Lucy Lawless!

We’re starting to get news about who’s going to show for the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but I think so far this one is the biggest headline.  Although maybe she’ll only be in one episode and we’ll all of us get hyped up for nothing.  But otherwise, who does she play?  An Asgardian would be casting to type, but we’ve had that on the show already.  Some other ideas that occur to me:

Another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent left at odds when the organization imploded; there are probably some around, and Coulson would do well to gather them up.  Maybe a higher-ranking one who might not relish a former subordinate being in charge of her; that might be interesting.  Heck, maybe even one who’d had some sort of relationship with Victoria Hand, which might be a nice way of acknowledging her having been a LGBT character, as well as bring one on to the show still alive(but there’s a question then as to whether Lawless will stick around for the entire series; it might not suit her to, and then her character might get killed off), and then maybe not be too happy if Ward shows any signs of possibly being redeemed.

Skye’s mother.  This could potentially be casting her to type too.  Then the primary question is if she’s still with Skye’s father and a villain, not with Skye’s father but still a villain, or not a villain.  I here repeat my comments that I’d love to see her team up with Melinda May’s mother, at least if she’s not a villain.  If we bring in such an actress playing the mother, though, that probably automatically makes her important, potentially more important that Skye’s father(unless, again, she’s only around for one episode and then gets killed or something).  But if she’s a villain, Skye would still probably reject her, and then there might be a few episodes of her not taking no for answer….

A member of Rising Tide.  I’m not sure how I feel about Skye’s boyfriend coming back(especially if it generates a full-blown shipper war the fandom so far has been fortunate enough to avoid), but the organization coming back and having a part to play definitely makes sense, especially considering they were kind of right about S.H.I.E.L.D.  Perhaps she could even be someone high-up in it, the person they send to negotiate with Coulson, with Miles just accompanying her.  In that role I think she could make a very good foil for him.   Hopefully she won’t spend too much time being smug, though, if only because that would probably turn the audience against her.

In any case, we’re all looking forward to her.  Let’s hope the writers don’t blow her role.

That was quick

Apparently Nate Bartholomay is now skating with Gretchen Donlan, one of the few ladies who went on the pairs market early in the summer still available.  At this point you want your partner chosen and the process of preparing for your first season together started, so it’s good he didn’t linger at the search.  The success of that partnership, unfortunately, is probably going to hinge on her jumping ability, which will perhaps always be suspect(and the tech controllers may automatically take a close look at her rotations for the rest of her career).

And meanwhile, it looks like the inevitably  might be happening: the French federation is being the French federation and refusing to release Massot, although to be fair, he and Popova did win a Senior B last season, so other federations might have held him to.  But the current French government is not going to give Aliona Savchenko citizenship, and it’s hard to believe the German federation would release her, even to get rid of Steuer.  And even if she’s willing to stick it out, well, the way he ran out on Popova for her doesn’t make it look like he won’t run out on her too, if they can’t be sure if they’ll ever be able to compete internationally.

Outside pairs news, can there be video somewhere of Francesca Chiera skating to “Luna”?  I really want to see that.

Debris of Pairs Fields

With the latest high-profile break-up in pairs being confirmed today, I think we might go back and revisit the previous season’s standings, and see who’s still together and who’s split.  To try to get a big picture of pairs without going crazy, I am including the top 15 from the Olympics, then three more pairs who weren’t in Sochi but were at Worlds and finished in the top 15 there, and then, for good measure, all the other pairs that finished in the top five at U.S., Canadian, or Russian Nationals.

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Signature: Cloak and Dagger & DC Fringe: Miss Emma’s Matchmaking Agency for Literary Characters

The last two weekends I’ve seen two different comic one-act shows, the first a mid-century detective noir musical parody at the Signature in Arlington, the second, put in the Atlas on H Street, a meta play where Emma and Don Juan(who is doing community service for seducing the wrong women) try to match up characters from different works that they think might go well together. I think they were both world premieres, though I don’t have that confirmed for Miss Emma’s Matchmaking.  Both were entertaining enough, though Miss Emma’s Matchmaking Service was far funnier, if only because it was written as a laugh-a-minute play.  Both had far more entertainment than quality though.  And in both, the two leads pretty much found themselves upstaged by the other actors who played all the supporting roles.

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What I Have Determined About Video Editing Software

Most of it isn’t really suited for fanvidding: it’s built for doing editing and special effects for things of some length you filmed yourself, or for animation purposes.  Which is what I suppose most people would be using it for, but that doesn’t help me any.

I am not the only person who has gotten frustrated with Windows Movie Maker and started to search for something else, only to ultimately go back to using WMM because the affordable alternatives are all impossible to manage.  Nor am I the only person who has suffered from the software refusing to save my hard work into an uploadable video.

I have noticed that whenever I get a new computer, WMM works really well at first, then starts to degenerate.  So while I have been urged to upgrade to a new computer, that might only temporarily solve the problem.

Most fans seem to either suffer through trying to get WMM or iMovie to do what they want, or shell out hundreds of bucks for either Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas.  Middle ground is not non-existent, but it still doesn’t have that many options.

Meanwhile, paid software doesn’t solve all your problems.  I’ve recently read about how even the expensive ones often don’t like certain file formats, and I know from bitter experience even a program you pay for will sometimes refuse to save your project into a video.

This doesn’t even get into getting footage if I want to branch out from figure skating into movies/TV.  The options there seem to be buying the DVDs(which is good for the conscience, but you have to wait until they come out) and then diving into the possibly dodge world of DVD-ripping software, or diving into the possibly even dodgier world of bittorrents.  I still know relatively little of all that; I’ve been focused on trying to work out the editing software problem so far.

I think I will probably have to start paying money to continue my vidding activities.  But after my experience with said paid-for software refusing to save my project, I want to know something about what I’m paying for.

What I really need is advice from someone who both knows video software and understands the requirements of fanvidding.  I have the name and ability to contact one guy who might know the former, but I doubt he’d be of help on the latter.  I really know nothing of the fanvidding community; I’ve really only been watching their videos and not really paying attention to how they come about.

So far, my attempts to figure out how to get advice have not worked.

The Storm Season

At the bus stop yesterday morning.

At the bus stop yesterday morning.

It seems lately most days are hot all day, then with thunderstorms in the evening(and many of the ones that deviate from that pattern, like this morning, have the moisture around at different times).  Okay, it’s only been that way for a week or so, but it has the feeling of being a season anyway, at least that it’s going to continue for a bit longer.  It’s only early July, after all, and the heat is only going to get worse.  So far the worst storm was Wednesday night, when even when I caught the bus just walking to my home from the bus stop got me soaked, branches like the one above got knocked down, and my co-workers described much worse happening outside their windows.  On the other hand, we didn’t have any trouble with our internet Wednesday night, while Tuesday night cable and net both were out most of the time.  So far we haven’t lost our electricity, but if this continues, I fear that’s only a matter of time.