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Random smattering of thoughts

*headdesk* I always forget that my mother clears the history after she finishes using the internet, which means I get logged out of LiveJournal.  Since I just check my friends page by going straight to the URL, I usually don't notice that I'm not logged in until I go to make a post, at which point I realize I've been missing out on the friends-locked half of my reading list for the better part of a day.

Read a delightful book today, Pirates! By the lovely and talented Celia Rees, it's about a pair of girls (one a slave, one escaping a pending arranged marriage) who seek freedom by joining a pirate ship.  I thought it was fantastic, but that might have been because it felt like I was reading an alternate version of Pirates of the Caribbean.  Observe:
  • Girl in the cover art (Nancy) looks remarkably like Keira Knightley
  • Her sweetheart's name is William
  • Has known William since childhood, but his profession is beneath her society status, so forget it
  • Nancy's mother died in childbirth; hence she grew up largely left to her own devices, reading about pirates and dreaming of adventure
By the time the setting switched over to Port Royal, I was laughing too hard to continue.  (Well, not true.  I just needed a brief giggle break, and then it was back to reading because the story really was gripping, Harry Potter-like in its ability to root me to the spot for hours until I finished.  I certainly didn't lack for faces to put to the characters, anyway).

Hmm...that still only puts me at 70 books for the school year so far.  With at least 2 months of summer left I'm sure I'll clear my hundred, but I won't be breaking any records.  Ah well.  I'd like to hit the triple digits by the time Harry Potter comes out, though.
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On the TV front...it's incredibly boring lately; I don't even feel like discussing either of my two reality shows.  Hell, I barely even watched them.  This is perhaps due to the fact that I am approaching the point of tearing my hair out over the fact that my 18-month-old TV/VCR only plays tapes inserted to it about 1 out of every 25 times.  Of the remaining attempts, about half the time it won't do anything at all, and the other half it rips the film out of the case and crumples it.  Doesn't tear it, but does make about sixty seconds of tape too damaged to record a proper image.  On that rare time it DOES work, if the tape is left in the VCR without being played or recorded on for longer than 4 minutes, the whole ugly process starts over.

And today, the one time it did play properly, the image was all fuzzy and blurred-over with white, a problem that I know can be fixed with a cleaning tape, except for the fact that the VCR already mangled my cleaning tape and rendered it useless.  *headdesk* This situation is intolerable for school life.  I cannot afford a new TV, especially as the TV on this one works fine.  A separate VCR, however, would be almost as intolerably inconvenient for taping purposes, not after 10 years of instant 1-touch recording.  But it might end up being my only option.  *headdesk*  A few more times, and I'll wear out a special groove from my forehead.

In the meantime, let's discuss the one drama I paid attention to this week, not that it was worth it.
'Standoff - Road Trip

Episode: 4
Cute Meter: 1

EXCUSEZ-MOI, SINCE WHEN DO YOU HAVE AN EPISODE LACKING IN CUTE?  We're only getting 19 episodes here.  You cannot afford a single one to be bereft of Cute Factor...and yet here we are.  Huh.  The only salvageable bit was Matt's endearing obsession with RV's and his desire to someday spend time traveling in one.  Hee!  This is so obviously going to happen, in that not-so-distant future of my daydreams where Matt and Emily are married (I skirt around the details of Cheryl's ban on banns).  It will make a delightful vacation story for the two of them, and even though Emily will complain long and loud about the horribly cramped living conditions, Matt will be too wrapped up in his own glee to care until she eventually gives in, because really, being with Matt is enough.  Provided he understands that, since she's let him have this one fantasy of his, she gets to dictate all future vacation plans.  You know, that might be a fic if I had any Standoff bunnies left, but I think Muse cooked them into a stew or something.
    Voice: Muse is horrified that you would suggest she is ever less than loving and benevolent to her bunnies, and as punishment, refuses to give you any inspiration for a month.
    RS: Yes, I wonder what that would be like, not writing anything creative for a month.  *snort*

Anyway.  I kinda missed the first ten minutes because I cursing at my TV and frustrated almost to the point of tears; there might have been actual cute bits in there. 

Plot-wise, I have four things to say:
1) Could we have just one episode where nobody gets shot?  Would that be possible, at some point?  Maybe?  On crazy upside down bizarro land day?

2) Speaking of, the girl who got shot - Gwen - looked SO familiar.  It drove me crazy until I finally looked her up.  Hey, it's Joan of Arcadia's Glynis!  Looking nigh unrecognizable without her oversized geek glasses, but her eyes are apparently very memorable.

3) Frank!  I think you almost got character development!  I usually don't care about him, but I appreciate that they made an effort to show him being upset over having to gun down a young and largely innocent woman.  I didn't quite feel it, maybe because I'm thinking by this point TPTB had started to guess there was no second season coming and were just making a last-ditch effort to change the execs' minds by branching out in new directions, but...if I liked Frank, I wouldn't have much trouble reading all kinds of emotion in there.

4) You know why I didn't like this episode?  While objectively this is a decent plot idea, said plot was already pulled off quite spectacularly by Numb3rs early in the season, and so without cute bits to break up the stereotypical "crazy cult leaders kidnaps self and some wives and prepares for mass death," it felt like the exact same story.

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