Tag Archives: television

French Kiss First, Introductions Later.


Welcome to California.

golden_gate_bridge

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

If all your contact with the outside world is mass media, or, say, you’re an alien from space, seeking information about earth, and your research dart on the globe hit the USA, and you began, sensibly enough, with mass media –you would surely presume the only places IN America were…

New York, and California.

Because EVERYTHING on television, in movies, etc., is located in: you guessed it. NY or CA.

Naturally, when the opportunity flung itself like a blob of goo to head west with my two daughters to the flipside of mainland America, I figured: hmm? Why not see life as the extraterrestrials – I mean, Californians – do?

I kid, I KID.

Actually, this time I DO kid, because if you happen to be reading this…

WAIT.

Don’t you just HATE when writers write: “If you happen to be reading this?

Talk about “author intrusion,”* which, of course, I’m doing now in a MAJOR way, but for some reason, I am egomaniacal enough – or feel strongly enough about this point – to have the nerve to think I can get away with it.

Duh. Of COURSE you happen to be reading this; if you WEREN’T reading this, you wouldn’t be READING this: the author’s SENTENCE that says, so very stupidly, “if you happen to be reading this.”

Why THANK you, Captain OBVIOUS.

(How do you spell “AAUGHHH?”)

I can’t STAND it when people don’t give other people the credit for the most BASIC intelligence. Or when they refuse to exhibit the most basic intelligence of their own, and simply swallow and regurgitate clichés.

Sorry. That’s just not thinking “out of the box.”

(That’s a joke. I am SO hoping you all got that….)

::-::-::

Anyway, tirade over, now that I’ve “intruded,” my job as a writer now is to suck you so hard back into the work that you forget about me again. So: forget me, move on without me, save yourselves….

To get back to Californians: if you’ve been wondering where all the nice people in the world have gone; if you’ve lost your faith in humanity, you’ve been betrayed, you can’t seem to find a kind soul in a cold-hearted world, no matter where you look…

<can you hear the swelling orchestral strings…?>

Get your ass to northern California.

InvaderZimWthoutStripesSomeone, I don’t know who – Invader Zim?

…has scooped them all up in a giant net and deposited them HERE.

Of course, the New Yorker in me wants to warn you: I’ve only been here a few weeks, so they COULD be putting on an devastatingly good show (California, Hollywood, Oscar…), and I SHOULD keep checking my back for knives…

But honestly, if these folks aren’t genuinely nice, then I’ve landed where Ira Levin got his idea for The Stepford Wives, because everybody – and I do mean everybody – walks around with a light step, a friendly smile, and an open outlook.

This is either the Cosmic Galactic Nexus of Benevolence, or these folks are gobsmackingly realistic test robots for Disneyland’s newest animatronic attraction.

They’re cheerful and concerned for others in a state with a bigger unemployment problem and more housing foreclosures than New York.

And, unlike New York – and particularly unlike, say…oooh, I dunno, GEORGIA, they are warm and inviting to strangers. Even strangers who come from scary and disreputable places like New York. No one here has prejudged us at all.

oscar-wilde-ph

Oscar Wilde

(At least not to our faces, where it counts. As far as I’m concerned, I’m with Oscar Wilde. Let people say whatever they want behind my back; I’ll worry when they STOP talking.)

These folks are even charming and positive in an area located less than – well, my guess would be, less then twelve inches from the Sun.

I can’t seem to figure it out. We aren’t any closer to the equator (although maybe we’re WAYYYY higher. As in, we’re astronauts. Californunauts.)

When they say “sunny California,” they aren’t just whistling Dixie.

(Side note: having made a side trip on the way to visit family in Rocky Plains, Georgia, I know what I’m talking about when I say “Dixie,” too.)

The sun is so strong here I carry a bottle of water around with me nearly everywhere I go, wishing I could haul a tank around, like someone on oxygen. I never realized what a deliciously humid state New York actually was.

oldwomanSomeone PLEASE let me know what moisturizing cream I need. I’m going to look about 45 years old in about 45 minutes. In another 45, I’ll look 90. As it is, the jar that used to last me six months is half gone.

In fact, Californians are SO friendly, that in a recent trip to a music store (I was rescuing a guitar I’d discovered that had been criminally abused) I got to joking with the owner, who began to tease me – and then somehow, things got a little weird.

Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably caught on: I’m not someone you want to DARE.

Play chicken with me? You’re pretty much guaranteed two totaled cars.

So when I jokingly said: “Well, then, I’ll just have to get one big, fat, sloppy kiss,” never in a million years thinking he would take me up on it – for no one in their right mind in New York would take that phrase as ANYTHING but, er, symbolic, when the music store owner said something along the lines of me not having the nerve…

… Well, what could I do? Apparently, he was calling my bluff – or thought I was bluffing. I had my entire state’s reputation to defend.

It was only later, perusing my copy of The Secret, Closely-Guarded Girl Manual, that I remembered that those of us with a little too much tomboy in them have to be wary of dares and the like, and that boys will steal kisses when they can, particularly from impulsive redheads.

So I called his bluff back, and dashed over boldly right behind his workspace, again, never dreaming his own oncoming car would not swerve.

Yet swerve he did NOT, and put his arms around me, and kissed me like Bogart kissed Bergman in Casablanca.

Yipes.

Careful to keep my New York cool, I then shook his hand and said:

“How do you do? I’m Elizabeth. And your name is?”

“Larry,” he said. “Welcome to California.”

::-::-::-::-::-::

Author Intrusion (also sometimes called, literarily, “authorial intrusion” – I don’t know why they like the extra two syllables, but professors sometimes do…) is explained nicely here, at about.com:

Have you ever read a book where the author suddenly jolted you out of the storyline with a comment that just doesn’t flow with the rest of the work? That’s an authorial intrusion. Sometimes it works, but only when it’s done by a master storyteller/writer.

Authorial intrusions are of substantial length (not just a brief aside in a novel) and they are addressed to you (the reader).

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under America, confidence, family, humor, life, love, people, relationships, reporting, satire, self-image, work

Heroes: the Soap Opera



Digg!

My kids are into vampires. This, I believe, is mostly because of the extremely lengthy but otherwise compelling Twilight books by Stephanie Meyer, which portray these creatures of the night as good guys with super-powers, able to run really really fast, dodge bullets, leap tall buildings in a single bound…

You get the picture.

They want to BE vampires. They, of course, would never EVER feast upon the blood of mortals, like EVERY OTHER VAMPIRE story has it. MY kids would be TWILIGHT vampires.

In other words, they’d be superheroes.

Just like we ALL wanted to be when we were kids.

supermanlogo1Isn’t that still a favorite question – even as adults? “What would YOUR superpower be?” Because, of course, no fair hogging all the superpowers. There’s only ONE Superman, and he gets them all. Every OTHER superhero just gets ONE big superpower: The Flash is fast; the Green Lantern gets that ring thing he can do tricks with; Batman has brains, a good personal trainer and a giant bankroll; and Marvel plays it coolest of all: they have the Mutants, each of whom has some genetic fluke that gives them one and only one way-out cool thing they can do – and that thing almost always comes with a drawback, just to keep it real.

Rogue, of the X-Men, from Marvel Comics

Rogue, of the X-Men, from Marvel Comics

 

 

Rogue, of the X-Men, for instance: all she has to do is touch you and she’ll suck the life out of you. Try and mug HER in a back alley. The drawback? She can’t feel the touch of another human, or they’ll die on her. That’s gotta suck.

So when NBC came up with a series idea of a bunch of everyday mortal human beings suddenly springing into action with super-powers (one each, they played fair, although why it all happened at the same time they never DID explain), the little kid in me got as excited as I used to get when December came and all those stop-motion cartoons lined up the programming schedule. (“I wanna be a dentist…”)

Heroes. Whoa. How cool. Maybe it could STILL happen to me. I can still remember the night our family went to see the Michael Keaton Batman movie, and my sister’s boyfriend and I stayed up, jazzed, for hours that night, planning how we could do it – we really could, it was possible…

What a freakin’ disappointment this show is turning out to be.

They should be showing it during the day, instead, and calling it “As the Heroes Turn,” or “One Hero to Live,” or “General Heroes.” It’s become QUITE the soap opera. You hang on for a whole hour, watching them cast maudlin, moody glances, full of portent, at each other, then just as something is about to happen:

To Be Continued.

You can tell he's flying, see, because the buildings are so far away? See?

You can tell he's flying, because the buildings are so far away? See?

They must have laid off the special effects crew due to the hard times we’re all facing. Because even The Flying Senator? All we ever see of him now is him landing from a distance, with a sort of a swooshing sound.

 

It’s all Evil Plot now, to corral the innocent people who have superpowers, by sticking Hannibal Lechter-ish gas masks on them, orange jail jumpsuits, and put them Who-Knows-Where? We don’t know, because of course they always escape.

They scatter. They come together, cast moody glances at each other at temporary safe houses, then scatter again, to find another place to cast moody glances at each other.

The most common lines now are: “We’re stronger together than we are apart,” and “We must keep this a secret.” 

Okay: let’s see some strength. Let’s see you kick some bad guys.

But who are the bad guys, now? Even the superguy they started out with, who they wrote up REALLY scary in the first season, named Sylar, is iffy, now that we’re getting to know him. Sylar is the scariest because he’s unfair: all he has to do is come NEAR a superguy, and he absorbs their power: FOREVER. Wait: that’s more than one superpower.

Not fair. And scary. So he has EVERYBODY’s powers. And, I, having gotten annoyed, and missed a few episodes, observe now he’s a “shape-shifter,” which means he has that 1970s “Bionic Woman/Fill In Your Action Show of Choice” power of magically looking – and somehow SOUNDING (how they manipulate their larynx, too, these shape-shifters, is amazing) – like anyone else. Height, weight, shoe size, and everything.

I guess the Laws of Conservation of Mass go out the window in TV Land. Unless, maybe, if Sylar turns into a really short guy, he becomes as dense as kryptonite.

But what I really like about Sylar is his power to make his hair look really stupid.

Sylar, all glam, and Sylar, with silly hair.

Sylar, all glam, and Sylar, with silly hair.

Wonder Twin Powers, Unite!

Wonder Twin Powers, Unite!

Some of these superpowers, though, I never did understand. Like this woman, whose name I forget. She started out with a double in the mirror: super-strong – and evil. Then, somehow, this double came out of the mirror, and I’m not sure if her twin became good or evil, or merged back into her or not. Either way, it reminded me eerily of “Wonder Twin Powers: Unite!” Only without the plastic cereal bowl ring.

 

Ando - Hiro's sidekick, now superhero - hence the fist, I guess.

Ando - Hiro's sidekick, now superhero - hence the fist, I guess.

Hiro – ha, ha, hilarious name choice – and Ando, though – the two Japanese heroes – I love. Hiro has this extremely stubborn sense of honor, while Ando is just this regular guy, looking to get laid if possible, although Hiro can usually bring him around from the dark side. Somehow, though, during the period I missed, Hiro lost his power to stop time – which was one of the cooler powers – and Ando now has gained SOME power which I can’t for the life of me understand.

 

Looking SO much cooler than the nerd he is.  

 

Looking SO much cooler than the nerd he is.

 

And, to top it all off, they’re toting some SuperBaby, which belongs to yet another reluctant mind-reading hero, which they just delivered (no pun intended.) This mind-reading hero has taken on another power – and they made THIS fair – because the guy that HAD this power died, SO SOMEBODY needs to be able to have his eyes turn white and draw cartoons of the future.

He apparently sucks at it, though, because in the episodes I’ve seen, he JUST finishes his drawing – as in – “Wait – that’s us, getting arrested!” and the police barge in. So he really needs to work on his timing.

The problem with all this?

I’ll keep watching. Because after all, if I can’t BE a superhero, I’m still a sucker for any show about them. Especially flying. Because if you ask me? THAT’S what I want my superpower to be.

 

Think we can pull this off? Are you serious?

Think we can pull this off? Are you serious?

 

OK, NOW we're deadly serious. But for some reason, this cheerleader has a new team?

OK, NOW we're deadly serious. But for some reason, this cheerleader has a new team?

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under humor, satire, television

Whack a Mobster, Waste Some Time. It’s Fun. Really.


 Add to Technorati Favorites

Elizabeth Williams Bushey is officially addicted to Mobsters

Elizabeth Williams Bushey is officially addicted to Mobsters

I am now officially addicted to Mobsters.

 

At least that’s what it’s said on my “status” indicator now for weeks on my “myspace” page. “Elizabeth is… “officially addicted to Mobsters.” Mood: “intense.”

This is NOT my fault. It is totally and completely the fault of Peter’s son, who sent me an invite to join the game. Ordinarily I avoid computer and video games like the plague, having once thrown my back out and been couch-ridden for two months. I became so obsessed with SuperMario Brothers that upon my recovery, I nearly had to join a 12-Step Program.

I tossed the Nintendo® and never looked back. I won’t even let my daughters have a PlayStation, or a Wii, or anything that connects to the television.

(They watch too much as it is; TV’s another problem of mine to avoid. I don’t watch TV – not out of snobbery, mind you: more like the 12-Step thing.

ANYTHING – no matter how stupid, like “America’s Top Model” – will suck me in and mesmerize me, so better that I never turn the darn thing on in the first place.)

My kids are lucky to own Nintendo® DS thingies, upon which they play games where they train pretend robot puppies, or inhabit virtual cities with avatars of themselves with blue or pink hair.

One game they play cracks me up – they HAVE to own a house, and they HAVE to pay a mortgage on it, so they HAVE to have a job. THERE’S a game worth playing, I think.

But Mobsters? I dunno.

 

My stats on Mobsters

My stats on Mobsters

My accomplishments on Mobsters are dubious. I received one badge for achieving Level 3 in one day. I shuddered; how much time was I spending on this addictive game, anyway?

 

Another badge I received was for growing my mob size to at least five members (we’re now 18 and growing.) Wasting my powers of charm and persuasion on a myspace game? When I’m collecting quarters for a loaf of bread for sandwiches?

Is this stupid?

Definitely.

Am I still playing it everyday?

Definitely.

 

My vehicles on Mobsters

My vehicles on Mobsters

In real life, I am mostly broke, being an artist who is a lot more concerned about the art than the business.

 

On Mobsters, I am rich. I own several vehicles, including three armored cars and some Bentleys. In real life, I have a minivan.

In my Mobster arena, I own all the weapons – in multiples – that it is possible to own.

In real life, I abhor the very thought of guns (although Dad, before he died, DID teach me how to shoot straight, and I

My weapons on Mobsters

My weapons on Mobsters

just learned that both my wacky sisters – and my far wackier Mom – are getting hardcore into weaponry; one sister is now collecting shotguns. Shudder.)

 

In general, I am a peaceful person. Wait, I take that back, in case Peter should read this. Okay, well maybe not totally peaceful – but when I DO get angry, I get over it very quickly, and in general, I always look for the gentle solution to any problem. Not only that, but I have very little tolerance for injustice, and both Peter and I tend to uphold the

More weapons on Mobsters

More weapons on Mobsters

rights of the underdog.

 

On Mobsters, I not only LOOK for fights, but I absolutely pick on those littler than I am. I seek them OUT.

Even my very Mobsters name is unlike me. I prefer to be called “Elizabeth” – when folks attempt to shorten it to “Liz,” (which makes my face want to scrunch up as if I’ve eaten vinegar-soaked lemons), I politely let them know my wishes: “It’s a few more syllables, but I’m worth it.”

In Mobster-land, I’m “lizrox.”

It all sort of reminds me of this one leather jacket I have. It’s my favorite, actually. For some reason, whenever I wear it, I feel just like Kate Beckinsale in the movie “Underworld” – you know, the one where she’s this really sexy, really tough superhero vampire?

I’m not a vampire. Or a superhero. But the jacket – especially when I zip it all the way up to the neck – makes me feel really sexy, and really tough – and although I’d never try to leap off a tall building or anything, or jump into a moving convertible, it kind of makes me feel as though I could.

Mostly, I just like to wear it on cool evenings when I’m out walking my big black dog, Tucker. Cool black leather jacket, cool black dog, cool chick.

Cool Mobster.

Guess you’re never too old for a little play pretend. And it’s not TOO much of a waste of time. After all, you run out of “stamina” and “energy” and “health” – and I, personally, tend to run out of money after just a few minutes of play at a time, and have to quit.

So since I’m not ACTUALLY whacking anyone really…

If you want to join my mob, add me as a friend.

http://myspace.com/lizwb 

2 Comments

Filed under confidence, family, humor, life, satire, self-image

Wanna Be On TV?


Add to Technorati Favorites

Home and Garden TV LogoThis is actually a cross-blog post today, folks, but I wanted to give everyone a fair chance at this. (See how very, very nice I actually am, for a satirist?)

I run another blog – which, if you’ve actually clicked on any of the ever-growing “about Elizabeth Williams Bushey” pages that keep sprouting above, you’ll know – called “The Cool Tool Girl” – and Home and Garden TV just alerted me to a casting call for the popular “Carter Can” series.

They’re looking for a new handyman to join the show. Interested?

Check out the Cool Tool Girl Blog for more details. See ya!

-elizabeth

p.s. – I’m putting a “naked” tag in here just to make sure people read this. See: “Elizabeth Bushey is making fun of you.”

2 Comments

Filed under family, humor, life, satire, work