Category: Pop culture

Monday, February 13, 2012

Comic: Spider-Hyphen-Man!

Comic about the fact that Spider-Man is spelled with a hyphen; you can remember it by pretending that the hyphen is his web!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Comic - What’s the Word? Inevitable

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Times speaks the truth

The Times’ best TV show rankings puts it more eloquently than I ever could:

Description of *Doctor Who* from *The Times*

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

News flashes!

Whoa, brace yourselves for lots of news!


Comics Roundtable logo

Boston Comics Roundtable has a brand spankin’ new website! Head over to and check out the handiwork of designer and illustrator Shelli Paroline - nice job, Shelli! Look for tutorials, discussion, and art from Roundtable members as the site continues to grow.

And keep an eye on that space for news of the upcoming fourth issue of Inbound, the Boston Comics Roundtable anthology. Kudos to everyone who attended our fundraiser in August! Thanks to the "Fastest Artist" improv-style competition, I can finally say I’ve seen a drawing of Danny Devito wrapping Christmas presents at the Crucifixion. At last. This fast-approaching next issue of Inbound will be packed with tales from Boston history, including a story by me about a very special and, sadly, vanished site in Boston entertainment. Spoiler alert! It features ladies without many clothes on.

And who else is up to something new around here?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Comic: Sounds of Doctor Who

A comic about Kitty attending a Doctor Who festival

(You can support the Brattle Theatre and help them to keep bringing fine programming like "Genesis of the Daleks" to the big screen! Click here to find out how.)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Iron Man: Random links and random thoughts ... built in a cave

Grab-bag of Iron Man awesomeness

Spot Tony's MIT class ring

FAA's regulations on alcohol and flying planes

Newsarama: Iron Man sequel planned for April 2010

Tony Stark will make you feel ... like a customized Lego figurine

Comics Worth Reading conversation: What Iron Man comics should I pick up?

Pandagon: Pepper and Tony = Jeeves and Wooster

And my own two cents on it

I can't get over how much I enjoyed Iron Man. I mean two screenings in just the opening weekend enjoyed it. Regret not sneaking into another showing immediately after the first one enjoyed it. And I've never been an Iron Man fan in my life, though I had a good time reading the first Essential collection a few years ago.

The movie was just a lot of exhilarating fun, and Tony Stark was the kind of bright, fast-talking, arrogant-but-can-back-it-up character I just like spending time with. It's the same mindset I have in reading Starman and the Vampire Files novels for the sake of spending time with Jack Knight and Jack Fleming. It's not so much that I like the plot, but damn, I just like this guy's company, and I'll put up with a surprising amount of bad story to hang out with the guy. Plus it doesn't hurt that Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark is total hot sauce.

Johanna had a good observation about the contemporary feel of the movie. The sci-fi in it comes off to me as pretty believable and pretty achievable. I live in a world where a buddy of mine has the internet in his pocket and my mom thinks about buying an electronic picture frame that cycles through digital photos.

On the level of fun-as-all-hell standalone summer movie, this flick was aces. But when I think on some of its themes or the overarching trends of current movies, I get a little less gleefrenzied.

The movie has no real women characters except for the everything-gopher secretary (admittedly awesome and indispensable), and if we're being generous, the one bangable reporter who shows up in a few scenes. Women are just there to get Tony's coffee and drive him through warzones and sexydance in his private jet. The movie's kinda like a James Bond film on Red Bull, so it's understandable. But when you look at the overall trend of hey-ladies-no-hero-movies-for-you, it's frustrating that there's no female counterpart movie to balance it out. You could show this flick to a Boy Scout troop and they'd walk off completely pumped about making robot kits and growing up to go to MIT like Tony Stark. What do I show to the Girl Scout troop?

It also frustrates me that Tony works to make up for years of warmongering by building ... a super-awesome warsuit. Yes, I can spin this by pointing out that it's the tool he needs to zip around the world and put a stop to misuse of Stark Technologies, but still: super-awesome warsuit. Tony Stark wants to make the most of his life as Yensin urges him to do, but I didn't once hear anyone suggesting the Alfred Nobel route of compensating for a career of industrial destruction.

I'd also like to see someone with more cultural analysis chops than I have explore how this movie fits in with the American cult of the individual and how the USA often opts to go it alone in international conflict. Maybe they could also touch on the USA's military-industrial split personality: with the left hand (Stane), we'll sell you the explodies, and with the right hand (Stark), we'll come back and smash you for using them. And they might have a few words about the storytelling of replacing the original yellow peril villain with a burlap peril villain. You could wring a entire doctoral thesis out of this movie in the right frame of mind.

Friday, December 7, 2007

nooo they be takin my cherry pie

Metafilter brought me a creeptastic early holiday gift: a photo gallery of black and white shots from the set of Twin Peaks, taken by Richard "Ben Horne" Beymer.

I love you, Santa Metafilter.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fiesta del Borg 2007

It'd been some time since Jeph and I had a Star Trek fest, so we decided to launch ourselves at The Borg, everyone's favorite shambling creepy-ass cybervillains. Here's what we watched this time around:

"I, Borg" (Next Generation)
Picard and pals come across a crashed Borg craft with one surviving drone. In spite of all common sense and the two of us yelling "DON'T NO AAAH" at the screen, the crew beam the Borg on board to treat his injuries. They have the sharp idea of tainting him with a computer virus to upload back to the Borg Collective, but everyone gets attached to their new pet Borg and balk at executing the plan. Worth watching for the chilling scene of Picard pretending to be his former Borg identity, Locutus. Woo, brr.

"Regeneration" (Enterprise)
Arctic explorers find some frozen Borgsicles left over from Star Trek: First Contact. Before you can say "Please don't thaw the Borg," it's all assimilation fun-fun time, and Archer and pals have to chase down the fleeing defrosted enemy. A few intense fight scenes (including one where they tackle a Borg drone) and my only fitting response was to yell "USA! USA!"

"The Scorpion, parts 1-2" (Voyager)
Janeway and pals find themselves smack up against Borgspace. Oh no! But they find a Borg-free pathway through it. Oh yes! But it's Borg-free because there's something even worse tearing into the Borg throughout it. Oh no! And so Janeway decides to make an alliance with the Borg against the baddies to get their ship through Borgspace. Oh no? Yes? That can't be good, but it seems to work out, at least for a while. And then Seven of Nine is introduced and it's all Sexy Borg Time on Voyager. I did enjoy this episode, but I'm irritated at how the Borg are undercut by making them approachable and defeatable.

Our observations

Yelling at Borg episodes is easy because you really need only one response.
"Let's beam the injured Borg on board the ship." No!
"What are these frozen cyborgs we found? Let's defrost them." No!
"Let's make a bargain with the Borg!" No! NO! NO!
Of course, "Look behind you!" and "Don't touch that!" were popular callbacks as well.

I've never seen Trek crew open the airlock to get rid of unwanted bad guys before! That's an excellent solution! We came up with the euphemisms "Hypo-oxygenated discharge" and the simpler "He's walking home."

Starfleet craft in the 24th century and onward have clean shiny interiors like a damn IKEA showroom.

And now, some closing thoughts from Hugh Borg, courtesy of Jeph:

Hugh Borg made you a cookie ... but he assimilated it

Friday, February 2, 2007

Alternate Universe TiVo: The Meme

Memetastic thought:

The last entry and Lyle's response got me wondering. What are everyone else's Alternate Universe TiVos recording?

Friday, January 26, 2007

TV Party 3000

It took a bit of tinkering, but I finally managed to get my Alternate Universe TiVo up and running the other day.

I came home from work and found that it had recorded the whole first season of Hiro and Nathan Happy Wacky Scrapes Hour, the episodes of Antiques Roadshow that Jack Knight guest-hosted, the story arc in Life on Mars where Blade joined the Manchester police department, and that one episode of Scrubs with the Albert Rosenfield cameo.

Wait till I get the Series Omega box with the flux capacitor feature. There's gonna be a helluva movie night at my house that weekend.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Profit: Pure delicious Pasdar-flavored evil

To all the readers who hit my site searching for "adrian pasdar shirtless", "adrian pasdar hot", "adrian pasdar no shirt", and "adrian pasdar shirt off":

Stop what you're doing right now and go get yourself the Profit DVD boxed set.

Not only does does it have Adrian Pasdar being egregiously evil (blackmail, murder, affair with own stepmom, etc.), the plot requires plenty of shots of him with no clothes in his apartment's secret Profit-cave, tooling around on the computer and sleeping in a cardboard box.

Happy holidays!

PS. Brace yourselves for mid-1990's fake 3-D computer interfaces. Ah God, my eyes!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

comic: The Paper Mirror

I'm still thinking about DC's upcoming Minx line and the reaction to the gender makeup of its creative teams (i.e., not many women for an imprint aimed at young girls).

From a business sense, there's nothing wrong about this. DC isn't building some FUBU girlpower collective. Their goal is to get girls to buy DC comics, full stop.

Good creators can build stories about people who aren't like them. Men can write about women (Whiteout), women can write about men (Finder), $apples can write about $oranges, and so on. And DC has hired some great creators for this venture.

At the same time, I wonder about Minx's potential lack of paper mirror moments, especially for an audience who really needs them. Sometimes only the people who've been there can really capture the mood and, maybe even more importantly, the details. Hacker movies sporting fakey Hollywood OS, on-location tales with incorrect or mishmashed backgrounds - the devil's in the details, and when the details are wrong, my conviction in the story falters and sometimes I even feel disrespected. "Hey, I'm glad that me and my kind are such great story fodder for you guys - now could you take five minutes to actually talk to one of us and get some facts about what we're really like?"

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Heroes linkblogging

Highlander writes about the demographic makeup of Heroes. I agree and hope that the character stats improve a bit after this current winter episode break.

Fametracker offers a bizarre battle: Adrian Pasdar vs. Kyle Maclachlan! (Sadly, the accompanying images are broken. Booo.)

Piratesdaughter sums up the Petrellis for you, and we are all very grateful. (Warning: Ten million images)

The most recent episode featured a prophetic painting about Hiro and his future sword taking on a T-rex. One theory says that the sword's a museum piece and the T-rex is a model, and the naysayers fire back with "Pssh, museum T-rexes are usually bare bony skeletons." Well, you know who's got a T-rex with its skin on? That's right, Boston! (Quicktime proof) C'mon, Heroes - field trip!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Cliche Clinic: The Stressful Situation

All this talk of Heroes and Cliché Bingo brings up something I've had bubbling in the back of my head for a while. In general, I'd like to be more positive and proactive, critiquing constructively instead of just hurking up gripes and snark. If what we're seeing is crusty overused cliché, what could storytellers substitute to make it more fresh and interesting?

So, Cliché Clinic! I'd like to tackle the "my superpowers in action" scene. You know the one - the stressful situation where Our Heroes put things on the line and save others (or even themselves), maybe by using their powers for the first clumsy time, or maybe by admitting Spider-Man 2-style that they can't deny their own heroism. It often ends up something like this:

When I wrote this list off the top of my head, I didn't intend for most of it to mirror how Heroes has been unfolding, but it turned out that way. If you count their online comics, they've even done "save people from a fire" twice. That's a clichébag and a half.

So what are some alternatives? What different stressful situations could be applied and not feel overused? Help me build this toolbox! Please add your own ideas in the comments section below if you'd like to join in.

Possible non-cliché situations :

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thoughts on Heroes, episode 5

Another Monday night, another Heroes Harrassment Hour! Honestly, I can't believe I'm still watching this show. I'm an utter victim of Intermittent Variable Reinforcement - I yell at the screen for most of the show ("Shut your babbling! Don't go in there, fool! What the hell is this nonsense!") but then get drawn back in by the occasional really interesting scene ("Oh hey now, that was a neat way of stopping time"). And anyway, it makes a decent backdrop for folding laundry.

Spoiler-addled reactions

Emo Nurse Man needs some new dialogue besides "blah destiny blah connected blah must save the whatever blah". Seriously, it's like he's got his own chatterbot thing going on. "Peter, what happened on the subway?" "WE NEED TO SAVE THE CHEERLEADER." "Peter, where'd I leave my scarf?" "WE ARE ALL CONNECTED SOMEHOW."

I like how "painting" is a superpower. I should've used that illustration class to learn to fight crime! And am I going to Geek Hell because my first reaction to Peter's blue-tinted futurevision eyes was to yell "He is the Kwisatz Haderach"? I'll save you all a seat when I get there.

Let me get this straight - not only is Claire sexually assaulted, she doesn't even get to be the final tool of her own orchestrated revenge; her evil father gets that honor instead? Okay! I think some writers need to read Ragnell's thoughts on women and power for a little refresher on why this is really irritating. Man, the chicks on this show, I swear - they just get manipulated left and right while the guys are all off proactively chasing destinies. That is, when the women aren't just being some guy's love interest or the Girl Friday research assistant.

I'm really tempted to draw up a Cliché Bingo sheet for this show. Someone with superpowers foiling a convenience store robbery? Oh my, whatever will they think of next. I think of this show as "superhero comics for people who have never read comic books or watched any superhero movie or television series."

If they just changed the show to "NBC's hour of Adrian Pasdar flying around with no shirt on and hanging out with the Japanese guy," I would be a much happier kitty.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Project Runway and critiques

I've watched just about all of this season of Project Runway, which has its season finale this evening. It totally sucked me in with two of my favorite hooks: drama and makin' stuff.

Something else that interests me, though, is the end-of-episode critiques of the designers' work. They flash me back to the critiques from the graphic design program I finished a couple of years back, and they bring up advice that PR designers could stand to hear (and not just them - any creative professional and anyone presenting their work before others).

Avoid the words "I tried" and "I wanted"

When I hear the words "I tried", I expect "but ..." to follow. People who have achieved their goals sound more confident about their work. They use words that give the impression of "I did it" rather than "I gave it a shot." When it comes to final products, people want results, not good intentions.

The same applies to "I wanted to ...". My first reaction is "If you'd actually achieved your goal, you'd just say what you did, not what you were intending to do." Instead of saying "I wanted this dress to look elegant", just state it! "This dress looks elegant," period. This is especially helpful if your final product doesn't exactly reflect your first ideas. Don't set your listeners up for disappointment by pointing out how far you drifted from your goals.

That said, it's fine to say what your goals were and how you achieved them. You just want to avoid sounding wishy-washy. Be strong! Bring attention to what you've done, not what you haven't done.

Remember, in the words of the master, "Do or do not. There is no try."

Avoid using the rules as an excuse

Let's not hear any of this "My design has so much fabric in it because you told us we had to use it all up" or "My dress looks like this because you gave us only two days." That comes off as "I can't work within project limitations." Be honest if your final product has problems or if you haven't met your objectives, but don't try to fob them off as the client's fault for coming up with those requirements.

And if you did meet or surpass the requirements, especially in an innovative way, crow it up! Talk about them like challenges you enjoyed rather than obstacles you reluctantly faced. As a client, which would you rather hear: "I had to build the house like this because of the environmental laws you said we had to obey", or "Here's the house! I was attentive to the environmental laws and addressed them in the following ways: X, Y, and Z"?

Be cheerful and professional no matter how you feel about your work

We're not mindreaders. When we present our work, we have no idea what the judges or clients are thinking. Maybe we're thinking, Oh God, my work is freeze-dried poo topped with a poo garnish, but the judges might not be thinking the same thing. They might not even notice the flaws. You're trying to sell your work to them (literally or figuratively), so why poison your chances by talking it down? Also, when you get deeply involved in a project, it can be hard to appreciate its good aspects. You tend to zone in on the problem areas. Other people can have different perspectives and see merits that you may have missed. Give them a chance to enjoy it.

Talking positively about your work is also just flat-out professional. You wouldn't go through the trouble of making a gourmet meal and delivering it on exquisite china only to comment, "Yeah, I hope you like it 'cause I think it kinda sucks, especially the asparagus." That casts a shadow over this meal and any future meals. Who wants to come back and do business again with the gloomy chef?

Be mindful of presentation

Presentation is an important aspect of showing your work. You wouldn't serve that gourmet meal on paper plates. You wouldn't show up for a job interview in sneakers and sweatpants. Keep in mind all the aspects of how others will be viewing your work. On Project Runway, presentation includes accessories, hair, and makeup. In the rest of the world, presentation might be bringing color copies of your design to the meeting instead of boring black-and-white, or neatly wrapping a birthday gift instead of handing it over in the plastic bag from the store.

The very experience of enjoying your work can push people just over that edge and onto your side. Think of the small negative aspects that stick in your head, and think of how you can work to prevent them in your own projects. "I loved the book but damn, that was the nastiest cover art," or "The apartment was beautiful but the realtor looked like she just crawled through a hedge."

And to all you haters out there replying "I have better things to do than worry about how the clients think I'm dressed" or "My l33t programming skills should speak for themselves" - it's a valid feeling, but why would you voluntarily undercut yourselves like that? The world is a competitive place. Why not take advantage of every little thing that could give you an edge and memorability over your rivals? Why not give the impression that you pay attention to every little detail possible?

Monday, October 9, 2006

thoughts on Heroes, episodes 1-3

It's three episodes in, and as much as I would really like to enjoy the new superpower-focused series Heroes, there are just too many little nagging details that all add up to me feeling unsatisfied.

Things I enjoy about Heroes

Hiro the Japanese teleporter. He takes joy in his new powers and does things proactively. Go Hiro! I cheer whenever he's on-screen - he's a fun guy to spend time with. Plus I like the typographic layout of the subtitles.

The cop who can read minds has had only a small amount of screentime, but he's got potential.

Things I don't enjoy about Heroes

Most of the action centers around New York City, yet again, like so many other urban shows out there. Are writers really that strapped for cities?

Most of the main characters are white, practically all are thin, none appear to have any kind of non-power-related disabilities (except the baddie, who wears glasses), and all but two are American. I'm not looking for token wheelchairs or Chris Claremont-style internationalism, but it would be nice to see a little more diversity in character types and backgrounds. Maybe more characters along these lines will be introduced down the road, but the first few episodes are the memorable ones that set the tone of the show and establish the primary cast.

Elements that seem way too familiar. Genetic evolution as a theme (X-Men), a superstrong cheerleader (Buffy), an apocalyptic destiny that needs averting (The Dead Zone series off the top of my head, but I know I've seen it elsewhere), predictable powers (flight, invulnerability, and mindreading - No, seriously? Wow, I never would have guessed those), predictable tension elements (a serial killer, a wall of crazy, indecipherable computer files), and predictable character types (the stripper with a heart of gold [OK, when she's not getting all Mr. Hyde], the drugged-up creative artist, the politician who'll do anything for poll points).

It's been only three episodes and already the two lead powered female characters have been sexually assaulted or coerced. Where's my Bingo card?

Too much gore for my taste.

What I would much rather see watching Heroes

This is just my personal interests talking, and I'm sure people out there would find this dull, but I'd like to see Six Feet Under-style storytelling but with superpowers. Forcing some heroic destiny on characters is so Dungeons and Dragons. Recent cable series show that you can tell interesting stories just following people's crazy lives. Why do we need to fall back on the predictable setup of "I have powers, now I must fight crime/save old ladies/stop the supervillains"? Instead of Heroes, I'd rather see Slightly Extraordinary People. Forget fighting the apocalypse - I want to see how they handle their powers in day-to-day life. That's a show I'd watch, though I suspect I might be the only one watching it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

the cover most likely to

A bit of odd Invisibles synchronicity ... or a lift ... or nothing related at all.

Cover of The Invisibles, volume 2, issue 6:

Advertisement from the back of The Books of Magic, just over a year later:

Or I could do the usual and just blame it on aliens.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

alerts and webcomics


If you're hooked on blog carnivals like I am, you'll be psyched to hear about the new Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans, organized by Ragnell. The deadline for submissions for the first edition is June 29.


I'm also getting increasingly hooked on webcomics, which is great considering how many excellent examples are out there. The comedy of it is that even though I work in IT and spend most of my day on the internerd, often it still takes my finding the comics in tree-corpse format to appreciate them. Here are a few I've enjoyed lately.

Exhibit A. "I do like time like I was pluggin' the meter" is the best thing I've heard in ages.

Dinosaur Comics
Exhibit A. Bought the collected edition at MoCCA, kicked myself for having known about it for years but not getting around to diving in.

The Amazing Adventures of Bill
Exhibit A. I picked up the print version of this strip at MoCCA and laughed the whole subway ride back to the hostel. Aces!

Perfect Stars
Exhibit A. This is like my Velvet Goldmine of comics (and not just because the Exhibit A strip stars Oscar Wilde). Rich artwork!


One fan's customized action figures of the Invisibles

Coming soon: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier

The Boston Police Department has a blog.

Monday, May 29, 2006

bashirfest 2006

Logo for Star Trek DS9 Julian 
Bashir marathon

It's Bashir O'Clock!

After the great fun that was the O'Brien Torturethon, Jeph, K, and I hit the couch again for a TV party devoted to Deep Space Nine's chief medical officer, Dr. Julian Bashir. Look at those eyes! Set phasers to "sex bomb", everybody!


The Wire
Bashir's buddy-antagonist-mysteryman Garak collapses due to misuse of an implant in his head, and Bashir must race against the clock to find out about Garak's past and cure him. Cue hurt/comfort by the bucketload and a really unconvincing sickroom fight scene.

Photo of Star Trek DS9's 
Dr. Julian Bashir

I guess I can see where all of the Bashir/Garak fanfiction comes from, but dear god, Garak is really annoying. That is one fandom I'm steering clear of.

Hippocratic Oath
Bashir and O'Brien crash on a planet and encounter a group of Jem'Hadar trying to wean themselves off the drug that binds them to the Dominion. Bashir does his best to formulate a cure, while O'Brien does what he can to ensure their escape. Meanwhile, back on DS9, Worf is new to the station and completely screws up because he doesn't quite get the chain of command.

Glad to see more O'Brien (c'mon everybody: "O'BRIEN!"), and especially O'Brien getting his insubordination on. I appreciated how the guys did not resolve the problem in the end - no cure-all pills nor good resolution for the Jem'Hadar, who look kind of like triceratops. Kind of a downer; sad characters, no happy ending, and Worf gets professionally embarrassed. No good times!

Our Man Bashir
Bashir slips into his James Bond-shaped fiction suit in the holosuites, but non-hilarity ensues when a malfunction forces him and Garak to remain in character or risk the deaths of several other crew members.

"We can't stop the program or they'll die!" "The safety has been deactivated - we could actually be killed!" Throw in genre costumes, kissing the girls, biffing the baddies, and you could get completely hammered playing this round of Holodeck Cliches Drinking Game.

That being said, it's a fun holiday to see everyone acting completely out of character. We'd happily watch an entire show starring Sisko's mad genius character "Dr. Noah." He has a crazy, delightful yelp for "laugh of disbelief." A pleasant change from most of the other episodes where he's doing his best to channel Shatner.

Also, Star Trek needs more excuses for Bashir to wear dapper suits.

The Quickening (no, not that kind, a plaguey kind)
Bashir and Dax happen upon a distant planet cursed by punishing biological warfare left by Jem'Hadar. Born with plague, the people eventually sicken and die painfully; their only option is a ritualized chemical suicide that allows them to die peacefully. Bashir and Dax struggle to formulate a cure for the plague, though their efforts mostly make things worse.

Another downer episode with a mildly hopeful ending. Bashir reminds me of the doctors on House in that he's written to be an expert in everything medical. Maybe his super fantabulous 24th century medical technology is doing all the real work. Or maybe he really is that good, as the next episode hints?

Doctor Bashir, I Presume
When Bashir is suggested as the template for a new version of Starfleet hologram doctor, background investigation brings to light his deepest secret: his parents arranged for him to undergo illegal genetic modification as a child to help his severely lagging academic performance.

It's funny - I found this "Flowers for Bashir" episode more touching and sad than the deliberately heartstring-twanging episodes described above. Family dramas always make me a bit damp-eyed. Plus there's the fact that the other sad episodes above were "on location", set on object-lesson planets, while the conflict in this episode felt more claustrophobic and anxious to me for being on DS9, in Bashir's home. No rescue ship or reactivated transporter could get him out of that situation.

On a lighter note, Bashir's parents reminded me of the Kumars. I would watch The Bashirs at Spaceship 42 in a heartbeat.

And not having watched much else of DS9, I have to ask - do they touch much on Bashir's genetic enhancements again? I can easily picture him acting like X-Factor's Quicksilver, constantly irritated by all the slowbies around him with their poor hand-eye coordination and inability to reason quickly. Then again, years of Starfleet training in compassion and being kind to others probably drummed all the bitchy out of him.

Thoughts and Observations

We can't draw Bashir! What is wrong with us? We found this very difficult, even with a stack of Star Trek reference books. Baffled!

Girls love bubble tea.

Bashir is practically two-dimensional. He is one slender mofo, I'll tell you that.

We have no plans to watch an entire TV fest devoted to Garak or Quark. I would probably set the DVDs on fire before that came to pass.

Our Snarky Quotations Know No Bounds

"You know what I noticed about your TV? There's no Bashir on it right now."
-- "You know what I noticed about you ...?"

"That's like a Little Golden Book: The Lumpiest Klingon."

"You should have a sexy suit like Bashir."
-- "You mean I should put on a Starfleet uniform? And make love to you? Because that is my dream."

"It kinda sucks that they live in a death world."

Our Favorite Out-of-Context Line

Bashir talks to O'Brien about Mrs. O'Brien: "So ... you wish Keiko ... were a man?"

Thursday, May 25, 2006

careful now!

Congratulations to Father Ted for finally winning the Eurosong competition!

Thursday, May 4, 2006

comic: kitty's wishlist

Comic strip: Two girls on the couch suggesting a yaoi series based on *The Usual Suspects*

(And you know I'd buy it tomorrow if it existed, too.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

supersonic ladies on a leash

Looks like Aeon Flux is out on DVD, and I'm sure sister action cheesefest movie Ultraviolet won't be too far behind. Every time I saw the commercials for these flicks, I thought of Jhonen Vasquez' parody superheroine character Lady Sexhole.

Image of Jhonen Vasquez's parody character Lady Sexhole

Media at my house is always interactive. Insert image of me yelling that line at the TV every time Ultrajovovich showed up to bare her midriff and shoot things and that's about the state of it.

To me, this kind of character always smacks of a media cliché I encounter in sci-fi and action stories - the Engineered Woman. She's a human machine, trained and/or superhumanly altered by and for the service of an organization (usually one with strong hierarchical or patriarchal overtones - a government agency, or a secret society run by old men in dark suits). More often than not, she's some kind of killing tool.

A related character type is the superwoman who doesn't need engineering but who still acts as a tool for an agency. Buffy Summers is a great example - in spite of her powers, she is still trained and managed by the Watchers, and even the Slayer power itself turns out to be the result of a group of male magicians thrusting it unwanted on the first Slayer girl. But what I find interesting about the list above is the weird voyeur-sadist angle - we're invited to watch these woman being broken, being altered. The transformation scenes are usually explicit.

Are there male examples of this kind of character process? Movies, TV, and comics are filled with "assassin superbaddie" men, but I feel like I don't usually see them in the explicit process of creation: being abducted from their former lives, being stripped of identities and emotions, being trained and forcibly reshaped. (I bet they're out there, but the only example I can come up with is Wolverine.)

It's also interesting to think on what the transformation strips away: all traces of traditional femininity, except the sexy bits. Swap out nurturing and caring for rock-hard stoicism and casual attitude toward killing, but leave the sex drive. It's like Lady Macbeth in leather.

Image of Ultraviolet mashed up with Lady Macbeth monologue

So as a final result, we end up with this power fantasy character - who wouldn't want to be a catsuited überpowerful babe with one-liners and assault rifles, seriously. But is it really a power fantasy? After the amp-up, these characters become immense sources of power, but they don't usually control it. Again, they're the tools and catspaws. Operations sets the agenda for Nikita, Buffy is ordered around by the Watchers when they come to town, and Bill is the boss. The women have the power but they don't call the shots.

It's frustrating. These are the characters held up as great female action heroes, but half the time they're just Barbie dolls built by their masters. Hot as all hell and great with guns, but uncomplicated by emotions or physical weakness. She'll do what you want to an inhuman degree, and she'll still look eminently sexable. That's a nice feature list for the owner, not a character description to aspire to. Again, are there male characters like this? Wolverine was a hard badass engineered and controlled by others, but he isn't usually presented as being deliberately sexed up on top of that. Well, maybe. He does walk around with no shirt on pretty often.

The gratifying moments come when the women fight back. Smash the masters! It's like Frankenstein, where the creation comes back around to boot the ass of those who try to control too much. Yay and all, but often it still feels to me a bit like women are portrayed as a force of nature, fertility and entropy rising up against the sterile clinical men who try to bottle them. Come on now, these are people, not dinosaurs from Jurassic Park.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

o'brien torturethon 2006

Logo: O'Brien TortureThon 2006

It was one of those jokes that spirals into a life of its own, like how the Upper Crust was created or Snakes on a Plane. In our case, the joke was, "Ha ha, let's watch a bunch of episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine where Chief Engineer O'Brien gets completely shat upon!" Seriously, my IM conversations keep degenerating from "funny what-if discussion" to "agenda for this weekend".

So, that's what we did! Jeph, K, and I kicked off O'Brien Torturethon 2006 with coffee and donuts, and then we sat on the couch, yelling at the TV and giggling about every twenty seconds, followed by someone starting off a chorus of "O'Brien!"s.


O'Brien returns from a mission to find that everyone around him is acting very peculiarly. Paranoid, uncomfortable fun.

O'Brien is accused of a mystery crime and becomes a victim of the twisty Cardassian justice system. Frustrating, like watching an episode of Law and Order where all of the evidence gets thrown out due to technicality, but times twenty.

A radiation accident sets O'Brien jumping in time just a few hours into the future, which is all fun and novel until he witnesses his own death. Ahh!

"The Assignment"
O'Brien's wife is taken over by a hostile alien spirit, who forces O'Brien to unwillingly sabotage Deep Space Nine. Cue angst!

"Hard Time"
As punishment for a crime, O'Brien's brain is implanted with memories that he just spent twenty years in prison (cheaper than maintaining a physical prison), and now he must become reaccustomed to his life. Ugh, this was soul-numbing.

Banner by Jeph: O'Brien TortureThon 2006

Jeph sets the mood with this lovingly created banner.

I have never really watched much of DS9, so it was a surprise to find how much I enjoyed the episodes. It reminded me of what I liked so much about sci-fi similar series Babylon 5 - the concept of maintaining a sort of diplomatic crossroads and living station (as opposed to just bopping around on adventures as the other Trek series do). Jeph chose well - these were highly enjoyable and tightly written episodes with interesting character development (but also with enough silliness for us to poke fun at, because we are a snarky group).

Chief O'Brien in his people's native state

Our Snarky Quotations

"The Bajorans are the space Polish."

"Three-quarter sleeves look good on girls."
-- "I know what you like on girls: Girls!"

O'Brien switches off the life support power on his transport ship.
"I hope he didn't divert power away from the bathroom."
-- "That's why they have a transporter."

"Hot pre-emptive action!"

K suddenly gets the baddie about half an hour after everyone else.
"It was the man with the moustache!!!!"

Jeph describes female Cardassians' cosmetics.
"They put a stripe on their left and right shoulders, and they color in their ... uh, head labia."

We also love Dr. Julian Bashir, the doctor on DS9.
"Dr. Sexy Bashir should prescribe you some meds. 100 CC's meat injection twice daily!"
"Twice daily until pain subsides."
-- "What pain?"
"... Mm-hmm."

"Are there any episodes where Bashir tries to get girls who aren't O'Brien?"

Our Favorite Out-of-Context Line
Bashir to O'Brien from "The Assignment": "I've seen you handle your wife thousands of times!"

We enjoyed this line so much that K ended up doodling it as a cartoon, which pitched us into about ten more fits of giggles.

K's cartoon of Chief O'Brien and Dr. Bashir

It's the eyelashes on Bashir that make it. Heh! We love it! That's why we're making our next Trekthon all about that guy.

ps. O'Brien!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

u for underwhelming

It's funny that the latest post on the blog Creating Passionate Users discussed Intermittent Variable Reinforcement, the training of behavior through inconsistent rewards. Kathy Sierra uses it to describe the behavior of constantly checking email in hopes that you'll be rewarded with new messages. Sometimes you get them, and sometimes you don't, and you repeat the behavior, like a slot machine player.

It reminds me of how I felt watching V for Vendetta yesterday. It was a thoroughly inconsistent experience, with poor writing, cheesy dialogue, and clumsy messages, and I kept thinking "Why am I still sitting here watching this?", but then something fantastic would emerge (the Valerie sequence, a nifty fight scene, a clever line, a breathtaking visual) and I would go right back to sitting through the chaff and hoping to be treated to another good bit.

On a related note, I would like a love bomb. Why do creators keep cluttering up perfectly good stories by jamming in a romantic subplot? Why don't they think we can identify with characters whose motivations aren't romantic in nature? I would love to see more movies about people driven by curiosity, a sense of adventure, the need to create, a rebellious streak against conformity, a passion for anything beyond their own personal interests, but instead I always find myself mired in movies where people act based on romance and sweethearts. I saw V for Vendetta looking forward to people confronting a stifling fascist hierarchy, but instead the movie was more about one particular man and Evey's passion for him, which completely undercuts the whole theme of empowering ordinary people and making government less about following one specific person. I feel like I see that over and over in movies: "scientific curiosity" swapped out for "trying to get the girl back" (The Time Machine, which I still can't believe I saw), struggles for independence watered down with lovey subthreads and "you touched my stuff" personal motivation (Braveheart), and so on. It just gets old, and it makes me want to hurl a love bomb right at the screen.

Monday, January 23, 2006

lex luthor is love

I am an efficient kitty and smack two birds with one Photoshop.

Lex Luthor pic of Legomancer

Thursday, January 5, 2006

all the ladies in the house say "where's my spaceship"

Happy New Year, everyone! I'm back from surprisingly snowy England, fresh from days of tea and sudoku puzzles, and starting off the year of blogging with (surprise) ranting. Woo!

Found from the Glyphs blog - take a look at Pam Noles' essay on The Wizard of Earthsea.

It's timely to me because lately I've been going through another bout of "Damn, seriously, where are the movies for women who like sci-fi and fantasy?" All of the classic science-fiction and fantasy movies - if the women exist at all, it's in a Smurfette capacity, one women to a bunch of guys. Boys who like to play-act can be Luke, Han, Vader, Obi-Wan, C3PO, R2D2 ... girls can be Leia. Woo hah. Hope there aren't two or more girls who want to play girls like themselves. It's a matter of projecting into fantasy worlds - if you like a world, you look around it for people like you, for your potential place in it. Apparently I'm asking a lot when I look for sci-fi and fantasy females who aren't just "the love interest" and who aren't the only woman in the film.

This flipped scenario has been running in my head:

Picture this movie, The Lady of the Rings. An evil queen creates a dark magical ring. Eons later, a halfling lady finds it. Her niece and three of her niece's girlfriends team up with the lost human queen, fending off nine undead queens to get the ring to the elves' safehaven, while a powerful gray witch and white witch fight about it themselves. At the elven house, the elf lady declares that nine of the women will set out on a quest to destroy the ring. You want men in this film? Well, there's a nice elf lord with some screentime, but he's mainly the love interest of the lost human queen. Plus there's an ancient elf lord in this one other scene, and some guys in the background in the village in the beginning.

Would people watch this? Would people expect men and boys to project onto the movie and play-act the characters? Would defenders justify it by saying that the story comes from old-school source material that we should respect and preserve?

I know that this is a bit of a simplistic take on it, that the marketing forces and the 18-35 male demographic and Hollywood business play into it, cash money, etc., etc. But it's still frustrating. Why am I expected to roll over, accept that there aren't people like me in the movie, and be grateful to get any fantasy movie at all? Why am I supposed to "lie back and think of sci-fi"?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

rant fiesta

Spotted in Young Avengers issue 8, a full page of art devoted to a Daily Bugle article on the regrouping of the title team.

Scan of a page from Young Avengers issue 8

But if you look down at the text to read the article, and why wouldn't you, when they've printed it at a fully readable size and they've made this page the first page of story content in the issue, you find that it's just filler, greeked text to simulate an article.

Close-up of a page from Young Avengers issue 8

So sloppy, especially when you look back at page 1 of issue 1 and see that a similar newspaper article page sported genuine written text and not just greeked filler.

Come on, creative teams. It'd take you ten minutes to come up with phony article text, and readers wouldn't focus on it that much. The greeked stuff stands out more for its lack of effort. And listing the byline as "Lorem Ipsum" is not a clever inside joke, it's just irritating.

* * *

Spotted before the absolutely loveable and crazy Wallace and Gromit movie, a trailer for Disney's latest feature, Chicken Little. Apparently (and I say this not having seen the film, so there's your caveat), the title character's father is a widower. Another dead/missing Disney mother? Seriously, should there be an Animated Women in Refrigerators website for these ladies?

* * *

Dear enlightened modern parents: Please stop bringing your under-12 children to the live show of Rocky Horror Picture Show. Really. Love, Kitty

Monday, October 3, 2005

spoiler-free thoughts on Serenity

Back in the day, I read Warren Ellis' run on StormWatch and loved the strange stories, the nuanced characters, the optimism, and all the little quirks. Then, when that book ended and a group of the characters went on to star in its widescreen-style spinoff The Authority, I kept reading, but it wasn't quite the same experience. The stories were a lot tighter, the action was massive and incredibly choreographed, and the stakes were ratcheted up - instead of battling this baddie and saving that village, the heroes were saving entire worlds and taking on whole armies from alternate universes. The characters still carried out the plot, but they weren't exactly the same as they'd been in StormWatch. To me they came off as boiled down, simplified. The individual motivations that they'd had originally were all glossed into "wanting a better world", weaknesses were written out or ignored, and all of the characters became rock-hard badasses in service of the story. A lot of readers loved the book and its crazy mindblowing adventures, but I missed the character-driven aspects.

I'm bringing this up because it's the first thing that came to my mind after catching Serenity, the movie offshoot of the sci-fi series Firefly. I enjoyed the movie immensely - it's one of the better sci-fi films I've seen in ages. Aaah, Reavers and killing-dance-fu and big government experiments and Mal and Jayne and space dogfights and Jayne again! Yeah! Great story! But it did not feel as character-driven to me as the series did, which was a bummer for me since that's the kind of story I prefer. Somehow the characters felt more in service of the plot rather than driving it. Or maybe it felt more like River was driving the plot and everyone else was along for the ride and the shooting things. Could be that too.

I think I need to give it another round and see how I feel after a second viewing. At least this time around I won't scream like a four-year-old during the Reavers scenes. No, really. I was so embarrassed.

Sunday, July 3, 2005

batman begins to rock my world

First off, I'm joining the ranks of Jay for a minute to just rave and jump up and down. OMGWTFBBQ MOVIE SO GOOD AHHH! NINJAS! CHRISTIAN BALE IS CUT OUT OF ROCK! SCARY SCARECROW! NINJAS!!!

I enjoyed this movie immensely. The slow build-up gave weight to all of the actions and decisions: the ninja training, the military gadgetry, the psychology of fear all created a setting where you see Bruce don the batsuit and you think, Yeah, that makes sense.

Several other scattershot thoughts about Batman Begins (contains spoilers):

Alfred - At first, I wasn't convinced. Michael Caine seemed too street, too Cockney. Then I read this interview, saw his ideas for Alfred's ex-SAS background, and was sold on it. What with the Wayne family being flush with cash and easy targets, I'd bank on Alfred being hired less to pass around the fingerbowls than to act as a bodyguard in case of emergency. And the background for this is a movie I'd like to see: The Adventures of Young Alfred. I can easily picture him like Brother Cadfael, living the big raucous ass-booting life and then settling down to a (supposedly) calmer position in later years.

I'm only just catching up on the actual comics now and have found out that comics!Alfred had some kind of combat medical training. Hopefully I'll find out more as I read on.

Minutes until the Velvet Goldmine fanficcers start writing crossover stories: 3
Minutes until Lucius/Alfred stories start popping up on the web: -2
Would you like to see a crossover where instead of Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's butler is Reginald Jeeves: Yes, please

Intertwining stories - I agree with the guys who are tired of plots involving the villain's story intertwining with the hero's origin. It wasn't nearly as bad as the original Batman, but it was still vaguely there. The loop of Ra's Al Ghul having trained Batman and his organization having semi-directly caused his parents' death was just too full-circle for me. I prefer the cause being "crime in general," which gives Batman a huge open-ended challenge of fighting "crime".

Adorable Kiddiewinks Must Be Destroyed - The cute kid scenes irritated me, to absolutely no one's surprise. If I have to see ordinary citizens in danger/disbelief, I'd rather see Joe or Jane Average than L'il Timmy.

And then at the end of the film I realized OH DAMN! They're setting him up as Robin for the next film, mark my words! Small child highlighted for not much apparent reason? An orphan, now that they showed us that he couldn't find his parents during the fear gas rampage? Aw man! Better pick up some Wayne Enterprise-embroidered footie pajamas for the sequel, Bruce. That kid is so moving in.

If this really does turn out to be the case, I'm not looking forward to it. I've never been a fan of the concept of Robin. Why on earth would Batman bring a minor out jackbooting around on criminals? It's just way too goofy. I like Batman as an inveterate loner, distant and unattached, somehow reminding me of Harry Haller in Steppenwolf, completely devoted to the work, just like me. I'm just not seeing "adopting a tyke and bringing him along to whup crime" here. If they go for it, they'd better make it convincing. Then again, after seeing this movie, I think they could do it. They made a lot of ridiculous ideas look slick in this one.

Sunday, May 8, 2005

oh dude the sweet yes!

Clive Owen in Second Sight on BBC America starting Monday!

Sneak peak teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

recent reviews: good-guy vampires

I'm a pushover for good-guy vampires, starting back in high school when I got embarrassingly hooked on Dark Shadows reruns on the Sci-Fi channel and Forever Knight on Saturdays at midnight. Just recently I fell back into the hunt for good-guy vampire novels, with mixed results.

The Vampire Files by P.N. Elrod
Series of nine books, starting with Bloodlist

I found these novels back in high school on the first vampire obsession kick, and wow, they never, ever get old. I've lost track of the times I've reread them. Jack Fleming is a journalist turned vampire in 1930's Chicago, where he ends up tangling with mobsters, snagging a gorgeous singer girlfriend, and helping out a private investigator friend with casework.

The novels are pretty much genre stories, but the characters are so engaging that I never suffered from any genre boredom. Even if he weren't a vampire, I'd probaby hang out with this guy. I'm a total sucker for strongly written protagonists, and man, the junk I end up reading or watching because of them, honestly. Roger Smith and Dorothy in The Big O got me to watch a show about freaking giant robots. I read all the way through the godawful "Grand Guignol" arc in Starman because I really, really liked Jack Knight. I have no shame.

The first six books - the original series - are excellent light reads. The series picked up again in the past few years with four new books, but I haven't been as big a fan of these ones.

Blood Walk and Blood Games by Lee Killough

Police procedurals with an extra vampire twist, Killough's books follow Garreth Mikaelian, a homicide detective turned vampire against his will. Over the series, Garreth tracks down his vampiric killer and winds up settling in a small Kansas town, where he works the night shift as a policeman.

These books were a light read, but very heavy on investigative details. I couldn't get into these books as much because there wasn't a whole lot to the lead character besides "OMG vampire now" and "I like law enforcement and fast cars," plus a bit of "You touched my stuff/I'll get revenge for your death, sweetie" later on. As a reader, my big red flag is any point where I say to myself, "Wait, why am I following the Adventures of This Guy? Why do I care what happens to him, again?"

Also, design whining - the cover art and design for these two novels isn't so hot. The art on the first one is a bit freaky, the art on the second is vague and murky, and the type on the second seems really out of place to me. To me that typeface says "Wiccan moon ceremony" more than "creepy police procedural set in Kansas." I checked the publisher's catalog and it turns out that most of the book covers are a bit underwhelming. If you removed the cover art, they'd be almost indistinguishable. Definitely some room for a little more expressive typography there, or at least a shakeup of the layouts.

Posted to Death by Dean James

My first thought when I read the description of this book: "Gay vampires in England? Woo hoo, it's the Holy Grail!" And then I read on and saw that it was a cozy mystery set in the village of "Snupperton Mumsley." This is like finding the Holy Grail but it's full of diet Vanilla Coke.

But I read it anyway, because dude, good-guy vampires. It's a fluffy cozy mystery, a bit of a send-up with vicars, cottages, and characters like "Lady Prunella Blitherington." The flirty bits were well done, and the ending had a bit of a twist, but as vampires go, this was a bait-and-switch. The main character, an American vampire abroad, takes special medication to counteract the negative effects of vampirism. As a result, there is literally no vampire content besides the occasional aside to the reader to point out that he actually does reflect in mirrors and can enter churches without problem.

I also wish I knew a bit more about the author, because vampire Simon Kirby-Jones smacked a bit of the Mary Sue. He's an American writer transplanted to a furnished cottage in a small English village. He is a respected historical biographer, he secretly writes best-selling mystery and romance novels with ease, all the gay men in the village seem to like him, and he's a vampire with zero negative side effects. Okay, he's pretty funny and charming, but still. You need to offer me a really good plot for me to read the Adventures of Captain Wish Fulfillment. If you're into Keeping Up Appearances-esque village mysteries with a fair amount of The Gay, you might enjoy this book.

Monday, March 7, 2005

rage against the genre

I feel like the more of them I read, the less I enjoy stories that are explicitly flagged as "genre stories." Stories that stand on their own without needing a defining pigeonhole—I love reading those. But when they're specifically described as a genre story, they often feel to me like the focus is on running through a checklist of conventions rather than coming up with an original, engaging tale. "It's a genre story" comes off as an excuse for predictability and cliché.

Like if someone says "It's noir," then right off the bat I can tell you it'll probably have a city setting; a Dame; a criminal überboss with one or more henchman minibosses who will spar with the hero before the confrontation with the big boss; a protagonist who narrates every second, right down to moments of near-death like something out of Lovecraft; and one of the following plots: Retrieve my stolen thingy, retrieve my kidnapped woman, or somebody gets murdered.

I know a lot of people who really get into genre stories. They definitely have merit. But to me, the genre elements just feel so done before, so tired. Instead of getting excited about the detective meeting the dame, or the chosen one receiving the powerful relic, or whatever, I just end up rolling my eyes and checking off the mental checklist.

The ObComics angle to this is that my genre boredom is why I wasn't the biggest fan of the recent Madrox miniseries. I hate to say this because Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man is my all-time favorite X-character, hands down. Peter David's run on X-Factor was the one that got me into comics. Even Grant Morrison on scripts couldn't get me to buy X-Men regularly, but the minute a friend of mine mentions Madrox guest-starring? I'm shelling out cash. Shameless fangirl!

When I heard about Peter David getting the chance to write a Madrox miniseries, my heart turned over like a pancake. Sweet! His take on Madrox is novel and one that I can relate to: Having the potential to duplicate himself and send his dupes off to do anything in the world, Madrox can't decide what to do with his life, what direction to take. That touches a chord in me.

However, this limitless potential also makes him a candidate to be shoehorned into genre stories for the reason of "that's what he's trying this week." The Madrox miniseries had great characterization, inventive uses for Jamie's abilities, awesome moments of introspection ... and the checklist of predictable genre tropes. The dame, the henchman, mob baddies, guns and kissing, and the chatter of non-stop narration. I really wanted to get into the story more, but most of it felt like a retread of a dozen other stories I'd read before. Nothing felt new.

The miniseries had an open ending with the possibility of more stories in the future. I hope that Marvel's up for this, because I would love to see the character explored further but without the genre baggage, without the hackneyed checklist trappings. I'd like to see stories that are more about Jamie Madrox himself and less supernatural-noir that happens to have Jamie as the protagonist. Jamie love!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

worlds colliding!

Oh, I can't be the only one out there who shrieked a little fangirl squeal when Smallville was on tonight and Clark Kent suggested naming the newly-discovered superstrong lab experiment dog "Bandit". Shameless Grant Morrison fangirl squeal!

Sunday, February 6, 2005

the best of what's free

I have slightly more spare time now that I'm done with night school, so I'm using some of it to catch up on movies I've been meaning to see. Screw renting - the local library has them available for a week's free loan. Woo hoo! For more about free stuff, visit your local library!

Aimée and Jaguar
Two women - one a maverick Jewish socialite, one a German officer's wife - start an affair in Berlin towards the end of WWII and end up falling in love. Bittersweet and recommended. People in love do reckless things.

Early Mike Leigh (Vera Drake, Life is Sweet) film. Bleak days in the life of Johnny, who skips out of Manchester and crashes at a friend's place in London. David Thewlis can rant a great streak, I'll tell you that. Brutal and fairly depressing; glad I didn't see it in the theaters, because it fell into my "spending my free time with people I don't like" category of media, and at least at home I could fold my laundry at the same time.

Better Luck Tomorrow
Asian-American high school teens living a double-life: overachieving students and extracurricular joiners during the school day, increasingly dangerous criminals after school gets out. Some great scenes and characters, but I was a bit underwhelmed. It felt like it kept trying to make some great declaration but never quite got around to it. Great scenes of Academic Decathlon meetings, though. Maybe our old Acadec team back in high school would have made nationals if we drank more.

Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
Bollywood! This movie was Braveheart meets The Bad News Bears set in India. Villagers suffering through a drought end up getting into a challenge cricket match with local British imperial officers. I enjoyed all the ups and downs of the story - love feuds, training montages, loads of songs, and so on. It lasted a bit long for my tiny attention span, though. The best scene-stealer was this guy, Guran the fortune teller:

I want him to stand in the back of all my office meetings and yell "Hail Hanuman! Crack the enemy's back!" every time I say something useful.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

going house

House just aired. It looks like a compelling, quirky drama airing on Fox, so I give it about eight episodes, tops.

Gregory House is Spider Jerusalem if he'd gone through med school. He's aggravatingly outspoken and honest, he conspicuously pops pills all the time, he's obligated to work in a place he hates, and he lets everyone know how much he hates it. And yet everyone crows about how he's the best, including people who despise him, and he's gathered his own gang of filthy assistant Houses-in-training. I'm half-expecting to see a scene in a dark bar where House beats a guy down and yells that he's searching for the Truth the Diagnosis.

Let's see how this series turns out. It just aired and already it seems on the knife's edge. Tip the good way and you get quality crazy like madman Alan Shore and Boston Legal; tip the bad way and you get the Adventures of Dr. Mary Sue (okay, Marty Stu), the sympathetic curmudgeon whose greatest flaw is Telling the Truth. At least the American accent Hugh Laurie puts on isn't as grating as I thought it would be.

** Spoilers **

And oh, S.F.F.! Any show that premieres with the plotline of a tapeworm in the brain and then shows you tapeworm-cam gets thumbs up in my book! And what I didn't know until just now (thank you IMDB) was that Bryan "I rock the X-Men so hard" Singer directed this episode, but only this episode. For future ones, maybe we won't end up seeing infectioncam. (*kitty is sad)

in comics news
I finally broke down and bought the final volume of Fake. Unlike all of the others, this one was sealed in plastic. I suspect I won't be winning any donuts with this volume. Cha-ching!

Thursday, November 11, 2004


what what? number one: One of the admins where I work came into our office to ask a question. Of all the ones I anticipated, I never expected, "Does that house across the street look like the one in Charmed?"

what what? number two: Why is it that my own website comes up second in the search results for "Hall and Oates slash fanfic?" I don't have any. Hell, why am I even running a search on this in the first place? I must be really desperate for distraction from homework.

On the left-hand sideblog, I've started posting fan-related links in their own section called the Fandom Bucket. That MP3 link is courtesy of Aquaman fan Laura - great find! Check out the other songs on Ookla the Mok's website. I respect any band that writes a song with the lyrics "Okay, you can call them graphic novels, but they’re still just plain old comic books to me, and I don’t see why you must always ceaselessly discuss the post-Zero hour continuity."

Finally, this picture just makes my day:

Friday, October 29, 2004

hooray, evil!

So, quien es mas macho? John Glover as the Devil on Brimstone or John Glover as Lionel Luther on Smallville? There really needs to be some kind of evil-off between these two characters, and I'd be right there with popcorn and foam fingers.

Now that's just nasty.
For your viewing displeasure, here are some choice visuals:
Pore strip, meet microscope
Ear Nose and Throat USA present photos of oral diseases

Hmm, I'm feeling fannish
I'm back on the Harry Potter fanwagon these days. Maybe it was the allure of a fandom with a whole truckload of amusing LJ icons.

Austin Chronicle write-up of the underground hit Wizard People, Dear Reader. Essentially, it's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone with the audio turned off and a total smartass providing his own narrative. Funny as hell, especially the crazy quotable one-liners ("I am the destroyer of worlds!") and the completely random tangents (the conquistador dream sequence). Unfortunately, the sound files don't appear to be downloadable from that main site anymore. Sadness! They're available for purchase on CD, though. And what's all this about the show being performed live in Austin? That's worth a field trip.

Seriously fannish discussion is summarized over at The Daily Snitch.

Meanwhile, in the blogosphere ...
The verdict of Eat More People: Metrokitty is the last to escape the almighty ire! ::dances ireless on the table:: Also, while you're over there, take a look at the horror movie rundown Rick and friends have been doing this month. My movies-to-watch list would be growing immensely if I weren't such a wuss about horror movies.

Websnark offers a good reminder that the Internet is a big public soapbox, so keep that in mind when you're tempted to yowl about your boss, friends, or government representatives. Bonus use of blinky text, also.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

and in other news

Not so many updates these days. Work and night school are eating my head.

Bob Brier's Mummy Detective: Crypt of the Medici special aired on TLC last Sunday. Pretty impressive stuff, and a happy flashback to when I did Study Abroad in Florence (here's Kitty every five minutes: "I went there!"). Dr. Bob's still sporting the same blue shirt/khakis/sneakers ensemble as in The Great Egyptians. I learned a bit about analyzing skeletons and about the Medici (Cosimo's establishing a public library was news to me), though I would have liked to have seen more about the overall project. Maybe there's a book coming out of it at some point.

Here is a write-up about the show from Archaeology magazine, if you're interested.

In other news, here's what you've demanded
The searches that bring people to this blog ask, and Kitty provides!

naked snape award
Read about the Naked Snape Award and how to get one for your own crazy self here.

randall and hopkirk slash recs
You want a site like this archive, although I can't offer any recs. Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) not so slashtastic in my eyes, and a lot of the fanfic suffers the usual setbacks you get when one of the main characters is insubstantial: the stories end up full of unrequited moping or they're flashback material ("Back in high school, before Project Quantum Leap ever started, a young Sam and Al ...").

fanfic slash hellboy
Damn! That's a new one. But you can find some over at The Wonderful World of MakeBelieve Archive.

puchi puchi wanko
He's over on the Sanrio website. I don't want to know why his favorite saying is "a small thing is a good thing."

60 stewardess uniforms
Your best bet is to check out the freaking enormous Stewardess Uniform Collection. I'm speechless.

bridget jones diary thong pics
You're on your own for this one.

The "I wish I'd thought of that" department
And then there's Hellblazer: Hogwarts, a Hellblazer/Harry Potter crossover in which John Constantine becomes the new Defense of the Dark Arts instructor at Hogwarts. Damn, I wish I'd thought of that!

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

use the libretto, Luke!

Where are you going to be in March? If you're with me, you're gonna be attending one of North Cambridge Family Opera's performances of Space Opera. From the description:

SPACE OPERA, written in 1998 by Cambridge Massachusetts composer David Bass, is based on a familiar science fiction tale of heroes and villains, robots and aliens, unlikely adventures and supernatural nonsense.

So without naming any names, what they're getting at is an opera where my coworker's daughter is trying out for either the part of Jabba the Hut or R2D2. This is going to be great! Take a look at the audition guidelines for some sample MP3's. Especially Chewbacca's "Prisoner's Lament." You have to hear it to believe it.

Low Quality Management
According to, customers who viewed the listing for Lean Six Sigma: A Tools Guide also viewed How to Attract Asian Women and The Complete A**hole's Guide to Handling Chicks. That was a strange find.

The Working Fangirl
Where I work, the participants in our online courses are sorted into study groups, and the instructors often refer to them by those initials. So it's a bit of a double-take when I get someone writing in with problems and claiming to be on "SG 1". Focus less on getting Quicktime running and more on kicking Goa'uld ass, fella! ... wow, I'm a huge nerd.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

back to the grindstone

Class has started again. I'm taking just the one class this semester, but it's The Big One. According to the instructor, no social life this term. To anyone I know in person: catch you all in December.

So now I'm working on the first assignment, and I have to go on a stock photography hunt. Could someone do me a favor and start "" or something so I don't have to sort through three million nude photos every time I search on iStockPhoto? Or clue me on how I can filter out all of the "My girlfriend wearing nothing but thigh-highs JPEG" images. Cripes.

things that have earned Kitty's "What the hell is this?" recently
* A River Runs Through It, and by "it" I mean "this table"

* The fight over Himalayan caterpillar viagra (link courtesy of MemeMachineGo)

* The episode of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (revival version) where the mad environmentalist attempts to limit human population expansion by putting a chemical in the beer that will make men gay. No, really.

* The Hello Kitty Boardfest

* And finally, the library-borrowed copy of the "theatrical release" of The Wicker Man. About an hour and a half of a policeman wandering around the island of Boobies and Christopher Lee, all with the color palette of that Leonard Nimoy "Bilbo Baggins" video. And a pretty freaky final five minutes. What I actually found more freaky was the idea that Christopher Lee's character Lord Summerisle knows the whole time that the pagan religion of the island is fairly bunk, having been introduced by his grandfather to get everyone's enthusiasm about the crops up again, and he still helps to plot and participate in the awful ritual at the climax of the movie. To me, this level of manipulation is much more creepy than what actually happens.

In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, I figure it'd be fun to holler out that the Fall show by the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert and Sullivan Players will be The Pirates of Penzance. Hooray! Also, yar.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

fandom and design: when titans clash!

Apart from all of the sweet action and Doctor Octopus' white undershirt, one of the things that really caught my eye in Spider-Man 2 was the opening title sequence. Neat design! I liked how it took what was done in the first movie and built on it, adding Alex Ross illustrations to show "Previously, on Spider-Man."

Wired Magazine ran a bio/interview with Kyle Cooper, the designer of this title sequence (and those of Se7en and Arlington Road, among others). Speak Up had a good discussion going on movie intros a while back, too.

Meanwhile, I'm not having any luck finding out what typeface was used for the text in the Spider-Man titles. Rats. I did find out that Mata was used for the promotional material, but it isn't the same as what's used in the movie itself.

In other news, Jim over at Unqualified Offerings has been writing up a food-for-thought series of spidery analysis blog entries. Worth reading!

And finally, in non-spider chatter, here's a great radio interview with Alfonso "Director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" Cuaron, in which he talks about subtext in PoA, his influences, and contemporary Mexican cinema. He also busts out with the best quote ever:

"Even if they're wizards, ultimately their emotions are very human. And from the get-go, we established that relationship with the actors. For instance, Professor Lupin, played by David Thewlis...we said that he's your favorite gay uncle that does smack."

Hah! Brilliant! :: does a slash canon dance ::

Friday, July 2, 2004

does whatever a spider can!

Some thoughts on Spider-Man 2. The Surgeon General warns: May contain spoilers.


Thursday, July 1, 2004

can't stop the rock!

Yesterday I went to see local indy rockers Harry and the Potters. They're a Harry Potter-themed band, busting out tunes like "Save Ginny Weasley" and "Cornelius Fudge is an Ass". The free concert at the library was to celebrate the release of their second CD, Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock. The members of the band dress in Harry-style pullover, tie, and glasses, and refer to themselves as "Harry Year 4" and "Harry Year 7", with pre-song chatter to match ("I wrote this song back in my third year at Hogwarts; it's about my godfather.").

The show was a riot! I laughed for the entire time. They actually rocked pretty well, though at one point they rocked so hard that Harry Year 7 broke a string. Kudos to the drummer for managing to fix it, and kudos to Harry Year 4 for great patter in the meantime ("Muggle instruments are harder to fix than wizard instruments ... and we're not allowed to use magic in the summer").

Their next Boston-area show will be at the Middle East on August 3. I'm so there.

media intake
Currently reading Lonely Planet Guide to the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Fascinating read! I'd never felt any great interest in that area of the world before, but I'm easily swayed by Lonely Planet books. Might have to update the "Pipe Dream Travel To-Do" list.

odd links
Chess Boxing World Championship
The Guy Who Dug a Hole
Tacky Mobile Phone Antenna Disguises

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

why kitty's mom rules

So I went to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban again, this time with my ma, who also wanted to see it. There's a scene at the end where (spoiler guy) and Harry are having yet another emotion-filled chat about Harry's dead parents and how they'll always be with him, here, and SpoilerGuy puts his hand on Harry's heart. That's when my ma leaned over in the middle of the IMAX theater and whispered, "Ahh, he's going to use the 5-point palm exploding heart thing from Kill Bill!"

Ah, that's whose smartass genes I inherited! I also heard her mutter "Lufthansa!" when someone rode Buckbeak the Hippogriff later that scene.

Also: Damn, my ma was right! There were two actors from Life is Sweet in this movie: Professor Lupin (aka David Thewlis aka Boyfriend of Nicola the Skank) and Peter Pettigrew (aka Timothy Spall aka Aubrey the Creepy Restaurant Guy). That and all of the other famous UK actors in this movie, damn, it's like they raided Britain.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

his fifteen minutes of fame

Sweet jebus on toast, you should all go and read this right now:
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in fifteen minutes

LUPIN: Go on, Harry! I’m sure none of the things you’ve witnessed in your life would give the other students heart attacks at all!
HARRY: *conjures a dementor*

Friday, May 14, 2004


Watch and cry:
Constantine movie trailer available for download

After that, head on over to The Ultimate Hellblazer Index to read up on the original John Constantine, the basis for the upcoming film. You could also read this Sailor Hellblazer! crossover fanfic story if you're up for it.

recent comics: haiku review
Green Lantern: Brother's Keeper
Tonight's episode:
A very special Blossom -
I mean, Green Lantern.

Hellboy: Conqueror Worm
Great character piece
With some Lovecraft-esque baddies
And Mike's art? Gorgeous.

But I feel a bit
Like it's warmed-up leftovers:
"Mom! Nazis again?"

ps. I have enabled comments on all previous blog entries now. If you have something to say on any of them, now's your chance. Wahey!

Friday, May 7, 2004

bad news is good news

This just in from Popbitch:

Early reports from test screenings of US TV's version of The Office say it is appalling - even more of a disaster than their version of Coupling.

:: does an evil, evil dance to thank the gods of schadenfreude::

Friday, April 2, 2004

damn, it feels good to be a fangirl

Teal'c sings!
Click here to hear clips from an album by Stargate SG-1's Christopher Judge, available on CJ fan website Jaffa Kree.
(this link courtesy of Magical Fangirl BJ!)

Patrick Stewart scholarships
When he's not busy pretending to captain starships and lead the X-Men, Patrick Stewart works to enable young human rights activists. Click here to read more about this.

Comicon Freak Bingo
Click here to see this cartoon by Jon Morris.

Stewie Griffin Soundboard
Click here to burn in hell!

Teaching Transmetropolitan
The latest issue of Sequential Tart has a fascinating column on using Warren Ellis' comic to teach about personal essays in speculative fiction. Click here to read this column by Kim De Vries.

recent media intake
Interview with the Vampire (movie)
Wasn't feeling so hot yesterday, so I chilled and watched this film again on FX instead of doing work. I remember it being great when I was in high school, and it was fun to watch at first, but after a while it was a bit irritating. So much pompous purple dialogue, so much whining. Interesting censoring choices by FX (closeup on boobies, yes! person having neck snapped, no!). Chock full of hoyay. Brad Pitt's lips passing "bee stung" and entering the realm of "steel-toed boot stung".

Rory and Ita by Roddy Doyle
I'm almost finished with this biography of Roddy Doyle's parents (basically he just let them tell their stories about their lives in early 20th century Ireland and transcribed the whole thing). It's absolutely lovely. The part that's especially funny to me is Rory Doyle's description of his first job as an apprentice at a printer's. He talks about linotype, compositor's sticks, quoins, knowing the type in each case - even in pleasure reading there is no escape for Kitty from graphic desiiiiiign!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

oh snap update!

According to Neil Gaiman, the news piece about Alan Moore being unhappy about Constantine movie decisions is not entirely true. Yes, Alan's removing his name from the film, but it's because of some frankly rather insulting legal issues involving the LOEG movie - I think he doesn't want to risk being put in that kind of situation again.

This explanation makes more sense to me than the previous one. From what I've read, he really isn't bothered by changes in adaptations of his films at all. Look at the massive changes made in From Hell and League - why would changes in Constantine cause such a reaction?

Tuesday, March 9, 2004


Reading Battle Royale and then immediately spending an entire weekend reading all of James Ellroy's The Big Nowhere maybe not such a good idea. I keep feeling like I'll turn around and find people I know pointing guns at me, either to shoot me so that they can survive or to accuse me of being some jazz-loving horse-dealing Commie sympathizer.

Damn, those were some really good books, though.

Next up: I should read something happy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

oh, snap!

According to Ain't It Cool, the script and casting for the Hellblazer movie are so bad that John Constantine-creator Alan Moore has asked for his name to be removed from the credits (Moore's beard unavailable for comment). Ha ha ha, damn! Let that be a lesson to you: don't revamp successful English creative properties by making them American, casting prettyboy actors, stripping out most of their original qualities, and resetting the stories in Los Angeles. Are you listening, you folks who are working on the American version of The Office?

This newsflash courtesy of comics blog Fanboy Rampage!!.

In other news, here's another part of the magazine assignment I was working on. Check out the Hot Air travel magazine Japan cover:
click to see Hot Air Japan issue cover

Thanks to the Cool Runnings crowd for their input on this project (they know who they are). IN JAMAICA WE GOTTA BOBSLED TEAM.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

guest starring Kitty as

You know how Star Trek has the "redshirts" - the just-introduced-that-episode characters whose sole purpose is to end up the victims of whatever space fungus attacks that week because you can't do anything to the main characters? "The away team will be Captain Kirk, Mister Spock, and Ensign Joe Expendable"?

I'm trying to come up with a term for a similar type of character for mystery and suspense stories. I noticed it very obviously in Fake, but I've seen it used in other stories as well (can't think of any off-hand right now). These are the characters who are just-introduced-that-episode for the sole purpose of being the villain, the baddie, or the murderer. The new intern in the forensics lab who turns out to be the serial killer. The new substitute teacher who happens to be the mad bomber. Those guys.

I was going to call them "blackshirts" at first, but that's a bit of a loaded term.

recent media intake
I've been reading Battle Royale, and oh my god it's insane. Originally I had the goal of watching the movie afterwards. Dunno if I'm still going to do that ... the book is bad enough. I don't know if I could deal with some of those scenes in color, like the bit with the pickaxe, or that one girl's nails in that other guy's eyes ... oh, I'm not kidding anyone. I'll probably watch it and then whine about it for a year afterwards.

Sunday, February 8, 2004

you know what else?

It would've been neat if in Return of the King, instead of fighting the armies of Sauron, they'd fought GWAR.

Best. Comic Review. Ever.

Editorial design is actually pretty fun. My new goal (for the next five minutes, anyway) is to work on the design staff for Kerrang! magazine. I like how the mag looks.

Who on earth makes a typeface without any numbers in it? Down with this guy! Boo, hiss!

Here, read an interesting article about kawaii!

Monday, January 26, 2004

well, shit

Sleep essential for creative thinking, study finds.

Damn. If I sleep, I can't spend that valuable night time reading the entire archives of sites like The Law of the Playground, which you should all read as well, but possibly not at work due to loud snickering and naughty words.

recent media intake
Bridget Jones's Diary (movie) - cute, but not as good as the book. All that he-loves-me-oh-no-he-hates-me-oh-no-wacky-misunderstanding junk at the end was irritating. Plus the standard Lifetime-style woman-empowering soundtrack. I wish these chick movies would stop wrecking motown for me. I'd like to listen to "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" or "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" without thinking about sassy single girls sticking it to their chauvinist colleagues.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

thoughts after seeing Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Mom, can I be Eowyn when I grow up?

Hook me up with Lonely Planet: Minas Tirith 2004. I'd like to go there now. Still enamored of that city ... it reminds me of Mont St. Michel meets Petra a bit.

Holy cow, that was one of the slashiest films I've seen in ages. Never mind subtext - that couldn't've been more gay if they'd set it in Provincetown and called it "Return of the Queen". Yah! Time to hunt down the fanfic archives!

That Rohan fella had the world's weirdest nostrils.

Look at that head orc! It's Sloth! "Sloth ... love ... Sauron!"

Watch out for the AT-AT walkers elephants there, Eowyn.

Did Sauron actually need to be up that high and exposed to keep a watch on things? Wouldn't it have been more safe to keep his eye underground and not on a precarious tower? Is this addressed in the books? I can't remember.

You know, I think I wouldn't mind living in a town full of short men who drink ale and dress vaguely like Doctor Who.

I'm totally jonesing to reread the Very Secret Diaries now.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

what the fangirl found

There's a lot of stuff I never expected to see in the world. A fan video about Professor Snape set to the song "I'm Too Sexy" is one of them.

click to download

Saturday, December 6, 2003


That Holmes quote was from the story "Absurdly Simple" by Irene Adler. Look for it on the website Sacrilege under "Fiction." Again, it's great fanfiction.

Friday, November 28, 2003

quotes taken out of context

"Watson, not only have I been dreaming for years of doing things to you that would shock your conscience, turn your stomach, and outrage your medical sensibilities, I have for the past month been paying a male prostitute to impersonate you while I do them to him."

That's fanfic gold right there.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Bill!

Kitty goes to see Kill Bill. Possible reassessment of the vengeance-driven film necessary.


Friday, November 7, 2003

make lovecraft not war 2: shoggoth boogaloo

Just found out that my local library carries the new short story collection Shadows Over Baker Street, a crossover of sorts between Sherlock Holmes and the Lovecraft Mythos. Nice! ::puts book on hold::

I'm interested in seeing how this turns out. It could be amazing or it could be very, very bad. I've been pleased with other Lovecraft crossover/pastiche stories I've read in the past - Scream for Jeeves, a crossover of the Lovecraft mythos and P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves stories, was a great read. But I'm not a fan of the cutesy humor Mythos stories, which mostly just irritate me. Hopefully these stories will all be in a serious vein.

In other news:

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Comic Books in the Media - Drinking Game

The headline or lead-in is "Splat! Bam! Pow!" or similar.
1 drink

The topic of the article is "Comics aren't just for kids anymore!"
1 drink

Namedrops of Superman or Batman
2 drinks

The article's sole purpose is to plug an upcoming comics-based movie; all other comic-related news will promptly be ignored afterwards.
1 drink

Confusion between comic books and comic strips
1 shot

Bingo buzzwords: Tights, capes, masks, words with the prefix "X-", "graphic novel" (double points if it's misused)
1 shot per word

Monday, October 27, 2003

make lovecraft not war

This weekend I went on the Providence Ghost Walk, which was a great time. That part of Providence is fantastic - old and hilly and looming and full of history. I can understand completely why H.P. Lovecraft would set his New England-based stories there.

In honor of the big HP, here's a link to an online library of his written works:

H.P. Lovecraft Online Library

That's some spooky shit right there. I'm rereading Ray Bradbury's The October Country for Halloween, but now I'm in the mood for an entirely different brand of scary. "Weird happenings in small-town America" is dead creepy, but now I think I'm hankering for "Giant insanity-bringing god-monsters from beyond the stars who will eat your head."

Friday, October 24, 2003

there is no spooning

Fun essay: The Matrix: Completely, Utterly Gay

After being programmed, Neo and Morpheus put on their jammies and test the limits of their physical endurance. "Faster, faster, faster," prods Morpheus. If this is not an homage to the repertoire of gay indie quasi-porn pioneer Bruce LaBruce, nothing is.

Heh heh. ... and yet, somehow, all of the related Matrix fanfic I've found flat-out sucks. Bah humbug.

Sunday, October 5, 2003

you Tarzan, me script writer

Here comes Tarzan, another primetime fantasy/supernatural drama in the great tradition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Smallville.

Start your bingo cards, everyone! Check these off these standard supernatural drama stock plots as you spot 'em:

A Chinatown/Asian culture episode
A Native American culture episode
A virus is unleashed
Main character's powers inexplicably (a)removed or (b)intensified beyond ability to control
Body swap episode
What if main character ... (pick one: was never born, was not born in these circumstances, did not undergo superhero origin, or other)
Reality TV episode
Main character gets amnesia

Extra credit:
Secret organization (government, ancient, etc.)
Musical episode

Friday, August 8, 2003

back to school!

Man, if I weren't already enrolled in what's supposed to be an immense timesink of a night school course for the fall, I might seriously think of signing up for this local adult ed course:

The Prisoner: A Televisionary Masterpiece
The Prisoner, first broadcast to an unsuspecting British TV audience in 1976, is considered one of the most startling and outstanding TV shows ever produced. In this class, we will watch and analyze several episodes to consider how a great TV epic was created, the nature of TV culture, and the place of significant works in it. We will discuss the show as an allegory of modern politics, technology and media in terms of the question of freedom. Text required: Alain Carraze & Helene Oswald’s The Prisoner. This class is an introduction to the study of pop culture. Limited to 16.

Monday, August 4, 2003

hail to the pharaoh, baby

Oh dude.

What the hell is this?

Bubba Ho-Tep: The Movie

And this! What the hell is this?

Evil Dead: The Musical

and in other news ...

Yeah, I already went and found Pirates of the Caribbean slash. Do you even have to ask anymore? :D

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

cos I'm LXG, I'm dynamite

I went to see The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen tonight. I will now talk at some length. Warning: massive spoilers!


Sunday, July 6, 2003

feck! arse! girls! yanks!

Sometimes I swear the Americans are like the anti-Japanese of pop culture. Japanese manufacturers take existing products and perfect them; Americans take existing pop culture and completely trash it. Why can't they leave what's good alone? Or come up with original material for a change?

Exhibit A: Father Ted
Father Ted gets US remake
The world does not need a US remake of Father Ted The world needs a Father Ted remake like it needs an orange-juice-and-silverfish enema. American producers cannot possibly get this right. Half the fun of the original series is how offensive or ignorant the attitudes of the main characters are, which is unlikely to be carried over to an American version. ... although, don't think I wouldn't jump at watching an episode called "Kicking Cardinal Law Up the Arse."
Father Ted quotes make Kitty happy

Exhibit B: The Office
The Office also gets a US remake
Yeah, that's going to be successful. A comedy based on subtle jokes, long awkward pauses, offensive behavior in the workplace, and an utter dick of a main character. And they think this will be successful in the US ... how? Even with original Office creator Ricky Gervais helping out with the writing, I predict a bland, lame, Dilbert clone full of wacky office folks and jokes about e-mail. Boooo. And don't get me started on their basing the show in Los Angeles, of all places. Doesn't that go against the "dull office in a really dull town" premise?
Silly clips of David Brent make Kitty happy again

Honestly, you'd think nobody learned a thing from the stellar success of previous American rips Royal Payne (from Fawlty Towers) and Men Behaving Badly (from, surprise, Men Behaving Badly). Maybe they're getting some kind of false encouragement from the rip of Changing Rooms. The bastards.

Monday, June 16, 2003

life as a big fan nerd, chapter 37

A massive fanfic story that's a crossover of Stargate SG-1, The Sentinel, and The Invisible Man
... "I'm in pizza-face paradise!"

Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Thirty seconds of fame

The Buffy Group is mentioned.

Sunday, June 1, 2003

Gah! What the hell is this?!

woman finds cheesy ghostwritten book about Burt Reynolds, writes review online, includes nasty photos that cause Kitty to claw her eyes out
Also on the same site:
a review of a concert with Journey and Peter Frampton, strangely crossed with lots of references to Edgar Allen Poe

Sunday, April 20, 2003

the one important lesson in life that I learned from watching the


Tuesday, March 25, 2003

All I need to know in life I learned from doing the opposite of

Warning: Minor plot-related spoilers.

Friday, March 14, 2003

more stuff I want, for all the wrong reasons

Oh my god. Oh my god! Check out the name of one of the newest Sanrio characters:

Puchi Puchi Wanko

WA HA HA HA! That's the best! Somebody in R&D's getting crazy on the job over there at Sanrio. And now watch me be the first kid on my block to get a hold of Puchi Puchi Wanko Giggling Stickers. Yes!