Tag Archives: television

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?



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.


  • 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.



  • “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.


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?



  • 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.”


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?


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.

When it’s summer in the city, and you are so long gone from the city, I start to miss you, baby, sometimes

I am settled in to watch Game of Thrones and am REALLY hoping something shocking and bloody happens tonight which I will not spoil in case you either aren’t caught up or haven’t read the books. But I totally would like to see some craziness happen, here, HBO.

ANYWAY, the weekend is over, and I hope you all had happy weekends of happiness. I worked (and worked and WORKED) on Saturday and it was just as crazy as predicted. Most of the very upset people had broken air conditioners. Broken air conditioners in 90 degree weather = yelling at the answering service. Also, a lot of the local apartment complexes just do not care if your air conditioner is broken on the weekend. This might be something you should look into when you’re thinking of moving into an apartment. Just ask, “Soooo, what’s your policy if my air conditioner breaks on a Saturday afternoon, by the way?” and if they say, “You’re shit outta luck, sonny Jim,” well, maybe look for a new place. Rather than calling me on a Saturday afternoon and threatening me by saying “If you don’t get my air conditioner working, I WILL FIND YOU. And also call every ten minutes until you do.” Oh, ok, then, buckaroo, let me pull my air conditioner repair diploma out of cold storage (ha! cold storage! get it?) and I’ll be RIGHT OVER.

Thumbs-up, yo!

Thumbs-up, yo!

Then Sunday I went to a play which was very good but I was ridiculous and forgot my umbrella and HOLY DOWNPOUR. I got to my car really, really soggy. My own damn fault. I knew it was going to rain. I put the umbrella where I wouldn’t forget it. And then I promptly forgot it. Sometimes I totally win at life. She says sarcastically.

ANYWAY, it is now summer. Yes, yes. I know it’s not officially summer until the solstice. But I consider June 1 to be the first day of summer for me. June, July and August are summer months, dammit, and I don’t need the solstice to tell me it’s summer. The heat and humidity are here, the sun’s coming up at an ungodly early hour, and Dumbcat’s lolling around in sunbeams as cats are wont to do. My air conditioner’s been going on overtime for days. Yep, it’s summer, solstice be damned. (Not really. I love the solstice. It’s magic-time.)

Well, THIS is sciency, right?

Well, THIS is sciency, right?

I don’t love summer. I don’t do well with heat, I don’t love sun, I get crabbity at how long the days are. I know. Most people look forward to summer and it’s just their favorite thing. Not me. There’s something wrong with me, right? Don’t care. I look forward to autumn with the cool nights and the leaves falling crisp off the trees.

However, even though summer and I do not get along, not even a little bit, I have many grand plans for the next few months. If there’s anything I’m good at doing, it’s making plans.


Vacation! End of July! Nine whole days off! Going up north to the mountains and one of my favorite places in all the world! Where it will be quiet and smell like pine trees and I will read many books and make many campfires and eat many things cooked on the grill. Mom and I are going to a play; Dad and I will have some sort of adventure; hopefully my brother and I will get to hang a little and I’ll get to see his dog, who I love and haven’t seen in a while. (Yes, I think about seeing animals while I’m on vacation.) I will also get to see Helper Mule, and in news of awesome, Mom has asked me to bring Dumbcat with me because there are mice at camp and she thinks he will eat some and also scare the rest away. I get to go on vacation with my best buddy, aw! That’s nice because I hate leaving him behind. He’s so sad when I get home. He thinks I’ve abandoned him. This will be nice for him. He gets a little vacation, too! And also to hunt mice! It’s going to be like Cat Disneyland for him up there!

Look out, mousey, Dumbcat's comin' to town!

Look out, mousey, Dumbcat’s comin’ to town!

Montreal! On the Sunday I arrive upstate, I will be making the trek to Montreal! Much fun will be had. Many adventures. One of which will be actually DRIVING in Montreal. But I will persevere. I am very brave. Plus I will get to meet Le Clown and Sara, so that’s really worth scary city-driving, right? Right.

Look how pretty, aw!

Look how pretty, aw!

Reading! I have many reading plans for the summer. First, I have two MEGA HUGE BOOKS I am reading. Infinite Jest, for the Summer of Jest readalong with some of my favorite internettians (yes, I know, I should have read it by now, but I was afraid it was too smart for me, and I hate books that make me feel stupid) and A Dance with Dragons, because I’m about to get spoiled by the TV show and I would hate that. I will also be reading OTHER books in-between THOSE books, because this summer there are TWO new Stephen King books coming out (Joyland and The Dark Man) and a new Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane) along with all the other things I need to be reading and such. I know. It’s utterly impossible to cram enough words into my eyeholes to please me.

Television! I will be finishing the new season of Arrested Development, catching up on the 4 months I’m behind on current television shows, and, if time permits, starting Doctor Who because sj says it is something I need to do. That’s a lot of television. I’m aware. Also, True Blood starts in a couple of weeks, and Under the Dome starts at the end of June. So many good things!

I'd be lying if I said I had high hopes for "Under the Dome," but I'll still watch it. Of course I will.

I’d be lying if I said I had high hopes for “Under the Dome,” but I’ll still watch it. Of course I will.

Plays! I get to see a LOT of theater this summer. And get PAID for it! I have three reviews this month, and they’re all at fancy theaters. And there will be more in July and August! So exciting! Even better, the three reviews this month are in Massachusetts, and I have never even BEEN in Massachusetts! I’m totally going on an ADVENTURE!

Shower/Wedding! Friends A. and K. are getting married this summer! I have friend K.’s wedding shower this weekend and then the wedding is in August and am I going to cry? Well! Yes I am! Because I am so happy for them!

Readings! Many good authors are coming to town this summer! First, and most excitingly, Neil Gaiman at the end of the month! Then in July, Robert Pinsky (who used to be the Poet Laureate), Joyce Carol Oates (whee! SO EXCITING!), Russell Banks (who wrote The Rule of the Bone and The Sweet Hereafter) and Rick Moody (he wrote The Ice Storm, which I LOVE.)

Pretty sure Gaiman's counting the days til I get to meet him, right? Right.

Pretty sure Gaiman’s counting the days til I get to meet him, right? Right.

So, there! Even though I will be hot, and uncomfortable, and crabby, I will be doing a lot of amazing things over the next few months. This is how you take LEMONS and turn them into LEMONADE, people. Shit. Now I want lemonade.

I hope you all have grand summer plans as well! Maybe yours include beaches and parks and such? Those are valid choices. I don’t judge.

(And because it makes me both happy and melancholy, here’s Regina Spektor’s “Summer in the City” where I got the title of this post. I kind of love her.)

Ceci n’est pas un blogpost.

I would love to write a real post here. And tomorrow (fingers crossed) I WILL write a real blog post. However, here is how the last 28 hours have gone:

  • Freshly Pressed puts my post up on the WordPress site.
  • I start getting a kabillion likes, reblogs, comments, and follows. And tweets. And Facebook comments. And emails. And my phone starts going cuh-raaaaay-zee.
  • I have to go out to dinner, because I planned a fantastic dinner with my theater ladies a few weeks ago. (Who might be reading right now because I actually – GULP! – told real-life people about my blog. If so, hi, J., A., and L.!) So I replied to comments right up until I had to run out the door. While grinning like a looney and saying “these things don’t happen to people like me NO THEY DO NOT.”
  • Eating dinner and having a wonderful time and not even checking my phone once in almost two hours even though I wanted to SO BADLY. Because I love my friends and they deserved my undivided attention. And we laughed and laughed so much. It was the best time.
  • Getting to my car and looking at my phone and saying “Oh. Oh, my” because I had a billion* (*possibly an exaggeration) comments to approve, and new followers, and tweets and on and on and blah blah could I BE any more into myself right now? I know, right?
  • Also, SIDE NOTE, I had an email from my brother waiting for me. He recently got an email account. My brother has never sent me an email in his life. It made me laugh SO HARD. It ended with “This short by normal standards wireless telegram took me approx. 22 mins. to generate.” As you can see, we have similar senses of humor.
  • Then I got home and I couldn’t go to bed until I beat my previous best day, stats-wise. Then I did. Then I finally went to bed.
  • When I woke up, I had a billion MORE comments and also I went to bed way too late and I was so so tired and then more and more comments coming in and I did not have time to reply to them so I said, I will reply tonight when I get home! (Oh, hey, new people, here at the Football, I reply to like 99% of comments. I’m weird like that. You took the time to comment; the least I can do is take the time to reply, is my thought.)
  • So all day long, there were more and more and MORE comments. Also I worked all day, as I do. I mean, you can’t just not go to work because you are a very famous blogger, you know.
  • Then I had to go grocery shopping. Look what I bought, sj!

    Starfruit! I have never tried one, but sj's kiddo said it tasted like stars. How could I not buy one?

    Starfruit! I have never tried one, but sj’s kiddo said it tasted like stars. How could I not buy one? I am MADE of stars!

  • THEN I finally got home and had to do things like call my parents (Dad’s response to “Dad, I have to GO, I have a BILLION COMMENTS TO REPLY TO” was “Are they paying you per comment? This is insane. NO ONE DOES THIS”) and eat food items and also pet the cats a little (not a euphemism) and write email to my most beloved ones (listen, one of the worst mistakes people make when they get famous is that they forget the little people. I WILL NOT FALL INTO THAT TRAP! What’s that? I’m not really famous and my people aren’t even little? Shush it, you) and then it was replying-to-comment-time. Oh, the comments. Oh, so many wonderful comments. I can’t even.

However, all that comment-replying means that it’s bedtime now. And with the lack of sleep the last few days, I really need to get to bed tonight. I have to get up somewhat early tomorrow and get an oil change. ALSO not a euphemism. Oh, also, did I mention my cable is out? It is. Out. My cable box is, according to the very technical lady on the phone, “fried.” I need a new one. She said they could come next week sometime. I might have freaked out a little and said, “No. See, Game of Thrones? Sunday? I can’t. I can’t even.” Then I explained if she couldn’t get someone there BEFORE Sunday, I wouldn’t be UPGRADING to HBO, so they would be losing MONEY, and suddenly, a tech was available tomorrow! Huh! Imagine that!

Oh, Jaime. And this is the season we'll get to hear "I dreamed of you," right? I cannot wait. Can. Not. Wait.

Oh, Jaime. And this is the season we’ll get to hear “I dreamed of you,” right? I cannot wait. Can. Not. Wait.

All of this to say: I promise a new blog with actual content soon. I have the next two days (maybe even three) planned out.

Also, hi, new people. I will talk to your faces soon. Tomorrow, even. I am so pleased you’re here. Don’t leave just yet. Things are about to get EXCITING*. (*possibly not true.)

Happy Friday, all. Hope you’re well. Have the best weekend. Oh, it’s Easter weekend, yeah? Find some eggs. Eat some chocolate bunnies. Celebrate all things springy. Love your faces. Be back with a real post soon. Promise.

(Oh, you all know where I got the title, right? If you don’t know from the painting, you know from The Fault in Our Stars. Here’s the painting, just in case. Smooches to you all.)

It's funny because it IS a pipe. But it's NOT a pipe. It's a PAINTING of a pipe. It's always tickled me. Nice job, Magritte!

It’s funny because it IS a pipe. But it’s NOT a pipe. It’s a PAINTING of a pipe. It’s always tickled me. Nice job, Magritte!

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