TV Reviews

tabbie - fall
We've reached the new season of television and most of the shows I'm interested in (except Constantine) have had their season premieres, so let's do a review of them. Most if not all of these shows are available on the network's websites. We'll start with the worst first…

Selfie - Starring Karen Gillan (also known as Amy Pond from Doctor Who and Nova from Guardians of the Galaxy) and John Cho (Harold from Harold & Kumar, Sulu from the new Star Trek movies, the token Asian guy in most TV shows these days), this is apparently some weird backwards version of My Fair Lady — instead of a girl learning the proper ways to be a lady, it's an self-/internet-ratings obsessed girl learning to work with the normal world. The main characters even have basically the same names.

The pilot episode sucked. I could not tell if it was a stupid show trying to be clever or a clever show that came off as stupid (on purpose? I'd assume on purpose). Covering your main character in her own vomit in the first five minutes of your series premiere is awful, especially since we haven't developed any love or hate for this character — we don't know how to feel about her because the show just started. It just comes off as gross and sad, and left me feeling uncomfortable and skeevy. The rest of the episode, while less gross, did basically nothing for the character development. The whole show left me feeling absolutely nothing for any of the characters, and again, just generally uncomfortable. Apparently this is a theme with the creator of this show, Emily Kapnek, but I've never seen her other work (Suburgatory) and in all honesty I don't watch TV to feel uncomfortable.

Rating: Would read reviews to see if it improves; no interest in watching it again even though I like both of the main actors (NOT their characters in this, though).

/ scorpion - Take every trope you can find about geeks, blend it with every trope from police procedural shows, mix in a little possible-romance (or is that one of those tropes?) and you have this show. The characters are vaguely interesting — it's basically The Big Bang Theory except they have to save the world every show — but the science was awful…awful enough that I didn't find the need to watch the second episode. It's a weekly popcorn action flick, only it really bends the rules of science/technology and assumes the audience will be none the wiser, and I hate shows that do that.

Rating: Saw one episode and already have predictions on how the rest of the season will go (who's going to double-cross who). Will read reviews, probably will not continue to watch.

The rest of the shows that have just started aren't nearly as awful:

A to Z - This is apparently NBC's version of How I Met Your Mother, a show I've been a fan of for years (that in my opinion would have been way better if it had ended around Season 5…one of those "Stop renewing it, dammit, you're rewriting the characters in a way that contrasts the original plot! WE HAVE NETFLIX NOW, we can see you ret-conning the characters!"). Narrated by Katey Sagal (Leela from Futurama), it explores the relationship of Zelda (Cristin Milioti, the mother from HIMYM) and Andrew (Ben Feldman, an actor I'm not familiar with), which apparently lasts exactly the length of a television season. That's not a spoiler, that's literally how they open the show.

The show is set up pretty spot-on to how How I Met Your Mother was: flashbacks, quirky side characters, pop culture references. The "Meet Cute" of this first episode seems a LITTLE pushed to me, but perhaps it'll be explored more as the season develops and we learn more about the characters. Andrew's roommate is extremely annoying and I hope his jokes get less stupid as the series goes on, because they really are not funny (basically he's Seth Rogen's part in every Judd Apatow movie). But, pilot episode, will give it time.

Rating: Cute, with a definite timeline to follow, which is an interesting concept for a sitcom. Will continue to watch.

Manhattan Love Story - Another romance sitcom (sitromcom?) following a small-town girl named Dana who moves to New York City and is set up by her friends with Peter, an NYC native. Definitely another meet-cute kind of situation here, but I felt for the characters right off — because any girl whose Facebook password is "muggles" is going to pique my interest (because yes, I am that girl. And no, that's not my Facebook password). The interesting aspect of this show is that you can hear both the main character's thoughts — which is one step away from a Woody Allen movie where they break the fourth wall and talk to the audience — and I don't think I've personally seen that used in a sitcom that's not a "this is me telling the story of my life" show before.

The side characters are less annoying then in A to Z — Dana's roommates and Peter's sister and brother (who is one of Dana's roommates and married to her sorority sister, who is her other roommate). They seem much more like the typical New Yorkers you see in every other sitcom, which isn't a bad thing. Some of the jokes are a little dumb (sorority sisters + appletinis = lesbian makeouts, which I suspect will be a running gag if no one stops it), but not too bad for a pilot episode.

Rating: Cute, made me giggle, will continue to watch.

Shows that are not new:

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD - Season 2: two shows in, and we're off with a bang. Most people seem to want this show to be more than what it is, which is a comic book that happens to be a television show. Enjoyable, but probably plays a LOT better when you can watch the whole season in one go…peppering in the Marvel movies, since they are all part of the same universe. THAT is an aspect of the show that I love, the fact that they've turned it into an overarching story. They've done the transition from comic to TV/movie very well, and I enjoy it. Also they seem to be cloning Patton Oswalt, which I'm totally cool with.

I mentioned in my /scorpion review that I'm not fond of shows that bend the rules of science and technology. Marvel, of course, doesn't just bend the rules: they basically make up new ones. I do not feel talked down to by this show, which I think might be the difference?

Rating: It's Marvel. It's comics in TV form. I'll keep watching, picking up the characters and bits from the old comics, and enjoying :)


The Big Bang Theory - Season 8: There will be, at this point, at least 10 years of this show with the current contracts…and it's more of the same. Stereotypical geeks dealing with life, making pop culture references that are obviously written to appeal to those who know a LITTLE bit about geekdom, and to appease us geeks who are amused we've gotten into pop culture enough for a show like this to happen. Leonard and Penny are now engaged, working through their romantic issues; Sheldon is of course overly awkward and basically there to be a punchline; Raj is…actually he isn't seen too much so far, though I think he has a girlfriend now?; and Howard is dealing with Stuart (the former comic book store owner, who is another character that was written to be a punchline, only more downtrodden than Sheldon) in a weird, almost-romantic (but not quite…I think?) relationship with Howard's mother.

As I said: it's more of the same. If you've watched ANY of the show in the past 7 years, you can expect more of that.

Rating: Currently my Old Reliable, since How I Met Your Mother went off the air earlier this year. You know the characters, you can expect the jokes, it's not surprising but that's not a bad thing. *shrug*

Doctor Who - I think is already halfway through its current season and it's got one of those running storyline things that Moffat swore he wasn't going to do anymore of, so finding out the ending to that will probably change my opinion on the whole season. I like Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor a lot (he was instantly "The Doctor" and didn't take getting used to the way Matt Smith did), and I'm interested but mildly annoyed by the running plotline. Further review may occur when that plotline ends.

Rating: Assume if you like Doctor Who, you will probably like what they are currently doing with it =p

DIIIIIIISNEEEEEEEEY

tabbie - disney

On our way, huzzah!

USA Today
VICE published a really interesting article on the concept of the 4-hour workday. Basically, you get paid the same but your hours get cut in half, thus doubling the nation's workforce and increasing the amount of money and (almost more importantly [I say almost because our middle class has been decimated so having more money right now would be an excellent thing]) time people have to spend on stuff, thus benefitting the economy. It'd take a couple years for everything to equalize, but I think it's a pretty great plan.

The Official 4-Hour Work Day website is here, though I suspect chunks of the explanation text have been swiped from when we switched over to an 8-hour workday because some of the concepts (like women in the workforce) are a WEE bit outdated. I am pondering writing in and volunteering to help spread the word (possibly make buttons) but I'll see how I feel about it after discussing it with folks and getting more opinions on it.

~*~

The guy running for governor of Connecticut (well, technically running against someone in the primaries TO run for governor...I think) I got a push-poll call about a few weeks ago, Mark Foley, is in fact a douchebag. His comments on the Newtown tragedy are atrocious. I'm not surprised, unfortunately, because this mindset is basically that of the party he is running with ("Let's de-regulate everything and let those on top those with money God sort it out! WHO IS JOHN GALT, LIBERAL SCUM!"), but...damn. Guessing he's never had a job that paid minimum wage.

~*~

We saw a bumpersticker yesterday that said "ANNOY A LIBERAL: Work hard and be happy" and I'm not really sure how that annoys anyone. I'm a liberal and if you're happy with working hard, good for you! You're awesome!

I'm guessing people who are working 3 jobs and just barely being able to scrape by and they never see their kids because of the whole 3 jobs thing probably aren't too happy though. I'm just saying.

~*~

Disney is adding an extra month onto their Frozen Summer Funfest. I realize this is TOTALLY 100% a First World Problem, but damn I wish they'd announce these events sooner. You put in your reservations for restaurants 6 months in advance, and your hotel room even earlier, and FastPass+ (the "shorter wait time" thing they do) is 60 days in advance now...but they don't announce major events that change your day-to-day schedule until less than a month before your trip? C'mon, Disney. You're better than that.

~*~

The new series of Doctor Who kicked off its premiere tour today in Cardiff. You have to realize: Peter Capaldi was one of those fans, the SuperFan who wrote letters to the BBC staff of the show CONSTANTLY when he was a kid/teenager, complained vehemently about not being elected president of the official fan club, and generally drove the producers and other fans of the show completely crazy.

And now he is the Doctor.

To quote AppleJack: "I didn't learn anything! I was right all along."

(David Tennant, also known as the Tenth Doctor, was also a SuperFan, but probably not as hardcore as Peter Capaldi [from reports I've read anyway]. Though Tennant DID marry his favorite Doctor's daughter.)

~*~

Coolest Blog I've Found in a While: Gurney Journey, James Gurney's guide to art and being an artist, with new posts daily.

James Gurney is the guy who did Dinotopia.

You're welcome.

(I'm really surprised and kind of ashamed I didn't find this blog sooner, but that just means more for me to read NOW.)

~*~

I am currently reading Abigail Barnette's The Boss series, a book series written entirely to contrast the horrible badness (both writing-wise and about the BDSM lifestyle) of 50 Shades of Grey. I'm not into BDSM, myself, and I'm learning how much I'm not by reading the series (some things in the second & third books: not things I ever want to do). I'm vanilla and boring, apparently =p

I'm about halfway through the third book. The first book is decent and sexy, with lighter explorations of BDSM that are pretty hot in my opinion, and ends on a cliffhanger. The second book is Spoilers.Collapse )

Anyhoo, if you are interested in what is very much a GOOD version of 50 Shades of Grey, this is the series to get. Well, so far, hopefully the last half of the third book won't change my opinion on that.

~*~

Speaking of birth control...Collapse )

~*~

Your Cuteness for the Day: CORGI PICNIC! Awwwwww! Thanks to was1 for sharing that link :)
tabbie - spot snug
I've started something dubbed by Luno as "The Bawdy Bartender's Book," and it is going to be my main project this month (outside of running around in circles excited about going back to Disney World)! Poke on over to my FA journal to get the full scoop. I still have a few spots open, though if no one takes them, I will throw my own characters into the portfolio :)

~*~

Less than a month till our Disney trip and we are uberpsyched. I am reading WAY too many blogs and forums that I have already read a bunch of times, and following far too many Disney-related accounts on Twitter. I already know a ridiculous amount of everything about it, but I'm still doing it. Because EXCITED.

Of course, after our Disney trip (with a slight bounce in October for our local convention), I will be playing the "excited as all hell about going to California" game. Apparently the secret to keeping me happy is to know I will be traveling in the near future.

~*~

I was gonna say some other stuff but I have, in all honesty, completely forgotten. I'm gonna go back to spazzing about Disney and working on sketches :)
tabbie - annoyed
Or, How Normal People Operate on the Internet.

There is a post circling Tumblr right now called "The Furry Problem." I was going to bitch about it on Tumblr but in all honesty there's enough to bitch about that I'm moving my bitching here. Go give the post a read (or at least a quick skim), I can wait :)

Done? Alright, it's opinion time!

This post really, REALLY rubs me the wrong way. And I say that as someone who has been a member of the furry fandom for half my life now, and drawing furry art for nearly 30 years (I drew it long before I discovered the fandom). Also please keep in mind I have never read this fellow's comic or any other post he's made, so the post I linked is all I know about him.

First off, he's just not correct:
"As I grew older and began seriously getting into cartooning, I noticed something odd going on around me: the cartoon animal was quickly becoming an endangered species. The animal designs of the 80’s and 90’s TV cartoons were being seen less and less in modern times within the industries that they helped create.

How could this happen? Are people just no longer interested in funny talking animals?"


Uh. Funny talking animals are still pretty popular. Yes, the styles have changed, but they're still there. He seems really focused on the idea of style here; characters like those seen in Adventure Time, Regular Show, and even My Little Pony apparently don't count? Heck, when you get down to it, Spongebob Squarepants and all his undersea buddies are talking animals.

So, instead of thinking: "Hey, maybe I should work on my artistic skills! Drawing humans or in a style other than the one I draw in could be beneficial to my career!", he blames the furry fandom for his not being able to make a decent career out of drawing cartoon animals.

Beyond that, this statement:
"To everyone else, it roughly translates to a fandom entirely focused on sexual deviancy, homosexuality, and sexual activities that incorporate elaborate animal costumes."

...is extremely offensive. Homosexuality being equated with sexual deviancy is pretty fucking awful. Homosexuality is not a choice. Sexual deviancy and fucking in fursuits is. Beyond that, sexual deviancy and fursuit sex aren't hurting anyone AND they aren't any of your business; if you judge someone based on what they do in the bedroom you're basically an asshole (and a voyeur. Seriously, why do you care?). This entire statement sounds like someone trying to justify being against gay marriage (because, you know, those gays make you uncomfortable), and it just reeks of entitlement.

Actually, entitlement is a good word for the whole post, because the entire thing is just sitting there gleaming with it. Oh no, I can't get published because I draw furry art! Uh, so...if you want to get published by the company that rejected you specifically for the cartoon animals, draw something else. You've literally drawn yourself into a corner, and instead of opening your talents and drawing other things, you are blaming the fandom you have boxed yourself into.

To quote my friend Venter: "Remember kids: If you treat the fandom as a stigma, strangers will too."

Another bit from the article, reflecting on what I just said:
"You could argue that it was silly of me to not bend to the pressure and just make Peter & Company an all-human cast, but that is precisely the problem. There shouldn’t be anything WRONG with cartoon animal characters, nor should there have to be a plot-specific reason why these animals can walk and talk."

So far, outside of that one letter saying they weren't accepting comics with cartoon animals at the moment, I really doubt this a problem that's been encountered too much...well, unless this guy is listening to the assholes on the internet, which he probably is. Again, limiting yourself to one genre/fandom/style and then bitching about that genre/fandom/style being the reason you're not popular/can't get published/whatever he's bitching about is quite possibly the most moronic thing I have ever heard.

TLDR: Tabbie's opinion on the "Furry Problems" post is basically her making masturbatory gestures and rolling her eyes.

ANYWAY, I think I've run out of steam on this whole thing, but I just felt like bitching about it, and that's what LJ is for. Everyone is free to chime in your opinions on both the original post and my opinions on it...which is also what LJ is for!

Fun with Injuries

dragony
We changed the sheets at the end of last week, since I'd been spending a lot of time in bed and have been sweaty and sick and gross. At some point during this change, a lancet -- the little sharp things I test my blood sugar with -- got caught under the sheets. An open lancet.

Then I took a nap.

Right on top of the lancet.

My right leg looks like it got into a battle with a jungle cat. Most of my leg is reasonably healed, but there's two scratches, one just above my knee and one particularly deep gash in my butt, that are at different stages of healing due to their depth. The knee one is at the itchy phase, the butt one is attempting to reject all possibility of infections (it's raised and has a bit of pus, ew). I've been putting a lot of Neosporin all over everything.

I sincerely hope that I do not actually have an infection. On my butt. For a variety of reasons. Mostly the whole "I injured myself severely while napping" thing, which sounds like a "I fell down the stairs" kind of excuse but is actually true. I'm just that clumsy.

At least I know the lancet started sterile, the only person it's scratched up in anyway has been me, and it's not like a rusted pair of scissors or anything, but it's still rather dumbfounding to know that I injured myself while napping.

Post-con update

tabbie - spot bed
ConnectiCon was awesome once again. Saw a ridiculous amount of awesome cosplays, saw friends old and new, sold a ridiculous amount of buttons. Executed our yearly tradition of ending the con with sushi, which I think is a tradition that needs to stick around.

Unfortunately I now have con crud, meaning the past two days have been me basically in bed going "Blaaaaar." I sound -- in my head at least -- like a dude who's trying to swallow Jell-O and smoke a cigarette at the same time when I talk. It's moving quickly, at least; yesterday it was in my head, now it's moved into my chest, hopefully it'll be gone by the end of the week. But ugh, the downside of having so many people in one place: all the germs!

I've already posted an apology for lack of sketches on Patreon, but if you're following me over there I just want to apologize again. Though thankfully I put the disclaimer that illness WILL prevent sketches from happening. It just means you get more sketches later.

Now I'm going to go back to curling up with a book and drinking ginger ale and generally being a blob. Just wanted to say "HUZZAH CON!"

Running on empty

boom de ya da
Yesterday was spotweld's birthday, so I made him a rum cake and we went to Mohegan Sun to eat fancy-schmancy food at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain. VERY tasty steak and seafood. We also goofed off on the fancy slot machines that are always full on weekends. Didn't win anything, but eh...it's a birthday, you get to splurge :)

I also bought him a fire pit that arrived today. Because FIRE. It is sitting on the porch now because it weighs 40-some pounds and is kind of huge so I don't want to attempt moving it. But if you come over to our place, marshmallow and weenie roasting will be done!

I was going to spend today finishing the last minute stuff for ConnectiCon: finish making a few more buttons, organize the stuff that hasn't been yet (the bigger buttons need a method of storage that I've only actually figured out in my head AND the big Con Box needs to be reshuffled), print up some lists of buttons and stock sheets.

Unfortunately, I woke up today feeling rather like someone had driven a fork into my head. NOT as bad as a migraine, but definitely similar. Same feeling of nausea, too. I took a hot bath, which sometimes helps, but this time it didn't...so I took a nap, only a couple hours after waking up, trying to get rid of the nausea. Thankfully, it worked, so I ate something very mild and I'm hoping that whatever it was that's causing it has gone away. The headache stuck around, so I've taken some Pamprin and am trying to get stuff done anyway. Once again I'm stuck grinding in first or second gear, when I SHOULD be operating in fourth.

#TMITuesday: It's probably PMS. My body seems to think that excess progesterone (the hormone that is responsible for morning sickness) is a really great plan during my cycle, and worst off: I know it's genetic because my mom went through the same thing (at least I know it's NORMAL, though, even if it's a pain in the ass). Also PMS seems to come into effect the moment my period ends, which I'm really enjoying [/sarcasm] The moodiness is steady, though the nausea is only occasional. I will be talking to my OB/GYN about this when I see her for my yearly checkup later this month; she put me on Prozac for it two years ago, but the side effects of Prozac were fucking with my sleep schedule so I stopped taking it. Might be time to find a new drug or to start taking it again.

And if you ended up getting Huey Lewis & the News in your head thanks to that last sentence, I apologize.

So, though I'm now getting started many hours later than I'd like to, I AM going to try to get a majority of the con stuff done today. Official con setup is on Thursday, and thankfully I'm pretty far along in prepping...probably because I've been working on it, a little bit each day, for a month and a half. The opposite of procrastination, guys, be proud of me!

I'm hoping to use that preparation motivation to work on a comic or two after this convention. But I've been saying that for years so don't hold me to it.

Actually, no, hold me to it. I need to fucking do it. I'm awesome, and the stories in my head are awesome, and I really should draw them.

What would happen if...

fuck art
Fun with random things that occur to me out of the blue and with no sense of justice implied (I mean that seriously, I am NOT being sarcastic believe it or not):

What would happen if the stock market ended? NOT in a terrorist act, or the power all went out and everything had to stop like Hurricane Sandy the other year, but...it just ended? Everything cashed out, everyone got the money they'd already invested/earned/etc., but there was no more stock exchange?

I suppose I'm talking about the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ specifically, but obviously stocks are something that happen worldwide. For the sake of my argument, let's keep it in the United States.

I really don't know enough about economics to even predict something like that, but it would be interesting to see how a capitalist society like we very much are would react to something like that happening.

Quick Update

tabbie - elwood
That job I was having second thoughts about, after 3 days of "testing it out" and sending a bunch of references, has not called or contacted me. Clearly I made a great impression =p Not too bothered by not getting it, in all honesty. It's probably saving me a lot of trouble.

I do wish they'd pay me for the 10+ hours I spent learning how everything worked, though. That's kind of unfair, I'd like those hours of my life back.

~*~

Getting prepped for ConnectiCon. Received my order of charms, postcards, and plastic bags for customers (not enough artists/indie crafters include bags to actually carry the stuff in). Only thing I'm waiting on is my new button-based business cards. Currently making a ridiculous amount of buttons so we're not making them on the fly like we were last year. Redoing the displays using foam board instead of cork to allow for more buttons to be displayed (can fit 81 or 100 depending on how many I want to cram in each row; the cork only allowed for 42 per board, I think? Amazing how much an extra two inches does #thatswhatshesaid). Also adding graphics to a vest that I am going to cover with buttons so I can be a walking advertisement, for those moments when I actually leave the table.

~*~

Our CSA starts this weekend, huzzah! We will be getting fresh veggies every week and maybe I can lose this weight that I've put on since the whole Job From Hell Part 2 stress last year. Jobs From Hell: Question your own competence AND gain a pants size!

(I think it's probably my metabolism changing with age, but I'm sure the stress didn't help.)

I know I need to exercise more and that it will help my fitness, my weight, and my depression, but getting the motivation to get started is the issue. Once I get started I'm fine -- just like when I'm drawing a comic -- but actually getting to the point where I DO start is the difficult part.

~*~

Speaking of comics...a famous comic art site of the erotic persuasion is accepting submissions. I'd like to try, but they say outright: No furries. I can draw things other than furries just fine, but I've never really had an excuse to draw human erotica before...so I worry that submitting the best examples of my comics (which, of course, are all anthropomorphic animals) will make them go, "Ehhhhh...we SAID no furries..." even though they'd just be examples and not anything I would expect them to publish.

I'm annoyed that the kind of art I like to draw is a very tiny niche that freaks a lot of people out. Dear world, Just because I draw people with animal heads gettin' it on, it does not mean I want to fuck animals. I just think animal heads are more fun to draw than people heads! Oy.

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