Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Sisters

I don't know exactly how old this picture is, but these are all three of my sisters. That's Ellen in the middle; she died five years ago today. It seems like just yesterday, and it also seems like a very long time ago. She'll always be a part of me, and I'll always miss her, but I get better and better at assimilating the loss into who I am. I don't cry every single time I think of her anymore. But today, you know... Today.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Always Thought I'd Die in One of These

I still might.

As much as I love McDonaldland and as much as a wave of nostalgia hits me when I think of these old play parks, I cringe a little when I remember these death traps. You got up there inside a tiny, thin tube with a ladder that, unless you were a leprechaun, you had to dangerously contort yourself to get inside. I know these are made for three year-olds, but even then they were tough to get inside. I can just feel my chin digging into my clavicle thinking about getting up into the top, inside Sheriff Big Mac's head here, and then not being able to move. And brother, when you got too big for these things, you found out the hard way. By almost getting trapped and seeing your short life flash before your uncomprehending eyes.

These are just torture devices, man.

LEGO Pirates!

So xazzed! I didn't even realize that LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game was coming. So, between this and the Clone Wars game coming out, I've got two new LEGO games this year... (Yes, I know they're all the same game, but it's a game I love to play!) As much as I think these movies are lame, I'll play a LEGO game of ANYTHING.

Two Responses to Tragedy (From My Tumblr)

There is a big, big difference in saying “Keep Japan in your prayers” and saying “Only the worst selfish asshole wouldn’t pray for Japan.” Big difference, you disrespectful brats.

It is possible to feel bad for what happens to other people without having to make sure you make a Tumblr-friendly stand or statement about it. The natural disaster in Japan is not yet another opportunity to show off how much you care and how sensitive you are to a bunch of strangers on a social network. If you care and you’re sensitive, beautiful. But you don’t need Tumblr to validate it. And you don’t need to call people assholes if they don’t. If you put up a note about praying for Japan, that’s your business. If I don’t “like” it or reblog it, that doesn’t make me an asshole.

How about those of us who don’t pray? I’m an atheist; telling me to pray for the safety of others is like telling me to shut my eyes tight, click my heels, and wish really, really, really hard so I can make myself feel better for being so powerless against the universe. But out of respect for you and your beliefs, I don’t answer you by telling you you’re an asshole for believing that it’s going to do some good. So don’t answer my lack of belief with the same kind of disrespect I’m not displaying towards you.

I feel terrible for the people caught up in this disaster. But their disaster isn’t about how I feel. That’s not being an asshole. That’s being realistic. Don’t accuse me of being heartless just because I’m not putting grief on display. Some of us have these feelings privately. I’m not saying I’m better than you for it. I’m saying I’m different than you.

Big deal, right? Let’s show a little of that acceptance that you’re always claiming is a hallmark of Tumblr.

Winter Is Coming

Enjoy it while you can, because you'll have to wait five years for the second season. (I kid, I kid... gosh, I hope I kid.)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Hate Humanity So Much

When the world had finally shaken off people and given us the death we so richly deserve, please do not let this be the only artifact of humankind left for the next dominant species to find.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Gary Oldman on The Dark Knight Rises

Because I'm a gigantic cynic and I think Christopher Nolan's films are getting worse and worse, my first thought is: Aw, don't overhype an unmade film this early, dude. The fanboys on the internet will take care of that for you.

Can't wait to see which professional critic gets death threats for giving The Dark Knight Rises a bad review before any overexcited fantard has actually seen it.

I know, I know, I'm a cynic.

What's in Spock's Scanner

This is terrific. I love the sense of simmering tension.

Film Week

A review of the, er, Lifetime Original Movies I saw this week.

Meh. I find it really odd that, at the end of this movie when the Craiglist Killer slits his wrists in prison, the filmmakers play it as though we're supposed to be sad that this fairy tale love story between the killer and his easily-duped fiancee is coming to a tragic end. Yeah, I feel real bad for a murderer, guys. *1/2 stars.

I really don't know much about the actual murder case, and the movie does try to be evenhanded about the evidence, but the only conclusion I can draw about the way the movie ends is that an American student is railroaded on circumstantial evidence. It's not, like, a really well-made movie, and granted, with Hayden Panettiere in the lead I'm always going to be on Hayden's side, but the movie has no real clear conclusion which makes for a confusing film. I know the real Amanda Knox is still in prison in Italy, and she's still appealing her conviction, so it's not like there's a definite conclusion readily at hand. And the film is trying to raise awareness as much as it's trying to be a typically sensational Lifetime movie. But... well, I don't know. As just a movie itself, with a star that I always like, I'd give it ** stars.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Can't wait can't wait can't wait can't wait...

TV Report: Camelot

Joseph Fiennes is Merlin if Merlin was a cranky old child molester.

Yes, I watched the preview episode of Camelot on Starz last week. I expected it to be bad, but I didn't expect it to make me lose the will to live. And granted, I am a very hard to please Arthurian. I love the myths and legends so much that I'm invariably disappointed by 99% of the versions I see in TV and film. But this was possibly the worst yet. I'm torn between this and Jerry Bruckheimer's King Arthur as being the worst of the worst.

I hate everything about it, from every viewpoint. Most egregiously, I despise Joseph Fiennes, playing Merlin as such a Ninth Doctor rip-off that I don't know why they didn't just sign Christopher Eccleston for the role. His Merlin is a cliche from the last decade of style-over-story entertainment, but lurking in the shadows with this pedo-smile that makes me break out in a terrified sweat. Between him and the little baby playing Arthur, I had to sit on my hands to keep from tearing my hair out. The story isn't told in a fresh or compelling way; it looks like a junior high production of Lord of the Rings. I just hated it so god damn much.

The only thing I liked was James Purefoy as King Lot. He was the only actor who seemed to understand the garbage he was in and just let himself go, playing Lot as the bastard son of a particularly drunk and bearded Richard Burton. He was fun. Everything else... sweet Jesus.

I think I found a show that irritated me more than Will & Grace. Or... no, nothing could ever be that shrill.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Kristen Bell Mondays

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Song of the Week: "Words"

One of my favorite Monkees songs. The album version is better, but I had to post this video from the show, with a possibly high Davy Jones hilariously transfixed by chimes and pretending to play the drums. It's bizarre. Mickey and Peter, face contorted with emotion, are really intense, really taking it seriously, with Mike doing his usual standing-stock-still routine, and then Davy, like a little kid who wandered in off the street, pretending to pound those drums and trying not to giggle at the chimes. Pretty much the essence of the Monkees in 3 minutes. Fantastic song.

Efficient American Bureaucracy in Action

I like to get my taxes in early. I like getting my refund as quickly as possible, I don't like letting it sit around waiting, and now that Becca and I are married and file jointly, I especially feel like it's my responsibility to get it done quickly.

So we did them the last week in January and waited to get the refund direct deposited within a few days. Which never happened. They transposed my bank account number when issuing my refund, so after calling the IRS and finally (finally, Lord) getting through to a real living breathing person (a feat which itself should have some kind of reward attached to it), I was told about the mix-up and what happens in these cases: I have to wait for a check in the mail, which takes a month.

Fast forward to last week, and the check finally comes. Okay, well, mistakes happen, but at least we finally got our money.

But the hilarious little twist: I got a letter in the mail yesterday from the IRS telling me that there was an error with my direct deposit and that a check would be coming in the mail. A week after the check came in the mail.

It's this sort of thing that really instills confidence in the ability of government institutions to weather something much bigger, you know?