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I've been trying not to repeat things I've posted here before, but I don't think I've ever posted the actual videos of this, just gushed about it. This is episode 1 of The Class, which was an ensemble sitcom I loved that, sadly, only lasted one season. You can also find the rest of it on YouTube (here's a playlist).

Parts 2 and 3 behind the cut )
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I have, in the past, blabbed about The Class. I was thinking about it recently, and found that some very nice people have uploaded each of the nineteen episodes to YouTube.

I highly, highly recommend this. There's the gay couple who have most well-adjusted relationship on the show. There's the pair of wacky people who fall in love. There's the tough, sarcastic girl and the really sweet guy who are in love even though they don't know it. There's the contractor still in love with his high school sweetheart and who can tell her emotional things even though he's the tough guy. There's the news anchor and her husband whose stereotypically gay demeanor provides endless amusement for the gay couple.

I do not recommend ingesting liquids while watching. I'd seen nearly every episode before (I thought I came in partway through the series, but I apparently came in at episode three), and I still had several spit-take near misses.
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I keep meaning to write something about the movies I've seen so far this year (Children of Men, Smokin' Aces, The Queen [which may yet get its own entry about how the Royals were my first fandom], Pan's Labyrinth, and Breach), the awesome concert I went to (The Chieftains; you should also go if their tour is coming anywhere near you), and the completely frivolous book I totally want (The Science of Sexy by Bradley Bayou), but I don't think I'm going to get to it. Instead, I bring you the important parts of my Escapade 2007 experience.

Flavor Flav is much shorter in person
Flavor Flav was on the same plane from Sacramento to Burbank as [ profile] amatia and me. As the section heading says, he's much shorter in person. He also actually wears the clock. It looks like one of those plastic kitchen clocks you can buy at Target for two dollars, and it's hanging from a gold chain amongst other bling. I have no idea what he was doing in Sacramento.

Non-famous people we encountered
When we went out for milkshakes on Sunday afternoon, we went to a small coffee shop which was mostly empty. The only people in there were the barista and a guy with his dog at one of the tables. Molly immediately chatted up the dog. I had this whole thing in my head about how the guy and the barista were in love and he was just hanging out with her while she was at work. And then she asked him for a dollar so she could make the tip jar an even 20, and he said something about having to tip his girlfriend. It was very cute.

Fangirl or Scientist? You decide.
Like last year, there was a science conference ending as we arrived at the hotel. Fangirl or Scientist is a pretty easy game to play. There were only two people we saw who could be either. We also easily spotted [ profile] norwich36 and [ profile] paraviondeux in the airport, and not just because they were near the rental car counters where we had agreed to meet.

Hot Girl's identity revealed (but not to you)
You may remember from last year's con report that we were trying to identify a woman we referred to only as Hot Girl. This year, we discovered who Hot Girl is. And, no, I'm not going to tell you. (She seemed vaguely alarmed when I felt compelled to confess that we'd referred to her as Hot Girl.)

I will, however, tell you two more things:

1. I sent Molly an email last year speculating that [Hot Girl's LJ username] might be Hot Girl, which goes to show you that my instincts are good.

2. We had talked early in the weekend with other slashers about how we wanted to find out who Hot Girl was. Later in the weekend, we had this discussion with one of them:

Other Slasher: [Hot Girl's name] is the hot girl you were talking about, right?
Us: Yes.
Other Slasher: I knew exactly who you were talking about. I just didn't know her name.

Yes, I attended panels. More than I expected, actually.

Panels I led
The femslash panel gets its own post with transcribed flip chart notes.

But You're A Slash Fan! started out with a large number of people raising their hands in answer to "Who likes SGA but just can't see the McShep?" We had a little bit of interesting discussion about whether or not it's socially acceptable in fannish circles to be a slash fan and a het fan. And then it somehow devolved into a discussion of newspaper content in the 19th century. I then suggested that slashers are the Basques in Spain while het fans are the Basques in France. I'm not sure that made sense to everyone.

Panels I attended
Quest for *Guh* - Writing Powerful Sex Scenes was worth attending. It almost hit my limit for amount of time to sit still and listen, but it was good, despite the fact that one of the attendees had a tendency to dominate the discussion and two others were a bit overheated. The handout is great, and available online. There was something Aristide/Mairead said that was particularly good, and now I can't remember what it was. Perhaps I should have taken more useful notes over the weekend.

Is It A Crowd - Or An Orgy? was about how the ensemble show has replaced the buddy show as a staple of TV. Someone mentioned Martin/Danny (Without a Trace), and I said, "," and people just laughed at me. Hmpf! I also tried to bring up comedies, and no one wanted to talk about that. What was most interesting to me was what we didn't talk about: Why ensemble shows have replaced the buddy show. I think there's something there about how ensemble shows are a way to put women on TV without alienating audiences who want (or who content producers/marketers think want) to watch men on TV. The other most interesting thing was the woman across the room with the drop spindle; I could not stop watching her. (I think we stayed all the way through this one, but it's possible that it actually belongs on the list below.)

I'd never been to [ profile] minotaurs' Sex Tips for Slash Writers panel, so this year I went. (I liked it that they put both sex panels on the same day.) Apparently the prostate feels like the tip of your nose. I found the whole panel highly entertaining and informative.

Panels I started to attend
As you may remember from years past, Molly and I have a habit of ducking out of panels that take a sour turn.

I really liked the idea of Cops, Spies, and Secret Agents. The reality, not so much. One of the moderators was disorganized, and the other one admitted straight up that they'd suggested this panel as a way to shoehorn a Pros panel into the schedule in case the actual Pros panel didn't make it. I'd never seen most of the things they brought up as examples, so I left early.

We went to the Mystical Bonds panel, but then it wasn't as interesting as advertised, so we left.

We intended to go to the Fueling The Fires of Genderfuckery panel, but we were hungry and based on the panel leader and the people gathering, it looked like it was likely to be all HP, so we went to lunch instead.

We also intended to go to Writing Race and Alien Characters, but it didn't sound very interesting at the beginning and I was restless, so we went to have milkshakes instead.

The Party and other social things
Many people we're usually excited to see weren't there this year ([ profile] j_crew_guy and [ profile] elekdragon, [ profile] dine and [ profile] sorchar, [ profile] meaganola, [ profile] mousewrites). I also noticed that there weren't as many men there this year, and [ profile] typhoidk observed that there weren't as many folks who aren't white.

All was not lost, however. We spent some quality time hanging out with [ profile] hederahelix and crew ([ profile] typhoidk, [ profile] reccea, and [ profile] kuwsi_dilla), and even stuck out way more of the party than we usually do (primarily because we were at a table with those folks). I also met another slasher from my town, so we're talking about starting up some kind of fannish gathering here.

We went to He-He after we left the party, and stuck out two rounds before I reached my limit of spending time with other people. That was, however, the only time the whole weekend that I was fed up with other people. Molly and I decided that having only the two of us in our room worked really well.

Mal and other acquisitions
In addition to the aforementioned milkshakes, we had a lot of good food. In fact, the only bad food we ate all weekend was in airports. If you're ever in Ventura, I highly recommend Full of Beans (coffee shop with excellent muffins and yummy milkshakes), Cafe Bariloche (South American food), and Nature's Grill (healthy and yummy, with excellent smoothies).

For the past couple of years, the con has given away 4x6 photos with the name badges. This year, I got someone I didn't recognize (from Supernatural, I think). Because I didn't even know who it was, I was willing to trade for just about anything. Someone wandered by and traded me for Rodney (from SGA). I was then able to trade Rodney to Molly for the Mal picture she got.

I then bought way more Mal in the dealers room: a Serenity crew photo (8x10), a Firefly cast as themselves photo (8x10), a different Firefly cast as themselves photo (8x10), a racier variation on one of the Firefly cast as themselves photos (4x6), a hot Mal photo (4x6), a photo of Mal and Jayne with guns (4x6) (I'm not a Mal/Jayne person at all, which is a subject for another day, but it's a great photo) (4x6), and a Serenity postcard that's the movie logo. The 8x10s are going over my bed (possibly with green matting or frames) and the postcard is going in my office at work (in an orangish wood frame). I put the hot Mal 4x6 and the Mal and Jayne 4x6 on the fridge, but I have no idea what to do with the other 4x6s.

Molly's friend Kellie Lynch (like the namedropping?) was in the dealers room with a booth for her company, Iris Print (possibly not work safe). Molly gave me A Strong and Sudden Thaw for Christmas, and I loved it, and I told Amazon that, so Amazon started reccing me the other Iris Print titles. I'd been thinking about buying Connections, but I wanted to look at it first. This gave me the perfect opportunity, and the book was my only non-Mal dealers' room purchase.

We pulled two items for Sky off the swap table, and they'll be in the mail soon (since I didn't do it this morning). I also got two items from the swap table for myself: a hugely long King Arthur promo poster I want to put over my bookshelves (preferably in a red frame, but I'm never going to find something the right size [21x50]), and a tape labeled "Twitch City #1."

Torchwood is apparently the hot new fandom, and Life on Mars also had some buzz. There was also lots of talk all weekend about SGA and Supernatural, and BSG amongst the people I was hanging out with. I spent a large portion of the weekend and at least half of the two panels I led having no idea what people were talking about. I'd never even heard of Torchwood or Life on Mars before they started showing up in proposed panel descriptions, and I've never seen SGA, BSG, or Supernatural. I kept looking at pictures in the dealers room and saying, "I don't know who this is." I did manage to pick up that the guys in Supernatural are Sam and Dean, that one of the actors is named Jenson Ackles (And it's entirely possible that someone will appear to tell me I've gotten the name wrong. I could look it up, but that feels like cheating in this context.), and that one of the actors is very, very tall while the other is not.

Yay new friends!
I've gone on a post-Escapade friending spree (when you friend one person at a time after months of contemplation, four people counts as a spree), never mind the fact that half the people I friended didn't even go to Escapade and half of those half wouldn't be interested in Escapade and may, in fact, mock me for attending.

That's all folks!
At this point, I don't think I'm going back to Escapade next year. Admittedly, I did have a lot of fun: I got to spend a whole week with Molly, had some fun times with the people mentioned in the social life section above, got to be my fannish self unrestricted and unmocked, attended some good panels, and acquired fannish items. Having said that, I don't think Escapade is my crowd anymore. A lot of the people I would usually hang out with weren't there, I was put off by how late and disorganized the panel scheduling was, there's something of a "you kids and your internet" feel about the con, I'm not particularly fannish about anything specific these days, and I sometimes *gasp* actually like the canon het relationships on a show.

I am planning to go to BASCon this year since I rolled over my membership last year (or at least I sent them a letter saying I wanted to; no one ever sent me a confirmation), and Molly and I are seriously thinking about going to WisCon in May, so you may yet see me at a con. And, of course, if you're the fannish sort and you're in the Chico area, I'm always happy for some fannish fun. (I got horrified looks and possibly some sympathy when I explained to a table full of fangirls that the only friends I actually spend time with on a regular basis are not just men, but straight men.)

Femslash recs are in the femslash panel post.

I love The Class, and I kept trying to rec it to people, without much success. I really like the het relationships. There's a canonically gay character who hangs out with one of the straight men, especially when his partner's out of town. Palmer (played by Jaime King) hits on one of the other women. It's completely compelling, and one of my can't miss shows. (I also started watching partway through the season, so you don't have to watch from the beginning to get it.)

I also recced Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson novels to, uh, someone. I used to not like werewolf or vampire novels, but now I read a lot more of them, and I really like this series. (I finished the book I was reading [Princess Academy] this morning and promptly went to Barnes and Noble for Tempting Evil, which came out this week.) I think the reason I was reccing them is that there's a whole lot of really hot sex. The downside to this is that I can't take the books to work. But I don't really mind reading a whole book over the weekend.

I again recced moonwhip's "Childish Things," a lovely Mal/Kaylee story. I think I only mentioned it to Molly.

Things I forgot
I'm sure there are some (even with all the things I've remembered to include over the last five days that I've been working on this), but as I've forgotten them, I don't know what they are. I do know Molly and I had a discussion about something (possibly a Vin Diesel movie) and she said there might be some at Yuletide. Not knowing what it was, I can't really go looking for it.

And now that I've posted this, I can meet the boys for lunch, and then go read other people's con reports.
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Okay, so I could look it up and tell you how long it's been, but that's not as entertaining.

Part 1: Watching

The Classics
I watched The Godfather for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I had the same problem with it that I had with Star Wars and The Silence of the Lambs. All three of those movies are so embedded in our common culture that the original thing just isn't that interesting. Also, it's really dated. There's a sex scene, and I figured they'd fade to black before she got her top off. But no, they let her take of her top. And she has no nipples. I was too startled to even laugh.

I watched Singin' In the Rain for the first time on Saturday. It was pretty good, but the scene with Cyd Charisse in green made no sense. I don't know if I missed the set-up or if it really doesn't make sense.

The Other Kind of Classic
I wasn't paying attention to my queue and ended up with both discs of The Tick at once. I'd forgotten how funny it really is. I had to promptly watch the live-action version. I have to admit that in the long-term, I prefer the live-action version. It's much slashier overall, although you can't deny the Tick/Arthur-ness of "The Tick Vs. Arthur's Bank Account." Even Dot tries to help get them back together!

I also Netflixed some Murphy Brown. It's still hilarious.

At The Movies
I saw the last showing of Flicka. I loved it! I also cried through a lot of it, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't just because I was PMSing. There's a reason I take Kleenex to the movies with me.

The boys and I saw Stranger Than Fiction. I was the only one who'd wanted to see it since we saw trailers, Brad was convinced by the reviews somewhere he reads, and [ profile] fuseji was skeptical. We all loved it, so much so that I think I've regained some credibility with the boys. I'm amazed by how good an actor Will Ferrell is when he's not totally over the top.

I'm completely taken with The Class. Between the geeky couple in love, the gay guy and his partner who hate the woman married to the stereotypically gay guy, the guy in love with the woman married to the football player, and Jason Ritter and the tough girl, it's both hilarious and touching.

Name That Show
For some reason, I keep remembering a scene from a TV show, but I can't remember what show. I think it takes place in a bar. There are three guys and a woman. They're all friends, and the guys have made donations so the woman can be artificially inseminated. She comes to tell them the results. One cup had no swimmers. The guy has to admit he's had a vasectomy. One cup was empty. The guy (the young one, I think) says that, these days, he doesn't do anything without a condom. And then it's the third one who has viable sperm. I have no idea why I keep thinking about this, and I have no clue what show it was.

Part 2: Reading

A Real Book
I read Catherine Asaro's The Veiled Web last week. I bought it for $.01 plus shipping from Amazon marketplace; I figured that even if it was a scam and I never got the book, the most I would lose is $3.50.

Anyway, the book is not very good. The main character alternates between being completely stupid and knowing too much. She doesn't get it most of the time, but she can identify machine guns. It makes no sense. There's also an issue with the technology of the world. It was written in 1999 and takes place in 2010. Her projection into the future not only doesn't hold up (very few people in her future use the internet), but the technology is way over-explained. Anyone who's read even a little bit of AI sci fi will catch on way before she even gets halfway through any bit of explanation.

What was interesting enough to keep me reading was the relationship. It wasn't very good either, but interesting as part of Catherine Asaro's oeuvre. It's the same relationship pattern you see in a lot of her work.

Boarding School AUs
I recently read what there is so far of [ profile] bethynycfics' School!Verse, a Giles/Wesley boarding school AU. I love it!

An AU that must be: Spike/Angel boarding school AU. Please tell me if there is such a thing, and where I might find it.

Part 3: Listening To

Arabic Pop
Remember how I liked the Natacha Atlas song on Arabic Groove? Well, I went back to Tower and bought her Mish Maoul, and I really like it. I discovered as I was in my period of listening to it all the time and left the CD at home that you can listen to the whole album online. "Feen" (track 2) is my current favorite song.

Aubrey Debauchery
I went to see Aubrey on Friday night, at the Coco Caffe, which is itty-bitty. Aubrey's parents were there, sitting near me. Some other people came in, and her mom moved from the couch to sit half on her dad's lap. Aubrey, of course, sings a lot about sex. (In her newest song, she says, "I want to introduce you to my kitchen floor.") When I got home, the neighbors were having sex in their living room with the windows open.

Fiction Like Candy
There were two other bands playing with Aubrey. I stayed through Aubrey's set and two and a half songs into Fiction Like Candy's set. I was sick, and they weren't good enough to sit through. And I burned my tongue on my tea. I think I've burned my tongue every single time I've ever had tea. Anyway, Fiction Like Candy's lead singer sounds like somebody, and it's driving me crazy. If you have a moment to listen, let me know who she sounds like.

Monica Schroeder
At John Scalzi's behest, I started listening to Monica Schroeder at MySpace. I'm trying to decide if I want to buy her CD or if she's just a Sarah McLachlan clone.

The local Top 40 station switched to the Bob format. "We play anything." I thought it was dumb at first. But then I heard "Ice Ice Baby" three times in the first week. I've heard "The Right Stuff" a couple of times recently. They keep playing "Friends in Low Places." It's growing on me.

Part 4: Doing

My current favorite food is pita with hummus. I was not happy with my pita options at S&S, so I've been making my own pita. It's pretty good, and I'm sure it'll be even better now that I actually own a pastry brush and they shouldn't get over-oiled.

I've also attempted to make wheat bread, which isn't going so well. The first time, it didn't rise enough and it was too salty. The second time, it was better, but still not quite right. Now I have an 8-inch loaf pan instead of a 9-inch loaf pan, and I'm hoping that will help.

Shopping - Holiday
I know what I'm getting almost everyone on my list, and I'm ordering most of it online. I keep debating with myself. I could do it now, and get it over with. But I have an issue with doing my holiday shopping before Thanksgiving.

Shopping - Clothes
I'm looking for a dress for my cousin's New Year's Eve wedding reception now. I liked a couple of things at Weekend Wearhouse (warning: their website has a godawful fuchsia background), but the L was too small and the XL was too big. (I think the one I really liked is this one, in burgundy.) I have had no luck anywhere else. Luckily, I have to go to Sacramento for a meeting in two weeks, so I can go shopping there then.

In the process of dress shopping, I discovered that I've gone down yet another size. Like last time, my pants being too big didn't bother me until I noticed it. Now it's driving me crazy. I'm half-tempted to stop exercising and start eating junk food just so I don't have to buy a new wardrobe all over again.


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Ruth Sadelle Alderson


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