift. This was the year for discovering Taylor Swift as a sassy unapologetic feminist and I, for one, am enjoying it immensely.
  • "Brave", Sara Bareilles. It’s been a couple of years since I discovered Sara Bareilles, but I love her so much. She’s so empowering and listening to her music makes me feel good.
  • Postmodern Jukebox. All of it (almost). There was a while there where I had the PMJ playlist on YouTube on permanent repeat in the background in the evening. I especially love Robin Adele Anderson’s Yiddish rap in “Talk Dirty to Me”, all of “Careless Whispers”, and Morgan James knocking “Break Free” out of the park.
  • Beautiful: the Carole King Musical. As is traditional, after the Tonys, I went out and bought a couple of Broadway soundtracks. Beautiful turns out to be my favourite. I love the arrangements and I really love Jessie Mueller.
Movies
Honestly, not a great year for movies overall.
  • Captain America: the Winter Soldier. EXCEPT THIS ONE. Oh man. Part three of the first Natasha Romanov trilogy was AMAZING. So smart. So relevant. So full of Natasha being AWESOME. Drop Bucky, keep the spy political thriller brilliance. And Sam Wilson.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2. I love dragons. I love how well put together the world is. I really like the animation. And Astrid is fabulous. I almost started reading the books and then I learned that Astrid isn’t in them. And then I didn’t care anymore.
  • Mockingjay, Part I. I really like these movies. I really haven’t read the books. But Jennifer Lawrence’s performance is breathtaking and nuanced, the cinematography and art direction are intensely good, and I like the politics of it. Also, Natalie Dormer. (Who would be great as Jessica Drew. Just sayin’)
Comics
  • Lumberjanes! I am so excited about basically everything about Lumberjanes! If the trade had been out, I would’ve given lots of people Lumberjanes for the holidays! I am excited enough that I submitted a proposal to present about it at Pippi to Ripley 3 in Ithaca in May 2015!
  • Lazarus. I don’t like dystopias, y’all. Except… when they’re written by Greg Rucka, apparently, and then I love them.
  • Black Widow. My Princess Tasha has her own solo series and it’s AWESOME and it’s not about her love life and she gets to be complex and multi-faceted and Phil Noto art is the best. Also, Liho.
  • Captain Marvel. Kelly Sue DeConnick is a genius and she’s FUNNY and FUN and FEMINIST and those are some fucking great F-words.
  • The Wicked + the Divine. It’s all mythology full and the art is beautiful and it may not be the most upbeat thing on the market, but it is really good and I’m looking forward to/hoping for more delving into past incarnations.
  • Secret Avengers. I read Nick Spencer’s Secret Avengers because it was a team book and it featured Natasha and Clint a lot, but it didn’t do much for me beyond that. I read Ales Kot’s Secret Avengers because it’s wacky and fun. In some respects, it’s filling the gap left by Kelly Sue’s Avengers Assemble, though it skews more out and out wacky and less really smart and team-centric. But I need a good fun team book.
  • Death-Defying Doctor Mirage. Because Jen Van Meter. You don’t need a better reason. JEN VAN METER IS WRITING A COMIC, ERGO, YOU SHOULD READ IT. Also it’s dense and interesting and the art is lovely.
  • Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether. Greg Rucka writes awesome steampunk swashbuckling lady space pirate. It’s like everything I want in life.
  • Nimona. Noelle Stevenson vaulted onto my list of favourite comics writers this year and Nimona is excellent. It’s smart, it’s funny but also heart-wrenching, and it explores the nature of societal labels and identity in really interesting ways.
  • Little Vampires. As my tag reads, “Rebecca Hicks rocks”. In the past year, the webcomic with the tiny corgi-riding horror film archetypes has tackled Shakespeare and art history in fascinating thought-provoking ways. Always a little goofy, but also educational and content rich. I’ve been super impressed and proud to call Rebecca a friend as well as a favourite artist of two commission series.
Books
Tumblr totally ate this section. I will probably be less effusive the second time through.
  • Phryne Fisher mysteries, by Kerry Greenwood. I admit, I started reading the book mostly because I liked the hats in the TV series. I was pleasantly surprised to find infinitely more depth and diversity in the novels. Plus lots of research and descriptions of many more hats.
  • Corinna Chapman mysteries, by Kerry Greenwood. This was the year of “Why haven’t I been reading Kerry Greenwood all along?” Corinna, unlike Phryne, isn’t the pinnacle of perfection, but she is smart, savvy, an independent businesswoman at the top of her field and, most importantly, a plus-sized heroine who neither apologizes for nor attempts to alter her size.
  • Bravo, by Greg Rucka. Rucka strikes again. Thought-provoking, intense, and featuring badass spy ladies (I think we all know how I feel about badass spy ladies). I don’t even like thrillers. See also, dystopias.
  • Unmade, by Sarah Rees Brennan. I love how crisp and bouncy SRB’s dialogue is. Her books are witty and culturally adept and well-put together. She would be sad to know that she doesn’t make me cry, but I do love her books.
  • Toby Daye series, by Seanan McGuire. I binge read a lot this year. I tore through 25 or so J.D. Robb novels, all 20 Phrynes, all 6 Corinnas, and all 8 Toby Dayes. I love a good female-centric urban fantasy and Toby fits the bill. She’s street wise, socially awkward, and an asskicker, which I love. The politics as the books went on didn’t sit quite right with me, but I’m still looking forward to the next one.
  • Tiaras: A History of Splendour, by Geoffrey C. Munn. Sometimes, I just need a giant art book of sparkly headdresses. It’s well-written and researched, and slightly gossipy on the social history, with enough big colour pictures to give me terrible ideas.
  • Apples of Uncommon Character, by Rowan Jacobsen. My family and everydayechos would probably rather that I hadn’t read a blurb about this book in an issue of Bon Appetit and tracked it down. I’ve been on an apple finding odyssey since September, tracking down all the apple varieties I can get and talking about them incessantly. The book is great, breezy and fascinating, though the author is occasionally, and I suspect unintentionally, misogynistic.
Music
  • Taylor Swift. This was the year for discovering Taylor Swift as a sassy unapologetic feminist and I, for one, am enjoying it immensely.
  • "Brave", Sara Bareilles. It’s been a couple of years since I discovered Sara Bareilles, but I love her so much. She’s so empowering and listening to her music makes me feel good.
  • Postmodern Jukebox. All of it (almost). There was a while there where I had the PMJ playlist on YouTube on permanent repeat in the background in the evening. I especially love Robin Adele Anderson’s Yiddish rap in “Talk Dirty to Me”, all of “Careless Whispers”, and Morgan James knocking “Break Free” out of the park.
  • Beautiful: the Carole King Musical. As is traditional, after the Tonys, I went out and bought a couple of Broadway soundtracks. Beautiful turns out to be my favourite. I love the arrangements and I really love Jessie Mueller.
Movies
Honestly, not a great year for movies overall.
  • Captain America: the Winter Soldier. EXCEPT THIS ONE. Oh man. Part three of the first Natasha Romanov trilogy was AMAZING. So smart. So relevant. So full of Natasha being AWESOME. Drop Bucky, keep the spy political thriller brilliance. And Sam Wilson.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2. I love dragons. I love how well put together the world is. I really like the animation. And Astrid is fabulous. I almost started reading the books and then I learned that Astrid isn’t in them. And then I didn’t care anymore.
  • Mockingjay, Part I. I really like these movies. I really haven’t read the books. But Jennifer Lawrence’s performance is breathtaking and nuanced, the cinematography and art direction are intensely good, and I like the politics of it. Also, Natalie Dormer. (Who would be great as Jessica Drew. Just sayin’)

And that’s what I’ve got. Bye 2014. Don’t give any hints to 2015 on your way out, I’d like it to be better.

January 2015

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Tags

I Cannot Hide What I Am

I must be sad when I have cause and smile
at no man's jests, eat when I have stomach and wait
for no man's leisure, sleep when I am drowsy and
tend on no man's business, laugh when I am merry and
claw no man in his humour...
I had rather be a canker in a hedge than a rose in
his grace, and it better fits my blood to be
disdained of all than to fashion a carriage to rob
love from any: in this, though I cannot be said to
be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied
but I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with
a muzzle and enfranchised with a clog; therefore I
have decreed not to sing in my cage. If I had my
mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do
my liking: in the meantime let me be that I am and
seek not to alter me.

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