The bronchitis is gone, thankfully, but I have still had sinus issues off and on. There were a few weeks that it seemed like everything was going to be okay, and then I relapsed again last week. This seems to coincide with the times when there is rain or a "cold snap" (i.e. the temperature dips below 90.) I think it is probably allergy-related. I attended a wedding in Austin, TX last Saturday, four hours from where I live.
I carpooled with three other people, and may have passed my ick along to one of them. It was overcast and rainy nearly the whole time - but my sinuses cleared the moment that the sun came out and the temperature rose again.
This happened at the wedding. Several people got a picture of it. Here's mine.
In other news, I'm still listening to David Bowie pretty much nonstop. I still can't believe he's really gone. This week, my replay of choice has been this album:
I never finished my multi-post unpacking of my 22-year Buckaroo Banzai fandom. It would be easier to just write the fic, but there has been one thing that I posted to Tumblr last month:
As much as I love The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, I have a couple of bones to pick with the narrative. I’ve been attempting to unpack some of it over at my livejournal, but for some reason I feel like this goes here. I’ll probably end up crossposting this over there as well. I’m going to be linking like crazy to TV Tropes for examples, so, if you end up clicking and falling into a nine hour TV Tropes hole, I apologize in advance.
So, Buckaroo’s original love interest Peggy was fridged in a narrative that was touched upon in the film, but was further explored as a part of the backstory in the novelization of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension. We meet the down-on-her-luck Penny Priddy, who displays hidden depths as the story as the story progresses. The novel rather anvilliciously implies that Penny is actually a mindwiped Peggy; an arc that was explored to its logical conclusion in both the circa-1986-87 fanzine-only fanfic The Penny Paradox, by Leni Sommer and Peggy Spaulding, and Ernest Cline’s fan sequel script for Buckaroo Banzai Against The World Crime League. The film Across The Eighth Dimension sidesteps this part of the plot altogether. The novel places the responsibility for Peggy’s death (and her new existence as “Penny”) at the door of problematicFu Manchuexpy Hanoi Xan, Buckaroo’s original and ultimate archenemy.
When it was just Peggy being fridged and maybe unfridged just the one time, it was a reflection on how creepily fixated Xan was on controlling Buckaroo’s love life and personal relationships. One is reminded of this scene with the Joker and Lex Luthor from DC comics, below, in regards to Xan’s obsession with B. Banzai in general:
But the Buckaroo Banzai comics which came out circa 2006-2007 went and fridged Penny/Peggy again, turning it into something more like the Cartwright Curse. Which is a shame, considering how much detail was spent on Penny’s characterization in the novel (I know most of you didn’t read the novel, but whatever) and considering how much this kind of thing happens in popular media franchises in general. It also kind of sucks in the face of the erasure of the canon female characters from the film Buckaroo Banzai: Across The Eighth Dimension (Pecos, Big Norse, etc.)
The comics seem to suggest that Xan has a cloning operation where he just keeps churning out identical, expendable Penny/Peggy clones.
The Penny Paradox suggests that Peggy and Penny were actually twin sisters separated at a young age and adopted out to different parents, but that Penny’s actual fate is unknown - though she was presumably removed from the equation a long time ago by Xan.
The thing is, I hate this. I hate the idea of Penny just being a sad sack victim of Xan’s mechanations, and a plot device so Buckaroo has to deal with man!pain.
In the unauthorized extrapolation of The Penny Paradox that I was working on (since there was no actual film sequel, the Paradox WAS my fanon sequel for the longest time, and I can’t unsee it) the idea I was running with is that there’s a narrative we don’t know about, where Penny became this badass who sacrificed herself to save the world. Clues alluding to her heroic story would be found by scattered members of Team Banzai, (the likes of which, when assembled, could have provided fodder for a symphonic metal rock opera by the likes of Nightwish or even Dethklok.) She now exists as a guiding spirit, a vengeful angel not unlike Taarna the Taarakian.
I dunno, this is probably just a lot of Bailey’s-soaked ranting, but I really want to write this now.
Someone who talked me out of suicide in 2004 has kind of gone off the chain.
In the "I'm actually the incarnation of Jesus Christ here to rapture all of the Indigo Children" way.
The last time I tried to intervene in something like this, I ended up getting sucked in, and then ended up evicted and several hundred dollars in debt. There's literally nothing I can do but watch this person implode over Twitter.
(EDIT: I have completely re-written this since I originally posted it Saturday.)
The fanfic titled The Penny Paradox, by Leni R. Sommer and Peggy Spaulding, covered the months after the events of Buckaroo Banzai: Across The Eighth Dimension. (It is also available here.) My peer group circa 1993-1995 accepted this fanfic as "canon" in lieu of an actual sequel to The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai: Across The Eighth Dimension. It influenced my own Buckaroo Banzai fanfic, which was essentially a continuation of The Penny Paradox, long before the Buckaroo Banzai comic book was released, or there was any news of a possible TV series in the works - which ultimately failed to materialize, due to the franchise being stuck in Development Hell for decades.
Not just because it's an extra 30 bucks a month I will not be spending - but because I need access to my journals from that long ago, before blogging was a thing, and I kept all of my thoughts written down in spiral notebooks.
Because when I'm re-writing a fic that I originally tried to write during 2001-2002, I not only need access to my character notes from back then. I need to know what was going through my head when I first got sucked into these fandoms in the early 1990s and was first plotting the storylines that eventually became my Buckaroo Banzai/X Files fic from 2001-2002.
I know - super important, earthshaking stuff. The truth is, having this info will also help me remember just what the hell was going on with *me* back in those days. Teenage me was a self-absorbed, avoidant, vindictive person with a lot of delusions, but a lot of that happened because I was trying to erect coping mechanisms to deal with what my brain was trying to do to me, along with the utter breakdown and implosion of the first major social circle I was in outside my immediate family.
There was also the need to cast myself as the "hero" in the "movie" which was going on in my head - but most people do that until they learn not to, and why they shouldn't, if they're lucky and they mature enough to realize what they were doing. IMHO it is one of the major differences between people who are actual adults, and people who are still basically children in adult bodies.
I need to remember what I felt about a certain crack ship which became Absolutely Canon in my own head. I was operating from the Wendy Pini/Mercedes Lackey concept of the ships I was writing being ABSOLUTE PSYCHIC SOULMATES FOREVER - a literary trope which Misty eventually tried to walk back in her books, and Wendy Pini later simply redefined as a genetic biological imperative which was being acted upon by psychic science fiction phenomena. Because it's great as a teen fantasy, but that is not how adult relationships actually work.
But back when I was reading those books at 16-18 years of age, I had a starry-eyed vision of the perfect Poly Otherkin/Elf arrangement, an empathic union of souls. People I know as an actual adult have tried that kind of situation with varying levels of success or failure, but IRL it almost never looks like how Wendy Pini presented it in ElfQuest. I was actually mad at both Pini and ElfQuest for years because of this.
A lot of what I wrote is as creepy as the Twilight/50 Shades books can be, because there is a subplot of a young, barely-adult woman being in a state of RECOGNITION/Lifebonding with two men at the same time, both of whom are at least two decades older than she is. At 17 years of age in 1994, this was the most ~*~romantic~*~ thing I could think of, and it still was the most romantic thing I could imagine at 24-25 in 2001-2002, when I was writing it into my Buckaroo Banzai/X Files crossover. To my current adult mind, it's just problematic and horrifying.
So part of the reason that I want to unearth my old journals is, I really need to know if my memory serves me correctly, and I was really that screwed up in the head as a younger person. I would love to find an actual, more rational explanation for this ship, than "THEY'RE PSYCHIC SOULMATES AND IT'S PREDESTINED!!!111" but it's probably not there. Because I *was* that messed up as a young person, and the only thing I can do now is fix the story.
◾ Current Music:Dead Can Dance - In Power We Entrust The Love Advocated
Yves Adele Harlowe is quickly taking over as the central POV character in the Buckaroo Banzai/X Files/Lone Gunmen fanfic from 13 years ago that I am currently trying to rewrite. I don’t really think I can do anything about it at this point.
I've been procrastinating when it came to writing this, because returning to actual blogging is weird. But here goes...
Having seen the upset reactions to Homestuck's final Act, [S] Act 7, I am distinctly reminded of the controversy that raged over the ending of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows. I remember when the infamous Carpet Book began circulating, weeks before the book was released. (I worked at a data center in downtown Dallas at the time, under minimal supervision, and saved every single image file of the Carpet Book, and read the whole thing.) I remember people's reactions to the epilogue. "What? This has to be a hoax. Hahaha. No way Jo will end the book like this."
And then it wasn't a hoax, and the general railing against the Heavens, and the weeping and gnashing of teeth began. I remember the posts about how the ending was all wrong. It was too pat, and the nineteen-year time skip was too abrupt. About how the interaction between Harry and his son ("Albus Severus? This reads like bad fanfic!") was too twee and precious. Rants about how not enough was resolved. About how the ONE THING the fan in question had wanted to see had not happened, or the one thing they SWORE would make them stop reading and declare they hated JK Rowling for life had happened. About how the marriage to Ginny had come "out of nowhere" (even though it was obvious to me, and to other readers that Jo had only spent six books setting it up.)
Was I sort of disappointed that we didn't get to see a Draco Malfoy redemption arc? Well, sorta. But I didn't let it bother me too much. Stuff like that is what fanfic is for. And I'd expected a Tragic End for Snape, as much as I was hoping against it. But the sheer amount of shrieking, tearful, entitled, butthurt wrath that i was seeing from some of the other fans regarding the end and epilogue of Deathly Hallows ("Jo tricked us! She lied to us!" and other such vehement accusations) bordered on sheer insanity.
I'd like to report that though people are obviously upset, the Homestuck fandom has, for the most part (that I have seen, anyway) conducted themselves which much more maturity and decorum and restraint than I witnessed nine years ago from the Harry Potter fandom. But people are still pissed, for many of the same reasons.
And I think that part of the problem is that, like JK Rowling, Andrew Hussie had apparently planned and storyboarded the ending years in advance, just as JK Rowling wrote the epilogue years before she'd even begun work on Deathly Hallows. Both stories grew and changed and mutated as they were written, and it makes sense that people feel that the ending may not fit what the story ultimately became, in both cases.
This is the reason why I have never finished a fanfic, by the way. Oftentimes, a story will pop into my head, nearly complete, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. But in the writing of it, it shifts. It becomes its own thing. The circumstances get in the way, or my feelings, or current events that change the way I feel about a scene or a character or a situation. I get an idea about something that might work better. Before long, trying to stick to my original plan for the story is like trying to hold onto a slippery eel.
And sooner or later, the ending that I saw for the story just doesn't work, or doesn't feel right. And I break down, and lose faith in my ability to connect the dots. I chicken out and walk away from the story.
This is what happened with Watchmen: Multiverse - my Watchmen/Michael Moorcock's Multiverse crossover, and my most successful fanfic. And a lot of it had to do with 4chan /pco/ being what it is. I had a plotline devised where Laurie would end up holing up at Rorschach's apartment just as the dimensional fabric began to break down. She was going to be discovered by Delores (Rorschach's landlady) just as the shit really hit the fan. It was going to be Laurie, Rorschach...and Delores (and her five kids) facing the horror of Interdimensional Collapse into the Second Ether (Michael Moorcock's precursor to Andrew Hussie's Paradox Space, complete with Horrorterrors) represented in Laurie's mind by the breaking of the snowglobe from when she was a little kid.
This didn't happen. I rushed to churn out new chapters, knowing that our thread was about to get saged. I felt like that plotline was too complicated, and abandoned it. Except that the stuff afterwords didn't feel right, and didn't work.
I need to go back and write it the way it was supposed to be.
As someone who is not a paid author, who is just posting their work to ff.net and AO3, I have the luxury of doing that. I feel for Hussie and Rowling...they did their best, and fans should give them more credit. Andrew Hussie in particular had a game to work on, one that was compromised by the theft of a lot of the money from kickstarter by the development team. I do believe he will go into more detail about what actually happened in the epilogue. I hope he has a well-deserved rest, and that the fandom outcry hasn't gotten to him.
Probably for good. I think that but for a few weekly perusings of my Tumblr dash, my LJ/DW diaspora really is over.
The new job I started back last May has picked up. I'm actually making more money than I ever have before. For the first time since 2007, I can honestly say that I am not just living paycheck to paycheck.
My background image on my LJ is one of the concept art pics for the Bostrum Colony from TRON: Evolution. I may leave it there for a while. My default icon is Lo Pep from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai mythos,and will probably remain so for a while.
More later this week, when I feel up to it.
A word of advice, apropos of nothing; never pay less than twelve bucks for a bottle of sherry.
Since October, really. I have been fairly active on Tumblr, but I don't consider that to be the same thing.
One of the sugar gliders died back in March. Laurie passed, after battling an infection for several months. We tried several courses of antibiotics, and nothing really seemed to make a dent in it. She is survived by Rorschach and Danielle, who have also been struggling with it. The vet is trying to say that age is a factor - but if what the rescuer told me is true, these little guys were a year or so old in 2009 when I got them, which would only make them about six years old now. That's middle-aged for a sugar glider - but really there is no telling how old a rescue glider is, and Val (the rescuer) had no lines on them (she does not know their pedigree, etc.) After Cessna was basically a tank and lived for twelve years, it was kind of a shock that Laurie succumbed to this. I blame this winter - it was really, really tough on them, and the insulation in this house is for shit. I had a space heater going in my room the whole time, but I still blame the fact that it got so damn cold and stayed so damn cold for months and months and months with basically no letup, even here in Texas. I'm planning on moving them upstairs into the library if it gets that bad again in a few months.
Flipside 2014 was cool. Again, we (Camp Curly) spent several weeks scrambling to get more infrastructure together in time for Memorial Day weekend. We built two more benches and a daybed from plans up on playatech, stained and polyurethaned them. I don't have any pics of the camp, as per the "no photography without express consent of everyone present" rules, but here is a pic of one of the portapotties. I promise I got its consent before taking the picture.
This summer has been okay. I haven't gotten quite as much done as I wanted on the DIY front. I still need to paint the bookcase, for example. Pics when I get it done. Roommates and I are okay otherwise.