Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Went to see Chronicles of Narnia yesterday.
Ho. Ly. Shit.

It was AMAZING. I didn't honestly think they could pull it off, but they did, in spades.

First off, the setup is perfect. They actually explain and visualize why the kids are fleeing to the country to avoid the WWII bombings of London. They establish the four siblings relationships with each other very well, something that doesn't come across that well in the book. Each of the children were perfectly casted, and have equal billing in the story. Even Susan, who doesn't seem to play much of a role in the book, had personality.

And, hell, the battle scene. O.M.G. Bloodless, but very effective, thanks to the people at WETA. And how can you not love a young king riding into battle on a UNICORN?

The White Witch was coldly and beautifully portrayed by the lovely Tilda Swinton, and Qui Gon... I mean Darkman.... I mean Liam Neeson does a great Aslan.

I was especially surprised by the performance of Mr. Tumnus, whose character I have previously loathed. But James McAvoy was perfectly cast for the part, playing old, young, innocent, jaded, and creepy all at once.

One would think that such a huge production would mean a lot of splashy graphics, but not so with this film, which relied a lot on the siblings' interactions with each other and the strange world they're trapped in. The visual effects for once take a second to the story and acting, and it was a very pleasant thing to know that my impressions of the film were not sole locked onto a particular scene or moment, but on the greatness of the epic tale.

Everyone, go watch this movie. Twice. Then read the books. Again, if necessary. I eagerly await Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005

What do YOU want for Christmas?

I'm turning into a bitter old woman. Christmas sucks. Not the whole birth of Christ thing, but the thing this "joyful season" has turned into. It's not joyful. Look around: everyone's SOOOO stressed out!

I was at a Dominion's, and it was packed with people picking up groceries. An old man and his wife were driving their cart around and they tried to move it through an aisle and another family was trying to get through at the same time, and the old man FREAKED OUT and his wife was yelling at him about him ripping her coat (I dunno, I think the cart snagged it or something) and he demanded they go home. "Let's go home! Right now!" He yelled at her. And she didn't budge.


I just want to go over there and hug him till I broke a few ribs and sing "Merry Christmas, Mr. Scrooge!" And then break his face.

The stress is electric, I tell ya. It doesn't help that people are jostling and frowning and yelling and being overly sensitive. I mean, really, dose it matter that much that your father-in-law ISN'T going to get that tie he's never going to wear?

Remember how last year on boxing day, half the world woke up underwater? How thousands of men, women, and children were crushed by sluices of water followed by the debris of their lives? How we all watched in horror as thousands of bodies were washed away, into the ocean, never to be named, counted, blessed, or buried?

And closer to home, I might add that New Orleans is STILL underwater, and there's not a damn thing we or the thousands of displaced Americans can do about it (here! have some bottled water!)

Sigh. What do we really want from Christmas, anyhow? I swear, one of these days someone's going to pick up on the fact that there's no love in the holidays anymore, and he/she'll go to the mall armed to the teeth, and start firing into the crowd.

What do YOU want for Christmas?
How about my fiance's life back?
Or my mother's eyesight?
Or my kid's legs?
Sorry, Santa's only got an iPod Nano and some Starbucks gift certificates left. Oh, and a bath set.
Shucks, well, maybe I can get it on Boxing Day.
Sorry, no refunds or exchanges.

Fuck, Christmas is so depressing.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

F*cking Xmas...

I must be getting old. I'm really starting to dislike this "holiday season" thing. It's been reduced to this month-long torture of visiting the mall weekly to purchase over-priced trinkets no one ever needs, gifting them with the pretense that you care about the person receiving them.

Sure, I like shopping as much as the next girl. But not when there are 50 billion other people jostling you in line and in the malls.

And what's with stressed out, frustrated people at the cashier lines? Give the seasonal retail workers a f*ucking break, for Christ's sake, it's the holidays! Why are you getting mad at other people because you didn't have to foresight to buy all your shit throughout the year, and now are reduced to paying full price for a sweater granma will only wear once?

Where's the goodwill and cheer? Where's the spirit of generosity? Yeah, lots of people write cheques to their favourite charity around this time of year, and that's cool, and the homeless might get an extra buck or two and the visit by the sandwich and mitten distributors. But during the rest of the year, the blood clinics are dry, the food banks are empty, and the charity coffers are hollow and dusty.

So here's what I propose: let's make an ENTIRE YEAR a holiday season and eschew December for 12 years. It'll be revolutionary! In a single year, the economy will flourish as people buy up crap they'll never use to give away. When it finally comes to a head, we will develop a re-gift economy, where we keep trading bath sets, baskets of jams, and pajamas until we revert to the barter system. The homeless will earn enough to find a means out of their homelessness. Charities will receive enough to solve whatever cause their championing. And then, we'll all be at each other's throats until only the strongest shoppers are left to victoriously stand on the heap of human bodies, holding up the last Furby doll; surely Darwinism at work.

Then we'll have 12 years of peace. And it will be good.

Okay, rant over. Insane beer-fueled Vicki has left. Marketing Vicki back, but she's beer sleepy.

I had a frustrating day finishing up the last of my Xmas shopping, and let me tell ya, the week before Dec. 25th, not a great time to be anywhere that sells anything.

I cleverly avoided the mall and opted to shop in local stores and small businesses instead. Good thing, too: I went to an awesome little trinket store on Yonge just north of Dundas on the east side near HMV called H2T (Head to Toe) and they had these beautiful gold-dipped enamel orchids from Thailand. Very unique. They're actually real orchids that have been specially glazed and preserved and edged in 24K gold. Everyone, go to this store and buy something! The two ladies working the shop are sisters, 2 of 9 siblings from the Phillippines. What a nice couple of ladies.

Okay, that was my consumer pimp for the week for the night.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

FanFiction Ahoy!

If I'd have known how involved I'd get with writing fanfiction, well, I would have quit my job.
I've published my second story now, along with a few drabbles, and my latest story has gotten nearly 5000 hits and over 100 reviews. That's right, more hits than I get on this blog in a single year in less than 2 weeks.

This tells me a few interesting things:
1) Avatar: The Last Airbender is HUGE. It is especially big in the states, as it is a property of Nickelodeon, makers of Spongebob, and The Fairly Odd Parents, among others.
2) Fans really have nothing better to do than make up stories about their favourite shows/books/movies/games. Yours truly included.
3) Fanfic has a place in the world. Once upon a time it was left to the Lord of the Rings and Star Trek nerds of the world. Now you can write fanfic on just about anything.

On a side note, Harry Potter has a huge fanfic following, but what really freaks me out about that is that one of the recurring shippings (relationship pairings) is... gag... Hermione and Snape.

Oh so very wrong and creepy.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Snow blows

Like most of Toronto, I woke up this morning to a world of swirling white snow and foot-high snow drifts. I got to work late, taking the mostly reliable TTC, but not as late as the regular drivers, who braved the slippery roads to get to work on a Friday.

I don't know why or how Canadians do it, even though I've been doing it all my life. We trek through extreme ends of the weather spectrum just to go to work. We put our lives in danger to go to a job most of us would rather not be doing. Does this make sense to anyone?

Then I heard a conversation in the bathroom that pretty much summed it up for me:

Woman 1: "The drive was terrible. I don't know why we bother, sometimes."
Woman 2: "Yeah."
Woman 1: "But we want money. Boy, the things we do for money."
Woman 2: "I hear that."

Monday, December 05, 2005


As I delve deeper into the realm of fanfiction writing, I keep coming across words I've seen used, but never understood. Thank god for Wikipedia:

Pwn: The verb pwn (past tense: pwned, pwnd, pwn'd, pwnt) as used by the Internet gaming subculture, means to beat or dominate an opponent (pwned can mean "to be made a fool of"). While it probably originated as a typographical error of the word own, it is now used intentionally by many members of the subculture. The term has become so ubiquitous in Internet circles that it is often used outside of gaming contexts – for example, "He just got pwned in that debate", "The hunters pwnt that bear", "Liverpool opened a can of ultimate pwnage", or "I got pwned on the SATs."

Mary Sue: Mary Sue (or simply Sue) is a pejorative expression for a fictional character who is an idealized stand-in for the author, or for a story with such a character. Originally, the Mary Sue concept came out of Star Trek fan fiction and described an original female character who had a romantic liaison with an established, "canon" character, particularly if she possessed unrealistic or unlikely traits above and beyond those expected of a character in that particular series, or a conventional author surrogate. However, in recent years the concept has developed a wider meaning, so any author surrogate characters can be defined as Mary Sue.

Another definition states that Mary Sue is any original character who possesses unusual qualities, parentage, or appearance — particularly in, but not limited to, science fiction or fantasy, (whether original or fan fiction). By this definition, Lessa of Anne McCaffrey's Pern stories, Vanyel of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series, Rudyard Kipling's intrepid orphan Kim, Ayla of Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children series, and Elminster from Ed Greenwood's "Forgotten Realms" novels and RPG setting, are all Mary Sues. Some have gone further, changing previously understood definitions, and have begun to define any original characters in fiction as Mary Sue.

Male "Sues" may be called "Marty Stus", "Murray Stus", "Harry Stus", and/or "Gary Stues", although the original "Mary Sue" term is often considered unisex. A rarer unisex variant is "Airy Ooh". Authors of such characters (of either sex) are sometimes referred to as Suethors.

In fan fiction, Mary Sue characters are usually the original creation of the author, but sometimes "canon Sues" are created by adapting pre-existing canon characters. Conversely, such original or adapted characters are not necessarily Mary Sues. The Peter Jairus Frigate character of the Riverworld series, for instance, is deliberately based on his author but rarely the focus of the story (unlike Tom Sawyer, for instance — a Mary Sue by 2005 standards). However, there are a great number of what many fans think of as pre-existing Sues in canon, particularly in anime, manga, and roleplaying video games (which often include complex stories).

Some fan critics believe that young writers tend to create "narcissistic" Sues and "unintentional" Sues (characters that develop into Sues due to the author's supposed subconscious desires). Some authors now write Mary Sues deliberately as a form of parody.

UST: Unresolved Sexual tension is a plot device employed in movies and books in which two or more of the characters feel sexual longing for one another, but in which those desires are not consummated in any physical action.

The result is that the device creates a goal for which the plot can advance (i.e., toward a resolution).

The device, when used by a skilled writer, evokes tension in the audience because they know something which the characters do not.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

'Tis the Season for Neurosis...

Damn you Paul. Now I'll never hear that song again without thinking of your lyrics.
Ergo I must share: everyone, please go see my friend's web site I've linked to him on the toolbar as well.

A note about Paul: he's probably one of the most brilliant people I know, a contemporary renaissance man. The best way I can describe him is that he's the time-warped offspring of DaVinci and... I don't know, I'm trying to think up a famous brilliant crazy lady, but I can't, except for some reason Virginia Wolfe comes to mind, though I don't know why.

(*Patting myself on the head* "Yes Vicki, that's right, keep having your strange and prophetic delusions, just don't forget to take your pills...")

Anyhoo, Paul's one of the few people I know who can make my brain melt with the use of big words strung together in long run-on sentences... in CONVERSATION.

The other being John, of course. (I love you too, baby.)

There, are you happy Paul? Merry Christmas! I just gave you the Vicki seal of approval!