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The Movie The Terminator Is Actually A Love Story

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No, I have NOT lost my mind. Yet.

It took me a long time to realize this, what with the evil robots, dystopian future, car chases, and death—things I do not normally look for in a movie choice. But I found myself watching The Terminator over and over again.

One day I realized that the scenes that hit me the hardest were the ones between Sarah Conner and Kyle Reese.

Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) is young and innocent. She is put into danger. Emotionally damaged (and hot) Sergeant Tech-Com Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) shows up from the future to rescue her. He is like a knight in shining armor. Except, of course, he showed up naked in a ball of energy, then stole a homeless guy’s pants. Details, details.

Reese saving Sarah Connor in Terminator

Reese saving Sarah Connor in The Terminator

Most of the movie, she only refers to him by his last name. The first time she spots Reese, she fears he might be a killer, so she quickly escapes away from him to a public place. The next time she sees Reese, he is loading up the future governor of California with bullets. As she runs screaming from the building, Reese pulls up in a car in front of her and screams one of the most romantic lines in the movie:

“Come with me if you want to live!”

You can say a lot of things about James Cameron, but you can’t doubt this this franchise is highly quotable. This line is used in most of the following movies, and is sometimes used in other pop culture references as well.

Kyle is crazy protective of Sarah. Sure, it’s his job. But then we see him in the future, back from a dangerous mission, sweaty and dirty, studying her face in a worn picture. He longs for her, just by looking at her picture. Cut to him gently brushing the hair off her face as she sleeps with her head in his lap. (I bet he is rocking a bad case of morning wood.) When they get up to leave, he gives Sarah his coat. Always hot.

Reese (Michael Biehn) in The Terminator

Reese (Michael Biehn) in The Terminator

Later, when danger takes a break for them to hold up in a sleazy hotel room together, Sarah asks Reese if he has a girlfriend in the future. He admits that he has never been with a woman. From what he has already told her about the future, she knows it is not a place where love is treasured, only survival. Reese tells Sarah about the picture. He says:

“You seemed just a little sad. I used to always wonder what you were thinking at that moment. I memorized every line, every curve. I came across time for you Sarah. I love you; I always have.”

Panties melting.

He STALKED her through time!

We find out at the end of the movie that in the picture, she was thinking about him, and their one night of [unprotected] love-making together.

Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) in Terminator

Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) in The Terminator

It is touching later when Sarah has to yell at a badly wounded Reese using terminology from his world to get him moving out of the path of the now nakid Terminator.

“On your feet, soldier!”

It is heartbreaking when he parishes trying to save her. Now we know. She was not just a military mission, but a mission of the heart.

[Did that make you throw up in your mouth a little? Good. Am I getting my point across?]

Terminator 2 has no romance at all. It is all action and scary melting cops. I don’t like that one and almost never watch it.

Terminator 3 I think of as romantic, but I don’t think that it actually is. I think I just like Nick Stahl and Clair Danes in it, but they don’t really have much chemistry. I like Claire Danes in My So-Called Life, but I don’t think she was the right person to cast opposite Nick Stahl. Her strength of personality overpowers his wounded rebellion against his future.

T3 sets it up, that John Conner (Stahl) and Kate Brewster (Danes) once made out at a party together, and she has never quite gotten over it. Her father is a general in the Air Force, who has first hand access to Skynet, a dangerous factor leading to Judgement Day. That is how the script reads, but most of the time on screen she is giving John the unfriendly stink face. Imagine her surprise when John shows up in the vet clinic where she works. Kate locks him in a cage. This makes for one of the cutest Nick Stahl scenes ever. I love the scene where Kate looks down on John in the dog kennel.

Conner in a cage

Conner in a cage

Stahl has mastered the wounded look. That is what made him so good as a child in “The Man Without A Face.” He just looks so pathetic (-ally hot) trapped in that cage. Maybe they hired him so that his wounded look would remind us of his father, Reese. The difference is that I believe Reese could be a kick-butt soldier when he needed to be. I don’t really believe that Stahl’s John Conner could ever lead a revolt. But, I like him in this movie well enough. I have read that Shane West was up for the role.  After my recent Nikita-fest, I have to say that maybe he would have been better.  No matter, there needs to be more sex in this movie.

I realize that almost no one saw Terminator 3. But I saw it in the theater. Twice. And for not having James Cameron involved with it, it had kick ass action sequences. The best one is between Arnold’s outdated Terminator in a firetruck, and the slutty T-X in a mobile crane. And I don’t just mean it is the best action sequence in T3, or all the Terminators. I think it is the best action sequence of any movie ever. (Transformers? Lord of the Rings? There is so much happening at once that I have to look away from those movies, or I will not get a headache. And, well, I don’t really care about any of those characters.)

Terminator: Salvation was just ick. All action, and no character development. It is how Terminator will be when they reboot it someday. Or maybe that is what this movie was supposed to be. I can’t even tell. That is how bad it is. And I don’t like Christian Bale. In anything. Not even Newsies or Swing Kids (although both of them are decent movies).

I liked how in the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, they gave Kyle Reese a brother, Derek. It made me feel better, that Kyle was not all alone in the horrible, nasty future being chased by robots. He had a brother’s support, someone to lean on. I liked that the brother was played by Brian Austin Green. I was very happy that he had gotten much hotter in the years since Beverly Hills 90210.

Brian Austin Green as Derek Reese

Brian Austin Green as Derek Reese

Kyle Reese is a bad-ass soldier, but he isn’t all muscled up like a football player. That is the villain. I like that Reese is vulnerable. Cameron shows us Reese’s past scars the first time he appears on camera. Each time he is hit or shot, it weakens him more. Not only do we see that he is physically vulnerable, but then we learn that his heart is vulnerable as well. This is true toward Sarah, but also when he talks about fighting alongside John Conner, John’s trust, his strength. We get the idea that Reese loved him like a brother. When really, well, John was Reese’s son. And John Conner would have always known that.  It is too bad that Reese would never know John as his son.

I have seen mentioned where they are making a 5th Terminator movie. I peeked at the cast. Kyle will not longer be vulnerable everyman. He will be Mr. Muscles Macho Man. Sigh. Where can a girl watch a nice wimpy guy get it on in a movie anymore these days? My demographic is under-serviced.

A Terminator movie today is just not as impressive as it was in 1984, or even 1991. The Terminator was one of the first moves to introduce us to this idea of the computers as our enemies. The effects were cutting edge for their time. Now, giant CG machines are trying to save us or kill us or both every week in the theaters. I think the only way anyone could stand to attempt to recapture the magic of the original story is to make the humans and their love story just as important as the machines again.

That is how I would do it, anyway.

What I Learned This Week – 7/13/14 (Summer Festival Edition)

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This week I learned that every now and then it is good for my family to have a day outside in the fresh air spent with one another. I can remember only one disagreement, but that is just because we were hungry and thirsty.

I present pictures from the 2014 River Raisin Festival in Blissfield, Michigan. If you ever find yourself in the neighborhood on the second weekend in July, stop on by.

What is M watching so intently?

What is M watching so intently?

A giant tortoise, that's what!

A giant tortoise, that’s what!

Trying to master the sack race.  He is winning because he is the only one racing.

Trying to master the sack race. He is winning because he is the only one racing.

A pony ride always brings a smile to my boy's face.

A pony ride always brings a smile to my boy’s face.

Getting dark.  Fireworks begin.

Getting dark. Fireworks begin.

Boy, this girl sure is cute.  Maybe I should scoot just a little closer to her.  Closer...

“Boy, this girl sure is cute. Maybe I should scoot just a little closer to her. Closer…”

She fell for my cuteness.

“She fell for my cuteness.”

A Degree I Do Not Use

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Me, 1981

Me, 1981

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Communications-Mass Media, specifically Radio & TV Broadcasting.

I have never used it.

People ask me why. I have always dodged the question.

Why would you ask someone that? It is just pointing out that I failed. How, I’m not sure. But that question still makes me feel like a failure. It is like a big gray cloak being pulled over me.  It suffocates me.

My mom probably hates me for not using my degree. But she was the one who made me go to stupid college in the first place. If I was going to be there for 4 years, I wanted to do something fun.

I was a fan of many local DJ’s at the time. While I was still in high school, I even got to be on the most popular local radio station for an hour and pick all the songs. I thought the Universe was telling me this was my thing.

Me on "Look Ma, I'm on KISS-FM", 92.5 WVKS Toledo, 1994

Me on “Look Ma, I’m on KISS-FM”, 92.5 WVKS Toledo, 1994

None of my college projects turned out perfect. I got A’s on most of them. But there was always something about the audio quality or length or lighting or editing that bothered me about every project I did. I wasn’t used to not being perfect in school.

Four years later, after spending time on half-broken, analog equipment, I didn’t feel like my college had actually prepared me for the real world. I didn’t feel confident I could walk into a radio station and operate their board. And the college gave me no assistance in finding a job.

Laryngitis. The only time in my life I have ever lost my voice was the last month before I graduated from college. Right when I wanted to make demo tapes to send out to radio stations. While my voice came back, it wasn’t the same for about 2 months. I had a limited window of time that I had access to the recording equipment, so I made tapes anyway. They didn’t sound like me. I did send them out to stations. None of them called.

But I took the laryngitis as a sign that I wasn’t meant to go into radio. The Universe is a fickle mistress. It broke my heart a little. But I was also scared to death to go out into the big bad world and be that brave. I think my discouragement was equal parts laryngitis and fear. I decided maybe I was just a better radio spectator than player.

I got a boring office job in a giant corporate building filled with cubicles I hated. My mom had always worked in offices.  It felt like a safe bet, if not one I was thrilled about.  I hated the long commute. I hated the work. But I liked the people. I made some great friends just at the time in my life when I needed them. We had lots of important experiences that shaped me into the dorky weirdo that I am today. I wouldn’t trade the chance to meet those folks for anything. (Love to Patti, Carrie, Jeff, Linda, Ann, Megan, Paul, and the rest…)

I recently applied a few times to the local radio station. I got an interview, but with no current experience, they didn’t hire me. Other stations are an even further commute for me. Or I would have to move. I don’t want to move. For many reasons.

You might look at this post as a list of excuses. I suppose it is. But I don’t have a better explanation.

The Universe told me it wasn’t my thing. I believed it.

Maybe the Universe was trying to tell me that my words were important, just not the ones that come from my mouth. Maybe the ones that come from my fingers are more important?

What I Learned This Week – 7/6/14

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This week I am learning “if at first you don’t succeed, then try, try again.” I applied for a full-time position at work. I did not get it. But, the person who did get hired has now left a different vacancy. So, for the second week in a row, I am filling out an online application, updating my cover letter, and hopefully taking a mind-numbing employment assessment. The assessment features such gems as:

I have never gotten angry at anyone ever. Strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree.

Can I answer that it is a very loaded statement?

This is my new favorite song of the week. I am sure we will be hearing it as the soundtrack to TV shows and commercials soon.

Mr. Winkle

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I used to work at the corporate office of a now defunct book retailer. I saw lots of interesting stuff pass through that building. Some of it I even got to take home. In that building, I was introduced to Jason Mraz (awesome), Domo (so cool), and Robin Thicke (I thought he would totally bomb. Boy, was I wrong.). I fell in love with Kid Rock, Good Charlotte, Fearless, and Twilight because of that place.

But one of the strangest things I probably fell in love with was Mr. Winkle.

What is a Mr. Winkle, you ask?

Little do you now, Mr. Winkle has built a retail empire based on the hypothesis of the answer to that question.

Cat in a Dog Suit? Photo: Lara Jo Regan

Cat in a Dog Suit?
Photo: Lara Jo Regan

The first time I heard of Mr. Winkle, he was a magazine article hanging outside of the cubicle of someone in the calendar buying group. It had a picture of Mr. Winkle with a zipper on his chest, with the headline “Is It A Dog In A Cat Suit or A Cat In A Dog Suit.” (Those calendar folks always were a little off their rockers. I believe it was all the November allocation stress. But that is what made it so much fun to become a part of that department a few years later.) Next, pictures appeared of Mr. Winkle dressed as a bee, a space alien, and his impression of a nasty, mean-old squirrel were hung up on the cubicle as well.

I fell in love with that stupid dog!

A squirrel? Photo: Lara Jo Regan

A squirrel?
Photo: Lara Jo Regan

When the kind calendar folks learned of my love of all things Winkle, they made sure to save me one of his calendars every year. I sent him an email…

AND HE ANSWERED ME BACK! How great is that for a celebrity whose species is not even equipped with opposable thumbs!

Soon Mr. Winkle was also releasing children’s books. I bought the first one, then the second. I bought his four minute video. (I don’t like to do any obsession part way! See also The Wienermobile.) My peeps at work gave me the hook-up on some Mr. Winkle plush (not available in stores).

Mr. Winkle swag

Mr. Winkle swag

Mr. Winkle even appeared on an episode of Sex & The City! (By the way, that is the only episode of that show that I have ever watched.)

But in 2003, a great dream of mine would come true. Mr. Winkle’s handler and photographer, Lara Jo Regan, kept him on a short leash (pun intended). He traveled and did media appearances, but very few. So when I found out that he would be coming to Michigan, it was as if my [stalker] dreams had come true!

What is Mr. Winkle 2001 calendar Photo: Lara Jo Regan

What is Mr. Winkle 2001 calendar
Photo: Lara Jo Regan

Mr. Winkle was going to appear at the Birmingham Borders book store. Now, I am afraid to drive in big cities. I tend to lump all of downtown and the surrounding suburbs into one scary-ass mess known as Detroit. But as my husband went with me, I probably made him drive. My crazy friend went with us too, because her Winkle love also ran deep.

We were some of the first people there. The line became SO LONG behind us. Finally Lara Jo arrived. Mr. Winkle had a little leopard-print dog bed to chill in while he met his fans. He was giving out pawtographs and was available for photos with fans. No one was allowed to hold him or touch him.

It turns out, Mr. Winkle, who looks like a cross between a shaved Pomeranian and a Chihuahua on uranium has the nasty personality of both! By the time it was my turn, I was kind of scared to stoop next to him. He had snarled at quite a few folks. Lara Jo just chastised him. She was obviously used to his breed nastiness. It was still a really awesome day. I have his pawtograph hanging upstairs. I had our picture together displayed in my cubicle, alongside his annual calendars.

Mr. Winkle & Me, taken by award-winning photographer Lara Jo Regan

Mr. Winkle & Me, taken by award-winning photographer Lara Jo Regan

I am sad to say that I do not have a complete collection of Mr. Winkle calendars. But I do have his 2014 calendar hanging in my kitchen right now. It features pics from his “Nudes” collection. I am bothered that his website never gets updated. That was acceptable in 2003, not so much in 2014. Everything on the Internet says that he is still alive. He would be like 20 years old by now. I loved him, but I blame continued merchandising on his longevity.

Other weirdly adorable animals have tried to steal Mr. Winkle’s spotlight. [I will most definitely not name their names here.] But I sincerely wanted to write a post about what Mr. Winkle has meant to me, and how he will always be a “Top Dog” in my book, right behind my own dogs.

Mr. Winkle pawtograph

Mr. Winkle pawtograph

Mr. Clark

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In high school, I had a couple teachers who were my favorites. That did not necessarily mean that I learned the most from them, but that I liked their personalities and got along with them the best.

One of these was Mr. Clark. Mr. Clark, um, well…he was fuzzy, kinda like a panda bear. He was very dark-complected. I never found out why. I wonder if he was Greek? He had dark hair and mustache. Mr. Clark taught English. He had a kindly smile, which he often gave me after he had read some of my wacky writing. Imagine stuff similar to what I write on this very blog, except unpolished, undeveloped, and written by a suicidal, horny teenager.

Oy.

I think the first time I had Mr. Clark for a class was my junior year. It was this horrible experimental class called “Issues”. It was a 2 hour class, a combination of History and English. I would say the class overall was a failure, because I still don’t know what those two subjects were supposed to have in common. I was a student who really loved English and found History super boring. I did learn entirely too much about concentration camps in Germany during World War II in that class.

ISSUES GROUP 12/92

I didn’t want to take Issues and was sure I would hate it. Me and everyone else has come to find the two-hour class very boring. The only thing that keeps me sane is my group. A, E, Y, and the extremely sexy chauvinist H.B. (And of course me.) If one person has candy, we share it with the rest of the group. When T.F. talks, me and E repeat every time she says “like” (which is, like, a 1,000 times in one conversation). We are the only group in class that doesn’t have an assigned table. The wrestlers put all the tables back after practice, but they never put them in the same place twice. When we sit in the back of the room we can’t hear anything, so we just make up our own conversation. When we sit in the front of the room, we watch the fish in the aquarium and fall asleep.

I can remember one day sitting in Issues class. I think we may have been watching a video. I was sitting on one of the tables, wearing a dog tag. Mr. Clark sat down next to me on the table and asked me about it. I told him that it had been my dad’s, and that he drove an ambulance in Germany in WWII. I explained how he was much older than my mom when they got married, how he died, etc. Mr. Clark seemed impressed by it all. It was much more interesting to tell my family history to someone than anything we were supposed to learn that day in class. And how often does a teacher come up and take the time to ask you about your jewelry? That, like, never happens. That is probably why I remember it to this day.

Sometime that year, some seniors started up a school newspaper. It wasn’t your usual school newspaper. Sure, it had stories about school events. But, they also welcomed creative writing such as stories and poems as well. Me, whose only after-school activity consisted of French Club meetings once a month, got suckered into the newspaper. Which is really weird, because I wasn’t one to go off and join activities, especially ones that my friends were not involved in. I wrote a few stories. I went to meetings. I started going to the assembly of the paper which happened on a non-monthly basis at the local town newspaper office. Mr. Clark was the adviser.

I had no car and no friends to provide a ride. It would have been probably a half hour walk to get to the town newspaper office by foot. It also would have been mighty cold in the winter. So Mr. Clark would let me hitch a ride with him in his minivan. It smelled like tobacco in there because he smoked a pipe. It was messy, with bits of his pipe tobacco spilled on the floor. But it was a ride. And he was a nice guy. And at some crazy point I guess you could say he sort of became my unofficial writing mentor.

When it was time for the seniors to graduate, they picked new people from the existing staff to be editors for the next year. They picked me, and a soon-to-be junior. I am convinced they only picked me because I was the most involved soon-to-be senior. I am not your typical leader type. I am uber-organized though. So for the whole next year, I would have to hear my name on the morning announcements, nagging people to turn in their stories for the newspaper’s arbitrary deadlines.

When I needed to pick out classes for my senior year, I was kind of lost as to what classes to take. Mr. Clark was teaching a new class called Writer’s Workshop, where some of the class was set aside to work on WHATEVER WRITING YOU WANTED! That was unheard of at my high school at the time. Mr. Clark told me if I took that class, he would allow me to work on newspaper stuff during class time. He also convinced me to take Advanced Placement English, although I had no intention of taking the AP exam.

Now, as much as I had grown to love Mr. Clark, and I believe I may have had him wrapped around my little finger to some extent, he wasn’t the most energetic teacher. In the more standard classes I had with him, his droning voice would sometimes lull me to sleep. This happened often in AP English. I had Mythology first thing in the morning my junior year. I had not even woken up yet!

Writer’s Workshop was a whole nother story. It was right after lunch. It somehow ended up as a class full of freshmen and seniors. That class taught me that if you have a whole class of usually hardworking students lumped together, they will ALL become class clowns!

MR CLARK-blue blow pops

Both my best friends were in that class. I would take turns hanging out with them. My best friend and I would eat Raspberry Blow-Pops until our tongues and teeth turned blue. My asbestos friend and I would flirt with the cute guys. Amazingly, I did get some minor amount of work done in that class. I worked on the newspaper stuff, wrote poems, and finished a short story that contains such achingly personal passages that I have trouble reading it to this day, but I still hope to publish it.  Mr. Clark’s classroom was one of the first in the school to not only have its own computer (At that time, computer were all corralled into “computer labs”, for the safety of all.) AND PRINTER.  So, if I typed up something personal and wanted to print it, that was the place.

What I enjoy most about going back and reading from that time are not the poems (and definitely not the newspaper), but the freewrites we did for the first 10-15 minutes of every class. And, well, that is sort of the impetuous for this entire blog. Other blogs are only about one topic: food or homeschooling or pop culture, etc. My blog is about all the things I need to flush out of my head. Where I used to write them in a way to amuse myself or Mr. Clark, now I write them to amuse you, dear reader (and myself).

Every now and then in my life, I come across a nice furry guy with a mustache that I can joke with. They often have a similar look of sweet exasperation when I bust out my weird personality. And they always make me think of Mr. Clark.

I miss him a lot. And I never, ever thought I would say that about any teacher.

What I Learned This Week – 6/22/14

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This week I was searching online for a picture of a thin male actor with shaggy blond hair in his 20’s I could use for some inspiration for a character in one of my novels. I tried Shaggy Rogers, but he is too animated. I tried to look up Disney actors, but they were all too buff or Zach Efron. I ran across a picture of Devon Sawa. I thought he might be perfect, if only I could find a picture of him a little older.

This week I learned that Devon Sawa grew up and got buff.

Devon Sawa before

Devon Sawa before

Devon Sawa Now

Devon Sawa now

Of all pictures of him on the Internet, he is skinny and young, or older, with muscles and tattoos. Not that that is a bad thing! It just isn’t what I was interested in for my character.

I also found out that Devon Sawa still acts! I just assumed, as happens to many teen heartthrobs, that after Night of the Twisters and Final Destination, he went off to college or something and never came back.

Apparently one of his more notable recent acting jobs was on The CW’s Nikita. I noticed that while he still keeps some of his young Devon sweetness, mostly he is all muscles and action now. He even got his gap-toothed smile fixed, which totally changes how he looks and talks. (It makes me a little sad.)

This leads us into the second thing I learned this week: The CW’s Nikita is a really good show.

I looked for it on Netflix, and IT WAS THERE! That NEVER happens!

I just started watching it this week. It actually aired from 2010-2013. Dang. It appears I found it about 6 months too late.

There have been a lot of previous versions of stories about Nikita. Just the ones I am aware of are:

La Femme Nikita (movie 1990) French

Single White Female (movie 1992) English remake starring Bridget Fonda

La Femme Nikita (USA Network TV Series 1997-2001) starring Peta Wilson

My asbestos friend totally loves the USA TV series La Femme Nikita. She doesn’t write about entertainment on her blog, as I do. But if she did, she totally would have written about that show by now. I have never watched it.

Devon Sawa doesn’t show up until the fifth episode on CW’s Nikita. By the time I got through the first four episodes, I was hooked.

I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to follow the black ops type plots, or that I wouldn’t like the characters. I was worried there would be nothing for me to like about it.

I was wrong.

The plots seem to be simplified, for people like me. I hate that they feel “dumbed-down”, but I like that I can watch it at 3:00AM and still follow the action with a cloudy brain and bleary eyes .

I don’t really like or hate Maggie Q, the actress who plays Nikita. But I love Shane West. I love Devon Sawa. And I was sooo pleasantly surprised to discover that Melinda Clarke (Julie Cooper-Nichol-Cooper-Atwood, herself!) is a regular in the cast. (Thank you, McG!) Clarke is sooo under-appreciated. She is under-used in the episodes I have watched so far, but I have a feeling that may change.

There is an actress named Lyndsy Fonseca who has a very big part as Alex. She is kind of a double agent. She has hair so amazing I start watching her hair and forget to listen to the dialogue. She looked familiar, but I didn’t know from where. When I looked it up, to my surprise, she played the “daughter” on How I Met Your Mother! The poor daughter who was stuck on the couch for eight years listening to Ted’s rambling story.

Lyndsy Fonseca as Alex on Nikita

Lyndsy Fonseca as Alex on Nikita Photo: IMDb.com

 

Fonseca is really good on Nikita. She can do more than just stare into a camera and look bored.

The show is a lot about missions and training and revenge. But as it is the CW, there are lots of hot guys with their shirts off who care more about the women around them than they let on.

I LOVE THAT!

Shane West performance as Michael, Nikita’s mentor, enemy, ally, love interest mesmerizes me. Admitted, so far his part mostly involves a lot of brooding. But there is a great scene where he finds out Nikita is alive after believing that she is dead. The emotions that cross his face are great. In real life, his boss would pick up on that in a moment and kill him for having feelings for her (but we will ignore such realism;).

I got to Season 1, Episode 9, One Way. It is the first time we see Michael and Nikita working together, side by side. I was so enthralled that I literally had to tear myself away from the TV and go to work. It was brutal, having to wait 8 hours to watch the final 10 minutes of the episode. I forgot my cell phone at home, so I could not even cheat and watch it on my lunch [half] hour! Then I came home and could not tear myself away from watching Nikita to go to bed. I blame the Netflix feature that automatically starts the next episode when the one you are watching has not yet reached the end of the credits.

So, ya. Now I have to watch all four seasons. I love the act of binge watching, but it really f’s up my life.

And, oh ya, I also found the body type I wanted for my story character:

Shane West

Shane West

Oh, and I am spending time dodging Facebook messages from my former high school classmates who want my address to send me an invite to our 20 year class reunion. We haven’t had any reunions before, why start now?

And, they totally must not read my blog. >:) [Insert evil laugh here.]

My 3 Jobs

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I think of myself as having three jobs right now:

1. Writer

2. Maid/ Mom

3. Customer Service/Retail

A pictograph of my life right now.

A pictograph of my life right now.

As a writer, I am working on like 4 novels at once. I hope to have once finished soon. I am also trying to keep up my blog, as I do not want to lose views just as I might have a product (my future book) to hock to them (THIS MEANS YOU!). I don’t want to abandon my only marketing tool. I have also learned that I write because “I can’t not write.” So, I might as well try to find a way to use that to move toward a goal.

Making a little money from it would be nice as well.

Fame and fortune would be AWESOME!

3 JOBS-meme

I am not a stay at home mom, because I work part-time outside the home. But when I am home, I am chasing my child, trying to keep him clean and fed and happy. (The “happy” part is almost impossible.) I am also trying to keep up with the laundry and dishes and sweeping. I aspire to complete a thorough spring cleaning someday…for 2011. We also have two large dogs. So some days I feel like a zookeeper as well.

I work about 15-20 hrs per week in a retail customer service job. So, I spend all day waiting on my child’s beck and call, then I head off to get paid to do the same thing for strangers.  I have an hour commute one way. So, if you figure I usually work 3 days per week, that is 6hrs I am gone from home and not getting paid for them, plus gas. It cuts into the bottom line. I know it sounds silly, but you have to understand that we love our house and want to stay close to our family. Therefore, we live in the land of very few good jobs. To get a job similar to the one I held for 12 years prior, we would have to move closer to Detroit, or a different city. We don’t want that. So, we make due.

I know that my husband does not see it this way at all. I try and throw the “three jobs” thought out there once in a while, but I don’t think he understands what I am getting at. He just sees my small paycheck and thinks I should get a different job. He views my writing as a hobby.

But I looked for a job for a year and a half, before I found this one. And where I am at now, I am actually making more than minimum wage. If I got a different job, that might not be the case. The minimum is the new maximum, me thinks. And with this job I have thus far avoided daycare for my son, which, could lead to additional costs.

I don’t think he realizes that in 2003, we tried to run our own business, because he wanted to. I supported him, because I knew a version of that had always been his dream. We were also planning our wedding at the same time. It was highly stressful. It was one of those businesses that only thrives if you sign up people to be under you. We never got any. We gave up on it. The info and motivational tapes from that are still sitting in our attic. Like a big sign that reads “failure”.

When we were both out of work a few years ago, he tried a self-employed venture. Once again, it wasn’t exactly his big dream, but it was something he would enjoy doing more than factory work. I supported him. The market was not real good at that time, and it was a hard business to network. It was hard for a new kid on the block to get word of mouth, when there were so many established people in the field available. He put that venture on the back-burner after a year. The advertising from it is still sitting in our driveway, a literal “sign” that makes me sad.

That is two years of my life of letting him take his chance on a dream. So, I am looking at 2014 as my year to pursue my dream. I am just not sure that he has realized that yet.  We might not have a lot of food in the cupboards, but we are not going hungry. Working part-time allows me more time to work on my writing.

I have not reached my goals yet, but I AM GETTING SOMEWHERE!

I AM CLOSER THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN!

Will my goals cost a little money to get there? Sure.

Did my husband’s? Yes.

Will my writing pay out big dividends? Most likely not.

Did my husband’s? Not so much.

Were his ventures important to him? Of course.

Are mine important to me? Damn straight.

Imagine the wonderful harmony in our household if at least one of us was doing something they enjoyed as a part of a career?

Imagine if we BOTH were.

I don’t want to walk by boxes of my writing upstairs and have it remind me that I failed to meet my goal. I have been doing that for 20 years already.

I am done with failure. I want some success.

Casey Kasem (1932-2014)

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CASEY KASEM-shaggy meme

Foto Phriday: Concert Ready

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When I was in my 20’s, and first had my own job and my own apartment, often I would go out to rock concerts with my friends. I went from going to no concerts ever, to going to probably about one a month for a few years.

These pictures were taken when my green-haired friend and I went to see Good Charlotte in Toledo, Ohio on Halloween 2002. Within a year, we would actually get to MEET them, coincidentally, also in Toledo.

This is one of my favorite pictures of myself. It was taken in my cute little one bedroom apartment I used to have.

Are you convinced I am a bad-ass yet?

Me, all ready for action!

Me, all ready for action!

Ya, me neither.

Here is a picture of my green-haired friend, although in this pic I can’t really tell what color her hair is. But knowing her, and that we were headed to a concert of one of our favorite bands, it was probably freshly dyed. She has a “roar” face because she is wearing kitty ears on her head;)

My green-haired friend

My green-haired friend

In this picture, I was first struck by how beautiful my green-haired friend looks.

Then I realized her necklace looks like a candy necklace (which she sometimes wore), but it is not.

Then I realized I look like Miley Cyrus. But, you know, a good decade before her. Can I get some kind of kick-back for that?

I look drunk.  I assure you that I had not had anything but Coca-Cola.

I look drunk. I assure you that I had not had anything but Coca-Cola.

CONCERT READY-GC sign

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