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And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
24 August 2015 @ 11:29 am

I've been very ambivalent about seeing the Man from UNCLE film, I'm not a believer in series television remakes in general, TV series have proven over and over again to be the least promising of source materials. UNCLE in particular is so tied to a specific time and culture that a remake never made sense to me.

But in the end I'm nosy so I finally did go. I'd give it three stars out of five.

It's not great. It's not awful. It's not UNCLE either. I agree with something  eilidhsd said in her review, unless you want to see Napoleon and Illya in these two characters you won't. They're very different, not just in terms of looks, but in terms of personality, skill sets, almost everything.

I"m not being careful about spoilers, so the rest is below the cutCollapse )

And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
13 July 2015 @ 07:32 pm
Finally, a writing meme I can join without thinking too hard :) Taken from saki101, who took it from espresso_addict who says it was created by roseveare. I'm gonna talk about titles:

Came part and parcel with the idea for the story:
This seldom happens to me. Sometimes when I think of a story the title comes to me soon after though. Always Crashing in the Same Car is one of those. As is Calculus and Breaking Glass. I dabble on the side sometimes in what I call "picture books", and there the title and the story arrive (in idea at least) fully formed: ...Mother of Invention, The Animated Affair, A Tale of Two Chibis, I could go on ;)

Panic stations! The fic is ready to post/I have to post this tomorrow and I don't have a title: Oh dear, this might happen more often than I'd like to admit. Left Behind, Snapshots, Waiting Games...., the funny thing about those is that I think I really did find the right titles in the end!

I have to call it something and it might as well be that:
The two most egregious examples are Fairy Tales and Spies. I mean really.

The rest follows...Collapse )
And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
25 April 2015 @ 10:11 am
Make sure you watch this full screen!!

More information here.

I don't regret a penny of my taxes spent on this :)
And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
20 March 2015 @ 10:03 am
of snow coming today. Spring has sprung....

...in the wrong direction :D
And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
17 February 2015 @ 11:23 am
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And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
25 January 2015 @ 11:56 am
Nabbed this from azdak who got it from nineveh_uk: When you see this, share 3 random lines from 3 WIPs.

Hah. Wouldn't it be nice if I had only three WIPs. Since everyone knows what fandom mine are likely to be, I picked lines featuring other characters :)

"He asked me to bring my accordion. I am the band." He wiggled his fingers. "What... what?" he added at Neumann's horrified look, "What did you want me to say?"

I bit my tongue. Victor being high and mighty! I knew where he came from, the old canaille. If it weren't for Anouk and her connections...

Semenova was staring at him, her arms crossed. "You never did get his signature on paper, did you. He'd never have the nerve to walk otherwise."

"I put the pen in his hand Lena. Can I help it if he took it and stabbed me through the heart with it!"
And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
17 December 2014 @ 05:23 pm
After weeks of news items ranging from the depressing to the truly horrible, today, completely unexpectedly, I click on the NYT home page and two pieces of very good news:

The US is finally, finally normalizing relations with Cuba.

And on a more local scale, the New York governor has agreed to officially ban fracking in our state. Yesss!

Maybe progress is possible after all.
And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
15 December 2014 @ 05:16 pm
Gifts for bright nine year old girls, no princess stuff Any advice? If you say books, tell me which ones!
And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
14 December 2014 @ 12:33 pm
Down the Chimney started last week, and my gift showed up yesterday! I want to show it off :) open_channel_d created this beautiful illustration for me:

A Winter's Tale

and as a special bonus she included a Pasternak poem (an excellent translation by his niece).

I've brought a friend to say thank you :)

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And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
26 November 2014 @ 12:12 pm
This is both very entertaining and slighty horrifying:

Thanksgiving recipes Googled in every State.

Apparently Snickers Salad is a thing. Among other good things.

It's for fun, it's not a list of the most popular Thanksgiving dish in each state, but the most distinctive:

The researchers didn’t focus on the most popular dish in every state, because that would be “turkey” in all 50 states. They instead looked for the most distinct.

The dishes you see listed here are the result of the analysis. The numbers next to each dish indicate how much more popular searches for it were in a given a state than in the rest of the country during the week of Thanksgiving over the past 10 years.
And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
ESA's Rosetta lander, Philae, will attempt to land on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in less than two hours. Keep your fingers crossed, a successful landing will be a minor miracle.

The live stream is here.

Lots of pictures and a good story here.

ETA: They're getting signals from the surface \o/
There's nothing like watching a bunch of scientists celebrate :D
And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
28 October 2014 @ 11:22 am
For the record: this was written for the Man from UNCLE 50th Anniversary Mini Bang. It can stand alone, though yes, I know, I know, there will be a sequel.

Title: Breaking Glass
Author: elmey
Artist: open_channel_d
Genre: Slash
Characters/Pairing: Napoleon Solo/Illya Kuryakin, Alexander Waverly, Original Characters

Word count: 7783
Warnings: Angst!!

He could shut the window again and close it all off, hide it behind smooth solid glass. But there was always a weak spot; a small push right here--how easy it would be to shatter the pane, to watch the web of cracks spread until finally it all caved in on itself. Even easier to put a bullet through it and watch the glass explode, shards slicing the air, then skin, flesh and bone, leaving a trail of bright blood in their wake.

The story follows the events of "The Master's Touch Affair"

Notes: Extended notes are on the story itself. But I particularly want to thank open_channel_d both for her fantastic illustrations, and for her help with all things Russian.

To admire her illustrations full size, and leave her kudos, please go here.

The link goes to AO3.


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And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
04 October 2014 @ 09:21 am
This is absolutely lovely. Photographer Nicholas Nixon married into a family of four sisters, and since 1975 he's been taking their portrait once a year. The 40th portrait was just released, and you can see all forty here:

The Brown Sisters

The portraits are beautiful, straightforward but deeply emotional. The text is by a novelist and short story writer, Susan Minot, and it's worth reading too.
And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
Words fail me. Except I should mention this is from the College Republican National Committee. It's for the Governor's race in Florida.

And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
29 September 2014 @ 09:02 pm
I'm not archiving these bits anywhere, this post is just to have an accessible link in case I ever want to refer back to these pieces.

I wrote three chapters for the MFU 50th Anniversary round robin, which started in June and ended last week. Nos 11, 21 and 30 which was the finale (haha I got the finale, goodbye sex and romance and happy ever after :D). The whole thing was probably more interesting for the writers than the readers. When you have ten or so writers with clashing views of the characters and idiosyncratic notions of plotting you're not going to get a particularly coherent story. The push and pull of different writers trying to force their version of NS and IK into the proceedings was interesting (and I probably pushed harder than most because I'm right, dammit), and each new chapter was like a new puzzle piece, except I'm not convinced we were working the same puzzle :)

The title of the whole piece was Something that Belongs to Me, the notorious phrase from the Secret Sceptre episode, chosen by saki101 who wrote the first chapter and gave us a fantastic jumping off point.

11: Words are Slippery Things

21: Need to Know

30: Finale: Something that Belongs to Me

I did feel a twinge every time I got a particularly good idea, whether I should use it for the RR or save it for a "real" story :) But hey, there's nothing wrong with recycled ideas and who's going to remember an RR two months from now!
And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
27 September 2014 @ 07:48 pm
Thanks for your help:)

And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
19 September 2014 @ 11:03 am
For the record: this well, thingy, was created for the MFU Mood-Y 50th Anniversary Challenge with my co-conspirator eilidhsd (and an anonymous kibitzer). Link leads to network_command

AUTHORS: elmey and eilidhsd
STORY NAME: ...the Mother of Invention
GENRE: errm, pomes? of a sort.
WARNINGS: see "genre"

...the Mother of Invention

madscientist photo masscientist_zps08826650.gif
And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
05 September 2014 @ 04:19 pm
Finally, Cocktail Time!

And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
25 August 2014 @ 10:57 am
There's a link on tumblr to a test screening coming up for the new UNCLE movie. k1p2psso mentioned it yesterday as well.

I skimmed it yesterday and was amused (?) by the fact they're limiting the audience from 15 to 54 year olds. Good luck enforcing that!

But someone else's comment made me look at it again and this popped up:

“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” centers on calm, cool, & collected CIA agent Solo, and hot-headed rival KGB agent Kuryakin. Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the charismatic duo team on a mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization. Together, they must race against time -- provided they stop flirting long enough to get the job done!

Hot headed. Characterization not canon then. But flirting? Can we hope they're flirting with each other?? I might pay to see that :D
And it started out to be such a beautiful day.
24 August 2014 @ 12:27 pm
I know you're already close...

...just a bit more practice.
See, no accordions!