Saturday, July 30, 2011

I guess we'll keep doing this 'til I get sick of it (never) or you get sick of it (more plausible)

Though I am covered in mosquito bites and itching like mad, I am trying to corral my attention long enough to bring you more of my favorite characters from some of my favorite movies. Though honestly, I could use a beer. And a lot of calamine lotion. Oh, how I suffer for my "art."

Allison Janney as "Loretta" in Drop Dead Gorgeous

Amber Atkins: Loretta, never have kids.
Loretta: Oh, honey, God bless ya for thinking I still could.

Can we all go ahead and agree that Allison Janney, with very few exceptions (if any), is fantastic in everything? She was what I wish real press secretaries were in West Wing, and it's not fair that we can't just make her the honorary press secretary for life. But in Drop Dead Gorgeous she really shines, even though her role is a small supporting character and she's teased out like every trailer trashy lush you've ever seen.

Besides the fact that the movie itself is hilarious and everyone is perfectly cast (even Kirsten Dunst, can you believe it???) and it was filmed before Kirstie Alley had all her weight problems, it's a great addition to the mockumentary genre. A documentary crew follows the contestants of a local midwestern teen beauty pageant where the girls competing are "mysteriously" bumped off or maimed or sabotaged during the weeks before and during the competition. Janney plays Loretta, the boozed up whore with a heart of gold that is Ellen Barkin's best friend and like a second mother to Kirsten Dunst in their trailer park paradise. You'll love Janney, if for no other reason than watching her hit on every guy that walks by (with some success) and smoke and drink and apply eyeshadow all at the same time.

Val Kilmer as "Gay Perry" in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Perry: [to the audience] Thanks for coming, please stay for the end credits, if you're wondering who the best boy is, it's somebody's nephew, um, don't forget to validate your parking, and to all you good people in the Midwest, sorry we said "fuck" so much.

Unfortunately, I lost this movie in the great breakup dividing of the stuff, and I lament every day that I didn't watch it more frequently. This movie is another example of how the Oscars are total bullshit: the script, the acting, the storyline, everything about this movie is laced with cocaine and awesomeness. Fresh out of rehab, this was one of the first films to really breathe life back into Robert Downey Jr.'s career, and to say he takes the bull by it's horns and makes it his bitch would be an understatement. However, some people may have overlooked the fact that this movie was made at a time where everyone had forgotten about Val Kilmer because he was doing a bunch of unpublicized (i.e. crappy) movies and had gotten chubby. He's still pretty chubby, and that makes me sad, but it doesn't change the fact that the man can act. He went to Julliard's school for drama, man!

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a noir mystery amped up about forty notches, and chugging along is chunky Val Kilmer as "Gay Perry" (to distinguish him from some other Perry). A lot of you are familiar with Downey Jr.'s talent for fast-paced and snarky dialogue; well, not only does Kilmer keep pace, but his character actually gets quite a few zingers in over Downey's.

And yes, that's a tiny gun that Gay Perry keeps hidden by his balls. You know. Just for situations like the one up in that picture.

Dustin Hoffman as "The Conscience" in The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc

The Conscience: Who are you to even think that you can know the difference between good and evil?

Of all the movies that have been made about Joan of Arc, I personally think that this is one of, if not the, best. Besides the breathtaking cinematography and creative editing and oh. my. lawd. the hairdo's, Milla Jovavich is perfectly cast as the saintly soldier who might have just been a crazy peasant girl. While imprisoned at the end of the film, this possibility and her own understanding of God and her mission are explored with the introduction of Dustin Hoffman in a black cloak and his very reasonable voice.

Can we get this guy to do books on tape, like, forever?

Ben Whishaw as "Jean-Baptiste Grenouille" in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Narrator: In the period of which we speak, there reigned in the cities a stench barely conceivable to us modern men and women. Naturally, the stench was foulest in Paris, for Paris was the largest city in Europe. And nowhere in Paris was that stench more profoundly repugnant than in the city's fish-market. It was here then, on the most putrid spot in the whole kingdom, that Jean-Baptiste Grenouille was born on the 17th of July, 1738. It was his mothers fifth birth, she delivered them all here under her fish-stand, and all had been stillbirths or semi-stillbirths. And by evening the whole mess had been shoveled away with the fish-guts into the river. It would be much the same today, but then... Jean-Baptiste chose differently.

This is a slight change; as you can see, I chose a quote from the narrator instead of the character because, well, he doesn't actually have a whole lot of lines. Yet through Whishaw's body language, he creates a character, a murderer, that is all at once creepy and obsessive and heartbreakingly sympathetic. Gifted with an olfactory sense beyond anyone's in history, yet cursed with no scent of his own and the lowest of the low social statuses in 1700's France, Grenouille becomes obsessed with capturing and preserving the scent of beauty (or beautiful women's souls or summat, it's a little fuzzy on that point), which unfortunately means murdering ladies and soaking their dead bodies in vats of oils.

And instigating a city-wide orgy.

I will warn you ahead of time, the accents in this movie are pretty much bullshit. It's supposed to take place in France, but these are British actors and then you have Dustin Hoffman trying to do an Italian accent. The Hoff can do many things, but apparently an Italian accent is not one of them. But if you can make yourself not care, everything else about this movie is achingly beautiful and haunting. This is especially true of Whishaw's performance (though it is a difficult name to get used to saying out loud. "WHI-shaw" "Whi-SHAW" "WHISH-aw" Just weird).

Though I have yet to see Bright Star where Whishaw plays poet John Keats in the story of his love affair with seamstress Fanny Brawne before he tragically died of pneumonia at 25 (bring the kerchiefs, ladies), I have no doubt that Whishaw is a man to keep an eye on.

Sexy poses included.

Mickey Rourke as "Marv" in Sin City

Cardinal Roark: Will that bring you satisfaction, my son? Killing a helpless, old, fart?
Marv: Killing? No. No satisfaction. Everything up until the killing, will be a gas.

I probably love this movie way more than I should. There's a lot to object to, no doubt. All the women are unrealistic, gorgeous waifs that embody the virginal whore stereotype. Gratuitous use of violence and nut squeezings. Not getting to see all of Rosario Dawson's breasts.

But, there's a lot to love about this movie, and one of my personal favorites is Marv. He's so fucking crazy, but with a noble purpose and lots of medical tape. Even though Mickey's got a big mouth and a face that's been beaten more times than my grandmother's welcome mat, he's a pretty danged good actor, especially in the "tough-guy" genre. Man, in "The Expendables," when he started to cry, I started to cry. But seeing him kill the everliving hell out of a bunch of bad guys is pretty awesome too.

Dudes, I was working on this all weekend while dogsitting for my boss, and then totally forgot to finish and post it, like a goddamned spaz. Ah, me.

More stuff, shuttling down the pike, at the speed of a greased up sloth.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In which I talk about my feelings.

Personal time: I broke up with my boyfriend of 6 years roughly two years ago. It was a good decision, and though it sucked pretty hardcore at the time (especially since we still lived together), we were good enough friends that we moved past it and are still really close. After all, we've seen each other naked.

So after we broke up, I was all, "Cool, it's just going to be raining dicks now, right? I'm going to make up for all that time I was in a monogamous relationship, and really LIVING life like those wonderful skags on Sex and the City, right?"


Sure, there was a story or two to titter over with the girls, but nothing that led to anything more extreme than some heavy petting. That's what the old folks call it, right? Heavy petting? Is that over the clothes or under the clothes?


I forgot to mention the six-month on-and-off game of cat and mouse with an emotionally retarded asshole that I used to see back in the day, a game which I ultimately lost, but that's probably because I've tried block it out and pretend it never happened.

I wish this was the reason it didn't end well.

In order to "get back out there," back into the dating game, which, incidentally, I never really played, I joined a dating website. At first, I was all, "Oh man, look at all these cute dudes living in my town, they've got jobs and hobbies and like the same movies I do!" But as each cautious attempt to connect with these guys was met with silence, or worse, awkward meetings where I did all the talking, I have become more and more cynical about actually meeting someone who I respect and don't find pretentious or boring. Or who isn't in a relationship already. Or married. Or has a kid. Can you be simultaneously desperate and picky?

I'm usually so decisive...

What I've come to realize is that, much to my own chagrin, I'm going to have to be okay with myself, by myself, for a while. Ugh. What a prospect.

This is going to be a ridiculously difficult project; life already has me pretty pissed off, what with the traffic ticket and getting fired from one of my jobs, two things that were simultaneously my fault and did not have to be taken to that extreme conclusion. These incidents have left me feeling a lot of moral outrage, but have also nearly crippled my sense of self-worth, the little that I had left after graduating with a useless degree and $15,000 of debt. It's a mean little voice that asks why I can't seem to handle real-life situations without doing it wrong and also cruelly implies that I will never get off my parents' couch.

I had so many dreams...

I'm just shy of accepting the impending spinsterhood, and have already planned on which shelters I'm going to adopt my eight cats and three dogs from. My only hope?

Or it would be if the dude Terry McMillan wrote about didn't divorce her and claim to be gay.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dudes! and Dudettes!

I'm down to one job again, so maybe I'll have more time for content on this alleged blog? I'm going to try! And maybe sell some ad space? If I can get enough traffic? I don't know, guess this a "wait and see" kind of thing. But! Thanks for sticking with me as much as you've been able considering my broken promises and post lapses. I miss blogging, and I can see that in everyday life my grasp on the English language is deteriorating faster than a wet sandwich in the sun.

So here's hoping!

Hugs and punches,


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Forgive me if this post is a little wiggy, I'm kind of punchy from lack of food. But more fun-filled characters from your favorite films and mine.

"M-O" in WALL-E

WALL-E: [M-O has finished cleaning a severely damaged WALL-E, who strains to give a handshake] WALL-E.
M-O: [M-O scrubs WALL-E's hand, then shakes it] M-O.
[M-O reverts to his box form]
WALL-E: [pause] M-O?
M-O: M-O.
WALL-E: [another pause] M-O.

M-O, the disgruntled, obsessive-compulsive neat-freak bot whose diminutive size barely contains his bubbling rage at everyone dirtying up his freshly cleaned floors. But he is tiny, and things are cuter in miniature. Go ahead, try it. Tiny elephant? Itty bitty furniture? Teensy weensy George Clooney? You see that I'm right.

"Officer Slater" (Bill Hader) and "Officer Michaels" (Seth Rogen) in Superbad

Fogell: What's it like to have a gun?
Officer Michaels: It's like having two cocks. If one of your cocks could kill someone.

We the public have a love/hate relationship with cops. Their service to a perilous, under-rewarded job is appreciated when say, the meth lab down the street goes tits up and there are strung-out psychos in the yard waving razor blades. But when that one dick cop pulls you over and gives you a $160 ticket for rolling through a stop sign at a deserted intersection at three in the morning, well. It's this odd dichotomy of reverence, authority, and dickitude that lends itself to hilarious hijinks in one of my favorite movies, Superbad. In a wild last hurrah for two high school buddies and a McLovin', these two officers make it the night of a lifetime. You should watch this movie, if for no other reason than to watch them all unloading shotguns and grenades into their totaled police cruiser.

Nick Frost as "PC Danny Butterman" in Hot Fuzz

Danny Butterman: So what made you want to become a policeman?
Nicholas Angel: Officer.
Danny Butterman: What made you want to become a policeman-officer?

Everyone has that one friend, the lovable, goofy dumbass. If you don't, you need to quickly go out and get one. He's loyal, always down for a pint or twelve after work, and has a fantastic collection of buddy-cop movies. He may not always be able to follow everything you say, but he'll nod and be incredibly supportive. Besides, who else would you want to fire your gun into the air with and go "AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH"?

Julie Brown as "Candy" in Earth Girls Are Easy

[from the song "'Cause I'm A Blonde"]
Candy: I just want to say that being chosen as this month's Miss August is like a compliment I'll remember for as long as I can. Right now I'm a freshman in my fourth year at UCLA, but my goal is to become a veterinarian, because I love children.

This was a hard choice between Julie and Michael McKean's "Woody," but she just so trashy fabulous, and the writer/singer of most of the fantastically Valley girl musical numbers, I couldn't deny her a spot. Yes, there's a weirdly sexy rubbery Jim Carey from his days on In Living Color and Jeff Goldblum at the height of his hotness, but Julie Brown's bubbly tits and canned margaritas MAKE that movie. And make me wish I was a nail specialist with themed outfits that matched my nails living it up in the Valley in 1988.

And a fantastic rack.

Dang, kids, that was a post I guess! Hang in there for the next set!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Why? I dunno, nothing better to do?

A while back Patton Oswalt, funny-man and hobbit, had a list of his hundred favorite movie moments. Of course, there are lots of obscure film-lovers kind of films on there, but the idea was intriguing. I tried to make my own list, and realized I was a consummate failure at all things planned and organized, so I thought maybe I'd take a different horse track altogether (but not really).

Instead of favorite movie moments, I thought I'd go with favorite movie characters, something I'm sure others have done, but I haven't, so put on some popcorn and take a walk down filmatic memory lane with me.

Peter Falk's "Grandpa" in The Princess Bride

The Grandson: A book?
Grandpa: That's right. When I was your age, television was called books. And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father. And today I'm gonna read it to you.
The Grandson: Has it got any sports in it?
The Grandpa: Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...
The Grandson: Doesn't sound too bad. I'll try to stay awake.
The Grandpa: Oh, well, thank you very much, very nice of you. Your vote of confidence is overwhelming.

Picking a favorite character from this movie is nearly impossible, because, let's face it, it's the perfect movie. I don't think I have yet to meet a person who's all, "Meh, I guess it was alright, you know, it's no Chronicles of Riddick," and if I did meet that person I would probably later be arrested for manslaughter.

But to choose one character out of all the fantastic, close-to-everyone's-heart, characters may be doing a disservice to the movie, BUT. I have always loved and been comforted by the Grandpa, the narrator of the story. He is how everyone wishes their grandpa was: salt and pepper moustache, fedora, tweed jacket, glasses. It would only have been maybe slightly more perfect if he'd been puffing on a pipe. His voice is soothing, sort of rumbly, softening the ending syllables like a kitten landing on a carpet. He gives the love story a certain sincerity that even the most cynical of us can't deny; it's his belief in the impossible tale of Wesley and Buttercup that gives their story credence.

Rik Mayall as "Drop Dead Fred" in Drop Dead Fred

Fred: You see when something's not working right, the best thing to do is tear it apart to make it better.

Thank god for Daniel Tosh for throwing out a Drop Dead Fred reference randomly on his show, and reminding me of one of my favorite movies of all time. This is probably where my secret love affair with gingers started, and the only reason why it also doesn't hold the genesis of my love of a British accent is because David Bowie got there first.

Why I love this character: This is how clever gross-out comedies SHOULD be done, but more often than not, aren't. TAKE A GODDAMN HINT, FARRELLY BROTHERS. A girl's childhood imaginary friend who loves snot and poo is locked up in a jack-in-the-box until she accidentally releases him years later as a neurotic, timid, low self-esteemed adult with a domineering mother and cheating husband. WACKY ANTICS ENSUE (including the sinking of a houseboat!). The silliness and grossness of Fred perfectly encapsulates how silly and gross we were as kids; I like to think I still uphold the tradition.

Also, this:

Natalie Dee knows what's up with this movie.

More to come, stick with me if you can. Also, comments, suggestions, bring 'em on.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What part of "child beauty pageant" sounds like a good idea?

A wee bit ago I was watching TV waiting for my mum to come home and a program called Toddlers & Tiaras came on TLC. My mother arrived shortly after the show began, and we both stood there, jaws agape, for about thirty minutes or so before Mom cracked and said, "Change the fucking channel, please."

If you can't guess, this is a show about child beauty pageants, an institution that is probably responsible for a significant percentage of women walking around today that get on my last goddamned nerve.

This is a subject that I could go on and on and on for hours about, but I'll try to sum up my points and not use too much profanity (but just go ahead and come to terms with the fact that there will be a lot of it).

POINT ONE: Every mother I've ever seen involved in child beauty pageants is clearly BATSHIT

This isn't about me at all, it's all about her having fun and knowing I'm- I mean, she's a WINNER. And PRETTY. TELL ME I'M PRETTY.

You know what's a great idea? Investing thousands of dollars and hours of your time into a competition for children, and not only that, but a competition that is reliant on how cute other people find your kid.

I'm sorry, I couldn't stop laughing for about a full minute.

That's right, ladies, pin all your hopes and dreams on your snotty, high-pitched, tantrum-prone, ADD-ridden child and ride their coattails all the way to one of those competitions three counties over where the dinner buffet is free and you can take home a rhinestone crown and bouquet of flowers that cost a tenth of what you spent on gas to get there.

In the particular episode I watched, a woman stated that the only reason she had a daughter (after having three sons) was to enter her in pageants so she could become Miss America (the daughter, not the mom, just to clarify). Her daughter was fifteen months old at the time of taping, and had already learned how to send the pedophiles into a masturbatory frenzy by blowing kisses and "backin' that thang up." That baby totally is not going to grow up to be known as Cindy Swallows.

POINT TWO: Creepers abound

Child beauty pageants are catnip to pedophiles. Little girls made up to look like miniature (terrifying) adults, prancing around in little costumes and bikinis, blowing kisses and acting as coquettish as these little Lolitas can.

"Hey soldiah boy!"

Because we need more reasons for pedo's to think, "She's totally asking for me to lure her with candy and puppies into my unmarked paneled van for inappropriate touchings."

Seriously, every low-level beauty pageant I've ever seen takes place in some hotel's conference hall and the only people in the audience are the kids' mothers, the judges (oddly effeminate men and pinched, sour-faced women) and a few suspiciously out-of-place gentlemen hanging out in the back.

"Mommy, are you sure Madonna is the best role model for me right now? She did go kinda nuts after getting into Kaballah and get creepy spider hands."

POINT THREE: Competition at this age is going to make that kid one neurotic bitch

One day she'll set fire to her boyfriend's jeep because he did not even NOTICE her new Prada shoes and clearly doesn't love her as much as he says he does.

This is pretty straightforward cause-and-effect: You enter a child into competitions that are solo performance-there aren't teammates to share the credit or disappointment-where their success or failure is squarely on their shoulders, they are directly competing with other children for praise and attention, the competition revolves around what girl is cuter and more talented than the other little girls, SERIOUSLY, what part of this doesn't end with an overly-competitive, self-critiquing, attention-whoring young woman with body image issues? And oh lord, the fake tanner...

You know what you end up with? Those skanks at the bar who's skin matches their hair color, laugh waaaaay too loud, and won't stop talking about what bitches their roommates are because they KEEP EATING MY LOW-CAL NONFAT YOGURT EVEN THOUGH IT CLEARLY SAYS "TONYA" ON THE CONTAINER.

POINT FOUR: Can we talk about how hard my palm hits my forehead at the thought of "beauty" pageants?

"I will cut a bitch if you don't give me that goddamned tiara."

Society has an unhealthy obsession with beauty, straight up. The average person is more concerned with which beautiful celebrity is sleeping with another beautiful celebrity (who are famous largely because they're beautiful; how often do you see Steve Buscemi on E! news?) than they are about economic policy or social strife in other countries. To an extent it's understandable: wouldn't you rather take your mind off of you own crappy life with beautiful people and gossip that has no real consequence for yourself than all the hateful crap in the world that does matter? 'Course you would.

But. Why was Susan Boyle, who has more singing talent than Britney Spears has in her entire rat-infested weave, such an overnight success? Because no one expected the frumpy fat lady to be able to do anything remotely impressive.

In America, beauty pageants were originally used as an attraction for local grand openings or celebrations. The swimsuit competitions were particularly useful to kick off the beach season. But like many things, it evolved to something much grander and has become, somehow, a major money-making venture. Coerced by potential monetary compensation and prestige, beauty pageants have become tanned, bleached, waxed, liposucked, rhinoplastied, and implanted in places I don't want to think about to give the contestants an edge over the competition. If you think that kind of masonry is restricted to older pageants, GUESS AGAIN. Like bulimia and anorexia in modeling, the dirty secrets in child beauty pageants involve plastic and dental surgery, dieting, and bizarre makeup and body enhancing tricks that would probably make you cringe. For CHILDREN.

"Mommy, that's my fucking EYEBALL."

And that's just plain cheating.

To conclude...

When I was little, my mother worked in a flower shop populated with your typical local southern ladies wearing the kind of makeup that Tammy Faye Baker would have been proud of. One day, watching one of the women applying MORE mascara and electric blue eyeshadow, she sighed, turned to me and said, "Honey, don't ever start wearing makeup. One day you'll wake up and realize you can't look at yourself in the mirror without it."

Besides the fact that these girls are being sentenced to two hours a day on their makeup and hair for the rest of their life, they really ought to start saving all the money they'd be spending on brazilian waxes, teeth whitening, and a billion bottles of mascara (because GODDAMMIT this one is dried out already!) on some kind of nest egg. 'Cause once all that pageant money dries up and they fail to make it to Miss America, they're going to have to have something to fall back on until they can sucker a millionaire into marrying them...oh wait...maybe they should invest ALL their money into makeup and liposuction.


ps. Sorry this took so long, I spent three days writing this, then realized it was kind of crap, and had to rewrite it. Ah, the life I lead.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In which I'm honest.

Hey guys. I was deeply shamed when I realized I haven't touched this site in almost a year. If I wasn't so nervous about sharp objects, I'd commit seppuku to atone for my terrible behavior.

I can hide behind excuses: Work took over my life, and I just didn't have the energy to write. I moved back home, which consisted of some of the worst days of my life, emotionally and physically. (Seriously, how in the hell did I manage to amass so much SHIT?) My car died a flamboyant death, and I was without transportation for two months. My parents do not have internet in the house. Let me repeat that: MY PARENTS DO NOT HAVE INTERNET.

But let's all be honest. I chose not to write because I don't think I'm that good. If I avoid writing, then I won't have to confront how potentially uninteresting/overly earnest/annoying/whatever it is. Writing is, in theory, supposed to be my future profession, but here I am, 26 years old, still serving food to people better off than myself and making total chump change. Writing is a niggling reminder of all my failed ambitions and dreams, and it represents a dark voice deep inside that says, "You will never be as good as so-and-so, you will forever be mediocre at everything you do." If I think I'm good at something, there is always someone that comes along that puts what I do to shame, and it's kind of hard to keep going when that's how you think about yourself.


Last year was pretty much total crap. I wasted a lot of time and effort for a selfish skinflint employer, put myself in all kinds of bad situations that led to me being not-so-affectionally known as the alcoholic, destroyed anything expensive I owned, and moved back to a place where I had almost no friends and few outlets to contact the ones I did have, when they weren't sick of listening to my whining about how hard and boring everything was. And to put the cherry on the shit sundae, every holiday was a painful reminder that I was still single and hanging out with my parents watching yet another Bridezilla marathon would be the highlight of my evenings.


This, my friends, is a new year, goddammit. I have transportation. I have a few friends. I'm essentially unemployed again, but this time I'm going to be getting some cash from the government, which, fingers crossed, will enable me to find a proper job. Maybe one that I'll like this time.

And, more importantly, I don't have any excuses not to update this thing on a bit of a regular schedule.

So. If anyone is still reading, or even if no one is, I'm going to start writing again. I might bring in some personal things, some anecdotes, maybe let you in on the wild and crazy goings-on in Asheville. We'll see.

For the time being, I just want to send out a heart-felt thank you to anyone who has ever told me they enjoy my writing. A lot of times I feel like no one does, but your reassurances that something that I do is worthwhile makes me want to soldier on, no matter how black the night or deep the sand I'm trudging through gets.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.