HSM2

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“I am more interested in what my friends think of me than what I think of myself” is the powerful line delivered by Troy Bolton in the denouement of High School Musical 2, which I finally watched this morning. Is that really supposed to be inspiring?

HSM2, as it’s known to the true fans, could either be a film that lacks self-awareness or is so self-aware it’s all a joke on us. Watching it, I would think it’s a parody of all cheesy musicals. The extreme overacting (I’m looking at you, Corbin Bleu), the hackneyed plot, the horrible musical numbers, etc. I also feel like some of the staging was so bad, why didn’t they reshoot the scene? Sometimes I had to turn away, especially during Zac Efron’s tour-de-force “Bet On It” dance through the golf course.

I don’t like to go on things based on stereotypes, but this was also one of the gayest movies I’ve ever seen. How can Ryan Evans NOT be gay? The fashion sense, the momma’s boy complex, he does musical theater, always hangs out with his sister. Sharpay is practically a drag queen with her makeup, costumes and over the topness. And pretty boy Zac Efron is basically molded from plastic during the movie and is practically the archetype of a twink.

Maybe the creators had this in mind, and wanted to make a campy parody movie. Or maybe they thought they were making a really good musical. Yikes.

And it has to be said, this one pales in comparison to the original, where the songs were catchy and well done, for pop songs. I wasn’t feelin’ any of the songs in this one, except maybe “Gotta Go My Own Way” because it was a bit cheesy and sounded like your archetypal broadway show-stopper.

Weight Watchers Week 2

Unfortunately, a lot of the people that were there last time were here this time, but a whole bevvy of annoying people showed up for this meeting. The theme this week was traffic lights, or something. I got there late. We were talking about yellow and red light foods, which I guess means foods that people have to be careful about. So it became a free for all of people shouting out their “bad foods”. Soon people were calling out, “meat!” “pasta!” “girl scout cookies!” “saltines!” “salted nuts!” and salivating and moaning, practically. I’m not sure what this was to accomplish except that we were all thinking about these foods when we left the meeting.

There is a girl in high school there, and she always has to talk for fucking 15 minutes. Someone needs to take her to speech therapy meeting to stop her from saying like avery other word. Apparently, there was some sort of international food fair at her school and she like really really wanted the indian food cuz like it smelled soooooo good, but she was all, I don’t want to eat this but like what should I eat? so she had a fruit salad. The rest of the meeting clapped for her like she cured cancer.

There was girl there who looked about ten years old. I am not going to pass judgement on this girl’s family. Oh but wait, I am. Maybe this was a last resort for them? She seemed to be there with a sister, not a parent. For younger children, I feel like putting them on a point system at that age is fucked up. If she is not eating right, then the family needs to make a change and they all should eat healthier in general and get her involved in physical activities before making her an obsessive point-counter. To make it worse, our leader singled her out and have her a whole bunch of star stickers (which are reserved for when you lose a certain number of lbs- see what I have to look forward to? A fucking star sticker) and told her to giver herself one “everytime she did something good”. She looked mor.ti.fied.

There also seems to be a father and his teenage daughter that attend together, which is not something you expect. They were in front of me at the weigh-in, and after she went, he asked her “how did it go?” (in front of everyone else, mind you) and she looked really upset and said “not so great” and he replied “well, I guess you’ll have to be good this week”. I am getting really irritated by all this “good” and “bad” talk.

I really really wanted to bring breakfast with me to the meeting because it’s pretty early and I was heading right into the city after that, but I was reluctant to because I didn’t want people to judge what I was eating, or worse, ask me how many points it was. Then again, I would like to come in with an egg McMuffin or donuts at the next meeting just to see what people say.

Apparently next week we are going to talk about “trigger feelings”, which I guess means the emotions we feel that make us want to eat. Do you think I should offer up “the fear of dying alone?” as one of them?

Daniel Clowes is messed up but I love him for it

I’ve been continuing my foray into graphic novels by reading some Daniel Clowes. He is most known for writing Ghost World, which the movie was based on. And you all should know by now that I WORSHIP THE CHARACTER OF ENID. Please tell me I remind you of her even if you don’t believe that.

The movie is pretty awesome and one of the best adapatations of a previously written work that I’ve seen. The novel is fantastic and is really original, and quite touching I might add (the movie also makes me cry).

Then I read David Boring, but the storyline is way out there, whereas Ghost World is a pretty staightforward narrative. It goes from the character being obsessed with his cousin, to an end of the world scenario, to a murder mystery on an abandoned island, to a lesbian kidnapping a lover, to stalking, but all in such a naturalistic tone that the story seems natural. I hear this one is also being turned into a movie, but good luck. I’d be interested in reading more stuff. I love the drawing style.

The Road

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I finished reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It’s not something I would have chosen myself, it’s for a book club. Hmmm, don’t know about it. It was a post-apacolyptic world, so you’d think I’d love it, but it read more like a short story than a novel to me. The interesting parts were the descriptions of the actual survival techniques, like how they built makeshift lanterns and the things they savaged from abandoned boats etc. Isn’t this an Oprah book? That means it already is going to be made into a movie…wait, yup it is, starring Viggo. I am not sure how that will work for movie audiences, there is a lot of ambiguity and unexplained plot points in the book, such as the characters don’t even have names, you are not sure if they even survive at the end, and we are not told what was the cause of the world’s demise. I like that, but audiences will not.

Here’s what is next on my reading list:

Gawker schmawker

I can’t help but be perterbed. I think Gawker got a scoop from my blog about a posted item. Ok, that’s cool, but maybe give me a little credit? I posted this the other day, and some of the reader discussion identified who the actress was, and then this pops up on Gawker. Coincidence? Maybe. But I don’t think this was huge news going all around the internet. Thankfully someone posted a link in the comments to The DB, which helped my stats. I shouldn’t be grumpy about it, I keep telling myself that I write the DB for me, but I would jump at the chance to have it linked from somewhere like Gawker to get more readership. Because that is what keeps me motivated to keep writing it, if I know lots are reading. Grumble grumble.

Oh, I also realized that every episode of South Park ever can be watched for free off the official site.¬† I’m never leaving my house again. Also, matt Stone is my new husband.

you know you are getting old when…

you take a mental health day from work and spend it at Costco. What about Costco entrances me? Is it the opportunity to by as much Crystal Lite mix at one time to kill 100 lab rats? To be able to purchase Stargate SG-1 for a mere $14.99? I don’t know. I hate consumerism, so I like its no-frills warehouse feel. Of course, that is all part of the design, so I have once again been duped by marketing. Seriously though, I could live there. Maybe I will! And film it! [Costo-ize Me].

random thoughts

South Park is a really good show. Does anyone actually watch it anymore? I’m randomly watching Season 4 and laughing my ass off.

Northern California weather is March is fucking heaven. It makes my whole move across the country thing worth it. Almost.

The new Raconteurs album is really freaking good. You know why? It sounds like a White Stripes album.

God, I love Radar magazine. They countdown the most misogynist movies ever.

Origin of the Species: How Gay tv characters evolve.

Elliot Spitzer hooker is the new face of feminism…somehow.

As if I couldn’t hate ScarJo enough…now I see the obnoxious promo pics she has done for her even more obnox album.

What? JPod was made into a show?

thank you, VH1 classic…

…for playing old metal videos that remind me of yesteryear when the art of a video consisted of the band playing in a cheesy set and some random model strutting about. Are these for real?

Alice Cooper- “Poison”. Man, I used to think this song was so BADASS. That, to me, was like real heavy metal. The video is not much, except for the last 30 seconds which is so CHOICE.

Ah, the Bret Michaels of a bygone era. Let me burn an image of this in my mind when I watch Rock of Love. How over the top were poison? CC and the boys walking down Hollywood boulevard in tight pants, high heeled boots and full makeup was like my idea of heaven. And Bret popping out of the Murphy bed? Wooo! I have to go fan myself.

The cult of Weight Watchers

Ok, so I went to a Weight Watchers meeting. There. I said it. I don’t know why I suddenly went today of all days- maybe I am just looking to have another thing that is scheduled in my week. Admitting I went is hard. It’s no secret that I do not have a model’s body, but maybe going to WW is admitting that I don’t like the way I look. I mean, I am sure others don’t like it, but it’s like announcing to the world that I agree with them about being flawed. I’m giving in.

But, the bottom line is I am going. I’m treating it like an anthropological experiment. I’m like Diane Fosse among the gorillas. On the one hand, I support the mission of WW in that it promotes healthy eating choices and lifestyle changes, and is not a fad diet. At the same time, it’s kind of a cult. People go to meetings and get addicted to going to meetings and talking and thinking about it incessantly. People see any bit of food and immediately start calculating points. Most people who have weight to lose have had an unhealthly relationship with food all their lives, and adding another sort of obsession is kind of counterproductive. People’s worlds are divided into “being good” and “being bad” depending on what they ate that day. During the meeting, one woman, let’s call her Kate, spent about 20 minutes retelling an incident where she ate half a bagel at a work function and she didn’t realze that it had like 6 points or something and how it totally ruined her day and what a disaster and she hated herself for it etc. etc. Yikes! I understand her frustration but this obsession about it really bothered me. I’m not saying just eat it and don’t think about it…but seriously, it’s a bagel.And there is this elderly couple, let’s call them the Parkers, talked to themselves during the whole meeting. And then the husband added his two cents- “I thought Bay GALS were something that men liked.” Why am I doing this?

I feel like we are trying to kid ourselves that the healthy foods taste better- I totally love vegetables and quinoa and some really fresh whole foods- but let’s be serious, things drenched in butter and sauces are obviously way better. Not saying that we shouldn’t be eating the healthy stuff, but let’s not be delusional. Someone took about 10 minutes glorifying the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray as if it were the next coming of the messiah. Please. For most of the core foods that I eat, I have to drench it in salt or Bragg’s seasoning for it to be edible. And that’s the sacrifice. I’m not going to delude myself into thinking the pad thai from the restaurant is something I wouldn’t prefer. But, most vegan healthy foods are pretty good and I’m fine with them, but I’m not pretending they’re something they’re not.

I think I also hate large group meetings with cheesy inspirational leaders, so that’s my problem first. There are always the ones that domninate the meetings, people that ask dumb questions, and people that annoy the crap out of me. Afterwards I had to stay for the new members orientation, and the other people with me were totally baffled by how the points work. Oh my god. Someone shoot me.

According to WW, my goal weight is 108 pounds. Excuse me? Last time I weighed that much I was a senior in high school and I had, oh, I don’t know…A RAGING EATING DISORDER.

I can’t wait to see the comments about this one.

one solution to internet piracy

The Raconteurs are happy to announce that in one week’s time their second album, entitled Consolers Of The Lonely, will be available EVERYWHERE Tuesday, March 25th.“Album” meaning: full length vinyl, CD and digital formats; and “everywhere” meaning: local mom and pop Indie retailers, corporate superstores, supermarkets, iTunes, Amazon, the band’s own website and any other location that could get the record up and going this quickly (some places couldn’t move this fast, so they will join in as soon as they can).

It contains 14 new recordings and is being released globally on Third Man Records in conjunction with our marketing/distribution partners, XL Recordings and Warner Brothers Records.

The album was mastered and completed in the first week of March. It was then taken immediately to a vinyl pressing plant. Then to a CD pressing plant. Then preparations to sell it digitally began. March 25th became the soonest date to have it available in EVERY FORMAT AT ONCE. The band have done no interviews or advertisements for this record before this announcement.

The purpose: to get the album to the fans as soon as possible and as we promised. We wanted to get this record to fans, the press, radio, etc., all at the EXACT SAME TIME so that no one has an upper hand on anyone else regarding it’s availability, reception or perception.

With this release, The Raconteurs are forgoing the usual months of lead time for press and radio set up, as well as forgoing the all important “first week sales”. We wanted to explore the idea of releasing an album everywhere at once and THEN marketing and promoting it thereafter. The Raconteurs would rather this release not be defined by it’s first weeks sales, pre-release promotion, or by someone defining it FOR YOU before you get to hear it.
Another purpose was to also allow people to have their own choice as to exactly which format they would like to hear the album in IMMEDIATELY, rather than having to wait for their favorite format to become available. The band are also not releasing any version of this record that contains bonus tracks. Musically this album will be the same as the band created it no matter what format it is purchased in (The sound quality of each format however, is a different story. The Raconteurs recommend hearing it on vinyl, but the choice is of course up to the listener).

The band also prefer that fans buy the album as a whole instead of breaking up the tracks, but until iTunes and other digital services allows bands to release their albums with the option of NOT breaking it up, it will be sold in that fashion on those particular sites. On the band’s website however, the album will be sold in its entirety as an mp3 at 320kb bit rate. Also in Japan, fans will be able to download the record via their mobile phones, as that is how a majority of recorded music is consumed there.

The reason we are announcing this release one week ahead of time is because of retail pre-ordering and stocking, information about this album’s imminent release was bound to come to light and could be confusing to fans. Also in the event that the record leaks, we didn’t want this method of release to be seen as a REACTION to such a leak. It’s not. The actual worst thing about a leak is the usual poor sound quality, akin to watching a movie on a wristwatch instead of in a theater. Which for the album’s creators is a bit of a letdown, but again, it is completely up to the listener.

There will be a video up on the internet for the first single, “Salute Your Solution”, on the 25th as well, provided it gets edited in time. We just filmed it the other day!

We hope not to confuse anyone with too many options, or deny them the formats that they like best. The Raconteurs feel very strongly that music has worth and should be treated as such. Thank you to all those who respect music in this fashion, and thank you to our label partners for working with us to get this album to fans in as many formats as possible all at once.

Wow! With that said, I still have obtained a leaked copy, but that’s just because I’m badass. I think this is a pretty proactive soultion to the way that people listen to music these days. They are strongly encouraging people not to steal their music, but then again they are offering a solution other than whining about it. Oh Jack White, you make me want to marry you even more each day.

just read

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Continuuing on my graphic novel quest, I’ve finished V for Vendetta. Wow. No words. The story was amazing, set in a future world (1998, but it was written in the early 90s) anf many themes and fantastic drawing with really intense scenes. I don’t think I want to see the movie, it will definately not be good. Next up, The Watchmen by the same author, soon to be a watered-down Hollywood movie.

I know why they are not showing Walt

because he is supposed to have aged only 2 months, but in reality he’s aged 4 years and is probably 7 feet tall. Lost isn’t really doing it for me anymore. Maybe it’s just a slump. Each week is kind of a whodunit. And Whidmore planting the plane and the bodies in the ocean? Kind of a cool idea but also kind of dumb. I don’t mean to seem like a warrior for morality, but there seems to be more and more just flat out killing each other on Lost. I mean, a series can be intriguing if people were more likely to out-manipulate each other rather than just kill them.

just read

Thanks for Andrew for the rec.

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Confession: I’ve never actually red Tom Perotta, but I’ve really enjoyed the movies he’s inspired (Little Children, Election). I really like the way he depicts suburban life. He’s not mocking it, but somehow portrays the sometimes mundane privilege of it. I am sure some readers can be frustrated because there is no real final ending. That’s my favorite thing in a novel. A novel should really be just a slice of someone’s life, already in progress, and something that ends but you know the stories and struggles still continue (the walking into the sunset, happily ever after endings are total bullshit). I just really like the way he describes characters. I won’t go into the plot but one character is a former addict who has found Jesus and is in a pretty radical church whose mission is to proselytize and has a conflict with another woman who is agnostic. The easy way would be to describe the character as the crazy Christian, but somehow I could kind of see both sides and perspectives of the characters. Although I like the way things are not resolved, at the same time I wanted t keep reading about these characters. It read like a sublime HBO series about suburbia (very Weeds-esque). Hint, hint, producers.

I’m also starting to read Omnivore’s Dilemma (so is everyone and their mother).

Sac-town

I hate to get all Wes-Benley-in-American-Beauty on you, but this vision of the dead bird in the brush surrounding the Hyatt pool kind of sums up my journey.

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When I go to cities, I like to get a feel for it, to understand it, to recognize the personality of it. Sacramento is fucking creepy. Not like there were serial killers skulking around, but it was just so…bland. I was staying in downtown, literally across the street from the state capital building . And it was a weekday afternoon and completely empty. It was like a set from the Truman Show. It seemed the busiest place was the downtown mall and the Hardrock Cafe. During the day I skipped out and took a walk around, and the streets were peppered with random sandwhich/smoothie shops and chotchke shops. How did they stay in business? Now, I know that I only saw a snippet of Sacramento, and I don’t mean to insult anyone’s prized hometown. But there’s not a chance in hell I would go back.

The reason I was there was for a conference. I always feel strangely zombified after conferences. For any of you that have been to a professional conference for your job, maybe you can sympathize. Sometimes being at a hotel with hundreds or thousands of people in the same profession as you make you insane with regret for what your life has become. I also sit through sessions that are boring and not at all applicable to what I do. I get stupid schwag that I will never again use. The thing that annoys me is that in my profession we supposedly promote healthy ways of coping with stress and life, and spent about 80% of our jobs on dealing with underage drinking. What do people do at these conferences? Drink like fishes and make fools of themselves. People in my profession also have an unhealthy obsession with karaoke. I sat through some smashmouth, Loveshack, and Shania Twain. Shoot me.

I missed Regina terribly, and came home to this cuteness. I had to show off her paw, because it may be the most adorable paw in the history of catness. She’s got a gray spot and dark toes! Plus the puffs of hair coming out from between her toes! Don’t you just want to take a chomp?

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Grimm Fairy Tales

I heard about the Grimm Fairy Tale Comics at WonderCon, and I was intrigued. I think the idea of updating fairy tales is a intriguing idea, and I am not talking about the sapfest Enchanted. Making it more dark and sick like the original Grimm Brothers intended. Well, I got a volume of the first series of issues and what crap. It kind of promotes the stereotype that comic book artists are nerdy guys who could never get girls so they have to draw them. The women in there are ridiculously slutty and porn star like and strut around with inecessarily skanky outfits. With the dumbest stories- like in Little Red Riding Hood, the woodsman was so in lust for LRRH that he turned into a flesheating wolf because she drove him insane with lust. Like it’s Red’s fault for being so slutty. It makes the Sleeping Beauty series seem like Shakespeare (not likeI’ve read them….)
Examples:

I think Cinderella is going to get some serious back problems trying to run away with that chest:

The Wicked Witch shops at Frederick’s of Hollywood and at Rave.

Um, yea.

Heterosexuality is so gross sometimes.

best albums of 2008 (so far)

It’s never too early to make a list! And we are about 25% done with 2008!

  1. Sons and Daughters, This Gift
  2. The Magnetic Fields, Distortion
  3. Does It Offend You, Yea?, You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Into
  4. Cloud Cult, Feel Good Ghosts
  5. The Von Bondies, We Are Kamikazes Headed Straight For Your Heart
  6. We Should Be Dead, Forget Romance, Let’s Dance!
  7. The Kills, Midnight Boom
  8. The Black Keys, Attack & Release
  9. The Mars Volta, Bedlam in Goliath 
  10. Forward, Russia!, Life Processes 

only in berkeley

It’s a random anti-war protest. This is more of the stuff I want to see randomly on the streets, not the faux-homeless kids with the expensive sneakers. Across the street at the same time, someone got into a fight and bled over the sidewalk. Love it here!

Quit playing games with my heart, Lost

Ooooo, nice one you pulled on my emotions, with the Jin flashback/Sun flashforward. For a split second, I thought the baby was Hurley’s. Michael looks like shit. That’s what being away for a season does to ya. Also, what was with Sam suddenly solving everything with a little boy’s fishing trip? I want to hear more about how Mr. Whidmore staged the crash. Enough of these filler episodes.

Even more ridiculous is that on ABC.com, you can get a nickname from Sawyer. Good lord. And by that I mean I totally did it, and Sawter’s pet name for me is Imelda. Okay. great.

hear me out

I usually don’t care about this crap, but I am a little fascinated by all this Ashley Alexandra Dupre business, whatever her name is. First, I think she’s actually quite pretty, and not quite what you would epect from a call girl. She also looks a bit…Jewish. Feel me? I really want to know how one goes from being a runaway from a broken home to charging $4500 an hour. Not like I plan on doing that, but it’s just such a mystery to me. And did she know he was the governor? I want a biopic immediately. I’ll bet they’ll cast Natalie Portman.

The Von Bondies

I am luh.ving. the new EP from THe Von Bondies, We Are Kamikazes Aiming Straight for Your Heart. It’s weird because it sounds totally different from their original stuff, which was very bluesy. With each release, they sound more and more and more traditional indie rick. That could be bad, but they do it well. In the sea of musical mediocrity, it is nice to hear a release (albeit only 4 songs) where it is riprocking awesomeness the whole way through. It sounds like Interpol meets The White Stripes.

01-pale-bride.mp3

02-21st-birthday.mp3

03-wake-me-up.mp3

04-i-dont-wanna.mp3