Chaos Attraction

Silent Disco At Home

2020-07-26, 10:32 p.m.

I slept in/stayed in bed until 12 again. The best mornings are mornings that I do that on, so I can avoid mornings altogether. I also finished a third book this month, which is saying something for me in quarantine. Heard from Meg and she is also feeling blah of late.

Today's Comic-Con:

* How to Build a Girl Squad. As a feminist, I enjoyed this one. I didn't really take notes, but I did like this line: "I love flowers but also punching." -Christina Steenz Stewart. (I can't explain why sometimes I feel like taking notes and sometimes I don't.)

* Comic-Con Museum: A Museum for All Ages: I liked that they had a tour online these days. I went to that museum area when I was last in SD. Too bad I won't be seeing it any time soon or far IRL. "One year feels like eternity." The website for the museum is here. This one also has a blooper reel at the end. "Take 497..."

* Superstore! I love this show. It starts out with Lauren Ash sleeping in a sleeping bag on the sidewalk..... by herself. Then Ben Feldman is lecturing to a room of stuffed animals. Nico Santos thinks he's doing autographs when he gets a delivery. Mark McKinney preps his nose and fanny pack. Colton Dunn has a BabyYoda shirt and nachos and "I flushed $20 down the toilet." Lauren is first in line for Hall H! Nichole Sakura is wearing her Pokemon onesie. Kaliko Kauahi (Sandra) totally shocked me with her Spider-Man(?) mask and flashing glowsticks in her closet. I really love when the panelists are getting creative with their video. Like showing all the "Customer Safari" moments."

Then the panelists are all ragging on Colton for getting the time wrong. He logs on as "Leon Buttersnugers?" Everyone is asked to describe their current emotional state as a color. "Sunshine yellow and seething red," says Nico. Nichole is a "sorbet." "Burnt sienna," says Kaliko. Colton says "swirly." When asked, "What are you most looking forward to in season 6?" "Just starting. Leaving my house and doing something," says Colton. He points out that the show will have relatable content with not being able to stay home.

"What's everyone's favorite area of the store to fake work at?" Kaliko was all, I never worked at checkout in 5 years.... She also said she'd like to play Marcus because in a cast of ridiculous people, he's always the most ridiculous. Nichole would like to play Carol with her mood swings. Colton said Brett, because he has no lines and just stands there looking at stuff. Nico announced that he will be playing Sandra and Cheyenne in season six.... Ben also likes Brett for similar reasons and Marcus "because he's a scumbag." Ben also announced that he will be playing Amy next season. I'm guessing all of this is for the Halloween episode? Mark would like to play Myrtle or Bo, Lauren wants to play Cheyenne.

Then they all start talking about filming the last episode and going from not getting what was going on to being horrified that they were still there and trying to do a closing out enough episode. Mark was all, "I was the first to panic." On Monday nobody cared and on Friday, DON'T LOOK AT ME! Some of the show writers came on saying that they realized they couldn't do crowd scenes..or anything at all... no wrap party.... "Early in the week the problem was that it was supposed to rain." Nico: "It's raining viruses." The show writers suggested possible plotlines like Jonah being a corporate spy and Carol singing "Satisfied" at Sandra's wedding.

* The Science of Back to the Future. I AM HERE FOR THISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Fleet Science Center in the house!!!! "I feel like everyone's learned how to slow down time for the last 3 months or so." They debated self-driving cars--the kids born in 2020 will probably have them--but how is the programming going to go? There is going to be a Transformers/BTTF crossover, which.... huh? I guess? Alas, nobody even brought up hoverboards AT ALL until the end. Dammit. They really didn't do much science and more just....Transformers.

* Bugs Bunny's 80th Anniversary Extravaganza: With Yvette Nicole Brown as moderator and Leonard Maltin and Bugs Bunny voicers. Mostly about the history of Bugs, showing cartoons, etc. Why is Bugs relevant for 80 years? "What's funny stays funny." Another one said we all want to be Bugs but really we are Daffy and stuck with it! Great entertainment will transcend time, a third guy said.

* The Blacklist Draws on Animation to Complete Season 7 Amid CoVid: I used to watch Blacklist and then kinda drifted away from watching it, so I haven't seen this, but it's interesting that they finished an episode with animation only. They had four days of film in the can, so how to fill it out? If' we'd known it was going to be that much work, we never would have suggested it, said the showrunner. "To be fair, it is a terrible idea to take an episode and animate it with no reason." "It was an idea born out of desperation." They had no way they could fudge the plot to explain in-universe why it's animation, so they just went with an explanation at the start: we did this to fill in holes.

Twenty Years of Harry Dresden: This one says they recorded it in June. "I believe in July we have the rabid spider monkeys scheduled..." He talked about the first time he got a lot of people going to anything of his was at Dragon Con and was shocked at the line. "Are you Jim Butcher?" "Do I owe you money?" What's the weirdest thing you've ever done? "I married a fan." Didn't get that spoilery, mostly talked about character backgrounds and how the second book following up to the next one comes out in 2 months.

* LGBTQ Characters on Television: Lots of good people on this one. Wilson Cruz says he hears about "My So-Called Life" every day for the last 26 years, "even during a pandemic." I was amused that it just dawned on the moderator that all of the shows these people had been on were sci-fi ones. Duh!

* Orbit's New Voices in SF&F. Pretty much just watching this because I used to know one of those people something like 10-ish years ago. She's the only one in writing group who ever made it, probably because she actually wrote and actually left the group. The rest of us are fairly well doing nothing (me) to somewhat working on it/piddling along, I guess. Apparently Andrea shaved her head in between (a) asking her question to everyone else and (b) then answering everyone else's questions. This distracted me very much. Oh, and hey, Kim Stanley Robinson (talked to him on the phone once, even longer ago) turned up here. "Random Shit Flying Through The Air" is my new favorite book title. There is nothing we can do to stop an earthquake murdering everyone. Have a nice day!

At five, I was signed up to watch the State Fair Silent Disco, which was still going on online this year; They had three frames set up--red, blue, green on the screen--and you were to click back and forth between which one you wanted to listen to, put your likes on there, whatever. I appreciated that blueguy (Hip Hop) had a big ol' jungle set up, complete with a giant penguin in front and a giraffe (?) in the back. Red guy had a drawing of a wolf by the ocean because his name is "Oceanwolf." He was labeled as playing "Throwbacks." Green guy is labeled as doing Top 40 but appeared to be having sound issues a lot and when he was on, was playing...wordless trance stuff? There's always one trance music guy at Silent Disco and I am always not into him.

Almost all of the time I was listening to the red channel and throwbacks, and that was the winner at the end of the hour. I don't think it got a lot of people, there were about 12-14 people watching each channel, apparently. He actually played songs I had heard of before and had words to them, which is a winner to me. I fired up my disco balls in the house and attempted to walk/dance around. I'm still not feeling super bouncy but it got the 90 minutes of walking in. His last song was "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," sigh. Something we may never do again....

I had Robin Hood rehearsal tonight, during which we found out that Elizabeth has to physically go back to college in Ohio in 3 weeks. (Really, Ohio?) So....there's a timeline there. Darn it.

We're back on the dreaded background topic again, as some people have them now and nice ones, BUT then their bodies and props disappear when they use them. Cameron and I at this point do not have the things. I am wondering if I am going to have to cave and do any of the following:

(a) Pay $100+ for a green screen and frame because, as I keep saying over and over again, I CAN'T HANG ANYTHING FROM MY CEILING, I CAN'T EVEN REACH THE CEILING. I have no furniture to hang things off, hanging things + good lighting is not an option. (b) Buy an iPad, per Tom who says that's working better. I don't really want an iPad though. (c) Cave in and buy an entire new laptop. Except I have reservations about having to buy one on my own online without asking someone at Best Buy as to what to do, and then hope it shows up at the door. Blech. Stupid virus problems you never would have encountered before: having to have a fancy computer.

That said, I'm not sure I want to drop the money on a green screen setup under the circumstances--I'm not even sure if I have the space in the kitchen to set one up--and I'm not even sure if we are going to all have to use them or not since people's body parts and props disappear with the green screen on. I keep saying that you can have backgrounds or you can have people move around and stand up and wave swords, but probably not both, and that keeps being an issue. (Weirdly enough, nobody has anything online about "tips for acting in front of Zoom green screen," for dealing with that shit. You'd think someone would have this by now.)

They also want an external mike/speaker, but at least I have a random mike that I bought years ago when I thought I'd take up podcasting. So that worked.

On the other hand, I think it's been negotiated to have characters bow or salute each other vs. attempting virtual handshaking (again, virtual background making arms disappear), and to have people "chair march," thank god. I am rather baffled that Linda wants Tom to ah.... dance like an Egyptian, though. I know this isn't exactly period, but we're not even doing that song in this....? And she still wants thrown food, though so far nobody is actually doing this, we's just waving fruit around at the camera.

And then there were issues with people (a) having to play their accompaniment on their own computers, period, but (b) is that hearable, i.e. not so much for everyone. I managed to get that to work, though I literally had not rehearsed that beforehand, so.... that was a little off.

I have also noticed that somehow what with all this moving around, we end up looking at a lot of people's boobs in closeup on Zoom, mine included.

Lines from rehearsal:

"Can you wave the sword more menacingly?" -Linda "Not without damaging property." -Cameron

"I've got a sword, but it disappears as soon as it's in front of the green screen." -Robert "We have green screen problems." -Linda. "Cutting through reality there." -Jason as Robert waves the sword and half of the green screen goes out

"Later, you become French." Sarah to me and Ann

"I might not try drinking a couple beers." -Robert on his singing "Chalice from the Palace." -Robert (like....Caesar's Palace?!) "They're just sort of enveloped in the food." -Linda

"Tom, it's like Where's Waldo, you keep disappearing on me!" -Linda

"Work on that, guys, you're a little low key, you're ruining my vibe." Cameron on getting the guys to yell.

"I don't know if I'll be the latest in "you can't hear this theater" but I'll try." Cameron

"Noooo, you're not singing, you wouldn't do that." Linda to Tom

"Jason, you're just gonna be more stalwart." Linda

"You guys, this is gonna work. I've got some problems with these virtual screens, which I love and I hate." -Linda

We shall see. I am in all the rehearsals this week, so more to come tomorrow.

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