TV

May. 3rd, 2015 05:05 pm
masqthephlsphr: (Baelfire)
So was this season of network TV lackluster at best or what? I am enjoying Orphan Black now, though.

Also recently enjoyed the Netflix series Daredevil. Very well written. I would expect no less from Buffverse alum. However, I could never figure out Read more... )

Who?

Jan. 1st, 2015 09:40 am
masqthephlsphr: (dragonlord)
Reposted from comments in [profile] astrogirl2's LJ:

Doctor Who is a show that never caught on with me. What glimpses I had of it left me thinking, "Lame!" But Every. Smart. Person. On. My. Flist watches this show. So I am throwing it onto the marathon pile for this year.

That said, I am seeking advice from Whovians: there is quite a bit of old Who on Netflix. Should I start with that, or would it throw me off? Should I just start in with new Who?

AD

Nov. 1st, 2014 10:06 am
masqthephlsphr: (eh)
If anyone's wondering what Alexis Denisof is up to these days, he is a semi-regular on Grimm now. He plays an stuffy, obnoxious prat. But who knows? Maybe he'll betray his boss, abduct an infant, grow manly facial hair, and start sleeping with a sexy lawyer.

…Actually, all of that is entirely possible.

TV stuff

Oct. 27th, 2014 10:03 am
masqthephlsphr: (OUAT3)
The X-Files Season 6 still remains the best-written season of the show. I am thinking especially of the stand-alones. One brilliant episode after another. So not the kind of thing you can play with the sound off while you're trying to concentrate on writing.


In the meantime, OUAT continues to have homework. I suppose the more seasons it gets, the more true that will be.
masqthephlsphr: (faith too)
Grimm Season 4 has started out pretty well. I enjoyed seasons 2-3 as well, but my enthusiasm for the show was cemented at the end of season 3 with season 3 spoilers/season 4 speculation )
masqthephlsphr: (btvs)
Not so sure about Constantine. Not big on TV shows too closely based around the Judeo-Christian mythos. Hence my giving up on Sleepy Hollow. They're just a little too close for comfort. And anyway, spoilers )

ETA: The 100, otoh, has managed to reinvent itself, and so gets a reprieve.
masqthephlsphr: (trubel)
(1) Had my first PT session for my neck/shoulders this AM. I was at the therapist for about an hour and a half between early arrival, paperwork, interview with the therapist, and actual therapy. Therapist did heat therapy and a massage, which was great, but also pressure point testing to find tender spots ("Ouch, there's one!") and of course taught me some "exercises to do at home" which while good for the shoulders/neck, did not make my back happy.

(2) New Grimm season starts tonight! There is something not to be grim about.

(3) I wrote another short story, 2,974 words. Class busy-ness makes me insane, but... story!
masqthephlsphr: (nt)
The season finale of Manhattan got me thinking about the end game of their project. I went looking for a film I remember from years ago--a dramatized version of the events of Hiroshima from the POV of both survivors and the Enola Gay crew--but found only a BBC historical documentary on same. I watched it, and it really hit deep, no pun intended. Truly, just horrifying. For some reason, after I got done watching that, I was still on a WWII history kick re: US vs Japan, and started watching Tora, Tora, Tora. Pretty even-handed, so far, for an American film made only twenty-nine years after the events (Japanese nationals may disagree; just my observation).

What's next? Maybe something on Manzanar, or one of those Japanese prisoner-of-war camp films? Eesh. Perhaps those will get me over this weird tangent. War is all fear, blame-shifting, and lashing out; death and tears.

TeeVee

Oct. 17th, 2014 03:07 pm
masqthephlsphr: (trubel)
OAUT: Still watching, still commenting on friend's reviews. But I am not particularly invested in the Frozen storyline. And Emma/Hook: DO NOT WANT. Hook was way more interesting before he was ret-conned to be Emma's love interest. Curious to see where they will go with Regina's dilemma, Regina/Henry, Emma/Henry, Regina/Emma.

Also watching: Gotham, CSI, Criminal Minds, Vampire Diaries, Grimm, Stalker, Manhattan, Forever, The 100.

Word to the wise about Forever. This show will doubtless be canceled. Too many people will go into it thinking "Highlander," and compared to Duncan McLeod, the main character Henry comes across like a Poncy!Wanker!Sherlock Holmes.

Gave up on: Sleepy Hollow. I like crack as much as the next person, but it's not my brand of crack. I'm more a season-2-of-Lost cracker.

Might give up on: Gotham. I just have a visceral distaste for corruption, even if the point is to play it up so they can then show Jim Gordon fighting it. Might give up on The 100 if it's just more Lord-of-the-Flies teenaged moral ambiguity. And Vampire Diaries remains that show I watch and then ask myself, "Why oh why am I wading through this thigh-high histrionic crap again?" Yet like an automobile accident, I keep staring at it.


Manhattan is my favorite currently-airing show. I mean, dude, Scientists! Even if their end game is horrific, the narrative acknowledges this. We see the divide between the nerdy puzzle-solving and angst-ridden rumination. And the metaphors! The "toxic" atmosphere created by putting security above scientific collaboration, the fact that implosion will only work when disparate elements of the scientific teams "come together" against the dysfunctional compartmentalization.

The one thing I wish they'd do more of is feature actual historical scientists, not just their fictionalized ones. Oppenheimer is a ghost on this show, rarely seen, obliquely referred to, rather than depicted as a hands-on scientist. And I am hoping that at some point, Edward O. Teller shows up. He was kind of a hawkish nut-ball (allegedly the inspiration for Doctor Strangelove?), but with this show featuring the families so heavily, he'll doubtless roll into town with his wife and infant son, Paul, who was my dissertation advisor in graduate school fifty years later. Yes, I am two degrees of separation from the bomb.

Looking forward to the return of Grimm. This show has one of the crackiest arcs (and, well, basic premise) ever, but the characters are great. Okay, Nick and Juliet are a little dull, individually and together, but everyone else is fun.


And some day to return: Orphan Black, Orange is the New Black, The Americans...
masqthephlsphr: (word)
So I am going to do a thing where I post every day for a month (30 days--what day is it thirty days from now?), rather than my usual lately, the "occasional info dump post with bullet points."

Just had a long weekend with an old friend, Gloria, visiting from San Francisco. She is 78 and spry as hell. Much more energy than me. When I needed down time over the weekend, I sat her in front of the TV in the guest room with Orange is the New Black and then would not hear a peep from her for hours. But D and I also drove her up to Sedona, took her to hear a live band at Oktoberfest in Tempe, and enjoyed a home-cooked meal she whipped up for D's birthday.

So good weekend. Now Glo is back in the city by the bay, and the roofing company I lined up for a quote early this AM blew me off. Too tired to call and scold them today.

Okay, signing off before I start using bullet points.

Things

Sep. 24th, 2014 01:11 pm
masqthephlsphr: (robotsonmars)
(1) I am reading stuff. But it's all trashy true crime, so, we'll skip that part.

(2) I had the stomach flu over the weekend and still feel crappy.

(3) Nevertheless, I climbed up on my roof on Sunday and cleaned off all the pine needles so roofers could come and give me a bid on resealing the flat part of my roof. Bid was humongous. *croak*

(4) We are moving to a new building at work on Friday. This will in no way be TOTAL CHAOS (/ sarcasm)

(5) I am taking an online writing class through a local community college. It is a LOT of work. Between that and the constant dental appointments (root canal, crown prep, crown...) I am feeling a bit stretched. Which explains (2).

(6) Mars! NASA MAVEN and ISRO's (India) Mars Orbiter now circling the red planet. September has been a cool month at least in that regard.

(7) Not prepared for new TV season. Just don't know when I'll have the time for any of it. Planning on watching Disney's Frozen as homework this Saturday, though. When did TV start having homework?

(8) Friend visiting in a couple weeks for OctoberFest. I hope it feels like fall by then, 'cause it doesn't right now. September is, traditionally, still summer here, except for the early mornings, which finally begin to cool down. We've been known to have 100+ in early October. I am losing my tolerance for this *&^%.

In conclusion, chocolate.
masqthephlsphr: (yay)
I've done a few posts about James SA Corey's Expanse novel series, which is being turned into a 10-episode series on Syfy.

http://masqthephlsphr.livejournal.com/976832.html
http://masqthephlsphr.livejournal.com/974218.html
http://masqthephlsphr.livejournal.com/973691.html

New news about the team they've pulled together for the TV showso far. People who have worked on everything from Breaking Bad To Cosmos to Doctor Who to Star Trek to Farscape.

http://www.danielabraham.com/2014/07/15/long-promised-news-on-the-tv-show/
masqthephlsphr: (masq)
I have not posted a real post in like, the longest time. I read my flist daily and hang around other people's LJs/DWs, but posting, not so much. Things have been kind of insane-busy of late.

(1) Work. Multiple projects. Colleagues on vacations at the exact wrong time.

(2) On a marathon draft of my novel. This will take a while. I have sort of accepted that. It's a complicated little bugger.

(3) Also attempting to write a few short stories. Totally different mindset than a novel. Trying to get into that mindset by reading other people's short stories. Science fiction, mostly. Got recs?

(4) Cooking. I have been doing some cooking. Gets me out of my writer's chair on Sundays. I have made some actually pretty yummy, healthy foods. And lost, like, five pounds in the process. Then stressed out big time (see 1 above), went on a sugar rampage, and gained it all back.

Hi, I'm Masq, and I am a sugar addict. No, really. Despite the OMG-yummy (healthy fats! healthy carbs! Vegetables with actual flavor!), my body Freaked Out against the healthy, and now I have to do that withdrawal thing all over again. But at least now I know what to expect when I go back to my new healthy way of eating. My sugar addiction weathered previous periods of weight loss because I was eating processed diet foods with all those hidden, processed sugars. Take those away, and you're left dangling above a very deep pit you never knew was there.

But back to the cooking part. Here's the things my momma never told me about cooking:
(a) when you cook something, it's never one serving. So all that effort actually goes into multiple meals.
(b) when you cook, you can eat anything you want. This may sound like a trivial truth. I'm a grownup, of course I can eat anything I want. But as a processed-food eating grownup, I was pretty much restricted to what someone else had decided to make and package. When you make it yourself, you are still at the mercy of stores to stock basic ingredients, but so far I've been able to find everything.
(5) Anyway. It's Spring. I don't breath. I don't sleep. I just watch the city roll up the sidewalks for the coming months of hibernation.

(6) There's ten gazillion good things on TeeVee right now. OUAT, of course (*sob*lastweek*sob*), Continuum, Grimm, Cosmos, The Americans, and SOON more Orange is the New Black and Orphan Black. Yipee. Okay, The Vampire Diaries is tedious, OUAT: Wonderland was dull as a stump, and Criminal Minds is being written by a million monkeys with a million typewriters (would someone please put it out of my misery please)?

That's about the it.
masqthephlsphr: (ev0l)
January talking meme, Jan 29. From [profile] harsens_rob: Choose 2 Joss-verse characters who've died. One that you believe was handled very well and one that you think... wasn't.... How were they handled differently and why do you feel one worked and the other just didn't?


As usual, giving thought to this put it beyond two characters.


It's said one of the hallmarks of urban fantasy (this also obviously applies to contemporary horror) is that all characters are Fair Game. The potential death of any character, no matter how central to the narrative, ups the stakes and lets the reader/viewer know the characters are playing for keeps.

Joss Whedon, of course, isn't just an example of this, he's the King.

Joss sets the tone for his attitude towards character death in the very first episode of BtVS with the death of Jesse. It's well-known that Joss wanted to put Jesse in the main credits of Welcome to the Hellmouth just so he could stun the audience by killing him off. And behind-the-camera troubles aside, I'm pretty convinced that's (the writers' reason) for the death of Doyle in Season 1 of Angel. Both deaths were, IMO, non-gratuitous. Jesse's death occurred to instruct both viewers and the characters (in particular, Xander and Willow) that This Is Serious, Folks. Doyle, on the other hand, chose to die for a noble cause. It was no less shocking than Jesse's death, though, and you can imagine Joss' glee at finally being able to kill off a credits character.

Characters die for all sorts of reasons on BtVS and AtS, but one of the main reasons they die is to signal a change in the character who killed them. For Joss, this is usually a character we've come to trust, but sometimes, it's the rise of the bad guy (or both). Showing a character murder someone is Joss' signal that "something's changed." Examples abound: Jenny Calendar (Angel(us), Deputy mayor Allan Finch (Faith), Maggie Walsh (Adam), Katrina (The Trio), Warren (Willow), the wine cellar W&H lawyers (which Angel allows through inaction), Lilah (Beast-Master!Cordelia). The problem isn't that Joss does this. The problem is, he does this A LOT.

There are lots of other ways you can signal a change in a character and a change in the direction of a season. Wesley's betrayal of Angel in Season 3 was an effective way to change the stakes mid-season and resulted in interesting developments for both characters, without anyone having to die during the act of betrayal.

Joss' over-reliance on this trope lead to a lot of "the devil made me do it" story lines in which trusted friends (e.g., Angel, Cordelia, Spike [season 7 *oy*] must be robbed of their agency in order to make them kill somebody.

The other thing Joss overdid was Beloved Character Has to Die to Enact Change in the Hero or Season. Now, this can be an extremely powerful plot development. The first episode Joss did this in, Passion (Jenny Calendar's death), remains one of my favorites.

But there is a tipping point in keeping the stakes high where you start to lose a viewer or reader's investment, where it becomes so common for characters to die, viewers are no longer willing to invest emotionally in the characters. When a viewer reaches this point, they can either take a more flippant attitude towards the show, or stop watching it all together. I doubt either of these outcomes is something show-runners want.

I think the tipping point for me was Tara in Season 6 of BtVS. I could deal with Joyce dying in Season 5 to mark the transition of Buffy into adulthood. But Tara's death taxed me. Follow up that up with Cordelia's slow fade in AtS, and Fred's gratuitous assault in Season 5 of AtS, and I pretty much held my "giving a shit"-edness together only by sheer force of will to the end of AtS season 5. My issue with each of these deaths went beyond "too much is too much." They were also each out-and-out slaughters. None of these characters had a chance against their killers (Cordelia was effectively killed by Jasmine in Inside Out, despite her coma and brief return in Season 5). They were ruthlessly slaughtered by a Baddie just to shake things up.

For me, when it comes to major characters, the best deaths (1) show a victim dying against their killer after a valiant defense and because no other, alternative plot developments can effectively accomplish what their death can in the story (hence why Jenny Calendar's death works better than Tara's or Fred's); or (2) someone (directly or indirectly) causing their own death because their actions, or deliberate inaction, either heroic or villainous, resulted in it. When this happens to a villain, it's poetic justice. When it happens to a hero, you get Doyle, or Buffy (but she always comes back), or Darla in Lullaby (although there is a Madonna/Whore element to her death that annoys me a little).
masqthephlsphr: (alias will)
January talking meme, Jan 21. From [personal profile] cornerofmadness: what draws you to the urban fantasy type of story lines?

I am drawn to urban fantasy stories because I like stories that show a secret supernatural world existing in what is ostensibly the mundane, scientifically skeptical world we all live in, and characters who lives are recognizable to the average reader, who are nevertheless part of that supernatural world.

Stories like BtVS, Harry Potter, or Dresden Files, make it easy to imagine that the supernatural exists around me in the world I see everyday. Stories like this allow me to think, "Underneath all this drab, dreary mundanity is a fantastic world full of excitement and magic." All I need is the right book/movie/TV show to reveal what's hidden all around me.

And that makes the mundane world I see outside my window seem just a little bit more magical.

Take Buffy, for example. As I understand it, the BtVS/Angel world is supposed to be our world. Not an alternate universe or anything like that. It's our world, but what most of us don't realize is that magic is real if you know how to tap into it. Demons exist, just hope you don't run into one.

Why do I have this need? I guess because I'm an agnostic, and an empiricist, but what I feel compelled to believe is not the same thing as what I wish were true. "Urban" fantasy lets me step away from that for an hour or two.

This is the reason I am not drawn much to High Fantasy (e.g., Lord of the Rings). High fantasy stories are set in completely imaginary places that aren't Earth, nor even historical Earth. They often contain humans, dogs, oak trees, and other earthlike things to make them more accessible, but the resemblance to our world is usually a pseudo-resemblance to some historical era I have little connection to. I don't mind fantasy or science fiction set in a historical period on Earth, as long as the historical period is genuinely drawn outside of its supernatural elements.

So the "on Earth" is important to me. As is the "secret." I want a story world where the supernatural is considered debunked and its delights and dangers lurk in the shadows, only known to a select few. For this reason, I also don't care much for urban fantasy where the supernatural elements of the story are out in the open (e.g., Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton). Partly because the supernatural being "secret" makes it easier to pretend all this really is going on all around me. But also, I have always had a kink for "the big secret" that only select characters know and the rest of the world is oblivious to.

Links

Jan. 14th, 2014 02:31 pm
masqthephlsphr: (OUAT)
Gratuitous self pimpage.

[profile] 2ceuponatime is back with "Heart of Darkness"!

http://2ceuponatime.livejournal.com/6284.html


January talking meme still open for business:

http://masqthephlsphr.livejournal.com/964633.html


Masq reviews science fiction short stories through time:

http://masqthephlsphr.livejournal.com/tag/sfs
masqthephlsphr: (OUAT3)
January talking meme, Jan 10. From [profile] astrogirl2: Once Upon a Time! Maybe talk about Snow White.


So apparently I had a few things to say about Snow. )

Chiming in

Jan. 3rd, 2014 08:30 pm
masqthephlsphr: (a wizard named harry)
…on the topic du jour. Sherlock 3.1:

I liked it.

What's not to like? It's completely neurotic.


January talking meme

TV meme

Dec. 28th, 2013 08:29 pm
masqthephlsphr: (lost6)
So apparently, I did this meme for 2011, but not 2012. 2013 was weird, TV-wise, because I dumped cable TV in December of 2012, and in some ways, watched more new (to me) programs than I did when I had cable. It really has changed the way I watch TV. Now, I'm much more likely to at least watch one episode of something on spec, knowing I can catch up with it in order if I want to. Streaming video makes it easier to find stuff you actually like, as opposed to meandering through the glut of 2000 channels of 24-hour cable. One thing that hasn't changed is my hesitation in trying brand-spanking new traditional network shows. I still wait for my flist's reaction, and a few seasons to pass, as a rule.

The ability to watch entire seasons of a show in one fell swoop can make the actual "start date" of viewing a blur, so some of the below I'm not 100% sure about starting in 2013:

Which TV shows did you start watching in 2013?

The Americans, Orphan Black, Orange is the New Black, Continuum, The Vampire Diaries, Weeds, Sleepy Hollow, Eureka, Sherlock. Probably a few others I can't remember.

Which TV show did you let go of in 2013?

Revolution. I watched until the final ep of season 1, but post-apocalyptic gung-ho paramilitary hijinks, just not my thing.

Dexter, but that was over anyway.

I keep threatening to stop watching Criminal Minds, just because the show has become a parody of itself. I couldn't quite get a finger on why, until I started a recent rewatch of the early seasons. In seasons 1-7, you could always count on the team being wrong about something in their profile, and having to refine it, and even then getting a twist on each classic psychosis. And not a twist at the end, but a twist in the entire episode. It wasn't predictable. Now? Seasons 8 and 9 have just become paint-by-numbers stories, where you can predict the outcome, and the perp's "signature" right off the initial crime scene.

For me, the show ended perfectly at the end of season 7. But I still watch.

Which TV show did you mean to get into but didn't in 2013? Why?

My Netflix queue is full of shows I may or may not get around to: Alphas, Breaking Bad, Doctor Who, Elementary, Fringe, Fullmetal Alchemist, Skins, Supernatural, Torchwood. I donno. Lately, I've been on an Investigation Discovery True Crime series kick. Totally disturbing, and yet the stand-alone episode tabloid histrionics doesn't require brain cells to watch.

Which TV show do you intend to check out in 2014?

The potential new post-Voyager web Star Trek series, Star Trek Renegades, looks interesting. At least it's not JJ Abrams pseudo-Trek.

http://startrekrenegades.com/home/story/
http://sfcrowsnest.org.uk/star-trek-renegades-trailer/

Which TV show impressed you least in 2013?

Sleepy Hollow. I still see a lot of my flist gushing over it, apparently because it's insane crack to them. But I think enjoyable insane crack is taste-specific. My idea of enjoyable insane crack was season 2 of Lost.

Which TV show did you enjoy the most in 2013?

Once Upon A Time became my first real TV fandom since Angel was cancelled (I liked Lost, but didn't start really posting about it until season 6, and those were mostly chirping cricket posts). I was a "Yeah, sure, I try to catch it each week" OUAT fan until the episode Manhattan. Then they totally got me hook, line, and sinker.
masqthephlsphr: (Grimm)
Grimm returns this evening. Looking forward to that. But OMG, my source, Google Play, posted ONE promotional video for the new season. Was it a recap of the complicated, ne convoluted plot arc developing behind the Monster of the Week episodes? Not even. It was a 'shipper feature of "Monroe/Rosalee" moments, and the official description actually used the portmanteau "Monrosalee."

Now, I enjoy that 'ship as much as anyone, because it's super geeky and intelligent, but *headdesk*
masqthephlsphr: (Dexter)
Summer used to be the vast months of waiting for favorite network shows to return. Which of course it still is, but there are plenty of summer shows in the meantime, both first-run, and stuff I'm watching on Netflix and Google Play.

Orphan Black: Page-turning awesome (in a TV kind of way). My thoughts here.


Orange is the New Black: Prisoner Cell-block H lite (I suppose nobody but me remembers that show. Women in prison genre.) But refreshingly not played as a total audience-vouyerism op. Yes, there is some gratuitous sex (het and F/F), but mostly the characters are three-dimensional people and their situations genuine. The format is a bit like Lost with a large ensemble cast and flashback sequences showing you how the different prisoners got into their present situations.

I agree with [personal profile] mamculuna that the picture of prison life presented by Orange is probably rosy in comparison to real prison life, and yet you still leave the show thinking, "I promise to be good and not do anything illegal and eat all my vegetables to avoid a place like that."

spoilers )


I have yet to tune into the new season of Dexter. I think they dealt well with the Debra emotional arc well last season (up until the final episode, anyway), but I fear for the depiction of my girl in the new season.


True Blood: Watching it, don't have a lot of thoughts. It's one of those shows I use to veg out and not think many thoughts.


Continuum: Season 2 ended weirdly. This is a show I am going to have to go back and rewatch in order to figure out exactly what happened. Srsly, you have to take notes to follow all the character threads, what with the jumping forward and back in time stuff. Luckily, it's a good enough show that I want to do a season 2 rewatch.

What really throws you, though, is that from the beginning, Continuum tips its audience off-kilter with a lack of a clear moral high ground to root for. spoilers )


The Vampire Diaries: Got all caught up on this show via Netflix and other means, and despite its cracked-out adolescent soapiness, I will probably tune in in the fall. Mostly because the new spin-off means less airtime spent on the Originals. So you can imagine I am skeptical of said spin-off. I find the original vampires tedious. spoilers )


Weeds: Still catching up. Currently on season 4. This show has turned out to be an interesting experiment in expectations. I went into it knowing only that it was about a suburban mom who sells pot to make a living. And that it was a premium channel show. spoilers )


The Once Upon a Time season 1 rewatch is still going on at [profile] 2ceuponatime. We watched episode 9, "True North" last weekend. Discussion here.

Speaking of OUAT, the season 2 DVDs are coming out soon in the US and OnceUponATimeFans is posting the special features videos on YouTube. Go to the http://www.youtube.com/user/OnceUponATimeFans feed. It has the teasers for season 3 as well (watch out for spoilers!), teasers for OUAT: Wonderland, and they are up to #12 in the chronological flashback videos.
masqthephlsphr: Halt and Catch Fire (girl geek)
... but I know why.

First, a rec from the man behind Wesley Crusher:

http://wilwheaton.net/2013/07/nothing-to-prove/

I have only been aware of this misogyny-in-geekdom problem in the past year or so via LiveJournal links and posts on the topic. I've been a girl geek all my life )


So, in conclusion:

"Geeky is just shorthand for enthusiastic and enlightened" --[personal profile] scrollgirl
masqthephlsphr: (Grimm)
So after a three+ month hiatus, Grimm returns tonight. I was sort of watching it perfunctorily before the hiatus, but during the hiatus, I purchased season 1 and season 2 (thus far) on Google Play.

One of the critics who has reviewed the show noted that it improved markedly on rewatch. I have to agree with that. A Grimm primer )
masqthephlsphr: (Emma)
I set aside today to work on the second draft outline of my novel. So naturally, I made fandom icons.

My girl and her boys:

Spoilers take Manhattan (OUAT 2.14) )

My weakend

Jan. 28th, 2013 10:47 am
masqthephlsphr: (don't fuk)
Saturday afternoon: I bought a new car. 2012 Prius C Two. The Scion Xa is being transferred to my brother today. Lots of errands run Saturday morning to make sure the financing was covered. Stomach in knots all day. Spent Saturday evening with the Sculptor trying to drink away buyer's shock.

Discovered my brother ran off with my garage remote control.

Sunday morning: Went to see the Hobbit, finally. Cute, but too much filler, and not enough girls. Read more... )

Sunday afternoon/evening: during an attempt to reset my modem and router to set up Netflix streaming, aforementioned modem and router both died. Lost all power. Had to drive around to many stores to replace them. Discovered that my car-buyers shock had mellowed out to cautious excitement. Bought upgraded versions of the modem and router I probably needed anyway, being an internet-only gal now with no cable TV.

BUT THEN, I could not get the new router set up on my Macintosh despite many attempts to do so. It works on Macs just fine, but you can't use the Easy Set-up Wizard on a Mac, and the backdoor set-up instructions are uselessly vague. I sat hunched over on the floor for hours attempting the set-up and my back was in mortal pain. And of course by the time I was ready to call their customer support hotline, it had closed. Tried again anyway. And again. Thought I had it working and after 15 minutes, the wireless network disappeared.

By then, I was tired and cranky and could not sit up straight my back hurt so much. So I doped myself to the gills with sleeping meds, ibuprofen, and Xanax, stuck an adhesive 8-hour heat bandage to the spot on my spine that always seems to take the brunt of my stress, and went to bed.

Called the router hotline this AM. Good thing about not being in the Eastern time zone--hotline opens at 6:30 am here. Somehow, I created three wireless networks yesterday, only one which actually works, thanks to getting talked through the backdoor set-up process by the hotline guy. Now need to figure out how to delete unwanted wireless networks.

After that, i called up Netflix customer support to get streaming going. Got it going just as it was time to get ready for work.

Novel research: Did none, of course.
masqthephlsphr: (OUAT)
I got the first season of OUAT on DVD for Xmas and have been doing a rewatch. Simultaneously, I've been plotting the second draft of my novel using the hero's journey as a rough template, so I had the concept of the hero's Guide archetype in my head while watching.

Assuming Emma is the Hero of OUAT, the first Guide she encounters, at least in season one, is Henry. He has the Book, and he is constantly interpreting events and people for Emma (also, Mary-Margaret/Snow White, and Graham/the Huntsman) in terms of the book so that she can see herself in the larger picture of what she is supposed to accomplish as the "savior."

A lot of fans have a knee-jerk dislike of unusually-bright child characters. I'm not one of them (Wesley Crusher fan. No apologies.) I think I may even have a slight* story kink for bright child characters, especially if the child is part of an emotionally complicated parent-child dynamic, which Henry is in spades. (*slight; this trope can be sloppily done)

There is a precedent to the idea of the child-as-guide. It comes from the notion of a child having "clearer sight" then adults, not being blinded or sidetracked by the assumptions that get inculcated later through education and the disappointments and joys of life. Invariably, though, in this trope, the adults around the child dismiss the child's perceptions as imaginary or naive.

Henry is a smart kid, but he doesn't really know much of anything he didn't read in the fairytale book. What he knows, in and of himself, is simply to trust the book, and that sort of faith is well-suited for a child character. (BTW, where that book came from before Mary Margaret gave it to Henry is a question I don't believe they have answered as of mid-season two).

Henry isn't unwavering in his faith and shows lapses, especially in mid-season when (*gasp*) evil fights back, and even as late as the last episode of season one when even he seems surprised to see Pinocchio reverting to wood.

In season 2, he is allowed to be more of a child, although he was interestingly one of the first threshold figures who could exist between our world and fairytale world.

Reactions and speculations on this week's OUAT (In the Name of the Brother) )

Cable-free

Dec. 1st, 2012 12:32 pm
masqthephlsphr: (A very Congel Christmas)
One of my goals for the new year is to dump cable TV. I lived without it for three years in SF--I decided it was not worth the money after Angel was cancelled, because I wasn't watching any new shows at the time and had only had it for the picture quality. Living no-cable did become a bit of an issue when I started getting into Lost, because I couldn't get ABC on the rabbit ears, unlike other local channels.

Now, I just don't watch that many shows, and I have Google TV and streaming video, so I can watch things without needing cable (only downside, no closed captioning, but that should be changing), and it would still be less money than I am paying in a monthly cable bill.

But here's the trick: I also use cable for internet at the moment, and I ain't giving up my internet. So I need to find an internet provider that isn't connected to cable or satellite TV. So what do people suggest? Is Century Link any good? Is there an alternative that isn't cable, satellite, or DSL, or do I need to pretty much go DSL? And if I do, I do *not* want to pay for a land line I won't use. Me and my cell phone get by pretty well.

Thanks, all.
masqthephlsphr: (OUAT)
I have been bamblasted lately with work and finishing the first draft of my novel. I can squeeze a few hours of TV into my week, but my posting has gotten a bit sketchy (looking at my LJ, it's all birthday greetings lately). I do have a post-of-actual-content in the works, but in the meantime, here are some TV impressions of the season so far (space dividers under each cut tag for spoilers).

OUAT )









Revolution )









Grimm )








Merlin S 5 )

Fannish 5

Jun. 9th, 2012 11:39 am
masqthephlsphr: (angelsartre)
Five canon events that you found unbelievable and wished had not happened.

Agreeing with my flist on a number of these:

Spoilers for some ridiculous character deaths )

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