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Due to the need for something resembling an official website, I've moved my blog to tmlunsford.wordpress.com. Come follow me there. I promise I'll be more regular about posting :)
Monday, February 28, 2011
Today, we’re going to look out how many high school girls are portrayed with having SOO many more options than we (or any of our friends) ever had.
Once again, Susan = Italics
Grease: As if the ‘50’s and ‘60’s in America didn’t have enough weird and disturbing things occurring, let’s place this turbulent social and political frenzy as the background to two instances of high school romances gone array, and put the whole stories to music.
Sandy represents everything that a young woman shouldn’t, she actively pursues a boy who clearly uses her for her appearance, and only begins to value her once she morphs into a slut. Classy, Danny. Sandy could have legitimately led an extremely June Cleaver life with the dummy and been moderately happy with his mindless stare, but then she wouldn’t have gotten to fly a convertible in the air at the senior fair (Did anyone even have a senior carnival …ever?). No, the only choice for the magic of celluloid and American dreams was Danny. Who can resist the allure of “Summer Nights” and “Hopelessly Devoted”? Not six year old me…even if I didn’t understand all of the rather appalling sexual innuendoes.
Stephanie in Grease 2 is more of an interesting situation as she begins her life as the rebellious chick in pants and refuses to compromise her desires for the uptight, English hottie, Michael. She has the idiotic Johnny worshipping the ground she walks on, but she chooses to “unconsciously” string him and Michael along as she slowly discovers her own identity beyond the satin pink jacket. Either way, she gets a high school king. Does her “cool rider” requirement make her demandingly bitchy, or somehow better than Danny because of her gender? That’s a question for another day on a different blog. The point is that you really can’t go wrong with upbeat music, swinging dancing, and clean-cut cuties. Grease is still the word.
Glee Girls: While I absolutely adore all of the girls on GLEE (except for uber-bitch Santana), I’m going to focus this particular discussion on somewhat rivals Rachel Berry and Quinn Fabray. Quinn originally starts off as the queen bee with all the options. Not only does she have football stud Finn Hudson eating out of the palm of her hand, but she’s pregnant with Noah “Puck” Puckerman’s baby (although she quite untactfully lies about that for most of season 1). Then, once she’s lost Finn and turned down Puck, she finds the adorable Sam (of the abnormally large mouth). But she can’t be happy with just Sam. Oh no. She has to recycle Finn. At least she’s being green, right?
Rachel Berry isn’t the type of girl you’d expect to have options. She obnoxious to an almost scary degree. But that doesn’t stop her from attracting Finn. And Puck (although he seems mostly to enjoy the fact that she is a fellow “Jew”). And the decidedly attractive and talented Vocal Adrenaline star Jesse St. James. Sadly, Jesse’s motives were not pure and he ended up egging the poor Miss Berry. In truth, it seems that showbiz and Finn are the only real Options for Rachel.
Side note: has anyone else noticed how incestuous these GLEE relationships are getting? Oh, wait, it's high school :)
Finally, a true smarty pants heroine who embraces the nerd within and still gets options. Gotta love that. Her guys, though somewhat of a different breed than the guys mentioned previously are nonetheless wonderful for all of their quirks and emotional baggage.
Let’s start out with an honorable mention for the title character of the series, Mr. Harry Potter. While the Boy who Lived and the Girl who Studied never actually started dating, there was the opportunity for such a relationship to develop in the earlier books, but didn’t, to the dismay of some (ME!!!-T). Still, she got to call him a best friend and ally, as well as be the much needed female presence in the trio of adventure buddies around Hogwarts.
Onto an actual boyfriend, enter here the moodily famous Quidditch player, Viktor Krum. He briefly appears in the actual scene of the narrative during the Triwizard Tournament, and takes a shine to our favorite bushy-haired bookworm. While Hermione seems extremely flattered with his invitation to the Yule Ball and his proposal to visit him in Bulgaria, Hermione and her faithful friends know that this is all a small speed bump on the way to Weasley/Granger bliss.
As for our favorite fuddy-duddy ginger, Ron makes his love for Hermione known through his naïvely jealous reactions to Hermione’s interest in Krum, and the good old “tease ‘em ‘til they know that you love ‘em” technique so popular among boys from 11-100. Hermione had options, but there was really only one spaz to balance out the uber smarts of our wunderkind. Weasley is our King!
Tomorrow: Into our comfort zone we go- Literary ladies with options.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Today, we (Susan and I) discuss the bitches who have viable options, but True Love biases them towards one over the other.
I know, I know. The Twilight Saga has gotten a rather bad…okay, completely atrocious rap, but don’t try and lie by saying that you haven’t either read the books or seen at least one of the movies. Bella, with all of her anti-feminist characteristics and her lack of personality and basic agency (especially in the movies), is presented with two extremely good-looking options who are both desperately in love with her.
Don’t get me wrong, Edward can be an over-protective creeper with serious boundary issues and an over active martyr complex, but he is honest to goodness, quaffed head over sparkly heels in love with Bella. Plus, the guy is LOADED with cash, has a very accepting family, and is a vampire without the icky mythological, soulless issues that Buffy’s fanged friends seemed to have. What’s to hate? I’d be upset if he left me too…if I was seventeen, wasn’t super comfortable with myself, and wasn’t as well-versed in feminist theory as I am.
Now for the werewolf of every preteen girl’s dreams, we’ve reached New Moon’s star, Jacob Black. Exotic, kind, good with cars, not dead, and conveniently present and muscular, Jacob is pretty much the perfect rebound for the absent vampire Romeo. Sadly, we audience members and Bella got used to the easy confidence that a hundred years lends a guy, as well as the eternity of possibilities the Edward presented. Ultimately, the fact that Jacob imprints on Bella and Edward’s oddly named child leads one to believe that wolfie was only attracted to Bella’s ovaries, which is slightly more worrying than Edward’s creeping. Sorry Jacob, Edward’s the guy for Bella…glitter is apparently better than fur, so it’s time to put the dog out.
Meredith Grey: The dark and twisty heroine of Grey’s Anatomy has Options (George, Finn, McSteamy, McDreamy), but despite brief distractions, only one of them is an Option that matters. As for Buffy and Angel, it was and is always going to be Meredith and Derek. First love in this case is the one that is true. Could Meredith have been reasonably happy with George or Finn? Maybe. Probably. But she wouldn’t be completed. Derek (along with being perfectly coiffed, adorably handsome, and a BRAIN SURGEON) gets that she was scary and damaged by her mother’s seriously messed up choices. And after a few obstacles, you know, your standard relationship hurdles: the ex-wife who’s not really ex, almost being blown up by a bomb, being dead for a whole episode, breaking up because you can’t breathe for the person, they get married on a post-it note. And even then, they’ve still got their fair share of problems. But together, they can overcome a hospital wide massacre, a miscarriage and fertility issues. Because True Love conquers all, right?
Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan: The good doctor, while a bit socially inept, attracts a lot of guys. Over the course of the show, she’s dated many attractive men, sometimes two at a time. But the one constant relationship in her life has been Special Agent Seeley Booth. For six seasons now, they’ve been playing the “will they or won’t they” game. Meanwhile, they’ve formed a “surrogate” relationship where Booth and Brennan know more about each other than they do about anyone else. Booth has sacrificed his life numerous times to save Bones and vice versa. Despite Booth’s “gamble” and 7 months separation, compounded by an extremely unlikable girlfriend (Hannah), double B seem to finally be on their way to realizing there’s only one Option: each other.
The Women of the “Who”-niverse: The writers of the new DOCTOR WHO series have made sure that the companions have options to turn to. The first (and in my opinion best) example of this is Rose Tyler. Rose served as companion to Doctors 9 and 10, falling in love with both incarnations. But she had options. If she wanted to, she could have gone back to earth and been relatively happy with the ordinary Mickey Smith. He was more than just a tin dog after all. She and Captain Jack could have at least had a pretty steamy affair. However, when the chips were on the table, it was always the extraordinary Doctor. She sacrificed everything for the Time Lord, even her own reality. And despite the semi-weirdness of the whole cloning factor, she eventually got her man.
Next up in order of favoritism is Gwen Parker of TORCHWOOD. Throughout the series, Gwen has an ongoing relationship with Rhys and eventually marries him. Poor schmuck is the only normal element in the girl’s life. In the Hub, she has to deal with a lot of scary-ass aliens, not to mention a co-worker (who she briefly dated) who is brought back from the dead and Captain Jack Harkness, former Time Agent and resident immortal. That’s right, dude can’t die. No matter how you try to kill him (gun, knife, hanging, concrete) he comes back to life (thanks to Rose Tyler). While Jack is openly omnisexual (meaning he’ll do just about anything that breathes), there is a blatant sexual tension that exists between Jack and Gwen from day one. Gwen is one of the few people who can stand up to Jack and call him on his bullshit and he challenges her like no one ever has. Unfortunately, as of the upcoming season, Gwen is still married to Rhys and they have a kid. But I trust in Russell Davies and fate J
Amy Pond gets a brief mention because she does technically have options. While obviously infatuated with the 11th Doctor (and if you’ve seen Matt Smith, you understand why), she also has the lovably bumbling Rory, a definite throwback to early Mickey. But unlike her predecessor, Amy chooses the normal guy. Instead of leaving him behind, she brings Rory along with her on her adventures with the Doctor and is practical enough to go ahead and marry the guy, knowing that a man like the Doctor can’t be tied down by just anyone.
Tomorrow: Options in the wonderfully scary world of High School
Sorry it's been so long since my last update. School has been crazy, plus I've been writing like a madwoman. Novel 2 is finished, Novel 3 started, plus 2 novellas are in the works.
Joining me as a guest blogger for the next several days is my lovely (and witty) roommate, Susan.
Ever watched a movie, tuned into a TV show, or read a book with a romantic element and thought “Damn, I wish I had the options that (Insert heroine’s name) had. I would not have nearly as hard a time choosing/just being happy with my life as she did.” We two lonely bibliophilic roommates, Susan and Taylor, term this series of nagging thoughts and lovingly envious emotions as the “Bitches with Options Syndrome.” It’s not that we don’t absolutely adore most of these heroines; it’s just that every one of these gals seems to have multiple alternatives upon whom to bequeath her love and favor. These choices of men display an array of positive and negative qualities that we will soon expound upon, but the point is that they are there, ready to love and be loved. For some girls it’s raining men…for others the high pressure system that is living in a liberal arts university community where the boy/girl ration is roughly 80/20, there’s been a twenty one year drought that doesn’t show any signs of retreating. Therefore, here’s our list of some of our favorite ladies and their awesome options, because its better look where the grass is greener and critique it, than judge your own gravel lot.
Today, we start off with the girls who just have too many options. We'll move on from there :)
Italics- Commentary by Susan
Ok, so Bill never makes it as a real viable option. He’s got all those nefarious motives. And he’s got this awful habit of assuming Sookie can’t understand the decisions he makes. Yeah, she’s blonde, but that doesn’t mean she’s stupid. He could’ve stood a chance if he had been truthful with her. But no. He’s got to go and be all secretive and lie to her about hmm…everything? The same could be said for Quinn. He had the same jealous/possessive problem that Bill had AND he worked for Felipe de Castro. Men too stupid to see a good thing when they had it. Also not smart enough to move on once the girl says “no.”
Sam and Alcide are genuinely nice guys. They have stable jobs and, for the most part, seem to actually care about Sookie. However, dudes have issues. LOTS of them. Sookie has enough of her own issues to deal with that she doesn’t need two-natured problems making her life harder on top of that.
Which leaves Eric (*sigh*) (*swoon*)
Granted, he can be a bit domineering (ok, a lot). But he’s hot enough to get away with it (hello, shower scene?). And he at least explains his behavior. Eric, for all of his machinations, always does what’s best for Sookie and for both of them as a couple. He’s also the only one Susan or I truly believe would willingly die for Sookie.
Arguably the crown jewel in the brilliant career of Joss Whedon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer never failed to give all of the ladies (and roughly 10% of the viewing gentlemen) something to ogle at from week to week as the Scoobies averted the apocalypse time and time again. The beautiful and brooding Angel, the dependably handsome Riley, and the devilishly attractive Spike…saving the world must stock up some seriously potent karma points. Still, let’s attempt to examine these prime examples of eye-candy somewhat objectively in order to sort these options into more manageable doses of hotness.
Enchantingly mysterious. Occasionally evil. The first love. The most epic can’t eat, can’t sleep, with stars so crossed it made Romeo and Juliet’s romance look like a TV romcom, the Angel/Buffy relationship kept our eyes glued to the screen and our hearts thudding madly as we saw their soaring highs and tragically romantic lows. I mean, yeah she did kill him once, and he did kill Ms. Calendar (to be honest, who really liked her anyway?) but not even the fires of hell could separate their love. Angel represented everything that Buffy deserved in a man: virtually indestructible, caring, completely understanding, and enough contact with dark side to make humorous quips while killing demons with her. Sadly, he was such a good character Joss stripped him from our grips to give him his own spinoff…rude.
Riley ended up being an epic disappointment. He did prove that a supernatural badass like Buffy could have a “normal” boyfriend. Unfortunately, he took normalness to new extremes. The guy had zilch in the personality department other than a goofy smile and tossable early ‘00’s hair. Buffy even admitted that she already knew that they didn’t have the fire of her and Angel even BEFORE she went on her first date with Riley (You know, in Something Blue, season 4 , episode 9…so maybe I do own all of the series on DVD). Suffice it to say that Riley just couldn’t handle all that was Buffy and had to stoop to a level of whining about it while her mother was in the hospital. Go back to Iowa, you big fail.
Ah now we’ve arrived at Spike. Hilarious from day one and a super hottie from minute one, Spike kept us lovingly hating him even when he legitimately was trying to kill Buffy & co. When they finally got together it was an extreme relief it was a total “YES!” moment, but somehow their odd (and rather raunchy) relationship always lacked the complete tidal wave of passion and devotion that Angel brought to the table. The first bite is the deepest, and even the last episode of the series saw Buffy and Angel keeping up hope for their relationship…should they live long enough, of course. At the end of night, our dark haired, fanged, moody boy wins all.
While not an actual relationship of Buffy, Xander Harris must receive an honorable mention because his complete crush on Buffy began ten minutes into the pilot and stayed true through all of her relationships, through his relationships, and about a dozen apocalypses. Here’s to the relationship that never was, and two thirds of the most awesome friendship ever written for the small screen.
Honorable Mentions: The ladies of the WB. The writers for CHARMED and GILMORE GIRLS certainly gave those women options. (Just listing serious relationships)
Piper: Jeremy, Dan, Leo
Phoebe: Clay, Cole, Drake, Jason, Leslie, Dex, Coop
Paige: Shane, Glen, Richard, Kyle, Henry
Lorelai: Chris, Alex, Max, Jason, Luke
Rory: Dean, Tristan, Jess, Logan
For the most part, all of these options were viable and could have flourished into Happy Ever Afters. In CHARMED, they did (Leo, Coop, and Henry). But Dan Rosenthal left if wide open for the GGs. They STILL had options when the credits rolled for the last time.
Tomorrow: Too many GOOD Options and Options that only really need one (Supernatural and normal)
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I’ve resolved to try to blog more regularly now that the school year has started up. We’ll see how that goes…
Right now there’s a circus full of voices in my head (character voices that is), carrying on conversations, trying to get attention. I just want to settle on one of them for a bit, so I can actually get some work done, but they have other plans for me.
In Ring One: Aidan Cavanaugh and Kate Burns - 1816. Right now Kate is infinitely frustrated with Aidan because the stupid man won’t open up and tell her about his past. He’s found out everything he possibly can about her, but he won’t share more than basic details about himself. As punishment for his stubbornness, I’m about to inflict him with nightmares of his life as a soldier. But I’m not quite sure where to begin…
In Ring Two: Jamie McKenzie and Charlie Baker - 2010. Jamie and Charlie met one night in London, a week before Charlie had to move back to Texas. Now they’re trying to conduct a long distance relationship via the Internet. Getting this relationship off to a good start is going a bit slower than I’d like.
And in Ring Three: Cal Michaels and Prue Harrison - 2010. Cal and Prue are the newest voices in my head. I haven’t written a word of their story yet, but they’re already getting louder and louder, demanding attention. I’m still planning their story out. Cal owns a matchmaking company, but doesn’t believe in love and Prue is a wedding planner who refuses to give up hope that true love exists. Oh yeah, and Cal might be an alias for Cupid…
Who will take center stage is anybody’s guess. Until one wins, I’ll keep bouncing back and forth and hope MS Word can't get whiplash.
Tomorrow or Thursday I’ll update about my semester. It’s shaping up to be berry interestin’.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Time away from home: 17 weeks
Cities visited: 11 (London, Windsor, Bath, Brighton, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Inverness, Lewes, Chawton, Sunningdale)
Castles/Palaces seen/visited: 14 (Buckingham Palace, Palace at Westminster, Kensington Palace, Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Castle, Tower of London, Windsor Castle, Blair Castle, Hampton Court Palace, St. James’s Palace, Lewes Castle, Royal Pavilion, plus two others I can’t remember the name of)
Literary Sites visited: 17 (The Eagle and Child, The Elephant Café, Christ Church College, Blackwells, Hatchards, Jane Austen’s House in Chawton and Bath, The Pump Room, Charles Dickens’ House, River Ouse, The Globe, The Rose, The Conan Doyle, Mayfair, 7 Dials, Bow Street, Peter Pan Statue, Walter Scott Memorial)
Celebrities Seen: 12+ (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Julie Walters, Rupert Grint, Lloyd Owen, Roger Allam, Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, Will Poulter, Matt Cardle, Rebecca Ferguson, Aidan Grimshaw, and more that I can’t remember)
Plays Seen: 18 (The 39 Steps, Romeo and Juliet, Design for Living, Comedy of Errors, Tiny Kushner, Henry IV Part 1 & 2, Merry Wives of Windsor, Les Miserables, Wicked, Tribes, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Tempest, Faust, Hamlet, Blood and Gifts, Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Trips to Spain cancelled: 1
Days of Snow: 4
Hours Spent Traveling(by bus, plane, train or car): 100+
Miles walked: Too many to count
Overall, this was a fantastic semester. A few hitches along the way, but I still had a blast. I think it was good for me to live away from home for so long. It gave me a taste of what life will probably be like after May. It also made me realize that there is a difference in knowing you are going to be some place indefinitely and having an exit date. I know that I have grown as a person and my understanding of the world has shifted and changed, which I guess was probably the point of the whole thing J
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
In honor of the first snow of the year here in London, my last Writing in the City creative piece!
PS I go home in 10 days!!!! (Before that though, I go to Spain on Saturday until Tuesday)
PS I go home in 10 days!!!! (Before that though, I go to Spain on Saturday until Tuesday)
Cold. Cold that seeps into your bones.
Night. Night that comes before you’re ready.
As I sit by the window, I hide from the frost outside.
Barren. Barren trees that hibernate for the winter.
Solitude. Solitude that protects us from the cold.
As the fire crackles, I hide from the frost outside.
Glitter. Glitter from the frost that coats every surface.
White. White that falls from the sky to join the frost.
As I shrug on my coat, I hide from the frost outside.
Steam. Steam from my breath that dances in the air.
Roses. Roses that color my cheeks as they greet the cold.
As I step outside, I embrace the frost.
Frost. Frost that comes with winter.
Winter. Winter that lets the world sleep.
As the earth sleeps, the Londoners embrace the frost.