So, in other news, 2016 is an utter bastard. Yes, I know. That's one headline that's shocking precisely no-one. The latest in its string of victims is Joe Mascolo, who is not terribly well known in the UK, I know. He was eighty-seven, which isn't bad going really, but I've been watching him for the best part of twenty years, and I really liked the character that he played on TV. Also, turns out he'd been fighting Alzheimer's for some time, poor man. Never have known it - he was recording new scenes until late last year, so I guess he found ways to cope as well as possible. Why didn't we just jettison this year back in January, when it showed early signs of going so badly wrong?


But behind all the grumbling, I did actually come here for a rather more cheerful reason than another 2016-flavoured moan. Somebody just pointed me at this video, and it's utterly marvellous. Christmas on Deep Space 9! The creator of this has put together the best edited video that I've seen in a long while. It's completely ridiculous - it's slightly scary that they even thought of it, let alone managed it - but trust me, you need it in your life. It even made me smile, and I'm allergic to smiling.

Simply having a wonderful... )
swordznsorcery: (johnblack)
( Dec. 25th, 2015 19:43)
2008 was a mental year. If you made it through, congratulations! Between air crashes, typhoons, hurricanes, mudslides and earthquakes, it's a wonder that anybody did. One earthquake in Sichuan wiped out upwards of seventy thousand people on its own. That's a lot of people.

My year was certainly better than that. Probably depending on which fandoms you swim in, 2008 was quite eventful. Over in Days Of Our Lives-land, recent madness (cost-cutting caused them to kill off their main star, then do a complete one-eighty due to the backlash) had led to many a disgruntled fan taking refuge in classic storylines, and putting them up on YouTube as they went. So I spent a good chunk of '08 up to my neck in dastardly kidnappings, demonic possessions, jungle escapades and mediaeval torture chambers. Truly Stefano DiMera and John Black are the pinnacle of soap. You can keep your EastEnders and your Coronation Street! I was also revelling in the first E Street Band tour since YouTube happened. Footage from all over the world! And boy do some fans have some good recording equipment. So that was nice.

Didn't all go well on E Street this year though, as 2008 was when we lost Phantom Dan Federici to cancer. They brought in a talented substitute, and the tour turned into a huge party in celebration of Dan's life, but it's never been quite the same since. Also bowing out this year were the great Eartha Kitt; Mitch Mitchell, drummer with the Jimi Hendrix Experience; and jazz band leader/I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again supremo Humphrey Lyttelton; so hopefully they all met each other on the way out, as the jam session would have been extraordinary.

The world trying to drown, crush or shake half the population to death aside, this was quite a quiet year, I think? I was rather buried in fandom, due to it being decidedly better than real life. Well, let's face it - how many of us can boast a real life filled with jungle adventures and dastardly kidnappings? Some stuff happened. It was the year of the American Presidential election, which meant that the rest of us had to put up with wall to wall coverage all bloody year. Do I have to put a spoiler warning before saying who won? (Clue - it was an Islamic illegal immigrant. Maybe).

Not much idea about telly this year. It was all happening on YouTube. The Beeb did bring out The Invisibles though, which I loved. It was a comedy drama about two ageing, sort of ex-thieves (Tony Head and Warren Clarke), but I must have been the only person who did like it, as it disappeared after six episodes, never to return. TV that I like is good at that. *grumble growl*

... )
swordznsorcery: (johnblack)
( Dec. 17th, 2015 19:32)
Drawing a blank on most of 2000. It was the year I turned vegetarian, I know that much. I started working at an old people's home - those two things aren't related. As far as I know you don't have to vow never to eat a resident before you're allowed in the door - which on the face of it seemed a perfect job. Basically I was supposed to pick people up if they fell out of bed. This meant sitting in a room on my own all night, never having to speak to anybody. Unless they fell out of bed, obviously. Or wandered the corridors stark naked, which happened far more often that you might imagine. Life in a residential home is dull, and you have to make your own entertainment. Poor sods.

As I say, on the face of it an ideal job. It was deadly dull though, and the pay was rubbish. I was also running the office during the day (sleep?! Who needs sleep?!) Old peoples' homes have to operate on the lowest possible budget, because there's no money in old folk. If they can fill two jobs with one person therefore, they will. It used to make me smile sometimes though. Every so often they'd get some local musician in, to play old songs, and make the residents go misty-eyed with recollection. What are they going to do when that's us?! I have visions of young musicians coming in to play Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter to a row of gently nodding oldies.

Elsewhere, this was the year that Almost Famous came out at the cinema, which I know that I loved, but I haven't seen it since, and I don't remember a great deal about it. Kid writes about band for music magazine. There was nearly a plane crash. And lots of rather good music. Also it was the year of The Road To El Dorado, although I didn't see that until some time afterwards. Terrific film. If you haven't seen it, do so. (That's an order). Music-wise I'm totally drawing a blank though. I used to have the radio on in my little night watch room, but clearly not a lot registered! About the only thing I can say for sure is that this was the year Channel 5 showed the last few episodes of Sunset Beach, a mad-as-a-squirrel soap that had won a cult audience amongst those of us with nothing better to do at ten o'clock in the morning. It was replaced by Days Of Our Lives, which proved to be even more mad. America does soap operas so much better than Britain does. In British soaps, people just yell at each other about who they're having affairs with. In American soaps there's evil identical twins, microchips in brains, and demonic possessions.

... )
Because I don't know. I felt like giving it a go, I guess. [community profile] snowflake_challenge: Day One.

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I generally specialise in small fandoms, but one thing that I wrote turned out to be quite popular. It's based on The Tribe, which hardly anybody watched, or so I thought. Sometime in the near future, a deadly virus wiped out all adult life, and turned the whole world into Lord Of The Flies gone mad. It was very low budget, and some of the acting was a bit ropey, but dear heaven was it a fan fiction writer's paradise. And, to be fair, some of the characters, and some of the acting, were very good indeed. After a couple of years it went off the boil, though. Most of the cast left, and I hated what the show turned into. So I wrote an alternate season four, that somehow amounted to more than two hundred thousand words over more than a year. And people actually wanted to read it. That was kind of fun. Tribe Fury: Introductory Blurb.

Another thing I wrote that turned out to be something people actually wanted to read (this is a novel experience for me), was The Dark One, an appallingly titled Robin Of Sherwood story that carried on where the series left off. For once I think I did a fairly good job of it, which is not something I think very often. The Dark One. I only wish I could have thought of a better title!

One day there was a new series of Doctor Who, but I didn't love it as much as I loved the old one. And then one day new Doctor Who introduced Captain Jack. (And took him away again almost immediately. But still). A time-travelling, space-adventuring conman! Hello new form of procrastination. Captain Jack And The Monster From Space happened soon after, as did its sequel, Captain Jack And The Ship That Flew. Spaceships and pirates and Jack. I must be honest, they wrote themselves; I had very little say in the matter. The Monster From Space and The Ship That Flew. I like to think they turned out okay.

Something a bit different to end on. There was a video that I really wanted to make. It needed to be made, and quite obviously nobody else was going to do it, for all manner of very good reasons. You see, there's this show called Days Of Our Lives. It's a soap, and I readily admit that it's awful, although it wasn't always. Well, it probably was. Whatever. Anyway, two of the characters are Stefano and John. Stefano believes that John belongs to him. He has consequently spent the last thirty years kidnapping John, confiscating his shirt, and chaining him to things. And getting him tattooed, specifically to show the world who he belongs to. This is actually canon, I promise. Anyway, because Days seems to be almost entirely watched by quite conservative housewives, I'm apparently the only person in the world who has noticed how spectacularly slashy this all is. Well, except for the actors. I'm pretty sure they've noticed. Anyway, I made a video. Somebody had to. It's low res due to the quality of the source material, and I can't even pretend that it's good, but like I said, it needed doing. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

It seemed like a good idea at the time...
A little while ago I found some episodes of Team: Knight Rider on video tape. Continuing to work my way through the collection, I find that I have another episode. And boy is it a special one...

What do you get if you cross Knight Rider with The Mysterious Cities Of Gold? )
swordznsorcery: (johnblack)
( Apr. 1st, 2012 19:37)
I have a completely inexplicable love of various television shows. Some are good shows, some are bad shows. Some manage to transcend the concept of both good and bad by being spectacularly, frighteningly unique. Well, one of them does. Yes, I have found some old Days Of Our Lives episodes lurking in the VHS collection. And yes, you do want to hear all about them. No, really, you do. Everybody should experience Days Of Our Lives at least once. It's like a television rite of passage. Okay, no it isn't. I fully admit it's... not exactly brilliant. It has John Black in it, though. Seriously, what else do you need from your television?

Now, just to bring you up to speed on a few minor plot points first...

Joy. You will feel it. )
Another rather dull episode. We seem to have hit a slow patch mid-season. There's a lot more going on in this one than there was in the last one, and it picks up nicely towards the end, but the beginning and middle are pretty interminable. Nice idea all the same, but it does rather back itself into a corner plotwise. Someday these aliens are going to have to explain to me why they keep failing to take over the world, when it continually looks like they can't go wrong. I'm beginning to think they don't really want the Earth. They're just pretending to invade for something to do.

'We all have to die... sometime.' )
This week I have been accidentally watching television. I didn't mean to. I was quite decided on the fact that I wasn't going to, but then it looked at me, and I accidentally started watching it. Actually that's not remotely true. I can't watch Days Of Our Lives on television, as I don't live in America, and it hasn't aired in the UK since around midway through 2000. I didn't "accidentally" watch it, so much as "go to YouTube and hunt for it, and then watch it largely on purpose"; but nonetheless I didn't really mean to do it. I escaped once. More than once. And now suddenly it seems to have ensnared me all over again.

... )
What is it about travelling in time that leads to a compulsion to wear silly hats? Doug and Tony's willingness to play with the dressing up box never wanes, but you do have to wonder sometimes what leads them to agree to those hats.

... )
Episode 1x15: "The Night People"

In the dark and dangerous depths of Cornwall, a poacher is about to go off to work his patch. Everybody is amazed that he'd risk it, for there's trouble afoot, and deathly, deadly doings and whatnot. He's not afraid, though. He laughs in the face of danger, and continues to do so right up until two men in long white robes point a doll at him, at which point he screams and falls over. Well, gosh. Something odd must be going on. Sadly, however, it's impossible to send for the Champions, because they're all on holiday.

... )
In season two, the makers of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew decided that it might be a good idea to have the kids get together to solve crimes. They did this partly to boost viewing figures for Nancy's show, which was under-performing quite badly, but mostly just to annoy me. Oh, Nancy. Not only is she even more obviously not a teenager than Frank, she's also just really, really boring. Even her cunning self-defence abilities and lock-picking skills can't save her from that. Still, if she's going to combine forces with the Hardys, there's no escaping her, is there. So, here we go with...

Thrills! Spills! Horror! Singing! )
I was in a charity store earlier, and I found the complete Baywatch season one on DVD. Somewhat rumpled and battered, and costing the princely sum of £2.50. Needless to say, it decided to come home with me, so be aware that there will – at some point in the new year – be a fair amount of stupidity, and probably screencaps. Not to mention an attempt to convince the world (or this bit of it, at any rate) that Parker Stevenson is awesome.

Ah yes. Parker Stevenson... )
or something like that. As of today, Geocities is no more. It was supposed to be turned off on Monday, but I guess somebody forgot to flick the switch, or something. It's gone now, though. All those websites, over all those years. Never was the nostalgic type, but I can't help looking back now with a smile. They were simplistic, they had content of dubious quality, and most of us were very much learning the ropes as we went, but at one time Geocities had a page on just about everything. I think most of them had gone by the time of the switch-off, but back in the nineties, and the early bit of this decade, it was one hell of a community. Every TV show, every pop group, every movie actor - and half the world's pet dog, come to that. There was a page for all of them, usually with a background graphic of questionable taste, and text that wasn't quite laid out right. :D Images that overlapped the text, annoying MIDI files that couldn't be turned off, links that went nowhere... It was all at Geocities, along with the internet's own weight in pop-up advertising. Still, I liked it. Well, when I say "like"...

Seriously, though, there was good stuff at Geocities, back when I first started using the web properly. It was all set up in neighbourhoods, so you would always know which bit of it to look in, to find what you wanted. TelevisionCity for TV; SiliconValley for techy stuff; EnchantedForest for the kiddies. My page was in Area51, probably because I was really quite heavily into Dark Skies at the time. Then Yahoo bought it, and throttled it and killed it, and it was never quite the same again. Somewhere out there in the ether are the echoes of the original Methos Madness fansite, which was kind enough to host my first published fanfiction; of the Days Of Our Lives fansite, where we were all swapping video clips in the days before any of us had broadband (it was slow, but it was fun); of a certain Queen fansite, where some lovely bloke in Manchester gave me a bootleg recording of one of the shows on Roger Taylor's 1994 Happiness? tour; and of the hilariously primitive sci-fi site with attached forum, where two dozen of us used to gather to discuss each new episode of Babylon 5 and Dark Skies, like they were the second coming of Shakespeare or something. Wasn't easy having two dozen of us in there. One sneeze and the whole place would have crashed. :)

All gone now. Probably just as well if we're honest. Still... I do have a slight regret that it had to go. The WayBack Machine is a wondrous thing, but it can't save every page. Which again is probably just as well. If we're honest.

Ah well. You know, once upon a time people would ask each other where they lived on Geocities, just like asking for a street address. Yahoo killed all that when they took over, and removed the old neighbourhoods in favour of individual URLs, but since it's probably the last time that I shall write it anywhere:

And yes, it had bad background graphics, and malfunctioning images. But it was home. :)

PS: I think has developed a sense of humour. ;)
I ran out of episodes of Adventurer. This left me worryingly bereft of swashbuckly things to watch, until I suddenly remembered Voyagers!. Hurrah! An entire boxset of swashlebucking! I bought it in the sales just after Christmas, and then forgot all about it in the general excitement of Laramie and various other things. I rescued it from the bottom of the pile, anyways, and have now watched the first few episodes. And it's so much fun! It's one that I've been wanting to watch for years, but to the best of my knowledge it never aired in the UK (or not in my region, anyway). It stars Jon-Erik Hexum, though, so it's one that I always hoped would get released one day.

Worth the two-decade-long wait, anyhow. Mostly. )
It's been a funny sort of year for television. Doctor Who followed up last year's mostly fabulous season with one of mind-numbing tedium; my beloved Torchwood suddenly became lots of other people's beloved Torchwood as well (still not sure if I'm happy about sharing ); and Nip/Tuck brought in Sharon Gless as a woman who murders business rivals by turning them into teddy bears (I'll be honest - that one pretty much wins the award for surprises). Some unexpected television, at any rate. And still the surprises come. This year, Days Of Our Lives has been one of the best things I've watched. This isn't a first, exactly (and possibly the fact that I don't watch much television should be a defence here). It has mostly centred around general humour and silliness in the past, though. The true glory days of Days doing proper drama all happened before I started watching the show (thank goodness for YouTube). This year, though, I really don't know what's happening. Maybe it's the threat of the axe, that's finally made the writers pull their socks up? Maybe it's the fact that they've actually been listening to their veteran cast members this year? I don't know. I don't care. I only know it's working. First we had John Black being the best thing on my TV earlier this year, with his brainwashed oddball act; then we had John and Rolf, in the world's least likely comedy double act; and now we have Stefano. Mad, cackling, evil genius Stefano. Monday August 11th, and an episode of Days Of Our Lives of all things, and it's one of the best episodes of anything that I've seen all year. Genuinely. I'm not sure whether or not I should be scared. Is this one of the signs of the Apocalypse?! Scared or not, though, I am bloody impressed. My little daftly entertaining diversion just became unmissable TV. I admit that I'm only cautiously optimistic about what's to come, as they have a history of setting up great things and then buggering it all up shortly afterwards, but for now... it's looking good.

Keep it up, Days. Show big budget TV a thing or two. And please, please, please, don't screw it up this time...
Why is it that every year or so I get sucked into Days Of Our Lives again? Every time I finally decide that it's gone rubbish, and that I'm giving it up, a few months later I'll find myself checking back to see what's happening, and getting hooked again. Well - nearly hooked. There's always some plotline going on that needs some serious fast-fowarding. At any rate, I am such a sap. One shiny new plotline for John Black and I'm back on the bandwagon, waiting to see what everybody's favourite super-powered eternal amnesiac is up to now. I need my head examining. But then so does he, so I guess we're well suited.

But anyway... )
swordznsorcery: (xenon)
( Jun. 19th, 2007 16:02)
Days Of Our Lives gets increasingly confusing.

Though that is of course one of the reasons why I like it )
Much excitement! Well, for me anyway. Stefano's coming back to Days Of Our Lives! It's written on the internet, in official type places, with dates sort of mentioned as well! Stefano! And Bart, allegedly. Now if only they'd bring dear Doctor Rolf back from the dead... And if they're coming back, that means that John will be coming out of that bloody coma they've had him stuck in all year. I know the guy is entitled to his first proper holiday in twenty-whatever years (twenty-one?), but this has been absurd. Anyway - John back on his feet, and Stefano back from the dead. Again. Days Of Our Lives might actually be watchable again this summer. That'd be nice.

*Bounces with cautious optimism*

Edit: That subject heading... it doesn't look right, does it. Theoretically, I guess the plural of phoenix should be phoenices. Not convinced, though. Google says it doesn't have a plural, but that's just cheating.



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