Did The Walking Dead Jump the Shark?

Like most of America – hell the world – I waited with bated breath for the reveal of who is “IT” in Negan’s sick game of “Eeenie, Meenie, Minne, Moe.” I am a spoiler follower, so I knew the characters who were not victims based on sightings of them during filming. I had narrowed it down to two possible victims, Abraham and Glenn, but when reported sightings of Steven Yuen on set began to trickle in, I figured he was safe and being hidden from public view.

But then the rumors.

Two victims, the rumors said. And renowned spoiler sites began confirming these rumors as facts. And even leaked photos of both victims the day of the airing entered my mailbox. But still I wouldn’t believe it.

Two victims make no sense.

The Lucille moment is such a pivotal one in the comic book. Not only does it highlight the end of a beloved original character, it introduces the horror of a new villain and marks the first time Rick is truly broken. His hubris is revealed and causes his fall. This is possible because of Glenn’s death, someone who saved his life, someone who has been with him since the beginning, someone who was the heart and soul of the group.

Not to diminish the television Abraham, but he was never the “right hand man” that his comic counterpart became. He was at times comic relief, the voice of the obvious, and at times almost cartoonish. He was beloved, yes, but not in the way the comic Glenn nor the TV Glenn was.

Abraham’s death by Lucille could have still been a pivotal moment, but instead of that iconic scene getting the respect it deserved, and the character getting the emotional response he deserved, it was completely diminished by the almost immediate and surprise death of Glenn, once again by Lucille. Two victims, one on top of the other, lessened the impact of the first death, the moment we viewers have been waiting months to see. Abraham’s last stand and heroic facing his end was forgotten within moments and overshadowed by an even more emotional death, a death that every comic book fan had been waiting for and yet dreading at the same time. Even the cast reactions to the second death was more profound than Abraham’s. In essence, Abraham’s death became minimized.

It appeared to me that Abraham became IT as a “placeholder” or a red herring to distract and deceive the audience until the “real” death occurs. Once Negan fell on Abraham, the audience assumed Glenn was safe. All that foreshadowing of him with bats, his viewing the photos of Negan’s victims on the wall, and his cheating death under a dumpster (WTF was that all about in hindsight?) were all just teases. Glenn survived. His TV character has taken a different route. He would live to see his baby born.

Then, just as the horror of Abraham’s death starts to set in, just as we are about to mourn him and process how he accepted his fate, the story strays from the comic story line. Instead of the obedience such a head bashing would inspire, we were witness to an inexplicable moment of defiance on the part of Daryl who attacks Negan for taunting Rosita. Where the hell did that come from? Daryl tends to fly off the handle, but given what just happened I would think some thoughts of “oh shit, he just bashed my friend’s skull in. Perhaps if one of us acts up, he’ll do it again” might just pop up. Nope. Daryl goes suicide squad on Negan, but instead of getting the bat or even a crossbow himself, Negan turns on Glenn, giving him his comic book end frame by frame except it’s in response to a Daryl outburst.

I’m a firm believe that Glenn deserved that iconic death. The impact of it brought Rick into complete submission in the comic book and is one of the most famous scenes in the series. The producers have teased us about it for two seasons, foreshadowing what could be his eventual end. But somehow, having it follow another death, having it not be as random, and having it be a result of Daryl’s defiance didn’t sit well with me. If Glenn was going to get his big moment, he should have gotten it all to himself, not at the tail end of a “fooled ya!” moment.

Likewise, if the producers saw fit to give Abraham that scene, then he too should have had the scene all to himself so that the impact of it could set in. Instead, his death was diluted and nearly forgotten after the “real” victim Glenn was killed.

The fact that the producers did this bait and switch after already making us wait half a year for the death reveal is unsettling and some would say was a jump the shark. They went for shock value and tricking the audience rather than for full impact. This is the first time I’ve seen the producers switch out quality for “gotcha.” I gave them a pass on the cliffhanger gag figuring the payoff would be worth the wait, but it wasn’t. They tricked us not once, but twice. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice…..

If the producers really wanted two victims, really wanted to make each death mean something, and really wanted to trick the audience into thinking Glenn was safe just to pull the rug out from under them, then they should have done what Dashiell Driscoll recommended in his article on the finale: “You know what would’ve been awesome and unexpected and perfect? If season six ended the way it should’ve, with us seeing Abraham die sans dumb cliffhanger, and then season seven opened with Glenn’s death. It would’ve been really shocking!” That to me would have saved us all a lot of headache. It would have also provided us with time to mourn Abe properly, to digest the depravity of Negan and the situation Rick found himself in, and still could have given us the shock of Glenn’s death on the return of the season. Each death would be a moment instead of both deaths being rammed into 10 minutes.

That all being said, the deaths themselves were well done. The gore, although criticized by some, was necessary to unsettle the audience and highlight that this villain is like none that Rick has ever seen before. It’s not so much the presentation of the episode that upset me, but the structure of the episode and the intent of the producers to trick the viewers. When a series goes for “shock” rather than awe, that usually gets the label of “jump the shark.” Of course, a shark is only jumped if the series suffers in ratings after the stunt is pulled, so time will tell if people will look back at those two deaths as the beginning of the end of a truly great series.

 

 

 

 

 

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To Die Young

To die young

Means

To be forever youthful

Never aging

Always viral

Always beautiful

No wrinkling skin

Or whitening hair.

Always lush

Always full.

*

To die young

Means

To be always full of promise

No failures

No disappointments

Always possibilities

*

To die young

Means

To die pure

Untouched by a world that jades

And tarnishes the soul

Unworn by time

Always wise

Always bright

Always fresh.

*

To die young

Means

To be locked in time

A freeze-frame of a moment

On a journey

A picture of someone in movement

A chapter at the climax of a story

Forever captured in memory

*

Monroe, Dean, Morrison

Winehouse, Phoenix, Ledger

Cobain, Lee, Holly

Always beautiful

Always full of promise

Always frozen in time.

*

To die young

Means

To be taken ripe

Like a flower in full bloom

Plucked at its peak

To be shared

And enjoyed

Before time ages it

And sucks it dry and brittle.

*

To die young

Means

To be mercifully freed

From a world of pain

Anger

Hate

And disappointment.

To be ushered into the undiscovered country

Of pure peace

To become one with the light

And know full enlightenment

To be one with the world

Nature

And the Universe

To transcend time and space

And be a being of true energy.

Honors saved for the elders

And the shaman

And wise crones

Given to one

Who died young.

*

To die young

Means

To be remembered by the many who remain

And to never grow old.

To die young is to be forever

Immortal

Pure

Beautiful

Untouched

Timeless

Boundless

and

Infinite.

 

-Michael, June 6, 1978-Septmember 20, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

“A Tale of Two Parties”

I don’t like to write political articles because to me, political beliefs are like religious beliefs – neither is right, neither is wrong, and both are based on faith and perspective. However, when the democratic process is being undermined, I feel the inspiration to speak.

 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a time of great chaos, yet a time of great unity. It was a time of revolution yet a time of complacency. It was a time when voices spoke out, yet a time when voices were silenced. It was a time of the extreme right, and a time of the extreme left.

It was a time in which people had enough, and a time in which the outsiders were in.

It was the 2016 election.

When people write the tale of the 2016 election, I hope they will look past the mainstream headlines, look past the ” businessman wins nomination” or “socialist challenges a Clinton,” look past the bombastic language, the political correctness v incorrectness, look past all the sensationalism and see it for what it was –

A time when the democratic process was challenged.

Putting political ideology aside, the voters made one concern very clear as they took to the polls in the primaries: they had enough with political machines and insiders. Democrats and Republicans alike rejected the anticipated match up between a Clinton and a Bush, two political monarchs that epitomize the political machine they were fighting against. The Cruzes, Rubios, and Chrysties were rejected and showed poorly in polling and in delegates. Instead, two men who spoke their truths, two men who ignited the crowds with plain talk and “radical” ideas, took center stage and challenged the status quo. Both men were mocked, told they “would never be considered a serious candidate,” and both were expected to drop out after Ohio. Yet both have been credited with a movement that spoke to the angst of the America voter.

But how each party handled these usurpers to the anointed anticipated nominees were handled very very differently, and that is where our tale of two parties takes it dark turn.

In the first party, the establishment tried to strike down its outsider opponent by mocking him to the press, by pulling their former anointed ones out of retirement to speak out against him, to push a NeverHim movement, and to try to change the very rules that would have been used to nominate one of them. The people, however, would have none of it. Discontent among the voters sent a clear message that if their choice of nominee was not respected, there would be chaos on the floor. People would stay home and not vote. They would vote 3rd party. They would revolt against the party that claimed their voice mattered. The party would crumble.

The message was loud enough that even party leaders had to listen. Meetings were held to come to a compromise. Deals were probably made. Negotiations were conducted. The party softened their language towards the usurper, and the usurper softened his language as well. Despite residual discontent, the leaders came to a conclusion – support him. Those who couldn’t reach that same conclusion stayed home, but the party leaders fell in line.

During the coronation,  voices were not silenced. People chanted their discontent, held signs against him, and his main challengers was even allowed to speak and support those who were against him. Democracy was able to be messy, but in the end, the non-supporter was booed off the stage, the absent leaders were barely mentioned let alone missed, and unity was achieved, allowing full support to be an ongoing process. I’m not saying everyone supported him, but at least they weren’t silenced. And, the American voter was not silenced either. Both voices were heard.

But while one party allowed the democratic process to choose their nominee even against their own interest, the other party took an opposite approach.

The second party did not allow the voters to be heard. Recently released emails indicate that their usurper was crushed with backdoor dealings. While claiming neutrality and mocking the other party’s discontent, the hypocritical party leaders put their thumbs on the scale to benefit their anointed candidate. Talks about using his religion against him, and disparaging remarks against the very demographics they claimed to champion were revealed to the public and gave voters a glimpse behind the red curtain. The political machine the revolutionist highlighted was proven to be a fact and was used against him. In the midst of the betrayal felt by his supporters, party leaders continued to silence their voices. At the coronation, they were told they were being “ridiculous,” disciplined like children from the pulpit, and had their signs taken from them. The party that supports free speech and protest has blocked it for their own people. In attempts to unite the party, they are splitting it in two.

This isn’t about whether or not I’m a Sanders supporter, but this is more about undermining the democratic process than showing solidarity with one candidate. I’m a Constitutionalist, which means I believe in the Constitution and the laws of this land, laws meant to protect our rights, keep us safe, and safeguard equality and fairness. If this was done to the Trump campaign, I’d be equally as furious. If this was done to Hillary, I’d be just as mad. The fact that it happened to a man who strove to run a “clean” campaign, a man who warned the public that the system was working against him, and a man whose main platform was fighting against the political machine makes it that much more damaging to the party and to the American voter. Democracy is a messy process. There will be debates, negotiations, and hurt feelings. Sometimes the choice of the party is not the choice of the people, but the people must must be heard. If it means the party leaders lose their power, so be it. If it means party leaders must swallow their egos, so be it. The truth is Sanders never had a chance. The party was working against him and would block him even if he did win enough delegate. The RNC tried with Trump but saw how doing so would pull the party asunder. The DNC sacrificed the entire party, the voters of the country, and perhaps now even the election in order to make Hillary Clinton their candidate. Democracy was sacrificed at the altar of party interests and, thankfully was revealed to all. I don’t care who did it (Russia?) or why – the more pressing issue is that it was in fact done. A mere apology or stepping down of a chair is not enough to repair the damage done to our  process or to the election of 2016.

But the moral of the tale of 2016 will live on – that you cannot silence the people or they will revolt against you. It is better to listen to people who hate you than to take their signs away from them as they enter the building. It does better for unity to respect all voices, even dissenting ones, than to write secret emails in order to work against them. Truth always trumps lies.

I do not know who will win this election, or how this tale will end, but one thing is clear – democracy won, for better or for worse. One candidate was able to quell discontent by allowing dissenters, while another became the martyr for revealing the truth. The people in both parties have proven their voices are more important than a candidate or a party. Unity is achieved by allowing all voices to be heard and so is democracy. And that is a far better thing than we could every do.

 

 

“Perfect”…Or, What I Wish I Said To The Mother Who Commented On My Son

A number of years ago, while my SPD son was in the midst of his therapy and regaining his hearing, I took him to an amusement park wearing a “child leash” attached to his backpack. I was always against child leashes, but I relented for his safety, so he wouldn’t get lost because if he did, he had no skills to help himself be located. A mother looked down at him and whispered a comment to her daughter regarding my son just loud enough for me and my daughter to hear……Here is what I wish I said to her……

I’d never put your brother on a leash!”

I hear you judge my parental decisions

And attempts to keep my son safe.

 

How lucky for you

That your child is perfect.

Perfect hearing.

Perfect behavior.

Perfect neuro-chemistry.

 

How fortunate

That your child was born

Without imperfection.

Without disability.

Without anything to cause you concern

Or the need to provide extra security

To keep him safe.

 

How nice for you

That you will never know

The fear that your child

Will not be able to help himself

Cannot communicate his need

Cannot hear you call his name.

 

It must be comforting for you

To judge other people

To believe your way

Is the only way.

To offer advice

Unsolicited

Passively

Aggressively

Because your child has been raised

Perfectly.

 

Does it give you confidence?

Joy?

To know that I envy you

Not needing to secure your child to keep him safe

Not needing special passes to avoid crowds

Or quiet areas to de-escalate

Or devices and sign language to communicate

Not having to tell ride operators to look for your signal to stop the ride if needed

Not enduring the stares and judgements of others.

Being able to enjoy your perfect child

Without fear or complication?

 

Have you calmed a sensory meltdown?

Explained your child to a group of children?

Taught yourself sign language?

Applied for handicap access?

Been up all night providing deep pressure to muscle joints?

Counted seizures?

How good for you

That you have not.

 

I guess that makes you the perfect person

To comment

Stare

And judge

My non-perfect

Son.

 

 

 

 

Sensory Overload: It’s Not Just for SPD Kids

I was in the park on July 4th attending an Independence Day city celebration. The day was hot – in the 80’s – and there was little shade to be found. Music was blaring over the loud speakers and crowds upon crowds of people were crashing into each other trying to get free BBQ or a chance at the pony rides.

While waiting with my sensory kiddo for the highly sought after pony ride, I noticed a newborn, under a month old, struggling in his mother’s arms. He was very agitated, squirming and crying. The mother, misreading the infant’s cues, continued to try to stick her breast in his mouth to feed him, but he would have none of it.

I wanted to shout, “He’s not hungry. He’s hot. He’s tired. He’s overloaded.”

Of course, I said nothing, but instead watched as she put her child into a hot car seat/stroller. I could only imagine how that poor infant felt – after being in a comfortable, quiet, dark womb, floating, for 9 months, to be bombarded with heat, noise, and strangers bumping into him. Then to have someone try to shove food in his mouth as a way to “calm” him.

The only way to calm him, at that point, would be to get him into the shade, into a quiet location, or in an air-conditioned room.

As the mother of a child with sensory integration/processing disorder, I’ve become more keenly aware of the sensory bombardments we get on an hourly basis, and I’ve become more sensitive to how that sensory input can affect all individuals, not just those with difficulties processing it. Have you ever been in a room and the lights gave you a headache? Or have you even smelled a scent that made you nausous? Or heard a sound that reminded you of nails on a chalkboard? Or even felt the urge to tap your foot, chew your pencil, or just get up and move around? All of that is a reaction to sensory overload, or the need to get more sensory input in your system. We all have our sensory threshold – that point when the lights are too bright, the smell too strong, or the sound too annoying. And if we don’t have enough sensory stimulation, then we try to create it for ourselves to fill the deficit – like the urge to chew on something or move and fidget. It’s not unique to children with SPD, nor is it an issue. It’s part of our biology, the need to maintain balance in our systems. When a person has difficulty regulating their sensory input (every sound is too loud or most lights are too bright), then it is a “disorder” which is interfering in quality of life. These are the extreme cases, like my child’s.

Infants are born with these sensitivities. After spending 9 months in a womb that is the perfect temperature, devoid of light and most sound, they need to learn how to process the different sensory experiences that exist on “the outside.” Think of how your eyes need to adjust to the light when you come inside from the sun, or how you need to get used to the brightness if you are coming from inside a building – that’s what a newborn must do. Most are able to make the adjustment in a few months (you’ll notice it as they focus more on sights and sounds outside their immediate range). Some kids, however,  either due to biology or environmental factors, never “learn” to process this information. And most of us can process it, but we have varying degrees of threshold.

I notice this in my own high school classroom. The white walls and bright fluorescent lights are a sensory nightmare for many of my students. In fact, when I first was assigned the room, it took me a few months before I could work there without getting headaches. To compensate, I keep some of the lights off, basking the room in semi darkness, which makes it cooler and calmer for all students. I keep blankets in my classroom for students who have a low tolerance for cold, and I provide students with fidgets (such as play dough and foot rests) to help them when they are seeking sensory stimulation. The corner of my room is a “quiet corner” with a comfy chair for kids who need to “calm down” or who just need “space.” Next I plan to provide flexible seating – yoga balls, seat cushions, and beanbag chairs – for students who cannot stand to sit in those stiff uncomfortable chairs for 90 minutes straight.
Although some of my peers think I’m insane, I know enough about sensory overload to recognize it in my own students, and I see the “triggers” that can cause it in my classroom. A comfortable child is a child ready to learn. A child who is fighting his own eyes, ears, mouth, and body cannot possibly concentrate, and therefore cannot learn or even act appropriately in a class environment.

I also have become keen in recognizing these sensory issues in other children. This is not to say every kids I see has SPD, but they have simply hit their threshold and are “melting down” or seeking stimulation. That day in the park, the infant wasn’t the only child who had difficulties with the sensory stimulation. I saw many children, mostly boys, running around in circles with no direction;I saw many kids, mostly girls, turn into drama queens and melt into a puddle of tears over the smallest misunderstanding. And I saw many parents of both genders either ignoring their children’s cries for relief or ignorant to the fact that that’s what their children were doing. It’s great to want to celebrate a holiday, have your child ride the pony, dress up in red, white, and blue, and dance to the music blaring over the park grass. Its a family perfect holiday, right? But kids and even adults need to realize that a “perfect” holiday is when everyone is relaxed and comfortable enough to enjoy it. Screaming, over stimulated children and sensory weary adults do not make for an enjoyable experience. Recognizing the signs can prevent meltdowns and hot tempers and make every event a more memorable – and sensory safe – time.

 

Open Letter to the Mom Whose Son Was Expelled From “Finding Dory”

3 Year Old With Special Needs Kicked Out of Theater

Dear Mom,

I feel for you. I really truly do. I know what you are going through. I’ve been there.

My son is 6 years old and has developmental delays and sensory processing disorder because of sensory deprivation during his formative years (he was deaf). He often presents with autism like characteristics and has been in therapy for 3 years. I am also a teacher and my husband is a Special Education specialist. Yet we too have been there….

Your son is 3, so I’m guessing he’s “newly diagnosed” on the spectrum and I’m guessing you are a new autism mom. I know how overwhelmed you must feel, how much information and “advice” is coming at you, how you long to give your child a normal childhood, and the frustration you feel when it doesn’t work out as planned.  I know the stares, the questions, the judgments, and even the well-meaning looks of sympathy that make you want to crawl into a hole and never emerge. I’ve been there, too.

I’m about to tell you something I’ve told only my closest family and friends. We were kicked out of a hotel back when my son was 4. Yes, a hotel. A well-known chain too – you’d recognize the name if I said it. We were “Rewards Club” members. We took our family overnight because it had a pool. Our plan was to sleep in the big comfy beds, and wake up to swim in the morning. My son was excited to be there. As most sensory seekers, he explored the room, ran around with excitement, laughed, and enjoyed the space. Unfortunately, we were on the second floor and someone was below us. Management called up that they downstairs guest was “complaining” about the noise. Now, even though my son does have SPD, I did not feel he was doing anything more than a toddler would do. He was not overly loud, nor was he having a meltdown. No, he was having fun. That’s it. But it was too much for Mr. Downstairs. OK, we quiet him down and my husband took a walk to the front desk to explain the situation. Yes, we TOLD them. But a second call came in. Our only resolve was to give the kids a quick bath, get them to bed early, and wake up early to the promise of a swim.

We got up early to prepare them for the pool. We got their free breakfast and ate in the room. My son, once again, was excited, but not overly loud. We got a third call from the front desk, and my husband went down a second time to tell them again about our situation. Mr. Downstairs, however would not stop. Soon, a knock on the door. The police. Mr. Downstairs called the cops on us, claiming he was hearing “banging” and crying. I was in tears, my daughter was terrified, my husband furious. We told the cops the same thing he told the front desk two times before, and we relayed our experience over the last 12 hours. The cop apologized, stated they had to respond, and went to talk to the front desk. By then we were done. We packed up and left. No pool. No vacation. Just home.

We learned a few lessons that day, the biggest one is that we now always ask for first floor rooms away from general guest and inform them during the reservation process why. We also learned how alone we could feel.

My message to you is you are not alone. You may feel alone, but you are not. There’s nothing wrong with wanting your child to have normal experiences. He cannot learn “normal” behaviors unless he is in situations that force him to use his skills to adapt. However, as someone who has learned the hard way, I can offer some advice:

  1. People will not be understanding – They will be angry you interrupted their night out, they will be judgmental that you aren’t a good mother, they may even be sympathetic, but unless they have dealt with it first hand, they will not be understanding. I know it’s hard, but you will get used to the stares. You will become immune to the shaking heads, and you will have a ready response for the  well-meaning “advice” that comes your way. Just expect that people will not understand and if someone does show true understanding, they are either a teacher, a mother of a special needs child, or a truly beautiful soul.
  2. Have an escape plan – I always try to sit or stand near exits. If my child because too overwhelmed I escape quietly with him. I often scout places out first before we go there so I can form my plan of quick exit.
  3. Have space – ASD and SPD kids become overwhelmed when they do not have the space to “react” to their environment. I often save myself a whole table, a corner, or several seats in a row so my son has room to acclimate himself to his surroundings.
  4. Sensory tools are your friend, and his – I used to carry a “sensory kit” with me, which included noise blocking headphones, a weighted blanket or vest, a pressure vest, fidgets, chewies, snacks to munch on, and his favorite toy. I often went through several of these tools during an outing. These help the child calm themselves down when they are unable to do it alone.
  5. Know his limitations – If he can only sit for 15 minutes, that’s fine. Maybe next time it will be 20 minutes. Forcing a kid to do something overwhelming is the sure way to hit a meltdown. My son used to be unable to sit through his sister’s recitals. My husband and I took turns sitting with him in the lobby and took him into the theater only during her numbers. This year he not only sat through her recital, but sat through TWO shows. It’s all about building endurance. Let him participate in activities in his way, while gently guiding him to take chances and push his limits, but do not force him.
  6. Take advantage of special programs – Sensory safe movie viewings at theaters, special needs days at amusement parks or indoor play areas, Caring Santa/Easter Bunny programs at the mall during holidays, adapted sports, and even “front of the line” passes at theme parks all help not only give your child a “normal” childhood experience, but also alleviate the stress of an outing AND help teach your child valuable skills and socialization. Most important, it provides networking so you can meet other parents with similar struggles.
  7. Scout out areas first – Birthday parties are the worst, especially in unfamiliar settings. Scout them out first if you can. Do they play loud music over the speaker? How crowded are they? Is the event private, or will general public be allowed in? Are the activities developmentally appropriate for him? Are there quiet spaces for him to de-escalate or take a sensory break? How easily can you watch him? How can he participate in the activities? Refer back to #2 and #3 and have a plan.
  8. Learn to see things through his eyes – Is it too dark? Too loud? Too crowded? Too this or too that? Know the triggers, help him recognize them, prepare him for them, and then help him through them.
  9. Never let him hear you or others talk about him – My son overhears other kids talk about him all the time. At birthday parties kids approach me and ask, “Why does he act this way?” He hears it, recognizes he is “different” somehow, and it saddens and angers him. Kids go up to him and say, “Why do you do that? Why can’t you do this???” and he just cries. He knows he’s struggling so he doesn’t need to hear others recognize it. His confidence is already low. He needs to told what he CAN do, not what he CAN’T do.
  10. Accept help – In the beginning I always brought a tag team to help out. But if you are alone and someone offers to help, accept it. Don’t be proud. I’m not talking about the well-meaning and sometimes sanctimonious advice type of help (“just discipline him…you should take that away from him….don’t let him do that….etc”), but real help. The lady who offers to hold your bag while you deal with a meltdown. The cashier who lets you get out of line to help your son and then lets you jump back in. The event coordinator who recognizes a meltdown and lets you go into an employee only room so he can calm down. Don’t be embarrassed to accept help. Just accept it. Refer to #1. These are the beautiful souls sent to help you when you need it most.
  11. Know it does get better – He will learn. He will grow. He will cope. And you will learn, grow, and cope as well. It’s a long journey and people along the way won’t understand, but it’s your journey with your child. No one else should judge that.

Your theater experience will become my hotel incident. You will look back at it as the moment when you realize that it’s not about how you parent, but that you parent the way your child needs. Your child can experience his childhood”normally;” it  just take experience, patience and a few tweaks in your perspective of what normal really means.

God bless and best of luck.

 

 

 

 

A Date with Lucille: My Predictions for the Finale

For years now, the question “Who does Negan kill in the TV series?” has been on the lip of every Walking Dead. We all know the unfortunate victim of the bat is Glenn in the comic series, and there seemed to be plenty of foreshadowing to indicate that the TV series would follow suit. However, Glenn’s recent dumpster crawl now makes it highly unlikely that he’ll have a date with Lucille just 8 episodes after he was presumed dead. Now the question heats up yet again.

So who does get to meet Lucille head on? I’m going to take a gander at this. Now, I do have some spoiler information that can help me eliminate certain characters but other than that my guess is as good as anyone else’s:

Here it goes:

50% Abraham – I think they’ve been gearing up to this all season with his PTSD, his dumping of Rosita (which happens in the comic prior to his death), and his questioning the meaning of life, birth, and relations in a post apocalyptic world. Hooking up with Sasha is a bad sign (relationships – death) and his comic book death being given to another character (Denise) sure makes him open to die by Negan’s hand.

40% Michonne – Wait, her???? One of the top three characters on the show? How could I? Sadly, I could. First of all, she has hooked up with Rick. While hook ups are never good in this series, the fact that she and Rick do not have a relationship in the comic gives me pause to wonder….why? Why hook them up now? They sure look happy…that’s never a good thing. And notice the apple reference while they were in bed? Adam and Eve and the fall of paradise anyone?

But there’s more. Danai Gurira is a playwriter, yes a playwriter, who has written three off-Broadway dramas. One of them, Eclipsed, just opened on Broadway a few weeks ago. In fact she has been traveling the talk show circuit promoting it. Is it possible she asked to be released from her role to purse a career as a Tony nominated playwriter?

5% Glenn – I’ll give him this much only because it would so obvious and so expected if it happened that maybe it actually will. Steven Yuen’s recent movie signing makes my odds jump from 0% to 5%, but Reedus has proven that you can do film, TV pilots, and the show I(both Maggie and Negan are also in movie together, Dawn of Justice). Personally, I don’t see how you almost kill him half a season earlier and then kill him off in this fashion. That fact people are waiting for it is making me believe it won’t happen.

5% Other – the other is vague, I know, but I have to throw it in there. Here’s who it WON’T be:

  • Maggie – she’s on her way to her comic book character’s fate, the leader of the Hilltop. That’s pretty clear.
  • Morgan and Carol – they were filming at a different location than the Negan scene
  • Daryl – his body double mistakenly tweeted he had signed on for season 7 to be Daryl again, then took it down quickly, presumably after producers saw it. Besides, Daryl has a purpose now – kill or redeem Dwight. He can’t die at Negan’s hand if he hasn’t achieve either of those goals.
  • Rick – that’s pretty obvious
  • Tara and Heath – they are on a 3 week run so Alana Masterson could be on maternity leave; they weren’t even on set

Who does that leave? Aaron, Sasha, Eugene, & Carl. All of them were seen on location during the midnight closed set shoot. (Sasha is questionable. There are conflicting reports. Rosita also is questionable as she was not reported to be seen on set at all that day.) Out of these four, who might the “other” be? Eugene is the only one who makes sense to me, but that is clearly a long shot.

Unfortunately, the question won’t be answered until October (the finale is said to be leaving audiences with a cliffhanger regarding who Negan choses), but most set stalkers will figure out the victim’s name by his or her lack of presence on location in May. Until then, it’s anybody’s guess……