Monday, September 26, 2011

Hand Of Hope

A picture began circulating in November. It should be "The Picture of the Year," or perhaps, "Picture of the Decade." It won't be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the U.S. paper which published it, you probably would never have seen it.

The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta. She knew of Dr. Bruner's remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr. Bruner completed the surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger. Dr. Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile.

The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, "Hand of Hope." The text explaining the picture begins, "The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life."

Little Samuel's mother said they "wept for days" when they saw the picture. She said, "The photo reminds us pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person" Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100 percent successful.

Now see the actual picture, and it is awesome... incredible... and hey, pass it on! The world needs to see this one.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Weekenders

[Click for high-res]

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dark Shadows

Barnabas Collins (Depp) — He was an 18th century gentleman, a businessman just before the Revolutionary War, who was transformed against his will into a vampire and buried in a tomb for two centuries. After he finally emerges, uncovered by construction workers in the year 1972, he seeks out his descendants — as well as some long-ago foes and a possible lost love.

“He’s been alive this whole time and very hungry, with no idea what’s going on outside,” says screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (author of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which Burton is producing as a film.)

Barnabas is one vampire who is just as frightened of our times as we are of him, says producer Richard D. Zanuck: “Two-hundred years later, he’s suddenly walking into the town he saw being built and seeing girls in skirts, cars for the first time. It’s a man-out-of-time, supernatural horror story, but I put ‘horror’ in quotes.”

Despite his confusion, he’s still a ladies man. “In some sense he can be a terrifying killer; on the other hand, women have a weakness for him and he has a weakness for women,” Grahame-Smith says. “He can be a very well-mannered, well-meaning vampire most of the time, until his stomach is empty or someone challenges his beloved Collins family.”

Here’s that family, from left to right:

Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter) – From Alice in Wonderland’s Red Queen, to the cannibalistic cook Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Burton can’t help but cast the mother of his children as a deranged person. This prim and proper psychiatrist, who has taken up residence with the Collins family to care for their troubled youngest boy, might seem to break that trend — but don’t bet on it. “Dr. Hoffman’s been there for years, working with David [the little boy in the photo] but not making any progress. He still claims he sees ghosts and talks with his dead mother,” Grahame-Smith says. “She’s crazy but brilliant. Obviously she’s an eccentric, and definitely likes a drink or two. She’s definitely a little bit off her rocker, and is a woman with a lot of secrets herself.” The writer teases: “She’ll also become interested in Barnabas in more than one way. “

Carolyn Stoddard (Chloë Moretz) — Though she played a voracious child vampire in the acclaimed (but little seen) Let Me In, Moretz is on the human side of the spectrum in Dark Shadows — though that doesn’t mean this cousin of young David Collins isn’t without her own peculiarities. “Carolyn is your typical early 1970s teenager,” Grahame-Smith says of the girl, the daughter of Michelle Pfeiffer’s character (seen on the far right). “She likes her music and likes her magazines, and does not like anyone in her family. She likes to keep her door closed and keep to herself. She’s pretty normal, but appearances can be deceiving. I wouldn’t say there is a normal person in this photo.”

Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) — The Bond girl from Casino Royale turns up here as the villain of the story. “Angelique is a witch who has known Barnabas since the 1700s, when they had an affair that went sour. She is the one who cursed him to be a vampire and locked him in that box,” Grahame-Smith says. “Since he has been away, Angelique has made it her life’s mission to destroy the Collins family. So when Barnabas turns up again after all these years, she’s not very happy to see him.”

David Collins (Gulliver McGrath) — Lonely, confused, and neglected by his pompous father (Jonny Lee Miller, over on the right next to Pfeiffer), David has no one to confide in except his bizarre psychiatrist — and the dead people he claims to see. Grahame-Smith describes him as “a sweet, curious, precocious little boy whose family has branded him as slightly crazy.” Then he finally gets a new caretaker to look after him …

Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote) — This young woman arrives to become David’s new governess, only to find herself swept up in the vampire-witch melodrama. “When Barnabas meets Victoria, he’s instantly reminded of the woman he lost in the 1700s, before he was cursed to be a vampire,” Grahame-Smith says. “I wouldn’t say he falls in love with her, but there’s an instant attraction, an instant connection.” Is she the reincarnation of his doomed lover Josette du Pres? “We get the sense at the beginning she has a secret past, and that’s unraveled as it goes on,” the screenwriter says.

Mrs. Johnson (Ray Shirley) — “Poor old Mrs. Johnson …” Grahame-Smith sighs when talk turns to the old woman seated in the back behind Depp. “She is the mostly blind, mostly deaf maid, who has been with them for decades and decades. You might find her polishing a piece of silverware with a slab of baloney because she thinks it’s a polishing cloth. I don’t think she actually says anything in the entire film. She’s just sort of there.” He laughs: “Adding her was Tim’s idea.”

Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley) — How awesome is it to play an actual Groundskeeper Willie? The Oscar-nominee for Little Children is a slightly more competent servant than Mrs. Johnson, but that’s not saying much. “He’s the guy who takes out the trash, mows the lawns, and fixes the cars, except he’s usually so drunk and so disinterested that he doesn’t take his job seriously anymore,” Grahame-Smith says. “The lawn is overgrown, the house has fallen into disrepair, and all the cars are on cinder blocks. His heart’s definitely not in the job anymore.”

Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller) — This scion of the once-great Collins family is one of the main reasons the aristocratic clan has fallen into such disgrace. “He’s a creepy, self-centered guy who likes to order Willie around, likes to pretend the family is still on top of his game,” Grahame-Smith says. Not only is he a bad father to David, but he is a poor manager of whatever meager wealth the family retains. “When Barnabas shows up and has some very specific ideas about how to make things right, he’s obviously going to bump heads with Roger Collins.”

Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) — The mother of Carolyn Stoddard, and mother-figure to David, she’s the one adult member of the Collins clan who is at least slightly competent. “Elizabeth is the rock of the family. She’s the matriarch,” Grahame-Smith says. “She’s the keeper of the Collins history, and a fierce protector of what remains of her family. She’s the one that insists on the best care for the children, even though money isn’t what it used to be. She’s a very strong woman who unfortunately has been dealt a very difficult deck.” With a witch perpetually trying to destroy her, and a long lost vampire relative turning up to reclaim control, “there’s just too much for her to handle,” Grahame-Smith says.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mr. A-Z

Years later, and I'm just as big a Jason Mraz fan as I was when I first heard his stunning lyrics and wonderful melodies nearly a decade ago.

I have to say, though I still hugely enjoy his later work, I do miss the slightly perverted, faster songs of his first few albums (Waiting For My Rocket To Come and Tonight, Not Again are my absolute favorites! However, I still thoroughly enjoy Mr. A-Z and We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.).

I can't wait for October! Marry me, Mraz!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Free Hugs

A couple of weeks ago, 2 of my very good girl friends and I couldn't stop discussing the perennial and continuous banality of our lives. We couldn't explain how exhausted we were of doing the same things over and over, like clockwork.

After tireless conversations regarding this topic, we concluded that we were far from being ungrateful, as it may seem that way to some, because we've led, and are still leading, very charmed lives. We just became wary of being cheered by the same things, as well as getting sad over the same ones.

When familiarity starts to breed contempt, you can't just rest on your laurels and continue talking about how ennui has taken over.

You need to do something interesting.

You need to become a better person.

You need to pay it forward.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

No means no.

"No" means no.
"Not now" means no.
"I'd rather be alone" means no.
"No thanks" means no.
"I have a boy/girlfriend" means no.
"Maybe later" means no.
"Let's just go to sleep" means no.
"Uhhh..." means no.
"It hurts" means no.
"Fuck you" means no. ("Fuck me" means yes)
"I'm not in the mood" means no.
"You're not my type" means no.
Silence means no.
Staying still means no.
"I really like you, but..." means no.
"You're/ I'm drunk" means no.
Not kissing back means no.
"I'm not sure" means no.
"You've/ I've been drinking" means no.
"Stop" means no.
"Don't touch me" means no.
"Fuck off" means no.

Gentlemen, please be guided accordingly. I'm so sick of guys who think that "no" means "yes" and "yes" means "harder".

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sensitive Topic

Welcome to the age of uninnocence. No one has breakfast at Tiffany's and no one has affairs to remember. Instead we have breakfast at 7 am and affairs we try to forget as soon as possible.- Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

In a generation whose media portrays pre-marital sex as something so innocuous and normal, the ratio for virgins stand 1:10. There's one virgin amidst a sea of ten very happy, completely chill, sexually active, consenting adults. Looking at it that way, sex doesn't seem like such a big deal. Those one out of ten high-strung adults are as rare a breed as unicorns. Some will think they're prudish, old school -- well, more old testament than old school, and religious zealots, and some will think it's pretty darn great that they decided to wait.

The waiting isn't the problem. What poses a bigger question is what exactly you're waiting for. Some of the more religious girls will say it's a gift they want to bestow to their future husbands. These girls were probably the really sweet, really meek ones who grew up to actually marry Prince Charming. Congratulations. You hit the jackpot. Then again, on the other side of the non-sexually active spectrum, you have the people like me. We're the ones who don't know exactly what we're waiting for. In a world where sex is just as normal as riding a bicycle, is there something wrong with us?

There must be something said for delayed and prolonged gratification. However, there are no guarantees that the first time for us waiting-for-the-right-person/moment can be less painful, or easier to face than those awkward, gangly, teenagers doing it for the first time. It's just as scary for us twenty-somethings. I would even go so far as to say that it might just be harder.

For example:

How do you pick who you want to lose your virginity to? Let's get real. There's a bigger chance of Bozo the Clown falling in love with the Grim Reaper than you marrying the person you lose your virginity to. If you lose your virginity to them AFTER marrying them, that's a different story. But come on, will you even get to that point without sex at this day and age?

Second, how do you NOT suck at it? There's nothing more embarrassing than being such a huge disappointment to whoever you're fooling around with. Especially once you've joined the age of the majority. Being sexually naive is cute in theory, but I'm sure it's more of a hassle than anything else.

Third, should you kiss your dreams of making love after a romantic evening, dim lights, mood music, and scented candles goodbye? Is there less effort put in to sex as you grow older? Will sex be an expectation to and of the dating singleton? If so, at which date is it considered appropriate for you to invite said date inside your place?

Fourth, Should you give in to society's pressure as well as your body's natural inclination to joining with another person's, what is the after sex protocol? Is it a wham, bam, thank you, maam? Do you just get up, get dressed, thank them and leave? Do you have permission to use their shower first? Is naked cuddling under the sheets expected? Do you spoon? Do you spend the night in their arms? And following the latter, if you do happen to spend an all-nighter at someone else's place, how do you deal with the morning after? Can you help yourself to the food in their kitchen? Or coffee, at the least? Do you wear his shirt or fit your body back into that skin-tight, alcohol stained, cigarette smelling dress of yours from the night before? Do you just leave? Do you leave a note? Do you wake them up? What do you say to them if they wake up just as you're dressing up? Should you expect a call from them? Will they expect a call from you? The questions are endless, and after years of existence, you'd think that someone would just finally write a tell-all, dating how-to book and save us the time, pain, and pressure of having to navigate the dangerous waters of dating.

Fifth, is it better to just get sex out of the way as early as possible? If I could transport myself back to a younger age, one where I was a reckless teenager and it was permitted, because I was, well, a teenager, and the opportunity presented itself, should I have just given in then to avoid all of the confusing and conflicting emotions it carries in the future? And if just getting sex out of the way makes things easier, should I just literally ask a friend to take my virginity away before having fun, uncomplicated sex with a significant other thereby lessening the pain they will ultimately inflict upon me when our sham of a relationship falls to pieces? Is it better to be able to say "hey, at least I didn't give that prick the benefit of being my first!"?

And to cap it all off, will sex change me as a person? Sure, changes will undoubtedly be brought about... but losing your virginity for the first time is a big deal. And sex, in general, is a big deal. I want it to stay that way. I never want to be desensitized from that... but once I realize that no big change actually happened, the world didn't end, the ground didn't shake, mountains stayed where they are, the sky is still blue, will sex mean less and less as you get it more and more?

Let's not date.

"Why You Are Wrong For Me"

Sep. 13, 2011

There are so many reasons why you are right for me. Look! I even made them into a neat list so they’re clear to you:

- We’re enjoying getting to know each other
- We make each other laugh
- We have many similar personality traits
- We are honest with each other
- We see eye-to-eye on many important issues
- We are good at communicating with one another
- We feel comfortable together
- We’re attracted to each other (well I’m at least attracted to you, and I’m guessing you are to me because sometimes you look at me funny)
- We look really cute together
- I get really excited when it’s time to go see you
- It just sort of feels right and natural to be in each other’s company

See! Lots of reasons why you’re right for me, based on what I’m looking for in a partner (and what I assume you, too, are looking for, because we’re so similar in many ways), and these are only the wingtip of the lovebird—I could go on but I don’t want to bore you. And because I don’t think I want to try and convince you that you’re not seeing what’s dancing around in front of your nose throwing glitter and puppy dogs at you yet going completely unnoticed. I shouldn’t have to convince you.

Because, listen, despite all the reasons you’re right for me, there’s one huge, pus-filled blemish that trumps all the other bullet points—you’re not interested in me. Whether you like me or not is irrelevant. You can like me until the cows come home but that’s not going to change the fact that your interest level is humming gently at zero and you’ve got your stupid fat foot on the break (not bitter, promise; your foot is just stupid and fat and that’s not my fault).

So you are wrong for me. You are wrong for me because your mouth doesn’t instinctively melt into mine. You are wrong for me because you’re baulking, and I don’t even really care why anymore, just that you are. You are wrong for me because you can see a way to be without me. And when I think about all the things I’m looking for in a partner, all the other bullet points blur into insignificance if you’re not interested in me.

I thought I was done with romance after all the failed ones, but it turns out I’m not yet ready for the cynical, arms-length relationships I’ve been having. I’m not actually all that broken, believe it or not. Wait, no… Yep, I’m still completely functional. And I want someone to want me like Ryan wanted Marissa. I want you to look at me, to speak to me, to be intrigued by me and to decide, quite simply, “Her.”

You’re wrong for me, and I’m OK with that. I don’t want to be with someone who is wrong for me. Welcome to NYC, bitch—there’s all types of wrong for me out here. And besides, if you were right for me we’d already be together, because that’s what happens when people are right for each other.



"The Things You Can Expect When I Fall In Love With You"

Sept. 8, 2011

You can expect to be surrounded by lots of music. I’ll gift you with a lot of mixed “tapes”, which I’ll spend too much time on (“Which Smiths song should I include? Can I put this Stone Roses jam on here or is it too obviously romantic? I don’t want him to think that I’m sending him messages via a song!”) These mixed tapes are important to me because they create something tangible. If we ever break up, I can put the tapes in a shoebox to remind myself that this love occurred.

You can expect to be taken to lots of dinners and movies. On the surface, I abhor traditional dates but deep down, I love something as simple as Dinner And A Movie. I’m not about to go parasailing on the third date, okay? You can’t see me sweat and do something physical until at least the 8th date.

You can expect a lot of apologizes from me for nothing at all. It’s a nervous tic—apologizing profusely for things that don’t matter and I hate that I do it. I actually want to tell you, “Sorry cause I’M NOT SORRY. I’m only apologizing as some sort of self-loathing exercise.” If you think I’m genuinely apologetic for accidentally taking a sip from your water, you are just as delusional as I am—in which case, we should definitely get married!

You can expect spending a lot of days in bed and ignoring people’s phone calls. I’m really into going off the grid and getting high on each other for nine hours. Has anyone noticed that when you spend all day in bed with a lover, it feels like a drug binge? You’re just addicted to touching their body and you feel like time is standing still. Before you know it, the day is gone and all you’ve accomplished is each other. You spent the day laying in bed naked watching people go by on the street who weren’t in love and doing errands and “making the most of their day”. You’re glad you aren’t them. You’re glad to do nothing.

You can expect a lot of sass, a lot of me pushing you away to see if you’ll come back. I love someone who can push back. It makes me believe that you’re strong and powerful and can do something like build a fire just by conjuring heat with your body. It makes me think that you can do great things and not take anyone’s crap and stick by me even when I’m being a total asshole. We all have habits in relationships that we don’t like and wish we could change. Some are negotiable and some stick like glue. This stuff falls in the latter category.

You can expect a lot of love from me, which is a hard thing to get. But once it’s in your possession, it’s done. Over. I’m screwed. Not today and not tomorrow but someday when it all falls apart. You will have the most intense power over me. You can make me laugh, cry, scream, dance, throw things, whimper etc. It’s like my emotions are a puppet and you’re pulling a string. You know this, I know this, but no one talks about it. No one talks about the awful things someone you love can do to you.

I’m not being defeatist or meaning to paint a bleak picture of relationships. I guess I’m just constantly drawn to the two extremes—how “I love you and want to protect you” can one day turn into “I want to destroy you.” This isn’t always how it works though. Sometimes relationships just naturally fade away. No one is destroyed and the damage is light. And sometimes relationships never end and you marry someone and grow old together and watch each other die. You feel content in knowing that you built your life with someone else. At 25, I can’t fathom that type of love but I want it. Just like you do.

I’m referring here to the relationships that can wreck you. You can expect these things when I fall in love you but what can you expect when we fall out of love?


2011 Fall TV Schedule

It's no secret that I enjoy the uncomplicated bliss of sitting in front of a screen, watching my favorite shows. I don't enjoy so much the anticipation of waiting for what happens next (Lord knows I don't so mind hate spoilers, so much as crave for them), it's more of the time-consuming rapture and peek into someone else's life. It's more than just bearing witness, it's like living all the lives you want to live at the comfort of your own home.

With that said, I bring to you the Fall TV schedule of my favorite shows! This also stands as my download guide. Haha!

How I Met Your Mother - Sept. 19
*2 Broke Girls - Sept. 19
Gossip Girl - Sept. 26
*Hart Of Dixie - Sept. 26

90210 - Sept. 20
Glee - Sept. 20
*New Girl - Sept. 6

Modern Family - Sept. 21
Happy Endings - Sept. 28
America's Next Top Model - Sept. 14
*Up All Night - Sept. 14
*Free Agents - Sept. 14

The Big Bang Theory - Sept. 22
*Person Of Interest - Sept. 22
Community - Sept. 22

Nikita - Sept. 23
Chuck - Oct. 21

The Walking Dead - Oct. 16

2012 returns: The Borgias, Game Of Thrones, True Blood, Pretty Little Liars (January 3, but with a special Halloween episode on Oct.)

[NOTE: Those with * are new shows.]
[Photo SOURCE.]

Thursday, September 1, 2011

OTP: Annie and Jeff

Fans and shippers alike... unite! One of the most well-made fanvids.

The War Is Done.

We protected the stone, we opened the chamber, we freed the prisoner, we were chosen by the goblet, we fought along side the order, we learned from the prince, we mastered the hallows, and we fought our war.

The war is won.

Fan vids like these... make me so happy.

Marathon List

The past few weeks have left me wanting to hibernate and just curl up with my usual company of books, tv shows and movies, foregoing social interaction. While this says nothing of my friends, it says something about me and my love for solitary confinement. A lack of well-written prose aside, I plan to keep you all updated on the going-ons of my life and since, as mentioned above, I plan to hole up with fiction, let me just enumerate what's going to occupy my time these days (with the exception of work, of course.)

Television shows: (Catch-up, re-watch, begin...)

Despite its candy colors and sweet romance, this inventive dramedy never veers into saccharine territory. Lee Pace (MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY) stars as Ned, a piemaker with a very special gift: he can bring dead things--from his dog Digby to rotting fruit to people--back to life with a simple touch. But the second he touches them again, they return to their previous state. If he doesn't, something else meets a dire fate. He uses his ability to solve murders and collect the reward with his business partner, a private detective named Emerson Cod (Chi McBride, BOSTON PUBLIC). But when he begins to look into the death of his childhood friend and lost love Charlotte "Chuck" Charles (Anna Friel), Ned can't allow her to remain among the dearly departed. Since Ned and Chuck can never touch, PUSHING DAISIES presents a fascinating, romantic courtship, but it's perfectly countered by the sour humor of Emerson and the jealousy of witty waitress Olive Snook (Kristin Chenowith). Like Tim Burton meets AMELIE, this series arrives from Bryan Fuller, the creator of cult favorite series DEAD LIKE ME and WONDERFALLS. This release includes all nine episodes of the fantasy show's first season. (Plot from Rotten Tomatoes.)

Ever since FRIENDS went off the air, it seems like every new TV sitcom about friendship that ever came out was called as "the next FRIENDS". None came close to being one.

Seven years since, and I've once again come across a new show that's being billed as "the next FRIENDS". It never gets old, I guess.

Happy Endings is about an ex-couple and four of their friends. The premise is about dealing with being friends with your ex and the series stars Elisha Cuthbert (who everyone loved to hate on 24). The show is created by David Caspe. I checked the guy's credentials on IMDb and this is his very first TV series.

I'm a bit excited for this one, if only because most critics say it does fare well and may in fact be the FRIENDS of this decade.

I also like the fact that the girls on the cast are two of the better young female comedians I've seen in a while -- Eliza Coupe, who was on Scrubs and Casey Wilson, who appeared on Saturday Night Live. (Review from HERE.)

From Reveille and NBC Universal Television Studio comes a documentary-style look into the humorous and sometimes poignant foolishness that plagues the world of 9-to-5 in the half-hour comedy "The Office," based on the award-winning BBC hit. A fly-on-the-wall docu-reality parody about modern American office life, "The Office" delves into the lives of the workers at Dunder Mifflin paper supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Regional manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell, "The Daily Show," "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "Bruce Almighty") is a single, middle-aged man who is the boastful tour guide for the documentary. With unshaken enthusiasm, Michael believes he is the office funnyman, a fountain of business wisdom and his employees' cool friend. He has no clue that his employees tolerate his inappropriate behavior only because he signs their paychecks. Painstakingly trying to be liked and look cool, Michael comes off alternately absurd and pathetic. His prize possession is his "World's Greatest Boss" mug -- which he had to buy for himself. Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer, "Miss Match") is the reasonable and friendly office receptionist who bears the brunt of Michael's routines. The bright spots in Pam's day are her conversations with Jim Halpert (John Krasinski, "Kinsey"), a likable sales rep with a good sense of humor who should have found a better job years ago, but is too comfortable with his office mates and routine to leave. Jim shares his working space with Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson, "Six Feet Under"), the arrogant assistant to the regional manager. Dwight is intensely irritating to normal people and Jim spends a lot of time finding new, interesting ways to drive Dwight crazy. Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak, "Punk'd") is a young, smart, self-possessed temp, who quickly figures out the real office politics despite Michael's attempts to instill the official point-of-view. "The Office" is executive-produced by Ben Silverman, Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Howard Klein. (Review from Rotten Tomatoes.)

Modern Family is an American family comedy series that airs on ABC. It is created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan. The mockumentary follows the families of Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill), his daughter Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen), and his son Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), who all live in Los Angeles. Claire is a homemaker mom married to Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell). They have three children: Haley (Sarah Hyland), Alex (Ariel Winter) and Luke (Nolan Gould). Jay is married to a much younger Colombian woman, Gloria (Sofía Vergara), and is helping her raise her pre-teen son, Manny (Rico Rodriguez II). Mitchell and his partner Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet) have adopted a Vietnamese baby, Lily. (Blurb from Wikipedia.)


Being a Greek god is not all it once was. Yes, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse-and none too happy about it. And they've had to get day jobs: Artemis as a dog-walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, Dionysus as a DJ.

Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees—a favorite pastime of Apollo's—is sapping their vital reserves of strength.

Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed-but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?

"With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit - and the twisted motive for the attack. But her attention is divided. Though she can't 'read' vampires, Sookie knows her lover Eric Northman and his 'child' Pam well - and she realises that they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -which is much more complicated than she knows. Caught up in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human - and that there is a new Queen on the board . . . "