Nikki asked me about...
1. CSI Miami
I’m not normally a big fan of spinoffs. I had been watching CSI, the original, for a while. I didn’t start watching any of the CSI series from the beginning. I want to say I started watching around 2005ish. I really liked the original and at the time had no interest in any of the others. Then the episodes cycled around to the crossover they did that spawned CSI: Miami and I really liked it. I knew David Caruso from NYPD Blue back in the 80’s and really liked him in that and I knew Rory Cochrane from a few movies I’d seen him in. That was enough to get me started watching. In fact I sort of lost interest in the Vegas series after a while and I never really developed a strong attachment to CSI: NY though I do watch it occasionally.
I know Miami has some outrageous plots and some truly unbelievable characters but it’s fun to watch and always entertaining. I don’t even look at it as a cop show any more, I really can’t it’s so out there sometimes, but I will always watch. I find it amusing when people start complaining about how unbelievable the show is sometimes, well most of the time. But I don’t really think the writers are going for believable as much as they are going for outrageous action adventure story telling and when you look at it that way it’s not so bad. Besides, when you come right down to it, it’s just a TV show and it doesn’t have to be believable to be fun.
2. Graphic making
I could talk for a really long time about this one but I will try not to bore anyone. Let’s see, I got started with computer graphics roughly ten or so years ago. My buddy Tim had given me a bootleg copy of Photoshop to play with. He knew that I had just gotten a digital camera so he showed me how to do some basic stuff with the program and left me to it. I started playing with it, slowly teaching myself how to do different things.
My nephew Marcus was three years old at the time and I had a bunch of digital photos of him. I also had a bunch of digital photos of my cats. I started messing around with both, playing with the scale until I had a pretty convincing picture of Marcus standing next to a giant cat. My husband found the picture on our hard drive and added in a UFO in the corner. An idea was born. I showed the picture to another friend of my, Rafael. Once Rafe stopped laughing, we started plotting. Big Alien Cats was born. For more than a year I perfected my Photoshop skills making BAC images and we started a website that is still there, bigaliencats.net. A whole mythology arose around these creatures. It was a lot of fun. The only reason I didn’t continue with it was because in March of 2001 Rafe passed away and without my friend and main sounding board I had no more interest in continuing.
The site remains and still gets a lot of hits on a daily basis, which really surprises me. It took me a while after Rafe’s death to pick up Photoshop again but eventually I did. When I joined LiveJournal I discovered a whole new world of graphics communities and started playing again. When I got my MacBook last year, another friend gave me a copy of Photoshop CS3 and I started learning all over again.
3. Fanfic challenges
I’m pretty sure I have Nikki and Chris to blame for this one. 12Stories for Horatio Caine and Tim Speedle was the very first fic challenge I ever took and finished. When I started writing I found that having prompts helped me to get ideas for plots. And at the moment I have quite a few open challenges though, oddly enough, I find myself relying on them less and less as time goes on. I suppose eventually I’ll complete them all but I usually try to choose the low-pressure communities so I can take my time.
4. University administration
My career. I suppose you could say, that with very few exceptions, every job I’ve ever had had been in education. I come from a family of teachers. All three of my sisters are involved in education in one form or another. My paternal grandmother is a retired kindergarten teacher and still, at 91, does a children’s reading class at her local library. My aunt, my father’s sister, was a high school art teacher for many years. Now she is a student teacher supervisor at Tufts University in Boston. So I suppose that you could say that I was genetically programmed for education.
My sisters and I have all taken different paths within the field. My youngest sister, Donna, is the only full-time classroom teacher, Lisa down in Florida teaches riding, Helen who lives in Manhattan, works for a not-for-profit organization that does educational research, and I am in administration. Since I talk about my job all of the time on this blog I won’t bore you all by repeating myself except to say that I love what I do. I love being around the students. And I love the fact that I can still teach part-time.
Just to add, I can see the teacher gene being passed on to the next generation in my family. Marcus, who is thirteen and a whiz at math and science, starts high school next year. He was accepted into one Manhattan’s prestigious math and science high schools. A couple of his friends got in with him because he tutors them on a regular basis. He is great with little kids. My sister often refers to him as the baby whisperer because of the way all the little ones follow him around. He’s thinking about becoming a teacher.
5. Babylon 5
Babylon 5 was a science fiction universe comparable in level of complexity to Star Wars. It was an epic series created by J. Michael Straczynski. It centered on the Babylon 5 space station, which was the center for inter-planetary diplomacy, sort of United Nations style. Set around 2255, the show incorporated many different alien cultures and won several awards for costumes and special effects but the real draw for me, as well as many others was the writing. The show has been described as a novel for television. It had depth of both character and storyline and is still my favorite television show to go back a re-watch.
One of the things that made the series so enthralling was the fact that you couldn’t find a plot hole or inconsistency anywhere. The reason for this was that unlike most shows on television, Babylon 5 was planned out and written from beginning to end before it went into production. The series ran for five years and every twist and turn made perfect sense and fit in beautifully with the story as a whole.
And Nikki wins for making me talk the most. : )