Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Montessori Day One, Or Why Did I Ever Worry?

On my clock, I've only got 20 minutes of "summer" left. Forget what the calendar says about the actual beginnings and endings of seasons around the solstices [would the plural of that be 'solsti'?]. I define "summer" as any day in June, July, and August. Full stop. Let me enjoy my incorrect assumption please.

There is something sucky about the week leading up to Labor Day. The end of American summer. The start of school. Suddenly it gets noticeably cooler. The waterparks and pools are about to close. Halloween decor is all of the sudden every-damn-where you look. I no longer feel as comfy sporting my white jeans, madras print, and jute tote bag. I notice it is actually dark at 9pm.

My firstborn "baby," who'll turn 4 in about 7 weeks, started half day, drop off, bilingual English/Spanish Montessori preschool today. We had been talking about it all month. Literally, All Month Long. You see, my Mr. Spirited seems to do best with lots and lots of notice about upcoming transitions.

"You're going to Montessori in a few weeks, so-and-so will be there, Mama and Daddy won't go into the classroom with you because you need time to be with your friends, your works, and your teachers, then we'll pick you up when class is dismissed. And you get to wear special McQueen slippers only at school...."

To which DS usually responded with "Are we going today? You mean today-today??"... "I don't want to be dropped off!" ... "Why can't you come in the classroom with me?"... "What are you going to do while I'm at school?"... "No, Mama! I want you to take me with you while you do your work and run errands!"... "I don't want to speak Spanish!"

We drove up at 8am today. One of the teachers was waiting by the door. I was fully expecting a tearful goodbye, with DS kicking and screaming. Nope. DS bid a cheerful "Hola!" to the teacher and ran right into the school. Without so much as a goodbye. See ya! So I handed the teacher his things, and got the eff out of there before DS changed his mind.

At the 11:45am pickup, DS was the last kid out of the classroom. He didn't want to leave.

Tonight, all he did was talk about school. He mentioned the names of a boy and a girl he wants to be friends with. He told me that the teachers don't allow any candy at school, and that if he uses naughty words or fights with the other kids, he'll be "kicked right out." (Um, pretty sure they didn't say it quite like that. Gotta love preschooler speak!) He demanded I take him back there tomorrow.

They say today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. ;) Wishing you many smooth transitions.

Monday, August 29, 2011

True Blood recaps - S4, E9... and E10!

I've been away on a little vacay, but I'm back now. And I've finally watched the most recent 2 episodes. I feel like this show is definitely back in the saddle again. Now that all is right with my world, let's begin with a little SPOILER-tastic recap of Episode 9, a.k.a. the one that I will recall forever as "That Episode Where Sookie Dreamed of a Threesome with Eric and Beel**...

** As Seen Through the Eyes of a Horny 18-Year-old Straight Guy Who Clearly Watches Too Much HBO."

First of all, during the aforementioned scene, Sookie looked like she would fit right in as one of Hef's girlfriends at the Playboy Mansion. No stylistic complaints here, however... I just felt like there was this overwhelming straight male gaze thing going on, and it just messed it all up for me and I suddenly went into critique mode. It didn't really ring true as the sort of feminist-y dream I'd like to think Sookie would actually have. (Perhaps the double shots of V is to blame? Nah, just the producers at HBO.) It was as though her "dream" was more performative for the straight male HBO audience instead of what an authentic, empowered Sookie who loves both of these vampires and wants open relationships with both of them on her own terms would REALLY be all about. Because you know if this were the dream of say, Jason Stackhouse, and 2 imagined women he loves there would of course be some hot faux lesbian tropes being trotted out. But alas, there was not even a hint of sexual tension between Beel and Eric (and BTW, R.I.P. Queen Sophie-Anne. They should have just had sex already. I would have loved to have seen that, too, honey.)

Moving on... I personally hated the Scary Yellow Werewolf Eyes thingy. Debbie, I love that you were watching "Cheaters" in bed and then pretended to be asleep. Alcide sucks like that. Too bad it is interfering with your addiction recovery.

The "Go to the Light" scene under the tree in Hoyt's yard was a nice mix of funny/sad/campy. I heart Terry Bellefleur so much for his "We still love you, Lafayette" line. Nelsan Ellis played Lafayette to perfection as usual. So "Virgil" is the name of the no good very bad girlfriend and baby son murderer? I predict a clever backstory in the future, and am wondering if it has anything to do with the Bellefleur/Compton family tree.

Nan Flanagan's gratitude at never having been a maker after Jess' bloody-eyed breakdown totally cracked me up - reminded me of Pam's reaction last season to meeting Arlene's kids at Fangtasia. Is Nan perhaps more good than evil or vice versa? From his basement sleeping chamber for 3, I think Beel simply needs to replay the tape for The Authority of Nan's insistence that the Tolerance Event go on as planned despite all of these spellbound necromanced vamps running around. Yes, but as Nan says "there are Factions"... and that will probably be highly relevant next season.

Sam and Luna on a camping trip where he turns into a bunny for her daughter = precious, but also made me think "vulnerable." And Fatal Attraction-esque, which might be spot on when you factor Marcus into the equation.

Jason and Jess in the back of his pickup truck. Oh man - I hear New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" playing. No discussion of the perpetually recurring hymen though. Jason is a shitty, shitty friend. On to the next episode -

Episode 10 = Sookie in Peril! I liked the silhouette of Alcide running and carrying her through the woods - it evoked some classic Hollywood cinema for me. Then those silly, creepy yellow eyes again - nooo! Now Eric is a zombie! But seems to have retained a little residual love connection with Sookie. Then dying Sookie drinks more of Beel's blood and it even removes bullets! I adored the pained subtlety in Beel's face as he and Alcide watched over Sookie on her sofa. Fantastic acting there; beautiful scene before the opening credits.

The Tolerance Event turned out to be a real shitshow, natch. I soooo did not need to see the Hannibal Lecter-esque synchronized intestine popping out routine though. Sookie used the fairy force and brought Eric's memory back (I liked how they showed that in flashback format, starting with Viking life) while simultaneously saving Beel's life. But one thing fucked it up for me and it was THAT GODAWFUL SWEATSHIRT WITH THE HEARTS ON IT! Um, 1987 called and Blossom wants her sweatshirt back. NOOOOO!!!!

So real Eric is back, huh? And he "loves" Sookie. Hmm... I'm still not believing it. The acting and the chemistry is just off. Nice scene though between Sookie and Eric in the parlor at Beel's when Pam shows up. Yes, why didn't he summon her immediately? I'd be disappointed, too, Pam. Yeah, I don't think Pam and Sookie are going to be all buddy buddy like in the books.

Holly and Tara chanting in Latin to try to bust out of the MGE? Though it reminded me of the chanting Tara and the residents on BT did when under Maryanne's influence. Wonder if that is at all significant.

Jessica refusing to glamour Jason because she herself will have to remember it and feel the guilt? YES! I say Amen, Jess!

Debbie and Marcus? Ugh. Seriously, Debbie. How can you go from the likes of hot Cooter and dreamy Alcide to that short guy with a fugly weird hairline. Again, It Must Be the V making you do it.

I loved Terry's rehab of Andy at Camp Bellefleur. Seeing Andy try to wrestle him was hysterical.

Tommy Mickens' deathbed scene was... what's the word I'm looking for? Gross. Yes, I believe that's it. Was the foaming, gurgling bloody mouth really necessary, people? But hey, it brought Alcide and Sam together.

Lafayette saying "It's a Latin Thing" to explain Jesus's Dia de Los Muertos-looking changing head was excellent. It's that wonderful mix of funny/scary again that this show does so well.

The very last scene was a bit much: The Vamps vs. Marnie in a Matrix-style showdown where they're just going to blow the place up and be done with it. No supercool vampire powers will be used? Just gonna wear black, walk in slow motion to some rockin' music, and launch some bazookas, eh? You might as well be humans.

Your thoughts?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My 100th Post

This is my 101st blog post. Hurrah, hurrah. I stuck with blogging longer than I thought I ever would, and I plan to keep at it because what can I say, I really, really need this outlet in my life. I'm doing a looong sentence in Podunkville and I seriously would not be able to get though it without you anonymous lovelies out there, somewhere. Anyway, in my head this is kind of bizarrely reminiscent of the 100th episode of "Friends" where the adorable 6-some broke character afterwards, interacted with the fawning studio audience/laugh track, and all patted themselves on the back (it was a show I never liked, BTW, but my roomie back in the day was obsessed, and owned the TV, so let's just say I'd probably fare ok in a "Friends" trivia game scenario). I'm going to go eat a self-congratulatory cookie now.

Thanks for reading me, y'all.

I think in honor of this not-very-momentous occasion, we should have a listen to the delightful Mr. Samuel L. Jackson's hilarious reading of "Go The F*ck to Sleep" - here.

SLJ cracks my shit up. Just hearing him always puts me in a better mood. In fact, I own the movie "Snakes on a Plane" and am known to make visitors to my home watch the scene where Jackson busts out with "I'm sick of these muthafuckin' snakes on this muthafuckin' plane!!" Cinematic gold, I tell you.

In other news, DS starts at the new bilingual Montessori next week. I think it is going to be a hellacious transition, full of a lot of missing his mama, but hopefully it will eventually turn out ok. Maybe he'll finally start speaking the Spanish we all know he understands. I'm told I should just drop him off and get the hell out of there ASAP. That way, I won't be around to be embarrassed when the teachers hear DS scream "fucking bitch!!" once he realizes I've driven off. (No joke there, that's truly what I think he'll say. Picking up colorful phrases like that are the downside of watching too much HBO at one's house.) Conventional wisdom I trust tells me the longer preschool parents linger and the more they act all ambivalent, the longer the painful reaction from the child - or so they all say. Ugh, who knows?

DD is finally daytime potty trained. Ican'teffinbelieveitthankyoulittlebabyjeebus! That's the good. The bad? She dropped her nap and is overtired from like 2-6pm, she yells at me pretty much all the damn time, and has hair that looks like Donald Trump's whenever I'm around because the minute I walk through the door she immediately rips out whatever cute barette her babysitter had lovingly styled into her hair. My little rebel. ;)

How's your summer (or winter, depending) winding up?

Monday, August 15, 2011

True Blood recap - S4, E8

I think Pam's hilarious line "This is fucking lame" in response to Beel commanding her never to harm Tara, has got to be the best, most accurate summation of the events of this wacky "Spellbound?" episode.

Where do I begin? Let's start with what was good.

Lafayette. So fucking funny, and such a wonderful scene stealer, as always. I'm enjoying the unveiling of the backstory of the female spirit who has jumped into Lafayette's body. Now the creepy doll that was originally found in Hoyt and Jessica's house but kept showing up again, even after Jess threw it into the lake, is finally making some sense. Apparently, Hoyt's home is the same one that the spirit's no good-very bad white married lover used to live in. And something awful happened to their baby son. Honestly, that was the most intriguing story within this episode.

Second most intriguing bit to watch was the sad unraveling of Hoyt and Jess's relationship. Am I sick because I enjoyed Jess' juicy/sadistic dream of how it ended so much more than how it actually ended? At least she didn't glamour Hoyt this time; Jess has finally learned the wisdom of that old adage 'you gotta be cruel to be kind.'

I'm surprised Jason could resist her extremely sexy vamp charms - actually, this is one of the characteristics I like best about Jessica: she is still really only 18-ish years old and is trying to negotiate her vampire identity, and she screws things up a lot. Getting disinvited on the same damn night from the homes of 2 male mortals who are extremely attracted to her? Wow. Jess needs to hang out with Pam more.

And Beel! I'm surprised at how much I'm liking King Beel, and loathing Forgetting Eric, although Eric's idea to run away with Sookie is about the only thing that made much sense in this episode.

In short: we need more Pam, more Lafayette, more Arlene, more Lettie Mae, hell, I'll even take more of Andy Bellefleur's crazy cracker-ness.

Now, on to the bad....

The way Jason saved Jessica in Beel's foyer just did not ring true for me. Am I the only one who felt this scene violated some rules of vampire physics? As in a human could not just tackle a vampire to the ground. And then carry her around Beel's basement and tuck her into silver chains all romantic like? It just seemed off.

Eric and Sookie. PLEASE MAKE IT STOP! I've been as patient with you fakers as I can be. You simply have no chemistry. I don't believe for a minute that you're in lurve and want to have sex with each other. That bed romp in the snowy woods was laughable. (Even my DH said so, after the scene was over he turned to me and said "You must be really disappointed." Exactly.) And the worst part was they had to go and tease us with what started to look like The Shower Scene of the books, but devolved into some silly, fairytale-ish camp with nonsensical dialogue and fur blankets carefully covering all of the naughty bits. HBO, I know you can do better. Stop being so tasteful already. Look, I know Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are newlyweds, and therefore maybe she and Alexander Skarsgard are feeling pressure to hold back and that's what's coming across... I don't know. What I do know is I'm not sure I can stomach much more of this. Let's hope the spell Antonia cast on Eric will bring the mojo back.

Alcide, why did you have to go and make a promise to Debbie that you knew you were going to break that very same night? Figure your shit out! In the meantime, do feel free to serve us up a steamy sex scene with Sooks, or Debbie, complete with lots of close ups.

Tara, why are you such a follower? I really do want to like you, but I'm tired. Stop being so literal.

Tommy Mickens, forget the blood and guts all over the neighbor's sidewalk - watching you skinwalk as Maxine was the grossest thing in this episode. Did I actually hear you offer to screw the salesman while skinwalking as Maxine in exchange for a better financial deal? Yikes! New low there.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

True Blood recap - S4, E7

Hands down, this was one of the all-time sceeeriest TB episodes yet. (Jessica, don't die!!) I don't know about you, but watching Jess escape from the chains and the cell, then ignore Beel's freaky command as her maker, and finally crawl across Beel's foyer freaked me right the eff out. And yet, the cutaway to the scene with Maxine Fortenberry's foam hair roller-clad neighbor suddenly bursting into flames ("I knew it!") had me totally cracking up. Yet another great mix of the sceeery and the funny.

I really enjoyed the sweet conversation between Jess and Beel. I don't know how Jason is going to save the day on this one.

Oh, Tara. (I think I like Toni better, too.) Um, do you see a pattern here? Your penchant for blindly following powerful women with names that begin with the letter M, who suddenly turn out to be all supernatural and nihilistic? I predict Sookie is going to get Eric to somehow call off Pam's bloodfeud against you.

Pam, glad you finally got your fabulous self to "the healing kind" of doctor. The thought of an eternity of vamp botox would make me want to rip someone's throat out, too - You Tube be damned. Oh, and I heart you so very much for that pink coffin. Ginger definitely deserves a raise.

Eric and Sookie, somehow I'm just not feeling the afterglow. There was a lot of "Do I really want my memory back?/Will you still love me once I remember all the sociopathic things I've done for the last 1000 years?"-ish discussion. Which made me start to question their overall strategy: since Eric has all of these fabulous residences all over the world, and since Sookie still thinks "Sam" fired her, and clearly they're ambivalent about getting Eric's memory back in the first place, AND just about the only thing they're 100% certain of is their desire to keep Eric from daywalking, then pray tell why not just fly off to Eric's apartment in Paris, or even his "windy shithole" of a farm in Sweden? But no. Instead they choose to wait it out in friggin' Bon Temps, Louisiana? This would be the TB equivalent of people who see a tornado coming and choose to watch it from the roof of their double wide.

Speaking of people who ain't feeling the afterglow - Alcide and Debbie stumbling upon Eric and Sookie in the woods? Ugh. Yeah, I can see why Debbie might start getting a little crazy about this whole dynamic of 'I so obviously am obsessed with Sookie but won't admit it.' Snap out of it, Alcide! You're making ME crazy.

Lafayette, ok so now we know you're a medium, and you see dead people whispering to demon babies in your kitchen. Kind of sucks to be you - but your talent is probably going to end up saving all the vamps of Louisiana and maybe even the world, too. Marnie is the only other person on the show to have your gift. I think that's significant.

Andy Bellefleur, you are one of my favorite hot messes on the show.

Tommy Mickens, you are not.

Luna, I hope you get to enjoy a little piece of the real Sam Merlotte sometime.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

True Blood recap - S4, E6

See, I was sure King Beel wasn't about to actually kill Eric. What would TB be without Eric? I was surprised by how moved I was by Eric's dying declarations, although they seemed so very, very un-Eric-like. He loves Sookie and just wants her to be happy - and clearly Beel feels the same. Reminds me of post-Enlightenment Godric, actually. I'm kind of starting to miss the old Eric of the badass, hilarious, stylish, Barbarian, "Viking god" variety. Gran did tell Sookie via her psychic enemy that this was only temporary. And I hope for Pam's sake this is all only temporary.

So we didn't get the infamous Shower Scene from the books, we instead got a lovely, tasteful Moonlit Woods Scene. I don't mean to complain. Really. But, and I'm just wondering here, why were there no close-ups?! I mean, could that camera have been any further away from the action? I honestly couldn't tell if Eric was actually making love to Sookie or if they were just hooking up. And I even watched that scene more times than it is probably normal to admit, but I still couldn't quite tell. Even though it was a bit faux sex/Skin-e-max-tastic for me, it was still a great scene though. Bizarrely, I think this is the first time I've ever wished for a more graphic depiction of something on TB! And I loved the "I Wish I Were the Moon" song that went with it - so perfect for the weary Beel on his balcony scene. Not sure if I totally loved the song for that particular Sookie and Eric moment though. (Do you happen to know the person who wrote that song, too, @mom2boy? Reminded me of Mazzy Star. I should look it up.)

Big sigh of relief time - Jason is not a werepanther! Can I just say how happy that makes me? I wish the Hot Shot storyline would go the same way as the Mickens storyline. Speaking of which, brilliant call about the significance of Luna's skinwalker story in the last post's comments @Haley! Watching Tommy pass himself off as Sam was seriously creepy, though I thought Sam Trammel did such an amazing job with the acting - it really seemed like Tommy was Sam. Impressive. And can I just say poor, poor Luna. That sucks.

Jessica suddenly running off to "save" Jason, who says such funny/idiotic things, was a really fun exchange to watch. "Think of somewhere safe" (he gazes at her cleavage.) It was nice to see Jessica happy at last as a vamp. You know, seeing her with Hoyt reminds me though of those high school sweetheart/long-distance relationships that people sometimes maintained once they went off to college. Good Guy, but... I'm also wondering if vampire medicine has come up with a cure for unwanted hymen regrowth.

I also enjoyed the fire scene and it's aftermath over at Arlene and Terry's. Loved the awkward scene between Sheriff Andy and Holly - yet another amazing character actress on the show. Who is the mysterious young African-American woman Baby Mikey saw, dressed in 1950's style clothes? I'm pretty sure she's benevolent. I noticed that the shot of her whispering cut over to a shot of Lafayette holding Jesus - I sense a connection there between her and Lafayette's family. Maybe Lettie Mae somehow attracted one of their Thornton/Reynolds family ancestors who is watching over all of them?

I'm starting to get a tad more interested in the Alcide and Debbie Pelt storyline. Funny, I was watching the first of the recent Tobey Maguire as Spiderman movies from a few years back, and noticed that actor Joe Manganiello also played the bully who goes after Peter Parker in the middle of the hallway and gets spidey-punched down the hallway. He looks so much better as Alcide. So far I find the Debbie Pelt of the show much more intriguing than Book Debbie.

As for Lafayette and Jesus - what a crazy, unpredicted scene with the rattlesnake sacrifice! Yikes! Crazy Grandpa Brujo seems to have suggested vis-a-vis the blood magic that Marnie/Antonia is actually their real enemy, and that Lafayette is really the one with the magic in him - and now some creepy looking uncle spirit currently inhabiting him has been added to the magical mix. My money always has been, always will be on Lala.

Now about Antonia Galvan(?), the O.G. witch who once caused all vamps in a 20-mile radius to meet the sun... She has got to be one of the most sympathetic supposed "villians" I've seen in awhile. Vampire Sheriff Luis? Hear that sound? That's rough justice calling. You best be kissing your rapist ass goodbye right about now. Can you blame her (or Tara?) for thinking the world would be a kinder, gentler place sans vampires? That's one of the things I enjoy so much about this show. As in real life, few people are all-hero or all-villian. The show always manages to explore these kinds of ambiguous moral grey areas so deftly.

Your thoughts?