February 20th, 2009


Things that are making me happy right now

In handy dandy list form.

1. Robots - I am currently in a robotics class, where we are teaching robots to stop moving forward when they run into things (like walls), in addition to learning the practical skills needed to survive the eventual robot uprising. (Only half kidding. One of our required books was this.) The projects have eaten significantly large portions of my life, but it's still incredibly rewarding, and after you are done with a project, you have a robot that runs around and does stuff.

If I was not lazy, I would YouTube the shit out of the videos of my object seeking project, where our robot attempts to find a few brightly colored objects just using a camera, but I am lazy. Also, I'm not entirely sure I want to show the internet how our robot occasionally mistakes the not-pink walls for bright pink objects and on a few special occasions, runs into a whiteboard. So that the whiteboard falls on top of it. And then we have to save it.

Yeah, our group is just badass like that.

2. Friday Night Lights - Okay, I watched all of season 2 and came out feeling kind of meh about the whole thing. It recovered by the end, but by that time, everything was really uneven. I wasn't sure I'd dig season 3. So I waited for it to start showing on Hulu, expecting a repeat of season 2.

I was very, very wrong.

All of the weaknesses have been chucked out in favor of pure AWESOME. The football focus is back and better than ever. Matt/Julie is adorable again. Smash gets a glorious sendoff. Tami gets to be something other than Mrs. Coach. Tyra gets to spend more time figuring herself out.

I am sorry they chucked the Santiago storyline, because I liked him and his struggles, and now with Smash gone, the show is excruciatingly white. Still, the writing is awesome and all the characters shine, and I watch on Hulu every week, hoping that maybe that'll help NBC count me in as a regular viewer.

3. Vids - So there was a post about the OTW's history of vidding project recently, with a link to a test suite of Fair Use vids. I checked the page out and remembered how much I love these things. Like, a lot. (All of them on that page are excellent, btw. Women's Work especially is a gutpunch.) So at the moment, I am rewatching my old favorites and hunting down news ones, and it is all very happy and exciting.

I'm still very aware that I'm not very good at watching vids, yet (I still usually have to watch a vid four or five times before I 'get' it), but at the same time, I love what they can do. They can critique the source, re-imagine it, celebrate it. What they do isn't what fic does, but they both work together, hand in hand.

Like, I adore People Get Ready. It's about taking Heroes, season 1, and reducing/pulling out the bad parts and celebrating the good parts. It's about all the heroes, their struggles, their hope, their pain, without the show's focus on Peter vs. Sylar. It's about taking the season apart and putting it back together so that it's better. Fanfic isn't about doing that. Fanfic is about, "What if we write a season 2 to fix everything?" Fanfic builds on top of canon, even as it subverts and critiques it, but that's not what vidding does.

And then there's stuff like I Kissed A Girl that reclaims stupid/offensive lyrics, too, and twists them around until I don't want to stab someone in the face anymore. Mostly because I'm staring/laughing at the pretty, but still! Clark experimenting with heterosexuality! What's not to love?

I sort of want to do a vidshow of some sort amongst my nerd friends, but I'm not sure they'd get it at all. It's so hard to learn how to watch these things right. I can't teach them to love vids the way I do.

4. 50books_poc - One of the coolest things I've found through Racefail '09. I doubt I'll do the actual challenge, but I'll definitely be using it as a source of Stuff To Read when I visit the library from now on. And I'm the kind of person who really, really needs book recs in my life.

Also, before this I didn't know who Samuel R. Delany was, but now I have checked one his books out of the school library, and I am a much happier person because of this. (Yay.)