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Archive for November, 2007

Random

  • Seriously, Google Reader.  Stop with marking the already-read feeds unread.  It’s making me feel like that one time in Home-Ec when I had to keep running the same stitch over again.  Argh.
  • How come my eyes feel all swollen and sore?  What fresh hell is this? Seriously, if there’s a part of my body that could feel wierd, it has.  Up next: my hair will start aching.  Seriously.
  • Pushing Daisies is the best show on TV right now.  Other than The Office.
  • We had tacos for dinner.  I was able to eat two.  Go me!
  • Had my first fire of the season in the fireplace this afternoon.  It was cozy and blissful, what with the rain pounding the house from all directions, the thunder booming and the premature darkness.   Fires are a pretty large amount of joy for a minimum cost.
  • Christmas food products are in the stores.  And I know my husband loves me because he brought me a 12-pack of the Christmas Cokes as a surprise.   I jumped up and down for joy!  Christmas is coming!
  • I have no idea what I want for Christmas but I’d better come up with something soon, because otherwise I’ll end up getting clothes.
  • Age Of Mythology rocks.

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Fight Your Own Battles

Oh please, Damon Lindelhof. Get real. You sound like a buggy whip maker outside the first Ford plant.

If television truly dies, you all are euthanising it with this strike.

But that’s not the point I want to make. The point that the libertarian in me is dying to make right now is that this is one of the stupidest statements I’ve read in a long time:

Most of all, I’m angry that I’m not working. Not working means not getting paid. My weekly salary is considerably more than the small percentage of Internet gains we are hoping to make in this negotiation and if I’m on the picket line for just three months, I will never recoup those losses, no matter what deal gets made.

But I am willing to hold firm for considerably longer than three months because this is a fight for the livelihoods of a future generation of writers, whose work will never “air,” but instead be streamed, beamed or zapped onto a tiny chip.

Honestly, this glory-hallelujah talk about future generations of writers is, frankly, absurd. It’s an arty extension of “do it for the CHIIIILDREN!” and it’s a naked quest to impart one’s life with meaning beyond his own temporal existence.

I find myself agreeing with the writers in the abstract. They do deserve fair remuneration for their work. I like to see merit-based pay scales, and that’s what residuals translate to–the better the show or film the more viewers it has and the greater the residual payout.

But all of this high-flown gab sounds increasingly like a large passel of drama queens who, very deep down, wish their life was more interesting than it is. It’s the same sort of reaction that drove me nuts about the whole Jena 6 thing. Many people currently have pretty comfortable lives. They aren’t faced with any direct hardship; we don’t even have a problem with strawberries being out of season anymore.

I suppose it’s natural to crave a bit of excitement and to want to feel as though you are part of a larger force for change. It’s why people go to church, volunteer for charities and wear ribbons and (red). I shouldn’t also be surprised that a bunch of television and movie writers have a tendency to speak in narcissistic hyperbole.

But, really, this is an argument over how many pennies the writer gets for a download of “Joanie Loves Chachi.” It’s hardly manning the barricades.

And therein the problem with modern entertainment. Someone–I think it was Joss Whedon–actually said that storytelling was a greater necessity for humanity than clothing or shelter. While that may be true on one level, I highly doubt that there are people out there struggling to put a story over their heads. No one ever says “come on! Baby needs a new pair of stories!” At its most basic level, storytelling is a part of all our legacies, and for many thousands of years it was–hold on to your hats–free. Mothers told stories to children, husbands told stories to wives. In the whole of human history, wealthy writers are a recently new development. Writers became wealthy because consumers were willing to pay for stories. This strike punishes the paying consumer, and killing that bird in the hand for some mythical future writers in the bush is a classically stupid move.

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We appear to be spam-hacked by a DoS spam-bot.

Or something.  I don’t quite know what’s going on.  But Ivy and Chris are working on it.

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I was just typing an email to someone wherein I was talking about a reflective device.

I actually fully typed out the word “mear”.

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My Google Reader keeps marking feeds as “new” even though I’ve read them.  This makes me feel as though my blog Inbox will never be empty.

Ever.

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Back in 8th or 9th grade, one of our teachers  handed out a pop quiz. The first thing listed was “Read all the instructions thoroughly before beginning, and read the entire page before answering any questions. Since I’d had it drummed into my head to always follow instructions, I read clear through to the end of the page. The last ‘question’ read something along the lines of

This was a test about following directions. Once you reach this question you don’t have to do anything else. You don’t have to answer any of the other questions.

The basic gist was that if you followed the instructions you would actually not have to answer any of the quiz questions. I was one of about three people who sat silently in front of the page while the rest of the class scratched away with their answers. You’d periodically hear groans and laughs from other people when they got to the last entry and realised their entire work was in vain. (I particularly loved it when the Class Brainiac–so arrogantly sure she knew all the answers–was the last to finish.)

I think of that often when I am tempted to not follow instructions, but there are times lately that I just can’t be bothered.  That makes this more of a confessional, I guess.

  • I never hand wash anything that says “Hand Wash”.  I throw it in my washer on “Gentle”.   I figure that’s what technology is for.  Moon Schmoon.  Science means I don’t have to futz with delicate laundry.
  • When my microwave lunch  says that I’m to stop halfway through cooking to stir the pasta I sometimes don’t.  I mean, really.  The whole point of microwaved food is “fast and simple”.  If I wanted to be stirring, I’d actually cook something.
  • I rarely trim a candle wick to .5 inches before lighting.  I like it when the flame starts out all tall and skinny.
  • A lot of my medicine says “do not operate heavy machinery while taking this medication.”  A lot of times though, I’ll get something out of the refrigerator or watch tv while I’m doped up.  Both my TV and my refrigerator are really heavy.   And they’re machinery.  So there.

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When news of Dumbledore’s homosexuality first came out (ha!), I had two thoughts, right next to each other. The first was “well, duh.” The second was “Oh great. Now Gambon is going to turn Dumbledore into Richard Dreyfus’ Richard III.”

So it was with a mixture of self-satisfaction and revulsion that I read this.

“I thought it was hilarious,” said Daniel Radcliffe, who has played the lead role in all five Harry Potter films.

He said actor Michael Gambon, who has played Dumbledore since the third film, had been “really camping it up for the last three weeks ever since he found out”.

I swear I hate Gambon’s portrayal of Dumbledore with every fibre of my being. I’m soooo not looking forward to being treated to his take on Gay Dumbledore.

UPDATE As I read further down in the article I see that David Yates makes it clear that he’s confining Gambon’s camping it up to OFF CAMERA.  Well, that’s nice for me (that I don’t have to see Gambon’s idea of what “gay” looks like), but really.  What is Michael Gambon’s problem?  Can’t we just hear that a person is gay without going into comic rifts and “camping it up”?

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Oh, It’s Not A Ride

I love Animal Kingdom, but it is TOTALLY a half-day park. Of course, we haven’t been since they opened Expedition:Everest, so maybe after you wait in line for 2 hours for that ride, you might have reason to stay in Animal Kingdom for more than 4.5 hours.

For years there has been a persistant rumour that there would be a land of fantasy creatures added–so you could visit unicorns, dragons and other mythical beasts. I still think that’s the coolest idea, and I like to keep the rumour alive whenever possible in hopes that the Jungian Collective Unconscious will force the WDW suits to go ahead with the project.

Today on one of my favourite Disney blogs I saw that a new feature is slated to open in the Animal Kingdom. I was excited, because the NotAZoo needs some more non-zoo attractions. So I was happy, initially, to read about Yak & Yeti.

Until I realised it’s just another restaurant/store. Come on, WDW suits! You guys are opening 10 stores and restaurants for every ride you either add or refurbish. It’s getting stupid.

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They may be on strike, but the WGA folks are still amusing me. The “Why We Fight” video is everywhere these days, and the first few seconds of it never fail to make me laugh.

When an author writes a book, they get paid for every copy sold.

I’ve written a couple of (small) books. I was also a Licensing Administrator for a publisher, which means that I was the person who filled in the blanks on the contracts, made sure they were signed and then mailed out the checks to the authors for every copy of their book sold. I’m also currently writing my own fiction books, and am very up to date on the fiction publishing market.

Now, the WGA video shows a Harry Potter book cover when it’s talking about the money authors make. Trust me right now when I promise you that J.K. Rowling is one of a kind as far as book earnings go.

Let’s walk through a more typical author’s contract.

1. It starts with an advance. (more…)

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[I’m going to be writing a lot on this blog about the WGA strike because that’s what’s capturing my attention right now. I’m doing my best to tag them with “WGA Strke”, so if you see that under the title and don’t wish to read the whole thing, that bothers me not.]

In all of the talk about how the writers are being treated unfairly–and I don’t yet know if they are–and how we’ll all be watching Big Brother Survives The Amazing Kid Nation for the whole of 2008, I’ve yet to see much talk about the other people who are forced to go without work because of this strike. Bits and pieces are starting to crop up around the web, and make for some ponderous reading.
(more…)

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