Archive | March, 2013

Contemplating Theon Greyjoy.

31 Mar

I’m so conflicted when it comes to a particular character in Game of Thrones and in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. A character who, the first time reading the books and watching the show, I loathed so very much. Who I still kind of can’t stand the majority of the time he appears on screen. However, upon my recent rewatch of the show, he became a character I had to call into question. One who I found my dislike for dwindling. Not all the way, of course, I still can’t stand the guy most of the time, but, I mean…

Theon Greyjoy is such a dick.

… but he’s obviously a character with a complex upbringing, and one who can’t be fully judged without taking his complete story into consideration. As a fan, it’s important to keep in mind that Theon was raised as a hostage; never truly part of a family. Oh sure, he was treated like a brother by Robb, but he was never fully accepted into the rest of the Stark household. Never truly welcome. He was treated kindly enough, but he was always reminded that he was there for a reason: as a hostage for the crimes of his father.

Even so, Winterfell became his home. It became what he knew and what he loved. Then, after all those years of waiting, when he finallys goes back home to the Iron Islands – bam – he’s a disgrace for embracing the Stark’s way of life despite the fact that he had no fucking choice in the matter when he was a child. Never mind that it was his father who decided to send him away. Never mind that it was his father’s doing by starting a useless rebellion. Never mind that Theon never did anything wrong, nor did anything to deserve being sent away in the first place. Never mind that he was punished for crimes he never committed. Never mind that he was never in the wrong. At least, not at that point.

So, when it comes down to it, who is he supposed to side with? His own flesh and blood, who sent him away as a child, only to then treat him like he had betrayed them all by developing a relationship with a different family? Or the family who raised him well, but always reminded him that he would never be one of them? What the fuck would you do in his shoes? So, yeah, he thinks he can show his father he’s still a Greyjoy by ransacking the place that cared for him all those years, thus proving that they never meant anything to him. He thinks that will help him make amends for all the years he’s been away; all those years where he did absolutely nothing wrong. The thing is, Winterfell did mean a lot to him, and we so clearly see that as he’s taking over the Stark’s home in both the show and the book. He puts on that front of not giving a flying fuck about Bran or Luwin, but there’s just so much guilt riddling him (Alfie’s done such a phenomenal job with his character, seriously, that boy deserves a ton of awards). Especially when he kills Rodrick. He does it, yes, but man, you can tell that it’s the last thing he wants to be doing.

The point is, I feel bad for Theon Greyjoy. These are not words I ever though I’d say. I came to loathe his character over the years, and even still I’m not really a fan of him. Even so, I like to think if he didn’t have such a shit-tastic father he would’ve turned out a whole lot better. While he should never have gone against the Starks in the second book, I understand his folly. I’ve come to see the path he went down and why he choose it, and where all his bad choices have stemmed from. So yes, I can’t help but feel bad for him…

… but, man, he’s such a dick.

The best part: I didn’t make this graphic.

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four.

26 Mar

Excitement runs rampant,
while worry sets in.

None of that
“well maybe this is a bad idea”
“oh, I’ve changed my mind”
“what was I even thinking?”
bullshit you might expect
from another human being.

My worry stems from guilt.

A wedding for an old friend and his gal,
a possible class reunion filled with faces
I haven’t seen in years, and canceled
beach plans previously discussed.

Santa Con.
ER marathons.
Nancy Drew games.
San Diego Comic Con.
Breaking Bad big reveals.
Going out with Portland pals.
Bonding with baby half cousins.
Adventures to NYC to meet TPers.

And birthdays.
So many birthdays.

No Thanksgiving preparations,
for lack of family and lack of country.
No opening presents on Christmas morn,
decorating the trees, setting up the lights,
walking around Pioneer deep in search.

A year I should be spending with my father.
A year I should be bonding with my brother.
A year I should be reuniting with my family.

I’m terrified that my time there
will be all for naught
when there are a million other things
I could be doing with my year.

Please let this trip be worth it.

~~~~~*~

six || five || four

A Reflection on a Certain Ghost from “Being Human”

15 Mar

So I finished the fourth series of Being Human last night and, needless to say, I was a mess by the end of it.

I’ve really come to love Being Human. Like other supernatural shows, such as The Walking Dead and Buffy, the core of this show really comes down to humanity and what makes us, in spite of everything, human. While I wouldn’t put Being Human on my top ten television shows list, it’s definitely a show that will resonate with me for many years to come and I wouldn’t be surprised if I rewatched the entire thing sometime in the future.

Now, here’s where I’m going to get spoilerly, folks, so if you intend on watching this show and haven’t gotten a chance yet, turn back now.

As already mentioned, I wrapped up series four last night, and if you’ve watched the show then you’re familiar with how it ends. We’d already lost Nina and Mitchell at the third series end, and George was gone within the first episode of the fourth, so all we had left of the original three was Annie. It was because of this premise that, going into this series, I wasn’t particularly fond of it. I missed the sense of comradeship between the three flatmates that we got so much of in the first season, and just, y’know, the characters still being alive. I liked Tom well enough, since he had already been introduced at the start of the third series, but it took me half the fourth series to like Hal at all. Eventually they both did grow on me. I now kind of adore Tom beyond all rhyme and reason, and Hal won me over the second he got caught singing while washing dishes.

However, what really made the fourth series work for me was Annie. Well, Annie and Eve. Annie is, in my mind, one of the most well written characters in television that I’ve ever come across. Sure, George may be my favorite Being Human character by far (I’ve always had a soft spot for the comedic relief), but Annie… there’s just always been something about Annie, y’know? And with her whole plot line of raising Eve, well, it really heightened her role on the show for me. When the fourth series came to its end I was both disappointed and glad to see her go. While I knew I’d miss her as a character, I also knew it was for the best and that her storyline came to a (rather beautiful) end.

In my bidding farewell to her, can we all just take a moment to relish in what an amazingly well-crafted character Annie Claire Sawyer was? She was peppy, enthusiastic, optimistic, and happy, despite the heartbreaking way of how her life came to an end. Not only that, but she was trusting, caring, and kind to just about everyone (so long as they weren’t threatening her or her friends’ existences). Was she perfect? Good lord, no. She certainly drove other characters a bit nuts at times, and even George hated her in the first couple episodes. Yes, she could be annoying and over persistent, and yet you couldn’t help but love this girl. The tea-making ghost who saved the world.

Of the original trio, to me, Annie will always be the strongest. She grew so much over the course of her four series; much more than Mitchell and George ever did. At the start she was a mere dead girl, not really sure what to do with herself, but by the end she became a force to be reckoned with, because she was Annie fucking Sawyer and no one was going to mess with her or her friends or take her fucking baby. She became so very strong, not just in her powers as a ghost, but in mind and soul as well. She toughened up and learned how to take care of her own, but at the same time never losing any of that peppy, happy-go-lucky nature we first saw in her all the way back in episode one.

And compassion. Oh my god, Annie embodied compassion. She just had so much love to give, so much so that she almost couldn’t go through with saving the entire planet because it meant hurting the one she loved most. Yet, it was for that love that she did what she had to do. For the love of her friends, for the love of mankind, and for the love of her baby (because, in the end, Eve really was hers, wasn’t she?). She would not let Eve go through the hell of living as the War Child, of watching the world burn around her just because of what she was, which was how Annie made the hardest choice a mother could ever make, and she did it all out of love. And that look that overtakes her face as she opens her door and sees what’s on the other side, oh god, the way she just lights up at the sight of whatever it is tugs at my heartstrings. I’m so glad they didn’t show us what was waiting behind her door, because, honestly, we as the audience already know what’s there. It’s written all over her face.

As I press on to the fifth and final series, I’ll leave this entry on this one last note: it’s pretty clear to me that George was the brains and Mitchell was the brawn, but Annie?

Annie was the heart.

image

lazy saturday morning.

9 Mar

As I’ve already made clear time and time again, this school term hasn’t been a great one. It’s been an example of why I shouldn’t put things off to the last minute, and how horribly I crumble when I bite off more than I can chew. Two and a half jobs, seven classes, light crew, and an art show… Phew. It was a heavy work load, to be sure, which should explain my lack of entries on here as of late.

The term’s not over yet. We’re entering dead week in two days, and then to swiftly follow will be finals week. I’ve still got two portfolios to put together, three short stories to wrap up, and two more papers to write – not to mention three final exams to start prepping for. I’ve got a ways to go before I can breathe easy, and even after this term is over I still have one more term to go where I’ll have to throw myself into both Capstones to ensure completion, while also juggling four classes, preparations for my New Zealand excursions, and starting to make the transition into leaving Ashland, my home, behind. I don’t think I’ll truly be able to rest until I’ve crossed that stage and been handed my faux diploma.

And yet, this morning, I allowed myself some breathing room. I slept in until 9:30am, loitered about watching The Colbert Report and dicking around on Tumblr, and then I did something I haven’t done in ages. I got back in bed and spent two and a half hours reading. Nothing else. Just me and the book. It was glorious and comforting. I mean, there’s not much comfort in reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series (though I’m glad to say, unlike Monday when the book made me weep, today I found myself fist pumping the air), but the act of shirking the work I should be doing in order to escape to GRRM’s fantasy world… it was just nice, y’know? It’s nice to give yourself a break, which I don’t think I’ve done a good job of this term. Compared to the last two months, my work load today isn’t quite as grievous, so I allowed myself the chance to indulge. Everyone should indulge now and again, if only for the sake of their sanity.

98 days until graduation.

39 days of attending classes.

12 days until spring break.

6 days until finals begin.

I can do this.

The Day Andrea Gibson Came to Town.

2 Mar

So, I had the amazing experience this last week of not only watching Andrea Gibson perform, but meeting her and going to a workshop she gave as well. It was definitely one of those moments as a writer I’ll forever cherish.

For those of you not familiar with the name, go google ASAP. Andrea is a well known slam poet, and for a good reason. Her poetry is absolutely gorgeous, and the way she words her pieces and they roll off her tongue – ugh! – they’re so great. She performed at this year’s That Takes Ovaries open mic night event, and she stayed for the second half and saw me perform one of my pieces. She did a lot of her best pieces, including my favorite of hers, “I Do.”

Then the next day she held an hour and a half long workshop (which turned into a two hour workshop because we ran way over time), and she would read us poems and we would then free write whatever came to our minds. All together we free wrote three poems, and then some of us shared one poem at the end. I shared one and she commended me on how every word was there for a purpose and how good it was. I felt so honored to have someone I admire so much pay me such an amazing compliment. At the end of the workshop, I got the chance to tell her that she is one of the three people who are the reason I got into slam poetry (along with Shane Hawley and Sarah Kay), and she thanked me. It was just an overall wonderful experience.

Anyway, here are two of the three poems I wrote. I didn’t really like the third poem, but I’m quite proud of these two. Enjoy.

——————-

Advice to a teenage Julia Allegretto Gaskill.

Don’t clash your wear and tear.
Run spark plugs through your hair.
Your avalanche back and craning legs
highlight your race car persona,
so cave in the mountain and kill the bird
before someone notices.

Stop Star Warsing all over the place.
Hobbits in your eyes;
pluck them out and wring them dry
till they turn into origami butterflies.

Speak like a queen.
Demand like a king.
Your jester smile is doubling down
your chances of ever learning how to fly.
You Blues Brothers mother.
You finger-clacking lover.
You star-gazing, toe-tapping, dream-lapping
miniature Great Dane.

Fingers grasping for rooms laced in water droplets
to dunk your shins into
and be born again as a broken smile.
Stop snapping wishbones.
Go dye your heart green
and hawk your virginity
to afford admission to this never ending factory tour.

——————-

I hate to do this, but I have to preface the next poem. This is not a poem about rape. It’s a poem about how my first kiss was taken from me, and how I came close to being taken advantage of sexually when I was eighteen, but it didn’t happen the way he planned, so fuck that fucker.

——————-

sunshine.

My body was not your playground.
The small of my back was not a slide
for your hand to travel upon,
looping around going lower and lower.
My ass was not monkey bars to grasp
over and over again
to take you to some other side.
My lips were not a teeter totter
where every “no” was a “yes”
and every “stop it” was an “I like the way
you put your hand up my dress
in front of all my friends.”

You ran around my playground
as if you owned the deed,
but before you could bulldoze me down
with your weed and liquor breath against my neck
to build a strip mall to cover all the places I had grown,
I took that stand.
I said “enough.”
You said “come back” with your carpenter hands
grasping for that monkey bars ass and
feeling for those seesaw lips,
but I slammed the door on you for good
before you ripped my life to bits.
Your broken lies broke down
the second your too-old kiss stole
from me, even after I told you of my dreams,
and after I trusted you as a friend;
my playmate during recess to whisper warranted
secrets to when the teachers weren’t looking.
Apparently I was wrong about you all along.

Now I’ve planted a sign
deep within my bark dust eyes
which forever shall read:
No assholes allowed on this playground anymore.