Taking the Plunge (05-08)
Xena saws off a few 'z's while Gabrielle and Aphrodite have a pajama party in PUNCH LINES.
 Hi. My name is Crys, and I am an insomniac.
 Working, raising families, essentially living life takes time and effort, rendering virtually everyone a good night's sleep. Alas that is not so for a small portion of society. Those of us who cannot sleep, for whatever reasons, find that nighttime becomes a curse - something to be passed in the quickest way possible so that our lives can move on when the new day begins. Having the good fortune, or bad luck as some might see it, of not being able to sleep through the night, many insomniacs, like myself, use their "extra time" to pursue interests in greater detail than time would normally permitted.
 Like many, I have used the TV as a pleasant diversion when my mind could not handle anymore reading, hobbies, or other more active pursuits. I willingly whittled away the night in a stupor on too many occasions to count. That stupor ended the day I first watched Xena: Warrior Princess. Unlike the majority of Xenites out there I was what you would call a "late bloomer". I did not see my first episode until the fourth season.
 I had heard about Xena from my sister, who was a devout follower from the beginning. She insisted I watch the show, yet I rebelled after hearing so much about it being a spinoff of Hercules. At that time in my life, Hercules was no different than many cheesy shows that flooded my late night viewing. "Waste of time" floated through my mind upon first hearing the title Xena: Warrior Princess. I dismissed it as a show with flimsy plot lines and bad dialogue, television only created so young boys could watch scantily clad women.
Taking the Plunge Years went by and I stubbornly clung to my initial beliefs, until the day I discovered my local station picked up Xena as an afternoon show. Bored out of my skull during the weekend, and too mentally exhausted to do anything truly rewarding, I willingly turned on Xena. I would give it one chance and finally stop my sister's badgering. ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE (69-70/401- 402) was my first episode.
 While lying on my bed I was drawn in, bewitched by this unusual offering of a visually intriguing and emotionally driven story line that a supposed "cheesy" show had produced. With no knowledge of the background, nor any concept of what Xena was truly about, I was held spellbound until the credits finally rolled. I quickly dismissed my surprise at liking the episode as fatigue. Yet the following week I watched the second part and was sucked in even further. That was the beginning of the end for me.
 Having a slight obsessive/compulsive personality I vowed by the end of FAMILY AFFAIR (71/403) to find out more about the show. The obvious connection between Xena and Gabrielle intrigued me greatly, but the notion of Xena as an extremely complex character, opposed to the caricature I envisioned, drove me to the net and the vast wealth of information I found there. Many nights were spent discovering and bookmarking websites devoted to the show. Weeks of me reading all about the show until I had digested as much as was offered followed, yet I still wanted more. This led me to acquiring all the episodes, except one, from a trading post. A few more weeks were spent laughing, crying, and tingling through each episode I possessed, yet still I needed more. Eventually I moved into the uncharted territory of fan fiction - my salvation.
 My nights were now filled with reading about Xena and Gabrielle when I was not watching them every week as the new episodes aired. From sunset to sunrise, I sat on my bed, laptop on my lap, and escaped into a world I truly enjoyed visiting. Eventually I tried my own hand at creating that world and began writing fanfic of my own. It is a guilty pleasure I hide from friends and family but one that has enabled me to maintain my sanity through the long nights.
Why? Why do I like Xena: Warrior Princess so much? When friends and family ask, my first response is, "Because it's about two woman who are strong and kick *ss!" Most accept this, knowing my love of shows with strong female leads, starting with Emma Peel from The Avengers (TV,1961-69; Emma Peel was a character from 1965-1967) when I was a child, to Dana Scully from X-Files (TV,1993-present) now that I am an adult. Give me a strong woman who not only holds her own with a man but also outshines him any day, and I will gladly watch the show to cheer her on. Give me a woman who does this and fights with a sword, and I will break your arm if you dare change the station. Good sword fights are another guilty pleasure of mine.
 My second response has always been, "Because it continually surprises me with each episode". Yes, some have been a bit more lackluster than others have, yet all have kept me thoroughly engrossed while they aired. Except for the other two shows I currently watch, X-Files and The West Wing (TV, 1999-present), I cannot name another show that keeps that tingling feeling inside of me from start to finish.
 How has Xena: Warrior Princess become this insomniac's dream? Because of this wonderfully rich, and sometimes corny show, I can sleep again. Not much, but enough to lead a better and now hopefully longer life. If reading and writing fan fiction does not do the trick, then the show itself does, allowing my mind to finally stop long enough to relax and allow sleep, and now dreams, to invade my brain.
 If I could personally thank the creators, producers, writers, directors, cast, and crew I would. If I could personally thank every webmaster of a Xena site I have visited or Xena fan fiction writer I have read, I would. Alas, there is not enough time to do so. Imagine that - one who used to have all the time in the world suddenly needing more because of a little show with the cheesy title of Xena: Warrior Princess. Thank the gods and thank you all.
Crys is your typical, just turned 30, basket-case whose two BSc's, in Marine Biology & Calculus, have NOT helped in her bid to rule the world. When not found hunched over in front of her computer doing freelance web programming, she can be found enjoying her menagerie of pets or wasting her time in Whistler. It's a tough life, but someone's gotta do it.
Favorite episode: ONE AGAINST AN ARMY (59/313), BITTER SUITE (58/312), BEEN THERE DONE THAT (48/302), DEBT II (53/307), IDES OF MARCH (89/421), and FALLEN ANGEL (91/501) (my ultimate relaxation episodes)
Favorite line: Xena: "I'm gonna use you as a shield, Gabrielle... just kidding." THE FURIES (47/301); Xena: "I am pregnant, not brain-damaged." GOD FEARING CHILD (102/512); Gabrielle: "Can we cook with your juices?" A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215)
First episode seen: ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE I (69/401)
Least favorite episode: CALLISTO (22/122), only because it is the only episode I have never been able to see.