Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Man, there's nothing like a good crossover. Unless maybe it's a hysterically funny crossover. For which, check out Cooler Creations' utterly inspired (and inspiring!) page of Farscape characters drawn as characters from The Simpsons. The "character profiles" thingy takes a little while to load (at least, it does if you have a slow connection like me), but believe me, it's worth it. I was laughing uncontrollably by the time we hit Stark, and quite literally fell out of my chair when it got to "Dr. Nick."

Of course, if you'd rather see them done as South Park characters, that's no problem, either! Ain't they cute? You can even change Crichton's outfit. Awwww!

Monday, April 29, 2002

My sister pointed this out to me: now that Lexx is over, they're auctioning off the cosutmes and stuff on ebay. Yes, you can now own Stanley Tweedle's security guard uniform! If I had a few hundred bucks to spare, I might almost be tempted. I can't help but wonder how I'd look in the thing... Better than Stanley, probably.

Sunday, April 28, 2002

I'm taking some time off this week -- sort of a "mental health" vacation -- and one of the things I'm hoping to do is to get caught up a little bit on my big old backlog of Stuff to Watch. Among other things, I went on something of a DVD-buying spree after I finally got my DVD machine (in fact, it's probably not entirely accurate to suggest that said spree is actually over), and I still have a bunch of DVDs I haven't watched yet. I was looking through them today and realized that, while I did watch my copy of The Matrix after I got it, I never did play the commentary track. So this was my main activity for today.

Honestly, I'm not 100% sure just why I felt compelled to buy this particular movie. Yes, visually it's really cool, and I do like stories that play with our notions of reality. But the movie never really impressed me quite as much as it apparently does most people. I think because it got so much praise -- and so much hype -- for being incredibly "original," when it isn't particularly. I mean, come on, "Life is but a dream (or even a computer simulation)" is far from a new idea. And I find the whole premise of the movie more than a little implausible. Yes, the idea of human beings being used as "batteries" and fed their own recycled dead as nutrients is wonderfully horrific, but thermodynamically, it just doesn't work. Is that too nitpicky of me, do you think?

I've been telling myself that the reason I bought the disc anyway, despite those objections, is because the action is, after all, very cool, and because it's been such an influential movie in a number of genres, and because its one of those rare and noteworthy examples of Keanu Reeves actually not sucking. But there is a sneaking suspicion, somewhere in the back of my mind, that the real reason I got the thing is because Farscape's Paul Goddard has a small role as one of the Agents, and I really am just that pathetically obsessive of a TV Sci-Fi fan. (The last time I watched it, the entire way through the movie I kept thinking of Weaving and Goddard as "Agent Elrond" and "Agent Stark." I was actually pretty sorry that I didn't know the guy playing the other Agent from anywhere, because I wanted a nickname for him, too, darn it. Nicknames or not, though, the Agents are cool. I think the Agents were probably one of the coolest things about the movie. Don't ask me why.)

Anyway. I don't have a lot to say about the commentary track (which featured the film editor, the head special effects guy, and actor Carrie-Ann Moss (who was oddly silent for a large chunk of the film)). It was pretty subdued, and not really terribly engaging, though I did find some of the stuff about how they created the visual FX, particularly the more subtle ones, very interesting.

I still haven't watched any of the other extras on the disc, but maybe I'll get around to it soon. Annoyingly, though, it looks like most of the cool stuff is meant to be played on a computer DVD-ROM drive, and I don't have a DVD-ROM drive. Grrr. I think I am forever doomed to be technologically one step behind...

Saturday, April 27, 2002

[NOTE: I tried to post this last night, but Blogger apparently wasn't working. And, like an idiot, I just typed it all in the form box and neglected to make a copy of it before I hit "post," so I lost it all when Blogger choked. So I had to rewrite the whole thing. Fortunately, I'm not quite stupid enough to make the same mistake twice, because I just got the same error message the second time. Hopefully this time it will work. Isn't it impressive, the lengths I'll go to on my heroic quest to keep the world imformed of my opinions? Anyway, for "tonight," everywhere, read "last night."]

The season finale of Farscape was on tonight. (Yeah, if you're lucky, maybe that will mean that I'll shut up about it now... At least until the fourth season premieres in June.) I'm honestly not entirely sure what to make of the episode. I'm thinking I may have to watch it again a time or two to decide whether it actually works or not. It's... strange. But at least it suffers none of the faults I was just complaining about with regard to Enterprise. It's character-driven, it's different, and it's definitely not dull. And, whatever you might say about this particular episode, it certainly leaves things in an interesting state going into the beginning of the fourth season. There are any number of directions things could go in from here, and all of them are interesting. It hasn't left me in the edge-of-my-seat state I was in waiting for the conclusion of the last two-parter, but I'm definitely curious to see what's going to happen next.

Tonight also marked the series finale of Lexx. I hate to say it, but I'm not really too terribly sorry to see this series end. At its best, Lexx was a brilliantly funny and bitingly satirical dark comedy... But at its worst, it was simply, embarrassingly, bad. And, unfortunately, while this past season had a few really good episodes, they generally tended more towards the latter than the former. The final episode, at least, was very good: not only did it feature a few laugh-out-loud moments, in the end it was also surprisingly moving. I am glad that I stuck with the show this long, because it was nice, at least, to see it go out on this kind of a positive note.

Friday, April 26, 2002

Well, I just watched this week's Enterprise last night. (I was going to watch it on Wednesday, but something came up and I ended up taping it instead.) And I find that my reaction to it, like my reaction to most episodes, and quite possibly to the series in general, can be summed up quite succinctly as: "Eh."

It's not that the episode didn't have anything going for it. It was a decent enough story in the traditional Trekkish social-commentary mold. (Now, admittedly, as time goes on I find my taste for the traditional Trekkish social-commentary story is diminishing steadily, but that's my problem, not Enterprise's.) And it was great to see Dean Stockwell again, as a very different character than the one he played opposite Scott Bakula on Quantum Leap. It was also nice to see that they hadn't forgotten the Suliban story arc. Even if this episode didn't really add much of anything to it, it did at least indicate that the writers haven't forgotten about it, and serve to keep us viewers from forgetting about it, either.

So, really, there was nothing at all about the episode that I could actually point to and say "this was bad." But I found my attention wandering as I was watching it, anyway, something that seems to happen to me a lot with this show. There may not have been anything wrong with it, you see, but there also wasn't anything in particular to point to and say "this was good." Like most Enterprise eps, it was there, it was watchable, and I'll probably have forgotten what it was about tomorrow.

Enterprise, in my opinion, has only had two really good episodes so far: "Shuttlepod One" and "Dear Doctor." (And, actually, I had some serious problems with the ethics/morality of the latter, but we'll let that go for now.) Both of those episodes, it's interesting to note, were very strong on characterization, with plot playing a fairly minimal role. I don't think this is coincidence. In fact, the main reason why I find Enterprise as unengaging as it is is that the stories generally tend to be pretty much just standard variants on the same things I've seen before a zillion times, with nothing added to make them feel new, and fresh and exciting. After 30+ years in the Trek universe, the strange new worlds just ain't so strange and new anymore. Now, you can make up for that by having these familiar things happening to interesting new people and here, I think, is where Enterprise is really dropping the ball. It's got a good cast, and it's got characters who obviously have the potential to be very interesting when they're given the chance. ("Shuttlepod One" would never have worked, otherwise.) But the depth of characterization on your typical Enterprise episode (e.g. this week's) is practically nonexistent. And if the characters don't come alive, you can't care about them. And if you don't care about them, it's hard to care about the things that are happening to them or the things they care about. Which means, you're not going to care about what you're watching.

I don't mean to dump on Enterprise too much, really. It's, potentially, at least, not a bad show. It certainly doesn't have anything remotely approaching Voyager's level of suckitude. In a way, though, I almost wish it did, so I could just turn it off and not suffer the vague feeling I have now that I'm pretty much wasting an hour of my time watching it every week. But, hey, it deserves the chance. And if it does improve (as, in my foolish optimism, I hold out a strong hope that it will), I don't want to miss it happening.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

It's silly quiz time again! This time, I've found out which Winnie-the-Pooh character I am:

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

Oh, dear. I wish I could deny it...

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

I can't sleep. Apparently my body still thinks it's on the night shift. This sucks.

So I'm going to entertain myself by recollecting some more good Farscape quotes.

Like, here's one of my favorites (from "Thanks for Sharing"):

[Stark gets stressed out during repairs to a badly-damaged Talyn, and starts showing signs of having one of his patented "episodes"]
CRICHTON: "Astro!" [waves tool back and forth in front of Stark's face and chants hypnotically] "Work now... freak... later... work now... freak... later... "
STARK: "Oh, yeah... yes... that's fair."
STARK: "How much later?"

I love Stark.

And I can't believe I didn't include any Rygel quotes. That guy gets some great lines:

From "Out of Their Minds":

[Alien vomits all over the floor]
ALIEN: "Excuse."
RYGEL: " No, that's all right. We do that sort of thing all the time here on Moya. I just peed in the maintenance bay."

Honestly, that one is hysterically funny in context. So's the whole episode, come to that. And between this and the "It's puke?" line I quoted last time, you're getting a glimpse of a recurring motif in Farscape. It probably features more vomit -- total or per episode -- than any other science fiction show in history. Speaking of funny quotes, I'm tempted to mention the time Stark opened a ship-to-ship communication by shouting "Vomit! Vomit!" for no reason that anybody on the other ship could immediately grasp. Of course, it not only made complete sense in Stark's mind, but it actually turned out that what he was trying to communicate was a highly intelligent (and ultimately successful) plan for saving everybody's bacon. Did I mention that I love Stark? Even if the poor guy is like some kind of magnet for projectile muppet-vomit.

OK, I'm insomniac, and I'm rambling. Where was I? Ah, Rygel quotes. How's this one:

CRICHTON: "I'm sick of having you sell us out every chance you get!"
RYGEL: "I don't do it every chance!"

From "A Clockwork Nebari." I actually had that one in my .sig for a while. It's just such a splendid example of how different this show is from the conflictless everybody-gets-along of Star Trek. (Not that I don't love Star Trek. But, still, there's only so much human perfection one can take...)

Let's not forget Zhaan while we're quoting people. From "Through the Looking Glass":

[Chiana is relating an anecdote about some amusing act of violence and mayhem she wreaked in her past. Apparently, she suddenly realizes that she's talking to a priest.]
CHIANA: "Should I be telling you this?
ZHAAN: "My dear, I've kicked more ass than you've sat on."

She has, too.

And then there's D'Argo. From "Different Destinations":

[The gang have ended up going back in time, and are desperately afraid of doing anything to change the future. Which is unfortunate, because they're being attacked.]
CRICHTON: "Hey, try not to kill anybody!"
D'ARGO: "I'm not gonna kill anyone..." [A soldier rushes towards him.] "Oh... I-I might kill this guy..."

I love that episode, by the way. It's a perfect example of what I was talking about (or quoting David Kemper talking about) a couple of posts ago: the way this series likes to do familiar things in totally new ways. Farscape does Star Trek's "City on the Edge of Forever": inside-out, upside-down, and twice as tragic.

Speaking of Star Trek, Farscape definitely acknowledges its predecessors. My favorite Trek reference (from "Losing Time"):

[Crichton is trying to communicate with a DRD -- a little robot drone. It makes some bleeps and bloops at him, but he totally fails to understand it.]
CRICHTON: " All right, we don't understand the R2-D2 crap. We're gonna use the Star Trek system. One blink for yes, two blinks for no."

...And for the rest of the episode, he refers to it as "DRD Pike"! And if you get that joke, then, congratulations, you're a Star Trek fan!

I'll leave you with a couple of mildly naughty ones:

From "Liars, Guns, and Money, pt. 1":
[Bad guy Scorpius is overheating badly, and is trying to get Crichton to give him his coolant rod]
SCORPIUS: "Insert the rod, John!"
CRICHTON: "You're really not my type."

I must admit, I completely missed that the first time I saw this one. Which just made it all the funnier the second time...

And, since we haven't heard from Aeryn yet:

[Crichton and Crais are squabbling, and Aeryn is getting really fed up with it]
AERYN: "Talyn, you've seen them both naked. Perhaps you can tell us who's bigger."

Alas, for those of us who are curious, Talyn fails to answer...

OK, now I'm getting silly and crude, so maybe it's time to try going back to sleep again...

(By the way, just in case anybody's wondering, I am not remembering all these off the top of my head! The web is your friend! You can find episode transcripts on it, and everything!)

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Since I've been babbling on about Farscape so much here, I thought I'd share some of my favorite quotes from the show. Or at least, some of the more amusing ones. (Angsty/dramatic quotes, after all, aren't nearly that entertaining out of context.)

Here ya go:

From "Infinite Possibilities, Pt 1.:

[Stark has been appointed to guide the temporarily blinded Crais.]
STARK: "Let me be your eye!"

OK, it's mostly his delivery. And it probably isn't all that funny unless you know what Stark looks like. But that line cracks me up every time I think about it.

I love Stark's idea of a damage report from that same episode, too:

STARK: "Damage! Damage! Damage!"

Actually, that whole exchange between him and Crais is worth quoting:

STARK: "Damage, damage, damage!"
CRAIS: "Whatever would I do without your verbal gifts?"
STARK: "Oh, you want more words? Well, the conduits are damaged, bulkheads damaged, external sensors damaged too! There is nothing that is not damaged."
CRAIS: "Least of all, you!"
STARK: "I can see!"

(Those two make such a fun team...)

But the award for Best Deadpan Delivery has to go to this line from Part 2:

ALIEN: "My name is [long string of incomprehensible alien syllables]. But you can call me Jack."

The only other episode I can think of that's nearly as rich in great quotes is "Crackers Don't Matter." E.g.:

CRICHTON: "I hate it when villains quote Shakespeare."


[A figment of Crichton's imagination (uh, sort of) is urging him to kill his shipmates]
"HARVEY": "Go on, John, do it. Then we can go to the beach! I know a place with naked Sebacean girls and margarita shooters."

[Zhaan is coating John's skin with some protective goo.]
CRICHTON: "What the hell is this?"
ZHAAN: "Heat-deflecting paste. You'll burn up in there without it."
CRICHTON: "Smells like puke."
ZHAAN: "I pre-digested it to increase its potency."
CRICHTON: "It's puke?!"

And probably the most memorable line from that ep.:

CRICHTON: "Humans are superior!"

Though that one's not remotely as funny without the visual.

Then there's these other classic Crichton quotes:

From the Premier:

CRICHTON: "Boy, was Spielberg ever wrong. Close encounters, my ass."

And from "Meltdown:

CRICHTON: "God-like aliens. Man, do I hate god-like aliens. I'll trade a critter for a god-like alien any day."

I could go on... Heck, maybe I will. Later. For the moment, though, lest Farscape draw too much of a claim on my fannish attention, I'll also add some of my favorite Blake's 7 quotes:

AVON: "I am not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going!"

From "Horizon." Probably Avon's most famous line, that. (Well, no actually, I guess it'd likely be his second most famous line. His most famous one would probably be from the final episode. If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about. And if you haven't, I'm certainly not gonna spoil it for you.)

AVON: "Staying with you requires a degree of stupidity of which I no longer feel capable."
BLAKE: "No, you're just being modest."

From "Breakdown." Winner of the All-Time Best Putdown award!

AVON: "It could be a trap."
GAN: "It's not a very good one, then. We're suspicious of it already."
AVON: "The test is not whether you are suspicious, but whether you are caught."

From "Bounty." This has become my roleplaying motto!

Oh, and I can harly fail to mention the second prize for All-Time Best Putdown:

[Zen the computer is being uncooperative with Avon]
JENNA: "I don't think he likes you, somehow."
AVON: "I think I may have to reprogram this machine."
JENNA: "That still won't make you likable."

Or the host of lovely lines from "Shadow":

[Avon is refusing to part with some gemstones unless guest character Largo offers him what he really wants in trade.]
AVON: "They have a sentimental value for me."
LARGO: "Oh, family heirlooms, eh?"
AVON: "No, I'm just sentimental about money."


AVON: "Moon discs. Prized by collectors."
BLAKE: "People collect odd things."
JENNA: "Look what you ended up with." [i.e., the gang of misfits that comprise the rest of his crew!]

And, just because I haven't quoted the extremely quotable Vila:

From "Children of Auron":

VILA: "The Himalayas are quite tall at this time of the year."

All right. I'l l stop now.

Monday, April 22, 2002

Just read a nice interview with David Kemper, the executive producer/writer for Farscape, over on the Sci-Fi Channel's website. I love this guy. I love his writing, I love his whole attitude towards the show. There's a great quote from him in the interview: "Our model is to do exactly what everyone's done before, but do it in a different way." I'm not sure I could have summed up the primary appeal of the series any more succinctly. That is, in fact, exactly what they do, and the result is something that is at once comfortably familiar and yet surprisingly new and fresh.

Something else he said that was interesting is that he thought they could very well have expanded the final four episodes of this season out into a six-parter. I'm rather sorry they didn't go that route, actually. I've been enjoying the heck out of this story arc so far, but there definitely were things that were left out that really ought to have been included. E.g., at the end of the last episode before the long hiatus ("Fractures"), John is outlining his Cunning Plan, and only two of his shipmates express any desire to go along with it. The rest of them think it's crazy and suicidal and want no part of it. But, come the start of the next episode, apparently everybody's on board. For most of the characters, it's not that difficult to figure out why they changed their minds. But we really should have seen John talking them around. I can only assume that the reason we didn't is because there simply wasn't time, what with all the other important plot stuff the next few episodes had to do. But, hey, other than that, there ain't a whole lot to complain about... Well, OK, that and the annoying aliens from episode 3.19...
Great episode of Futurama on tonight. One of the best Star Trek parodies I've seen, in fact (and believe me, I've seen a lot of 'em!). You can tell that the writers/animators really know their subject matter, because I spotted about six thousand Trek references that only a pathetically obsessed fan could possibly be expected to get. (Though I do believe there were more than five episodes featuring energy beings, depending on one's definition of energy being.) I'm glad I happened to tape this one, because I think I'm going to hang on to it. And, hey, I even got a new .sig quote out of the experience!

What makes it even more amusing, though, is that I had a character in a short-lived GURPS space game who was a member of the "Orthodox Church of Star Trek," pretty much just exactly as portrayed in the episode. Fortunately, nobody attempted to throw her into a volcano...

It's such a darned pity that they're yanking Futurama off the air. As Bender put it, "yet another classic science fiction show cancelled before its time." What I find particularly depressing about this is that I've probably only seen about half to two-thirds of the episodes. They kept pre-empting the show so damn much that it was hard for me to remember to watch it when it was actually on! I wonder if they'll ever put it out on DVD?

And speaking of things that are a pity... Tonight's Simpsons turned out to be a clip show. I turned it off. I mean, what's the point? Why don't they just show a rerun? At least that way we'd actually get to watch an entire story...

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Here's a nifty-cool website a friend just put me on to: Powers of Ten. View the universe at different magnifications! I've seen this done before in book format, but somehow it's even more effective as a web-movie thingy. If nothing else, it's sure to give you a better idea of just how gosh-darn big our galaxy is...

Saturday, April 20, 2002

I've been taking some more stupid quizzes. I'm sure there's something more productive I could be doing, but, hey, it's 4:30 in the morning...

Anyway, I have now answered the burning question of which Muppet I would be if I were a Muppet:

You are Kermit!
Though you're technically the star, you're pretty mellow and don't mind letting others share the spotlight. You are also something of a dreamer.

Actually, I do have some Kermit-like qualities, I must admit. My good nature is easily taken advantage of. And I know all the words to "The Rainbow Connection."

I also found out which Addams Family member I am:

You're Morticia Addams!

Take The Addams Family Test Here!

I suppose it's better than being Cousin It, but I'm a little disappointed that I didn't end up being Gomez. I mean, come on, everybody knows Gomez was the cool Addams.

And, finally, I'm sure you were all dying to know which Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy character I am:

Which Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy character are you?

Yeah, I'm a hoopy frood who really knows where her towel is! Actually, I did used to carry a towel with me whenever I travelled. Douglas Adams was right, it does come in handy...

What I want to know is, what the heck do Kermit the Frog, Morticia Addams and Ford Prefect actually have in common?!

Friday, April 19, 2002

Tonight's Farscape was awesome. And I do mean that in the literal sense of "awe-inspiring." We're talking mouth hanging open, sitting in front of the TV for five minutes after the episode's over quietly reapeating the word "Wow" over and over awe. It's great to have a show to get this excited over again. I honestly can't remember spending this much sheer edge-of-the-seat adrenaline on a TV storyline since ST:TNG's "The Best of Both Worlds."

I'm not going to say anything really specific about the episode here, because I'd never forgive myself if I spoiled it for anyone who hasn't seen it. But I will say that I see it as very much validating the analysis of Crais that I posted here a week or two ago. There is one particular moment in this ep. where Crais is finally completely in control, and in its own bizarre, twisted way, it's glorious.

And I still can't wait to see where it goes from here...
I've been taking some useless quizzes. I was interested to see whether I would survive a horror movie, and got pretty much exactly the answer I would have expected:

Would you survive a horror movie? Find out @ She's Crafty

You made it through the flick, but, um, it's not a pretty picture. You're the bloody heap in the corner who everyone thought was dead until you stumble into the hero's arms after the bad guy bites it (think Jamie Kennedy in Scream). You are a smart and fiesty person, but you're also a little reckless and you tend to put yourself in awkward positions -without a good weapon. But even though you get sliced up a bit, you get to survive and that's all that matters. Who needs all those toes, ears, and arms you'll be missing by the end of the flick anyway?

It was much more gratifying to learn which action-movie hero I match up to:

Which Action Star Are You? Find out @ She's Crafty


Thursday, April 18, 2002

I know, I haven't posted anything here in a few days. Guess blogging isn't quite that addictive, after all. That's nice to know.

I suspect that a large part of the reason why I haven't written anything here since Saturday is that there hasn't been much of anything good on TV... Well, I did watch a couple of episodes of Buffy on Tuesday, but they were pretty heavy on the character-arc stuff that, being the non-regular viewer that I am, I don't really have the context to comment on.

Fortunately, even when I have no good TV shows, I still have books based on TV shows. Many of which, of course, pretty much suck (there are reasons why I more or less gave up reading Star Trek novels after the first hundred or so (and probably even more reasons why I should have done that a lot earlier)). As far as media tie-ins go, the award for best good stuff-to-drek ratio has go to Doctor Who. Some of those Who novels are downright excellent, and I mean that without even a "for a TV tie-in" qualifier.

I just finished The Face of the Enemy, which while it doesn't qualify for the "excellent" categorization was at least entertaining. This was an unusual book, in that it's a Doctor Who novel that the Doctor's not actually in (well, at least not for more than a couple of pages). Instead, he's off on a little interstellar jaunt, and the guys from UNIT have to deal with the world-threatening crisis on their own (with a little "help" from the Master). Cool idea, but I was just a little bit disappointed, because I'd hoped it would be a chance for the UNIT characters like Benton and Yates to really shine, but they still ended up taking a back seat to the bad guys and the Master and the Brigadier. Pity.

I'm particularly fond of Sgt. Benton, who I regard as the great unsung hero of Doctor Who. The guy never got much recogonition, never got all that much screen time, but he was a great character all the same. Intelligent, level-headed, good-natured, competent... I remember being impressed by the way he grasped the Doctor's explanation of TOMTIT (Transmission Of Matter Through Interstitial Time, for the curious) quite readily (and accurately!) while everyone else was basically standing around going "huh?" And he gets major points from me for his reaction upon seeing the inside of the TARDIS for the first time: "Well," says the Doctor testily, "aren't you going to say 'it's bigger on the inside than on the outside'? Everyone else does." And Benton just swallows and says "Well, it's obvious, innit?" and then proceeds to get on with the business at hand. Adaptable fellow, Benton. And you've got to give him credit for the equanimity with which he generally handles both the Brigadier's stodginess and the Doctor's eccentricity, even while both of them are placing utterly bizarre demands on him.

He would have made a great companion, and I was always sorry he never got to travel in the TARDIS. Then again, maybe he wasn't really companion material, after all. Couldn't see him twisting his ankle and screaming...

Saturday, April 13, 2002

There was another new Farscape episode on last night. Man, oh, man. The plot's now gotten so thick you'd need a laser torch to cut it. The really interesting thing about this is that at this point I'm not actually sure I even know how I want things to turn out. Which is great, because it makes it very hard to predict how things are in fact going to turn out. I certainly don't see any simple "bad guys lose, good guys win" possibilities here, especially as you've got a situation where a loss for the Bad Guy would quite possibly spell a victory for the Worse Guys. Rock, hard place, John Crichton. It's all so very Farscape...

And then there's that final plot twist! Yee-ow! Just when you thought the stakes couldn't get any higher... Can't wait to see what's going to happen next!

Friday, April 12, 2002

Did you ever have one of those moments where you just find yourself thinking "Wow, my life is so cool?" I just had one of those.

Bit of background: There's an astronomer/shuttle astronaut, John Grunsfeld, who once did some observing out at the VLA, and apparently carries some very fond memories of the place. Now, the astronauts get an allowance of a certain number of items that they're allowed to carry on each flight on behalf of some group or organization. And this guy decided it would be cool to take up something on behalf of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (so he'd have an excuse to come back here, or so he says!). He ended up taking a big flag with the NRAO logo, which all the NRAO employees (including yours truly) got to sign.

The shuttle mission was last month, and today he came here to present the flag, and gave a really great little talk about what it was like to work on the Hubble Space Telescope, complete with video footage. And at some point I'm sitting there in a smallish room with a few dozen other people, looking at this astronaut who's holding a piece of cloth with my name on it that's been up on the space shuttle as he's happily describing to us what it's like to work in space, and it hits me. This is exactly the kind of thing the space-struck little kid that I once was would be so jealous of! I had something of the same feeling the first time I got to walk around on top of a radiotelescope dish. And when I realized that I was actually working in a room labelled -- quite sincerely -- "control room."

Sometimes my job is really annoying. Other times, you know... it has its compensations.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Well, I finally finished reading Dune. And, honestly, I'm still not sure how I feel about the book. It does get more absorbing as you go along, particularly once past those initial 200 pages of exposition that I mentioned earlier. Indeed, it develops into quite an interesting story, full of intrigue, violence, and mystical freakiness. And the world-building is absolutely top-notch. Not only is Arrakis (aka Dune) a well-rendered and very believable place, but there are a zillion little details that attest to the existence of an entire galactic history, vast and complex.

Yet, somehow, I'm still inclined to think that this book is a little overrated. Part of that may be due to the fact that it is a rather slow read, particularly at the beginning. A lot of it probably has to do with the writing style. It's got an odd, repetetive, almost dreamlike quality that works really, really well for the mystical-freakiness scenes, but not necessarily quite so well elsewhere. It may just be me, but there were places where I found it downright annoying, not least of all due to the fact that Herbert seems to like to pick one particular phrase to describe something, and then to use it over and over and over. By the end, I think if I'd heard about Paul's "terrible purpose" or Gurney's "inkvine scar" one more time, I would've screamed.

I remember being a lot more impressed by this book when I read it the first time, but then, I was a lot more easily impressed at the age of 14. I suspect the fact is that I found it mildly difficult to read at that point, and took this for a sign that it was, in fact, Great Literature. Well, I don't think it is. It's an interesting book. It's a worthwhile book. But, no, I'm not gonna vote for it as the Best Science Fiction Novel of All Time. Go ahead, call me a philistine. See if I care.

Next off the To-Read Pile is The Scientist in the Crib: Minds, Brains, and How Children Learn by Alison Gopnik, Andrew N. Meltzoff & Patricia K. Kuhl. I've got a ten-month-old nephew (who, much to my frustration, I haven't seen since he was two months), and I'm curious about what's going on in that tiny little brain of his.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

OK, I mentioned a couple of posts back that I've been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD recently. I'd actually only ever seen a few sporadic episodes of this show before, and while I really liked what I'd seen, I somehow just never did manage to make a point of catching it regularly. (This is, in fact, something of a pattern with me. It seems like I almost never get into a show until it's been on the air for at least a couple of years. Although even that's a big improvement: it used to be that it wouldn't happen until the show'd been off the air for at least a couple of years.). Anyway, after a little prompting from my sister (who's a big Buffy fan), I decided to make an effort to actually sit down and watch the thing in some sort of serious way. The problem is, despite the aforementioned pattern, I really do much prefer to start watching a series from the beginning, especially when it's as strong on continuity as I've been told Buffy is. The solution? Well, I discovered that you can get the entire first season on DVD for about thirty bucks. Yeah, that's only 12 episodes, but it still seems like a pretty good deal to me. So I shelled out for it, and I've been bingeing on Buffy for about the past week.

The first few epsiodes were only OK, but somewhere in episode 4 something suddenly clicked, and I found myself falling quite in love with the show. Which isn't too surprising, I guess, since it has many of the same qualities that appeal to me about Farscape. (And, no, I'm not going to go off onto that subject again. Well, not much.) For one thing, I've always particularly liked shows (and, for that matter, books and movies) which blend together different genres and styles of storytelling. The result, if it's done right, can be something wonderfully refreshing and different, something much more than the sum of its parts. And Buffy definitely goes in for that sort of genre-blending. It's got character-based drama. (Though, admittedly, not nearly so much in those first 12 episodes as in some of the later ones that I've seen. You've got to establish your characters first, after all, before you can effectively start putting them through the emotional wringer.) It's got action-adventure. It's got classic horror elements. It's got humor. Lots of humor. In fact, one of the things I like best about the show is its ability to be both funny and serious at the same time. You have to have good actors to be able to pull that off, and Buffy, fortunately, is blessed with an excellent cast who know just how to make it work.

The other thing that particularly impresses me about the show (and which, again, is also part of what appeals to me so strongly about Farscape) is its willingness to do things that are totally unexpected. There were a number of plot twists, just in those first 12 episodes, that took me completely by surprise, and a few others that doubtless would have if I hadn't known about them in advance. (One of the major disadvantages to coming into a show that's already got six year's worth of episodes, a huge fan base, and a spinoff series is that it's rather difficult to avoid spoilers.) There were some interviews and commentaries featuring the show's creator, Joss Whedon, on the discs, and according to him, this is very intentional. In fact, the entire concept of the show is based on him taking a horror-movie cliche -- the helpless blonde, female, teenage victim -- and deliberately turning it on its head. I love that sort of thing. I love having my expectations subverted. I love seeing new and different twists on old ideas. Indeed, the older and more jaded and cynical I get as a viewer, the less patience I seem to have with the predictable and the familiar. (I could go on about the last couple of episodes of Enterprise at this point in illustration, but this is supposed to be about Buffy, so I won't.)

The series also has some really good characters, which isn't just a desireable feature, IMO, but an essential one. I can believe in these people. The weirdness factor aside, I can almost believe I went to high school with some of them. My personal favorites, hands down, are Willow and Giles. Now, this is exactly what we need in today's world: more introverts on TV! I must, say, though, that I did find myself slightly disappointed by one particular character: Angel. I'm always seeing this dude in TV Guide and places like that, and he's always being described with words like "sexy" and "fascinating." So I was expecting something a bit more... special. I mean sure, I guess he's good looking enough, in that bland, generically hunky sort of way. But he does absolutely nothing for me, either appearance- or personality-wise. (On the other hand, I think Giles is absolutely adorable, so maybe my tastes are -- ahem -- a little idiosyncratic.) Oh, well, maybe he gets more interesting later on. But there is no doubt about it whatsoever: Nick Knight's status as the Sexiest Vampire on TV is quite secure.

But, hey, we can't all be Nick. I'm certainly not gonna hold that against the show. In fact, I hear that the season two DVDs are gonna be out in a couple of months... Where's my wallet?

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Here's an amusing website a friend happened to mention to me a while back: http://www.eclipse.net/~srudy/flw/index.html. It's a list of RPG characters' "Famous Last Words." And it's a loooong list, so it does get a bit repetitous after a while, but some of 'em are pretty darned amusing.

Reminds me of a couple of incidents from my own gaming experience. (Though not ones involving any of my own characters. They seldom seem to have enough time to utter any last words, somehow.) For instance, there was the Torg session where a priest and a couple of other PCs prayed to the Torg multiverse's overarching deity to "take up somewhere safe." They rolled astonishingly well on the miracle... And were never heard from again.

Or the D&D game where we were all offered the use of some kind of teleportation spell or device (it's been a while, so the details are kind of fuzzy). One by one, each member of the party was asked where they wanted to go, and each picked somewhere different and was instantly transported there. When it came to the last guy, apparently he couldn't decide where he wanted to go and said, "Just take me where the rest of them went." He then proceeded to reappear in several places at once. Messy!

I think the moral of both these stories is "be careful what you wish for." Which is a bit trite, admittedly, but it's worth bearing in mind...

Monday, April 08, 2002

Well, I woke up at about 8:00 this morning (I blame the cats), after about 5 hours of sleep, maximum, which I suppose is a good thing when it comes to switching off the night shift (since with any luck I'll be able to get to sleep with no trouble tonight), but which otherwise kind of sucks, as I don't really feel like I have the mental or physical energy to do much today except sit in front of this computer. (Or in front of the TV, but I've already done a lot of that today. Made considerable progress through the Buffy DVDs. More on that show at another time, I'm sure.) And I've already answered all my e-mail, so here I am again.

Is it starting to sound like I'm using sleep deprivation as an excuse to ramble incoherently about subjects nobody but me is likely to be interested in? Probably. But it's a good excuse.

So I think I'll do that psychological analysis of Captain Crais now. Just because I haven't beaten the Farscape horse nearly to death yet. You will soon discover, in case it hasn't already become abundantly clear, that this entire blog, from now until the end of time (or until I get bored with it and quit) is primarily going to focus on TV shows. Yes, this is my life. I analyze TV shows. That high school teacher who taught us we could do literary analysis on rock music probably has a lot to answer for, as I can handily excercise that skill on any of a wide variety of pop cultural phenomena. So here's my midterm essay for my degree in Farscapeology, entitled:

Captain Crais: What the Hezmana Goes on in This Man's Mind?

(Spoilers are pretty much inevitable, so you've been warned.)

Now, the interesting thing about Captain Bialar Crais is that he starts out as a very two-dimensional kind of villain... but he refuses to stay that way. Crais is basically the driving plot device for the entire first season: Coyote to Crichton's Roadrunner, so to speak. (And never mind for the moment that it was a different character who got cast in the Coyote role when they actually did the Looney Toons episode, OK?) Chrichton was responsible for the death of Crais' brother, so Crais is going to chase Crichton round the Antares Maelstrom and round the moons of Niveah, and... Oh, sorry, wait, that's Khan. Or possibly Ahab. Anyway, he's going to get Crichton for it if it's the last thing he does. No matter what it takes. Even though it was obviously an accident.

Now, the thing is, this is clearly a) insanely obsessive, and b) stupid. Crais disobeys orders, risks his career, and blows off whatever other important military missions he ought to be pursuing to go and chase John Crichton all over the Uncharted Territories. He even kills his second in command, who gives every sign of being completely loyal to him and willing to go along with this merry chase despite orders to the contrary, just on the off chance that she might decide to blab to Peacekeeper High Command. Like I said, insanely obsessive. As for the stupid part, Crichton himself does an excellent job of pointing out, in "That Old Black Magic," just how ridiculous the notion is that he either could or would have deliberately taken on a complete stranger in a heavily armed fighter ship with his own teeny little primitive unarmed module two seconds after arriving at this end of the universe.

However. The Crais we see in the second and third seasons, after his apparent "change of heart," is obviously anything but stupid. He is in fact quite shrewd, a strategist, a guy who figures all the angles. (See Crichton's analysis of his motivations in "Relativity," which I think is probably pretty close to spot on. Crais knew just what he was doing when he hooked up with Talyn. He'd calculated the odds of his own survival and lengthened them in the best way he could possibly manage.) He's also somehow gotten over that whole obsession thing. He tells Crichton that he now believes his brother's death was an accident, and he seems quite sincere about it. He's certainly no longer trying to kill Crichton, and, whether selfishly motivated or not, he is willing to function as Crichton's ally. What happened to the insane and irrational thirst for vengeance? That's not exactly the sort of thing you just "get over" for no good reason. So how do we reconcile this?

Well, the Aurora Chair almost certainly had something to do with it. Crais may very well be the first person in history to come out of the Chair more sane than he went in. Being forced to review his life over and over may well have given him some new measure of perspective on it, may have forced him to realize just how pointless and misguided so many of his actions have been. And, of course, simple necessity doubtless had a lot to do with it as well. With his life falling apart around him as he is reduced to the status of fugitive himself, it's perhaps not too surprising that his priorities change.

But I don't think that can account for all of it. The fact is, the Crais we see in the 2nd and 3rd seasons is a very complex character. And whatever uses the Aurora Chair might have, I don't think the ability to create a complex character out of a simple one or a smart character out of a stupid one is among them. The Crais of season one must already have been a complex and intelligent person, then. So the question becomes, what was going on inside this complex and intelligent person's mind that made him behave in such an irrational and simple-minded manner?

I think the answer lies in one very important, very fundamental observation about Crais' character, and one that does seem to be consistent over the course of the entire series to date: The man is a control freak. This comes out most clearly, I think, in "Meltdown." In that episode, Talyn is leaking some kind of stimulant mist that causes already existing impulses and personality traits to grow exaggerated. So Aeryn and John, rather embarrasingly (for them and for the audience!) find themselves overwhelmed by their newly-indulged lust for each other. Rygel goes on an eating binge of proportions unprecedented even for him. Stark's talking to invisible people and generally being utterly incoherent, so apparently it didn't actually have any effect on him. (No offense, there, Stark!) But Crais... Crais goes off into "I am the captain and you will obey me!" mode, waving his pulse pistol around trying to force everyone to follow his orders and generally getting very, very pissed off at the fact that he's not in control. This, I believe, is very telling.

So, OK, Crais is a control freak. What does that have to do with his vendetta against Crichton? Well, consider this: not only is Bialar Crais Tauvo Crais' commanding officer, but he also was charged by their parents, as the "recruiters" were dragging them off, to watch out for his little brother. So Tauvo's safety falls firmly in the category of things that Crais feels he ought to have control of.

So, here's my thought. Crais refuses to believe that it was an accident, because there's nothing you can do about an accident. Shit happens, and you just have to accept it when it does. Some things are simply out of your control. And Crais does not like things being out of his control. If his brother's death was murder, a deliberate act perpetrated by an identifiable enemy, than there's something Crais can do about it. He can hunt down his brother's killer, take revenge, and regain the sense that he's in control of the situation. The knowledge that it really was a stupid accident, perpetrated by an "inferior life form" in a ridiculously primitive ship, is intolerable to him... Because, if that's the case, there's nothing he can do about it. This is why, when Crichton tries to explain in "That Old Black Magic," his carefully reasoned explantion only whips Crais into a greater frenzy. He doesn't want to hear it, because he doesn't want to admit it to himself.

So, what changes? Again, the Aurora Chair is undoubtledly a factor, but probably not the only one. I suspect it has more to do with the fact that, by "Family Ties," Crais is experiencing a loss of control far worse than the one he felt when he was unable to prevent his brother's death. By the end of season one, Crais has lost control of everything. Scorpius has taken over his Command Carrier. His career is over. He is almost certainly going to be executed. He's hit rock bottom, in other words, and finally realized what it really means to have lost control. This, too, is bound to give him a bit of perspective on the irrationality of his former actions. Moreover, the only way he has any hope of being able to get control over his life back at this point is to put aside his old vendetta and make peace with Crichton. And the need to be in control his situation right now strongly outweighs his need to feel in control of something that happened a year ago to someone else, even if that someone was his brother.

SO, uh, Q.E.D.

Man, I love this stuff. Be careful I don't get started on the Blake's 7 characters, or we'll be here all night...

Sunday, April 07, 2002

A friend of mine just sent me one of those "getting to know you" answer-the-questions things. I didn't send it on to anyone else, since I've passed on enough of this kind of thing already, but just in case anyone actually has a burning desire to get to know me better, here were my answers:


Can I pick an alternate reality?


Big, comfy, oversize T-shirts


The eyes. It's definitely the eyes.


The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack,The Merry Sisters of Fate by Lunasa (an instrumental Celtic band) and the Barenaked Ladies' Disc One.


In a nice hot bubble bath with a good book.


I dunno. At the dentist's?


It's been so long since I had a massage I don't think I even remember what it feels like.




Well, today I woke up at about 4:30 PM. I'd say my wake-up time probably varies anywhere from about 9 AM to 7 PM. Such is the life of a shift-worker.


The coffeepot. Couldn't live without it.


When science fiction TV shows with a lot of potential end up in the hands of bad writers and turn into complete crap. (Yes, Voyager, Andromeda, I'm talkin' to you!)


I'm so not musical. Maybe the guitar.


Blue. Or black.


Well, I'm not big on either, really, but of the two, I'll take the SUV.




Ooh, hard to say. Probably someting by Daniel Pinkwater.


Fall. Which is practically nonexistent here in New Mexico.


It used to be doing the dishes, but I've pretty much gotten that down to a routine now, and it gives me something to do while listening to music. So, um, cleaning out the fridge, maybe.


I've been giving this one some thought, and I think I gotta go for invulnerability. I'd like to not have to worry about being hit by a bus.


Are you kidding? Tattoos involve needles!


No. I am a klutz.


My stepfather (mother's second husband). We didn't always get along, but he was really good for my mom, and I wish I'd told him that.


Any day I have off work.


Nothing. Well, there's a spare tire in the little compartment.


Hamburger. Raw fish, ewww!


I'm only sending it back to the person who sent it to me, because the rest of my e-friends have seen stuff like this from me before and are probably tired of it.


See above


I'm really not into flowers. Hyacinths are kind of nice, though.

Saturday, April 06, 2002

Well, I'm still sitting here at work, once again feeling bored and more than a little sleep-deprived (I woke up "early" this afternoon and just couldn't get back to sleep). I've surfed all the interesting web sites I can think of, and I don't really feel like going back to Dune just yet. Sigh. It's one of those nights when I almost hope that something will break, just to give me something to do. (I know, I know, be careful what you wish for...)

So I thought I'd come back here -- is this blogger thing addictive or something? -- and talk about Farscape some more. (I know Farscape is addictive!)

In addition to the new episode, they also re-ran the Farscape Undressed special last night (or, for those of us currently on the night shift, "earlier today"). Which was nice, because I didn't see it the last time it was on. It's an hour-long special which does an excellent job of introducing the characters and getting viewers caught up on the storyline up through the beginning of the third season. Unfortunately, however, we're now at the end of the third season. I really think they should have included a word of warning about the dated nature of the thing. I can only imagine how confused a new viewer would be having just been told that he's now all caught up, only to discover that the episode shown immediately afterward didn't follow on from the second-season cliffhanger at all.

And I do actually have one major beef with the character intros. They do a great job of introducing all the regular and semi-regular characters who were on the show at the time... Except one. Where was Stark? They did show a clip of one particularly significant moment between him and Zhaan, but there was absolutely no context to it to tell people just who this guy is. Poor Stark. No regonition. No respect. He gets dumped on by fans (well, many of them). He gets dumped on by the other characters. He gets dumped on by the universe in general. And since he's lost his one defender/supporter in the universe, I somehow feel compelled to take up that mantle and stick up for the guy. Which isn't hard, because I happen think he's a really great character. I'll be very disappointed if they don't bring him back for the fourth season.

OK, I've probably gone on more than enough about one frelling TV show. Maybe next time I'll talk about Blake's 7 instead...

Friday, April 05, 2002

You know, this blog thing is really rather fun. It's sort of like talking to yoursef: an activity I very much enjoy, though I generally try not to do it in public. Apparently doing it on the internet is socially acceptable, though.

Anyway, let's see, I can go ahead and wibble on about the stuff I didn't get around to last night. So, OK, yeah, I'm currently re-reading Dune. (Actually, this isn't completely unrelated to last night's post, either, as it was my 9th grade English teacher (one of the few English teachers I've met who didn't look down his nose at science fiction), who recommended the book to me in the first place, back in my impressionable teenage years. And he was also the guy who introduced me to the Who's Tommy. We actually covered the rock opera in class. Spent weeks on it, subjecting the thing to full-out literary analysis. It was great. Gave me a new appreciation for both literary analysis and rock music. That guy was so cool.)

So, right, where was I? Re-reading Dune, yes. One thing that kind of strikes me about this book this time around is how nearly the entire first section -- something on the order of 200 pages -- consists of almost nothing but people sitting around talking. They just spout loads and loads of exposition at each other, and then we get exposition of the exposition, as everybody privately analyzes everything everybody else has said. It's really pretty amazing that Herbert actually makes this work. It may be the fact that his world-building is so intrinsically interesting that does it. Or maybe I've just got it so deeply ingrained in my head the Dune is a classic work of science fiction that I can't admit to myself that it actually doesn't work as well as it should. Not that I'm usually terribly inclined to cut a book a break based solely on its reputation, but, hey there is a first time for everything, and I do have to admit that it is kind of slow going. But I'm only on page 226, so we'll see.

As I also mentioned last time, there was a new epsiode of Farscape on tonight, and that has me totally doing the happy dance. I've fallen utterly and completely in love with this series in recent months, and I was getting really impatient waiting for Sci-Fi to air the rest of this season's episodes. I've already seen some comments about today's episode on the 'net in which people described it as kind of disappointing after the long wait, but, personally, I quite liked it. And I'm going to ramble on about it now, because that's the kind of thing I do. (Someday when I'm really bored, maybe I'll post my psychological analysis of Captain Crais or something.)

Oh, um, WARNING: vague-ish spoilers for Farscape episode 319: "I-Yensch, You-Yensch." Proceed at own risk.

Right, so, like I said, apparently some people found this one disappointing, and I wouldn't exactly call it the best FS episode ever, myself, but it did nevertheless feature that great blend of disparate elements that is one of the things I best like about the show: a twisty plot with a bit of action, some heavy emotional drama, some sly humor... And, hey, I can forgive the annoying blue aliens, because they gave Rygel a chance to show how sharp and clever and ruthless he can be when he's pressed. I always like seeing that side of Rygel. One of the things I love about that character is that, although he often serves as the comic relief, or as the plot device to get the rest of them in trouble, he's as complex and interesting a character as any of them. And his interactions with Scorpius were great. Those two make a downright frightening team.

And speaking of complex and interesting characters... The other main story thread in the episode concerned the character of Talyn, and I find myself continually impressed by how real and believable a character Talyn is, considering the fact that he has no lines of dialog and no face to display his emotions. It's very much to the credit of both the writers and the actors (whose reactions to Talyn pretty much have to serve to define his character) that he comes across as a real person, with real problems and real emotions. I actually felt really, really bad for him. Of course, I'm a great big softy, I know, and maybe it's not all that hard to manipulate me emotionally, but still...

Did I mention that this was a great show? This is a great show. You should watch it. Go rent the DVDs right now. I'll wait.
OK, well, JK Parkin, the Central Mailer for Phoenix keeps going on about how great this blogger thing is, and how we should all check it out, and how useful it's gonna be for bringing that quaint, old-fashioned thing called an APA into the 21st century. So I thought, fine, I'd try playing around with it. Get familiar with it. Maybe use it as an outlet for all the random thoughts that go floating around in my head which otherwise stay uselessly locked up inside my skull.

I've called this thing "Maximum Verbosity," which was the name of one of my Phoenix zines, which in turn was named after a phrase used in the old Infocom text adventure games. Man, those things were cool. Anyway, I'll doubtless be living up to that title, because once I start doing the random rambling thing, it's damned near impossible to shut me up. Especially when I'm working the night shift and feeling both bored and mentally incoherent due to sleep deprivation. Which, unsurprisingly, happens to be the case tonight.

So, uh, I guess I'll need some random thoughts to start off with, then, won't I? Here's something I've been feeling rather bemused about recently: the music on TV commercials. I was watching TV a couple of weeks ago, and this commercial comes on. And it's one of the cool instrumental bits from Tommy being played over an animated spacescape of stars and planets and whatnot. I'm pretty much grooving on this, even if it is a TV commercial and I normally hate and distrust all TV commercials. And then up pop the words: "Who knows what's out there? Your doctor does," and the name of some prescription drug or other. Upon which my first thought is "What does it do, bring eyesight to the blind?!" Followed by, "Wait a minute, weren't the doctors in Tommy pretty bloody ineffective?" After which the lines:

There's a doctor I've found can bring us all joy
There's a doctor I've found can cure the boy
There's a doctor I've found can CURE THE BOY!

kept running around in my head over and over. Which is probably a really good indication that I've played that album way too many times. I looked up the drug later on, by the way, and it turns out it's an allergy medicine. I'm disappointed. I would have expected it to be some sort of antidepressent or something, at least.

(Btw, is it me, or is there something just too weird about these prescription-drug commercials that don't ever tell you what the drug is actually for? It's just "ask your doctor about Drug X." I just have this image of me going up to my doctor, out of the blue, and asking about Drug X only to find out it's a cure for male pattern hair loss or something.)

Anyway, where was I? Music on TV commercials, right. A few months ago, I heard a familiar song playing over a car commerical, and burst out laughing uncontrollably when I realized it was Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick," a song containing such immortal lyrics as "I may make you feel, but I can't make you think/Your sperm's in the gutter, your love's in the sink." No matter how much I love Jethro Tull, I really don't think that's gonna make me want to go out and buy the car.

Not that commercials are usually very effective on me, anyway. Even good commercials. If I see an ad for 7-Up that makes me feel like, yeah, I could really, really go for a refreshing lemon-lime kinda soda right now, I'll go out and buy a Sprite. Just because I hate feeling like I've been manipulated. (And, yeah, I know, there are ads on this web page. I was really lazy getting it set up, and opted to have the blogger guys host it. I'll probably move it over to my SDC site at some point and spare you the advertising. Or spare me the advertising, since I may be the only one reading this.)

Well, I was gonna go on about the book I'm currently reading (Dune) and how I'm all excited about there being a new epsiode of Farscape this week, and all the other incredibly important matters that are concerning me right at the moment, but I guess that's verbose enough for a first post. And if you're actually reading this, I have only one word for you: Why?


This is a test! This is only a test!