gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, on a fairly hot day in Los Angeles. But 91 degrees F doesn't feel like much compared to last weekend, when it was around 112 degrees in my neighborhood. I hope we don't have any more extreme heatwaves this summer.

I have watched season four of Orange Is the New Black. Until the last couple of episodes, I might have said it was my favorite season, but I had issues with the storytelling decisions towards the end of the season. I wasn't spoiled, but I was prepared for Something Extremely Upsetting by nonspoilery reactions on Twitter. I'm not sure whether the storytelling decisions were warranted or merely gratuitous and ill-advised, but I'm leaning towards the latter.

I'm reading and loving the final volume of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan series. I've tried to space the books out so I wouldn't finish the series too quickly. I suppose eventually I can try Ferrante's earlier work.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
Last weekend I got sucked into watching a late-night Mork and Mindy marathon on cable. I remembered some of the episodes they showed (notably the one where Mork tries to convince Mindy to marry him with a frenetic song-and-dance routine), but I wasn't clear whether I'd ever seen some of the others. I remember being a huge fan of the show's first season (I was thirteen), but I may have tuned out for awhile and tuned back in for the final season (in which Mork and Mindy get married, and Mork gives birth to Jonathan Winters (!)).

Yesterday I did some poking around the Internet and discovered this episode, which I'm pretty sure is my favorite of the whole series. I was surprised how thoroughly I remembered it, considering it aired in 1979 and I hadn't seen it since. My guess is that I'd taped it on my dad's VCR and watched it a bunch of times. The episode mines the trope of the unemotional space alien and what happens when his suppressed emotions boil to the surface. There couldn't have been a more perfect premise for Robin Williams' improvisatory talents. (The voice of Mork's fear sounds just like Peter Lorre.)

In some ways Mork and Mindy hasn't aged particularly well; it can be dated and corny (and the job of most of the supporting cast was, simply, to keep a straight face). But Williams' performance cuts through all that.

gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, on a warmish day (while a Gilmore Girls rerun airs on SOAPnet and I mourn the cancellation of Bunheads). Though the weather hasn't been too broiling, we're having un-LA-like humidity, which I hate. I'm dreaming of autumn, though autumn weather doesn't usually show up in LA until the end of October.

I've been working on the Jo book and other writing projects, and tackling a massive weekend to-do list. Also I've been rewatching the Dark Shadows Ghost of Quentin Collins storyline, in which David and Amy become creepy possessed children à la The Turn of the Screw. Good times.

As usual, the weekend is just too darn short.
gwynnega: (Robert/Anna)
From [livejournal.com profile] handful_ofdust and others, the year-end fandom meme:

Your main fandom of the year?
General Hospital. At the beginning of the year it was unwatchable and probably a breath away from cancellation, but Ron Carlivati and Frank Valentini have made it must-see TV (for the first time in well over a decade). I cannot describe how very fannish I feel about the presence of Anna Devane, Cesar Faison, Robert Scorpio, and Lucy Coe on my TV once more.

Your favorite film you watched this year?
Of the films I saw in a theater (not too many), probably The Avengers. Runner-up: Dark Shadows (though more for the experience of watching it in a theater full of hardcore fans than for the actual movie). Recently I rewatched Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist on cable a couple of times each and fell in love with them all over again (especially Rosemary's Baby).

Your favorite book read this year?
Contemporary novel: Delia Sherman's The Freedom Maze. Runners-up: Available Dark and Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand, and Blackout by Mira Grant.

Classic novel: The Bostonians by Henry James (which I spent many enjoyable months reading on dailylit.com).

Your favorite album or song to listen to this year?
Music that came out this year: Theatre Is Evil by Amanda Palmer (especially "Do It With a Rock Star," "Massachusetts Avenue" and "Melody Dean").

I listened to a TON of 1970s music this year while revising the Jo book. According to last.fm, my top 2 most-played songs of the year were "Cracked Actor" by David Bowie and "Where To Now St. Peter?" by Elton John, and I'm not in the least surprised.

Your favorite TV show of the year?
General Hospital, hands down. Runner-up: Homeland, which delivered probably the best hour of TV I saw all year (though a few episodes later it nearly jumped the shark). (Also it must be said that I spent many hours this year rewatching Dark Shadows, and now that I own the complete boxed set, this will surely continue.)

Your best new fandom discovery of the year?
It took several episodes for me to warm to it, but I am getting quite fond of Nashville.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?
One Life To Live going off the air in January. (It may be back via Prospect Park next year, though I'll believe it when I see it.) Also Days of Our Lives starting out the year revitalized (especially with the hot, subtextual EJ/Will relationship) and then turning dull dull dull when the head writers got replaced. This season's Dexter was pretty disappointing, as well.

Your fandom boyfriend of the year?
Ron Carlivati, maybe? He is certainly my fandom hero.

Your fandom girlfriend of the year?
Anna Devane all the way!!

Your biggest squee moment of the year?
"Duke Lavery" turning out to be Faison in a Duke mask. Anna and Faison coming face to face for the first time since the early 90s. Robert melting off Faison's Duke face with fondue.

The most missed of your old fandoms?
I do miss the Buffy days (though back then the Buffyverse took over my brain to the extent that I could barely write anything but fanfic).

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?
Well, enough people seem to love Once Upon a Time (I only saw the first couple of episodes) that I want to give it another go.

Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?
Not to sound like a broken record, but...General Hospital's fiftieth anniversary, and all the cast returns that will likely ensue as part of the celebration.
gwynnega: (Default)
From [personal profile] handful_ofdust and others, the year-end fandom meme:

Your main fandom of the year?
General Hospital. At the beginning of the year it was unwatchable and probably a breath away from cancellation, but Ron Carlivati and Frank Valentini have made it must-see TV (for the first time in well over a decade). I cannot describe how very fannish I feel about the presence of Anna Devane, Cesar Faison, Robert Scorpio, and Lucy Coe on my TV once more.

Your favorite film you watched this year?
Of the films I saw in a theater (not too many), probably The Avengers. Runner-up: Dark Shadows (though more for the experience of watching it in a theater full of hardcore fans than for the actual movie). Recently I rewatched Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist on cable a couple of times each and fell in love with them all over again (especially Rosemary's Baby).

Your favorite book read this year?
Contemporary novel: Delia Sherman's The Freedom Maze. Runners-up: Available Dark and Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand, and Blackout by Mira Grant.

Classic novel: The Bostonians by Henry James (which I spent many enjoyable months reading on dailylit.com).

Your favorite album or song to listen to this year?
Music that came out this year: Theatre Is Evil by Amanda Palmer (especially "Do It With a Rock Star," "Massachusetts Avenue" and "Melody Dean").

I listened to a TON of 1970s music this year while revising the Jo book. According to last.fm, my top 2 most-played songs of the year were "Cracked Actor" by David Bowie and "Where To Now St. Peter?" by Elton John, and I'm not in the least surprised.

Your favorite TV show of the year?
General Hospital, hands down. Runner-up: Homeland, which delivered probably the best hour of TV I saw all year (though a few episodes later it nearly jumped the shark). (Also it must be said that I spent many hours this year rewatching Dark Shadows, and now that I own the complete boxed set, this will surely continue.)

Your best new fandom discovery of the year?
It took several episodes for me to warm to it, but I am getting quite fond of Nashville.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?
One Life To Live going off the air in January. (It may be back via Prospect Park next year, though I'll believe it when I see it.) Also Days of Our Lives starting out the year revitalized (especially with the hot, subtextual EJ/Will relationship) and then turning dull dull dull when the head writers got replaced. This season's Dexter was pretty disappointing, as well.

Your fandom boyfriend of the year?
Ron Carlivati, maybe? He is certainly my fandom hero.

Your fandom girlfriend of the year?
Anna Devane all the way!!

Your biggest squee moment of the year?
"Duke Lavery" turning out to be Faison in a Duke mask. Anna and Faison coming face to face for the first time since the early 90s. Robert melting off Faison's Duke face with fondue.

The most missed of your old fandoms?
I do miss the Buffy days (though back then the Buffyverse took over my brain to the extent that I could barely write anything but fanfic).

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?
Well, enough people seem to love Once Upon a Time (I only saw the first couple of episodes) that I want to give it another go.

Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?
Not to sound like a broken record, but...General Hospital's fiftieth anniversary, and all the cast returns that will likely ensue as part of the celebration.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
I hope all of you in Sandy's path stay safe and dry.

Meanwhile, on a totally unrelated note, is anyone on my FL watching Homeland? It has become pretty much my favorite night-time TV show, and last night's episode floored me.

A good piece by Maureen Ryan: 'Homeland' Season 2: The Scariest Thing To Love
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
Well, I still haven't seen The Avengers, but I have seen the new Dark Shadows film.

I had long looked forward to this film--until the first trailer came out, when I began to worry that this might be yet another charmless remake of a classic TV show. Many old-school fans were rubbed the wrong way by the jokiness of the trailers (and by some less-than-respectful comments from Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter). I had already purchased a ticket for a special screening for fans, and I wondered if it would devolve into a hate-fest, with disgruntled old-school fans booing. But the screening was at the Vista Theatre (five minutes from my apartment), so I couldn't very well not go--and I'm glad I did, so I could be won over along with, as far as I could tell, pretty much the whole audience of hardcore Dark Shadows fans.

Dark Shadows the movie is about 1000% better than I was expecting. The tone is just right--there is humor, but there is also depth. Johnny Depp's Barnabas is as complex as Jonathan Frid's, and he captures the essential pathos and fish-out-of-water discomfort (along with bloodlust, romantic yearning, and love of family) of the character. In fact most of the cast did a great job of making the characters their own. I particularly liked Chloe Moretz's hilariously sullen take on Carolyn Stoddard. spoiler ) Helena Bonham Carter almost made me forgive her snide comments with her marvelous performance as Dr. Julia Hoffman. (She may think the acting in the original Dark Shadows was "borderline bad"--but I think she channeled Grayson Hall!)

The only weak link was Eva Green as a very one-note Angelique the witch, with none of the layers or charisma Lara Parker brought to the role. (And okay, I may be biased because Lara Parker is a friend of mine, but still!)

The script did some unexpectedly witty things with canon. The TV show had often used the characters Victoria Winters and Maggie Evans interchangeably (with waitress Maggie ending up with Vicki's governess job when Vicki left the canvas), and I had assumed the film would simply include either Vicki or Maggie and drop the other. Instead, Maggie Evans uses "Victoria Winters" as an assumed name.

To my pleasant surprise (and relief) the film feels true to the spirit of Dark Shadows, and it has quite a bit of charm in its own right.

TV Guide (Michael Logan): The Scoop on Dark Shadows From Tim Burton, Helena Bonham-Carter and The Original Cast

NPR: 'Dark Shadows': The Birth Of The Modern TV Vampire

Dark Shadows News Page: Lara Parker On The Dark Shadows Movie
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I've finished chapter 21 of this draft of the Jo book, and am working on chapter 22 (though it's a tough one).

Word count: 65,553

Page count: 229

Four chapters to go?!

***

Today is General Hospital's 49th anniversary. I do hope ABC lets it live until 50, at least. Someone posted a cool early GH promo on YouTube, and to my surprise, it also features a promo for the ABC daytime show my dad wrote, Day in Court. As far as I know, this is the only available footage of the show, as ABC wiped the tapes. I hadn't realized that the show my dad wrote was GH's lead-in! I did know that my dad knew Frank and Doris Hursley, GH's creators, but now I understand why--they were working for ABC Daytime at the same time!

gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
The henna is on my head on this chilly damp day, and it's making me cold. I need to turn up the heat or make another pot of coffee. Or maybe both.

I'm enjoying having an extra hour of weekend, even though the time change always makes me feel discombobulated. This weekend I've been working on the Jo book, reading [personal profile] seanan_mcguire's One Salt Sea, and rewatching Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst for Jo book research. I also watched episode #2 of Once Upon a Time, which I liked better than the pilot, though I'm still not entirely sold on the show. (Revenge, on the other hand, has me utterly hooked.) And I bought a copy of The Midwich Cuckoos at Bookfellows, which was having a sale.

Autumn is my favorite season, but I am in no way ready for the holiday season to be almost upon us.

weekend

Oct. 2nd, 2011 08:57 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
This weekend has just flown by. Today I went to the West Hollywood Book Fair, which was a lot of fun, though we've been having another blast of summer weather and I got too much sun. My friend Lara Parker did a panel with her fellow Dark Shadows actress Kathryn Leigh Scott, plus Julie Newmar; Dark Delicacies bookstore owner Del Howison moderated. It was great to get a chance to chat with Lara Parker, and I bought a copy of Kathryn Leigh Scott's new vampire novel, Dark Passages.

Also this weekend I worked a lot on the Jo book, and watched the Doctor Who finale (loved it) and the Dexter season opener. Next up, The Good Wife and Dirty Soap. Why is there so much good TV on Sunday nights all of a sudden?
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I'm drinking Rhysling and enjoying the tailend of my weekend. Today has included: noveling (revising and researching the Jo book), watching Dark Shadows (Julia Hoffman accidentally turns Barnabas into an old man, oh noes! and he must drink blood to look younger again, so lovestruck Julia volunteers, but Barnabas demurs and instead attacks Carolyn, who lets out a bloodcurdling scream), working on a poem, and watching Dexter and Sherlock.

I am enjoying the hell out of Sherlock, which, like the best Sherlock Holmes media, makes me fannish about Holmes all over again (and also makes me want to write a Holmes story, which I've wanted to do for many, many years).

Sherlock Holmes was probably my first fandom (unless you count the Oz books). I was aided and abetted by my father, who took me to a day-long Holmes conference at UCLA when I was maybe ten years old, who bought me the Annotated Sherlock Holmes and took me to meetings of the Noncanonical Calabashes. (I was the youngest member, probably by at least thirty years.) Christopher Lee gave a wonderful, witty talk at one of these meetings. Around the same time (sometime in the mid-70s?), I also saw Leonard Nimoy play Holmes in a theatrical production! I think the pre-teen Holmes geek I was would be glad to know I'm still having fannish Holmes moments...
gwynnega: (Barry Ryan)
It looks like our latest massive rainstorms are done (in time for the Superbowl, for those who care--I'm not one of 'em). I just popped out to Trader Joe's (packed full of people shopping for Superbowl parties), and before I could leave for TJ's, found the Garage Kitty parked behind my back left tire, waiting to spring into meowing action. So she got tuna. She seems to be holding up despite the cold, wet weather.

I woke up this morning thinking about chapter 27 of the Jo book. That's the final chapter of the book, though I'm still in the midst of chapter 25. So today I've written about 550 words of chapter 27, plus tinkered with chapter 25. After dinner (little burgers from TJ's), there will be more work on chapter 25.

I've been watching the BBC miniseries of Portrait of a Lady, which is unaccountably like watching paint dry--but I can't stop watching, because Richard Chamberlain is marvelous as Ralph Touchett, and I love Beatrix Lehmann and Rachel Gurney. But why does it suck so badly (aside from having one or two of the more egregiously bad faux-American accents ever)? It's written by Jack Pulman of I Claudius fame! Hmph.

I've just watched a '70s TV production of Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! featuring young Richard Backus and young Victor Garber! And the other night I caught part of the Leslie Howard version of Romeo and Juliet. Howard managed to make his Romeo appealing (though he was at least twenty years too old for the role) and Basil Rathbone was a fantastic Tybalt, but I was amazed by what pains they took to make John Barrymore's (ha! I just wrote John Berryman!) Mercutio appear heterosexual. Maybe I'm too used to John McEnery's very in-love-with-Romeo Mercutio from the Zeffirelli film, but I did a double take every time John Barrymore flirted with the bevy of dialogueless women who'd apparently been put there solely for that purpose.

weekend

Oct. 25th, 2009 11:11 pm
gwynnega: (Default)
Today I:

Worked a lot on chapter 19 of the Jo book. It still needs a ton of work, but I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Read NANA #18 and continued to read Edmund White's City Boy.

Fed the Garage Kitty twice. (She spent the bulk of the day napping in the summer-ish heat.)

Watched the latest Dexter and Mad Men. Wow, that was some seriously good TV.


I only have to go to the office two days this week, hooray! Really looking forward to World Fantasy.
gwynnega: (Default)
Mad Men season finale )

BPAL and RH

Oct. 4th, 2007 01:35 pm
gwynnega: (Roger Coleridge)
Got my BPAL order last night: Pumpkin Patch #1, 3, and 5, plus a bunch of frimps. This morning I tried Pumpkin #5.

PUMPKIN V
Pumpkin with benzoin, bourbon vanilla, lemon peel, neroli, blood orange, and red ginger.

In the bottle it smells almost identical to Pumpkin Queen, which I love. Wet, it's very similar too, but a little more tangy. When it dried down, it turned to a sort of orange chocolate scent, which I guess is the blood orange and the vanilla, and the pumpkin mostly vanished. A sweeter, less complex scent than Pumpkin Queen, but I like it.

***

So far I've been successfully avoiding all the new TV shows, as I don't want to add more TV watching time to my schedule. I may try Pushing Daisies, though, since everyone loves it. I wanted to watch Supernatural last night, but I got started dl'ing too late, so I must wait to see it tonight, argh!!!

Ryan's Hope has been amazing this week, especially Bernard Barrow (Johnny), Michael Levin (Jack), Ilene Kristen (Delia), and most of all, Ron Hale (Roger). The only real weak link is the wooden, teleprompter-reading Michael Hawkins (Frank #1)...especially painful if you've seen the excellent actors who followed him in the role.

***

I worked on the chapter three revisions at lunch today, as every day this week. Doing a lot of rethinking and embroidering, scribbling longhand on the draft. This weekend I'll sit down at the computer and try to make sense of all the scribbles.

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