What Happened To That One Blogger?

Dear Readers,

I must apologize profusely for being away so long.  When life gives you lemons, sometimes you get a whole truckload.  My family has had a few deaths in the past year and I have also been busy getting my new arts & crafts shop up and running.  And so it goes.  Lots to talk about though, so I hope to fill these pages soon.  So this is what’s been goin’ on with me and that crazy spinning globe of ours since I’ve written last:  

  • My baby nephew died 
  • My uncle died
  • I started my arts & crafts online business
  • My cousin died
  • My grandma died
  • My stepdaughter graduated from high school
  • My niece was born
  • Israel and Palestine’s military government known as Hamas go to war in the Gaza Strip, sparking some debate over Palestine’s mass citizen casualties vs. Israel’s and American involvement. Palestinians and  Palestinian-Americans protest against bombings.  Ceasefires have been of late, more successful.
  • Two Malaysian commercial airliners are lost within 4 months of each other.  Flight 370 is still missing, the second, Flight MH17, is attacked by surface to air missile by Pro-Russian separatists over the Ukraine leaving no survivors.  Russian President Vladimir Putin claims no knowledge of missile attack and blames the Ukrainian government.  President Obama counters with sanctions placed on Russia.  At least 10 nationalities were on board MH17, a large group of AIDS researchers en route to an International AIDS Conference, a senator, an author, an actress.  80 children and many families aboard, all perish.
  • The Islamic State Territory (formerly ISIS) begins a genocide of Christian Muslims in Iraq.  US bombs Islamic state to stop the killing.  Reports of systematic beheading of Christian  children surface.  Christian refugees flee.
  • Residents of the St. Louis city of historic Ferguson became enraged over the police shooting death of teenager, Michael Brown, leading to riots, burning of businesses and protests.  Major details of the shooting investigation are still unclear as the investigation is ongoing.  The identity of the policeman who shot the teenager has not been revealed as he has received death threats. 
  • And, one of the saddest and shocking events in our popular culture, was the hanging suicide of much beloved comedian actor, Mr. Robin Williams at age 63.  Mr. Williams had been open over the years about depression and his struggles with addiction to drugs and alcohol. He had an aortic valve replacement in 2009 and remarried in 2011.  He had checked himself into an addiction clinic recently for alcoholism, but reportedly as a preventative measure. Many question the reasoning behind his suicide; it appears there was financial trouble, his television show had been cancelled after one season and possibly a strain on the marriage.   The only reality we do know is that a man who so generously gave the gift of laughter to the world and charity to several organizations and support to our troops over the years, is gone and we only wish he would have asked for help in his darkest hour.  We are left with heavy hearts and the wish that somehow, we could have repaid him for the joy he gave so many.  Three children (from 2 previous marriages) and his wife survive.  In a world that needs laughter, his painful choice leaves us disheartened. It makes one ask,”What kind of world do we live in, that Robin Williams doesn’t want to be in it anymore?”  Of course, these were his personal struggles and we must carry on.  We must laugh and smile.  That’s our job now.  This is how we repay him for his noble effort.  O Captain, my Captain. Nanu nanu.  May you have peace now, sweet prince.  And God willing, so shall we someday.

     

    Stop the world, I wanna get off!

    Stop the world, I wanna get off!

    Image thanks goes to:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrismar/

When You Reach September

“Oh, it’s a long, long while from May to December
But the days grow short when you reach September
When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
One hasn’t got time for the waiting game…”

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September reminds us:  No time for games

Those are some of the lyrics to “September Song”, a song that has been revised and sung by a multitude of musical talents over the years.  It was originally composed by Kurt Weill for the Broadway musical,”Knickerbocker Holiday”.  In it, an aging political dictator is attempting to persuade his much younger lover (who is in love with another young man) that her ambitions for young love are arbitrary, and that he hasn’t the time for such games.  Part of me wants to ask this fellow, “What do you expect?  She’s young.”  But I certainly understand as I grow older what he means by the impending path of time.  I turned 39 this September and while some would argue that is quite young, and rightly so, my life experiences of late and those nagging qualms and doubts of dreams unforeseen, have me relentlessly focused on those September days of life he so wisely spoke of.

It’s funny when we’re young, we’re at the center of our own little universe.  We look forward to things like birthdays if you grow up in a Midwest, nuclear family like I did.  You are most likely going to receive a birthday cake and ice cream, with some presents that are a pleasant surprise and family and friends around that you hopefully kind of like too. I’ve passed all of that now (she says in her most grown-up voice), well, OK who doesn’t like gifts and even cake and ice cream still?!  Ahem, what I mean to say is, as you age your expectations change–you’re more introspective, you’re taking stock.  I’m not exactly where I’d like to be, and I don’t have the honor of saying I’m a mother yet but my brother and his wife were expecting their forth, on September 11th of all dates, and so close to my birthday…now THIS was something to look forward to!

My grandma is 90 and her health has been in somewhat of decline in recent years.  She’s hard of hearing, her cataract surgery failed, and she’s a lot less mobile than she used to be.  My visit with her in August was exhausting.  I had never seen her in this condition; unable to go to the bathroom, shower, dress, write a check by herself.  She fell out of bed once while we were there and even after telling her, she couldn’t seem to grasp the concept.  She thought we were all pretty silly for trying to convince her she was. Yes those September days have come and gone for my grandma.  November and cold December are the days ahead.  And yet, she’s here, and she’s still trudging along like the rest of us.  She’s a fantastic lady.  She asked about my brother’s baby every day, and we kept reminding her September was not here yet, not yet but close.  We were playing the waiting game.  All I hoped for was my grandma to live so she could hold my new baby nephew in this world.  Tick, tick, tock goes the clock…

My birthday was nearing.  My life, I’ll admit, has been a bit in shambles of late, and I went down to see my parents for a Labor Day pre-Birthday get together, just the three of us.  It was Labor Day morning, when we got the call;  my brother’s baby boy was born, but stillborn, dying a day or two before my sister-in-law had labor pains on Labor Day.  I awoke to my only brother’s weak voice on the voicemail as he tried to get someone to pick up.  My mom had answered and cried as she talked.  I lay there, numb, trying to calculate the logic of it.  I didn’t want to accept it.  Why couldn’t they had saved him?  Why did he die so close to his birth?  He had been so active during my sister-in-law’s pregnancy.  I was angry.  Why didn’t they try to take him early?  My questions had no answers, they didn’t know the exact cause except that the placenta was small and the umbilical cord was flat, though he was close to the size my first nephew was when he was born.  I imagined him starving to death.  I had to put it out of my mind.  Hickory, dickory dock, the mouse ran up the clock…

September 11th came and went.  I promised myself I wouldn’t look at any pictures or media involving The Event.  I did anyway.  The History Channel had plenty of programming, and like the sucker I am, I inevitably watched the horror as it unfolded for so many of us that day in 2001.  I thought about my baby nephew and how I wished he were here on his presupposed day of birth to make the day more joyous.  But he too was gone. The limp bodies falling from the Towers looked like sad angels.  Like the tin soldier in a picture book story we had long ago, falling head-first to his colorful but fiery death.  I thought of my nephew and who he might have been one day.  And it was this same night (or rather early morning as I’m a night owl), I discovered from a message my cousin had wrote to the family, that my great-uncle has been given that pesky old six-months-to-live- routine from his doctor.  The clock struck one, the mouse ran down…

We all know that time passes, that it will end–we will end–one day.  No warranty, no money back guarantee.   Time has the final word.   Thoughts of the afterlife are personal and it’s the gift of peace.  But my thoughts are more pointed toward the time we have here for now.  Make the most of it, carpe diem, time waits for no man–make it count, will you?! My nephew, those in their December days and those whose lives were cut too short, seem to beckon us to take heed.  I’m listening–I hope you are too.  Let our September days be peaceful in the knowledge that we lived.  We lived.

“And the days dwindle down
To a precious few
September, November
And these few precious days
I spend with you.
These precious days
I spend with you.”

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Hold my hand, little one, and we’ll walk the sands of time together~   

 

*Image rights:

Top photo:  Rosmarie Voegtli, “rosmary”, http://www.flickr.com/photos/rvoegtli  

Bottom photo:  “Morgan Queen”, http://www.flickr.com/photos/morganqueen    

                                

 

 

That Time I Met Norman Reedus…

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The Golden Ticket

I suppose now is a good time to mention I moonlight as a real live grown-up nerd.  Aside from working at a library for the past 5 years (that’s pretty nerdy, right?), I also attend and help sell mixed media merchandise at Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror conventions in and around the Midwest.  Most of us own geek rights in some way, and if you follow current events at all (read: have a TV or some sort of media) you know that nerds and all things nerd-astic are a thing.  Fandom, as it’s termed, is a die-hard, yes-I’m-judging-you lifestyle, and one faux pas will get you excommunicated from all things geekery (i.e. Warner Bros recent “Batgate”).  I’ll be honest, I am not the hard-core Sci-fi/Fantasy/Anime fangirl that I secretly wish I were.  But I’m in the mix.  And one of those categories is my admittedly “12 Step” addiction with AMC’s The Walking Dead.  There.  I said it. I feel better.  Betty Ford would be proud, as we all know the first step is in admitting we have the problem.

A good percentage of The Walking Dead fanbase of course, is, the fangirls.  Why, you ask. This would partially be because (I’ll be fair to the other male actors with their own fanbase) of the character “Daryl Dixon”, played by actor Norman Reedus of The Boondock Saints fame, but…do I really need to point this out by now?!  Ahem, sorry (tucks her nerd girl back in her pants).  Anyhoo, if you’ve been hunkered down in your own pre-apocalyptic bunker or just haven’t checked out the show yet or read the graphic novels, it’s about the aftermath of as-of-yet-unknown-cause for unadulterated, regenerated, zombie-fried apocalypse.  I’ll skip the detailed summation of plot and character (especially for you non-viewers, no spoilers here), so you’re just going to have to put your best nerd suit on, tune in to AMC October 13th and catch up with the 4th season (Seasons 1-3 are all available on DVD, with intermittent marathons of past seasons on AMC).  But take it from me, your humble blogger, it. is. awesome.  

And now, the moment the fangirls reading this have been squeeing their cosplay for: That time I met, Norman Reedus.  

As a co-Dealer, I specifically wanted to work Fandomfest in Louisville, KY this past July 27th-29th because cast members of The Walking Dead were in attendance, and this of course meant, Norman Reedus, but I’m serious when I say I was genuinely excited about the TWD cast in attendance (and, hello, Stan Lee, William Shatner…Firefly?  A ridiculous amount of awesome).  Fandomfest, as it turned out, was the center of some tension.  On Saturday, the fire marshal reportedly made a mistake thinking the convention was being held in one building instead of two, and turned down hundreds of pre-paid show-goer’s. Not pretty. Amid the drama, were rumored waiting times for actors like Reedus.  I heard from bleary-eyed customers who wore their waiting-line-battle-scars like war torn soldiers.  Wait time was anywhere from 3 to 8 (yes, a whole work day for some of us) hours.  Some would be deterred by this.  I nodded my head, said some generic things in agreement, and dreamily thought to myself, “This is a non-issue.”  

Mr. Reedus was there Saturday and Sunday.  Convention dealers know, that Saturdays are high sales, so I was prepping myself for Sunday as the “big event where Norman realizes his undying love for me”.  And hey, the big hoo-hah was Saturday, and maybe things had died down?  Perhaps the high-volume wait would be cut in half (it turns out, I was somewhat right, “waiting in” at 4 hrs.).    I went to the Norman Reedus area around 9 am, hoping for a good spot in the line.  As sometimes happens, and dealers are considered money-makers for the conventions as well, a red-haired staff member gave me a knowing look when she saw my dealer tag and said, “You should have no problems.  Come back at 11:30 with this–,”  and handed me my general admission Autograph Line ticket.  I smiled and floated off, feeling all big and nerdy.  At exactly 11:20 am, I began the ghostly journey of yesterday’s Trail of Tears fan line, connecting again with the red-haired staff lady wearing her bright yellow tee with big, black font reading “STAFF”.  She directed me to the next staff lady, down the long hall.  I had my most assertive hat on, making sure they knew I was a dealer and that I was specifically directed to this point.  The blonde staff lady, with a mystical serendipity, clearly understood as though this point and time was destined to be a piece of mine and Norman’s timeline forever (or, maybe she was just doing her job…clears throat…).  I was told to “hang out” in the dealer room until her line formed.  Norman Reedus and Scott Wilson (aka TWD‘s Hershel Greene), along with Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints), were seated at their tables at the far end of the room.  I was here.  This is really happening.  

I pretended to be interested in some dealer wares at nearby tables (the irony is not lost on me).  I spotted an artsy-looking table, and as a former art student myself, took the time to check out their stuff.  It was a somewhat superficial conversation with the artist but I enjoyed their work (unfortunately as I was in Daryl Dixon La-La land, I forgot the artist’s name and cannot link here).  I moved on, browsed a table or two more inside the room and then reminded myself I needed to get back to the blonde staff lady’s spot.  A few sojourners were beginning to form what they termed “the line before the line” and I stood there taking in the room and the line before us.  The line.  It was huge.  Formed behind a long, black, curtained convention divider, was a mass of silhouettes and the unintelligible murmurs of a crowd.  This of course was nothing compared to the complaints I heard the previous day, but for someone who has an intense difficulty waiting in public (I begin to feel claustrophobic), a sinking feeling told me this was going to be more of a challenge than I had allowed myself to acknowledge.

I tried to play as cool as I could, and kept myself busy trying to sneak peeks at the table at the far end of the room.  There was fanfare, cameras flashing, and voices and exclamations rose the closer to the tables.   A happening occurred, and our attention turned to two young girls, supported by two others on the ground, creating cheers for, who else, but Norman.  Could this be happening?  I rubbed my eyes.  The cheering girls were still there, and some people began taking pictures of them.  It was all too much.  On my tip-toes, I peered across the large room, toward the darkened area, the focus of their cheers.  And then, it happened.  I saw IT.  The hat.  Then the figure under the hat.  Anyone who knows anything about Mr. Reedus and the loyal relationship between himself and his fans is that Norman likes to wear “the D” hat (Detroit, but also, theoretically an inside joke in reference to women wanting “the D”, for Daryl Dixon, and well, you fill in the rest).  Fangirls/women have a love/hate thing about this hat.  I get it (pausing), it’s his thing.  As a woman, and there are lots of photos circulated with his “hair down”, the guy’s got, a great face.  Not to mention, the I-must-touchy-his-hair hair.   Just as guys like the ladies to get dolled up, so it is also with women.  Ah well, aesthetics aside, we love him and we’ll take him in the damn hat if we have to.

Now I was getting super-excited but I knew the long wait ahead.  As I’m watching the sideshow, I see a flash of white and soon Norman is hugging a man with a shock of white hair pulled into a ponytail.  Hershel!  Oh my word, my heaving breast (haha).  I couldn’t stand it.  Before the show, Scott Wilson was not slated to be there, but at the last moment filled in for Jon Bernthal, of whom was unable to attend.  Years ago, I knew Scott Wilson from the Truman Capote movie, In Cold Blood.  This was the portrayal of two men that murdered the Clutter family in Kansas.  My dad went to college at Pittsburgh, Kansas, where as rumor had it, a college student there had dated one of the Clutter kids.  This was a story that rocked the Midwest. That kind of thing, just didn’t happen in a rural area like that.  My parents have never forgotten it.  I was so hoping to meet Mr. Wilson and share that, but alas, he had gone on break by the time I moved up the line.  Opportunities are so fleeting in life.

The mass of people moved up and our line had now merged into THE LINE.  And now, the real wait began.  I busied myself with eavesdropping on some of the conversation around me.  Some fans had brought memorabilia for their favorite actors to sign and they were studying it, turning it this way and that, as we waited.  Perhaps they were imagining their interactions with Norman, Scott, and Sean.  As we inched up, the divider cut us off from the rest of the room but it was thin and we could make out some of the dealer activity. One of them had a coin toss but we didn’t pay much attention until quarters started rolling our way.  Lucky for them, they had The Walking Dead fans on the other side (hey, we’re on the straight and narrow).  We returned the quarters to the dealer, and turned back to our conversations and mobile devices to keep us distracted.  Every 6 ft or so there were gaps between the black curtains and we caught glimpses of the room outside.  I needed serious distracting at this point so I turned to the cell phone and tried to get ahold of my best friend to tell her I found out Adrian Paul from TV’s Highlander was there.  She was a HUGE fan of his, back in college, and if I was meeting my celebrity crush, I was willing to meet hers for her (she agreed).  It was going to be a good day.  I was feeling uplifted…dreams were happening here.  It wasn’t the resolution to the Syrian crisis, but to a fan like me, it felt damn good.  No turning back now.

After about 2 1/2 hours had passed, my phone usage was getting boring and I didn’t want to run the battery down as I needed to record the moment when Norman sees me and well, the rest is history (a girl can dream, no?).  What the hell was I gonna do now?  A part of me was beyond itching to just bolt but I knew that wasn’t going to happen and I had come too far.  There was a man standing behind me with a teen-looking boy.  I was getting panicky so I struck up a conversation.  It turned out to be one of the best things about waiting as this man and his son were super nice and easy to talk to.  They were from Tennessee and in fact, from a town I had been to before (a college friend’s parents lived there and I and my best friend had went to stay for a weekend years ago).  I can’t remember this man’s name, nor his son’s now.  He used to work for NASA and his son had started reading The Walking Dead graphic novels.  Being the dork that I am, I was on #17 out of 18 currently available (I told him nothing, Kirkman).  We were enjoying each other’s company and then random announcements instructing VIP’s, etc to move out of the line were made.  One of the announcements enforced that if you were not holding the coveted autograph line ticket that I held, you would be pulled by armed forces and placed in a containment area.  Well, ok, that didn’t happen but it did happen that my new NASA friend and his son had been told by a staff person that it was ok they didn’t have the actual ticket.  I believed he was honest but alas, rules were rules.  My new friends had to move back in the line, like pawns taken from the chess board, extending their wait to at least another hour.  I was bummed.  Onward we inched up the line as I felt bad for my fellow conversationalists.

About 3/4 up the line, I surveyed the fans in front of me.  While I had focused my attention on the phone and my friends, I failed to notice most were laying or sitting on the carpeted dealer room floor.  All that was missing were togas, totally ripped half-naked Mediterranean men waving large feather fans, and lots of fresh fruit.  We would’ve had it made.  But this wait was kicking my ass.  It was time…to get me some of that “D”.  

The clearing at the front of the line began to open up and we could see a little action now. I had noticed Norman’s buddy, Sean Clark early on, talking to some young girls and here he was now assisting with the seemingly unnamed but seen everywhere pretty blonde lady with inked arms helping too.  This was really happening, right?  Standing there, I started to fidget again and tried focusing on different things but it was cold.  Not just a little chill but C-O-L-D.  And I’m not someone who gets cold often.  We were under the A/C at that point.  I was patting myself on the shoulder for having worn my hoodie sweatjacket but it was doing nothing for my hands and I had my camera ready to capture our as now unforeseen love (hey this is MY story).  The blonde tatted lady announced that unfortunately time was getting by, and we would have to keep in mind to try to hurry along.  Not good news for us.  But, I was willing to roll with it, I mean, what was I gonna do?  Anyway, I don’t know if it was the long wait or what, but I was very…calm.  Not at all what I thought would happen.  It was a dense fog-feeling, but I stepped forward.  I watched Norman as he met with fans. People describe things as “out of body” and, it kind of is.  You’re there but…it’s odd.  Some people were hugging him 2-3 at a time, others individually.  He greeted, he signed, he was beautiful.  But he had the Ray Bans on, and I knew, I was not going to get to meet those bright and salacious eyes.  First the hat.  Then the hurry up announcement. And now, the Ray Bans.  I suddenly understood how Taylor felt at his horrific realization of Lady Liberty’s demise on the beach in Planet of the Apes.  “Damn you, REEDUS!”

But I could not be deterred.  With my phone held up like Excalibur, I clicked rapid-fire shots just praying some of them would come out.  It was a lot darker in that area than other conventions I’ve been to, plus the constant movement in front of Norman had me concerned. The I-means-biznezz handler lady at the end of our roped off section let us know we were not allowed pictures past this point.  So I’m just clicking away.  The security dude (also behind shades) is watching me, a little too closely for comfort.  My phone is older and not as sophisticated as some I guess…perhaps it resembles some sort of Bond-like death gadget.  I started to sweat, but my hands, were cold and stiff.  The moment was near.  

There were just a few in front of me now and we had moved up to the table where the pretty platinum blonde lady has us look at glossy 8×10’s, and asks us to choose, she’ll take our payment.  A man and a little boy had been in front of me the whole time and they made their choice.  I begin quickly scouring the table of photos, wanting to be cool and pick one that I really liked and that I thought Norman would think was good.  The blonde says,”Hi sweetie, do you have your payment ready?”  I say yea as I continue to find the perfect picture to give Norman.  She laughs as she takes my money and says,”Yea I know right?  You guys have to wait that whole time and then once you get up here we’re like,’Hurry!'”  I laughed and said (ooooh, there’s the one where he’s dressed like Daryl, with the vest and bow…AND he’s holding HIS black cat.  It’s perfect.  A personalized touch. I’m so in with Reedus.  I got this.), “Yea, heh!…”  I handed her the super perfect 8×10 that was going to seal the deal and he would be my little hick from the sticks forever and ever, amen.

     “Heyyyy girrl!”

Wha–d’fuhh…shit he’s talking…to me.

     “Hey sweeeetie.  How ya doin’?”

Um, what’s holding my hand.  There’s something holding my hand.  HE is holding my hand. And like, stroking it.  Whaaat the fuuuuuuccckkk

     “M-m-m my hands are really cold…”

Still smiling, he slides his hand away.  No. N-n-n-NO.  No WAIT.  Don’t do THAT!  

     “So how’s it going babe?  What’s your name–where ya from sweetie?”

Merp.  Derp.  Merp merp.

     “……I’m Melissa!  I’m from St. Louis.  (In a pretentious voice) St. Louis says hi by the way….”

Shit.  Shit shit shit, pull up!  Pull up!

     (He takes note, but makes allowance)  “How do you spell that?  M-e-l-i-s-s-a?”

     (Trying too hard to agree) “Yup!!  M-E-L-I-S-S-A!”

     (Scribbling on photo)  “Ok well thanks babe!”

Oh my God.  No.  That’s it, it’s over.  I’ve turned this into a transaction.  In that split-second, I remember my self-sworn promise that I would get a hug, from Norman Reedus.

     “Can I get a hug?”

     “Yeaaa.”  He leans over to my left shoulder, and there we were.  Embracing in front of God and all His creation.  His hair, that beautiful hair that women globally want to touch, was on the left side of my face, full on.  And in that moment, I swear to you, it was as natural as when you are with a lover, I nudged it.  I did the nudge.  In his hair.  It.  was.  magical.  I could tell he noticed (and possibly prepared to pull Mr. Security over if need be).  It was pure bliss.  I recaptured my confidence.

     We pulled away.  I looked up at him.  “You’re doing a great job.”

     Genuinely appreciative, he said,”Thanks……SECURITYYY!”

     Ok, he didn’t yell for Security.  But I did feel we had a special moment.  He then handed me the glossy (still proud of the pose I picked) and as I walked away, I told myself, “Don’t turn around, Melissa.”  Let it go.  I kept walking and like so many of the other fans I had watched in front of me, I too had an indescribable smile on my face as I looked to see how he signed my picture.  It said only this:

     “To Melissa ❤ ”  Norman Reedus

And that’s the time, I met Norman Reedus.  And something tells me, we’ll meet again, babe.  Some day.

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Security Guy’s gonna get me!

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twerking and Batfleck: Do We Care Too Much?

If you’ve perused your social media lately, you haven’t been able to escape the endless drones of tweets, status-ii, and hashtags of the Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke MTV VMA “twerk-debacle” or the Warner Bros. fandom unfriendly casting of Ben Affleck as the new face of Batman (aka “Batfleck” or “Batgate”).  Nothing it seems has been this significant to the X-Y gen since Candy Crush (yes, that’s sarcasm).  Admittedly, I myself participated (or at least re-tweeted) in this recent bashfest of our modern celebs and our superficial and yet entertaining fascination with pop culture and it’s faux pas’.  Some of the comments and opinions on these two subjects were amusing, some thought-provoking, and others would be best left to a journal entry or possibly a therapy session.  Here are some of the best on “Batfleck” from Twitter:

“Ben Affleck is the new Batman. You can make your Daredevil jokes now.” @tordotcom (Twitter)

#BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck  “And you thought Matt Damon’s decision to buy a zoo was a bad idea.”   @BettyFckinWhite (Twitter)

“I really want to go to bed, but gosh, I feel like I need to read a few more jokes about Matt Damon playing Robin.”  @ronmarz (Twitter)

*Joss Whedon takes off his Warner Brothers executive disguise, speaks into wrist radio*   “It’s done.”  @MikeDrucker (Twitter)

Some celebrities chimed in:

“Clint Eastwood is playing Alfred.”  The Walking Dead‘s Glen Mazzara @glenmazzara (Twitter)

“I don’t know how the rumor got started, but I am not playing Robin.”   Jon Favreau @Jon_Favreau (Twitter)

“I’d react to Ben Affleck getting an acting role but I’m still recovering from Beyonce’s haircut.”  Comedian Jim Gaffigan @JimGaffigan (Twitter)

And, if that weren’t bad enough, while Batman fans were still licking wounds about “Batfleck” online, The Walking Dead fans were disappointed with a too-short Season 4 preview on AMC while the rest of mid-America is hit with the MTV VMA “Teddybear Twerkfest” by Miley Cyrus on the very married crooner Robin Thicke.  Here are a few notables of the evening:

“When did Robin Thicke get a job at Foot Locker? ”  @MaggieCoughlan (Twitter)

“You know Madonna saw Katy Perry’s performance and immediately jump-roped three times as fast in front of her kids.”  @louisvirtel”

“About to watch the #VMA’s on my DVR.  Anything notable or provocative I should be watching out for?”  Community’s Joel McHale @joelmchale (Twitter, favorited 706 times at last count)

Well, at least we saw a free Justin Timberlake concert.  Do we care too much?  Perhaps.  Or maybe it’s the other news stories that really disturb us, frighten us, make us hold on to our loved ones a little closer that enable us to opine and curdle out our windows “Network”-style  about the media sensations that float a little closer to the surface.  Except, I still disagree with the Ben Affleck thing.

*What are your thoughts about “Batfleck” or the VMA’s?  If you have any favorite quotes about these current events, feel free to share them here, we may even laugh:

Blogging ever blogging, ever blogging nevermore.

Or something like that anyway.  Edgar Allen Poe would’ve messed his literary trousers just now and shame on me for being too lazy to check my references.  I promise to research more extensively on my next blog.  This one will have to depend on my insomnia and the 2 large Starbucks caramel coffees with a lump of sugar, milk, and Kahlua I had several hours ago.  With the full moon in the still night sky, as it is now 4:39 am by my pc clock, and Edgar Allen Poe’s recent birthday, I suppose I shall talk a bit about my fascination with his work.  I’m not Emo, but I think there’s a bit of the Goth in me.  I’m not sure when this happened really, but stories with an edge or broodiness, a good twisty-turny mystery has always caught my eye.  My interest in Poe possibly began in middle school, in a small town in the Midwest, that runs right along the Mississippi River.  My English and Drama teacher, Mrs. Morris, was my hero at the time.  She was everything I hoped to be one day, but was too timid to impress upon her I’m afraid.   No matter.  She taught two of my favorite subjects, and I admired them from afar.  She gave me the most standout, wonderful gift a kid could get in the hellish halls of Junior High…my imagination.  Not to say, she GAVE it to me, it was already there and quite vibrant.  She did what so many teachers do, she planted seeds of inspiration and guided them to growth.  She brought our class to Washington University in St. Louis, MO on a field trip.  Here we would attend a live theatrical performance of Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”.  My family was on a high school counselor’s salary so we didn’t get to the city often and this was a real treat.  The stadium seating, the university atmosphere with college kids seeming so worldly and sophisticated, began to fill around us.  It was both intimidating and exhilarating.  We settled in our seats, the lights went down and the curtains opened…AHHHHH.  There’s nothing like it, is there?  It is watching a great book come to life.  We had good seats I remember and as the story suspense-fully ticked along, so did the fantastic sound effects.  As the story goes, the narrator truly believes that he can hear a man’s heart beating under the floorboards (I won’t give spoilers just in case you haven’t read this classic).  We hear what he hears:  bum-bum, bum-bum, bum-bum.  The rhythmic pulsing begins softly, slowly.  Bum-bum.  Bum-bum.  Then a bit faster.  Bum-bum-bum, bum-bum-bum.  Each moment more terrifying than the next as the narrator’s fear and paranoia grow stronger.  The character is so beside himself, he confesses to committing a crime to the police.  Fantastic.  I’ll never forget the experience.  Those were the wonder years;  life seemed so whistful and care-free, though  I remember having struggles like all kids do.  We stopped on the way home at a McDonald’s and I had my favorite–a vanilla shake dipped with those famous salty fries and my best friends laughing.  A perfect, perfect day.  On Mr. Poe’s birthday, I downloaded his story,”The Raven” to my e-reader.   If you can, read or reread these wonderful tales of woe and suspense by Edgar Allen Poe from your local library or you can find some free on Googlebooks.  That is, if you have the heart for it!  (Evil laughter ensues.)

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Alfred Hitchcock: 39 Steps to Becoming a Real Psycho

“Goood eeevening.”

I’ve been a fan of Mr. Hitchcock’s since I was a kid, and that’s no joke.  I grew up in a family that had a healthy appetite for the ironic, the macabre, the absurd.  Alfred Hitchcock, in my mind, was the British uncle I never met, but visited the family in the evenings and always had a bloody good story to tell.  Who could turn away from the sloth-like diction from the portly man in the dark suit with the famous silhouette–telling tales of lost souls, ironic endings for those of whom Luck or Love seemed to escape.  And just for kicks, as a tongue-in-cheek wink to the audience, Hitchcock delighted in creating a “Where’s Waldo” search for his always brief and pleasantly surprising appearances in his own films.

Whether it was “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” or any of his numerous and wonderful cinematic marvels including “North By Northwest”, “Vertigo”, “Psycho”, or “The Birds”, “Hitch” was a fantastic storyteller, weaving fruition, change, and seeds of hope with sadistic twists and turns, leaving us on the edge of our seats…and in our spouse’s lap.  I couldn’t get enough.

There have been things said of the man himself, he was a perfectionist, married for many years, his daughter participating in his films.  It was rumored and admittedly hard not to observe, that he took a keen interest in his A-list actresses, and seemed to have a penchant for very coiffed, sophisticated blondes of Grace Kelly, Tippi Hedren beauty and glamour. With an upcoming project for the big screen starring Anthony Hopkins and the current HBO movie,  “The Girl”, we willingly take a look into the peephole that was Alfred Hitchcock.  We find that fact and fiction intermingle and we realize that the real Hitch seemed a man of deep fears and complex insecurities.  A man that was so vindictive, once personally rejected by Tippi Hedren, he exposed the actress to brutal days of shooting for “The Birds” with real birds. In the scene where Tippi goes up to the attic and opens the door, she was to be attacked by the ominous birds in the story.  The real birds were disoriented, and most likely threatened by the constant human interaction so they would actually begin to attack the actress, causing sharp painful pecks and scratches.  The constant squawking, feathers and defensively attempting to wave the birds off while trying to please the now unreachable Hitchcock, left Ms. Hedren mentally exhausted.  The director was cruel.  Calculating.  And merciless.  Ms. Hedren had unwittingly signed a contract with the devil of sorts.  At least until filming with Hitchcock was complete.  He was obsessed with his unrequited love, and now he would punish her, because she could not love him in return.

Tippi Hedren acted as a consultant for “The Girl” and the assistant director of “The Birds” and other Hitchcock projects was extensively interviewed for the project.  There has been angry criticism of the movie by some.  One can say, this was Hedren’s experience and her memory of a time in her life when the thrill of a career and working with an famous auteur dissolved into a living nightmare and became a bittersweet victory for her in the end.  To her credit, it’s my understanding she remains a huge supporter of animal rights today.  Though, I can’t say how she feels toward ornithology.  Who would blame her really.  As for me, I will continue enjoying Hitchcock’s classics and look forward to “Alfred Hitchcock” in theaters.  And sitting in my spouse’s lap.

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Greetings and Salutations…

Welcome, dear Readers.  I created this blog, because:

  • I like to write
  • I delight in entertaining
  • I like puppies and kitties and little bitty unicorns
  • I’m getting hungry…
  • Do I look fat in this robe?
  • I am slightly vain at times
  • I am completely self-absorbed
  • I am a narcissist, aren’t I
  • I am a little bit lonely
  • Come to think of it, I have no one in my life
  • I am antisocial
  • I must be clinically depressed
  • I am a desperate cry for help
  • Why the hell are you reading this, I will never gain an audience
  • All of the above

Well, you decide.  I mostly created this to extend my hand into the world and see who just might grab back.  Crazy stuff going on nowadays…and if you’re like me, you might be feeling a little lost.  So these are my random thoughts and methods of survival.  See if you recognize any of them here.  Welcome to my blog, put on your favorite robe and slippers, grab a cup of coffee (or other drug of choice) and try to stay afloat among the Flotsam & Jetsam.

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