Halloween Baking Championship

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I know I said September was a promotion blitz for my everything…but hey, Halloween, baked goods, bad dad jokes. Come on!

Now, I am a FAN of baking contest shows. The Great British Bake Off [is that the actual name?] got me all hot and bothered to find more soothing hours of people BAKING STUFF FOR PRIZES. The Food Network [porn for foodies, if we’re all honest. Are we?] has a plethora of shows around people desperately trying to bake elaborate confections during timed heats. There’s a Christmas series. There’s one centered on spring. There’s a series where kids bake elaborate stuff. Dang. How did that ten year old learn to make such stellar macrons?? What is a macron again?

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I think this is from season two. Isn’t that fun??!

Today’s main challenge–Make a ten layer cake flavored with rose water while incorporating dried grasshoppers and garlic! There’s a surprise twist that includes a 3-D sculpture of one of the Seven Wonders of the World that must be made out of two kinds of bread!

Groans! I am hooked!

Yep, so the Halloween series is my fave. I admit it. Scary clown cakes. A monster formed out of cream puffs. A smoking cake based on common nightmares. [As in dry ice is used that makes it seem fog or mist oozes from the cake. Cool, amirite??] The judges dress up in costumes. What is the budget for this show, cause those costumes and makeup…are quite elaborate and no costume gets repeated. And then I shrug, go—eh—and carry on transfixed by the successes and oh, failures of the various bakers. Cause who has not watched their pretty cake fall like a mofo??! Or rushed to get something done, that didn’t taste great? Who has not tried out weird flavor combos? Certainly not moi.

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Host– John Hanson. Judges– Carla Hall in green, Zac Young and Lorraine Pascale. The judges do change as do the host/s.

I love Halloween. It’s my absolute fave holiday. Mostly because you don’t have to spend it with family trying not to come out of your damn skin as they discuss how global warming is a hoax and how the demonrats are trying to destroy ‘murica by bussing busloads of illegals from California to Texas to vote. Cause George Soros funds all that and he’s a Nazi Jew globalist trying to replace white people with brown people. All of this said while crazy uncle gives you the side-eye to see how upset and triggered you are! I feel a bout of leprosy coming on, sorry, can’t make the Thanksgiving massacre this year!

Yeah, that’s why I prefer a holiday that’s rooted in candy and alcoholic excess. And scary movies! Yes, I’ve been monstrously drunk, happily so, during Pumpkinfest. Some of the best times I ever had were around Halloween. I love costumes! I love pumpkins! Can ya blame me? So round and orange! Punkins!

I also love ghost stories and zombies and vampires and spooky stuff. There’s that, too.

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Okay! So the baking element is what actually had me at hello. I am a strictly amateur baker. I just started making homemade bread a few years ago. I usually use a cake mix for cakes. My grandmother loved them. She always sighed happily and said what a great thing it was to just mix up a cake out of a box. My grandmother loved cooking and recipes and cooking shows. Like Julia Childs. Or the Frugal Gourmet. If you’ve never heard of either, well, that’s okay. I guess we can still be friends.

I’ve been bingeing on the Halloween Baking show, as it ramps up tonight with a new season. What will it be? A wicked witch episode? A show dedicated to ghosts and spirits?? A zombie and vampire wedding extravaganza? Cupcakes and tarts and mousse, oh my! The red food coloring alone…!

Now, the host guy annoys me. I admit it. Just…stop talking. Just announce the categories, and there are two—the first one that can be bake a dozen cookies with these ingredients and shaped like this. Followed by a harder challenge and if your creation doesn’t cut it, hey, you can be sent home. The American baking shows seem to have a two part format whereas the Great British one has three distinct challenges. Except Chopped has three parts. Yes, I’ve also discovered Chopped, which I watch mainly to see how the various chefs deal with BATSHIT INSANE ingredients hidden in a basket.

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Halloween baking. That’s my focus here, not Chopped. Stay in your lane now.

I also enjoy the decorating element, as this makes me try and pretty up whatever baking I attempt. Uniformity and looks! My pies don’t look like a cow came along and sat on them, for instance, since I started caring a bit about their appearance. Instead of, hey, it’s edible and baked all the way! I watch people sculpt out of chocolate or fondant or rice cereal treats. I observe buckets of buttercream frosting being colored to slap on cakes shaped like skulls or pumpkins or haunted houses. The fillings conjured up, mostly raspberry puree or vanilla bean custard, that get squirted into still hot pastries as the clock ticks down.

Ah the judging. I do enjoy the three judges. Delicious to underbaked and limp or the flat-eyed glare sent to a trembling baker. I can’t find the rum in your ganache. The bitten lip of the baker! It’s in there, the baker claims and the judge curls her British upper lip in utter smoking contempt as the other two judges either agree or dissent. There’s two Americans and one not American. Names?

Now, I’ve seen horrible looking desserts saved by their taste. A hot mess that tasted fabulous. A Day of the Dead cake that looked like I’d decorated it but which tasted like a professional baker baked it. And the guy almost in tears over how his cake appeared.

But sometimes this won’t save a baker if they’ve already had a bad baking session earlier. The judging seems arbitrary. Which is fine. It also seems to be based on personalities a bit rather than actual baked goods produced…which is also fine. Whatever. It’s television.

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Carla Hall as a flapper. See what I mean? She never wears this again.

Anyway! Before this approaches novella length. I like Halloween. I like baking shows. A Halloween baking contest show. I’m! So! There!

Waiting for the dems to do something is sorta like waiting for glaciers to move. So I’ll watch people try to make scary stuff out of flour, eggs and heavy cream. Woot woot!

Oh the dog took over my bed last night. She’s rather like having a space heater blowing directly on you. As she sighs and flops around and settles in as I try to find a comfy position. She’s not a small dog, in other words. But I feel rather honored she chose to stay instead of stomping out to snooze in the living room. So have been up since three thirty. Cause that’s when me and Miz Bridge had to powder our noses. And the owls were hooting away and the coyotes singing the songs of their people.

Some Pose and Some Thoughts

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Indya Moore as Angel. 

“Houses are homes to all the little boys and girls who never had one, and they keep coming every day just as sure as the sun rises.” – Pray Tell, 1987

 

Pose covers an area I didn’t know existed. Where transgender people oversee a house full of their ‘children’. They live together, support each other and ready themselves for balls. Where competitions are held, prizes given, for various categories. Costumes, wigs, poses, dances…with an announcer giving running commentary and judges judging by holding up cards with numbers. It’s set in the late eighties, early nineties at the height of the AIDS crisis, exacerbated by Reagan and by general ignorance and fear of this disease. This is before Rent came out. This is during Madonna’s Vogue period…and I get to learn where she got the inspiration for that song. It’s from the people who run the balls and compete in them. The vogue-ing, so to speak, became a craze that showcased this private world and seemed to promise acceptance and even love for the people others found frightening or laughable.

So, if you have no idea this show is even on, go watch it. It’s entertaining, heart-breaking and a look into the actual history of America during Reagan and Bush. A reminder that we have arrived far from that time and yet need to ensure our progress forward with the LGTBQ community [sorry if I am behind on recent labels being used here] continues. I am not gay, but I can sympathize and want the best for others not like me. My empathy exists yet. It’s rather how I ache for what’s going on at the border with those seeking an end to what’s going on in their own countries. The horrors that made them become refugees. Because I can and do understand why they’d leave.

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From left to right. Hailie Sahar, Indya Moore, Dominque Jackson, Angelica Ross and Mj Rodriguez. 

As I did work in Honduras for a bit. I saw firsthand what it was like there. I watched soldiers with guns bigger than they were guarding the banks. Military presence. Scary ass military presence. I saw how women and children were treated. Badly. Women had no recourse if abused or under threat or raped. None. No shelters, the police would laugh in their faces or deliver them back home to the very men who were beating the shit out of them. Their families, staunch Christians all, would look down on a woman wishing to leave such a situation. Abortion? Yeah, no. Birth control? Eh. I told a father in a teacher meeting that his daughter could be doing a bit better. I said this cavalierly. I expected such a common thing to say would have the consequence of dad going home and making sure his daughter did her homework…and instead, he went home, took off his belt and beat the shit out of this fourth grader. I mean left bruises, welts and cuts kind of beating. Because of some careless words I said.

So yes, I get why people are fleeing Honduras and Guatemala and other places in Central America. San Pedro Sula is the murder capital of the world. Go look that up. I never felt unsafe in China. I traveled around there by myself and felt fine. I never feared I’d get hurt or killed. Honduras scared me. I admit it. Not just the giant bugs, but how flimsy my doors were. If anything happened, I was on my own.

A man known to us teachers followed me home one night, drunk and raving. And I got myself into my house, without being raped. I was shaken. I told what happened to my fellow teachers, and that’s where it ended. He was told to leave me alone, by two of the other teachers, and…no local cops. I’d have been laughed at or worse, told I should have enjoyed the attention.

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Billy Porter as Pray Tell.

Pose. Before I jump into my brief time failing utterly in Honduras.

What this show does so well is reveal the humanity of people we’ve been taught to think of as subhuman or demons or laughable clowns. The drag queens. The transgenders. The queers. The gays. The…all the other names here. Yes, the campiness is there, the over the top performances, the volatile personalities rubbing against each other, sometimes literally. But we get to see the vulnerability, the heartache, the losses. We get to see young kids kicked out of their homes and taken in by these mothers who run the various houses. We get to see the every day struggle of being who you are when the world tells you you should be dead or hidden away. The sheer courage it takes to step out of your door each day.

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Janet Mock. From zimbio.

It’s written by people like Janet Mock. It’s written from some other perspective than straight people imagining what this world is like and getting most of it wrong. Women have had to endure centuries of men writing about them as if they were fragile idiots or gold-seeking harpies. Or even that women don’t matter at all in the scheme of things or across the webs of history itself. Women writers were few and far between. And to get published, they also had to follow the formulas. Or write anonymously or under a male non de plume. This is a whole post by itself, of course.

Pose, before I get distracted!

I happened to catch the very first episode of season one last year. It was fantastic. The acting hit it out of the ball park. The storytelling. The shadow over these people called AIDS. The excessive consumerism era that was the late eighties. The community presented who seemed every nationality out there, not just 99% glow in the dark white, 1% ‘other than white’. Representation does matter. It matters and oh boy, does Pose go for it here. They also use transgender actors.

I also enjoy how the second season focuses more on the houses, the mothers and the people in their care, their friendships, fights, relationships in general. 

If you’ve not seen this show, go watch it. If you don’t know why the AIDS epidemic was made worse by Reagan, go watch this. Or go look it up. Others have showcased this one, such as the Normal Heart and Angels in America. Pose takes us on the every day, tiny journeys of regular folk who just happen to be gay or ‘other’. Who struggled with how to pay for the expensive drugs. How the doctors and people of this small community would gather the bottles of meds to give out to those who needed them and couldn’t get them…from the bedsides of the dead. The looking out for one another.

On losing your friends to this disease and on watching society around you shrug at these deaths as if ‘those people’ deserved to be forgotten as quickly as possible. It’s such an ugly ugly aspect of America. And gives us a basis for the hatred and fear going on now about, well, those who are different or not straight white Christian males.

Pose is also funny. It’s uplifting, you cheer at the victories of these various characters. You watch actual journeys taking place as people learn from their mistakes and make new mistakes instead of the old mistakes over and over. You watch families form and stay strong together or break apart, but come back together. And you see love in all ways, from romantic to friend to family. The love that doesn’t judge or ask that you be anything but who you actually are. Pose says we all matter. Even those on the outskirts. Those in the shadows. Those wandering about homeless, selling their bodies because their families kicked them out of the house for being different or not what that family could accept or endure under their roof. Those of one gender dressing as another gender. Those who…yeah. All the people who had to and still have to pretend they’re ‘normal’ so they don’t get hurt or murdered for who they are. Or lose a job. Or be denied rights. Or be denied medical care. Or be denied that last visit from someone they love as they lay dying in a hospital.

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Display about Hart Island, showing the unmarked graves. Notice the date. 

One of the most gut-wrenching moments of this stellar show was the visit out to Hart Island, to the unmarked graves of those who had succumbed to the infections or maladies let in by HIV. The unclaimed corpses shipped to basically a leper graveyard as society proclaimed such deaths meant nothing at all and were probably deserved. A reminder that if the government had allowed the CDC to look into all this, a lot of people would have been helped and remedies against this discovered that much quicker. They don’t care about us—it’s what you hear a lot on this show.

Another soul-shattering episode showcased the murder and funeral of a main character, who had gone to make money by prostituting herself at a run down motel famous for seedy hook ups. Her battered, dead body is discovered. We get reminded that transgender people are often at risk of being killed. Even here in America. And we also got to see Candy, the one murdered, say her goodbyes to the people she loved and fought with. We got some closure and damn, something so hokey should not have worked as well as it did. Damn. 

But Pose showcases why you should care. Why it’s important to care about those in the margins and that, hey, those in the margins are not clowns or there for our amusement or scorn…they are, yeah…people. Pose gets it right so often. Those we’ve been taught are the ‘other’ or too strange to attempt to understand are people. Who love and work and hunger and cry and laugh and do everything people do. And oh my god, do we need to be reminded of that in this goddamn present time.

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From Pose. Mj Rodriguez as Blanca. 

From Pose, Season One, Episode Four– Fever. Janet Mock, writer

Blanca: You should have heard them talking, like not knowing is an okay thing.

Pray Tell: They’re young.

Blanca: That’s my point. They don’t know shit about shit. It’s my job to teach them. What’s the point in being their mother if I can’t teach them to do to protect them from the one thing we all know is comin’.

Pray: Then tell them to be careful.

Blanca: They’re kids! Most of the grown men we know aren’t careful. They gotta get checked and not just for their sake. They need to know so they don’t hurt nobody else.

Pray: I stopped getting tested.

Blanca: What?

Pray: After Custus got sick and I saw how the AZT made him sicker. He’s not the first. I know about five people where the drugs killed them before the virus did.

Blanca: You don’t know that.

Pray: I know that Ronald Reagan will not say the word AIDS. Health insurance will not cover any treatment. The world wants us dead. They don’t think this is a plague. They think it’s some sort of divine justice or Darwin’s answer for sodomy.

A Discovery of Sugar Cookies

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Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode as Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont in A Discovery of Witches. 

Now, I’ll try not to wander over a thou words. Promises promises.

I realized my last two posts boil down to EXPECTATIONS. Yes, television is a frivolous wasteland for brain-dead zombies who are just about the most asleep of the non-woke sorts ever. That’s why I wuv it. Cutesy and sad. I rock!

I settle in for the new series, heavily advertised. A Discovery of Witches.

Witches!!

Vampires!!

Something dark, creamy, decadent, lots o’fun, I hope with all the hope that yet clings to the inner tunnels of my decaying soul.

Ah. Discovery of Witches. Apparently, it’s three books. The dreaded and dreary trilogy! Not that all trilogies are that, of course. Some are even famous. Real famous. I’ve never heard of this one, I admit it here. So. I don’t know this story. I have no idea where it’s headed. All Souls? Souls for All? Equal but Separate Souls?

I settle in to enjoy me some witches and vampires. Cause I like witches and vampires. And ghosts. And zombies. And assorted other monsters and psycho killers and creatures that populate your basic horror movie to your basic high fantasy expanses.

And that first episode. Some smartie historical gal has POWERS and there’s this MYSTERIOUS VAMPIRE DUDE who lurks around testing blood. Diana [I have to keep checking what her name is!] checks out a book! From the restricted section of Hogwarts! Sorry, no, that’s…nope. Cambat? Tower of Loins? Oxballs? Eh. I’m clearly resisting the SPELL of this show.

Had to. Had to.

Now, the vampire dude, named Bill, nope, it’s Edward…er, Matthew, LURKS around Dingus, er, Diana a lot. Oh shoo, is her name Sookie? Isabel?? Diana, like Wonder Woman!

He’s rich? There’s ropes and whips…er. No. Uh. I’m not sure what the plot is here. Other than witches and vampires HATE each other. There’s demons but am not sure what they can do or why they exist in this particular witchvamp-verse.

Oh, there’s a council. Where the three groups decide stuff. A sort of secret cabal of supernatural politicians. 

There’s the older witch guy who was on…wait for it…Game of Thrones. He’s also nasty in this show. But I’d rather watch him and the dark-haired interesting witch woman from Finland than Dingus and Matt. I felt more chemistry between those two than Vanilla and Safe But Dangerously Smoldering Cuddle God. The Gentle Monster Who Can Kill You But Won’t, He Promises. [Bill of True Blood. Beast from Beauty and the Beast. Edward Cullen from Twilight. Angel from Buffy. Etc!]

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Owen Teale as Peter Knox. Alliser Thorne on GOT.

Ah, there it is! The central heroine is a bland blond nothing to me. [She’s a sugar cookie!] Another Earnest Serious Humorless Flat Glass of Stale Water. She also falls in love LIKE THAT with vampire dude. I do mean LUV, TROOO LUV.

[Is that scene from the Princess Bride echoing in your head right now? Yeah. Exactly!]

They are attractive folks and they bump uglies. Usually with a fireplace and candles nearby. Yet, their love is FORBIDDEN. Cause it’s a LAW.

That Dingus knows nothing about cause she’s been sheltered from witch stuff. By her lesbian aunt and lesbian aunt’s partner. [Who killed the dead parents?? Ah, plot, there is one.]

Diana seems to be some sort of super-concentrated uberwitch. Hence why blood being tested. Parallels to True Blood and Sookie’s fey blood. Oh gosh. My attention wanders…when was the last time I vacuumed?

Now!

Matt’s ma is one of my fave actresses from Rome and elsewhere. Love her! She’s tall, cool, gorgeous and veddy British. She can also make whatever nonsense they pay her to say sound fabulous. I loved her in Under the Tuscan Sun…which has to be the ultimate girly girl movie ever made in the history of ever. A two hour movie on renovating an old Tuscan villa. With Sandra Oh and Rory Gilmore’s dad in it. Where was I?

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Lindsey Duncan as Ysabeau de Clermont. Servilia on Rome. Katherine on Under the Tuscan Sun. 

Matt’s ma is some upercrust French lady with an estate and she eats guts and blood. None of the vampires seem affected by sunlight but I might have been napping during most of D ofW’s scenes. It’s beautifully shot, there’s that going for it.

I saw somewhere that D of W is Twilight for adults. Oh dear…now I can’t unmarry that from my views on this show. Now I see our Bland Vanilla heroine as Bella allowed to grow up and have to be rescued all the time. By her vampire paramour who runs down deer to eat. As Vampire Dude ran down a stag, as did Eddy Cullen. Oh damn it. Parallels. My weird “hate Twilight but have to watch Twilight” obsession-compulsion disorder is circling back to chomp at me. Ouch. Ouch!

Bella, er, Dingus, er…what is her name? does begin to try and explore her powers so she can rescue her little self 20% of the time instead of none of the time. Maybe she’s a Dark Phoenix-like witch…her powers are so awful and destructive it was just safer to suppress them. Is that where this is headed? Yes, I did just reference the X-Men.

Yes, I will attempt to get through the finale but I doubt I’ll watch another season. I feel like we’ve been down this overly explored road. True Blood, Twilight, Fifty Shades, ugh all the others I can’t recall right now.

To sum up!

Can’t wait to watch Carson choosing wines for the King and Queen of England on Downton.

GOT limped to a close. I think they chopped off all but the left arm kind of limping.

Discovery of Witches doesn’t seem to be my Bloody Mary.

964 word count or so. Promises kept.

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Game of Sighs

 

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Hey, you have to laugh at your ten year commitment to a TV show. You have to!

Game of Thrones. Oh sigh. Sorry, this gets long in the old tooth. But it’s fairly superficial. So. Yay? 

 It felt like the writers just went how many fans can we piss off. It felt like sabotage of their entire carefully crafted show.

I’ll try not to include spoilers but if you’re not a fan or have never seen a GOT episode, well.

I didn’t get about to watching Breaking Bad until well after it had aired its last ep. Same with Mad Men.

I didn’t start watching Buffy [stop it, stop giggling, I still love that show.] until the end of season two. I had no idea what was going on, but…HOLY HELL THIS IS GREAT AND SAD AND MUST WATCH RELIGIOUSLY FROM NOW ON.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend!! I missed the first season but IT’S ONE OF MY FAVE SHOWS EVER EVER EVER. Musical numbers, West Covina, characters so well crafted it seems a shame nobody watched this…!

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Bwha ha ha ha. It ends with Ned Stark waking up, going, oh my gosh, I had the strangest dream…

GOT. The great giant BATTLE between good and evil seemed rushed. That’s a polite word for it. True, we can’t spend bazillions of episodes on the one side getting ready to face some snow zombies but still. Oh wait…yes, we can. We spent eight fucking seasons doing that. Winter is coming!

Also, Jon’s resurrection? Was for? To get rid of the Crazy Mother of the Broken Chains? Cause…that seems not plausible on part of story or writing or characters. It seems a hit job on Dany, most of all.

We watched her not be insane for eight seasons, after all. We watched her learn to master herself, to listen to others, to trust herself and her instincts to help people.

Yes, she did go on the occasional murder sprees. But they were, like, totally called for. [Yes, I am justifying, Yes, I am. Am I ashamed of that? Not even a little.]

Before this, when a city or whatever surrendered, they were not then slaughtered in a wholesale and ghastly fashion. What she did to King’s Landing seems so totally out of character.

The bells ringing meant the city had surrendered. That it was over. Soldiers put down their weapons. And then, Dracarys! Fire! Destruction! Death death death! After the surrender. Um? Was there a bonus promised for use of dragon in this episode?

I’d have been fine with her fate if…if it had been set up far better than it was. Oh my goodness, that would have been one for the actual ages. To watch this girl of good intentions turn into the very thing she claims to hate…and we get to go on that journey with her instead of our jaws dropping in outrage at the sudden out of seemingly nowhere shifts someone put into play to…what, for what purpose?

What if Dany could have been…well. Too late now! What’s done is done, cannot be undone, to quote yet another lady treated to abrupt character assassinations. That lady from that Scottish play, sleepwalking with a candle.

Also, the backbone of GOT has always been Tyrion Lannister. I want to give a salute to Peter Dinklage for that. Salute, sir!

That said, when he had to make that speech about Bran. To, sigh, name Bran, contender for king of it all…fuck. Just no. No. Nope.

We went through eight seasons of Jon Snow acting kingly, with the Mom of Flying Lizards conquering everything she could and then some…only to have both shunted aside like smelly tampons so that Bran, the creepy raven supervillain whatever, could…win it all? Who even claimed he wanted nothing to do with being Lord of Winterfell or….mm.

Also, Gendry is an actual heir to the Iron Throne. And Jon is a Targaryen. A legitimate one. All of that build up? For? Um? Bran to be…king? Um?

Now, I get, as a writer, subverting expectations. I get that one. You build toward something, then smash that but…what direction you head has to be EARNED. It has to make some sort of logical sense within the world you created. You can’t play actual tricks with your audience because your audience is smart. They trusted you to tell a good story. They trusted in your structure. To betray that trust out of spite or hubris or arrogance…um, just don’t. To me, also, this seemed a bunch of writers not trusting where this story wanted to go. The organic flow seems off. Yeah,  I went there! 

GOT turned out not to be a good story. That’s my biggest chunk of gristly fatty beef here. I expected better. I got a rushed, flat, improbable set of discordant jarring leftovers thrown together and nuked in a half-working microwave.

The reunion between Ghost and Jon was second only to Sansa being named Queen of the North. Arya sailing off for parts unknown? Sweet! The Starks won but it seems the rest of us watching, waiting, hoping, despairing, cheering, sobbing…lost.

Also, women can’t do power? Does that mean Sansa will go mad, too, and have to be put down by Bran’s armies? Is that the next Game of Thrones book? A Song of Mad Sisters Who Should Smile More?

Oh and Tyrion finding Jaimie and Cersei…!

Sorry, a truck full of cut up onions must have invisibly driven by.

Now, a major or minor show ending its run is always cause for gritting the teeth, hoping for the best. Hoping it’s not terrible or flat or a host of other expectations that are so seldom met.

Battlestar Galatica, anyone?

The mixed reaction to Mad Men’s finale?

Seinfeld? Roseanne’s series finale! Then, the reboot, which is now canceled…mmm. 

Big Bang Theory just ended, and that was actually quite a lovely send off. Well done there.

But. Game of Sighs indeed. For once. They should have given the fans what they wanted. Not a happy ending but a better ending than that. The Jon and Ghost reunion, yes. Well done. Thanks.

I also want to give a nod to one of my other fave characters. The Hound.  That dour, gruff, and yes, very flawed character. Well played, with a dry humor.  I also want a Hound and Tormund buddy comedy…oh. Can’t have that now. Sigh. The Hound’s end, eh. I was…maybe I need to watch it again. 

I’ll end there. Others have picked this carcass thoroughly, for hours at a time, usually dressed up in GOT garb. With the minute attention to detail of a detective after a serial killer! Goodbye, murdery rapey lots of boobies and some cool ass dragons show!

Oh. There’s a prequel? Better Call Saul turned out pretty good. Young Sheldon is far better than it has a right to be. So…maybe? Maybe they’ll remember what made the first three or four seasons of GOT soar like a baby dragon?

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from Vulture.  Left corner–Dany, dragon. Cersei pixie cut. Jon sexy blood look. Sansa. Sansa’s mom Kat. Arya. Tyrion Lannister. Night King peeking over the right edge there. 
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Tormund and Brienne of Tarth. Kristopher Hivju and Gwendoline Christie.
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Sandor Clegane AKA the Hound. Rory McCann
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Tormund and Lyanna Mormont. Bella Ramsey, actress

Downton Game of Witches

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Tingles! Downtown Abbey about to politely delight and thrill us ere again. Dame Maggie Smith!

Part one!

I mashed some titles together. I feel so clever.

I actually have three different posts here, I decided. Instead of one mashed together mess, I know! I’ll do a three-parter! Woot woot!

Downton Abbey.

Game of Sighs.

A Discovery of Sugar Cookies.

Mash seems to be my fave word today! Also, if I wish to go off on a rage-rant that has nothing to do with anything…well. I won’t.

My despair over DC has reached coma-inducing levels. Which is what THEY want. They. Tiny “victories” constantly overshadowed by actual bad shit done out in the open.

I need a gallon of pudding. Ever had that pudding that’s canned? By the gallon? Yeah, that stuff.

Shall we briefly revisit our favorite Upstairs/Downstairs knockoff??

Just watched the Downton Abbey teaser-trailer.

Oh. Yes.

When-is-this-on?? Hold the sherry! This is an actual movie. It won’t be on Masterpiece? What the…? Oh polite eye roll and sniff of suppressed annoyance! Excuse to leave house, though…!

A ROYAL VISIT??!! What wine will they serve the queen?? Which queen is this?? Must remember to look up what queen that is. Will not remember. Sigh!

I am so there for Downton Abbey the Movie. I know. It’s a snobby exercise in snobbiness. Yep. Don’t care! 

Lady Mary with that really cute short haircut! Will she and Edith have their sisterly rows or have they declared a sort of sisterly armistice? Oh hey, is that the same actor who plays Vampire Dude in A Discovery of Sugar Cookies? Is Lady Mary’s second hubbie VAMPIRE DUDE? Mind. Blown. Blown. BOOM. Just checked and yes, it is. Matthew Goode. Wait. His name in real life is Matthew, too? Hold it together, brain.

Back to squee central. 

What is Thomas up to??!! Are Anna and Bates SUFFERING AWAY AS PER USUAL?

Mr. Carson walking up toward Downton Abbey!

I need a scone!

Rabbit 2019

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Brigit, the wonder cow dog. The vet called her a Kelpie mix. AKA Leatherface and the Gremlin.

Yesterday. I now have the Beatles song moaning in my head. BRB. Okay!

I spent a rainy Sunday trying to save a young rabbit. I didn’t succeed. They spray the weeds around here. Wildlife eats the weeds. Wildlife gets poisoned and die. There is no actual concern for wildlife where I’m from. Farm community, they could give a shit about the local bunnies dying in slow degrees from the weed poisoners. This young silver-brown rabbit lived in the discarded irrigation pipes on the other side of the fence. It got trapped in the privet hedge by two of the three dogs on Saturday or so. Time seems very flompy lately. Flompy—where time seems random, disjointed and not seemingly connected to reality.

The two dogs trying to get to this young bunny got distracted, ran off barking at something, so the bunny was able to hop out from the hedge, and hop slowly away. It’s out in the open, mind you. There’s dogs, hawks, all sorts of DANGER. There are two hawks nesting away just down the road who patrol the three fields, the ditchbank, our yard, the road. I actually caught them mating one day in the old locust tree. Hubba hubba!

Yes, I am a sad sad sad little creature these days.

It’s been RAINING. Actual rain. For days. Yesterday, one of those rainy Sundays where it seems time gets super-flompy.

Brigit has been outside, in the rain, a long time. Our yard is fenced. I go out to check on her, she won’t jingle her way to the door. She wears a collar with her info dangling from it. She sounds like one of those cat bell collars, you can hear her arriving or going. Tinkle tinkle! She’s worrying something on the ground. I think it’s a bit of plastic or something she dug up. Ah…no. It’s the young silver bunny. I pick it up [bad sign right there] but cannot find anything wrong with it. The dog didn’t rip off a limb or chew it up. No blood, no broken bones, I notice that it does have diarrhea. Which triggers the ‘they sprayed for weeds the other day’ ding ding ding inner bells. The rabbit doesn’t seem lively at all, very lethargic. But. The rabbit is also cold and wet and just been the victim of Brigit’s unkind use of it as a chew toy. So maybe shock and fear? Maybe it’s just playing possum [sort of and it’s a rabbit] until I either finish it off or it find a moment to get away.

I take the poor little thing inside. I put it on a heating pad, wrapped in an old towel, inside a container so that if it does turn all lively I won’t have to rip the house apart trying to find it. As there has been a rabbit loose in the house. Years ago. The dogs, and we’ve always had dogs, must have brought it in. It lived behind the dryer for two days before I found it. My mother, yet alive then, kept hearing things. So by then it was starving, scared and it just died. A very young rabbit, eyes just opened young. So I remember how fragile wild rabbits are. I remembered that yesterday as well. And that other time I tried to save a wild very young rabbit.

So! Success I thought. After a couple hours, the bunny had perked up. It was moving about, no longer huddled up in a frozen ball of misery. The rain had stopped a bit. I hesitated at putting it back outside. Cold wet drizzly day, maybe I should wait until Monday, let it suffer captivity until then.

I instead, taking the entire container out with me so as not to touch the bunny or stress it out further by handling it, let it loose near the privet hedge. As it seemed to live nearby. I read that releasing wild animals willy nilly can just get them killed. As there’s territories marked out. Or they…yeah. Good intentions kill a lot of the time, especially wild animals. Sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a crapshoot. The bunny seemed very perky. It ran off under the hedge.

Two hours or so later. The dogs whine to go outside. In the rain. They make a beeline for the hedge because our Lab is a hunting dog. She remembers where she caught scent of SOMETHING or caught SOMETHING. The young dog is, in Eastern Oregon slang, a cow dog. She’s smart. She watches the two Labs and learns. Sneaky little blighter. So Brigit and Molly keep wanting out to go after whatever’s in that hedge. Which I know is that young distressed rabbit. They just know it’s smelly and they want it. Or maybe they know it’s a rabbit. Or a bigger version of a mouse.

I find young bunny huddled at the far end of the line of struggling hedges. It’s waterlogged, and just lets me pick it up. Bad sign indeed. There’s also diarrhea. A few feeble protest kicks, then it huddles in my hands. I take it back inside, turn the heating pad back on, try to get a bit of water down it, then just cover the container and wait to see what happens. This time Lord Frith called one of His own home.

It shuddered, kicked, laid on its side. Just stopped breathing.

Why do I keep trying to save anything? Because I feel it’s the right thing to do. That’s my moral backbone. An actual set of morals I can’t seem to discard, no matter how indifferent those around me are. I will dig worms for baby birds. I will make sure the heat isn’t too high under a sick rabbit. I will…Perhaps I am trying to atone for being me. I don’t know.

And to end on a good note—

Thump! Crash. Bang! What just hit the side of the house? Out the window I look. Nothing. So I go outside. A blackbird is divebombing Brigit who’s after something in the wild rose bush tangle. I call off the dog, when I notice, yes, a young bird being pursued by enthusiastic novice hunter, Brigit. I manage to pick it up, it’s fine and it manages to fly from my hands and back under the wild rose bushes as mama bird squawks threats at me from atop the house. I make Brigit go back in the house and hopefully, the little bird family will be okay for now. There are no cats about but there is that twosome of hawks just down the way. I read that if the young bird is feathered out yet still young enough, the parents will still feed it as it hops about on the ground. Fledglings? There’s stages. AS there is in most things. I’m a wise old owl this morn.

So a bit of grimness, a bit of a rescue that actually, for now, has worked out. I’m glad there’s enough cover in the yard [which does not get sprayed with killer chemicals] to shield the local wildlings.

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Notice the wild tangle on the far side of the fence, the storm approaching. This privet hedge got cleaned up and tidied by me since this was taken. Eastern Oregon landscape, y’all.

I was going to try and take apart my utter disappointment in Game of Thrones. But everyone’s doing that right now so let me utterly change directions on my dying bunny tale with if you are not watching or have never watched Call the Midwife, do so. Especially as it’s so timely with the illegal abortion stories it presents, as well as how we are still as ignorant about women and their bodies as we were back in the 60’s. I have tried to like a Discovery of Witches but…I am just cold toward it. She fell in luv in about five seconds. There’s plots abrewin’. That’s all I get from that. The vampire guy seems cute? Eh.

Don’t even worry. I’ll do a rant-take down of my television viewing habits. Don’t even worry, darlings. As always, thank you for reading and hey, I have books for sale. I also have plays you can produce or use if so inclined or in need. Don’t ask me to care for rabbits, I am 0 for 2 right now. I do better with birds. What the hell is Eurovision and what is going on in Iceland to produce that?? Geez! I also watch John Oliver’s show…

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The very rabbit in question. Very unusual fur?

Rebirth Rebirth!

 

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A still from the Red Turtle. The Red Turtle will not be mentioned once in the following blog. 

Instead of Rejoice Rejoice…

The [new] computer is now working. One of those refurbished deals. Man alive, it’s FAST. Whizz! Whoom! Oh hey I can play Candy Crush now. My priorities are catawampus a wee small bit. 

Lesson for writers: Send out lots of submissions. Instead of, like, three. Yep. Glad I could help! Volume. Volume is the key here. That way when you get rejected, it won’t seem so thousand percent everyone hates your work. Volume will spread that out a bit. That’s the theory, anyway. Wink!

ABPIP– always be positive in public

Notre Dam has burned. Something ancient, something grandly lovely, something fragile, has been destroyed. For now. It was being renovated. So perhaps something sparked. As it can do. Whomp whoosh, medieval wood ceiling might as well be made of gasoline cans. I did hear great efforts managed to save some of it. And I am glad of that. 

People claim terrorists did it. Like Glenn ‘Puppy Eater’ Beck.  Or that God is sending a message. [Most of the crazier religious sorts on Twitter.] With various interpretations as to what that message is. Others make jokes or shrug. I guess the football team can still play…seems to be some people’s confused take on the fire there in Paris. [As Notre Dame is a school and…yeah.] 

So am figuring out things and stuff on the new computer. It does read my thumb drive/s. That’s excellent well. Very leery of this newish machine. I trusted the old one, after all. Which was also refurbished. And worked for ten years. If not longer. 

Oh! Game of Thrones was on all week on free HBO. Which is good. As it was the week my elderly other machine decided to beep forlornly at me to bury it in the computer graveyard known as ‘stored in the closet somewhere’. Yes, I did see the new ep and I am literally a quivering, miserable happy mass of cells. Will Jon accept his birthright? Will Dani find out she’s likely preggers with her nephew’s kid? Will the Night King discover that Cersei is far far far colder than he is? Will Sansa and Tyrion get together for real?? [Heard people contemplating that one…] Arya and the Hound, a new buddies cop spinoff? Brienne and the big red-headed guy? Romance or…? [my absolute fave want them together couple ever on GOT. I am not alone in this one.] So, one zombie dragon took down the Wall? 

I was also watching Return of the King, as I had to find a new app to play DVD’s and the like so…and it was right there. Shh. Now. Where were the elves at? Mirkwood and Loth-whatever? [Did they all go get on the ships? All of them?] I mean, that group of elves showed up for the Battle of Helm’s Deep. The elves couldn’t send twenty or so to fight in the big ass giant battle in ROTK?? What about the dwarves? Gimli cannot be the only dwarf left and he was a fearsome, awesome fighter. So? Was there some plague that killed off the dwarves or they were busy or…did I miss that in the umpteen times I watched the LOTR movies? 

So!! I have two books for sale. House on Clark Boulevard and Oregon Gothic. They’re GREAT! I also have Aftermath now in editing. It’s about Boise and…ZOMBIES. But aware zombies that run the world. Yeah, now you’re hooked! You’ve always wanted to know about Boise! Ha ha ha!