Category Archives: Amusing Timewasters

A Modest Proposal About Firefly

*sniffle*

*sniffle*

Very recently, a friend of mine was going through a pretty painful and sucky breakup, so she came over to my house and we spent the day getting her mind off of it. We did what I assume everyone does in this kind of situation — I popped a bowl of popcorn, and broke out my Firefly DVDs. We watched the two-hour premiere, then “The Train Job.”

My friend never watched Firefly when it was actually airing – she first saw it a few years ago in one DVD marathon session. So we were talking, and she mentioned that she couldn’t understand why it had never gotten enough of a following to keep going. Here’s how that conversation went (roughly, I wasn’t taking notes):

Me: You know that 2-hour premiere that introduced all the characters, and the world, and the girl in the box?
Her: Yeah?
Me: That aired last.
Her: Wait, what? How? What? What aired first?
Me: “The Train Job.”
Her: That makes no sense! How would anyone know what was going on?

Exactly.

I was a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, so I actually did watch the Firefly premiere. “The Train Job” is a great second episode, and it tried mightily to function as an introduction to a series, but I remember seeing the screen go to black and being all, “Um? Huh? What’s going on here?” Now, I kept watching because the actors were good, the gunfights were fun, and there were a lot of amazing lines. But it was kind of a struggle – it was a few episodes before I actually figured out what the hell was up with Simon and River (several subsequent episodes also been aired out of order did not help with this problem), Book’s whole hidden badass side was way more hidden than Whedon had originally intended, Mal and Inara’s whole arc was all whaaa?, and so on and so on.

As that last paragraph shows, I don’t think I’ve ever quite recovered from my frustration over how Firefly was so completely shafted and mismanaged by the network – it had an incredible world, intricate character relationships, and at least enough potential storylines to fuel four seasons before it started to limp. Instead it gets put down halfway through the season, and Ghost Whisperer got five? Where is the justice.

I learned nothing from the experience, either, since then I went and fell in love with Dollhouse. Damnit! At least Whedon got to resolve that one – though the second season packed in about three seasons worth of arc. Even Vampire Diaries would’ve been all, “Hey, slow it down a little!” (I’m almost terrified to watch SHIELD when it comes out.)

If the above didn’t give it away yet, I’m also one of those people who became committed to the idea that at some point the stars would align, all the actors would be available, there would be some kind of bloody coup at Fox, and Firefly would come back. (damn SciFi for not taking it – really, SciFi? No number of Stargate spinoffs can redeem you in my sight!) Now, there was the movie – and it was an awesome movie, which I saw in the theater, and I own the DVD. And after the movie I *completely* believed that the show would get picked up again… which of course it did not.

The ten-year anniversary of the cancellation was last year. There were a lot of cool events, and it was nice to gather ‘round, watch the show again, curse the sudden (yet inevitable) betrayal of Fox, and dream of what could still be…

And that’s when I really did finally get it – this ain’t coming back.

Even if there was the will, and the money, and a network, and an opening on Whedon’s calendar, it just won’t happen. The actors are ten years older. You can’t just start up the show and be all “this picks up three months after the events of Serenity.” Ten years shows. Nathan Fillion is not getting back into those tight pants. Summer Glau cannot pass as a teenager anymore. Alan Tudyk’s character was killed, so I don’t have to think of a reason for him.

But ten years would also impact storylines – as an audience member, I can buy space cowboy. (Because it’s *awesome*) But I can’t buy that ten years would go by without Mal and Inara finally settling the relationship one way or the other. And losing Wash was horrible for Zoe, but she would’ve had ten years to grieve and move forward. River at 26 would be an incredible, slightly-crazy badass, but I doubt she would have anything but full control at that part. Her brother is incredibly smart – ten years and he’d have her brain super-glued back together.

Also, ten years later? Simon and Kaylee would have a spunky eight-year-old helping out in the engine room, and I’m sorry guys, but I just cannot watch a show with a precocious child on it. Not even for Whedon.

Jayne, I grant you, could probably pick up his arc exactly where it left off and have it be believable.

So, I have to accept that where the characters are at the end of the film will have to be my ultimate resolution with them.

BUT.

That intricate, amazing, fascinating space-cowboy world with its fascinating underpinnings of the overlap of corporations and government, haves and haves not, the right to misbehave, a ruling system out of control, cows on spaceships, religious variations, and what the fuck was Blue Sun anyway?

Oh, no. That I will *not* give up on. Because here’s the thing – the world can be returned to, props can be rebuilt, and the effects budget would probably go a bit further nowadays. Yes, Whedon is busy with SHIELD (for the year and a half that it will run, and then shatter all of our hearts *again*), but this is a guy who had Buffy, Angel, *and* Firefly running simultaneously. He can multitask. Plus, all of the amazing writers who were on staff are still around, and the thing about writers is that they just get better with age (well, to a certain point – after about seventy they start getting weird). The *world* of Firefly can still sound, look, and feel the same. It just needs to be populated with a new crew.

This brings me to my modest proposal – a game for Firefly fans to fill in a little time before the next Whedon-esque heartbreak. Think of it like a cross between Mad Libs and paper dolls.

Here are your set parameters:

The time: Five years after the conclusion of Serenity.

The place: A Firefly-class starship.

Now here’s where you get to start filling in.

When Firefly came out in 2002, the big run-up to the show was based around a kind of formulaic presentation of the characters (the better for the rest of us to wrap our heads around). These were the categories:

The Captain (Mal Reynolds)
The Soldier (Zoe)
The Pilot (Wash)
The Mechanic (Kaylee)
The Mercenary (Jayne)
The Ambassador (Inara)
The Shepherd (Book)
The Fugitive (River – though technically she and Simon were *both* fugitives, but she didn’t have much else to do during the first few episodes. Though later she became spooky and badass)
The Doctor (Simon)

I was trying to find the article that I originally read that list in (it also had a reporter asking Nathan Fillion to free-associate phrases, and one of them was “space hooker” – Nathan’s response was “Poor Morena.”), but failed. I did, however, find it used in (of all things) an OK Cupid Firefly-themed personality test. Huh.

That’s nine parts that need to be cast. I’m going to add one more: The Villain. In the original series this was Two By Two, Hands Of Blue (also known as Those Guys With Blue Gloves On).

Ten categories to fill, and the need to establish the basic storylines that a pilot would start with. I’ll go first!

The Captain

Cassidy Freeman

The Captain – Cassidy Freeman

About the character: This Captain would, like Mal, be a Browncoat combat veteran. The same financial and ethical pressures that pushed Mal into the fringes would’ve done the same to this former sergeant once Unification occurred. Though often alone, the Captain harbors an unresolved love interest in the Ambassador.

About my casting choice: Cassidy Freeman played the vampire Sage on Vampire Diaries, and before her death (pretty much every character on that show dies), she did a great job of giving a nuanced and very strong performance. I also saw her on the second season of Once Upon A Time, where she played Jacqueline (otherwise known as Jack and the Beanstalk), and she did a good job killing giants. In action scenes, she has a good physical presence. I think she could be an awesome Captain.

The Soldier

Enver Gjokaj

The Soldier – Enver Gjokaj

About the character: Like Zoe, this Soldier served under the Captain during the war, forming a close and unbreakably loyal bond. Even when he disagrees with the Captain, once an order is given, the Soldier will follow it.

About my casting choice: Enver Gjokaj played Victor in Dollhouse. Over the course of the show, during which time Enver showed the ability to play *a lot* of different characters, it was revealed that Victor’s original personality had been a soldier. I thought he really sold it during those scenes. Plus, we know Joss Whedon likes him – he played one of the NYC cops in The Avengers who have a brief exchange with Captain America.

The Pilot

Felicia Day

The Pilot – Felicia Day

About the character: Unlike Wash, this Pilot is also a veteran of the war. Flying for the browncoats in some of the worse battles of the war, the Pilot was shot down and spent almost several months in an Alliance prison camp. When the war ended, the prisoners were freed, but the Pilot has been left with PTSD. A brilliant pilot, but with a lot of demons and a poor attitude, eventually the only job she could find where she wouldn’t get fired was flying her sister’s Firefly. Yup, this is my use of the sibling connection – the Captain and the Pilot are siblings. (plus, how else to explain the presence of two gingers on a spaceship?)

About my casting choice: Penny on Dr. Horrible, Charlie on Supernatural, plus Codex on The Guild – Felicia Day is a lot of fun on the screen. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen her play a character as dark as the Pilot, but I absolutely think that she could. Plus, this would be her third Joss Whedon thing – the first time I saw her was on Buffy.

The Mechanic

Wil Wheaton (center, in the kilt -- which you already knew, because DUH Wil Wheaton!)

The Mechanic – Wil Wheaton (center, in the kilt — which you already knew, because DUH Wil Wheaton!)

About the character: Like Kaylee this character is brilliant at keeping a Firefly running on a shoestring budget and salvaged parts. This Mechanic is somewhat less effervescent and idealistic than Kaylee, but instead shares more personality traits and worldview with Wash. Far less jaded than the Captain, the Soldier, the Mercenary, or the Pilot, but better suited to life on the edge than the Ambassador or the Shepherd.

About my casting choice: He spent how many years recalibrating phase polarity as an ensign on the Enterprise? It’s about time that Wil Wheaton had a ship’s engine entirely to himself.

The Mercenary

Adam Baldwin

The Once And Future Mercenary – Adam Baldwin

About the character: Jayne is probably the one character who would actually be believably in a similar situation and in an emotionally similar state as he was originally. He got off Serenity when he found a farm owned by an attractive and wealthy widow, figuring that he’d be set up for life. Six months later they were divorced after the widow discovered he was a jerk, and he was left with nothing except his hat and his favorite gun Vera. With Serenity on the other side of the ‘verse and in need of a job, he hired on with this crew. Amoral, aggressive, and kind of a lummox, Jayne as the Mercenary is perfect in every way.

About my casting choice: Adam Baldwin might actually fit into his old Blue Sun tee-shirts. Plus, who better?

The Ambassador

Dichen Lachman

The Ambassador – Dichen Lachman

About the character: Even by the middle of Season 1, it was getting old to see Inara spending half her time under some dude of the week (yes, it wasn’t just dudes, but when it’s only one woman and how many guys? I’m calling trend). Yes, fan-service is fun, but I wonder how long we really would’ve stayed interested in companions. Plus, their place in society was fairly problematic, despite Whedon’s efforts. So this Ambassador isn’t a companion, but instead is a galaxy-trotting cultural anthropologist from a hugely wealthy family on Osiris. It’s kind of like if a Kennedy black sheep when road-tripping. All these different planets with various sub-cultures that can range to individuals juggling goslings for fun? A traveling anthropologist would have a field day. She’s gathering information for what she hopes will be a ground-breaking book on cultures in the outer planets, and how better to get into all these lawless places than renting a shuttle on a scruffy Firefly? Of course, things have gotten a bit more complicated since she arrived, now that she and the Captain are avoiding talking about their attraction – and given that they fundamentally disagree and come from such different worlds, the path to true love will *not* run smoothly. As a scion of one of the preeminent families of her world, the Ambassador has a lot of connections, and she is much more politically aware and informed than anyone else on the ship. Bonus: If she and the Captain ever got things better settled than Mal and Inara, Adam Baldwin could say “I’ll be in my bunk” again.

About my casting choice: Dichen Lachman did some interesting stuff as Sierra on Dollhouse, and I bet that she could do some great intellectually curious yet privileged rich girl stuff. Plus, she’s a Whedon alum.

The Shepherd

Ashley Williams

The Shepherd – Ashley Williams

About the character: Book was awesome, plus he had a hidden past that slowly came out. What was also great was how he could add in to a lot of moral discussions – his viewpoints were usually extremely black & white, which added contrast and conflict with the extremely morally gray approach of Mal, Zoe, and Jayne. Losing a person of the cloth would be a loss to the show and the places where it could go. So, this Shepherd (like Book) was originally just a passenger who got on in the pilot, but due to those events became a member of the crew. She is a missionary who was heading to the outer planets to preach the holy word, and her outlook is very stark – there are good actions and evil actions. She comes to view her purpose as encouraging the Captain toward making morally good decisions (similar to Book). In outlook, she emotionally ends up filling Kaylee’s role – effervescent, relentlessly optimistic, and a buoyant personality. What events in her life led to the Shepherd choosing missionary work – well, it’s called a *hidden* past for a reason. (maybe she dropped out of companion-school?)

About my casting choice: It’s probably my most out-there – the only thing I’ve ever seen Ashley Williams do was Victoria on How I Met Your Mother – but she was really good, has nice comic timing, and she has the most glorious smile.

The Fugitive

Tahmoh Penikett

The Fugitive – Tahmoh Penikett

About the character: Remember the operative from Serenity? That guy was amazing, and when his intense faith in the ultimate rightness of the people he served was broken, it absolutely shattered him. Wouldn’t that guy be a cool crew member? The Fugitive was an operative of the Parliament who was sent out to retrieve a scientist who had gone on the run, taking all of her highly classified research with her. The Fugitive caught her, because he is a motherfucking operative and he does not mess around. But where he caught her was tiny moon in the middle of nowhere, and the defenses she’d set up around her lab were able to completely disable his ship. So instead of knocking her out and throwing her in cold-storage for the trip home, he needed her mobile. He got her to the one ship in the area – a scrappy Firefly with a motley crew. He flashed his badge and said that he was from the government and was requisitioning the ship to fly him back to a military outpost, for which he would pay them an obscene amount of money. But that gave the scientist the chance to talk with him, and tell him about exactly what the Parliament had wanted her to create with her research. And the truth of that broke his faith, and broke him. Now the only thing he wants to do is protect the scientist, and the crew of the Firefly are willing to let the two of them hide on the ship… for now. The Fugitive is repulsed by the kinds of jobs that the Captain and her crew take, and everything about them run contrary to the rigid rules of law that he believed in and upheld for so many years. But on the occasions that he participates, the Fugitive can kick ass.

About my casting choice: He was Helo on Battlestar Galactica, and Paul Ballard on Dollhouse. He can work tortured man of honor like there is no tomorrow, he’s a Whedon alumni, and he does crazy good fight work. He would totally bring it.

The Doctor

Nichelle Nichols

The Doctor – Nichelle Nichols

About the character: Simon had two jobs on Firefly – one was to protect someone else (River). The other was to be able to sew people up well enough that Whedon could end most episodes with one or more members of the crew suffering from gunshot wounds. With the level of violence usually seen on a Firefly, a doctor is necessary. This Doctor is also hiding from the government, but she takes up River’s role as the focus of the government desire – she is the object that they want to recover. The role of protector is shifted over to the Fugitive (and his devotion to her protection is not from a sibling desire, but because it is the only reason he can think of right now not to commit suicide). The Doctor was a top-level scientist in the Alliance government, and after the events of Serenity and the massive exposure suffered by the Parliament, she was assigned the task of researching what about the Pax turned normal people into Reavers. She believed that she was given this job in the hopes of being able to reverse the process (the was also the Parliament’s publicity campaign after the origins of the Reavers were revealed), but when she started making real progress on the task, she discovered that the Parliament actually had no intention of fixing the Reavers – they want a fool-proof way of *creating more* Reavers, as the ultimate nuclear option to threaten or unsettle rebelling worlds. She ran, the Fugitive was dispatched and caught her, but now she has him protecting her and the Captain harboring them. She destroyed all records of her work and progress, but she is the only person who could recreate it, which is why she’s running.

About my casting choice: Uhura! And Nichelle Nichols was good recently on Heroes, so I’d personally like to see her in a role that had some meat on it.

The Villain

George Takei Alexis Denisof Reed Diamond

George Takei
Alexis Denisof
Reed Diamond

Ruthless Yet Honorable Head Villain

About the character: The defection of an operative is kind of a big deal, plus the research into weaponizing Reavers is drydocked without the Doctor, so a crack team has been dispatched to find the Fugitive and the Doctor – though they only need her to be alive. In charge is Ruthless Yet Honorable Head Villain – he’s an older version of the Fugitive, really, but with an even more powerful belief in the overall rightness of the system. He wants to capture the Fugitive alive, since he believes that the Fugitive can be brought back into the fold. RYHHV has the power and authority in this mission, so he’ll mostly be coordinating efforts from whatever Alliance ship is currently their headquarters.

About my casting choice: George Takei rocked on Heroes, so the guy has still got it.

Sneaky Untrustworthy Vice-Villain

About the character: Sneaky Untrustworthy Vice-Villain is the second-banana in this hunt. He isn’t an operative himself, instead he is a political aide to one of the members of Parliament. He is present to observe the hunt for his masters and make sure that their interests are taken care of. Unlike RYHHV, SUVV is slimy and underhanded, and will go back on his word and stab people in the back. He would prefer to kill the Fugitive and anyone who harbored them, then torture information out of the Doctor. Will probably kill RYHHV at some climactic season end episode.

About my casting choice: Alexis Denisof is a Whedon veteran of Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, and now Much Ado About Nothing. It just completes everything to have him be on Firefly as well.

Gopher #1

About the character: Yes, RYHHV and SUVV might be masterminding things and giving orders, but that leaves one guy who actually has to go do stuff. And that guy is Gopher #1.

About my casting choice: Reed Diamond was fantastic as Mr. Dominic on Dollhouse. He can be serious, he can be funny, and he can also do a fight scene.

So, overall, I’ve shown that I have put much too much thought into this. However, there it is, and my questions to you are:

What characters would you re-cast in my version?

If you made your own version, what would it be?

Comment and share – come on, let’s have a little fun!

Multiple copies

I’ve always been a pretty active reader. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to pick up on this habit either. Three rooms in my house have some fairly substantial book shelvage (four if you count my upstairs hallway, where a storage shelf started acquiring a row of books on top), and even in the rooms where there aren’t book shelves, books I’m currently reading usually get left here or there. I try to keep it relatively tidy, and periodically I’ll move through and try to prune out a few books to make room or new stuff. This generally comes after some spousal grumbling. The Honey Badger occasionally objects when a new row of books appears. This leads to a periodic purging of books. There are books that I frankly will not part with, simply because I feel the need to always possess copies. I mean, it’s been years since I opened up Meredith Ann Pierce, but I still have The Darkangel Trilogy. (in my defense – I loved it as a tween, but it is still eerily beautiful as an adult) Then there are the books I swing back through every few years – Christopher Buckley, Brandon Sanderson, Emma Bull, Jon Krakauer. But when I go through my shelves, there are always a few books that I read once, liked to a certain degree, but just don’t feel the need to continue owning, particularly when my shelf real estate is at a premium.

But last week, I was going through another round of purging, and it occurred to me that there are a few books that I actually own two copies of – and, moreso, that I have no intention of downgrading to a single copy. It’s kind of interesting, and I was thinking about why this is.

I have two copies of The Princess Bride.

One is the 1987 edition that was the first one I ever owned. The cover art is different, plus there’s a really pretty fold-out map in the middle that’s in full color. Geography is not precisely complicated in this book, so it’s a perk rather than a requirement. But then I also have a 30th Anniversary edition that has a different forward and a bonus section at the end. It also has a reader’s guide, which for me is actually a strike against it – why is it that reader’s guides always seem to have the most moronic questions? Even glancing at them tends to piss me off.

This time around I was considering ditching my 1987 edition – after all, conceivably the 30th Anniversary is more definitive. The cover art is nicer, plus it’s a trade paperback, so it’s more comfortable to hold and read. But then I reflected that the 1987 had a more amusing description on the back cover. It’s not the “What if the most beautiful woman in the world married a handsome prince and he turned out to be a son of a bitch” line, because they tempered the last down to “…well, not a nice person,” but it makes me think of the original, and that makes me laugh. The 30th Anniversary back cover is just focused on the book’s success, which just doesn’t seem as fun. Plus, I didn’t hugely enjoy the forward on the 30th Anniversary edition, so I would skip over it anyway. And that little 1987 edition, with its crappy and overly medieval art knockoff cover has a certain nostalgia to it. This was the book I first read.

That’s the cover on my older copy.

I kept both. Seriously, why? I haven’t read the book in years, yet I have two copies. Now even after reflection, I have two copies.

That’s the cover art on my 30th Anniversary — definitely the coolest.

I have two copies of Life of Pi as well. And two copies of Ariel (but that’s mostly because I love the new copy, and find the other incredibly amusing in just a “what the hell were they thinking” kind of way).

I also have two copies of books that I teach with. This one actually isn’t that hard to figure out – the books that I teach with get completely trashed. For books that I really only use to teach with, it doesn’t matter that much. This includes every textbook I’ve ever used, plus old workhorses like The Best Essays of the Century or In Fact: Creative Nonfiction. I underline passages, dog-ear pages, draw in loops and stars and write comments in the margins. Post-it notes get stuck in with more notes, then sometimes there’s even the indignity of paper clips so that I can get to certain sections *really* fast. The more times I’ve taught a book, the more mangled the book gets – not just because I’m finding more useful passages to talk about in class, but that book is also getting stuffed in and out of my bag, having folders plopped on it, getting covered in chalk dust, and everything else you can imagine happening.

I don’t do this often, but sometimes I teach books that I love. I don’t do this too much, because there’s nothing more demoralizing than having a class full of bored and grumpy freshmen who are only taking this class to fulfill a graduation requirement absolutely tear apart a book that you honestly feel was special and beautiful. “It’s boring,” they whine. “I didn’t get it,” “I don’t really know much about computers, so I just couldn’t follow it,” (that last one is something I hear a lot about Neuromancer. It drives me nuts.)

“I don’t know much about computers, so I didn’t understand this book” — seriously, WHAT?

But I do teach The Unit, by Ninni Holmqvist, and I love the hell out of it. I’ve taught it five times, and I reread it each time, and it still blows my mind. Better yet, I’ve never taught it to a class when it didn’t blow their minds too. It makes them cry, it pisses them off, it does incredible things – every time. I’ve taught it to classes where we were studying dystopian fiction, and I’ve taught it to general writing classes where I was just trying to get them to write a definition essay – works for both. My copy that I teach with is absolutely mauled – so on another shelf, I have another copy that is pristine.

That’s the case for The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down as well, which I have two copies of – one is the one I teach with, and the other is actually my old student copy from Introduction to Anthropology. So both are actually equally marked up (the student copy actually still has the old “used” sticker on it), but one is full of thoughts I had as a student and the other is thoughts on how to teach it.

Then there are the books that I used to have two copies of, but don’t anymore. American Gods is one – I once had both the hardcover and a paperback copy, but I ended up trading away my paperback on Paperbackswap because I just loved the hardcover so much. It was an identical cover, too – I just had so many nice memories of reading the story the first time. I used to have two copies of Busman’s Honeymoon – but one was an old and beat-up copy that I bought second-hand, and I replaced it with a prettier edition that matched the rest of the series.

Then there are the books that I’ve bought in hardcover because it was the only way to get my greedy paws on them as soon as they come out, but I really don’t want to have that book in hardcover, so I buy the paperback when it comes out and get rid of the hardcover. I do this with Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson books, and I used to do it with the Sookie Stackhouse series, but for the last two books I’ve actually just gotten them out of the library and not bought them at all.

But thinking about what books I have two copies of, which ones I used to have two copies of, and all the reasoning and nostalgia and outright affection that goes into book ownership made me curious:

What books do YOU have two copies of?

Favorite Things

This post is going to be on the short side. Yes, there have been many exciting developments with the manuscript, which is being passed over to a copy editor, and, yes, I have been meaning to put up the Anita Blake post for a while. But the manuscript post will have to wait, as will Anita Blake. For one thing, I’ve been researching (okay, that makes it sound like more than what I did, which was look it up on Wikipedia) what has been going on with the Anita Blake series since I stopped reading it, and holy shit! I mean… whoa. It was pretty clear that things were heading in a kind of weird direction, which was why I stopped reading, but… I did not see anything quite like that happening. Those plot summaries have been… interesting.

But, more to come on that later! (…resisting… horrible…. crass… Anita… Blake… joke… must… be… strong… need… distraction…)

Yes, that will do it. Hee hee.

Okay, better now.

What’s mostly happening is that I’m back at work, so that’s taking up a bit of my time. But fear not, there will be more substantial posts to come. In the meantime, I give you delightfully insubstantial fluff with all of the intellectually nutritious value of cotton candy.

Oh, Internet. I just can’t quit you.

Admittedly, my version of Favorite Things comes with a lot less swag than when Oprah would do it (which I know through pop culture osmosis, not because I used to watch it), but it has a kind of “brown paper packages tied up with strings” quality that appeals to me. And, hopefully my reader(s?).

Just imagine if she’d had the Internet. We’d all know what rhymed with “LOLCats”

First favorite thing!

The SummHarry by Lucy Kingsley.

This is definitely number one, because it combines Harry Potter fandom, snark, and actual artistic talent all into one delightful package! If I’m ever rich enough to have my own private office where I don’t have to make decorating compromises (hint: Generation V is due out from Roc in May 2013!), I am totally buying this, framing it, and putting it on the wall.

Second favorite thing!

VlogBrothers by John and Hank Green.

I’m a huge fan of the Vlogbrothers, and if you’ve never heard of them or of Nerdfighteria, why are you still even reading this? Go forth and discover what happens when complete geekery meets video blogging! Plus, they are almost at their 1,000th video upload, and that’s a pretty impressive number. Particularly given how much time they probably spend making and editing those videos. And yet John Green is also the published author of a number of well-reviewed books.

Some people are clearly better at time management than I am.

Third favorite thing!

Rifftrax

When I was younger, I would spend every Sunday watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 on the SciFi channel. Because it was the SCIFI channel back then, not the idiotic Syfy abomination.

But, anyway, I saw a number of truly horrible movies. Manos, Hands of Fate. Hamlet, the crappy German version. The Horror of Spider Island. That weird one where the kids on the beach were threatened by the rubber-suit thing that had hot-dogs in its mouth.

And they were all completely awesome, because of the MST3K jokes.

But then MST3K went off the air, and even though there are a bunch of episodes on DVD (which you should totally rent!), I was really sad.

Then, something magical happened. I found out that the MST3K guys were using the Internet to produce audio commentaries that you could buy and then watch in sequence with the movie! And that because of that, they were now able to put commentaries to NEW movies! They did all six Star Wars movies! And seven of the Harry Potter films! And Thor!

Best of all, they’d even done Twilight. Watching the MST3K “best of” clips is the closest I will ever come to viewing those films, but they. Are. AWESOME.