Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Finally got my Buffy DVDs but it's only seasons 1 to 5. Still, I managed to watch 5 eps last night, and then pack for my vacation. I am ti-red, but in a good way.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hulu and the parallels between The Whedonverse and the Rowlingverse

My Buffy DVDs still aren't here so I'm watching it on For a few days there, I forgot about Hulu. Then I decided that since I bought the DVDs, I'd rather wait and watch on my big TV instead of the little netbook. Plus, Hulu freezes on me sometimes and that's kind of annoying.
However, tonight I gave in and watched the What's My Line Pt 1 and 2 where Willow and Oz finally meet, Xander and Cordelia hook up, Kendra the Vampire Slayer shows up, and Drucilla becomes strong again. In these two episodes in Season Two the show deepened and broadened.

A few thoughts, fresh from watching:
1. Drucilla and Spike make me think of River and Simon from Firefly. Dru/River is the weak/crazy one who needs looking after but then becomes the really strong ones who protect Spike/Simon. The difference though is Drucilla and Spike's devotion is based on lust and River and Simon's on sibling love.
2. Introducing Kendra from a different country is like the Quidditch World Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The larger world of the supernatural/wizards is brought to the main characters' world. The mythology of the story is cracked open and set in a global context, which I just love.

Goblet of Fire is my favorite HP book because of that. JKRowling called it her pivotal book where the series grows up, opens up, and introduces more explicitly more serious issues like rights for all sentients beings, and the reality of Voldemort and evil comes out.

And the romantic relationships among the main characters in both series become more serious too. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the rest of Buffy develops. Not sure what I think of Xander and Cordelia but it could give hints of how Zoe and Wash got together. Because not everyone gets them at first.

Sigh. I love Zoe and Wash.

ETA on July 28: just got a call that I have a package waiting for me. Is it finally my Buffy DVDs? Now I'm extra motivated to finish this freaking grant proposal and go home to find out.

Up Early

Both Husband and I are up early. In my case, hours earlier than usual. Part of it is the stress of what I have to get done before going out of town. Part of it is just hunger, since I didn't have very much dinner last night.

My goal today is to finish a draft of the grant proposal and then I can reward myself by stopping at Knitch to get some yarn for a new project. We will ignore for the moment that I have 4 works in progress.

I really liked the blanket I gave my friend Darija and want to make one for myself. I have 2 balls of Berroco Foliage in the Carnations colorway. It's got light turquoise, lime green, lemon yellow, and hot pink, colors that are a bit outside my usual palette, like the colors in Darija's blanket.

I have some turquoise and pink yarns in my stash already so I want to go to Knitch and pick up some lime green and lemon yellow. Maybe some kind of purple too. I'm also going to add some orange from the stash.

The yarn is wool, but so is the yarn for my modified Hermia cardigan and that hasn't stopped me. It helps to have airconditioning. And the Foliage yarn is just so pretty! I figure the yarn will cost me about $25.

This will be my reward for getting through this week (already did some stress-induced crying). Plus a celebration of the fact that I got the house in Austell rented out! The new tenant is the son of the neighbor across the street, the tenant's new bride and possibly his grandfather.

I checked the weather for Buffalo, where we're going for Husband's family reunion later this week. The weather ranges from the 60s to the high 70s F. Wool knitting won't be a problem. Plus I have a cotton baby blanket that I can work on when the weather's hot.

This will probably be the last time I use Bernat's Cotton Tots yarn. It's really soft but lightly spun so it sheds like crazy. The yarn is white and I usually wear black and other dark colors, so I have white lint all over me everytime I work on it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Working on Sunday

I have 2 grant proposals due before going out of town on Wed for Husband's family reunion in New York state.

So I'm at work trying to get it done. However, instead I am watching the Dollhouse panel videos on YouTube. But now that I've finished watching, maybe I'll actually get something done.

In other news, I went to 2 yarn shops this week, filled up my arms with yarn, and then put them all back. I should really knit down my current stash. And I have yarns grouped together for projects. But it's fun to see what's out there.

Okay, back to work. I need to get a draft of one of these proposals completed before I leave for the day.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

First dinner party at new place

Quite the utilitarian title, I know.

Last night Husband and I had our first dinner party at the new place. Arguably, the first dinner part ever. When we lived in Austell, we had a few parties but we lived so far out in the suburbs, I had friends say that they couldn't make it.

It was a rather grown-up affair. We invited 2 other couples: the friends we went to the Braves game with last Friday (the Buffy fans) and one of the other attorneys at Husband's firm, and his wife, who is also an attorney. A former Assistant US Attorney General, in fact.

Who could I invite who would get along with these people? I invited a guy who is an attorney who is also an executive director of a nonprofit organization, which is how I know him. More importantly, he's a really personable guy who could talk to anyone. However I have not yet met his wife who apparently is on the shy side. The dinner party was kind of a last minute thing and they didn't have much notice for getting a baby sitter. Plus his mom just went into hospice and so he's not quite in the social mood. Next time I'll give them more notice.

And, we actually ate at the dining room table.

Husband set the menu, which had a Spanish theme. There were 2 kinds of paella: seafood and chicken, an assortment of cheeses, salami, and preserved seafood things (okay, tins of mussel and octopus), blanched asparagus, and for dessert angel food cake with vanilla ice cream and raspberries. Husband did everything, I just made the sangria.

A happy coincidence: The former AUSAG just got back from visiting their daughter in Spain. She was doing a summer exchange thing. So they brought Spanish wine.

A good time was had by all, and people left at about midnight. Before the Buffy fans left, I lent them my Firefly DVD set. I will convert them yet.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Waiting, waiting

Sigh. Still no Buffy. And I'm reading lots of good reviews of Torchwood Season Three. It's the next thing in my Netflix queue, but it doesn't get released until next week.

And so I keep waiting.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Is it here yet?

Just got a call from the front desk of my condo. I have a package waiting for me.

Oh! Could it be my Buffy videos?!? I hope so. I'm just at the point where I'll find out how Xander and Cordelia get together (thanks Wikipedia and your summary of all 144 episodes). Is that how Wash and Zoe got together?

On Monday, I got together with some other executive directors of nonprofits and I mentioned my BtVS fixation. I mean, I've been staying up until 2 am watching videos and knitting. One of my friends asked "Escapism much?" My answer is "Yes!"

Plus, the guy to plays Xander is such a little cutie. Why not escape to Sunnydale for a few hours?

In other fun news, Husband is inviting people over for dinner on Friday, including the Buffy fans. I'll see if I can't convert them over to the Firefly love too.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Last night Husband and I went to see the Braves vs. Mets with two friends: one of Husband's former colleagues and her husband. They're Mets fans and we're Braves fans. Actually I'm not really into baseball or sports really, but still take pleasure in noting that the Braves won, 11 to 0. Yes, we trounced them.

They turned out to be huge Buffy and Gaiman fans. They even have the Buffy comics. She even contemplated going to Dragoncon (held in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend) this year but they'll be in Canada at that time.

Friday I had a long lunch with some peers -- people who also head up nonprofit organizations -- and we all commiserated about how tough things are in this economy. For better or for worse, in front of my staff I try to keep an upbeat and realistic front. People know things are uncertain, but I try not to be full of doom and gloom. With my peers, however, I feel I can drop that facade and really say what I think and feel. So while it was nice to have that kind of supportive space, ultimately it was kind of a downer day.

Once we got to the game, thngs looked up. We spent the evening talking about Buffy and a little bit about Firefly. They've seen all the Buffy episodes and only a few Firefly though they liked Serenity. We talked Neil Gaiman. We talked other fantasy and sci fi. It was great. The fact that I accidentally dropped my hotdog just as I got back to my seat and had to get another one did nothing to dampen my spirits.

They're coming over for dinner next week and I'll loan them my copy of Firefly. I will convert them just as Sister converted me. And I also ordered my own (used) copy of Buffy seasons 1 to 7 on Amazon. I had been borrowing them from Brother One's friend, but now, I decided, if I'm staying up until 2am just to watch Buffy, then I really should invest in my own copy. Besides, it was only $116 for all 7 seasons. That's a great deal!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Buffy Season One: Whedon and Maeve Binchy

Just finished watching season one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Joss Whedon fan, but never watched BtVS so thought I should rectify that.

As a fan of Firefly and now Dollhouse, it's interesting to see how the strong female characters play out in these three different shows and how the male characters relate.

I'm a fan of the Zoe and Wash relationship in Firefly. Zoe's the strong warrior woman who everyone acknowledges can kill you with her pinky. That's part of the appeal for Wash, the pilot. He's also strong with the muscles and all but he's also the laid-back witty one and chooses not to use physical strength most of the time. In the origins episode we see that Zoe really didn't like Wash at first. But other than in that flashback, they're an established married couple.

In Buffy, Xander and Cordelia don't like each other throughout the first season. But in later seasons, they become a couple. I'm looking forward to seeing how that plays out. maybe that's how Zoe and Wash got together. And yes, I know I'm speculating just a bit too much about fictional characters from a show cancelled long ago.

Cordelia makes me think of Adelle Dewitt from Dollhouse. Cordelia's the popular girl who makes fun of Buffy, Willow, and Xander. But in the second to last episode of season one, she turns to Buffy for help and mentions that she's lonely too, but would rather be lonely and popular, rather than lonely and unpopular.

If we think about popularity as power in the high school setting, then in Dollhouse, the parallel is DeWitt head of the Dollhouse. And yet she's also lonely, as is Topher, another powerfcul character. He's the science genious who programs the dolls and yet both DeWitt and Topher had to program dolls to be their lover and friend, respectively.

So far, my favorite Buffy characters are Willow, Xander, and Cordelia. Buffy is the heroine with some of the stock tropes of being the hero: brave, smart, struggling with her destiny as well as being a normal teen. But the secondary characters are the ones who grow the most. Willow goes from smart nerdy sidekick to become a witch, then Dark Willow, and back to good Willow. Xander goes from goofy sidekick to hero, all without gaining any super powers. Cordelia goes from being the mean girl nemesis to being part of the gang. Those story arcs interest me.

In Firefly, my favorite characters are Zoe and Wash, for reasons mentioned above, and Jayne. He's like Cordelia. He's the mercenary who switched sides to join Mal and crew, but he has his own code and priorities. For the right price, he'd sell out the crew and did in Ariel. If the series had continued, it would have been really interesting to see how else the relationship between Jayne and crew would have been tested and or broken. With Cordelia, her character left Buffy to join Angel. Here's another character who switches sides, yet again. Haven't watched any Angel yet, but that's in my Netflix queue too.

On Dollhouse, I'm most interested in Adelle and Topher, for reasons mentioned above, and Sierra and Victor. What are the backstories of those dolls? In the episode Needs, we found out that Sierra became a doll against her will, and that Victor loves her. But what's his story? We didn't get it. And I'd love to see more Alpha, but that's because I have a thing for Alan Tudyk.

By the way, The Park Bench (see my blogroll) is polling for Nerd Man of the Month and I suggested Tudyk. It does my fan girl heart good to see that many others are seconding my Tudyk suggestion.

Back to regularly scheduled blogpost:

I mentioned Maeve Binchy because she takes the same characters and settings and plays them out differently each time. There's always the outsider who may or may not be accepted. In some books s/he is, in others s/he isn't. There's the wise older woman who sees all but doesn't say much. In some books, that works out well, in others it doesn't. And so on.

I know many authors work that way and now that I'm getting in Neil Gaiman, it'll be interesting to see how he works too. What characters, or situations, or values he uses again and again.

eta: note to self -- here's a link to an inteview with Whedon prior to the release of Serenity:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chocolate Box -- need another name

Last night I finished the Chocolate Box afghan. Imay still give it a border of black. New Yorker magazine included for scale.

The pattern is called Chocolate Box in Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks, because she used browns for her sample. But surely there's another name for it that's not based on its colors but more on its structure. If anyone knows, please let me know.

In any case, I'm really happy with the way it turned out. There's a little bit of yarn left over, a few yards here and there. Those I'll save for another afghan or maybe I'll make them up into flowers for embellishing some future project like some knit and felted purses.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ready for the Guests

Today 12 of Husband's family and friends from Madison, WI and Buffalo, NY are coming for the weekend. Brother-in-law is running the Peachtree Road Race of July 4.

Mother-in-law, B-i-l, and his wife will be staying at our place. So Husband has been cleaning and scrubbing for weeks. The result:
Our place will most likely never be this clean again.

This is what the refrigerator looks like now. Please know that this is NOT how our refrigerator usually looks. We don't normally have a zillion beers in there. Not pictured: the 40+ bottles of our second batch of homebrew beer.

Here's the schedule:

Today: The Madison crew, Husband's immediate family, arrives at 4pm today. The Buffalo crew, the extended family and friends, arrive at 9pm.

Tomorrow: I take Husband's family to the Georgia Aquarium for the afternoon, Husband and his mother will go food shopping and fill up the rest of the refrigerator. Then we all, including my own Brother One, will convene at our place for dinner. And probably drink all that beer. Well, we are talking about 15 people.

Saturday: Brother-in-Law runs the Peachtree Road Race, the other 14 of us go watch him. After race lunch at the Varsity, home of hotdogs, burgers, and more salt and calories than you can count. Not sure what the afternoon holds, probably a nap. Reconvene at our place for dinner and fireworks. We're up on the 23rd floor, facing Centennial Olympic Park and should have a great view of the fireworks.

Sunday: everyone goes home.

Monday: Husband's goes to court for trial. Husband's an attorney and will be there representing client. I may take Monday off. Not sure yet.

Let the festivities begin! Hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday.