walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (if you called my name out loud)
so i was in boston for a little while there and then i wasn't anymore. that is, i finally, finally, FINALLY got my sorry self on a plane1 and went to visit [livejournal.com profile] silentfire, where for a week and a half i co-opted her floor, swelled cambridge's already-swollen student-age population, and watched, by our very exacting calculations, forty billions hours of episodic television2, 3:

  1. SG-1 episodes 101-106: in which we discover that SG-1 is pure emotional pornography, i keep calling the first episode children of a lesser god, jack and teal'c are married—no, really—and we're pretty sure teal'c wins at life; for sure he wins at deadpan. what is an oprah?

  2. SGA episodes 216-220: in which, frankly, everyone is STUPID, jesus christ. um, more on that later.

  3. SGA episode commentaries from season one, including "the storm/the eye", "the siege" part 1 (but hilarious!), "rising", and "hide and seek" (jinto! come! *clap clap*)

  4. miscellaneous episodes of CSI: NY: in which danny is hot. the end.

  5. miscellaneous episodes of due south: in which ray and fraser are hot and also married.

  6. the entire run to date of criminal minds which, i don't watch every show on television? but it could seriously be the best show on television right now. i feel the same way about it that i did about the west wing in its first two seasons4: i am completely in love with every single character and completely fulfilled by the show. i have zero desire to seek out fannish supplements, i just want more source.

  7. as much NCIS as we could get the internets to cough up; this was before we found [livejournal.com profile] ncisepisodes. turns out that along with sweaters and plenty of socks and hortense-the-shiny-blue-ipod, i also remembered to pack my PIMP HAT. my love for this show and every character on it is boundless and true—BOUNDLESS AND TRUE, OKAY?—and [livejournal.com profile] silentfire was amenable to pimping, and pimping was DONE, \o/. and the best part about pimping at close range (see: stargate atlantis) is the reciprocal squee, the way the love just washes back and forth between us and the source until we're flailing messes. but i've been trying to post for the last eight days, so i'll squee about them later.

  8. when we weren't watching fannish television we were watching songvids based on fannish television, some of the funniest, awesomest songvids EVER:


and when we weren't watching anything at all (or waiting impatiently for it all to download) we occasionally ventured out into the cold open air, for food of every ethnicity, for ice cream, for comic books and groceries, for tea and coffee and hot chocolate, for adventures in public transportation5 and the support of local businesses. also i ended up shuttling back and forth to and from the airport four times, because [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker wrenched herself away from lakeland for a spur-of-the-moment weekend getaway to join in the wacky fannish hijinks, walk in the snow, and eat italian food and drink beer.

and when we weren't fannishly engaged OR eating6, [livejournal.com profile] silentfire did manage to pick, you know, classes for the new semester, and i got to go along and shop them with her. they might be discontinuing the moral reasoning core requirement in the future, but her class on the public vs. private seems really interesting7 and the professor entertaining. and i got a kick out of a class called "the human mind" when we walked into the lecture hall and i immediately recognized steven pinker's hair: "hey, that looks like steven pinker," i thought. and then i remembered where i was and realized it probably was steven pinker. it seems like a fun hybrid class, and between the sensory processes, psychology, and linguistics classes i've taken he didn't actually tell me anything i didn't know, but he's an entertaining lecturer and i told [livejournal.com profile] silentfire that if she didn't take the class, i would cry. luckily, she did not need convincing.

that was how i spent my boston vacation! i miss her floor already. *pines* and i've been trying to post ever since i got home last tuesday. i would tell you all about what i've been doing since then, but basically i haven't been doing anything but working hard at wasting my potential—and succeeding! i've been reading as much NCIS fic as i can get my hands on (i've run out of recs and am fearful of the archives; send help); i'm hopelessly behind on the SGA fic that's been posted since i left. i saw munich8 with my father and transamerica9 with [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu. i signed up for [livejournal.com profile] naljwrimo2006—i don't know why! if there's anything you'd like to see me ramble on about, i'd be happy to oblige.

you, livejournal, have been up to things in the past few weeks. johari swept like the plague through my flist, and i succumbed too, but i was immediately struck by 1. how limited the selection was, and 2. the fact that all the adjectives are POSITIVE ones. they don't even list the obvious antonyms—e.g. organized vs. disorganized, patient vs. impatient, giving vs. selfish. i suppose people are more likely to play if they have only positive things to choose from (alternatively: given the chance, people are more likely to be self-deprecating and choose negative aspects, rather than very positive ones); and friends and colleagues are probably reluctant to tell anyone they're incompetent or unhappy or callous. and strange. plus there's the simple fact that these *are* friends (for the most part) filling these out, and we're unlikely to be friends with people we would call cruel or vulgar or irresponsible. at least—not where our friends can hear us. it would probably be more successful if contributions were blind. but obviously i wasn't the first or the only one to think of this, and along came nohari to counter; here's mine.10 the selection's still pretty limited, but it's a whole lot more balanced this way.

yesterday was valentine's day; it started with my getting woken up by the doorbell at 9:30 a.m., but i managed to get back to sleep in the end, and later there were roses, filing, thai food, ice cream, and house11. i don't know who it was yesterday who urged us to make it a day of self-indulgence, but in my world, EVERY day is a monument to self-indulgence, so let's try this instead:

1. pick a number between 1 and 4,943 4,953 and i will send you the corresponding song from my itunes library. i made a new playlist and shuffled it all up, it's pure grab-bag. it could be the shins, it could be destroyer, it could be barry manilow! don't be a hater!

and

2. i haven't made icons in a long, long time. comment and tell me what you'd like and i'll make you one. or don't tell me anything and i'll make something based on one or more of your interests.

oh, and my dad and i are going to atlanta on friday. i keep forgetting about this. *makes note to self*



footnotes gone WILD:

  1. i flew jet blue and i heartily recommend them. if you buy in advance and online you can get cheap, cheap fares (i mean, depending on what day you're flying and what time of day and year, etc.), they've got an easy points-based frequent-flyer program, the planes are clean and shiny and brand-new, the seats are leather and as roomy as they promise, the staff are friendly, and the flights are on time—or early. if there are timing or other problems, they're apologetic in both mien and material value (according to my uncle, who's flown with them many times and has only positive things to say). okay, this concludes my bizarre descent into enthusiastic sales pitch.

  2. that said, the only thing we watched on an actual television set was the men's final of the australian open, sunday from four to six-thirty a.m., live from melbourne fourteen time zones away. in conclusion: baghdatis is a good-looking cyprian kid who will be doing great things in the sport and i can't wait to see more of him, BUT FEDERER PWNS YOU ALL, OKAY? OKAY. and i'm so freaking glad i didn't remember the women's final in time to coax [livejournal.com profile] silentfire into staying up with me to watch it the day before, because what a fucking waste of time THAT would have been.

  3. not counting the television i watched on the plane. with thirty-six channels of direct tv available to me (available for free to all jet blue patrons! no, seriously, what is up with the cheerleading?) i settled on TLC's what not to wear, since there's basically nothing to watch between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on a weekday. that said, i think i love stacy and clinton omg. plz give me five thousand dollars and help me shop for clothes kthx. oh, and on the way home on tuesday i caught the middle of a BSG marathon on sci-fi. conclusion: i have no idea wtf is going on, except that i kind of DO, through the process of flist osmosis. mostly i watched with the sound off and listened to aqua and carbon leaf on hortense-the-shiny-blue-ipod. if this trip has taught me nothing else, it's that jesus there are an awful lot of obscenely attractive people on television. is there some kind of culling beam that picks them out of the general population and deposits them in hollywood and british columbia? is it that all the obscenely attractive people are on television, or that obscenely attractive people are the only people on television? is this like rectangles and squares all over again?

  4. technically i didn't discover fandom in the real sense (or slash in any sense) until the end of my freshman year (i.e. spring 2002), and i hadn't been watching the third season at all during that time; but i spent that whole summer camped out on the floor of my room reading deep into the archives of smallville and sports night, and i tried west wing fic—slash, het, gen, everything—but it always felt cold or superfluous or both.

  5. seriously, i got tom lehrer's the subway song in my head every single time we got on the T. awesome.

  6. which we often did simultaneously! there were (among many other things) drinking-game formulations over hot chocolate at burdick's, songvid storyboarding over sandwiches at simon's, and hours of meta over tea and cheesecake at algier's where we covered john and rodney characterization, jenn's shed your skin, del.icio.us (and nutritious!) bookmarks, reading styles (abstract vs. aural/visual), jack o'neill vs. john sheppard, and SG-1 vs. atlantis.

  7. once i got past the fact that it's PHILOSOPHY and you're still treating old dead white men as the keepers of the keys to truth and justice and you're judging the entire world based on a narrow western philosophical tradition.

  8. spoilers for munich )

  9. spoilers for transamerica )

  10. the things is, i don't know where i see myself in ten years, or what my favorite movie is, or who my heroes are, but if anyone ever wants me to describe myself in five words, i'm ready to go: lazy, curious, bright, jealous, self-destructive. in social psych we learned that people tend to descibe themselves as belonging to classes of people (the class of professors, nurses, atheists, women, etc.), but those five adjectives are who i am. if anybody asks.

  11. spoilers for house 2x12 )
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (when there's nothing left to burn)
frankly, i've been waiting for wilma to bide its time over the yucatán just long enough for the jet stream to stop dipping, at which point the storm would continue on its north-northwesterly track, eventually slamming into the gulf coast. it's been that kind of year.

instead the hurricane has been over land for days now and has been downgraded to category 2 (100 mph winds), but seems to finally, finally be moving. the experts are still predicting a sharp turn to the northeast and a lot of acceleration to get to the west coast of florida by tomorrow night and the east coast half a day later. broward county schools have cancelled class on monday. my dad put up most of the shutters tonight (the ones we didn't bother taking down after the last storm failed to do much damage) and will put up the rest tomorrow morning, before brunch at cousin m.'s and hopefully before the weather gets too bad. and then she'll come over to our place with the kittens, and we'll bring over my grandmother and her aide, and it'll be a party!

on the fannish front:

a. as everyone seems to be doing these days, i have found can't take the sky and have been downloading caps and making icons from them like craaazy. you can find the finished ones from the first three episodes behind the cut.



30 total )

b. also i have found new atlantis; see above re: feverish downloading and subsequent icon-making.

c. i claimed john sheppard over at [livejournal.com profile] rec50. their motto is because reading is easier than writing, and that is so, so true. this has meant having to re-read the 499 atlantis stories i have saved to my harddrive, some of them more than once. my life = so hard. it's also meant i've been thinking more about fanon, canon, extra-canon, the magnification of canon, etc., etc.; more on that later.

d. at long last i have acquired and watched atlantis episodes 209 and 210! though i think i need to watch them again before my thoughts are anything like coherent. i'm ready for the post-ep fic i've been resolutely avoiding if anyone has recs.

e. in the absence of 1) a netflix subscription, or 2) money, i have raided the library catalog for television-shows-on-dvd, and though i found it sadly lacking, i have managed to request the first disks of arrested development, the office (BBC version), and babylon 5. on my list to see one day are also scrubs, numb3rs, coupling (BBC version), homicide, wonderfalls, wise guys, quantum leap, mst3k, farscape, battlestar gallactica, stargate: sg-1, the dead zone, and all or most of the CSIs. as i asked [livejournal.com profile] silentfire the other day, WHEN DID SCI-FI HAPPEN TO ME? i blame fandom. <3!

while i was in the library catalog, i also requested BOOKS: jonathan strange and mr. norrell by susanna clark; the man who mistook his wife for a hat and other clinical tales by oliver sacks; kitchen confidential by anthony bourdain; and the man who loved only numbers: the story of paul erdős and the search for mathematical truth by paul hoffman.

f. did everyone but me already know about [livejournal.com profile] shrift's firefly story big damn zombies, sir? jayne gets ZOMBIFIED. i laughed so hard i started wheezing. i don't even want to give away any of the lines, just read it if you haven't already.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (he said "the world is as soft as lace")
i meant to post these when i made them, months ago; they've been languishing on my computer since then, homeless and pathetic. they are for you! 143 sinfest icons, behind the cut.

e.g.,



the cut )
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
in anticipation and then celebration of serenity (and also to pass the time, as basically i am a bum with nothing to do but hang around the computer until the sun comes up again) i made twenty text icons from firefly quotes. you know, like you do. they are behind the cut.

all quotes are from the episodes. this post is SPOILER-FREE.

e.g.,



see, morbid and creepifying I got no problem with, long as she does it quiet-like )

eta: fixed the mis-quote in #1. (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] silentfire!)
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (when we're all brilliant and fast)
It wasn't so much the weather that got me soaking wet today as it was Murphy's Law. See, I'd pledged my mother my services today in helping sort out her classroom. She called at about 11:30 this morning, just as I was rousing myself, to check on when I'd be coming over; I said I just needed to eat something and since my dad was absent from the house and had taken the car with him, I would walk: it's less than half a mile to the school. It had been raining all morning, and my mother warned me to watch the weather. I breakfasted and dressed and watched the weather to see the gray skies were holding but the way looked clear enough for the time being. I'd gone maybe half a block up the street, smug under my umbrella and the drizzle before the skies opened up in true South Florida fashion. That is, it poured ferociously for two or three minutes, then tapered off abruptly to a desultory drip. I didn't even try racing back to the house, just braced my umbrella at an angle against the rain and walked through it as I watched the water mark on my jeans rise to about a foot above my ankle. I hate walking in wet flip-flops, but if you take it slow and step carefully, you can avoid sliding right out of them, and in this way I eventually made it to the school. There I sorted colored construction paper and inventoried FCAT practice packets for completeness.

I gave The Search another seventy pages, but I finally called it quits this afternoon. "This book loses!" I told my mother, waving it about on my way to set it on the return pile in the living room. "It loses at life! It FAILS!" In its place I started Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, a book my father has been trying to get me to read for the last four years at least. He's forced it on everyone he knows. They all—so he says—give it rave reviews. It's history—the story of a ship that sank (along with the stories of where it came from, what it carried, the people on it, who survived and how) and the team that eventually recovered it—and it's reading well so far.

Tonight [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and I tried out the 7:30 yoga class and we give it big thumbs up! We walked out wobbly-legged and worked-out, with plans to come back regularly every Tuesday and Thursday. The instructor lady told me I have a natural back for the downward-facing dog. I still need to get those muscles and tendons in my calves and ankles to stretch far enough to get my heels allll the way down to the ground. I can't wait to see where I'm sore tomorrow.

We took lightning-fast showers after class got out at about 8:45 (we'd done some light cardio beforehand as well) and got ourselves Subway sandwiches for dinner. I mentioned the 3-for-2 DVD sale Barnes & Noble is having (both in-store and online), so we trotted over and hung out there until 10:30 or so, and Mal did come away with three. In the car we were bemoaning the lack of coffee venues open late enough to accommodate us when we drove right past the Dunkin' Donuts on Sunrise, open 24 hours! With great coffee and a couch to sit on! Where we sat and drank coffee and ate donuts ate donuts and played cards until midnight. Mal has work tomorrow and I should probably try my hand at some sleep as well. I think my mother wants my help again tomorrow, and I am glad to give it.

Also: I posted 36 icons of random things (robots, butterflies, things that are blue) at [livejournal.com profile] minimal_icons if you want to check that out. Thanks to lj users equal [livejournal.com profile] leksa and [livejournal.com profile] bunnymcfoo for the inspiration. [livejournal.com profile] leksa suggested "icons about the modern way of life" which said "robots!" to me. And there you have it.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu had a promotional guest membership—one month free—to her gym, and today we finally got ourselves together and went to sign me up. The last time I was in a gym was just before Mal came to visit me in Gainesville, almost two full months ago. I got sick the day before she left and stayed sick for a week and a half after that; then there were four major projects due, I went home for Passover, I came back to school for finals, and graduated. That was April. In May I was just horribly, unspeakably lazy.

It's June now though, well into June, and my body was terribly excited today when I put on workout clothes and sneakers and packed a water bottle and CD player and went to a gym! WHOO. We did weights first, cardio second, on side-by-side elliptical machines with game shows playing on the teevee. The original Match Game! Wacky fun, plus enormous blue-tinted glasses on the face of one female celebrity. Ladies and gentlemen, the 1970s. The fun was spoiled a bit when Mal's knee gave out on her, but after we'd retired to the locker room we showered off and then laid down in the steam room to let our brains dribble out of our bodies along with the sweat. Talk about your lassitude.

We were pretty hungry by the time we pulled our jellified selves back together and got dressed, and by the time we'd decided on a restaurant, driven there, and sat down, we were slack-brained and desperate for food. Luckily Mal had steered us to her local Thai place, and our late-afternoon meal was fantastic, right down to the tempura banana drizzled with honey. We capped off the evening with a viewing of Garden State back at her place, complete with deleted scenes, outtakes, and the making-of documentary. I only saw the movie once in the theaters and I haven't seen it since, but I was reminded immediately and repeatedly of what a beautiful film it is, how carefully and successfully every shot was framed and the filming executed. Did The Shins change your life too?

I haven't read a book at all today. I feel itchy, like I've wasted time. My reading list fills me with both glee and despair: All those books to read! All those books to read. I add items to my reading list a lot faster than I can scratch any off. Bookstores daunt me, and libraries, with the certain knowledge that I will never get through them all—not even all the books ever, but all the good ones, the ones I would have loved but will never find or never have the time for.

Icon replacement proceeds a-pace. Okay, it proceeds at a snail's pace, but that's something, right? If nobody has any ideas for what icons I desperately need in rotation to fill the gaping holes in my posting needs, does anyone have suggestions for what kind of icons I can make for [livejournal.com profile] minimal_icons? These would be not so much for myself, or even others (though we would all benefit, comrades!), but a kind of icon-making exercise, like a writing improv. Any suggestions? Give me a color, an era of history, your favorite actor or natural phenomenon or—anything at all. I'm at that stage where I want to make icons but have no idea what to make them of.

I concentrated on my legs in the gym today, so I might not be able to walk tomorrow, but I'll be focusing on my upper body anyway. Then I won't be able to move at all, but even in that unhappy case, I should be sufficiently recovered by Thursday evening at the latest to check out their yoga class with Mal.
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
You know what I need? New icons. NEW ICONS. Everybody has such pretty icons, man, and I get crazy jealous. I'm tired of mine. What should I make? Who wants to make one for me? And which ones should survive the great purge that is a-comin'?

This is a new icon—or rather, an icon that I started months ago and then abandoned, but I resurrected it tonight. It's keyworded the boy's got a lot to be mad about.

It rained all day again today, and based on weather reports from regions to the north of us, I think we can expect more of the same tomorrow. I like weather. I get a community feeling from fronts that sweep down from Canada, through most of the states in my time zone and some to either side, until they finally drift down to us, warmer and maybe messier but often just as wet. I feel close to everyone who bitches about snow or thunderstorms when the rain comes to my house a week or three days later, a hand-me-down feeling, a you-too? kind of connection with the whole world. I also grin as we all make our left-hand turns when the arrow turns green, everybody playing their proper role in our little traffic dance. I don't know if this is symptomatic of the way I don't get close to people, or the cause of it, but I have the feeling it's somehow related, either way.

But—it rained today. S. and I met up at Barnes & Noble where it poured and poured outside while inside we ate sandwiches, browsed, and lost our wills to live over a casual study session for the GRE. This is where I lodge my official rage at the GRE and, for that matter, all standardized tests! I realized today that I've gone four years without sitting down to take a standardized test, and those were good years. The last time Educational Testing Services and I danced a tango, I burned through five AP tests in a week at the end of my senior year of high school, fifteen hours or so of sitting in a desk filling in bubbles and feverishly scrawling timed essays. I didn't mind those nearly as much as I minded the SAT or, now, the GRE. With the exception of the writing component, the two look identical. My advice to high school juniors and seniors today who are in the standardized-testing zone already and won't (in accordance with Weber's Law) really notice one more, is to take the GRE now and get it out of the way. Similar scores would be one indication of a lack of testing validity, right?

If it had anything to do with what I've been doing for the past four years, or if it had anything to do with the skills or knowledge I would need for graduate school, or even if it was a basic measure of intelligence (though you could debate long and loud the relative merits and demerits of IQ tests and different kinds of intelligence and whether, in the end, any of them would predict success or failure in a specific learning environment) I would not mind. But it is none of those things: it is a measure of how well you can study for a test—which probably is one indicator of how well you might fare in college/graduate school*, but that's immediately biased against people who can't afford study guides and thousand-dollar Kaplan courses. I mean, the majority of the "verbal" section is composed of "antonyms" and "analogies", which basically tests your raw vocabulary—and not only that, but your familiarity with the least-frequently-used words. Why do I not believe them when they say this section will measure my "effectiveness at solving a problem hinging on [my] command of the English language"?

And to be totally honest, I'm bitter because I haven't done Algebra II** since ninth grade, and I haven't brushed up on systems of equations since I last studied for the SAT in eleventh grade, so I totally got served when I sat down cold to the practice test this afternoon. Other things to be bitter about: the test is completely computerized now, meaning you get your (unofficial) score immediately (which, by the way, I have never enjoyed! I like at least a day between the effort and the evaluation), but you have to answer the questions in the order in which they appear, so 1) you can't skip a question and come back to it later, and 2) you can't go back and check your work. The other big change from paper-and-pencil tests is that computer tests (this one, at least) are adaptive, so they give you harder or easier questions based on your correct or incorrect answers. I'm sure that as more and more tests become computerized and they eventually enter the classroom to replace Scantrons and the like, that new test-taking strategies will emerge to elicit the test-taker's best possible performance, but I don't have those strategies. All I have is IRE.

* But not necessarily, if you'll just compare the study habits of (for example) myself and former-roommate N., along with our respective test scores.
** Is this stuff even Algebra II or is it all just Algebra I? I can't remember anymore. It's been a while, is all I'm saying. I could integrate better than I could tell you exactly how much pears cost apiece if three of my friends bought pears, apples, and oranges in different combinations but either neglected to note the unit prices or else are refusing to tell me.


After we lost the will to live, we wandered the aisles, recommending books to each other, and I bought pocket-sized books of weekend NYT crossword puzzles, to keep in my bag along with whatever book I happen to be carrying—because, as Edward Conlon explained to someone who asked, you never know when nothing's going to happen. I drove home in rain but stopped on the way at Batten's Farm for a fresh strawberry milkshake and picked up peaches while I was there. I'd walked right past them, but their scent drew me back. At home I napped for an hour and a half, until my mom woke me for dinner of Thai take-out.

My parents had taken out The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas the other night to show me who Charles Durning was (a perennial That Guy for me), and started watching it; we finished it tonight, or rather they did, and I excused myself to read or something. The movie was cute, and maybe I should have had more fun with it or appreciated the town's open acknowledgement and wholesome treatment of their whores, but I kept getting hung up on the phrase romanticization of prostitution, which is a clunky and pretentious thing to have scrolling through my brain, but there it was. I watched The Poseidon Adventure with my dad tonight too, and the dialogue was formulaic and cheesetastic, but what kept bothering me was the gender roles and distribution of labor. I understand it's a disaster movie (one of the first of its kind and boy did it set the tone for the genre), so stock characters are to be expected, but the way it broke down, the women had great legs and wore short shorts and high heels while they screamed and panicked and clutched at the men to save them. The men weren't contemptuous about it, just helpful and stoic; when the men froze up it was the other men who got them to continue, not by gentle coaxing, but by bracing, blustery, these-people-need-you! or are-you-man-or-mouse?! pep talks.

I think that slash, at some level, is behind this. That is, my reading slash has affected the way I view this film. Disaster movies from the 1970s (their ruffled shirts and humongous bow ties!) have a different and skewed presentation of gender from what I see in my daily life today, but even in real life today I'm often taken aback by the way men and women interact and are expected to interact with each other. I spend so much of my time reading about relationships (intimate and otherwise) between men, exclusively. It's fanfiction, so the relationships are often idealized on both the personal and the macro (cultural, political) levels, but they meet as equals in a way men and women never get to. There are often other confounding factors at work—preconceived notions, power differentials, "my friends all hate you!", "I'm not really gay!"—but even that last one is eased (a function of fiction, perhaps) by that recognition of equality and you're-like-me (and not just in the, "hey, he has a cock too!" kind of way). The distancing effects of courtship and whatever "games" women are supposed to play (and the accompanying resignation and resentment men feel at jumping through those hoops) are eliminated, ipso facto. I need more data for comparison. I've never been a reader of femslash, so I don't know if the same set-ups are found there; but really the question must be what is it actually like—from here it feels like culture and history are what stand between men and women: patriarchy and pornography, men's clubs and women's magazines, double standards and Sigmund Freud. It concerns me; it worries me; it gets my back up. And yet, even though it feels like same-sex couples must meet in a space removed from those reverberating expectations, surely it's more the case that the expectations are simply different? I know I've been immersing myself in fantasies all along, large fantasy worlds with thousands of different dreams inside them, but just because I've been over-exposed to unattainable ideals doesn't mean that I need to dismiss all of my dissatisfaction. I'm still sorting it out, it's too amorphous to even be coherent yet, but some of it at least I plan to hang on to and fight for.

I finished Never Let Me Go today: I was impatient and eventually unsatisfied with it, and I think fanfiction, along with all the nonfiction I've been reading lately, has something to do with that as well. This isn't the first novel I've found lacking recently, and the problem is in the pacing, or the thinness of the plot, or both. I read an awful lot of fanfic, and because I'm kind of a snob, and because I can, I read an awful lot of really, really high-quality fanfic. Across the board, with few exceptions, really good fanfic is tight, everything to the purpose and nothing in it that doesn't advance the story. I can think of two reasons for this (and I'm sure there are others): 1) the focus on the relationship (and even in a gen story the focus is almost always on the character(s)), and 2) essentially unlimited flexibility with regard to story length. There are a lot of novel-length stories floating around fandom, but there are a whole lot more mid-length, short, and tiny stories (see: the drabble, whatever your feelings about it) that always give the impression they were written until they were done, not to pad pages or fulfill a word count. It means the novel-length stuff needed to be novel-length, and I never read a section of it and wonder why it was there, or wish the author would just get to the fucking point already. I've been spoiled.

There was an internal problem with Never Let Me Go, too—it was first-person, and the storytelling method including mentioning an event in passing, with the assurance that she (the narrator) would explain it to us later, and I hate that, when people do it in real life as well as in a story like this. Either tell me something or don't, but don't hint around it, and especially don't hint around things throughout the entire book. The book itself was about a possible present: it's a slow—very, very slow—reveal, but essentially it's about the ethics of cloning, the status of clones, and our responsibility to them. But the revelation of information went too slow for the amount of information that was revealed, and the last few pages ended in a Goblet of Fire-style expository infodump. I'd have cared more if it had been paced better, is what I came away thinking, instead of barely caring at all.

we can't be silent

Saturday, May 7th, 2005 02:04 am
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (Default)
Would I pass up an icon meme? Come, now. Last seen in the journal of [livejournal.com profile] marythefan.

icon meme! )

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