Mercury Retrograde

This Mercury Retrograde hates me and I think may want me dead.

Today’s bit of fun is that the telephone isn’t working, which is only necessary if I want to work at all this week.  The telephone people can’t even check out the problem until Friday.

Frustrated, I call my spouse in tears.  After listening to me freak out for a while he said, “What does a Jedi do when he can’t fight?”  This goes back to the one scene I remember from the first Star Wars Prequel.

“He paces angrily back and forth and occasionally pounds his fist on the force field,” I said.

“No, that’s what a Sith does.  A Jedi rests.”

Which is really good advice that I’m not going to take right away.  I also have a freelance writing job, some laundry that needs to be done, a house that needs to be cleaned, and some editing, so I won’t be bored, I’ll just not make any money.

 

 

 

 

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I wrote a book – go vote for it so it will get published!
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One Day at a Time Review

The Netflix update of the 1970’s television show, One Day at a Time was an enjoyable show, but more of a dramedy than your typical sitcom.  Close to every episode had me tearing up at some point.

There are spoilers up ahead, but they are mostly mild spoilers.  I’ll give warning if there are any big spoilers, but it is not really a show where spoilers apply.  This is a family dramedy and centers around that family unit.

Rita Moreno is probably the character that is funniest, simply because of her delivery.  At one point Schnieder says he needs help with salsa and she replies, “The dance or the condiment?  I’m equipped for both!”  Her attempts to connect with her granddaughter – a granddaughter who is politically active and very liberal – make for some of the best moments of the series.

The overall theme of the show stays true to the 1970’s version, at least hwat I remember from my childhood.  Single mother raising two children after a divorce.  The updates here:  the soon to be divorced main character is Cuban, a veteran nurse, and her mother lives with them.

Through this newly updated lens many things are tackled by the show in a way I found really interesting.  With so many other sitcoms or even dramas, things like depression, PTSD, or war injuries comprise a “very special episode” or maybe even a small story arc.  With this show, those things are treated like everyday realities.  Do you take the antidepressant in the hopes that you can sleep and some nightmares might go away?  Or do you embrace the stigma that is attached to these types of medications?  Something she tackles in episode one.

Overall, I give the series around a B-.  The series could have easily been an A but there was one particularly awful episode where the main character, Penelope is dating again for the first time.  This episode was so bad I was actually embarrassed for the actress having to portray Penelope – her character was manic enough that I began to wonder if the mania were the point of the episode, and no, not really.  It took about three episodes after this one before I fully liked Penelope or the show again.  It was that bad.  Episode 4 “A Snowman’s Tale” did have some good bits in it – she teaches her son to shave because she’s going out on a date and her ex is overseas and cannot teach him.  There are some other good bits, but overall, this very bad episode brought the entire series down.

This is not the show to watch if you are looking for hearty belly laughs.  This is a fun show and has bits that make you smile, but it also has more than its fair share of tearjerker moments.  One particularly hard episode was dealing with the deportation of a high school friend – a high school friend who moved but stayed in touch via Skype after her parents were deported.

Overall I’d recommend the show because it has great characters, it’s funny and sweet, but mostly it seems to handle tough topics with just the right amount of gravitas and heart.  Also, this is a family that likes to play and likes to laugh and dance.  It’s fun watching them interact and be happy with each other.

One of the themes throughout the first season is the planning for the oldest’s “quinces” – a coming of age practice I plan on researching and learning more about.  Since the Quinces is for a politically active and liberally minded girl, the tables are named after prominent women in history.  Penelope falls asleep trying to arrange the seating, but she falls asleep.

“The Rosa Parks table should not be in the back!” Penelope wakes up shouting after she falls asleep trying to figure out the tables and seating.  All of the tables are named after prominent women, including Frida Kahlo.  She’s absolutely right about the Rosa Parks table placement – putting it in the back would be very bad.

 

 

 

 

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Fan Girl Woes

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Anyone who has made a cursory glance at some of my blogs knows I’m a feminist.  More specifically a feminist who loves Supernatural.

My spouse pointed this out when I was watching a YouTube video that was simply guest stars talking about being on the show.  He wasn’t wrong.

Two shows I’ve been wanting to see for a long time are “Kings of Con” about two Supernatural actors on the convention circuit.  The other show is “Con Man” and has Alan Tudyk.  I loved Firefly (who didn’t, other than Fox?) and have long loved Alan Tudyk.  My short review of both:
Kings of Con is the funnier and more enjoyable series for me, but that is in large part because I’m not a fan of poop and Alan Tudyk really enjoys poop jokes that just make me gag.  Con Man is also a little more mean-spirited in general because the titular character is such an ass as to be almost irredeemable.  Both shows had me laughing out loud, by myself at least once an episode, so they are both enjoyable and worth the time, but with Con Man I did take breaks to watch things a little less dark.

I will say that one of the episodes of Con Man that appealed to my dark sense of humor was a musical version of  Of Mice and Men that the main character is forced into performing by Lou Ferrigno (who wrote it, of course).  The songs are horrifyingly funny – especially the recurring melody and line “Turn around and bang!” which had my spouse and I laughing in a horrified kind of way.  When Con Man is funny it’s hilarious.

Meanwhile, Kings of Con is a funnier show all around, in part because of the dynamic between the two leads, Rob Benedict and Rich Speight.  They are funny and have great bantering chemistry.  They also have a regular cast of characters that round things out in a wonderful way.  The show stealer for me was Kim Rhodes as Sue, who is so funny and sarcastic and badass.  Her lines almost always cracked me up the most.  “When I said go fuck yourself, this isn’t what I meant,” had me laughing so hard I had to pause the show.

Kings of Con is a show I would definitely watch again.

Kings of Con also has a show, Kings of Conversation which is the actors in the show talking about the show.  I definitely won’t be watching Kings of Conversation again.

I really wished I hadn’t watched it to begin with.  For the longest time, I simply wouldn’t watch actors I liked in interviews.  My best example of this is when I was watching BtVS a lot and I really liked Seth Green.  Saw him on the Daily Show one night where dude was so high he could barely talk.  I know that celebrities are human beings and I make a ton of allowances for that, but seeing someone incoherently giggle through an interview is a bummer.  I tried to write it off as a fluke, but most of the interviews I’ve seen with him have been disappointing at best.

Kings of Conversation was a bummer to me as a feminist and I couldn’t really put my finger on why it bothered me so much until the last episode.  The last episode all of these actors I would love to talk to or hear their stories were in the audience – Briana Buckmaster (Sheriff Donna Hanscom), Ruth Connell (Rowena), Julie McNiven (Anna), Alaina Huffman (Abaddon)and other women from the show I’d love to hear.

I get the main thought here – Supernatural is pretty testosterone heavy show with leading “lumbersexual” men as main characters.  The fans do tend to like men and some beefcake-y-ness (is too a word) in general, but one of the flaws of Supernatural (that seems to be improving in season 12 with Mama Winchester) is a lack of female characters.  The cool ones tend to get killed off (Charlie!!), which is why I say a prayer for Sheriff Mills and Sheriff Hanscom every night.

Anyway, the idea of these talented women sitting in the audience – some of whom never even got the opportunity to sit at the bar with the boys – just rubbed me the wrong way.  Especially after Lindsay Sloane was on the show.  This poor woman tried so hard to tell what might have been a simple story.  I’ll never know as she was interrupted so much she couldn’t even finish.  She was trying to talk about Jared Padalecki and her in California right when they first started acting, but in a show where the actors are trying to riff and joke, a slight slip-up means story derailment.

Lindsay said, “Fresh off the boat…” and Rich said, “From Texas??” and the laughter and joking from there meant that she had no opportunity to finish the story, not that she could have gotten a word in edge-wise.  This is something every woman I know has experienced at some point in time.  The look on her face of humor at her misspeak, but smiling frustration that she wasn’t going to be able to finish her story as well.  That smiling, fine, I guess I’ll just shut up look is one I recognize too well.  She still commented here and there, but she was mostly silent after this because why keep trying to swim uphill?

She was one of a handful of female guests – Kim Rhodes being the only other one I can even think of at the moment – who actually sat at the bar to talk and joke around with the hosts.

It’s a little thing to bug me so much, but it’s ok.  I can watch and like Kings of Con without having to delve further down the rabbit hole with Kings of Conversation.  But I really wish I hadn’t found out that God and Gabriel have the same inherent dismissal sexism of everyone else.

It’s disappointing.

Metallica’s One

I have thousands of reasons that I love my husband.

The first time I pulled over in the middle of a highway to save a turtle, instead of freaking out as most people did at this point my life, he just jumped out of the car and got the turtle.

Being on the same page matters to me.

Today I woke up at 2 am and decided to get some grocery shopping done as grocery stores aren’t terribly busy at 2 am and I do hate dealing with people or crowds.  On the way there, Metallica’s One came on the radio.

Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, MTV still played music videos and I watched the hell out of MTV.  I was never a big Metallica fan, as my taste tended more towards grunge, the Smiths, the Cure, and classic rock, but One was just fantastic.

Part of what had me watch all of the video every time it aired (and it was on a lot) was the video had scenes from the movie “Johnny Got His Gun” with Jason Robards.  This was back before DVD’s, so I tried to find the movie on VHS to no avail.

I should mention, this was before Amazon.com, or google, or the very easy internet highway of information.  You had to work extra hard to find stuff back then.  You had to call people, and look things up.  Actual, real leg work.

Now I’ve always been a nerd, proudly so, and when you cannot find the movie, but you discover the book exists, you read the book.  Dalton Trumbo, who was played by Bryan Cranston, wrote the book “Johnny Got His Gun” and I read it when I was about 14 years old.  (Dalton Trumbo was blacklisted during the McCarthy era and was simply fascinating as a writer and an historical figure)

Fast forward 6 years when I meet my husband.  He’s reading “Johnny Got His Gun” and is the first person I’ve ever met who has read it.  To make him even more impressive, he had seen the movie, too – a big shout-out to Murphysboro’s RJ Electronics for having cool stuff.  Hubby actually is a pretty big Metallica fan, but he had the same reaction I had to seeing the video.  He was smart enough to read the book for 15 minutes at a time to prevent becoming too depressed, whereas 14 year old me devoured it and then was depressed for weeks after.

The point of all of this is that “One” was one of the first common ground areas I had with my husband so when I hear it on the radio, I always think romantic thoughts of him, not horrible thoughts of war.

Romance is in the eye of the beholder.

Dealing with Anxiety

I deal with anxiety by engaging in the familiar.  My husband hates spoilers, but I love them – I don’t have to be anxious about the outcome of a fictional story if I have spoilers.  This also part of why I watch television shows and read books several times.  It’s soothing, comforting, and every time I re-read or re-watch, I catch something new and interesting.

It helps distract me from my brain, which lately has not been an ally.

Meanwhile, my husband needs new stimuli for distraction.  So, figuring out a middle ground there has been a challenge.  We’ve been watching the Netflix version of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” which is zany enough, my anxiety alarms (over nothing, stupid brain chemicals!  grr) don’t go blaring and make it unenjoyable.

I’ve also switched a lot of my online time to Twitter over Facebook.  There’s much more to distract me, and even though there’s still all of the terrible Trump news there’s also a lot of humor, a lot of support, and a lot of fandoms.  In one day, one of my favorite actresses liked a post I made, and I got to watch another show’s star deal with a whiny dog.  That has never happened on Facebook.  Small things.

There’s no real point to this post, just thoughts meandering.