Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Good Neighbors, Cookbooks and TV Romance

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

I’m writing this blog on Saturday. We’ve had to shift our schedules about because of film-related meetings. I am loathed to give up my Sundays (even while filming). I have to get dressed and put on make-up and act civilized. Very annoying. Yes, I’ve been writing the blog in my pajamas!!

Before I begin, I must insist that readers go to The Writer’s Almanac for June 7, 2008 and enjoy the marvelous voice of Garrison Keillor reading City of Tonawanda Softball Championship by Sarah Freligh. Just click on 'play' on the top of the page in the left corner.

The Kindness of Strangers

I know that I’ve complained often about the singular aself-absorption of Angelinos. And it’s still true that they are largely, hugely self-absorbed. We still face the possibility of death by car from people with no concept of what right of way or cross walks or traffic lights mean (these near misses often occur in front of the police station near our home). We’ve even been in dire peril on the sidewalk when a motorist decides to peel into a driveway because of an opening in oncoming traffic despite the people walking there. However, I must admit, that I’ve been surprised and moved by the kindness of our neighbors and of service people we encounter daily.

In our building, most residents work the day shift and have departed long before we’re even awake. However, there is a lady who is around all day because of a disability. She’s our complex’s alarm system. I notice her notcing everything that happens in our courtyard and at the entrances. It means a lot to me to have such sharp eyes about. I know if a nefarious deed ever happened here, there would be no getting away with it. We are provided with further surveyllance and security from our bus drivers to and from work (You may choose to think we are green if you’d like). Our morning driver is hooked on choclate eclairs from the Korean doughnut shop and has recently become obsessed with an antique store at the end of his route where we catch him. He knows his regulars and will stop for them even if they haven’t reached the stop or wait a little if he knows they’re due. He also notices if Jon or I are missing from the bus and inquires after our health. Our evening driver was a very cranky lady who reminded me of my cousin the cop. We call my cousin Officer Friendly – she really isn’t. Neither was this driver, but she tickled me anyway. I like the replacement even more. He’s a more mellow Chris Rock sort of guy who has lots of women chasing him. His bus is the last one running to our neighborhood. Thus, he’s careful to pick up befuddled tourists at the wrong stop and makes sure they know where they want to go (all of the Santa Monica Blue Bus - the one from Speed are amazing with tourists). The night driver really makes sure his regulars make the bus. When Jon was down with that cold after the Gunslinger Trailer, the driver made sure I got off and across the street to the cab stand before moving on. One night during that stretch, he kept a noisy drunk from getting off with me. LA doesn’t seem like such a big, anonymous place with these folks around. Speaking of cabs, we have regular drivers there as well. We don’t take them often (too pricey save for when we’re toting groceries), but they see us pass by the stand every night. On one trip, Jon thought he’d drop $20 in the cab. We thought that would be the last we’d see of that. However, the passenger after us gave the bill to the driver, who gave it to us the next time we passed by. We were flummoxed. The neighborliness is just like Mount Airy in Philly though not nearly as beautiful. Though the cab money thing wouldn't have happened there. That's more of a Mayberry thing. Incidentally, to figure out a lot about who I am socially and politcally, read up on Mt. Airy, offically recognized as the most successfully integrated neighborhood in America.

Soldier’s Fate Update

Thanks to those who bought the e-book version of the book. I’m really plased by the early reactions. I am missing Rik and Vincent already and can’t wait to start the third one. Though if I don’t do this script re-write there are people who may harm me bodily. Anway, about the cookbook. There will be a free e-book version in a couple of weeks. I have been making the recipes mentioned in the book. Jon isn’t an Altered, but he does require stealthy use of fruits and vegetables to keep him healthy. He’d live on baguettes and butter with an occasional pastry chaser if I let him. The recipes are all road tasted for tastiness and cooking ease.

What DO You Like - Adult Content (not what you think)
Warning: There be spoilers for Battlestar Galactica, possible grammatical liberties as well as multiple and odd pop culture references.

Another installment in answer to often asked questions about my TV rants. I don’t know why I give spoiler warnings. First off, there’s some program out there that will immediately link the site to some spoiler TV page. Last week, there were a lot of very confused and consequently hostile soap opera fans reading the blog then writing me despite the warnings. But I have to give the warning in this case, because almost any comment I make about BSG this season will give a lot away. Those who don’t watch the show can still follow the theme of adult or mature romance in genre television.

I read a comment by the writers of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine a long time ago that romance and mysteries don’t mix. There are similar notions about romance and science fiction. Now, admittedly, both genres have done romance badly. As sophisticated as the science fiction was in the various Trek shows, they seldom got intimate, ongoing adult relationships right. I know there are exceptions, but usually when two crewmen who are attractive and have a lot in common finally look at each other in other than a strictly professional manner, it’s an anomaly. Frankly, I think the problem has been a lack of female writers on the writing staff. Forgive me, but men are oblivious to the obvious. I recall the first time I saw The Matrix was with a bunch of guys. None of them could figure out why one of the team would betray the rebels to the agents and many wild theories ensued. I commented that the traitor had been in love with Trinity and all Trinity could see was Neo. They hadn’t noticed. They didn’t believe me until the two characters were making out at the end. Geez. I had another male friend who never noticed the romance growing between Mulder and Scully, for goodness sake. Jon thinks many male writers look at female cast though the Madonna/whore prism. Either they are untouchable or an easy piece. I’m very glad to see that it’s changing. Women are being written better and there are some amazing ongoing relationships in hour long dramas like The Closer (Brenda Leigh Johnson is light years away from Pepper Anderson – no hate mail, I liked the show), Eureka (but that’s for another blog) and the best of them all right now, Battlestar Galactica.

The crew men and women on BSG are very aware that there are some attractive folks on board. And there has been lust running rampant even at times when professionalism is demanded. And there are consequences for indescretions. The sexual tension of the show is well played. But there are more than hot, 20-somethings with amazing bodies. There are attractive characters of every age, even post- 60 (Edward James Olmos is still smokin’ hot, thank you). On a side note, I met him and most of the cast when Gabriel Koerner took me to the premier of the pilot/mini-series. I was very good with meeting the young hotties and was able to discuss their performances quite professionally. But all that left me when I approached Mr. Olmos. I think he knew by the look in my eyes what I wanted. So he hugged me. It was fabulous. He’s very cuddly for such a tough guy. Where was I? Ah yes, His Admiral Adama has been at odds with Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell ) in early episodes, but slowly a rapport built. Grudging respect became admiration and that grew into an amazing love. Mind you, there’s been no hanky panky. She’s extremely ill and they have a lot on their plates with trying to save what remains of the human race. But the relationship is flirty and funny and solid and complex. Adama adores Laura enough to throw away everything (his commission, the fleet, his safety) in order to find her when she disappears. Yet, he will still fight her when he thinks she’s made a bad decision as president – as she will fight him on occasion. It’s so thoroughly mature. They manage to make me cry every week. I need a break from the trauma, actually. Anyway, all of this romance and lust is integrated with ease amdist the killer robots and star fighter dogfights. Anyway, that is something I really like.

Well, I have to give myself a manicure and a facial. Stay tuned.

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