Only The Gods Are Real.


‚ÄčMy newest obession isn’t new at all – only new to me. It’s actually an over-a-decade old obession for some.

Let me pause to say: I read a book.

This is a big thing for me. As a child I took part in a competitive reading program. Accelerated Reader. I mean… it worked. Prizes were awarded but I did also enjoy reading and did a lot of it for a 10 year old but by the end of fifth grade I was done reading. Suddenly, reading became painful to me. The last book I remember that I chose to read, completed and retained it’s information was ‘Dracula’ and it still remains my favorite book.

Well… maybe.

So here I am, some 10+ years later, and I’m finding it a necessary comfort to tote a book around with me where ever I scurry.
This entry in The Misterhood of the Traveling Pizza isn’t just about a book though. No, this is something much larger.

I am so thankful a handsome, tall and cheerful fellow waltzed into work one day with a passion for the imaginary and a path to set me on. This soulmate-esque coworker spoke often of what I believe is his favorite author and highly suggested the best seller “American Gods”. Sure, it took me a couple years but, I’m finally wading into the waters that cause one to fall madly in love with Neil Gaiman.
The moment I sat in that silent gym and first opened the crisp pages of my newly purchased book… I knew it was for me. The tone, the characters, the subject matter, the pop culture references. They all made it seem like this book was written just for me.

Suggesting it to others is a new hobby of mine. “American Gods” is a novel about a man, imprisoned, who gets out a little early due the death of his beloved wife. He’s made some poor choices but he’s soon to find out so have other people in his life. On his way to her wake he comes across a strange man who wants to hire him for odd jobs and… security? Our main character is then thrown into this world that exists without our knowledge and yet stands nexts to us in day to day life.

As we all immigrated to America we brought our culture, our lore, our gods. They took root in America as we created what we now call ‘the metling pot’. Times change though and today our greedy society is taking power from the old gods and new ones have been created. Technology, media, money – all the things we give unlimited power to today.

Without giving away too much I can say our main character ‘Shadow’ gets to explore these gods, this… other world (so to speak) and gets caught in the cross fire of that tale as old as time where the past fights the future. Now that I’ve completed the tenth anniversary edition of ‘American Gods’ I can definitely see why it was an international best seller.
What made me finally go out and buy it was the fact that Starz had created a television series of it that was soon to air. Having given up on reading, I’m normally one of those usual suspects who hasn’t read the books that television series are based on. This time was going to be different. With a trustworthy recommendation and content that closely related to my interests, I felt an urgent need to complete this book before it made its way to my t.v. screen.

That’s what else this entry is about. My obsession doesn’t end with “The End”. Watching both trailers for the upcoming series has become a daily religious practice of mine. You can watch it at the link below. Or go back to my Facebook page where I will post it immediately after this.

[American Gods: Season 1 Trailer]
Neil Gaiman himself approves of Starz’s creation and the cast has me giddy like a school child. Now, I know our main character ‘Shadow’ from Keri Russell’s “Austenland” where he played a horribly over the top soap opera actor but from what I’ve seen it doesn’t seem like serious, stoic characters are absent from his wheel house. You’ll know the others though:

Ian McShane
Emily Browning
Kristin Chenoweth
Gillian Anderson
Orlando Jones
Crispin Glover
Cloris Leachman
Dane Cook

and… wait for it… Pablo Schreiber aka Pornstache from “Orange Is The New Black”.

As you watch the trailers and read the novel you get unspoken promises of blood, sex, mythology and sheer epicness. But.. maybe you don’t want to commit to reading it though because the show is just a month way.

Well you’re in luck! The first season is said to cover a third of the book with episodes giving you backstory not found in the text. Watch the 8 episodes… if it tickles your fancy… read the book. You can find cheap copies on Amazon or even get the audiobook free with Audible’s 30 day trial. I bought the $20 tenth anniversary edition at B&N and then found a Neil Gaiman double feature hardback for $25 that I added to my collection. This one is a good idea because you get Anansi Boys as well, which tells the tale of another character.

If you’re just interested in the show though I will leave you with this nifty chart Neil Gaiman shared himself. Starz obviously isn’t known for it’s AMAZING shows like HBO or Showtime so they want everyone to know their options. Thank the gods for Amazon Prime!

Orange Is The New Australian


My life has always been chronicled by films and television series. Each roll of film that was produced, and somehow made it’s way to me, tacked itself onto the corkboard of my life and stayed there to help me remember something or someone.

The lackluster Home Alone 3 was the film my aunt took me to see while my Mom chaperoned my brother to see Kate Winslet’s breasts in Titanic. Along Came Polly was the film a group of friends and I went to see the night I formed a very cliche high school crush on a girl out of my league. Stella & Please Like Me were the television series that I discovered and that got me through my hernia surgery when I was off work for two weeks.

And Orange Is The New Black is the show a best friend and I turned on while her boyfriend was pussy-footing around getting ready to go see the new horror film (at the time) The Conjuring.

It was meant to cure brief boredom but quickly, like the rest of the world, became a favorite of ours. Each season hit my funny bone and at the same time found a few moments that it could take my breath away.

Overall I am just a little too loyal to television series. Once I pop I just can’t stop. But I am still very caught up in all that is OITNB.

I’m very concerned though at the oversight of another show on Netflix that I see everyone missing (with the exception of a few friends). I just want to kidnap people and duct tape them to a metal chair in an abandoned warehouse and make them watch it all in one sitting.

It’s called Wentworth. It’s a drama about a women’s prison and their new inmate “Bea“… a beautician who may or may not have attempted to kill her husband.

A lot of people see it as a rip-off of OITNB and therefore avoid it. Don’t get me wrong – There are a lot of similarities, but… and please don’t grab your torches or light your pitch forks over this… I think Wentworth is… better.

I don’t like trying to sound like a critic – getting all pretentious and over-analytical – so here are just 3 reasons why I think you should give Wentworth a shot.

1. Drama. Wentworth is definitely not as light hearted as OITNB. No, it follows the violence and hierarchy between the inmates and security of the prison. No quirky chicken chases or panty-tainting businesses here.

2. Mystery. It’s not just about the drama. Stories and characters shift and change to the point that sometimes you won’t know what’s going on but you better get ready for the big reveal. From the very beginning the main character supposedly tried to kill her husband and, while a beautician by day, she is not some prissy girl who just hung around the wrong crowd.

3. Quantity. There are four seasons ready to be watched on Netflix. Four seasons! FOURTY SIX EPISODES! With more on the way! Let’s see. With an average of 45 minutes per episode that’s roughly TWO THOUSAND AND SEVENTY minutes of prime Netflix binging! What a perfecy way to kill time waiting for season two of Stranger Things!

4. Familiarity. All the parts we love of OITNB are still present in this show. The show takes us into the stories of Bea’s fellow inmates and allows you to symapthize or judge them for their actions. Plenty of characters will win your hearts over… just be careful who you get attached to.

5. Accents. Did I mention this show is Australian? Wentworth’s characters charm me with their diverse dialects. I don’t know about you but I love a show that takes me to a new place around the globe and as you hear these characters speak and use different slang you will definitely find it more interesting.

What more do you need? The Netflix community has granted it a red, five star rating!

From what I’ve been watching it appears Australia is really bringing their A-Game when it comes to the entertainment industry these days. I’ll keep watching and suggest you do too.

What are you waiting for? 

Start it now while your boss isn’t watching!