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Category Archives: Television

Life as a wanted woman

This is the story of how I became Public Enemy #1.

Ok, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration: I think probably I’m lower on the list. Maybe Public Enemy #14, or something.

And a warning: just so you know, I am apparently a very suspicious character, and there’s a good chance, just in reading this, you might be exposing yourself to radical thoughts and ideas. I wouldn’t want to get anyone involved in whatever I’ve gotten myself into, so you have been warned! Turn back now!

Ok, what? You’re still here? You’re very brave. Total bravery points for you. Ding ding!

Here we go! The story of a social miscreant. One bad apple, if you will. And that bad apple is ME. (Can I be a Granny Smith? I really like those.)

On Wednesday afternoon, I noticed my wifi wasn’t working. Well, it was KIND of working, but not well. So I thought maybe it was just one of those things and I thought I’d check it that night when I got home. (It was working fine in the office, so I knew it was just my house.)

Now, I work nights and weekends, so I get home between 12:30am-1:15am most weeknights. I’ve gotten used to it. No worries. Don’t cry for me, Argentina. (I’ve always been a night owl. I’m ok with it. I love that I get to sleep in.)

When I got home, it still wasn’t working, and my cable company (good old Time Warner, voted least likely to satisfy anyone in the most recent American Customer Satisfaction index) has 24-hour customer service (that should probably be in sarcasm-quotes – “customer service.”) I wasn’t SO tired, so I thought I’d call them. I do so rely on my wifi.

First, I talked to…oh, I don’t remember anyone’s names. Let’s say Ben. I explained what was up to Ben. Ben kept me on the phone for about 45 minutes, trying this and that. One of the things he tried, fo no reason I could ascertain, was to reset my cable box. My cable has nothing to do with my wifi, other than the same company charges me an exorbitant charge to have them. When my cable box came back online, it was 4 hours off. So it said it was 5-something am. I don’t know why, either.

Ben was at a loss, and said “I guess the problem is that you’re going to have to have a code input into your modem, and I can’t do that, so I’m going to transfer you to someone the next level up.” At this point, I was exhausted and annoyed, but not SO mad.

Then I got transferred to…again, who knows what his name was. Claude. We’ll call him Claude. Claude looked over my file and said, “What did you and Maria discuss when she called you on December 20?”

“I’m sorry,” I replied, “I didn’t speak to anyone named Maria from your company on December 20. I haven’t spoken to anyone in your company since August, when you screwed up my move so prodigiously that I have discounted services and free HBO from your company for the next two years.”

(Side note: this is a true story. I have deeply discounted Time Warner services and free HBO for two years because the company so deeply botched my move from Albany to Watertown that it took two full weeks to get things up and running here again. I don’t like being screwed with, and I made my displeasure very vocally known. They replied with discounts. I kind of wanted them to flog themselves in Public Square while crying “I HAVE FORGOTTEN THE FACE OF MY FATHER,” but you take what you can get, I suppose.)

“No,” replied Claude, “it says here you spoke to Maria on December 20 and she marked your account for suspicious activity.”

“OK, there are a lot of things here to reply to,” I said. “First, as I said, I haven’t spoken to anyone at your company since August, maybe early September. Second, ‘suspicious activity’? What does that mean?”

“Well…um…you know…suspicious…like…activity that is…suspicious…and indicates the user and their account need to be flagged…” he said, very carefully.

“Sir, are you telling me this Maria person thinks I’m a terrorist?” I asked Claude.

“We don’t like to use the word ‘terrorist,'” he replied.

“But are you SAYING Maria thinks I’m a terrorist?” I said.

“We really don’t like to refer to people in this situation as ‘terrorists,'” he said, very nervously.

“Um. OK. So you think I’m a terrorist, then, but you’re just using ‘suspicious activity’ instead. OK. Well. That’s fantastic. Claude, how exactly do I get off this watch list that Maria seems to have put me on?”

“I can’t take you off this list. Maria should have discussed your options with you when she talked to you.”

“And, as earlier mentioned, this conversation with Maria never occurred.”

“It’s all really strange,” said Claude. “Usually, there are detailed notes saying what exactly occured with the suspect. But all I have here is that Maria flagged your account, talked to you, and her phone number and extension are here. She wrote ‘December 20’ and a shut-off date of today.”

“Well, this suspect would like to know her options, Claude. Could you let me know if I get a phone call, or will I be read my Miranda rights, or…”

Claude wasn’t amused.

Eventually, Claude told me he would MOST DILIGENTLY continue working on the problem while I slept (and if I believed that, he probably had a bridge in Brooklyn he wanted to sell me, and I have always wanted to own real estate) and gave me a number BOTH for his supervisor the next day, and for the mysterious Maria. He also assured me that this wasn’t done in error; I was most definitely on some sort of watch list and a suspect in something. But he didn’t like to use the term “terrorist.” No, no, no. Well, who does? It’s such a loaded term.

I cannot confirm or deny that this is me.

I cannot confirm or deny that this is me.

So I slept, and the next day I awoke to many messages from my friends (yes, of course I told Facebook I was a potential terrorist, wouldn’t you?) either saying “what?” or “ha ha!” or, my favorite, “I KNEW IT!”

First, I called Maria. Surprise! Maria’s phone went directly to voicemail.

Then I called the supervisor, who was very rude once he reviewed my file. “There’s nothing I can do until you talk to Maria,” said the supervisor. “Maria will call you back.”

Now. I used to work a phone-based job; I know it’s the worst when people get mad at the operator when it’s not their fault. But Time Warner makes it really, really hard to be Miss Merry Sunshine. They hold the area in a total monopoly and just don’t care about their customers. Oh, you have no internet? Yeah, you have to keep paying for that, but we’ll fix it when we get around to it. Oh, your cable’s broken? Same deal.

“I’m sure she will, but it doesn’t seem a priority to her. I need the internet in my home; I use it for my job. My job at a newspaper. We’ve written quite a few articles recently about Time Warner and its low customer satisfaction rating and the alternatives people have in the area. I’ll want to talk to Maria to get to the bottom of this; I think they’ll find it very interesting over there that one of their employees was flagged for potential terrorist activities, don’t you?”

Rude McSnotterson got very quiet, and said, “I’ll have Maria call you back.”

You mention you work for a newspaper, apparently.

You mention you work for a newspaper, apparently.

I waited half an hour, then I called the Land of Maria and got her voicemail again. This time I was tricky. I waited on the line and got transferred to the first available agent in Marialand. I explained my situation to him; he, again, told me I had to talk to Maria. He then checked and saw Maria was “out of the office…yeah, there’s no indication when she’ll return” (MARIA IS TOTALLY CIA, RIGHT?) and he was able to input this secret code to get my wifi back online. I guess he didn’t think I was a terrorist, I don’t know. Or maybe he doesn’t love MERKA! as much as Maria does.

Then he realized that both my modem and my cable box had blown up. Yes, that’s the technical term: “blown up.” So I’d have to take them to the Time Warner store and swap them out. “So,” I said, “first this mysterious Maria puts me on a watchlist, then both my cable box and my modem choose this exact day to blow up?”

He agreed, what are the odds? Hmm.

So. Off to the cable company. In blizzard white-out conditions. (Yeah, I had to run some other errands anyway…but I was pretty pissed I had to go all the way over there on the slipperiest roads ever to swap out boxes that just 24 hours ago were working fine. Even the sassy lady I like in the office over there was all, “BOTH stopped working? Girl, who’d YOU piss off?” I wanted to tell her Homeland Security, but I wisely kept my mouth shut.)

Then I almost died getting groceries and random other things (but DUDE did I get some clearance deals at the drugstore…sorry, sorry, tangent) and got home. Reinstalled everything. Crossed my fingers.

Nope. Nothing worked. Not the cable box, not the modem.

Called the help line again. This time, I got my man Dwayne. I don’t remember if this was his name, but he was from Maine and that rhymes. Dwayne had the most prodigious cold, and kept apologizing for his coughing. I apologized for being a terrorist, but I don’t think he was amused. He was polite enough, though; I didn’t even snap at him once.

Dwayne got my cable working. There was a dicey moment where the only channels I was getting were The Weather Channel, every sports channel known to man, and all the home shopping networks. I was all, “Dwayne, THIS WILL NOT STAND” and Dwayne agreed and set things to rights. Even with a cold, Dwayne was damn good at his job.

So, cable’s up and running. However, the modem? STILL FRIED. Come to find out, I have TWO MODEMS. The other one was what one of the millions of people told me was my router, so I didn’t bring it to swap it out. It was the second router that “blew up.” I looked outside. WORSE white out. Nope.

One of the people I’d talked to in the wee hours had a tech coming to my house Friday between 11-12, so I told Dwayne, “can you make sure the tech coming Friday brings a new modem?” and Dwayne said, “oh, I hate to add bad news to your bad news, but there’s no tech scheduled for Friday.”

WHAT IS HAPPENING OVER AT TIME WARNER.

Dwayne set up a tech for me for Friday afternoon who will be bringing me a modem in the NEXT snowstorm (we’re predicted to get 36″ by the end of the day on Saturday, and we already have 24″ or so on the ground from our last storm. Yeah, Watertown is…intense. The man on the news just said an “Alberta Clipper” is headed our way. AN ALBERTA CLIPPER! Well, what do you know about that? That’s like a ship FULL of snow, right? LOOK OUT!)

Look out! SHIP FULL OF SNOW!

Look out! SHIP FULL OF SNOW!

In the meantime, Dwayne and I figured out that I could hook up an Ethernet cable to my modem and I could have internet again. AND I DO. Only it’s crazy-slow. But it’s only until tomorrow. I can handle that.

So. Here’s my mystery.

Why, exactly, am I a terrorist?

This mysterious Maria wrote I’d been flagged December 20. So what was I doing December 20? (I think it only matters what I was doing online, right? That’s what Maria seems to have taken objection to?)

It was a Saturday. So I was at work from 9:30am-8pm. (Yes, I have crazy weekend hours.)

I wrote two emails; one talking about a song I’d heard that I liked, one talking about a possible job for a friend to keep an eye on. (It probably bears mentioning that both of these emails were to people outside of the country. Dad’s quite sure that’s why I’m a terrorist. I have all these “Communist” friends, you see.) I wrote one Facebook message, to someone I used to work with, just checking in. I posted on Facebook about someone in my office listening to something that sounded very much like porn on his work computer (but it probably wasn’t…right? Urgh. DON’T DO THAT AT WORK.) Became Facebook friends with someone at work (but he’s like this all-American guy. He’s totally not terroristy.) Posted a bunch of things to our work Facebook account and work Twitter account, but if she’s going to call me a terrorist for reporting local news, I think probably something’s wrong here. Did one internet search – for my paper I work for, in the morning. (I have to post one post before I get in in the morning, which is why I did that.)

That was all I did ALL DAY online. Most of the day I was at work, so I wasn’t even using this account, and usually on the weekends when I get home, I’m wiped out and can barely do anything online (and hardly want to – so tired. And have been online all day, so the last thing I want to do when I get home is be MORE online.)

So, let’s guess, ladies and gentlemen. Dad thinks it’s my very shady ties to foreign countries that have made this woman flag me. Also, the blogging; he’s sure I’m on a government watch list for bloggery. (And it bears mentioning that my friend Chris tried to visit my blog on Wednesday and was told he could not, because it had “adult content.” Hee! “Doctor Who” was MUCH too adult for his computer!) What do YOU think has been my big transgression?

I suppose she could have flagged me for something I’d done BEFORE December 20, but what made December 20, a day I worked a 10.5 hour shift and came home and crashed because I had to be back at work the next morning at 9:30am, the day she decided I was Bonnie (or maybe Clyde?) And why did it take them almost three weeks to stop my subversive activities? I could have been doing ANYTHING in those three weeks. Causing a ruckus. Fomenting a revolution. Staging a sit-in.

I kind of feel like Arlo Guthrie in “Alice’s Restaurant.” I feel like maybe I’m going to be arrested for littering and this Maria person is Officer Obie.

Obie, didja think I was going to hang myself for litterin'?

Obie, didja think I was going to hang myself for litterin’?

Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen. I plan on calling our girl Maria a few more times in the next couple of weeks, see what’s going on. Would really like a glimpse into the world of Maria and how she internetually profiles those of us who are very terrory terror suspects.

UPDATE: I HAVE SPOKEN TO MARIA!

Sadly, the answer (which I have to wonder about) is a total letdown.

Maria actually picked up her phone right away, and when I said, “Hi, Maria, it’s me! Amy! Why’m I a terrorist, yo?” she looked into it and asked me to spell my name about 47 times and finally said, “Oh, I SEE” and I said, “you DO?” and she said my account number was one away from someone else with my exact name who lives on the east coast, and THAT Amy is a TOTAL TERRORIST! (No, ok, fine, she didn’t say that, she said that person was “the real problem.”) So my account was accidentally flagged. “But I don’t know why all of your boxes blew up,” she said. “I had nothing to do with that.”

“So that was a coincidence, this all happened at the same time?” I said.

“Ha ha!” said Maria. “Yes, just a total coincidence!”

I don’t know how much of that I believe.

Also, the tech was here. I have wifi again, and my cable’s fine, but he unhooked a bunch of other things like DVD players and such and now I can’t figure out how to hook them back up and I have a call in for him to come back, but nope. No one’s coming. So that’s nice, then. Thanks, Time Warner!

I guess now the moral of this story is, don’t have the same name as anyone else, and don’t be a very terroristy terrorist, and if you have an option to choose another cable company, I’d say choose anyone but Time Warner. Unless you like torture. I mean, who am I to judge, right?

Sayonara, my little jellybeans.

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So much stranger, so much darker, so much madder, so much better.

Well, it’s finally happened.

I kind of always knew it would, eventually, once I set my mind to it. It was just a matter of finding the time, which I did over the Christmas/New Year holiday. I saw this time stretching in front of me and thought, whatever shall I do with it? And I looked at my Netflix subscription and thought, well, YOU certainly have been going underutilized lately, haven’t you?

And I fell headlong into a binge I have yet to come back from. (And to be honest, I don’t quite know what I’ll do with myself once I’m finished, so I’d rather not think about that right now, thanks.)

Yes, it’s finally happened, people of the blog.

I am obsessed – BEYOND obsessed – with Doctor Who.

I even hear the theme music and I get all boppy. I've got it bad bad bad.

I even hear the theme music and I get all boppy. I’ve got it bad bad bad.

Now, I know in even writing this, I’m going to be getting comments from people who are all “I’ve been watching this since it STARTED and I’ve seen every EPISODE and I know THE WHOLE STORY and you know NOTHING, Jon Snow” (sorry, sorry, mixing up fandoms, there, I think that’s a excommunicable offense) so let me quantify this situation.

A while back, I watched the first two episodes of the reboot (with Christopher Eccleston) with some friends and liked them more than I thought I would. I meant to go back and continue with that, but my life often gets in the way of my life.

I’d never gotten into Doctor Who because it seemed weird and I didn’t think I’d GET it and it just seemed like one of those odd things that would confuse me if I tried to get involved so I thought it best if I stayed away. Like sports. Or playing an instrument. I AM OFTEN NOT GOOD AT THINGS THAT NORMAL PEOPLE EXCEL AT! It is a sad fact of life.

But then it became clear that almost every single intelligent person I knew was very, VERY into this show, and I needed to be watching it. Which almost made me NOT want to watch it – when everyone loves something, I immediately think, “Well, I hate fads” because I’m kind of a dick (I mean, you all seem to love that terrible Family Guy show, but the one time I turned it on to see what was up, they were making fun of domestic violence and I was so disgusted I never turned it on again, so what the hell, you guys?) but that backfired when everyone started ranting about how much they loved Serial and I avoided it for a while but then thought “What the hell” and downloaded it for a car trip and became SO OBSESSED with it and now look things up online about it ALL THE TIME because who DOESN’T want to know what Adnan and Hae really looked like, right?

OBSESSED OBSESSED!!! And I usually HATE being talked at! COULD NOT STOP LISTENING!

OBSESSED OBSESSED!!! And I usually HATE being talked at! COULD NOT STOP LISTENING!

And OMG, who DO we think killed her? I’m leaning one way, but I won’t tell you which in case you either haven’t listened yet (and if not, GET TO IT, SLAPPY!) or aren’t all the way done and don’t want me spoiling you. Also, my theory has more holes in it than Swiss cheese on the Titanic, you guys, and super-smart reporter friend at work and I were talking about it this weekend and his theory was SO SMART which is why he’s a reporter, I suppose, so now I am AT! A! LOSS! THERE ARE SO MANY WEIRD MOVING PARTS ON THIS CASE. Season two of Serial, please happen now, I want to fall headlong into another case immediately!

That was a very long digression.

ANYWAY. So I thought, “I will start watching this, what’s the worst that can happen” and now it’s been two weeks and I CAN NOT STOP.

NOW! Before I go ANY FURTHER! I have just started what I believe to be David Tennant’s last season so you are NOT ALLOWED to tell me anything that happens after this. I am trying very hard to stay spoiler-free. Unfortunately I’ve been a LITTLE spoiled, but that was before I started watching this and didn’t know I would ever care. So don’t comment all “In Episode Blah-Blah THE COMPANION IS REALLY A CYBERMAN IN DISGUISE” because I will be SO MAD at you!

Oh, BTW, I also finished "Arrested Development." I'm going to pretend the final season didn't happen. I wasn't impressed. Sorry, world.

Oh, BTW, I also finished “Arrested Development.” I’m going to pretend the final season didn’t happen. I wasn’t impressed. Sorry, world.

There’s really too much that I love about this show to go on about it in detail and you’re going to be split into two contingents, here, the ones that already KNOW it’s fantastic and the ones that don’t CARE and therefore have already tuned OUT, but I’m still going to ramble a bit. It’s my blog, I think I’m allowed.

THINGS I LOVE ABOUT DOCTOR WHO!

  • It’s intelligent and goofy all at once. It makes me laugh AND it makes me think. Sometimes there are mysteries and sometimes it’s just funny and sometimes (most of the time) it’s a little bit of both.
  • The science isn’t TOO sciency. Andreas picked on me when I said I was watching this because the science wasn’t realistic but I don’t know much about all the science, anyway, so if they were being all realistic about it, I wouldn’t know what was going on. It’s just dumbed-down (and, yes, Andreas, probably wrong) enough that it’s cool with me, yo. (Andreas has other issues with the show, he just told me. I’ll let him tell you in the comments. You know what’s great about him? Well, other than everything? Even if we totally disagree, we still respect and love one another. That’s why he’s my Andreas, you guys. And I miss him and his whole family in the land of the Finns like CRAZINESS every DAY.)
  • There is totally romance and emotional things and I am ALWAYS WEEPING. There was one episode where I had to take a SINCERE BREAK from watching the show because I was EMOTIONALLY DEVASTATED. That’s a good show. I love a good cry. So, so much. Like, break out the Kleenex, here I am, and I’m in seventh heaven. (OMG! Speaking of which, the dad from Seventh Heaven was a child molester? Who saw THAT one coming, right? DISTRESSING!)
  • The Doctor makes me INSANELY HAPPY. He is joyous and childlike but also serious with the weight of the world on his shoulders and he has all the best lines and I love love LOVE watching him. I really enjoyed Eccleston but OH, am I head-over-heels for Tennant and his happy Converse All-Stars and bouncy hair. (I knew I’d like him – I’ve seen him in a couple of other things, the best of which being Hamlet with Patrick Stewart, which was BRILLIANT. I am being very all-capsy today. Why the hell did they waste him so much in that awful Gracepoint? So disheartening.) Tennant is beyond amazing here. I am already pre-mourning his loss. I don’t know if I’ll be able to fall in love with another actor in this role like I’ve fallen in love with him here.

    Loooooove. The most charismatic human being alive, sincerely.

    Loooooove. The most charismatic human being alive, sincerely.

  • I was informed I was going to hate Rose, but I LOVED her. I want all Rose, all the time. Yes, yes, apparently there are Companions upcoming that I will love very much (Martha was fine, but underutilized, yeah? It kind of made me sad. Also, all her PINING. Ugh, I think probably I related to her too much, but she started to make me cringe) but right now I’m all “BRING ROSE BACK DAMMIT” and having some issues with her being gone.

    Good grief, Googling Rose was fraught with spoilery. Don't do that unless you know what's coming up, my little gingersnaps.

    Good grief, Googling Rose was fraught with spoilery. Don’t do that unless you know what’s coming up, my little gingersnaps.

  • There are so many shows I can see took a page from this. There are elements of Doctor Who in so many of my favorite shows – Quantum Leap, The X-Files, Buffy (and a lot of Whedon’s work, actually, now that I’m thinking about it), Supernatural, this weird time-travelly show called Voyagers I used to watch when I was little…and there was totally a scene in one episode where I was all “THAT IS SO THE AMBER SPYGLASS!” and it TOTALLY WAS, per a quote from one of the writers that I read. They also reference pop culture things all the time (I’m sure half of the time I miss it, but when they did a shout-out to J.K. Rowling I laughed my ass off) and it’s just the perfect sci-fi/horror/fantasy/thriller nerd show in the entire planet.
  • You constantly get to see British actors and you’re all “I know that person BUT FROM WHERE” and you look them up and you giggle. Of course I knew who Simon Pegg was, but Carey Mulligan looked so damn young I couldn’t place her. And I had no idea the weird brash British chick from the American version of The Office was famous because of Doctor Who. Kylie Minogue looks old. I remember her in scrunchies and slouch socks. Also, the kid that plays Spiderman and is dating Emma Stone was in one episode (he was young) and whenever anyone was at a loss for what to do I kept shouting at the screen “WHY AREN’T YOU SAVING EVERYONE, SPIDERMAN?” Only I pronounce it “Spidermen” like Phoebe did on Friends. Like it’s his last name. “Irving Spiderman.” “COME ON, SPIDERMAN, SAVE THE DOCTOR ALREADY! SHOOT WEBS OR SOMETHING!” I would shout, and giggle gleefully. This scared the cat.

    SAVE THEM, SPIDERMAN!!!

    SAVE THEM, SPIDERMAN!!!

  • “Blink” is the best episode I’ve seen so far. Closely followed by “Doomsday.” The first is a very good standalone if you are trying to get someone into the series. The second would make no sense to someone unless they were following the series closely. One of these two episodes is the aforementioned cry-myself-sick episode; you can decide which one on your own. Play along at home, kiddos. Fun times.

    Not recommended to watch this at midnight all alone like I did. YIKES. Totally kept hiding my face behind my hands.

    Not recommended to watch this at midnight all alone like I did. YIKES. Totally kept hiding my face behind my hands.

  • The baddies are awesome. Some are scary (WEEPING ANGELS! Those Host angel thingies from the Titanic Christmas special!) and some are kitschy and funny (if the best thing ever isn’t Cybermen and Daleks having a snark-off, I don’t know what is, I laughed until I almost peed) and some are VERY EVIL AND WICKED BUT ALSO FUN (OMG, The Master, right?) Some, however, are just the worst. Who thought it was a good idea to make the brilliant and multi-talented Mark Gatiss into a scorpion-thing? What was up with that woman who was playing a giant red spider-creature as if she was maybe a drag queen trying to project to the back row of a large theater? If they bring her back, I’m boycotting that episode. She was TERRIBLE. I have to imagine she was either some famous British actress everyone loves for no apparent reason, or one of the producer’s wives. I kept asking her to shush it up. Surprisingly, she didn’t seem to hear me.

    Ugh, PLEASE let this be the last time I see this thing.

    Ugh, PLEASE let this be the last time I see this thing.

I really need to end this.

TO SUM UP.

Big apologies, friends who were all “WHY THE HELL AREN’T YOU WATCHING DOCTOR WHO, AMY, YOU NUMBSKULL.” I am apparently attempting to remedy this by cramming it all in my head as fast as I can. Once this is done, the very kind Josh has informed me of the existence of Torchwood (oh, Captain Jack with your dimples, I can’t resist you) and other British shows I NEED to be watching, like, immediately. I think I know what I’ll be doing while Watertown is trapped in what seems to be some sort of eternal winter zone.

Oh, my. So pretty. So sexually and morally ambiguous.

Oh, my. So pretty. So sexually and morally ambiguous.

If you don’t spoil me in the comments, thank you. If you DO spoil me in the comments, I CURSE THEE AND THY OFFSPRING.

Also, I am willing to bet you before the month’s out I will be in possession of a tee-shirt that says “The Angels Have the Phone Box.” I have very little willpower and I need to sleep with that on my body.

Yep. It was really just a matter of time.

Allons-y. There are a lot of episodes left and they’re certainly not going to watch themselves.


Do you think the internet has an Outrage button like Staples’ Easy button? BOOP! OUTRAGED!

Apparently my outrage button was broken over the past couple of weeks.

The internet has been ALL KINDS OF OUTRAGED lately. I mean, it usually is? Don’t get me wrong. The internet is always a little bit up-in-arms about something. I don’t know if we’d recognize it if it wasn’t. It’s actually ironic Dad thinks so little of the internet, as he (and his RIGHTEOUS CONSTANT FURY) would fit right in. He’d troll comment-boards with the best of ‘em. HE WOULD USE MANY ALL-CAPS!

But the two biggest outrages that happened (well, they’re not the “biggest” but they seemed to take up the biggest amount of Twitter/Facebook real estate)? I tried very hard to be outraged by them and just wasn’t. OK, fine. I didn’t try very hard. I think you’re either outraged, or you’re not.

So either I’m mellowing in my old age, or my outrage button has gotten worn out with the constant pushery. That may or may not be a euphemism; take it as you will.

Who can guess the two biggest outrage OUTRAGE WE ARE OUTRAGED! outrages that have been all over the interwebs in the last couple of weeks? Anyone? I mean, you won’t win a prize, or anything, but you can say you guessed correctly. I’ll give you bragging rights. I have no way to prove you right or wrong. And honestly, it seems like a silly thing to lie about.

If you guessed one of the things was the Miley Cyrus debacle, YOU ARE CORRECT.

I went days without watching this. Why? I didn’t care. (I still don’t. Not much at all.) I am old enough that Miley Cyrus and her ilk hold very little interest for me. She’s some Disney chick who’s trying to be a legitimate singer now, yeah? OK. Fine. Whatever.

Then sj was all, “Oh, just WATCH IT” and I was like “FINE I WILL” and she said, “Also watch the new Lady Gaga video” and that I gladly did, because that woman makes me happy. She is the best kind of kooky. And that new video is OFF THE HOOK. At one point she’s like a swan-thing. It’s INSANE and I LOVE it.

So I watched the Miley Cyrus video. OK, well, it’s not a VIDEO, it’s a clip from the MTV music awards. I like how MTV pretends it’s still relevant musically. That’s so cute of them.

I would show you a video of this, but there are none on the YouTubez. Just do a search, if you haven’t seen it. I’m sure you have. EVERYONE has.

Here were my thoughts while I was watching this.

  • Those teddy bear costumes look hot. I mean, WARM-hot, not sexxxxy-hot.
  • Why is Miley Cyrus sticking out her tongue so much? It makes her look dim.
  • This isn’t a very good song. She has a lovely voice. Maybe she should stick to ballads.
  • Is she wearing a fur bathing suit? My goodness but that’s impractical.
  • I think hair-horns are an odd choice. Are the kids doing this nowadays? Hair-horns and mismatched socks and getting drunk on hand sanitizer?

    Also, YES. I KNEW she was reminding me of someone. HAIR HORNS ARE A MISTAKE IF THEY REMIND ME OF THIS JIM CARREY CHARACTER, MILEY.

    Also, YES. I KNEW she was reminding me of someone. HAIR HORNS ARE A MISTAKE IF THEY REMIND ME OF THIS JIM CARREY CHARACTER, MILEY.

  • Someone should have told her this was a terrible idea.
  • OMG, Robin Thicke looks really embarrassed to have to share the stage with Miley Gone Bad. When he sang the “you’re a good girl” line, he couldn’t even LOOK at her. You probably have to work pretty hard to embarrass Robin Thicke; I mean, he thinks “hug me” and “fuck me” RHYME, for the love of Pete.
  • Robin Thicke is wearing a Beetlejuice suit. Now I want to watch Beetlejuice again.
  • Stop doing that with that foam finger. That’s not what those are for. YOU DO NOT KNOW WHERE THAT HAS BEEN.
  • So THIS is twerking. Huh.
  • This makes me feel 150 years old.
  • Seriously, doesn’t this young woman have advisors who could have said, “This is a hot mess, girlfriend?” Because it’s like a spoiled child’s birthday party entertainment. “I want bears and a foam finger and a girl with HORNS in her HAIR and a BATHING SUIT MADE OF FUR!” and the rich kid’s parents are all “sigh sigh OK Sir Thomas Jamieson the Third Esquire.” It’s just all so MESSY. There’s TOO MUCH GOING ON. It’s making me scratchy and giving me ADD.
  • The audience looks really uncomfortable. I’m sure if I knew who any of these people were, it’d be funny that they’re all sitting there with poker faces on (p-p-p-poker faces) but mostly it’s just a bunch of people I’ve never seen before looking like they’re being forced to watch a mental breakdown. UN. COM. FOR. TA. BLE. (People kept posting a photo of the Will Smith family looking shocked, but I didn’t see them, and I actually – I KNOW! – know who they are, so maybe that was only if you were watching live, I don’t know.)

    I just want to say, the Will Smith family really are beautiful, aren't they? My goodness but genetics were kind, there.

    I just want to say, the Will Smith family really are beautiful, aren’t they? My goodness but genetics were kind, there.

As you can see, nowhere in this was I all “I AM OUTRAGED!” A lot of people, apparently, were. People cried racism (I’m not going to speak to that; I personally didn’t find it racist, but I’m also not going to vilify those who did.) People cried sexism (which, honestly, I’m not seeing…unless we’re talking about Robin Thicke. He did seem to be a little uncomfortably touchy-touched up there.) People were all “SHE IS OUT OF CONTROL” and “SHE IS ON DRUGS!”

Here are my thoughts. What do you mean, you don’t care. I don’t CARE if you don’t care. It’s my blog, I get to pontificate. Pontificatilly.

The kid grew up in a Disney bubble. It doesn’t seem she ever really had any constraints put on her, from her family, her handlers, etc. I mean, she needed to behave, for Disney, probably, in order to keep her contract – they sure do like the squeaky-clean image over there…but this was a multi-million dollar kiddo. I think she pretty much had her run of the place.

There used to be countdown websites to when she was legal, you guys. These were run by gross old pervs. I am not even kidding about this.

There used to be countdown websites to when she was legal, you guys. These were run by gross old pervs. I am not even kidding about this.

Then she grew up. She quit being a Disney princess and the real world knocked on the door and she was all, “I NEED TO STAY RELEVANT.” She’s, what, 20? People that age think relevance = being talked about. (Hell, they may be halfway right.) So she decided to do a thing on a highly-televised show that would generate a LOT of buzz, and that thing kind of made her look like a weirdo who stuck out her tongue too much. But she IS being talked about. So…she probably thinks it was successful. Will it translate to album sales? Don’t know. I’m not a record executive. I thought the song was terrible, but I’m not in the target age-range for that song, now am I? The last music I spent money on was Leonard Cohen. Did I mention I’m old? Yep. Old.

Here’s a sad thing: I kept watching her eyes. She didn’t look like she was having fun. She looked like she was planning her next move; like she was tactically strategizing where to move next, what would shock people most. She also looked a touch panicked, like the brooms got out of the sorcerer’s apprentice’s control. But she didn’t look like she was having FUN, dammit. Shouldn’t she be having fun? I mean, this is (I assume) her chosen career? I like to see performers having a good time. Like, with real smiles, that touch their eyes; with real laughter on stage. That makes me happy. That they’re getting to do what they’re passionate about for us. That it’s not just for a buck. That makes the artist in me happy, and I’m happier about dropping money on their music or shows.

This doesn't read "fun" to me. This reads "oh, this seemed like a REALLY good idea in the planning stages, you guys."

This doesn’t read “fun” to me. This reads “oh, this seemed like a REALLY good idea in the planning stages, you guys.”

If anyone told her this wasn’t the route to take – that there are other artists that started out young, and have carried reputable careers into their adulthood, like my beloved Justin Timberlake, or that there are other artists that reveled in shock-value, but still didn’t put a hot mess like that on the stage – like Madonna, or, yes, Lady Gaga – she didn’t listen, I guess. I was twenty once. I knew everything once, too. And I look back on that age and I just shake my head. I think a lot of us do. We were not all-knowing, at twenty, as much as we thought we were. I would imagine being a millionaire twenty-year-old is even worse.

Or maybe they didn’t dare tell her. Maybe she has a gang of sniveling yes-men and women around her.

Or maybe everyone genuinely thought this was a good idea. (This…yeah, I don’t think this is the case? But I’m putting it out there. It could have happened.)

I know a lot of people immediately went the OTHER way, too, and were all “DON’T YOU SLUT-SHAME HER! SHE IS A WOMAN! SHE GETS TO DO WHAT SHE WANTS WITH HER BODY!”

Yup. Not saying she doesn’t. Not at all slut-shaming her, and you’re right, she is a woman. Don’t even know that she’s slutty. (Is she known for sluttiness? I know there was a smoking-pot-no-it-was-just-salvia scandal a while back, but only because Saturday Night Live told me about it. That’s where I get most of my current events, much to Dad’s chagrin.) Just saying a furry teddybear bathing suit seems ill-advised, is all. So did my lace-edged footless tights in high school, which I also thought were sexy. I take that criticism.

Also, I am confused by this twerking situation. I discussed this with my high-school-senior cousin J. last week. I figured J. would have her finger on the pulse of the youth of Merka, being ONE of the aforementioned youth.

“I don’t know about that. I like country music,” said ever-practical cousin J., who is a ray of pure sunshine, and I want to put her in my pocket and save her from the sufferings that life will undoubtedly heap upon her, because she’s just goodness and light, and you totally want to protect that, you know?

Then Dad was all, “I KNOW ABOUT TWERKING IT WAS ON THE REAL NEWS!” and to my UTTER HORROR, he stood in the parking lot, put out his hands as if he was holding onto a walker, pooched out his ass, placed his feet far apart, and WIGGLED HIS BUTT. He looked like he was playing a game of charades and he was miming “old person who lost his walker and needed to get to the handicapped bathroom, stat.” Cousin J. and her adorable boyfriend utterly lost their shit. So. Thank you, Miley Cyrus; my father did twerking in the parking lot of the TGI Fridays last week because of you. HE DID THE TWERKING YOU GUYS. (Kind of worth it to see adorable cousin J., whose utter dream in life is to be Ariel at Disneyland – SERIOUSLY SHE COULD NOT BE CUTER, SHE WOULD BE THE BEST ARIEL – just collapse in gasping giggles all over the back of her mom’s SUV, though.)

Cousin J. would be better than this. She is just the best thing.

Cousin J. would be better than this. She is just the best thing.

So, in summation:

  • I think the Miley Cyrus thing was stupid.
  • The Miley Cyrus thing made me embarrassed for her.
  • I think the Miley Cyrus thing was musically questionable.
  • However, I failed to be appropriately (per the internet) outraged by the Miley Cyrus thing.

    Kind of how I felt about the outrage. Sorry. (Also, I LOVE YOU JON STEWART!)

    Kind of how I felt about the outrage. Sorry. (Also, I LOVE YOU JON STEWART!)

We’ll continue with the other thing I failed to be outraged by tomorrow. Or the next day. Whenever I decide to blog again. I have these somewhat-busy evenings lately. That makes me sound like a lady of the evening, but it’s much less here’s-your-one-chance-Fancy-don’t-let-me-down than that, I promise. Just ended up with things to do after work lately, and that’s my blogging-time. In the meantime, you can try to guess what it might be. (Protip: if you guess Syria, you’re wrong. I don’t know anything about potential wartime scenarios. They make my head hurt when I try to figure them out, and when Dad tries to explain them, there’s a lot of shouting. It’s not Syria. Sincerely.)


This evil, evil man has ruined a generation of kids.

I try not to get sucked into the Facebook anger-wormhole as much as I possibly can.

You all know the Facebook anger-wormhole. One of your friends (or acquaintances, or whoever) posts a link to a post that they’re TOTALLY INCENSED about, and if you watch it, odds are good that your blood pressure’s going to go up. So you have to make a choice. Do you watch it? Or do you say DANGER WILL ROBINSON! and avoid it altogether and keep your blood pressure in a normal range, at least until you are tempted by the next link of anger-wormholeness?

Danger, Lucy's Football! DANGER!

Danger, Lucy’s Football! DANGER!

I try VERY HARD to avoid these things. If you’re a regular reader here, you know I’m pretty much all-or-nothing. I can’t just take something, ingest it, say, “oh! Yeah. Sucks” and move on. I feel things VERY DEEPLY. So if something’s going to upset me, it’s going to really, really upset me. That’s ok, I guess. There are worse ways to be. At least I’m self-aware enough to realize it about myself.

I got sucked into a Facebook anger-wormhole the other day. My own damn fault, really. I blame it on Fox News.

Here’s the video that got my blood pressure up.

This is a clip from Fox and Friends. My Dad really digs this show. I think it’s because he likes that the token lady-person wears a lot of cleavagey dresses and giggles a lot. (But when I brought that up, he scowled and said “SHE IS VERY SMART, AMY.” A lot of times, Dad equates smart with cleavagey, and MENSA-level with bikini-wearing.)

Mostly, I mistrust anyone with this level of a shit-eating grin, to be honest. Add to that the nonsense that Fox newspeople spout, and, well, there’s not a lot of love lost between Fox and Friends and good old Lucy’s Football. They’re no friends of mine, anyway.

This “news” clip, which (I looked) is not available as a transcript anywhere (hmm, wonder why they wouldn’t want their blathering transcripted?) is talking about a study done at Louisiana State University in 2007. For those of you playing along at home, 2007 was six years ago. This YouTube clip (and Fox and Friends story) is from 2008. So the place that posted this is about 5 years old in their outrage. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to RANT about it, just letting you know it’s not a RECENT thing. (Always do your research before you rant. You’re less likely to look like an ass.)

This study says that due to Mr. Rogers telling children who watched his show (which aired, again, for those of you playing along at home, from 1968-2001) that they were special and unique just the way they were led to them having a sense of entitlement, which directly leads to them grade-grubbing.

Professor Don Chance thinks that Mr. Rogers led to an upswing of narcissism in college students, which has been growing for 25 years, and calls these people part of “a culture of excessive doting.”

Since Fox and Friends doesn’t have transcripts, I helpfully transcripted some of the clip for you. Because I’m nothing if not helpful.

“This evil, evil man has ruined a generation of kids.”

“Mr. Rogers didn’t say if you want to be special, you’re going to have to work hard. He said, you’re special just for being you.”

“These kids are growing up and realizing ‘hey, wait a minute, Mr. Rogers lied to me, I’m not special.'”

“Instead of saying ‘you’re special, you’re great,’ why didn’t he say, ‘there’s a lot of room for improvement. Keep working on yourself. The world owes you nothing.'”

“Mr. Rogers had a message of ‘everyone was special, even if they didn’t deserve it.'”

“The signs of narcissism in this country have been growing for 25 years.”

“That man, unintentionally, did a whole generation or two a disservice.”

“Everyone’s gonna get a trophy. Everyone’s gonna wear a sweater. Everyone wins!”

“It would be better if we went to school and then went home and milked the cow, made the butter, went onto the loom, and made our own sweaters!”

Yes. This is how things should be. Definitely.

Yes. This is how things should be. Definitely.

“It would be better for my household chores if I could train my kids to do that!”

“Instead of going to Macy’s, make your own sweater! Almost done with the right sleeve? You stay indoors til you’re done.” 

“Mmmm. Butter.” <— ACTUAL QUOTE

“Mr. Rogers and the narcissistic society he gave birth to because he told every kid that they were important.”

“DO YOU BELIEVE HIS PHILOSOPHY DESTROYED A GENERATION?”

My favorite quote is obviously the “Mmm, BUTTER” one, because it’s just this random non-sequitur that makes the Fox Friend that says it sound soft in the head.

OK. Let’s have a talk about Mr. Rogers.

I am firmly in the Mr. Rogers demographic. As a kid, we got very few channels. We got a very snowy CBS and NBC, ABC when the weather was right, two Canadian channels as clear as a bell (one of the perks of living that close to the border) and PBS. That’s it. (We also had to change the channel manually, as well as change the antenna with a rotor-box-thingy on top of the TV that made a grindy noise and moved the antenna on top of the house, and walk uphill both ways in the snow to get to school.) My childhood shows were Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Sesame Street, Mr. Dressup (that one was a Canadian wonder about a man whose child was a puppet and dressed up with clothes stored in a “Tickle Trunk”) and The Electric Company. Children of the 70s didn’t have much in the way of variety, unlike today, where there are WHOLE NETWORKS available for children, as well as DVDs when they get bored of what’s on offer.

I grew up with Mr. Rogers. Mr. Rogers taught wee-Amy (and later, Amy’s brother) that we were ok, just the way we were. That the bathroom drain won’t suck you down (because it’s too small and you’re too big; my brother – who will VIOLENTLY DENY THIS NOW – used to be petrified of this.) He taught us to love our friends and about different jobs and acceptance and tolerance and animals and that it’s ok to be angry, sometimes, and it’s ok to make mistakes. He taught us the value of being calm. He was an island of calm, actually, in a world that was very often loud and scary and just a little skewed. He never raised his voice. He was patient, and quiet, and when he smiled, you thought everything was going to be alright.

He did not teach either of us we were special snowflakes. We are both fairly grounded individuals; the special-snowflake gene skipped us by, or we were kept from it by parents who taught us that while, yes, we were amazing, and could do or be whatever we wanted, we damn well better be ready to work our asses off for it. Nothing comes free in this world. Being special and unique and ok just the way you are and working hard to get what you want aren’t the same thing. Why does this professor think they are? You can be a whole human being, centered, grounded and complete, yet still striving to be better, learn, grow, improve. There’s always room for growth. There’s always room for mistakes, because you learn from those, and they’re just springboards from which to reach greater things.

Mr. Rogers didn’t make a generation (or two) of children grade-grub. What in his message told kids that they were ok just the way they are, and THEREFORE INFALLIBLE? Nothing. Nothing he said, is the answer to that question.

Listen, just because this Don Chance is a professor doesn’t mean his research is correct and he’s right. I have a degree in theater, but that doesn’t mean everything I say about theater is correct. I find his research methods biased and skewed. I think he’s a bitter little man who got angry at kids who kept coming to his office begging for better grades (and I would, too – I knew those kids, both in high school and college, and they’re the pits) so he decided to blame it on someone – and he blamed it on Mr. Rogers.

So today I did a little research about Mr. Rogers.

First, here’s John Green talking about Mr. Rogers. This one’s for the kids. You know, ’cause the kids, they like John Green. (I kind of also like John Green, even if his books are a little manipulative.)

I like the anecdote at the very end the best, though. I like to think of that subway car of jaded New Yorkers seeing their childhood idol and not being able to help themselves from breaking into a song that’s part of most American children’s collective childhood memories. I like to imagine the smile on his face when that happened. He was such a good man. Such a kind man. And he really, really loved people. He didn’t just act one way on the show and another in real life. He was Mr. Rogers on the show, and Mr. Rogers in real life. He was this man.

Oh, you don’t believe me?

Fine.

Want to bawl for a few minutes? Because my glasses have tear-salt all stained up on ’em from watching this one.

This is Mr. Rogers defending PBS to the US Senate in 1969. They were going to cut PBS’ funding. This is Mr. Rogers all fired up about something. I like how Mr. Rogers all-fired-up is a quieter, more intense Mr. Rogers. And I like watching the senator presiding over the thing, who starts kind of dictatorial and asshatty, fall under the spell of Mr. Rogers.

1969. Have you been playing along at home? His show was broadcast nationwide in 1968. He was BARELY Mr. Rogers in 1969. People hardly knew who he was. He didn’t let that stop him. He sat, quietly, humbly; stated his case, and he won. He WON.

Just by being himself. Because who he was was ok. He was special, just by being himself.

And if you can listen to that last sentence without a little thrill (or, like me, weeping copiously) I think your soul might be a little broken.

“I think it’s wonderful. Looks like you just earned the twenty million.”

So Fox and Friends, we’re all savvy enough to know that you’re only trying to stab one of the most beloved men in America’s history in the back because it’s something that will get you ratings, and something that will get people talking about you. Your show is not news. It’s infotainment. Light on both the info AND the tainment.

And Professor Chance, I’m sorry your students are entitled. There are kids like that. It’s a fact of life. (I went to college with a lot of rich spoiled kids. I’m not talking out of my ass, here.) You have to put your foot down, present them with the rules for extra-credit clearly at the beginning of the semester, and if they approach you about additional extra credit, shut them down. They’ll learn to respect that they can’t push you around. Kids talk; they know which professors are an easy sell and which ones aren’t. I promise.

And Mr. Rogers: thank you. Thank you for giving kids, for 33 years, an alternative to violence and loud noises and a constant stream of stupidity. Thank you for being our port in a storm. And thank you for telling us we’re ok, just the way we are. I still believe that. All these years later, I still believe I’m ok, just the way I am. And I learned that from you.

So, yes. I got sucked into the Facebook anger-wormhole. But as Mr. Rogers taught a young-Amy: it’s ok to have mad feelings. Then you talk about them, and you feel better.

Also, Fox and Friends, you are officially banned from the Land of Make-Believe. BANNED. Daniel Striped Tiger is really disappointed in you.

We're all really disappointed in you, "Fix and Friends." REALLY disappointed.

We’re all really disappointed in you, “Fox and Friends.” REALLY disappointed.


Murder…ON HIS MIND!

I had a whole big plan for this post. But, you know what they say. THE BEST LAID PLANS OF MICE AND MEN…um…often get attacked and eaten by Dumbcat? Something something. FINE, I will look it up. It is “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/Gang aft agley.” That is not really the best of English. It just means, don’t plan nothin’, sunshine, because your little old heart’s gonna get squashed like a spider climbing up the living room wall.

So a few weeks ago, I read that Lifetime (TELEVISION FOR WOMEN!!! I am a woman! It’s for ME!) was going to be doing a movie based on the Chris Porco story. I WAS VERY EXCITED. Why? Because it was Lifetime? No. Because Porco is kind of a funny last name? No. Because I’m nuts? Perhaps.

Because it happened HERE! IN MY TOWN! And also, as you know, I’m obsessed with murder. Also with rolling one’s “r”s so words sound more portentous. Murrrrrderrrrrr.

So back in 2004, when I’d not been here very long (but was totally already in love with my new town) there was totally an axe murder here. An AXE-MURDER! I know, that’s the most salacious. Someone broke into the house of a very nice man and his wife and axe-murdered the husband and also attempted to axe-murder the wife, but she survived. The husband did not survive. Also, you guys, AXE-MURDER. Shocking!

Even more shocking? Guess who was the number one suspect?

THEIR COLLEGE-AGE SON CHRIS PORCO!

All these details started coming out. Their son was pretending to be rich to all of his college friends, even though he wasn’t. He forged his dad’s name on a big loan and his dad found out and was threatening to call the cops. He was flunking out of college. He’d stolen and sold some of his parents’ electronics on Ebay. Whoever broke into the house that night not only knew the alarm code, but left a door-key in the lock. His Jeep was seen on camera leaving campus and returning to campus in the exact perfect timeframe for the murder. And he stood to inherit a lot of money when his parents died.

Oh, also, when the cops and EMTs showed up at his parents’ house that night, one of the cops asked her who did this. Was it a family member? She nodded yes. Was it Chris? She nodded yes again.

So the cops questioned him but he had answers for all of their questions. And he kept saying he would never axe-murder his parents. Who would axe-murder their parents? What kind of person would do that?

So they arrested him, and then there was a trial, and one of my most favorite local lawyers represented him (no, seriously, he’s awesomeness, and if I ever get arrested for murder, I’m so calling him, and when I told my mom that, she said, “Are you PLANNING murder? Don’t plan murder”) and it was ALL OVER THE PAPERS and it was MOST SALACIOUS.

This is Terry Kindlon. If you murder someone in Albany, you call Terry. He's awesomeness.

This is Terry Kindlon. If you murder someone in Albany, you call Terry. He’s awesomeness.

Oh, also, apparently all the ladies were in love with Chris Porco? I didn’t understand that, so much. He was a good enough looking kid, I guess, but he must have been super-charming, because I don’t know that I would want to be hanging out with an axe-murderer. SORRY! “Alleged” axe-murderer at that point, right? Did I just spoil everyone? Shit.

See? Just an ordinary kid. He must have magic powers or something, I don't know.

See? Just an ordinary kid. He must have magic powers or something, I don’t know.

They moved the trial to Goshen which is down by Woodstock because they didn’t think he could get a fair trial here. I like the town of Goshen because somewhere at some point in my life (I want to say from my grandmother?) someone used to say “Land o’ Goshen!” when they were surprised by something. Like, “Land o’ Goshen, why are you climbing on the bookcase?” Then when I found out it was a real town, I laughed and laughed and now whenever I drive past it or someone mentions it I call it LAND O’ GOSHEN!

Holy hell, Land o' Goshen is a THING! A Biblical THING!

Holy hell, Land o’ Goshen is a THING! A Biblical THING!

Well, long story…um…truncated, he was found guilty of murdering his father and attempting to murder his mother. Oh, and his poor mother. She was all chopped up and has a glass eye and totally was defending him up and down and said she never nodded when she was asked about it, and if she DID, it was because she was LYING IN A POOL OF BLOOD AND ALSO BRAIN MATTER. Decent point, Mrs. Porco. But also kind of sad. He got 50 years to life, is currently in prison up by my parents, and still says he did not axe-murder anyone. And someone once told me he gets all the fanmail. Which makes me sad for whoever’s sending that.

Now, I suppose he might be innocent. He might have been Shawshanked. I mean, it looked like Andy Dufresne killed his wife and her lover, too, but he was framed. So maybe Chris Porco was framed. Anything’s possible. But oh, my, if someone framed him, that was the best frame-job ever. Wait, is frame-job a euphemism like hand-job? It wasn’t meant to be. Unless you want it to be. Do you want it to be?

Shawshanked!!!

Shawshanked!!!

(I think an important disclaimer that should have been made a long time ago should be made right now. I don’t condone murder or think murder is cool. I’m just oddly fascinated by this kind of thing. I think in a former life I was a cop or a lawyer or a morgue attendant or more likely brutally axe-murdered.)

ANYWAY, so of course I was very excited when Lifetime decided to do the Chris Porco story. Oddly, they named it Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story, which was just confusing. What the hell did that have to do with axe-murder? But it’s Lifetime, I always set the bar low. This is the network that had the movie about the Craigslist killer and when they talked about Albany, where he went to college, they pronounced it Alll-banny, instead of Awl-bunny, and every time they did that, I screamed at the television, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, WE ARE THE STATE CAPITAL!”

See? Even old-timey newspapers know we're the STATE CAPITAL!

See? Even old-timey newspapers know we’re the STATE CAPITAL!

However, Chris Porco filed an injunction! And stopped the movie! And I was so so upset! Because I was all prepared to watch it and mock it and laugh and laugh! But then at the last minute the judge allowed it to air! Oh, the excitement!

Yeah. Well, here’s where the plans gang aft agley, friends.

THE MOVIE WAS THE MOST TERRIBLE THING.

I took notes but I kind of gave up at one point because it wasn’t even so bad it was good; it was just so, so bad. Embarrassingly so. I have no idea why Chris Porco stopped this. It had just about nothing to do with him. Nothing. Other than his name. And a tangential axe-murder. And at the end of the movie, they even SAID they’d made up a bunch of characters. They didn’t even stick to real characters! They made UP characters! Lifetime, you are the worst. The WORST! If you are television for women, what women, exactly, are you television FOR? Ones with terrible taste who like really bad things?

But I will share some of my notes with you. I mean, we’ve come this far, right?

OMG, already SO CREEPY with pictures of a SCARECROW and BLOWING LEAVES. It’s like a Halloween murder mystery!

DELMAR NEW YORK!!! OMG, this is EXCITING! I wonder how they’ll pronounce Delmar. Probably like Dalemore.

Dead people on the FLOOR! Blood on GLASSES! SALACIOUSNESS!

Heh, look at Porco going for a casual jog like he didn’t just axemurder his parents. Wait, why is this Porco blonde and all ripped? They couldn’t find a short dark-haired kid with glasses? This is misleading.

Not at ALL like Porco. What the hell?

Not at ALL like Porco. What the hell?

Will from Will and Grace! Oh, well, HE will lend some much-needed gravitas to this film, right?

He misses Jack. I think we all do.

He misses Jack. I think we all do.

Nope. Nevermind. Will seems to be in this film to grimace a lot, and also say things in a grumbly low cop-voice.

Ew, this is graphic for a Lifetime movie? Axe chops to the face? This is on like at 8pm on a Saturday night. Couldn’t kids be watching this? This is kind of upsetting my stomach.

Whew, they said Albany correctly. It’s like they did some research for this one. I approve, Lifetime.

Oh, so, see, Porco is a ROMEO. He can talk any woman into ANYTHING. I don’t remember that being mentioned in the paper or as part of the case or anything. Why is that the direction this movie decided to take? The story’s interesting enough without the weird “Porco is porking all the girls in the greater Delmar area” angle.

Will from Will and Grace is gonna solve this case, yo. You know what would help? Jack. Or Karen! Karen would totally help. She’d get all drunk and then Porco would try to seduce her and she’d get the secrets from him. CALL KAREN, WILL!

Oh, and now Will’s daughter is all in love with ROMEO. This is sad. Why’s everyone in love with this douche? I’m so confused with this movie. SO CONFUSED.

Heh. Every girl thinks they’re his girlfriend. Like, five different girls think they’re exclusive with an axemurderer. That’s the saddest.

Now he’s going to work with animals? Yeah, that’s how a lot of killers get their start. Good idea, lady who runs the vet clinic. Letting him have access to scalpels and animals and anesthetic and such.

This woman that loves him like a son that works in the vet clinic with him also seems to be happy in her pants about him. Is that on purpose, do you think? Or just a terrible acting job?

Oh, his girlfriend found out he was a LIAR! Your pants are on fire now, blonde Porco wannabe!

Heh. Now he’s saying his family are all mafioso and THAT’S who killed his family. Did that happen in the real case? I don’t remember that happening. That’s actually a very funny twist. “Yeah, I didn’t kill my family, but my other family members…the, um…mafioso? THEY DID THIS.”

Oh, now it’s all dirty-sexy and the cop’s daughter is all being seduced even though she KNOWS he’s the axemurderer, what is WRONG with people?!?!? Are they going to have sex in this swimming pool? Why is she in the high school swimming pool in the middle of the night? Aren’t places locked up? YAY SHE STOOD UP FOR HERSELF! Watch out. He might axemurder you. I kind of like this sexy song. What, he’s gonna sexually assault her in the pool? What is this shit? Why isn’t she more scared? Why is she laughing like this is a fun game of Marco Polo? (If you people watched television with me, this is kind of the things I say to myself as I’m watching something terrible. Or anything, really. I talk to myself a lot. I pretend I’m talking to the cats, but I really talk to myself, I’m not fooling anyone.)

This guy playing Porco’s lawyer is not at ALL as cool as the real guy. OH SIDE NOTE, the real guy was on television this week and was all, “Yeah, I watched the movie. The man playing me…um…quoted me a couple times? That’s about all I have to say about that.” Hee! I love him.

The real guy is much more awesome than this. This guy always just looked stunned.

The real guy is much more awesome than this. This guy always just looked stunned.

Good grief, this has nothing to do with the case. Chris Porco was not at all this sexified. He was like kind of a normal kid. Not gross, not super-hot. Just normal. This is so strange.

“Just tell me you were SOMEWHERE!” says his frat brother.  “He was somewhere. He was chopping up his parents,” says me.

MURDER ON HIS MIND!!! Oh, now this is why I watch Lifetime movies. Because they say things like “murder on his mind.”

Why the hell is the guy playing his lawyer Canadian? He keeps saying “aboot.” He’s not Canadian. This is so weird.

SO MUCH AXE CHOPPERY. This is turning my stomach and I’m usually very good about such things. GAH. OMG the dad WALKED AROUND WITH AXE CHOPS AND BRAIN DAMAGE GETTING READY FOR WORK BECAUSE HE DIDN’T REALIZE HE WAS DYING. This is the WORST. Can you imagine that your last actions on earth are getting ready for work? Emptying the damn dishwasher? When I go out, I want to go out doing something AWESOME. Rescuing someone from a burning building. Having all the sex. Eating a really good sandwich. Something other than EMPTYING THE DISHWASHER. (I don’t even HAVE a dishwasher!)

Then I gave up on taking notes, because the movie was terrible, and there was a TRUE CRIME thing after it that I watched and it was even MORE upsetting and also showed crime-scene photos and MORE axe-choppery and poor Mrs. Porco and Chris Porco in prison reiterating he would never, ever do this and also his older brother who was kind of a hottie in a severe angry ginger sort of way.

Also, my cable keeps freezing up, and I need to call Time Warner and ask them what the hell, because it’s always at the most exciting part, and it’s doing it again tonight during The Walking Dead and I almost missed something EXCITING.

So, as you can see, this totally COULD have been fun and exciting, but was NOT. However, because I am intrepid, I stretched this out into like a billion words. As I do. As I always do.

Hope you all had the best weekends ever, full of adventure and fun and…um…maybe chocolate? Sure. Chocolate. If that’s your thing. I’ve got two cats here that need some petting and are VERY underloved. Aw, I’m neglecty. See you all soon, jellybeans.


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