Awesome_August J. Pollak

When Fans Collide Over the Phone

I just had the most awesome chat over-the-phone with one of the IT Guys:

Me: Ummm, you know that program you pushed to my computer via the [Jolly Green Giant's] network? It did not install.

Donnie the IT Guy: *sigh* Yes. I see. Did you...

Me: Yes! Yes! I did turn it off and on again before I called you!

Donnie the IT Guy: *pause* You've seen the IT Crowd?

Me: How I answer that depends on whether you're a Roy or a Moss...

This led to the Best. Ever. Service. From. IT. Evar!

Sometimes it just pays to have Netflix Streaming. Just sayin'...

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Odd Fandom Realizations for the Day

Odd Fandom Realization of the Day 1

Known Fact About Moi: Necrophilia squicks me out. Especially since I once wrote a story about a court case about a guy who...yeeeeaaaaaah. Not gonna finish that sentence. Use your imagination.

Pointed Out to Me: You realize that you haaaaaaaate all Vampire/Human ships, right? Like, Dude, you're the only person I know who hates Buffy/Angel and Buffy/Spike equally. In fact, you still do. When was the last time you even watched BtVS or AtS again?

Recently Realized Fandom Evolution: I have lost all interest in shows that feature vampires. I've only watched the first episode of "True Blood" and gave "The Vampire Diaries" a complete pass. I've steered clear of any and all vampire-related stories. Why? Because inevitably the human female lead winds up screwing one or more male vampires, even if she's all, "Ewwwwww!" at the thought at the start of the series. And when this inevitably happens, I get annoyed and lose patience, because I am not, not, not going to hang in there in the hopeless hope that the human female will come to her senses and drop the blood sucker, preferably into a vat of holy water.

Odd Recent Fandom Realization: My severe dislike of all human/vampire pairings going back to when I was still in college can be traced to my necrophilia squick. I can't get it out of my head that, no matter what, a VAMPIRE IS A FUCKING CORPSE!

Odd Fandom Realization of the Day 2

Known Fact About Moi: The shortest guy I ever dated was 5'11". I am 5'1" in my stocking feet.

Recently Realized Fandom Evolution: While I'm not a 'shipper by nature (and certainly never a rabid one) I've recently realized that I tend to be fond of fictional relationships involving really, really tall men and really, really short women.

Odd Recent Fandom Realization: It appears I have a fetish. Dear God.

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Great Whites, Kayakers, and Paddleboarders...Oh My!

Behold! The Great White Shark Tribe has once again descended upon Cape Cod (it appears we are a gourmet destination for the big buggers thanks to our over-abundance of seals).

The weekend yielded what is, in my opinion, the most awesome picture of the Great White Shark Tribe summering down on the Cape.


—Shelly Negrotti/AP

Just for the record, this was taking place 150 feet off-shore in 8 feet of water. So we're talking really, really shallow water that's really, really close to shore.

And by the way, both the dudes in the picture did not expect to cross paths with what is believed to be a 12- to 14-foot long Great White. (All the shark did was sniff around to see if the kayaker was a seal and then took off when it was determined that plastic and seal flesh are not the same thing. Still. Yikes!)

In any case, the Cape Cod Times has the obligatory "And then I wet my pants..." interview.

For more of a nation-wide overview of the Great White Sharks' rekindled love of all things Cape Cod, MSNBC has more here.

In any case, it appears the Great White Shark Tribe are here to stay as permanent summer tourists, much to the delight of the locals who are sucking up the yummy money from human shark-spotters.

Although it appears that kayakers and paddleboarders may want to pay attention to the local Shark Spotters before taking to the seas.

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Things that Make You Head-Desk

I've decided: Harmonian fans are far, far scarier than Whedonites. For real.

The sustained temper-tantrum going on in Community online fandom is awesome to behold. Look, I'm sorry Sony decided to replace Dan Harmon since he was basically the show-runner auteur, but the fact of the matter is that most of the writing staff, production crew, and all of the cast is staying on.

While no doubt Community is going to change, after the sometimes-indulgent second half of Season 3, I'm not so sure it's a bad thing if Community starts being a little less up its own meta-ass.

And I say this as someone who has fallen head-over-heels with this show.

Besides, there's no way you can convince me that Harmon didn't know this was coming, considering he shares agents with the new show runners (Can you say LAWSUIT if Harmon's telling the truth, boys and girls?), and Comedy Central announced that he was working on a pilot for them even before Sony's announcement that Harmon was being being replaced.

You wanna feel bad for someone?

Feel bad for the reporters of the New Orleans Times-Picayune who found out today that one-third of them will be losing their jobs.

How did they find out?

By reading The New York Times.

Yeah. Now that's classy right there.

I'm saving my sympathy for the poorly paid newspaper personnel who are now shit out of luck. Given the way the newspaper industry is going, chances are most of those people — reporters and editors included — are going to not only have to switch careers, but leave the industry all together if they ever want to work for a living again.

Shit like this puts things in perspective, no?

Note to self: Stop nosing around the edges of online Community until Season 4 starts because biting my tongue hard enough to make it bleed is causing anemia.

Also: File this shit under how fandom can be fucking funny.

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Annie_Community_Bad Good Wolf

Out Burns-ing Ken Burns

Someone explain to me how it's even possible that a comedy that clocks in at 21+ minutes (minus commercials) can actually out-Ken Burns Ken Burns?

How is this possible?

I pretty much spent the entirety of Community howling with laughter, right from the PBS-like cold open to the close of the PBS-like pledge drive.

And, and, AND!

They parodied Burns's The Civil War to absolute perfection! Right from the liberal use of still photographs with voice-overs, Britta's attempts at dramatic war photography, the dramatic readings of the text messages between Jeff and Annie (I was howling people...HOWLING!), to the musical signature that sounded suspiciously like "Ashokan Farewell".

And finally, KEITH DAVID as the narrator. He actually worked with Burns!

It's like Ken Burns threw up all over Community. No, wait. That's exactly what happened!

This episode has rocketed to the number two spot in my heart ("Remedial Chaos Theory" will never be dislodged because it's the first episode I ever watched) just for the Burns-ian/PBS-ian conceit alone.

You can watch the whole episode at, and it is soooooo worth watch if you've seen even one Burns doc and even if you've never seen Community before. Beware, though. I believe the video is geo-locked, but I'm not sure which regions have access and which don't.

Wheeee! My week is now officially lighter.

And I have the overwhelming urge to watch Ken Burns's The Civil War again.

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Annie_Community_Bad Good Wolf


Wow, it's been...

*counts on fingers*

Almost 6 months before I posted anything at all at any journal.

So, the short answer? Not dead.

The long answer? Real life, work, school, parental units? Kinda kicking my ass.

Thank god the Daleks have put out a relaxation vid. I don't know how I would've survived without it.

Seriously. Best. Thing. Ever.

Between this and Inspector Spacetime, I think I'm set.

What? Don't look at me like that. Yes, I've finally discovered Community (see icon). Thank you "Remedial Chaos Theory" (literally the first episode of Community I've ever seen and I was hooked like a hooked thing) and Hulu and Netflix and now DVDs from Amazon.

With the way my life is going these days, 21+ minutes per episode is kind of like the perfect size.


How is it possible that Bio 101 has so much writing involved? I seriously have to write a 1–2 page lab paper per week. And I swear I have a test every second Monday of the month (I have one this Monday in fact). Plus the reading. The reading. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

I keep asking myself how I managed to go to school full time and work full time when I was getting my bachelors because I sure as hell couldn't do that now!

Anyway, this rambling message brought to you Yes. Exhaustion.

I'll try to be better about keeping in touch. I swear.

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Over on NPR: R.E.M. Listening Party

NPR is hosting a first listen for R.E.M.'s farewell greatest hits double-CD Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011.

Yes, 'tis streaming now!

While it's great to listen to some great R.E.M. songs from really, really early in their career that never, ever get air play (like "Radio Free Europe", "Driver 8", and "Fall On Me"), if you already own a boatload of R.E.M. CDs it seems that this release is not worth getting. There is nothing rare or unusual to be found on the two-disc set. It is what it says on the tin: a greatest hits release that collects music from across R.E.M.'s career.

I will admit this much: listening to the R.E.M. stream has inspired me to dig out my bootleg R.E.M. CDs when I get home. I have the "Bingo Hand Job Live at the Borderline" (from 1991) and "Poets of the Wheat" (bootleg compilation of various live performances recorded across 1989-90).

Also, I apologize for not responding to my "Ask the Person Who Grew Up in a Haunted House" post yet. Things have been a bit nuts in RL at my end, between preparing to go back to school, work, and some life-change type things with the parental units.

It doesn't help that on weekends I collapse into a whimpering heap, barely able to complete even the most basic chores.

*sigh* It'll slow down soon. Maybe. I hope.

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Facts and figures on income iniquity

Some interesting points in favor of supporting the Occupy Movement (as I do).

First up, Matt Taibbi lays it out for people who keep insisting on "not getting" what the Occupy Movement is about, which is amazing considering there are freakin' signs explaining it. Read, Wall Street Isn't Winning — It's Cheating for the best (and best-resourced) explanation why a good chunk of us 99% are pissed off.

The import nut graphs from Taibbi's article:

The point being: we have a massive police force in America that outside of lower Manhattan prosecutes crime and imprisons citizens with record-setting, factory-level efficiency, eclipsing the incarceration rates of most of history's more notorious police states and communist countries.

But the bankers on Wall Street don't live in that heavily-policed country. There are maybe 1000 SEC agents policing that sector of the economy, plus a handful of FBI agents. There are nearly that many police officers stationed around the polite crowd at Zucotti park.

These inequities are what drive the OWS protests. People don't want handouts. It's not a class uprising and they don't want civil war -- they want just the opposite. They want everyone to live in the same country, and live by the same rules. It's amazing that some people think that that's asking a lot.

Yes. This. Exactly. Go read the whole thing.

Also, from LiveScience, an infographic on the spread of income/power iniquity in the U.S.

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No, your eyes are not deceiving you when you see the cycle of the wealth gap in this country.

No wonder why many school districts have cut back on teaching post-Civil War U.S. history in schools. If more people realized that we were making the exact same damn mistakes over, and over, and over again, things would get real ugly hereabouts.

Why yes, history is a weapon, provided you educate yourself and use what you've learned. You can start with buying Howard Zinn's book to see how the shit hit the fan before. And by seeing what happened before, you can definitely see how the shit hit the fan again.

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Ask the Person Who: Grew Up in a Haunted House

I've been thinking about doing this for awhile now, and have held off for various reasons.

But I've decided: 'Tis the season! And what's the season without a little old ghost story?

In this case, a ghost story that's roughly 40 years old and still going strong.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Liz! What's with the woo? You're all about the science!"

To which I must answer, "Indeed. I'm a hard-core skeptic, especially when it comes to claims that some place is haunted."

The irony is this: If I didn't grow up in a house that was haunted, I'm pretty sure I'd be much less of a skeptic about these things. And honestly? That's not at all unusual for people who've grown up in for-reals haunted spaces. They tend to be the biggest skeptics of all when it comes to claims about hauntings (and by extension, all things woo — like UFOs and pyramid power).

It's because we know, man. We know.

So, I offer myself up for questions about growing up in a haunted house.

But first, I'll try to get some of your questions out of the way with a FAQ of the ghosts that still (un)live in the house in which I grew up.

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Wow. That went on longer than I thought. And I'm sure there are lots of questions out there.

So have at it. I will answer questions as they come in between now and November 1, 2011.

I will answer all of them (it just may take me awhile).

I'll tackle them in the evening, when I actually have time to respond.

And no, this isn't a joke. I'm not making anything up. I'm being deadly serious.

But it's okay if you laugh.

I'd laugh, too.

If, y'know, I didn't grow up in the house that I did.

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