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11
May

Revenge: The Perfect TV Finale…according to Me

[Last night the ABC TV series Revenge ended its four-year run on Sunday nights. In my humble opinion, the Series Finale was perfect, which is high praise indeed. The entire series was great…but please, follow along and I will explain my rationale. Those readers who are still here, thanks, and please feel free to comment as to my artistic taste and sense of greatness in television.]

This is not intended to be a comprehensive re-cap of the show, or cast of characters.

Revenge is the first series that I watched from the very first episode through the finale. The pilot came across on my computer screen, and I watched it there. That show doubled as the first episode, which I watched again when it aired. This is noteworthy (for me) because of the on-line venue.

This show is packed with plot, characterization, and continuity. Situations are often “unlikely,” but usually plausible in a fairy-tale-soap-opera sort of way…once an equally convoluted back-story scenario has been placed. For example, it is perfectly logical that there was an Oriental guru of martial arts in Emily/Amanda’s past. That explains why she is proficient in skills such as fencing, underwater-breathing, and cat-burglar-type espionage tactics.

Emily/Amanda is bigger than life–this is true. She is the perfect heroine…strong, loveable, beautiful, ingenious, and resourceful. Also extremely rich. Her major adversary is Victoria, who is also rich, diabolical, a classic beauty, and a character we love to hate. (After all, she is vulnerable because of her terrible life experiences, and fans tend to cut her some slack. I do anyway.)

Emily/Amanda has important and influential friends–noteably Nolan Ross, who is a matrix-type computer genius who can hack any system, invent new techniques and has connections with all kinds of people in high places. Nolan had an affair with Victoria’s son Patrick, and married Louise–in order to protect her inheritance rights. Louise accidentally killed her brother, and Nolan covered for her, but most of Louise’s problems stemmed from her rotten mother.

She met her friend/adversary, Louise, in a mental hospital. This acquaintance was very influential for several reasons, and Louise contributed vital and numerous plot twists in which she befriended Victoria, married Nolan, killed her brother, and conspired in some really evil-deals with Margaux.

Margaux moved the plot along nicely through various scenarios: she had an affair with Jack, almost had a child with Daniel, was alternately BFF to Victoria and Louise. And did SHE have the interesting friends! Also very, very rich, Margaux had instant contact with an international assassin–who showed up and did her work at her bidding. She would have killed Nolan, who was mysteriously saved by a squad of heavily-aarmed-troops who played a bit-part in the production.

The major heart-throb in the show (for me anyway) was Daniel…Victoria’s son, Emily/Amanda’s husband, Margaux’s almost baby-daddy, and general international mogul.

The amazing thing (to me) about Revenge was the way in which every scenario was played out in the space of one or two episodes. Characters walked on and off the show as one-time guest-stars. Every one of these people served to move the plot forward, and when there specific role had been accomplished they were gone. No extraneous hangers-on.

I could go on and on (don’t worry, I won’t} as I have not done justice to any of the characters, scenarios, or plot-twists.

The young actress who played the child Emily/Amanda (Emily Alyn Lind) is a perfect choice.

Anyway….either you, the reader, 1) are already a fan of Revenge; 2) will watch it in re-runs; 3.) could not care less…in which case you won’t have read any of this post.

The absolutely PERFECT ending to Revenge is the wonderfully appropriate cliché Finale where Emily/Amanda and Jack–true lovers–are literally sailing off on Jack’s ship, into the sunset.

9
May

Passwords and User Name Woes

(original title:

RISE OF THE MACHINES–EMAIL WOE EDITION.

Every one of the accounts I have…personal, business, creditors…requires a password.  I have three Yahoo accounts that I use frequently, and each has a separate password.  Today I changed the password on one of the account’s three times.  I didn’t write it down, forgot it, it just plain slipped right out of brain.

It’s not easy to come up with these passwords.  They…you know, “They,” warn of dire consequences for using the same password in ALL accounts…they send little messages with snide remarks such as “Sorry, you have used that password before,”  “you may NOT use certain characters but there must be at least one number, one apostrophe, one hash mark, one capital letter, and an original unique character,” … and my personal favorite:  “that is the most used password on the internet.”

OK, so they usually don’t add “Dummy!” to their warnings….but it is strongly implied.

Yes, I do write down new passwords as I create them.  The issue with me is always WHERE I wrote it.  Sometimes in my password notebook, which is almost indecipherable by now–and thus perfectly safe from any snooping eyes.  But its the passwords scribbled on envelopes, the phone book, calendars, mail, or slips of paper with cryptic notes that may or may not be a password.

While I’m on the subject–I hate creating email addresses and User Names.

Creating a new user name is always a challenge.  One can always use their own name…. say Agnes.   On comes the snarky note: “Agnes is taken.   You can use Agnes389, or Agnes.389 (that’s a DOT,)  or Agnes_389…  (that’s an underscore, but no one who ever learned typing ever heard of an underscore, it’s just a classy name for underline….I hate that, too for what it’s worth.)   That system depends on all the other Agnes’s remembering their own numbers…I have often wondered if numbers used that way are really a viable system, whereby theoretically there is an Agnes_388.  If indeed there is, couldn’t that lead to confusion?

And no matter how obscure my choice for a user name name happens to be–there is always someone with the same name.  Really.

Another thing, once an address is created for an account it appears to remain forever, and requests to have it deleted defy solution.  I had a great email name once, about ten years ago, that I thought was ingeniously clever in its simple beauty.  Somehow, some dastardly evil tekkie, with too much time on their  hands, allowed the account to start sending out spam to all my friends, relatives, acquaintances, and utility bills, and credit cards.    So I called the ISP and although the support person was at least nominally sympathetic, they assured me that my problem was completly unique…had never happened before in the history of the internet.

I get that a lot.   🙂

6
May

Calling the WordPolice–where are you when we need you?

This will likely come as something of a shock to the Word Police, who I really count on to be on guard against spelling mistakes. But a post which I published earlier today has a serious misspelling.

The correct word spelling is — “irresistible.”
I spelled it “irresistable.”
Now that I am examining them so closely they BOTH look funny.

Please let me explain. It is true, in my defense, that I have turned off auto-correction programs. I know that there are excellent dictionaries online, but my excuse for not consulting those sites is that I don’t know how to access them online without messing up what I am working on–that is toggling between sites on my tablet.

There was a nagging hunch whispering into my ear ever since I published the post with the erroneous spelling. It kept murmuring “… psst…hey, maybe it was spelled with an -ible suffix, instead of -able…” but I ignored it as long as I could before looking it up online.

I do understand why no one caught the misspelling, though. When I see an error when reading someone else’s work, but I always forget about it because that little voice is whispering “Ha…are you sure? Beware of being wrong and looking foolish,” and I just ignore it.

Before I decided to become a Historian, my goal was to study Linguistics. So I spend a lot of time fretting about word origins and etomology. I would have been really anal then…fortunately I was past my language-learning prime.

6
May

Irresistible: The Flaky Croissant

[The Daily Prompt…if a restaurant named a dish after you, what would it be called?”]

Oh, that’s an easy one… it would be called The Flaky Croissant.

Probably listed under a special category on the menu, like “Build Your Own Burger” or “Breakfast Your Way.”

THE FLAKY CROISSANT $3.95 and Up

Start with … yep, a fresh baked Croissant (or any other featured Roll of the Day)

[ If this is all you want… A croissant (or Roll of the Day) — here ya go!]

If you want the whole shebang…have the Croissant (or Roll of the Day) sliced in half lengthwise, then pile up any of the following ingredients.

egg (however–we like the “official” egg version, hard-boiled and sliced)

bacon or sausage (or a Meat of the Day of your choice)

tuna salad

mac and cheese

sliced chicken (boiled or fried)

tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce (leaf or iceberg)

(other vegetables available as Veggie of the Day)

“Cheese of the Day”

Vegetables of choice–when available.

Extras include: salsa verde AND salsa piquante or regular)

(Sometimes GUACAMOLE is included in the “Relish of the Day” list).

WE MAKE IT FOR YOU  or  BUILD IT YOURSELF AT THE SANDWICH BAR.

Specific choices of ingredients…. ask your server.  She loves to discuss The Flaky Croissant.   She prefers that customers have at least some wild idea of what they want included in  their sandwich…BEFORE she shows up at the table.

She likes hers plain…just the croissant (or roll of the day) on a plate.

[Don’t ask too many questions unless she is smiling.  And don’t ask for “gwak.”]

5
May

Word Police–stop editing our dictionary

[Warning: Not Politically Correct]

The Word Police are at it again.  We aren’t allowed to say the word “thug.”

Thug is NOT a racist word.  It is a term coined back in the olden days to describe a certain type of criminal–almost invariably a white (caucasian) male..

Just consider, please, the uses of the word in common useage… here is a short list, and I apologize if it is narrow in application.  Possibly there is some generation-specific meanings, but none of them refer to any racial group.  Basically there are two main classifications that immediately come to (my) mind:

1. “Jack-booted thugs,” which in common useage refers to military or government troops that go around smashing things and beating people with clubs.  They wear heavy leather-boots that are very effective.  The jack-boots are actually bigger than life, and as the saying goes, twice as ugly.  These are the “storm troopers” of another era, but hey–a thug by any other name is still a thug.

2. so-called “union thugs.”   We heard a lot about these guys back in the days of the union fights.  The picture that one might conjur up is of a stocky muscular white guy–remember Bluto the villain of the Popeye comics?   If not, he  was a big bruiser (another bad word for the Word Police to add to their list) who regularly attempted to whip Popeye’s butt, but always got beaten up himself by the end of the comic strip.

bluto

3. “Street thugs,” as they were known, allegedly blustered about just committing stupid and intimidating actions against innocent bystanders.   My version of these guys includes bullies who beat up other kids in school with no apparent reason (like robbery) but just for the heck of it.

I think it is noteworthy to mention that in other countries, such as the UK and much of Europe, the types of characters I think of as “thugs” — are known as “Hooligans.”

Stereotypical Hooligans are those that show up at soccer (fubol) or other sports events, and if their team doesn’t win (or DOES win, sometimes) take the opportunity to beat up the players, bystanders, fans, passers-by…and create general havoc in stadiums or nearby city streets.

I hasten to point out here that the term “Thug” is relative.  Some people think that I am very opinionated about things like words and…well lots of things.  This is true.

If there is a stereotype thug, then HE (although women can be thugs, they are not usually thought of in that light.  Please don’t take any of my ramblings about  word-use as sexist.    There are special words for women, but all I wish to say about that is that “thug” isn’t really appropriate for a woman.

So–Word Police–please stop looking for excuses to turn everything anyone says into fodder for Political Correctness.

(Most Popeye paraphernalia remains under copyright in the United States until 2024.   This drawing of Bluto is in the public domain.)

2
May

Choosing a new photo–black swim suit or a blooming poppy?

Seriously thinking of changing my avatar picture.  Gosh…I look like I’m eighty years old in that photo!

Actually as photos of me go, this one is not as bad as most.  I have taken about a zillion Selfies…each one worse than the previous.    But to be honest, the only picture of me that I have ever liked is…well, none.  Except maybe when I was a little kid back in the day.  Most of those are pretty cute…I might say overly-cute.  I was a little ham in those days.

One of the not-too-bad photos is one of 17-year-old Me, in a one-piece black bathing suit.  Probably around 1952, but no one needs to know that, although only about half of me would fit in that suit today.

There is another taken when I was 22, wearing one of my all-time favorite dresses.  It was black with white piping, full skirt of course, in the 50s fashion, and it was pretty flattering if I do say so myself.  The occasion was my wedding shower, and I am sitting in a chair unwrapping a present in my lap.

Oh I guess my high school graduation photo was OK–posed, air-brushed, some photographic-doctoring help.  (Now we would call it Photoshop, but then it was just professionals way of making students look as attractive as possible.)   Those photos are always so contrived…not as much as the “glamour” shots of a generation later, but still made to impress even though a lot of times they did not look much like the subject.  The graduation photo of my first husband, taken by the same photographer, looks nothing like him…he was a good-looking man, but the air-brushed photo made him look too pretty.

Back to my avatar photo.

I have thought of using a picture of one of my cats, and may still do that.  Or maybe I could use a flower, or an obscure shot of my garden.   I know that a lot of young parents feature pictures of their kids on their pages, but I don’t think that would be appropriate for me.  One of my daughters looks sort of like me, but 31 years younger…

Some posters use a photo or drawing of a Superman or Wonder Woman character.  Or a fairy tale personality like Snow White.  Or a doll…hey, there’s an idea.  The pics of quilts or other hand-crafted items are cool.  Geometric designs are always good.  A stack of books…eh, too cliché.

Maybe that circa 1936 picture of me at about two years old, with curls, a big bow, and a polka-dotted dress?  .

In the meantime I’ll just continue to use the current one… 🙂