prettyarbitrary: (Fuzzy Cthulhu)
Man... Fandoms come and go, and you get used to that. But the saddest part about a fandom's fall from its golden age is looking back and missing all those wild-eyed talents that made it so great.

I hope you guys are still out there, somewhere. Here's to you!
prettyarbitrary: (Fuzzy Cthulhu)
I've gone quiet again because I have been hiding from the internet and reconnecting with real which I of course mean paperback books and TV.

What I have been watching:

Grimm - I just spent the past two weeks mainlining the entire run of Grimm so far, and catching up on season 4, and then flailing about it with over in her LJ.  Grimm is one of those shows that got off to a slow start.  Season 1 was not captivating.  But they found their stride about halfway through season 2, and as of season 3 it has taken its rightful place upon the throne of dark fairytale TV.  It's one part Buffy, one part Supernatural, and one part something all its own where fairytale monsters have their own ethnic conclaves in modern cities and cops respond to domestic violence calls at the three little pigs' house.

Doctor Who - I watched the first episode of the season, and then the last two.  I loved those and have no desire whatsoever to expose myself to any of the episodes in between.  BUT THOSE LAST TWO, LET'S TALK ABOUT THEM. *points at comments*  Oh god, that's the best Doctor Who I have seen in years.  And just possibly the best version of the Master EVER.

Sleepy Hollow - working on catching up on this one now.  I'm a few episodes into season 2 (so careful with spoilers!).  I enjoy this show but so far this season doesn't grab me like some of the others I'm watching, or the way S1 did.  I actually voluntarily stopped watching for the evening, when I could have continued.  But, there is John Noble, whom I would pay to watch recite the phone book.  I am captivated every time he's on the screen.

Constantine - some of you may remember that I adore Hellblazer of old.  The main DC John Constantine is softer than Vertigo's version (after all, kids could potentially encounter him), and the TV series is based on the DC version rather than the Vertigo version.  EXCEPT.  He's maybe a leeeetle more Vertigo than that after all.  Up through episode 3 I was beginning to wonder whether they were really going to manifest the potential here.  And then episode 4 happened.  Oh.  Oh YES.

Also, I cackled at the place where they apparently figured out they could draw the line on John's smoking habit.  As long as he doesn't actually puff on camera, apparently he can walk around with it dangling out of his mouth.
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1: Saw the A-Team movie on Saturday, and enjoyed the hell out of it. The guys were exactly right; I had forgotten just how maniacal they could be. The plot sister describes it as "Ocean's Eleven meets Counterstrike," which is pretty much exactly right. There was a lot more brutal violence than in the old show, but Hannibal's plans were appropriately insane. I felt myself hit the brick wall of over-stimulation near the end, and the final sequence had its flaws, but there was also Liam Neeson doing a lot of voice-over work, which earned the price of matinee admission right there. I could happily watch it again.

2: As a consequence, I have been revisiting the original series on Hulu. Ahhhhhhhhhhh, good times. I'd forgotten how sophisticated and derpy it could be, often at the same time. The oddest thing is how the quality of the main cast's work was often so far above everyone around them that the difference between the drivel spouted by the villain of the week and Hannibal's wicked commentary could just about make your head spin. I'd also forgotten how adorable it was to see Mr. T with a pack of kids in tow. And Murdock. Yeah. How'd I ever forget Murdock.

3: Justified. Has anybody else been watching this? It's sort of a guilty pleasure of mine, but there's something about it... It's like, the level of homicidal tendency to be found in a 2000-soul town has been dramatized off the charts, but a part of me knows those people. My own one-horse salt-of-the-earth hometown wasn't in the South, but it was in the Appalachians, where people still worked too hard for not much and no matter what you did, you still ended the day with dirt under your fingernails. And I recognize the insistent undercurrent that no matter how far you go or who you try to become, you can never get it out of your blood.

4: So how about that Doctor, eh? Yeah. :) There was much goodness, crack, and pretty well-reasoned timey-wimey, but most importantly it's the first finale for the new run that I've come away feeling good about, like not "Well, there's always next season" but "OMG WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!" My favorite bit may have been the paean to the TARDIS. I got mushy.

Doctor Hoo

May. 25th, 2010 11:07 am
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Hey, I didn't come up with the pun. But OMG look at cranky little One and Three!

Doctor Hoo
by ~pu-sama on deviantART
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An American Torchwood? An American Doctor Who?! WHY?! No! Go away, Fox! We don't love you anymore!
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OMG, it all makes sense! Now we know how James Bond kept changing his face!

I liked it, but then I didn't have high standards. )

For those fond of alien psychology: the Time Lords. )

Back to spoilers. )
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I liked it! It wasn't flawless, but it was fun. I hope that Part II can follow through. It looks like this is going to get really big, really fast. I don't know how they expect to get from here to there and back in the space of an hour.

Spoilers lurk in the darkness. Along with the *spoilers* )Oh, right, and the rest of the plot. )

Doctor Who

Dec. 25th, 2009 11:45 pm
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Currently gibbering. Will find something coherent to say later.
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Found on [ profile] lizamanynames's blog: if you're a Star Trek fan who is confused as to what this means for your beloved continuity, luckily sci-fi has an expert who can explain it to you! <3<3<3 Oh, that's my kind of geek.

Yes, I just made ASCII hearts. Shut up.

In other geek-fu, I saw the season finale of Fringe last night. Sadly, probably nobody on my f-list watches Fringe so that I can share the pleasant glow of fictional outrage with them. The characters are among the best I've ever seen (Olivia's my favorite female character on TV, no contest, Walter is a rare beautifully-depicted example of the realities of insanity, and Walter and Peter are heartbreakingly adorable in their cautious, dysfunctional love for each other), but the plot hasn't been extremely gripping (you can, in point of fact, just watch the season finale. The previous episodes add some emotional resonance and help you identify characters, but that one episode offers everything you really need to know about the show so far).

But in that one episode, the show went from an hour of decompressive mid-week mind-candy to addictive. I'm not a person who gets hit with the "holy **** you didn't" hammer easily, but...

Holy ****, Walter, you didn't. )


May. 9th, 2008 02:20 pm
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[ profile] x_los posted a conversation she had with a friend regarding steampunk, and I felt moved to response...which got too long to leave in her comments and thus got shipped over here.

Now, I'm not as much into the movement as some people. I do not, for example, have a steampunk costume (though, um, I'm trying to put one together for Halloween), but I dare to claim that I do sort of tap the zeitgeist. That is, steampunk speaks to me; I feel a visceral response to the aesthetic. So...barring somebody who is TOTALLYINTOIT!OMG spinning by to play the eloquent apologist, I'll attempt to speak toward the phenomenon.

X-los expressed curiosity as to what the driving impulses are behind the movement and why it's all came together the way it has, so I'll try to hit those as I see them, and also, concerned might not be the word, but potentially distasteful of the idea that steampunk may be an attempt to move toward the hyper-structured, ritualized society of the Victorian period, and its attendant, very formalized forms of repression and segregation. Military fetishism was mentioned, which is an understandable bit of confusion seeing as steampunk's look draws heavily on weaponry, equipment, and costuming elements from military uniforms.

In my experience, however, steampunk is exactly the opposite. )

In any case, I predict that you can expect to see a lot more of it around in the near future: more art, more costumes, more brass and wood. More video games and movies and books, and a whole lot more of this.  My god, I want that laptop.
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I watched "Fires of Pompeii" last night, and while I'm not including spoilers for it, it did make me think about the Doctor in general, and where Doctor Who is going.

I've wondered for a while what the heck Davies is thinking. While much of Who is as it ever was (the overlay of the fire on the one scene in FoP was so classically cheesy that I wanted to cheer), also much is not, and some of the differences are...weird. Off-putting, even. Aside from Davies' obsession with Bigger Louder Flashier (god, I wish he'd stop that), sometimes this Doctor acts like a heartless jerk. I won't quite call him monstrous, but he's definitely inhuman. And while one of my favorite things about the Doctor has always been how he can be extremely Not Human, Ten sometimes displays a callousness that isn't like the Doctor at all...or wait. Is it?

Cast your mind back, if you can, to the First Doctor. This man, old and wise and so sharp he could cut himself (and sometimes did), behaved like an utter bastard on a frequent basis. He was prickly and aloof and coldly refused to get involved, because that just Wasn't What He Did (although we saw him get involved, didn't we, whenever it served his own purposes). He displayed the "look but don't touch" philosophy that would later come to be associated with the Time Lords as a society.

Compare this to Ten's "there are things I must not change" attitude and his ruthless elimination of those with intent to meddle, and think about it. Even aside from One, he's not the first ruthless, heartless Doctor. Six could be a vicious jackass and Seven ruthlessly played even his friends like chess pieces. As he so often points out, Ten is the last of his kind. Considering the Doctor's usual predilections, might this not be an overcompensation, an attempt to BE the last of his kind and uphold their principles if he's the only one left to represent them?

Puts a new spin on his desperation for the Master. Of course, it's futile to hope that the Master of all people would ever take up the position of Guardian Time Lord, and while I do believe this Doctor is off his rocker, I'm not sure he could be so far gone as to believe that he could "save" the Master in such a way as to make him willing to be the last representative of his race--certainly not while the Doctor gets to gallivant off, free of responsibility. The Doctor would have to be descended into a complete schizophrenic break with reality to think that, but it's a perspective.

Anyway. Something Donna did--or rather, got the Doctor to do--made me start considering the roles of the companions in relation to the Doctor. Each of the companions since the beginning of the new series has left her mark on him (notable in itself, since in the old series it was rare for him to display it when people affected him).

Rose was his lifeline. He came in, angry and traumatized, and pristinely innocent, warm-hearted Rose offered him a place to hide. She was his shelter from all the violence and pain. And now I think of it, it makes perfect sense that Rose merged with the TARDIS, his one constant companion, home, and memento of his past, because Rose is the mother figure, protector and comforting oasis amid life's torments. No wonder he clings to her so desperately.

But he loses her (as eventually happens with mothers), and we come to Martha. When he meets her, Martha's not a doctor yet, but she will be--and by the end, she's not just a doctor, but she's a doctor in the Doctor's image: she seems to possess a bottomless well of compassion and strength, which she makes freely available to the Doctor (sometimes whether he wants it or not). Rose never pushes, because her Doctor just needs time. Martha has a healer's instinct for when to push. She guides the Doctor back to his belief in mercy.

And now we come to Donna, and I think I see what she's doing. She's giddy with adventure, but she's not young like the others. This is a woman who has known hardship, who can watch people die with tears in her eyes but without breaking, and still insist that the Doctor do something, anything, whatever he's capable of if he can't fix it all. This is what Barbara did for the First Doctor: she taught him that life demands to be lived, not simply observed. She demanded his participation, his emotional investment, gave him a perspective on life that involved every tiny spark of it being infinitely precious without compromise for the big picture. Donna's job, I suspect, is to remind him of that lesson, and also that even if you can't save them all, it's still a small victory if you can at least save one.
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I was posting a comment on somebody else's LJ, and it began to get away from me, so I figured I'd post it here.

Serious LJ cuttage because, boy, did I ever ramble on! If you don't <s>care</s> obsess ridiculously about Doctor Who, you don't need to read this. Though, it does have a vague sort of lit-crittishness to it, and just so you know, it doesn't pertain to any particular Doctor, so if you're not a fan of the current one--as I know some of my Doctor-loving LJ peeps aren't--then it's not toxic to you. )

* Though he lived for about 700 years in his first incarnation, apparently, and seemed to be getting on in his fourth, especially if you believe that the weary, fatalistic mood of Logopolis was meant to reflect on the Doctor's state as well as Tom Baker's leavetaking, and then in the TV movie--yes, I know, spit spit evil eye**--he comments that he's nearing the end of his seventh regeneration, so he could be well over 2000 by then.

** But I kind of liked it. I mean, come on! You're complaining about the camp, the cheesy dialogue, the Eric Roberts overacting, and the lame production values? That is quintessential Doctor Who, my friends! They put a lot of money into filming some classic Doctor Who in front of some very expensive, solid-looking sets. You're just mad because it didn't have Daleks.
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This was published in 1994. If you, like me, did not know about it until now, then the internet has failed you as well.

Honestly. Fourteen years of not knowing that somebody wrote a story about Sherlock Holmes and the Doctor teaming up on the Orient Express to stop Cthulhu. Where is the justice?!
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They're landscaping the area outside the building to put in new bus stops and make it wheelchair-accessible. Right now, I have a jackhammer going full-tilt about 10 feet away from me on the other side of the wall. Everything's vibrating. And now the boss is wondering if we can move staff till they finish...which means possibly stuffing five extra people upstairs in a room that doesn't have any space for us.

In other news, I'm a big ball of ache. My legs hurt (from the hiking), my left shoulder hurts like a bastard and has limited movement (from the tetanus shot), my head hurts (from the jackhammer), and my back hurts for no good reason I can ascertain.

My computer is getting worse again. It crashes on me roughly every ten minutes or so. I have new memory (my dad had some extra), which makes the thing run great when, y'know, it's actually running. The memory had previously been a suspect, but looks like that's out. I'm now thinking either the motherboard or the CPU. Which are Socket A and to hell with that. Screw this. I can do a rebuild for less than $300, and it's not like I wouldn't enjoy it enough to be worthwhile.

In the face of all this sour-faced kvetchery, what can I say except AH hahahahahahahahaha, DOCTOR WHO! If I could cut loose with a war whoop of triumph over the internet, I totally would.

If you're a Who-fan and you don't know why I say that, I'd keep an eye out for spoilers in any comments to this post.
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Computer has now entered into a superior stage of borkdom. After restoring BIOS defaults, which didn't change things at all (except for saddling me with an annoying BIOS loading graphic), I spent some time yesterday reseating my memory and cards and so forth, in hopes it might simply be gunk or faulty connection. When I turned it back on, I got fans and lights, but no Real Computer ActionTM. I feel comfortable in ruling out the power supply--the fans run and the lights come on--but there's nobody home. This, I suspect, has more to do with me knocking a connector loose than with the problem I was previously having, but it is frustrating.

While it's definitely not the power supply, however, it may just possibly be the battery. I previously dismissed this as the BIOS had not been suffering the traditional loss of data and resetting of clocks, but new evidence has surfaced in the form of the annoying BIOS graphic that's supposed to go away after I've been inflicted with it once. Battery would be good as they're easy to deal with, but I'm probably grasping at straws here.

It's probably not the CPU. Even though I discovered that I just happen to have a CPU perfectly infamous for burning out when too enthusiastically overclocked, it's not really behaving like it's the CPU. Namely, my computer still functions. Well. You know. It did. Then again, if the CPU overheated, it might've affected something else in the case...even though I have three fans.

Still, it's behaving like, well, bad RAM, and I can't quite shake this thought. I could just be obsessing over a distracting pet theory, but it could also be good instincts. Note that I haven't just been getting random reboots, but hard lock-ups as well--something common to overclocking, except that I know now it's not the overclocking, since it didn't go away when I stopped overclocking. Both the crashing and the seizing happened mainly when I was doing something memory-intensive, like Photoshop. Perhaps most significantly, it tended to start happening not immediately, but after I had been using the program long enough to start building up a good-sized cache. In fact, this pattern nearly duplicated what happened the last time I had to go up my virtual memory paging file, which is exactly what I did last week when this first started becoming problematic. So it could definitely, absolutely, still be the memory.

I hope that it isn't the motherboard, but I cannot discount this.

Who will win this epic battle of wills? Well, I will, eventually. I hold all the cards, when it comes down to it (har). I have greater resources and more extensive equipment. But this grassroots guerilla warfare is, I must concede, highly successful in the short term.

But enough of my ongoing war. I bring you weirdness: behold, the Great Molasses Flood of 1919!

And also from Neil Gaiman's journal, in a thing about Dr. Who:
"And another part of the meme was this: some things are bigger on the inside than they are on the outside. And, perhaps, some people are bigger on the inside than they are on the outside, as well."

This is remarkable for putting into a single simple sentence something that has been lurking around the back of my brain for years.
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I'm around, but I'll be hard to reach on chat and stuff for the next couple of weeks. Work is really busy at the moment, as we had a big project dropped on us with a deadline of a month. Home is notably un-busy because this kind of work tends to make the tendonitis flare up, and I need to lay off the typing when I can.

If you need me, or if you miss me desperately, just email. :) I'm on top of that.

PS: My sister bought the Firefly DVDs, and now I'm finally realizing what all of you have been flipping out about all this time. It's freaking awesome. But you already knew that.

PPS: I still like Farscape better. >:)

EDIT: Juonetar points out that the original Star Trek is the best of all. And she's right. Except maybe for Doctor Who. I am a Doctor Who addict for the ages (possibly because it has gone on for so long, I'll never have to worry about running out of episodes I haven't seen yet).
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Found this on a friend's blog. Apparently, the Israeli military does not like gamers:,7340,L-3052074,00.html

In other news, two weeks until the new Doctor Who show begins! Yahaa! Even though they're only showing it in the UK at the moment. Doesn't matter; I shall find a way.

Also, office politics are Teh SuXXors. Or whatever. Did I do that right? My utterly cool supervisor (not the cute boss, but his assistant) is an incredibly hard-working, awesome woman. But, when she had her annual review, it turned out that she was doing the work of someone a couple of levels higher than she actually was. That could not be borne, according to the Word of HR from On High. Instead of *promoting* her (which, y'know, would've been the simple thing to do), the seldom-seen Uberboss (who does not like her for some inscrutable reason) chose to create a supervisor position of the appropriate level. Blah blah ensues, and--Da ta da!--she doesn't get the job of course, even though she actually *does* the job superbly (the Boss calls her his Good Right Hand). Now, the whole department is pissed off, wondering whether she's going to leave, wondering whether the new person will be of any use at all, etc. Crappy academia.


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