alg: (Default)
Boy howdy, is today ever a day for two pots of coffee.

Day 30 - Saddest character death

When I was a little kid, every Christmas with my father's family, we'd watch a movie called Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. At the beginning of the movie, Nestor gets separated from his mother and thrown into a blizzard. But Nestor's mother finds him! And she makes a space for them, and they curl up together in the snow, and she covers him up with her body to keep him warm. But the next morning when Nestor wakes up, his mother is frozen to death and he is all alone.

I don't know who thought it was okay for me to watch this horrible movie as a kid. Scarred for life, seriously. I don't even remember anything else about the movie except for that part, and I am even tearing up right now thinking about it!

But since movies don't count (even TV movies? I don't actually know if that was a TV movie, but whatever), I'm going to have to go with the end of season two of the new Doctor Who! (If you're counting, that's the 28th season!) What does she say? "My name is Rose Tyler and this is the last story I'll ever tell. This is the story of how I died." Just thinking about the last two episodes of season two -- "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday" -- makes my throat close up. And the scene at the end? With the mascara and the hands and the wall and the crying? I don't know what it is about Billie Piper, but the way she cries makes me want to cry with her every single time.

You may recall that I spent, like, an entire year after I saw those episodes knitting up pairs of the wristwarmers that Rose wears at the end of "Doomsday" -- here, have a screencap from the show. If you want to knit your own cathartic wristwarmers, here is the pattern, designed by Christina Slattery. It's amazing! It's very easy -- even if you have never done cables before, you shouldn't have much of a problem. I knitted all of mine using the magic loop method (that link is a youtube video), and I totally recommend Malabrigo's Silky Merino yarn for this. (Once I did both wristwarmers with only one skein, but most of the time it takes about one and a quarter.)

So those are the saddest character deaths (well, a death and a "death") that I can think of. And now we're at the end of the TV meme!

Tomorrow: book meme! Are you excited? I'm excited!

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Quick housekeeping: If you are going to comment anonymously, please make sure you sign your comments. I suggest logging in to Dreamwidth or LiveJournal instead of commenting anonymously -- and if you don't have an account at either site, you can try logging in with OpenID, which you already have if you have a Gmail or Yahoo account, Flickr, Blogger, MySpace, WordPress, or AOL. Thanks! Moving on:

Hi! I hibernated all weekend, using the computer pretty much only to double-check the recipes for scones and buttermilk waffles. It was pretty amazing, although I don't know that I'd want to make a habit of it -- I came home to quite a lot of email, and over 200 entries in my Google Reader. Ack! While hibernating, I read a lot, and cooked a lot, and watched a lot of tv with some of my close friends.

I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson -- I know, I am the latest. Will it surprise anyone to know that I was thoroughly unimpressed? Sorry, but if I can figure out your whole mystery and guess some of the surrounding drama before I'm even a hundred pages into a 500 page book... well, the book is going to have to work a lot harder for my esteem. Frankly, I am pretty shocked that people read this book and were surprised by anything in it -- most of it seemed cliche, predictable, and boring to me.

I was also not impressed by the quality of the prose, the ridiculousness of the "hero," and the amount of graphic descriptions of sexual assault/rape, and torture-murder. The loving way the rapes and torture-murders are described contrasted pretty strongly with the scant, fade-to-black consensual sex scenes. There were a lot of things I didn't like about this book, but that topped the list. I was really not surprised when I found out that the original Swedish title of the book is Men Who Hate Women -- that is far more appropriate.

Anyway, I feel like I am the only person in the world who's saying this, but save your money -- if you've read one mediocre book with a predictable mystery about a serial rapist, you've read them all. Take your ten dollars and buy yourself a copy of Bound instead. Helloooooo, Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly. Whew. I wish they would make a million more smart, clever, sexy, funny, noir movies in which they are lesbians. Watching it for the nth time this weekend, I kept forgetting it was made in 1996 -- it stands up really well. What I'd forgotten since the last time I watched it was that the beginning was so damn campy and hilarious -- and I clutched the hand of the friend watching it with me during the suspenseful bits, even though not only have I seen it before, but I practically have it memorized.

It did a really good job at taking away the bad taste in my mouth from that terrible book.

And now: the tv meme. Just today and tomorrow and then I will post my version of this, which I've made for books! I am pretty excited to do the book one; I was going to wait until August, but I might end up just doing it now, since I'm so excited. I hope that many of you will do the book meme along with me -- I love hearing about what people are reading!

Day 29 - Current TV show obsession

I don't have one right now -- I'm not watching a lot of tv at the moment, since I'm doing a lot of editing. But, of course, Leverage started a few weeks ago, and White Collar's second season kicked off last week, two shows I really dig. And over the weekend, after watching Bound, I was introduced to the cartoon Invader Zim. Whoa! What a great show -- genuinely hilarious on several levels. The basic premise is that Zim is an alien, a member of a race who wants to take over the universe. But Zim is annoying and not very good at his job, so they give him what is basically the alien invader version of "make work" -- they send him to a planet no one's ever heard of that there are no plans to invade. Earth! And they give him a quickly-assembled-from-trash robot assistant named Gir (pronounced GRRRR) who is even more hilarious than Zim. And, of course, Zim ends up living next door to a kid who is obsessed with aliens (and knows Zim is an alien, but no one believes him!). The kid's sister is great, and loves video games, and the kid's dad is a mad scientist.

There are a bunch of episodes on Netflix that I can stream instantly to my computer, so I think I'll be working my way through the episodes at night before bed.

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Day 27 - Best pilot episode

I am a huge fan of the pilot episode of Farscape, actually, even though it's sort of cliched and silly. Other pilot episides I love: The X-Files, Cagney & Lacey, My So-Called Life, The West Wing, Sarah Connor Chronicles

And, I have to say, even though Arrested Development isn't a show that churns my butter most of the time, the pilot episode is pretty brilliant. It sets up perfectly what kind of show Arrested Development is, and exactly what you'll be getting if you sit through all three seasons.


Day 28 - First TV show obsession

I'm not sure what really counts here. The first TV show I never missed an episode of was ThunderCats, with Jem & the Holograms running a close second. Then there was The Facts of Life and Who's the Boss?, except I didn't really care about the shows as much as I cared about my intense crushes on Jo and Alyssa Milano. The first show I taped every episode of was Swans Crossing. And all throughout lurked Star Trek: The Next Generation, which I thought was pretty brilliant when I was nine and it remained brilliant -- and, frankly, I still love it.

Other days )
alg: (Default)
I am really crabby today. It rained all day, which I normally like, but it's hotter now than it was before the rain! So that's not really helpful. And even though the community board said that the signs for 2 hr parking would be taken down, they still haven't been, so after the grocery store this afternoon, I had to park a block away and walk with the (heavy) grocery bags in the rain. Funnest, right?

But I think the day is looking up: I have anisette sponge cookies and tonight is the White Collar season premiere. I have high hopes! And, of course, if those high hopes are dashed, I will take refuge in my comfort in times of trial: really awesome fanfic. (What did you think I was going to say?)

Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season finale

Um... I know you're probably getting bored with me saying Sarah Connor Chronicles for everything, but I find most tv shows really predictable, so not too many surprise me or have me totally appalled. (Plus: I don't watch a lot of tv on television, so I don't have that same kind of "OMG Do I really have to wait until next season!?" reaction that a lot of people do.)

Yeah, I'll go with the series finale/second season finale of Sarah Connor Chronicles for this.

I did really like the first season of White Collar's finale. I don't want to spoil it or anything, and it's not a surprise -- but they way they did it was really nice. Ditto Leverage's season two finale. I thought that was pretty great.

Other days )
alg: (Default)
My letter writing campaign actually worked -- I am stunned. The community advocacy group talked to some politicians, and the meters and signs will be removed! This is pretty amazing. Community activism in action!

Today I baked a birthday cake for my baby sister. I want to say it's ridiculously complicated, but it's not -- it just has a lot of components. So does the frosting. And the ganache that goes inside it. I tried to take pictures as I go, but my camera is on its last legs -- which, right now, means that it can't focus after it zooms, making decent food shots pretty difficult.

Anyway, happy birthday to my baby sister! Who is really not a baby anymore, but try convincing me of that. :)

yum yum cake

I was thinking last night about other television quotes that I say all the time, and I honestly can't think of any. I can think of a lot of movie quotes, though -- mostly from when I was a teenager or a little kid. Like, I quote a lot from Rock 'N' Roll High School. I saw that movie when I was a little kid (seriously, I think maybe I was eight or nine) -- as a disaffected, unpopular kid who hated school, and all my teachers, and the awful town I lived in, I found the events of this movie extremely cathartic. And while as an adult I can recognize the ridiculousness in every single moment of that film, I can remember being nine years old and thrilled by the cavorting of the main characters.

Also, please note that the main character in the movie -- Riff Randall, Rock 'n' Roller! -- wants to write music for the Ramones. Not sleep with them, or be someone's girlfriend, or stand in the background whilst they get all the glory. It's pretty clear that she wouldn't mind sexing them up, that she thinks they're hot, but her goal is to write songs for them. When I was nine, that was amazing. I mean, it's still amazing, but it was particularly amazing when I was a kid and the only woman on tv and in movies whose goal wasn't to hook up with a dude was Sister Stephanie on Father Dowling Mysteries!

(In 1994, when Showtime was airing the "Rebel Highway" series of movies that were based on 1950s movies, they aired a movie starring Renee Zellweger called Shake Rattle and Rock! [er, that is the original, terrible punctuation], with the three female leads -- Dey Young, P.J. Soles, and Mary Woronov -- from Rock 'N' Roll High School as repressive, prim, and prudish anti-rock 'n' roll activists, and the characters had the same names. That right there is a hilarious in-joke.)

I also quote a lot from Empire Records and Reality Bites and Clueless. Even my dad quotes from Clueless, although I am not convinced he even realizes he's doing it half the time. Talk about hilarious!

Day 25 - A show you plan on watching (old or new)

Currently in my queue to watch: Carnivale, The Wire, and Pretty Little Liars. I am also finishing up Fringe -- I'm putting off watching the last few episodes of season two, because I don't want it to end -- and have just started Community.

I know it seems like I always have the television on, but I actually don't watch many new shows. Most of the shows I watch are old shows that I've seen a million times, because that way I can tune them out and have them as pleasant background noise while I work. The new stuff I usually watch at night, an episide or two before bed. I also sometimes sit in the living room with my mom on the weekends and we watch a few episodes at a time of older shows that we can stream on Netflix -- like yesterday, when I was writing my angry post about parking meters, my mom was sitting in her armchair, watching the second season of The Rockford Files (and playing Bejeweled).

Every once in a while, I'll marathon a show with other people -- my friend Jonathon and I spent, like, two years getting together sporadically to marathon episodes of Angel, which he'd never seen. We could go for a month or two, and then he'd come over and we'd sprawl on the couch with giant cups of coffee and watch six or eight episodes in one day. I did the same thing with my dad and Doctor Who -- we blew through the first three seasons of Nine and Ten in under three days. (I'll be honest -- it was more like two days. We hardly stopped to sleep.)

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Today when I went to buy the chocolate for my baby sister's (triple layer, six sticks of butter, two pounds of chocolate, a quart of cream) birthday cake, I discovered that the rumored parking meters (which I wrote many letters about) are being installed.

My house was built before Emmons Avenue even existed. We don't have a driveway, we don't have any street parking right in front of our house (there's a driveway for the marina we live next to, a "no standing" zone, and a bus stop), so we're dependent on parking on Emmons Avenue. Now they are putting meters there! Two hour parking, from 9 AM until 10 PM. Even further down on the same street, the metered parking only goes until 7 PM -- but still! It doesn't matter, because metered parking is ridiculous. How are we supposed to park our cars? My mom supposed to go to work as a New York City public school teacher and come home at 4 PM and... what? Park six blocks away and walk after standing all day whilst teaching New York City's at-risk youth how to read?


I am positive that this is at the behest of local restaurants, some of which have campaigned in the past for metered parking so that their patrons can find parking more "easily" -- despite the fact that they all have parking lots.

I'm so furious, I am shaking. What are they trying to do -- run the residents out of town? Who is supposed to patronize the businesses if we have to move? This is not how one goes about stimulating the economy. And, in fact, it is already backfiring, as my entire family (and hopefully everyone we know) is going to quit patronizing the local restaurants that are behind this travesty. We've always been so intent on supporting local businesses -- well, not anymore, I guess! Screw them.

I have written a lot of calm, rational letters to dickhead politicians this morning (none of whom I voted for except Marty Markowitz, although I'm definitely rethinking that now). I don't expect anything to change, though. After all, who cares about a bunch of hard-working people who only have to live here?


I really don't feel like doing the tv meme today -- plus it's "best quote," which I think is ridiculous. I am supposed to think back on thirty years of television watching and pick my number one favorite quote of all time? How am I supposed to do that? Plus, I tend to quote movies more than television shows (were this a movie meme, I'd have to say, "DAMN THE MAN! SAVE THE EMPIRE!" -- predictable, but nevertheless wonderful).

Honestly, probably the quote I say most from television is from Mr. Katimsky of My So-Called Life, from the infamous "boiler room episode":

"No one should hate who they are."

I say that a lot.

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Here is my question for the day: Do you have a recipe for mandelbrot? Or k'mish bread? I want to make some, but I do not want to just get a bloodless recipe off some website. I want, like, someone's grandma's grandma's recipe. I want it to taste like the mandelbrot of my childhood, not like the crap at the goyish grocery store. (The Jewish bakery where we used to get our pastries back in the 80s no longer exists, and my own grandma is not the baking type.) If you don't want to post what I hope is your secret family recipe in the comments, feel free to email it to me! annagenoese at gmail dot com.

On to the TV meme!

Day 23 - Most annoying character

Umm... I hate with the fire of a thousand suns many characters on television. Some of those characters are designed to be hated (or maybe I am just cranky), but some of those characters are super beloved by other people. I think, though, that I am going to go with a character who I totally love but who also really gets on my nerves.

Angela Chase.

angela chase
(click to embiggen)

Oh, Angela. )

If you're in the US, it looks like Hulu has all 19 episodes of My So-Called Life available for streaming. Do yourself a favor and watch them in order.

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Hi, folks. Sorry I disappeared -- there was a death in my family. But now I am back, and ready to talk about my favorite series finale!

Day 22 - Favorite series finale

Oh oh oh oh! The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I think. It was so weird, so strange, so unpredictable and yet I felt like I totally should have seen it coming! So awesome, and yet so bizarre. so cool and yet so freaking annoying. So terrifying!

And so ripe for fan fiction and other transformative works! So open to take the franchise in a new, creative, fresh, amazing direction!

When I wrote about The Sarah Connor Chronicles earlier, for Day 1 - A show that never should have been canceled, it sparked in me a desire to rewatch, and I actually just watched the series finale a couple of days ago, and even though I knew what was going to happen, I still had to take a moment to catch my breath.

That show is so damn cool. It totally leans like Jordan Catalano.

Other days )
alg: (Default)
I had a very excellent birthday, y'all! One of the things I did was spend a few hours before bedtime copyediting. Perhaps that seems strange to you, but if so I suppose you have never seen the beauty in a page with marked up em-dashes. I find marking up a manuscript for typesetting exceedingly satisfying. And now I get to go back through and make lists! Words that are hyphenated! Words that are used in a non-standard way! Words that are not English! Character names and nicknames! It is like my birthday is extended a few days, and also I'm getting paid!

(Hey, I don't make fun of the things that make you happy.)

Day 21 - Favorite ship

I assume this is a fannish 'ship -- meaning relationship -- and not my favorite boat. Obviously my favorite television boat is the Enterprise -- NCC1701-E. (HOLLA.)

I don't have a favorite tv relationship. I know, I know, I am super difficult about everything all the time. I also don't have a "one true pairing" -- you'll never find me in what fandom has affectionately nicknamed "ship wars," fighting about whether it should be Ron and Hermione or Hermione and Harry or Harry and Ron at the end of all things. (FTLOG, people, just have a threesome! It's not that hard!)

But I do enjoy some TV pairings. The intense D/s relationship between Peter and Neal on White Collar; the great, deep friendship between Cagney and Lacey on Cagney & Lacey; the antagonism and disappointment of Toby and the President on The West Wing; the seething hatred of Anna and Sydney on Alias; the suspense and neediness of Michael and Nikita on La Femme Nikita; the exasperated tolerance of Adam and Jamie on Mythbusters...

My least favorite pairing -- possibly of all time -- is Buffy and Angel. I know, I know, blasphemy. (I also hate Bella/Edward! I'm the worst!!) I find vampire/human relationships pretty creepy in general, actually. I am also not a big fan of relationships that have severe power imbalances built in -- teacher/student, boss/employee, mentor/mentee, doctor/patient, most popular/geekiest nerd, guard/prisoner, owner/slave... I find it very squicky and uncomfortable.

I'm not saying these relationships should never happen (or be role played!) in real life or in fiction, but for me it is a careful negotiation between a creepster taking advantage and two people genuinely desiring each other and finding an equal place to meet, and most writers -- of television shows, books, whatever -- don't have the time and/or skill and/or deft touch to write it in a way that I'm comfortable with.

(Hey, I've totally done most popular/geekiest nerd in real life. Guess which one was me!)

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Happy birthday to me! To celebrate, I'm having an Alias marathon. Pizza for lunch! And the cake I've been dreaming of for months: Smitten Kitchen's Big Crumb Coffee Cake

Oh, this cake is so great. First of all, I almost always find coffee cake to not have enough crumby topping. This cake has a lot of topping! Secondly, I almost always find coffee cake to be too sweet. This cake has a nice tangy rhubarb in the middle -- but even without the rhubarb to cut the sweetness, it's not all that sweet. And there's ground ginger in it, which cuts through the sweetness even more (but there's not any kind of overwhelming ginger flavor; just a nice hint of spice). It is my new go-to cake for everything, I think -- and I bet it would be amazing with strawberries, blueberries, peaches, whatever. Anything. Except watermelon. It probably wouldn't be very good with melon.

Day 20 - Favorite kiss

Meh. The shows I watch never have the right people kissing, so I don't always pay a lot of attention. Like, for example, check out White Collar -- Peter and Neal never kiss! Neal never kisses Elizabeth, either. On Alias, Anna and Sydney never make out in a hallway; on The Office Pam ends up with Jim (ugh) instead of Karen; on Stargate Atlantis there is no John/Rodney/Teyla/Ronon happily ever after foursome. Despite going off into the sunset together, Ray and Fraser never lock lips on Due South ("buddy breathing" decidedly does not count!) and even in that wonderful Anne of Green Gables miniseries, there's no Boston marriage, or even youthful experimentation -- and Diana ends up with boring old Fred instead of wonderful Anne-with-an-E.

I repeat: Meh.

Plus, what matters to me isn't the kissing, but the talking. The characters. The story. I'm not watching TV for the kissing, people!

But you know what? I did like Parker and Hardison, up against the emergency exit door, in Leverage, season one, "The First David Job" --
"We should pretend to make out!"
"Can we talk about the pretending? That was nice..."

parker and hardison
click to embiggen

(Too bad Eliot wasn't there, too. Daaaaamn.)

Oh -- you know what? I went away and thought about this for a while, and have decided that I am also a big fan of Burke and Cristina's first kiss in the first season of Grey's Anatomy. I mostly hated Burke, and I 100% hated the way their relationship was written 99% of the time, but this is a pretty hot kiss:

Other days )
alg: (Default)
To celebrate Independence Day, my mom and I spent the morning watching British TV shows! We are hilariously inappropriate sometimes. Now we're watching The Rockford Files, which beats standing in the sun and barbequing or blowing ourselves up with fireworks hands down, in my opinion.

Day 19 - Best TV show cast

This is a weird prompt. I mean, I am not a casting expert. Sure, sometimes I watch a TV show and I think, "This show would be so much better if Gina Torres was the Doctor instead of Matt Smith." Sometimes I will recast a show with people who are not white, people who are not monogamous, people who are not thin, people who are openly not vanilla, people who are not straight, people who are not cisgendered, people who are not men.

I mean, give me almost any show, and there will be someone I want to recast, some way I'd make the characters different.

But that is what fanfic is for! Praise Viggo for fanfic, y'all. And fanvids. And fan art. And all other kinds of transformative work. Seriously. Not that fandom is perfect (by farrrrrrr, omg!) but a lot of times I find it way more satisfying than (or just exactly as satisfying as) the canon for a show.

Instead, I will do some characters who I think were perfectly cast:

- Battlestar Galactica: Katee Sackhoff as Kara "Starbuck" Thrace
- Farscape: Ben Browder and Claudia Black as John Crichton and Aeryn Sun
- Alias: Gina Torres as Anna Espinosa (ugh, worst screencap ever, I know!)
- Stargate Atlantis: Jason Momoa as Ronon Dex
- Grey's Anatomy: Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang (terrible pictures, but I refuse to watch that show again, even to get a good screencap)
- The West Wing: Mary-Louise Parker as Amy Gardner
- Due South: callum Keith Rennie and Paul Gross as Ray Kowalski and Benton Fraser

I think I've probably only seen two things in my entire life that I've never quibbled with the casting for -- that CBC Anne of Green Gables miniseries and Tales From The Crypt Presents Demon Knight, which is probably one of the worst and yet most enjoyable movies ever made.

Other days )
alg: (Default)
My goal for this weekend is to write 5,000 words of the Salt and Silver sequel, so, of course, when I sat down at my computer, I wrote about television instead! Ah, Saturdays...

Day 18 - Favorite title sequence

Um. I tend to hate the title sequence of any show, and feel strongly that it is taking away time better spent telling me a story!!

However, there are two that I think are pretty okay. One is for a show I don't even watch -- a British series about teenagers called Skins. The first two seasons are streaming at Netflix; I got them from a dodgier source a few years ago. Meh. The show itself is not my thing, but the title sequence is great. Watch it at YouTube.

(Relatedly, [ profile] obsessive24 made a super great Skins fanvid, set to "You Make Me Wanna" by Usher. I totally recommend clicking through to watch it; there are a few download links, plus it's available streaming. Even if you never watch the show, the vid is great.)

The other one is a show that I watched obsessively: My So-Called Life

Ohhhh loved it. Watched it every week, taped it every week. Then I watched it when it reran on MTV, each episode hosted by the cast (and taped it then, too, for some reason). Even after I bought the DVDs (for $110!), I kept a few of the tapes. The title sequence is great -- good song choice, great clips, good pacing. You know exactly what kind of show you're getting when you watch this title sequence.

And don't you just love it when Jordan Catalano leans?

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Day 17 - Favorite mini series

Easy! Anne of Green Gables!! I love the Anne books by Lucy Maud Montgomery, and always have. When the CBC miniseries aired on PBS in the 80s, my grandpa taped it and gave it to me, and I watched it over and over and over again.

This is one of the only movie adaptations of a book that I've seen that really gets it right. It doesn't try to be a page-by-page, shot-by-shot reproduction of the book, but it also doesn't deviate in any major way from the characterization, plot, or story. The miniseries also gets the feel of the books right, the wonderful dreamy quality that Anne's whimiscal and melodramatic narration gave the story.

I recently recommended this miniseries to a friend of mine, actually, because the female friendships in the books are so well reproduced that they are probably some of the best female friendships I've ever seen on TV. Anne and Diana! (Bosom friends!) Anne and Miss Stacy! Anne and Marilla! Marilla and Rachel! Anne and Aunt Josephine! (She used up all her imagination on her house!) Oh, and Anne and Katherine!!

(Most of the Anne fans I know love Anne's relationship with Gilbert -- and yeah, it is great. It's great in the books, and even better in the miniseries. But I didn't buy it when I was a kid, and I don't buy it now; I think Anne's heart will always belong to Diana -- and maybe one or two of her other lady friends. No one will ever convince me differently, not even if Lucy Maud Montgomery herself rose from her grave to wag the finger of authorial intent at me.)

Anne is not for everyone. She is totally melodramatic and uses (especially in the books) an awful lot of italics. She's way more tolerable for me as an adult in the miniseries, because Megan Follows tempers her delightfully in the performance, and makes her melodrama and flights of fancy seem much more organic. I still read and love the books, but with the distance that a six year old can't have, I get how Anne is a total pain in the ass for a lot of the people around her -- not to mention that, you know, she is beautiful, has a wonderful imagination, is a fantastic writer, even her enemies grow to love her, most things go her way, and she usually gets what she wants in the end.

At the same time that I can recognize how silly that is, as a kid for whom lots of things went wrong, it was pretty comforting to read about someone with whom I could so strongly relate who, in the end, had it pretty good. And she got to live on Prince Edward Island.

Uh, I'm pretty sure these books, and this miniseries, is what kicked off my obsession with Canada, by the way.

If you never sit down and watch the entirety of the movie, perhaps you'll be interested in these two scenes. This first one is the beginning, in which Anne is wandering through the woods, reading Tennyson to herself, reciting "The Lady of Shalott":

(Later in the movie, Anne floats in a boat, pretending to be the Lady of Shalott -- until her boat sinks! The clip cuts off before she is saved by the charming Gilbert, and rowed to shore.)

And here, the second scene, is Anne reciting "The Highwayman" at a gathering, in a terrible dress with awful hair. Megan Follows is pretty amazing, and I remember watching this for the first time at age seven, totally riveted, suddenly understanding how it was that people could bear to read poetry.

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Day 16 - Your guilty pleasure show

I don't believe in guilty pleasures and I don't have any. Seriously. I think feeling guilty about pleasure is ridiculous. Enjoying a silly television show doesn't hurt anyone, and shouldn't -- and doesn't -- make me feel guilty or embarrassed.

The television show people are always the most surprised to find out that I enjoy is Lilo & Stitch. You guys, it is a fantastic show, and I adore it most of the time. I don't watch it all the time, but when I am having a particularly awful day, I like to curl up with the cats and read some really good fanfic and watch Lilo & Stitch and eat a Mars bar and drink a pot of coffee.

The other day, I was having one of those days, and I put on the second season of Lilo & Stitch (streaming! Thanks, Netflix!), and my mom said, "You -- uh. You watch this?"

And I held up my stuffed Stitch doll and waved it at her and said, "This has been sitting in the living room since I moved back here! Why did you think I had it?"

She grinned at me and said, "I thought it was Theodore's!" Hahahaha. Yes, I cart around a dorky stuffed animal for my cat. Well, that's not out of the realm of possibility (and Theodore does like to snuggle it, and sometimes carry it around in his mouth), but no. It's mine. It was a gift back when a friend and I had gone to see the movie in the theater, and I've had it ever since.

Now I'm singing "Guilty Pleasure" by Cobra Starship, indisputably the best song of 2007. I don't care if I'm a guilty pleasure for you! A few weeks ago, when I went to the Ford Fiesta tristate launch party where Cobra Starship played a short set, I was dismayed to discover that I was the only person in the crowd doing the dance they do in the below video. Then I learned that my friend Megan was in the back of the crowd, and felt much better, since I have personally seen her do that dance, and know that even if she was not physically dancing right there and then, she was doing it in her mind. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch this YouTube video and do the "Guilty Pleasure" dance in my armchair.

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Day 15 - Favorite female character

I have a hard time with female characters on television because most of them do not reflect my experiences in any way at all. It's really tough for me to engage with them, for me to find a way into understanding their characters. I tend to end up empathizing and identifying the most with really villainous and/or underdeveloped characters -- like Anna from Alias or Faith from Buffy or Madeline from Nikita or Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica.

When Grey's Anatomy first premiered, it was a big shock to me, because suddenly I intensely identified with a female character who was a main character!!! Ah, Cristina Yang. How much did I love her? Let me count the ways! Well, no, I won't, but those of you who have been reading this blog for more than a month or two know that I love really strong, flawed, well-written women, and Cristina Yang is exactly that -- with the additional plus of also being of a mindset that I can appreciate and relate to. Take no crap, don't bullshit yourself or other people, and just do what you have to do.

But I quit watching Grey's Anatomy by the end of the second season, since all the other characters were on my nerves all the time and I hated a lot of the writing.

Then I did something stupid. I thought with much longing about how much I loved Cristina in the first season and a half of the show, and I... watched it again. And then I kept going and watched through the end of season five, and by the end of season five, not only did I hate Cristina, but I hated every single character on that show, and everyone involved in making it, and all of the advertisers that supported it.

So probably I'd say Cristina Yang through the middle of the second season of Grey's Anatomy.

Oh oh oh -- and Ruth from Spooks, who I freaking adored. Yay Ruth!!! She was so quietly competent, so smart, so clever, and yet in no way perfect!

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Day 14 - Favorite male character

This is pretty easy -- I am going to go with the character who immediately popped into my head. Spy Daddy from Alias, aka Jack Bristow. Do I even need to explain?

First of all, he's amazing. He's living, like, a quadruple life! He's funny. He's pithy. I really relate to him, which I know sounds sort of stupid, but whatever -- the first time I watched Alias, he was literally the only character I liked. Well, him and Anna from K-Directorate. He's willing to do anything and sacrifice anything in pursuit of his goal, which is to keep his daughter safe, even from himself. He will kill, lie, steal, torture, maim, live an entire fake life, and even sacrifice their relationship to make sure that she stays safe. That man is driven, and focused, and determined, and also amazingly talented and totally awesome.

(Also, he's played by Victor Garber, who is hilarious, and has an incredible sense of comedic and dramatic timing.)

Pre-Alias, the answer to this question would have probably been Commander Riker. Heh.

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Salt and Silver is now listed on the Ultimate Guide to Goth: Gothic Reading Material. How awesome is that? My inner 17 yr old goth girl is crossing her legs, rolling her eyes, and taking puffs off her clove cigarette to disguise her excitement, I swear. Here, check out this picture -- I had just turned 18 and was visiting a friend of mine in Ohio. We spent a ridiculous amount of time hanging out in a cemetery, taking pictures of each other draped over headstones and looking gothic-ly off into the distance surrounded by plumes of smoke. (Here's another picture, this one of us together -- we're sitting in a hotel the month before, accidentally wearing matching outfits. You're LOLing forever, amirite?)

Moving on: Day 13 of the TV meme! I am still working on putting together a similar book meme that I'll be doing when I'm finished with this one. I'm thinking about waiting until the beginning of August, and doing "30 Days of Books in August" or something. Maybe a more catchy title? Anyway, I'll post the book meme when I'm finished putting it together -- I hope some of you will join me in doing it!

Day 13 - Favorite childhood show

Oooh. When I was five, my favorite show of all time was Thundercats, an animated series about humanoid cat aliens fighting totally bizarre-o enemies for the right to exist on "Third Earth," as their home planet, Thundera, was somehow destroyed. When I was in the first grade, I actually managed to convince a few of my classmates that I was a Thundercat who was undercover (helped, of course, by the fact that I was a gymnast who could do a lot of things with my body that they couldn't -- and, of course, a lot of them were total idiots). A few months ago I actually watched a bunch of episodes with my dad and sister and WOW. Wow, what a terrible show! And yet I still remember being a kid and desperate to watch it.

Around the same time, I was also really into Jem and the Holograms, which was about sisters whose dad dies and leaves them a supercomputer that can generate holograms. The dad was the head of a big recording label, partners with a bad guy, and when he dies, the bad guy makes his pet project -- The Misfits! -- the label's focus. The sisters are pissed off about this and want their dad's share of the record label money to help fund an orphanage, so they use the supercomputer to generate holograms of themselves, but super cool looking, and they form a rock band with their friends. It is a big secret that the older sister is the lead singer of the rock band -- she doesn't even tell her (total loser of a) boyfriend! Even when I was six, this show didn't make any sense while at the same time making total sense. After all, if I had a supercomputer that could generate holograms, I would totally use it to become a rock star!!

Thankfully, Jem and the Holograms is actually not that bad, which means I sometimes happily watch the DVDs, and often my baby sister and I will have cheerful singalongs in the car and sing every single Jem and Misfits song we've ever heard. Which is all of them. Yeah, I know all the words. Wanna make something of it?

(By the time I was seven, we were living in a small town in rural New Hampshire and our 10" black and white tv only got ABC, so mostly we just watched Father Dowling and Jeopardy! and, like, the stuff my grandpa taped for us. So I watched a lot of Jake and the Fat Man and Simon and Simon and Matlock.)

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Day 12 - An episode you’ve watched more than 5 times

I have a time limit on this post, because in 10 minutes my corn muffins will be ready to take out of the oven! So, in ten minutes, episodes of television I've watched more than five times:

+ The first episode of Farscape!!!!! (Oh, Aeryn Sun, you can be more!)

+ Every single episode of the first four seasons of The West Wing -- holy crap, y'all, is "Celestial Navigation" one of the best episodes of television ever made or what?! And "What Kind of Day Has It Been" and "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen" parts 1 & 2!!! Woo!!! Oh, wait, plus, like, the entire last half of season two, jeez -- "17 People" and "Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail" and "Ellie" and "The Fall's Gonna Kill You" -- this is my comfort television, okay? Because I would definitely never have voted for freaking Bartlett, who I hate more and more every time I rewatch episodes, but I'd sure as hell vote for CJ, Josh, and Toby.

+ Every episode of seasons 3 & 4 of due South (the Ray Kowalski seasons, for those not in the know!) -- although I've seen "Burning Down the House" and "Asylum" more than most of the others.

+ The first season of Alias -- again, this is comfort television for me. The first half of the season particularly, when Sydney is still struggling to come to terms with how everyone around her is either betraying her or she's lying to them except two people. Two people!

+ The first season of Leverage, which at this point I have watched with, like, four different people to get them into the show, plus I sometimes turn it on in the background when I'm having a bad day, because nothing improves my day like Parker, Hardison, and Eliot jumping off buildings and, I don't know, identifying the type of gun someone is using by the sound of the shot. (It's a very distinctive sound.)

I know there's a ton more, but that's the buzzer for my corn muffins. Post!

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Day 11 - A show that disappointed you

Meh. Every show eventually disappoints me. Lately I've been sulking most about Psych, which I started out really enjoying. The first two seasons were great, mostly. I wasn't a big fan of the invisibility of queer people, and Gus is the only character of color, and despite the Chief and Juliet, I still felt like there weren't enough women or... I'm not sure. Even now I have a hard time putting my finger on why I was uncomfortable with the way Psych deals with women. But I could enjoy it otherwise, since it was pretty freaking funny -- the American Duos episode! The talking cat! The Civil War reenactment! The science fiction convention! The spelling bee! The chop shop! Black and tan! The mummy!

The third season was okay -- I liked the episode concepts, but the execution often got on my nerves, and I was not thrilled by the introduction of Abigail; I never really warmed up to her character, and I thought she could have been better written. (Also, that actress rubbed me the wrong way with how she was not funny at all.) And while I found a couple of moments to be entertaining during the fourth season, it was pretty much total fail. I didn't laugh. I was really irritated a lot of the time. I thought the writing was weak and the plotting awful.

I'm not sure I'm going to bother watching the fifth season. Why go out of my way and have to sit through freaking commercials, which I loathe? Especially since even when I watch the older episodes now, Gus's homophobia really grates on me.

Other days )
alg: (Default)
Day 10 - A show you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

Oh, gosh. There are a lot of shows I thought I wouldn't like but ended up really enjoying. The one that stands out the most is Arrested Development -- I started out really loathing it because it was so weird and depressing and pissed me off all the time. But after a while, I switched my perspective and ended up really liking it. Even now I think some of the arcs and episodes are terrible (like the arcs with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who I find painfully unfunny at the best of times, and actively offensive in those episodes), but I do like enough episodes so much that I sometimes rewatch the show -- skipping the really terrible episodes, though.

Another show I thought I wouldn't like is Fringe. I even talked about that a few weeks ago! I didn't like it at all the first time I watched the first two episodes, but enough people I know thought the second season finale was amazing that I decided to give it another shot. It took a while -- it, in fact, took until at least halfway through the first season! But I did eventually start to really like Fringe. Then, during episode 15 of season 2, I suddenly fell in love with Fringe.

The things that piss me off about Fringe now are the exact same things that pissed me off at the beginning. The worldbuilding is kind of crappy; it's definitely getting stronger, but it's still crappy. When people are intolerant of Walter's disability. The fact that the characters of color are much less developed than the white characters. (For example, Nina has much less screen time than Broyles, yet she is a much more developed and rounded character. As much as I do love all of the strong female characters, it nevertheless makes me really irritated! Ah, the kyriarchy in action!) The way Astrid is treated is infuriating 99% of the time (I was shocked as hell when Olivia asked her to babysit. That is not part of Astrid's job description as a BAMF FBI agent!).

But there are a ton of things about the show that I really like -- and sometimes that makes it a lot easier for me to deal with the fail, although sometimes it makes the fail so much more painful.

Things I like, an incomplete list in no particular order:
  • The bizarre double-world thing

  • Leonard Nimoy. Nom nom nom.

  • Olivia doesn't take anyone's bullshit; no one gets to call her "sweetheart" without being called out on it!

  • Olivia is a really strong female character -- not strong in an unrealistic way, but strong like a real person. She makes mistakes and then endeavors to correct them. She screws up and owns up to it. She wants things she can't have and doesn't take them anyway. She prioritizes her job above her family and feels shitty about it, but knows that sometimes it's not something she can avoid -- especially since she wants to keep her family safe. And her family, for what it's worth, is frustrated sometimes but definitely understanding.

  • Everything about Joshua Jackson's character. He's awesome! Even though I hate the way he talks to Walter (see the above about the way people deal with Walter's disability), I do think it's actually pretty realistic. It's really rough to deal with people who have mental disabilities like Walter's, and it must be especially rough for (oh crap I forgot his name!!) Charlie from The Mighty Ducks, who remembers him as being completely different, and for a long time is trying to interact with his father the way he was sixteen years ago, not the way he is now. So I ended up with a lot of sympathy for him.

  • The scene in the fifteenth episode of season two with the almost-kissing!

  • Broyles. Om nom nom hel-lo. Yes, I'm shallow, but he's hot. So is Astrid. So is Joshua Jackson! I think Olivia always looks like she's smelling something really disgusting, but that actually totally worked for her in the episode in which Walter is telling that noir story.

  • That noir episode! How freaking great! I know, everyone said that when it aired and I didn't pay any attention. But what the actual heck?! That was amazing.

I am not going to keep going. Basically, I find that I really love the show. To the point where I am putting off watching the last three episodes of season two -- once I watch them, it'll be over! And I'll have to wait until September (or whenever) to see the next season! Argh!

I was also really skeptical of Better Off Ted; I don't tend to like half-hour sitcoms, mostly because I find them racist and anti-female and awful, etc. But [personal profile] cesare wrote a post about why it's a good, watchable show, and I was looking for a new show to watch with my mom -- and the whole first season is available at Netflix Play Now! -- so we watched it. And wow! I laughed within the first fifteen seconds of the first episode -- definitely a first for me with a sitcom -- and I kept laughing. So did my mom. So did my baby sister, who is not a fan of most things that aren't animated. I really recommend it; even though parts of it are something a little dull and sitcom-y, I got through the whole first season without being enraged or infuriated about its treatment of the characters. I also got through the whole first season without having to turn off an episode, or fast-forward through a scene because I was feeling so embarrassed and humiliated on behalf of the characters! That is unheard of for me with sitcoms (including The Office, which, to be honest, I often watch with it slotted into "drama" in my head). So, yeah, thumbs up to Better Off Ted!

Other days )


alg: (Default)
anna genoese

November 2015

15 161718192021


RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags