Ozzily Yours

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Band Candy

I appreciate a Dorothy Gale homage as much as (probably more than) anybody - but why does Buffy sport the braids? Why? Was this a '90s thing? Because I don't remember it being a '90s thing.

And on the subject of Why: Why is Angel doing tai chi? What does this have to do with his hell dimension PTSD?

And how had I forgotten how painfully unsubtle this ep was about putting Giles in a surrogate father position?

And perhaps most importantly... how was this the best plan for collecting a handful of babies to deliver to a demon as tribute? How could Ethan have been so sure that EVERY ADULT IN TOWN would consume enough candy so a to leave the entire maternity ward abandoned? What's more, it looks like there were actually only four babies taken... was good old-fashioned kidnapping out of the question?

I mean, I enjoy adolescent Giles, Joyce, and Snyder as much as anyone, but the set-up that gets them there strikes me, for the first time, as insanely contrived. I mean, I know, it's Buffy, suspension of disbelief, yadda yadda yadda... but still... really?

That said, unexpected effect while watching: the audio of the crying babies awaiting the feeding really got to me. Damn it, motherhood! I shouldn't get all verklempt just from hearing crying babies!!!


Saturday, August 02, 2014

Homecoming

Hey, I got through a July 25th without a morbid blog post! Hooray for me! (And you, I suspect - man, that must have been a depressing annual update, huh?)

That said, knowing that PreviouslyTV is in the middle of a Buffy rewatch... and that my awesome nanny (with whom I share many pop culture proclivities) just finished his own Buffy rewatch... and that the husband's work schedule is about to get crazy again, but before the fall TV season begins in earnest... I figured IT WAS TIME.

TIME TO REVISIT THE BUFFY REWATCH.

And how pleased am I that Homecoming is my first episode back? I mean, the set-up is way lamer than I remembered - Scott dumping Buffy feels really forced, as does Willow and Xander turning their back on Buffy's Homecoming queen candidacy - but man, I still love me some Mr. Trick. And a nice Giles moment I'd forgotten: "We have to find Buffy, something terrible has happened!... Just kidding, thought you could use a scare! Are those finger sandwiches?" Further, there's minimal Angel angst - but I know it's only a matter of time before that rears its ugly head.

Also: Jonathan! "Cordelia gave me six dollars. That buys a lotta cupcakes."

Further, I've always been taken by the way Cordelia acquits herself during SlayerFest. She's always been an interesting character in that way - sort of the neo Buffy, in that she's a flaky teenage girl who, when confronted with monsters and danger, finds a way to kick ass instead of running into every trap that's set for her. It pleases me.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

On the third anniversary

Conversation in a dimly-lit bedroom, as I put my son to bed and go about gathering the menagerie of stuffed animals that sleep with him each night. (His friends, as we say in our house).

"So here's Snoozy Bear... and your octopus... and Mr. Turtle. You know, I think Mr. Turtle is pretty special."

"Why is Mr. Turtle special?"

"Well, Mr. Turtle was given to you right after you were born by a very good friend of mine."

"What good friend?"

"His name was Todd."

-----

I don't know if you know many 4-year-olds. 4 is the age of "why," it's true - but it also seems to be the age of recalling and returning to everything you say. A few nights later....

"Why did Todd give me Mr. Turtle?"

"Well, I think he and his wife wanted to send a gift to welcome you into the world. It's a nice thing that people often do when you have a baby."

"Who was his wife?"

"His wife is named Rebecca."

"...Did they die?"

-----

It's interesting how children can read things into the smallest details. I guess it must have been my consistent use of the past tense, or maybe just the way I was speaking. Maybe he remembers my telling him a little about Todd before. I don't know. Somehow, the question didn't surprise me, and I knew I had to be honest with him.

-----

"Todd died, yes, but Rebecca is still alive."

"How did he die?"

"He had a big accident a few years ago."

"What kind of accident?"

"He fell from a very, very tall building."

"And that makes you die?"

"Yes, if you fall far enough, it can make you die."

-----

Mr. Turtle has been among his foremost friends for several nights this week. He's also been talking about gifting Mr. Turtle to his newborn baby brother - but so far he's not quite ready to let him go. Mr. Turtle is awfully soft, and pretty rubby - his word for a stuffed animal that feels nice to rub with your fingers while you're going to sleep.

-----

"Mom? Why did Todd have that accident?"

"I don't know. I wish I did. But I don't."

"Can you look it up?"

"No, I'm afraid I can't look it up."

"Why not?"

"Because, buddy, some things you just can't look up. There are some questions we'll never know the answers to, no matter how much we wish we could."

"I wish we could, too."

"I know. Would you like to hear some funny stories about Todd? I have a lot of those."

"...Yeah."

-----

It's been a few days since Todd came up in conversation. I have no doubt he'll ask about him again. I hope I'll still be able to be truthful, and to remind him that we shouldn't dwell on how he died, but on how he lived.

R.I.P., Crocketeer.  I still miss you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Have to, or choose to?...

"Do you have to go back to work?" After declaring my 3-day-old son's weight gain satisfactory and observing that he was latching on well while nursing, the pediatric R.N. was ready to move on to new topics.

I blinked back at her in a sleep-deprived haze. Go back to work? Hell, no. I'm going home. Possibly with a stop at In-and-Out along the way. Why would I be going back to?...

Oh. Okay, I get it. "I'm going to start working again in October," I responded, which triggered a discussion of when to start pumping breast milk and when it would be okay to start offering a bottle. And then I was heading home, and whatever had lodged in my mind about the strangeness of the question was displaced by other things (namely, a double-double and some crispy fries).

And then, a few days later: talking of a family member who'd be having her own first child soon, I was told, "She has to go back to work after 2 or 3 months." And there was that weird discomfort again.

This is a woman who worked very hard to get into and through medical school and, now, is being challenged in her residency. Given all that she's invested in getting as far as she has - and how much she'd lose if she abandoned her path now - I would be much more surprised if I were told she wasn't going back to work. And that's when it dawned on me:

Do you have to go back to work?... She has to go back to work.

I suddenly wanted to bolt back to the hospital and tell that nurse, "No! I don't have to go back to work, I'm choosing to go back to work! I'm excited to go back to work! I know it's going to be really hard, but I'm excited anyway!"

And let me pause to acknowledge that I am writing from a place of extraordinary privilege: my family would remain financially solvent if I chose not to work. What's more, I work from home, part-time, for an extremely understanding boss who is also a long-time dear friend; and we've been lucky enough to line up a terrific nanny who has been close to our family for years. I understand that many women don't have a choice, and I understand that many women don't have the flexibility and options that I do.

Further, I came at my decision to return to work with the benefit of hindsight. A confluence of circumstances essentially took away my opportunity to choose work when my first child was born - a layoff combined with a weak economy combined with a planned move across the country meant that I was a stay-at-home parent for my son's first fifteen months. And having had that experience, I genuinely believe I will be a better mom if I take the 20 hours per week of work - the intellectual stimulation, the change of scenery (figuratively, if not literally), and, frankly, the break from the incredibly challenging work of parenthood will leave me refreshed and ready to devote my remaining time more fully to my family.

And I'm thrilled that I can choose that path. But I wish that I didn't find myself feeling defensive about it already - that defensiveness arising only because of the phrasing of that eight-word question.

So take a second the next time you're talking to a pregnant woman, a friend with a newborn, a mom whose child will be starting preschool soon. If you must ask the question, try to keep it neutral: "Do you plan to go back to work?" It may seem like the exact same question, but believe me when I say that, to me, and many women (and, increasingly, some men) like me, there is a world of difference.

Monday, October 22, 2012

New project!

So even watching all of Buffy can't get me to write regularly. How sad.

In the interest of chronicling the mundane details of my day-to-day life, I've decided to embark on a Project 365, taking and posting a photo a day. I'm not making any efforts at artistic expression here (most photos will be taken by my phone), just trying to capture snapshots of daily life.

If you're at all interested, join me at http://mcm365.tumblr.com/.

And I may well be back here some day. Who knows?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Beauty and the Beasts

And then I only had one episode to finish out the disc! How could I not?

Turns out, easily. And I shouldn't have. Although I guess I should be glad that this episode taught me that domestic violence is bad. BAD. And so is creating a potion that turns you into Mr. Hyde. BAD.

Also, I've always felt this way, but Angel's dramatic return at the very end of the episode feels a little unearned to me. I can't really explain why, because I know it all gets explained and we learn that he suffered unimaginably, yadda yadda yadda, and yet... the eerily-lit claddagh ring tinkling on the ground still makes me say, "Eh."

Faith, Hope, and Trick

So I was going to nap after the last episode. But then I realized that this was the next one. I always forget that Faith and Mr. Trick, two AWESOME characters, were introduced at the exact same time.

We have a group of friends that has a duck. Not Duck, actually, is his proper name. And Not Duck has traveled the world and met many celebrities. Now, during our tenure in Chicago, as subscribers to Steppenwolf Theatre, we saw lots of moderately famous actors perform, but we never felt the need to wait by the stage door to meet them. Until, that is, K. Todd Freeman, Mr. Trick himself, appeared in Steppenwolf's Tempest. The only time we've lurked at the stage door. So worth it!

So clearly, I am a fan of Mr. Trick and, as such, I'm a fan of this episode. While the so-old-he's-cloven-hooved Kakeestos (sp?) is a little lazily reminiscent of the Master and Faith's overcome-your-fear-and-be-a-stronger-person storyline is cliched, I'm willing to forgive thanks to the very fact that this episode brought Mr. Trick and Faith into the Buffyverse. Also, I remain obsessed with the line, "Sunnydale ain't exactly a haven for the brothers."

(And for the record, K. Todd Freeman made an excellent Caliban.)

Dead Man's Party

Last weekend saw the perfect storm of me not feeling well and the kid being more tantrum-y than usual. A nap was in the cards, except I suspected I wouldn't actually sleep, given that being horizontal inevitably led to not being able to breathe through my nose. It was the perfect time to resurrect Buffython! Except then, clearly, I didn't feel like actually writing anything when I was done. So I dashed down a few notes, but we'll see what happens here.

This ep is necessary , but kind of boring. Yes, Buffy's loved ones needed the chance to vent, but the set-up is overly contrived. And also, given that Joyce was all excited about having a nice dinner party, why did she allow the gathering to turn into a high school kegger? - what kind of mom doesn't shut the party down BEFORE the rock band sets up their equipment? In other news, I've clearly gotten spoiled by watching Walking Dead, because DAMN this was some weak zombie make-up.

To be fair, this episode does have some stuff to recommend it. First and foremost: Jonathan! Addressed by Buffy (during the epic blow-out in which her friends finally tell her that running away was a selfish bitchcake move) as "you, by the dip, do you have anything to say?" (He responds, hilariously mid-dip, "No... I'm good.") Also, Giles' immortal line, often repeated in our house, "Do you like my mask? Isn't it pretty? It raises the dead! AMERICANS."

Mostly, though, the episode remains one long round of set-up. Buffy gets back into school and into her friends' good graces and the Mayor continues to be obliquely referred to in ominous tones.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Anne

This episode wasn't as hokey as I remembered. I liked the interplay between first-day-of-school drama and saving-the-world drama, as both felt very real. Seeing Joyce's and Giles' pain, as well as her blaming him for Buffy's disappearance, was also really well-done.

W/r/t the main storyline - I remembered the character of Lily as really annoying and in reality she was only, well, kind of annoying. I had completely forgotten the fact that she pushes their demon tormentor off a ledge in order to save everybody - sort of her redemption. Nice! Perhaps it's knowing that she later turns up in "Angel" as an even more-evolved character that made this more palatable for me.

I think they earned Buffy's return to Sunnydale. We'll see how well they earn her re-incorporation into Sunnydale life.