Domain Change

Hi all! Just a note to those of you who have subscribed to the RSS or automatic distribution of posts from this site that I have MOVED that service over to my own domain. On the internet the sites look the same, but if you’ve subscribed you’ll need to re-subscribe at my new site. http://www.thoughtsredacted.com. See? It’s even easier to remember!

See you there!

Advertisements

Legenwaitforit… NOT (a slightly feminist rant about HIMYM)

It’s been a couple days since the finale of How I Met Your Mother, and the finale hasn’t grown on me. And yes, let’s go ahead and stipulate that no show finale is ever universally popular, and that in many cases you can love the show and not love the finale and be fine. But I keep trying to figure out why I don’t think that could be the case for me with this show — why the finale is going to leave reruns tasting bitter. And a week later, it’s still bothering me.

So I could write this rant including words like patriarchy and misogyny and mentioning that we don’t live in a vacuum. I could anticipate responses and comments and head off a conversation about being humorless. But I don’t want to do those things. I’m too drained to do those things today. And I don’t think I need to do them.

It occurred to me this morning that some of the most troubling issues about the finale (and now the show in general) can be summed up simply by comparing where each of the six major characters was in terms of a personal story arc at the end of the penultimate episode and where they were at the end of the finale. A ridiculous amount changed between those two points in time, but that was the writers’ choice, so it’s fair game to compare the two.

himym-finale-hed-2014

PENULTIMATE EPISODE

Ted: Perhaps a little sadder, but moving off to be a grownup without his Lily- and Marshall-crutches; generally optimistic about the future.

Robin: Facing her issues with family and self in a relationship with a man who didn’t expect her to overcome them and who embraced (and mirrored!) her eccentricities.

Barney: Realizing that growing up isn’t the end of everything and that there can be sweetness in maturity, honesty, and openness.

Lily: Having a career opportunity as well as a second child, supported in her process of self-actualization by someone she loves.

Marshall: Making a sacrifice for the woman he loves, who is pregnant with his second child — but a sacrifice with a theoretical endpoint that won’t ruin his life, and he gets the wife and kids he wants to boot.

The Mother: Desired, waited for, and welcomed by every member of this ready-made family (including the audience!).

So there’s sadness here, and the difficulties of growing up, but real character development. And hope and opportunity for each and every one of the six.

Now take a look at the finale.

FINALE

Ted: Victorious as a man, landing the woman of his dreams without betraying bro code or being disloyal to The Mother. Cake had and eaten.

Robin: Yes, she has a career, but more importantly she’s realized that she really did want that traditional relationship after all, so thank goodness she gets it and is finally complete.

Barney: Dude got his balls back, amirite? Thank goodness. And then he got even BIGGER balls when he realized he was now responsible for the training and protection (read: shaming and indoctrination) of a little girl. Maturity AND he still gets to be a horndog! Cake had and eaten.

Lily: Pregnant. Do we know anything else about where she is? She appears fulfilled by being Marshall’s wife, the mother of his children, and… whatever else it is she’s doing that isn’t important enough to mention.

Marshall: Okay, he had to go through some years of emasculation, but now his wife is pregnant with his third manifestation of virility and his professional peers recognize his prowess. Cake had and eaten.

The Mother: Dead.

I’m just saying. Here we have three men and three women. In the first ending, all six have bittersweet but hopeful futures. In the second, there’s a pattern. And the worst part is, I seriously doubt the writers thought about any of this explicitly. The penultimate episode felt unfinished, to us and to them, because it’s not how we’re used to stories being finished — and that’s what would have made it great. The final episode wrapped it up nicely in the way sitcoms “should” wrap up — including the latent misogyny with which we’re so thoroughly comfortable — and that’s why I won’t be able to watch episodes in syndication.

It could have been legendary. Unfortunately, in its final minutes, HIMYM proved that it was completely forgettable.

The Shadow Box

Well, it’s done! And I think this thing is really cool! I don’t have that feeling all the time about my art projects, so this is nice.

We left off with a couple of layers of paint on the box and picture frame that I’d picked out to house my Dia de los Muertos miniatures from California.

20131107_234559

In that last picture I posted, you can just see one of the embellishments I bought from Etsy to see if it would work. It’s a cool paint-your-own skull with wings.

zoom

Once it arrived, it occurred to me that it would look really good if painted by a miniature master. Fortunately, I happen to be married to one of those. So I handed it over and he got out his teeny-tiny brushes and got started.

20131116_131718

20131117_233309

While he was working on that, I put several more layers of the metalic gold paint on the picture frame, and then a couple of layers of gold glitter paint.

20131109_001530

I lined the back only of the box with a sheet of glitter-covered foam from the dollar store. Then I started attaching some confetti spangles to the inside of the box, and to one of the smaller box lids, which I planned to use as a stage/step area to raise the figures up a little.

20131109_033015

But then I had a brainwave. I remembered a random tin heart I’d received as a freebie when I bought some fabulous earrings from a friend-of-a-friend, Artista Muerta (who has an Etsy shop if you’re interested!). I didn’t have any real plans for the tin heart but it was perfect for this project. So in it went, and I spangled the whole floor instead of the step. I was a little worried that the Mod Podge would flatten or dull the sparkly spangles, but it didn’t.

20131116_131655

The next step was to shimmy the box into the picture frame and stick them together so the box edge didn’t gap away from the frame. I used Loctite paste for this, because I have coordination problems that lead to unfortunate situations with liquid SuperGlue. If I had a nickle for every time I glued my fingers together… One time a few years ago I tried something rated for metal-on-metal adhesion and I was worried I was going to have to go to the hospital for a skin graft if I ever wanted to use my thumb in its opposable capacity again. No joke. So I learn these things about myself, and I work around them. As I said: adhesive paste. Also painter’s tape, so I didn’t have to stand there like an idiot for an hour.

20131117_183353

I gave Husband’s precious skull 24 full hours to dry (again, because I learn lessons, including the one when my stencils ran on the Little Free Library!) and then I gave it a serious bath in clear spray-on sealant. If I may digress for a minute, here is a picture of the pizza box after the sealant dried. I am in love with the way this looks and I feel another art project coming on!

20131119_092705

Once the sealant was dry, I attached the winged skull and ten jumbo-sized aluminum roses (also inspired by Artista Muerta’s jewelry and similar stuff I saw in LA), also using Loctite paste. It’s only been a day but so far that stuff seems pretty serious, as adhesives go. AND I have ten independently usable fingers today! I call that a win.

20131119_000919

So here it is, in all its glory:

20131119_000803 20131119_000753 20131119_000747

Untitled