I think this was the first ATPo Gathering at which people called each other by their given names more often than by their posting names. One could argue that this signifies greater bonds of intimacy growing across what had been a rather anonymous medium, or one could mention that going from the Board to LJ means that we have trouble dealing with the plethora of polynyms -- I, for one, can never keep that [livejournal.com profile] c_mantix/Aquitaine/Lorraine stuff straight (especially since the dead useful "El" has been recently repossessed by its original referent). I certainly believe that there was this year an even greater closeness among us, and not just the eight of us sharing that one shower. (Not at the same time.) I surprised myself a few times opening up to people; I'd like to thank [livejournal.com profile] atpotch and [livejournal.com profile] ann1962 in particular for their patience and empathy, though I have to acknowledge that where it counted most I fell back into my own deathly taciturnity. I also surprised myself by stepping past my usual reservations and self-consciousness and singing lustily along to "Once More With Feeling," though it did not help my confidence at all when [livejournal.com profile] masqthephlsphr, sitting directly to my front, started complaining about her headache and muttering to [livejournal.com profile] cactuswatcher darkly something about flatness. Considering that I was pleased when I managed to end a line in the same key in which it began, I'm afraid flatness too optimistically suggests that my voice and the music were even in the same three-dimensional space. Now that I've ruined what pleasant memories people have of the musical, next year I'm sure there will be raised a hue and a cry for the audience-participation airing of "Hush," just to guarantee I keep my mouth shut for forty-two minutes.

But I get ahead of myself. I left Cleveland last Wednesday evening on a delayed night flight to San Francisco; by the time I'd rented the car and driven to the hotel it was 2:15 California time, or about six hours past my bedtime. I did take a perfunctory earful at the door TCH, Rob ([livejournal.com profile] buffyannotater) and [livejournal.com profile] scrollgirl were staying behind, trying to pick up any spawnful burbles, but luckily reached it during a rare lull and resignedly retreated to retire. Thursday morning, I reach the breakfast room in time to meet [livejournal.com profile] atpolittlebit, [livejournal.com profile] ladystarlightsj and Aqui, who has brazenly taken someone else's hash browns. We talk of much, and confirm that my Zachary's fetish will hold sway for our lunch plans. We then go wake the kids. I had worried about making the long drive to Tahoe without company, but TCH agreed to do his spawnial duty and ride with me. And once all got a gander of the red Dodge Charger muscle car I was driving, there was much envy and jealousy, which kept being expressed through the stuffing of spare luggage into what became known as its three-body trunk. Rob slid into the back and we roared north on 101 )
I own too many DVDs. Now when I say that I own too many DVDs, I do not mean that I have so many that there's no space for family members or oxygen, that I've spent more on DVDs than some small nations spend on defense, like some people. What I do mean is that I have managed to acquire more DVDs than I've made time to watch. I haven't even torn the shrink-wrap off of (an example I'm loathe to name in these surroundings) some of the earlier seasons of Angel. I am trying slowly to rectify this, but it's daunting, and to make sure the ladder in this hole I've dug goes up rather than down I had sworn not to buy any more new box sets until I'd watched them all, or the second season of Hill Street Blues was released, or Barnes & Noble had another buy-two-get-the-third-free sale, whichever came first. [livejournal.com profile] scrollgirl tempted me the other day when she mentioned that Amazon had Veronica Mars for thirty dollars, but I was stalwart, I was stern, I was strong. I maintained my purity in the face of that temptation. But how could I walk the narrow path of chastity when it led down the aisle of my local Target? And there it was: Veronica Mars, season one, twenty-two dollars and ninty-nine cents. I could not resist, and I snatched those DVDs like Strom Thurmond meeting the Gamecocks cheerleaders

I wasn't embarrassed by my slip of sobriety, in fact I was quite proud, and I may have crowed about it a little at checkout.

Target clerk: Eeeee! I love Veronica Mars! How much is it?
[livejournal.com profile] dherblay: Only $22.99!
Target clerk: I have to get this! Is this the first season? It is the first season. I need the second season sooooo baaaaaddd. I haven't seen it in so long. When's the second season coming out?
[livejournal.com profile] dherblay: Hey, they still have to show the final episode first Tuesday night. They'll probably bring out the DVDs on Wednesday, but they have to show the final episode on Tuesday first.
Target clerk: I have to work Tuesdays and I was so mad when they moved from Wednesdays to Tuesdays. I love Veronica!

Of course, I may not pull the shrink-wrap off these just yet -- I've still got last Tuesday's on my hard drive unwatched -- but I've started to think of my DVD collection as a hedge against a future apocalypse in which we have plenty of electricity and leisure time but no access to bit torrent.
We transferred my grandmother yesterday from the Clinic to the Hospice House facility of the Hospice of the Western Reserve. It's a gorgeous space, right on the shore of Lake Erie, surrounded by spring blooms, and a wonderful program, with music therapy and art therapy and two 300-gallon fish tanks stocked with the best Lake Malawi has to offer. My grandmother would really enjoy it there, were she to have the capacity for awareness, and I myself am considering contracting a terminal condition just so I can move in. But as it is, it's all a bit wasted on both of us.

I was considering taking in a book to read to her, both based on [livejournal.com profile] midnightsjane recommendation that I talk to her and on the Angel episode "A Hole In The World," in which Wesley, by reading A Little Princess to the dying Fred, transforms his public perception from a creepy psychopathic stalker who's a little too fond of firearms into that of a sweet, loving guy who's way too fond of firearms. But I'm very afraid that my grandmother's favorite book is this.
Meme, for no real reason:
01. Post a list of 10 TV shows you love (current or canceled!)
02. Have your friends list guess your favorite CHARACTER from each show
03. When guessed bold the line and write a sentence about why you like that character
Some of these I'm not sure I know the answer for; perhaps you know me better than I know myself.

1. Buffy
2. Angel
3. Homicide
4. The Shield
5. Futurama
6. The Venture Brothers
7. Justice League
8. NewsRadio
9. 24
10. The Tick

GIP!!

Feb. 24th, 2005 05:52 pm
A gratuitous icon post, for this:



Some might remember that I exclaimed "Icon!" when we reached this moment (just after Flash has accidentally fired several Thanagarian missiles into the east wing of Wayne Manor) in our viewing of "Starcrossed" at the last ATPo Gathering. And here we are, only eight months later!

This icon was an unintended consequence of my recent dalliance with BitTorrent. Before, making my own screencaps was a laborious process involving a camcorder, a memory stick, and technical assistance from Rube Goldberg. Now, it's just a matter of PrntScrning the right frames in VirtualDub.

I could go on about the technical process, but what most interests me is that I managed to misquote Batman. What he actually says in the episode is "That's not helping!" I have managed to make a statement more antisocial than that made by a semi-psychotic, overly violent loner.

And, indeed, looking at my icons . . .  )
Justice League Unlimited just totally ripped off "Soul Purpose".

***
Rick James has died at age 56 of natural causes. Though one would assume with Rick James that it wasn't so much natural causes as a long, polyrhythmic concatenation of extraordinary causes.

I was thinking about Rick James a few days ago, even before I heard of his passing, as I was reflecting on "lost albums," those records which were made but never released. Certainly the lost album I most wish to hear is the album James made with his mid-sixties Toronto band The Mynah Birds. The Mynah Birds were, with Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers, one of Berry Gordy's first salt-and-pepper signings in his attempt to find an interracial group that could, like Booker T. & the M.G.'s, bridge the gap between soul and rock markets. The group came down to Detroit and recorded an album, but the album was stored away after it was revealed that James, the group's lead singer, was at that point AWOL from the US Navy. Gordy always demanded that his artists maintain a certain image of wholesomeness, and he suggested to James that he go and serve his debt to society; there might be a place for him at Motown when he had fulfilled his other responisibilities. It took James twelve years to return to Motown; in the meantime, his bassist and guitarist, Bruce Palmer and Neil Young respectively, decamped for California where they hooked up with Stephen Stills and formed Buffalo Springfield. At least one person who has heard the album has called it "Holland-Dozier-Holland with twelve-string guitars." Others have said that you can't hear much of Young's guitar on it at all -- of course, I'd rather listen to the Funk Brothers anyday.

A different album has recently reappeared from the mists of memory: the album John Kerry made with his high school garage band The Electras (certainly one of the three or four greatest surf bands ever to come out of New Hampshire) will be hitting stores soon. From what I've heard of his bass playing, Kerry is competent if unremarkable; of course, he recorded the album in 1962, well before John Entwhistle and Larry Graham emerged with the idea that a rock bass player could be more than competent if unremarkable. Tom Feran (who ends his column with a pun unbefitting a former editor of The Harvard Lampoon) asked a local Cleveland DJ and a local garage band to review the album; their reaction could be summed up as "Kerry was a root note bassist - pretty simple, but that's what you're supposed to do with that style." Entertainment Weekly got The Hives to offer another review:
The bassist is a solid foundation, a good person. Maybe bass players don't have the strongest leadership qualities, but they are good at negotiating, they have a basic fairness, which is very important if you're gonna run a country.
All of which I'd be fine with at this point. But though I don't want to seem overly enthusiastic about Kerry, I do have to point out that occasionally the bass player turns out to be Bootsy Collins.

Bootsy's Rubber Band: "Psychoticbumpschool (Live)" (YouSendIt.com)
I meant, but forgot, to pack my Buffy/Angel fanvid cd-rom for the Chicago meet, so I'm burning another one tonight. Unfortunately, a couple of my favorites are no longer online, so I'm issuing here a plea that if anyone out there has a copy of either JSlayerUK's "Theme From Shaft" or JainieG's "Her Platinum Baby" lying around, I'd be forever grateful if you'd comment here so that we could work out some means of transfer.

Please -- if I don't get a copy of these vids I'll be subjected to that many more replayings of "The Hamster Dance." My sanity rests in your hands.
In honor of the Final Four, I thought I'd repeat a comment I discovered while trawling (which means the same thing as "trolling" in fishing but not in LiveJournal) through [livejournal.com profile] dlgood's archives.
During S5, Cordelia is either unconscious or dead. So she doesn't enter the office pool.

Way back in BtVS3, these are the schools she got into: USC, Colorado State, Duke, and Columbia.

Cordy, all incarnations of her, would have taken Duke. And would be fully convinced of how wonderful Duke and Coach K are.
I completely agree with this, though my perspective is 180 degrees askew from [livejournal.com profile] dlgood's -- I don't think he likes Cordelia much, and I know he hates Duke. I am reminded that during the first few seasons of Buffy, I thought that Cordelia's subconscious perceptiveness was so great that I had some hopes the spinoff would be called "Cordelia Chase, Psychic Fashion Detective." Cordy would be a Columbia undergraduate by day, and would solve crimes and fight against poorly attired demons on the catwalks and in the sweatshops of Manhattan at night. She would be assisted in this by Angel, who, having moved to the West Village and immersed himself in the galleries and boutiques south of Houston, was discovering his inner fabulousness -- which is about the only characterization in which my scenario did not diverge too greatly from David Greenwalt's.

[livejournal.com profile] dlgood's comment also reminds me that Cordelia's list of acceptances was my strongest piece of evidence that Mutant Enemy was stalking me: I attended Columbia, my parents met at Duke, I once spent a week at Colorado State for an Order of the Arrow conference, and USC are letters I use almost every day.
Attention: if there is a power outage while you are driving, and the stoplights aren't getting their required electricity, please note that you should treat every stoplight as though it is a stopsign. And if you choose instead to run right through them, you definitely shouldn't get on my ass just because I do.

For all I know, it may still be blacked out half a mile from here, but my outage lasted only fifteen seconds, so there won't be any whining from me. I was a bit worried, though, that the outage would affect my ability to vote: Cuyahoga County has been making noise about ditching the punch-card system and going electronic. Of course, Cuyahoga County is also painfully inefficient, so I was stuck fanning out my chads instead. From what I hear from California, it sounds like the new voting machines have been designed to maximize the butterfly effect, so I'm not looking forward to learning how these machines work in November.

Ohio makes you declare your party affiliation only when you request a ballot, and makes no effort to hold you to that affiliation, so allegiances here can be quite whimsical. I was surprised though that when I switched back to the Democrats (I was a very early adopter of my anti-Bush stance), I did not have to sign the (non-binding) affadavit swearing my agreement with the principles of the party the Republicans made me sign. I also had a moment of conscience in the voting booth when I realized that Wesley Clark and Howard Dean remained on the ballot. It is a good thing I never plastered up any yard signs, or some future archaeologist might waste and afternoon prying up the strata of my declarations of intent; she'd trace her way forward Kerry-Dean-Clark-Kerry-Edwards-Kerry-Edwards-Kerry-Rodham and be none the wiser for it.

The rest of the ballot was a bit of a snooze. I didn't vote for any of the uncontested seats and I generally voted against the incumbents, with the notable exception of the uncontested incumbent Peter Lawson Jones. However, I have a personal message for Peter: ummm, Issue 31 might have more effectively attracted my support had the language not established that the levy would be used to "promote new business and create jobs in Cuyahoga County." I mean, in general I favor those things, but could you have worded the issue so that it was a little more specifically informative and a little less reminiscent of "Big Rock Candy Mountain"?

***
[livejournal.com profile] bonibaru recommends a pair of new Buffyverse vids. I heartily second these recommendations: [livejournal.com profile] vrya gives "Smile Time" the Conan treatment; [livejournal.com profile] dualbunny sets Season 3 Buffy-Faith to Veruca Salt's "Volcano Girls." Both of these videos have not only the best resolution I've yet seen, but are masterfully edited. And the songs aren't by Evanescence! My only regret is that now I have to go find 48 videos just as good so I can burn a CD-ROM for [livejournal.com profile] rahael.

And for those of you who liked the Hamlet text adventure but found the source literature of questionable regard, the estate of Douglas Adams has a Java applet of Adams's classic collaboration with the geniuses at Infocom, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Do note that there is no save-game feature, and that it is one of the most frustratingly lethal constructions in Infocom history, so I wouldn't expect to finish it any time soon. Of course, one could cheat.
I've seen all sorts of "Smile Time" icons; what I have yet to see are the slashy photomanips showing puppet-Angel and Ernie from Sesame Street enjoying intimate moments. Come on LJers! I want to see Angel/Ernie OTP NC-17 animated .GIFs on my Friends' Friends page!

What "Smile Time," and the resultant iconolatry, has reminded me most of all is an anecdote I heard back in my college days. My friend Ben (who has an LJ if not any entries as [livejournal.com profile] beastlydead) was an intern one summer through a program run by, I think, the American Society of Magazine Editors. Every week or so, all the interns at all the various magazines would meet for a lunch at which they'd hear some big journalistic wheel speak. At one such lunch, the guest of honor was the editor for the publishing branch of the Children's Television Workshop, which put out a Sesame Street magazine. (I think I may have subscribed to this magazine as a child; I clearly remember receiving magazines associated with both The Electric Company and 3-2-1 Contact.) After the editor finished speaking, the floor was opened for questions. Ben immediately raised his hand.

"I know you must get asked this a lot . . . " Ben started.

"No," said the editor. "Bert and Ernie are not lovers. They're just good friends."

After the collected interns finished laughing, the editor said, "I'm sorry, that was rude of me. What was your question?"

To which Ben could reply only, "Um, that was my question."
Angel rocked. That's all I plan to say about it now. I guess I probably won't be getting any links from [livejournal.com profile] mutant_allies this week.

I am on DSL now, and all wireless! I can't send mail through my new email yet from Outlook, and now I seem to be unable to send mail (though I can receive it) through the old email. Because I have obsessively checked and double checked all the entries in Outlook's Email Accounts settings, and because my earlier problems have mostly turned out to be their fault and not mine, I'm blaming SBC for now. Still, if anyone has any suggestions for something I may have overlooked, I'm open to suggestions.

[livejournal.com profile] oyceter, [livejournal.com profile] deevalish and [livejournal.com profile] lynnmonster have all tempted me to indulge in the meme of the moment, but most of my answers sound pretty stupid ("something sweet within sight and any liquid in the kitchen?" that would be "Coke Coke" -- which is also my answer for "last snack food you ate and favorite drink"), so I will reproduce only the first one, which I like, though I'm not sure whether garlic is a spice, a vegetable, or just a necessity.

EXOTIC FOREIGNER ALIAS = Favorite Spice + Last Foreign Vacation Spot
Cilantro Leytonstone.

Second non-Monday in a row with a time below five minutes, by the way.
I may be the only person in the known fanoverse who liked "Harm's Way." I, unlike some, quite enjoy farce. What I don't particularly like is when ME does camp. And that's ultimately what confused me about "Soul Purpose" )
Leviathan is atop the Times Magazine, but my recollection is that the number for today's 25x25 is 21:01. Puns and Anagrams was done in 15:12.

I think the worst part of making icons is searching for source material. I enjoy the Photoshopping, but digging through Google image searches and sites with 479 pictures from each episode of Alias tires out my poor old 56 kbps modem. So, if anyone knows where I can find the following images, please give me a link, or just <IMG SRC=url> 'em right here. It's not my bandwidth; I don't care.
  • Sydney Bristow holding a card -- ID card or keycard or whatever.
  • Buffy stomping Warren's orbs.
  • Emma Peel looking kick ass.
  • Cordelia looking kick ass.
  • Gollum looking perky.
  • Willow surrounded by floating knives, from "Tough Love."
Also, if you have any requests for icons, I'm willing to make them, but you have to find the source material.
11:23. After a few weeks of this, I'll have medians established for each day and I'll know how disappointed to be.

I've decided to do [livejournal.com profile] scrollgirl's icon meme, because other than cutting and pasting some <IMG SRC=url> tags, there's not much for me to do. The entire onus is on you! Muahhahaha! So, go right ahead and tell me which of my icons are most representative of me, or which you like the best, or which you'd hope to never see again.

These, then, would be my icons. )
From [livejournal.com profile] shadowkat67, a meme.

1. Name 10 favorite actors you'd see in anything:(Of course, this list is suspect, because for all actors other than Cary Grant there pretty much exist a whole ton of movies I haven't/wouldn't see them in. Of course, I should point out that I am doing this meme more in the spirit of posting something rather than giving it the benefit of too much serious introspection.)

2. Name 10 favorite actresses you'd see in anything:
  • Katherine Hepburn 9 more )
(Of course, this list is suspect, because especially near the end where I get into the sexy brunettes I may not be listing based on actual talent.)

3. Name 10 TV shows you'd love to have the complete episodes on DVD:
  • Hill Street Blues 9 more )
(The amount of television I have watched seems to have affected my ability to count.)

4. Name 10 Films you'd love to have on DVD:5. Name 10 books that you love and are your favorites at this moment in time:
  • Crosstown Traffic, by Charles Shaar Murray 9 more )
8. Name 10 songs that you love to listen to and can think of off the top of your head that you'd want a CD compiled of:
  • "Que Sera, Sera," Sly and the Family Stone 9 more )
9. Name 10 Musical Artists whose music you love and would take with you if you could only pick ten:10. Name 10 favorite examples of Islamic architecture (this is not actually s'kat's suggestion):
Can anyone tell me whether or not a new Angel will be shown on the 26th? Or is "Destiny" the last episode of the sweeps period?
Some have asked after my new icon. I'm not that much into the pretty men, and I've never seen an episode of Smallville, so I admit that having a picture of Wesley Wyndham Price flash in alternation with one of Clark Kent (with something indeterminate in between) may seem a little out of character. But there is a simple explanation: I've been politicized. I'm convinced that it is imperative for my nation to find new leadership, and I am willing to take whatever extremely tiny step is necessary to push it in that direction. I do not much take to the idea of slogging through New Hampshire in January, though, and addressing junk mail is never fun, so I will be doing what I do best: sitting on my ass with my laptop posting witless and occasionally inflammatory remarks in my and others' LJs. But now my posting will be for a good cause. You see, I'll be doing some subliminal campaigning.

When those of my readers who go into voting booths in the Democratic Primary this spring are faced with the ballot, they will see the name "Wesley Clark." I hope they will be familiar with the name. I hope that they will have pleasant images flashing in their head: "Wesley . . . Clark . . . Wesley . . . Clark . . . " Let's consider it memetic campaigning.

The thing is, though, that while I think Clark is the candidate best suited to beat Bush next November, I'm not completely sold on him. While Clark is the most versed on national security, and he has the most experience among the candidates (and I'm including the Republican incumbant here) in managing international coalitions, I'm pleased by Howard Dean's record as Governor of Vermont -- I'm just wary that Vermont may not, in the general election, seem like the ideal stepping stone to the Presidency. I also would be perfectly happy were John Kerry the nominee. As far as I'm concerned, my number one priority in voting will be removing Bush (and Ashcroft, in particular), and I am willing to leave it up to the will of the people who his replacement is.

This is where you, the citizen of LiveJournal, come in. I am offering, to any who will take them with no demand for credit or restrictions on use, subliminal campaign icons for the four leading contenders for the Democratic nomination. Use an icon and make your voice heard. Let's consider this our Iconographic Democratic Caucus. We have:


General Wesley Clark


Governor Howard Dean


Senator John Kerry


Senator Joe Lieberman

This caucus, unlike any real primary, is not even restricted to Democrats! If you are a Republican who would like to do what you can to sabotage the Democrats's chance of nominating someone electable, and you lack a column in which to offer the Democrats "helpful advice" akin to, "Go ahead and nominate Al Sharpton! And maybe choose for his running mate Andrea Dworkin! You'll energize your base!" you may use the icon for the candidate you think least likely to beat Bush. I am not, however, making an animation for Dennis Kucinich. I'm all rebussed out.

Nor, for that matter, do you need to be of voting age or even a citizen of the United States to participate. No longer do you need to be a Saudi oil baron or have connections with Buddhist Temples in America to influence our democratic process -- you can meddle with foreign politics from the comfort of your own home!

Certain readers may note that this caucus seems to distinctively favor those candidates with nice, easy, Anglo-Saxon names; how this distinguishes it from any actual American primary I do not know. Also, some might note that certain pictures, or some of those pictured, are, well, more attractive than others; to this I respond that certain candidates are just possessed of natural advantages: real charisma, great standing, etc. Plus, were General Clark really serious about going after the LJ demographic, he'd change his first name to "Lex/."

Participation in the democratic process is truly a patriotic duty, so get out there and spread the word! Or, look! Shiny, flashy pictures!

(In case you were wondering: Joely Richardson of FX's Nip/Tuck; Chris Berman of ESPN.)

Go vote!

Jun. 30th, 2003 09:06 am
For the remainder of the day, the polls are open on the most important question of our time: Clem or Lilah. I strongly urge everyone to show your support for Lilah, the only credible candidate.

There have been intimations of voting irregularities, and while I know nothing about such things, I would like to point out that I showed up to chat last night after the polls had been open for thirty minutes, and I found some people there who were very smugly laughing at shadowkat's befuddlement that Clem could possibly lead Lilah 80% to 20%. Indeed, those people seemed not at all shocked that in only half an hour 44 votes had been accumulated, and that Clem had a commanding lead despite the fact that three out of four comments supported Lilah.

Lilah seems to have taken control by now, thanks to an unprecedented level of activity by various lurkers and newbies; however, no lead can be safe from the nefarious skullduggery of the Clem supporters. So, please, go and vote for Lilah, and should you feel the sudden need to make any complicated ethical decisions, let her example be your guide.

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April 2009

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