Sketches: Red


Gentle Reader,

Many thoughts tumbling around in my head right now. I spent two-and-a-half days at a church conference, learning a lot and giggling with my fellow delegates. (The powers that be might just kick our church out of the district. That’s how dignified and mature we were). I plan to look over my scribbled notes and share what I’ve learned with you over the coming weeks, but today I’m still in processing mode.

So, let’s talk: red. (Prompt submitted by my blogging buddy and fellow Blacklist fan Lynette).

Raymond Reddington

I have to start here, because Lynette and I both love the man in the fedora. Or maybe we just love James Spader. Not in a creepy way. In a, “Dang, he’s a good actor” way. And he really is. In the hands of a lesser thespian, Red would come off as nothing but cruel. Thankfully, this is not something through which we must suffer.

I discovered the Blacklist at the beginning of 2015, when I could do nothing but sit in a recliner and watch television. The show has had its ups and downs (Season 4, anyone?) but I remain intrigued by the story of a notorious criminal and just why he’s so invested in the life of an FBI agent. For every answer the writers give, 17 more questions pop up (and the viewer cannot be sure that the answers are really answers). For better or worse, I’m riding this train all the way into the station.

Red Foreman

Danny Masterson turned out to be a really terrible person, which means I don’t feel comfortable watching That 70s Show reruns any longer. When Chris and I were dating and had no money whatsoever, we would sit in my parent’s basement and laugh until we cried at the antics of Eric, Donna, Kelso, Fez, Hyde and Jackie. A couple of years ago when I re-watched the series on Netflix, I realized just how funny the adult characters were, with Red Foreman easily topping the list. His antagonistic yet ultimately loving relationship with his son (and, by extension, his son’s friends) provides a strong emotional core to an otherwise conventional sitcom.

Red Baron

My favorite Christmas song is Snoopy vs. the Red Baron, performed by the Royal Guardsmen. (By happenstance, that song irritates my father, so I’m sure that there’s deep psychological meaning to my choice). The lyrics are all about peace overcoming fear and violence, a message dear to me. Plus, I simply like the absurd thought of a beagle taking on a World War I fighter pilot.

Manfred von Richthofen was quite the character. Originally a member of the German cavalry, he joined the Air Service in 1915, eventually becoming lead pilot of Jagdgeschwader 1, known as “The Flying Circus” due to its brightly painted planes. von Rochtofen really did fly a red plane, really did win the most aerial battles of World War I (more than any other pilot from any of the combatant nations), really is the most famous flying ace of all time and nobody is really sure exactly who killed him.

Red hair

Anne Shirley is a hero of mine. I’ve read the Anne of Green Gables series multiple times and I can quote long pieces of dialogue from the films (the Kevin Sullivan classics, not the awful 2017 Netflix reboot). I’ve wanted to have hair as red as hers for as long as I can remember, though I’ve never even thought of dyeing it. Mostly because I’m extremely lazy, beauty-routine wise, and I’d have six inches worth of grow-out before I finally dragged myself to the salon again.

There was a time, though, during the long winter months, when I was young and dumb, when I would pour straight hydrogen peroxide over my wet hair in an attempt to bring out the highlights that the summer sun naturally produced. I cringe thinking about that now. At least my tresses didn’t come out green.


When I desire comfort food, my mind immediately goes to my mom’s spaghetti. She believes that canned sauce is for peasants and so pours various things into the crock pot to simmer all day. The sauce, red and juicy, bubbles and pops, making the kind of mess that guarantees a truly good meal. Where I cook with mild disdain, she cooks with great love. I can taste that love with every bite.

Now I’m hungry.


For all posts in the Sketches series, go here.


2 thoughts on “Sketches: Red

  1. Very good, my fine Blacklist friend…very very good indeed. I chuckle regularly while watching Reddington – even while cringing at some of the violence of the show. I never really watched anything else that James Spader was in before now, but he is now one of my faves.



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