March 28th, 2014

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gardening

Due to the entirely realistic fear that if I didn’t do something with the roses and raspberries I bought RIGHT AWAY, they would rot on the kitchen counter, Young Indiana and I went out to Deal With The Garden yesterday.

Before:
01before

Armed with a rake, a gardening fork and a spade, I murdered many, many bulbous plants that were clearly due to turn into beautiful flowers of some sort soon, terrified some snails, cut at least one fat earthworm in half (I am SO SORRY, LIL GUY), dealt with the tragic sorrow of a small child who didn’t have his own gardening gloves (this has been rectified, or will have been when the Amazon order arrives), ripped out every root system I could lay my hands on, totally filled the compost bin, and eventually arrived at this:

After:
02after

They’re not particularly visible, but we did plant the four rose bushes in there. Two of them had root systems that looked like they might be sufficient to survive, and the other two, well, we’ll see. :)

We’ll do the raspberries today, and we’re thinking about just going ahead and taking out those trees there at the end so there’s room for blackberries, too. We’re not getting any personal mileage out of the trees and we’d get loads out of berry bushes. :)

I also want to put a trellis up across the whole cut-away space there, and get a couple of climbing roses so that (you know, 15 years from now or whatever) that space can be a whole waterfall of roses.

So anyway, I also jammed my left index finger with all of the big work yesterday, and, um, now I have to stop typing and eat breakfast and oh, man, better get bread going…!

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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Picoreview: Winter Soldier

Picoreview: Captain America: Winter Soldier: I’m not going to go into any detail because this doesn’t open in America until next week, but I was pretty happy with it. There were plenty of outright funny/clever moments, more violence than I expected (I know, it’s about a soldier, but it’s the whole PG-13 drift toward greater violence. I guess I still don’t expect it.), there was at least one good heartbreak moment, and I want my Falcon movie like five minutes ago.

What I will say is dear god, Chris Evans’s shoulder to hip ratio. Holy mother of mercy. Holy sweet mother of mercy. There’s a scene in the film that I could just freeze-frame and stare at for hours. Holy gods. *fans self* (Honestly, it was possibly as good as the Shirtless Thor2 Scene, and elicited the same kind of incredulous silence from the audience.)

Also, in terms of sheer physical perfection, the scenes with Cappy and Robert Redford together–Redford’s still a beautiful dude, but he’s really cragged up, and his roughness compared to Cappy’s inhumanly smoothly perfect features bordered on surreal. Part of my brain kept wishing it was Redford 30 years ago just for the unbelieveable amount of pretty that would’ve been on the screen. :)

If you watch AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D, I’m given to understand that next week’s episode (on the 2nd?) is lead-up to Winter Solider and that the week after (on the 9th?) is CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS, and I’d say the events of Winter Soldier are unexpected enough (at least to me) that you don’t want to be spoiled via AoS. :)

(I tell you what, though, if I was the cast of AoS I’d have been like EXPLODING WITH THE KNOWING OF WHAT’S COMING, omg. Lucky them!)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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Elfquest: The Final Quest, Issues 1-2

So the first couple issues proper of the new EQ story are out. When the first one came out, there was some blogger/reviewer type who had never read EQ before who said “confusing, too many characters, no emotional connection,” or words to that effect.

In the comments and on FB and places, people shrieked, “How dare somebody come into a 30 year saga on the latest iteration and say it’s no good! They don’t UNDERSTAND!” and words to that effect.

The thing is, the blogger was right.

I mean, I’ve been an ElfQuest fan since I was 11 years old. Thirty years this autumn. I’ve read it *all*. The comics, the anthologies, the spin-offs, the novelisations, all of it. I’ve read the original quest and the Kings stories more often than the later stuff, but I re-read every one of the later issues multiple times when they came out. I can still pull up random ElfQuest trivia that no reasonable person could ever need to know from the storage files in my skull.

And the new stuff still isn’t real compelling.

Part of it is that the issues feel really, really *short*. 20 pages plus letters pages to fill it out, and yes, it’s true I’m in the habit of reading graphic novels these days and all single-issue comics feel pretty short, but these feel really. short. There’s barely enough pages to start being reminded of what’s going on and then it’s over. Bleh.

Part of it probably *is* a lack of familarity; a lot of the current story is focused on Ember’s tribe, half of whom I can’t particularly tell apart. And they’re pursuing a storyline with her that annoys the crap out of me, even though I see the logic of it in ElfQuest worldbuilding terms, so that doesn’t especially help. But there’s been very little with Cutter’s tribe, excepting the Moonshade storyline (which, tbf, I’m fascinated by), and the Wavedancers haven’t been re-introduced since the Prologue.

And dammit, I thought the prologue was done so *well*, and I was so excited about so much of it, but…really, the first two issues really feel like a nearly incoherent mess, and I’m pretty disappointed. It doesn’t feel well paced. There feels like there’s too much repeated to hammer points home. I dunno. It’s just…meh.

(Okay, there was one thing in issue two that got me, not because of the event itself but because of its effect on a beloved character. But still. Mostly, meh.) :p

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)