Saturday, February 21, 2009

I is growding up

In the last few months, I've discovered something very disturbing: I've grown up-ish.

It started the day I bought my own luggage. I never used to travel much before (ours is not a family that takes vacations), but in the past three years, I've been on three trips that required luggage rather than my standard gym bag of weekend clothing. I decided to get my own suitcase so I wouldn't have to bug my cousin anymore to borrow hers. The moment I rolled my Bumblebee rolling case and matching carry-on out the door, I realized I'd stepped into a whole new realm of being my own person. This was one of those moments when I couldn't shake the feeling of my own mortality. I own luggage. I can make travel arrangements and vacation on my own. One day, I will have a family and they will have luggage, as well. Weird.

On the vanity front, I started worrying about my skin. Most people who know me know I'm too lazy to put on makeup or use proper facial cleansers, and that I've got pretty damn good skin considering my negligence. But I can't ignore the fact that these days, I need a little more help, especially when MY FACE IS HURTING. Despite years of washing with Dove soap (apparently a no-no in facial skin care) and using Hazeline Snow religiously, dry skin has caught up with me and during this particularly brutal winter, has left me looking a little chapped in the cheeks with mild stinging pain one gets when one's skin is cracking and shriveling up like a lettuce leaf left out in the sun.

I sought out the help of my local Shoppers Drug Mart esthetician to recommend something to MAKE THE PAIN STOP. I walked out $72 poorer with some fancy foreign lotion, cleanser and toner I never would have bought a year ago.

Now, I'm not certain that this will actually do anything for me--the BURNING SENSATION I get when I cleanse and tone my face tells me something must be working. Still, I'm not convinced these three little bottles are worth nearly as much as my luggage, or will dramatically improve anything. At that price, I kinda expect to look like Angelina Jolie. I'll keep you updated.

On top of all this, house/condo/rental hunting has preoccupied my former days of playing online games and dicking around the Internet. Just so I had an idea of what was available, I started browsing through and MLS as though it were eBay. I started thinking about mortgages and RRSPs and taxes and savings...and it all went downhill from there. John has since asked me to STOP MAKING HIM CRAZY with talk of moving during this delicate time in his academic career. I've agreed--seeing all the things I can't afford just makes me depressed.

When did life start getting all complicated? Why can't I just go back to watching Saturday morning cartoons and eating all the foods that never used to hurt my stomach? I just wanna live rent/mortgage-free with good skin and not have to worry about carry-on restrictions and passports....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I have to get this out

The only thing I can think of whenever I see Steve Paikin on TV is that he'd make a perfect Narn.

For Sale

In my ongoing quest to own less stuff, I'm getting rid of my toys! Check out eBay to buy my junk:

Bidding starts at $30--free shipping within Canada.

Bid now!

Stay tuned: more junk to be auctioned off!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Episode one in a word: superpromising.

I'm not prepared to say AWESOME yet, only because Joss Whedon's history with FOX and the Friday 9pm time slot a la Firefly could mean we see the demise of this series before it's allowed to take flight, and I don't think I can take any more disappointments. But so far, the premise has been well trotted out, the character conflicts and moral dilemmas made clear, and the performances have been good enough for a season opener.

My only complaint is that Eliza Dushku as Echo doesn't quite pull a convincing River Tam-esque doll, but she fits the roll of kick-ass chameleon secret agent quite well. I'm confident her performance will only mature and improve as the face of Buffy's Faith slowly sinks into the background as Echo takes on more and more layers to her Dollhouse role.

Best thing about episode one: Tahmoh Penikett MMA fighting, shirtless. Damn, I didn't think you could improve on Helo. And on the subject of BSG, fave line from Dollhouse: "People want father figures, guys you can trust. Like Edward James Olmos."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Taken to new lows...or possibly some old ones

Saw Liam Neeson in Taken this weekend--and while I was happy to see Darkman get back to his shadowy action roots, I came out of the theatre unable to shake the feeling I'd just watched a violent movie version of Super Mario Bros.

Roughly, the plot goes like this: ex-spy's (Neeson's) daughter gets kidnapped by foreigners running prostitution ring. He ruthlessly pursues her, going through progressively more evil international bad guys and leaving a trail of bodies behind him, desperate to find her before the 96-hour window before she disappears for good closes.

Neeson shoots a lot of people, uses that"very special set of skills" he keeps talking about in the commercials to track down the next boss/his daughter. There are car chases and martial arts and shootouts. And a guy getting hit by a truck.

Among the axis of boss characters/baddies/levels are Sri Lankans, the French, Americans, and finally, some vaguely Middle Eastern baddies whose boss character is a fat sheik I fingered as Bowser right away. (Dude even lives on a castle ship!)

At first, I was okay with this plot because espionage hijinks and violence done well can be brainlessly enjoyable. What bothered me about this tale, apart from the fact that there weren't enough Goombas around, was that like Rollerball, Taken is yet another example of a film in which an American is forgiven all his crimes because the idea of what he is doing is somehow "right." In Rollerball, "Freedom" trumped the lives of dozens of dark-skinned people who'd been killed in action. In Taken, "Family Values" are king.

Not that any father would be blamed for flipping out and torturing and killing a guy for kidnapping his daughter. But at one point (SPOILER ALERT) he shoots his French secret-agent friend (fatally) and his completely innocent wife (twice, nonfatally) after he discovers the man has been taking bribes from the kidnappers.

And there were young children in the house while he was doing this, too.

Dude. C'mon. The kids. They don't have a father now, thanks to you, and their mom's been shot in the arm and leg. Seriously, who's going to make their cereal in the morning? I'm sure even Jack Bauer knows the boundaries.

The second make-me-go-crazy bit of imperialist dogma stems from the fact that the brunette Princess is only spared a whore's fate by the fact that she is a virgin and therefore more valuable on the female meat market. Meanwhile, her slutty blond friend ("Omigod, they got Amanda!") dies a horrible death, having overdosed on heroin in one of the brothels Neeson shoots his way into.

We never see the Princess grieve for her. She gets back to her mom and step-dad in California, all smiles and hugs. And Neeson walks off into the sunset, knowing he's done his job, saved his kid and only killed about seventy people in the process. No one's knocking on his door and asking for his to please come with them. No letters of outrage or lawsuits. Nothing. Neeson's untouchable and infallible.

Overall rating: don't pay full price for this flick. And if you do, try singing the Mario Theme Song quietly to yourself throughout. It might make it that much more enjoyable.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Let the *headdesking* begin...

Who the hell is Zucko?

And since when was the plot of Avatar Air vs. Fire?

Entertainment media, I beg you: please do your research...


For the ladies (I'm looking at you, Xiao Pangzi): video of the Georges St. Pierre photo shoot for Men's Fitness Magazine.

The pornstar music makes this video particularly classy.

Videos - Men's Fitness

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, February 02, 2009

Thank you, Kung-Fu Action Jeebus....


Avatar fans managed to dodge a bullet...or perhaps we all screamed loudly enough until the Jesse-McCartney-as-Zuko bullet was deflected after scheduling conflicts pulled the singer/actor from the role that, up until the end of January, he'd all but secured. (Now, try reading that run-on sentence in one breath.)

But Shyamalan's got a tweeest for us: he's secured Dev Patel from Slumdog Millionaire for the Prince of Fire. If the hype and talent of Slumdog can speak for his talent, then I'm crossing my fingers and hoping he'll do his best to please the fans, instead of pretending to pander the way McCartney did. (Dude, get the facts straight--the director is a HUGE fan and if you don't know anything about the cartoon...)

Also cast is Jessica Jade Andres in the role of Kyoshian warrior Suki--a surprise to me, considering her role in the first season (i.e. what will be the first movie) was nominal.

I haven't ranted or raged much about the casting of what was, until Patel's appearance, an all-white cast. And I'll continue not to because other people will do it for me much more eloquently. But gods, I am so grateful McCartney's out. I just don't think Theodore from Alvin and the Chipmunks is a good fit for angstmaster Zuko.

Or maybe he will be, after all the flak he's gotten over the role...