ieatplaydough

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

AB FAB!

If you are interested in exploring worlds that may be unfamiliar to you and are interested in observing groups whose norms of behavior are nontraditional, than Real Housewives of Orange County is the show to watch. I have to continuously remind myself that these are "real" people. Only in the sense that they exist, breath oxygen, and need certain nutrients to survive. The idea of what "poor" is, or what "doing without" means, shocks me. One family had been worth over $100 million ( and this was '80's money) until the father was caught embezelling and cheating. The parents split and one of the daughters was so traumatized by this that she started home schooling because her classmates would tease her about having "no money." Now the father is married to a 20 year-old Thai woman who is not allowed to eat with him and he bonds with his daughters by driving them to get rhinoplasty. Huh? Whah? I love this show because, even though I am trash in their eyes, I feel sooooo superior. I LOVE feeling superior!! These people are dying to be studied.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Woody Allen gets Jacked! And, Old Torture Methods find Favor Again!

Woody Allen gets Jacked!

Spoiler alert!! Woody Allen is not in the new Casino Royale; David Niven is also noticibly absent from this revival. In fact little in the new Casino Royale resembles that of its namesake. Actuall, it is a totally and completely different movie with a "lifted" title. I had hoped that it would be another spoof, like the original, and in the end an aged Woody Allen would pop out and reveal that he was the mastermind behind the plot to . . . do whatever it is the bad guys were doing in the movie. I'm sorry, really, I fell asleep for about an hour after I took ibuprofen for a headache; I'm very delicate.

As I said, I fell asleep so I am not clear as to what the movie is about. What I did understand was that poker was very important. I would say that the story arc built to a climax of Terrorist/Spy Poker Showdown, held at the last casino to require formal evening dress. For those of you "right off the pumpkin truck" I mean tuxedos and evening gowns. It is more reasonable to think that the casino footage was shot in a gambling hall recently built on the frontier of Mars than it is to believe that there actually still exists such a place on Earth. But that is besides the point; it did appear that the point of the movie was to reveal 007's gambling addiction. I had heard that the filmmakers wanted to make this a more "modern" Bond and there is nothing more au courant than personality disorders and compulsive behavior.

So, I slept through Bond getting his cool car and gadgets (though the audience did find out early on that Bond used a Sony Ericsson phone and initially drove a FORD) and the important plot development points but I awoke just in time for two of the most significant moments in the film.

The first seminal moment occured while Bond was on a break from guess what? Gambling. Anyway he and this woman (who we are led to believe is Bond's personal, travelling accountant) are going to take down this international gambler guy who, incidentally, cries blood from his glaucoma clouded eye and has asthma, and thus should not be difficult to detain. As they approach his room they hear yelling and it turns out that someone has beat them there. "Bloody-Eye's" lendors ( African "freedom fighters") have tracked him down and want their money back. Ol' "Bloody-Eye" has been using the money to fund his gambling habit thinking that his skill could result in better outcomes than say . . . performing voodoo on the money or maybe hiding it under a mattress. So "Bloody-Eye" tells the "Freedom Fighter" that he will have his money in the morning. Bond hears the "Freedom Fighter" leaving and tells the accountant lady to go to their room. Unfortunately when she got her associates certificate in accounting from Naug Val Comm TEch Coll they didn't teach her how to operate an auto-lift or elevator. Bond suggests she take the stairs. Just as she is getting ready to go up the stairs the "Freedom Fighter" comes out and catches Bond and the accountant hiding. A bloody battle ensues and carries them all to the stairwell. As Bond battles two crazy African warlords with machetes the accountant cannot seem to figure out how NOT to be in the way. Finally they all make it to the bottom of the stairs, Bond is choking the bad guy but the latter almost has the loose gun in his hands. Accountant lady sees this and kicks the gun out of the bad guy's hand. Bond kills the guys, hides the bodies, sends the accountant lady upstairs, changes his tuxedo shirt, and returns to the gaming table to finish his poker game.

Later, Bond returns to the hotel room and sees a broken wine glass on the table (careless and dangerous) and hears the shower running. He opens the bathroom to find accountant lady SITTING ON THE FLOOR OF THE SHOWER, HOLDING HER LEGS, POUTING, AND SHIVERING PATHETICALLY. Instead of asking her if she is a stroke victim (which is the only reasonable explaination for such behavior), Bond SITS DOWN NEXT TO HER IN HIS BESPOKE TUXEDO. To make this scene even more ridiculous "Shivery Accountant Lady" explains to Bond that "it feels like there is blood on her that she cannot get off." Rather than explain to her that this is a ridiculous idea as she did not kill anyone and if she had gotten any blood on her then the two hours she has just spent in the shower should have washed it away. Bond takes another route; taking her fingers in his hand he sucks on them like popsicles and asks her, "is that better." After she nods her response she starts to shiver more violently. A NORMAL person would suggest perhaps, getting out of the shower. Bond decides to remain a wildcard by simply TURNING UP THE HOT WATER!! What the hell? I think the script writers were drunk or suffererd traumatic brain injury while making this movie as those are the only reasonable excuses for such a silly plot.

Old Torture Methods find Favor Again!!

The best scene of this wacky movie came when Ol' "Bloody-Eye" captures Bond and Accountant Lady. "B-E" plans on torturing some completely unneccessary information from Bond and decides to use a very low-tech approach. The scene opens with Bond being led naked into a dark, dank room that looks like a pipe-room or something. The camera quickly sweeps the rooms and settles on a worn chair with a perfectly sound wicker seat. A close up holds as an anonymous knifeweilding hand cuts out the chair's seat. My first thought was that they were making a toilet but why? I was wrong. "B-E" shoves naked Bond onto the chair, press ing his bum through the cut-out seat. Everyone else leaves and "B-E" pulls out a wet sailing rope. "B-E" bemoans the fact that technology has overtaken traditional torture methods and states that he feels more comfortable with simpler methods ( he is a simple man). So, what ' low-tech' torture method does he have in mind? Is it water torture? No. Maybe tongue-pulling? No. How about the rack? Wrong again. The method of choice "B-E" uses is one I have dubbed " Wet Whacking". "Wet Whacking" is the act of swinging a wet ship-rope and slapping it into the ball sack of a man who should be carefully placed in an ass-less chair. It is the suggestion of this writer that the chair be prepared ahead of time and be waiting for the victim. "B-E" did not seemed thrilled to have to wait for one of his henchmen to remove the seat from the chair; it was rather unprofessional.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Blah, Blah, Blah!

So I am once again tragically bored and alone with my morbid thoughts. In an attempt to remedy my current situation I caught some cold/flu/sinus infection thing and had to take it easy for several days. Turns out being sick does NOT improve ones outlook on life, curious. Anyway, between wallowing in self-pity and contemplating the meaninglessness of my life I watched and attempted to watch several movies and had the opportunity to see some television programs I would have otherwise been spared from.

So many years ago I had the opportunity to see RENT on broadway with its original cast. I chose to pass on this and instead spent the day at Toys R Us buying bargain bin action figures. Since then I have wondered if I missed anything, though every rational bone in my body says I did not. This thought and my own desperate situation led me to make a very foolish decision to attempt to watch the film version or RENT which was playing on STARZ. I literally watched 3.5 minutes of this movies before I felt that I would rather listen George W. Bush read the phone book than waste one more minute of my admittedly pathetic life on this garbage. I could almost get over the opening song (524,600 minutes, of course) sung on a set designed to look like a stage with all the actors in a row, each lit only by spotlights from above. I was even optimistic when the little red-headed actor who I adore started to narrate the first scene, but all this went south when aforementioned red-head began singing his lines. Well it sounded like he was singing his lines in the same tune that three year-olds sometimes employ when they make up songs about their poop. Needless to say I changed the channel but not before being forever damaged by what I saw.

Did you have a traumatic high-school experience? Did you feel as if no one would ever truly care for you, that everyone was mocking you at every turn, that everything you said and did was being catalogued so as to be brought forth at some later date as proof of your being an incredible loser? Yeah? Me too!! OMG! Well, "Laguna Beach" is the show for you. This show proves that even the most attractive and popular kids at school probably felt the same as you on at least one occassion. This show chronicles the ridiculous and often cruel escapades of a group of overindulged, vapid, and superficial Orange County high school students as they stumble their way from party to party. It is no wonder that kids are growing up thinking that it is "lame" to think independantly; these kids focus more on making up ridiculous slang terms, that are simply abbreviations of already short words or expression, and trying to "scam" as many "chicks" as they can. I am not so nieve as to think that all men are ass-holes as I know many decent guys who treat women with respect, but let me say that there is no more cruel individual than the popular high-school boy. The sort of behavior that these boys engage in is so horrifying that I was almost brought to tears by the episode I watched. Granted my illness has put me in a weakened state but it was the closest I have felt to being in high-school again. The episode I am referring to involved the relationships between two newly popular girls with their new boyfriends who are veterans of the popular crowd. As all women know we have a tendency to become posessive of the males that we hang out with on a regular basis (this is more of a adolescent phenomenon but does occur in a milder fashion in older females). Well the "popular girls" are threatened by the two newly popular ones who are, as the former see it, poaching thier men. It would be more appropriate to call these males boys than men as they show no characteristics that would be required to justify the latter title. At every party these boys barely acknowledge their girl friends (the newly popular ones) for fear of eliciting criticism from their "bros" or from the herd of harpies that they hang out with. The girlfriends spend 95% of the episode making excuses for their boyfriends' behavior towards them and the other 5% debating whether to break up with them or not. One of the girls is dumped by her dick boyfriend at a bonfire beach party in front over 15 other people. An hour later one of the boys friends asks the same girl out on a date. At a concert the aforementioned girl is flirting and dancing with the boy who had asked her out while her ex watches her and tells everyone he can what a slut she is and that she is crazy. This same boy has invited two other girls to the concert but they don't show because they don't want to go out with a guy who has just asked them out a day after dumping his girlfriend. The scene closes with the "crazy-slut" girl hunched over in the parking lot crying because her ex didn't even acknowledge her. I have been there and this brought it all back!! I wish I had the strength of character to study this show because it demonstrates in cruel detail the sort of behaviors that are more common than we would like to think among teens in America. With the benefit of time it is possible to see that all those emotions and slights we thought would kill us as teenagers were ridiculous expressions of our own narcissism. Yet we will find over the years that we cannot escape the memories of these moments no matter how trite they may seem to us now. SO, yeah, watch ol' "Laguna Beach". Maybe you'll have the opportunity to cry alone too!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ren - Fair Play

So I realize that I have really dropped the ball on this blog thing, disappointing my millions (3) of fans but things have been rather hectic lately. In the last month I have faced horrific challenges foisted upon me by a cruel universe; I'll elaborate.

I don't know if anyone reading this has ever been to a Renaissance fair but if you haven't I must warn you to watch your behavior in front of the Ren-nerds. The reason I mention this is that I recently went to a Ren-Fair expecting to find a warm and friendly atmosphere where I could feel, not only attractive but superior in every way. Well I certainly experienced these feelings but unfortunately the furries must have sensed the mocking in my heart and commissioned a witch to curse me. For those who don't know furries, as best I can understand, are awesome dudes (and ladies) who like to dress up as animals (think team mascot costumes). The fun doesn't stop there; most, if not all, of these super rad individuals like to have relations with other cool furries. They apparantly find it more sexually gratifying to imagine themselves and their partner as animals rather than people. THis is probably because everyone who participates in such activities is most likely sooooo attractive that they use their furry costumes as an opportuity to escape from the pressures that society imposes on really, really "hot" people.

So anyway, the furries at the Ren-Fair must have sensed that my noble Gopher fursona was amused (in a condescending way) by their antics. This apparantly prompted the Ren-Fair community to declare,what might be akin to a fatwa, on me. The way that this declaration manitfested itself was not in my life being threatened but by my sight being taken away. It seems that a witch in the Ren-Fair coven must have chosen this punishment because of the need my Gopher fusona has for keen vision when pursuing its prey (mostly vegitation) and for the mocking in my heart and eyes while I was at the Ren-Fair.

Luckily I have an awesome eye doctor who has been schooled in the ways of witches and was able to cast off the spell that had stolen my sight (I have eye drops for it). Now things are going well but I felt it was my duty to warn all I could about the dangers of mocking the Ren-folk.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Desperate in the Metropolis

So today I was supposed to meet with my boss (well one of them) but he didn't show up so I ended up returning home to find other means of entertainment. After "catching some rays" for a short time I ventured back inside to see what was on the old "boob-tube". Much to my delight I discovered a show I had never seen before that seems to by trying to cater to women in my demographic (22 - 35), called Single in the City: New York 2. Apparantly there was a first season in New York that I missed and if it was anything like the current show I am truly sorry to have not been aware of its existence.

Anyway, the show follows the lives of five or six woman, characterized by the intoduction as, "single, successful, sophisticted, and beautiful" as they look for their "perfect man". In fact all of these women possess the aforementioned qualities and it is because of this that the nature of the show is so troubling, why can't we [women] be happy with our own success? Most of these women are occupied by truly ridiculous concerns like is the guy they have been "seeing" their boyfriend, why can't I meet any nice guys, what's wrong with me, should I learn to strip-tease, etc.? I am sure the grammer of the previous sentence is totally incorrect but I don't care because though I may be single I am not succesful, sophisticated, or beautiful; plus this is a blog.

I guess what I found so offensive about the show was that it presumes and reinforces the idea that women of a certain age (22 - 35) should be more concerned about finding a man than about pursuing their own professional goals. If in fact a woman has achieved success in her chosen profession the stakes seem to get even higher because society seems to impose the notion that she will never be truly successful in any real way until she is validated as a woman through her acquiring a suitable mate. I am certain that there is no such pressure for men of a similar age, and I am personally glad that any success I may have in a given field is many years down the road. It is certainly not my intention to belittle the relationships of thoseof my friends who have found "the one" (or at least "the FIRST one", kidding) but rather to defend my right as a happily single female to be both happy AND single.

Over the last year I have found that my off-the-cuff remarks about not worrying about marriage and feeling nauseated over the idea of commitment, have been met more with concern than amusement. I am truly happy for those I know who have someone in their life that they plan to spend their life with but why should I be forced to consider such a thing before I am ready simply because our culture is trying to convince women of my age that if we are not hunting down marriage material we are wasting our time.

The show made me wonder if these women regret not looking for a man sooner instead of focusing on their careers. I hope the answer to both questions is no, as those are regrets I hope never to have. It also seems that the women in the show who had met someone would excuse any sort of behavior simply to save themselves from being alone and to sustain their hopes that "maybe he is the ONE". One woman, an investment banker in Manhattan, really concerned me because the guy she was "seeing" did not want to be known as her boyfriend but rather a "special friend". Now sure, I can certainly understand his discomfort with labeling and committing, but rather than be upfront with her he used his unwillingness to "label" and "commit" to wiel power in their relationship. His desire for control and her inability to demand satisfaction from his resulted in their relationship deteriorating into power struggle.

Basically my point is that societal pressures, our fear of rejection, and our competitiveness combined leads to us being unable to trust our own feelings, pursue our goals, and embrace our success without guilt. Maybe someday I will be thinking that I regret not "campaigning" for a man while I was young-ish but I think I will just stick to recognizing the fact that I will probably not find one because I am unwilling to do the humiliating work it seems to take to get a "good" one in this day and age.

I apologize to all my coupled friends who read this, it was not meant as an attack on your relationships but rather as a protest against the pressure put on women to "manufacture" such relationships where they don't exist. I support all my friends who are happy in their unions but reserve the right to acknowledge the fact that not everyone finds such contentment by chance, rather they are forced to suspend their own ambition and pride to satisfy some cultural dictate.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

You not stupid movie

So last night was ladies night at my house, this consisted of me making pina-coladas and watching movies with my dogs Girl and Clancy. Yeah, it was awesome. Some may think that drinking fruity drinks and watching stupid movies with only your dogs for company would be depressing, not so. Well Girl and I watched 3.2 movies, 3 of which we really enjoyed the .2 is self explanatory.

You Stupid Man
Before we start making assumptions about this movie just wait. Now this is obviously a romantic comedy, a genre I am not ashamed to enjoy, but this is unique among its kind. This was one of those rare rc's that has truly interesting and quirky characters played by actors that are not your traditional rc players. This particular movie follows the growing, sometimes antagonistic relationship between a mostly adorable couple played by . . . wait for it . . . David (the adorable) Krumholtz and Milla (awesomeness) Jovovich. I know, not a pair that you would think would match well but they are a happy surprise and play well off one another. I rented this movie just to see how they would be paired and because I love David Krumholtz (not as much as the Hebrew Hammer guy or John Stewart). Also, Milla Jovovich is one of those totally fun and interesting actresses who never acts as though she cares what she is doing, but in a good way. It was really refreshing to see her in a role where she doesn't play someone who carry a high-powered weapon and kills for a living.

Date Movie
This was fun, as predicted, though not as funny as it would have been if I were 16. Alyson Hannigan is her usual charming self, completely comfortable looking ridiculous and she is all the better for this. Unlike many of these "spoof" movies, this one has a relatively well structured plot line that does not ask the audience to abandon disbelief too often. Still not totally satisfying, I blame the dumbing down of audiences for the death of clever "spoofing."

The DaVinci Treasure
Yep, you guessed it, this was a really stupid movie. It is not as though I was expecting anything more when I rented it, I guess it is my innocent hope that my low expectations will prove unfounded that led me to abandon my reason. Maybe I'm just not smart enough or stupid enough. You see, I believe that to enjoy this movie you either have to be so smart that you can make connections between seemingly unrelated plot twists and create a viable back-story without missing a beat. On the other hand if you are exceedingly stupid you may think this is the blockbuster hit The DaVinci Code, and be so distracted by the killing and the stealing of "artifacts" that they wouldn't notice the lack of an actual story.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

"Honey, we're pre-pregnant!"

So I was listening to my favorite radio station, NPR, while driving to teach another moron how to try to do something which they will never be capable of when I heard an interesting story on the segment "51%". Now, for those who do not know 51% is the NPR show about women and women's issues, it tends to have a radical bent which I appreciate. The story they reported on first concerned the issue of pre-pregnancy. For most women like myself, having ambition (no matter how unrealistic) and fear of commitment, the idea of becoming pregnant is unsettling to say the least; however, the idea that there is such a thing as pre-pregnant is horrifying.

The gist of the story is that the CDC has released new health guidelines for physicians treating women that recommends they behave as if a woman is constantly in a state of pre-pregnancy (unless she is actually pregnant). This means that from a woman's first period to menopause health advice should be given to a woman with the idea of protecting her future, imagined, perhaps never-to-be had fetus. The CDC is suggesting that doctors urge their female patients who are still menstruating to take folic acid, a supplement given to women who are trying to get pregnant, and that they are made aware of what alchohol and cigarette smoking may do to a fetus before they know they are pregnant.

Now, being that I am a relatively rational and reasonable person (when it suits) I read the CDC
abbreviated recommendations and the full pdf( http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5506a1.htm ) of recommendations and was not surprised at all that the story could be confirmed. In fact what was more troubling is that when I read the CDC( http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5506a1.htm )post to the public I thought that the reactions I had read were inflamatory because the language seemed so benign. Thankfully I clicked on the link to read all the recommendations which confirmed the stories for me.

In the report I heard on NPR the journalist reporting the story, Rebecca Tracer, noted that the tone of the CDC report made her think of Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale (every young girls favorite story about growing up). This certainly seems to be what the CDC was going for, brutal future world where women are only kept healthy for their ability to give birth to children. Well, the future is now kids and the fact that this report is the Bush administration's answer to high infant mortality rates is troubling. Recommending that physicians approach their female patients as potentially pregnant, whether or not they ever plan to get pregnant at all, will not mean that those low income women who have not received pre-natal care now will. In fact by recommending that women of child-bearing age (now potentially 11 - 60) take folic acid they are actually increasing the chances of her getting pregnant! Maybe some of us drink and smoke so that the one time we have sex every 5th leap year on the third revolution of the eighth wednesday on the years ending in 9 or 3 we don't get pregnant (condoms are only 99.9999% effective) or have to commit to a relationship.

Certainly, as Ms. Tracer notes, the recommendations are ones that should be made for everyone's health - to stop smoking, drink in moderation, take vitamins, and excercize - why can't doctors suggest such actions for our own benefit. Wouldn't resources from the CDC be better spent implementing plans for doctors to advise women on condom usage to control their own reproduction and limit their potential std exposure, their risk for heart disease, colon cancer, HPV ?! Certainly, if a woman wants to have a child she will apprize her physician of this information so he or she can give her health instructions but otherwise a doctor's focus should be on the patient in front of them (the one who is paying an increasingly high fee for their services) not the one that may or may not be theirs in nine months (or ever).