Wednesday, 29 October 2014

October 29 ~ 'tis the season for spookiness and spectres

First up in things to do with self-promotion:

My most recent 4YE recap of Supernatural
Season 10 / Episode 4 "Paper Moon"
And here I thought I was being original by referring to 'the family business'. Nope.

Music! I love that George Ezra song "Budapest" - under the category of Something completely different, he and Sir Ian McKellen got together for musical hijinks. Thank you, YouTube!

Oh, jeepers, I almost forgot: Paddington has a trailer now! And Ben Whishaw sounds every bit as perfect as I imagined he would.
Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, and that Peter Capaldi guy do alright as well. ;p
StudioCanal - you're awesome!  November 28, people! The film's Twitter handle is @paddingtonbear for all the latest.

Interested in etymology? Who isn't?
Mental Floss with seasonal words with spooky origins. 

I cannot hope to catch you up on all things Marvel-tastic. Sam Maggs (@SamMaggs) from The Mary Sue, on the other hand, can, and does. Props to her for finding the gif as well. I have so much to learn!

Marvel's Phase 3 plans and what they mean

Speaking of Marvel-tasticness: AGENT CARTER!!!!! Did you see the first teaser trailer? Did you? If not or you just want to see it again and again (see above gif for appropriate yet thoroughly unsafe reaction), even if it is only 15 seconds long - but you've been really REALLY great to the fans, Marvel, especially this week, so no grumblings here. Nope, nope, nope.

Something else for the brain cells - given only 3 letters, figure out the name of the European country. I found this a real challenge - some are more obvious than others.
Mental Floss & Sporcle quiz co-production.

I leave you with more Marvel. It was high time I liked this FB page. "Texts from Superheroes" never fails to make me chuckle. This one's even got my theme du jour. It's kismet, I'm sure.

Happy Hallowe'en / All Hallows Eve - whatever you call it, stay safe out there and look out for one another.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Online notables from the last week

Things that tickled my fancy over the course of the last week - perhaps they'll tickle yours as well.

A reader comment passed on by @GreyLondon on Twitter. Fair point, I say.

(c) Empire Magazine

Okay, this isn't a normal for me, but can I help it if there are great Tom Mison as Sleepy Hollow's Ichabod Crane pics out there? Where I can easily come across them without employing the use of a search engine? Not quite as 'up there' as the latte-stache, but, how about tree pose? I genuinely applaud the balance. That's one end of the can-do spectrum. Then there's me: I can hold that pose - with one foot right above my ankle, for approx. four seconds, on a really good day.
Thank you, The Mary Sue, for sharing!

I also felt the urge to write about it for 4 Y E. I hope you feel the urge to read about it.
Yoga and Travel Mugs on Sleepy Hollow

The nerdiness is strong in this one - and I love it. Thank you, "Everything Nerdy and Anything in Between" Facebook group for this!

I wrote another Supernatural episode recap - complete with philosophical musings - which didn't get edited out! I love 4 Y E - and not just for that!
Supernatural Season 10 / Ep 03 Recap: Soul Survivor

This could happen, right? Thank you,"One more miracle, Sherlock, for me. Don't. Be. Dead. - Watson" Facebook group.

I also wrote about Dean Stockwell being cast in a November sweeps episode of NCIS: New Orleans. You know, that show that has Scott Bakula as the sage of the investigative team. Quantum Leap, you were an amazing show.
Sam and Al: Reunited and it feels so good!

Take care of each other, people!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Changing the lens

So, the deep and meaningfuls are few in number - and when I do have something to share, I tend to not bother. In an effort to combat this self-publishing malaise, I'm switching gears to whatever's on the internet that is leaving an impression on me - for whatever reason. Feels, inspiration, motivation, joy of sharing a nifty find, and good ole self-promotion. If it needs a name, The Daily Scroll? Things that cannot be unseen?

Here's what caught my attention today (or earlier): Wednesday, October 15, 2014

 My mantra, if ever I had one. Thank you, Sam Maggs (@sammaggs), for verbalising it so very well.  I look forward to more of her verbalising WHEN HER BOOK COMES OUT IN 2015!

In related news,
A film made 25 years ago that set me on the path to 'it's okay to be me'.
Dead Poets Society, I owe you.
15 facts about Dead Poets Society

Ben Whishaw as Richard II - a study in vedantic thought This is Richard's final monologue in the play (just under 3 minutes in length). Whishaw's delivery is incredibly moving (forget the Judeo-Christian imagery that you are being assaulted by if you can) and just think about those thoughts he is expressing. 

Buzzfeed did a little bit of an 'ode to Kirk' from Gilmore Girls. Some of this I can actually relate to. Most of it is just, "Oh. Kirk." If you can think of more, please feel free to share.
20 times Kirk from Gilmore Girls was incredibly awesome

This hatred for equal representation in gaming has to stop. I'm not a gamer and I don't pretend to be (although there is this one Portal T-shirt I REALLY want), but threatening to KILL someone?
Other than the criminality of it, when did gaming stop being, you know, a game?? As in fun?
It's not a treehouse for nine-year-old boys to nail a sign to the door saying "NO GIRLS ALLOWED" - it's an industry, a multi-BILLION dollar industry, and guess what, girls have money too:
to develop games, to own studios, to purchase games, to purchase merch, to purchase all the toys needed/wanted in order to play, to have intelligent (and utterly superfan) conversations about their likes and dislikes, to attend cons. Who'd have thunk it? It's like, girls are PEOPLE!
Sarkeesian cancels talk at US university after massacre threat

And now for something lighter:
From Season 2 episode: "Go Where I Send Thee"
(c) Fox / From the Season 2 Sleepy Hollow ep "Go Where I Send Thee"

 Without actually saying so in this post, I think the Mary Sue might be campaigning for Charlize Theron to be Ms Marvel/Carol Danvers. Hmmmm.

Me want. Me (and you) can order it from the
ConsultingFanGeeks Etsy store 


A little music - why not hear Lorde's Royals a capella.
Thanks, Eric Alper, for the link. 

Something closer to home: "Perth built highways. Vancouver did not." Guess which one has insane traffic congestion, compounded by the fact that everything goes through water-influenced bottlenecks: tunnels and bridges. Hard to get anywhere - irrespective of destination.

An argument against MCU Civil War from Twitter's @nevesytrof:

Do you need more proof of Neil Gaiman's amazing human-ness?
The Mary Sue: Neil Gaiman has no truck with any of that fake geek nonsense

 I'm the official Supernatural recapper for 4YE now!
Season 10 - episode 2 (Reichenbach) recap here

Like Tim Roth? Who doesn't? Want news?
He's going to be in the upcoming rom-com Mr Right!

As they said in the Mary Sue tweet "It's the time of year when a lot of Hocus Pocus pops up on Tumblr"

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Why the Paralympics matter

I retweeted this retweet above last night and CTV's Tom Popyk contacted me via Twitter wanting to know how I was involved with the Paralympics. I said that I wasn't, that I was just a supporter who had volunteered at Vancouver 2010 and seen a couple of games and just wanted to continue spreading the good word. He asked permission to pass my details on to the CTV news desk, to which I assented, and in the meantime, I got to thinking. 

Why do we cheer on the Jamaican bobsled team? Canada, in particular, is a nation that loves to cheer on the underdog (and they're not the only ones). It’s an empathy thing. As a non-athlete, I can appreciate the efforts the team made to even get to the Olympic Games – the hard work, the determination, the fundraising. So, now that the Olympics are over, let’s shift that focus to the Paralympics, and lose the empathy, these athletes don’t need it. They need the support of their nation.

I am inspired by the drive, the passion, the commitment, the never-say-die attitude, the courage, the skill, the sheer physical strength these athletes possess and display every day. I ‘can’t’ even get my somewhat corpulent body to yoga on a regular basis and there are men and women doing biathlon (that’s the one with a distance cross-country skiing and a sharpshooting component) in three different ways: sitting, standing, visually impaired! You don't want to watch me curl. Well, you might for the sheer comedic value.

Did you know there are Super G, Slalom Combined, Downhill Combined events for the visually impaired (as well as standing and sitting)? These folks have the chutzpah to hurtle themselves off a mountain and slalom around gates feeling only the wind on their faces and the roar of the crowd without the ability to see but have absolute trust in their skiing guide to turn on a dime when needed. If you haven’t had enough of hockey or curling – Canada has a team in both wheelchair curling and sledge hockey. I saw Canada play Italy at Vancouver 2010 – Canada’s got game. Actually, Canada will have game in all six Paralympic disciplines: para-snowboard, para-alpine skiing, para-Nordic skiing, biathlon, sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.

The National Paralympic Committee has it 100% correct when they say focus on what’s there, not what is missing ( When I first saw the ads, I thought they were brilliant.  

Paralympians are athletes, full stop. Athletes exhibiting all the same qualities we admire so much in Olympic athletes; what they are limited by are the limitations outsiders place upon them. These are elite-level athletes who have already proven that they can do whatever they set their minds to. WE are the ones with the limits, so let us not just continue to marvel at what they do ‘despite’ – they achieve the so-called impossible on a regular basis. Let us be inspired by what these superb athletes can do ‘with’ - and with their nation behind them. Every single one of them has earned our respect and then some. 

March 7-16, 2014 – be there. 

Photo credits: Canadian Paralympic Committee / Matthew Murnaghan

4YE Cross Post: What To Listen To - Kongos and The Zolas

This article was written for and originally published by 4YE News here on February 17, 2014.

Photo courtesy of The Kongos
Photo courtesy of The Kongos

Hello again readers! Are you ready for another Music Monday?

A song I simply MUST introduce you to is “Come With Me Now” by Kongos. With this song, the outfit of four brothers from South Africa, now based in Phoenix, AZ, have managed to answer the question of ‘what would Seether* sound like if they fell in with a Cajun-style accordion player?’. The result? THIS song: "Come With Me Now".

If you watch the CW show The Originals, you will have heard the song on the episode entitled “Crescent City”. The video just SCREAMS the opportunity to talk about male/female representations, so, why don't we?

There are two females in the video: one is a Barbie-doll lookalike young woman in a skimpy dress more suited for the bedroom than a dance club getting ready to go out (she is also the video’s signature still but isn’t actually the first shot of the video) and the other is a young brunette woman in workout wear – a cropped, midriff-baring top like a sports bra and short shorts. She skips rope for a second or two twice during the video and pretends to cycle on a stationary bike as if to justify her presence.

Men, also two. A young man with stubbly facial hair wearing a cap, pipe, T-shirt and cardigan at a round café table and the other is a white middle-aged man in an office, wearing that uniform: white dress shirt, tie and suit, minus the jacket. Each of the four is also filmed in black and white in a dark swimming pool contorting individually in the water. While the cap and cardi guy has had a change of clothes, everyone else is still in the same ones.

The dry land and in water snippets are interspersed with the rest of the song’s performance video components (which also demonstrate the need for some band members to work on their lip syncing). The video has no overarching theme tying everything together, certainly no narrative, so I'm a little confused as to why it was an artistic requirement to feature the lithe young women in states of 'leaves little to the imagination' other than woman as object, to be ogled by the over half a million views this video has had alone on YouTube, when the men were not only fully dressed, moreover, the band members themselves display very little sense of occasion either, sporting T-shirts and jeans.

In addition to the education in gender relations, I now know that what I hear at the 2’28” mark is a slide guitar, which has been bugging me since the first time I heard the song a few months ago. How deplorably it is visually represented aside, the song has fantastic energy, a kick-butt accordion, and that is what I choose to take from it.

If you want to view the official video to get my point, you can view it on YouTube.

If you’d prefer to let the song speak for itself, hear it at Kongos’s Soundcloud page.

*FWIW, I made the Seether comparison before I found out Kongos were from South Africa as well.

Photo courtesy of Spill Magazine
Photo courtesy of Spill Magazine

There is so much good stuff coming out of this country and here’s a band I have only discovered in the past year or so, but am excited to share with you: Vancouver, BC’s own The Zolas. In essence, The Zolas are Zachary Gray and Tom Dobrzanski, with other musicians recruited as needed for touring and recording. With their tuneful brand of indie rock which features guitar and piano keyboard, they produce soulful melodies and emotive lyrics. They released their second full-length CD Ancient Mars in 2012 which had the gorgeous songs “Ancient Mars” and “Knot in My Heart” on it. 2013 saw the release of an EP titled Invisible, and its title track is the one I want to feature. It has a soul groove that dusty parts of my memory associate with the Philosopher Kings, an infectious and danceable beat, and at under 3 minutes in length, it’s shockingly short. All the more reason to press Repeat. Repeatedly.

The Zolas are fully plugged in with a presence on Facebook and Twitter, you can hear them on Bandcamp, iTunes, or via the band’s website. And also content on YouTube.