Tag Archives: blog friends

Why Fans of Classic Movies Should Like Star Trek: Voyager

11 May

I’m a firm believer that Star Trek: Voyager has something for everyone; however, everyone is not the same, of course.  For example, if I were trying to  indoctrinate cajole my Grey’s Anatomy-loving coworkers into watching my favorite show, I would entice them with a completely different set of pros.

As it stands, the following list is inspired by my blog friend Ruth, who is a delightful classic-movie blogger.  Several posts ago, I talked about Voyager’s still enjoyable bad episodes, and she commented that she’d never watched the show before.

That’s an Internet gauntlet, folks.

I’ve compiled this list to attract a certain kind of person, and I have faith in my tactics.  And, as Captain Janeway would say, I feel lucky today!

Series Overview

Let’s get a quick rundown of what’s going on in this series before I start the list rolling.  I’ll pretend anyone reading this has never watched Star Trek, so I’ll try not to be too technobabble-y.

The Premise:  It’s the 24th century, and Earth and several other planets have long ago joined together to form The United Federation of Planets.  Starfleet–a space navy, basically–serves and protects this governmental agency.

There’s some disputed regions on the fringes of the Alpha Quadrant (because they’ve divided the galaxy into quadrants and named them with Greek letters, of course), and a rebel group called the Maquis has sprung up to defend what they feel is their own land.  Officially, The Federation sees the Maquis as terrorists, but they’re all wronged idealists, mostly (and the dudes they’re fighting [the Cardassians], who are officially in The Federation, are sneaky jerks, tbh).

Captain Kathryn Janeway and her new starship Voyager have been sent out to the Badlands to go after a particularly trouble-causing Maquis ship, on which one of Janeway’s oldest friends is serving as a spy!  Quelle drama!

Before she goes, she springs a dude from jail who had been in Starfleet and then also in the Maquis to act as her guide! Quelle more drama!

Well, both the Maquis ship and Voyager get gotten by an alien who pulls them 75,000 lightyears away from Earth–all the way to the Delta Quadrant.  This dying alien is trying to figure out if anybody has similar DNA so that he will have an heir to look after this planet he’s looking after.  Spoiler alert:  Nobody does.

Meanwhile, these other aliens are trying to get at the thing that transported everybody from the Alpha Quadrant so they can use it to gain power and take over stuff.

Janeway can’t let them gain power and take over stuff because they’re meanies, so she destroys the thing, stranding her ship and the Maquis ship in the Delta Quadrant.  Quelle drama-est!

This is the first time Janeway meets Chakotay (the Maquis captain). I hope they both brushed their teeth this morning because dang.

Janeway and the Maquis captain decide to join forces to get back home, so they all take up residence on Voyager and are forced to work together.

Meanwhile, they’ve picked up a few people from the Delta Quadrant to be on their crew:  a dude who’s a trader and is supposed to be good at navigating this–to Alpha Quadrant types–uncharted space and a lady (from the planet the alien who whisked them away was guarding) who has a really weird short lifespan.

Also, meanwhile, the ship’s doctor dies in the first twenty minutes or so and is permanently replaced by the Emergency Medical Hologram.  His journey into sentience becomes a plot point in many episodes.

Also along the way they run into the Borg, a species that is not so much a species but an amalgamation of species who act as one unit, like a hive, and they basically steal other species’ bodies to use in their ultimate goal of perfection through putting together the best parts of every species and then enhancing themselves with robotics.  The Borg are weird and scary and robotic and hard to describe, and when you’re part of the Borg, you have no personality of your own and do only the will of the Collective.  Anyway, Janeway rescues a lady from the Borg, and her journey into humanity becomes a plot point in many episodes.

So, if all the sci-fi hasn’t already turned you off, let’s have a go at the list.

Honorable Mention:  Clean (with a Little Innuendo)

One thing I really love about old movies is that they’re not explicit.  If a couple is intimate, they cut to a fireplace.  If somebody’s mad, he gives a glare and bunches his hands into angry fists instead of cursing a blue streak.

And because of the cleanness, they get to have a little more fun (and be a little more creative) when they wanna be a little bit dirty.  So they say things like, “You know how to whistle, don’t ya?” instead of something yuckier.

Because Voyager aired on regular old TV instead of HBO and because we have a lady captain who is so stagy and sassy, we get cleanness, and a little bit of sassy dirtiness once in a while.

Continue reading

Found Poem: Ladies love brutes

15 Apr

I was researching what I might want to write about for Ruth (at SilverScreenings)’s Mary Astor Blogathon, and I realized anew how delightfully strange old movie titles can be.  So, today we have a found poem straight from Mary Astor’s filmography. 

Ladies love brutes
behind
office doors:
The pace that thrills, the price
of a party.

Men of chance (woman proof)
playing with souls.
No time to marry unguarded women–
other men’s women.

Three-ring marriage, romance
of the underworld–
the woman
(there’s always a woman)
from hell,
the man
(man of iron)
with two faces.
A successful
calamity–
the sin ship.

Lady from nowhere–
white shoulders, red dust,
rose of the Golden West.
No place to go dressed to kill–

Oh, Doctor!
I am a thief heart to heart.

Apostrophes and Plurals: Once in a Great While

27 Jan

I almost always agree with Michelle grammatically; we took the same Professional Editing course, after all, and she was witness to an embarrassing incident in which my *white trash roots shone through my carefully cultivated English-nerd façade.  She recently posted about plurals and apostrophes, and while I most certainly agree with her, I must talk about the exception to the **rule:

Three Ts of Stewardship

Here–on this PowerPoint slide announcing my pastor’s sermon this morning, which was a very good sermon that included a testimony from the best organ player ever who also happens to wear awesome, gigantic brooches every Sunday–we have an acceptable way to use an apostrophe to form a plural.  Because everything is capitalized, we need some way to distinguish the T from the plural-making S or else the end product looks like TS, which doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The only problem is this:  Why does everything need to be capitalized?  It doesn’t.  Hardly ever does everything need to be capitalized.  Unless you’re yelling at someone on the internet.

*In Professional Editing each spring, the class produces a magazine about the English department.  One of the features we were going to do was about professors and their pets.  We were discussing other features, and I suddenly remembered about this pet thing and got worried we wouldn’t have enough room, so I–naturally–said, “What about them dogs?”  There was silence then and laughter to follow.

**The takeaway here is clarity.  If everything is not capitalized, we can also use an apostrophe, such as when we’re talking about more than one letter x (x’s).

With a Rebel Yell, I Cried, “More Punctuation, Please!”

19 Jan

I haven’t done any sentence diagramming for a while, so I figured I’d take a page out of the Michelle Webb playbook and discuss some bad grammar I saw recently:

Let me direct your attention to the punctuation void, “Original Time Honored Recipe.”

To see the problem, let’s look at the line right above that deems this “Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.”  What kind of whiskey is this?  (Besides my favorite?)  It is not just Kentucky whiskey, nor is it simply straight whiskey, nor is it merely bourbon whiskey.  It is, cumulatively, Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey.  All of those words imply some shade of meaning that all work together to jointly modify whiskey and tell us exactly what kind of whiskey it is; they have little meaning separately, and they cannot be separated with commas or ands or anything because they all work together.

The words in the next line, however, do not all work together to modify recipe.  It’s not as though there are a bunch of time-honored recipes lying around, and we have to tell you this is the original time-honored recipe as opposed to the sixteenth time-honored recipe.  So, the first problem is that–because the recipe is both original AND time honored–we need a comma after original to show that these adjectives coordinate instead of accumulate.

The next problem is that time and honored ARE working together to modify recipe.  It’s not a time recipe, nor is it an honored recipe; it’s a time-honored recipe.  So we gotta have a hyphen for that compound-adjective action.

In the whiskey world of my dreams, the bottle should now read:

Original, Time-Honored Recipe

In conclusion, I guess I shoulda stuck with Jim Beam.

Spambotprobz: In Which I Might Have to Bust a Proverbial Cap

27 Dec

The other day, I received this spam message that I didn’t know what to do with:

I don’t leave a response, but after browsing a lot of remarks on Found Poem: I must express � I Started Late and Forgot the Dog.. I do have 2 questions for you if you do not mind. Could it be simply me or does it seem like some of these comments come across like they are left by brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are posting on additional online social sites, I would like to keep up with you. Would you post a list of every one of your public sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

I appreciate your feedback, Spambot, but let me just say this:  The only person who comments on my blog is SilverScreenings, and if you further say anything bad about her, I will end you.

Stay off my Facebook, Spambot.  You don’t want to start anything with me.  I’ve been known to spill icecream on computers.  I don’t think your circuitry would like that.

Watch your electronic ass,
Alexandra

It’s A (Different) Major Award!

27 Dec

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

Wow!  So here’s another award, I guess.  It’s not quite as chain-letter-feeling as the last one, and I am blushing shyly about it.

For those who are unaware, Ruth at Silver Screenings runs a fabulous old movie blog, and she is also my blog BFF.  She likes to comment on stuff and tell me I’m awesome, which I probably don’t reciprocate quite enough.  So thank you so much, Blog Friend!  I appreciate all your encouragement!  And I think your writing is polished and fun!

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

  1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.
  3. Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/   and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them
  5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience
  6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

My nominees are as follows:

Chocolate Is a Verb:  The place to go for actually good found poetry (instead of silly spambot found poetry, which is my specialty).

linguischtick:  The place to go for grammar and language when you don’t feel like sorting through my penmanship and colloquialisms and amateurishness.  This person has much better credentials than I have and is very witty.

 

It’s a Major Award!

23 Oct

So I guess The Urge to Write nominated me for this Liebster Award (which means love or something in German or something, right?  IDK, I took French, and I’m too busy being an award-winning blogger to check Google translate).

I want to take a minute to say that I am totally honored and somewhat flabbergasted about this turn of events, but I am also getting kind of a chain-mail vibe from it.  Like if I don’t accept my nomination and pass it on, Little Susie–who has cancer and is a burgeoning lesbian–will be bullied and die or something.

Nevertheless, I accept the nomination anyway.

To accept my nomination, I must complete the following tasks:

Thank my nominator (or in my case, nominatrix, as it were):

Thank you, The Urge to Write blogger.  I very much enjoy your Sunday Showdowns, and I’m honored by and shyly blushing about your wanting to know inane things about me.

Proudly display the award banner:

I was a Girl Scout for too long to ever refuse a badge!  So, see above.

Choose other bloggers to nominate:

Ask my nominees some questions:

  1. Batman and Leslie Knope are running against each other for POTUS.  Whom would you vote for and why?
  2. Identify and describe your very favorite dessert.
  3. In what outfit do you feel most confident and why?
  4. What “good” movie do you hate and why?

And finally, answer the 4 Questions Asked by My Nominatrix (or Tell 11 Facts about Me):

I’m a compliant sort, so I’ll just answer the questions.

1.  If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?

“Ooh girl! Don’t let her trick you into fangirling out!”

Um… Perhaps Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Starship Federation Voyager would be a logical choice:  Sassy, powerful, morally upright, carries large weaponry, occasionally wears fabulous outfits.  And all of this is done IN SPAAAAAACE!

2.  What do you see if you look out of your window right now as you’re answering this?

My backyard, in which there is

  • a patio, which is really a glorified concrete slab
  • a rickety bench we’re keeping around because…um…?
  • a movable firepit
  • the remains of Tish’s garden
  • a hammock strung between two trees in a very white trash fashion
  • a clothesline made of discarded phone cord strung between the same trees as the hammock
  • a picnic table on which I keep my cacti and ashtray
  • the back fence, which is overgrown with viney stuff that may or may not be honeysuckle and/or grapes
  • the garage

3. Where is your ideal place to live (real or fictional)?

I’m kind of vanilla about stuff like this.  I happen to really love Wichita, KS, although I’ve always daydreamed about living in the desert somewhere and driving an ancient convertible and wearing a lot of turquoise jewelry and blingtastic cowpoke boots every day.

4. What is your favorite bad movie?

I love a lot of bad movies.  My first instinct was to wax poetic about Face/Off, but when I checked Rotten Tomatoes, I realized to my chagrin that it was a good movie even though it feels delicious and sumptuously over-the-top and cheesy like a bad movie.

So I’m going with Superstar.

Molly Shannon and Glynis Johns in Superstar - 10/99

“And when I say booga booga, you booga booga.”

We’ve got an outcast who says ridiculous stuff, a stupid romance plot, a stupid let’s-put-on-a-show plot, a stage grandma, magical realism, plenty of quotable lines, death by clogging.  The movie has everything.  Divorce yourself from hating SNL movies, set your expectations to medium-low, and give it a shot.

Never fails to cheer me up.

Book 'Em, Jan O

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