Monday, November 20, 2017

How They Have Changed in Thirty-Plus Years!

Having been housebound for the past ten days with a weird allergic reaction to something that has yet to be identified, I wasn't up for much of anything except lying on the couch watching TV. I decided to check out the Dynasty reboot. I hadn't planned to watch it at all, but I was sleeping a lot and figured if I fell asleep during an episode, I wouldn't mind so much. I had watched the original series back in the '80s and found it fell short (in my opinion) to Dallas. The original Dynasty was more of a fashion show than anything else, with less emphasis on character and story than on what the women were wearing.

Blake Carrington was the head of Denver-Carrington, a major oil company. At the start of the series, he had two children, daughter Fallon, who was headstrong and a bit of a tramp. Son Steven was quieter, more thoughtful--and gay, to his father's shame (a TV father was allowed to be ashamed of a gay child in the '80s). Fallon ended up married to Jeff Colby, nephew of Denver Carrington's chief rival, Cecil Colby of Colbyco. Blake married his secretary, the mostly spineless Crystal, who had previously been involved with a fellow employee, the mostly married Matthew Blaisdel. Then there was Crystal's niece, Sammy Jo, who managed to marry Steven--though of course it didn't last.

In 2017, Denver Carrington has been relocated to Atlanta, is no longer all about the oil, and is rechristened Carrington Atlantic. Crystal is now Cristal, the Hispanic COO of Carrington Atlantic, and Sammy Jo is now a guy. I guess that works better as far as his relationship with Steven is concerned. Time will tell. Fallon is furious that her father has promoted his new wife over her and becomes his competition in the business world. Her partner, Jeff Colby, is now an African-American tech whiz.

Oh, how times have changed!

It made me think. Years ago, when I decided to reissue my backlist books as ebooks, I considered updating them much in the way Dynasty has been updated. Mainly, I wanted to drop the glitz and glamour (even I used to refer to four of the five books I did during my time at Berkley as Lifestyles of the Shallow and Superficial). I saw Alexander's Empire (Dance of the Gods) as story more focused on his flashes of memory and his ties to a woman in a mental hospital. I considered making him an equestrian champion who bought a farm in the Midwest with a tragic history, only to find living there was triggering memories he didn't understand.The title, of course, would have to be changed.

Angels at Midnight would be about a young up and coming artist who married an idealistic lawyer with a dark family secret; a tech whiz who worked for a conglomerate taken over by a criminal element; and a custody fight that led to some creative forms of revenge.

Yeah, I guess I could have rebooted the four books. I was just never sure if it would be worth the effort....

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

It's Finally Here! I Was Startiing to Think it Might Not Come This Year!

I'm talking, of course, about the autumn colors. They were expected to show in mid-October, but only arrived in full this past week. I had Collin do the photo honors. And after he was finished, he explained to me that the Samsung Galaxy has a special feature that compensates for shaky hands like mine....


Monday, November 6, 2017

When You Just Have to Take a Break from the Real World....

It's been that kind of a week. It's been that kind of a month.

After Collin's health scare--he still has to have a neuromuscular consultation at St. Louis University on January 16th to verify that whatever happened to him isn't coming back--he's doing well and going back to work tomorrow. A lot of prayer got us through that one and apparently, God is still looking after us (we do need to be looked after). I still have some intermittent speech problems, but have reassurances from my doctors that I don't need to go to the ER every time I trip over my tongue. The rough patch was followed by an unexpected miracle. (Yes, they do happen. You just have to be watching for them.)

Having been through so much, we both needed a  break--from reality. Reality these days is not so great, between our Idiot-in-Chief still being in the White House, shootings at concerts and church services and a terrorist attacking people on a bike path in New York City. I grew up in a world that was a pretty great place. I had hoped it would be the same great place for Collin and any grandchildren I might have in the years to come. Sadly, it isn't.

But that's for another post. Last Friday, we got that desperately-needed break. We went to the movies--to see Thor: Ragnarok. We'd both been anxiously awaiting its release, and it did not disappoint--in fact, it was better than my expectations. The title might suggest a grimmer story than it is. It's got a lot of laughs. It's in some ways a buddy movie focused on Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Bruce Banner, aka The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), once they get that initial beatdown out of the way.  This movie explains a lot of what took place in the two previous Thor movies (I always wondered why Odin (Anthony Hopkins), particularly why Odin was so tough on Thor and his adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston). By the way, Loki is no longer the black sheep of Odin's family. Loki's actions were nothing compared to those of their long-lost sister, Hela (Cate Blanchett). 

I've known a lot of dysfunctional families, but Odin's family is far and away the most dysfunctional--but then, they've had thousands of years to build up all that nastiness.

I'll be posting my full review at Rotten Tomatoes later this week.

After the movie, we headed over to TGI Fridays for lunch. And since that day was World Sandwich Day and Subway was offering not only a buy-one-get-one-free deal. they were also making a contribution to Feeding America, we picked up subs for dinner. Any day I don't have to cook is a good day for me!

Oh, and one more thing: for months now, I've been entertaining the idea of getting a buzz cut. I was on the fence at first for a number of reasons. I didn't want to look butch. I didn't want anyone to think I was trying to turn into a guy or something. And I always thought that while it's a look that works great for some women, I don't have the face or bone structure for an almost-hairless look. I didn't want anyone to think I'm sick, either. On the other hand, my hair is baby-fine and has always been a pain in the backside, no matter how I wore it. I always wear a hat or a cap when I go out. In winter, I couldn't wear a knit cap because it did bizarre things to my baby-fine fluff. When we went to get our haircuts last week, I decided to take the plunge. Even so, the stylist was hesitant. She stood behind me, razor in hand.

"Are you sure about this?" she asked.

I was. And I am. I love it. It's so easy to care for. I'm planning to keep it this way for the foreseeable future. I don't have any photos yet, but it looks very much like this character from Marvel's Inhumans....