I'm convinced that one of Shonda Rhimes' favorite songs must be the old gospel hymn - "Will The Circle Be Unbroken."  The woman does love to close a circle - as most fans of her hit ABC TV Show, "Grey's Anatomy" will know and sometimes rue.  An interesting word that - "rue" sounds very akin to ruin which is what I think will happen if Shonda closes the latest circle.

Yo, Shonda Sunshine - some circles should stay broken.   Derek does not need to vilify himself further by closing this one.  The Mer/Der partnership does not require a "dark and twisty" member.

In case you've missed it, the latest drama on "Grey's Anatomy" puts the show's "raison d'etre"  (reason to be) at risk.  [Some things just require French.]  Yes, believe it or not, Shonda's newest plot would do MORE than destroy the couple whose rendezvous started the show off with a bang & propelled it to the ranks of television royalty.  It may turn out that Derek has been cheating in DC -- (I know, what's new about that, right?  Imagine - someone doing the down, dirty and dishonorable in DC!!)

The show started when McDreamy neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd discovered that his wife had been cheating on him with his best friend.  He walked in on them one evening - and walked right out and away from the marriage, fleeing to Seattle to accept a job long-offered by his old friend Richard Webber.  Of course, the viewers didn't know either his identity or his history any more than Meredith Grey knew it when she hooked up with him for a one nighter the night before she started her new hospital internship. The viewers knew what Mer knew - the man had a fabulous ass. (How naughty showing that was on TV at the time....)

We found out he was her bosses boss at the same time she did, and it soon turned out that their one night stand turned into love that looked strong and true and honorable.  Only, it turned out - not quite so honorable.  Derek was married, as we found out when his wife strolled into the lobby to greet the slut sleeping with her husband.  And don't forget - Addison (the then-wife) told Derek he'd have known she was coming if he'd answered any of her phone calls.

Now, flash forward.  Derek flies off to DC after a royal battle with his wife who refused to leave her career so he could go be a DC big shot.  And episode before last Mer called him and a woman answered.  She started asking herself and her friends -- Could Der be cheating on her?  Could history be repeating itself?  (Popular wisdom says - if he did it once, he'll do it again.) Previews for next week's epi show Derek telling Mer that they're in trouble -- and APPEAR to show him having a Mer/Der type hot and heavy moment with a lady in a lab coat (a new Grey's doctor?), complete with one of THOSE looks he only shares with Meredith.

Shonda Sunshine is a master illusionist, so perhaps we'll find out that things aren't the way it appears.  I hope so, anyway.  I hope that she who created Shondaland will not resort to cliches to close yet another circle.  Yeah - in strictly geometric terms, it would make sense for Der to have left for a new hospital, found a new woman, and be trying to shed the old one.  It would close a circle big style.

The problem is that many viewers, like this one, do not think or feel or grow attached to characters for reasons that have anything to do with logic.  As a romance writer, I thank every lucky duck in the universe for that fact.  I just hope it's not one that Shonda has forgotten.  And no, Sunshine, I don't think we need to explore the other side of infidelity.  I don't want you to introduce us to a new lady doctor and try to make us like her even though she's cheated with Derek, wants to cheat with Derek or may be about to cheat with Derek.  Because Shonda, we won't like her and we won't be too fond of you either.

Romantics everywhere have been convinced that Mer/Der are the real deal -- and we desperately need to believe that the real deal still exists somewhere outside of our own happy marriages (my case, Mr. Duck is a sweetie) - or for others, that it will exist for them in their next boyfriend, husband, wife, lover or partner.  The danger in Shonda convincing us that Mer/Der are the real thing is that if Der cheats, it means they're not.  And yeah, McDreamy would become the doc we love to hate and hate having loved, but he'd take Shonda and her show right with him -- especially if it turns out this is Dempsey's ticket off the show and onto the racetrack.

Making viewers love the lovers made Grey's Anatomy a television phenomenon and keeping viewers in love with the lovers has kept Grey's at the top. Breaking viewers' hearts will send Grey's on a shark-jump to television infamy.  And I hope that Shonda is smart enough to stay far away from turning Grey's into Heartbreak Hospital.

Here's one Grey's viewer who will be watching next week to see what rabbit Shonda pulls out of her hat this time.  And if there's no rabbit?  #TGIT will mean - "Thank God It's Thursday" because I can write all night.  And I'll take special care to keep my readers heart-whole and cheering for love.

I was never a country music fan -- until recently.  I discovered an affection for country music after I switched my reality-music-TV watching from "American Idol" to "The Voice." I wasn't very far along into watching "The Voice" before Blake Shelton's easy-going, strong as satin-wrapped steel demeanor struck enough of a chord for me to go into my Amazon Prime account and check out his music. And Blake connected me to country.

Why I had no appreciation for the genre before, I can't say.  A whole lot of country music speaks of life with a "Southern Voice" (Love that one by Tim McGraw, BTW). My Southern eyes see life just that way.  I've always adored Beach Music, the tunes to which Carolina Girls (Love that one by General Norman Johnson and the Chairmen of the Board) shag.  The shag is the official state dance of South Carolina because its a step that was, like me, born and bred in the Palmetto State.  Music connected to the South has always held an appeal for me, but for some reason, that didn't hold true for country.

Growing up, my neighbors and family liked country music and laughed at my love of rock and roll. It was scorned as "the devil's music." During my college years, most of us went out to clubs that played rock and roll, disco, and beach music.  The clubs that played country were the haystick places where you didn't go unless you were armed and appreciated watching a good bar fight.  My musical tastes matured as I grew, but somehow that never, ever included country music until "The Voice" introduced me to that "Playboy of the Southwestern World", Blake Shelton.

Blake's evangelism for the genre made me wonder how I'd never appreciated it before. Mr. Shelton speaks fervently of how country must be felt before its sung and of how it can only be sung well if it comes from the heart. Most great country songs revolve around the same core as my books - love, in all its good, bad, ugly and life-affirming variations.  It might be first love, back seat "love for tonight," brokenhearted love lost, love never returned or forever love found - but if its love, there's a country song with lyrics that tell the tale. (Blake's amazing wife, Miranda Lambert, has one about a "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" that delights an insane duck lady.  Any song that celebrates crazy is a good thing. I think Loretta Lynn said that first. )

There are country songs that celebrate having fun, loving family, appreciating friends and having a drink or ten while you're doing it.  But I've come to realize that other than a love for pick-up trucks,  the rebellious, raucous, loyal-beyond-a-fault country attitude describes my approach to life and writing. And it was something I was closed to - an automatic shut-off valve in my brain activated whenever a country song came on the radio.  That was 'change the station' time.  Now, I listen, enjoy and appreciate.

How much of life do we miss if we have automatic shut-off switches?  Whether it's different ideas, different values, different views of life or love - why not let it in enough to consider, to ponder,  to evaluate?  There is much absolutely abhorrent out there, and I'm not advocating that we accept or endorse every idea floating around the universe.  I'm just saying that what we should "shut off" are those switches that deprive us of the opportunity to grow and learn and to become and to keep becoming as long as we've life left to live.

Lots of folks who love country music may have their automatic shut-offs programmed to screen out over-the-top, avidly erotic tales of love between a man and a woman (Mary Anne Graham titles) or between two men (Olivia Outlaw titles - to date, but Olivia will expand too).  Well, a whole bunch of those folks are missing some stories that will read a lot like a country song sounds.  In my author's voice they'll recognize familiar notes sung in a different tone. If they give it a chance, their worlds might grow a little too, just like mine did when NBC's "The Voice" and country charmer Blake Shelton convinced me to override my shut off valve and re-consider country music.

I see it now -- my books read a lot like a Blake Shelton song sounds - and that's a very good thing.

I went to see the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie and left feeling disappointed and decidedly unmoved.  It was well-filmed, well-written and well-acted, but it didn't do justice to the book or its readers. Why?  Come on - if you saw the movie then you know the answer. There was no sizzle, no spark - no chemistry - between Christian and Ana. And the sizzle sells the story. Without that spark, the film fell flat.

I think some of that and perhaps a lot of it is due to the control the book's author insisted upon exercising over casting.  Rumors are rampant that the author is demanding even more control over the sequels.  If she gets it, then there is no point in making the films. And that's true even if Erika Mitchell (E.L. James) has a background as a film assistant and a television executive.  Even if the author has a background directing or producing movies, she must step aside from her book's movie.

A story belongs to the writer when it lives only on the hard drive of the writer's computer.  As soon as it leaves that safe, secluded nest, a story belongs to the readers - or its movie producer, director, screen-writer and actors. If the author doesn't let it go then it won't grow into something that lives, breathes and inspires. The book will be like the child who never leaves home.

In casting the movie, particularly, the author should not - absolutely should not - be involved.  A writer developed a vision of her characters that helped her tell their story.  Because her vision was so strong, she believes her readers saw the characters in the same way.  The author believes that if the characters appear in any way other than the way she wrote them then the story will not work.  The author convinces herself that she owes it to her readers to be sure that any film adaptation will feature only actors who look the part. The author is lying to herself, of course.  Every reader sees the story differently, and a film producer, director and script-writer will have their own vision. That's the story they must tell -- not the one written in black and white by an author. The author's story inspires the movie, but it can not confine the movie.

It never mattered that the actors playing Christian and Ana looked the part because Hollywood is like a fairy godmother.  It can turn a black actor white, a white actor black, and a human into an alien.  It can surely turn blond, red-headed, or black-haired actors into people who look like Christian and Ana. But Cinderella's fairy godmother could do more than dress her for the part,  and Hollywood can do no more than turn out players ready for the play.  Chemistry can't be created.  All the amazing special effects in the film-maker's arsenal can't create the special human magic that either occurs or it doesn't.

In "Fifty Shades of Grey" - the movie - the magic spell was never cast because it never existed between the actors. People who watched the movie without having read the books were left wondering one thing:  What kind of idiot female would dance to a tune played by a stalker with a God complex? Without the chemistry, the love between the characters never sold the story.

When an author's book is made into a movie,  there is only one place the author belongs -- in the audience.  The creative team making the movie must be allowed the freedom of spirit and independence of action that must occur to allow them to create a visual depiction that carries a viewer the way a good book carries a reader.  The creators aren't telling the writer's story.  They are showing the story that played in their heads, in their hearts, and in their spirits - while they read the writer's tale.  They are readers with cameras and make-up brushes, with scripts and director's chairs.

A story told well will create a different picture for every reader, shaded and contoured by the reader's own beliefs and experiences. Most readers can not take that picture and translate it into a film that moves the viewer. Making a movie is a creative act and every member of the team is an artist in his or her field. An author must respect the creative process enough to get out of its way.

*WARNING WARNING WARNING!!*

*THERE ARE DISGUSTING SEXUALLY DEVIANT PRACTICES DESCRIBED BELOW, WITH OFFENSIVE OPINIONS AND NASTY FLAVORED HATERADE!*

*IF YOU ARE A LITTLE CRYBABY WHO IS "TRIGGERED" BY REAL LIFE THINGS AND HAAAAAAATEFUL OPINIONS, GET BENT AND GET THE HELL OUT!*

*IF YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT THIS POST, THAT MEANS YOU DIDN'T READ THIS WARNING, YOU SUCK, AND SHOULD DIE FROM DONKEY AIDS ASAP!*

This is the Angry Old Fat Man, soon to be forced to watch one of the most anticipated (and IMO, most lame) film in recent history: Fifty Shades of Grey.

The only things I know about the movie and the books it is based on is the trailer, a few news stories, and very very little about what my wife the Crazy Duck Lady loves about her chosen genre.

  • The protagonist, a woman of course, is a normal middle class chick who's underemployed. She's a gorgeous hottie in her 20s (probably early 20s) WHO IS A VIRGIN.

The first WTF inability to suspend disbelief is right of the gate. If you're a hot little 20-something female, you got your share of dick long before college graduation. Some babes get so bored with dick and their owners at that time that they turn into LUGs - Lesbians Until Graduation.

A hot-as-hell 20-something female virgin? Get the fuck outta here. Only if she got all of her orifices (including her mouth... LOL!) sewed shut in high school is this possible.

  • Her love interest is a late-blooming entreprenuer billionaire who is so rich he has at least 20 expensive cars in the garage of his palatial digs.

A single guy who can rest his ass in a different car every day of a month is not going to be satisified with resting his weiner in one vajay-jay every fucking day for the rest of his life. PARTICULARLY if he made his money by working his way into it, as opposed to inheriting it. He needs a way to unwind, and only a moron thinks he can unwind by listening to the yammering of the same woman every... damn... night. No matter how sweet her tits and ass are in her 20s, her mouth stays in overdrive about the most banal shit until she's an ancient hag.

So the second WTF inability to suspend disbelief is a single billionaire dude whose life isn't a parade of premium-grade cocaine and ultra-high-class hookers.

  • Billionaire dude is into sado-masochism and promises the entire rest of his life to the woman who can take his "abuse".

From what I've heard of it, "sado-masochism" here is related to real sadism/masochism like McDonalds Chicken McNuggets are related to chicken marsala. If, you know, chicken marsala involved blood and pain of the diner as well as the chicken.

Let me make my first prediction about the movie: there will be no sodomy. Unless you count oral sex as sodomy, in which case you probably will think this movie is horribly scandalous.

For the rest of us who have seen at least 5 minutes of porn made in the 21st Century, or read pretty much anything written by the Marquis de Sade in the 18th Century, the sex in the movie is going to be bland as hell.

There will probably be (simulated) blowjobs and (simulated) penis-in-vagina. And according to news stories, there's going to be "sex toys", aka vibrators and dildos.

As a comparison, dildos are weapons in video games that 13-year-olds play nowadays, and porn (supposed to be viewed by people 18 and over, but usually frequently gets seen by 13-15 year-olds) now features ON A REGULAR BASIS analingus, anal sex, and ass-to-mouth. Hard slapping and rape-like choking are also near-mainstream in porn.

So if you want woman-logic-style mommy porn, then go see Fifty Shades of Grey. Or if you love your wife enough to have your eyeballs, ears, and erections assaulted by dipshittery, then proceed.

 

And now, time for AOFM to do the nasty - and watch the movie.

3

I've been working on Olivia Outlaw's new m/m erotic romance - an "Isle of Bliss" novel. I've gotten more writing done this weekend than in the last few put together.  You know who I have to thank for that?  Amazon.

Yes, that's right, the source of  most of my writing income has now put out an excellent tool to help me increase it. It's the new streaming music service for Amazon's prime customers. I thought the free book borrows, free movie and TV streaming and the two-day shipping were already great reasons to pay for Prime. The streaming music service absolutely earns its keep and, in my house, more than pays for itself.

The single greatest enemy to my writing is distraction.  The story must flow in my head.  I have to be with the characters, in their skins, to know what they are going to say and do.  Television is a wonderful thing but if my head is in a program then it's not in my writing.  Sometimes, I can have a news channel or a reality program in the background and that works until something catches my attention - which is what the programs are designed to do, after all - and bingo - I'm distracted.

Music is great to write to and I love my oldies. To me, the best years of music are between the 60's and the 80's.  Not too much great stuff has been written or recorded since then, save for a few things in the 90's. We have a local station in Myrtle Beach, Sunny 103.1, and it play's some great stuff. I Heart Radio has a Great Classic Oldies station that also spins some fine stuff.  And I often listened to Q105 out of Tampa Bay, Florida to get the beat of my writing.

The problem with all of the great online radio is that sooner or later something would play that I didn't like or an annoying ad would play and it would be a lot louder than the music.  Either distracts me into changing the channel, looking for a new one, or leaving my writing and boogling over the the internet. Then the flow is gone and writing is all about the flow.

Amazon's streaming music for Prime changed all that.  I download my favorite music. It's a mix too eclectic for any radio station.  Seriously, on my streaming Prime I have pop, disco, rap, country, gospel, metal, and patriotic music. I have Corey Smith's "Carolina" - one of the great tunes of all time.  I have Susan Boyle's "Hallelujah." And, on Father's Day as this is written, I'm very glad that I have Judy Collins' "Amazing Grace."  It's the best version of the hymn ever done or that can ever be done.  My late Father ran an upholstery shop and when that song played, he would stop whatever he was doing, his face would glow and he would be happy. It's how I remember him.

I presently have 234 songs from 16 different genres streaming.  And the service has a music player that shuffles so no matter how I uploaded the songs - grabbing all the Charley Daniels in a row or two versions of "Hallelujah" - it plays randomly. If I'm not in the mood for one then I hit skip, knowing the next tune is one I'll also love. And while the music plays, if one spins I really like, then I look in the sidebar.  Just like the "readers also bought" feature, Amazon will tell you about the songs people who got this one also bought.  And there's another one to snag for my collection.

So, I'm tossing a big "THANK YOU" to Amazon for the streaming music service. It keeps me primed for writing which makes me happy, keeps me out of my family's hair, and makes my creditors feel like dancing. And if you're not already a Prime customer, then the streaming music service is the best reason going to join today. If you're a creative type then you can't afford not to have streaming prime music because it'll keep you in the same place it keeps me - flowing towards a happy ending.

 

 

A quick thought after tonight's episode of Grey's - the beginning of the end for Cristina.  Yes, it looks like she'll head off to Zurich to become the Superwoman of Cardiac, but it feels wrong and empty.

The Burke Shonda showed tonight was not Burke until his last scene with Cristina. "The way I loved you was consuming,"  - that was the Burke we all knew.  And he admitted that if Cristina worked with him they would end up back together.

Yes, there is a reason for that.  It's because Burke is Cristina's soul mate the same way Derek is Meredith's.  And I'm enough of a romance author to feel that Shonda got it wrong tonight.  I'm glad Cristina will head off to conquer the next generation of medicine. And I'm glad she'll be at the forefront of that. But being a pioneer at anything is a lonely business and Cristina deserves better.

Even if Owen leaves the hospital and moves with her - it's not enough.  It would be the same as Grey's fans imagining a Dr. Burke who settled instead of one who moved Heaven and Earth to have it all.  Cristina's happy ending should include a consuming career and a consuming love.  We want to imagine that Cristina is out there, forging a future with her soul mate the same way Meredith is forging a future with hers.

No matter what happens now, it will feel like settling.  I think Shonda got this one wrong and I think she was influenced by the bad things the actor playing Burke did that got him tossed from the show.  This feels more like Shonda punishing the character for the misdeeds of the actor -- and shortchanging Cristina in the process.

The Cristina/Burke arc is one circle that Shonda should have finished.

Big news in the Grey's world - Isaiah Washington, a/k/a Dr. Preston Burke, Cristina Yang's version of Dr. McDreamy, is returning for an episode in May.  Grey's fans will recall that Cristina cut her teeth on Burke's wisdom, and became more than his muse - for a while, after an injury, she was his hands.  Yes, Cristina learned those amazing cardiac skills as an intern by illegally performing complex cardiac surgical procedures on patients while her lover, Burke talked her through them.

Washington was famously fired after an anti-gay slur on the set against fellow cast member T.R. Knight - George O'Malley.

At the time, Burke and Cristina were getting married.  Yes, Virginia, Yang got corralled into a big, traditional, totally not-Cristina-style formal Church wedding.  It didn't happen because Cristina ran away, almost literally at the altar.

So, how will Shonda Sunshine Rhimes write his return?  Here's my thought.  We all saw in the last episode that divorced spouses Cristina and Owen had sex.  Later, the girlfriend Owen was about to move in with went all traditional spouse on him, telling him that she wants kids and wants to be home with the kids, walking them to school.  That prompted Owen to break up with the girlfriend, taking her out to dinner to tell her that he didn't want that.  He wants a wife who is involved in her career, a surgeon with whom he can discuss surgery and medicine.

That sounds --- an awful lot like Cristina, doesn't it?  It sounds like Owen wants the wife he had.

So, Sunshine could play it that way.  Perhaps, Owen and Cristina will reunite, taking it slowly, at first, but then deciding to go "all in."  This time, they'll go "all in."  It may be his idea or it may be hers, a reaction to her history.  But they could decide to schedule a big ole' Church wedding.  Only, in Shonda Sunshineland, history tends to repeat itself and things end up where they started.

So, I think Cristina may show up at the Church, all dressed in white, and the wedding march will play (sound familiar?) - only, at the last minute, she can't do it.  She just can't do it.  And she runs out of the Church, down a flight of stairs, to find a posh, luxury car (I see it as a convertible, but it could be a limo ).  And the driver is - yes, you got it - Preston Burke.  He looks at Cristina and says something like, "Going somewhere?" or "I thought you might need a ride."

And Cristina gets in the car.  As Burke speeds away, she asks him, "Where are we going?" And he answers, "Where we were always meant to be." Cristina snarks, "And where is that?" And Burke answers, "Together."{   And Cristina doesn't snark.  She thinks, and smiles and nods........  and they drive off, into a joint future as the hotshot couple of cardio.....

I could be wrong.  Burke could show up just to say, "I came to see if you'd really do it this time." Or something similar, but Sunshine does love her circles.  I DO NOT, IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM SUPPORT WASHINGTON'S ANTI-GAY SLUR, but I think he's been interviewed a lot in the intervening years. I hope, and believe that his attitude has changed.  And I think Shonda thinks that's true because otherwise, regardless of how tempting the prospect, I think she'd have written it differently.

Regardless, in strict show terms, I think Derek is Meredith's McDreamy, and I think Burke is Cristina's.  Having her end up with anyone else would just seem wrong.

We shall see, right Grey's fans?  And while we wait, don't forget to pick up my tribute to Grey's Anatomy, Dangerous Relations:  Griffin's Law.

 

So, "Thriller" starts with Arizona moving on......... with Leah.

"But I love your kids-"  Cristina.  No, you can't have it both ways.

And Bailey's hubby shows up.  I think she's gonna get her groove thing back - whether she likes it or not.  And she won't b/c Webber's gonna let a resident operate.

Zombies in the ER!! They attack!!  Of course. (So did Derek - first season...)

Der and Ben bond over butterfly surgery but Bailey's not feeling so festive.  The Chief throws her off his case because she doesn't want to teach............doesn't want to teach?  Bailey?  The Nazi?  How did everything get turned backwards?

It's not Seattle Grace anymore, is it?

Meredith and Cristina aren't even each other's person anymore.

And now the Chief wants Meredith back on his case.  And he apologizes.  And asks her to teach the interns.  Mer can't be the Nazi.  She's the Mama.

And the little girl Karev's been treating who could get scared to death -- of course she's the one who finds the patient only Shane can see.  "I see dead people........."

But Shane finds her and Karev finds the girl.

It's an UnHalloween.  It's all been a very, very UnHalloween.

It's the year without a Halloween..........

Ben tells Bailey he quit and Bailey asks........  You don't love it..........He says he loves her............and she says she's disappointed in him.  That's not the Nazi, not at all.

And Cristina brings cupcakes but Mer doesn't even know she came.  So Cristina goes out and becomes a Witch.

Jo breaks out of her cocoon and becomes a butterfly for Alex.

It's a very, very unHalloween.........

Cristina is getting smaller and smaller and smaller and soon she'll disappear.........

The description of this epi worries me a bit.  It says Derek and Callie collaborate on a brain-mapping project.  Last week's epi ended with a showdown between Mer and Der.  So, Der may be in a bad place - feeling like he's being blamed for something he didn't do - those choices were Meredith's.  And Callie?  She's all over the map right now - a real emotional roller coaster.   They're already close enough for confidences based on the time Callie lived with Mer/Der.  I don't want them getting any closer -- that's what I'm saying.

There's Der lecturing interns about a new brain-mapping computer program - using the thoughts of a paraplegic about movement to demo.  Of course, they see something irregular on the paraplegic's brain during the study.  Callie should be there but she's MIA & Der agrees to look for her.  Still don't feel good about this, especially after the first shot at casa Mer/Der where Mer touches Der's shoulder and he shrugs her off.  He hasn't gotten over Mer's accusation that he stole her career.

And Mer hasn't gotten over the truth Cristina laid on her.  She's looking for a research project.

And Der brought a mug from home to work that he gives to Shane to put away.  Shane doesn't and when she goes into the Chief's room she sees it, shrugs it off and say, "I have a mug like that at home."  I have a bad, bad feeling about that mug too especially after one of the interns drops it and it shatters...

Der finds Callie later.  She says she wants off the project.  Yes, let it go!

Mer is shoving away the idea of finishing a research project of her Mother's.  She's still not ready to go there.

And Der's talking about fixing the paraplegic's brain with glue.  He wants to finish the project and refuses to let Der take out the sensors for the brain project unless he removes the tumor.  Der says that's too dangerous.  And Shane proposes glue to Cristina for a heart repair.

Dear Duck - Der goes after Callie again and she's gushing about how Der and Mer have it figured out - how they can make the pieces fit.  And Der looks guilty but says nothing.

Heart guy agrees to Cristina's suggestion about using glue - a brand new procedure - but he hopes he dies.  He and wifey sold everything and maxed out all the credit cards to enjoy life.  They planned to pay them off with life insurance.

And all of a sudden, Mer wants her mother's journal back.

But the intern glued the mug together.

Mer lays it on Cristina, says Cristina pushed her aside last week because Mer had a baby.  And Cristina doesn't have time for anything she can't relate to, that's different.

Der tells Mer he wants to spend more time on research, less on surgery so that she can concentrate on her work.  He'll be spending that time doing research with Callie and that still worries me - even while he's being all McDreamy.

And he puts the glued mug back in the cabinet.  The pieces are glued back together, but it's still broken.

And the mug still worries me............

Grey's is turning 200?  And Patrick Dempsey is still McDreamy?  Nah, Grey's is turning 10 tonight with episode 200 - but , P Demp is still mighty fine.

It does make me think though -- other than for a wedding (which is different) - the last time the cast got all fancied up was for the prom Chief Webber had at the hospital for his dying niece, who missed her prom.   That was THE episode - Denny died and Der's dreamy looks sent Mer running away from the vet.  Der chased her down a hallway and into an exam room, ending his marriage and Mer's romance with the vet.

April says "He accepts me for what I am, but that's enough, that's everything."  Arizona asks:  "Are you talking about Matthew or Jesus?"  And April gets that wild-eyed, what am I doing look.

And Webber punches Bailey while she is trying to help.  He's in a hospital.  There are drugs everywhere.  He's a doctor.  If he really wants to die - he can make that happen.  So he doesn't want to die -- he just wants to punish everyone who still loves him.

This ball, though, is much different.  Jackson was thinking rich and conservative and he got Vegas, complete with c clowns, gymnasts, magicians, waiters on unicycles and one very charming juggler - Dr. McDreamy.  It seems that Mer and Der both want to win the prize for raising the most money for the hospital at the gala -- and, like Callie says, both of 'em are bored silly at home.  (How they could be bored with a newborn and a toddler to care for is beyond me.  Maybe they need to write some romance novels.  Then they'd be tickled tangerine to have all that time at home to write -- I know I'd be. )

Fancy party - and McDreamy, he was charming a group of well-heeled ladies moments ago, is jealous of Mer flirting.  I guess he remembers that Mer can be a little easier to catch on formal evenings.

And while the attendings are away, the interns are owning the ER.  "Locked and loaded" indeed.

Der fetched the baby from the hospital day care and brought little Bailey to the party.  Is there a better hook for charming money from folks than a McDreamy man with a newborn?

Dear Duck.  Callie is raising money by telling peeps that her wife is dead; April overheard; and now April is sharing champagne with Arizona in the supply room.  Is there any chance April won't spill the beans?

Uhh ohh, the baby spit up on Mer and now she's wearing a hoodie over her fancy gown.  (Was that McDreamy's plan?)

Dear Duck, the sequel - a gymnast just fell in the middle of Jackson's big speech.  It looks like a broken bone and Callie's on the spot. All the doctors head out - and Derek misses Meredith.  He tracks her down in the OR where she tells him he's better at charming donors - and then she offers him a surgical instrument and a spot at the table.

And the old junkie Cristina has to do heart surgery on?  Alex thinks he might be his father.  Karev hasn't seen his Dad in 20 years.  Jo walks in to find Karev trying to draw his own blood for a test.  What a way to find your father!

And Jackson brings the formerly fleeing rich folks to the OR gallery to take them behind the scenes of the circus.  And they ask - "How much do you need?"  That's the sweetest question since the jury in "The Verdict" returns with the question - "Is our award limited to the amount the Plaintiff asked for?"

And there are Mer and Der in the exam room........talking about the prom I started off this post by discussing -- and then they do more than talk.  Still wicked in the best ways.......

Bailey moves her lonely, racist patient in with the Chief!  That'll be interesting.

And Jackson walks in on Shane kissing his woman - the one he didn't ask to the party. But she goes after Jackson.  Look how far they've come on Grey's boys and girls!  Der and Mer had to hide because he was an attending and she was an intern.  Now the Chief of the Board can kiss an intern right in the open, in the remains of his big party.

And Bailey's gambit makes the Chief try -- Cristina finally pushes Owen away hard enough to make him try - and Mer/Der give getting back to work a try (why?  I guess medicine is their writing)

The show ends with a quote from "on with the show."  Because it must go on - and we must try - even though trying is the hardest thing of all.....