Archive | April, 2012
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Guilty Pleasures

26 Apr

Why hello there, you sexy reader, you.  First off, it’s Thursday, not Sunday. It has literally taken me four days to write this blog, so many apologies muggles.  Second, this weeks blog topic happens to NOT be in rant form! YAY for positivity and the non-criticism of our civilization. So hopefully this post won’t make you feel so bad about our society.  Okay, now who’s ready to hear some deep, dark, dirty secrets of mine? Otherwise known as my guilty pleasures.

Over the years I’ve had quite a few guilty pleasures, however, in all fairness, at the time I didn’t feel so guilty about them.  Looking back, I can’t believe I have friends who knew me during those dark days.  I’m not sure what’s more pathetic, the fact that I liked some of the stuff that I did or the fact that my friends were friends with someone who liked the stuff that I did. After four days of careful consideration while writing this post, I have confirmed that my friends are definitely more pathetic than I. They should have dumped my ass a long time ago.  On the bright side, if they had dumped my ass, they wouldn’t know how lovely I am now; stalker qualities, sarcasm, cats and all.  

Guilty Pleasure Confession #1: I LOVED the Jonas Brothers.  And this was ongoing until 2010.  It wasn’t so much their music, as the cute curly haired Nick, but nevertheless I loved them.  In fact in 2009 I waited outside Rogers Arena (formerly known as GM Place) to meet them.  At which point I did unfortunately realize that Nick was too short for me – Damn my height! I’m only 5’8, but it’s been a terrible curse of mine to only be attracted to short men – and that men in Hollywood wear makeup.  Also, once upon a time I posted a video of myself singing “I want Nick Jonas for my birthday…”, looking back I’m just glad I wasn’t charged with a restraining order.  Also, is it too late to request Ryan Gosling instead?  I’d post the link of the video here, but I’m going to opt out of further embarrassment.  Last Jonas Brothers confession, I named my cat Jonas.  Poor boy, is stuck with the name of my previous fantasy husband.  Talk about awkward…

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Thank God I didn't get that Jonas Brothers tattoo..

Guilty Pleasure Confession #2: Chick flicks.  I unfortunately still love a sappy, cheese filled romcom.  If I’m around artsy film folk, I probably won’t mention it; “What do you mean Jennifer Aniston has a new movie out? Yeah, I definitely didn’t see it.”.  Truth is, as much as I love real film, I will most likely always choose a romcom when watching a movie by my lonesome.  This takes the cake as far as confessions go, but I even like those made for TV Disney movies.  You know, A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song? Watched it.  Starstruck? Watched it.  Camp Rock? Definitely watched it (refer to confession #1).  All the Highschool Musicals? Check. Check. And Check. This really is a straight up guilty pleasure, because in no way am I proud admitting it.  Want to know what the last movie I saw in the theater was? The Lucky One.  And guess what! I LIKE the Zefron. AND I call him the Zefron.  Okay, maybe I’m going a bit too far here…But here it is all out in the open.  I feel so much better, nothing is holding me back now.

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Right you are, Boromir, right you are.

Guilty Pleasure Confession #3: While on the topic, I love me some chick lit as much as I love chick flicks. I love to read but chances are the latest book I’m reading is some romantic no surprises plot following some girl meets boy, girl hates boy, boy and girl are faced with challenge, boy and girl fall in love, boy hurts girl, girl cries, boy chases girl, girl and boy make up, the end plot line.  These books are terrible. I KNOW they’re terrible. And yet, these novels consume my life and are directly responsible for my average amount of time spent crying each week.

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NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Two fictional characters who I feel as if I know are breaking up?! BUT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE TOGETHER.....oh,surprise, that all worked out in the end.

Guilty Pleasure Confession #4: Cats. I am a crazy cat lady. I have four cats (which is my mother’s fault) and I still want more.  I’ve convinced myself if a cat follows me home, then he/she is fair game and my mom has to let me keep him/her.  It’s my lifelong dream to have one of those cat houses, where cats have literally taken over the backyard.  I don’t get why people call cat people crazy, I’m perfectly sane.

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Forever single, but never alone.

Guilty Pleasure Confession #5: I LOVE crocs.

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HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH yeah right. You should have seen the look on your face!

Guilty Pleasure Confession #6: Trashy celebrity magazines. No, I will not buy that useless garbage, but hell yes, I’ll hold up the line at the supermarket while I decide who wore it best.  Honestly, I’m not even interested in the stories, I can get the gist from the headline and I’m all good.  But I love looking at the photos, and I have no idea why!! It’s painful.

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Two of my favorite things. Even cats can't resist trash.

Guilty Pleasure Confession #7: I’m not sure if this counts as a guilty pleasure, but I gain extreme satisfaction from it and the lengths I go can definitely qualify as over indulgent. So I’ll let you be the judge. I’m obsessive about all things movies. I need to know what movies are in pre-production and who they’re casting, I need to watch trailers ASAP, I need to know the ratings and anyone involved.  For Pete’s sake I write down movie release dates on my calendar! And I have anxiety if I don’t see a movie as soon as it comes out.  Example, if I know people have watched it before me (which of course they have), I start to panic.  I’m not sure if this is my movie obsession or need to know everything.  All I know is movies are my one true love and IMDB is what holds our relationship together.

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Cinephiles. The theater is our second home.

Guilty Pleasure Confession #8: I kept my barbies until I was 14, and I now spend nights wishing I had them back.  This doesn’t really need to be further explained. Loved my barbies, thought I was too grown up for them at 14 and gave them away.  But sometimes when the internet is boring me, I wish I could build my old barbie houses and pretend that Barbie and Ken are having marital problems because their children came out half black.

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I hope I haven't lost your respect...

Guilty Pleasure Confession #9: Okay, this only happens once in awhile but I tend to go through a phase where I latch on quite aggressively to a terrible song.  If it’s catchy, I’m a goner.  Currently, that song happens to be “Call Me Maybe”.  The last song I seriously latched onto was Selena Gomez’s “Who Says”.  Unfortunately one night I fell asleep to my ipod playing that song on repeat and without the sleep button on, so I woke up the next morning to that being the #1 most played song on my ipod. Could never live that down any time someone would play with my ipod. Luckily, I gave that ipod to my mom, and now the problem is hers.  Damn songs are catchier than gonorrhea — honestly, I just wanted to see if I could spell gonorrhea.  Turns out I can’t, but spell check can.

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Boromir, you're on a roll tonight with your knowledgeable insight.

Guilty Pleasure Confession #10:  Lists.  I obsessively need to write out lists of every single thing that comes to mind.  There’s the typical stuff like to-do, grocery, and potential sperm donor lists.  Oh wait, what was that last one? You DON’T have a potential sperm donor list?! Well you better get on it! I’m convinced in the near future it will be socially acceptable to specifically request who’s your baby daddy.  So when that time comes, I intend to be prepared to request the best of the best.  Which is why I’ve already hired private investigators to look into the medical history and background of Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Evans, the Zefron and of course Ryan Gosling. Sorry, did I get a little distracted talking about my potential baby daddies? Anyway, currently on my phone there is a list of tattoos I would like, recipes I should try, books I should read, words I need to google, and of course the full names of my future children courtesy of one of my healthy, sexy sperm donors.  I also enjoy reading other people’s lists.  I am all about those Top 10 whatever lists that no one really gives a flying F about.  Top 10 Movies of the Summer? Hello.  Top 10 Celebrity Abs? OH YES.  Top 10 Reasons Why We Love Cheese. I love cheese too!  Top 10 Celebrities We Think Are Potential Murder Suspects. Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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Typically the lists I write aren't as exciting as previously discussed. This is a more accurate depiction of an everyday list.

I’m sure I have many more guilty pleasures, such as, wearing leggings as pants (what can I say? I live in Vancouver!), using hand motions to explain actions as if you were too dumb to understand (“I’m driving. See! Driving a car, like this. In case you didn’t know what driving was..”), cheese, Teddy grahams and chocolate pretzels.  These may also include, but are not limited to, stealing small increments of junk food and blaming it on the cats, as well as pretending the vacuum is a microphone and putting on mini choreographed concerts in my underwear while ‘cleaning’ (I use cleaning loosely because most of the time is spent learning the choreography to “Single Ladies”).

Sorry for the late blog post this week, hope you enjoyed. If you have any guilty pleasures you want to open up about, leave a message! This is really the first step in coming to terms with your reality TV show addiction/love for scrunchies/being a Twihard/whatever pleasures you feel guilty about. Now if you excuse me, I have a cheesy novel to read.

Hope you had/have a wonderful day.

Your Guide to A-Holes at the Gym

16 Apr
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Hot stuff, eh?

So I have hereby decided there will be a guaranteed post every Sunday and anything else is a special occasion blog (or in other words, a bored out of my mind blog – this will most likely never occur because when I’m indeed bored out of my mind I have a tendency to prefer TV and movies to blogging).  I’m aware that it’s no longer Sunday, but my intentions were good.  Anywho, moving along to the blog of the week. Or rather for those of you who have realized my true intentions, the rant of the week.  Enjoy!

In the last month I have become quite the gym rat.  I’m still not completely sure I can even call it that, since I’ve only been going for a month and about three days a week.  But I’m pretty proud of my discipline so I’m going to go on calling myself a gym rat. I’m now like those Jersey kids but without the tanning and the laundry…and the Ed Hardy.  In fact, I’ve already added ‘Certified Gym Rat’ to my resume. BAM!

So being a gym rat means I have spent a fair share of time at my local gym gearing up for the gun show and preparing for the zombie apocalypse.  During said time, I’ve learned quite a few things;

a) I would die first if I were in the Hunger Games  

b) However, I could definitely take a zombie  

 

c) I found out where all the jackasses hang out

I don’t think I need to further explain myself concerning The Hunger Games.  I’m not going to lie to you, I wouldn’t even be interested in participating in anything promoting hunger.  For Pete’s sake, I carry snacks in my bag in case the zombie apocalypse happens while I’m out and every grocery store is raided before I get the chance…and then I die a sad, lonely death from starvation.  Eating my own limbs is NOT an option!  So yes, hunger doesn’t appeal to me.  And then of course there’s the whole exercise thing. Let’s just say I always imagined myself as an ass kicking Katniss before heading to the gym, now I know I’d be the moron who runs off towards the cornucopia before the games have even begun, being blown to smithereens.  Suzanne Collins didn’t even write that character in because the moron is never inspiring.

As for taking on a zombie; I watch The Walking Dead so I’m pretty confident in my zombie knowledge, and based on my weight lifting ability…let’s just say, I’m not scared of a few zombies.  But I’m terrified of starving to death.

What I’d like to explain is where all the jackasses hide out.  It’s called the gym.  In the last month I have had far too many run-ins with my fellow gym rats.  Wait, you know what?! They don’t even deserve the gym rat title! They’re just nobodies who show up at the gym..and they are extremely rude!

In order to use the cardio machines you have to sign up on a clip board by the machine and then wait until your time slot is up.  On several occasions when I get to my allocated machine at the allocated time there’s some nobody-who-just-shows-up-at-the-gym on my treadmill/elliptical.  I usually let it go because I’ve only just arrived at the machine, so they must be finishing up or have not yet realized it’s my turn.  I give this approximately two minutes, at which point I then say to them “Excuse me, it’s my turn now. Look it’s – insert allocated time here -“.  The nobody-who-just-shows-up-at-the-gym replies with either

a) “five/ten/*insert another amount of time minutes left” or  

b) they just pretend I’m non-existent or  

c) they pretend they can’t speak English – this seems most popular after first answering with A and proving their English speaking ability.  How dumb do you think I am? 

At this point all of the previous typical responses are invalid to why I’m telling them to get off of my machine.  “It doesn’t matter how much longer you have left, it depends on who’s signed up on the sheet” *insert strong assertive pointing.  This is when ignoring me comes into play, and they just keep on running on my machine.

Most of the time the people this seems to happen with are older than I, generally 20 or 3o years older.  And being the kind, gentle person I am I can’t convince myself to do what I would do if the person were 20 and fit (pull the stop plug and have them fall on their high&mighty ass).  So instead I calmly (I’m actually steaming mad, especially since most of the gym has seen my embarrassing loss and probably no longer regard me at a gym rat level) wait until their five/ten/*insert amount of time minutes are up.

Finally when the jackass gets off my machine, I calmly, but while maintaining a loud and assertive tone so I can earn back my gym rat cred say “THAT was EXTREMELY rude.”  I don’t name call or get vicious.  Just a simple stare down and some words that will hopefully take them off their high horse.  If I’m really pissed I have previously quoted Ice Cube’s “you better check yo self, before you wreck yo self”.  That taught him; you know who you are.

Finally, I have been such a burden to the people using MY machine during MY allocated time slot that they think they can just take off without wiping their gross sweat off of the machine.  I can tell they’re thinking “shows her”, like it’s my fault they’re a jackass who doesn’t understand the system.

So in this situation, I have a typical gym jackass walking away after wasting my time and leaving my machine drenched in their sweat. This is when as loud as possible so every gym jackass knows they best be checking

And the award goes to YOU, machine stealing dude.

themselves before dealing with me, I say “AND YOU BETTER WIPE YOUR GROSS SWEAT OFF OF THE MACHINE”! Ladies and gentleman, THAT is how you deal with a jackass.

After dealing with said jackass, I now have the respect of all the other gym rats. In fact, I once had the body building type admit to me after witnessing the incident that he was scared.  I make body builders scared; this is probably something I should mention on my resume. Skills: Gym Rat and Frightening to Body Builders.   

There are actually two types of jackasses at the gym.  The jackasses I just discussed are of the machine stealing variety.  However, there is another breed, a more obnoxious one.  This breed is known as the d-bag jackass.  I haven’t done my research but I believe this particular breed originated in the Jersey Shore.

Luck for you, I have a fantastic example of the d-bag jackass in action.  One day while working on my triceps/biceps or whatever I noticed a guy watching.  This is typical gym behavior, but I could tell he wasn’t like the older men who casually walk around the gym watching girls run.  He was watching me because he was intimidated.  You say impressed, I say tomato.  Anyway, he was intimidated because I’m like the freaking hulk.  This isn’t my ego speaking, after carrying around small children all day I can lift quite a bit (at least for a girl who didn’t really pump metal till a month ago).  So after I finish lifting an impressive amount, this guy comes over and uses the machine after me.  He starts out by changing the setting to an obscene

My mistake, maybe the d-bag jackass originated at Globo Gym and not the shore..

amount and with shaky arms barely lifting it.  He holds it there for what seems like a lifetime and then follows through with 2 more pathetic attempts before heading to another machine.

What makes him a d-bag gym jackass isn’t because he wasn’t strong enough to lift those weights, but that he felt he had to prove to himself and to me that he was much stronger than a girl.  And let’s be honest, doing one set of 3 reps isn’t impressive buddy. You can pick these guys out because they only do the weight lifting and walk around in bicep flattering shirts.  Oh, and also they like to make loud grunting noises while working out. Because nothing says manly man like primate sounding grunts.  While, in all fairness I suppose that’s how the neanderthals won over their wives…

While the d-bag gym jackass is obnoxious and annoying, at least he provides a few good laughs.  The machine stealing jackasses are vicious and rude, and quite frankly I’m waiting for the chance to pull the stop plug and see one fall on his or her ass.

I could go on and on about my gym encounters. I’ve briefly mentioned the older men who people watch there – which, I shouldn’t have to tell you is inappropriate; that’s like people watching at the pool, but at least people swimming are clean and don’t smell. If you’re people watching at the gym, you don’t love yourself – and I suppose they would be a ‘jackass’ breed of their own.  Though, I haven’t looked into it.  But I’ve already written a bloody essay and if I write any more we’ll be here all day.  Don’t be mad about all of the excessive writing, be glad I stopped here.

I’m sure there are gym jackasses every where, if anyone knows of another breed or has any stories let me know. Thanks for reading!

Have a great Tuesday!

 

The Cinematic Female

9 Apr

Wowza, I’ve been gone for almost a month now! I hadn’t even realized it had been that long..  Well, now that I’m back, I guess I’ll start with saying Merry Easter to all! I celebrated with a hangover and some chocolate – unless Grandma is the one reading this, in which case I only celebrated with the chocolate.  Now that all the Easter talk is out of the way, I’ve planned on a discussion on the importance of women in film.  And let’s be honest, since my ‘discussions’ are one-sided, I suppose the correct term would be rant.  So let the rant begin!

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As a woman in film, I find it incredibly insulting at the lack of women directors represented in Hollywood.  Previously, I may have believed that there were just less women interested in film than men, but you wouldn’t believe how many woman I’ve met in Vancouver alone who are pursing careers in film.  So what’s the problem then? Clearly men in Hollywood are intimidated by women. I mean there’s no lack of interested women, or women attempting to make a name for themselves, so clearly these men realize the threats of women filmmakers.

Look at it this way, would you say more women then men watch romance films or romantic comedies?  Would you say that just as many women watch thrillers and dramas?  There’s nothing that is unappealing about either to a woman.  Would you say that just as many woman watch comedies, horrors and action movies?  Seems unlikely, right? No, studies prove that just as many woman watch these genres as their male counterparts.  In fact, most women I know enjoy action movies – a sweaty, sexy, shirtless man chasing an equally sweaty, sexy and shirtless man, what’s not to love? – proving it’s not a man’s genre any more, no one has to ‘drag’ us to the theater to watch the newest Jason Statham flick.  And the majority of woman love comedies; I just recently read an article stating that men are insulted at the vulgarity and raunchiness of women’s humor today. I mean, now we openly say anatomically correct terms like ‘vagina’ and ‘penis’.  Apparently, men don’t fancy this, they prefer their women to say ‘my lady parts’.  Regardless, what men want, it doesn’t change the fact that women love comedy and more and more women love crude comedy.  So based on these facts, there are just as many if not more women audience members present in the theaters.  And based on what I know about men, women are more likely to retain information and understand what is not laid in front of them.  Wouldn’t that mean that a woman would have a greater understanding of a film, perhaps even take more from it?  So why wouldn’t Hollywood want to encourage the representation of women filmmakers, something that women would greatly appreciate.

Men directors/writers hardly display a correct female representation in films; most times we’re friendless, 2 dimensional characters or we’re bat shit crazy.  How wonderful it would be to appeal to over half of the movie watching population and produce and encourage films that are written and directed by women, with strong lead female characters who are correct representations of confident, smart, sexy, independent women.  This is why men in Hollywood are intimidated, a woman filmmaker who understood her audience and knew how to correctly identify with REAL women (as well as men) would be a threat to the success of male directors.  Women would be thrilled, men wouldn’t even notice the film was woman directed, CHA-CHING!

As mentioned, the problem isn’t the lack of women in film.  The problem is the encouragement of women in film.  Without Hollywood’s support, most of these films go unadvertised and released in very few theaters, meaning they have a lesser chance at being seen.  After much consideration, I believe this is a Hollywood ploy.  With such minimal release, female directed films don’t even have the chance to succeed as strongly at the box office as male directed films thus setting a statistic that causes Hollywood no need to change this situation.  In 2009 Kathryn Bigelow was the first and only female director to win an

History making, Kathryn Bigelow.

Academy Award for Direction. Doesn’t that make you sick?  Even more revolting, to date only four women have even been nominated in the category.  After having a conversation with fellow female filmmakers, Bigelow’s award winning film The Hurt Locker was brought into question; yes, Bigelow is a woman, but her film is male driven with male characters..so that is what it took to win an Academy Award?  Bigelow is also the only woman to win a BAFTA for Direction, and Barbra Streisand is the only woman to win a Golden Globe for Direction. I don’t know about you, but don’t you find that depressing?  It took the Academy that long to honor a female director?  And last year, not a single nomination?  Both Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) and Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone) created brilliant films and generated quite the buzz.  A nomination would have been nice.  Let’s be honest, this year wasn’t the finest for film in general.  There were a few that were breathtaking and then everything else was entertaining at most.  And yet not one female was nominated for Direction?  This is shocking considering the ladies this year created the ripest of the bunch in terms of film.

Based on my calculations, at least 27 women directed films were released in 2011, whether they were wide released or not, there were 27.  Off the top of my head, some incredible talent that comes to mind is Larysa Kondracki (The Whistleblower), Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin), Kelly Reichardt (Meek’s Cutoff), Miranda July (The Future), Maryam Keshavarz (Circumstance), Ava Duvernay (I Will Follow),  and Dee Rees (Pariah).  On top of that, a few actresses and even a pop star directed a feature this year.  Jodie Foster (The Beaver), Angelina Jolie (In The Land of Blood and Honey), Vera Farmiga (Higher Ground), and Madonna (WE).  And did anyone else notice that the Academy Award Best Actress winner Meryl Streep’s film The Iron Lady was directed by Phyllida Llyod?…A woman!  ZERO Academy Award nominations.

But you know what? It’s alright Academy, I don’t believe all of these wonderfully talented women are dying without your approval.  That’s the truth, right? These women are strong and successful and most likely have gotten used to the ignorance.  What I’m worried about, or rather who, are the young girls who are intimidated by the male game that Hollywood is.  The girls who are deciding now what they would like to do in the future and seeing a career that means either abuse and ridicule from the men they work for, or fighting tooth and nail for the chance to be recognized for making a film that is better than their male counterparts.  It sounds insane.  Being a struggling artist does not sound attractive and given the economic standpoint we’re at, sometimes passion just isn’t enough.  I wonder how many women come to the conclusion that a filmmaking hobby will suffice for the pain and lengths they will have to go.  Being a woman screenwriter isn’t as difficult in Hollywood, however writing a screenplay that correctly portrays women probably frightens men – we all know nothing scares a man more than a powerful woman ;).

Even actresses have a hard time, try finding a role that doesn’t objectify you; a role where you’re not a 2D character whose lights shut off the second there’s not a scene with the main male character.  A role where you have supportive friends (not just one!) and aren’t left standing on your own when everything comes crashing down – as it will, considering this is a film.  A role where you’re in control of your own life, where you aren’t constantly being heartbroken because you are dependent on the support of a man.  Watching a movie and then realizing how unlikely these roles come around is also intimidating for female actresses.

Hollywood intimidates women, and I believe it’s been proven that’s because men in Hollywood are intimidated by us.  I just can’t seem to find a logical reason why Hollywood wouldn’t want to make more money.  And if anyone has a valid argument for why more supported female features would cause Hollywood to lose money then please step forward and share your case.  I’m all ears.

All of that being said, I’m not a male hating feminist.  I just don’t support sexist cultures in 2012.  Seriously, get with the program! Women don’t have to clean the house, tend the children and cook meals any more.  We can do whatever the hell we please.  And if we want to make films, you better darn right let us!  Everyone knows not to test a woman, she’s always right. So step back and let us have a chance at taking a shot.

— And for Heaven’s sake, stop acting so surprised that women are funny!

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Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

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