Whenever I check my email I'm faced with the usual bombardment of forwarded chain letters, Victoria's Secret sale notifications, and "humor" messages from acquaintances and friends. Now, some of these stories are actually pretty funny (like this one about an aged Cinderella) but for the most part my reaction to these is simply a repetition of Delete Delete Delete.
One that I periodically receive over and over again is a "true story" (if you're interested, here's a link to Snopes.com's discussion and tracing of the story) about a wedding, sometimes with a note from the friend/co-worker/acquaintance sending it saying, "omg this guy is awesome" or "this is soooo hilarious!"
It basically tells the story of the reception of large wedding with about three hundred guests. The groom gets up to speak, thanks everyone for attending, especially those from long distances, and thanks the bride's father for the lavish reception. He goes on to say that as token of appreciation he has taped an envelope to the bottom of everyone's chair, and invites each guest to open their envelope. Inside the envelope is an 8x10 photo of the bride having sex with the best man, the groom having acquired this photo from a private detective when he became suspicious weeks earlier. The guy stands there for a moment enjoying his triumph, then says "fuck you" to the best man and the bride, and leaves. He has the marriage annulled the next day.
[Excerpt] "While most people would have canceled the wedding immediately after finding out about the affair, this guy goes through with the charade, as if nothing were wrong. His revenge--making the bride's parents pay over $32,000 for a 300-guest wedding and reception, and best of all, trashing the bride's and best man's reputations in front of 300 friends and family members. This guy has balls the size of church bells. Do you think we might get a MasterCard 'priceless' commercial out of this?"
I am sick of this story.
Not only am I sick of this story, I am baffled as to why people seem to find it so funny. And yes, I know it's just a story and it's silly to spend time thinking about it, but I did, so there. ^_^
First we'll think about the cruelty to the bride's family. Supposedly the groom knew about his bride to be's infidelity well beforehand and chose to punish her parents for some reason by having them shell out thousands and thousands of dollars for a meaningless (and expensive) ceremony?
What about the friends and relatives who came "long distances"? I bet they would have liked to save the money on gas and air fare if they had known that instead of going to a wedding they were going to an asshat's power trip revenge party.
And he taped an envelope to everyone's chair? With a guest list of 300 one would assume there were some children around who probably didn't need to be seeing sexually explicit photographs. Yup, bet there were some pissed off parents.
And maybe this is just me being a fairly private individual, but I don't really think it was necessary to "trash the bride's and best man's reputations in front of 300 friends and family members." And co-workers. And bosses. And acquaintances. And strangers (photographer? Caterers? Etc?). I wouldn't want that, no matter which side of the situation I was on.
Is there a conclusion? A point?
Not really. Just a random ramble.
But I still say that it's not funny.
(Warning: Geek Post)
A few minutes ago I was listening to Pandora, one of their genre stations... alternative rock, I think, and Blink 182's 'Don't Leave Me' came on. I don't particularly enjoy Blink 182 these days, but back when Enema of the State was released, I liked them quite a bit. It gave me a small laugh, remembering back when I listened to that CD just about every day. Then I started thinking, hey, wait, when was that CD released....?
Do you know the answer to that question?
And The Offspring's Americana, which I also listened to obsessively, was released in 1998.
And Third Eye Blind's self titled CD was released in 1997.
My god. That was a DECADE ago. This music that I remember so clearly picking up brand new off the shelves is a decade old! I can't believe so much time has passed, and so fast! And to be honest, this wasn't some massive revelation that I had just now, I've been thinking a little more than usual about it because my friend Nils has been on a real nostalgia trip lately. So as Blink 182 plays on, I'm now sitting here trying to figure out how I went from a 13 year old with no responsibilities or cares in the world to a stressed, cranky 23 year old who worries about paying the bills.
To quote Nils....
"I need a playground!"
But then I remind myself that I'm not stressed and cranky all the time. In fact, most of the time I'm not stressed or cranky at all. I don't need to worry so much about paying bills since I got a raise. And hey, I wouldn't give up any of the experiences I've had over the past decade for anything. And even though I sometimes say "what I wouldn't give to be a little kid again", the truth is I don't honestly want that. I enjoy being a self-sufficient, independant, free-thinking adult. I did my time as a child, and yeah it was mostly fun and games. My parents are fantastic, and I learned a lot from them. But that's over with (well, not the learning part... I'll never be done learning from Mom and Dad... just the being a child under their roof part). I've earned my right to have a driver's license, a full time job, and my name on a utilities bill.
A song from Green Day's Dookie (1994) just came on.
So, uh.... where's that playground....?
So. Because I know you're all holding your breath in anticipation, let me assure you that you never never never NEVER NEVER NEVER need to see Apocalypse & the Beauty Queen. I watched it with my friend Nils, and we started out laughing (hahaha, this is so bad, it's hilarious!)... then.... it started to become less funny. Then even less funny. Then not funny at all. AND I was intoxicated at the time. Imagine me sitting on the sofa, bottle of wine 3/4 empty between my knees, staring narrow-eyed at this:
Actually I couldn't find any stills online to properly convey the emotion I was trying to evoke. So, uh.... never mind.
Also, since I'm on the topic of movies, I went and saw Street Kings yesterday (fortunately paying matinee price), and was absolutely shocked by the blatant glamorization of police corruption. On top of the basic storyline with the "plot twists" that you saw coming an hour before they're actually revealed, the gross promotion of brutality in the police force labeled "necessary" to bring down the "bad guys" was, quite frankly, shocking and disappointing.
As Rich Cline (writing for Shadows on the Wall) says:
"With its jingoistic dialog and sharp attention to detail, this film shamelessly panders to the worst element of human nature, namely the urge for violent vengeance. The message is that blasting someone to bits in cold blood is the best route to inner peace. Which is, frankly, reprehensible. No matter how well made this film is, like Ayers' Training Day and Harsh Times, it proves that he creates great characters, but that he loves dumb violence even more. "
Shame on you, everyone who was a part of this film. Shame on you.
Now don't get me wrong, I love a good bloody vengeance flick, but not when the vengeance and brutality is advocated so shamelessly in... well, anyone really, but most especially in the police force - Serve and Protect, not Kill and Torture. If they had portrayed their main character as more of an anti hero and condemned his actions rather than applauding his mad spree of murder I would had appreciated the film more. Instead, we have the last lines of the film featuring Captain Biggs from internal review basically giving good ol' dirty cop Keanu Reeves a hearty slap on the back, and a cheerful "job well done".
Anyway, back to work for me.
Later I'll be using the Apocalypse and the Beauty Queen DVD as a frisbee, and possibly finding an incinerator, meat grinder, etc to throw it in. I'm open to suggestions for the best way to destroy it. ^_^
Juno, one of my all time favorite movies (and this is coming from a person whose preferred genre is mindless action or horror), came out on DVD yesterday, so clearly I needed to go out and buy it. I forgot to do this until after 9PM, when most of the stores around here are closed, so I decided to try my luck with the local video rental place, which occasionally has new releases available for purchase.
Not only did I find Juno, I also found:
And yes, the title of that movie IS Apocalypse & the Beauty Queen.
And the synopsis from the official website:
"The story revolves around Amber:a bitter model who leaves New Yorkafter being rejected by the fashion world at the terribly old age of 26.Soon after returning to her small Midwestern Hometown, unforeseencircumstances leave the country in ruins. As chaos reigns, her aggressivebig city ways keep her alive and safe. She organizes and leads the localson looting raids acquiring a large stockpile of guns, ammo and food.Supplying them with food and security she soon has many loyalfollowers. In time, Amber becomes the self appointed Queen of the county.Of course, all that power begins to corrupt her very soul. She easily fallsunder the infulence of a trusted, but wicked friend who guides her tohappiness by mistreating her subjects, especially the beautiful onesBut Queen Ambers' twisted reign is cut short when a trusted guard fallsin love with one of her victims."
Allow me to explain how I came to purchase this gem.
I was wandering innocently through the store when I came across a rack of used DVDs that happened to be three for $10. I found The Core and Dark Water, neither of which were very good, but both were films that I enjoyed very much. I was looking for a third and couldn't find anything even halfway decent. I decided I was going to choose between an obscure, terrible action movie and an obscure, terrible ghost movie when I saw Apocalypse & the Beauty Queen.
It was instantly clear to me that this film would undoubtably provide much hilarity.
And so I came home with Juno, The Core, Dark Water..... and Apocalypse & the Beauty Queen. I haven't watched it yet, but don't worry, I'll be sure to let you know how it is. ^_^
I stumbled blearily into my house on Saturday morning with a full on hangover, wanting nothing more than to sit on my sofa and play some Onimusha 3. It had been a long night of heavy drinking and live punk music, and I was definitely ready for some downtime. I was able to relax for what seemed like only a few minutes but was probably more like an hour when my doorbell rang. Confused, I looked out my window and saw a police car.
Great, I thought to myself. I'm hung over and reek of alcohol and cigarettes. Wonderful. WHAT THE HELL IS A COP DOING HERE? I quickly ran through the night before. My designated driver, Nils, had been stone cold sober until we got back to his house, and there had been no incidents involving motor vehicles. The small party at Nils's place had been quiet, and as far as I knew no neighbors had been disturbed. Satisfied that I hadn't done anything jail-worthy, I finally got up to answer the door.
"Ummm... hi," I said intelligently to the officer standing outside my door. Clearly I intended to dazzle him with my sparkling wit.
"Is Ricky here?" the cop asked.
"Ricky," the cop confirmed.
"Ricky?" It was as though I thought that if I repeated the name enough it would start to make sense. It didn't.
"Ricky." The cop had his hands on his hips and was giving me a steely look. He was apparently getting tired of this Repeat The Name game.
"Umm..." I wracked my brain one more time. "I don't know a Ricky."
The cop gave me a look. "You don't know Ricky."
"No. I don't know Ricky."
"Are you Rebecca?"
The cop's unprofessional attitude was really starting to irk me. "Yes."
"And you live here?"
"And you don't know Ricky." The cop's skeptiscism was very clear.
"No," I replied a bit waspishly. "I don't know a Ricky."
The cop wasn't finished. "Sandra said he would be here."
I thought briefly about repeating the name a few times, but I decided against it. "Sandra who?" I demanded.
"Sandra *****," the cop snapped back.
"I don't know any Sandras, either," I said, exasperated. "Maybe next door?"
I waited at the door as the cop walked over to the other side of the duplex to talk to my neighbor. Apparently he had as little luck there as he had on my side of the duplex because (lucky me) he was on his way back over. I waited as he positioned himself once more on my porch.
"You don't know a Ricky or a Sandra," the cop said finally.
"No," I said firmly. "I'm sorry I couldn't help you."
"Because," the cop continued as though I hadn't said anything. "If Ricky was here, I'd have to take him to jail."
Oh good. "Well," I said brightly. "I'm very glad I don't know a Ricky then."
The cop gave me one last look, then turned around and got back into his car. I closed the door, and went back to playing video games, but the encounter disturbed me. Who was Sandra, and why would she tell the cops that 'Ricky' was at my house? Who was Ricky? And why was Ricky going to jail? The more I thought about it the more it bothered me. I might make a quick phone call to the police station today to see if I can get any information about what's going on. >_<
I live by myself, and most of the time I'm very okay with that. Most of the time I even prefer it to living with a roommate. The day I moved out of my parents' house a few years ago and into a tiny studio garage apartment, I did it alone. When I moved out of that and into a 900 sq. ft. duplex, I did it alone.
Last month I broke up with the only person that I've lived with since moving out of the parents' house. We lived together for five or six months, and while living alone is definitely what I'm more used to, it has been difficult for me getting used to the solo living arrangements again. I'm having trouble remembering why I was always so gung-ho about living by myself.
Last night I had one of those dreams that wakes you up at 3AM with your heart pounding and an uncontrollabe urge to leap out of bed and race from room to room turning every light in the house on. I even briefly considered dragging the Christmas lights out of the closet and hanging them in every shadowed corner. When I got ahold of myself about fifteen minutes later (yes, with every light in the house on), I called my mom. She was wonderful, not angry with me at all for the late night phone call, and talked to me until I felt okay enough to start turning lights back off and crawl back into bed with a light-hearted book.
Those are the times that I desperately miss being a little kid. When I could wake up after a bad dream and know that all I needed to do was make some sound of distress and Mom would be there in a second to hug me, remind me that it wasn't real, and gently ask if I wanted to tell her about the dream.
Those are the times that I miss being in a serious relationship. When I could wake up after a bad dream and have my lover kiss my forehead, put his arms around me, and sleepily tell me that it was just a dream, and it's all going to be okay.
I do have a cat. And she did curl up with me and purr when I went back to bed, which may have been her version of don't worry, it was just a dream.
I'll take what I can get. ^_^
Just in case anyone was wondering, yes I did finally clean my kitchen. And my living room. And most of my dining room. Bathroom and bedroom are next, and then if I'm feeling really ambitious, I might tackle my office (which is much bigger and much messier than my bedroom)..... but probably not.
I didn't have a great day yesterday. I was pretty stressed out. When I went to bed I dozed in and out for a long time before I really fell asleep. And when I finally did, I had the most realistic, vivid dream I had ever had in my life. It was wonderful. It was empowering. It was joyful. It nearly made me cry with happiness.
I dreamed that I cleaned my kitchen.
When I got up this morning and bounded gleefully down the hall I stopped short in disappointment when I realized that yes, my kitchen still looks like a tornado hit it. Five or six times. A tornado of bachelors, even*. And in fact, the rest of the house sort of looks the same.
I think it's time to do a bit of **shudder** housework.
And just so you appreciate how very messy my house is...... Look.
Even Wonder Woman is horrified at the thought of the monumental effort cleaning is going to require.
*And just for the record, I'm sure there are very, very tidy bachelors. I just haven't met any.
When I got out of the theater Wednesday night after seeing Stop Loss, I was on fire with disappointment and ready to write the most scathing review known to man. Then I thought about it. And I thought about it some more. And I read a different opinion on A[tipp]ical Thoughts, which made me think even more.
I've decided not to actually review the movie. There is absolutely no escaping the fact that (in my opinion) it was poorly done. Much of the acting was unconvincing at best, and the whole story was predictable to the enth degree. I was so bitterly disappointed in this film because it is a topic I feel very strongly about, and I was hoping to see a little bit more put into the movie. A little more effort in the writing, a little more discretion in the casting, etc.
That being said, I mentioned to one of my friends that I had seen Stop Loss, and he asked, "what's that about?" I took a moment, stunned, then told him it was about stop-loss orders. "What's that?" he asked. And he was serious. Wow. I hope that my friend was an anomaly, and that most of the general public does know what a stop-loss is, but if not, at least this film will be opening a lot of eyes.
And there were definitely some very powerful scenes throughout the movie. Mostly towards the beginning - I don't remember anything really worth noting at the end - but they were there, and they were deeply affecting. It is difficult to watch a movie like that while there are still soldiers fighting in Iraq. You find yourself wondering, how much of this is Hollywood, and how much of this is really going on? And then, if you're me, you count yourself extremely fortunate that you don't have a brother, sister, father, mother, husband, or wife serving in our country's military right now. Then you feel like shit for thinking that and want to cry for the people who do have to fear for their loved one's lives every day. Then you think about all the Iraqi civilians and innocents who have died, and you wonder what it would be like to be them.
And then your mind starts going around and around, thinking about the man you've known since you were four who served over there, about your friend's soon-to-be husband who served over there, and you start thinking about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder...
And then you curl up into a little ball and you wonder when the hell we're going to get out of Iraq.
I had the extreme (mis)fortune of going to see Stop Loss with Mom and Kristin last night. And just to clear up any possible misunderstandings, it was misfortune because of the poor quality of the film, not because of the company. I wanted this movie to be excellent so badly because of the important subject matter, but the film was just ridiculous. I'll be writing a full review later. Suffice to say that by the end the three of us (all of us very deep, empathetic women) are sitting our chairs making a valiant effort to suppress gales of laughter during.... a funeral scene. No, we are not bad people. I promise.
My hands are getting very dry again, slowly approaching the point where my knuckles are going to crack and bleed. If anyone knows of a great moisturizer lotion that doesn't leave that icky greasy feeling, I would love to know.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is out for the PSP, and it's getting fantastic reviews. Interestingly enough, critic's score is averaging at about 8.6, and user reviews are averaging at 9.3. I'm excited to play it. In one of the reviews I read, the critic mentions as one of the down sides to the game that "combat is on the easy side". I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be too upset by that. And of course, the cut scenes look amazing.
I'm re-reading The Crimson Petal and the White, by Michel Faber. I'm over halfway through it, and I'm once again struck by how intense Faber's writing is. I'm not usually a huge fan of historical fiction, but this book, set in the mid/late 1800s, is so rich and feels so realistic that you can almost believe the author jumped in a time machine and hung around London in 1875 to do his research. It's beautiful, sad, and definitely keeps you reading. I'm glad I decided to pick it up again.
And that's all I've got. I'll try to harness my disappointment in Stop Loss to write a review later.
I was surfing Engaget today and I have something amazing to show you:
Nubrella: tomorrow's fashion mistake, today!
Posted Feb 20th 2008 6:48PM by Paul MillerFiled under: Wearables
This is frankly brilliant. A hands-free umbrella is perfect for walking to work while yapping on your phone with one hand and cradling a cup of coffee with the other. Unfortunately it's just never going to make it past the "my friends will laugh at me" stage, because they will. They will laugh so very hard. It's a cruel, backwards society we live in, and it's no wonder we don't have flying cars yet. That said, you can destroy your own fashion credibility today for a mere $59.99. Maybe the fanny pack types will accept you, but we can't make any guarantees.
And I don't know what they're talking about - I don't see why anyone would laugh at you! And only $59.99? It's a steal!
But seriously though, can you imagine walking down a busy city street wearing that thing? Even barring the people are staring at me like I'm a freak factor, you've got the I'm wearing a giant bubble that takes up twice the space I normally would factor. And what about getting into a cab, bus, or other such transportation? I don't know how easy that thing is to take on and off, but it can't be that easy. And if it is super easy to take off, that begs the question how stable is it when it's on? Is it liable to tip over, or fly off unexpectedly?
No. That umbrella thingie is a bad idea.
Now THIS is much more useful:
Nihon Uni shirts resist stabbing, make you feel like a superhero
Posted Mar 25th 2008 3:46PM by Darren MurphFiled under: Wearables
Mind you, this isn't the first time we've seen garb constructed to withstand vicious knife fights, and apparently a few Japanese streets are becoming just as frightening as some in London. Reportedly created to provide protection against stabbers following an "increasing number of malicious crimes that have victimized children and late-night convenience store clerks," Nihon Uni has developed a t-shirt crafted from "ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene fiber." Aside from rendering blades useless, the material is also completely machine washable and lightweight; still, the fabric can be penetrated by "sharp points," so it's up to you to steer clear of rooftop archers. Nevertheless, long-sleeved versions can be had this June for ¥22,000 ($221) to ¥59,000 ($593), while the way less protective short-sleeved variety will run you between ¥19,000 ($191) and ¥52,000 ($522).
Just ask yourself, do I want to be protected in case I get into a vicious knife fight, or am assaulted by someone with a bladed weapon?
I think clearly the answer is yes.