kate_nepveu: Wakko with hands on hips and tongue hanging out to one side (Animaniacs (yup! silly!))

Three seasons' worth of alternate endings to the Animaniacs theme song:

embedded video )

Lion King bloopers, animated:

embedded video )

(This may just be nostalgia talking, but the Disney animated movies of my formative years—The Lion King, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast—seem to have way better songs than my sole recent example, Tangled, of which I can hum exactly one line of one ("Mother Knows Best") right now, after having been in the same room with it twice. No, wait, Winnie the Pooh is also a Disney flick and is extremely earworm-inducing, but it's not trying to be the same thing.)

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

My contrarian determination never to watch an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was foiled by Chad's inviting Jennifer Ouellette, author of The Physics of the Buffyverse and another pop-science book, to speak at Union next week. Chad figured it would be good if he'd actually seen more than a half episode of Buffy here and there, so Netflix'ed the first two discs of Season One & borrowed Season Five from a pimping co-worker (who recommended episodes 5 & 12, FWIW). We watched the very first two episodes tonight.

I'd always said that I wasn't interested in Buffy because I didn't want to watch a show about high school, even the demons of high school literalized. I realize now that I forgot a much more salient objection:

I don't want to watch horror.

I realize to everyone else in the world, the things-that-go-bump (or boo) moments are very tame, but I react very badly to that kind of suspense, and just don't enjoy watching it. Which is actually a relief, because I was afraid I'd like it, and seven seasons of Buffy plus how many of Angel?, well, that's a really big time commitment.

Some specific comments about these two episodes, behind the cut. If you're going to spoil anything past these episodes, ROT13 it or enclose it in <span style="color: #999999; background-color: #999999"> </span>.

spoilers )

ETA: Congratulations if you didn't find it scary. I did, I didn't enjoy it, you're not going to convince me otherwise.

Man, I knew this was going to happen if I posted this, but I thought my comments were sufficiently clear to avoid it.

ETA 2: See this conversation with [livejournal.com profile] pnh for an explanation of why I felt the previous ETA necessary.

ETA 3: Chad's comments.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

[Written Thursday night when Internet-less.]

So there I was, in a hotel room surfing TV channels for acceptable background noise, and there was an episode of Supernatural, the show which it seems like half my reading list watches. Heck, why not?

Of course I would land on an episode that required stupid legal stuff for its plot—and I assure you, it was very stupid. spoilers )

That said, I definitely noted some appealing bits about the show, though I doubt I'll watch, partly because I'm not much for spooky and partly because I just don't watch TV often. I really liked the shot of the pivoting cell doors when they first get into prison, and the actors playing the Winchester brothers are watchable (though it seemed to me that Dean stole this episode something awful). And I didn't foresee the twist about 3/4 through, though I lacked the context to know that there needed to be a twist, if that makes sense. I did catch some of the significant sibling interaction, thanks to skimming spoiler posts, which I suspect kept the episode from being just filler?

Anyway: didn't suck, not highly motivated to watch more (I'll be looking for people's spoiler posts about the next episode based on the preview, though).

kate_nepveu: Yakko throwing one hand wide to side, text: "G'night, everybody!" (Animaniacs (g'night everybody!))

Food in Review:

  • Oatmeal raisin cookies are definitely better with half the cinammon (replaced with an equal amount of ginger), but they still need something more; I'm thinking of increasing the brown sugar (and decreasing the white) and increasing the ginger and vanilla.
  • The baked potato soup tasted a lot less like chicken stock on reheating, so while I still intend to reduce the chicken stock relative to the milk, I won't need to do it as much.
  • We attempted rosti this weekend and last. We'd had a fabulous version in Québec City, all melty creamy cheese-potato goodness with a lovely brown crispy crust, and I tried recreating it with the leftover potatoes from soup. Unfortunately all-purpose potatoes are very definitely not the way to go for this, but Chad's attempt tonight worked a lot better.

    Something like a recipe )

Sports in Review: speak not to me of football. I am strongly contemplating hiding in the bedroom with a book during the Super Bowl.

Work in Review: very hectic, though thankfully moving past the stuff that had me feeling flayed for much of the last two weeks. I was called for jury duty and rescheduled it for next week before things got crazy; I'm not needed on Monday, and I suspect I won't be needed for the rest of the week, which is kind of too bad because I'd like to serve on a jury, but is probably for the best because of the timing.

Health in Review: I have had a remarkable amount of medical stuff lately, all minor things, but it does add up.

Entertainment in Review: I did fit some reading in, and have a couple books to log. Also, I've put Genji on my Palm and got through the next chapter that way; post to come. (Anyone else want the .pdb file, let me know.) And the next episode in the Dresden Files was just on the background and didn't suck.

Weather in Review: it's been really freaking cold, I can't seem to find any satisfactory winter boots, boo hiss winter.

Clearly, I need to go to bed.

kate_nepveu: raven flying across white background (raven-in-flight)

The TV series based on Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series has started on the SciFi Channel. Harry Dresden is Chicago's only professional wizard; in the first episode, a kid seeks him out based on his ad in the Yellow Pages, saying that monsters are out to get him and his mom.

I've only read the first of the series, though I fully mean to get around to the rest. It was a fast and enjoyable first-person urban fantasy, and I recall thinking that the magic system had some nice touches.

The first episode was decent. I saw a comment that it had not been intended as the premiere, but I thought it was a reasonable introduction regardless, weaving together some of Harry's backstory with his present case. And even though I knew that Murphy the cop and Bob the spirit were recurring characters, I don't think that would have been hard to guess. I wasn't blown away, but I didn't roll my eyes much either. This isn't much my kind of thing on screen, but if it's yours, now you know it exists.

The episode is re-running throughout the week at various times, and at 8:00 this Sunday, with the next new episode to air at 9:00; you can also apparently watch it in full online. (At least one review I saw said that the second episode was much stronger, so we'll see.)

No spoilers for the books in comments, please.

kate_nepveu: (con't from comment field) "that makes glass with distortions. --Audre Lorde" (International Blog Against Racism Week)

I was going to say something about Survivor, but then I realized that I didn't want to waste my time and energy on such a transparent bid for attention from a declining TV show. However, if you'd like to marvel at the appallingness of it all, check out this article from the Washington Post—be sure to read the second page, which quotes Jeff Probst.

(Lisa de Moraes gives such lovely pointed snark.)

kate_nepveu: Yakko throwing one hand wide to side, text: "G'night, everybody!" (Animaniacs (g'night everybody!))

Lost my temper over not one but two online discussions, which is the first time that's happened since I can remember. Only SHOUTED in one; I'm not sure if, in the other, it was apparent to anyone other than Chad that I was truly angry.

I did come up with a ten-second theory on the predominance of women in fanfic, which is that it's more socially acceptable for men to channel those impulses into gaming. Over at Chad's blog, a commentor offered the same explanation, so if it's loony, well, at least I'm not a lone loon.

In other news, a new restaurant in Schenectady, Cella Bistro, is seriously yummy. Chad had, as an appetizer, mussels with a huge heaping of french fries, and as dinner, duck done two ways; I had two appetizers for dinner, filo-wrapped baked brie with greens and pear-Chardonnay sauce, and jumbo crab claws. They also have a tapas menu, which I am going to have to try just for the apple & brie panini. Mmmm, melty brie and fruit.

It's an odd location for an upscale restaurant, kitty-corner from a decaying strip mall, so, like Karavalli in the Quality Inn in Rotterdam (which I appear to have not written up: great and wide-ranging Indian menu, branch of a place in Latham that we really like, not near anything and almost always empty), we'll have to go there often to keep them open. Oh, the hardship.

Also, Animaniacs is brilliant, and I'm very glad that it's out on DVD now. Nevermind Tiny Toons, it's the true heir to Looney Tunes as far as I'm concerned.

Things I failed to do this weekend: write up the next chapter of Fellowship; booklog four books; draft the "you may not discuss copyright unless you can pass this test" list; read Inda; convince the dog that she need not bark before 7 a.m. on weekends, truly.

But I did get some work done, and now that I've dashed this off, as Yakko says—g'night, everybody!

kate_nepveu: adult and baby penguin holding wings out to side (whee!)

Last week: Chad's father came and ripped up the ugly green linoleum in our entryway, revealing most of the perfectly decent hardwood floor beneath. A little work with a Dremel tool to get the last of the plywood up (a big piece that extends back under the living room carpet), some refinishing, and the floor will look great in addition to being low enough (without linoleum and plywood adding to the thickness) that we can have a rug on it that doesn't get in the door's way.

Also last week, I caught up with my old roommate from London in a long, long phone conversation; Chad and I caught up with [livejournal.com profile] prince_eric over lunch; and I went to a high school friend's wedding, which was excellent and let me (you guessed it) catch up with some friends there too. Oh, and we semi-watched Battlestar Galactica along the way.

This week, I got a shiny, shiny new LCD monitor at work—I can see what I'm doing now! With extra space on my desk, too! It was a lovely surprise, especially since I'd been sick the day and night before and was very close to not coming in at all that day.

Unfortunately I also got a bunch of work dropped on me that day (and the rest of the week), and have resumed bringing work home, boo hiss. Oh well, the respite was nice.

Tuesday night we had Chad's research students and associated other students over for an end-of-summer dinner. The handy thing about having these outside is that I don't have to kick them all out, the dark does it for me, and earlier than usual too. (I think they had a pool going on when I was going to make them all leave.)

This weekend, we went to see March of the Penguins. The voiceover was slightly cutesy at points, and I would have liked more facts (how many penguins go to the breeding grounds? how many successfully breed in a season? do they have a set pattern for rotating into and out of the center of the big huddle-for-warmth, so that they don't jostle too much? Yes, I'm a geek.) But the information given was fascinating, and besides, OMG PENGUINS!!—err, I mean, there was lots of extreme cuteness (penguins flopping onto snow and then scooting along on their bellies, teeny fuzzy baby penguins peeking out from under their parents' bellies, penguins flapping their wings hard—"hey, these are wings, aren't we supposed to be able to fly?"). This icon is not from the movie, but it is representative of the cuteness levels. I can't wait for the DVD, because the making-of is going to be at least as interesting.

In other media news, this week I discovered the joys of radio plays, either through torrents (have listened to the Ian Carmichael Whose Body?; Clouds of Witness is waiting on the iPod) or recorded off the BBC's web site (have listened to part of a Hercule Poirot mystery, Death on the Nile; lined up are Swallows and Amazons, and what I think might be Kathleen Turner doing V.I. Warshawski in Killing Orders). It was good timing, too, as my inventory of audiobooks was starting to look a bit low.

Today Chad reorganized our hardcover, to-be-read, and duplicate bookshelves. We divided the duplicates into "get rid of any way but the trash" and "possibly hard to find, send to good homes"; I may be posting a list later, I'm not entirely sure how we're going about finding those good homes. And I think this isn't turning into a migraine after all and the dog is growling in her sleep, so it's probably a good time to go to bed.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

I ripped the cast recording of Rent from my parents' CDs last weekend (I only have it on tape), and listening to it reminded me of Angels in America and the two posts I've been intending to write on it since forever, or at least since December 2003 when we got HBO just to see its adaptation. (They're both about New York and AIDS, they both are structured in two parts with the first part being considerably the better, and I saw them both performed while I was in college.)

In very brief, for context, Angels In America is a two-night play (the parts are Millennium Approaches and Perestroika) set in 1985 New York. I would argue that at its core, it's a two-couple story, or more accurately a two former-couples story: Louis leaves Prior because he can't deal with Prior's AIDS, and Joe leaves Harper because he finally admits that he's gay. The four of them interact in various ways, as do people they know (Belize, Prior's nurse and friend; Hannah, Joe's mother; and Roy Cohn, Joe's mentor), an Angel, and some ghosts.

The first post I've been meaning to write is about the HBO adaptation (released on DVD some time ago), which is star-studded and well-intentioned. stage versus screen )

While I generally prefer the stage, I think that overall the HBO version did a very good job; the majority of my negative reactions upon watching weren't to the production, but the content of the second part. That's the second and spoilery post I've been meaning to write, hopefully appearing tomorrow: the fundamental flaw of Angels in America.

Amazingly belated ETA: well, it only took me six years, but the promised post is finally up.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Okay, even though it got the Uncertainty Principle wrong, it was pleasingly tense and clever—oh, and non-needlessly-gross. But the real question is, what the heck kind of accent is Rob Morrow's character supposed to have? It makes my ears itch.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

I finally steeled myself to double-check our New York State income tax returns tonight, being quite surprised to see that it was the 12th today (somehow I'd thought I had more time). I'd struggled through the damn things a few weeks ago, and thought we owed New York a fair amount of money, so I was in no hurry to write that check. Well, I will never again do our taxes without a paper copy of the instructions in front of me: in going back and forth between the PDF instructions, the PDF form, and the Excel file with my calculations, I somehow overlooked that the standard NY deduction is actually larger than our itemized deduction. We still owe New York money, mind, but I'd much rather owe four dollars than four hundred.

Suddenly I'm in a much better mood.

Last week I had emergency duty at work, meaning if anything came in with a short fuse, it was mine. Got off very lightly: there was one potential situation involving medical consent, which would have been very interesting in a messy kind of way, but fortunately it appears to have been resolved without the need for legal intervention. Otherwise I slogged through mounds of uninspiring paperwork and fought to stay awake. I hate the transition to Daylight Saving Time, even as I like the effect.

Being a blah week, we saw a silly movie and had dinner out Saturday night. Hellboy was pretty well what I expected, though somehow I missed that the menace was Lovecraftian in nature. Ugh. I have not dreamt of Cthulhus, however, so I suppose no harm was done. The ending doesn't hold up when thought about, but I enjoyed the characters a lot and didn't much object to the story while it was on the screen.

Trailers: Spider-Man 2 looks really good. I, Robot looks really, really dreadful. Something less Asimov-like I can hardly imagine; it's beyond me why they even bothered to keep the title.

We took a day trip down to Chad's parents yesterday for Easter. It's a little over four hours round-trip, meaning that if we leave the dog at home, we can spent just barely more time visiting than in transit. (We can't bring the dog with because she goes insane being in the same zip code as R.D., Chad's parents' Labrador Retriever.) It was a nice visit, but we were pretty well wiped from the travel, so last night we just loafed around watching Nero Wolfe episodes on DVD. ("Disguise for Murder"? Would have been much more interesting with a more straightforward motive.) It's really a pity that the role of Saul Panzer was miscast for the series proper; in the Golden Spiders movie, the role was played by the actor who plays Lon Cohen in the series, and he was a much better Saul. (Note to self: the second season remains discounted through the end of June. Order it later.)

In house news, we had some lawn-care companies come by and give estimates. It was cheaper than we'd expected, so we're going to have a local company do fertilizing and weed-killing and all that, and then in the fall have them aerate and seed the back, which is patchy and rock-hard when dry and a veritable swamp when damp. I love our backyard, so I'm really looking forward to getting it into a nice, low-maintenance, liveable state.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Okay, the transition from Whose Line Is It Anyway to The 700 Club on cable is just cruel. Family Channel, please don't do that.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

This week was largely taken up with my bench trial on Thursday, which did not, after all, only take one day, because the judge had to leave at 12:30. So this coming Friday, we'll put on the other half or so of our case, and the other side will put on their case; I think we can finish Friday, but it will probably take most of the day. It's a closed hearing, so unless it makes the papers (I hope not, because that would mostly likely mean that things went horribly wrong), no details will be appearing here—it concerns a person who pled not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to a crime.

On Friday, I saw a noteworthy oral argument. )

Current events this week: Hurricane Isabel generated a little rain and some wind Friday, and that was it. And the dog was thrilled that Chad was home this weekend because his conference was rescheduled. Chad did heavy yard work, and I did, hmmm, not much of anything, really. Oh, I made cookies because the neighbors stopped by for dessert tonight (and the dog pulled three off the table where they were cooling and ate two. Apparently she doesn't know or care that chocolate chips are bad for her . . . ).

I'm also getting hit hard with the Swen virus, which is unusual for me; I'm not in any Outlook address books to speak of, so usually I don't get hit with Windows-based viruses. (Usenet addresses appear to be a source, so I think that's it.) I use MailWasher as a spam filter (free or pay, Windows, POP3 or Hotmail; I really like it), and it's catching them all with a pretty simple filter, which I offer here if you're having this problem too: if your program filters on body text, tell it to dump anything with "latest version of security update" and "September 2003 Cumulative Patch".

[ Edited to correct the filter: that's "September 2003, Cumulative Patch" (note comma), which by itself appears to be sufficient, actually. ]

Entertainment this week: watched DVD episodes from the first season of A&E's Nero Wolfe series, The Doorbell Rang and Champagne for One. The series isn't perfect (too much yelling, and no-one ever takes off their hats, which drives me nuts), but it captures the spirit very well, and it's too bad A&E canceled after the second season.

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Let's see, what happened this week?

We had bedroom furniture delivered on Wednesday, so yay, another step in the slow process of making this house look like adults live in it. I moved my stuff into the new dresser and night stand, a strangely enjoyable process (not to mention useful, as I purged a bunch of junk), and resolved to keep the tops of said furniture clear of all but ornamental stuff—we'll see how long that lasts.

Of note at work was a brief flurry of activity regarding an escaped mental health patient, and preparation for a deposition I'm taking this Thursday.

I finally got a haircut yesterday; it was about two months overdue. (I've been going to the same hairdresser back in Massachusetts for ages, but when I was last at my parents', in July, I deliberately did not make an appointment with her, to force myself to find someone out here.) I'm not sure yet whether I like it or not, but at least it's out of my way.

In dog search news, we were baffled to learn this week that a local shelter required things like proof of home ownership before they'd let us interact with any of the dogs. Do you really need to see our deed before we take a dog out of the kennel? Strange. We also went to another adoption clinic for that rescue group we've been dealing with. Nothing that really suited us, but in the small-world vein, the very helpful volunteer who was introducing us to dogs, turned out to be the clerk of a judge that I have a very occasional case in front of. Or perhaps it's just that Albany is a small town.

Food this week:

  • Chalk up another win for the Good Eats cookbook: shrimp scampi done under the broiler is very good indeed.
  • I made tortellini, prosciutto, and peas tonight, because I've really liked it in restaurants. This recipe works very well, though as usual, I replaced the roux + milk step with [livejournal.com profile] papersky's method of just cooking the flour, butter, and milk all together.

Entertainment this week:

The Hot Rock; Jeeves and Wooster; Pirates of the Caribbean )
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

Things that amused me on my commute this week:

  • A trailer truck with the logo "m.s.CARRIER", which I read as considerably less complimentary than they probably intended;
  • A local heating company named "Appolo." I hope that's a family name . . .

Rotten news: another co-worker's parent died this week. This is the fourth in the last six weeks or so; I'm starting to wonder if our bureau's been hexed or something. Also, a co-worker's cousin-in-law was killed in an ambush in Iraq a couple of weeks ago.

The week:

Monday: had company in the afternoon and evening: Chad's parents, the medium-sized monster (a.k.a. their dog), Chad's sister, and Chad's sister's family. I hadn't met her family before, as they live on the other side of the country, so that was good.

Tuesday: Chad's summer students came over for dinner; I said hello and then retreated into my cool dark quiet bedroom with a migraine.

Wednesday: continuing legal education program that was an object lesson in why it is a good idea to tailor one's presentation to one's audience.

Thursday: birthday. Started out well: I actually woke up feeling human for once, and got a silly present. Became progressively sleepier as the day went on, and barely stayed conscious through "Jeeves Takes Charge" (Hugh Laurie is brilliant as Bertie Wooster, but I'd pictured Jeeves a little older and more deadpan in expression than Stephen Fry's portrayal). A considerable improvement over last year, when I was taking the bar exam (Multistate day). I really hope that stays the low point in birthdays.

Friday: call from the rescue group to say they had five young Labs available. When we showed up at the foster parent's home, a matter of hours later, all but one were already adopted; the one left was too headstrong and uninterested in people. Someone experienced with dogs could probably train him up a treat, but at nine months he was too strong for us to want to take on (he was pulling on the lead so hard that he was quite literally choking himself—you could hear him wheezing—and nothing we did seemed to make the connection for him that heeling = breathing). But it's good to know we're on their list for short-notice calls, and it turns out that last week's mishap was probably the result of a series of misunderstandings, so all is reasonably well on the dog search front.

Saturday: did our part to keep up durable goods purchases, by buying bedroom furniture and more paperback bookshelves (bigger ones, too, oooh), and deciding to buy a china cabinet/hutch (i.e., a thing with doors rather than all open shelves, for when pets arrive). Went out to dinner for my birthday, had unexpectedly spicy spaghetti with shrimp (lips-going-numb spicy) and ate too much. Watched The Princess Bride with the director's commentary on, because I wanted a comfort movie and didn't want to overdose on Jeeves and Wooster.

Sunday: woke up at 4:30 in the bleeding morning and stayed awake until about 7:00. I want an off switch (to go with this terrible pain in the diodes all down my left side, don't you know) . . . Dragged self out of bed at a reasonable hour on principle and then wasted the morning anyway, but spent the afternoon on refinishing the bookshelves, with excellent results: all that's left is a coat of gel stain, which will take about half an hour, and they're done done done. Chad made terrific grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner, and now I'm going to bed.

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