Category Archives: True Blood

How to watch “True Blood” without it doing bad things to you

Season Five of True Blood starts on June 10. I’ve watched all four seasons. I’ve also read all of the books, except the most recent one. I kind of gave up on them, to be honest. I got tired of them, and then sj read the most recent one and told me it wasn’t worth it – and when sj talks, I listen. So I’m not running out to get it.  

Now, listen. I loved Season One of True Blood. I thought it was one of the most innovative, intelligent, funny, sexy, dark and twisted shows on television. And talk about eye candy! Whoo!  

Then Season Two happened. And Season Three. And Four. 

I keep watching. I keep buying HBO and watching the damn thing. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. Season One to come back, I guess? I’m kind of stubborn like that. I’m still waiting for Saturday Night Live to get funny again, like twenty years later. I know, you’re all flummoxed by this development. WHAT? you’re thinking. Amy is an OPTIMIST? Not about most things, my little jellybeans. But about good television? Yeah. I kind of am. I always have this hope in the back of my mind that if something was good once, it can be good again. I’d be the rat in the scientific study that, once she stepped on the lever and got pellets, would CONTINUE stepping on the lever until her little paw was bloody, even though NO PELLETS EVER COME OUT AGAIN, because DAMMIT, ONE TIME PELLETS CAME OUT, and there is a CHANCE that PELLETS WILL COME OUT AGAIN. 

Gimme my damn pellets! I know there are pellets, just gimme…my….PELLETS!

So sj and I have been talking about the series. She’s just finishing up Season One. I felt like, when I was talking to her, I should pass along some of my knowledge of the show to her, so she can be forewarned while watching. Things I wish I’d known while I was watching. Things I think sj SHOULD know, because I like her more than pudding and I hate that she’s going into this blind like I did. What if she runs into an ottoman in that dark room all blind like that and bruises her shins? I’d hate that. Her poor banged-up shins. 

Look out for that ottoman, sj!

So, this is for sj. I promised her I would be as spoiler-free as possible, and I will. Some might slip in. I’ll try to keep them minor. What? What’s that shouting? Oh, ok, FINE, it’s also for all of YOU. You can all benefit. Whether you’ve watched it or are thinking of watching it or have no interest in watching it. I’ll try to put in something for EVERYONE. Oh, shit, Ken hates horror things. Um. I’ll make a reference to tea somewhere in here, Ken, but you won’t know where it is, so you’ll have to keep reading to find it. It’s like Where’s Waldo, only TEA. Oh, also, I’ll put in some pictures of pretty ladies for you. Because you like pretty ladies. See? Something for EVERYONE. Don’t you even DARE tell me I’m not all-inclusive. I LOVE ALL THE THINGS. 

Without further ado: 

HOW TO WATCH HBO’S TRUE BLOOD (ESPECIALLY IF YOU’VE READ THE BOOKS) WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND 

Ignore Bill and Sookie. I know. They’re the leads. But they’re horrible. And for a real-life married couple, they have zero chemistry onscreen. 

Sexy? No. No, not at all, actually. Opposite of that. Boner-shrinking, to tell the truth.

I learned this about three episodes in. Both Bill and Sookie are HEINOUS. Neither Stephen Moyer or poor Anna Paquin (what happened? She had such potential!) are very good actors to begin with, and their characters are SO EFFING ANNOYING. Then, throw them together as a couple, and it’s like watching two department-store mannequins try to figure out how to do the horizontal mambo. They never seem to know where to put their hands or legs or lips. It’s like watching people try to figure out IKEA instructions naked. It’s really awkward. And they’re MARRIED! In really real LIFE! Man, I hope their real-life sex life isn’t that weird. Or maybe that’s their thing, I don’t know. Bloodless mannequin sex. I mean, it takes all kinds, I don’t want to be judgey.

Kind of like this, only these dolls? A kajillion times sexier than Bill & Sookie.

Side note: You are allowed to pay attention when Bill or Sookie is interacting with other characters, but only for the other characters, because for the most part, the secondary characters are quite good. More on that later.  

Side note to the side note: The only time you’re allowed to pay FULL attention to Bill is when he and Jessica are having a father-daughter moment. Those are totally allowed and the only time Stephen Moyer pulls the stick out of his ass. It is most likely because Deborah Ann Woll is made of magic.

See? Totally made of magic.

Enjoy the hell out of the secondary characters.  

For as awful as Bill and Sookie are, the secondary characters are very good, and in some cases, fantastic. First, there’s Eric. I know, he’s more of a lead character than a secondary one, but I think Bill and Sookie are supposed to be the romantic leads. Pardon me while I vomit in my handbag. I love Eric. Please let me all-caps that. I LOVE ERIC. Poor Alexander Skarsgård. He’s not always given the best material to work with, but he really knocks what he’s given out of the park. 

*fans self* SO SMOLDERY.

Then there’s Jason. Listen, Jason is my sweetheart. Jason makes me laugh to tears and also he’s just so adorable you want to pinch his cheeks. He’s everyone’s adorably dumb little brother. He deserves a better sister than annoying self-involved Sookie.  

I know you probably wanted a shirt-off photo, because man is built WELL. But Jason’s like a cute little brother, I can’t think of him that way. It’s icky.

Andy, who gets better as the series progresses (although I’m not liking where the end of Season Four seemed to be taking him.) Lafayette, who I love when they’re allowing him to be his sassy self, but not so much when he has to be all action-star or weird shaman or whatever. Terry! Aw, Terry, with his PTSD, how much do I love Terry! Alcide, who really doesn’t have to say much, I just want him to walk around shirtless for at least ten minutes per episode, it should be like a show requirement. 

Oh, shit, also, BEARD. I forgot. You know my beard weakness, yeah? So I’m totally into Alcide. Also, hey, Alcide? You’re too good for Sookie, just saying. She’s dumb as a box of hair.

And the ladies! Pam, who is my FAVORITE vampire badass, and her adorable relationship with Eric, and her comebacks and her snark. And Jessica, who I totally have a crush on because she’s just luminous and also her character makes me cry. I have a weakness for characters that are trying REALLY HARD to do well, and sometimes fail, but just keep trying, you know? 

Seriously, I have a total crush on her, and I want to be BFFs with her. This can’t be normal.

So, yeah. If for no other reason, keep coming back for the secondary characters. They make the show worthwhile. 

Don’t expect the show to follow the books. Actually, take what you know about the books, expect the opposite, and then imagine the worst possible direction the show could go, and you’ll know what’s about to happen. 

I was a big fan of the books when I started watching the show, and was SO EXCITED because I love knowing what’s going to happen and was all, “This is where THIS happens!” “This is where THAT happens!” and none of it ever happened. Or the opposite happened. Or the worst possible twist on it happened. Alan Ball, who did such a great job with my beloved Six Feet Under, is kind of all over the map with True Blood. It’s like he reads the books, and thinks, “Hmm, no, this isn’t working for me. It’s got PLOT and it makes SENSE. How can I change this up? I’ll erase the plot…and make it INCOMPREHENSIBLE…oh, and throw in some boobies. And some witches.” Don’t expect much in the series to be taken from the books. You’ll be so disappointed. The only thing you’ll see from the books is that they’re both set in Louisiana and there are some of the same basic characters. Oh, and there are vampires. Bitey, bitey vampires. 

Enjoy the pretty accents. 

I’m a sucker for all things Louisiana. I especially love the accents. Take, for example, René. His “cher” makes me MELT. It makes me laugh that most of the people in the show either don’t have a southern accent, or, even FUNNIER, are from another COUNTRY and have a FOREIGN accent and are FAKING their southern accent (some with better results than others, SOOKIE.) I’m still a sucker for their southern accents, fake or no. I WILL go to Louisiana before I die and hear the accents in real life, I WILL DAMMIT. 

Enjoy the subtext that vampirism = homosexuality. 

I think this is an intelligent take on vampirism, the “vampiphobia” mirroring homophobia. I think they could go further with it, actually. It’s a nice take on “the other” and our fear of that. 

I squeed at the cleverness of this the first time I saw it in the credits. I’ll be honest.

Enjoy the theme song and credits and whatever song they play over the end credits. 

No matter how shitty the show is, the theme song makes me rock out. The credits are well-done, and the song they blast into at the end is usually extremely well-chosen and something I love. The music is stellar on the show. I highly approve of whoever’s in charge of that. Here, watch Jace Everett’s “Bad Things” from the credits. I love it.

Pretend that Season Two didn’t happen. Also, most of Season Four. 

sj, you’re not there yet. So I won’t spoil. Other than to say: maybe you should set your expectations low. No. Lower. Lower than that. LOWER THAN THAT SJ. How low? Um…sleazy-top low. Winner-0f-a-limbo-contest low. You-dirty-dawg-you-done-me-wrong low. Earthworms-have-to-look-up-to-see-it low. They’re not good. They’re really not good at all. There are some funny bits (JASON!) but otherwise, they’re really kind of embarrassing. 

Stare at Eric whenever possible. (Caveat: only after he cuts his hair.) 

I don’t enjoy men with long hair. I have history with this, it’s a whole big thing, I don’t want to go into it. FINE, there was this GUY, he was BAD NEWS, blah blah blah, all the long hair, moving on. (Dear loved ones who are reading this who have long hair: obviously I am not referring to you. I love your hair, and please leave it the way it is. I wouldn’t recognize you otherwise.) Anyway, when Alexander Skarsgård first came on, I was all, “oh?” then I was all, “oh.” Because, pretty! But, all that hair. But listen. There’s a haircut coming. A totally epic haircut. And then, my friend. You are allowed to drool over Eric ALL THE LIVELONG DAY. Because he is SO SO PRETTY. And he doesn’t have that hair that reminds me of my ill-begotten youth. Misbegotten youth? Whatever, it was begotten poorly. And sometimes he does this looking up from under his lashes pouty-face thing? I can’t even. JUST WATCH HIM ALREADY. 

I mean, yeah, sure, pretty face. But the HAIR has got to GO. Sorry. I have issues with long hair. It’s a thing.

Enjoy when the men take their shirts off. It’s nice. SO NICE. 

I swear the casting call for True Blood went thusly: 

“OK, go ahead and read the scene, please?”
“Hello, Sookie, I am a vam-pie-ear. I woood like to drink yore blood now.”
“Great, great. Take off your shirt, please?”
“What?”
“Your shirt. Take it off.”
“Um…ok?”

…um. Yeah. Just, um.

“I’m going to have the production assistant spray you with this. It’s water and glycerin. It’s supposed to look like sweat. Bear with me a minute, ok?”
“I…guess?”
“Flex for me?”
“OK…”
“Great. You’re hired.”
“Did you want to hear my Hamlet monologue, or…”
“Shit, no, please don’t worry about it. Acting is not why you’re here, Slappy Jones.”
 

This of course does not hold true for Alexander Skarsgård, who is PERFECT SHUT UP HE IS. 

I mean, seriously. SERIOUSLY. Perfection.

All the men are pretty. Well, except Bill. I can’t even look at him, so deep does my hatred run. Oh, well, I guess Andy’s not so pretty. But I like Andy. He’s got a good heart. I just think he should probably leave his shirt on. 

Enjoy Eric’s backstory. 

Every once and awhile we get to see Eric’s backstory where he’s all Vikinged out or whatever and it is VERY EXCITING YO. Also, that means more Eric in an episode. And as I’d be pleased if the show were renamed “The Eric, Pam, Jessica and Jason Hour” I’m completely down with more Eric all the Eric EVERY BIT OF ERIC! 

Eric + Viking = yes, please. More of that. Thanks.

Try not to get angry whenever Bill says “Suckehhhh!” 

Seriously, you’re not going to be able to unhear this now. Listen to Bill. He doesn’t say “Sookie.” He says “Suckehhhh!” EVERY DAMN TIME. It is STABBIFYING in the EARHOLE. And to make it worse, Sookie calls him “Beeeeeeel!” So you get a lot of “Suckehhh!” “Beeeeel!” back-and forth-nonsense. It is in these times I recommend going to your happy place. I suggest remembering how hot Eric is, so you can have those memories to fall back on when the “Suckehhh!” “Beeeeel!” gets too much. (Spoiler alert: even once is too much.) Also, heads-up, the “Suckehhh!” “Beeeeel!” is at its worst when they’re in bed together in the “throes” of “passion” (i.e. acting like a couple of blocks of wood who have never learned to respond to human touch) or one or the other of them is not in sight of the other so they use each other’s names like bats use echolocation. If I lived in their town I would stab myself in the ears like that kid in Equus did in the eyes so I didn’t have to listen to that all the live-long day. Or, night, I guess. Since he’s a vampire and all. This is making me all fired up. I think I should have a nice calming beverage to relax. I wonder what I should have? Oh, wait, I know. TEA. (Impressed, Ken? I just sliiiiid that right in there. Like I was stealing home.) 

Here, Ken. A whole tea PLANTATION. See, who says I don’t try to cater to people’s fancies?

Suspend your disbelief. And your anger. Your totally justified, righteous anger. 

Listen, sj. You’re one of my favorite humans. I don’t want you to trip over the ottoman of True Blood. I really don’t. So here’s the bottom line. It’s…well, not very good. Season One was good. Season Two sucked a whole entire gigantic BAG of dicks. Season Three tried really hard and almost didn’t blow. And Season Four was…well, also pretty bad. I don’t even have high hopes for Season Five, I really don’t. But there are pretty people with their clothes off. And Jason makes me laugh. And Jessica is the prettiest and I covet her perfect hair. And I want to lick Eric like a Norse lollipop. But, yeah. It’s…well, it’s not Buffy, you know? Or Veronica Mars. Or Arrested Development. Or a million other shows that were good. It’s not. Good, I mean. But if you just watch it as pretty escapism? It’s nice. It’s kind of silly and people are pretty and they sometimes get naked and when Beeel and Sukehhhh come on, I just tune out and think of Eric. Alllll the Eric. 

So hurry up and get to the haircut already. So we can DISCUSS. 

What do you think, oh-great-and-powerful-ones? Tell me I’m not the only one still watching it. I’m not, right? If I am, FINE. More Eric for ME. No, seriously, hands-off, he’s kind of mine, I called dibs, I think.


In my world, there are people in chains and we can ride them like ponies.

I’ve mentioned this before, if you’ve been paying the least bit of attention (and if you haven’t, HELLO, McFly, you really need to be better at remembering the smallest details of my life, I mean, seriously, there could be a test someday and won’t you feel underprepared?) but I kind of dig vampires. Like, a lot. A LOT, a lot.

No, no. Not sparkly emo vampires. Do I really need to all-cap it? Fine, I know you want me to. VAMPIRES DON’T SPARKLE. I like good, old-fashioned broody, snarky, kickass vampires. Like:

Spike!

And:

Jessica!

And:

Eric!

And:

Damon!

And:

Pam!

And:

Abby!

And:

Dru!

And:

Vampire Willow! I think she might be kinda gay.

So this weekend, I was chatting on Twitter (I know it really looks like that’s all I do all weekend and all week and pretty much all the time? And, well, that’s because it is. Sorry to burst your bubble. No, no, wait, that’s not true. Sometimes I also drive to and from work and also I go to the theater for committee-attending and once and a while I watch television. And also I sleep a little) and one of my secret-shame things came out.

I really, really, REALLY hate garlic.

Like, I detest garlic. Hate it. If I see it in a recipe, I’ll leave it out completely, even if subsequently, the finished product is as bland as a saltine. I don’t like the way it smells when it’s cooking; I don’t like the way it tastes in something; and it gives me a stomachache if it’s in something I’m eating.

(SIDE NOTE SIDE NOTE: There is one, one, ONE exception to this. Years and years ago, when I was living across the country, there was a pizza place that served the ***BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD***. No, they didn’t advertise it like that. I did that. I put the stars and the all-caps. Because it deserved it. It was called The Vampire Killer Pizza. And it was, very simply, a white pizza, with four cheeses and fresh garlic in a buttery, slightly oily sauce on the best, lightest, chewiest crust I’ve ever eaten. Your breath was bad for a week after you ate it; you sweated garlic for days. I don’t know why, since I hate garlic, I loved this more than anything in the world and I still, ten years later, get cravings for it. But it was, and remains, the ***BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD***.)

So after I admitted that I hate garlic (also, I hate onions – won’t eat them, hate the way they smell, taste, etc. – I’m not much of a fan of anything with a papery skin, apparently, I don’t know, although I do like shallots an awful lot?) this confused and upset Twitter to the point of I’m pretty sure they wanted to kick me off but they like me a lot so they didn’t. Thanks, Twitter.

But @heinakroon became convinced I was a vampire, so he made me take a test.

Last week, he wrote a fascinating piece on his blog (listen, they’re all fascinating, I’m going to beat you over the head with the intelligence of his blog until you all go over and follow him around until he has to start shooing you all off with a cricket bat, because he is one smart cookie, probably a delicious cookie, too, one with no raisins, DAMMIT RAISINS!) about immortality and how if women live until they’re 93 they’ll probably become lesbian vampires, which is exciting, because can you even imagine how much less televised sports there will be once the world is populated by all of us 93-year-old lesbian vampires? We are not going to stand for those shenanigans, let me tell you. We’re going to want quality television programming, not sports. I’m already really excited about this.

So because I don’t like garlic, poor @heinakroon was worried that maybe I was already a vampire. I asked him if there was a test I needed to take to see if I was a lesbian, too, and he said there was a very simple test I could take, but it might be embarrassing, and I realized that I took that test in college and failed miserably so I’m good on the lesbian front. I mean, at least for the next 56 years.

(BTW, I researched why vampires don’t like garlic and the interwebs seem to think it’s just because vampires have a heightened sense of smell and garlic reeks. I’m good with that. It does. Reek. It’s horrendous. I hate it so much. Except on the heavenly pizza of the gods that I have no explanation for, of course.)

So if someone sends me a test, I take it. I LOVE TESTS SO SO MUCH. Even stupid tests, like “What Pokemon Character Are You?” and I don’t even play Pokemon and wouldn’t know a single character if you threw one at me. I was very excited about this test. Apparently, you had to get at least half or also maybe 85% of the answers as positive to be a vampire. Well! I was pretty sure I could get at least a 50% or 85% (although your math seems a little wobbly there, sir, as those two numbers are a bit far apart, no?) I do very well on standardized testing. I ROCKED the SATs. AND the GREs. I brought the recommended number of sharp #2 pencils and EVERYTHING. I was PREPARED. It was AWESOME.

Anyway, so here is the test. The person who runs this website has this big old “don’t copy this without permission” disclaimer on his test, and what if he’s going to stake me or something? That’s worrisome. So I probably should paraphrase the questions and my results, right? I don’t want to get staked. So if you go to this guy’s website and you’re all “Amy’s questions aren’t the SAME WTTFFFFFFF” it’s because I rephrased them because I’m scared of this dude a little. I don’t know. What if he eats my face or something?

Now, first, you KNOW this site is legit, because it is BLACK with BLUE WRITING and is VERY SPOOKY. Also, at the top, there are links for things like “Approaching a real vampire” and “Telling your friends and family” and “A sobering moment from my past.” I would click on these things, but there’s a test to be taken. I’m a little curious about the sobering moment from this dude’s past, though. FINE I’M CLICKING. Um…it’s very confusing? I think the sobering moment was that he used to be dating a slayer and he’s a vampire and she didn’t kill him. So maybe Angel or Spike wrote this website, I’m not quite sure. Also, there’s a photo of a knife called “Hacky” on that page. And the handle of the knife looks like Rainbow Brite made it, or a stoner. Eh, it’s no Mr, Pointy, Vampire McGurk. (Oh, also, the vampire put his real name on the website. That seems like a bad idea. Won’t people either want to slay him or get bitten by him? He needs witness protection for vampires. Or at least an alias. I suggest Shemp. No one would presume someone named Shemp was a bloodsucker. I’m really good at this. FBI! You can totally call me up and have me make up names for your witness protection people, if you want! I am the most helpful!)

OK, let’s see if I’m a vampire. There are 38 questions. I have to get at least 19, or maybe 32, or more right to want to suck your blood. This is totally going to happen.

Are you unusually pale?

YES. I totally am! I can’t even go out in the sun, I burn like a mofo. Seriously, I have to buy that insanely high SPF baby sunscreen that’s like putting a brick wall around you when you go out in the summer if I even want to be out for like twenty minutes. That’s totally vampirific, right?

Points: 1 

Have you ever survived a deadly accident with only a few scratches and cuts?

No. But I’ve never been in a really deadly accident. So maybe I WOULD survive it with only a few scratches and cuts. I’m giving myself a half point for this one.

Points: .5

Do you naturally use magic or energy?

Um. I pretend to? I like to say “I AM SENDING YOU ALL THE MAGIC ENERGY.” But it very seldom works. I don’t think I’m very good at it. Or maybe I’m doing it wrong. Do you think I need an amulet of some sort? Most magical beings seem to have some sort of amulet.

Points: (sadly) 0

Were you the strongest, smartest, or quickest kid growing up, and when you were sixteen, were you all three?

Well! This is flattering. I WAS the smartest, actually. I know, I know, STOP BEING BRAGGY. No, I was. I was the smartest. That’s obviously why I was so popular, of course. And when I gave my valedictory speech, part of it was “five years from now, NONE OF YOU WILL EVEN BE FRIENDS ANYMORE.” That still makes me laugh. I was such a little shit.

I have never been strong or quick. I’m like a weak sloth.

Points: .33

Did your dad disappear from your life when you were a child?

He went hunting sometimes. But he always came back. What does this have to do with vampirism? This is more to do with absentee fatherism, I’d think. Or maybe whores.

Points: (thankfully, because I love my dad) 0

Do you hear “you look young for your age” or “I’d never have guessed you were that old” often?

HOLY HELL DO I EVER. One time, I told this guy how old I was? And he was all, “No you’re not.” And I said, “Why would I lie about how old I am?” And he said, “I don’t know, WHY WOULD YOU.” And I said, “I WOULDN’T, that is HOW OLD I AM.” And he said, “I thought you were probably 25.” Also, I constantly get carded at the liquor store, and I haven’t been 21 since the mid-90s.

Points: 1 (although I’m pretty sure I should get double points for this as I hear BOTH of the phrases in the question)

Do you have more energy at night than during the day?

YES SIRREE BOB. I am a bouncy ball of bounce at night. But during the day, I might as well be dead. That could be because I’m at work during the day, though. On my days off, I have the nighttime energy all day long. Hmm. This IS curious. HOW COULD THESE THINGS BE RELATED I WONDER.

Points: 1 

Do you heal more quickly than most?

Than most what? No. I take a year to heal. But that’s because I hurt myself a lot, and badly. I’m a big old clumsy oaf. Also, if I cut my legs more often when I shave, someone’s going to lock me up for a suicide attempt, I’m pretty sure. If that happens, please, minions, spring me from Four Winds. I promise I wasn’t trying to off myself. I just can’t see in the shower and I often cut an artery with my stupid slippery razor.

Points: 0

Do you have a high tolerance to alcohol and poison?

Let me knock back this hemlock my coworker considerately left for me this morning and I’ll let you know.

Points: 0

Do you switch between social and antisocial often?

Well, I guess. Depending on my mood. For example, this weekend? I went to a play? And I was the most social with the strangers in my row. I was like the life of the party with those people. They LOVED me. I was like their pre-show entertainment, seriously. I was like the person they get to warm up the crowd before the main event. I rocked the front row so hard. But mostly I like to not attend events, or sit in the corner glowering.

Points: 1

Do you rarely get sick, and if you do, do you recover quickly?

I DO rarely get sick. I don’t have the time for it, and also I’m a total germaphobe weirdo like Howard Hughes. But when I do get sick, it lasts for like a year and I’m a complete baby about it and I whine and cry and cough and mutter and I hate it so much I just want to be dead.

Points: .5

Are your six senses heightened?

One time, I was walking to my car, and the whole parking lot smelled like celery? But I think I was having a seizure or something, because there wasn’t any celery around.

Points: 0

Do you have excellent night vision?

Sure, if I’m wearing night-vision goggles, it’s great.

Points: 0

Do sudden loud noises or movements not scare you because you anticipated that they were coming?

I HATE BEING STARTLED. I’ll punch you in your NECK if you jump out at me, you “SURPRISE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” bastard.

Points: 0

Do you catch falling objects quickly?

HA HA HA HA. See above: “clumsiest woman in the world.” Falling objects have a way of landing on me in such a way that they cut, maim, and mangle me in the most peculiar and unlikely of ways. I dropped a candleholder on my foot a few weeks ago and managed to cut my toe so deeply I bled all over my carpet and kitchen floor and kind of it was SPURTING. Like in Hostel.

Points: 0

Do you get a high from human blood, and do you pick up abilities from the people whose blood you drink?

Well, NOW we’re getting to the nitty gritty, aren’t we, Shemp?

No. Although, I could totally use some new abilities. I’d like to be able to draw. Anyone want to let me bite them? Any artists?

Points: 0

Are you sensitive to light, or the heat from light? 

Well, I get heatstroke when I’m in the sun, because I’m so pale I’m transparent. So yeah. Pretty much.

Points: 1

When you cut yourself, do you bleed little, or not at all? 

I’m the bloodiest person ALIVE. I’m like a non-clotter, dude. I bleed for like a YEAR.

Points: 0

Are your nails clear, glassy, and very strong?

Hee! No. That’d be funny, though. My nails are stained from constant use of nailpolish, and are currently sparkly green. You know, for Christmas.

Points: 0

Is your bedroom cold and dark?

HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS SHEMP. Yes, it is. Because the heater in there works for shit, and also it’s in the back of the building so it gets no sun. Am I totally a vampire now?

Points: 1

Then the website told me to listen to a sound and if I could hear it, I was a vampire. I couldn’t even get the link to load, and it froze my whole computer. THAT IS VERY SUSPECT. But I’m not going to give myself a point, because I don’t like cheaters.

Points: 0

Can you digest more iron than the normal person?

HOW THE HELL WOULD I EVEN KNOW THIS.

Points: 0

When a person bumps into you do you get angry because you would never bump into someone because you always know how much room there is between you and others?

YES YES. I totally hate when people touch me. Last night? On the news? I watched this clip of a man who was groping people at the Walmart? And he groped this woman in the shampoo aisle? Only he did it really tentatively, and she didn’t even notice and then went onto the body wash aisle? And then he followed her and then totally grabbed her ass and she jumped like ten feet in the air and ran away and then he walked off like he owned the Walmart and he was wearing sweatpants.

I would not have liked that at all.

Points: 1

Do you feel an urge to travel?

Yes. I want to go to like 14 places at the moment. But I have zero dollars. If I pass this test, will I get some vampire money or something? My fingers are totally crossed.

Points: 1

When something smells strong, can you literally taste it?

YES. That’s why I hate garlic. And onions. And Fritos. Seriously, if someone is eating Fritos near me, I have to leave the room. They make me gag.

Points: 1

Can you hear whispers from across a room?

Is the room quiet? Is it a stage whisper or a regular whisper? Am I paying attention or distracted by something else? NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION SHEMP.

Points: .5

Is there a dark colored ring around the iris of your eye?

Yep. That’s pretty mysterious, right?

Points: 1

Is there a noticeably different color surrounding the pupil?

Again, YES. Shemp! You’re SCARING me! (Also, I have the prettiest eyes ever. Just letting you all know. They are ALL the colors.)

Points: 1

If someone said “come outside, it’s a nice sunny day, everyone’s there” to you, would you be happy or not?

I’d be all, “what the hell, I hate the sun and people.”

Points: 1 (I’m going to assume this is what a vampire would say, anyway, it’s pretty vague)

Are most of your friends considered weird?

HA HA HA HA YES AND I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. Also, judgey much, Shemp? Why don’t you go play with your psychedelic hippie knife named Hacky.

Points: 1

Do you consider yourself a predator?

Of WHAT? This is perplexing. Things I hunt down: information on the internet; deals at the grocery store.

Points: 0

Do sunlight and bright light give you a headache?

You’re totally repeating yourself, Shemp. Sort of. I’m migraine-prone.

Points: .5

Do electrical appliances malfunction around you?

Not especially, no. Did you ever see the Twilight Zone where the guy’s electrical appliances were trying to kill him? Ha.

Points: 0

Are your dreams vivid and prophetic?

My dreams are idiotic and ridiculous. Last night I dreamed the guy I was in love with in high school let me borrow his hunting jacket to wear as a bathing suit coverup and I found Pez in the pocket and I went around telling everyone, “Look, this is how I know he loves me, because PEZ!”

Although, I wouldn’t mind if that was prophetic. He WAS dreamy. And, Pez.

Points: 0

Do people think you are empathetic?

I don’t know about empathetic. I’m practical. I give good advice. I worry about the people I care about too much. I don’t care about very many people, which is probably good, because I worry about them SO MUCH that if I had more people I care about, I think my head would explode. So I don’t know. Maybe?

Points: .5

Do people trust you completely or not at all?

This is the best question ever. I get a point, because I think EVERYONE gets a point for this one. “Do you like cheese, or not like cheese? THEN YOU GET A POINT.” “Do you sometimes wear shoes, or not wear shoes? POINT FOR YOU.”

Points: 1

Can you make things happen with the force of your will?

ZOMG I WISH I COULD. How awesome would THAT be? I have a LIST of things I would like to will into being. Vampires can do this? I’m going to track down Shemp because I want this power, like, NOW, please.

Points: 0

Does your mood affect people and animals around you?

Yes, because I have a HUGE PERSONALITY. I know, you’re shocked. Try not to be, my little rutabagas.

Points: 1

THIS SHIT IS FINALLY OVER THIS IS THE LONGEST BLOG ENTRY EVER.

Tally! Tally! Time to tally! I’m so Jeff Probst right now yo!

The total is: drumroll…..drumroll…..

16.83

So I needed at LEAST a 19 or maybe a 32.

THIS IS VERY DISAPPOINTING SHEMP.

Alright, @heinakroon. I am not a vampire. Or a lesbian. Or a lesbian vampire. Or 93 years old.

I just really, really, REALLY hate garlic.

Dammit. I was so hoping to make things bend to my will while waving around my glass-like strong fingernails and also being snarky like Spike. This is really the saddest, you guys.

Oh, well. Maybe I’m a werewolf! Or a FAIRY! I’m going to look for tests RIGHT NOW. Back on that pony! I know I’m a mythical creature of some sort. I JUST HAVE TO BELIEVE.


I refuse to labor today. Therefore I didn’t work on this post much. IT IS MY RIGHT AS AN AMERICAN.

It’s Labor Day! Our nation’s most ironically-titled holiday. Hooray!


As it’s Labor Day, I really should celebrate by not-laboring. So someone else really should come over here and do my laundry, dishes, housecleaning, and write today’s blog entry, so I’d be free to finish the book I’ve been reading for two weeks, watch a little television, and make my lunch appointment without rushing around like a maniac. WHY AREN’T YOU ALL JUMPING IN TO VOLUNTEER. This is a fantastic opportunity.

Fine. 

Let’s talk about things that are upsetting. How is this different from what I do on any other day? IT ISN’T.

First: True Blood.

(spoilers, so if you’re not up on, and caught up to, last night’s episode, skip ahead. Or just read, because you know what? IT ISN’T WORTH YOUR TIME.)

True Blood was one of my favorite things when it first came out. I’d read the series; other than the silliness quotient (rather high at times), it was entertaining and enjoyable. Season One was one of the best shows on television. Alan Ball, I was convinced, could do no wrong. Yes, Sookie was a complete numbskull and Bill annoyed the piss out of me, but the cast of supporting characters was amazing enough that you could ignore the two of them and just daydream about Pam and Eric when they were on doing their “Sookeh! Beeel!” bullshit and all was well.

Season Two was a crapfest, and no one understood really what was going on there. Orgies! All the time! So many orgies! Bloody orgies with old people whose bodies were not enjoyable to look upon! Supporting cast was still fun, but the orgy thing (which I’m pretty sure was Alan Ball thinking, “People? They like the nudity! Let’s have lots! Plot? Eh. Whatever”) was exhausting. 

Season Three was better – not back to the glory that was Season One, but better.

And now we’re in Season Four, and it is not only a crapfest, it is an ENTIRE CRAP ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT-BUFFET. Witches – which aren’t a bad idea – have taken over the plot. And they are ridiculously stupid and the plot is poorly written with holes you could pilot the Titanic through and none of the previously saving-grace supporting characters are even acting like they’re supposed to and are being given enough screen time because IT’S ALL ABOUT THE EFFING WITCHES. Someone asked me if they should watch an episode they had DVR’d and I told them the best thing I had to say about the episode was that Jessica’s hair was shiny and sometimes Jason was funny, a little. And that was being kind, because Jessica’s hair wasn’t that shiny and Jason wasn’t that funny. Alan Ball checked OUT for this season. It is AWFUL. An example: last night, the witches were attempting to kill all the vampires (as they have in almost every episode this season.) Sookie didn’t want this to happen so she decided to use her magical fairy hands to stop them and flashed the witches with fairy light. OK, fine. But the head witch got angry and put Sookie in a ring of flames that kept moving in closer to her as punishment, attempting to kill her. Sookie – whose magical hands can restore memory, erase curses, knock people off their feet, etc. – just stood there, whining for help, crying out for “Beeel! Eric!” over and over, and not doing anything to help herself. OK, so you’re able to save all the vampires one second, but unable to save yourself immediately after? Why is that, exactly? Pam asked Eric and Bill why they were going to risk the entire vampire race for “a gash in a sundress” last night and I completely agree (and I heart Pam because apparently she is the only voice of reason in the entire town.) Seriously? Sookie has NO PERSONALITY. She just sits there looking pretty, puts out, and once and a while yells at people and has fairy hands. Wow. Totally one-in-a-million! Unfortunately, the fire did not kill her, so we’re still dealing with her nonsense and whining and inability to choose between lovers and whatnot.

Also, they FINALLY killed off the head witch, who has been the most annoying character alive for the entire season, and then BROUGHT HER BACK TEN MINUTES LATER. Alan Ball! I kind of want to punch you in the throat right now.

Next: J.C. Penney.

Last week, J.C. Penney – totally on the pulse of fashion! – came out with this shirt for children and teens:
The tagline on the website read: “Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out? She’ll love this tee that just as cute and sassy as she is.”

After Twitter went utterly and completely bugshit over it, J.C. Penney discontinued the shirt, but the point is – IT MADE IT ONTO THE WEBSITE. This was marketed to young girls.

If it didn’t result in so many people being furious at the store, I’d assume J.C. Penney (who, let’s face it, really isn’t super-hip or buzzed about at the moment) had done this in a trolly, “it will get people talking and any publicity is good publicity” way. And maybe they did? They seem like they’re run by old people. And maybe old people think “Oh, the Tweeter! We have to get people Twitting about us on the Tweeter. This will do it!” I don’t know. It doesn’t seem like this could be for real, does it? I mean, this looks like a joke t-shirt. Like something you’d see on a super-ironic hipster, or a homeless person who found it in a dumpster.

We had Teen Talk Barbie in the 90’s with her “Math class is tough!” and we have Maggie Goes on a Diet coming out in October which is rumored to encourage our teenage girls right into eating disorders and, in real life, we had my freshman year science teacher, when I had trouble understanding a concept and had asked for further help with it, telling me not to bother – “Girls don’t have a brain that’s wired to understand science” and my Physics teacher, a few years later, telling me a variant on the same thing: “Physics is for boys; it’s ok that you didn’t do as well on the test, because you’re a girl, and physics is too hard for girls.”

Stand still, young girls. Look pretty, young girls. Be quiet, young girls. Smile big, young girls. Don’t fight, young girls. Don’t try, young girls. Don’t worry, young girls. Be perfect, young girls. Be nothing, young girls. Be empty, young girls. Don’t bother, young girls.

Young women of the world: society is going to continue to put you down. It is up to you to fight that. Guess what? You are just as capable as a young man of doing well in school. You are just as capable as a young man of doing well in stereotypically MALE courses – math, science, computer science, effing WOOD SHOP, if that still even exists? – as a young man. Until we no longer accept things like this, they will keep happening.

Also, Justin Bieber? Really? Sigh.

Now, to balance out the negative: two things that are shiny-awesome:

First: hope for a new generation.

Banned Book week is fast approaching, and we’ll discuss that more when it gets here, but I found this the other day and it just made my heart soar.

There are kids who are making a difference out there. There are kids like this one who are running an illegal banned-book library out of an empty school locker. (And, even better? She didn’t include Twilight in her secret library. You know, because it isn’t literature. I love this kid.) She’s probably going to get caught, but you know what? She did it. She believed in something and she did something about it. This kind of kid is the reason I don’t completely despair about the state of society. Her parents are raising her right, too. I don’t want kids? But I’d want this one.

Second: Red State.

As mentioned in the past, I’m a huge Kevin Smith fan. His new movie, Red State, is out on VOD this week, so last night, when I couldn’t sleep, I rented it and watched it.


It’s not a typical Kevin Smith movie, first off. There are Kevin Smith touches – dialogue is dense, well-written and crisp; monologues are typical Smith (which some people might hate, and he can be a bit heavy-handed, but I love them); camera work is beautiful (which may not as much be Smith as the cinematographer? I have a theater background where it’s all the director, so I’m not sure.) 

It’s not a comedy, though. I’ll try not to be too spoilery, but if you want to remain completely spoiler-free, probably go to your barbecue now?

At heart, it’s a thriller. Three boys are lured into a cult-like fanatic religion and the ATF shows up on rumors of automatic weaponry being amassed. It’s upsetting. Really, really upsetting. Bloody and gory-upsetting, yes, but crazy fanatacism upsetting, which I find scarier any day than clowns or zombies or creepy children jumping out from behind things with knives.

The cult leader is based on that nutbar Phelps from the Westboro Baptist Church (but ISN’T him, as Phelps is actually mentioned by one of the law-enforcement officers.) And if you think Phelps hates homosexuality…wait until you meet this guy. You might think it’s over-the-top – but it’s not, not really. There are people like this. And that’s horrifying. It frightened me to the point of tears.

The violence is realistic and very bloody. If you have an issue with that, don’t watch it. There’s a little humor, but not much. Lots of stars – Kevin Alejandro from True Blood, John Goodman, Melissa Leo, Kevin Pollack, apparently Marc Blucas but I never saw him or recognized him, Kyle Gallner from Veronica Mars, Stephen Root, Betty Aberlin from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Jennifer Schwalbach. 

It wasn’t what I was expecting at all – but it was very powerful. And very upsetting. I recommend it. But don’t go into it expecting it to be like anything you’ve seen from Kevin Smith before.

Happy Labor Day, all! Enjoy the day off. Barbecues! Alcoholic beverages! End of summer! Last day for white pants! (I can’t imagine even owning white pants. That would be such a mistake. Can you IMAGINE the things I would spill on them? Disaster! Waiting to happen!)

A Land of Both Shadow and Substance, of Things and Ideas

The fourth season of True Blood starts tonight. I’ve been looking forward to this for almost a year, ever since season three ended. I’m a big fan of this show. Well, let’s get this out up front: I’m a fantasy/horror whore. (Whoo, say that three times fast.) Sci-fi and I are on friendly enough terms, but fantasy and horror and I have been going steady since we were introduced in junior high.
I have my last babysitter to thank for this. At the end of sixth grade, my mother went back to work, and decided that I was one year away from being old enough to be a latchkey kid, especially one with her younger brother as a ward. (To be fair, we didn’t get along, and it was a very serious concern that she would come home and find one or the other of us murdered in a creative way.) She found a local girl willing to watch us for the summer. It must have been a decent enough gig: I was twelve and didn’t want to do anything but read, and my brother was eight and I believe spent the entire summer riding up and down our street on his bike. She was a big reader, too. One day, I picked up one of her books.  No cover – she got them from garage sales, usually. I was looking for something new to start. “Can I read this?” I asked. She thought about it, and then acquiesced. “Yes, but if there’s anything in there you don’t think your mother would approve of you reading about – well, don’t tell her about it, ok?” she said.
It was Stephen King’s The Stand. I have had small affairs ever since, but horror and I are very, very serious about each other. Fantasy joined us a few years later. We’re very happy with one another. That summer, and for the next year or so, I burned through Stephen King books like a desert castaway coming upon an oasis. I still love Mr. King. I know he has his detractors, but I’ll read anything and everything he puts out, for the rest of his career. I’m not so blindly devoted I can’t see which of his books I like more than others (It and The Stand are my all-time favorites; not as big of a fan of Duma Key or Lisey’s Story; The Dark Tower series is in a class of its own for sheer depth and breadth and brilliance) but reading his work is always like coming home to an old friend. You know their voice and you love them, even if they’ve changed since last you met.
If there’s a horror or fantasy series on television, I will watch it. I’ll at least give it a chance. Sometimes I’ll give up – they’re not always good (coughKingdomHospitalcough) – but they’re usually something I’m interested enough in to watch.
I thought today, in honor of it being True Blood day, I’d list my top 10 favorite horror/fantasy/sci-fi series of all time.
There may be spoilers here. Probably not too recent; to be honest, I am approximately 7 months behind on almost all of the programs I watch right now, so you will probably be safe. But if you want to be sure you remain completely spoiler-free, you should stop reading now. Also – yes, I know A Game of Thrones is not on here, and a lot of you are going to be saying, it is the best thing ever, how can it have been left off? I haven’t seen it yet. I’m finishing the book first. There are a lot of things I had to leave off because I liked these ten best, as well.
#10         Fringe   This show didn’t wow me immediately. To be honest, I started watching it for Joshua Jackson. Yes, I have a Pacey thing. Be honest with yourself – you don’t know a lot of women who don’t. (And in real life, he’s educated, well-spoken, and seems kind. Bonus!) But once I got into it, I stayed. John Noble is a big part of that. His performance as Walter Bishop, and as his own doppelganger – has been nothing short of brilliant over the years. Give the man a Golden Globe, already. (Also, did I mention Pacey is in it? Because he is.)
#9           Supernatural     Hot boys with daddy issues fight supernatural creatures. I know. It sounds teeny-bopper stupid. It’s actually very intelligent; it’s got heart; it’s well-written; and ok, fine, Jensen Ackles is one of the most attractive men to ever grace a television screen, but that’s beside the point, really. The show is wonderful.
#8           Lost        This would have scored higher if I wasn’t one of the people who hated the ending. I know, I know, it was deep, and maybe I was too stupid to get it. Thing is, they promised everything would tie together at the end – and it didn’t. There’s nothing I hate more than making a promise, then not carrying through. That being said, when this show was good, it was brilliant. It had some of the best cliffhangers and season premieres in television history. And it turned everyone into armchair geeks the next morning, discussing theories, which I loved.
#7           The Walking Dead          This has only been on for one very short season, and it’s already an instant favorite. This show pulls no punches. It shows everything, no matter how gory. But it’s not just about gore. The writing and acting are top-notch; the cinematography is beautiful and desolate; and the stakes are so high you both imagine what you’d do in the same situation and thank your lucky stars you aren’t in that situation (yet! Mu-ha-ha.)
#6           Firefly   Heads up, I’m a huge Joss junkie. (Angel and Dollhouse almost made the cut, but not quite.) I didn’t watch this show when it aired – didn’t think I’d like it, because at the time, I didn’t think I liked sci-fi or westerns enough to like it. I should have trusted Joss. It’s a space western. You love each and every member of the crew. And it being cancelled after one season is one of the biggest travesties on television today. I can’t single out any one crew member as being my favorite, because I love them all, like the dysfunctional family you make for yourself out of friends, you know? And it has one of the best theme songs of all time.
#5           True Blood          I like the books; I’m obsessed with the series. Alan Ball gave it legs and let it develop on its own, and it’s wonderful. He listened to the fans and kept characters around that were murdered in the books because they were beloved. He made (thank you, Mr. Ball!) Eric more three-dimensional and a lot more interesting. (And gave him a haircut. And women around the world squeed.) And tying in vampires coming out with homosexuality in America was a brilliant touch. I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
#4           Quantum Leap  I was young when this aired, but it remains one of the first shows I became truly invested in. I wanted Sam to find his way home. I cheered for him. I wept for him. And that last episode, and that final line of text, right before the credits – did anyone see this? Is it still spoiling, if the show went off the air like twenty years ago? “Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home.” Oh my word. Shows today wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole. So ahead of its time. Brilliant.
#3           The Twilight Zone            I think it’s a testament to this show that I am glued to the television when the marathons of this air every fourth of July and New Year’s. I even re-watch the episodes I’ve already seen. But the one I always re-watch, no matter what I’m doing, the one I plan my holiday around, is “Time Enough at Last” with Burgess Meredith. Best moment in Twilight Zone history, hands down, the last minute of that episode. It makes me cry just thinking about it, because I am a bookworm, and I wear glasses, and I know if I were the last person on Earth, reading would be all I would want to do. The first time I watched that I was wrecked. I walked around like the survivor of a natural disaster. I’d break into tears at the drop of a hat. That is lasting television and brilliance and just storytelling and imagination at its finest.
#2           The X-Files          Pretend this show ended before the shenanigans at the end occurred, with new agents, and Mulder and Scully having a kid, and Mulder missing, and less Scully. Wipe the slate clean of that. Now imagine “Home,” or “Humbug” (Mulder standing on the steps of the trailer, in profile, reviled by the circus geek as one of the “norms”) or “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space.” This show was brilliant, back when it was brilliant. Mulder and Scully’s chemistry was equaled by none; the stories were crisp and heart-rending and heart-racing; and sometimes people you loved died. It was true, and it was a show about finding what was true, and when it was good, it was better than good. It was goddamn regal.
#1           Buffy the Vampire Slayer             No show will ever live up to my gold-standard, my Buffy. I knew the characters. I lived their lives with them. I celebrated and cried with them. I hurt with them. I fell in love and fell out of love and was hurt with them. “The Body” remains, and will always remain, one of the most affecting hours of television ever aired. “Hush” managed brilliance without more than a couple of words for an entire hour. “Once More, with Feeling” was a freaking musical episode, back before everyone was doing those. I’ve seen the episodes so many times I can usually watch a few minutes of one and tell you its name and season its from. I see Buffy alumnae in other shows (even Buffy writers in other shows) and I melt a little. So, to you, Buffy, I give you the title: Best. Show. Ever.
I know, I know. I left off Star Trek. (Never watched it.) Same with Dr. Who. (Sorry. I’m a heathen.) But this is my top ten. And what’s great is, I could revisit this a year from now and it might be completely different.
Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? I’m curious, what would you have put on/left off?
Enjoy True Blood tonight – I’ll be the one quietly ogling Eric from my couch.

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