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My Usual Disgust with the Entertainment Industry

10/22/2014 Comments off

Entry 10/22/2014 06:43:43 AM – Mentat 769

The interesting thing about starting the slow cooker the first thing in the morning is that there’s no casualties or catastrophes while I cook.  Everything gets down without too much mess, spill and most of all: bloodshed. I seem to take my time, get everything prepared and of course Moe loves it as he tends to run around the house more than getting up under me curious as to what it is I’m doing.  I did this last week when I made the Sausage Stew and while I only began shedding tears after cooking (because I did the stupid thing of rubbing my eyes after preparing and didn’t wash my hands), there again was no scares from Moe and no bloodshed.  All in all, I’m definitely going to keep to this schedule for the safety of it all.

This is going to be an early morning for me.  My mother’s off to the doctor’s early this morning and now I need to get ready to watch the Monster Child until she gets home.

Heh, I get my cuppa in this morning and instead of finding myself happy, chipper and percolated — I find myself crotchety, curmudgeonly and just brimming with vitriol.   I admit it’s because of the shows that I had been watching last night during quiet time with Moe in the crook of my arm.  I mean I know I went into the shows that I was watching fully knowing that they had an entertainment half-life…  Hell most of the shows that I’ve been watching have been touched by who I like to call the Abrams’ Ass-Licking Crack Monkeys:  Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman…  So really, I should know what I’m in for given my experience with them having their hand on shows like Alias, Fringe, Lost (though truth be told, I avoided that one like the plague because it just wasn’t my cuppa from start to finish)…  Yet here I am feeling like the older ‘man’ in the YouTube video EA in a Nutshell exclaiming “why does this keep happening?!”  I mean sure, on the one side it’s not as though I’ve actually invested the time; I binged on one, and the other I gave the first five episode to get a feeling of it.

Sitting here thinking about it, I can only attribute it to the shock to just how unoriginal the episodes turned out to be.  With Scorpion I now know what it feels like to be either a doctor or nurse watching shows like Bones or Grey’s Anatomy in that the medical jargon is just over-glorified technobabble.   In this case the whole part of the “enabled” or otherwise known as the ultra-intelligent…  Only problem with this is that the actors and the writers aren’t that intelligent and are trying too hard to work with the stereotypes of that intelligence.  Basically they’re the nerd kids that had always been picked on in the schoolyard and keep to that mentality even as adults.  That and they hobbled the characters way too much — leaving even the one with the ability to read people through body language and nuance — a bunch of dysfunctional messes that can only be held together by Walter O’Brien.  What’s so uninspiring about this is also that it’s supposed to be based on the true-life person Walter O’Brien leaving the show feeling like a fantasy world much like Temperance Brennan in Bones.

In The Blacklist nothing like getting slammed in the brains with a MacGuffin while watching the recent episode called The Front that comes right out of the J.J. Abrams play book from a 2001 episode of Alias.  400 year old manufactured virus that was created by opposing forces for germ warfare…  ugh, I couldn’t listen and watch anymore after that.  Hell, I’m giving up on the show after horrendously over-used plot device…

People wonder why I haven’t owned a television since 2004.  This is why.  It’s easier to watch it in binge without commercials and give up the show when it’s reached the end of its entertainment value.  Treat it like a mindless diversion when Moe has decided that I had been away from the house long enough and with the colder weather on it’s way in, sitting with me in quiet contentment.  Heh, I love my cat, though it’s not possible that I can do much else with him when he’s sitting in the crook of my arm between me and the keyboard.

On the other hand, I know that there are no original stories, plots or writing ideas left in the world,  yet why is it with television recycles and regurgitates them  faster than you can say, “*sigh* really?”  It raises the questions, 1. are producers that scared of taking chances?  and 2. are they truly the uninspired and unoriginal hacks that everyone in the entertainment industry accuse them of being?

I understand time constraints…  You’re running a series on network (or even cable) television that spans 22 – 26 episodes a season (year) hoping it to be some sort of breakaway hit that will last 5 – 7 seasons (and sometimes even more).   I know that there are also certain constraints about what can and can’t be shown on television (which I see is still eroding slowly) as well as the routine requirement for one (or more) PSA-like episodes…  But do these writers and producers need to stick to the same predictable plots and performing the same things over and over not entirely unlike the old travelling swindler selling snake oil to cure everything one ails from?

It makes me wonder whether or not certain cable television shows as well as the BBC have it right in that (other than perhaps soap operas), they cut down the the season to 8 – 13 episodes instead of the full year.  I’m not even going to waste my time trying to figure out or even offer advice or suggestions on how to handle all the schmoozing (or what I’m more prone to call ass-kissing or ass-licking depending on the veracity of it) that seems to go on within Hollywood.  I see enough of this in my local politics and there it needs to definitely stop.

Ultimately I know the only possible way of controlling such entertainment is to vote with my remote:  change the channel, stop watching it, sometimes even writing the network if necessary…  And while I’ve done that, it makes me misanthropic wondering how my peers and others that watch television can put up with watching such shite and call it entertaining?    I’m going to chalk it up to one of those mysteries of the universe I might never truly fathom (even if I sometimes understand).

In other news, I just received a call from my mother after her doctor’s visit and then the hospital for another mammogram and now she’s off to Miriam Hospital for some sort of emergency surgery because of a blood clot.  I didn’t ask the details, though I suspect it might have to do with the occasional swelling she had in her left arm from the PICC line.  So I wished her good luck and will check with her again later on after the surgery when she’s conscious and talking to find out the details.

And that’s about it for the time being.  As the Monster Child went out early, I’m sure that the excitement he’s currently demonstrating is because he’s both bored and the fact that he had gone out earlier than usual this morning.  I’m off for that, have lunch and continue to watch the dog.  Until the next time.

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Here’s a few of my “favorite” things…

03/18/2013 1 comment

Entry 03/18/2013 07:37:53 AM – Mentat 682

The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom…” – Bell Hooks

Once again I’m aware of the fact that it’s been a number of weeks since I’ve last written. And while it’s no excuse for it (even if I’m feeling the need for it), truth be told it’s only been recently that there’s anything that’s been truly newsworthy enough to sit down and write a journal entry. I mean sure, there’s been quite a lot of niggling things going on, but it’s not as though I need to sit down and write every time that it occurred; the problem with that it is that I often have such entries turning out more frivolous than necessary. But now, yes… As I said, there’s events to talk about.

First things first is that the douchebag that had been living below me has finally moved his “the world owes me everything” ghetto ass out of the apartment. Since just before Christmas I’ve had to put up with rap and urban music from about 9 in the morning until 9 in the evening — sometimes even later depending on whatever the hell was going on between him and his on-again/off-again girlfriend/wife/whatever. Then there’s the fighting that the two of them would have going on at all times of the day and night. There were more times than naught dealing with police out in front of the house in equal measures between them and the downstairs couple next door. And it seems that last week even the police showing up here for the third floor men last Thursday, but I’ve yet to get the details on that the last couple of days. Oh, and let’s not forget the amount of noise his two kids used to make at 5 – 5:30 in the morning banging with the cribs or on the walls because they were bored and wanted to get up. It was enough to wake me up before my morning alarm and I’m considered a heavy sleeper. Then there was the noise from them during the weekend where I swore heavy pieces of furniture were being thrown around the apartment. At first I thought it was fighting, until I take my earbuds out and realize that I can hear the little rug-rats screeching with glee that I realized that they were playing. Believe me, I called the cops a couple of times and while they would quiet down for a day or two, the noise would return unabated. Eventually I gave up and kept to myself waiting patiently given that my landlord told me that they were moving out a couple of months earlier.

Then there’s the amount of garbage the two first floor apartments used to generate. All right, I’m one person and I’m lucky to generate a bag of garbage every 6 or so weeks. Usually a bit more during the summer because I don’t want fruit flies buzzing about the garbage and the house. The Guatemalans upstairs and the asshole next door can usually generate about a bag of trash a week or two. However, between the two families downstairs, both with two kids each, they would generate six garbage cans full each week! Seriously I don’t even remember when Jon and I were young seeing that much garbage going out the door like what these two downstairs would generate each! And to make matters worse — both of them are frelling pigs. Neither of them really tie up the bags when they threw them out and if any of the garbage fell out onto the ground — including soiled diapers — they would leave it wherever it fell on the ground. I even had to give up complaining about that given the landlord did nothing about discussing the issue with them, or he simply gave up because they would give him flack and do it anyway. And direct confrontation did nothing as well. If anything they would generate more trash on the ground in spite of Jim, Julian (the upstairs neighbors that no longer live here) and I throwing it into their part of the first floor hallway to get their attention.

As I understand it, the other couple on the first floor are supposed to be moving out soon. While it will put a financial burden on the apartments here, at least I’m hoping the amount of garbage I’ve been seeing on the ground since the two of them have been here should lessen. Not to mention less police visits for disturbing the peace and domestic violence… Although given what I’ve been seeing going into the basement this weekend, I get the impression that they’re not moving like they said they would be. If anything it seems more of their garbage is being moved into the basement like it’s their own personal storage space. I’d hate to break the news to them but that’s not how it’s going to work here given that a majority of the douchebag’s (the next door douchebag) paintings that he tried to store in the basement were moved out thanks to fire code violations.

Then there’s the serious WTF moment up the street at Amherst. A week or so ago, I put the barrels out there and come back the next morning to see that one of them had in fact been stolen. Telling the landlord this, he says something about it possibly being taken into one of the apartments for cleaning (yeah, I’m having problems imagining that this is the case, but stay with me here). A day or so later at the other apartments on Tuxedo seem to have had some sort of fight and decided to throw one of the roommates out. This also involved about 30 bags of trash in the process most of which ended up going into the trash cans for both Tuxedo and Amherst and including one of the recycle bins in the process.

Seriously they were told that the recycle bins were just that, but did that stop the 20-somethings from doing what they did? Of course not. And further, looking at this sort of thing coupled with the idiots here at my apartment, I’m beginning to feel really old and crotchety because it seems that it’s selfish, self-centered 20-somethings that think they can make up their own rules as they see fit. It makes me wonder whether they were actually raised to be responsible or are they just that stupid not to know any better because they run on the belief that “it’s not theirs”. In either case, I’m in no mood to be cleaning up their mess and there’s positively no amount of money in the world that will have me sorting out other people’s trash because they’re too stupid to know any better. And if there is a possibility of my doing it, I would be charging a month’s rent per clean up; because that’s how pissed off I’d be having to clear up other people’s stupidity (and selfishness) with their trash and recycling.

==================================================================

As for me… Well, I’m having breakfast, listening to my coffee maker sputtering as it tells me in its own way that the coffee is done brewing and watching a couple of shows that I’m finding myself having a difficult time trying to watch. It seems that I’m finding it more and more difficult to sit here and watch the shows that I used to enjoy watching. At first I thought that it was a personal problem, but I’m more than happily cutting through the various gay-related soap operas clips that I watch on YouTube for hours at a time. No, it’s more the fact that the writing in at least two of the shows that I’m still watching is becoming more and more… vapid. The stories seemed, rushed… contrived… Not to mention extremely predictable… And lack the sort of elements that I like watching.

Hell, take Arrow for example. The more than I watch Stephen Amell playing the role of Oliver Queen — the more I see that he was picked not for his acting ability, but for his chest, washboard abs, chiseled jaw and piercing blue eyes. The more he acts, the more I see just how bloody empty he is. Acquaintances and people on Usenet are telling me that it was a character development problem and that it was slow at the beginning. I disagreed vehemently stating that he was better when he was secretive and calculating and that if anything they’re dumbing down his character in order to make his partner Diggle (played by David Ramsey) look more wise. Dumbing down never works with me and I get off-put by the story faster than you can say, “Oi! Skinny man!”

And then there’s Kristin Kruek in Beauty and the Beast… When they finally got rid of the sexual tension and made Katherine kiss Vincent she’s become a quivering stupid mess. Watching the most recent episode “Any Means Possible”, they making Katherine too doe-in-the-headlights like and adding way too much “catch the beast” dragnet drama. Especially with Sendhil Ramamurthy as the ADA out to catch Vincent. It’s like the time JJ Abrams and his two other ass-monkeys (otherwise known as Orczi and Kurtzman) did to Jennifer Garner’s character — Sydney Bristow — in Alias the instant that she slept with Michael Vaughn (played by Michael Vartan). They basically turned her from super agent able to take on SD-6 and the world into.. W-O-M-A-N: an agent incapable of independent thought and action without the approval of the man that she’s opened her legs for. I’m feeling like I want to bail on the Beauty and the Beast because of this (like I did with Alias when they jumped the last shark that I could tolerate for season 4) as well.

Sitting here and writing this, I definitely think should be getting back into reading books. At least with books they can do things and go places that television can’t go: getting into a character’s head. Not to mention doing intricate back story that doesn’t have to be squeezed into a 40 minute episode timeslot. And a place where only bad writers will change premises between books in a series. Although given that I have three books here in my queue (Empire State, Game of Thrones and Seeker) not to mention all the books on my eBook reader… I’m not entirely sure I’m up to reading in bed, given that will last for about 5 minutes before I pass out snoring loud enough to wake the dead. But I’ll consider it given that I’m going to be needing a break from something else soon enough.

Another thing that I was thinking about last week occurred when I saw a message in one of the communities that I’m part of. Seemed that it’s coming up on that time of year when the “National Day of Silence” occurs and seeing someone commenting on it and waffling, I ended up looking for the entry and posting a copy of it to the thread. I reread the entry to ensure that my feeling that I had written about the event hadn’t changed (it didn’t, I still think it’s a step in the wrong direction, though I digress), and after a bit of going through other journal entries, I recall that the feeling that I had when I was writing those entries wasn’t quite the Sisyphean task of journal entry. And then I realized in scanning some of the entries what one of the problem was… I had been writing with an emotional element that I haven’t been quite feeling for quite some time: unrequited love.

Yes, the very thing that often leaves me a quivering and gibbering mess… the very thing that I would prefer to express and not be so well hidden in the recesses of my heart and mind. The very thing that after a while, I get tired of having and hiding and want to be rid of it entirely if I cannot express it and it’s not going to be reciprocated. Here’s the thing though; I know what it is that I need from it in order to write the way that I do: from the heart. From the wild hair that sometimes ends up across my ass about something. It’s the friction that comes from not only wanting to do and say the right thing, but also the part that comes from competing for someone else’s affections. That showing off the best parts of me to prove that I’m worthy.

Strange thing that as I’m sitting here. I have no problems with self-love at all. I am comfortable with myself enough that I have no problems with all these thoughts and what not in my head. But I lack the sort of friction that will get me going in such a way as to go off on some sort of tear. In essence, I’m too comfortable and far too calm for that sort of internal friction anymore. In either case, it’s something that I’m going to have to work out…

Which leads me to the last part of this journal entry… A part that I’ve been holding off writing about because it’s involving another human being. While it’s easy to keep the person anonymous (as I haven done in the past with other people that have requested anonymity), I find it to be a somewhat difficult path to be walking given that it’s going to involve a lot of complex descriptions that I’m not used to expressing in type. Sure, I can say it aloud easily enough. But putting it down to words leads to misinterpretation in ways that can do more harm than good. So… With that in mind, I’m going to press on with this when I get home as I should be getting ready for work at the moment… I’ll see if I can’t put a bit more thought into it before I begin writing it down. Until later perhaps.

A little entertainment amidst a scatterbrained moment

09/17/2012 Comments off

Entry 09/17/2012 11:55:37 AM – Mentat 665

<gloom^exs> Finnish sounds like two alphabets went to nuclear war and the fallout mutated it into something seriously fucked up with lots of i’s and e’s. – from bash.org

Fun times at the moment. I had been trying to follow a Finnish Soap Opera that I had picked up a couple of months ago, but what happened was that the original poster had computer problems at the beginning of the summer and while they had been a couple of postings after the laptop had been restored, it’s been a black hole since. So someone else from Finland had picked up the story where the original poster had left off — a couple of months later — and right now I’m getting caught up with the missing elements that happened months ago. Heh, yes I’m a glutton for punishment, given there are just some languages that I can’t wrap my head around because they are so different from the languages that I better understand (i.e., German, Italian/French, Japanese, Korean). All Scandinavian languages and some Eastern Bloc for example. And this soap opera I’m getting caught up with is Finnish (hence the quote for this entry). And worst of all, I can’t turn away from it like I could with other languages… After 2 months of trying to get used to the words and syntaxes, I’m still left with my head in a twist because of it.

The storyline itself is pretty familiar for European Soap Operas.. Out boy is being picked on by jock-type… Jock-type is a closet case… Jock-type cornered the out gay boy and instead of hitting him, kisses him. Story unfolds from there. Girl caught in the middle of all this… Not quite the same as Verboten Liebe but enough similarities that it’s entertaining enough for me to watch and watch the differences in cultures and how closeted vs. out relationships unfold. At least Ida (in this storyline), wasn’t such a hot mess as Coco was in VL. Heh heh… I couldn’t wait until Coco was written out of the story that’s what kind of a train wreck she was in the “triangle”. Then again I’m early in this story and Ida still doesn’t know… Here’s to hoping that this soap opera doesn’t turn Ida into a harpy of scary proportions.

[Last Edited: 09/17/2012 01:58:11 PM]

Ah ha ha ha! So I finished watching the episodes up to the most recent part. While they didn’t actually get to the actual coming out, they really laid it out heavy for the girl — Ida. Thirty years ago (and more) Ida’s big issue would’ve been teenage pregnancy. Heck, she missed her period and off she goes to getting a pregnancy test. The test comes back negative. Then after the test she has what appears to be morning sickness. All the while this is going on, she’s a bit nervous that she might be having a child — abortion is bandied about by her friends. Doesn’t even bat an eye though there’s a bit flustered about it. Finally friends of hers convince her to go to a doctor as home pregnancy tests aren’t “accurate”. *chuckling* At the end of the most recent episode, and sitting down with the doctor, out of the doctor’s mouth (who happens to be Elias’ father’s girlfriend, but that’s another story) comes what the real problem is: Ida is anorexic.

Apparently teen pregnancy isn’t an issue for kids anymore… It’s the past… It’s passé. It doesn’t sell the soap opera. Eating disorders are the PSA message of the moment. Especially if the girl seems too “pretty” or to “perfect”. The only thing I can say about this, chuckling as I am even now thinking about it is, “while Soap Opera writers everywhere are required to write some sort of PSA-like story, this one certainly is one of the more over-used in the last 20 years.” But at least I know it’s not just the USA that has this requirement. Finland seems to as well.

So right now, I’m feeling a bit better. I’ve had an issue for the last couple of days that I had been a combination of scatter-brained and un-grounded. Got pretty bad last night which caused me another night of insomnia because of it. Even ended up having a nightmare along the way… While it wasn’t night terrors, it was enough to cause me to wake myself up out of it before it got worse. So this morning, I did a lot of meditating and quite a bit of introspection in order to figure out what was going on and for the moment, I’m pretty much back to where I had been before. While not as grounded as I’d like to be (because of the other issues going on here at the homestead), but not so bad that I’m coming off like a maniac.

Of course, in the middle of this “Michael is being a Scatterbrained moment” it also left me with more than a little bit of anger, given that the deadbeat thinks that he’s safe from whatever repercussions that are going on here and coming into the house rather brazenly carrying 12-packs of beer. And of course my stance on this is, “if you can buy beer, you can pay me the money you owe.” Still though, I get the distinct impression he knows he’s dancing on thin ice, given that he makes damned sure to come and go from the house only when he’s sure he’s heard me shut the door to my apartment. Heh, pity the deadbeat doesn’t know that others have done things like this with me in the past, and it’s always ended up with the person standing in front of me with the proof to their actions in their hands. All he would have to do is ask a couple of the psychos I’ve dated. They’ll all tell him the same thing, “don’t mess with him.”

That’s about it for the time being. Off to meditate a little bit more and do some Tai Chi to keep myself grounded. Until the next time.

Categories: LGBT, Television Tags: , ,

The Calm Realizations

03/31/2012 Comments off

Entry 03/31/2012 11:36:22 AM – Mentat 637

An intelligence test sometimes shows a man how smart he would have been not to have taken it.” – Laurence J. Peter

Yes, I’m feeling rather accomplished (not to mention more than a little bit relieved) at the moment. Because of the temperatures last week had gotten unusually warm, I decided to order a new CPU case because three (too many) fans had burned out/stopped working on the case that I currently owned. So I went with the Antec DF-85 as a replacement, mainly because I was looking for an easier way of cleaning the filters from the fans and an easier way of swapping out/installing drives on the case. Honestly I have routinely been more than a little jittery when it comes to building/rebuilding desktop boxes because of the bad experiences I’ve had in frying a couple of motherboards (like the one that happened last year around April Fools). Fortunately for me, replacement went mostly without a hitch though I had one scare and two bits of frustration. The scare came from the fact that I thought I was hitting the power button — and the lights/fans on the case didn’t come on. Turns out that I was hitting the reset button instead. The first was when I had messed up the SATA data cords to the motherboard and the bootable hard drive wasn’t being recognized. What happened was that I swapped the order of the SATA ribbons and the 2 TB SATA-6 drive (which is my storage and data repository drive) was changed to being the 1st boot primary drive (making the system unbootable). But after a shut down, a re-check of the wiring for the drive hub, and then getting into the BIOS to change drive orders for the hard drives everything came up without a hitch. The second annoyance was when I was putting the case through the paces to make sure everything was plugged in properly, 2 of the 4 front USB plugs (3 2.0 plugs, 1 3.0 plug) were working. Turns out that after checking through the manual, I had accidentally plugged the USB connector into the FireWire socket. Another quick shut down and resort of the wires, and everything (front and back) are working properly.

The reviewers (and reviews) weren’t kidding when they said it has superior ventilation and circulation; as you can see from this screenshot of my Fan Monitor. The CPU is running a full 10 C (12 F) cooler than it did in the old NZXT Tempest I was running for the last 3’ish years. On the whole, I’ve been very happy with the acquisition, and I might have worked out a slight noise/vibration problem on it as well. Seemed that after running for 24 hours (I tend to keep my box on, because it’s simply more convenient for all the thing that I generally do) the middle front fan seemed to have developed a vibration problem. At first it was easy enough to remedy — all I had to do is open and close the fan. But after looking into it a little bit more, I realized that the problem is because the case isn’t even. I pulled out the woodworking level and with a little handiwork, I was able to remedy that problem. So far, it seems to have fixed the problem. *knock on wood*

When I was through putting the new case in place (and re-ensuring everything about it was running according to spec), I decided to throw the old one out into the trash, given that there really wasn’t anything more that I could do with it. The fans in the Tempest won’t fit the current case as replacement and the chassis is entirely different (so it wasn’t as though I could use the screwless drive installation system). Wouldn’t you know, as I was sitting here putting the new box through its paces to see what it could do with heat shunting, I watched this car drive up to the garbage that was just put out. Watching with a sort of morbid fascination, I saw the man go to the can that had the case and start yanking the wire out of the case. It took me a moment to realize what he was doing and why he was doing it: it was for the copper. Then drove off leaving the case in the garbage. Seriously? He would be lucky to get a penny back from the copper and knowing what I know about recycling — he would’ve gotten more money from the scrap from the case alone. Which some hours later in the quiet of the evening, another car stopped in front of the garbage cans out front and I watched the driver get out and take the case before drive off. Mark wasn’t kidding me when he said that people around here will take things if they’re not chained down/nailed down. I’m just amazed at the level some people in the neighborhood will go through to make the nickels and dimes that they do.

Yesterday was the day that the gas company came out to change the gas meter for the apartment. Even with all the research I did about the local ordinances on this, I’m still pretty surprised that that it needs to be done. The man that changed the meter didn’t look old enough to confirm it being done in the 80s, but he was able to tell me that it’s been done since the 90s when he started working for the company. The replacement went without a hitch and in about ¾ hour, the meter had been changed out all the pilot lights relit and all checks for leaks done without so much as a pause. He wasn’t able to light the pilot on the space heater (because of the difficulty in moving the unit), though I told him it wouldn’t be a problem, given that we’re going into warmer weather now, and it’s something that can be worried about next autumn when things chill down. Good thing too, given that it’s one thing that I don’t have to deal with when Mark’s remotely cold and decides to turn up the heat to maximum.

[Last Edited: 03/31/2012 03:44:54 PM]

As for me. I’ve been having a “fun” time the last couple of weeks. I’ve had a mini-obsession with watching LGBT-themed storylines that can be found in Soap Operas from all over the place. Part of the reason is because I’ve gotten tired of feeling like the token homosexual in my life, part of the reason was purely academic in that I wanted to see how far soap operas have progressed when it comes to including gay couples. Part of the reason (which people will probably laugh at), some characters being impossibly disproportional archetypes and have been giving me ideas on how to approach the problems I mentioned in previous journal entries about defining what kind of man I want in my life, instead of defining by what I don’t want. Sure, I’ve gotten my fair share of ribbing from Glenn on this — “turn it off,” he says… “it’s a soap opera, it sucks,” he says (in so many words). The thing is though, when all is said and done, I really do like the stories — when taken in doses. As one of my favorite characters once said (when asked why he was watching a soap opera), “your country’s one and only contribution to the arts. It concerns family, love, honor courage… all that is noblest in the human spirit…” Sure it also contains infidelity, lies, deceit, thievery and all sorts of train wrecks and high queenly drama too… Though at least with the way that I’ve been watching this on YouTube, I get the chance to watch just the storyline that I want to watch. And eventually I’ll get tired of this and move on. As I have over the last 30 some-odd years that I’ve known of soap operas existences.

I will say this much though — I’m very aware of the stark differences between American Soaps vs. the ones that I’ve seen from other countries. So much so that it’s a joke at how surreal American Soap Operas have become over the years. Especially with gay characters in the stories. It seems that for American Soaps and gay characters, it’s like the soap box for Public Service Announcement type messages on the bad things in life. But once you get around the PSA message, the characters are muppets. The Luke & Noah story on As the World Turns for example, once you get beyond the standard message of how difficult it is for teenagers to come out of the closet, it was a parade of messages starting with “Drinking is bad”, “Cheating in School is bad” “Hiding in the Closet is bad” and “Drugs are bad”. Seriously I got tired of that story at that point, as Luke Snyder (played by Van Hansis) became a complete balloon and the story made him out to be some sort of dysfunctional hot mess while trying to be one of the Hardy Boys.

Then there was the Kyle & Oliver story on One Life to Live. The story while having classic archetypes of All-American coming out of the closet and rekindling a college romance with a man that has caused quite a lot of troubles since the two of them were college. Sure, the story started out promising, but the ham-handed way that they used Oliver’s coming out to launch him into a lecture about acceptance quickly turned into uncomfortable watching. I bailed when it became a hot mess dealing with some other character who was pregnant and having a baby to… oh hell, it’s too convoluted even for me — let me just sum it up that the one time Oliver (played by Scott Evans) had sex with a woman, she got pregnant by him… I bailed. From what I understand, the soap opera bailed from it not too much after that, cancelling it for reasons of “poor ratings”. Given what kind of a mess and how convoluted things were, I’m not in the least bit surprised.

Oh, and another things about these two stories that I need to bring up about American Soaps before moving to the stories I find myself more entertained by: that is the rigidity demonstrated on human sexuality. Both of the American stories I watched practically sledgehammered the point home that regardless of whether or not you’re in the closet. That message being: once you’re gay, you’re always gay. Even I know as a Kinsey 6 (100% homosexual, 0% heterosexual tendencies), I am a rarity within the community. Figuratively the 1% of the one in ten. Listening to these two soaps ham-handedly say this is the way for all queerfolk got tiring for me really fast.

On the other side of the big pond, I’ve become enamored with two storylines. First is the Christian & Oliver story on Verboten Liebe (Forbidden Love). While it has a classic coming out story given that Christian is in the closet and becomes a boxer who later comes out… The story isn’t completely over the top that it turns surreal or even unrealistic. So far, I’m two years into this story (keep in mind all these segments are rarely over 10 minutes a pop, so it’s pretty easy to get caught up on one story line) I haven’t seen hide nor hair of any sort of PSA-type message (other than the coming out, but given Christian was in a relationship with a woman when I first caught it, that’s not surprising). Oh wait, there’s one — when Oliver was gay-bashed by a boxer that Christian had fought in the ring. But even that story wasn’t ham-handed at all as it flowed with the story at the time. Hell, even with the occasional bickering going on between the two, they have been the most well-adjusted and stable out of their friends (especially Judith, but I digress). Seriously, this is the sort of thing I had seen so much in my life — couples that were happy together and doing their best to keeping everyone else happy in their life; with it falling somewhere between busy-body (on the one end), to good friends counseling good friends (on the other). Of course I’m having a lot of “fun” as it’s giving me the chance to brush up a bit on my German (with the help of some pretty accurate subtitles). So much so that the other night I actually had a dream about speaking German. Sure, it was gibberish, but some of the words and grammar were on the mark.

And finally the story that has given me a whole lot of time visiting ghosts of my past has been the Aaron Livesy story on Emmerdale. Between many of the mannerisms that Danny Miller does for the character, to the storyline between Aaron and Jackson Walsh (played by Marc Silcock) it’s left me having at least three different dreams about Tommy in the process. One involving a memory of a time when the three of us were in the barracks, and Glenn and I were having one of our long and protracted discussions on metaphysics. The other two being about living on base in the base housing developments sometime after our finishing AIT. Creepy those two given that it was entirely on bits and fragments of memories of times when Tommy and I used to spend time alone away from Glenn and the barracks. It was like it was becoming old hat for me to dream about Tommy — to the point where I didn’t mind dreaming about him so much — and instead feeling as though I were putting on an old, comfortable pair of jeans after a long day’s work. Much the same as the time when I was dreaming in third person for months (a disconcerting feeling given that those dreams for those six months had positively nothing to do with me, or anything going on in my life. It was like watching television in my dreams).

*taking a deep breath*

After watching all this the last couple of weeks, I know what I want… What I need too…

When everything is said and done in my day and in my life, I need someone that can trust me. The one element that the three men that I have loved truly, madly, deeply in my life trusted me without words, without deeds, without my having to prove it to them. They knew it in faith. They knew it by simply looking at me. It is in the same way I demonstrate my faith and trust in them (and in all people around me). By simply giving it and allowing them to be themselves in order to prove that my faith in them isn’t misplaced.

It is from that faith and trust that I feel the most grounded. That I am willing to take the necessary risks for the betterment of the world around me. Let’s face it — alone I will do what is necessary — but the problem with this is I am more conservative about my risks. To the point where I won’t necessary do something that I should. Or worse, I will act too harshly than the situation dictates (because let’s face it, I’m rather extreme or intense), because I sometimes need a sounding board (of reason) to convince me that I’m not seeing things as dire as I am.

I want someone that is expressive with their feelings. I don’t care if it’s in word or deed, but I need input to know what they’re feeling without my having to read them or probe them with 20 questions to find out what the problem is. Hell, I don’t care if it’s a look… A look can convey a thousand more words than looking on blankly or keeping all emotion out of one’s expression. Admittedly communication is important, but not everything needs to be conveyed with a diatribe of words. Sometimes an admonishing look is more than enough for the likes of me. Take Tommy for example to this. I used to love the enigmatic smile he would give me when he got me to second-guess something I was discussing with him. Or the simple shake of his head when he didn’t want to be included in the debate that I had going at the moment. Darin could do the same thing with me (when he wasn’t completely introverted about something that was bothering him).

I’m not going to hold my breath that lightning’s going to strike twice on this one, though it would be nice. I need someone to be able to understand me in spite of the fact that I can make things very complex verbally. Damion had this one down in spades. It didn’t matter what I said, he knew precisely what I was saying when I was saying it. I carry a lot of complex metaphysical understandings in my head. Sometimes it’s really, really nice not to be feeling like I’m speaking some incomprehensible alien language. Oh sure, I can write it out… People comment that I’m a capable person — but what they don’t know is that sometimes it takes quite a lot of hours of work (oftentimes) to get me to put down things that I’m thinking and feeling in a coherent manner.

I need someone to be patient. If I don’t get a good vibe from them, I don’t need them to push (like one did from Connecticut not too long ago). Decent enough man, but I didn’t have the want to speak to him on the phone. While he the decency to respect my wishes and write instead — he lost interest quickly because I wouldn’t honor his wish to call him. When I offered my e-mail address instead (one of my MSN/Hotmail Accounts), he didn’t use it.. And let’s face it — writing takes patience. If you can write, then you have the patience to put up with someone like me, my family and the chaos that has a habit of blowing in and out of my life on a semi-regular basis.

Well, that’s about it for the time being.. It’s a start and it was hell to write about. More on this soon. Right now I’m off to lay down and pass out in bed. Until the next time.

Entry 05/16/2011 11:43:00 AM – Mentat 613

05/16/2011 Comments off

Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Today was just one of those sort of days that when I had opened my eyes and looked out the window, I just wanted to roll back over and get some more sleep. Which is not surprisingly exactly what I did with some rather meditational music to shut out the usual stomping about the house before heading out to the Elk’s Lodge that my uncle does for his Monday mornings. The reason why was because it was wet, raw and especially gloomy here in the Tundras of New England. Really… 48 F (8.8 C) going on here while I’m sitting having my morning coffee, listening to some old-school stuff from my distant past and having my morning coffee; I just don’t know what’s going on with the weather. I mean we started out all right, but now? It feels like we’re not in spring at all, but rather having a step back to what I would expect for this sort of weather for March instead. Then again, I tend to suffer from the same problem most New Englanders suffer from in regards to short-memory when it comes to New England Weather. Thinking back I remember it being cool like this all the way up to my birthday for several years in the 60s and 70s. This shouldn’t be unusual to see 30 and 40 years later. *shrugging* I should be thankful really… It’s not as though it’s like when I was living in the south and having to turn on my air conditioner on by the middle of April (sometimes even end of March depending on how bad the year was for heat).

Though it’s sort of cutting into my exercise routine because of the amount of rain and wet there is out there. Meh, but we can’t have everything can we?

It’s been mostly quiet here at the homestead the last couple of weeks. My Aunt and Uncle have done their usual movement of winter/summer clothes from the basement to their respective closets. Banged my head pretty badly helping them move their boxes and clothes on hangers to the back part of the basement where they put their seasonal clothes. Didn’t even realize I had been bleeding either until I scratched my head and came back with caked on blood. Ugh… That’s all I needed — particularly given that I’m beginning to feel like a hippy and wanting to cut my hair in the next couple of days. I swear that it’s amazing that I haven’t ended up with tumors or blood clots in my head from the amount of times I’ve bashed my head against the low-hanging support beam in the wash room. Then again, if it were to be discovered during a physical — the fourth generation hypochondriac that I can be will probably turn all Chicken Little about it for months to come after the diagnosis.

Cricket’s being… Well… Cricket lately. Seems that she’s had some problems keeping some foods and liquids down when we had the warm-up a couple of weeks ago, though I suspect it’s from the usual problem that happens when she’s shedding off what winter-fur she has for a lighter coat. Once I started brushing her weekly whatever puking she had been doing stopped and she’s no more worse for wear. She’s maxed out her eating to about 3½ cans a day (and it’s not the cans of food that the vet originally urged her to eating when the vet saw her last year). No, she would have no part of either the Fancy Feast or anything that’s pâté either. I think it’s because I had to purée it and feed it to her by syringe that she positively despises it. Also seem to have problems wanting to eat things as big or bigger than her mouth (other than perhaps the table scraps she gets from me as tithe to make her stop staring holes into me). It has to be shredded or Tuna or she simply won’t touch it. And finally, she’s having no problems eating dry food either. While the majority of her meals are wet, between meals I find her nibbling a bit from the dry until it’s time for her next can. Pity though she’s not going to be gaining any more weight since the last illness. Then again, this is to be expected really given she’s 14 now (73’ish in human years according to one table I’ve found).

Though this new habit of hers is particularly unnerving and gives me the impression of either dementia or senility. After she’s had enough of her food — either for the moment, or for a couple of hours — I find her sitting at my feet looking at the wall and doing nothing. She doesn’t look around, she occasionally flicks her ears if she realizes I’m talking to her and not to myself… She just, sits there waiting for something. And it’s not as though this is the only place I’ve seen her do it. I’ve found her sitting in the middle of the bedroom looking at nothing in particular, or in my den behind me, occasionally looking at me before she starts looking forward at nothing in particular. One day, I ignored her to see how long she’s keep this up and from what I’ve seen, she’s done it for close to an hour, not sleeping or even closing her eyes. It’s like she’s waiting for something and forgot what she was waiting for.

Other days, she’s what I expect to be doing. Begging for attention… talking at me like some needy wife wanting attention, food, attention, laying out on the rug sunning herself, pointing out I need to clean out her litter box, attention and… did I mention attention? Oh and she’s back to drooling when she’s purring which means I need to have a nappy handy so whatever I’m wearing it’s covered in drool. Like my leg at the moment as she’s draped over my thigh while I’m writing this entry.

With the summer coming, what few television shows I watch are going to be going out on summer vacation so I might finally get back to collecting the series that I’ve been watching on and off since last year. Namely Battlestar Galactica, Farscape… Though I know that I’m going to get extremely depressed the further BSG goes on, and there are parts of third season of Farscape where there’s entirely too much “beat the Muppet” going on with Rygel. On an impulse when I bought Cyber Clean to clean out some of the gunk between the keys on my keyboard, I had decided on buying the complete season of Witchblade. Man was that show ever trippy, it’s a pity that at the end of the first season TNT cancelled the show based on stories that the star — Yancy Butler — needed to seek rehab because of alcoholism, and coupled with the way the story went from trendy and weird to banal and reset. I remember vividly how betrayed I felt for the first season finale and how everything was reset — the death of her partner Detective Woo not ever happening… Things going back to the way it was for the series pilot… It felt as though I had been watching an episode of Star Trek, where Rick Berman (AKA Beavis) and his ass-licking sycophant henchman Brannon “I’m no Fan of Sci-Fi” Braga (AKA Butthead) used the time travel reset button so much that the show became a farce onto itself. Still though, I’m sitting there watching Witchblade with a combination of entertained and impending dread as I know it’s only a matter of time before it comes to a crashing end and the old memories come rushing back to the present.

One show that I’m not going to be returning to next season is Fringe. The season finale felt like a mind-frell that I was all too familiar with when it came to another show I had high expectations for that crashed horribly: Alias. It would seem that Abrams, Orci and Kurtzman at Bad Robot are suffering from the same mentally damaged problems that they seem to be suffering from since they became producers: wanting to wow the audience with blinding ideas but at the same time making shit up as they go along. It might seem all right if one has the attention span of a goldfish, but when it comes to someone like me who has a slightly longer attention span, the niggling issues rapidly grow into a legion of problems and wtf-like attitudes until the story literally comes apart at the seams.

Take for example, the ending of Fringe‘s episode The Day We Died. By making it as though Peter never existed, basically takes the last three seasons of Fringe and saying, “nope, it never happened”; which once again feels like the terrible reset experienced when dealing with Beavis & Butthead in the Star Trek Universe. Also gone are the understood motivations as to why Walternate Bishop (the Walter Bishop from the alternate dimension) launched his campaign to destroy our dimension as we know it. I had read a couple of interviews from the producers that asked questions about why and what, of which like a good little executive stated, ‘wait and see, wait and see!’

Blah… My breaking point in Alias was when at the end of Season Four, Michael Vaughn (Michael Vartan), suddenly out of the blue states that he’s not an FBI agent and that he’s actually a deep cover operative for a group which would later in season five be called the Prophet Five. There was no proof to this throughout the four season, and only toward the end it was being hinted at by Sydney’s mother telling him to “come clean” was it feeling more as though it was being made up then, instead of something that’s been going on for the previous four years. I also heard from Lost fans that the same thing happened with that show as well, and only those that were able to ignore the gaffs and made up stories were able to watch it toward the end (and even then, word was they were “glad it’s finally over”).

And so my breaking point with Fringe has occurred. If I ever do get around to finishing up my collection for Fringe, it’s going to be with Season Three and my making up the ending that the two Walters, Olivias, and Astrids work to fixing what was broken and peace in the Multiverse is once again restored. Oh, and I won’t buy Season Two or Three until they hit bargain bin. Which will be in a couple of years.

Well, that’s about it for the time being. Off to play Mass Effect 2 for a bit and get the hang of what’s going on in the last DLC I’ve picked up for that; The Arrival. Heh, seems I’ve already hit a snag/bug in it which is forcing me to replay that part of the game and hope it doesn’t glitch out. Until the next time.