Apr. 4th, 2010 01:29 pm
gamiila: (Default)
I wanted to get on here last night straight after watching The Eleventh Hour, but I couldn't be bothered to start up the laptop (and also, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber's search for Dorothy came on so I sat back and cringed inwardly as some of the hopefuls butchered my favourite songs by Snow Patrol and Amy Winehouse, and got praised for it), and so I've had to postpone my squee till now. And squee I did. After the disappointment that was Ten's farewell, I was a bit worried that Eleven's introduction might be tainted by it, but thank heavens it was not. The new Doctor, "definitely a mad man with a box", seems full of energy and brilliance, and none of that world-weariness that Ten increasingly carried with him. Perhaps that's because he's "still cooking", as he put it; but I liked that he didn't have time to stop and think about what sort of person he might be now, or fall asleep to recuperate from regeneration, but had to stay awake to focus on the matter at hand which was saving the world in 20 minutes instead. I'm very much looking forward to the rest of the series on the strength of this episode, and I want to commend Matt Smith who's already made the role his own. I think I'm going to love his Doctor unreservedly.

Last Friday also saw the return of Ashes To Ashes to our screens, which started off strongly as well; all in all I think it means that television-wise, this spring at least there'll be much to stay in for...which is a bit of an inconvenience as I'm planning a short break in Paris next month (though I've no doubt that shopping for shoes in the French capital of fashion will be its own reward).

I've started on a bout of spring cleaning, and it's amazing how much stuff a person amasses over the years...and then forgets about completely. I've just thrown out every Buffy-related item that's ever appeared in print and that I've kept for no good reason that I can think of, esp. since I've not been actively involved in the fandom for a number of years. It's allowed me to take back three shelves in my bookcases and fill them with books that until recently have had to be stacked on the floor of my study (which I've also reinstated, having finally taken the computer and desk out of my bedroom). I've also bought a new dresser and dedicated it to the housing of my dvd-collection, so that's another mess cleared up. Now all I need to do is find a solution for the storing of my footwear (the boxes are currently stacked knee-high in my bedroom), but this will require some real thought, I'm afraid.
gamiila: (Default)
So, I haven't been active in the Buffy-fandom for some time. Still thought this was a fun quiz to take (gacked from [livejournal.com profile] frelling_tralk, of course):

Likes and Dislikes of the Buffy-verse
Who is your favorite character?Spike!
Who is your least favorite character?Angel
Who would you kill off if given the chance? felt positively murderous towards Principal Wood in one or two episodes...
Who should have had more of an active role in the Series?Dawn; they could have done a lot more with the character
What is your favorite season of BtVS?Season 5
What is your favorite episode?Intervention
What is your favorite quote?"Angel's lame, his hair goes straight up and he's bloody stupid"
Which season did you dislike?Season 1
What would you have changed in that season?The vampires - they're such caricatures, and stoopid to boot
What episode did you dislike?I Was Made To Love You
What would you have changed in that episode?I don't know -- made Warren sing? ;-)
What is your favorite Canon pairing?Spuffy
What is your least favorite Canon pairing?Bangel
What is your favorite Unconventional Pairing?Spara
What is your least favorite Unconventional Pairing?Spander
What did you think was the most obnoxious CPD in the Series? (CPD=convienient plot device)Of them all? Definitely the demon eggs thing.

gamiila: (Default)
Oh what the hell -- here's my entry for [livejournal.com profile] kallysten's 2005 Drabbles for 2005 challenge:

Anya/Tara(-ish), PG, S4 around the time of New Moon Rising
Read more... )

I'm not completely happy with it, but I've decided to stop tinkering and post the damn thing already. I've been wanting to write a real 100 word-drabble since reading someone's rant recently that these days, the word 'drabble' has come to mean any story that's shorter than average. I too, have committed the sin of describing my earlier attempts at writing a BtVS-inspired story as drabbles, simply because I didn't know any better; but I'll not make that mistake again!

Video woe

Dec. 22nd, 2004 08:36 pm
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I used to love downloading Spuffy music vids and watch them while I was supposed to do other, mainly work-related, things in the office. Then, they changed our computers and suddenly, the headphone connector moved to the back of the CPU, which they put on the ground next to the waste paper baskets, making it physically impossible to enjoy a leisurely listen. So that was the end of that.

10 Months later, I buy my own PC. 2 Months after that, I remember my erstwhile favourite pastime. I spent all day today forwarding the URLs for these music vids to my home address...and what do you know? Most are no longer there. The sites are no longer being maintained. Darn! And I so wanted to see Cap's 'It Wasn't Me' again...

Guess BtVS really is well and truly over.

gamiila: (Default)
Just a few random thoughts, to round off my report (see my earlier entries for June 13 and 14) on the Moonlight Rising-convention; the highs and lows of it as far as I'm concerned. Let's start with


- My lovely, lovely friends: to share a 1-bedroom suite for several days with 2 people you've never met before and therefore have no idea what quirks or foibles they may have, could have been a harrowing experience -- but as it was, it was lovely. They were lovely -didn't burp, belch or fart even once- and if we'd been best e-mail buddies before, we're now best RL buddies as well. So thank you, [livejournal.com profile] calove and [livejournal.com profile] julchek, for making this weekend stand out as one of the best and most carefree I've had in ages!

- The other people I've met, who've made an indelible impression with their kindness, openness, helpfulness, wackiness and every other kind of -ness you'd care to name, among them the ladies collectively known as The Lushettes, most of the volunteers, a girl called Jaidyn, and Eric Kufs.

- The crazy golf course: it rained all Saturday, and I couldn't go and whack those balls. I felt I might go mad cooped up indoors all the time, but see the two bullet points above for reasons as to why I didn't. Made up for it on Sunday though, when I hit those balls so hard they went into the ditch teal and came out orange.

- Of the celebs, James C. Leary easily takes the prize for being the most accessible of them all. Always smiling, always pleasant, nothing seemed too much for him. A real trooper.
Clearly uncomfortable with crowds and the levels of adulation he was subjected to, Tom Lenk takes home the prize for sheer courage and determination. He even lost a bit of the 'deer in the headlights'-look towards the end, poor lamb.
JM's fall from grace, if you can call it that, came as something of a relief: he's human, and Not!Spike. I'll never be confused between the two again.
Is Eric a celeb? If he is, he's hands-down my favourite: he remembered my name! Also, he's got a wicked pair of glasses, and...it doesn't take much, does it? ;-)

- Which brings me to the band, Common Rotation: to me, they were a revelation, and their set was the best scheduled event of the weekend. The hall in which it took place had numerous problems, not least the acoustics and the reverb, and this was noticeable during the Q&A-s, the showing of Stunt Cocks, and the GotR-gig which followed; but didn't seem to interfere much with CoRo's performance, for which I am eternally grateful because my word! these guys are good! The core members' voices blend so well together, and individually...well, Eric's just got a lovely voice which I could listen to for hours -- and have done over the last week or so, while Adam's has slightly more of an edge to it, which isn't unpleasant either. And I never thought that I would ever be captivated by the sound of a fl├╝gelhorn! Jordan Katz is a magician with that thing!


- As already mentioned, the sound quality of the hall in which all the Q&A/video/music events took place. But as it was the only large space available, clearly it had been a case of like it or lump it for the organisation, so I don't blame them for this.

- The con was fan organised. I would imagine that at similar, non-fan organised events, proper PA-s and security would do the honours/shield the guests from too much intrusion. Here, it was all in the hands of volunteers, who were fans themselves. This worked out alright in most cases, but esp. on the security issue, didn't seem to work at all. There were too many of them, they weren't trained to handle crowds, and in most cases had no relevant information to offer to nonplussed attendees. They also seemed to be wherever JM was at any given moment, and this was certainly true of the organisation in the form of Aria. You never saw her anywhere else, and she didn't seem to know or care about anything else. She hadn't prepared for the Opening Ceremony, at which it is customary for the host to say a few words (and as chief organiser, she would effectively be our host), and handled the Andy Hallett cancellation badly in that she didn't inform people of it before his scheduled appearance was supposed to begin. All that would have been needed was a short public announcement in the morning, citing the cancellation and the reason for it (AH is ill in hospital with cardiomyopathy), and what aggro there was could have been avoided.

- Rumour-mongering. Both during and immediately after the event on the MR board, and involving one of the guests. Left a really bad taste in my mouth, as well as a sincere wish that none of this will eventually harm the person in question.
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Common Rotation proved a difficult act to follow for JM and his Ghost of the Robot, although you wouldn't have known it from the obvious adulation they received from the screeching teenage girls and their equally vociferous mums surging towards the stage as soon as they came on. And what an entrance they made! JM was jumping around like a dervish on crack, knocking over the microphone stand and planting a kiss on an unsuspecting woman in the audience, whipping the girls up front into an envious frenzy with his tartish behaviour. It soon became apparent that he was quite inebriated, having consumed gallons of Red Bull and the best part of a bottle of JD prior to the show. It didn't bother me, but I found out the next day that a lot of people felt quite let down by it: after all, he has gone on record often enough as saying he doesn't drink.

Musically though, I remained unimpressed, and amused my friends by nodding off in the middle of the concert. In my defense, I had gone with very little sleep in the previous 72 hours, and there was no way those decibels on their own could have kept me awake!
Still, I was hugely entertained by what I did see of JM's antics, though the next day in the autograph session, I couldn't stop myself from saying to him that I thought they'd played a better gig in Amsterdam -- a judgment he fully agreed with. By then, he seemed pretty embarrassed about the whole thing, and I later learned he had gotten a bollocking over it from various people in his entourage, poor thing.
Not that the obvious embarrassment had made him any more inclined to engage his brain before speaking, and he ended up alienating more of his fans during his Q&A, by his comment on what he'd like to do to George W. Bush over the Iraq situation (chop off his hands and drop him in the desert somewhere, far from help and succour) -- a terribly unkind and not at all clever thing to say.
There were a few more politically motivated speeches that day, e.g. in the Trio's Q&A, where Danny Strong told us of the work he would soon be doing (or had already been doing) for the Kerry campaign.

A recurring topic on all the Q&A-s was the impact of reality TV on the careers of our esteemed actors, and it all sounded quite worrying. Hopefully, people will tire of the phenomenon soon enough, but even if they do, there's no guarantees the networks will go back to funding quality drama, and most of the actors are already branching out into other fields of creativity, as with Danny Strong, who has gotten into writing.

For once, Cass and I managed to entice Jules away from her gruelling volunteer's schedule and take her for a relaxing round of midget golf with us. Ah! the liberating powers of the giggles! Then she had to go to the volunteer party and Cass and I watched Chance (Jules had auctioned off her copy of Winding Roads, which means some other poor mug is lumbered with it now) before we all met up again to go to the VIP Dance.
En route, we stopped in at the karaoke party, which was a sad affair consisting of a glaringly bright hall, about 800 chairs and an attendance rate of about 5. I'd never done karaoke in my life, but with Jules and a girl introducing herself as 'Demongrrrl' who, for some strange no-reason, kept addressing me in German, launched into a spirited rendition of Don McLean's classic 'American Pie'. (Earlier, in the comfort of our suite, Cass and I had treated Jules to 'The Lumberjack Song', so neither of them allowed me to bow out of this one on the grounds that I can't sing for toffee. I apologise wholeheartedly to those 3 or 4 people in the audience who stuck it out all the way through).
The VIP Dance started off equally dismal with most of the attendees hanging around waiting for something to happen or a celeb to walk in, but the Lushette's bar was still open and Fearless Leader Lush and I went back and forth between the two plying the members and James C. Leary with cocktails and Coronas. After a while, the DJs started playing that 80-s music we all love, and in the end a good time was had by all -- all who remained, that is.
Robots Kevin and Charlie did an impromptu breakdance session, which I took as my cue for calling it a night and going up to watch the last two Angel-episodes with Cass and Jules in our suite.

The next day, we set out on the road to Connecticut, playing our Common Rotation-CDs all the way.

gamiila: (Default)
Despite the fact that we'd been planning this for the best part of a year, and I'd visited the MR message board a couple of times prior to going, I really had no idea of what to expect at this sort of thing. On the whole, I was pleasantly surprised, even if my overall impression of the event is of something fairly lowkey and somewhat badly managed. Below the surface, things were brewing and there were some weird politics going on, but none of it really affected me. I'm glad to have had this experience, while at the same time I can honestly say that I'm not likely to ever repeat it. Even though I enjoyed myself immensely while in PA, half the time I went around wondering what I was doing there. Experiencing at first hand how serious, if not to say downright obsessive, some people can get over a TV-show and the actors who perform in it...at times it could be quite scary. But it was fun.

For me, the best thing about the whole event was finally meeting up with my on-line friends,
[livejournal.com profile] julchek and [livejournal.com profile] calove, and finding out how well we got on in real life. Julie came to meet me off the plane and there was no awkwardness at all -- well, not once she got over the initial shock of my continental style of hugging. I may be able to fool most people into thinking I'm British simply by opening my mouth, but my distinctly mainland European greeting rituals always give the lie to that ;).
We hung around the airport for a few hours waiting for Cass's plane to land, and then drove straight down to the Split Rock resort, where we arrived on Thursday evening after dark. Jules, having signed up as a volunteer, had an early start ahead of her and Cass and I were faily jetlagged, so after checking into our suite, we didn't leave it again except for a short visit to Karla's, the registrar's, room, where we got our first inkling of the amount of chaos that goes into the organisation of this sort of event.
In the morning, Jules went to attend to her duties in the dealer room while Cass and I went exploring around the lake and ended up having lots of fun playing midget golf in the sweltering heat. On the way back up to our room, we noticed Tom Lenk and Danny Strong had arrived, which reminded us of why we were there again, but to be honest, it's now all such a blur that I can't really recall what came next. I think there may have been a Q&A (James C. Leary's) that we attended -- but really, my mind's a blank. That night though, we were invited to a party a door or two further down. Cass was still a bit out of it, so she decided to give it a miss, but I went and met a great bunch of people there. Some of the guests turned up as well; neither Adam Busch nor Tom Lenk stayed for very long, but Danny Strong settled in to regale us with stories of auditions and Amsterdam. Julie got a bit drunk (but not annoyingly so), and got talking to Eric Kufs of Common Rotation about music. She's a musician herself so the topic comes up naturally with her. She had brought her flute to the convention but in the end never could find the time to play it for us, more's the pity.
Later that evening, we all went down to see James Leary's short film Stunt Cocks, which shocked some people while others thought it was hilarious (personally, I didn't pay that much attention as I got kind of busy talking to people, so I really can't say all that much about it), and then we trundled back up to B, C & R's suite to continue with the party. Sleep caught up with me quickly, and I left shortly after. Jules got in in the wee small hours and decided to watch Chance again, but when I went to check up on her, she was passed out on the sofa with the lights on and the DVD playing. I never did manage to get back to sleep after that.

With 2/3-s of our party either groggy from lack of sleep or hung over, we had something of a late start and barely made it to JM's photoshoot in time (but it's kinder to say that we timed it exactly), which felt like it was over in seconds (and it probably was). I can't wait for the picture to arrive in the post and maybe then I'll have more of a recollection of it :). I'm told he turned to shake my hand, but I'd already walked off and didn't notice!

Jules and Cass had been roped in to facilitate the fan panel on 'What Does the Soul Mean in the Jossverse?', which was well-attended even if no conclusions were reached. Adam Busch made an impromptu appearance with his squeezebox in the middle of it, which lightened the mood considerably; we later learned that another panel ('Could Spike Have Been Redeemed Without A Soul?') got quite heated with people walking out white-knuckled. We dropped in on a fan fiction panel and I can now put a face to [livejournal.com profile] eurydice72, which is nice. However, she handed me the perfect excuse not to approach her when she remarked that she still felt surprised and uncomfortable when people came up to her and heaped praises on her for her stories. I'd only have babbled, anyway.

Saturday night was concert night. We'd looked in on the soundcheck from the windows for a few minutes, and were highly amused by what a complete tart JM could be, playing to the galleries as he did.

Then it was time for the Common Rotation gig and they completely blew me away. I'd never heard anything of their music before, but on the strength of that one concert, I've become a fan. At the beginning of the show, something went wrong with the equipment, and the professional way they dealt with it impressed everyone deeply. They ended their set with a powerful and very poignant version of a song called Pawn, which went straight to the gut -- when it finished, I was in tears. That doesn't happen to me all that often, so after that I simply had to have their album(s). For once in my life, I didn't think twice about queueing up for something. I told Adam I thought that what I'd just seen and heard had been inspired, but he wasn't satisfied with that and wanted to hear me say it had been brilliant. Hey! I'm a repressed NW-European: we don't do brilliant -- but in hindsight, I have no qualms admitting that it had been exactly that. Eric surprised and impressed me by remembering my name from the previous evening - well, sort of: I was 'the girl with the amazing name', apparently. :)
Anyway, Common Rotation will be going on tour with They Might Be Giants soon, after which, in the Aug/Sept timeframe, they will be doing some of their living room concerts on both the East and West Coast. If you live on either of these coasts and have a big enough living room to make it worth their while, contact Jordan Katz. You'll not regret it. Also, buy their albums. They're...well, brilliant.


Nagging JM

Mar. 10th, 2004 02:44 pm
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I had the strangest dream last night. I dreamt I was JM's personal assistant, and apparently my job consisted of me advising him what to wear. We had the following altercation:

GAMIILA: "What you're going to wear? You woke me up to ask me that? Wear what you bloody well please!"

(JM mutters something unintelligible, goes away and comes back a minute later in his ubiquitous T-shirt, jeans and trainers)

GAMIILA: "That's what you've chosen to wear? Please tell me you brought the kilt! And wear some Docs with it this time!"

(JM changes into the kilt, and promptly falls down the stairs).
gamiila: (Default)
When I came home late last Friday, I found that [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch's package had arrived. Yippee! Tired as I was, I wasted no time in inserting the video in the slot, sat back to watch Winding Roads...and had a hard time not falling asleep before 2 minutes had elapsed.

The word "dire" does not even begin to describe this film. Rarely have I watched anything as unashamedly soporific as this flick, and this despite the best efforts of one of the best actors around at the moment. Although, best efforts? JM's clearly trying, but this performance isn't his best by a long shot.

What's wrong with this movie? Well, it rambles. The storyline's simple enough (woman who makes table tops agrees to marry a guy, then falls pregnant; her moody cow of a friend dies and woman decides to leave town and have baby on her own) but the characters are flat, the dialogue is far from brilliant, deep, or even mildly amusing, and the camera's trained on people far too bloody long. And the soundtrack! The soundtrack is both the longest (check out the end credits!) and the most annoying in the history of motion pictures!

Luckily, the next night was [livejournal.com profile] db2305's and my not so regularly scheduled Angel-night, in which she shares with me her DVD-downloads. This time, we watched the episode in which Lindsey (so that's Lindsey! I thought he only had one hand?) puts Spike up in an apartment with a single bed, and says it's not as if he's going to be sharing it with anyone any time soon (??) and Angel's lying about with a jellyfish stuck to his chest; followed by Damage (how lovely to see Tom Lenk again!) and the final Cordy ep. Wonderful viewing. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. I love Spike. Have I mentioned how much I love Spike, this year? Because I do: I love Spike.

I love Andrew, too. Especially when he launches into the retelling of his epic Slayer of the Vampyre-speech. And chokes on his pipe. The scenes between Spike and Andrew were the best I've seen so far.

And it's not true that DB can only do one facial expression (constipated): I swear I saw him do panic -fleetingly- when he looked down to find a whopping big blue jellyfish attaching itself to his chest! In another scene, he also managed to convey 'clueless' quite well. And I think I actually saw him smile at the resurrected Cordy.

BTW, I loved that Cordy episode. A worthy send-off for a beloved character. Very well done.

Then yesterday night, it was time for the BAFTAs. I couldn't stay awake to see all of it, but one thing I feel I must say: what was Emma Thompson wearing? It looked like a soft pink satin sheet held together with safety pins at strategic points, which is fine if you're still sophomoric enough to go to toga parties -- but someone should have told her that a) that colour did nothing for her and b) she really is past the age where she can go braless and get away with it. Very, very unflattering!
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It was [livejournal.com profile] db2305 broke the news to me yesterday, when I went round to hers for dinner and another night of Angel-watching, that this current season is the series's last. We agreed that it was a pity, but not the end of the world.

In my case: I never cared much for Angel or his crew to begin with, and only started watching this season's offerings because Spike had come into the mix, and Spike was the reason I'd watched BtVS previously. In recent months, I have enjoyed Angel for more than just the Spikey bits, though; and I did think the series had improved a lot...so: bye-bye Angel, thanks for a wonderful season, and hope to catch you on re-run soon.

As for Spike: I expect I'll not miss him too much, not as long as our talented fanfic writers carry on writing and publishing stories about him -- and with the demise of the series, there's no end to where their imagination may take us. I don't expect the fandom will peter out any time soon, and I'm sure I'll keep in touch with all the wonderful people I've met and connected with through my interest in two very enjoyable TV series over the last year and a half. I love you all.
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And so we get right back to the beginning and the basics...what does the soul mean in the Jossverse, and could Spike have achieved redemption without one?

When I first started to look for discussion groups and message boards for people with an interest in Buffy the Vampire Slayer a year and a half ago (already? blimey!), this was the first discussion I became embroiled in. And it looks as if I now may have to dive into it again, as my name has been put forward for participation in a panel that addresses that particular question at MR in June.

Problem is, I'm like a vampire: I like to talk big -- or maybe it's just that I like to talk. I don't feel particularly qualified to make any pronouncements on the subject, but that's hardly enough to stop me from trying to formulate an opinion. So, I've more or less agreed to do it.

Which means that yesterday, going home on the train, I was suddenly inspired to jot down a few thoughts on the question of souls, morality and how the notion of Theory of Mind might tie in with it. Haven't thought much about redemption yet, haven't even defined what it means (is it simply to be rescued from sin and its penalties, or is it something much more exalted?), but if I had to decide if Spike was being redeemed without his soul right now, my answer would be a resounding yes!yes!yes! If I was looking for an argument to support that theory, I would say that in 'Hellbound', it was clearly stated that the soul on its own wasn't enough, because if it had been, Spike would never have been seen fading in and out of the Underworld. Same with Angel: he's still had to spend his time eating rats for 90-odd years and 'helping the helpless' for at least 5 since acquiring his soul -- and IMO, his redemption is still a long way off. Actually, I would think Spike had a headstart on him there, because he gave his all to regain his soul, and seems to have adjusted so much better than Angel has in a 100-plus years of enforced soulfulness. Of course, I fully expect the writers to change that point of view around at the end of the show, because it is after all, Angel's show -- and I'll have to deal with it when it comes.

But now that I'm pondering the question of soul and redemption, a related one (in my mind) pops up as well: what is evil, what does it mean in the Jossverse? We've seen the First Evil to be a big, ineffectual wuss, and we've seen all kinds of characters, ensouled or not, running amok...

If I'm going with the definition of 'evil' as 'morally bad', then I've seen plenty of examples where ensouled creatures meet the criterium with ease, e.g. the stupid frat boys who in their quest for power and riches feel no compunction about offering their dates up for sacrifice to a snake demon. Unless they had sold their souls to the demon before they started feeding him girls?

Because if I go with the definition of 'evil' as 'morally bad', and of the soul as the divine spark that connects us to God/ultimate good, then severing that connection by selling or losing the soul would result in a disconnection from a sense of what's morally right. And by that reasoning, a vampire having lost his soul, would be evil. And then in that strict sense, it would follow that Spike is evil while he goes around soulless.

But in the eyes of the beholder (this beholder?), his actions during at least part of that time seem to belie that theory, so there must be more to the notion or perception of a creature being evil than it simply being cut off from or having trouble with the concept of morality.

When the Scoobies discuss Angel going evil, they mention his past penchant for nailing puppies to doors -- so that would imply that their notion of evil is not just morally bad, but morally bad with cruelty mixed in. His evil nature comes to the fore not only in the killing of innocent little puppies as well as men, women and children; but perhaps even more so in the apparent pleasure he takes in what he calls his 'art', of torturing his prey/victims.

Some people argue that vampires are like animals, predators, without a sense of right and wrong, only the sense of an empty stomach. For which reason they attack other animals, kill and eat them. Yet we don't think of predatory animals as inherently evil. We excuse them on the grounds of them not possessing Theory of Mind: they know not what they do, i.e. have no sense of the pain and anguish they're putting their victim through because they have no sense of self and cannot empathise.

That seems to be the case as well for most of the Sunnydale vamps, esp. the fledglings that we see. All they seem to think about, if they can be said to think at all, is their stomach. As a result, they're far too stupid and careless to pose much of a threat to the Slayer. But of course, these vamps were once human, and humans -and quite possibly certain species of apes- do possess Theory of Mind; is this ability then erased in the process of becoming a vampire?

But both Angel and Spike, pre-soul, seem to have retained it; and Holden Webster, even if he was newly risen, seemed to have all his intact as well. So once again, if I take evil to mean 'morally bad and cruel', then I can only conclude that Joss is right and Spike is evil. But maybe I can qualify that by adding: 'only for as long as he has no need to question his purpose and place in the food chain.' Because I do believe that he shows signs of improvement way before the soul was added to the mix.

I'm going round in circles and I can't make head or tail of it...but it's almost 5 o'clock now and my yoga class awaits, so for today at least, I'll think no more. But I can see that I'm a long way from cobbling together a bloody brilliant hypothesis to support the idea that Spike could have been redeemed without his soul, if I'm going to take part in this debate!

Yes or no?

Jan. 9th, 2004 04:22 pm
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As you may or may not know, I will be going to a fan event this June. It will be held at the Split Rock Resort, in PA somewhere, and a number of the BtVS cast members will be there to smile, shake hands, sign autographs and do whatever else they're wont to do at such gatherings. And they're also doing photoshoots. For which tickets will become available on Monday.

JM is going to be there. And he's going to be doing a photoshoot, too. For which there will be 200 tickets available. Which means that if I want a picture with him and me in it as a souvenir of the occasion, I'm going to have to decide pretty damn quick.

Now, the question is whether I can set aside my usual snobbish attitude for 2 minutes and allow myself to sign up for it; or chicken out entirely and end up kicking myself when I'm there, having travelled halfway around the world to see him in the flesh.

Thankfully, there is a possibility of having more than 1 person in the picture with him. Maybe even as many as 3 people, although that has to be cleared with the organisation first. But as luck would have it, I'm going to be there with [livejournal.com profile] julchek and [livejournal.com profile] calove, and if I can get them to agree to the idea, then maybe I will come away from this convention with a memento yet without my friends and family thinking I've gone barmy and calling for the ambulance.
gamiila: (Default)
There was a full concert listing right next to the cashpoint at the station this morning. My eye raked down it as I took up my place in the queue...and then I blinked, and blinked again. PAUL WELLER & SUPPORT ACT, 17-11-2003, AMSTERDAM, Name of Venue, 20:00 PRICES:
At first, I went SQUEEEEEEE!!! -- but then I remembered, and went 'Damn!' I'm in London Nov. 17th. I'm only flying home that night around the time the gig starts...

Paul Weller is my hero. Has been since forever. For those of you who have never heard of him: he was in The Jam, and in The Style Council, and for the past 15 years has been doing quite nicely as a solo artist. Jools Holland's had him do a set on 'Later' quite regularly. And whenever he plays anywhere in The Netherlands, I'm there. And now I won't be. Bummer!

Standing in the queue had made me miss my train, so I decided I'd kill the time by choosing another book, since I'd finished Stephen Pressfield's Last of the Amazons a few days ago and by now I was in desperate need of something to read again, something other than fanfic of which I take stacks and stacks home. I can't deny that joining the Buffy fandom has drastically cut back on my book expenditure in the last year; but the fact remains that sheaves of A4 printed pages are not an easy read on busy commuter trains.

So I'm browsing through the titles and flaps and I come to 31 Songs by Nick Hornby; you remember, the author of About A Boy. The jacket notes read: "Through 31 songs that he either loves or has loved, Nick Hornby tells us what music means to his life. These personal and passionate pieces are a celebration of the joy that certain songs have given him. (..)a soundtrack to accompany life." And I was instantly reminded of the song meme we did earlier (& which I still have to finish one day). Because Mr. Hornby is of a different generation, there are only a few songs he writes about that I can hum going through his book; but that doesn't matter. I never would have guessed a serious author to write about something so trivial and frivolous and fun. I mean, just because you do it, and I do it, doesn't mean it's high literature, does it? But now I'm thinking, as he must have: why ever not?

Finally, [livejournal.com profile] artemis_child's pointed me to an interview with Mercedes McNab on the web, in which she hints at a possible new romantic involvement between Spike and Harmony after the former regains his corporeality. Can I just say: eeeewww?

After concluding that once again, JM's been talking out of his backside as far as Spike is concerned, the following link to [livejournal.com profile] selenak's The Educated Fangirl's Guide to the Spike Wars helped lift my spirits again.

Now to conclude this fannish post: here's my Buffy Geek Code:

gamiila: (Default)
Getting up in the mornings is getting increasingly difficult. I habitually set the alarm for 6:15 a.m., always waking up of my own accord well before that time; but whereas in summer I can't wait to start the day and jump out of bed as soon as I've opened my eyes, in the current season all I want to do is snuggle deeper into my duvet and forget there's such a thing as work, or cats that need feeding.

I like my bed. On days like this, it's my favourite place. But still there are some things that can keep me up and away from it, even when I'm so sleepy I can't really process anything. Saturday was a case in point: worn out with a busy day and a 'yoga intensive' (i.e., a 3-hour session concentrating on just 1 or 2 asanas), I wanted to call it a night around 11. But I still had these BtVS S1-tapes to watch, so I popped in the first and promised myself 'bed, after this'...Of course, it didn't quite work out that way. I made the mistake to switch to another channel while the tape was rewinding. And The Great Gatsby had just come on...

I first saw this film ages ago - and I last saw it oh, ages ago. It struck me that I couldn't remember what the story was about, exactly - other than that Gatsby gets shot at the end, by Myrtle's husband. So I started watching it again, all the while thinking 'I really ought to go to bed or I'm going to be a wreck in the morning'. Finally, at around 3:30 a.m., the end credits roll. And I go to bed, feeling strangely dissatisfied. I'd spent a long evening watching telly, while completely bored with it.

BtVS S1: it's lucky I didn't discover the Buffyverse for myself before S5. Had I seen the first 2 or 3 episodes when they first aired, I would never have persevered. People keep telling me that if I'd only seen the series from the very beginning, I would have loved Angel too, and understood wat made him Buffy's one and only - and she, his. Having seen the first 8 episodes now, I can honestly say: I still don't get it. There doesn't appear to be any chemistry between the characters, and the whole thing's a bit sudden and badly written anyway. One minute, she's thinking Owen's definite boyfriend material; the next she's discussing the possibility of a relationship with Angel Man of Mystery as a deeply desirable thing. All after having had just 3 or 4 2-minute conversations with him in which he, looking invariably constipated, hints at something dire and she protests that she doesn't want to know about it. And why did Angel stay the night at her place anyway? He wasn't hurt that badly! Vampire healing would have taken care of that scratch in minutes.
Apart from the IMO uninteresting B/A romance and the caricatures that are the bad vampires, including schoolgirl!Darla; there are some enjoyable performances of Giles, Jenny, Willow and Xander - so I may end up buying it after all.

And as for The Great Gatsby: I remember that the first time I saw this movie, I cried; and the last time, that I still regarded Gatsby as a tragic hero. Now, I see him primarily as a schmuck. What was there to love about Daisy? What could there have been? It's all very well to try and better yourself, but if it's all in the hopes of impressing some flighty girl -- pffft, why bother? All those millions, and his poor old Dad still had to lug that battered old suitcase around and come to the front door cap in hand.

While I was pondering these things, keeping sleep at bay, suddenly another thought popped into my head:

how exactly did the amulet that Spike had worn during his incineration in 'Chosen' come to be in an envelope on Angel's desk in 'Convictions'? Even if it didn't go poof with the rest of Spike, who got it out of the crater that was Sunnydale, and the rubble of the highschool?

Sleep proved elusive after that.


Oct. 15th, 2003 08:52 am
gamiila: (Default)

How do you like my new icon? [livejournal.com profile] catatonic1242 made it for me! I couldn't be more pleased with it...great picture, lovely font...I owe her big time.

And Caroline's finally dropped off the Buffy Series 1 tapes she promised me a year ago, so after I watch these tonight, I'll be done with BtVS and ready to switch over to AtS (from the new series onwards, I really don't care what's gone on before Spike joined the gang).
gamiila: (Default)
I hear the funding for Venetian Heat fell through, and now we won't see James in what would undoubtedly have been a very interesting project.

don't read if you want to remain unspoiled, even if there are no real spoilers here )

Finally got around to reading [livejournal.com profile] lordshiva's Nicolette Says Jump last night, which made me laugh out loud in parts, and chuckle in all the rest. God, some people are so talented!
gamiila: (Default)
I could get used to this, waiting till Wednesday comes around before starting my working week! Definitely a thing of the good. Wish it could be like this always...although I do tend to miss my pc when I'm not in the office. I'm off next week as well and I must admit that the realisation I won't be on-line much then is a bit of a bummer to me. You lot may view that differently, though.

Monday night was our second Spike/JM-night for [livejournal.com profile] db2305 and me, and already it's starting to feel like a bit of a tradition. I really ought not to bring any more chocolate next time, or it'll become one of our staples for these get-togethers. We started the evening by watching Chance, Amber Benson's film...and I heartily recommend you all order your copies right now if you haven't already. It's delightful. It's funny. It's a bit trying with the guitarist, but you can ff those bits. JM's brilliant, and so is Amber...and she's got very shapely legs, which we never got to see in BtVS.

Next came AtS 5.1, and I was pleasantly surprised. Pleasantly, because I really, really liked what I saw. I've never been able to stomach Angel before (neither the character nor the series), but here was levity, here was humour, here was Harmony. I can see she's going to be one of my favourites. She's absolutely priceless. I'd already seen the Rewards-clips, and knew that we were going to be in for a treat there, but having seen this fine a season opener in Convictions (is it?), I can only be optimistic as to the narrative quality of the next 20 episodes.

We started watching the last episode of AtS S4, but the DVD kept stalling on the scene where Gunn suddenly finds himself in a white room, so we abandoned my instruction on what's gone before in this series in favour of a discussion of favourite fanfics and fanfic genres. It's so nice to have someone in RL to talk to about these things. None of my friends are even the slightest bit interested, and even the colleague that got me started on Buffy isn't nearly as obsessed as I am.

We found out that we mostly like the same angsty NC-17 stuff, critiqued certain pieces while waxing lyrical on others (which reminds me, must not forget to mail her the URL for Cosmicfish's Shadow To Self, which still remains among my favourites), and had lots of fun doing it. We differed on the question of williamfic, though: db doesn't care for it whereas I really enjoy it when it's well-written and well-researched, and doesn't feature the fluffy smut that clashes with criterion #2. IMO, [livejournal.com profile] herself_nyc, [livejournal.com profile] paratti, and Elsa Frohmann have all written wonderful williamfic, in which the character is treated sympathetically yet remains what he certainly must have been: a man of no great promise or consequence, utterly sweet and forgettable. Although I'm not so sure that Mr. Grieves is sweet...spineless, more like...but very Victorian in any case.

Of course, we lost all track of time and I missed the last train home by a measly 2 minutes, mainly because Utrecht CS is such a maze, a townplanner's dream and a citizen's nightmare, not unlike Milton Keynes in that respect -- another place I can't find my way around in/out of. So I had to wait around for an hour for the nighttrain that services the west of Holland in such a way that it got me to The Hague by way of Amsterdam, and stopping virtually everywhere inbetween.

It wasn't until I had way too much time on my hands staring out at the pitch darkness and trying to keep awake that I remembered I'd forgotten to set the VCR to record 'The Return of Dirty Den' to EastEnders. Drat! From 1985 till about 2 years ago, EE was my favourite soap. I never missed an episode if I could help it, but I got completely bored with it at one point and decided not to watch it anymore. Then they decide to bring back the character that made the early years such fun to watch...and I missed it! I hope I can remember to watch the omnibus on Sunday...
gamiila: (Default)
"How's that cramp, Spike?"

I had a hard time keeping the shock and surprise out of my voice as I answered. I'm not sure I managed.

"How's that cramp?" This from the bird that wouldn't say boo; meek, mild-mannered Miss Maclay?

I look at her and I realise, I'd never really looked or seen before. Her shy demeanor, her habit of hiding behind her hair - an effective smokescreen, that. Allowing her to work steadily, unobtrusively, towards her goal of letting the light in, making it reach the farthest corners. This girl is anything but weak; she's strong, made of steel, and observant. She finds her strength within her heart, with which she loves, without judgeing, without fear. And with a profound sense of humour.

"How's that cramp, Spike?"
I think it may just be starting up again -- for you, pet.


Sep. 16th, 2003 02:20 pm
gamiila: (Default)
So - after watching the whole of S7, I am left with several questions:

- why is the First Evil such a wuss?

Throughout the series, I'm under the impression that the FE wants to get rid of the whole Slayer line. It picks off Potentials, blows up the Council, sends the Bringers and the Turok-Han to do just that, and manifests itself as trusted dead people to screw with the minds of the Scoobies. It's never very consistent in its attacks, never seems to press its advantage in any meaningful way, but at least it does succeed in making a nuisance of itself most of the time, and wearing the Slayer out. Then in End of Days it tells Caleb to let Buffy go without opposing, delaying, fighting her, so that she can go to Faith and the Potentials' assistance? Why did it throw in the towel like that?

- what was the point of that whole Eye of Botox-y thingie?

And couldn't the props dept. have come up with something a little less here's-one-I-made-earlier/sticky-back-plastic-y?

- in terms of Anya's character development, what did Hallie's death mean to her?

Apparently, not a lot.

- as the Key, Dawn's been around for ages, so maybe it's not so surprising that she reads cuneiform/knows Sumerian - but when did she learn to drive?

(I'm assuming she took the wheel after tasering Xander when he drove her out of SunnyD)

- why is Wood still a part of the inner circle after LMPTM, with a vote in how things are handled?

Actually, what made him a part of it in the first place? Rogue demon hunter come to help? Fine - but don't get in the main protagonists' way!

- Giles's about-face, which for me came out of the blue and was never resolved

...and while we're at it, what about all the other betrayals, the Potentials, Willow, Xander, and Dawn - they kick Buffy out, and the next day they're all pallsy again, and acting like a team?

- for 22 episodes, Willow's all "Oh, I can't do magic!" - then all of a sudden, she's got the confidence to try some major mojo?

- how annoying is Kennedy?

- what, exactly, was Caleb's purpose? what was his backstory? how did he come into contact with the FE?

But putting all that (and countless other issues) aside - as far as the Spike/Buffy relationship goes in S7...I do believe it's love.

And just because we're all doing this (and I'm still trying to get the hang of this linking thing): who's a pretty boy then?


Sep. 12th, 2003 09:59 am
gamiila: (Default)
I can't seem to wake up this morning. I've had my 5 hours of sleep and giant cup of coffee, but I'm still sitting here at my desk fighting the urge to yawn, and yawn wide...it's this murky, grey, drizzly morning, I suppose...and the staying up late because ::SQUEEEEEE!!!:: my 2nd box of BtVS S7 tapes arrived last night, and of course I had to check if 'Showtime' was on it - and then I had to check if there wasn't anything wrong with any of the other eps, because I so did not want a repeat of the shock, horror and profound disappointment of last May when I discovered that the last episode on the 1st batch, purporting to be 'Showtime', was in fact 'Potential'. So now I've got 2 'Potential'-s.

I'm very, very happy to have S7 complete. My chance to catch up with the rest of you has come at last! I wonder what's up with the Dutch commercial channel - they're starting up a new series of Charmed tonight, but there's been no sign of BtVS or AtS in their scheduling so far. I'm getting mighty impatient, and I know I'm not the only one.

Anyway, as I was rubbing the sleep out of my eyes and going through all my Friends' posts this morning, I came across [livejournal.com profile] automatedalice_'s Spilly fic Kiss Me Deadly, 1977, which jolted me awake enough to go through the FAQ and find out how to link to it from here - now I just hope it works!

Now before I come to the end of this unbelievably dull post, I must say "thankyou" to [livejournal.com profile] cosmicfish, who not only finished her excellent Recidivism recently (much to my enjoyment), but also took the time to explain to me about the appeal of the The Princess Bride. The book arrived in the same shipment yesterday on the strength of her recommendation, and at first glance looks to be exactly as she said it was. I'm going to lock myself in the flat with my Buffy tapes and my book this weekend, and woe betide any man/woman who dares intrude on my very private party!


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