Thursday, August 04, 2005

Anybody who knows me knows my Joss Whedon obsession. I have the complete collection of Angel, Buffy, and Firefly on DVD. I can't wait to see "Serenity," and I'm really excited (I never thought I'd say THIS) about the possibilities for "Wonder Woman."

There are certain hallmarks to his style that I love; the incredibly clever dialogue. The mix of genres, to where you're not sure if you're watching comedy, horror, sci-fi, drama, romance... The fact that sometimes your favorite characters get killed off when doing something dangerous, so you never feel completely secure about what's going to happen. For that matter, the complete disregard for where plots are SUPPOSED to go, in favor of where Joss thinks they SHOULD go. I even love the flaws in the characters. Buffy was an arrogant, lying girl, who wasn't always that bright. Willow had confidence and self-esteem issues that weren't solved in thirty minutes and a pep talk. Angel was way too depressed. And I think the doctor on "Firefly" was equally attracted to his sister and to Jayne (Adam Baldwin's character).

Okay, now that I think about it, the last one is just really ooky.

But anyway, I was watching an episode of "Firefly" a few minutes ago, and I realized what I loved the best about Joss Whedon. His characters come together to form a dysfunctional, messed-up family unit that is both utterly believable and wholly endearing.

And it makes me realize how much I miss my family.

I do have the coolest family of anyone I know. We've all gone in such disparate directions, but all pursued our dreams. And my siblings and I have one other thing in common; at one time or another, we've all been Jess.

Okay, you're wondering what the hell I'm talking about. It's not the crack, I tell you. I've got that under control, and I can quit any time I want.

First there was my oldest brother, Michael Jess. He got the name fair and square. And then I was named Jess Tandy, so I got it fair and square, too.

Then a few years ago, my brother got bored with being named "David." But while he wanted to change his name, he wanted to have something familiar. So he called me up and asked how I felt. I loved the concept. Having a brother with the same name as me - how awesome is that? Besides, he's the eccentric genius of the family, he's allowed such things.

Sadly, he ended up changing it back about a year ago. I mourned. I think his wife still calls him "Jess" though - that's what he was named when they met.

So then my sister Amy called me a few weeks (months?) ago, and asked how I felt. Again, loving the concept here. So she legally changed her name to Jes Mills. In full, it's either Jes Amy Elizabeth Mills, or Jes Elizabeth Amy Mills. I can't remember. (Elizabeth was my grandmother's name, and we both miss her immensely)

She's the one who just graduated college (Jes, not my dead grandmother). She just started working in the publishing industry, and just got a divorce, and in general, is just starting a completely different chapter in her life. And she wanted to start it with a new name. I think she picked a great one.

Now we've just got to talk my sister Tammy into thinking about her name...

I love my family, and when I become a millionaire, I'm building a giant mansion where we can all live close together. With our own wing each, so we don't have to live THAT close together.

Talk atcha later,

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