I've been watching some friends of mine on tumblr count down to the Christmas special, which is, of course, in two days, and I realized that while I'm happy for my friends who are still in the fandom... I don't feel anything. I don't care. I thought I still cared a little bit, but I don't. I'm going to be at my parents' house in the land of one computer with no torrent ability and no wireless signal, and if I ever do watch the Christmas episode, it'll be long after the fact and maybe after I've caught up on the rest of season 3. Or most of it. I don't think I'll be watching that episode just yet.
Now, why am I doing a whole post about not caring? Because it's strange. It's like... there's an empty room in the bit of my soul that's fannish where all my love for Downton Abbey used to be, but it's... just a big empty room, and it's hollow and echoes if you speak too loudly. Actually, it's more like a house where you used to live, or a house you associate with good memories, but all of the furniture has been moved out, and so while it's structurally similar, everything about it on the inside has been taken out, and as you wander from room to room, if you close your eyes you can still feel the things that used to be there around you, but you know they aren't really there. And when you open them, you're in a room with bare walls and no furniture and no people, and you feel a bit sad before you go and lock the door behind you.
Yeah. THAT is how it is when I try to muster up some caring about the Christmas special.
So you know what I'm looking forward to instead? DOCTOR WHO! Victorians! Lesbian lizard lady and her partner! Top hats!
Also, I'm almost caught up with Vampire Diaries, so I'll be looking forward to new episodes of that wonderful drama-fest...
In non-fannish news, Rae and I had our just-us holiday celebration last night. We put out the decorations (finally) and had lamb from tj's and green bean casserole and this delicious cabbage and ramen salad, and German mulled wine from World Market. We watched A Christmas Story while we ate, gave each other presents, and watched some TVD while we snacked on the contents of our stockings. (The World Market that just opened pretty much filled both of our stockings this year...)
Going up to the parents' house tomorrow... if I don't see people before then, I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday, whatever you celebrate!
If only I'd done that for school #2... I still have eighty final in-class essays about pop culture an the media to sift through.
The letters to future students plan went well. A lot of my students were really candid. Many of them in the class with this semester's problem student said something to the tune of, "DO NOT under ANY circumstances talk while she's talking or while people are working. It's rude." I guess seeing me throw someone out of class for doing just that stuck with them. Good. On the bright side, lots of them seemed to think I was approachable and open to questions, because a bunch of them said, "Don't be scared to talk to her. She'll do whatever she can to help you understand," so that's good to hear.
At least I got a little bit of Christmas last night before diving back into the sea of finals...
Usually, I show up and eat. But this year, I thought I'd be a grown up and bring something so my parents didn't have to do everything. This might also have something to do with the fact that I've been reading a lot of articles about food and culture and home cooking and family tradition with my students, and even though my recipe is straight out of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and isn't something super secret and fancy, it's good, and I know it will be appreciated. Also, it'll make me feel like a big girl to show up at the door with something I cooked all the way down here as opposed to an overgrown teenager who shows up and says, "I'm here, Mom... feed me."
I'm making candied yams with marshmallows, which I've managed with a great deal of success in the past. I've got it in the oven right now, and I'm going to put it in the fridge overnight and then take it up to my parents' in the morning so they only have to warm it in the oven. It's quite simple, actually... boiled yam chunks, brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows. That's it. And it's SO delicious. I would make it all the time if yams didn't take forever to peel and cut.
The other thing that makes me feel all grown up is that I just fixed our coffee maker. Again. I thought I'd fixed it for the last time a few months ago, but it turned out that the hose on the OTHER side had come loose. Hopefully, now that I've done something more permanent to both sides, I'll never have the same problem again. What is this magical thing that is going to permanently fix my much-used coffee maker? I found a fix-it site that suggested hose clamps. ("What the heck is a hose clamp?" I asked when I read that. A few moments on google later, I had my answer.) I bought the smallest ones I could get and used the tool set that dad got me to tighten them around the hose once I slipped it back on the pipe. No more popping off and leaking water all over my counter when all I want is a cup of coffee. Seriously, I've fought with this frickin machine past when most people would have tossed it out and bought a Keurig, but I'm glad I did. I know new, very basic things about How Stuff Works, and it gives me a bit of confidence in my ability to figure things out in the future.
We're off to places Northern (three house north of LA to be exact) as early as we can tomorrow. I hope that all of you have the happiest of Thanksgivings if you celebrate it, and a wonderful weekend if you don't.
- Election day was all kinds of interesting. First of all, I made an executive decision that Rae wasn't driving with the beginnings of a migraine, which meant dropping her off at her class over at CSUN. It wasn't that big of a deal, though, and it meant I got to my campus a little earlier and got some things done. I picked Rae up after our classes were over, and we went to go vote. For the first time in my life, there was a LINE. Usually, I go around ten in the morning, and there's NO ONE there. When we got there at around 5, half the town was in line, it seemed like. Still, we waited and did our civic duty. I was behind a man and his just-eighteen year old son, and he we telling him all about how actually voting was going to go. It was sweet.
Afterwards, we went for sushi and watched the election results come in on the tv screen. It was still pretty early when we got home, and so I was all ready to hunker down and have CNN running in the background until the wee hours of the morning. I even had what I called "election pie" in the oven, by which I meant "the pumpkin pie recipe from the can of pumpkin I got at TJ's." It was still baking when, at around 8:30, with very little fanfare, CNN called the race for Obama. I was happy, but I was taken aback at first. Wasn't this awfully early to be calling the whole race? I flipped over to the other channels, and sure enough, ALL of them had the same prediction. So, I had election pie and no election to watch while eating it. We stayed up until Romney conceded, and we listened to both speeches. I feel for the East Coast people. We were done with it by eleven, but that meant it was 2 am for those on the other side of the country.
The rest of the week has mostly been me trying to prepare my students for peer review on the rough drafts of their essays. This is going well for some of them, but a bunch of them are going to be massively under prepared.
This weekend is all about catching up on grading and getting ready for the rest of November.
What's up with me - fandom addition: coming soon. Let's just say I've started watching Vampire Diaries, I'm holding off on the rest of Downton, Burn Notice rocks my world, and Once Upon a Time is one of my favorite things about the current season of tv.
The candy is purchased (mostly for my classes, since we got exactly one trick or treater last year), and I'm really for the 31st, even though it looks like it's going to be a quiet night in for me.
Last night, we went to a Halloween party with AWESOME decorations and the neatest Halloween goodies I've ever seen. Cake coffins with little candy skeletons in them, bone shaped bread sticks... you get the idea. Mostly, we all just sat around and sipped lime green punch (delicious) and ate and chatted, which was... pretty much exactly what I wanted out of a party.
I have a lot of grading to do this week (when DON'T I?), but I'm trying to get into the festive spirit for one of my favorite holidays anyway, and... I think it might be working.
Maybe I'll grade and watch old Buffy Halloween episodes... that's always fun.
I don't think I watched the first episode when is aired back in October of 2006, but I know that by December, I'd seen ALL of Season 1, and I was flailing wildly in anticipation for Season 2.
Other than PotC, this is the fandom that really showed me what it was like to be part of a fandom community. This is one of those fandoms where I'll jump into -land communities without a second thought, sign up for Big Bangs and other challenges, and drive all over Southern CA so I can meet up with people I've only talked to online. Of course, this is also the show that showed me just how much I'm prone to crying over character deaths, the show that made me weep copiously and embarrassingly in front of EVERYONE more times than I can count. It's the show that made me so furious I had to pause the download and rant at it for every episode of the third season, and it's the show that killed everyone I loved most in sometimes narratively unsatisfying ways.
But then... it's the show that gave me one of my most beloved OTPs, made "I'm not being funny, but..." part of my everyday conversations, made me smile every time I think of Allan being good with nuns, and made me melt every time I think of Certain Lines that Certain People Named Guy utter before riding back into Nottingham and Certain Death. (Except the death isn't really certain because this is RH and not ASoIaF.)
This is the fandom that made me write long fic again after only writing drabbles and vignettes for a long while. (And yes, I WILL write that Wolf's Head sequel one of these days... just not this year. Maybe next.)
This is one of those fandoms that, if we share it, will instantly make me want to be your friend.
This is one of those fandoms that, if someone says, "Hey, I'd kind of like to watch that show..." I'll be there on the couch next to them with my DVD's in hand faster than they can blink.
I guess what I'm trying to say is... I love this silly little show, and I LOVE its awesome fandom. You guys are the most wonderful, thoughtful, creative people I could have asked to associate with.
It was the last performance of the season, and Rae made delicious Island fried chicken. (Basically chicken fried in coconut oil with her island spice mix she got. It was DELICIOUS.) We also packed a bunch of fresh fruit, a loaf of bread, and a bottle of two buck chuck into our picnic bag.
We met ghettopeach at the park, settled down on our blanket, and ate and talked while we waited for the show to start. There were a LOT of people there, apparently. I kept hearing other people in the audience who had been before saying how crowded it was, and at some point, one of the organizers estimated that there were about 2500 people there. That's a LOT of people turning out for free Shakespeare.
The play was A Midsummer Night's Dream, and it was really fun. They did a fun job of mixing very traditional elements (the fairies looked very Renaissance) and the modern. (When Theseus asks one of his retinue to pull out a calendar and figure out how long till the next full moon and his wedding, he pulled out an iPhone and started poking at it. It got a big laugh.) We were all out in the open air on hill that sloped upward from the stage, and we could see the moon rising over the trees as the play went on. Being outside like that made all of the references in the play to the moon and the wood much more immediate. In fact, it was so immediate that the actors' lines were occasionally punctuated by the coyotes that live in the hills behind the park, and toward the end, it got a little chilly.
As I was sitting there watching, I thought to myself that this must be pretty close in tone and atmosphere to what it was like to watch the play in Shakespeare's lifetime. There were no microphones, but the actors' voices echoed off the hill, there were people all around munching on things and getting up to go to the bathroom, and there were no assigned seats... we were all just scattered around the stage.
Definitely going back next summer when they do this again.
Name three fics you think I will never, ever, ever write. In return, I will attempt to write a snippet of one of them.
For the sake of my sanity, I reserve the right to veto things that will utterly break my brain if I try to write them. There aren't many, but they exist.
But until there, here's a meme!
Name a fandom and I'll tell you three pairings I love, two pairings I consider shipping, and one pairing I hate.
Things I'm looking forward to:
The Game of Thrones Panel
The Hobbit Panel
OH MY FLAIL... RICHARD....
If nothing else good happens all con (though I'm sure other good things WILL), and I get to be in the same room as him, even if that room is Hall H (which is enormous), I will be happy.
Characters: Norrington, Gillette, and Groves
Word Count: 478
Author's Notes: I got to talking with a friend of mine on tumblr, and she said something about how James' lieutenants should have gone with him... and I had to write this. It is as close to crack as I'm ever going to get.
Summary: James Norrington is off to chase Jack Sparrow, but he isn't going alone. His two best friends won't have it.
( Read the fic... )
We have continued to eat well. Rae has recently made us:
Chicken and cashew quiches
Spinach salad with currants and pine nuts (I think this was her own creation... it was really awesome.)
Cold shrimp and spinach soup (never had cold soup before... it was good. Nice and refreshing on a warm day.)
Crock pot mustard chicken. This stuff was fantastic. In fact, I'm about to go eat some of the leftovers.
And last night I pan seared some Mahi mahi with olive oil and one of tj's neat salt mixes. (I think it was the tropical pepper one... it was delicious, in any case).
And when lunch is done... I've run out of other things to do, so I guess I should really start reading A Storm of Swords... it's sitting on my bookshelf taunting me. I want to read it because I know there's all kinds of Lannister goodness to be had, (finding out that the very first chapter is a Jaime PoV chapter has been burning me up with curiosity) but I don't want to read it at the same time. ASoS is kind of like There's a Monster at the End of This Book. Except instead of Grover, it's There's a Wedding at the End of This Book. *sigh* I kind of wish I didn't know what was coming, but on the other hand, it's probably good that I do. I can prepare myself with Kleenex and other coping supplies.
A lot of fannish meta has been written about Theon Greyjoy. And why not? He's the boy torn between the Starks and the Greyjoys, the boy who doesn't belong, who makes terrible choices and brings his own destruction down on himself. Love him (like I do) or not, he's a fascinating character.
My observations here break roughly into two categories…
For Sunday, since it was the GoT finale, we broke out the new Feast of Ice and Fire cookbook and made the honeyed chicken recipe from the section for The North. We also had delicious roasted potatoes and veggies with spices. (I don't think there WAS a recipe for this... it was more like, "this looks like a good idea!" and... it was.) The honeyed chicken was fantastic, though. A+ + would eat again.
Then, last night, she pulled out a cookbook called Chocolate and Zuchini and made a couple of really interesting dishes that I never would have attempted on my own. The first was zucchini carpaccio with raspberry vinegar (we used blackberry vinegar because I hate raspberries). Then, we had quinoa, bacon, and mushroom cake, which turned out great. I've not had many savory cakes in my life, but this was delicious.
Tonight, we're having chicken and cashew mini-quiches... I think... and if recent experience is any guide, those will be good too.
And now that I'm hungry, I think I'm going to go forage for leftovers.
Characters: Ned Stark, Theon Greyjoy
Warnings: Major character death. I cried while I wrote this.
Word Count: 1,924
Disclaimer: GoT belongs to GRRM and HBO.
Summary: Five years after Theon comes to Winterfell, Balon Greyjoy rises in rebellion once again. Ned Stark does what he must.
( When the raven came, the words on the bit of parchment were in Robert's own hand. Ned recognized his angry scrawl... )
Characters: James Norrington and Elizabeth Swann
Summary: James and Elizabeth have further discussions on the Black Pearl on the way to Isla Cruces.
Author's Note: This is for whensheflies whose offhand comment about how I should write her a fic gave me the push I needed to get this from my brain to the keyboard.
( Few words had passed between them since that first day on board the Pearl. James sometimes wondered if he had been too harsh, but then, he wondered if the circumstances hadn't called for truth to trump politeness. )