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2013 End of Summer Wrap Up
Sep 28th, 2013 by Dr Karma

It’s easy to get discouraged these days.

I’ve had a bad headache for almost two months now.* It’s exhausting. Eula Biss, in her essay, “The Pain Scale,” argues that one of the worst limitations of how we measure pain is that we don’t have a metric for how long it lasts. I’ve gone through the summer without a break, and I’ve been sort of beating myself up because I don’t have any more money than I started with and a lot of “to do” list things didn’t get done. And my oven broke about an hour ago. Flames shot out of it.

Thus, I have had to give myself little lectures on what got done this summer. They help.

WHAT GOT DONE THIS SUMMER:

I taught four classes (successfully).

We judged the Prized Writing submissions, then I edited the publication, and now it’s out.

I prepped my five Fall classes.

I served on two Campus Book Project committees.

I paid the “pay off the credit card in three years instead of a billion” amount.

I was given a new crock pot, and I tried out a bunch of new recipes.

I got two new kitties.

I fixed one expensive thing on my car and two on the boy’s.

I went to London to be in the wedding of two people I love dearly.

I spent quality time with my son, my friends, my man.

I’ve done a lot to try to make this headache go away–switching drugs (including going off the one that caused hallucinations), massage, chiropractic, physical therapy, lots of doctors’ appointments.

I went to Ashland with Vanessa and Kevin, where we had good food, good drinks, and saw five amazing plays in three days (The Heart of Robin Hood, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cymbeline, The Tenth Muse, and King Lear).

My fractured tailbone healed.

I kept the house reasonably clean.

In addition to the plays I’ve already written about in past blogs, I saw Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen and Billy Crudup in No Man’s Land (not my favorite play, but it didn’t matter!).

I chose essays for an edited book proposal I’m about to send off.

 

There, now I feel better. Time for more painkillers.

 

 

 

 

*For those who don’t know, I have a low grade headache every day. This has been the case since I was 12. It’s always there. All of my treatments over the years are to minimize the days it’s bad–the days it’s debilitating–the days I identify which muscle groups I would like to inject with some miracle that would make them release–the days I fantasize about guillotines. It’s been almost two months now of those days.

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The end of Futurama??? Bite my shiny metal ass!
Sep 3rd, 2013 by Dr Karma

Tomorrow marks the second ending of Futurama. I’m going to miss it. futurama_8

The show originally aired on Fox from 1999-2003. It was revived by Comedy Central in 2008. While the original Fox shows were good (with perhaps the exceptions of the film-length works), the Comedy Central version has been really good, producing some wonderful episodes with biting satire.

Futurama is the brainchild of Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons. When The Simpsons aired, Groening’s team had creative control (i.e. the show didn’t receive ‘notes’). Groening fought hard to maintain that policy with Futurama. Those of us who love the show are grateful–Fox would have taken out a lot of the darker elements that make the show what it is.

The title comes from an exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair that imagined what the world would look like in 1959. Futurama shows us the years right after the start of the fourth millennium–the year 3000. It’s the show’s inherent science fiction that both turns off some anti sci-fi people and attracts the rest of us. It also allows the writers to play with reality for the sake of humor and social commentary. When else but in the year 3000 could Richard Nixon’s head be president? Could an evil “mom” figure rule the world through the eyePhone? Could a robot steward remind his airline passengers, “In the event of a wormhole causing us to travel back in time, do not kill your parents. If you are traveling with a small child, help them to not kill you before you don’t kill your parents.”

google glass-1

Well, you could maybe have those things in a Simpsons Halloween episode, but the whole joy of Futurama is that you can have the horror and comedy of sci-fi without having to wait for October (or, when stupid sports are ruining my life, November).

I still prefer The Simpsons to Futurama. And while Futurama is critically acclaimed, it seems the fans continue to support the family comedy that changed television over its sci-fi little brother. However, I don’t claim that The Simpsons is superior in writing, satire, or animation. Or that family comedies are inherently better than workplace comedies. Rather, my loyalty to The Simpsons is partially caused by it coming into my life when I was so young. leonard-nimoy_288x288

Also, I have never really liked Fry. And it’s hard to really, really love a show when you don’t love its main character. Although Bart and Homer both have problematic personalities, deep down, I like them. However, Fry could go back into a freeze pod, and I wouldn’t miss him. I would miss lots of the other characters–Leela, Kif, Zap (whom I wish we could have heard voiced by Phil Hartman, as was intended [miss you, Phil]), Morbo, and the Robot Devil, a diabolically good singer, etc.

Now they’re all leaving. Luckily, Netflix is streaming them, so you can binge watch, as I’ve been doing this week. Find yourself in future when suicide booths are luckily not well constructed, when Christmas has finally become X-Mas, when those who have difficulty with lessons in love can have a very sexy learning disability (sexlexia), when we finally discover why cats are so adorable,* when Al Gore can explain the true role of the V.P.:
Fry: “Who are you people?”
Al Gore: “I’m Al Gore. And these are my vice presidential action rangers, a group of top-nerds whose sole duty is to prevent disruptions in the space-time continuum.”
Fry: “I thought your sole duty was to cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate.”
Al Gore: “That, and protect the space-time continuum. Read the Constitution!”

Futurama will remain one of the few shows to come back after a cancellation (the other two notable shows are Family Guy and Arrested Development). It’s fitting, really, that this show (in which the main character didn’t quite succeed in his world and gets another chance in the future) came back from the dead to succeed again. As we say goodbye tomorrow, we’ll cross our fingers that the space-time continuum will allow another rebirth. Until then, let’s eat that pizza the I.C. Wiener ordered.

I would so watch the evening news is Morbo was the anchor!

I would so watch the evening news if Morbo were the anchor!

* The cats are adorable because they have an ulterior motive. Josh Weinstein, who wrote this episode, is also adorable, but it’s hard to believe he has an ulterior motive (which is probably exactly what he wants me to think). FuturamaHeadInAJar.jpeg

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