Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Oscar Noms 2006 

The date is rapidly approaching – it's almost time for Oscar Night!!!!  We've already designed our Evite invitations, and now we have to add the e-mail addresses and send them on out.  The big dilemma today is whether we'll continue to pick up the Chinese food from our favorite restaurant near our old apartment about 20 minutes from where we live now, or do we go with the place down the street (they also have sushi).  I have a feeling we're going to stick with tradition.  Arlington's Jade Garden has been providing the food for our Oscar Party since its inception five years ( ! ) ago. 

So the nominees are now on alert.  Sadly, I was unable to watch the announcements this year, due to the new work environment.  But my Palm alarm went off this morning at 8:30 to alert me that the magic hour had arrived, and I surfed right on over to Oscar.com to get the scoop.  The Girl and I have seen a good number of them, but we've got our work cut out for us over the next not quite five weeks.  We've already planned on seeing Capote this Friday evening, we saw King Kong over the weekend and we watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on DVD last weekend.  We've been to Walk the Line, Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck, North Country, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith.  In recent weeks and months we've rented Crash, Cinderella Man, Constant Gardener, War of the Worlds and March of the Penguins.  Last night my Business Organizations professor assigned us all to rent Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room as part of a make up class, and we'll then discuss it in class.  Of course I surfed right over to my Netflix queue and moved it up.

Check out the full list of nominees at the Oscar.com Nominees page.  I'll post them here later (promises, promises, but the full list is too much for a surreptitious e-mail post).


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:18 AM
Monday, January 30, 2006

Paying the Piper of Pain 

When I first developed that respiratory illness a couple of weeks ago, the violent coughing caused some lower back issues. Over the days it got better and got worse, until finally this past Friday I gave in and went to the chiropractor. She agreed that things were quite out of whack, and fixed me up fairly well. I could still feel it, but it was better.

Of course instead of just taking it easy and continuing the healing, The Girl and I went off on Saturday night to the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition's annual Lesbians and their Friends Dance. The Girl just LOVES dancing, she was really looking forward to it, and she had been so supportive while I was sick, so I couldn't bring myself to crash her hopes. Plus we had already bought the tickets. So off we went, and danced, and danced. Even though I was feeling a level of pain, The Girl was just beaming with all the dancing, so I sucked it up and boogied on.

Then Sunday The Girl was doing some serious cleaning in anticipation of an overnight guest tonight, so I chipped in and took on the dreaded bathroom cleaning, which of course included leaning over the tub with the Clorox scrubbing wand.

Today I woke up with the limberness of a 95-year-old couch potato. As the day went on it just got worse. To get up from a chair I have to grasp the arms and grit my entire face. Ambulation is at 1/4 impulse speed. I could possibly be at the level of maneuvering thrusters alone. Back to the chiropractor between work and school. She was surprised I had made it through the day. She gave me two ice packs to use in the car, then to put in the student lounge fridge during my first class, to use during the second class, then I'm to ice when I get home.

I danced the dance, and now I'm paying the piper. The world's a painful stage.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:16 PM
Friday, January 27, 2006

With Regrets to Nino 

The Girl and I won't be attending this year's Law Prom, aka the Law Day Banquet.  While the rest of the law school world will be holding their Law Day events in May, when Law Day actually occurs, and usually on a Friday since it's a big dressy dinner with dancing afterwards, New England School of Law will be holding ours on Wednesday, March 15.  The only reason I can think that they are doing this is because of the featured speaker, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. 

One of my classmates, who is also one of the founders of NESL's Federalist Society chapter, vowed last year that he would get Justice Scalia.  He got himself selected as one of the Law Day chairs and got Scalia.  I have a feeling that the price of landing the uber conservative jurist was accommodating his schedule and having our celebration a full two months before the rest of the country, on a midweek day, which screws it up for pretty much the entire evening division since most of us have to get up and go to work the next morning. 

For me, I might consider it if the speaker were Hilary Clinton or Justice Ginsberg.  But while I had been planning on attending to experience just how much Justice Scalia could possibly alienate me in person, it's just not worth it to go to work, come home and get all dressed up to hear someone speak out against pretty much everything I value as a progressive, be out late and then have to be at work at 7:00 the next morning.

Last year our speaker was Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and he was great.  He also guest taught a couple of classes, including my Law and Ethics of Lawyering class.  He was amazing. 

When I mentioned to The Girl last night that perhaps we might not attend this year, she tried hard to hide her disappointment.  Not.  She was exploding with joy.  This morning she followed up with an inquiry as to whether the Avon Walk is the same weekend as my 20th Bryn Mawr reunion.  She was hoping her luck would carry and she'd get out of the reunion as well.  No such luck, though, as they are on consecutive weekends.  She has a bad memory of my 20 year high school reunion, which was completely lame.  I'm trying to assure her that this reunion event will be completely different and she'll have a blast, but I don't think she's buying it yet.  She'll see…


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:37 AM
Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Shell Word 

So what's up with this hollow shell of what used to be our favorite, The L Word? 

I know, I haven't posted up my blow-by-blows of this week's or last week's episodes as of yet.  I've been out of commission with sinusitis and other flu-like symptoms, and spent the past week lying on the couch unable to do much more than lift and operate the Tivo remote.  Pretty much the only computer time I put in was to login to my employer's e-mail system to let them know I wouldn't be in each day.  I might be able to put up the plot progressions this weekend for those of you who are Showtime-deprived.  For now I must rant.

But I have now viewed the most recent episodes, and am appalled.  What the hell happened to the characters and storylines between seasons?  Where did Mark go?  Last we knew he was rising to Jenny's challenge to stay and clean up his mess.  Guess with Jenny leaving town he figured his obligation was over so he boogied on out, because he's nowhere to be seen.  No mention of him, either.  What about his lifetime obligation to be Shane's servant?  Oh well, not so much.  At least when they wrote Marina out between seasons 1 and 2 they took the trouble to come up with a backstory to explain it.  Not that I really liked the story they told or the way they told it, but at least there was an effort.

I'll have to complete this later, since it's now become clear to me that even this rant will require more than an e-mail from work post-ette. 

Coming soon – Shellena, the loss of humor and imposition of snobbery on the characters, the de-Shaning of Shane to make way for the isolation of Moira, and the de-Kitting of Planet Kit.


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:36 AM
Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Presenting...Tallulah Bankhead 

I've got a respiratory infection, and it's lowered my vocal range significantly. Yesterday one of The Girl's friends called, and after I rasped out, "Hello?" she was clearly confused, and hesitatingly asked for The Girl. I assured her that it was really me and I'm just a little sick. She laughed and replied that I sounded awful. When she got hold of The Girl on her cellphone she said that she had been wondering who the little boy was answering our phone.

I made a joke this morning about her being able to tell people that she's married to Tallulah Bankhead. Not being a fan of old movies, she didn't really get it, but she's going to mention it to her friend at work who's a 60-something gay man who spent lots of time in Provincetown over the years. He'll appreciate it.

I was supposed to be on a plane getting ready to land in Newark right about now, but since I'm hacking and coughing I didn't think the clients would really be very welcoming. Plus my ears are already blocked up, so with the cabin air pressure changes I'd probably be climbing the fusilage. I was just going along as a back up/scribe, and the lead PM is going to handle it on her own. Instead I'm planning on spending the day much like yesterday: sleeping on the couch. Yesterday I had to go out long enough to visit the doctor and get a diagnosis and some prescriptions, then to Walgreen's to get the antibiotics and codeine-laced cough medicine. Plus this sinus wash system that is just too horrifying to be described here. I also won't frighten you with colorful descriptions of the items I'm coughing out of my lungs...

The Girl stayed home from work yesterday to take me to the doctor's office (it's in Boston, we didn't know how parking would be and she didn't want me taking the T) and Walgreen's, and to keep me supplied with fluids all day. Isn't she the best?

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:57 AM
Sunday, January 15, 2006

Walking the Avon Walk 

I've signed up to take part in this year's Boston Avon Walk for Breast Cancer event, being held on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21. So far my two sisters have committed to be part of a walking team, and I'm working on my niece. We're hoping that it will give us a chance to spend some time together, work towards a common goal, and support a great cause.

The walk is over two days, with the first day being the walker's choice of 13.1 or 26.2 miles, and the second day being 13.1 miles, all around Boston and Cambridge. I'll aiming for the full 39.3 miles. Biggest Sister has already declared that 13.1 miles per day is the max for her little feet.

Once I've got one of them registered, I can set up our team, which I think will be named Le Ragazze (The Girls). Once our team page is set up, I'll provide a link to that as well. [UPDATE: Here's our team page!] We each have to raise a minimum of $1800 over the next four months (by May 20) in order to participate. If you're feeling generous at the moment, please take the time to surf over to my page and show your support. As the fundraising moves along, we'll each update our pages to encourage contributors to support whoever's in the most need toward their goal, so we can all take part together.

For more information on the walk and the Avon Foundation, check out these links:
Where do the funds raised go?
Avon Foundation
Avon Breast Cancer Crusade
Boston Event Page

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:21 PM
Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lost - The 23rd Psalm 

My Business Organization class was cancelled for tonight, so The Girl and I got to watch last night's recording of Lost. Why was a Bus Org class cancelled already, you ask? Well you see, I'm in the orphan section. During registration time, so many of us got waitlisted for the evening section that they rounded up a professor willing to take on another class, and opened a new section for us. Unfortunately, before all this happened he already had a commitment for this evening, so class is cancelled. Actually, postponed, since apparently we all now have to come in at some other time and make up the class. Yeah, that's going to be easy, finding a time slot that's available for all 30 of us.

Speaking of Business Organizations, I decided that my confusion over the handouts was because the black binder I had placed them in must be a bad karma binder. I've now moved them to the other empty binder, a bright orange one. Things are looking much better now, thanks for asking.

But back to the subject at hand: this week's episode of Lost.

Let's see. No Jack, no Michelle Rodriguez, I mean Ana Lucia, no Bernard and Rose, no of the other tail section survivor lady whose name I don't remember, no Sayid, no Sun. Maybe they did appear and we just didn't see it, because for some inexplicable reason about half way through the broadcast switched to channel 6, New England Cable News. What was really freaky about that was that just a couple of minutes before we got to that part of the recording, The Girl had just been asking me to confirm that Angelina is having Brad's baby. I had not heard of this, as I'm quite out of the celebrity gossip loop, and I probably would have blocked it anyway since Angelina is so clearly destined for gals. What was the second story we saw as we were fast-forwarding in hopes that the channel would return to The Island? Brad's publicist having confirmed that the two are a couple and are expecting, in addition to Angelina having filed last month for Brad to adopt her two kids. After that we resumed fast-forwarding, all the way to the end of the hour. Damn.

So this is a partial post. Luckily ABC is staying true to form and is rebroadcasting tonight's episode right before next week's new episode. They've been doing this all season - advertising a "two hour Lost event" that turns out to be a repeat followed by a new episode. That's not an event, that's thin programming. But it's working in our favor this time, so I'll let it slide, ABC.

Tonight's eye spy is on Eko, who grew up in Nigeria. He was very large, even as an adolescent, when we first see him playing soccer outside a church when a group of very bad men drive up to round up boys to become child soldiers. True to form, they pull aside one young boy, give him a pistol and order him to shoot an old man they've put in front of him. The boy is terrified and the men are about to get very rough with him, when Adolescent Eko races up, grabs the pistol and pushes the boy aside, takes aim and shoots. The Bad Men are impressed with his cold-bloodedness, but we know that he was only trying to save the other child. The Bad Men take him away, first pausing to tear the cross pendant from around Eko's neck and drop it on the ground. The boy picks it up and the two exchange a meaningful glance.

Next flashback Eko is all grown up and is a Bad Man Leader himself. He's very bad. We see him buy drugs at a drastic markdown because he has the only way to get the heroin out of the country - in a catholic relief plane. Turns out the boy was Eko's little brother, who is now all grown up and become a priest. Eko's very bad. In case we weren't sure and still felt sorry for his childhood victimization, we see him slice the throats of the two men who sold him the drugs. But maybe he just felt they were bad and needed to be gone.

Anyway, he coerces Baby Priest Brother, on penalty of Eko's two colleagues burning down his church, to forge ordination papers for the three of them, so they can fly the drugs out smuggled in the Virgin Mary statues.

Yes, those Virgin Mary statues. These flashbacks are mostly prompted by Eko's discovery via Claire that Charlie is toting around the Madonna. Eko immediately smashes the statue and reveals the stash inside. Claire is less than pleased, especially when Charlie continues to lie about knowing the contents of the little plaster Madre. Eko's not too happy either, and when Charlie finally tries to convince him that he found it under some tree. He slams Charlie up against said tree and demands to know where is the plane. Sorry Charlie, you're hosed. He did have a good line about Eko beating people with his Jesus stick, though.

En route to the plane, they come across a parachute in a tree, with a decaying man in priest's clothes in the underlying brush. Eko gets all weepy and we think it's his dead Baby Priest Brother, but then we see the gold tooth and realize that it's one of his thugs. But Eko says this man saved his life, and he then kneels and says all sorts of prayers over the body while Charlie waits impatiently.

Just as they're setting off again, the Island Alarm sounds and Charlie, from his tree perch from where he was trying to spot the plane, yells at Eko to run, but Eko stands his ground. We see a semi-formed black cloud rush towards Eko, then stop right in front of him. Think of The Abyss when the water tube communed with Isabella Rossilini. Only a black cloud with flashy things of some sort instead of sea water. And no face. Then the cloud just goes away. Huh.

I have no idea what happened to the plane hunters after that, because the tv moved on to Brad and Angelina.

In other news, Kate gave Sawyer a haircut. People who previously despised Sawyer now admire him because he got shot and all and tried to help Walt. Plus he got shot and all. Sawyer doesn't know what to do with himself now that no one's helping him with his journey of self-loathing. Maybe everyone's just pretending to like him because they know it will make him nuts. Yeah, I'm going with that. Locke is teaching Michael how to shoot a rifle and trying to convince him that going after Walt alone is a vewy, vewy bad idea. Michael pretends to agree. Or he does agree, but just doesn't care. But Locke's gone and changed the combination on the safe, so how's Michael gonna get a gun? Then he switches shifts with Kate so he can be in the hatch, and we think he's going to use the time to get into the safe room, but instead he chats online with Walt, who's in a hurry since they're coming back soon and he's over his limit of AOL time.

And then the tv switched to Angelina and Brad. Now I loved them in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but I really could have done without them during Lost.

That's all I've got. I'll update next week before going on to the new episode.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:13 PM

Lost: One Syllabus, One Mind 

Yesterday at lunch I went to Staples and picked up 6 binders: one 3" binder for the massive amounts of paper that comprise the coursepack for Criminal Procedure II, one 1" binder for the current week's readings out of that coursepack, and one 1/2" binder for each of my four classes. The intention is to put the syllabus and other handouts from each class in one place, with easy access to the papers. Up until now I've just had a pocket folder for each class, which provided the in one place portion of the solution, but not so much the easy access piece of the puzzle. But armed with a three-hole punch and my binders, problem solved.

Until last night after class. I went up to my office, unwrapped the bindings, loaded in the Crim Pro lumber into the giant binder, and punched holes and began loading the paperwork for my other classes. But when I got to Business Organizations, I couldn't find the papers. Anywhere. I looked everywhere possible at least three times. I know I had the stuff on this desk on Tuesday, because I had loaded the updated assignment from the syllabus to Backpack. But now, nowhere. Not on my desk, not on the credenza, not in the drawers, not in either bag, not tucked into any of the books, not in any of the other binders, not tucked in with my financial aid papers, not in the trash, not on the floor, not downstairs, not in any of the other rooms, not in my pants pocket. Nowhere. What the fuck?

Finally at 11:00 pm I gave up and went to bed, but you know of course it was still making me crazy. So this morning when the Zen chime alarm (just one little "ding" and I'm up. Go to the link and click on Hear E Tone Chime.) went off at 5:30 I got up and searched again. Same results. I also checked the car. Nope. I fretted and expressed my frustration throughout the day.

I came home this evening and repeated the search, to no avail. I looked everywhere again. Finally I resolved myself to the fact that I would have to borrow someone else's and make copies next week. At least I had the assignment for next class.

Then I started this post. About halfway through, I decided to look just one more time through some papers stacked on a little 3-tiered paper holder, and the as-yet-unused binders. Not in the papers. Not in the orange binder. Not in the black bind... Oh. Look. Here they are, all neatly hole-punched and filed in the black binder that was in the "unused" stack.

Oh.

I really am trying to be more organized. I think now you can see why it's so important for me.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 6:19 PM

Bloodrayne Star Speaks 

AfterEllen.com brings us glad tidings of Kristanna Loken's coming out in an upcoming Curve magazine interview.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 6:11 AM
Monday, January 09, 2006

The L Word - Labia Majora 

The theme for the day is set out in the opening clip, set in a 1973 Palo Alto suburban living room where a group of apparent housewives are doing the mirror vaginal exam as part of their empowering women's group effort to reclaim their sexuality and hopefully improve their sex lives. The women are embracing this concept with varying levels of enthusiasm and squeeged-out-ness, and at one point they employ a few vaginal euphamisms. This will become important (or perhaps simply annoying) later on. We then have a little 30+ year old chart-making as one particularly young housewife who is apparently so unsatisfied sexually by her husband that she wasn't even aware there was the possibility of satisfaction to be had. She flees to the kitchen, where she is followed by a much taller, much more confident companion who proceeds to show her how women are doing it for themselves. During this, a small chart entry is written on the screen, drawing a line between the two women, who remind me of Nixon-era Jenny and Marina.

Flash forward to 2006 and the studios of KCRW where Alice is broadcasting her latest installment of The Chart, which appears to have been expanded from a weekly three-minute segment to a complete show. We discover that six months have passed since last season's finale, and in the interim Dana has gone back to Lara, and they are living a blissful existence while leaving Alice far behind in their wake. She's not taking it all well, although why she's surprised, I'm not sure. Dana really loved Lara and only broke up with her because of her own now-conquered closet issues, and Dana had no problem cheating on Tonya with Alice, so it's no big shocker that she would dump Alice for her newly re-available love of her life. Anyway, Alice it seems has become very skilled at wallowing, fuming, being bitter and spiteful, as well as self-medicating her way through any number of anti-depressant meds with no rhyme nor reason. Because that always works out so well. A little later we see Alice engage in a car chase with Dana, screaming at her first through the open windows and then over the phone, finally losing her when Dana makes a desperate swerve to avoid an oncoming car.

At Planet Kit, Alice pops in while the girls are all chatting about their favorite vaginal euphamisms (here's the annoying tie to the opening sequence). She inserts herself between Lara and Dana and proceeds to regale the group with the euphamisms Dana used in sex conversations with Alice, and it's all very humiliating and alienating, and Dana and Lara wisely depart.

Helena is still on scene, and by some bizarre twist of fate has become Alice's new best friend. Unfortunately, Helena has also been seeing a tarot card reader, which seems very out of character for Helena since she seems only to do things that involve her being in complete and total control. The tarot reader points out that Helena has just made a big purchase, which Helena confirms that she is just closing a big deal, but can't reveal the details. The reader looks knowingly, flips a few cards and reveals, "Oh, you just bought a movie studio!" Helena is completely shocked and demands to know how the reader knew this, and closely examines the tell tale card for signs of a hidden camera from the National Enquirer or perhaps some sort of two-way communication device from the breaking news desk at Variety.

But back to the hijinx portion. The reader tells Helena that her new love interest will be a brunette bisexual artist who drives a blue car, and with whom Helena will stand back to back and then face to face. Over the course of the episode Helena is shocked to find that Alice (apparently her natural hair color in certain lights is "a pale brunette") might be her new love interest. Given that Alice is currently a sobbing, weeping, raging, unkempt, bitter mess, Helena isn't incredibly pleased, and is seeking any sign that it's not so. Silly Helena - you can't seek out the fates - they'll just find you. But again, yielding that sort of control isn't really in her character. I do fall in love with Helena's ocean-view pool, though. It's got an infiniti edge, which is the bomb!

Bette and Tina, aka Mama B and Mama T, meanwhile, are undergoing a social worker home visit as part of their second parent adoption process, and they are also trying to rekindle the spark in their sex life. Their sex therapist is none other than Kate Clinton, who's looking marvelous, by the way. She immediately nixes the Mama nicknames when there's no child in the room, since people named Mama B and Mama T don't have sex, they bake cookies.

On the social work front, their caseworker is a raging right wing nut job who disdains their being progressive lesbians who condone questioning of the government and provocative art. She also questions them on whether Angelica will have a steady man in her life, then proceeds to wax a little innapropriately dreamy as she wonders whether the child will ever know the feel of a stubbly chin or wind her fingers in the curly chest hair of a man... She then snaps out of it at the sound of Alice crashing into the wheelchair accessible van of the social worker, which is parked in the driveway. Crazy Alice, who is the Earth Mother (she'd be the godmother, but doesn't believe in god) of Angelica, then storms into the house to rage and storm some more about Dana and their car chase through the streets of LA moments ago, then proceeds to blame the social worker for driving such a big vehicle instead of something "normal." This all goes over well, along with the fact that the house isn't child-proofed AT ALL, and there are apparently no mass-marketed toys around the house, and that Bette is of the school that Angelica will learn not to touch the artwork when she impales her little hand on the sharp spikes of a particular sculpture. Well, she didn't say it quite like that, but that's the basic theory she's using. Social Worker Lady shall return for a second visit, an opportunity for Bette and Tina to make a better impression.

Shane and Carmen are still a cuddly item, and Shane's added some waves to her hair, which disturbed The Girl to no end. Shane's about to take the big step of meeting Carmen's very large family who don't talk about certain things like homosexuality. Shane is to play it straight for the day. How awful. Carmen's mother just loves Shane, worries that she's too thin, but assures her that Carmen will land a boyfriend soon. When she learns of Shane's foster background, she immediately tells her that "We are your family now!!!" and hustles her of to another room to give her a dress that looks like an adult size first communion dress, for Shane to wear to the upcoming celebration for the 15th birthday of some female family member. Carmen actually gets Shane to try it on, and she looks about as comfortable in it as I did when I briefly toyed with the idea of wearing a cocktail length dress at our wedding last year. This whole "just don't talk about it" isn't going to end well for anyone. I predict that Shane will really embrace the idea of family, then be rejected when someone talks or can't avoid it anymore and she'll relive the rejection of her own mother all those years ago. But hopefully it will work out by the end of the season, because we love Shane.

Kit has a big drama in which she goes to her son David the Doctor about symptoms she's been ignoring, but which she's sure she's now let slide too long and she'll be heading off to follow Melvin at any time. Turns out she's entered menopause, so when she finally spills this news to the gang at Planet Kit, they change from their (again) discussion of vaginal euphamisms to a discussion of sex euphamisms to cheer her up and assure her that the Kit Juices will once again flow and life is not over after all.

In a throwaway foreplay scene with Dana and Lara (with Alice spying through the window - yuck!), we learn that Lara feels a lump in Dana's breast, but Dana assures her that it's been checked and she simply has lots of benign fibrous lumps. Who believes that's going to be it for this storyline? They wouldn't have even scripted it if that's all it was going to be.

Halfway across the country, we find a much healthier Ms. Jenny Schecter, who has been undergoing therapy with an apparently good therapist who has been helping her with her various childhood traumas without trying to simultaneously attack her lesbianism. This particular aspect galls Jenny's downtrodden mother, played by Lois Lane herself, the fabulous Margot Kidder. Jenny must have had to return to her home in Skokie, Illinios in order to receive mental health care, because I can think of no other reason that she would have chosen to return to her disapproving mother and her creepy stepfather, Warren.

Jenny also has apparently been spending time at a local women's bar, and has become friends with one of the locals, Moira, played by new cast member Daniela Sea. Jenny's been working on a new book as well as her issues, and before we know it she and Moira are sealing their plans to head off to LA together. Moira is a the new token butch for the cast, and she's got this oddly tiny voice and intense eyes that are very often covered with her long bangs. She's also a web designer/overall computer wiz/geek. Jenny leaves her mother's house with the final parting shot of Warren walking in on her and Moira who are for the first time in the act, on Jenny's bed. Warren is pissed that Jenny would bring a man into the bedroom (at least one who isn't the nice Jewish MIT grad student he wants her to fall in love with), but Jenny replies, "I would never do that to you Warren. I'd like you to meet Moira."

With that Warren tries to lecture her, but newly spined and confident Jenny calmly reads him the riot act and departs. She pauses long enough to have a brief intense talk with her mother on the front step, during which Margot acknowledges that Jenny was indeed attacked as a child, and it wasn't Jenny's fault, and she apologizes for not comforting her at the time and instead brushing it under the rug of normalcy.

And off they go to LA and the rest of the fabulous girls.

We end with a montage, but the piece that sticks most uncomfortably is that Alice has constructed a shrine to Dana in her apartment, complete with photos, candles and a 6 foot Dana Olivia Cruise promotional cardboard standup figure. This is very bad.

They included Ivan in the previouslies, but I don't know if we'll see him again. There was brief interaction with a dad from the baby play class that might turn into something with Tina, but I'm not sure. No Mark sightings.

I'm hoping that now that we've used this episode to get all caught up on the last six months, the show can get back to its regular storytelling, because this one sort of felt like the set up and filler that it was.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:29 PM
Friday, January 06, 2006

Opening Today - Bloodrayne 

I first mentioned this video game prequel in August 2004, and it's finally coming to theaters today. IMDB had originally listed a 2005 release, so the studio only missed it by a week. Not bad.

Wondering if you should see it? Eighteenth-century vampire movie starring Kristanna Loken as a dhampir (father's vampire, mother's human - it wasn't consensual) who joins up first with circus folk and then with vampire hunters (one of whom is sensitve bad boy Michael Madsen). She embarks on a quest to find her uber vampire father, played by Ben Kingsley. Michelle Rodriguez also stars, and Guinevere Turner wrote the screenplay. Smaller roles by Billy Zane and Meat Loaf.

Come on! A period piece vampire movie with the Terminator Babe, Ben Kingsley as a supervillain, Michelle Rodriguez for Lost fans, Michael Madsen for masculine eye candy, a screenplay by power lesbian Guin Turner (most recently of The L Word fame), circus folk for fans of things, well, circus-y, vampire hunters (we Buffy fans don't have much left but reruns these days), and who doesn't love Billy Zane. And Meat Loaf! Something for everyone!

Check out clips and info at the official site. And check out the sword-wielding Michelle Rodriguez.

How can I convince The Girl?

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 6:01 AM
Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Home Media Running Smoothly 

The sound problem must have been in the cable signal, because it's no longer there. That was easy. A little unsatisfying, though.

On the Tivo front, I ran both units through another restart cycle, and voila! Desperate Housewives is now transferring from upstairs to down.

Now if I could only get the upstairs receiver to work... I'm afraid that's going to require a trip to the home electronics repair shop. Probably just a fuse, but I don't know how to get to it. No obvious access panels.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:12 PM

Cable and Tivo Complications 

Last weekend our downstairs Tivo started misbehaving.  I've got both the upstairs and downstairs Tivos on the wireless network, so we can transfer programs from one to the other.  The upstairs tv is smaller (okay, slightly less huge), so we often view downstairs stuff that was recorded upstairs.  I can no longer bring down shows from upstairs.  The requested show is in the To Do list downstairs, and says it will transfer after previously requested shows have been transferred.  There are no other previously requested shows.  If I look at the requested show on the upstairs Tivo, it says that it is currently transferring and is available in the downstairs Now Playing.  It's not available.

I tried deleting the problem requests from the downstairs To Do list.  I tried cancelling the transfer from the upstairs Tivo.  Doesn't clear it up when I request another show. 

I can view the upstairs Tivo from the downstairs Tivo.  I can transfer recordings from the downstairs to the upstairs.  I can connect to the Tivo network from both Tivos.  I tried restarting the downstairs Tivo.  I'll have to go to Tivo.com after work today and see if I can find any information.

If that weren't enough, last night something weird started happening with the incoming cable audio.  Actually, it's always been a bit awry, as the volume was at a lower level compared to other audio being fed through the receiver (DVD, tuner, CD player).  But now there's a tinny, buzzing quality to it.  It's not the receiver or the speakers, since DVD, tuner and CD still sound fine.  It's not the Tivo box or Tivo connection to the receiver, since shows recorded prior to the start of the buzzing sound fine. 

I'm thinking it's either the connection from cable box to Tivo, from outside box to cable box, from street to house, or the cable box itself. 

Much testing will ensue this evening. 


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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:52 PM
Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Upcoming Events of Note 

Sunday, January 8, 10:00 pm (ET/PT) - Season 3 premiere of The L Word (Showtime)

Monday, January 9, 6:00 pm (ET) - New England School of Law spring semester starts (you might not really care, but it's important to me. Marks the start of severe restrictions on tv viewing...)

Tuesday, January 31, 5:30 am (PT) - Academy Award nominee announcements

Sunday, March 5, 5:00 pm (ET) - RSLS and The Girl's annual Oscar Party!!!!

Sunday, March 5, 8:00 pm (ET) - 78th Annual Academy Awards (ABC)

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:37 PM

Go For Power 

My new adapter arrived from Dell today, and as Vinayak promised, the correct part was sent this time, and it's a good one. It doesn't even appear to be a refurbished one, but brand spankin' new. My notebook is happily consuming the juice, charging the battery, and there are no untoward sounds emanating from anywhere. Life is good.

As far as my quest to overcome my two syndromes (Procrastination and Making Do), I think I'm off to a good start. I've got my new adapter, so I no longer have to make do with that. I have the old one all boxed up and a pickup scheduled for tomorrow morning with DHL/Airborne Express.

Today I also finally went to the bank I'm leaving and closed my account. The Girl and I had opened a joint account after our wedding, at another bank with more convenient locations, so in anticipation of my new job I opened my own checking account at that same bank. I've been meaning to close the old one out ever since September when I got laid off, since my direct deposit would no longer be going there, and it was only a free account if I had direct deposit. Okay, so it took me 3.5 months, but I got it done. And on the first business day of the new year, so I think I get points toward the resolution.

After the bank, I continued on up the Mass Pike into Boston to get my books for the semester. No more standing in the crowds on the first day of classes for this reformed (reforming) procrastinator. I even lucked out and got a meter parking place a couple of blocks from the store. This is quite a coup given that the bookstore is on the edge of Chinatown and the Theatre District. Then once inside, when I hit a small wall of confusion, I immediately sought assistance from the nearby employees rather than spending valuable time trying to puzzle it out myself. There are many more relevant matters I can spend my puzzling power on. I now have $319 worth of textbooks sitting on my desk. I was able to get everything except the related Examples & Explanations books that I like, but I usually can't get those at the NESL bookstore anyway. Usually I'll hike up Tremont St. to the Suffolk Law bookstore, but I think this semester I'll just surf on over to Amazon and see what their prices are looking like. Now the books are all labeled with my last name, and are on the shelf waiting to be used. I've still got to make a Wal-Mart run for some new folders.

The Girl and I are also resolved to keeping the house in better order on an ongoing basis. Soxfan and her lovely wife spent New Year's Eve and New Year's Day with us, so we're starting from a good base (i.e. having company over is a great motivator for cleaning house. When they're overnight guests, it's an even more thorough cleaning. I recommend this system to everyone). When I got home today I hung my coat in the closet and hung my leather bag on the coat rack (the coat rack is reserved for bags and for short term coat deposits. Otherwise they pile up and it becomes a monster). I put away my lunch container and hung the mini softsided lunch carrier up in the kitchen. Previously, the coat, the bags, the books and whatever else I was carrying would have ended up on the guest couch. We have two couches - one for The Girl and one for guests. I have an overstuffed chair and ottoman.

We also picked up some new toner for the printer, since it was running low last semester and the print was getting rather faint. I was making do, but no more. Nothing but legible print for me!

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 5:48 PM

March of the Penguins 

The Girl tried to watch this on her own while I was in Florida, but she tried to watch on a workday evening after dinner, when she is predisposed to falling asleep. Given her drowsy condition, it didn't really hold her attention. The description she gave was, "It's penguins. They're walking, they're walking. More penguins, more walking. I fell asleep."

But we gave it another try together yesterday afternoon, with much better results. I thought it was great, and The Girl enjoyed to a point, even though she's not big on the documentaries, especially ones about birds in Antarctica, with no people around. Through it all, as the harsh winter was setting in and they had to go months without eating and then had to march another 70 miles to get some fish, and then had to march back to the breeding grounds in order to give up a bunch of it to the little penguin chicks, we kept commenting how awful that would be. Finally, we simply declared that we'd never make it as penguins.

I decided that after hatching, the chicks must look around and say, "This sucks." Then when they get left on their own, they must think, "What? Now you're just leaving me here? This really sucks."But the movie didn't. Look for it at Oscar time.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:34 AM