Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Such presents can only lead me to ask myself, and everyone around me, this: do I need a bath? Should I start using deodorant? Are you trying to tell me that my natural musk is burning your eyes?
I can't imagine this to be the case, especially since I moved out. I shower every night - a routine John still doesn't seem to understand as he tends to shower in the morning - and use baby powder and wear a light perfume. True, home-home (mom and dad's) stinks like fish tanks, dog, and sleep, so I guess I can explain away pre-living on my own. But now...?
Everyone I've asked has told me they don't smell anything, and they've all promised that as friends, they would tell me directly if I reeked of anything. There was one time I nearly died of my own armpit juice on a summer day, which I thought was John's feet. When I giggled and said I thought it was him, he pointedly said he figured it was me, but had said nothing.
[Lifts arm, inhales: *Sniff sniff*...BLLAARRRRRGGGAUUUUUGGGGHHHH!!!!]
So what up, yo? Do I need Secrete: strong enough for a man, considered a WMD by odour? Someone tell me, cuz' I'd really like to know. And if you do intend to reply, tell me what I smell like: as far as I'm concerned, I smell like Green Tea spray from Elizabeth Arden, baby powder, Toronto wind, and my sleeping mother. (Yes, she smells, and no, I didn't sniff her while she slept. Trust me and go sniff your mom's pillow next time you're in her room. Moms smell.)
On a similar line of thought, I'll be going to see the LOTR symphony next Sunday. Review to come.
Meanwhile, PVP's Scott Kurtz once again hits the nail with how the SW prequels should have gone.
Nerd it up, fuzzball.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
1) The Bible. Any version of it. If it weren't for the fact that The Book burns my hands and leaves my palms red and itchy, I'd have read it by now. (I need and young priest and... bah, screw the old priest.)
2) Jane Eyre. It's been on my bookshelf for maybe 10 years, and I just can't steel myself to dive in. Same goes for anything in the classics genre – the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice...any of those women-in-the-18th-century stories.
3) Anything by Tolstoy. War and Peace is probably first on my list because everytime I see Happy New Year Charlie Brown, I cringe at how dedicated Charlie Brown is about finishing the epic tomb that seems to crush his tiny little legs under its weight before the holiday is over. Then he falls asleep on the porch reading, and misses ringing in the New Year and the chance to get kissed by the little red-headed girl. AUUUGGGHHH!!!!
4) Sun Tzu's The Art of War (not the crappy Wesley Snipes movie). It sounds like something that should be on my bookshelf, right alongside my mother's copy of Mao's little red book.
5) Machiavelli's The Prince. That really belongs right next to The Art of War.
On John's end, I'm proud to have said that I DID manage to plow through Heart of Darkness and it was SO BORING. I've read A Christmas Carol, and it remains one of my favourite plays/movies/Muppet adaptations/cartoons. I also own a copy of Darwin's Origin of Species, but I bought it for the pictures. So there. Nyah.
Now you try! I tag Michelle, though I know she's probably read just about everything...
Sunday, May 22, 2005
A few additional remarks to my first post about it. (Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!!)
1) They shouldn't have made Episode I. Ever. There was nothing in it that advanced the story in any way. We are still left in the dark about Anakin's immaculate conception by the end of ROTS, Qui Gon barely makes a dent in the story, and Jar Jar.... well, let's just say we were better off having never known him.
The story really should have begun with the discovery of Anakin as a teen. That at least would explain his whiny, childish behaviour throughout Episodes II and III. I mean, for crying out loud, the kid was a slave in Phantom Menace and all he can do in the next two films is whine about his hard life!
Speaking of which, since when were Jedi's forced to take an oath to celibacy? I know, love leads to possession and jealousy, which leads to the Dark side, yadda yadda, but Yoda might as well say that about everything! And I think he nearly did in ROTS. Can you imagine a NORMAL day for him?:
Jedi trainee: "Master Yoda, I'm going to grab a bite, you want something? I've got bananas."
Yoda: "A banana you must not eat. Eating leads to hunger, hunger leads to wanting, wanting leads to greed, which is an agent of the Dark Side."
Jedi: "Ooookaay... I guess fasting is part of the deal I signed up for. Well, I'm going to take a shower before lessons."
Yoda: "Cleaning leads to exposure to the Dark side of dirt. Unlearn, you must, about dirt of the body, getting, and deodorant use, excessive."
Jedi: "Uh... could you run that by me again? That was more convoluted than your usual garbled gems of wisdom."
Yoda: "Repetition, a sign of the Dark Side, it is. Listening to me, you were not. In the corner, you must sit now, until recess."
Jedi: "Aww, crap..."
My favourite of the Harry Potter series, The Goblet of Fire, comes to theatres this November!
And right after that, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!
Friday, May 20, 2005
For one, I don't think I've ever been as captivated by Canadian politics as I have been over the last two weeks. Had you asked me how Parliament worked before then, I would have shrugged and said, "Muhn-nuh-nuh." And if you asked me now, I'd say, "Muh. But it seems to."
First off, yay for Team Evil not winning! I'm not a big fan of Steven Harper and the Conservatives. For one, Harper looks totally like an evil robot. I mean, he's so pasty, and his face looks like a mask that is just a bit too big for his robotic head. Also, his eyes are too pale and blue. Like he pulls them out of the freezer every morning and pops them in nice and fresh. I don't think there's anything good about him, really, since he is playing for Team Evil. Maybe he's a decent man and doesn't eat babies, but who can really say? Has he ever denied that he eats babies? Maybe he's afraid of alienating his baby-eating constituents. Which is it, Harper? WHICH IS IT???
And Belinda: well, I'm not sure I like you any better, especially if you broke poor evil Peter Mackay's heart (because evil people deserve love too). But you did what you "thought was right," and left Team Evil for the good guys, like Storm Shadow in the G.I. Joe cartoon. Well, at least you're with the good side... but I'm watching you.
Well, that about sums up my take on the whole affair. Not terribly enlightening or educated, I know, but you didn't come here for a revelation now, did you?
Palpatine: And you shall be known as... DARTH VADER. Arise.
Vader: ...Uh, pardon me, my master, but your apprentice already has that title.
Palpatine: Huh? What? Oh... so then, you shall be named.... uh.... DARTH HILARIOUS.
Hilarious: WHAT? I can't be called that! I'll be the laughing stock at the Sith Lord's convention!
Palp: INSOLENT WORM!
Hilarious: AAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!! I-I'm sorry! I take the name with great honour!
Palpatine: Arise, Darth Hilarious....
[Time passes. The line does not seem to be getting shorter]
Palpatine: ...And you shall be known as... er... gosh I'm running out of names now... you'll be, let's see... [flipping through an intergalactic dictionary] .... DARTH ODIOUS.
Odious: [sniffing under armpits] ...*sniff sniff*.... fair enough.
[At the Sith Lord Convention, the newly christened Sith congregate, Smirnoff Ices in hand...]
Darth Hilarious: ... and then he zapped me! Man, I can't wait 'til I learn that trick.
Darth Perfidious: I waited, like, three days in the lineup to make sure I got a good name. I was tenth in line! I slept in my cloak and ate cheez-its for three days! And what does he do? He pulls out a thesaurus!
Darth Outrageous: Well, at least YOUR name doesn't make you sound gay.
Darth Incongruous: Or bipolar.
Darth Bad: Or moronic.
Darth Flaccid: I always fancied I was more of a "Darth Dangerous"...
Darth Odious: All of you, stop complaining and shut up! Here he comes.
Darth Inconspicuous: Somebody say something to him.
Darth Hilarious: Whoa, is your cowl on too tight? I've already been fried once today, thanks.
Darth Impetuous: Hey guys! What are you talking about?
Darth Libidinous: Ah...Impetuous. Go tell Palpatine we don't like our names and that we can choose them for ourselves, but thanks anyhow.
[Impetuous walks over to the ageing Sith Lord and addresses him briefly before being toasted into a cinder]
Palpatine: Anyone else have a problem with their name?
[The gloved hands of Darths Mo'fo, Ugly, and Incontinent go up. They are immediately incinerated]
Palpatine: At this rate I won't have enough Sith Lords to watch the galaxy! How am I supposed to fight?
Thursday, May 19, 2005
It's not that it wasn't good. It was great, compared to the Episodes 1 and 2. Of course, comparing anything to those two buckets of rotting tripe makes everything look good in comparison.
The action and storyline were fast-paced, and evenly spread throughout the film. But I felt as though much of the story could have been put to better use if it were placed in the earlier films insted of being crammed into one frenetic movie.
The special effects were very good, though I am not as easily pleased by eye candy as I once was, regardless of how many man-hours were placed into the rendering of any character.
Where the film really suffered was the writing. The dialogue was so bad that anytime Padme or Anakin said anything, I wanted to slap them. Thank god we didn't hear a peep from Jar Jar Binks – otherwise I might have snapped and killed everyone in the theatre in a violent rage.
Other deficiencies: Bad acting (But what can you do with a bad script?). And though John really appreciated Ian McDermid's performance as evil crusty Palpatine, I thought he was a little over-the-top. Of course, Lucas isn't exactly known for subtlety.
(...And my SISTER has it....*[hits you over the head with a hammer]*)
Another grievance: not enough wookiees. They're like the fiercest warriors around, and Kashyyk supposedly gets invaded later on and the wookiees get enslaved by the Empire. I would've liked to see the reverse of the Ewok battle... you know, big hairy bears getting pummeled by clone troopers...
I was extremely disappointed in the sheer lack of fanatics at this event. I go to the soul-draining midnight shows specifically for the spectacle that is the wretched hive of nerds and geeks who congregate at these events in full costume. I counted no more than 2 lightsabers – and they didn't even duel! – one fully-dressed Jedi knight, and some punk ass kid in a Darth Vader helmet and an oversized green hoodie. And that was it. It was a very subdued theatre, filled with mostly 20-somethings who all know they'll pay for not going to bed on time.
Regardless of the let downs, I exited rather pleased that this saga has finally come to a close. The wrap-up of the dark-light cycle of Vader's life was very satisfying, and I felt like I could go and watch the next trilogy happily. As I've been telling everyone, the best way to end an epic is to begin it, and Lucas achieved just that with ROTS.
And despite the horrible, horrible writing, I will go to see it again, out of sheer tradition. Star Wars is one of the only films we see as a family, and I don't want to spoil it for us. Besides, I think I'll try to jot down some of the worse lines, just for kicks.
When I think of more to say about the film, I will write more. In the meantime, go watch it.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Feels like what?
LIKE WE'RE BEING WATCHED!
To sum up my feelings, the works of Scott Kurtz and Mark Tattuli.
May the Force Be With Us.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Star Wars Episode III opens Wednesday, and if I'm exposed to anymore commercials, merchandising, or previews, I'm going to throw myself into the pit of Carkoon to be eaten and slowly digested over a thousand years by the almighty Saarlac.
And if I may demonstrate just how flooded I've been, watch this, courtesy of my evil suburban twin, The Red Fork.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
First there's the alarm clock, which gives my tiny room an eerie green glow. Fine. I need to see what time it is, so I can stand that.
Then there's the red-orange cycloptic eye on my stereo that tells everyone it's on standby. Why would anyone care? If the room is that dark that you would need a light to guide you to your stereo, a normal person would turn on a light.
There's also the bright green light on the AC adapter for my external hard drive. I mean, why do these even need to exist? It's plugged in. Great. Thanks. If it's not working, I don't need a little green light to tell me.
And that's only the things that I can't turn off. I can't leave my hard drive on at night to download files or tape late-night shows because it gives off a glaring electric blue light. And when I need to recharge my batteries, there's a red LCD and a flashing green LCD that lets you know it's recharging.
When did the computer industry get so LCD happy? Raaarrggh!!!
Thursday, May 12, 2005
But heck, who am I kidding? I still spend Saturday mornings watching cartoons and eating sugary cereal in my pajamas. (Teen Titans Go!) I'll never grow up. NEVER! YOU HEAR ME!!! I LAUGH IN YOUR FACE, FATHER TIME!! BWAHAHAHA!!
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
"A NEW chilli sauce goes on sale today that is so hot it could KILL.
Ultra-concentrated “16 Million Reserve” is the hottest science can make.
The sauce is 30 times hotter than the spiciest pepper and 8,000 times more fiery than Tabasco.
Diners must sign a disclaimer recommending “protective gloves and eye wear” — but even sweating testers in safety gear were blinded by tears for 30 minutes."
Now if that doesn't constitute a biological weapon, I don't know what does. Just imagine the havoc this stuff can cause. "Why no, officer, I didn't know my wife had asthma. Oh that? It's great for scrambled eggs, let me tell ya...."
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Mother's Day - and Father's Day, though to a lesser extent - has become one of the banes of our existence. Of course I love my mother, and sure, we should recognize and appreciate the efforts they put into raising us, or at least giving us life. But goddamn it, shouldn't we be doing that every single day of our lives?
There's the flowers, and the early-morning breakfasts which, in my house, never get appreciated because mom would always wake up and help with the cooking and cleaning, thus spoiling the whole point of the kids making eggs and bacon for her.
Then there's the obligatory gift hastily bought - what to get mom, what to get mom? I go through this every birthday, Christmas and Mother's Day and inevitably end up with either 1) a shirt/sweater; 2) a scarf; 3) a vase; 4) a book; 5) a plant that will die through negligence, and rotate through the list each year.
Then there's the dinner which my mom always kinda goes "Muh" to. Because there are now three moms to celebrate - my mom, my sister's mom in-law, and my aunt (who for some reason we have to celebrate with as much vigour as our birth mother) we end up going for a big Chinese dinner. Not my mom's first choice, so she gets cranky and we end up taking her out again anyhow to make up for it.
And what does this cost us? A lot of cash, for one, though that's hardly the point. The sheer amount of stress we have to go through trying to please our mothers that little extra bit without earning ourselves an extra dollop of maternal criticism. You know what I mean. "This meal was alright, but you should have made reservations earlier, it's too cramped here, why didn't you call this guy instead blah blah blah." Or some such half-in-jest-half-real comment that makes us cringe inside while smiling plastically on the outside.
Me? Bitter? Hardly. I've taken the laid-back approach to celebrating mom by a) promising to not abandon her in her old age, and b) giving cash gifts.
My proposal, however, is to eliminate Mother's Day and Father's Day entirely. Though with Dad's day in my house, all you have to do is fire up the barbecue or let dad go fishing, so I could stand to leave that one alone. I say that instead of Mother's Day, we give mom a gift for each child's birthday. I mean, hell, why do we bother celebrating being another year older? It was mom who did all the work that day, as far as I'm concerned. She's the one who should be getting all the gifts. And that way, the restaurants won't be crazy-full of people trying to get reservations.
Mother's and Father's Day is just some commercial holiday invented by the card companies to make money, like Valentines Day, or Christmas (I'm so going to hell). I say, throw off those chains of holiday oppression and celebrate everyday as another chance to disappoint yo' mama!
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Meanwhile, I've started taking the G.I. Encap and M5+ in addition to the B Complex capsules. They're HUGE. I really hate holding these capsule thingies and realizing just how large they are: about as long as a medium-sized paperclip, but probably as big as 6 tic tacs together.
The worst part is that I could probably trip over the edge of where the capsule closes. It reminds me of those Contact C commercials where the capsule is split open and all those colourful candy-like ballettes come pouring out. Only if I were to open these capsule, a bunch of muddy gross crap would come out. And I have to eat this too. Eeeew.
Also starting to keep a diet diary on doctor's orders. So far, I've had tea and generic honey nut o's with skim milk. Which reminds me of a song John wrote for me:
(To the tune of the Polka Dot Door Theme Song)
Honey Nut O's,
Honey Nut O's,
Wish I had some Honey Nut O's,
But all I have are regular O's,
I want HONEY NUT O'S!
Friday, May 06, 2005
So on the advice of my massage therapist, I went to see a naturopathic doctor about my stomach and after much probing and prodding, both on the Q & A and the physical level, she prescribed me some vitamins, digestive enzymes, and other things I seem to be lacking. Her diagnosis (and I may have it wrong, but this is what I understand from it):
1. My andrenal gland isn't working properly, causing my body a lot of stress. This includes the dizzy spells I get when I stand up and the more recent racing heart that comes out of nowhere. I even had a panic attack a couple of nights back - something I've never had before. It's also interferring with how I deal with regular work stress. All this tied together is affecting my digestion as well. Man, I knew my boss would be the death of me.
2. I'm missing a digestive enzyme that's making me all gassy and bloaty. Eeew. So I'm taking those too.
3. I need more vitamin B. Apparently, being on the pill saps that away, so you need lots of it.
So expect to hear more about my bowels over the next little while. Apparently, my pee is supposed to turn radioactive yellow from the vitamin B. Anyone out there wanna see pictures?
Thursday, May 05, 2005
But my absolute favourite exhibit was the recyclable/biodegradable products. They had sweaters made of plastic pop bottles and a car seat made out of coconut! (Insert Gilligan's Island joke here.) I really liked the styrofoam-like food containers made of potatoes, and plastic food containers made of corn. Wish they had food containers made of steak.
I highly recommend you see this exhibit. Plus, you can take one of their free featherless chicken buttons when you're done. John and I have decided to name the chicken Colonel Mau. Not to be confused with General Mao, the Chinese communist dictato- I mean, liberator.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Speaking of which, a disgusting story on CP24 today - appparently, the Second Harvest charity office was robbed. The thugs cleaned house and got away with computers, petty cash, office equipment, a fork lift, and other stuff. I mean, who the hell would go and rob a charity that barely has any cash to start with? I hope the perps end up starving on the street, crawling towards a Second Harvest office while their stomachs digest themselves until their torsos are nothing more than a pool of acid with feet, arms, and an emaciated head sticking out.
But back to non-vengeful musings. Went in for massage therapy with a highly-recommended RMT the ladies at the library aptly named Don "The God" Williams. Very astute. He knew exactly what was going on with my twisted frame. I'll be taking his advice and seeing a naturopath about the tummy problems and talking with a personal trainer about stretching my hamstrings, which Don said were "in the top ten" tightest, stiffest hamstrings he'd ever encountered. I even asked at one point, while he was working on my neck, whether he'd ever said "oh my holy God!" out loud upon discovering a person's condition. "Funny," he said, "you must've read my mind."
So looks like I'm broken. Small, broken, but still good. Uh huh. Yup.
Met up with John, walked down Yonge Street and visited all the used bookstores on the strip. I know it's not a lucrative business, but if I ever won the lottery, I'd open a used/new bookshop with an Internet cafe. They're messy, and sometimes a little oogie (especially the ones that sell used porn... eew), but the stuff you can find! I got a nerly mint copy of Jane Jensen's Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father for $4.00. Nearly impossible to find except on eBay. Also picked up an edition of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass for John that I'd never seen before - we're not big collectors, but we sure do like our books.
Also ended up finishing my Sandman graphic novel collection today - yay! - and bought mom Dan Brown's Angels and Demons for Mother's Day. Cuz nothing says I love Mom like a murder mystery about the papalcy. Books books bookie books.
Got some rechargeable AAA batteries at Battery Plus, where the guy barely even let me touch them. All I said was "I need rechargeable AAA batteries," and he said "okay, right here, there they are I'll ring them up for you" and barely let me look at them. He almost sold them to me without the charger! But he had me hooked, so I ended up spending about $60 altogether with batteries and the charger sold separately. Then I went to Radio Shack - which is changing its name to Circuit City - and got new earbud covers for my MP3 player.
Then we had a yumtacular meal at Yummy BBQ on Yonge. If you've never been there, I HIGHLY recommend it for cheap and tasty Korean food. The location at Bloor and Bathurst is especially good. Go with three hungry friends and you can get 5 beers and a huge meal to share for just under $20. And I do mean HUGE. Every animal that walks the earth is on this platter, barbecued up in the Korean fashion, marinated with lots of garlic and soy sauce. Soooo good!
Went to Music World and almost almost ALMOST convinced myself that paying $9.99 for each of The Ewoks and The Droids Animated series and the two Ewok Adventure films would be worthwhile. But then I slapped myself and said, dude, like, they're Ewoks. I know you like the Ewok cartoon theme song, but do you really think buying it is a good idea? (We are the E-E-E-E-E-E-Ewoks/Where the spirits of the forest roam....)
So that's it. I'm hoping I'll have more days like today where I get things done, only don't spend so much money. Probably spend the next few days enjoying my purchases.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
This is one of those issues that really gets to me because sci-fi - along with its kissing cousins, fantasy, horror, and speculative fiction - gets a bad rap. After all, only pimply nerds and 40-year-old geeks who live in their parents' basements and watch reruns of Star Trek all day read sci-fi and fantasy, right?
Well, uh, yeah, sometimes, but so has most of the literate population.
Let's just look at a few titles, shall we?
1984 - Orwell
Brave New World - Huxley
Handmaid's Tale - Atwood
Frankenstein - Shelley
Dracula - Stoker
Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
Gulliver's Travels - Swift
Atlas Shrugged - Rand
The Chronicles of Narnia - Lewis
Harry Potter - Rowling
The Odyssey - Homer
The Bible (okay, that's a stretch, and I'll probably go to hell for this one, but if you take away the faith part, The Book is a collection of really fanatastic stories)
Farenheit 451 - Bradbury
Dune - Herbert
Alice in Wonderland - Carroll
Jurassic Park - Crichton
The Wizard of Oz - Baum
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Verne
Slaughterhouse Five - Vonnegut
The Time Machine - Wells
A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Clemens (aka Twain)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Stevenson
A Canticle for Leibowitz - Miller
...and so on. For a "complete" list of the "classics" of sci-fi, go here, and look here for more details.
I might add that 8 of the top 10 all-time grossing U.S. films are sci-fi or fantasy based. Same goes for worldwide grosses, though the titles differ slightly. Notice how kids' fantsy content ranks fairly high worldwide - so sci-fi and fantasy must be doing something right ifthe kids like it so much.
So what is it that turns people off about the genre? And why does it consistently get shelved with the romance, erotica, or Westerns section? (Yes, there's a Westerns section in some libraries and bookstores.)
The same question goes for graphic novels, (or as I prefer to call them, kah-ah-mics!) Since the spate of comic books-turned-blockbuster movies, critics have been acknowledging the graphic novel as a legitimate piece of adult fiction and not treating it merely as the adolescent piece of ass-wipe paper featuring a superheros in tights. Even school libraries are getting funds to infuse their collections with these much-deserved pieces of literature.
Even so, the stigma remains, even among "educated" school librarians who turn their noses up at any book whose pictures aren't either drawn by Beatrix Potter or A. A. Milne. The sheer snootiness baffles me. Have they ever even read a comic book, or is Judy Blume the be-all and end-all?
I could go on, but let's face it, the bottom line is this: go read a book. Genre-hating is like any other form of discrimination, and it only goes to show how ignorant you are.