vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (come down on the road /)
Some basics: this is my vid recs post, originally compiled for [personal profile] wordsatourbacks and [livejournal.com profile] stubbel, but essentially open to everybody.

Many of the fandoms listed here are ones I'm not familiar with. I watch vids indiscriminately; if they're well-done, I don't particularly care about the fandom, but I will have more vids in fandoms that I'm actually in - Supernatural, SGA, etc. I'm certainly not the be-all, end-all of vid reccers, and in fact, I'm not even that deep into the vidding part of fandom. Really, this is pretty much a hundred vids by about twenty vidders, and you've probably heard of 90% of them already, BUT THIS SHALL NOT STOP ME. If you want more vid recs, I suggest [livejournal.com profile] kiki_miserychic, [personal profile] thefourthvine, [personal profile] hazelk, [personal profile] giandujakiss, and [livejournal.com profile] obsessive24 to start.

This page (I hope) will also serve as a place for other people to post their vid recs. If you've found something you think I'll like, post!

十五 (15), 300, American Gangster, Apocalypse Now, Atonement, Avatar: the Last Airbender, Battlestar Galacttica, Brokeback Mountain, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Carnivale, Dark Angel, The Dark Knight, The Dead Zone, Dexter, The Dreamers, The Dresden Files, Doctor Who, Dollhouse, Firefly, Fringe, Gilda, Glee, Gone with the Wind, Harry Potter, Heroes, James Bond, Kings, Leverage, Life, Maria Full of Grace, Merlin, Miracles, Multifandom, NCIS, Princess Tutu, Prison Break, Psych, Real People, Romeo and Juliet, The Shawshank Redemption, Sherlock Holmes, Six Feet Under, Smallville, So You Think You Can Dance, Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate: SG-1, Stargate Universe, Star Trek Reboot, Supernatural, Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles, Torchwood, True Blood, Twin Peaks, Veronica Mars, Wanted, White Collar, Xena the Warrior Princess )
vanitashaze: Profile of Teyla. (we burn our boats each new year /)
AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER REC:

[livejournal.com profile] white_knuckle's Hearsay Is the New History. Prince Ozai and Princess Ursa do not celebrate the birth of their firstborn.

All you Avatar: the Last Airbender fans out there: you must read this, for it's incredible. This is the tragedy of Zuko that we all know too well - the battle between good and evil, between free will and destiny, choices that change the world - except this time, the writer expanded it, made the same themes echo back across the bloodline to make it bigger than Zuko, older and deeper ingrained. She makes the tragedy of Sozin's line a story of sons and fathers, trapped in the same pattern over and over again, and gives me a rationale I can believe for what Ozai did, both to Zuko and the world.

And Ursa! Ursa is incredible in this, too. As one of the commenters said, this is "a fierce Ursa, a dangerous Ursa, someone who is an equal to her husband. She will make the world kneel to make her boy strong." She's not weaker for her devotion; this is the woman who murdered the Firelord in his sleep for love for her son. I've had a hunger for this Ursa, and this is perfect and eerie and... gah. My only complaint is that there isn't more.


ETA: TWO THINGS ABOUT NAMES, IDENTITY, AND RENAMING
1. Jet chose his name. It's not canon, of course, but I believe it. I mean, apparently the characters for that name (杰特) happen to mean "heroic" and "special". Oh, Jet. I do have a fondness for him, in the same way I have a fondness for Hama, or perhaps a sympathy. They're completely terrifying, of course, but... they're what happens in war, and I'm glad the creators recognized that. Avatar may be not so complex on some levels, and rather immature on others, but they're better than most at understanding and portraying the different facets of war, the incredibly complex tangle it creates.

2. [Piandao to Sokka:] "You should have chosen Li. There are a million 'Li's." AHAHAHAHA ZUKO. HOW UNORIGINAL ARE YOU. Though I like to think that, in part, the reason why Zuko kept the name was because of the boy he met. As a reminder, maybe? Or a hair shirt. Knowing Zuko, probably both.
vanitashaze: Silhouette of the Winchester brothers against a blue-lit window. (nowhere to stop anywhere on this road /)
HEY YOU GUYS, CHECK THIS OUT: Folie à Deux, written for ME for the [livejournal.com profile] deancastiel Secret Angels Exchange! My prompt was The AU where Henrickson was right: there is no thing as the supernatural, John was a paramilitary whackjob, and Castiel is Jimmy Novak's other personality.

The writer took this prompt and then wrote it from Amelia's POV, lending a poignancy and ambiguity to the tragedy that unfolds. There's so much here: anger, tenderness, ignorance, despair, far-flung tragedy, and the scariest thing is that it could so very easily go like this. To everyone but a select few, this is what happens. More than anything else, this fic asks: Where is the reality? Where's the line? Are the Supernatural pantheon close to it? And the answer seems to be: We don't know. We don't know. And far, far too close.
vanitashaze: Silhouette of the Winchester brothers against a blue-lit window. (nowhere to stop anywhere on this road /)
If you're a fan of Castiel - if you're a fan of Supernatural at all - you must go over and check out [livejournal.com profile] lola_thursday's vid Nowhere to Stop. Set to possibly the most perfect Castiel song that ever existed - Lhasa de Sela's "Anywhere On This Road" - it's an absolutely gorgeous view of Castiel as something eerie, tragic, heroic, and strange; jostled by a thousand loyalties, and yet for all the infighting, on a road that can only ever lead to one place. As [livejournal.com profile] lola_thursday said: "Somehow, in the process of making this vid, I feel like I discovered new dimensions to Castiel and his journey. And now, while season five has in some ways shown us Castiel as a tragic and impossible figure, I find him less tragic and (even) more compelling. His story is one of devotion, dedication, doubt, anger, and hope, all held in tension together. I tried to imbue this vid with those contradictions." My favorite bits are at 1:10 to 1:20, 2:00 to 2:07, 2:15 to 2:20, and the last few seconds - oh god, what a haunting, awful reminder of the inevitable - but really, the entire thing is fantastic. WATCH.

And now, off to see the new episode.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
And yet I am quickly becoming addicted to Radiolab, a wonderful little radio show on WYNC 93.9 that's somewhere between geekdom and synesthesia. Every episode, they choose a topic - life after death, for instance, or numbers, or why we blink - and from that topic focus on a few elements in-depth, usually about three of these, and then leave it to the listeners to draw conclusions and connections between them. It's supposedly a scientific show, and they definitely have a scientific bend - most of the elements are approached from a scientific basis - but it also touches on psychology, philosophy, anthropology, spirituality, music, literature, art... the list goes on and on. (And, [livejournal.com profile] ticketsonmyself, they had They Might Be Giants on for a guest spot!) I'm not particularly scientific, and I always preferred a more humanistic / metaphysical / subjective explanation for things, but that has not deterred me at all, because this isn't a typical radio science show that only scientists can enjoy (or, you know, a high-school science class). This is how science should be taught - with humor, depth, care, debate, and above all, an endless good-natured curiosity about the way the world works and what our place in it is. (All the hosts are super easy on the ears, too.)

It is, needless to say, great. I want to move to New York just so I can listen to this on the radio every day. However, if - like me - you're unlucky enough to live out of radio reception, you can download the podcasts of the shows for free off their website, and listen to them whenever. They have the longer hour-shows - which I totally recommend, especially "Beyond Time" and the one on race - but they also have twenty-minute "shorts", which are great if you don't have the time to commit to listening to the former all the way through. (Word to the wise, though: Don't try to listen to either of them while doing something that requires motor concentration. They're fascinating, and you will get totally wrapped up in them and forget what you're doing. I almost got flattened by a mid-size compact this morning, doing just this.)
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (it's just been that kinda day /)
Attention, attention, my marshmallow peeps! The English Major in me would like to take this opportunity to pimp this year's multifandom [livejournal.com profile] dvd_commentary challenge. It's very cool, people! You pick someone else's story, instead of your own, and write a commentary on it. Got a favorite fic you think needs some more love? A unique interpretation of a much-contested work? An ending that you're just dying to debate about? This is your chance! The community info post is here. I'm not going to be able to be a commentator this year, for obvious reasons that start with Big and end with Bang - plus all the other insane shit I've signed myself up for - but I did sign up as an allowed-author, so I don't feel completely guilty when I say, CRITIQUE AWAY!
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
As some of you may know, I spent Spring Break plowing through the first half of Carnivàle, and though I have not yet seen season two, I am very sad that this show was cancelled. It's slow, perhaps, but it has practically everything that pushes my supernatural plot buttons: secrets, Reasons with a capital 'R', mysterious backgrounds, that lovely dichotomy of grit and ghosts - the reality and unreality inherent in circuses. Most especially, I love worlds - such as that of Supernatural, and Pearl in Torchwood - where what you might call "magic" exists, but it's not recognized or regulated, but rather is found in trickery and peasant tales. Where it's recognizably our world, but with the edges blurred out a little more, and I don't think I'd be nearly as happy if everything was explained.

Perhaps it's because I'm in that mindset that I enjoy Vienna Teng's "In Another Life" so much. Off her new album, Inland Territories, comes this song, and it's very Carnivàle, very 1930s with jazzy piano and clarinet, more layers than an onion. It's about these two people, and the times they live in, but more than anything it's the Multiverse, cycles of karma, it's [livejournal.com profile] toft_froggy's All These Places We Have Met but not as obvious about it. Seriously, you guys. My previous recommendation "Watershed" was the "Pontchartrain" of the album - vast open spaces, pounding and powerful and very solid ghosts. Sea-creatures, and "Here Be Monstyrs". This song, however, is the same amount of creep and haunt, but slyly ironic, almost taunting, because someone knows exactly what's going on, but isn't telling, and the narrator doesn't know, not necessarily, but they have a guess.

VIENNA TENG : IN ANOTHER LIFE

Like Terry Pratchett said: "God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time."

Then in this song, my friends, is God. Is Management. Is Apollonia, and Lodz, and everyone who Knows Things.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
Oh. My. Fucking. God. Two hours, and I'm going to be unpacking this for weeks.

If you are in the vicinity of Washington D.C. anytime between now and April 26th, YOU MUST SEE THIS PLAY.

vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
1. This vid has been rocking my world so much, you have no idea. [livejournal.com profile] charmax's "Unnatural Selection", BSG/Terminator, robots and Darwinism and gorgeous editing and enough symbolism to choke on. Plus, a really great background track! Watch it, even if you don't know the fandoms - I don't - because you will not be disappointed.

2. From [livejournal.com profile] ladyanne525, a meme! Comment and....

1. I’ll respond with something random about you (probably an inside joke of some kind).
2. I’ll challenge you to do/try something.
3. I’ll pick a color that I associate with you.
4. I’ll tell you something I like about you.
5. I’ll tell you what animal you remind me of.
6. I’ll ask you something I’ve always wanted to ask you.
7. If I do this for you, you must post this on your journal.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (the great brute boy-sage of civilization)
Second Verse (Same As the First). SGA.
"The Marines call it the Planet of the Willing Virgins, you know." It's the 'willing' part that's debatable.


When I rec a story, I usually do it because I like it, for whatever reason, and because I like it it's implied that you may not; what moves me may not move you. Often, these things, these stories, they are beautiful, and should be read. Rarely do I find something that not only should be read, but needs to be. But this - this needs to be read.

This is important.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
Ladies and germs, the Heroes Fic Exchange is over, and I am so much the richer for it, because [livejournal.com profile] themollyedge wrote me Adam, and Hiro, and Adam/Hiro, and Yaeko (Yaeko!), and it is just beautiful. Or rather, not beautiful but something beyond beauty, because this is a work of art, my friends, this is circles and time-curves and “Hiro,” he says again, and the word holds all the decades of the earth inside its body. And the framework is an E.E. Cummings poem! Oh, read it. Read read read.

Somewhere I Have Never Travelled, by [livejournal.com profile] themollyedge. Adam/Hiro, others.
Summary: Hiro and Adam have always moved around each other in circles.

Incidentally, through some twist of fate or perhaps moderator, I ended up writing* for [livejournal.com profile] themollyedge. And it's about Adam and Hiro (and Ando) too! Go figure. It actually made it all the more cooler, once everything was posted and I got my head out of my ass long enough to check if someone had written something for me - d'oh, brain, it's an exchange - because it was like a very, very small Adam-Hiro-Ando-Yaeko fest between the two of us.

Here, if you want to read it, go ahead. But read Moll's first.

with diamonds and pearls at your head and your feet, by [livejournal.com profile] vanitashaze. Adam/Hiro/Ando, others.
Summary: In the beginning, there is Hiro, and Ando, and across the planet is New York, still as whole and beautiful and fucked up as ever.


*6,580 words in less than a week. What the fuck? I am amazed with myself. And kind of wondering if the world's going to end, now.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
So, I finally get around to reading Your Cowboy Days Are Over and Freedom's Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose tonight. I'd been avoiding them because someone had described them as too traumatizing for words, and I'm not usually one for heartbreakers, but in the end I'm thinking something along the lines of why not or perhaps need to do this and go ahead, open the window, scroll down. Read. I am reminded of something Annie Dillard once wrote: You can't picture it, can you? Neither can I. Oh, the desk is yellow, the oak table round, the ferns alive, the mirror cold, and I never have cared. I read. In the Middle Ages, I read, "the thing of a thing which a man framed for himself was always more real to him than the actual thing itself." I read the words, but I do not see what the writer dreamed of seeing, I do not feel what the writer dreamed of feeling. In this sense the dull has for me always hurt more than the sharp, when I am beat down by the weight of words. No catharsis of blood. I read Cowboy Days and retain nothing; I read Another Word and feel brushes of feeling, like words whispered so that nothing may be heard but the movement of air.

These days everything I read seems to be motorized, sterilized, I look at the human wreckage projected up at the screen and do not look away. My blood-and-bones teacher, the paramedic EMT instructor, he once told me that the people who faint during his gory slideshows were the ones who make a living from these things. Do they feel more or perhaps, less? Is the dread-sickness they feel the dread of these things happening to them, their own dermis rent & subcutaneous fat splattered? Do they do these things to forstay this dread, to delight in the foreigness of it? These dead and dying - these things do not resemble us. Meat does not drive our own mortality any deeper; the dead never look like they do in the movies, and nothing is crueler than the morgue camera. In the photographs he shows, skin is yellow, body hair like grit, and every limb ends in a bouquet of black gobbets. Ikibana of gore. My blood-and-bones teacher, my paramedic EMT instructor, he tells us stories of faces blown off by shotguns and I think, will I ever find anything beautiful again?
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
Out of West
Stargate: Atlantis. McKay/Sheppard, AU.
Summary: In 1991, Desert Storm began, Pete Rose got banned from the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Soviet Union collapsed, and Rodney McKay was framed for academic fraud.

This is. Just. So fucking beautiful, and it hurt, the first time reading this - echoes of what if, what if pressed into the narrative like bruises, the empty and the quiet. This is Rodney's story - Silicon Valley tycoon, driving cross-country to return the car he took from his ex - but also sort of John's; it's the story of a sunset-stained roadtrip, and another one twenty years earlier, different passengers but the same ghosts in the back seat. It's pulled, evocative, and their relationship unfurls slowly, beautifully, like bright cloth unwound by the wind. It's just. I really. Have no words, I've said too much already.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
Finally broke my Photoshop-block, and none too badly if I do say so myself. I mean, the cover's not great - it's rather generic, really - but I like it.

So, here's another one of these v-what-were-you-thinking, wanna-be-fic fanmixes. This round: Donna! With the Doctor, Lee, and Rose but not her dead fiance because he was kind of a twat. Enjoy.

Warning: this will make little to no sense if you don't read the back cover.



there's a chord in every muscle, every kiss you ever had )

ETA: Speaking of Rose/Donna... here, have a rec. [livejournal.com profile] netgirl_y2k's A Change Is As Good As a Rest is a lovely, witty post-finale piece that gives both ladies the endings they deserve. Summary: Now she had a half Time Lord / half human lounging on her sofa watching the X-Factor, and the heart of a TARDIS growing in an empty jam jar in her kitchen.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
1. If you love Life on Mars, are vaguely familiar with Ashes to Ashes and want to distract yourself from the oncoming storm U.S. version, go read [livejournal.com profile] trinityofone's absolutely fabulous "Nature Boy", found here and here. Yes, it is a WIP and the chapters are long, but it will BLOW YOU OUT OF THE WATER. (Or at least, it did for me.)

2. Icons! Long weekends do have their uses, after all.

Preview:



Read more... )
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
The orders of business today:

[1] Wheeeee! Journal re-vamping!
[2] Reason for journal re-vamping: day off. Reason for day off: food poisoning, or possible stomach virus. AM NOT HAPPY.

[3] DC*Rollergirls derby last night and it was fun like whoah. Didn't start out too great, though - had to walk several blocks in the cold with no jacket, with the demonchild pulling at my arm or any other appendage that got too close, and was then forced to fork over two Swiss Army thingies and a switchyknife by the door guard (all of which, for some reason, I had put in my pocket and then forgot about). The first match was kind of bleh, and I was thinking about leaving early, but I'm glad I didn't, because Round 2 was DC Demoncats against Scare Force One! Even though SF1 won something like 102 to 30 (sorry, girls, you tried!), both teams were totally kickass. Meatball, babe - you rawk.

[4] Having completed my mad DW/TW Fic-(Reading)-a-Thon, I have recs: fics that made me laugh, made me cry, made me scramble around on the floor trying to collect the little itty pieces of my heart/brain/whatever after it exploded with emotion. So, even though I know this will reach a next to nothing amount of people -

Literature that should be mandatory for any and all fans of Torchwood, (New) Doctor Who, or even your local baseball team because these are just THAT GOOD. )

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