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Comments on My Son’s Previous Post November 10, 2012

Posted by Mary in : CW, Fringe, General, NBC, Parks and Recreation, Reviews, Revolution, Sci-Fi, Skeet Ulrich, Smallville, Supernatural, Terra Nova, The Mentalist, The Office, The River, Uncategorized , 4comments

Hi. Mary here, Ted’s mother, and owner of the spacious basement that my son refers to as his “crawlspace.” I would imagine that if you have read his previous post, you probably have a lot of questions about me. You’re probably wondering, “Did Mary’s Skeet Ulrich Fan Club really get piss-faced drunk at Appleby’s, and have a six hour stand-off with the police?” and, “Is her fan club a terrorist group?” and, “Who bailed her and her friends out of jail?” You might also be wondering what my boss, co-workers, and friends had to say about those developments.

Thankfully, Ted has allowed me to co-author this blog post in order to set the record straight about my alleged recent arrest, which is kind of him, considering that I have taken away his computer. His Acer desktop is currently locked in the upstairs closet, where it will remain until Ted understands that he shouldn’t spread malicious lies about his mom. Now, that may seem like an extreme measure for a mother to take with her 38-year-old son, but my goal is not to punish him. I just think Ted needs a break from his internet fantasy world. He needs to get out into the real world for a while and do things like find a better job and spend more time with his girlfriend Sierra, who I think is adorable, by the way.

That being said, I need to clear up the questions Ted raised about me and my friends in his last post. First of all, nobody bailed us out of jail because we didn’t go to jail. We didn’t go to jail because we were never arrested, and we weren’t arrested because that whole “fan club” incident at Applebee’s never took place. That’s right. Ted made it all up. And for the record, I don’t go out binge drinking with my friends on the weekends. I just turned 60, for crying out loud! If you thought I was a little too old to be behaving that way, you’re absolutely right! Because I don’t! I didn’t even party like that in my college days. I’ll admit that I have a glass of wine every now and then, but that’s the extent of my alcohol consumption. Even doctors say a little wine is healthy for you, so get off my case, Ted! You were pretty hung over last New Year’s Day, if I remember correctly.

And last but not least, THERE IS NO SKEET ULRICH FAN CLUB! My friends and I don’t sit around screaming about some television star like teenage girls! How stupid can you get? All of these things were fabricated in Ted’s imagination. I would say that 90% what he has written about me on his blog is a complete and total lie. I also don’t have a bookcase full of crime drama DVDs as he suggested. Maybe 10 at the most. I never even liked Law and Order, where did he get that idea from? What an awful show that is.

As you may have guessed by now, Ted has always had a hard time discerning fantasy from reality. This is why I try to cut him some slack and not take these things personally. It gets to be almost debilitating for him at times. For example, when he was seven he dressed like Luke Skywalker for Halloween. I made him a costume to wear and got him one of those glowing light sabers. He had a great time trick-or-treating with some other kids in the neighborhood, but then after Halloween something weird happened. He started to believe he was Luke Skywalker. He kept wearing his costume all the time, even to school, and demanded that people call him Luke. On Thanksgiving, when his grandmother asked him for a hug, he yelled, “I’ll never join the dark side!” and jabbed her with his plastic light saber. This went on for several weeks until his costume got “accidentally” thrown into the laundry with a load of brights and turned pink. The shock of seeing his costume like that seemed to snap him back out of his fantasy and, thankfully, he became Ted again.

And, of course, I probably don’t have to tell you that his blog posts about visiting Lost Island and playing video games with 24‘s Jack Bauer are also products of his overactive imagination. I’m not sure if he really believes all these things are real. I just know that the line separating fantasy and reality for him is not as distinct and clear as it is for most people. Sometimes it seems pretty solid, sometimes it’s blurry, and other times it disappears altogether.

Well, I think that sets the record straight. I have asked my son to stop posting things about me on his blog in the future, and hopefully he will comply with my wishes. He has handed me a yellow legal pad with his handwritten comments about the 2012 television season, which I will include as the second part of this post.

————————————————————-

Well, my fellow TV fans, Fall 2012 has turned out to be a pretty bleak and dreary television season. Old shows I liked are disappearing and there are very few good new shows to replace them. Three of my favorite new programs from last year, The River, Terra Nova, and Ringer, were axed by their respective networks after only one season. In addition to that, two of my long-time favorites, Fringe and The Office are in their final year. In trying times like these, all a devoted couch dweller like myself can do is try to have faith that the TV circle of life will eventually produce some better shows to replace the classics that are leaving. Based on the new offerings this season, however, the circle of life has a lot of catching up to do.

Revolution – I was looking forward to this show, with its premise of a future without any electricity, but it appears that NBC has delivered yet another stinker. Aside from the bland characters and the paint-by-numbers plot (righteous rebels versus an evil ruling militia), there are weird political undertones that didn’t sit well with my left-of-center ideological tilt. Revolution could be a sort of dystopic tea party vision of what the world will look like after the 2nd Obama term. People in this oppressed future aren’t allowed by the evil militia to have guns or American flags. One scene in the first episode depicts a group of people who are pulling a large piece of machinery through the woods with ropes — no easy task, to be sure. They are former citizens of the US who have been taken prisoner by the militia. One character reveals that “their only crime was not paying their taxes.” The extended fight scenes, the ridiculous amount of alcohol consumption, and the hostility of the characters toward each other seem like pretty obvious stylistic footprints of producer Eric Kripke, creator of the CW hit show Supernatural. Unfortunately, Revolution lacks the cleverness and wit of Supernatural, and plays as more of a grim post-apocalyptic adventure in the tradition of Mad Max. The dialogue is unconvincing; the characters are painfully serious and humorless. NBC’s recent promos for the show have claimed that Revolution is the “most watched new show on television,” which, I suppose, proves once again how out of touch I am with the pulse of the nation.

666 Park Avenue – I rediscovered the ABC network last year, and lately they seem to have a knack for coming up with imaginative shows in the fantasy genre. The supernatural-themed thriller The River was my favorite new show last year, but they inexplicably pulled the plug on it after one go-round. The network has redeemed itself this year with the surprisingly good 666 Park Avenue. For me, this serial drama, which documents the spooky goings-on in an upscale Manhattan apartment building, is really the only bright spot in the 2012 television season. It has a great cast, including Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams, and a surreal atmosphere which is hard to put into words. In addition to the plush surroundings, your stay at the Drake will include such things as precognitive pickpockets, ghosts that live in old suitcases, and elevators that eat people. Top that off with Faustian bargains aplenty wherein characters experience the consequences of getting the things they think they want. If Mr. Doran makes you an offer you can’t refuse, you might want to head for the exit. That is, if you can find your way out of that never-ending hallway.

Fringe – In its fifth season, Fringe has taken a bold leap into a future where the Earth has been taken over by the Observers and the Fringe team are desperately seeking video tapes which contain Walter’s plan for defeating them. The writers smartly choose to focus on the relationship between Peter and Olivia, which gives us an emotional anchor amid all the sci-fi wackiness. I also like the more coherent and functional version of Walter. This final season will consist of only 13 episodes, ending in January. It’s been a fun ride.

The Office – This has been somewhat hit-or-miss without Steve Carell, but I will still miss this classic when it’s gone. Lots of questions to be answered in the final season. Will Jim and Pam finally experience some marital discord? Will Andy and Erin go splitsville? Will we find out who Angela’s baby-daddy is? Will Creed ever get his own storyline? I’m predicting there will be a “very special” episode at some point (probably around Christmas) in which Michael Scott returns with Holly and at least one baby in tow. Hopefully the producers can wrap things up without getting too overly-sentimental and sappy. I would actually prefer an ending that’s a little bit dark and serious and semi-tragic.

Parks and Recreation – I’ve been trying hard to remember why I liked this show lately. They’ve been running on creative fumes this season, and scraping the bottom of the humor barrel on a regular basis. Recent shenanigans include Jerry having a fart attack and Leslie conducting sex education classes for the elderly. Leslie Knope seems shallow and less likable than in previous seasons. Maybe the upcoming Joe Biden episode will help to bring some respectability back to the proceedings.

Supernatural – It will be interesting to see if this show can continue to deliver the goods in its eighth season. After stopping the Apocalypse, going to hell and then purgatory, hanging out with angels, meeting such big cosmic players as God and Death, and fighting all manner of freaks, monsters, and demons, you’ve got to wonder if there could be anything left on the Winchester brothers’ to-do list. I would guess that lead actors Jensen Ackles and Jarod Padalecki are itching for greener pastures. Bobby the Cranky Ghost seems to have dropped out of the picture, and for reasons I can’t explain, watching the show on Wednesday nights hasn’t been as much fun as watching on Friday nights. All of that being said, I will keep watching this show until the end, which hopefully won’t be for at least a couple of more seasons.

Arrow – Do we really need a show about Green Arrow? This DC-comic-based drama is not a Smallville spinoff, as one might have hoped, but a complete reboot with a different actor playing Oliver Queen. I haven’t bothered to watch it yet, so it could possibly be alright. The CW has had me worried for the last few years. I used to love the network, but they haven’t come up with anything I really liked since Supernatural. Hard to believe; that was eight years ago. Come on guys, give me something — anything! The teen soaps and chickafied vampire dramas just aren’t cutting it with yours truly.

The Mentalist – I find this laid-back crime drama to be strangely relaxing, not unlike the tea that lead character Patrick Jane drinks. It doesn’t change much from season to season, and it doesn’t need to. Jane is still not much closer to catching the notorious killer Red John, and his romantic attraction to Agent Lisbon remains vague and unrealized. If the rest of the viewers are like me, those things don’t matter that much anyway.

 

Mayhem Ensues at a Clarksville Applebee’s June 18, 2012

Posted by Ted in : Jericho, Law and Order: LA, Skeet Ulrich , 1 comment so far

It was a Saturday morning back in late April. I had just returned home from my late night shift at the convenience store, and was preparing to unwind with my weekly dose of Toonzai on the CW, when a story from a local news broadcast caught my attention. It was a breaking story from earlier that morning.

“For WLKY News, this is Drew Douglas reporting from Clarksville, Indiana. It was a tense and chaotic scene here late last night when a group of angry middle-aged women took over the local Applebee’s at gunpoint. Two policemen were taken hostage by the women after the police attempted to arrest them for public intoxication. After a stand-off that lasted into the early morning hours, the women finally surrendered and were taken to jail.”

The camera panned out and the reporter turned to a man he identified as a waiter at the restaurant where the incident had taken place, and asked him, “What did you witness in there, and can you tell us what caused these women to act so bizarrely?”

“Well, when the women came in, there was about 10 of them, and they had us put two tables together so they could sit together. They started ordering drinks immediately, along with some appetizers. After about an hour, they were on their fifth pitcher of margaritas, I believe, and they started yelling and laughing and having a little too much fun. It got to the point where the manager had to go over there and ask them to keep the noise down.

“After that, they quieted down for a while. Then, I was taking a woman’s order at a different table. She ordered the oriental chicken salad, then changed her mind and wanted the mesquite chicken salad instead, and she said ‘No, mesquite! Mesquite!’ After she said this I noticed a couple of women from the large group looking over in our direction like they had just seen a ghost or something. They started talking very excitedly and looking around the restaurant. A couple of them got up and started walking around as if they were looking for something. They started yelling at each other across the restaurant, when one of the women ran into a server with a large tray of food, which came crashing down on the ground. That sent the rest of the women into a fit of laughter and screaming that seemed to go on forever.

“By then, Danny, the manager, had had enough of them, and he went over to their table and told them they would have to leave. Then they started arguing with him, and they told him they couldn’t leave because they were waiting for some famous actor to show up because they were his fan club, and the manager said he didn’t care who they were waiting for, they had to leave or he was calling the police. The women told him, ‘Go ahead and call the police, we aren’t going anywhere,’ and they remained at the table.

“Well, when two police officers arrived at the restaurant the women argued with them too, and the police decided that the women were too drunk to drive home and charged them with public intoxication, and they called for several backup cars to help haul all the women to jail.

“Then, one of the women started yelling at the police and one of the policemen pulled out his pepper spray and let her have it. Another woman grabbed the pepper spray out of his hand and started spraying both policemen repeatedly in the face. They then took the guns of both officers and started yelling for all the remaining customers and staff to get out. After we went outside, the women barricaded themselves inside and held the two officers hostage. Then several more police cars showed up, followed by a SWAT team, and they brought out the riot gear and the bullhorns and were telling the women inside to come out with their hands up. It was pretty scary, luckily no one got hurt too badly.”

The video then switched to footage of the women’s arrest early that morning. There on the screen, being led away in handcuffs was none other than my mother, Mary Crawford. Her hair was a tangled mess and the faint trails of eyeliner running down from her eyes made it clear that she was the one who had been pepper sprayed. She looked at the TV camera with a fierce expression as she walked by and shouted, “No justice, no peace!”

The video switched back to the reporter, who thanked the waiter and started talking again. “After a tense 6 hour stand-off with police, the women were finally persuaded to surrender, and were taken to jail shortly after 3:00 a.m. Audrey O’Neal, a legal representative of the women, who identify themselves as members of the Kentucky chapter of the Skeet Ulrich Fan Club, says they didn’t come to Applebee’s looking for trouble that night, and were only there for their monthly fan club meeting. Their agenda for the evening included discussing promotional strategies for their upcoming 16th Quarterly Jericho Blog Carnival, in addition to the group’s petition asking NBC to put Law and Order: LA back on the air with Skeet Ulrich reinstated to his starring role, in spite of the fact that doing so would require the show’s writers to bring Ulrich’s character back from the dead.

“According to O’Neal, the women were reluctant to leave the restaurant because they had received an email from the actor himself stating that he might stop by and say hello while their meeting was in progress. She says the women were unfairly harassed and discriminated against by both the restaurant management and the police, and plan to bring a lawsuit against both parties after they are released from jail. From Clarksville, this is Drew Douglas, comin’ at you live for WLKY News.”

At that moment, I couldn’t help feeling a little bit proud of my mother, in spite of the questionable decisions of her and her friends. She always stands up for what she believes in, even if that’s only a pointless fan club for an obscure actor, which is really just an excuse to go out drinking with her friends.

At the same time, I felt uneasy, and remembered my encounter with Jack Bauer last Christmas Eve. He believed my mother was part of a terrorist organization, but I had convinced him that his intel was wrong, that it must have been some kind of mix up. But the news segment had revealed an angry, violent side of my mother that I had rarely seen before. What if this was just the tip of the iceberg? What if the fan club is just a front for something more sinister? Is there some kind of radical ideology at work in the group? Taking policemen hostage is a pretty serious offense, one that would surely get the attention of the FBI and Homeland Security. What if Jack’s right after all? Should I consider moving out of mom’s basement?

These were questions that went through my mind that Saturday morning, questions that I still don’t have an answer for. Mom has refused to discuss anything about the incident, and won’t reveal the identity of the mysterious benefactor who bailed her and several of her friends out of jail. I’ll give you an update on the situation when I find out more.

 

"Won't you tell me where my country lies?" said the unifaun to his true love's eyes...