kitewithfish: The Doctor tilts his head. (Default)
or, why I’m disappointed with Jared Leto

So the thing about Joker that makes him a hard character to write and portray is not that he’s edgy or violent or somehow more insane than other villains - those are traits that are actually pretty common for villains? Like, willingness to engage in violence is pretty standard, wearing weird clothes for effect is done for most villains, and ‘insanity’ in comic book movies comes in so many flavors and shade that it kind of has no meaning.

what makes joker hard is he has to be fucking funny

and comedy is hard

I’m not trying to simplify this and be insulting - comedy is HARD, because comedy requires structure, and then the interruption of structure. comedy literally requires more time and more buy-in from the audience than making someone evil or scary, it’s literally MORE DIFFICULT to get on film and get it right than drama or scariness or any of the other traits that the Joker should have

Here, have some meta.

the way jokes work is like this:

you have an assumption, and it’s proven wrong.

you have a starting set of assumptions, an idea of the world and how it works and you enter the joke with that and the set up of the joke relies on those assumptions to work - “Is your refrigerator running?” assumes that your audiences knows what a fridge is, understands what it would mean for it to be working properly, and gets that the word ‘running’ is a normal way to describe a fridge doing its job of keeping things cool. The buy in is when you answer, “yes, my fridge is running.” Because you have a fridge, and it’s literally right there, you can hear the hum, the world is as it should be

then you get a punchline -“Well maybe you should go CATCH IT!”, where the assumptions you have BREAK DOWN and they don’t WORK for the new information. Running means, literally fucking running behind a fridge that is trying to escape, and you LAUGH, because your assumptions about the world were wrong, but not in a way that is so weird or scary that you can’t recognize it or handle it. The jokes means that you make an assumption, then your assumption is wrong, but the world is still recognizable.

in film, that means you have to spend time on FIRST the setup and get the audience to buy into it, and THEN you have to give them an understandable punchline that COMMENTS on the set of assumptions you, the audience, had, and how those assumptions were off!

If the punchline doesn’t break the script of the set up, then it’s not usually funny -”Is you fridge running” “yes” “Ok, just checking” - that’s just a conversation, the script doesn’t break, the assumptions were correct and you don’t, generally, laugh

If the punchline to that joke were changed to something nonsensical or random, then it wouldn’t be FUNNY. “Is your refrigerator running?” “yes” “well then you’re a whore” IS NOT FUNNY BECAUSE THE PUNCHLINE DOESN’T CONNECT TO THE SETUP. (Well, I mean, this example I made is funny *to me* because I just spent too much time thinking about it, but NORMALLY it would not work because it’s disconnected and weird. unless you’re making a joke about how the fridge-running joke is already so done you expect the punchline, and then it’s META and the rules of comedy still work)

so COMEDY, of all things, needs MORE structure than any other kind of filmmaking, because you need to ESTABLISH ASSUMPTIONS AND THEN BREAK THEM.

ok, need a break?

Good break, moving on to Suicide Squad’s joker.

The Joker, as a character on film, has to be funny to work because the defining characteristic of the Joker is that he doesn’t have morality as the structure of his actions - he has COMEDY.

to riff off the tv series Hannibal, where the two-eyed, Will Graham-hunting, foppish people-eater main character gets told “You no longer have ethical concerns, Hannibal. You have aesthetical ones.”

THAT’S THE JOKER.

when faced with a choice, most people think acting in ways that are moral, that don’t hurt people, that seek good things for themselves but without doing bad things to other people

The Joker, as we see his philosophy in The Killing Joke, approaches the world looking for “How could this be funny?” and then doesn’t place a LIMIT on hurting people to make the joke work.

If an improv group got together and made jokes, they would have moral limits - generally speaking, no one is going to stab someone even if it would be the best punchline to the improvised set up.

But the Joker would. Because he’s seeking not the highest good, the most righteous thing, or even the thing most beneficial to himself, he’s LOOKING FOR THE BEST JOKE.

which is why we like him - his brain is NUTS because he doesn’t limit himself, but the joke is recognizable. The Joker HAS TO KNOW how to put together a good set up and then a good punchline, one that people can recognize, because that’s what comedy is.

So a viable Joker has to have more structure than most villains in films, because you can’t have a joke if you don’t buy in, and buy in takes time, and then the joke has to be funny enough that we momentarily forget that someone just got murdered for the punchline - like when Ledger’s joker stabbed that guy in the eye with a pencil and acted like it was a MAGIC TRICK, because, look! I made the pencil disappear - INTO THIS GUY’S SKULL

so, SUICIDE SQUAD. a movie which I mostly enjoyed, but, here’s what’s true - the Joker’s NOT FUNNY.

Good versions of the Joker have to make you laugh, even as you squirm, and Leto’s just *doesn’t*. He seems to be taking the most noticeable parts of Ledger’s performance, WHICH WAS HILARIOUS, and skipping the comedy.

“BUT HE WAS EDITED OUT,” I hear some of you cry.

Which is fair. Editing can kill the funny - it can ruin the set up, it can break the punchline - editing is crucial to humor, because editing is how time in films is constructed, and comedy is all about timing.

but Jared Leto is a high profile actor in a role that is super high profile and he made sure to hype up the performance a lot, so if the movie doesn’t actually contain any examples of leto’s joker being funny, I’m going to have to make an assumption here that the movie is showing us the best they’ve got. like, there was every good external reason to find ways to keep leto in the film, and he’s NOT THERE.

And while i have not watched all the promotional footage of Leto talking about the prep for the role (in which, btw, I think Leto is SUPER FUCKING CREEPY AND UNPROFESSIONAL), there is no mention of humor.

I mean, I could be wrong!

but it doesn’t seem like Leto cared about the Joker being funny. And that’s why his Joker sucks. Because if the JOKER doesn’t care about COMEDY, then he’s not the Joker - he’s a just dude with a dye job.


kitewithfishrebloggedchambergambit



nerdgerhl
I feel like there are probably too many people just scrolling past this so let’s go through everything that’s going on here.

1. With Roger’s voice actor standing off camera, Bob Hoskins acts into empty air and frantically sawing at his handcuff, continually looking up and down at different visual marks of various depths. Look at the slow pan up of his eyes in gif 4, and then the quick shift to his side. Think about how, on set, he was looking at nothing.

2. Starting in gif 2, The box must be made to stop shaking, either by concealed crew member, mechanism, or Hoskins’ own dextrousness, as he is doing all of the things mentioned in point 1.

3. In all gifs, Roger’s handcuff has to be made to move appropriately through a hidden mechanism. (If you watch the 4th gif closely you can see the split second where it is replaced by an animated facsimile of the actual handcuff, but just for barely a second.)

4. The crew voluntarily (we know this because it is now a common internal phrase at Disney for putting in extra work for small but significant reward) decided to make Roger bump the lamp and give the entire scene a constantly moving light source that had to be matched between the on set footage and Roger. This was for two reasons, A) Robert Zemeckis thought it would be funnier, and B) one of the key techniques the crew employed to make the audience instinctively accept that Toons coexisted with the live action environment was constant interaction with it. This is why, other than comedy, Roger is so dang clumsy. Instead of isolating Toons from real objects to make it easier for themselves, the production went out of its way to make Toons interact more with the live action set than even real actors necessarily would, in order to subtly, constantly remind the audience that they have real palpable presence. You can watch the whole scene here, just to see how few shots there are of Roger where he doesn’t interact with a real object.

The crew and animators did all of this with hand drawn cell animation without computerized special effects. 1988, we were still five years out from Jurassic Park, the first movie to make the leap from fully physical creature effects to seamlessly integrating realistic computer generated images with live action footage. Roger’s shadows weren’t done with CGI. Hoskin’s sightlines were not digitally altered. Wires controlling the handcuff were not removed in post.

Who fucking Framed Roger fucking Rabbit, folks. The greatest trick is when people don’t realize you’re tricking them at all.
benpaddon
Let’s also not forget that writing. “Only when it was funny” isn’t just hilarious, it’s great comedy theory. It lampshades the joke, but also serves to remind the viewer that Toons have a separate set of physical laws they adhere to, mostly revolving around comedic value. Roger cannot remove his hand from the cuffs… until it’d get a laugh from an audience.

Everything about this movie, EVERYTHING about it, is so finely crafted. I could wax lyrical about it for days.
metalshadowx
I still need to see this movie.
pinheroooo
It’s seriously one of my favorite movies.
Source:teflonly
294,578 notes

kitewithfish
kitewithfish kitewithfish

kitewithfish
the Joker’s not funny
or, why I’m disappointed with Jared Leto

So the thing about Joker that makes him a hard character to write and portray is not that he’s edgy or violent or somehow more insane than other villains - those are traits that are actually pretty common for villains? Like, willingness to engage in violence is pretty standard, wearing weird clothes for effect is done for most villains, and ‘insanity’ in comic book movies comes in so many flavors and shade that it kind of has no meaning.

what makes joker hard is he has to be fucking funny

and comedy is hard

I’m not trying to simplify this and be insulting - comedy is HARD, because comedy requires structure, and then the interruption of structure. comedy literally requires more time and more buy-in from the audience than making someone evil or scary, it’s literally MORE DIFFICULT to get on film and get it right than drama or scariness or any of the other traits that the Joker should have

Here, have some meta.

the way jokes work is like this:

you have an assumption, and it’s proven wrong.

you have a starting set of assumptions, an idea of the world and how it works and you enter the joke with that and the set up of the joke relies on those assumptions to work - “Is your refrigerator running?” assumes that your audiences knows what a fridge is, understands what it would mean for it to be working properly, and gets that the word ‘running’ is a normal way to describe a fridge doing its job of keeping things cool. The buy in is when you answer, “yes, my fridge is running.” Because you have a fridge, and it’s literally right there, you can hear the hum, the world is as it should be

then you get a punchline -“Well maybe you should go CATCH IT!”, where the assumptions you have BREAK DOWN and they don’t WORK for the new information. Running means, literally fucking running behind a fridge that is trying to escape, and you LAUGH, because your assumptions about the world were wrong, but not in a way that is so weird or scary that you can’t recognize it or handle it. The jokes means that you make an assumption, then your assumption is wrong, but the world is still recognizable.

in film, that means you have to spend time on FIRST the setup and get the audience to buy into it, and THEN you have to give them an understandable punchline that COMMENTS on the set of assumptions you, the audience, had, and how those assumptions were off!

If the punchline doesn’t break the script of the set up, then it’s not usually funny -”Is you fridge running” “yes” “Ok, just checking” - that’s just a conversation, the script doesn’t break, the assumptions were correct and you don’t, generally, laugh

If the punchline to that joke were changed to something nonsensical or random, then it wouldn’t be FUNNY. “Is your refrigerator running?” “yes” “well then you’re a whore” IS NOT FUNNY BECAUSE THE PUNCHLINE DOESN’T CONNECT TO THE SETUP. (Well, I mean, this example I made is funny *to me* because I just spent too much time thinking about it, but NORMALLY it would not work because it’s disconnected and weird. unless you’re making a joke about how the fridge-running joke is already so done you expect the punchline, and then it’s META and the rules of comedy still work)

so COMEDY, of all things, needs MORE structure than any other kind of filmmaking, because you need to ESTABLISH ASSUMPTIONS AND THEN BREAK THEM.

ok, need a break?

Good break, moving on to Suicide Squad’s joker.

The Joker, as a character on film, has to be funny to work because the defining characteristic of the Joker is that he doesn’t have morality as the structure of his actions - he has COMEDY.

to riff off the tv series Hannibal, where the two-eyed, Will Graham-hunting, foppish people-eater main character gets told “You no longer have ethical concerns, Hannibal. You have aesthetical ones.”

THAT’S THE JOKER.

when faced with a choice, most people think acting in ways that are moral, that don’t hurt people, that seek good things for themselves but without doing bad things to other people

The Joker, as we see his philosophy in The Killing Joke, approaches the world looking for “How could this be funny?” and then doesn’t place a LIMIT on hurting people to make the joke work.

If an improv group got together and made jokes, they would have moral limits - generally speaking, no one is going to stab someone even if it would be the best punchline to the improvised set up.

But the Joker would. Because he’s seeking not the highest good, the most righteous thing, or even the thing most beneficial to himself, he’s LOOKING FOR THE BEST JOKE.

which is why we like him - his brain is NUTS because he doesn’t limit himself, but the joke is recognizable. The Joker HAS TO KNOW how to put together a good set up and then a good punchline, one that people can recognize, because that’s what comedy is.

So a viable Joker has to have more structure than most villains in films, because you can’t have a joke if you don’t buy in, and buy in takes time, and then the joke has to be funny enough that we momentarily forget that someone just got murdered for the punchline - like when Ledger’s joker stabbed that guy in the eye with a pencil and acted like it was a MAGIC TRICK, because, look! I made the pencil disappear - INTO THIS GUY’S SKULL

so, SUICIDE SQUAD. a movie which I mostly enjoyed, but, here’s what’s true - the Joker’s NOT FUNNY.

Good versions of the Joker have to make you laugh, even as you squirm, and Leto’s just *doesn’t*. He seems to be taking the most noticeable parts of Ledger’s performance, WHICH WAS HILARIOUS, and skipping the comedy.

“BUT HE WAS EDITED OUT,” I hear some of you cry.

Which is fair. Editing can kill the funny - it can ruin the set up, it can break the punchline - editing is crucial to humor, because editing is how time in films is constructed, and comedy is all about timing.

but Jared Leto is a high profile actor in a role that is super high profile and he made sure to hype up the performance a lot, so if the movie doesn’t actually contain any examples of leto’s joker being funny, I’m going to have to make an assumption here that the movie is showing us the best they’ve got. like, there was every good external reason to find ways to keep leto in the film, and he’s NOT THERE.

And while i have not watched all the promotional footage of Leto talking about the prep for the role (in which, btw, I think Leto is SUPER FUCKING CREEPY AND UNPROFESSIONAL), there is no mention of humor.

I mean, I could be wrong!

but it doesn’t seem like Leto cared about the Joker being funny. And that’s why his Joker sucks. Because if the JOKER doesn’t care about COMEDY, then he’s not the Joker - he’s a just dude with a dye job.

IN BOSTON

Jun. 8th, 2014 05:58 pm
kitewithfish: The Doctor tilts his head. (Default)
I just moved back to Boston, and I am kind of interested in fun, cheap things to do. (Cheap being less than $20 per person), and in particular ways to meet new people.

So, anyone have any great experiences of Boston that they would love to pass on? I don't care how touristy or silly or mildly insane, I will take all suggestions!
kitewithfish: Wolverine has climbed a tree- remains concerned. (x-men;shock and horror;tree; moose!)
Actually kind of a live blog....


ALL THE SPOILERS, NONE OF THE CONTEXT! )
kitewithfish: The Doctor tilts his head. (Default)
Wow, that was not where I expected this episode to go. Seriously, this is the kind of father/son relationship that you come back from?

From the minute Dr. Mora showed up to talk about Odo's past, I assumed that the episode was setting him up as the villain-- the abusive father figure.

Read more! )
kitewithfish: Wolverine has climbed a tree- remains concerned. (x-men;shock and horror;tree; moose!)
I live in Chicago. My people are fine. I wish I were home. I don't know what to do.
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
She didn't have a library card. That's the part that sunk in, despite the fact that her credit cards and her favorite wallet were gone now, too, and she would have to call and get replacements for all her insurance cards. The stamps were gone, and that check from her aunt too.

But the library card stuck in her mind. She'd been on her way to the Harold Washington Library, massive orange-brown building crowned with outrageous green bronze wings and swirls, when she noticed the wallet was missing. She had to backtrack to the cafe and leave a note in case anyone found it, and then back to the office where she had interviewed to call and check that she hadn't lost it there.

The interviewer let her in, confused, and very nice about it- she let her go back in the interview room and helped check around. They even let her borrow a computer to get the numbers for her banks and credit union and the Chicago police department. She let her out of the office again with a sympathetic smile and promised to call in a week about the position.

She spent the afternoon pacing the plaza around Calder's Flamingo while bankers also cooed and hushed over her and asked if a $2389.56 charge at Bloomingdales was hers? That cleared it up- stolen, not lost. She was miserable and hungry. She couldn't buy lunch like she had planned. It was a warmer day in April, but it was April in Chicago. She'd been standing in the cold for two and half hours now while a cop on the phone congratulated her on not having more than two credit cards.

Her CTA card in a side pocket had escaped- she could take the train home. She had her iPod, she could listen to music. Her phone in a side pocket was fine. Her Kindle in her tote was still there, she could read. But she didn't have a library card. She couldn't go and get the Royko book from the library now, and she'd been trying to find it as an ebook for a week already. It didn't exist. And stealing a library card was just so petty.

She'd had a library card since she was eight, living at the old house in Rhode Island with the public library built out of rough stone that always seemed to swelter or freeze. The first paper card she'd had with the bar code on the back let her take out 10 books at a time. She'd never really bothered to leave the children's section of that library, which had seemed so massive to her back then. The weekly stack of books varied, and eventually even that library card was put aside for one to another library in another state, to be replaced by a college ID that doubled for her course books. Until she got to Chicago and had to sign the back of another chunky piece of plastic for the public library system, and she was in.

It just seemed so pointless, stealing a library card- the credit cards she could understand, and she'd really only lost a couple hours of time with the police and the banks. And the license could be sold and used for underage club goers. The wallet even, which was her favorite by far and a considered choice, to finally put out more money than she needed on something nice and sturdy and matched her purse. She could understand stealing the wallet.

But stealing her library card? For access to books that were already free. For the first little bit of adult responsibility that even little children get to have, that basic right to get out into the world and know things and learn and to have conversations with adults that were not family or parents. For that duty to keep safe library books because they didn't just belong to you, they belonged to everyone, and it was so important that they belong to everyone that towns built buildings and hired staff to make sure everyone could get them. For that security that said even if the internet failed and she never got a job, she could still get things to read. She'd still be a person.

She felt the loss of the credit cards as the loss of a convenience. She felt the loss of the library card like she'd walked into her childhood home to find her bedroom was gone.
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
"I don't know how many times in how many different ways I can say this: Lecturing marginalized people on the ways in which they need to make privileged people more comfortable is not just failing to be a good ally; it is deeply hostile behavior that centers the comfort of the already-privileged. Maintaining one's comfort cannot be an objective of someone keen to shed hir privilege."

-Melissa McEwan
Go and read the rest of her post here: And Then This Happened. (Part umptyone of the ongoing documentation of movement atheism being jerks to women.)
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
Sterile proficiency is the hallmark of revamping my resume. It's not a creative task- in fact, it's a task that requires a certain inflexible uniformity, an awareness of the norms ands strict adherence to them. It's a miserable, soul grinding task. It's the skill of making oneself unobjectionable.

Also, I hate men in cafes. Not that I don't hate men in other circumstances. But in cafes it becomes obvious: men lack social graces. Women are cordial: Pardon me. Would you mind...? may I sit here? The subjunctive and the conditional abound, and all in all the pressure of other people's mind is gently soothed away by a clear signal: I mean no harm. Men are blunt: I need another chair. Is this space free? Not the slightest energy put into being anything than large and present and taking up as much space as they feel is their due.

I'm being harsh. There are plenty of thoughtful, gentle men and even traditional gentlemen who do not impose themselves unnecessarily on others.

But shit on a cinderblock, if you're going to ask for the other chair sitting empty at my table, could you please bother to do better than, "I need a chair." I don't care if you need a chair. I don't know you. I am unmoved by you. You are breaking my attention for the thing I am doing and offer no acknowledgment of that fact, much less an apology for the imposition.

Do better.






Note: Yes, I have encountered rude women. They are farther between by far than men. Women are generally obliged to apologize for our existence in a way men are not, and so "I'm sorry" comes to our lips far more readily in situations where it's even slightly called for. Rude women are generally specific and pointed in their rudeness, rather than blundering.
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
My friend Tolkienista and I just had an interesting conversation about slash and sexuality and whether or not it’s okay for slash authors (many of whom, if not all, are white cisfemale authors writing about cismen having sex with other cismen.)

I’m a white cisfemale bisexual woman living in large city, for the sake of this conversation. Tolkienista’s a friend of mine from grad school, and also a white gay cisgender man.

Tolkienista’s blog can be found here. http://tolkienista.wordpress.com/

On the Editing: I have marked the majority of my edits with [content changed brackets] to indicate changes. Places where […] is marked indicate spots were non-relevant or confusing bits of conversation happened- mostly going, “Oh, yeah, right, I see what you mean” etc etc, and I have removed them for the sake of flow. Other unmarked corrections for grammar and spelling occurred.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Tolkienista
I am wondering, for a moment, about slash. Because I just read a long tumblr thing from a woman who was sort of blistering about the HRC logos and then talks about being into writing slash.

Kitewithfish
Which she should be- [HRC] are kind of problematic in their complete domination of the discussion about gay rights

Tolkienista
No, I get that
[…]

Tolkienista
And I am just suddenly wondering about the ethical dimension of imagining and writing about the sexual experience of someone who is not "your people," in a very narrowly defined sense of the term.

Also, I think people are wrong when they say that the HRC dominates discussion of gay rights. I actually think that gay rights began to move forward a bit in the past five years as the HRC's rights-centric, steady-as-she-goes approach stopped being as popular among rank-and-file

But they are right when they say that the HRC is awful

so I consider it a wash.

Kitewithfish
I think there's something to be said for the problems of slash being an extension of patriarchal systems of thought

In that most of the authors are women, righting about sexual experiences in which there are no women.

And most of them DON'T go anywhere NEAR the gay issues properly
Keep reading! )
kitewithfish: Amy Pond squints (dw:amypond; squinty face)
Since my fall from ordination, which had its very first crappy anniversary a few weeks ago, I have been pretty dissatisfied with church. Specifically, I haven't been even going to church, even tho I now live pretty far from the church that burned my ass not that long ago.

So, for the first time in my life, the season of this year have not been measured in the contraction of space and time predetermined by the church's holy calendar. I've been free of the crushing sadness of going to church, where I invariably sit back judging the priest on what I would have done in their place, but I also have been unmoored. I grew up behind the scenes of parish life, with a clear understanding of the power struggles and personal vendettas that go into being mired in the fallen world of physical being while striving to build a community whose foundations have been laid in eternity. People are people, and so there will be squabbles and snarls and someone will throw up in the plant pot. Without the smell of incense, my nose is uncalibrated. Without the stained glass windows, my eyes feel strange to themselves. (And how perfect a metaphor, that even the windows are stained as we are with the imperfections that make us glorious and give us identity.)

I was turned down for ordination in Lent, and it feels in some way as if this year has been an unending Lent, a penitent season to a child who does not understand her sins, and thus cannot understand to repent for them. Until she understands that is not her sins, but those against her from which she has to heal.

I went to Ash Wednesday this year. You are dust, and to dust you shall return. I feel the truth of that in the base carbon of my own body and in my achy feet and in my tired eyes.

But I did not go to Easter this year, because I do not feel myself resurrected.
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
My back hurts and my eyes will not unsquint on command anymore. The soapy water is cooling on my stomach where it was pressed against the sink, and I now get to sit down, blessedly, but the situation is quite frankly less than ideal. I hate doing dishes before bed.

Evening is the time for rest, for the burdens of the day to be put momentarily aside in favor of company. Doing dishes is a solitary task- I frankly shoo away people who want to come and visit with me while I'm doing the dishes. It's rough soapy honest work that lends itself to introspection and a good tune. It is not time for chatting. Evening is time for chatting, and I've just done the dishes in the evening for the first time in several years. The contrast has left me dissatisfied and chafed and a bit damp around the waist.

The Gentleman and I have reached a new compact- chores have been allotted and a timeline assigned, which means both our work for this week has just escalated, as well as for next week, and the week after that, and the week after that. It's daunting to have this all stretched out in front of me, ad infinitum, but that's the thing about marriages. There are times when they stretch out in front of you and point towards as much infinity as either of you are going to get, and that's kind of a dark place, to be honest.

To see your life measured out in fortnightly floor washes, knowing that at some point, you won't be washing the same floor anymore, and eventually, you won't be keeping track of the stretch on GoogleDocs anymore, that first the place where you both live will change around you and the tools you use to measure it will shift and stretch as well around the little patch of eternity that you both have laid out in front of you. Because the compact between you will outlast the buildings around you, the cells in your hand, the knees you cushion on a folded towel against the hard floor, will outlast eventually both of you in all your components, and everything in you except the will to keep it going.

It's the humble eternity that measures out the end of you and me and both of us together. Someday we will both be dust, and in the time remaining to us, we'll commit to spending some of it on our knees washing the floor, making the place we live in now a fit place.
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
I was having a brief conversation with the Gentleman, and he wouldn't look at me, and he said he was leaving me and getting back together with an old girlfriend, [Christina]. Then he left.

So I was left in our apartment without any money, because he's the one with the job and he had just... left. And I wanted to get in touch with him, but I kept getting distracted. The apartment building had turned into a gutted multistory slum, populated with people having sex in public stairwells and generally being scary in the shadows of the concrete remaining. At least one character from 'The Wire' was there, and being extra snarly.

I kept wandering through it and thinking, I should get in touch with the Gentleman, it's been a day. Where will I get enough money to live on? Then something would happen and I would forget to call him. Whenever I thought of calling him, it was laced through with this numb disbelief that it's been two days, why haven't I called him? Why am I not worried about calling him?

Except that somehow I knew he was not there and would not answer and would not look me in the eye, and that was completely wrong. Even if he did break up with me, he would take my call and help me get out of a scary slum because he is a nice person. So I was both aware of how out of character he was acting, and still completely not phased by it because it was a dream and reality is never quite set.

Then I somehow got out of the dream-slum and into a fancy restaurant set up for a banquet, only I was dressed in rags and the hostess was calling my name like a teacher calling attendance. There was a big tufted chair waiting for me next to my mom and she was mad at me for being late but everything else seemed rather dreamy.

When I sat down, I saw that down at the far end of the table in a party dress was the woman that the Gentleman was leaving me for. And she sat there glaring at me all the way down the table. The Gentleman was not there and I still was terribly upset that he was avoiding me, and still kind of half-sleepily recognized that he was behaving completely out of character.

I guess I woke up during the banquet, and of course, the Gentleman was out of bed because his alarm had gone off fifteen minutes before, which I think means that this entire dream took place realtime after he got out of bed and I sleepily noticed it and went back to bed.

So the thing to do was of course crawl out of bed and into the living room and plop myself onto his lap and tell him the whole story about how he'd divorced me in a dream and it was terrible. The woman he was dating in the dream was not someone he's ever dated, and she's married too, but she does have a fairly impressive glare. A whole lot of the feeling associated with the dream felt very much like the whole fiasco last year around this time with a boss who was being fairly terrible and noncommunicative, which came to a boil and resulted in me leaving that informal internship.

And I'm fairly certain this was all triggered by my normal sleepy mind noticing that the Gentleman had gotten out of bed and left, spinning wild fantasies as to why he was not staying when I had never called out for him in real life.

So yeah, I need some freaking tea.
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
I am so looking forward to the day when it is taken for granted that there will be an ebook copy of a book available.

We've got such huge gaping chasm of which books can be found as ebooks- either the very old and the very famous which have been preserved and distributed for free through things like Gutenberg, or the newest publications coming out. That's it.

There is such a vast library in human history that will probably never be made into ebooks, because the demand is too small or the text too rare or the effort to convert it is too costly. I'm looking at you, books in Fraktur, incunabula, and those fragile texts that preserve the trade records of tiny German nations. You're probably going to remain obscure and hefty at best.

Wanting an ebook is not a huge deal, right? And if the author of a work is alive and savvy, then maybe someday there will be before the author stops being able to control the use of their works. But for works where the author has died, we're in the waiting period until it enters public domain

As we move on, the major texts are largely becoming available for free online, as long as they are old enough to slip under the copyright laws. And the edge is moving ever closer- there are a lot of books that are coming out this year for free that were under copyright last year, and the list gets bigger every year. As long as someone wants them enough, they can be found.

The problem is, of course, copyright law in the US and the limitations on fair use- other have written about this, better, but I'm just staring down from this mountain of freely available modern novels and even some textbooks, looking back at the vast number of books that were written since, and I just want them in ebook form.

Is it really too much to ask?



(I've been looking for an ebook of Royko's "Boss" - a 1987 book, but the author passed on in 1997, so there are, as far as I can tell, no publicly available ebooks, and might not be any privately available versions, either. But all you need is one person who's willing to share....)
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
Pancho Villa's last words are probably apocryphal- getting shot multiple times killed him instantly, and no contemporary account records these last words.

But, damn. Those are some perfect last words. Most of the other recorded last words that I know are remembered because they were pretty damned cool. Voltaire's "Now is not the time to be making enemies." Oscar Wilde- "Either these curtains go or I do." They're someone taking their very last chance to make some kind of impression on the world, to be remembered.

And who knows? Maybe Wilde and Voltaire didn't say anything at all- maybe someone who loved their work just made something up to make sure the legacy stayed.

"Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something." makes a plea to be remembered, to make an impression, even while it squanders that opportunity to make an impression. Aware of his impending death, he stills uses the last thing he can say to ask for another chance to change things, even while he knows he'll never get the chance. It's legacy, and heartbreak, and that horribly human thing we do of knowing that we are screwing up even while we do it.
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
Just when I expected that I knew all the esoteric sexual practices fandom could throw at me: figging.

COMMUNITY these days seems kind of disappointing and bleh? I mean, yay for new episodes! Yay for the show attempting to survive, because the cast of Community have been my happy place for a good while now, but I feel like the last couple episodes have not taken us to any place new or unexpected. And there's been a weird focus on Jeff doing things off screen or being the center of the show in a way that doesn't feel natural at this point in the series' development. Where are the sharp edges?
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=lZunEARBb6I

Les Miserables ROK Air Force Parody

Honestly, can't even deal.

blerg

Feb. 11th, 2013 04:29 pm
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
-Bullet points!

-Saw Hunger Games. Deeply impressed.

-Got clawed by cat. Not impressed. Cat phobia continues. Constant vigilance!

-Saw new Community episode! Deeply impressed by show's ability to shove itself up its own ass.

-Spent some of this day working on job acquisition. Feeling better now.

-This week has all the holidays.

Decaf teas?

Feb. 2nd, 2013 09:08 pm
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
In which I rise from a grave of unfinished posts!

Firstly, does anyone have a good recommendation for a tasty non caffeinated tea? It's too cold and miserable in my hometown to forego an evening cuppa, and I can't deal with caffeine late in the day. Peppermint has been a favorite, chamomile is a distant second- I appreciate a good herbal blend but I wouldn't be against a decaf blend that's truly decaf.

Secondly, still job searching. Boo.

Thirdly, I've been mainlining Spartacus:Blood and Sand and Extraneous Differently Named Seasons and Elementary.

Spartacus has a real gift for sexy naked men and more violence than I care for- I kept up with it because there was good press about it's treatment of same-sex romance. On that front, it's not delivering as much as I would like, but after a season and a half, I am surprised to discover that the character development for the supporting cast impresses me- there's really only one character of a cast of a dozen or so getting regular screentime who doesn't have some backstory and development. Mind you, he's an Arab (Syrian) villain who is also rapey, sooooooooooo. There's a problem I saw coming from the writers. But ancient Rome is portrayed as convincingly will of POC's, and I'm holding out for the rest of the season to redeem itself. I was holding out for a well-costumed period piece, and Spartacus is delivering nicely.

But, dammit, I get caught up on certain weird things. Like, the main cast has men who are circumcised when it doesn't make sense for their cultural background. And. Well, that tells you a lot about what kind of show it has been, ne? :) And how the ancient Romans are waaaaaaay less conflicted about oral sex than they were in real life- it's an odd hangup to the modern mind.

Elementary is best enjoyed when I stop trying to mentally compare it to the modern BBC Sherlock adaptation. Lucy Liu is a WONDERFUL Watson and interesting and has a convincing emotional life, and while there Sherlock is not as blindingly clever, he also seem to be shaping up to be intelligent and clever enough to make me think that he's a real detective rather than a deus ex machina. There were a few rough episodes at the start, but the show's hit its stride by episode 6 or 7. I do think that a case can be made that Watson, in both shows, is the main character, but I think that the balance of the BBC show favors Sherlock more as a brilliant mind, and that the America adaptation favors Watson..... but I'm still chewing on it.
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
So, once upon a time in a fairly modern alternate universe,
Into every generation is born a slayer, one girl in all the world, the chosen one, who will lead her kingdom in to peace and prosperity with the dueling powers of the Californians kingdoms.

Regent Giles, sent from the Council on Kingship, is the appointed tutor and steward of the small kingdom of Summerlands, ruling justly while also preparing Her Royal Highness Buffy of the House of Summers, princess and lady of battle, to be a just ruler and queen. Raised in a normal household and illegitimate, Buffy didn't know her father until he died without an heir, leaving her as the last in the line of Summers and stuck in a life she does't want. She enters the court to meet Count Alexander of Harris, the bumbling son of a defunct noble family with pretensions to lost grandeur and power, and Lady Willow, the daughter of a recently established noble family (one of the first Jewish families appointed to nobility by the late king) and a powerful witch in her own right, tho she could stand to get out of the house more rather than training so much.


blarg blarg- ruling is the burden, instead of being a slayer...


The Summerlands are menaced by the Aurelian Dynasty, a longstanding territory ruled by the Vampires of the Aurelieus clan. In the war, the anti-human Master and his childe, Darla. This leaves Angel, the Vampire with a soul, trying to sort out the local squabbling and keep his kingdom from turning into a bloodbath. The bad kind. The main problems are Drusilla and Spike. Drusilla is a political tool and can never be trusted to rule on her own, but her visions are valuable to Angel. Spike, however, is a menace. He's rowdy as hell since Drusilla dumped him, makes a complete mess of Angel's poor planning for political reasons, and generally is a Problem for Angel to deal with.

Angel can't wait to get rid of him, and since he's not the official heir to Aurelieus with Drusilla live, Angel can wed Spike, and his gobs of vampiric lucre, off to a high ranking noble in the Summerlands to make the peace treaty stick.

Giles thinks it's lamentable but necessary, Willow is aghast, Buffy is just glad it's not HER, and Xander is mostly trying to get over the fact that his father knew he was gay the whole time.
kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
So, I painted my nails this light purple color.I don't know the name of this shade, but it's one of Orly's Mani Mini collection, and it's a nice light purple, but a very true purple- not lilac or lavender or something. (The pinky nail gives you the best idea of the realy color, and it's rather translucent.)


I like the color, but I found that it was a bit TOO sheer- two coats still left it kind of streaky, and it didn't build up. I was left with short cartoonishly purple nails that reminded me TOO much of a certain kid's show dinosaur. A nice color to have, but a little childish when I was finished thinking about it.

So I covered it up!

I've had several polishes that I wanted to test for their sheerness in the past, and now I had my chance. Here's the verdict.

Pinky- Sephora by OPI's Rumba Romance, a very fine bronze glitter in clear polish that actually layers really nicely. It's pretty translucent, and the color just reeks of sophistication. It layered rather nicely over the purple.

Ring finger- essie's limo-scene, a rather sheer pinky white. This is the most whiplash I've had from a nail polish purchase recently. In the bottle, this color looks white. Like, honest blank white. In the pictures on essie's website, it's PINK! Pale, but indubitably pink. Really, really annoying, because I was not looking for a sheer clear pink, I wanted WHITE. As you can see, it layers very translucently over the purple, and it's not a bad effect overall, but not what I wanted at all. It's not pink, and it's not white, and while it's kind of a nice neutral sheer color, I really was not looking for a nice neutral sheer color when I bought this.

Kind people, do you have a good solid white polish that goes on solid true white?

Middle finger: essie's no place like chrome- a totally solid chrome silver. I love this color, I would wear it all the time if it weren't such a statement color. The purple was GONE under this, and it proved exactly how not sheer this color was.

Index finger: Sephora by OPI's What's a tire jack?- solid black. It doesn't come across, but this is only the slightest bit sheer. As in, it's a different and deeper black than it would have been over a plain nail, and it's kind of nice. Overall, tho, it went on a nice dark solid black and it's great.

Thumb- essie's a cut above- metallic pink glitter in a clear polish. This glitter polish is such a strange beast! It can look completely cheesy, like in this picture, or really really sophisticated over a neutral beige that I have. I applied two coats to get a nice even distribution of the glitter. This actually makes a really good fast drying topcoat, and I'm in love. It just makes me really pleased when I can get the distribution right. The glitter varies in size from a nice chunk to the size of a pencil point, and it really just adds a lot to the final distribution of color. I'm in love.

The only think I don't love about "a cut above" is the removal- getting glitter off usually takes more polish remover than otherwise, and it sticks like made. I often end up having to scrape at the remaining glitter with a cuticle pusher and discarding the remains.

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