Wherein I Get to A a Q!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! The sun shines down on us all this morning because I have been asked to provide an opinion! Normally I have to force them upon others unrequested, but NOT TODAY, people. Not. Today.

Q: There are soooo many episodes of Judge John Hodgman. Do I go back and start at episode no. 1? Start listening as of now? Pick an arbitrary point in the middle? Is there a curated list of cannot-miss-episodes?

A: What is time? A river flowing ever downstream. A straight line from the beginning to the end of the universe. A mobius strip, twisting between memory and anticipation. Time is a mother carrying home a bag of oranges from the bodega, a green tendril wrenching apart the seed that has protected it because it is called to reach towards the light, the meniscus of a drop of water that quivers but does not break. Beginnings are false prophet. Endings, lies we tell to anchor ourselves, because if there is memory, can there really be an end? Do we really ever make decisions if the universe contains infinite possibilities of ourselves, a multiverse of Choose Your Own Adventures?

Wherever you begin your journey, what is important is tasting the air as you breathe.

Q&A sounds fun, doesn’t it?

Hey guys! I’ve decided I’d like to try my hand at answering questions and giving advice! If there’s anything you’ve been wondering about, or you’re in a sticky situation and need the best opinion money can’t buy, reply in the comments or holler at me at potatopotato321@hotmail.com and I’ll be happy to give ya my 2 centavos. I promise to do absolutely no research or preparation before weighing in!

Copy-amirite?

Y’all, I apologize in advance, because I’m about to be slightly educational. And if there’s anything this blog is NOT supposed to be, it’s informative or useful in any way. I’m going to bring it back to TV, I promise, but in the meantime stick with me for a hot second.

Those pour souls amongst you who have been forced to spend any significant amount of time with me already know that I believe strongly in the importance of an intellectual property system that is calibrated to reward invention without stifling innovation. IP MATTERS, PEOPLE. Not just for things like pharmaceutical R&D, but for an artist’s ability to control the use of their work, a smartass’s ability to parody freely (Scary Movie, anyone?!?), and for your protection from the knockoff Folexes and Goochees of the world.

Well, this has been a big week in IP land. SCOTUS just issued an opinion ruling that copyright can protect elements of “useful articles” (in this case, cheerleading uniforms). This is a big deal in the world of IP, and if you want to learn more about it, there’s a good article on the decision here.

But what on earth does this have to do with TV?

Well, reading about copyright reminded me of my favorite segment from the Colbert Report, and I wanted to share it with all of you. Sorry that I can’t embed it– still haven’t figured out how to make that work for non-Youtube videos. Again, I sincerely apologize if you learned anything today. It won’t happen again.

 

 

I <3 Network TV: iZombie Edition

Boy, it is terrible weather for going outside today– which means it’s perfect weather for snuggling under a blanket and mainlining Netflix. What’s that you say? You’ve already burned through Son of Zorn and Speechless? You need something new to watch? You’re addicted to network TV now?

I got you, boo. This week’s recommendation is….

Wait for it….

iZOMBIEEEEEEEEEEE (and the crowd goes wild!).

iZombie is a CW show (you *know* how much I love the CW!) about Liv Moore, a doctor who gets changed into a zombie at a boat party in Seattle. When she eats brains, she has flashbacks from the life of the person whose brain she just snacked on. There’s a mystery-of-the-week element as well as a multi-season zombie conspiracy arc that involves, among other things, an energy drink called Max Rager. Amongst the many reasons you should spend your weekend with iZombie:

  1. It’s a dramedy. Who doesn’t love dramedies?
  2. It’s streaming on Netflix.
  3. The third season is premiering April 4th, so there’s fresh content to look forward to.
  4. Rob Thomas created it. As in, the dude who created Veronica Mars.
  5. It’s zombies but it’s funny.
  6. Max Rager. Ha!
  7. You get to stare at this guy a lot:

Major Lilywhite.gif

7. And this guy:

Ravi.jpg

Yes, it can be gross at times. And yes, the mysteries of the week aren’t always so compelling. But the larger arcs are fantastic, the acting is good, and if you liked V Mars, then you should have reached for your remote like three paragraphs ago.

Happy watching!

Flash Fiction Challenge: Mozzarella Season

There’s no more virtuous way to procrastinate than with stuff you also should be doing. I’m supposed to be writing a Kimmy Schmidt spec and of course am failing miserably, so I decided to spend the night finishing my first effort at the flash fiction challenge I set for myself… The prompt being, of course, “mozzarella season.”

Y’all, it’s not great, and I know that, but part of My Process (or My Journey or My Growth Trajectory or whatever) is putting it out there and sharing it anyway, although it’s pretty raw. If you do read this, just remember… fiction is hard.

* * * * * *

“Buongiorno, bitches!” Kristin flings her arms over her head and shouts as Paolo deftly snakes the convertible around a Fiat. He adjusts the wheel loosely with one hand as he rests the other confidently across Kristin’s tanned shoulders. Her hair streams behind her like a gleaming gold flag.

Reflexively, Rose pats at her own hair and wishes she hadn’t– the top-down ride has transformed it into a frizzy tumbleweed. When they get to the vineyard she’ll have to try to un-snarl in the bathroom. Kristin flashes her most incorrigible smile at Rose in the rearview mirror. “Aren’t you glad you came on vacation?”

In the backseat, Marco meets Rose’s eyes and smiles. Behind his fringe of overlong dark hair, his eyes are kind. Rose smiles back and hopes he doesn’t notice that her chinos are currently giving her major cameltoe. As casually as she can, she tries to tug the fabric down her thighs without drawing attention to her crotch situation. The contrast with Kristin’s flirty coral sundress with its delicate straps is not lost on Rose.

To be fair, Rose did not know when got dressed this morning that two shamelessly flirty Italian men would invite them to spend the afternoon wine tasting in the Tuscan countryside. But though their adventure is unexpected, Rose isn’t surprised. She has seen men trip over themselves (sometimes literally) to woo Kristin since freshman year of college. She simultaneously loves her fiercely radiant friend and wishes she could Freaky Friday herself into Kristin’s body for just one day.

Over the car’s revving engine Rose shouts, “It’s beautiful here!” But Marco has already turned away and doesn’t hear her. Justin Timberlake’s new single blasts from the stereo and Kristin and Paolo are shout-singing the chorus. Rose joins in for the few words she knows, her voice lost in the rev of the engine.

No wonder Italians don’t seem to worry about anything. It’s too hot to think, too hot to do anything but just be. The Mediterranean sun bakes her shoulders and fries her brain. Rose is too stunned to even get worked up when Paolo turns completely in his seat to shout a joke in Italian at Marco, still driving one-handed, and leans over to repeat the joke for Kristin.

Kind, thoughtful Marco leans over to clue Rose in. “Paolo says it is mozzarella season,” he explains.

Rose blinks slowly, a lizard on a rock. “Huh?”

Marco points at a family bicycling along the road’s narrow shoulder. Rose can tell that they aren’t Italian. German, she’d guess, from how ramrod-straight they are sitting. They pedal stoically like they have pistons for legs, despite the sweat drenching their crew socks. She winces sympathetically at the angry pink strike on the back of the father’s neck, above his collar. If she didn’t need it so badly herself Rose would toss him her tube of SPF 50.

“We say, is mozzarella season,” Marco repeats, pointing again at the valiant family. “Do you understand?” Kristin peals with laughter in the front seat. Rose thinks about the effort it would take to lean towards Marco, how many questions she would have to ask to get the joke, and smiles instead, turning gently away.

The green-gold countryside flies by like a dream. Rose leans back and trails her hand over the car door, letting wind rush over her fingers like water, and knows.

This is what it is to be young.

Rose grabs hold of this moment, jewel bright and sharp as knives. She holds tight as it pierces right through her skin and muscle, sparking every nerve, slicing down to the marrow of her bones and overfilling them with painful sweetness. Rose tips her head back and whoops, overflowing with the right-now that is gone before she can even catch hold.

*****

ETA – in case you’re wondering what Mozzarella Season actually is… I have been told it’s what Italians call the summer months when pasty German tourists whose skin is roughly the same shade as mozzarella come to the countryside to catch some sun…..