bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
Odd day.

Dozed after waking to footsteps upstairs, and had a dream about cut for Holocaust-like imagery. ) Jeez, it sounds horrific to write it up like that. At the time, it was just a thing that was happening. One girl hid in a room that was my childhood bedroom by lifting herself onto the top shelf of the closet by the lintel like a pull-up, realized that she could be easily seen, and hastily shoved a folded blanket between her body and the top of the door. I was the girl. Vin Diesel found her/me and said, reasonably enough for a prison guard, something about how the punishment would be eight somethings but he'd go halvsies with her and only do four if she'd just give in. She/I said, calmly, Okay. He seemed taken aback. That was that.

*shrug*

Today marked the end of my three-month probation period at work. I had a good review and was not fired. (I was not worried since my performance has been fine and people like me, but still. Not being on probation is a relief in the current financial climate. If anyone in the office had had to be cut to save money, it would have been me.) (Not to say that fear isn't still there; it's just harder to let someone go after they're off probation.)

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Good, easy soup recipe, adapted from my new everything-chicken cookbook: Dice and sauté two small onions. When soft and beginning to brown, add a quart of chicken or vegetable broth. Grate a couple of zucchini or summer squash; add to the pot and boil for ~15 minutes. You can also add small pasta at the time you add the vegetables. At the end, drizzle in two eggs or egg whites and lemon juice to taste. Mm. Looks like it makes three bowls' worth.

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Let's answer some vidding questions from [livejournal.com profile] alizarin_nyc: "What do you use for media when starting a vid? Do you rip DVDs, convert .avi files or what? What editing software do you use and why? What is the next thing you want to learn/try in writing or vidding?"

I tend to rip DVDs )

I use Adobe Premiere )

I want to learn to do a thing with John Sheppard's face )

But also how to better create clip pacing that is less a slave to the music )

...I don't know if I articulated that well at all.

4) That's a good question about what I might want to learn next in writing. Will have to get back to you on that. As compared to video editing, fiction writing is a thing that comes so unconsciously to me -- not always easily, just instinctively rather than as a series of technical steps -- that it's hard for me to approach and understand it as a craft. (I used to think that was something to brag about, but the more I press up against the boundaries of what doesn't come naturally to me and what I haven't been educated about, and the more I look back on many of the fics I've written and listen to others who do understand the technical elements of putting together effective stories and characters, like the more I appreciate that relying on instinct alone can also be a limitation.)
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Our office went to a pub called Flanagan's today. For the joy of the names together, I ordered the Shepherd's Pie. It was tasty and warm, and then the receipt said "Shep."

Speaking of Sheppard: I rewatched the fifth season SGA episode "Outsiders" last night, and wow, I'd had no recollection of Sheppard locking an arm around a guy's neck through jail bars, holding a gun to his jaw, and then wordlessly squeezing his throat out of spite before slipping away again. It was pretty hot in a hero-being-a-bad-guy sort of way. I know just the vid it belongs in, too.

I will finish a fic before New Year's, I will finish a fic before New Year's…

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Hey, science geeks and Holmes fans: In the annual spoof issue of the BMJ* is the article, Dr Watson: a regular reader of the British Medical Journal. (Full issue here, with many more treats.)

*It's sort of like the Ig Nobel awards, only in print. And British. But then, Harvard et al are Anglophilic, so that makes a kind of sense.
bironic: Willow Rosenberg waving at The Bronze (hi willow)
1. There are "some beautiful studies by candlelight of Joe [Flanigan]'s face" in our future

2. [livejournal.com profile] roga beats that with the incredible real-life incarnation of John Sheppard and Adam Lambert's lovechild

3. An io9 blogger refers to apocryphal Firefly stories by Jane Espenson as original fiction, and no one calls them out on it. (Although - where do you draw the line between original fiction and fanfiction when the story is written by a producer of the original fiction?)

4. Washington Post feed headline says "Thai Red Shirt security chief shot," and for several seconds I honestly think the point is in the irony of the uniform color

Bonus item that is on the computer and not on the 'net yet: YAY, vids are happening again! Absence made the vidding heart grow fonder, and I have been absorbed in rehauling one of the vids-in-progress that I think is totally cool. A few weeks from now will be one year since I first tried fannish vidding, and when I finish and post something from the new batch I think you'll agree that there's been a big technical improvement.

Bonus item that is in person and not on the 'net (but involves the 'net): [livejournal.com profile] con_txt approacheth, and [livejournal.com profile] synn will be visiting for it! Very cool that last year I lived near Muskrat Jamboree and this year I live near con.txt. I'm worried, though, about attending a strictly slash con when I have been feeling even more omnivorous than usual of late. I have visions of making ever-scrunchier faces at panels until I exclaim, "But the friendship and the het and the OT4 and the femslash and the various threesomes are also awesome, dammit!" And then I will have to remind myself that (a) I am at a slash con and (b) despite how it may feel in online fandom sometimes, people do not get to celebrate slash very much in real life, not to mention (c) just because others are exclaiming over OTPs doesn't mean they aren't omnishippy or gen fans too. And then I will (try to) sink back into the joy.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Back in town, and, having just watched House, back online. Took maybe an hour to catch up on the reading list and open some tabs for later. (Okay, 20 tabs. But 20 isn't bad for six days.) I wish I had the discipline to stay off LiveJournal for most of the week every week; it's so much more efficient. But I know exactly how long that would last, and it's measured in minutes.

Anyway, I had a good trip and got to see an Iggy for part of it as well as a friend of mine from college who's finishing up his doctorate before moving to a cushy job in Bermuda, the bastard. I read a book on the plane (Atul Gawande's The Checklist Manifesto, cleanly written and well-argued but not his best by far). I may or may not have stared at a conference presenter who I already knew was good-looking from the front but had no idea was astounding in profile. OMG, I was sitting there (not-)staring at him and thinking about how he would give Joe Flanigan a run for his money were he ever to appear in a piece of media before fandom. And finally, there was enough work piled up when I got back to the office that I spent the whole day engaged in said work instead of drifting off into a vaguely dissatisfied fugue.

On Saturday I had the most delicious green tea mochi I've ever encountered. I'm usually not into mochi one way or the other, but these were seriously good, fresh and texture-perfect. I wish I'd bought more than one little package because I've had a hard time tracking down a way to order from that manufacturer. Today I picked up a few boxes of green tea mochi ice cream from Trader Joe's, figuring they would substitute, except not only do they not taste as good, they actually taste gross. So now there is an excess of grossness.

Speaking of RSL, which we weren't at all, here is yet another reason I wish I were living in NY instead of where I am. Well, at least [livejournal.com profile] no_detective, [livejournal.com profile] pun et al will, as they say, represent.

In happier news: I have booked my Very First Massage for this weekend. Everyone I know who's had them has sworn by them, which is promising. Plus, I love back rubs, and the thought of someone putting their hands on me with the intention of making me feel nice is indeed nice. It's the closest thing to sex in my foreseeable future. I mean, happy ending jokes aside, massage seems like the best available approximation to safe, accredited, legal prostitution. [/obvious] [/TMI]

Okay, it's taken way too long to write this. Good to hear all your LJ-post-voices again. Now off to do something useful.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Just saw Thoughtcrimes.

1. Huh. That was not a typical "I saw it because X was in it, and it sucked" experience. I am so used to being embarrassed for whoever I'm watching for, either for the writing or the acting. This was not only not bad, it was thoroughly enjoyable. It got best when Not really spoilery other than a summary of the premise ) Such are the limitations of TV pilots.

2. Hoooooly hell, so that threesome fic I read whenever ago might actually have been Navi Rawat/Joe Flanigan/PETER HORTON. *scrambles to find it again* *ETA: Oh, damn, it was a crossover with someone else* I am going to enjoy revisiting the bunch of Brendan/Freya fics that I already liked before I saw the movie, too, now that there's context for them. I totally buy that pairing. Freya/Mike, too—there must be fic for that, even if not necessarily by the SGA fans who wrote Brendan. Could be sweet, could be hot, could be creepy if it plays on the power dynamics—though most of the time strong and capable, Freya had moments uncomfortably like how I imagine Eliza Dushku is in Dollhouse: like incompletely formed clay for the men to shape, or a tool for them to use. Delicious tells me there's Mike/Brendan as well. Of course. Hmmm. Mike teaching him how to block thoughts? Could be like Legilimency lessons.

3. Seeing those two guys not only appear in the same movie but also in one scene together, facing off across a desk, makes me want to write the Sheppard-as-Zeke Stone story even more.

Before I burn it to disc and take it off the hard drive, here it is for anyone who might want it. hxxp://www.megaupload.com/?d=SPDANMTB Replace the x's in the link, and change the file extension to avi when you've snagged.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
...and when I'm done not-writing Flanigan/Kretschmann, I'll not-follow up with the SGA "Vegas" AU fusion with Brimstone, where Detective Sheppard is Detective Stone (they already have the same hair and attitude and even some of the same facial expressions) and shiny-suit!McKay is a darker, less jovial, but still silky Devil. Maybe Teyla would be Ash. Or Weir. And Sheppard could still almost sleep with Teer.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (RSL neil window)
On the phone with my mother a while back, I mentioned how nice German sounds. She said she finds it too guttural. Since I used to think the same thing, I said maybe she associates it with all those brusque, crazed WWII speeches, and she just hasn't heard the right person speaking German. I was thinking specifically of Thomas Kretschmann, who has one of the smokiest, sexiest voices I've ever encountered.

So when [livejournal.com profile] pun, [livejournal.com profile] no_detective and I ended up talking about accents and languages when I saw them a few weeks ago and one of them repeated my mother's sentiments, I went straight for YouTube and we found this interview. Ja? They were convinced.

Last night I went back for more and found a second one for you. (Look, [livejournal.com profile] no_detective, another behind-the-scenes video of a photo shoot.) If you don't have patience for the whole thing, he comes in at about 1:00, 1:40 and 2:50—and his voice joins him about five seconds later. I also enjoyed one of his English interviews, which are more common on YouTube, when he appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show in December and recapped his life story. (Highlights include Kimmel establishing that East Germany is no longer a country and not knowing how to convert kilometers to miles, and Kretschmann saying his hands are girlish but defending the manliness of "other parts.") And so on, blah blah.

Point is—second point is—that after surfing around for more clips and remembering exactly how attractive I find this man, something clicked in my head. Thomas Kretschmann/John Sheppard. Or rather, Thomas Kretschmann character/John Sheppard. Except I can't think of a character he's played who could cross over with SGA; they're all Nazis except for the CGI future sci fi guy and Dr. Frankenstein and the serial killer, etc. Which, God help me, made me seriously consider writing RPS Thomas/Joe Flanigan. Because there's too much hot there not to be exploited.

And similarities! They could connect over sports (TK was an Olympic-caliber swimmer, and obviously still stays fit; JF/JS likes climbing and surfing and so forth) and wearing t-shirts inappropriate for their age and chain necklaces (see also: second interview link) and big watches and being hot and come on, the hair. Rodney could not keep himself from mentioning the hair if he were to see the two of them together.




ETA: Something more serious that was hiding beneath that post.

Being Jewish, I did grow up with a keen awareness of the Holocaust and that the German government at the time was to blame for it. I remember disliking the sound of the German language because of all the recorded speeches we watched in history and religious education classes.

I also remember sitting at the seder table one Passover and deciding that I hated Egyptians because their ancestors had enslaved my ancestors. Or thinking about deciding to hate them, anyway. (Which was hard, because I loved learning about ancient Egypt. But that's beside the point.) But then in the haggadah there was a lesson about not carrying a grudge, about bestowing forgiveness for past wrongs, and about not holding an entire people responsible for the actions of a few -- or possibly I'm mixing that last part up with Holocaust education, but the moral is the same.

So I immediately dropped my half-fake grudge against Egypt, and at about that time, I also opened up to German language and culture. Which is when I found that I liked it quite a bit. Or I quickly learned to like it quite a bit. By college I was watching a lot of German movies and loving how I could pick up words and phrases because of the language's similarity to English. Before, I'd had no interest. And I fell in love with voices and bodies like Thomas Kretschmann's.

Then there comes another problem, towards the opposite end of the spectrum: should I feel guilty that I'm deriving shallow, sensual pleasure from characters who represent the very soldiers and politicians who perpetrated the Holocaust? Do I run the risk of too easily embracing something that caused irreparable harm in the past? Is it a kind of betrayal? That gets into very sticky territory -- perhaps the same kind that you enter when you find yourself "enjoying" reading/watching/hearing Holocaust narratives. I think it's all right, though. I have the history in mind, always. I don't love the voice of a Nazi character without that qualifier. I'm glad to have the dual perspective, mourning the harm that was done but being able to love the culture for what is good.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Okay so! The first draft of my thesis is TURNED IN and I don't have to think about it until next week. There was a phrase from a story by [livejournal.com profile] astolat, "Under the Sea" I think, that described some frat boys the morning after a party as "hollow-eyed and stunned-looking." That is my last little while in a nutshell.

Now let's unload what I've been saving up all that time.

Well, first of all, while disappointed that the skies didn't deliver as much as the forecast promised, I was pleased to wake up this morning to snow: )

That would be the Charles River, always an interesting shade of puce in winter. The ice floes remind me of the flabby petroleum jelly in Drawing Restraint 9.

.

I escaped twice during the marathon: once to see astrophysicist/TV host/McKay nemesis Neil deGrasse Tyson give a talk about his new book about having been blamed for demoting Pluto, and once to go to a birthday party. I took your advice on the former—okay, I was going to do it anyway, but you said it was all right—and teased him about having been on SGA. He said he's a terrible actor; I said, but you only had to play yourself!; and then he said something else I don't remember. Then we talked about my professor who knows him, and he signed two books for me. It was fun.

Here are a picture and two video clips I took that I thought might entertain:

talking, dancing and reading a letter from a seven-year-old. )

I kicked myself afterwards, though, because it was only when I was on the train home that it occurred to me to have had him dedicate the second autograph to Rodney.

.

At the party there were fangirls and cake and juice and a game of fannish charades, which I'd never played but now recommend to all, so long as the people involved share fandoms. My favorite part was how the group had their own shortcut movement for "John Sheppard/Joe Flanigan" where the charader would put her hand behind her head and stick fingers up like turkey feathers. (Sproing!) I submitted "Sam the Whale" for consideration; someone else had "[someone I don't remember] goes grocery shopping with Dr. House."

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Speaking of Sheppard, I had this terrific series of classes a couple of weeks ago in which we got to do textual analysis (my long-ago love!) not only of some pieces of writing but also Beethoven, Glenn Miller band, a Hungarian Cold War film I now want to see, and Dirty Harry. The prof started out by reciting from memory Adrienne Rich's Storm Warnings, which I remember from high school, when I was the only person in class who knew that "the glass has been falling all the afternoon" meant that the barometer signaled the approach of a storm, not that it was icy outside or that shards of glass had been falling on her all afternoon. Byron was even mentioned at some point. I was in my happy place. But here is my point: the end of Dirty Harry, and SGA's "The Eye"—

John Sheppard = Clint Eastwood, y/n? )

Oh and hey, that's Andrew Robinson (Garak) with the bandage across his nose. He looks more like Harvey Keitel to me. Shudder.

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What else. My sister is on tour for two months with her musician and David Cook all over the south and midwest, I passed Henry Jenkins in the hall the other day, I haven't washed the dishes in like two weeks, tomorrow I will finally get to catch up on House, I'm going to Florida in a few weeks to see my grandparents, and there are two fun events coming up on Wednesday and Thursday that I'm looking forward to telling you about.

Also, does anyone know of any Audacity tutorials?
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Very busy lately, preparing for Impending Life Change and taking care of miscellany. Apologies to people I was supposed to beta for over the last few weeks, and to people who are looking for betas now. I hope I'll have time for it again if/when things start to settle down, but until then, please don't take it personally if I don't come by to read your posts.

Gah, and writing, forget it. I've already flaked out on two of four 'fests. This weekend is supposed to be for writing Remix. I can't figure out what to do. My assignment is tough this year. *scrunchy face*

On to more serious things. Last Saturday, my mom, my sister and I drove down near Philadelphia to visit my 90-year-old great-aunt, my mom's aunt, who's been ill, but is recovering, since falling and puncturing a lung (and subsequently developing a strep infection) a few weeks ago. We had to suit up to go into her room: gowns, gloves, masks. She has a trach tube and is on a ventilator, and she can't speak although she can move her lips, and her are wrists restrained so she doesn't pull out the tube, so she mostly lies there and looks uncomfortable; that was difficult to watch and imagine what she's going through; but her face just lit up when she eventually recognized us. Even if she doesn't remember we were there, she was happy that morning.

The Romantic scholar, slash writer and icon maker Atara S---- ([livejournal.com profile] astarte59) passed away one week ago yesterday. Although I knew she was ill with Multiple Sclerosis, she was young still, and I had no idea she was so sick; she was blogging with her usual enthusiasm just the week before. It's terribly sad news. Her essays on the Byronic hero helped solidify my thesis topic at school, and her other essays on, say, Picard/Q slash were just plain fun reads (even if they ran just a little too far with the argument sometimes). I have her book on the Byronic hero in film, fiction and television, which is another fun and interesting read. She was a House fan, too, and posted sometimes in the meta comms. ... We corresponded for a little while a year or two ago, and I was supposed to write her an email-letter about my academic path and how she'd played such an integral part in it. I never got around to it. I wish I had; she should have known about it. Now, I think the best I can do is tell all of you.

All is not grief in the land, however. For instance, there are still minor celebrities to ogle. Case in point: a recently posted black-and-white portrait photograph of Joe Flanigan, care of [livejournal.com profile] sheafrotherdon. I keep going back to study it some more. He's not the most immediately attractive of men, at least not for me, but the more I look, the more I ... want to keep looking. At the asymmetry of so much of his face—under his eyes, beside the base of his nose, his eyebrows and the muscles above and between them, his nostrils, his nose itself, the crease in his lower lip, the curve of his five o'clock shadow, his hair. At his narrow shoulders (so obvious in the zip-up fleece Sheppard wears, yet often concealed by his bulky military gear, biceps and weapons). At his eyes, of course, which, as many people over at that post have pointed out, gaze at you with far more startling, haunting presence than most or all of the other people included in the photographer's online gallery. Perhaps it's attributable to JF being an actor, able to expertly school his features so that even a neutral expression is compelling. Because it isn't "neutral." Can that expression be captured in a single emotion or phrase? What would you call it?

There are some fics I've managed to read over the past week or two, but I can't remember them right now. I'll come back at some point to rec 'em.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Joe Flanigan blurry-moody)
I just wanted to say that while it has taken me a year to begin to find Joe Flanigan attractive and I still don't think he's as hot as most fans and fellow characters say he is, his hands look very, very nice when he is touching a woman. Oh yes. It's like his fingers suddenly elongate—er, not in a freakish way—and his wrists ... are deliciously wristy.

This conclusion is brought to you by a clip from Dawson's Creek (near the end, at about 5:30 and 6:12) I watched Monday night. Corroborated by, among other things, this screen shot from 'The Return, Part One': )

--

Second, go watch [livejournal.com profile] thingswithwings's new BDSM sub!Sheppard fanvid, a lieutenant colonel is being beaten. It's an illustration of a sexual preference based on all the times John has ended up on his knees, tied up, gagged, assaulted, collared, arching on the floor—angry, dazed, daring, smirking, zoned out—dominated by Kolya, Larrin, Ronon, Teyla, Sumner, Everett, Todd, Chaya, Teer, a bunch of baddies, the Replicators, the guys from "The Condemned," and himself—set to Iggy Pop. It's just wonderful, as everything out of [livejournal.com profile] thingswithwings is. As [livejournal.com profile] fiercelydreamed said in her rec, it lifts subtext into text. And it does it by removing context; standing alone, some of those shots do look truly, inarguably orgasmic. Plus there's the rising Atlantis in all its phallic glory. Yes, that is the word for this: GLORIOUS.

The only thing I miss is my favorite Sheppard shot, where the Wraith tears his tac vest open in "The Siege, Part I" (or was it Part II?). Unless I missed it. Guess I'll have to watch it again. Oh, darn.

Now, if someone would just make the entire-Atlantis-cast BDSM video that I've been hoping for since I started watching the show, because it's ridiculous how many times the characters have been tied up and caught in other compromising situations.

--

I haven't seen the SGA season finale yet. I hope the mood strikes me before the spoilers do. (Everyone's been great about it on the comms so far; I still don't know a thing other than what I saw in the preview and have guessed based on the title.)

I miss House. :(
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
Feeling Scrooge-like, between the lack of vacation others are enjoying and the unending stress of this project at work and application prep and the unapologetic emphasis on "Merry Christmas"es this season and the week-long (and counting) cold/sinus thing that left me with a drug-resistant headache for four days, all of which has made me unfairly resentful of people who get to relax and write and have fun and travel and go into raptures over Yuletide, I haven't been on LJ much. I'm expecting that things won't let up for another few weeks, and so I think Memoryfest may run from Jan. 15-Feb. 15 this year instead of Jan. 1-31, since its purpose is reflection and community, not anxiety. Also, I owe a bunch of people emails/comment replies (what else is new?)—sorry about that. I'm trying to get to them.

Not that it's all been bad; on Christmas Day, which I did have off, my sister and I camped out in front of the TV and watched favorite movies from our childhood, including A Simple Twist of Fate (oh, and how wonderful a fic would that make with John as McCann and Rodney as April Simon? Or vice versa? Ford could be the drugged-out brother, and...) and Little Women. Last Friday was our office holiday party, the highlight of which (besides a compulsory cornhole tournament) was an animal show in the president's office for the kiddies; some of the grownups squeezed into the room for that, including yours truly, who greatly enjoyed holding a gecko and a tree frog and a tarantula and watching a sugar glider squirrel pee on the carpet. It smelled like a zoo afterwards. I never thought I'd see the day.... And also, being sick means there's been time for SGA reruns (or SGA commentaries, when I wasn't even feeling well enough to keep my eyes open), so I watched a bunch of episodes I hadn't seen more than once, like "Epiphany," "Irresistable," "Conversion," "The Long Goodbye," "Instinct" and "The Hot Zone." Paradoxically, they're mostly better when you know how awful they're going to be. I also caught some House reruns on Fox and USA—"Daddy's Boy," "The Mistake" and half of "Hunting"—which make me remember just how much I loved this show in its first couple of seasons.

This weekend, finally, I'm feeling mostly healthy and fairly cheerful again. I managed to make it up to New Haven yesterday to see [livejournal.com profile] maddy_harrigan and [livejournal.com profile] catilinarian at M.'s house before they went back home to London, which was lovely. Presents and stories were exchanged, bookstores and godparents visited, tea drunk and food eaten, and family members and pets met (they have an adorable beagle and also a guinea pig, which I happily cuddled while M's sister cleaned its cage; give me rodents over cats and dogs any day). Cat got me Since You Asked by Cary Tennis, and thanks to M. I now own an Oscar Wilde action figure. Despite my decision not to buy any books, I couldn't pass up Lord Byron's Doctor by Paul West at the used bookstore; unfortunately, I thought it was scholarship about Polidori, and only this morning discovered that it's a novel. Alas. But I also bought The Future of Spacetime (because if you're going to get one book, what's the harm in a second?), and I think that will make up for the mistake.

Before I drove up there, I poked around on YouTube for some Joe Flanigan clips. It's funny—when I was getting into SGA, Rodney was my absolute number-one guy; I didn't think JF/Sheppard was all that attractive, I'm not into the military thing, and I couldn't, or didn't care enough to, get past his strange attitude and expressions. Recently, though, my attention has been shifting over to him, both on the show and in fics/vids/picspams/etc. Is this a natural progression for people in the fandom, I wonder? Adoring Rodney, who's easy to sympathize with, and then gradually becoming interested in Sheppard, who's a harder nut to crack? And wanting to see the actor in more things as you delve into his character? Hm. I never really had the urge to see David Hewlett in his other shows or films.

Anyway, some of the clips/vids I liked (which possibly all of you into SGA have already seen, but just in case) were: Read more... )

...And then this came up. ) WHAT.

Right. On to today's to-do list, and maybe time for another post later.

Happy almost-new year to you all.

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