Friday, November 20, 2015

Jessica Jones S01E01 "Ladies' Night'

So, I just watched the first episode of Jessica Jones on Netflix.  I have to admit that I went into the show with some bias; I've read Alias, the Marvel Comic that inspired the series.  Honestly, I didn't think much of that, and, apparently, neither did the bulk of readers because Alias was cancelled after twentysomething issues.
Gentle readers, I wasn't impressed with Jessica Jones.  The acting in the first ep was mediocre, the plot was uninteresting, the pacing was atrocious.  Thirty minutes into the episode, I wanted to turn it off, but decided I should tought it out.
I regret that.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I would give this show 2 stars.  I have no desire to watch another episode.  However, in all fairness, Daredevil doesn't do anything for me either.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Black Birds

My life is full of poisonous birds,
black as sin, black as pitch,
that lurk in the branches of skeletal trees.

They descend upon me, en mass, these black birds,
and rip and tear at me,
my face, my hair, my clothes,
with their black razor beaks and claws.

I wave my arms about my face, 
shouting and swearing,
head bent low as I run for cover.
The birds follow.

I take refuge indoors, 
peering through paper-thin glass panes,
peering at the birds,
watching me watch them.

They sit in black lines along tree limbs
and power lines and the tops of fences.
The black birds sit and watch and wait,
sharpening their beaks and claws.

My life is full of poisonous black birds,
black as sin, black as pitch,
waiting for me to step outside.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Sometimes, gentle readers, it feels like I can never get ahead.  For every step that I take forward, I'm suddenly forced to take two steps backwards.  It's frustrating and dispiriting, but I endure. I keep trying to walk forward because the alternative is to stand still, to be rooted to the spot, bound in place by circumstance and fear.
That's no way to live.
So, keep walking forward.  Push yourself against the wind.  Even if it does knock you back, even if your progress seems glacial, know that you're still moving ahead.
Be brave.
Be stubborn.
Be courageous.
Be yourself.

Monday, November 2, 2015


October has left, flouncing out in a black dress that felt more like a shroud than her usual party number.  As she exits, November enters.  The bitch-month.
Normally as cold and precise as a math problem, November seems weirdly unfocused as she takes charge. Her ebon hair is slightly mussed, her makeup just a little smudged.  There's an uncharacteristic run in her black stockings, exposing a narrow swath of ice-white flesh.
But the expression on her face is classic November, composed and unyielding.  No warmth radiates from her jet-black eyes and her mouth is set in a tight moue.
She settles into her chair, all black leather and burnished brass; it's the kind of chair an expensive dominatrix might have in her office.  November sits and grips the arms and takes a deep breath; the air in the room grows chilly.  Frost forms at the edges of the windows.  In the fireplace, the flames flicker for a moment and burn with a baleful blue light.
November drums her manicured fingers on the armrests. Leaves tumble off of the stick-like trees. Lingering geese suddenly take to the air, flapping madly southward, cold tiger-winds snapping at their tail feathers.
In her office, November tidies up.  She smooths her hair into place and fixes her makeup.  She examines her face in the mirrored surface of her obsidian desk.  When she is satisfied with her appearance, she settles back in her chair and folds her hands together.  She smiles, a slow, reptilian grimace and draws a second breath, sucking the last bits of heat and daylight from the air. Her exhalation is a stream of cold fog.
"Now," she purrs, in a voice like light bouncing off razorblades, 'let's get started."
November is a bitch.
Never trust November.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


When I was a boy, I lived in front of the television set.  I was one of those kids who could tell you the primetime schedule of all three networks with more certainty and relish than I could list the first five Presidents of the United States.  So it's a bit weird for me to realize that I haven't watched broadcast television in over two years.  
When I moved into my current home, I didn't bother getting a television.  Instead, I made sure I had wi-fi that could reach every room in the place.  The only thing I miss from television, really, is local news and I can catch the rebroadcast of that online.
When I want entertainment, I spent most of my time on my laptop.  I listened to audio programs available via the BBC or spent time watching videos on YouTube.  Occasionally, I would buy a movie or rent an episode of television via Amazon Instant Video.
I was content.
Then, last September, I decided to try Netflix.  For $8 a month, it sounded like a good deal, and the first month was free.  So, I signed up, logged in and checked out what they had available.
To be honest, I was not impressed.  A lot of their stuff you can find at other sites for free.  The stuff they did have was stuff I didn't really want to watch.
Everyone told me I should watch Daredevil, that it was really good.  I made it through six episodes and lost interest. I tried watching Arrow and The Flash, but they didn't tickle my fancy either.  That first week on Netflix, I spent feeling really disappointed.
But I had it free for a month and thought I'd give it that long.  Surely there must be something worthwhile on the site.
I revisited some old favorites, like The Munsters and Kolchak, but I'm not the type to get lost in nostalgia.  Then I somehow wound up watching the entire run of Spooksville, a supernatural tween show produced in Canada.  Then, to my surprise, I found an Australian-produced mystery program, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, and bingewatched all three seasons.  That led me to the discovery that Netflix has the entire run of Agatha Christie's Poirot, starring the fantastic David Suchet in the title role, and Dawn French's The Vicar of Dibley, one of the funniest Britcoms that I've ever seen.
The trial month ended and I decided to keep my Netflix membership.  I watched Daniel Radcliffe in Horns and was horribly disappointed by the flatness of the film.  Halloween was coming and I eagerly perused their offerings in horror, but most of them left me cold. I wanted the original Halloween or the excellent 2007 Trick R Treat.  I got recommended Supernatural and The Gates. My disappointment was a palpable thing.
I thought that the site's algorithms weren't recommending me good things because they didn't really know my tastes yet, so I spent an hour filling out profile preferences.  It didn't seem to make much of a difference.  Supernatural still popped up in my recommendations, but now so did Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Vampire Diaries. It was like taking one step forward and two steps back.
I'm still working my way through Suchet's Poirot, and just recently started watching Murder, She Wrote on a whim.  
I've told myself that once I'm done with Poirot, I'll probably shut down the account.  I can find stuff to watch online for free. I can go back to listening to the BBC and podcasts like Welcome to Night Vale.
But then someone told me Netflix was going to be getting the original Star Wars movies.
Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in. :-(