3,560 comments posted · 92 followers · following 12

9 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Finishes 'Discwor... · 5 replies · +40 points

I've got to say, to make sure her work and dedication is properly recognized, that Mark Reads Discworld would not have happened with nearly as much ease without the efforts of rukbat3.

Before the Discworld read began, Mark called for help from the community in splitting the books into sections. There was a lot of help at first, but trying to find a consistent way to determine good section lengths between different editions of the books was challenging. Still, there were attempts for most of the books, which was a good start, but ultimately proved to be not enough. (How I ended up ultimately organizing and finalizing all of it, when I'd only ever read the first five books and always read with, not ahead of, Mark, is still a mystery to me.)

After a while, though, it was mostly just me and rukbat3 looking at splits. And let me tell you, rukbat3 worked hard. While I split books primarily based on word count, rukbat3 would actually read the book (months before it was scheduled) in order to find section breaks that were dramatically satisfying. She'd offer alternate splits if she suspected a section was too long. And she was always happy to offer suggestions to me when I couldn't find a decent split somewhere.

So please, MReaders, join me in thanking rukbat3 for making splitting the Discworld so much better. She took a huge responsibility on herself and did such a spectacular job!

Yay, rukbat3!!

14 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Russian ... · 1 reply · +2 points

As a matter of fact, it is! In the menu, under About the Site, there's a page called Past Site Banners; you can find it there. (Or just click this link; that works, too.)

16 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Russian ... · 3 replies · +5 points


Sometimes I luck out with amazing promo images/art.

19 weeks ago @ - Weekly Shenanigans · 2 replies · +6 points

Apologies, but I gotta vent a little.

Not that any of this has come from out of the blue (obviously), but still.

This was supposed to be an awesome weekend for me, one that I've been looking forward to and planning since mid-September. I was supposed to see my favorite band, Keane, in concert in DC last night and in New York tonight (and in the non-COVID-19 universe, possibly meet them after the shows). So that already sucks.

And then yesterday, the branch manager called me in the morning and asked if I could meet her in the afternoon because she had something to share with me from the county that they asked be done in person. That's never gonna be good news, right? And it wasn't. Basically, all the part-time library employees (like me *waves*), as of the end of the pay period, are furloughed for the duration.

The good news is that it's just a furlough, which means I'll have my job when the library opens back up to the public. (Of course, I've been looking for a proper librarian position since graduation, but that's another issue.) The other good news is that I may be able to claim some unemployment, and I've got a decent financial buffer thanks to living with my dad and still having scholarship money left over from school. And it's not that I fault the decision -- it makes sense and is the responsible thing to do -- but dang it, this was supposed to be my awesome weekend, and it is decidedly not.

63 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Finishes 'Babylon... · 2 replies · +12 points

Okay, Mark, so there's part of me that just wants to go, like, 'So did you love it, or did you love it?' and that's not interesting, really, so here are a bunch of other questions. (Don't feel obliged to answer them all; I was just sort of spitballin' here.)

What surprised you the most about the show?
Who is your fourth favorite character?
Favorite moment or scene?
Favorite quote?
Favorite or most surprising guest star?
Most satisfying thing from the show?
The CGI -- good, bad, in between?
How do you think the show benefited from being written mostly by one person? How do you think it was hindered by that?
Would you recommend Babylon 5 to others?
Because you have oodles of free time, do you think you'll rewatch the show on your own?

And ultimately, how do you feel about your Babylon 5 experience?

68 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 1 reply · +12 points

Tales (sorta) from the Scripts: A Call to Arms

  • I don't have the book that has this script introduction, sadly, so I'm piecing together some things from interviews in other books. (Those interviews, by the way, were conducted by Joe Nazzaro.)
  • Like this tidbit from the B5 Books editor: "The role of brothel owner Jacob Mayhew [in 'The River of Souls'] was originally offered to Peter Jurasik, but the casting did not work out. If Jurasik had been able to play the part and TNT had not objected to Andreas Katsulas portraying Galen in 'A Call to Arms,' two of Babylon 5's most iconic actors would have appeared sans makeup in back-to-back TV movies."
  • JMS said he likes playing in this particular universe, so when someone offers him the chance to "stick around a little while longer with these characters," he is obligated to take it "because I'm selfish and I like playing with these characters."
  • Doing more TV movies also allowed him to show "what goes on afterward... what happens in a situation where our characters have all moves on." "[I]t was a combination of hating to leave the universe behind and tell one more story and have some fun with it."
  • JMS: "I was on the set earlier today watching them shoot the scene with Peter Woodward in the circle of stones, and man, he's good, he's really really good. I was walking out with a big old grin on my face, saying, 'We got one!'"
  • There was trouble with the casting of Peter Woodward because he didn't have the right kind of working papers, and they didn't find out about it until three days before he needed to be ready to shoot. Warners said that if they couldn't get the legal stuff straightened out, they couldn't use him.
    As JMS explained, "We went to the congresswoman Barbara Boxer's office, we went to the senator for the state of California, and then I remembered something and said, 'John, isn't Marie, who's head of the Public Information Office in the White House a fan of Babylon 5?'
    "He said, 'Yes, she is.'
    "And I said, 'Call her, I want the fucking White House working on this!'
    "He said, 'Are you sure she'll want to help us?'
    "I said, 'Call her and find out!'
    "So John called her at the White House, and she said, 'Let me take care of this,' so in return for a box of Babylon 5 cool stuff -- I'm sure Kenneth Starr will come in and interview us at any time about this whole thing. We called her office on Tuesday or Wednesday and it was resolved by Thursday...."
  • Dureena's eyes went through a number of changes, trying to find the right amount of yellow or gold in them.
  • Casting Dureena: "We went through a lot of casting sessions, and she came in fairly late in the game, because they kept bringing in these tall, willowy models. I said, 'I don't want tall willowy models! This is a ferret, this is a pit bull, this is someone who will go tow to tow with you and bite your kneecaps off!'
    "Once I said that, they got the image and brought in a different kind of tough, smaller female character. Television is filled with the tall, willowy model types, and this is not meant to be that type. This is a pug, a street fighter, and once she showed up, we knew she was the one, that was the end of the discussion."
  • JMS on Tony Todd as Captain Anderson: "I got the impression from the audition that he's a very nice man, and he had that commanding voice that you want for a captain. He seemed perfect for it."

68 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 0 replies · +14 points

Ugh, I'm the worst.

I got distracted yesterday and forgot to post the G'Kar gifs I made lo, these many years ago. Better late than never, eh?

G'Kar saying, 'Love to stay. Can't; have to go. Kiss kiss, love love, bye.'

G'Kar saying, 'Isn't the universe an amazing place? I wouldn't live anywhere else.'

Because if there's one thing this series is all about is being emotionally devastated by G'Kar.

68 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 1 reply · +11 points

Tales from the Script: The Legend of the Rangers

  • So much of what's in the Q&A is spoilery, so I'll hold off on sharing it for a few weeks; I don't want folks to have to miss out.
  • Q: A common complaint about The Legend of the Rangers is that the Rangers were too willing to die rather than finding a less lethal way of defeating their opponents. In retrospect, is this a plot element that you would be changed or was it essential to the story?
    A: I kind of wanted them young and impetuous and idealistic, the "die with honor" solution being their first resort rather than what it should be, their last resort. They would've learned to temper that in time, especially after one of them died defending the rest in ways that could have been avoided.
  • Q: What if any difficulties did you have in writing and revising the script for The Legend of the Rangers?
    A: There weren't a lot, really. The main focus was in trying some new things to make it visually different from B5 while still feeling consistent with that universe.
  • Q: Was the Hand somehow connected to the race from "Thirdspace?" And why was it said that the Hand are more ancient and more powerful than the Shadows?
    A: That's what they said, but that doesn't mean it would ultimately be true. And no, no connection to "Thirdspace."
  • Q: The Legend of the Rangers seemed to have few ties to the B5 back story. Why not make use of more existing canon in the story?
    A: In a pilot, you usually just try to keep in as much information as is needed to get that story and leave it at that; to put in too much B5 backstory would've been to clutter up the structure, and possibly scare off audiences who might've felt they needed a flow-chart to keep up with the mythos of the series.

68 weeks ago @ Mark Watches - Mark Watches 'Babylon ... · 0 replies · +11 points

  • "What you have to do, when watching 'The River of Souls,' is look at Lochley gradually becoming unhinged and transpose me into that role. I was basically writing myself at the end of year five going slowly and irrevocably batshit."
  • Question: "The idea of Mayhew's acquisition of Lochley's image for the holo-brothel neatly mirrors the Soul Hunters' unsolicited collection of the Ralgans' essences. Did the two notions occur to you separately and then coalesce in the script or did you work at devising a B-plot that would counterpoint your A-story (or vice versa)?"
    Answer: "That's one of those chicken-egg (see above) questions that I'm not sure I can really answer with any efficacy. I know I started with the Soul Hunter notion, went looking for something to annoy Lochley, and when I hit on the use of images in the holo-brothel, suddenly realized, Hey, look, there's counterpoint! Sometimes you tell the story, and sometimes the story tells itself, and this was one of the latter. These things just seem to happen. As with 'Thirdspace,' Art By Accident."
  • On how the treatment of souls here relates to the B5 question "Who are you?": "I think that's best left to the viewer to decide for him- or herself. The story is put out there to ask questions, to get people to talk about the nature of the soul, and identity. For me to say, 'Here's what it means and here's what it says about who you are,' defeats the purpose. The answer is different for everybody, as it should be. Are we immortal beings? Or as transient and insubstantial as bath bubbles? Is one's soul the sum of one's parts, or are one's emotional parts the projection of one's soul?"
  • About Martin Sheen: "We were all very surprised that Martin Sheen wanted to do an SF project, but just as happy to have him. He was a bigger than life kind of guy, who loved to hold court and tell stories. He was also very big on encouraging everybody around him to get into a 12 step program, whether or not they actually needed it. I joined him for lunch one day, and he was telling me I needed to get into such a program. 'I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't gamble, and I don't do drugs,' I said. 'So why do I need a 12 step program?' He thought about it for a long time, then finally said, 'Anybody that much in control has enough personal issues to fuel a 13 step program, so get to it.'"