Thursday, July 23, 2015


Okay, don't blame me.  The title of this post is the title of the third entry in SyFy network's Sharknado franchise.  The movie debuted last night among great hoopla and abundant social media remarks, tweets, posts, pins, etc.

It was truly a festive occasion, shared by millions of viewers. The network played all three of the films in order starting late yesterday afternoon.  While I missed much of the first one yesterday, I caught the second one on the way to the third.  It was good to refresh my memories of the franchise.

As the title implies, this movie franchise is inherently silly, comically gory, and acted with tongues placed firmly in the cheeks.

This one was frakkin' hilarious!!! I laughed 'til I cried in places. Mostly at the inventive ways the marauding sharks found to eat the people and the equally inventive ways the hunters took out the sharks.

There were famous people in cameo roles, some a bit larger.  For example, conservative columnist and pundit, Ann Coulter, played the vice-president of the United States.  Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA team the Dallas Mavericks, played the president.  Needless to say, they were each individually assaulted by sharks.

One of the most comic bits of casting was disgraced-for-sexting former congressman Anthony Weiner playing NASA's head of Mission Control.

A still lovely Bo Derek played the mother of Tara Reid's character in a bigger than cameo role.

Penn and Teller had a nice bit with David Hasselhoff, who played hero Ian Ziering's father, the square-jawed hero who begot a square-jawed hero son.

Frankie Muniz had a wonderful heroic character to play.  The guy just doesn't stop, not even when sharks take first one leg, then one arm, then the other leg, and finally the other arm.  He crawls on his belly to the ignition button for a bomb and explodes the bomb with his chin.  Now, that's good old determination! It wiped out a small horde of the hungry sharks.

Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan played themselves who reported the occurrences in NYC live on the air. Of course the sharks ultimately attacked them, as they did the anchors of NBC's Today Show.  Kelly, Hoda and Cathy Lee scored some points for the beleaguered humans.

There are other famous faces both eaten and not, but I will need to see it again to catch all of them.

There were some inventive situations to say the least as the sharks chomped their way down the entire Eastern seaboard.  And the ultimate trick was when they encountered SHARKS IN SPACE!!! One of the characters actually screamed out that phrase, reminding me of the old Muppet sketches called PIGS IN SPACE.

Yes, these movies are gory, but it's all in fun - sort of like the old Monty Python sketches which payed homage to Sam Peckinpah's violent films - quarts of spewing red paint and cartoon violence.

Everything is so over the top, it's hysterical.

Okay, I admit it, I liked the other Sharknado movies, too.  They represent complete abandonment of all reason and acceptance of a wild and wacky world.

In other words, they are pure escapism.  Look after the last month I've had, with an elderly parent sinking deeper into delusion day by day, and a beloved dog diagnosed with glaucoma, which resulted in his losing his eye earlier this week (via surgery), I was ready for a laughing fest.

Last night I got the granddaddy of all laughing fests.  Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No, is being shown again this Saturday night at 7:00 pm EDT. I'm not ashamed to admit I'll watch it again.

And, get ready....wait for it...Yes, Virginia, there will be a Sharknado 4.  I don't know how they're going to top the scope and breadth of Sharknado 3, but I have every confidence they will.

On a more serious note, SyFy showed some intriguing previews last night of upcoming mini-series on the network.  They showed snippets of two of them that will appear next December.  These look to be serious sci-fi works on a par with Battlestar Galactica and the current Defiance.  Stay tuned.

But if you see a shark flying through the air,  RUUUUUNNNNN!!!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Ladies, have you been languishing this summer, longing for the return of Outlander? Believe me, I understand.  For some of our favorite limited series, it's a long time between seasons.

A couple of weeks ago with nothing to watch on a Sunday night (Game of Thrones had shown its last episode), I discovered a wonderful series currently running on PBS' Masterpiece Theater.

Taken from a series of novels the television version, Poldark, is an excellent way to wile away an hour.

Set in the late 18th century, it is the story of Ross Poldark, an Englishman from the wild and windswept coast of Cornwall. In the first episode, he is seen with the British Army, losing a battle in Virginia against George Washington's troops in which he is forever scarred by an American saber. When the war is over, he returns home.

Once back in Cornwall, he finds his father has died, his home is in shambles, his uncle in the grand estate, and the woman who promised to wait for him engaged to his cousin. Needless to say it isn't the homecoming he expected.

He is invited to the upcoming wedding, but leaves to go back to his own home.

Thus, he begins his life anew with all of his former expectations gone. A rebel at heart, he does not fit in with the local gentry.  The working people accept him, but as a gentleman not one of them.  It's a lonely life for Ross, but he's determined.

This one's got lots of tension and good action.  Yes there are love scenes, even some "proper" sex scenes (no nudity so far...) The cast is excellent. And it is shot on location in Cornwall, a stark but beautiful part of the coast of England.

This is another great series produced by the BBC. They produced a series on the Poldark novels in the late 1970s.  I never saw it, but from the pictures, I think I like the contemporary series better.

Aidan Turner, an Irish actor, seen recently in films such as The Hobbit and the first Mortal Instruments film in which he played Luke, the charismatic leader of the werewolves.

If you're looking for a romantic historical series this summer, check your local listings for Poldark, shown on PBS, as in you can get this one even if you don't have cable...

If you need further impetus to watch the series, check out this:

Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark

Happy viewing!

Until next time...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Saga of an Aging Ming the Merciless

Lest you forget, I'll remind you Ming is a shih tzu (and isn't usually without mercy - he's a sweet little guy). Last week our vet urged me to go to a veterinary ophthalmologist to determine what was wrong with Ming's eye.  I did and it turns out he has a big ulcer and glaucoma in the one eye.  The other eye was pronounced healthy.

So we had a regimen of four drops to be administered four times a day, with one of the four administered twice a day to the good eye.  I had to have them number the bottles for me. I did the best I could administering the drops, but I can't say I hit the eye each time.

Have you ever tried using eye drops on a dog who doesn't want to get them? That's like a vet long ago telling me giving a small six pound dog a pill wasn't hard.  He said all you have to do is push it down his throat and hold his muzzle closed until he swallows it...uh huh.  My little guy, Wicket, a lhasa-shih tzu cross with long grey coat, ears, and beard, would swallow with big gulps.  Then I would pat his head and go about my business, only to find the spat out pills behind the drapes, under the furniture, in potted plants.  He was no dummy.

Crafty little guy. But I discovered a surefire method of getting him to swallow pills.  I embedded the pill in a small cube of cheese, which he swallowed whole.

So back to Ming - today we went back for a checkup.  Turns out the ulcer has grown and Ming is now blind in the eye. His other eye is still seeing very well, ulcer free, with normal pressure.

So now we come to it...we're going to continue the medicine regimen for another ten days.  I will take him back and if the affected eye shows no improvement, it will be time to remove it for his health and comfort.

I saw several dogs at the vet's this morning with similar conditions.  Two of them were also shih tzus, one young one with an ulcer on her eye, and one thirteen-year-old who had the surgery to remove his eye last week. The latter was lethargic and had to be carried.  That frightened me, even though Ming appears to be in better shape than that dog.  Ming is fourteen.

The vet reduced the number of eye drops from four to three.  They are each to be given four times a day in the affected eye only.  The vet added an antibiotic pill and a pain pill.  He said his big concern is the discomfort if the ulcer does not improve.  I can understand.  I don't want Ming hurting, and he tries very hard to rub the eye and the area around it, despite wearing the "cone of shame."

So we'll see.  He got his first pills when we got back from the vet's late this morning - in, you guessed it - cheese! He never spits out his pills.  Now his sister might not fall for the ruse, but she's another story entirely.

I hate the thought of Ming losing his eye. But I don't want him in pain or have the condition move to his sighted eye, either.  So I guess it's time to medicate him, give him lots of love, and nightly Reiki. He's such a sweetheart and deserves the best.

I'll keep you posted.

Once more here's the baby picture of my three dogs taken in 2001 - from left to right they are: Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog or Sparky as we called him, (gone in 2013 from cancer); Miss Myrna Loy (still with us); and Ming the Merciless - the alpha dog, now blind in one eye.