Thursday, April 27, 2006

Celebrities Who Must Die

I am a slut for celebrity news, and yet at the same time, I’m mostly bored by what I read/see/hear out there. I think it’s because the same ten celebrities get reported on all the time. I really don’t give a rat’s bee-hind about Jessica Simpson. I think she’s a boring, stupid slut with an only mediocre talent; plus, the girl has horrible fashion sense. I mean seriously, who wears this stuff? She doesn’t know what tuna is, she can’t do laundry, and she hasn’t got a single interesting thing to say. Maybe all the hair dye and lack of food has leeched her mind of all content. The only remotely interesting thing about Ms. Simpson is her Svengali-meets-Lolita relationship with her father, which makes prior Steven/Liv Taylor or The Donald/Ivanka Trump creepiness look tame. She’s icky, stupid and Christian. Ugh, what a combination. Ginormous breasts can only compensate for so much.

I also have exactly less than zero interest in Jessica’s ex, Mr. Nick Lachey, who not only acts stupid, but looks as dumb as a doorknob as well. [My apologies to doorknobs everywhere; I know we haven’t always been the best of friends, in that you frequently refuse to open for me. Don’t take it personally.] Maybe it’s because Mr. Lachey’s eyes are kind of close together, but, dude—you look bemused, confused and kind of used in your photo shoots, and that’s not good. In a sea of boy-band wannabes and self-conscious, bleached “studs” raised on Nickelodeon, Nick Lachey is not special, but he is “special”. I’m sick of him and his rippling abs, and yet everywhere I go, there Nick and Jessica are, staring at me and smiling with their enormous teeth from every newsstand tabloid cover. I’m starting to think that they can see me and they are hungry. I’m frightened.

I have never been a fan of Tom Cruise. I mean, Risky Business was okay, but that was ages ago, and Tom was still a zygote in tightie-whities. Maybe it’s Scientology’s fault, but Tom is boring to the core. I’m not interested in his looks, and unless he’s playing the bad guy, he’s not all that great an actor…hmm, if Tom is only good at playing assholes, maybe that’s because he is one? I’m just saying. Ole Tom is a bit more interesting now that he’s gone bat-shit insane and is jumping on couches, freaking out at reporters and inciting suicide by telling people to get off their anti-depressants. I’m sorry Tom, watching you is making me want to start taking medication, not quit it. I used to think Katie Holmes had some hopes of developing some talent, but I guess that’s over now that she has become the alien overlord hive womb instead.

I think Jennifer Aniston must have more going on upstairs than we see in her movies, because she has managed to woo and land a couple of interesting men, but where is that in her performances? Yes, I was a rabid fan of Friends for the first few years until they all became caricatures of themselves, but I always liked Chandler the best, so there. Rachel was boring. No wonder Brad left her—Jen has all the blandness of a soccer mom, but wouldn’t put out in the baby department. Go figure.

I really, really, really don’t care what Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards are up to now, so please Us Magazine, stop reporting on them. Unless Charlie wants to share his deepest sexual depravities with me, I’m not interested, and maybe even not then. I mean, “eww”. He’s gross. Denise was fun in the great and under-appreciated Undercover Brother, but nothing else she’s done as wowed me. Of course, I’m not a teenage boy with Wild Things on continuous re-wind. [What ever happened to NeveCampbell anyway? I hope she can still pay her rent. Or maybe she’s out on the highway picking up truckers in exchange for Slim Jims. Whatever.]

And, oh heavenly gods, please spare me from anything more about Starr Jones. Yipes, could she be more vapid and self-involved? I do not, let me be clear on this, watch The View, but I do watch The Soup, and so I am exposed to Starr more than I want to be, which is never. You know, there are some people who just look better fat, and she is one of them. What a huge disappointment it must be to have gone through what I know is the unbelievable agony and insanity that it takes to lose weight, only to end up looking like a deceased squirrel that didn’t make it over I-5 on the first go. I mean, seriously, she looks like a diseased turtle. Yuck.

Lindsay Lohan? Pass. I liked her in the beginning, but then she turned vapid and underfed and boring. She is a stupid girl. Paris Hilton? Not “hot”. Nicole Richie is only interesting as the poster child for anorexia. How low can she go? Pretty low, it’s sad really. How many girls have tried to emulate her to the death? She must be stopped.

Who am I interested in? Well, oddly enough, Angelina Jolie. The girl can’t act, and I think her lips look like dead slugs, but she is out there being weird and trying to make the world a better place. Angie doesn’t just provide her ample lip service either—she’s out there hugging orphans and bringing food and medicine to earthquake and famine survivors on a weekly basis. I may be the one person who supports Brad Pitt in his career move from Brad ‘n’ Jen to Brangelina—playing Daddy Daycare whilst being dragged around the world by Super Mom makes him more interesting to me. Go Brad.

There are a lot of other interesting “celebrities” out there who manage have the best of both worlds—they get to play for a living, but for the mostpart, they can also go outside without being chased and hounded by the yellow press. I envy them: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Don Cheadle, William H. Macy and his lovely and talented partner Felicity Huffman (who needs to gain a few as well), Casey Affleck (the one who can act), the fun an irrepressible Jack Black (who has stayed true to his indie friends)…oh, there’s loads of others. Interesting people who manage to get by in Hollywood without being eaten up by the machine. Still, I’m guilty of buying People and Entertainment Weekly or, God forbid, even Life & Style every now and then. My brain likes candy, and after all, I am Mistress Squidia, Media Whore. I consume crap, so you don’t have to. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Those Adorable Men

I seem to be a breeder, in that, despite all evidence against it and my horrible history, I am into men. This is a problem I can’t seem to get over. Men are a mysterious species whose motivations I may not understand, even after years of study. I spent a loooong time with one particular man, of whom I can easily say that I knew all his stories inside and out, I could finish almost any sentence coming out of his yaw, and I could tell when he was lying, bored, randy, angry and probably could guess with 98% accuracy what he was about to do and say next. And yet, I have to admit that he was a total, complete and utter stranger to me. While I had ideas about what made him the way he was, I really didn’t know him, and in the end, I didn’t care to.

But still, there are still men out there who can inspire my total love and devotion. I know that if I met these guys in person and got to know them, they might turn out to be unredeemable jerks. In fact, if I fall for a guy in the flesh, he probably is a jerk, because I have a talent for seeking out assholes. Now that I am a mature woman with plenty of water under her bridge, (and a troll or two), if I find myself attracted to someone I’ve actually met, I immediately doubt their quality based just on my own reaction. If I like them, there must be something wrong with them. Nevertheless, for the following men, I would make an exception. I’m sure none of them would ever make me sad. They certainly all make me very happy now.

Dave Gorman
This adorable British dude has built his entire notoriety and career out of a drunken prank, and you have to love him just for that. One evening after many tequila’s, his flat mate dared him to find out how many other Dave Gorman’s lived in the UK and the next thing they were on a train to Scotland…well, the rest is history. When the kids and I first saw Are You Dave Gorman? on PBS, we almost had to buy a new couch, if you know what I mean. This guy is also responsible for The Great Google Whack, which I haven’t seen yet, but want to badly. Anyway, Dave Gorman is lovable, cute, and hilarious and has a British accent, which due to my obsession with Celtic men of all types, gets big bonus points with me.

Eddie Izzard
I’ve posted about Eddie before, so there’s no need to say much more other than that Mr. Izzard is the hottest thing in fish tights and platform heels, and is so funny that I would bear his children if I could. [While I love my two kids to little bits, I’m not really looking to have more at this point, so you can see how this would be a big deal on my part.] Everything about Eddie is wrong—his chin is too big, he has rubbery lips, his hair is all wonky, he is a bit chunky and short…and it all adds up to sex on toast. In the film Circus, there’s a scene where Eddie and the also shagadelic Scottish hunk John Hannah are butt naked on a stony beach in Brighton, and oh my, it gave me the vapors. Eddie Izzard is god, and John Hannah is no slouch either.

Ze Frank
If you don’t know about Ze Frank yet, well, go to my link to him on the right, and prepare to spend the rest of your day laughing. If you value your job, don’t initially check out his site from work, because you won’t get anything done for the rest of the day. Start with his original “How to Dance Properly” video, and go from there. I love his New Year’s resolutions. There’s also a bit where he describes how he invented this code for business correspondence where all the punctuation means swear words, so that he can both sound professional but curse out his graphic design clients without them knowing. So funny. Lately he has started a daily video thing where he reports the news. I know this doesn’t sound all that great, but that’s because you don’t know Ze Frank yet. He is relentlessly happy and inventive, and not in that cloying cutesy “chipper” way that usually make me want to rip out the person’s throat with my teeth. I now have all my news needs firmly met between The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and Ze Frank. He is hilarious, trust me on this. Ze also looks like the mutant love child of Mark Hamill, Ewan McGregor and a goldfish. He’s so cute I could spread him on a crumpet and gobble him up; he is so creamy I’d have no need for extra butter. Check out Ze with my linkie over there -->. His web site states, “Many have come, but I like you the best”. I like him right back. In fact, I love him. Love, love, love the Ze.

Anthony Bourdain
Boy Kid and I have recently discovered Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations on the Travel Channel. I’d seen a prior show of his, and not thought much of him. What can you say about a NYC chef who smokes and makes disparaging comments about the cuisine of other countries? I wasn’t impressed, and so I didn’t give it enough of a chance. But, after the cancellation of the incredibly funny show Kitchen Confidential, which was based on Mr. Tony’s life and book, I had to check out this new show. [Curse you Fox TV network executives, may you rot in festering pools of fish guts while monkeys eat your children!] It turns out I was wrong, Anthony Bourdain is not just an ass, but instead is an ass I love with burning passion. How can you not adore a guy who unapologetically drinks, smokes, chats up his druggie days, is passionate about pork and who will eat or drink anything that is offered to him, no matter how disgusting? On the Quebec episode we watched him eat a seal’s eyeball with a bloody seal carcass right in front of him. He ate it raw. That same episode another chef in Montréal tried to kill him by feeding him everything on the foie gras menu. I mean, everything. He ate it all and lived, but he did look a bit green and greasy by the end. I got all dreamy watching Mr. Bourdain chow down on massive plates of poutine, which is basically French fries, gravy and cheese curds, with other ill-advised things like canned peas or barbeque sauce being added as requested. Apparently this is the official dish of Quebec. God, the stomach churns, and I grew up in Canada. Anthony is also hugely into Iggy Pop and The Stooges, which automatically means he’s my friend. It burns my weenies that he’s also a stick. How can anyone be so well-fed and yet so thin? Even though he smokes, and therefore probably smells like walking death, I want him to marry me. Of course, this would mean I’d have to divorce Eddie Izzard first, and that could be a problem. Hmm. Anyway, check out No Reservations at 10 p.m. on Mondays on the Travel Channel. I’ll be there, with bells and bib, firmly on. Yummy.

Also Rans
You can see from the above list that I love men who are funny, not just cute. I will probably think you are “the hotness” if you have a sense of humor and a movable face, because both of these mean adorable to me. In addition to the above fine hunks of man-muffin-hood, there are other guys who make me happy as well: Ewan McGregor, Jamie Oliver of Naked Chef fame, James Nesbitt (Murphy’s Law), Clive Owen…hmm, these are all Brits. You see a pattern here.

To Recap
If you can feed me well, and especially if you can make me laugh, I’m yours. A Brit, Scottish and/or Irish accent will put me over the top.

Thank God for men, you crazy, whacky weirdos.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Wherein I Blow An Interview, Plus Two Movie Reviews

Today I had my first “real” job interview in a while, in that I went out for a job for MSN at Microsoft. My recruiter didn’t really prep me well enough, and I went in a bit blind without knowing what the job was really about. And I blew it. Sadly, I didn’t even manage to entertain myself or you by blowing the interview in spectacular style; instead I was just adequately inadequate. How pathetic is that? I sucked even at being sucky. I mean, God damn! By the time I got home, I already had the “no” email back from the recruiter. Oh well, it’s a beautiful day to have spent two-plus hours in stop-and-go traffic and ten dollars in gas money to get all the way out to downtown Redmond and back. Sheesh. But, seriously, someone needs to hire me soon. All offers considered. I’m very talented, I swear.

Two Movies
Yesterday was sunny and fair, and all the healthy, trendy and beautiful people in Seattle were out walking around in short pants, being “seen” at outdoor coffee houses, sailing, walking dogs on the beach, and generally behaving like Personals ads stereotypes and being poster people for all you teaming masses in hot, sweaty, un-scenic and/or tornado-prone places all over the country who might want to move here. [By the way, don’t—our traffic is horrendous. It’s like downtown Calcutta at rush hour only with SUVs instead of yaks. Really.]

So, on this fine day, what did me and mine choose to do? Spend it in the dark hiding from our responsibilities and all forms of exercise by having Two Movie Day of course. We’re such nerds. Plus, I’ve heard the sun can kill you.

Movie #1: Sex is Good
First, Girl Kid and I went to see The Notorious Bettie Paige at the lovely, dark and comfy Harvard Exit. We even found parking right in front of the theater, which is both rare and wonderful to find on Capital Hill, so already it was a good day.

Girl Kid, like many young and hip counter-cultural women out there right now, kinda has a thing for Bettie Paige. She’s always had dominatrix tendencies, so I suppose it makes some kind of sense. Plus, that jet-black hair, those hot red lips, those thigh-high lace-up boots! How can you not love it? Bettie Paige was pretty frickin’ awesome. I’m actually glad that the whole pin-up girl thing is coming back into vogue again, because maybe now the standard of beauty will move back to a woman with some meat on her bones, and all the little chickas out there can stop starving themselves quite as much. I’m looking at you, Lindsay Lohan, girl, you need to eat something, you look better fat. You need to get your bumps back, your career will thank you.

Gretchen Mol plays the “notorious” Paige. Yes, Gretchen Mol, who in the past has been both blond, and not exactly endowed in the Department of Curves. I think the girl did gain ten or so pounds for the role, and she is 1) unrecognizable, 2) looks amazingly fucktastic, and 3) is the spitting image of the original deal. The movie itself has flaws, but it is a nice tribute to a true icon. The film makers used a combination of black and white and color, and artfully blended real archival footage from the forties and fifties into the story. The film also shows how, (then as now), the more puritanical forces in our society tried to suppress sexuality and dictate what people find acceptable about women and their bodies. The reproductions (or possibly original) men’s magazines shown in the movie were almost sweet in their grainy newsprint pictures of women coyly peeking over their shoulders in their underwear, booty out. Today we’d find that kind of photograph in your standard department store catalogue, but back then, “ooh”, so dirty. We’ve come a long way since the fifties, but I have to wonder if we are not sliding back to those more repressive days now. I find it funny that the very people who try to limit and dictate sex in this country the most stridently are the same ones consuming the most pornography. Why can’t we all just, well, wank along? A little foot fetish is pretty tame and harmless in the grand scheme of things. A bit of bondage, some same-sex snogging, or a light spanking on the ole tush (done right) never hurt anyone, so why get so bent out of shape about it? Stop short of really hurting someone or involving kids or animals, and you will be okay, really. If God didn’t want us having sex, s/he’d have made us reproduce asexually, like oysters. [Oysters go through both a female and a male stage, and fertilize themselves. Now that’s kinky!]

Sadly, there is no actual footage of the real Ms. Paige, which I think would have helped. Still, Gretchen gets full frontal nekked several times during the movie, and her body is so fantastic it took my breath away. The first time she strips down to nothing but heels I actually gasped a bit. I can’t image what it must be like to be that beautiful. Oddly enough, the day before, Girl Kid and I had been at a garage sale where there was a small free-standing cutout of Bettie Paige in tassels, tights and a whip. Ms. Paige did have a bit of a belly by today’s standards, and I really hope that look comes back, because it’s healthier, more attainable, and damn it, looks better. I should have bought that thing, shoot. Verdict? This film is a labor of love, and an independent movie by a female writer/director (Mary Harron), so I recommend you support all that by seeing this one in the theater. But, I expect the DVD might include even more Bettie Paige information and maybe some real footage or stills of said notorious hot mama, so you maybe you will want to wait for that.

Movie #2: Laughing is Good
Next, we went back home and picked up Boy Kid, and it was off to see American Dreamz at the local megaplex. I should say, I’m not even remotely a fan of American Idol, but I thought this movie was fun on a bun. Hugh Grant was perfect for the role of Simon Cowell—his natural smarmy charm and smooth cattiness delivered the goods much better than the real Mr. Cowell does. Actually, Simon should thank Mr. Grant for making him look so good. Hot damn with a can of Spam, is it just me or does Hugh Grant look better than ever? There’s a scene where Mr. Cowell, I mean Grant, leans against a picture of himself and moans “Please God, no more, not another season, please make me stop”, and I laughed my ass off. I think Mr. Grant was imagining his own career. But he does do that thing he does so very, very well. Mandy Moore spoofs her own image again (as she did so well in last year’s indie anti-Christian production Saved), and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this out loud, but the girl can act. Sam Golzari was unbelievably cute and sweet as terrorist-in-training Omar who just wants to sing show tunes alone in his tent, but accidentally gets recruited to blow up the President of the United States on the show. Oh yeah, Dennis Quaid almost makes our real president look like a person, and that takes some acting chops. All the other supporting actors were great and clearly having heaps of fun, but I won’t bore you further by listing them. You can look it up.

Boy Kid and I laughed and laughed all through this movie, but I had to notice that we were the only ones doing so. I mean, what gives? Ice Age 2 you’ll laugh at but not this? I’m used to being the only person to be giggling like a fool at some jokes, for instance, in Star Wars, Episode I, when Darth Maul whips off his hood to reveal all those cute little horns, I laughed loudly into a packed, but completely silent theater. Please, American Dreamz was a funny movie! Everyone else in the theater sat there like stones while Boy Kid and I heaved and hawed like lunatics. Or maybe we were laughing so loudly it drowned out the humor noises of others. It’s possible. As we all know; if you talk during a move, you must be killed, but laughing at a good script is just being polite, if you ask me. Verdict? Not high art, but a fun day out.

And then we had Mexican food, so it was a good day, even if I did have a carbohydrate headache afterwards.

Now, here is your homework—someone find me a job, preferably in graphic design, (or movie reviewing) or at least close to my house (Shoreline, Washington). Mama needs to eat and pay her rent, and she promises not to disappoint.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Hills Have Thighs—Silent Hill

Thanks to our winning of tickets from the fine folks at Dream Strands Comics & Such, who are the very finest purveyors of all things comic book, collectable figurine, and gnerd-friendly card games, we went to a preview screening of Silent Hill last night. Despite the poor delivery on previous promise of movies based on video games, Boy and Girl Kid had both been waiting with bated breath for this one, and I have to say…it sort of delivered? Hmm.

Let’s just start off by saying that Silent Hill the movie at least hits some of the atmospheric quality and plot points of SH the game. The plot is meaningless, but basically follows the structure of: family has creepy adopted kid with sleep walking problems that lead her to night-time wanderings to foggy cliff tops, and mom is determined to find out the cause of her daughter’s problems by seeking the help of a qualified specialist and…ha ha! That’s just my little joke on you. Of course mom does not take her kid to a doctor. Mom does what any sensible parent would do; she kidnaps the kid and heads for the abandoned titular ghost town in the dead of night at high speeds, ditching the cops and concerned townsfolk in the process before crashing her car on the outskirts of town. I mean come on! That’s just common sense, right?

No, it is not. Any “plot” developments in Silent Hill depend, as per horror flick usual, on the complete and utter stupidity of its main characters, and boy howdy, are the people in this story butt stupid. Because it’s based on a game, once Mom hits town to try to find her now missing kid, her path follows the basic structure of the game—monsters appear, cue fog, cue abandoned school, hotel, and hospital scenes. Someone in the art department really went heavy on the crinkle paint effects, and it was all very artfully distressed. Mom is chased into town by a female motorcycle cop, who sports full on Village People helmet, visor, super-stretchy cop shirt barely covering her Wonder Bra, and skin-tight leather pants. In fact, I spent at least half the movie expecting the mom and the cop to suddenly drop to the dirt and start making out. I think the actress playing the cop accidentally wandered in from the porn shoot next door. But she wasn’t the only one; this movie also features the always sex-o-riffic Deborah Kara Unger as “original-and-now-crazy mom” in full Kabuki makeup and dreadlocks. There’s also a scene where ghostly women in sexy Halloween “nurse” costumes do an undulating dance which features short skirts, shapely thighs, and full cleavage that would make Pamela Anderson proud. In fact, this whole movie was sprinkled with what seemed to be escaped members of Cirque de Soleil writhing around in Spandex body suits and moaning, which was pretty cool. I mean, it’s nice to see backup dancers and ex-porn stars getting some work in “legitimate” film.

Anyway, there’s more blather about the members of an extreme Christian cult which is headed up by, naturally, the Borg Queen herself, Alice Krige, and there’s some back story about how her crazy cult ways are what caused the town to be taken over by a demonic female burn victim and her minions in the first place. The movie is chock-full of unintentional humor, and Boy Kid and I were not the only ones laughing our asses off at the stupid mom, the horrible acting of Creepy Kid, and the fine styling of the backup dancers in their monsters suits. Instead of making out with Stupid Mom, Porn Cop gets turned into a Krispy Kritter, which is too bad if you ask me, because this dreadful thing could have done with some girl-on-girl action, which would have made as much sense as anything else. Just why again is there a guy with a giant metal cheese hat and who has an unnaturally large fish knife running around pulling people’s guts out of them? Anyway, the movie ends ambiguously, leaving room for a sequel firmly in place.

Going to Silent Hill for free was key to my enjoyment, so if you can manage to get someone else to pay, and you are in the mood to laugh your rump roast off while also being mildly creeped out, then by all means, go. I have to say, seeing the movie with a full herd of gaming nerds (gnerds) was fun on a bun. I do so love to walk amongst my people every now and then.

Verdict? Too much religion is bad for you, America is afraid of pre-pubescent girls, a return to coal as an energy source is not a good idea, and Deborah Kara Unger needs to fire her agent. Damn, now I have the urge to see some Village People porn. Until then, “Bow chicka-bow-bow!”

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Oh Canada!

I’ve been up in Canada for the last few days, and I must say, it’s like a different country up there or something.


1) People are more relaxed and they look better than we do.
I think this has something to do with having more money. Now hear me out—yes, they pay over $4.00 per gallon for gas, and their dollar is (very slightly) still worth less than ours, and their groceries are freakishly expensive; but, they pay, like, nothing for all their insurance needs. In comparison, I have a friend here in Seattle who just injured himself and we had a conversation about whether or not he could afford to go to the hospital for x-rays. I mean, really. In Canada no one gives the slightest thought to whether or not they will receive health care. Of course they will, damn it! Imagine the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you can go to the doctor, and then imagine all that extra cash in your pocket. Which leads me to….

2) How can they afford to drink? Our first night there, I went into a liquor store to get a bottle of wine. In British Columbia at least, wine and beer is not available in grocery stores, you have to haul your sorry ass into the liquor store to get your drunk on. After looking at the prices, I had to think twice; I just couldn’t feature paying eleven dollars for crap wine that costs $4.99 at Fred Meyer here in Seattle. Hard liquor was out of the stratosphere expensive. But here’s something I’ve never seen before—a cute girl in a tropically-themed tank top was giving out free samples of rum! Free samples! To people who were obviously going to get into their cars and drive home! I could not get over this. Free samples in the liquor store, now I’ve seen everything.

3) Even the bums are well dressed. Outside the grocery store there was a pack of homeless people, who obviously could afford the expensive hooch, because they were all clearly three sheets to the wind. So why did they all look like Euro-trash models in the latest American Apparel catalogue? I know this was Victoria and not Vancouver, but damn, the homeless are hot up there.

4) American television is made by puritans. On day two, we saw this amazing Canadian television show called Sons of Butcher. Oh. My. God. It’s basically about three brothers who are bums or at least unemployed. Three real actors are filmed, and then their faces are posterized with Photoshop, a-la the technique used in Waking Life, and then that is attached to some of the worst animation ever for the rest of their bodies, etc. Let me just say that this show was rude, crude, profane, and filled with the lowest form of potty and booby humor imaginable. Girl Kid loved it. There is no way on earth this show would be allowed on American television, it would never get on the air, no way, now how. But get this, Sons of Butcher is on the air compliments of a grant from the Canadian government! The Canadian government is paying for a show that includes a joke where a guy wraps his head in toilet paper to wipe the ass of an enormous circus freak just so she’ll show him her boobies. I have no words. Canada rules.

5) Canadians drive hamsters. The Smart Car is very popular up there. You will soon see this car in the upcoming movie version of The Da Vinci Code, and of course, here in the supposedly environmentally conscious Seattle, everyone will want one. After The Italian Job remake, suddenly one in five cars on the road was a Mini Cooper, so you just know that the Smart Car will go over like a house on fire down here. How could you not want a car that looks like cuddly amusement park ride and has “smart” written on its backside? And it comes in crazy neon colors and apparently gets 200 miles to the gallon, or something like that. I want one now, but they are not available here yet. Guess why.

6) No one cares about the cops. People drive around like maniacs, nuff said. Even with all the warnings about cameras and automatic ticketing, not a single car on the road was going anywhere near the speed limit. I did though. I was sure my Washington plates would get me hauled to the curb faster than shit if I broke the speed limit. So, if 100 kilometers equals 60 miles then 40Kph is…what?

7) They speak French up there. All the signs and packaging come in French and English. I don’t have anything funny to say about this, other than it is hella cute.

8) Cigarettes can kill you. I don’t smoke, but I got a gander at a pack of cigs up there, and hot damn in hell, the cigarette packaging in Canada is covered in pictures of diseased lungs. I mean, every surface is dedicated to these warnings, to the point where there's almost no room for the brand logo. And there are scary words in large type about how smoking will totally make you die. This is so cool it almost makes me want to start smoking. Our little Surgeon General’s warning is for wimps. In Canada, smoking is for stupendous bad-asses.

9) Canadians have droopy drawers. Instead of one and two dollar bills, Canadians have these big heavy coins with pictures of loons and bears on them. Damn, even their money is hard-core! Literally. They must use extra-tough elastic in their pants, because just a bit of change in your pocket is enough to make you walk in circles, if you know what I mean.

10) Curling is not a joke. I still remember fondly when Girl Kid came running in last year and asked me, “Mom, is curling for real?”. She thought it was a joke someone had made up about how whacky Canadians are. If you don’t know what curling is, well, it basically involves sliding a big stone across a sheet of advertisement-strewn ice, with two dorks with brooms madly sweeping the ice in front to keep the chunks away. I cannot adequately express how funny this looks. Curling is taken very seriously in Canada, and apparently it will be at the 2010 Olympics. We watched a bout called “Ferby vs. Morris”, and based on the comments of the breathless trio of announcers Ferby and Morris are the direct descendants of the gods. They looked like regular beer drinking yahoos to me, but apparently they represent the Great Blue Hope for Canada. And a $50,000 purse is apparently a lot of money in Canadian sports. Ah, they are so cute!

So, that’s about it. We got back across the border with little stress, other than the hour it took to inch our way up to the little customs hut. After all the hoopla about increased border security I was fully expecting to be strip searched, but we didn’t even get asked if we had any fruit or weapons. Or weaponized fruit. Go figure.

Tomorrow I’ll have some movie reviews for you, but right now Boy Kid is drooling for the computer, so I guess I’ll let him have it. In the meantime, I love you best, don’t tell the others.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sex is Killing Me

Girl Kid and her b-friend have been going out for six months. Even though he’s tall, dark and handsome and he ought to be beating them off with a stick, she’s his first girlfriend. Girl Kid experimented a couple of years ago with the “pretty boy” that everyone thought was “so gangsta”, but decided that 1) he was a tuber, and 2) she wasn’t interested in dating someone she had nothing in common with and who is a mental doorknob, even if he is “hot”, which I thought was a pretty good lesson to learn. Girl Kid doesn’t like clingy boys, and she doesn’t like being dragged around by the shoulder in public like a side of beef. This is pretty much as it was back in my day, “Look at me, I’ve snagged someone! See, I am worthy of love! You can tell because, he/she’s attached to me like a remora!” Not that most high school kids even know what a remora is. I’m just saying.

Girl Kid had decided that she wasn’t going to date someone who went to her same high school, because she didn’t want to be burdened with a guy hanging around all the time. And then she met this particular boy, and made an exception. She even asked him out for their first date, which is something she thought she’d be too embarrassed to do. The two of them have been best friends ever since, logging literally hundreds of hours in person and on the phone. Even I like him—he’s smart, cute, polite, funny, has long blue hair, and he’s a RPG gamer, so it’s all good. It was adorable how initially shy he was about revealing his geek side—Girl Kid had to reassure him over and over that being into Warhammer was a good thing in her eyes, and that he really couldn’t be too nerdy for her. Girl Kid may look like a high school goddess, but she’s a geek at heart. Even Boy Kid likes the b-friend, and that speaks volumes to this boy’s general quality, because Boy Kid has standards for human behavior and suffers no fools.

So, I knew eventually that the issue would come up. You know what I mean, sooner or later they’d get around to “it”. Over the years, I’ve been very upfront with my kids about sex and protection and birth control and how they should come to me when they need information or a drive to Planned Parenthood or whatever. Boy Kid is such a shy boy that he hasn’t crossed this bridge yet. Girl Kid swore she wasn’t ready and that she’d tell me when she was. And I trusted her. I also know that things can happen, and I figured that if something “unplanned” happened, we’d deal with it.

B-friend’s parents are the “you must wait until you are married” types; but this seems ill-advised to me. You wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on, right? So why would you marry someone without doing the same? Besides, what if you didn’t even know how to put pants on? How awkward would that be? All I’m saying is: try before you buy, and learn to put on pants really well. You’ll be a happier person for it.

B-friend was over last weekend, and as per usual, they spent all their time in Girl Kid’s room, and the rest of us in the house were out and around doing other things. I should probably mention that both Girl Kid and b-friend are 16 and a half…old enough, probably. Later in the day, I was in the bathroom, and saw something floating the potty. It was red. It was synthetic. It has a reservoir in the tip. Several things went through my mind in rapid succession. “Oh god, here we go.” “At least they used a condom.” “Why didn’t she tell me so we could get her on the pill?” “I hope that doesn’t plug the plumbing.” And,“Oh shit oh shit oh shit!”

Later I asked Girl Kid, “Okay, we’ll go to Planned Parenthood tomorrow then, okay?” She tried to act clueless. I told her about my discovery. Apparently nothing did “happen”, because trying to get a condom on for the first time caused irreversible deflation, and from what I gather, emotional pain and suffering for both parties. I tried to let her know that this was expected the first time, and that there was nothing wrong with either of them. There’s a reason people make condom jokes. Girl Kid emphatically did not want to talk about it, then or ever. (But, she does have an appointment today.)

All of this caused several violently conflicting states within me. One, I was crushed that she didn’t want to talk to me. I was hurt that they must have planned ahead for this, but Girl Kid didn’t do what she’d promised a hundred times, which was to get birth control arranged before hand (it turns out the “it” part wasn’t pre-planned after all, and that they’d used a condom that her friend had given her as a joke). Two, I was saddened that her first “real” sexual experience was a bad one. I know, I know, almost everyone has a bad first time, (or at least the girl does). My first time was beyond horrible, and it destroyed the relationship. I wanted something better for my daughter. How weird is that? I probably should want her to wait until she’s eighty to be having sex, instead I find myself hoping that she’ll have a fabulous sex life full of joy and happiness. Fortunately, she and the b-friend seem to be recovering from their trauma without losing their friendship.

I don’t want Girl Kid to be like I was, thinking there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t having orgasms from the standard “stick it in and poke around” procedure that works so well for men. I want her to be much better informed than I was. Now, I have all this information I could give her that might shave years of sorrow, shyness and bad sex off for her. Even simple things like, “You can help him put that thing on, and that will work wonders for him. Or, “Don’t let oral sex be one sided, make sure you get yours.” Or, “85% of women can’t have fun from missionary alone, try different things and tell him what works.” Stuff the men in her life may not know unless she teaches them. But I can’t tell her any of this, because she won’t have it. If I try to bring up even the most discreetly worded subject that is even remotely in this area, she goes all hypersonic on me, “La la la go away I’m not listening to you!”

So, Girl Kid will be left to make her own mistakes in life, and all I can do is wish her the best. For once, I can’t help her. She’s on her own, because apparently I’m just not the right person for this, and the people who will help her are pretty much as clueless and uninformed as she is. Soon she’ll be moving away and leading a life of tragedy and joy that I will know nothing about, and it’s gutting me. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Gitmo Makes Me Mad, Al Qaeda, and Three Movie Reviews

I had a great birthday day. I took Girl Kid out of school, and we all went off for a Two Movie Day. I love seeing more than one movie in a day, especially if they are good ones. It's a little vacation in my brain. We went to V for Vendetta again, and it was even better the second time around. Towards the end, I started thinking about the whole Guantanamo Bay thing, in fact I was sent into a murderous rage right there in my seat. Why are we detaining people without representation, and for indefinite periods of time? Sure, we were attacked, but it’s not as if terrorism was a new thing on 9/11. It’s not even as if it was the first time, or the worst time, that we here in the US were attacked (if you include Pearl Harbor). But “Oh no!”, because of 9/11 we are ready to give up what made America so supposedly great in the first place—our civil rights.

I cannot express how sad it makes me to hear the stupid evil morons in the Bush administration try to explain away their illegal actions by stating that it’s okay to wiretap Americans because they might be talking on the phone to someone somewhere else who might once have met a guy who met a guy who was once in the same room as the woman who does Osama Bin Laden’s laundry. If you use this argument, then you’d have to wiretap everyone, because we can have no idea what crimes the person on the other end of the line might have gotten up to. Of course, that is exactly what the Bush administration wants—to be top dog in a police state where everyone is a suspect and everyone is afraid and compliant.

What the hell are we going to do about this situation? It’s one thing to feel rage, but what am I going to do about it? Sadly, the answer is that, other than voting, I will probably do nothing. I have chores, and movies to see, and books to read…and the excuses pile up and up. All of us have lives, and so we sit in our beakers like laboratory frogs while the water heats up until we boil to death. We won’t get our rights back either, because all that power will be too tempting for the government to give up. But, I know I won’t do anything effective to stop it. I suck.

Are Bush and Friends Funding Al Qaeda?
As I was pondering illegal wiretapping and Gitmo, an evil thought popped up that I couldn’t shake. We all know that the Reagan administration trained Osama Bin Laden and his buddies during the Soviet/Afghanistan thing in the early 1980’s. This is back when Bush Senior was Vice President; and prior to that he was head of the CIA. This is a man who had an animal taken off the endangered species list just so he and two of his buddies could hunt it in Kenya; which makes me think that there really is no depth to which he and his friends and family might be capable of sinking. So the question remains, what if we never stopped funding Bin Laden? What if Al Qaeda is a covert American operation?

It’s occurred to me before that 9/11 played right into the Bush administration’s hands. If 9/11 was a homicide, the first thing the police would do is to figure out who would benefit the most from the death and make that person their prime suspect. In the case of 9/11, it’s hard to avoid the thought that the tragedy helped the Bush administration’s global agenda. We know that prior to 9/11 they were trying to figure out a way to gain control of Afghanistan, because Halliburton was developing plans to build an oil pipeline through the country. We know they wanted to control both the Middle East and its oil by gaining control of Iraq and then spreading out from there. Richard Clarke and others have publicly stated that plans to invade Iraq were already being worked up before 9/11. And now we are rattling sabers at Iran and Syria. Normally “we the people” wouldn’t have supported this kind of warmongering and hubris from our government, but because of 9/11, we handed them a blank check. I’ve had the evil thought before that maybe Bush and Buddies were somehow involved in 9/11, but now I can’t shake the horrible idea that maybe they’ve been funding Al Qaeda all along. Think about it: the case could be made that every Al Qaeda attack around the world over the years has benefited Team Bush in some way. Yeah, it’s an insane and treasonous idea, but still….

Movie Reviews
We also saw Inside Man on my birthday, and man oh man, was it fun. Spike Lee redeemed his last few mistakes with this one. I’ll even forgive Mr. Lee for covering up Clive Owen’s face for half the movie. The story is about a bunch of robbers who pull off the perfect bank heist, and oh boy, do they pull it off with style. I’d worry that the film will give real bank robbers ideas, but you couldn’t really pull this one off. For one thing, where would you find a Nazi collaborator bank owner? The script is really tight, and they thought of everything, right down to a twist late in the movie that fixes the cop’s relationship with his marriage-minded girlfriend. See, the bank robbers have hearts of gold, and everything works out for everyone. No one gets hurt, except financially, and even then, they deserved it. It’s the perfect crime. Jody Foster plays a hard-ass “fixer” with killer pumps and no morals, and you could cut cheese on her cheek bones. Because he’s usually so far up his own ass, I’m not normally a fan of Denzel Washington, but he’s good here, mostly because his character is not trying to be the hero. And Clive Owen, as always, is hella fine, plus the boy can act. I loved it. Verdict? Fun on a Bun. If you have the time for a two movie day, Inside Man would make a great double bill with Sixteen Blocks (but make sure you see SB first).

Thank You for Smoking
The kids and I had been panting like lab rats testing the new Virginia Slims to see this one, and it was worth the wait. Aaron Eckhart plays a lobbyist for Big Tobacco, and ooh ooh ooh, does Mr. Eckhart deliver a great and smarmy performance. I normally don’t go for hunky “good looking” guys, but I’ll make an exception for Aaron, because he has such a moveable face and you know how much your Mistress loves a man with facial range. I won’t bore you with annoying details; the title is basically all you need to know. Go see it. Verdict? Thank you indeed.

Basic Instinct 2
Yeah, I when ahead saw this stinker early in the day when Girl Kid was in school. This is a fun movie, but not for the right reasons. I was in the theater with about twelve older guys, all spaced out evenly so as not to come into eye contact with each other, which was a bit creepy. I’m sure none of the old perverts who came to see Sharon Stone display her ass-ets appreciated me laughing out loud all through the movie. And boy, is this one a hoot fest. I won’t bore you with the plot, but I have to wonder why any of the fine British actors in this thing bothered to show up. The psychiatrist in the story is supposed to be unable to resist his possibly murderous client’s cunning wit and beauty, but a real shrink has to deal with transference issues all the time and so would be plenty immune to Ms. Sharon’s throaty, yet laughable, attempts at seduction. I had to wonder how many lozenges Ms. Stone went through during this production, because she has only one delivery throughout—husky and deranged. As for the “bits” everyone is wondering about: no, you don’t see Sharon’s crotch this time around. Or rather you do during a full-frontal hot tub scene, but it’s from a distance, and artfully placed shadows conceal anything more risqué than the now-mandatory boob shot. Moments later, the viewer is treated to a closer look at said boobs as they bob in the hot tub water. This scene definitively answers the question you didn’t actually ask: yes, those things are fake. Sure, Sharon still looks pretty good for her age, but what’s up with that mullet? Yuck. Verdict? You’ve got to be kidding. If you must see Sharon’s ass, the original Basic Instinct had a lot more sex and nudity. Save this one for home viewing, in fact, have some friends over and make a drinking game out of it, because righteously hammered is the only way to see this awful flick; and as an added benefit, of course the DVD will include more of the “sexy” bits excluded in the theatrical release. Just try not to invite a bunch of aging pervs.

Well, I should do something productive today, like try to find a job. Sigh. Soon we will be homeless and living in Girl Kid’s van. Fortunately, it is roomy.