Friday, October 31, 2008

So Smote It Be

I don't have anything coherent to say about last night's Supernatural. You know what that means. I will start with one little thing and then ramble on forever.

Okay, maybe I'll start with a big thing. I love the way they're handling the angels/God/Lucifer thing. They're staying firmly away from religion and just addressing the mythology, which I've talked about before. I have no doubt there are people out there who are indignantly offended, but such people will be no matter what you do, so who cares?

Uriel is a black-and-white kind of guy. Actually, after I wrote that, I didn't know how to continue. I was going to talk about good and evil, but I don't think Uriel considers good and evil, balance and humanity (well, for sure he doesn't care about humanity). He considers his side, which happens to be God's side, and Lucifer is the enemy, and anyone who's not with him is against him. Hmmm, sounds familiar.

Castiel, on the other hand, has doubts, despite the sheer strength of his faith. If I hadn't already loved him, I'd have fallen hard during that scene at the end. Okay, I did fall hard. I've never been in favor of the whole idea of doing what you're told without question, of subjugating your ability to think and reason to someone else's agenda. Castiel wants the right thing, and isn't sure what that's supposed to be.

Now, he could be playing good cop to Uriel's bad cop, giving Dean someone to identify with and feel like he has an ally, in order to lead him down a path to doing something he otherwise wouldn't even consider doing. But for now, I'm choosing to believe his sincerity, and if I lived in their world, it would give me hope. Staving off an apocalypse wouldn't seem like a win if 1200 people had to die, including me.

I did like Uriel. I knew I would, when I learned who was playing him. He's intimidating and badass but in a quiet enough manner that will mean when he does go off on someone, it will have huge impact.

Sam meeting Castiel! How cute was he! And Castiel hesitating, not sure what to make of this guy. I bet he thought he knew what Sam was because of what he'd been given, but when he saw him personally, he wasn't that. Sam was like...well, he was like one of Jared's fans meeting him for the first time. I wonder if that was his inspiration for the gee-gosh approach. :)

And poor Sammy with his doubts after hearing what they wanted, and DEAN! Reassuring him! Saying Babe Ruth was a dick (they're trying to start a new drinking game, apparently) but baseball is still beautiful. He probably doesn't believe that himself, but doesn't want Sammy's faith to be destroyed because it's so important to him. He probably recognizes that it's one of the things keeping him in control.

Speaking of control... I know it's wrong, but Sam using his mojo is so frickin' hot. And that sequence, where he gives in because he doesn't have much choice, and he has to fight so hard, so he's struggling to draw the demon out (cool effect with the bullet holes smoke), and sees Dean seeing him, and sees Dean's reaction, and it just tears him up, but he can't stop, and he pushes harder and pops his brain. He showed a lot in a few seconds, and Jared wouldn't have been capable of that a couple of seasons ago.

Dude. Sammy's more powerful than a centuries-old, all-powerful demon! I know it should be scary, because use of power is what this thing seems to be all about, but it just delights me. Use of power = the Spider-Man credo, "with great power comes great responsibility." The angels and demons both think the power Sam has defines him, and Dean's afraid the power can change him, but Sam has even greater power than that. He has the power to use it wisely, not let it take over. The power to wield the ring.

Whoops, mixing mythologies there. Sorry.

In a CW Source interview with Misha Collins, he said Kripke modeled Castiel's look on Constantine. Now, he meant from the comic books, but all I could see was Keanu. (Megan! Dude! A Keanu connection! If you could love it more...)

It's a little annoying that there were so many slut costumes (ref. both parties, the one where the girl boiled and the one in the crypt), but I dismissed it because it gives the guys something to look at (the guys watching the show, not the guys on the show! geez!). It would be hypocritical of me to drool and sigh and then gripe. But can't there be some middle ground between crotch-level, skin-tight Lycra and floor-to-chin robes (the mom shaking her head at the witch house)?

Speaking of witches, there was a mission here. I liked the way they did that. After three-plus seasons, it's hard to either introduce new stuff believably (how come they didn't know about rugaru?) or reuse the same stuff without being stale and repetitive. Having the witch actually be a pair of witches, brother and sister, working together and yet using each other...nice twistiness there.

Ooh, also, the 66 seals thing is tough. If they stop a seal from being broken, it's over. Lucifer can't rise. Well, some seals, anyway, like this one that can only be broken every 600 years. So dramatically speaking, they can't stop the seals from being broken. But that means Sam and Dean LOSE all the time, and that's not acceptable, either. So what happened here is a compromise. I wonder if this thread will carry through to next season or be resolved at the end of this season? I guess it will depend on The CW. If we get a fifth, I betcha anything it continues. I mean, how do you top the apocalypse?

There was much less humor in this episode, but there was fun. Josh from Kyle XY got to be all party guy and then get shredded by a zombie (in probably the grossest moment of the episode). Dean got to face zombies and ghosts. The burning would have been cool to see, but probably out of their budget.

Oh, and the opposite of fun is what happened to Dean in Hell. Most of the people I've talked to so far seem to think he doesn't remember, maybe that he's blocked it. I think he does remember, and I think it was like when someone goes to supermax prison. You do what you need to, to survive. The biggest clue is from "Yellow Fever" when Sam said the people getting infected were those who use fear as a weapon. And Dean's hallucination of Lilith said Dean knows what he did. Which has my curiosity level almost as high as it was in season two when we were waiting to find out what Dad told Dean about Sam.

So, I guess this episode doesn't rank as high as my favorites of the season because it was less intense and revelatory, but it's in the top half, for sure.

Next week looks like a fun episode, though the CW has been really misleading with their promos. The "Yellow Fever" preview made that one look intensely scary, while it was intensely funny instead (and intensely disturbing, but not the way they implied it would be). For this episode, they showed some of the "Then" shots and the line of Sam's that they'd see every horrible thing they'd ever hunted. That led people to believe they were bringing back actual, specific things they'd hunted. The idea was probably fed by what happened with the rising of the witnesses, but I had my doubts. I remembered how the promos said the shifter from "Skin" returned in "Nightshifter," and it was actually a whole different shifter. So I take the previews lightly and don't let them feed my expectations anymore. Still, the idea of everyone's wishes coming true has huge potential, and I can't wait!

Man, I love this show.

Scary Dream

Last night, in my area of Pennsylvania, was trick-or-treating. Yeah, I know Halloween is today. Over sixteen years I've been living here, and I've never been able to find out why they do that.

Last night was also an episode of Supernatural set during Halloween. (I'll have my post up on that later--I wrote it on my Neo and it's upstairs and I'm lazy.) There were some scary things in the episode. Razor blades "in" candy, evoking warnings during fourth grade assemblies and every Halloween thereafter; boiling apple-bobbing water; zombies and ghosts and the demon-of-all-demons and smiting of entire towns.

But the dream I had last night was exponentially scarier than all of that.

I dreamed my daughter was involved with men.

She's 13. In the dream, she was wearing the clothes she wore to school yesterday and with her Halloween costume. We came home from somewhere, and there were two older guys waiting outside. They at first seemed totally adult, but I think their interest in Number One was TOO scary so my brain downgraded them to teenagers-but-at-least-16-because-they-drove. One of the guys kind of disappeared, like he left. The other one kind of pushed his way into the house before I could clear my confusion and address him. It wasn't aggressive, more like he belonged there. Number One knew him, even though I'd never seen him. It eventually came out that he was a driver for Studio 91. He got frustrated because he'd worked so long and hard to develop this gig he had with them, and I was trying to mess it all up. I explained that my kids didn't dance for Studio 91 anymore, but in the dream, Number Two had started the year there and quit, so that was how she wound up on his roster.

In the meantime, Number Two is in the living room listening to this OTHER adult guy play guitar for her. It was odd because it was like he was wooing her, though he wasn't doing anything overt, and Number Two's dance teacher was in the room with her. I think she was DeAnn Grady, though, a friend of mine from my writing chapter.

So this guy is flirting with Number One, being very familiar with her, making her laugh and stuff, but getting WAY too close. Finally, when he put his hand on her waist, I put mine on his shoulder and got in between them and said, "She's 13. Back off."

He did, and soon was gone, somehow, and I was trying to talk to Number One about him, and she was getting really shrill and upset about him and the other guy, and I kept trying to calm her down because there were strangers in the other room and I didn't want them to hear what my 13-year-old had gotten herself into. At the beginning, I almost said something about at least making a better choice. Then I stopped myself, and my mental analysis was actually kind of funny:

"So what if he looks like a sloppy Philip Seymour Hoffman? He's ambitious, created his own job and income, and I'm proud of her for not choosing on looks and superficialities."

But then we had the argument and I said "Have you done something?" and she burst into hysterical tears and I woke up.

I have NO idea what prompted this. In fifth grade, I asked her if she had a crush on anyone, and she didn't want to tell me. I pointed out that I'm a romance writer and I DIG this stuff, and ever since, we've had very open conversations. She thinks the boys in her school are idiots and dorks, for the most part, and really isn't interested. I don't think I have to worry until next year, when she's at the high school, has access to older, cuter, more mature, more assertive guys who will have no problem noticing that she doesn't look like a traditional freshman. Even then, I don't really have fear that she'll suddenly change her entire personality and way of looking at life and do something worth bursting into hysterical tears over. Not in the immediate future, anyway.

But that's the analytical assessment of things. Apparently, my subconscious has a different view.

I hope this isn't the start of a trend.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Will This Pique Your Interest?

I just read a post on a writer's forum in which someone said "peaked my interest." Since I corrected "peak" to "pique" in a recent edit, I had a moment of self-doubt and went searching. (FYI, "pique" is correct.)

While I was searching, I came across this post and I thought the discussion was interesting. It evolved, as such discussions often do, to analyzing why people are, basically, so wrong all the time.

Many people have the opinion that our schools are not doing as good a job teaching the vagaries of the English language anymore. That doesn't fly with me. First, though my scope is limited, I see the opposite in my own kids' schools. Second, the people *I* see using the wrong word (or bad spelling or grammar) all the time are not in their early 20s. They're my generation or older, which would indicate that either schools didn't teach us any better back then, or people ignore what they're taught. Maybe it's a little of both.

But one person pointed out that people will often hear the homonym and never see it, so they guess wrong when trying to write it. I think that's a huge part of the "problem." At least as far as the general public goes. I mean, think about it. We live in a world now where millions of people are communicating through text. Blogs, independent "news" sites, e-mails, text messages, IMs. Twenty and thirty years ago, no one read or wrote as much as we do today. People would use a word or phrase correctly but never see it written. So errors like pique/peak and (one of my pet peeves) "you've got another thing coming" instead of "think" will happen far more often.

In that context, it's a little more forgivable. But I can't say that about the writer portion of the population. I know which one is correct because I've read thousands of books in my life. Presumably, people who want to write are also readers, and if you're a reader, generally speaking, you should be absorbing what you're reading. Mistakes are inevitable--I know I make my share--and it's not possible to know everything, but it's a constant surprise to me that people don't seem to try.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Voting Video

Their opinions don't matter. People shouldn't do stuff because celebrities tell them to. But they're not just celebrities. They're familiar to us. We're used to them evoking emotion in us, and somehow, that adds power to the message.

But mostly? It's just funny.

Guest Blogger: Jeff Rivera

Jeff contacted me last week about including my blog on his blog tour for his new book that comes out this week. I didn't know him, but his story is pretty inspiring and his book sounds wonderfully intense. So here he is!

1. Let's start out with a little bit about your book, Forever My Lady. What gave you the idea? What compelled you to write a romance/romantic novel?

I feel like the idea came to me, actually. I had just come from being homeless and one of the first jobs I got was working at a department store, the oh-so-wonderful K-Mart (which I hated). I had a nasty boss who hated me and I wasn't too fond of her, either. I guess some personalities just don't get along. Anyway, one thing that happened was I met someone who would become a friend. He was Latino and was trying to turn his life around for his "lady" because he had just come out of juvey. He was in a gang. That's what sparked the idea, and I decided to come up with a story from scratch that would put what I've been through in my life and would hopefully be an emotional roller coaster, a story that would touch people.

I decided to make it a love story because I am a real softy when it comes to love. I really believe in meeting the right person and riding off into the sunset on a horse and stuff like that. There's a part of me that really believes that's possible.

2. The book blurb alone hints at deep emotion and, despite the heartbreak the hero faces, hope and possibility of happiness, too. Reading your bio, one can see that you've obviously been through some tough times. Can you tell us what, if anything, in your own life informed your writing?

One thing I learned from being homeless is that you have to take responsibility for where you are in your life. I could easily be a victim because of all the stuff I've been through, but that's not a very powerful mindset. Take responsibility for where you are right now in your life and you can take responsibility for where you're going. That's one thing that I felt was important to show with the character Dio in Forever My Lady. He has a drill instructor in the book who really pounds that into him.

3. A lot of my blog visitors are writers themselves, and we're always interested in success stories. Can you describe your journey from writing this book to the huge amount of success it's had?

Absolutely, it started out as a screenplay and even after Hollywood kept rejecting it I didn't give up because I really believed it was a story that needed to be told. Something kept pushing me to go on. That's when I decided to self-publish, and I built an audience of people online who spread the word about the book. That's when we piqued the interest of Warner/Grand Central and the rest is history.

4. What's next for you?

I really love writing love stories and things for young adults so I'm just going to go with the flow and see what happens next ...

You can learn more about Jeff Rivera and how to get his book at his website. Thanks, Jeff, and good luck!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I've Been Greeked!

I know some of you will know what greeking is, but for those who don't...

When doing layout, say of a magazine or brochure or something, and you don't have actual text to include yet, you insert greeking. It's usually fake words made up to look like real words to emulate the real flow of real writing, but without using real writing. An example would be like the following:

Whyn Zey Zvzmevy ztyppyz inte thy tellveem, thy culminetien ed e lidytimy ed yddevt gevy hyv zetizdectien tevzyving en yuphevie.

Oncy, zhy weulz hevy tyyn eny ed thy tuxyze-zhivt-unidevm weit ztedd eddyving eveunz tveyz ed chempegny. With e littly vizien enz mevy hevz wevk, meyty zhy’z hevy gettyn te tycemy thy menegyv tyhinz thy zcynyz, liky thy wemen in thy cevnyv giving inztvuctienz te thy tenzlyezyv. Tyn yyevz ege, zhy ceulzn’t hevy yvyn yntyvteinyz thy izye ed evviving hyvy ez e guyzt.

Tyllyn Steny eppyevyz et hyv zizy, enz Zey zmilyz up et him. “Leekz gevgyeuz, zeyzn’t it?” Shy zeuttyz hy cevyz eteut thy gelzyn light zhimmyving en thy zilky vittenz ezevning thy tetlyz, ev thy lecy clethz enz cuvteinz zvepyz yvyvywhyvy. Hy’z gvewn up in thiz wevlz, enz hy wez e guy. But zhy’z yevnyz hyv wey hyvy, hez wevkyz hevz te meky thy menyy thet hez peiz dev hyv tickyt te thiz tynydit. Shy vyvylyz in yvyvy zyteil.

That's a little heavier on the Zs and Vs than it should be, but you get the idea.

Anyway, I got my Google alert today for myself, and it included my usual two Monday blogs and this.

It looks like they took individual lines and partial sentences from a whole bunch of different sites, including my bio from somewhere I have it posted and an Amazon search that included one of my titles and my name. I have no idea what the purpose is, unless it's a placeholder for a future article.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Just a Few Things I Love

1. Reading about myself on other people's blogs, especially when they don't use names, and, of course, when it's good stuff they're saying.

2. LOLcats. No matter what kind of day I've had, they make me laugh and laugh.

3. LOLdogs. Not yet achieving the consistent brilliance of the cats, but what can you do? They're dogs, after all.

4. Matt Cassel. Backup quarterbacks are always scrutinized, but when you haven't started a game since high school and you're following quite possibly the best player in the position ever, you're facing a whole new level of difficulty. Cassel has poise, class, and gorgeous eyes. And he's doing his job right. Gotta love him.

5. Saturday, we went shopping for Halloween costumes. Got a tan trench coat at Goodwill for $15 (excellent!) and black wings at Party City for $25 (eek!) plus some black and glitter hair spray. Add a button-down shirt and an askew tie, and you've got a warrior from God. Yep, Number One is going trick-or-treating as an angel from Supernatural. Not Castiel, because she wants to stay female, but modeled on him. It bothers her not a whit that no one will know what the hell she is. She dealt with the same thing last year when she was Tonks. The point is pleasing herself, not getting attention.

6. Kids who are secure enough to please themselves, not the world around them.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Mix

A fellow soccer parent sent me this. I looked for attribution on the 'net but couldn't find anything convincing, so if you originated it, let me know. I do like to give credit where due. :)

I thought this was really funny. Particularly apropos items are in bold.

Is Your Kid's Soccer Taking Over Your Life?

You know it is if:

You know a few 6 year olds that are good but "lack focus".

You base the next purchase of your new vehicle on whether it will hold six kids, six soccer bags, and a portable goal.

You know every kid on every team your child has ever played on...but don't have a clue who their school mates are.

You feel lost when you have a free weekend.

You become a partner in a soccer store to save money.

You don't give your kids time-outs, you give them red cards.

You can rationalize spending $89 on the good cleats but won't spend $3 on a birthday card for your spouse.

You respond to the question, "How old are your kids?" with "I have a U8 and a U10".

You have to use a grandparent to take kid #1 to a tournament because Dad is at a different game with kid #2 and Mom had kid #3 two cities away in another tournament all in one weekend.

You find yourself missing the parents of your child's teammates during the off-season.

You wonder, "What's an off-season?"

You refuse to make any plans with your friends until you check your kids' soccer schedules.

You have been barred from the sidelines more than once. (I don't actually know anyone who has, though we do a lot of self-banning.

You have had the kids ask if Christmas is "home or away".

You yell at your kid to get up and shake it off, even after the ambulance arrives.

You need to budget for a new portable chair every year.

You have woken up in the middle of the night yelling "Get it out of there".


I just finished a nonfiction project that had me delving pretty deeply into some current topics. I have come to two conclusions. Before this, I was, let's say, 94% convinced of their truth, but still believed there were exceptions. Now, if there's any optimism left in me, you'd need a microscope or maybe a gas chromatograph or something to find it.

1. All politicians suck. No exceptions.

2. There isn't even a semblance of objectivity in today's journalism. Everything is op ed.


Okay, HOW awesome was Supernatural last night?

I have a residual cough from my recent cold, and it tends to recur at night, and reclining on the couch irritates my lungs or something. Turns out, laughing's enough to stimulate a fit, and Dean nearly sent me into mechanical pneumonia.

I know I don't need to say it again, but...Jensen Ackles is a brilliant actor. He went from over-the-top goofiness with the girly scream and "that was skeery!" grin (which I had to pause while Number One and I collected ourselves, then rewind and watch again) to sheer, incredibly subtle terror when he saw Luther in the corner.

Of course, brilliance is easier when you're given brilliant lines and direction. No way to tell how much was him and how much was fed to him, but the basic writing, at least, was excellent. I looked up who wrote this episode, and was surprised to see two names I didn't recognize, Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin. This episode is the only true writing credit either has (according to IMDb, I didn't look beyond that). Color me even more amazed.

Let us not forget Jared Padalecki, who had to play straight man and did it as brilliantly as Jensen did the opposite. When his eyes flashed yellow at the end, it wasn't just the connotation that gave me a visceral gut reaction. His entire demeanor sent waves of shock (and, okay, I'll admit it, heat!) through me.

Then there's Bobby, who's such a Mary Sue (Japanese!) but you can't hate him for always knowing the answer. And they brought back Sierra McCormick, who's so good she makes me forget she's a little girl. I adore when she calls Dean "silly goose."

And we can't forget the supporting players off screen, those responsible for filming in light that shows us how green Jensen's eyes are and framing Jared so perfectly, and the gorgeous shot of the valley the mill is in, and the amusingly horrifying way Luther's head pops off and dissipates into smoke, as well as the white/green effect of Sam's eyes that tell us it's a hallucination with just a hint of doubt.

Kudos, too, for infusing a show meant to evoke laughter with such poignancy. Luther and his brother John won't get the credit they deserve (except from equally obsessive fans like me), but my heart broke for the poor guy when he cradled the kitten, and when they were pushed to do the same horrible thing to him that had been done when he was alive.

Megan, David Mattey/Luther is 6'10"!!! Who knew someone could dwarf Sam, never mind toss him around like a rag doll?

Man, I love this show.


Last week, a friend called, and asked why I was down that day. I blamed the base of my mood on the Patriots' huge loss the night before, which she really didn't understand. I get where she's coming from. I think "geez, people, it's just a game!" on a regular basis. But whether they win or lose DOES have a lingering effect on me, so I couldn't help exploring why.

I came up with identity. Your sports team is part of what makes you, you. It's often about pride of place, about connecting to the region that raised you. If you still live there, it's community. Shared goals and needs, bonding and making connections with people you might otherwise absolutely despise, except for this thing you have in common. If you've moved away, it's an anchor or a touchstone, something that connects you to where you came from, makes you belong. Some people chose their team for a different reason, maybe because a beloved family member liked that team, or a boyfriend/girlfriend, or because you moved to that area at some point in your life and it has meaning because of that connection.

Not everyone needs that, and many people find it in different things. But for those of us who like competition (and you all know I'm muy competitive!) and have forged this connection for one reason or another, it sinks deep into us. And anything that is that strong is going to have a powerful effect on emotion or mood.

If you didn't "get it" before, you still won't, and that's okay. It's just a thing. Sometimes, I have a need to exposit. :) If you "get it" but have a different idea, or disagree, feel free to say so!

And Go, Pats!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Where You Can Find Me

I have finally finished my Romance Wiki update! It's a cool place to find everything romance related, and it has everything about my books all in one place.

Where else do I hang out online, besides here?

Well, for the semi-regular ramblings about life and all it contains, I blog the same stuff at the following places:


Pick your favorite.

For more focused, writerly ramblings, you can find me at The Gab Wagon with Cathy McDavid, Monica Burns, and Mackenzie McKade. I blog on Mondays and comment all the other days of the week.

I also blog frequently at SciFi Chicks. This is a site with reviews, news, and commentary on all the SF, fantasy, and paranormal TV shows being broadcast today. It's not just me, I only do half a dozen shows. There are several very smart, very cool women posting there.

Then, of course, there's my regular website.

And, if you are in need of editing or proofreading services, you can peruse my Elance profile. (Note: I have no feedback in the last 6 months because I've been so busy, I haven't been bidding for jobs. But I do have 100% overall positive feedback!)

So there you have it. The ubiquitousness that is me on the web.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Geez, Hadn't Thought of That

I'm supposed to be writing. Well, I'm supposed to be updating my Romance Wiki, THEN writing. But I had to do this first. It's that instant gratification thing. And maybe the procrastination thing.

I rarely dip my toe into the Supernatural fandom. I have a few online acquaintances whose blogs I read, careful associations that are "safe" in that the posters and their commenters are mature and thoughtful and usually feel the way I do about the show. But every so often, they link to something that has exploded out there in the masses, and I dare to click the link, and I get splattered.

This time, the wank is about the Sam/Ruby issue, and it brought up a point I hadn't thought about. And, of course, I was compelled to comment.

First, some facts:

1. In "Lazarus Rising," when Dean finds Sam's hotel room, a half-naked woman opens the door. A short time later, Dean comments on a bra.

2. In a recent interview, Robert Singer said Ruby was possessing that woman at the time she opened the door.

3. Demons and spirits have made references to what Sam and Ruby are doing, and those references have sexual connotations.

4. Jared Padelecki, as quoted in an article, says he believes Sam and Ruby are doing something.

It has been pointed out that if Sam and Ruby are indeed having sex, and Ruby possessed a living woman who is now trapped in her body with no control over what the demon does to it, then that woman is being raped. This is a truth. (I'd say she's being raped by both Sam and Ruby, and that the possession itself is a form of rape.)

Now, of course no one wants their beloved Sam to have crossed that line, and apparently, the response has been over-the-top abusive to the people who have brought this up. That's unconscionable, and it disgusts me. No, we don't know what's happening yet, and maybe the implication is being misread, and that's fine. But if that is what's happening, it is rape. Period.

Now here's why I think that's not what's happening:

1. No matter how close they want to take Sam to the bad side, I really can't see them letting him cross over so completely. While Sam has disregarded the reality of Ruby's possession, and often considered individual life acceptable collateral damage in killing demons, this is something he would think about. Dean might not think that deeply when sex is involved, but Sam doesn't do casual sex.

2. We can't take demon references at face value. I mean, come on, they know how to push buttons and dig at people's tender emotional centers and twist truths to make them sound completely evil. I can see that maybe Sam has desire for the body housing Ruby, and an emotional connection to Ruby that could make him consider having sex with her, and then the demons using those feelings against him. Referencing them in a way that implies they are dirtier than they are, or have gone further than they have.

3. It's possible that Kripke and company haven't realized this factor is there. I find that hard to believe, unless the writing staff now has no women on it (and Sera Gamble obviously is in charge, so that's not the case). Even if they weren't aware of the implication, it's not too late to "fix" it. It has not been established that Sam has had sex with a possessed woman, so they can take that thread anywhere, including complete and honest denial that anything has happened.

So. That's what I think. Let's see if the wank follows me over here. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I don't have anything to say about this episode of Supernatural. My sheer delight, my pure love, from the opening old-time credits to the curly The End, renders me unable to articulate anything intelligent.

I laughed a lot.

Jensen Ackles, in particular, is even MORE beautiful in black and white (who'da thunk?).

Music? Perfect.

Cinematography? Awesome.

Casting? Excellent, even for the females (especially Lucy). [Hey, there was a Lucy last season!]

I can never get enough of this show.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Music Mania

Number Two started viola lessons this summer, and those are in full force, along with orchestra, at school. Number One is not very thrilled with her continuing cello/orchestra lessons, but not unthrilled enough to give it up, and she also has music class this marking period.

Number One is playing a lot of keyboard in music class. She has started printing sheet music to play on the piano at home, and has written out some notes for her sister for some simple songs. Of course, these notes exist on the viola and cello, and the songs they play on the strings can be played on the piano.

Plus, they're writing their own songs.

The upshot is that my house is filled with live music at random times, which means my head usually has an original composition (nicely done but short and oh-so-catchy) going through it. When that's kicked out, it's by one of the songs Number One is trying. The one that prompted this blog post is "Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music. I can't get. it. out.

The piano cover might get stuck closed in the morning. Accidentally, of course.

Monday, October 13, 2008

When There is No Right Answer

I was one of those kids who tested really well in school, and took great pride in doing so. The main factor in my success was a strong desire to do well, which meant being right.

That can be a detrimental trait in real life. Not that I can't admit to being wrong about something, or that I have problems with being wrong. I take great pains to admit when I'm wrong so that when I insist that I'm right, it has more weight. :)

No, there are other ways that my need to be right has potential to be problematic. Like taking a medical questionnaire. There are no right answers on there! But I feel like "yes" answers are wrong. I have to consciously consider my reality before answering certain things.

It's more of a problem at the eye doctor. You know the eye chart. You have to read progressively smaller lines of letters and numbers, and then she flips and spins lenses asking which is better, one or two, A or B. I squint at those little lines, and blinky-blinky forever, trying so hard to guess right.

This is stupid in two ways. First, she never tells me if I'm right or wrong. I noticed this when Number One was having her eyes checked, and I could clearly see the letters projected. When she said O instead of C, or Z instead of 2, the doc said "okay" or never told her what they actually were. So my need to be right will never be satisfied, because she won't tell me if I'm wrong!

The other way this is bad is, of course, because I'm not being tested on my ability to be right. I'm trying to get a pair of expensive contacts that correct my vision effectively, and being right but not really seeing what I'm being right about...well, that would make me wrong.

So there you have it. One of my rarely revealed flaws. Don't gloat too much. :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Short Thoughts on "Metamorphosis"

Raise your hand if you think I can keep this short. Yeah, me, neither. But I'll try.


Episode 4 every season is when they start easing away from the season's mytharc and doing stand-alone episodes, which makes most casual fans and even some obsessed ones really happy.

Seeing the preview, I didn't expect to like this episode as much. And in a ranking sense, this is 4 of 4. But despite a little heavy-handedness with the metaphor, it was still an excellent episode.

I wish Sam would stop saying he has demon blood in him. He DOESN'T. When you ingest something, your digestive system breaks it down and the PARTS go into your bloodstream. They don't last forever. The Barney Rubble vitamin you took when you were four is not still surging through your arteries. But the effects of the demon blood are obviously still in him, which is the point. So I guess I should shut up about semantics.

A lot of people think Sam's going to be, or is, addicted to the power. But his situation is not nearly so trite or straightforward. (Not that addiction is trite, of course. But storylines involving addiction often are.) The writers are keeping this as complex as possible. Sam's argument about the people he is saving with his power wasn't one Dean could easily counter. Dean mentioned the knife, Sam pointed out that the knife kills the person possessed, and that twists everything all up. Dean's way becomes the wrong way because it means killing innocents, while we can't see the downside to Sam's way. At least, not yet.

I think what I like best is that even as the brothers are changing, they are still consistent. Sam still thinks people can be saved, Dean still thinks evil needs to be stopped, even if it means destroying the good that coexists with it. Their personal argument hasn't changed that.

Since the brothers have been apart for four months and are at such odds, and in such pain because of it, it would be easy for one or the other to walk away. Yet it seems the bond is still strong enough that neither one is even considering it.

I was at IMDb trying to figure out when Castiel will be back and saw one-line writeups for the next four episodes. I don't like being spoiled, but I also want to know a little something about the future, and all of these made me squee instead of frown in disappointment. I can't wait.

Is it me, or is this season so far the goriest one yet? They're getting away with a lot. Almost enough to make me stop letting Number One watch, though her wrath would be mighty if I did.

Oh, one last thing. When Sam exorcised that demon from the guy at the beginning? The look Ruby gave him? Even more, the look he gave Ruby?

They are totally having sex.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Few TV Notes

I'm watching so much TV this fall--a truly stupid amount, really--that I've refrained from posting about most of it. This would become a fully TV-oriented blog if I didn't. But now that most of the shows I watch have debuted, let me make some brief comments:

First, I caught the trailer for Castle, a midseason replacement starring Nathan Fillion. It's yet another (OMG, when will they stop?) police procedural, my least favorite genre, but I'm still very much there when it premieres. And solely because of Nathan Fillion's character and performance. He's hilarious, gorgeous, and delightful.

But until then...

Man, Monday is packed. Some of the shows already rumored to be at risk would be better served, probably, if they were moved to the lighter Tuesday or Wednesday nights.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles started off with a bang and an awesome opening sequence, sputtered for a couple of weeks, and came back full force this week with a stellar episode. Unfortunately, it's facing cancellation already, and that pisses me off. There are far worse shows with worse ratings that have been kept for years and years. Come on, morons, do the math. You need to fill 70 hours of programming every week. Every show can't be in the top 20. Let it go, and accept your niche audiences. Fix the system.

How I Met Your Mother has been a little flat. Chuck is fun and stuff, but must start to grow a little or I'll get bored. Prison Break is surprisingly great and I'm so glad I caught up with last season and kept watching. Other people have already compared its vibe to Ocean's 11 and that's apropos, though PB is much darker and has much higher stakes. The conflicts and relationships and constantly shifting alliances are compelling instead of off-putting. And now Michael's health has put a ticking time bomb on the show, one that makes me afraid.

My Own Worst Enemy starts next week and I really hope it rocks, because, you know. Christian Slater. Me = slave to child of the 80s.

Fringe and The Mentalist are both okay. I really like the main character on The Mentalist. If Fringe were canceled tomorrow (which it won't be, it just got a full-season pickup) I wouldn't care. I like it, but distantly.

I was never a cult-level fan of Pushing Daisies. It's cute, and I like all the characters, but it's not a show I ever think about much after it's over, or am excited about seeing before it starts. Private Practice has caught me a little better. Partly because Dell is made of awesome (not the Dean Winchester flavor, though) and partly because they started off with a bunch of tough conflict that stirs things up pretty well. It's very emotional, and you can look at a room full of the ensemble cast and think, "Yeah, every one of them f**ked up good," but still care about them despite it.

I caught a blog post the other day that said Supernatural is not the best show on TV. I take exception to that statement. Not because I think the statement is wrong, but because it's one of those opinions masquerading as fact. SPN is the show *I* think is the best one on TV. How do I measure that? Mostly by how I feel leading up to show time, while I watch it, and when I talk about it/watch it again. But someone who doesn't like horror/paranormal stuff or complex family relationships or shows that take place mostly at night probably wouldn't agree. There are people who think Grey's Anatomy is the best show on TV, or 30 Rock. But I didn't care about anyone on Grey's the one time I tried to watch it, and I thought everyone on the pilot of 30 Rock was an idiot pretending that everyone around them was a genius. Maybe the show got better, but that's not my point. My point is...just like with books and movies, it's all subjective. There are "objective" criteria that we can apply, but good writing, acting ability, and cinematography are still things that one person can love and another hate. There's no way to say any particular show is the best one on TV, so you also can't unequivocally state that any one show is not the best one on TV.

Unless it's Knight Rider.

Eleventh Hour starts this week, but I'm not fussed. It sounded better than it looks, and I think I already pointed out the OMGalready factor of yet another police procedural.

I really like The Ex List, a show that may or may not be ruined from its cute-but-not-annoying-or-exaggerated presentation once they burn through the episodes done by creator Diane Ruggiero before CBS chased her off for being, presumably, funny and fun and relatable rather than melodramatic or stupid. So I watch with trepidation.

Numb3rs remains consistently good, not great, a show I'm happy to have on my DVR but wouldn't cry about losing.

Anyone watch Valentine last Sunday? We recorded it but probably won't watch until the weekend. Is it worth it?

How are you feeling about the fall season so far?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Just For the Record...

If you've seen this:

Oh, and just a side note, Dean Winchester is NOT made of awesome. Awesome is made of Dean Winchester.

on boards and forums and comms and blogs and such, you should know.

Megan Hart is the originator.

It's been around enough that I could probably get away with claiming I said it, and boy, I wish I had. It sums up everything. But I didn't. See?

Moments of Panic and Appreciation

*brrrrinnngg, brrrinnggg*

Me: Hello?

Instant Alert: "This is the middle school vice principal. Your kid's not here, and you failed to call us. Do it now."

Me (calling the number given): Hi, I just got an instant alert that my kid's not there and she's supposed to be.

Secretary: Let me transfer you to attendance.

Attendance Secretary: She was marked absent in homeroom.

Me: !!!! Well, can you please check, because last time I saw her she was at the bus stop, and if she's not in school, I have to call the police.

Attendance Secretary: Um...hold on.

Me: *holding, annoyed*

Attendance Secretary: She's in Algebra.

Me (ignoring the fact that she takes Geometry--it's the same teacher, so whatever): Well, phew!

Attendance Secretary: I'll ask the homeroom teacher what happened.

Me: No, thanks, I'll do it.

Me, e-mailing teacher: WTF?

Teacher, in amazingly fast response: So sorry, miscommunication here, you're a great parent, etc.

Me: *iz pleased*

So, from panic to pleasure in 5.6 minutes. I still need to find out why Number One wasn't in homeroom, but I'm sure she has a good explanation. If not, well, I'll just have to switch my perspective from Beaming, Proud Parent of Mild Overachiever to Suspicious, Paranoid Parent of Master Manipulator.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

And MAYBE...

Another thought about destiny:

Destiny doesn't have to be absolute.

For example, destiny might dictate whether I'm going to be a mega-bestseller or a moderately successful author whose greater value is in helping other authors on their paths to success.

But destiny probably does not dictate whether or not I remembered to pick up the dry cleaning on my way home today (I didn't).

And probably, "destiny" cannot be determined for certain in most circumstances. So let's look at the show again. It was destiny for Mary to make that deal with Yellow-Eyes, which Castiel knows because he tried to "change" it and it couldn't be changed. But that doesn't mean that every single decision made and action taken is destiny and PREdestined, and they can't know in advance which things are and which aren't.

One other thought...

Number One and I were talking about Mary's story, and discussing when it was that Eric Kripke and/or the writers figured out what it was. One of the things I love about writing, and being a seat-of-the-pants writer, is when I figure out a fact about my characters or events and then go back to insert the clues that lead up to that fact, only to find that they are already there. It always impresses me when that happens. :)


Did Eric Kripke know, when he first put Mary on the page, that the circumstances of her death were not a random occurrence? That it was actually Mary that caused YED to pick Sam? Did he know that YED's endgame would extend beyond his death?

Or did they decide, as season 2 neared and they were connecting Mary's death/Sam's selection to the current chosen-kids battle, that she had greater involvement? And if they decided then, was it just that she recognized him and they'd figure out why later? Or have they been holding on to all that for all this time?

As I type that, I remember them saying that a lot of the Mary stuff had to be set aside for season 4 because of the strike, so they probably knew, when they scripted the "You!" moment, why she recognized him. It will still be interesting to hear from Eric when that developed, if anyone ever asks him.

Supernatural: "In the Beginning"

I typed as I watched this time:

Dammit, Sam, sneaking out again. So not liking that. And Dean, never knowing? Wake up, boy!

Why do they always drive muscle cars? Did the waitress Ruby is possessing own it, or did Ruby steal it? Three eps, same Ruby. Maybe they won't be changing the actress.

The screams in Dean's dreams sound like an amusement park. Deliberate for maximum creepiness?

Damn Castiel's crypticity.

Hee, cell phone went with Dean. Whole jacket, with journal, in fact. He wakes up later with the jacket on him, but I didn't catch if he had it on him in the beginning. I don't think so. So Castiel made sure he had it. (Since Castiel touched his forehead, I'm of the belief that Dean didn't actually "travel"--it happened all in his head.

LOVE the Back to the Future references, like squeal-and-hug love.

I think young John is perfectly cast. You know, as far as casting someone who looks the right age but otherwise not nearly enough like someone ten years from now--no one is that different IRL without, like, losing a lot of weight or something. But it's a lot harder to unage an actor than to age him.

Castiel looks away when he fibs to Dean about time bending. I wonder if that's a tell.

The car! The kind of interaction Dean and John never had as adults in real life. So poignant.

Dean VanHalen. He couldn't come up with something less weird? LOL

I didn't at first see any real flaws in this episode, but watching again, I'm thinking about how John in the future is shaped as much by his military background as by the hunting. That doesn't really show here. He's described and portrayed as "sweet." Though we don't know what happens over the intervening 10 years. Maybe he's still in the service and just on leave, or goes back for a while like my father did.

Young Mary is awesome. I never thought "hunter," with all the possible reasons she recognized Yellow-Eyes in season 2. I love that her fighting fits the time period. It looks like the 70s, not like our 21st-century wire-supported fancy fighting.

Mitch Pileggi was perfect. He even channeled Fred's version of YED, but that's later. As a father, he's very much like what John becomes after Mary's death.

How funny is it that Dean was named after his grandmother?

They have lots of great lines, especially the references to how people are now that contrast with what happens in the future. Like "can you imagine John mixing with spirits?" and Mary not wanting her kids to grow up like she did.

Mary's smile at her dad's pom-pom comment (at the farm) tells us as much about her as any exposition or action could.

Father Cheney! Ha! And Dean is already clicking with him like a grandson, taking the mickey out of him.

This scene with Charlie starts the roll of information that just keeps flattening me every time I recover from a revelation. Yellow-Eyes making deals? Not revealing what he wants? Then we find out this is how he picks his kids, gets access. And it keeps going, and going... Even though Fred Lehane can't reprise his role, I really love that they still have connections to him in the "new" mythology of the show.

I love that Deanna isn't just the wife of a hunter. She's part of it, and leaves the impression that she's as competent as her husband (even though she's totally helpless against the demon).

"My dad could see the future." Haha! I guess it was hard to come up with something better.

The next part, Dean saying goodbye to Mary, is heartbreaking. Her not telling John about the world she tried to leave behind, and her wish for the boys not to be raised in it, was instrumental in making it happen. Very Greek tragedy.

One of my friends and I talked about how before this, we knew Mary as sweet and John as tough, and in the past it was the opposite. I said we only saw Mary from that five minutes in the pilot, a very brief moment as a mom in "Home," and through the eyes of a grown-up four-year-old's fantasy. We don't know that she didn't carry her toughness, her strength, into her non-hunting life. Also, all those friends of hers that Sam found out had died? That Yellow-Eyes apparently killed? I think she didn't fully leave hunting. Probably didn't hunt herself, but stayed connected somehow.

Damn, Jensen Ackles is an amazing friggin' actor.

Nice avoidance of the question, Castiel. I think he was just trying to get the measure of Dean here. How he feels about family is going to be instrumental in his influence over Sam.

Interesting that Elkins remained in the same place for 40 years. Doesn't seem typical of hunters.

I think when Castiel said he could bend time, he really meant he could bend perception and reality. He inserted Dean into a depiction of the events of the past without really changing them. I'm guessing in the real past, Mary's friendship with Liddy is what led her across the path of the demon. There wasn't something in place already to negotiate with--no abusive dad or dying family member--so he created something. Her father probably did go after him in some way and get killed, but not because Dean orchestrated events.

Something was obviously off about Samuel asking for the gun, but I didn't see possession coming! I think the moment when he put his thumbs to his eyes, kind of covered his face, is when YED took over. His demeanor was different when he spoke again. But subtle, just a little determined, a little hard. Masterfully acted.

After that, it's shock after shock.

The war wasn't the end game? What was? And how can it still matter, since Azazel is completely gone? Or is he? Is someone else putting it into motion? Lilith?

So Sam doesn't actually have demon blood "in him." This always bothered me, the way he said it and the way people talk about it. He ingested it, didn't have it injected wholly into him. His body would digest it and break it into parts. I am not part cow because I've eaten juicy steak. But here, YED explains it. It's like taking medication or steroids. Doesn't make him part demon, just gives him some abilities. Power. And since he's lived his whole life as a good person, it's pretty clear that he's still in control. Just like with any power, what he does with it and what it does to him is up to him.

More shock. John's dead, and my stomach is sinking. This is how he gets Sam. It's so inevitable and inescapable.

Ew! No kissing!

He makes the deal sound so innocuous. She's stupid. But young, and desperate, and suddenly orphaned, and 10 years is a long time away, and I'm sure she can't imagine him demanding something worse than what's happening right now.


Damn, I hate when they escape like that. It happens a lot, the demon leaving the body just before it gets ganked.

Mary looks at Dean, and knows what she's done, you can see it. Not the details, but the truth of it, the kind you feel in your gut. She's never going to be the same. (Well, she wasn't going to be, anyway, but...)

Castiel says they don't know what Azazel's end game IS. Present tense. So that implies that he's still in the game. Interesting.

He also says, "Destiny can't be changed, Dean. All roads lead to the same destination."

It sounds contradictory in combination with his order to Dean to stop Sam, but I don't think anything Castiel says is that straightforward or can be taken at face value. He told Dean they could bend time, and to "stop it," but he didn't mean stop what happened in the past--the truth was completely different from Dean's interpretation of his words. So we just have to wait and see.

But if we assume, for the sake of argument, that Castiel is really on earth under God's command, trying to stop Lucifer from being freed, then we have to also assume he doesn't believe his own statement. If destiny can't be changed, God and the angels can stay out of it, and it will happen anyway. They can protect themselves. Remain in the rarified air where they spent their last 2,000 years.

If it's destined for Lucifer to get free, or not, either way, why bother to get involved? There's nothing worse than the fruitlessness of knowing that if the wrong thing is destined, there's nothing you can do. The absence of hope rests on the side of evil, not good.

So it's possible he meant it the way I took it at first, that once something has happened, you can't alter it. If it hasn't happened yet, you can have an impact on events. If so, "destiny" is the wrong word, because it defies time.

Since they don't know where Sam's road is going, they don't know if his destiny is good or bad. Perhaps it's Dean's destiny to save Sam from making a horrible decision. If so, then Castiel didn't need to educate him on the past. If he needed to know, he'd find out a different way. It kind of all feeds into the Greek tragedy subtext, because in Greek tragedies, if people didn't get prophecies, they wouldn't do the things that fulfilled them.

There are other possibilities. The absence of hope rests on the side of evil, not good. So maybe Castiel isn't good.

Or maybe he is, and he's still lying. Maybe he knows what path Sam is going down, and that he's part of Azazel's end game. Or maybe destiny isn't written in stone, but he just said what he said so Dean wouldn't focus too hard on his failure to stop what already happened and fail to focus on stopping what still could happen.

Man, my head would hurt if I wasn't in so much glee.

So yeah, they're even heavier into the possibility of pitting brother against brother, something I really didn't want them to do. I'm okay with Sam and Dean employing different means to aim for the same goal (something touched upon in "Time is on My Side" last season) and being at odds about that. But I really don't want them to be actively against each other, like Buffy-killing-Angelus-who's-now-Angel-to-save-the-world against.

But even if they take us down that road, if they do it with the skill of what they gave us in this episode, I don't think I'll mind a bit.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Holy You-Know-What, Fans...and Yeah, It IS Spam, You Idiots

I'm not going to say much about Supernatural yet, since I want to watch it again and make comments as I go. There's so much. Mary was a hunter, OMG! Yellow Eyes was in Grandpa, OMG! They surprised me both times. The writing was so good, tying so much up so nicely. I have to admit, they're going places I really, really don't want them going, but I can't complain, because they are doing it with such amazing skill.

So I get this e-mail today from Superior Responder something-or-other. It says it's not spam, because it came from Superior Responder something-or-other. It goes on to thank me for requesting information and gives me a link. They don't say what information I requested. They have absolutely no product info or any hint of what company they are autoresponding for. And they supply two links that are full of junk--again, no hint. AND they send the e-mail to an e-mail address that's active and forwards to my real e-mail address, but which I never ever use and haven't for about 5 years. So HELLO! Unwanted, unsolicited, vague mail with suspicious links = SPAM.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

You're Gonna Vote, Right?

Yeah, I know. Everyone hates celebrity PSAs, especially regarding politics, because they're out of touch with the real world, who the hell are they to tell me blah blah blah.


1. This isn't about politics. It's about voting.

2. It's really, really funny.

Warning: Profanity Inside

For the record, I'm registered, have been since I was old enough, though I confess I haven't voted in every election (every presidential one, though!). I take my kids with me to the polls, and we talk about the candidates on our way over. And someday, I'm going to exert myself to try to do something about the fact that my state disenfranchises me in the primaries. Honest.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

SPN Tidbit, Kinda Spoilery

A lot of the discussions I've been in have talked about how Ruby's so different, even in a different body she'd act the same. I said Lillith sent her far away, I imagine whatever happened to her would subdue her somewhat.


I heard that there is a reason why, in the Supernatural premiere, Ruby seemed to have changed into a nicer demon. Do you know what it is? — Laura
Matt: I chalked it up to the fact that Ruby now inhabits Genevieve Cortese's body, but there's more to it than that. As series creator Eric Kripke tells the Buzz, "One reason she's nicer is because she spent a few weeks in a particularly nasty corner of Hell, being punished by Lilith's minions. That would humble just about anyone. As to whether Ruby is hiding some ulterior motive....tune in to find out." By the way, this week's "origins" episode? Not. To be. Missed. (On a related note, check out my Q&A with X-cellent guest-star Mitch Pileggi.)