Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Banner

I'm really fond of this one.

The End of Time, Part One

Spoilers, duh.

Just... whoa.

After the last three specials: "The Next Doctor," "Planet of the Dead," and "The Waters of Mars," which I felt were flawed-but-diverting, "The End of Time" is not fucking around. Russell T. Davies is playing for keeps here, and this episode really gave me the impression that he's not only intent on going out with a bang, but in a way that's going to change the world of Doctor Who forever. After that cliffhanger, I have no idea where this is going, but I'm hella excited to find out.

Because of that, I don't have any real observations on the story yet; we're just halfway through, and without a resolution, it's hard to say if the story works. But there's a lot in the episode itself that I really loved:

:: That the Doctor has fallen so far from the noble messiah figure that Davies had him at. The Doctor's first scenes here, where he's trying to joke around with the Ood about Queen Elizabeth and car alarms, just after we've seen him become so power-mad that he drives a woman he admires to commit suicide, make him look like a jackass. The point is, without a companion, the Doctor is lost and afraid.

:: More than anything, the return of Wilfrid Mott. I love Wilf. Every time he's on an episode, I'm immediately sorry that he's not the Doctor's companion. (I mean, he sort of is, but what I wouldn't give to see Wilf on alien worlds.) I also loved his network of retirees; sort of an elderly version of LINDA. (And the woman goosing the Doctor was priceless.)

:: I'm glad this is a two-parter, because the episode isn't just running and shouting and intensity and all of the other hallmarks of the David Tennant/Russell T. Davies Who. There was also time for one of my all-time favorite Doctor Who scenes: the conversation between Wilf and the Doctor in the cafe. Just the understanding between these two; it's one of the few times the Doctor has let his guard down and been emotionally vulnerable. I treasure the idea that, even though he doesn't understand time and the universe the way the Doctor does, Wilf is the only one who really understands the Doctor. And he does it without pushing, but by being his friend.

:: I knew as soon as the Master started displaying his weird super powers and then turned everyone on the planet into him, that would probably be what fans were complaining about, because you can't have Doctor Who without complaining. I'm curious; I have to see where the Master's going with this and how it's resolved. But I do like how over-the-top daft it is--right down to the wonderfully awful pun about "the Master race"--because, come on, a big part of the fun of Doctor Who is how daft it can get.

:: That said, the Barack Obama stuff was pretty silly.

:: This episode was also a great indicator of why I'm sorry Davies and Tennant are leaving, as well as why I'm glad they are. I think they've pushed this incarnation of the Doctor as far as they can go, and he's going to have to burn out and change into something else. I respect that Davies has had a very specific set of themes since he began producing the show--and he's got my gratitude for bringing the Doctor back from that long hiatus--but at the same time, since Donna went back home I feel like he's been repeating himself an awful lot. I'm excited that these themes are coming to a head now, and I can't wait to see how it all resolves, but at the same time, I think it's the right time to be closing the door on the Davies-Tennant era.

:: I was blown away by that final shot of the Time Lords. But I was even more blown away by the almost-return of the Doctor-Donna, and I can't wait to see what next week brings for her.

:: Who do you think the woman in white was? Becca thinks it was Donna. Wouldn't that be nice? Could Donna, with all of that stuff inside of her, be turned into a Time Lord? Regenerate even?

(Regenerate into Karen Gillan... no, wishful thinking.)

I'm on pins and needles for next week.

Friday, December 25, 2009

X-Mas Origins: Santa

Best trailer mash-up for Christmas ever.

It's That Day Again

Whatever you're celebrating, even if it's just a day off work, or even if it's just that it's Friday, have a great day secure in the knowledge that we finally won't have to watch any more of those awful Christmas-themed commercials for another year.

* Jesus for Halloween
* Merry Sithmas
* More Star Wars Christmas
* Quick Xmas Rant
* Everyone Wants a Frog for Christmas
* The Desecration of A Charlie Brown Christmas
* The Muppets' Ringing of the Bells
* Santa Packs Are Coming
* Christmas Is Coming
* Artoo Detoo's Sleigh Ride
* The Caturday Before Christmas
* Christmas Meme
* What I Really Want for Christmas
* The Bunday Before Christmas
* K. Bells in the Snow
* 2009 Kringus Offerings
* My Annual Boob-Laden Christmas Gift
* Christmases Past

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Christmastime 2009

And once again, I've got a post of lovely Christmas helpers, as is my annual tradition (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008). Merry Boobsmas, everyone!











I Apparently Just Don't Understand Family Guy

I haven't gotten anything like this in a long time, and it's always so funny, I thought I'd share it with you all. Someone called "austin" has taken issue with my terrible review of Family Guy's Empire Strikes Back homage, which I thought was as repetitive and unfunny as any other episode of Family Guy.

One of the few joys of this show is the way it has grown this audience of socially retarded frat boys, stoners, and other assorted idiots who become incredibly defensive and irrationally upset when you don't think their idiot show is the funniest thing ever to grace the television. I haven't dealt with any of these people in years, and I thought they'd all moved on to other programming, but apparently not, as "austin" decides to really take me (and everyone who commented) to task for not getting the humor of Family Guy. Here's his entire comment:

you're all completely retarded. the family guy star wars films are not parodies. they are stylistically referenced homages. none of you understand why seth mcfarlanes sense of humor is funny, the humor comes from the redundancy, repetition and gross inappropriate-nes. im not saying that every time peter falls, hits his knee and starts tooth-breathing, i start guffawing like a stoned teenager; but i chuckle inside a bit. when peter knocks out lois like a rocky movie its not funny cause he's beating women (or is it) its funny because its so socially unacceptable. you know why most of you dont think its funny? because you're to busy sitting in your overstuffed lounger with your smoking jacket and penny loafers sipping a 3 finger snifter of 12 year old scotch to appreciate potty humor

fuck off

Good stuff, huh?

Generally, the cry of the Family Guy fan is because I don't find the show funny, I must somehow be some kind of intellectual elitist, too full of myself and all of my fancy thinkin' to understand that the very things that make the show unfunny--the repetition, the redundancy, and the inappropriate humor--actually make the show incredibly hilarious. The problem is not that Seth MacFarlane isn't funny; the problem is that I'm too full of myself and my urbane, mannered lifestyle to find Seth MacFarlane funny.

It's amazing to me how part of the popularity of the show seems to be that it takes its viewers and--by pretending to insult an imaginary audience of bluenoses, intellectuals, moralists, and religious fundamentalists--turns them into egotistical anti-intellectuals who seriously believe that Family Guy is some kind of empowering force for the "common people." It's like the idiots who were hardcore Sarah Palin supporters: someone makes them feel smart by celebrating their ignorance, and then paints a false picture of the people who don't like the same things, turning them into "real America" versus a bunch of intellectuals and liberals.

The funny thing to me, still, is that Family Guy is so gutless in its humor. The Simpsons may not have been very funny for the last several years, either, but at least The Simpsons always had the courage to tear into its audience. Family Guy nurtures its audience's pretensions by taking shots at a group of people who don't actually watch the show. So a Family Guy viewer gets to watch the show and feel smug about how some fundamentalist or feminist or moral crusader somewhere must be really cheesed off by the way Family Guy just zinged them and their attitudes. Take that, society!

And because Family Guy is so staunchly anti-intellectual and revels in its own awfulness in a way that makes its devoted viewers feel brilliant, I get to deal with seriously lame comments like this one from someone who obviously takes comfort in seeing the same bits over and over, the same bits referenced from the same 80s movies over and over, the same jokes about rape and misogyny over and over, and by never ever having his attitudes challenged by actual humor. He's annoyed with me (and, by extension, everyone who thinks Family Guy is idiotic) because, you know, I must be too smart and sophisticated to understand potty humor.

Given all the times I've been taken to task for being a fan of Seth Rogen or Kevin Smith, it's kind of refreshing.

My absolute favorite part of his comment, though, is this: "when peter knocks out lois like a rocky movie its not funny cause he's beating women (or is it) its funny because its so socially unacceptable." I love that he thinks what's so funny about the fearful, childish, sexually immature misogyny of Family Guy is that it's somehow a challenge to social conventions. That it's not Seth MacFarlane playing up to an audience that is scared of women and takes out their frustrations with feminism by laughing at women getting punched, but some kind of edgy commentary, some attempt to push the envelope of what's acceptable in humor.

I also love his addition of "or is it," which completely negates his point about social parody. Family Guy loyalists seem to be forever finding ways to justify the unfunniness of the show by claiming something is something else.

Well, "austin," sorry you were so intimidated by my effete, refined, intellectualist blog. But I sincerely want to thank you for your comment. You made me laugh harder and longer than Family Guy has in years and years.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My 2009 Offerings for Lord Kringus

It's time once again for my annual Christmas videos to satisfy the great Lord Kringus.

And I'm starting off with "Christmas in the Stars" from the Star Wars Christmas album. I don't love it ironically; I just love it an all of its ludicrous glory.

And continuing with another of my Christmas staples, one of my all time favorite Christmas tunes: Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" from the classic Phil Spector Christmas album.

This one's not particularly Christmas-themed, but it is wintry and it is wonderful. It's "Snow Business, Part One," the newest Simon's Cat cartoon. These are the best cartoons out there right now. I originally caught this, by the way, at the Cave of Cool.

I loved these Coca-Cola commercials with the polar bears. Drake posted a couple of them, so I thought I'd snag one for this offering.

I know a lot of people hate this, but I have to include "The Chipmunk Song" this year. It's a Christmas staple for me, it reminds me of my Grandma, and I just love it. This is the segment from The Alvin Show in 1961.

Here's another one from the Cave of Cool. A Canadian phone commercial with a hippopotamus. I do want one for Christmas. This is a holiday that could certainly use more pachyderms. (But what holiday is that not true of, honestly?)

Merry Christmas from the Doctor.

Santa's, this year's Christmas cartoon from Graham Annable, is perfection.

And Happy Holidays from Buzz and Woody.

Here's a mash-up of movie clips wishing you a Merry Clipmas: "It Came Upon a Movie Clip."

And finally, here's "Jingle Bells" as performed by Andrea Bocelli and the Muppets.

That's it for this year. Shorter than usual, but I wanted to keep it brief, since it's a weekday and all. I hope you have been sated for another year, Lord Kringus!

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

I don't have a single complaint about this film. From the tense, well-acted opening scene, when my heart thrilled at the words "Once upon a time in Nazi-occupied France" and I saw the shots Tarantino was quoting and heard Morricone and Lalo Schifrin on the soundtrack, I knew that this was going to be another movie that just seemed perfectly tailored to me. I loved it. Every moment. I loved the pacing, I loved the way each chapter seemed like it was in its own movie with a distinct style and flavor, and I loved a lot of the performances. Though I enjoyed Brad Pitt's Warren Oates impression, I think that Melanie Laurent and especially Christoph Waltz as an urbane but cruel Nazi gave the best performances in the movie. Quite frankly, I don't get a lot of the hatred I've seen hurled at this movie, and I don't get where it comes from. I used to hate the high regard Quentin Tarantino holds himself in, but I have to admit, his films deliver for me every single time. I don't care what dumb jerkoff things he says as long as he keeps making great films. **** stars.

Did this movie really need to be over two hours long? It makes one very good, very valid point: that women are programmed from a very young age to believe that the bigger a jerk a guy is to you, the more he's in love with you. But it makes this point early and then just gives us a bunch of interconnected plotlines about romance that are entirely predictable and not really very good. I hate this structure, anyway--why tell one story well when we can just show a bunch of scenes. It rarely works well (though when it does, as it did in Love Actually, it's wonderful), and here it only serves as a break in the tedium: every time you start to get sick of one story, another one happens. The performances are so-so. I thought Scarlett Johansson and, to my surprise, Justin Long played the only characters smart enough to split a ticket. (And on a personal note, does Scarlett Johansson have the best body in Hollywood, or what? These skinny bitches dominate the whole movie, but every time ScarJo comes onscreen with her womanly body, it was like getting a Christmas present every 20 minutes or so for enduring this thing.) I can't believe how flat and lifeless Jennifer Connelly has become over the years, especially. Blurgh. ** stars.

On another personal note, I also didn't appreciate being told over and over how a guy is "just not that into you" if he "won't" marry you. You know, I was with Becca for over 14 years before we got married. It wasn't because I didn't really love her or because I just "wasn't that into her." It's because we're both children of divorce and we both distrusted the entire institution and neither of us is religious so it didn't feel necessary. We thought of each other as spouses, anyway. We finally did get married for financial reasons. That's why we think of our anniversary as the day we started dating, not the day we got married (neither of us can even remember the date, and it was only 10 months ago). That's the thing about this movie; just because it falls into a set of more modern cliches doesn't mean it's still not a cliched romantic comedy.

Excellent three-episode comedy about women who use their minds and bodies to get what they want. Beautifully directed by Vittorio de Sica, each story stars Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. In the first episode, Loren plays a woman fined for selling black market cigarettes. When she discovers that a pregnant woman cannot be put in jail, she tries to maintain a perpetual pregnancy with the help of her exhausted husband. I thought this was the best of the three. The second, a very short segment, pairs the two as lovers having an affair, but Mastroianni is distracted by Loren's terrible driving, her lack of discretion, and their inability to find privacy anywhere. It's also a bit of a parody of liberal attitudes, with the two of them spouting liberal platitudes, but he's obsessed with money and she doesn't care about human life. In the third segment--the segment with Loren's famous striptease, one of the greatest moments ever put on film--Loren plays a prostitute who has second thoughts when she nearly derails the seminary career of a young man. Loren and Mastroianni are exceptional actors, and combined with the witty writing, the involving stories, and the beautiful scenery--everything about this film makes it worth watching. **** stars.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Respectfully Disagree: Do Not Pass the Bill

As I've said before, I don't think Congress should pass the Senate's version of the health care bill. It's nothing more than an insurance industry bailout disguised as reform, and I don't support it. The Senate already passed it, so I guess we'll see what happens as the process continues.

I don't trust this bill. I don't trust that President Obama has the integrity to do America justice with his health "reform." I wish we could have a truly progressive president, but unless you were really high on the whole "hope and change" rhetoric, we all knew he wasn't a progressive when we voted for him. Doesn't make it any less disappointing, but there it is.

(What is disappointing, as I've said many times on this blog, is the sheer number of people who used to complain about conservatives blindly following whatever Bush wanted, even though Bush was not a conservative, and who are now liberals blindly following whatever Obama wants, even though he's not a liberal.)

I see a lot of people, though--many of whose opinions I usually respect--calling for a passage of the bill. I understand their intentions and what they want, but I respectfully disagree with their opinions and their arguments on this.

The argument mostly consists of the idea that we'll just pass this now because even this mockery of reform is better than no reform at all. I don't think that's true. I think the system we have now--as broken and cruel and inefficient and worthless as it is--is better than the system we would have under the bill the Senate passed and that the White House is supporting.

Under this bill, you are forced to pay up to 8% of your income to private corporations. If you do not pay, you will have to pay penalties of up to 2% of your annual income to the IRS. Lots of people are going to be forced to buy expensive, poor-quality insurance that they can't afford and can't afford to use because out-of-pocket expenses over their premiums will be too high.

This "reform" is being paid for by your taxes, by the way; they will tax your health benefits, which will cause your employer to cut them back, which will increase your co-pays. This is like forcing everyone in America who isn't in the richest class to take a pay cut.

And these taxes will start immediately, despite the fact that the program itself won't even begin until 2014. Higher taxes and higher co-pays, but no end to discrimination against pre-existing conditions.

All of the things Obama said his health "reform" would do are not done by this bill. It does not stop the insurance companies from charging people who are older 300% more than others. It hands the drug companies a monopoly that will keep generic versions of medicines from coming to the market. It does not allow re-importation of prescription drugs. It does not stop the average cost of medical care from rising and raising annual premiums by an average of $1,000 for a family of four; by 2019, your family's insurance premium will cost you $10,000 more a year than it does now.

Excuse me, but I don't understand why the hell anyone would want to pass this bill ever, let alone "right now."

Another thing I'm being told is that if we don't pass this bill, we won't get another real shot at health reform for another 8 to 12 years. What they don't seem to understand is that we don't have a real shot at health reform now. This bill is not health reform. I'm sick of even hearing it referred to in that way, because this doesn't reform anything other than how much money the insurance and drug companies can steal from you. And with government assistance, no less.

Are we on some kind of time limit here? Is the reform bill a ticking time bomb that's going to explode by 2010 if we don't hurry up and pass it now? Yes, America is in dire need of health reform. But the way to get it is not by passing something as unconscionable as this parody in lieu of something better. Why are people telling me the fight for health reform is over because we have any bill, when it is so clearly not even close to finished?

I see some people who have been very angry and pushy, asking in brusque voices: "What's your alternative?" Even the House bill is better than this. Hell, just removing the individual mandate from the Senate bill would be a great start. The individual mandate wouldn't even start until 2015, so is it really that much of an emergency that we need to pass it right away? We could have five more years of debate to work this thing out.

Another strong argument I hear too, is that we can just "fix it later." I don't agree with the "fix it later" crowd at all. I don't think any of their arguments are good ones. They produce some great examples of progressive reforms that were, in fact, fixed later, over decades: civil rights, Medicare, social security. My question is: what about welfare? What about No Child Left Behind? What about programs that went in the opposite direction, like banking regulations? Are banking regulations better now than they were? Or labor rights? I really don't mean to offend anyone who has argued this on their blogs, but I think this idea that imperfect reforms grow into great progressive strides is a fairy tale.

My own opinion is that this Senate bill, this LieberCare, this insurance industry bailout, is a dead end.

Democrats control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, and they still can't get real reform passed. Even with this grassroots push, even with a majority of Americans who want a public option, even with a majority of Americans who don't want the bill to go into law with the individual mandate attached. What makes you think that Democrats are going to "fix it later"? I'm 33 years old; the Democrats may have more power now than they ever will again in my lifetime. And they still were all too willing to compromise and bargain away everything they said they wanted in order to produce the Senate bill. With this lack of integrity in the Senate and the obstructionism of people like Lieberman, why do you have such faith that this bill will ever get fixed?

It's a fantasy to think that some Democrats will go back to this bill and push for a Medicare buy-in or a public option "later." They could be fighting for it now. But they aren't. If the progressives had tried to hold the individual mandate hostage, to push through reconciliation to demand a better bill, then things would be different. But they didn't fight for it. At all. Some of them even voted for this Senate bill. Progressives voting for a bill that forces citizens to become customers of private insurance. What kind of a free country has a statutory duty to pay part of its income to private companies or face government penalties? Especially when it's such a shoddy product to begin with?

Obama ran on universal coverage and lower medical costs. Then he took those off the table. It was already a compromise looking for alternatives like a public option or a Medicare buy-in. Now Obama has thrown those ideas away, too, and decided that the important thing is not to solve the financial problems of his constituents, but of the insurance companies.

The insurance profits on this will be in the trillions. I don't trust the government to be able to regulate an industry with that much money to spread around in the form of lobbyists and campaign bribes. (Let's just be honest, campaign contributions are a legalized form of bribery. We're not stupid here.) And when you factor in that the Senate essentially took out every cost controlling measure, you realize that even though this bill contains some provisions that will make a difference to a number of people, the cost is much too high. When, in another decade, we're spending 20% of our GDP on medical care, and America is finding it harder and harder to compete economically with the rest of the world, will it console anyone that at least Congress passed something, even if it made us captives to the insurance industry?

I'm not for killing this bill and starting over. I know that's not going to happen. But I also don't think it had to be this bill or no bill at all.

I don't know why there's this attitude now that those of us who oppose this Senate bill because it isn't good enough are being petulant or are just giving up and walking away from the whole idea of reform. We're not giving up on reform. We want reform. We want it so much that we don't want to see Congress sell this corporate giveaway as actual reform when it is so damaging. How is it being pro-Republican or unrealistic to see this bill for as bad as it is?

Let me speak for myself here. Together, my wife and I make, if we're lucky, somewhere between $32,000 and $35,000 a year. Even without taking into account how much debt we're in, factor in car, gas, car insurance (illegal not to have it), utilities, rent, medical expenses, and food, we're lucky if we have $300 a month to spend on anything else. We live paycheck to paycheck. Sometimes we live from day to day or hour to hour, hoping checks don't bounce or that some unexpected expense won't come out of nowhere. Do you know what it's like to have to decide that you can go without electricity for a few days because you need to eat? Because I do. Do you know what it's like to have to decide between getting a blood pressure prescription refilled or paying for gas? Because I do.

Thank god we have insurance through Becca's employer, because if we didn't, we'd be getting told that soon we're going to have to spend up to $1600 a year on government-mandated private insurance that we then wouldn't be able to afford to ever use.

And on top of that, I'm being told that because I oppose the Senate bill (and the House bill, though I think the House bill at least does open the door for better reforms in the future), I'm just giving up on the idea of reform and handing the Republicans a victory because I'm not getting my way or because I don't care.

But the fact is, I and millions of others are better off under the incredibly crappy system we have now than we would be if the bill is signed into law. This bill will stop no one from being victimized by the insurance industry. Why is it a better idea to force 30 million Americans to buy insurance they can't afford and isn't any good than it is to simply kill the bill? How does that increase progressive chances in Congress when progressives aren't even fighting for what they claim to want?

The falsest dichotomy that the "pass it now" crowd is pushing, falser than their fantasy of better reform down the line, is that not passing this bill "right now" is somehow handing the country back to the GOP and ensuring a Republican victory next year at the polls. But the Democrats have done it to themselves. They have created a bill that actually makes things worse than they are now, and all the Republicans have to do is paint the Democrats as pro-corporate welfare and point out how the GOP was against TARP, against re-appointing Bernanke, and against passing a health care reform that will force many to pay more for insurance that still won't pay your bills. This is the failure of the Democrats, and excusing it as a step towards a mythical better reform that may or may not (but probably won't) happen in a vague future is ridiculous.

The "pass it now" people have created a straw man who is standing out on the corner saying "I'm going to vote Republican because I'm unhappy" and "no health care reform if we can't get everything we want." But the reality, it seems to me, is choosing the attitude of applauding Congress for passing broken promises and compromises, or being angry that our elected officials didn't use every tool at their disposal to keep their promises. How is it not legitimate to be angry because the Democrats have the ability to pass real reform and won't fight for it? That they appear to be too weak or too unwilling to play hardball on something this important?

America needs better. Americans deserve better. This is not a foundation that can be built on. This is the end of it. Until Americans really demand more, this will be our health care system. And it is not what Barack Obama promised. Not at all.

We currently live in an America that says it believes in free market competition but practices corporate protectionism and, now, government-mandated consumerism. And this will not change so long as corporate forces essentially sponsor the legislative process.

And there is a crowd of people arguing that we should embolden the people who have killed serious reform attempts by "passing anything," even if it protects--or makes stronger--the corporate monopoly system that this reform was supposed to be fixing. That apparently want us to forgive the Democrats for giving everything away to those corporations, handing all the power to Joe Lieberman, and then claiming this bill was they best that they could do and that not passing it would be a political failure.

And I do not take their arguments seriously. At all. Because they're hurting any chances of real reform by saying that broken promises and compromises are good enough for now. They're fighting for the wrong bill. And they're being naive if they think that Congress is, after this debacle, going to take on anything important or possibly contentious in a midterm election year. So if this thing passes, we are stuck with it.

I will never vote for anyone who voted to pass this Senate bill. And that includes the President.

9:03 AM and Already One of the Most Frustrating Days of My Year

What is the fucking point? I hate my negative shit, but some days are just too much for me.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wiping the Room Down

I spent today watching the first seven episodes of the fifth season of Lost. I made it through the end of the episode where we finally find out how John Locke died: Ben stops him from hanging himself, then strangles him and makes it look like he hanged himself.

One thing actually made me laugh as this was going on. After the murder, Ben arranges the body and then takes a bottle of cleaner and starts cleaning up all evidence that he was there. Now, we know from what's happened earlier that this works just fine and Locke's death is ruled a suicide.

But what I would have given to have just one moment of cops inspecting the scene and one of them saying "Well, there's cleaning solvent all over the place and for a room with a dead body it smells suspiciously lemon fresh."


Via Jaquandor.

1. 3 living things you treasure

My wife, my sisters, and my bunny.

2. 3 non-living things that you treasure

My grandmother, my sister Ellen, and John Lennon.

3. favorite time of the year and why

It used to be autumn, but now it's summer. And that's because DeKalb is quieter, the days are longer, and everything seems more laid back.

4. favorite things to wear

I don't have an answer, but I'm sure they're all clothes.

5. are you a perfume wearer? If yes, which one?

No, I'm not a cologne guy. I do wear aftershave sometimes. You know, when I shave.

6. favorite animal

The African elephant.

7. top three events in your life (so far)

Meeting Becca, moving in with Becca, marrying Becca.

8. top three small pleasures

Food, movies, books.

9. top 3 favorite places in the world you have visited

Guam, Tokyo, Honolulu.

10. top 3 favorite sounds

Women climaxing, the middle eight section of the Doctor Who theme, and Artoo Detoo.

11. top 3 favorite things to eat

Pizza, chocolate, and bacon. But not all at once. Unless...

12. 3 small ways someone has made your day lately

I'll just list one: Becca has taken it upon herself to make French toast with custard nogg this morning for breakfast, and I can't wait to eat it.

13. 3 small habits/quirks

I color sort Smarties before eating them and eat them in a specific order (purple for last, because they're the tastiest), I put cream into my coffee mug before adding the coffee, and I do a lot of memes on my blog for no reason.

14. describe your life using 6 words maximum

Live to party, bust your move. (Becca will get that.)

15. favorite books, films, and music... list 3 in each category:

This whole blog has a world of answers for you.

16. name 3 words that you hate, and 3 that you love:

HATE: "Twilight is amazing!"

LOVE: "Celebrity nip slip."

17. what are a few of the goals you have for your future and how do you plan on making them a reality?

I'm working on that now in therapy.

18. what is the best piece of advice you've ever heard?

"Measure twice, cut once." Jimmy James and the secret of management.

19. what is your favorite quote and why?

"Everyone is not entitled to their own opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own informed opinion." Harlan Ellison.

20. have any regrets?

A lot more than I'd like.

Kristen Bell Mondays

My Wife's Immediate Reaction to Brittany Murphy's Death

"Why couldn't it have been Lindsay Lohan?"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brittany Murphy 1977-2009

That was way harsh, Death.

Song of the Week: "Sour Times"

This song is for Becca. We met while we were both working at Waldenbooks in the Yorktown Mall, and we had our first date today in 1994. We just got married in February, but as of today we've been together for exactly 15 years. This Portishead song was on the radio all the time when we first started going out. We were both 18, and we both lived at home, so we used to be out all the time. Sometimes we'd just pull into a Jewel parking lot and, even though it was cold, we'd sit and talk about all of the stuff we liked and make out and be what passes for romantic when you're 18. This song always, every time I hear it, takes me right back to Becca's old car and dark December nights and snow and just being together and getting to know each other and knowing I'd really found my other half.

Happy Anniversary, Becca.

Twilight Summarized by a Smartass, Chapter 24

Bella wakes up in the hospital. And... there you go. She's been saved, her mom's fine, it's days later, and once again Bella is simply a passive character in the story of her life. And I roll my eyes because of stupid shit like Bella's heart monitor suddenly racing and then stopping because, sigh, Edward kissed her... sigh... puke.

Oh, and Bella and Edward have this discussion where she asks Edward to turn her into a vampire and he refuses to do it because... well, that wasn't really clear to me. I mean, if she really wants to be with him, she makes some pretty decent arguments, and he's got... well, nothing but simple platitudes about how life is supposed to be, etc. It actually somehow comes across as more of his jerk-off selfishness. And he's still making her decisions for her. To end the conversation, he has the nurse dope her up and put her to sleep in the middle of the argument. Mature.

At the end of all of this, I really don't feel like it's worth it to have read this piece of shit, nor do I understand what it is that so many people enjoy about this thing. What I see is Stephenie Meyer pushing simplistic, life-ruining ideas about what relationships should really be. That if a guy belittles you and treats you like you're beneath him, it's really because he loves you so much. In fact, the more of a jerk he is to you, the more he really loves you, so you should accept that. And that you should only live for him and let him subsume your entire personality and make all of your decisions for you, because that's what love is. Oh, and abstinence is better than sex. And if your boyfriend stalks you and is constantly grappling with how much he really wants to take you against your will, it's your fault for being so damn captivating.

This novel is the bullshit of the world.

I read a surprising amount online about high school guys who hate Twilight because girls are looking for an Edward Cullen and they just can't compete with this "ideal." Guys, you know the girls you should be looking for? The ones who know that Twilight is stupid and destructive crap.

Anyway, next week, the epilogue. The best Christmas present of all: Twilight is over.

The Bunday Before Christmas