Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jump the...teddy bear?

Yikes, upon reflection that blog entry title is much dirtier than I'd intended. Hang with me for a moment; this is a pop culture post, not some repressed childhood sexual fantasy. I have a theory to put out there.

I submit that whenever a TV show delves into pregnancy, it's a "jump the shark" moment, by default. It might not spell imminent creative death, but it does mean the show has to work doubly hard to get back into my good graces.

Evidence? Mulder & Scully's baby - I don't think The X-Files ever recovered. I'm working my way through Joss Whedon's Angel, and just (thankfully) got through the birth of Angel's child. Even Lost's Aaron was a bit of a stretch for me; after the birth and the inevitable montage of strong men smiling tenderly and poignant piano notes accompanying a moment of peace and harmony, it took a while to bring me back from the edge. And it's the one part of Glee that makes me really uncomfortable.

I suppose this could just be me. I have this problem with pregnancy depicted on TV, in movies, onstage or elsewhere (not sure where else is elsewhere, but you get the point). Perhaps it's because I haven't had kids, nor been involved in anyone else's having of kids. Or maybe because it feels a bit too intimate, too secret, to put out there for the world to see.

Maybe it's because I know they are acting, and no matter how good the woman is (or man, I suppose; wasn't Scott Bakula pregnant once in Quantum Leap?), it's not real. There's no way it can be. Being pregnant and having a baby is a pretty sacred thing, in my opinion, and I guess it takes me out of the comfort zone of storytelling. I like my stories pretend, so I can imagine the world they take place in, and enjoy knowing that the actors are creating them with as much authenticity as they can, even when the stories are a mite far-fetched. Making a character have a baby brings that storytelling world crashing to reality.

What do you think? Are there examples of shows that had a baby and did it well? Or am I on to something here?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

none of these are connected...

...but they all made me do that thing that dogs do: perk their ears up, cock their heads to the side and, if they had eyebrows, raise them quizzically while saying (if they had vocal cords) "eh?"

A local TV station is running a "personal paper-shredding" promotion. I really don't get it. What's that got to do with TV?

There's a film fest taking place this weekend, which is quite exciting for this small town. It's called I-540 Filmfest. It's named for the highway that connects about a dozen cities and towns. But it's only taking place in one of them.

Ticket sales aren't exactly roaring along at my day job, so I was dreading the conference call with my boss today. But he was sympathetic, even empathetic, about it, and positively cheerleader-esque in his efforts to buck us up. I wasn't quite sure how to take it, but it certainly made me think about how I should do the same for my staff. Amazing what a little positive feedback can do.

On that same conference call, I got the giggles as I imagined my boss' head as a sleek black telephone.

I've been putting off a writing project for weeks, claiming distractions. Turns out shutting the door and ignoring email works pretty well against those distractions. Oh, so that's how you put one word in front of the other! Watch out, unsuspecting patrons, I'm gonna give you some prose that'll empty your bank accounts real darn quick.

In the last week, I seem to have suddenly developed a social life. When did this happen? I'm usually the one alone at a take-out line, determinedly texting myself so as to not appear a loser. Hmmm...better not jinx it; I'm shutting up now.

Today, as news of the awful shooting at Ft. Hood trickled in, I made the mistake of looking at the comments on an online news story. Bad move. Folks, let me tell you this; President Obama and his socialist agenda did not cause the shooting. Neither did gun-toting, secessionist Texans. Come on now.

I skipped kickboxing today, and trudged home feeling guilty. That is, until I opened the front door of my apartment. There, on the table, were my sneakers, where I'd left them this morning so I wouldn't forget them. I guess my subconscious knew what it was doing.

I'm on a cooking binge lately. Well, more like a "preparing" binge, since cooking implies spices and sauces, and I'm not there yet. But tonight I discovered that David Sedaris on audio tape actually makes slicing vegetables more fun. Just watch out for the sharp side of the knife.

Here's my favorite recently overheard conversation on the street: "No, it's not an actual sex toy, not really..."

And speaking of sex, the ducks in my pond were...ahem...enjoying themselves again this morning. Pretty sad when the local water fowl get more action than I do.

On that happy note, good night, blogging world.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Post-Halloween musings

Halloween always amazes. The childlike glee we get at the chance to dress up, play another person, or just make idiots of ourselves, is fascinating.

Men in costume are just more interesting than women. For example: a man dressed as a woman is vaguely scandalous and hysterical. A woman dressed as a man? Vaguely creepy, a little sad, and not at all entertaining. Seeing grown men dressed as Oscar the Grouch and Elmo? Awesome. Had women worn those costumes...not nearly as awesome.

A quote on Twitter seems particularly apt: Halloween is the one time a year when women can dress like sluts and not be judged for it. I'd challenge the "not being judged" part, but there is some truth there.

No matter how hot a skimpy outfit with fishnets might appear, the woman wearing it is freezing cold, I assure you.

Free dessert for wearing a costume? Sign me up.

The time that parents put into their childrens' costumes confounds me. Especially when the kids are less than 5 years old. But I guess that's like getting a manicure in the winter; though you might tell yourself it's for others, it's really just for you.

And just like that, November is here. Oh, joy, now all the commercials will be about stupid toys that your child just MUST have for Christmas. Ick.