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 )
Having landed at Cleveland Hopkins at eight this morning, dozing through only one disc of Aaron Copland and some of "Bring the Noise," and coming after two straight nights of no more than four hours of sleep and a solid week of no more than six, I'm far too exhausted to write a recapitulation of the 2006 ATPo Gathering with concision, coherency or tact. Will I persevere through anyway? Perhaps; I keep floundering wading in the littorals of this post, rather than just diving deeply in. But what washes over me currently is sleep, and what sentiments I might bubble out burst before they breach my placid surface. And I'm half-tempted now to swap the ATPo icon for one of my SCUBA ones, so I will quit before my only public recollection of the Gathering becomes my snide spite at the painting at the seafood restaurant that paired a (Caribbean) Queen Angelfish with an (Indo-Pacific) Clown Trigger. That would be paralipsis, by the way, and for tonight the rest will be ellipsis . . .
I'm not sure I'm totally following what's going on in the fandom, but I'll be damned if I'm going to pay Spuffy fans to traumatize me.
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
I still haven't found a copy of Superman: Red Son, but this looks like it will do nicely instead:
He is an icon of all-American heroism - but yesterday it was revealed that Superman is set to quit the US for a West seaside resort. Weston-super-Mare, more famous for its donkeys than costumed crime-fighting, will replace the US mid-West as the place where the Man of Steel's spaceship crashes on Earth in an official comic.

Co-written by Weston-born Monty Python legend John Cleese, Superman: True Brit, is a tongue-in-cheek look at how the tights-clad hero may have developed had he grown up in the UK.

The youngster is discovered near the north Somerset town and adopted by the kindly Clark family, who dub him Colin and encourage him to hide his powers to avoid making too much of a scene.

Like Clark Kent in the original storyline, Colin goes on to become a newspaper reporter as his day job.

But, instead of the working for the Daily Planet, he ends up on the Daily Smear, a muck-raking British tabloid dedicated to savaging the superhero. [ . . . ]

The new Superman story comes from a collaboration between Mr Cleese and his co-author Kim Johnson.

DC Comics, the US publisher behind Superman and Batman, offered the Fawlty Towers star a chance to work on a superhero story, which he accepted.

Mr Johnson said that Superman was chosen because he was one of the few costumed heroes Cleese knew.

"It seemed like having Superman land in Weston-super-Mare was a good start."

Superman: True Brit is due to be published in hardback in late November
ETA: And while I'm in the DC universe, when I said that Justice League Unlimited had ripped off "Soul Purpose," I was kidding, but tonight's episode ("The Greatest Story Never Told") was much less an homage to Rosencranz And Guildenstern Are Dead and much more a complete steal of "The Zeppo." Still, if you're going to pass off Buffy episodes as your own, make sure to pass off the best.
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.
Avedon Carol links to an article explicating the spiritual messages of Buffy. Some excerpts:
Not so long ago, Ken Kuykendall stood before a group of Mormon teens in an Atlanta suburb, dressed in starched white shirt and dark tie. He was there, he said, to talk about serious things.

Then Kuykendall literally ripped off his shirt to reveal a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" T-shirt and carefully laid out the moral values of the popular television show, featuring a sassy blonde in a micro-mini skirt who goes one-on-one with the world's nastiest demons.

The Mormon leader told his gum-chewing audience that Buffy was not too unlike them. For the most part, she was a spoiled, rich teenager in southern California who loved nothing more than shopping and shmoozing and clubbing in a place called Sunnydale. That is, until she discovered that dark forces were everywhere and only she had the supernatural powers to thwart them.

"The safety of the world routinely rests on her attractive, usually bare shoulders," Kuykendall told his startled audience. Time and again she had to sacrifice her own desires to save humanity and the planet.

And that is what Jesus Christ wants us to do, too, Kuykendall told the teens.

[ . . . ]

Still, the show depicts a world where evil never goes unpunished and doing good is its own reward.

"It's a medieval morality play -- only with skimpier clothes, wittier dialogue and cutting-edge music," says [religion scholar Jana] Riess, author of the just published What Would Buffy Do? The Vampire Slayer as Spiritual Guide.

[ . . . ]

The characters explore notions about sin and forgiveness, friendship and failure, redemption and self-worth -- lightened up by puns and sarcasm and playfulness. And that's spiritual, too.

"I know every slayer comes with an expiration date, but I want mine to be a long time from now. Like a Cheeto," Buffy says in one episode.

Riess argues that the show, created by an avowed atheist, also abounds in Buddhist parallels.


Apr. 6th, 2004 01:54 am
Yet another gratuitous icon post arising from my experiments with the digital camcorder's ability to transfer still video from tape to memory stick as a JPEG. The annoying thing is that this transfer involves hitting a button marked "photo" exactly as the frame I want rolls onscreen. There's a lot of trial and error, and I got a little trigger happy, meaning that if anyone wants about forty-nine extraneous screenshots of giant Green Morays, I'm the man to ask.

The first shot is from my most recent trip to Bonaire. It is the only one shot with the digital camcorder; it is also the only frame I felt I had to lighten. The other two pictures come from last year's trip. When I encountered the moray in the second frame, he was trailing about three feet of fishing line from his mouth. A situation like that is exactly why I always carry a pair of dive scissors, and I left him so that he was burdened with only nine inches -- nine inches being about as close as I was comfortable extending my hand towards his mouth. The third moray was being cleaned by three different shrimp. Two Coral Banded Shrimp were working on his head and body while the Scarlet-Striped Cleaning Shrimp in the picture took care of his teeth and gills. I spent about ten minutes videotaping the process.

For those who have wondered at my interests, the Linnean name for the Green Moray is Gymnothorax funebris. Gymnothorax translates, more or less, to "bare-chested," a term which in LiveJournal icon circles more often applies to James Marsters.
Rufus (occasionally -- very occasionally -- known as [livejournal.com profile] hankat) gets linked by Gary Farber, shrinking my online world just a smidge. He makes light of the skill of the transcriber (who is not actually Rufus -- though, having seen Mr. Rufus, I can see why Mr. Punctuation might keep his distance), though I don't see Farber trying to take dictation for 42 straight minutes. It's an awful, thankless task, though not nearly as awful and thankless as coding the board's archives.

Also from Gary Farber's Amygdala:
FAVORITE SEARCH HIT OF THE DAY: "thomas+jefferson+alexander+hamilton+slash+fiction"
I believe that's a drabble assignment; [livejournal.com profile] mefistopheles, I expect one hundred words by midnight.
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.
[livejournal.com profile] ajhalluk has proposed a round-robin based on the idea that after the end of the series, Neville and Draco are at loose ends in Walthamstow. In need of cash, Draco writes a spec script of Buffy.

I couldn't resist. Probably should have, but couldn't.
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):
Yeah, I took the "What's Your 'Once More With Feeling' I.Q.?" test, just like everyone else, and just like everyone else, I scored the "obsessed psycho freak." I fully expect that this will be one of those tests like "How British Are You?" where everybody I know gets a perfect score, though this time I think it will be legitimate. Frankly, if you're in my general LiveJournal circle and you don't get "obsessed psycho freak," either you're Samuel Pepys or I'm going to worry. (Strangely, Pepys was revealed to be only 47% British.)

I'm not that fond of the picture, and while I take all the tests, I don't like posting about them, so no cutting-and-pasting HTML here tonight. But I would like to call attention to the ad I got on the Results page. It looked something like (and was spelled exactly like):

Ivy Leage Excellence Online
Get the Education You Want
Without the Atitude

I think that just about speaks for itself.
I don't care what any damn quiz says; I'm "That's one spunky little girl you've raised. I'm gonna eat her."

Actually, the above quiz did contain one interesting self-revelation. After I puzzled over which music genre to pick as my favorite (bluesy eclectic post-psychedelic proto-funk not being on the list), I got to the question "how would YOU describe yourself?" I immediately selected "Powerful, intense, and all around fuckin' awesome." Then I thought about it a little and chose "Not that great. You're not even sure why people hang out with you." Then I switched back. Then I decided that I could be considered, "honest, upbeat, and bright"; some even consider me "romantic, loyal, and loving" or even, just possibly, "strong, determined, and capable."

Of course, it's no surprise that I would contain all these multitudes: I am all around fuckin' awesome! I don't know what you people could possibly get out of reading this.

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.

Thank you

Jun. 19th, 2003 01:03 pm
I'd like to thank everyone who responded to Rah's posting about my grandmother's trip to the hospital. Rah offered to block comments on it, as I have mixed feelings about the whole personal revelation thing and might have been made uncomfortable by expressions of sympathy, but I demurred.

My grandmother is now out of the hospital and home doing fine. She had a bout of congestive heart failure, but nothing she's not used to at this point. She was treated and then she was streeted (I occasionally tune into ER) and she has promised to not go back in the next ten days. Not for her sake, but because this is Rah's vacation, and she didn't sign up for trips to the ICU -- or to the post office or storage facilities, either, but that's my mom's fault. She has signed on for dim sum, which we will be henceforth pursuing. (And I've promised her coffee -- not decent coffee, though, just coffee, so don't be surprised when she starts complaining about American coffee. This always brings out the jingoist in me: I'm surprised that we don't have more conversations along the lines of "I can't find a good cup of coffee over here." "Yeah, well, if it wasn't for that coffee, you'd be speaking German." "Japanese, more likely. Can we just go to Starbucks, already?") I love me some dim sum! Also, some Rah!

Meanwhile, on the board, I'd like to thank cjl, KdS, Earl Allison, Malandanza, BMF, shadowkat, and a cast of thousands for initiating a Golden Age of S7-bashing! If by any chance sophist drops by here, I'd just like to say that the question is not whether seasons one through six contained continuity errors; the question is whether season seven contained continuity.



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