I haven’t been posting much, because I’ve been stressed out and busy and tired, and who wants to hear about that?
I have, however, accumulated a couple of mildly interesting (I hope) things to post about.( the Watchmen movie )
* Then the next night, jaydk and I saw Coraline. Proof that you don't need to be "edgy" to make a good movie: it was far better than Watchmen. Smart, funny, well-written, beautifully filmed--the 3D was absolutely lovely. The story was creative and intriguing and eerie, and the lead character was clever and brave. Why do childrens' stories do such a superior job of portraying three-dimensional female characters? Is it just that we've been culturally conditioned to be unable to fathom a post-pubescent female in a way that doesn't put her sexuality front and center?
* I'm seeing a lot of talk about Doctor Who finale casting spoilers. As far as I can tell, they're from a tabloid that regularly makes shit up, so why is anyone taking them seriously? Am I missing something? (This is a genuine question. Is there any reason to believe them? I don't want to get excited about something that's completely fabricated.)
* I'm reading Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin's book about Lincoln and his cabinet. It's really interesting and I'm enjoying it, but I wish she'd stop spelling out what the reader is "supposed" to think. I can make up my own mind about what these guys did and why they did it; I don't need the author inserting her own explanation that so-and-so was arrogant and ambitious on every page. Still, it's mostly good. After being so absorbed in the 2008 election, it's fascinating to see how American politics worked 150 years ago.
* And I'm still in the middle of The Disorderly Knights. I'm going to finish it and then take a break from the Lymond series, since it's been less than six months since I re-read Pawn in Frankincense. Speaking of which, my mom just finished it and is in awe. In retrospect, I think Pawn is the best written and most moving book of the series.
( the Moonlight TV series )
Also, maybe it's just that I don't watch modern American TV anymore, but ... what is with the women? As in, they are all exactly the same: tiny, emaciated, sharp-featured, and young. No matter what character they're playing--boss, geek girl, random vampire--they are all pulled from such an incredibly narrow archetype of "woman" that it's just completely absurd. Watching a show like this, you'd never even imagine that women exist on planet Earth larger than a size four, older than thirty-five, and without those sharp facial angles that Hollywood defines as "beautiful." At least the men are allowed to have some diversity of age, size, and facial features, depending on the character they're playing, but every single woman first has to fit into this absurdly narrow definition of "attractive" before anything else is taken into account.
This is why I can barely watch American TV anymore. Once you step away from it for a while, you come back and suddenly it's like being hit over the head by how ridiculous it is. This narrow bunch of nearly-identical Hollywood model types plays pretty much every female character and the majority of male characters. Sure, an occasional talent pops through, but it's painfully obvious that these people are cast almost entirely for their looks with no regard for skill. You end up with a bunch of interchangeable Barbies and Kens running around posing as every variety of adult human being. How am I supposed to take any of it seriously?
* But speaking of American TV that doesn't suck, I have become completely addicted to The Rachel Maddow Show. It passes the Bechdel Test every night! Real women talk to each other about real issues! With none of the insipid concessions to what "women" are supposed to care about--no celebrity gossip, no plastic surgery, no cooking and baking, no fashion bullshit, just women as real individual human beings, with their own perspectives, who care about the world around them. (This shouldn't be such a shock and a rarity!) And Rachel is brilliant, witty, funny, sweet, and adorable beyond words. I know she's not perfect and I do disagree with her sometimes, but I always love watching her. She makes me wish Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert would do less joking and more news--after I watch her show, I feel like I'm not getting enough content from them. (Don't worry, I still love them. Jon Stewart's smackdown of Jim Cramer was a thing of beauty.)
* Oh, and I'm still listening to David Bowie. Ziggy Stardust remains my favorite, but I've added Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, and Diamond Dogs to the lineup and am enjoying them all. I tried to listen to Scary Monsters on the advice of my friend Jason, but aside from "Ashes to Ashes" it just totally didn't work for me. I don't understand what happened to Bowie in the 80s. It's like he went from brilliant and hot and amazing to ... just ... so boring and annoying and straight. Maybe I'll understand it better if I take each album chronologically. Or it could just be the Bowie draws from the zeitgeist of the decade, and the 80s was ... well, the 80s.
Tonight’s Daily Show kind of made me ship Jon Stewart/Fareed Zakaria. Hmm.
(I know, I should be thinking about their political discussion. It’s these slash goggles, they won’t come off!)
I somehow managed to stay up until 3:30am last night fiddling with my blog. I:( made comment replies prettier; added comment previews; pulled in commenter userpics from LJ, IJ, and JF; and improved posting functionality )
Other random stuff:
I had a very difficult time waking up in the morning (I wonder why!). My alarm was blaring, but somehow I had the idea that as long as I woke up on the same date, it didn't matter what time I woke up. Stupid half-asleep brain. And I was having some kind of strange dream about the ending of The Princess Bride trying to trick the audience into thinking that Fezzik had been the villain all along. (But I wasn't falling for it.)
On the plus side, my half-asleep brain is far more creative than my awake brain, so I plotted out an entire Doctor/Master fic on my train ride to work. (Not that I'll ever write it.)
I bought a ticket last night for this benefit at the Nokia Theater featuring Slash, Jerry Cantrell, Tom Morello, and Perry Farrell. I don't actually know what it is, but with that line-up, who could resist?
I also see that Stone Temple Pilots tickets are going on sale for a show in New Jersey. Um, New Jersey? C'mon guys, please announce a NYC date. I want to see you, but not badly enough to trek out to Jersey. :P
(ETA: And how did I miss that Scott Weiland left Velvet Revolver? Not that it's much of a surprise. I saw them seven or eight times last year and half the time the other band members were visibly rolling their eyes at Weiland's antics. I'm still a bit sad, though. Formulaic though they may have been, their shows were fun.)
I'm watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report again. They made a Highlander joke on TDS last night! And Stephen Colbert pulled John Oliver out of a suitcase! And Colbert interviewed REM while wearing their album as a codpiece! (I was eating as that happened and ended up inhaling a large amount of cous cous.)
South Park has been more cracked-out than usual this season; last night was a total waste. But I watched the new Futurama movie and it was *awesome*. They managed to reference pretty much every cool thing that happened in the series, plus tell a good new story too.
I saw this ad (a giant Darth Vader head with the caption "A guy can only be called 'Annie' so many times before he snaps") and burst out laughing in the middle of the subway station. Yay geek humor! (*ignores underlying misogyny*)
I finally got that vanilla-themed BPAL order. I am in love with Antique Lace. It's sweet vanilla with a hint of white musk, but not at all cloying; more like distant and cool. But it's strong and lasted all day. It's similar to my favorite scent ever, Dorian, but different enough that I'll probably end up buying a whole bottle.
All of this is just killing time until Saturday. DOCTOR WHO!!!! *incoherent flailing*
And if you didn't see it: she also made a Doctor/Master archive! My plan for the weekend is to scour that place for fic I haven't read yet. >:)
(How much do I love that the show canonically gives us the set up of the Master keeping the Doctor prisoner for a year? And gives us the set up of the Doctor "settling down and caring for" the Master? No wonder there's such good fic about those two.)
Today sucks. Evil web clients are being even more evil than usual. Nothing is more annoying than building a beautiful website only to be ordered to deface it hideously by a client with no aesthetic sense. I WANNA GO HOME. *is happy it's Friday*
The neighborhood cat just showed up to sprawl on my desk and drool on everything. Right now he is the only thing I like about this job.
I've concluded that it's time for a vacation. I'm thinking... warm air, sunlight, beach. Maybe Florida? Unfortunately, Spring Break is coming up and I'm sure everyone is thinking the same. I suppose it could be fun to go anyway; just take a three day weekend, find some slightly falling apart but adequate hotel on a beach somewhere, and sprawl in the sun with a book for three days. It could work.
I finally caught up with all of the Daily Show and Colbert Report episodes since January. You know how I said I was over Jon Stewart? That fit of insanity has passed. I do read the news in, y'know, newspapers and everything, but somehow none of it feels real until I see Stewart and Colbert mock it.
(What was with Howard Dean's flirty goodbye to Stephen the other night? I laughed for five minutes straight.)
Doctor Who series four spoilers keep coming out, with all the associated wank. It's hard to bring myself to care; I'm already pretty sure I'm going to get what I want, which is ( not really spoilery, but just in case )
It's time for a new order of BPAL imps, and I've found eight that I really want. I need to narrow it down to six. Anyone have any advice (recs or anti-recs) on any of these?
( I'm in a vanilla mood: Belle Epoque, Eclipse, Golden Priapus, Antique Lace, Peitho, Mouse's Long And Sad Tale, Lyonesse, and Tamora )
[Cross-posted to InsaneJournal]
Had the government alerted the public on the dangers of West Nile Fever, Colbert wouldn't have had intimate relations with a crow.
Yes, it's as funny as it sounds. (How had I not seen this before??)
[x-posted to insanejournal]
I've been catching up by reading grave_watchers. I have to say, it's pretty impressive for a show to suck so badly that it inspires its own fans to start a campaign to get it canceled. (Of course, that's mostly hyperbole; the community is basically a place for fans to snark about the show, not waste their time actually campaigning to end it when 1) there are many more important issues going on in the world and 2) everyone knows it's going to get canceled anyway.)
Anyway. I spent an inordinate amount of time reading that community today and I found it highly entertaining. And, I admit, cathartic for the part of me that still held out a tiny bit of hope based on how awesome VM's first season was.
Actually what I'd really like to see is a campaign for 1) less offensive portrayals of strong women on television and 2) the immensely talented Jason Dohring to get a job far, far away from the VM writers.
There also interesting conversation about male writers and their clueless attempts at "feminist" protagonists going on at gendervision. I'm not participating, because I think I pretty much got that rant out of my system during Buffy, but it's good to see the conversation continuing.
Other thoughts on the world of television...
* I keep seeing that baseball video game commercial that uses the Nirvana song "Breed." I think I can actually hear Kurt Cobain turning over in his grave every time the damn thing airs. I really want to track down everyone who was involved with making this happen and slap them across the face. HARD.
Surely someone out there is organizing a boycott against this company and every product it's ever been involved with, right?
* South Park is having a good season, although I thought last night's episode was the weakest so far. I loved the plot around the kids, but nearly fell asleep during the lice part. Clever idea, boring execution, maybe?
* John Bolton is an unbelievable asshole! I mean, I knew he was widely regarded as an asshole, but I was still mindblown by how horrible he actually was on The Daily Show the other night. He wouldn't even let Jon end the interview! (And it's his fault that the interview ran long and they didn't have time for Stephen!!) And also, dude, facts don't stop being true no matter how vehemently you deny them. And it was awesome that Jon brought Doris Kearns Goodwin on the next night to back up his argument about the diversity of Lincoln's cabinet.
* I would say The Colbert Report is on a roll lately, but I think it's been on a roll since it premiered, actually. Still, it seems that nearly every night I watch it I am struck by how brilliant it is. This week's Willie Nelson episode was particularly classic. Between the hilarity of the comedy and the stunningly incisive and biting wit of the satire, I regularly think that this show is one of the greatest things I've seen in my life.
Hmmm. I should try and get tickets again. And I never did write up a report last time. Let's see... the highlights:
* I got there at 3pm; it was snowing so they let everyone wait inside.
* jaydk and drujan joined me and we were seated in the front row.
* Stephen ran along the front row giving everyone five from both directions; both of my hands touched Stephen's!
* Someone asked him about his ice cream flavor and he said he gave a pint of it to Jon Stewart who "ate half and had sex with the other half." The slashers went insane with laughter and squee.
* He kept screwing up The Word and having to do it over, but he remained hilarious and good-natured the whole time. You can actually see it jump a bit in the aired episode where they had to cut it together to get it to run continuously. At the end he apologized to us and thanked us for remaining enthusiastic despite his mistakes.
* After the first segment, when he talked about NYC-distributed condoms, he began throwing condoms into the crowd like parade candy. I now own three NYC condoms touched by the hand of Stephen Colbert.
Oh, and Tuesday was Stephen Colbert day in Oshawa. How awesome is that? Is there nothing that Stephen Colbert can't do?
Look for me and drujan in the audience of tonight's Daily Show. It was fucking freezing, and we just barely got in, after I waited outside for about two hours (and drujan joined me like three minutes before the cut-off time). But nonetheless, the show was awesome.
Also, the reason everyone is cracking up during the Jason Jones segment is that the first time they tried to film it, the technology screwed up and it displayed the teleprompter on the screen behind Jason's head. Jon started totally cracking up, laughing so hard that he curled up in giggles and then had to get out of his chair. Meanwhile poor Jason had no idea why everyone was laughing hysterically at him, which caused everyone to laugh harder. Finally Jon explained to him that the teleprompter was showing behind his head, thus ruining the illusion that everything that happens on the show is spontaneous.
So they filmed it again, and it wasn't that funny, but I'm sure you can hear the audience still giggling as it opens.
* I had a great view. First balcony, second row, center-right, three seats from an aisle. If you have a huge high resolution TV screen, you can probably see me in the audience shots. ;)
* Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, together and in the same room as me!
* Getting to see everyone scurrying around during the commercial breaks and discussing what comes next.
* Jon *completely* cracking up during one of the bits--I think it was Will Ferrell's--did they show his reactions on TV? He was laughing so hard he was jumping up and down, and then he fell to the floor, but he still managed to speak all his lines with a semi-straight face.
* Jon chatting with us beforehand and during the commercial breaks and telling us what a great audience we were. (He's so sweet!)
* Jimmy Fallon, who was apparently not content merely answering phones, and so spontaneously stood up and (yelling without a microphone) got whole audience to do the wave repeatedly during a commercial break. (They showed just a snippet of this on the broadcast.)
* Pretty boys making out! I'm apparently way out of touch with modern television, because I had no idea who they were, but they made out a lot longer than aired on the broadcast.
* Getting to see the whole Elvis Costello performance (which was cut off by a commercial during the broadcast).
* I got to see the guy behind Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. (Not that I really cared, but still, nifty.)
* I'm embarrassed that Moby is the apparent representative of veganism in popular culture, but at the same time glad that he is at least spreading awareness of its existence.
* Did I mention how adorably sincere Jon Stewart is?
What was weird:
* They didn't show us the David Letterman thing at all; that just seemed to be an extra-long commercial break.
* Being surrounded by such disturbingly rich people was just weird. Before the show started, they had a couple of auctions, including one for a walk-on part on Saturday Night Live which went for $20,000. I know, good cause, I just can't fathom those amounts of money.
* Also, it needed more Stephen Colbert. :P
And then I'd turn off the DVD player and watch The Daily Show, and realize that the world really hasn't changed very much.
(Speaking of The Daily Show, if Jon and Stephen don't stop this crossover stuff soon, I'm going to be forced to start reading Stewart/Colbert slash....)
My other thoughts on Sharpe: ( spoilers )
Also, thank you grrm for saying some stuff that really needed to be said. Now go write your book!
He was cool--came out and answered some questions beforehand, and was very friendly. It was clearly a matter of watching someone at work, though, going about his daily routine. Between segments he had a guy telling him sports scores, which was cute. At the end they kept us extra long in order to film the intro to the international version. Oh, and it was awesome to see Jon and Stephen chatting via the satellite link thingy.
It should be re-running today--look for my red hair for a fraction of a second during the opening. ;)
( First round of Pig tour dates )
Queens? Are you fucking kidding me? I don't even want to go all the way out to middle of nowhere Queens. The place is going to be empty.
Meh. Whatever. Not my problem. :P
Look at all the Pig stuff!
Not to mention all the Jon Stewart stuff. I hadn't seen that 9/11 thing before, but I really wish I had been watching at the time. And, of course, the Crossfire bit is eminently watchable.
Oh yeah, did I mention PIG TOUR?!!!!!!!!!!!!
The show was okay. Bad sound, too much fog, hard to see anything. But I was standing right in front of what may well be the hottest guitar player ever--seriously, I have no clue who this guy was, but he was pure sex. Stunningly gorgeous, and an excellent musician as well. I spent the entire show watching him (I couldn't see anyone else through the fog anyway).
I also had the great misfortune to watch the Oscars on Sunday night. What a bunch of lame, pretentious, clueless... oh, whatever, they're not even worth the rant. I watched for Jon Stewart, and found myself cringing at the mediocrity of his monologue (though the Bjork joke was funny). I'm glad that he seemed to relax and get into the swing of things later. His cynical asides were much more entertaining that his scripted not-too-offensive Hollywood jokes, of course. And I had a total SQUEE moment hearing Stephen Colbert's voiceover on those fake attack ads (which were very funny).
I'm going to see Nine Inch Nails in Atlantic City on Saturday. Still have to figure out how to get there. (I'm sure there's a bus, just need to do the research.) Ironically, my mom is driving there the same day, but she and her friends will be smoking in the car the whole way, so there's no way I'd put myself through that. I should be more excited... NIN, small venue, spiral entrance... but I guess I'm just worrying about the logistics. Traveling alone is so tedious; time flies when you have someone to talk with, but it just drags on forever when you're by yourself. *makes note to bring a book*
And then next week, I'm going to San Francisco to see Chemlab. I can't believe this is coming up so soon; it still feels completely theoretical. I feel somewhat insane for planning such a thing.
Oh yeah, just a note: the WriterCon site was down for a while yesterday, but it's back today. Not our fault; the host screwed up while moving us to a different server.
It's Lucifer's birthday!!!!
Eight years ago today, in the laundry room of my parents' house in New Jersey, Lucifer's mother Shadow (a beautiful, sweet black stray cat who I'd made friends with) gave birth to Lucifer and his three siblings. Lucifer was the second born (I have it on videotape) and his head got stuck coming out. We all thought he was going to die, but Shadow eventually pushed him out and started licking him, and finally he started making teeny little squeaking baby kitty noises that meant he was breathing.
And ever since then, he's been the greatest cat ever. Sweet, fun, adventurous, but most of all--cool. Being in Lucie's presence could calm anyone; he's just totally accepting and trusting and relaxed.
I gave him a pile of treats for breakfast. I'll have to find something fun at Petco to bring home to him tonight.
I took some photos of him the other day in the bathtub (trying to drink out of the faucet). I'll post those here later so you can all see how adorable he is. >:)
( Movie Meme )
Last night I was working until 8pm and talking to my former coworker Sarah about "relationships." Interesting conversation. Sarah's awesome.
Forgot to mention this: I watched two movies over the weekend, Velvet Goldmine and American Psycho.
( weird rant about Velvet Goldmine, American Psycho, Fight Club, and the emptiness of consumer culture )
PS: Excellent thread over at the Hydrogen Board imagining a Chemlab/Pig tour. *sigh* If only.
And I must say, I love it when the bands write their own slash fiction:
petegala (here): If you go into the men's room between sets, you might just find Raymond and Jared making out in a stall.
jared: and, in reference to Pete from the Cracknation board, Raymond and i would only be having sex in the bathroom if we could sandwich you. we've discussed it, and i call the south side of your street, honey.
And it goes from there.... ("The Brokeback Techrat tour anyone?" "BROKE-DICK METRONOME" "Rivetback Mountain" "Tesseract Fountain"....)
PPS: Did you guys watch the Daily Show last night? The Cheney thing actually didn't strike me as that funny when I first heard it, but when Jon got ahold of it, I thought I was going to die laughing.
PPPS: Celebrate International Quirkyalone Day. (Great link; check it out.)
Common Rotation is playing tonight, and I'm sad to miss them, but I've seen them so many times and I just couldn't resist the possibility of meeting Depeche Mode.
In other news... is it just me, or was the Colbert Report kind of lame? Okay, the headline reading face-off part was really funny. But Stephen Colbert's parody of a egotistical news anchor, while wonderful in small doses, began to annoy me over the course of a half-hour show. I felt bad for the guest, too. With Jon Stewart, you get the sense that Jon is genuinely trying to communicate with the other person, whereas here, you get the sense that the other person is just being pulled in as a prop to Colbert's performance. It's uncomfortable, and not nearly as interesting.
Plus, I think that, for me, the essential aspect of a talk show is that I like and trust the anchor, that I enjoy watching him and I relate to him. This is part of why I adore Jon Stewart--I've been watching him (off and on) for eleven years and I like him immensely. That's also why I liked watching Conan, too (although Andy was the really likeable one, and Conan's gotten much less enjoyable without him). And that's why, no matter how interesting the guest, watching Jay Leno or Craig Kilborn is like pulling teeth, because I can't stand either of them. Anyway, the point being that Colbert is funny as an anchor, but there's no depth to him, and so far I don't really look forward to seeing him lead a half hour show.
Also--I'm really going to miss the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert interaction. They are twice as funny when they're together, and none of the other correspondents are nearly as good as Colbert. The Daily Show is going to suffer without him. :(
I want to post a Pig song (Hot Hole, it's perfect for my mood lately), but unfortunately I don't have it here at work. Note to self: upload MP3 for tomorrow.
I really don't have anything new to say regarding the hurricane... it's absolutely horrifying, and I can only hope that it'll be a wake-up call that this country seriously needs to change. Jon Stewart's monologue last night was perfect (you can watch it at this link), and this rant also rang very true to me.
Stuff that's going on with me:
( Read more... )
This is fucking creepy.
Did you guys see the Daily Show last night? It was brilliant; I haven't laughed so much in a long time. I love that Jon cracked up and couldn't even look at Stephen Colbert once he said his name was really "Ted Hitler." Heee. Plus, it managed to be hilarious and, simultaneously, have more relevant and insightful commentary than anything else you're going to see on mainstream TV.
I've been eating a lot of blood oranges lately. They both fascinate and repulse me. There is something just wrong about eating such a sweet happy fruit as an orange and finding it to be this hideous raw blood color inside.
I've been listening to two records, Pig's "Praise the Lard" and "Sinsation." Both brilliant.
( more rambling about pig and about finding something to obsess over )
I watched this show religiously that year, not so much because it was a great show but because I really loved Jon Stewart. (Plus I didn't have cable, thus no MTV, and Jon had the best musical guests.)
I was 12, and I had to either stay up until 1am on school nights, or set the VCR and watch it after school every day. And I was the only person I knew who did.
Yesterday I was watching the final week--Jon all depressed, various guests reassuring him that he'll have some kind of come-back, the final clip of the show which is Jon in makeup looking like an old man in a bar, rambling on about how he had a TV show for a year back in the day....
And now ... 'Daily Show' book named Book of Year by Publishers Weekly.
I am so proud.