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Hidden Cats

Woke this morning with our black cat, Shadow, stretched out on my legs and feet.  I was curled up against a body pillow on one side and Will was curled up behind me on the other side.

When I wake up, I tend to just stay in bed for a few minutes while the cobwebs of dreams clears and I get my bearings.  When I finally decide that the needs of the bladder outweigh the comfiness of the bed, I pull the blankets aside and discover Cecil the Orange was sleeping right next to me, completely buried in covers.  Had no idea little cat dude was even there.

Yes, I know this isn’t a lengthy blog post, but hey, I work from home and the people I talk to the most are basically cats.

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Supernatural Season 4

So in my memory, I have listed season 3 as my least favorite, but honestly season 4 is much harder to watch.  Spoilers to follow, so don’t read if you don’t want to be spoiled.

Season four has many great things about it.  Dean comes back from hell and we are introduced to Castiel, probably one of my favorite moments of the entire show is the introduction of Castiel.  “I’m the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition,” has to be one of the best introductory lines ever written or delivered.  Castiel is the source of much humor, but in season 4 he’s an angelic badass much more than the brother’s friend.  Season 4 gets a whole letter grade raised for it simply because everything they did with Castiel was just wonderful.

Like many other seasons, this season has it’s fair share of episodes to skip.  For example, “Jump the Shark” is one of my least favorites.  First of all, by the end of the episode we realize Adam’s been dead all along.  So there is another Winchester brother and all this angst and pathos, but they aren’t even dealing with the brother, but rather the thing that killed him.  Ugh, it’s so pointless and I don’t care.  I know we have to have another Michael sword and all that, but it was a stupid concept and all it really does is highlight the utter dickishness of John Winchester.  I’ve been re-watching even the bad episodes, but I simply couldn’t force myself to rewatch this one.  There is so much wasted potential that it is too difficult to even watch.

I also hate the episode “Metamorphosis” but that is more because a lot of it is gross – a rabid man eating raw meat is always visually upsetting.  “Family Remains” is another episode I usually skip, but I rewatched it again.  I think the reason I don’t normally watch this episode is because Sam and Dean are just completely inept in it.  I also don’t buy a little girl with 0 superpowers kicking the asses of men who are trained fighters and about a foot-foot and a half taller than her.  It’s stupid and it makes the Winchesters seem incompetent in pretty much every way.

These episodes loosely relate to plot as Dean tries to rid himself of his hell-guilt and Sam struggles with whether or not he should be drinking demon blood and using his evil powers.  Hint: he shouldn’t be.  You know the first clue?  Drinking blood.  That’s never a good thing.

I tried really hard this season to be sympathetic to Sam and give him excuses for his utter douchebaggery this season.  His anger at Dean going to hell, the rush from being powerful, being young and stupid, but even with all of that, the only excuse I have left for his utter assholery this season is that he was possessed by demon blood.  Which is a lame cop-out excuse.

The show works best for me when the brothers are working together.  I know writers love conflict, but with all of the external enemies to deal with, you’d think they’d at least let the brothers work together against the external conflict, but no.  This season is tedious as hell with the Sam and Dean fighting angst.  It’s exhausting.  It’s also pretty much every episode in the latter half of the season.  Even the monster of the week episodes have their fair share of Winchester angst and argument wedged in between every thing else.

Highlights of the season are “Yellow Fever,” “Monster Movie,” “It’s a Terrible Life,” “The Monster at the End of This Book,” and oh my Chuck, how I love “The Monster at the End of This Book.”  Chuck is one of the best characters for many reasons and while I know you can’t have god on every episode, I wish they had more of him. “I Know What You Did Last Summer” was also a good addition to overall storyline, and holy hot sex scene, too.

This season, Dean is very much broken.  Sam is mainly a dick about it towards the second half of the season, but during the beginning of the season, he’s pretty sympathetic.  Sam’s belief in God could have been used by the angels to prevent the rise of Lucifer, but instead, they are rabid dicks to Sam, which makes him a lot less likely to bow to their edicts.  Knowing the angels were in on releasing Lucifer from the cage helps make this make sense, but mostly it just seems like a wasted opportunity.  Sam was still looking for guidance and willing to follow whatever god laid out, but instead the angels were pretty much dicks to him and not very helpful, which helped push him down the road to hell.  After all, why listen to the other side if they are just assholes who call you a monkey?

This season is mainly about breaking the seals and releasing Lucifer and most of the stories flow into that very well.  This season is a difficult season to watch, as there aren’t many episodes that are light and funny, and normally Supernatural does a good job of mixing the dark, broody, and scary with humor and wit.  The color saturation from season 3 is gone, too, so it goes back to being visually a very dark show as well.

Season 4 is difficult to watch because it’s depressing.  The boys lose a lot, they are played by both sides, and Lucifer is ultimately released.  They are fucked from the get-go and the game is rigged and they still get blamed for Lucifer rising.  It’s a long, slow slide to the apocalypse and it’s difficult to watch.  It’s well written (for the most part) and the acting and storytelling is solid, but it’s super hard to watch and it’s incredibly depressing to me.

All of that said, the last two final episodes are pretty epic, and the hatred you feel towards the evil demon Ruby becomes so intense that when they finally kill her, it’s incredibly joyous.  Dean twisting HER OWN KNIFE to kill her is so fabulous and happy and awesome.  Now if only they’d kill off Lucifer already (Lucifer is so fucking boring I can’t even) so we could feel the joy from that.

I will say that while I hated Ruby by the end of the season, especially in the last two episodes for how much she divides the brothers, she was a terrific bad guy.  She manages to keep you guessing through most of her interactions with Sam and it really isn’t until the very end that you realize she’s been on the side of Lucifer all along.   Like all good bad guys, you want her dead, but she was really terrific at being evil.

Because I have depression, I am giving this two grades – B+ for storytelling acting and everything along those lines, but C- for depressing the fuck out of me.  You need to break up the depressing episodes with some that aren’t so heinous and this season has a string of 6 episodes in a row that are super depressing.

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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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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.

Posted in Depression, Uncategorized

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.