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 )
The little one is safely home, at last, from the hospital, eating voraciously and napping in the laundry basket. Thanks to all for their best wishes; they were much appreciated.


New icon from the alternate universe in which it's Cordelia Chase, not Charisma Carpenter, guest-starring on Veronica Mars, for some reason ad libbing her own dialogue from "Killed By Death." Also, I made yet another Justice League icon.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It would be cute were it atpophenia, noun: seeing connections every year in June or July, and maybe at the occasional mini-meet.

Back GIPped

Aug. 9th, 2005 01:56 am
I haven't done one of those gratuitous icon posts for a while, having spent very little time making icons recently (though more time making icons than updating my LJ). Here are a few userpics I've made in the last few months.

The strange thing is I didn't even have to download this episode to get the screencap:



"Hey Sweetheart! Whatcha got in that Poodle Gun? Anything for me?"



Using VirtualDub (as opposed to ActualDub) to grab frames of animation has made me respect how much animators rely on loops of sometimes as few as four repeated frames; imitation is one of the more sincere forms of respect.



Comics are even easier to screencap than television!



(In the original it's "I'm afraid I can't understand a word you're saying . . . I don't speak Fascist" which has a devastating power I can't fit into that little word balloon.)

And, finally, a caduceus!



That leaves two slots open. Maybe I'll figure out how to make borders before I've filled my allotment.
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 . . .  )
I like to think that I'm up on my stereotyping, but having just, due to some positive reviews and a chance link, impulsively downloaded Sunday's Simpsons, I was quite surprised to hear Lisa insinuate that Ethiopian restaurants are notorious lesbian pick-up joints. You know, in all the times I've eaten in Ethiopian restaurants, I had never noticed.

I'm having quite a lot of fun with BitTorrent. It has had one unintended consequence, though: I've been so conscientious about seeding that I haven't turned off my laptop for three days. And this sucker gets hot. Last night, I ended up taking both the battery and the CD-ROM drive out and leaving the computer upside-down so it wouldn't burn out while running all night.

(Apparently, I am the sort of person who has no compunctions about violating Time Warner's copyrights, but feels painfully guilty if I do not get my share ratios up to 1.000.)

My BitTorrent binge was occasioned, by my intent to get caught up with Justice League, and I can for once claim that I've seen every episode factored into the arc of Sunday's "The Doomsday Sanction." Watching the watchmen? It seems the government has just finally cottoned on that Superman is a dick. (Via Avedon Carol. Several of these covers have been bouncing around the internet for a while, but isolated, individual, they lack a certain cumulative force. I could not stop laughing during the run of eight classic Batmans starting here, but my absolute favorite must be this.)
I finally put my bittorrent client to the purpose for which it was downloaded and have been watching the sublime second season of Justice League. This leads me to a technical question and an impractical thought. First, for those who frequently download torrents, what download speeds are you getting? I understand that this differs from torrent to torrent, and obviously would have to directly relate to the speed of one's connection. Secondly, for those who are fans of Justice League Spoilers for "Twilight," "Only a Dream," "Starcrossed" ).
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.
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)

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