STICKY

PERHAPS WE LEARNED SOMETHING.....
…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy these Reviews, Responses, Works of Fiction, and Retellings brought to you by one who hopes to someday join the ranks of those who have written something worth reading.
(Kaylia Metcalfe)

Cheesy Life Lessons

I had one of those moments yesterday when I realized I am a grown up… but I am nowhere near as sophisticated as I thought I would be by 29.

All this, because of cheese.



See, I am the Jill Of All Trades in my current job, and while that means that I sometimes play the role of IT, the role of babysitter, dog walker, advisor, hand holder, file clerk, bookkeeper, scheduler, organizer, and all around office stuff guru… I also get to play the role of Refreshment Procurement Specialist from time to time.



In other words, I get to go buy food for meetings.

Food like… cheese.



Well, first it was veggies and dip and cookies… then it was all that plus some sort of crackers and cheese. I had hoped that the store would have something already put together, some sort of cheese tray with crackers. But no.

Not wanting to buy the wrong thing, I checked in with my boss.

“Well, get a soft cheese and a hard cheese, we can cut it, get enough for everyone to have some.”

Helpful? Well sort of. I can ignore the almost-there joke about cutting the cheese and concentrate on what she said… soft and hard.

Ok, so there is another joke there, but at this point I am almost out of time, I still need to set up the flip chart, wash the serving trays, get the mail, and do a handful of other tasks before this meeting actually starts. So, concentrate on the cheese.

Soft and hard.

Hmmm.

Standing in a SaveMart on a sunny day in February I realize that I am 29 and I have no idea what that means. I am almost 30 and I don’t know the difference between a soft and a hard cheese. Apparently I have been going to the wrong sorts of parties.



Ok, fine. But I am part of the Google Generation. We know that if you don’t know the answer, somewhere out there someone else will. This is what Twitter was made for. Also friends. And parents.

I called a friend / coworker. She gave advice, I bought cheese. The meeting was a success.

It wasn’t until later that I realized that my defaults had changed. A few years ago, I would have called my dad. No question. Not only were my parents the be all and end of “things I don’t know” but they are renowned entertainers who know more about cheese (and wine, and veggies, and cooking, and well everything kitchen related) than almost anyone else I have ever met.

I could have called them… in fact, had I not been able to get Teri on the line as fast as I did, I might have called them. I just found it interesting that they weren’t my first impulse anymore.

Sad? No… not really, just sort of introspectively interesting. I rely more on my friends and acquaintances for these random things.

I guess that’s just another part of growing up.

Apparently, so is cheese buying.


Past Life

Of all the crap…

I mean, I live in California. In Santa Cruz. I like sci-fi and fantasy. I have seen plenty of far fetched lame plot devices and things that make you go “what the…?”

But this? This is just crap.

The promo is set to the sound of a defibrillator machine for ambiance… the words are sort of floaty…

“Have you ever had Déjà vu? And thought it was something more? Maybe it was.”

Voice over: She solves crimes that put souls to rest!

Yep. Welcome to Past Life,



...the new crime procedural with the shtick of the crime solvers being Psycho…. Therapists and a washed up has been “cowboy” detective who use Regression Therapy to solve murders. Apparently, as the “doctor” tells us, Reincarnation is real. We all carry around the memories of our past lives and sometimes, due to trauma or plot convention we regress and experience these memories. At that point it becomes up to her to use triggers and forceful staring to get you continue to flash back so that they can investigate the ‘clues” and thus solve the mystery.

That is premise of the show.

I kid you not.

They canceled Firefly, Pushing Daisies, Dollhouse, and Defying Gravity…. And we get this. (Not a shock, the show is on FOX… I am still not sure how a skeptical medical show like House managed to make it on this network that is so obviously catering to the vaccines cause autism and homeopathy is so super reals!)

Here’s the thing. Shows like Fringe and Warehouse 13 are silly. They know they are silly. They deal with things that are obviously silly like enchanted combs and telepathy. They are harmless.

But crap like this? Crap like this feed on the general public’s appetite for reasons to distrust science in the name of pseudoscience. Regression therapy to deal with your tortured reincarnated soul? Give me a break.

The pilot introduces us to Dr. McGinn (doctor of what we aren’t ever told), her horrible fake accent, and her sidekick the skeptical (but for how long?) former detective Whatley. There is also a 14 year old boy who is the reincarnation of a murder victim. We get just enough exposition to make us queasy and then we get the story which is almost unwatchable.

I thought about recapping the episode but honestly by the opening credits I was feeling overwhelmed with nausea so instead here are a few of the best and worst moments of the show.

Read Watch if you can stomach it, and Judge for yourself.

Lines like “The clues are there, you just have to know where to look.” Reek of both poor writing and confirmation bias.

Classic bad moment: Oh no, the kid has gone missing. Let’s go to his room. Hey look his friend is IMing him right now! What a great coincidence… the friend says ‘What up where r u? Zachary park?” because that makes sense. If you IM someone (a message sent to their computer) and they don’t answer you are going to start guessing random places… because they will, what answer? Of course the kid is in Zachary park. And of course he has had some sort of psychotic break, errr, I mean Regression Moment.

Another classic bad moment: The ‘ooo’ moment of the fact that the kid is actually the reincarnation of… A Little GIRL!

“It’s a Texas thang [her insistence on driving in the city], trucks, guns and the death penalty.” Several Texans just hung their head in shame. And that’s saying something. Apparently Texans also have bad taste in jewelry and are bossy about their coffee.

Ahhhhh skeptical detective man is also superstitious man who believes in bad luck. But not in coincidences. (also a widower, but I’m sure that is just a shameless eventual plot moment right?) This show makes my brain hurt.

“Husbands are like Jesus, just another white man telling me what to do” said without a trace of irony by a rich southern white woman.

The intuitive leap of “The clue is referencing a tall building with a red light on it. Which could be lots of places in the city we are in, but not that many places in say… that city over there.”

The murdered girl was killed a month before our Regression driven teen boy was born….. So this show has now not only decided that Reincarnation is real, but that recycled souls can implant themselves into fetuses not at the moment of conception…. But rather at some point before birth. I guess that straddles the abortion line pretty well wouldn’t you say? It has a recycled soul… at X weeks! Hazah!

“he remembers being murdered.” Point of interest. If you are killed you therefore have no future memories… right? You would have the memories up until the point where everything goes black. But if you never wake up as an angel and see your body or end up talking to St. Peter, how would you actually know you had died? Wouldn’t you need a point of contrast? I was alive, now I am dead? Is the soul of the victim self aware and free loading off the teen? Am I the only one who thinks this doesn’t make any sense?

By the way, the FBI vouches for our intrepid Dr. Of course they do.

“The best way to deal with a skeptic is to rip the band aide off, tell ‘em who we are right up front.” I would counter that the best way to deal with a skeptic is with proof but since I have a feeling that this show is going to actually provide us with some “proof” I’ll hold my tongue.

Also, too many people with beautiful blue eyes. Come on folks. Where are all the attractive brown eyed people?

We won’t worry about things like evidence for our warrents… the kid psychic mumbled about a boat name and then we found a guy who owns a boat with that name… he must be our killer! Guess what. In this world, he is indeed the killer.

We don’t see the ensuing court case. Because no judge in their right mind would allow it and no jury even out of their minds would buy it (I hope). But since this is a crime procedural that is more concerned with being edgy and unique due to schtick, we aren’t really surprised.

At 38 minutes our skeptic has officially become a believer. Because…. That’s how skepticism works. We get distracted by the shiny and forget our critical thinking skills. Gah!

And in response to his fumbling ‘aww gee, I guess I have to believe now” bit her response is the classic condescending: “The greater the doubt, the greater the awakening.” She is going to quote Einstein as a way of validating pseudoscience.

Thankfully the credits rolled pretty soon after that.



Want to see for yourself? Episodes are available for free at Fox.com and hulu.com

Legal Protection for Clergy and Gays Both

A bit of… hope?

There is a bill (proposed by CA senator Mark Leno) that would protect the rights of the clergy should gay marriage ever become legal in CA.

Basically, if (when?) gay marriage becomes legal this bill would allow for clergy to not be forced to sanction or perform these types of marriages. It reaffirms the right of all clergy to decide which marriage ceremonies they will perform.




Which… just seems silly. Not because clergy should HAVE to marry people no matter what, (they shouldn’t) but because they already have the right/ability to do the picking and choosing.

I got married at one point* and when deciding who was going to do the “honors” I couldn’t just pick up a random priest and make him marry me. Most churches have veto power… and that can be for practically anything… you aren’t a member of their congregation, you haven’t gone though their premarital counseling program, you don’t practice their religion, you don’t have enough cash….



So while I am glad that those crazy liberals are bending over backwards to assure those crazy conservatives that gay marriage is all about PROTECTING rights and not about STEALING them, I am a bit eye-roll-ey about yet another piece of legislation.

The saving grace is that this is a bill that will only be at all useful if (when) gay marriage becomes legal. Which, despite what it feels like sometimes, is the direction we are going. Give it a few more decades (sigh) and we will all be equal.

At least I hope so.




*and then later divorced.

Source

Happy Whatever You Want To Call It Day!

Today is Candlemass or Imbolc or St Brigid’s Day or the beginning of Donotel or Groundhog Day.

Whatever you call it, today is special.


(For the Pagans at least...)

It is the half-way point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Meaning we are that much closer to spring and summer and warm weather. Yay!



And for those practicing Catholics out there we are closer to Lent.

I love this day. Like many of its Pagan counterpart holidays today is about renewal, hope, sex, food, community, and respect. In any Pagan Circles today is the day when vows are made (vows to one’s self, to one’s lover, to one’s deity). It is a time of thinking happily about what is to come and for moving from the dark of winter into the light of spring. For some, today is a time of remembering the blood spilled in both sacrifice. For others it is a day to begin planning gardens or prepare for fasting.

And for some, today is when we let a large magic rodent forecast the weather.



Not Pagan at all that, nope, not a bit.

Anyway, regardless of what you celebrate or if you don’t bother at all, enjoy the day.

(And speaking of Pagan-ey Witchcraft, on a related note, my review of The Heretic’s Daughter is up and can be read here.)

The Heretic’s Daughter

Book Review for Kathleen Kent’s The Heretic’s Daughter.




Told as a recollection of the past by one of the children who is not only imprisoned during the Salem Witch Trials, but whose mother is one of the condemned, this book does everything it can to pull you in, bind you to the main character Sarah, and mark you for life.

The subject matter of the Salem Witch Trials is handled with a mix of reality and vague instances of women with some sort of “specialness” but the end result is the same. You know how it is going to end before you even begin and for this reason I must admit that I put off reading it for several weeks. One cannot read this book without feeling overcome with frustration and anger at the judges and accusers.

If it was simple that and nothing more, I would have been justified in my hesitation and this review would be scathing… but Kent’s saving grace is that she went beyond the bones of the story to add symbolism and an attempt to make the trials in some way resonate with today’s readers.

In a broad sense it is good to be reminded (especially in this day and age) that the “justice” systems of the past were anything but. In a more specific sense, the book illuminates the struggle between the generations, class, family ties loyalties, and maturity. In these areas, Kent shines. The sense of alienation between Sarah and her mother her anger, and later her overwhelming sadness are very real, very powerful, and very universal.

The prose is at times simple and childlike (which makes sense as it is written as the recollections of a young girl being recounted from the safety of old age) an at times flowery and poetic. The story itself is told well, but it is the trappings of society and the journey of Sarah as daughter learning to value her mother even as it is too late that make this book worth reading.



To be perfectly honest, I hate the cover art for this book. The “Sarah” pictured appears more sullen and sort of “I am attempting to appear woeful” than actually sympathetic or sad. The inner cover of my copy had a great shadowy picture of a tree which I actually liked a lot, but… who am I?

Spam-A-Licious

Ok, I don’t know what I did wrong (or maybe right?) but my blog is getting spammed like you would not believe. To be precise, a few specific posts are getting spammed again and again and again.

Those of you who read here regularly, might have noticed that I have “moderator approval” on posts more than two weeks old… the reason isn’t that I am a control freak. It is because I keep getting comments in other languages, comments extolling the wonders of several different porn sites, and then just gibberish comments.



Ok, fine. But the odd thing is that the spammer people seem to have a special place in their little bot hearts for a few of my posts. These posts get all the spammy love. In the last three days, two of these somehow special posts have received over ten spam comments. Each!

All I can figure is that there must be some magic words in these posts that make them super tasty.

Anyway… if you are curious about these posts, the ones getting all the love, here they are;


Porn Stars, Kitty Cats, Movies and More (which, Ok, I sort of understand why this one gets a lot of random hits…)


Sunday Sightseeing (… but this one? Umm, why?)



In Defense of Baby Dolls and Boobs (The word “boobs” is here, but.. well, ok)



But the number one spam-a-licious post ever with an average of two spam comment attempts A DAY!....

Nerd Appreciation Day –not really-


Which.. is just… odd.

Anyway, I hope that my continual use of the “reject” button will eventually lead them to getting bored and finding another blog to stalk.


Happy Monday / February!