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Archive for the ‘Escapism’ Category

** WARNING: MILD SPOILERS FOR CRAZY, STUPID LOVE CONTAINED IN THIS POST. IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT AND DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED, STOP READING! **

 

 

We went to see Crazy, Stupid Love last night. I’d heard good things and I felt like seeing a movie. I hadn’t seen any previews for it so I didn’t really know much about it other than it was a romantic comedy. It *was* good … sort of. Well, it was funny … mostly.

I’m not stupid. I know going in that a romantic comedy is going to be full of FAIL. You know, sexism FAIL, “battle of the sexes” FAIL, assumptions about “true love” and “soul mate” FAIL and this movie had it all. Most of it didn’t bother me so much I couldn’t enjoy the film. I’m ok with recognizing FAIL but still enjoying the movie or TV show within context. I have to be. If I wasn’t, I’d never be able to watch anything (especially Doctor Who).  Besides, fiction is supposed to be entertainment, a fantasy, expecting it to be realistic is … well, it’s setting yourself up for a whole lot of disappointment.  I think the important part is recognizing the FAIL and acknowledging it rather than either boycotting everything all the time and never watching anything OR blindly watching things without giving the assumptions underlying the script writing a moment’s thought. So, why did Crazy, Stupid Love bug me enough to inspire me to ramble on about it in a blog post?  First, a brief rundown of the story (or at least the bits relevant to this post):

The movie starts out with the main character, Cal, being dumped by his wife, Emily. They’re out to dinner, she tells him she wants a divorce. We learn that they’ve been married for almost 25 years, were high school sweethearts, they have kids, and she’s had a fling with a guy in her office. She says she thinks she might be having a midlife crisis if women can have those (paraphrasing the quote here). Cal basically goes into shock, doesn’t fight and moves out. He ends up in a trendy yuppy bar loudly telling anyone and everyone how his wife dumped him. In steps the (much younger) heartless, womanizing player. He offers to help Cal “regain his manhood” or some such nonsense (cue bits that I try not to think too hard about for the sake of entertainment) and proceeds to give him a make over. Apparently make overs are manly and macho or something now. Anyway, he does this and then teaches Cal how to pick up chicks. Apparently women fall into men’s beds if they spout a few tired lines and insist on buying them a drink.* Cal proceeds to have several random one night stands.**

Meanwhile, Emily is trying to brush off the guy in her office with whom she had the once-off fling, generally acting like the wronged wife and moping around. She does not, you will note, continue dating the guy from the office (aside from a really awkward date that she agreed to after being badgered by him) or sleep around or even just date anyone else. AND THAT IS THE PROBLEM! I can only guess that this is because women don’t really like sex and they are never interested in sleeping with more than one or two guys (yes, both she and Cal had only ever slept with each other prior to her fling & their break up) and men always have more sex than women. You know, the standard bullshit narrative about the battle of the sexes or … whatever. AND IT IS BULLSHIT!

Emily had said she thought she was having a midlife crisis. She appeared to be acting out of boredom with her marriage which had gone stale. So, why, when she frees herself from the marriage which she feels is the problem, doesn’t she go taste life a bit? Why does she become the pure “angel” while her ex husband goes on the prowl to “regain his manhood?” Granted, the subtext in the script is that the players aren’t really happy when they’re playing, that they need their One True Love to be happy, etc. This is problematic for several reasons but at least it doesn’t necessarily paint the objectifying behaviour in a particularly good light. Still, though, Emily’s behaviour (or lack there of) really bothers me.

I’d have been able to get past the sexism, the really awful stereotypical characterizations, etc if only this one thing had been different. It ruined my ability to really enjoy the last half of the movie. Maybe it’s the fact that I literally just finished reading Sex At Dawn or maybe it’s just that after 32 years hearing the same bullshit about how men can sleep around but if women do it they’re vile sluts. Maybe it was just because it was utter bullshit and my bullshit-o-meter was on high alert last night. Either way, it pissed me off and ruined what could have been an otherwise good, fluffy, somewhat problematic romantic comedy. I guess, at least, it was actually a new movie and not just a remake. That’s rare in Hollywood these days. And it *did* have it’s moments. It wasn’t the worst movie I have ever seen by far.***

*    Jacob’s character is your typical retelling of the Casanova story. Complete with him falling in love with the one woman who rejects his advances. The only differences being that Casanova supposedly had better lines (at least in the versions of the story that I’ve seen) … in that women wanted to sleep with him because he made love to their minds first. He wasn’t just confident, he was charming, caring (at least for that one encounter), etc. Anyway, Jacob was just a boring, douchebag with some standard lines and a gorgeous body.

**  Including one who’s characterization is … well, let’s just say there’s an entire blog post in what’s wrong with that particular “comic” device.

*** That title might just have to go to Moulin Rouge.

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It’s that time of year again. Festivus season! In honour of this most sacred holiday, let us gather around the Festivus pole (remember, no tinsel … tinsel is too distracting) and air our grievances for the year.  So, without further ado, here are my grievances in no particular order:

1.) To the Douchebags:  A lot of douchebags have irritated me this year from Kanye West to Sen. John McCain to your average internet troll fuckwit on Twitter (and don’t forget Russell T. Davies). You know what? Being a douchebag is really bad. You shouldn’t do it. So, fuck off, douchebags!

2.) To my friends in the US who  haven’t come to visit me nor have they paid for my ticket to go visit them: I think this is very inconsiderate of them and it should be rectified immediately. What’s that? They don’t have any money? Pfft, they can always sell their house/worldly possesions/first born children to raise the funds! Do I have to think of everything for you people?

3.)  To my US student loan company who’ve made repayment from my country of residence impossible: You’ve got to be kidding me! This is so ridiculous, it’s comical! News flash: The rest of the world exists, they have their own currency and banks and *sometimes* Americans even choose to live there!  International transactions involving money happen all the time. Get with the program! (The full story is really quite ridiculous & could make an entire post but I haven’t decided whether it is wise to do that.)

4.) To my house that doesn’t clean itself: You’re a pig sty. Pick up your game. It’s 2010 and will soon be 2011 … haven’t we invented self cleaning houses yet???

5.) To Dora and Diego:  Dora The Explorer and Go! Diego Go! are two are the most obnoxious tv shows ever to grace the airwaves. That fucking map can burn in hell … if only that would shut it up. And, Diego, eggs are fucking eggs! They are not “baby eggs.” There is often a baby inside them that will more than likely hatch out of said egg but the egg itself is not a fucking “baby egg!”  The sooner Dora falls over a cliff or something eats Diego, the better.

6.) To the world: You’re not as small as the interwebz makes you seem. Damn you, world! Don’t you know that I should be able to just walk over to all my friend’s houses?

7.) To Perth Drivers: Seriously, people, learn how to merge. That’s all I’m sayin’. (Ok, that’s probably not all but I realise that you can’t handle too much at once so let’s just stick with learning to merge for now.)

8.) To anyone who addresses correspondance to me as “Mrs <Husband’s name or first initial> <Husband’s surname>” or to both of us as “Mr. & Mrs <Husband’s name or first initial> <Husband’s surname> : You’re a dinosour who clearly has not been advised of the progression of time. It is now 2010. It will be 2011 soon. A woman is not the property of her husband regardless of whether she chooses (as I did) to change her name after legal marriage (I say legal since marriage is not soley a religious institution). I’ll pause to let you process that new and shocking information. Ok so far? If not, I don’t care. Just to clarify: MY NAME IS NOT <Husband’s name>! My first name is Kareena. I say “first name” for a reason, by the way. It is not a “Christian name” because I am not Christian. Get it? Probably not. Until you do get it, please do not send me anything via post. In fact, don’t talk to me. You’re too stupid.

9.) To the company who I pay to deliver organic fruit and vegetables every Wednesday: You fail. You’re supposed to deliver on Wednesday afternoon, usually getting the box to me at around 2ish. Yet far too many times you have waited until 4PM to text me to tell me that the person who normally does the delivery is on holiday or whatever and cannot bring it. You then send it via courier the next day. The courier often doesn’t arrive until 3PM. Thursday is usually the only day I have to do the rest of the weekly grocery shopping and I cannot do it unless I know what fruit and vegetables I have. You can shove your courier up your collective arses. I’m finding a new company to provide me with organic produce in the new year.

10.) To the creators of Single Father: Not only did you create a script that was almost really good but kind of  not due to strangeness, odd format and a totally inappropriate soundtrack but you missed two if not three prime opportunities to show us David Tennant naked … or at least more naked than you did show him. I mean, really, if the BBC could produce something that included Christopher Eccleston completely nude* this year then I think they could have done us fangirls the same service with Tennant. **


 

*    Not that I’m complaining about getting the full monty from Eccleston. Not. At. All.

** Really, I only put this grievance in because I had 9 already and I thought that an even 10 would look better. Oh, ten and Tennant … hahahhaha … geddit? No, unless you’re as hopeless a Doctor Who nerd as me, you probably won’t. Sigh… Also? I just proved once again that everything can be brought back to a Doctor Who reference. Everything. Even a post based on an episode of Seinfeld. It’s a Festivus miracle!

And now, as Festivus rolls on, we come to the Feats of Strength!

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Oh, hai thar! So, it’s been something like three months since I blogged last. Um, sorry? Things have been Happening, Writers Block has been had, Time has been Occupied, Dreads have been Shaved, etc. I’d promise to be better about blogging more regularly but … well, I probably wouldn’t keep that promise. We’ll see, hey?

Anyway, I don’t want to ramble on about how I haven’t been blogging for a while. I want to blog about what I wanted to blog about! Which is my awesome costume for the Bug’s school’s quiz night a bit over a month ago. We only just got around to uploading the pictures so I figured now’s the time to show off. 🙂 Warning: The post contains Extreme Dorkiness (in case you hadn’t picked up on the reference in the title).

The school held a fund raising Rock Quiz night. I had planned to go and then thought we couldn’t go due to lack of a babysitter. As it turned out, friends had already bought tickets for us to make up a whole table. I felt bad so The Geek and I decided that I should go while he stayed home with the kids. This worked out because he’s not social and I am. I’d get an evening out and he wouldn’t have to put up with a quiz night. Win win. Then a friend reminded me TWO DAYS before the damn quiz that it was fancy dress! The theme was Rock Star or Super Hero. I panicked and the first thing that came to my extremely dorky mind was the following:

I was the twelfth regeneration of the Doctor! He regenerated as a woman. This is how I see it: The Doctor  is a super hero. I had two days to come up with a costume. I had nada and not a big budget with which to go renting costumes. The twelfth regeneration of the Doctor hasn’t happened yet. Therefore, I could have free reign to create my own costume! Easy! Also FUN!

I immediately started brainstorming via Twitter because that’s where all the other Doctor Who dorks that I know and love hang out. It didn’t take long for The Awesomest Couple In the Universe* offered to loan me the coolest purple trench coat ever** plus a sonic screwdriver and psychic paper.***

An important aspect of the costume, of course, is the stripey socks. This is because stripey socks are cool.**** Another important aspect of the costume is the contents of the pockets because I may be a dork but at least I attend to the details when crafting a Doctor costume. In the pockets of the awesome purple trench coat were: one sonic screwdriver (in case I needed to, you know, resonate concrete or something), one psychic paper, and one TARDIS key. I stopped short of bringing a banana***** with me because that probably would be going a little too far.

In the end, no one asked what I was and probably no one even knew I was in costume. BUT THAT DOESN’T MATTER! What matters is that *I* knew I was the Doctor and I made sure I was well prepared to save the world that night if need be … perhaps even pick up a clingy blond or short skirted ginger companion along the way … Or perhaps even a 51st century flirt with a thing for guns. Yeah, that would have been brilliant!

You are probably saying that you think I am a hopeless geeky dork right now. To that I really can only say “Quite right, too!”

*       Possibly more than one universe.

**    Because the Doctor always has a distinctive coat. And, by “distinctive,” I mean anywhere from who cares about the coat, that scarf is made of WIN! *cough* Four *cough* to utterly omgwhatwereyouthinking hideous *cough* Six *cough* to cool with awesome sauce *cough* Nine *cough* to a little bit Janis Joplin *cough* Ten *cough.* Did I *cough* too many times there? *cough* Perhaps *cough.*

***  Because the Doctor is someone who looks at a screwdriver and thinks “That could be a little more sonic.”

**** Cooler, even, than bow ties or fezzes.

***** Thus breaking the Doctor’s own rule to always bring a banana to a party.

Edited to fix my failure to give credit where credit is due. The original idea of the twelfth regeneration of the Doctor being female was shamelessly stolen from the female half of the Awesomest Couple in the Universe. Read the first installment of her amusing and as yet unfinished (FINISH IT, SHINY!) fanfic here. I, of course, took my own liberties with the original idea to make it my own.

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Created by rengeek on Live Journal

I think it’s already been established that I am a geek, nerd, dork, etc. Hopelessly so. My last three Facebook profile pictures alone will attest to that (the most recent of which is featured above). If you need further proof, allow me to share with you a common conversation between myself or The Geek and Bug after reading his octopus book to him:

Me: How many hearts does The Doctor have?

Bug: TWO! (holds up two fingers)

Me: How many hearts does an octopus have?

Bug: THREE! (holds up three fingers)

To be fair, The Geek taught him that one, not me. And The Geek doesn’t even like Doctor Who! Of course there is also the proud tear of happiness I always shed when Bug says he wants to dance with John Barrowman.  And, do I have to mention my TARDIS ringtone or the fact that Ten announces “Allons-y” to me every time I get a text message (Why yes, that is David Tennant in my handbag!)?

Anyway, you get the point about me being hopeless. You think it can’t get much worse, right? Wrong. Yesterday, I both crossed The Dork Line and brought Arwyn over with me. Many of you who know us on Twitter are probably thinking that that happened a loooooong time ago. But no, I’m telling you, it got worse. I convinced her to actually write a drabble of fanfic (previously we both have read FAR TOO MUCH fanfic but have never been dorky enough to actually write any) and she, in turn enabled me into CREATING A MACRO OF MY OWN.

Exhibit A: The drabble
Exhibit B: The macro

So, there you have it, people. A mutually enabling relationship + Doctor Who = insufferable dorkiness. I thought it would never go this far … yet it has. And I’m ok with that. 🙂

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My friend, Kimba, and I went to see a movie today. We didn’t much care which movie as we figured they would all be pretty shit … we just wanted to watch a whole movie by ourselves without children. We also wanted an excuse to dip into my Junior Mints stash. We saw Robin Hood, the new Ridley Scott/Russel Crowe Gladiator remake with, um, arrows and English vs French and Merry Men and stuff. My summary as follows:

Russel Crowe: Gravely grumble grumble grumble

Clueless king is clueless

Big siege of random French castle. References to Monty Python run through my brain and cause my innapropriate giggling.

Clueless king gets killed. New clueless king gets crowned. Clueless king is clueless.

French: Haw haw haw We are evil & speak with outrageous accents (insert more French stereotypes throughout the film)

Hawt bad guy is hawt … but a terrible actor with a terrible script and no Alan Rickman.

Drinking and wenching scene with minstrel (who has a suspiciously American accent)

Plotting, violence, poor character development, lots of fire (hey, the fire was cool!)

Convoluted, weird storyline which has nothing to do with traditional Robin Hood plot.

Marian kicks a little ass but then stops.

Russel Crowe: Grumble grumble gravely grumble Justice! grumble gravel big speech words lost in the grumbling.

At some point, after initially disliking Robin Hood, Marian falls in love with him because … um … he has big pecks, grumbles a lot and stares intensely?

Big fight scene. Marian starts to kick more ass but, inevitably stuffs up and requires saving because she is a woman and women always need saving by their big, gravely, large pecked menfolk.

Clueless king is still clueless. Foundations for an equally terrible sequel are laid.

Me: inappropriately laughing my ass off and annoying the people behind us.

Conclusion: Any Robin Hood movie that does not include Alan Rickman is barely worth watching.I mean, really, why do they even try? How can anyone ever hope to top Alan Rickman? And, if topping him is not possible then why even bother to make the movie at all? You just can’t get much better than this:

However, I got to eat Junior Mints, hang out with Kimba and laugh inappropriately at the movies (and I do so love to laugh inappropriately at the movies!) so, all in all, it wasn’t a bad outing at all. I’m rather glad I went. In fact, I must replenish my Junior Mint stash and go to more horrifically bad (yet oh, so funny) movies with Kimba. It should be a Thing that we do. Respect the Thing!

PS Be grateful that I did not link the video clip of Everything I Do, I Do For You by Bryan Adams as I was extremely tempted to do. Yes, I still kind of like that song and yes, I still remember the words (along with probably most of the dialogue of Prince of Thieves). YES! I am a dork! We all know this! Now stop laughing!

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In case you have been living under a rock, there was a rebirth over the weekend. No, not the zombie messiah known as Jesus, but the  Time Lord known as The Doctor! Yes, that’s right, Eleven made his debut and it was … pretty damned awesome if you ask me.

It’s true that Matt Smith is making me squirm and break out into fits of innappropriate giggles due to his strong resemblance to someone I know and, once upon a time, knew well. It’s just weird to “see” a friend in the TARDIS, ok? 🙂 Especially considering my penchant for reading Doctor Who fanfic smut, this is doing strange things to my brain. I will tell you one thing for sure, though: I will NOT, under any circumstances, be reading any Eleven themed smut. No way. NO! Oh god, that’s just … No. It’s just No. That’s what it is.

But my personal mental issues aside, Matt Smith is pretty brilliant as the Doctor. The only thing I can say against him is that he’s not Ten. Oh, Ten, how I miss thee. The silly grin, the babbling, the suit, the Converse sneakers, the hotness, the habit of exclaiming “Allons-y!” Ten, you were awesome and will be missed sorely. But, I always have smutty Ten/Rose (and sometimes a third party) fanfic, I suppose … What? I didn’t say I would be giving up Who smut entirely! That’s crazy talk!

This new season also heralds in a new era for Who. Stephen Moffat is taking over as head honcho from Russel T. Douchebag … er, I mean Davies. I have to say, this makes me very happy. Russel T. Davies did a lot, I’ll give him that. He revived Who in the first place and created a lot of awesome (Captain Jack Harkness is an obvious example). But, there is no denying that he is a douchebag more interested in money than turning out quality TV. He sold his soul to the devil and I hate him for it. Stephen Moffat, on the other hand, wrote Blink which is one of my all time favourite episodes of ANY TV show, hands down, let alone just for the Doctor Who category. The man has, so far, turned out all sorts of awesome and is a win in my book. In fact, I just did a search for info on Stephen Moffat and, it turns out that he’s written just about every one of my favourite Who episodes! Including The Empty Child/Doctor Dances episodes where Captain Jack is introduced. I am still pretty sure RTD is responsible for Jack but, wow, Moffat just got cooler in my eyes.  I know it’s a little early to say this (because he could turn out to be just as big a douche as RTD) but I find myself wishing he had been in charge when we had Ten. Oh, the coolness Moffat + Ten could have created …

Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that I’m excited about the new season of Who and, if you haven’t seen the newest episode then you should. You really, really should. Because it is awesome. Good luck, Matt and Stephen, I’m sure this season will prove to be brilliant AND fantastic and whatever word it is that Eleven chooses to be his favourite adjective. Allons-y!*

*  I couldn’t resist. Yes, I am a nerd. You just read an entire blog post about Doctor Who which probably means you are a nerd, too. So there!

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Thanks to a certain person who may or may not have an alter ego known as Tito, I have recently discovered slash fic. If you’ve been living under a rock or having a life outside the interwebz (in which case, what the fuck are you doing reading my blog?) and don’t know what slash fic is, I suggest you Google the term. Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m going to hell. But, if I’m going so is Tito and the authors of said slash fic, damn it! Sweet … maybe we can party there …

Anyway, laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of this stuff today brought to mind my first encounter with smutty fiction. So I thought I’d share because I’m in a share-y mood and, hell, I can’t think of any other topic to blog about. 😀

At the innocent young age of 13 (or maybe 12?) I found Jean M. Auel’s Earth’s Children series. It started out innocent enough. Clan of the Cave Bear was tame (apart from the rape scene which, in my innocence, I completely glossed over without really processing what was going on). I liked the movie so I read the book. You see, I was very, very innocent. Did I mention that I was innocent? Yeah, there was a lot of shit in that book that went totally over my head. Anyway, I then went on to read the rest of the series which, as I got older and read more, didn’t go over my head as much. I learned stuff. Oh, I learned stuff. In fact, I believe those books were the way I found out exactly *where* the penis was supposed to go. It took me till the second book to get that, btw. Yeah, innocent. Innocent and a little stupid and a lot naive. Anyway, the point is … I eventually got the point. And then I learned more stuff. *snigger* Educational, that series. 🙂

And, hey, as educations go it wasn’t a bad one. Ayla’s a strong, ass kicking woman who invents the bra, the spear thrower (she had help from her man for that), using pyrite and flint to start fires, domesticates the first horse, invents the freaking needle and manages to be the best cook & medicine woman the world has ever seen on top of being a minx in bed with the most well endowed man ever to live. Most of the books describe the matriarchal society of Cro-Magnon humans (Auel’s romanticized idea of it at any rate). So, yeah, I could have had a worse smutty series of books to start on.

Note that I was reading these back when most of my peers were barely past picture books. What can I say? I went to a public school in New Jersey. Anyway, I was pretty much the only person I knew reading these books at the time … which, I think, is how I got away with reading them to be perfectly honest. You see, no one had any idea of the education I was getting … least of all my parents.

After 8th grade, my parents split up and we moved to Washington State where I met Kim (everybody say hi to Kim!). At some point Kim and I discovered that we’d both read the infamous series. Immediately we had running jokes about mammoths, Jondalar’s *ahem* talents and the fact that Ayla supposedly invented most of the technologies that set Cro-Magnon humans apart from their cousins, the Neanderthals. We laughed till we cried over certain *cough* scenes in the books and nicknamed the fourth book The Plains of Passion rather than it’s true title of The Plains of Passage because… Well, let’s just say the book is all about a big, long journey in prehistoric times. There wasn’t much else to do but shag … and Ayla and Jondalar do … a lot … about every 5 pages. It’s a LOOOOOOOOOOONG book.

At some point there was a gathering at Kim’s house consisting of a lot of angsty, bored teenagers and no adult supervision. That happened a lot during my youth, actually. It’s a wonder I got out of the whole thing as relatively pure as I did, to be honest. Anyway, back to the point … Kim and I, once again, were laughing about The Plains of Passion and the mammoths (I still can’t even write about it without sniggering!). Finally Amy gets curious enough to ask us what the fuck we are on about. The book gets taken out and shown to Amy. We laugh about how “gross” it is, etc. Amy starts flipping through, finds a scene (not hard, it happens every 5 pages) and the following occurs:

Amy: OMG! You’re right! This book is DISGUSTING!

Kim & I: Yeah, it’s hilarious. *histerical laughter*

40 minutes or so later ….

Kim & I : Um, where’s Amy? *looking around*

We find Amy huddled in a corner, reading intently, flipping pages, then reading intently again. We tease her mercilessly.

Ah, the memories.  Here’s to Jean M. Auel, educating naive young women everywhere and here’s to Ayla for … well, being the super woman of prehistoric humans. Oh, and while I’m at it … here’s to Kim for sharing the laughter with me over such an educational series of books. 😉

So, what was your first smutty book? Come on, spill!

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