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GUYS GUYS GUYS, know what I found in the library's book sale room today? The Les Miserables soundtrack!! (Original Broadway Cast recording) I have been wanting this for 8 years, but it's somehow never turned up at any of the sales I've prowled, and I can never bring myself to pay the still-pricey cost + shipping to get a used copy online. But now, at last, it is all mine for $2. And that's just the start of my great adventures today.
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Questions from fannish5
Top 5 movies of 2012 that you are looking forward to, whether they are in theaters already or not.

(Or already out of theaters? Because I feel like half the biggest hits landed in the first six weeks.)

1. Big Miracle (alas, I missed my theater shot. I am sorry, Team Krasinski/Barrymore! Please do not let the fact that this was a box office dud discourage you from choosing awesome movies in the future. It's been so long since either of you were this quality, and I feel bad I helped ruin it.)

2. Struck By Lightning (I am honestly contemplating a theater screening, even though this has "perfect wait-for-DVD movie" written all over it, because I am that enchanted by Chris Colfer as a human being right now.)

3. Les Miserables (See above. Can't even describe my feverish anticipation. Been waiting on this since the first time I heard the soundtrack)

4. The Woman in Black (Radcliffe AND horror AND Victorian? Sign me up please.)

5. Mirror, Mirror. (No, I don't even care how silly it looks or how much I want to pin Junior Miss Snow White down and tweeze the hell out of her eyebrows. I am excited by Julia Roberts in a proper feature film.)

The Hobbit has been demoted in the anticipation queue after realizing just how very much my traumatic exposure to "Love Actually" made me loathe Martin Freeman, whose boring face and general lameness of character on the UK's "Office" had already put him pretty low in my esteem.


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Also, I found a set of random questions:

1. What is your favorite flavor of jelly beans?
Buttered popcorn or toasted marshmallow

2. What is your favorite home cooked meal?
Stir fry, made best with noodles and an Asian vegetable mix. Meat optional, in which case only chicken is acceptable. Teriyaki sauce required.

3. What is your favorite grab and go meal?
Sandwiches. Tortilla wrap sandwiches heavily stuffed with iceberg lettuce, if possible, but literally any kind will do.

4. When was the last time you visited a park and what did you do while there?
Today. I packed my order from Noodles & Co. along with carrots & a drink and had a picnic lunch while reading a book. After I finished eating I flopped down in the grass to finish the book, and two separate occasions I had a friendly off-leash dog come over and stick its nose in my face. Here is what heaven on earth is like: being full, lying in the sunshine, no bugs in sight, library book in hand, and then suddenly getting to pet a silky-smooth miniature chocolate Lab, later followed by the giant shaggy head of an enormous Labradoodle.

5. When was the time you stayed at or hosted a sleepover with friends?
2005? Now I actually can't remember if my friend and I had any overnights that year, or if we had broken so far apart by Christmas '04 that we only saw each other for day visits before it ended for good.

6. When did you last visit the zoo?
2007.  It's the kind of place you can really only go as a family, when one lives with a family, yet it's stupidly expensive to take an entire family so it's been a long time. :(

7. Have you ever stayed on a farm?
Yes, my grandparents had one.

8. Have you ever been horseback riding?
Not in 12 years, but absolutely. Have I told LJ this story? Probably, but let's tell it again. My first best friend moved to the country and ended up getting a horse in 5th grade, so she taught me how to ride -- or at least mount and stay on a horse, bareback with a halter and lead rope -- and some of my happiest childhood memories involve playing around with him. We did as much or more grooming than riding, but I adored that aspect. To this day I still think of horses' primary purpose as being oversized pasture pets to brush, with riding being just a lucky bonus.

9. Have you ever been water skiing?
I have not. That does not sound enjoyable, given how terrifying I found simply being pulled on an inner tube.

10. What do you most like to do in the snow?
I'm boring, I just like to stomp through the fresh stuff.

11. Can you change a tire?
HAHAHA. I can barely put gas in a car.

12. Do you mow the lawn at your residence?
I do not. Probably I should learn how to do that someday.

13. Have you ever been in a musical drama or play? If so, what was it?
Nope! Lifelong terror of public speaking right here.

14. Have you ever won a trophy?
2nd place in an 8th grade summer soccer tournament. That was a hard-fought battle and it's the only time we ever placed notably high in the rankings, so I cherish it. Oh, and I guess this is sort of like a trophy: the little bear statue given out at a ceremony for the top 10% of the graduating class in high school.

15. When was the last time you cried?
Last night, sobbing over more character death stories on Scarves & Coffee. I have to stop this, it's just, nobody has hit that particular tear trigger this hard since Jim and Pam circa 2008. I can practically cry on cue at this point, and I am kind of enjoying that ability.

That ended on a downer. Want to hear another animal story? On my way home from the park, there were a pair of Mallards waddling down the street. It was a quiet enough road not to have sidewalks or shoulders, and they were just toddling along down the middle of it, cool and casual as you please. I walked right past them with maybe 6 feet between us, and they didn't ruffle a feather. Out for a Sunday afternoon stroll, I guess? They seemed very content.


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Community, 3x13:


I am speechless with adoration. If you're going to split everybody up into paired storylines, well, other than Shirley getting the short stick because there's a cool new 8th player, these were perfect.

I. Subway/Britta: BEST, mostly because Original Subway has all kinds of cred built up from Scrubs, where his character never really quite clicked with me but did make me highly amenable to his face in other projects. I love their ridiculous and cheesy Insta-Romance. I may need to believe in a world where they run off and start a shelter for handicapped animals.

II. Any time Annie wants to run around and make subtle but incessant comments on how she and Jeff kissed that one time and she may still have some Unresolved Feelings about it is fine by me.

III. Troy and Abed fighting is still fascinating to me. Their faces at the end broke my heart in all the best ways. I suspect I will be less interested in their resolution than I am right now, though, just because the conflict renders them impossibly intriguing to me. Maybe...is it the first time Abed has had something like true human emotions? I feel like that is maybe it! [Or one of the first times, anyway; I don't track this show well enough to remember more than about five episodes back unless they were smash hits.] And most of the time I enjoy Troy's dumb Labrador happiness, but sometimes it's just such an uninterrupted stream of optimism that it makes him feel more human and less caricature-ish to see something -- anything -- else. Troy And Abed The Real Boys, I am loving it.

IV. Plus, the respective pillow/blanket forts are just amazing on their own, as is Creepy "I'm Going Through Some Stuff" Vice Dean creeper-stalking them individually to provoke dissent and strife while Dean Pelton runs around comically and blissfully ignorant of everything except how cool it will be to have a real live Guinness World Record.

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CSI: NY, 8x14, "Flash Pop"
That was shockingly good! Easy second best of the season, also known as "second episode of year 8 that was worth producing."


I'm serious, I would actually watch this a second time if it came up in reruns.

I. The case was fascinating on about five different levels. First, while I was hoping from the description that the lab tech was Adam (side note: if he's no longer a lab tech like the rest of them, then what the hell is he?), the one we got was lovely and sweet and striking. I cherished every tiny glimpse we got of her, and even though Mac treaded a bit heavily and wearily in obnoxious "I should have done more" World's Savior territory, I couldn't help finding that a little appealing. It is my new personal fanon that she held him in high personal esteem.

It could have stood on its own, but you throw in the 1950s case and it's like CSI's "A Kiss Before Frying" all over again, but even better for luck of a more interesting time period. I am intrigued to see how this arc develops and whether Jo will be as good as Stella at solving cold cases despite lacking Scotty's aid, but what I really loved were the seamless flashbacks with their fascinating color filter and details. Just...a round of applause on every level from writing to directing.

I also liked the theme of "Greek" guest stars we had going on for the other techs, even though I have never seen that show, because the guy is newly relevant to me as Awesome New Homophobic Jock Bully Nick on Glee. Hard to say which role I liked him in better, really.

II. Danny and Lindsay get a participation medal for attempting to bring the Married Cute into their working partnership. Nice try, thanks for playing.

III. "I can't tell if they are going down an obvious road I want them to go down..."
And then Mac cleared his obligation calendar to make sure he could attend Christine's party, which is impressive in and of itself, but ultimately there was kissing. Flirty cheek kissing reciprocated by ACTUAL KISSING and the most wonderful enigmatic-but-clearly-not-unhappy-with-this-turn-of-events smiling and, and, and, glee!! I have not been this happy since Aubrey disappeared. Which should not be surprising, since clearly all I want out of this show is Mac + romance, having given up on everyone else.

They are the cutest thing I have ever seen. Still gleeing to myself a day later. I am literally confounded by the foreign feeling of happiness left behind after watching this show.

IV. Only negative was when Jo came in all "HURRR, I THINK YOU'RE WONDERFUL AND NEED YOU TO KNOW IT, SOB," and the acting was so terrible I couldn't tell she was being sincere, or indeed what was going on. My first thought was confusion about whether she was supposed to be mocking the ostentatious display of grief, because that's kind of how it came across. Like she was struggling not to laugh while pulling off her melodramatic Declaration of Feelings speech. By the time I figured out it was supposed to be real, I had been stunned into disbelieving silence.
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Between the fact that the season order got a bit lopped off (ending next week) and the eternal hope -- spurred on by lack of early renewal with the rest of the pack -- that this show might actually go down at upfronts, my sense of guilt finally spurred me to watch endure the last three episodes of CSI: Miami. Have some feelings:


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10x16, "Rest in Pieces": The lack of professionalism in this case was fantastic; no wonder not even Awesome could save it. One Latino suspect among 4 white men who look nothing like him! It's UNDENIABLY the victim's shoe they found in the fire pit because her friend recently gave her a pair just like it! At least, that's what her friend says. Her friend who has a personal relationship with the testifying CSI. No, this is rock solid case-building right here. Ah well, it gets me more Elizabeth Clarke and that's all that matters. Favorite friendship between anybody on this show since Alexx left.

If the above paragraph is confusing, it's because I watched the last 15 minutes of this live and was going to just skip it altogether, but as a matter of principle I eventually watched the beginning a few weeks later. I got bored and stopped before I finished it again, not really caring that I couldn't remember how it had turned out.

10x17, "At Risk": Awww, poor Shepherd mix. It is so pretty, even if it is vicious and murder-y in a way where even I can't argue that it needs to be put down, pheromone triggers or not. I LIKED the dog rescuer, too. Please do not promote myths about people who rescue and rehabilitate ex-fighting dogs occasionally using those dogs to carry out their dirty work. I also took issue with Eric claiming his sole animal experience to be "goldfish and a dying plant," though. What about that adorable pup you rescued after the tornado? You have to at least be a *little* bit of an animal lover to personally ensure its safety from shelter killing, don't you?

In other news, I apparently didn't find it important enough to put in the original review (hell, I had to do all kinds of digging to figure out where we were even first introduced to Baby Booth, a/k/a "Austin"), but I had all kinds of emotions when Calleigh had to gently turn down Austin's request to live with her way back in the season premiere. Hearing that this was getting development again was the entire thing that spurred my decision to watch these episodes. Calleigh is basically the lone reason I'm still watching, and her interaction with/concern for him is amazing. To be continued...

10x18, "Law and Disorder" (finale, part 1): ...right now. Basically, they are doing this custodianship/adoption track exactly right. I've never wanted her with a baby, but she is so good with kids that adopting a couple of grateful and affectionate half grown ones would suit my needs perfectly. With the fact that she is able to do this as an individual, because she specifically wants to take care of these kids rather than it being a progression as part of a relationship where they get to the wanting-kids stage...somehow that just makes it more perfect. AND YET, if Eric wants to jump in feet-first to be her support, well, I not only will not argue that, I will just add it to the layers of perfection. Eventually. Down the road. Kids need stability first.

I mean, I'd still rather she adopt that cute little dog from the tornado episode, but at least they're trying to appease me.

In plot news: none of this is familiar (was I even watching when Donald Sutherland last showed up? Is this related to Esteban The Miami Taunter, or are we doing random new stuff now?), and I do not especially care what's going on at this point because here is what I'm getting:

a) The reason all of A.S.A. Awesome's cases fall apart is because he's quietly sabotaging them from the inside at his father's command. Neat! Did not see that coming.

b) Samantha (formerly "cute new trace lab tech/"Lab Girl"/Victim of Natalia's Bullying) is both a badass field mouse and a vulnerable victim, easy prey in both the personal and professional departments. OK, amended: I am watching this show for Calleigh and/or Samantha. Iiiii love everything about every scene she is in, but none quite so much as the last one after Ryan lets his crush fly offers comfort/support hugging after the 1-2 punch reveal that her relationship is a big fake lie meant to get close enough to her to destroy her career because she's the most convenient pawn available). WHITE KNIGHT IT UP, SIR. I have more or less stopped thinking of Ryan as an actual human, his incessant and stupid buddyship with Walter having rendered him an animated cartoon character in my head for the past couple of years, but it was like flipping a light switch.

c) Is it clear yet that she is my favorie Miami tech of all time? Because she is. Valera who?

d) Also, on the victim: "She lived at her desk." / "Lot of books..." / "She never left her desk" = ding! Things people will say about me upon walking through my living space if I ever turn up murdered. ...maybe this should motivate me to correct that last part. But then how would you get this constant stream of relevant, quality TV discussion? Think before you judge.


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Smash, 1x07, "The Workshop"
We've actually progressed to a point where I can pick a favorite episode, and it is this one. Right here.


* BERNADETTE PETERS. The woman enchants and mesmerizes me in everything she does, and today will be no exception. Whether she's pulling focus and being deliberately obtuse about her daughter's discomfort, breaking her heart with an absence of praise, or having a heartfelt moment of honest confessions, I love her in every second. Shove down a peg, Eileen, I have a new 4th-favorite with potential to climb if she ever comes back. So many awesome ladies on this show, I can't handle it.

* Also I love that she apparently sleeps in Ivy's bed with her when she stays over.

* Her singing "Everything's Coming Up Roses" = I had to stop and take a flail break for about 24 hours after that. Not much about the Gypsy soundtrack caught my ear, but watching Bernadette Peters sing is a whole different ball game. My face looked exactly the shining faces of everyone else watching Leigh perform.

* I did not hate Derek in this one! He earned a little piece of a soul for having the decency to notice how less-than-thrilled Ivy looked at her mother's performance, and to at least try asking about it and paying her a sorely needed compliment, in his clumsy and emotionally castrated way. I also enjoyed the oddly self-aware "That's the least offensive thing I've said in days." And I thought he was actually being rather gentle, trying to soften the blow, when he prefaced their intermission chat with "I'm speaking to you as your director." I am more than happy to side with Defensive Tom snapping at him for unprofessional conduct, though. I don't know how theater works; I am not aware of any taboos about discussing performances between acts but if they exist, then bad director.

* I liked the transition showing everyone lying awake in bed the night before the workshop. Very effective. Liked it on everyone except Tom, that is, because OH MY GOD the creeper lawyer guy is already my least favorite character after Ellis. (you know, maybe it's not just Glee that fails at writing gay characters. Maybe it's all TV) I turned on him as soon as he asked "Are we ever going to have sex?" on, like, the second date -- good job reinforcing stereotypes about promiscuity among the gay community! -- and now I just think of him as this gross, sleazy, low-class horndog. Who is unspeakably boring whenever he's not actively being a sleazy horndog.

* Tom continues to be magnificent, between flipping out over What Do You Mean He's Not Straight?! Chorus Boy, glaring at Derek for messing with Ivy's head, and his entire response to Julia's dirty cheating, right down to getting Michael fired if that's what it takes. I APPROVE OF YOUR LIFE CHOICES. The ones that don't involve dating, anyway.

* I think I might like Ivy slightly more than Karen right now? Whoops. I'm probably being deliberately manipulated by the fact that she's gotten the lion's share of screen time lately, but her tragic life story of living in the shadow of someone else's dream (quality Ashlee Simpson lyric reference right there) is particularly easy to sympathize with, whereas Karen seems like she just got started and can hardly be considered bruised yet. Also, as far as we know, Ivy didn't move from somewhere awesome to throw her life away here, she's just never known anything better.

* Julia is still my favorite, but I would very much like her sulking son to never be seen again. I realize he has cause, but I don't like being reminded of that fact. As thrilling as the notion of a future Jesse/Rachel trainwreck affair is, it takes a lot of mental energy to consciously project them onto the nasty-ass scenes of reality that are Michael and Julia. You'd think I'd have more practice with projection after a year and a half of Pretty Little Liars, but you'd be wrong.

* It was really fun to watch the workshop unfold -- getting to see bits of pieces of all kinds of songs, especially songs we've heard before. I LOVE getting to see the numbers evolve and progress.


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1x08, "The Coup"

And look at that, show knocks out two hits in a row.

I don't know what all this talk is about plans for "course-correcting the show's problems" in season 2. Apparently people have been complaining about it a lot, but I see no inherent problems in this show besides nasty sex scenes and justifiable cause to fire most of the men*. I guess the latter sounds like quite a lot, but...really, I'm mostly quite content with the showrunner's vision. I still have no desire to run out and listen to any of the singles, which I promptly forget about once they end, but I have also been perfectly happy and content with about 95% of everything we've heard in context. I bet I could be tempted with a real soundtrack.

(*Derek is gradually growing on me. I said to myself after the first scene that if he would treat Karen more like a plucky sidekick/refreshing young kid and less like a hot piece of tappable ass, he would redeem himself quite a bit, and then he proceeded to spend the episode basically doing that. Not that he didn't still try to exploit that side of her for the show, but he somehow managed to do so respectfully. Or...something. This gave me a lot of feelings:

Derek: Just one note: don't be afraid of the sex.
Karen: I'm not --
Derek: You are. And it's beautiful.

Just not the shipping kind. Somewhere in my vast archives of fandom history there is a mentor-like relationship that this parallels, and I will track down and identify it so I can better define what I'm getting from it.)

Ooh, Tumblr just handed me this adorable video of interview outtakes. The two of them are officially the most precious thing I have seen since John Krasinski & Time. I knew Jack Davenport was secretly wonderful.


Other Notes:

* Literally zero One Republic recognition going on here for me. I know who they are, but I could not have identified a member of the band if you paid me. I actually had this mental picture the singer was black; god only knows who I am confusing there. I want to say Akon. Even after Karen explicitly name checked the band, I still wasn't sure if that was real or they had just hired someone to be a fictional One Republic band member for the purposes of this show.

* Eileen has a daughter?? And she's wonderful?? No, you can't just turn around and send her to Alaska like that! Alaska is great and all, and counting wild salmon is a job I would sign up for, but I need more of Mahatma Katie in my life, not only for the purposes of seeing Eileen and her soon-to-be-ex in parenting roles, but also for her best-buds relationship with Eileen alone. And for the character's own sake because she is everything I want in a well behaved, polite, liberal but harshly judgmental goody two shoes to be my mouthpiece. If you're keeping score, that is yet another hash mark in the Awesome Ladies department.

(what we learned from this is that it turns out that the only thing Meryl Streep is better at than acting is producing beautiful daughters who can also act. The fact that there are now two of them running around the TV landscape, albeit off and on in guest spots, is too much for me to handle.)

* (shielding eyes, just in case -- I learn fast on this series) I AM NOT UP FOR THIS FARCE OF A RELATIONSHIP, TOM. Cut him loose and fly single and fabulous again, please. And celibate. 

* On Karen's toxic garbage of a song...let's just recount what happened when I burst into laughter a few seconds in and never stopped.

"HAHAHAHAHAHA
OMG.
That is like the worst thing I've ever seen.
Cannot believe this seemed like a good idea anywhere. To anyone.
And for Marilyn? I will assume you have been drunk and/or high during this entire creative process, because that is the only state of mind in which this...thing, would seem like a smart and/or sane decision."


Just stop, stop with the sex. I don't care what you claim Marilyn Monroe was, you're making a damn Broadway musical. Do I have to get Kurt in here to dress you down again? "That's why I like Broadway musicals, because a touch of the fingertips is as sexy as it gets." Please get back to me with your plans to remedy this.

* I did like seeing poor Karen trapped in her onstage bed-cage like a chastised puppy while anger and accusations flew through the air in front of her, feebly trying to apologize because at any moment the criticism might come flying her way. I will allow her to be blameless just this once because Derek did my head in too, and managed to make it sound like no big deal that they were being ~secretive~ and for some reason I believed him. I will even give her a pass on the disturbing suggestiveness of the number, since she's repeatedly proven her ability to talk the talk without walking the walk.

* I wanted to feel intense hatred when Ellis smugly switched over to Eileen's team, but there was nothing left because my heart just sagged and broke for good as soon he started sneering to his booty call/beard about how Tom is just an artist and therefore a loser. Ungrateful wench! Ah, there's the hatred.

* The Tom/Derek fight was AMAZING. Everything I wanted and more from that "we used to be friends!" clip teased in the promo. So much latent homophobia, excellent and quite possibly valid "you're playing the victim card" accusations, successfully goading Tom into fighting dirty -- a sight so spectacular, not least for the smug satisfaction in Derek's tone, that I will allow the tiresome trope of "your parent is secretly gay" required to get there -- and plenty of increasingly desperate emotion prior to that point.

* Although I can't help thinking that holy crap, fandom has finally subconsciously gotten to me, because normally I would be a hundred percent focused on the conflict here. Today, when Significantly and Repeatedly Confirmed Straight Derek got in his face, my immediate reaction was, "Hate kissing. Right now. That's what is happening, right?"

* The only thing better than that fight was Tom breaking the depressing news of Ivy's pending replacement. Amazing transition from light and breezy to on the verge of tears -- so instantaneous I'm not even sure it's possible to consciously switch gears that abruptly --  and then aww, the unbearable twenty seconds or so when all he wants to do is comfort her, but has to hold himself back from making a patronizing "let me break your heart and then make it better for you" first move and wait for her to initiate it instead. (at which point it is like releasing a coiled rubber band. YOU TWO. Slay me.)

* Derek's Gradual Quest For A Soul even got another feature tonight. If it were up to me, I'd be ending this relationship now. "We had our thing, it was fun hooking up, but it's over now. Quit acting like some kind of boyfriend." I would be more impressed if the episode hadn't ended with them hooking up again (making me feel like the boyfriend veneer was just an excuse to get her in pants per usual), but there was a minute or so in there where they had a nice exchange and I felt something like chemistry. Say more nice things about her.

* Oh, and Dev's work conflict almost seems interesting enough to give him a personality, between his first instance of being an appealing boyfriend ("I am so not interested in RJ," said with boundless patience despite the fact that her jealousy is completely irrational, which makes it all the nicer to hear) and some sort of political scandal cover-up that I am keen to hear more about.

Comments

muzzy_olorea
Apr. 2nd, 2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
What is your favorite flavor of jelly beans?
Buttered popcorn


Sacrilegious!

Oh CSI:NY! I did so well in catching up with the 6-odd episodes I was behind on and finished watching the last one on Friday ..... and when I woke up on Saturday, there was a new one waiting for me. Doh! I am mildly curious about this one though as I think Spencer Grammer from 'Greek' is guest-starring. Woop!
rainbowstevie
Apr. 2nd, 2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
IT IS MAGICALLY DELICIOUS.

Hah, nice timing. And yes, she is, along with what I guess is another Greek alum - Aaron Hill?

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