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!


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. (they ought to drown him in holy water)
a. the other day—one of those days when there was no power and i went wandering around the house pining for just one rumor on any internet—i had this horrible idea for a livejournal community: a character manifesto community, along the lines of [livejournal.com profile] ship_manifesto. it was inspired by the fact that i adore lt. col. john sheppard of the cheesy show stargate: atlantis beyond all reason and, likely, all rational thought; and yet there are many people who either 1) are perfectly ambivalent toward him, or 2) hate him, everything he does, and everything he stands for. and not only would i love to spread the gospel of john sheppard in a forum that forces me to use examples and reasoning and sentences that don't include the symbols "<" and "3" and "!" repeatedly in conjunction with each other; i would love to read through somebody else's evidence stack for all their grievances against him.

likewise for someone like elizabeth, whom i hate: the urge to smash her face in every time she opens her mouth grows stronger with every episode, and i suppose i could marshal my arguments and articulate all the things she does that are patronizing and ineffectual and STUPID—but i also know there are people out there who are elizabeth FANS, and i ask, "dear god, WHY?" in all seriousness. i would like to know what they see.

please now tell me all the reasons why we should never speak of this again.

b. dear [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker and [livejournal.com profile] silentfire,

thanks to [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu's faithful listening habits, she was able to tell me—and i am able to tell you—to listen to this week's broadcast of wait, wait . . . don't tell me!, specifically the listener limerick challenge segment beginning at 10:57. you will be rewarded! or possibly you will suffer post-traumatic flashbacks! but nobody likes to suffer alone.

c. on friday [livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and i ventured out into the world to see prime )

on the way out of the theater we made frustrated motions at the starbucks next door that was just closing up for the night. i don't understand why cafés and coffee bars that are located very close to movie theaters don't make it a point to be open for at least an hour after the last movie is over. mal and i don't even like starbucks coffee, but they were right there, and we would have paid good money for their brewed or baked goods and then sat in their establishment for an hour or so, playing cards or talking about the movie or whatever. don't people do that? instead, nobody got our business, and we came back to my house and played a rousing game of scrabble!

d. yesterday my parents went driving up and down the turnpike all day to attend first the services and then the party for the bat mitzvah of a cousin on my dad's side. "have fun!" i said. i wasn't even invited, but i was more relieved than miffed—these aren't the nice cousins. i went over to cousin m.'s house to watch an episode of boomtown and play with the kittens; then we went downtown for thai food; and then we came back and watched the next three episodes and played with the kittens some more. cousin m. slept through the middle of episode three, but she thinks i didn't notice, so that's okay.

boomtown was a television show that premiered in 2002: nobody watched it; NBC beat it into the ground with sad scheduling and eventually cancelled it early in its second season. i can see why. not because it's a bad show—dozens of bad shows are renewed every year, i haven't figured out why—and not just because it was a really, really good show (which it was), because evidence has shown that really good shows can achieve critical acclaim and popular support, though not as often as one could hope.

its downfall was that it makes you WORK. my parents asked me what it was about, and i thought for a minute before telling them it was centered around crime, because it's not exactly a crime drama, or a legal drama, or a medical and emergency-rescue drama—but it's centered around a crime, and in the course of an episode we get the story of that crime from the points of view of all the regular characters, plus the relevant players that week, e.g. the perpetrators or victims or the relatives and accomplices thereof. the regular characters include two police officers, two detectives (one of whom is played by donnie wahlberg, and i wish i were more fluently versed in pop culture so i could fully appreciate just how funny i suspect that is), a deputy district attorney, a reporter, and a paramedic. their lives are all intertwined, and they all have their own problems, which are revealed slowly and not necessarily chronologically. it's not the kind of show you can put on while you're doing your homework or the dishes, and it's not the kind of show you can pick up mid-season; it's not even the kind of show you can miss an episode or two of without getting completely lost. i think if you missed the pilot, it was already too late. it was an intricately thought-out and beautifully put-together show, and i am completely unsurprised that it didn't make it on weekly network television. it did last a full season though, so at least we have that.

e. the library called on friday to tell me i had items ready for pick-up! which i then dutifully trotted over and picked up. one of the items was the complete first series of the office. we watched the first episode during dinner, and i don't know yet if i'm more amused than horrified or vice-versa. there are more items for the picking-up tomorrow, so i ought to at least get started on paul erdős's biography. cousin m. loaned me her complete chronicles of narnia, and i mean to re-read the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe before the movie comes out; and my mom just handed me the no. 1 ladies' detective agency, which the plain dealer called "one of the best, most charming, honest, hilarious and life-affirming books to appear in years," and my mother thought it was decent, so that's on the pile too.

f. my mom and i went grocery shopping today, and in the produce section by the orange juice we ran into an old family friend, a woman who worked with my mom and whose oldest daughter is my age, though we were never terribly good friends. her youngest daughter (a junior in high school) is apparently having trouble keeping her grades up; the mom asked, not exactly seriously, i don't think, if i tutored: "AP statistics," she asked? and i said i never took statistics, that was the one thing i couldn't help with; but pre-calc i could probably do, and when she asked about "AP english with a wacky teacher?" i said, "AHAHAHA, AP ENGLISH WITH A WACKY TEACHER IS MY SPECIALTY." the caps-lock was mostly in my head. mostly.

that, of course, spurred my mother to later broach the topic of grad school and whether i'd been doing any thinking about it, a conversation from which i had to run away and hide.

g. grey's anatomy )

h. be honest: how many of you filled out jason's nerd search?
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (like i was a supermodel uh-huh)
my rec50 table )

i've mentioned what a hardship it's been to read through the hundreds and hundreds of stories i've saved over the last six months, right? *hand to forehead*

the prompts make it challenging, which i understand is the whole point. at the moment i'm aiming for all fifty, but i'd rather not settle for a story just because it happens to fit. there are prompts i find myself wishing i had been given to fill, the themes that writers seem to return to again and again when they're writing about john sheppard: home; abandonment; isolation; torture; post-traumatic stress disorder; leadership; loyalty; sacrifice; origin myths. i still mean to talk about fanon vs. canon someday, but obviously not today, and in the meantime so many other people are busy hashing it out! (see here, here, here, here, etc.)
walkingshadow: anne taintor. it's not easy being easy. (the day is like wide water)
the vacation went on a week longer than i'd planned and could have extended indefinitely, but michael drove me to the airport yesterday morning after bagel sandwiches and coffee; and after missing the exit twice and wondering belatedly if holiday travelers would put a crimp in my stand-by plans, i bought a ticket and hopped the 11:40 flight. hitchlessly! my dad took me out to lunch when he picked me up at about 1:30, and at home i took a three-hour nap and woke up groggy. after chinese food for dinner i stayed up until five a.m. catching up on fic and livejournal. hello, livejournal!

to sum up, over the past two weeks i

1. started and finished a heartbreaking work of staggering genius, which i loved and laughed out loud at, but recommend with reservations, as it is consciously self-conscious about being self-conscious, and some people don't like that sort of thing. he reminds me very strongly of david foster wallace, the introspective young white literary male endlessly and obsessively analyzing the world, himself, his relationship to that world, how others relate to that world and thus to him, etc., etc., ad infinitum; for a writing style and way of life that seems to ceaselessly strive for meaning and the proper, most effective way of engaging the world, it's a great distancing tool. between you and the experience is always the interpretation, a translation of a translation between event and response and emotion.

2. consumed the following visual media:

a. four full-length feature films: the aforementioned i) harold and kumar go to white castle and ii) team america: world police; iii) the 40-year-old virgin with [livejournal.com profile] silentfire—and neither of us can remember *ever* laughing so hard in a movie theater; and iv) finding neverland, a nice movie that made us cry and yet lifted our spirits, aww.

b. a grand total of, like, fourteen billion hours of fannish television, including i) all 27 episodes of stargate: atlantis; ii) every cheesy tv show and made-for-tv movie joe flanigan appeared in that [livejournal.com profile] isilya in her grace and lovingkindness made available for download; and iii) the entire first season of house, since it came out on dvd at such a convenient time.

c. a tivo-ed episode of bill maher, who talked to anderson cooper* and fareed zakaria via satellite; quoted richard nixon in calling america a pitiful, helpless giant (because, seriously, what is the fucking point of an infrastructure if not to do exactly this, the epic, huge-scale things that federal governments should be good at, even if they're good at nothing else); and had bradley whitford, mary frances berry, and michael eric dyson venting some serious spleen at republicans, structural poverty, and racism.

* anderson cooper is my new hero and has been since a couple of months ago, around the time of the edgar killen trial: cooper was interviewing, via satellite, harlan majure, the former mayor of philadelphia, mississippi and a character witness for killen. early in the interview cooper asked majure why he thought the kkk was a benevolent organization, and majure said the klan took care of the entire community, even "visiting" more whites than blacks, to which cooper incredulously replied, "are you kidding?" and i almost fell off the elliptical machine. the interview continued in exactly that vein, cooper angry and disbelieving, quoting statistics and not letting up for a minute; the poor mayor had absolutely no idea what was happening. i have never seen anything like that on any television news show, ever.

d. early-round action at the us open! between CBS and USA there was hours and hours and HOURS of coverage to be had, and often i could trick people into sitting down and watching with me, ha! there have been some very, very high-quality matches at the open so far this year, e.g. federer-santoro on friday, that was AWESOME. not so awesome was andy roddick going out to giles muller in the first round—and even WORSE, we all still have to watch andy roddick driving a lexus during every other commercial break. and they come often in the game of tennis.

okay, the structural integrity of the list has been compromised, or at least its readability has, or perhaps i mean my patience with letters and roman numerals. speaking of structural integrity: [livejournal.com profile] silentfire made me an omelette one morning, and i sang a little song while it cooked, a song i call "breakfast lament (the green pepper blues)", to be sung to the classic pete seeger tune "where have all the flowers gone?": it starts with the structural integrity of the green peppers being lost to thermodynamic chemical reactions and goes from there.

on sunday a bunch of us went out to six flags over georgia and rode rollercoasters for eight hours, and on monday my brother tried to teach me how to throw a frisbee between matches at the us open, and all told i must have eaten in a dozen different restaurants, never the same one twice and all delicious. i laughed a lot, an awful lot. i went to sleep some nights awash in anxiety, because as much as i love my family and think they're totally neato-keen, i'm not completely comfortable with them, in the way that i'm not comfortable with all but three or four people in this world. but [livejournal.com profile] silentfire is one of them.

i was up at eight this morning but managed to stretch it to ten-thirty, and man was i tired at the gym this afternoon. i'm tired now, too. i can probably trace the cause of the tiredness back to something having to do with five a.m.

sometime soon i will post the pages and pages of sg:a meta that i have been generating, but believe me when i say you'll know it when you see it.

[livejournal.com profile] malelia_honu and i have a lunch date for tomorrow at noon, and tomorrow i have bellydancing class again!, and also tomorrow i will give cousin m. the first season of boomtown on dvd, which i picked up for twenty bucks in the same used-cd store where i found the kaiser chiefs' employment and [livejournal.com profile] silentfire got [livejournal.com profile] gjstruthseeker star trek: the voyage home (but only after we made many, many the search for spock jokes, e.g. spock, spock, where are you? i turn my back for one minute, etc., etc.; also the synopsis on the back mentioned that they eventually found spock's *living essence* in mccoy, and i have no way to interpret that that doesn't involve canonical mpreg. which i suppose is only to be expected from the creative mind that brought you both sex pollen and have-sex-or-DIE). thursday's looking good, is what i'm saying.

March 2011

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