god i am USELESS

So, I am making dinner, and I go to put on a SPN ep while I cook--trying out that whole "I am a normal person and I can definitely increase the SPN in my life by adding it to chores; I do NOT need to give my full attention to this show every single time I watch it; I CAN DO THIS" schtick--and here I am, slicing tomatoes, when the cold open starts and it turns out

I never actually watched 15x06, lol.

Like, not all the way through. LAST FALL WAS VERY ROUGH, OKAY; I was teaching and finishing a dissertation and on the job market and going to conferences all at once. So I only...watched the Sam and Dean scenes out of this ep. With the intention of going back to finish the rest! I just apparently....never did lol. Lol lol lol lol.

These witches???? Castiel hitting on his tackle store guy???? ALL NEW TO ME.

Fake fan!!!!!

Edit: Sam jogging scene!!!!!!! Omg I cannot believe I've been lacking that in my life for over a year when I could have had it all along!!!! (Uh, when I say "only watched the Sam and Dean scenes," I mean I literally only watched the scenes where they were both... there at the same time. Which for this particular ep, I gather, is very little of this episode at all. XDD Heaven help me.)

Edit 2: Myajafaskdsajfak;lj I love this showwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!! AKLSFJASLKFJ!!! And more emphatically, ASLFJA:SKFJ:J!!!!

Edit 3: This stupid risotto was taking twice as long as advertised so I watched 15x05 again, and MY GOD I LOVE THIS EP UNNECESSARY AMOUNTS. This is like the fifth or sixth time (apparently to the detriment of ever having seen 15x06, which just makes that oversight that much more pathetic). *______* <33333333

[Rec] "Standard Loneliness Package" - Charles Yu

One of my resolutions for 2021 was to read at least one thing each week that was not directly related to teaching or some other ongoing project. Last week I read an AAWW review of Sianne Ngai's new book on the gimmick; this week, Charles Yu's 2010 short story, "Standard Loneliness Package," which is about a future where people have figured out how to outsource pain, and there are cubicle workers who feel it professionally. (Pain ranging from death of a loved one to attendance at a funeral to being shot to a root canal to telling your boss you're quitting to a child's recital to "vague discomfort.")

My first ticket of the day is a death bed. Death beds are not so common. They are hard to schedule—we require at least twenty-four hours advance booking, and usually clients don’t know far enough in advance when the ailing beloved one is going to go—so we don’t see these too often. But this isn’t regular death bed. It’s pull-the-plug.

They are pulling the plug on grandpa this morning.

I open the ticket.

I am holding grandpa’s hand.

I cry.

He squeezes my hand, one last burst of strength. It hurts. Then his hand goes limp and his arm falls away.

I cry, and also, I really cry. Meaning, not just as my client, but I start crying, too. Sometimes it happens. I don’t know why, exactly. Maybe because he was somebody’s grandpa. And he looked like a nice one, a nice man. Maybe something about the way his arm fell against the guard rail on the hospital bed. Maybe because I could sort of tell, when grandpa was looking at his grandson for the last time, looking into his eyes, looking around in there trying to find him, he didn’t find him, he found me instead, and he knew what had happened, and he didn’t even look mad. Just hurt.

- Charles Yu, "Standard Loneliness Package" (2010)

Freaky Accidents

Oh my goddddddddddddddd. So, finchandsparrow and I just Netflix Party'd a SPN ep together, and I was like, "You know, there was this fic that tagged to the end of this episode that I never read; I remember thinking it was overwritten. It involved [insert extremely vague not entirely plot relevant element here]. But I'd probably read it right now."

I joked about using Search the Web to find it by typing in "freaky accidents."

But I totally did find it. Going off of solely my memory of a fic I DID NOT EVEN READ 12 years ago, and my ability to recognize its title and find the scene I'd skimmed TWELVE YEARS AGO, which wasn't even in the first chapter.

I'm being vague because I don't want to say anything bad about someone's fic if it's identifiable, even though it was written 12 years ago and the person has not even been in SPN fandom for I'd guess about as long.


everything ends

Everything is everything

Instead of responsibly chiseling away at a dramatically overdue, dire straits deadline I watched an episode of Six Feet Under while cooking/eating dinner, and ugh GOD I WAS NOT PREPARED. There's a character death that I'd forgotten happens relatively early in the final season (though of course it does--in a series about the long uglinesses of both life and death. Of course it does) and everything was awful and perfect.

All of these characters are awful people but good people but like, really, truly awful people. And nothing changes that--there's no purity to these moments, where in the face of death you're able to locate your goodness, mend your ragged edges, be there for each other. This guy just like--he does a shitty thing right before he dies (it takes a while, ERs are involved) and on his deathbed he does something even shittier. Which probably sounds a little grimdark and nihilistic to the point of vapidity but it's really not. It's just the feeling of sitting in an OR waiting room with a family not come together, people stewing in the ways all the pieces don't fit, and having to ride out the worst moment of your life--and worse, for it to all feel awkward.

But then this is tempered by all the characters who are courting goodness, reaching understandings, striving to be better than they were before. And then the beauty of having this intimately entangled but living-separate-lives ensemble cast is that there's a pulse to the whole superorganism, where the highest of highs for some happen simultaneous to the lowest of lows for others and it's just this gorgeous, terrible, awful, deeply uncomfortable ugly emotional whiplash and I love it, so, so much. Because narratively you want all of this to mean something but it can't and it won't and it will feel like shit. But nihilism's not the endgame. It's asking, where do you go, then? How do you hold this ugliness to your chest, and go? What do you do when this is something you just have to carry? Everything is wrong and everything is perfect.

and Internet Radio things

Today's musical saga continues. Chrome was making me change all my passwords that had been compromised in some data breach two months ago, so I logged into my abandoned Pandora account to change the password, and it greeted me with an ad from The Score and AWOLNATION, suggesting I check out their new song, titled "Carry On." And I was like, your new what titled WHAT.

Well, don't mind if I do.

When it’s cold in this wild wild world
Everyone’s trying to dig your grave
I carry on
When you’re told you don't the fit the mold
Now everybody’s got a say
I carry on
When the madness all around us starts to take its toll
I carry on
It’s a long, dark, winding road we’re on (oh)
I carry on

Just Michigan Radio things

On my way back from campus today I decided I didn't need to subject myself to any more 90s ska than I already had, so I switched stations right into the middle of "Stone in Love." I don't have any particular feelings about that song outside of its inclusion in 9x07, but I was just like oh godddddddddd oh no now I just wanna spend the rest of the day with Dean but I can't; I have things I need to do!

So I switched stations again, right in time to hear the opening chords of "Ramble On."

And I was just like O_______O THIS IS GOING VERY!!! POORLY. At which point it took an hour to get home even though it was only 10 miles, because I ended up rambling on past some farms and snow hills for a while and then went to the car wash until the music stopped SPNing.
gumby girl

'Tis the season--

--to start thinking about how I want to celebrate Dean's birthday, and I found out Porky's II is free to stream on Prime. And my god, it sounds like the literal worst movie, LOL. But maybe Porky's II and the "Oke Doke" cheesy popcorn at Meijer. Or I could make big pretzels to be 100% on theme? I do have a stash of pretzel salt packets...

Demon Leg

I was making a chart to help me visualize all my smol smol smol anime children:

But I think the most revealing thing this project helped me see is WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON WITH YOUR LEG, SAM. WHAT IS THIS.



I made my chart a few days ago and I have thought about Sam's demon leg every day since.

Sex Appeal

My (non-traditional) entree into loving SPN was loving Six Feet Under, which I loved so much I felt like I might never be able to watch television again, because everything paled in comparison and couldn't hold my interest. SPN and Six Feet Under are absolutely nothing alike in a lot of big and obvious ways, but they still manage to hold in common a lot of what I love about them. I'm still trying to formulate how to best express that, but I am about 15 episodes from a complete Six Feet Under rewatch and it is a precious thing. <3 And I'm happy to report that my favorite characters when I first fell in love with SFU are still my favorites now. But you know what I find ABSOLUTELY SEXY????? SCENES THAT ARE FRAMED LIKE THIS:

Which okay, that's clearly not from SFU, but my DVD Player app doesn't allow screenshots. Hence Bleach as stand-in.

I'm thinking about this composition now, though, because my SFU fave keeps getting framed in this way: In the background, framed by the two speaking figures in the foreground--a listener and observer, marginal and always outside the primary dynamic. In the first SFU scene where this happens you can watch all his facial reactions as the conversation unfolds even though he's out of focus and small in the frame, halfway across the room and uGHHHHhghGhghghhhh it's so good because it's just this beautiful image for one, but also because it's visually coding all of this delightful character/relationship information right onto the film and, again, ughhh!!! Sex appeal--that shot, right there. Love it.

It works pretty much the same way in Bleach (fave here pictured <3), and I love one of the panels that precedes this one, too, because:

THE SPEECH BUBBLE. IS JUST ON HIS HEAD. ALMOST COMPLETELY OBFUSCATING HIS IDENTITY unless you know who he is--and he's only existed for a few panels at this point, so narratively, you don't. And it's not just because they ran out of space to put the bubble and had no other choice. It's just like, this visual stamp: You are the background--you are not the primary dynamic. Which I love particularly here because he and his end up the primary collateral of this arc, which I feel like is made all the more painful by the fact that they are not actually important, never actually meet the main characters, and still get destroyed--even as all that drama hardly registers to the actual main party. GAH. <33 (NB: The other person with her head covered by speech bubble is a ninja; she's obfuscated for professional reasons. XD)