Saturday, May 14, 2005

Adventures of a Slayer-Wannabe

Every girl who could have the power... will have the power... can stand up, will stand up. Slayers... every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?
Chosen, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 7.

The first time my husband caught be watching Buffy, I was embarrassed. (How cheesy.) The second time I was defensive. The third time I was too in love with the show to care. (That's the subversive charm of the show -- it lures you in slowly but surely.)

If you are a non-convert, I know what you're thinking: Something called Buffy, The Vampire Slayer is bound to be silly and marginal...and why must people that like a show make it seem more than it is?

I'm here before you are a relatively non-stupid human being to tell you that I love this show because it has depth, humor, intelligent writing, and quality acting. I'm standing slayer-like to defend a show that, even with it legions of fans, is still underrated.

Even the name has a subversive brilliance when you consider the show is largely about underestimating women. Who could take a show with that name seriously? Who could take a little blonde girl seriously? But if you take the name or the girl at face value, you're missing a lot.

Joss Whedon got the idea for the show because he was sick of some little blonde girl always getting killed in some dark alley in horror movies. He said he wanted the blonde girl to "take back the night."

That's right -- Buffy at heart is a show about girl power. (Jennifer Garner, and every other woman in Hollywood playing kick-ass women, need to thank Joss.) It was also a show that made it clear that with power comes responsibilities and choices. And that no matter how strong you could use a few friends.

It was a show that dealt in the supernatural, but also used it as a metaphor for real life challenges...loving the wrong guy, physical abuse, sexual assault, death, first jobs, growing apart from friends, finding out your parents liked to you... In an episode called Weight of The World,, Buffy saves someone and they say to her, "But you're just a girl!" Buffy wearily replies, "That's what I keep saying." Who hasn't had that feeling?

It was a show unafraid to take chances. In the 4th season episode, Hush, the town in plunged into silence and so is the viewer. In the Season 5 episode, The Body, Buffy loses a loved one and a decision was made not to have incidental music because Joss felt it was too much of a comfort to the viewer -- what remains is one of the most realistic portrayals of what losing someone really feels like. In Once More With Feeling (Season 6) Joss made up for the lack of music by doing a musical...and if that's not gutsy, what is?

Words. BtVS was a show that loved words. Clever turns of phrases, funny dialogue, moving language, a rich tapestry of vowels and consonants that communicated so much. For anyone who loves language the show was a smorgasbord.

Buffy also featured one of the best lesbian relationships ever shown on tv. Ironically the network (WB) tried to tighten the reins on what could be shown. If he had engineered a kiss for sweeps week, it would have been all whiskers on kittens, but a long and loving relationship between two women gave the network the vapors. (And clever Joss had their first on screen kiss be so incidental that nobody could object.)

I began to watch the show by accident, but it won me over because it was that good! I'm a person who can like a show, and still not watch it if the remote is not in sight, and barely notice when it's cancelled. I'm wearing out my DVDS, I watch the reruns on TV, I read books on the show like the one listed below (and which I recommend.) I'm passionately in love with this show in a way I've never been with another show.

If you have not seen the show, borrow the dvds from a friend or relative. Give yourself a chance to fall in love with not just Buffy -- but Willow, and Xander, and Spike, and Tara... Allow yourself the luxury of seven seasons of intelligent writing which you can now view at warp speed. (Oops, mixing shows here.)

You know you want to join us!

Yes, Another Quiz Entry

Some people find quizzes cheats -- I just want to give people new things to look at between my deep, thoughts. (Thanks to Citrus for the quiz.)

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View?
created with

Friday, May 13, 2005

In My Life. (The 45's Years)

Citrus talked yesterday about song and lyrics which effect him. (He was extremely good and linked to his songs...I'm not as good!)

He said:
There are certain songs that stop everything. Time. Trouble. Tomorrow. There are songs that make me remember why I came here, to this world, to stay for awhile.

I like that. I'm a lyrics girl. I cannot get into actual poetry as much as I would like, but good song lyrics? Love them.

My first relationship with music was the 45's (and tapes) my mother and grandmother owned. There were lots of them, and not all of them grabbed my attention, but some got stuck in my head. I was forbidden from playing the record player, but I did anyhow.

And so I like a lot of songs that were before my time, and that I should be way ashamed to acknowledge knowing. There was one really sappy song I loved...sappier than Bobby Goldsboro singing Honey.. It was called A Daisy A Day:

I'll give you a daisy a day
Dear I'll give you a daisy a day
I'll love you until the rivers run still
And the four winds we know blow away.

They would walk down the street in the evenin'
And for years I would see them go by
And their love that was more than the clothes that they wore
Could be seen in the gleam of their eye
As a kid they would take me for candy
And I'd love to go taggin' along
We'd hold hands as we'd walk to the corner
And the old man would sing her his song.

I'll give you a daisy a day
Dear I'll give you a daisy a day
I'll love you until the rivers run still
And the four winds we know blow away.

Now he walks down the street in the evenin'
And he stops by the old candy store
And I somehow believe he's believin'
He's holdin' her hand like before
For he feels all her love walkin' with him
And he smiles at things she might say
Then the old man walks up to the hilltop
And gives her a daisy a day.
(c) Copyright 1972 by Every Little Tune, Inc.

Sappy, huh? Yeah, well. I was a kid.

My grandmother used to love For The Good Times, by Al Green.
Don't look so sad, I know it's over.
But life goes on, and this old world will keep on turning.
Let's just be glad we had some time to spend together.
There's no need to watch the bridges that we're burning.

Lay your head upon my pillow.
Hold your warm and tender body close to mine.
Hear the whisper of the raindrops,
Blowin' soft against the window,
And make believe you love me one more time,For the good times.

I'll get along; you'll find another,
And I'll be here if you should find you ever need me.
Don't say a word about tommorrow or forever,
There'll be time enough for sadness when you leave me.
Lyrics by Kris Kris Kristofferson

Weird memory of my mother getting ready for work and dancing to a Beach Boys song. I looked at my mother, who was probably 25 tops, and thought it was cool that she knew an old dance like. Of course the dance...and the song were both no older than 6-7 years, if that.

My mother had a Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tape which cracked me up. Walk Like a Man sung in a high Falsetto? Okay. She also had America, Bread, Chicago, the Beatles...

I'm not sure which one of them owned the Glen Campbell 45s but I loved Wichita Lineman. (As does Citrus, come to find out.)

And I need you more than want you,
And I want you for all time.
Lyrics by Jimmy Webb.
Then there was The Green, Green Grass of Home.(My mother and grandmother both had it bad for Tom Jones.)

The old home town looks the same
as I step down from the train,
and there to meet me is my Mama and Papa.
Down the road I look and there runs Mary
hair of gold and lips like cherries.
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home.
Yes, they'll all come to meet me,
arms reaching, smiling sweetly.
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home.
The old house is still standing
tho' the paint is cracked and dry,
and there's that old oak tree I used to play on.

Down the lane I walk with my sweet Mary,
hair of gold and lips like cherries.
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home.
Yes, they'll all come to meet me, arms reaching, smiling sweetly.
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home.


Then I awake and look around me, at four grey wall surround me
and I realize that I was only dreaming.
For there's a guard and there's a sad old padre -
arm in arm we'll walk at daybreak.
Again I touch the green, green grass of home.
Yes, they'll all come to see me in the shade of that old oak tree
as they lay me neath the green, green grass of home.
It's funny how many of those songs were about the longing for home:

I'm coming home, I've done my time.
And I need to know what is and isn't mine.
Almost heaven, West Virginia.
Blue Ridge Mountains
Shenandoah River -
Life is old there
Older than the trees
Younger than the mountains
Growin’ like a breeze

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home, country roads
Words and music by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert, and John Denver
I built me a castle
With dragons and kings
And I’d ride off with them
As I stood by my window
And looked out on those
Brooklyn roads

Thought of going back
But all I’d see are strangers’ faces
And all the scars that love erases
But as my mind walks thru those places
I’m wonderin’
What’s come of them

Does some other young boy
Come home to my room
Does he dream what I did
As he stands by my window
And looks out on those
Brooklyn roads
I got older and moved on, but I never lost affection for those songs. They were part of my childhood, and as responsible for my love of words as the books I read.
There are places I remember all my life,
Though some have changed,
Some forever, not for better,
Some have gone and some remain.

All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall.
Some are dead and some are living.
In my life I've loved them all.

But of all these friends and lovers,
There is no one compares with you,
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new.
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before,
I know I'll often stop and think about them,
In my life I'll love you more.

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before,
I know I'll often stop and think about them,
In my life I'll love you more.
In my life I'll love you more
Lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
I would love other people to either post here...or in their own blog, lyrics or songs that they love. What songs give you goosebumps? What lyrics get stuck in your head? What songs are you embarrassed to like, but do anyhow?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Blue Nile, A Ruby Pug, and a Rainbow of Ribbons.

We went to eat at The Blue Nile in Ferndale. It's Ethiopian and the tradition is to eat from the same plate and share the same bread -- there is a belief that once you've done this you'll never betray the other person. (The jury is still out on that one.)I wanted to eat there one last time before we moved. I'm not thinking there is a lot of Ethopian to be had in Northern Minnesota. I completely stuffed myself. Ethiopian cooking is low in fat but I think I made up for it in volume!

I had to have the tea which I love. It's not sweetened with sugar (which is not used traditionally in Ethiopia) or honey but the combination of spices fools your tastebuds -- you'd swear there was sweetener. And I'm craving more right now!

You've painted up your lips
And rolled and curled your tinted hair
Ruby are you contemplating going out somewhere
The shadow on the wall tells me the sun is going down
Oh Ruby, don't take your love to town.

After dinner we went for a walk and met Ruby the Pug Puppy. She was so cute and renewed my desire for a tiny dog. Well, there is no room at the inn for a while. The last dog I fostered at the shelter was a Pomeranian puppy named Chester -- he completely stole my heart. I found him a terrific home with an older couple who spoil him as much as I did.

Ferndale is a really pleasant city, really designed upon the concept of people window shopping. There are a lot of arty places, bookstores, a farmer's market, and a health food store. Just a nice, community.

We drive around with a bazillion bumper sticker stating our beliefs -- okay, my beliefs, but today I saw a car which sport every colored ribbon. (Including what I would consider a redundant combination of a red,white, and blue ribbon and a yellow ribbon.) I then sang Tie a Yellow Ribbon, and I sensed that my husband was rethinking the whole marriage thing. (Earlier -- between the Pug and the drive home -- he told me that marriage to me as an "Incredible Adventure." I'm not sure now to take having my husband make me sound like the latest ride at Cedar Point -- and he hates amusement park rides. Oh well, I'm pretty sure it as a compliment.

Lyrics for Ruby (Don't Take You Love To Town) by M. Tillis.

Interesting Take on Culkin Testimony.

It's 1, 2, 3, 4...What Are We (Not) Fighting For?

This got me to thinking. What is it with "US" (the collective us) anymore? Why is the media more concerned with runaway brides and movie premieres rather than the hard hitting news?

I think it's because humans have an insatiable need to be entertained -- and an aversion to pain.

With the lights out its less dangerous
Here we are now
Entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now
Entertain us

If you know enough things are wrong with the world around you, you have to either give up or join in the fight. Better to avoid the whole thing. I don't know if we could match the levels of social consciousness of the 60s because there are simply too many refuges and escapes from having to worry about what's going on in the world. (War? That still happening?)

Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way To bring some lovin' here today - Ya
Father, father
We don't need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today

Talk to me (sister}
So you can see (sister)
Oh, what's going on
(What's going on)
What's going on
(What's going on)

Maybe we really will go out with a whimper instead of a bang...maybe medicating and entertaining ourselves into one collective stupor is our fate.

Maybe the path of least resistance is just too tempting to resist. Maybe we are dinosaurs waiting for the meteor to hit, while barely bothering to look up at the sky. Maybe I just really want an iPod.

(Smells Like Teen Spirit, lyrics by Kurt Colbain. What's Going On, lyrics by Renaldo Benson, Al Cleveland, Marvin Gaye. )

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Odds and Ends...

There are crazy people out there who will tell you that money and things don't buy happiness HA! Crazy Talk. I bought a pitcher and margarita glasses at Pier 1 today and it filled me with a warm fuzzy glow...before I consumed the alcohol. Pier 1 does not have the ones I bought on their site, but I almost bought these, only they did not make me happy enough: Bright and colorful, like I like, but the colors are kinda worm shaped. The one I got had swirly colors instead.

Speaking of bright colors, there's something greatly amiss in the rainbow which is my blog world: Citrus has gone orange for the week! I know it's temporary, like Renee Zelwegger's brunette phase, but still I count the days!

The closer on our house was today -- does that mean we're squatters? I got to see the woman purchasing our ex-abode for the first time. She's a cop, but she could be a model -- tall, think, brunette, perfect figure, up-turned nose, blemish-free complexion without make-up. This is the woman I left alone with my husband -- Aye Carumba! (But the house sold, so I'm not asking too many questions!)

Hey, been moonlighting at Blogcritics. It's a pretty interesting plave, and hopefully some traffic will be directed back this way. There was an interesting piece on gay marriage there, and how someday our grandchildren will be unable to believe there was a time when it was not allowed. (Much like we look back on the days of segregation.) And if you want to check out my stuff, who am I to stop you?

Lastly, Cyn has some really great picture up of her Siamese Cats. I grew up with the breed, and I really think for my next cat (God Willing There's Not an Opening For a While!) I'll look to rescuing one. I think her favorite is Foochy.

I read a folktale one time that claimed that the kink in the tail (that many Siamese Cats have) is due to a royal princess putting her rings on the cats tail when she bathed. I read another one, that the classic Siamese trait of being crossed eyed was from guarding the palace and not taking their eyes of the jewels...and the blue eyes, which reflect the heavens, were given to them as a reward.

I suppose they are not a breed for everyone, but they are incredibly loyal and intelligent, so if you're looking to adopt...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

People, Ants, and Other Insignificant Creatures.

Quincy Jones' take on Michael Jackson.

My belief is that once you are famous enough that you don't have to live like regular people, you start forgetting that there is any accountability. I think Michael Jackson is guilty...I also think that he's outraged that someone finally said, "Boo."

In his world all he had to do was ask for something...and it was his. You cannot live amid ferris wheels and llamas and think that regular rules apply. He was encouraged to indulge his fantasies...and he did.

Good Grief!

Someone found me by searching for: pictures people spying on girls panties (Yahoo).

It must have been a bitter pill that I spy on wolves. And those immodest wolves don't wear panties!

Fiddle Dee Dee! (There's a Little bit of Scarlett in the "Melaniest" of Women...And Vice Versa)

How do I love Scarlett...let me count the ways! The first time I made her acquaintance I was too young to know about the Civil War, but old enough to know I wanted men to bring me Barbeque. (This was in my meat-eating days.)

Scarlett did what she wanted, when she wanted, and rules be damned! Even though she had astoundingly bad taste in men (Ashley Wilkes), she had style. Certainly more style than that drip, Melanie.

The day I finished reading the book I was too overwrought to go to school. It was just too damned much that at the exact moment that Scarlet came to her sense Rhett decided to be difficult. It is for this reason I avoid the end of the book and the movie...because it never changes. The girl just keeps getting left.

(I once got into a fight with a boyfriend because I told him I was sure that Rhett and Scarlett made up a few months after he walked out. He told me it was a book, they had no life outside of the book, and that's that.)

Here is the thing though -- faux sequels to the contrary, as time went on I knew that these two people probably were not meant to be together. She was damaged by the war and only as strong as her denial of her frailties -- constantly looking to "tomorrow", because the past was too painful, and the present too tumultuous. Rhett was in a different place -- realizing for the first time that he didn't want to deny his roots; in a world too changed he wanted to find the simpler joys he'd rejected in his youth.

And then it hit me that the strongest character in the book (and movie) was quite possibly the one that most people would dismiss as the weakest: Melanie Wilkes. She had love for the fundamentally screwed up Scarlett, and when others were damning the Yankies she tended their graves, hoping that some woman in the North was doing the same.

Scarlett, who spent a lifetime denying the worth of Melanie, felt that her death was like losing her mother all over again. The one person who was always in her corner was gone.

Rhett loved Scarlett, but did he ever really like her? He stated that they were alike more than once, but the qualities they shared were ultimately the ones that he rejected. He opted for the type of life that she was fighting to forget she'd ever lived.

Other than Scarlett's mother, nobody other than Melanie and Mamie saw all of Scarlett. She was too busy faking weakness to get Ashley, or denying weakness to distance herself from Rhett. Only the women -- probably because Scarlett saw them as being insignificant -- got the whole package.

I can't help but think that Scarlett would have kept Rhett if she'd allowed herself to be more like Melanie -- and Melanie would have kept a little better hold on Ashley if she'd have let loose her inner Katie Scarlett.

And maybe in focusing on Rhett and Scarlett we missed an equally fascinating story about two women who had much to offer one another. (But that's the plot of Cold Mountain!)

Monday, May 09, 2005

What Am I -- Nuts? Like These People Need My Publicity!

Arianna Huffington has launched her much-anticipated -- or at least much talked about -- Huffington Post and it seems intriguing so far.

My favorite piece was by Ellen Degeneres concerning the slaughter of wild horses. No surprises there, huh? I just love Ellen, and still have an aversion to that Evil Ann Heche! ;)

Larry David also had a very funny piece...I just hate when my staff thwarts my desires for everything to run smoothly. Damn them! And Larry's wife, Laurie, not only revealed Larry's weakness for American Idol -- she also wrote an interest piece on how she thinks Detroit is woefully behind the times when it comes to hybrids.

I'm just so glad I can help out these famous rich people!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

I Wonder if Jesus Ever Called Anyone a "Homo" When Talking To The Apostles?

I went by Purging Poison and Cyn has a link to an interesting clip showing the face behind the mask that Pat Robertson shows to the world.

Robertson is a snake oil salesman. Oh, he has never made any secret of thinking homosexuality is wrong, but he has one set of manners when the object of his dislike is in the room, and another for when they leave. It is the kind of Christianity that talks about hating the sin, but loving the sinner...until the "sinner" leaves the room. One speech for the person you want to reel in, and another speech for the choir.

Gee, wonder what other choice names he saves for when he thinks the camera are off.

Blog Mentalities (Thug Life Online.)

By now most bloggers have probably heard of the kid in Columbus Georgia who was suspended after violating his school's policy of using cell phones during school hours, refusing to get off the phone, and being abusive towards staff. Normally this would not be a problem, but apparently schools are supposed to check with the internet community for when exceptions should be made.

For some reason many bloggers want to make it about not supporting the troups because the caller was his military mom in Iraq. Forget that there is not one scintilla of proof that this was some sort of protest against the war, and that the only person who states they (the school) knew the identity of the caller is the kid. Forget that this school actually serves a military base. Forget that if the kid had gotten off the phone, apologized for breaking the rules, and explained that he missed his military mom, that there is a good chance this would be a non-issue.

We complain about teachers, administrators, and parents not taking control of the children in their care. And yet in this story the school is in hot water for having a rule in effect and enforcing it, and for punishing the student for being abusive to the staff. Oh, and mom, who being in the military should not a thing or two about rules is not taken to task for asking her son to go against school policy. Nah, the school admin are the villains!

There is a site where much chortling is going on because all the school's email accounts is full -- now they are advising to hit the phones harder. Oh, sure, so the people whose kids follow the rules cannot contact them if there is a real emergency. Much to be proud of there. Does the expression about the punishment fitting the "crime" ring a bell at all?

It's entirely possible for a rule to be in place that you do not agree with, but the rule was made with all the right intentions. And there is a way to protest the rule politely. There is nothing, nothing here to indicate the school acted maliciously, and yet choice people are out for blood. If the school is flagrantly not supporting the troops, wouldn't this be a matter for the military families near the school? And shouldn't we, as adults, be showing children that we can disagree with someone minus the lynching?

What kids need to know is there are rules. Some of the rules are not fun, but they are right, so they will be enforced. Some of the rules are utter rubbish, and you work hard to change them, and if it is the will of the people -- and they have a longer than 5 minute attention span -- the rules will be changed. And you don't abuse people who are doing their best and trying to enforce rules that they believe are right. Instead the message seems to be: If you disagree with someone, bring them to their knees, show no mercy, and -- when they can no longer fight -- throw in another kick. Negotiating and civil discourse is for pussies!

If the kid would have received a call from his grandmother and had the same result, would the school be guilty of agism? If grannie had been calling from Israel, would the school be anti-semetic? The fact is that there is not one single bit of proof that this was an anti-military decision, and every indication that they initially did not know he was talking to his military mom. And if an exception is made for that, then doesn't an acception have to be made for every call that a student deems important? (And have you seen the list of things teens consider of vital importance?) Don't these people have enough problems with these kids without weakening what little powers society today has allowed them to retain?

If it's just about logging protest, doesn't filling their email accounts do that? Why take it to the phones -- unless this is just about twisting the screws? People seem to now be harrassing this school because they can, and because they can get a lot of their blogger friends to join in. Gee, the vicarious thrill of ganging up on people with a click of the mouse or with the mighty Verizon account. (Why do I keep imagining kids with magnifying glasses torturing ants?)

Gee, the ads for internet never mention the great fun that can be had by judging strangers and harrassing them, all without having to actually get off of one's ass, or worry about overreacting. Don't worry guys...a week from now you can harrass another school because of their lack of discipline. (Realizing the irony is completely optional.)

I have an Alias Too Ya Know!

E "News" has a breaking story: Jennifer Garner is pregnant. Even I must weep at what is defined as news these days. (I wonder if I'll be invited to the baby shower.)
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