Review: Meeting Tom Cruise podcast featuring Marc Blucas

I’m not even remotely a Tom Cruise fan, but Meeting Tom Cruise is one of the most stupidly entertaining podcasts I have ever mindlessly listened to at work.

This particular episode has been on my Spotify “Bizzy work flow” playlist since it came out— but I apparently didn’t recognize Marc Blucas’ name or I would have listened sooner.

Why should I recognize the name? Why would I have listened? Because Marc Blucas played Riley Finn on the television version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Riley was Buffy’s college boyfriend. I didn’t care for him much at the time (season four of Buffy that is) and then later watching the series with my husband and barely school-aged child.

Riley was All-American, tall, athletic, a psychology grad student and secret army hero hunting demons, which in the Buffyverse made him boring.

So when he appeared on this podcast I listened as a nod to my Buffy fandom days but did not expect to be impress.

He turned out to be a gifted story teller who has lived, as he humbly said, a “charmed life.” Marc grew up in western Pennsylvania in a small town where he got a basketball scholarship to I believe Wake Forest. He had a scholarship to go to law school but after making something like the final four division one shooting challenge he got recruited to play professional hoops in Europe.

Hall of Fame basketball player Tim Duncan was the best man at his wedding.

He had a business with Dale Earnhardt.

He landed a role sinking the three point shots in Pleasantville (another favorite of mine) and worked on First Daughter with Katie Holmes and then got cast in Knight and Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

I don’t think he ever made it to law school but he certainly returned to his roots on a 15-acre farm in Pennsylvania, complete with 300-year-old farmhouse.

I realize now that the various people telling their individual stories is what fascinates me about this podcast.

Boxing

When the teenager was a wee thing, she idolized Buffy The Vampire Slayer. So much so that as a seven year old she named her kitten Oz after Seth Green’s werewolf character.

Shortly thereafter— I can’t remember if it were a birthday or a Christmas present—but we got her a real Everlast punching bag and boxing gloves.

So she could train for her superhero career.

Today, my boss asked me to work late. And I had a library board meeting at 7. At 4:45 pm, since I had no lunch, I clocked out on my 30-minute meal break and went to the garage with the teenager.

Slamming on that punching bag released a lot of tension from my shoulders.

And the teen has another unorthodox gym class to add to her log for her phys-ed teacher.

I logged back into work at 5:15 and worked until 6:30. I’m beat. But I’m glad I took the time to box a bit.

Column: Halloween requires vampire TV (2006)

The paranormal has certainly blossomed in the mainstream during the last seven years. Spurred by the Twilight series and somehow morphing to Fifty Shades of Grey, there seems a bevy of options for fans of the supernatural. Pop culture always has monsters to offer society, whether you look at the classic fiction of the nineteenth century (Frankenstein and Dracula among them) or the mid-twentieth century soap opera Dark Shadows or Anne Rice’s successful franchising of her vampire chronicles and Mayfair witches.

As a mom and someone rapidly approaching 40, I have reached the out-of-touch generation. I’m still stuck in the era of Buffy and Angel, when YA wasn’t even a genre let alone an attraction for adults. I love some Harry Potter, but Bella and Edward make me cringe. And the best thing about Fifty Shades? Certainly not the writing or the sex scenes, but instead I’m excited that erotica is getting some attention from the mainstream. I never thought I’d see the day where erotica hit the shelves at Target.

I always loved vampires as a youngster. Vampires offer an examination of our individual struggles of good vs. evil in our own souls, a close look at the struggles of addiction, and an exploration of personality and the tendency to dominate or submit. The older I get the more I embrace more monsters: the witches who challenge their own power and their place in the universe, the werewolf who has to keep his animal under control, the psychic who must decide what to tell people and what to keep secret.

These are the themes the intrigue me as a writer and why I write paranormal fiction in my free time. I have three finished paranormal manuscripts and I am currently revising the second book in the series. I hope to revise my synopsis and get pitching to agents and editors again but that’s a topic for another day.

Today’s nugget (that spurred this whole blog entry) is an entertainment column I wrote about family friendly vampire television shows available in 2006.

vampire TV