thanks Joss

Friday, March 10 marked the twentieth anniversary of the premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now, I’m talking about the television show, not the feature film. The film was not at all what Joss intended. Lucky for us, we had seven years of Buffy on TV to experience his vision.
(Though in all honesty, I could have done without most of the last season…the potentials nearly ruined everything for me.) 

This is not the first time I’ve written of my love of Joss Whedon. From Buffy to The Avengers, I’m a whore for his use of language, for his ability to really get down to the grit of what it’s like to be human. His unique way of looking at the world and our place in it is why there are legions of Whedonites on the planet…and these ‘Big Damn Heroes’ (ain’t we just) helped create a feature film from a canceled television show.
“We did the impossible, and that makes us mighty.”

Celebrating twenty years of Buffy got me thinking about Joss’ shows. I’ve seen the complete series of Buffy more than a handful of times, Firefly possibly eight times (easy to do when it’s only fourteen episodes), and Angel from start to finish twice, and a few more of individual episodes.
There are “definitive ranking” lists out there of all Whedonverse characters, lists broken down by show, and lists of secondary characters. It can be fascinating reading, it can cause great debate, These idiots rate Giles below Adelle DeWitt. (WTF?) And this guy pulled characters out of his bum to create the number 117. (can’t handle the odd number)

In celebrating twenty years of Buffy, I put together my own ranking of Whedonverse characters from Buffy, Angel and Firefly. With a bonus character honorable mention. No ranking other than my own personal affection for the characters.
Here’s my most beloved Joss Whedon characters.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Xander

“The one who sees everything”, Xander truly is the heart of the Scoobies. His honest love and genuine kindness keeps you rooting for him even when he does boneheaded things. Xander is the only Scooby sans superpowers, he doesn’t need them, his quiet strength supports them all. He also has some of the best lines in the entire seven seasons.

Spike

I’m a Spuffy shipper x infinity. But even before that story line became a thing, I loved Spike. His brash irreverence. His complete disregard for…well, anything really makes him deliciously fun! Even as a demon without a soul, he still has the heart of a poet, he has a real capacity for love.

Giles

I love Giles.
That is all.

Willow

Shy and smart, Willow could have been a sad, stereotypical high school nobody. But once she flashed that smile, all bets were off. She really kind of was the audience, if it happened to Willow, or Willow believed it, it happened to us or we believed it. The whole magic as metaphor for being gay seemed acceptable to me, but later when it was a metaphor for addiction, well I feel like that slapped us upside the head. And Willow’s character development in season seven leaves me disappointed.

Faith

What if you were the chosen one but didn’t have the love and support of family and friends? Faith tells this story. I love this character. I love her flaws. I love her story of being seduced by the darkness and her decision to seek redemption. Faith never got enough credit for doing the job she never asked for. I think she and Buffy could have really become soul sisters if they kept trying.

Buffy

The girl with an “inferiority complex about her superiority complex”. Buffy is at once likable, relatable, and ‘every girl’ but she’s also whiny, selfish, and dramatic as all hell. This is actually why she really is all of us. The phrase ‘What Would Buffy Do’ exists for a reason, y’all. I think it’s hard to be the titular character of any work of art, and though she’s a bit annoying, she’s our connection to Sunnydale and we’d be worse off without her.

It’s just funny.

Angel
Cordelia

In Sunnydale, Cordy was just a mean girl. But then she began to develop as a character, she became one of the Scoobies she was the voice of the audience asking WTF? and expressing “I don’t see what this has to do with me.” On Angel, the character really came into her own. Cordelia’s arc was a beautiful thing to watch. (we’re going to disregard season 4 here, people) She offered desperately needed sarcasm and her own special brand of heroism.

Wesley

Wesley has the best character development in the whole of the Buffyverse.
That is all.

Lorne

It ain’t easy being green.
It seems to me that Lorne began as a plot device, (he can read your aura while you sing?) But he became an integral member of ‘Angel Inc’ in his own right. I like how Lorne is the sort of ‘Jiminy Cricket’ of the group. He was quick to question motives and outcomes when it’s clear someone should do. His disillusion in the way Angel goes about ‘fighting the good fight’ is palpable and in it we see he’s lost a bit of himself. His ‘one last thing’ line breaks my heart.

Angel

Angel became so much more enjoyable when he got his own show. Less whiny, broody ‘woe is me’ than on Buffy. We got to see Angel’s wry humor and his teeny bit of playfulness. He never stops searching for his redemption however questionable his methods can be.

Fred

Fred is more than a damsel in distress. She’s more than a physics whiz. She’s the little sister of Angel Investigations, hence, the little sister of us all. Fred is kind of the Willow of Angel with her gentle ways but fierceness when it comes to fighting for what she believes in.

Gunn

From start to finish, Gunn went farthest from where he was, yet never really changed who he was. The character as written wouldn’t have been as good or believable without the actor’s nuanced performance. Gunn is one of those guys you want to kick in the head and hug at the same time.

Love how no one takes himself too seriously.

Firefly
Mal

Flawed up one side and down the other, this man never stops trying to what it takes to keep his crew flying. His heart is in the right place though his motives are sometimes…um…curious. Mal is dedicated to the people he loves and doing what is ‘right’ in his own twisted way.

Jayne

His name may be girlie, but he surely is not. He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, but you want him on your side in a fight. Keeping him on your side might be a bit trickier. He goes where the most money is. He looks out for number one. Jayne isn’t afraid of saying or doing something stupid, though he’s not always aware that he appears stupid. Yet, when it really matters, he could make the “smart choice” and he really is somewhat lovable.

Wash

I’ve written of my love of Wash and Zoe more than once.
Wash ranks above Zoe only because I think he’s funnier than she is.

Zoe

I love this bad ass warrior woman.

I love the portrayal of a happily married couple. That isn’t to say that they don’t have their issues, but they share strong genuine love and humor.

River

When it comes to River, we start with questions and are left with questions. She is something to watch though, her chronic confusion and brief moments of lucidity are absolutely beautiful. I especially love the scene in Shindig where she dresses down Badger and then says, “Call me if anyone interesting shows up.” over her shoulder as she walks away.

Kaylee

Kaylee is voice of optimism and love aboard Serenity. She keeps her flying even when the “catalyzer on the port compression coil blew”. She is the light they need on that ship, she is the heart of the crew. Nothing in the ‘vers can keep our Kaylee from being cheerful.

We should all have this much fun at work.

Honorable Mention
Dollhouse
Topher

The neural science genius of the LA Dollhouse, Topher is as self-centered and glib as your average middle schooler. He’s completely amoral and arrogant and cares nothing for the humanity of the people he helps program. However one might question his morals and actions, he’s a delight to watch.
This comment from Adelle sums up Topher perfectly.
“The cold reality is that everyone here was chosen because their morals have been compromised in some way. Everyone, except you. You, Topher, were chosen because you had no morals. You have always thought of people as playthings. This is not a judgment. You’ve always taken very good care of your toys, but you’re simply going to have to let this one go.”

Thanks, Joss, for all these outstanding characters. Thanks to the team of writers who follow Joss into the fray. Thanks to the actors who brought these characters to life, they would be nothing without you. If you’re not a Whedonite, that’s OK…you have time. If you’ve never seen any of these shows, you’re in luck! They’re all on Netflix. Check them out!
If you are a fan, I’d love to hear your thoughts on your favorite Whedon characters. Let me know in the comments.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

drama is seventh-grade but I’m not

You know what I get sick of?
Drama.
And I’m talking some serious next-level-seventh-grade drama. Only the participants are not really seventh graders, but adults.
I’m not going to get into specific details, but I’ll say that someone I dearly love is being treated to a ‘mean girl’ extravaganza. She cut the perpetrators from her life, so then they began to work on her college age daughter. She can’t stop that without tipping her hand. The daughter must learn for herself what is going on.
You know how kids are, you can’t tell them anything. They have to experience everything for themselves. Sitting back and waiting for the other shoe to drop is particularly painful for the mother of this young woman.

We’ve all been there. Caught up in chaos. Some of it our own making, some of it we’re simply chaos-adjacent. A mother’s instinct it to protect her young. But there comes a time when the young must learn lessons not taught by their mother.
That’s downright painful.
The mother can fret and get all spun up or she can close her eyes and wait for it to be over.
I know of what I speak.
I’ve done both with both my girls and I promise you both suck.
Staying back, whether it’s with eyes closed or completely spun up, is the only way to get through it. When the child comes out the other side, she experienced something she couldn’t be protected from…but she learned an invaluable life lesson.

I’m one of those strange women that doesn’t actually like drama. I have little patience and can’t abide something outside of my control to have that much impact in my life. Chaos-adjacent is bad enough.
I know people who thrive on the drama. Love to swim round in it until their fingers are all pruney. That is not the life for me. I don’t need that kind of attention. I don’t need that kind of adventure. I don’t understand that desire for constant chaos.

Do we sometimes make bad choices in who we choose to let into our world? Sure. Should we blame ourselves to the point of complete loss of power? Nope.
My beloved person living in this chaos said to me:
I can’t believe I let someone in my circle that easily, what the f**k is wrong with me. I made a stupid mistake and now my people are paying for it.
I responded:
This is not entirely your fault. You must stop blaming yourself. The only choice you have it to accept the way it is. I know it’s easy for me to say that. But if you let every little thing get to you, you’re going to lose your mind. You can’t lose your mind because then the 7th graders win! You’re stronger than drama! You know who you are. Dig deep and find that nugget and use it to your advantage.

We all have that nugget of power deep within us. Sometimes the way to wield that power is to do nothing at all. That’s the hardest action…non-action. Sitting and waiting for the inevitable to play out. Knowing someone you love will get hurt.
Life lessons can be harsh, but we all need to learn them.

There’s one more thing…it’s called karma. And that bitch doesn’t mess about. If you’ve got it coming to you, eventually it will catch up with you. The trick is to be aware. You may not be on hand to witness karma serve a comeuppance, just trust that it will happen.
karma
What kind of person do you want to be?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Day ~ Paolo Nutini

I’m feeling a bit of quiet music this morning.
Here’s Paolo from 2014 at Sam’s Bar-B-Que in Austin.
Please listen responsibly.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

twenty three years

Today is Thing 1’s birthday. She’s twenty three. Older than I was when she was born.
I find it hard to believe it’s been twenty three years since I first clapped eyes on her. The time has gone by in only a moment! Yet I feel like I’ve been her mom since the dawn of time. (in the best possible way)
We had some rough times. Times I never expected to recover from.
We had beautiful times that I wish I could somehow bottle, open up and swim around in once again.

She wrote to me earlier this week, “I miss us.” in response to the resurfacing of something her sister said years ago. A moment in time when the three of us were an unstoppable unit of girl power and giggles. A mom and her two girls just living and loving and laughing together.
I miss us too.
But even though I miss us, I know that I raised two very strong willed and independently minded young women. I know I did my job providing the best possible foundation for them to continue to build their lives. I know that power resides in them and they’re going to use it to the best of their abilities when they set themselves to it. I know the natural course of life is for them to create nests of their own. They don’t need to be in my nest anymore, they can create their own, and they can live and love and laugh as women.
I am proud of who they are.
I’m just a bit sad that we’re no longer “us”.
Both of these are OK.

Thing 1 was the human personification of every hope and dream I ever had. Yet she exceeds them. She challenged me every step of the way. But I realize now, she was meant to do. She is who she is to help me become who I am supposed to be.
She will call me to tell me to goofiest things. She will ask for advice. She was the one who most encouraged my decision to return to therapy. She reminds me that I wasn’t always “sick” and that I’ll get through this and will come out the other side better off.
There are times when I want to “kick her in the face”. There are times I want to hold her close and whisper sweet things to her. I think that’s only natural.

We’ve lived through twenty three years of some of the best and worst things I’ve ever experienced. But here’s the deal, they made us “us” and I choose to celebrate that.
She recently posted this photo on social media. I was moved to tears. All the hard work, and all the love, and all the laughter, and all the pain, and all the silliness created this Momma and this daughter. And it means something just as powerful to her.
daughter-crown
Woo Hoo! Birthday Birthday! Happiest day to you, Bear! I love you more than the whole wide world.

Categories: love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

just hold on a bit longer

I haven’t felt like writing in a while.
What’s curious about this is I find I miss it. Writing, that is.
My health has been…questionable. This plays a huge part in my desire and ability to write, but it’s also my mood. Where I am in my head. I haven’t had the emotional strength to write.

I feel as though there are angry little fish swimming round in my brain.
I feel as though I’m barely keeping my head above water.
Chronic pain breeds anxiety and depression.
I’ve got to break the cycle. I’ve got to figure a way to get it together.

Perhaps forcing myself to write will help with that.
If this was my journal I’d just write stream of consciousness stuff till I found my groove. I’ll spare y’all the chaos of that, but I will write about what’s taking up the most space in my mind…

Right now that’s the state of my health.
It didn’t go well at the new neurologist. She had (like every other neurologist I’ve seen) the bedside manner of a toad. I managed to keep it together until I left her office, but once I did I burst into angry tears. I was shaking and crying the whole way home. And I mean ugly crying. Poor YBW just held my hand. I am so frustrated! I just want to know how to feel better! So back to the drawing board for another new neurologist.
I’m tired of living with daily pain. I’ve lost my patience with always being tired. This is no way for a girl to live.

I’m overwhelmed and frustrated with life. It seemed smart at the time to throw myself headlong into school and lula and work, but now I’m realizing I bit off more than I could chew. I’m not sure what needs to be pushed off the plate. School can be pushed off the plate for up to three months, but that’s as long of a term break as I can have without withdrawing. And I can’t do that as I only have two more terms to finish.
Lula is almost successful. But needs more of my time and attention.
Work is overall good. Only it’s hard to stay engaged when I fell awful so frequently.

Perhaps I need to manage my time better. Surely I could do it all if I was properly organized? Though, I feel fairly organized and yet there are things that need to be accomplished that never seem to get checked off the list. I don’t feel like it should be this hard to live my life.

I miss being around my girls. I miss them every single day. It’s much harder to experience than I ever expected. It’s the silly things, being in the car together with fun music and great talks. Getting ready in the mornings together.
It’s hard for me to be so far away from them. Especially when I’m struggling, they bring me such comfort.
I know that they’re grown girls, that Thing 1 is married now, she’d be away from me no matter where I was. Thing 2 is at an age where she might be away from me too. I sometimes suspect it would be easier if it happened in that natural way. Or perhaps it would never be easy at all?

I’m floundering.
Being near my girls would be comforting, but I know that isn’t the way it’s to be.
YBW is comforting, only right now he’s preoccupied with the health of his mother. I see how it causes him to fret and I don’t want my stuff to add to that.

I’m just in a bad place right now. It will pass, and I’ll feel less like this. I’ll feel brighter and more engaged. Until then, I just have to hold on.
I’ve done it this long…
472738476-8ee9f9d57da138754fdab627043ca4d0

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

railroad at chapman mill

Chapman Mill is a crumbling ruin standing where Prince William and Fauquier Counties come together. I’ve driven past it countless times. Every single time, I say aloud, “I want to go take photos there.” (even if I’m in the car alone)
Well, Saturday two weeks ago, the sun was shining (for the first time in ages) so YBW and I got bundled up against the below freezing wind chills and headed to the mill.
I got to wear my brand new love YOUR melon beanie for the first time!
20170204_131106-1.jpg
(Little D’s new mom and I were texting about getting together and I took this photo asking her to tell him I kiss him. But at least you can see my hat so it’s cool.)

When we arrived at the mill site we were greeted by this.
20170205_67
I was livid! THE FREAKING GATE WAS LOCKED!! We couldn’t get all the way down the road to the mill. I will admit to saying one or two bad words…well, perhaps it was one or two bad sentences. How dare you hang a sign to welcome me and then lock the gates? Rude!

But…the railroad runs right beside the mill. So I get it in my head to walk down the tracks to the mill.
2-20170205_34

Only the moment I walk up the path to the tracks I hear the whistle of a train…I waved to the engineer and he waved to me. It called up all the many times in my life I’ve stood at the side of the railroad and done that. It brought me great joy and in that brief moment, I was a little girl again.
20170205_28

YBW decides right then it may not be the safest course of action since the sides are steep and there really is nowhere to go but down. I was like, but the train just came by, this is the safest time. We split the difference and I just stood at the path crossing. Honestly, I didn’t want to go down to the mill by myself, I wanted to share that experience so it worked out OK in the end.

I absolutely loved this curve in the tracks. I think the railroad is so elegantly beautiful for being something so well constructed for such hard core usage.
2-20170205_35

You know I had to look for spikes while I was up there. And I found some, just lying around in the rocks. I love how a railroad spike and rocks create these natural sort of collages.
2-20170205_56
There were three such collages, but this is the particular spike I picked up and carried home.

The mill really is quite compelling. In a hauntingly sad yet beautiful way.
2-20170205_66
I’m eager to return when the gates no longer lock me out. The wheel is still there on the other side of the mill. You can see Broad Run, which is a lovely. The view from the interstate is even more beautiful than this view from the railroad. I’m keeping my hackles up, but I’ll be checking back more frequently as the weather warms.

When we left the mill site, we drove down along the tracks just to see where they went. This was the opposite way of home, but we were on an adventure! We were out with our cameras to shoot things that moved us!

I loved the way this railroad crossing sign looked behind the overgrown grasses.
2-
20170205_87

Lastly I got on my knees in the middle of another crossing to shoot the tracks from a different point of view.
2-20170205_111
The mail carrier who had to wait for me to get my shot and get back up out of the way before he could drive his truck over the crossing didn’t seem terribly impressed by my attempt to create art…of course he had a job to do and I was just out shoot stuff.

We decided to go back out today with our cameras. I’ll leave my warm beanie at home today because instead of upper 20s wind chills, we’ll have upper 60s temperatures today! I might even wear a dress depending on where we decide to go shoot.
Spring is kicking down winter’s door today and I intend to take full advantage of it!

Here’s a quick vid about the mill and it’s restoration.
(My advice to you is: mute the music.)

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Remember Me ~ British Sea Power

I’m feeling a whole lot of British Sea Power this afternoon.
This is Remember Me from their 2001 album The Decline of British Sea Power. Also on that album is my all time favorite BSP song, Carrion. It’s worth checking out.
Their new record, Let The Dancers Inherit The Party, releases March 31! I’m an excited sort of girl!

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: me | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

squirrel study

Outside the window in our back living room there is a tree. This tree is an extremely popular hang out for squirrels.
2-20170205_3

Now I know most people don’t like squirrels. Honestly, that makes me kind of sad because I just love squirrels. They’re kind of adorable and they do the funniest things!

I love to watch them in this tree, sometimes there is more than one. They chase and play and race up and down and over the branches. On this particular day there was only one, and mostly he (she?) was having a bath.
2-20170205_2

Once he was clean, he began to consider how he might explore his environment.
2-20170205_4
I love how his little hand is holding onto that teeny branch.

Then it got interesting when he did a series of somersault-like things around the branch.
2-20170205_7
He did it a couple of times in a row before he went back to bathing.
2-20170205_9
What a funny little guy!

When Thing 1 and Thing 2 were little girls, we had a squirrel that loved to hang out on our back porch out by the pool. They realized their father put treats out for the squirrel so they named him “Little Buddy” because he was Daddy’s little squirrel buddy. Soon, Little Buddy began to bring around a friend. They named him “Fatso” because he was a really big squirrel. When we moved to SC, Thing 2 was rather serious about bringing Little Buddy and Fatso with us. She was concerned the new people who were going to live in our house might not take good care of them and they would be sad and miss us. She also pronounced the word squirtle instead of squirrel. I still say squirtle when I see or talk about squirrels.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dust Bunnies ~ Kurt Vile

Been experiencing a great deal of head pain lately and the opening line of this song is a fairly accuarate description of what I’ve felt like the last few days.

You may think that it’s funny now
That I got a headache like a shop vac coughin’ dust bunnies

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

snowy surprise

I woke up to this.
20170130_083101
How beautiful!

Unfortunately it’s a total waste of a snow day because schools are already closed. End of the second quarter and only teachers report to their buildings.
The roads are clear, just a bit wet, but it was enough to delay area schools two hours.

I left the house at 8:45 to drop off something at the post office on the way to my therapy appointment. The naked trees so pretty with a coating of fresh snow. As I drove down Grant Avenue, I was truly in the middle of a winter wonderland!
What a pleasant surprise!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Here By Design

Ideas and inspiration for beautiful, sustainable gardens.

Be Inspired..!!

Listen to your inner self..it has all the answers..

Kana Wanders

Life in Kana-text (er... CONtext)

An Accidental Anarchist

Spirituality | Lifestyle | Thought | Wisdom | Parenting | Love

Inner Journey Events

Reflections along my journey with dreamers, light workers and carriers of Earth Medicine

The Blonde at the Film

a fresh look at old films

Life Assays

Thoughts about the ingredients of a fulfilling life.

what tracey sez

^ just that is all...

Spring into Summer

finding my voice and speaking my truth

Ginger's Grocery

Come on in and browse. The biscuits were made fresh this morning, the Slush Puppie machine was just refilled with a new bottle of red syrup, and we have the biggest selection of bait this close to town.

witlessdatingafterfifty

Relationships reveal our hearts.

JackCollier7

Cultured, urbane, sophisticated, polymath, engineer, builder, all or nothing kind of man.

The Georgetown Metropolitan

News, Information, and Events for the Georgetown Community

Raphaela Angelou

Love, Friendship, Art, Survival and Living with Skeletons!

Norm 2.0

Photography, fiction, opinions and reviews, and whatever else I feel like posting

That's How The Light Gets In

Books, exhibitions, films, music, places - anything that inspires. Here so I don't forget.

Sawblades In Your Walkman

I'm the rain on your parade

Joel vs. Books

It looks like the books are winning...

Quoth The Wordsmith

Dreary writing and appalling spelling? Quoth the Wordsmith, "Nevermore."

%d bloggers like this: