Day 06 – Favorite episode of your favorite TV show:

As we established on Day 4, my favourite TV show is Firefly, though I can never decide between “Out of Gas” and “Objects in Space.”

I seem to like “Objects in Space” a lot more than my friends, and I wonder what’s wrong with them. You’ve got your existentialist-philosophizing bounty hunter, River’s craziness being a force for AWESOME, and Simon being snarky and shirtless. Plus some really amazing facial expressions from Nathan Fillion. What more could you want?

I have a great fondness for characters who are a little whimsical in the brainpan–Dru in Buffy, Auri in The Name of the Wind, Delirium in Sandman, and above all, River. The insight into the way she sees the world was just neat. It was fascinating to see her take center stage, then to see her acceptance of sorts by the rest of the crew.

“Out of Gas” is simply a revelation. It juggles three separate timelines–one present, one recent past, and one more distant past–with grace and wit. We’re given a hefty dose of backstory for a number of characters, but at no point does it feel gimmicky. It changes the way we see the crew, and it makes us love them even more. And Alan Tudyk’s story about stealing the shuttle recall button and giving it to Joss has been known to make me sniffle.

TV Meme, Day 04 – Your favorite show ever

Forgive me, guys, but I’m going to have to be lame and predictable here. Firefly. But just because something is lame and predictable doesn’t mean it isn’t valid.

A few weeks ago, my friend Kait had a Fangirl Tea Party at her house, in which we giggled merrily about fannish things, ate a lot of baked goods, and watched a lot of random TV episodes. One of these episodes was “Safe,” which I consider lower on the spectrum as far as Firefly episodes go. It’s not “Objects in Space” or “Out of Gas” or “Our Mrs. Reynolds,” after all. But I hadn’t watched any Firefly in about two years, and I’d forgotten how good it was. I was dumbstruck. How could I have forgotten how much I love this freaking show?

I discovered Firefly in that awkward, torrent-tastic time between cancelation and the release of the DVDs. I watched the episodes in the order in which they finished downloading, “Serenity” being among the last and “Ariel” being among the first, putting me only slightly higher on the confusion scale as those who watched it on Fox. But confused or not, I still recognized greatness when I saw it.

This show has everything: action, romance, witty banter, plastic dinosaur fights, psychology, innovative cursing, gratuitous shirtlessness, chosen family, mystery, a deliciously genre-bending aesthetic, brilliant low-budget special effects that put higher budget productions to shame, folk songs about men with girls’ names, and the prettiest cast you’ve ever seen, including my BFF Nathan. And it did it all in 14 episodes and a movie.

Damn you, Fox.

Today’s Happy Things:

  1. The knowledge that a week from today, I will be in gallivanting merrily around DC with Kat, El, and Sarah!
  2. A belly-full of Hawaiian Island Grill for lunch. Their ribs are gastrorgasmic! I should probably eat vegetarian all weekend to compensate. For dinner, I had quinoa with apricots and squash. Starting to feel human again.
  3. Making a single Kit Kat piece last three hours.
  4. The internet returning! In preparation for my roommate moving out, we switched over our joint utility and cable bills to my name alone, and today, we had a brief hiccup in the internet service. It took me an hour and a half of wrestling with tech support to get it restored. That said, it’s amazing how the task of blogging about happy things affects one’s mindset. Rather than having the tech support ordeal cloud my entire evening, I’m choosing to rejoice in the merriment of renewed service. Yay mind over matter!
  5. And in the 3 1/2 hours I was cut off from the internet, the internet has learned that Castle and Dollhouse were renewed! EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

Man, I hope I’m not getting my roommate’s cold. It’s phlegm city in Priscilla’s head.

Last night, I saw Coraline with Will and Craig. Coworker Matt was supposed to join us, but he didn’t get a ticket in advance, and the show sold out. Now, I was already predisposed to loving the movie. The perfect storm of a story by Neil Gaiman, the directorial chops of Henry Sellick, the voice acting of John Hodgman, the music of They Might Be Giants, and the stop-motion wizardry of Laika pretty much guaranteed my affection. Therefore, I may not be the most neutral party when I say OMG LOVE GO SEE IT NOW BEFORE THE STUPID JONAS BROTHERS EKE IT OUT OF THE 3D THEATRES.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Friday night, my friend Adam hosted a Dollhouse viewing party. What better way to ring in Joss Whedon’s new series than on a 50″ HDTV? I was somewhat stunned to realize that this was the first Whedon production I saw live–I’m choosing not to include downloading Doctor Horrible the instant it was first posted. It’s so strange to think that it’s been so long since he’s done TV.

I enjoyed the episode, but I’m concerned. On one hand, I’m concerned about how long the show can sustain itself without getting gimmicky, but I trust in Joss’ combined twelve seasons of television experience that he knows that he’s doing. On the other hand, I’m also concerned about how the show is being marketed. In the interviews with Whedon surrounding the premiere, he’s emphasized the tricky territory he walks between telling a story about exploited woman and becoming one of the exploiters himself. The first episode expressed the former well–the bit about Topher having no qualms about handicapping Echo for verisimilitude was quietly horrifying–but the ads? Ye gods!

I know sex sells like hotcakes with boobs, but to have brunette bombshells Summer Glau (holy cow, when did River grow up?) and Eliza Dushku smirking about the enviable position of being capable of being anything “you” want them to be? NOT HELPING. Amping up the titillation factor of the show’s fundamental moral questions doesn’t feel like “girl power,” it feels like misogyny.

But oh well. I’m used to loving unmarketable TV shows. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what direction Joss and Fox take the show. Thirteen episodes have been contracted so far. I wonder how many will air.

In the meantime, I’m quite amused! Friday night has become my Night Of Shows Featuring Actors I Picture Playing Jim Butcher Characters. BSG already gave me Starbuck as Murphy, Dualla as Amara, and Adama as Morgan (if you were to convert a little of the old man paunch to muscle), plus Lee as one of my OCs. Now Dollhouse has Dichen Lachman, who would be the perfect Kitai, and Amy Acker, who Jim says he pictures playing Isana. Yay for one-track minds!

Oh! And in my previous post, I mentioned my woe at once again being faced with the dilemma of What To Read Next. Looks like that issue is going to be delayed a bit! I’m nudging Bujold’s Barrayar aside for the moment to down Jhereg by Stephen Brust, who will be at ConDFW. There will be a number of authors there, and I feel a bit silly that the only one I’ve read is Jim, considering how many write in the genres I fancy. I also downloaded his Firefly novel, but I’ll stick with the original stuff first.


A Cut above the Rest?: Wrinkle Treatment Uses Babies’ Foreskins. In other news, *shriek of horror.*

KILL IT WITH FIRE. Most terrifying-looking woman in the world breaks record-length fingernails in car crash.

Photo of a sleeping dormouse curled up on a rose, to compensate for the previous two stories.

And speaking of girl power, have some Old School Ju-jitsu. Thanks to Peg for the link!

I need to get back in the swing of blogging. The sheer length of time I’ve gone on Twitter alone is unspeakably lame, and friends and family alike are becoming increasingly frustrated with the prolonged string of half-indecipherable, 140-character hints of what’s going on in my life. So here’s what’s been going on lately!

Work: A couple weeks ago, I was moved to the back room. While it’s tragic that I am no longer sitting near Tommy, an endless fountain of amusing non-sequiturs, I am now blessed with WINDOWS. My stir-craziness factor has diminished significantly. The windows look out onto the uninterrupted brick siding of another building some twelve feet away, but I nevertheless revel in the occasional birds, diffused sunlight, and glimpses at the actual weather conditions my beloved window offers.

The reason for the move is to reflect a change in the structure of the company. We now have a separate Asset Department responsible for characters and props. Previously, animators were responsible for making their own props. Character folks (like me) have always been separate. Once the few hiccups are ironed out, it looks like this system is going to be a lot more efficient. Yay efficiency!

I have also been named Texture Tsar (okay, that’s the name I made up, but it’s more fun that Textures Lead or whatever the official title was), so I’m getting tasked with occasional opportunities to step out of Character Land and do some serious Making Stuff Pretty. Yay variety! And as far as the characters go, we’re in the process of bringing their quality up another notch, as well. I’m very pleased with the direction we’re going!

Litra-chur: My beloved Kat, who has exquisite taste, has finally pushed me over the tipping point with regard to Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga. She lent me the first omnibus at the end of last summer, which I read at a snail’s pace despite my enjoyment of the stories, but only recently did I delve headfirst into the series. I got the rest of the books in audio format and plowed through nine books and three novellas in the past 2 1/2 weeks. I’m almost nervous to start the final book, because I’ll once again be faced with the dilemma of what to read next.

I can feel myself getting sucked into the Reread Rut, as I’d like to reread Princeps’ Fury to refresh my beta-memory as Jim pens First Lord’s Fury, and I’m thinking a reread of Watchmen is in order before the movie comes out, and I definitely want to reread The Name of the Wind before its sequel hits stores on April 7th, and gah. I can’t let myself get boxed in with rereads! Gotta discover something new!

Fandom: This past weekend, I went to New York Comic Con. I had a fantastic time! Friday night, I assembled a crowd of folks from the forum for dinner at Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, which was quite a hit! In attendance were my forum/IRL hybrid friends Craig, Shecky, and Sue, plus forum members Mark and Allison, a fantastic Harry cosplayer I met at San Diego Comic Con named Matt, and Matt’s friend Jerry. The Dabel Brothers crew was going to join us, but they had some last-minute business that ran long, so they were only able to stop by a few minutes. Afterwards, we huddled in Penn Station, dodging zambonis and homeless people, for a reading of the first chapter of Turn Coat. It was a great start for a delightfully geeky weekend!

Saturday, I donned my Molly costume and hooked up with RPG pal John to meander about the con. We first checked out a fight choreography demo by the Vampire Cowboys, a theatre troupe that performs original, cross-genre plays with a strong stage combat element. I saw their previous show, Fight Girl Battle World, twice last year, and I can’t wait for the opening of their newest creation, Soul Samurai! I’ll have to get a big group together.

Afterward, John and I did some browsing/people watching as we waited for the others from the previous night’s group to arrive. I stopped by the Penguin table to chat with Anne Sowards, Jim’s editor, who gave me a bunch of Dresden buttons to give away on the website. I’ll have to figure out a fun way to determine who gets them! Meanwhile, John geeked out at the neighboring booth, belonging to Phil Foglio, when a group of fans arrived in glorious Girl Genius cosplay.

We then swung by the Comic News Insider booth, in hopes of seeing Kristin and Jimmy. Jimmy is one of the co-hosts of the show, and Kristin had volunteered to booth babe for a time, but Kristin had something far more nefarious up her sleeve! At cons, Jimmy makes a point of dressing in pinstriped vests, going so far as to accuse those similarly attired of “stealing his look.” Because we are pure evil, Kristin and I conspired to dress Kristin in Jimmy’s con uniform. Unfortunately, Jimmy wasn’t there at the time, but I got to greet Kristin and admire her uncanny resemblance to the absent friend.

Next, John and I stopped by the booth, where 6th Doctor Colin Baker was wrapping up his signing. I snagged one of the Big Finish audios for my Who-obsessed friend Kat, autographed by the good Doctor himself, and got a picture with him, in which he looks like my cute grandpa. After Colin finished, Doctor Who comics scribe Tony Lee took the autographing table, and I got a few issues of the serial signed as we chatted. I’d gotten to meet him and hang out briefly at the CNI recording a few days prior, and we’d hit it off rather well. It was fun to see him again.

John and I also spent some time dawdling around the Pendragon booth, where Matt, Jerry, and Matt’s girlfriend Nicole were working. Nicole’s creations were flat-out gorgeous, and over the course of the day, I tried on two of the Renaissance dresses and a woman’s leather duster. You bet your sweet bippy I took pictures! I feel in love with one of them, but I didn’t know if I wanted to spend so much on a dress I’d only wear a couple times a year, so I elected to hold off and think about it overnight. Soon, Craig, Shecky, and Sue appeared, and we all trooped off to grab a late lunch.

The afternoon was filled with a performance by the New York Jedi, lots and lots of aimless ambling about the exhibit hall, and some chillage with the Dabel folks. Matt joined us for much of it. I finally got to meet Dresden GN editor David Lawrence in person, and he loaded me up with a bunch of Dabel comics and goodies. We swung back by the Penguin booth and chanced to run into Amber Benson, who played Tara on Buffy. We had a brief conversation, and I snagged a photo with her. What an unexpected surprise!

Toward the end of the evening, we walked by the DC booth and saw Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons signing posters. There was no way we could get through the line by closing time, so we resolved to bring our copies of Watchmen the next day to be signed then. Finally, we bade farewell to Sue, Shecky, and John, who were only at the con for the day.

Sunday morning was a source of great amusement. I awoke to find a pair of text messages on my phone, one drunken missive timestamped around 3am, waxing lyrical on my finer attributes, and another around 8, apologizing profusely. I will not disclose the identity of said individual, because I am not a cruel person, but suffice it to say, it was hilarious.

Dressed as Delirium, I high-tailed it to the IGN Theatre, where a line was already forming for Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse panel two hours before showtime. Because it was painfully obvious what we were all there to see, they con staff either canceled or moved the MegaMan panel that was to be held before it. In line, I met up with Craig, Kristin, Adam (host of the weekly Pushing Daisies viewing parties, back when that was applicable), and fellow NYC Browncoats Kathleen, Simon, and Gypsy.

The panel was a delight. Though I’d met Nathan Fillion at SDCC and Amber Benson the day before, I’d never before seen a panel with any Whedon alumni, and here was Joss himself! Also present was Tahmoh Penikett, aka Helo on BSG, and Matt Rousch of TV Guide. The program reported that Eliza Dushku and Dichen Lachman were also supposed to be in attendance, but any disappointment was more than compensated for when Joss revealed the first act of the Dollhouse pilot, which looked fabulous. I can’t wait for Friday’s premiere!

By that point, the con was nearly over, but I still managed to squeeze in some last-minute awesomeness. An hour before it was slated to start, we staked on spots in line for the Dave Gibbons signing. We befriended another line-waiter, who volunteered to save out spots in line so we could enjoy ourselves for said hour, and went off in search of last-minute fun. We returned to Pendragon to poke Matt, and I saw that the dress I’d fallen in love with the previous day had been sold. Guess that made my decision for me! I’m glad such a lovely dress is getting a good home.

We returned to the Gibbons table with ten minutes to spare and found an utter mob scene. The line snaked around itself four deep! They were processing fans ASAP, so there was no time for conversation with the man, but it was still cool to see him in person and get his signature in my copy of Watchmen.

And that was it! I was rather stunned toward the end to realize that I only attended a single panel, as I’d meticulously planned out a schedule for myself ahead of time, but when it came down to it, spending time with my friends felt like a much higher priority. I feel like a Lifetime movie. And now I can’t wait for ConDFW the 20th-22nd!

And that’s all I have to say about that for the moment. Hopefully, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’ll be able to go back to blogging about silly things?

I’ve uploaded the songs from Part III of Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog! Download away, but with the same caveat as parts I and II: if/when Joss releases an official CD, buy it. Support Joss and Nathan and NPH and Felicia and all the folks that gave their time for free to create this gem of a production. Don’t be lame!

Download here (zipped .mp3s, 10.8 mb), and grab the songs from 1 and 2 here.

So. Penny is Bad Horse, Y/Heck Y?

  1. That conversation about how sometimes people have hidden layers? HAH.
  2. It’s by JOSS WHEDON. The sun rises in the east, fangirls squee at slashy subtext, and Joss writes kickass female characters. Penny is certainly admirable, but… Come on.
  3. Bad Horse is talked about waaaaay (neiiiiiigh?) too much to not be a plant.

I guess we’ll find out on Saturday! In the meantime, enjoy brilliant Doctor Who/Doctor Horrible icons.

Part 2 of Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is up, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve spent the past two days incessantly humming the delightfully catchy music from part 1. Having realized that trying to watch the episodes over and over at work could become problematic, I clipped out the songs from parts 1 and 2, for my listening enjoyment.

Grab ’em if you want them, with one caveat: if/when Joss releases an official CD, buy it. Support Joss and Nathan and NPH and Felicia and all the folks that gave their time for free to create this gem of a production. Don’t be lame!

If you Girl Scout pinky-promise to be un-lame, download here! Zipped .mp3s, 10.6MB.

Track List:

  1. Doctor Horrible Intro
  2. With My Freeze Ray
  3. Bad Horse Letter #1
  4. Will You
  5. Will You Reprise
  6. A Man’s Gotta Do
  7. A Man’s Gotta Do Reprise
  8. I Cannot Believe My Eyes
  9. Bad Horse Letter #2
  10. Story of a Girl
  11. Brand New Day

I’ll do the same for part 3 when it’s posted on the 19th.

Saw part I of Doctor Horrible with Tanja and Rebecca this morning. BRILLIANCE. Go see it, now!

And tonight, we have (cheap student) tickets to Spring Awakening! Clearly, today is a day for fabulousness and musicals.

Picked up Jaida’s book! Woo! If you’re in NY on the 16th, she and Dani have a signing in Brooklyn!

Where the Heck is Matt? A Global Dance. So ridiculously cool. I got a little teary-eyed.

Dr. Horrible Comic! Is it July 15th yet?

Tell me this ad wasn’t made by a John Hodgman fan. I dare you.

Lars Larson Rips Wall-E As ‘Propaganda’; It Teaches Kids ‘Humans Are Bad For Planet Earth’. Um… Mr. Larson? Humans are bad for Planet Earth. Though if you actually saw the film, you’d know the message was a warning against mindless consumerism and waste, complacency, and lack of awareness. All the human characters were well-meaning and recognized the vital importance of reclaiming the planet and restoring its vitality. A for effort, F for reading comprehension. And while I’m at it, another F for seeking to eliminate joy. This movie is incredible. I hope all you guys get to see it on the big screen.

Senators Craig and Vitter team up to co-sponsor Marriage Protection Amendment, which would amend the Constitution to declare that marriage “shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Un-freaking-believable. You know how you can defend the sanctity of marriage, Senators Craig and Vitter? Try NOT CHEATING ON YOUR WIFE AND HAVING SEX WITH PROSTITUTES/ANONYMOUS MEN IN AIRPORT RESTROOMS. Marriage doesn’t need protection from same-sex couples, Senators. It needs protection from you.