Because I am a prestigious and well known Man About Internet, I acquired the first episode of Elementary recently, and sat down to watch it.

I was not aware it was possible to ruin Sherlock Holmes so thoroughly. I am almost impressed at how terrible that was. The acting was first-class, which is a shame because they had a truly bad script to plow through. It wasn't even funny-bad.

Three brief spoilery things. )

I do hate to compare Elementary to Sherlock because it's usually unfair to compare one show to another that has had such huge critical acclaim, but even without the comparison, it's objectively bad television.

I know a lot of you have issues with Big Bang Theory, and much of the time I totally share them, but I just watched the hundredth episode from two weeks ago and sweet damn, that pushed my biggest, least-satisfiable competence narrative button like crazy.

Spoilers under the cut -- major ones, so if you haven't seen it yet you definitely want to wait.

Spoilers. )

It's so hard to do this arc well, the arc where you go from insecure or shy or a minor character to an assertive badass, because it's so easy to go overboard; it's hard to write convincingly about growing up.

It's one of the stories I love best -- we got it with Ianto, I came so close to getting it with Lupin, and it's something I'm constantly writing about in my own work. Nameless is sort of about it, and tons of my fanfic is: Sweet Home, Man With Fedora, to some extent the Rulesverse. The only time I've really written it to my own satisfaction is in Dead Isle, with Jack's arc about coming out of his Mad Inventor shell, but it's been a theme I've worked hard to explore. So seeing a great example of it in a show I've been watching and alternately crowing at or cringing over for four years was like twenty-five minutes of pure joy.

Also, the penis jokes were funny.
So, we watched the Downton Abbey Christmas Special while I was home in Texas, and I'm not quite sure when it's actually coming back on air, but for posterity I'd like to share with you my parents' predictions.

Mum is really fond of Edith. )

I do not think I would place bets on these coming true.
I have been quite remiss in doing Three Things about the Chicago Code recently, but I can only plead apathy.

Anyway, I sat down today and watched all three episodes I missed, in anticipation of tomorrow's episode, so I have NINE THINGS about The Chicago Code!

Episode 1.04: Cabrini-Green )

3a. Sightings of my building: Well, if you count the environs around it, there was a whole scene basically filmed at my building, which was pretty cool. And there were some stock-footage shots.

Episode 1.05: O'Leary's Cow )

3a. Sightings of my building: Both stock and background! HI BUILDING!

Episode 1.06: The Gold Coin Kid )

3a. Jesus, did they film IN my building this episode? *squints*
On the way out the door on Friday, one of the managers told me, "Don't drink too much this weekend." I was a little baffled until I remembered it's St Patrick's Day weekend in Chicago. He needn't have worried, I've spent the weekend to date in bed feeling miserable.

And mainlining Daria, which I downloaded last week because I realised I only ever saw about half the episodes. I have come to know a few things:

1. The X-Files and Daria were the defining television shows of my adolescence, which probably says more about my adult personality than I'm comfortable with.

2. I wasn't aware Daria was a spinoff of Beavis and Butthead, where she was an occasional character. In high school I found that show totally unwatchable. But I thought, you know, I'm twice the age I was when Beavis and Butthead were huge, maybe I'll understand the show better now. Maybe I'll be able to appreciate its subversive qualities on some kind of deeper intellectual level. So I looked up a few clips, and tried to watch, and I swear to god I felt brain cells die. This explains a lot about the adult personalities of many of my peers.

3. For the last ten years I've been assuming Daria and Jane were dating, because I never saw the episodes where A) Jane got a boyfriend and B) Daria then got the same boyfriend. I think I'm going to assume Tom was their best gay friend and they were just fighting about who got to use him as a beard, because for a couple of episodes there he totally ruined all that was good about Daria and Jane.

3a. Trent was always a funny character, but he's about nine thousand times funnier after having lived with a musician.

To sum up: Daria still awesome. Misery Chick still the best episode because Daria said, "I'm not miserable. I'm just not like them."
I have received every stupid phone call ever in the world today. This morning I have been called by:

1. Someone who called me yesterday who was actually trying to reach another company entirely. He'd lost the other company's number and I was so helpful yesterday! Would I look it up for him again?

2. Someone who is trying to sell us some kind of analysis program, I don't even know. I've found it especially egregious with business people, more than any other profession, that they forget that outside of their profession nobody speaks their language. Mechanics don't do this. Poets don't do this. Only people who work "in business" start telling the receptionist about the relative merits of Morningstar and ISO 9000 or WHAT EVER GOD SHUT UP. (I swear to god if anyone in comments tries to explain to me what those things are, I will set you on fire. I know what ISO 9000 is, honest.)

3. Someone with whom I actually had the following conversation: "Room D-12 please." "I'm sorry, I'm not sure what that means." "I want to be connected to Room D-12." "We don't...have a Room D-12. You've reached [Company], was that what you intended to call?" "Yes! I just want to speak to my sister!" "Can I have her name?" "She's in the burn unit!" "Do you maybe want a hospital and not [Company]?" "Oh. This isn't the hospital?" NO, AS I TOLD YOU...

3a. A fellow staff member. "So, if I have a group of twenty people coming for a meeting, do I really have to register them all on the building security website?" "Yeah. There's a fast way to do it, but you still have to type all the names in, sorry." "Can you do it?" "I'm authorized, but I only handle departments who don't have a designated admin." "But you could do it." "Do you not have time?" "No, I have the time, I just don't want to." "Sorry, I'm slammed today."

It's Monday night! I have to go back to work tomorrow, and it's also time for

Sam's Three Things About Chicago Code, 1.03: Gillis, Chase, and Babyface )

3a. I think Wysocki has a superpower for dodging bullets. I'm pretty sure he should have been shot ten or twelve times in this episode, but the bullets just go around him. I'm waiting for him to untuck some magical amulet from under his flak vest, or maybe show off an enchanted tattoo. I bet he was totally first on the scene after Dean and Death had their little showdown in the Chicago Supernatural episode.
It's Monday night and the El is rumbling outside, which means at least for this week it's time for

Sam's Three Things About The Chicago Code, 1.02: Hog Butcher )

3a. People talk sometimes about how New York is a "character" in White Collar, and I didn't really get that before, but I think I do now. I may not recognise every location they're shooting in, but I recognise the architecture and the general setup of Chicago, the way it functions in a physical-space way. I know where they are, and I know they're in Chicago. Chicago Code isn't as subtle with it, and that does hurt the writing, but they're getting there.
So, Chicago Code is a big deal here in Chicago, where it's being filmed, but I was very skeptical about the PR I'd read. Mum had to remind me it was on tonight, but I did tune in. Who knows how long this will last -- whether it'll get cancelled or I'll lose interest or neither -- but as long as it does, please enjoy:

Sam's Three Things About The Chicago Code, Episode 1.01: The Pilot )

3a. Sox versus Cubs: did I not tell you guys this was the endless debate? Did I not put it in TWUSA? It's the first thing a tough guy asks. It's rarely relevant, but it's a fight to the death.

I watch Southland, and I like Southland, because it doesn't feel like other cop shows -- it's weird and alien, like it wasn't quite meant for TV, though I'm not sure how to vocalise just how. Chicago Code feels like a cop show, but it's not a procedural either -- it's political, and I like that too. It feels like a toned-down Southland, a television-fied Southland. But it's interesting enough to hold my attention; I'll be tuning in next week.
Things I do not need today:

1. To be yelled at because there were no spiral bound reports. I'm sorry, I didn't order the reports, I just distribute them; the fact that they are all perfect bound is not my fault. I know you have to special request spiral bound reports, but they simply didn't print any this time, so even if you special request some there will not be any. Yelling will not make me crap spiral bound reports.

2. Random staff members suddenly taking an intense and personal interest in me. Why today? I'm in pain, leave me alone. Oh wait, I know why. Because if you ask me one personal question you can spend half an hour oversharing with me!

3. Sneezing. Oh my god.

3a. Missing mail. But I was rewarded after my "I'm in too much pain to be hungry" half-hour search for the missing mail, because the cafeteria had macaroni and cheese. There are zero conditions under which I will not eat our cafeteria's mac and cheese. Hungry, not hungry, sick, nauseated, broke, does not matter, it is like a perfect little golden bowl of happiness and I will not be denied.

I'm going to the chiropractor and then I'm going home and not coming in to work tomorrow and nobody can make me, so there.
This is my life!

1. I have an unstoppable craving for garlic. I couldn't figure out why I wanted pizza all the time lately, and then I realised what I really wanted was garlic. I'm sure this is some kind of mineral or vitamin deficiency but I'm torn between buying garlic pills or just eating a lot of homemade garlic bread. The latter is more gastronomically satisfying. This did result in me making a huge pot of spag bol last night which was immensely delicious.

2. I keep pausing during the day, especially in the evening, and thinking "What am I supposed to be doing? I'm supposed to be doing something." And then I realise no, the book is in print, there is nothing I'm supposed to be doing. Well, I mean, there are things, but not things so important I need to drop what I'm doing and do it.

3. I don't normally read QC, but I have to admit this strip and its sequel and trequel made me lol. Also, I run hot and cold with Penny Arcade but Gabe's reindeer magnet gave me a powerful moment of nostalgia.

3a. I seriously need a haircut. I can't think with this much hair on my head.


Sam: Two more wasps this evening. I have hermetically sealed my bathroom with duct tape. WHERE ARE THEY COMING FROM.
Junie: Have you investigated the possibility of a portal to a hell dimension?
Sam: It would nicely bookend my bedroom with the door to Narnia on the other side....
Junie: I can't believe the rent on an interdimensional crossroads is so reasonable.
This isn't so much "Out of context" theatre as it is "Would context really help?" theatre.

1. Mum: I should do a vinegar study.

2. Emmy: I'm just saying that TARDIS sounds like a belt a man would wear to keep his penis in place.

3. Sam: It's not a deformed toe. It's a unique toe! It's your unique toe.

3a. Okay, Mum put on a DVD of Big Bang Theory this evening and, among other observations, she pointed out to me the thing hanging on the wall in the apartment set. Behind the guy in the green jacket in this one, and the guy in purple in this one.

Proper good morning to everyone. I am alive, I am at work, I'm pretty sure nothing's broken. My knee hurts and has a GIGANTIC BRUISE, but there's very little swelling, so I think I got off lightly. If by "get off lightly" one means "got four hours of sleep".

Nobody make any getting-off jokes, I'm too doped up on painkillers to enjoy them.

I finally got round to seeing Iron Man the film (just in time for Iron Man II to come out and me to ignore it!) and I have several observations to make:

1. Not enough Jarvis.
2. I was linked to some fanfic to remedy my feeling of Not Enough Jarvis, and sometimes he's Jarvis and sometimes he's JARVIS, and when I see the latter I want to ship him with the TARDIS, which is an epic love story in capslock waiting to happen.
3. In reference to #2, I said that it would require either the TARDIS landing in Stark's mansion or Iron Man walking onto the TARDIS, both of which are kind of ridiculous. [ profile] juniper200 replied Or it could be on a street in New York, strangely unharmed by a giant superhero battle. Jarvis scans. TARDIS wonders who's feeling her up. to which I of course answered Love at first byte. Look, I'm not proud, okay?
3a. I was surprisingly more engaged in this film than I expected to be, and especially enjoyed the dialogue. Large explosions in plenteous amounts are still very boring, however.
I watched Shark Attack III this evening while cleaning.

I'm not proud.

You knew that.

Sam's Three Things About Shark Attack III: MEGALODON )

3a. Look, I don't really have anything else to say about this film, so here is John Barrowman in a wetsuit.

Having seen Shark Attack III and Sherlock Holmes Not The Good One in the course of a single week, I feel like I need to find the worst film David Tennant ever made just so I can round out the trilogy. Given that he's done less than his fair share of shit films, I'll settle for something with at least one sea monster and/or dinosaur in it.

Casanova didn't have any dinosaurs in it, did it?

I didn't think so.
I have many things to say today!

Actually I have many things to say every day, but a lot of time I don't have the time to say them.

First, [ profile] cassie_phoenix and [ profile] linlesiryn, if you're reading this, can you email me? Copperbadge at gmail. You have no contact info on your LJ pages and your numbers are up for Nameless signed copies. :)

Second, Adaigo Tea is doing The Roots Campaign, which is a cool setup where they profile a different tea farmer every month, and 10% of the sales of the tea they provide will be donated directly to them. Last month they raised something like $650 for the farmer (above, of course, what they pay for the tea to begin with). It's also an interesting look at the life of various tea farmers around the globe. And Adagio's a good company, I buy all my loose-leaf from them.

Third: If you are the USDA, and there is a major beef recall, surely the major beef recall should be linked from your home page. Or at least "food recalls" should be linked, instead of totally absent in any way from any area that a customer would intuitively visit. I know I should know what brand of beef I buy and where it comes from already, but I buy from Costco and then repack it in small serving sizes when I get home. I try to buy green and local, but sometimes I just don't have the energy to save the world through my choices in food consumption. Anyway, for everyone's reference, the USDA recall information page is here.

I also have some stuff to say about NaNo and some of its trends this year, but it's on the netbook and the netbook is at home. And by the time I prep it to post it might be irrelevant, so we'll see.

OH ALSO even my mother was less than impressed:

I didn't care much for the NCIS last night...seemed to much like a rehash of past shows and I don't like that guy Gibbs used to work for. Are Ziva and Tony ever going to go out?

<3 her.
Oh, and by the way:

Three Reasons I won't be watching the end of Girl Number 9. )

3a. If something stunningly awesome happens in the next three episodes, by all means, somebody let me know. But otherwise I've got a whole lot of Dust Echoes to watch instead.
So I watched "webisode" one of Can You Save Her, the web serial that James Moran wrote and GDL is in. (Possibly starring in, given what we've seen so far.)

Because these are five minutes long, you only get one and a half things. And I'm not cutting them because they're not really spoilery, especially if you've seen ANYTHING AT ALL to do with the show.

1. I find it difficult to be interested in this show so far, because every cop show ever has done this plot and it's nothing new per se. It's just a double-time retelling of a very very tired trope. Hopefully they're going to twist it into something new, but it's hard to put much spin on it in six five-minute episodes.

1.5 As I suspected, however, GDL looks way less weird and skeevy in motion than he does in still photography. :D
For the record:

1. Hot herbal orange tea with honey and gin is not a hot toddy. It burns us, precious. But it did clear out my sinuses.

2. I spent so much time yesterday pressing on my sinuses to try and get the headache to go away that my forehead is visibly bruised.

3. I have not replied to anyone about anything, for which I am sorry, but most of today I was busy either sleeping or continually blowing my nose.

3a. Wasabi on pizza is not too bad, especially if you can't taste much of anything anyway.
I made the mistake of having something caffeinated with my lunch. Oh god. I don't normally drink caffeine. I'm practically vibrating with things to tell you.

One, [ profile] debitha asked and I agreed that, given a significant portion of the pacific just got mashed by a tsunami, people should consider Red Cross donations if they have a bit to spare or donate regularly to charity. She helpfully linked me to a very informative post here. Even if you don't intend to give, you might check it out.

Two, I HAVE A QUESTION. Two, actually. First, can I re-stew canned beans? Most baked beans recipes start with "open a can of pork and beans" which is ridiculous, but I haven't got the time or patience to stew my own beans from dried stock. So the last time I made baked beans I bought a can of cooked pinto beans and used them, and that worked great, but they were a little on the firm side for my tastes. Can I just pop them in some boiling water for a few minutes, or will that toughen them further?

Second, I am incompetent at making buttermilk biscuits. How do these places make them where they're greasy and powdery on the outside and soft and cakelike on the inside? I desire to make biscuits like this.

Three, have a look at The Most Depressing Books In The English Language. I've read all but The Road, which I'd never heard of before. I admit to skimming Atlas Shrugged.

I'd take issue with Grapes of Wrath being one of the ten most depressing of all time, though, or even the most depressing of Steinbeck's work. It's filled with hope and beauty; most people miss the beauty because they're bored with the chapters where Nothing Happens, but how can anyone read about Tom's resolution to fight for the worker, and know the history of unionisation in this country, and not be uplifted? Tom won, you guys. Or at least, Tom is winning, and I believe he will win.

I don't like Grapes of Wrath as much as I like East of Eden, which is easily in my top ten favourite books ever, but East of Eden is far more depressing, even I will admit that. Sadomasochism, prostitution, murder, failure, madness, despair, spanning three generations, four if you count the narrator; it's a book about being driven from paradise.

But I don't think anyone reads East of Eden because it's a jillion pages long and, oh yeah, INCREDIBLY DEPRESSING.

And yet I love it like really good buttermilk biscuits.

3a. Does anyone have any digital copies of the Torchwood comic books? Especially the one the Barrowmans wrote?
I wish I had recorded some of the conversations I had with R tonight, but alas they are already lost to the mists of time. However, I would like to tell you a little bit about what we did.

1. R ate five sandwiches. FIVE. In three hours. He ran out of bread and then started eating bologna dipped in ranch dressing.

2. "Sam, you're good in the kitchen." "Uh, yes?" "HELP ME." followed by him handing me a ziploc bag with a head of lettuce in it, which he could not get to zip properly.

3. I met R's new roommate. He seems nice! He is already more interesting than Bland was. Though I admit I was perhaps prejudiced against Bland, the guy who got me kicked out and then moved out himself after two months.

3a. I tried to explain Supernatural to R. He thought it was a reality tv show. I wish you could all see the face I made. It's indescribable.


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