Tags: oh god oh god we're all gonna die

stella happy

happier things

I've been in New York since last Wednesday, and now, on Christmas Eve, there's nothing left to do. Well, there's Christmas dinner tomorrow, but that's my mother's detail, not mine. The presents have all been bought and wrapped and are sitting under the tree, which is lit, and I am sitting here writing this and half-watching Bones with my mother.

(There's also the minor factor of surviving Christmas with my occasionally awful aunt, but I'm trying to focus on the positive here, yeah?)

I've slept more, and better, in this past week than I think I have in the last year. I've also had several days during which I've had absolutely nothing to do. In between, I had sushi with wandering_sag and went to a Japanese noodle bar with spyscribe. I've also been overly indulged and fed by my mother, who clearly still thinks of me as her baby girl rather than as a grown woman. Which is very nice, even if it does, occasionally, make me feel more than a little guilty.

I have also experienced the trauma of my first snowstorm in years, and have proven to myself beyond all doubt that I am no longer built for this kind of weather. (There was snow! And ice! And it was cold and I had to buy boots because I didn't have any appropriate shoes. At least I didn't get snowed in, like gin200168. Sorry, babe.)

scarletts_awry and I have been talking on the phone every night, and plotting has been going on. And she's still all kinds of evil, but I love her anyway.

I head back to L.A. on Friday. I think I'm ready for that, even though I've been enjoying my vacation.

Happy holidays to all of you, whatever you celebrate; I hope you have (or have already had) a lovely day.
chuck charles

OMG, quake!

Yes, we just had a 5.8 earthquake down here in the L.A. area, centered two miles outside of Chino Hills. That's the biggest one we've had in a while; it lasted much longer than they normally do. The windows were rattling, and everything was swaying and shaking.

Everyone here is fine; the company had us evacuate the office when we realized it wasn't just a quick tremor, but we're back now, and there are no injuries or damage to any person or property. We're all a little giddy/giggly from the adrenaline rush, but we're fine.

Cell phone service is down now, or at least it was a little while ago, so calls and text messages may not get through right now.

You can see a map of the quake here.
only wet because of the rain

girl you got to know when it's time to turn the page

Some of you have maybe noticed that I haven't been around too much since the season finale back in May.

Nothing is terribly wrong, but I seem to be having some sort of early-onset midlife crisis. Next year is a milestone birthday, and every time I try to figure out what the hell I'm doing with my life, I hit the big brick wall of "Well, not much, actually." Worse, I don't seem to know what I might want to do that isn't, well, this.

My writing ability and creative inspiration seem to be similarly dead in the water, which is not helping. My sole source of creative expression lately? Making CSI:NY LOLcats on I Can Has Cheezburger. I'm not even kidding.

No, really.

Totally not kidding.

So, yeah: early-onset midlife crisis, and I am completely useless and completely uninspired. I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself.

In better news: I got my stimulus check today. And although it's tempting, I'm not going to attempt to drown my sorrows by blowing the entire thing. I'm going to be a grown-up.

I caught Doctor Who on Sci Fi this weekend -- specifically, "Silence in the Library"/"Forests of the Dead," and although the two-parter is the first of the current season that I've managed to see, I really kind of loved both episodes. Excellent stuff, Donna is awesome, and Steven Moffatt still knows how to bring the creep factor.

They've posted the trailer for Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day, which is nothing short of completely made of sparkles and win, and you need to watch it, like, now.

Also looking forward to the start of the new season of Eureka, and to the upcoming long weekend.
stella smile

kink, & a note about music

As I did last year, I've signed up for svmadelyn's Kink/Cliché Challenge. It is, I can say from experience, a whole lot of fun, and there's a whole list of kinks and clichés to choose from (you select three; svmadelyn will pick one for you at random). You can peruse the list here.

Last year's story, while fun to write, wasn't really what I'd call terribly kinky. Mildly so at best, and really more of a (slightly) non-standard position than anything.

This year, though? Oh lord, this year I am in so much trouble. This year I got assigned full-on, hardcore kink, no two ways about it. I've been vacillating between deep glee and abject horror ever since I received my prompt.

(No, I'm not going to say what it is. If you really want to know, you can go find me in the sign-up post.)

Anyway, I'm posting this to alert other people to the challenge, and to encourage you all to go sign up should you feel a notion to. It's a very low-pressure challenge in terms of deadlines and actually completing a story; as svmadelyn says, she won't be hunting you down if you flake.

I'm not panicking. I've been feeling a need to challenge myself lately and push my writing boundaries, and this fits that goal nicely. ...And it's also entirely possible that I made a list for my own personal use of all the kinks and clichés that I thought I might possibly want to try to write at any point, and that I may be using this list as, erm, inspiration over the next few months.

On another subject, the lyrics to "Down by the Water," the PJ Harvey song that was played during the montage in "Like Water for Murder" (and thanks to mentalhygiene and scarletts_awry for uploading it for me!) are very interesting in light of what was going on in the episode. And more than a little creepy. Well, they're creepy anyway, in and of themselves, but doubly so in context.

The lyrics to "Working for the Man," from the same album, also have an eerie resonance within that context.

You know, this is yet another thing I love about this show: their music choices. For every time they use some song that's by an artist who CBS has arranged some sort of cross-platform promotion with, they also use a lot of songs that are far less obvious choices, and that bear much more emotional impact.

A 13-year-old PJ Harvey song, however amazing it is, doesn't really scream synergy, but damn if it doesn't have a devastating effect in that scene. See also their use of Savoy Brown's "Train to Nowhere" in "The Thing About Heroes," or of Damien Rice's "Amie" in an episode I'm blanking on at the moment, or of Springsteen's "Blood Brothers" in "Hung Out to Dry." My point is that when they're able to pick music according to their own tastes and needs, and not according to whatever deals their corporate parent has arranged, they do a fabulous job.
stella black & white

I either need more caffeine or way, way less

You know what would be awesome?

And by "awesome," I mean "wrong, yet hilarious."

If CSI:NY did one of those episodes wherein two of the characters have to go undercover in the suburbs and pose as a married couple in order to expose some conspiracy or solve some particularly fiendish murder. And in doing so, they have to live together and try to convince everyone in the neighborhood that they're a couple, which usually involves wearing pastels and showing each other affection in public, and making up nicknames for each other that are surface-adorable, but actually intended as acts of vengeful pettiness, and chosen to cause each other the maximum amount of embarrassment and annoyance. And they have to attend barbecues and do the grocery shopping together.

And wackiness ensues, along with sexual tension, or possibly the resolution thereof, if everyone involved gets really unlucky.

It would be just like that episode of The X-Files, or like the episode of Criminal Intent that I saw after I got home and started flipping channels, and paused on to figure out why the hell D'Onofrio was wearing shorts and a polo shirt the size of a sail. And yes, it was the latter that inspired this latest bout of madness.

Like I said, it would be awesome.
stella black & white

today's O RLY? moment brought to you by Daily Variety

via Variety, there's a new CSI show in the works.

'CSI' tapes off amusement park
Crime show goes live at Magic Mountain

The 'CSI' team is roping off another crime scene - this time a live-action show at Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia.

CBS is expanding the "CSI" franchise to a fourth location: Magic Mountain.
Eye's consumer-products division has struck a deal to create a live, interactive stage show that will play off the hit skein's science and mystery elements. Mad Science Prods. is behind the show, which will premiere June 14 at Six Flags Magic Mountain, a theme park in the Los Angeles suburb Valencia.

Half-hour production will let audience members witness a fake crime, then guide them through the "whodunit" process by using the scientific techniques featured in the series. Parkgoers will act as witnesses, suspects and crime investigators.

"A lot of fans tune in because they love solving a mystery, and we saw this as an opportunity to let them really be involved in a case," said Liz Kalodner, exec VP-general manager of CBS Consumer Products.

"CSI: Live!," as the show is being dubbed, won't be as hardcore as the TV series.

"The crime will not be a murder," Kalodner said. "It will be a family-friendly show."

Stage show will be set in Las Vegas against the backdrop of the fictional Max Spade Magic Show. "CSI" creator Anthony Zuiker has been consulted about the content of the show but isn't listed as a producer of any sort.

This isn't the first time CBS has taken "CSI" into the live-event arena. Last year, the net gave the OK to a "CSI"-themed museum exhibit that's still touring the country.

"CSI: Live!" will also make its way to other parts of the country, as well as Canada. After a summer stint at Magic Mountain, plans are under way to send the show on the road through at least 2010.

I have nothing to add to that, really.
stella smirk

public service announcement

If I suddenly start writing fic that involves either seekrit!babies or crying!Danny driven to constant and sudden tears over a) the picking out of curtains, b) his fears that he'll never get to see his beloved kitties again if he and Flack don't make up, and/or c) Flack's and Mac's battle for his love, during which Danny is also completely incapable of making decisions for himself and Mac tells Flack that he (Flack) is unworthy of Danny's love, whereas he (Mac) is...

...Please know that I've been driven to it by scarletts_awry, and that it will be All Her Fault.

The seekrit!baby fic would be the kind in which someone gets pregnant, finds herself [or himself] unable to tell the father, and decides to deal with it by abruptly quitting his or her job and leaving the city and going far away, and refusing all contact with said father, until years later when Fate and Circumstances bring them together again, and the father learns about the child he never knew, and it's all very emotional and traumatizing and everyone would shed another bucketload of tears before it was all over. And the child would be Charming and Precocious, and would have his or her father's eyes, which is how he realizes that he's the dad, because he looks into the kid's eyes when they meet and then he JUST KNOWS.

(PS: The kitties in the curtain!fic would also be Charming and Precocious, and would play matchmaker.)

Again, please direct all blame for this to scarletts_awry. It will not be my fault if I'm forced to write any of this!

Okay, now back on Earth-1:

*glee* gin200168, I got the package! Thank you. I love my Chinese New Year decoration and my wind-up sushi. I've also watched the first ten minutes or so of Ashes to Ashes, and I'm already in love. So so so good, and I'm going to share it with my boss tomorrow, since he's equally obsessed with Life on Mars.
a girl needs a gun

once more, with feeling

This morning in Starbucks, while I was waiting for J., I got out my notebook and wrote two pages. After we met up, as we were walking to the parking lot, it suddenly hit me that I had actually written something for the first time since Christmas Day, and I felt something unknot in my chest. I could have cried.

I've been in a pretty gloomy mood of late, but I don't know that I'd allowed myself to realize, quite, how much the lack of writing had been getting to me.

Looking back in my LJ over the first month or so of 2008, I can see that I've posted a couple of times about how I've been sick, how I'm sorry for not being around, and how now I think I'm feeling better, and I should be getting back up to speed. And none of that has panned out, really. I got sick the day after Christmas, and I still haven't managed to quite shake it, thanks, in large part, to what a Petri dish my office is; everyone there has been sick at some point, and a pattern has developed: every weekend I start to feel better. Every week, I go into the office, and within a day or two I start feeling sick again. I managed to more or less successfully fight off round two of this cold/flu bug/whatever it is by staying home on Monday and Tuesday this week, but now, after two days back in the office, I'm coughing again, even though I didn't all weekend, even when I was wrestling with the bug.

At this point, I think I'm just plain rundown. I'm tired, my energy is shot, and I would just like to get through a week without feeling like hell. (And yes, I'm taking my vitamins and eating oranges and doing all the other things you're supposed to do to stay healthy.)

And, in general, looking back on the last few months, I haven't been having a great time of it. Things started to get stressful in early November, with the beginning of the writers' strike, and pretty much haven't stopped since then. The strike has been a professional strain. Add to that the fact that I'm hellishly busy at work, keep getting hit with new projects and new responsibilities, and that I'm pretty much constantly at my max bandwidth limits for how well I can keep on top of everything. I really do love my job and believe in what I do, but it can be draining.

Now we're looking at the possible end of the strike (it's not over yet, whatever Michael Eisner claims), if the tentative agreement that the WGA and AMPTP have been working on this week pans out; however, we're also looking at a possible doomsday scenario if the board doesn't vote in favor of the agreement this weekend. If that happens, god knows how much longer this is going to drag on, and how many more jobs will be lost. And if the mood in town has been angry and scared since the strike started, it's going to get even worse if the agreement gets rejected.

I'm worried for the people it's already affected, and who it will affect if this continues, and I'm selfishly scared for myself if it goes into doomsday.

So, yeah: sick, worn out, too busy, stressed. And, until today, hadn't written a damn word since Christmas Day. I feel bad for complaining like this, because I know I don't have the kind of problems or worries that other people have, that all in all I'm really pretty damn lucky. But this is the truth: it's been getting to me. More than I realized, I think.

And there have been good times, too, like scarletts_awry's recent visit and going home to New York for Christmas, and smaller things like coffee dates with friends and lunches with co-workers and even quiet nights on my couch with a book.

Plus, maybe, just maybe, I can write again now.

I'd like to be around more. And thank you for the "first kiss" suggestions: I'm hoping to do some of those this weekend.
a girl needs a gun

self(over)-analysis ho

I think I'm suffering from some weird literary form of post-partum depression. Ever since I posted "Devils & Dust," I've been gloomy in the extreme, and it's been really hard to motivate myself to do anything, including either the shameless porn I've been threatening or my own mini-version of NaNo that I've promised to do this month.

Does anybody else get this, or is it just me?

In a way, I suppose it make sense: D&D was a story I was living with in my head for a very long time; the original seed of inspiration came from a music mix that scarletts_awry posted way back in -- December? January? Sometime around then, anyway. And that plotting session that gin200168 and I had at the Getty café happened last February. So it had been a long time, and I was honestly unsure that I was ever going to be able to write that story, and now that I have, I guess I'm left feeling a little...bereft, maybe. Uncertain. Not quite sure what to do with myself now.

Mind you, I also felt, and feel, a sense of accomplishment, but at the moment that's being outweighed by the gloom.

Two brighter notes:

scarletts_awry, I got your letter! And mentalhygiene, I got your card! There really is something to be said for the tactile experience of a handwritten note; I enjoyed them very much.

I also went to co-worker M.'s birthday party today (and just got home a few minutes ago), and it was really nice to have a chance to socialize outside of work, even if we did inevitably end up spending a few minutes psychoanalyzing our manager. (Nice guy. Odd duck.) She also had a homemade birthday cake (made by a former co-worker who is really good at this sort of thing) that was dubbed the Raspberry Landmine, and it was, as the name suggests, quite good and quite filling. I asked for a small piece, and I still feel stuffed to the gills.

Okay. Off to be emo catch up on comments.
only wet because of the rain

victory (not through air power)

I haven't been around much for the last few days because I've been buried in trying to finish this story for all_hallows_fic, and I finally got to the end today.

It's been a very difficult story, and the longest thing I've written in ages, but it's finally done. I have to read it again and do some editing before I post, but for all intents and purposes, it's finished. I'm relieved and a little bit shell-shocked at the moment; I don't quite know what to do with myself.

I'm also, because of this, terribly far behind on comments, for which I apologize; I plan to get caught up on them tonight and tomorrow. (It would be nice if I replied to comments for my post on "Down the Rabbit Hole" before "Boo" airs, now wouldn't it?)

Good god, I'm exhausted now.