Watch. And Pray.

It’s not like there’s a lack of things to talk about. I just haven’t been sure I want to or I want to yet.

Some of that is because I have learned so much about the power of social media through having found a thriving, articulate community of people to hear and by whom I feel my identity – or aspects of it – reflected. Most people would probably never think I needed help speaking up but then I think people mistake hearing your voice ever with hearing it all. There’s plenty the world has succeeded in making me self-conscious to assert. Plenty of times I didn’t want to go through the work of replying to something unacceptable because I knew that the attention would be given to my response (with words like “here we go again”) and not to whatever caused MY “here we go again” moment – here someone goes undermining my beauty, worth, intellect, love, faith and identity as a Black woman.

And I’ve found so much – so. much. – relief in scrolling through my timeline in those times and “hearing” these people speak. Because the truth is, I have a right to not engage every time. Often, I think of Toni Morrison’s genius commentary on the work of racism:

“The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.”

Sometimes I will exercise my right to be heard, to respond, etc. Sometimes I’m not having it. Just like the woman who tweeted that a male scientist at her convention commented that her attire was not appropriate (let’s not even) – and then so many women responded by affirming that her outfit WAS appropriate. This is our socialized response, no? Not “You do not have the authority to make such a claim/approach me in the first place” but defending the outfit in question. (And I know, for myself, part of the reason for that type of response is also born out of a desire to let the other party know that I know s/he’s wrong. Hashtag: Just so you know. So it’s not like I don’t get it.)

But sometimes, as when a deserved artist wins a National Book Award for the first time, I (a) know that one of these people I admire will speak and I will read it and be able to breathe deep because someone gets it and someone spoke and that means I have the validation everyone who takes it for granted wonders why I need and I (b) am unsure how best to support the artist. Does she want another thinkpiece to come up when her name and win are googled? Does it bother her at all? (Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe they’re best friends and while she wishes he hadn’t spoken that way in mixed and streaming company, she knows his heart. Maybe he thought he was making social commentary on the ridiculousness of antiquated stereotypes – yeah, that one’s a long shot but remember when I said we’re socialized to give anyone but us the benefit of the doubt?)

Then there’s times when a new tv show comes on – particularly one with a problematic or at least confusing title – and it is everything you hoped it would be and you feel for the first time in a long time like the audience. You feel this way because instead of being about the gaze, it’s actually about things as we see and experience them. And it doesn’t have to be perfect just because it’s one of few, and did I mention it’s that pressure to be the perfect representation for a varied and diverse people group that demonstrates the problem with white-washed broadcasting.

Then sometimes kids give interviews and ho-my-word, I don’t even think I can do this one. Because they’re kids. And despite the fact that they are basically the embodiment of what I can only assume would have been one of Dr. Marvin Monroe’s social experiments (what happens when you are tragically wealthy, do not engage in agencies of socialization such as corporate schooling, are “trusted” by your parents enough to make and immortalize your own life choices as a pre-teen who will have one of two options going forward: a really painful period of realization during which you are haunted by your nonstop public declarations and images – or – refusal to undergo said very-public process and therefore stay the course and just…just be horrible) – it’s not fair to anyone to have such an exhaustive record of these years.

Or what about when part one of a two part adaptation of a third book comes out and people are so upset over that concept – which apparently and seemingly has been done unnecessarily before but this isn’t that time and it isn’t those books and it was so good and I’m not sorry that we might actually lose friendships over this discussion because you will NOT badmouth MOCKINGJAY PART 1.


Rando Calrissian

Like many writers treating this like a j-o-b, I have eleventy things out and about right about now. Novels, novellas, short stories. Only one of which I’m stereotypically worried-bananas-obsessed over because DID THEY GET IT, did they forget they said I could do that, Dear Savior please halp. Like, for real, I don’t even know what to do. And I can’t just leave it be and go submit elsewhere because you’re the one, the one I’ve been looking for, what’s your name?!

Eric WTF


And then anyway.

I just really wanna see Maleficent again. As much as I had ZERO intention of seeing it in 3-D and resultantly paying a grillion bucks to do so because it was the only showing that didn’t make me late to get to my little boy’s award ceremony (the things we do for kids, eh?) – I loved it.

Speaking of movies (of which this summer has a ton I cannot wait to see):

I mean.

I remember falling in love with the trailer for the Rise of the PotA movie – being so scared that it’d hurt me just like the trailer for Terminator: Salvation did. But it didn’t. In the words of Homer Simpson, it did rocketh my world. So much so that I endured the original five Planet of the Apes. (Yes, that’s three links in as many sentences.) And of course, I’m about to do it all over again. Because YAS.

Who’s comin’ with me?



Talkin’ It Up!

Talkin’ bout issues. Talkin’ bout – crazy cool medallions.

So two things on which I wanna remark and let’s just make that three because the first – and the foremost – is that I have had to edit this singular sentence four times already and that in itself should have convinced me to leave serious talking points for the post-congested-head Bethany, but EQUALITY NOW. I deserve just as much stage time as any levelheaded person whose sinuses aren’t pooling and then draining and making me think things are good things to say but then I lose my train of thought.

Me too, Corrina.

Thing the 1st: You know how to ruin what is possibly the current pinnacle of someone’s career? Don’t allow them entry until your lack of diversity has become a headline. That way whomever is chosen will be the New Black Cast Member for Saturday Night Live, as opposed to a deserved comedienne. That way her basking moment will be significantly dampened by the claims of unfairness (“She only got the job because she’s Black!”) and overzealous criticisms (“She’s not even funny! Lemme pool all of the unfunniest things she’s ever done so I can prove to you how unfunny she is!”) that make life on Earth decidedly unfunny and occasionally disgusting.

Sasheer Zamata: 1

It’s A Hard Knock Life For People of Color: A Grillion

Luckily, she’s been Black for a while now so she’s primed for this. Congratulations, Ms. Zamata!

And you know what, that’s it. I’d rather not bury the story by talking about anything else. And I love you, The Choir, but the only thing that should make us feel any better about this rampant ridiculousness is an actual self-reflection and conversion of someone who didn’t get this before now. I WANNA BELIEVE PEOPLE CAN CHANGE.

Somebody’s Watchin’ Meee

Not really. This is actually about me watching YOU, television and movies. O_O Yeah.

So I mentioned it a while ago but I watched what I wanna call Will Smith’s After Earth but I won’t because he shouldn’t have to shoulder that blame just because he’s credited with “story”. Coulda boiled down to, “so I wanna make a movie with my son where we’re trapped on a post-evac Earth, write something like that.” How was he to know he’d get the dumbest, most shallowly conceived film ever? (If you said, because he hooked up with M.Night, …you’re not wrong.)

The problem isn’t that the movie didn’t stand up to a barrage of questions (there are many GREAT movies/movie experiences – and that’s me making a separate category so I can continue to enjoy something I know wasn’t “great” – that wouldn’t); the problem is that the movie doesn’t stand up to any question. If I’d intended to do more than a cursory lambast of this garbage, I’d have titled this, “After Earth: A Scathing Review In Questions” and the whole thing would’ve been a list of – you guessed it – questions. Questions such as: why, if these monsters are engineered specifically to kill humans, were they engineered without sight?! Because the alien race who created them – who, by the by, we never meet and that just feels lazy as all hell – wanted it not to work *too* well?!

Second question:Why is Earth dedicated to killing a species that’s been gone so long I find it hard to believe all these things (including the air) has somehow turned against us. And only us. Vibrant, verdant and lush. That’s…pretty much how I’d describe Earth in this film. And somehow we can’t survive there though literally everything has. …K. And then, sort of jumping from that point: if there are these few hot spots to which you must be by a certain time every night – wouldn’t they be just teeming with other animals? Right? What do the rest of the planet’s inhabitants do at night? Freeze like that giant eagle-mama did? Really? Shuddup.

Question the third: Why would you make the premise of the film something so ridiculously untrue that we cannot get on board with it – and no reasonable person would expect us to?! Here’s the (hopefully infamous) line:


Fear is what you experience when you’re standing directly in front of a monster designed to kill you. Fear is not by definition relegated to the future and WHERE did you come up with that?! Shall we discuss the parts of the brain and circulatory system that are directed impacted by fear? And how it can save your life? WHO DECIDED THIS SPEECH WAS READY FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION?! Who? Who was like, YES. Make the whole movie revolve around this concept!

I can’t. I can’t even go on. I can’t talk about the scene where the kid magically taps into the riches of that little wisdom-gem. I can’t.

Because the worst part? Is the movie has heart. The characters have chemistry – go figure! – the performances are good, maybe great (if you ignore the ridiculous context of Little Kravitz and why she’s getting so much work). It’s the kind of bad movie I would watch again.

Which brings me to Elysium.

Yeeeeah. I was waiting for this one. And. Uh.


No heart. I don’t even know what else to say. I see where they meant to have heart? In the nun flashbacks with a young Matt Damon? But no. He’s a victim of the world he lives in and the world he lives in is not well-developed enough for that to work. Like, seriously, the concept is awwwwwesome. Rich people abandon a crumbling society of Earth to live in their own habitat above. YES. Except wait, how does industry work? How do they maintain this place and this level of wealth if only one guy has a job apparently and his factory is on Earth necessitating travel between the two which seems unnecessarily risky… So I get that Elysium is pretty (I mean…it looks freakin’ AWESOME…so in love with the aesthetic, f’real. The whole movie.looks.amazing.) but I don’t get how it works! Did they all just pool their money together and it’s like accruing interest somewhere or something?! And also, how about the economy back on Earth? These people don’t look like they’re missing meals, they look like they’re missing health insurance.

And that’s pretty much what it ends up being, right? A Health Insurance movie. I mean, it’s not quite John Q… but then I’ve seen John Q a dozen times and I bought the movie so. Heart, people. I totally went in. They got me. Elysium seems to depend on my being a citizen of Earth to make me side emotionally with the people trying desperately to get to Elysium (all seemingly for the purpose of getting healed by machines that could easily be sent to Earth – thereby wiping out the final industry in which people are gainfully employed, the crappy LA hospitals – because there’s no way they could LIVE there, they’re obviously from Earth AND they have no where to live or hide!). But it doesn’t work. They made their lives and visible circumstances horrible enough that unless I was trapped in a similar way, I can’t relate. So. I’m not in the movie. At any point. Even when they throw in the long lost best friend – wait, why had they lost touch for like their entire lives and she has a kid he didn’t know existed and said kid is sick, because bien sur, and whatever. Whatever. The poor people have enough tech and savoir-faire to build shuttles and get up to Elysium but NOT enough know-how – despite clearly having medical professionals still living there – to create or hack into the schematics for the healing machine they’re literally getting shot out of the sky to reach. K.

Jodie Foster’s French because of course Elysium is pompous and Earth is Mexico? Okay. That wasn’t what kept the movie from making an impact. Now I’m just listing things that could’ve worked if something else worked, so let’s call it. ::lowers Elysium’s eyelids and lets it rest in peace::

So I mean, the only thing that matters is science fiction. I’m not gonna talk about Ender’s Game because it’s too close to me and I don’t wanna hear who was disappointed. Don’t wanna hear it. Keep it to yourselves.

Hey, did you think TV was missing a good noir-y biopunk show? So did I. And now we’ve got Almost Human. Two episodes in and I am IN. Second episode was even better. Keep it up, people. And thank you for bringing Michael Ealy back to a cop show after unjustly canceling his hilarious USA show, Common Law. Do better by him, guys.

Next time. We’ll talk about Oblivion. And only Oblivion. Because GAH. Everything.

When I Come Around

Ezra was eating a banana. Whilst peeling it, he observed, “Peeling a banana is like saving the banana. It’s like something eated it and I’m saving it from the guy who ate it.” ~ Feb 1st, 2011

That was my peace offering. An Ezra-ism from two years ago. Poor little language-confused seven year old that he was. Adorabeezle.

So it feels like I owe you guys some big announcement. Or diatribe or rant, at least. And I have a few in mind – I watched After Earth and the super hainty attempt at covering up its M.Night connection was misplaced effort. The movie told on itself, IMMEDIATEMENT – but those are for another day. Just like, possibly, my ideas on Sleepy Hollow, Nicole Beharie’s apparent distrust of hair that originates in her own follicles (I’m increasingly judgey about this, given the alternatives she chooses/allows to be chosen), and the Ichabod Holmes attempt. Or the life being sucked from the Mindy Project and the way they almost lost me with that ridonkulously offensive “Christian pastor” boyfriend. I can’t even.

Come to think of, what have I been *doing*, people?? We need to talk, f’real, f’real.

For now, I leave you with a bit of wisdom from last night’s seriously serious dreams: You cannot quit at parenting; you can only fail.


Huh. I wonder if last night’s Nashville had anything to do with my dream’s subject matter.

Good questions, all.

You Take The Good, You Take The Bad

This is the true story (TRUE STORY!) of eleven strangers picked to be on a Tyler Perry soap opera, half of whom have clearly acted before, half of whom have presumably damaged their frontal lobes in the recent past. And dear hammer of Thor, I can’t even keep this up because what was THAT. Like, for real. It’s not like I’m saying soap operas are quality or anything but tritest of the trite Savannah south storylines? For true? I mean, honey drizzled corn muffins, friends! What! Was! That!

And as the somewhat lean stories were playing out, did I see an advert for a new TP *comedy* for the network as well? Should we have Oprah checked out? HALP HER! ::fanning self:: Mercy.

But that’s not what we’re here for. I have some linguistic bequeathings, I’d like to perform. Because in recently looking up untranslatable words, I was struck by how amazing many of these are! And here I thought German was my favorite language for untranslatable words! French has been holding *out* on me!

To my dear twin, Jen. I giveth: L’esprit d’escalier. Yes, the spirit of the staircase, which means: the feeling you get when you leave a conversation and think of all the things you should’ve said. RITE?!!? JNFR. This.

To the late Zora Neale Hurston, who gave us the greatest first line in the history of literature: Qarrtsiluni. From…some language, meaning: sitting together in the darkness, waiting for something to burst. I feel this is what she was getting at in that famous God-watching storm.

And to myself – YES, I am bequeathing to myself! Twice! – I give validation. Because I knew I wasn’t crazy! Iknewit! I give myself, L’appel du vide.

Wait for it.

The urge some people get to jump from high places when they encounter them, for example when close to the edge of cliffs.


I can’t even. All this time, I’ve been calling it Physical Tourette syndrome – like an ANIMAL! (An animal, Neal!) Of course the answer was always in french! OF COURSE!

And because they understand the meaning of the phrase, justify my love! – my beloved leave us with one more. (FINE, I’ll share my second self-bequeathment.) As true today as when it was written. Rire dans sa barbe. To laugh in your beard, or: to laugh to oneself quietly while thinking about something that happened in the past. (Who doesn’t do this like thrice a day? Really?)

This Is More For Me Than You

Disclaimer: This is all about a TV show.

There was a time before Scandal. Before the glorification of a bumbling, man-child. Before brain trauma that conveniently resolved over the course of an episode. A time when Tony Goldwyn was still Tony Goldwyn, the actor. The talent. A time before my view of him was stained. And during that time, he was a part of Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

Back story: in college, as I was studying such charming topics as “Deviance in the Family” and “Social Inequality”, I fell hard for a little ditty called Special Victims Unit. I mean, come on. It was pretty awesome. That and they insisted on working in story-lines reminiscent of some pretty famous cases. I remember reading a book by Paul Britton (a famed forensic psychologist) and then seeing the episode about the couple who had a bunch of kids, whose nannies might disappear and who buried their victims in and around the house. So basically the show was quite parallel to what I was doing in my own life. I could even overlook Detective Olivia Obvious, I mean Benson’s constant stating of the – you guessed it – obvious. But then I started to get weary. I was a bit tired of the hamfisted handling of religious figures (ie, if there’s a Christian – and don’t let it be a pastor – we know from the get that this is the perp), the beating us over the head with preachiness – where at one time they used having an ensemble cast to have heated exchanges wherein everyone had and was unapologetic in their own beliefs and opinions, it seemed increasingly, we were just being told what to believe in a really trite back-and-forth in which Benson and Stabler totally agreed and actually wondered aloud how anyone could not believe. So that got old, fast. Aside from which, it’s just corny and lazy writing.

So I stopped watching. (GASP.) I’d watched an episode of Criminal Intent and just did not get Vincent D’Onofrio’s Robert Goren. (I am shaking my head at myself right now, wondering how that’s possible.) But I decided to go back to it and…well, the rest is history. This character. He was a tortured Sherlock with obvious quirks that eventually became much more than that, but the way his world was weaved into it…so good. And then there was the end of season 6. When everything started falling down. In a good way…for the viewer. In a heartbreaking way for Goren. Let me just say, his family members are played by Tony Goldwyn and Rita Moreno. I mean.

goren familyI can’t.

So good.

And then season 7?? And MORE family stuff. And the undercover stuff. And the season finale that ::falls across chaise:: All the best Goren storylines falling one on top of the other, creating the most amazing performances – not that one need rank D’Onofrio’s genius against D’Onofrio’s genius. It’s just, how much could this man take! GAH. So good.

So why am I blogging about this?! Because, like five years later, I’ve still thought about the satisfaction of that episode and some from the previous season so much that I’ve taken to reading episode guides and finally, last night, watching two from season six…in preparation to rewatch the season 7 finale. Again. Because I must. Because it was just so good. I can’t think of another series where a consistent viewer was so rewarded. I mean, I assume it wasn’t as powerful for people who hadn’t seen the years long build-up (AND YES I’M INCLUDING THE CRIMINAL INTENT PC GAME!).

Tony. You…you should know better. You were once a Goren. Why have your forsaken your rich heritage?! You were the bad guy I desperately wanted Demi Moore to learn to love in Ghost! (She didn’t even try!) What has Shonda Rhimes *done* to you? ::weeping, gnashing of teeth::

Siiigh. So anyway.

Write like that. So that five years later, I can’t.stop.feeling it.

Electric Love

Nick Miller

Sorta says it all, ay? #TheyGetMe #InA90sKindaWorldImGladIGotMyGirls

And since you guys brought up TV shows and the fact that I watch a crap-ton of them when I’m not in a season of reading (although I sort of consider film, tv and books reading) or marathon-writing: Being Human UK how COULD you and Being Human US why DO you. Still exist. ::ahem::

And also, bring back Apartment 23 (or just James Van… wait, I have to look up how to write his name correctly) and Alphas – which is misleading because Alphas isn’t cancelled (RIGHT?!) but speaking of cancellations, please don’t quit Deception. Even though you probably should because honestly, how much more could there be. But don’t. Do a girl a solid.

And now they’re just toying with us on the whole Danny-Mindy thing. TOYING WITH US.

I’ll accept that Smash can feel redundant but unless or until you get me a show about marching band, I’ll keep it. And Nashville.

Community feels like it’s quaky but I was pretty happy with Partner and Hoolihan. :)

Shows I will not talk about: The Following, Scandal.

Favorite show: Bob’s Burgers. Like, seriously. Unless you want me to jump headlong into a day’s worth of quotes, we should leave it alone. It’s as bad as my love of the sixth and seventh season of The Simpsons. And the Mountain of Madness episode.

And then in my SPARE time. I slap kitties.

That’s what I do whenever anyone’s wearing a hat. Now.

Every Boy And Every Girl

Little ways I try to spice up my life that you may also try:

A) Using light gamer-speak in real life conversations so that it doesn’t seem like forever since I leveled my girl on Allods because wow this part is an infuriating grind and how come Josh has a ship and I don’t but also seriously, can we be done with the kill infinity of this or that beast quests?

Example: Calling out “wife-aggro” when I want my husband to come here.

Example 2: Saying I’m going “afk” when neither I nor the other party were at a keyboard to begin with. It’s good times.

B) Watching Elementary and finally getting to be a part of the whole Sherlock Holmes thing, which – no matter what interpretation I’d tried – I previously could NOT get into. I love Watson being Joan, I love their relationship, I love present-day crime-solving, I love Aidan Quinn (and I’ll never stop, just like he’ll always be a Ludlow). All the things. Such good television. Mmm. Not like The Following – whose second episode was admittedly better than the first but baby, that ain’t hard, and as I mentioned to a friend (so you’re seein’ this twice, yo) didn’t have to accost us with the liberal as duct tape use of cliches and so was immediately less eye-roll-inducing.

But what was I saying? Ah yes. I love Elementary. For serial. This from a woman who couldn’t even avoid irritation at the end of Guy Richie’s RDJ version. O_O (Yep. I hate when it goes all Encyclopedia Brown at the end. Shuddup. But also, let’s be friends, RDeej.)

C) Getting back into a season of hard-copy revising. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Nom. So fulfilling, I can’t even. Love it. Pencil, pen, paper, clipboard, love and so on. Does the body good. Ah. Now I’m just sighing and twirling my hair around my finger. Hm.



Go Home, The Following!

I wish instead of being able to capitalize all of the letters, I could instead make them so tiny that you could SEE MY RAGE. (Through squinting.)

Are we still doing this, The Following?! Early morning call after late night prison break?!

“We need you back.”

“But I’m not an agent anymore. I’m drinking myself to sleep every night to escape the nightmares associated with everything I’ve seen in my celebrated career that ended badly!”

“I know things didn’t end well with the Bureau,” said every caller ever. “But you’re the only one who can PFFFFFFFFFFFFT!

STOP. STOP IT. No more! Oh and you were seriously injured in the line of duty, too? HAVE YOU NO DECENCY?!

::ahem:: Pardon me. I’ve lost my head. Where are my manners. ::shuffles papers::

I’m sorry. I’m upset the way one can only be when one has hoped. And I did, friends. I truly tuned in hoping – nay, DESIRING – to be *destroyed* by this show. You heard me right. That’s what I was signing up for. I didn’t realize it would be death by cliche, with moments – snatches of milliseconds, rather – of possibility.

….we’ve gotta stop meeting this way! This blog is quickly devolving into that place where I just yell at people who are innocently continuing their daily lives with no consideration of my irrational anger, and rightly so.

Okay, quick, here’s something I like!

Wait. That probably…didn’t make me seem any less craycray. Hmm.