This is obviously my personal site but my online content arsenal is vast. It includes Greater Gotham:
Going Global, a blog about being out and about in New York City and what
happens when you turn Gotham Girl lose on the UK; Fabulous
Foodie, where food and food culture are served up a la carte. Last but not least, there is Modern Parlance
-- home to my hard-working writer alter ego and headquarters in my nefarious
plan to take over the world. It is also home to my work blog -
Parlance, where I hold forth on publishing, books, social media,
communication, indexing, writing, education – and anything else content-wise
that catches my eye.
I had wanted to call the whole thing
Operation Empire but several of my friends suggested that might put people off.
Upon consideration I decided that a) they were right (so went with Modern
Parlance) and b) to effectively take over the world, I would need fewer friends
and more minions. Applications being accepted now.
Scribbles & Notes
Of course, the word-smithing started long before the plan for world domination. At one time or another, my personal writing projects have included:
Take 2 Movie Reviews which proved indirectly that I once had a social
life where as
Rants & Raves suggested perhaps that I didn't. (I take comfort in the
fact that I haven't updated it lately - which suggests that things are
The only thing my ongoing
Bibliomania ever suggested was that I needed more shelves and the
patience to wait for paperbacks.
Publishing Grunt's Bible came about because working with books isn't the
thrill ride that reading or buying them is.
There were pure flights of fancy like
Staving off Ennui, the
Server Sees the Sights; there were answers to hypothetical questions
like "what should go in a
toy hall of fame and then there were the snarkathons - first site
website I ever did -
Alias Smith &
Jones Site and the
material is kept in the
Archives - moved to the backburner but not completely forgotten. Who
knows what'll end up catching my attention next...
Embassy: That's Entertainment?
Not for long
Poor American Embassy. It
came and went very quickly - but not quickly enough to avoid my getting a few
Epidose One: Sat down and watched American
Embassy. I laughed and laughed. I suspect I was not supposed to. The usual
'relationship gone bad prompts young woman to change her life' scenario - a Mary
Richards type of thing.
Emma Brody (Arija Bareikis) moves to London to become vice consul at the U.S.
embassy. She sends regular emails to her sister so we are told about her
transvestite neighbor (Gary who conveniently wears her size dress), ultrahip
office (they run betting pools on EVERYTHING and music is blasting constantly
and as far as I can tell everyone who works there is attractive, young and/or
sassy), nympho roommate (who I HOPE is leaving) and a love triangle involving
the lead with a British Lord who is enagged to be married and a CIA agent who
attempted to have sex with her within MOMENTS of meeting her on the plane. Any
idiot could have told him that it's hard enough to do it in an airplane bathroom
but it's even harder to do it there when you've got a briefcase handcuffed to
your wrist. Good looking but not the brightest bulb.
There was a running gag about cans of tuna that the drug enforcement people
thought were druges but then decided it was just tuna and then finally at the
end we find out they were WRONG after all - but we have no time to wonder how
this big a faux pas occured because the next thing you know a car bomb has blown
up outside in the court yard (I'm still unclear about HOW it was connected to
the tuna but hey, I'm not here to ask questions) and among the dead is Dewey, a
man previously naked throughout the episode who dispensed life and relationship
advice to those around him.
Apparently the show was supposed to start this past fall but -- I gather they
thought bombs at embassies wouldn't play in Peoria right about then.
My vote is - amusing. Not profound or thought provoking but full of eye candy
and lots of establishing shots of London so I was pretty happy. Of course, I was
bugged by a couple of things. The first is that I am supposed to believe that
Emma is so fabulous, so adorable and so irresistible that mere minutes after
meeting her, CIA man is making out with her in the airplane toilet and faster
than a speeding hormone the British Lord is ready to leave his fiancee. Oh and
about the 'help yourself' tuna. It's great, it's free, take some...enjoy it. We
all love tuna. Yet the stack of cans sits there untouched for days until finally
boss guy takes one, opens it up and discovers lo and behold...it contains drugs.
So that's my report.
Episode Two: Yes, the drama - post explosion -
continues at our favorite "shot on location" show. My favorite Gary
quote so far: "Shaved head by day, Shaved legs by night". Anyhow, the
cast and my thoughts on them so far are as follows (a good group of pictures of
each at: http://www.amazing-journey.com/htm/ae_cast.htm)
- Emma Brody (Arija Bareikis): I'm still
disturbed by this hideous make up (or lack of make up) job on this actress.
- CIA Agent Doug Roach (David Cubitt): one of
the show "hotties" but something very off about his eyes. I can't
tell whether he is cross eyed or had a wandering eye or what but it's a tad
unsettling . And what's with the unappealing character name?
- James Wellington (Nicholas Irons): I gather
from the second episode that I am supposed to remember this guy from the
first one but he must have been edited out because he wasn't there. Anyhow,
he's the brother of the British lord in the premiere (who is not in the show
fomr this point on) and I gather since he ISN'T engaged, he will be the
third in the love triangle.
- Gary Forbush (Michael Cerveris): - Gary, the
Drag Queen with the heart of gold next door. He is the
"tell-it-like-it-is, you-go-girl" neighbor
- Consul General Elque Polk (Jonathan Adams):
- His name is Elque? I thought it was LQ. What kinda of name is Elque?
- Deputy Chief Janet Westerman (Helen Carey):
a cross between Janet Reno and Judi Dench in the Bond movies? It's not
- Liz Shoop (Reiko Aylesworth): a
"complication" -- and new roommate -- for Emma. Liz used to be
involved with CIA guy. Oh and also with LQ. Having killed the tramp roommate
in the bombing from the previous episode, they brought in a slightly scaled
down one for the next phase.
- Vice Consul Carmen Jones (Davenia McFadden):
- the sassy black woman, staple of the sitcom world who seems slightly out
of place in a one hour drama (I refuse to use the word dramedy. In fact, I
refuse to admit that it IS a word)
Now, several people from the premiere did NOT
make it to episode two and it seemed really odd until I read in several articles
that the pilot and first few episodes had actually been shot last year and
shelved to be a replacement for Ally McBeal earlier this year. Then Sept 11
happened and they (the producers) decided to "serious it up" a bit and
even though the left the pilot alone, they reworked everything after that. They
say that the pilot ALWAYS ended with the bombing but that originally, it was
supposed to just happen and fade into the show history. Obviously, it wouldn't
now but I don't REALLY see why they thought it work before Sept 11 either. I
mean, those two American Embassies had been bombed not THAT long ago. Did they
not think people would make a connection? I don't have a problem with the bomb
thing. But I think it's odd that they thought they could do that and then sort
of not mention it again. Seems like it would be an ongoing issue if you've got
characters in the CIA and military running around. OK, whatever. So, that
explained the slight wonkiness of the second episode when held up and compared
to the first.
That said, I liked the second one better than
the first. Why?
- No stacks of unexplained tuna.
- No annoying twelve year olds. In fact, no
children at all in this episode. Always a plus.
- Emma, having finally gotten her luggage, is
wearing something other than her black pants suit.
- Gary is in a great band
- Hey, the bomb was the work of the Algerians.
And we figured it out in only three weeks (the amount of time we are told
has passed since the bomb went off). We're better at this in the TV universe
than real life and after all - isn't that what TV is for.
- I miss Dewey, the naked philosophical guy
from last week (played by the guy who plays Steve in Sex and The City). He
is there in spirit and flashback, however. Oh and in a canister on Emma's
desk as she struggles to find a relative to claim his ashes
Annoying things from episode two (and some
which carried over from episode one)
- Still too many "emails" home to
- Aforementioned sister sends Emma a vibrator
(batteries already inserted) to the office where the fact that it is already
buzzing, creates a bomb scare lock down. Now come ON! Who sends vibrators in
the mail with the batteries already in there?
- New roommate. Not that the roommate herself
is annoying but the fact that Emma HAS one at all. She's an adult. They are
all adults. I assume that they are making more than minimum wage. What's
with the dorm like roommate situation. And I gather from the way it's
handled on the how that it's mandatory. Am I to believe that Doug, the CIA
lothario has a roommate? Or does the CIA, even when disguised as a cultural
attache - what Doug laughingly calls his cover - make their guys shack up as
- And speaking of Doug's cover - I don't know
why he has one. Everyone KNOWS what he does and who he works for and
apparently they think nothing of discussing it in public with raised voices
while sipping coffee in sidewalk cafes
- I'd like to see Gary is a variety of wigs.
Not that the early Jaclyn Smith thing doesn't work. It does. But I'd love to
se Gary as a sassy redhead
- Do embassy offices (or any office really)
have music blaring for all to be forced to listen to? Oh and then, suddenly
everyone is dancing. Is this "Fame"? Are they paying their dues,
starting right NOW! Where is Debbie Allen?