This Post Has Everything: Supernatural, Soccer, A Viking and Rick James

So, lately, Beckham Jr. (ain’t he a cutie?? sorry – couldn’t resist)…..

soccer

The Boyfriend

…and moi have been bingeing on The Vikings (he’s Team Ragnar and I’m Team Rollo because……well…..

rollo

“The name’s Rollo.  I like drinking, whoring, whining, pillaging, am semi-fluent in French and occasionally I kill my own people.  And i look damn fine doing it, too.”

….but since Beckham’s work schedule doesn’t afford him a lot of time on the weekends, and since I can’t (and won’t) violate a major Relationship Rule by continuing our Vikings binge without him, I am often left scrolling through stale Netflix titles trying to find something new and/or interesting (and now, I haven’t yet caught the Stranger Things, although I hear i should hop on ASAP).  Thankfully, this past weekend, the Netflix Gods saw fit to bless us with Season 11 of Supernatural, just in time for Halloween month, and so it was Sam and Dean to the rescue and I was all….

becky-rosen

My expectations weren’t very high going in, since last we saw the Winchester boys they were responsible for releasing The Darkness into the world (which takes on human form, as most evil on Supernatural is wont to do).  As a result, any reference to “the Darkness” prompted titters of laughter as it brought to mind the Chappelle Show sketch in which Rick James refers to Charlie and Eddie Murphy as “The Darkness”, as in “the darkness is spreading” or this….

rick-james-darkness-gif

…but i digress.  Currently, I’m about 5 episodes into Season 11, and the boys have already battled yet ANOTHER coven of witches, a creature Dean has referred to as a “ghoul-pire” (combination of a ghoul and vampire), a hatchet-wielding ghost in a B&B that was once Lizzie Borden’s home, a soul-eating child, and a murderous ghost in a gi-normously creeptastic bunny mask.  The soundtrack has consisted of Bob Seger, Bread, CCR and Five Finger Death Punch.  And Castiel has already pondered aloud “What’s a Netflix?” before discovering for himself by bingeing on Orange Is the New Black and The Wire (thank Chuck for the brilliantly comedic talent that is Mischa Collins)….

castiel-fyi

And therein lies the reason this show has lasted over a decade – not simply because of the ongoing story of Sam and Dean’s poignantly tumultuous brotherhood, but because it often takes the absurd and turns it into an hour of gleefully delightful dementedness (BuzzFeed’s 25 Most WTF Episodes of Supernatural), thanks to a winning combination of writing and acting talent.  The cherry on top (at least for me) is the integration of some seriously kick-ass classic rock sprinkled with deliciously delightful pop culture references that bring back memories from my own childhood (the spinning “special presentation” logo at the beginning of “A Very Supernatural Christmas” is a personal favorite that can only be appreciated by those who remember a 70’s childhood, when there were only 5 channels, Lawrence Welk was a Sunday night staple, and frazzled housewives everywhere begged Calgon to take them away)….

wayne-calgon

“Ancient Chinese Secret, huh?”

Hopefully, I’ll get through the rest of Sam & Dean’s 11th-year antics this week in preparation for what looks to be one helluva premiere as Season 12 reignites Thursday night, fueled by the return of Mary Winchester and Lucifer (who has apparently decided to slip into the meat suit of none other than Rick Springfield).  And if that all sounds a bit crazy, then it probably will be.  But at least it’ll be fun, like Beckham, Jr. when he does this sort of thing …

the-boyfriend-2

…or when he does THE BEST impression of Dean Winchester, which he unleashed during one of our first dates, causing me to nearly pee myself while simultaneously falling even more in-love with him … or when he takes Jensen Ackles’ advice without even realizing it:  “Life, itself, is worth living for.  If you’re not living that life you want, you fight for that life.”  He fights for that life every day, with the spirit of a Winchester and the wherewithal of Dean’s 67′ Impala, which is why, through the good and the bad, my heart always looks a little something like this….

Sam and Dean Fangirling

Fangirlin’

P.S. – sorry, not sorry for turning my post into a gush-fest, which is really the best thing about driving your own blog – “driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.”  Until next time …..

F Scott Fitzgerald

As anyone understands who has ever been involved in multiple relationships – whether it’s been 20 or 2 – the love you feel for one person is never the same as the love you feel for another.  I learned this lesson after 2 failed relationships, one of which began as naive love, the kind you can only experience in youth, when everything is felt so much more keenly and we believe we know what love is and that it will last forever. Except it didn’t, because that brand of green, innocent love is rarely supposed to last.  For most, that initial relationship is simply an orientation, where we are introduced to the processes of heartbreak and recovery, and from that, our experience informs our handling of the next relationship, and then that one informs the next, and so on and so forth.   By the time I’d involved myself in my second relationship, I was hurting and looking for an escape, and so i allowed myself to get caught up in a love that was all kinds of wrong no matter how many excuses i made to justify it as right.  It was emotionally exhausting in a way that i could never have imagined, and the grief of it nearly killed me.

After it ended, I gave myself some space for a while before once again putting myself out there, to disastrous results, both in-person and online:  i.e. – groping hands during a get-to-know-you dinner is hardly appetizing, and having your ex picked as a possible match for you on a dating website is enough to dissuade you from traveling down that road.  Oh, and guys – sending unsolicited dick pics after one online conversation is not the way to our hearts.  After we gasp in horror, we dissolve into peals of laughter before showing our friends, almost always with the preface, “hey, look what this asshole just sent me…” and by the end of the day, half a dozen women have laughed at your dick, which I suspect is not the reaction you wanted.

At that point, I resolved that I was done with relationships.  Giving up my heart into another person’s care was simply too great a risk, and because of my past, I was flat-out terrified of waiting in line to ride THAT emotional roller coaster again.  I contented myself with any number of hobbies to pass the time, and whenever I went out with friends, i avoided the meat market of traditional bar scenes, opting instead for what i considered to be safe, family-oriented restaurants, where most folks actually ate meals instead of searching for off-menu delicacies.  My friends and I had been frequenting one particular establishment for a couple of years, a sports-themed restaurant with roughly 30 televisions showing various games, walls adorned with sports memorabilia and a largely female serving staff required to wear sports-related jerseys as they deliver your burgers and beers with a smile.  Innocuous enough.  Non-threatening.  No worries.  Just food and a few drinks and a few laughs.  But then one night, while I was there laughing and talking and generally minding my own business, I happened to glance up just in time to see HIM.  With spiky blonde hair (think David Beckham – in fact, we’ll just call him Beckham, Jr.) and a closely cropped chin-beard, he was carrying a tray, causing his biceps to flex beneath the sleeves of his short-sleeved, AC Milan soccer jersey – an appropriate but not obscenely snug advertisement of a well-built, well-tended torso.  And then he smiled at his table full of patrons, and that smile sent all reason fleeing from my brain.

My girlfriend was in the middle of conversation with someone else, and so I turned to her husband, who knew every server in the joint. Before I could stop myself, words and sound were tumbling out of my mouth in the form of a question as i nodded towards Beckham, Jr.:  “Hey….who’s he?”  After glancing over his shoulder and catching sight of Beckham, Jr. just as he disappeared through the door and back into the restaurant, my friend’s husband looked back at me, grinning like a Cheshire cat.  “You like him?”

In my head, Meg Ryan was shouting my answer exactly as she did in that diner with Billy Crystal in “When Harry Met Sally”.    Did I like Beckham, Jr?  Was that a joke?  I might have been slightly naive, but not blind.  There was not a damn thing wrong with my eyesight.   I was very interested.  And so my answer was simple (albeit much quieter than Meg), yet it would change everything:

“Yes.”

As it turned out, Beckham, Jr. had inquired about me on a prior occasion, and before i knew  it, we were dating despite the challenges – a 13-year age difference (guess I’m officially a cougar, although I wasn’t exactly on the prowl) and his plans to further his education by pursuing a bachelor’s degree at an out-of-state college.  Both of us had experienced our share of difficulties in life and love, and so neither of us was looking for anything at all, much less something serious.  But as we both learned, love had other plans for two people who had almost given up on it.

It is a fickle thing – love.  It moves in mysterious ways, almost always catching us off-guard.  But when it is right, it is worth the risk, worth the fight, worth taking the bad with the good, worth waking up for, worth coming home to.  And when you finally find that kind of love, even if it is not sensible in the framework of your own plans or the view of others, you know what a rare and wonderful thing it can be – as unique as a snowflake, not like the rest, but absolutely beautiful.

Mr. Fitzgerald knew what he was talking about.

Mad Men Musings: “The Forecast”

Don Mad Men The Forecast

** If you have not yet seen the latest episode of Mad Men, please avert your eyes

This week’s episode of Mad Men, appropriately entitled “The Forecast”, is all about future plans.  Some people have ’em, some people don’t, and others just don’t care, like Mathis …

You Dropped the Bomb on Me.  The F-bomb that is.  Creative underling Mathis (do we even know this guy’s first name??) sends Pete Campbell into nothing short of a hissy-fit when he drops the F-bomb during a client meeting with executives from Peter Pan.  Pete wants to fire the guy.  Peggy doesn’t.  Don ultimately decides no one is getting fired. Unfortunately, he later learns this may not have been the wisest decision after Mathis approaches him for help in how to mend fences with the pissed-off peanut butter execs.  In another unwise play, Don relates what he hopes will be a helpfully inspiring story in which he once chided a Lucky Strikes exec during a follow-up meeting by proclaiming, “I’m surprised you have the balls to walk back in here after the way you embarrassed yourself.”  And then Mathis repeats it verbatim to the Peter Pan suits.  As Peggy and Pete recoiled in horror, the rest of us were all …..

JImmy Fallon Laughing

Apparently not content to half-ass his own demise, Mathis barges into Don’s office, blows up, blames Don for the meeting’s failure, then insults him:  “You don’t have any character.  You’re just handsome!”  Hey, Mathis…guess what???

You're Fired

Mommie Dearest.  Joan.  Joan….Joan.  Pardon me while i take a moment to say …

What the F

I get that you and your torpedo tits are lonely and you’ve had really, REALLY bad luck with men (the father of your child is nothing but a walking hard-on with a Monopoly mustache, and your ex was …. wait a minute … what’s the word ……..a rapist, yeah….that’s it!).  And when Captain Pike, I mean Richard (aka Bruce Greenwood), literally wanders into your life from that West Coast leisure suit convention he was so obviously attending, I totally get that it was hard for you to resist his divorced, multi-millionaire status.  But when dude freaks out and rage-dumps you after finding out you’ve got a kid, no matter how much money he has, no matter how many apology roses he offers, and no matter how awesome he looks rockin’ an Apache scarf, under no circumstances, not even as a joke, do you EVER OFFER TO SEND YOUR KID AWAY…

Beyonce (2)

You send Leisure Suit Larry away because if he was anything other than a selfish a**hole, he would have reacted differently to news of your motherhood, i don’t care what kind of awesome pyramid-exploring plans he made for himself. But hey – congratulations, Joanie!  You just made Betty Draper “Mother of the Year” — the same woman who used a shotgun to take out her neighbor’s pet pigeons and allowed her 5-year old to wear a plastic dry-cleaning bag over her head.

Betty Draper

…and speaking of Betty …

Here’s to You, Mrs. Francis.  Jesus loves you more than you will know.  And so does Glen Bishop.  Remember Sally’s creepy little friend with the scandalously divorced mother, who boldly walked in on Betty while she was on the toilet then asked for a lock of her hair?? Well, he’s back, all grown up, and freshly enlisted in the Army, much to Sally’s budding activist outrage and Betty’s reserved horror.  Apparently, poor Glen flunked out and, in an effort to make his stepdad proud, joined the army, except that in the 1970’s, joining the army was the equivalent of signing your own death warrant. His intentions were noble, but incredibly misguided as he believed all of this would cause Betty to fall madly in-love with him and … you know … sex.

Fist Pump

Unfortunately for Glen, Betty wasn’t into it, and in a surprisingly level-headed moment, explained she wouldn’t be able to fulfill the young GI’s fantasies because …she’s married???

DeFranco

How is being married the most important reason for a 40-year old woman to abstain from having sex with a minor???? Ellie Kemper.

Regardless, Betty manages to talk some actual sense into the kid, and level up a little respect when she sends him away to the uncertainty of his fate, offering the kind reassurance that she believes he’s going to make it.  And then he’s gone and she’s a little bit sad…and so are we….

native american tear

Young Girl, Get Outta My Mind.  Not to be outdone in the Letourneau Department, Don reciprocates a rather mild flirtation with one of Sally’s friends during dinner before seeing them all off at the bus station for their Teen Tour of 12 states in 12 days.  Poor Sally. It wasn’t enough that she caught Roger in the act of receiving Dickish Delight from Megan’s mom …

Beyonce

…only to then catch her dad actually having sex with his neighbor….

Jim Carrey

…but now she’s got to sit through dinner watching her friend brazenly flirt with her dad…and dad going along with it…

Jennifer Lawrence

Understandably horrified with her father, Sally wastes no time reminding him that her friend is 17. He explains he’s very well aware of her age, labeling the girl “fast” and justifying his behavior by claiming he didn’t want to embarrass her in front of everyone at the table by calling her out.

Seinfeld

Sally is having none of this, and pushes the button on a nuclear explosion of truth about both her parents:  “Anyone pays attention to either of you – and they always do – you just ooze everywhere,”

OohBurn

Don recovers quickly enough to avail his disgusted young daughter of the notion that she isn’t already like her parents, uttering perhaps the night’s best line  “You ARE like your mother and me, you’re going to find that out.  You’re a very beautiful girl. It’s up to you to be more than that.”  Unfortunately, we may never know if she does.

Oh, What A Lonely Boy.  If you’re my age, then you remember (either fondly or with much derision) the AM Gold classic “Lonely Boy” by, well…Andrew Gold.  The ironically upbeat song tells the tale of a boy who was pretty much neglected for the majority of his life (later used to brilliantly heartbreaking effect during a non-pornographic scene in Boogie Nights). While watching this episode, I couldn’t help but think of the song when Joan lashed out indirectly at her sweet, tow-haired little tot for ruining her life, and then again when Glen exited stage left to the terrifying uncertainty of his fate.  But never did i feel it more than in the last moment of the show, when Don arrived home to discover his formerly annoyed real estate agent gleefully gushing over having sold his failure soaked, wine-stained apartment.  After delivering the good news, she politely ushers him out of his former residence, literally closing the door on a chapter of his life, leaving him hat in hand, without a plan and more alone than he’s ever been in his entire existence, while Roberta Flack soulfully croons “the first time ever i saw your face” and ….and….

....why are you doing this to him, Matt Weiner?!?  Why?!?!?!

Why are you doing this to him, Matt Weiner?!? WHY??????!!!!!!

…the forecast is depressing with a 100% chance of bleak.

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