So....

Apr. 16th, 2017 06:35 pm
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
I'm not sure what I want to do, whether I want to stay on LJ or move to Dreamwidth. I already have accounts there, which I've had for years and occasionally use. I've posted some stuff there the last day or so while I further test things out. There aren't ads, so it's nice and quiet with loading. But the community scene has never been very big there. Conversely, it hasn't been big here for ages, except in certain circles.

One reason for hesitation is because I'm not sure that everyone who reads my journal here has an account there and/or would want to go there. And of course, I actually built up an audience here, but I suppose that with my lengthy absences the last few months, I've lost most of them anyway. The Stats say as much.

So ... weigh in? Are you just sticking with Livejournal, using DW too, and/or want or have moved to DW? My account there, by the way, is http://insaneladybug.dreamwidth.org
ladybug_archive: (baxterstockman)
Frankie Valli released a Christmas album this year! Squeeeee. I saw it at Wal-Mart on Friday and I couldn't resist getting it. Somehow I resisted listening until after Halloween. It is awesome and totally puts me in the Christmas mood. And I adore that he's still working with Bob Gaudio after all these years!

I ended up doing three different things for costuming. At the party, I played Rouge. It was nice to pull out that old costume again, but I still wanted to try some new things too. On Friday, when Wal-Mart was having a party and costume event, I threw together a very bad costume of Lydia from Beetlejuice in her casual clothes. I never could find a pink sash I know we have, so I had to use a scrap of cloth left over from a sewing project. And my hair is too long to stand on end, so I had to settle for a ponytail on top of my head. At least the makeup was in both correct colors, but I had a terrible time getting the purple to show up well.

None of us could find those yellow clothes, so now I'm really worried wondering where they are. But I played April on Halloween anyway, doing a combo of the 1987 and 2014 versions. My aunt gave me some blue jeans for my birthday that are so soft and lightweight and comfortable, so I used those and my tan boots as the 2014 elements. Everything else was the 1987 version.

I'm so glad we went to the Trunk or Treat at the church; there were only two groups of kids who came to our door (aside from one or two that came so early they weren't expected and I couldn't get there in time). I think that's the slowest Halloween we've ever had. It's sad how things have dwindled in recent years. It's strange too, considering how much people are spending for Halloween stuff. You'd think the number of Trick-or-Treaters would increase, not decease.

I've started to warm up to at least one of the new Troll characters, as I figured I would. I like Poppy, who is the leader. She reminds me more of the classic Trolls than most of the characters do, so I would like to get a plushie of her, I think. Probably the Build-a-Bear one, as I'm not impressed by the "fur" softness levels of the more mainstream ones. I might even try to see if I can see the movie. I figured I'd really want to give it a try after all, since I've loved Trolls so much through the years. I've always tried any version of them I could find. I loved the computer game about finding baby Trolls (I was playing it just the other day) and the children's novels about a pink-haired Troll coming to the human world and making friends with a human girl, and I would have tried the series Trollz if I had been aware of it and had access to it when it was on. Regarding Poppy, from the trailers I've gathered that rather than being a naively cheerful idiot, she's a good leader who chooses to be cheerful even though she knows there's a lot of things to be unhappy about. I could be wrong, though.

I finally took some screenshots of Baxter and Barney from my DVDs and am continuing to work on my website. I think I almost have it to the point where I'll let it go live. I still need to decide what I'm going to do with my fanarts, if I should post them on dA and link them, or if I should post them on the website only. People on dA rarely seem to give a darn about stuff I post, so I'm pretty bored with posting there. That, and half the time when I try, dA ends up gobbling memory and I have a horrible time even getting stuff up. Ugh.

I'm still ordering Netflixes from that list Dad made of movies we'd seen many years ago and liked. A Mario Lanza movie came yesterday, That Midnight Kiss (ugh, what a stupidly mushy title). The music was beautiful, of course, and I was totally thrilled that Kathryn Grayson was the girl, as I adore her and her singing. But the movie itself was pretty stupid. Some guy convinces a temperamental tenor to trash his room when he's mad and tear up his contract, because they want to bring Mario's character in as the tenor instead and they have to get that guy to go. And it ticked me off how the girl just couldn't bring herself to sing the operas' love songs with the temperamental tenor, not because he's a jerk, but because he's fat, ugh. But that was the typical attitude of the day, that fat always equaled unappealing. Honestly, I liked the guy okay; in physical appearance he reminded me of Simon. And actually, in some ways he had a perfect right to be angry, considering the way he was being treated at different points in the film. And then there's a huge misunderstanding between Mario and Kathryn's characters and they're both acting stupid refusing to talk things out and she's doing the typical "I hate him! I hate him!" immature nonsense when he sends her good luck wishes and she stomps on the poor roses, yet for some reason when she sees him on stage instead of the other tenor, she's totally thrilled and happy and all anger is forgotten, even though they haven't talked anything out yet. Of course, you're supposed to take it that it's because she really loves him instead of hating him, but I was expecting an explosion on the stage before she calmed down.

At least it's just shallow, stupid fluff, though, and not rage-inducing like Kiss Me, Kate is. Ugh, I loathe that production. The guy is such a jerk I can't figure out what she sees in him. Such an egotistical, abusive creep.... And I hate the whole Taming of the Shrew plot in general. I know about the different alternate interpretations of the plot, that she's not really tamed and she's just letting the guy think she is, but to me it's still a really gross and disgusting story.

And then there's The Toast of New Orleans, which I love for the music while I'm unsure what to make of the plot. On the one hand, I think the idea is simply that the high society types changed the main guy too much and that by making him integrate into their world, they're destroying everything that made him unique, and that of course that's a bad thing. But when part of what they did was simply to teach him good manners, I kind of struggle with the whole thing. The character was very obnoxious and crude and annoying, and I found him far more appealing when he learned good manners. I suppose the idea was more that the girl loved him for his bizarre and unique personality and didn't like it being erased or seeing him stifled, instead of simply saying that him learning good manners was wrong, but I have a really hard time seeing the distinction. Of course, it's not a good thing for anyone to have to be stifled if they're not actually doing anything wrong, but eh, I don't know; the way the movie handled the whole thing kind of bugs me. At least she said "We changed him too much," implying that some of the changes weren't bad, but still.
ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
I believe I've mentioned my desire to have a website devoted to information on all my favorite character actors. Right now it's mostly vintage interviews with or about the darlings that I've dug up, with a few recent ones thrown in the mix as well. What excites me the most is the extended interview I had with Elen Carysfort, Christopher Cary's widow! Today is Christopher's birthday, so I am especially happy to be able to bring this interview to people right now. I am hoping others who knew Christopher and the other darlings will find the site and come forward with stories to share of their own.

https://sites.google.com/site/thepathofthestars/

Heh.

Apr. 5th, 2016 08:19 pm
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
Turns out my script was already here when I was typing yesterday's post. I didn't learn all I'd hoped to, but it provided enough interesting tidbits that I made a new blog post out of it: http://thepathofthestars.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-script-of-riptides-pirate-and.html

I also watched two of Don Knight's Bonanza episodes. He played good guys in both and it was quite delightful. The first episode reminded me of The Big Valley's episode Earthquake!, and I had to suspend disbelief over why anyone would build a courthouse over a MINE, but the plot of Ben and four other people being trapped in the basement of a collapsing building was so intense. And everybody got out of there alive! I was really afraid someone would die, probably Don's character. But he didn't. And he was exonerated for a crime he didn't commit!

I wondered how I'd feel about the second episode I watched, since it was from the final season and Dan Blocker and Hoss were both dead. Gah. Hoss is my favorite Cartwright, so that was definitely a dread. But I liked Jamie, so it was okay viewing. It kind of felt like a cross between Bonanza and Little House, though. I wonder if that's how the final season was in general. But there were cute dogs, which is always a plus even though I don't agree with hunting for sport by any stretch of the imagination.

I hear Don plays the bad guy in the other Bonanza episode. I couldn't catch it on MeTV today and wasn't sure I'd go out of my way to do so anyway, but maybe I'll try looking it up now too.

I also saw the first of his Charlie's Angels episodes. He was a bad guy in that, although he didn't reveal just how bad he was until he discovered Kelly was a private eye. Then he pulled a gun on her, threatened to kill her, and made her drive away in his van. Kelly deliberately pulled a dangerous traffic stunt to get a nearby policeman to come after them, whereupon Don's character threw his gun out the window. Bosley, who was following, picked it up and brought it over to the van after the officer stopped them. Don's character's expression when Bosley said, "Excuse me, Sir, you dropped your gun out the window," was priceless. LOL. He started to sink down in the seat.

(Bosley, by the way, is still awesome. I love him and I love all the girls. I think there's two basic ways to look at a show like Charlie's Angels. One is that it's filled with threadbare plots, beautiful women, and exists pretty much only so that men can ogle said women. The other way is that it's about strong female characters fighting crime, and in spite of the sometimes silly plots, that's the way I look at it. Every one of the girls seems to be a good role model (except I definitely wouldn't recommend dressing the way Kris sometimes does ... yikes). They're all good people determined to not let the bad guys win, resourceful, intelligent, and very human. I have trouble picking a favorite. Usually it's either Sabrina or Kelly, but I love them all. Interesting that when I first saw the show, I wasn't sure what to make of Sabrina or whether she was as smart as the others; in the episodes I saw at first, I got the impression more of her maybe not being as all there. But as I watched more, I realized I must have just been seeing some of her undercover personas. She is very smart and on top of things, and her actress Kate Jackson seems to be generally hailed as the best actress of the bunch. Out of all the girls, Sabrina also seems the most like she really wants a romantic relationship, so I was happy for her that when Kate left, they wrote in the show that Sabrina was going to get married and have a baby.)

Before any of that, several days ago I saw Don Knight's first Big Valley episode. It was the really creepy one where Adam West was a psycho. Don's character was a twisted mix of selfishness, greed, and some genuine remaining goodness. Even though he had agreed to keep quiet about the first murder in exchange for sharing in Adam's character's high living, he didn't want any other murders to happen and tried to prevent them. Adam's character eventually killed him, which I figured would probably happen. I got plunnied and wrote a fic, but it keeps feeling like it's not complete and I'm not sure what to do with it.

(I actually feel a little like I've been in a fanfiction slump the last couple of weeks. It's just been crazy here and there hasn't been much time for writing, and it seems like when I do, I can't advance very much on the stories. I don't know whether this Big Valley one is holding things up and I feel I can't concentrate until it's done or if it's a slump in general. I feel more like I want to write Ginger and Lou fics for a while instead of continuing the fics I've been actively working on at FF.net. But I feel like I can't fully devote myself to Ginger and Lou fics when people are waiting on those others, or at least on the WWW one. I really wish I could get some input from Riptide fans on the Riptide one; the only person even reviewing it isn't even a fan of the show, so I'm pretty honored that he likes my writing enough to read it. I certainly didn't ask him to. But while I'm thrilled that he's reading, he of course can't provide much advice on the characters and such. There are silent readers, but the only Riptide person who actually said something only commented on the first chapter and expressed her dissatisfaction with the thought of there being real ghosts. I don't know if she even read on enough to see that things are still up in the air regarding the ghost angle, which is just like the season 2 episode that dealt with ghosts was like. I don't think they fully eliminated the idea of ghosts until towards the end. But so yeah. It seems like lately, my only real writing interests have been work, Ginger and Lou fics, The Big Valley fic, and non-fiction blog posts. I don't imagine it will last long, but it is frustrating when I gravitate to the non-fiction rambling posts here instead of working on stories.)

I feel the urge to watch Julie London's Big Valley episode again sometime soon. Her character was also a curious mixture of selfishness, greed, and some remaining goodness. She was a traitor to the North during the Civil War, but not because of changing ideologies; she wanted higher living and she was promised that if she turned. At least that's how I remember it. She showed up after the war and was understandably shunned by the town, but as I also recall, they took it way too far and actually tried to harm her and her old friend in the Barkley family tried to help her. I can't remember now whether it was Jarrod or Nick. He couldn't come to terms with what she'd done either, and it seems like even though she was sadder and wiser, she wasn't terribly apologetic or sorry for her actions, which only made things worse. I remember it ended with her leaving town. I wonder what kinds of interesting interaction might happen between her and Don's character were they to ever meet. I revived his character in my fic, naturally. Hmm, future plunnie.

I often think of The Big Valley as the poor man's Bonanza and/or an inversion of Bonanza, since The Big Valley has a woman at the head of the wealthiest family in town and some of the concepts and set-ups seem similar to Bonanza (and since the show only lasted four seasons as opposed to Bonanza's fourteen). But one interesting difference is that while the Cartwrights seem to be respected and well-liked, the Barkleys seem to be looked down on because of their wealth. Usually shows do the cliche of arrogant rich people so much that it's really a drag. The Big Valley has the flip-side of arrogant poor people, which isn't seen as often but is just as hurtful and damaging. And while I enjoy both shows, sometimes I feel like The Big Valley has a lot more heart than Bonanza. Maybe that's at least partially because there are women in the main cast and they bring something to the show that Bonanza lacks. On the other hand, I'm not saying I think Bonanza should have had a female lead. Each show is what it is and is enjoyed for what it is. I think a female lead probably would have ruined Bonanza, because that was not the angle it was going for. On the other hand, remove the women from The Big Valley and something is very missing.

I find it intriguing how quickly Don Knight proved himself a capable and awesome character actor. He just showed up to start acting in 1965, and it was only like three-ish years later when they were starting to bill him as "Special Guest Star" and/or list him at the top of the guest cast list. It's like what happened with Luke Andreas and Christopher Cary. With all of them, they were sometimes given small parts, but the show's crews quickly realized their talents and that having them around was a feather in the cap. They'd then be given meatier parts sometimes, or else even if they didn't appear much, they were still credited very high on the list. And as frustrating as it is when they're not in something much, like Christopher in that 1970s Captain America movie, it's still extremely exciting when they're given such high billing.

And I'm sure there was something else I wanted to talk about, but I don't remember what it was.

Oh, I just remembered. Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out on DVD today. I'm still undecided whether I'll buy it. I just can't bring myself to consider it absolute canon, even though yes, I know that as far as Disney is concerned, it is. And I can't see myself re-watching it much. But I love Rey and Finn and BB-8, so I figured I'd probably buy it for them, at least. I can't get it this week, though, since my account is cleaned until the weekend. And then I need to think about still getting to Build-a-Bear to get an article of clothing for the Lalaloopsy plush, since I wasn't able to include that in the order. I also need to think about getting the big Rey figure, because Wal-Mart finally got a huge shipment in (probably in anticipation of today). I just hope they'll still have some when I have money....

Some spoilers, just in case someone still hasn't seen the film but wants to )
ladybug_archive: (coley_lafe)
So MeTV is doing another round of their silly MeTV Madness this year, where MeTV shows are paired up and voted on by the viewers who use the Internet. I'm really not sure what the point of the thing is. I originally figured it was to determine what was popular so they'd have some idea what to keep/what to toss/what to bring back, but the MeTV Madness results really don't seem to have any bearing on that, so I'm not sure what the point is. Maybe it's just silly fun. Sometimes I wonder, though, if the voting is really completely what the users are saying or if MeTV makes the end result be something they want. I can never forget when 4Kids did that voting thing to get viewers to pick which new show they wanted to see a special preview of, and Tokyo Mew Mew was ahead for most of the voting time, yet suddenly when it was time, they announced that F-Zero had somehow won. Considering it had the least votes all the way along, that was more than a little suspicious.

And I was thinking about politicians being immature and flinging stupid insults back and forth at each other and that got me thinking about that Patty Duke Show episode where Patty and Cathy are running for student body president and start doing the same thing. The students get so sick of it that they end up overwhelmingly voting for the one candidate who wasn't insulting everybody else. But she also didn't have much of a voting pitch; she'd always get up and flatly say, "Vote for me." LOL. But according to Patty, she actually started doing a good job once she was voted in.

Then I started thinking how strange it is that while I remember the series fondly, there are many, many episodes that I either don't like or find tedious to watch. Episodes that I truly, genuinely liked all the way through are actually less in number than the other kind, I believe. So that made me wonder why I bought the first two seasons on DVD years ago. I think it was because I wanted the episodes with that recurring character actor who looked like Autor, Jeff Siggins. Then season 3 changed production areas and the supporting cast was dropped, including him, and season 3 changed the show in other ways and overall I didn't like it as much. But I still recorded the ones I liked best.

The other great thing about The Patty Duke Show is William Schallert. I became very fond of him while watching him in all those episodes. He reached the tier right below the actors I actually crush on, which is for other actors I am very enthusiastic about and can go out of my way to see and get very excited to see when stumbling on them by chance. I don't know if I would have come to like him as much as I do if not for seeing him every night as part of that main cast.

I also think off and on how Cathy is usually remembered for being so demure and sweet, and yet she can actually be pretty nasty too, like in the voting episode and several others. Sometimes I think she can actually be more nasty than Patty, because Patty usually just says things off the top of her head without thinking about it, whereas Cathy seems more likely to plan out at least some of what she says. Sometimes she behaves on impulse too, though, like in the Cleopatra episode. And I suppose she has to behave badly sometimes so she'll be a well-rounded character. But I have to say, it's always painful to see her like that and I don't think I like any of the episodes where it happens. Regardless, though, I do prefer her to Patty, as Patty Duke herself does. But both girls are pretty well-rounded and have good and bad points, which is nice.

That sort of thing is necessary, but while flaws are important, I honestly have trouble writing characters actually acting out/deliberately being vicious and petty and mean. Even if they're prone to such behavior in canon, I just cannot get into that mindset if I'm trying to write them as a protagonist. It's easy if they're an antagonist, but if I want them to be the one the readers are rooting for, I just ... can't seem to make myself do it, which is why canon jerk or villain characters in my hands usually end up not being anywhere as bad as canon portrays (although generally there's an explanation of trying to turn over a new leaf instead of it coming out of the blue, like it did with Hook on Once Upon a Time). It's just not my nature and I can't get into their heads and don't feel comfortable trying if I don't try to soften them/humanize them a bit to make them relatable to me. Some of them I still can't really relate to regardless of my efforts, since of course I have to try to stick to canon information and sometimes that means the character will end up darker than I'm comfortable with no matter what I do. (Usually that means I eventually drop the character, as in the cases of Gin and Vodka and some certain others in other fandoms.) But anyway, yeah, I usually have to fall back on other types of flaws for protagonists than acting out.

Then I started reading one of my locally-written mystery books. I was slightly concerned when I saw the main character described on the back as "quirky", as usually that seems to mean an absent-minded weirdo or someone who can't be serious if their life depends on it. Both character types are fine for people who like them, but they can grate on my nerves very quickly, especially since the latter category often leads to practical jokers and that's a sub-character type I don't care for either. (Which is why I've honestly never been that excited about the Weasley twins from Harry Potter.... Not that I'm that excited about Harry Potter in general, honestly. But despite my feelings, I still felt it was sacrilege to kill off one of the brothers. Gah.) There's a character in the latter category who's in a fairly popular locally-written book and movie adaptation. She says she's an intellectual, but she honestly never acts like it. She pretty much spends the whole book/movie acting like a silly, mischievous, slightly naughty goof and being rather outrageous at times. Although technically, she does get serious when her life depends on it. She dies and the thing ends up heartbreaking after starting so screwy and silly.

But to my relief when I started reading the mystery book, the lead character is a serious, capable person and her quirkiness mostly stems from OCD. I can totally deal with that. And it's rather nice to see an OCD character written seriously; as much as I had fun watching Monk, it always did bother me that he and the other OCD characters who popped up were portrayed as acting so childishly due to their phobias. We're really not all that way!
ladybug_archive: (schrank_krupke)
Ugggh, I have spent about ninety minutes wrestling with LJ, trying to find, read, and tag entries about The Fugitive, Route 66, Kojak, Charlie's Angels, and Vega$, as I've talked about them enough that they need to graduate from the "TV Shows" tag and get their own. I probably need to do the same thing with Get Smart, but that will have to wait. If LJ's search function would actually work, I wouldn't have needed to go through pages and pages of the TV Shows tag.

I think I need to re-watch more of the good episodes from Route 66. I was disenchanted by The Fugitive for a while and got over that; maybe the same thing would happen with Route 66 if I saw some awesome episodes again.

One thing that really annoys me about Route 66 that I thought I mentioned before but can't find, is that it takes the very stupid idea that people punching each other out is a good way to solve problems. At least twice they had Tod fight with somebody and then decide that everything was all good after they were both beaten black and blue. And one of my least favorite episodes had the idea that to stand up and be a man, one of the guest-stars had to face a gang and get beat up. Just ... what? Okay, so the guy was a crumb with the gang leader's sister and the gang leader wanted to beat him up for that. The crumb probably deserved at least a punch in the mouth. But honestly, why should the gang beating him up be encouraged? What if somebody got seriously hurt or worse? The plot followed that the gang kept coming around every day and bothering the people at the house because they wanted the guy to come out and get beat up, and he wouldn't do it because he was scared. Honestly, the character was lame and pathetic and I didn't like him, but he probably had good reason to be scared in that case. He did need to stand up and be a man, but I fail to see how letting himself get beat up is a good solution. That is just so dumb. It's like they were saying, "Okay, we can't control this gang, so you're going to have to get beat up." Does that mean that if the gang had actually wanted to kill him, going to face them would have still been presented as the solution to making them go away? **headdesk.** It's not the wild West and High Noon and the kid isn't a law enforcement officer, good grief! There are better ways of making reparations!

(Or maybe it was an actual fight instead of just getting beat up, but that's just as dumb.)

I guess that sort of juvenile, immature attitude dates back centuries to stupid things like fighting duels. I remember one time, maybe 15 years ago or so, this politician got so emotional and fired-up that he screamed he wished it was still legal to fight duels. I laughed. So did Mom. It was just such a stupid thing to say and he was so completely serious and sincere when he said it. I still remember his hilarious expression. (And no, I do not remember who it was.)

Also, as much as I adore Kojak, we've hit that stretch in season 5 where it seems like every episode involves some woman with Kojak either past or present. There was the one where he'd known the Mafia don's wife in the past. There was the two-parter where in the past he dated a barmaid and was going to marry a rich socialite (who eventually broke it off because she felt his work was more important to him, which it seemed to be). And tonight there was the one where he goes undercover as a P.I. and one of the suspects starts coming on to him.

I really don't remember this happening so much in the other seasons. I'm honestly pretty bored of exploring Kojak's love life by now, especially every night in a row, so I hope we're out of that stretch. It always kind of irritated me. I remember reading in this book about The Andy Griffith Show that the writers felt they had to have love interests for Andy Taylor or people would start mistakenly thinking he wasn't interested in women. LOL. I have to wonder if that's why they overloaded us with love interests for Kojak in season 5 when I don't recall it happening before. I also kind of wonder if that contributed to the ratings going down that season.

Also, I kind of want to see the TV movies they made after Kojak ended, but on the other hand I'm conflicted, because Kojak is a captain and the other characters from the show are not in the movies (except for one where Crocker is now working in the D.A.'s office). It would seem sad without the other characters still around. Plus, we just passed an episode where Kojak said he didn't want to be a captain and have a desk job; he liked what he was doing. He definitely isn't a desk guy. So him being a captain in the TV movies just doesn't seem right. But it would still be more Kojak to see and Darren guest-stars in one of the movies.... If I could rent them from Netflix, I would, but the only way I can get them is to buy them. Hmm.

In any case, I wouldn't consider them canon any more than I consider the Perry Mason reunion movies canon. It would just be one possibility of how things might go. Thing is, I like watching the Perry Mason movies, but I don't really want to spend money on any of them. I recorded the ones I wanted for keeps (the one with Scott Baio and the one where the murder victim ends up not being dead after all). At least with Kojak, though, he is my favorite character, so I'd still get to have my favorite character in the reunion movies, whereas with Perry none of my favorite characters are present (Hamilton and the police). I just wonder if Kojak is badly written in the movies, though, since they decided to make him a captain when he already stated he didn't want that. Seeing a favorite character badly written is never worth it.
ladybug_archive: (ecks_wye)
... But I suppose I'd better just take the plunge and post it.

https://sites.google.com/site/uncleandlondon/home

My Man From U.N.C.L.E. site, detailing the ins and outs of my fic verse and why things are the way they are in it. I don't know that anyone other than me will get a kick out of it at all, but here it is. Really, I think I do a good job with Napoleon and Illya's characterizations and their interactions, but this is the first time I'm going live with the details of my verse and my backstories for them in it and I am worried that those elements won't go over so well. I'm kind of proud of them really, though. It was fun trying to think out what their pasts could be like if the show was set in the present-day (which still seems plausible to me since most episodes were not dated).

Time period aside, I hope that there aren't any other bumps. I was thinking that Napoleon's and Illya's backstories were pretty up in the air, which is why everyone seems to have different ones (albeit they often have some similar elements). But I made one mistake in the past by not being aware of one little detail about U.N.C.L.E. operations that I really don't think was ever featured in an episode despite being in the series bible, so I hope there aren't other, similar errors. I kind of consider the episodes themselves to be the only 100% canon, even though of course behind-the-scenes intentions are important too. I really am interested in the series bible and just wish it wasn't only available in a huge PDF file. PDFs don't tend to get along well with this little laptop. But sometimes they work not too poorly, so maybe I'd better just take the plunge on that, too, and see if it will work.

I also just finished a piece where Ecks and Wye clash with Siegfried and Shtarker from Get Smart, LOL. I've linked it on the site; it's on Tumblr. I'm not quite sure what to do with it on LJ, since Napoleon and Illya are not in it and it wasn't inspired by a prompt comm. That would leave posting it here or on the fic journal, but since I'd doubt anyone would be interested anyway without Napoleon and Illya, I don't know whether to bother.

The piece is generally humorous, but also touches a bit on something I've been thinking about since the idea was first introduced to me, that Ecks and Wye's organization (or at least, other, similar ones in U.N.C.L.E. verse) is worse than THRUSH. I ... kind of think I disagree. THRUSH does things similar to KAOS, which is repeatedly, canonically described as a terrorist organization. My guess is that they are both similar and just as bad, if not worse, than the unnamed extremist organization Ecks and Wye worked for. I realize that THRUSH and KAOS are shown doing larger-than-life things, which makes it really hard to always take them seriously, but when you really stop to think about how horrifying and frightening their schemes would be if they were really possible, I just can't swallow that Ecks and Wye's organization is worse than them (particularly when we don't know many of the details of what they're doing, other than trying to take over countries and using, well, larger-than-life spy objects, same as the other bad organizations in spy series).
ladybug_archive: (yamiM_artichoke)
So I've been feeling miserable all week and yesterday started having that horrid problem that I previously only had in the Spring (and once in late winter), with headaches, lack of sleep no matter how hard I try, and misery whether I eat or not (but worse misery if I don't). Then I come on LJ today and it tells me that my notifications have been turned off because Outlook has been borking and not letting them through.

Okay, fine. Stupid Outlook. But why do I have to be punished for that by also being locked out of doing stuff on LJ, like answering comments? UGH. What Outlook does is not my fault! I suppose it's an anti-spam measure on LJ's part, but it is still highly aggravating. Just because Outlook is being stupid doesn't mean spammers took over my email and my LJ account. Especially when I just made a legitimate post a day or two ago!

So after vainly waiting for the validation emails to go through to Outlook, I had to temporarily switch my LJ email to the Yahoo address, which I barely use. That is inconvenient, to say the least. If Outlook shapes up and starts letting the validation emails come through, I'll switch back.

Bravo, LJ and Outlook. That really made this day great.
ladybug_archive: (yamiM_artichoke)
So Amazon has been crashing on me for the last couple of days. I thought it was my browser being frustrating. I'm almost ready for another gift card shopping spree, so Amazon crashing is not acceptable. I finally ran CCleaner again, which I don't do as much as I should because it exasperates me that it won't delete all the junk it finds and instead only gets rid of about half of it. But it's good to see that the program still works; Tumblr is running well enough again that for the time being, I can post without losing my mind.

Amazon, however, is still crashing. In desperation I typed "Amazon freezes Firefox" in the search bar and learned this upsetting news: https://www.404techsupport.com/2015/08/amazon-crashes-firefox-safari/

This has been going on since August. Why the HECK doesn't Amazon fix this?! Firefox and Safari users make up a large part of their customer base!

At least there's a link there to an Amazon Light version that works for me, so hopefully I'll be able to do my shopping spree without havoc when my second gift card arrives. But unless this problem is fixed, I won't be able to click on any Amazon email links. Aurgh....

And I decided to make that U.N.C.L.E. website. It's not ready to open yet, but I got a good chunk of it done and I'm pleased with it. I'm also pleased with my follow-up to The Peaceful Meadows Affair and hope that after having been quiet for the past several days, it won't be overwhelming when I post the next chapter soon.

It feels good to be confident again. I guess I needed to not post for a few days for my own peace of mind, as I was getting so worried I was being a pest to keep posting a fic thing each day. I started struggling with whether I should remove the posted chapter and split the subplot into a separate thing. (Problem is, I don't think I'd have enough content without it. That's why I hadn't started the follow-up before; not enough plot to work with.) Part of me wants to write the flashback scenes in the subplot as several oneshots (or as added vignettes to The Mist of Yesterday), since of course the flashbacks in the chapters are only brief snippets and not the full scenes. Maybe I will do that, but I also want to have this subplot in the story for a reason. So hopefully I can balance the subplot with the main mystery and people will be interested in how I handle it.

MeTV is showing The Concrete Overcoat Affair this weekend. I'm excited; I haven't seen that one yet and I'm anxious for the friendship squee. I'll watch both parts together, as I don't like the torture of seeing one part and waiting for the next one. Maybe seeing it will plunnie me. I hope.

Hmm.

Nov. 5th, 2015 06:14 am
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
... I just realized I have four icons featuring characters by Christopher Cary. I thought I had three. But I have the Ecks and Wye icon, the Ginger and Lou icon, the Captain Scofield icon, and this Snakes Tolliver icon.

Well, what can I say. I adore Christopher, squeee.

I actually got warmed up enough and plunnied enough that I started writing the follow-up to The Peaceful Meadows Affair from this past summer. I'm really excited to finally get that story off the ground (and hopefully have enough material to carry it through to completion now), but I'm worried I've been too active lately and people probably won't want to read a multi-chapter venture I've written. Eh, maybe I'm just worried for nothing because of things that happened in another fandom, but because of what happened there, I feel like I always have to walk on eggshells everywhere else when it comes to oneshot characters. Sigh. So if I seem jittery/worried, that's why. I just don't want to overstay my welcome.... The Peaceful Meadows Affair was quite popular, but I worry I won't be able to capture that same popularity again, especially several months later. I usually write a little spurt of U.N.C.L.E. stuff and then fade back into the shadows for a while, but now the plunnies keep coming. And keep involving those oneshot characters, oh dear. The reviewers have been really sweet and interested and their comments mean a lot to me. So hopefully there will continue to be interest.

I wonder if I should make a website for my U.N.C.L.E. fic verse or if I don't have enough for that yet. I have websites for my Perry Mason and WWW fic verses. Of course, those are just for me to play in; I don't hold out any illusions that anyone else would want to read all the intricacies of my fic verses and why I did this or that with particular characters. (Of course, if I were proven wrong, I would feel rather squeeful about it.) Mainly I just have an urge to write up some detailed profiles for Ecks and Wye and a website seems like a better place to stick them than a journal. Actually, heh, a long time ago I wrote up some detailed profiles for Ginger and Lou and I've ... never posted them anywhere. Oops. But I've used them to guide me in writing for them in the fics. I think some things in their profiles need to be switched, though. Like I wrote that Ginger is more the obsessive-compulsive one, but in actuality I think it ended up being Lou. Hmm.

November is making me very nostalgic this year. It was November, I think, when I saw Carmen episodes on television for the last time. Of course, I'm puzzling how that could quite be, since I saw the latter episodes and I thought those aired in December. It could be I'm mixing up months, but I do know distinctly that I was watching a little here and there around Thanksgiving. I watched one and then discovered Wishbone. Maybe I watched both in November and December.

And I still can't believe how hard it is to find a simple brown shoulder-length doll wig. There is a really nice one on eBay now, but it's $22 and I ... really hoped I wouldn't have to pay that much for a doll wig in this size (13-14).... Gulp.... And since I like to do the hair as one of the first things, I kind of don't even like to start making the Barry plush without knowing I have a wig on hand.... But I'd probably better start anyway.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Honestly, all browsers cause me a certain amount of trouble. The one that does it the least compared to the others is Firefox, so I suppose it's my preferred browser in spite of the aggravation it causes me. I don't want to use Chrome because I don't trust Google; I use some of their web products, but I don't want a program of theirs downloaded on my computer. Safari took up too much memory. Netscape stopped working properly and keeps crashing. And Internet Explorer ... ugh. That would be my most hated browser. It has caused me more trouble than any other browser, freezes more than any other browser, and is just an all-around general pain. It seems like I have much more trouble with ads and weird stuff appearing on IE too.
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
Tweaked the lyrics of Fliptop Twister to fit Snakes in the Old West days. In doing so, I also discovered how the relationship ended. The girl really sounds like a femme fatale in part of the song, so I altered the last part to have her continuing to cheat on Snakes and he finally gets fed-up and breaks it off, even though he knows he'll be alone again.

The full, tweaked lyrics and musings are here: https://sites.google.com/site/w3andperry/songs-for-the-characters/fliptop-twister

Ugh.

Jul. 29th, 2015 03:54 am
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
So I played around with the complex settings of the File Shield System thingie on Avast! I told it to exclude .RTF and .WPD files from scanning, because I really can't leave the entire thing shut off, and there's no point in having an antivirus program if I have to do that. So far, the exclusion has enabled me to save whenever I feel like it, so it looks like I'm right and Avast! really was behind this.

I've gotta say, this has been the most idiotic update of Avast! I've ever seen. It's been fine all the other times I've used it. But first there was that Web Shield garbage and it blocked practically the entire Internet, including its own website. And now this trash with the File Shield System!

This is a good example of why I hate Internet filters. The one time we tried using one, it also blocked pretty much the entire Internet. I've always been careful surfing and have honestly never stumbled into a naughty website, except one time when I deliberately tried typing the name of a toy company and discovered that the web address went to a place with entirely different playmates than I was looking for. Whoops. But I realized instantly what had happened and backed out of there before the site finished loading. That was probably about 14 years ago. But so we tried a filter for a while after that incident, but it just ruined the Internet experience and blocked a lot of innocent things, so we took it back off and haven't used one since.

I am really annoyed and disgusted that the Avast! update is just about as paranoid as that filter. Stupid, stupid Avast! Why can't they iron out these bugs? The one affecting Word keeps coming back every few updates or so, according to that thread. I don't really like excluding all .RTF and .WPD files from scanning, but until there's a better update, I don't have a lot of choice.

I did finally get the next Perry chapter done and up. After I supposedly fixed the problem, I was able to settle down, proofread, and add whatever I felt I needed to. I ended up lengthening the chapter by about a page, all in all. I think I'm barreling towards the climax, and I'm so excited at the thought of finally getting this fic done! Over the past few months I've been able to finish several things I've had hanging, and it feels so good every time.
ladybug_archive: (ecks_wye)
I've mostly got the Sunset Shimmer piece written, I think. Instead of flashbacks, I'm telling it in her monologue, although part of me wonders if I should do the flashbacks. I kind of think it would break the flow of narration, but maybe it would look better. On the other hand, maybe it wouldn't.

I'm kind of nervous to think of posting it when I get it done, but people seem to like my first Sunset Shimmer piece, so hopefully I don't need to worry too much. I still can't find a title I like, though. I was hoping for a line from a Pony/Equestria Girls song, but nothing stands out to me.

Next project is starting the new U.N.C.L.E. fic, which will hopefully happen soon.

And Avast! decided to update last night, as usual. I let it download stuff, but also as usual, I just didn't finish the process because I hate restarting when I'm trying to do stuff. I just let it wait to finish until I turned it off and then on again today.

Then I discovered it had decided to make Web Shield a new thing. I also discovered that Web Shield is an idiot. It blocked everything. Seriously, it even blocked itself. I couldn't access the Avast! website to read a topic on the forum. It was so preposterous and laughably ridiculous.

Somehow, I finally managed to access a website elsewhere that told where the Web Shield controls were. So I adjusted them and was able to start using the Internet again. Good grief, I hope the settings will stick and I won't have to do that every time I boot up. I will disable Web Shield altogether if that happens. Ugggh.
ladybug_archive: (hamilton)
I did some spring cleaning over at Dreamwidth. I haven't been happy with having made it a mirror of this journal, as I had wanted it to be something different. I found out I could delete all imported entries. I did that, and then created a different DW account to use specifically as an LJ back-up. For now, I think I'll go back to using my main DW account to post silly Perry Mason song parodies and maybe quizzes. It's the same account name as here: http://insaneladybug.dreamwidth.org The archive account links from there, too.

I don't suppose anyone here is on Insanejournal? I had an account there, but it got borked. I liked that silly place, because they let you have 100 free icons and they had an actual ladybug mood theme! It was so cute. And now I can't make a new account there because they decided they had to do that frustrating "invite-code only" thing for free accounts. Ugh.
ladybug_archive: (yamiM_artichoke)
Why the **bleep** am I now getting ads above my header instead of below it?! I want them below it, like they were before today! It's so annoying that I can only choose to have them horizontal or vertical but not anything more detailed than that.
ladybug_archive: (schrank)
Crystal and I have decided to do a Simon-only Tumblr: http://simonoaklandtribute.tumblr.com It was her idea, and I'm excited to see this branch of the project go forth!

I am having thoughts of getting another of JoAnn's pre-stuffed dolls to make a Simon plushie, if I could find another one with a bit broader build, like I used for Lou. I've been seeing a lot of Simon this week, and eeee, just seeing him always makes me happy, no matter what role he's playing!

Only problem is, I'm not sure what character I'd want to make a plushie of. Lieutenant Schrank or Tony Vincenzo would probably be among the top choices. If I chose Schrank, though, I wonder what color I should use for the suit. I know it's supposed to be gray, but I always think of it as being more of a purple-gray mix. This icon really seems to tint it purple, and it's what I usually think of when picturing the character, since I don't often watch the movie. Plus, Lou has a gray suit, so I'd rather use a different color for Schrank.

Also, if I chose either Schrank or Tony, I'd probably also end up wanting to make either Krupke or Kolchak too. I don't know if I'd be up for making two, especially when I've even had thoughts of wondering if I should make a Mike plushie to be with the Lou and Ginger plushies.

I wish they did several kinds of face shapes; if they had an elongated face shape, I'd make a Richard plushie too. But I'm still embarrassed over having the wrong face shape on the Hamilton plush, so I don't think I'll try any more plushies with face shapes that wouldn't work well with the JoAnn's plushies.

I've also been thinking of making a Sunset Shimmer plushie, since I prefer her as a human and there will probably never be human plushies of the girls. A few fans have made some other Equestria Girls plushies, and I'm particularly in awe of some made by Lavim on dA. I would probably try to make Sunset similar in style to that person's. Any movie-accurate Sunset plush would require making the plushie completely from scratch, though, and not starting with a pre-stuffed doll. That is definitely a frightening thought. I would probably have to use the sewing machine for at least some of such a task, instead of doing everything by hand. I might ask Setsuna how much she'd charge to make one, but ever since I discovered I actually can do it myself, I kind of prefer that, since I don't have to wait for several months and I can have the proportions be what I'd like the most, instead of being anything chibi-fied.

I'm also working on my first Table 3 piece for [livejournal.com profile] 100songs. I decided to use Bridge Over Troubled Water, because I felt the first piece should be serious and profound and use a song that has special meaning to me and actually use the song's lyrics in the piece, as per how I opened Table 1 with Hallelujah. I'm excited with the plot I've chosen for it, and I'm also excited about several other ideas I have in the works. One will involve idiots crank-calling Ginger and Lou and singing Weird Al songs at them, until Lou finally decides to play Weird Al's song Phony Calls any time someone does that. The calls stop soon after.
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
Just when I made up my mind that I want to get the second Equestria Girls movie on Monday, I discover that season 7 of The Virginian is at a price that surely shouldn't be passed up. Prices fluctuate so much, it could change later today, if it hasn't already. The seasons are rarely this low, especially the seasons I want. It's so low that I'd need to buy something else to put it over the minimum limit for free shipping. I'm debating whether I should just get the movie from Amazon as the other part of the shipment, only I really hadn't wanted to do that. I wanted to buy it locally, and buy it on Monday, instead of waiting a week or more for Amazon delivery. But if I don't use the movie as the other part of the shipment, I probably can't spare any money to get it for a while. Or at least, I shouldn't. Ah, decisions.

Both Christopher and Wesley had birthdays this week and I wrote tribute posts for them on the Blogger blogs. Then, since my Christopher post was about Snakes, that made me think about him more and I went and poked through my WWW website (http://sites.google.com/site/w3andperry) and started sprucing it up with other story information and links and lots of stuff about Snakes I'd figured out in stories since my last update. I also decided that Sunset Shimmer's song My Past Is Not Today would also fit Snakes in my timeline, started learning the song, and even started typing up a mock post "written" by Snakes, discussing his thoughts on the character, as she runs quite a few accidental parallels with my version of Snakes and now I have a headcanon that won't go away where he watched the movies by accident and became intrigued by her due to those parallels.

I watched the first Equestria Girls movie again, as it's floating around YouTube, but I couldn't find the second one there. It was interesting going back to see it again; I haven't seen it since that first time, back in November 2013. I loved it just as much as I did then. It made me a little melancholy in some parts, though, seeing the girls who are so very different in personality coming together in shared friendship. Reminds me of old times.

**glomp.**

Jun. 16th, 2015 05:54 pm
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
Made a blog post for the wonderful Christopher Cary's birthday today. http://thepathofthestars.blogspot.com And I need to think of one for Wesley Lau's birthday on Thursday. I find it amusing that both of my favorite blond, blue-eyed cuties were born the same week (albeit different years). Wesley's post will be on the Perry blog, and I'm having trouble thinking of a new angle since I've written many entries about him and his Perry characters.

Yesterday our Wal-Mart had a large Cheer Bear again. That is pretty interesting. If she'd been there last week, I would have bought her, and then I probably couldn't have spared the money to get Bedtime when he turned up. And since Bedtime is the one I wanted the most, that's pretty cool that the Cheer was absent so that I'd have the money for Bedtime instead.

Wow.

May. 22nd, 2015 06:58 pm
ladybug_archive: (joe_lew)
So apparently all I have to do is accidentally see Once DVDs at eBay for good prices to end up dreaming about Once and Rumbelle. I think that show and that pairing mean more to me than I'm even fully aware of, and the way the show has let me down since season 3B has disappointed me even more than I realize. I've dreamed about it several times lately.

Yesterday I finally got up a Mannix season 1 post here: http://thepathofthestars.blogspot.com I'd meant to do a Lew Wickersham-centric post, but it turned into season 1/Lew and Joe's friendship, instead. Of course, you can't really discuss Lew for long without getting into the friendship, but now I'm wondering whether to write a post to say some of the things about Lew that didn't quite fit into this post or whether I should not post any more about season 1 and save it for the book about season 1 I want to write.

I also finally got another webcomic page done. http://thesecretlifeofexcons.tumblr.com I'm hoping to get page 2 done soon, too. I posted 1 by itself because posts have been so scarce lately.

And I am so restless and nervous about a lot of things today, for some reason. I had a horrible time going to sleep for a while, I was so edgy, and the edginess continues after sleep. I'm not even fully sure why I'm so wound up. Among other things, I'm worried about whether I'll have all the content desired in order to open my website next month, and how I'll get said content, and whether a reviewer familiar with Riptide will keep reading and commenting on my multi-chapter fic or if she'll bug out because she doesn't want it to be supernatural and is afraid it will be.... Also wondering if people will get mad at me for toying with a May-December romance between Giovanna and Scofield or if they won't care since a large portion of the fanbase prefers slash and would probably rather Cody didn't have Giovanna.

I'm really nervous about planning the next activity for the girls at church, since I'm pretty much on my own due to a decision that each of us will be in charge of an activity and we'll keep going the rounds like that. I kind of liked when we all planned the specific activities together instead, so that the whole burden for the lesson wasn't on one person. Especially since while kids like me for some reason, I'm really not a good teacher and often get tongue-tied and don't explain things well, so I'd kind of like help. But I wouldn't like to ask and make it look like I can't handle putting it together on my own, since the others can manage fine doing that.

I'm a little sad and disappointed about a couple of things, nothing major, but still, it contributes to the overall feeling of being on edge. I wonder if the activity is the main source of stress, though. I only have a week to prepare it. And I'm pretty worried about the website, too, since things just aren't going the way I hoped in regards to it.

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