In times of sickness and trauma, my first instinct is always to watch cop/detective shows.  I don’t know when this urge started, but there was this sense that no matter what evil or illness existed in the world, Jerry Orbach or Shane Vendrell or Elliot Stabler or Michael Westen would fix it.  Especially if I was home sick — if someone was robbed in the first few minutes of Law and Order, I knew that, even if I fell asleep, when I woke up, Sam Waterston would make it all okay.  After I broke up with Aaron, my boyfriend of six years, I watched SVU in my friend Jim & Ian’s room because Det. Benson was a comforting presence.  And three nights before my wedding, I was up at 2 a.m. watching The Shield because I was nervous and Dutch Wagenbach always makes me feel safe when things were stressful and scary.

But today’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, and last week’s at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado, not to mention the near-constant stream of fatal shootings by police, generally against black men, it’s hard to watch cop shows — especially The Shield (sorry Shane, Dutch, Lem and Ronnie*) — and root for the Men With The Guns.

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Idiot Box: ‘Hand Grenade’

Hand Grenade

In the month of bones I wear red galoshes for black-market Theraflu; we heard they took it off the market because junkies use it to break bad.  On your side of town, you gather up single-serve soup cups and treat us both to the tissues with lotion in them.  You wear your leather jacket over plaid pajama pants.  There’s melted snow on your halo curls & fever flush in your pale cheeks.

I start the kettle.  You work the microwave.  We make room for two under one old blanket; your radiance wards off my chills.  We sniffle between kisses, swill honey poison, take bets on who Jerry Orbach & Sam Watterson will convict.  You win; I let you slide your damp hand up under my tee-shirt.  I haven’t worn a bra in days.

When the cold meds and Law and Order stop working, we switch to red wine & The Shield.  You are Vic Mackey & I am Shane Vendrell.  I will love you, follow you, kill for you.  You don’t even have to ask.

Is it season five already?  Your cell phone rings.  You answer to a giddy girl whose loud voice I have never heard before.  You put on your jacket, but you’ll stop at home to change before she opens her legs to heal you.  At the door, you become Lem.  I am still Shane.

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What Power Is…


“Bump In the Night” AllStars

“Pet Cemetery” The Ramones

“Dead Man’s Party” Oingo Boingo

“Halloween” Siouxsie and the Banshees

Anyone who knows me knows that Halloween is kind of my jam.  In college I threw Halloween parties in the Oneida Hall 4 A-L lounge that were the social event of the season.  Now that I’m a grown-ass lady, I use Halloween as a chance to win prizes and internet fame (We’re #10 and #2).  Hell, last year, my fiance proposed to me in the middle of our town’s Halloween parade.  

goon-franky1This year, Ian and I are going as The Goon and Franky from Eric Powell’s awesome comic The Goon, because we have a very unique concept of the “couple’s costume.”  It was my idea, because I wanted something easy, something I could move/dance in, and something that cool people (like Trace Beaulieu!!!) would recognize, but wouldn’t get us swamped with requests for photos, like with our Maitlands and Alien costumes.  Also, I have a deep, possibly unhealthy affection for Franky (it’s a natural progression of my love for Shane Vendrell) but what can I say? I’ve got a soft spot for the sidekick.

Not pictured: The frantic beating of my nerdy heart

Not pictured: The frantic beating of my nerdy heart

But when I put on that costume, something weird happens….

FrankyBy nature, I am a pretty likable person.  I’m funny and I’m cheerful and I don’t like conflict and don’t go out of my way to be an asshole. But when I put on that hat, my Id, the razor blade under the tongue of my soul, takes over. I move differently.  I make faces different from my normal range of emotional expression.  And suddenly, I feel like I can do whatever I want.  It’s a fantastic and terrible power, this costume.

And it then becomes this fight between Libby and Franky to not, say, stab a Ghostbuster who was being a broseph to my friend Corey at a horror film convention. (Ian made me a “switchblade” with silver tape and a comb).  At her most badass, Libby might throw some shade in Ghostbro’s direction when he’s looking at her so that he knows she doesn’t think he’s so hot, in fact, he’s kind of dumb looking and takes his stupid hobby to idiotic extremes.  (Libby won that round…for now)

But Franky? Well, Franky’s a different story.  Franky’s unhinged.  Franky is going to get a beer instead of a Dr. Pepper and then Franky is going to compliment how good the waist-cincher on your pirate costume makes your boobs look, because Franky has no filter or decorum.  Franky is not going to tolerate it when drunk skanks try to hit on The Goon and may resort to violence*.  Franky would love to play Cards Against Humanity, but you’d better bring your A-Game; Franky isn’t going to tolerate your faux-edgy Dane Cook bullshit and will be happy to grin and tell you that your cards are neither funny nor clever, because Franky plays dark and mean and you should too. then Charlie Noodles -- he's good people -- he plays the "dead babies" card, and I beat him to death with a crowbar! That's what makes it so funny!

…so then Charlie Noodles — he’s good people — he plays the “dead babies” card, and I beat him to death with a crowbar! That’s what makes it so funny!

Franky throws her clothes on the floor instead of the hamper. Franky doesn’t do the dishes before bed.  Franky doesn’t wake up at 7 a.m. to work on her novel, and Franky doesn’t think twice about making breakfast out of three tacos, Cuban espresso and the last fun-sized Milky Way that The Goon hid in the the back of the cupboard.

When Halloween/convention season is over, I’m going to really miss being Franky…but somehow, I don’t think anyone else will.

...Especially Not the Slackjaws!

…Especially Not the Slackjaws!

*Ripley-Libby did once resorted to physical threats; I slapped a drunk Slutty Cop’s hand away when she grabbed Ian’s Alien costume (DO NOT EVER DO THIS, EVER), and I screamed, in character, Get your hands off him, you bitch!   She quickly realized I was probably crazy and took off with the rest of her horde.  It was one of my prouder moments.