Sometimes, life gets so busy then when you do finally stop it is overwhelming. Things catch up with you that you thought you had outrun. And you can only take a deep breath and wish for swift passage. And to start moving again.
As I’ve embarked upon my last minute holiday shopping dash, I have become once again baffled when it comes to sandals.
And I say this because as with every year they are made out of the toughest leather, with a ridiculous amount of straps and even worse, with a strip of leather you slide between your toes.
I mean – what is that about?
Flip flops don’t just have to come in a ‘poke this between your toes’ style. What happened to the basic across the foot in nice material option?
And don’t get me started on jelly shoes. Kids, sure.. adults, what?
I realise this rant makes me sound incredibly old but surely, somewhere, someone must want to choose comfort over style? They’re sandals! They’ll get covered in sea, sand, baked in the sun, ice cream..
Where is the good old fashioned comfortable sandal?
I’m not, I’m not planning to be… but then, maybe one day I will be.
And that concept may be one of the strangest I’ll ever have to wrap my head around.
I like to think of myself as a cerebral person – I’m always in my head; always contemplating, analysing, procrastinating.
The idea of having to deal with something physical; well – it’s just mind boggling to me.
It’s not like it’s something that can be rationalised or explained or solved.
I don’t like hospitals, never stayed in one – don’t want to.
Never broke a bone, never had anything more serious wrong me than a recurrent ear infection.
My GP would have a hard time telling you what I look like, even.
How on earth would I cope with this life changing event?
I think it would well and truly blow my mind.
I saw a post today on Twitter with a picture of Mork and Mindy and it made me think about all the cool shows I used to watch when I was growing up…
- Saved by the Bell
- Sister Sister
- Mork and Mindy
- California Dreams
- My So Called Life
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Ally McBeal
- Knightmare (loved the recent anniversary edition!)
- Scooby Doo
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Sex and The City
Ok, I know the age-range for the above is rather varied but they all mean something to me, and bring back all kinds of good memories.
The child in me would love to see ‘My So Called Life’ again – Claire Danes was amazing even back then.
The teenager in me would love to see ‘Buffy’ make a comeback, but maybe given how much time has passed, this may just be a little sad..
The early twenties me would love to see ‘Ally McBeal’ again; I swear, as much as that show was slated, I thought it was epic genius.
It’s just amazing to look back and think about how TV has changed, how much culture has changed, how much reality TV has dumbed down TV in so many ways (not that I don’t watch it… but still, isn’t it easier to do a reality show than to think of something original and creative?)
Maybe one day one of these shows will come back … and if they do, sure I’ll be happy… but I’ll bet you I’ll feel totally old.
Instead of the usual reflective post that often comes with the New Year, I’ve decided to jump straight back into the swing of things and post Irritants and Oddities – Pt 2.
The ‘back to school’ feeling you get after a vacation; two weeks of ‘holiday’ and now back to ‘school’ – or rather work. That frustrating need to draw out each moment of your last holiday weekend for as long as possible and the realisation that you really better sort out your washing and work handbag so you don’t take twice as long to get ready on Monday morning…
It’s like the end of an era.
Ok, that might be a tad dramatic. But, as Friends has taught me, an era is a significant period of time. And I guess two weeks out of fifty two to have a holiday at the same time as the rest of the world, eat alot, sleep alot, catch up on good TV, have fun without worrying what e-mails are stacking up in your absence… well, I think that’s a pretty damn significant period of time with quite a lot of damn signifance.
So yeah, ok – it really is like the end of an era. And I’m sticking with it.
My body clock. During the festive holiday, I have paid no regard to what time I go to bed or get up in the morning – a luxury given my normal working pattern during the rest of the year. Now, as my return to work draws ever nearer, my body clock has decided to wake me earlier and earlier as though to remind me that I will soon be seeing the darkness of early morning time once more. Up until now, and for one final hurrah tomorrow, I have been able to stick up two fingers to my body clock and roll over. And on Monday, my body clock will no longer be an oddity but rather a blessing that I never sleep through my alarm.
WARNING: This is a post of whimsy and a stream of consciousness under the influence of a glass of wine and the pressure of a thirty minute countdown until my better half returns home.
LOCATION: Kitchen Table
DOING: Typing on iPad, iPod dock on with music on shuffle
My mind has been busy during the week since I have last posted. And I don’t mean with the humdrum of life, I mean between washing the dishes, going to work, picking out what to wear in the morning, cooking the tea etc.
It’s like my mind has developed it’s own way of occupying itself during those normally blank and serene moments.
It’s trying to problem solve the embryonic plot I have whirling around the recesses of my brain but it’s whirling so fast I can’t catch it. And when I try to, it ricochets off the wall of my consciousness and sets off down a different path.
And then I trance out to the musical accompaniment that is inevitably playing in the background.
This could be in the car on the way to or from work, in the kitchen when I am washing the dishes or in my mind when it wanders to the safety of musical verse.
Music is great for providing nostalgia. A time, a place, an emotion – sometimes all of the above. Then the threads of nostalgia weave me back into writer mode – how can I capture that? How can I describe that feeling? Would my characters feel like that?
Can I write that?
And then I panic.
I’ve become a ‘wannabe’ writer.
I’ve subscribed to a writing magazine.
I’m a member of writing forums.
I’ve signed up to a course.
I scour the competition pages.
I have index cards, A3 paper, a white board and marker pens.
I have a cloud based research account.
I have a writers notebook.
I read. Alot.
I have a bluetooth keyboard for my iPad.
But the only thing I can bring myself to write is this blog.
I have the ‘Writers and Artists Guide: How to Write’ on the table next to me. I picked it up from my bedside table at the same time I picked up this iPad. And instead of reading about writing, I opted to write instead.
Which I guess is good.
But something deep in my gut remains unfulfilled.
My characters aren’t fully formed, my plot is full of holes, my world is full of contradictions and my conflict is undetermined.
I want to create characters like the ones that lived with me when I was growing up, in fact sometimes still live with me now. It doesn’t take much to recall them but when they appear, they are as 3D and as comforting as they were when I first discovered them.
If I can’t create my own characters that I want to spend time with, fight for – even fight with – then this writing game might not be for me after all.
I’m a writer in crisis.
When I saw what Joss Whedon had said about there being no empowered females in Twilight and Vampire Diaries, I was a bit surprised.
I mean, he’s right – he did ‘like that band first’ and did vampires before they became sparkly and went mainstream – aka Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Joss says that the females in the new franchises are ‘passive’ and don’t really ‘know what the hell is going on’. He’s likened the franchises to ‘Choosing Boyfriends: The Movie’ and says they essentially ‘go against’ Buffy.
I mean, I thought Bella and Elena were cool. Well, admittedly, I could kind of see where he was coming from with Bella but she wasn’t so offensive that I couldn’t read the books or watch the movies.
Elena has her own quirks and admittedly, it takes her a season and a half to get up to speed with everything but for me, she gets there in the end. Sure, just after she’s found her feet, she’s turned into a vampire thus back to square one but … well, we’ll gloss over that one.
Buffy was and still is one of a kind. She was created to be the ultimate empowered female in a male dominated and patriarchal world. Her quick wit, her love of ice cream and her dating woes were red herrings in an otherwise kick ass world of crossbows, hard choices and the pressure of being the ‘chosen one’. She surpassed expectation:
- She got dead but she was still pretty.
- She saved the soul of the man she loved then sent him to hell.
- She’s bled to the brink of death to save the man she loves, yet again.
- She saves the world from an evil robot.
- She actually does die this time – saving her sister – and goes to heaven (but is brought back; darn it).
- She saves the world – from her best friend.
Then she finds a way to not only save the world but save herself and her future in the process.
She fights and she fights hard. Sure, she cries, she breaks nails and she misses dates but she steps up to the mark every single time.
I think because neither Elena or Bella are that well developed or defined, Joss does actually have a point with what he’s said.
However, in their defence, none of the new franchises really set out to create a new brand of heroine – I don’t think they gave it much thought.
They are paranormal romances. And all of them have the age old ‘love triangle’ kicking around in the mix.
The difference is – for Elena and Bella, this is primary. For Buffy, this is secondary.
She does what’s needed to be done.
And though it has been some time since I’ve watched Buffy, this scene came to mind:
Buffy: I killed Angel! Do you even remember that? I would have given up everything I had to be with him. I loved him more than I will ever love anything in this life. And I put a sword through his heart because I had to…. It is always different! It’s always complicated. And at some point, someone has to draw the line, and that is always going to be me. You get down on me for cutting myself off, but in the end the Slayer is always cut off. There’s no mystical guidebook. No all-knowing council. Human rules don’t apply. There’s only me. I am the law.
Sure, Buffy was paranormal and it had its romance – but it had conflict; real tangible conflict that went way beyond the ‘should, I shouldn’t I’ dance that Joss refers to.
Does any of the above mean that I love Vampire Diaries (or like Twilight) any less? Hell, no.
Elena and Bella really become vampires – Buffy never (and couldn’t) go there… that’s new right? Damon and Edward are hot – eye candy is always good. And there is conflict, albeit not on the same scale or to the same intelligent degree that there was with Buffy.
Buffy, despite the name and the veneer of superficiality that goes with it, is actually one of the most intelligent pieces of TV ever written.
And I admit, when I think back to how I felt when I watched Buffy for the first time, when I watch Vampire Diaries, sometimes it does just feel like settling.
(But I’ll still watch…)