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19 November 2006 @ 10:16 am
156: LOL!  
Hey. You guys know everything, so: does anyone out there know about tea? Specifically, I'm looking for loose-leaf tea that I can buy online that is very, very tasty. Like, a nice assortment of it, maybe. Like, if you were going to get loose-leaf tea as a present, what specific teas would you want?

In return for any help you can give me in this (important!) matter, I offer you an assortment of amusing stories. Not actually written by me, no. But hand-selected by me! With artisan story summaries!

(Also, hey: check out my cool, be-snowified default icon, originally by norah and modified by slodwick, who brings the seasonal cheer in buckets. Of course, this is the only snow I'll see this winter, because I live in LA and it's like forty billion degrees here every fucking day, but that just makes the snowy icon more precious. Thanks, Slod!)

The Funniest Joke Is the One That's on the Joker. Revenge, by astolat. Smallville(ish), Clark Kent/Lex Luthor.

(Note: I say "Smallvilleish" because this is Shalott's special version of Smallville: set in the future, mixed with special elements of comics canon, and whipped into a delightful, frothy blend. And, really, I would love to read more stories like that, and I know there was a challenge to mix comics and TV canon there a while back. Anyone have a link?)

You've got to love the Joker. He wants nothing more than what we all want - to make people laugh, and rejoice, and be gay. Which is (obviously) why I'm starting the set with this story; it's got the Joker in all his glory, and who could be a better mascot for a humor set than him? (Do not, at this point, attempt to picture the Joker in one of those unfortunate sports-team mascot suits - I'm guessing it would be for, like, the Gotham Bats - prancing around and leading the crowd in cheers. You will go to a bad place in your head, and you might not come back. This is how people end up in Arkham rooming with Poison Ivy, thinking about things like that.)

And, in fact, the Joker does succeed here, in that I laughed. Except I was partly laughing at him, and I'm not sure that was his purpose. But I was also partly laughing at Clark and Lex, so that should make him happy. (Oh, boys, just give up and fuck each other already; unresolved sexual tension is un-American.)

The Funniest Joke Is One That Involves Baaaaaaaaby Animals. Two-Color Dog Happiness, by some_stars. Stargate: Atlantis, gen.

(Note: if you followed along in some_stars's LJ when she was writing this, you'll still want to click on the link, which has a special epilogue.)

Okay. I know there are people out there who do not enjoy thinking about various characters being turned into baaaaaaaaby animals. You people run along to the next recommendation, because I warn you that here there will be unabashed use of terms like "cute" and "adorable" and, well, "baaaaaaaaby animals."

Go. Go on. There's a special alternative to this story coming up for you.

And now that they've moved on, I think those of us who are left can acknowledge that we feel very, very sorry for them, yes? Because there is a certain pure and ecstatic beauty to turning characters into baby animals. I don't think I even need to sell you on the concept - I mean, funny! Cute! Baby animals! What else is there to say? - so I'll just register a formal complaint that this is not a thriving subgenre of fan fiction on at least the level of MPreg. We live in a world where male pregnancy is more common than random pandafication, and even though I can (and have) gone for a good MPreg, that is just sad. Where is the story in which Daniel Jackson is turned into a fuzzy, blinking alpaca? In which Sam Winchester is turned into a gazelle? In which Fraser finds a ferret breaking into the front door of the Consulate one evening? I have done my share; I've turned Ray Kowalski into a zebra and Tim Drake into a wombat. Have you done yours? (Because, hey, if you have, I need links.)


The Funniest Joke Is One That Involves the Leader of the Free World Having Indecent Relations with a Rabbit. (Note: Not Actually As Scarring As It Sounds.) Wabbit Hunting, by supacat. Smallville, Clark Kent/Lex Luthor (ish). (I refuse to apologize for the fandom duplication here. I am totally unrepentant, thanks.)

Yes, this is the story for the people who couldn't take the baaaaaaaaby animals. Yes, there is, um, another animal transformation here. But it's Clark Kent, people, and he's the pet of Lex Luthor. Tell me that doesn't appeal. Tell me that's not, like, the plot of 3,500 stories, at least 30 of which you have saved to your hard drive.

Just, usually Clark isn't small and furry at the time. Is all. Very minor difference!

But I think even people who would, if given the option, take torture and death over widdle furry animals will find this story appealing. Why? Because Lex Luthor gets his awful revenge on Clark Kent at long, long last.

By naming him "Bunnykins." And scratching behind his ears.

I'm sorry, but if you don't see the joy inherent in that, you aren't even human.

The Funniest Joke Is One with Sound Effects and a Theme Song (Performed a Capella and in Slow Motion). My Observed Holiday, by stoney321. Scrubs, gen.

There is not a single animal in this one, unless you count Rowdy. No mention of baaaaaaaaby animals at all. So if you've got tragic textual fur allergies, you can tune back in now.

Instead, we have a simple message of love, of individuality, of finding celebration and meaning in this cold cruel world of ours, of the beauty of some TV show I've never heard of. (But that doesn't mean I don't love it, people! I totally do! I'm just - a little confused. Is it seriously about a man whose skin comes off his arms so you can see the muscles underneath? Like, they made a show about the Visible Man thing that we used in elementary school for our "science" classes, where "science" means "passing around a plastic liver and listening to your classmates make EWWW GROSS noises"? Because if so, I see that drugs have been a problem in the entertainment industry and a threat to our nation's mental health for much longer than I'd thought.)

In this story, J.D. and Turk teach us the importance of making and observing our own traditions. In these crazy times, we need cultural touchstones. And, frankly, sometimes the existing ones don't cut it. So what do you do? Do you continue to celebrate Arbor Day even though you're allergic to trees? Or do you choose to celebrate the magic of one Steve Austin instead?

I know what I'm picking. Won't you all join me in February for Baaaaaaaaby Animal Transmogrification Day? (Yeah, I totally lied about there being no mention of baaaaaaaaby animals here.) There will be themed snacks! I have cookie cutters and I'm not afraid to deploy them adorably! Or obscenely, as necessary!

The Funniest Joke Is One with Lots of Towels. Although, Sadly, This Is Very Hard on the Towels. Poor Towels. Five Times Arthur Dent Lost His Towel, by norah. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent/Ford Prefect.

The Five Things meme always fills my heart with joy. People can do amazing things within the framework of "Five Times They Boogied Until They Just Couldn't Boogie No More" and "Five Things You Really Didn't Want to Know That Fraser Is Going to Tell You Anyway." Sometimes you can even request these. Admittedly, I never have any good ideas - or by the time I do the person in question has 55 requests already and is considering fleeing to a new country and taking up a life as an itinerant mouseworker - but it's always fun seeing what other people come up with.

And it's a lot of fun to see what the actual writers do with these prompts. (Although, really, do I just miss all the multi-fandom prompts? The ones I've seen tend to be, like, "Five Songs That Tim Listens to That Batman Secretly Likes, Even If He Would Die Before Admitting That" and less along the lines of "Five Tattoos That Aren't Canon but Totally Should Be." Possibly multi-fandom prompts are harder. Or possibly this is just further evidence of me sucking at prompts.)

Anyway. Um. I kind of got carried away with the love for the meme and failed to talk about my love for this particular story. Which is - well. There's Arthur. There's towel abuse and carnage. There's intergalactic slang. I just - do I need to say any more to get you to read this? Because if so - wow. You are a tough sell, and you should totally write me a list of five things I could say to get you to read a really excellent story, so next time I can start there. (Suggested example: "Read this story or the baby animal gets it." What, you thought I could let the baby animals go?)

The Funniest Jokes Are Ones That Feature Extremely Humorous Nicknames That You Will Inevitably Think of at a Very Inappropriate Moment in the Near Future, and Then Have an Unfortunate Fit of the Giggles. So Skip This One If the Fate of the Free World Usually Depends on You, Okay? Eight Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Ward Sidekick Partner: or Dude you sound like a NAMBLA member, by brown_betty. D. C. Universe, Robin/Superboy.

I think we can all agree that the worst possible in-law in the whole history of ever is Batman. Oh, you may think that people who married into the Borgia family had it tough, but that was before state-of-the-art surveillance. Also, probably the Borgias like to have a laugh from time to time. Probably they hugged and stuff, too.

Just try to imagine hugging Batman. Yeah, I know. My mind goes to a bad place with restraints and blood tests and special Bat-shaped anti-hug guards, too.

Plus, Batman tends to be slightly, um. Protective of his Robins. I mean, sure, he can't keep track of each fallen Robin - notice how Steph STILL does not have a memorial Case of Angsty Batness - but he has standards. I think Betty's done an excellent job of delineating these standards here. The first one, for example, is "Don't." Batman probably has several stilted, abbreviated conversations with Robin along those lines, never getting any further than, "Robin. Don't." And then he gives up and goes to talk to Superboy instead. It's hard to date a Bat, man.

And yet Tim is obviously very tempting.

Poor Kon.

(If you were waiting for a baby animal reference: they are BATS and ROBINS, people. The animal references come built-in! Although Tim as an actual wee Robin would be - really, really disturbing, actually. "Quick, Robin! To the Batcage!" Yikes.)
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Drink methefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 08:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Any particular type or flavor you suggest? How do you pick teas? How do you tell what is a tasty tea that a person might like to get as a gift?

*is stunned by the massive array of tea options in this world*
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fleurrochard on November 19th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Amirealamireal on November 19th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
You looking for places to shop? Or just flavor suggestions?

*possibly has a tea tag in her delicious*
Amireal: Daniel - yesmistressamireal on November 19th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amireal on November 19th, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - amireal on November 19th, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
the way of tea and failure: o rly?carla_scribbles on November 19th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC)
I mean, sure, he can't keep track of each fallen Robin

... was that a Leonard Cohen joke? I think I might love you.
tried to eat the safe banana: Musicthefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 09:06 pm (UTC)
It was indeed. But it's not original to me, I don't think; I don't remember who discussed vidding DCU to Chelsea Hotel No. 2, though.

*hearts Leonard Cohen*

(And that is so a Batman song.)
(no subject) - carla_scribbles on November 19th, 2006 09:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Filibuster Vigilantly: Teatheamusedone on November 19th, 2006 06:30 pm (UTC)
I am a huge tea fan, my very favorite place to shop though is teasource.com. Their Earl Grey is quite possibly the best thing ever (they have several types, the white tip is where it's at though) and I love quite of few of their other teas as well. My second favorite being Blue Mountain Spice, black tea with cardamom is a damn happy thing.

As for the brewing, my very favorite method is using the mug found here;
Their tea is pretty average, but that mug makes a wonderful tasting tea.
tried to eat the safe banana: Drink methefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC)
Oooo, thank you. Pretty. And the blooming teas would like nice in that mug.

So, white-tip Earl Grey? *makes note*

And the Blue Mountain Spice sounds excellent. Given the person I'm giving it to, though, possibly I should look for something flavored with ginger.

(no subject) - theamusedone on November 19th, 2006 11:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Dreaded Dragon Aderam: Elephant - aderamaderam on November 19th, 2006 06:30 pm (UTC)
So here I am sitting down at my computer and thinking Gee I really need something to distract me from all the schoolwork I should be doing. And then I see that you've posted!

And not only that, but you've posted a Scrubs rec! I've only just got into Scrubs stuff and it's now being penciled in at the bottom of my list of obsessions.

And now I will click on all these attractive links!

tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 09:27 pm (UTC)

It is why I am here, to provide distraction to those laboring under the cruel lash of work!

*extremely pleased*

And I do enjoy a good Scrubs story. There aren't many stories out there, but what's there is generally quite good.

Hmmm. I should look into getting a Scrubs icon, I suppose.

*makes mental note*
Rhiannon-Jehane: Rhirhiannon_jehane on November 19th, 2006 06:31 pm (UTC)
I love Specialteas. They have a great selection, and you can buy 1/2-ounce samples for a dollar or two to see if you like them.
tried to eat the safe banana: Drink methefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 09:33 pm (UTC)
Ooo, cool. I could get a whole bunch of half-ounce samples as part of the gift basket. Thank you!

*makes note*

Got any specific flavors or types you recommend?
(no subject) - rhiannon_jehane on November 21st, 2006 08:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
josephides: HP. twins.josephides on November 19th, 2006 06:36 pm (UTC)
From Wabbit Hunting: The tirade went on for some time. The bunny stared up at him. Eventually Lex realised that he was talking to a rabbit and shut up.

tried to eat the safe banana: SGA Ronon smilethefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
Is it not fabulous? I love it immensely. And Clark is so a Bunnykins.
Pet: Nickyjoyapetslife on November 19th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
Yay, recs!

And I love Revolution Tea. They have amazing assorted gift sets of all kinds, and their tea is sublime!
tried to eat the safe banana: Drink methefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
Yay gift sets! (It looks like I'll be going that route, since tea is complicated.) Thank you!
kbkkbk on November 19th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
I turned Sam Winchester into a kitten. Plus continuation. You did ask. *blinks*

omg, Clark-bunny. yay.

I ought to be working, but I don't care. Thanks for that.
tried to eat the safe banana: Crackthefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
Ooo, cool! I've got to read this. (Is it incest, though? I'm squicked by that, sadly.)

And Clark as a bunny is indeed yay, not to mention so very, very right.

I ought to be working, but I don't care.

I am here to facillitate your productivity by giving you regular entertainment breaks. It is what I do. *pleased*
(no subject) - kbk on November 19th, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
starfishchick on November 19th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)
I haven't tried it myself, yet, but this tea comes highly recommended from many of my friends.

There is also Silk Road Teas which are excellent, and Granville Island Teas.

The last two are Canadian - not sure how that works for you! :)
tried to eat the safe banana: Drink methefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 09:59 pm (UTC)
Ooo, thank you! (And I'll see if the Canadian sites will sell to me.)
(no subject) - starfishchick on November 20th, 2006 02:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
This is heaven to no one else but methegryph on November 19th, 2006 06:49 pm (UTC)
Personally, I'm very fond of Republic of Tea's Blackberry Sage.
tried to eat the safe banana: Drink methefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
Ooo, thank you. It sounds nummy. (Well, I mean, I couldn't drink it, because I'm allergic to sage. But possibly my gift recipient will like it.)

The world is certainly full of varieties of tea. Wow.
undercover-undiscovered-underutilised-underwear: boxsloth_unhurt_ on November 19th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
In which Fraser finds a ferret breaking into the front door of the Consulate one evening?

eeeee! *breathes* concept too appealing. must not think about it any more.
tried to eat the safe banana: Dogthefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
No, no, you should totally think about it. Kowalski would make the best ferret ever, and Fraser would have to find a way to keep him out of the coffee and chocolate (even assuming it isn't bad for ferrets, I'm guessing a caffeinated ferret is a big ol' no). It'd be great.

And Dief would probably spend a lot of time sighing heavily.

*dwells fondly*
Pet: ASN Bondage angelapetslife on November 19th, 2006 07:10 pm (UTC)
Also, ALSO!

Care And Feeding by fools_game is possibly the cutest, best-written X Turns Into An Animal! story I've read in eons and ages.

Sam Winchester becomes a cat. Not just any cat: a black cat who likes hunting ghosts with Dean. It's long, it's funny, it's so cute you might possibly die. (And it's gen, so anyone squicked by the Wincest will be safe as houses). I've literally read it three times already, and keep going back for more.

If you're in the baaaabyanimals! mood, well, this one will definitely fit the bill. *grin*

(reposted to make the link actually link!)
tried to eat the safe banana: Dogthefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 10:12 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thank you. I am definitely in a baby animals mood, and that sounds like it would fill the bill. (And gen is best with baby animals, I find. Plus, sadly, I have not found my way around my incest squick yet. So much FF denied to me because of a lame-ass squick! *sulks*)

I still think someone needs to turn Sam into a gazelle, though. Or someone into a gazelle. I am not picky.
(no subject) - apetslife on November 19th, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - musesfool on November 20th, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Drink methefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 10:15 pm (UTC)
I am a tea plebe myself - I just, you know, plonk tea bags in water - but I am shopping for someone who definitely is not. And it turns out tea is complicated. Who knew?

Glad I made your day better. I hope you and the supplemental snotball both feel better soon. In the meantime, F/K is definitely the way to go. F/K is healing. (Anything I should know about? *hopeful*)
peeps wanna see peeps boink: i've got second sightmusesfool on November 19th, 2006 07:33 pm (UTC)
Sam Winchester becomes a cat. I don't even like cats and I thought this was adorable.
tried to eat the safe banana: Dogthefourthvine on November 19th, 2006 10:17 pm (UTC)
Eee yay! Everyone seems to love this one. I cannot wait to read it. (And I'm more of a dog person, too - well, obviously. Plus, I am allergic to cats. But the truly adorable baby animal transmogrification transcends all barriers of mere species.)
(no subject) - musesfool on November 20th, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)