Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Note from Me to Me

More on the room-cleaning front. While clearing my desk, I found a small, folded note I wrote myself. I vaguely remember writing it-- before college, clearly, or maybe a month or two in. Anyway, it's at least two years old, probably more.

It says:
Less complaining-- less WORDS-- more action. Send letters. Give. And try. Hiding and bitching won't fix it, and TRYING CAN'T HURT ME.

Worst case scenario: I go out, I don't have a very good time, I run back to Scones having proved myself right all along.


But maybe it can be different. And asking and trying and talking and talking BACK cannot hurt me. And it may just help someone else.

Don't just find nerdfighters. CREATE THEM.

I am a good person.
I'm an attractive person.
I am a talented person.


All I have it what I give myself.
I don't even... these are all really good things to remember, of course. But I'm so far away from that now. I don't need to hear that from myself. I don't even recognize that person.

And I suppose that can only be a good thing.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Relics of a Me I'm Not.

Hey, Sounds. Long time no post.

So I'm cleaning my room right now (a laborious, unending process that will occupy me all summer, I'm sure) and I have to say, it's a bizarrely nostalgic experience. Unproductively so.

One of the downsides of an obsessive personality is that you're convinced, in the midst of your obsession, that nothing will ever change. That whatever you love right now will be the thing you love forever, just as passionately. And unfortunately that's just not the case. Do I still love Harry Potter? Hell yes I do. I always will. But I wasted a fortune on decorative pins at conventions, and they stayed on my purse until the fasteners broke. And now I have a bunch of broken pins that say things like "You had me at drink this" and "FREE STAN SHUNPIKE." They're adorable, I guess, but, like... what do I do with them?

Or, another example. Several years ago, I bought "Martial Arts for Dummies." I was big into anime at the time, and writing fanfic, and I thought it would be a good research tool. (In my defense, this was in the days before wikipedia.) I can always donate it, of course, or sell it on amazon or to the half-price bookstore in town, but that goes against my nature. I'm a packrat at heart, first of all, so any plan that ever requires me to actually get rid of something is always going to make me balk, but it's more than that. As if by getting rid of this stupid book I don't need and will never read again, I'm betraying my past self. Calling take-backs or something.

It's highly irrational. But so are my spending habits. I mean, seriously. I have a DESK GONG. A little gong, about the circumference of a silver dollar, with a twig-sized metal rod as a mallet. Why? Well, I bought it in my senior year of high school-- picked it up at Borders, from those shelves of Hey Buy One Last Thing Before You Check Out! chain bookstores set up on line before the register. I was directing a short play for drama class at the time* and also competing in Duo Interpretation on the Speech and Debate team with my friend Will. Will's a fantastic actor, and we both loved "Sure Thing" by David Ives: another student had put it on for THEIR senior-directed play a few years previously, and so we decided to use it as our first Duo piece, in Junior year. We were never happy with our interpretation-- it was too static-- and while we loved our Senior piece, a cutting of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, we never quite got over our love of "Sure Thing."

Being the youtube enthusiast that I am (well, was) and aspiring director that I'm still not quite comfortable being, I had a brilliant idea: we'd revisit "Sure Thing" over the summer, with me behind the camera and him appearing again as Bill. Some other friend of ours would play Betty. I'm still proud of the idea; if you're unfamiliar with "Sure Thing," the basic premise is that a guy and a girl try and work their way through a stereotypical romcom meet-cute. The twist is that every time one of them does something wrong, a bell rings and the scene starts over-- they get a second chance to make a first impression. In my hypothetical film version, every time the bell rang we'd cut to a new location-- some other restaurant, with Bill and Betty in different clothes. A sequence of alternate realities.** And that's where the mini-gong comes in. I was going to use it instead of the typical concierge bell, with a white-gloved hand doing the ringing. A cut-away between each scene, instead of just the sound effect.

All of which is interesting and kind of cool, except for the part where the film never got made. It probably will never get made. And yet the desk gong remains, gathering dust on my shelf next to the anthropomorphic garlic clove plushie Amanda got me when she went to California.

I mean, honestly. I have a lava lamp, for fuck's sake. What does one do with a lava lamp? Why are they sold? What purpose do they serve? But I was on the cusp of teenagerhood and I thought they were the coolest thing, I put it on my Hanukkah list, and that was that. Another useless thing to add to my collection.

I have a corkboard covered with post-cards from friends I've long since lost touch with; a desk drawer filled to the brim of all of my AP US History notes from sophomore year, because I was convinced I'd grow up to be a high school history teacher, and I didn't want to forget how Mr. Hand had done it; a book of Celtic runes I bought in England, just because it was a book of runes from England; an action figure of myself.

I feel like my room would be a sociologist's dream-- or perhaps their worst nightmare. And it all boils down, I think, to the tension between what's important and what matters. These things all mattered to me once--does that make them important? Should things that were once important to you always matter, at least in some small way? They set me on the path, after all. I wouldn't-- couldn't-- be now-me if I hadn't been then-me first.

I'm sure I could dig up a more useful and fitting quotation if I tried, but all I can think about is a rather throwaway line from King Lear. Lear gets pissed off at Cordelia for snubbing him, he banishes her, and Kent speaks up-- saying what an injustice it is, etc etc. He gets chastised for failing to observe proper court decorum and speaking out of turn, to which he bursts out "Anger hath a privilege!"***

Does the past have a privilege?

* a hilarious little one-act called Jimmy the Antichrist, the script of which is also around here somewhere, cluttering up my life.
** In the interest of not repeating myself, I've relegated this to the footnotes: GOD I still love that concept. Maybe some day...
*** What a great line. Oh, Shakespeare, the things you do to me.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Regional Expressions Meme

Age: 20

Where you grew up (Ages 0-18): Central New Jersey

1. A body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks: A creek or a stream.

2. What the thing you push around the grocery store is called: A shopping cart.

3. A metal container to carry a meal in: A lunchbox. (though actually, if it's metal I'd probably think "lunch pail" and imagine construction workers. Lunchboxes are made of plastic and have cartoons on them.)

4. The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in: A frying pan. The word 'skillet' doesn't seem weird to me, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

5. The piece of furniture that seats three people: Couch in general, sofa if I'm feeling fancy. 'Loveseat' if we're talking about that one specific couch in my living room, but that's because of Mom.

6. The device on the outside of the house that carries rain off the roof: Gutter.

7. The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening: Porch.

8. Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages: Soda. NOT POP. NEVER POP.

9. A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup: A pancake.

10. A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself: Hoagie if it's cold, sub if it's hot.

11. The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach: First instinct is to say "bathing suit," but I might also say trunks. Speedo if it's a speedo.

12. Shoes worn for sports: Sneakers. "Trainers" slips out sometimes if I've been reading too much British fiction.

13. Putting a room in order: Cleaning.

14. A flying insect that glows in the dark: Firefly or lightning bug. Depends on usage. "The fireflies are out" versus "I caught a lightning bug." I suspect this is only me.

15. The little insect that curls up into a ball: Rolly-polly.

16. The children's playground equipment where one kid sits on one side and goes up while the other sits on the other side and goes down: A see-saw.

17. How do you eat your pizza: Tip first, two hands. No folding.

18. What's it called when private citizens put up signs and sell their used stuff: Garage sale, maybe yard sale.

19. What's the evening meal?: Dinner.

20. The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are: A basement.

21. What do you call the thing that you can get water out of to drink in public places: Water fountain. NOT A BUBBLER. NEVER A BUBBLER.

Friday, April 2, 2010

12.1 "Robot" Reaction Post

Starting stats: 12.1, Robot
Doctor: Four
Companions: Sarah Jane, Brigadier-General Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, Harry Sullivan (barely)

The first thing I must say about Robot is that it's certainly the best-paced Classic episode I've yet seen (out of, y'know, two and a half, including itself.) Better plotted than Ark in Space, but not as quotable, I fear. Which leaves me a bit lost, as I'm not Jacob and I still don't know how I want to write these things. But ah well.

The regeneration sequence was a bit of a non-event--just a bleeding of one face into the other, no muss no fuss. I kind of like the modern Golden Light of Goooooold way of doing it better, I think. The Brig just mumbled "well, here we go again" and that was that. (I LOVE the Brig, by the way. His mustache is magnificent and his sense of humor is so wry and dry and... Iiiiiiii love it. [parentheses within parentheses to groan about how not-clever I am with the rhyming.] Anyway. He reminds me a lot of Martha, sometimes-- or, I suppose, Martha is an awful lot like the Brig. And not just for the UNITyness. They've just a way about them.)

Four sits up, babbling nonsense, and he's clutching Sarah Jane's arm so hard she's probably bruising under his grip. Sarah's plenty empowered and all, but every time I see her, I react the same way I did when I first saw Amy Acker as Fred on Angel-- which is to say, I repeatedly gasp, "but she's so small! look at how LITTLE she is!" every time she comes on screen. I don't mean it to be mean-- in fact, it's terribly endearing. But the point is, she really is just a slip of a thing, and the Doctor mustn't be so rough with her.

Oh my god the special effects are amazing. It's relatively easy, this time around, to get pulled into the story and kind of gloss over how awful the things you're actually seeing look, but if you pause it and come back to it? Oh my god, that robot. It's terribly impressive considering their budget and time period, but... oh, show. (They actually pull a Nosferatu with the cheapy-ass robot claw, too. I realize it's a classic suspense/horror technique, but... faaail.) (Oh, and THEN it steals a plain manila envelope stamped, in big letters, "TOP SECRET." Oh, show.)

Brig: "You realize, Miss Smith, that all of this is top secret?"
Sarah: [amused] "Then why are you telling me?"
Brig: "Well, be-bec--because there's no one else I can tell."

They're SO CUTE.

LOL FOUR. His face when he sees the TARDIS for the first time. A++++, I wish I had a screencap. And he snuck away from the Med Bay when he wasn't supposed to, of course, so he's in a dressing gown. Striped, obviously, as that's the way the Doctor prefers his jim-jams.

[Lis Sladen, in the commentary: "Very good lurking, there, Tom! Solid lurking."]

Harry Sullivan (a navy doctor, which they discuss more in Ark in Space) comes in to, y'know, apprehend the runaway and remind him he's supposed to be healing and all, and then the Doctor uses his still-canon extra regeneration energy to karate-chop through a (clearly balsa wood) brick and then SKIP ROPE, WITH HARRY. I cannot describe this scene with mere words. Just know that it is awesome. The two of them, face to face, maybe three inches apart, hopping to the time of the Doctor doing some creepy-as-fuck children's rhyme. Amazing. Oh, show.

And then, knowing Harry will only get in his way, the Doctor stuffs him in a closet. (Sarah finds him later. She walks into the empty lab, hears a vague muffled plea for help, says "Cupboard!" and finds him straight away. Doesn't even stop to think. Love that girl.)

[picking a new outfit: viking attire]
Doctor: "Do you think I might attract attention?"
Brig: "Just possibly."

(love. him.)

There's plot stuff and sneaking about stuff and blah, Sarah uses her reporter cred to get a visitor's pass to some sekrit military base... science... thing. "HEYA WHAT'S IN HERE?" she basically asks, barging right into a door that, I swear to god, is marked "Positively No Admittance." Oh, SHOW. While in the garage/lab where the phlebotinum was made, she notices a musty smell (and later, an oil spill) right off. She's such a good companion. (Also later off, she brushes the oil with her hand and gives it a sniff, and I have been watching too much Ten because I was terrified, for a moment, that she would lick it.)

Also also (I'm rubbish at linear thinking, apparently, so do try and keep up) later, she has to sneak back into the Lab. Her visitor's pass is about to expire, so she drives up to the gate guard all "I've forgotten my notebook-- I still have ten minutes left on my pass, can I pop in and get it?" and when he turns his back to phone a superior, she ABANDONS HER CAR, then HOPS A FENCE and RUNS ACROSS SEVERAL LARGE LAWNS to her destination. In a skirt suit and terribly absurd boots. LOVE THIS GIRL.

And then, just when I thought she couldn't get more awesome, she channels Rose. The crux of this story is a robot (big surprise) but it's a surprisingly adorable one, which doesn't want to hurt people can gets all conflicted and wobbles when confused. (Like a pokemon.) And Sarah's all "How can you be sure it doesn't have feelings?" and then asks the robot if it's alright, and pets it. And it's all very Dalek and god I love companions. They are the best.

[the Absent-Minded Professor is babbling about solar energy and pollution]
Doctor: "I know; humans. They can't see that what's under their noses is over their heads!"
[A-M P babbles on; Sarah Jane, in the background, laughs appreciatively at the Doctor's joke and then, realizing her faux-pas and seeing the Brig's poker face, half-heartedly tries to turn it into a cough, still smiling]

There's a wonderful moment, later in, when the Brig, the Doctor, and Sarah sit around in the Doctor's lab talking through the clues together. Not only do Sarah and the Doctor totally have an "Are you deducting?" moment, but I just... I love what an odd yet efficient little team they make. It's one thing to SAY Sarah's an investigative journalist; it's quite another to give her the mind of one. (In the commentary, the producer says "We very deliberately didn't make Sarah Jane an assistant--we made her an investigative journalist so she could, you know, start things on her own." To which Terrence Dicks replied "Yes-- assistants are for tying to train tracks!" and oh, that was so close to being inspired. But then Lis Sladen laughs and says "I never got that one-- it was the one I wanted!" which only further proves how awesome she is.)

But anyway. Sarah goes home to get some sleep (and change into an UTTERLY RIDICULOUS outfit, involving a scarf tied around her head for no reason) leaving the Doctor and the Brig to flail around and be useless in her absence:

Brig: "Doctor, what are we going to do? Or shall we just leave it all to Miss Smith?"

And later, when the Doctor types a note [a) on a typewriter and b) with super-speed] and tapes it to the TARDIS, explaining where he's run off to and what he's doing, he addresses it to Sarah Jane, and not the Brigadier. Even though he's parked in the UNIT lab and he has every reason to think the Brig would find it first.

"Please do not resist" says the polite, morally conflicted Robot. It's starting to become clear that he's adopted a King Kong style crush on Sarah Jane. Later, he will get hit with a ray gun and grow many stories high, and then he picks her up and carries her around. Well, a terrible doll of her. The SFX at that point at quite appalling.

[A-M P and Sarah want to sneak into a Sekrit Meeting of Bad Guys]
Soldier: "But the Brigadier would go spare-- so would the Doctor!"
Sarah: "Well, one's away and the other's asleep!"
Soldier: "Then I'll go wake the Doctor and see what he says--"
Sarah: "--DON'T YOU DARE. He had a nasty knock on the head and he needs to rest."
Soldier: "Well in that case miss, it's just not on. I'm sorry."
Sarah: "Oh, I--" [pause, then: epiphany] "MISter Benton,* are we members of UNIT?"
Soldier: "Well, no, of course not."
Sarah: "Are we under arrest?"
Soldier: [seeing where she's going with this; defeated] "No, miss."
Sarah: [beams the smile of Triumphant Feminine Wiles] "Well then, what we do and where we go is none of your business, is it? Come along, professor!"
Soldier: "Now, wai-"
Sarah: "No, you just go and [something british that I absolutely cannot interpret but is quite clearly a double entendre so I laughed] your rifle or something."

(... yeah, it kind of got away from me at the end, there. Moving on!)

WOOHOO Four drives Bessie! And it's awesome.

"James Bond" Sarah hisses derisively at a caught undercover Harry (having just been caught herself.)

Four uses the sonic screwdriver for the first time. Lots of things explode. It's fun.

[mutually trying to untie each other's handcuff bindings]
Harry: "How're we doing, Miss Smith?"
Sarah: "Ooookay?" [it's all in Lis's delivery, really.]

Robot kills A-M P and then laments, loudly, in his robot voice: "ohhhhh! I have killed the one who created me!" and then he drops to his knees before collapsing completely in a pathetic heap. [my hand-written notes for this section read: 'LOL LOL LOL LOL FOREVER']

[upon noticing Sarah Jane is missing]
Soldier: "Well we thou-- we thought she'd gone home."
Doctor: "Gone HOME?!" [I adore Baker's delivery on this. one part "are you fucking crazy?", one part "lol, have you met this girl?" and one part "because now, Detective Inspector Bishop, there's no power on this EARTH that can stop me."]

(It is at this point that the Lis Sladen stand-in dolly does its Fay Wray impression.)

After it all, Sarah feels pretty down about the death of the robot:

Doctor: "Sarah? Sarah...? ... Would you like a jelly baby?"

It's the first time he ever offers. (Of course it's to her.) Initially, she refuses.

[on the robot]
Sarah: "It was so human."
Doctor: "It was a *wonderful* creature. Capable of great good... and great evil. ... yes, I think you could say it was human."

Then he paces and babbles and offers her a trip in the TARDIS instead, and my god, nothing ever really changes, does it? He whines about staying, and the paperwork UNIT would make him do, and he says "I won't I won't I WON'T!" and goes to karate chop another brick... only to practically break his hand. (Sarah Jane does her best not to laugh at him, bless her.)

Sarah: "Doctor, you're being childish."
Doctor: "Well of course I am! There's no point in being grown up if you can't act childish sometimes." [pauses, lets his hat cast a bashful shadow over his eyes as he looks away, offers the white bag again] "Are you coming?" (he won't look at her.)
[She breaks into a wide grin and eagerly pops a jelly baby into her mouth, as if he'll rescind the offer if she doesn't eat it fast enough. He grins at her, and she laughs at him, and it is quite possibly the cutest thing you'll ever see. Rusty owes a hell of a lot to this relationship, I'm starting to learn.]

And then, of course, Harry wanders in. Bah! He offers Harry a jelly baby, and he takes two.

Doctor: "We're taking a trip!"
Harry: "Wot, in that old police box?"
Doctor: [snatches back the other jelly baby, offended] "YES in that old police box!"

He doesn't, unfortunately, say "it's bigger on the inside" but we do hear his incredulous "I say," and Sarah giggles.

God I love this show. Even when it's bad, it's good. And Sarah/Four is SOCUTE.

Ending stats:
Jelly baby offers: 3
Displays of unrestrained physical affection: 0 (closest facsimile: when Four comes back to his right mind, he shakes the Brig's hand and then Sarah's. Then he gets distracted, but keeps holding Sarah's hand in both of his own as he talks. Cute, but not a hug.)
Speeches by the Doctor about how awesome humans are: 1ish.

* totally reminded me of Roses's "MISter Jefferson, SIRRR" from Satan Pit, but I didn't have a handy way to link to that. So, you get a footnote!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Interlude: Sound FX

[11:53:16 PM] Marlena: in second grade, we did a play, and some people hid under desks and banged cans together and whispered and stuff. they were the "sound effects crew." I really wanted to do that, but I had to be the sloth.
[11:53:51 PM] Leah: ...
[11:53:59 PM] Leah: that is the best story you have ever told me.
[11:54:30 PM] Marlena: well, y'know, I've been saving it for a special occasion.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Spencer Addendum

So today we were in Boston recording for UTO some more. Over the course of the afternoon, we got on the subject of annoying encounters with Brandeis 2-- and so of course, I got to tell my Spencer The Prat story.

Only when I told the girls his real name, Julia burst out with "oh my god, that kid is EVIL! I hate him SO MUCH!" and told me about how he's a cheating douchebag (color me unsurprised) and, get this-- he claims to have slept with Lady Gaga.

Yeah. Yeah. Go ahead and try and process that. I'll wait.

Still laughing? It's okay. Took me a minute, too.

At any rate, it makes me happy to know that I'm not the only person to have been on the receiving end of his particular brand of terrible.

Fun fact: Today I learned, via Pandora, that I really don't like Simple Plan. This doesn't surprise me in the least, but it's nice that I can have a proper account of these things.

In other news, my laptop monitor has stopped functioning. As such, so have I.

So we'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Meet Spencer

I am not generally the kind of person who tells funny anecdotes at parties. My stories rarely end with an apologetic "I guess you had to be there," and when they do, it's probably because the punch line is a nerdy reference and my fellow conversationalist is not a geek like me.

Today, I have a crazy story. TODAY, I-- for the first time-- have encountered a person so absurdly fictional that I actually need to *come up with a codename for him for use on this blog.*

He is in my assigned Short Stories group; he grew up on Fifth Avenue, went to an exclusive all-male Academy for high school, and is (as I learned today) a male model. For the purposes of this blog, we will call him Spencer the Prat, as he is both EERILY REMINISCENT of his forebear, and is, inarguably, a complete prat.

As is true of all "been there" moments, this kind of loses something in the retelling, so I'll do the short version:

The story my group is doing comes from something called Godey's Lady's Book, which was a monthly journal in the 1830s which published short stories, articles and advertisements relevant to women of the day. Our particular story is about (among other things) lovers who die of plague. The project, in brief, is to "re-publish" this story. Our idea was to reformat our meta stuff around the story as if it were a modern women's magazine, like Elle.

One of my suggestions was that-- seeing as we're allowed to put in illustrations-- we could add thematically relevant ads... one of which could be an anti-plague skin cream, as satire.

Cut to Spencer the Prat. Spencer, who has not yet read the story we're doing this project on, completely failed to understand what I was getting at. So I tried explaining it several different times, in several different ways. "But why is it skin cream," he demanded.

Spencer, being a student who clearly goes to Brandeis 2-- oh. Wait.

SHORT INTERLUDE: Chef has a theory where there are two versions of 'deis: there's Brandeis, which is populated by smart awkward jewish kids who are generally sweet and well-meaning and want to change the world... and then there's Brandeis 2. Brandeis 2 has frats, and jocks, and people who spend their weekends throwing up and then tell stories about how epic it was after. The reason so few people realize there are, in fact, two Brandeises (Brandeisi?) is because the two so rarely overlap.

Sometimes, however, they're arbitrarily placed in the same group project, and the whole system falls apart.

So ANYWAY. From the way he was talking, I was starting to get the feeling that Spencer fancied himself a bit of a manly man-- that he'd never picked up an issue of Elle in his life, and would be offended at the mere suggestion that he had. Which would explain why he wasn't getting where I was coming from at all.

Me: "I-- look. Have you ever, y'know, looked at an issue of Seventeen, or Elle, or-- because they have these, these ads for--"
Spencer: [coldly] "What do you mean 'have I ever.'" [disconcertingly sarcastic now] "Noooo, I've NEVER picked up a magazine before."
Me: "No, sorry, I didn't mean-- I just thought that--"
Spencer: "Look, I've been in magazines, so you can just drop the attitude, okay."

The more polite and rational I tried to be, the more offended and defensive he got. He then informed me that he's not sure why I think I can get away with my "snotty attitude," but that I need to "wake up" because it's "not gonna help [me] at all in the real world."

Oh, right. That would be the real world where you grow up in a luxury penthouse on the Upper East Side, take family vacations to Morocco, and plan to be a model when you graduate. No, I suppose my attitude won't help me at all in the real world.

Because I don't go to this school because Daddy can pay for it and it has a good reputation. I go to this school entirely on scholarships because I'm fucking smart, bitch.

Now run along to your photo shoot. I have an essay on schizophrenia and family dynamics in Hamlet to write.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Okay. So. Hi.

I have a 5-6 page Hamlet paper due on Friday. I have not started it, on Thursday night I'm busy from 7-god knows when with UTO (rehearsal, gig, party) and then I'll be... well, drunk, and not useful. So I have to write it before then. Which would be fine, except my life is exploding.

Wednesday night I'm supposed to have dinner with my hypothetical new roommates before our housing appointment. But it's possible that Steph will have to skip it, which means I won't actually know anyone there. Which would be fine, except that I won't, y'know. Know them on sight. Which could lead to some problems.

On Monday I have a 5-6 page paper due in German Cinema. NEXT Friday, my big Short Stories group projecty thingy is due.

Also, I need to declare my major before I leave for spring break.

Also also, I need to get bus tickets so that I CAN leave for spring break.

Next Friday is also (also also) my meeting with Kosta about my big science paper. So I should probably, y'know, find a topic for that.

OH. AND. On Sunday we're doing more album recording with UTO. (gotta do the CD graphics.)

I got 2 hours of sleep last night. Well. Morning. From 9:20 to 11:20. Which means I missed Science. I was kept up all night by the leaky roof.

I just. What. I don't even.

(If I can make it to spring break, I am golden. Until then.... YELL AT ME, DON'T LET ME PROCRASTINATE. NO FUN IN LEAHTOWN, GOT IT? OKAY.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Interlude: Billie Piper and Pokemon

[4:13:30 AM] Marlena: god, I love Doctor Who
[4:13:44 AM] Leah: what's that?
[4:14:44 AM] Marlena: oh, nothing. some show about England and aliens.
[4:15:14 AM] Leah: oooh. do they fart?
[4:15:21 AM] Leah: not interested unless they fart.
[4:16:36 AM] Marlena: duuuuuh. and that awesome pop star, Billie Piper, is the musical guest at the end.
[4:17:04 AM] Leah: ...
[4:17:41 AM] Leah: do you think her real name is, like... Wilhemina?
[4:17:48 AM] Marlena: ...
[4:18:04 AM] Leah: just. cuz. "Billie."
[4:18:12 AM] Leah: I dunno. she named her kid Winston.
[4:18:14 AM] Leah: it's possible.
[4:18:24 AM] Leah: (baby Winstonnnnnnnnnnnnnn)
[4:18:38 AM] Marlena: sayeth Wikipedia: "Billie Piper (born Lianne Paul Piper;[1] 22 September 1982, in Swindon, Wiltshire) is an English singer and actress."
[4:18:50 AM] Leah: Lianne Paul?!
[4:19:10 AM] Leah: lolwuuuuuut
[4:19:16 AM] Marlena: "Piper was offered a record deal at the age of fifteen, and in 1998 became the youngest artist ever to debut at number one in the UK singles chart with "Because We Want To", released under the stage mononym "Billie"."
[4:19:30 AM] Leah: *dies*
[4:19:37 AM] Leah: what I don't even
[4:20:07 AM] Marlena: I love Billie Piper's life. Everything about it. So good. I almost don't want to read her autobiography.
[4:20:25 AM] Leah: somehow, I have the feeling that the mystery will remain
[4:20:34 AM] Leah: it'll just get deeper and more intense
[4:20:58 AM] Leah: I just.
[4:21:01 AM] Marlena: HAHAHAAHA WHAT
[4:21:10 AM] Leah: how does a song like "Because We Want To" DEBUT AT NUMBER ONE?
[4:21:15 AM] Marlena: "She recorded a song for Pokémon: The First Movie titled "Makin' My Way (Any Way That I Can)".[7]"
[4:21:23 AM] Leah: I mean, I'm sure that in '98 our singles weren't much better
[4:21:25 AM] Leah: but
[4:21:25 AM] Leah: WHAT
[4:21:26 AM] Leah: WHAT
[4:21:27 AM] Leah: WHAT
[4:21:28 AM] Leah: WHAT
[4:21:28 AM] Leah: WHAT
[4:21:29 AM] Marlena: I KNOW
[4:21:30 AM] Marlena: RIGHT
[4:22:04 AM] Leah: MANY TIMES
[4:22:40 AM] Marlena: I THINK SO
[4:22:45 AM] Leah: OH MY GOD
[4:23:01 AM] Marlena: YES. IT IS.
[4:23:11 AM] Leah: I can't remember the song, but the litl'un in me KNOWS I KNOW IT.
[4:23:34 AM] Marlena: YES.
[4:23:40 AM] Marlena: OBVIOUSLY WE DO
[4:23:46 AM] Leah: and... never tell twitter about this

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

BORG highlights

I do quite like these kids. From Session 2 of Apples to Apples card-making:

"Gaming tonight! You should come."
"Can't. Gotta clean the suite."
"And that means you can't come?"
"Not if I'm cleaning my suite, no."

"Okay, your adjective is: Yummy."
"Oh, damn. I've already made too many Doctor Who cards."
"Also, we made a Banana card last time."
"Who said anything about bananas? I was going to put down 'David Tennant.'"

"Tegan's not here? I guess I get to sit in the President's chair, then, as I'm her... concubine?"
"I think you mean 'consort.'"
"Yet somehow I think we're staying with 'concubine.'"

"Every action does have a consequence sometimes."

"Your word is: Scary."
"Ewoks?! Whoever said that, they're adorable!"
"Wait. Are you saying they're adorable, or...?"
"Ahhhh, the magic of comma vagueness."

"Can I get a ride?"
"Yeah, sure, of course."
"Well I just wanted to make sure there wasn't a... a giant inflatable rhino in your backseat."
"Well the nice thing about giant inflatable rhinos is that they can be deflated."

"Your word is... your word is... argh. I'm stuck in a direction and I can't think of any adjectives in that direction."

"... and finally, The Neverending Story."
"Y'know, I never finished that book."

Interlude: Loving Puppies

[3:19:32 PM] Leah: *clings to Angel*
[3:19:35 PM] Leah: I STILL LOVE YOU.
[3:19:58 PM] Leah: (lies.)
[3:20:10 PM] Marlena: why can't they *both* be your puppies?
[3:20:19 PM] Leah: oh! they can!
[3:20:21 PM] Leah: I meant the phase thing.
[3:20:31 PM] Marlena: man. you better not have more than one kid.

In other news, I may end up rooming with Steph from UTO next year, in a Ziv suite. I'll have more info tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Short Stories short story.

Something interesting happened when I was walking out of Short Stories today. We're on the brink of starting this project where we (split into groups too large to be productive, imho, but that's a blog for another day) take a short story published before 1860-- and only ever in one addition-- and "re-publish" it (possibly reworked, or with footnotes, or a foreword, or whatever). Because of the nature of the assignment (the source text can only have been published once before, and in the 19th century) we're using stuff from the Archives and Special Collections sections of the library.

Items in Archives and Special Collections include a Shakespeare First Folio and an Oscar (which I've held! with gloves.)

Anyway. So after class today, Professor Plotz pulled me aside and asked me an interesting question. Apparently, at one of the sessions in A&SC, a girl found a bunch of dried flower petals in the book she was looking at, and after the meeting, she went back to the library and asked if she could keep them. She had "medium-length brown hair," and so Plotz asked me if it was me.

It wasn't. But I'm kind of really touched that he thought it was something I'd do. We agreed it was really sweet and cute.

In other Brandeis news, my play is going really well! Housing, however, is a nightmare. The problem is that while I have a lot of friends here at school, none of them are in my year. And while juniors and seniors can room together-- which is why I wasn't worried about this before, because I thought I'd be rooming with Talia-- Talia and Becca and their friend Marissa want to live in the Foster Mods, and juniors can't live in the Mods. And I don't know if my lottery number is good enough to get me into one of the (I think) 12 singles in Ziv, which means there's a fair chance I could be living in Grad-- which is off campus, across the commuter rail tracks and past a business park. Those of you who have visited me at school know how fucking far of a walk that is.

I really don't want to live in Grad. But the alternative is crossing my fingers and hoping Talia and Becca don't get the room they want, so I can benefit from their misfortune and we can get a suite in Ziv together, but that's a terrible thing to think. So. I just... I don't know.

Over on livejournal, I've posted a picspam about Journey's End.

Also, I've decided to change my sidebar quote. The old one:

"Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Great Gatsby"

Monday, March 8, 2010

Doctor/Rose squee linkage

So I've started to get involved over at LiveJournal, of all places, thanks to my uncontainable adoration of Doctor/Rose.

To keep Sounds cleaner and to better service what I intend to use lj for, I'll be posting on both blogs. Unless you're as obsessed as me, don't bother clicking the linkydoo.

Anyway. A shippy thought about New Earth.

Friday, March 5, 2010

1.1.1 "An Unearthly Child" Reaction Post

Amy informed me that the whole first season of Doctor Who was on youtube. Naturally, I couldn't leave that well enough alone, so I thought I'd start at the beginning...

Starting Stats: 1.1.1, An Unearthly Child
Doctor: One
Companions: Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright

So... whoa. I'm watching the first ever episode of Doctor Who.

I love that we meet the companions first, before we meet the Doctor—or rather, I love how RTD kept up that tradition in Rose. Human connection! Fantastic.

"Susan Foreman—she your problem too?" Oh, of course she'd be a troublemaker. But I won't say that's my girl just yet.

Ian: "That's your problem, eh? Whether to hand over your class to her, or—"
Barbara: "No, not quite."

I already really like Ian.

Barbara: "I asked if I could work with her at her home, and she said that would be absolutely impossible, as her grandfather didn't like strangers."
Ian: "He's a doctor, isn't he? That's a bit of a lame excuse."

Awwh, come on, Doctor! PARTY IN THE TARDIS! It could be fun!

Hee. The address they gave the school is a junkyard.

Ian: "Hmm. That's a bit of a mystery. Well, there must be a simple answer."
Barbara: "What?"
Ian: "Well, we'll... ah, have to find out for ourselves, won't we?"
Barbara: [biting back a smile] "Thank you for the 'we.'"


... AHAHAHAHAHA THAT'S SUSAN? She's not at all how I imagined her. Hair done up in a beehive, listening to that newfangled rock and roll music. I thought she'd be all petite sweetness and light, like Sarah Jane. But she's clearly got a bit of a bite to her. Love that.

[Barbara lends Susan a book]
Susan: "Thank you very much! I'll return it tomorrow."
Barbara: "Oh, that's not necessary—til you've finished it."
Susan: "I'll have finished it."

And now Susan is... hand-drawing a Rorschach blot? I don't even know.

Hee! Barbara—or rather, Jacqueline Hill—flubbed a line but they kept it in. It's so cute and low-budget!

... okay, now I'm starting to get annoyed. They're just listing all the ways Susan's freaky and smart and... well. It's making her come off all freaky. xD Get to the point, show! And let me love her!

[watching her enter an empty warehouse]
Ian: "She is fifteen, you know. She could be meeting a boy. Did that ever occur to you?"
Barbara: "I almost wish she were. It would be so normal."

(Teehee Jimmy Stone. And now back to your regularly scheduled Classic episode).

They've found the TARDIS!

Ian: "Feel it! Do you feel that?"
Barbara: "It's a... faint vibration."
Ian: "It's alive!"
Well that's an interesting conclusion to jump to, Ian. Nice to know you earned that degree in science.

And there's the Doctor! In a funny hat and a funny scarf. Ohhhh, Doctor.

Okay, One's a grumpy curmudgeon. Which I knew, but... come on, Doctor, where's your sense of wonder?

And ohhhhhh, welcome to the TARDIS. Go on. Go on, then. Say it. Someone say it.

Barbara: "Is this really where you live, Susan?"
Susan: "Wh—yes."
Doctor: "And what is wrong with it?"
Ian: "It... it was just a box—"

Come on. One of you has to say it.


Susan: "The TARDIS can go anywhere."
Barbara: "I don't know what you mean, Susan."
Susan: "Oh, I made up tardis from the initials-- Time And Relative Dimension In Space. I thought you'd both realize when you came inside and saw the different dimensions from outside!"

Close enough. (Also: Susan named it? Awwwwwwh.)

Susan: "Why won't you believe us?"
Barbara: "We just want you to tell us the truth."
Doctor: "You have heard the truth! We are not of this race. We are not of this Earth. We are wanderers in the four dimensions of space and time, cut off from our own planet and our own people by eons and universes and a power beyond the reach of your most advanced sciences."

I like the "I can feel the Earth turnin'" speech better, methinks.

... oh, shoot. Is he going to KIDNAP Ian and Barbara? Is that how this goes down? Susan's begging for him to let them go. This is not okay.

"I was born in the 49th century," says Susan. Good to know!

Oh, come on. Really? The Doctor just laughed an evil laugh. Oh, show.

This is... really upsetting, actually. The Doctor zapped Ian, and Susan's all upset and crying, and it's all... argh. This is not what I signed up for. Where are the speeches about how awesome humans are? Where's the sense of adventure? One is so not My Doctor.

There are three more parts to Unearthly Child, but I honestly don't think I can get through them right now. Eesh. I guess I'll just have to take One in very small doses.

I need some dancing Bernard Cribbins to cheer myself up.

That's better.

12.2 "The Ark in Space" Reaction Post

So because I'm totally obsessed, I'm going back and watching Classic Who on Netflix, to widen my knowledge. I could go in order, but that would require a whole lot of effort, because One and Two stories are terribly hard to find... so Netflix instant play it is. (And to be honest, I'm a hell of a lot more interested in Four anyway.)

Anyway. I'm documenting my watching experience here mostly because I just like talking about stuff, but partly so that I can eventually go back and put all my thoughts in order, re-arranging all of these posts to the way they should be, so that I can get a proper sense of narrative arc.

This is going to be a running commentary, as I'm writing down my thoughts while I watch. It'll be some quotation-collection, some character analysis, and some MST3K-style sarcasm, I'd assume. But I'm not Jacob, so don't expect, y'know, mentions of the other side of grace, or any kind of coherency. I assume it will be disjointed at best.

A warning: this has spoilers (duh) for the episode in question, as well as New Who.

Another warning: I'm doing this—going back and watching the old series—not because I really love cheesy contrived plots and bad special effects, but because I'm terribly interested in the Doctor's past, and because I freaking love Companions. They are my favorite type of people. So this "recap" (if you could call it that) is going to be very Sarah Jane-centric, because that's where my focus was.

Starting stats: 12.2, The Ark In Space
Doctor: Four
Companions: Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan

(This is, perhaps, a bit of an awkward place to start. It’s the second "episode" in Four's first season; I maybe should have began when he did. Too late now. In any case, it makes certain things much clearer: for example (and by that I mean "the only thing I care about stemming from that statement is"), the Doctor's relationship with Sarah Jane would obviously be, if not strained, then a bit uncertain. Which makes me feel better.)

We open on a long shot of a space station, which is quite obviously a miniature on a string in front of black felt with holes poked through it. I will never complain about the CGI in End of the World again.

Doctor: "Not a lot of oxygen… still. Nothing to worry about." [starts playing with a yo-yo]
Sarah Jane: "Suffocation is nothing to worry about?"

Awwwh. He was using the yo-yo to test for gravity.

Doctor: "We're obviously on some kind of satellite; now isn't that interesting?"
Sarah Jane: [has done this before] "Not very."
Doctor: [delighted] "Well I think it is!"

(I already adore them.)

*a door opens*
"Hey, Doctor--"
"Hold on."
"But, Doctor--"
"In a MINUTE, Sarah."
*Sarah wanders through door while the Doctor is distracted*

Three guesses what happens next, first two don't count.

Aaaaaaand now she's suffocating. Well done. (And he called Rose jeopardy-friendly?)

Doctor: "Where is she?"
Harry: "In the TARDIS?"
Doctor: "Couldn't be; I've got the key."

Oh, Doctor. You've got to share your keys. Keys are trust and keys are affection. And keys are also a way home. Let her in.

Moving swiftly onward.

… Well, on the bright side, they've found her. The downside is that now they're all trapped and suffocating. Oh, show.

And now, something I loved. Four is amused. He smirks and says: "heeeeee." It was so very Tennant. Or, I suppose, the other way around. But I love continuity like that.

[3/4/2010 5:31:37 PM] Leah: so Sarah Jane is kind of whammied right now—in a trance—and the Mysterious Voice was just like "greetings, lower being!" and she waved. and it's SUPER CUTE.
[3/4/2010 5:31:41 PM] Leah: *snuggles classic who*
[3/4/2010 5:33:31 PM] Leah: meanwhile, the Doctor is crawling around under a plastic box.
[3/4/2010 5:35:38 PM] Marlena: of course he is

Doctor: "Don't you realize what this is? I—aren't you feeling better?"
Harry: "No, I'm not."
Doctor: "Well pull yourself together, man, this is FASCINATING!"

Awwwwh, Harry is starting to ask Excellent Questions! And the Doctor is proud of him! ...almost. ("Your mind's beginning to work!" he says. "All my influence, of course, you mustn't take any credit.")

[upon finding Sarah Jane "dead" for all intents and purposes]
Doctor: "Sarah—oh, Sarah Jane..." [stands completely frozen]

By this point, Sarah Jane is most definitely my favorite part of the show. Lis Sladen is reallysupercute. (Though she kind of has to be, in order to balance all the wtf and the cheese). Admittedly she's kind of all over the place, but in a rational, "do I contradict myself? Well then I contradict myself. I contain multitudes" human, sense-makey way. Scared of a giant bug one moment (and who wouldn’t be?), poking about and showing it to other people the next.

Also, yeeeeeeah, Sarah's definitely totally in love with the Doctor. *pets her* And I give her lots of credit for putting up with him; he was so much more rude back then.

...Oh my god is that bubblewrap? It is. The villains of this piece are rapidly-mutating insects (Wirrn) that… can turn humans into members of their species? Or perhaps just need to lay their eggs inside living flesh? They're a bit inconsistent on that front. Anyway, slime and membrane is depicted via dark-green bubblewrap. Oh, show.

[Random Engineers gape as the Doctor spews technobabble]
Sarah Jane: "He… he talks to himself, sometimes, because there's no one else who understands what he's talking about."

[Harry has been ordered to stay behind. The Doctor exits.]
Sarah whispers: "Good luck!" and scoots, but then, from off camera:
Doctor: "and Sarah? You stay behind!"
She huffs.

Unrelated note: I love Tom Baker's hair. The swoops and swirls of those curls… wonderful. I also highly approve of his eyes. He's not a looker in the conventional sense, certainly, but he's not without his bit of pretty.

Wow. The ray gun/particle gun effects are particularly awful. I could do better on iMovie. (But not, to their credit, MS Paint.)

Awwwwwh Sarah saved the Doctor! Several times. She also has quite a set of pipes on her. She's got Rose's devotion but only a fraction of her cheek—she lets him intimidate her. But... the way she always looks to the Doctor, the way she always finds his eyes... her hyperawareness and silent support may not be as adorable as the hand-holding, but the essence remains. (Unrelated: she must weigh, like, two pounds, because both Four and Harry are able to pick her up like it's nothing.)

There's a moment where the Doctor has to go off by himself, and Sarah Jane stays behind. But Lis Sladen does a very clever thing—she takes one step forward, as if her instinct is to follow, before pulling back. It's a tiny moment, but it gives Sarah a little bit more spunk. I doubt it was in the script.

(Heeeee. But then after the cliffhanger before Part 4, he's saved by a shot from Vira's gun. Sarah made her follow him. That's my girl.)

Harry Sullivan, by the way, is sweet but unmemorable. And also a bit of a chauvinist.

Harry: "Something must have happened to them."
Random Engineer: "And if we go out there, it will happen to us."
Harry: "Well I want to investigate!"
Hee. Okay, two points, Harry. I love companions.

"Anyone for a jelly baby?" It took almost an hour and twenty minutes for the first offer! Good job, Doctor.

AHAHAHA and then Sarah Jane figured out the mystery. Again with the "Doctor—but Doctor, LISTEN—" stuff, which could get old fast, but I like that she's clever and I like that he has to be reminded. It makes me think of The Idiot's Lantern—how Rose saw the solution to the problem (the TV aerials) straight away, and mentioned it to the Doctor, and he wasn't paying attention. Of course, then she had her face stolen and he guilt tripped like crazy, but it's a nice bit of character continuity. And the fix Sarah suggests—rerouting the separate power supply of a shuttle into a fried system—was used again by the Captain in The Satan Pit. Oh, show.

However, while in Satan Pit the process was as easy as a flip of a few switches, in Classic Who it's all analog—the cables need to be connected by hand, through cramped ducts. But how? Well of course:

Sarah Jane: "Why don't I take the cable through, I’m about that wide." Oh, that's my girl.
"That's hardly a job for you, Sarah—" shut up, chauvinist Harry.
Angle on the Doctor, eyes widening in a bit of surprise and no small amount of pride: "Good girl, Sarah."

Harry: "How're you doing, old girl?"
Sarah Jane: "How do you THINK I'm doing, twit?"

(See, some of Sarah's lines—she said "vamoose" earlier—well. She could choose to be a lot harder than she's coming off. It all feels like good-natured ribbing, which I like.)

The piping is miserable, by the way. It’s a good thing Lis is teeny tiny. I wouldn’t be able to slip through.

Sarah Jane: "I don't think I can go on much longer—I keep getting stuck."
Harry: [to the Random Engineers] "That's the thing about old Sarah. Terrific sense of humor."
[Sarah rolls her eyes]

She hears the Doctor at the other end, gets stuck. Whimpers. And then Four does something I expected, but wished he wouldn't:

"Stop whining, useless girl!"
"Oh, Doctor!"
"'Oh Doctor,' is that all you can say for yourself? Stupid, foolish girl. We should never have relied on you, I knew you'd let us down. That's the trouble with girls like you: you think you're tough, but when you're really up against it you've no guts at all. Hundreds of lives at stake, and you lie there blobbing."
He's grinning now, moves to help her out as she emerges. She flails. "I CAN MANAGE I DON'T NEED YOUR HELP."
(He's never loved her more.) "Yes you do. Yes you do. Yes you do." Smiling widely, he wraps her arms around his shoulders and yanks her down.

"You've done marvelously, I'm very proud of you."
"What?!" [realizing] "Conned again. You're a brute."
"Brute? Don't be ungrateful, I was only encouraging you. Come on."
(And here's where they should have hugged, but didn't.)

I get why he does it. Nine might've, too. But I wish he weren't so abrasive.

"Your resistance is useless!" Oh, villains. Oh, Britain. Oh, show.

Sarah Jane: "I dunno if it's my imagination, but it's getting a bit stuffy in here."
Doctor: [dismissively] "It's your imagination."
Sarah Jane: [muttering] "You'd say that anyway."

[And then there's a whole business with getting the Wirrn onto the shuttle and setting it off, and it requires the Doctor and a Random Engineer to be in the blast zone:]
Doctor: "No point in both of us being killed. Get back inside!"
Random Engineer: "You'd get in trouble with the Space Technician's Union, Doctor. That's my job!" [knocks out the Doctor, puts him in safety lock, finishes flipping switches]

Awwwh, human beings.

Vira: "They must have both died instantly..."
[Sarah just shakes her head.]
Harry: "Now come on, Sarah, he'd have wanted you to be brave."
[She tries not to cry; a helpless twitch of the mouth that’s trying to be a smile.]

And then the Doctor stumbles in. It's all very Satan Pit.

"Doctor, you're safe—" she goes to him, ecstatic, clutches at his arms, but... still no hug. Why no hug? This very same situation made for the most adorable hug in series two of New Who, observe:

But here... nothing. And it's not about shipping, not at all. It's about intimacy. (DAMN I promised I wasn't going to do that.) I know Four and Sarah are still kind of new to each other, so I hope this situation improves over time. I miss the physical affection. Without it, the Doctor seems that much more alien.

Doctor: [hands Sarah a key] "Fetch me a coat from the TARDIS, will you?"
She beams.

(That's more like it.)

[Three to beam down ala Trek, all in adorable coats and hats:]
Doctor: "I don't remember inviting you two."
Sarah Jane: "Ah... no. You didn't. But here we are." [beams at him. As we recall from Rise of the Cybermen, the Doctor is helpless against feminine wiles in the form of adorable smirks]

Oh, show.

All in all, this makes me very curious about Sarah Jane Adventures, and also makes me rethink some of the things that happened between her and Ten in School Reunion. I think I'll have to watch it again, after I've seen a bit more Classic.

Ending stats:
Jelly baby offers: 2 (and a third reference by Harry)
Displays of unrestrained physical affection: 0
Speeches by the Doctor about how awesome humans are: 2.5

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"Guys! God just tweeted!" - Amy Snow

via Twitter:

jk_rowling This is the real me, but you won’t be hearing from me often I am afraid, as pen and paper is my priority at the moment.


Sometimes I love my pathetically awful sleeping habits, because it means that at 6 AM on this random Tuesday, I was awake for this. I was watching the sun rise over Boston through my window, back-reading some fanfic author's livejournal as they fangirled Doctor Who, and... and while I was doing that, somewhere across an ocean Jo Rowling opened up her twitter and spoke to us.


I can't explain why this affects me so much. Maybe I'm just tired. (Sure as hell don't feel it. Not after that, at any rate.)

I don't know why it's important to me that I was here when it happened. I mean, waking up to a Jo!tweet would have been exciting, too. But... I dunno. I was THERE. She's however-many-hours ahead, but we're both, like... existing right now. In this moment. And she's on twitter, too.

And I know that that's the frickin' novelty of Twitter, no matter who's talking. Whether it's me or my mom or Marlena or John Green. But she NEVER DOES, and... and she's JO ROWLING.

I... wow. I just don't even know.

Also: she's writing.



[1:27:54 AM] Leah: speaking of YA
[1:28:06 AM] Leah: have you ever read anything by Jim Hines?
[1:28:20 AM] Marlena: I don't think so? Should I?
[1:28:27 AM] Leah: I dunno.
[1:28:43 AM] Leah: but one of the DW lj people linked to his blog
[1:28:51 AM] Leah: and so, our world being so terribly small
[1:28:55 AM] Leah: I figured I'd ask
[1:29:21 AM] Marlena: hmm. nope. never heard of him.
[1:29:31 AM] Leah:
[1:29:35 AM] Leah: that was the entry she linked to
[1:30:53 AM] Marlena: oooooh. so, maybe I *should* read his books.
[1:31:04 AM] Leah: you want to read All The Books.
[1:31:09 AM] Leah: so you'd find him eventually.
[1:31:15 AM] Marlena: *resists urge to look him up on the library website...resists..resists...*
[1:31:19 AM] Leah: NO DON'T DO IT
[1:31:21 AM] Leah: um
[1:31:22 AM] Leah: um
[1:31:27 AM] Leah: *distracts with shiny thing*
[1:31:47 AM] Leah: OH WAIT
[1:31:48 AM] Leah: LOOK
[1:31:49 AM] Leah:
[1:31:58 AM] Marlena: HAHAHA
[1:32:01 AM] Marlena: that works
[1:32:15 AM] Leah: I still don't understand *why* he's dancing
[1:32:18 AM] Leah: but I love it
[1:32:54 AM] Leah: (I think "OH WAIT, LOOK, IT'S DANCING BERNARD CRIBBINS" should be our new response to everything.)
[1:33:09 AM] Marlena: (Motion passed.)


[1:56:40 AM] Leah: we need to watch Psych, too.
[1:56:52 AM] Marlena: do we?
[1:57:00 AM] Marlena: I know less than nothing about Psych.
[1:57:33 AM] Leah: it stars two very hot guys and has a running gag about pineapples.
[1:57:45 AM] Marlena: sold.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Does it say "sick?"

When I was little and I didn't feel well, I would--as one does--have my mother take my temperature. Only I wasn't entirely clear on how a thermometer worked, because when she pulled it away to examine the readout I would ask her, quite seriously, "Does it say Sick?"

The point of that little anecdote was a little segue into the fact that I HAVE A COLD and IT IS NOT PLEASANT.

I had to walk up the hill from rehearsal nursing a cup of tea ("sick tea," which is Apple & Cinnamon tea with honey) and I couldn't DRINK the tea because it was too hot and my throat's killing me from singing (bass on so many songs, holy crap how do I even manage?) and it was cold outside and it was just... miserable. Can't breathe through my nose, so when I got into my room I just kind of stood there woozily and panted.

Rehearsal was a mess. We have our first performance on Tuesday, and we're not exaaactly prepared, and everyone was just... hmm. Amanda has a name for it, from her Shakespeare group. They call them the jauns-- like, everyone has Major Issues and Shit Went Down. It was a jaunful evening. That's honestly the only way I can describe it. Several girls burst into tears. We all perked up again a bit at the end singing Lights, but that's because Lights is our soul and it fixes everything.

I was meant to do laundry on Saturday but I forgot. I am very seriously running the risk of Actually Running Out Of Clothes, Like For Real. Something will have to be done, and fast.

In other news, we blocked the entire play at H2G2 rehearsal today. Everyone seems super psyched about it, and kept bringing up promotion ideas... so at least one thing is going right.

I'm sorry for all the bitching. Life is good, really. I'm just better at handling all of this, I think, when I'm within the momentum of the week. Jumping back in after a lazy Saturday is just a bit of a shock.

My room probably smells lovely thanks to the birthday roses I got from Hayley. If I could inhale through my nose, I'd tell you for sure. My new Spock bobblehead says "Fascinating."

Imma stop rambling and randomly capitalizing That Which I Deem Important now. Ttyl, blog.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I am only a teenager for five more minutes.

Today in class, Kosta told me-- and these were his exact words--"You ask good questions. I like you." It kinda made my life.

In the past year, I have:
  • Been a bridesmaid in a good friend's wedding
  • Had a boy tell me he was in love with me
  • Gotten drunk for the first time
  • Finally figured out-- mostlykinda-- what it is I want to do, and who it is I want to be, for the rest of my life
  • Gotten in a very minor car accident
Um um um. Two minutes to go. I can't think. I'll talk more about this tomorrow, I guess.

One minute. Oh my god.

Interlude: Slankets and Doctor Who

[12:08:40 AM] Leah: slankets are awesome.
[12:08:50 AM] Leah: how did we survive without them?
[12:10:00 AM] Marlena: I actually don't use my slanket that often. I mean, when I do, it's my Favorite Thing Ever. But I'm not cold that often.
[12:10:31 AM] Marlena: ...that was too many that oftens
[12:11:02 AM] Leah: I bet the Doctor took Rose into the future and got her a slanket and it blew her little 2005 mind.
[12:11:21 AM] Marlena: right. totally.
[12:11:42 AM] Marlena: because what's the destruction of your planet and species as you know it when there are BLANKETS with ARMS?
[12:11:58 AM] Leah: watching the earth die in the year five billion? nothing. defeating the Gelth with Charles Dickens? meh.
[12:12:09 AM] Leah: SLEEVES.
[12:12:12 AM] Leah: ON YOUR BLANKET.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Success Is Not a River In Egypt (or anywhere else)

God, I don't know where the names I give these things come from. Just ignore it.


So today I got up EARLY to a) finish my powerpoint for German Cinema and b) finish my Short Stories essay. Both of these endeavors were SUCCESSFUL.

Then I went to German Cinema and we got back our first essays. And the professor was all, "these are just first drafts, second drafts due on the third. Some of you did so well that you don't need to revise. ... don't look so hopeful, it was less than a handful." And then she talked for like 15 minutes about how to interpret her responses and markings, and what she wanted out of the revisions.

And then I got my essay back and the only things she'd written on it were "Excellent," "nice!" and "you can revise if you want, but this is clearly an A paper."


(And then I did my powerpoint and I got a little tongue tied for a second but it mostly went well.)

AND THEN AND THEN. Sorry. Very repetitive today.

Anyhow. Just now, we had the first play rehearsal. And I don't want to jinx it, but I think Everything Is Going To Turn Out Okay.

And now, for something completely different.

You may remember a while back that I was going to write an essay about Dollhouse for that SmartPop Books contest. Well, I missed the deadline, and so, like I promised, I'm posting what I got down. Here we go:

Over and over again, the purposes of the Dollhouse are made clear to its clients. “It’s not about what you want,” says Adelle, “it’s about what you need.”

Truer words could not have been spoken not just about the Dollhouse, but Dollhouse itself—a bold move on the part of Joss, an unexpected gamble into utterly new territory.

We who worship at the alter of Whedon are used to certain things: well-developed characters, powerful yet subtle messages, and a good ensemble. We like liking people, and we like getting to know our ensemble as people: when Jayne Cobb walks into a room, you know exactly what you’re going to get.

But Dollhouse is profoundly different from Buffy, Angel, Firefly and even Doctor Horrible in one key sense: for the first time, we are not being given a character-driven show. We are being given an idea-driven show.

This was a profound thing to get used to, and was a steep learning curve on both sides of the camera: just watch Season 1 and you know exactly what I mean. We are used to Joss shows that wear their hearts on their sleeves: Buffy is a story of female empowerment—discovering that you have power and learning how to use it responsibly. Angel is a story of redemption—that actions have consequences, and that both the greatest good can come of the most disgusting act, and that unspeakable horror can result from the best of intentions. Firefly is a story of the frontier—of people on the edge, of the little guy’s survival in a world of cold bureaucracy. These are stories of powerful emotion.

But Dollhouse is different. Rather than being “genre first, meaning second,” the meaning is the genre. Whereas all of the other Whedon shows have worn their hearts on their sleeves, Dollhouse wears its brain—which is exactly as messy (and interesting) as it sounds. Because for the first time, Joss is making us think just as hard as he’s making us feel. Dollhouse is something greater, something cerebral. It is A Brave New World, it is Fahrenheit 451…

It is Star Trek.

(Bear with me.)

This revelation didn’t come to me all at once. It started as just an inkling, a powerful sensation I started getting in the middle of season 2: “I kind of wish this were the Enterprise—Adelle DeWitt would make one awesome starship captain.” Over time, this evolved into “DeWitt isn’t just a good hypothetical captain, she’s Jean-Luc Picard” which has now fully developed into a kind of solid surety: in many unexpected ways, Dollhouse is the modern mirror of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Put down the rotting fruit (or pitchforks, depending on your level of offense) and hear me out.

Star Trek: TNG is set in a utopian future, whereas Dollhouse is set in a borderline dystopian present. And yet… and yet they both tackle story from the standpoint of philosophy, rather than emotion. This is not to say that the characters on either show are stand-ins or cardboard cutouts or pawns; they are just as fully-realized as any other character on any other show.

But it explains a lot. How we can trust DeWitt despite her dubious utilitarian thinking, because she gives off an aura of moral certainty so strong that you cannot help but take comfort in it. Why we were able to bond with Victor and Sierra so early—as they both gave off the aching sentimentality of the manmade made real as Data did—but were sometimes faintly annoyed by Echo, who was marked early as special and different, and always came through with just the right thing at just the right moment, like a high-heeled Wesley Crusher.

We did not want a show like Dollhouse—but it is very much the show we needed, and luckily Joss had the presence of mind to understand that.

We live in a confusing age, which is why Star Trek, as a franchise, has always had such broad appeal. It shows a future in which there is equality across all gender and ethno-religious boundaries, where a Prime Directive keeps people like those behind Rossum from fiddling where they don’t belong, and where money is a thing of the past. (“But what do you invest in?” asks Ralph Offenhouse of Picard in The Neutral Zone (TNG 1.26). Picard’s answer was simple: “We invest in ourselves.”)

People invest in other people all the time on Dollhouse, but far purposes far more insidious. Audiences have gotten more cynical, and stories grittier and more jaded, to reflect a changing world. The Dollhouse is a place where Data would have been sent to the Attic immediately—a place not where things can learn to become people, but where people are stripped down to the status of things. There is no room for a Deanna Troi or a Guinan at the Dollhouse—because it’s not a question of what the dolls feel, but what Topher programs them to feel.

Star Trek: TNG went, Dollhouse boldly goes one step farther. Captain Picard occasionally used the holodeck to role play as Detective Dixon Hill; a mostly harmless exercise to relax and relieve the burden of command. DeWitt, on the other hand, must dig deeper and risk more: becoming the often-mocked Miss Lonely Hearts, taking comfort in the arms of Roger, a man who does not exist, in order to experience a few cherished moments of vulnerability. Highly-advanced medical science begat the visor which granted Geordi the power to see; Topher’s fiddling with Echo’s brainwaves just as easily made her blind. The Borg is not a powerful, distant foe: it is a product of our own creation. On Dollhouse, we truly are the Borg, and our greatest enemy is our own ambition.

And to have a show on television that discusses these things: what it means to be a human, what happens to your soul if you’re not in control of your body, whether or not we have free will… we need to be asked these questions; we need to search ourselves, be challenged, far more than we need to be entertained.

As dark as Dollhouse becomes, it will still stumble upon certain universal truths. So when DeWitt stands up to Mr. Ambrose and his “anatomy upgrades” in Epitaph One, and says, “You cannot have that body, Mr. Ambrose. It belongs to another soul, and I will not sell these people off at any price,” we cheer, because it is just as much a triumph of the human spirit as when Picard quotes Hamlet (with conviction, rather than irony) at Q.

It is a contemporary method masking a sentiment as old as our species: Star Trek shows us the bright light of the future; a world as it should be, so we aspire to be all that we can be. Dollhouse takes us through the darkness, wallows in it and drenches even our greatest heroes in the shadows of doubts and murky waters of ethical dilemmas.

Something to think about, in any case.

And while you ponder that a while, I’ll amuse myself with the notion that the tea Adelle served every client is Earl Grey (hot), and listen hard in case she said “make it so” and I missed it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

*head explodey*


I just got back to school after a week-long break, which I also used as a break from this blog and higher-level brain functioning and, um, going outside. My stress levels have been at epically high... levels... and so I really needed the time to sit around and do nothing but draw and sleep and write Doctor Who fanfic. It was nice. Relaxing.

Anyway, I'm back now.

My life is already a bit easier because UTO as a whole decided that recording every weekend in March is a) expensive and b) insane. We're limiting it to three days over the course of the spring, which means the CD release is pushed back until fall. Also, my solo-- at least my Straight Lines solo-- won't be on the CD, because we don't have the time or money to record it. Which sucks. On the other hand, there are two more songs whose solos haven't been auditioned yet that we're doing later this week, so there's still a chance I'll have *a* solo on the album.

Also: we're going to be selling UTO "up YOUR octave" boxers as a fundraiser. I expect you all to buy a pair. They're gonna be supermegafoxyawesomehot.

(No, seriously. We need the money. Buy boxers.)

As it stands, I have an essay due tomorrow at 4, and an oral presentation in a class that starts at 3:40. Also, I need to show the prof my oral presentation during her office hours, which are from, like, nine to noon or some shit. So tonight and tomorrow will be busy with the work. And then tomorrow night is my first H2G2 rehearsal, and probably also more homework-doing about which I've forgotten.

Related: could someone, at some point, remind me to go actually declare my film major? If I don't do something about it soon, a minor it will stay. Which I do not want.

ANYWAY. The ultimate good news here is that I'm not losing every single weekend to madness. Which is a really big relief.

I *can* get through this semester. I am strong and capable and clever. It will ALL WORK OUT.

(Also also: someone make me do my laundry and clean my room. Because I can't put it off forever.)


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I Love (Gratuitously Stealing Hayley's Ideas)

Hello, blog reader people. Real life has been a COMPLETE bitch, lately, in the best of ways, which is why we haven't spoken in a while.

I wasn't gonna blog tonight (today? I don't know what a 2:30 am post counts as) but then I read Hayley's wonderful blog entry and was, as many were, just a little bit inspired.

So, then. In no particular order, certainly missing a great many things, and not quite as pretty as Hayley's--a list of things I love:

-- I love how Amanda and I can manage not to talk to each other for a month, totally by accident, and then converse as if no time has passed, finding each other--as always--uniquely hilarious.

-- I love taking a whiff of the packet my Earl Grey tea bag came in before I throw it away, because it smells like Saturday mornings and Awakeness and Home.

-- I love coming home from a long day and changing out of my jeans and into pajama bottoms.

-- I love that I can talk to Marlena for hours every day about everything spanning from literary theory to zombies vs unicorns to "What if Angel and Tara opened a bed and breakfast together" to our most personal and private hopes and dreams without once tiring of each other or disagreeing. (Well. Aside from the zombies and unicorns thing. ZOMBIES RULE.)

-- I love singing in my car at the top of my lungs, because that's what cars are for and that's what songs are for and it all just perfectly fits.

-- I'm sorry, I'm gonna have to steal this one, word for word: "I love how a line in a poem can strike a part of your brain that you hadn't noticed was asleep before, and you can't rephrase the line or explain why it makes sense, because it's perfect and beautiful in that it says something that's never before been put so well." Because that's what this blog is all about, and Hayley said it better than I could.

-- I love how all the writers/artists/creators I love-- Jane Espenson, Joss Whedon, Jacob the Recapper, John Green-- end up connected to and inspired by each other in ways I never dreamed, which in turn inspires me. Also, all of them have J-names, and what's up with that?

-- I love wearing my Missing Piece around my neck and my dad's high school ring on my finger every day, because I'm telling you who I am and where I come from without even saying a word, and no one really seems to notice, until they do. Which is how getting to know someone always works.

-- I love making my sister laugh, because I have to earn it.

-- I love that when I have Big News (like I did yesterday, but is a bit too personal to share with you, blog readers) and I have to call my best friends, my mom is on that list.

-- I love intricately structured narratives.

-- I love watching heavy snowfall through a window, when I'm warm and comfy indoors, preferably with hot chocolate.

-- I love the way autumn smells, how the leaves get brittle and beautful and change the air; how I can use words like "brisk" and "crisp" to describe the mornings and even though the world is dying it feels so much more like starting over than spring does. (Spring, to be clear, smells like allergies and feels like death, but this is not a list of things I hate, so.)

-- I love the thin rim of blue around my mostly green eyes.

-- I love loving things to death-- wearing holes in the canvas of my Converse, dog-earing my favorite pages of books, knowing lines of movies so well I can quote along with them as I watch.

-- I love how I've finally found my passion and a bliss to follow; how taking classes in my majors just sets my brain on fire.

-- I love connecting with strangers over a mutual love, and how at the end of the conversation you're not strangers anymore.

You may notice, I've changed the sidebar quote to a (admittedly slightly arrogant) Fitzgerald line. Blog Reader Morgan requested that I share more quotations with you, so I think I'm gonna try and change it every month or so, from now on.

I honestly can't remember what the old-old one used to be, so in the interest of keeping a record of Things I Like, I'll post the previous one in my blog entries when I switch them. Here's what it used to be, which is also One More Thing I Love:

"It's not about my joy, the relief of burden. I like to see people reunited, maybe that's a silly thing, but what can I say, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can't tell fast enough, the ears that aren't big enough, the eyes that can't take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone."

- Jonathan Safran Foer, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


First of all, briefly: Marlena and I just watched The Shakespeare Code, and yeah, I love Martha Jones. I shouldn't have worried.

Second of all, and still speaking of Shakespeare: That podcast we were hoping for? It's UP AND RUNNING. You can use this link here to get to its iTunes page, or just search for it yourself. It's called Amimetobios, which... well. Take it away, Professor Flesch:
("Amimetobios" is from Plutarch's Life of Antony, Shakespeare's source for Antony and Cleopatra: it's a Greek word describing their "peerlessness:" no [a-, as in asexual or ahistorical] life [bios] like [mimeto] theirs. It has nothing to do with anime. Well, almost nothing.)
Okay then!

So. I found out that we got the room we were hoping for for the play after all-- at least for the performances-- and I'm feeling much better about life in general. I'll feel BEST after auditions on Monday, but... well. When we get there.

Tonight I went to this letter-writing party that the financial aid department has, where kids who got scholarships write thank yous to the specific people in charge of the specific endowments that each student received. (Wow, that's some sentence.) ANYway. Writing about what I'm doing at school, and following my bliss, and how Brandeis has turned me into such a passionate person... I should count my blessings more often. Have I mentioned that I love it here? Because I really, truly do.

After that, I went to BORG, where we were writing our own Apples to Apples game. Some highlights:

“And bioluminescent—oh. Lakes.”
“What did you think it said?”
“Next time we play a game that requires teams, shotty Bioluminescent Latkes.”

“Sorry, I’m thinking.”
“Well, stop that.”
“Yeah, the Hive Mind should be thinking for you.”

“For unappreciated, I can’t decide between the Riders of Rohan and Bananas.”

“Spelling out loud uses two different brain parts that oughtn’t be used together.”
“What, Speaking and Thinking?”

“So for addictive, we have: Spice, Spice, Spice, Melange, human children, power, and… cinnamon buns.”

Monday, February 1, 2010


Hello, blog people!

So I do this thing where I stress and procrastinate and put off and have a merry old time, and never sleep-- seriously, I've watched the sun rise two nights in a row now-- and I don't blog because, well, it would just all come out like this: "a;oroihgaekbrjxlpiygqvkehgeytcramt!!!"

As it were.

I've just found out that I probably won't get Schwartz auditorium for the play performances, which really fucking sucks, because the play as written-- or rather, as is still being transcribed-- was kind of custom-made to go there, because that's the space we always use. I'm still typing the damn thing, and auditions are (hopefully) a week from today, and it didn't even occur to me until now to freak out about whether or not we'll get enough people. This show demands like 10 highly committed actors-- there are HUGE monologues, like all the time, and it's Douglas Adams so they have many myriad big words but rarely any kind of point. Oh, god. If I manage to pull this thing off it will be a miracle.

Oh, also? My classes have started assigning papers. Hahaha. Ha ha. Ha.

On the bright side: we have two new girls in UTO, who seem to be coping relatively well. I have rehearsal three nights a week, and BORG on one of the off nights, leaving me kind of just Mondays and Saturdays open, unless I want to start piling things on top of each other. Which I'll probably have to. We're recording every weekend in March.

Also, we're having our first UTO party/initiation on Friday. Which should be fun and I'm really looking forward to it. (I never thought I'd say this, and don't expect me to repeat this sentiment any time soon, but... I could use a drink, anyway.)

Which leaves us with one very stressed out Leah, who is still just slightly sick enough to be annoyed by it. A GIRL CAN ONLY DRINK SO MUCH TEA, UNIVERSE.

In other news, I finally caved and bought myself the Next To Normal album on iTunes, and we're starting in on Midsummer Night's Dream in Shakespeare tomorrow. So that's all nice.

Gyahhh. I don't know. I'm going to stop writing now. I'll feel better when the play is sorted.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I was gonna make a soul/sole pun, but palms are not called hand-soles.

Today has been an interesting day.

So I got up relatively early (considering it's a Lazy Thursday and I have no classes) and went to the campus Copy Center in order to sort out my Hitchhiker's script. While there, I learned two important things: one, that the Copy Center only uses WhoCash (a kind of Brandeis-only debit currency), which I don't have, and two, that they don't do scanning. Well. This left me with two equally annoying and time-consuming options: either go to the library, try and find/figure out their scanner, input the entire thing by hand and then farm out the picture files for printing, or type up the damn thing myself-- which will make for a cleaner, better-edited script, which the cast can print on their own time, but is a huge bitch for me. So I have to do THAT at some point, and won't that be fun?

Then I had to e-mail Lena and respectfully withdraw my application for Final Battle. I'm only now feeling well enough to record all my audition stuff, and so I hadn't looked, since I've been here, to see if I'd packed my camera charger. Which, fun fact, I didn't. So I'm stuck with two days until deadline, a still-sore throat, and a paperweight instead of a camera. Adding to that how incredibly busy I'm going to be this semester, I just... something had to give. However, there's still a possibility I can perform with them in the chorus or something, because Lena is AWESOME and is giving me a chance. But any thoughts I had about being, for example, Ginny Weasley... well, it ain't gonna happen. Which is fine; just a bit sad.

Then I found out J.D. Salinger died. I... I'm very zen about it; it hasn't made me want to cry or anything. He was a hermit, and very old, and all in all it was a good life. But the world is just a little more phony, perhaps, now that he's not in it.

So there are all these tiny things that add up to misery put together, even though I'm actually in an excellent mood and having a WONDERFUL time at school so far. When I'm in the thick of it-- hearing Professor Flesch lecture about Shakespeare; or meeting the COOLEST MIDYEAR IN THE WORLD named Rachel tonight at BCBC and talking with her for an hour about how fanfiction leads to better writers and readers when done right; or singing with my girls in UTO (we added two to our family last night!) I feel like I'm on top of the world. I'm engaged and learning and so, so happy to be here. But when I come home to catch my breath, and I start thinking about it all-- the stuff still looming in the distance, the homework I haven't yet done, how many directions I'm throwing myself in this semester-- it feels like I'm drowning.

So I called Hayley. And we bitched and moaned at each other for a while, sounding thoroughly wretched and cleaning out all the tiny nicks and cuts that add up to so much more. It's funny, because, like, we're both in a really great place... but sometimes, you just need to whine and complain.


My palms are on FIRE right now because the weather did this weird snow-rain-wind-blizzard-snow thing in the course of, like, an hour and a half, leaving a very fine coat of ice on the ground, which I then proceeded to slip on like a Stooge. Not my proudest moment.

So where do I stand? I have homework to do tonight--reading more stories from Arabian Nights, and studying up on Richard II for my first quiz tomorrow. Reading for Kosta's class, for the first time, which I'm sure will go over my head. I still haven't unpacked my suitcase. I have 70 some odd pages of script to transcribe asap, and a UTO meeting on Sunday that will dictate my schedule for the rest of the year. Have I mentioned we're recording a CD? We're going to pick our normal three nights a week to rehearse, then set aside who knows how many Saturdays to go to the studio and record. We're also selecting a date for our Spring Concert. Which would be fine, except I'M DIRECTING A PLAY THIS SEMESTER. I don't have a script yet, which means I haven't planned auditions. With no auditions there's no cast, and with no cast there's no schedule. Once I have that, I need to find the times where we can rehearse THAT, that won't interfere with the rest of my life, and cross my fingers and HOPE that Ryan didn't schedule a play performance for whatever night UTO chooses for the concert.

I'm sorry. I don't even know if any of that was coherent. The moral of the story is that I'm very stressed, and for good reason. So many tiny things. And the only thing that will solve it all is time.