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 1. MERLIN, how MAD were you this evening. I said to my 15 yr old sister two weeks ago that I'd always thought Merlin would be better appreciated when slightly drunk, she said, why don't you try it, and when we got to the shall I say DATE SCENE this episode I thought WELL I WILL THEN, this episode is the right time, I won't be able to get through it if it's all like this and made myself a sort of gin and lemon juice thing. 

and THEN the episode decided to get kind of GOOD. And the alcohol started to hit me - am typing while still a bit tipsy, is this a first for me? idek. and I slightly regretted the alcohol, did I mention I am ALONE this evening, drinking while alone is not meant to be good is it, whatever, it was for science. or fandom. sthng like that. Will tell my sister that it's not worth getting tipsy for Merlin because of how it might suddenly take a turn for the Literally Quite Good. 

2. and now we have some charming BBC thing about the Goodies. am finding the youthful Graeme Garden v.v. attractive. am in fact finding all of their youthful versions quite attractive. AND! we had both a) surprise Mark Gatiss! and b) surprise MARTIN FREEMAN, both talking about The Goodies, am waiting impatiently for surprise Cumberbatch or surprise Steven Moffat, but now I've spotted a pattern it won't happen because it won't be a surprise. 

3. signed up a couple of days ago for [ profile] sherlockmas , hurrah! A wintry Sherlock fanworks exchange. Signups close tomorrow I think. Probably no one reading this will want to sign up, but I'm going to put it out there just because am a bit excited for this. First of its kind I ever did woooo yeah.


A lesson for us all there I think.

by which I mean of course why do people not dance like this all the time
bbakerb: (holmes)

Soooo I thought maybe this would be a good thing to have up somewhere; that's what people seem to do. 

DISCLAIMER FOR EVERYTHING: These characters are not mine. I make no profit. It is all totally made up.

All most of this is archived at the AO3. If something isn't it's usually because it's a kink meme fill and I'm trying to find a deep and serious title for it. The RPF is friendslocked due to the potential for extreme embarrassment.

Comments, criticism etc are much appreciated; they're only going to make me better at doing this, aren't they, and especially if you point out something that just doesn't work.

BBC Sherlock fic )

ukulele orchestra )

other things )

deeply meaningful art )
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- "Grit in a sensitive instrument, or a crack in one of his own high-power lenses, would not be more disturbing than a strong emotion in a nature such as his." - Watson on Holmes, A Scandal In Bohemia


my absolute favourite favourite music at the moment: Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, a freaking amazing 70s funk-ish outfit from Benin. Info for the first album put out by Analog Africa, and for the second here. Analog Africa CDs are really, really nicely put together, come with seriously good booklets full of info & photos & images of the original record covers, which is essential for this kind of band because otherwise you'd know nothing about them at all. There are samples you can listen to over at the links, below is a youtube of the first track from "Echos Hypnotiques."

THEY ARE JUST THE ABSOLUTE BEST THING EVER. On one album they're credited as T.P. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, the T.P. standing for Tout Puissant. Which means "All Powerful". How cool is that? (a hint as to my opinion: VERY COOL INDEED.) And in all the photos there are like... fifteen of them. I love giant bands! I love bands that call themselves orchestras - Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Mr Mcfall's Chamber Orchestra (ok they really are a chamber orchestra), and now Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou. I'd probably like Arcade Fire a lot more if they owned up and started calling themselves Tout-Puissant Orchestre Poly-Instrumentale de Montreal.


lots of pictures

pretty people, music people, old movie films )


god i love pictures of people cycling. )


peter cook, a beautiful tragic hilarious man )

MULTIHOLMES TIME, I think these are all from fuckyeahsherlock.

many holmeses of varying eras )

This may be the actual longest post I've ever made.
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 There are a couple of different things that fed into this one: 

three things that coagulated together into one lovely blob )

About 1200 words. John/Sherlock. Original thread here, my fill here. Sex. Sex! Please note there is sex behind the cut. Pyjamas was the prompt, which obviously means morning breakfast conversations, that staple of original Holmes canon.

The short version:

"John," said Sherlock, in his pyjamas, "I appear to be having sexual thoughts about you."

"Well, Sherlock, I should probably kiss you and see how it turns out," said John, also probably in his pyjamas.

"OK then," said Sherlock, after some deliberation.

And then John bloody well planted one on him, hurrah.


john is a man at ease with his own sexuality and his pyjamas and also Sherlock's pyjamas )
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As always: these characters are not mine, I make no profit, all is for fun.


One piece of fanon I love is the Shock Blanket. John or Sherlock pull it out whenever they need it at home. But at the end of ASIP, Sherlock chucks it into the open window of a police car. I would love a 5+1 fic explaining how they now own a Shock Blanket!

So here we go.

Five Attempts The Orange Shock Blanket Made To Infiltrate 221B & The One Where It Was Allowed To Stay.

(Original thread, which includes a link to a previous but not quite the same prompt/fill (v. v. cute), my fill, which I screwed up by double posting part of it, eugh. It's about 1000 words, not explicit, not violent, no swears, but it is (quite understatedly) Sherlock/John.)

Five Attempts The Orange Shock Blanket Made To Infiltrate 221B & The One Where It Was Allowed To Stay. )

self indulgent notes )
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I've been writing on the kink memes, all the livelong day. Evening. WHATEVR. I wrote on the Glee kinkmeme a few times a while ago, before realising that actually I don't really ship anyone and was going off the show as a result of porning it up.

TODAY this evening I have been writing on the Sherlock fic meme, I am in fact proud of myself because I haven't written fanfic I liked for a long time, and also because it is SHERLOCK and JOHN and they love each other.

I am afraid that whenever I write sex it's all stammery and repressed and English and full of moments of ridiculous sappiness, and people come too quickly (and sometimes not at all), but at least with Sherlock the Englishness doesn't hurt, I can write about trousers and Oystercards and it's all ok.

This is also basically to remind myself that I wrote porns, I would in fact forget otherwise, I've basically lost two Glee prompt fills I did, which is really just laziness. PORNS. With peens. It doesn't take much to make me gloat.
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 Who am I trying to fool here, I thought, as I clicked back through about thirty pages of [ profile] sherlockbbc . Being mad crazy into something e.g. i.e. the BBC's Sherlock is in fact what they call "having a fandom"; the fact that I haven't properly had a fandom for a couple of years made me forget what that was all about.

SO yeah, I am mad crazy into Sherlock, my god, it's the first thing I've loved enough to rewatch in a long time. I think it was Mark Gatiss' lovely lovely series about horror films that made me suddenly go - "wait. WAIT one second! - I - I really, really liked that, didn't I?" (Thank you Mark Gatiss! You have narrowly edged out Derren Brown for the coveted position of Best Person With Beard On TV In Entire World.)

(Good grief, the extent to which I am into Sherlock is extraordinary. I was slowly freezing to death on the train from Norfolk yesterday evening and found myself writing vaguely porny Sherlock fic in twisty plastic propelling pencil and tiny bright blue notebook.)

But the most obvious thing here: the lj rename. Basically I was getting a bit not ok with my lj name being a) based on something my sister said to me when I was about twelve or thirteen, and b) the same as my ebay username, which my dad sometimes uses to buy toy soldiers and car parts, whoops. This - this [ profile] bbakerb  thing - is composed entirely of letters that are actually in my name. Incredibly dull. Nice and generic. But! Streamlined, basic, unobtrusive! I probably won't even notice it enough to dislike it. (If you want to say it out loud, I suggest "babakabah!", as if you are a child learning alphabet sounds.)
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I liked today's Merlin episode! I have nothing better to do! I'm watching in a place with internet access! All of which results in a general outpouring of glee behind the cut.

mostly joy )
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for forgetting the real business of today: I will attempt to make up for it by reccing first world war literature. Also I will point out that Last Kind Words Blues (in the music zip in my last post) is really about the Great War.

First up: The Storm of Steel, the war memoirs of Ernst Junger's experiences as a German officer in the war. It's based on the diaries he kept during the war and was first published in 1920, i.e. barely any time after it was over. And Junger went on to become one of the intellectuals of his day, though difficult to pin down in many ways. But the real interest is in the book's total eagerness for war - the young Junger views soldiering as the rightful and honourable and best possible occupation for young men. He views it as an opportunity. He views it as a great experience. He does not shy away from the horrors and stresses of the situation, and it can get graphic, but he is not concerned with who is in the right, only with what happens. We're particularly used to reading the memoirs and poetry of the British - Sassoon, Owen, Robert Graves - which are sceptical of war, and this is just so totally different. It's a window onto what must have been the attitude of many thousands at the time, even if they couldn't articulate it as well as Junger does, and because of this I think it's really worthwhile reading. amazon, abebooks.

Then! Observe the Sons Of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, a play by Frank McGuinness. It follows eight men who volunteer for the Ulster division at the beginning of the war. It was the kind of thing you read and afterward must sit dully for a while because it has sapped all emotion. Or rather it has placed such thoughts in you that the very idea of paying attention to something else seems wrong. The play asks: why are these men fighting? and the answer is painful, because they are not fighting against the Germans so much as for a united Ireland, and the effectiveness of this is not great. (ALSO TWO OF THEM FALL IN LOVE (WITH EACH OTHER) (AND HAVE IMPLIED SEX). It is a sad and wonderful thing and even now makes me a little choked up.) I mean, you want utterly pointless? This is all about utterly pointless. And yet the men we follow really mean it. Their beliefs just get picked apart and the play climaxes with a reenactment of the Battle of the Boyne - which by coincidence had its anniversary on the first day of the Somme. amazonabebooks. (There was actually a production on in London in the summer which I totally missed out on because I hadn't read it. DARN IT. reviews here and here. Best line: "... stealthily crossing the line between sanctioned brotherhood and forbidden male love." um. hot.)

My favourite though (aside from Regeneration, which I will assume you know a bit about) is probably Sassoon's fictionalised memoirs. I'm partway through Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, and again it's really worth reading if you want to understand what the mindset of the time was like. But he is as always a sceptic. His narrator, George Sherston, is somewhat more reluctant and more reticent than Sassoon but it's subtly done. It has that irony you get in his poetry. Oh Sassoon, you so great.


Nov. 11th, 2009 01:05 pm
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I made a mix cd for my uncle and aunt, for fun. HERE IT IS. For those who got a mix cd around this time last year: there might be a couple of songs that were on your album. This is just because some songs stick with you and remain the songs you want everyone to know.

What they like: old blues, roots music, contemporary classical, the current trend for bands with sixteen members and twenty-four instruments, or singers with incredibly complex and nutty styles of composition, fingerpicked guitar.

tracklisting & info )
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Most exciting non-porcelain-related thing I have read today, from this BBC article about the feasibility of the science in science fiction:

"Two physicists recently suggested that the Large Hadron Collider may have malfunctioned because a Higgs boson, travelling back in time from a future experiment, wrecked the machine."


Amazing cardamom-and-orange baked bananas what I made the other night, from Nigel Slater's Real Fast Food:

goodness behind the cut )

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via jezebel, I would like to present the utter final last word - and the sharpest piece of writing I have yet seen - regarding mr polanski and the extraordinary nature of his support:

What Whoopi Goldberg ('Not a Rape-Rape'), Harvey Weinstein ('So-Called Crime') et al. Are Saying in Their Outrage Over the Arrest of Roman Polanski

In case you are not sure whether you want to click? It is in rhyming couplets

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Here is the thing, then, about the relationship in this season's Merlin that I assume has been divisive amongst its fans:

(please bear in mind that what aired just now is quite literally the first Merlin epsiode I have watched this season)

I am pretty much seeing it as total fanservice to the crazy slashers - EVERYTHING Arthur is saying is basically totally applicable to Merlin but with the gender flipped! And everything Merlin says, he would also be saying if he was trying to persuade Arthur that it would be okay to go out with him - all adorable and teasing and knowing he's got Arthur in a corner. "Why can't you just say how you feel?" and "When you're king you can change things!" indeed!

My 14 yr old sister who knows NOTHING about the original proper Arthurian legends finds the totally traditionally canonical love triangle incredibly confusing and for reasons I don't care to dignify, deeply wrong. I laugh at her! Ha! Ha! HA.

ETA HOLY CRAP, AS I AM TOLD THEY SAY. Craig Kelly is on Strictly Come Dancing or at least in the credits. I can't watch! I'm about to cry already! This is worse than when Mark Foster was on last year. I admire Mark Foster! He's kind of an awesome dude! He was unjustly held back from the 2004 Olympics because the total dick of a coach made the qualifying time for the British swimming team lower that the actual Olympic qualifying time, I do not want to watch him in something which has always appeared to me as organised national humiliation! And this goes even more so for Craig Kelly! He was VINCE TYLER. I do not want to see VINCE TYLER doing the foxtrot for he is VINCE TYLER and is of course in reality busy Robin Hooding/Bonnie & Clyding/totally awesoming it up in unknown parts of the world with Stuart Alan Jones AND YET I want to see what has become of him nooooo


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This is just a heads-up to anyone who hasn't realised this or who maybe isn't up at 7.30am: Veronica Mars, one of the great brilliant-but-canceled american tv shows, is currently airing at 7.20am on E4 with a repeat at 11am. This of course means it is at 8.20 and 12am on E4+1.

It's currently on the first (and best) season, yay. As a show it had its problems, not least sometimes going to pieces plotwise, especially at the end of the second season, and not bringing it quite so much in the third season, during which it was cancelled. But! It was, at its best, so, so well written - smart, funny, original, a whole bundle of good things. Characters! Conflicts! Snark! One of the best father-daughter dynamics ever seen on tv! Also, no lie, it got me through my maths A-level. Me and some friends would literally alternate maths practice papers and Veronica Mars episodes.

Basic outline: Veronica Mars, the title character, is a 17-yr-old high school student in the (fictional) California town of Neptune whose father is a private detective. As she puts in, in Neptune, your parents are either millionaires, or they work for millionaires. A year before the show starts, she was one of the in-crowd, a friend of the super-rich kids, and her dad was the chief of police. That changed when her best friend Lilly Kane was murdered and Veronica's dad accused her father, a software billionaire, of being involved somehow. The Mars family were ostracised, Keith Mars lost his job, things got tough, Veronica's mother left. Veronica's friends and boyfriend turned on her. At the beginning of the series she's a detective in the Raymond Chandler archetype. (The essay linked, 'The Simple Art Of Murder', is a famous one and worth reading if you have any interest at all in detective stories; the part I am thinking of is the last big paragraph.) 

The show follows Veronica's efforts to find Lilly's real killer and the cases she takes on herself. (The obvious point of comparison is probably Buffy - deceptively tiny blonde girl fights... stuff, smart dialogue ensues.) Sometimes she gets it wrong! Sometimes by getting it right the wrong thing happens. Much of the time there is UST. I don't really know how much the fandom ever took off, but should you so wish it, there are a plethora of plausible ships - het, slash, femslash. (There's a brief overview of the show and characters here.)

On rereading this, I am worried it sounds a bit dark for early morning entertainment. Don't worry! It is funny! The colour schemes are bright! The characters are engaging! It will be okay.
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So you know how in Star Trek everyone wears the same basic uniform, except that some departments have in in red, some in blue, and some in yellow?

WELL. Sometimes the colour allocations seem to make sense and sometimes they don't - like, okay, all the medical people have blue, fine, but why are communications, engineering and security all red? Especially when red seems to signify lower rank - all the Yeomen in the original series and the cadet uniform (in the new movie at least) are in red. Plus in TOS you see people all the time whose shirt colour seems to have no relation to their actual role

MY BRILLIANT, ONE SIZE FITS ALL EXPLANATION: they wear the colours of the Hogwarts house they have been sorted into. All the Slytherins are involved in secret agent-type activities, covert stuff, because they are so cunning and devious, and that is why we see no greenshirts on the Enterprise. Slytherins are the MI5/MI6 of Starfleet.

This makes quite a lot of sense to me. Sulu is a Hufflepuff, which I can believe but need perhaps to think about, Bones and Spock are Ravenclaw (total sense, but makes their disagreements extra hilarious), Uhura and Scotty are Gryffindor (yessss), but most importantly: CAPTAIN KIRK IS A HUFFLEPUFF.



Jun. 17th, 2009 12:27 pm
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ok, so you can skim over this if you like, but there was some stuff on radio 4 this morning about the situation in Iran that I thought kind of missed the point of why it's a Big Deal. Also the two guys brought in to commentate on it - well, one of them was sane and reasonable and one said such flagrantly untruthful things


1. Mousavi is not exactly a reformer. He is in many ways a regime insider. He's not challenging any of the basic tenets of the revolution. Crucially, however, he's a pragmatic conservative - he's basically saying "hey guys let's dial it back a little, let's be sensible here."

2. So the situation is opposition within the regime, which makes it different from previous unrest.

3. In any case Ahmadinejad basically came from nowhere in the last election. He beat out a dude who's been around forever whose name I cannot for the life of me recall essentially by accusing him of corruption and illegally mobilising voters via a network of mosques and the Army of the Guardians of the Revolution. He sort of snuck into the second round of the elections. This is a little beside the point but it's good to know.

4. Historically in Iran, high turnout means reformers and moderates do well - if you don't think your vote will change anything, you don't vote. Turnout this year was so high that voting had to be extended to midnight. So the fact that Ahmadinejad didn't just win, he won by a serious margin? SUSPECT.

5. The fact that Mousavi lost in his hometown? People don't lose in their hometowns unless their policies are drastically opposed to the norm there. Mousavi's home province is ethnically and linguistically Turkic - he's from the northwest, the part bordering Armenia and Azerbaijan- and so culturally somewhat distinct from most of Iran. The idea that they wouldn't vote for one of their own Sir Uuuuullllllrich Von Lichtenstein! just doesn't stand up.

7. The totally wrong dude on Radio 4 was like 'that's factually incorrect!' when the okay dude said that the election had been initially called for Mousavi. No, wrong dude! Your face is factually incorrect. Mousavi was like "I won!" for about a minute because he'd been told he won by some state agency. The exit polls told people Mousavi was winning, which is one of the reasons so many hit the streets.

8. Ok, I think it was Rafsanjani who I meant in bullet point 3. He's been around forever, was President a while ago, but has become steadily more opposed to Ahmadinejad. And Ahmadinejad attacked him on corruption grounds in a debate with Mousavi, because Rajasfani is one of Mousavi's backers. Rafsanjani cannot take this. This is not what you do in Iran. This is how Rajasfani knows he's in trouble and that Ahmadinejad is probably going to go after him some more. So Rafsanjani writes an open letter to Ayatollah Khamenei (who's endorsing Ahmadinejad) asking him to disendorse Ahmadinejad - not to endorse any candidate because this would be true to the Revolution - also asking that he reprimand Ahmadinejad for insulting him. Khamenei doesn't do any of this.

9. The above point is a little confused but essentially: Mousavi's v. high-up supporter publically asks supreme religious leader to call Ahmadinejad out, is refused. Tangential, idek, interesting.

10. I've probably spelt everyone's names wrong, whatever, it's not like they use the roman alphabet anyway i.e. by definition I cannot spell it right.

11. There may be more on this later, sorry.
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