Archive for the ‘ER’ category

Why I Am Boycotting the Emmys

September 17, 2008

The Emmys will be on Sunday night and I will be watching something else. Definitely. This year I am boycotting. Grrr. They bypassed Maura Tierney….again. By all rights, Tierney and Goran Visnjic should have been nominated for the 13th season’s premiere, ‘Bloodline’, alone. That fact that they weren’t was an outright crime. Toss the riveting ‘Murmurs of the Heart’ and the sweetly done ‘I Don’t’ later that season and the crimes multiply. Bloodline? THAT episode was a wonder to behold. The editing, writing, direction, sound, the acting enemble….everything came together….but especially the characters of Abby and Luka. Watching the two actors play off one another…well…see for yourself. These clips were provided by friends. The music is choppy because I edited out the bloodiest bits. SHE was in a bed for the entire episode and flat on her back for a good chunk of time. HE was working from behind a surgical mask. The fact that Goran Visnjic was able to convey his character’s horror and anxiety and frustration while half his face is covered is important. The little tricks they use, hand holding, sighing, eyes rolling….and watch his slight rolling on the balls of his feet when he needs to convey indecision. The look in his eyes transversing from intense studying to sick worry in an instant. And the subtle touches between the two of them that convey the intimacy between two people very much in love. Wow.

The past 14th season totally belonged to Maura. She dragged her character – and her audience – kicking and screaming – into the lowest possible place Abby Lockhart could have gone…..and brought her out again slowly but surely. ‘Blackout’ – the episode in which Abby reaches the depths of despair made me physically ill even thinking about it. For days. I lost my writing muse. For weeks. Watching the character – finally – ask for the help she needs weeks later…was heart wrenching. Watching this actress ply her craft was a wonder to behold. You see, when you are hearing impaired you rely on so many other things to get the gist of a scene rather than just spoken dialog. And she delivers….every time. Needless to say, these two can convey more with a hug than others can with pages of dialog.

The 15th and final season of ER is upon us. Maura Tierney has already filmed the last of her regular appearances on the show. She is off and onto new things. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has lost it’s chance to recognize her work on ‘ER.’ And this one viewer isn’t watching. I think I ‘ll pull out a movie….or give myself a pedicure….or sort the straight pins in my sewing box….or pack. Because on Tuesday morning, I am off to New York City for a couple of days. I have been planning this for months. I have tickets to see a new Off Broadway play titled ‘Three Changes’…..which stars Maura Tierney. Heh.

Thank you Alexander G. Bell!

August 16, 2008

I love my cell phone. Truthfully I was the very last kid on the block to get one. I fought it tooth and nail. Why did we really need it? Cell phone waves can give you cancer, right? WHY did we really want ANOTHER bill??? HRH got a cell phone for ‘work.’ Had it for almost a year before the soccer practice mixup incident.

It was one of those nights when he was working late and the kids had to be in two different directions for practice. Prince ended up having to go to a different location. I passed him off to another parent to drive, took off with the Princess to her practice and suddenly realized that HRH would be going to the first location to get the Prince. Envisioning the poor Prince standing all alone at the second field waiting for SOMEone to get him after practice was probably the very first time that I could justify having a cell phone. So I broke. I agreed to get a cell phone. THAT was three years ago.

This is the phone that I got. I insisted on red. No one knew why. And I kept it a cryptic secret for well over a year. Princess was the most adament about finding out why. She loved playing ’20 Questions’ about my phone’s redness. I kept telling her that she had SEEN the reason why but she could never figure it out. Heh.

I love my phone. I can actually HEAR on it. It was just the right size and shape and weight. The hinge has loosened enough to flip open at the flick of a wrist. I can text easily with a single thumb…and I text….alot. HRH got a deal from Sprint one day recently. Ordered two new FREE phones. One for me and one for the Princess. Just like his. Heh. BOTH were sent back post haste. Princess is NOT getting a phone of her own till she is fourteen. Only 357 more days. As for me, WHY would I would want a phone like his? I LOVE my phone. I picked it out myself. I was not ready to give it up. Sprint keeps calling. He keeps telling them I will look when I am ready. Heh.

So, it’s been three years. He keeps hinting. The kiddos and I went looking yesterday. Went to three different places actually. Nothing felt right. Too square. Corners were too sharp. Not…thick…enough. Can’t hear on them. Sigh. Till I found this one with a camera….and a memory disk so pictures can be printed on the computer. I can hear on it. It has a keyboard for texting but I will have to learn to use two thumbs. I guess I am coming up in the world. At least we are still in touch with one another. And Princess is STILL not getting one till she is fourteen. Only 357 more days……

Oh…and I insisted red because of this scene from a season 12 episode of ER. Abby has a red phone. Yep. Once an ER addict, always an ER addict. Heh.

Sad/Happy Truths

March 1, 2008

Dang. We were right in the middle of crossing a busy street in Chicago when she said it. Just came right out and asked. “So…are you my STEP-mom or what?” The Mom walking with us stopped for a split second and did a double take back at us. We scurried across to the sidewalk and I assured her, matter of factly, that I was her MOM….that she also has a birth mom but we don’t know anything about her. That I was Kylee and Linnea’s step-mom, because I was married to their birth dad. She shrugged and nodded. End of conversation.

Until we were on the bus to a museum the next day. She was standing and holding the pole for support – just because she wanted to stand – when she asked me if I knew anything about them. I knew who she was talking about. I knew she was mulling her history over in her head. But I made her ask.


“My mom and dad? My BIRTH parents?”

I told her that I knew nothing at all….except that they were very smart. She thought that over for a moment and then asked me how I knew. I told her because of where they left her.

“At a BUS STOP?”

She was horrified. Almost angry in fact. And then I explained that they left her at a busy place where they knew someone would find her quickly. They could have left her in the woods where a wild animal could have gotten to her….or in an abandoned house without food and water. They were smart enough to leave their sweet little toddler in a safe enough place. I could see her rolling this concept over in her head – the very same thing she had been told numerous times before – and she nodded thoughtfully. End of conversation.

Until we were sharing a fruit cup for lunch in the basement of the museum.

“Do you know what they look like?”

I shook my head and she was a little saddened. There was nothing to share with her. Just a police report. End of conversation.

Until were were on the ‘L’ a little later on our way to meet our Girl Scout comrades for dinner. I had been waiting to ride the L. Any ER freak can tell you that the show is ALL about what happens on the L. I was all about absorbing the sounds and sights of the L.

“Can we go back to Russia to see them….maybe?”

This time I shook my head. I explained that we could go back to Russia someday. I had planned to do that with her. We could see the baby home where she was taken and the orphanage where she was living when we met her for the first time. But we probably would not be able to see her parents. She thought about this a moment and then nodded.

“I wish I had a picture of them.” Screw the L. My heart was breaking for my beautifully curious and sensitive daughter.

I wondered where all of this was coming from….at this time. Off guard. But then, I began to realize that we were in the middle of a strange busy city with 17 of her Girl Scout friends and 14 of their Moms. Moms and daughters that looked like each other, walked and shopped like each other, laughed and talked like each other. We shared a room with a mom and daughter that were almost mirror images of one another. And then there was us. As different from one another as night and day. At least when her dad and brother were with us we were joined by the common bond of being female. As I watched her in the midst of her friends, dancing to a 50’s tune with our wild and crazy waiters, I pondered her dilemma. Feeling a part of things and yet different from them. It was like a bubblegum bubble in my throat for the rest of the night. Getting bigger and bigger. It didn’t get better till much later…when we were snuggled together in the bed we shared in the hotel. I wrapped my arm around her and she laced her fingers in mine.

“I love you, Mom.”

Pop…goes the bubblegum. End of conversation.

This ER Thing

February 6, 2007

Thirteen years ago my sister – who lives several states away – was begging me to watch this ‘new’ television show she was loving. She wanted someone to talk to about it every week. I gave it a watch but didn’t like it much. It was too fast paced. The dialog was quick and filled with medical terminology that was difficult to follow. At least for me. I am hearing impaired and am somewhat reliant on lip reading to follow a show. She was very disappointed when I told her that I wasn’t interested. VERY disappointed.

The following summer I began watching the reruns. We are both teachers. The pace of our lives changes during the summer months. We began our Fridays with leisurely telephone conversations and she would explain what had been happening in the show the night before. Slowly and surely I was hooked. I enjoyed the characters that drove the show. Mark Greene. Carol. Carter. Doug Ross. Jeanie Boulet. Susan Lewis. David Morenstern. ER became a Thursday night ‘habit’ that has continued for twelve more years. My sister’s interests moved on.

The faces on the show have changed. Sherry Stringfield left, taking ‘Susan Lewis’ with her. I loved Kellie Martin and her characterization of ‘Lucy Knight’. I began to follow her story lines. I was instantly drawn in to Luka Kovac…from his very first appearance. What a hunk. What an accent! I was horrified when I’d read that Maura Tierney had been signed to join the show. She was my favorite character from the comedy “News Radio’. How was she going to fit in to this drama driven ensemble? Ha. Should of known. ‘Lucy’ was killed off…..knifed by a psych patient during a Valentine’s Day episode. A horribly surprising event. I still miss her character. However, Tierney’s ‘Abby Lockhart’ rapidly took her place in my interests.

I discovered that my classroom aide had a similar Thursday night ‘addiction’. We would spend the first 15 minutes of our Friday school day – while taking attendance and lunch count and distributing morning work to first graders – quickly rehashing our thoughts from the previous night. Abby and Luka became more than friends and we sighed. We cheered the appearance of a stunningly heart rending Sally Field as ‘Abby’s’ mother. James Cromwell as a dying Bishop blew us away by being the catalyst for several Luka revelations. Abby and Luka broke up and we were both miserable. And life marched on. There have been several job changes and I no longer work with anyone that follows the show.

There have been some stunning performances. Sally Field returned. Susan Lewis returned. Mark Greene died on a beach in Hawaii. Luka went to the Congo. Carter followed him. Guest stars filled the ER. Sherry Stringfield left again . A couple of seasons of not so good story lines. Sometimes I snoozed in front of the television. And then, last year, along came an episode called ‘The Human Shield’. Luka and Abby were back together after five freaking years. WHAT could possibly be better? Back together again and having a baby. Back together again and the most incredible television hours ever in ’21 Guns’ and ‘Bloodline’….interrupted by a long summer hiatus. And then Forrest Whitaker as a frightenly creepy ex-patient and an episode called ‘Murmurs of the Heart’. It just gets better and better. But for whom? My sister will no longer watch. Says she doesn’t know the characters. Friends no longer like the bloodiness of the show. My children are too young. Sigh.

I don’t really know why ER still appeals to me. I have gotten older too. I no longer reflect the preferred advertising target. Sniff. I miss Lucy…and Mark….and Romano…and definitely Susan. I am so loving the reemergence of the ‘Luby’ relationship. And now there is talk of contracts ending and other characters leaving. I think I would be ready to break my ‘addiction’ if that happens. Who could possibly sustain my interest more than Maura Tierney and Goran Visnjic? Searching the current cast….probably no one. But ‘ER’ has surprised me before.