1. Vidding! I was at Vidukon last weekend, which was a lot of fun - I had a day off work, hung out with a lot of awesome people (after vaguely intersecting with cosmic_llin for years it was great to finally meet her) and I also met isagel and carawj and lots of other people. And I had a lovely time, and saw a lot of vids, and I sort of vaguely tried to start vidding a couple of years ago before my computer got stuck on permanent beachball and now I have a new computer and... you see where this is going. I have started to try and learn to vid, mostly by opening up the software and poking stuff until it goes swoosh or beep or ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong, and I have learnt some terribly basic things. I sort of hope I will keep on learning terribly basic things until I know enough of them to learn not quite so basic things? I hope. I'm not someone who's ever had any hobbies which require actual stuff - me, I write, I read, my real job can be done with a pen and an open mind - so learning how to use actual tools is quite new to me. such_heights pointed out that you learn because you have a vid in your head and you learn everything you need to know get the thing on the screen to look like the vid in your head - you won't learn in the abstract. Which I think is true, and so I can't decide if it's a blessing or a curse that the vid in my head is a multifandom vid about land registration.
(Yeah, I know. I know. One day I'll sit down and articulate why I sincerely believe land registration is important - and I suppose the vid is that, too, it's not about land registration itself but why I spend my whole life doing it, why land and people are the same thing inside themselves. In the meantime, swish, beep, ding.)
2. TV with gay detectives! I am watching the Donald Strachey series of TV movies, after seeing this gorgeous vid at Vidukon. They’re a series about a gay private investigator in Albany, NY, who largely (but not always) gets involved with crimes relating to the queer community, and they’re just delightful: funny, warm and comforting. Strachey is in a lot of ways a typically hard-boiled private investigator protagonist (his office in particular is hilariously clichéd, down to the glass panel door with ‘Donald Strachey Investigations’ in peeling letters!) but he is realistically and unremarkably queer in a way that’s both refreshing and rings very true. In her review, thingswithwings said everything I'd want to say about how much I enjoy this: a queer story that's about queer people, living their lives with kindness and realism and without melodrama. But even if is as much about the cases and crimes as the queerness, I still think having Donald Strachey be a queer, hard-boiled, hard-drinking, loner PI wouldn’t have been an awful lot of a step up from dead queer people or offscreen queer people – it has minimal impact on the narrative – even though that’s indisputably how the genre works.
But he's not a queer loner PI, he's a queer, happily married PI, and I have been flailing at T'wings a lot about this recently but Timothy Callaghan, Strachey’s long-suffering long-term partner, hits a number of narrative kinks for me in ways I wasn’t able to articulate before. (They're not legally married but as-close-as - the canon is set a few years before marriage equality in New York). There is a scene in one of the movies – I’m yet to find out if it’s in the books – where Timmy can’t fire a gun. Not as a matter of physically being able to, of course – it’s just that even with Donald’s and his own life at stake, he can’t pull the trigger. Strachey’s response to this is ( a minor spoiler, which kills me ) Now obviously it’s no surprise to anyone that I adore this trope, and the broader trope that it’s an instance of, too: the single voice of dissent against the exercise of power. Like Daniel in SG-1, and Toby in The West Wing, and Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H (“Hawkeye Get Your Gun” is the episode about how Hawkeye, too, can’t fire a gun – even when drunk and having shells dropped on him (“Why are they bombing us? We’re already bombed!”)), Timmy is, explicitly and implicitly, the moral compass of the story – like T’wings says, he’s what stops Strachey being like Batman. But I did not know until now how much I needed to see that role queered, and the thing is, it damn well ought to be queered. Timmy is a senior aide to a liberal senator, and the canon likes playing with that – it likes leading you down the garden path of telling you that this cute, entirely non-aggressive, wandering-around-barefoot-with-his-hands-i
(Also, one of the movies has land registration as a plot point. I'm just saying, this is a thing that happens.)
3. Trying to find a new fandom! I just got to the end of Fringe, a show I like a lot, but even given that I’ve been more in the ebb than the flow of fandom recently. (It’s frustrating for me that basically every big fandom of the last couple of years has passed me by, or I’ve given it a try and not been into it: witness Community, Avatar: the Last Airbender, The Avengers, etc). The last big fandom I had any involvement with was the last Star Trek movie and that was 2009, for heaven’s sake. (As for the new movie: I saw it, I liked it, but musesfool’s review here basically hit everything I didn’t like about it. ( spoilers )
Anyway, new fandom! I am watching various things on and off. Haven’t managed to get into Warehouse 13 – I’ve tried the pilot and a couple of other random episodes, and it’s okay I guess? I like the idea more than the execution so far and haven't really picked it up again. Ditto Defiance, the new Syfy show – I watched the pilot, because hey, show with aliens! Yay! – but haven’t yet been inspired to watch any more of it. I’m told the aliens do start acting a little more alien later on, but, hmm. I am enjoying Orphan Black, the new Canadian thing – at least I think I’m enjoying it; I keep getting really tense! and pausing it! and thus not watching it terribly fast, but I think that means I do care about what happens to these people. So. So. Life notwithstanding, I'm still here.