Monthly Archives: February 2015

Once a year… – Emily DeBias


“Emmylou-who! Hullo to you!” – Mama

My mother is a great many things. When my mother was younger she wanted to be a clown. Correction. My mother is a clown. She may not have the official title and she doesn’t go around town with a big red nose on, but make no mistake. If papa was a rolling stone; my mama is a clown. My mother was the first one to make me laugh and I find great joy in making her laugh in turn. She kind of screams actually. She kind of sounds like a goat…I mean that lovingly, ma. When she really truly laughs she screams and then goes completely silent. The only way you know that she is laughing are her shoulders. Bobbing up and down, up and down.

My mother is a salesperson. There are sayings about people like my mother; “She can sell sand to an Egyptian.” “She can sell glasses to a blind man.” Etc, etc, etc. My mother would go a step further though, she would ask if she could help the Egyptian carry said sand back to Egypt, just for the adventure. She would ask the blind man if she could walk with him and have tea just to hear his story. My mother loves people and people love her. She treats everyone equally, the way people should be treated. I’m honestly surprised I haven’t heard of her protesting on behalf of people. Yet, that is also how my mother was raised. Which is strange to hear about in that time. People not seeing color or sexual orientation in the early 50’s and 60’s, but that is how she was raised and I am ever grateful for that because that was how I was raised.

My mother worked in a cubicle, a laser hair removal office, a talent agency, and a children’s theatre; but most people remember her as a waitress. She was good. Well, to an extent. If Joycie brought you the fried fish instead of that burger you actually ordered you just ate it. You know that song “Dizzy”? That’s my mother. But you can’t help but love her.

My mother calls me…a lot. Usually just to say hi, but sometimes there’s a story. A funny story. A story so funny that we’re both in tears and she can barely get the words out to tell me what happened. It’s a language only her and I can speak and I’ve spent years mastering it. I’m a Joyce-linguist-master. If you want an example of such a story, head over to my old blog and check out the time she called to tell me about the time she “accidentally waxed her cat”. That is not a euphemism folks. That actually happened. My mother also likes to call and tell me the weather. “Emmy, it’s cold out there.” I live in the Midwest. She calls me at Christmas time and tells me to “look at the Christmas lights.” This is why I love my mother.

The reason I tell you this is because today is my mama’s birthday and once a year I actually get to tell people what an amazing person she is. For those who don’t know anyway. My mother had me when she was young and some times I feel like we were meant to be together. She was meant to teach me the meaning of laughter and taking life as it comes, and I, well I was put here to teach her structure. That is not to say that my mother doesn’t get anything done. She can, when she puts her mind to it. And come on, she raised two kids practically by herself and she managed to always remember when bills were due.

My mother is everyone’s champion and everyone’s biggest fan. I feel blessed everyday to be referred to as “Joyce’s daughter”, and when the day comes I hope my children are even half the person their Mimi, Nanny, Ninja, Grandma, Granma-Dukes is. She is simply amazing and I’m convinced there is no one in the world like her. There will also never be anyone like Joyce, Joycie, BOP, Ma, Mama, Momma, Momma-dukes. So, no matter what you call her, take a second and wish her a happy birthday or just stop and think about that one time you went to such and such a place with Joyce or, at the very least, fill today with joy. For that is her name. Joyce.

Happy birthday, to my mighty hermaphrodite! Love you, mama!

The Magician’s Land- Lev Grossman


There was no end to Fillory, no end to the beauty and strangeness, except there was, and this was it.

The last book in The Magician’s trilogy is by far the best one of the set. Not without its fault, the end of the series is a roller coaster ride of adventure. Without wasting any time Grossman plunges us right into Quentin’s world post-Fillory and in to a life of magical crime. Always looking for the next big adventure Quentin takes sides with a talking bird, a stoic stranger, and a misfit band of magicians to steal a suitcase. What’s in it? Don’t know. Why do we want it? Not sure… ‘Kay.

So starts The Magician’s Land. He also takes us back to Fillory where Janet, Eliot, Josh and Poppy are doing their royal best at trying to keep the seams from breaking apart. Come to find out, that’s impossible. Now, without giving too much away, this book does jump around quite a bit and some times I had trouble keeping track of where I was. Especially when it comes to the back story of Plum, a vivacious undergrad from Brakebills who also happens to be living a life of crime, and Quentin. You have to just be ok with the fact that you’re going to be confused for a couple of chapters. Are they lovers? How did they meet? Why do they not want anyone to know that they have met prior to the talking bird? That being said. I love Plum! She is a fresh young voice that the, now grown, Physical Kids needed. He definitely makes the fact that the gang has grown up by adding a lot more “adult” language.

As with The Magician King loved characters come back in to the fold and also places that you never thought you would hear of again make a triumphant return. Fillory is always there, even when it’s not specifically being referenced. You’re always thinking of Fillory. I know. I know. I was a huge Fillory hater when I first started the series but I can’t help but love it now. As a good friend of mine said once; “I want to go to there.” We would all be lying if we said we never thought about getting accepted to Hogwarts, crawling through a wardrobe to Narnia, or holding a button to get to the Neitherlands. Grossman brings the feelings and wonder of wanting to be in a magical world when you’re young and makes it possible for us to entertain the notion as adults of flying on the back of a hippogriff. It is a satisfying end to a satisfying reading experience. Magic is everywhere friends, but remember it all comes at a price, dearies.