Saturday, June 07, 2008

100th Window

That is not how many windows I’ve restored in this house. Although, when I get to that job, that is how many there will seem to be, I’m sure. No, that is the title of the CD I listened at least 3 times today while I stripped the last of the beadboard in the butler’s pantry. I’ve listened to all or part of this CD every single day for the last 4 months. I have it in the car and in the house and I am absolutely addicted to it.

The group is Massive Attack. If you’re not familiar with their music you may have heard them if you’ve every watched the show House. I personally can’t stand the show, which may not be all that accurate, because I’ve never really watched more than 10 minutes of it. I’m not sure if they even still do, but a few years back when it first came on I tried to watch it because they used the Massive Attack song Teardrop during the opening. I made it 10 minutes in and never turned it on again.

The boards are for the butler's pantry, but I’m stripping the last of them on the floor in the dining room. This is the most time I’ve spent in this part of the house in a long time. Several years ago, in my pre-blogging days, it almost seemed as if I lived in the dining room. I spent more than 3 months stripping all of the paint off the burl and curly redwood dado that extends 3 or 4 feet up the wall all the way around the room. I was only working a few days a week back then. If I did that job now it would take more than 6 months to complete.

Work came to an abrupt halt every Saturday for 2 hours while Buffy The Vampire Slayer came on. I never had full cable, so I missed the first 3 or 4 seasons of the show. Then, the local Fox affiliate picked it up and started showing all of the first seasons in order. The odd thing was though, they would show two seasons at the same time. The first hour would be season one and then the second hour would be season two. After they ran through those they then started in on season three and four. This continued through all of the past seasons.

At the same time they were also showing the current season at something like 7:00 PM on Saturday’s. So every Saturday I watch 3 full hours of Buffy The Vampire Slayer from 3 different seasons. I was so in to the show, I had no problem following the plot lines of three separate seasons at the same time. The current season also aired at Midnight on Wednesday. I always recorded it just incase I couldn’t catch the 7:00 showing of the same episode on Saturday. When they aired the series finale, I set may alarm for midnight and got up and watched as it aired. Of course, I watched it again on Saturday.

I wasn’t really a big fan of Sarah Michelle Gellar (a.k.a. Buffy) before I started watching the show. The show got a lot of press, but I had never seen it. I really only knew her from a cosmetic commercial she was doing at the time. I thought she was reasonably cute, but wasn’t sure what all of the fuss was about. After I started watching show I saw her in a whole new light. Her character was troubled and flawed and had the weight of the world on her shoulders. Even I could relate.

Recently, the show and Sarah Michelle Gellar keep popping up, and I’m back in the dining room where I watched 7 seasons of Buffy while sitting on the floor amid piles of paint chips. Two weeks ago there was a commentary on NPR by a female reporter in Iraq. She talked about how she became hooked on the show while she was stationed in Iraq. She couldn’t really do much at night, because of the violence, so she bought the DVD collection of the show and watched start to finish. She talked about how she saw parallels between her and Buffy.

A few nights ago I rented a movie called Air I Breath staring Forest Whitaker, Andy Garcia, Kevin Bacon, Brendan Fraser, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. I’m not going to say it was a great movie, but I enjoyed it. It was nice to see Sarah Michelle Gellar on the screen again.

Then this morning I read in the paper about a three-day academic conference at Henderson State University in Arkansas. The focus of the conference will be Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The article said more than 90 academic papers about the series will be discussed at the conference. I would love to go. I've never been star struck before, but I love Sarah Michelle Gellar. I want to marry her, but alas, its not to be. I’m stuck here stripping paint and she is off in movie land some place, no doubt married in real life. Maybe even with a few kids by now. I may need to go out and buy the DVD collection of the series just to get my fix, though. I’ll watch it properly this time. Start to finish, in order.


Anonymous said...

LOL, I came to houseblogs to read about home renovations and ended up reading about SMG. My husband has always been a huge SMG fan and we own all of the Buffy shows. But lately he's been disappointed in her movie roles. We rented a crappy chick flick called Suburban Girl that she was in and it stunk...a lot. Plus, now she's all boney and model skinny now whereas when she was in Buffy she was well buff. Anyway, felt I couldn't pass up this SMG post. : ) Oh, and yes she is married. To that Freddie Prince Jr. dork.

Anonymous said...

Crap. I forgot that she recently changed her name to Sarah Michelle Prinze for their fifth wedding anniversary. Oh, and it's Prinze not Prince.

Greg said...

"Oh, and yes she is married. To that Freddie Prince Jr. dork"


Yea, she started getting thin in the last few seasons of Buffy. She has put a little of the weight back on and looked pretty good in the movie I saw her in last week, the one I mentioned. I didn't bother with The Grundge (sp?) movies she did. Its not my style. I liked "Air I Breath". It had a nice paradox in it and the plot kept me involved. Not a great movie, but a good movie. I thought she was good in it.

John said...

I had similar experience with Buffy. I had no interest in the show while it was on the air. I friend on mine was nuts about it. Then my wife asked me to rent season one for her. I watched the first three or four episodes under protest, but then I was hooked.

As for the conference, I think those rove all over the country from year to year. Give them a year or two and I'm sure they'll head out west somewhere. Besides, it's already getting pretty summer like in Arkansas.

Anonymous said...

Greg that's the same reaction my husband had. : ) We actually have the "Air I Breath" movie coming through Netflix soon so that's good to hear. We got hooked on Buffy reruns too. But now that we have cable we're on to Battlestar Galatica. I never used to watch Sci-Fi before but both of those series are really good. Maybe they'll start rerunning Battlestar Galatica so you can get hooked too.

Anonymous said...

Yay, you like Massive Attack and Buffy the VS. Too bad Massive Attack was never on the show. I loved the episode with Cibo Matto.

I have a Sarah Michelle Geller story. My husband and I were at a show where Tom Waites was playing and we noticed that Sarah and Alyson Hannigan (Willow) and Seth Green (Oz) were seated in the row in front of us over about 5 seats.

My husband went chatted with them (I was too shy) and they were very nice. Then about half way into the show Sarah came over and handed us her backstage passes because they had decided to leave early.

So she is not only talented but also way cool forever to me and my husband! I was so excited to get to meet Tom Waites because I am a huge fan and had waited for years to be able to finally see him play and we got free sushi and booze as well so it really added to the evening.

Greg said...


I remember that episode with Cibo Matto. I had recently discovered them and had bought their first two CDs. Then a 6 months later they popped up on BVS. Did you know that is John Lennon's son that plays bass for Cibo Matto?

And an actual brush with greatness. Neat! Can I tell people I know you?


She can change her name all she wants, she will always be SMG to me. {Be still my heart}

SmilingJudy said...

Greg, since you like Massive Attack so much and you will be working on the dining room/butler's pantry for a while, mix it up a bit.

Some suggestions (artist and a representative track):

Everything But The Girl - "Single"
The Bird and The Bee - "Man"
Air - "0"
Airlock - "Quiet Hour"
Mandalay - "Flowers Bloom"
Nitin Sawhney - "Spark"
Tricky - "Christiansands"

That should get you started.

Greg said...

I must admit, most of those I've never heard of. Tricky gets regular play here, and Everything But The Girl did at one time. I have Idelwild, which was released in 1988! Man, I'm getting old. The rest are new to me, but seem like they would be worth checking out, given the company they are in.

Katherine said...

I was living in France when Buffydom launched in the US. Then I started to see these DVDs for this weird Goth blond called Buffy, Tueuse des vampires! and I thought to myself, what is my country coming to? (Had a similar experience when I was living in Holland in the early nineties and saw this show called Baywatch, which I was convinced was produced only for the expat public).

I didn't discover Buffy until one night in episode five, when they were doing the double show with Angel (the one where you find out how Spike becomes a vampire). I was grading papers at work. We had cable tv at work--this was a rich, private school. I was just stunned by it. The conflict between good and evil with a love dynamic between good and evil (Spike and Buffy). I said something like, "It's Racinienne tragedy! It's Aristotelian! I have to use this in class!). Then I went to a conference and discovered that about half of the lit professors were watching Buffy.

But I was hooked anyway. (The lit professors watched the XFiles more than Buffy, and I have yet to get into that, OR Alice Cooper).

I was hooked because of Spike. I had a terrible good/evil fascination back in the 80s with Billy Idol in the White Wedding video, also with David Bowie. There was Spike, taking me back to my eighties youth. And he was MY age!

Then it was the choreography of the action scenes. They were so technically precise in season 5. It was just spectacular to watch.

When I was teaching graduate school the next year, I had a grad seminar and undergrad class on Wednesdays, but Buffy was on Tuesdays. The only thing that got me motivated to finish the prep for the Wed. night seminar was that I wasn't about to miss Buffy.

Same with the next year. When my parents taped for me "Viewers Choice" series that they did on FX--and it took about two times of watching this to fork out the money for the dvd's. I have watched them so many times I need to buy new ones.

What I love about them now are the scripts. Most of the time, a good show comes down to how smart the script is.

And I also like all of the hidden 80s references. Sometimes I am not sure that Joss Whedon et. alia. were really aware that their intended audience (junior high in 1997?) was just not "up" with some of the 80s references. In some ways, Whedon et. al. did absolutely no research on the current generation but relied on their own pop cultural milieu. But for a child of the seventies and eighties, the stuff is great!

Finally, there is the French sub-text. I have never quite gotten around to writing Joss Whedon and asking him what was up with having his characters sometimes speak in literate French to English translation. And the French jokes. The letter just goes,

Dear Joss Whedon:
What's with all the French in Buffy?
Katherine etc etc

On official school letterhead.

I halfway think that he would respond.

Sometime when youtube came out I got a temporary crush on Sarah. There are something like five thousand hours of vids on her. But that disappeared when I saw her featured on a Harrods marketing event. All I could think was, "three years have passed, and it's still all about Buffy? So what have you done lately?" Sarah is a competent actress and a 'hard worker', but that is all I will give her. You watch her in a number of movies, and then you realize that it's always the same person. Even Julia Roberts can do better than that (well, can do the same). Cripes, I hate that dude in National Treasure, but he is a better actor than Sarah. I think she wants a name change to dissassociate with Buffy.

Anyway, the DVDs are good for probably four complete watchings a year.

If you think Sarah is sexy, then you need to see Cruel Intentions.

Greg said...

Ok, that's it, I'm ordering the DVD collection.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the Angel DVDs! Sarah appears in a couple of those episodes and the show was really good overall. The puppet episode is a must watch. Hilarious.

Nora Hutchinson Johnson said...

Okay, you'll probably hate me for this, but if you want a real time-drain, you can watch seasons 1-7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer streaming online here:

Also, thanks for leaving the note on our blog, because it led me to your fantastic restoration project! I look forward to following along.
-Sarah (Howard Hall Farm)

Greg said...

Oh, this is perfect! Yet more ways to waste time on-line and in front of the TV!

Thanks guys!