Monday, September 23, 2013

Dexter: The End of an Era

Nearly 7 years ago, Showtime released a television show called Dexter. A dark and twisted series, Dexter is about a man who by day, works for Miami metro as a blood spatter analyst, and by night works as a serial killer. In no time at all, the masses flocked to their screens every Sunday night to watch Dexter make his kills and bury them at sea. The twist about the story line is that he kills only bad people, people who he proves to be evil people and need to die so that they cannot harm anyone else. Through a long succession of lies, betrayal, luck, lust, anger and heart wrenching moments, (plus lots and lots of blood), Dexter has survived for a total of 8 seasons for our viewing pleasure.

I didn’t get into the show until it was entering the third season. I had heard about it right when it was first released but because I am not a fan of guts and gore, I did not attempt to watch it. But then I did. And once I started watching it, I just couldn’t stop. I got the first 2 seasons on DVD from Blockbuster (remember Blockbuster??) and hid out in my room watching the episodes in sequence from beginning to end. I would turn on my laptop, turn out the lights and watch Dexter in awe of what it was. Cruel and dark with a good score of humour intertwined amongst the blood and death. It was one of the few shows that I would actually yell out loud “OH MY GOD!” when an episode would end. I just had to know what happened next. It was so intense.

Plus Michael C. Hall is sexy as hell playing Dexter Morgan. He gets all dark and his voice goes all hollow.... What is it about that man and that brown shirt? 

Last night was the last episode of Dexter.
The series finale.
No more Dexter.

I watched the episode this morning and even after having 12 hours to think about what I watched, I am still having a really difficult time putting my thoughts and feelings into words. For the past few weeks I have been watching religiously and have been hoping that everyone would live happily ever after. After all of the shit that those people have gone through, I wanted things to just work out, let the bad guys die and let everyone else just be happy. The end. I kept telling people, "I hope it ends well and they are get to be happy...but I know it won't because it is Dexter."

WARNING! If you ever plan to watch Dexter or have yet to see the final episode, stop reading right now because I am going to talk about it and give it all away. Even if you might someday in the far future decide to watch the show, stop reading now because I would hate so much for you to know how it ends. That would make me feel wretched to know that I wrecked the ending for you.

You have been warned.

But no. Dexter is not about happily ever after and never has been. Why should it start now that the show was ending? Things just don’t work out like that for these people so even though I had hoped for the best, I was mentally prepared for the worst. And yes, the worst happened. Deb died. She fuckin’ died! (To all of you who know Debra Morgan, you know that the F word was completely valid and totally called for in the situation). When Dexter walked into her room, saw her all hooked up to life support and broke down in emotion, I was devastated to see that emotion come from the character. Dexter does not get emotional (ever) and does not get choked up…so it was a pretty pivotal moment for the character to have. My heart broke and from there I knew that shit was going to get real very quickly. Dexter didn’t get his happy ending. He faked his death, abandoned his son and left his son with the only woman whom he ever loved; the only woman who would ever accept him for what he was. It was heart breaking. He gave it all up so that they could have normalcy and so that he could stop hurting the people he loved.

The thing with Dexter that we all need to keep in mind is that overall, Dexter is a bad guy. He is. He kills people. He is a serial killer who hunts down his prey, ties them down to a table, ends their life, chops them up into pieces and discards the pieces over the side of his boat. Basically every single death in that show was linked to him in some way and a lot of innocent people died because of him. Why should he get his happy ending? Why did we all want to see him get what he wanted, get his happy life, when deep down we all knew that he was the root cause for a lot of terrible happenings?

Because he was dead inside and he was finally becoming a normal human being! Because we love him. We love the show and the characters and everything about it. We’re all just gushy hopeless romantics and in the end we just want things to work out for the best and let love prevail. Whether that love is between a brother and sister, boyfriend and girlfriend, father and son or cop and cop, knowing that the show was ending made us want the characters to end on a good note. Too bad for us! I knew that it was going to end badly and that Argentina would never happen, but a girl can dream.

I know that Dexter is just a silly TV show, but now that it is over, it’s like a chapter of my life is done too. That sounds ridiculous to write, but I have devoted 5 years to watching that show and now it is over. I won’t ever watch a new Dexter episode again. It’s a sad thought. I believe that yes, the show had run its course and it was time for it to come to an end. How many times can a guy get away with killing people night after night? Especially a guy who works for a police department! But as a viewer, it is hard to say goodbye to the show. We got to know these characters and all of the silly inside jokes. We laugh with them in good times and cry with them in their grief. The end of a TV show is kind of like having a reliable friend who suddenly stops calling. It sucks.

So thank you Dexter for entertaining me for all of these years. You were awesome.

PS. Breaking Bad is ending soon too. Stay tuned for my mental breakdown when that show ends! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Taking My Cake and Eating It Too!

Yesterday at work we got into a really good discussion about sugary foods and parenting. The office I work in is a nice mixture of women aging from early 20's to mid 40’s with some being moms and some not. The conversations started with the topic of foods that we crave (the top office picks were chocolate, pop and salty snacks) and then moved into parenting and allowing kids to have sweet treats.

The one woman working yesterday who was the only mom in the group said that she would get offended when other parents would try to stop her kid from getting sweets. The example she gave was on pizza day at her kid’s school. I guess on pizza day they would also get donuts, but some of the parents didn’t want the kids to have both pizza and donuts so they were trying to boycott them. The woman I work with was against the boycott because, 1) Pizza/donut day only happened once every 2 months so what’s the big deal?, and 2) Why should other moms be in charge of what her kid got to eat?

The nutrition dork in me completely understands a parent’s desire to try to control what their kid is eating at school and I get the desire to take away the donuts. But then I think back to pizza and hot dog day at school when I was a kid and how much I loved that special day. It didn’t happen often and it was such a fantastic treat to get a hot dog with multiple glasses of that atrocious (yet delicious) orange drink that always got paired with the meal. As a kid we look forward to those special days so much, so yeah, now I get my coworker’s point of view as well. Let them eat donuts! Is one (or 2) donuts going to cause those children to become overweight and destroy their health for the rest of their lives? No, not at all.

My other coworker who is 22 years old, had her own experiences about the subject which holds true to all of the health research out there. Growing up, her household was very restrictive when it came to any kind of treats and to this day she still has binging issues with those kinds of foods. Since these foods were such a taboo for her when she was a child, whenever she was able to get her hands on them she couldn’t control the amount that she ate. Not knowing the next time that she would get the chance to eat the chocolate, donut or potato chips, she felt the need to consume as much as she could when the opportunity came about. I felt sad when she talked about Halloween! Her family would make her throw away her Halloween candy the day after Halloween! I would have been devastated if my parents would have done that to me. All that work of walking around in the freezing cold, yelling at strangers to give me free candy – for nothing!!!

I think that making a child eat too healthy all of the time can be very strenuous on the child and I can’t image ever growing up in a household like that. Being focused on always eating healthy food would inhibit the joy and carefree life of a child (not to mention a grown up as well) and could create an unhealthy relationship with food. I think that yes, candy and sweets should be limited to a certain degree but forbidding them in the home is not an ideal situation. Think about how you feel when you go on a diet. While you’re munching away on your salad and steamed fish, you’re constantly thinking about what you’d really rather be eating. 99.99% of the time it’s the mental game of dieting that kicks us off the wagon and it’s because we are too restrictive when we do these diets. You have to allow yourself something unhealthy to keep the balance or else you’ll go mad and devour a bag of Doritos before you’ve had a chance to wipe the faux-cheese from your fingers. We’ve all done it.

Now put yourself in the shoes of a little kid who doesn’t need to be on a diet. You’re basically forcing your kids on a junk food mental diet from the very beginning of their lives. Making something taboo is just going to ignite the need to explore it. Telling a kid not to ever touch a glass vase is going to result with a vase covered in tiny finger prints. It’s inevitable. Kids need some freedom of choice and balance in their eating behaviours or else they’re going to take every opportunity they can to go against how they’re forced to eat at home.

So once again I need to stop and thank my parents for letting me eat cake, candy, cookies, chips, pizza and hot dogs. I don’t remember ever having any kind of forbidden foods around the house and we always got some kind of sweet packed into our school lunches. However, there was always an apple or banana in there too. Whether or not we ate it was our choice…but at least the option was there. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Proud to be Kind

Every now and then I get a reminder as to why it is awesome to be a Canadian. Yes there are many reasons that I am proud to be Canadian, such as:

- Toques. So much more than just something to keep your head warm in the winter. So very much more.
- Beer.
- The MacIntosh apple (from Ontario!)
- Terry Fox.
- Canadian bacon and maple syrup. Mmmmm...and combining them.
- The Rocky Mountains.
- Stuart McLean. One of my all-time favs
- Ketchup chips. Yeah that's right...we rocked the ketchup flavoured potato chip before anyone else. (Ever put them in your hot dog?)
- Die hard hockey fans. I'm no hockey fan, but I can appreciate the love my fellow Canadians have for the sport.
- Robert Munsch! The Paper Bag Princess and I Have To Go are the best!
- Legalized same-sex marriage way before you all did! Spread the love man!
- We have awesome sayings, such as Eh? and Just given'er.
- Ryan Gosling. Need I say more?

Just have to double check this one.

Alright I'm good.

Canadians are notorious for being known as nice people and it's true. Most of us really are truly nice people. Today my reminder of why I love being Canadian was the simplicity of 2 nice people.

I was walking home from the store when I came to a 4-way stop in my neighbourhood. When I got to the crosswalk, I had to hesitate a second when a car approached a stop sign. From his lane position, I thought that he was going to drive straight through, which was the crosswalk that I was planning on walking through. I stopped and turned and took the crosswalk on my right so that I wouldn't inconvenience him with having to wait for me to cross where he wanted to pass through (cause I'm nice like that). Instead of pulling through as expected, he put on his turn signal and started to turn the way I was walking.

Keep in mind that all of this happened in the time span of only a couple seconds so these split second decisions made by the both of us just happened to work against one another. Technically we both cut each other off at the same time, just one was in the car and the other on foot.

As I was half way through the cross walk, he gave me a little wave out of the window with a big smile and said, "Have a wonderful day!"

I replied with, "You too! Thanks so much!"

No apologies from me for going through where he was driving or from him for not signalling when he should have. Just two friendly smiles, a wave and some wishes of a nice day.

Thank you Canada, for making nice people.