Friday, July 18, 2008

Ambivalence - n. - The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings, such as love and hate, toward a person, object, or idea

I'm trying to decide if I'm going to see the new Batman movie. Not this weekend, for sure. It's just going to be too crazed. But once the madness has died down. The decision matrix on this one is tough, though. First on the plus side, Heath Ledger's performance is supposed to be magnetic. Which I was hearing even before he died, so I don't think it's just a speak-no-ill-of-the-dead thing. And given his track record, I can believe the hype.

On the neg side, it's comic book. And those don't usually connect for me. I liked the original Tim Burton Batman, but that was more or less the last one I liked until Iron Man. I know other people way dig them, but for some reason they just come off flat (ha ha) to me.

On the plus side, Christian Bale is hot.

On the neg side, Christian Bale is hot. And I looked at him when he was 13 years old in Empire of the Sun and thought "That kid is going to grow up to be hot." And even though he's all growed up now (and oh-so well), I still feel kind of pervy looking at him. Sort of retroactive dirty old ladyism. Illogical yet true.

On the plus side, I really like the director, Christopher Nolan's aesthetic.

On the neg side, the Joker apparently engages in a lot of random acts of violence, which I don't handle so well.

Plus, I find it very confusing when Gary Oldman plays a good guy. I'm just too used to hating him. That man has just been typecast into the ground. And when he does play a good guy, I keep expecting him to suddenly go psycho and kill somebody for no reason.

See? Summer movie viewing should not be this complicated. I probably will go see it. I think for a geek girl, it's going to be more or less mandatory. At this point, I probably just need to tell myself not to expect anything, and let it be whatever it will be.

Details, please;_ylt=ApGN3aTMCSJtRGtOGL3jG05vaA8F

I keep pulling up versions of this story to see if anyone will elaborate on what constitutes cross-dressing in Dubai. What's the standard there? I'm from Texas. A state where there are towns where wearing a pink polo shirt and cologne at the same time is considered full drag. "Dude, that's kinda gay."

So, what's cross-dressing in Dubai? Wearing a burkha? Or just a modest head scarf? A tube top and palazzo pants? Or are we talking full on wearing a dress? Make-up? Because given that these guys had to know they were in the Middle East, that would seem to be ballsy bordering on the foolhardy.

And for that matter, even putting aside that gay and cross-dressing are two different things yet not mutually exclusive things, what constitutes acting "gay" over there? In some of those countries straight men who are friends will walk down the street holding hands. Again, in Texas? This would cause comment. "What are y'all going to do next? Skip?"

Curiouser and curiouser. There just seems to be a lot that's not being said in this story.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ahhhh. The first PR wrap-up of the season . . .

I love it when Project Runway has that fresh out of the box smell. As spoilers go, this one will be pretty damn spoily. But really, if you can't pick out who's getting the boot before the rags hit the runway, you just aren't paying attention.

First off, I was kind of despairing of this cast. Yes, they may be the most "diverse group yet". But, I was surprised that diverse does not mean interesting. I was contemplating a sad little season . . . "Wait. Did that bitch just refer to himself in the third person?" Ah, Suede. I loves ya already. And I'm kind of reluctantly interested little Mr. ManTan. Right now, I can't tell if he's crazy talented or just crazy. Plus, the gal from Africa who now lives in Little Rock. How do those two styles go together? And does she ever look around herself in Arkansas and think "What the sweet hell?"

Anyhoo. At the very least, I'm going to enjoy seeing The Tim go all "Dad's mad" on this bunch of whiny babies. Complaining about using grocery store items in the first challenge? In front of the King of Gristedes, Austin Scarlett himself? Let's not forget that Austin made one of PR's most memorable dresses in the first challenge - using corn husks! (Austin, baby doll, ease up on the foundation, by the way. You're far too young for the Linda Evans look. At your age, a fresh face is you best asset. Though keep the eyeliner. Adorable!) And the Cher-ette! Not checking what the garbage bags look like before you buy them? Rookie mistake. And as for Jerry . . . dressing his girl up like she was Dexter Morgan's wet dream? Boring, ugly, lazy. It's the eins, zwei, auf wiedersehen trifecta of Project Runway. Check of all three of those and it's sure bet Mr. Gunn will be sending you up to pack your station.

I foresee a lot of shouting at the TV this year. Pleated pants??!?!? Noooooo! Ah, well. If you can't gasp in wonder, at least you can huff in horror. And that's fun too, no?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

They get paid to do this job, folks;_ylt=AoeKWO6.iorAx4jIomydtLvVJRIF

In the news today:

Teenagers want to lay around the house.

And in further science stories studies discover:

Roses are red!
Violets are blue!
Sugar is sweet!
And I want to be a research scientist too!

THIS is Project Runway

Okay. I admit it. I am normally the President of the Project Runway Booster Club. I love PR. But, for the Season 5 premiere tonight, my breath is somewhat less bated. I just don't know. I'm all anxiety ridden. The whole thing is in such a state of turmoil. What with the Project Runway/Bravo/Lifetime throwdown (I'm siding with Bravo). Tim leaving Parsons for Liz Claiborne. Nina leaving Elle for Marie Claire. And I'd swear that Michael has dialed back the fake and bake tan. It's chaos, I tell you! Of course, Heidi is still our little Klumbot, bless her. But can PR maintain it's vibe with all the upset?

My other concern is that, going into S5, are people now going to audition for the Runway because they want to be in fashion, or because they want to be on a reality show? Of course the tears and pinking shears are all part of the drama. But without the talent? It's just a bunch of drama queens behaving badly. And since we've already hit the acme of talent and tantrums with the Fierce One, where does the show have left to go? If things just degenerate to people tossing hissy fits, I hate to say it, but I'm out.

And lastly, the cast is skewed younger than ever before. Most of them are in their 20s. And frankly, the younger cast members (other than mon petit Christian), are usually the least interesting. Both as designers and characters. Sweet P, Vincent the Nutbag, the Evil Wendy, Santino, Laura Bennett and Uli were all over 30. I'm just not convinced that a young cast will be able to catch my interest. So much so that I haven't even been over to check out the cast bios. Sacrilege, I know.


I'll be watching. How could I not? Even in a off season, PR is going to be better than 90% of anything else on TV. And this may be the last time to see them before they get a Lifetime makeover. The mind just boggles.

Screw the Whales - Save the Blue Crab!;_ylt=Aoz8qlX.1naMR85SVbO2Ec9vzwcF

Oh, my dear sweet lord. I had no idea. Why didn't they tell people before it was too late? The blue crab is disappearing? This is a catastrophe! People were fannying about with the blue whale and the spotted owl when the blue crab was on its last claws? Unbelievable. Priorities, people! You can't eat whales and owls (well, I guess you could, but yuck). And let me tell you, the blue crab is mighty fine eating. You can keep your king crab, and I spit on your lobster. But the blue crab? Delicious. And not just that. We could see the collapse of the entire "Maryland is for Crabs" t-shirt and related paraphenalia industry. I repeat - a catastrophe!

First the bees. Now this. I'm really starting to take this whole "ecology" thing personally.

Home from the hospital

Well, my baby boy is back from the hospital. Barney the Wonder Truck got to experience the American healthcare system in action. And much like a trip to the human doctor, a trip to the car doctor can take a major bite out of your ass. And I'm still smarting. B-boy was in for his 100,000 mile check up. And, well, there were complications.

Not that I begrudge my beloved Barney. He deserves the best mechanical care that money can buy. Or the best care the kind of money a pink collar job/slacker can buy. Considering that I bought the boy for cash 14 years ago, and he's had major problems a total of 4 times, he's shown himself to be a trooper. He's more than earned his keep. $1,400 is a lot of money. But considering that I bought him for cash, and I've known people who've had payments on 3 different cars in the time that Barney and I've been together . . . I suck at math, but I know that's a bunch of cash we've saved together. I may not have been able to have swung the down on my house without him. Barney's a good guy. I owe him.

But, as with every time you have major repairs done, Barney's personality has changed a little bit. His acceleration is different. Kind of slower, but more powerful. And my keys don't rattle from the vibration at a stop light. It's different. Not different bad. Just different. And considering that I have every intention of being with Barney 'til the cold, clammy hand of death parts us, we're just going to have to get used to each other again.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tai Chi Loosely Translated

Yep. I'm still sticking with it. It was rough going for awhile, but I'm starting to marginally get ahang of things. We're about half way through the form. We'd be farther along if yours truly hadn't been holding the class back a bit. The whole "which hand goes on top?" thing is hard for me. But the more I practice, the easier it gets.

My one big problem is that I'm having trouble with the formal names of each of the movements. They have really nice names like "Crane Spreads Its Wings" and "Cross the Sparrow's Tail". But I can't seem to remember the nice names. So I end up with these bastardized names. Like one sequence that goes "Stab the Bad Guy, Push Him Over, Turn Right, Morris Day, Wonder Woman Bracelets, Hold the Baby Tiger." I have no clue what the real name is on that one, but I'm pretty sure it really does have something to do with a tiger. Then there's my favorite sequence: "Scratch Your Elbow, Hold the Ball, Back Away, Monkey! Back away, Monkey! Back Away, Monkey! Hey, Don't Sneak Up on Me!" That one's fun.

Pacifico and Shepherd's Pie

So Bennigan's is going to offer menus in Spanish. I'm not sure I get the point. Isn't the one thing that most people know in another language food? I may not speak the language in a country that I'm visiting. But I can tell you, I sure as hell will know how to order before I get there. Or I can at least look hungry as I point at something random on the menu. Of course in Asia you kind of take your chances doing that. But isn't that what travel is for? (For the record, fried scorpions are tasty. Pickled duck feet are not.)

And Spanish? I couldn't hold a conversation to save my life, but I can work the hell out of a menu. You don't have to know how everything is prepared. (Though I can spot camarones al mojo de ajo from 50 paces.) You just have to know "pollo" = yes, "lingua" = no, "carnitas" = hellz yes, "tripas" = back away from the table and nobody gets hurt. From there, I find that pointing, smiling and tipping well take care of any other problems.

So I think maybe the Bennigan's folks may be a little delusional. "Hey, why aren't there any Mexicans in our restaurants? I know! They can't read the menu!" I think possibly it's more likely that Mexicans don't like over-priced, greasy, fake Irish food served by the surliest, most incompetent wait staff on the planet. But that's really just a guess on my part. Y'all go ahead with the menu thing. That could work to.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Optical Illusions

I'm seeing in several places that some mag has already ponied up big bucks for the first pics of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's twins. What up with that? Not that I begrudge them the dough. They have a track record of doing good stuff with the photography fees. I'm just wondering why this is considered such primo photostock. Unless the latest Pitt-Jolie spawn have an unusual number of ears or the Mark of the Beast on their foreheads, I'm not seeing why I'd need to pony up to see this. Basically, it's going to be just another couple of cute kids. Waddever. You could probably pick up an old People for cheap, and look at the Shiloh baby snap with crossed eyes and get a pretty similar effect.

Lexical Innovation

I have come up with a new phrase. Please feel to use it at your leisure. And unfortunately, you will probably need to use it, as this is a common phenomenon that was in dire need of a name:

Dumb Dooring: When people walk through a door and stop immediately without stepping outside the flow of traffic. Usually with mouths hanging open and a slightly befuddled look. And invariably block the path of ingress or egress. See also, Escalator Interruptus and Walkway-Talkies.

Georgie Boy

Random notes and muddled musings on the George Michael show:

First off, 5 minutes lates is making me wait for it, and feels a little wrong but a little right. 15 minutes is being a tease. 30 minutes late is inevitably excusable, if begging for a drama queen crack. 45 minutes? Dammit. Now that's just rude.

But then you start to sing and I forgive you.

I had forgotten that I'd stolen one of my signature dance moves from George. Knees bent, weight on the heels, hand up in the air, palm out. Then rock it. Kills every time. Thank you, George.

George is taking quite good care of himself. He look great. Sounds even better. And he can still strut the cop uniform.

The digital background was goooooreous. Though when it wraps to the bottom of the stage, isn't that a little disorienting to see things move under your feet. It would make me kind of motion sick. But kudos to you and the backup singers.

And speaking of the digital footage, I forgot that Linda Evangelista was that stunning.

Note to straight guys with fashion aspirations: Know when to say when to the highlights.

I understand the draw of the nachos at a stadium event. Believe me, I do. But once you've done your damage to the cheesy goodness, please dispose of the remains. Old nacho and spilled beer does not a pleasant odor make.

I don't care if he says "This is the best audience of the tour!" every night. When George says it, I believe it.

George Michael, Greek. Dionysus, also Greek. Coincidence? I don't think so.

When certain songs come one, this bunny needs to disco. If you can sit through Faith, see a doctor.

Similar to the nacho note: Unless you've had a pedicure in the last 45 minutes, please keep your shoes on if your feet will be within 14 inches of someone's head. Stadium seating, people!

T-shirts: I may spend $40. I may stand in line for 20 minutes. But I won't do both.

Pre-show note from Dick's Last Resort: If you're able to pour a Guiness without making it foam over (it's a skill, she blushed modestly), it's really hard to tell if the look on a guy's face means "Wow! I'm impressed!" or "Wow! You must be an alcoholic!"

George made a point of making the "adopted hometown" crowd happy. Unless your very favorite track is some very obscure cut off of a European release, you probably would walk away happy last night. The only major track that I didn't hear was Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. But as long as he hits Careless Whisper and Freedom 90, I think we can all forgive him.

TIME: Quotes of the Day