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PostPosted: December 1st, 2017, 5:29 am 
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Extreme Ghostbuster
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Joined: July 31st, 2016, 7:19 am
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Location: Hertfordshire, UK
Zodiac: Gemini
What I particularly liked about this one (and I probably shouldn't say it, because I wrote the thing, but I'm going to do it anyway) was that Carl and Kevin seemed like the same two people having the same kinds of discussions/arguments as in the main series, except that Kevin was a lot more confident about standing up for himself and his ideals, doubtless as a result of three and a half years of both mental and physical growth. Kevin is clearly very close now to coming to terms with exactly what 'being Kevin' does mean in every conceivable way, and I hope it's starting to come across as a very good thing to be.

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PostPosted: December 10th, 2017, 10:19 am 
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Extreme Ghostbuster
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Joined: July 31st, 2016, 7:19 am
Posts: 33
Location: Hertfordshire, UK
Zodiac: Gemini
Christmas Special: Being Kevin - Part 2, by me.

Carl passes judgement on the new tenant, Kevin receives two pieces of important news and Kylie receives an unexpected visitor. Later, Carl finally reveals to Kevin his true feelings about his own father.

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PostPosted: December 11th, 2017, 9:26 am 
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This chapter is loaded with revelations and significant moments. The conversation about Wesley was worth waiting for (not that I did actually have to wait); Kevin waits for Carl to ask direct questions before he'll give anything away, and even then he gets around certain things without telling a direct lie.

Overall, I think Carl is to be seen here on his best behaviour yet, adding credence to what Kylie says about him to her unexpected visitor.

Pagan's nighttime habits remind me starkly of our last cat. I wish our current one went to bed so well! (As far as I remember, Pagan's next scheduled appearance is inspired by some of her little ways...)

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PostPosted: December 11th, 2017, 10:11 am 
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Joined: July 26th, 2007, 5:15 pm
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Yeah, some interesting stuff in this one. Spoilers, for those who haven't read it, so you're warned:

Carlos and Beth having another kid? That was sure a surprise, as it's something that didn't happen in GBOT fan fic. And mentioning that she/he'll be as younger that Kevin as Eduardo is from Carlos sets up an interesting parallel.

As with the Spengler Twins (well, you didn't actually say it was them, but I'll take the chance and assume so), Conchita (assuming again that's who Kylie is now pregnant with) is born later in this continuity. And it seems will have a cousin about the same age. This could be interesting.

Carlos admitting that he thought Alberto was a "bully" was very interesting. On the one hand, Kevin and definitely Eduardo would have said the same about Carlos at times. On the other, Kevin is still a bit shocked by it--Alberto probably was on his best behavior around Kevin, as grandparents often are around their grandchildren. (I never found out how much a sarcastic cut-up my maternal grandfather was until long after he was gone--again, "best behavior around the grandkids").

Still, one other sign that Carlos is mellowing with age is his behavior to his pot smoking tennant: it's becoming less and less of a problem with the populace as a whole now, but was much more stigmatized c.2004 or so (and is still illegal in most of the country in 2017). Carlos c. 1997 would have hauled Wes off to jail the minute he smelled the stuff, no questions asked.

It makes one wonder how Kevin would have thought of Alberto had he lived longer. Was he indeed mellowing with age as Carlos is, it's just that Carlos--being so stuck in his own ways--didn't realize it, and Al didn't live long enough to go further? I guess we'll never know, but it's interesting to think about--which is a mark of a very good story.

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2017, 5:21 am 
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Extreme Ghostbuster
Extreme Ghostbuster

Joined: July 31st, 2016, 7:19 am
Posts: 33
Location: Hertfordshire, UK
Zodiac: Gemini
So many great comments to respond to, for which I'm very grateful!

I'm pleased that the change in Carl is coming across successfully. As a true believer in the Rivera family relationships that we've been exploring, I've always wanted to see Carl and Kevin manage to struggle to a place of love and understanding of a sort (and the same is true of Carl and Eduardo) and I think we can see from this whole Wesley incident that Carl has become a more thoughtful and caring (or at least tolerant) person, or in other words he has become more 'Kevin'.

I believe that Carl opening up somewhat about his father is another important part of this change, and the conversation between him and Kevin about dear old Alberto was completely inspired by a discussion the three of us had much earlier in this thread about that very issue. Kevin's potential relationship with his deceased grandfather (if he wasn't deceased) is one of many issues that I've always hoped would be interesting to think about when reading these stories, and while I think this is the last time it will be mentioned specifically, it should nevertheless be interesting to keep in mind for the future.

Another issue that I originally wanted this story to leave you thinking about (but not knowing for sure) is the question of the exact nature of Kevin's sexuality. My point was that this should really be a non-issue for the reader (although not for Kevin himself, of course) as whatever 'being Kevin' involves, it definitely is (as Lucy points out in this instalment) a really fantastic thing to be. However, I think my own boundless enthusiasm for Kevin's romantic involvement with a certain other character has completely superceded that particular piece of ambiguity, but anyway, there's more about that in the next chapter.

And now for the babies. There's a recently added Easter egg on Our Timeline that should nullify the need for any assumptions about the identity of Kylie and Eduardo's unborn sprog, and you can also find out the name (and very easily infer the gender) of Beth and Carl's. The Collinsverse has been inspired in no small way by some of the GBOT stuff (you may have noticed, for example, that Mood Slime [as in Oscar's band] was mentioned for the first time in the previous instalment) as well as many incidents and observations from our own lives, and various bits of TV, movies and other media that we enjoy and/or find interesting. It is therefore very reasonable to infer that Janine has given birth to a new version of the same kids she has in the other universe, although this too is very much open to reader interpretation, to fill in exactly as the reader wants.

So now we know that 'being Kevin' is going to involve (amongst many other things) being an older brother, which is a concept that I personally find very exciting to explore further. I think we both independently came up with the idea that Carl and Beth should have another baby as a sign that their marriage is (to put it in overly simplistic terms) fixed now, and I mean that as a literary device rather than an in-universe attempt to save the marriage, as I think this instalment makes it fairly obvious that Beth's pregnancy (and, indeed, Kylie's) was not exactly planned, but far from unwelcome nonetheless.

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"Oh no, I let it loose!"


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