Why "True Blood" Doesn't Suck. (Heh.)

(N.B. This was originally posted on my Twilight blog.)

If you're anything like me, you are experiencing some serious Twilight-withdrawal symptoms, what with Breaking Dawn having been read twice, Midnight Sun put on indefinite hold by Ms. Meyer, and the film still two months away. Yeah, I've got the shakes. It ain't pretty, folks.

But I heard rumblings of a new vampire show on TV, something called "True Blood." For some reason, I kept calling it "Tru Blood" in my head, which was probably why I didn't get around to seeing it right away. There's nothing I hate more than deliberate misspelling, especially in film or show titles. Inevitably, I get the dimwit in class that insists, "N'uh uh! That's not how you spell true, teacher! It's not written like that on the show!"

And so on.

Back to "True Blood." So I am flipping through the On Demand channels to see what's new, and I notice that HBO has all of the latest episodes of "True Blood" available. I am pleased that the title is spelled correctly, silly though it may be. I decide to watch the first episode, prepare to make fun of it after I hear the pseudo-twang of the actors (it takes place in Louisianna), but somewhere in between the opening and closing credits, I fall in like with it.

Don't get me wrong - it's not perfect. There's so much sex in the show, I would not feel comfortable watching it with my mom in the room, and they drop f-bombs left and right (it is on HBO), but the story is somehow compelling, and the actors are better than they have any right to be.

Anna Paquin plays Sookie Stackhouse (and every time I hear her name, I cannot help but be reminded of this Sookie). Sookie is a waitress who just happens to be able to read minds. She lives with her grandmother and slutty older brother Jason, their parents having died in a flash flood years ago. Her best friend is a young black woman named Tara who can't hold a job down because of her threadbare temper. Tara happens to have a crush on Jason, but for some reason he's not interested in her (despite the fact that he'll sleep with anything in a skirt). Rounding out the cast is Sookie's boss Sam, who has a so-obvious-it's-painful crush on her, but Sookie is not interested in any men. At least not any human men (In the second episode, we realize why she doesn't date - her ability to read minds leads to often offensive, sometimes hilarious intimations about the guys she's dating).

Enter Bill The Vampire. Yes, his name is Bill. As in Clinton. As in of Rights. As in, oh my Dog, what writers were in charge of coming up with the character names for this show?! Sookie? Bill? Seriously, people, I know there was a strike less than a year ago, but there's no excuse for "Sookie" and "Bill The Vampire."

At least Bill is of the handsome, brooding variety of vampire, not the white trash or scary-punk types shown before he arrives on the scene. Oh yeah, and there's an Ann Coulter-esque vampire who's even scarier than the scary-punk vamp. *Shudders*

So Bill the Vampire enters the diner where Sookie works and she knows instantly what he is. Why? Because she can't...read...his...mind. Dun, dun, DUN!

Of course, Sookie floats his way and begins a conversation, sparks fly, violins reach their crescendo, and I am going to end it there because I want you to watch the show, and I've just wasted a half hour writing about this show on my Twilight blog. No, I will not be making a True Blood blog. At least not yet. :D

Why should you watch "True Blood"? Because there are glimmers of Twilight in it, as in the fact that Sookie is a mind-reader (an interesting twist after reading about Edward's mind-reading ability in Midnight Sun). Because Bill (sigh) The Vampire's Heathcliff-esque brooding reminds me of Edward. Because "True Blood" reinvents the vampire myth and even throws in some clever new twists - in the world of the show, vampires have come "out of the coffin" due to the Japanese invention of "Tru Blood," synthethic blood that is sold everywhere in six-packs as if they were beer. (Check out the slick website HBO created to "market" this so-called product.) Oh yeah, and the vamps in this show have retractable fangs. No sparkling as of yet, though.

I don't know what Twi-hards will make of the show - already on YouTube there is mass hysteria abounding by fans who swear up and down that "True Blood" steals from Twilight. Whatev, dude. Stephenie Meyer didn't invent the vampire - she just created her own version of the myth. Who's to say no one else can do likewise.

To visit the HBO site for "True Blood," click here. To watch the trailer for "True Blood," click on the video below.

Lolcat Picture of the Week


We are almost in my birthday month!

On October 10th, I turn 30. Yikes. 10 years from now I'll be turning 40. Double yikes.

All of my friends who are already in their 30's tell me these are the "best" years. Hearing that is like hearing good things about a roller coaster ride I haven't gone on yet - it's the waiting I can't stand; once I'm on the ride, I'm fine.

Paul Newman Dies at 83

I turn on the news this morning, expecting to hear more recaps about last night's presidential debate, and instead I am floored by the news that Paul Newman has died at age 83 of cancer.

I admired him not just for his talent as an actor, but because of his rare long-term marriage with his second wife Joanne Woodward, which spanned 50 years. This isn't just rare in Hollywood, folks. Not anymore.

In reading the NY Times article on Paul Newman's passing, I came across this previous statement by Newman:
“I picture my epitaph,” he once said. “Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown.”

I don't know why that made me tear. But it did.

Threads that are golden don't break easily...

I just realized you might be curious about my blog title. I wouldn't blame you. I'd be curious, too!

It's actually a lyric from one of my favorite Tori Amos songs, "Horses." Here are the lyrics to that song.

I got me some horses
To ride on, to ride on
They say that your demons can't go there
So I got me some horses
To ride on, to ride on
As long as your army keeps perfectly still

And maybe I'll find me a sailor
A tailor
And maybe together we'll make mother well
So I got me some horses
To ride on, to ride on
As long as your army
Keeps perfectly still

You showed me the meadow
And Milkwood and Silkwood
And you would if I would
But you never would
So I chased down your posies
Your pansies in my hosies
Then opened my hands and they were empty then

Off with Superfly
Sniffing a Sharpie pen
Honey it's Bill and Ben
Off with Superfly
Counting your bees
Oh me honey like
One two three
The camera is rolling
It's easy like one, two, three

And if there is a way to find you
I will find you
But will you find me if Neil makes me a tree
An afro, a pharaoh
I can't go, you said so
And threads that are golden don't break easily

I got me some horses
To ride on, to ride on
They say that your demons can't go there
So I got me some horses
To ride on, to ride on
As long as your army keeps perfectly still

Her lyrics are decidedly interesting. People seem to fall into two camps on this issue - they love that they can't decipher them, and they hate that they can't decipher them. I'm lodged firmly in the former camp - I like interpreting things in my own way, sort of like reading poetry. That's what listening to and reading Tori Amos's lyrics are like for me.

So what do I think that lyric means, "And threads that are golden don't break easily"? Well, I can approach it in two ways. When I hear that lyric, I am reminded of the Moirae, the three sister goddesses in Greek mythology (also known as the Fates) who literally held humanity in their hands. Clotho was the sister in charge of creation, and she formed life by "weaving" it. Lachesis was in charge of measuring one's "thread." And lastly, Atropos had the powerful job of cutting your "thread" at the end of your life.

Regular humans had ordinary threads, but it was believed the threads belonging to the gods were golden and thus more difficult to break.

So you can see the lyric in this way, as a simple reference to mythology. But I also see it another way. Every breath of life, every moment of experience, every person we meet forms slender threads that help make up the complex tapestry of our life. But if these moments and people be special, those threads are golden and don't break easily.


One of my coworkers introduced me to these books called PostSecret, which are collections of postcards anonymously sent that contain secrets - some of them hilarious, many of them heart-breaking, and the majority of them illuminating. The postcards are typically illustrated in a way that matches the theme of the secret, and some really beautiful ones have been sent. PostSecret began as a community project, and today there are several books published, as well as a website run by Frank Warren that is updated every Sunday with new submissions.

My coworker developed a project with her students whereby they gave her postcards containing their anonymous secrets and illustrated to match. In addition, their secret had to be written in such a way that it conveys irony.

I would like to do such a project with my students. I've got a few creative projects going on in my classes right now, so I'll wait about a month or so before I bring it up in class. But I can't wait to see how it will go - it's been going great for my friend. She's gotten some great submissions.

If you would like to learn more about PostSecret, go to Frank Warren's website: http://postsecret.blogspot.com

Below I've posted a video from that website that shows you some examples of previous postsecret submissions.

I can has cheezburger?

I first heard about "Lolcats" about a year ago. My boyfriend would laugh his head off at these funny pictures of cats that had amusing captions written on them, such as the ever popular: "I can has cheezburger." My curiosity was piqued, so I decided to check them out.

Where do Lolcats live? Where da cheezburgers are! There is now a website dedicated solely to Lolcat pictures: http://icanhascheezburger.com/

On this website, you can find pictures like the one below:


This picture cracks me up for some reason. :D The pictures are characterized by cats in bizarre and often humiliating poses, as well as the infamous Lolcat spelling, or should I say misspelling. Often hilarious, sometimes unexpectedly cute, this website is a must-see.

Why I Write [ficlet]

Logging into ficlets today, I learned from another member, Robotech_Master, that the license for this website is due to expire on October 31st. Yikes! I cannot imagine my life without ficlets...

I wrote a poem in my sad, sad mood. :(

Why I Write
I write:
because the page is empty
because my days are full
because he forgot to call
because I met someone new
because I heard my favorite song
because I bought new shoes
because I yelled at my mother
because my mother yelled at me
because my cat curled up just so
because I caught the sunset
because these memories need a record
because my pen carries farther than my voice.

Ficlets Are Awesome.

If you visited my blog recently, you may have noticed something different about the side column - I posted a list of some of my ficlets along with the links to read them.

If you don't know what a "ficlet" is, it's a short work of fiction 1,024 characters in length. Similar to flash fiction, but even shorter. A previous student of mine introduced me to it, and it's been a year-long addiction ever since. I've written more in this one year than in the past 6 years I've been teaching - something about this job just drained the creative energy out of me, until now.

Now, if only I could refocus that energy towards my thesis...

Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride.

I had been wanting to see this film, 27 Dresses, since it came out in the theaters in January, but I never got around to watching it - until now!

The Publix Sabor in my neighborhood started carrying rental DVD's through a vending machine, which is a wonderful thing, especially since you can rent a video for 24 hours for $1. It's been my experience that you can't get anything for $1 anymore, even in so-called 99¢ stores. So I'm loving my movie rental vending machine.

About 27 dresses - it was as cute as I expected, and just as fluffy. Don't watch it expecting gravitas and pathos - you've got Atonement for that. But if you're in the mood for a feel-good, breezy, and (Dare I say it? I do dare) chick-flick, then this is the movie for you.

If you want to learn more about 27 Dresses, read reviews, see pictures, and even watch the trailer, check out its imdb webpage here.

As If Of Wings [ficlet]

I wrote a new ficlet today! Comment and critique, please. :-)

As If Of Wings
The woman held a jealous hand over her protruding belly and eyed the receptionist with mean green eyes.

“What d’you mean he’s in a meeting? Our ‘pointment’s supposed to be now!”

The receptionist’s smile cracked but held. “Um, ma’am, he should be done shortly. Please have a seat and I will let you know when the doctor’s ready.”

The woman cast her eyes meaningfully towards the clock behind the receptionist’s head, then slunk back towards her seat, muttering unintelligible curses under her breath.

I eyed her with a mixture of revulsion and pity. Placing a hand on my own flat belly, I wondered for the umpteenth time whether I was really pregnant. 10 ept tests assured me I was, but it still hadn’t sunk in yet.

Suddenly, I felt what I could only describe as a flourish in the pit of my stomach. A stirring, as if of wings. The rude lady locked eyes with me and I cried, “I think I just felt the baby!”

“Man, you ain’t felt nothing yet,” was her terse rejoinder before sticking her face firmly into a magazine.

Shameless Plug: Ana Cristina's Pages

I now have three blogs, including this one and my Twilight Blog! My newest blog, Ana Cristina's Pages, features my reviews of the latest books I've read. So far I've reviewed Breaking Dawn and Watchmen.

I have big plans for my new blog - in the future, I'd like to include not just reviews, but recommendations for books and author spotlights. Who knows? Maybe I'll even get lucky and land an interview with one of my favorite authors.

To read my reviews and check out my new blog, go here. Be sure to comment me and let me know what you think! :D

Fish and Chips

Last night, Ricky and I went to our new favorite restaurant, The Pub, with some friends of ours, Joanna and Douglas. It was their first time, our third. The Pub has quickly become our favorite restaurant due to its laid-back atmosphere and great menu. It serves British style cuisine and has an impressive beer list (and for me, who's become a newly minted beer afficiando, this is a good thing!). Ricky had the quintessentially British dish, Fish and Chips, while I ordered the Americanized version, Chicken and Chips. After trying a bite of his Fish and Chips, though, I was very jealous, so jealous in fact that I endeavored to order that the next time we go. Which will probably be soon, given how frequently we've been going - just last weekend, we took another friend, Jennie, for her first time, and funnily enough, the same waitress attended us last night, too.

Both times we ordered dessert, though I preferred last night's Jamaican Cheesecake to last week's Brownie Sundae. Last night's cheesecake was out of this world. Joanna and I both agreed that we could easily down another plate of it, no problem. The only problem would be our expanding waistlines!

It was nice to get out and enjoy ourselves with some friends. Of the two of us, I'm definitely more antisocial than Ricky, or at least I think I like thinking I am, but once we're out with friends, I realize how much fun I have in a crowd. I'm nothing if not a complicated woman, I guess. ;-)


Well, things are starting to look up, at least in the thesis department. I had thought that I'd missed the registration deadline, and was dreading to find out what would happen if I wasn't continually enrolled, but when I called yesterday to see if it was too late, they let me know that I had until 5:00 PM that same day to walk a memo over from my department (English) giving me permission to register.

Thank God Ricky was able to take me to FIU so I could do this! I don't know what I would do without him, I swear. I really need to learn how to drive ASAP.

So now I'm registered for one thesis credit, and the remaining credit will go for Spring semester, meaning I'll be graduating then, not in December. I had asked for two credits, but they wrote one credit on my form. At first I felt nothing but a surge of relief - more time to write my thesis! Then I started feeling a little disappointed - I really wanted to be done in December.

But the way I see it, that doesn't mean I can't be done in December. With the thesis, of course.


I am almost caught up with my grading, joy! But in other parts of my life, I am woefully behind.

Item #1: Thesis
Status: Not done; Oct. 23 is the deadline to turn it in in order to graduate in December.

Item #2: Teacher Certification
Status: Not done; temporary certificate expires in June 2009.

I need another summer vacation, because I wasted this one! :( I did not even notice the days fly past, they went by so quickly. It's like I was sleepwalking.

On Demand

Cable companies are seldom good things, especially for their customers, but I don't have much bad to say about Comcast, mostly because of On Demand. On Demand is a service included with their plan which allows viewers to see free films and videos of various genres, as well as pay-per-view films and events such as boxing, concerts, etc. But it's really their free films that I'm a fan of. Ever since they've started this service, I haven't used Blockbuster at all, and have saved money doing so.

Today I saw two films on On Demand - Pride and Prejudice and Arabesque. The version I saw of Pride and Prejudice was the 1940 film starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier. I could see where the most recent version of Pride and Prejudice (which I adore), starring Keira Knightley, derived much of its inspiration - I think the director most likely viewed the 1940 version, because I could see many similarities. Both are beautiful films in their own right.

Arabesque was a silly 1960's mystery caper starring Sophia Loren and her outfits. I swear, I don't even remember the actor who starred opposite her. Was it Peter O'Toole? Don't remember. All I could remember was Sophia's stunningly beautiful gowns and stylish hair style and makeup. I will definitely be taking a page out of her style book, especially when it comes to the elegant swoop of her black eyeliner and the Arabic lines of her dresses.

Hard to Tell [ficlet]

I wrote a new ficlet today, after many days and maybe even weeks of not writing. I saw the film "Black Snake Moan" today with Ricky (crazy, but great) and it kinda sorta inspired this piece.

Hard to Tell
The man slung his guitar over his shoulder and took a pick out of his back pocket, its silver surface glittering in the dust motes. The bar patrons sat motionless, not blinking, barely breathing. I hastily lowered my hands, having raised them in order to applaud when he stepped on stage. Apparently they did things differently in this bar.

I tried catching my friend’s attention, but Jean was sitting just as rapt as everyone else. I hitched my seat closer to the stage, trying to get a better look.

The man on stage was nondescript. I wouldn’t have noticed him on the street, not because he was ugly or even plain, but because he looked like everyone else. Both his hair and eyes were of indeterminate color, and he could have been 30 or 50. It was hard to tell.

Just as I was beginning to regret having agreed to accompany Jean to this seedy bar, the man on stage bent over his guitar and began playing, the chords shattering the air, scattering the light so that suddenly all I could hear, all I could see, was him.