Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.
Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net
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» Thursday, May 30, 2002
Since we haven't gone to the movies since Christmas Day Lord of the Rings, this week's been rather a novelty.
We were going to see Spiderman first, then Attack of the Clones, but were advised to do it in reverse and did.
Clones is not a terrible movie, but it really has no soul to it. It makes you long to come home and watch the original Star Wars trilogy. Ewan MacGregor and Natalie Portman and the early and later action sequences keep the movie from being a total loss, but watching young Anakin walk around having hormones and the teenage sullens is a bit much. Not to mention my questions:
Padmè tells Anakin not to look at her "like that"-it makes her uncomfortable. Well, darnit, lady, why do you keep running around half-naked if you don't want him to look at you "like that"? He's eighteen. As Xander said on Buffy once, "I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me think of sex."
Later on Padmè and Anakin go down to Tatooine to discover his mother's fate. She doesn't seem to be carrying so much as a purse, yet in the time they're there, she has at least four costume changes. What did she do, have her clothes in teeny-tiny "Space Bags" under her first outfit?
And third, they meet younger incarnations of "Uncle Owen" and "Aunt Beru." They've take C-3PO and R2-D2 with them. So when 3PO and Artoo turn up in Star Wars: A New Hope, why aren't they recognized? Do Owen and Beru get mindwiped in the next film? Or do they operate under the philosophy that "all droids look alike"? The way 3PO whines you'd think they'd remember him...
Come to think of it, you would think C-3PO would remember Tatooine at the beginning of A New Hope!
Spider-man, on the other hand, is a complete blast. Althought I knew the basic mythology, I was not a Spiderman comic reader (the only Marvel comic I followed for a while was Dr. Strange). But as fellow "nerds," James and I could completely identify with Peter's school problems. M.J.'s problems and Peter's fascination with her also seemed very real. The action sequences were exciting and none of the relationship scenes felt like a bad Harlequin romance. Plus J.K. Simmons, who we knew from Law & Order and a very funny guest appearance on Remember WENN, was perfect in the role of J. Jonah Jameson, the editor of the Daily Bugle. And the New York City setting was terrific as well (got a laugh noticing that the Bugle was located in the Flatiron Building!).
Very highly recommended--and just from a hormonal point of view, Tobey Maguire is adorable! (James is equally appreciative of Kirsten Dunst.)
We're hoping to see Spirit on Friday...
» Wednesday, May 29, 2002
The Stay-at-Home Vacation
Our vacation got a bit detoured this year.
We'd planned last year to take our vacation Memorial Day weekend anyhow. We wanted to go to Media*West Con, which is a fan-based convention with panels and a big emphasis on fanzines and fanfiction, and had also planned to find a pet-friendly hotel (Media*West allows pets) near the Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village and go there as well.
However, a monkey-wrench got tossed into the works in February when James' two classes were postponed because the instructor was ill. It looked as if he would have his second class (the Cisco networking course) during Memorial Day week. And we were committed to taking our vacation then, anyway, because James' boss decided to shut down the store that week so everyone could have the same vacation.
About a month before vacation started, however, we found out his Cisco course wouldn't start until the first week in June, but by then it was too late to get into MediaWest. The nice thing about the con is that they keep it small, so you have to get in early.
We then decided we would do an odd thing for vacation...relax.
I usually like to go somewhere else for vacation, as I have a wanderlust most of the time that won't quit. We thought we might take a day and go up to Commerce (big outlet mall) or Chattanooga (Lookout Mountain; there's also the aquarium, which everyone talks about, but neither James nor I have ever been much on fish).
So far, though, we've stuck around home. Sunday we went down to the flea market in McDonough (arrgh, they still have a gorgeous WWII-era solid wood hutch/sideboard in the antique market there, but we have no room for it in our kitchen), and then had dinner at Red Lobster with some friends, including one who was in town from Birmingham, Alabama.
Monday we went to see Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. This was okay. As Shari, our friend from Birmingham, said, the first fifteen minutes are good and also the last half hour to forty-five minutes. Between that, however, is sort of a glorified Harlequin romance.
Yesterday we took it easy because at the movies I made the mistake of having popcorn without my usual Pepto Bismol "chaser." I love popcorn, but it tears up my stomach. Since I didn't have any trouble with it the last two times I had it, I thought the problem might have eased. It didn't. I was in the bathroom until after 3 a.m. We did get the Harry Potter DVD: CompUSA had it advertised at $10, but by the time we got there all the widescreen versions were gone. Another gentleman who wanted a widescreen version said he was going to Best Buy and ask for a price match, so we tried it as well and they honored it. Cool. Never did that before.
The one thing we did decided about our vacation is that we were going to eat out every day. So last night we went to Ryan's for steak. The Ryan's closest to our house had grill problems, so we tried the one on Canton Road.
Well, the waitress was very nice and we got our food quickly, and when James was dissatisfied with his T-bone, which was mostly gristle, they gave him another steak for free. But it wasn't until I finished eating my own steak that I noticed the bone smelled a bit "off," as if the steak had been sitting out a bit too long.
Since I wasn't nauseous or in the bathroom when I got up this morning, I thought I might have been mistaken. I did feel rather lightheaded all day, even after eating a lovely lunch at the Colonnade. As evening wore on, I developed a headache, but James had one, too. We thought it was the heat.
About eight o'clock my heart started to pound and I had heartburn and so much nausea I thought I'd have to visit the emergency room. James made me some KoolAid once I started having "loose movements" and went off to get me some cereal for something neutral to put on my tummy as well as some more Pepto Bismol. Hopefully that will be it and there's nothing worse wrong.
» Thursday, May 23, 2002
Ain’t Hindsight Wonderful?
Sigh. Hard to separate the wheat from the chaff in the after-September 11 chatter. But some comments:
Apparently President Bush got a memo before September 11 saying hijacking of a plane might be possible.
Well, duh. That covers a lot of ground, doesn’t it? Besides, before September 11, everyone knew what a hijacking was. Some discontented national waves a gun or other weapon around the cockpit, orders the pilot to fly somewhere, negotiates a lot. Eventually the hijacker gets what he wants or some sniper takes him out, the crew and passengers are rescued, etc. Few hijackings turned out as badly as what happened on the ship Achille Lauro, where a man in a wheelchair was killed.
That’s why those security barriers in airports were erected in the first place. And recall that, way back when, “harmless” hijackings got so commonplace that comedians made jokes about them--and a movie actually used the event as a capper joke--remember the final scene in The Out-of-Towners?
Doesn’t seem funny now, of course. What person hearing the word “hijacker” pre-9/11 would have envisioned airplanes being used as missiles? Or simple old box cutters being used as weapons? People who work in warehouses and mailrooms and receiving areas see box cutters every day. They’re just there, like the furniture and the phone.
But hey, man, someone should have known.
Then there’s the infamous memo saying that a lot of Arab-looking men were taking flying lessons. Surely someone should have said something!
Exercise here: replace “Arab” with “African-American.” Or “Jewish.” Or “Hispanic.” Now release a memo warning about these people. Can you say ACLU protests? Can you say ethnic anti-defamation group protests? Can you say people picketing the White House/FBI headquarters/their local police stations complaining about racial profiling? So what if a lot of Arab-looking men have been taking flying lessons, they would cry. Don’t they have a right to do anything they wish in this country? Our flying schools are the best! Of course they wish to take lessons here, and they have that right!
But, hey, guys, we should have known!
Do I think our intelligence should have been better? Sure. It can always be better. Face it, intelligence ain’t like you see it in those spy movies. The bad guy does not always reveal the entire plot to the secret agent before he tries to kill him, only to have the agent get away and thwart his scheme. Makes for nice drama but certainly not reality. Intelligence comes in in bits and pieces that someone must make sense of--and then there are various ways to interpret the results, not one black-and-white answer. Do I think government red tape might have held some warnings up? I’m afraid so. I work for the Feds. Rules and regulations, fairness to all and legal wanglings make for a convoluted mess.
But saying “they should have known” is like allowing your kid to have a hot dog and then saying, later, when he’s throwing up, “I should have known not to have let him eat that!” Unless you know the child reacts badly to eating weiners, the outcome could not have been predicted.
Perhaps Frank Borman was right after all? After the Apollo 1 fire, Borman said it wasn’t as much the failure of the system as it was a failure of imagination. Everyone expected a disaster might happen in space. No one imagined the spacecraft might catch fire there on the pad, in a practice run.
No one imagined anyone would be crazy enough to deliberately fly a jet into a skyscraper, either. Unfortunately, now we do.
» Wednesday, May 22, 2002
Buffy finale: Did the ending remind anyone else of the conclusion of one of my favorite novels, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time?
This is the announcement up on an automotive care center on Powder Springs Road in Marietta, GA:
Don't you just want to take your Ford Explorer there?
» Monday, May 20, 2002
We have a teacher friend who tells us about the ridiculous hoops she must jump through and idiocies she must endure these days--for instance, she is penalized when too many of her students fail--although the students fail because they feel their social life and after-school jobs are more important than studying for tests. (She actually has students that cannot pass an open book test.)
One of the phrases I hear bandied about to improve American education is "reduce class size." It's as if this miracle mantra will make everything well. If we can get classrooms down to 25 children--preferably 20--per teacher, everything will be hunky-dory and our kids will learn "like they useta."
I went to school at the tail end of the baby boom. I do not remember a classroom that ever had less than 25 children; the average was more like thirty. I was in sixth grade in a mixed fifth/sixth grade that consisted of 35 lively, articulate, and often headstrong children. However, having 35 pupils never prevented Mrs. Shaw from giving us a good education. We attended classes, did our homework and classwork, and came out of her class knowing proper grammar and sentence structure, history, geography, science--and if most of us didn't like math, we could at least work the problems and get a decent grade. The majority of us, and that included the fifth graders, were A and B students.
I have heard horror stories about teachers who are graduated college without knowing the basics--but more often what I hear of classrooms is the real horror story: teachers who aren't allowed to discipline students because the parents will claim that their child is being abused or "singled out"; if the kid gets a bad mark it's not the child's fault for not studying, it's the teacher's fault for not teaching him properly; and all those "wonderful" parents out there who are either so afraid their child will hate them that they never say no to them or the even worse ones who could care less what their child is doing because it would interfere with their career or their social life or their tennis lessons or their drug habit. Too often a teacher can't teach a subject because she's too busy trying to teach what their parents should have taught them: manners, responsibility, attentiveness--or at least trying to overcome their bad habits long enough to help them learn anything.
After hearing our friends talk about their children's classes, I'm overjoyed that I'm not a schoolchild these days. Heck, I complained about having to go to high school in the early 70s with all that peace-and-love hippie crap and wished I'd been in school in the 40s and 50s when they wrote essays and learned Latin! Being stuck in a classroom with a bunch of yapping classmates isn't my idea of a conducive learning atmosphere.
If It’s Burning, This Must Be Pepper
What is this thing with pepper in everything, anyway? Pepper is a garnish! If you like food with a mild bite, you add a little pepper. If you like a larger bite, more pepper. If you don’t like the bite, you use no pepper at all. Everybody's happy.
These days the cook has always been "nice" enough to add if for you.
Lunched Friday at "the Kentucky Fried Pizza" (so called by a friend since it's one of those hybrid fast food places owned by the same big company, in this case PepsiCo, that is both a Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut). "The mister" likes the pot pies and recommended them.
Now, I eat frozen pot pies. They're...filling, but of course not the real thing. (I really miss the brand we had in RI, Willow Tree--the pie was all chicken meat and gravy, none of those carrots and nasty mushy peas.) So I was looking forward to a "real" pot pie, even if I know there's not really a grandmotherly type producing pot pies for "Kentucky Fred" in a spotless kitchen somewhere.
I figured the nice flaky crust meant I'd reached heaven...until I took a bite of the meat. My tongue was immediately on fire and I looked down to find the filling scattered with black pepper. I picked my way through the meat--which was not the diced, processed meat of the Banquet or Swanson pot pie, but actual chunks of chicken, which was a big plus--but really didn't enjoy it for all the pepper. If this is the norm, I guess I'm back to the frozen stuff when I want a pot pie. A shame, really.
Is no one aware there are people who cannot tolerate pepper out there? I'm not talking about just folks like me who would rather taste the food than have their tongue burning off for the entire meal, I mean folks like my mom and dad, who have/had diverticulitis. Folks with ulcers or bad digestion. Is there nothing safe any longer?--even innocuous meals such as chicken and dumplings and soup can't escape the pepper plague. Enough already!
» Thursday, May 16, 2002
What a Difference 20 Years Make!
I mentioned previously I’d been downloading e-books that were in public domain, most from the 19th or early 20th century. Some of them are girls’ and boys’ stories from between 1880 and 1920 (think "The Rover Boys," "Tom Swift," and "Frank Merriwell," that sort of thing).
In 1890, Betty Leicester, daughter of a widowed naturalist who travels extensively in Europe, is left in a small New England town for the summer while dad endures the hardships of a journey to Alaska. Betty reaquaints herself with her aunts and a beloved friend whose mother is a born pessimist, defends two young people of her own age (fifteen) who are looked down upon because they are the children of a convict (he conveniently dies during the course of the book, releasing them from their shame), learns not to criticize people, takes a wagon ride upriver, has a tea party, learns about local history and how to keep her underthings mended neatly, and, when her father returns, goes camping [gasp!] overnight.
Fast forward 21 years. Here's another girl heroine, Grace Harlowe. Grace makes active Betty (she is considered "lively" by her friends and hypochondriac aunt) look like the Victorian equivalent of a couch potato. Grace's adventures start in high school, covered by four books for each year. If the fourth book is representative of Grace's life, the young lady will never have a dull moment ever: in Grace Harlowe's Senior Year of High School, Grace--and her set--thwarted in their favorite sport, basketball, when the school gym burns down (our heroine Grace is the one that turns in the alarm, of course), rallies the senior class into raising the most money to have the gym rebuilt, reunites a girl chum with her long-lost mother, tries to help another friend see that the sinister older man flattering her is just making her look stupid, stands up against a revengeful classmate who is later reformed by Grace and then revealed to be the daughter of a famous Italian violinist, and recovers the stolen money from the school bazaar. Whew. Grace then goes on to four presumably equally exciting years in college, stars in three more books where she becomes a college housemother and falls in love with her childhood chum Tom Gray, then for several other books goes on to nurse soldiers in "the Great War," and then, not having seen enough action in Europe, goes out West for at least a half dozen more books, exploring the Yellowstone and other rugged areas by horseback.
Needless to say, I was charmed by Betty, but certainly had a lot more fun with Grace. Wish more of her books were in e-format...
Just received a note from a friend that co-star Nicholas Brendon has revealed that next year's Buffy the Vampire Slayer season will be the show's last. To be honest, Buffy's been such a downer this year that it will probably be a relief. Does the entire "Scooby Gang" finally succumb to clinical depression? Stay tuned...
» Tuesday, May 14, 2002
Having a large website or a domain means you get a lot of e-mail as well. I have to say that the only critical remark I've ever received ended up in our guestbook (don't look for it; Earthlink has eaten at least two editions of the darn thing; we're presently on our third).
Some may snicker, but the Lassie website pulls the bulk of the hits on our domain. Most people remember the series with fondness. You can almost tell which version of the series they began with. Someone who started with Jeff usually likes the early stories. Younger folks seem to prefer the forest ranger stories. Some yearn for the series so their kids can watch something good--others just wish they could still watch something good.
Surprisingly, both the Brooklyn Bridge and Flambards pages do very well. I suspect it's the nostalgia element along with the high quality of both programs.I get many letters from England about Flambards. The perennial question is always "What's happened to Christine McKenna?" Boy, I wish I knew–it would be a great coup for the page! Heck, if I were an unscrupulous person, I could probably sell the information. The Brooklyn Bridge folks want tapes or reruns, preferably the former.
I love the Ask the Manager and Gallegher notes: they had such a small fan niche it's nice to hear from the people as enchanted as I was.
The Nostalgia Place notes are a joy. I've heard from people who attended my old schools and remember the neighborhood as it was. One person I exchanged e-mails with had even gone to my allergist. I've found out what happened to a beloved restaurant and commiserated over lost treats.
I think the saddest letter I received, however, was a note from the US Forest Service asking how to get in touch with whomever owns Lassie now. The Forest Service had such a long association with that series--even before the all forest ranger episodes--that it pains me a bit that the connection has been severed.
I live in a region of salamanders.
Yesterday evening a cold front went through--the usual rain and then delightfully cool breezes. Before we went to bed we shut the air conditioner and opened the upstairs windows. The wind was so brisk you could hear it blow just before it lulled you to sleep. Curled up under a nice comforter, it was grand sleeping weather.
It was 46 degrees when I left the house this morning. Granted, I was a tad chilly: Sunday night, I popped all our cloth jackets into the washer to clean up the grub of the past few months. But it was late when they finished, and, since the last dryer caught fire we don't leave it running without supervision, they weren't dry when it was time for bed and I forgot to turn the dryer on last night when I got home.
I like to drive with the car window open; luckily I hadn't brought my hat in from the last cold spell and I keep a car blanket in the car. It kept me nice and warm on the way to work.
When I got into the ladies room this morning, two co-workers were complaining about how cold it was. They repeated it several times. Cold? I remember walking to school in -10 weather back in the days when girls weren't allowed to wear pants. That was cold. This was nice!
» Sunday, May 12, 2002
We drove down to see James' mother today for obvious reasons :-). On the way to the house, we drowe down Watson Boulevard in Warner Robins to go to the cemetery to drop off a flower arrangement at James' dad's grave.
We usually take another way to the house and were aghast at the development on the street. It used to be the outskirts of town with little local businesses dotted here and there, a building supply, mobile home sales, big tracts of bare land, etc. No longer: it's covered with restaurants, a couple of motels, lots and lots of stores.
On the way home we looked down Eisenhower Boulevard which leads to Macon Mall. Previously there had been a cluster of gas stations, a few stores, a Sam's Club, and a couple of motels at the intersection, then the businesses petered out and at the top of the hill there was a ridge of trees that hid the building of the US Office of Personnel Management where James used to work.
The trees are gone and even from the freeway you can see a shopping center lining the hill, with a Ross Dress for Less and other stores.
Heck, we'd stopped at the flea market exit in Henry County which used to be a few metal buildings in big expanse of farmland. The last few times we had been down there, they'd cleared the land and were building a huge shopping center. Now most of the stores are ready to open; indeed the BJ's is already open.
God knows I love some new stores. BJ's is great to explore and I applaud new Borders and Barnes & Noble's. But it's getting so you can't look anywhere that used to be beautiful countryside and see shopping centers sprouting everywhere, and it's annoying because elsewhere there are shopping centers with both big and small properties for rent.
I'm agreeing more and more with Rupert Holmes' "Town Square": "And say 'Enough now, enough now, can't you let it be?'"
» Wednesday, May 08, 2002
Evolution v. Creationism
I had a children's Bible from when I was very small and loved to read it. Also every doctor's office I was ever in had a copy of the first volume of Uncle Arthur's Bible Stories, which told the creation story with love and wonderful illustrations.
However, when I went to school, I also learned about evolution. I feel the evidence scientists have found make a good case for evolution. But I also thought creationism and evolution could exist side by side.
Having lived in Georgia now for eighteen years, I want to say that I now believe solely in evolution.
How else could one explain the existence of the fire ant, the most useless and annoying animal to ever exist? Certainly the wise God I know from the Bible would never create such a creature!
» Tuesday, May 07, 2002
This is the postscript to "the spinach story" I told on April 29. (Please read it. It's a great story about my mom.)
When I talked to my mom yesterday, she had to step away from the phone for a minute. When she came back she said, "I was warming up my spinach."
Blink. "Mom, you told me you hated spinach."
"I do. But the doctor said I have to eat a green vegetable." Turns out she hates asparagus worse than spinach and can't eat broccoli or kale because of her diverticulitis. So...spinach. Talk about choosing the lesser of many evils!
» Friday, May 03, 2002
James and someone (from work?) had a conversation last week in which they talked about wives and spending habits. Apparently the friend's wife likes clothing and shoes. I believe James said she had something like 80 pairs of shoes. Anyway, James allowed that as wives go I was pretty low-maintenance. (Oh, well, there is the book fetish...)
The shoe fetish and the clothes fetish passed me by a long time ago. Even when I was 117 pounds I was impossible to fit. I had small shoulders and large breasts, a small waist, big hips, and short legs. Nothing I buy ever fits correctly: either my shoulders bulge and lop or the blouse bulges "up front," pants' legs and sleeves are always too long. Now I'm dumpy, too--buying clothing isn't a pleasure, it's always been a martyrdom.
Shoes are worse. At least when I was a teenager my mom sewed my clothes and I had a proper fit for a while. I have a short, wide foot. I wore a 5 1/2 women's shoe--if I could find one wide enough--until I was in my twenties. I still really take a 6. But I have to wear a 6 1/2 because evidently the shoemakers are under the impression that someone with such a little foot also has a narrow foot. Bad generalization, guys.
For sneakers I usually wear what was once termed a "boy's" shoe (it's "adolescent" or some PC twaddle now). Even if the women's size 6 says it's wide, it ain't: the boy's shoe is usually at least a half an inch wider. And the kicker? The design is the same, a plain white Reebok leather sneaker. The "adolescent" shoe and the "woman's shoe" look exactly alike.
The woman's shoe is $20 more!
Anyway, what does one do with 80 pairs of shoes anyway? I don't count the two pairs of furry slippers, the two sets of animal slippers, or the flip flop foam slippers as shoes, so I have, count 'em, six pairs of shoes: the clean white Reeboks I wear to work, the grimy ones I wear on weekend, two pairs of boots that I haven't used for years (and the grey ones hurt), my high heels, and what are ostensibly supposed to be my work shoes, a lovely pair of "wide" charcoal grey Hush Puppies loafers that are still too narrow. I would like a pair of what the British call "Wellies" or equivalent to work in the yard so the #$!$@!! fire ants can't get me and they would wash off with the hose, but I haven't found them anywhere yet. But, counting those, what on earth would I do with more than seven pairs of shoes?
I think they compared notes about jewelry, too. Since my parents both worked in jewelry shops (factories) for a living, and I worked in one for two summers and 3 1/2 years, I have this certain "allergy" to jewelry anyway. But I get convulsed at those commercials on the radio and on television where they tell you the only one true way to make that special woman in your life know you care about her is to bring her home a little velvet box from Banks and Shane or the Diamond Company or whatever with a $2000 "tennis bracelet" or diamond pendant in it.
Sweetie, if you buy me anything that costs $2000, it better be in a big brown cardboard box that says "Dell" on the side! :-)
Exit, Stage Right (warning--spoilers for two movies and the 2002 Buffy finale!)
Did you notice that there's always a point in some dramatic movie, especially an action picture or a Western, where one of the good guy supporting characters starts talking about his future? He's gonna go straight, or marry his longtime girlfriend, or move to that dream house, etc. Or, occasionally, he does something positive: makes up with his wife or repairs the longtime rift with his kid or an old friend. Right away it dresses him in the stereotypical Star Trek "red shirt." Sure enough, before the movie ends, he's dead.
James and I have a peculiar term for this syndrome.
It started back in 1971, when both of us separately saw the movie Big Jake. In this Western flick, John Wayne is Jake McCandles, a cattle baron whose grandson is kidnapped. With the help of his two grown sons, an attack-trained collie, and an old friend, they go to deliver the ransom (really to give the kidnappers their comeuppance).
His old friend is Sam Sharpnose, a Native American scout who, obviously by the dialog, shares a long relationship with Wayne's character. Before the climactic firefight, Sam and Jake share a few words. When they finish up, they're going elk hunting in Montana.
Sure enough, Sam is killed.
Cut to 1990. Together James and I see The Hunt for Red October, in which the executive crew of a Soviet submarine decide to fake a nuclear accident aboard the sub in order to defect. In one scene, the captain and his exec are talking about what they want to do in the United States after the defection. Vasily, the exec, talks dreamily about having a "fat American wife" who will cook him rabbits. He also wants an RV so he can travel from state to state. But the state he wants to call home is...Montana.
Sure enough, poor Vasily gets offed by the hidden KGB agent aboard. His last words are "I would have liked to have seen Montana."
So there we were Tuesday night watching things go to hell for Our Heroes on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The only positive moment: Tara and Willow meet, talk, and at the end, make up with a great flurry of kissing.
Now, we've both heard all the spoilers for the season finale: Tara is killed and Willow goes berserk with black magic. But who believes all these rumors?
But after seeing that scene? The poor girl is headed for Montana for sure.
[05/07/2002: Yep, Tara copped it in the final scene tonight. No ifs, ands, or Buttes...]