Game-of-Thrones-Season-4-Poster

Midweek Geekiness: Welcome Back Westeros!

How do I follow-up the emotional gut-punch called season 4 of The Walking Dead?  By trading in Kirkman’s deadly pen for George R.R. Martin’s even deadlier pen.  Welcome to season 4 of Game of Thrones.  I tried to put it in bold typeface, but it’s safe to say any discussion of Game of Thrones will have some sort of spoiler.  If you read that last sentence, consider yourself warned as I have a great deal to discuss. (So she melodramatically writes ).

Let’s start with Oberyn Martell.

Played by Chilean-born actor Padro Pascal, Oberlyn’s introdction made my eyes widen as I said ‘muy caliente’.  Don’t ask me why.  I know he’s bisexual, has this crazy polyamourous relationship with Ellaria Sand, played by the always-dazzling Indira Varma, and this world  always paints in 50 shades of nuttiness.  Luckily, I haven’t read all the books to know what’s happening, or if the guy will die. From what I seen he makes Inigo Montoya look like a pussy cat in the revenge department.  Whatever the phrase it still means trouble for House Lannister as they sit pretty on the Iron Throne through King Joffrey, the Poopy-Headed Spawn of Incest.

The opening sequence to ‘Two Swords’ begins with Tywin  melting down the Stark family sword, Ice, to make two new ones.  He gives one to Jamie, newly shaved and shorn after his ordeal albeit missing his sword hand.  The Lannister banner may say ‘Hear Me Roar’, but the motto should really read ‘If you’re too slow, too short, and not two-handed you’re useless to me.’  Jamie not only gets the brush off from his sister/lover, but from his own dad as well.  (At least he gets a sword out of it.)  The look in his face, as Joffrey flounces around claiming he won the war of the five kings, says it all:

I shoved the wrong kid out the window

I shoved the wrong kid out the window

 

Speaking of families changing, this season will mark a change for both Stark sisters.  Arya already began her transformation as a ruthless avenger, stabbing Polliver with her sword needle.  She may not reunite with her family, but the sword proves the next best thing.  Arya has no time for grief, no time for tears, as she arrives once again to see her family slaughtered.  She didn’t have time for little-girl things, but it’s safe to say her childhood received its final death-blow.  Carl Grimes at least had his dad, and even Michonne, to curb his ruthless tendencies.  Arya has The Hound..enough said. On Sansa’s end we see the shell of her former romantic self.  She no longer believes in romantic tales, the Lannisters took care of that, but find her faith no longer a security blanket.  Unlike her sister, Sansa can take the time to shed tears and feel the depths of her sadness.  While Ayra can wield a blade for revenge, Sansa’s method may prove a little more wily with the right training.  The stages of grief are never linear, and her anger stage may prove just as deadly.

These represents a few scattered observations on the show.  I know people will die, and the show’s tagline this year pretty much paints a bloody, broad hint.  It’s Game of Thrones meaning, of course, people do die.  If I wanted my characters not to die, I would watch a network show like The Good Wife.

Wait a minute!

 

 

Image Credit: www.athgo.org

And Now a Word From Our Writer

I have done a bit of reblogs lately in between some sporadic writing.  Basically I have taken to the 80/20 rule as I did a bit of housekeeping, including adding a new blog to the Library Blogs/Website page. Plus I boldly stepped up my tweeting.  (Not easy for a wordy woman such as myself.)   Keep your eyes peeled for a twitter feed widget as I not only retweet some interesting stuff, but offer my thoughts in 140 words or less.

In keeping with Midweek Geekiness, I can say I submitted a question for Richard Armitage’s interview with The Hobbit UK site.  I did one on Twitter with the #AskThorin hash tag, and one for Facebook.  I am realistic of my chances for my ‘book’ questions to get a video reply.  At least I can say I tried.  I would rather try 50% of the time than score 100% on the chances I don’t take.

 

Racism, Sexism, and Hannibal: Eat The Rude

Fatima:

Today’s Midweek Geekiness comes courtesy of Hettienne Park. People feel very passionately about their television shows and their characters. In one instance, Anna Gunn from Breaking Bad wrote a New York Times Op-ed piece about the disdain some fans had for Skyler White.
In Ms. Park’s case race, as well as gender, proved to spark a firestorm after the death of her character. In this post readers look at the person behind the role, the creative decisions in the course of a program, and the need for civil discourse in media issues.

Originally posted on Eat This:

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I’m an American actress and I play Beverly Katz on NBC’s HANNIBAL created by Bryan Fuller. (Spoiler Alert coming right now!!!) And she dies in episode 4 of Season 2. That episode got a lot of positive reviews, but it also incited an on-line storm of vitriol directed to Fuller himself for killing off Katz, or more specifically, for being racist and sexist. I caught wind of this myself via Twitter from our beloved Fannibals. And I thought maybe it’d be productive to talk about rather than ignore it.

Fuller cast me in a role that I didn’t think I had a chance in hell of getting. I rarely if ever see minorities, women, minority women, let alone Asian women, get to play characters like Beverly Katz. I rarely if ever see characters like Beverly Katz period. And her last name is Katz for Christ’s sake. Pretty open-minded, non-racist, pro-feminine…

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Spring-Clean Your Blog in Five Easy Steps

Fatima:

Some of these things are on my to do list. I especially the noted the drafts part of the post. I have so many drafts, it will give someone a cold. (*groan*)

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

The first day of Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes the annual ritual of airing, dusting, and decluttering our homes. While you’re in cleaning mode, why not devote a few minutes to streamlining your blog, too? (Note: if you live south of the Equator, these tips are still valid!)

This isn’t just about appearances (though those matter), but also about traffic — a clean, attractive, easy-to-navigate site is one readers are more likely to visit again. Here are five things you can do in the next ten minutes to see immediate results.


#1 Unload your unused widgets

Theproblem: Widgets are a great tool for organizing your content and customizing your blog’s look. Overstuffing your sidebar (or other widget areas), though, can make your blog look busy, disorganized, and less professional.

What you can do: Look at your sidebar as if you were…

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Midweek Geekiness: Just Twittering Around

Before Stacks and Ranges the blog, I created @stacksandranges the Twitter handle.  The reason is quite simple and involves a guy.  In this case it involves Nathan Fillion and some grand scheme to have him fall in love with my brain, then live happily ever after.  My following, and followers, reflect my eclectic tastes.  I have writers, librarians, libraries, library technicians, local media outlets, and a smattering of actors.  What kicked Twitter into high gear, behind sanctioned stalking, was one librarian at my first job letting me sit in on the benefits of Twitter in medical libraries.  Now the feed mostly keeps me up to date on the news, and publicize this blog.  On some occasions Cas Courselles (@cascourselles), a fellow compatriot in my writer’s group, would retweet a post with some nifty hashtags.  (I am still learning.)

I can write my heart out here, but keeping my thoughts to 140 characters proves not so easy.  While this blog has quieted down, I went on Twitter to tweet or retweet.  It proved an interesting experience.

Winterfel/Winnipeg

Once again frustrated with the weather, I said this:

It lead to this:

Capture

It’s nice to know somebody in Westeros feels my pain, and has great Wi-Fi reception.  By the way both Twitter accounts are part of HBO official accounts for the show.  The lesson here is to hashtag, hashtag, and hashtag.  I feel pleased to say after what felt like and endless winter may actually have an end in sight.  (Until the next unexpected snow fall.)

Seriously, How Old Am I? (The Sequel)

Among the many feeds I follow, I stick with Middle Earth News (@MiddleEarthNews) for their Tolkien Trivia in addition to their Hobbit updates.  Every Tuesday is trivia Tuesday, and while I admit to not being a thorough Tolkien geek, I do pick up things here and there. For instance Smaug was not originally named ‘Smaug’.  Tolkien originally called him Pryftan in earlier drafts.  I don’t know this, but this geek does:

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I truthfully gave my answer:

I felt like I copied a test answer off the cute, nerdy boy I sit next to in English class.  Middle Earth News tweeted the handles with correct answers, including mine.  Well, I did supply the right answer and even had the right spelling the first time.  (I am very pleased to say I didn’t Google the spelling for ‘Pryftan’)  As for the rest of my adventures in Twitter, it’s still in progress with no promises of book, or even a sitcom, deal.  I think my hashtags have improved with practice:

As I learn the ways of Twitter, I next tackle the next thing in my quest to understand Web 2.0. Twitter is a wide open plain, Tumblr has more twists and turns than a high fantasy series.

Manitoba Libraries Conference 2014: In Pursuit of Unlimited Potential

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When not fangirling over something, or someone, I usually read and deepen my knowledge as a library technician.  This year the Manitoba Libraries Conference unveiled its theme of ‘Unlimited Potential’.  I actually like that theme.  After hearing all about libraries either dead, or dying, it’s time to see what new ways to bring services to users.

After having a look, or five, at the program a few things jump out:

1. Copyright Modernization Act (Bill C-11) and Fair Dealing: How Does It Affect libraries?

The last time I attended a copyright session, things were in limbo.  Now with a court ruling and a new law, I can put the pieces together.  Something tells me I will not be the only one.

2.  Flash Reference: a new way of teaching the same old stuff

I don’t know what it is.  I think I know what it is.  If I can find ways to reach students and help them find information, then save me a seat.

3. The Archives of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools

After amassing a mountain of testimony and records, the archive will makes its home at the University of Manitoba.  For information about the Truth and Recompilation Commission go here.

Now comes the hard part, juggling staff to still run a library yet attend sessions.  I feel lucky.  Most of the library techs I know run school libraries on their own.  If they have the support of administration, people can attend either one or both days.  Librarians are a given, but library techs need to attend.  Another session of interest centers on what to do with a Library Technician diploma.  The choices post-graduation are usually public, academic, or school.  I know there’s more out there.  In some settings skills and job descriptions usually defy the usual scope of the job.  I am just happy this session exists for those feeling they can do, and will, do more.

While I can write about wanting to attend x,y, or z sessions it remains to be seen what will happen come May. In between the geeking out I will keep my library-inclined readers posted.

A Post In Which Our Heroine Gets Stuck And Resorts To Fangirlish Things To Get…Well Unstuck

Seriously how old am I?

Obviously old enough to post this:

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Like the subject line says I am stuck. I should rephrase that…I am stuck AGAIN!  Why?  I overthink things that’s why.  I also broke a primary commandment in blogging…thou shalt write for thyself and see if others like it. For now I content myself with correlations between British actors and black hair dye.  Actually let’s add one more.

You take a Brit:

Frozen34

and dye him black:

GG07

There might be something to this theory.

A Midweek Geekiness Goes Awry

If someone told me I would hunt down a way to embed a player in a post, I would tell them they’re nuts!  However, I saw this playlist of British actors from Tom Hiddleston to Richard Armitage reading selections from literature, then discovered I could embed it in a post.  Perfect Midweek Geekiness, I thought.

After supper, I put my TV to Galaxie then got down to how to embed something in my post.  There’s a short code for a WordPress website plug-in and I am not a website.  Finally, thanks to one of WordPress’ support pages, I managed to embed the playlist by someone running a Facebook page entitled ‘Socially Awkward Darcy’.  (Is there any other Mr. Darcy?  Oh, yes ‘Dripping Wet in a White Shirt Darcy’.)

Why do all this?

Besides the internal sense of accomplishment.  (Hey, I could do this!) Valentine’s Day is this Friday.  Why not have a bunch of handsome men, read selections of prose and poetry from Shakespeare to e.e. cummings?  The player should play, but if it fails to for whatever reason then click here.

I did a few tweaks to the blog, while my content are scribbles in my journal.  I have a direction and trying to talk about how I got this player embedded is part of the direction.  Part of what I do as a Library Technician involves troubleshooting and problem solving.  I embed a player one day while earlier I learned a student needed a few more steps before their school wireless gets up and running.  Next it’s figure out where a printer jam resides, or nudge people to the right resources.

I didn’t see this coming going back to school in 2007 at age 37.  Now I can hardly wait to see what I can do next for the students and staff where I work.  For now put on a pair of headphones, steady your pulse,  and enjoy the spoken words.

Midweek Geekiness: Doing the (American) Hustle

Last week my friend R and I went to see American Hustle.  It’s my second time seeing the film.  I know, a film without superheroes, aliens, or other fantastical beings getting seen yet again.  Although many people have described the film in superhero-type terms.  My favourite states:

It’s a film about Batman and Lois Lane pulling a con on Hawkeye and that guy from The Hang Over.

Let’s rewind for a bit…

In the spring of last year, I signed up for a Tumblr account as a place to lurk for information.  This illustrates the best example of ‘be careful what you wish for’.  I just wanted to know what movie Jeremy Renner will do next.  I heard about this film based on the ABSCAM scandal originally called ‘American Bullshit’.  I saw David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook and Three Kings in the past.  In the case of American Hustle nothing prepared me, or anyone, for what came out of the set.

Things like this:

That’s all his own hair folks!

this:

Partially shaved head, few extra pounds…vintage Bale

and this:

(Should I write a caption for Mr. Sexist Man Alive? Nah, didn’t think so.)

I am not bothering with Amy Adams costumes.  How many times has a woman been deconstructed for what she wears, how she wears it, and what hangs out of what she wears.  No, this time I put the guys front and centre.

Thanks to the power of Tumblr, I followed the filming.  What I saw on the screen felt a little jumbled plot wise. The movie seems to want to be a con movie, but the story does not lend itself to it.  In the middle of the film, the plot veers off into the triangle/quadrangle between Irving Rosenfeld (Bale)/Sydney Prosser (Adams)/Richie Dimasio (Cooper)/Roslyn (Jennifer Laurence). The film talks about seeing what we want to see, with each character trying to shape their reality to their own vision.  We have the FBI agent wanting to hit big, the cons simply setting up their scores, a housewife hanging on to a dead marriage while a mayor simply wants to ignite a better economy for the people of Camden.

If this post seems a little jumbled imagine watching the film. The keep saying to people, “It’s not a bad film, but it’s not a great film.”  As an actor’s showcase it’s a fun film to watch.  Nearly everyone does play a character different from what they played before.  Renner plays a likeable character trying to do the right thing.  Polito makes a dumb choice, but he did it believing he could help the people of Camden.  I say ‘nearly’ since Bradley Cooper seems to play a childish version of the character he played in Wedding Crashers.  I guess the jury is still out about Ritchie Dimasio and Bradley Cooper, regardless of any magazine-bestowed titles. (Then again I am biased in favour of Jeremy Renner.)

I joked with a friend of mine this film needed 3D for the hair styles along.  However, part of the appeal lies in not needing too many special effects or 3D.  In a way American Hustle reminds me of the films made in the 70′s.  Studios seem so busy trying to appeal to EVERYONE, sometimes adults just want to watch ‘adult’ stories.  I want a complicated plot, multiple points of view, and not feel like someone needed to check all the marketing boxes.  I find myself, with a few exceptions, looking forward to the fall/Christmas movie season. Every so often I want to watch a film like this one, to take a break from the comic book world.  People also need to remember these actors every so often need a break from that world and do something like this movie.  Not your cup of tea?  Fine.  Filming for Avengers 2 starts in March and Jeremy Renner has his ‘Hawkeye’ hair back.  Enjoy the film, and its actors, for what it is no matter how many awards hauled over the course of the season.