Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Warmth of Spirit

One of my dearest friends had a birthday recently and I decided it was finally time to make her a gift I have been planning for a while.

During my last stash reorg, I came across a few skeins of this lovely wool that my mother passed on to me. They complimented each other perfectly and together make up a very nice and mature representation of the school colors of TCU, my alma matter and that of my friend. She is big into football, especially TCU football, so I thought these would be perfect to make her a hat and fingerless mitts to wear to games.

Go Frogs! Set by Cori 2012.

Go Frogs! Hat by Cori 2012.

This kind of gives you an idea of how it fits.

Pattern: Really Easy Slouchy Beanie by Jennifer DiMaria (available for free at her blog).
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino in Royal Purple and Gray (one skein each)
Hooks: US G and US H

I did make the hat a little shorter than the pattern calls for, because I don't know that my friend would particularly care for a hat that slouchy. The other modification was to use two colors, and I just switched to the grey when I got to the band (and changed to the smaller hook).

Go Frogs! Mitts by Cori 2012.

These are super soft and warm, y'all.

Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino in Royal Purple and Gray (one skein each)
Hook: US J

I don't have a pattern for these. I looked at several but couldn't find any I was happy with so I just kind of winged it, mimicking the color scheme for the hat.

Overall I am really happy with how these came out and my friend seemed to like them a lot. I actually  have enough yarn left over that I could probably make a matching scarf for her. I just need to get off my tush and do it. Maybe that will be a good post-holiday knitting project.

Speaking of the holidays, I'm taking them off from blogging. So no new posts for the next two weeks. I'll be back on January 7 (with yarn blogging starting up again on January 9). I hope everyone has a very wonderful holiday season, whatever you are celebrating! See you in 2013!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

B5 Rewatch: Acts of Sacrifice

Hello! Welcome to another installment of my Babylon 5 rewatch. Thank you so much for popping in! Today we'll be taking a (spoiler-full, as always) look at the twelfth episode of season two, "Acts of Sacrifice."

Hopefully we'll get to see some of the fallout from yesterday's episode. Let's go find out, shall we?

Let Me Sum Up

Things are escalating in the war between the Centauri and Narn. The Centauri, despite a promise not to do so, have begun striking at civilian targets. When G'Kar requests a meeting with the Babylon 5 command staff and Londo to air a grievance about the matter, Londo refuses to show up. He issues a statement that his people did not break their promise and that the Narn are deliberately surrounding their military targets with civilians to use a a shield. He also states that the most recent incident was an attack on a weapons transport, not a civilian transport. G'Kar vehemently denies this and Sheridan and the others believe him. They promise to talk to Earth about intervening, but Sheridan says he can't make any promises that Earth will actually act. G'Kar is satisfied that at least an attempt will be made for now.

Sheridan is notified about the arrival of an expected ship. It seems Earth has made contact with a new, advanced, race called the Lumati. They have agreed to come to the station to open negotiations to possibly join either the Council or the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. If Earth can bring them in, they would be a powerful ally down the road. Because he is busy enough juggling the Narn and Centauri, Sheridan delegates meeting with the Lumati to Ivanova.

On the station, tension between the Narn and Centauri residents begins to ramp up. Some of them get into a scuffle in a bar and Zack manages to break it up. Unfortunately, they later find each other in a corridor and go at it again. Zack and security try to intervene but this time, one of the Narn is killed. G'Kar is outraged but Sheridan tells him and Londo that they need to get their people under control. If they can't, they'll all be thrown off the station. It is neutral territory and he won't have brawling going on there.

Ivanova takes the Lumati and his companion, who speaks for him because speaking with an inferior race would cause him to lose face, on a tour of the station. It is clear that the Lumati looks down on the humans and every other race as inferior. In the MedLab, for instance, they don't understand why Franklin would bother trying to help other species instead of just letting evolution run its course. To do so, he explains, allows for weak blood to contaminate the gene pool and keeps the race from reaching a respectable level. Franklin is understandably put off buy such remarks and Ivanova hurriedly moves the tour along.

G'Kar pulls in the Narn residents of the station and tries to tell them to cool it. He explains that if they cannot control themselves, they will jeopardize their race's chance at getting help from the Earthers, Minbari, and others. The other Narn scoff that they have never needed such help and G'Kar says that it was different in the past, it wasn't a full-out war. His people retort that he has spent too much time with the humans. G'Kar says they are too young to understand and orders them to stand down. They say they have received his message. After he leaves though, they decide to send one of their own. They have taken one of the Centauri from the earlier conflict hostage and kill him, leaving his body where it can be easily found. It is revealed they mean to attack every Centauri on the station, to send a message of their own.

G'Kar's aide Na'Toth discovers the plot to attack the Centauri and alerts him about it. She thinks they should alert Sheridan but G'Kar says no. If they do and he tries to stop it, either more people will get hurt or the other Narn will just lay low and try again in a few days. He says they rejected his authority and he means to go reclaim it. He means to stop them himself. Na'Toth insists on accompanying him.

The Lumati decides that Ivanova is only showing him the best parts of the station in order to impress him. While he says he understands the impulse, he wants to see the bad as well. Ivanova tells him to pick any part of the station he wants and she will take him there. He picks Down Below. The Lumati is impressed by Down Below, calling it brilliant. He thinks that they did it on purpose to separate the inferior parts of their own species and allow them to die out and serve a purpose as a workforce until then. He thinks it is something his own people will instate on their planet as soon as they can report on it. In fact, this convinces the Lumati that the Earthers are actually worthy of an alliance. He speaks to Ivanova himself, telling her that they have many similarities to build upon. She is a bit befuddled by this (and I think a little disgusted), but she was ordered to get them to agree to an alliance, so she follows as he leaves to begin arrangements.

G'Kar interrupts the Narn as they are rallying before their attack. Their leader claims that G'Kar has no authority over them any longer and G'Kar denies the assertion. He says the only way the other Narn can take it is by force and the two duel for who has the final say in the matter. Some of the other Narn think to get involved and give their cohort a hand but Na'Toth keeps the fight fair. G'Kar prevails and tells the others that this ends here. If peace on the station is the only way to win the war at home then that is what they will have. The other Narn grudgingly disperse.

Sheridan hears back from Earth and they refuse to give any official help to the Narn. They are not ready to take sides yet. Sheridan is disappointed but does not give up. He goes to Franklin and they work out a scheme to use his contacts to smuggle medical supplies in to Narn territory and to try to get civilians out to safe zones. Sheridan goes to Delenn to tell her this plan and see if she wants in. She is surprised that he would go against his government's wishes and he hedges that as long as it's not "official" help, he doesn't see the problem.

G'Kar sends the leader of the rebellious Narn to Sheridan for killing the Centauri. Sheridan and Garibaldi know that Londo is going to flip when he finds out about what happened. They also fear that it is going to cause even more trouble on the station.

The Lumati meets with Ivanova to finalize the alliance between their peoples. He tells her that to finalize the deal they need to have sex. She freaks out and makes an excuse to leave quickly, then goes to Franklin to complain about the situation. Sheridan told her to do whatever it takes but he didn't know that meant sex. Something Franklin says gives Ivanova an idea of how to get around it though.

Delenn and Sheridan tell G'Kar of their proposal to help his people unofficially. Of course, he can't talk about it, or use it as leverage to get other races to help, because they can't let their governments find out. He is less than pleased with the arrangement but he graciously accepts their offer. He leaves before he can see the full extent of his despair, although they pick up on some of it anyway.

Ivanova calls the Lumati to her quarters and, suspecting he doesn't actually know how human sex works, tricks him into agreeing to doing it that way by implying that he couldn't handle it. He takes the bait and she proceeds to do a ridiculous dance and chant around him, both of them remaining fully clothed, and then lauds him for his prowess. He is more than a little surprised and makes a hasty and confused exit while Ivanova breathes a sigh of relief and laughs to herself.

Sheridan and Garibaldi meet with Londo to brief him about the Centauri that was killed. Sheridan winds up to try to convince Londo to delay the trial for as long a possible to prevent setting off widespread chaos on the station. Londo asks about the Centauri that was killed and says that he was always trouble, Londo expected he would come to a bad end. The man had no family back home to fight for him. With the Narn in custody, Londo says he will be satisfied with his permanent deportation from the station and into Centauri custody. All of his belongings will be sold and the proceeds donated to the Centauri war effort. That will be enough for him. Garibaldi and Sheridan are heavily relieved.

Sheridan congratulates Ivanova on a job well done with the Lumati. He tells her that they've already contacted Earth about formalizing their alliance. The head Lumati left a gift for Ivanova with a note that says "Next time, my way." She makes a face and Sheridan asks what he's missing.

Later Garibaldi goes to thank Londo and Londo says that the Narn will fall soon enough. That is enough for him. If not making a fuss happens to make Garibaldi's life a little easier, all the better. He says it is good to have friends, even if only for a little while, and he and Garibaldi share a toast.


Ooh, those look like Death Gliders! The Narn ship is so pretty! Oh, ouch, the Centauri are taking a toll, aren't they? They don't have any qualms about going after civilians, do they? Not cool, Centauri, not cool.

This has to be so darn hard on G'Kar. Especially since he knew the Emperor was going to be trying to make amends had he lived. Man, and you know Sheridan and the rest want to help. Talking Earth into doing so is going to be the tricky part. Especially with Clark's less than friendly agenda towards aliens.

Huh. That Lumati ship sure does look like a Shadow ship, doesn't it? Or is that just me? Does anyone else find it highly convenient that a new super-advanced species has popped up right when the galaxy is in all kinds of turmoil?

Seems G'Kar is going to all of the other ambassadors. Delenn is on the fence about convincing her people to help the Narn. Ooh, a twofer. We get a look at how the Narn have developed and also a look at the beginning of the Earth-Minbari war as well. It is interesting to see it from Delenn's perspective. Equally interesting that while the thought of more war seems to make her weary, it does not seem to affect the Earthers the same.

Oh dear. Loud mouthed Centauri bragging about their glory over the Narn, with two Narn drinking at the bar? This is going to get ugly. Thank goodness for Zack! But it is so not always going to be that way.

Oh, the Lumati are here. I am not even going to try to type that guy's name. Ivanova is going to love being talked down to during their visit. Trope alert! Advanced race that revels in the inferiority of others who just haven't caught up to them yet.

Ugh. Those Centauri and Narn from the bar found each other. Now one of them's dead and G'Kar is furious. Sheridan, meanwhile, is having none of this crap on his station. I don't blame him. Neutral. Territory. It is a privilege to be there.

Why...why do races that feel this way about "inferior" races even bother reaching out to other races? Seriously? If they are so superior, clearly they wouldn't need help from anyone else. Is it just so that they can feel smug about how awesome they are? What happens when they run into someone more evolved than themselves?

Londo does not appear to be reacting well to his new found prominence and power.

"Why is everyone here walking around like they are afraid of me?" (Londo)
"Because maybe we are." (Garibaldi)
"What are you talking about? I would never threaten you or the others." (Londo)
"Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know you anymore Londo. None of us do." (Garibaldi)

Garibaldi tells it like it is, man. He's got a pretty valid point though. Londo wants to share his good fortune. The problem is, his actual friends aren't too happy about how he came by that fortune.

G'Kar is trying to rein in his people. If they are all even half as stubborn as he is, he has his work cut out for him. Hmm. They say the message is heard and understdood. I am not so sure I believe them. Yup. Oh dear. Killing that Centauri will accomplish nothing good. Sigh. And they're going to attack all of the other Centauri on the station. Yikes.

Come on Garibaldi, you've been working with Sheridan for long enough to know that he needs time to out-think the other guys.

Aw, lonely Londo is sad.

Dude. Lumati just walks in and starts feeling up her nightgown. Did he take her robe? Um. Okay.

Na'Toth is creeping. Hopefully she'll tell G'Kar what their people are up to.

Ugh. Earth is sitting this one out. Is anyone surprised? Nope. Delenn, huh?

Good on you Na'Toth, don't let him go alone. Yikes. A lot of people withholding information in the hopes of saving lives. That is never a good sign.

Yeesh.  Personally, the Lumati's approval of the situation in Down Below would make me want to have nothing to do with his race at all. Especially after he said he wanted to implement it on his own world. Poor Ivanova. You know she just wants to carry out her orders, but she has got to be having some internal conflict over this one.

Okay. So, G'Kar's gonna duke it out with the upstart Narn to reassert his authority. Well. It does potentially minimize the carnage, I suppose. Assuming he wins, that means the others have to accept that he's in the right, yes? Heh. Na'Toth isn't having any cheating, boys. Damn G'Kar. Just take that poisoned blade like a badass.

Nice. Sheridan's going to use Franklin's contacts with the Telepath Underground to smuggle medical supplies in to the Narn and get civilians out. He also wants to see if Delenn wants in. I love that he believes he can appeal to her conscience in the matter as well. And that she agrees with him.

Ew. Ew. The Lumati wants to have sex with Ivanova to finalize the agreement. Ew. Yeah. Superior culture my ass. Run, Ivanova, run, and pawn the rest of that deal off on Sheridan.

Punch Franklin, Ivanova. Punch him. That's not a cool joke. Oh! Heh. I forgot about how she gets around this. Heh. Smart cookie Ivanova.

I wonder how Sheridan is going to get around the turmoil of a Centauri being murdered by a Narn?

Eep. G'Kar is not happy about the meager offerings that Delenn and Sheridan have for him. Still, that they are trying to do that much is a big thing. At least he recognizes it. But oh my goodness. He is just heartbroken by this. He had so hoped he could depend on the help of others. He knows what kind of toll this war is going to take on his people.

Wait...was Taq just gonna hang out while the Lumati had sex with Ivanova? Ew. Ew. Ew. I love that she plays on his superiority complex to get him to agree to have sex the "human" way though. That's awesome. Claudia Christian must have had so much fun filming this scene. For real. Also, I don't know that I've ever noticed some of the things she actually says in this scene before, but I am cracking up that they seem to be a quick blow-by-blow of how crappy relationships work. Awesome squared.

I think hanging out with Sheridan and his "outsmart the other guy whenever possible" tendencies have begun to rub off on her.

"What do I do now?" (The Lumati)
"Old style, you roll over and go to bed. New style, you go out for pizza and I never see you again." (Ivanova)

Hmm. Is Sheridan gonna try to outsmart Londo now? Or just beg to have the trial postponed as long as possible. Although it seems that Londo is in the mood to be charitable. Probably more that he is just tired of being the bad guy.

I think Ivanova left an impression on the Lumati. Heh. Here's hoping none of the other dealings require the same kind of sealing.

Well, at least Londo and Garibaldi are back on good terms. I'm actually glad of that. Londo needs a moral compass. He doesn't listen to Vir, I think just because he's a lackey. He's starting to realize just how corrupt his own people--himself included--really are. I think the satisfaction of seeing an old enemy destroyed is the only satisfaction he is getting out of his deal with Morden and the Shadows. And even that tastes sour these days.


That wraps up this week. Thank you so much for reading! Just a quick note, since the holidays are upon us, I'll be taking the next two weeks off from this for my own mental health. I am sorry to do another break right after taking all of November off, but it had to happen, I fear.

But please do come back Monday, January 7 when we'll be looking at episode thirteen, "Hunter, Prey."

Happy holidays to all of you! I'll see you in the new year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

B5 Rewatch: All Alone in the Night

Hello! Welcome to another installment of my Babylon 5 rewatch! Today I'll be looking at the eleventh episode of season two, "All Alone in the Night." Spoilers, spoilers, everywhere.

Shall we proceed?

Let Me Sum Up

Delenn is called to a meeting of the Grey Council to discuss her status since her transformation. She also mentions that their people have a new leader. Lennier decides to go with her.

Several transports have encountered trouble or gone missing in a nearby sector and since it is in the station's jurisdiction, Sheridan decides to take Delta Squadron out to investigate.

General Hague, a member of the Joint Chiefs, is coming to visit the station, and more specifically Sheridan, on what the Captain says is a private matter.

Sheridan and a pair of fighters from Delta Squadron arrive at the troubled sector and don't find anything much of note. There is quite a bit of debris from ships that have had trouble there, but that's it. Sheridan calls it a mission and they start prepping to go back when a jump window opens up in front of them. A ship comes barreling out, attacking on sight, and Sheridan's fighter is hit. He manages to evacuate but then the enemy ship scoops him up and jumps away. The only other survivor of the attack is Lieutenant Ramirez, and his fighter is badly damaged.

Delenn finds that she was summoned by the Council not to be one of them but to receive judgement for her decision to transform against their wishes. They have decided to remove her from the Council. She asks what about her position as an ambassador on Babylon 5 and is told the Council is still debating this matter. If she wishes, she may speak before them before they make their decision. She says yes, she wishes to.

In captivity, Sheridan wakes up strapped down to a table by some sort of cocoon. A probe device descends from the ceiling to examine him. When it is done, it retracts and a lead pipe is dropped near Sheridan. His bonds loosen and he barely has enough time to free himself before a Drazi is sent into the room, similarly armed. The Drazi begins attacking, but Sheridan notes that a device appears to be attached to his head. He recognizes it and realizes it is making the Drazi attack him. He pleads with the Drazi to fight the control of their captors, defending himself but refusing to fight back. The Drazi is accidentally impaled on Sheridan's pipe and as he falls over, he vanishes. Another armed alien, a Narn, appears behind Sheridan before he has a chance to process what just happened. He begins attacking Sheridan and begs for Sheridan to kill him. Sheridan realizes this is what their captors want, assuming it is some kind of sport or entertainment for them. He refuses to oblige, knocking his second opponent unconscious instead.

Ramirez makes it back to the station, barely alive, and is rushed to MedLab. He is completely contaminated with radiation and does not survive, despite Franklin's valiant attempts. But his Starfury did at least contain the data regarding Sheridan's abduction, so that Ivanova and Garibaldi know about it. Though, as Garibaldi points out, the ship is of unknown origin. That means they don't know where it came from or where it's going. Still, they have something to work with.

Delenn speaks before the Council, reminding them that she underwent her transformation to further its cause to prevent or prepare for the coming war against the Shadows. She says that their insistence on maintaining borders between the Minbari and human races is petty and will only damage their efforts. She begs them to let her at least remain on Babylon 5 to continue her works, and to keep her sacrifice from having been in vain. One of the Nine speaks up and says smugly that he is more than happy to let her remain with the humans.

She asks if she knows him and he pulls back his hood to reveal that he is Neroon, of the warrior caste and the Star Rider clan. Delenn is outraged that a warrior was chosen to replace her. The council has traditionally been made up of three members from each caste. She should have been replaced with one of the religious caste. The appointment of Neroon has given the warriors unprecedented influence over the Council. Neroon says that if there really is a war coming that is as it should be. He says she isn't Minbari anymore, and decries all of her actions and those of the Council for keeping itself isolated and hiding the truth from the rest of their people. He clearly does not want to embrace the humans that share Minbari souls. He says that regardless, she is the perfect liaison between the two races, having no place with either, so he decrees that she should return to the station, and stay there.

Sheridan gets the mind-control device off of the Narn while he is unconscious and disables it. When he wakes up, Sheridan asks if he has any idea what the purpose of the ship might be. The Narn speculates it is a scout for an invasion, designed to capture different races and analyze their behavior and abilities. Sheridan starts making plans to try to escape but the Narn declares it impossible before passing out again. Sheridan does not give up, however, realizing that he may be able to use the Narn's sword to lever the door open.

Meanwhile, Ivanova and her people have been busy trying to track down the ship. She has recalled all of the station's fighters and put them on standby. They've also alerted all of the ambassadors and representatives aboard, knowing that the other species have an interest in stopping this foe as well. Hague reached out to Sheridan's old ship, the Agamemnon, for help as well. As he says to Ivanova, they have an army now, they just need a target. The ship has been dropping in and out of space and they've manged to pick up its signature. If they can act quickly enough when it comes out again, they might be able to ambush it.

Delenn returns to the station and asks why she had difficulty making contact with them. They inform her of the situation and she asks for the details on the ship that took Sheridan. She gets patched through to Ivanova and tells her that her people know of this ship. It belongs to a race called the Streibs, who operate much as the Narn with Sheridan suspected. They once made the mistake of trying the same thing in Minbari space. The Minbari followed them back to their home world and made it clear that doing so was a bad idea. She is able to pass the location of that home world on to Ivanova.

When the Streib ship arrives at its home world, Ivanova, the Agamemnon, and Delenn are waiting for it. They begin attacking (aiming for disabling targets only), and Sheridan and the Narn take advantage of the distraction to escape their cell. They manage to make it to an escape pod, just in time, it turns out. The Streibs spaced the rest of their captives and in disgust Ivanova orders the fleet to stop holding back. The ship is destroyed. They detect the escape pod and prepare to fire upon it as well, but Ivanova picks up an SOS in Morse code and realizes it is Sheridan. He and the Narn are taken back to the station and treated for their wounds. The Narn is in critical condition but expected to survive. Sheridan is very disturbed to learn of Ramirez's death.

Hague pays a visit to Sheridan in his quarters. It turns out Sheridan was sent to be in charge of the station because not everyone in Earth Dome believes that Santiago's death was an accident as Clark and his regime is claiming. But. They need Clark to keep thinking they do. Sheridan is in the unique position of looking like a mindless grunt who follows orders explicitly while actually being his own man completely willing to do what he needs to in order to protect the greater good. Hague confirms that he and his cohorts believe that Psi Corps is calling the shots on Earth and starting to move to take over the government fully. He intends to stop that, and Babylon 5 is in a unique position to be able to help with that effort. If, that is, Sheridan trusts his staff enough to bring them in on the effort. He does, and after Hague leaves, he calls Ivanova, Garibaldi, and Franklin in to read them in on the situation.

From this point forward, the station is at the heart of the movement to stop Clark and Psi Corps. It is still going to be behind the scenes for now, but they are all officially on the same page.


Oh, Delenn is so sad that she might not get to come back to the station. I would be sad too. Yay for Lennier being supportive. Aw, he's such a good friend.

Sheridan must have cabin fever. Wow. "What could go wrong?" Really? You do know that saying that guarantees that something will, indeed, go wrong, right?

Lennier wants to go with Delenn! He will not be dissuaded otherwise, even though it might hurt his career. See, this is why he's my favorite. All of the hugs for him.

"Have I told you lately how much I appreciate you, Lennier?" (Delenn)
"Not really. But it will give us something to discuss on our trip." (Lennier)

Heh. And he could be making a joke or he could just be stating a fact. There's no way to know with him.

Ooh, Ivanova is not pleased that she wasn't told about this general coming to the station. Sheridan doesn't look too excited that Hague is coming early either.

It makes me happy that there's still a World Series even when humanity has spread into space. Also, apparently, the Dodgers are still a thing, and Mars has a team. I wonder if the World Series is truly a global event now? One can only hope.

Why do I get the feeling that this Lieutenant Ramirez is the token red shirt of the episode?

Sheridan is barely out of the station and already super jazzed to be going on an adventure.

Grey Council affairs, whoo! I love getting Minbari lore.

Well, that was almost a simple milk run. They stole Sheridan! That's not cool! Poor Ramirez is all alone with a radiation leak already at terminal levels. Ouch. Not good. Dang. At least he realizes how important it is that the ship and a message get back, even if he doesn't make it. That's harsh though.

Uh oh. The general has arrived before Sheridan is back. This is going to cause problems, isn't it? I mean, beyond just Sheridan being captured by an unknown enemy force.

This doesn't look like a Shadow ship. Oh, lovely, a probe thingy.

Back to the Council. Wow. It is kind of crazy to see Delenn look so unsure. Though it is certainly with good reason. They're kicking her off the Council, ouch. They're still debating whether she gets to stay on the station though. At least they'll let her get to speak in her defense on that matter. I did notice how he evaded her question about who replaced her though.

Looks like Ramirez made it back. Minimal life signs? That's better than none, right?

Is that a Drazi? With a glowy device in his head making him attack Sheridan? Fun. Of course he tries to talk his way out of it, remaining on defense rather than attacking. Then the guy just vanishes? Okay. Now here's the Narn from the opening sequence that we saw get attacked. He wants to be killed? That's never a good sign. So of course Sheridan refuses to play ball. He's a stubborn one.

Franklin will, of course, try to save Ramirez. Despite the odds. Franklin doesn't believe there's any such thing as a hopeless case, I'll give him that.

Time for Delenn to get her say.

"I have not turned my back on you. In trying to help I have sacrificed all that I was and all that I am. We can no longer allow ourselves to be separated by names and borders. Our two sides must unite or be destroyed." (Delenn)

Oh damn. Neroon is her replacement? That throws the whole Council out of balance. The "purity" of their race? No. Just no. Step away. When people start talking about the purity of their race and trying to reclaim it that is just not good. Sigh. At least this guy is too blinded by his anger to understand how crucial it is to keep Delenn on the station. He'd leave her there feeling smug that she's in exile. If he understood this allows her to continue her work then he would probably be fighting tooth and nail to have her locked up on the home world.

I wonder how much of naming Neroon to the Council was an apologetic reaction to wiping out the Star Riders back at the beginning of the season? The Minbari who showed up were not at all happy that they had to deal with the matter that way. Largely because, I think, the Star Riders are kind of an embarrassment and a source of pride them at the same time. Maybe they feel that by placing one of them on the Council, to spite the Ambassador to Babylon 5, no less, it exonerates the name of the clan a little? Maybe makes how things went down a little less shameful?

Poor Delenn. She gets what she wants but not at all how she had hoped. She definitely cannot rely on the cooperation of the Council anymore.

Heh. Sheridan was busy while his Narn buddy was out. I like that his first instinct is to remove the obstacle from making the other guy an ally.

"The first obligation of a prisoner is to escape, right?" (Sheridan)

Of course, the Narn doesn't really believe they have any sort of chance. Did he die? I can't tell.

Oh Lennier. You are so wonderful.

"Very soon now I will be going into darkness and fire. I do not know if I am fated to walk out again." (Delenn)

These two are my BROTP of the series.

Oh, Hague and Ivanova are working to track the ship that has Sheridan. Nice. Hague called Sheridan's old ship to help with the search. See, that poor Narn should have known better than to give up when Sheridan was in play.

Freaky mind trip time? Okay. Why not?

Oh...kay. That bit with Kosh was just creepy. "We were never away." Why do I think that one simple little phrase is COMPLETELY gonna turn out to be relevant foreshadowing?

Delenn knows about the ship that took Sheridan? The Streibs, eh? Ooh. I like this. She is not pleased at all that they are back and that they had the nerve to take her (future) honey bee.

Yay! The Narn is awake!

Damn. Ivanova led the charge to get Sheridan back. Awesome! Heh. Also, Delenn proves she is a total BAMF in this one. "If you remember our last confrontation..." Heheh.

Stubborn Narn is stubborn. Ooh, a survival pod! How fortuitous. Well, I am sure that Streib was making for it. But still.

They spaced their captives? I am with Ivanova on this one.

I love that science fiction writers find ways to make Morse code useful even so far into the future. Seriously. This makes me very happy.

Oh, hello Kosh. Nope, not creepy at all. Really. The Vorlons, man. Shudder.

Looks like Sheridan still has that meeting with Hague to get through. Hmm.

"There's always a crisis somewhere." (Hague)

That is an apt analysis of this show.

Hague has a jamming device? Interesting. Oh. He's being debriefed? His assignment had a larger purpose here, doesn't it? Ouch. He was sent to spy on the crew. Also, to deceive Clark into thinking that he's not going to make trouble like Sinclair did. Interesting. Not everyone on Earth believes Clark's lies. Awesome! So, Sheridan is on the same side as Ivanova and Garibaldi, they just need to make sure they all know it now. Hague too, and he's pretty high ranking in the government. This is a Good Sign.

Pieces are starting to be moved into place. We've got dissent in the Minbari government, a growing movement within Earth's government against its current leaders, the Rangers, and Delenn, working to unite the two races.

Time to read in Ivanova, Garibaldi, and Franklin! Hopefully everyone can get their cards on the table. This moment right here, this is where Babylon 5 becomes its own force. This is where things start to get real.



Thank you for stopping by! Please drop in again tomorrow for the next episode, "Acts of Sacrifice."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


You know, taking November off from blogging worked out nicely for me. It means that I have a nice backlog of finished projects that I can show off in December without tipping off too much of my holiday knitting. I approve of this heartily.

Today I've got one for you that a friend asked me to make for her daughter.

Legwarmers by Cori 2012.

Pattern: Little Girls' Knit Legwarmers by Smashed Peas and Carrots (pattern available for free)
Yarn: Bernat Softee Chunky in True Grey (2 skeins)
Needles: US 5

I ended up using the exact yarn mentioned in the pattern because my friend requested black or dark grey and this was the only one of either in sight. Because of the thick yarn and the smaller needles, this worked up into a very thick fabric. I didn't particularly care for the feel of it, I'll admit, but I think with a few washings they will be super soft, and they will definitely be very warm.

They worked up pretty quickly and I do really like the pattern. I think if my daughter ever decides she wants legwarmers I'd use this one again, though I might look for a different yarn.

Also, I ended up buying three skeins just to be on the safe side because the pattern didn't really specify how much yarn was needed. It barely took over one skein for the legwarmers, so I used the extra to whip up a matching hat and scarf.

I crocheted these instead of knitting them, in the interest of time. I used a size US K hook and just kind of winged them. I will say I enjoyed working with this yarn a lot more when it wasn't so tightly stitched together.

All in all, I am pretty happy with how these turned out, and my friend seemed pretty excited as well. These will definitely come in handy for keeping her daughter warm this winter!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

B5 Rewatch: GROPOS

Hello! Welcome back to my Bablyon 5 rewatch! Today we'll be looking at the tenth episode of season two, "GROPOS."

Spoilers everywhere!

Let Me Sum Up

Six Earthforce ships arrive in the dead of the night, led by a General Richard Franklin, Doctor Franklin's father, of all people. He tells Sheridan that he and his men will be on the station for several days and he needs immediate lodging for them, all twenty-five thousand of them, but he refuses to go into more details about his mission until the morning.

Ivanova mostly manages to get General Franklin's people seen to by the briefing. The general informs them that he has been sent to render decisive aid to the planet of Akdor, in the Sh'lassen sector. Apparently it is in the middle of a bloody civil war. Sheridan is baffled by this, since the presence from Akdor on the station had already asked for aid and he was told by Earth to turn them down. General Franklin tells him that until Earth announces what it's about, the fact that they are going to render aid to Akdor is top secret. The plan is to strike at the enemy's stronghold with overwhelming force and end the civil war in one move. Sheridan is dubious about the success of this mission, being familiar with the target in question. General Franklin dismisses his concerns.

Earthforce wants to use Babylon 5 as a staging area for the strike, since it is the closest Earth station to the jump gate that accesses Sh'lassen territory. In addition, General Franklin has brought a new state-of-the line weapons grid to install on the station. Sheridan does not like this idea at all, seeing as how the purpose of the station is peace between the races. But General Franklin says Earth believes it is necessary, given the Narn-Centauri war and the mission he is about to undertake. The installation of the weapons is to remain classified, with no one outside of Sheridan, Ivanova, and Garibaldi knowing about it.

Once he's briefed the command staff and seen that arrangements are underway to settle in his people, General Franklin goes to visit his son. They start out with a nice conversation but it quickly turns bitter. We learn that their relationship is a contentious one because the General is so good at being a soldier and Stephen just wants to save lives. Even alien lives, though his father would rather he be stationed somewhere that he could care for just humans. After their argument, Franklin vents to Ivanova, who understands his feelings quite well. Remembering her experience with her own father, she urges Franklin to speak to his father about how he feels, before he runs out of chances. Franklin deduces from this that his father's mission is not the milk run to Io that he and everyone else has been told it is.

The general's men get to work installing the defense grid on the station and he goes over his plan of attack with Sheridan, hoping to get some advice on how to best complete his mission. Sheridan levels with him that he doesn't see any way to do it without heavy casualties and if it was him he'd call the whole thing off. General Franklin wearily says it's not an option. If they can keep the Sh'lassen in power, they can probably establish an outpost on Ardok, which puts them in a good position to keep an eye on the Narn-Centauri conflict. Earth knows that eventually they are going to have to choose sides and they want to make sure they choose the winning side.

While preparations are made, the "ground pounders" have more or less the run of the station. They are hardly on their best behavior and Garibaldi has his hands full keeping them in line. One marine especially, Kleist, seems determined to be trouble. He threatens Delenn and would likely have assaulted her if not for the intervention of another marine, Dodger.

After a few false starts, Franklin and his father manage to actually sit down and talk and more or less work out their differences.

Eventually, General Franklin and his people move out. Earth announces its intentions to aid Ardok, and ISN is live on the scene to broadcast updates of the strike. The crew of the station watches eagerly for news. The strike proves to be successful, though as Sheridan predicted, there are heavy losses. While General Franklin does survive, we learn that many of the marines the crew had gotten to know during their stay did not. The episode closes with the crew reflecting on the cost of the victory.


Ivanova, you seem entirely too content. Something is definitely about to happen to ruffle your calm.

Ah, yes. There it is.

"There's always something." (Ivanova)

Franklin, huh?

Twenty-five thousand people? At a moment's notice? You have got to be kidding me. Heh. Apparently Sheridan feels the same. That's nuts. And then, "I'll brief you in the morning." Dude. That's not cool.

Franklin, your dad has some issues man. And a riding crop. What? That is a very strange choice in props. I don't care that it's supposed to be iconic of a taskmaster or whatever, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever in the context of this show.

Ergh. It's messing with their docking schedule? I swear Earthforce is doing this on purpose.They do NOT want the station to become self-sufficient. At. All.

Oh lordy. Stealth "assistance." That always ends well. Plans to end wars in "one swift move" never end well either. Earth Central is trying to run some sort of PR op, it looks like.

Weapons for the station? Great, the Narn-Centauri war has set Earth on edge. Now they're trying to make sure no one comes after them. By acting like big badasses. Sigh. Sheridan is not happy about having weapons on his neutral territory peace station. I wouldn't be either.

Hello Warren. Haven't seen you in a while, most random of people to be in the opening credits ever. Looks like Ivanova had to stick some of Franklin's soldiers in with station personnel. Fun.

Franklin father-son bonding time! Which quickly turns passive-aggressive. Who's surprised? Me? No, not me. Aw, Franklin is worried about his dad being in the field still. Ouch. There's the bone of contention. Papa Franklin is very humanist, while Stephen is fascinated by aliens. Also, there's the age-old conflict of a doctor's purpose versus a soldier's.

That is super sweet. Ivanova and Franklin are gonna have drinks to bond over their daddy issues. We begin to see why Franklin joined Earthforce in the first place. I've always kind of wondered about that, given how he feels about taking life. Uh oh. Ivanova may have tipped her hand about General Franklin's true mission.

Dude. Asshat soldiers, you are on duty. Act respectful! Geez. I would expect General Franklin to have briefed his people on the proper rules of conduct in a civilian installment before letting them loose. Sigh. Good thing Delenn can keep her head at least.

Heh. Looks like Private Durman, Dodger, has the hots for Garibaldi. Or at least his butt.

Good. General Franklin is taking strategy advice from Sheridan for his mission. Of course, he won't take the best advice Sheridan can give him, which is that this is a suicide mission.

"There's only one truth about war. People die." (Sheridan)

Papa Franklin is randomly proud of and disappointed in Stephen. He seems to still need to accept that his son is not him and doesn't see the galaxy the same way that he does.

Erg. I have a bad feeling about the dancer missing from the Dark Star. I would be making sure to follow up on that. With so many extra people on board, and tension so high...especially with that Kleist dude serving as a demonstration that enough of Earthforce views aliens so negatively. Just. Man. I hope I'm worrying for nothing. Welch, don't just laugh that off, okay? Be better than that, please.

Why, hello Dodger. You sure did find Garibaldi quickly again.

"So, uh, what would you like to see first?" (Garibaldi)
"A good restaurant." (Dodger)
"Okay." (Garibaldi)
"Then your quarters." (Dodger)

Well then.

Garibaldi. Stop talking. Dodger really doesn't want your back story. Ouch. Yeah. So. No one's happy with how that ended up.

So that's what GROPO means. It's slang for ground pounders, which is apparently futuristic slang for marines? Or is that actually a thing? It's not one I've heard before.

Dude, General. He's a grown man and you're in HIS quarters. You're just gonna come in and order him around? For real? Well, hopefully they can hash this out. It means actually listening to each other though. We'll see how that goes. I think Stephen is maybe one of those apples that didn't fall too far from the tree in that respect. Aw, they're gonna hug it out!

Does this mean Papa Franklin is doomed?

Well, at least Warren is getting along with his temporary roommates. Aw, he's gonna give the rookie reassurance. This episode is just lousy with touching moments, huh? Why do I suspect a lot of people are about to start dying?

Garibaldi really is a romantic, isn't he? I guess he's meant to be the heartthrob of this show, although he really doesn't appeal to me at all. Maybe because I found this show too long after the nineties and I can't get past the fashion? Well, here he goes trying to make things right with Dodger.

This Kleist guy is just a loose cannon. Yeesh. "Battle call?" Is that like, supposed to be the equivalent of someone on the playground yelling "Fight!" or something? Aw, Warren bonded with his buddies. AND Dodger and Garibaldi are on good terms. I guess Kleist is good for something.

Here we go.

Operation Sudden Death? Really?

I'm impressed. They took over the fortress and General Franklin survived. Of course, there were other people we started to care about during the episode. I'm guessing Dodger and Warren's roommates didn't make it? Sigh. Nope. Looks like Kleist fell as well.

Damn. This is a random episode. It's not bad, but it doesn't feel like it really fits. I am trying to figure out its actual purpose in the overall scheme of the season and series. We do get a little bit of back story on Franklin. We also find out Earth's reaction to and intentions regarding the conflict between the Narn and Centauri. We also get a reminder of what kind of hell war is, and that humanity is dancing on the edge of one again. But mostly this one seems to be a stand alone.

It does establish that Babylon 5 is now an armed station, and that no one knows that but the command staff and the top tier of Earth's government. That's likely to come into play down the line.


That's it for today, folks! Thanks for stopping by! I hope to see you here again on Monday when we'll check out the next episode, "All Alone In the Night."

Monday, December 10, 2012

B5 Rewatch: The Coming of Shadows

Good day! Welcome to my Babylon 5 rewatch, and thank you for dropping in! Today we'll be taking a (spoiler-filled) look at the ninth episode of the second season, "The Coming of Shadows." This episode shares a title with the season's story arc, so I expect we'll see some interesting things! Shall we?

Let Me Sum Up

The Centauri Emperor decides to pay a visit to Babylon 5, despite his declining health. When the residents of the station learn about it, G'Kar is extremely upset. He goes so far as to try to intimidate Sheridan into refusing the visit. Sheridan isn't having it, however. He tells G'Kar if he is really that upset and insulted by the Emperor's presence on the station, he should keep to his quarters for the duration. Sheridan adds that he hopes, however, that G'Kar will consider actually talking to the man and taking the opportunity to open a dialogue that might help both of their peoples. 

Londo and his friend Refa, meanwhile, are plotting to use the visit to Londo's advantage. An audience with the Emperor has been scheduled for Londo and the plan is for him to make a speech that will be recorded and broadcast to the Centauri people. It will condemn the Emperor's actions and set Londo up as the prime candidate for filling his shoes eventually. Refa does not believe the Emperor will live for much longer.

A secretive man arrives on the station and takes an interest in Garibaldi. With security heightened due to the visiting dignitary, Garibaldi takes the man into custody. The man insists that he has something important to tell Garibaldi but the security chief has other things to occupy his time.

G'Kar contacts his government and gets approval from the highest circles to attempt an assassination on the Centauri Emperor. He never gets the chance to act, however, as on the way to his reception, the Emperor falls (suffering an apparent heart attack) and is rushed to MedLab. It is clear that he has very little time left, and Franklin is frustrated there is nothing he can do to save the man. The Emperor is unconcerned with his approaching death, however, and asks Franklin to deliver a message for him. He came to Babylon 5 specifically to meet with G'Kar and apologize to a Narn for all of the wrongs his people have done to theirs. He has realized that the animosity between their races will never end until one of them steps up and says they are sorry, so he is taking that step. G'Kar is floored by this revelation.

Unfortunately, Londo, unaware of the Emperor's intention to make peace with the Narn, destroys all possibility of it ever occurring. In an attempt to secure his eventual succession, he declares that he will destroy a Narn colony on the edge of contested space, taking it back for the Centauri. He reaches out to Morden to request the attack. He has misgivings, knowing it will mean certain war with the Narn, but he feels it is a necessary step if the Centauri are to reclaim their former glory.

After hearing the Emperor's message, G'Kar extends a hand of friendship to Londo, which seriously unsettles the Centauri, since he knows what's about to happen. When G'Kar does learn of the attack, he feels even more betrayed and he goes into a rage. Sheridan manages to talk him down, telling him to think about which means more: saving the lives of his people or getting his revenge. 

Garibaldi's prisoner, meanwhile, finally convinces Garibaldi to hear him out. He says he has a message from a friend and plays it. The message is from Sinclair, who explains that the man is a Ranger, one of a group of humans and Minbari that Sinclair has been working with. They patrol the galaxy keeping an eye out for the Shadows, hoping to do what they can against the coming darkness. Sinclair wanted to make Garibaldi aware of the Rangers and that they are his people, and also to warn him to stay close to the Vorlon, and keep an eye on the Shadows. 

The Emperor dies after being told of the attack on the Narn colony. With his last words he tells Londo that he and Refa are damned, but as this was whispered in Londo's ears, no one else knows that. Londo says that the Emperor blessed the action and told them to continue. While Londo is not named the new Emperor, Refa has arranged things (including ordering an assassination) so that the Emperor's nephew is given the position. The new Emperor is young and malleable and sympathetic to Refa and Londo's cause. 

The Narn government refuses to let the Centauri attack go unchallenged. They see it for the first step in a move toward enslaving their race once more. Despite Sheridan using Garibaldi's information that the Centauri are working with the Shadows to get Londo to agree to release all of the Narn survivors, the Narn declare war on the Centauri. 

Garibaldi escorts the Ranger off of the station, thanking him for the help in saving the captive Narn. The Ranger asks if Garibaldi will cooperate with them and let them move freely through the station. Garibaldi agrees, provided the Rangers share whatever information they glean with him. He promises to keep their presence on the station a secret and asks if anyone else knows about them. The Ranger says just one person and we see that it is Delenn. 


Huh. So I guess a benefit to being Emperor of the Centauri is that you don't have to wear ridiculous hairstyles. Yeah, yeah. I know the hair is a symbol of status, but that makes it no less ridiculous.

Oh, he's going to B5. G'Kar is furious, wow. Though, yeah. I'm with Sheridan on this one. This is a tantrum. Although it does an excellent job of illustrating how deeply seated is the Narn animosity toward the Centauri. 

Oh G'Kar. I know you are capable of being a reasonable individual. Please stop and think before you act, okay?

Ooh! Zack is in this episode, huzzah!

Londo is meeting with the Emperor and they are recording the meeting? And the Emperor doesn't know what the meeting is actually about? Uh oh. Vir's face when this guy implies the Emperor will be dead soon. Wow. At least he knows the score. They are walking along the edge of a seriously deep trench.

"This conversation makes you uncomfortable?" (Londo)
"Yes. Yes it does." (Vir)
"Then for once we have something in common." (Londo)

Well I am glad to hear that Londo is uncomfortable by the implications of his plots, though I know it won't stop him from carrying them out.

So, whatever G'Kar is planning, he's gotten approval from the highest levels of his government. I feel like this is a fake out meant to make us think he's going to attempt assassination, but really he's going to make an overture of peace. Let's see if I am remembering correctly or just making stuff up, shall we?

Of course, he's got that big knife and is talking about striking and killing and being killed. Hmm. Though you know with him saying there are only three possibilities, none of those things will come to pass.

Getting a peek into Sheridan's psyche. Interesting. 

The Emperor certainly is being played up as a sympathetic character, which is very interesting to me, given how unsympathetic the Centauri culture comes off as a whole. There does seem to be a lot of examination of predestination versus free will with the Centauri characters. 

Ooh, telepath security system. That is actually pretty cool. Also, much better than what I assumed, which is that they were his wives.

Will you hear what he has to say G'Kar? Will you really?

Heh, Ranger, dude. You can't out-sneak Garibaldi. Also, our first Ranger, huzzah! Hopefully this means Marcus will be making an appearance soon.

Yup, none of G'Kar's three possibilities coming to pass, because the Emperor doesn't even make it to the reception. This spoils the plans of many people. Of course, Franklin is just all grumpy that he can't save his patient.

Londo. Londo no. Oh crap. G'Kar is not going to react well. Also, you'll put yourself deeper into Morden's pocket. Listen to Vir!!! Sigh. Nope, not gonna do it.

"There's no turning back once you start down that road." (Vir)
"Do I have to go find him myself?" (Londo)
"No. No, I'll go. I'll go and I'll bring him back. And someday I'm going to remind you of this conversation. And maybe then, then you'll understand." (Vir)
"I understand just fine." (Londo)

Vir is so much more wise than anyone, especially Londo, gives him credit for. 

G'Kar, dude. Really. You want him to get better so you can kill him yourself? Sigh. Message for G'Kar, which the Emperor knew none of his people would ever deliver. An apology to the Narn. Should have been listening to Sheridan earlier, huh?

Londo's death dream! I don't even know that we've heard mention of that in a while. I love how it is absolutely not at all what Londo thinks it is, too. Of course, we don't know that yet. 

I think it almost makes it worse that he had the briefest notion to call off the attack. Because that makes this just so much more tragic. It was a hasty and bad idea and he knows that now. But he can't take it back. So when this elevates him among his people, he has to live with what he did to get there.

Ugh. I hate the idea of climbing to power by harping on the past and trying to reclaim former glory. Just.  The past is the past. Things change for a reason, and just because you think it was better back then doesn't mean that it was. The past is never viewed with absolute clarity. 

Poor G'Kar. He has no idea what's about to hit him. And Londo is just sideswiped by his sudden friendliness. He knows what he's done, and what it will do to G'Kar. Second thoughts are a bitch, aren't they? That's why you should think things through before you act. Just saying. Also, maybe don't destroy an entire colony of innocent people just to further your own career.

Hello Zack! Yay! 

Garibaldi, you have no idea. Although, "I have a message, I believe it will explain everything," is a bit unnecessarily cryptic, huh? Sinclair! Huzzah!

Oh, there's a great darkness coming, eh? Yet another person saying that. Maybe we should start paying attention?

Rangers! I love the Rangers, okay? They are awesome! Also, how cool is it that there's now a cooperative human-Minbari group?

"Stay close to the Vorlon, and watch out for the Shadows. They move when you're not looking at them." (Sinclair)


Thank you Sheridan, for adding that bit that G'Kar will need help. Because it lets him know that you're just as pissed about what happened as he is. 

It is very interesting to me that the series started out as painting the Centauri as the more sympathetic race and the Narn as the violent sneaky bastards. I like the way they did it so that it looks like that to the audience and to the characters themselves. But then as things progress, the audience starts to see the veil pulled back so that we understand that all is not as it seems. The Narn are violent in reaction to the Centauri, and they are working to overcome that, while the Centauri are trying to get back to their tyrannical ways. We are getting to the point now where a lot of the characters are starting to see this truth as well, and the balance of power and opinion is shifting. I just, I think this is a really awesome example of writing. 

The poor Emperor. Man, he really just wants to see a Vorlon. Also, has anyone actually told him about the attack on the Narn colony? I suspect that will just make him so deeply sad. There's not even anything he can do about it at this point, either. 

"How will this end?" (Emperor)
"In fire." (Kosh)

Well, at least he got to see a Vorlon. 

Sheridan sees an opportunity in Garibaldi's new information. He gets a chance to be a smartypants, you know he likes that! Also, it's good to see that Sinclair has managed to ferret out that the Shadows are working with the Centauri. I wonder if they'll be able to bluff Londo?

Dude. The Emperor SO isn't going to give you his blessing. 

He is, apparently, going to whisper in Londo's ear and then drop dead. That's convenient. 

Londo, I don't believe you. I don't think the telepaths do either. Ah. You're both damned. Well, that sounds more like it. 

Hello there, G'Kar. How's your existential crisis going? At least he's willing to attend the council meeting. 

Eep. Earth, don't be strong-arming your way in to this mess. Oh, this is your bluff! To get the Centauri to give up the Narn captives. Well, that's good. Although it may be too little, too late.Yup. The Narn have declared war. 

Wow. When Vir gives you a "screw you" look, you may want to reevaluate your life choices. 

So, someone sympathetic to Londo and Refa on the throne now. Glory hungry Centauri all being positioned into power and a war with the Narn officially underway. Things are going to be getting grim.

Huzzah for the Rangers now being in play! Only Garibaldi and Delenn know about them so far, but I suspect that won't last for too long. We at least need to get Lennier, Ivanova, and Sheridan in on their existence. Soon, I hope!


Well, there we have it. Thanks for reading! Please join me again tomorrow as I look at the next episode, "GROPOS."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Presenting: Color Affection!!!

Welcome back! Sorry for being away, but I appreciate your patience with my blogging break while I was busy novel-writing.

But! I did still get a few crafty things done in between the writing. One of which was to finally, at long last, finish my Color Affection shawl. Huzzah!!

Dimensions in Space by Cori 2012.

Pattern: Color Affection by Veera Välimäki (available to purchase from Ravelry)

IndigoDragonfly Merino Nylon Sock in TARDIS (1 skein)
Knit Picks Gloss Fingering in Coast Grey (1 skein)
Knit Picks Stroll in Black (2 skeins)

Needles: US 6

Man, what can I say about this? It took me five months to make, which is kind of insane. Especially since I don't know when I will ever actually get the chance to wear it. I also completely screwed up by doing a stripe of blue when I should have done grey, and then not wanting to rip back two whole rows just let it stand. (Although my husband really likes that part, funnily enough.)

But. I really do love it. All of the yarn came together very nicely and it is very soft and cozy. I LOVE the colors and how they look together. I am glad I made it, and I know that the next time I have occasion to wear my little black dress, this will go with it perfectly. Plus it was a good exercise in making something garment-sized.

Still, I am oh so glad to be done with it and on to the next thing!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

B5 Rewatch: A Race Through Dark Places

Hello, and welcome to another installment of my Babylon 5 rewatch! Today we'll be discussing the eighth episode of season two, "A Race Through Dark Places." Join me, won't you?

Spoilers abound!

Let Me Sum Up

Due to lost revenue on the station (from Earthforce tying up traffic so that commercial ventures can't get through and earn money for the station), Earth Central has decided that Sheridan and Ivanova need to either relocate to smaller quarters or start paying rent on their current quarters. Ivanova is annoyed but not too put out, but Sheridan flat out refuses and says they must show solidarity, urging Ivanova not to give in either.

Meanwhile, on Mars, we meet up with our old nemesis Bester the Psi Cop. He has captured a rogue telepath and is questioning him about an Underground Railroad the man has become involved in. Telepaths are being smuggled away from Earth to keep them away from the Psi Corps. The man doesn't tell Bester anything and tries to block out his scans, but Bester does some mental mojo to force the issue and, while it kills the man, his last thought does reveal that the Underground is based on Babylon 5.

Bester goes to the station to hunt down and put an end to the Underground. He asks Sheridan, Ivanova, and Garibaldi for their assistance in the matter, and they are legally bound to give it, although Ivanova and Garibaldi clearly have misgivings. Talia, as part of Psi Corps, is just expected to go along with Bester's assignment. She is clearly not too happy about him being there, but he says he wants to try to make amends for their past rivalries.

Delenn, wanting to learn more about humans now that she is partly human, asks Sheridan to dinner. They have a good time and learn their people have more in common than either previously thought. Afterwards, Sheridan returns to his quarters only to find that he has been locked out. Earthforce is cracking down on the demand to move or pay rent. Finding Ivanova in similar straights, he tells her they can crash in his office for the evening.

Bester and Talia have breakfast together and he tries to get on her good side. Then he not so subtly asks her if the command staff talk about the President's death. Talia says sometimes and wonders why he's interested, as she thought it was an accident. He assures her it was, but then asks Talia to keep an eye (and ear) open for any strange behavior on the part of Sheridan. Before Talia can process the request, the telepath Underground makes an attempt on Bester's life. They fail, but they do manage to capture Talia in the process.

Bester delays in telling Sheridan and Garibaldi that Talia is missing after the attack, but he responds to their anger by saying that should just motivate them to find these people more. It turns out to be unnecessary though as Franklin reports that the Underground has made contact and Talia is safe. Their leader wants to meet with Sheridan in private to discuss the situation. They have promised she will not be hurt, but they want to make their case.

Talia wakes up to find herself among the rest of the Underground. They say they do not want to hurt her but will if they have to. She asks what they want of her, and they take turns telling her about all of the horrible things Psi Corps has done to them and their loved ones. Their leader says he knows Talia is very close to wanting to be done with them. He also explains that he knew her friend Ironheart and was part of the same experiments. He knows that Bester killed Ironheart and also that Ironheart gave Talia some extra powers. They convince her to join their side.

Sheridan goes to meet with the Underground's leader and is surprised to find Franklin there. Franklin explains that he is the leader. The Underground started with doctors on Earth trying to keep telepaths out of the Psi Corps' grasp. They expanded to Babylon 5 as a way to get the people safely off Earth. Sheridan is livid with Franklin, in large part because while he doesn't disagree with what he's doing, it is still illegal which means he must report it or become an accomplice. Talia comes forward and suggests a third option.

Garibaldi, meanwhile, thinks he's found the Underground's hideout after investigating the attack on Bester. He tells Bester he's putting a Security team together to check it out and wants Bester to go with him. Bester does not wait for Garibaldi but goes down alone and is confronted by the lead telepath. Then the rest of them, and Talia, show up and demonstrate that working together they are strong enough to defeat him. They put a mental whammy on him that makes him think that he and Talia killed all of the rogue telepaths and that Talia is completely on his side.

Bester, thinking he just killed a bunch of people that the Psi Corps doesn't want to acknowledge actually existed, skedaddles, telling Talia to do the same. He says they'll deny all knowledge of the incident and is satisfied that the Underground has been destroyed. Sheridan comes out of hiding and Talia explains what they did and that it means Bester will be dropping his request for help investigating the underground. That means Sheridan isn't obligated to help him. Franklin also confirms that the station has gotten too unsafe to use for the Underground, so operations will move elsewhere, which means no more illegal activity. This satisfies Sheridan and he lets everyone go, provided they get the heck off his station.

The head telepath says that even with all of them together, that shouldn't have worked against Bester. Talia tipped the scales in their favor, and he thinks it has something to do with what Ironheart gave her. She thinks he might be right. He asks if Talia can keep Bester from getting in to her mind and she believes he can, since the whole time they were working together he never saw about her telekinesis. She knows she can't leave Psi Corps or they will hunt her down, but she is done with them all the same. She sees Bester off and agrees to his request to spy on Sheridan, having no intention of doing it but knowing Bester won't realize it. She seems to be fully on Franklin's side of things now.

Sheridan, tired of sleeping in his quarters and knowing Earth Central won't relent on the rent issue, comes up with a loophole. He reallocates the funds for his rent and Ivanova's from the budget for combat readiness, on the grounds that they aren't ready for combat without a decent night's sleep. Relieved, Ivanova goes back to her quarters, preparing to do just that, but is surprised when Talia stops by. She apologizes for their arguments and says she now knows that Ivanova was right about Psi Corps all along. She says she needs a friend, and believe it or not, Ivanova is the person she feels most comfortable talking about these things with. Ivanova says as long as she's willing to leave Psi Corps out of it, that's fine with her.


Interesting. Earthforce is causing the station to lose revenue by preventing them from taking on commercial traffic. Because they are low on revenue they want the officers to start paying rent or move so that their larger quarters can be rented to paying residents. While I recognize this is a prime example of bureaucracy at its finest, I really feel like that's not all there is to it. Given how Sinclair started and Sheridan is trying to continue to make the station a truly neutral party in galactic affairs, I can't help but think this might be a petty way for Earth Central to push back and for Earthforce to remind the station officers that they are still under its umbrella.

Oh goody. Bester's back. On Mars? That can't be good for anyone. Hmm. Rogue Corps member? Okay, historically speaking, the Underground Railroad was a good thing, right? So, if you're going to call your enemies' resistance the same thing, what does that say about which side of the fight you're on?

Is anyone actually surprised that the telepaths' Underground Railroad is located on Babylon 5?

I think it's interesting that Sheridan is joking about his command being taken from him. I know he is only half serious about Earth Central's motivations, but I'm pretty sure he's hitting much closer to home than he knows.

Yay, Delenn and Sheridan moment! Ooh, Delenn wants to find out more about her human side, and humans in general, since she's at least partly one. So she's asking Sheridan on a date. Awesome. I love these two. Aw, look at how starstruck he is by her.

I wonder if Bester finds the homicidal thoughts everyone has to be thinking about him distracting? Yeah yeah, close down the Underground Railroad, it's illegal, blah blah. Oh! Are Garibaldi and Ivanova going to tell Sheridan what's up with Psi Corps? Well, at least Ivanova's going to set him on the right path. Sigh. Cloak and dagger is all well and good but jeez, you guys need to read Sheridan in.

Well, killing Bester is one way to solve your problems. Temporarily, at least. You know Psi Corps will just send a replacement though, sigh.

Aw, Delenn is such a cutie.

Man, Ivanova was really excited about that free drink!

"Come on Ivanova, this is me." (Garibaldi)
"Yes, it is, and you're so cute when you're worried about investigating somebody close to you." (Ivanova)

For the record, I don't think Garibaldi's wrong about this. Although I will be amazed if Talia isn't involved as well--I honestly can't remember how this one shakes out entirely. Although, if Ivanova isn't involved, then maybe Talia is trying to keep her out of it because she is the obvious suspect? Though--is it Franklin? Dang, I wish I could remember!

Oh, and about your quarters Ivanova...yeah. Sheridan's refusal did not go over well, did it?

Cats versus gokks?

"I think such creatures are attempts of the universe to make sure that we never take ourselves too seriously." (Delenn)

I like that they are finding similarities between Earthers and Minbari. I think it makes Delenn feel better about the whole "shared souls" thing.

Ew, Bester, are you creeping on Talia? Seriously, you aren't fooling anyone. Also, let's bring up Ironheart to her? Yes, that's a brilliant idea. Unless Bester suspects her and is trying to get her to show her hand? Oh, I wonder how her telekinesis is progressing? Far enough, it would seem. Oh, and it's hidden from Bester? Super interesting.

No bed for you Sheridan!!!

Wow. That was a hell of a transition.

Armed and scared telepaths. No, this won't end badly at all.

I feel so sorry for Ivanova, getting roped into Sheridan's stubbornness, and stuck crashing in his office with him when he's all giddy from his not-date.

"Were you like this when you were married?" (Ivanova)
"Huh? Yeah." (Sheridan)
"The woman was a saint." (Ivanova)

Bester. For real. Are you seriously asking Talia to spy on the station officers for you to make sure they don't know about Santiago's assassination? Yeesh. Oh, and they got Talia, hmm.

Oh, Garibaldi needs to control his emotions. He always gets so freaking worked up about Talia. Which is kind of tragic, considering.

Hmm. So. Not Talia. And Franklin is the one bringing the news to Sheridan. Yup. It's Franklin behind it.

Well, even if these horror stories about Psi Corps don't turn Talia, they sure as hell make me not want anything to do with it.

"Maybe the Corps served a function a long time ago. It's something else now." (telepath)

Wow, that right there. That about sums up the point this series has been trying to get across about Psi Corps since it started. Garibaldi planning to raid Downbelow while Sheridan is meeting with Franklin and the telepaths? Or did he purposely give Bester a lead time?

Ah, Talia has switched sides officially now. Whoo!

Oh, Franklin's clinic was a front for the Underground? I forgot about that one.

Hmm. Bester's alone. Care Bear stare! Oh wait, seriously though. Telepaths can link their abilities? And Psi Corps really doesn't want them to. Oh damn, Talia. What have you done???? Wait--is this part of her plan with Sheridan? Oh lordy. Yeesh. Now she's in with Bester too. That was a very well played plan.

Sheridan is all about the plausible deniability today. He does like outsmarting people he's not fond of. Especially when he's been backed in between a rock and a hard place.

So Talia is super charged now. And on the underdogs' side as well.

Oh look, Sheridan managed to outsmart Earth Central as well. He's having a good day by his standards, isn't he?

Did Bester try to scan her and realize he couldn't? I so wish this would be the last time we see him. Sigh.

Oh. Oh. This is where the Talia/Ivanova thing starts up. Which means we won't have Talia around much longer. Oh no, that extreme closeup of the Psi Corps pin between them wasn't foreshadowing or anything. Not at all. Cinematography!!


Well, there we have it for this week! Thank you so much for visiting! I hope to see you back again on Monday when we'll be looking at the next episode, "The Coming of Shadows." It's the name of the season's story arc too, so you can expect there to be lots of important info in that one!

Monday, December 3, 2012

B5 Rewatch: Soul Mates

Hello! Welcome back to my Babylon 5 rewatch! After a month away I am raring to get back into it, I've missed the crazy shenanigans of the Babylon 5's crew! Today we'll be looking at the seventh episode of season two, "Soul Mates."

Spoilers incoming.

Let Me Sum Up

Londo's three wives, Timov, Daggair, and Mariel are coming to visit him on the station.

Meanwhile, Garibaldi sees a man in customs who triggers his suspicions. He checks up on the guy, Matt Stoner, but doesn't find any red flags. Still, he tells Sheridan about it, just in case. Talia comes in for a meeting with Sheridan and overhears the man's name. She reveals that he is her ex-husband.

Londo reveals to his wives that, because his star is on the rise the emperor has agreed to grant him one wish for the 30th anniversary of his Ascension, which is tomorrow. Londo's wish is for a divorce from them. The emperor has agreed to let him divorce two of his wives, wanting him to keep one to accompany him to future events of state. They have until tomorrow to make their case so he can decide which one to keep, the other two will be cut off completely.

Stoner tries to sell a Centauri artifact in the Zocalo and Garibaldi notices. He asks where Stoner came by the artifact, wanting to make sure no one on the station is dealing with stolen goods, of course. He quickly provides authenticity for the artifact and Garibaldi is forced to drop it, though he does tell the guy to stay away from Talia while on the station. Stoner is not intimidated.

Stoner finds Talia, in fact, and tells her that he wants to reconcile. She doesn't really want anything to do with him, but he knows she's dying to find out how he managed to leave Psi Corps. He says it's because they experimented on him and caused him to lose his telepathic abilities. He promises that if she comes with him, he will help her lose her abilities as well. She thinks about taking up the offer.

In a bid to secure Londo's affection, Mariel buys the artifact that Stoner brought with him to give to Londo as a gift at his Ascension celebration. Unfortunately, it apparently was booby-trapped, and when Londo opens it, two darts shoot out, poisoning him. He is very ill and Franklin laments that the only way to save him in time would be a blood transfusion, but they don't have enough of Londo's blood type on hand.

Daggair points out to Timov that if Londo dies before the divorce has been decreed, all three wives would still be his beneficiaries and would be set for life. Timov looks dissatisfied at this thought. Later, she goes to Franklin to tell him that she and Londo share a blood type. Franklin asks why she didn't speak up before and  she admits she was considering whether she wanted to save him. But she says that "winning" that way unsettles her, and so he can have the transfusion as long as he never tells Londo where the blood came from.

Garibaldi jumps on the fact that it was Stoner's artifact that poisoned Londo to arrest Stoner. Unfortunately, Security's investigation into the artifact digs up that Stoner is free of any wrongdoing in that situation. The artifact was found in a section of Centauri space abandoned during their war with the Narn, and the Narn had a habit of booby-trapping everyday items to kill Centauri. The artifact was likely just left over from that time.

Still, Garibaldi is suspicious of Stoner. He's not really convinced by Talia's story of how Stoner left Psi Corps, and he notices that Stoner seems to be able to influence people to act against their inclinations. His suspicions are doubled when Psi Corps shows up to bail Stoner out once they learn he's been arrested. With Talia's help, Garibaldi is able to reveal that Stoner didn't lose his abilities, they were actually improved. He is now an empath, but Psi Corps couldn't risk anyone finding out they'd been doing experiments to improve and alter telepathic abilities, so officially, they let him go. Unofficially, they have him still working to try to make more empaths--this time by trying to reconcile with or influence Talia to come with him so they could make lots of little empath babies.

Londo, upon recovering, decides to keep Timov as his lone wife. Timov is just as shocked as everyone else by that decision and asks him why. He tells her that with her, he always knows where he stands.


"I'm here to pick up some women." (Vir)
"You'll have better luck at bars." (Garibaldi)

Oh, poor Vir. Don't let Garibaldi sass you. I am guessing the relatives in question are Londo's? I would assume Vir has met his own relatives. Oh! Londo's wives. Plural.

Timov. Wife one. Not having any of anyone's nonsense.

Oh. Dude cuts off rant in the middle for no apparent reason? That doesn't seem suspicious at all. Nope. Not a bit. Oh, Talia knows who this Stoner guy is and isn't happy about it. That can't be a good sign at al--oh. Her ex-husband. We are all about the random spouses turning up in this episode it seems.

"I won't bite, Vir." (Timov)
"With all due respect madam, that's not what I've heard." (Vir)
"Alright. That one time." (Timov)

Heh. I like Timov so far. Wife number two! Hello, Daggair. Oh, not much love lost between these two. So we're probably not talking Aiel sister-wives here.

That's a random place for a guitar. I guess that's some sort of Earth cultural exhibit?

Aw, Sheridan's trying to extend the olive branch.

Oh!!!! I know why Delenn wants to see Ivnova. I have been waiting for this scene!!!! Oh, Ivanova's face when Delenn says she hasn't been washing her hair. This is so amusing and incredibly sweet to me. Also, I love that it's a little extra bonding time for these two amazing ladies.

Ooh, some background on Psi Corps. For the record, someone that Psi Corps let leave, that they don't want to talk about, is someone you probably want to keep an eye on.

Running joke! Everyone asking Sheridan how he's settling in. I love it!

Hmm. Londo's in a good mood. Does he know his wives are waiting for him? Getting impatient. Uh-oh. When women start talking about "knowing their place" I get all itchy. That's right, Timov, you tell him. Daggair does seem to be laying it on a bit thick, doesn't she?

"The secret of our marriage's success, Londo, is our lack of communication. You have jeopardized that success and I would know why!" (Timov)

Seriously, Timov is my homegirl. Oh, so Daggair's been paying attention and knows that the emperor is favoring Londo and that's why she's sucking up.

Wow, Londo's really gloating about being able to dump two of his wives. These must have been some antagonistic relationships. Oh, is wife number three here now?

Wait, isn't that the dancer girl? Did he marry her?

Oh, we're back to this Stoner guy. What's he up to? Centauri artifact, eh? Oh, and you know Garibaldi isn't going to like this guy because he was married to Talia.

Oh, Lennier you are such a cutie pie. Worried about Delenn and her human grooming.

So, this 30th anniversary of Londo's Ascension is a big deal. He's clearly older than 30, so I wonder what this "Ascension" was.

Okay, this Stoner guy is clearly a creep. I mean, I know he's just trying to push Garibaldi's buttons, but dude. That's unnecessary, and also gloating.

Ah, here we go, wife number three! a moth? Okay then. I guess that was Mariel earlier, she just looked an awful lot like dancer girl.

Hmm. He seems to think Talia doesn't want to be in Psi Corps. That's not an opinion she's shared with anyone on the ship, even if she has shown doubts. Has she felt this way for a while? Is it actually possible to lose one's telepathic abilities? Or has Stoner just figured out how to mask them? Ooh, Talia is conflicted.

Sigh. Oh Garibaldi. When are you going to understand that Talia doesn't want to be with you? You can't go overstepping your bounds like that, even if you think you're helping her. It really just does anything but.

"Do you seriously expect me to become involved in your sexual olympics?" (Timov)

That's right girl, you tell him. Sigh. This is an episode that reminds me that Londo really is kind of a creep. I get that he wants to keep the wife that he thinks he'll get along with best, but it's not cool to take advantage of them while they vie for the position. Hell, making them vie for the position in the first place is really kind of bastardly as it is.

Aw, Talia apologized to Garibaldi. Because she's leaving with Stoner? That seems like a bad idea. Um. Talia, did you miss the part you just said about how the treatment almost killed your ex-husband before it took away his telepathic ability? Why would you want to try that?

Look. I am glad she can admit that Psi Corps scares her, and that it is a flawed organization. That is EXCELLENT character (and plot) growth. But I don't for one second believe she actually wants to give up her abilities, even if they aren't always convenient for her. Wouldn't it be better to try and clean up the organization (or bring it down) from the inside out?

A barefoot party? I like this. Heh. So G'Kar wears shoes especially to offend Londo, who just says that he's fine, and gives G'Kar a headache. I love their dynamic.

Aw, Delenn can see that Garibaldi is bummed.

Cosmic Sewing Circle is so the name of my new band.

Oh! Do Londo and Lennier still play (cheat?) at cards together?

Is anyone surprised that the artifact Stoner brought aboard turned out to be some sort of weapon? Anyone?

Oh, Daggair. Don't go there. Despite Mariel's tears, I suspect that she too realized that if Londo died before finalizing the divorce they would all be set.

Oh, Garibaldi and Stoner just do not like each other. If Delenn's theory about souls traveling together is right, then their souls must have had some epic disagreements in the past.

Oh, look, it's time for me to gush on the awesomeness of Timov some more. Seriously. Awesome.

Gee. Stoner is able to influence the people around him? Yeah. He definitely lost his telepathic abilities (insert eye roll).

Sigh. Whatever else I might think of the Centauri, their wardrobe is gorgeous.

"Ambassador Mollari, do you mind if I make one personal observation?" (Franklin)
"No, no, not at all." (Londo)
"Stick it." (Franklin)

Oh good, Talia changed her mind. Because she's not a freaking idiot. Oh, hey, look, he's putting the whammy on her. Yup. This guy is just a bucket full of lies. Ah, Garibaldi got her to get Stoner to show his hand.

G'Kar! What are you and Mariel up to? Oh, you're being naughty. Did they conspire together to kill Londo? Or did G'Kar just figure it out when he was asked about the artifact and want to tell Mariel he was on to her and (likely) give her kudos? I would guess the latter, but that's kind of a weird little scene.

Sheridan is not buying what you're selling, Mr. Stoner. Ew. Psi Corps is super extra creepy now. They want to breed Talia to get more empaths out of Stoner? Ew ew ew.

I don't like how he keeps referring to it as a "cure." Seriously. Psi Corps, this is what you have wrought, to make people look at telepathy like a curse or a disease.

Yay! Londo's keeping Timov! Because she's the BEST.

"Why me?" (Timov)
"Because with you, I will always know where I stand." (Londo)

He kind of redeems himself with this a bit, because at least he knows that he needs someone to be real with him and keep him in check. I know he doesn't completely avoid becoming a monster, but I think between people like Timov (and G'Kar), he is able to hold back quite a bit.

...and final bonding moment between Delenn and Ivanova, yay! Oh, poor Delenn.


Well, let's wrap things up for the day there, shall we? Thank you so much for stopping by! Be sure to check back again tomorrow for the next episode, "A Race Through Dark Places." Ooh, that sounds ominous.