Tuesday, January 11, 2022

This should be interesting: Spade and Carvey launch SNL podcast

I love behind the scenes stories, so this should be fun. David Spade and Dana Carvey are launching a podcast where they will discuss their experiences on Saturday Night Live. The podcast is called Fly on the Wall and launches January 12. You can subscribe now on iTunes.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Disappointed doesn't begin to describe it: The "Dexter: New Blood" finale (Spoiler Alert!)

Oh, for the carefree days of yore (October 2020) when the incredible news of a new season of Dexter was announced. 

And there was much rejoicing.

And for the last ten weeks, overall I've been LOVING most of what I've seen in Dexter: New Blood. Even the few things that bothered me were put on the back burner in the belief that it would all tie together spectacularly, that the writers and producers were going to make good on their promise to undo the series "lumberjack" finale that disappointed so many viewers and make things right. And it was just so much fun to see Dexter himself again.

I personally was always on the fence about the lumberjack finale. I didn't want to see Dexter caught, imprisoned, or dead, but it also wasn't realistic that he could just get away with all those murders and the havoc his actions wreaked on everyone around him. What the original series finale showed was that although alive, Dexter still paid dearly for his transgressions in the form of losing everything: his family (Deb dead and Harrison sent off with Hannah), his city, his profession, his home, the whole existence he'd spent a lifetime building. He was left alone with pretty much nothing, in a foreign place doing manual labor. Everything but his freedom had been lost.
So, my observations about last night's series finale v.2?
Why? So many reasons.
1: You don't kill the guy the audience is rooting for, especially when teasing the possibility of another season. The reason fans were so happy to have a new season was that we missed Dexter and wanted to see him again. We didn't want to see him dead. Looking online, at least half the audience (if not more) were extremely unhappy with the ending. My personal observation is that this makes the lumberjack thing look like a genius move. I wish Harrison had stayed away.
Some online responses:

That the season's Big Bad (Clancy Brown's Kurt Caldwell) was killed off in the penultimate episode rather than the finale should have tipped me off that something bad was going to happen. Having watched this season, I wish they wouldn't have had Harrison and all the accompanying teen angst at all, but instead pitted Dexter against Caldwell. It would have been classic Dexter - two longtime serial killers who have managed to evade discovery for decades thanks to the facades they present to the world, facing off after one kills the other's son. I would like to have seen more about why Caldwell kills (other than having a fucked up dad), how he got away with it for so long, and more of a cat-and-mouse game between him and Dexter.

2: Harrison and Angela. I liked Angela (and the actress who played her) a lot at first and was intrigued when Harrison showed up. But as the show went on I found them less and less appealing and interesting. Harrison was often annoying and apparently went from constant rage and a desire to hurt people to just wanting a normal life in just a couple days. And Angela went from being by the book (wanting to nail Dexter for his Miami crimes) to sending Harrison on his way after he's just killed his own father, and not in self-defense, either. 
Plus, how does this really help the kid?  Before he found Dexter, he'd been wandering the country on his own and now he has the same issues as before, plus patricide. Caldwell was right when he gave Harrison the advice that no matter how far he ran, he couldn't outrun his rage. Additionally, Harrison was enrolled in school and known in Iron Lake - he's going to be a missing person, which means law enforcement will be looking for him. It's not like no one is going to notice or care that he vanished after his dad was killed. Now instead of wandering and looking for his father, he's on the run.

Then there was the aspect that Angela's case against Dexter for killing Matt Caldwell was flimsy at best, something even he was able to explain to her while under duress and Logan basically agreed with. Someone torched his cabin - couldn't that same person have planted that screw? Infrared film of someone who might be him? She might be able to legally drag him through the mud for that one, but ultimately it would have probably been a repeat of her case for Kurt killing Iris - too much opportunity for reasonable doubt.

One thing that bothered me from the beginning was Angela's wall of missing women. That many missing persons from the environs of her small town for so many years...I don't see how these obviously related cases don't seem to concern anyone but her. She really had no leads during all the time these crimes have been going on? Never discovered Caldwell's secret cabin of horrors despite being a local? Never made a connection between so many girls missing from the area of Caldwell's truck stop? And yet she's on the verge of solving a crime that the size and might of Miami PD couldn't? One of the funniest things I read last night was someone referring to her as "Detective Google", because with just a few Google searches she managed to solve the Bay Harbor Butcher case. 
And I think that's a legit point of view. She had no access to any case file, just stuff she found on the internet. I think that story line would have worked better if it had been stretched over a couple of seasons, with her slowly but surely (and more realistically) putting the clues together. It was a little too effortless and she was awfully quick going from pulling Dexter over to make out while on duty to being willing to suspect him of heinous crimes. It was a story line that could have worked, but didn't. If they could have stretched it out, maybe have her work secretly with Angel Bautista to build a case without Dexter knowing she was in touch with someone from his past might have worked better.
Speaking of Bautista, another peeve along that story line is that while it was a blast to see him show up so unexpectedly, the idea that he couldn't remember Harrison's name right away was so cringe - what, he's never thought about the kid in all the years Deb died and Dexter was presumed dead? Really weak.

3: Some people seem to think that a second season of New Blood would focus on Harrison, with Dexter as his Dark Passenger. As a Dexter fan from the very beginning, I have zero interest in that show and would not bother watching. Just no. Maybe Showtime is looking for the next generation of Dexter fans by making a teenager the new lead, but for longtime fans the appeal was always Dexter himself.

For me personally, in addition to how disappointed I was with this resolution, I also realized this morning that I now have no desire to go back and re-watch the New Blood episodes, knowing where they're heading. I figured I would go back and watch it from the beginning to see how everything fit together, but now I don't think so.

I close with this, because I thought it was hilarious. It's from this Deadline article.



Monday, January 3, 2022

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today would have been my Mom's 80th birthday. March will be four years since she passed, which is boggling to me. Considering that her mother and aunts all lived into their 90's, I'm still surprised my Mom passed as early as she did. But at least she didn't have to deal with all this COVID BS, which would have driven us both nuts.

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Mom!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Going out with a bang

We had fireworks at both 9pm and midnight last night here in the marina. I didn't make it to midnight, but the 9pm fireworks were a kick. Great fireworks show as usual, and everyone (including a bunch of kids with horns) having a great time.

Look at that sky! Beautiful!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 31, 2021

Have a Happy New Year!!!

One hundred years ago today.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

December Words of Wisdom

Christmas gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us. --David Cameron
Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. --Norman Vincent Peale
You are the only author of your story. Rewrite it the way you dream it and then edit daily. --Amy Lopez
Being positive isn't pretending that everything is good - it's seeing the good in everything. --Unknown
Life isn't about expecting, hoping and wishing, it's about doing, being and becoming. --Mike Dooley
When will you begin that long journey into yourself? --Rumi
Do not be passive in your personal growth. Passivity is the lock on the cage of mediocrity. You must break it. You must engage with full intent to grow again; you must make a plan to learn more; you must stretch to higher levels of being and service. You must be bold. --Brendon Burchard 
Embrace your uniqueness and share it proudly with the world. No one else has your unique blend of wisdom, talents, strengths, and creativity. You have something great to offer. Slow down, discover your passion, push past fear, and share your light with the world. --Creig Crippen 
Some people are instinctively not going to like me, for very understandable reasons. Others will like me for reasons that I don't particularly identify with or feel are necessarily representative of me. But that's OK. I just don't care. I don't feel any obligation to play a part - or not play a part, for that matter. --Anthony Bourdain

Realist shit I ever read: "People pray for the cake. Then the Universe gives them the batter, oil, icing, a pan, an oven, they get frustrated and leave the kitchen." Let that sink in. Sometimes you have everything right in front of you, but how bad do you want it? --Unknown

This, my dear, is the greatest challenge of being alive: To witness the injustice of this world, and not allow it to consume our light. --Unknown
The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are. The second greatest is being happy with what you find. --Oscar Auliq-Ice 

You may not always see the results of your kindness, but every bit of positive energy you contribute to the worlds makes it a better place for us all. --Lisa Currie

The older I get, the more I appreciate being home doing absolutely nothing. --Unknown

Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out, but it ain't goin' away. --Elvis Presley
Food is love. Food is conviviality. Food is politics. Food is religion. Food is history. Food is consolation. Food is fuel. Food identifies us and who we are. --Crystal King
All I need is coffee, an oversized shirt, warm fuzzy socks, a stack of books, and a good song playing. --Unknown 

If you have been brutally broken, but still have the courage to be gentle to other living beings then you're a badass with the heart of an angel. --Keanu Reeves
Manners and politeness will never become old-fashioned. --Oscar Auliq-Ice
Traditions and values should be protected and guarded with out lives for our lives depend on the. --Unknown
Freedom is not a permission granted by any authority...liberty is inalienable. --Rose Wilder Lane
I happen to be a big fan of Western Civilization; I think it beats the hell out of tyranny and starvation. --Jordan Peterson 
Communism is a tool for the unproductive and the cruel to amass power, nothing more. --Alice Smith

People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take. --Emma Goldman

The power of evil men lives on the cowardice of the good. --St. John Bosco

Toxic masculinity is a made up term by the left to try to emasculate our great American men. It isn't real. Pass it on. --Katie Daviscourt
Historically, the most terrible things: war, genocide, and slavery, have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience. --Howard Zinn
If you reward the wasteful for their actions, then in the same act you are punishing the productive for theirs. --Alice Smith

That first step off your high horse is going to be a bitch honey. Tuck and roll. --Unknown

Monday, December 27, 2021

Christmas Interruptus

So The Brother and I celebrated Christmas on the 26th, rather than the 25th, and the reason for the delay of the season was Sophie.

Sophie had to see her vet a couple days before Christmas because I'd noticed she hadn't been urinating at her normal volume for a couple of days. Normally she pees like a racehorse, plus cats with kidney issues urinate even more, so when suddenly there were a couple days of a fraction of the normal amount, I decided to run her to the vet. The good news was that the vet didn't seem overly concerned, figuring we might be looking at a urinary track infection, plus during the examination she mentioned that Sophie's heart sounds really strong. They took a urine sample, gave her some fluids and an antibiotic shot, and off we went.

When I went to clean the cat box on Christmas morning I was pleasantly surprised to see that the volume of urine was back up to her normal levels. She had been acting perfectly normal, so I wasn't prepared for what happened next. Around 8-8:30ish she started assuming the "trying to poop or pee" pose at various points in the apartment, plus up on my bedspread. She would strain for a minute or two then walk away, and I noticed each time she was leaving this small blob of gooey black liquid where she'd been. They cleaned up easily enough, but it kept happening and I was basically following her around the apartment with the pet stain cleaner mopping up after her.

After a while I decided she needed to see the vet. I had no idea what was coming out of her, what was causing it, or how long it would go on. It was also clear that she was not feeling well at all. My vet is closed on holidays, but I found an emergency vet in West L.A. that was open. I called The Brother, who greeted me with, "Merry Christmas!" My response: "Maybe, maybe not."

I was really worried about her. She was so quiet and still on the way to the vet that at one point at a stoplight I opened the carrier to see if she was still alive. I honestly worried that she might expire in the carrier before I could get her to the vet. I had no idea what the crap was that she was expelling. I thought she was dying on the inside. One has a tendency to get dramatic when one's beloved, precious pet is both elderly and chronically ill.

The good news is that it turned out to be a false alarm. She's fine. According to a very nice veterinarian who got stuck working on Christmas, Sophie was suffering from a simple case of diarrhea. I think of diarrhea as being - ahem - a bit higher in volume than little black dots, but whatever. The important thing is that she's okay. They sent her home with some probiotics that I somehow have to trick her into consuming, but whatever. The important thing is that she's fine.

She was a lot more animated (and vocal) on the way home, and in fact pooped in her carrier, which didn't make her happy. But it was nice and solid, and she obviously felt better. When I got home, she slept for a few hours on my bed, then came out and took her usual place in front of the fireplace. So crisis averted.

Due to me spending a couple hours at the vet, plus the prospect of another rainstorm that The Brother would have to drive in (we'd been trying to figure out how to work his drive around it) we decided to just hold off until the next day, which had the added benefit of having clear weather and we ended up having a great Christmas Day yesterday, December 26.
By the way, if you've made it this far and want to know why the hell you're reading about diarrhea, you have no one to blame but yourself. Welcome to our Christmas!

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas to all...


"Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day."
(Helen Steiner Rice)

Friday, December 24, 2021

All is calm, all is bright

Merry Christmas and to all a good night!


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Merry Christmas from the beach!

Three more days!

H/T to Tropical Life, Food and Fun on FB.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Mantle of the Gods

I don't even know how you pull this off. It seems like a major feat of engineering keeping it up there.


Monday, December 20, 2021

Merry Christmas, America. Here's your lump of coal.

Gotta love The Babylon Bee.

Except that, basically, that's the official statement:

Get vaxxed, still get sick. And I think I'll do everything I can to stay healthy through the winter just to spite him. Shouldn't be hard - I still haven't gotten as much as a cold in the past 2+ years.