eruthros: Battlestar Galactica 1978 promo picture, captioned "first fandom" (BSG - first fandom Starbuck Apollo)
Things I have found going through old posts:
1. Typos that result in a queue for Snape's cock. Or in Jim wanting to nail the mattress. I apparently made these types of posts frequently, five years ago.

2. A request for Holmes/Cthulhu eldritch tentacle pr0n. (Then I thought, oh man, why hasn't anyone written Cthulhu fic for the tentacles prompt at [livejournal.com profile] kink_bingo. Then I realized I maybe had a problem.)

3. An amazing illustration of telling not showing.

4. I have a post from 2007 with eight youtube videos embedded. All but one have now been removed for copyright or terms-of-use violation. Including, amazingly, the Activision 1981 annual report. Seriously, youtube? Seriously?

Links I am going to relink here:

1. Cthuugle.com

2. Henry Kissinger/Deep Throat RPF.

3. An article from 2003 headlined "Justin Timberlake Hazardous To Your Health."

4. I'm totally going to relink to the above-mentioned Activision annual report. Youtubers: uploading nearly as fast as youtube can take shit down.

Book Crush

Jun. 14th, 2007 06:06 pm
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS Tara avatar avatar)
So yesterday we were all being attacked by zombies, and today I check out the BBC news... only to discover that "FBI tries to fight zombie hordes." No, really. (The actual article is about computer hijacking. But still.)

***

I am currently reading Nancy Pearl's newest book, Book Crush, which is ... essentially Book Lust but for kid and YA fiction. It's fabulous! I mean, it's basically a list of books with commentary, categorized in amusing ways ("Girls Kick Butt" "After Sam Spade and Kinsey Millhone" &c). But it's by Nancy Pearl, who is so awesome she has her own librarian action figure, and most importantly...

... it reminds me of things I haven't read in years. Books I could find on the bookshelf at my local library (if it hasn't been remodeled) but couldn't have told you the author or the titles or anything. Betsy-Tacy and Tib! The Tattooed Potato (man, I loved Ellen Raskin's books as a kid). Maniac Magee, which I tried to describe to a friend recently and totally failed to stimulate recognition. (I was like "running kid! ignores racial divisions in his town! sleeps in zoo! his friend can stop traffic by shuffling across the street!" and I got nothing.) The Melendys and the All-of-a-Kind Family and Caddie Woodlawn and the Great Brain and Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking. The House With a Clock in Its Walls and Sister Light, Sister Dark.

Anyway, I recommend it highly, at least as a fun bookstore read, because at the very least it will make any childhood book addict worth her salt incredibly nostalgic. I mean, if you read half the books in your local library, and can still tell you that you can find Tamora Pierce in the back corner, right shelf, halfway down, and that that book with the mysteries and the painter and the stories-within-a-story (as it turns out, this is called The Tattooed Potato and Other Tales) on a shelf halfway along the left-hand wall? You will end up constantly going "oh! oh! That's what that book was called!" and "Damn, that was the first book I read that featured Yom Kippur!" and "oh, man, I remember how much I wanted to sleep in the Met Museum after reading that!" Oddly, the section for eight to twelve year olds makes me far more nostalgic than the section for twelve and ups, perhaps because twelve and up fiction has changed so much -- chick lit? wtf? -- and perhaps because I was reading a lot more genre fiction by that point.

It's not all old books, of course, because Nancy Pearl is far too awesome to rely on her days as a children's librarian. It's got John Green and Jonathon Stroud and other awesome people as well, so if you still read YA fiction it's a great rec list too.

Five things

Apr. 6th, 2007 05:47 pm
eruthros: llamas! (llamas)
Five random things about me: fannish, personal, ridiculous, serious, all of the above

1. why reality tv is scarier than doctor who )

2. my flist and fandom analysis )

3. typing )

4. now redacted )

5. earworms )



Random links:
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have a new motto on their website: "defining San Francisco values since 1979." Ha! Also they are having an Easter party.
Other ways of updating Jane Austen: someone has vidded two versions of P&P to a Justin Timberlake song.
The most hilarious election day story of all time.
Apparently we make the gorges safe by ... rappelling down the sides and knocking off loose rocks. AHHH.
Geraldo Rivera doesn't take Bill O'Reilly's shit.
Commentary on the Sun op-ed suggesting Cheney should run for president.
A three minute preview for tomorrow's Doctor Who.

I have stolen this random links idea from [livejournal.com profile] svendra, because if I don't stick unrelated things at the bottom of my posts, I fail to share the awesomeness that is Alanis Morissette doing "my humps" with everyone. I mean, I feel like all my random links don't deserve single posts, so then the only people who see them are the people who are on IM when I find them. (If you still haven't seen the Alanis video, it's here. Also awesome. SERIOUSLY.)
eruthros: Battlestar Galactica 1978 promo picture, captioned "first fandom" (BSG - first fandom Starbuck Apollo)
... I just realized that I've been in fandom for at least ten years. See, I have this perpetual Not A Real Fan complex (lala Impostor Syndrome in another context la) -- I say things like "okay, I watched the X-Files, but I didn't see every episode or anything. Not a Real Fan." Only then I realize that when people quiz me, they can't come up with an XF moment I didn't see up until, like, season seven or something. (Which is Creepy and Scary.)

So: My first fandom was BSG 1978 (obviously in reruns), and I had no 'net-fannish context for it. Though I wrote incredibly bad angst-ridden drawer-fic. But! It was immediately followed by Star Wars (for which I did have an awareness of fandom and fanfiction on the net, although I dismissed most of it as incredibly, incredibly bad and full of OCness and Leia and Han having sex on pillows in the back of the Falcon). And I watched the first season of XF, and I read some fanfiction, and posted politely-worded corrections about Mulder's history on forums, and just couldn't stop talking about the show. And then... due South. My first mailing-list fandom. And I joined DIEF (but not DSX, as I was a polite ickle wee fan and unwilling to lie about my age). And I remember hearing about Seah and Hexwood back in '95. And I remember the Ray Wars. (I'm kinda sad that I unsubbed from DIEF and The Closet, really, since they were my Formative Fandom Experience, but otoh ... god, in '98 or so no-one was posting anything to DIEF and DSX except 48-part Fraser/Thatcher Epics. With much demand for feedback. And people getting shot, and then being hospitalized again with AMNESIA, and then getting TATTOOED against their WILLS. And just when you'd think "oh, thank heavens, it's finally over," the author would "bow to popular demand" and write a SEQUEL. Say this for ff.n -- at least you don't have to see any of it.)

This is on my mind because my birthday's coming up. I'll be 24. And I'll have participated in net fandom for the last twelve years, starting with SW and XF forums. Half. My. Life.

For half my life, I'll have analyzed the motivations of fictional characters, gossiped about goofs, and attempted to explain away plot holes. I remember going with a friend to see ALW's Phantom at my sixteenth birthday -- and spending the whole time at the restaurant trying to work out the most recent episodes of B5 and Ivanova's behavior.

It's a bit of a weird realization.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS Tara avatar avatar)
Look! Look! Cunha's County Store is reopening!

See, when we would drive down to SC, we'd usually drive down highway one. It's like this: taking highway 17 can be 30 minutes faster than highway one, or it can be an hour slower. Plus, the view from route one is gorgeous and you can picnic.

And we'd always stop in Half Moon Bay halfway there and pick up something at Cunha's County Store, which had the cheapest ataulfo mangoes ever seen. They were in a barrel by the door, and you had to dig through them carefully. Other fruit was still in cardboard boxes from local farmers. And Cunha's itself was this little, tiny, 70-year-old grocery store with aisles so narrow you couldn't pass other people. The floor was hardwood and creaked in places. The sign painted on the side of the store had been the same for fifty years. They had samples all over the place, making the aisles ever narrower, and they carried hand-made local jams and all that.

And yet they carried all of this fabulous, fabulous food! I mean, it's the first place mis padres and I tried Casa de Sanchez chips and salsa, the thick, crunchy kind of chip and a really good salsa. They were there for tasting. And they carried twenty-seven kinds of fancy chocolate bars. They had unsweetened iced tea, and imported fizzy lemonade, in addition to the sprite and all that. So wonderful food AND good atmosphere AND memories.

And then last year, at the end of May, just before I graduated, Cunha's burnt down to the ground. Completely wiped out the entire building.

And now, not even a year later, they're ready to open again, which is really a tribute to the importance of Cunha's to the community of Half Moon Bay. It's wonderful to think that they're really going to be open again, that you could pick up a picnic and go sit out on one of the beaches of route one, and that the neighbors will be chatting with the woman behind the counter, and that the fellow who works in the deli will give you advice on bread, and that you'll find someone putting up jams who will give you advice on preserves. The building won't be the same -- new floors don't creak, and disability laws mean that there needs to be an elevator and wider aisles now that it's not a historical building -- but how wonderful all the same.
eruthros: Battlestar Galactica 1978 promo picture, captioned "first fandom" (BSG - first fandom Starbuck Apollo)
Not so G-yIP. Battlestar Galactica was the first television I was ever fannish about. I knew the canon, I loved the characters ... and I wrote my very first fanfiction.

So my first fanfiction was written before I knew fanfiction or fandom existed. It was a godawful 127K-word epic drawer-fic AU. Lots of names with apostrophes, noble sacrifices, honorable enemies, complicated schemes, and exclamation marks. Starbuck's colony was still destroyed by Cylons when he was a child, but he was never rescued by Colonial warriors. He hooked up with pirates and smugglers, instead, and kind of turned into ... Han Solo with an M.D-Ph.D. (I would feel shame, but I was eight.) Dialogue like this:
"You know that my people could kill you," said Jeneko. "I could be tricking you. Starbuck could be fine."
"I don’t care. I need to make sure that Starbuck will live. This is all my fault." Apollo rushed to his shuttle.

"What the hell are you doing here, Apollo?" Starbuck asked. His breath hissed, and his breathing was labored. "You can be such an idiot sometimes. You know what they can and probably will do to you. What are you doing here? You promised to stay safe. ... Just make sure that you leave here alive. I don’t care, you can use me as a scapegoat. Use me as a hostage! I don’t care! Just get the hell out of here, safe and preferably alive! Go back to your friendly Colonial warriors and Serina and live happily ever after!"
That there is damn bad writing. But at least I got my melodrama from a very good source: this was the show where Apollo confronted Satan because Satan was trying to take over the fleet (so not kidding). And then Satan killed Apollo (still not kidding). Apollo gets picked up by a deus ex machina (and I mean that literally, and I'm still not kidding). And then Starbuck gets picked up by same, sees Apollo lying dead on a bier, and immediately goes into a whole "I'll give you anything you want, just bring him back." I haven't seen the episode in ages, but I think he may even fall to his knees in front of the angels. And Apollo, naturally, is resuscitated and, naturally, remembers nothing. See? The melodrama is definitely canon.

And I wrote slash-without-the-sex, because I couldn't imagine Starbuck and Apollo not wanting to live together. There was a lot of "I'd give my life for him." I had a whole chapter where Starbuck worrying that Apollo's father wouldn't like him.

Oddly, when I wrote in my second fandom, I wrote Mary Sues up the wazoo. Star Wars was the first fandom in which I discovered that other people wrote fanfiction, and the first fandom where I read other people's fanfiction, and instead of writing proto-slash, I wrote unforgivable Mary Sues. I don't know what this says about what I first got out of fandom, but it can't be good. *g*
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
Public school and spelling bees and geography exams and all that.

I was never good at spelling, but I always ended up in the spelling bee at my elementary school and junior high. I read all the time, but I just couldn't absorb spelling like some people do. I could remember spelling rules, and make a darn good stab at things, but I just didn't have every word in my head. So -ibles and -ables, for example, threw me. And I read too much as a kid. I remember I got knocked down in a spelling bee for a "gue" word -- I forget which, dialogue probably -- because the teacher said it should be spelled dialog. And I still don't spell judgment or kidnaped right on the first try. And "axe" should have an e on the end. Also, reading King Arthur at that age was a mistake as far as spelling went.

I always ended up in spelling bees, though, because we did an in-class spelling bee, and then a school-wide one, and the in-class ones tended towards the "tricky" words because those were, they assumed, the people who were really good at spelling. So I spelled yacht and rhythm and weird and picnicking, and I hated it, because I knew I'd end up in the school-wide bee, where they would ask us easy things, and I would be horribly humiliated. (This was, obviously, before I learned to throw contests. Which is a whole 'nother story.) So in the school-wide, I'd tend to go down on the first, easy round -- "mackerel," "susceptible," words like that.

But my real story is from the Department of Energy Regional Science Bowl. In order for this to make sense, I need to explain how the science bowl worked. It was between two teams of four people, and you played different teams every hour all day. The proctor read the question out loud, and you could ring in at any time after he started reading and he'd finish the question before you had to answer, but if you rang in before he read off possible answers (many were multiple choice) he wouldn't read off the options. Also, you rang in as an individual, but if you got the question wrong, the other team got to CONSULT and then answer as a team.

Anyway, we were playing against some team, and the proctor said "What is ninety degrees expressed in radians?" My friend D. hit his buzzer at "expressed in." So the guy finished, looked at him expectantly, and D. said "pi/2." And the proctor said "incorrect." Our whole team and the other team looked baffled. They don't read out the multiple choice option at all, if anyone answers before they get to it, so the other team looked a little confused, consulted among themselves, and said "no answer." The proctor said "the correct answer is 1/2 pi." The other team instantlly said "wait, but that's just what D. said." (They were very nice about it, conceding the point and all.) The proctor said "no, he didn't, he said pi/2." D. said "no, pi/2 is the same as 1/2 pi. It's just a different way of saying the same thing." The proctor said "I'm sorry, but the answer is 1/2 pi. That's what it says here." After much arguing, the proctor agreed to send someone to consult with the fellow in charge of the contest, although he was still positive that we were wrong. We finally got the point at the end of the match, and the incident made us angry at the proctor, and is probably why we won that match.

Later in the day, against Berkeley High, different proctor. Question: "What is the common name for the atomic elements numbered 58 through 71, in the IIIb group of the periodic table?" I rang in after "58 through 71," since I didn't need more than that, and said it was the Lanthanide series. Proctor: No, that's incorrect. Team 2? Team 2 hesitated, consulted, hesitated, consulted, and finally came up with no answer. The proctor: "The correct answer is the 4f elements." Which is another name for the Lanthanide series, but is in no way the common name for them. I said: "the Lanthanide series is another name for the 4f elements." The proctor said "unless you have a book on you that proves it, you don't get the point." Which was really rude, because we weren't allowed reference materials in the building at all, so it was basically like saying "nope, you don't get to argue your case." Annoying. More annoying because this proctor had a tendency to appeal to the only man on our team, even though I was the team leader, and spoke for the team. Grrrrr.

But the most annoying part of all? The fact that after that match was officially over, and the other team won, the teacher in charge of the other team -- not a student, but a science teacher, an adult -- came up to me and said "I saw that you looked angry about the lanthanide series question, and I just wanted to let you know that you were right. Lanthanide series is the common name of the IIIb elements. I was surprised that anyone knew the answer to that question. If I'd thought you had any chance of winning, I'd have spoken up." (Most. Backhanded. Praise. Ever. And also very rude, because the lanthanide series question was one of the first in the match, and really anyone could have won at that point, so he was implying that he thought we were stupid, and also because he implied that the only reason I'd want anyone to know I was right was to get points and win, and also because his tone was intensely condescending. I wanted to hit him. A lot.)

We lost the overall contest, ending up somewhere in the middle, probably because we weren't very competitive-minded. We were, however, the only team to include more women than men, so we could feel good about that. And we beat Logan, although their overall rank was above us, which was nice, as Logan is the San Francisco magnet school.

On the other hand, Berkeley went on to the National level. Sometimes you just want to spit.

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