Super Bowl

Feb. 6th, 2011 10:11 pm
tarod45: Sam's in shock (oh god)
Well. Fuck.

Oh well. Better luck next time.

SPN 6x12

Feb. 4th, 2011 10:18 pm
tarod45: (hot sam)
SPN 6x12 )
tarod45: (pathway)
So, elsewhere, the topic came up of older novelists very quietly inserting gay characters into their books and never really mentioning it, but leaving clues for those who are interested in seeing them. The best, cleverest example I've come across is Dorothy Dunnett in the The Lymond Chronicles.

Blithering about and some spoilers for The Lymond Chronicles, which anyone who hasn't read it and has even the slightest interest in historical fiction should read. )


Jan. 23rd, 2011 10:18 pm
tarod45: (hot sam)



Jan. 18th, 2011 08:41 pm
tarod45: (Default)
Here we go, Steelers, here we go, whoo, whoo!

So. The Jets played the Patriots and won. Who the hell would have figured? They'll be coming to Pittsburgh on Sunday to play, winner goes to the Super Bowl. Everyone in Pittsburgh was rooting for them, and apparently it worked. Personally, though, I'm of the opinion the credit goes entirely to my Uncle M. He's got a big ol' bet going that the Steelers will win the Super Bowl, and whatever you might say about Uncle M, he's lucky as hell. I will continue to rely on that luck as we play the Jets. I have no idea if we can win -- we have a much better shot than we would have if we were playing the Patriots, but the Jets have beat us before. But only barely, and Polamalu wasn't playing that day. Of course, we basically have no offensive line left -- I think Tomlin is going to have to have members of the practice squad dress for the game, because we actually have no one left to play certain positions, and no active backups for several others -- and the Jets were able to sack Brady five times last week. On the one hand, Ben is really fucking hard to bring down, but on the other, teams still manage with disgusting regularity when our offensive line is healthy. Hopefully the Jets are over-confident and screw up. I think that's our only hope. That, or Polamalu working his magic. He had an off week last Saturday, but that means nothing.

Go Steelers! We want another Super Bowl!

In other news, I think that by the end of the month, I'll have seen at least as many movies in the theater in January of 2011 as I did in all of 2010. Last week, I went and saw Tron: Legacy, which I thoroughly enjoyed, in a mindless sort of way. It was definitely pretty, and it had some good moments.

This afternoon, I saw The King's Speech, which I enjoyed much more, and not at all in a mindless way. I'd never really given much of a damn about the 20th century English royalty: my interest kind of tapers off after about the 18th century. So, I never knew a lot about Edward VIII's abdication, and pretty much nothing at all about George VI. But I was totally engaged in the movie, and was really touched by the story of Bertie-who-would-be-George-VI. And I love the story about the whole thing I heard in an interview on The Daily Show with Colin Firth, who was there promoting the movie. According to him, when the writer, David Seidler, originally got the idea to do the movie, he wrote to the Queen Mother, George VI's wife, to ask her permission to tell her husband's story. She told him to wait until she died to make the movie, because the memories were too painful for her. She then proceeded to live... and live... and live, just about forever. I'm glad the movie was eventually made, though. It really is excellent, and deserves any awards it wins.

Finally, probably this weekend, I believe my aunt and uncle and I are off to see the True Grit remake. I dunno, I have an occasional fondness for westerns, and it'll be the second Jeff Bridges movie I see this month. And it's something Aunt D and Uncle B want to see, and they are notoriously picky about going to see movies in the theater. Well, Aunt D is, anyway.

And, hell, if I have time, I might go see Black Swan, too, though maybe not this month. We'll see. I do want to see it eventually. If I do go in January, though, it means I'll have seen, in one month, more movies than I saw all year last year. For the record, last year I saw: Iron Man 2, How to Train Your Dragon, and Tangled. Yes, I like cartoons. What? Tangled was my dad's idea, and How to Train Your Dragon was my date's. Never mind that I was very happy to see both of them. (Technically, I also so Prince of Persia, but that was also my date's idea, and it was bad enough that I'm pretending it didn't happen. At least I avoided seeing The Last Airbender, which I desperately wanted to be good -- I liked the cartoon -- but heard in time was terrible.)

And now, I should start getting stuff together for the job interview in the morning. Exciting stuff.
tarod45: (working)
So, I don't muse on sports all that often. This is the first year I've actually paid any attention to the mechanics of the football playoffs. I only got into football a couple of years ago, at which point it all came down to voodoo, as far as I was concerned. Then last year, the Steelers just fell to fucking pieces and I didn't care quite enough about the Cowboys, and so it didn't matter. This year, the Steelers at least have got a shot (even if it was the Cowboys who fell to fucking pieces) and I'm paying attention, and when the whole process isn't giving me a headache, it's really very interesting.

So. The AFC (and for the moment, I only care about the AFC) looks like this:

1. Patriots
2. Steelers
3. Colts
4. Chiefs
5. Ravens
6. Jets

This weekend, the Colts play the Jets and the Chiefs play the Ravens. I'm just going to muse on some of the outcomes and what they might mean for us getting to the Superbowl (verdict: unlikely but possible).

I haven't been paying much mind to the Colts this year, as we haven't played them at all. From what I've gathered, they've had a pretty mediocre year, not one of Manning's best. The Jets, on the other hand, have been having a wildly uneven year. They've gone from brilliant to just awful, and back again. It's hard to say if pretty consistent mediocrity will beat fatally inconsistent brilliance.

And really, it's the Colts/Jets game that's going to be important. Baltimore is going to cream Kansas City. I don't think there's anyone who has any doubts of that. The Ravens are going to be winning that game. So, it comes down to whether Indianapolis or New York wins.

If the Colts win, they'll absolutely be the high seed winner, and they'll play us, while Baltimore will play the Patriots. This might well be the optimum outcome. I'm pretty sure we can beat the Colts this year. Meanwhile, the Ravens have beaten the Patriots already this season. They could do it again. If so, we'd likely end up playing them after that, and we're pretty evenly matched with them. I'd say it'd be about 50/50, but we absolutely can beat them. And the Ravens play nasty, so even if they lose to the Patriots, they might beat them up enough for us to snatch a victory in the Conference Championship.

On the other hand, if the Jets win, they'll be the automatic low seed, meaning they'll play the Patriots, while we play the Ravens. This outcome... not so favorable. Once again, we've got a fair to good chance of beating the Ravens. However, as previously mentioned, the Ravens are all about doing maximum damage to the opposing team, and, being our division rivals, they've got a particular hate-on for us, and for specific, key members of our team. If they can take out Ward, Polomalu, or Rothlisberger, they absolutely will. Anything to leave us unprepared to play against whoever wins the Patriots/Jets match-up. Which... well.

The Jets have beaten the Patriots this season. And then were unceremoniously creamed in the rematch. They could muster themselves to beat the Patriots again. Or they could continue with their ongoing tailspin and just serve as an appetizer. Even on the tailspin, though, the Jets beat us. So. Most likely, the Patriots will crush the Jets, and we'll limp over to New England and get our butts kicked. Or, by some miracle, the Jets will win and come to Pittsburgh, where... well, we'll just have to hope they fall to pieces again.

In the unlikely event, though, that we somehow triumph over the Patriots or whoever beats the Patriots, and we go the Superbowl, we will then have to face either the Saints or the Falcons. We've played both of these teams already this year. We beat the Falcons (one of only three teams, including the Saints!), and were steamrolled by the Saints. I'm not sure we could beat the Falcons again. I mean, on the one hand, we beat them without Big Ben, but we beat them on the first game of the season. You could very legitimately argue that they weren't really warmed up yet. And we just barely beat them in a very low-scoring game. So. Maybe, maybe not; but I'm tending towards not. As for the Saints? I'm going with "no." I'd be very interested to see the game played between the Saints and the Patriots -- I honestly think that's what's going to happen, though I'm really pulling for us and the Falcons. But, yeah, us and the Saints? Going with the Saints.

So, very long story short, I'm thinking that we have a 25% chance at best of making it to the Superbowl in the first place, and only a, say, 40% chance of winning that if we get there. But, hey, we've won the Superbowl with essentially this same team and much lower odds. So. We'll see.
tarod45: (flower power)
So, you know the Christmas season has officially started when you can no longer leave the house without being bombarded with Christmas music. We're already a few weeks in, and I really just want to take a bazooka to every store speaker that I might possibly walk into. I want it all to be over. Now.

What makes me sad is that I love Christmas music. Love it. But I can't stand what I hear on the radio. I'm really a traditionalist at heart. You want to compose a new Christmas-themed song and sing it? Good for you. I'll be happy to listen to it, though I may or may not ever think of it again. But traditional carols? Man, I love traditional carols. "We Three Kings," "What Child is This," "The Holly and the Ivy," "Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella," "O Holy Night"... I could go on all night. But, see, I want to hear these songs sung traditionally. No frills, no trills, no reinterpretations. Just the song, sung to the traditional tune to the traditional beat. I don't want to hear your country version of "Come All Ye Faithful," I don't want to hear your pop/rock version of "Good King Wenceslas." Just sing the damned song the way it's been sung for god only knows how long.

I know that every big-name singer worth being referred to as big-name has to release at least one Christmas/winter themed album some time in their career, and it's going to include at least a couple of carols. And I know that these singers are obliged to put their own spin on the songs, or why bother doing it. They have to make their version distinctive, so if you hear it, you know who's singing it. Thing is, I don't want to know who's singing. I just want to hear the song.

Anyway, this year, I've decided to go on a scavenger hunt for really simple, bare-bones carols. Unsurprisingly, most of the versions I like best are by artists I've never heard of, and I (so far) don't have two songs by the same artist.

In years past, I've been in mourning for the my lost Mormon Tabernacle Choir album. It was actually an album -- y'know, a set of long-playing records. It was a collection that was offered for sale from Readers Digest or someone decades ago, and those particular recordings are no longer available anywhere, in any format. It was really my dad's, but he hadn't listened to any of his records in years when I claimed them. Anyway, that Tabernacle album was absolutely the best collection of Christmas carols I've ever encountered. I loved it. But, when I moved out, I didn't take it with me -- it's not like I had a record player, and I didn't have room to take my dad's. When I started looking for it a couple of years later... it was gone. All the records were gone. That was about three years ago, and I'm still bitter.

I'm hoping that this new mix I'm putting together will be almost as good, and I can just listen to it to cure me of my store-radio-induced headaches.
tarod45: (working)
Okay, so I've been thinking. A dangerous pastime, I know.

So, I love Soulless!Sam. I mean, really love him. He's adorable, hilarious, and creepy by turns. And occasionally sad, too, particularly there at the very end of 6x09. I'll be happy when he's resouled, don't get me wrong, but I'm enjoying the hell out of him at the moment.

Dean, though. I dunno, there's just been something off about Dean's reaction to Sam's soul-impairment, and I've been having a lot of trouble articulating my problem even just in my own head. I'm not entirely sure I have it even now, but I'm gonna try to work through it.

Cut for tl;dr discussion of Dean and Robo!Sam )
tarod45: Food! (food)
Oh, god, yum. I do love parmesan-encrusted chicken. I don't make it often enough. And hey, miracle of miracles, the crust actually came out nice this time. Usually, it's so thin and falls off when it's cooking, but this time it was nice and solid and it stayed on till I could eat it.

Also, while the pumpkin spice cake was an abysmal failure (seriously, I have no idea if I made it wrong or if it was supposed to taste like that, but it was terrible; no one could even pretend to like it), I have found a new cake for Thanksgiving! Although the baking of it involved a couple of... ahem, blunders, the orange cranberry cake has received the seal approval from Aunt D and Uncle B, and so is a go. God, I just want to make that cake again. It was so good, I just can't stand it.

But! I dunno, is it possible to feel vaguely adulterous about cake? I love the orange cranberry cake. I am committed to the orange cranberry cake. I'm taking the orange cranberry cake home to meet my family. But... the cranberry streusel cake looks delicious. I lust to make this cake. It is new, and exciting, and unknown.

Sigh. I will be faithful. I'm the good girl settling down with the investment banker orange cranberry cake while fantasizing about the bad boy cranberry steusel cake.

Seriously. I can't make the streusal cake. I'm not going to take anything to Thanksgiving that I haven't already tried, and if I make this cake, someone has to eat it. I'm sure as hell not eating a whole cake by myself, and I don't have anyone else to give it to. At least, no one who is not going to look at me and ask me "Why are you giving me a cake?" or, "Why are you trying to make me fat?"

Maybe next year.

Can it be Thanksgiving now?

SPN 6x07

Nov. 5th, 2010 11:38 pm
tarod45: (hot sam)
6x07 )
tarod45: (sammy smirk)
SPN 6x06 and 6x07 promo )

And now, I need to go finish filling out the freaking job application. I hate filling out the essays on these things.
tarod45: Demon Sammy (demon sam)
So, I think I'm going to skip the ep reaction this week and move straight to the meta. This is part because I'm insanely busy this weekend, and partly because I think my reaction to this ep is a little hard to quantify, if you know what I mean.

Spoilers for 6x05 with reference to 6x06 previews )

Um, this got kinda long. Oops? I have to say, my emotional engagement this season is a little hit or miss, but my intellectual engagement is still right up there.


Oct. 15th, 2010 10:51 pm
tarod45: (sammy smirk)
I'm going to keep it short this time and say just the two things:
SPN 6x04: A Weekend at Bobby's )
That is all.
tarod45: (pathway)
Today, I made chicken marsala and pumpkin spice cake from scratch.

I find this equally hilarious and awesome. A couple of years ago, I could not even have conceived of being able to make anything from scratch. For chicken marsala, I'd go to a restaurant. For the pumpkin spice cake, I'd either look for a mix at the grocery store, or wait for someone else to bake it. I would have been horrified at the idea of having to deal with flour, and eggs, and cooking wine. Today? I had some chicken breasts that I wanted to eat, and I searched till I found a recipe where I had almost everything I needed, and I just made it. As it happens, it came out tasting a little odd, but not bad. Certainly edible, and a lot cheaper than a restaurant. As for the cake? It doesn't even occur to me anymore to look for store-bought mixes. I spent about fifteen minutes in the baking aisle last night, and I don't think I even looked at them.

The pumpkin spice cake in question is an experiment for Thanksgiving. Since Aunt D makes dinner, and is forever stressing out about it, I try to help by providing dessert. Last year's pumpkin dump cake was a total flop, so I'm looking for something different. Pumpkin in general doesn't seem to be all that popular with this particular Thanksgiving crowd, but it's traditional, goshdarnit. So, I'm trying out recipes. This particular cake is pumpkin, but it's at least as much spice cake, with a healthy dose of chocolate. Hopefully it turns out. I'm going to see Aunt D tomorrow, so I'll be taking a couple of pieces with me, and see whether she thinks it'll work. If not, there a few fruity cakes and cobblers I can try.

That last sentence makes the me of a couple of years ago shake her head in amazement.

S6 Sam

Oct. 14th, 2010 11:53 am
tarod45: (password)
So, I was going to do an ep reaction for 6x03, but it started turning into a rather long-winded meta, and I got sidetracked in the middle, and now I'm just too tired of the damn thing even to look at it. And this is a much more interesting topic, anyway.

Meta and speculation for Sam, with some reference to future episodes. )

SPN 6x01

Sep. 24th, 2010 10:00 pm
tarod45: (sammy smirk)
SPN 6x01: Exile on Main Street )
tarod45: (working)
I just can't win.

As of this 14th day of September, Anno Domine 2010, I have as follows:

96 Supernatural
162 RPF
23 Merlin
43 Various and Sundry Other

fics sitting in my To Be Read folder.

And I'm flipping aimlessly through the internet, looking for something to read. I was clearly a cat in a previous life.
tarod45: (church)
I've spent the last three days mainlining Vampire Diaries. My head is about to explode. No lie.

I read the books, back in the day. I don't remember anything, really, except: 1) there was a love triangle between Stefan, Damon, and Elena (and I think even back in the days of yore, I was rooting for Stefan and Damon to dump the girl, kiss and make up, and run off together); 2) Elena ends up a vampire; and 3) a whole bunch of names, none of which mean anything to me anymore. Oh, and I remember that Bonnie was a red-headed, green-eyed psychic (witch? psychic? witch?). Who... maybe ended up with a thing for/with Damon? Yeah, I don't remember. It's been about fourteen years, at this point. Still, lack of any meaningful memory of the books aside, I feel great affection for the whole thing, even while pretty damn sure that the show has little or nothing to do with the books. I at least feel secure in the knowledge that I can enjoy the show for what it is without worrying that it's a knock-off of Twilight -- after all, I know first-hand that the Salvatores came long before the Cullens.

Anyway, yeah, the show is pretty well in line with being based on books I read when I was eleven, but it's all good trashy fun. And people weren't kidding when they said that Damon steals every scene he's in. He's just so much fun. And, ahem, easy on the eyes, as well. And man oh man, those eyes. Ian Somerhalder could easily hold his own against Matt Bomer in a competition for Guy With the Most Gorgeous Eyes. What I wouldn't give for the two of them to be in a show together where they have to stare soulfully at each other. Those eyes could cause heart attacks. Sheesh.

Over the course of the last fifteen episodes, I've had many thinky thoughts about characterization, the treatment of female characters, and the negative impact of relationships in the show, but I don't think I'll bother writing any of them down. I'm not trying to fool anyone: I'm watching for Damon's snark and Ian Somerhalder's eyes. Shallow pleasures are what summer is for, after all. Right? Right. And when it comes to digging way the hell too deep into a show, I think I've met my lifetime quota with Supernatural.
tarod45: (may I ask)
Once upon a time, back when I was but a mere tweeny-bopper, I watched Babylon 5. I actually began watching at right about the time that Season 5 was getting started, but back then, B5 was to TNT as Law & Order currently is. I was able to get a pretty good idea of what was going on through the reruns as I watched the fifth season first run. And lo, I was confused. The show that I was watching in reruns was awesome and epic. The show I was watching in first-run bore almost no resemblance to that other one. Several years later, when I finally got online and become involved in the already-fading B5 fandom, I learned some of the details. The show's creator, JM Strat-however-the-fuck-you-spell-his-name, henceforth known as JMS, had had a five-year plan for his show. This plan was an epic story filled with fascinating characters. However, making this show was something of a rocky road. The obstacle that concerns us here is that, going into the fourth season, the network sort of let it be known that this was the last year for Babylon 5. JMS was determined to finish his story, though. So he squeezed all the rest of his epic story arc into the fourth season. And that was it. All the major plot arcs were resolved. Several major characters died or left. Those that were left were in places of resolution. It was a series finale, and a brilliant one at that.

Then, at the absolute last minute, the network decided to renew B5. Disaster. There was no more story left to tell. The epic was over.

What to do? They had to do something, so they just muddled through. I can only assume that they hoped that whatever they could come up with on the fly would match the brilliance that had come before. If that was indeed their hope, they failed. Season 5 was a trainwreck. Beloved characters were missing. They were replaced with new characters we didn't care about. Some of the remaining characters acted in such OOC ways as to be essentially destroyed. Most of the plots were boring. It was painful to watch.

That said, Season 5 wasn't an unmitigated disaster. I frankly though that the Londo/G'Kar/Centauri Prime storylines were excellent. "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari" and "The Fall of Centauri Prime" are among my favorite episodes of the entire series.

So, this is how I saw it. The story ended in Season 4. That was it, that was the end. Nothing else counts. Season 5 was an addendum, and counted for no more than any of the various spin-off movies or tie-in books. Which is to say: cherry-pick. Any little bits of canon from those sources that you like? Keep. Anything that annoys you? Dump. As far as I'm concerned, the Londo character arc, the Londo/G'Kar friendship arc, and the Centauri Prime story arc all absolutely happened. The Lenier character arc and the telepath story arc absolutely did not. Everything else happened, but I just don't think about it.

And so, I'm happy. I get to pretty much jettison a miserably bad extra season while keeping any bits that turned out to be good.

This is essentially the attitude that I'm taking going into SPN S6. Is it inevitable that season 6 will be as much of an abject failure as B5 S5? No, not at all. I am, in fact, hopeful. But even if it does turn out to be terrible... who cares? The epic story line that'd been building since the Pilot is over. Everything that happens from here on out is extra. If it's good? Keep it. If it's bad? Dump it. Simple.

All that being said, I'm not sure why everyone's flipping out over the spoilers. Pretty much everything I've read so far sounds pretty good. There's one or two things that give me pause, but even those things might turn out not-so-bad. And there are a couple of things that were mentioned that have made me out-and-out excited.
Cut for spoilers, just in case anyone actually somehow reads this )
tarod45: (beach)
This is why I don't waste my money on those lovely leather journals that you see everywhere: I get started, and I do well enough with writing for a while, then I start to taper off until it just sits there abandoned for evermore.

Ahem. Anyway.

So, lately, I've spent a fair amount of time over at the [ profile] spnpermanon Big Bang posts. Not too much time, since, though I've been pleasantly surprised at how civilized the whole thing has been, it's still annoyingly bitchy at times. Anyway, while there, I've seen the nonnies moaning about the lack of decent Sam/Dean porning. I actually think they're pretty justified in their complaints: there really hasn't been much. Most of the Wincest that's been posted has been badly written, unremittingly bleak, or almost completely lacking in sex. I absolutely see where people are coming from. I'm just a bit startled at myself that I don't really care.

Well. I mean, I could do without the badfic, but that's always the case, and I'm philosophical about it. Sturgeon's Law applies to Big Bang like most things, and you just have to accept the 90 pieces of crap along with the 10 pieces of awesomeness. And really, when you put it like that, the ratio of good to bad is actually not that bad. I'll also admit that it wouldn't have hurt my feelings if the authors had felt like writing slightly more cheerful stories this year. But I can even understand that: Supernatural hasn't exactly been a particularly cheerful show lately, and I can see where authors would be inspired to write fairly depressing stories. And I like a good bittersweet ending from time to time, so it's all good. Even if my "from time to time" has gotten a bit compressed lately.

What surprises me is how not-upset I am over the tepidness of the Sam/Dean. It's not like after S4. I'm not bitter. I feel more honest affection for both Sam and Dean than I have since I started watching the show. I still love Sam/Dean. I haven't jumped ship for another pairing: I'm extremely fond of Sam/Jess, Sam/Ruby, and Sam/Castiel, but wincest is still the pairing that rules them all. But. I dunno. When the fics lately just stop short of getting into sex or the nitty of the boys' romance, I don't feel like I'm missing anything.

I've noticed this since the finale. I think I read practically every 5.22 coda that was written -- and that was a hell of a lot of codas, let me tell you. And of those, the only ones that jumped out at me as being hard to buy were the wincest. Whether it was gen or Dean/Lisa, I found I just didn't want the boys falling into bed after Sam got back. I'm not entirely sure why. And since May, this has been slowly spreading to other fic. Again, it's not that I don't like wincest anymore. I've just started feeling like a romantic/sexual relationship sort of gets a little bit in the way of the boys' actual relationship. I still want them to be the center of each other's universe, but the sex has started to feel tacked on. The authors who have just hinted at a romantic relationship, or who just lightly touch on the emotional aspect -- those I find satisfying, and rather soothing.

I dunno. I think it's just that a huge part of the finale was Sam and Dean finally letting each other go. A sexual relationship between them is a sign of the overly involved, desperately unhappy and unhealthy codependence that they've finally managed to (tentatively) move past. Having them become involved post-S5 seems like an enormous step backwards in the progression of their relationship.

Or perhaps I'm projecting. I am so firmly off the whole dating wagon that I can barely conceive of anyone actually wanting to become involved in a sexual relationship. Maybe that's it. I haven't been been reading almost any J2 lately either, after all.

Anyway. Whatever the reason, the lighter-than-usual wincest and the slightly higher-than-average quality of the gen this Big Bang is actually pleasing me a lot more that I would have thought.


tarod45: (Default)

April 2012

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