I got a spam comment that was a perfect haiku. I shite you not. (See, it’s not swearing if it’s British.)
I did a little editing with the punctuation, but the word order is exactly as received. So suck on this piece of wisdom!
Outstanding arguments keep
Up the good spirit
Crazy how these things appear when you start looking for them.
For those of you who are watching Season 3, but didn’t have the time to re-watch Seasons 1 and 2, because you were too busy having “relations” with a hot, sexy thing, this is a great refresher.
For those of you that are just now trying to join the cool kids and have never seen Seasons 1 and 2, stop trying to Cliff Note it. You’re old enough to be responsible for your own television watching. It’s not like I’m making you read a book.
I’m ashamed for you.
But I’d sex you up anyways.
Just like Kemal Pamuk did with Lady Mary Grantham, without the whole death thing.
But you probably didn’t understand that.
See what happens when you don’t watch Downton Abbey? You miss out on all the best sex references.
All right, I might be lynched here, but was it just me or was last night’s episode of Downton Abbey not up to the usual dramatic level that I’ve come to expect? There were so many things covered, but very few things were covered well.
Honestly, I think they took on too much for one episode – wedding, marriage proposals, visting relatives, money troubles, more murder investigations, cancer, a new footman… I mean, the wedding and guests alone could have been three episodes, so says the Monday morning armchair author. And I am unanimous in that!
While most of the storylines seemed either frivolous or poorly plumbed, there were two that I particularly enjoyed.
The first being the return of Lady Sybil and her husband (the former chauffeur, *GASP*), Tom Branson. This story got us back to the questions over class and mobility, and area where this show really hums. How does one fit in? Where are the lines? What happens when you’re in that grey area? Allen Leech was impecable as Tom Branson, playing the struggle to remain true to himself and yet find his place within the family.
The scene where it is discovered that the foppish (and poorly acted) young Lord Grey drugged Tom Branson’s drink, was one of my favorite moments. From Tom’s drunk admonishments of everything un-Irish, to the family’s look of discomfort, and the final explosion at the discovery. The scene was near pitch perfect… you know… if the actor that played young Lord Grey has more to work with than “Be Snively Whiplash.”
When old Lord Grey told his son to shut up, I Huzzah’d loud enough to scare the dog. I hope you did too.
The other storyline I liked was “Mrs. Hughes May Have Cancer.” When she first entered the episode, Mrs. Hughes was off – too friendly and cheerful, which sort of disappointed me. There’s something about Mrs. Hughes’ kind, but austere, manner that has always endeared her to me. That river runs deep, my friends. I’ve tried to rationalize the moment away as a prelude to Mrs. Hughes trying to put on a happy face, but I just don’t buy it. A poor choice in an otherwise wonderful storyline.
The beauty of this storyline was the reserved, austerity of Mrs. Hughes juxtaposed to the open-hearted reactions of Mrs. Patmore. Their time with the doctor (Who? No, unfortunately not) and there quiet moments alone were filled with humor and compassion. These are the scenes that Downton Abbey was built on.
My least favorite part of this episode, I’m afraid, was Cora’s mother, Martha Levinson (played by the always awesome Shirley McClaine). Perhaps it was just a let down – the combination of Shirley McClaine and the part of Cora’s mother has had me salivating for months. Yet the part (aside from the amazing costumes) was just Meh-ly written. She had a few great lines, but overall it was just a repetition of the same line, “Stop being English and traditionalist, be American, we’re awesome.”
Well, here’s the thing that I love about Downton Abbey, people show what they’re made of. They’re decisions, what they support, and what they choose to talk about tell us what matters to them – not the fact that they walk through a beautiful hallway announcing what matters to them.
McClaine had a few moments – throwing together a last minute dinner party and the beautiful song she sung in sitting the room. Moments free of tradition and austerity that lit up the Grantham household.
But where was the conflict? The push and pull that we’re so used to seeing between the new and the old, the liberal and conservative, upstairs and downstairs, the English and the Irish? It felt mostly like, “We need to get an American in here somehow…”
And let’s not even discuss the lost fortune. I bought into Mister Bates’ trial, Lady Mary being blackmailed into marriage, and Matthew’s miraculous walking – in part because there was a long, slow, earned progression to these deliciously operatic climaxes. But, “oh yeah, I did invest in a Canadian railroad, so sorry we’ve never mentioned that before and now we will lose the house in a week,” was difficult to swallow. While every plot twist is contrived, the ones that appear out of thin air don’t do a lot to raise my confidence.
Of course, I’ll be watching next week. Even though this episode didn’t meet with my “Downton Abbey Quality” expectations, it’s still three heads above most things on television in terms of writing, acting, direction, and production.
Happy Sunday Funday!
Since it’s the New Year, remember in order to keep any resolutions, Team Work is important. And with teamwork like this, I’d keep everyone’s resolution – warm and close.
Today is the first update on my 2013 Resolutions, and so far, things are going pretty good. Here are the highlights:
It’s now been 6 days since my last cigarette. I’ve had a few cravings here and there, but so far it’s been going pretty smoothly. I’ve been able to avoid three of my main triggers: coffee, alcohol, and sudden onset stress. That said, I may be single-handedly keeping the chewing gum industry in business.
My big challenge is coming tonight. We’re going to a bachelor party at a local club, with friends that smoke. I may have to be lame and simply drink water and coke all night. *Grumble*
I’d like to say I feel amazing – but I have a sinus infection or something – so basically, I feel like shit.
Run 730 Miles this year
So far, I’ve run 7. To stay on track I need to run another 3 this afternoon.
7 miles doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s more than I’ve run in the last several months. I’m wondering if my “sinus infection” is really my body’s way of saying, “stop running and start smoking, I don’t like change!”
My body can be a bit of a whiny bastard sometimes.
Read 365 Poems
This has actually become one of my most enjoyed resolutions so far. Most poems are relatively short, so they can be enjoyed slowly, like a nice cup of coffee. This week, I’ve read the following:
The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy
A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud
Falling and Flying by Jack Gilbert
Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath
A Horse Grazes in My Shadow by Matt Rasmussen
Daddy by Sylvia Plath
To You by Marcus Wicker
Love Letter to Flavor Flav by Marcus Wicker
Expect more Marcus Wicker poems on my next list. I just bought his first book of poetry, Maybe the Saddest Thing, and so far it is wonderful.
Post 365 Blog Entries
This is actually post number 6 – so I’m totally on track.
I’m afraid I haven’t done much in the “creating” department this week. There haven’t been any new poems (aside from the Disclaimer Poem that came this morning, but since that was a result of editing, I’m not sure that I’ll count it). No visual art pieces and no work done on the novel.
But that’s okay. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you can’t tackle all resolutions at once. Strong progress on 4 out of 7 is a pretty good first week I think.
I hope your year is going well so far!
I received a spam email from a dating site, for which I have not signed up. In the email was a rather lengthy disclaimer, which I thought odd, since I hadn’t actually signed up for the site.
So I took the opportunity to edit the disclaimer down to a little poem (for better or for worse). I included the full disclaimer at the bottom of the page, if you’re bored and want to read it.
I took liberties with the punctuation too.
We strive to deliver people.
We understand permission
Is not always perceived
By providers and recipients.
If reason delivered you to the bottom,
Please be aware, that information
Remains while supplies last.
(Availability at the discretion of the provider)
Please visit the website,
Review the relevant product,
Where you will find
Restrictions may apply.
Change the discretion,
While we strive to deliver emails only to those people who want them, we understand that providing permission is not always perceived in the same way by providers and recipients. If for any reason you feel this email has been delivered to you in error please do not hesitate to let us know either by following the links at the bottom of this message to remove you from the sending list, or by replying to this email and telling us you prefer not to receive this kind of message. Please be aware, however, that in signing up for information, products, and services on the web you sometimes also provide permission to receive information about similar products and services from other providers. Please always pay careful attention to the implications detailed on any signup form concerning your personal information and how it may be used. In signing up for information, products and services on the web you sometimes also provide permission to receive information about similar products and services from other providers. Any marks used herein are property of their respective owners and no claim is made to usurp any standard rights of possession. This opportunity detailed above remains good only while supplies last, availability is at the discretion of the provider and is also subject to change or cancellation at any time. Please visit the website and review the relevant product pages for full details of availability and conditions where you will also find extensive information unsuitable for conveying in this message due to length. Restrictions may apply and are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the provider, again please refer to the website in order to obtain full details if you wish to know more.
I picked up the following video from Henchman-4-Hire, who finds the funniest shit online.
This rap between Smeagol and Gollum is legendary. 8 Mile legendary, until Adam Levine shows up, then it basically becomes 16 mile legendary. For those of you NOT from Detroit, 16 Mile is also named Big Beaver Road and happens to be exit 69 off the highway. So that basically makes it 10 zillion times more legendary than Eminem’s movie.
I’ve heard good things about The Hobbit. I’ve also heard bad things about The Hobbit. But I haven’t heard anything bad about Gollum’s rap, so get a-watching!
Hmmm… I have to say, this episode of Neil’s Puppet Dreams was less “HAHA” and more “I think I need a bath now, preferably with a sandpaper loofa.”
I know, I know, it’s a puppet, so what if it is underaged? I’m such a prude… and yet… icky feeling.
That said, when the police offers tackle NPH it becomes pretty hilarious. “Oh, you’re teeth are so soft…” That’s comic genius!
The Boyfriend was out of town this past weekend to enjoy New Year’s festivities with several college friends. They rented cabins, drank copiously, and apparently wore bear costumes at one point.
And while I’m all over the cosplay scene (look it up if you’re over 18. If you’re under 18, go have a milkshake, they’re awesome.) I could not enjoy this weekend in the woods and had to remain in Chicago.
But all was not lost, because I got the chance to spend sometime with my imaginary best friend, The Doctor. That’s right, I had a chance to catch the Doctor Who Christmas episode and let me tell you, it was a hum-dinger.
From this point on, I can’t promise there will be spoilers, but I also can’t promise there won’t be spoilers. We’re writing on the fly my friends – isn’t it exhilarating!
I know I can barely breathe. I’m like David Carradine in a Thai Swissotel! (Too soon? Nah)
In this episode, the villain(s) weren’t terribly scary or disturbing, though ice queen Nanny McPhee was awesomely sculpted. Girl’s got gams, if we could have seen them.
But this episode wasn’t about the villain, or even the end of the world. This Christmas episode was a chance for us to meet up with the cast of the second half of this season. And OHMYGOD!OHMYGOD!OHMYGOD!OHMYGOD! I can’t wait.
First up, we have the return of Strax, the Doctor Who equivalent of X-Men’s Juggernaut, but without the jaunty cap. That said, Strax is the completely well-intentioned comic relief in this (and I assume many other) episodes. Favorite line from this episode: “I suggest we melt his brain using acid, then interrogate him,” but the struggle with the memory worm was a close second.
Second we have Lady Vastra and her wife Jenny. I’m just going to roll both of them into one right now since they were a constant duo throughout the episode. Plus, I don’t have a good sense of what Jenny brings to the table, though if I may say, I highly suspect the word “Ninja” is in her future. Lady Vastra though is highly intelligent, with strong deductive reasoning. She kind, but stern, and overall the sort of person you want as a mentor or teacher. Favorite moment: Interviewing Clara, to protect The Doctor, and insisting on Clara only giving one word answers.
I plan to do this on my next first date, by the way. Not that I’m planning to have a next first date, but as the boy scouts say, “Always be prepared.” Except for gay sex. They don’t want you to be prepared for that.
Last, and most certainly not least, we have Clara, the next companion. I may be blanking here, but I don’t remember a companion being in a Christmas episode since Rose and David Tennent fought those crazy santa machine men. Sure, Donna Noble was in a Christmas episode, but it was at least a year before she became a companion. And could we even appreciate her at that point? I mean now, of course, she’s the Awesomest.
But then there’s Clara. Clara who seems to match The Doctor’s intelligence, resourcefulness, and curiosity. She’s high energy and ready to take on the Universe – not simply for the chance to follow the Doctor around (Amy Pond, I’m looking at you and your Daddy issues) – but because she likes to get into new things and experience everything possible. I mean the girl was both a bar wench and governess, switching accents as easily as if they were hats.
I’ll tell you this, I may be in love with Clara. Perhaps she’ll be my new best friend. I mean, The Doctor is a Time Lord so being cool in a bowtie is just who he is. But Clara is human (we think… Spoilers, Sweetie!) and who doesn’t want to hang with the awesomest human around?
Best line from Clara? “It’s smaller on the outside!” (referring to the Tardis)
We’re already debating what the future season holds for the Reincarnating Clara. Part of me hopes she dies in each episode, so the Doctor has to find her in a new location each episode. Of course, the “It’s smaller on the outside!” is really only funny for one or two more episodes. Then it’ll just become sad, and I’m talking Flowers for Algernon sad.
Anyways, if you haven’t seen the Christmas episode yet, it’s available on Amazon’s Watch Instantly. It’s a ton of fun and I think you’ll really enjoy it.
But be forewarned, new episodes of Doctor Who won’t start airing until April (gasp!) so this momentary fix may be too much with such a desert ahead.
I’m a bit distracted today and as a result, I don’t have wonderfully witty things to say. Perhaps it was a bit of cheese from last night or the scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning – you know, a simple digestion issue that’s causing the ghosts of past, present, and future to converge on this little Chicago apartment.
But I guess that’s how many of us experience New Year’s Day. A day to figure out how to reposition our lives, so they are more of what we imagine they can be and less of what they have been, all through figuring out how to reconfigure our Now.
So in order to get myself back on track, I’ve come up with the following list of resolutions:
1) Quit smoking – I know, it’s gross, disgusting and I do wish I’d never started. I’ve tried to quit before, fingers crossed this is the year.
2) Run 730 miles this year – My workouts tend to focus on weightlifting, but I need to have more cardio. Also when I run, I crave cigarettes less. So win/win! Why 730? Because it comes out to 2 miles a day.
3) Read 365 poems – Usually I have a list of books to read. This year, I want to try to produce more than I consume – so I’m going to bone up on poetry.
4) Write 52 poems – They’ll probably be at the level of my famous 10th grade emo poem “Black Wax Melting Into a Pool of Self.”
5) Finish the novel I started for NaNoWriMo – I already have 210 pages. I’d like to finish a coherent rough draft by the end of the year.
6) Post 365 blog posts this year – They may not be daily, but there will be 365 of them.
7) Create 52 pieces of visual art – I’ve always had an interest in drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography, so this year I’m going to try to create a few pieces (good or bad) to help me get a feel for the process. So if you’re cute and like to pose naked, call me.
So to keep myself honest, I’ll post about my progress once a week here, so feel free to ignore those posts since it’s always dull to see some be so awesomely successful and ass-kicking.