Tags: the daily ramble

stella black & white

coming to you live from the Hot Zone...

The brushfires in SoCal are nowhere near me, or near this part of L.A. County at all, and I don't expect them to be.

The air quality, however, sucks. I've had a low-level nosebleed pretty much constantly since yesterday, which always happens when the air gets this dry and this filled with crap.

For melinafandom and afteriwake and everyone else who may be closer to the fires: stay safe and take care of yourselves. I hope that you don't have to evacuate, and that you and yours get through it with as little problem as possible.
stella black & white

I said: boy, you are my Fifth Avenue

This is my 1,000th post.

I feel like I should have something profound, or at least interesting, to say, but I don't, not really.

In the course of those 1,000 entries I've:

  • written probably something over 500K words of fanfic;

  • written reviews for every single episode of CSI:NY from S2 onwards (and a couple of scattered ones for S1);

  • written reviews of various other episodes of TV shows and movies;

  • revealed my shallow aesthetically refined side and my general fashion obsession;

  • come up with the Fashion Watch for my episode reviews, something that started as a lark and evolved into a regular feature that's one of my favorite things to write every week;

  • gotten new insights into how I feel about things like narrative structure and stealth character development and character porn and sexuality and subtext (I highly approve of all of them);

  • discovered a few narrative obsessions of my own, like negative space and the fellowsoldiers ethos and water imagery;

  • posted music, sometimes with accompanying fic, and got to share my favorite songs with other people the way they'd shared theirs with me;

  • solicited opinions on important subjects like what kind of underwear Don Flack prefers;

  • had conversations about fandom and all kinds of other topics with lots of different people, and gotten into some amazing, insightful discussions;

  • got to meet other fans and talk to them about our shared interests;

  • made new friends that I never would have met otherwise;

  • found, among those good friends, a couple of people to whom I can talk about almost anything, sometimes for hours at a time, and who are also an amazing support system as my first readers when I'm trying to beat a story into shape;

  • occasionally talked about my personal life, never without trepidation no matter how vague I was being;

  • and just generally found a lot of fun and a lot of joy that I never would have otherwise

I started writing fic in January 2005, because I wasn't writing and I was going out of my mind, and because I thought this might be a way to change that. I never expected that I would write as many words as I have since then, or as many stories, or that I'd end up pushing and challenging myself as much as I have.

The other reason I started writing was because, simply, I wanted to talk to other fans. I craved conversation and discussion, and I hoped maybe I'd find one or two people to talk to.

I really, honestly never expected that many people would respond, even so. I never realized that I'd find quite so many people to talk to, or that people would be willing to read what I write and talk to me. I don't quite believe it even now. It's...it's a gift, it really is, and I'm grateful for it every day. I'm grateful for all the people I've met and all the words I've written and this show I still love so much that has guided me to all of that.

I don't look at my info page too frequently, but I did tonight (and earlier this week, which is when I realized I was coming up on 1,000 posts). There are a lot of people here, and a lot of history now. It's pretty damned amazing. I just...I don't know. I never think that I do anything very special, or unusual. I write fic. I write overly analytical reviews of crime shows. And I think I must be doing something good, because here I still am, and here all you are, and I feel guilty for even pointing that out, like I'm overstepping myself by saying any of that.

To everyone who I talk to and who posts, ever: thank you. Thank you for all the conversation and good times.

To everyone who reads here, but has never said anything: say hi sometime, if you like. I'd enjoy it.

I'm really looking forward to my next 1,000 posts.
stella & hawkes

birthday greetings & some general TV comments

Happy birthday to laguera25, and happy slightly belated birthday to roximonoxide!

I hope you both have, or have had, wonderful days and much joy.

So out of all the new network shows I've sampled so far this season, the only one I've ended up adding a season pass for is Pushing Daisies. Everything else has failed to hold my attention, and since I'm always pretty pressed for time, I decided to go ahead and cull the herd. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for Women's Murder Club, as well, which debuts tonight.

I'm a TV fan, obviously, and watch it as a fan, but I'm also interested in TV as a business.

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Back to the fannish outlook: I really do love Pushing Daisies. I still have doubts about its long-term prospects, but so far I'm finding it a fabulously original and charming show. I'm also continuing to enjoy Doctor Who and Torchwood, and CSI:NY's fourth season has been, so far, fantastic.

...And I need to find time to write up episode posts for almost all of those shows. Why can't a day be longer than 24 hours?
stella happy


Fabulous Sony Bravia ad involving Play-Doh bunnies in New York City

Watching this feels like what I imagine a really heavy acid trip must be like.

My favorite part, aside from the obvious, is the blasé bemusement with which various New Yorkers react to this invasion of brightly-colored bunny rabbits.

(The ad is from the same people who did the bouncy balls one.)

In other news, my S3 DVDs have shipped from Amazon, and I'm eagerly awaiting their arrival.
he likes killing you after you're dead

misc. updates

ABC is running an ongoing Pushing Daisies comic book on the show's official website. It's written by the show's creator, Bryan Fuller, and the artwork is by Cameron Stewart, who's well-known for his artwork on Ed Brubaker's Catwoman run, as well as for Grant Morrison's Seaguy and Manhattan Guardian. The initial issue features the first installment of what looks like it will be an ongoing serial, along with a short piece providing backstory on Chuck's murderer.

It's delightfully nutball in the same way the show is, and Stewart's work is perfectly suited to the tone.

I'm planning to finish the rest of the alphabet ficlets this week, so if you haven't gotten yours yet, sit tight. With luck, I'll have one batch done tomorrow, and then will have the rest done and ready to go later in the week.

There are many, many other things I want to be writing, too, so I'm hoping to get to at least some of those this week, as well. This includes individual reviews for the last few episodes of Torchwood along with various pieces of fic -- among them, my story for all_hallows_fic, which I have all plotted out, so the only challenge now is convincing myself that I actually can write it.

I'm also trying to decide whether or not I should do NaNo this year. There would be great benefits to do so, but on the other hand, there are also many reasons why I shouldn't.
stella smile

ten things, and other things

Happy belated birthday to powerof3! I hope it was a wonderful day for you.

I've booked my flights for going back to New York for Christmas. Which seems impossibly far away, but if I wait much longer, prices are going to skyrocket -- and they're already outrageous this year. I'll be in New York December 18th through the 27th.

And yes, I'm taking the laptop, so I will not be entirely cut off from all outside communication.

Criminy, this means I have to start making up gift and card lists.


Snagged from afteriwake and scarletts_awry, a happiness meme:

Rules are easy, just post 10 things that recently made you happy! Tag 10 people and force them to post this meme on their LJs.

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Who says I can't be a little ray of sunshine when I want?

I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you feel like writing up some of your sources of joy, consider yourself tagged and go for it.

Will be catching up on comments later, I swear.

miscellaneous etc.

Happy (slightly belated) birthday to haloisbent! I hope it was a wonderful one.

(And this greeting would have been marginally less belated if we hadn't been without 'net access for much of the day at work, a situation that is, for various reasons, a form of slow torture.)

I have many things to do. I need to catch up on comments -- tomorrow for that one, I promise -- and I still need to write up posts on "Human Nature"/"Family of Blood" and "Day One." Since it would be a nice thing to have those written up before the next episodes air, especially since Doctor Who is about to begin the S3-concluding three-parter. And since the '07-'08 season is about to begin for real next week, and my "Scheduled to Record" menu is already starting to look a bit overstuffed.

I also have more fic to write, and discussions to have, and I may post some kind of ficlet meme in the next couple of days, since that seems to be a good way of getting into a decent writing groove.

I really, really need to go to bed now. More soon!
denny negative space

lovely and amazing

People, on the whole, can be really, really horrible sometimes. I don’t know how many times I've encountered some example of stupidity or venality or just plain unkindness and have thought, "God, I hate people," and, at least at that moment, meant it.

However, they can also be really, really wonderful.

gin200168 and michelleann68 knew that I had a crappy old computer at home, and so they decided, when a computer was offered up for free at michelleann68's office, and completely without my knowledge, to team up and snag it for me. They also made sure that it was fully loaded with WinXP and all the programs that I could ever need.

The upshot? I'm sitting on the floor, typing this on my shiny new laptop.

I was completely stunned and bowled over when they presented me with this, and I'm still kind of in shock that they did this for me. It is really, really amazing, and I love this computer like you would not believe.

Guys? I know I said thank you already, but I'm saying it again now: Thank you. This was way above and beyond, and...words like "thankful" or "grateful" seem inadequate.

Like I said, people can be pretty damn wonderful.


The Getty Museum is currently showing, among other exhibitions, one called Evidence of Movement: Documenting Performance Art. Included here was a piece that creeped me out horribly, in a really wonderful sort of way.

"Talking Light," by Tony Oursler, is exactly what the title indicates: it consists of a bare light bulb hanging from a chain suspended from the ceiling. There's also a vocal track, a man's voice coming from a hidden speaker. The light bulb flickers in sync with the voice.

The bulb is situated in the farthest corner of the exhibit, in a space that's otherwise fairly low-lit. The exhibition itself is also a pretty low-traffic one -- possibly because it's located in the Getty Research Institute building, not in any of the main pavilions -- and was deserted except for a guard. I could hear that there was an audio track playing somewhere when I first walked in, but didn't realize what was going on until I got to the far end of the exhibit.

The voice never rises above a whisper. Not everything is audible, even in the silence; some of it comes out as just a low mutter in which no individual words can be made out. Other times, there are disconnected phrases and words. The one I remember best is a repeated "more light," and at other times there were whispers about "composition," or possibly "correlation." Once there was a repeated word that may have been "Jack" or "back" -- something with that sound, anyway. In between the words there's soft, heavy breathing that's not in the least bit sexual; it sounds like someone in pain or despair.

The bulb flickers the entire time, in perfect sync. It flashes on when there are words, flashes off during the pauses. During sustained periods of speech or breathing, it glows steadily. When the vocal track goes silent, the bulb goes out entirely.

It is horribly, memorably, unbearably creepy.

And, scarletts_awry? I think it gave me ideas.
stella black & white

fashion week, & more Torchwood

New York Fashion Week begins September 5th, running through the 12th, and New York magazine has a good collection of articles, including a very interesting one about how the Olsen Twins might actually be making a name for themselves with the launch of their new line.

melinafandom pointed this out to me, and now I point it out to all of you: the new/current issue of TV Guide (football player, Kristen Bell, and that kid from High School Musical on the cover), has some nice Torchwood coverage. There's a glowing review of the show by Matt Roush, an interview with John Barrowman, and a full-page ad. The interview describes Captain Jack as "the 21st century's first bisexual action hero," and has a nice (if unavoidably brief) discussion with Barrowman about GLBT issues in narrative and in the industry.

The full-page ad, meanwhile, is now hanging over my desk.

In other news, I am now living on the surface of the sun.
stella investigate

quick one

melinafandom, I got the DVD! Thank you.

(Further commentary as soon as I watch it.)

BBC America is showing a marathon of S1 of Doctor Who next Saturday, September 1, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The following weekend (the same weekend Torchwood starts, yay!), they're also showing "The Christmas Invasion," after which they're going to begin running S2.

I'm hoping to catch up on comments later today, but in the meantime, I have a hair/brows appointment in a little while, so I need to go get ready.