July 29th, 2005

Jeff_Annie_Remedial Chaos Theory

Arrested Development! And Seeking Xander's "Skeletor"

Arrested Development! Tonight! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!


I watch almost no TeeVee. But Friday nights in the summer has turned into TeeVee hell.

FOX is reshowing all of S2. Since someone (we won't mention names), lent S1 Arrested Development to BFF, I am now out my Arrested fix. So FOX has thoughtfully put up two hours of S2 Arrested episodes every Friday night for a pre-fall marathon.

From 8 p.m. to 10 p.m..

Oh, crap!

Opposite SciFi Fridays. *grumbles*

And I want to get some writing done tonight on Water Hold Me Down.


I mean, I have the Xander/alternaXander sections down, but I need to work on the Cleveland scenes with Faith and Giles. I've got a real itch to get started on those after suffering from hellish heat all week.

Right. Problem solved:

Tape Arrested from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Switch over to SciFi for Battlestar Galactica at 10 p.m. using a fresh tape (I will not mix Arrested with other shows! No S2 DVDs are available yet!). Then, I continue taping SciFi for the 11 p.m. showing of Stargate: SG-1 and the midnight showing of Stargate: Atlantis.

I can't believe this. I barely watch television, but in one night I've got five hours worth of television I want to watch. *headdesk*

*sigh* I need some Arrested Development icons.

*goes off in search of them*

Xander's Skeletor

bellatemple persists in turning poor Xander into Fanon Fodder. In light of my meta post on Xander's characterization in Water, I was fascinated when she came up with the following question:

Who's Xander's "Skeletor"? She's trying to get some suggestions for the next part of Fanon Fodder. Here's the exact request:

I've decided that Xander needs a nemesis...In looking for said nemesis, I was reminded of a conversation I had back in G-ville, of the sort that the G-ville crowd often had, in regards to the Skeletor concept. It goes like this: "Who is your skeletor?"

For the sake of the debate, a "skeletor" is someone who has the same powers as you do, but uses them for evil...

What I'm looking for is Xander's skeletor. Someone who generally has a similar "power set" to Xander-- wisecracking, observational skills, and people skills, to name a few examples of his "power"--yet uses them for the forces of evil. I've drawn a blank, so far.

Go and comment in the link provided above with your ideas. It mgiht be fun.
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Jeff_Annie_Remedial Chaos Theory

Some words about grammar from my son the nut, Allan Sherman.

When I was about 6 or so, I discovered My Son the Nut by Allan Sherman in my Uncle Tom's record collection. Admittedly, I was attracted to the cover because he was a dead-ringer for my Uncle Tom (albeit heavier) and I did, in fact, think my Uncle Tom made the record.

Well, Uncle Tom was so tickled by this, he threw the LP on his turntable (for you whippersnappers in the audience, this is back when albums were made of vinyl and were played using a diamond needle scratching along the surface) and played it for us. I was so taken with My Son the Nut that he let us borrow it.

And borrow it.

And borrow it again.

It reached the point where he finally just gave us the LP since he soon figured out that he'd never get it back if I had anything to say about it.

This album contains Allan Sherman's most famous song, a live rendition of 'Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (A Letter from Camp).' While it remains one of my favorite songs of his, even at 6, my favorite cut was 'One Hippopotomi.' I played this cut over and over with the obsessive intensity that only a 6-year-old can have. I was so enraptured by the worldplay, even though I probably didn't get half the jokes and didn't understand a quarter of the words, that I simply couldn't get enough of it.

Even today, I still play this song over and over in my head, especially when I've had a day when the writing has been hard and the words won't come easily to me. It's a spiritual version of Linus's fuzzy blue blankie. Naturally, if I had an MP3 version of this song, I'd be playing it over and over again on my computer (viva la technologie!), but alas, there is no MP3 of this, my all-time favorite song, in my collection. So it remains merely burned in my brain.

The latest round of kerfluffles in the fanfic end of BtVS fandom has me thinking about this song a lot lately.

After watching the arguments and counter-arguments unroll with a certain fascination over the past few weeks, I realized something.

People on both sides of the divide are operating from two fundamentally different mindsets.

In one corner: the grammar (or characterization, or plot, or check-your-facts, or fill-in-your-peeve here) police.

In the other: people who wonder what the fuss is about.

Given the vehemnece on both sides of the divide, I've also realized something else. The two sides are almost never going to agree on anything.
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Some recommendations for improving your grammar:

The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by Strunk and White.
This is the basic handbook of all writers. No excuses. I have several editions and several copies of each edition scattered between home and work. I make a living at writing, so if I have them, good bet you should, too. It costs less than $8. Less if bought used.

Woe is I by Patricia T. O'Connor

The Deluxe Transitive Vampire by Karen Elizabeth Gordon

Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss
This book may be more helpful for people who write/speak British English than the American version.

Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson
It's Bill Bryson. Do I need a better reason?

Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition
Expensive, but covers just about every professional writing contingency outside of a specialty field you can think of, including writing for book publication. Unless you're very serious or work professionally in publishing, you probably don't need it. It's worth having a copy around, though.

FYI: For this post, comments are completely unscreened. You may tell me to stuff it (as rudely as you like), or you can sing my praises.
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