Posts Tagged With: television

How to Have a Good Sick Day

soft paperThis week, I’m feeling a little under the weather. I’m not circling the drain or anything but I don’t exactly feel like climbing any mountains either. Or climbing off the couch, for that matter. Bruno Mars pretty much sums it up.

Except for, you know, the guy-specific stuff. And the birthday suit part…I got kiddos around here.

And dogs. Dogs are not shy about where they try to sniff when you’re under-dressed.

Anyway

I’m most home-based with work and kiddos which is both blessing and curse when I’m sick. Unless I’m too sick to even move, I can generally do what I need to do camped out on the couch or in bed. So, unless I’m too sick to even move, I generally have to do everything I usually do. I just have to do it while feeling crummy.

Thankfully, there are ways to make a sick day less lousy. Here are a few of my favorites:

Lorenzo and Katara

Lorenzo and Katara demonstrate proper napping technique.

Sleep.
Remember when you were little and you hated taking naps? Thought you were gonna miss all the good stuff? Now, naps seem like the ultimate luxury.  And I’m ready for a little luxury right n….zzzzzzzzz.

Catching Up on TV and Reading
How often do we get an excuse to watch the DVR backlog, rediscover the X-Files on Netflix, or spend hours reading? I, for one, feel pretty durn lucky if I get to watch an entire show or read a whole chapter without having to jump up and do something (laundry, client call/email, make dinner, feed the dogs, etc.)

It’s super-duper fun if I get to share a show or book with the kiddos. Right now we’re reading the first Jake Ransom book by James Rollins, so any excuse to pass it around and read out loud is welcome. And, on the tv front, it’s really not possible to watch any of the  Avatar: The Last Airbender episodes too many times.

Making a Pillow Fort
Or, at the very least, burrowing under pillows and blankets. Which usually leads to sleeping. Or reading.

IMG_5772 pillow fort installation

Note: Our pillow forts look nothing like this. But how cool would it be to have one of these?

Hanging Out with the Furries
The four-legged in our house always seem to know when someone is feeling less than stellar and flock to give their emotional support. Or maybe they’re just after all the free petting and snuggling. Or hoping for a sip of chicken soup.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re sick?

Photo Credit (in order of appearance):
soft paper by EmsiProduction, on Flickr CC BY 2.0
Lorenzo and Katara, mine
IMG_5772 pillow fort installation by libbyrosof, on Flickr  CC BY 2.0

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

What Gets Your Pulse Pounding?

Hamster hiding under the bed.

I am NOT hiding under the bed. I’m…um…looking for dust bunnies.

With the smell of Halloween still in the air (that is chocolate on your hands, right?), it’s good time to ask you about the stories that thrill you the most.

Heart pounding. Heavy breathing. Laying awake at night, scenarios running through your head.

Be they action, thriller, disaster, suspense, horror or whatnot, which books, movies and/or tv shows get you going? Continue reading

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A Tale of Two Closers

How Does Major Crimes Sharon Raydor Stack up to The Closer Brenda Leigh Johnson?

The first season of TNT’s Major Crimes has wrapped and the question for The Closer fans is can we love Sharon the way we loved Brenda Leigh?

I’d venture to say “no” but for all the right reasons.

Buttoned-down Captain Sharon Raydor (Mary McDonnell) couldn’t be more different from spitfire Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) but they are identical in their passion for the mission, to protect the innocent and bring the guilty to justice. Continue reading

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Are You Ready for Fall Chills?

Fall is officially here. If the continued hot weather has you confused, just check out the sudden blossoming of Halloween decorations and candy displays in all the stores. Actually, the Halloween stuff’s probably been up since August. I’m expecting Thanksgiving stuff to start popping up by next week.

Anyway, it’s Fall and you know what that means…the return of some of our favorite tv shows. Dexter is already set up for a fascinating season and, in just about two weeks, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead are creeping back to tv screens everywhere.

Are you ready? Continue reading

Categories: Killer Thursdays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

How Much Should Be Left to the Imagination in Fiction?

Some time ago, I came across this TED video with J.J. Abrams talking about what drives his creativity.

He talks about the Mystery Box, the idea that what we don’t need to know every detail about a story to enjoy it. In fact it’s what’s left to the imagination that really makes the story. The monster we don’t see. The conversation we see but can’t overhear. The closed door. Continue reading

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Mr. Popular: Do We Like Dexter Morgan Too Much?

If you’re just joining us, you can find more on Dexter in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series .

Dexter Morgan is arguably one of the most fascinating, well-written characters in the history of fiction. In both his TV and novel incarnations, he draws us in, makes us care and terrifies us. And, whether we like him or not, we can’t help but want more of him.

If you just can’t get enough of Dexter, you can also shop for Dexter merchandise. Going out on the town but have nothing to wear? You can get the Official Dexter Kill Shirt. Keep your keys in style with the Dexter Blood Slide Key Chain. Got some *ahem* trash to take out? Try the Dexter Trash Bags. For the twisted kid in all of us, there’s the Dexter Action Figure. Continue reading

Categories: Killer Thursdays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Got Apocalypse?

Apocalypse?I have, in the past, admitted a predilection for both disaster and horror flicks. And since a good many movies from either of those genres fall into the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic categories, it follows that I would also have a twisted obsession interest in apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic stories.

Just what is it about the apocalypse that makes (some of) our hearts go pitter patter?

I suspect it’s the same reason that disaster flicks and horror movies are so appealing. Giant odds and hope. Throw ordinary people into the worst possible situation and watch them rise to the occasion (or die trying).

And maybe we also love it because, on some level, we all worry about the end of everything. We wonder whether will survive. We wonder whether our loved ones will survive. And we hope there’s a hero inside of us instead of a monster. Continue reading

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Where’s the Drama Button When You Need It?

Have you ever wished for a little more excitement in life? Maybe a Drama Button? You know, kinda like the Easy Button but more fun… Continue reading

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

What Really Drives Dexter Morgan?

After six novels and six seasons on Showtime, Dexter is still one of the most fascinating fictional characters. The joy he takes in killing is monstrous, however vile his victims. Yet, we cannot help but be drawn in by Dexter’s dark, somewhat clumsy charm.

What is Dexter, exactly? And what drives him?

*originally posted 9/16/11, slightly modified and updated here*

*warning – the following contains spoilers from the first three Dexter novels. Given that the novels have been out for some time and the television show is approaching its 7th season, I doubt these spoilers will negatively impact your enjoyment of either. Still, you’ve been warned. ;)*

Driving Mr. Dexter

Knife bladeDexter Morgan. Forensic blood spatter analyst and friendly neighborhood serial killer.

What’s that you say? Friendly and serial killer in the same sentence? Indeed.

See, Dexter isn’t your average homicidal maniac. Oh no. Dexter is a cut above all the rest. Because Dexter only kills people who really, really deserve it.

No, really.

So you see, as long as you’re one of the good guys, you’re perfectly safe with Tall, Dark and Deadly Dexter.

Dexter Morgan is the (anti)hero created by author Jeff Lindsay and first appearing in the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter. Since then, he has starred in Dearly Devoted Dexter, Dexter in the Dark, Dexter by DesignDexter is Delicious and Double Dexter (whew, that’s a whole lotta Dex). Darkly Dreaming Dexter also inspired six seasons of the Showtime series Dexter, with Dexter Morgan being portrayed by Michael C. Hall.

As the character of Dexter Morgan in the novel differs in a few very important ways from the character in the television show, we’ll restrict our Dexterish explorations to Novel Dexter for Part 1 of this series.

The novels are narrated in Dexter’s playful and often euphoric voice. He’s prone to Capitalizing A Lot and is almost as fond of alliteration and nicknames as he is of Bavarian cream filled doughnuts, medianoche sandwiches and badito de mame milkshakes.

By day, Dexter is a mild-mannered forensic blood spatter analyst for Miami’sblood spatter Metro-Dade Police Department. While he finds blood extremely disturbing for reasons he doesn’t understand until late in the first novel, he does enjoy making sense of blood spatter at a crime scene and forcing the “vile sticky red stuff” to “behave.”

By night, when  the moon calls and the Need rises, Dexter goes a-hunting. Once he finds the perfect “playmate,” Dexter waits in a white silk mask with a noose of fishing line which he uses to subdue his victims until he can tape them to a work table in a carefully arranged killing room. He then spends a few hours in “happy exploration” before disposing of the victim in various creative ways.

Bloody HandprintAlthough Dexter feels an irresistible Need to kill, he doesn’t do so randomly or haphazardly. He always selects his victims from among the worst murderers, especially those that the justice system cannot put away, is careful to confirm their guilt, and always tidies up afterward.

How did Dexter come by such a work ethic?

His cop foster-father Harry Morgan discovered Dexter’s dark penchant and quickly got him “squared away.” Harry Morgan, a good man and a good cop, saw the darkness in his foster son and realized that, although it wasn’t curable, it might be used as a force for good (if you can call murder, even Dexter’s brand of murder, good). Dexter calls the set of rules that define his murder ritual the Harry Code. And he never deviates.

Well, almost never.

But how did Dexter come by his dark Need in the first place?

When Dexter was very young, he witnessed the brutal slaying of his mother and several men in a refrigerated storage container. The murder involved a chainsaw and copious amounts of blood. Afterwards, Dexter and his brother Brian, older by one year, were left for days in a lake of blood an inch thick. Dexter was rescued by Officer Harry Morgan and later adopted by Harry and his wife Doris. Brian was abandoned to the foster system.

Although Dexter blocks it out (until his brother Brian returns and forces him to remember), the incident in the storage container killed most of what was human in Dexter and let in something  that Dexter calls the Dark Passenger. It left him with a Need to kill.

Gargoyle

The Dark Passenger is described as another voice inside of Dexter, a dark, reptilian voice that guides Dexter and prods him into killing. Dexter refers to “letting the Dark Passenger” drive and often uses “we” statements when he’s in the grip of his Need.

While it might at first seem like the Dark Passenger is just a figment of Dexter’s twisted imagination, a way of filling some of the emptiness inside himself and passing off some of the blame, it quickly becomes clear that the Dark Passenger is Other. Some of the cold killers Dexter encounters, including his nemesis Sargeant Doakes, carry their own Dark Passenger. Those Dark Passengers and Dexter’s respond to each other with a flurry of invisible black wings and not-heard hisses.

The third novel in the series, Dexter in the Dark, makes it even clearer that the Dark Passenger is a real and separate being and goes deeper into its mythology. The story, the only one in the series so far to not be narrated exclusively in Dexter’s voice, traces the Dark Passenger’s origin from the first IT through the development of a brutal religion surrounding a god called Moloch and into the present day where a being called the Watcher is trying to revive the worship of Moloch in all it’s child-sacrificing, Dark Passenger-eating, and burnt-offering glory.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Dexter Morgan series where we’ll delve into Dexter’s softer side…

Have you read the Dexter novels? What about the differences between Novel Dexter and TV Dexter? What do you think of the Dark Passenger?  Was Harry’s Code really the right solution for young Dexter?

***

Image Attribution (In Order of Appearance):
Knife blade by The Ewan, on Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
blood spatter by mattallworth, on Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Bloody Handprint by gamera_obscura, on Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0
Gargoyle by Scott M Duncan, on Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Categories: Killer Thursdays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Once Upon a Curse

Welcome to Parallel Tuesdays, where magic and science are two sides of the same coin…

What if your happily ever after was taken away along with everyone you ever loved? What if you were ripped from your world and imprisoned forever, without hope or even the memory of hope? What if your one chance at freedom didn’t even believe in happy endings?

That’s the premise of the new ABC show Once Upon a Time. Jealous of Snow Continue reading

Categories: Parallel Tuesdays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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