Links of the whatever

Mad Men S7→ Mad Men is back, which means the return of my favorite Mad Men ‘recap,’ Tom & Lorenzo’s Mad Style. Here’s the first episode, Time Zones.

→ The trailer for Lifetime’s Petals in the Wind adaption is out.

→ Lots of great stuff in Cosmopolitan’s interview with Daniel Franzese, who played Damian in Mean Girls.

→ The Fug Girls are all over the Royal Tour of Australia and New Zealand, and it is delightful.

→ I have read one Hugo nominee this year (Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, it was okay.) To be honest I have been a totally shitty reader since the whole kitchen thing started (I miss my table, but that can’t be all) and thus… Nothing. I am currently finishing up Jo Walton’s What Makes This Book So Great, though.

I’m so glad I recognized exactly none of these bloggers

…Because that means I don’t have to feel incredibly embarrassment-squicked for them.

In me shit, because “life isn’t worth living if you’re not sharing” or some other navel-gazing bullshit, I’ve had some crazy cold/allergy thing for a week now and I am at the point where every time I blow my nose it feels like the last time. But of course, it’s not. I am a snot machine. (How’s that for sharing?)

Despite this, or perhaps because of it, I’ve been poking fingers into beehives over at CJ, wondering why the fuck Wookieepedia has an entry on breasts on Friday and talking about the ever-more likely death of the Expanded Universe today.

I’d blame the cold meds, but I haven’t really been taking any because I ran out of Claritin days ago and every time I go to the story the pharmacy is closed and the only shit that works for me is the stuff morons make meth with. Which makes no sense, because the cold meds that actually make me wacky aren’t the stuff they need a driver’s license to sell me. (Though I did get carded for Robitussin. There’s not even any alcohol in it.)

The kitchen is officially DONE: Painted, new fan, the works. I still haven’t unpacked anything besides the bare necessities, though. I’m either super Zen or suffering from Stockholm syndrome: You choose.

Goodbye, Television Without Pity

So most of the relevant internet has probably heard about the forthcoming demise of Television Without Pity at this point (I even covered it on CJ, though I’m not sure how much of a crossover the audience has there – I had at least one Twitter follower who’d never even heard of the site.)

television-without-pity2TWoP was not actually a huge personal influence on me, but it’s long-defunct sister sites Hissyfit and Fametracker were. And MBTV/TWoP was the means by which the style of snark that originated on those earlier sites went mainstream.

Still, I was a regular reader of TWoP throughout college and almost certainly beyond, though I can’t remember the last time I read a recap – certainly before the Bravo sale. Veronica Mars? Gilmore Girls, maybe? And I don’t even recall who recapped those shows. I checked the forums every once in a while, but generally only for smaller shows. But TWoP was such a major part of the fandom landscape back in the early 00′s that you didn’t have to be a hardcore to hear about the major ripples.

But even on Hissyfit and Fametracker, I was a major lurker. I love to read message boards (well, certain message boards) but my lurking instincts are strong. Still, my own ideas about what conducts a good board was largely influenced by those two, and TWoP back in the early Mighty Big TV days. (And are largely what led me to volunteer for the StarWars.com forums… Still not sure how great an idea that was.)

Granted, the TWoP community was no utopia. The fairly strict rules that made the Hissyfit and Fametracker forums such a joy didn’t scale quite as well to TWoP as it got bigger and bigger. (And while Hissyfit ended fairly peacefully as I recall, the end of the Fametracker forums was a long, bloody flame war. It happened after TWoP got gigantic and I honestly think the founders were just Over It.)

There are so many wonderful remembrances of TWoP out there – my favorite is from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books – and the original founders recently launched another site, Previously.TV. (And the publicity they’re getting from this is astounding.) The sites may die, but the snark lives on.

Links of the… whatever

Hi! It’s been a while. I am sick of talking about house/kitchen shit, however. I had huge backlog of links at one point but I never wrote anything and then I deleted them because it was just too overwhelming.

→ A federal judge struck down Michigan’s gay marriage ban yesterday. Weddings are happening! I don’t know why this couldn’t have happened earlier in the week, though.

→ Speaking of weddings, sort of I guess, Go Fug Yourself on the Kim/Kanye Vogue cover. I don’t get Kim Kardashian, or any of the reality TV ‘stars,’ nor do I really buy the relationship as anything remotely genuine. (Although I guess ‘love’ is one of the few reasons that make sense as to why an actually talented individual would latch himself to the famewhore shitshow that is the Kardashian family. Not the only one, but a reason. But it’s not a question that keeps me up at night or anything.) Still, point: An interesting analysis from the Fug girls.

→ Anne Helen Peterson (she of the fabulous Scandals of Classic Hollywood series at The Hairpin) is leaving academia for Buzzfeed. I don’t know jack about higher academia, but I am of mixed minds about Buzzfeed; One the one hand it’s ’12 Gifs ’90s Kids Are Addicted To Using To Celebrate Remembering Ecto-Cooler’ and on the other hand when they do do actual long form journalism, it can actually be pretty good. And I have the upmost faith in Peterson and will totally read everything she writes. So.

(Also, Hairpin: First you lose the chicks who started The Toast and then Gawker nabbed the Clean Person and now this? The hell, man.)

Drive-by kitchen update

Wee butcher block

Wee butcher block

The kitchen is nearly done, but I’m waiting to take pictures in decent light (and possibly with a real camera) before I show anything. (Also, there’s stuff in there, and I’m lazy. And at this point, why not wait?)

In any case:

→ The cabinets and countertop are set. It was a royal pain in the ass and took six people, but they are done. (The problem with Home Depot was not really the contractors, it was the game of telephone played with Home Depot and the various installers/contractors. However, a plus of working with Home Depot: There was always an upper manager.) But the important thing: I have a working sink with water and everything.

→ The butcher block from the old kitchen has been sanded, cut down, oiled and is also ready to be installed. Hopefully that goes well, because a new piece of butcher block at 12 by 25 x 1 ½ can cost several hundred bucks. (The color does kind of clash with the cabinets, but… I can live with it.)

→ We’re going with a local, independent place for the backsplash and the floor. Yes, we’re doing the floor again: It got scratched and there are missing pieces and… Basically, never put in a floor first, no matter how sweet the song of remnants is, because you might change your mind and decide NOT to resurface the old cabinets and… Yeah. On the plus side, I get to pick the color this time. That might all happen next week, and then… It’s all over but the painting.

Why I hate fancasting

Friday, the WB announced that Jesse Eisenberg had been cast as Lex Luthor for 2015′s Man of Steel sequel and many fans were not pleased.

The great irony of this, of course: Jesse Eisenberg as an  billionaire who's kind of a dick? Who'd believe that?

The great irony of this, of course: Jesse Eisenberg as a rich dude who’s kind of a dick? Who’d believe that?

Granted, things weren’t nearly as venomous as they were back when the WB announced that Ben Affleck was playing Batman or even when The Fast & Furious’ Gal Gadot was going to be Wonder Woman, but there was still a backlash.

Because, you see, the thing is, the internet has already cast that part. Fanboys wanted Bryan Cranston – specifically, they wanted Bryan Cranston as Breaking Bad’s Walter White, because he’s the biggest, most award-winning evil bald dude that they’d seen around lately.

That’s fancasting for you. Fans see a character like the one that hasn’t yet made it to screen (recently, in the case of Luthor) and they immediately slot the actor into a similar role. They see Scarlett Johansson beating dudes up in in a black catsuit with a red dye job and they think Mara Jade. They hear a rumor that Benedict Cumberbatch may be up for a Star Wars role and, because he’s played Sherlock Holmes and a military genius in Star Trek Into Darkness, they start photoshopping him blue to play Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Fancasting is all about the easy targets; it takes next to no imagination. Scarlett Johansson hasn’t been invisible since 2001′s Ghost World, but no one pegged her as a potential Mara until Iron Man 2. Would people have been clamoring for Bryan Cranston to play Lex Luthor ten years ago, when he was best known as the goofy dad from Malcolm in the Middle? Hell, who didn’t do a double take when he showed up playing Walter White in the first place?

I’ve admitted that fancastings annoy me, and always have. Back in the 90's, Mara fans targeted Dina Meyer thanks to Dragonheart and Starship Troopers. In the same era, Tommy Lee Jones was a popular choice for Thrawn. And this was back when there were no post-Return of the Jedi films on the horizon. Now that we know there are going to be sequels, fans are quick to slot any rumored actor as an EU character, whether it warrants it or not. (It probably doesn’t, but it’s not like there’s much else out there to work with yet.)

Been there, done that.

Been there, done that.

Would Bryan Cranston make a good Lex Luthor? Probably. Could Scarlett Johansson play a young Mara? Sure. We’ve pretty much seen them do it already. And of course: would they, at this point in their respective careers, so close on the heels of such similar high-profile characters? I doubt it.

After the various casting ‘controversies’ over the years that have turned into beloved portrayals – Heath Ledger as the Joker, for instance – You’d think more people would know better by now. The fancasters, alas, will never learn.

Louie is free!

Wee weenie tail.

Wee weenie tail.

I swear I have written more about this damn cat in the past month than I have in the decade plus I have owned him. I have also never been so concerned with the state of the litter box in my life as I have been in the past week.

The good news: Louie is out of the bandages, out of the cone. The tail is great. His giant ears are free of encumbrances, he can lick whatever the hell he wants, we can go back to the standard water dishes.

The bad news: Urinary tract infection! Even though he was already on antibotics! Or maybe it was because he was on the antibotics for so long! I don’t know!

(Okay, I was not so great with the antibotics for a period there. Two weeks ago, in the midst of the first polar vortex, a lot of shit spiraled after I fell on my ass shoveling and somehow strained something in my back and basically couldn’t bend over for most of a week, much less catch and med a cat twice a day. So. That may have something to do with it. Or I didn’t put the antibotics in the fridge fast enough that one time. I don’t know. Basically that whole week was complete and utter crap for a variety of reasons.)

In any case, Louie got to spend a couple hours at the vet Monday as they awaited a sample. And then got a shot, and sent home with an entirely different antibotic (orange flavored instead of bubblegum… Really, vets?) And he’s doing very well now and peeing up a storm and yeah, I went there.

Great globs of pee. All in the box, even back when it must have hurt, because he is Good Boy. It’s all over but waiting for the fur to grow back, I hope.

Except he has to go back to the vet in April for his shots. Sssh! Don’t tell him.

So, Flowers in the Attic

flowers-in-the-atticLifetime’s Flowers in the Attic was, all things considered, fairly lackluster. It is more faithful to the book than the previous adaption, but that sadly means that it’s actually… Kinda boring, with an ending that just… Stops. (Which is why the ’87 movie added “EAT THE COOKIE, MOTHER!“) Incest aside, Flowers is mostly kids sitting around and angsting, and this version seemed too afraid to bring on the extra cheese. You need to go the full American Horror Story Ryan Murphy, and this… Did not. It goes through all the right motions, but the true batshit spirit of the story is nowhere to be seen. Maybe this is the Andrew Neiderman version of Flowers in the Attic?

Big shockers: Finally, the perfect role for Heather Graham’s insipid blankness; Giving the grandmother something of a soul. Who saw that coming?

I don’t think you tried at all: The swan bed. More batshit, less hot-gluing swan cutouts on IKEA frames.

Future prospects: The series gets progressively crazier over time; Petals in the Wind is already in development and does give Lifetime a lot more to work with.

Kitchen woes

At least I have this.

At least I have this.

So the kitchen is… coming along. Except not really.

Yesterday… The counters were here. And then most of them were gone. Because it turned out that the cabinets on the long wall weren’t level. In fact, they built the extended part on top of the floating floor, which is a big stupid no-no. So 3/4ths of my counters – including the sink – went back to Toledo to wait for the cabinets to be fixed.

I really loved that sink. Obviously it wasn’t functional but I’ve been washing dishes in the bathroom. Just having it there, ready for a plumber would have been a nice beacon of hope.

But yes, I do have a counter now – the one in the corner was just fine, so it stayed. It’s something, I guess.

(I did not think to take pictures when all the counters were here and in place, which is just as well. I don’t need to think any more about that sink. Also, yes, a couple of the handles aren’t straight. It will be fixed.)

As for Louie… He’s fine, healing very nicely. Still in a cone, but the only drugs he’s on now are antibotics and his potassium powder. He’s on his last or maybe second-to-last bandage.