Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Is Exercising Too Much To Ask? Apparently The Answer Is Yes

Despite being plus size and proud, the effects of aging have started me questioning just how plus size I can be.  I.E., high blood pressure and a right knee that hurts like a bitch. (Luxating patella, if you must know. It's a condition that Yorkshire Terriers and other small dogs are prone to.  Yay me.) 

I decided to stop putting off exercise and go swimming at the Y my husband belongs to.  I bundled swimsuit, shampoo/conditioner and body wash, and headed out and realized: fuck. I don't have a padlock. 

Into the hardware store for a padlock with keys.  

I get to the Y, go to the elevators--the pools and Aquatic office are on the 2nd floor.  The 2nd floor is mostly other non-profits, so I ask several people where the Aquatic office is.  I find it, and am sat down until the guy is found.  I'm in the wrong place; the women's dressing room has been moved to the 3rd floor.  I get on the elevator, and find the 3rd floor button is covered up. 

So I go to the 4th floor, which is the gym proper, and wander around asking people how to get to the third floor. Because no one on that floor is in their offices.  Nobody knows.  Finally one guy says to take the elevator on the left.  I do, but the button doesn't light, and I end up on the 2nd floor again. I am righteously pissed.  After procrastinating for months, I finally get my shit together, and I CAN'T get to the damn pool!  

So, back in the elevator up to the 4th floor.  I walked down stairs to the 3rd floor, no entry, knocked repeatedly.  Crickets.  So I go back up and find another flight of stairs.  No entry.  I pound on the door as hard as I can.  Crickets.  I am starting to think this was a seriously bad decision.  

What chlorinated hell is this?

 I go back up, scout the floor, and find a stairs that don't look like fire stairs!  They're steps to the third floor!  Yay! THE THIRD FLOOR MEN'S DRESSING ROOM. 

As old guys scuttle to cover up, a security person escorts me out.  I'm almost in tears, telling him I am just trying to get to the goddamn womens' dressing room.  First I go to the towel desk, get two fresh towels, find a locker, etc.  But I can't open the package the lock is in. 

Back to the towel desk, ask for a pair of scissors, cut open the package, go down, get everything arranged, in my bathing suit and two towels, find the door to the pool-!  

Go to the pool to see a sign that you have to wear a bathing cap.  Shit.  There are these blue elastic headthings, but for some reason the one I pick doesn't fit, and I look and it says: Shoe Covers. 

Back to the towel desk, ask can I buy a swim cap.  I have to go to the 1st floor membership desk.  

Back to locker, put pants and shoes on, down to the desk, buy a swim cap, but not before the guy asks to see my guest pass. "This is all you've got?" he asks, but he drops it because he can see the murder in my eyes. 

Finally, I get myself, towels and tote bag to the pool, and get in the water. 

And everything is okay again.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ole Black Eyes: Review, Supernatural 9x23 "Do You Believe In Miracles"

Despite expectations, Tuesday's finale did not leave me a sobbing wreck. It left me with my stomach hurting, looking into the darkness, with the urge to cry deep in my heart.  And slightly disappointed that Dean didn't turn into an anime schoolgirl with weird sparkly eyes. I called that one wrong!

“Do You Believe in Miracles,” written by show runner Jeremy Carver and directed by Thomas P. Wright, had to fight not only with the memories of other finales, but also the repeated tropes of the show. Particularly when it comes to death, the brothers’ relationship, etc. There were quite a few derivative scenes and plotlines. But you know something? I didn’t give a damn, even as I was watching and thinking, “Yeah, we’ve seen this before.” And the ending turned a basic “Supernatural” trope on its head.

THEN: Obligatory "Carry On My Wayward Son" montage. This song gets more depressing every year. There will never be any peace for the Winchesters, they will never be done. I'd rather hear "Rock me, Amadeus."

This joke caused me to get blocked on Twitter by Jim Michaels.  Trufax. 

NOW: The episode picks up where we left off, Gadreel falling to the ground, stabbed, bloodthirsty!Dean being held back by Cas and Sam.  Cas holds him as Sam wrestles away the blade.  They lock Dean in the bunker dungeon (that place proves to be endlessly useful!).  Sam and Castiel put the blade in a metal box...on a table?  WTF?  Are you guys that dumb?

spn_923 Cas Sam blade  
"He'll never find it here."  "Yeah."

Metatron has a techie hook up an intercom that blocks out all other signals from Angel Radio. "Metatron?" the techie asks. "Metatron?" Nothing.  "God?" Metatron looks up. "I'm writing a story about love," he says. "Like The Notebook?" asks the techie, adding eagerly, "I love The Notebook!"  Metatron takes the mike and announces to the angels that he is temporarily leaving the heavenly gates closed while he goes on a special trip.  The angels look up from their typewriters and filing, which begs the question: what the fuck are the angels doing, typing and on the phone?  Or all of those angel command centers?  WHAT? WHAT? TELL ME, GODDAMN IT, IT BUGS THE CRAP OUT OF ME EACH EPISODE!

 Metatron has been a great Big Bad.  He's a nerd who wants revenge, the classic "disgruntled employee" who had to listen to God.  He's slimy and funny, going to from ew to holy shit! in the blink of an eye.  Sometimes Curtis Armstrong's mugging gets a bit much.  He sulks and pouts, assumes an authority he's not comfortable with, and overplays his hand.  Also, he monologues about writing, which only got boring by the end.  I like having a Big Bad who doesn't come with a big sign blinking over his head: EVIL!

Following a bloody trail from the bunker, Sam and Cas drive the pimpmobile to find Baby parked with blood all over the seat.Gadreel lays in the grass.  Cas heals him, which burns out a little more of Cas's rapidly decreasing grace.  There's a new, if short-lived Team Free Will. After (literally) puking his guts out, Dean wastes no time summoning Crowley, who is enjoying his reinstatement.

spn_923 Crowley Hell
It's good to be the King.

 "I really, really need to kill!" Dean tells everyone's favorite demon.  "What's happening to me?" Crowley: “It’s the Mark. It wants you to kill. The more you kill, the better you feel. The less you kill, the less better you feel." Dean: “How much less better?" Crowley: “One would imagine the least best better."   i.e. dead.

I love Crowley. No wonder he made such a lousy Big Bad last season. As we learned earlier, Cain was the first demon.  Dean's human body can't handle that sort of power.  Dean demands Crowley bust him out of there and get the First Blade.  When Sam, Castiel and Gadreel return to the bunkers--dun dun DUN--they find the Blade and Dean gone.  Seriously, how could they expect anything else? Jeez.

A woman talking on her cell is hit by a car and dies in the street.  But--a pathetic, shuffling figure raises her from the dead!  "Call me...Marv," he tells his flock.

At a watering hole, Dean does research and generally acts like an asshole.  Crowley has fallen hard for Dean.  He asks Dean, "Is this all there is?  Don't you want to howl at the moon (naked with me)?" Next season, Crowley and Cas won't be battling for Dean's soul, they'll be battling for Dean.  "I've loved you for seven seasons!"  "He's grown tired of you, Castiel.  Bugger off." A video of Marv raising the woman from the dead has gone viral.  There have been some complaints about how fast it happened, but I'm guessing those critics are above the age of fifteen.  Kids be having madskillz these days.  Dean leaves to go to Sam, leaving his cheeseburger untouched.  Never a good sign.

spn_923 Crowley in love
"The look of love, is in your eyes..."

Sam awaits at a trailer park for his brother.  He is seriously pissed, so he and Dean have the fight they should have had six episodes ago.  Dean says something defensive about Gadreel.  Sam spits out: "Who you let in the front door in the first place? You tricked me Dean, and now I’m the one who wakes up in the middle of the night seeing my hands killing Kevin, not you.”  You go, Sam!  Stand up for yourself!  We've been waiting for this all season!  It's short-lived, but at this point...

spn_923 Sam angry
 "It's about goddamn time I got some decent dialogue, beeyotch!"

Nevertheless, they agree to go find Metatron together.  “I’m gonna take my best shot, no matter the consequences,” Dean says. Which might get them killed. “I know,” says Sam. Meaning, I'm not going to try to stop you.  Dean kicks Crowley to the curb.

Miracle woman told Sam Marv's next stop: a homeless encampment. Meanwhile, Cas and Gad in the pimpmobile, pull up in front of a child's playground. The entrance to Metatron's office is through the sandbox! Gadreel pretends that he has captured Castiel (Cas makes a movie reference but I didn't get it either) and they are let in. A whirlwind rises up, the angels disappear office building elevator opens into Metatron's office.  Hee.

spn_923 Cas Gadreel whoa
 The walls come atumblin'...up?

That is a really cool effect.  Way to go, VFX department!  Cas and Gadreel are locked in Heaven's jail, where Gadreel has spent centuries since letting the serpent into the garden.  And there's Hannah, with her strange pants (seriously, what's with the rolled up cuffs? ), glaring at them.

spn_23 Hannah in jail  
Was her vessel wading at the time?

 Gadreel freaks for obvious reasons.  Cas begs Hannah to listen to him, and she's "I've had enough of your bullshit kthanks".  Gadreel monologues, and after three rewatches I still couldn't figure out what he was saying.  Cas is like, you're redeemed, okay? Gadreel has used a piece of broken concrete to cut the suicide bomber rune into his chest.

spn_923 Gadreel suicide

 "You're gonna miss my bitchface next season!"


spn_923 Jail explosion  
It's epic when shit blows up!!!

Metatron rolls a shopping cart into the homeless encampment-cum-this week's abandoned warehouse.  He cures a hobo's diabetes.  Another man, an angel, denounces Metatron, trying to tell everyone what a scumbag he is.  "Marv" starts to take out an angel blade, but the crowd goes crazy (great visual of the little schlub inching the blade clumsily up his sleeve), throws a tarp on him and beats the other angel to death.  Metatron kicks the angel blade toward the mob to help finish him off.  He is the happiest little killer angel.

spn_923 Mob kill
 First day out, and you've turned them into Ukrainians

That night, Sam takes the First Blade out of the impala's trunk (after Dean has had a fast orgasm after touching it) and they agree to go in, Blade blazing.  But then Dean knocks Sam out and off goes the First Blade, Dean tagging after it. The homeless folk know Dean Winchester because Metatron told them he was coming.  Dean walks through an atmospheric red and yellow lit set--why aren't the homeless people living in there?  In my neighborhood, the "tunnel people" live in the train tracks underground.  But I digress.

Dean finds Metatron in the lotus position. I should tell you that my husband came in and laughed during this part, especially when Dean asked if there would be shirts saying "What Would Metatron Do?"  Heh. Until the fight started, and he left but fast.

“The problem with you, Dean, is the cynicism. Always with the cynicism, But most people, even the real belly crawlers living in filth, or Brentwood, they don’t want to be cynical. They just want something to believe in.”  Metatron tells Dean that humanity prays to God when they feel they've "failed" Him, and God "didn't even know their names!"

spn_923 Metatron humanity  
For once, I agree with Metatron. 

“I’m blaming you for Kevin. I’m blaming you for taking Cas’ grace. Hell, I’m blaming you for the Cubs not winning the World Series in the last hundred freaking years. Whatever it is, I’m blaming you.” Dean goes at Metatron--and proceeds to get the ever-living shit beat out of him.  "You've got some superjuice," Metatron says with a grin.  "You have the jawbone of an ass, and it is awesome!" He pauses. "Try being powered by the Word of God."  And resumes beating the shit out of Dean.  Sam arrives in time to see Metatron skewer his brother with an angel blade.

 spn_923 Dean being killed
 spn_923 Sam close up

Dean looks at his brother, and he knows that he's failed at everything, he knows he's going to die and oh god oh jesus Jensen Ackles is just so GOOD...

spn_923 Dean dying

Upstairs, Hannah leads Castiel to Metatron's office.  Castiel finds the word of God inside the manual typewriter.  Which all writers desperately wish we had.  The tablet, not the typewriter.  Cas drops the tablet at the same moment that Dean falls to the ground.  Metatron poofs out of there to his office.

Metatron has Cas handcuffed to a chair. He gleefully informs Cas that Dean is dead.  He says that Castiel’s purpose wasn’t to "save Heaven or mankind, but to save Dean."  In a scene right out of "A Face In The Crowd," (look it up--it was Andy Griffith's first starring part as the folksy hypocrite Lonesome Rhodes) Metatron monologues about how stupid angels are and that humanity is a pile of bleecch.  "Your problem," Metatron says, preparing to also skewer Cas, "is that you don't know how to tell a story."  "No, but you did."  Cas hitches his head at the live microphone.  The other angels bust in and take Metatron into custody.

Down on earth, Sam is determined to get Dean to a hospital. In a scene that mirrors the beginning of the season, Dean is ready to die. Dean: “It’s better this way. The mark, it’s making me into something I don’t want to be.” Dean: “What happened to you being OK with this?" Sam: “I lied." Dean: “Ain’t 
that a bitch." 
spn_923 Dean dying Sam

 Dean stops Sam, looks at his brother and I'm starting to cry just typing this.  "I'm proud of us," he says, and dies.

 spn_923 Dean Im proud of us

Sam cups Dean's head, in direct reference to S2 "All Hell Breaks Loose Part One" and starts crying.  Shoot me, but I didn't quite buy Jared's acting.  There was only one tear, not tears and snot and messiness like all of the other times his brother died.  That is one of the strangest sentences I have ever written.

Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home" starts and oh god I'm just staring, not crying, just staring.  Sam brings Dean's body to the bunker, places it on a bed, and leaves to drink himself  into oblivion.

spn_923 Sam mourning

Sam goes into the dungeon, prepared to summon Crowley and get Dean back.  We've been here before. But we haven't.  Crowley is already in the bedroom, staring down at Dean's dead body.  Dean looks SO DEAD. His limbs and face are yellow, his lips are blue, he looks DEAD.  It gives me chills.

 spn_923 Dean dead

Crowley sits by Dean's body, gazing at it sadly.  "Your brother's summoning me," he says.  Side note: hasn't Crowley had to come immediately when summoned, unless he's in a devil's trap?  This scene's too good to quibble.  Crowley didn't expect Dean to die.  He talks about...something.  Then tells Dean he's not dead, that he's entering into a "new kind of life."  Crowley puts the Blade in Dean's hand and places it over his heart.  "See what I see.  Feel what I feel.  Now let's go howl at the moon."

 spn_923 Dean dead CU spn_923 Dean demon eyes  

So, Crowley got Dean after all.  "I win, Cas!"  We leave Sam a basket case, Castiel's grace burning out, Gadreel dead, Metatron sulking in Angel Jail and the Gates of Heaven still closed.   That's all, folks!

I need to go lie down.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Psycho Killer Qu-est-ce Que Cest: Review, Supernatural 9x22 "Stairway To Heaven"

"Stairway to Heaven" has been a polarizing episode.  Written by Andrew Dabb and directed by regular Guy Norman Bee, it takes us along the deeper, darker dangerous path Dean is going on.  This was an excellent episode, with action, plot development (a few episodes late but that's how "Supernatural" does it) and humor.   It was pre-empted by baseball for us in New York.  I had to find a copy online to watch on my (much) smaller monitor.  But them's the breaks.

 Two reasons fans are raging out over this episode:

1) It kills yet another female character from the past.  I know this show is sexist to the point of misogyny.  But this is too damn much, okay?  Why not call the bunker the He-Man Wimmin Haters Club?

2) "Our Dean isn't our Deeeeeeeen anymore!  He's so not nice!  I want my Dean back!"

Please.  The whole point of this arc is that Dean isn't Dean any more.  Several metas I've read--I suffer for my art--talk about Dean being the audience's POV and the show's emotional center.  And now that's gone AND SHOW IS BROKEN!

It's called 'character development'.  It's about time Dean got some of his own.  It's fun, and it gives Jensen Ackles a chance to use his acting chops for something other than moping and loud self-pity.

THEN: Tessa the reaper, First Blade, killing Abbadon, etc.

NOW:  An uptight suburban mom is giving instructions to a poor schlub wearing a cap with two ice cream cones on it precisely how many blueberries she wants on her no-fat, no-sugar, no-flavor dessert.  Her little boy wants the banana split a little girl is having.  Mom goes huffily to little girl and demands to know where her parents are (no doubt to give them a lecture on the devil white sugar). The little girl is an angel and tells her to get lost.  Then, a shirtless man in a coat walks in, yanks it open to reveal a sigil, she screams, and the entire ice parlor is blasted apart by white light. It is so wrong in so many ways that I love it.

Dean wakes up Sam with blaring rock music. Sam's instinct is pulling a gun out from under his pillow and pointing it at Dean.  "Nice reflexes. Better hair," Dean observes.  That's a funny line, but there's such a thing as too much meta at the wrong time.

They got in two hours earlier.  Dean has clearly spent the intervening time caressing and doing god knows what with the First Blade.  Cas called in a case and there's something in MO, but he couldn't talk about it over the phone. Sam asks why.

Dean: Because he's a weird guy, okay? He's a weird...dorky little guy. But he happens to have an army of angels and if we're going after Metatron, they might be useful.

Heh.  However, Dean wants to take FB---no, not Facebook, the First Blade.  Come to think of it, Dean wouldn't have any friends on Facebook.  Everyone's too scared of him.  ANYWAY, Sam talks him into leaving the FB at home. That's pretty much everything Sam has to do in this episode.  Jensen Ackles spoke recently of how Dean during the Soulless Sam time was "a whiny little bitch".  The writers don't seem to know what to do with Sam now that Dean is the problem.  So he does some exposition, and follows Dean and Cas around.  And refuses to acknowledge that Dean has gone full psycho.  Even after watching his brother kill Abbadon.  In what way was that normal?

spn_922 Sam what

Sam wonders, "da fuq?"  Aaaand that's pretty much it for the next 40 minutes.

They head to Dixon, Missouri and the nuked ice cream parlor. Castiel is there before them. Can I just say how delighted I am whenever Cas plays agent?  He's told the police he's waiting for his partners, "Spears" and "Aguilera".  Because Cas knows that the Winchesters choose the names of "popular musicians."

Short version: the angel who nuked the place is a suicide bomber for Castiel.  Stick a knife into the right sigils in your chest, whammo!  Throughout the episode, I was pretty sure that the suicide bombers were working for Castiel, because he has lied so much to the Winchesters about he's done.  And it's hard to tell with Cas.  He's like normal Dean, Cas gets mopey when he's lying.  He seems mopey.

Meanwhile, Metatron is trying on a trenchcoat, striking poses in a mirror.  Hee.  He looks pretty cute in a trenchcoat.

spn_922 Metatron raincoat

What the well-dressed angel is wearing

Gadreel knocks.  "Just a second!" Metatron barks, pulling off the coat.  Gadreel enters. "I waited one second."  Metatron is pissed--he's losing to Castiel.  He wrote him in to the part of leader, but "I didn't know he'd be good at it."  Gadreel is pissed, because his boss had him followed to his meeting with Castiel.

spn_922 Gadreel bitchface

Wow, Gadreel has a great bitchface!

Metatron can't understand the "Castiel lovefest.  I'm loveable."  Aaaaaaw, poor Metatron.  He's practically God and nobody thinks he's cool.  Maybe you should have another angel fix those teeth, dude. However, he has a plan.  And it doesn't involve wearing the trenchcoat.  He is meeting with Tyrus, who heads a flock of unaffiliated angels.

Sam, Dean and Cas enter Cheap James Bond Imitation Angel Central, with the lights and computer screens and all kinds of stuff.  Cas's lieutenant, Hannah, tells him that "Josiah" wasn't present at roll call.

Sam: Hold up...roll call?

Cas: They like to hear me say their names.

Dean: I know a couple women like that.

A poor bastard teenager's cell phone is produced.  The video on it shows the suicide bomber plunging a blade into his chest, shouting, "I do this for Castiel!"

Crickets.  Cas looks at everyone, everyone looks back.  When he says it wasn't his doing, Dean blows up:
"What you've got here is a friggin' cult. Last time you had this kind of juice, you killed angels and humans and lied to Sam and me about it the whole time."

All of the angels do a collective "that doesn't sound good".  Sam herds Dean and Cas into the office and closes the door. Stuff goes on that confuses me.  It ends with Dean making Cas go with Sam to find somebody.  In "Coloradaa" as Cas says it.  Smart choice, Sam.  Leave your insane brother to interrogate the angels.  I'll do one plot line at a time.

They take Cas's pimpmobile.  Because it gives him more authority in the scene, Sam is driving.

spn_922 Cas Sam car

"Sam, there is something wrong with your brother." "No big."

They find this week's abandoned warehouse, but they can't get in.  First Sam tries to break open the door.  Cas sweeps him aside.  "I got this." He crashes into the door.  Nothing.  "I don't got this."  At night fall, they get in.  Castiel says it feels like Heaven/  There's a closed door with unearthly light pouring through it.  But Sam reads something on the wall (forgive me, I've only seen the first Indiana Jones film and that was when it came out) and two big saw blades come swinging out of the walls, cutting back and forth.  If Sam had been standing, it would have cut through his knees.  They go to the door, Cas swings it open:

spn_922 Prom

Confetti!  It's a parade!  (sorry)

"The hell?" Cas mutters.  Have we ever heard him say that?  He's getting more human by the episode...uh-oh...Confused, they look around, and there's a deep-fried angel.  A trap that released holy oil and set it on the fire is over the door.

spn_922 Angel zombie

This angel works a second job on The Walking Dead

The angel is still alive.  Metatron has promised to send him home. Bzuh? Why is he there, then? Was he the one who set the trap, but the ladder slipped?  When Cas starts to heal him, the angel says he'd rather die.  When he looks into Castiel's eyes, he doesn't see an angel any more.  Uh-oh.  Then his burned up eyes get even more gross and he dies.  By now it's unclear who's doing what, Castiel or Metatron.

Back at Cheap James Bond Imitation Angel Central, Dean is interrogating an angel named "Flagstaff."  She works at the hospital nearby, performing minor miracles.  She goes on a rant about Dean being a killer, not a hero, blood on his hands, and "I HATE men like you!"  What?  Since when do angels have enough gender to hate men or women?

Dean up-ends the table, pinning her with the angel knife, hissing, "Honey, there ain't any men like me!" JESUS I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!

spn_922 Angel unimportant

"Please! I'm not as important as the other woman you're going to kill!"

I understand they need to have Dean whacking out, but does that have to be the set-up?  Why doesn't he say, "Here's my killer penis, bitch!"  It amounts to the same thing.  Dean is hauled the hell out of there.  Later, Dean finds Tessa lurking around a high school production of "Jesus Christ Superstar", about to go in and blow herself up.  He takes her back to Cheap James Bond Imitation Angel Central.  Before he interrogates her, the angels gang up on him and Hannah demands his angel blade.

Does anyone else think the blades look like they're made out of aluminum?

The whole reaper/angel/rogue reaper thing sticks in my craw, partly because I want Death to show up and make them all toe the line.  Death's off eating pizza rolls.  If he showed up, he'd reap everybody.  But I digress.  Tessa has lost it, listening to all of the trapped souls wailing.  Reaping is her job, and she can't do it.  Dean takes out the First Blade--of course he had it with him.  She impales herself on it, whispering, "thank you."

spn_922 Tessa

Tessa knows she's there because an important female character has to be killed.

The door swings open and the angels stare in.  Oh, dear.

During all of this, Metatron and Gadreel meet Tyrus in a bowling alley. He's not interested in going back to Heaven.  He likes earth.  "Smell that," he says.  "Old shoes and alcoholism?" asks Gadreel.  "Authenticity!"  Nice call-back to Sam stepping in horseshit in "Frontierland"!  Tyrus does a tell ya what I'm gonna do, and challenges Metatron to a bowling match.

spn_922 Bowling Titus

Titus prays to the gods of the CW that his character is brought back.  Not happening, bro.

Metatron loses the match.  Another suicide bomber shows up and kills Tyrus, but Metatron and Gadreel are unharmed.

The angels have tied up Dean and put duct tape over his mouth, which looks pretty damn funny.  Before Sam can give Dean Full Metal Bitchface, Hannah calls Cas into the main room of Cheap James Bond Imitation Angel Central.  Metatron is Skyping a call, and he's on all the monitors.

Metatron tells them that Tyrus is dead, his followers joining Metatron's army. Castiel charges Metatron with deception that caused The Fall.  Metatron says something to the effect of 'he had to do it to make them a family again' . He offers a one-time deal: amnesty for any angel who joins him and returns to Heaven with him as their God. They clearly need to follow someone; they don't know what to do with free will. But it shouldn't be Castiel because not only does Castiel send angels out to die, he stole his grace and he's burning out. When the grace is gone, so is he.

Metatron: I'm not the best, but I'm the best you got. The only thing Cas cares about is himself and the Hardy Boys.

All the angels turn around and stare at Cas, who looks like he's wet himself.  The "well, none of it's true, the stolen grace thing, yeah, but" doesn't go over.  The angels grab Dean and tell Cas it's Dean or them.  I thought that Cas might actually try to kill Dean and there being a big rebound from the MOC.  But no.  They gaze into each other's eyes and Cas can't do it.

spn_922 Hannah

Hannah gets the heck out of there before Dean kills more women

The angels were pretty shaken up by what Dean said earlier, and they all know Cas was God once.  Look how that turned out.  So they all file quietly out of the Cheap James Bond Imitation Angel Central, and that's the last time we'll have to look at this lousy set.

It seems Metatron brainwashed Castiel's new recruits into believing that killing themselves and others was what their leader wanted.  Oh, you crafty little God manque.

spn_922 Metatron smug

"I'm practicing my MWUAAHAAAHAA for the finale!"

Metatron is all happy happy happy, practically dancing for joy that all of those numbnut angels fell for his blarney.  Gadreel listens to Metatron prattle on about how he "always wins", obviously wondering: this guy lived in one room for centuries, when he did ever get to play board games?

spn_922 Gadreel asshole

"You really are a jerk-off, you know that?"

Back at the bunker, the following conversation between the Winchesters ensues:

Dean: Yeah. I lied. But you were being an infant.

Sam: Wow. Even for you that apology sucked.

Dean: I'm not apologizing. I'm telling you how it's gonna be. The Blade is the only thing that can kill Metatron and I'm the only one who can use it. So, from here on out, I'm calling the shots. Until I drive that Blade into that douchebag's heart, we are not a team. This is a dictatorship. You don't have to like it, but that's how it's gonna be.

spn_922 Dean stare

Do NOT mess with the Stabby Eyes!

Sam storms off. Dean sits with Cas.  They talk about Cas's stolen grace and have a nice moment about Team Free Will being re-established.  But then Sam comes in, yelling, "Guys!"  And waddya know, in walks Gadreel.  Since everyone in the free world has been in the bunker by now, I don't care about the warding.  It's obviously past its sell-by date.

Gadreel wants to talk peace.  He's had it with Metatron.  Now, here I wanted Sam to jump in and yell, "You rode me like a death pony, asshole!"  But:

spn_922 Sam watch

"I'll be right over here, doing...something, I dunno."

Dean puts out his left hand, Gadreel grasps it, and then HOLY CRAP!  Dean slices Gadreel across the chest.

spn_922 Dean Gadreel

That's gotta hurt.

Sam and Cas hold Dean back from his intended victim.  Dean ROARS like a frenzied animal.  And whoo-boy, that is SCARY.

spn_922 Dean roar

I am so glad they went there.  90% of the time other characters get to go over the top, and now the show isn't afraid to have Dean rocket out of his rocker!  It's so cool!

Quite a few fans have called this version of Dean "all kinds of hot" when he gets violent and stabby, which for me, doesn't align with all of the "rape culture" griping.  As long as it's metaphysical rape, we can get pissed about "agency" and "consent".  But let one of the Winchesters become a soulless monster, we get all hot and bothered.  Those Winchesters would enjoy rape, agency and consent be damned.  Anyone else get cognitive dissonance here?

I don't find him hot, I find him scary, and that's fun!  Dean's a monster, and I want him to go full beyond redemption dark side.

Next week, the finale!  Maybe they'll give Sam something to do besides maybe/maybe not being killed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"Hoarders" - The Play At Home Game

When I was running my vintage clothing business, particularly between 2008-2010, I turned most of our apartment into a storage facility.  I stopped taking pics of the place until a year or two ago.  I had never been a hoarder, but the thrill of the hunt left me with tons of clothing and accessories.  I had too much to photograph and sell.  Every Christmas I hired an assistant.  The right hand living room window was completely blocked off by massive storage bins.  I had three racks of clothing in the gallery, every surface had stuff on it.  I had put together an expensive shelving system, planning to use it as an all-in-one.  But it got covered in more stuff.  All of our closets--except Jeff's--had my clothing in them.

Those of you who've seen my apartment know that by NYC standards, it's huge.  We had a cleaning lady come in every two weeks, so it was somewhat under control.  Mostly she helped me organize the clothing etc. and then cleaned the rest of the place.  We worked with an organizer, but everything kept going back to crap.  Here's some pictures from 2006.

2006Ebay store

My custom-built shelves.  I used the ironing board to de-lint and pack clothing.  The area on the far right later had bins stacked to the ceiling.

2006Living room

Our living room.  By 2008 huge storage tubs went all the way to Jeff's desk on the left by the window, and the right-hand window was almost completely blocked off.


Our gallery.   It also got way worse. In the back you can see my beloved plus-size mannequin, Bodicea. She was donated last year to the Shirley Chisholm Foundation to be used at a home for at-risk teens.

I sold on Ebay for nearly ten years.  After the economy bottomed out, I was selling at a loss. I closed my store, sold off all of my vintage and donated much of the contemporary stuff, or gave it to plus-sized friends.  I sold up to size 10X in contemporary, as large as I could find in vintage.  I put ads in Craig'sList for free hangers and packing material.  Every piece of bubble wrap that came out of my supply closet HURT.  I've been cleaning and purging off and on since then.

Recently I discovered I'm a paper hoarder.  A month or so ago I had a shredding company take out an industrial size container of paper, and there is still tons more. (Gaahhh...)  BUT!  Our apartment is cleaner than it has been in years.  In fact, it's so clean it makes me a little anxious.

Living Room 2
Living room

We had the built-in metal bookshelves moved into the living room, and donated the Ebay shelves to Materials for the Arts. And 85% of the bins, particularly the huge storage tubs with wheels. The Victorian fainting couch belonged to Jeff's mother.  We got it when she moved from Nyack to North Carolina in the 1990s. The armchair and ottoman are also from my mother in law, when she moved from North Carolina to the Ass-End of Nowhere.

Living Room 1

Living room facing the gallery.  Above the couch hangs a painting of Pittsburgh by my mom.

Gallery 2

The gallery.

My mother painted the ocean scene, which is what you could see from our late lamented beach house.  The gallery is 20 feet long, so you can't get a feel for how large it is. On top of the bookcase is a sculpture that my mother did in the 1940s. The red bag contains my dad's ashes, and the top hat I brought back from London for him.  It's so big that when I put it on, it drops to my nose.

Gallery 1
Other side of gallery.

Note marble "cane stand" on the right.  My sister did the painting of our first cats c. 1975.  The antique chest is from my mother.  You can't see it, but on the left is an antique German table that my other sister gave me, and an antique monastery chair (or a good copy) that I got from Sarah Lawrence college while my dad was president.

The rest of the boxes are in a corner of the dining room.  I moved them there before a dinner party for my sister Tessa.  Eleven people, including my mom and the rest of the family.  It was a whopping success. 

Yes, it is an episode of "Hoarders."  We've been in our apartment for many years. But it wasn't until I started the business that things got so out of hand. 

When my brother posts his pictures of the dinner party, I'll put some up so it REALLY is an episode of "Hoarders." 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Queen Is Taken Off The Board - Supernatural, 9x21 "King of The Damned"

Dear readers, I am flummoxed.  I have little of import to say about this episode, written by Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner, directed by "Joe Pesce" (what, you think I'd pass up an opportunity like that?). I've going to save the sophisticated criticism and analysis for the other folks. Here's a few things:

The cinematography.  The show tried a lot of new things, such as the way the interrogation was shot from the the angel's point of view.  The seedy neighborhood where Cas and Gadreel (Tahmoh Penikett) meet--as I've written before, this is the sort of realism that grounds "Supernatural."

spn_921 Seedy neighborhood
"Cas, we couldn't meet at a nice restaurant?"

Not much Cas, and the off-hand reference to killing Malachi was lame.  But he hugged both of them!  That was so damn cute.  Where do these angels keep getting these sophisticated war rooms?  Whatever happened to Bart's huge church?

D:“You’re a fan. Look, just cuz you’re hot for Metatron or Bieber or Beckham, just cuz you know everything about them doesn’t mean that you actually know them.”
S:"Or  they even know you exist."
D:"Oh, that's cold!"

I thought the fan references were hilarious and on-point.  Get over it. The whole scene was made of win.  Sam can be SUCH a bitch (as in "Remember The Titans").  Becky the Wincesting fangirl was hilarious. "Stop touching me."  "I can't."  Get over it. If "Supernatural" can make fun of itself in every conceivable way, it can make fun of its fans.

spn_921 Dean Sam interrogation
"If you think we're going near tumblr after this, you've got to be kidding."

The demons have sold out Crowley to Abbadon.  “You betrayed me?," Crowley snarls at his board of directors. "No one in the history of torture’s been tortured with torture like the torture you’ll be tortured with.” Abbadon (Alaina Huffman) looks absolutely gorgeous.  She's brought back Crowley's son, Gavin McLeoud (hee!) as a bargaining chip.  Played by Theo Devaney with cute Scottish accent and nice shirt.  Due to Crowley having human feelings, he ends up caving and saving his son before Abbadon kills him.

spn_921 Abbadon
"Don't hate me cause I'm beautiful.  Hate me because I'm a kill-happy monster."

Gavin should be the spin-off, except it would be "Sleepy Hollow" without a monster--yet.  Despite the bad wig, he's sexy and adorable and HIS FATHER IS CROWLEY.

spn_921 Gavin and city
"Holy Mother of God! I don't smell cow shit!"

Crowley.  That Is All.  He's been a Big Bad and is an untrustworthy shit, but I swear to Christ, if they kill him off I will have to take steps.

spn_921 Father and son
Father and son in a leisure moment. Gavin wonders what "golf" is.

Crowley has hidden the first blade in a corpse (nice touch).  Before they can dive in and get it out, a hellhound chases them into a crypt.  Dean calls Crowley and puts him on speaker phone: "Juliet. It's Papa.  Stand down."  There is a slight whimper and the sound of clicking toenails (hee!).  I still have no idea why Juliet was there, even after repeated viewings.

spn_921 Juliet

spn_921 Sam blade
Don't kid us, Dean. It might be disgusting, but you want it so bad.

The scene where Dean kills Abbadon is incredible.  For everyone bitching about Abbadon's death, remember, she's been killed twice already.  First beheaded with a devil's trap bullet and cut into pieces, then Sam burns her meatsuit to death, and now this.  Yes, I'm sorry she won't be around, but that shot of Dean literally lifting her up into the air when he kills her was fucking fantastic.

spn_921 Dean kills Abbadon
Dean's face! EEEEK!

Sam's hair.  Oh, those wily creatives, they knew all of us would come in our panties when Sam enters with the wind howling in the room and his hair flying all over the place!
spn_921 Sam hair 1
"The New York Times said my hair was the most important thing about the show!"

Sam snapping his brother out of the killing rage.  Dean looking up, dazed, covered in blood, after stabbing the shit out of Abbadon.

spn_921 Sam talks Dean down

spn_921_Dean kill aftermath

Crowley bids Gavin farewell.  Crowley, you're not even going to give your son a map?  A copy of  "Catcher In The Rye"?  Anything?

spn_921 Crowley Gavin
"We both know I should be the spin-off. Orlando Jones would jizz in his trousers."

There's been some speculation that Crowley leaving his son alive in 2014 makes his death in "Weekend At Bobby's" impossible.  Usually I'd be all over this like stink on cheese, but who gives a crap?  It will screw up everything somehow, and that is what's important!  Priorities, people!

THE SCENE IN THE CAR!  Sam even changes position for the first time in...forever?  Love his mama hen concern for Dean, and Dean's complete honesty about the Blade.

spn_921 Sam dean car
Dean, you want to reconsider becoming the next Charles Manson.

So, now Dean is "King of The Damned."  I can't wait to see how that plays out.

Next week, more stuff!  With extra stuff!

Screencaps by.