Thursday, May 28, 2015

throwback hirshhorn museum thursday

An adorable kid having fun at the Hirshhorn museum.

At the Hirshhorn

At the Hirshhorn

At the Hirshhorn

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

sunny sepia tones

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

sansa the brave

The internet won't stop rumbling about how the series Game of Thrones has taken liberties this season with one of its major characters, Sansa Stark, played by Sophie Turner. But the outcry is not limited to book vs. show purists. Many more have been shocked by what happened last week when her newly-wed husband Ramsay Bolton brutalized her on her wedding night.

Many have protested that the show is glorifying the act of rape. That is patently absurd. What Sansa had to endure was unequivocally shown as brutal and horrible, with both physical and mental ramifications for her and for the already broken Theon/Reek, who Ramsay forced to witness the event. The following episode showed that Ramsay's reign of terror on Sansa had continued. There were bruises on her arms and she was locked in her room, a prisoner in her own home. She was upset, pleading with Theon to help her signal for help from her "friends in the North." Although Theon reverted to his status of Reek and instead ran to Ramsay to tell him of Sansa's request to place an SOS candle in a window, his act may not have been purely treachery. Although Sansa is undergoing terrible abuse, Reek knows more than anyone that "it could be much worse." He may have feared that Ramsay would have seen through such an amateurish attempt and come down hard on both of them.

Sansa is no longer building Winterfell castles in the snow

Stay strong, Sansa

How could any viewer be surprised that a sadistic, insane character like Ramsay perpetrate such awfulness? That it is happening to Sansa is, admittedly, quite upsetting. But Ramsay is a character that we have seen in previous episodes flay people alive, torture and castrate Theon, hunt young women for sport — and watch, gleefully, as the dogs have their prey. The world of Westeros is unkind, cold, and brutal, and not-so-loosely-based our own middle ages. Sadly, women and men are raped and tortured and brutalized even in our modern "civilized" world. Game of Thrones is telling stories, some of them not always pretty.

Do we hope that Sansa, with or without the help of Theon, or Brienne, or anyone, will wreak (ha) her own vengeance on Ramsay? That the act of castration might be in his future? He certainly deserves it. For the moment it seems that her trials will continue. But Sansa is no weak sister. She is already showing that there are reserves of strength below her calm demeanor. She may not have pushed Reek far enough yet to rediscover his inner Theon, but she is laying the groundwork. And she was able to throw Ramsay off his balance by reminding him of his former bastard status. Yes, her story is upsetting this season, but it also hints at someone emerging from the shadows to discover her true power. Sansa may become the dark horse that no one is expecting. She is truly becoming prepared for winter, and all of its various evils, which has already come to Westeros.

Monday, May 25, 2015

game of thrones ... powerful women

Many people disliked George R.R. Martin's fourth novel in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Feast for Crows, but I really liked it. The narrative voices were almost exclusively female, and it was very interesting to view the game of thrones through their eyes. Cersei Lannister had always been an interesting character, but in this book readers really got into her head — and what a jumbled mess of power hungry hubris it was.

In the series Game of Thrones this season Cersei has thought herself very clever, and positioned herself to run things in King's Landing while finding time to take down her supposed enemies the Tyrells — chiefly Margaery Tyrell, who she can't stand to think is not only usurping her position as a Queen, but replacing her in her son Tommen's affections. How Cersei doesn't see her own impending downfall is one of he most compelling parts of A Feast for Crows, and will surely play out as strongly in the show. Newbie religious fanatic Lancel Lannister, who has provided the High Sparrow with a list of Cersei's sins, is only the tip of her iceberg.

No matter her other failings, we do believe that Cersei loves her children.

But Cersei wasn't the only interesting woman in last night episode, "The Gift." Margaery, although incarcerated and in rags, was having none of Cersei's lip, while her grandmother Lady Olenna worked tirelessly to free her and her brother Loras — even if that meant striking another murderous deal with Littlefinger. And how fabulous was it to see Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna and Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow trading barbs and comparing ailments? Two masters at the top of their game, in character and as actors.

Sansa was still being brutalized by her husband Ramsay and trying by hook or by crook to get some help. Although things don't look too good for her at Winterfell at present, faithful Brienne is not too far away. And finally the Stark's "Winter is coming" mantra was more than just words — snow was falling fast and furiously from the Wall to Winterfell. Winter is here, Westeros, wake up!

Another strong woman, Gilly, proved to Sam she is a true friend and ... lover, in probably the episode's only sweet moment. In Dorne the sand snakes became (finally) interesting while they worked their wiles on their fellow prisoner Bronn. Hey, Game of Thrones, stop teasing us about killing off Bronn. Just don't do it.

In Meereen, Daenerys was being more girl than Queen, by taking advice from her overly ambitious lover Daario. Her desire later to run away from the fighting pits when things got a bit bloody was a little out of character for the Khaleesi. Is Daario, or being separated from her dragons and living in a giant pyramid making her soft? Her betrothed Hizdahr insisted she stay, as he keeps singing the tune that her acceptance of the fighting pits and customs of Meereen will finally help her make peace with the citizenry, both masters and former slaves. Whether we believe his motives or reasoning, it's good he got her to stay, as who does she finally get to meet? Why "the gift" of the episode's title, Tyrion Lannister, that's who. Let's just hope she doesn't kill off the giver, Jorah, or I'll have to sic her dragons on her.

Stannis Baratheon, my unexpected favorite character this season, was the only male who also had a real chance to shine in the episode. When the awful Red Woman seductively suggested he sacrifice his daughter Shireen to the cause of magic king-making because she had "king's blood," he kicked her to the curb. Stannis has shown before that he loves his daughter, but let's hope that he holds his resolve. A rift between him and the Red Woman would be interesting, too. She'd have to go searching for more king's blood elsewhere ...

It's hard to believe, but there are only three more episodes in this, the fifth season. The next few episode titles give us a clue where things might be going, Hardhome," and then "The Dance of Dragons," but we'll just have to wait and see where the final episode, as yet to be named takes us. With the show runners off book, it could be anywhere, and that's an exciting prospect.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

throwback paperback thursday

I come from a family that loves and collects books. I grew up with them all around me. I had books like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and everything by A.A. Milne, but all of the Dr, Seuss I read was from the library.

A big turning point in my reading life came when I was finally able to read something from my parents' bookshelves. My mom and dad loved paperbacks, and one summer my mom suggested I try an Agatha Christie. I think I have always associated summer and beach reading with Christie ever since. Her books are still very similar to comfort food for me. The first Christie I ever read was The Moving Finger. I liked it enough to keep going, but I have always preferred the inimitable Hercule Poirot to Miss Marple.


We had a bookmobile that would come every week during the summer, and from there I found Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and Little Men. I even read Jo's Boys and Eight Cousins.

I never read The Godfather in those days, although my parents were share-reading it in the bathroom. I'm pretty sure I flipped though it many times, probably looking for something sexy or exotic. I read it many years later and loved it.

My dad was a big science fiction fan, and from him I discovered the amazing short stories of Ray Bradbury: Dandelion Wine, The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man. Mom loved him too. We would talk about stories like "A Sound of Thunder" and "The Veldt." Another book from Dad's bookshelf that rocked my world was the creepy yet fascinating Some of Your Blood by Theodore Sturgeon.


My aunt and uncle gave me a selection of short stories by Kurt Vonnegut, Welcome to the Monkey House, which probably caused me to grow up a little quicker than I would have otherwise.

It will be interesting to see which books from my shelves make their way into my daughter's room as the years go by.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

short take on ... noah

Noah

What the heck? It was visually stunning at times, and then at other times incredibly murky and off-putting. But what really threw me was the character of Noah. Dude, seriously? The film may have been intended to be a heartfelt exploration of religious and spiritual feeling, but all it made me feel was how dangerous and fanatical people can be when they think they are right and acting in their god's or creator's or whomever's interests. Yuck.


And I'm not even starting on the freaky CGI animals. Or the absence of any race but white people. Director Darren Aronofsky may have done better to have just made it a pre- and post-apocalyptic science fiction story, based on the biblical chapters of Noah. Because what we watched was a sort of Waterworld meets Lord of the Rings with Noah as some mad Ahab. And it was way, way too long. 



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

game of thrones ... power couples

Last night's Game of Thrones episode,"Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken," deftly took us from Braavos to Dorne to Westeros and back again, without feeling rushed, but still packing in a lot of action. The episode featured strengths and weaknesses of its characters, both real and perceived.

Cersei fancies herself large and in charge in King's Landing, but she is setting herself up for a rude awakening. She is spending so much time scheming to destroy her perceived arch-enemy — Margaery Tyrell — that she has no idea that she could be next up for retribution. Her militant pet God Squad is not that at all. They may have arrested Margaery and her brother Loras, but things and sides can change quickly in Westeros. Anyone who crosses the formidable Lady Olenna deserves everything that is coming to her. And it was delightful once again to see Dame Diana Rigg in action as Margery's and Loras's no-nonsense grandma.

The Sand Snakes
Myrcella Baratheon and Trystane Martell
The sand snakes are still a huge bore and a completely unconvincing threat. Hopefully their speedy capture by their grandfather's guards while trying to kidnap Cersei's daughter will mean that we see less of them and more of Jaime and Bronn. The young Romeo and Juliet of Dorne, Trystane and Myrcella, were quite appealing, even in their quick intro.

Tyrion and Jorah were out of the Stone Men frying pan and into the captured slave fire, but they're still on the road to Meereen, with Tyrion as quippy as Bob Hope ever was. And with the wonderful actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as their captor, it looks to be a fun ride. In Braavos Arya is (maybe) learning a bit more about what goes on behind closed doors at the House of Black and White. It may be some of the creepiest stuff she's seen yet. And that's saying something.

But the big moments were at Winterfell. In typical Game of Thrones fashion, a wedding is far from a time for rejoicing. Sansa got married for the second time, but her groom Ramsay is no Tyrion. He wasted no time subjecting her to a brutal wedding night, insisting that Reek watch. I am continually amazed and impressed at the transformation of Theon/Reek, both in the books and on screen. Alfie Allen is wonderful in the part, and I am looking forward to seeing how his story plays out at Winterfell, and if he and Sansa might come to some sort of understanding. Although the episodes title, "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken," comes from the words of House Martell, who rule Dorne, I am hoping it is more reflective of how Sansa will deal with her latest tormentor, and rise to power from the ashes of Winterfell.

Sansa: not a good day for a white wedding
The show runners continue to tweak the book-to-show storyline this season, so far with positive results. The characters and story are so compelling that other exquisite details, like the fabulous costumes, or wonderful sets and lighting, could easily be overlooked. Paired-off characters, for better or worse, still seem to be paramount. With only four more shows to go this season, which odd couple is your favorite, and where do you think they will they land on the Game of Thrones game board?

Tyrion/Jorah
Brienne/Pod
Sansa/Littlefinger
Sansa/Ramsay
Sansa/Theon
Arya/Jaqen
Jaime/Bronn
Greyworm/Missandei
Trystane/Myrcella

Thursday, May 14, 2015

throwback - 70s paperback books based on movies - thursday

Movie novelizations were a big thing when I was a kid. I remember everyone reading the books of the top movies that were out, whether they saw the movie or not. Not surprisingly, these were all horror or science-fiction novels.

I read each of these books, some which preceded their film versions.

The Deep — I think my dad like Jacquie Bisset (and her wet t-shirt) so much he took us all to see The Deep, although we never saw Jaws, which also started as a book by Peter Benchley. I'm pretty sure I read that one too, but this made more of an impact on me, with the sex and the archaeology subplot of the young couple finding undersea treasure.

Jacqueline Bisset and Nick Nolte in The Deep
Close Encounters of the Third Kind — Everyone had to see this film, with Richard Dreyfuss unforgettable as a regular guy whose life is changed by a very special alien encounter. Who could forget the mashed potato Devil's Tower? I guess I had to relive the movie with this novelization, which credits Steven Spielberg as the writer.

Stephen King's Carrie got passed around my Civics class. I'm not sure I read the whole thing, but I do remember the infamous girls' locker room period scene.

The Omen — This book was actually very scary, and I loved trying to unravel the supernatural puzzle along with the protagonist, Ambassador Thorn, played by Gregory Peck in the movie.

Lee Remick tries to shield Damien (Harvey Stephens) in The Omen

Dracula — Where it all changed for me was falling for Frank Langella's sexy Count Dracula on film and then wanting to read the original Bram Stoker novel. This was no mere movie novelization, but an introduction into gothic horror, which I still love to this day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

the unwatchables

I'm not sure if I am becoming less patient or just more selective, but I have noticed lately that I am unwilling to watch more than a few movies after the first twenty or so minutes. Our internet scanning culture has made us more in charge of what we watch. We are even watching more, not less, something of which I am all too aware. I try not to leave the boob tube on too much, so I guess when I am going to watch something, usually a "grown-up" movie that I couldn't watch in theaters or when the kid is around, I want to make it count. I have also noticed that these movies that I have rejected are all pretty negative in tone. I just don't have time for that these days.

Prisoners - This movie, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman got pretty good reviews I think, when it first came out, so I tried to give it a go. I had hesitated for a while because of the subject matter - the disappearance and possible murder of two young girls on Thanksgiving, but I turned it off because it frankly bored the heck out of me. I didn't care for any of the characters, and Jackman's dad seemed one note and off the rails from the get go. I didn't care to find out what happened to anyone.

Prisoners - Nope and nope.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World - I am a little tired of Steve Carell's sad-sack characters, but I liked the idea of a sort of buddy adventure, although a tad apocalyptic, with Keira Knightley. But the characters didn't really gel with me, and after a minor character offed himself in a seemingly gratuitous and extremely unfunny scene, this black comedy was crossed off my continue-to-watch list.

The Heat - I have tried, I have really tried to watch Melissa McCarthy in movies. I loved her on Gilmore Girls, but I am really getting sick and tired of her blowsy, boorish big-screen characters. I found her foul-mouthed cop in The Heat an unbearable bore that even Sandra Bullock's presence couldn't temper. I never made it past the first twenty minutes of Identity Thief either. I'm not a fan of the recent spate of gross-out comedies, so although I will admit that her character was funny in Bridesmaids, I really didn't care for the film. I am hoping that she doesn't spoil St. Vincent, because I am still looking forward to checking that one out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

avengers assemble and mash-up

The kid and I went to see the latest Avengers movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, last weekend. It was ... O.K. I am starting to wonder if Joss Whedon can't help but pastiche his own work, no matter what he does.

I was a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and an even bigger fan of Angel, so when I hear the name Joss Whedon I tend to have positive associations. But I am not a super fan girl. There are also plenty of things he has done that leave me cold (Dollhouse, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), or that I just could never connect with (Firefly). I found the first Avengers movie a little on the ho-hum side. I love the casting and the banter of the main super heroes, but when you've seen one CGI robot blow up and a major city explode, you've seen them all, right?

The Avengers — and lots and lots of robots ...

Apparently not. Because the second time around with Ultron the Avengers were up against tons and tons of CGI robots and tried to save more than one city on the brink of destruction. Iron Man and his pals plowed through city streets and buildings, leaving broken glass and devastation in their wake, all in the name of saving the world. Again. And sadly, there was no witty, bratty villain like Tom Hiddleston's Loki, but another CGI super robot, Ultron, who wanted to destroy the world because ... I really don't know. It was in the script?

As I watched all of this computer-generated mayhem, which seemed to go on forever at its two and a half hour-plus running time, I couldn't help think of another Whedon project, Cabin in the Woods. The movie references in The Avengers may not have been as blatant or funny as the horror tropes that Cabin in the Woods served up, but movie buffs may still have had a déjà vu feeling in certain scenes:

A bunch of robots streaming up the side of a building — hey, that is reminiscent of I, Robot.  
Black Widow and the Hulk have a Beauty and the Beast thing going.  
Naughty Ultron isn't your friendly neighborhood artificial intelligence — from 2001 to A.I. and beyond.  
All that morphing metal was also very Terminator-y.  
Robert Downey Jr.'s sassy Tony Stark/Iron Man is suddenly a bit of a Victor Frankenstein in his desire to use Ultron to save the world.

The best scene in the movie is a moment of relative quiet near the start of the film. The Avengers have all been hanging out at a party, celebrating their latest victory. They start teasing Thor about his hammer, and he declares that only he is worthy to wield such a weapon. Each Avenger, except the wise Black Widow, takes a turn trying to lift it, unsuccessfully, a la The Sword in the Stone.

Hawkeye [after quite a few drinks], "'Whosoever, be he worthy, shall have the power'" — Whatever man! It's a trick!"
Thor, "It is more than that, my friend!" 
Captain America, "But if you put the hammer in an elevator?" 
Iron Man, "It'll still go up." 
Captain America, "Elevator's not worthy."

It's fun, and silly, and showcases each character's and actor's strengths. There are other fun moments of clever dialog, which can be attributed to the Whedon touch, but unfortunately they are few and far between too many long, long battle scenes with robots. Sorry, Joss, but as far as these Marvel movies go, Guardians of the Galaxy is still the most entertaining, and knows how to perfectly balance fun and adventure.

p.s. And one more not-so-minor beef: With all the mega-merchandising that goes on with a film of this kind, why is it only the male characters that get action figures? Where is Black Widow?

Monday, May 11, 2015

game of thrones ... off book and firing on all cylinders

Many loyal readers and viewers of Game of Thrones have been nervous about the show going off book, but the episodes of this season just keep getting better and better.

Stannis is not only become likable, but interesting. I'm still in shock over that. I actually felt hopeful and impressed as I watched his army ride south towards Winterfell. He had a lovely short scene with Sam, reminding him and us, that winter and the army of the dead are coming. And he seems to be becoming a father figure, or at least mentor, to Jon Snow. Whether you think Stannis deserves to rule in Westeros or not, at least he hasn't turned a blind eye towards the white walkers, like so many others have in the story. But note to Jon: keep an eye on that kid that you made your steward. He has an, "Et tu, Brute?" look about him.

Hey, that thing up in the sky - is it a bird ...

Even clever Tyrion pooh-poohed their existence. But in last night's episode "Kill the Boy" he had his supernatural doubts shaken and stirred. First, with delight, as he saw his first honest-to-God dragon in flight. Now we know where Drogon goes ... And then, in horror, when the Stone Men attacked the boat Jorah and he were traveling in, through the waters of the deserted land of Valyria. I had a feeling that Jorah was going to have a stony encounter, another change, but a welcome one, from the books.

For all of the speculation and despair that some fans have expressed towards this "new" material, I have to say that I really love what they're doing. As Polonius says in Hamlet, "Brevity is the soul of wit," and Game of Thrones Benioff and Weiss and their writers have streamlined some very long book passages and multiple, potentially extraneous, characters into some great television sequences that even Maester George R. R. Martin would surely approve. They even got things moving in Meereen with Daenerys. Life in Winterfell is all new and twisted and exciting. I can't wait to see where they go next. As Maester Aemon counseled Jon Snow at The Wall, "Kill the boy," and become the man. Game of Thrones is killing the text and becoming ... Well, we'll just have to wait and see, won't we?

Friday, May 08, 2015

favorite song friday: the triumph of world music

The song "(Habibi) I Need Your Love" by Shaggy, Mohombi, Faydee and Costi is a true world music hit, featuring the influences of the artists from many different backgrounds, including Jamaican/American (Shaggy), Cogolese/Swedish (Mohombi), Australian/Lebanese (Faydee), and Romanian (Costi). The song is in Arabic ["Habibi" means "My Love"], English, and Spanish. And to give it an even more global spin the video was shot in Spain. But mostly it is just a fun song to listen and move to.


Thursday, May 07, 2015

throwback miami museum thursday

Last week I went on a trip with volunteers from the Norton Museum of Art to the Perez Art Museum in Miami. It's been a while since I've been in a museum devoted completely to contemporary art and I had a blast. The Perez has an amazing, eco-friendly space, and its collection is equally impressive. The main exhibition, featuring work by Spanish artist Antoni Tàpies, was interesting, but what really caught my fancy were items from the museum's permanent collection.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

teen titans go! young superheroes' and their bratty beginnings

There seems to be a never-ending desire for superheroes and their stories these days. Origin stories are all the rage. DC Comics gave their readers a glimpse into the origins of popular characters like Batman's sidekick Robin in the Teen Titans comic book series, which has been running intermittently since the mid 1960s. In 2003 an animated series based on the comics premiered on the Cartoon Network, and featured Robin as the leader of a crime-fighting crew that included Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire, and Raven. The five superheroes-in-training live in Titans Tower, which actually looks like a gigantic letter "T," in Jump City. The successful show ran for five seasons. In 2013 the Titans returned, this time in a reboot with a comedic twist, Teen Titans Go!



Created in a more streamlined animated style, Teen Titans Go! follows the misadventures of an even younger version of the Titans as they try to solve crimes and stay out of trouble. Interestingly, the same voice actors for the major characters have all returned for Teen Titans Go!

You can read my complete review on Cinema Sentries

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

what's up with all the scary movies lately?

I think some difficult things that I have been trying to work out lately have been coming out in my movie choices. When I cruise through the Netflix or HBO list of monthly movies, horror seems to be where I stop and make a choice. Horror movies have aways been great outlets. The results of my movie watching have been scary as hell — but I have been enjoying some great, creepy movies.

Time for a bedtime story ... and The Babadook.

The Babadook

This Australian film, written and directed by Jennifer Kent, is truly scary and visually amazing. If you can handle horror, I strongly urge you to grab a hold of this one, but maybe watch it first during daylight hours, as it is truly chilling. A mother (Essie Davis) and her young son (Noah Wiseman) are tormented by a supernatural entity that may have arisen from one of his bedtime stories. The house the mother and son live in is another character in the film. Kent is not afraid to showcase the mother's ambivalent feelings about her son, which can exist concurrently with mother love. One of the scariest and creepiest movies I've ever seen. I don't know if I'd want to see it again anytime soon, it's so powerful, but it's a definite classic.

Rosemary's Baby


The Babadook made me want to revisit the old favorite Rosemary's Baby. Roman Polanski's 1968 film is still as creepy and compelling as ever. The apartment that young marrieds Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Guy (John Cassavetes) move into at the famous Dakota building in Manhattan is again, an important character in the film. I had forgotten how risqué and frightening the central rape scene was — quite daring for 1968. The movie works brilliantly as horror, but it also resonates as a portrait of a bad marriage and a woman's loss of her self in a relationship. Guy, not Satan, is the true villain of the piece. Rosemary tries so hard to make a home and be supportive for her traitorous husband. The horror is not just supernatural, but domestic.

Rosemary and Guy in Manhattan

The Woods

Not as great as the other two films, but The Woods was still effective. Good actors and some stunning visuals made up for a murky script. I'm still not completely sure why the supernatural forces in the woods surrounding an exclusive all-girls school are so bloodthirsty, but headmistress Ms. Traverse (Patricia Clarkson) and young heroine Heather (Agnes Bruckner) make it all very watchable. Horror film veteran Bruce Campbell is also a very welcome addition to the spooky proceedings as Heather's father.

The Omen

I remember loving this movie and being really chilled by it as a kid. Isn't this where every kid learned about "666"? Watching it again recently it is not as scary, but it was pretty creepy. Gregory Peck is quite good as a hero in way over his head with forces he isn't willing to understand. The all-star cast includes a very touching Lee Remick as his wife, David Warner as a paparazzi who tries to help them, and Billie Whitelaw as nanny to their demon spawn Damien.

Monday, May 04, 2015

game of thrones ... impressions

Game of Thrones finally did last night in "Sons of the Harpy" what I never thought it could do — make me kinda like Stannis. The scene between Stannis and his daughter Shireen was informative and, strangely, sweet. And another hint as to some potential Stone Men action before the season ends (look out Jorah Mormont, that's all I'm saying). Match that with Littlefinger sketching a "Stannis saves the day" scenario for Sansa at Winterfell, and his character may finally be getting interesting. Of course life in Westeros never runs smooth.

Sansa looking for a moment of peace in the crypts of Winterfell

Also up at The Wall the ever-creepy Red Woman made a super creepy sexy play for Jon and was rebuffed. At least she wasn't sniffing around for kings blood ... or was she? There were enough references to Rhaegar Targaryan and Lyanna Syark in this episode to drive fans of the internet R + L = J theory wild. The Red Woman also did get in the wittiest and mind-twistiest line of the episode, "You know nothing Jon Snow." We miss you too, Ygritte.

Jaime and Bronn were, no surprise, a dream team in Dorne. Jaime discovered his golden hand superpower, but the Sand Snakes didn't make much of an impression ... yet. Back in King's Landing Cersei, as usual, thinks she is in control of things, but everything is not always as it seems. Look out Tommen's momma, Margaery is a lot like her grandma and not someone you want to mess with. Just because you (think you) control a super violent religious fanatic death squad, that doesn't mean you're the Queen.

Tyrion was as keen as ever in his people-sussing skills. His assessment of his new road partner/captor Jorah Mormont was equal parts accurate and hilarious. Both of their roads lead to Meereen, where Daenerys still hasn't a clue how to be a ruler. As she takes the high road, she thinks, by denying the reopening of Meereen's fighting pits, the Sons of the Harpy took out two of her best and most beloved warriors, Ser Barristan (sob) and Greyworm (maybe).

The most striking thing for me about this episode was how the young 'uns are in charge, with differing results. Tommen is king in name only, with his mother and wife fighting over his puppet strings. Jon really seems to have it together at The Wall, where Daenerys in Meereen is lost in translation. Wake up and smell the revolution, Dany. But no fear, it looks like her dragons will be making an appearance next week.

Friday, May 01, 2015

favorite may day song friday

Today is May Day, which heralds the rites of Spring, but has also been designated as International Workers Day. I thought I'd share two fun, and in one case, funny, songs to celebrate and commemorate the moment.