Blah.

Apr. 14th, 2017 06:29 pm
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So a long time ago Dad wanted me to add a bunch of Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, and Gary Cooper movies to the Netflix queue. Naturally he wanted dramas, not comedies, so I looked through what they had and tried to add every drama that sounded interesting. Unfortunately, they had an incorrect summary for the movie Only Angels Have Wings and I thought that brief summary sounded so interesting that I got the thing without looking up more in-depth information.

It was ... pretty lame, honestly. Not super terrible, but not great either. It was just kind of ... there. And while the summary made it sound like Cary Grant's character had made some terrible error and was spending the movie trying to regain respect from the other pilots, that ... wasn't how it was at all. It was some other dude who made the error, and honestly, it really was a super bad one. He bailed out of a malfunctioning plane and left his mechanic to die (which he did ... die, that is). Apparently he deliberately left the guy to die because he was a coward. That was the impression given, anyway, rather than that he bailed out thinking the mechanic was bailing out too. And his wife had acted really awful with Cary Grant's character in the past, and she was supposed to be acting really awful about her current husband, but they didn't do a good job of showing that. She wanted to know what he had done that was so horrible it was causing everyone to shun him, which is a normal reaction for anyone. Apparently she wanted to know for her sake and not because of his, but they didn't really bring that out very well. So instead the movie came off looking like it was bashing the idea of a wife wanting to know the skeleton in her husband's closet in general. Naturally she should respect his privacy if there are things he doesn't want to/feels he can't tell her (which was something Barbara Keane on Gotham couldn't seem to grasp and was one of the main things that ticked me off about her), but sometimes if you really love someone you want to know everything that's going on in their life, especially if it's something that's bringing sadness. And honestly, this character was coming off as just being worried about her husband. If Cary Grant's character hadn't gone off on a tangent insisting she was only concerned about herself, I wouldn't have realized that was what they were driving at. It was still hard to believe it after he said it, because the woman just wasn't being portrayed that way.

There were a few moments of humanity, mostly involving the best friend of Cary Grant's character, and I did like that they showed Cary Grant's character felt things deep down but just tried not to show it. That was moving on some level. But mostly the movie felt very cold and emotionless and macho, really. And it was supposed to have a lot of exciting scenes of planes flying, and there weren't that many, honestly. Most plane scenes were close-ups that were filmed on a soundstage. I find it hard to believe that such a blah movie could have actually been the inspiration for a TV series like Tales of the Golden Monkey (which was the inspiration for TaleSpin, according to Wikipedia). TaleSpin, with all of its heart and soul, couldn't be more different from this thing.

And I had a dream today about Charles Nelson Reilly being dead (which he has been for ten years) and them doing some kind of tribute with his All Dogs Go to Heaven character feeling sad about him being gone. Also, H. M. Wynant was in it for some reason. That was a nicely depressing thing to wake up from, especially considering how special Charles Nelson Reilly and that character are to me. I became obsessed with All Dogs Go to Heaven during a very discouraging time in my life and the movie and that character really helped to buoy me up. I really didn't need to have his death fresh in my mind again right now.

I hope tomorrow's Pony episodes are good. I wasn't that impressed by the trailer, but I am remaining ... cautiously hopeful. I'm also not that happy that the main characters and Spike get transformed into sea creatures in the upcoming movie, but hopefully it's just for a scene or so. I am excited that we're getting Sea-Ponies in general. And all the merchandise planned for the movie thrills me and makes me very nostalgic for the G1 era.

Also, now I've gotten so far into my Turtles timeline and Barney has improved himself and his relationship with Baxter so much, it's kind of depressing reading back on the older fics where they're still having problems. I still feel kind of weird about the fact that I created most of the details of their problems, albeit they definitely had some in canon judging from Barney's episode. At least I don't feel outright guilty about it anymore. That dark and depressing and twisted fic I read certainly cured me of that.

It's strange when I have one thing planned for a character and something totally different happens. Both with Baby Face and Snakes, I never intended for them to be anything other than bad guys. Then I got intrigued with various elements of how I was writing them and that's what caused me to flesh them out. With Barney, it was sort of the same thing, as I started out planning to make him like the 2003 Baxter, albeit with a little more humanity. Then I decided that wasn't fair to the character when we knew so little about him in canon and I wanted him to be better than the 2003 Baxter, who was basically sane but evil. So Barney became much more troubled instead, and unlike the 2003 Baxter's idiocy, he regretted being with Shredder and Krang more and more until he started working against them at times and finally turned against them altogether. Now he's actually turning his life around and it's lovely.

Ugh, I hope I feel happier later today. That dream really did bum me out and I was also feeling a little depressed from looking in one of the earlier Turtles stories, as mentioned. And then other unhappy memories came to the surface again that I would rather not talk about.
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
I meant to put this in the earlier post, but somehow forgot (of course). I think one reason why Once's decline affected me so seriously is because it was the only modern live-action show that I loved enough to keep following for so long. I remember trying three shows that season, and only Once made it past the first season. I loved the characters on all the shows, and I probably would have continued watching the others as well had they continued (but I might not have in the case of Pan Am, as I was just so aggravated that it turned into a primetime soap opera instead of the more adventurous and character-focused show I had originally thought it would be), but Once was the one that spoke to me the most. I saw the ads for it on FF.net before it premiered and it looked so intriguing that I wanted in, which was a rarity for me and modern TV. I was onboard from the very first, championing it from the first and encouraging others to watch, and I was so intrigued by it and the characters that in spite of whatever problems I had with it (and I did have some), I stayed. When it declined so badly, it was seriously disillusioning and felt like a slap in the face and a betrayal. And one more reason why modern TV is not my favorite thing and I prefer older shows. Not that they're perfect by a long shot, but I've certainly been less disappointed by them.

Sigh. And then I've never understood why it's so hard to find merchandise for the series. The soundtracks, for example, are seriously rare. I've never seen them outside of the Internet. I just did a search for them on Half.com and eBay, hoping that by now the season 2 soundtrack would be cheaper. Instead, it's more expensive, and the season 1 soundtrack is really outrageously priced. And we don't even have any figures, except for those Funko POP things that I'm really not crazy about. Why can't we get some real action figures, like we finally got for Lost? If the show is really so popular that it keeps getting renewed long after its quality decline says it shouldn't, why isn't the merchandise easier to find (and exist)? So illogical.
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
So of course, in addition to the Turtles fic, I'm doing that month-long [livejournal.com profile] 31_days challenge with Snakes and Chita, like I mentioned. Some are short, while some are long.

On days when I really wanted to work on the Turtles fic more, I was often frustrated to have to pause to write something else too. Yet I had really wanted to do those pieces and still did, so stopping wasn't a viable option. Now, as I find myself getting a little stuck on chapter 8, my attention is wavering and going back to being more interested in the themeset, so I'm even more glad I didn't stop.

I hope I will be able to get the rest of the Turtles fic to come out, though. I think the climax will probably start next chapter; it's mostly a matter of getting past the rest of chapter 8. I think I'm getting a little frustrated by lack of interest, as I have to admit I thought something for the Turtles category might actually bring some people in from the category to have a look. I got two Favorites/Follows early in, but nothing for a while. That was better than nothing at all, even though I'd hoped for reviews, so not having that either is kind of doubly discouraging. And of course, I'm happy that Harry and Crystal and Ladyamberjo have been interested in it. I just wonder why it is that it seems like no matter what category I write for these days, 99% of the time no one comes in from the category to read and review. I think the only times it's happened semi-lately is with Maverick and The Saint and The Persuaders!, aside from times when I've posted in the U.N.C.L.E. comm and one or more people have said something. FF.net seems to be in a sorry state these days. And I still barely get any comments at AO3, too. A couple of people left Kudos on the Turtles fic, though, which was also nice.

I didn't want to re-watch any Turtles episodes until I was done with the ones I hadn't seen before, but I think maybe I should re-watch one or two of the human Baxter episodes and see if that will jumpstart my inspiration again.

Anyway, back to the Snakes fics. I ended up getting kind of fond of the Chita character while I was writing the pieces. Naturally I would, since I was trying to show her good side up until Snakes learned the truth about her. They actually had some cute scenes sometimes. But because the audience was supposed to be as in the dark as he was (i.e., there weren't any hints about how terrible she really was, save for vague comments Snakes made directly to the readers in the narration), it came off as not feeling that believable when I got to that piece. I'm still feeling frustrated about that too and wonder if when I get everything done, I'll need to try to work on that one a little more. I wonder whether I should have had that piece at the point I did, and yet I felt I had to because the prompt for that day was perfect and none of the others fit quite as well.

Chita is a strange mixture. She's one part cliche/stereotypical gold-digger/airhead/hater of everything creepy-crawly and gross, one part devious woman who isn't really an airhead deep down, and one part whatever goodness is left in her. She did have fun times with Snakes and she did like him, even though she was never in love with him. And she never wanted to hurt him or for him to find out what she was doing behind his back. But that doesn't excuse what she did and she was certainly a horrible person to be married to.

It feels nice to write stuff for Snakes. I love fleshing out his character so much. I'm anxious to pick up the Ginger and Lou pieces again too. I'm hoping to do that come September, when this challenge ends.

LOL.

Jul. 28th, 2016 08:50 pm
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
So there's an article linked on the front page about the creators of Sherlock trying again to stress that their Sherlock and Watson are not a couple. They stressed that their Sherlock isn't gay or straight. (Personally, I think almost all incarnations of Holmes are probably asexual.) They're totally cool with fans writing whatever they want in fanfiction, which is pretty awesome, but they just want to make it clear that in canon, it is not their intention whatsoever to have the characters hook up with each other. That is pretty much how I tend to feel when it comes to my own fic verses: I don't care if slash fans want to imagine things going the way they want to, just as long as they realize it wasn't my intention to write the characters as couples. A lot of my stuff probably looks like a slash lover's paradise, LOL. But that stems from the fact that ultimately, aside from any sexual things going on, slash lovers and platonic enthusiasts often want pretty much the same kinds of squeeable things.

Anyway, I was just amused to see that article there. It reminded me of a lot of my YGO adventures and encounters with slash fans. And it also kind of made me think of my Ginger and Lou fics, which probably look more slashy than anything else I've written yet are actually probably the least slashy in actuality. LOL. There's the same set-up there as there seems to be on Sherlock, with Ginger completely asexual and aromantic and Lou straight. The whole point behind the Ginger and Lou stories is to explore the idea of platonic soulmates and what if two people can have a completely platonic relationship that is every bit as fulfilling and enduring as a true romantic relationship and never, ever goes on to anything besides platonic. And I'm feeling squeeful just thinking about it, heh. I have the same kinds of warm fuzzies and thrills and excitement over a good platonic relationship as slash fans (or any romance fans, really) have over romantic relationships.

Speaking of romantic relationships, though, I finally decided on my own what I might do about that [livejournal.com profile] 31_days themeset. I may try writing it for Snakes and the Chita character he was involved with in my backstory. Now, normally I do not create OCs to hook them up with canon characters. I think the only times I ever do that is if the relationship has ended for one reason or other and therefore there is no OC hanging around and horning in on canon character time in the present-day. The idea for these two was based largely on the song Fliptop Twister by Rockapella, just reversing the end idea that it was the guy who was unfaithful and making it the girl instead, since Snakes is usually a protagonist character in my stories and I didn't want him being the unfaithful one. It also wouldn't have agreed with how his character developed, since I have it that he longed for someone to genuinely love him. Anyway, I've always meant to tell their story more fully, and maybe the themeset would make it an easier thing to write. I'll have to see what happens.

Also, there's apparently another new Six Million Dollar Man comic arc being put out by Dynamite. I'm wondering whether to even bother with it. I didn't really like their previous one because it was so dark in many ways and not what I wanted to see from a Six Mil story. It sounds like this one continues in the same vein. And it's a plotline that I don't even like, where Steve ends up finding out information that makes him distrust the OSI agency and he runs off to try to find more answers. Meanwhile, the OSI thinks Steve is a traitor and is out to get him. One of them wants to shoot him on sight to keep the secrets of bionic technology safe. I assume that is either an OC for the story or Oliver Spencer; I can't imagine it would be Oscar. But Oliver was in a coma at the end of the last arc, and in it because he did something heroic, so I would be kind of irritated if they made him an out-and-out antagonist in this arc.

It actually sounds rather OOC for Steve. If he got super mad at the OSI (again), he would likely go to Oscar and Rudy, bully them by throwing them around and threatening to do worse, and demand to know the truth. That's pretty much what happened in The Return of the Bionic Woman episodes. I'd hate to think that he now doesn't trust them after so many years together. But he has some bizarre voice in his head that could be partially responsible for his weird behavior in this new arc, and if that's the case, that could be an interesting angle to explore. But overall I'm not very impressed by the sound of things. And I'm wondering if they'll try to hook this arc up with the events of the first reunion movie, which had it that Steve quit the OSI and Oscar has to go to him for help again several years later. Honestly, it would seem really stupid and lame to me for Dynamite to go to all the trouble of bringing the series back in comic form only to have Steve permanently leave the OSI in its second arc, so I really hope they aren't going to try to connect their comics with the reunion movies. I hope that the voice Steve is hearing will be a large part of what's wrong here and things will end with Steve back at the OSI. But considering the information that upset Steve so much (that apparently they tried to give other people bionics in the past and it went wrong and they died), I don't know if there will be any way around this hurdle for him.

For now I think I'll keep monitoring what's happening in the issues as much as I can, but not make a move to buy any yet. I still need #5 of the previous arc, too.
ladybug_archive: (nancy_peter)
A couple of weeks ago in Wal-Mart I saw the most awesome playset: a Scooby-Doo haunted mansion! There were trapdoors and ghosties everywhere and a falling chandelier.... I don't have any place to put something like that, but I sure want it. That is epically awesome. It's one of the most creative playsets I've seen in a long time.

There's also a new line of Scooby-Doo figures. For some reason, there's two Scoobies in the line instead of there being a Fred. They'd better still make Fred! All the other original characters were there. Each one comes packaged with one of the supernatural creatures they unmasked on the show. And even though there's two figures and they're around 6 inches tall, they only cost around $7! I so want those, too. So do lots of others; there were three full pegs of those figures two weeks ago, and last week there were only two figures left.

So I had a very interesting and odd Once dream today. It was similar in nature to some LOTR dreams I had years ago, in which I and Mom and other people were acting out the character roles. And there was snow on the ground. I'm not sure why that's a feature of those dreams, but there you go.

I was playing Rumpel (and Regina, apparently, as there weren't enough people for each to take one character). It was around season 2, and the entire cast had been sent to some weird, snowy place with a huge castle. Rumpel was walking with Belle and they were talking about the problems in their relationship. They seemed to be at a rocky stage. One gave the other some kind of native little white flower before they separated. I was having a blast figuring out how to talk with a Scottish accent.

Belle was then walking with one of the girls, and I think I narrowed it down to Ruby. They were talking and seemed to be upset with Mary-Margaret about something, but the details of that conversation have faded. They were climbing up snowy hillsides that were like steps and heading for the castle. Everyone seemed to be going to a funeral, but I don't know who was dead. They walked along the outside of the castle, which weirdly seemed to have different entrances with numbers corresponding to season 2 episodes. Most were bizarre crooked stairs that were at unclimbable angles. They finally found a way up via the stairs marked for episode 2.

Regina was walking down the corridor, heading for the room with the funeral. For some reason, she ended up casting a spell on herself that made her appear as Rumpel to everyone else she passed in the corridor. It was not shape-shifting, like Cora could do, but it was expressly just a spell that warped how everyone else saw her. She got to the room and ... apparently laid down on a low table/slab in front of a row of people. Then she was ... either faking being unconscious or there was some other spell. Everyone thought it was Rumpel and was confused as to why they couldn't wake "him" up. Rumpel was supposed to appear in the doorway and be all "WTH is going on here," and I think he arrived and was trying and failing to get people's attention, and I woke up around then.

A very weird dream. But actually rather enjoyable while it was being had. I woke up missing the good times on Once before the writers decided that Rumpel wasn't allowed to continue his progress being a good guy. I should write some more in my vignette series again.

I wonder if another reason I'm worried about posting it on FF.net is that I'm afraid some people won't like that I'm unhappy with the direction the show took starting with 3B. But there's quite a lot of us who feel the same way, so that probably wouldn't really be much of a problem.

Recently I re-watched the season 3 Mannix episode with Don Knight, another British actor with lovely blond hair. He reminded me a little bit of Christopher, while at the same time definitely being his own person. He played the only survivor of a shipwreck, and he knew the truth about the wreck, that it had been hijacked and everyone else deliberately murdered by being thrown overboard to the sharks. He himself had been permanently mutilated; his left arm was gone and he had a limp. He was being sought after by the bad guys to kill him, but he refused to come forward and tell the police what he knew because they were threatening to kill a girl he loved. In the climax, he discovered that the girl was actually one of the bad guys. Heartbroken, in a moment of rage he started choking her, but Mannix rushed in and stopped him. When he calmed down, he insisted that the girl must have been coerced into being a part of things, because she was just too sweet to really be bad. The girl told him that she hadn't been coerced, that she wanted to be there because the Big Bad saw her as she really was instead of putting her on a pedestal. It was heartbreaking, gah. The guy didn't have anyone else in the world and he lost the one person he thought cared about him. Mom wondered if he might end up committing suicide, feeling like he had nothing left, but I hope not. Maybe I will write something about him and see what he's up to.

I remember liking that character and the actor before, but I didn't follow up on it. I wanted to this time, but I didn't get around to it until I discovered him in a Hawaii 5-O episode quite by accident over the weekend. That time the character was a bad guy, but he was in danger being kidnapped by the psycho Big Bad of the episode and I hoped the taskforce would save him in time. They did, and I decided to look up the actor. He had turned out an amazing performance and had broke down in hysteria because he was terrified of heights. So very different from the Mannix character. Like all good character actors, he really slips into whatever part he's got.

I found a list of credits and saw that I have one of his Virginian episodes, so I watched that this morning. He was a bad guy again, but he survived the episode. It was a pretty depressing episode, though, called The Mustangers. I don't think I want to get into it right now, but it seems like many season 7 Virginian episodes are depressing. I remember that while many season 6 episodes were high drama, they generally seemed to end well. I'm not sure what was up with the seeming change.

I also found a website run by Don Knight's son, which is awesome. I'm going to go back there and see if there's a way to contact the son. And I'll probably keep looking up his father's credits; I think one of his Charlie's Angels episodes is already on one of the discs I put on the queue.

Don Knight sounds like a sweet man in reality and I know I definitely loved his Mannix character. Apparently he also played a beloved character on Little House on the Prairie, so if I end up deciding I like him enough to make him one of my darlings, finally there will actually be one of them who has appeared on that show. Heh. I've always wondered why none of them ever guest-starred on that. Or at least if any have, IMDB doesn't have a record of it (which is possible).

His character on that has a very famous and tragic death. He works with dynamite, and he's watching some contest that includes his friends Charles and another guy. When they win, he's so excited for them that he doesn't remember he has a lit dynamite fuse that he was dealing with.

They invited Don Knight back for another episode as a different character, but when he got there they paid him and then fired him. They felt that his character's death had been so poignant that the audience would not accept him as another character.

...

Is it just me or was that a really lame and jerky thing to do? Once they hired him for the episode, they should have followed through with it. And isn't it just a little bit arrogant to think that their show's character death is so powerful that he could never return as someone else? I've watched lots of shows with powerful oneshot character deaths, and very often the actor will be allowed to return later as another character. I never see any problem with that.

Also, speaking of his character's death, it just sounds so pointless and needless that to me it almost seems like they killed off the character for the sheer shock and tragedy factor. Unless the episode was based on something Laura Ingalls Wilder really wrote about as having happened, it seems to me it should not have been done that way. I don't like character deaths that are pointless and needless and exist just so they can point to their show and say, "Look how dark and gritty we made it! It's some kind of artistic achievement!"

And as a closing note, eerily enough, Don Knight follows the pattern of being someone I saw in something many years ago. Apparently he was in The Apple Dumpling Gang. I actually wasn't crazy about that movie; I'd gone in looking for a hysterical comedy and it honestly didn't strike me as being very funny in most parts. The big funny scene seemed to be where Don Knotts' character was being accidentally choked by a rope up the side of a building, which ... really isn't very funny. But maybe if I go back to it and watch it not looking for anything specific, I'd like it.

I know it's stupid, but it still kind of troubles me that I can't think of anything I saw Christopher Cary in many years ago. He's the one darling that doesn't fit the pattern. I did see him on Rockford before I was interested in him, and I did like him, so I figure I've got to accept that as the time I saw him years ago. But it wasn't in the long-ago past, like all the others. I keep thinking there must be something I saw him in years ago and that someday I'll pinpoint what it was.
ladybug_archive: (yamiM_artichoke)
So I learned a few interesting things today.

I already knew this is YGO's 20th anniversary. I found out now that it shares its anniversary with Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?; the manga was first printed on September 30th. (The anime, which I love much more, celebrates its 16th anniversary on April 18th.)

The 20th anniversary celebration movie releases in April. I thought it wasn't coming until July, for some reason. But it's saying that the movie takes place six months after the end of the original manga. For some reason I had thought it took place in anime-verse, but it kind of sounds like it doesn't. If it takes place in manga-verse, then I probably won't consider it canon unless it's really amazing; the anime is my preferred YGO canon, with only the substitution of Duke's manga introduction instead of the anime one. And the more detailed manga conversations between Atem and Thief King Bakura from the Memory World stuff.

And then this summary that Shounen Jump released has me puzzled to the extreme:

In the past Yūgi Yami and Kaiba have clashed many times!! Yami Yūgi, who resides in Yūgi Mutō's body, and Kaiba will have a duel that bets their prides and accepts each other's mutual experience.

Ummmm.... So it takes place after the end of the manga, when Yami Yugi had gone on to the afterlife, but they're still talking about him like he's there? What?

I know it seems strange to think of a YGO anything in the original verse without Yami Yugi around, but he's kind of not supposed to be there now. The whole point of the finale was to show that Yugi can stand on his own and Yami Yugi's destiny lay in finally being able to rest in peace. So right now I am left seriously scratching my head and wondering if something was mistranslated in that summary.

I look forward to April 23rd with great interest. And a bit of trepidation. I don't mind Yami Yugi being back, if there's a logical explanation for it, but I'm not too thrilled at the thought of the film being manga-based. And I wonder what will happen with Duke and Bakura, who have been my favorite YGO characters and story subjects for several years now. (Ironic, since in the past I used to struggle with writing for both of them....)

Also, I finally finished chapter 5 of my Riptide fic. I am thrilled. I think it may be starting to take better shape now; it's leaning towards a combination of The Hardy Boys and The Saint in plot structure, with a dabbling of old adventure quest movies like Mara Maru. Which makes total sense since the Riptide episode that inspired the fic made me think of The Hardy Boys and since there are some really fun Saint episodes set in tropical areas. And since movies like Mara Maru also have some similar plot elements with what I'm doing: ship settings, smuggling, maybe a crook in a white suit....

I finished that Saint book, too, and thoroughly loved it. The TV adaptation of it was kind of a mess; probably not one of the better episodes. It changed drug smuggling to art smuggling, which just wasn't as intense, and it had a bizarre subplot of an old girlfriend of Simon's being manipulated by a hypnotist who was obsessed with her. She couldn't make herself break free of his control, no matter how Simon pleaded, but at the climax she sees the hypnotist about to shoot him and she runs out to try to save him and gets shot herself. The episode ends with Simon holding her as she apparently dies. It was heartbreaking. Even moreso since the girl really was innocent and hadn't ever willingly participated in the hypnotist's crimes.

I'm torn between writing a fic of Simon at her grave after the funeral or saving her life instead. Apparently Simon didn't break it off with her; she left him three years ago. Simon still cared about her, and she him, although I think Simon had really accepted that it was over between them. If I save her, which I certainly lean towards doing because it was just too sad, I'd still have to have them decide not to renew their romance, at least not at that time. But Simon would say he would always be there for her if she needed him. Only that all opens another can of worms in that she would likely be suffering a lot from trauma after finally breaking free of the hypnotist's control, and the road to recovery would be long and I don't think I'd be able to write that kind of fic; I stalled on more than one about recovery from trauma (including the Detective Conan fic Breakdown). I guess I could still just make it a oneshot and have Simon planning to stick around during her recovery and let it end there. Either that or timeskip to when she's better and they talk then and decide at that point not to renew their romance. They really have to decide that, as the episode aired at the end of the second season and even if she didn't die in canon as she seemed to, she certainly isn't around for any of the remaining four seasons.

Anyway, of The Saint episodes I've seen that were based on stories I've read, I wasn't so keen on this one or on the adaptation of The Gentle Ladies, but I like the book version of The Gentle Ladies even less. By contrast, I absolutely loved the adaptation of The Ever-Loving Spouse, in contrast to my thorough dislike of the book version. I believe I squeed over it here around the time I first saw it. Most episodes I have not read the book version of, and in general I imagine I would prefer the TV episode, if I liked either one. And then there's episodes that have no book counterparts, particularly a lot of the color ones. I kind of really love those, as they get into espionage and other exciting spy things like that. Many of the book-based ones are more about running cons, and while it is delicious to see con artists get some of their own medicine back at them, I love spy episodes the best.

I added another wartime-era Saint novel to my Amazon wishlist. I really wouldn't be surprised in the least if that ends up my favorite Saint era. I just love the idea of The Saint as an undercover government agent, especially if he tends to behave as he did in the novel I just finished. In any case, I'm just thrilled to have read a Saint book I really enjoy and that didn't make me uncomfortable in any way, as several of the short stories in The Saint to the Rescue did. I'm glad I didn't give up completely after being disappointed by the short stories. I was certainly tempted to. But I kept wanting to read that one particular book regardless and now I finally have.

And speaking of writing character death fix-it fics, ugh, I also must write one for a Charlie's Angels episode. I was so bummed by the episode in general, as Dan Tanna from Vega$ was in it and I got it in my head that it was a full-blown crossover. So I immediately sent for the disc, as I like Vega$ and I adore Dan Tanna; it's so intriguing that instead of a Las Vegas private eye being a really wild sort, Dan is very morally upright. (Maybe that was to try to make Las Vegas more appealing to conservative 1970s TV viewers?) But then he only has a tiny cameo appearance at the very end of part 2. It was so lame. I wanted to see him and the Angels solve a case together! I suppose the shows airing on different networks was what prevented a real crossover, even though they were both Aaron Spelling shows, but it was still disappointing.

Making it worse, there was an adorable character in the episode played by Scatman Crothers who had a pet cat that he carried everywhere with him. He was the best friend of a character played by Dean Martin and the villain was trying to take away everything that Dean's character loved. That included running down Scatman's character. Gah, it was heartbreaking. The cat jumped out of the way, thank goodness, but then it ran over to him and got on his chest, so worried. And then he survived the car crash, but the crummy villain came in through the window of the hospital that night and gave him a drug that killed him for real. I just hate when a character survives something horrible and you're so happy and relieved, and then they throw in the twist of them dying anyway. That is also lame. And sadistic.

But so anyway, I must figure out some way to save that character, because him dying is just unacceptable. I hate when one half of a great friendship (or for that matter, an enduring romance) is killed off, and it's so sad thinking about not only Dean's character being so sad, but the cat. Gah.

AUUUUUGH!

Jan. 12th, 2016 03:23 pm
ladybug_archive: (yamiM_artichoke)
Uggggh. I absolutely abhor computer scammers, identity thieves, and the like. I'm pretty sure at least one person wondered why I felt so bitter about them and was unhappy that I couldn't really warm up to a character of hers that seemed to have that sort of dubious occupation. But when you've actually experienced a crime yourself, at least for me, it makes it very difficult to feel any kind of sympathy towards such criminals, even fictional ones.

I know there are a lot of fictional characters I like that I doubt I'd excuse in real-life; somehow being fictional, they're detached from reality and it's easier to see all sides of their heart and soul, unlike in real-life. But on the other hand, there are a lot of fictional characters I just can't bring myself to like or feel sympathy for. Sometimes it may not seem to make sense regarding the ones in that category, but to be honest, I think most people have those fine lines where one particular character is liked but another that may seem the similar on the surface is disliked. Perhaps it's a matter of the characters' attitudes, at least sometimes. I just can never like Pegasus, for instance, because of the specific mocking, joking attitude he takes to everyone's misery. But on the other hand, I am intrigued by Yami Bakura. They both steal souls, but their personalities are not the same and I am far more bothered by Pegasus's personality under the circumstances than I am by Yami Bakura's.

Anyway. So. Back to the computer criminals. Years ago some crumb stole my dad's credit card number and bought a bunch of stuff with it. I was always afraid it was my fault, because it happened shortly after I used it (with Dad's permission) on Sega's website to buy the Knuckles plushie. I worried Sega's store hadn't been secure enough and that's how the number was taken. Thankfully, my dad didn't have to honor those purchases; the company believed him about the card number being stolen. But regardless, because of that experience I've been specifically bitter against computer criminals ever since.

Now yesterday, my dad got taken in by a computer scammer. He seems to be the type that deliberately puts junk on your computer and then pretends to just be finding it and says he can get rid of it for a high price. This crumb claimed he was from the computer company and even gave some of Dad's personal information to try to prove it! He messed up the computer and Dad couldn't even get in last night. Thankfully, Dad has managed to put the computer back in order now, and hopefully he's going to be able to find a way to report the creep. But this only deepens my bitter feelings towards computer criminals.

I wish I'd known about the phone call from the creep right when it happened; I would have been immediately suspicious and told him not to let the guy have remote computer access until he proved without a doubt he was from the computer company. It made no sense to me that a legit party would randomly call, since Dad hadn't even called the computer company. And sure enough, when he did call them after talking to the guy, they told him that the guy was a fraud. I'm relieved that the computer seems to be back to normal now; I certainly hope it can stay that way. (It wasn't my computer, by the way, but the newest one Dad uses. It's never really worked right because it's had a lot of trouble with viruses and computer creeps and the like.)

But so yeah. Computer criminals are something I just can't seem to not be bitter towards. Before the incidents where we experienced the crimes, I think I was just neutral, didn't really understand the damage they cause, and might not have been bothered by fictional computer scammers. But after the first incident in 2001 and this new incident too, uggggh, I cannot stand them.

Somehow I think Simon Templar would feel the same way. And now, even though it would probably make the few fanficcers stand on their heads and scream Foul for plopping him in the obvious present-day, I want to write a fic where he brings down some computer criminals. That would feel so delicious to me. I love how Simon champions the rights of those who are being hurt by the greed and evil of criminals. And I have to admit, I do sort of swoon thinking of him as a knight in figurative shining armor, rescuing the girls of the week (re: me) and whoever else is in distress. That is, of course, how the author of the original books intended for him to be viewed, and that was captured perfectly in the television series.

Do I agree with all of Simon's methods? No, I do not, even in the toned-down television version that I far prefer over the books. But I do love that he's devoted his whole life to catching criminals and protecting the innocent from them.

Also, I am absolutely ecstatic to learn that the big boxset is not the only in-print release of The Saint! They're also doing double-season sets, and those are reasonably priced! I can get them! SQUEEEEE. There's one out now and the next releases next week!

And as a closing note, I was reading a review of one of the few Saint books I'm interested in. People have long wondered if the TV Saint is working at least sometimes for a secret organization and not just always on his own; some episodes hint at that. Now in this book, the reviewer says Simon says he is part of such a thing and even stranger, that at the end the organization is identified as U.N.C.L.E. (A curious trick, since the book was written in 1947!) I'd have to read the book to know how accurate that assessment is, but regardless, I am certainly intrigued. And I'm probably going to have a terrible time not imagining that Simon is with the London office of U.N.C.L.E. now.
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
So the other day I decided to try the first episode of The Persuaders! to see how it all began. I had assumed both characters were probably equally distasteful of each other, but while Danny definitely disliked Brett, Brett actually didn't seem to dislike Danny, merely to find him an annoyance. And Brett was actually the one who seemed to behave the most jerkish of the two, which I was a little disappointed by. Of course, Danny was being a little pushy about the bartender including two olives in Brett's drink instead of one, but he seemed to honestly be trying to be friendly and share the version of the drink he liked, even though Brett had previously irritated him. (On the other hand, it's possible Danny really was trying to be cheeky.) And then it's Danny who actually wants to fight about it when Brett absolutely doesn't want the drink that way, ROTFLOL. So Danny is definitely being immature even though Brett is being a bit of a jerk. And then Brett is being immature too when he agrees to the fight even though he really hadn't wanted one.

What's interesting, however, is that even while they're fighting and immediately afterward, they're not hating each other; they're starting right in with the banter that they developed through the rest of the series. You can immediately see that there's something awesome here, and by the end of the first episode they seem to be on the path to genuinely liking each other. I love how the episode ends with a callback to earlier, when Brett gets in the elevator and the doors shut before Danny can get in. At the end, it happens again, only then Brett opens the doors and tells him to come on in, he isn't going to leave Danny standing out there. Squeeee. I can think of other shows that would have just had Brett keep Danny out of the elevator again and leave it on that obnoxious note, so to end in a squeeable way thrilled me indeed.

I think I've seen three full episodes now and pieces of a couple of others. (Then Adobe Flash finked out and made it impossible to go on. But it and other things are updated now and Flash has been working a lot better since then.) I've seen more than enough to know that I must own this show, so maybe I won't watch any more and just focus on trying to get the DVD set as soon as possible. This series is just overflowing with friendship squee! The other episode I saw had the bad guys kidnap Brett and hypnotize him to obey their commands, and poor Brett instead thinks there's a double of him doing these things because he just doesn't remember. At one point he attacks Danny and they have a huge fight in an alley. Danny shows up the next morning angry, haunted, and hurt, saying Brett tried to kill him. Brett honestly doesn't remember and insists it was the double. Finally Danny figures out what's going on and has to rush to stop Brett from killing a businessman the bad guys are trying to knock off. I am so in love with this show.

I've also been having a conversation with a friend that has included some talk of the All Dogs Go to Heaven franchise. I have to admit, while in the past I was all over the TV series, I haven't been as enthusiastic about it for years. I am still amused by the detective/spy parodies, but even with them, there's really no comparison with the depth of the first film.

This is basically what I've been thinking lately:

Charlie Barkin in the first film is wow, quite a dark character, actually: a wild crook and a gambler who becomes obsessed with the idea of taking revenge on Carface after Carface tries to murder him. He's boistrous, loud, and loves to live a riotous life. But he still has a heart deep down, even if he is loathe to admit it. Frankly, he reminds me of the way I've fleshed out the Snakes Tolliver character.

Charlie Barkin in all other parts of the franchise has been lightened to varying degrees to make him more kid-friendly. It's like the writers of the second movie and the TV series kind of are aware of the basic parts of Charlie's personality, but they don't put them together quite right and thus, don't create the same character. On the one hand, I can kind of see how first movie Charlie might get bored of Heaven eventually, and yet, it's disappointing to think about because he was supposed to be okay with being there by the end of movie 1 (and it seemed like he was going to liven up Heaven in very interesting ways). Now, perhaps his attempts to do so kind of epically failed and he grew bored, but I really don't think that was Don Bluth's intention with the character and it made me kind of sad. (That said, I did love that he got a second chance at life at the end of the second film.)

The TV series is basically standard cartoon fare and mostly has the kind of plots that you can find in many other sources, even a Freaky Friday episode. Which, when you think about it, makes very little sense. Charlie and Itchy lived together in an OLD CAR for who knows how long and they apparently didn't have any problems. But when they have a whole apartment to move around in, suddenly they can't abide each other's living habits and Anabelle has to switch them to teach them a lesson? I suppose one could argue that having a much bigger space made them spread out a lot more and be more "in your face" with their habits, but it's definitely started to make me scratch my head in confusion.

I also have a very hard time imagining first movie Charlie doing something dumb like creating copies of himself to take care of various things he needs to do that day. He's definitely always looking for a quick solution, but somehow I can't imagine him thinking that would be a good one. Again, it's basically standard cartoon fare and could happen with pretty much any Saturday morning characters if they were presented with the way to do it. I doubt first movie Charlie wants to be a detective either, or that many other TV series events quite align with the first movie.

Of course, the TV series is really a continuation of the second movie, which was made by different people and naturally wouldn't capture the feel of the first movie. One interesting thing, however, is that I believe Itchy and Killer carry the same personalities throughout the franchise, or at least, are usually much closer to their first movie selves than the other characters. (There's still Itchy's illogical behavior in the Freaky Friday episode.) I always said Itchy and Killer were the only characters that absolutely could not be replaced by other voice actors, and of course, now Dom DeLuise and Charles Nelson Reilly are both dead. Not that I think there will ever be any other attempts to revive the franchise, really.... The Christmas movie was a pretty good place to leave things off and I'm pretty sure that it will remain that way.

Now, I also realize that people who didn't come in on the first movie may not have the same problems with characterization that I do. Maybe even some who did wouldn't have such problems. I used to not. I don't remember exactly when it was, but one time I was watching the TV series and thinking "... This is really silly." And I never have felt the same about the series since. As I said, to me, even the episodes I still like are pretty much standard cartoon fare compared to movie 1. That doesn't mean they can't just be enjoyed on their own merits. They should be, really. That's pretty much the only way I can enjoy them now. When I try to think of them relative to movie 1, I hit a brick wall. I know they're supposed to be the same characters from movie 1, and yet, they're not. If I think too hard about the differences and try to reconcile them, I won't get anywhere and will just drive myself nuts.

(A whole other can of worms is the differences between Vic Tayback's menacing Mob boss Carface and Ernest Borgnine's softer, more humorous portrayal. Even Ernest's Carface's freak-outs are usually funny rather than downright scary.)

As a closing thought, back to Snakes. The thought of trying to write Snakes differently so he'd be more kid-friendly kind of makes me go "...". I just don't think it could be done without dismantling or dumbing down his character. It's rather a scary thought. Although at the same time, part of me is darkly, dementedly amused by it.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
I try not to let silly things irk me as much as in the past, when after reading a magazine article that showed the writer clearly didn't understand the Marik Ishtar character, I wrote a long letter to the magazine pointing out a bunch of things the writer either didn't understand or didn't know. I doubt I'll write a letter to the publishing company Little and Brown now. But ... I can't help feeling annoyed that on the case for a set of Equestria Girls novels, they made some actual errors about Sunset Shimmer when describing the book plots. You'd think that a case of the books would make an effort to get things right. Instead they make it sound like Sunset is still a problem for the characters following the first movie. They have the idiocy to say that the Dazzlings is her band, when in reality she had nothing to do with being in the band and instead wanted to stop them. And they call her "always rebellious."

...

Completely aside from the fact that she had a complete change of heart at the end of the first movie and wanted to be good and not rebellious, the books actually portray her as even more insecure in the succeeding adventures than the movies do. Even in the most recent book, the Friendship Games adaption, this is done. In the movie, a key scene has Applejack making a remark that could be taken as guilting Sunset about her past. But Applejack means it as a joke; they are close enough friends now that such jokes can be made. Sunset half-smirks in response; she knows it's a joke. But in the book, Sunset takes it as a way to guilt her and show they'll never forget what she did in the first movie.

Apparently the publishing company will certainly never forget, or forgive, since they want to portray her so unflatteringly on the box and even accuse her of things she didn't do. **headdesk.**

Saturday was an extremely long day. Where to even begin? I feel terrible everything took so long, especially since Mom wasn't feeling well enough to go and we had to leave her home and call in every little while or so. But things can't fully be explained on the phone, so she was still plenty worried and I felt plenty horrible at the time it took. Even moreso since some of the time didn't have to have been taken.

So let's see. We made good time getting to the church and made it for the viewing/wake, as we were aiming for. The following funeral service was lovely and all the kids spoke, but gah, it was so sad. They were all so sad and some of them kept breaking down. These were grown men. It was moving to see how much they loved their mother (and for most of them, she was a stepmother, but they still considered her a mom just like their other mom). But man, it was heartbreaking. I don't often cry at funerals, but it was a struggle not to cry at this one.

The luncheon for the family and close friends was pretty amazing. I've never been to a funeral luncheon like that before. It was Mexican food. There were giant tortillas to fill with beans, chicken, cheeeeese, salsa, avocado spread.... It was so awesome. And there was ice water and several kinds of cake.

We hadn't actually planned to go to the cemetery part of the service, since it was even farther away and Dad just didn't see how he could afford the gas. But then my sister offered that we could go with her and her youngest daughter. We had to make a spur of the moment decision because everyone was leaving right then. I was worried to go with someone else, since then we'd be captive to their whims, but I could tell Dad really wanted to go to the cemetery, and I did too, really, if we could manage it. And I hoped it wouldn't take too long afterwards to come back to the car. So I figured we'd better try it. He left the decision up to me and I didn't want to be responsible for Dad not getting to go.

She didn't seem to know her way around too well for some reason, but her daughter set up the Google Maps app on the phone and used that to guide her up to the city where the burial would be. This was where we all used to live, and the cemetery is one of my favorites ever. It's so huge and old and mysterious.

The burial plot was in the newer section, so we drove over there, my sister got us to the wrong burial service even though we told her it was by the fence, and we had to try again. That time it went right and we arrived early.

I was surprised not to see the jagged triangular headstone in the area. I had thought it was right near the family plots in that area. Since there was a little extra time, I wandered off to find it. That thing creeped me out so bad as a kid, but it morbidly intrigued me too. It's just so unique. And then it's also creepy to me because from a distance, the only thing you can see written on it is the surname going vertically down the stone. The name is unusual and it's similar to the name of an aunt (just minus one letter), which only adds to the unsettling nature of it. I've tried to put it in every cemetery picture I've drawn (albeit I don't put the name).

I finally found it, over near where some family friends are buried. It still creeps me out, but it was daylight and didn't seem so creepy then. I walked right up to it. It's pretty big in person; it was about as tall as I am. Of course, I'm pretty short (five feet even), but that's still pretty big for a tombstone. I wonder why they used such a jagged piece of rock like that for the marker. That would make for an interesting story, I imagine. It's sad too; the person buried there was only 19.

I walked back and they still hadn't started yet; they were waiting for the hearse. When it finally got there, we did a little graveside service and tried to sing some family hymns, but we didn't know all the words, especially on the final one we tried. I'm glad we made it to the cemetery to participate in that final part of the service. It was after we left that the problems started.

We needed to drop my niece off at a friend's house where she'd arranged to spend the night. My sister detoured a bit to look at my dad's birth house (yeah, he wasn't born in a hospital) and the old shop where he used to work with his grandfather. Along the drive up, I had remembered that I wanted to check Marshalls for the rare Adagio Dazzle doll, as she's been turning up in a lot of them lately. The only Marshalls here are up in that approximate area, and my sister agreed we could try one on the way back down.

After some trouble with rush hour traffic, we finally got to the place and I went in to look around. I was really impressed with the store; it looks really upscale, even though it's a discount place. I wish Mom could see it; I think she'd love it as much as I do now. I couldn't find the doll, but I did find the big Twilight Sparkle figure. I'd just been thinking about her and that she wasn't in stores any more. I had wanted the original unicorn one and had not paid attention to the winged version, but I finally knew I'd never get the unicorn one since she's rare and expensive now and I was willing to get the winged one. When I saw her at Marshalls for $10, I figured I'd better snap her up.

We headed back to where we'd left our car at the church. We got off the freeway too early and started wandering around. Even though I saw street signs that said we were not in the right town, my sister didn't believe it. We wandered around some more as it got dark and ended up in yet another wrong town. Finally we all saw a sign proclaiming the name of the place and my sister believed we were lost. She didn't know how to work the Google Maps app, but the directions were still programmed into it from that morning as to how to get to the church. So she brought that up, followed them, and finally we were able to get back to the car.

I suppose I really should have just said for us to go home then, since we'd been out eight-nine hours at that point. But since we hardly ever get out that far and there were sales I needed to see about right then or they'd be kerplunk, I could hardly bear the thought of just going home then. I really tried to hurry regardless, but it didn't work out that way.

We also tried finding some stuff Mom wanted for Christmas presents, but we didn't have any luck finding stuff for the adults. We did get the stuff she wanted for the kids, so that was good.

I checked T.J. Maxx and Ross for the doll and still didn't find her, so then it was on to Toys R Us. They had a 30% off sale on all Pony stuff, and I thought I'd planned I'd get the archery Applejack and that would be that, but when I actually got in there and everything was on sale, suddenly it wasn't an easy decision. I debated for ages over several things I'd wanted, couldn't decide, and then we had to rush to the mall to see about the Build-a-Bear discounts. I had discounts adding up to $15 off, plus there was a 2 for $35 sale on. Both of my discounts worked with that, which meant I could get two for $20! Naturally I couldn't pass that up. I'd planned to get Zecora and Teegan (the purple cat/tiger) if I could get two, so that was what I did. It was fun and the girls were so friendly and sweet and fun. And since Teegan comes with a tank top (as well as sewn-on underwear), I found some cheap swim trunks for her to wear at least for now. Maybe later I'll have money to get her a nice outfit, but right then I just wanted to clothe her good enough and save more money for other things. But it took a lot longer to get two than I'd planned on; it was about thirty-forty minutes later when I got back to Toys R Us.

During the interim I thought I'd decided what to get at Toys R Us, the two-pack with Twilight and Flash. But every single copy Toys R Us had featured a stray glitter problem. It was shedding off of Twilight's skirt and getting everywhere. That didn't seem appealing at all, so I wondered if I'd rather get the characters separately and buy a Twilight without that skirt. I turned my attention more fully to the two-pack I'd tried to get in the summer, with Sonata and Aria from the second movie. There were only two copies of those, they're phasing out, and with the sale they were only $13.99. That was definitely the best deal. (Well, actually, the best deal was Photo Finish and her two band members, but I don't really know those characters other than Photo Finish herself. They don't even have any dialogue.) So I preferred Sonata and Aria. I still debated for a moment, feeling guilty as always to get antagonists, but I knew I really wanted them. They bicker like sisters, which makes me have a certain fondness for them. Plus, I knew I probably wouldn't be able to find the set before long. And I have a chance to get the Adagio doll from someone on the forum, so I wanted to have the other girls in the band right ready in case I could. It would be too sad not to have the whole group.

(Also, I have plans for a story where Sunset finds them post-movie and tries to extend friendship to them. One thing I did like in the book version of the second movie was that she felt some pity for them. I can definitely picture that, since Sunset had some similar goals of wanting to be popular/well-liked.)

With that taken care of at last, I wanted to just try one more Wal-Mart looking for Sunset Shimmer. (We'd tried one around the time we got the stuff for Mom.) That was a fizzle, of course. We had planned to try one more store looking for DVDs for the adults, but it was so late by then and I was exhausted and panicking, knowing Mom would be so upset and worried that it was taking so long. So we went home, arriving over twelve hours after leaving home. GAH. Mom didn't like the long time we'd been gone one bit, but she did like seeing what I'd brought back and was happy I'd been able to get those items, so that made me feel a little better.

I felt awful that I was too exhausted to stay up for long with Ladyamberjo and JP, though. That's the night I chat with them and Ladyamberjo and I have had all kinds of trouble having a conversation the last several weeks. And of course, on the night when Ladyamberjo tried extra hard to be available and awake, I'm so tired I'm falling over in the chair.

With weather reports of storms coming up this week, we decided we needed to look for the other DVDs on Tuesday. That was just two towns over. We left earlier than we do sometimes and spent the latter part of the afternoon checking out the DVDs at K-Mart and ShopKo. I also discovered that K-Mart's two-packs of Twilight and Flash are glitter-free and gorgeous, so I'm back to wanting the two-pack again and not to get the characters separately. I wonder if it would be worth paying full-price for it to get a nice glitter-free one.

I still couldn't find Sunset Shimmer, but I did at last find a good Scootaloo at Wal-Mart! All legs were the same length and her face wasn't shaped weird (yes, those are problems with Funrise sometimes), so I decided I should get her.

Also, I very randomly saw the 12-inch Applebloom at ShopKo. It was frustrating, because from a distance I momentarily thought she was Sunset. Sigh. But it was interesting to see a rare character turn up at ShopKo, of all places. ShopKo doesn't even have any Friendship Games dolls yet! I wonder if seeing her is possibly a good sign. Scootaloo just started showing up last month, and now an Applebloom.... Maybe, possibly, Sunset will still come? I don't hold out much hope of that, though. And I still wish I had taken that person up on her offer to get one for me in the summer. I was worried about shipping costs and I was fully convinced back then that we were just about to get her for fall stock. And then we didn't.

Well, anyway, we had some good luck with the DVDs, and I got a couple of Christmas presents, and it was a pretty nice little outing. We got back in time for me to chat with Crystal.

I also had good luck with one of my survey companies and got an Amazon gift card again already! I got a couple more Christmas presents with it, as well some more Get Smart for myself. Hopefully it will arrive in time for me to send one of the presents on and have it arrive before Christmas....

I also discovered that I need to watch every episode of The Persuaders!, ohmygoshsquee. It's wonderful! I plan to buy the DVD set with my next gift card. Meantime, I found it on YouTube and watched an episode in the morning. The friendship between the main characters is glorious, and it's even more awesome because they start out hating each other, and they go from that to really caring about each other and being really close friends. It's such a shame it only ran one season. It should satisfy my Roger Moore withdrawal nicely. I love his character, and the friendship with Tony Curtis's character, and I won't be surprised if I want to write fanfic somewhere down the line. As much as I love Simon Templar, he's a loner, and it's harder for me to relate to writing for loners if they don't have one good friend or family member to interact with. And if they're the only steady character in the cast. Then they work better in crossover fics. I really love to write about friendships. (Plus, I still worry about the fact that I prefer the TV show Simon while the few fanficcers prefer the book Simon. I'm still going to write that one fic with Simon appearing to be dead and Inspector Teal reacting to it, though. Then it flashes back to tell what led up to it, comes back to the present, and of course Simon will be alright when the drug wears off.)

I also became obsessed with the song Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men. It's absolutely haunting and gorgeous. I'm thrilled Ladyamberjo found that song and shared it with me! I am totally going to want to write a fic based around it at some point, although right now I'm unsure what characters such a fic would involve. I'd also like to sing it, but I don't know how well it would go over if I tried recording me singing it, since it really does need to be a duet.
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: (twilightsparkle)
[Error: unknown template qotd]I do not have any interest in these types of books. I fail to see the appeal of a book series in which humanity has become so evil that they pit children against each other and force them to kill each other off. Just ... what? On the one hand, I'll admit that I find the thought of groups rising up against such evil and triumphing to be very cool. But I don't want to wade through all the horrible things to see the victory. It's just too depressing to imagine things ever becoming like any of the dystopian worlds.

To be honest, though, I've never read many young adult books. It was almost always either children's books or adult books, rarely the thing in between. So I don't know that I'm really a good judge of that level.

I think the few young adult books I've read were almost always part of a series. I read a lot of Hardy Boys Casefiles and Nancy Drew Files, both of which I believe were (and should be) classed as young adult instead of children's fare. I liked those, but I like the children's versions of those series better. The Casefiles/Files got pretty dark sometimes and the Files' more overt focus on romance could be annoying. Also, sometimes there were only three suspects. So uncreative. I prefer a wider range of suspects.

Then I read the book version of That Darn Cat!, called Undercover Cat, and the two sequels. I liked the first sequel better than the first book. I didn't like the second sequel much at all. Either way, though, I wasn't that crazy about these books and preferred the original 1965 Disney film. (I hated the 1997 remake and thought it was one of the stupidest things I've ever seen. The only good thing was the cat.)

And I read Twilight, but only because it was a gift. It's really not my thing.

I think the only other young adult books I've read were by local authors. I liked those much better.

I suppose my favorite young adult books, aside from the local ones, would be the Hardy Boys Casefiles (minus the really dark/graphic installments). But as I said, I'd rather have the children's series versions. So in the end ... I probably never read many young adult books because I didn't much like the topics they seemed to cover and/or how they handled said topics.

Fun times.

Aug. 19th, 2015 06:30 am
ladybug_archive: (yamiM_artichoke)
I love nightowling. But I absolutely do not love when nightowling is spoiled by spending the time chasing stupid bleeping mice that get into the house and manage to go under the refrigerator. I love it even less when it's discovered that somehow it must have come out from under there despite our best efforts to corner it. Who knows where the bleep it is! And they never seem to go in the live/humane traps, even when we put food in and on them. We keep trying to use them nevertheless, since we're compassionate people around here, but I'm pretty skeptical that they ever work.

We first realized there was something around last week. Mom saw something streaking in the living room, but only out of the corner of her eye. Likewise, a couple of nights later, I thought I saw something in my room. But I was running on two hours of sleep, I can hallucinate, and I'd just watched something about Wonder Rat, so I was seriously hoping there wasn't really anything there and it was just the tangle of black cords at my feet and my tired mind.

Sunday night we heard what sounded like something in the piano. We couldn't find anything there and we thought it was in the wall instead. If it was, it either found its way out of there and back in here or else there's two: one in the wall and one in the house. Heaven forbid. Tonight both Mom and Dad saw it in the kitchen and the refrigerator disaster happened. And as of now, who knows where the blasted thing is.

Here I will wax completely unlike Fluttershy and instead be like Applejack, screaming about all the horrors of mice and the damage they cause and being unable to find one good thing about having them around. Whether or not they make good parents does not affect me at all, unless they're being parents in our house, in which case I would probably scream some more. I really don't know why mice exist or what purpose they serve, if they serve any purpose other than being filthy little creatures that wreck everything they get into and torture anyone who comes in contact with them who doesn't want them around. Cleaning up from mice droppings everywhere is one of the horrors we hate most around here. Maybe I'll go watch the song Bats! and let out my frustrations through Applejack's frustrations.

Honestly, I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't know why mice are always depicted as the good guys in cartoons. It's so stupid. Mice are the bad guys! Cats are the good guys!

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: (twilightsparkle)
So I did not find the Sunset Shimmer plush, as I was hoping to. The waiting gap for the Applejack and Octavia plushies two years ago was March to the end of July, and that's been about the same timeframe here; I think it was March when I first knew the plushie had been released somewhere in the nation. So I hoped for another end of July find here. Although it was later in the week when I found them; possibly I'll see Sunset later on. Or maybe she'll be like the Princess plushies and Wal-Mart won't even get her at all. Ugggh. Right now I know that there's only a very few stores across the nation that have her in stock, so as long as she isn't very plentiful anywhere, there's still some hope.

However, the dolls connected to the movie in a couple of months are starting to come in! I saw the new deluxe Applejack and Fluttershy, and oh my goodness. I must have them both, but especially Applejack. She looks so gorgeously autumny! And since autumn is my favorite season, I think just having her around would make me happy thinking of autumn all year. It was actually very difficult not to immediately buy her then, at the price Wal-Mart is charging. It's $5 less than someone else thought she was going to cost, much to my relief, but it's still a little pricey. I would certainly prefer a sale price, but I'd be willing to buy her at full-price.

I also saw some of the new Apple family playsets, and while I'm not sure why they're being spotlighted, I really liked the house playset and that is honestly tempting to get sometime. I wish I could have seen what the interior looks like, though. I'll have to see if anyone on the forum has one and took pictures.

I should be getting a gift card for Amazon in the next week or so, and when I do, I'll probably give in and get Octavia with it. I didn't want to buy any more dolls through Amazon, but I don't feel like paying an arm and a leg for shipping to have someone else get her for me, either. I'll just have to hope that Amazon will do a better job than they did with Rarity.

I am so excited for this upcoming movie! It's torture thinking of waiting two more months for it. I wonder when Hasbro is going to start releasing the pre-movie shorts. It seems like they should be getting going on that by now. They said there were going to be some.

I also saw the next Batman and Sailor Moon sets. I still need to finish getting season 1 of Sailor Moon. Maybe I'll do that through Amazon too, since Wal-Mart doesn't have that set right now and it would be nicer not paying tax on it anyway. It adds over $2 to the price.

Then at the grocery store I saw a magazine with some information on Gotham. I had a curious peek. I wasn't too happy with the information on season 2, but it wasn't anything I wasn't expecting, after the way season 1 turned out. Mild spoilers )

Hmm.

May. 27th, 2015 08:08 pm
ladybug_archive: (nancy_peter)
I got the Chances fic proofread and posted now. I'm quite pleased with it. And now I only have seven fics left to write! Seven out of the original 100 ... wow.

I'm still wondering what I'll do when I wrap that up. I'll want to keep writing about Ginger and Lou, but I'm not sure what prompt table to turn to next. I'd like in one way to stick with the comm I've been using, but I don't know what to think of taking out another 100 fics challenge. They don't offer smaller prompt tables. And I took some of the prompts from the other two tables to replace prompts I didn't like in my table, so I wouldn't want to write for those prompts a second time.

One reason why I like that comm so much is that the mod opened it up for anyone to write things for, instead of having to wait for claims to be accepted. Most comms just die with the "need to claim" rule in effect, and I worry slightly to just march in somewhere and start posting without having had a claim accepted, even if it doesn't seem like anyone's around.

Another reason I love that comm so much is because it's song-based, and music is such a big part of my life. There are other music-based writing comms, but I like this one, [livejournal.com profile] 100songs, the best.

Or I could just write whenever a [livejournal.com profile] 31_days prompt comes up that I like, but since there's a deadline for those, I kind of like the freedom to not always worry about deadlines.

EDIT: HELP I looked over the other two tables in the [livejournal.com profile] 100songs comm and there's only about two prompts I took from Table 3 and I like it better than Table 2 and I'm starting to seriously consider beginning it once I finish Table 1! Buwahaha. I must truly be mad!

And I read the Hardy Boys book I bought. I did get a bit of inspiration for my Riptide fic, so that's good. Overall, though, the book wasn't quite what I had hoped. I'm not sure whether I got a lesser volume or if I just wasn't in a Hardy Boys mood; I ended up thinking while I was reading that here was a good example of why I usually like Nancy Drew better. It just seemed kind of cheesy/corny in parts, especially some of Chet's dialogue. Nancy Drew usually seems less corny, in spite of the silliness of Nancy being good at so many things. (Coming to think of it, the Hardys are pretty good at many things too, really.) But both book series are corny in the older volumes and less so in the paperbacks. Sometimes the older ones feel really dated.

One thing I liked, though, was that Frank and Joe's dialogue was just about spot-on with the dialogue in the 1970's TV series. So that assures me that the TV series wrote them in-character in most ways. One silly thing the TV series did was to make Joe more reluctant many times, which is weird since he's the reckless, gung-ho brother in the books. I also detest how they have Frank treat Nancy in most of their episodes together; he acts like he sees her as a flighty, amusing female and doesn't respect her as a detective at all. (Nancy also screams way too much in the TV series, especially in season 2.) That is vastly different from the books, where they totally respect each other and have a lot of fun solving cases together. Of course, I suppose the TV series was the way it was because of when it was made, and sexism was a big topic in many series back then. But that doesn't make me like TV Frank's attitude any better. I'm actually really disappointed in Glen Larson that he allowed such an unflattering and sexist thing, especially when he had the perfect chance to do differently. It makes me lose a lot of respect for him. I suppose he could have honestly bought into the sexism too, but I seem to recall that his Battlestar Galactica females were strong and independent. (... Although there was sexism there too, like the episode called The Young Lords when there was a girl in the group too. Ugh.)

... And suddenly it occurs to me to have a little giggle over the boys' names being Frank and Joe. It brings to mind the Campanella brothers Frank and Joseph. I saw Frank in a Mannix episode last night, which thrilled me. It was a little like having Joseph there, in part, since they're family and their voices are so similar.
ladybug_archive: (yamiM_artichoke)
So after a lengthy delay, the package shipped a week after ordering and it came today. I was worried more than once that I should cancel the doll part of the order because I was worried it would be damaged in the shipping.

You know, I honestly didn't stop to think that maybe they'd send a bad one to begin with?

I know the quality control on these is often bad, but I can usually find really good ones when I pick them in person. But this one features several small marks on her chest that will not come off. Apparently manufacturing errors, but it's really frustrating and disappointing. That, in addition to the doll box being OPENED when it arrived. And it didn't just pop open in the mailing; the tape that holds the top flap down was stuck on the inside of the box. Someone deliberately opened it. Maybe it was someone's returned merchandise and they didn't want it when they saw all the marks. WTH, Amazon?! Why can't your packers see things like this and realize that maybe people wouldn't want an opened box if they ordered something marked New?!

It doesn't look like the marks can be covered up by the second dress she comes with. I've been hopping mad for about four hours, and now I'm cooling off and I'm just weary and tired and exasperated and I don't know what to do.

Part of me wants to send her back and get a refund. I wouldn't trust them to send a decent one after this.

The other part thinks the marks are too small to ship her back just for that and the open box and I should keep her since I've wanted her so badly and the prices never come down offline.

A third part worries that if I decide to keep her and start taking her off of her box strappings, I'll discover some worse problem that will mean I'll have to send her back anyway.

I'm just ... so frustrated. And I wish I'd listened to my better judgment to never buy dolls online. I highly doubt I'll ever try that again, that's for sure.

I'd wanted to buy the Applejack doll that's on clearance at Wal-Mart, but this mess has got me so discouraged I wonder if I'll even want to now.

Squeeeee

Mar. 28th, 2015 06:27 pm
ladybug_archive: (hamilton)
This has been a good week overall for getting things. Some of my Perry DVDs (still hoping the replacement for the season 9 set will actually have the DVDs in the case), my U.N.C.L.E. season 1 discs, and today my Ponies! I ended up getting one more than planned, another want from my childhood whom I had overlooked at first among the big stack available. She's in amazing condition! Her hair is a little frizzy, but nothing like the frizz I generated on a couple of my poor childhood Ponies when I tried to brush their hair. And the frizz on the new girl is the only thing wrong with her! And she was only $5! As were the other two.

One of the girls, the original one I set out to get, had a very tangled tail. I was worried that if I brushed it I would tangle it worse, since it was curly. But I decided to try it, and ohmygosh, it fluffed out and is so gorgeous and soft! And her tail and mane are still pink! It's so hard to get her with pink hair because it's the type that fades to white over time. I have her temporarily standing on a stack of my favorite DVDs and she's so cute in a pose bound for flight. She looks very happy. I was going to try to make room for her on a shelf, but I think I'll have to leave her in a position where she has room to fly. She just looks adorable that way.

I love how with most of the Ponies I can sense happy feelings from them. It's nice to think that they were loved by kids (and others) and enjoyed. I know the Ponies themselves aren't really alive, but they just carry the vibes of their previous owners. It's highly unsettling to find one that does not carry good vibes. I have one of those and I am at a loss to know what to do with her. I've had her for a couple of years and she scares the heck out of me. The moment I took her out of the box, I sensed something was wrong with her. Part of me wants to sell her and get her out of here; the other part feels like that would be a "betrayal" and I need to figure out something else.

The other Pony who came today is one of the wedding Ponies. She's nearly perfect too! Slightly yellowing, but mostly still quite white, with sparkly tinsel in her hair. I'm annoyed that they didn't make a groom Pony for her. They should have done that for every bride Pony they made. I'm going to get Chief as the groom for her, I think, if I can find a good one that isn't too expensive. And since he's a fire chief, I'm going to call him McConnike and he can represent William Boyett's character from Emergency!

The boy Ponies are sadly more expensive or I'd probably get them all. I've been planning which of my darlings they can represent if I ever can get more of them. There's a truck driver I'll get to represent Luke, as he played a truck driver on The Catholic Hour (oh, I wish I could find that episode; he's a main character). There's a sailor who could represent Darren's character Grey Holden from Riverboat. Alternately, the sailor could represent Chrissy, because he played a sailor at least twice in some of his early roles. I want to get the Native American Pony and call him Johnny. (I adore John Gage in all his kookiness....) The cowboy Pony is the only boy Pony I have, and he represents H.M.'s character Little Pinto. I have him paired off with Posey. (Yes, there's a Pony called Posey. I was amused.)

And I woke up today from a dream about Darkwing Duck. It was kind of a sweet dream and had Morgana actually being nice in it. It was something about them having kids, aww. It's too bad she wasn't really that way on the show. A couple of times she was nice in early episodes, but then they decided they wanted her to be really nasty. Darkwing can't even talk to her about anything because she gets so mean that she blasts him with magic and he's downright afraid of her. They are such a toxic pairing and it really bugs me that the show just tried to say that kind of a relationship is okay. Comical fear is one thing, but when there's actual abuse going on and a legitimate reason to be afraid, that is just not funny. At all.

Previews

Feb. 19th, 2015 04:42 am
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
So for the first time tonight, they ran a promo for Once Upon a Time on MeTV. I was wondering why I never saw one. Most of what I see are promos for those CW shows I couldn't care less about. And occasionally promos for other ABC shows I couldn't care less about.

I'm still unhappy with the direction Once is taking and will remain so. I'm not planning to watch season 4B (albeit I will keep track of what's happening, as always). But I have to admit, I had a mini-thrill to see the promo (and boy, did Rumpel look good in it, purrrr). And I like their design for Cruella de Vil, even though I still fail to see why disastrous forces of nature like Maleficent and Ursula would even give Cruella a second glance. I hope they're not going to give Cruella magic. She's not supposed to be a magical character; she's just extremely deranged. She's a disastrous force of nature in her own way, but I wouldn't think magical beings would find her concerning or worthy to join them.

I do idly wonder if Cruella's presence will mean that Archie will be thrown into the spotlight, since he owns a Dalmatian dog named Pongo. Worth thinking about, anyway.

I could rant for ages on why I'm more unhappy with the show's direction the longer it goes on, but I don't feel up to it. Suffice it to say that yet another of my problems with it is that I always liked how Rumpel was very aware of his own state and that he was guilty for his own actions. I am very annoyed that the creators have decided to have him suddenly decide that Regina's warped idea of "we're not bad, we're just written that way" is true. Regina has very rarely taken responsibility for her actions or even felt she needed to. And she's on this silly kick of finding out who wrote the Book (which I would admittedly like to know) because she hopes they'll write a happy ending for her. Henry was supposed to be her happy ending, not romance. And she was supposed to have accepted that.

Robin Hood doesn't love Marian any more (sacrilege!), Hook is good for no particular reason because they didn't give him a character-developing arc and just wanted to make him good to please the fangirls, Rumpel is behaving really terribly OOC and has been since the last couple of episodes of season 3....

This show is so messed up on so many levels by this point. I want to say I am so done with it. I was finally pushed to the point of not wanting to actually watch it anymore. But it's like something you don't want to see yet can't look away from. I keep looking up what's happening in the episodes even though I don't watch them, because I keep being too curious about what's happening next and hoping desperately that maybe the tide will turn and the show will get better and IC again.

But I really don't have any real hope of that anymore. The creators turned Lost into a twisted mess of nonsense by the time they got to season 3-ish. Their track record continues with Once. I was unhappy with some things all the way back in season 2, but it was still good enough then to keep watching. By the time they got to season 3B, however, just about everything sensible and worth watching had been drained out of it.

Ugggh.

Feb. 3rd, 2015 07:05 am
ladybug_archive: (yamiM_artichoke)
So YouTube will sometimes give optional ads or mandatory ads.

It just forced me to watch an ad for Fifty Shades of Grey. While I was watching a kid's show, too!

I think I just threw up in my mind a little. I could have happily gone all my life without seeing one second of footage from that thing.

And they're pushing this movie about a very not-okay, abusive relationship for Valentine's Day, like it's some marvelous, romantic thing. The author couldn't even get the BDSM subculture right. There is a big difference between mutually consenting to bondage and enjoying it and abusive, unsafe relationships. Part of the BDSM motto is "Safe", for Heaven's sake. They don't want any shenanigans going on that will result in harm to one or more of the participants.

(Note that I am not interested in BDSM, but I do get very irritated when things are portrayed completely wrong, and Fifty Shades is such a mess all around.)

Also? I seriously rolled my eyes at Wal-Mart a couple of weeks ago, when they had a big display of old, classic romantic movies like Pillow Talk and Somewhere in Time, and each movie proudly proclaimed that it had a free ticket for Fifty Shades of Grey. Honestly? I'm pretty sure that most people who want to watch a nice, sweet movie like Somewhere in Time are not gonna go for Fifty Shades of Garbage Grey.
ladybug_archive: (nancy_peter)
So of course, off and on I've heard the complaints of Trixie Belden fans regarding Nancy Drew. It seems like most Trixie fans can't like Nancy too and I hear the complaints so much I find them a bit tiring. They say Trixie is more realistic and relatable in personality because she's not good at so many things and she has self-esteem issues, etc.

Now, I'm not denying that's all true. But what I am saying is that while Trixie may be more realistic, so are her mysteries. And hence, they're a little bit dull for someone who wants lots of action, adventure, excitement, and very dangerous criminals.

Trixie is around 13. Naturally she and her friends are not going to get into mysteries on the same level as Nancy Drew (and the Hardy Boys). It would be rather concerning if they did. Not that there aren't problems, but I think usually they're accidents and not the result of crooks trying to kill young kids. Which is probably a good thing. But honestly, the best thing about Trixie books, as I see it, is the slice-of-life portrayal of a town and a group of friends when things were more innocent. I think the slice-of-life stuff plays a larger part in the stories than the mysteries, or at least, that's been the case whenever I've looked in a Trixie book (or read one).

Nancy Drew is older and while it's true that she was depicted at being good at so many things it seems laughable, I don't think the writers set out to have that happen. The mystery would involve a particular thing and they would decide to make Nancy good at that thing in order to advance the mystery in the best way. To be honest, I barely even notice when it's done; I'm more interested in the mystery than in whether or not Nancy is partially a canon Mary Sue. And I think she is a good role model in spite of that; she's stubborn, determined, won't give up, and is a good and thoughtful daughter and friend (much moreso than the TV series sometimes depicts her as being). And anyway, I think the idea of her knowing so many skills was toned way down by the time they started issuing books #57 and up into the #170s.

It's funny, you know; I hear Trixie fans complaining so much about Nancy, but I don't think I've ever heard a Nancy Drew fan make a rebuttal. The bottom line is, I think Trixie books were really written for a slightly younger audience. The characters are younger and the mysteries aren't as dangerous and there's more of an emphasis on slice-of-life than the mysteries. And I don't entirely think it's fair to compare them to Nancy Drew books since in Nancy books, the mysteries are more important than slice-of-life goings-on, Nancy is older, and the danger is more pronounced. They're really different book series for what different-minded people want.

I've rarely met anyone who likes both book series. My mom does. And I'll admit I find the innocence and slice-of-life stuff in Trixie books rather enchanting. I'd read Trixie books more for that. If I want really intense, dangerous mysteries, I'll choose Nancy.

Also, I made the odd realization that I think I pattern Snakes' speech on my version of Nack/Fang from Sonic the Hedgehog, especially the redo I did of the character for Sonic X. Originally I portrayed Fang as more of a good guy to begin with; when I did the Sonic X fic I decided I'd make him more mercenary, but a diamond in the rough. That's pretty much how I write Snakes, especially in the Maverick fic where it's the 19th century and he's a crime boss for Lucrece Posey.

And I know I was going to say something else, but now I can't think what it was. I'm sure I'll remember the instant I post this.

... Oh! I got The Hunting Party recorded and watched Simon's scenes. I'm not sure I can bear to give the thing up; Simon is absolutely precious, the bright spot in a very dark and depressing film. **hugs him!** I knew I felt for years that I just had to see his scenes in that film, even though the film overall sounded repugnant. I don't regret it for one moment. I only watched Simon's scenes; I ignored everything else. And Simon was so adorable I can imagine wanting to watch his scenes over and over. Help, I don't think I can let this thing go....

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