grrgoyl: (FC Insomnia)
Heads up, [livejournal.com profile] yammerhead: The [livejournal.com profile] snarry_games have commenced! (Nee "snarry_olympics". Someone actually got the Olympic Committee involved, who issued a cease and desist order to our lil LJ community. Yet Olympic Paint and Olympic Airways (as well as Olympic Parks in countless cities) still stand unopposed.)

I celebrated the Inaugural Ceremonies by marching about the house singing the Olympic theme and the 1812 Overture alternately, until Tery declared that I was destroying everything she held dear...then she began writing lyrics set to the Olympic theme with liberal use of the words "butt sex."

However, my celebration might have been a bit premature. The very first entry in the Games is a 77,000+ word story that I gave the old college try, but it had some sizable strikes against it. First, the author's notes explained it was loosely based on one of the first Snarries I ever started to read, Mirror of Maybe; see here for a reminder of how bad I thought that story was. Still, being the Olympics Games and a different author, I started reading it anyway. Within the first two pages, I noticed that the author is absurdly fond of the word "clearly", as in "Snape clearly didn't believe him" or "Hermione and Ron entered, having clearly just woken up." After noting this phrase used literally once in every other paragraph, I started to resent subsequent appearances. The story would be forgotten as I glared balefully and disbelievingly at the word repeated yet again. This morning, having read about 3/4 of the story, I've decided that these things aside it isn't really a very good story and I'm not wasting another minute on it -- apart from the one I spent using the "find" feature on my computer to actually count the "clears" or "clearlys". There were 96. Lazy. Lazy and inexcusable, especially in a story supposedly beta'd (or proofread) by a second party before posting. I'd say as much in the comments if I didn't think I'd be drowned out by all the sycophants squeeing their adoration from the highest mountaintops. Snarry fans clearly aren't a very discerning lot.

~*~

In honor of the Games (and because I had the day off), I watched one of the older Rickman vehicles I'd caught in my Tivo net, Judas Kiss. This is about a simple kidnapping gone awry when a senator's wife is killed in the process. It starts out fast in the middle of the kidnapping. The kidnappers' dialogue is glib, clever and sounds entirely too rehearsed, with stilted pauses to allow the next actor to speak. Because of that added to my man being nowhere in sight, I didn't think I'd like the movie very much. But eventually they calm down and speak more naturally, and eventually Alan appears as the grumpy, tired cop forced to take on the murder case despite vociferous protests (I've noticed Alan plays grumpy a lot, not that he doesn't do it well. Perhaps this is why I liked Snow Cake so much, he's finally allowed to show an emotion other than peeved). He speaks with an American accent and worse, a pseudo-New Orleans accent which, like his accent in Dark Harbor, fades in and out of existence. To top it off, his partner on the case is federal agent Emma Thompson, who manages a better and more consistent N'awlins drawl but still, in their first scene together I got the feeling they were both secretly grinning madly at being two British actors playing these roles. As Tery put it, "Did they run out of Americans?"

As the film goes on, we get to know the kidnappers better and they become more sympathetic. Alan gets to be very manly in one scene, wielding a golf club to pound the truth out of a corrupt cop. The plot thickens and becomes very twisty and turny indeed, up to a very surprising but satisfying ending. And yes, Alan sort of runs in one scene, but his girlish gait can be excused by the fact that his ankle is supposed to be broken.

My other catch is Quigley Down Under, which I suspect I might not enjoy as much. We'll see.

~*~

Finally, how did this escape my notice for so long? Mike Nelson and friends from MST3k riff on such recent films as The Matrix, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Lord of the Rings, The Fifth Element and Reign of Fire (I would have given anything to listen to that last while Chris' DVD was still in my possession). You download the mp3 file and play it along with your DVD at home, creating your own homemade MST3k session. Brilliant! Last night I gave X-Men a go. Just what the doctor ordered for MST3k fans seriously jonesing for new material.
grrgoyl: (frank)
Last night we did Banana Republic, the Gap's obscenely rich aunt who plants sloppy kisses on its cheek and gives it slacks for Christmas. We started the backroom early, undaunted by the piles and piles of XS strappy tank tops stacked 30 high. Undaunted, that is, before a manager with way too much free time wandered by and decided that, being only slightly more evolved than neanderthals, we lowly auditors needed to work one-on-one with someone to avoid messing up the stacks. Our boss did his best to diplomatically dissuade her, but this was her contribution to the inventory process and she wasn't backing down. It is absolutely irrelevant to the story that she looked a bit like Anne Murray would look if she were forced to abandon singing for a career in retail.

So my auditor partner and I had to share an already cramped aisle with two young bucks who I could tell had very little interest in standing there holding tags for us to scan. Before my guy arrived I had been using two hands to carefully transfer the shirts into another pile as I counted. He instead held the entire stack in one hand and with the other flipped the shirts back into a more disheveled pile. Which was better than when we got to the tanks that had the ticket buried deep inside the shirt. These he pulled off roughly, shaking out the folds and then tossing the shirts carelessly back on the shelf in a big heap. Because, you know, if we did that we'd be messing up the stacks. Inventory isn't a job for everyone. It is widely regarded as mind-numbingly boring. I don't usually mind it, since it gives me plenty of time with my own vastly entertaining thoughts (for instance, sketching the rough outlines of potential journal posts). One of the few perks of the job for me is the ability to work alone. However, even I had to admit that standing there while this kid fumbled through the clothes for the ticket, waiting only for the right moment to pull the trigger on my scanner tested my boredom tolerance considerably. It took every ounce of willpower I had to keep my mouth shut and put up with it.

My auditor partner had to deal with a similar situation, except her counts were also off on top of it. It was while she was searching back through one shelf to find the ticket they missed that Anne Murray returned to find the "helper" watching her do this. "Well if you're just standing there, Rocky, it defeats the whole purpose of me putting you with her," she snapped venomously. None of us made any attempt to explain what was actually going on, because I suspect we all knew how silly the entire exercise was. "Just...go do something else" she barked, and he happily scampered off. My auditor partner turned to me and said under her breath, "Well, that takes care of THAT problem." But I still had to deal with mine. We finally got out of the strappy tanks and into some wafer-thin but still more manageable T-shirts. I tried working with him. I suggested little counting tricks that I use to make it go faster, but he simply couldn't grasp them. I asked and he confirmed my suspicion that most everything needed to be refolded anyway when it went to the salesfloor, making the need to "avoid messing up the stacks" even less crucial. The final straw came when I noticed him using two hands to carefully transfer the shirts into another pile as we counted, in very much the same way I was before he came along. I gently pointed out that I could honestly handle it myself and probably a good deal faster, asking if he thought his boss would get too upset. He eagerly agreed that he actually did have a lot of other work he needed to do, and happily scampered off.

Later talking with Tery about this, she mentioned she overheard Ms. Murray bitching about her great one-on-one plan being "pushed aside." Oh, get over yourself, you soft-hits-of-the-70's-singing beeeyatch. If you don't tell me how to take inventory, I won't tell you how to manage your store. Deal?

In case anyone is sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for an update on my MST3k seller, the same day I posted he emailed me with tracking numbers. The discs arrived yesterday, hooray! However he uses the cheap-ass generic blanks (I've seen them on eBay, $20 for 100. What a deal!) so 4 out of 17 didn't work at all, boo. I emailed him hoping for replacements, but frankly I'm so sick of him I honestly don't care if he sends them or not. I just want him to crawl back into his cave and out of my life.

Addendum: Surprise, surprise. He emailed me to ask me to return the defective discs, saying "I am starting to think the problem might be with your player." Really? A.) How then would you explain 13 of the discs working fine? He also didn't care that I tested them on not one but three players. B.) What would I possibly stand to gain by lying about 4 discs not working? If I really wanted to make some personal profit off of your hard work, don't you think I'm capable of simply copying the discs to sell myself? Finally, C.) What makes you think this entire relationship hasn't been every bit as unpleasant for me as it has been for you? Why do you think I would fraudulently try to prolong it one second longer than I have to?

And on my way to the post office I saw this: The Toyota Sequoia. I'd like just 5 minutes in a room alone with the sick marketing fuckhead who came up with this deceptively Earth-friendly name. I'm sure they were hoping to play up the "ginormous, majestic" aspects of the vehicle. I'm not denying it is that, but why not go for the full smirk and call it the "Ecosystem"?

Finally, at this moment if my ferret Gideon could talk, I suspect he would say, "Is there any place on earth more magical than the bathtub? If there is, I'd be hard pressed to think of it."

FIN
grrgoyl: (frank)
I never thought I'd find myself wistfully missing "the good old days," but right about now I am. I am referring to the simpler days, when most people were honest and honorable. Sure, women had fewer rights then and gays had none (wait a minute, we still don't really have any. Scratch that), but folks were as good as their word and crooks were the aberration and not the norm.

I am AGAIN in the middle of an eBay-related saga. The Finding Neverland seller got off scot-free with my 12 bucks...well, almost scot-free. PayPal settled an investigation in my favor; the bad news is with no money in his account there was no way for them to recoup my losses, but they promised to take some kind of action against him. Was it worth it, nvanbreeme@sbcglobal.net? Was it worth besmirching your reputation for my lousy $12? I certainly hope so, you filthy, motherfucking thief.

Now I'm going through it again with the MST3k guy. After paying him $44 for two seasons he suddenly stopped answering my emails, and now 2 weeks later I still have nothing to show for it. Believe me, I am going to fight a lot harder to get back $44, and I have options. I am still giving him the benefit of the doubt; in our first transaction he claimed he was in a major car accident, explaining the delay in shipping. If that's also his excuse this time though I might be a little suspicious. I may be insufferably naive, but I also find it hard to believe that a fellow MSTie could be a bad person. It isn't the money so much as being ripped off. What is it about me that makes people turn to a life of crime? Perfectly respectable sellers get my money and then suddenly decide it's time to run off to Tijuana to open that oceanside bar with my $44.

But I still need my MST, so I had to go back to eBay. You can think me an idiot if you want, but what choice do I have? I found another seller and started corresponding with him. He works from home like me and was very sympathetic to my tale of betrayal. He said he knew the other seller and that he was "seriously burned out" on eBay...which still doesn't excuse him from either refunding me or sending me the goods, in my opinion. The new guy offered me seasons either through eBay or outside of eBay. Since I've been burnt both ways, it really made no difference to me. I asked for his price list and he sent it, along with the message (and this is a direct quote): "And shipping is free! Lovely! Wee!" Apparently he thinks talking like a cartoon character will make it easier for me to trust him. At this point I am so disillusioned and fed up with cheaters and scammers that I honestly feel like crying, and I wanted to tell him that my faith in humanity really, truly cannot withstand too many more blows. But I didn't want to look like an emotional basketcase this early in our relationship, so instead sent the money with the message, "Please, please, please, please, please, please, please don't rip me off!" He responded very humorously, "HAHA! Now that I have your precious money, you'll never hear from me again!....I'm kidding, I'll send them out tomorrow."

If I MUST be stolen from, I don't mind so much if they have a sense of humor about it. But I really, really, really hope this guy is honest. I really, really don't want to look back on this exchange with bitter irony and tears in my eyes. I mean it this time.
grrgoyl: (MST)
What if everything around you
isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know
is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection
is it all you want to be?
What if you could look right through the cracks
would you find yourself
find yourself afraid to see? - NIN

Chapter I

My MST obsession is coming along nicely. I found out the guy I chose to be my supplier actually isn't including the commercially-released eps (which I am certain was never stated in the eBay listing). This news brought with it frustration at my collecting scheme suddenly developing some speed bumps, but I admit a tiny bit of delight at facing the challenge. I started to look at eBay with an eye towards buying anything I could as cheaply as I could, before it occurred to me I might be able to just rent VHS/DVD copies and copy them (but you didn't hear that here...) I went to my local Hollywood Video (I haven't set foot in Blockbuster since writing my strongly-worded letter. By now I'll bet they're reeeeeally feeling the burn of my missing $4.08 a month, bastards). The problem with Hollywood is they have such narrowly-defined categories for anything that isn't a new release. I stood in the middle of the store, staring at the back wall blankly for a good minute or so. Where would they shelve MST3k? I started with the obvious location, Comedy, but no. Science Fiction? No. A bit of a stretch, but Mystery perhaps? Still no luck. It sure as hell wasn't Drama. Special Interest then. Nope. I FINALLY stumbled upon a lonely, cobweb-covered section for Cult Classics, where I found an ep I already had, an ep I didn't already have, and a copy of the film, all on VHS. I grabbed Mitchell as a good starting point (Joel's final ep). The punk-rock looking kid that checked me out told me how funny it was, one of his favorites, and that he hoped they would do a sequel to it. ....the hell? I didn't have the heart to break it to him that the show had been cancelled for some years now and probably would not be producing any new eps.

Bolstered by this small bit of success, I zipped up the street to the other local Hollywood in search of a different selection. It was much smaller than the other, so small it had no room for a Cult Classics section. I tried again searching other likely categories but soon noticed that not only was the store tinier, but also regarded the alphabet as more of a loose suggestion for displaying titles than an actual criterion. This didn't take long to piss me off so badly I had to leave.

But I am also enough of a freak that I went to Best Buy to get a sexy Body Glove CD binder to store all my soon-to-be-acquired lovelies, as well as sat down with a list and made a note of which disc would eventually go in which slot, so it will be a little like collecting trading cards or stamps. I suppose it's a good thing I don't have more days off like this.

Chapter II

As further proof that I am a certified Asshole Magnet in traffic, this happened to me the other day. Tery and I were driving to work, heading for the highway on the route both of us take many times a week. We were driving on S. Parker, as I've previously stated a secondary road commonly treated like a major freeway (posted speed limit: 45. Average speed: 60). Suddenly we saw Ms. Dangerous Idiot come careening across 4 lanes, from the far left to the far right (on-ramp to NB 225). Then, she wildly veered back across 2 lanes, apparently to stay on S. Parker. By this time I had come up alongside her just in time for her to change her mind AGAIN and start to veer straight into my lane, and when I say "my lane," I actually mean "me." I've drawn a helpful diagram (such as would be seen in the courtroom had this ended differently) to make this description clearer (no, she wasn't driving an AMC Pacer, but because it's one of the ugliest, stupidest-looking cars ever made I felt it was much more appropriate for her IQ level. I am the one in the more attractive, more sensible Honda Civic):

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

It wasn't until I lay on my horn with all the ferocity I could manage that she seemed to finally notice there were other cars on the road besides her, and she actually stopped and let me pass. (A note here about car horns: As much as I adore my Honda Civic, the factory-installed horn falls dramatically short of the intensity of emotion I am trying to convey with it. But until someone comes out with a horn that shoots searing hot plutonium death rays directly into the skull of the other driver, my tinny, whiny little substitute will have to do.) I agreed with Tery that sometimes when driving there comes a point where you have to face the fact that you are in the wrong lane and live with the consequences. In this case, the consequences are a bit more bearable when one takes into consideration the fact that there is another SB on-ramp about a block further up the road (note diagram), which this person obviously didn't know.

Can you tell I only got 2 hours of sleep last night?
grrgoyl: (ewan stoli)
I can feel it. I'm teetering on the precipice. Over the edge waits an all-consuming obsession with MST3k. I've been there before, that's how I can recognize the warning signs. But that was back in the dark days before DVD when the tedious effort involved in editing 50 videotapes full of episodes overwhelmed me, and they just kept making more and there seemed no end to it and I was forced to walk away. But now, this guy, he's selling them so cheap, whole seasons at a time, and they all fit in the palm of my hand...what's to stop me?

My natural inclination to fixate is helped along by a growing love for one Mike Nelson. Sure, I've always thought he was cute, with his boyish good looks and seemingly quiet shyness. And after reading his book Movie Megacheese I realized he is witty and clever too. But then tonight, while partaking in a little "Parts: The Clonus Horror," this host segment made my jaw drop:


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


Yes, he's wearing silver lamé short shorts. And a pail on his head. And showing his midriff. But something about seeing this wholesome midwestern boy tarted up and gadding about so....wantonly....well, it does funny things to me. And I don't mean "funny ha-ha."

Mmmmm mmm mmmm. Dance, my pretty one.
grrgoyl: (Default)
So I just noticed yesterday that [livejournal.com profile] arrewen defriended me, Lord knows how long ago. Darn. I don't know how I will get through the day without receiving updates every time Shia LeBeouf picks his nose, but I must persevere. Somehow.

But apparently when LJ closes a door, it opens a window....and in blew a breath of fresh air named [livejournal.com profile] angelislington :)

In looking through Nevvie's (very numerous and very cool) interests, I realized I had totally forgotten my passion for Mystery Science Theater 3000. Strange, considering it is one of about 4 things that Tery and I actually have in common (we even went to the first convention in Minnesota together, watched them riff on This Island Earth live as a test audience for the movie and everything).

So I checked out a MiSTie community and found this angel straight from heaven guy selling practically every episode on homemade DVDs (he is too scrupulous to copy the stuff available commercially). Must.....fight.....completionist.....urges.... Must....not.....buy.....every....episode..... !!! But it was too much to ask me to resist ordering a copy of "Earth vs. the Spider," in my opinion the creme de la creme of the whole series (Tery asked me to get her a copy of "Eegah!" because she can't get enough of the caveman carrying the heroine's purse).

Just when I thought I had run out of useless things to spend money on.....now this.

*sigh*

-=Lainey=-

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December 2011

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