Just bitchin', writing

#ThomasGibson and The Insidious Art of Attraction

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Never been a fangirl.

Made it through pre-pubescence and adolescence and entered adulthood without papering my bedroom walls or my locker at school with depictions of male (or female) pulchritude. Never stood in line for hours to gather with adoring masses bent on ogling an idol on stage or screen.

Never swooned. Never sighed. Never stalked.

Felt kind of superior because of it. Wore my immunity like a smug, intellectual haz-mat suit. The rest of you can waste your time mooning after people you’ll never meet or really know. As for me? I’ll forge ahead with ‘real’ life…

But then…

Gibson.

Not a tsunami. Not a thunderclap.

Rather, an insidious invasion.

Innocent channel surfing. Hmmm…nice voice…easy on the eyes, too…this guy’s fun to watch. I put the remote down, unaware of the treacherous terrain I’ve entered. Like Little Red Riding Hood, flitting from butterfly to butterfly, I am drawn, episode by episode, along a path the destination of which I would never have chosen.

I begin to pay attention to more than physical attributes. The multifaceted character, a dark and stoic FBI agent, lures me in.

But I’m not a fangirl.

It’s just an intriguing depiction by a talented actor. It’s subtle with twists and turns that begin to fascinate. More. Want more.

So, being a writer, I frown when a television show’s plots don’t reveal enough or go far enough. In the back of my mind, as I’m otherwise engaged, idle musings begin to form. Next thing I know, I’m writing my own tales of Hotchner. I discover a place that wants them. Fanfic. With trepidation, I enter.

But I’m not a fangirl.

It’s just fun to have a place to write where editors and publishers aren’t staring down your neck, picking at every word. It’s freedom from having to compromise and capitulate. I can write my heart out without censor. And that’s where the devious, dark Hotchner makes his sly entre into my literary soul.

But I’m not a fangirl.

Fast-forward.

Three years later, this fictional character has become my guilty, secretive hobby. Someone who sits on my shoulder and whispers scenes and dialogue; who opens himself up to endless, psychological investigation. Someone with whom I now look forward to spending time.

And then, he’s gone.

With guillotine swiftness and scalpel-keen incisions, he’s gone.

I am bereft, blinking in the sudden glare of reality when I wanted to continue, feeding off of the tragic shadows that surrounded the Hotchner. The tremor that quakes through my peripheral, little world starts small, then spreads. I sit at my keyboard with nothing to say. The blood has drained from my writer’s brain. Somehow, some-when, Gibson’s portrayal snagged me and infiltrated my carefully cool psyche; his departure not only crippling my hobby, but my capacity to write at all.

I realize I’m in mourning. I realize…

Oh, crap. I’m a fangirl.

Worse…I’m a fangirl grieving for a character I didn’t know had taken control of a sub-level of my mind.

Damn you, Gibson, you magnificent bastard…how the hell did you manage that?

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Just bitchin'

Northwest Winter Gifts

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At the stormiest of times, clouds can part…

…revealing an unexpected vista of stars so thick they seem to coalesce, to gather like swathes of gauze against purest black.

This celestial beauty spreads before you, mesmerizing until…

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…a streak of fire jolts you from your reverie.

Did you really see it? Maybe not…

…but then another

and another

and yet again

and more.

A shower of fire, frost-kissed, utterly silent, lances across the sky.

Each one worth a wish.

You wonder if you’re the only person stargazing on such a night. Normal people are indoors, sheltering against the cold.

You are no longer in a hurry. You no longer grumble about the long walk from the garage.

Because the winter night has gifts to give.

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Saliva With Your Sprinkles

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Oh, dear.

Another silly celeb spouting stupidity.

Oh, dear.

So in case you haven’t heard, a minor celebrity named Ariana Grande went into a donut shop, bellied-up to the counter upon which rested a tray of the pastries…licked them…and turned away muttering how much she hates America. Then she stuffed a previously un-licked donut into her mouth. All in plain view and hearing of the shop’s surveillance camera.

Clearly, this woman will never be honored for her intellect.

There was and still is a huge outcry about her comments on hating the country that shelters her.

I honestly don’t care. Maybe I should. But I don’t. See…I’d have to respect her to care what comes out of her mouth. I don’t.

Oh, wait…I need to backtrack here.

I DO care tremendously about something that came out of her mouth. Saliva.

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She licked donuts that she had no intention of buying or eating. I hear she tells her fans she’s a vegan, but she did chow down on a non-vegan donut while in camera range…just not one of those she licked. The issue of lying to her fans about her diet doesn’t interest me in the least.

What I do care about is her complete lack of personal hygiene. I don’t care how low her IQ is; she should know not to trail her spit on other people’s food.

The woman herself has no relevance in most people’s lives, so her opinions are powerless. ISIS will not be recruiting her anytime soon, I’m sure.

And although there might be a pre-pubescent fan base somewhere who’d love to suck on her saliva, I doubt the donuts she defiled were meant for them.

So rude.

She’s made some bumbling attempts to apologize for her ‘I hate America’ statements, but not a word about her deplorable lack of manners and hygiene.

And now I have to amend my statement that Ms. Grande has no relevance in my life.

I will never look at donuts again without wondering if someone else’s DNA is lurking among the sprinkles…

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The Unfair Art of Entertainment

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I have a guilty pleasure.

A shameful, inexplicable addiction along the lines of many people’s shameful, inexplicable addictions. A trashy TV show that turns my eyes to saucers and my brain to fudge.

What a wonderful feeling.

So once a week I draw the drapes and close the doors. I turn the phone off and I put the cat out. I retreat into a world of unhinged ‘reality’ and flaring tempers and peculiar human politics. Really, it’s no different from any of the other myriad of ‘reality’ shows foisted on a hungry, viewing public. Except that it’s set against a dance background.

And I’m a sucker for dance.

Dance drew me in, but the outrageous behavior of the ‘stars’ held me fast.

Usually, I get my hour-long fix and resume my high-functioning addict’s life, and no one is the wiser. I leave the experience behind and navigate the paths of my own reality consequence-free of my habit.

But then one of the ‘stars’ threw her requisite tantrum, and I have to respond. Otherwise, I’m afraid the seed of it will grow and entwine, and then I really will be lost…purchasing DVDs and spending my time poring over my addiction. Forgetting to brush my teeth and put out the trash.

Scary.

The woman was pushing her daughter’s cause as a dancer within the juvenile group of performers. Her argument was that the girl had been with the school from which the performance company sprang ‘from the start.’ She said it was unfair to give solo performances to newer arrivals when her child had earned the privilege by virtue of her longevity. ‘Not fair,’ she shrieked. ‘Not fair!’

My saucer-eyes blinked.

My jaw dropped, spilling an unlovely drift of popcorn….another addiction, but we won’t get into that now.

Here’s the thing: There ain’t nothin’ fair about the entertainment industry, lady! And nor should there be!

It made me take a second, harder look at the poor, little girl being dragged through this production. She is intelligent, eloquent, and has a certain noble grace unusual for someone so young. But she doesn’t have a dancer’s body. She doesn’t have a face that reads well from the stage. She doesn’t have the finely-honed technique that the other girls have.

Maybe she’ll be a ‘star’ as her benighted stage mother vows. But it won’t be as a dancer.

Another vignette had a choreographer/dance teacher snarling that her student was a ‘stronger dancer’ than a competing company’s entrant in a dance-off. When pitted against each other, the ‘stronger dancer’ lost.

It was easy to see why.

Her opponent was a softer, more lyrical dancer, but more importantly…she was prettier. Plain and simple. Her opponent has huge eyes that could be seen from the back row. She doesn’t. The opponent captured the judges. She didn’t.

I know…Not fair!

But the entertainment industry looks for performers who fit the bill. And that has more to do with native talent and genetic fortune than anything else.

Longevity, personality, work ethic, and so many more ingredients have an influence, but they don’t earn you that coveted ‘star’ status in and of themselves. A combination of them all might. Might. But it would still be necessary to have luck and timing. You’ve got to be what ‘They’ want, when ‘They’ want it.

I’m convinced my last words will be ‘NOT FAIR!’  I’ll rail against the injustice of life ‘til the end. But looking for an even playing field in entertainment, in Hollywood?

Not a realistic expectation.

And just another facet of the unreality of reality shows.

Lord help those poor, little children being publicly flogged for what’s nobody’s fault.

Too bad I can’t look away…

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