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12 years ago @ - Geeky Weekly Funtimez · 2 replies · +6 points

SO TEMPTED TO COME OUT. I'm down in Fairfax -- but I've only started going up to the Maryland side of the district recently. IT MIGHT AS WELL BE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON.

Is there any visitor-friendly parking on campus? If I can get up there before rush hour kicks off I figure that might end up being cheaper than metro + metro parking.

12 years ago @ - Geeky Weekly Funtimez · 2 replies · +13 points

AH! I was literally just thinking in the car about Mark and what's gonna go down when SPN (Supernatural) hits, because, frankly, I suspect that it'll make all the shit over Xander look like a teaparty .In short, SPN is a show I have Many Feels About, and am incredibly torn over. I've seen 3.5 seasons of it, then Stuff Happened and I stopped watching live and I never got caught up. I recently tried a rewatch, and, oof. Just. Oof.

MILD SPOILERS TO FOLLOW FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN THE SHOW. Most are too mild to Rot13 (they deal with SHOW PREMISE type stuff that you learn early on) but, uh, they prolly deserve a warning. Anything heavier than super mild I'll Rot13.

Things SPN does (in my opinion) well:
- Depict a realistic and close sibling relationship using two actors who have remarkable chemistry
- Depict how complicated a relationship with an abusive parent who loves their children can be.
- Clever dialogue writing
- Mood whiplash
- Metahumor
- Using classic rock
- Horror (Cnegvphyneyl va gur svefg frnfba. Vg tbg n ybg zber... Ohssl-rfdhr va grezf bs gur NPGHNY UBEEBE nf vg jrag ba. )

Things SPN absofuckinlutely is awful at (again, in my opinion):
- Gender. Anything. Relating. To. Gender. Holy. Shit.
- Dealing respectfully with the various mythologies they crib stuff from. Hc gb naq vapyhqvat Puevfgvnavgl bapr Xevcxr jnf yvxr YNJYTHLFNATRYF. Abg n Puevfgvna zlfrys, naq, unir n ebpxl uvfgbel jvgu gur eryvtvba, fb V svther vs vg'f fraqvat hc syntf sbe zr...
- Race.
- Gender.

12 years ago @ - Geeky Weekly Funtimez · 0 replies · +10 points

Oh god the more I think about it -- the new readers picking up the book for the first time to read along with Mark! THERE'S PROBABLY GOING TO BE SOME PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN THE MOVIE.

Getting trolled by Goldman is like, a geek rite of passage. BUT AT THE SAME TIME ALL OF THOSE HEARTS COLLECTIVELY BREAKING.

12 years ago @ - Geeky Weekly Funtimez · 4 replies · +6 points

Oh my god. I just realized. What if Mark doesn't realize? Do we tell him? Is that a spoiler? If we do tell him when do we tell him?

12 years ago @ - Geeky Weekly Funtimez · 13 replies · +13 points

AH. HE'S DOING THE PRINCESS BRIDE NEXT. I did not know this. I hope to god he reads the 'author's note' at the beginning. :D Confession: I read the book long before seeing the movie and once spent an afternoon at the library stubbornly trying to find the 'original' Morgenstern

12 years ago @ - Geeky Weekly Funtimez · 1 reply · +3 points

Yeesss. So perhaps the Death books before the City Watch ones then?

I just. Discourage EVERYONE from starting with the Rincewind books. They're the weakest in the series in my opinion, and they occur in such density early on. :\

12 years ago @ - Geeky Weekly Funtimez · 4 replies · +7 points

AAAH. When Mark does Discworld, I will deff have to come out of my commenting shell. I've basically just finished my first Discworld readthrough*, and, would cheerfully take an excuse to re-read them all in some sort of order besides "which ones I can get my hands on at the moment".

I honestly think that Mark ought to just take Discworld as being.. 5-6 different series, and review each one (maybe doing groups of chapters for each book?) separately taking a break between the various series. Like, if I were Arch Queen Empress Of The Universe I'd have him read... Night Watch books, Death books, Witches books, Rincewind books, Moist von Lipwig books, Tiffany Aching books, and then Misc Books. (ALTERNATIVELY: Fold the Tiffany Aching books into the Witch books, and do the Misc books peppered between the various series. Like, honestly, Small Gods ought to be read before Thief of Time, even though Small Gods isn't really vital to the continuity of any other book).

Mark also really ought to read Nation and Good Omens somewhere in there -- even though neither are part of the Discworld continuity. I actually think that Nation is a more vital read when trying to get through Discworld than Good Omens because... the writing style between Making Money and Unseen Academicals appears to shift abruptly** -- however, if you read Nation between the two books it doesn't seem like an abrupt shift at all. There is a change, but between the three books it's gradual from book-to-book, and I suspect it has more to do with a combination of shifting to dictation since he has trouble typing anymore (the 'voice' people use to speak is often very different from the 'voice' they use when typing, in my experience) and just the natural progression of a writer who's concerns regarding life, the universe, and everything are changing.
* A readthrough that lasted about 9-10 years! Started them when I was 13, continued reading them in a basically random order, and finally got a hold of a copy of Pyramids at age 22. Since then Snuff and I Shall Wear Midnight have dropped, and I've managed to read both of them. :D

** To the point where I saw people both accusing Pratchett of hiring a ghostwriter, and attributing the writing style shift to damage to his brain from his medical condition -- both of which I think are super gross accusations.

12 years ago @ - Geeky Weekly Funtimez · 4 replies · +12 points

I've never lived or been in a relationship with an alcoholic (at least, not my knowledge). The episode recreates the way abuse feels so utterly accurately that I never assumed that the potion was a metaphor for alcoholism. In my experience that's... just how an abuser acts. Jekyll and Hyde. They beat you -- emotionally or both emotionally and physically -- then once you're weak they comfort you, tell you that it's all a lie that they really do love you. Sometimes you just make them so mad and if only you didn't do that everything would be fine. Like a one person good-cop/bad-cop act. And you do love them, so you believe them and you bite back the pain because that's what you're supposed to do for loved ones, and, if you just keep waiting eventually they'll be able to control it. They'll get better.

It's all a big lie, of course.

I actually really like this episode. I like that it shows abuse accurately. I like that it makes people look at this, see what it looks like. I like that it's as uncomfortable as shit. It should be as uncomfortable as shit. The 'Beauty and the Beast' myth -- that if you just love someone who refuses to control their temper and lashes out and hurts you, that they'll get better and become what you want -- is an actively harmful one. I know from personal experience. I remember thinking that I was a smart, strong woman and that if I just held out, and loved him, that he'd stop. He didn't. I'm only one data point though -- one person -- but from everything I've read my story is far from unique.

So, I like that this show challenges the perpetuation of that myth*. I like that they challenge it in a really raw way.

I just can't watch the episode myself.

* Which they are, in fact, guilty of perpetuating via Oz and to a lesser extent Angel. I kinda feel like this episode is them providing a counter point to that.

12 years ago @ - Geeky Weekly Funtimez · 5 replies · +12 points

I suppose I could talk about why the episode's so trigger-y. The short version of the long story is that I spent about two years in an abusive relationship. Since it was long distance it never escalated to physical violence -- though I have no doubt if it were not for the space it would have been at that point before I left it (direct, physical violence was threatened several times during fights -- e.g. "It I was there right now with you I'd smack you."). At the point that I left it it had devolved into a daily session in which I'd await the emotional beating to begin. We'd be talking and Ex would sniff around, looking for something to pick a fight over. I'd make some innocuous statement e.g. "Pepperoni pizza is gross" and then he'd begin to rail on me for daring to have an opinion differing from his. This would then escalate into a fight which would then end in me in tears, desperately apologizing and begging for normalcy, and him snarling at me for being a worthless bitch.

Then later, after he'd gotten all the angry out of his system and cooled down he'd talk to me sweetly about how awful he was and how sorry he was. And then the next day he'd spin around and do it again.

I can only speak about the fights in vague terms at this point. I remember some of them near the end, because at that point I started discussing them with friends (who I'd kept all this hidden from before). For instance, I remember one fight that took place over IM that I showed to a friend who, aghast, pointed out that he'd told me mid-fight that I was incapable of love. I remember just kind of blinking and shrugging because it was so utterly par for the course that Ex said things like that to me. Most of my time with him is this big sea of vague memory at this point -- I remember that I spent months and months braced to be literally screamed at daily. That I didn't care how much it hurt because I loved him. That I came to believe all those awful things about myself. But I can't remember the individual content of days. I can't remember orders of events. I can't remember the exact words said. A handful of really, really, upsetting fights from over those two year I remember the basic structure of. Partially because I've had to spend three and a half years explaining to people why I panic when calling friends or lovers on the phone, for instance.

At one point we had a 12 hour fight, where at first I refused to back down, and then, when I did back down he kept going because he wasn't done being angry yet. It ended when I had a panic attack, and suddenly like magic he went from this monster to this incredibly sweet man. Two weeks later I got sick. I had this weird quarter sized red spot on my head above my eye (that I thought at the time was a super weird blemish) and ear pain. Went to the doctor, found out it was shingles. It's caused by your immune system bottoming out, and, since I was 19 they assumed it was due to stress. They asked me if I'd had a break-up about two weeks before. I told them no, I hadn't. They gave me antivirals, and some antibiotics just in case it was bacterial. It was shingles (and knocked me out of commission for about a week) -- but with the antibiotics I noticed that all of a sudden cuts (nicks from razors, sores from skin blemishes, misc scrapes) that had been sluggishly healing for weeks and weeks were suddenly closing up easily. I remember being shocked at how quickly my body was repairing itself. I'd gotten so used to the slow healing from the stress-fucked immune system that I'd assumed it was normal.

It took me an additional six months to get out of the relationship after that.


12 years ago @ - Geeky Weekly Funtimez · 6 replies · +15 points

Beauty and the Beasts. SO THIS BUFFY EPISODE. Everyone is like BRING YOUR COMMENTS HERE if you're afraid of a pile on, so, I am. TRIGGER WARNING for discussion of abuse.

This watch through of Buffy is probably my...4rd? 5th? watch through to this point in the series. The reason being is that this episode triggers the fuck out of me. The first time I was able to keep going a couple more episodes before realizing how much of a break I needed, and each subsequent attempt has ended up in me just stopping after this episode, sobbing my eyes out, promising myself I'll pick up watching again in a few days... and then I don't.

Several months to a year later I decide to retry Buffy -- I liked it so much before! -- and...I forget that there's a super triggering episode. Or I forget which episode it is. And then I get into the episode and only realize it's the triggering one once I'm really invested in the story and I tell myself that This Time It Will Be Different. And then. It isn't. AND THE CYCLE BEGINS ANEW.

See, and the thing is, this episode also contains my favorite moment in Buffy. Where Angel, on his knees, heart, mind and soul in turmoil, trying to recover from Hell, holds Buffy -- clinging to her for support, obviously the only stable thing in his universe and she can't even look at him. And she just looks up, tears running down her face, standing there and being strong for him. THIS IS WHAT I ACTIVELY REMEMBER FROM THIS EPISODE WHEN I SEE THE TITLE AND DESCRIPTION. Well, that, and Oz.

This time through I was watching -- all excited to be watching the ANGEL HUGS BUFFY episode -- and then I saw a familiar actress -- the one who plays Debbie -- wondered where I'd seen her before and then it hit me oh shit this is the triggering episode and I turned it off and moved on to the next episode.

All of this is to let you know that some of the details of it are fuzzy in my mind. I remember a few scenes vividly (Angel hugging Buffy! Jack London!) a few in a fractured way (the beating scenes) and the rest of the episode is pretty fuzzy. Like, I don't remember the content of Buffy confronting Debbie -- just that it happened. So, I might miss a few things when I talk about it later on. Or might pass on talking about the things I don't remember all that well