Tag Archives: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The Musings of a Fan Girl: Five Fictional Places I’d Never Want to Live.

29 Apr

Man, I love me some fictional realms. If I had the option of spending the rest of my days kicking it in the Shire, visiting Diagon Alley, traveling to new places in the TARDIS, I’d be one happy duck.

However, as much as I love all my fandoms, I am sane enough to recognize that some of them aren’t exactly ideal locations to ever relocate to (though I am insane enough to say that I would totally live on the Island). So, having put some thought into it, here are five fictional places I would never want to live in/visit/even exist.

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5. Sunnydale. This one almost didn’t make the list, because I am so in love with all the characters on this show and the wonderful storyline Joss Whedon came up with… but here’s my beef: I hate vampires. No, not because of Twilight (though that didn’t help). Vampires have always creeped me out. Something about the idea of someone puncturing me with their teeth in order to suck out my blood… to be quite honest, I just got nauseous writing that sentence. It’s weird because I’m totally fine with all other sorts of violence you see on TV and in movies (wahoo desensitization!), but a person drinking another person’s blood? Ick. No thank you.

This has always been a thing for me, ever since I was a little kid, which is why I’ve always stayed far away from vampire related things. There have been exceptions, of course (ie. Buffy and the UK version of BeinHuman), but only because of the amazing characters and stories being told. Even so, as much as I may love the Buffy-verse and the cast of crazy characters who live there, man, I just would not be cut out to live on top of the Hell Mouth. There are scenes in Buffy where I literally have to look away because of how much all the blood drinking grossed me out. I almost threw up in a scene from Being Human. So no vampires for me, please. Stay out of my life.

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4. The Battlestar Galactica. I should probably amend this to say “any television show and/or movie that takes place on a space ship (except for Doctor Who).” The idea of being on a ship out in space has always freaked me. This probably has something to do with that fact that one of the adults in charge of my elementary school’s After School program, where kids could hang around waiting to get picked up by their parents, thought it was a good idea to show the film Apollo 13 to a group of kids when I was friggen eight years old. I was so deathly afraid of space for years, because I assumed everyone who went up there came pretty damn close to dying.

However, with shows like Firely and films like Star Wars, I guess you could say I’d be a little less reluctant to journey into the final frontier and concur this lifelong fear of space. But not on the Battlestar Galactica. As some of you know, I’m currently going through BSG, and man, those people cannot catch a fucking break. Every episode they’re losing their water or cylons are chasing after them or the people on the ship are rebelling and killing each other, and as much as I’ve come to love this show, fuck, living on a Battlestar seems like the last thing that I would ever want to do.

And knowing my luck I’d probably turn out to be a cylon anyway. (I could’ve been Number Nine!)

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3. Panem. Yeah, this one should be self explanatory. If you have ever said to yourself “Man, I wish I could live in Panem” then go check yourself into an institution ASAP. Panem may be an entire country, but even so, goddamn, there is not a single region there that I’d want to live in. The lower districts are dingy and the higher districts are filled with self indulgent assholes.

Plus, y’know, the whole Hunger Games aspect is really a turn off as well. Yes, as much fun as I’m sure it would be to live in a dystopian future where we cheer on kids killing each other for fame, I think I’ll have to pass.

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2. Jurassic Park. So I love Jurassic Park. I’m pretty sure I’ve established this dozens of times by now, so I’ll just leave it at that. However, as much as I love the story behind this film/book, holy hell, this is something I never want to be a reality. Someone approached me in the last couple months and told me the news about how scientists have realized it’s impossible to clone dinosaur DNA, and my response was a loud: “GOOD.”

The whole purpose of Jurassic Park is that we, as humans, should not play god, because it is guaranteed that life will find a way (and that we’ll fuck everything up). I don’t mind obsessing over a story that presents the notion of how dangerous over idealism is with dinosaurs running around in the background, but the second someone actually goes and creates a dinosaur, goddammit, I guess it’s time to get over my fear of space because I’m gonna have to get off this fucking planet.

1. Westeros.

HAH.

HAHAHAHAH.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

HOW ABOUT NO.

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15 Favorite Episodes of 15 Favorite Television Shows

8 Jul

When watching Breaking Bad yesterday (I’m halfway through season 3), I came across my favorite episode of the series thus far. This got me thinking about my favorite episodes of all my favorite television shows, so I came up with this list. I’ve seen these fifteen shows all the way through at least once (with the exception, again, for Breaking Bad) and consider them my favorite shows of all time.

Please keep in mind that these are all my personal opinions, and that opinions are subjective. So while my favorite episode may not be yours, that doesn’t make either of us right or wrong.

Here we go.

Arrested Development: Hand to God

Truthfully? I don’t have a favorite Arrested Development episode. Every episode is just as hilarious as the rest. That being said, I chose the episode ‘Hand to God’ merely based on the fact that it contains my favorite moment of the entire series.

Runners up: ALL OF THEM.

Breaking Bad: One Minute

Let me start off by saying: I am no fan of Hank Schrader. Throughout the course of the series I continue to find him to be the ultimate douchebag (his PTSD subplot is fascinating, but his general personality makes him a DB thus far). That being said, this episode provides (again, thus far) the most heartbreaking moment of the series in which Hank shares an elevator ride with his wife, Marie. What’s more, this episode proceeds to deal out intense moment after intense moment. It has a major character revealing cold open right before jumping straight into an intense fight, followed by an equally shocking, perfectly over the top speech given by Jesse (which won Aaron Paul the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor that year). The episode keeps its stakes high throughout, keeping every single character on edge in what they are doing, until it finally peaks at the very end in the most epically intense closing five minutes of any episode in this show. I won’t go spoiling it for anyone, but it involved me clutching my face and murmuring, “Just drive, you bastard. Drive away now!” Breaking Bad knows how to play to its audience with their shock and awe methods, and they rarely let you down with their ability to play up the tension.

Runners up: Peekaboo, Grilled, 4 Days Out

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Body

There’s basically next to nothing I can say about this episode that wouldn’t cause spoilers, so I’m gonna keep it short and simple. Here’s the DL: the use of zero music will give you chills, the absolute raw emotion will cause reality to sucker punch you in the gut, and in the course of a single episode not only does Anya deliver one of the most heart rendering speeches of the series, Buffy speaks the most heartbreaking line of the entire series as well. As someone who has gone through exactly what Buffy does in this episode, it tears at me just thinking about this episode. While I’m not sure when I’ll be able to bring myself to rewatch ‘The Body’, it goes without saying that this is the episode that has stuck with me the most of the series, and it is definitely the most powerful, best written, best acted, and best produced as well.

Runners up: Storyteller, Hush, Conversations with Dead People, Becoming Part 2

Community: Remedial Chaos Theory

It’s fair to say I’m not the biggest Community fan out there. That doesn’t mean that I’m not crazy in love with it. Oh no, it just means that there are some really rabid fans for this show, and while I’ve been watching it since the beginning and adore it to my heart’s content, I’m definitely not the most rabid of the fans. However, this show is one of my favorites, and last season’s ‘Remedial Chaos Theory’ surpassed every other episode for me. When it comes to taking a film genre, a theory, or, heck, even just an idea, Community manages to go above and beyond just about every single time, and ‘Chaos Theory’ is definitely the cream of the crop. Offering six different alternate realities in the case of one of the gang going to pick up a pizza, the show displays their powers of comedy and intellect when taking several story lines and finding multiple ways to reveal them differently in each story arch.

Runners up: Critical Film Studies, A Fistful of Paintballs/For a Few More Paintballs Mores, Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking, Basic Rocket Science, Advanced Dungeons and Dragon

Doctor Who: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances

I’m an odd Doctor Who fan. I prefer Eccleston over Tennant and Smith, I don’t understand everybody’s great love of the episode ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’, and I will never understand why there is so much Martha Jones hate. Even so, I am a passionate Who fan and it’s still nearly impossible for me to choose a favorite episode. After much debate and consideration, I think I’d have to go with the two part arc of ‘The Empty Child’ and ‘The Doctor Dances’ in season one. It’s a chilling plot, and will change your entire perception of gas masks for the rest of your life. Not to mention the episode introduces the infamous Captain Jack Harkness and offers some wonderful Doctor/Rose moments. (Cutting it close for first was ‘Vincent and the Doctor’, which has positively the best ending to any Doctor Who episode.)

Runners up: Vincent and The Doctor, Blink, Rose, Doomsday, Human Nature/The Family of Blood, Bad Wolf/The Parting of Ways, The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End, The Girl Who Waited

Firefly: Out of Gas

Oh man. This was a difficult one. I was torn between ‘Out of Gas’ and ‘War Stories’, since both episodes have such rich, compelling plot lines. In the end, I decided to go with ‘Out of Gas’, seeing as I’m probably biased on ‘War Stories’ since I can’t say no to a Wash-centric episode. ‘Out of Gas’ is a wonderful episode because the fans finally get to see how the crew came together, along with just how much Serenity means to Mal. It’s a fun episode, but also one that borders on tragic. Plus Alan Tudyk with a mustache is always a ridiculously good thing.

Runners up: Our Mrs. Reynolds, War Stories, Jaynestown, Serenity, Objects in Space

Frasier: The Ski Lodge

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Frasier is the smartest, funniest, sharpest sitcom with a laugh track that ever was. ‘The Ski Lodge’ is an episode where Niles, Daphne, Frasier, Frasier’s current boa, and a ski instructor travel up to a cabin, all under the impression they’re gonna get laid. The only problem is, they’re all mixed up about whom will be sleeping with whom. A top-notch script with impeccable humor. (Honorable mention: the episode ‘Three Valentines’ simply for Niles’ seven minute ironing fiasco, which is one of the most brilliant comedic pieces in television history.)

Runners up: Mixed Doubles, Goodnight Seattle, Something Borrowed Something Blue, The Ski Lodge, Three Valentines, The Proposal

Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming

Truthfully, I’m a much bigger fan of season one of Thrones. I hadn’t read the book series when I watched the first season, and I was so captivated that I watched all the episodes in a little over twenty-four hours. Season two was wonderful, but didn’t hold my attention quiet as well as season one did. I’m positively in love with the first episode of the entire series, ‘Winter is Coming’, because I think it does such a good job setting up the show and introducing all the characters. Plus it may very well be the only time all of the characters are somewhat remotely happy. Not to mention the ending of the episode, which is an amazing hook to draw fans in.

Runners up: A Gold Crown, The Pointy End, Baelor, Blackwater

How I Met Your Mother: Slap Bet

The major problem with How I Met Your Mother is, unless you’re completely invested in the characters and their stories, you’re not going to find it funny. Lucky for me, I’m incredibly invested in every single character and in love with all of them, even Ted (whom the internet has decided to hate, apparently). For a fan favorite, you can’t go wrong with ‘Slap Bet’, seeing as it contains two of the best jokes in HIMYM run. It’s got both the birth of Marshall and Barney’s slap bet, along with Robin’s retro “Let’s Go to the Mall” music video. (Honorable mentions go to ‘Best Burger in New York’ which I credit, to this day, for gifting me with my ultimate love of hamburgers.)

Runners up: Sweet Taste of Liberty, Showdown, Slapsgiving, Best Burger in New York, Bad News

LOST: Finale

When it comes to the LOST series finale, people either praise it or loathe it; there is no in between. Not only were people upset with questions being left unanswered, but a crazy amount of people seem to get very confused about the Finale and don’t fully understand it. It leads fans to say such idiotic things like: “I can’t believe they were dead all along.” Look. I know I said no spoilers. But no. They weren’t dead all along. You’re just dumb. The ‘Finale’, to me, is the perfect wrap up to a perfectly imperfect show. It tied up loose ends with characters in the flash sideways, it has an absolutely gorgeous monologue delivered by Christian Sheppard, and some of the most emotional moments of the entire series. The very end of the episode takes the cake though, as the character of Jack Sheppard reacts the opening moments of the series, only backwards. If you say that doesn’t bring a tear to your eyes then you’re not a true LOST fan (sorry, but I calls ’em like I sees ’em).

Runners up: Walkabout, Constant, Dr. Linus, Ab Aeterno, Pilot, Confidence Man, Greatest Hits

Mad Men: The Suitcase

You can’t get any more cliché than saying, “Oh yeah, ‘The Suitcase’ is totally my favorite Mad Men episode,” but the fact is it’s a stupendous episode. Pam and Don have the most dynamic relationship of the series, and watching them interact is always a treat. It’s the only episode of Mad Men I had to go back and rewatch because it was THAT good. Why Elisabeth Moss is Emmy-less is still a wonder.

Runners up: Shut the Door. Have a Seat, The Phantom, The Other Woman, The Beautiful Girls, Nixon vs. Kennedy, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Commissions and Fees

Modern Family: Family Portrait

Okay, I admit it, ‘Family Portrait’ is number one specifically for the pigeon scene matched with Cameron’s singing. That is the high light of this shows entire run. I mean, every episode is hilarious and perfect, but nothing beats watching a grown man try to take down a pigeon with a tennis racket.

Runners up: Virgin Territory, Dude Ranch, Fizbo, The Kiss, Halloween

The Office: Business School

I guess it should come as no surprise that all my favorite Office episodes come from the first three seasons of the series run (with the exception of ‘Michael’s Last Dundies’, ‘Goodbye Michael’, and ‘Garage Sale’, all from the seventh season. Say what you will about the more recent seasons, the show did it right when they had to write Michael off). You’ve gotta admit, The Office was in its prime back in the day, and no episode more so than ‘Business School’. We get to see Michael pull his normal antics in front of Ryan’s class, Jim trick Dwight into thinking he’s turned into a vampire, and Michael and Pam share a truly tender moment. Plus there’s something so endearingly funny about Meridith’s head and a bat being inside a plastic garbage bag together.

Runners Up: The Fire, The Injury, Casino Night, Initiation, The Dundies, Ben Franklin, Gay Witch Hunt, Garage Sale, Michael’s Last Dundies, Goodbye Michael

Parks and Recreation: The Fight

Like a fine wine, Parks and Recreation keeps getting better with age. After a shaky first season, Parks and Recreation has continued to impress its audiences more with every passing season. That being said, nothing quite tops season three’s ‘The Fight’. The montage of all the characters talking drunkenly into the camera (or just laughing, a la Jerry Gergich) is the bees knees. Plus drunk Ron Swanson dancing while wearing April’s tiny hat? Yes please.

Runners up: Camping, Pawnee Zoo, Summer Catalog, Time Capsule, Andy and April’s Fancy Party, Flu Season

30 Rock: Greenzo

To be honest, I had to type “best 30 Rock episodes” into Google in order to fulfill this one. I’ve been watching 30 Rock from the beginning, but I’ve only ever rewatched a couple of the episodes. This show is one of my favorites, but the episodes have all kind of blurred together after all this time. When I kept trying to rack my brain of all the episodes of 30 Rock I love, I kept coming back to ‘Greenzo’. It’s from season two, which is when the show really found its footing, it’s got a great guest spot for David Schwimmer, a brief Al Gore cameo, and an out of control party at Kenneth’s. It also contains two of my all time favorite lines from 30 Rock: “Mr. Jordan, I saw you steal my sink” and “If the earth’s not here, where else is Greenzo going to dance?” (My runner up episode is ‘Lee Marvin vs. Derek Jeter’, but that’s simply based on the fact that Liz delivers a monologue that describes my perfect guy to a tee.)

Runners up: Lee Marvin vs. Derek Jeter, Tracy Does Conan, Believe in the Stars, Poppa Mia, Apollo Apollo, Everything Sunny All The Time Always

Tonight is my break.

9 Mar

Kinda sort of.

The next week and a half are gonna be hell. Dead week and finals week? Off the top of my head I’ve got: two worksheets, a chapter in my Spanish workbook to complete, six short papers to write, two ten page papers to write/finish, a sonnet to memorize, one take home test to complete, one play to read, an eight page script to write and then perform with my group, and two final tests to study for.

Yes. The next thirteen days are going to be hell.

So I’m giving myself tonight off. I’m going to do nothing except watch Buffy for the rest of the night. I’m already on my fourth episode of the night (just eight more until I’m done with the series!). Tomorrow I’ll start tackling my mountain of homework, but tonight? I rest. I deserve a rest. Everyone does once in a while.

I Want Much More Than This Provintial Life

19 Feb

About a week or so ago I finally watched the Buffy episode of  “Once More With Feeling”. I had seen it before in high school, but it had made no sense to me back then. Well, none of the songs really stuck in my mind upon viewing it this time around, so I went on and didn’t even bother to relisten to any of them… or, at least, I thought none of them stuck.

Today I was sitting in my room when suddenly one of the songs came back to me. The opening one that Buffy sings as she’s killing vamps, entitled: “Going Through the Motions”. So I caved, pulled it up on youtube, and relistened to it. It proved to be much catchier than the first time I heard it (I think because it was the first song of the episode and I was too busy being shocked to fully listen to it, since I had assumed OMWF happened in season seven and was surprised because I was still in season six). The song was short, so I hit replay, but close to the ending of my second listen some of the words struck a chord. So I played it for a third time.

Every single night the same arrangement,
I go out and fight the fight.
Still I always feel the strangest strangement,
Nothing here is real, nothing here is right.

I’ve been making shows of trading blows
Just hoping no one knows
That I’ve been going through the motions,
Walking through the part.
Nothing seems to penetrate my heart.

This freaked me out a bit, because I know exactly what Buffy’s talking about. Well, not in the same context, obviously, seeing as I haven’t died or anything. But most recently I’ve found I’ve been just, well, going through the motions. Getting up, going to school, going to work, going home. Rinse and repeat. Every day. I don’t hang out with anyone, I never go out, I never do anything fun. A fun weekend used to be hanging out with friends or going to a party, now a fun weekend is managing to get my homework done so I can have time to watch more TV. And I purposefully try to make sure that friends don’t see this about me. I don’t want them to know I’m going through the motions. Everyone else has things going on in their life, so why should I bother them with my angst-felt shit?

In the past year I have begun to connect tremendously with songs where characters express their absolute disdain for their current status in life. Songs like “Life” from Starship, “Something Better” from Muppet Treasure Island, and “Belle (reprise)” from Beauty and the Beast (I know, I listen to a really mature selection of music, right?). Certain lines stick out to me. Lines like “And I know this life I’m living can’t be my destiny, there’s got to be something better, something better, there’s gotta be something better than this for me” from Treasure Island was my mantra during January of 2011. Then when I discovered Starship last summer the line that struck me most was: “I need a way out, I need an escape, I’d rather be dead than to live in this place. I wish that something or someone could just take it all away. Someone take me away.” I mean, what does that say about me?

I just… don’t want to be in this town anymore. I’m no longer happy here. I’m rarely happy nowadays. I never see any of my friends. It feels like everyone’s matured and moved on, and I’m just stuck in this rut. It kills me that I’m going to be here for a fifth year. A piece of me wishes I was getting out this year, because, Jesus, I want to be out. I want to work on movies, live in New York, work for Muppet Studios, fall in love, get married, have kids, write a novel, and live. I’m done with school. Not literally, but I feel like I’m done. I want to travel, date people who aren’t from the SOU theatre department, and… well, I guess Buffy Summers puts it best:

Will I stay this way forever?
Sleep walk through my life’s endeavor.
I don’t want to be
Going through the motions,
Losing all my drive.
I can’t even see if this is really me
And I just want to be alive.

When do I get to start feeling alive?

A Daughter Without a Mother is like a Bird Who Lost Its Tail Feathers…

29 Jan

Death is a difficult subject to tackle. It’s one that everybody tries to write about and, more often than not, one that people usually fail to really captivate. God only knows I’ve written about death a number of times, and I still don’t think I’m well equipped enough to speak on it.

But on some levels, maybe I am. Death was introduced in my life when I was five years old when my favorite uncle died of lung cancer, and then again when a girl named Audrey died when I was in the fourth grade. I don’t remember much of them. I remember Uncle Dave had a thick mustache and thick glasses, and I remember Audrey was one year younger than me and was in the same Girl Scout troupe as I was, but besides that I really can’t remember them. I can’t remember why he was my favorite uncle and I can’t remember if Audrey and I were ever friends or at least pleasant acquaintances. Time and age has stolen all my fond memories of the two of them.

Then when I was thirteen my mother died of an aneurysm. It was sudden and quick and nobody saw it coming. It happened at six in the morning and by 12:15pm she was gone. That was over eight years ago, but to this day it still hurts. It’s always going to hurt, I realize, even when I’m eighty years old and can no longer remember the sound of her voice – which is already hard enough to remember as it is.

The reason I bring up death, namely the death of my mother, today is because of two things that have happened in the last twelve hours: I watched O Brother Where Art Thou and I watched the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer entitled “The Body”.

O Brother Where Art Thou may baffle some to a certain extent, so I will explain. My mother showed me O Brother when I was just a kid, about ten or eleven, probably deemed “too young” for the movie, but for some reason she allowed it. It was one of the first times I was ever invited to watch a “grown up movie” with my parents. She instructed me never to say any of the “bad words” that I’d hear, she had to explain to me why a bunch of men in white robes wanted to kill an innocent black man and she had to explain the word “nigger”, and she made me close my eyes when the Cyclops squished the toad. That being said, it quickly became one of our favorite movies to watch together and we watched it several times before her passing. It’s not a movie that always makes me think of her though; not really. I watch it on a somewhat regular basis (at least once a year?) and while she may be floating in the back of my mind as I do, there are definitely other movies that are more emotionally tied into memories of her.

However, last night as I was rewatching it and shoveling Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream into my “I-don’t-give-a-fuck-about-this-diet-anymore” mouth, I was struck with a sudden odd memory. When I was eleven, I had a major crush on Delmar in that movie. Y’know, Delmar? The short, little guy played by Tim Blake Nelson? Really simple-minded, the comic relief of the main trio, and says things like “Oh George, not the livestock” and “We thought you was a toad”. Yeah, him. I had totally forgotten this over the years and was highly amused upon remembering. I wanted to share it with someone immediately and, for some reason, the first person who came to mind was my mother. I fantasized how amazing it would be to have that one, simple conversation with her. It might seem strange to others, but the image of me calling up my mom and saying to her, “Hey, so, I totally just remembered when I was a kid I had this weird crush on Delmar from O Brother! Isn’t that ridiculous?” and then her saying something funny in response, as she always did, is the thing I want most right about now. I know it’s an odd thing to fantasize about, but geez, what I’d give for that moment.

The Buffy episode is a bit easier to understand why it made me think on my mom. (SPOILERS ahead for Buffy, just so we’re clear)

I have never seen a TV episode portray the loss of a loved one, especially a mother, so brutally honest. Whedon does such a great, poignant job when it comes to matters that are as serious as this, and he really did the death of Joyce justice… but that doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt any less to watch. I got to work this morning and told myself, “Okay, just one episode of Buffy and then I’ll get straight to the homework”… well, that one episode ended with Buffy finding her mom dead on the couch and I instantly knew I had to watch the next one. And I did. And I cried. A lot. And I was utterly thankful that no one came into the office during that time, because if they had they would have found me red-faced, tears streaming down my cheeks, and choking back sobs of empathy. The part that got me the hardest was finding out the character had been taken by an aneurysm and then realizing that the character of Dawn is very close to the age I was at when I lost my mother to an aneurysm. It’s so rough at that age. And Buffy’s reaction and shock to the situation was unbearable, and seeing how all of her friends took the news… ugh. Heart rendering. Also, I thought his line was extremely accurate:

Buffy: Was it sudden?
Tara: What?
Buffy: Your mother.
Tara: No. And yes. It’s always sudden.

It’s always sudden when we lose a person; whether it happens in the blink of an eye or it’s a gradual, slow process that you think you’re prepared for. You’re never truly prepared. Not really. It’s always going to hurt like a bitch to say good-bye to someone you love with your whole heart.

I’m sure this is not the last time I’m going to write about death, and it’s certainly not the last time I’ll reference my mother. There’s still so much I wish I could say to her, and I feel like writing it down is the only way I’ll ever find that sense of closure that I’ve been looking for ever since I was thirteen.

A daughter without a mother is like a bird who lost its tail feathers…it’s still possible for it to fly, it’s just a much greater challenge.