Snow day in Ontario

February 8, 2013

When the weather gets snowy, my instincts are to hole up somewhere warm – work from home, venture out when it’s blown over

But today, despite all the warnings of the big winter storm, I brushed Ghost down and drove carefully into the office. We had a really big team deadline today, the sort of thing where communication is important, so I thought it would help if I was on-site. Ironically enough, the point man on the team wasn’t able to make it in, because the roads in his area weren’t plowed all morning, but its a good thing that I was in the office because I could help him work from home and find the memos he left on his desk.


Now I’m sitting in a train on my way to Toronto.

20130208-175827.jpg There’s a Buffy / Angel fans meetup at Cafe Mirage in the Yonge Shepard center, and that’s always a blast. I love their pizza, and I’ve been saving room for it all day. It’ll be good to see the fan crew too, even if most of them were at the shindig after Warm Bodies last week.

Dreams from long ago

January 4, 2013

While tidying up my bedroom, I came across many things that should have been through out long ago, and one little item I’m glad hadn’t – a tiny spiral-ring notebook that I’d apparently used as a dream journal a few times in 2004. Now, my writing is hard to read at the best of times, but I think I can make out enough from this journal to be worth sharing:

Sep 6 04:

Weird stuff that doesn’t make much sense – some dreaming about PDF books on my tungsten, renting out mall stores with giant plug in the center (and pulling the plug out.) People from Will & Grace and Buffy putting Jonathan and Andrew through tests – fighting falcons with long thing wooden branches. Which the nerds thought would be wizard wands.

Sep 25:

Some work stuff – a ‘stock admin’ field in the employee file that wasn’t set right. Bill chewed me out for not knowing about it & not learning from the others while they had been there. Also something I didn’t understand in a new project about humidity – so he sent me into a damp room. Cheryl asked me about rules in Xanth – and a page number. I was reading a Xanth hardcover and she was reading a torn half of a Xanth paperback

Oct 2:

A Tim Horton’s kiosk like the ones at York. Joking with the attendant that soon I’d just be able to order ‘my usual’ (4 maple dips and a small white milk) Someone in line pointing out that I could get donuts from vending machines and my counterpoint that Tim’s donuts were in a different universe from vending machine donuts. Some uncertainty about exactly how many donuts I’d ordered, how many I got, how much I had paid, and how much change I got back, but I got back a square gold loonie! (Satanic??)


So – well, I’m not sure what to make of that myself, but I hope those long-ago dreams made you laugh a little at least. 🙂

Some favorite lines from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’

October 17, 2012

This was the discussion question for the week on my Whedonverse mailing list, but I figured that good Buffy lines are good for sharing all over the ‘net!

Xander: Do you know what’s a good day to break up with somebody? Any day besides Valentine’s Day! I mean, what, were you running low on dramatic irony? (Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.)

Willow: And I’m eating this banana. Lunchtime be damned! (Dopplegangland)

Giles: Now, if we can stay in focus, keep our heads, and if Willow can stop stepping on everyone’s cues, I know this’ll be the best production of “Death of a Salesman” we’ve ever done. (Primeval)

Buffy: I loved [Angel] so much. But I knew … what was right. I don’t have that any more. I don’t understand. I don’t know how to live in this world if these are the choices. If everything just gets stripped away. I don’t see the point. I just wish that… I just wish my mom was here. (The Gift)

Spike: Oh, listen to Mary Poppins. He’s got his crust all stiff and upper with that nancy-boy accent. You Englishmen are always so… Bloody hell! Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers, bollocks, oh God! I’m English! (Tabula Rasa)

Xander: If you have to go to the bathroom, it’s to your left. If you don’t have to go to the bathroom, picture what you’re about to face. Better to go now. (Chosen)

Do you have a favorite line from the show?

J is for ‘Just a dream…’

April 11, 2012

The Script Frenzy A-Z so far…

Today’s topic might be a little stretch, but it was inspired by the blurb for the ‘Plot Doctoring’ forum on the Script Frenzy message board, which reads…

Written your way into a corner? Dangerously close to making the whole story “just a dream”? Our script surgeons can help.

So I ended up starting a discussion thread in the forum to ask people what they thought about ‘Just a Dream’ endings:

Nymue: “There’s a reason people try to avoid that kind of ending. It’s usually trite and dissatisfying. It suggests there’s no internal order to adhere to, the story doesn’t have to mean anything and the events don’t matter… It’d take a lot of creative deconstruction to make this kind of plot worth the time of day. Myself, I’d rather work on things that (at least in the story) definitely happen.”

Quandtuniverse: “I’ve never done it myself, but I don’t mind “all just a dream” endings as long as there’s foreshadowing and a strong, creative reason for it (like, a subconscious character exploration or something). If it’s tacked on just to make up for things that don’t make sense, then it’s boring and annoying.”

JoshMcD: “I think the reason “Mirrormask” is able to get away with it — and for that matter, the reason “Wizard of Oz” gets away with it too — is because the dream does lead the character through a sort of coming-of-age, emotional journey. Instead of ending with an, “it was a dream, oh well, just forget about it,” the story contained within the dream actually helps the MC learn to deal with difficulties in her “real-life”. Also, the story-within-the-dream actually does come to a satisfying conclusion. These movies don’t use the “just a dream” as a cop-out, to escape an otherwise unsatisfying ending.”

I think I agree that it’s generally a bad and cheap technique, but can be used well if it’s done with purpose and care. I wrote a Buffy fanfic as part of a series once where nearly everything that happened in the story was a dream spell, and there were hints to that from the beginning. Partly, it was a fun way to kill off most of the main characters without having to deal with the consequences of them being permanently dead. It also foreshadowed some interesting things about the series’ Big Bad, who had cast the dream spell on Buffy just to watch and see how she reacted to a stressful situation.

Narratives from the real world.

September 19, 2011

I was listening to a Storywonk podcast today, more than a month behind as usual. This time, Lani and Alastair were talking about reality television, and some of the ways producers set up the shows so that no matter what the participants do or who wins, some kind of a natural narrative will flow naturally. They also mentioned that professional sports are set up in somewhat the same way, which naturally made me think of this cartoon:

Original Alt text by Randall Munroe: Also, all financial analysis. And, more directly, D&D.

Read the rest of this entry »

Award acceptance speech.

September 13, 2010

First off, once again I’d like to thank Brittany for giving me these two awards!

The Versatile Blogger Award: Link back to the person who gave you the award (already did), share seven things about yourself, pass the award to up to fifteen bloggers who you think deserve it, and contact the people you’ve picked.

One Lovely Blog Award: Accept the award, post it on your blog with a link to the person who gave it to you with a link to them, pass it to up to fifteen other bloggers who are new to you, contact the people you’ve picked.

However, I have to say that I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about passing them along at first… not that I don’t want other bloggers to feel valued and appreciated, but that the whole deal seemed a bit like a benign version of chain letters or something, and I’ve never been a big fan of spreading chain letters.

Having spent a little while mulling over the question, I’ve decided that it’s not really the same thing. For one thing, these awards seem to be pretty honest as to what they’re about, while chain letters always tend to have the ridiculous claims about what has happened to various people around the world when they got the chain, which presumably can’t have been true when the chain started, and couldn’t have been added in later unless someone took liberties with copying the letter exactly as they received it. But never mind that.

Also, these awards don’t seem to be as bully-ish about chain letters about passing them on. And this is the sort of thing that Blogosphere networking is made of, isn’t it? So – I accept the awards, and I will be passing them along, but not just yet. For one thing, I’m not sure who to award yet, so I’ll take my time and hand them out one by one. 😉

And, for my seven things to share as a condition of Versatile Blogger:

  1. I love listening to country music.
  2. I have many stuffed animal friends.
  3. I collect PDAs and other electronic devices.
  4. I’ve lost over 100 pounds in the past three and a half years.
  5. I recently got a beginner driver’s licence for the second time.
  6. I go to the Toronto Buffy/Angel fan meetups when I can.
  7. I love Larry Niven’s Known Space/Ringworld books.

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