First alcoholic experience

October 31, 2011

Make this my vote for parents allowing their kids to have drinks at home (not “to drink” at home, if you understand the difference). We had wine with special meals, a sip of whatever Dad was drinking if we asked, etc.; and while I’ve been pretty close to drunk, probably twice, and both times since it was legal to do so, that’s about it. Never hung over, never puked, never none of that stuff. Sorry if it’s boring. Once in a while I buy a pack of coolers or have a rum and coke at home or out with dinner.  I’m a wild child.

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Favourite TV drama

October 30, 2011

In 2006, Showtime adapted an idea created by novelist Jeff Lindsay and created a show about a very unusual serial killer.  This is Dexter.  In the seasons we’ve seen so far, Dexter Morgan—a blood spatter specialist for the Miami police—has investigated, tracked, and killed dozens of evildoers that the police can’t catch.  Dexter works according to a code developed by his adoptive father, a cop who was discouraged by the escape of so many guilty people, anticipated Dexter’s sociopathic urges, and trained Dexter to identify and kill killers and not get caught.  Dexter is confused about his life, although he asserts that he’s a “monster”, and he’s shockingly likeable.

It’s very well made, with high production values.  The acting is very good, and guest stars have been impressive, especially Jimmy Smits, John Lithgow, and this season, Mos Def.  Emmy-award winning writer and producer James Manos, Jr., is also responsible for the high quality of the show, which is widely critically-acclaimed—one critic even reversed a poor review after finishing the first season.

The concept is original and unique.  Popular culture has seen other works developed from the point of view of a killer, but never one so likeable, which puts the audience in an unusual and uncomfortable position.

And the show’s originality isn’t limited to its subject.  I watch the opening credits for Dexter each time—okay, each time I can wait the extra two minutes to find out what’s going to happen this week—because they’re so great.  We watch Dexter getting ready in the morning, doing all kinds of things that look terrifyingly similar to what he does at night: he smothers himself with his shirt, cuts himself with his razor, slices a (blood) orange and some ham, spills hot sauce on his eggs, and garrotes his ankles with his shoelaces.  Then, to go along with the quirky music, a perfectly pleased but darkly dreaming Dexter leaves his apartment (originally locked with a Dexter lock).  Many other elements of the show are equally inventive.

The show’s definitely not an “improving” work that should be offered to everyone, but it sure is a lot of fun for a lot of people, and incredibly addictive.

Even though TV is a medium that produces a lot of garbage, I’ve seen a lot of shows in the last few years that have convinced me of its magic.  Six Feet Under (incidentally, with Michael C. Hall), The Wire, and Flight of the Conchords, plus Dexter, of course, all demonstrate that aesthetic quality isn’t limited to the big screen.  In fact, I’d choose any of these shows over most new movies any day.  Dexter makes me interested in crime shows and novels—a genre I’d never been interested in before, and maybe never will be again.  I take that as proof that it’s exceptional, and could very well become a new classic.

Probably Easter. Visits with family and friends, a good meal (with bigger variety than Tksgvg or Christmas), candy, and time to read and to think and to worship (with the best songs, aside from Christmas). And it’s springtime!

Favourite TV comedy

October 28, 2011

For a long while I was feeling like there was no good TV on the major networks. This feeling ended with the introduction of ABC’s Modern Family.

And there’s actually a lot of good network comedy out there now. K watches Happy Endings (I think at least in part just for Elisha Cuthbert); we both watch The Middle, Big Bang Theory, and the aforementioned Modern Family.

And Modern Family is definitely, to me, tops. The stories and characters are the most engaging; the jokes are the smartest and the most unexpected (current fave: when Cam tells his husband Mitch that their nephew’s classmates in the school play “will never forget the day I Sondheim-ized them”).

The idea of this book

October 27, 2011

” “I like the idea of this book.” – Let me explain this one. I often pick up books or consider picking up the same book over and over again not because I have general interest in that subject. Often I recognize that it’s strictly an impulse purchase and that I’d never finish such a work. It’s more that I like the idea of being the type of person who reads about bees or birds or geological rock formations in Greece.”

This is G‘s explanation of the topic he chose for today.

There are a couple reasons why this doesn’t really happen for me. I don’t get into a lot of situations where I’m browsing for books–working at a library I don’t spend a ton of time at bookstores; and also, I think the topics I go back to over and over again, I revisit because they’re topics I’m interested in. I’ve been reading more about the Tudors, for example, including Hilary Mantel’s Booker shortlist novel about Thomas Cromwell, Wolf Hall; or books about authors’ families and communities. Maybe the closest I come is that I’ve found myself taking a look at books and movies where I’ve seen the authors interviewed. So maybe I like the idea of me as a reader of The Daily Show’s featured books.

I can really only think of one time where I picked up a book entirely on a whim (is this sad? or just evidence that I have peripheral knowledge of a lot of books?). It was a high school trip to a Stratford play, and I guess it felt good getting that little volume of John Dryden poetry at that little antique shop. I don’t even really like Dryden all that much, but I haven’t been able to let it go.

Most hated movie

October 26, 2011

There are only a couple movies I’ve literally had to walk out of…heck, in the late 90s and early 2000s we watched a lot of Samuel L. Jackson movies, so you know I have a fairly high tolerance. But when my dad was watching the first Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie, I couldn’t stand it after the first 10 minutes. No, thank you. Or I don’t thank you.

Favourite historical figure

October 25, 2011

This changes for me from time to time, but it is usually a woman. As a girl, I looked up to Roberta Bondar. Often, when I read about famous men, I find myself interested in the women around them. And it’s usually someone who was articulate in her own right. Someone who’s stood the test of time in this category for me is Eleanor Roosevelt.

When we got married 5 years ago we had already been living together for a long time, and already dating for a longer time. So when the time came, we didn’t know whether anything would actually be different.

But it was.

Whenever someone talks about whether it makes a difference to get married if you’re already committed to one another and living together, I can only say, it did for us.

After being together for such a long time, the summer we got married, I found myself coming home from work early (went in early, too, I promise) to spend more time with my husband. We did more together, we felt like more of a team (it’s a feeling I’m having again, now, that we’ve moved 2.5 hours away from our families for a first, permanent time).

We went on our honeymoon a couple weeks after our wedding, to my father-in-law’s camp. And this was the view I woke up to the first morning:

So I think that answers that.

Proudest Moment

October 23, 2011

Another hard one to choose. The prizes one wins as a child, graduations, wedding day…

I did have a moment a little while ago, though, as I was coming up on my one year anniversary working in a public library, when I realized how devoted I feel to the profession and that I’m proud of the work I did to get there, and grateful for the sacrifices other people made for me to do it.  It was a good moment.

Favourite drama

October 22, 2011

I’ve already talked about my love of the Gary Sinese/John Malkovich Of Mice and Men, so there’s that. Yesterday on the GO train home I was listening to Carmen and thinking that that has to be one of the ultimate stories, and how much more I enjoyed watching an opera than I thought I would. So, there’s an all-time favourite and one I want to watch again soon (the Met version that was shown in Cineplexes a couple years ago is out on DVD for posterity).