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
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.

Win and Joan Thursday
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
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.

 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!):


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!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Farewell 2014 ~ have a grumpy David Tennant to wave you goodbye.

Words don't feel like flowing tonight so I'll jump right into a few things of note that happened this year:
  • I graduated from community college with an associate's degree
  • Did lots of singing at church and started preparing for our ensemble's concert
  • Had some great times with friends
  • Worked on learning the violin with my Grandpa, which has been really nice
  • Went on a trip with my family
  • Got a job and got settled in it
  • Did a fair amount of sewing and made some plushies

Rather unexpectedly, I ended up in some new fandoms this year, which I will now soppily remember:
  • Sherlock series 3 - this wasn't new but it actually happened finally. Also, I cosplayed Molly Hooper at a con and it was fun.
  • Emma Approved - it was so great to follow that this year and talk about it with my cousin.
  • Broadchurch/Gracepoint - both shows reawakened my love for David Tennant and they were just so good.
  • Cabin Pressure - Listened to pretty much all of it this year including the final episodes on December 23rd/24th. It is so quotable and many lines and games have permeated my house yellow car. Also John Finnemore is precious and has introduced me to some other fun things.
  • Endeavour - I was thinking about when I watched s1e2 I didn't want to fall in love with it and didn't want it to be another Sherlock. Weellll changed my mind about that, I guess. But this show and its characters have meant a lot to me. That and Cabin Pressure have been really important to me.
  • Roger Allam/Les Mis - The previous two also showed me how awesome Roger Allam is, and got me back into Les Miserables as I listened to him as Javert. He also introduced me to some new cool things.
  • Inspector Morse/other - The show that inspired the prequel Endeavour, Inspector Morse was really great to watch as well this year. I love Morse and Lewis. Also watched a bit of Midsomer Murders, which ended up being a really fun show.
  • These aren't all the shows I enjoyed but they stand out to me the most.
  • Oh yeah and Matthew Wood followed me on instagram. What.

 And now let's play how did I do on my new year's resolutions?

  • Figure out, prepare for, and possibly take the next step in my life - this happened, but not in the way I expected. This may or may not carry over into the next year.
  • Cosplay at least once - done! Molly Hooper, and a few closet cosplays for fun.
  • Be more comfortable with myself - strangely yes.
  • Post at least once a month here, and keep Gollum to the same - this will be my 12th post of the year but I posted twice for some months and missed others, so it evened out? Gollum wasn't so dedicated though...
  • Make a video - I did record one and then decided I didn't want to edit or do anything with it, but I made it that far so I count this accomplished.
  • Work on instead of surviving until good days (the weekend, events, etc) finding the good in ordinary or difficult days. - maybe a bit, and with my changeable schedule now it works a bit differently.
  • Every day put a slip in a jar of something good that happened that day - halfway through January I knew this wasn't going to happen, but at another point during the year I did a similar happiness challenge for a few days. Maybe I needed it more then than the rest of the year.

I don't really have any firm resolutions this year, and the thing is my goals may change after a while, but here's a few ideas:
  • Get back to learning Spanish (if anyone is on and wants to be friends let me know!)
  • Write (and possibly post) fanfiction
  • Assess my blogs and possibly improve them
  • Read more - maybe do a reading challenge

I hope 2014 was good for you all, and whether it was or not that 2015 will be even better. Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, November 7, 2014


Still slowly going through Mansfield Park, but hoping to finish before too long so I can read The Book Thief, plus I have one Doctor Who book I haven't finished, one I never started, and I just bought one...(it was $2 come on)

Listening to:

Nothing in particular for music, but been listening to the new series of John Finnemore's Souvenir Program, a sketch show by the writer of Cabin Pressure, and The Inner Tube, "THE podcast for content creators" by Josh Taylor and Kevin McCreary.

Lots of Inspector Morse which is great, an episode of Midsomer Murders here and there with my brother, Gracepoint with my mom, and thanks to the nicest friend who taped them for me, about to start Doctor Who season 8! So basically all murder mysteries except for Doctor Who (unless there's something I don't know about...)


Friends. I had great visits with some good friends this week, two of which I don't often get a chance to do text-less communication with, and got a strangely comforting missed call from another.
Also been enjoying sewing - I just finished making a plushie of the Tenth Doctor for a friend:

I don't think I've posted my plushies here, maybe that will be a future post.

Waiting for:
Christmas. I am so ready for Christmas music and may try to start on some crafts and shopping soon. Also looking forward to The Hobbit which is probably no surprise. Then a bit farther out, Sherlock is going to start filming early next year and Endeavour maybe around March, so that will be exciting.

What have you all been up to?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Les Pirates

Ahoy, mateys! It once again be our favorite day here at In Western Lands - it's Talk Like a Pirate Day! Don't forget ye landlubbers, use yer pirate lingo for me old self. Yo ho ho, that be the spirit! Ye can start by readin' the song I wrote for today! Sing it to the tune o' Do You Hear the People Sing.

Do ye hear the hearties sing?
Singing a shanty now and then
It be the music of a pirate
Who will pillage here again
When we look at all our charts
Thar be the place with highest sums
So grab a knife and hide your gold when the pirate comes!

Will ye join in our blockade,
Who will go pillaging with me?
Among our fine brigade
We will divide all the booty
So join in the fight that will make ye the fright of the sea!

Do ye hear the hearties sing?
Singing a shanty now and then
It be the music of a pirate
Who will pillage here again
When we look at all our charts
Thar be the place with highest sums
So grab a knife and hide your gold when the pirate comes!

Will ye give all ye can give
To make the Jolly Roger last
There's no need to hang the jib
If rival ships sail up too fast
Just load up the cannon and fire right into their mast!

Do ye hear the hearties sing?
Singing a shanty now and then
It be the music of a pirate
Who will pillage here again
When we look at all our charts
Thar be the place with highest sums
So grab a knife and hide your gold when the pirate comes!

Arrr, I hope ye liked it! A very happy Talk Like a Pirate Day to ye. Fair winds, mateys!

Bonus: Javert or Barbossa?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A-M Again

What's on my mind, told through whatever words I can think of that start with certain letters.

A - Autumn. Something I am very much looking forward to.

B - Blogging. I've written stuff but never edited it and thus haven't posted in too long. But I will post this post!

C - Choir. We've been doing some cool new songs lately including Lollipop by The Chordettes. It's really fun to do with my friends and it sounds good too.

D - Doctor Who: Deep Breath. I've only seen the first episode of season 8 but it was pretty good - it seems like Twelve and Clara will have a good season. Strax was definitely the highlight for me.

E - Endeavour. A British detective drama set in 1960s Oxford and my newest obsession. What I love most about this show are the characters and their relationships, especially between the main character, DC Morse, and his mentor DI Fred Thursday (played by Roger Allam, who I followed here from Cabin Pressure). If you like Sherlock, I highly recommend this.

F - Felt. I've been enjoying making plushies a lot lately, and just finished a cardinal using this pattern.

G - Gollum. He and I have both been tagged and these posts are coming! Sorry for the lateness.

H - Hogwarts. If you like over analyzing fiction as much as I do, you may enjoy An Endangered Species - Exploring the Wizarding World, a series of essays about the world of Harry Potter. There are also many Sherlock essays on the same blog, and they're all really interesting.

I - Ipswich. After listening to series 3 and 4 of Cabin Pressure last spring, my brother and I finally got series 1 and are now working on series 2. Our next episode is Ipswich which has this wonderful scene.

J - Job. I'm taking a year off from college and just got a job at a bookstore, so that's exciting.

K - Knightly. I really liked Alex Knightly (and Emma and Harriet!) in Pemberly Digital's Emma Approved which recently finished, sadly. If you're a fan, vote for them for a Streamys Audience Choice Award!

L - Les Miserables. The aforementioned Roger Allam got me into Les Mis again from listening to the original London cast recording with him as Javert. Love his version of Stars. And every other song he's in.

M - Maya Fey. So there's a game that's a crossover between Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and it was finally released in North America and it is totally awesome. Maya, one of my favorite characters, is back after not being in the last few AA games and it takes place between my two favorite PL games so I'm really happy.

What's new with you all?