Did you hear that fan-girl squee?

Okay, so my first return was a little premature, here’s hoping this one sticks.

And it’s appropriate that I’m returning from a hiatus, because I am overflowing with excitement about another return. If you haven’t heard One Life to Live is coming back!

If you have heard about it, you no doubt wondered why you did not hear about it from me. The answer is this: I was too afraid it wouldn’t actually happen. I’ve been burned before. Prospect Park told us all they had saved OLTL and All My Children in July 2011, only to tell us it wasn’t happening in November. Now, to be fair, they never said they were cancelling it, they just said they were suspending production, didn’t think it was the right time, blah, blah, blah. I don’t think it was all their fault—ABC definitely played a few things underhanded that kinda screwed them—but a lot of fans, myself included, felt jilted.

So when rumors started leaking in December that they were back at work, I was skeptical. Other rumors indicated that their contracts would allow ownership of the soaps to revert back to ABC in January if nothing had been done on them, so I figured maybe they were doing just enough work to show they were still using the shows so that they didn’t lose them.

Then slowly, actors began announcing they’d signed on. I allowed myself to be a little more hopeful, because I really didn’t want to believe this company would be jerks enough to dangle employment over people’s heads just to check a box on a contract. Then studio spaces were rented. Then specific details on how long and how often the shows would be came out. Then it was announced they were going to air on Hulu. And slowly I began to realize it was probably happening.

But still I said nothing to you all (who I know were dying to know). Because I didn’t want to jinx things and I didn’t want to look like an idiot when things fell through. But… an official premiere date has been set, filming began on Monday. I’m finally ready to admit it’s happening.

One Life to Live is returning (and since it’s not going to be on network television, it’s apparently now with more f-bombs and naked time). I am a happy soap fan.

And ABC can suck it.

(PS. This now gives me an excuse for a Hulu prime membership which will also allow me to watch telenovelas till my heart’s content. In other news, I will never be finishing my dissertation.)

First Gymnastics Post of the Year

It’s an Olympic year. It’s a Summer Olympic year which means that it’s that one year in four when some of you might actually watch gymnastics. As your resident somewhat more than casual gymnastics fan I feel like it’s therefore my duty to keep you informed so that when the Olympics do roll around you can act all knowledgeable when you’re watching with your friends who aren’t informed because they don’t read this blog.

One of the first major competitions of the year took place yesterday: The American Cup. While the commentators always go on and on about what a prestigious competition it is, it only rates as anything at all prestigious if you’re American. If you’re not American it’s sort of a joke. There’s a reason the fan communities on the interwebs refer to it as the “Scamerican Cup” or just “Scam Cup.” Americans are always over scored. For years only C list international competitors were invited; now they invite higher ranked gymnasts, they just don’t come.

Regardless, it does give us our first glimpse at many gymnasts for the season. And perhaps most importantly it gives the online gymnastics communities something to talk about. Because for months they’ve been making conversation about which gymnasts follow each other on Twitter and it’s gotten a little stalkerish.

As for what we learned:

American men tend towards some head case-ish-ness. (Don’t worry, one of them still won after magically coming from behind.)

The American women’s contingent is deep. The top three scorers in the women’s competition were all American. This is especially interesting since each country is only allowed to send two gymnasts.

Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas can both do Amanar vaults (round off on, two and a half twists off). Since conventional wisdom stated that Raisman could not make the team without one, this is big news for her. Also, she does insane tumbling.

Jordyn Weiber is not someone I would like to meet it a dark alley—seriously, girl is ripped. Even for a gymnast.

We need better uneven bars coaches in the US.

The Romanian women are making strides towards erasing the disaster they had at last year’s world championships, but they aren’t there yet.

And yeah… we don’t know much more than we knew last week. As far as who will make the Olympic teams, it’s way too early to tell. At least half the contenders will be injured by then. But message boards will be filled with daily posts of people analyzing the issue, saying who they’d put on their team, etc, etc. Fortunately they won’t have to obsess over this meet for too long as Pacific Rims are in two weeks and it will have much more to obsess over. (Don’t worry, you’ll probably get another blog post around then.)

Gymanstics Update

I’ve been good.  I’ve been so good.  I have not blogged about my strange gymnastics obsession once this year!  But I’m jumping off the wagon.

I feel it’s my duty.  After all, the London Olympics are next year, marking that once every four year occasion in which everyone suddenly watches gymnastics.  And if I don’t update you, how will you know what’s going on next year?

General things you need to know:

Remember how in 2008 the scoring system was all weird and the perfect 10 was gone?  And because of the way difficulty is valued it’s possible for someone to fall and still win because they were doing a harder skill?  Yeah, they haven’t fixed that.  They said they were going to fix that.  They’ve done some things aimed at fixing that.  But they haven’t fixed that.

Teams are down to five members this year instead of the six we had last Olympiad and seven we had the last time USA won a gold medal.  The idea is to make it easier for smaller countries to compete.  Every year they seem to institute some new policy aimed at making it easier for smaller (and by “smaller” they really mean countries with less wealthy gymnastics programs—Romania is fairly tiny and is always in the top tier) countries to compete.  I’m not sure any of it helps.  What it does mean is that it’s going to be harder for event specialists to make it onto the team since out of those five at least three have to have good scores on each event.

Team USA:

Half our gymnasts are broken.  The run down: Alicia Sacramone (ruptured Achilles), Chellsie Memmel (bicep surgery), Mackenzie Caquatto (ankle injury), Rebecca Bross (dislocated knee), Bridget Sloan (recently recovered from bicep tear, now nursing a gashed foot that required something like 15 stiches).  And this doesn’t even include all those little injuries gymnasts compete with all the time.  A lot of people are quick to blame Marta Karolyi for the injuries, but I personally place more blame on the code which pushes girls to perform difficult skills even when maybe they shouldn’t.

At present all members of the 2008 women’s team except Samantha Pezcek are planning to try to make the 2012 team.  Chances don’t necessarily look great for any of them.  A-Sac and Memmel are battling bodies that have been doing the sport for a very long time and are consequently falling apart.  Shawn Johnson fell twice on beam at Pan-Americans and seems to be struggling to deal with nerves and old injuries she didn’t have to face so much as a wide-eyed sixteen year old.  Nastia Liukin just announced her comeback and no one’s seen her compete yet, so it’s hard to say.  (I’ll confess that all I care about at this point is that Travis Wall of So You think you Can Dance fame may be choreographing her floor routine)  Sloan seems to be a procrastinator—she barely competed this year and clearly is not in top competitive form at the moment.  On the other hand, no one thought she was going to be ready in 2008 and she was.  She and Liukin are giant question marks.

And probably the biggest obstacle for the ’08 girls is that Team USA just won the 2011 World Title without help from any of them.  That torch may have been passed.  Watch for newly crowned All-around champion Jordyn Weiber.  Her gymnastics might not be as pretty to watch as Liukin’s or the Russians’, but she does a lot of it and does it well.  It’s important to note that USA won the world championships in the last two pre-Olympic years, only to come in second at the Olympics.  Let’s hope the curse does not repeat.

On the men’s side (no, I haven’t been following it as closely.  No, I don’t feel that guilty about it.): The biggest thing to watch for is Yin Alvarez.  No, he’s not an athlete; he’s the coach and step father of US Champion Danell Leyva and his antics are perhaps even more entertaining to watch than Bella Karolyi’s.  The men’s team looks solid over all and poised for a potential medal.  Paul Hamm had announced yet another comeback attempt, but this will likely be hampered by his recent arrest.

Other teams:

Russia looked almost asleep in world team finals (where they came in second), but they were without defending All Around champion Aliya Mustafina (ACL tear).  They also came back for several individual medals, but not the gold in the All Around. (There is some controversy over whether silver medalist Viktoria Komova actually deserved to win—I’ll spare you the details.)  They might be hungry next year.

Speaking of hungry: Romania failed to medal at all at the World Championships.  Expect them to be pissed and out for blood next year.

China’s always one to watch for, but it’s hard to say who will be on their team (I’ll spare you jokes about how next year’s team is still in nursery school).  They have a couple up-and-comers and could be very competitive.

England qualified a women’s team for the Olympics (and men will likely get in at the Olympic test event next year).  They probably won’t challenge for a team medal, but they have several gymnasts who could be in the hunt for individual medals.

Sadly my other team Mexico will not be sending a team to the Olympics, but they have several exciting gymnasts with beautiful, elegant styles.  They’re still a team to watch for, even if it’s not for next year.

Coffee with Ælfric of Eynsham

Would we drink coffee with Ælfric of Eynsham?

Kristy:  Yes.  For starters, I just don’t think I can turn down coffee with someone who is known as Ælfric the Grammarian.  It’s definitely up there on the list of awesome Old English names.  I also kind of feel like with him being one of the most prolific Old English writers, at this point in my academic career I kind of have to.  I’ve always had a fascination with hagiography, and he’s kind of the go-to guy for early English hagiography, so there’s that too.  And you know… I just always figured medieval monks were probably interesting guys to talk to.  They were basically the nerds of their day.  I’m also entertained that his reluctance for translating the Bible into vernacular (although he did translate parts of the Old Testament long before people tend to realize anyone was doing it) was that he was concerned without someone to explain the contextual issues to them, people would read it and think they could live like the patriarchs of old.  You know, all those concubines and such.  Had nothing to do with the political position of the church.  And I’m interested on his views on a whole bunch of things, mostly related to education and the position of the Christian church today.

Cammy:  Wow, in case we all needed more proof that Kristy’s been spending more time with the medievalists…. 🙂  Sure, what the heck.  Like Kristy said, he was known as “The Grammarian” which is promising (side note:  I support the revival of naming people “The Such and Such”  Not sure what I’d be, but I am open to suggestions….).  I think we could get up a fairly heated conversation about the importance of Bible translations into the vernacular (my Lutheran-ness strikes again).  I’m sure listening to Kristy and ol’ Ælfric talk saints will be interesting, too.  I’m fairly saint-ignorant myself, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy hearing the stories (again, with the Lutheran thing, the whole saint stories?  All new literature for me).  And of course this coffee get-together has the no-fail entertainment of seeing Kristy geek out like the nerdy fangirl she is.

Things that make you go MEEP!

I like to pretend that I’m all unconventional and don’t get sucked in by the same trite things that suck other people in.  But at the end of the day, watching television, I’m as much a sucker for a good shipper worthy couple as the next fangirl.  I get all mushy over those big romantic scenes, just like everyone else.  Yes, I’m a cliché.

But there’s something a little more nebulous that I might love even more.  It’s those lines that are textually speaking not romantic at all, but in the right context, with the right actors and the right director just become pure shipper gold.  Here are my top three examples (in no particular order):

1.        “I’m thinking about getting a car.”  Shawn to Juliet, Psych Okay, so this one did happen in the middle of a big romantic scene.  But to anyone who’s ever watched the show, it never would have worked to have Shawn pouring out his feelings like a typical romantic lead.  Just wouldn’t have felt forced and awkward and deflated everything that made Shawn and Jules Shawn and Jules.  Instead we got Shawn talking about how much he loved his motorcycle, followed by this revelation about how spending time with Juliet had changed his priorities.  And fangirls all over went *Sigh*

2.       “I want you to have Morocco.”  Ethan to Kat, The Class.  I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that most of our readers have never heard of this short lived series.  Which is sad, because it was awesome.  The fact that Two and a Half Men evidently got better ratings than this show sort of encapsulates everything wrong with America for me.  Assuming you don’t have the time to track down the whole series on the interwebs so you can watch and realize why this line still makes me a little gushy:  Ethan and Kat were that couple that was clearly meant for each other and wouldn’t have figured that out until season three, shortly after which things would have gone stupidly wrong only to have them reunite just before the final episode.  Sadly the show ended on a season 1 cliffhanger so all we ever got was Ethan and Kat denying their feelings for each other and being bffs while each dated other people.  Kat (played by the delightful Lizzie Caplan) was a head case and a half who had just explained to Ethan that she had to dump her current boyfriend because he was talking about taking a trip to Morocco together in three months.  Kat explained to Ethan that as much as she wanted to go on that trip, she knew it would never last that long.  “Just because you want Morocco doesn’t mean you get Morocco.”  And that’s when Ethan gave her a pep talk which closed with this line.  Letting us all know exactly how much he wanted her to be happy.  Even if it wasn’t with him.  Aw!

3.       “If you were in an accident I wouldn’t stop for red lights.”  Donna to Josh, The West Wing Seriously, we got this beautiful moment in season 2 and it took these two till season 7 to work their shit out.  Seriously!  I have to confess I’m not sure I believe Donna stops for red lights on a regular basis anyway, but still… this moment was magic.  One of those times where two people make it so obvious that they totally love each other without a single real affectionate comment or discussing feelings at all.  Thank you Aaron Sorkin.  I still gratuitously rewind this one.

Coffee with… Nathan Fillion

Would we drink coffee with Nathan Fillion?

Kristy: Um… you’re kidding right?  Is this even a question?  Of course, I would drink coffee with Nathan Fillion.  We’re talking about a man I’ve loved in three different television series.  Though I know as a geeky fangirl I’m almost required to love Malcolm Reynolds, Mr. Fillion will always be Joey Buchanan to me.  I have actually chosen to believe that Malcolm Reynolds IS Joey Buchanan.  I figure if Viki can have a whole city buried in her backyard, her son could captain a spaceship.  One of the things I love most about Mr. Fillion is that, unlike many actors who were given their start by soaps, he never tries the fact that he started on One Life to Live.  He’s told some amazingly touching stories about some of his costars.  Perhaps we can get more out of him?  On top of being talented and associated with several aspects of my fangirl identity, he also knows how to bring the funny when he’s not scripted.  So after I get done with any embarrassing fangirl squeeing, it’s possible we can also have an entertaining conversation (if I haven’t terrified him by that point).

Cammy: You betcha I’m gonna be there.  For one thing, I don’t think it’s possible that he won’t bring the funny.  I just can’t imagine it.  If it were just that he was funny as Mal, I’d write it off as the script thing, but he was hilarious as Mal, hilarious in Dr. Horrible, and he continues to make us snarf in Castle (I can’t speak to his bringing of the funny in One Life to Live since I don’t do soaps).  For the amount of hilarity he’s bestowed upon us already, we owe him a cup of coffee (or a beer) even if he doesn’t want to make with the jokes right then.  Plus, I have to help make sure Kristy doesn’t over-fan-girl-squee on the guy.  This is one of few people for whom I have real fear she might approach that scary place (really, she’s all about that Joey Buchanan thing).  And, as she so astutely pointed out, if she scares him, he can’t bring the funny, or be dragged into a conversation about why other people don’t capitalize more on the fact that they were in soaps.

US Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Championships: What you need to know

I know, I know, most of you are thinking that you don’t need to know anything.

For better or for worse (I would argue “worse”) most Americans only pay attention to gymnastics in an Olympic year.  Which kind of sucks for the athletes who are still working their asses off in the years between.  The US National Championships were held this weekend (and apparently there was a lack of other sporting events this weekend, since parts of it actually got broadcast on NBC) and I thought, in honor of that, it might be a nice time to check in and give you non-fangirls a rundown of what’s happening.  We are at the halfway point in the summer Olympic cycle, which the commentators like to remind you of constantly.  While I’m sure it is true that the athletes all have that in the back of their minds, the reality is that what’s going on now tells you very little about what will be going on then.  At the 2006 World Championships, for example, the ladies all around podium was:  Gold—Vanessa Ferrari (Italy), Silver—Jana Bieger (USA), Bronze—Sandra Izbasa (Romania).  If you just asked “who?”, you just proved my point.

If the extent of your gymnastics following has been my twitter feed, you might be interested in an update of the 2008 Olympic team, so in short:

Nastia Liukin:  Yes, she has boobs now; no, she hasn’t made a decision about returning to competition; her status as Evan Lysacek’s beard is no more clear than it ever was, but seems to be more or less over.

Shawn Johnson:  Officially announced she was coming back after almost two years out of the gym.  She had surgery in February for a torn ACL sustained while skiing; by her own admission she’s never had to deal with a major injury before, so we’ll see how this impacts her come back.  I suspect if she does make it, she’ll be a different gymnast than she was before.

Chellsie Memmel:  After having two Olympics in a row messed up by foot injuries, she is “taking a break”.  Basically she isn’t ruling out another come back, but it really sounds like she’s saying “gymnastics, I think we should see other people.  But I’d like to keep that big comfy sweatshirt you left over here.”

Alicia Sacramone:  ASac is back!  I would try to contain my excitement, but if you follow me on twitter you already know.  Cliché as it is, I cannot deny my love for ASac or my joy at the success of her comeback.  After swearing she was done with gymnastics (the girl had a countdown to her retirement in 2008) she’s back as a beam and vault specialist, and doing quite well at both.  Looking better than in 2008 the experts say.

Samantha Peszek:  Just started at UCLA where she’ll compete as an NCAA gymnast.  Has not ruled out a return to elite, but seems to be having fun with the college life.

Bridget Sloan:  Last year’s national and world all around champion.  Right now suffering from an ankle injury and a pectoral strain (yes, she strained her boob), she only competed beam at this year’s nationals and was clearly not 100%.

Okay, on to the current competitive scene.  Rebecca Bross is our new national champion having finally gotten through a major senior competition without a major nervous error.  Second place went to Mattie Larson who is finally not injured.  Alexandra Raisman who is perhaps better known as Alicia II for her physical and performance resemblance to ASac came in third.

But the really important things you need to take away from these championships (and perhaps more to the point the broadcast on NBC and Universal Sports online):

Mattie Larson is fabulous.  From her smoky eye make up to her exquisitely pointed toes to the divalicious way she tosses her head during her floor exercise choreography.  How fabulous is she?  Johnny Weir loves her.  Yeah.  That’s pretty damn fabulous.

Despite my earlier doubts, I think Rebecca Bross does have a personality.  And I’m fairly certain she’s just as sick as everyone else of being reminded that the last two Olympic all around champions trained in her gym.

Okay, I’m used to bruises.  This past May I got a bruise on my knee so big it left a stretch mark.  But Bridget Sloan’s bruise made me cringe.  Thing goes down to her elbow.  And I remind you that the actual injury is to her chest.  Proving what a bad ass she is, she laughs as she shows it to the camera.  Love it!

Nastia Liukin is staying in shape by wearing six inch heels.  Damn girl!

Apparently Valerie Liukin and Bela Karolyi go hunting together.  When Cammy and I produce the Bela Karolyi reality show, this is totally going to happen at least one episode a season.  Seriously, just picture tiny Valerie learning to use a rifle from big burly Bela!

In a postgame show Johnny Weir was asked what he would costume Nastia in for her next competition.  He began by indicating it would obviously depend on music.  When she pointed out they don’t use music for every event he assured her she would be changing for every event.  Dear skatenastics gods:  I REALLY want to see this happen.  Please.  I’ve been good!

According to John Rothlisberger, Tim Dagget’s Starbucks order is “swishy”.

I want an alternative commentary feed provided by ASac and Johnny Weir.  Keep Tim and Elfi for the humorless out there, but bring the rest of us the funny and fabulousness.

And since I’ve thus far left the men out:  Jon Horton has beyond huge muscles, Danell Leyva is prettier to watch (and might be a Santerista), and his father is crazy.

Coffee with… Kevin Smith

Kristy: Would I drink coffee with Kevin Smith?  In a freaking fangirl moment.  I was introduced to Clerks way back in high school and as a comic/sci-fi geek was thrilled to have a movie with kind of gave a voice to the geeks of the world.  Though looking back it’s kind of bizarre since I was at the time carrying a 4.25 GPA, working my ass off, had never kissed a boy, and in most ways very different than the film’s protagonists.  Regardless, one film and I was addicted.  Mr. Smith’s films gave me hours of enjoyment and more catch phrases and funny quotes than I should really use.  And for many years every party I went to that had salsa wound up with a tortilla chip sticking out of it as a “salsa shark.”  (it was almost never my doing–fangirls and fanboys tend to flock together).  One of his films helped encourage me to get myself out of a really unhealthy situation.  And he’s a much better actor than he gives himself credit for.  Has some of the best facial expressions anywhere.  I’m a bad fangirl because I haven’t seen all of his movies, but a fangirl nonetheless.  So yeah…

Add to that, while I’ve never met the man personally, he seems to be a charming and amusing person outside of his films.  He brings the funny in massive amounts.  He has a Degrassi obsession that surpasses either mine or Cammy’s.  And cliche though it might be, following him on twitter has made me like him even more.  Because as much as he brings the funny, he also has a definite sweet streak.  He’s a dad who takes his daughter to the Twilight premiere without whining about how lame the movie is.  Keep your inner Puritan from getting offended by the exact language, and it’s adorable how in love with his wife he is.  And did I mention he brings the funny?

Though I do think the Spatial Anomaly Coffee Bar and Refueling Station is smoke free, and I would assume that applies to all substances.  Hopefully that’s not too much of a problem.

Cammy: I’d completely have coffee with Kevin Smith!  But honestly, only if Kristy’s there.  This has nothing to do with fear or shyness and everything to do with knowing that Kristy is a far bigger Kevin Smith fan girl than I can claim to be, and to have coffee with Kevin Smith and Kristy not be there?  That would be just WRONG.  Kristy’s the person who first introduced me to his work in college (this involved walking quite a ways down to the theater to view Dogma when it came out–totally worth the trek, I assure you).  I also second Kristy’s reasoning that he appears to be cool even without having made awesome movies.  I’d hesitate to assume much about anyone’s real personality based on interviews, but when you combine those with the nerdtastic references built into his films?  He’s got to be genuine.

So I welcome the chance to sit down for coffee with him and wax geeky on Degrassi, comics and other manners of geek bullshit.  And possibly to make sure Kristy maintains control and doesn’t squee or anything.  Deafening Kevin Smith would be embarrassing.

Kristy: And I forgot to mention that Dogma is theologically correct!  I’m totally showing clips if I ever teach Paradise Lost.

TVPB Lexicon: Appendix Kiss

In scholarship one of the things they always emphasize is that you need to define your terms from the outset.  People define words differently and if you don’t make it clear how you’re using a term you can confuse the heck out of your readers.  Or worse, make them think you’re saying something other than what you’re actually saying.

So I feel it’s important for us here at It’s My TV, It’s My Peanut Butter to define our terms.  So that we can be clear.  And so that you, our gentle and not-so-gentle readers know what the heck we’re talking about.

Today we venture into the peanut buttery lexicon for an important fangirly term:  “Appendix kiss”  This word derives from a phrase used by a college buddy of ours.  Describing one television kiss she said, “Well, with that kiss he could go, ‘hey, I see you had your appendix out when you were twelve.’”  And it stuck.  Hence forth an “appendix kiss” has referred to those over the top, super deep (at least to outward appearances, we realize they’re acting) kisses that make shippers go “SQUEE!”

The original appendix kiss is in The X-Files episode “Triangle.”  It was memorable enough to provoke Cammy’s happy dance which is truly something to behold.  In Farscape when Aeryn and John were stuck in the Flax?  Serious appendix kiss.  I’m sure there were a couple in BSG, but can’t remember episodes off the top of my head and am stranded without my DVDs.  Soap operas have perfected the art of the appendix kiss; I can’t even begin to list them.

What say you readers?  Do you have a favorite appendix kiss moment?

Secret Heresies: Fanfiction.net

I debated on whether or not I should categorize this as a Time Vampire instead of a Secret Heresy.  At the end of the day, I really probably lose more of my time to the swirling vortex of fanfiction.net than any other time wasting mechanism in virtual or physical space.  But, I realized, the fact that it really is my number one, and yet I cringe at the thought of putting it out as a valid time waster probably means my shame is great enough to make this a heresy.

Kristy would disagree, I’m sure.  Kristy’s self confident enough that there’s not much on her list of interests and habits that she’s embarrassed about.  Also, she’s in folklore, where even the most bizarre pop-culture niches are legitimate fields of study–not exactly an environment that fosters shame.  But in my shady real-world job, and with my painfully practical family, just explaining what fanfiction is would be enough to take my black-sheep status to unknown heights.  And even here on the web, many an elitist has disparaged those who spend time creating worlds around someone else’s fiction.  But I’m ready to come clean.  Completely clean.  Because when it comes to consumption of fanfiction, hitting up fanfiction.net is a whole new subset of bad within bad.  This is the Wal-Mart of fanfiction.  Everything under one roof, and disproportionately little of it being of any quality.  And yet, I not only clock hours there, I have strong opinions about my experiences.  Criteria for my activities and recommendations for those few souls I share my secret with so that they can avoid the mire of crap and find the decent stuff.

Because yes, there’s quality in fanfiction.  Not a lot, but it’s there.  And sometimes the quality you find might not have been the quality the author intended.  For example, there was a rather lengthy Battlestar Galactica AU fic that Kristy and I both read.  As far as plot was concerned, it was okay, but not that stellar.  But the dialog.  Oh, sweet mercy, it was FABULOUS.  In fact, Kristy and I can’t even remember the title of the piece, but we can quote whole chunks of the dialog verbatim and we refer to it as “The Toaster Baby Fanfic.”  When I can find it again, I’ll be referring Kristy to a Bones fic that has a similar quality to it.

And you also can’t underestimate the pure entertainment in reading some of the hideous things people post.  The schadenfreude of watching someone beg for feedback on a misspelled Mary Sue fic that makes your eyeballs bleed is remarkable.  There’s just FUN to be had in mocking the bad stuff.  Even the painful MarySue long-lost-sisters-of-characters have the potential for a little bit of “awe, look at the cute little high school student wishing she was on Castle!”  When it gets to be too much, I just think of what Kevin J. Anderson has been paid to write in some fandoms, and, honestly, with that as a baseline, even some of the high-schooler Mary Sues are pretty damned good.

But there are limits.  Levels of suckitude that even I will not endure.  I have a list of unforgivable sins which will render a story “dead to me”:

-posting an author’s note in lieu of a chapter.  If you get me all excited about a new chapter and all I get is your excuse about how you have finals, you and your story are dead to me.  Explain it when you post something real.  Don’t lead me on.

-any summary that says “I suck at summaries” or “Story better than it sounds.” Nothing will make me scroll past faster.

-bitchy demands for readers to R&R (Read and Respond), particularly when coupled a threat not to post any more.  Yeah, because there’s nothing else on the whole site for me to read, sweetie.

-when a fanfic writer for an American TV show keeps using “Mum.”  It’s one of those things that’s enough to jar me out of my tenuously suspended disbelief.  Actually, I forgive that one once or twice, but–and this has happened multiple times, so it bears comment–when the the author posts a bitchy little note stating something to the effect of “I KNOW it’s American, but I’m British and WE say Mum and I am the author so I’m going to have them say Mum!!”  Dead.  To.  Me.  If I were writing a fic based on a Brit material, I’d be making every attempt to put the useless ‘u’s into words, call people “Mum” and finally figure out when to use while vs. whilst.

-(added by Kristy) putting a note somewhere at the top that says, “I suck at spelling” and then using said disclaimer as an excuse to use the grammar and spelling of a five-year-old for the rest of the fic.  I have no problem excusing a typo or error here or there.  But you know what?  I’m lousy at spelling in English too (yes, English is my first language, but its spelling rules make no sense).  This is why BabyJesus gave us spell checkers.  Or get a beta reader.  And don’t get pissy with me over your lack of literacy.  Dead to me!

But, regardless of quality, the availability keeps me coming back.  At 4am when I can’t sleep, the library isn’t open.  But fanfiction.net is there, waiting to bathe me in the glow of my laptop screen and offer me new and craptastic adventures of characters from shows canceled 10 years ago that I just can’t stop thinking about.

So my secret is out.  And it feels rather good to admit it.  Yes, my name is Cammy, and I spend hours on fanfiction.net.