June 9th, 2013


"In the darkest part of you that you have ever seen."

Decently warmish here in Providence. Currently 79˚F. My window is open, but I'm glad I don't have to venture out into the world today, because there's not a cloud in the sky, not a hint of haze. Just hunger.

Yesterday, we traveled to parts south. To malls. Yeah, shudder. But, to my amazement, I found the clothes I was looking for (thank you to all the eBay folks who made new con-going clothing possible, by the way). I never find what I'm looking for. I got a marvelous blue-and-white seersucker suit and matching grey sneakers. And, by sheerest chance, discovered, on a sales rack, an utterly bizarre gold-and-mint lamé jacket – Spooky accurately describes it as Rococo...marked down by 50%! There was no passing it by. Oh, the suit was also on sale; almost forgot. And I got a pair of orange-and-grey argyle socks that look amazingly good with a seersucker suit and grey sneakers. So, yes. I loathe shopping. But that was pretty much painless (except for my goddamn rotten feet).

Only slept five hours last night. Again, no sleep until five ayem, so when people see me in New Orleans and wonder why I look like Water Matthau, well, there you go. Expect sunglasses and M.A.C Studio Fix 10.

Yesterday's "Dipshit of the Day" Award goes to the driver of the automobile with the Connecticut vanity plates that read "LOL." Spooky said, "Never before have I so badly wanted to rear-end someone."


Back on May 22, I mentioned that Spooky and I had just finished watching Season Three of True Blood. Actually, I said (and I quote): "...you won't believe what I have to say about the series. You may want to brace yourselves." I didn't say more, mostly because I wanted to make to the end of Season Five before doing so. Last night, we finished Season Five. And here's what I have to say:

I have always prided myself in being able to admit when I'm wrong. I assumed that True Blood was spectacularly crappy television, straight-up "pararom"/shifter porn. I was wrong. Not that I've read any of Charlaine Harris' novels, and so I'm not here commenting one way or another on them (she and I did briefly have the same editor, though – John Morgan – back in the early '00s, when her first three novels were still financial flops). Anyway, one night in early May, Kathryn and I were sitting around, bored, and I watched the title sequence for the series – and saw that it had been nominated for an Emmy. I was intrigued. It was...impressively dark. A writhing swarm of maggots? I hadn't seen that coming. Then we discovered that the series was created by Alan Ball, and we'd both loved Six Feet Under. And the first episode was free to stream off Amazon. So...we watched it, expecting crap.

Instead, it was fucking hilarious. Basically, if you got and liked the original Dark Shadows, or the 2012 film, you should like True Blood. It's silly. It's ridiculous. It's campy and entirely over the top. It's far, far better than Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel ever were (though I am very fond of the final season of Angel). Ball makes the Louisiana setting work wonderfully. What was most surprising, however, was that the series is probably as pro gay rights as any television series has ever been, both by using the vampires "coming out of the coffin" as a metaphor and by constantly directly addressing the issue. Indeed, True Blood champions civil rights in general. And want to see rednecks and racists and homophobes and fundamentalist Xtians mercilessly skewered? Well, here you go. Also, lots and lots of sex, nudity, profanity, and gore. Not often I hear "fuck twat" on TV. Not even on HBO.

It's simply good, fun, compelling popcorn. Yep, make no mistake, it's fluff, junk food, but it's a goddamn blast. And it occasionally surprises with intelligence and poignance. I was mildly annoyed that the series has already done what I cockily thought I was being novel by doing with Blood Oranges and Red Delicious. No, True Blood got there first, right down to the fairies. The series also suffers, as do many TV shows, from an awful case of "subplotitis," often losing its way with secondary characters. This is most evident, I think, towards the end of Season Two, but the show finds its footing again, for the most part, in Season Three. I can see how the series strays from time to time. Several secondary characters are my favorites: Lafayette, Tara, Jessica, and Pam. Oh, and I began soundly on Team Bill, but have shifted to Camp Eric. I had to say that.

So, if this confession in anyway taints your impression of me, well so be it. Whatever. I do recommend the series. That's not to say you'll enjoy it. But Spooky and I have.

Now...the packing for New Orleans must commence. Our train departs Kingston early Tuesday morning, so we're spending tomorrow night at Spooky's parents in Saunderstown, to shorten the groggy drive to the depot.

Aunt Beast