starlady: Uryuu & Ichigo reenact Scott Pilgrim (that doesn't even rhyme)
2017-02-11 09:48 pm
Entry tags:

Festivids reveals!

All is known and I can now reveal that I made two vids: my assignment was state of war, a Haywire vid for [personal profile] aurumcalendula, and the treat I made was Heroes, a Dorothy Sayers Mysteries vid for [ profile] josette-arnauld. By a stroke of coincidence, [ profile] josette-arnauld also made my gift, the amazing Miss Fisher vid My Love.

Downloads and streaming should work immediately for both of my vids; please let me know if you have any issues with any of that. After much gnashing of teeth, I've gone back to Vimeo for streaming, so hopefully the playback should be frictionless.
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
2017-02-05 11:20 pm
Entry tags:

Vid: state of war (Haywire)

source: Haywire (2011)
audio: Grimes, Kill V. Maim
length: 4:07
stream: on Vimeo
download: 253MB on Dropbox
summary: You gave up being good when you declared a state of war

My Festivids 2016 assignment, for [personal profile] aurumcalendula.

Original Festivids post.

password: mobster

Tag yourself, I'm gender-based revenge fantasies.

I've been wanting to vid this song for a while, in fact since I first heard it riding the trains around Belgium in the dying days of 2015. I originally matched with aurumcalendula on a different fandom, but the idea fell into my lap when I was reading the letter, and since it seemed easier (and more in line with my mood in November 2016, I won't lie), I went with it. I was planning on including more covert operative type stuff, but it turned into a vid of Gina Carrano beating the shit out of men, and I'm okay with that.

Technically, I psyched myself out over the bridge of the song for more than a week and actually wound up cutting a version of the song that was nearly 1:20 shorter in Audacity. I even laid it on the timeline, but by that point it was clear that there was enough footage of Gina Carrano fighting dudes that it wasn't necessary. I'm always, always convinced that I won't have enough material, and then I hit the 2/3 mark of the vid and I'm like, "…Oh, this is going to be fine." I toyed with the idea of trying to correct Steven Soderbergh's extremely self-indulgent camerawork, just as I toyed with the idea of just rearranging the movie so that the vid ran in strict chronology, but ultimately rejected both of them.
starlady: Holmes and Watson walking around New York (springtime in new york)
2017-02-03 10:56 pm

Vid: Heroes (A Dorothy L. Sayers Mystery)

source: A Dorothy L. Sayers Mystery (1987)
audio: Scala & Kolacny Brothers, "Heroes"
length: 3:20
stream: on Vimeo
download: 27MB on Dropbox
summary: We can be us, just for one day

A Festivids 2016 treat for josette-arnauld.

Original Festivids post

password: heroes

I devoured Dorothy L. Sayers' Peter Wimsey novels last year and was blabbering about them to my roommate (who had only read the Vane novels); I convinced her to read the rest of the books and she showed me the Petherbridge/Walters miniseries. The casting is divine, but the adaptations start out good with Strong Poison and go downhill from there. This is my love letter to Harriet and Peter, though it's not the vid I initially envisioned because the footage just doesn't exist, from a combination of the exigencies of BBC budgets (minimal) and the bad choices made in the adaptation of Gaudy Night, which rob the story of a lot of its political heft. Peter and Harriet, of course, rise above such issues, mostly because Petherbridge and Walters rewrote their scenes wholesale on set. Their relationship--the fact that they find each other, and are able to become the versions of themselves who are able to hold onto each other through each other's influence--is an achievement, and it would be so even in this day and age, even more so in the 1930s.

Technically, vidding with footage this old was…interesting. I thought about trying to correct it, but the light levels are mostly tolerable (I did alter the light levels in the courtroom scenes for visibility) and in the end I lost my vidding energy for all of November, which obviated that possibility. (Fun fact: I finished the first draft of this vid on a plane on Halloween.)
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
2017-01-31 10:18 pm
Entry tags:

Festivids 2K16

I have been remiss in not posting about Festivids thus far, because…everything. I'm hoping to make my way through more of the vids this weekend; I've only seen a few so far.

But! I did receive an amazing vid for Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, which is being justly praised by everyone who watches it: My Love, which explores Phryne and Jack and their longing for each other and is lovingly edited. It is perfection and I am very, very happy to have received it. 

On my end, I made two Festivids this year. I'll be interested to see whether anyone guesses either of them. I think one of them is fairly obvious, but if there's one thing I've learned from Festivids, it's that I don't know.
starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
2016-10-17 01:14 pm
Entry tags:

Dear Festividder

Dear Festividder,

First off, thank you for making me a vid! I love vids, and quite honestly I would be happy to see a vid in any of these fandoms. I have suggested music for some pf them, but please don't feel bound by what I've suggested, and I have no qualms about oft-vidded songs, either.
Tintin, Fraggle Rock, Ghostbusters, Miss Fisher, Spy, Star Trek: The Animated Series )
Thank you, Festividder! I am super excited to see whatever you come up with, for serious.

<3 and vids,

starlady: David 8 holding the holographic Earth in wonderment. (when there is nothing in the desert)
2016-02-13 09:52 am
Entry tags:

Festivids reveals!

The Festivids reveals are up, and you can see that I made three vids this year! 

[personal profile] sweetestdrain made me my excellent Byzantium vid, Remain Nameless! You should go get your fill of lady vampires if you haven't already, IJS.

My assignment was Relations of Life for [personal profile] niyalune, and I also made Galaxyrise as a treat for niyalune. Last but not least, I made Automatic Joy as a treat for [personal profile] winterevanesce.

I had a pretty good time with Festivids 2K15. I finished both vids for niyalune within six weeks, and then wound up finishing Automatic Joy just a few days before the deadline. I'm tempted to say, maybe next year when I'm not moving continents I should aim to make four Festivids, but I think three is a good number. I've been floored and flattered by the response to each of these vids, but especially to Galaxyrise, so let me just say, thank you so much to everyone who left a comment on all of them! I'm so glad you liked it.

I borked the links that the mods put up and have sent the correct versions to be edited into the masterlist. Next year I'll get this process right on the first go, I swear--third time's the charm, right?  ETA: As DW grows increasingly senescent, things continue to break; it appears that Critical Commons embeds, as well as Sendvid, don't work here anymore, and with my own browser/script configuration I can only view CC embeds…on tumblr. I'll be looking into alternatives for these problems over the next few days. /eta

In the meantime, you can access streaming and downloads through the individual links on this post, and there will be AO3 and tumblr posts for all three eventually too. See you next year!
starlady: David 8 holding the holographic Earth in wonderment. (when there is nothing in the desert)
2016-02-12 11:59 pm
Entry tags:

Vid: Automatic Joy (Ex Machina)

source: Ex Machina (2015)
audio: The Dresden Dolls, "Coin-Operated Boy"
length: 4:03
stream: on Critical Commons
download: 180MB mp4 on mediafire
summary: Love without complications galore/Isn't that the point?
note: contains self-harm and graphic violence

A Festivids 2015 treat for [personal profile] winterevanesce.

Original Festivids post

I thought Ex Machina was one of the best movies of 2015; moreover, I thought it was extraordinarily feminist (albeit with a dude as the POV character, sigh). In my opinion, people's reactions to the movie come down to whether or not they think the filmmakers were doing it intentionally; I think they were--the intelligence of the movie is palpable in every frame, starting with the cinematography--and this vid is my argument for the same thesis. It turns on the insight that there is no meaningful difference between Caleb and Ava; he is no less "coin-operated" than she is. He just responds to different inputs. (Relatedly: a good chunk of the point of the Turing Test is that humans are really bad at distinguishing cognition from random responses, or vice versa. We'll anthropomorphize any damn thing but also withhold recognition of sentience based on our own misplaced pride in our vaunted intelligence.)

And yes, it's The Dresden Dolls, with Amanda fucking Palmer singing the lead vocals. I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to accept the cost of people potentially pre-judging the vid purely on the basis of the song, and then decided that I did; Sady Doyle actually wrote a piece on AFP in 2014 that changed my thinking about the reaction to her, if not to Palmer herself; it opens with the line "What, exactly, did we prove by hating Amanda Palmer?" and proceeds to make some valuable points from there. It's a good song (although I cut it down pretty radically, in Audacity, which was way better than Premiere, thank you vidders' census), and it makes the points I wanted the song for the vid to make.

As for the vid itself, the cropping gave me fits (I still haven't actually solved it; it just looks solved) and I actually re-edited the song twice; this was another vid where I went non-linear to get the thing done, as I hit a wall after the end of the first chorus and had to start building back from the end to stay on schedule and to figure out what I needed to do in the middle: I knew the bridge would be Ava POV, but not how or what. Again, I did the credits in the middle of the process. The Donna Haraway quote occurred to me while I was laying down text layers, and it seemed to be the perfect way to encapsulate the vid and my interpretation of the movie, and Ava's actions: I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.

I wanted to do a POV switch/reveal in the middle of the vid a la the great BSG vid Who Knew, but after laying down the last part of the vid I realized that the movie just doesn't have enough footage for me to do that effectively. I still think of the whole vid as being from Ava's perspective; she is definitely the "I" who manipulates everyone into gaining her freedom. In the end, she passes the Turing test with flying colors.

password: festivids

Lyrics )
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
2016-02-11 09:16 am
Entry tags:

Vid: Galaxyrise (space fandoms)

source: Apollo 13, Contact, Europa Report, Gravity, Interstellar, The Martian
audio: Symphony of Science, "Glorious Dawn (Cosmos Remix)" 
length: 3:38
stream: on Critical Commons
download: 161MB mp4 on mediafire
summary: The sky calls to us/If we do not destroy ourselves/We will one day venture to the stars

Original Festivids post

A Festivids 2015 treat for [personal profile] niyalune. I saw her mention this vid as a throwaway concept in her letter…and started making the vid as soon as I finished my assignment. The reason, you see, is that I was convinced she would hate her gift vid, so I wanted to make her something that I was more confident she would like. (But then her reaction to Relations of Life was positive! As was other people's! Stranger things happen, I guess, but I honestly was not expecting it.)

This is the vid that I thought would be screamingly obvious, because I'd done the remaster of the Contact vid at the end of 2015 and this vid rather prominently features Contact. I also had the Interstellar and Europa Report clips sitting around, with the result that I only had to download and clip three additional movies, four if you count the BluRay of The Martian, which luckily came out in December. I had cam clips in the timeline for maybe about two weeks tops, and since everything was BluRay, I actually had a pretty easy time of it as far as multi-source vids go. This vid has the distinction of being the first (but assuredly not the last) for which I broke out a spreadsheet, so that I could make sure that I wasn't short-changing any of the sources, and that I was alternating them appropriately.

The song choice was obvious to me as soon as I thought about making the vid; I love the song and I love the concept, and for me there's no separating Carl Sagan from how I think about human spaceflight. I even named some of the Contact clips using some of his lines from this song while I was doing the remaster clipping way back in June, so it was a complete no-brainer to decide to use this song, cemented by my discovering that Neil DeGrasse Tyson had done promotional work for The Martian. (You should totally go watch the video, it's great.)

I was hugely tickled, and hugely flattered, to see some really great vidders guessed for this vid; I thought that the other dead giveaway would be the line at the beginning of the end titles. Star Trek fans will recognize the fade-in title card from the end of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which also features the history of human space exploration quite heavily. I definitely approached this vid in the spirit of conscious optimism that I associate with the core of Star Trek, and I hope that comes through in the vid.

One of the greatest things about getting to see other people's reactions to the vid has been seeing what they got out of it that I hadn't thought of or didn't consciously put in there; when [personal profile] raven remarked that it was a vid that was more about the idea of exploration than fannishness, I thought, "Huh. Yeah, I guess so!" Which is to say, while I was making the vid with my spreadsheet I wanted to show people doing science; I wanted to show people looking up; I wanted to show the joy of exploration. (I wanted to show the Europa One crew smiling in a non-ominous context.) To that end I suppressed a lot of context (and a lot of doubled actors) in these movies, or just ignored it, which is especially obvious at the ending: Jim Lovell never actually walked on the moon, but he does in this vid, just as Matt Damon is watching the sunrise in the context of being convinced that he's going to die there on Mars, and Anne Hathaway believes she's as good as the last survivor of the human race, but that's not the feeling here. The Watney hope shots in the vid are as much for me as for anyone; I love space exploration, but now that I'm not a child any more I'm less blindly optimistic about the galaxyrise that Carl speaks of in the song. So the vid is an argument with myself as much as anything, and the end title is the conclusion that I wanted to make for that reason: the human adventure is just beginning. And finally, thanks to [ profile] mrquadcopter for beta watching.

password:   festivids

Lyrics )
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
2016-02-01 10:19 pm
Entry tags:

Vid: Relations of Life (Europa Report)

source: Europa Report (2013)
audio: The Knife, "Epochs"
length: 4:48
stream: on Critical Commons
download: 217MB mp4 on mediafire
summary: Compared to the breadth of knowledge yet to be known...what does your life actually matter?

My Festivids 2015 assignment, for [personal profile] niyalune.

Original Festivids post

This is, hands-down hands-up no-holds-barred, the weirdest vid I have ever made. Europa Report is of course a fantastic little indie sci-five movie about the first human mission to Europa, one of the Jovian moons; I loved it since I first saw it and I routinely show it to friends to try to convert them to fans of the movie. (I have a pretty good track record.) This vid is the vid I wanted to make, but I won't pretend that when I decided that this track from The Knife's soundtrack to an experimental synth opera about Charles Darwin (all the lyrics on the album, as well as the title of this vid, come from his writings) was the one for the vid I didn't have some misgivings about whether the finished product would even be watchable. For me, there is for me a resonance between what these astronauts do and how and why they make their decisions and Darwin's work; in the end, they subordinate their own short lives to the goal of pushing human knowledge forward, and what happens is nobody's fault, because the humans and the native life of Europa simply can't relate to each other in any shared frame of reference: they are both driven by curiosity, but their curiosities aren't compatible. The Europa One mission is a success, though more of a failed success than a successful failure. Ad astra per aspera. One of the things I said about the movie when I first saw it is that it's the movie that Prometheus wanted to be, and in a way, this vid is founded on that interpretation. There's little more terrifying than the inhuman timescale of the cosmos, and of evolution, from a certain point of view.

Vidding-wise, this was a challenge; one problem I had was that the clips were so large that I frequently crashed Premiere while trying to watch the footage I'd laid down in the timeline. Oops. I cut the audio, but I did it using Premiere rather than Audacity, which was a frustrating mistake that I won't repeat in future. Trying to decide where to cut things and how to impose a narrative took a lot of thought and trial and error, as well as some truly hard-core non-linear editing; I actually built the vid out from the start of the vocals. To keep the momentum going I violated all precedent and did the credits in the middle of the process; whatever it took. I am, though, proud of the result, and I'm floored and very pleased that people have liked it. Last but not least, thanks to [ profile] mrquadcopter, who beta watched it and told me not to change anything, so I didn't.

Lyrics )
starlady: (crew)
2016-01-30 06:00 pm
Entry tags:


Festivids 2015 is live! I received a most excellent vid for Byzantium, Remain Nameless--it has a great song choice and chewy editing and I like it very much. I don't have any other recs at the moment, as I have just started watching and I have a lot of work to do this weekend, but watch this space!

I made three Festivids this year, two of which I feel I might as well have signed in six-foot high flaming letters, and one which may be less obvious. I would be quite interested in hearing what people's guesses for my vids are--and in any case, happy watching to us all.
starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
2015-10-16 07:44 pm
Entry tags:

Dear Festividder!!!!

Dear Festividder,

First off, thank you for making me a vid! I love vids, and quite honestly I would be happy to see a vid in any of these fandoms. I have suggested music for some fo them, but please don't feel bound by what I've suggested, and I have no qualms about oft-vidded songs, either.

20th Century Boys, Moonrise Kingdom, Byzantium, A Girl Walks Home at Night, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Bling Ring, New Horizons )

Thank you, Festividder! I am super excited to see whatever you come up with, for serious.

<3 and vids,

starlady: (crew)
2015-09-08 10:21 am
Entry tags:


The schedule for this year's Festivids has been posted, and nominations start September 24 and are open until October 1. Naturally that's when I'm moving out of my current hemisphere, so I'm going to post now what I'm thinking of nominating so I don't forget:
  • Interstellar
  • Europa Report
  • Ex Machina
  • ???
What are other people nominating?
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
2015-02-18 02:21 pm
Entry tags:

Vid: Tonari no Gamera (Gamera movies, Showa series)

source: Gamera movies (Showa series, 1965-1980)
audio: 『Totoro』Soundtrack Medley by Neku
length: 4:05
stream: on Critical Commons
download: 92MB mp4
summary: Now begins a new adventure for you! And you'll be with Ga-me-ra, Gamera! Ga-me-ra, Gamera!

A Festivids 2014 treat for [personal profile] jetpack_monkey. Original Festivids post. AO3 page.

Well, of course Gamera is like Totoro. )
starlady: roy in the sunset at graveside (no rest for the wicked)
2015-02-17 09:16 pm
Entry tags:

Vid: All You Need Is Kill (Edge of Tomorrow)

All You Need Is Kill
source: Edge of Tomorrow | Live. Die. Repeat. (2014)
audio: Steve Aoki ft. Fall Out Boy, "Back to Earth"
length: 4:03, 154MB mp4
stream: on Critical Commons
download: 155MB mp4
summary: Are you living your life or just waiting to die?

tumblr postAO3 page

My Festivids 2014 assignment, for ohvienna. Original Festivids post.

If at all possible you will want to listen to this using your best audio setup possible; you will hear a lot more in the music with good headphones or speakers than otherwise (as I was repeatedly reminded while vidding!).

Streaming, notes & lyrics )
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
2015-02-16 09:56 pm
Entry tags:

Vid: The Call (MST3K 8x20, Space Mutiny)

The Call
source: Mystery Science Theater 3000 8x20, Space Mutiny (1988)
audio: Survivor, "The Moment of Truth (from The Karate Kid)"
length: 3:51, 92MB mp4 (other sizes available)
stream: on Critical Commons
download: 92MB mp4
summary: An ode to the heroism of Blast Hardcheese. No wait I meant Dave Ryder.

A Festivids 2014 pinch hit for[personal profile] jetpack_monkey. Original Festivids post. AO3 page.

Streaming, notes & lyrics )
starlady: (crew)
2015-02-15 09:09 pm
Entry tags:

Festivids reveals!

Festivids are revealed! I am separated from my laptop for another 48 hours or so and I have a raging headcold, so I do not have signed vid posts up yet. I will post here and at the usual platforms when I do, and I will also email the Festivids mods so that they switch out the links appropriately.

Vids for Me
[personal profile] littleheaven made me Shake It Off, which is an Emperor's New Groove vid that is a joy and a delight. :D

Vids I Made
My assignment was All You Need Is Kill for ohvienna, which is an Edge of Tomorrow vid that I had been thinking about making since I walked out of the movie theater. There will be more notes later, but I'm very proud of this one.

I made two vids for [personal profile] jetpack_monkey, one a pinch hit and one a treat. The Call, to MST3K 8x20, Space Mutiny, was the pinch hit, and Tonari no Gamera, a vid of the Showa series of Gamera films, was the treat. I got ideas as soon as I read the Festivids letter via the pinch hit, and in general, making both of these was a delight. (Except for the pixel aspect ratio question in the Gamera movies. I'm still not sure I've actually figured it out.)

In general, I had a blast with Festivids! It was completely trippy to make three vids in ten weeks when my previous record pace had been one per year, and I have been filled with vidding confidence and inspiration as a result. I consider that a smashing success, and I am very much looking forward to making even more vids in the remainder of this year. :D
starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
2015-02-03 02:13 pm
Entry tags:

Festivids round 2!

It totally snowed last week, the icon is valid.

In a fortuitous whatever, I came down with a cold the day after Festivids went live and so spent all afternoon yesterday watching more of them. Here are some additional recs without commentary because I am le tired.

Black Swan, The Monster
Black Swan, Everything In Its Right Place
Curse of the Golden Flower, Hue
Maleficent, Augustine
Maleficent, The Hardest of Hearts
Ratatouille, The Walker
Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirrors
Snow White and the Huntsman, A Hazy Shade of Winter
Spy Game, Resolution Road
Transistor, Yellow Flicker Beat
The Triplets of Belleville, Au Port
Van Helsing, Tuning Out

And again, you should all go watch my gift vid, Shake It Off, because it is AWESOME and delightful. "Shake It Off" is clearly the Festivids anthem this year, but in an utterly objective and wholly unbiased decision, I think my gift squeaks in with the best use of the song. (Or does it? Watch all the other Shake It Off vids and decide!)
starlady: (we're all mad here)
2015-02-02 12:00 am
Entry tags:

Festivids are live!

Festivids is live! I got an amazing and superbly edited vid for The Emperor's New Groove, Shake It Off, and I love it to pieces.

I've watched somewhere around a third of the vids, I think? I've been skipping around a lot and not been watching comprehensively, but I'm yawning, so the following is a short list of some of the ones I really enjoyed:

Gravity, Nothing But Time
Moonrise Kingdom, Hazy Shade of Winter
Nicki Minaj RPF, The Bullpen
Nicki Minaj RPF, The Girl You Like
Only Lovers Left Alive, Feather Moon
Only Lovers Left Alive, You & I Sail
Practical Magic, Black Widow
Snowpiercer, Goodnight, Travel Well
St. Trinian's, Trouble
The Man from U.N.C.L.E., S&M
The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Other Man
Twister, Storm Song
What's Your Number, What's Your Naked

I made three Festivids this year, a fact of which I am very proud. Anyone who guesses any or all of them will win eternal glory for sure. :P

starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
2014-12-25 11:51 pm
Entry tags:

Christmas! Yuletide!

Well, I hope that all who celebrate are having a very Merry Christmas, and that everyone is having an excellent Thursday. I did not do Yuletide this year, as my sporadic attempts to pick up pinch hits were too slow and I am buried in Festivids. Festivids! I have to go back to mine when I finish this.

I did, however, read a Yuletide story that was 83K words and was really great.

Nothing Lost (83269 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 11/11
Fandom: Oxford Time Travel Universe - Connie Willis
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Colin Templer, Kivrin Engle, Verity Kindle, Ned Henry
Additional Tags: Yuletide Treat

Colin’s ten-year journey to bring Polly home.

For whatsoeuer from one place doth fall,
Is with the tide vnto an other brought:
For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.

Edmund Spenser Faerie Queene V.ii

I haven't read any more of Connie Willis' Oxford Time Travel books than The Doomsday Book, which I read nearly 20 years ago anyway, and poking around the internet, I gather that attempting to read the books that this story is most proximately based on would probably, as a professional historian, make my blood pressure spike. But, unlike the novels, the story is about the professional historian work, i.e. archival research, that Colin does for more than 10 years, and though I can't quite shake the expectation that even at bloody Oxford things will be quite different in the profession by 2060, I really enjoyed it, because it's research related with heart, and because whoever wrote this, I think, understands what makes a good historian--which even some professionals don't, to be sure.

In other news, I have consumed most of a bottle of champagne over the course of a day, made weird but tasty latkes and delicious braised brussels sprouts, and had my weird tomato "brownie" Christmas cake that was really not much like a brownie but was good nonetheless. I also opened my presents from the States and sent a few last New Year's cards. And now I am probably going to finish said champagne, have another piece of cake, do some more Festividding, and go to bed. A Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and to all, a good night!
starlady: Remy from the movie Ratatouille sniffing herbs for a stew (cooking)
2014-11-10 08:03 pm
Entry tags:

Getting on track

Well, I've been settling into living in Japan again, part of which has involved plotting a running route and going running (I've done it twice so far! Pathetic but on the right track) and part of which has involved cooking things again. Cooking! It's great. It's also interesting to me to be able to see how I've leveled up in the seven years since I first lived in Japan and was first responsible for providing my own meals 24/7. I'm much more comfortable improvising now, particularly since a) the internet is way better at food than it was seven years ago; and b) I've finally realized that the fundamentals of Japanese food are dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sake, with salt and sugar added every so often for variation.

I'm living in ridiculous luxury and actually have a microwave…oven…thing in my apartment, but I don't trust it (I'd rather just have an actual microwave, this one is very complicated, and I don't really have any pans and I'm lazy, though I can probably improvise well enough with tin foil for most things) and anyway it's nice to work on my simmering and sauteing skills. I probably should buy an actual soup or donburi bowl with all these soups and stews I'm looking at making. I'm also weighing the merits of buying an actual nabe pot, which is one of those kitchen things that is nice enough that I would want to cart it home. We'll see. I think the pot that came with my apartment is big enough that I can just use that for half-recipes of most things. I definitely need to get a leftovers-sized tupperware, though.

Anyway, here are some recipes I've been making or am eyeing: 
  • Nira Tamago - I had this once years ago and it is so fucking good, it haunted my dreams, and now the nira are all mine. Tomorrow I'm going to go hogwild and combine it with my patented agedashitofu oyakodon variation. This website also looks like it has a lot of good recipes in general.
  • Chestnut Rice (Kurigohan) - Pretty tasty! Definitely needs something like simmered pumpkin (kabocha) as a side dish. I like this website a lot from what I've seen so far.
  • Matsutake Clear Soup (Suimono) - Mushrooms, tofu, and whatever else in broth. Pretty tasty. I added carrots because I'm paranoid about getting enough vegetables. I also used a different kind of mushroom (shiitake) because cheaper. I'm glad this site sorts the recipes by season, though what was labeled two portions fed me for just one meal.
  • Deb's Pseudo-Okonomiyaki - The beauty of okonomiyaki is that you can do just about anything to them and they will still taste good because of the sauce. I used okonomiyaki flour for the base and only two eggs the first time, then three the second; I thought three was sufficient, as two was kind of a hot mess. But they were pretty damn tasty with okonomiyaki sauce (storebought; I haven't tested Deb's recipe) and toasted sesame seeds on top.
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding - It's delicious. I didn't have enough honey so I threw in some brown sugar, and I don't have beaters so it's a tad heterogeneous, and I used natural peanut butter instead of normal (thereby introducing twenty minutes' hard labor stirring the thing so that the oil blended back in), and it's delicious.
  • Simple Tofu Chilaquiles - NOMMMM. I need to source the tortilla chips, tomato sauce, and (hopefully) chipotle, but once I can do that, all the chilaquiles will be mine. NOMMM.
I've been listening to a lot more music lately, because living alone in an apartment by myself fuck yeah, and I just have one question: how are Santigold so fucking good? How is it possible? Because they are.

In other news, I'm on track to finish clipping for my Festivid tonight, at least until I'm halfway through the draft vid and suddenly realize I clipped the totally wrong things. Still, it's exciting. I'm mulling the possibility of a treat vid if I finish my assignment in a reasonable time frame. It's very exciting.