Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy, Happy…Joy, Joy!

Ah...the wonderful Girlyman. We'll talk more about them later.

Author’s Note: I realize some of my more devoted fans have wondered what I’ve been up to the last little bit. I apologize, but I feel guilty writing for pleasure, when I should be writing thesis pages. Thus, “My World” will be getting “short-changed” until the end of the summer. This doesn’t mean I’ve stopped writing altogether—it’s just gonna be less until my thesis board grants me life again.

Dollhouse & A Brief Message about Independent music

In an unexpected move, Fox TV Network has given Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse a second chance at life. Dollhouse, before season one ended, was barely averaging 3 million viewers a week. Comparatively, Fox TV’s highest rated series, American Idol, averaged 35 Million viewers a week. Even if we were to compare Dollhouse to a relatively close in genre show like Fox’s Bones, we’re still talking an average of 8 million viewers a week. Dollhouse wasn’t even doing half of that.

So why is Dollhouse being saved when its ratings should make it the number one show Fox wants to get rid of? There are three reasons. One, Dollhouse is not only distributed by Fox, it’s owned by Fox. So Fox Corporation eventually sees all of the revenue this show will ever produce—DVD sales, online viewing advertisement income—any monetary gain associated with the show. This wasn’t the case for The Sarah Connor Chronicles—distributed by Fox, but owned by the WB Corporation. That show, which was faring a little better than Dollhouse at certain points, finally gasped its last breath and died at the end of its second season.

Secondly, Dollhouse’s upfront costs were relatively steep, but now the show will require very little monetary maintenance. Whedon spent a huge amount on his fully encompassing set, which will allow him to make future episodes for incredibly cheap prices. If Fox were to scrub the show now, there’s a good chance they’d end up spending a heap of money trying to development yet another show not likely to do any better in the dreaded Friday Night timeslot—Friday night shows haven’t done well on Fox since the cancellation of X-files in 2002.

The last reason—and this one is really a vindication for all of those Whedonites that suffered through the death of Firefly—has to do with Fox kicking themselves. When Joss’s show Firefly was cancelled after not even a complete first season was finished, DVD sales indicated it was an incredibly stupid move. They lost big time in potential revenue—fans were rabid enough to help get the show produced into a one-time film/ show finale: Serenity. The film made millions.

So there you go.

My feelings on the subject? I am ecstatic, and my fondness for the show has increased ten fold, due to the last four episodes of season one.

Explanation? It’s simple really. In the tradition of Joss Whedon’s previous shows, it took a while for Dollhouse to gain any emotional momentum. There were too many “stand alone” episodes in the beginning, and I simply didn’t care what was happening. Nothing was set up in the storyline to compel me to come back the next week. But then the writing staff and Whedon finally figured out a rhythm that worked. It is my personal belief the drastic improvements started to take shape when former Buffy writer, Jane Espenson, came on midway through the season.

In addition to those changes, guest actors (most of which were previously introduced to Whedonites in shows such as Angel and Firefly) and surprise twists took this show in a whole new direction, and ultimately, to a whole new level. I’m very pleased Whedon has found a vein of his A-game juice, and I hope he continues to milk it.

And now for the music…

It’s been an extremely exciting summer for music here in my now hometown of Salt Lake City, UT. Perhaps the most exciting experience of all happened this past weekend, when I had the opportunity to attend the concert of my favorite band Girlyman.

Over the many years they have unknowingly enjoyed the top position on “My Favorite Band” list, my efforts to see them in concert have been thwarted by cross-country moves, severe lack of funding due to unexpected early grad school admittance, and excruciating gas prices (Last summer we hit the top of that at $4.20 a gallon.). Driving my truck to their Denver concert, a mere 450 miles away, last year would have cost me somewhere around $150.00. Ouch!

This year, however, was different. They were a little closer—Fort Collins, CO (about an hour closer). Gas has made its way back down, at least temporarily, to a “within reason” price. And I’m in a lot better financial positioning—I’ve paid off my initial student loan. As soon as I read they would come again, I knew I had to go. I HAD TO!

The concert did not disappoint. They sang most of my favorites, a few of their new songs (I can’t wait for their new record to get out at the end of this year!), and they were, most of all, enormously entertaining. I know I said the Brandi Carlile concert was the best I’ve ever been to, but it’s hard to top seeing your favorite band.

After the show was over, I stood in line to meet them, and they were incredibly gracious. They signed a poster, and I even got gutsy enough to ask the great Nat Borofsky for one of the paper play lists they had on their stage that night (a piece of paper with their song sets). They even took a few pictures with me. OMH (that’s: “Oh, my heck!”)!!!!

Thankfully, the summer has a lot more to offer by way of live music here in SLC. Indigos are coming next month, as well as Greg Laswell. So many wonderful artists! "It's my birthday present to me. I'm so happy."

Friday, May 8, 2009

We are, all of us, Mothers...

This morning I got up four times. Once at 1:30. Then at 2:30. Once more at 4:00. Finally, I got out of bed at 5:30. My sister showed up 15 minutes after that, and we were off to the hospital.


Before I go any further, let’s back up a bit. My nephew, whom we shall call Rollie for the sake of this blog, had to undergo anesthesia for the third time in as many weeks, due to repetitive shifting in the glorious fractures he acquired in the radius and ulna of his cute, fat, little right arm(Please see the above illustration of a similar injury.). When my sister called me about it last night, she explained she would have to get up at four-something in the morning, drive forty-five minutes to downtown, and wait hours and hours while a doctor set and cast her son’s arm.


Most people, when they hear of their loved ones experiencing incidents such as these, offer sympathy and verbal encouragement. But before I could even evaluate the implications of my enlistment, I volunteered to wake up and ride with her to the hospital and stay with her while Rollie underwent his third setting and casting. As a consequence of this volition, I woke up every few hours the night before, because I was afraid I would not wake up in time.

The whole situation, begs the question, “Why did you agree to do this?” It’s simple really. I had to. A deep instinct compelled me, and I realized just how much I love my sister and my nephew. I yielded to the best portion of my feminine nature, I realized I acted in accordance with my most important role as a woman—I am a mother.


No. Rollie is not my son. He’s my sister’s. I don’t have children. I’m not married. I may very well die in a pit of despair, completely alone, on an enormous pile of various scholastic accolades, degrees, books, and films in various formats.

Maybe I should phrase “I am a mother” a little differently. I am a woman. And as a woman, I feel a gargantuan desire to help, protect, and support the people that I love. I guess, when it comes to children, “desire” doesn’t cover it. It is instinctual and reactionary. I feel enormously compelled by some unseen force. I must do the above things when it involves a child. I must. There is not one iota of thought put into it. The need becomes even more intense, because my sister’s children are kin.

I can’t imagine what my sister feels in relation to her own children. That emotion must defy description.

I guess I bring this experience up for several reasons. First and foremost, I am exhausted right now, and I needed an analytical topic to occupy my mind during the slow hours of work, lest I fall asleep at my desk. Secondly, Mother’s day is on Sunday, and I am reminded of my own mother’s love and of the enormous sacrifices she made as a single parent of three. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, because I’m starting to realize the incredible value of my roles as a woman and as a mother.

In times past, I’ve looked upon on “Old Maids” who doted on their nieces and nephews as somewhat pathetic. I assumed they were simply over-compensating for the fact that their own lives lacked substance, in addition to leaching off of their sibling’s ability to marry and bear children.

What a cruel reduction. I am such an ass. Thankfully, justice is getting its due reward. I turn twenty-seven this year, and look who’s leaching now. Ha, Ha.

P.S. Happy Mother's day Mom. And Happy Mother's Day Marissa--it's a first.