Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How Every Second of RE:5 Could Have Been Better With Claire

Well, that's a good question, Alice. Neither Redfield is in Resident Evil: Retribution. Personally, though I like Chris well enough, I was prepared for him to be gone. But Claire has, at this point, been in two consecutive RE movies, and an informal poll of no-seriously everyone I know says that she's a fan favorite. The Alice/Claire match-up is pretty much perfect.

So in this series of screencaps from RE: Retribution, I'm going to detail the many places where the movie would have been vastly improved by Claire's presence. I know what the title says, but taking a screencap of every second of the movie would have been excessive.

It will document almost the entire movie. Spoilers, in other words.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ho ho ho, motherfuckers.

Predictably, I'm sick the day before Christmas Eve. It happens without fail; the day before a major holiday, I come down with something, and I spend the whole day drinking tea and sulking about being sick, and then I wake up the next day better. I think maybe my body is the Grinch but my brain is Cindy-Loo Who, who is no more than two.

(Which is just weird because, really, a two year old isn't quite as cogent as Cindy-Loo. I would have guessed her at four, maybe five without the rhyme.)

Anyways, Merry Christmas, everyone. It's doubtful I'll have anything brilliant to say between then and now, and I'm slightly delirious now, so might as well channel the Dayquil into holiday cheer.

I've had a Christmas photoshoot for your enjoyment. Well, really for my enjoyment. I love this hat and I only get to wear it for about 2 weeks every year.

 Look, there's even glitter. I have cheer, I do.
Also I am not looking at the camera here because I am seriously admiring this kid's beglittered ornament, which is about a million times better than what I could come up with. He had, like, dimensions of glitter on those Popsicle sticks. 
Of course I have a Max. And of course I take pictures with him that make my nose look very large. 
It's Christmas you aren't allowed to make judgments about how attractive I am. Everyone is beautiful at Christmas, motherfucker!
With full awareness that this picture is terrible.
No one believed me that I did something Christmasy. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO BELIEVE THAT I LOVE CHRISTMAS?! It's because I'm not a Christian, right? Well, if you think Christmas has anything to do with religion, you're not paying attention.

ALSO: Yes, I know the SalvArm is terrible to gay people. I did this anyways because a) my friend asked me to stand with her and b) excluding gay people doesn't mean that the straight people they do help don't need help. HUGS NOT HATES, people. 

Well, you know. Monetary hugs. I don't actually want to hug any of them. Ew.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

2AM is bad for me.

I have this really terrible idea for a mockumentary style reality show. I want to call it something like, "Demure 'N In," or, "Housewives of Moderate Means." And I want it to be about nice women, who are just honest and sweet all the time. But it would have to be shot and edited as if everything was a big deal.

You could have dramatic confrontations like:
"Oh, Rachel! I didn't know you were bringing a guest. You didn't mention her on your RSVP, but of course she's welcome. Both of you come inside."
"Mary-Claire, this is my sister Rose. I'm sorry I didn't know she was going to be in town or else I would have included her on the RSVP. I brought extra cheese straws and a veggie dip."
"Rose, it's so nice to meet you! Please come in. I've heard so much about you, I'd have been mad if Rachel didn't bring you along. There's coffee in the dining room and everyone is socializing on the patio so we can keep an eye on the children as they frolic."

"Stan and I are getting a divorce."
"Oh, dear, what happened?"
"Nothing, really. We've been together since we were in high school and we've realized that we grew apart as people, and we've really been more like friends for the past few years anyways. We're dividing the assets equally and the kids understand."
"Hey, Rose, what do you think of my new haircut?"
"I love it! It makes you look younger."
"So you're saying I looked old before? ... (chuckle) I'm kidding, dear. I really like these highlights, too. I went to Annie, at the Great Clips on Lawndale, if you're interested."

And you could put all of this to really super-dramatic music, and every now and then play a track of that sound people in clubs make right when there's a fight breaking out while Rachel and Mary-Claire are sitting on the patio drinking coffee.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The ribbon dancing is a metaphor.

This is a pictoral 'essay' through which I am going to provide evidence and commentary for my theory that the Disney film, Cadet Kelly, is really about being a lesbian in military school. 

Cadet Kelly stars Hillary Duff and Christi Carlson Romano, and tells the story of Kelly (Duff) who has been raised as a free-loving artist in NYC. Her mother marries a military man, who then takes a job as the commandant of a military academy. Due to the fact that they have to move out into the country, where the school is, Kelly has no choice but to attend the academy.

The very first trouble she gets into is over a rainbow flag blanket which she really, really wants on her bed in the barracks. Her platoon leader, Capt. Jennifer Stone, picks it up and looks at it like it's the embodiement of everything she loathes about herself:
PT at this school involves a lot of making the cadets crawl around in the mud. Capt. Jennifer Stone enjoys her job:
She gleefully makes Kelly crawl through extra mud, in the rain, so that Kelly won't show up to the dance. But Kelly does anyways, because she is determined to dance with the Capt:
Everyone see this, and the Capt. is shocked and embarassed:
She responds by not only yelling at Kelly for her pride blanket, but ripping it up:
Kelly lies in bed, staring at the torn pieces of her pride:
Her only recourse is to sneak into Capt. Jennifer Stone's room, in the dark, at night, wearing this expression on her face:

She "paints Jennifer Stone's hair rainbow." This movie takes metaphors extremely literally:
Capt. Jennifer Stone wants to have a word with her about this:

Kelly is court-martialed, and there is a tense, illogical moment while Capt. Stone is trying to keep it together and read the charges where the judge repeatedly orders her to remove her hat and show her gay hair. That's asking, sir:

Kelly is devastated by the court-martial and thinks in an interior monologue that military school probably isn't for her. Unspoken is her upset at outing Capt. Stone:
Her punishment is to shine and polish the drill team's gear. The drill team is cheerleaders with rifles. Kelly called them robots earlier, and thinks this is a terrible punishment, until she is watching them practice one day, and suddenly she realizes it's really cool and beautiful, and she gets this expression on her face:
What is she looking at, you might ask? Well, immediately after the finger biting, the camera cuts over to:
And then this happens:
Kelly is the equipment manager, and she now has incentive to be the best equipment manager possible, because sometimes that means helping Capt. Stone get dressed:
But it's not enough. Kelly realizes that in order to gain the respect of Capt. Stone, she must join the drill team. So she asks Gloria to help her. Gloria shows her how to handle her weapon:
Kelly's hard work eventually leads to her making the drill team, and then she has a confrontation with Capt. Stone in a field:
Kelly gives Capt Stone a clearly smitten glance, and Capt Stone is clearly uncomfortable about it:
They wind up dancing together, and while it looks like weird military step dancing, they make eye contact and, no shit, do not break eye contact for the entire dance sequence. It's really intense:
Gloria, watching them, gets this look on her face, because she is a romantic:
So then the drill team captain, Brad, says that they have to dance together for the competition, because they have "fire and passion." No really, it's what he says.

There are a couple of adorable locker room scenes, culminating in this one, where Capt. Stone accuses her of doing all of this for Brad, and Kelly says, "Ma'am, no ma'am. YOU are my partner... and commanding officer. I work with YOU."
At the competition, Gloria once again voices her support of their relationship:

And they dance together in front of several military schools and parents:
Jennifer Stone starts to look happy for the first time:
Kelly is already unbelievably ecstatic:
At one point in the routine, they start ribbon-dancing. The crowd is like, "Wait, what? This is military step-dancing." But we understand that ribbon dancing is a euphemism:

They get a standing ovation, and Jennifer Stone cannot contain her happiness:

Kelly wins:
Capt. Stone salutes her:
And Kelly is all, psh, no, I'm hugging you in front of everyone:
We all know that "knocks her hat askew" is another euphemism:
And then in the final moments, Capt. Stone reveals that her father has been transferred to Europe, so she's moving. To Europe. Look at their faces (I included a thumbnail of Kelly's face.) Have you ever seen two people look more devastated?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Finally, a post that actually talks about zombies.

I got to write this for a grade. I've changed some things for the final turn-in copy, obviously. Also, THIS PAPER DISCUSSES THE ENDINGS OF BOTH MOVIES. If you have not seen them, prepare for spoilers. Deal with it and see the movies anyways.

Here goes.

28 Days/Weeks Later:
The 2-Part Formula To Make Effective Zombie Movies 
For People Who Don’t Like Zombie Movies

    Especially considering the fact that it was a zombie movie, which fits it into a specific niche genre that does not traditionally appeal to mainstream audiences, the commercial success of 2002’s 28 Days Later was revolutionary. Even with a limited release, it grossed $45million  in the United States, and $82.7million worldwide. Stylus magazine named it the second best zombie movie of all time, beaten only by the seminal 1976 Romero film, Dawn of the Dead, which essentially created the genre, and gives it an unheard of 88% approval rating.

    28 Days Later was directed by Danny Boyle, known at that time for Trainspotting but since then for winning Best Director at the 2009 Academy Awards for his subsequent film, Slumdog Millionaire; neither of those films were specifically genre films the way that 28 Days Later was. The fact that Boyle does not specifically direct ‘zombie horror’ films greatly influenced the way he approached 28 Days Later and his vision enabled the film to explode into mainstream culture. Today, zombies are a huge part of pop culture, and many point to 28 Days Later as the film which started it all.

Given the huge commercial success of the film, it seemed inevitable that the studios would want to make a sequel. The risk of making a sequel to a hit movie is always the risk that the fans of the first one will reject the second one as ‘not as good’ or somehow lacking. Boyle had made a previous commitment to a science fiction movie, 2007’s Sunshine, but he supported the project and was eventually listed as an executive producer. 28 Weeks Later, directed by relative newcomer Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, was released in 2007, to mixed but generally positive reviews, and it grossed nearly $64.2million worldwide. It is considered a solid zombie movie, if not quite on par with its progenitor.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Quick to the point, to the point, no fakin'.

First: I discovered the other day that I inexplicably know the words to Ice, Ice Baby. I do not know for what purpose I stored this knowledge, but there it is.

Second: I drive a really quite old car, and my radio broke. I was bored driving home from work.

Third: I am not ashamed.
Today I'm reading "The Art of Speech and the Art of Silence," a medieval text concerning rhetoric by Albertano of Brescia. It is available here, because after this you might just want to read it, too.

It's this really weird combination of actually quite good advice, and then some strange advice, but what strikes me is a lot of these things are, sometimes word for word, things said today. Here are (so far) my favorite quotes:

When you wish to speak, dearest son, you should begin in the manner of the cock, which, before it crows, beats itself with its wings three times.

What does not concern you, does not hurt you. If you do not trouble yourself with things that do not trouble you, you will bring much peace to your heart and soul. This verse says it well: He brings peace to many who takes interest in few.

Examine yourself and consider if what you say is spoken with a clear understanding or out of ignorance. If you do not know what you are talking about, then do not talk as though you do.

Silence hurts no one; speech often may. Words are like arrows: easy to shoot off, hard to retrieve.

Better to be mute than to say things nobody understands.

Watch everything you say and do. Many who seem friendly are in fact not. All strangers can prove hostile.

Talking intelligently to a fool is like talking to a sleeping man; when your speech is over, he will say, ‘What is going on?’

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Venn Diagrams have authority.

I keep ducking politics, and they keep throwing themselves at me. When will everything chill out and everyone just remember that, seriously? We all should be focusing on real stuff that is actually personally affecting us, like I'm out of pinyon coffee and I can't go to Trader Joe's to get more for, like, days.

In all seriousness, everyone, stop gloating, stop pouting, think about how narwhals are the unicorns of the sea and that makes whales the horses of the sea and dolphins, like, the ponies of the sea, and killer whales are actually dolphins, not whales, and actually dolphins and whales aren't related at all, unlike horses and ponies, which are. And also narwhals ARE really whales, because I had to look it up to make sure.

The Venn diagram for all of this looks like this:


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obligatory Political Post (But With A Point!)

I've been pretty mum in my celebrations this morning, despite the fact that I'm Very Happy, because honestly I think that gloating is tawdry, and I have friends who are not Very Happy. My friendship with them has already been stretched enough over this.

But I do have a few cents to drop into what I think this all means. This is rose-colored and politically unsavvy, because I am both of those things, but what I think Republicans should take away from this loss is this: extreme social conservatism is not a good thing.

I honestly think that if Romney had run as a moderate from the beginning, he would have won. Polls show that on economic issues, policy issues, basically anything that didn't have to do with human rights, Romney was the clear choice of lots of people. The Republican Party, though, has spent this entire horrible campaign imploding down into its own hornet's nest. Several of their candidates (who then lost) made just stupid comments that made them sound like rape apologists. They keep chasing their tails around gay rights and ZOMG TEH GAYS WILL STEAL OUR GOD GIVEN HETEROMAJORITY when all 4 states that had gay marriage on the ballots sided with the gays. They continually harp on removing rights from women, apparently forgetting that women can vote now.

My entire political philosophy is this: inclusion, never exclusion. I will never vote to exclude any group of people from something others are allowed to do or have. It's wrong and it's not the function of government; in a democracy, the majority wins, so you CANNOT have a system that enables the majority to strip the rights of the minority.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Little Monster Turned Into A Really Short PERSON

So the Little Monster is... about two and a half now. I'm getting much better at explaining who she is to me, now, mostly because I can't shut up about her and people frequently stop me and say, "Wait, what toddler?!"

No, I didn't magically have a kid. I live with one. I have for more than a year. She's not my child and frankly I think I'd be, like, the worst parent ever so I'm glad she's not my child, but she for mysterious reasons occupies a lot of my brain. I've gotten used to it. The first time I was away from the NeuHaus for a long term petsitting gig, I was startled and worried when, in the middle of a run, I was hit with a wave of missing her so much I almost cried. I suppose I have to blame biology and man-as-a-social-creature for this.

In any case, she calls me 'Aunt Cake' or more often just 'Cake' - my name is hard for little humans to pronounce and when my cousin was little she did the same thing - and while she's always been pretty smart, in the past couple of months her language and comprehension skills have just skyrocketed. I think she's hysterically funny, and sometimes the things that come out of her mouth are so freaking brilliant when you consider that she's not even three years old.

I've been doing my best to write down some of the gems, as has the rest of the Collective. Here are some of them. I wasn't there for all of these, but I assure you none of us embellish these things. It's not really possible to make what she says any better.

(I lean over the gate to wave good bye to the Little Monster, who is sitting in a box. I have my helmet in my hand.)
Little Monster: You... are you having a tricycle?
Me: I have a bicycle.
Little Monster: It have two wheels. You going to ride it?
Me: Yes. I'm going to school. See you later.
Little Monster: Okay. I watch Howl.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I proved the Matrix was real once.

This was an actual paper. I wrote it for a real class.
The Morpheatic View Of Reality And How It Validates The Matrix

1. Is The Matrix Reality?

 Morpheus is a freedom fighter, the leader of a band of humans willing to re-enter the Matrix, to attack its programming, to fight and to die in the name of all humanity. They are champions of the right to Reality, the right of humans to live free of the machines. But are they correct in their definition of reality?

 Morpheus and his crew believe that the Matrix is not reality, because they know it to be based within a computer program, their experiences within it easily manufactured and manipulated.

 Neo, newly awakened from his brain-in-a-vat existence, learns to accept this position. Standing in the white space of the Construct, he runs his hands over the back of an old red leather chair and asks, “This... isn't real?”

 “What is real?” Morpheus responds. “How do you define real? If you're talking about your senses, what you feel, taste, smell or see, then all you're talking about are electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”

 Neo is apparently too overwhelmed to bring up the fact that Morpheus has not answered his question, and the message he receives is that no, the chair is not real. When he goes to visit the Oracle, the child in the waiting room tells him that there is no spoon, and by this time Neo believes this so readily that he is able to manipulate the programming of the Matrix in order bend the spoon. He never considers the implications of Morpheus' oblique response, but I think that those implications are important to consider.

 Is the Matrix reality? Are the experiences a person has within them real?

 That line is not drawn by Morpheus himself, but by one of his disciple-like crew, Trinity, when she is forced to beg Cypher for her life and the lives of her shipmates. “The Matrix isn't real!” she says.

 “Oh, I disagree, Trinity,” Cypher responds, neatly and immediately. “I think the Matrix can be more real than this world.” The murder he then commits in order to prove his point only underscores the weakness of Trinity's assertion, and touches upon what would seem to be the blank page in Morpheus' teachings: if the Matrix is not reality, and the Real World is, what makes them so?

 If, according to Morpheus, both places are experienced within the human mind as mere electrical signals, what makes the one reality, and the other only illusion?

 In the absence of a clear answer from Morpheus, I believe that both the Real World and the Matrix are realities, and this can be proved through the character of Agent Smith.

2. The Morpheatic Distinction Between The “Real World” And The Matrix.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Video Portrait of the English Major During the 90s

This video is a pure expression of yours truly's experience growing up in the 90s.

Extremely awkward. More than a little bizarre. And literally about not knowing the words to your own song.

Edit: According to my boss, "I think this video is in some type of strange prison – it’s like disco solitary, except there’s no metal toilet in the corner. People who think prison is cool should watch this video, it will straighten them out."

Friday, July 6, 2012

We are Borg.

I love TEDtalks. My favorite TEDtalk is this one, by Amber Case. I think she, in basic understandable terms that I would never be able to organize myself into, explains the concept of cyborg anthropology and how and why I think humans and technology are so freaking fascinating.

My brain is doing a lot of really fast leaping around lately - I did some training for work on different learning styles and designing classes in such a way that we can appeal to all of them, and it was really interesting to me because I live in this constant state of being really astounded that Stuff Is.

See, I pay attention to a lot of science, but I'm not a scientist. I'm a writer, and an English major, and what I see, hear, think and feel about factual information isn't concrete and data-driven but rather... metaphorical. Abstracted. I assimilate the data to the extent that I am able without a scientific background/really 100% understanding it, and then my brain grabs up the new baby BorgFact and runs, gleefully screaming, to the land of unicorns and dancing iced sugar cookies. "Look what just arrived! Wouldn't it look WONDERFUL with some glitter glue dabbed on all the edges?! Then EVERYONE will love it!"

The unicorns are constantly trying to remind me that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for glitter glue, just like not everyone has dancing iced sugar cookies around the peripheries of their brain. I ignore them. Unicorns don't exist.

So the thing about science and technology for me is that really, at the end of the day, I'm just astonished that things work. I mean, water molecules are bent at right(ish) angles, in such a way that gives water the ability to link up and basically enable all life to have ever even gotten started. What if they had not done that?! It is surely no skin off the universe's nose if life doesn't exist.

So anyways, back to the topic at hand, which is the fact that I don't think anyone - except apparently Amber Case - is thinking about technology the right way. Just because we're not physically grafted to our devices doesn't mean that we're not assimilating them just like the Borg. Anyone who thinks humans and modern technology are separate need only look at the difference between this upcoming generation and the one before them. Humans in the developed world are growing up surrounded by all of these new ways of interfacing with the environment and their own brains. When my mother calls me and asks me how to fix her computer, I'm forced to explain things to such a degree that I'm annoyed. It is not her fault. She doesn't interface like I do; she can't make the intuitive leaps I can, doesn't have the little minute steps totally ingrained and instinctive like I do. I AM a cyborg, because technology has facilitated these connections that would not otherwise exist. I may not literally have robotic parts, but the fact is that technology informs fundamental brain processes for me.

The whole point of this point is that Amber Case is really cool, and you should watch her TEDtalk. Here's the link to it again.

Edit: This post clearly needs a picture. Here is one of the internet.
The Whole Internet

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bits and Pieces of Funny

The entire Harry Potter series is a lot funnier if you decide that the entire conflict is centered around Voldemort's nose.

"I got your nose! I got your nose!"
"No, you didn't. It's right here on my... My nose! All right, fine, Dumbledore. You win. Give me my nose back."
"I lied, I don't have it. Mwa-ha-ha-ha!" -skips off-
"Well, then, who took it?"
"Silence, Wormtail! I have no nose and it preoccupies me. Where is it? It isn't there. Maybe if I close one eye and - no, still not there! POTTER HAS MY NOSE! I KNOW HE DOES! We must get Potter's nose!"
More After The Jump.

When I Lost My Mind Working The Night Shift

From Canyon-Era English Major:


I work the night shift.

I request it, actually. Charlie shift, 11pm to 7am. Graveyard, some people call it. The name fits, it works. Not so much because it’s dead as because it’s… cool. Still, balmy in a way that has nothing to do with weather. It’s an attitude, something born of the knowledge that while everyone around you is prancing through the Land of Nod with the cast of The Tick and Fran Drescher, you are awake and you are… bored.

Yes. Night shift is boring. Night shift is boring like Leonard Cohen singing a capella with no backing would be boring, boring like an infomercial about how to make a fortune in the stock market is boring. It’s a kind of tedium few have experienced. I have cable tv, a dvd player, books, issues of Time magazine dating all the way back to the Reagan era and a job to do, but still, the specter of being trapped in a tiny office in the dead of night – eight hours worth of dead, in fact – it’s just boring. Even if you have four seasons of ER, even if you have a shelf full of books completely worth reading, even if you are scrapbooking your entire life story.

There will be that moment of squirreliness at three in the morning where you stop and look around, left to right with your eyes only, squinting at empty space, at the walls and the mini-fridge and the coffee pot and you think, quite calmly, “Who are you people and why do you all bear a vague resemblance to Fran Drescher?” And you’re afraid, but quite matter-of-fact about it, because you know you’re alone, and the moment will pass, and by 7am when your relief shows up you will have something resembling sanity, if not something resembling good breath. The state of a night shift worker’s mouth at 7am, even if they have gum, even if they don’t smoke, is just shocking. It’s horrifying.

Somehow, in that convoluted, completely fucked-up circadian nightmare that is three in the morning, something clicked in my brain and I became… domestic.

Well, not domestic but I began to share a few too many traits with upper-middleclass housefraus for my own quasi-butch self-image.

I swept. I gathered up the crumbs, the dust bunnies, and the renegade coffee beans, and forcibly ejected them from my office. A few nights later, the act of sweeping no longer able to satisfy my reckless cleaning lust, I tracked down the night janitor and had him bring me a wet mop. I scrubbed that old linoleum until it was all the same uniform color of old linoleum.

The unthinkable happened next: my boss noticed. And complimented my clean floors.

Oh, no.

It was on, my friends. It was on like Donkey Kong, like Jedi versus Sith, like me, my roommate, and only one Voyager Class Optimus Prime left on the shelf.

El Kato, Domestic Dyke.

And now I am in love with an inanimate object: The Swiffer Duster. That thing is… amazing. It is a Dust Magnet. I prowl the office like a lion on the hunt, seeking the dust with a vengeance I didn’t know existed inside of me. The first time I did the whole office, it took five of the fluffy “refill” things. I have never felt so validated as I did glaring in triumph at the wastepaper basket full of fluffy things and dust.

El Kato, Dust Bandit. I would call myself Dust Buster, but it’s not only taken, but is the name of an alternate mode of dust removal, which is unacceptable. The Swiffer Duster and I are together until the end of time.
All that cleaning takes up at least an hour of my time if I’m in full-mania; next I devote at least four hours to scouring episodes of ER for Maggie Doyle (played by Jorja Fox) and trying not to hate Kerry Weaver for her fugly 90s wardrobe and generally willful social ineptitude. I don’t understand why they make her so awful for so long.

Okay, so I do understand, but that doesn’t make me like it. I sympathize with her in her solo moments, when she’s practically orgasming over paperwork. I look at her administrative mania and feel myself twitch in janitorial sympathy. If only she had a Swiffer, I think to myself, holding my Swiffer close to my chest. A Swiffer instead of Mark Greene. That’s all she needs.

Personally I don’t think the show would have suffered much without Mark Greene. But then, I’m a dyke and bald men look like dicks. And he’s just whiny. Even when it’s all going his way, he whines. He has horrible time management skills, his wife was totally hot and he lost her due to that fact that he has horrible time management skills, and as far as I can tell he never really learns to prioritize.

I mean, just imagine ER with Kerry Weaver carrying around, like, a Swiffer with some wire-rimmed glasses on. Making diagnosis’ out of the side of her mouth, arguing back and forth about patient care, having discussions in the lounge.

“Oh, this paperwork is such a nightmare. It’s so amazing of you to take it all on, Kerry, and still find time to be such an amazing doctor.”

“Why, yes, Doctor Greene, it did take me a long time to color code and alphabetize all of your work, but anything to make this hospital – YOU THERE, CAROL HATHAWAY! YOU ARE WASTING MONEY! I DON’T KNOW HOW THIS TIME BUT YOU ARE! – run more efficiently. Now, if you please, I need to forge your signature on a few things, if you have the time.”

“I always have time for such a fabulous doctor and alphabetizer such as yourself, Kerry. In fact, why not join me for dinner?”

“Well, thank you, Mark, but you’ll be staying in my locker when I leave here today.”

“And what a well-organized locker it is, too.”

Old Stuff: AKA Not Being Lazy, I Swear

So, the next few blog posts you see are going to be old things that I wrote in the way backs. I'm putting them here so I don't lose them forever, because I like them.

For instance:
A conversation between a nurse and myself once I'm old enough to get into one of those places. I'm going to be such a naughty old lady.

"We all got dysentery, and we kept losing oxen every time we forded rivers..."

"That sounds a lot like Oregon Trail."

"What? We didn't go to Oregon. We went to India. For spices and silks. And the Indians tried to kill us with Tomahawks."

"The Indians did."

"Yes. For their spices, and silks. But then they taught us how to plant corn, and we had Thanksgiving. But the Indians were not invited, because we killed them with smallpox infected blankets. You're not an Indian, are you?"

"What? No."

"Good, because this blanket is infected with smallpox."

"Miss Putnam, do you want your jello or not?"

"Well, what flavor is it?"


"...I hate this place. This is worse than when I was teaching the natives how to plant corn."

"I thought the Indians taught you how to plant corn."

" Nova Scotia. I was part of an exchange program, and they didn't know how to plant corn, so I showed 'em. But one look at their stupid Canuck faces and I thought, 'Damn, better simplify this bitch.' Hole, corn, fish, dirt. I don't know if it worked because it's always winter in Canada."

"Is it now?"

"Young lady, you shouldn't question your elders. Especially not ones who risked their lives in the war so you could have your -"

"What war is that?"

"The War of 1812. Wow, that was a long war."

"... Miss Putnam, Edna needs her powerchair back now."

"Medicaid gave me this scooter. I need it to beat the rest of these old farts to the cafeteria. They always take the best pudding flavors, and all that's left is tapioca. I can't eat tapioca, ever since Luke told me about how once when he was in Canada, he had to cut open his tauntaun and the inside looked just like tapioca pudding."

"Luke... Skywalker?"

"Yes, you've heard of him? Nice boy. A bit faggy, though. I hate fags."

"Aren't you a lesbian?"

"What does that have to do with... are you asking me to dinner? We can go out. You, me, and Medicaid. You can pay, because Medicaid is a stingy bitch. Ever since I had to weasle my scooter out of her. You'd think losing a leg in the war would qualify..."

"Miss Putnam, you have two legs."

"This one's a prosthetic. Good, isn't it? A nice young man by the name of Spock gave it to me. He was a bit stiff, but very nice. I lost track of him after he had that captain's baby and didn't come back after maternity leave. But, by then, I had already moved on to the next gym, because I had to catch 'em all!"

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Part 2 of My Quest To Prove Atlantis Is The Best Disney Movie

Link To Part 1 of Part 1

Part 2: The Importance of Being a Nerd

Milo Thatch is the hero of Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

And Milo is a nerd.

Milo is a big, giant nerd. He probably got beat up a lot growing up, and he certainly gets beat up a lot now. He's small and skinny -- so small and skinny that Cookie the Cook tells him, "If you stood sideways and stuck out your tongue you'd look like a zipper."

But Milo is really, really smart.

The whole idea of the movie is that no one can find Atlantis but him. He's studied dead languages his whole life, in single-minded pursuit of his dreams. He believes in knowledge, beyond anything else. Everyone else on the expedition is focused on money, but Milo waxes rhapsodic about how discovering Atlantis will enrich mankind's knowledge of the universe.

This kind of belief, and that kind of nerdiness, is what is needed to find Atlantis. Everything hinges on Milo's ability to READ. From the moment he's introduced, he is focused on a book. A specific book, The Shepherd's Journal, but I think really the journal is symbolic of books in general. The quest for Atlantis can be seen as a quest for knowledge in general, and it's all in books.

The crew that goes to Atlantis (SPOILER: They find Atlantis.) is made up of people who are very good at what they do, but none of them read like Milo, and they know they can't find Atlantis without him, which, really, is why they 'put up with him.' The first part of the expedition, pre-Atlantis, shows the divide between Milo and the rest of the crew, the way they ignore him and/or play possibly deadly practical jokes on him. They crack jokes and they're all really great characters and it seems like we're being set up for your typical 'kick dirt on the smart kid' gag that's unfortunately all too common, but take a look at Milo here:
He is having the time of his life. Everyone else is off to the left, eating dinner and making fart jokes, and Milo is reading and doesn't even NOTICE that they look over at him in disdain.

Milo is always reading. Audrey, the teenage tomboy mechanic prodigy (set up as being more masculine than Milo in the first few lines of dialogue they share), asks him about it when the crew finally invites him over to eat with them.

Milo's response to her question is not shame, or self-derision. He doesn't even close the book. Instead, he tells them why he finds the book so fascinating, and they don't immediately shut him down. They don't recoil. In fact, this is a major turning point in the narrative for Milo, because from this point on the crew includes him a lot more. And he didn't compromise his love of knowledge and learning in order to do it. He finds Atlantis for them and for himself, and even though he's still a big dork, in the end his ability to read - and only his ability to read - lands him the best Disney Princess of Them All.

Also, he invented the Snuggie. Just saying.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Part 1 of Part 1 of My Quest To Prove Atlantis Is The Best Disney Movie

This is a Very Serious undertaking that's going to span multiple posts and by the end prove to you that Atlantis: The Lost Empire was the best of Disney's animated films, and that it was unfairly maligned due to its lack of songs and the little fact of it being genuinely awesome in too many different ways.

This first post will serve as an introduction to the project, and as such state both my personal feelings (well, further state) on the subject as well as show you the first in a series of really great screencaps I've taken.

I do believe that Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire was a truly great movie. I respect the serious, action-adventure vein which they were aiming for and hit squarely, and I think anyone who watches the movie without 90s-era Sing-A-Long bias will agree that including songs would have taken the film in a displeasing, syrupy place that would not have fit the dry humor that makes it so good.

This is not to say I do not enjoy those Disney animated movies which DO involve singing, as anyone who works near me can attest to the fact that sometimes I open my mouth and 'Be A Man' from Mulan comes out of it. I love musicals as much as any other type of movie, but I think we can all agree that not every movie is suited to being a musical. Atlantis certainly is not.

The importance of defending this movie has been made clear to me since the surge of Disney Princesses  now permeates every aspect of nearly every little American girl's life, and yet does not include Kida, who was legitimately a princess in her own right - unlike several of the original Disney princesses, who are only princesses because they married otherwise featureless princes. Teaching little girls that they're nothing until they're married. That's what we want.

These first screencaps do not include Kida, because she gets her own whole post later in the project. These were taken from the dvd version of the film, with the captions on. I repeat, these are the actual captions of the actual dialogue. The fact that they make perfect LOLs on their own serves, I think, to prove my point.