27 March 2007

terrible sinking feeling

In which I am too much affected by fan fiction.

My parents, like any two people in a long-term relationship, have had some terrible fights. The ones that I have been present for were some of the most agonising experiences of my life. Seeing two people fight--two people who love one another deeply--makes me feel sick inside. It's that sensation that says something terrible could happen at any moment, but you just don't know what.

My tendency to become immersed in what I'm reading or watching can even make fictional accounts of such things affect me in the same way.

Arkaidy updated her "Across Time" (actually, she's updated it a couple times since my last decent rundown--but I've been sorely neglecting this blog, though I write often enough [about not much of anything sometimes] in my primary LJ).

The beginning of this new chapter sees Ares freed (in, roughly, the present--1999) from the caves where he was imprisoned during the archaeological episode of Xena (set in the 1920s, I think), courtesy Vega's new goddess powers. I think this is my favourite part of the chapter, mainly because of Ares and Strife's reunion.

Ares' reaction (or Kevin Smith's portrayal of that reaction) to Strife's murder always touches me whenever I watch it; because it exhibits the fact that, even though Ares is always giving Strife a hard time, he really does love his nephew. He does value him. And I think that this chapter, following that line of their relationship, illustrates that fact with decent poignancy (but not too much, because this is the GoW, after all).

Another clever tie-in, and still without changing anything canon: "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Hercules." Though, this brings me to my initial feelings of distress.

In that particular episode Hercules, we find the setting in present day (at that time--again, 1999) California and many bad things are happening--and Kevin Sorbo is missing. We don't find out until the end of the episode, but Ares and Strife are the ones wreaking havoc on the world; oh yeah, and Kevin Sorbo really is Hercules.

It's one of my favourite episodes in the series because it blurs the lines of reality and the show that way, and the actors are clearly having a blast lamb-basting the crew and production team with their characterizations (Bruce Campbell as Rob Tapert is just perfect). It is, however, worth mentioning that it's also one of the more infuriating episodes of the season, because it's mainly built on flashbacks to previous episodes.

Anyway, Vega witnesses the terrible things that Strife is doing with Ares and--rightly--gives it to him. So why the dread? Because of the obvious feelings of betrayal about Strife's siding with Ares, and because of Strife's initial callous reaction to those feelings: "That was two thousand years ago! Get over it!"

That got me to wondering about Strife's death experience; obviously, he would know that two thousand years have passed, but has he really felt that passage of time? Through Vega, he's been pulled out of Asphodel--because Callisto killed him in mumblemumble B.C.E.--but would he have sensed all the time he spent there? Was he aware?

For Vega, the two thousand years have passed in relative heart-beat, so the argument doesn't especially apply to her. So then, if Strife didn't feel his death-time and Vega obviously wouldn't have felt it either, the only person for whom this argument works is Ares.

That's not to say that the line is out of place really. It's certainly fitting with Strife's character and past. He clearly loves Vega, but he's been fiercely loyal to Ares--forever, quite literally. Ideally, he would be able to have both of them without one relationship getting in the way of the other. It's just that maybe he's trying to get to that point too quickly.

But the strain passes when Strife realises what he's been doing with Ares, and he and Vega sort of resolve the argument. I still had to sigh some mixture of distress and tentative relief when the chapter ended on that precarious note.

On a less distressed, more delighted note, the scene following "Yes, Virginia" where Vega "wakes up" in the lecture hall, curses, sets the prof straight, and stalks out in a huff--I wish I'd had such a good excuse for the few times I'd actually fallen asleep in lecture. Alas, I think I can only chalk it up to bad sleeping habits. All the same, it was a great moment in the chapter.

Turn the page ...

munchings and crunchings

There's something nostalgic for me about eating snap-peas.

I haven't had them raw in a long time (though I've had them in Chinese food dishes plenty), but I bought some that came in little snack-packs at Shaws. Baby carrots and snap peas, nothing special. But it's reminding me of eating them fresh from the garden when my family lived in Pennsylvania.

I would "help" my parents collect the vegetables--whatever was ripe at the time. And, with snap-peas in particular, it was very easy to just graze. Grab a handful; sit on one of the box-walls; munch; stare back at Rocko, or Muppet, or Stony, or Smoky, or whichever of the cats would come to see what on earth I was doing; attempt to feed snap-pea to cat; fail; eat it myself. And when the handful was gone, I'd go back for more and start the process over again.

What can I say? Bunny.

Too bad I don't like carrots as much as I like snap-peas. They're all right, but snap-peas ... mmm.

Turn the page ...