Apr. 18th, 2009

OK guys and gals... who's up for a roadtrip to Toronto?

I so want to check out Agent Sandoval's Espresso Bar. (No, seriously, AND all the reviews I've tracked down pin it as way better than Starbuck's.)


It's not creepy or stalkerish AT ALL.

Blame fantasmabob

Apr. 15th, 2009


Apparently we'll see season two sometime soon as well. The whole series on legit DVD so I can enjoy it on my comfy couch instead of crowding around the computer screen? Can I get a HELL YEAH?

Mar. 8th, 2009

Today I dragged The Girl out to Fells Point and we wandered around for a couple hours. (It really was a couple-- we had some time left on the meter.) I found some pins and a magnet and took some pictures. The Girl  found an antique frog holding a teacup and managed to trip and fall. She's all right, just got a bit of a scrape. I got her gas and some water for dragging her out. It was a fun afternoon.

We saw a very tough-looking biker guy walking his pet python. He looked like a tough guy straight out of a biker movie but he was very sweet and happy to talk about his snake. He even let everyone pet it. The snake looked pretty content, too. I'm kind of sorry I didn't get a picture of them, but eh. I like the memory.

I've decided I want the summer to myself. Between pretty much losing the good application window to sickness and stress from the midwinter and perhaps still being a bit immature, I'm going to take a pass on the writing institute this summer. They hold it every summer, and the slightly less local location that it'll probably have next year isn't THAT far. I'll save the money I got back from taxes, maybe use it to pay for my fall coursework. Maybe I'll find something else to do in the summer that would be ultimately more uplifting than sitting in classrooms talking about stuff. Maybe I'll finally start writing that book I keep mumbling about doing every few months.

I've been reading books, too. I'm up to #20 so far this year. Picked up a bit more fiction this weekend, so I have a fantasy trilogy and something that Neil Gaiman said was awesome.

Saw Watchmen on Saturday. It was very good. Violent maybe on the level of 300 or a Tarantino movie, but very faithful to the book, even with the change in the ending. The change worked, which is the important thing. I think putting the squid in there would have meffed something up, truth be told. I'm sort of quietly in awe how they pulled off Dr. Manhattan-- there's a sort of quiet and confusedness about him that works. (And yes, gentlemen, the nudity is primarily Dr. Manhattan, sorry. No huge amounts of boobies for you. Though I'm surprised that they actually went all the way and had as much full-frontal on Dr. Manhattan as they did.) And Rorschach.. heavens. He made the whole movie, yes he did.

I'm also a lot more excited about Star Trek than I was before. I think it might actually live up to itself. It's coming out in May! Almost can't wait. Terminator: Salvation also looks like it will be cool. The Girl wants to see if only because Christian Bale will be playing John Connor. I want to see it because of that and because it's going to play with my favorite "what it means to be human" robot plotlines. I think that's also going to be a May movie.. this summer's going to be busy.

We already have a standing sort-of plan to rent Twilight out of one of the local Redbox rental things and watch it while getting skunked. Did it when The Passion was out on DVD and had a fun time. I'll probably post the results of that. XD

Feb. 24th, 2009

On a bit of a lark I went and re-read Dragonflight by Anne McCaffery. And as I was reading it I think I remembered all the reasons why I pretty much stopped reading her stuff.

And I mean aside from the gay from tent peg thing.

For one thing, the dragons don't have personalities. They're not characters, they're plot devices. And boring ones at that. It was something that always bothered me, but the early books especially just use the dragons as shiny flying buses. One of the few things Mercedes Lackey does right in her Valdemar books (another teenage love that makes me want to strangle it sometimes as an adult) was to give the Companions personalities, goals, and independent wants and even occasionally set them at odds with their people.

And then there's the domestic abuse. You have F'lar always slapping Lessa around and shaking her when he's pissed with her, and there's this whole section in there where even he's starting to think he's been raping Lessa when they end up in bed together after the mating flight.. and yet she ends up falling in twu wuv with him and all that crap to the point of being just another empty-headed twit obsessed with taking care of "her men" and omg baybeeeez.

I can't even bring myself to bother caring about the new books. Todd isn't too bad, but there are only so many "omg plague will kill all of the dragons that we finally realized are actually horribly inbred!" plots you can stand, let alone the fact he's a little fond of his Mary Sues. (Though Dragon's Kin was actually good, especially since they finally actually did something with the watch-whers and it wasn't all pretty flying ponies all the time.)

Not to mention the portrayals of the gay characters (even Lackey does better on that score, and she's pretty bad herself) and the total lack of lesbians when the gay (because bisexuals don't exist)  male population seems to be heug leik xbox on Pern. And the fact that women are basically only there to be pretty and have sex and baybeeeez, even if they managed to start off their appearance in the series actually having personalities.

It kind of makes me almost wonder what it would be like to write something with something like the founding concept of the dragonriders (humans being sucked into these intense mental bonds with these dragons) and really take it seriously. Have the dragons be as fully intelligent as they're supposed to, complete with all their alien impulses. What would happen if you had a pair that really resented each other? What would it be like living with this sort of dependency on another being who you really aren't going to have too much in common with?

That and it would be totally awesome to see lesbian bronze riders. I mean, seriously. :D

Feb. 23rd, 2009

Some days I think I need a wife.

No, seriously.

Taking care of yourself and your place isn't much in the grand scheme of things, but it's so much when you're trying to juggle work (and in my case class) and trying not to go insane from not having enough hours in the day.

That and I sometimes just think I get the occasional longing for someone else to pack me a lunch and tell me have a nice day. It might just be envy from watching too many bento communities. I often don't have time in the evening to do myself a really nice lunch unless I plan ahead for it at dinnertime (something I generally don't do) and at any rate it's just not the same sometimes doing for yourself.

Either that or I'm incredibly lazy.

And sleepy. And hoping I'm not coming down with anything. The snot problem hasn't gotten any worse than it was before, so I think I might have dodged that bullet at least.

By the way, class is going well as far as I've been able to figure. I'm going to have to move on getting the stuff together to apply to this invitational summer course thing-- I can earn another six grad credits from it towards my master's degree if I can finagle getting in and paying for it. (It'll be a good fifteen hundred bucks, tho, and I don't get paid two months out of the year. Though my tax refund will cover most of it.) Getting into the program means definitely no Otakon for me this year, though. The last day of the course-thing is the first day of Otakon weekend, and it's a pain enough trying to commute down there to miss an entire day of the programming to schoolwork. That's ok though, since I'm beginning to think I'm just outgrowing Otakon. Too much fanbrat, I guess, on top of the INSANE Otakon crowds.

I think I'd rather kick it old skool and go to a regular sci fi con instead. I THINK Shore Leave might be a Baltimore con.. hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Speaking of excellent scifi tv, I still don't have any of ST:TNG (new DVDs are about $70 a season! The used ones go for $50 if you're lucky!) but I managed to actually find a DVD collection of M.A.N.T.I.S. which was a favorite of mine way back in the day. (It was considered ground-breaking since it was the first show with a black superhero EVAR.. he was also disabled-- paralyzed from a gunshot wound-- but they don't play that angle up much in the promos even though it appears in the show itself a few times.) It includes the unaired pilot. Man was the final show different from the pilot episode they made. They had to make some pretty radical changes to the show that actually aired. Some of them were, I'm sure, because we just aren't ready for them as a culture (the original pilot was very black-- it featured almost exclusively African and African-American characters/actors and dealt with the sort of urban gang violence issues that tend to dominate shows featuring black characters) and because, yeah, some of the elements in the pilot really didn't work too well (like the dorky wearing your business suit over your cool exoskeleton bit and the mismatch between gritty urban drama and high-powered superhero story... MANTIS even in the original pilot was not a Daredevil or a Batman, where it would have worked). But OMG.. so 90's. Nostalgia!