Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I may not be blogging a lot but this is one of my favorite posts to do every year so here we go.

Some highlights of this year:
  • Recorded song covers for Facebook
  • Started a Midsomer Murders blog in April and posted every day since then
  • Sang in a concert
  • Worked through my store's closing
  • Sewed around 15 things (5 characters, 10 from patterns)
  • Visited Shena and Misty in real life (best weekend ever)
  • Went on a road trip with Mom to the beach
  • Was introduced to some great music and picked up the ukulele again
  • Watched Inspector Lewis (and read all the fanfiction), Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders and parts of Poirot
  • Had some really good times (in person and online) with friends
  • Came out of this year stronger and ready for a new year

Last year's resolutions:

Get back to learning Spanish - did a bit here and there, but still a work in progress

Write (and possibly post) fanfiction - wrote some things that aren't great but nice to do for fun, and edited one that I am very close to posting online, and will hopefully in the next few days

Assess my blogs and possibly improve them - I kind of informally decided to stop Riddles in the Dark, because my writing was feeling repetitive and it was hard to come up with ideas. I still love Gollum, so if I feel re-inspiried one day I'll go back to it (I have some ideas to improve it, but need the inspiration first). For this one, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing for now, posting when I feel inspired and have time at the same time (why do those not like to happen simultaneously?).

Read more - maybe do a reading challenge - I may have kind of accepted that reading books just isn't easy for me right now, but I did read an Inspector Morse novel, part of Mansfield Park, and might have tried a couple others earlier in the year. Right now I'm reading a book about the history behind Foyle's War and it's interesting so hopefully I can finish that!

This year's resolutions:

I don't really have personal goals beyond being okay while doing things which is hard to quantify, so I'll make these more creative goals.
  • Post another fanfic (in addition to the one mentioned above which will hopefully be this week)
  • Do at least 3 song "collabs" (whether with another person or me recording multiple parts)
  • Read two books to the end (let's set the bar low)
  • Keep working on Spanish
  • Learn something new or improve something I'm new to (creation-wise, like ukulele or video editing)

A few days ago, I saw a tumblr post that said "2015 was my character development year which means 2016 is strictly action and story progression and i don’t know about you but i’m excited." This feels true for me - 2015 wasn't my year. But I think that 2016 could be okay, if not really good.



Friday, June 5, 2015

And My Thoughts Fly Apart


Things on my mind lately:

So British detectives have kind of become my thing. I'm currently watching Midsomer Murders, Inspector Lewis, and I just finished series 2 of Broadchurch. I also started a tumblr just for Midsomer and it's been fun to try a blog focused on one thing and watch it grow.

The Chordettes are my favorite right now and I love how the soloist is usually the lowest voice - a nice change for me.

I can't read books and I don't know why. I'll read fanfiction, but cannot get myself to sit down with a book or finish something I started. Last time I could really was with Harry Potter. But right now I have three or four books I can try, so hopefully something will work.

I want to cosplay but it takes so much time, money, and talent I'm not sure I have. And since 90% of my favorite characters at the moment are men that wear suits all the time and don't have a lot of distinguishing (and replicable) features (see aforementioned British detectives), I'm not really sure who I'd want to do anyway. But Cabin Pressure would be pretty doable. And Donna from Doctor Who.

Sometimes I swear if strangers or acquaintances press me on what I want to do with my life, I'm going to say "I want to be the man who makes the noise of the TARDIS." Or "I might just take the crazy golf thing professional." (both quotes from John Finnemore)

Like I don't mind talking about it with friends who get it, and there are some nice people who don't press for details after I give my first answer, but when someone who doesn't know me very well tells me what I need to do, acts concerned and/or disapproving at my lack of direction, and generally doesn't get the hint that this is a personal, difficult, and really-not-as-simple-as-you-think-random-person issue (though I'm not always sure how to convey this except being vague), just no. I don't really want to hash it out over and over for someone who doesn't care enough, so I reserve the right to be facetious.

Facetious is now a word I use thanks to Sergeant Hathaway from Inspector Lewis.


which became a running joke in the rest of the episode
One thing that's annoying about the Morseverse tv shows is it's hard to say such-and-such a thing in Endeavour, in Inspector Morse, or in Inspector Lewis because it's like saying "had had" but "in in." Maybe that's why Inspector Lewis is often called just Lewis. Sooo much easier to say.

baby Morse just wants a normal name

How are you guys, and what's going on in your life right now?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Whodunit April Fools - Hints and Solution

Now that I have solved the much more important case I was working on, I can now direct my attentions toward this case again. It took me mere moments to discover what was wrong, but I would not expect anyone else to possess my level of deductive reasoning.

If you wish to look at it again before reading my solution, here are some clues for you:

1. Look in the details. Why would they explain something seemingly unnecessary, and did they explain it correctly?

2. You are not expected to determine if the alibis are acceptable (this would require outside verification), only if they were obviously lying in the first place.

3. There may be more than one false alibi.

(possible spoilers)
4. Look at the money spent and the seating arrangements.

And now for my solution:


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Whodunit - April Fools

I'm Sherlock Holmes, the world's only consulting detective. You may remember the previous post I made here. I return because once again, Arda has been an idiot. Oh, I can see her face reading this, don't be like that.

You think she would have learned after the Gollum incidents, but she left her computer logged into blogger and someone has made some changes, obviously.

What's more is that I have reason to believe that they took control earlier this week, Monday if my deduction is correct (it is), and only now showed it (or it was only just noticed, because really, who would read this blog anyway?).





From the design, I have narrowed the suspects down to three - Jim Moriarty, Irene Adler, and Sebastian Moran. Naturally, the next step was to find out what they were all doing at the time of the hacking.



First I spoke to Lord Sebastian Moran, who without knowing the exact day in question says he can account for his whereabouts Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday, he was in meetings all day with several witnesses. Regarding Monday, he said "my wife dragged me to a show with her mother. I don't like spending the money, but it was my mother-in-law's 80th birthday. Never again. It was a waste of good money. I gave the fellow at the box office a hundred dollar bill for those tickets and didn't even get a penny of change. It was highway robbery." He also said he had the ticket stubs at home if I wanted proof.


By some coincidence (or perhaps an unrelated plan I will soon uncover), Irene Adler also went to the same theater that night with, according to Mycroft "two illustrious, anonymous associates." Apparently wanting to keep a lower profile than Moran, they sat in cheaper seats, though they didn't keep their ticket stubs. Irene said one of the ushers would remember her and the mix-up they had with their seats. Their seat numbers were M 3, 4, and 5, but there were three old ladies sitting in them and they didn't want to move. An usher got them to move up to seats 6, 7, and 8. "Even if the usher doesn't remember," Irene said, "there was a big fuss during the second act when I lit a cigarette. A kid sitting next to me told me smoking wasn't allowed. I told her parents to keep their rotten brat at home next time. They'll remember me, even if the usher doesn't." Though I'm not sure who wouldn't remember her.

 

Thinking there must be some conspiracy between the three, I asked Moriarty if he had also been at the theater. "No, don't be boring," he told me. "I was home all evening. I watched Glee on Netflix until the 11 o'clock news came on. Then I checked my diary for the next day, read for a while, checked my cameras, put out the lights, and went to bed. All alone. Can't prove it, Sherlock."

More questions are called for, but I'm far too busy with a more important case today. I need you to determine who I should investigate further. Comments and questions will be answered normally except those containing solutions. These I will review and post tomorrow along with an explanation for those who did not solve it (probably most of you, though Arda thinks you can).

Good luck.
-Sherlock Holmes.



Update: ANYONE?! John would at least give it a try. Even if he missed everything important. Fine, Arda is too busy with her dull job to change her blog back anyway so I will give you a week to solve this before I explain my deduction. -SH

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Favorite Female Characters

Although I missed International Women's Day, I wanted to put together a list of my favorite female characters with something I like about each. Female characters don't have to just be "strong" (though that is cool too), but it's great when they have unique personalities as normal people and have their own role in the story apart from a leading or supporting male character (though this does not make their relationship bad or unimportant!). All of these characters are really great and I love how they are portrayed complexly - they are already cool and strong but have moments of weakness that show their humanity and ability to learn and grow. There are so many I want to mention and I'm probably forgetting some ladies I love, but here are my top choices at the moment:


Ellie Miller
Broadchurch
A detective sergeant and a mother, she's thrown into a situation she's not prepared to deal with but her compassion continually shines through.

Rose, Martha, Donna, Sarah Jane, and others
Doctor Who
Rose always puts others first and looks out for people many don't notice. Martha balances what everyone wants from her and stands up for herself. Donna sees the Doctor as he is and encourages people to be their best, even with her own insecurities. Sarah Jane is like another Doctor and adopts *all* the kids.

source
Win and Joan Thursday
Endeavour
It's the 60s - Win, the mother of the Thursday family stays home and Joan, her daughter, has a job, and both are portrayed as good and important. Joan is funny and a bit adventurous and Win supports her family through thick and thin. (Dorothea Frazil is cool too)

Cully and Joyce Barnaby and Gail Stephens
Midsomer Murders
Daughter and wife of the lead detective, Cully and Joyce both have an interest in the arts (whether as a career or a hobby). Cully knows what she wants and works toward it, and Joyce likes to try new things and be involved in the community. Gail Stephens is a police officer and while junior to Barnaby and Jones, she has a different set of skills to contribute to investigations.

Molly Hooper
Sherlock
Molly has such a great character arc as she starts out as an awkward, love-sick, mouse and establishes herself and gets the respect she deserves. But it's the two sides of her existing simultaneously that make her so relatable. Also shout out to some other awesome women of Sherlock - Mrs. Hudson, Mary Morstan, Sally Donovan, Anthea, Janine, and Sarah.

source
 Eowyn
 The Lord of the Rings
She's a leader and sacrifices what she wants for the good of others, not to mention brave and resourceful and all-around awesome. Shout out to the many other women of Middle-Earth as well.

Hermione Granger
Harry Potter
Her hard work and patient study make her the "brightest witch of her age," and she is strong and flawed and beautiful and loyal and keeps her friends together.

Maya Fey
Ace Attorney
How to summarize the awesomeness of Maya... She seems so real in that she has multiple sides to herself and surprises you as you get to know her. She's quirky and spunky most of the time but doubts her abilities and her worth. Throughout the series she works through personal tragedies while doing anything she can to help her friends. Franziska is also an amazing character I could go on about.

This is getting long so to say a few more:
 Lizzie, Jane, and Lydia Bennet from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Ahsoka, Padme, Leia, Siri, Bant, and many others from Star Wars
Carolyn Knapp-Shappey from Cabin Pressure
Emma Swan and others from Once Upon a Time
Fanny Price from Mansfield Park

Several of my favorite characters are guys, but these women are particularly special. I find many of them are realistic, relatable, and a great part of their story. For those in current series, hopefully this will continue! Who are your favorite female characters?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Closet Cosplay Challege - Results

 
First of all, you guys rock. Thanks so much to everyone who sent challenges! For a couple of these I borrowed something from a family member, made little things out of construction paper, or had actually already made something for a character, but otherwise this is stuff out of my closet. And sorry in advance for the quality of the pictures! I alternated between an iPod and digital camera, both with ups and downs.

Speaking of things I already made for characters - Shaak Ti suggested Elizabeth Swan, who I actually dressed as for Halloween years ago, so I had something okay for this:

accidental cosplaying in front of picture of actual character (right middle)

Shena had a few challenges- first an undercover Jedi (thought it was cool how this was open to interpretation, which I may have had a bit too much fun with) (I am wearing my Jedi tunic, it's just hard to see!):

cover

deep cover

deep deep cover
Sherlock Holmes:

I take the precaution of a good coat and a short friend




Rose Tyler (I went with her outfit from The End of the World, since I already made a shirt to look like hers):

we're in the year 5 billion! but first let me take a selfie.

Mary Margaret:

she makes me want to cut my hair and completely change my style

And Eowyn (was able to sort of pull off her costume from Dunharrow):

might be my new favorite costume of hers


Faith suggested two disney princess - Belle (who I'd love to cosplay for real now):

far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, a prince in disguise...

And Cinderella:

learned my face doesn't like to cooperate for princesses so better to close eyes...





Zenta said Professor Layton (thank you bro for the shirt. and jacket. and hat.):

every puzzle has an answer




And Miles Edgeworth:

now then, if the defense is quite done embarrassing itself...






And last but not least Misty who, after I specifically said Smaug would be tricky, suggested I do said dragon. But just for you, my dear friend:





Benedict doing the motion capture for Smaug!


Mwahahaha! (I only laugh because I fail at doing a scary face)

And that's it! Again, thanks so much for the challenges, this was a ton of fun to do! Have a great week, keep calm, and cosplay motion capture versions of characters that are too hard.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Closet Cosplay Challenge + My Face


not this closet or face
Hey all! So this is something I've wanted to do for a while, and finally taking the plunge - a closet cosplay challenge!

So this is me:
I think it's apparent that I need to rethink my life a little bit.

And I'm asking you all to please comment with a character for me to attempt to cosplay with things I already have (or commandeer from a family member). These will be far from perfect, and I'm probably not going to attempt makeup or anything extravagant, but at least give my best impression of the character. And I'm fine with pretty much anything, even someone I don't know - girls, guys, wizards, whatever (though Smaug might be a *bit* tricky).

Current plan is to take challenges for a week (until Feb 15) and work on them the next week, hopefully finishing by the 22nd. Late challenges are fine, just can't guarantee them! And suggesting more than one is fine too, since I'm not expecting a lot of comments.

It would be awesome if anyone else wanted to do the challenge as well! If you make a post with whatever rules you want (and pictures without your face work just as well), please leave a link in the comments so we can all do this together!