The Morning After: Season 7 Premiere TWD Review

There’ll be spoilers. Prepare yourself for that.  But also: don’t worry. I won’t make you wait six months to get to the end of the post.

While I pad the post so the preview won’t reveal relevant episode details for those of you who don’t want to be spoiled, I want you to think about the whole Supernatural* fandom, chanting the same John Winchester joke in tandem. It was funny at first, but I find I can’t encourage that kind of behavior.


YEP. You got it. Occasionally actors play more than one role in the history of their careers. Haha. Hahaha.
*I say this as an ardent member of the Supernatural fandom.

That’s enough padding, I think. First I want to talk about how lowkey hilarious Negan is. “Simon’s my RIGHT hand man, without that what do you have LEFT.” And “You have to make a good first impression” when Lucille just made a serious impression on some skulls. He should just carry around a collection of unplugged microphones so he can drop them when he does a zinger. The vampire bat one was rough, but he acknowledged it and moved on. He really killed out there.  (Laughtrack. And continuing on.)

Look, we saw how well his group planned things out when they were blocking our group in the season six finale. I truly think Negan planned, the whole time, to bring Rick out there with the hanging walker to test his mettle. With the smoldering wreckage giving a solid Silent Hill style smoky atmosphere, it was the perfect place for an exam.  And that right hand left hand joke was absolutely said in reference to what he was planning for Carl, too. I think Negan’s got it together.  He’s not looking five moves ahead. He’s looking thirty. Rick was looking two.

I’m going to miss Abraham and Glenn– they were beautiful, hilarious additions to the cast. I wish Glenn had died before he killed an innocent person in his sleep. I wish they’d kept him pure, kept the character the paragon of virtue that he’s been up to then.  I love everything that comes out of Abraham’s mouth. I actually ran into Michael Cudlitz at a Barbecue joint in Texas. Nicest guy.

img_2231(Warning: might not actually be Michael Cudlitz. Might just be a statue of a cowboy.)

Whole show I was making this face :C
Major grimace town.
And I was in serious denial with Glenn. Even when he popped back up with the eye thing and the skull thing, I was like, “Huh, I wonder how they’re going to fix this.” It didn’t cross my mind that he’d be killed, too.  Until he was.

Loved the arm scene with Carl. Very reminiscent of Abraham (the Bible Abraham, not the cowboy sculpture Abraham) bringing Isaac up on the mountain to sacrifice him, only to be stopped at the last moment by an angel.  Again, Negan did that on purpose.

Also: people are being so sweet and poetic. Glenn said, “I’ll find you, Maggie” because he was talking about the afterlife or blah blah figurative language blah, but let’s be real about life. He just had major irreparable injury to his frontal lobe, and he was hemorrhaging with a colossal brain bleed. That was brain damage talking. That was his dying brain latching onto one last memory before the lights went out, one last major emotional touchstone in his life, and that was getting back to Maggie. Always making it home to Maggie. He’s just lucky he said that and not, “Blender kitten saucepan twig.”

Kind of concerned that Negan Halloweeners might be in for some trouble this year. Stay safe out there, guys, and make Lucille behave herself.

Loved that imagined Sunday dinner scene at the table. Appropriately sad. But it kind of gave me some closure. It didn’t make what happened up to that point better exactly, but it made it easier to bear. The last image of Glenn wasn’t him as hamburger meat. It was him with his son on his lap, at the head of the table.

I think that’s all I have to say. It was way more brutal and screwed up than even I thought it would be, and my imagination is pretty impressive. Ask the velociraptor who has tea with me every third Thursday evening.  I agree with the idea that they were trying to break the audience, trying to make it realistic that Rick would surrender control to Negan, make us agree, even.  That was successful.  Consider us broken.  Now build us back up.

5 Tips on How to Exercise When You Have Chronic Joint Pain

1. Don’t.

2. Lie down on the couch and remember the last time you did minor exercise that tiny babies can do without problems and it laid you out for a week.

3. Realize that nothing will ever get better and you will die like this. If you had to run from a bad guy, you wouldn’t be able to, or you would push through it and end up incapacitated for the foreseeable future. Realize that the best you can hope for is a death that is less painful than your life. Not that you don’t like your life– it’s wonderful, and there’s beauty all around, but there’s the ever-present throb, the sharp ache, the stabbing weakness that makes you suck in your breath when your joints give out and it feels like someone’s yanking you by the leg; you’re always conscious of it, it’s like a sore in your mouth you can’t stop tonguing.

4. Remember that there are all these youtube videos about people with problems like yours who did yoga, or pilates, or sold their souls, and they have their testimonials about how great their lives are now. Don’t watch them. They won’t give you hope; they’ll just piss you off.

5. I don’t know, I want to end this on a positive note. You can get through this, or whatever. Things do get better. I guess. Don’t do 100 jumping jacks because you’re cocky and throw your knee out.  Maybe do something low impact, like crying.

Fiddler on the Roof: deleted scenes

I saw Fiddler for the first time yesterday and there are some problems.  Well, a couple problems. Well, one problem: why is the fiddler fiddling on the roof?  Yes, I understand that it’s a metaphor, but there’s a literal dude actually playing a genuine dang fiddle on a real roof.  What’s that about?

So I decided to expand the script of Fiddler to explain this unusual phenomenon of roof fiddlers.  Here’s three alternate scenes that can just be stuffed anywhere in the script.

Scene A:
Tevye: By the way, Fiddler, why are you fiddling on the roof?
Fiddler: I may represent God, constantly looking over you. That’s why at the end of the movie I’m following your caravan.
Tevye: Yeah, but why do you, as a nonmetaphorical person do that?
Fiddler: So people can better hear my fiddle.  It’s acoustics.
Tevye: That makes sense.

Scene B:
Golde: Tevye!  Tevye!  You’ll be late for Sabbath!
Tevye: I won’t be late!
Golde: That man, he’s fiddling on the roof again!
Tevye: It’s an infestation of roof fiddlers!  I hear other towns have flutists in their wells… what beautiful, watery sounds they make, echoing against the stone walls. But for us in Anatevka, only roof fiddlers!  Only ever fiddlers on the roof. [turns to face the camera and gives it a knowing look, like Jim from The Office]

Scene C:
Tevye: I should have known!  Lazar Wolf, the butcher, was Laser Wolf all along, a wolf with lasers attached to him!
Lazar/Laser Wolf: [removes skin mask to reveal his true nature]  Woe is me! I’ve been found out!
Tevye: Quick, roof fiddler!  You must fiddle! Laser wolves can’t abide the sound of music played on top of rooftops, especially from string instruments.
Fiddler: [fiddles]
Lazar/Laser Wolf: Don’t do it!  I can’t abide the sound of music played on top of rooftops, especially from string instruments!  [he runs away howling and clutching his ears, and the town of Anatevka is once again safe from Laser Wolf, leader of the laser wolves]

I’ll be awaiting my royalty checks.

Turn and Face the Strange

I hate change. I’d rather stay in a bad situation than risk that things are going to be different. Even good changes freak  me out.  If my routine changes even a tiny bit, I forget to do important things like taking my medicine.  It just slides out of my head. I’ve tried alarms on my phone, being mindful, etc, and it all just slips away.

Change is in my top five fears, after zombies and before talking to strangers. My current hierarchy of fears goes: dead birds, dead other things, zombies, change, strangers, embarrassing myself, dying before I accomplish my dreams, butterflies, wild animals, domesticated animals. You know. Pretty standard fears.

My siblings are busy being incredible.  My sister is married with a baby, moving into a bigger house today.  My brother is moving to Orlando for an awesome hotel job today.  It means that growing up is on my mind.  I’m being incredible in my own way, except it’s a quiet way, without much change.

My niece is a great change. It took me a bit to get used to my sister being pregnant, but I’m utterly in love with my niece, so I know that scary change can be good. Every time the Doctor regenerates I think I’ll never love the next Doctor as much, but I do.  When I move, I feel like things will never be the same, but I eventually forget what it felt like to walk old halls. I forget that my friends looked any different than they did before they got haircuts. I acquire a new normal, even though it feels impossible at the time.  I reach equilibrium.

I know that I can’t stay where I am, the way I am, forever.  I’m trying to prepare myself for that, but it isn’t easy.  I want more than what I have.  I want things to be different without the pain of change, and that leaves me in a sort of stasis. Stasis can’t last.  I have to turn and face the strange.

Pokemon Theme Song with Adjusted Expectations

I wanna be kind of okay
like lots of people are.
I’m clumsy and I trip and sway;
I’m lazy and bizarre.

I will travel across the room
searching low and high.
I have to squint against the gloom;
at least I’m gonna try!

Pokemon, gotta catch like twelve!
(It’s you and me!)
I know there’s no guarantee.
Pokemon, oh, we’re sort of chums,
we run away when trouble comes.
Pokemon, gotta catch a few
Vague apathy!
A pinch of tired ennui.

I am such a nobody.
Gotta catch just seven.
Gotta catch just six.

Every battle in the nation
I’ll try and then back out.
I’m really bad at confrontation;
it’s not what I’m about.

Hey, let’s pause, I need a nap,
I’ve got to rest my head.
I’ll be out in a snap
with Snorlax as my bed.

Pokemon, gotta catch like five.
(It’s you and me!)
(And unresolved emotional debris!)
Pokemon, oh, I guess you’re cool,
as long as you don’t drool.
Pokemon, gotta catch just four!
And furthermore–
my back’s a little sore.

I guess that I must make due.
Gotta catch a few.
Gotta catch like three!
Gotta catch like two!
Gotta catch just one!

Pokemon Go

I spent years as a tomboy, desperately trying to fit in.  So I watched a lot of Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Dragon Ball Z (even as a kid, I was like, “Twelve episodes to power up?  What is this even”).

I never got into video games, because I’m basically a computer mouse on a serious tracking delay.  And if I ever played GTA, I’d probably just walk around offering the ladies money and a warm meal, and buying cars at the dealer, and not hitting anyone ever.  My favorite thing when my friends would play GTA would be to just listen to the radio stations in the cars they stole.

But I did learn to draw from Pokemon cards, and this game is bringing back old feelings of being a junior high nerdling in summer school gym so I wouldn’t have to take actual gym.  There was a boy I’d sit with on the bleachers, whenever I had the option to.  We’d draw diligently, copying the Pokemon from cards onto anything papery that we could get our hands on, from those brown paper towels they have in school bathrooms to notebook paper, our drawings made ridged and bumpy from the pebbled textures on the bleachers.  Pokemon cards were perfect for drawing because they could fit in our pockets and they were detailed.  He was encouraging. Kind.  And much, much more talented than me.

It was this, and a boy in elementary school who showed me how to draw 3-D houses and 2-D T-Rexes, that got me into art.  People thought he was weird.  I was also pretty weird.

I don’t remember much from being young.  My brain got rid of that to make room for more nonsense.  But I remember sitting on the bleachers, drawing with my friend. Or sitting in the lunchroom in elementary school, drawing with my  other friend, or sitting against the wall at recess, hunched over paper.  I remember what it was like to have a moment where hours of frustration spent drawing the wrong line distilled into clarity when it finally looked right.

I miss it.  I miss spending time with friends. I miss drawing, and being happy with what I drew.  I especially miss the feeling of Pokemon cards in my pocket.  But for once, I’m getting to go on the adventures I always imagined going on.  And I’m not pretending to like something so people would think I was cool, I actually like it.  And it doesn’t take twelve episodes for the Pokemon to just decide to freaking do something already.  Which helps.

My Patronus is a Sea Turtle

Not because we both eat algae (I don’t), not because we’re both graceful in the water (I’m not), not because I have an extraordinary turtle face (though that does play into it).



Have you ever seen a sea turtle drag itself across the sand?  I have. It’s the most painful, laborious process you’ve ever seen. It brings its front arms up and hauls itself forward an inch. Maybe two. Lugging its heavy body by the strength of two arms that aren’t meant to go on land, but meant to cut through water. Then it has to rest. Then it starts all over again.

Its body doesn’t fit on land. It’s unbelievably heavy in a way that in water doesn’t matter, but on land it’s all that matters.  The same creature that can on occasion outmaneuver a shark is vulnerable.  That’s how I feel in social situations. That’s how I feel in my skin, sometimes. Clumsy. Like I’m crawling across the sand, inch by inch. And then I have to rest. And then I start all over again.

I feel a deep kinship with the sea turtle. I always cut plastic soda rings into little pieces to keep them safe. I’ve been to a sea turtle rehabilitation center where I saw a turtle with a prosthetic fin, swimming in a tank.

When I was on vacation, I saw them in person. I walked across sand for what felt like forever.  Sinking in up to my ankles with each step. My bad joints protesting the whole way. Whenever I thought I saw a turtle it was a black volcanic rock, wet from surf spray. Then I saw them, and I was getting closer with each step.  They were resting on the sand after gorging themselves on a special green algae.  I saw the way they moved and had to laugh. That was me!  That was me, ten minutes ago, begging for a rest. That was me struggling across the sand. That’s me, talking to strangers. That’s me, when I walk into a table. That’s me when I take my eye off of the coffee cup in my hand and because I’m not paying strict attention I spill it all over my ballet flats.

I rest. I start over.