kitsjay: (Cheers)
I was reading an article recently about a new restaurant which opened in the Philippines called, "Van Gogh Is Bipolar". One of the concoctions mentioned in this article was called the "Courtney Love Potion". Unfortunately, it only listed the ingredients, not the measurements, so after some experimentation, I give to you my own version:

Courtney Love Potion

1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 of a large mango, diced
5 mint leaves
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp honey (I prefer the real kind, with the comb still in it, but I imagine regular will work fine)

1. Throw 3/4 of the cucumber, all the mango, leaves, lemon juice, and honey into the blender. Blend until still slightly chunky.

2. Throw in the rest of the cucumber and stir, then garnish with mint leaves.

3. Enjoy!

Calories: 155
Sugars: 31.9 g
Vitamin A: 22%
Vitamin C: 62%

Mine came out a yellowish-green which, uh, does not look appetizing, but I assure you that it tastes delicious.
kitsjay: (Cheers)
In case you were wondering why you still follow me on livejournal, it's because I'm looking up how much it costs for a fake wig and where the nearest thrift store is to buy a peach and/or magenta monstrosity of a bridesmaid's gown just because you never know when that shit might come in handy.

That's why.

***


Christy and I are going to make Gay Christmas cards using an appalling amount of glitter and possibly sequins, depending on whether or not she decides to let me near scissors again. If anyone wants one, let me know--if you don't want one... challenge accepted.

***


I keep staring at my Gmail, which wants me to mark things I think are important. Seriously, I already have a folder called "Need to Reply" where good emails go to die because I never, ever open that sucker, and I don't think Gmail can take the pressure of figuring out what I consider "important" or not.

Scratch that, just realized that if it has any talk of money in it not immediately preceded by "shake that" and followed by "maker", it's probably not important, and if it mentions "nnngh" and a link to BCoop tumblrs, it totally is important.

I'm all about prioritizing, guys.

***


The meme has been so slow lately, and I'm all, "C'mon, someone update!" before remembering that I haven't updated in roughly forever and so am contributing to the problem but then realized that I am me and this is to be expected, but these other people should totally be more responsible and feed my slash addiction. There is no methadone for this, people. You are literally killing me here.
kitsjay: (Crazy People)
I've been going through a depressive spell recently, which, quite frankly, sucks. It's not even that you're depressed, it's that you can't seem to do anything to lift yourself out of it. I clean and read and surf aimlessly on the internet not because it gives me any pleasure, but because it distracts me from being numb. Last night I spent curled up on my bed with two stuffed animals clutched to my chest because it felt like the inside of me was filled up with inexplicable grief.

But while surfing, I pinged on the Bloggess, who I linked to before. She's a humorist, but occasionally she has these beautiful, uplifting messages that aren't hidden by her humor but amplified by them. Like saying that it's okay to make a joke out of it, to laugh at yourself and your insecurities.

This is one of those posts. Go read it now. I'll wait.

It honestly made me happy, for the first time in weeks. It's one of those simple things, when you're so stressed about everything else that made you think, "It's going to be okay." This too shall pass and all that jazz.

So guys, the next time you don't feel pretty enough or smart enough or any of those unexplainable fears that plague you, sit down and take a breath. Put on a ballgown and a fake wig, take goofy photos, whatever, and remind yourself that you're beautiful--and not just that skin deep kind, but the kind that we forget about sometimes when we're focused on other things. If you can't think of anything you like about yourself, ask me, I'll tell you everything I can think of, all the wonderful things that make you special and a friend.

And weirdly, I got to smiling, thinking, "That's what Gay Christmas is about." It's not about drinking or perving over hot guys/girls (okay, it's a little bit about that), but it's more. It's about doing something goofy that "adults" aren't supposed to do, like making construction paper chains and celebrating all those wonderful different people out there in the world and reminding ourselves that friends, and picspams of Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] be_merry), are really what make the world go around.

Don't do this for a week, don't do this for a month, try it out for the rest of your life. Be happy, guys. Life's too short to not be.

Eudora Welty - "All serious daring starts from within."
kitsjay: (It's a Curse)
My hair's been dry lately, but rather than spend money, I decided to use a combination of Google and rummaging through my pantry to find a hair mask. I found this one, which combines honey and olive oil and decided to give it a go.

I didn't have any Vitamin E capsules, so I skipped that step. Also, I played a little fast and loose with the measurements because I didn't feel like washing out a measuring cup. So this is more the "cheap and lazy hair mask" version of that recipe.

Tips:

1. Be careful. I poured some in my hand to test the warmth and it seemed okay, but it apparently has a delayed heat reaction and I nearly burned my scalp. Ouch.

2. Do this while alone. I didn't have a shower cap--who has a shower cap?--and so am sitting in my apartment, my hair a sticky, oily mess, with a Wal-Mart shopping bag over my head waiting the twenty minutes out. This is not something I want to have to explain. Ever.

3. Also, I would recommend wearing a shirt you don't care much about.

4. You may also get a facial, considering the viscosity of this mixture. Be wary if you have an oily forehead. But I hear olive oil is good for the skin--or is that ingesting it? Hm.

5. They mean it about not doing this in a shower. Olive oil and slick surfaces really do not mix.

Verdict:

Well, my hair doesn't smell like a week old potato salad, but it doesn't smell good either, so 3 points there. As for its efficacy, my hair is noticeably softer, but not really more moisturized, which was the whole point of this mask. However, total points for not being nearly as greasy as I would have expected, and, like I said, soft! So four points there.

Final Score: 7/10
kitsjay: (Cheers)
I'm sitting alone drinking a glass of wine and listening to Dave Mason's "We Just Disagree".

I'm torn between, "I'm going to die alone", and, "If it's like this, I'd be okay with that."
kitsjay: (Default)
Declaring a writing emergency day.

I have a bad habit of writing non-linearly; I start at the beginning, veer to the end, and then agonize over the middle parts.

So I have five, I think, fills going and the ends to three of them, but the middle part keeps giving me the skids, so today is going to be spent drinking Coke Zeroes and typing endlessly.

Game time!

Word

Jun. 30th, 2011 05:05 am
kitsjay: (Drunk Fran)
Things I Need to Stop Doing:

1. Posting fics while drunk
2. In fact, trawling the kinkmeme's at all while drunk is probably not a good idea
3. Drunk is really hard to spell while drunk
4. Above is evidence that I should probably just stay off lj entirely while drunk
5. Reading "Texts From Last Night" and going, "Dude, I've totally gotten that one!"
kitsjay: (Life is Good Cup)
We have kitties!

They are gorgeous--apparently Jenny is a Snowshoe Siamese, and of course, Flash is a Turkish Van mix. Right now they're hiding. Well, Flash is chilling in his crate and Jenny left, only to immediately panic and hide under our credenza. I have a feeling we're going to have ghost cats for a while until they warm up to us.

But they're really sweet (and quiet--they barely made a sound the entire hour long drive home).

I lured Flash out with promises of pettins and he immediately started rubbing against me and Sean, then went and joined Jenny under the credenza. We told him to tell her that it was okay to explore and snuggle with us when she was ready.

Pics! )

Bring it!

Jun. 21st, 2011 09:50 pm
kitsjay: (Rock On!)
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] be_merry, who has brightened my world so much these past few days that she might as well be the sun:

Post a comment, and I will reply with one or two reasons why I think you're great. In return, you have to post this same meme on your blog and comment for other people.
kitsjay: (It's a Curse)
I changed my first oil filter today!

Sean's car had been running funny, and I told him I thought it was probably because the oil needed to be changed. He scoffed--wymyn don't know cars! Sure enough, two days later, the oil light comes on. So I told him he needed to get it changed, but he's either working or sleeping so I said I would take it down to Walmart and get it taken care of. Christy and I waited an hour for them to change it, only to find out they said the drain plug was rounded off (stripped screw, basically) and it was an "unsafe environment". They actually refused to even change the license plate light because of it. Wtf.

Anyway, the car was acting worse, so around 6:30, Todd goes, "Well, we still have some daylight left, we could go change it ourselves."

I was kind of worried about it, so we checked the dipstick and it was bone dry. Todd was amazed the car was running at all. After a Walmart supply run, we went ahead and got the oil filter off and switched out, and it turned out there was a little bit of old oil left, so we decided to go ahead and change the oil completely. The drain plug turned out to not be rounded off in the least, but was frozen, so I'm guessing that's why the guys at Walmart decided not to work on it. Todd and I both tried it, Todd even using a hammer on the socket wrench to get it to budge, but it wouldn't move, so we ended up having to abandon that in favor of just putting in some new oil.

So the bad news is that the oil still needs to be changed (which Todd said he would show me how to do once we get some deep penetrating lubricant--no jokes, please, from the 12-year-old crowd, you know who you are), but the good news is that it will run at least another 1000 miles on this batch and is running so much smoother now.

Even better news, I am sunburnt, covered with grease, oil, and dirt from lying on my back under a car, and I have never felt prouder in my whole damn life.

PSA: Slash

May. 30th, 2011 10:20 am
kitsjay: (It's a Curse)
Seriously, A-Team fandom, I'm ready to sacrifice my first Coke Zero of the day to you because HOLY SHIT HOW ARE YOU ALL THIS FUCKING HOT?
kitsjay: (Default)
I'M KILLING PIRATES.

Don't get me wrong, I love the whole epic adventure thing going on, what with being an elf warrior, fighting against The Horde, and that's fun and all, but... PIRATES!

If you haven't guessed, I wandered into the Pirate zone of World of Warcraft, which is awesome. The music has this old sea chanty feel to it (soundtrack, anyone?) and then the first quest was to START A BAR FIGHT, which you do by ordering a bottle of flog and smashing it over a patron's head. Seriously. The grog doesn't do anything beyond "Smash it over someone's head!".

Then I killed a pirate captain, who then haunted me, and had me see his ex-wife, a sea-witch, who resurrected him and gave me a sword called Alimony. There are no words for how ridiculously fun all this is for me.

In other WoW news, my guild actually thanked me for doing "nearly twice the guild activity as the person closest to Oceanid" (i.e. me). So, um, apparently going and doing my own thing is working for me, and them, so I guess I'll stay.

To end, I'd just like to say: PIRATES!
kitsjay: (Insecurities Gaming)
There was a viral vid released a while ago of a parody of Katy Perry's "California Girls" by Team Unicorn called "G33k and G4m3r Girls". You can download the song here or watch the video here. I loved it when I first saw it, and I still do. It's witty, geeky, and utterly up my alley. So what's this long post about, you ask? While searching for it, I ran into a series of links which discussed the controversy surrounding the video, namely how the women in it used their sexuality to promote geek girls. Ignoring the basic youtube commenters who think they're still being funny when they ask why any woman is "out of the kitchen", there's actually a pretty serious debate on the subject, which naturally I'm going to throw my two cents into, because, well, why not.

I am a geek. I am a girl. These two things are not mutually exclusive, and quite frankly, I find it insulting and somewhat unbelievable that there are still people who think it is (again, outside of YouTube commenters). I have a Crown Royal bag full of D20s, I regularly post about gaming night, and I get psyched when I unlock an achievement on WoW. I am able to quote Firefly and Buffy extensively, I grew up watching all of the Star Trek series, and I have an entire bookcase full of comic books. I am given to understand that these are not things which normal people do, so I guess that makes me a geek.

So let's break this down. One of the main problems people are having with this video is that it's not representing the vast majority of geek girls, who do not have cheekbones that could cut diamonds and body dimensions that make Psylocke's costume look anatomically feasible. But that doesn't really explain why this music video is being singled out and held guilty; I don't go to the movies expecting the heroine to look like myself or watch sitcoms and cry foul that the main female lead is gorgeous. Granted, I would love to see more variety in women's roles in these mediums, but I think collectively our gender has resigned ourselves to not ever seeing that come true. Yet, people want it here. Why?

For one, geeks are not likely to be stunning specimens of the human form. We're not the jock types--I can go out and toss a football and slam a baseball into far left field, but I'm not likely to be joining the local sports team anytime soon. Part of this is because we prefer to spend our time leveling up our characters rather than spending time at the gym or going to the park. Also, I don't speak for everyone, but I know that I certainly went through an awkward phase back in my teenage years, which is when I really started getting into video games. Video games never had the chance to turn me down for a date, or stand me up, or tell me that I was ugly. Who needs outward validation when you have a game telling you that you're amazing and can slay 40 bad guys at a time without ever getting below Critical Health? Not me, that was for certain.

And, for better or for worse, most of us are used to being the center of attention for being a girl who games. Tabletop RPGs are a great example of this--there's an entire comic called Knights of the Dinner Table which shows how "the girl" of the group becomes automatically hot, because any girl is rare in these situations. Even though we may not be able to strut our stuff around a pool in a bikini, flirting with the boys, and playing volleyball, we can still pwn your ass at Halo--which to some guys, makes us automatically hot. We've staked our claim, and hot girls coming into our territory strikes us as unfair. This is our turf, you've got your own, you can't come in here!

That's not to say that there aren't attractive gamer women out there, it's just that they're the minority--we're used to Booth Babes who don't know all the shortcuts of Mario Nintendo. We're still top dog compared to them, we think smugly. We're used to not being able to compete in the swimsuit competition, but in this arena, we are goddesses.

In general, we're getting fed up with representations of the female gender in media, but it cuts especially deep now because these--to our mind--unfair representations are now crawling into our territory.

Another reason that there's been an outcry is because of the nature of the gaming industry itself. Women's sexuality has always been used as a tool for marketing, but the gaming industry is egregiously shameless about doing so. There's an excellent video which talks about video game heroines being turned into pin-ups, as well as addresses the various problems the gaming industry has in general with attracting women audiences. Seriously, go check it out--it's well worth the watch.

The video also talks about the ways the gaming industry is trying to change this; before, they felt fine about offering up characters who looked like a 14-year-old boy's wet dream, because they were confident that women weren't going to be playing, and they felt no need to expand their marketing to include them, so why not actively exclude them? Now, they're trying to broaden their consumer base, but in the utterly wrong way. Most systems offer controllers in pink now--you know, for girls! Because that's totally what attracts women to games, right? Pretty colors? Why don't you add jewels onto them, because we're pretty much magpies, am I right, ladies?

There's specialized games out there where you can play My Littlest Pony and Fashion Model!* that rely on the most absurdly outdated gender stereotypes that I'm halfway convinced it's an elaborate hoax. What the industry should be doing is focusing on what games are already popular with women and seeing what it is about those that make them appealing. WoW is very popular with men and woman; I don't know anyone who doesn't like the variations of Mario; Rock Band is one of those games that everyone seems to enjoy. These are all very different platforms, use different gameplay, and yet everyone seems to love them. What's so universal about these games?

Women aren't some specialized breed who must be catered to on the basis of a 1930s handbook on etiquette for ladies; we're human beings just like everyone else. We like the rush of beating a boss battle, we have fun trash-talking playfully with our teammates, and we enjoy seeing our characters improve as we progress through the game. I don't know about you, but changing clothes on an avatar sounds torturous. Even as a little girl, if someone had given me a choice between... that and Mortal Kombat, I would have gone with the latter without even stopping to think about it.

That video I linked to brings up a good point about video gaming being a "boy's club", but again, we're not looking at this in the right way. Most hardcore gamers, including women, have been playing since they got their very first Sega system and made Sonic spin his way through that first level. We just never really stopped playing as we grew up. So why aren't we looking at what attracts some girls to gaming in the first place, instead of what kind of games girls are attracted to. For me, it's not the game itself which matters as much; I can always find a game that caters to my tastes, but I probably would never start looking in the first place if I hadn't grown up gaming.

Instead of hacking away at the leaves and fruits of the gaming tree, as this controversy about the Team Unicorn video does, why don't we start looking at the root of the problem?




*I made these examples up. They probably exist in some form, and if they do, I don't want to know about them.
kitsjay: (Run Away From Danger)
Well, Sean has a few more days off. He took a week off of work to relax, then his second day back, he got into a fight with a guy on PCP. They tased him and the guy didn't even twitch, so they finally had to choke him out. Apparently at one point he landed on top of Sean's legs, so Sean was trying to get out and ended up wrenching his knee. The doctors told him to stay off of it for the next few days, so he's gimping along with a crutch. I call him Hop-Along.

Also tonight, we got pulled over by a cop. Naturally my license was in my other pants, but Sean flashed his HPD badge and the guy let us go--it was nothing major, anyway, just the license plate light was out. Guess he was hoping he'd get lucky and we'd say, "QUICK, HIDE THE DRUGS AND GUNS AND THE DEAD HOOKER BEFORE HE TAPS ON THE WINDOW."

Constables don't have much to do around here.

In other news, I'm on an enforced leave from WoW, because I encountered the single nastiest glitch I've ever seen. One of the quests involves driving a tank around shooting things. Okay, so far, so good. Except I go to leave the tank and it won't let me. Um, weird. I tried using my Hearthstone, no go, then killing myself via Insta-Kill (Teleport to Graveyard), finding enemies to kill me, and finally attempting to drown myself, none of which worked. Sean was trying to help out and drove the tank behind a tree and so now not only am I trapped inside the tank, I'm stuck in a tiny little space. Great.

I couldn't even exit the game or logout. Seriously, it's like you have to work to make a glitch this bad.

Anyway, had to CTRL+ALT+DEL myself out of there, contacted a game master, and hopefully that'll get fixed soon enough.

That's what I've been doing with my life recently--but I'm a level 25 Fury Warrior Night Elf now, so...

Productive!
kitsjay: (Indiana Too Old for this Shit)
1. Describing clothing in excruciating detail (especially when it's fugly) and making it OOC

Your characters are going to a club. Okay, let's assume that they're the type to go to clubs and do that sort of thing. Character A comes out wearing a white tank top with the bottom cut off to show off his stomach, the sleeves ripped off, a mesh shirt over it, and leather pants.

We're supposed to think this is hot. Maybe to you, the author, the mental image is. You know what I think?

I think I wouldn't stop myself from pointing and laughing at this person. Maybe in a gay 80s club, sure, but no classy joint would allow someone wearing that mess in. People have different tastes and it's really hard to get into a fic when Character B is going on and on about how hot he looks and all I can think is, "Character B is into clowns now?"

Seriously, keep it simple if you feel you must describe it. Tight black jeans and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top is a classic and therefore more universal. Leather pants and mesh and glitter or whatever else you're imagining is just going to throw me out of the story immediately. Also, keep it OC. When your character is a small town football star, he also probably won't be wearing eyeliner to the club.

2. Think about the reactions of the characters before you write about them, please!

I actually read a fic the other day where Character A calls his friend and asks the friend to drive him to the hospital. The friend stops on the way to buy food before getting there.

Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY?

Your friend calls and asks to go to the hospital and your first thought is, "Mmm, right after I get that Taco Bell"?

Believability isn't that hard. Stop and think, "What would I do if my friend called asking to go to the hospital? How would I react?" And if this is honestly how you would react... your friends need to call someone else the next time they need help.

3. It's disdain, not "distain".

I have seen three writers do this recently. I can't believe I have to say this, but spell check before you post! If you don't have a beta, it will at least get rid of the most glaring of mistakes, and trust me, I am counting "distain" as a glaring mistake. It's scowling, it's so bad.

4. Author's notes

No, seriously, just... author's notes. These are meant to impart some kind of information about your story. They can include warnings for the story, update notices, maybe that the story is a sequel, whatever. They're not there just to make an ass out of yourself, despite that seeming to be their most commonly used function.

I was about to read a story when an author actually said something to the effect of, "All mistakes are there to annoy my English teacher".

Well, congratulations, you also just annoyed your would-be-reader. That note tells me that you're (a) immature, (b) going to have grammar mistakes and know about them but refuse to fix them, and (c) I'm not going to read your fic. So I guess thank you for saving me the time.

The same goes for "cute" things like "talking" to characters, writing in the third person, and trying to be clever in your disclaimer (hint: putting, "If they were mine, they would be X-ing" is not original anymore). I can't believe I just had to type that. Moving on.

5. Your summary? Should actually be a summary of the fic.

Whoa, I just totally blew your mind, right? I was reading [livejournal.com profile] epic_rants and as [livejournal.com profile] jane_elliot so awesomely put it:

Sometimes I wonder if people really understand that these summaries are supposed to make people *want* to read a fic.

To give you an example of what not to do, I present you with an actual summary from The Listener fandom:

Takes place during final ep. Hope you enjoy. Minor language. I know this summary stinks. Sorry. ENJOY! Fixed Becker's name, I know it was bugging some of you. R&R


Where to start?

1. Write out episode, please. It's a few extra letters. Also, this is an ongoing show. Final episode of the first season? Final episode that has aired? What is it?

2. "I know this summary stinks. Sorry." -- Okay, this is one of my biggest pet peeves. If you know it stinks, then why not change it? Are you that lazy? This doesn't bode well for your writing, because it says to me that you're one of those people who says, "I know my characters are really OOC, lol, sry". Fix it or be prepared for me to immediately hit the back button; I'm not going to bother to read your story if you can't be bothered to fix the things you know are wrong with it.

3. Besides the fact that I will either enjoy it or not, there really is no need to tell me to do so twice.

4. I'm torn: I want to give the author props for actually fixing a mistake pointed out to her, but messing up a major canon character's name is generally not a good sign.

And hmm, what else? Oh, right, IT DOESN'T MENTION ANYTHING ABOUT THE STORY. Seriously, NOTHING. There are seven sentences (loosely speaking) in there, and not ONE thing about the plot. I know it has Becker in it, apparently! Is he the star? Is it about his secret addiction to terrible gay 80's clubs? Is it about someone who says "Enjoy!" a lot?

I have no idea!

Authors, take note. I put books by professional authors back on the bookstore shelves because they don't have a summary on the back cover; why the hell am I going to waste time on your fic when you can't be bothered to give me one?
kitsjay: (Tried Not to Laugh)
Well, I went to see Fast Five with [livejournal.com profile] be_merry and her little sister and it was--how do I put this?

Any movie where I have to legitimately turn to the person next to me and ask in all seriousness, "Did that man just spit glass?" is a winner.

Also, I think they may have broke their previous record in "time it takes to break major laws of physics for a cool action scene", and I'm including Michael Bay movies in that assessment.

After the movie left, I jokingly said to Christy that it had too much plot, not enough wanton destruction, but actually my only real complaint was (a) the alarming lack of homoeroticism and (b) car porn*.

*Note: These things might not have to be split up.

Seriously, though, there was a GT40 in it and they barely glanced at it. I'm all for cars going ridiculously fast and doing things that aren't so much implausible as impossible even in magical My Little Pony land, but the first one was all about loving shots of scantily clad women parading around, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker trying hard to act like they were heterosexual and failing, Michelle Rodriguez being the badass chick she is, and some seriously questionably shots of cars and their engines. The first one it looked like the camera was about to jump the cars. If porn movie music had started playing in the background while the camera, stroking its 70's Tom Selleck 'stache, caressed the contours of that Charger, no one would have batted an eye. If that car hadn't been made in the '70s, the camera could be charged with statutory rape.

You get what I'm saying here.

Instead, we got some quick flashes of a car, not even enough to identify its make, and had to rely on Random Cockroach Dude saying, "I get the GT40!"

Half the fun of these movies is how uncomfortably squirmish you feel watching them, like you just walked into a scene where the camera and car are straightening their clothing and pretending they buttoned up their chassis right.

(Okay, seriously, enough jokes about it.)

So that was disappointing. Also, and this is going under a cut though God knows why, because you probably could have guessed this ~plot twist~ without having seen any of the movies and the movie itself seemed to get bored with it within the first five minutes, it is still technically a spoiler (pun not intended).

Here )

Anyway, other than that, it was perfect. Everything I wanted and more. Everyone, and I do mean everyone comes back for it, except Paul Walker's beautiful hair, The Rock is in it, and the Spellmaster from Sabrina: The Teenage Witch.

Also props for finding a Spanish Sandra Bullock. Well played, movie, well played.

Oh, there was one annoying character who showed up and claimed to be fucking Mossad. Uh-huh. I'm pretty sure Mossad's qualifications are a tad stricter than, "Must look foxy in a bikini", but maybe they've lightened up on that recently, who knows? (Though seriously, cool deal on getting an actual Israeli actress).

So there you have it, Fast Five in all its glory. Do I recommend it?

If you have to ask, you clearly did not hear what I said: The man spits glass. 'Nuff said.
kitsjay: (Drink Heavily and Shout)
Okay, so a little note, too, because it's been bothering me. Re: Breakout Kings.

Normally this show has a pretty good balance, but occasionally they mess up. For one, Leverage, Criminal Minds, and now this have been picking on the Tea Party. Okay, fine. I think a lot of those people are racist, xenophobic nutjobs.

But that doesn't mean that they aren't right sometimes.

I'll tell you what I mean. In one episode of Breakout Kings, they had the "Patriot Front" (subtle!) and they confronted the fugitive's dad, whose farm was seized by imminent domain, which I happen to disagree with. I don't like the thought of government being able to seize property like that, but obviously, blowing up a post office is not the right way to fight this. The son planted the explosion, by the way, not the dad.

So they come onto the guy's property and start to search it, which he points out is trespassing. They cite the "in plain sight" rule, which, okay, they're kind of bending it, but I'm still willing to roll with it. Then they break into the guy's shed and he cites the fact that, HEY, they need a WARRANT to do that--and they shrug it off.

Um, no. That's a violation of due process, and I'm not going to root for the "good guys" here, because they're in the wrong. It skeeves me out because with the political atmosphere, including the Patriot Act, it's almost saying, "No, no, it's okay, because it's the bad guy, see?"

Yes, no one has ever been wrongfully arrested before!

There's a reason we have due process and why it's such a big deal. It's not "when we feel like it", or somehow okay because "we know it's him". Due process is important and I'm never going to feel sanguine about someone breaking it, no matter what their reasoning is; it really annoys me when shows try and make it seem okay, because it's not.

And knowing your rights and asserting them? That's okay to do. They make it seem like you're guilty if you ask for a lawyer; that you're hiding something if you make cops get a search warrant. No, it's not. It's a sign that you're a savvy person who happens to know their rights--it's called a right because you're allowed to assert it whether you're innocent, guilty, or not involved. Again, it's there to protect the innocent, not just the guilty people. I'm not saying cops are bad people, but they are people. They make mistakes. It happens.

So, shows? I'm not going to root for the people who blithely break the law, even if it's in pursuit of a bad guy. I'm not going to cheer that they ignored due process because they caught the guy. I get just as annoyed as you do when a guy who is clearly guilty walks away because of a technicality, but that doesn't mean the fault lies with the process itself. It's there to protect me, and I want to know the people who are supposed to be on my side are upholding it.

As a side note, not all Southerners are bigoted, chauvinistic hicks who talk slow and don't know what "exacerbate" means. We're not idiots, thank you very much.
kitsjay: (Screw Canon)
I've been watching a lot of TV recently and might as well make it (semi)productive. So, onward!

The Listener

This is a pretty obscure show as far as I can tell; I stumbled upon it accidentally, but so far it's fairly impressive. The premise is that a young paramedic, Toby Logan, has always been able to hear people's thoughts. He starts putting this into use by saving people/preventing crimes/etc. It's kind of that bland feel-goodness of Early Edition, for the two other people who watched that show.

Toby is a genuinely likable character, though I feel like he's a little too likable. He seems to be the perfect guy: a good friend, a decent person, all that jazz. I'd appreciate a little bit more development, either in the sense of flaws, or even more, backstory. They've dropped hints, but he's so underdeveloped right now that they should be dropping anvils to make up for it. Still, I hope that once they do start delving into his character, it will be pretty awesome.

The other characters are unremarkable. You have the stereotypical suspicious, jaded woman detective; the best friend and sidekick, who actually has some pretty funny lines; and the lusted after off-again-on-again girlfriend, who so far is the absolute blandest character. The only thoughts we hear from her are bitchy and since she has no further development... well, I tend to think of her as "the bitch". There's a professor who apparently helped Toby when he was younger control his power, but they haven't gone much into that (again, backstory people! It'd be nice).

I'm also psyched because it's the first show I've seen with something like this wherein the person-being-told-the-truth reacts like any other person would:

"You can read minds? That is so freakin' awesome!"

Exactly. Same goes for mermaids, H20!

Grade: B-

Breakout Kings

This show is basically Criminal Minds meets Leverage. It's about a unique team of convicts, each with their own special talents, who help to catch escaped fugitives under the U.S. Marshals.

The pilot and first few episodes were a bit rough, needlessly so. For one, the convicts aren't allowed to escape (um, duh) and so when one gets caught, he's immediately thrown out. Apparently they thought that wasn't enough, though, because they threw another one out by the second episode. I expected the first to prove the point, but the second seemed... awkward. Like the actress didn't test well with audiences or something. I don't know.

Anyway, since then, it's picked up. The leader of the group, Marshal DuChamp, is actually a well-rounded, interesting character without creating a "haunted past" or anything like that. The child prodigy and psychologist Dr. Lowry is the most interesting of the convicts, followed by Shea, then Erica. I've read complaints that said Shea wasn't "specialized" enough, which I can see, but at the same time, I really like his character. Your mileage may vary. For one thing, they tried setting him up to be an "entrepreneur", then inexplicably dropped this to concentrate on his "street smartness".

I would like to see more of a showcasing of their individual talents (so far, really only Lowry has done this; Erica's seems to be... running fast and being emotional about her daughter), but I feel like it's got potential. It's also got some pretty funny lines.

Grade: B

Breaking In

So far, this has been my favorite of my new finds. I love Brett Harrison, but he seems to be a bit of a bad luck charm. He was Lily's creepy neighbor turned boyfriend in Grounded For Life, then played the main star in Reaper (gone too soon; RIP, Reaper). He has a knack for finding brilliant shows, which then don't last out two seasons.

He brings his usual charm in this show about a slacker-hacker who is recruited by a "security firm" which tests security of homes, businesses, you name it through any means necessary. Christian Slater is absolutely hilarious in it, as is the resident office prankster and nerd, Cash, and the jock-but-still-sweet Dutch, played by Michael Rosenbaum.

The only problem is that poor Brett, though he's magnificent at it, seems to be typecast as the nice guy who always finishes last. He's pining after the girl of the group, who is so forgettable I don't remember her name. I don't remember the girl's name in Reaper, either, but at least she had personality.

Rather than show us this girl's personality, we're treated to multiple people saying, "She's crazy!" or "She's awesome!", while she has maybe five lines, two of them manipulative, in the first two episodes. When will TV writers get that Being a Love Interest does not count as characterization and development? Erg.

Despite that, it's very funny, very clever, and I'm sure this all means that it's going to be canceled soon, so watch it now.

Grade: A-

Workaholics

This show was awful. I barely made it through the first five minutes (in which there was a shot of a nipple, a dick joke, and a dollar bill wrapped around poop). The only reason to watch this shlock is if you have some burning need to know what would happen if third graders could join frats and someone turned their sense of humor into a TV show. None of the characters were likable, the humor was so low-class it was insulting, and I predicted the entire episode from the first two minutes (I looked it up later; I was being serious about the whole not being able to make it through the first five minutes thing).

It's trash, plain and simple.

The only thing it had going for it was the fact that I never knew my intelligence could be insulted so fast, so far in so few lines.

Grade: F-------

Request

Apr. 24th, 2011 11:15 pm
kitsjay: (Screw Canon)
Guys, this gal is B-O-R-E-D.

So to pass the time, give me a "first line", anything you want, and I will write you a short story in accompaniment.

Weird or witty, peculiar or philosophical, whatever you want.
kitsjay: (Cheers)
SEAN: You should probably send Mike an email and ask him what the kids eat. Do they sell kid food at the pet store? It's pellets, right? They eat pellets?

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