erinptah: Cat in christmas lights (christmas)

Yuletide is open! Here's all the fake news (& related) fics.

It's my second Yuletide, and the first one where I've written treats. So if you read a fic and think "huh, this writing style/character interpretation/combo of favorite tropes seems familiar"...you might be right.

And for a gift -- guys, I got my incredibly-niche moonshot prompt -- it's Dorothy hanging out with lesbians in turn-of-the-century San Francisco!

The Road Built in Hope (5346 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Oz - L. Frank Baum
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dorothy Gale/Princess Ozma
Characters: Dorothy Gale, Uncle Henry, Original Female Character(s), Eureka (Oz)
Additional Tags: Slice of Life, Canon Compliant, Misses Clause Challenge
Summary:

Dorothy stays with friends in San Francisco before the events of 'Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.'

---

Bonus cheer:

NBA stars playing Carol of the Bells using basketballs. Hardcore.

Vintage holiday wishes from Catball & Clown Girl:

erinptah: (Default)

In reverse chronological order!

Books are Weapons in the War on Ideas: the librarians who worked with the army in WWI and WWII.

"...contractors removing old chalkboards at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City made a startling discovery: Underneath them rested another set of chalkboards, untouched since 1917." Historical penmanship and out-of-date multiplication methods ahoy!

"It may seem like a Halloween hoax fit for the eerie October holiday. But officials from the MBTA say the discovery of two tattered rags affixed to strange masks at Government Center Station is all too real."

"How a sexed-up viral hit from the summer of ’09—1909—changed American pop music forever." (Excerpts: "It was used in advertisements for everything from Broadway musicals to pretzels. It was translated by newspapers into Esperanto (“Ho! Vi kaprido!”). It was bellowed by a lovelorn Philadelphian as he leaped from a bridge into the Schuylkill River, attempting suicide. It brought scandal to a church in Geneva, Ill., when a prankster altered the hymnal, adding the line “but, oh, you kid!” to the lyrics of the devotional “I Love My God.”")

Millennial in China taking an excited photo with a bowl of rice. And by "millennial" I mean "circa 1900-1904." Next time you hear someone complaining about Kids These Days sharing photos of their lunches on Instagram, you can bring up this hard evidence that the generation from a hundred years ago would have done the exact same thing.

The first close-up shot in recorded film was from 1903's "The Sick Kitten". In other words, humans have been making cat videos literally for as long as it as been possible to do so.

Check out these 19th-century warnings about that most morally-degrading of modern habits. It leads to crime, mental anguish, weakening intelligence, and corruption among the children! Clearly, respectable people should have nothing to do with...novel-reading.

erinptah: (daily show)

Going through my music collection in alphabetical order, instead of cherry-picking a playlist of songs I want to hear...there's a lot of these that I wonder "why do I even have this??"

---

Had to drop Medium. There was plenty to like about it -- protagonist was cool, I liked that she had kids and they interacted in age-appropriate ways with her work, I liked that there was a general population of psychic people she would run into once in a while (even though they're still too rare for the general public to buy the idea).

Buuuut the crimes got too gory for me to stomach. (See also: why I will never pick up Hannibal.)

---

On the plus side: I mainlined The Good Wife recently, and, wow, that was so great.

It's about a lawyer married to a politician, and those two spheres of her life interact like The West Wing hybridized with Boston Legal -- incorporating good parts of each. So much competence porn! With a female lead! (Who has female friends!)

Bonus: she's an atheist, and it's so well-portrayed. It's low-key, no soapboxing or strawman arguments about it, but when the topic comes up, it's there. And she's not guilted about it -- the narrative doesn't act like she's less moral because of it, and she's not deep-down Yearning For Something To Believe In.

The supporting cast is great. The ensembles of judges/recurring clients/opposing lawyers, all with their signature quirks and weirdnesses. ("I'm just a simple Michigan girl, you'll have to talk me through this...") ("In your opinion?")

Chloe from Don't Trust The B---- in Apt 23 guest-starred (as a client) as the moderator of an Ashley-Madison-type website, which is perfect.

Vague spoilers for Season 5: I love the big twist midway through. So many shows save that kind of Shocking Twist for a season finale, and if they tease "tonight: someone will die!!" in an earlier episode, it'll be a throwaway character or otherwise not a big deal. This show, no, they went there -- unambiguously, in a way there was no going back from -- and gave themselves the whole rest of the season to explore the fallout. Not to mention, the will-they-or-won't-they tension up until that point had been such a stock arc -- but how many series have pulled this in the middle of it?

(I should say that I liked the character, this isn't about any animosity towards them, it's just, wow, that was good storytelling.)

---

Finished my West Wing rewatch. Still good. Smart and funny, CJ should run everything, and my Josh-and-Donna feelings are still right there the second time around.

Although, wow, did season 7 ever drag. It's like the Daily Show: a lot of it can be re-watched, but once you get deep into an election season it's just tiring, because so much of the original interest came from tension over who was going to win. The debate episode is the only one I flat-out skipped.

Plus, the main characters were scattered across the country and everyone was fighting. So that was draining and unappealing.

I do want to praise "Noel" for being no-less gut-wrenching even when you knew where it was going. (And when you knew it was one of many, many points/events/reveals that would almost never come up again.)

---

Tried to watch both Alpha House and Veep, hoping to find some more of the same magic.

No luck. Neither one is as smart, which would be fine since they're both supposed to be straight-up comedies, except neither one is all that funny, either =/

---

Also gave up on Diabolik Lovers, because I was sold on "heroine has dark romantic/sexual tension with bad-for-you-but-so-hot vampire boys" and got "the vampire boys are just kinda mean with no appeal, and it's hard for the heroine to have tension with anyone when she has all the characterization of a cardboard cutout."

It's like I was promised a show with seven Jareths, and got seven Edward Cullens. This isn't what I ordered, waiter! Send it back to the kitchen.
erinptah: Madoka and Homura (madoka)
I keep legitimately forgetting that the pronoun in Owl City's "Galaxies" is "he". It's such a Madokami song in my head.

And now it's kinda turning into a Rose Quartz song too.

I don't know what it is about Steven Universe, but I've had two really vivid dreams about it. First was an AU in which only Rose ever came to Earth. Many years later, a young-adult Steven builds a spaceship, goes to the Gem homeworld, and gets involved in the war...and crosses paths with ragtag team of rebels Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl.

Suspicious confrontation leads to the dramatic reveal of his gem. Pearl: "Rose...?" Steven: "Well, actually...."

And then they learn the whole thing for the first time, from him.

Someone should write that fic. (Maybe I'll take a shot at it when I actually finish watching the series. That dream happened before I even started, purely from being saturated with spoilers online.)

Second involved me running three different SU character tumblrs, and struggling to find and coordinate content for all of them. Which is also the first Extremely Mundane Details About Using Tumblr dream I've had. (I didn't say they were both interesting, just vivid.)
erinptah: Cat in christmas lights (christmas)
Apparently playing bad music is a calculated strategy to get you to buy more. When you're frustrated and overstimulated, your system panics and you'll make the decision to buy something just so you can feel like you have closure and can get out of there.

This explains so much.

So, yeah, I work in retail now. A couple weeks in, and I have a whole lot of Feelings about their playlist. Like: No traditional carols that namecheck Jesus are on it. Okay, that's understandable -- they're trying to get that holiday mood without annoying the non-Christians too too much. Except that the rule doesn't apply to Taylor "here's to Jesus Christ who saved our lives" Swift. What's up with that?

Also, for some reason "Little Drummer Boy" doesn't get nixed. (Do they think Muslim customers won't get that it's about the nativity?) Meanwhile, lovely classics like "Silver Bells" and "Deck The Halls" don't get played in any version. I object.

There's a sharp contrast between the "buy more stuff!" songs ("Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town", "Santa Baby", the insufferable "Toy Town", etc) and the "Christmas is not about the stuff!" songs ("Christmas Must Be Something More", endless variations of "All I Want For Christmas Is You", "One Wish (For Christmas)", anything related to The Grinch). Maybe the latter category is there to give them plausible deniability about the former.

They have three separate songs about celebrating Christmas in a tropical place. ("Christmas in the Caribbean", "Christmas on Christmas Island", and "Mele Kalikimaka"). It's cute and trope-twisting when it comes in the middle of a bunch of more typical songs, but starts to grate when the idea is being smacked at you all the time. Call me back when you've decided to let "White Wine In The Sun" in on the action.

There's one Mannheim Steamroller song. It's a great song. Did they just buy the one? What, was the rest of the album not good enough?

You can make some inferences about the customer base from the playlist. We get a whole lot of Spanish-speaking customers, and there's a decent amount of Spanish versions of carols. I can't vouch for how well they work (my sample size of one, a co-worker, said she thought they were trying too hard). There's also a fair proportion of black customers, so the playlist has one single Kwanzaa song, which I cannot for the life of me find online in video or lyric form, in spite of the fact that it's stuck in my head right now. ("It's a Kwanzaa celebration! Honor elders from the family tree! If not for them there'd be no you and me receiving glory from above. It's a Kwanzaa celebration! Come together with your family. Something celebrate our history and the harvest of our love!")

No sign yet of a Hanukkah song, btw.

I had thought, previously, that "Feliz Navidad" would be the song I hated most. I was wrong. It helps that they have a couple of versions that are sung prettily, crooned and harmonized, instead of the weird exaggerated Speedy Gonzales-esque cover that was the only one the radio back in MD ever played. No, the song that makes me want to punch things, or at least go hide in one of the young-adult corners of the store (tiny enclaves with TVs that play pop songs) until it's over, is "Run, Run, Rudolph". Multiple versions of it. If I never have to hear one more male singer happily imitating a girl whose greatest ambition in make-believe is to clean up baby pee, it will be too soon.

(It's very disorienting to come out of one of the teen sections and transition from Taylor Swift singing "We are Never, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together" to Taylor Swift singing "Santa, Baby".)

Also up there on the DNW list: "Little Saint Nick". It's apparently a riff on one of the Beach Boys' other songs with Christmassy words put in, but since the other song ("Little Deuce Coupe") isn't played any more, nobody gets the joke and the result is just kind of teeth-gritting. Oh, and the speedy polka version of "Step Into Christmas"! Who thought that was a good idea? (Elton John's version can stay.)

There are a couple of songs that have come up, but don't seem to be on the endless-repeat list. Springsteen's iconic "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" was there earlier, but I feel like I didn't hear it at all last week. Same with Glee's "Extraordinary Merry Christmas". And I swear they played the SpongeBob version of "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" (which I had not known existed until then), precisely once. It has not returned.

Some bright spots: "2000 Miles" is pretty, as is "We Need A Little Christmas". There are a bunch of covers of "Last Christmas", all very lovely. I haven't even ranted about all the ones with adults trying too hard to sound like cutsey children, which apparently means they're not a lasting annoyance. And there are some notable terrors that they haven't even touched. (Three words: "Dominic the Donkey".)

So that was my Christmas music rant! Next up: customers: why don't they notice that we have trash cans? Even if you don't, come on, at least carry your kid's used juice box out into the main mall and throw it out there, instead of leaving it on our T-shirt displays.
erinptah: Cat in christmas lights (christmas)
A joyous Yule, festive Christma-Hanu-Rama-Ka-Dona-Kwanzaa, and merry Joelmas to one and all!

Enjoy your vacations and pumpkin pie :D
erinptah: (Default)
(To the tune of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen)
God Rest Ye, Unitarians

Gods rest ye, Unitarians, let nothing you dismay
Remember there's no evidence there was a Christmas Day
When Christ was born is just not known, no matter what they say

O, tidings of reason and fact, reason and fact
O, tidings of reason and fact!

Our current Christmas customs come from Persia and from Greece
From solstice celebrations of the ancient Middle East
This whole darn Christmas spiel is just another pagan feast

O, tidings of reason and fact, reason and fact
O, tidings of reason and fact!

There was no star of Bethlehem, there was no angels' song
There couldn't have been wise men for the trip would take too long
The stories in the Bible are historically wrong

O, tidings of reason and fact, reason and fact
O, tidings of reason and fact!

***

(To the tune of Jesus Christ Is Risen Today)
Jesus Christ May or May Not Have Risen Today
set for Pretty Yellow Flower Day

Jesus Christ may or may not have risen today
Alleluia
Whether or not he did is pretty difficult to say
Alleluia
Let's discuss all sides of the issue thoroughly
Alleluia
We can take a vote! And then we'll see
Alleluia

***

More Unitarian jokes. Features some absolute gems; check them out.

What do you get when you cross a Unitarian Universalist with a Jehovah's Witness?

Someone who knocks on your door for no apparent reason.
erinptah: (winding road)
Quick things--

1. Had TDS and TCR tickets right in a row, but couldn't find a place to crash overnight, so I had to cancel one. Opted to keep TDS, as I've already been to a TCR taping. The bus tickets are squared away; I'll be seeing Jon do TDS live for the first time on August 18. (Now watch Colbert end up having an amazing guest on the 17th.)

2. There is an awesome magical girl multifandom fic swap currently acepting signups! Go check it out.

3. Thundercaaaaaaaaaaaats. *_* (More on this later.)

4. Til Ungdommen ("To Youth" - a Norwegian dirge) sung in Oslo Cathedral in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack. Someone on FFA did a quick translation, which I'm copying here for posterity, and because I know I want to be able to find it again.

Whoever that in their right arm carries a burden, dear and precious, cannot murder. )
erinptah: (Default)
"And, yes, I have all of the usual objections to consumerism, the commercialisation of ancient religions, and the westernisation of a dead Palestinian press-ganged into selling Playstations and beer...but I quite like the songs."

erinptah: (Birds)
Apparently there's no place on the Internet with decent Peter Donnelly lyrics. Which sucks, especially since his CDs include them in full.

Dangerous Games in particular makes my heart hurt, so I pulled out the lyrics booklet and typed it up.

You walk that line, you walk it straight, you walk it proud )
erinptah: (Maggie)
Notes from the "Fanmixes & Mashups" panel that I co-modded with [personal profile] melannen at [community profile] con_txt.

You can download the Powerpoint here. It has no notes or explanatory dialogue, so parts of it won't make sense unless you were at the panel. Although it might still be entertaining to click through it and think "Okay, what was she going to say that would require a picture of a smashed lime?"

The music playing in the background came from the soundtracks to the anime Victorian Romance Emma, including Victorian Romance Emma Second Act.

Specific mixes that were cited, with credits )

Huh.

Dec. 11th, 2009 12:23 am
erinptah: (Maggie)
I'm listed as an artist on Last.fm.

There are only four tracks under my name, and all of them are from fanmixes I've made, in which I changed the "album artist" field in the songs' metadata to "Erin Ptah". Apparently Last.fm's software picked up on that from a couple of people who have downloaded said mixes.

This is pretty trippy.
erinptah: (Birds)
Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to how ever many (I hate it when they list X number of people) you like (or think will actually do this) and include me. Try not to repeat a song title. It's harder than you think.

Your Artist: Billy Joel

It's still rock & roll to me )
erinptah: (Default)
Reason #2501845 I love DW: OpenID users can join communities. So if there are locked posts, or if the comm is set to "only members can comment", you still don't need an actual DW account to have a way in.

Reason #2501846 I love DW: It's good for LJ. (Link includes a whole history of online journaling services. Inside views and all.)

§

Just recently started listening to Pandora again. Had forgotten how much I love it.

The premise: you tell the program some music you like, and it goes out and finds similar-sounding songs to play for you. If you're a music junkie, it's addictive. And it's added a ton of background info since I was last there, including lyrics, artist histories, and album reviews.

So a song by H.I.M. comes up on one of these stations (this one, which is how I got introduced to Plumb, Delain, Fireflight, and Leaves' Eyes), and I click through to their artist page, and what do I see?

Cut for suspense! )
erinptah: (Default)
Medium: General
Fandom: The real world?
Subject: New Zealand
Title: Long White Cloud

Back from the semester at the University of Canterbury. Had a blast. Made a mix.

Didn't manage to include any Lord of the Rings music, but at least the font used in the covers is TolkienUncialMF.



When everything you ever wanted was right here )
erinptah: (Default)
Fareed Zakaria gives an analysis of what this means for the Iranian theocracy, and how the US should keep doing what it's been doing. The NYT has some long-term predictions.

Time has a pretty good recap of things that have happened during protests. Deaths on Saturday included an uninvolved nineteen-year-old; photos are circulating of an uninvolved seventeen-year-old who was beaten [warning: graphic]. Also, arrested: a journalist recently interviewed by Jason Jones.

WhyWeProtest will bring you up to speed as far as Tuesday.

Amnesty International is following the human rights news in the country, including this particularly interesting article on how web traffic is defying the government crackdowns.

The implications of the Cute Cat Theory of Internet Censorship for the attempted crackdown. And if you want a way to help but are completely non-tech-savvy, this post walks you through setting up a proxy with clear screenshots.

Some thoughts on the clothing worn by protesting women, as well as the misconceptions Westerners tend to have about women's rights in Iran.

If you want some mood music, there's a round of mixes collected here.

And, for a lol, a parody: Ahmadinejad speaks out.

In other news from the region: just in case anyone was forgetting about Iraq, a truck bomb went off there Saturday, killing at least 68 and wounding almost 200.

But to end on at least one bright note: an NYT reporter kidnapped by the Taliban seven months ago has escaped, and made it home.

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