Putting the Period in Period Drama

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I have been obsessed with period dramas recently. British period dramas (though that might be a bit redundant. Can something be a bit redundant? Hmm).

I have absolutely no idea why. I’m not a person with a shiny nostalgia for the days long past. I know well enough–mostly from watching period dramas, I guess–that not everyone was the lady in the fancy clothes imported from France. And even she had her constraints, not the least of which was her corset.

But still, there’s something about them, something about opening a television-sized window into the past, thinking about the day-to-day lives of people from a hundred years ago as people, not as hazy lines of paint in the works of the impressionists.

It’s a way of remembering that, all the way along, people have simply been people. They were not bustles or feather-and-ribbon-laden hats. They were not horse-drawn carriages or cobbled streets.

They were simply people. As are we.

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Instant Internet Troll Relief

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I’m still feeling less than inspired, so instead of writing something of substance, I thought I’d share a really fun video that will resonate with, well, anyone who’s spent time on the internet and encountered a troll or ten. Just a warning: like the trolls themselves, it contains strong/objectionable language. Enjoy!

A Universe of Inspiration and Not a Drop to Think

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I’m having one of those blogging days. You bloggers know what I mean, we all have them from time to time.

Though we have an entire universe at our fingertips, perhaps several universes or even an infinite number of them, we just have nothing to say about them. Think about that. Billions upon billions upon billions of stars, and even more billions of planets, and not a hint of inspiration.

Seems crazy, right?

Even here on our own planet, Earth, things are chugging along or not chugging along, people are taking up a whole day of their lives, and here I sit unable to form a whole thought about any of it.

I blame the weather.

Not because it’s particularly good or particularly bad, but because the weather seems to be a perfectly innocuous thing to blame for anything and everything. Just ask the airlines.

So no deep insight from me today. No shallow insight, for that matter. And I will pay attention to the world around me and hope it inspires me tomorrow.

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Time Travel with ‘London Hospital’

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I’ve started watching a British period show, “London Hospital.” Just a warning, if you’re squeamish, be prepared, there are some graphic bits about medical procedures.

Anyway, it’s set around 1906 in the great London Hospital (now the Royal London Hospital). It grabbed me because I adore the show “Call the Midwife,” and the London is a character there as well, serving the poor East End half a century later.

So there it stands, the stalwart hospital. Since 1740.

Imagine that. A hospital in service for nearly 275 years. There’s a new building now, of course, I looked it up, it’s a great big shiny expanse of glass and steel, clean, antiseptic.

But it’s still the same institution, in spirit. It’s incredible to see how brutal medicine looked just over a century ago, how mystifying and obstinate ailments morphed into things we easily tame today, like dehydration.

And I can’t help but think, in a hundred years from now, how brutal our medicine will look, how people will marvel at how easily they tame our most resistant problems. Science is a never-ending journey, and even we have a long, long way to go.

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Happy Memorial Day, Everyone!

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I’ll see you tomorrow.

Philosophy of Nail Polish

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So for a friend’s birthday a few weeks ago (hi friend! She’s a regular reader of this blog) we went to a spa, and I got a manicure. I haven’t had a manicure in I don’t know how long, given that the only thing I think about my nails is whether they’re starting to get to that annoying length where they get to the keys on the keyboard before my fingers.

I loved the painted nails. They were an opaque, pale green.

When I’d get them done before, I’d always stick to the light shades of pink, nothing too noticeable, something professional. And then it struck me that I didn’t have to do that anymore. I could pick any color and run.

After the polish chipped away, as it always does (I’m not really up for the no-chip manicure, given the removal process) I missed the color. So I went to one of my favorite spots on the planet, my neighborhood Walgreens, and picked some out. A different shade of green; a bright, light shade of blue. And I painted them myself.

I don’t think I have a future in nails.

But it showed me that I’ve been clinging to rules that no longer apply. And that’s it: when things change, so can you.

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Supporting Characters Are Like Blueberries

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Blueberries aren’t a star-of-the-show fruit. I’ve never liked them on their own. In muffins, yes. I love them in muffins, blueberry muffins are amazing. Blueberry pancakes, blueberry waffles, they’re all winners. And you can throw them into cereal, into oatmeal, or, my favorite, into yogurt, and they’re awesome.

But on their own?

Not so much. Raspberries can stand alone. So can blackberries, and strawberries, though I prefer them cut to whole. Don’t ask me why, but I think they taste better when they’ve been cut. I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation, even if that science is psychology.

But I’ve never been one to sit down to a bowl of blueberries. By themselves, I find them, well, bland. They enhance other things, but don’t really do much alone.

They’re kind of a supporting character of fruit. That’s not to say that supporting characters can’t have their own flavor, and that’s not to say that sometimes they don’t outshine your protagonist or your yogurt. But primarily, they aren’t meant to be the only thing in the bowl.

And that’s OK.

The characters surrounding your protagonist should still feel like whole people. There’s a big difference between blueberry powder and blueberries. But sometimes, even whole people, like whole fruits, are better when paired with something else.

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