Monday, July 28, 2008

The Motion Picture Association of Fail

Today I was reading some user reviews for the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated. Just, you know, for fun.

The failures of grammar/humanity/logic present there are staggering. STAGGERING.

[Quick background for those who don’t know: this docu is about the MPAA and how incredibly secretive they are, and attempts to examine their standards for rating movies the way they do. The upshot of the whole thing is, no matter what your feelings on censorship, this mostly-anonymous group has WAY too much power. It’s a good film. You should see it.]


This reviewer gets off to a good start:

Kirby Dick is certainly preaching to the quire when I viewed his documentary that attempts to skewer the MPAA.

I know this is just a function of people using words and phrases without having the slightest idea what they mean or where they come from, but it’s still baffling to me. This is even worse than that omnipresent “sike!” It’s PSYCH, you bastards. Psych. Will USA’s moderately popular television series help drill this into people’s heads?

Anyway. He then goes on to ask why Dick didn’t “aggressively interview” members of the MPAA. Apparently he nodded off sometime during the movie and missed the fact that THEIR NAMES ARE KEPT SECRET, THE PEOPLE HE COULD CONTACT REFUSED TO TALK TO HIM, AND HE DID INTERVIEW SEVERAL FORMER MEMBERS. Wut.


Its original packaging, you say? HOW DO YOU KNOW?

DVD arrived in excellent condition, in original packaging.
Film is documentary about how films are rated.
Films are not rated in the manner you would think.


Apparently, there is a place for censorship, but not parental responsibility.

If you're a fan of one-sided, two dimensional teenage anti-establishment rant films like "The God Who Wasn't There," you might like this film. If you've ever read a book in your life, you won't. I say this as a long time liberal. There's a place for censorship, it's never perfect, but if you went with your 7 year old to see a film with some of these scenes in it, you'd wish they were edited out.


I don’t know if this guy is living in Veronia Mars land or whatever, but I think this is pretty typical of PIs in the real world.

Right off the bat I was kind of smirking to myself when I saw the private investigator he was working with. This woman didn't come off like a professional P.I. at all, more like a typical, nosy, next door neighbor armed with nothing more than a video camera and an online background check subscription.

This one complete with title…..some reviews need no further comment.

This review is G Rated - (couldn't get the PG-13 past the amazon women)

So, there is this Big Bad Wolf, MPAA, aka: studio penguins[suits]. They got a lock[monopoly] that they threaten Little Red Riding Hood[independents] with. If she gets past the lock, then the wolf has to go to grandma's house[consumer], eat her up, and pretend its for her own good.
Some would say this is a form of moral censorship. The industry would like to be quite open about it, but, unfortunately, because it is a secret, well, obviouly it just can't be discussed.
Enter the director, Kirby Dick, who hires a couple of bosum buddy dicks[detectives].
Presto! No more secrets! They literary dig into the trash of suspect members and the result IS HILARIOUS!!!
Remember Jack Valenti is very important. If you don't, well, he will remind you.
There is also an important discussion on Big Business, six I believe, companies that are attempting to control our culture by copyrights, money, political influence, etc., etc..
So for a informative, humorous, current events, etc., etc.,-


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Things Most People Like That I Don’t


Shakespeare. Language and literature evolve and change, and every day we stand in worship at the Bard’s feet is another day Arthur Miller doesn’t get his due. Seriously, by now we’ve all learned that Shakespeare pretty much just reworked old poems and stories for the stage. Yes, some of them are cool and fun, but he doesn’t deserve credit for creating the theater. Someone else would have done it if he didn’t.

Seinfeld. It’s not funny. If it were actually what it purported to be, a show about “nothing,” it might be entertaining. But it is about something: it’s about fucking ridiculous people who get themselves into circumstances that should not happen to anyone with a functioning brain. Actually, this premise works pretty well for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, so maybe it’s just that I hate the entire cast. Which I do, pretty much.

Olives. A lot of people across the country don’t like olives, but now that I live in a town that’s named after some place in Sicily, I am cursed to be surrounded by olives. I’ve spotted maybe four or five obviously Italian people since I moved here last spring, and I cannot believe that they, alone, require every grocery store to have an olive bar the size of an entire deli. It must be the mob. It must be.

‘80s Music. It’s in revival now, I think because kids who grew up with it are now adults and they control the universe. Someone needs to remind them all that ‘80s music is coke-fueled and sucks, no matter how much it reminds them of Mommy rocking them to sleep while they watched Pretty in Pink together. (Yes, there is some good ‘80s music. I actually enjoy being Rickrolled. But I don’t need to hear any more Duran Duran. Srsly.)

Texting. I get the appeal, sort of, but it’s really just another way to stay “wired in” as it were, you kids with your hula hoops and your Twitters. I guess texting somehow bridges the gap between calling and emailing; it’s a way to contact people immediately, but they can also easily ignore you. Personally, I call someone with urgent matters and email all the rest. So far, no need to spend 10 cents on a mutated text message that takes ten minutes to wrangle onto the screen.

Grand Theft Auto. Hey, I like games, and I’ve dipped my toe in the GTA waters occasionally. It’s okay. I just can’t figure out why IV is being hailed as OMG THE GREATEST THING EVER. Most of the voice acting is pretty abysmal, and after watching my boyfriend play hours and hours I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s basically an interactive subpar mafia film. Which is fine, but I’m not wetting my pants over it. Yes, the ads are funny, and yes, the animation is very good. But perfect? Nah.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Things with Wings

Note: This post was written at midnight, but I didn't publish it for some reason. Just imagine the time stamp says 12:00.

I think it can be universally agreed that there is nothing found in a typical WASP kitchen more disgusting than raw chicken breasts. They’re slimy, they’re fatty, they’re a sickly shade of grey/pink. They’re incredibly difficult to slice, although my kitchen scissors technique serves me pretty well. They’re just gross and evil.

Just moments ago, I pulled some chicken breasts out of the fridge to stick them in marinade. They’d been in there MAYBE five days, so it didn’t even occur to me that they might have gone south. But soon after opening the ziploc bag, that sickly, garbage, dog-fart smell hit me.

I should have just accepted it and moved on. I really should have. But instead, I brought them to my nose and sniffed.


They are now securely wrapped in the garbage, and my stomach is churning like a washing machine. The horror.batman300


Last night, around this time, we were packed in a theater surrounded by a bunch of nerds. There were several people in costume, including a few Batmen, a Harvey Dent, a Joker, and a Robin (dream on, little buddy). You guessed it: we saw Mamma Mia!

I apologize for the juvenile nature of that joke.

It was The Dark Knight, of course, and aside from being robbed of the opportunity to see a trailer for Watchmen, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. You can read more about the night here, or read my review of the movie.

I have to go vomit now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

And By the Way, Who is David?

Since I finally bought my wedding dress on Sunday, I wanted to share my experience of NOT buying a dress. Naturally, it happened at the center of all things unholy: David’s Bridal. Here is the post I made on a wedding-related Livejournal community shortly afterwards. (FMIL stands for Future Mother-in-Law.)

Mostly because my FMIL demanded it, I went to David's Bridal yesterday to try on dresses. I've pretty much decided to buy my dress from a local shop that specializes in proms, because they have a lot of designers that I like and are much cheaper since they cater to broke high school students rather than fanatical brides. But with my own mom shunning me for marrying an atheist (HE IS NOT A CHRISTIUNNNNAAAAH! etc.), FMIL has basically been a surrogate mother to me for the last year. Plus, she was paying for dinner. I couldn't say no!

We headed to the David's Bridal on Erie Blvd. in Syracuse. My first thought was OHMYGOD MIRRORS EVERYWHERE. I imagine that's common to all DBs, but it was very unnerving for someone who doesn't like to look at herself. Every time I rounded a corner, ME! I browsed the peripherals for a while, because I wasn't quite ready to plunge into dress shopping yet. They had a pretty paltry selection of shoes. I don't know how many lines they actually produce, but their s320x240 shoe section was small and they barely had anything in my size (9). Of course, each style of shoe fit VERY differently and none of them were comfortable. But that's pretty normal for me, Miss Widefoot.
Looking at the veils up close, they seemed like a massive ripoff. $120 for a pile of tulle on a comb? They sold some nice airy shawls for $20 that were actually made of a nicer material, so I got one in Apple and decided to make my own damn veil. TAKE THAT BRIDAL INDUSTRY.

The dress trying-on was inevitable. I picked out a few styles I liked, one in my street size and one in the next, just in case. Of course, you have to register to try on dresses. Why? Are they afraid you'll run off with it, veil sailing in the wind? The process was relatively painless, although when I told the employee that I had 4 bridesmaids, she immediately wrote in 4 groomsmen as well. We don't have groomsmen. We don't have any male attendants. Do they never get slightly offbeat weddings in their store, or what? It just seemed like an odd presumption to make.

I also had to give my bra size, which I accurately reported as 38C. Within a few moments, I found myself locked in a stuffy dressing room, surrounded by pounds of fabric. I was instructed to put on my shoes, THEN the corset, THEN the slip. I think. (This was wrong, as I later found out.) So I stripped down and started attempting to wrap the corset around myself. It was a no-go, unsurprisingly. Apparently, the undergarment industry doesn't believe in the existence of fat women, because OBVIOUSLY EVERYONE WITH A 38C HAS THE jordan_aka_katie_price_wedding_dress11 SAME SIZE STOMACH RIGHT? I don't. I ended up having to throw a few garments back on and yell for help, which came in the form of a bigger corset with a bra that was several cup sizes too big. Awesome.

The dresses were the same story - tight in the belly, big on top. Huge ego boost there. They assured me that alterations in the bust were no big deal, and that I was OH SO LUCKY to be tall enough that I wouldn't need a hem, which is the most expensive alteration for some reason. (Personally, if I were a seamstress, I'd rather do a hem than anything else. Diff'r'nt strokes.)

I didn't really like how the dresses looked on me, but it was fun to dress up as a bride with a saggy top for a while. I did get to see the tiara I was interested in, plus one of their ridiculously overpriced veils. (The shoes I picked were a living hell, and only lasted about 10 minutes before my Birkenstock feet needed a break.) My face was all pink and sweaty from struggling with the voluminous undergarments, but I WAS A BRIDE!!!11111eleventy!

I was happy to get back into my street clothes. I worked with a few of the salesladies, but the one I was around most often smelled strongly of acrid smoke - not typical "I just took a cigarette break" smoke, but more "I smoke every half hour when I'm at work and I've been wearing these clothes for five days in a row without washing them." It was just ugh. Her attitude was a little unprofessional, which I didn't mind so much, but I didn't really like it when she pointed out my giant hips. You know, "the reason we need to go a size up is because of her hips." Yeah, I know I'm fat. kthx. I know she meant zero offense, but it made me feel vulnerable while standing on a pedestal in front of dozens of strangers.

I do have to give her credit for not being too pushy. I told her I 8428994-peopleareshapes hadn't decided which dress I liked best, and she said she'd call me sometime. It was pretty painless to weasel out of buying something.
Overall, not a terrible experience, but not the Magical Fun Time that a lot of brides seem to have. I'm just not into the idea of dropping $700 on a dress that doesn't really look that great, and weighs 30 pounds. I'm kind of glad I didn't bring a camera...I know I looked awful.

Dinner was at Friendly's. Nothing but an A+ review there!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hell is Other People (‘s Laundry)

Many years ago, most land was owned by a small percentage of rich white males. If you weren’t fortunate enough to be a member of such a male’s family, or have a job that included a place to stay, you had to rent from one of these males. This tradition continued for many years, and eventually distilled down to modern apartment buildings that the owner visits maybe once a decade. You know, landladies used to cook breakfast for their tenants. I’m just saying.

On the positive side, renters are now afforded a large amount of independence. Getting a house and land of your own is no longer a laundry_21746_lg priority for many people, since an apartment is basically a mini-house that you can just leave when your lease is up, instead of trying to sell it for a fraction of the price you paid 15 years ago. If you find the right place, you can do whatever you want – paint, have pets, be loud and obnoxious a 3 in the morning, et cetera.

One problem, however, has yet to be solved: communal laundry.

In some, rare cases, renters get their own washer and dryer. But most don’t. Since everyone has to do laundry, and most people only need to do a few loads per week, it makes sense to team up. Like many apartment complexes, ours has a mini-laundromat in the basement. Three washers, three dryers. Since all the buildings are connected via the basement, in a complex series of underground tunnels, one has the ability to use another building’s machine in the event of overcrowding or malfunction.

Today, I decided it was time to venture into the dark. Both of our couches are extremely old and ratty hand-me-downs, not that I am complaining, because they were free. And, as far as we know, not infested with fleas or diseases. But it was pretty much imperative to cover them up with something, since they looked like hell and smelled strongly of Chef Boyardee.

So, we have two couch covers. And now that we have a dog, they smell like rotten chicken and are covered in hair. It’s imperative to wash them at least once every few weeks, and since we’ve got family coming over to dogsit during the midnight showing of the The Dark Knight, I felt the place should have some usable seating.

So, I stripped off the covers and headed down to the basement.

When I reached the machines, I saw that all three washers were marked with a neat sticky-note that stated something like:

Flashes once THREE TIMES “choose cycle” called Mac Gray 7/12/08

I don’t know what the hell is going on. Although it’s quite possible that this person is insane, I really don’t want to take the chance of it stealing my $1.75 and refusing to go. So, I decide to take a little journey to the adjacent laundry room.Laundry-Posters

I should mention at this point that our basement is creepy as fuck. Not the actual laundry part, really; it’s a little dirty, and there is a mysterious storage room filled with random household items and possibly the jarred head of one of Hannibal Lecter’s victims, but other than that, no biggie. It’s when you start to venture into the pathways that connect the buildings…

Pipes cover the ceiling. Scratch that, they ARE the ceiling. In some places, they’re so low that anyone over 5’ would have to hunch over to avoid a concussion. Cobwebs are everywhere. The hallways are dank and narrow, and lined with mysterious unlabelled doors. I think my actual worst nightmare would be getting stuck down there in a power outage. I should really start carrying a flashlight.

Some rooms have gas meters on the walls, others have cable connections hanging precariously from the ceiling. Others are eerily empty. Since I’ve traveled between this building and the next before, I wasn’t too freaked out; I just made my way calmly to the next laundry room, basket in tow.

All three washers are filled with clothes. Two are running, and one has completed its last cycle. I have no way of knowing how long it has been. And so the conundrum begins.

Is it my right to remove this person’s laundry and leave it in a wet lump on top of the machine? For all I know, the cycle ended five minutes ago and the person is on their way down the stairs as we speak. What if, horror of horrors, they CATCH ME REMOVING THEIR CLOTHES?


Then again, maybe it ended an hour ago and this person isn’t coming back for days. Yes, it’s happened – I once removed a person’s clothes from the dryer, reusable sanitary pads and all, and set it on top of the machines. Where it remained. For about a week.

(On a side note, can we pass an edict that people with communal laundry systems PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT USE CLOTH SANITARY NAPKINS? Highlight of website: 100% money back guarantee. Try our pads for yourself for 3 months - if you aren't completely satisfied with their performance - return your pads for a 100% refund (excludes postage). I don’t know about you, but I would NOT work in that Customer Service department.)

I really have no idea what to do in this situation. If a single person has decided to use all three laundry machines at once, then they deserve to have their clothes in a wet lump. In fact, they deserve much worse than that. But what if I come back down to find a note reading, “HEY ASSHOLE, I AM SO SORRY THAT YOU WERE IN SUCH A HURRY THAT YOU COULDN’T WAIT FIVE MINUTES FOR ME TO COME GET MY CLOTHES…HAVE A NICE LIFE! P.S. I PUT POISONOUS SNAKES IN YOUR LAUNDRY, ENJOY.” Chances are, this person doesn’t realize that there are no other available machines in the general area, and I really had no choice but to do what I did.

So, I decided to venture beyond the two laundry rooms with which I am familiar…into the great beyond.

I found: mysterious doors, cobwebs, a giant rusty water tank, and a room that contained a wicker bench with a hurricane lamp sitting on it. I did not enter this room.

At this point, I decided to give up and return to Laundry Room #2. I had now given this person ample time to return for his or her laundry, and I couldn’t wait around any longer.

Pulse racing, I dug the sopping clothes out of the washer and piled them all on top of the adjacent machine. I shoved my own laundry in, poured in detergent, slammed the door, and chose my cycle….and ran.

I’m afraid to go back. But I have to. I have to.

Hey, all you wonderful hip young people with communal laundry rooms – here are some tips to keep in mind. It’ll keep us all healthy and happy.

1. I am truly sorry if, for some reason, you had no choice but to let your laundry pile up for several months. However, no matter how many loads of laundry you need to get done OH MY GOD RIGHT NOW, please for the love of God do not use more than two machines at a time, AT THE VERY MOST. Unless you have a laundromat with like 50 machines, in which case, go nuts.

2. Keep track of your goddamn laundry. Now, if you are running two-three loads simultaneously, despite my advice, you had better set a kitchen timer and be down there at THE EXACT MOMENT when the laundry is done. But if you are using one machine like a reasonable person, you should still be considerate, especially at peak times – evenings, weekends, et cetera. Don’t start a load if you can’t be back to check it at the proper time. Or, do your laundry at 3 in the morning and don't worry about it.

3. If you are not able to keep an eye on your laundry, leave a basket with it. The odds of someone stealing your basket are fairly low, plus they cost about $2 so you can just buy a new one. Leaving a basket with your clothes ensures that the next person to use the machine will have somewhere to put them, rather than in a pile on top of the machine.

4. If you are a paranoid schizophrenic, please refrain from leaving incoherent notes on the washing machines. Also, take your pills.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Recipes for Lazy People: Catalina Stew

Hopefully, this will become a regular feature on my blog.


A crock pot

3-4 potatoes

small package of stew beef

1 small onion

3 carrots

1.5-2 bottles of Sweet Honey Catalina salad dressing

Chop and mix. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low. Enjoy.

P.S. I cannot even begin to tell you how glad I am that Amazon does NOT offer used salad dressing.

Because There Are Other People in the World, Okay?

I’ve finally put my finger on something that’s been bothering me for a while. This blog has languished while I lacked in time and inspiration, but I’m back in full force now and I have plenty to rant about.

The internet is a haven for pretty much any opinion under the sun, and often, these opinions clash. Argument after argument has made many of us defensive, and I’m just as guilty as anyone else. But, I implore you, gentle readers – if you find yourself about to use the phrase “I don’t understand,” please stop and think about what you really mean.

In my travels on the blogosphere, the only thing that makes me more sick than the word “blogosphere” is seeing things like this:

“I have no interest in seeing the Saw series, and I just don’t understand why they keep making them.”

16_tila3_lgl “I was forced to watch Hellboy last night, and I just don’t understand why they are making a second one!”

“Why does Quentin Tarantino keep ripping off ‘70s movies? Why can’t he do something original? I don’t understand!”


I get it, I do. People are pretty much being hyperbolic; they do see the obvious answer, which is, “it makes money.” They’re questioning something a little deeper than that – the integrity of those who produce these things, and the integrity of those who like them.

In some cases, their righteous indignation is warranted. Some things are objectively sleazy and terrible, such as the latter-day “____ Movie” franchise, and Tila Tequila. But when you are making judgements about a well-loved series like Saw without having seen more than a few frames of the movies, at what point do you have to stop and realize what you’re doing?

Yes, things exist that you do not enjoy. Some people like them. If you truly cannot comprehend this, please seek mental help, and more importantly, stop blabbering about what you don’t like. Unless you have something intelligent to say, don’t say anything at all.*

* Yeah, right. This is the internet.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

99 Bottles of Beer

The Plan: Quickly rinse and throw some dishes in the sink to soak in lovely, piping hot water and apple-scented Dawn. Wipe down counter. Sweep floor in preparation for mopping.

The Execution: Quickly rinse dishes, discovering that, for some reason, the garbage smells like rancid tuna and tin. WE JUST ATE THE TUNA A FEW HOURS AGO. WTF. Grumble to self about this issue while attempting to wrestle pile of dishes into the sink. Task  3069 finally completed, proceed to clear floor of objects that impede sweeping. Pick up partially empty six-pack of Labatt Blue, used for a delicious sausage and potato recipe and whenever I feel like cooking something in beer. Balance precariously on crossbeam of table, for some reason.


Luckily, just one bottle broke. Casualties included about half a roll of paper towels, the cardboard carrier for the beer, the box for a case of root beer that was nearby, and my sanity. You see, this was not the first mishap of the day.

Earlier, just before my fiancĂ© left for work, he was engaged in a particularly spirited tug o’ war with our dog. They were using her favorite toy, a Woot Monkey. It was all fun and games until one of those “slingshot-like rubber arms” snapped back and hit Coco in the eye.

Initially frightened, she quickly made a full emotional recovery as only animals can. Her humans were a little more frightened; I tested the affected eye with a flashlight to find the pupil properly responsive, though she wouldn’t keep it open all the way. As the evening progressed, Mike called regularly to check on Coco’s status. I Googled, and we debated the need for a trip to the emergency vet (and the possibility of affording it).

Meanwhile, Coco snoozed peacefully, completely unaware that she was the center of so much anxiety. After about an hour, I woke her up to check on her eye.

Picture 1231She looked up, blinked, and both eyes came blissfully open as if nothing had happened. I examined further; all swelling was gone, and aside from some goop in the corner and a slight bloodshot tint, the eyes were identical. A few hours later, the goop was expelled and the eye itself looked much clearer.

There was much rejoicing.

The quick recovery alleviated my fears as only a quick recovery can. I sought solace from pet owners on the internet, but that didn’t go too well. As it turns out, lots of people on the internet will make you feel like you are a Bad Person for not taking your pet to the emergency hospital for something that is, quite clearly, not an emergency. The conversations usually go like this:

“My dog got hit in the eye. She seems okay, but it’s a little swollen. Can this wait until Monday?”


“I really can’t take her to the emergency vet tonight. I don’t have money or a car. I know eye injuries can be serious, but she seems to be recovering just fine.”


“Look, trying to make me panic isn’t going to change the fact that I CANNOT TAKE HER TO THE VET RIGHT NOW. Can someone just tell me if this is likely to be a serious problem, given the detailed information I have provided?”


Oh, there is a possibility that she could go blind from being hit in the eye with some fabric? That changes EVERYTHING, I’ll just walk the five miles to the emergency vet and pull the $94 exam fee out of my ass!

Sometimes I hate the internet.

Anyway, all is well now. Except the trash smells like rancid tuna, tin, AND cheap beer.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Truth, Justice, and the Right to Spam

Well, it’s the fourth of July. Time for barbecuing, lemonade, fireworks, being forced to talk to your extended family members, et cetera…

I’m celebrating by working, as usual. When you freelance, there is never a day off – something always needs doing. The internet is worldwide, so business hours never end. On the plus side, you can drink whenever you want.

Speaking of controlled substances, I dyed my hair red and blue for the holiday. Well, in streaks. Mostly because I didn’t want to get hair dye all over my skin and I don’t care what anybody says, putting conditioner or vaseline on your skin does not prevent staining.

Picture 1099 Picture 1100

We are taking a picnic to a local park today. It has a double purpose, because someday soon, we might take pictures for our wedding invitations there. Hopefully. I have left the planning of this in the hands of my fiancé, who, being a man, does not understand that weddings need to be planned more than three days in advance.

One final note to those who might be taking road trips for the holiday: before you head out, see if your local toy or novelty store has one of these babies in stock. It is endlessly entertaining, and amazingly clairvoyant. Before long, you’ll be smashing it open to see where it keeps its brain.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Shamu, The Mysterious Whale

Every time we go to the vet, we manage to spend upwards of $400 on medications, preventative pills and drops, vaccinations, something called a “biohazard disposal fee,” etc. etc… and that’s with a healthy dog. We’ll end up selling a kidney if she ever actually needs the vet.

Picture 1079 I can’t complain too much about flea prevention, because fleas make my life hell. And heartworms? Well, that sounds awfully unpleasant. Anything for our little girl!

And, of course, allergy treatments. Benadryl twice daily isn’t so bad; we buy the store brand and Coco happily takes her pills wrapped in cheese with little fuss. But then there’s the prescription ear drops, and the cleaning, and the possibility of having to put her on an even more premium food. Is Innova at $50/bag in our future? Please God no. (And no thank you, Mr. Vet, I will not buy Hill’s prescription foods that they pay you to promote. Hill’s makes Science Diet, which, despite the name, is like feeding your dog McDonald’s every day. I can read an ingredients list as well as you can. Yes, I know that “most over the counter dog foods have the same ingredients.” Our food doesn’t. Shut up.)

When it comes to the medical profession, I’ve always had a healthy dose of suspicion. It’s a far cry from paranoia – it’s just that I don’t trust doctors to be supergeniuses, and so far it has served me pretty well. Like everyone else, vets are in business to earn money, and if Hill’s pays them to promote their products, well…

I can do the research and surround myself with dog people who aren’t in it for the money, but for the love of animals. I can find out what’s up. I can learn the common allergens and go out of my way to buy food that will keep Coco healthy. Picture 1089

Like most doctors, vets don’t bother to promote a truly healthful diet because a) it’s expensive and b) ultimately, it might not have an appreciable effect on your overall well-being. Most humans eat like crap, and most dogs eat like crap, but thanks to modern medicine we’re all living WAY past our natural life expectancy. I can’t really criticize vets for not insisting on premium foods; just please, trust me when I say I’m feeding my dog well. Because I am.

Ultimately, the most entertaining part of our visit was the Sarah Silverman soundalike who kept whining to the receptionist about how she lived OH SO FAR AWAY and COULDN’T GET OUT OF WORK EARLY and DID SHE REALLY HAVE TO COME BACK IN SEVEN DAYS. Hey, perky? Are there seriously no veterinary practices closer than an hour and forty minutes away? Because, if there are, then you really don’t have any right to complain.

And a special brand of hostility goes out to the person who called the vet while we were in the waiting room, asking if s/he could have his/her puppy’s ears docked. Not cool, buddy. Not cool.

2008: The Year for Movies

Yes, I am excited for The Dark Knight. I don't care if that makes me EXACTLY THE SAME as five billion other people on the internet. I am a fangirl.

Batman Begins was far from my Movie of the Year; I thought it took itself far too seriously, considering that it was about a man who dresses up in a giant rubber fetish suit. While it was a welcome rBatslap.thumbnailelief from the utter goofiness of the Tim Burton / Joel Schumacher reign, it swung too far in the other direction. Plus, Ra's al Ghul? Talk about your obscure villains. He's right up there with the Toymaker (Real name: Cosmo Krank. Seriously.)

Now, we're down to the villain to end all Batman villains, even considering that there are approximately 85 of them. The Joker is everybody's favorite. There is always something sinister about his jovial demeanor, even in the silliest of plots. And Heath Ledger, according to all reports, is takin' it to the max.

Alan Moore's Joker origin story, The Killing Joke, is one of my all-time favorite comic book stories. The man can weave a tale. And though we've been told that no Joker origins will be shown in The Dark Knight, it makes the character that much richer for me. To know that he was once a struggling comedian who fell in with the wrong crowd - what a story.

But The Dark Knight is a few weeks away. I'm considering seeing Hellboy II inbetween then and now, because I liked the first one and this one is supposed to be even better.

Today, Netflix served up Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs. I was never a rabid fan of the show - I didn't even watch it when it was on, but when I finally caught it on DVD, I enjoyed the series. I never found it as consistently funny as, say, early Family Guy - but then I was never a Simpsons fan either. Oddly enough, the few dramatic/tearjerking episodes were actually some of the strongest. (God damn you, The Sting. God damn you.)

Bender's Big Score, the previous direct-to-DVD feature, certainly could have been worse. It was stronger than Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, but nowhere near The Simpsons Movie. If you looked at it as being a long episode of the show, it was perfectly serviceable.

Personally, I felt The Beast... improved upon the previous installment. It seemed more cohesive and was certainly more compelling, story-wise, with roughly the same number of laughs. With the titular creature, Yivo, as a metaphor for Christianity, there were certainly a few "hmm" moments (as well as some witty jabs disguised as humor - of course).

I won't go into a detailed summary, because this post is long enough already. I do recommend The Beast... to Futurama fans, who hopefully will not be disappointed and upset at me for personally steering them wrong. I'M SORRY! WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

No, I Will Not Have American Cheese At My Wedding

Do you know what our problem is, as a society, these days? Too many choices. Choices are what you get after you banish tradition and ceremony, and decide to forge your own path. Freedom is great, but it’s also kind of a burden.

Never has this been more true than in the planning of my wedding. After reading The Offbeat Bride: Taffeta-Free Alternatives for Independent Brides by Ariel Stallings, I decided once and for all that I didn’t want a poofy, flower-laden, whitewashed, fairy tale wedding. I just wanted to get married, and to have a party to celebrate it. Never a part of the marriage-obsessed female culture, I just wanted to have fun.

But my transformation into an offbeat bride didn’t happen overnight. There was a time when I wouldn’t hear of canned soda or pizza at my wedding, but I’ve found that it’s better to just relax and not worry about people’s perceptions. I’ve gradually come to accept that a wedding doesn’t need to have flowers, an open bar, or a DJ who insists on playing at least one of the songs on your “PLEASE DO NOT PLAY THIS IT MAKES MY EARS BLEED” list.

The weddings featured on Ariel’s blog have been an ongoing source of inspiration. This recent affair is one of my favorites, even if a polka-dot dress isn’t really in the works for me. I like to pick and choose my favorite elements and mentally collage them into My Perfect Day.

But once you open the floodgates of Offbeat Brideism, there really is no going back. Everything must be questioned. Do you want to walk down the aisle, or enter by trapeze? Do you want to throw your bouquet, or hand it off to your lesbian relatives as a sociopolitical statement about marriage equality? Do you want to have a cake cutting, or a donut fight?

I truly believe that traditional brides have an easier time of it, just floating along on prefabricated clouds of Weddingness. They question nothing, and therefore have a script already written for them.

Speaking of scripts, I really should get back to writing my ceremony. But before I do, I’d like to share a few of my hard limits when it comes to my wedding. As flexible as I’ve been, these are things I simply will not entertain.

1. American cheese.

2. Our dog as ringbearer.

3. Stiletto heels.

4. Anyone asking me “so, why aren’t your parents here?”

5. Favors in tiny plastic swans.

6. Uncomfortable shoes.

7. Wire hangers. (j/k, j/k.)

Because you have to draw the line somewhere.