Thoughts on the end of something great ***BSG SPOILERS AHOY***

March 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm (Uncategorized)

In case anyone missed it in the title, this post contains massive spoilers from the series finale of arguably the best show ever to grace television. If you’re a fan of Battlestar Galactica and have yet to watch the finale (hell, season 4 really), stop reading this now, plant your ass in front of your tv or computer, and watch the bloody thing! THEN come back and give this a read.
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When I first decided to give the Battlestar Galactica reboot a chance, I had very little information about what sort of show it was. Granted, I was a fan of the original; I have many fond memories of sitting with my grandfather as a child, watching BSG:TOS and Buck Rogers. I am fairly certain I have him to thank for my enduring love for all things Sci Fi.
But…here’s the thing: the reboot and the original have very, very little in common. They both carry the distinction of having the fantastic Mr Richard Hatch be a wonderful member of the cast. They are both about the last (we think) survivors of the human race searching for Earth.
Really though, that’s where the similarities end. Because the reboot had something the original didn’t. The reboot had Moore and Eick, Olmos and McDonnell, Espenson and the rest of the writing team (people to whom I bow down and worship, btw).
But I digress. We all know how talented the entire cast and crew of this show is. If I had to come up with a single weak link in the entire production I’d end up stuck here for days, wracking my brain, because there ISN’T ONE.
It took me perhaps until the end of the miniseries before I accepted the fact that I was hooked, this was great, and there would be no peace for me until I ripped through my shiny new DVD sets and got all caught up in time for Razor to air. Didn’t take me long, not at all. So I watched and cried; got attached and heartbroken. By the time four of the Final Five were revealed I was convinced that nothing the writers could do would surprise me anymore. I was wrong, of course; just one of the many reasons why I bow down to every writer that has contributed to the genius that is this show. I’m fairly critical of much of the writing on tv these days; there’s a lot of lazy work out there and I have zero tolerance for laziness when it comes to creativity. If you’re going to bring something to life then don’t half-ass it; NEVER half-ass it!
And so here we are… the finale aired last night and miracle of miracles, I was left in peace to watch it. For the first time in EONS my phone didn’t ring, my door went unknocked, and my cell only received about 5 texts. Hooray for the vibrate setting. I watched the finale with best friend S, coincidentally the same person I started the show with, and was enthralled.
When the final Cylon was revealed to be Ellen Tigh I was THRILLED; not surprised, I had been pretty certain it was her for some time. Kate Vernon is so incredibly talented, so good at being completely reprehensible one second and so vulnerable you want to weep for her the second, it made sense that she could pull off a shocker like that. Ms Vernon, wherever you are this morning, know that the work you did over the past four years is utterly remarkable.
Likewise, I have to give kudos to the gone but never forgotten Nicki Clyne, who portrayed Cally Tyrol. I confess, I loathed Cally for most of the show. Couldn’t stand her; she killed my Boomer goddammit!!!!! And then Tyrol MARRIED HER? Sorry, still find that a bit rotten. In any case, it is a testament to Nicki Clyne’s superb talent that I not only hated Cally for most of the show but then managed to absolutely LOVE her for her final few episodes in season 4. I cried for her, I was angry for her, I knew what she was feeling. When Tory murdered her in the most HIDEOUS manner this season I was enraged and also heartbroken. So… thank you Nicki! Because you made me love her. I don’t think any other actress could’ve done it.

***just a quick aside here… if anyone else was really, incredibly thrilled to see the Chief snap that bitch Tory’s neck like a frakkin twig last night, you’re not alone :D

I point out these two performances because it’s really easy to look at the talent on BSG and forget about some of the lesser known actors. I think it’s been an accepted fact that Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Dean Stockwell, etc are the cream of the crop in the acting world for quite some time. Add Katee Sackhoff, the ONLY Starbuck worth mentioning, Grace Park, who never played two Eights the same, Aaron Douglas, who just….dazzles me with everything he does, and Michael Hogan, who just KILLED as the hard-assed alcoholic prick turned romantic mushball, and you have almost too much brilliance in one place. Yes, I know that’s a heinous run-on sentence; I really don’t give a frak.

And any show that gives us Tricia Helfer getting it on with James Callis… well. Something there for everybody. And truly, I hope to see much more of Tricia’s acting, because she really is amazing. Callis’ next gig is Merlin, I believe. Should be nifty.

Some of my favourite moments over the last four years:

Boomer’s a Cylon
Caprica Six shields Baltar from the nuclear blast
President Roslin tells Adama the war is over and we’ve lost
Athena and Helo (anything with them together; they rock)
Leoben shoving Kara towards her destiny
Starbuck and Six duke it out
Head Six and Head Baltar
Cally trusts a Cylon for the first frakkin time in her life and it ends up being the death of her
Galactica vs Pegasus
the Four are revealed through All Along the Watchtower
Ellen drinks from the cup, knowing full well what it means
Dualla blows her head off (a favourite moment because it was so unexpected, so brutal, so WRONG)
Frak Earth
Laura Roslin screeching that she’s ‘COMING FOR ALL OF YOU’
Boomer turns traitor, again and again. You’d think someone, anyone would’ve learned, right?
Tyrol sees what Tory’s big secret is and puts her down like the dog she is. Rekha Sharma I love you!!!!!!!!!
The look on Starbuck’s face when Anders and Tyrol are arrested as Cylons.

And on and on and on.

Four years of great moments, four years of speculation, four years of surprises, and it’s all over now.

I loved that the loose ends were tied up. I love knowing that Caprica Six and Baltar end up together, just as the series began. I love knowing that Laura died with grace and dignity, with the one who loved her. I love knowing that Starbuck did indeed have a destiny, one that she fulfilled magnificently. I love that all WAS revealed, and that all this has happened before and will happen again.

Because the best part about Battlestar Galactica (in MY opinion) is the portrayal of humanity at its best and worst. There are very, very few characters who are black or white in terms of morality. Just about everyone is grey, which, truly, is pretty darned accurate in terms of most people. No one is all good or all bad; we all have the capacity for both and I think BSG illustrated that to perfection.

So… thank you to everyone involved with BSG for four wonderful years. Thank you to everyone who knew who the Final Cylon was and DIDN’T spill. That right there was the best kept secret in modern television. Thank you to all the actors who never got lazy, never let their egos get in the way of the work they were doing. Thank you to the writers who kept us guessing for four years!!! Thank you to the crew who are usually the unsung heroes of any successful show.
Thank you.

In a few weeks the DVD of Caprica will go on sale (I’m pre-ordering mine today WOOOOT) and we will have the chance to look at all this with a fresh perspective. I can only hope this series is half as good as BSG. This fall the movie Battlestar Galactica: The Plan will either air on tv or be released on DVD (not sure which at this point; anyone?) and we will get to see the initial storyline from the Cylon perspective.

Until then I will be rewatching my favourite show from the beginning. That’s right, Carnivale has been pushed to the number 2 spot. BSG is where it’s at, now and always.

So say we all.

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On being me

March 2, 2009 at 3:10 pm (About me)

It’s raining today! Not only that, but this weeks highs and lows are promising the potential to remain above 0 C ALL WEEK!
Can it be? Can the hell known as winter finally be on its way out?
SOME people I know may find this upsetting; as lovely as said people may be, I feel no regret over the rapidly dwindling snow supply.
Because the sooner the white stuff goes away the sooner the trails will be in decent enough shape for me to haul my once-athletic ass into the sticks.
Hiking people, hiking! The end of winter signals the beginning of hiking season for me! Now that my boy is in kindergarten I will actually be able to get a small and tranquil hike in 4 days a week.
Bliss.
Every year I begin to get giddy at the beginning of March. Because the promise of the upcoming spring becomes more evident, less of a pipe dream. The snow washes away and wee bits of green begin to peek out, giving me hope that soon, soon this place will begin to resemble my home, albeit briefly.
This year I am particularly pleased with the end of winter and the beginning of the rainy season. Because once we are thawed out *I* will be busting my ass to get my driver’s license. Which signifies freedom. Which means my kids and I will actually have some semblance of the life I want for us.
No more fear, no more tentative requests to various friends for rides from a to b. Freedom will be MINE and I shall grasp it with both hands.
So for now, I watch the rain and rub my hands together in dastardly glee.

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Deep Thoughts

March 1, 2009 at 11:42 pm (My family)

He looked at me with earnest conviction radiating from every pore.
“I’m telling you, you don’t understand how hard it is to come to the realization that God is wrong.”
Having never been a Catholic who has lost his faith, I nodded dumbly, thinking that with any luck the conversation might end now. Not that arguing about God and the Bible with my ex isn’t fun; it is, absolutely. Being an agnostic-leaning pagan makes just about any conversation regarding religion a freaking carnival ride.
Today, however, I was in the mood to simply co-exist in a relatively tranquil manner.
And then it happened. He opened his mouth and this came out:
“You know, the way I see it, humanity is in its teenaged phase.”
Blink.
!?!
Before I can wrap my head around the fact that S has pointed out a REALLY astute observation, he continues:
“We’ve gone through the phase of childhood, which is blind belief. Now we’re teenagers, and we’re heading into maturity, but for now-“
“We’re questioning everything, just like they do.” Being a know-it-all, it behooves me to break in with my take on where he’s going.
“I am really impressed,” I say, shaking my head in disbelief. “That is such a… deep analogy for you. And I think you’re right.”
He looked at me, incredibly proud of himself.
“I know, I am, and once we get to maturity, why, that’s when Star Trek can happen.”
And thus ended the great philosophical discussion that almost took over my afternoon. For that was when I cracked up and announced that he’d just tossed the genius of his earlier observation out the window.
Star Trek is good though…

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What I’m Listening to… March 1

March 1, 2009 at 6:36 pm (Playlists)

Hee.
Heeheehee.
Still wishing I’d gotten up at 3 in the morning (like I wanted to) and started baking whilst enjoying whatever iTunes spat out at me.
Alas, no, I’m too considerate to do such a thing *sniff* and therefore am only getting started now. How tragic.
Here’s today’s offering from Genius. Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy Genius?

Closer~ Kings of Leon
Falling Down~ Oasis
I’m Still Breathing~ Katy Perry
Tick Tick Boom~ The Hives
Sometimes~ James
Time is Running Out~ Muse
Thriller~ Fall Out Boy
Coffee & Tea~ Blur
Further~ Longview
Mojo~ Peeping Tom
Thinking of You~ Katy Perry
Dead Souls~ Nine Inch Nails
We Are Broken~ Paramore
Doll Parts~ Hole
Candy Shop~ Madonna
Judas~ The Verve
Your Woman~ White Town
Supermassive Black Hole~ Muse
#1 Crush~ Garbage
Perfect~ Smashing Pumpkins
Creep~ Radiohead
Where is my MInd~ The Pixies
Say Something~ James
Drive~ R.E.M.
Ultra Violet~ U2
Stop Crying Your Heart Out~ Oasis
It’s No Good~ Depeche Mode
We Used to Be Friends~ The Dandy Warhols
What Have You Done~ Within Temptation
Leave Out All the Rest~ Linkin Park
Drown~ Smashing Pumpkins
Knights of Cydonia~ Muse

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Frakkin’ LOVE this!

February 27, 2009 at 8:23 pm (Uncategorized)

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The BEST macaroni and cheese. Ever.

February 15, 2009 at 2:06 am (Recipes)

Sooooo… have figured out the secret to incredibly rich, incredibly creamy macaroni and cheese. Don’t bake it. At all. Completely unnecessary and messes with the texture that is so integral to a satisfying macaroni and cheese experience. Because, frankly, if I’m going to do mac and cheese, I’m going to have it how I want it. And how my kids want it. And the neighbour. And the ex husband. And anyone else who has had the good fortune to try it out.
Give it a shot; you’ll be very happy you did.

macncheese1

Ingredients:

4 C uncooked macaroni
3 C skim milk, hot
1/2 C hot water
1/2 C margarine
1/2 C flour
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
2 tbsp cajun seasoning
1 1/2 C cubed Velveeta
1 1/2 C cubed low fat old cheddar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Melt margarine and gradually whisk in flour and cajun seasoning over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Cook and whisk constantly for approximately 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in hot water and then milk. Add Worchestershire sauce and whisk for another 2 minutes. Once texture of sauce is smooth and creamy, slightly thickened, begin adding cubed cheese, alternating between Velveeta and cheddar. Stir CONSTANTLY with a wooden spoon until all cheese is melted and sauce is thickened and bubbly.
Meanwhile, cook and drain macaroni according to directions on box. Stir into cheese sauce and heat through.
Serve with a crisp green salad and a white wine.
Serves 6 hearty appetites.

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Vitaly Kaloyev: a murderer who was richly rewarded

February 14, 2009 at 9:17 pm (Rant)

Some thoughts on Vitaly Kaloyev.
For those who are unaware of who this piece of shit is, he is the father of two children who died in a tragic air disaster in 2002. He made the questionable choice to search for the bodies of his children and wife and understandably, was devastated by the horrific loss of his family.
Almost two years later he hunted down the air traffic controller who he believed to be at fault for the tragedy. Vitaly Kaloyev butchered this man, Peter Nielsen, who had been so devastated by what had happened on his watch that he had NEVER returned to his job as an ATC.
Curiously, although Vitaly Kaloyev was convicted for the murder he KNOWINGLY committed (with premeditation btw), he was released in 2007 and has been lauded a ‘hero’.
Let’s hear it for Russia, the land where murderers are considered heroes and are rewarded with cushy new jobs at the government level. Let’s hear it for a society that calls such a piece of excrement a hero and lines up in the streets to sing his praises.
I find it VERY telling that I have been unable to find a single statement from the other parents who lost children in that disaster praising this bastard for what he did.
Peter Nielsen was found to be not responsible for what happened when those planes collided. The company he worked for, however, most definitely bears the brunt of the responsibility for those deaths. However, even if the mistakes made were wholly Peter Nielsen’s fault, he did NOT deserve to be gutted in the street by a man who today has ZERO remorse for killing Nielsen and destroying the lives of three innocent children. Whatever trauma Kaloyev experienced by losing his family is NOTHING compared to the trauma suffered by the Nielsen family who literally saw a beloved husband and father knifed to death by a monster. Because what happened in 2002 was an ACCIDENT; what Kaloyev did was not.
Vitaly Kaloyev, I’m here to tell you that your wife and children are ASHAMED of you, wherever they are.
May you get EXACTLY what you deserve, which is a life devoid of happiness and filled with horror. You are a disgrace, and one whom I hope gets exactly what he deserves.

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Yay for the perpetuation of ignorance!

January 12, 2009 at 11:47 pm (Rant)

An email I received today:

Subject: Fw: We SHOULD be concerned
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> We SHOULD be concerned.
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> Our National Anthem – at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics
> Please read and forward to as many Canadians you can think of – thank you
> WE ARE PROUD CANADIANS
Bruce Allen is on the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Committee and new Canadians (specifically Hindi’s/Indian’s) want him fired for his recent comments outlined below:
> I am sorry, but after hearing they want to sing the National Anthem in Hindi at the 2010 Olympics- enough is enough. Nowhere or at no other time in our Nation’s history, did they sing it in Italian, Japanese, Polish, Irish (Celtic), German, Portuguese, Greek, or any other language because of immigration. It was written in English, adapted into French, and should be sung word for word the way it was written.
The news broadcasts even gave the Hindi version translation – which was not even close to our National Anthem. I am not the least bit sorry if this offends ANYONE, this is MY COUNTRY; My Grand Dad served in the military, other family members also served, as well as my wife & I served a combined total of 56 years between us. We made many sacrifices for our country and do not feel we should feel obligated to allow invited people we’ve welcomed with open arms to influence & change our society to better resemble the one they chose to leave to come here!!! – IF YOU AGREE ABOUT THIS GREAT COUNTRY, SPEAK UP BEFORE ITS TOO LATE
I am not against immigration. In fact I believe we need more, my ancestors were immigrants — just come through like everyone else. Get a sponsor; a place to lay your head; have a job; pay your taxes, live by the Rules AND LEARN THE LANGUAGE as all other immigrants have in the past — and LONG LIVE CANADA!’
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> It’s time we all get behind Bruce Allen, and scrap this Political Correctness His comments were anything but racist, however, there are far too many overly sensitive ‘New Canadians’ that are attempting to change everything we hold dear.
ARE you PART OF THE PROBLEM ??? Think about this: If you don’t want to forward this for fear of offending someone, will we still be the Country of Choice and Still be CANADA if we continue to make the changes forced on us by the people from other countries who have come to live in CANADA because it is the Country of Choice??????

> Think about it!

> IMMIGRANTS, NOT CANADIAN’S, MUST ADAPT.

> It’s Time for CANADIANS to speak up.. If you agree ? Pass this along; if you don’t agree?

> Delete it and reap what you sow because of your complacency!
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Wow, it’s rather disappointing that this racist trash disguised as an email is STILL floating around the internet.
Fact: there has been NO movement to have the anthem sung in Hindi at the 2010 games. Not sure where this little rumour came from, but the internet is a wonderous place that allows urban legends to grow exponentially.
Fact: while Allen’s comments on this particular myth are not what I would consider racist, his rants in the past most definitely were. His attitude of ‘fit in or get out’ belongs elsewhere, NOT in Canada. We are not a melting pot, we are a mosaic. This isn’t MY country, YOUR country, or HIS country; this is OUR country, and this nation is comprised of many different cultures.
In case anyone is interested, these are the actual comments that prompted many people to demand some sort of consequences for Allen’s statements:

“If I didn’t know any better, it would seem that there’s been a lot of immigrant-bashing going on in the past few months. A month ago, the Sikh community was all up in arms about Passport Canada refusing to issue passports to three Sikh kids because they were wearing religious headgear for the photos. The children were wearing those handkerchiefs which are knotted at the top of the head to keep their hair intact. That incident came on the heels of an immigration plan that was in the works to have Sikhs with the surname Singh or Khan to change those names so as to avoid administrative mistakes. Too many Singhs, too many Khans, that was the problem. And now we’ve got a controversy over the fact that Elections Canada has said that it’s all right to have burka-covered Muslim women vote in elections when it is very clear that voters have to be able to be identified when going to the polls. All of these issues joined the list that contains the turban-wearing Mounties problem and the one where the motorcycle-rider was angry that he had to wear a helmet as it is impossible to get it on over his turban. This is all very simple. We have laws in this country. They are spelled out and they’re easy to get a hold of. If you are immigrating to this country and you don’t like the rules that are in place, then you have the right to choose not to live here. But if you choose to come to a place like Canada, then shut up and fit in. We are a democracy, but it seems more and more that we are being pilloried by special interest groups that just want to make special rules for themselves. This is easy to solve. These are the rules, there’s the door. If you don’t like the rules, hit it. We don’t need you here. You have another place to go; it’s called home. See ya.”

I AM concerned, damned straight. I am concerned that ignorance like this continues to be spread over the internet where innocent people might read and believe it.

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The Great Canadian Butter Tart

December 23, 2008 at 12:58 am (Recipes)

butter-tarts

One of the BEST recipes to ever come out of Canada, right here, right now. Not my grandmother’s recipe ( I WISH) but pretty darned tasty.

Ingredients:

1 batch double crust pie pastry

2 eggs

1 1/2 C packed brown sugar

1/2 C corn syrup

4 tbsp melted butter

1 C currants

1/2 C chopped walnuts

2 tsp vinegar

1 pinch salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Beat the eggs well. Add sugar, syrup, and melted butter and beat again. Add the currants, walnuts, vinegar, salt, and vanilla extract and mix vigorously.
Put a small amount of corn meal into tart tins or muffin pans OR use silicon baking cups. Place circles of uncooked pie crust into the pans/cups. Fill the shells 2/3 full and bake until the pastry is light brown, about 20 minutes. For runnier tarts, cook for 15 to 17 minutes.

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What I’m Listening To… November 08

November 23, 2008 at 5:54 pm (Playlists)

Sunday being what it is, I’m getting ready to embark on the monthly chili cooking endeavour. This, of course, requires some quality tunes from my iTunes, which never manages to disappoint.

Decided to go for a 90s shuffle and voila! This is what my lovely computer gave me:

The Wallflowers

Rasputina

The Proclaimers

Smashing Pumpkins

Nirvana

Daniel Lanois

Goo Goo Dolls

U2

Marilyn Manson

Gin Blossoms

James

Barenaked Ladies

Aerosmith

The Offspring

and…

Moist

The kids are not impressed. Perhaps I’ll reach even further back next Sunday and throw some 80s at them :D

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