The article I wrote based on the interviews I did at the Xena convention went up today at AfterEllen.com. And I'd have posted this sooner but I was up all last night with a sick dog, and spent most of the day at the vet and the rest of the day trying to catch up.
First, the Warrior Princess:
Viewers never had to look too hard to find the lesbian subtext in Xena: Warrior Princess, but that's still what it was: subtext. And while lesbian fans in the 1990s might not have had any choice but to settle for that, would things be different if the show were being made — or remade — today? When I attended the Xena convention in Burbank, Calif., at the end of January, I asked the show's creators, producers, writers and stars if the world is ready for an openly lesbian relationship between Xena and Gabrielle.
"To me it was main text," said Renee O'Connor, who played Gabrielle, in an exclusive interview with AfterEllen.com. "And even if it was subtext, it was very clear that we were together. They are so in love with each other, they love each other so dearly; there's no way you can say that's not true. Anyone can see that from watching the show."
I asked her if she thought that relationship could be openly acknowledged if the series were being made today. "I don't know," O'Connor answered. "Maybe there's a little bit more hint of acceptance today. Maybe, maybe not. You can only put it up and see what would happen. I guess we could do anything, just get it out there and see how it affects people."
In a lot of ways, Xena flew under the radar during the '90s. Viewers who didn't perceive (or didn't like) the lesbian subtext could see it simply as a story about heroic friends righting wrongs and battling villians. If the show were being produced in today's post–L Word television landscape, it's hard to believe that audiences would be quite as oblivious.
But O'Connor doesn't think that a more overt presentation of Xena and Gabrielle's relationship would have changed the moral heart of the series. That's because she sees those two things — the love between Xena and Gabrielle and the series' focus on the fight against evil — as inextricably combined.
"If we were just starting Xena right now, I know what the relationship of the two characters is," O'Connor said. "So even though we wouldn't blatantly talk about all the issues involved, because I don't think that's what the show is about, it's still about defeating oppressors and wanting to do the right thing for the world. And that comes down to these people and how they love each other."
It's all here.
Now the part about the dog and the superbug, from where I posted about it in more detail on Pet Connection:
And you thought spider bites were bad enough. Welcome to the brave new post-drug resistant superbug world — and meet the latest staph infection poster child, my Borzoi, Kyrie.
Wednesday night, she had a small, quarter-sized red patch on her hip that seemed to hurt her terribly. I got her into the vet the next day, and she diagnosed a spider bite, shaved and cleaned the area, and put her on antibiotics, pain meds, and gave me lydocaine spray to numb it. She predicted Kyrie would feel better in around 48 hours.
By Saturday, Kyrie had an 8 inch by 8 inch patch of infected, oozing, red, raw skin. It was swollen and blistered. I spoke to my vet, who told me to take her off the antibiotic and bring her in today for a skin culture.
But Kyrie spent all last night huddling next to me on the bed whimpering, so this morning I canceled the visit to my local vet, and headed off to see a specialist.
I had a fairly good idea what was going on, and my vet agreed with me: what we know in human medicine as methicillin-resistant staphylocuccus aureus, or MRSA.
In dogs and cats, a more typical finding is methicillin-resistant staphylococcus intermedius, MRSI, but it’s otherwise pretty much the same problem: a common bacteria, found in and on most dogs, people, and surfaces, has evolved to be able to resist the antibiotics we normally use to treat it.
Full story and gruesome photo, here.