A Nerd’s Eye View on the Ray Rice Scandal

At the outset, let me reiterate – this site is run by a nerd.   In other words, I don’t know much about sports.  So if I say something wrong about football, give me a break, OK?  (By the way, how many tackles are in a home run anyway?)

In the wake of TMZ releasing footage of Ray Rice punching his then fiance (now wife), people are rightly angry at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.  They want to know what did he know and when did he know it.  Did he see this video when he approved a deal earlier this year that only suspended Rice for two games?  Shouldn’t Rice have been kicked out earlier anyway since there was, at the time, video available that showed him dragging her limp body out of the elevator, and could it not have been surmised, without the footage that made the incident even more “real,” that if a guy is dragging a woman out of an elevator, he must have done something bad?

I think it is great that people are upset.  My only question – what took you all so long?

Ray Rice isn’t the first football player to ever abuse a significant other. He isn’t even the first football player to be accused of committing a crime.   He’s just the first one to do it in front of a camera, thus providing shocking footage that the media can show over and over again.  Other football player scandals seem to come, go, and be forgotten.  Apparently, video tape is required to make a scandal stick.

People like Rice dishonor the game – a game I know nothing about, but hey a lot of other people do so there must be something good about it.  For every Ray Rice out there, there are probably a hundred undiscovered players who would a) love a chance at the big time and b) not do anything to embarrass/dishonor the NFL if asked to join a team.

Whether it’s Plaxico Burress tucking a gun in his pants or Ray Rice punching his girlfriend, there are just too many replacements available for the NFL to have to worry about dodging and deflecting scandals.  Obviously I don’t know what goes through the mind of the people who run the NFL or the Baltimore Ravens.  I doubt that any of them thought something as sinister as “Hey, no problem Ray, she deserved it after all!”  Rather, I assume they spent more time worrying about losing games due to the loss of a star player, fans getting angry over lost games, lost profits, etc.  Unfortunately for the NFL honchos, this was a situation where morality should have come above winning games and profits.

To keep these scandals from going out of control in the future, the NFL should just make a rule – If a player is charged with committing a felony, he gets suspended.  If, after his trial, he is not acquitted, then he’s fired completely, never to return to the NFL.  Such a rule will give the players clear guidance – if you screw up, there’s no damage control, there’s no hold a press conference and make your battered wife vouch for you, there’s no lackluster apologies – you’re simply out, your football career is over, and that’s it.  It gives the NFL guidance as well – fans are angry you cut a star player?  Tough luck, your hands are tied, the rule requires you to do it.

Notice I said the player has to be acquitted – none of these hire a great lawyer and get the case postponed forever deals where you promise to get counseling and take a class about how to not beat on women.

My opinion, such a rule would put NFL/TEAM leaders, and players alike, on notice.  At the end of the day, the player that screws up should be the one that takes the blame, and others shouldn’t be sucked into it.  It would be great if the NFL was strong enough to not get sucked into a player’s stupidity on its own, but apparently it is not.

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The Poet’s Battle – “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”

If you caught the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon on FXX, you might have seen the episode where Grandpa Simpson laments that “Death Stalks You at Every Turn.”   He then mistakes everyone from Maggie to the family dog for being the Grim Specter of Death.

It is something I try my best to not think about, but the sad reality of life is that it is limited.  If life went on forever, people would probably be a lot happier.  Haven’t accomplished your dreams yet?  Don’t worry, you have unlimited time.  Except, the truth is, you really don’t.  The epic struggle of chasing your dreams vs. finding any job that will pay the bills so you can survive is something we all face and can often lead to regrets at the end of life when the latter inevitably wins out.

Several years ago, I was the caretaker of a dying parent.  The experience left me with a negative view of our hospital system.  Once they declare an old person to be a goner, doctors tend to act like you’re wasting their time if you ask followup questions to the effect of “What if we try this?”  or “What if we try that?”  They say it delicately, but they essentially let you know that your loved one is old and this is what happens to old people so get over it.

Like the setting of the sun and the rising of the moon, death is a natural part of life and yet, I don’t know about you, but I’ll never get over it.  There are many parts of life that are difficult.  But then – sometimes I see a nice sight – like a river, or a mountain, or just a nice sunny day and it makes me sad that all that is great in the world is dangled in front of me and yet one day I’ll have to let it go.  Even worse, the complexities and difficulties of everyday life will probably keep me from experiencing most of what’s out there.

Here’s what one poet told his dying father:

DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

BY:  DYLAN THOMAS

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at the close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 

Good men, the last wavy by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Wild men who caught and sand the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, the grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Ironically, Dylan Thomas died at the age of 39, only two years after his father died.  It has been said that the poet may have succumbed to alcohol poisoning.  I suppose one could argue that turning to alcohol to cope is the very definition of giving in to the dying of the light, though I don’t presume to know or understand what Thomas was going through.  In any event, it is good advice.  Life is limited but take care of yourself and try to stick around as long as you can anyway.  It always bugged me when doctors shrugged off questions about my mother.  I get that to them the questions were obviously answered by a “No, that’s not going to save her” – i.e. they were simple to the point that they felt bothered that they were even asked, but they need to be asked anyway.  Struggle against the dying of the light, because whether that struggle buys you five more minutes or five more years, you’re still in the light.

Don’t forget – this advice can be applied to anything.  Having a hard time at work?  Don’t give up, fight to do better.  Upset over some situation?  Don’t throw in the towel, try to fix the problem.  Whatever the light i.e. all that is good disappears, you’re in the dark and that’s it, so fight to have that goodness in your life for as long as you can.

What choice do you have?  The alternative is to be left in the dark.

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Previously on Bookshelf Battle…August 2014 Wrap Up

In honor of the end of the True Blood HBO Series (based on the Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris):

BILL and SOOKIE sit at a booth at Merlotte’s.

BILL:  Soo-keh.  Soo-keh.  Listen to how I pronounce your name prominently in the manner of a Southern gentleman.

SOOKIE:  That don’t mean no thang Bill.  I still ‘aint decided whether I love you or Eric or Alcide.  Actually, I sure ‘nuf reckon I don’t like Alcide even though he’s the only one of y’all that ‘aint tryin to eat me for breakfast.

LAFAYETTE strolls over from the kitchen.

LAFAYETTE:  Mmm mmm, Sookie Stackhouse you look prettier than a basket of buttered biscuits.  Girl, have you been readin’ that Bookshelfbattle.com?  Can you believe that tired old has been ‘aint even written one book review this month?

SOOKIE:  That’s ok Lafayette.  He still tries his best.  And he’s a proponent of literature.  Didn’t you read his <a href=“http://bookshelfbattle.com/2014/08/03/the-poets-battle-the-road-not-taken-robert-frost/”> post about the Road Not Taken by Robert Frost?</a>

LAFAYETTE:  Hooker, please.  You know I don’t look this fabulous by sittin’ around readin’ blog posts about philosophical poetry.

LAFAYETTE snaps his fingers and walks off.  SAM walks over.

SAM:  Hi Sook.  Bill.

SOOKIE READS SAM’S MIND AS THE “SOOKIE READS A MIND MUSIC” PLAYS

SAM’S THOUGHTS:  Geez, I hope Sookie doesn’t realize that I add absolutely nothing to the plot and just serve as yet another man who is in love with her but she refuses to love because she’s only into dudes that keep putting her into danger or try to eat her for breakfast for some strange reason.

SAM hands them some menus and exits.

MEANWHILE AT JASON’S HOUSE

JASON and JESSICA are under the covers, talking.

JASON:  We ‘aint bad people for cheatin behind Hoyt’s back are we?  What with me bein’ his best friend and you bein’ his girlfriend and all?  Tarnation, I sure do sound like I’m from the South, y’all.

JESSICA:  I think it’s ok.  Hoyt’s like an ancillary character at best.

JASON:  Alright then.  Hush puppies and crawdaddies, I sure do sound like I’m from the South, even though I’m an Australian.

JESSICA:  I still feel bad about it though.  Our affair is as sordid and scandalous as <a href=http://bookshelfbattle.com/2014/08/09/james-patterson-weighs-in-on-amazon-vs-hachette-battle/&#8221;>the ongoing dispute between Amazon and Hachette.</a>

JASON:  Boy howdy, you really crowbarred that one in, didn’t ya’?

AT FANGTASIA

PAM:  The other day I clicked on bookshelfbattle.com  – He’s supposed to be reviewing books but instead he’s blabbing on and on like an idiot about  The Simpsons.  Like anyone cares to read about  <a href=http://bookshelfbattle.com/2014/08/24/lyrics-to-tito-puentes-senor-burns/&#8221;>Tito Puente’s Senor Burns Song.</a>

ERIC:  Hi!  I’m Eric Northman!  You might remember me from such historical events as the Vikings’ Dominion over Scandanavia and that time Godrick and I were Nazi werewolf hunters!

PAM:  My God.  You’re not watching that damn Every Simpsons Ever Marathon on FXX are you?

ERIC:  I am!  How the hell else do you expect anyone to find out what channel FXX is on before the Fall shows come rolling in?

PAM:  And I suppose you wasted your time reading that post about <a href=http://bookshelfbattle.com/2014/08/23/hi-im-troy-mcclure/&#8221;>Troy McClure’s filmography?</a>

ERIC:  I did!  And it was delightful!

GINGER walks in.

GINGER:  I think Bookshelfbattle.com sucks.

ERIC stares deeply into her eyes.  The “Someone is Getting Glamored” Music Plays

ERIC:  You do NOT think that bookshelfbattle.com sucks.

GINGER:  I do NOT think that bookshelfbattle.com sucks.

ERIC:  You think it is the best contribution to the literary world ever made.

GINGER:  I do.  The author of bookshelfbattle.com makes Shakespeare look like a pile of crap.

ERIC:  Well, let’s not get carried away here.

AT THE POLICE STATION

ANDY:  Damn it, Holly!  This show has more plot holes than a piece of swiss cheese!

HOLLY:  Now Andy Bellefleur don’t you go gettin’ on the writers’ cases again.  You know they try their best!

ANDY:  How come when some people drink V they act like they go on a big time drug hallucination trip and other times, when people are hurt, they drink it and they don’t trip at all?

HOLLY:  I don’t know.  I guess if you drink vampire blood when you’re hurt then you don’t trip?

ANDY:  Ridiculous.  And that time I pulled that car over and those people were in the back with Sam and I opened the back door and it was Sam shape-shifted into an alligator?  Where’d the other people go?  Sam eat them or something?

HOLLY:  I don’t know.

ANDY:  And all the vampires ever do is try to eat people and then complain about how vampire/human relations will never progress until humans trust them.  How the hell are humans going to trust them when vampires are trying to eat them all the time?

HOLLY:  I suppose it doesn’t make sense.

ANDY:  And Stackhouse joins the force and is instantly my second in command?  Are there no other cops that I can work with?

HOLLY:  I guess sometimes the show gets silly.

ANDY:  And Sam turns into a bug and flies into that lady’s mouth and exploded her from the inside out.  Gratuitous violence if you ask me!

HOLLY:  Yeah, and I suppose that time Bill turned that vampire woman’s head around backwards so he didn’t have to look at her face while they had relations got HBO a few irate phone calls.

ANDY:  And Jessica ate like four of my faerie daughters and then I forgive her five minutes later!

HOLLY:  It’s best not to try to make sense of it.  Just go with the flow.

BACK AT MERLOTTE’S

SOOKIE AND BILL still at the booth.

BILL:  So, you see, Soo-keh, I was assigned to spy on and capture you by the Vampire Queen.

SOOKIE:  So you didn’t love me?

BILL:  Not at first, but then I loved you later.

SOOKIE:  Why did the Queen want me?

BILL:  For your delicious faerie blood – which is what attracted me to you.

SOOKIE:  So you don’t love me?  You just love me for my faerie blood?

BILL:  No, I love you.  Can I have some faerie blood?

SOOKIE:  This is all so gosh darn confusin.’

ANDYand Holly walk in.

ANDY:  Tell me about it.

JESSICA AND JASON walk in.

JASON:  Ok!  So I had sex with 90 waitresses!  They meant nothing to me!  I can’t help it!  I got like a disease or somethin’!

JESSICA:  I don’t give a rat’s ass, Jason!  And to find out about that expression and others, read about the bookshelfbattle.com <a href=http://bookshelfbattle.com/2014/08/22/the-writers-battle-expressions/&#8221;>Expression Challenge!</a>

ANDY:  Please, the bookshelfbattle.com expression challenge was dumber than a box of rocks.

SOOKIE:  That’s true.  That challenge did not cut the mustard.

SAM looks up from the bar.

SAM:  Expression challenge?  Sounds like the best idea since sliced bread…

ANDY:  Enough!

GHOST TARA materializes.

GHOST TARA:  Well, well, well, ‘aint this some shit!  I been nice and friendly to all you white folk for six seasons and what do you do?  Kill me off in the first episode of Season 7 without even showing it!  Shit, before the credits even roll!

ANDY:  Yeah!  That was stupid!  And you know what else is stupid about this show…

LETTIE MAY bursts in.

LETTIE MAY:  My baby Tara!  My baby Tara!  She tryin’ to speak to me!

GHOST TARA:  I’m right here, Mama.

LETTIE MAY:  I can’t hear you, Tara!  I’m tryin’ to find Tara!  Oh, someone give me some drugs!  I need lots of drugs to communicate with Tara!

GHOST TARA:  Right here, Mom.  You don’t need drugs.

LETTIE MAY:  Girl, don’t sass me.  If I say I need drugs to talk to you then I need drugs to talk to you.

LAFAYETTE saunters into the room.  He looks at GHOST TARA and raises the palm of his hand in a “TALK TO THE HAND” Gesture.

LAFAYETTE:  Hooker, please.  Don’t even come in here with your tired Scooby Doo lookin’ ass tryin’ to haunt all the white folk.  Auntie, let’s get you home.

LAFAYETTE turns to SOOKIE.

LAFAYETTE:  And you!  Ungrateful hooker!  Seven seasons I been holdin’ your hand through all the dark times and you don’t let me say one of my sassy catch phrases in the finale!  (He bobs his head around in a circle and snaps his fingers)  For shame, Sookie Stackhouse!  For shame!

LAFAYETTE storms off.

ANDY:  And no one finds it on that Tara, a main character, croaks and no one takes a minute to feel sad about it?

HOLLY:  Shut up, Andy.

JASON:  Oh my God!  Y’all look out the window!  It’s fifty Hep V vampires comin’ to kill us!

SOOKIE:  There’s too many of them!  What are we gonna’ do?!

A black hole opens in the middle of the room.  Three high school students and a wimpy British man walk through it.

BUFFY:  Xander!

XANDER:  I know, I know.  I’ll stay here while you and Willow go kick butt because my only special power is sarcasm.

BUFFY and WILLOW walk out the door.  BUFFY stakes half the vampires.  WILLOW casts a spell that blows up the other half with lightning bolts.

They return.  The group mingles and talks for five minutes.

BY THE POOL TABLE:

GILES:  Your faces don’t turn bumpy?

BILL:  Nah, HBO couldn’t afford it.

IN A BOOTH:

SOOKIE:  So Bill’s all gentlemanly when he tries to eat me.  And Eric is all like “I’m a bad ass that doesn’t care about anything” when he tries to eat me.  They both want to eat me but I love them anyway.  I can’t figure out which one I love more.

BUFFY:  I know.  And Angel killed half of Europe hundreds of years ago but he’s all sweet and sensitive now that he got his soul back.  And Spike killed the other half of olden times Europe but, well, he’s trying to be nicer.  They’re both so cute.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BAR:

SAM:  I love Sookie and I don’t try to eat her but she won’t give me the time of day.  And Alcide loved Sookie and he didn’t try to eat her but she didn’t love him either!  It sucks to love a woman that rejects you for vampires who just want to eat her.

XANDER:  Tell me about it.

 

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Labor Day Reads

We here at the Bookshelf Battle Institute for Excellence in Learning How to Read English Good believe that you should spend this Labor Day Weekend basking in those last few precious moments of sun before the Fall rolls around and Mother Nature makes you get out your sweaters and jackets again.  Save the reading for when the snow is piled up ten feet outside your window this Winter.

But – supposedly this is a holiday dedicated to celebrating those who labor, and has nothing to do with getting in one last day off before the weather goes South, so here are, in no particular order, some books to read if you want to learn more about the plight of the downtrodden working man:

1)  Hard Times by Charles Dickens – Oppression of the masses!  Factory workers in love!  The rich get richer!  The poor get poorer!  Workers get covered with soot and talk in cockney accents!  That’s pretty much every Charles Dickens’ novel ever written  but the plight of the poor is especially prevalent in this one.  Arguably, it’s not Dickens’ most memorable work, nor is it his best, but it’s a good piece of literature and, well – I don’t know if you need to give a SPOILER WARNING for a book that was printed in the 1800’s (I mean really, you had your chance to read it already, sheesh!) but suffice to say, Mr. Gradgrind forces all of the wit, whimsy, and dreams out of his kids, forcing them to focus on the practical.  “Stop dreaming and start making some money!” is pretty much the speech that every parent gives to a youngster sooner or later.  And it’s not necessarily bad advice (dreams are great, but paying your bills and being able to eat is good too) but Gradgrind goes a bit overboard and his son ends up a loser while his daughter ends up married to an old man twice her age.  In short, try to find a decent living and keep your dreams intact at the same time.

2) Of Mice and Men – Many of John Steinbeck’s novels are about the plight of the working man.  In this one, George and Lenny are migrant farm hands in California.  They move from farm to farm, the bumbling, dim-witted Lenny usually makes some mistake that enrages the local farm folk, forcing them to pack up and wander off to in search of a new gig.  They make it to another farm where they meet an old man and together, the three of them cook up a dream to save up their money and buy a small patch of land which would allow them to become their own bosses.  It almost pans out until – well, hey listen I’ll let you read it but take a note ladies, don’t allow enormous, musclebound dummies who don’t know their own strength to stroke your hair.  Really, it’s just common sense.

3)  Les Miserables – Victor Hugo’s epic novel turned Broadway Musical turned movie tells the tale of Jean Valjean, who stole a loaf of bread, did hard time for it, and had to take on a new identity just to get away from the shame of it.  He prospers as a town Mayor and factory owner, but when Fantine is forced out of her job at his factory due to gossiping old biddies, he goes on a quest to save her daughter, Cosette and is always just moments away from being nabbed by the obsessed Police Inspector Javert.

Surely you’ve all heard this little diddy:

THE CONFRONTATION LYRICS – LES MISERABLES

JAVERT:

Valjean, at last!  We see each other plain.  Monsieur le Mayor.  You’ll wear a different chain!

VALJEAN:

Before you say another word, Javert!  Before you chain me up like a slave again!  Listen to me!  There is something I must do.  This woman leaves behind a suffering child.  There is none but me who can intercede.  In Mercy’s name three days are all I need.  Then I’ll return.  I pledge my word.  Then I’ll return…

JAVERT:

You must think me mad! I’ve hunted you across the years!  Men like you can never change.  A man…such as you!

It’s funny, people get mad when Valjean doesn’t give Javert the three days, but when you think about it, a police offer can’t really be all like, “Oh sure man, no problem, take all the time you need and I’ll just arrest you whenever it’s convenient for you.”

4) Death of a Salesman – Depressed and old and little to show for a life of being a salesman, Willy Loman commits suicide.  Maybe don’t read this one actually, it’ll just bring you down.  Your high school English teacher probably made you read it anyway.

So, let’s recap:  We have four novels dedicated to the downtrodden working poor and they’re all about the characters either killing themselves, killing each other, or otherwise dying miserably.  Apparently there are no novels where someone just gets a job and enjoys punching a time card everyday.  Kind of sad really.  Work=death according to the most popular books about the lower class.  How about a  book just about the Labor Day holiday itself?

 

5) Labor Day – Joyce Maynard’s novel turned movie about a depressed mother and her awkward son.  They’re taken hostage by an escaped convict.  Wrongfully accused, they rally around the man and almost run away with him until the police catch on and haul him back to the slammer for a long, long time.

 

OK I give up.  It looks like there are no happy, uplifting books about the subject of labor or Labor Day itself.  This list was a total waste!  Have a nice weekend anyway, I’m off to go grill some burgers.

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1,000 Twitter Followers in Three Months!

How diddly doodly blogarinos!  (Sorry, been watching a lot of the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon).

Forgive a bit of shameless self-promotion here.

Something awesome happened tonight – my Twitter feed reached 1,000 followers.  Since I only started blogging/tweeting in earnest in June, I’d say that’s pretty fantastic.

Can we make it to 2,500 by Christmas?  Then there would be even more people following the booktastic goodness.

If you’re on Twitter, feel free to follow me @bookshelfbattle

It’s been a great ride so far – tossing in books, literature, writing, and pop culture into one giant blender and pressing puree!

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Writer’s Battle – More Expressions

HAPPY AS A CLAM – – Really? I have found every clam I have ever met to be downright morose.

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE – This means “to be in a difficult situation with no visibly correct answer.” To be more accurate, the expression should be, “Stuck between a rolling boulder and a hard place.” Because really, if the rock is already there and the hard place is right next to it, and there’s enough room between them, and assuming the rock is immobile and the hard place aka a wall isn’t going anywhere, then you should be able to walk between the two with great ease. Just be careful to not end up like that guy from that movie that had to cut his arm off after a rock fell on it.

TAKE IT WITH A GRAIN OF SALT – I had dinner once with a newcomer to the country and used this phrase. He thought I was trying to tell him to put salt on his food. I had to explain that it was an expression that meant “to be skeptical of a statement that has been told to you.” I assume the connotation is that if you have a piece of steak on your fork, it might look deceptively tasty, but you might want to put some salt on it just in case. Of course, this expression was invented before people realized too much salt is bad for you.

THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE – In other words, people always assume that others have it better than they do. You think your grass stinks but your neighbor’s grass looks all lush and green. It could be you are paranoid because at the end of the day, grass is grass. Or, it could be you are absolutely right and your neighbor is an expert gardner, astute in the art of watering, mowing, and fertilizing grass to give it that beautiful emerald glow whereas your grass looks like a dried up hay field. There are sometimes when the grass is actually greener but rather than hate on a person with greener grass, you should try to learn from him.

YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO – Wrong. I have literally been the rightful owner of every piece of cake I have ever eaten. I go to a party. The host hands me a piece of cake. The host has transferred ownership of the piece of cake to me. I now have it. And now I eat it. Mindblown.

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The Writer’s Battle – Expression Challenge Continued

Just a few more, in no random order:

LIKE WATER OFF A DUCK’S BACK – Has anyone ever poured water on a duck to test this? Last I noticed, ducks still get wet. I’m not aware that ducks have a teflon coating.

I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S ASS – Well, if the point is to convey you don’t care, then I suppose this would qualify. By saying this, you’re actually saying that you don’t care enough about something to even give the butt of a verminous rodent for it. Even so, I’m trying think when in our history were rat butts ever considered a form of currency.

IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE – Please, like rocket science is that hard. If you had a degree in rocket scientology, you could build those things all the time.

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT – People usually say this right before they say something disrespectful. “With all due respect sir, you smell like the business end of an elephant on a hot August day.”

YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU – Used to convey the message to people they should spend their money now because they can’t spend it when they’re gone, i.e. “you can’t take it with you.” Although, that’s not really accurate because Egyptian Pharaohs took their stuff with them all the time.

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Fangs for the Memories

OBLIGATORY SPOILER WARNING

As wacky as True Blood became in recent years, the show wrapped up tonight with a fabulous finale. Loose ends were tied up. Fans were not left with any major unanswered questions. Sookie did not move to the Pacific Northwest to become a lumberjack ala Dexter. The screen did not fade to black and cut to Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. There were no stumbles. There were no cop-outs.

All in all, fans who invested the past several years on what is best described as a equal parts horror/drama/and extremely dark comedy were rewarded.

REPEAT- SPOILER WARNING

The Sookie/Bill romance came to er, uh…well, a bloody conclusion. Jason found a love that didn’t depend entirely on sex. Ghost Tara and her mom reconciled in a prior episode. Hoyt and Jessica tied the knot. And last but not least, Eric and Pam are TV infomercial pitchmen. Their product? New Blood – which apparently does not suck as bad as the previous synthesized blood substitute, “True Blood,” which was despised by many a vampire, causing them to wreak havoc in search of the real thing.

All in all (with Bill excluded) the cast of characters each end up with plausible happy endings of their own – in a world where for most of the series, happy endings seemed impossible.

True Blood what can I say about you? You tried to be as funny as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and as dark and exotic as Anne Rice’s L’estat novels and in the already chock full vampire genre, came up with something new that held our attention for six years.

When this show walked in, the air went out…

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Fangs for the Memories

OBLIGATORY SPOILER WARNING

As wacky as True Blood became in recent years, the show wrapped up tonight with a fabulous finale. Loose ends were tied up. Fans were not left with any major unanswered questions. Sookie did not move to the Pacific Northwest to become a lumberjack ala Dexter. The screen did not fade to black and cut to Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. There were no stumbles. There were no cop-outs.

All in all, fans who invested the past several years on what is best described as a equal parts horror/drama/and extremely dark comedy were rewarded.

REPEAT- SPOILER WARNING

The Sookie/Bill romance came to er, uh…well, a bloody conclusion. Jason found a love that didn’t depend entirely on sex. Ghost Tara and her mom reconciled in a prior episode. Hoyt and Jessica tied the knot. And last but not least, Eric and Pam are TV infomercial pitchmen. Their product? New Blood – which apparently does not suck as bad as the previous synthesized blood substitute, “True Blood,” which was despised by many a vampire, causing them to wreak havoc in search of the real thing.

All in all (with Bill excluded) the cast of characters each end up with plausible happy endings of their own – in a world where for most of the series, happy endings seemed impossible.

True Blood what can I say about you? You tried to be as funny as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and as dark and exotic as Anne Rice’s L’estat novels and in the already chock full vampire genre, came up with something new that held our attention for six years.

When this show walked in, the air went out…

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Lyrics to Tito Puente’s Senor Burns

As a comedy aficionado, I am really enjoying the “Every Simpsons Ever” Marathon on FXX. One of my favorite songs from the show is Tito Puente’s “Senor Burns.” The Setup – in the “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” episodes, oil is discovered at Springfield Elementary School, causing Principal Skinner to spend lavishly, including hiring Tito Puente as the school music teacher. But, when Mr. Burns blocks out the sun to force everyone to buy more energy from his nuclear power plant, everyone in town has a grudge against Mr. Burns, as well as a motive to shoot him. Tito is cleared as a suspect when it is learned that he chose to get his revenge on Mr. Burns, not with violence but through an insulting salsa song:

LYRICS TO SENOR BURNS BY TITO PUENTE
Wounds won’t last long, but an insulting song
Burns will always carry with him.
So I’ll settle my score, on the salsa floor
with this vengeful Latin rhythm.
Burns! Con el corazon de perro!
Senor Burns! El diablo con dinero!
It may not surprise you, but all of us despise you.
Please die and fry. In hell, you rotten
rich old wretch!
Adios viejo!

By the way, my Spanish is rusty but I believe the palabras en espanol translate roughly into “Burns you have the heart of a dog!” and “Mr. Burns you’re the devil with money!”

Literally, with no exaggeration, every few years, I’ll catch this episode on TV and end up singing the song for at least a year after. I haven’t even caught the episode on the marathon but it popped into my head and I can’t stop singing it.

Random thought – Are they going to show the Simpons Movie? They can’t really call it “Every Simpsons Ever” if they don’t show the Simpsons Movie, can they?

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