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14 October 2016 @ 12:25 am
Yesterday's good deed  
...involved rescuing a lizard I found in the bike storage area at the office. The little creature was on the floor, perhaps having wandered in from a hole in the exit door. I tried to persuade a coworker to take it outside, but it was too fast for him, and the guy theorized the lizard had gotten inside via that door hole, and would leave the same way. After my bike ride, the lizard was still in the corner it had boxed itself into. Hours later, as I was going home... still there. I trapped it with a stiff piece of paper and a plastic cup, and carried it outside. I never knew lizards used "playing dead" as a defense mechanism. For awhile there, I thought I was too late. :O

Remember my comments on Monday's post about the Yuletide pinch-hit list and obscure requests? Several entries were sent out within hours of the assignments—I forgot that sometimes there are requests that find no matches. The mods try to safeguard against that as much as possible. Fandoms have to have multiple nominations before they qualify for a round, though it maybe that there are more people wanting to stories for a fandom than feel they can write for it. I suspect people sometimes corral their friends into reinforcing nominations, but that works against you if no true participants offer to write for it. The rules also limit you to one story request per fandom, though some people try to get around that by nominating the same fandom in different forms—e.g., the novel and the TV-series versions of something, or two different movies in the same overall franchise. This can backfire, though—your request that looks like three fandoms is really two, possibly leaving you unmatched or leaving your assigned writer very few options. This year, someone made five requests for Olympics RPF, wherein different sports were each treated as a "fandom." It's obvious they really, really want to read Olympics RPF, but RPF is a hard sell for a lot of writers, and what if nobody wants to write that? Any of it?

Those ploys increase the chance you might get a story that isn't very good, or very true to the characters, and it's less likely to be something a writer feels passionate about writing. Where is the appeal in that?

In other fandom news... I would have loved a second season for Limitless (and why waste that cast?), but it's not looking good. For new shows, we're watching Designated Survivor, and saw the premiere of Timeless. I doubt many people reacted to Timeless the way I did: "Lem is back on TV! Oh, Lem, how I've missed you." I've seen the actor in a few things after Better Off Ted (and am always newly surprised by the lack of glasses), but never in a part this big or consistent. Then there's The Blacklist, in which Mr. Kaplan's fate torments me. They did a nice job this season of showing the character's softer emotions in addition to her bad-assery. I just like how atypical that casting is for a "cleaner," and that she's extremely good at it.

As for actual life, I managed some good biking over the last week, which will have to sustain me through the next several rainy days. I'll be watching more of Chuck, Season One for my garage-biking. I haven't been able to stream Netflix out there since we got a replacement router from the cable company a few months ago. The signal just isn't strong enough.

What I'm really dreading, and can't put off too much longer, is cracking open the novella that constitutes this year's California voter's pamphlet. In addition to the various positions up for election, there are 17 initiatives on the November ballot—several of them either overlapping or partial/full reversals of past initiatives. Gah...

Criminy, there's that gnawing up in the ceiling again. Why oh why is our current cat such a lousy mouser?

PROBE UNIVERSEliviapenn on October 14th, 2016 10:55 am (UTC)

Fandoms have to have multiple nominations before they qualify for a round

No, I don't think they do. I'm definitely the only one who nominated some of the fandoms I requested. As far back as I can remember, only one person has to nominate a fandom for it to get in. If people ask their friends to nominate the same fandom as they did, it's probably to add more characters.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 14th, 2016 04:57 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I remember there being a restriction last year or the year before. Previously, there were no limits, but there was an attempt recently to make sure a fandom had a "consensus" before qualifying (which might just be 3 or 4 other nominations), to try to improve the matching process.
PROBE UNIVERSEliviapenn on October 15th, 2016 06:47 am (UTC)

You must be thinking of some other challenge... rairpairfest or holly_poly or something like that? Yuletide has never required more than one person to nom a fandom, and definitely not as many as three or four.
Didn't want to be: pic#126194911anyonesghost on October 14th, 2016 11:45 am (UTC)
My wife and I sat through the pilot for Timeless. While I appreciate Matt Lanter's voice acting work, the premise sort of struck me as Sliders-lite. And, of course, it was hard to take seriously once the jokes started. "Time killed my wife! I'll get that bastard Time ... if it's the last thing I do!"
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: TVhalfshellvenus on October 14th, 2016 05:00 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen Sliders, which helps. What, did you not like the rotating radial belts (on the prototype) as a method to trigger time-travel? ;)

Goran Visnjic has appeal to me on a shallow level, though I don't like the part he's playing. And Lem! But otherwise... yes, this one might be short-lived in our TV viewing.
riverotter1951riverotter1951 on October 14th, 2016 02:02 pm (UTC)
You wrote: What I'm really dreading, and can't put off too much longer, is cracking open the novella that constitutes this year's California voter's pamphlet. In addition to the various positions up for election, there are 17 initiatives on the November ballot—several of them either overlapping or partial/full reversals of past initiatives. Gah...

Me too.Fortunately, my son has a friend with an expertise in politics so they talk about the initiatives and then he helps me.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 14th, 2016 05:04 pm (UTC)
Our daughter interned with the Governor's office this summer, and the interns each had to dissect and present an initiative to help the others understand what the nuts and bolts of each were, since constituents might call about them.

Hers was Prop 51, which she felt the Governor should have opposed more strongly. The $9 billion bond becomes about $18 billion of money over the life of the bond (due to interest), which is huge, and there are a lot of very strange caveats in the language that look to benefit construction companies.

Such a headache... I can't remember the last time there were so many, but I think it was perhaps only 11-13 then? Maybe that's wishful thinking.
cindytsuki_no_bara on October 15th, 2016 02:50 am (UTC)
SEVENTEEN BALLOT INITIATIVES. holy shit. mass has four, plus a city question for somerville because we need a new high school building or apparently the hs will lose accreditation. O.O (the building must be in really terrible shape.) i couldn't cope with seventeen. is that partly because you live in such a ginormous state?

i kinda like timeless altho it's only been two episodes and i haven't had to yell at the tv yet, so who knows. and it's nice to know i'm not the only one still watching the blacklist! i'm intrigued and baffled by where they're going with mr kaplan. she's really not what you think of when you think "cleaner", and i really like that about her.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 15th, 2016 02:54 am (UTC)
It's partly that California is a huge state (lots of divergent special interests), and also that the initiative process is such a big thing here. Every time someone gets pissed off about XYZ, they try to form an initiative about it, whether it's the status quo, some law the legislature passed, or some other PRIOR initiative whose side-effects they now hate. Gah.

Mr. Kaplan has been such an interesting character for me on the Blacklist. And at least now I don't have to hide my Lizzie/Tom shipping anymore. ;)
CaffieneKitty: smilecaffienekitty on October 15th, 2016 06:39 am (UTC)
I've been meaning to check out Timeless, but my schedule hasn't aligned and my computer is having a RAM failure so even watching it on the network site replay isn't an option right now. I do miss Limitless, it was such fun.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: TVhalfshellvenus on October 15th, 2016 06:37 pm (UTC)
I loved the loopiness of Limitless (the various arts-and-crafts replicas Brian would make to think through ideas, or his video game imaginings of Nas doing her thing), and really-- it was so nice seeing Jennifer Carpenter play a more normal character and be allowed to just be charming. :)
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on November 1st, 2016 06:33 am (UTC)
Some of these challenges are way too confusing and Yuletide is one of them! I cannot wrap my head around it.

I so much want to see more of Limitless. I just loved that show.

So I mailed my ballot today. Actually, I mailed my ballot two weeks ago after spending 3 hours filling it out. Then, about five days ago I got another ballot in the mail and realized that I must have filled out someone else's that ended up in my mailbox by mistake. I called the Alameda County election commission and was told to fill out the one with my name on it -- the other one would automatically be rejected because my signature wouldn't match the name that shows up when the barcode is scanned. Jees. I am a moron.

Happily the second one only took about 30 minutes to fill out since I remembered most of my previous votes. 65/67 were the most confusing -- I think I voted yes on 67 and no on 65 because if 65 gets more votes it cancels out 67 or something like that.

I'm catching up on your posts so you may have already voted, but this site definitely helped: https://ballot.fyi/
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on November 1st, 2016 06:42 am (UTC)
Jees. I am a moron.
Well, in all fairness-- the other ballot came to your house! So, I think at least 50% of the blame there goes to the post office.

Oh, the pain of having to fill that thing out twice. I really regret not having gone absentee, too, as the polling place is the local elementary school again which has no parking. I thought they'd abandoned it permanently because of that problem, but apparently not. Augh.

The two death penalty and plastic bag initiatives really did not help things, I'll say that much. Geez. :O