Monday, December 31, 2012

Bruce Campbell reviews my blog!

Ok, not really, I found this on Pinterest! But I did finally get a comment from him on Twitter this evening! Happy 2012, it's all worth it now! *geekface*

Happy New Year!

I'm not going to make any silly resolutions. I've found that resolutions are just created to make you feel like a failure. It's all a conspiracy.

That said, I hope things go well and I manage to keep up on the blogging once spring hits. That's the thing about seasonal work...

If I were to make resolutions, they'd be more like wishes on the planet's big rotating birthday cake.

Resolutions like:

* I will attend Portland Comicon and get photos with Bruce Campbell, have drinks with friends and even stay out of trouble!

* I will attend Crypticon Seattle.

* I will attend Emerald City Comicon and meet Wil Wheaton and Patrick Stewart.

* I will sell some photography work and possibly get some photo jobs.

* I will hatch many cute, fuzzy ducklings. (ok, this one I can do)

* I will manage to attend more screenings of Grindhouse Theater at The Grand Cinema.

* I will win the lottery, buy the 22 acres across the road and build a castle with a moat. Then our current house can be turned into the most luxurious duck house in the world! Ok, just kidding about the last part. But I would build the Army of Duckness a much bigger, better home so I can get them more friends!

* To add to the lottery bit, I'd get my own vacation house on a clean, clear lake that's good for swimming and fishing. I'd take the ducks on vacation with us. The Army of Duckness could never be left with a duck sitter.

Garish enough for you?

More realistic:

* I'd miraculously overcome my sugar and caffeine addictions.

* Which would give way to a miraculous weight loss, which would still leave me less skinny than Gabrielle Anwar. Which is a good thing, because if I get below a size 10, my ribs stick out.

* Farming would become a more lucrative job than stock broker. (ok, I'm getting outlandish again)

So, ya'll have a great New Year! Be safe and try not to make fun of your drunk friends too much. Oh, and keep those videos of the New Year's party off youtube. Bad karma there.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sam Axe Appreciation

Maybe it's because there's no Burn Notice for a while, but I've been itching for some Brucey Goodness!

I give you: The Many Faces of Sam Axe!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry 12th Day of Awesomeness!

Merry Christmas everyone! If you don't celebrate, well, a happy day off to you as well! :)

I got the duckie pajamas I wanted. Had some wine amongst family. Life is good!

Hope your day was as pleasant as mine!

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Dysfunctional Holiday Story

So... I've shared a few weird family traditions. Even a story of holiday disappointment. This one's... a little different.

My mom always had this weird joke where she would hide the most desired gift of all in the dryer... or in the garage if it was large. I got used to this tradition, waiting until I had gone through everything else, then rushing out to see what was in the dryer. Or sometimes the washer if mom was feeling like playing with my head a little bit.

This one particular holiday, I must have been 15 and all I wanted was a pair of Doc Martens. I basically knew I was getting them since mom had dragged me to Nordstrom to try on a few pairs (because back in the day, they were all euro-sizing and didn't have the US sizes on them). Judging by the way I was grilled and grilled and grilled about which pair I wanted and even sent out of the store for something (hey, go over to the record store!), I could even narrow it down to which ones I was getting. No surprise, but I was still anticipating being able to wear those boots for the first time.

So, all gifts under the tree open. Stockings searched. Now where are my boots? Out to the dryer. And there, in all it's splendid glory: a load of laundry. The washer: empty. The dishwasher: ok, this is getting serious! "Mom, where's the other present?" "You know... the boots?"

Mom insists it's there. We search under the tree, through the discarded wrapping paper, boxes and other shiny holiday debris. No boots. Search closets. All of them. The boots are nowhere.

She's-got-the-receipt. What?

Swears she wrapped them.

Where did they go?

Finally, a resolution. In the dryer. Right where they should have been. Probably hidden in there days ago. Then someone, carelessly, drops a load of wet laundry in to dry.

The wrapping paper and box didn't fare too well. In the end, I got my boots and that's what mattered.

11th Day of Awesomeness!

It's Christmas Eve! I should have wrapped this up today, but I blew it by skipping yesterday. So tomorrow you'll get one last hurrah!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Burn Notice season 6 finale review/spoilers.

Well, it appears that the season six finale of Burn Notice requires a serious review. A very serious review. If you want to avoid spoilers, now’s the time to run, run away!
If you’ve seen it already, you know as much as I do. Intense stuff there.
I probably didn’t cover everything that needed covered here. Unfortunately, I was interrupted many times while writing this.

(Insert gratuitous picture of Bruce Campbell here to keep the spoilers out of site.)
Okay, there we go! And on the review.
The season six finale of Burn Notice had me worried from the outset. The previews had me worried. The teasers from the network had me worried. Were they really going to kill off Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell)? Someone important always seems to die in both the mid-season finale, as well as the season finale. Coupled with the fact that USA Network was conspicuously late in announcing Burn Notice’s renewal for season seven, it was more worrisome. Was there a contract dispute kept quiet in order to keep the fans on their toes?
So Mike, Sam and Jesse go to set up their ship transport and things go sideways. (I’m going to try to resist the temptation to rehash the whole episode, but we’ll see if I succeed). Jesse is captured, Sam is shot. Upon the first viewing, my reaction was something along the lines of “Why the hell is he reaching for a gun?”
Okay, so Sam reaches up towards the dashboard of the car and is shot. Upon the second viewing, I saw what I missed the first time. He was trying to shift the car into gear and make a run for it.
We all knew from the previews and teasers that Sam was going to be in a pretty serious condition. But here’s what I don’t understand. This is the man that, two episodes ago, was rethinking the idea of running because he didn’t want to leave his lady. Now he’s going to get himself shot and potentially never see her again?
Either way, a good portion of this episode had me curled up on the couch, in the fetal position, holding a stuffed doggie (another story) and barely so much as breathing.
Now Sam’s made up his mind that he’s going to play tough and die for Michael and friends, rather than save himself now that it seems he’s got the most to live for since Burn Notice began. And his friends are concerned with saving Jesse from CIA custody? When one of your most loyal friends is bleeding out on the couch?
The intensity of this episode in amazing, but I’m finding holes in the credibility of the storyline. Of course, who knows how anyone would really react. I would have personally expected a different reaction from the show’s “moral compass.”
At what point did we forget that Michael got them into all this by shooting his former mentor in cold blood. How hard would it have been to tamper with the evidence at said murder scene in order to convince the authorities that Michael shot Card in self-defense? Now the friend who was most angry with Michael for going against his morals is going to stand by his friend and die in the fallout? The friend who was already taken into custody once over this? When was someone, anyone, going to put their foot down and tell Michael that things have gone far enough?
That’s right, nobody. Michael had a way out and was tempted to take it and the friends who should have been there to support him in his decision weren’t willing to hear him out and consider that taking Bly’s offer may have been the best thing for everyone.
Ah, Jason Bly, another familiar face I hadn’t expected to see. You can see the grudging respect Bly has for Michael, especially since Michael saved his life in that bank robbery. It’s a very grudging respect though, Bly wants to climb the ranks just like any other operative and Michael is dangerous on so many levels.
The twists and turns in this episode are exactly what you’d expect from a Burn Notice finale. Every time you think the pressure’s off for a while, something new pops up.
Back to Sam and his dire situation. You know Michael and Fi are going to find a way to get Jesse out. When Michael first showed back up at the safe house with Sam, the decision was made that Fi’s old flame, Campbell, was the best chance at medical care Sam had. But once they had Jesse back, now Fi knows a doctor? Either these plot holes were unavoidable due to needing to keep the intensity up or they figured they could get away with a few weak spots in the plot because it was so intense. If I were the one bleeding to death, I think I’d feel a little bit different about my friends if one of them conveniently remembered hours later that she knows a doctor. Hours of suffering later.
Maybe I’m just not as honorable or noble as a career Navy Seal.
Lucky for everyone, there’s a happy ending here. After scene after scene of intensity and anguish and panic… and CPR.
Looking at this first part of the finale, I have to commend each and every actor for their portrayals. The intensity of emotion required was delivered and then some. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Bruce Campbell play a dying man before and I was riveted to the screen, as I said before, most of my first viewing of this episode was spent in the fetal position. Michael’s near-panic scenes were masterful as well, kudos to Jeffrey Donovan. When Fi confronted their prisoner, I actually thought that she was just going to shoot him and be done with it. Coby Bell was amazing as he was presented with the one thing he needed most to know in life, and turned it down for his “family.” I easily believed when he discovered he was almost tricked that he would have killed Agent Riley over the deception, had he not been suffering from the narcotics Michael and Fi used to subdue everyone in the building with.
The next plot twist brings an angry drug cartel after the team. Now they have no choice but to move injured Sam again. So the strategy is to take him to the hospital to flush out Agent Riley and try to trap her in her dealings with the cartel. Why not take Riley when they had her drugged? They didn’t know what else was coming at that point. But they knew that she was pissed and coming hard.
Michael’s escapade through the hospital was impressive. I’m not sure if I would have felt that way if I had been a patient or employee of said hospital, however. Objective met and that’s what matters.
Bruce Campbell delivers again in the scene where Riley replaces his painkillers with uppers. Brutal.
In the end, typical Burn Notice. You think the resolution is in sight and then it’s yanked right out from under you. The death of Bly was almost unremarkable after all the tension building earlier in the episode. And in that, I feel a little bit cheated. When Carla died, I felt something. When Gilroy died, I felt something. When Larry died, I felt something.
I can’t end these ramblings without addressing the ending. What? So everyone’s locked up and being debriefed, including Sam, who almost died and should have still been under a doctor’s care. After all, he had a bullet up against his spleen and likely a nasty infection from the wound being open as long as it had been. So in about three weeks’ time, he’s being trotted out of a holding cell to watch as Michael tells Fi that he had cut a deal for their freedom, to say goodbye. That’s some impressive healing. Maybe he is a superhero after all.
So in the end, Michael gives himself up for his friends? If so, then he could have saved a lot of pain for his friends by taking the deal Bly offered in the beginning. Or is this just another foray into the dark? Did Michael sell his soul to the CIA or some other organization that doesn’t have a name? Obviously Michael was treated a lot better during debriefing than everyone else was. He certainly didn’t have that designer suit when he was taken into custody.
Now we wait. Season 7 ends it for good, so hoping all the answers we are expecting will come.
I know I’ve made some criticisms here and asked some questions of why the plot went this way or that when it made more sense for them to take a different road.  Obviously the writers know more than I do in regards to where the story goes from here.
The episode was riveting, interesting and well-acted. The plot twists were, for the most part, unexpected. In fact, friends online posted messages on Twitter, reminding the viewers of the West Coast airing to remember to breathe. Intense.

It seems that the main message behind Burn Notice is that when you’re up against a wall and it seems the only way out is to go down in flames, there’s another way out. You just need to be creative. And have duct tape. (Why did we see no duct tape in this episode?)


A little holiday music, perhaps?

I admit it. I still get a kick out of these holiday parody songs. Maybe it's the former wanna-be radio personality part of me, but throw on the Bob Rivers twisted holiday songs and let's get into the spirit!

Wreck the Malls, anyone?

A little I Am Santa Claus, perhaps?

Walking 'Round in Women's Underwear?

Ok, this next one is an original, not a parody. And very relevant if you live in Washington or Colorado this holiday season. FTR... first time my mom heard me playing this while wrapping gifts in my teens, she deemed it necessary to explain every single drug reference in the song, as if I couldn't figure them out myself!

Screaming Santas - Let's Get High (for Christmas).

Weird Holiday Traditions?

I'm sure every family has one: that weird holiday tradition that nobody gets, but you go along with it just because.

My grandmother had a few. One was the wrapped boxes of candy under the tree. Tagged "To: Everyone."

There was a See's Candy box. The one pound size. None of that half-pound silliness when it came to grandma and candy shopping. A box of Turtles for my mom, they were her favorite. A box of Aplets and Cotlets. Unless you're from here, you may have no idea of the allure of these jelly and nut concoctions. The two or three boxes of Frangos. You knew those from the outset by the shape of the box.

Then there was the candy in the candy dishes. You know, that ribbon candy that you only see at grandma's house? My grandpa made an awesome Divinity candy, so you'd see that as well. A bowl of mixed nuts or cocktail peanuts.

The weirdest to me was the stockings. I always had two. One had candy and little odds and ends. The other would be stuffed with apples, oranges and mixed nuts in shell. I never questioned it. I always thought it was the good stocking to offset the evil stocking.

Apparently this is a tradition that goes back to when seasonal eating was the norm, when food wasn't shipped all over the world in huge quantities. It was a big treat to have a winter orange in many parts of the country, and I would assume it was a much bigger treat in the eyes of my grandma, oldest of eight kids in a poor farm family. I didn't find this out until a few springs ago, taking an agriculture class. Mystery solved.

Here's another take on oranges in stockings from Dave's Garden.

10th Day of Awesomeness!

'Twas the weekend before Christmas and all through the halls, sugared-up little boy has me banging my head on walls.

We made cookies. I'm not an artist.

I'm not even sure what some of them are supposed to be. Those 39-cent cookie cutters... pfft.

On to spreading some geek joy...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bruce Campbell in 9th Day of Awesomeness!

I have to dedicate tonight to Bruce Campbell. Awesome. Burn Notice season-ender spoilers and review coming this weekend!