A geeky girl living in the big city, making her way, the only way she knows how... no wait, that's The Dukes of Hazzard. Who am I again? Oh yeah, a pop culture obsessed writer, publishing person, and occasional nerd. And I'm getting married. I talk about that, too.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Again, from Brian Williams

Memo to casting directors of both "Mystic River" and "The Departed": If you tune in to this afternoon's briefing by the Boston Mayor and the city's emergency service chiefs, you will hear actual Boston accents. Best accent so far in the briefing: the reporter asking if this is "some whack job" planting these suspicious packages. As the son of a man from Framingham, I can tell you there's nothing worse than a bad attempt at a Boston accent.



Sorry for the lack of content over here lately. Doyce and I were finishing up a story for a contest with a deadline of today, plus a friend from writer's group told me about a great new website called Divine Caroline which was looking for content, so I've been submitting stuff to them as well. Ktbuffy's web domination campaign begins in earnest!

In other news, I signed the roomie and I up for Netflix. Not their super-duper expansive package, since I have a hard enough time some weeks keeping up with television, just two DVDs a month for now. The first one, Inside Man, is on its way to me as we speak. Nobody ruin it for me, ok?

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Sad day for a pony



The first rule of Fight Club...

Is you don't talk about Fight Club. People know this. What I didn't know, before I saw the film for the first time yesterday, is that there's a whole secret twist to the tale. A Sixth Sensian secret. And I'm really and truly amazing that in the 8 years since the film came out, I never knew about the twist. No one ruined it for me. And for that, I guess I just have to thank the rules of Fight Club.

I mean, I know who does what at the end of Million Dollar Baby. I know just what Rosebud is. And I know about what happens in Chinatown, even though I've seen none of those movies.

Fight Club surprised me, and I liked it even more than I thought I would. Though I didn't see the allure of Helena Bonham Carter's Marla at all.

And in other movie news -- go see Pan's Labyrinth. Go. Now. You'll thank me (even if you have to watch parts of it with something covering your eyes, like I did).


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Operation: Warm That House!

Operation: Warm that House! was a success! We had a rousing crowd here last night, tons of delicious foodstuffs (including A&A's famed artichoke cheese dip, possibly the hit of the soiree), and an amazing cake made by my friend Dot to match the invitations. A good time was had by all, I believe. Of course, I didn't take a single photograph, so you'll have to take my word for it.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Too cute!

I want!
Sneakers! Mary Janes! Both!
I have no idea why I got an email from Ryka about these shoes, but clearly, they know me well. You know, my birthday is coming up shortly...


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I like to plan things

It's just one of the things I like. I like planning parties, vacations, renovations, redecorations, all sorts of stuff. Even if the event is so far in the future to be absurd to think about already. For a housewarming party I'm having this weekend, I've got my list of planned hors d'ouevres, my shopping list, home repairs and such that need to be done before the guests arrive, and an idea of what I'm wearing.

I'm thinking about a beach weekend in April, and it's killing me that I can't firm up plans and book my flights yet, that I have to wait until I get info on a possible work trip that would throw said plans into disarray.

And then there's other stuff filling my head. Wacky stuff. Fun stuff, but totally unnecessary.

I tell you, this planning of things is enough to keep a girl completely distracted from work!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Getting Motivated!

Waaaaaay back when (January 2004), my good friend Yi Shun convinced me to sign up for the Danskin Triathlon, and write all about it for her website. The first article appeared in February 2004, and several months later, having successfully completed our training and finished a tri, we celebrated. A year later, we did it again, though I didn't train for it, and suffered much more during the running of it.

Well... I'm doing it again. Thanks to my cult, I think I'm in much better shape than when I ran the 2005 tri, at least. But of course, I can't just run any ole tri. No, I have to step things up, and go to the next level. I can't just do the same thing I've done before! So yeah, I'm running the Danskin Tri again, but this time, I'm doing it in Denver. At altitude.

Yi Shun's going to do it with me, and maybe our friends Jodi and Gretchen as well. What this means is that I need to start including running, biking, and swimming workouts with my NIA classes. And I have to tell you all about it, so that I can't back down.

Wish me luck!

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Monday, January 22, 2007


Oh! And this weekend to attend a friend's baby shower in NJ, I attempted the whole jeans-into-knee-high-boots look. I felt pretty swank about it, though that could have been my mental association with English Hunt riding (I went with my new Banana winter white cords and black boots, with a black blazer). My cords weren't exactly the ankle gripping pants best worn with said boots, so I'm debating looking for actual real skinny jeans. Because with all the exciting weight lost (46.4 so far!), even the new jeans I bought in October are turning into magic pants.*

So, for the ladies who shop. Where do I look for said skinny jeans, bearing in mind that I'm not six feet tall or a size 2? Or do I let this fad pass me by? In which case, what type of jeans should I look for?

Thanks for the help!

*Magic Pants - able to be removed without actually undoing any of the fastenings. AKA those pants you absolutely NEED to wear with a belt, if only to keep them on.


Waiting again

And on the flip side of the things I do, I gave a revised version of HtDaS to my agent today, for passing on to an editor who'd earlier expressed interest and made suggestions for revision. I'm ridonkulously nervous about her comments. It's actually quite hard to type with my fingers crossed.

Anyway, with that done -- at least for now -- I can think about writing our next submission for Wicked Words, which is due by the 31st. Not tonight, though. Tonight I get to watch Heroes! Hooray!

Are you on the list? Which makes me think of annoying exclusive NYC bars, but whatever! Superheroes! Golden Globe-nominated Hiro!

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More Advice!

Another helpful (I hope!) hint from an agent:

There's a fine line between persistence and annoyance.

This should be pretty obvious, but just in case... Following up on an emailed submission at the end of an agent's posted range for response = persistence. Calling a week after you've sent a complete 75,000 word manuscript = annoyance. Calling in general = annoyance. Even worse is dropping a manuscript off in person.

Reading an agent's client's blog and commenting on something posted there in a query to said agent = persistence. Using the name of an agent's client or employee or coworker as the victim of a horrible crime in your novel = annoyance. Also, creepy.

Meeting an agent at a conference or cocktail party and mentioning your book, then following up in the next few days with a written query = persistence. Meeting an agent at a conference or cocktail party, mentioning your book, trying to give her a copy of your book, cornering her in the corner of said conference or cocktail party and describing (at length) the plot of your novel = annoyance. Especially if you're keeping her from the booze. Unlike Miss Snark, I don't have a weakness for gin, but I do enjoy a nice cold beer. (Like this one. Yummy!)


Friday, January 19, 2007

I feel like such a slacker

Every year around this time, I like to look at Entertainment Weekly's list of the 25 Movies You Need To See Before Oscar Night. I use it as a reminder of which movies I've seen, and usually, just how many more I should see before the big night -- or at some point over the course of the next year. This year, I think I've hit an all-time low. I've only seen THREE of the movies listed so far! Clearly, I need to head over to the movie theatre for a couple of marathons. How many have you seen?
  1. The Departed
  2. Dreamgirls
  3. Babel
  4. The Queen
  5. Letters From Iwo Jima
  6. Little Miss Sunshine
  7. United 93
  8. Little Children
  9. Notes on a Scandal
  10. Flags of Our Fathers
  11. The Last King of Scotland
  12. The Devil Wears Prada
  13. Borat
  14. Blood Diamond
  15. Volver
  16. The Pursuit of Happyness
  17. Venus
  18. Children of Men
  19. Pan's Labyrinth
  20. Half Nelson
  21. Thank You For Smoking
  22. The Painted Veil
  23. Stranger Than Fiction
  24. Hollywoodland
  25. For Your Consideration

I've only seen #12, 21, and 23, not even CRACKING the top ten. Sigh. How am I supposed to beat the office champ in our Oscar pool at this rate?

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Who are you, and what have you done with my regularly scheduled blogging?

Sorry about that, devoted readers! I yell at others for not updating their blogs with persistent regularity, and and then I go and let almost a week go by between posts. Bad ktbuffy! Bad!

It's been rather busy here, though. I got an assistant at work, which is fantastic, but involves lots of little notes to her about how things need to get done, plus I'll admit I'm taking advantage of actually having an assistant to be really very diligent about getting through my work. Which is not so much "taking advantage of" as just plain ole "using." Anyway, it's very efficient around here lately.

Last night, I got called in by my sister to join her, my mom, and another sister in seeing "The Drowsy Chaperone" on Broadway, which was entirely entertaining. My feet were tapping during the dance numbers, I laughed at the appropriate jokes, sometimes before others in the audience caught on to them, and I walked out of there humming some of the tunes -- tunes I could still remember the next morning. That, my friends, is the sign of a good musical performance.

The main structure of the show has our unnamed narrator (He's billed in the Playbill as "Man in Chair") feeling blue, and deciding to listen to an album of one of his favorite old 1920s musicals. The show comes to life around him in his dingy one-room apartment. Here's clip of one of Sutton Foster's big numbers from the 2006 Tonys, where she won Featured Actress in a Musical.

Also, apparently, the Man in Chair made a whole series of theatre tips which are also available online. I haven't watched them all yet, but I'm going to start. The show's website has some other clips, too.

My understanding is that it's a completely brand new show, and that the 1902s musical he listens to never actually existed, but it's done so well, I wouldn't be surprised if it ever was a real show. It'd a neat way of staging a revival, certainly.

So that's some of what I've been up to. More soon!

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Update-y goodness

It's been a lot of fun to see everyone run with the idea of posting your favorite books, and I'm liking the lists we've all come up with so much better than the so-called "official" lists. Keep 'em coming!

Anyway, I thought I'd check in with a cult update. I'm down an even 45 pounds, which is very exciting, with another 15 pounds to go to my goal weight. Those last 15 will probably take almost as long as the first 45! What I'm finding slightly more difficult lately is continuing to be good about tracking all my food. A part of it, certainly, is the change on the Weight Watchers site to the tracking system. There's more food to find, I think, but it's slower, and feels somehow bulkier. Plus, while I can see everything just fine on my work computer, on my home lappy, the box is weirdly foreshortened, with no way to resize it. Annoying, I say.

I think it also hasn't helped that my regular leader has been on vacation, and wasn't at the last two meetings I went to. Which means, including Christmas Day and New Year's Day as missed meetings, I haven't seen him for over a month. Still, I'm still on a happy downward trend, with only a little bubble up where last week I got used to weighing myself with less clothes on -- which you can do in the safety and comfort of one's own or one's boyfriend's bathroom, but can't in a public room full of other people. But I like sticking to the regimen of only weighing myself at meetings, and not worrying about how much I weigh every single day. I'm glad I don't have a scale at home.

But my regular NIA instructor is back from her maternity leave (yay!), so I'll be making more of an effort to get to at least two or three classes a week as opposed tojust one, and I do think that the 20 minutes brisk walking I do each day back and forth between my new apartment and the subway certainly helps in the keeping me active column. As does the fact that my favorite pizza place and Cold Stone Creamery are now a LOT further away, and I have to think ahead to have snacking food in the house. Which doesn't always help me at work, but does in those hours when I'm at home in front of the computer or the tv. And I just keep remembering to drink lots and lots of water.

So it's all good. I now have four pairs of pants that are size 10, and I'm finding it such a thrill to buy mediums now, not larges or extra-larges. And I was actually looking forward to buying a bathing suit for the next time I'm near a beach, which hasn't happened in, oh, ever!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Brian Williams is actually kind of witty

Yes, I know, I pride myself on getting all my news from the Daily Show, and reading newspapers over people's shoulders in the subway, but I could get used to reading Brian Williams' blog, The Daily Nightly. Today, for instance, after a long piece on meeting with the President about tonight's speech, and why he prefers Amtrak to flying, he writes
It snowed in New York today. For three minutes. And I missed it.
I don't know, it just kind of tickled me. Also, he reads the NY Times Sunday Syles section and mocks the wedding reportage. Man, I miss Veiled Conceit. Sigh.


MY Books

After the last list of books I mostly haven't read, De suggested I share my own list of favorites. And so, after an exhausting survey of my bookshelves and memories, I'm happy to present 51 (I like being odd) of my favorites. Mostly fiction, but a few nonfiction titles. I also decided not to include picture books, which ought to be cause for another list entirely. I've tried to go through this list so there aren't any duplicates with any of the other lists previously presented, so remember that before you get all up on my face for not mentioning "To Kill A Mockingbird."

Which totally rocks.

In places I've also included an entire series under one title listing, but the other lists did that too, so I'm entitled. Now, without further ado, the list:

  1. Adventures in the Screen Trade, William Goldman
  2. And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie
  3. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
  4. Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
  5. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
  6. Charlotte's Web, E.B. White
  7. The Club Dumas, Arturo Perez-Reverte
  8. Confessions of An Ugly Stepsister, Gregory Maguire
  9. The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
  10. Dracula, Bram Stoker
  11. The Eight, Katherine Neville
  12. Emma, Jane Austen
  13. The Eyes of the Dragon, Stephen King
  14. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
  15. Fatherland, Robert Harris
  16. The Fionavar Tapestry, Guy Gavriel Kay
  17. The Forever King, Molly Cochran & Warren Murphy
  18. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  19. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg
  20. Girl With A Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
  21. The Good Master, Kate Seredy
  22. Good Omens, Nel Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
  23. The Gypsy, Megan Lindholm & Steven Brust
  24. The Hero and The Crown, Robin McKinley
  25. In a Sunburned Country, Bill Bryson
  26. Intimations of Immortality, Piers Anthony
  27. Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell
  28. James and The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
  29. King of the Wind, Marguerite Henry
  30. Kissing in Manhattan, David Schickler
  31. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  32. The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton
  33. The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
  34. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  35. The Once and Future King, T.H. White
  36. The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux
  37. The Princess Bride, William Goldman
  38. The Quality of Mercy, Faye Kellerman
  39. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  40. The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff
  41. The Thief Lord, Cornelia Funke
  42. Time And Again, Jack Finney
  43. Tomorrow, When the War Began, James Marsden
  44. Sabriel, Garth Nix
  45. Sandman, Neil Gaiman
  46. The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Orczy
  47. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  48. Whose Body?, Dorothy L. Sayers
  49. Winter's Tale, Mark Helprin
  50. The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare
  51. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle

Which represents lots of really hard choices. For the most part, I only took one book by an author, except for William Goldman, whose "The Princess Bride" is probably my favorite book EVER, but "Adventures in the Screen Trade" is such a wonderful nonfiction account of a life making movies. Likewise, it was tough to pick "The Secret Garden" over "The Little Princess," "Fatherland" over "Enigma," and "The Good Master" over "The Chestry Oak," one of the seminal books of my childhood.

Still, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Every book above is one I read and loved at some point in my life, and each one opens up a wealth of other great book ideas.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

More Advice from an Agent!

Yes, ok, I know I said this wouldn't be all that regular a feature, but the queries that came across my desk recently inspired me.

Helpful Hint #2: Spell things properly.

It ought to go without saying, but nothing does in this business, I've learned. I've seen queries with with word "query" misspelled, with the author's own title misspelled, and far too often, with my name misspelled. That's not only a red flag, but it's a simple thing to fix. Look, if you're querying an agent, you have a reason for it, right? You've looked them up on the internet, noticed that they represent the type of books you've written, maybe even paged through one of their client's books and noted their name in the acknowledgements. You've done that research, so let it show, and spell the agent's name right. This is particularly jarring if you've managed to email them at bobsmith@bobsmithagency.com, and then write "Dear Mr. Smyth" in your query letter. Maybe you really are unsure, and have seen their name spelled two different ways in your research. You know what you do then? Keep researching. Keep Googling. Find a third mention, and see what spelling occurs most often, and use that.

And always, always, always use spellcheck.


Genre Books I've Read

The instructions were: Bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett *
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling *
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams *
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein (I think?)
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

Seriously, folks. What the hell have I been reading? Not these, these, or these, clearly! Bad enough I was feeling bad for still having books on my Recent Reads column from October! It's not my fault! I've been reading queries and manuscripts!


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Monday, January 08, 2007

Advice from an agent

I'm always impressed by smart, detailed blog posts from Agent Kristin of Pub Rants and the pseudonymously wicked Miss Snark on the business of publishing, often chock full of helpful hints about our industry. One of my New Year's resolutions is to strive to be even a fraction as helpful to the readers who come upon my humble little corner of the blogosphere. To that end, I present a completely irregular new feature of ktbuffy's blog: Advice From An Agent.

Helpful hint #1: It ought to go without saying, but as an aspiring writer, if you're lucky enough to receive a request from an agent, follow the specifics of her request. We'll get back to queries another time, but if you've made it past that hard first step and have received a response saying something along the lines of "I'm intrigued. Please send..." pay careful attention to the next words. If the agent asks for 50 pages, send 50 pages. If that means your final page leaves a sentence unfinished, consider it a teaser for the rest of the manuscript and be grateful. If you're asked to send 5 chapters, or 3, or 10, then send 5 chapters, or 3, or 10. Do not be that writer who includes in her covering note a phrase like this, "In response to your email, I'm attaching the first few chapters of Novel X - slightly more than five as two of the chapters are short." If I'd wanted more than 5, I'd have asked for more than five. And what about this one? "As discussed, I’m sending you a sample from Novel Y (the first 50 pages since I don’t use conventional chapter breaks)." Unless the novel is a continuous stream of consciousness rant, you do use section breaks of some kind, yes? Send me the first five.

And yes, I said the FIRST five. Never, under any circumstances, send sample chapters that are scattered throughout the book, or in any other way not the beginning of the book. Others have said it before, I'm just reiterating: if you don't feel the first few chapters are strong enough to best present your novel to an agent, then get back to the drafting table or keyboard and do some more revision.

This has been Advice from an Agent. More when I feel like it, or if you have any specific questions you need answered. Feel free to email me here.


Friday, January 05, 2007

Snow! Snow! Snow!

Back safely in New York, and doesn't it just figure, but it's snowing again in Colorado! (As the large majority of my readers already know.) I was going to post a gorgeous picture from last week's big storm, but someone beat me to it. Still, I have lots more pictures! Like this one!And this one, which is from our snowy hike with the puppies.Speaking of which... don't say I never show you pictures of me.I have another 70 or so, but you can't possibily want to see all of them, and I KNOW I don't want to post them all.

And yes, I'm aware I haven't yet done much of a recap of the whole trip, but on the whole, it involved a lot of relaxing, lazying about, watching "Coupling" (every episode of all four seasons!), shoveling, playing CoH/CoV, and going dancing. Oh! And there was some shopping. I love the post-holiday sales!

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

I hate leaving.

Packing up, making sure I haven't forgotten anything, going home, saying goodbye... it sucks sometimes.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

CoH Update

I should be working on HtDaS, but instead have spent a lovely amount of time here in Colorado playing CoH with Doyce's characters, as well as soloing some of my own while he played some WoW. Yes, we're geeks. Anyway, having never ever really done a round-up of my characters (mostly because for two years I only had one) I thought it would be a hoot to start the New Year off with a list:

ktbuffy's CoH/CoV toons
On Champion
Noelle Frost, my level 50 ice/force field controller. For ages, my only toon. Doyce and I were discussing just last night how she was my window into CoH, and to the extent that she's the only toon I really care about doing all the content, she remains so. Since I hit level 50 though, there's less to do with her, so I made
The DeepFreeze Debutante, currently a level 11 ice/ice blaster. RP-wise, she's an older Noelle Frost, who's spent several years elsewhere (off-world, or just out of Paragon. I'm still undecided) working with her powers, now more offensive than defensive. Must be a reason for that, I imagine...
On the evil side of Champion, there's
Shadowslip, a level 28 ninja/ninjitsu stalker. Decided not to go through the fitness power pool for her, and thus plan never to take stamina, since her character is more about quick strikes from the shadows and then disappearing. OOC-wise, though, she teams a lot with Markov Chain, who lends her quite a bit of endurance and speed and health.
On Freedom
Ginger-Snap is my Hostess Hero, a level 28 electrical blast/energy manipulation blaster. Aside from costume misssions and special events, Ginger's never taken a mission of her own. Hooray for the Monday Munchies! She also doesn't have any travel powewr, except for three-slotted swift and two-slotted sprint. But she can run invisible!
On Virtue
Lady Optimism, my level 15 Radiation Blast/Thermal Radiation Corruptor. The cheeriest villain in the Rogue Isles, based on and costumed as a cheerleader gone ever so slightly off. Her husband and partner in gleeful crime is Mister Brightside.
And finally, on Victory
Sophie MacIntyre. My Slayer. A level 15 Martial Arts/Invulnerability scrapper. Leader of The Scooby Gang, of course, though the gang has contracted in size since it was first created. Originally created to play with a set group of people, now just fun to play whenever.

And that's all of 'em. And having talked about them now, I think I'm going to play for a bit. For those of you looking for me in the real world, I'll be back in NYC tomorrow night. Cheers!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

TV is funny!

Via Entertainment Weekly, a collection of the best things said on TV in 2006. Enjoy!