me - with garibaldi

Laurel's Journal

my 11 cents

Someday I'll have a viable address book. Maybe.
seasonal - poinsettia
Interested in getting the occasional bit of mail from me? (And maybe from kaustin too?)

You could fill out this handy dandy short form:

(If you have info you want to pass along that doesn't fit on the form, you can comment on this entry & I'll make a note of things. Comments are screened so only I'll see them. Postable's form is intentionally kept simple & I appreciate that while also recognizing that many of us have complicated lives and/or contact info that doesn't quite all fit on the form.)

I'll likely post a separate LJ poll about whether folks like getting holiday cards and/or mixes and such stuff.

Perhaps there'll be cards this Christmas. Maybe mixes for those that like that sort of thing. Working on it.

Letters to TV shows
tv picks
Dear Person of Interest,

You are lovely. I (heart) you. I wish you all good things and hope the show lasts a long time.

You make me laugh. You make me think. You are smart and cool and a BAMF among TV shows.

You evolve. You grow in interesting and believable ways. Even tiny moments matter. Episodes build on each other, so that there really aren't any episodes you can miss.

You are, in fact, a science fiction show, but you are grounded in reality and do believable things with computers and artificial intelligence and surveillance.

I love the lead characters, I love the supporting players, I love many of the guest stars and recurring characters. You even have a dog, who is awesome and an important part of the team.

Your stumbles are few and far between and often the things I think might be mistakes make sense when I view the whole picture (it's so awesome when I discover this, makes me think the show is smarter than me sometimes which is so very very cool).

You feature very smart & competent people being smart & competent all over the place while also being human and flawed and believable.

I basically love all the ways you don't do what I would expect based on how things are usually done on other shows (and in other fiction). You keep me guessing. You surprise me. Most of the time you don't let me down.

I have my worries about this season, despite liking the season premiere a lot, but am trusting you to remain an awesome show because last year was tough at times and yet now when I look at the whole season I (mostly) love it.

Keep on being awesome, you wonderful brilliant TV show.



+ + +

Dear NCIS,

I still like you, but you drive me crazy sometimes. I cut you a lot of slack because of a good cast and great cast chemistry and I've grown to care about your characters. I try to forgive you when characters are not true to themselves or their history. I forgive a lot, honestly, because of the humor and people I like.

You make it very difficult sometimes, even viewing this as a non-serious fluffy sort of second-tier show, when you get computer stuff so very very wrong.

If you're worried that a SD card has a computer virus on it, you could read it on a laptop that doesn't have WiFi or Bluetooth, that isn't connected to a network. Even without a power cable if you want to be idiotic and imply viruses can transmit over power cables somehow (OMG, Kevin & I yelled at the screen that was so stupid). Sure, put the laptop in a cage, even. I'm so very tired of you treating "computer stuff" as if it's magic when you aren't actually a science fiction or fantasy show. (Person of Interest wouldn't even try this stuff and it is, actually, a science fiction show.)

Please confer with people who actually know things about computers once in a while.



+ + +

Dear Gotham,

I want to like you because Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon are two of my favorite fictional characters of all time. I want to like you because I like some of the actors on the show and Gotham is kinda pretty and stuff.

But, seriously? Putting that many future super-villains in the pilot episode? Are you nuts? Maybe as a pilot presentation to show the network and advertisers, but as the actual first episode? Ugh. I hear the next two episodes are far better than the pilot, which is encouraging, because the pilot was underwhelming.

It's not a good sign when tweets about the show (using hashtag "GothamQuotesProbably") are funnier and better than the show itself.

I'm not sure what your plan is for the show, really, and the pilot should give me some idea. Is it about Gordon, mostly? I sure hope so, I'd watch the heck out of that show even without the zillion other recognizable characters in the mix. But I fear you're going to keep on with the cutesy nods and origin stories and origin of origin stories and that's a shame, because a show about Jim Gordon could be pretty great.

I'll keep watching for now, but I Have Concerns.



give Maru's owner all the things
I hope Maru's owner makes lots of money from Maru's YouTube channel & other endeavors because Maru is the best internet cat and Maru's owner is clearly awesome.

good deal on Gilmore Girls DVD set
tv - gilmore girls - lorelai coffee
If you don't yet own Gilmore Girls: The Complete Series Collection (DVD set), it's a deal of the day at Amazon today for a mere $54. Lowest price I've seen for it.

Gilmore Girls remains one of my favorite TV shows of the last couple of decades, it's truly great fun. I own the individual season sets and everyone says the discs in this complete series set are the same (the only new thing is the packaging and a little book of "Gilmore-isms"). It also sounds like they've improved this packaging over the years (previously it had cardboard sleeves for the discs, now has plastic cases). There aren't as many extras as I'd like on these sets, but then I always want more extras.

Things I like about the show: sharp witty fast dialogue, interesting relationships among interesting characters of all ages (including three generations of the family at the heart of the show), smart teenagers who actually like school or at least learning, quirky small town with quirky characters (who are quirky), pop culture references (from quite a few eras and areas), the music (Sam Phillips, lots of Sam Phillips as shes does the score for the show, plus bonus town troubadour Grant-Lee Phillips), and plenty of other things. It's nifty.

Of course, as with most shows that run as long as this one did, the series has ups and downs, but even during my least favorite storylines or episodes featuring a character I didn't like, there was still lots of fun stuff. And I think the ending was fairly satisfying despite the fact that the original showrunners weren't on board for the final season.

Simple links to steeply discounted fan gear
activity - shopping
Officially licensed gear featuring the logos of your favorite sports teams tends to be ridiculously overpriced, which is annoying if you really want a Twins jersey or Gophers purse or whatever.

Fortunately, big stores like Amazon sometimes make dramatic reductions on gear to clear it out. Usually are just a limited number of a given thing (or only certain sizes are discounted) so one usually has to jump on the discounted merch quick when it shows up. (Oftentimes after the discounted item from amazon sells out, you'll have the option to purchase a high/regular priced one from a 3rd party seller.) I'm a pro at discovering great discounts, acquiring Twins bags & purses for $3 a pop over the years, hoodies for $12 or less, and other Twins stuff.

Sometimes you can get deals on household goods that normally cost $30 or something unbranded, but the version with the logo will get marked down (so if you want an item with a logo or don't care if something has a logo on it, you might love that $30 picnic table with the Arizona Diamondbacks logo on it).

Oh-- many of the designs and manufacturers are shared from team to team and sport to sport and the discounts vary depending on team (seriously, you can get some cheap stuff with the Diamondbacks or Rockies or Marlins logos). If you're interested in something like a purse and want to know more about the size & fabric, feel free to ask me because I own a shocking number of Twins bags and purses by now as well as plenty of other things with the Twins logo on it. Happy to tell you what I think of items, just ask in comments or email

I created some URLs to the 70% off or more merch for sale from Amazon (not third party sellers) for some of our local teams, in case you'd find this useful. (To navigate to similar sales for other teams, you want to go to the Amazon Fan Shop & find the team you're interested in, select Prime and/or a seller of, select 70% off or more and then you're off and running . . . You could also choose a different discount filter, of course.) - for Minnesota Golden Gophers stuff - for Minnesota Timberwolves stuff - for Minnesota Twins stuff - for Minnesota Vikings stuff - for Minnesota Wild stuff

(Sadly Amazon doesn't seem to have much Lynx stuff.)

Bonus Gophers item (of interest to people who like keeping warm & dry while outside at sporting events): Coleman 3 in 1 Minnesota Gophers poncho is marked down to $16. It looks like Coleman got smart and started selling team branded versions of their 3 in 1 blanket/poncho. We got ours four years or so ago at a regular price of $30 maybe? It's been invaluable at Twins games when it gets windy and/or rainy. The thing folds up, the wind/waterproof blanket has a fleece lining and it's great to have a windproof/waterproof blanket that's soft on the inside. Can also be worn as a poncho, though the hood on ours leaves something to be desired as it really is pretty much the bag that the blanket folds into so isn't terribly hood-shaped but it gets the job done.

Alas, I'm no longer an Amazon Affiliate (not by choice) so these aren't affiliate links.

If you're a crafty sort, the steeply discounted clothing can be useful for fabric & logos even if the only sizes left aren't ones you'd want to wear.

some cool locally grown kickstarter projects
place - mpls - cherry spoon bridge
'Sota Pitcher is a 16oz pitcher/big mug that looks like the state of Minnesota. Made by Red Wing Pottery, even. 18 days to go. I haven't backed it yet mostly because I'm dithering on which one I want (probably the blue one with handle).

Just four days left to back GYST - A Fermentation Bar Coming Soon to Mpls which will be located on Eat Street and feature cheese and beer and so on and so forth. Their website is up too.

Laramie (skylarker) has a card game on Kickstarter which is called "Buzz" and shares some things in common with both Uno and Zar, but the cards have her art on them and there are various game play differences. 15 days to go.

fandom - rocket
Robofan looks like a cute robot toy, but you pull off the cap/head and it's a fan. Runs on two AAA batteries. Comes in black or red though depending on where you order it you don't get to pick your color. I may now have a red one in the bag I take to Twins games.


some Star Wars fanvids as we near May . . .
movies - star wars - worst elevator
Star Wars is all over the news right now and well, I'm gonna use it as an excuse to pimp some cool Star Wars fanvids.

Last year, for May 4th, [personal profile] lotesse posted a gorgeous fanvid called "A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy" which is about "making movies, making magic: a loveletter to all the wonderful dedicated creative artists who came together to make the original Star Wars trilogy a thing of beauty and joy forever." Pretty much. Uses Ingrid Michaelson's "You and I" for the music and Empire of Dreams for behind-the-scenes footage from the original trilogy. Here's an embedded version (if this works), you may need to enter the password "elbereth" to see it:

I think I've probably plugged AbsoluteDestiny's Star Wars Festivid "Jailbreak" before, but I'm doing so again because it's just so much fun:

You should follow my link and go watch (or download & then watch) "Lady with a Rocket" by colls because it's a nifty song (by Haley Dreis) and a nifty vid about the awesomeness that is Leia Organa. Oh heck, I'll try embedding it here (though you may need to use the password "rocket" to see it):

I may adore "Don't Call Me Baby" by Greensilver & sweetestdrain which can be found on YouTube and Tumblr and here if the embedding works:

Astolat's first ever fanvid from way back in 2001 or something like that is a Star Wars vid to "Kid Fears" by the Indigo Girls which uses footage from both the original trilogy and the newer one. I think it proved to me that this could be interesting, combining the two sources. In fact, I'm pretty sure vidders are probably doing more interesting stuff with the footage than was actually done in the newer movies . . .

A couple more vids, which are also older (though perhaps not as old as "Kid Fears"):
"Here We Come, On The Run" by beccatoria.
"Unbelievable, Yoda Is" by Mr Anderson

The Hour now on Amazon Prime Instant thingie
tv - the hour - bel - red profile
Oooh!  Ooh! The Hour is now available on Amazon Instant as part of one's Prime subscription.  Should this be of interest and/or apply to you.

I previously gushed about The Hour in this journal here.

Here's season one.
And season two.

joy sessions
me - and marlowe
A local photographer came up with the idea for Joy Sessions, which are "special, reduced-rate, end-of-life sessions are just for terminally ill or elderly pets. I usually come to your home, but you are welcome to come to the studio if you prefer. These beautiful, yet heartbreaking sessions highlight your relationship together and the love you share before they pass. These sessions are often booked with very short notice, and I do my best to fit them in as soon as they’re needed."

The idea caught on and there are now pet photographers all over who offer them.  Check out for a list.

Not something I'll do with Ivarr, he's such a scared boy, but I mention it for the benefit of others who might want to do such a thing when the time comes.  Some lovely photos on the websites, though sad of course as well.

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