Random Ramblings: It’s about Hope.

(this post has been rolling around in my head all day so hopefully it translates from my head to the screen well enough for you to understand)

Every now and then a series comes along that everyone rants and raves about. Another new adult drama that gets 5 star reviews, best-show-ever blah blah blah. And then I watch it and I feel…nothing.

Well, that’s not true. I watch and episode or two and I agree that the show has quality – it’s well acted, well written, beautifully shot. But it just doesn’t do it for me. After years of trying to figure out why that is, I know what a story needs to keep me engaged.


I have to believe that there is hope for the characters. They will be redeemed or survive whatever trauma the series is putting them through. By the end of their story, things will be better.

Star Wars (OT), Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings — these are a few of my favorite things stories and they all are full of hope. They do all have their fair share of darkness, but while evil may triumph every now and then, the characters manage to stay strong and be true to themselves.

But, you say, you have read and enjoyed all of the Hunger Games books! You watch American Horror Story – surely those are full of hopelessness. And you would be right.

But, then again, by the ending of Hunger Games, even though life is kinda shit, Katniss has survived. She has learned things from fighting against the Capital, alongside the rebellion. There is enough hope inside of her, even though she would deny it, to keep on living and to care for her fellow survivors.

American Horror Story was the real conundrum for me. The entire premise of the show is that someone is going to be in HORROR for a whole season. Except, how can you have horror without hope? It’s not scary if there is no hope, you would just give up and die (which I think was the problem with Season 2 for me, the people in the Asylum had nothing to hope for after awhile). In Season 1 and 3, the families in that show hoped to survive, so every scary monster, ghost or demon that attacked them was that much worse. Horror cannot exist without hope, which is why the seasons have to end where they do because you cannot sustain that sort of emotion beyond 13 episodes.

Walking Dead and Breaking Bad were the two shows that made me realize this need for Hope. I had been watching Walking Dead since day 1 as I had read a few of the trade collections of the comics and wanted to see how it translated on the screen. I liked the first season well enough. I got through most of the second season. But once we had the whole Sophie thing, I realized this was not going to end well. Things just kept getting worse. Everyone was going to die, sooner or later. Carl was going to grow up to be a mess and one by one every person in the group was either horribly killed or turned into someone that I *wish* would be eaten. The zombies are not going away, there is no hope for anyone.

Breaking Bad I watched the entire first season in a matter of days but I never felt compelled to pick up the next season. Again, I think that is because it is clear from the beginning that there is no hope for Walt or Jesse. This will not be a show where things turn out alright in the end, or even sorta okay. It was all going to end in blue meth stained tears. Even in that first season I knew that no single character was going to make it out of that show a good person.

I watch tv and movies and read books to escape the harsh realities of life. These stories are very personal for me. I don’t just watch and then move on, I tend to connect with characters and become attached to them. And I know that stories with no hope will not make me happy. I’m not denying that they are quality stories, but they are not for me.

Star Wars Memories: The Phantom Menace camp out

It has come to my attention (thanks to dunc) that today is the 15th anniversary of the release of The Phantom Menace.

tickets please

I guess that is right. That means it’s been 15 years since I graduated high school. Freaky.

Though, for me, the movie premiere was only a small part of the experience. Most of my TPM memories are from a week before, on May 11, when my friends and I camped out for midnight premiere tickets for Baltimore’s historic Senator Theater. The Senator is an old movie house with one BIG screen, THX certified sound and only 800 seats. If you wanted to see the midnight show, you had to set up camp.

front of the line

We were 180th in line, this was not our main view. We were actually on the front lawn of a dentist’s office. No one really seemed to care though. I think a movie with this sort of following only comes around every few years so I’m sure they hadn’t had crazy teenagers sleeping on the sidewalk before. My parents let me skip school for the occasion (which, me being a total straight laced nerd was a BIG deal). This was MY senior skip day. And night. And then a little bit of day again.

This was all pre-WiFi and Smartphone, mind you. I had my cell phone for emergencies but that was all I used it for. We had to use the bathroom in the bar across the street and after that closed the gas station at the corner. The local news paid us a visit, I remember being elated to see footage of us all sitting around playing Star Wars Trivial Pursuit on the TV (I had told me mom we might be on the news and she managed to tape the 3 minutes segment for me).

I have to say, this has to be one of my favorite fandom memories. Being outside with all these other fellow Star Wars fans. In the morning we sent out search parties for food and the bagel shop down the road was smart enough to show up and hand out their menus so that was where we all went.

I don’t know if anyone camps out for movie tickets anymore. I know I haven’t done it since Revenge of the Sith. Now that you can order online, it takes some of the magic away. Though I can’t think of a movie I would need to see at midnight. I will see the next wave of Star Wars movies in the theater, but I doubt I will be excited enough to want to camp out.

Anyway, a week went by and we were back at the theater at midnight for the movie. While I was in the moment, in a theater of 800 crazy Star Wars fans who knew all the write moments to applaud, cheer, and laugh it was a fantastic time.

Afterwards, after I had left the glow of the theater, I found myself trying to make myself love the movie but knowing deep down that it had missed the mark. (I clearly remember the guy in front of us in line had Star Wars tattoos all over him and he had just had Darth Maul added to the collection. After the movie was over, I wondered how happy he was with the movie.) It was a confusing time. I just kept hoping that the next movie would make it all better.

What about you? Did you see Phantom Menace at midnight or on opening day? Do you remember your reaction?

mission accomplished

Guess my obsession in 8th grade?


My Dad just texted me this photo of the clock I made in Middle School shop class. As you can probably guess, this was the height of my Douglas Adams obsession.

Sad part is that this image is no longer on the cover of the book. The reprints have these weird colored marbles floating of a space landscape. So unless you have a copy of one of the first few editions, this smart-ass planet mocking you from a distance doesn’t really invoke the classic novel.

Douglas Adams, and in particular ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ were one of the first books to make me laugh out loud. It is probably one of the few books I have read multiple times. I can quote huge portions of it, though that is mostly because the miniseries and radio drama were so close to the text and I pretty much watched or listened to them on a daily basis for a long long time.

But I am trying to purge my stash of random things and, really, this was a cool project but I am not going to hang it up on my apartment now. So I am making this post to say goodbye awesome wall clock – you got me my A+ and kept time for many years but it’s now time to let you go.

Don’t Panic!

[LINK] A New Direction For Stickers

[LINK] A New Direction For Stickers

Earlier this week GetGlue quietly announced that they are changing the way they do things.

If you’re not familiar with GetGlue, it’s one of the most popular check-in sites where viewers can say they are watching a TV show or movie and earn a virtual sticker.  Once a user had earned 20 virtual stickers, they could request that GetGlue send them physical copies of the stickers for you to do with as you pleased.

I've started putting my @Getglue stickers inside my blu-ray cases for safe keeping.

Then on November 26th, a few days before Thanksgiving, GetGlue posted to their blog about how they were going to start having animated stickers and who their partners were and oh it’s so exciting!…

…oh yeah, and btw, no more physical stickers, kthxbye.

As you can imagine, the comments section of their blog is full of lots of lovely, well thought out reactions to this announcement. I totally understand this decision on GetGlue’s part.  Printing and mailing all the stickers could not be cheap.  Plus, many times they had issues with the stickers arriving in a timely manner or at all, prompting probably more helpful comments from the same people leaving notes on their blog.  But, let’s face it, the reason GetGlue won the check-in site war was because it offered these physical items for people to collect.

I think GetGlue should do what so many other companies have done in the past – pass the cost on to the consumer.  Why not keep the whole 20 check ins unlocks the stickers but instead of mailing out the physical stickers, allow the users to pick their stickers and then download a high quality PDF that they can print out onto a sticker sheet or take to Office Depot or some other store that does high quality printing. Without the promise of the physical stickers, I have a feeling many people will stop feeling the need to check-in.  At least a lot of the original users who joined the site because of the stickers.

What do you think?  Do you use GetGlue?  Did you ever order stickers?

The Liebster Award (aw shucks)

V was supernice to nominate me for a Liebster Award which just makes me giddy. You should totally check out her blog Verbal Spew for all kinds of randomness about tv and film and being awesome and Irish. ❤

I haven't been blogging over here on WordPress that long and didn't even know my posts were entertaining enough for anyone to read, let alone someone nominate me for a sweet little award. I mean, look how cute it is:

liebster award

I mean, come on, it looks like a strawberry donut of luuuuv. Mmmm…donuts…

If you’re like me and new to these blog awards, here is the low-down of what a nominee/winner should do:
1. Post the Liebster Award graphic on your site.
2. Thank the blogger who nominated your blog.
3. The nominee is asked to write 11 facts about themselves.
4. Answer the 11 questions from the post of the person who nominated them.
5. The nominee will nominate 9 other blogs.
6. The nominee will then create 11 questions of their own for their nominated bloggers to answer in their Liebster post.

So, 11 facts about me:

1. I’ve had the username orangerful since high school.

2. I have a very faint scar on my cheek from when I was really little an apparently tried to shave.

3. I work in a public library and I have my master’s degree in library and information sciences.

4. I’m a Navy brat so even though I’ve lived in Maryland for most of my life, I don’t identify as a Marylander.

5. My favorite city is Boston.

6. I can roll my tongue, which is apparently not something everyone can do.

7. I played the flute from 6th grade through high school. I was Drum Major of my marching band.

8. I love to travel. I prefer driving to flying. I like the freedom of a road trip.

9. I worked at a radio station for a year and was an “on-air personality” (apparently that is the preferred term to “disc jockey” or “DJ”). I quit because, as you probably can guess, working in radio is less about music and more about advertising. Plus the entertainment business is a scary place.

10. I have an undergraduate degree in American Studies with my emphasis on popular culture and communications. In other words, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

11. I went to Australia for 18 days in 1998 and loved it.

**PHEW** Wow, that was more difficult than I thought it would be! I guess I don’t talk about myself that much. And now for the questions at V left on her blog:

1. What is your very first childhood memory? I’ve never really had a good memory so these questions usually throw me because I find it hard to separate out actual memories vs photographs or home videos I saw that reminded me. But here’s a classic: I remember trying to record music off of MTV by holding my boombox up to the TV speaker. I was at my grandparents house and “UHF” by Weird Al came on and I got so excited I leaned my boombox up against the TV and the knob went “CLICK” and the TV shut off. I had that tape for the rest of the summer and about 5 seconds into the song you hear the “CLICK” and then me sing – “oooooh noooo!” and the buzz of the TV coming back.

2. You’ve hit the big-time. You’ve just won the Nobel Peace Prize. You’ve won the lottery. You’ve gained fame by ruthlessly pursuing the monsters that kidnapped a family member. You’ve been put in jail because you’re just too damn good-looking and the safety of singletons everywhere is threatened by your freedom. They’re making a movie about you. Who plays you, why, and what is the movie called? I’d like Katee Sackhoff to play me in the biopic entitled “CHECKED OUT” about a librarian who has had it up to HERE with all these crazy people.

3. It’s midnight and you’re hungry. What is your go-to snack?
POPCORN! It’s not a very stealthy snack, but I prefer salty to sweet plus it’s an excuse to eat, like, half a stick of butter.

4. The old hypothetical dinner party conundrum. You can invite any four people, alive or dead, famous or not, to a dinner party. Who do you invite and why? Joss Whedon, Kristen Bell, Felicia Day and Dunc.

5. What do you want to be when you grow up? I have no idea. 🙂

6. What do you do to unwind after a tough day? Curl up in front of the TV with a hard cider, my boy, and Hulu.com (or if it was really bad, throw in a classic Buffy episode).

7. If you could be an animal for a day what animal would you be? A cat so I could just sleep and be fed and get belly rubs like my two bums do.

8. Do you have a guilty, secret pleasure that you think you probably shouldn’t? Like Reality TV, or Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen? Tell me! I don’t feel guilty about any of my pleasures. I have some pretty awful music in my iTunes – yesterday when the boyfriend sat down to use my computer “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls came up on shuffle. Gotta admit though, it’s still catchy after all these years.

9. There has been an “atmospheric phenomenon” and you wake up with a superpower. You can make yourself invisible at whim. Who do you spy on, and why? …I honestly cannot think of an answer to this one. Sadly, the first thing that popped into my head was to go to another library and see how people work there LOL. Sneak around into the backroom. But I don’t have any archnemisisies to spy on or anything exciting like that. Maybe I’d just try to figure out what the hell my cats do all day when no one is home to pet them!

10. I’m sure you have a lovely name, but if you could change it to anything, what name would you choose? When I was a kid, I hated my name. I think it’s uniqueness bothered me. No joke, my “play” name when I was a little was “Kathy”. I know, not really the most imaginative. But if I had to pick a new name…hm…maybe Leia.

11. Star Wars or Star Trek? If neither, you’d better have a damn good reason. LOL I guess I just sort of answered that. While I love both and don’t think it’s fair to compare them (Star Wars is really just fantasy in space while Star Trek is more true sci-fi, IMO), Star Wars wins for me. It’s been my fandom since before I was born. It’s just a great reworking of all the archetypes, a classic battle of good and evil. And I love the way it brings people together, especially at 501st events, all the different kinds of people of all ages who just love Star Wars.

And now I must nominate 9 more fantastic blogs!
simple tricks & nonsense – all the geekery, not putting up with your BS

Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys) – they watch way more scary movies than me but their quick and fun reviews have helped me find a few buried treasures

the westologist – probably the most intellectual blog in my Reader right now but I learn so much from each post!

Bright Line Cosplay – my friend Jess makes awesome costumes and she helped get me into the world of Conventions (and makes me wish I had the talent/patience/skills to cosplay). Lots of cool pictures of costumes she is working on and other fun stuff she has seen.

Lyle’s Movie Files – geeking out over movies, TV, and toys – my kind of blog.

Random Ramblings of a Devoted Fangirl – about as focused as my blog when it comes to spreading the love for all her favorite things. Always fun to have someone else to fangirl with!

the droid you’re looking for – well thought out examinations of pop culture…and some silly stick figure posts when things get too serious.

I know that’s not 9 blogs but they are all extra awesome so just pretend I posted 9 and click through and add a few to your Reader. There’s something for everyone!

Okay, eleven questions for my nominees to answer (if they want to, if not, just know I ❤ you):

1. You're walking down the street and a man runs up to you and says you're the next big thing and he can get you on any TV show! Which show do you pick?

2. What was the last album you bought (either physical CD or MP3 – but it has to be a full album)?

3. When did you start blogging and why?

4. Who was your favorite elementary school teacher?

5. Did you ride the bus or walk to school?

6. It's your birthday and we have a TARDIS and a magic gift card with no limit – where do you want to go for dinner?

7. Beatles or Rolling Stones?

8. What was the last game you played (video or board, depending on your style)?

9. What book have you read more than once? (and if you haven't ever read a book more than once, what book would you like to reread)?

10. What's your favorite t-shirt in your wardrobe?

11. What's your soda of choice?