How exciting! I've been tagged for my first meme by Bub and Pie. She actually included two in her post, and I will respond to both.
Meme #1: What's on p. 123 of the book you're reading?
1. Open the nearest book to page 123.
2. Count down to the 5th sentence.
3. Post the text of the next 3 sentences.
4. Name of the book and author.
5. Tag three people.
I'm cheating a little here--I know, first meme and already bending the rules. But I couldn't use the book I'm actually reading at the moment because (1) it would reveal my field pretty specifically, (2) the 5th through 8th sentences include characters I can't recreate here, and (3) it would be really boring.
Instead I picked up the book I just finished, Sunshine by Robin McKinley (I said I would re-read this after my exam and I did!). Here's what I found:
"The table knife in question was lying on the one clear space on Jesse's desk. I assumed it was the same knife. It was the coffeehouse pattern and while it had been wiped roughly off, the smear of remaining bloodstains was convincing. I had no idea when I'd dropped it."
If I just add that "I" is the main character who has gotten into a tangle with vampires, it segues nicely into meme #2.
Meme #2: My all-time 10 best TV characters
How could I resist this one when I found out that it was inspired by Joss Whedon's own list? And so I give you my favorite characters of all time, in no particular order, but starting with Whedon's own creations.
1. Xander from Buffy. Yes, it was the Willow and Tara storyline that pulled in my wife, who then converted me. And I do love Willow, in a she-can-paint-Sappho's-poetry-on-my-back-anytime way. But as I went back and watched all of the earlier episodes, Xander crept into my heart. The poor guy just couldn't buy a break; everytime he thought he might have found a nice girl, she puts him in chains or tries to destroy him in some other way.
2. Mal from Firefly. Because I would follow him. This decision was similar to the Buffy decision. Both shows have such incredible ensemble casts and they work because of how well the characters and actors fit together. And there's something about every crew member that draws me in. But Mal holds them all together. He's tough when he needs to be tough and sensitive when the situation calls for it.
3. Xena from Xena: Warrior Princess. It was a toss up between Xena and Gabrielle, but specifically the Gabrielle who learns that she can handle a weapon and look out for herself later in the series. But I loved Xena from the beginning. I suspect it's the dark and brooding thing.
4. Jaye Taylor from Wonderfalls. Another show Fox cancelled way too soon. Jaye, an over-educated slacker who has moved back to her hometown of Niagara Falls and works in a souvenir shop, suddenly finds that inanimate objects are talking to her and telling her, cryptically, what to do. Things never work out as she expects, but someone's life always ends up better. Quirky, hilarious, and unpredicatable.
5. D.I. Dave Creegan from Touching Evil (Robson Green in the British version). Another instance of attraction for a different character (Creegan's partner D.I. Susan Taylor), but Creegan is an amazingly intense and complicated character--the first series starts just as he is coming back on duty after having been shot in the head.
6. Chris Stevens from Northern Exposure. I was always intrigued by the philosophy spouting, ex-con DJ. His character challenged me, I think because I still wanted people to fit neatly into categories (I was probably too old to still feel this way, but I think I was trying to find some order in my life during a time of upheaval).
7. Jeremy from SportsNight. Again, a show I loved for the way the ensemble worked together. But I have a soft spot for the geeky guy who didn't quite fit in, yet could always recall the statistic someone needed. One of my favorite episodes takes the form of a letter he's writing to his sister.
8. Jamie Buchman from Mad About You. She was so sharp, funny, motivated, and flawed. A line that sticks with me (haunts me!) comes from the series finale when we're taken into the future and find that Jamie and Paul have separated. Jamie says to a friend, "He said I was unkind." It made me stop and think about how quick and sarcastic plays in human, not sitcom, terms.
9. Lisa Simpson from The Simpsons. Let's just say neither I nor any of my friends were surprised at the results of my personality test. While my mom and dad are no Marge and Homer, I can certainly relate with Lisa's experiences at school and her various struggles (how to be cool but not act dumb, religion, vegetarianism).
10. Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica (the new series). You'll notice that only one other character on my list is on a show that is currently in production, and given that The Simpsons are starting their 18th season, that one is already well-established. BSG is just about to start its third season, but Starbuck made my list the moment I saw my first episode. For those who have not seen the show (or heard anything about it, since this is almost always pointed out), the new Starbuck is a woman. It makes for an interesting character. She still smokes, drinks, dislikes authority, but is the best pilot they've got; on the other hand, there are some old family issues that have been alluded to and she definitely doesn't handle relationships well. It's a bit of the brooding and hurt thing that obviously plays to my nurturing side; I could make it all better!
So that's my list. It is (unintentionally) gender-balanced and may reveal more than you wanted to know.
I now tag Lisa B., Sunshine Scribe, and Metro Mama.