Category: Review

Just 1:38am Things

  • I’m listening to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s audiobook In My Own Words and true to title, they actually do have recordings of speeches she’s given. Which would be great except that she is a far far better writer than than she is a speaker, and at least one of the recordings is 16 straight minutes of murmuring and coughing punctuated by an early 2000s iPhone ringing over and over while Ruth may or may not be talking somewhere in the distant background. It’s as if it was recorded on the cell phone of the woman sitting next to the ass with the iPhone he can’t turn the fuck off. Otherwise it’s good. 
  • I started watching Smallville after I was thoughtlessly coerced into taking three vaccines at the same time a couple weeks ago and literally could not move one arm for an entire day in addition to being totally feverish and gross. I have nothing to say about it really (except the standard please stop making women into property, or plot door stoppers and the not so standard ‘holy shit, for 2002 this is crazy feminist omg’)
  • While I was all vaccine sick I had a fever and when it broke I dreamt/hallucinated that I turned into a million tiny cubes of Turkey and I was delicious and instead of being horrified (I don’t even like turkey that much) I was elated and it was wonderful. 

Fall Intensifies

Tonight I ate pumpkin spice mochi ice cream and I am not sorry, because it was hella good.

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I was worried that the ice cream would be overly sweet, but it wasn’t. It was spice forward, abut also took the time to showcase the pumpkin, which a lot of pumpkin pie flavored stuff fails to do.

Otherwise, it was your standard mochi, chewey and delicious.

10/10 would pumpkin again.

I Robit: Interstate Cyborg Games

We are about to play a game with our friends. In California.

I know, it’s not that surprising that online gameplay is already thing. It is the future, after all. But this is a live-action roleplay of sorts. And we (Ben and I) are playing as the robot.

With the help of two IP cameras, Facebook chat, and a microphone and headphone splitter on our end, we are your robot overlords R&D team recruiters. Also, we have no idea how to play this game

2:34 – We’ve read the briefing, we know our roles and the rules (in general) we are still not quite sure how to play

2:42 – We may have just sent for innocent cubes to their death.

2:43 – Oh wait, it seems like death is more impending than immediate.

2:49 – The second camera is in a bedroom for “private chats” Apparently some of the people in this game are traitors. What a world.

2:50 – Attempt to chat with humans in bedroom unsuccessful. But hilarious.

2:54 – A cat came into our room. Tried to make contact. Called cat a pretty kitty. Made smoochey sounds. Also unsuccessful.

2:57 – We are frequently at butt level

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We are not complaining.

3:00 – One of the humans is on time out

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3:05 – He’s escaped.

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[[3:16 – Hanging out with our friends without having to put on clothes, leave the house, or talk to anybody. We have found nerd utopia. ]]

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3:21 – The cloning booth has been explained to me.

3:30 – Accusations have been made

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These humans clearly distrust each other.

3:41 – We have picked 6 cubes for imminent death. No idea what happened to those other four cubes. They’re probably fine.

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3:50 – We have seen ourselves. We are glorious.

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3:57 – We have done our duty. It was for Friend Computer.

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[[4:15 – If we do this again, we think it could be cool if, instead of talking, we typed everything into a text to speech program. For maximum creepiness]]

4:27 – We have been voted least trustworthy teammate. Initiate overconfident deflection.

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[[4:40 – The one drawback to being remote is that we lack access to snacks. The snacks we have here are crap.]]

[[5:10 – We’ve developed a system where one of us operates the camera and the other of us talks, and we can approximate normal conversation, but when Ben has to pee, everything basically goes to hell.]]

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5:52 – Hey cat.

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Cat.

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Yes.

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Honda: Just don’t sit in the front

Letter from Honda: Hey so you might be accidentally exploded by your air bag. Try not to let passengers sit in the front seat.

Me: [Calls dealership]

Ron Tonkin Honda: Yeah, the parts for those repairs aren’t here until Fall. If you want a free rental, or whatever you have to show up with another person between 9am and 4pm Tuesday through Friday.

Me: During the time most reasonable people are at work.

Ron Tonkin Honda: Those are our hours and the hours of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Show up or don’t. It’s up to you.

This part is verbatim:

Me: Yeah, well thanks I guess.

Ron Tonkin Honda: Uh huh [hangs up]

For reference:

First of all: Why do I get the cold shoulder/rude bullshit? I DIDN’T GIVE MYSELF EXPLODING AIR BAGS OVER HERE.

Second of all: I can take time off my job and so can my husband because we’re upwardly mobile professionals, despite the fact that we suddenly own far less car than we originally purchased. Unlike… say, teachers. Or cashiers. Or the myriad of other professions for whom an hour off work is actually a lifetime off work because you will be fired.

Third of all: Does anybody else find it odd that the passenger side airbag is the only surprise exploding one? Not… say, the driver side airbag as well. Were there separate contracts for passenger and driver? Were they installed at different times or with different materials?

Forth of all: I have to store my now car somewhere while we’re waiting for these parts. Fellow Portlanders will understand that people who live in apartments in Portland don’t get parking. That means I get the luxury of A. driving the exploding airbag car far far away where a family member can store it or B. moving the exploding airbag car around the neighborhood like the useless burden it has become. THANKS HONDA.

Oh, and no compensation for selling me a murder car. That would be silly.

UPDATE

So we went to get our rental car this morning. Which means that both Ben and I took time away from our job (him) and my company (me) to deal with this airbag situation. 

Technician: [Checks car] You have a passenger side recall? 

Me: Yes [Proceeds to tell the above story] 

Technician: Wow, that’s really rude. I’m sorry. However, we aren’t giving away rental cars for passenger side airbags. 

[The owner comes over] 

Technician: Tell him what you told me 

Me:blah blah blah, you know this part. 

Owner: Wow, that is really rude. I’m going to remind everybody about our policies, because you don’t get a rental car. It’s not that big of a deal anyway because the exploding is really happening in cars older than 2004 and in the south where the humidity is degrading the airbag solution.

 ._.  

Me: Thanks I guess. 

Owner: You’re welcome. 
I could have said something. I could have pointed out that this isn’t my fault and yet, I have just dealt with his rude and unhelpful employee who gave me incorrect information and lost me not one, but two mornings worth of work. I could have made him do anything other than usher me out the door but I am tired. 

No, dear reader Ron Tonkin Honda is not the hill I will die on. Not today.

More Like Lakefront Socially Constructed Gender Binary Hunt

20160420_lakefrontI’ve been unreasonably obsessed with house buying shows lately and they’re giving me fucking heart palpitations, over how dumb they are, but also over some super obnoxious gender shit that’s being played as normal or even natural over here.

For example, I just watched an episode of Lakefront Bargain Hunt wherein inexplicably rich mid-westerners look for a vacation house for the basement budget price of twice what our actual house budget is in a fucking major city, but I digress (maybe this is why I might hate these assholes.) And in literally the same shot the husband was talking about how great it’ll be for him to spend all day fishing on the lake while the wife said “oh, it’ll be so nice to be able to see our son playing on the dock while I prepare food here in the kitchen.”

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

No, it’s super cool for you to do what you love all day long completely unburdened by the family you clearly started for some damn fool reason only you could know. I’ll just be here serving our cuntfruit and cleaning the kitchen where I belong. Thanks eversomuch for allowing me to help you buy this beautiful view from which I can attend to your needs. Do you want to savagely mouth fuck me now, or should we wait until after the kid’s asleep? I always appreciate the brief moment of silence after you pass out without even trying to get me off in return. It’s literally the only time I have left where someone isn’t demanding my servitude and I wish, in that moment, I could finally die.

So, you know. I’m learning a lot about the house game.

The False Dichotomy Between Easy and Hard aka I Just Watched the Coen Brothers Suck Each Other Off for Two Hours and This is What I Learned

First of all, and this is totally unrelated to the larger review, but who in the fuck told Hollywood it’s okay to hit women in the face again? Because I have a golf club with the name of every single one of their teeth on it. We get it, you think hitting women is edgy and cool. Well, I’ve been hit a lot in my life, and it’s not nearly as awesome as it seems in the movies.

Two things I never did after someone hit me in the face: 1. smile rakishly at them 2. nod demurely and do as I was told. Mostly I covered my face with my forearms and cried in a ball on the floor until the person hitting me decided they were done doing that. Then I let him die alone in a nursing home where he begged to come home every day and claimed the nurses were abusing him. It was all I could do to never visit or I’d have paid them to be even meaner.

This review has spoilers, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So we saw Hail, Cesar! tonight, and it was totally a Coen Brothers comedy, so if you like that kind of O Brother Where Art Thou, Burn After Reading story as journey, but mostly un-mapped type of shit you will eat this up. And I did. I loved every beat. It’s a good film. Aside from the fact that I will punch every Coen Brother in the dick and Periscope it if I ever meet them because for serious, please stop hitting women in the face.

The major tension is not, as the trailers suggest, the kidnapping of movie star Baird Whitlock. An offer for more money, better hours, and stock options at Lockheed is facing main character Eddie Mannix, a fixer for the studio who seems to spend 24-hours a day image-policing a revolving cast of disposable beauties in order to increase profits for an unseen corporate head in New York who has all his respect and loyalty for absolutely no reason that I can discern. Ultimately, Mannix defines the struggle as a battle between what is easy and what is hard, but good. Here in the present, we all have the knowledge that Lockheed as a company is the turd that couldn’t stop turding. They’ve “suffered” wave after wave of crushing staff reductions, even as their stock rose and their CEO pay soared on the wings of foreign slave labor. Meanwhile Hollywood looks practically robust, but only because they never had any employees to lay off, just an itinerant herd of contractors who can be thrown away or called up like comic book minions without a second thought.

The reason that Mannix ultimately decides to stick with the studio, which means 24-hour plus work days, unhealthy habits, and absentee parenthood is the same reason for Whitlock’s kidnapping, and the reason that we in the real world will continue to eat this shit up with a spoon whenever they dish it out. If you can sell someone their own fantasy, they’ll follow you to the ends of the earth to buy it from you. And we have been selling the fantasy of Western exceptionalism for so long that it’s become a moral failing to even suggest that we can’t work 24-hours a day, 7-days a week for little money and only the suggestion of dream that’s not even ours, but a faceless corporate head somewhere a continent away.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel guilty for wanting to take care of themselves, who hasn’t been shamed for asking for a raise in a company where the boss makes hundreds of times what their lowest paid employee makes. Time after time, studies come out admonishing us for working more than 12 hours a day, and advising us to take breaks, but do we do it? And how many of us work in companies where that sort of behavior is encouraged? How many of us work for ourselves and wouldn’t be caught dead slacking off? Despite professional business management advice that directly contradicts the way we’re acting.

Ever since I started trying to honor my weekends, my anxiety levels have gone through the roof Friday and Sunday nights. Friday because I’m worried I haven’t done enough, and Sunday because I’m worried about the tidal wave of unfinished work that will be waiting for me first thing Monday. And then Monday comes and I’m clear-headed and able to solve problems that would have taken be hours if I hadn’t taken a break. Just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s good. Just because something is good, doesn’t mean it has to be hard.

Doing the good thing and following your passion will always be simultaneously easy and hard. It’s easy to take a job offer you know you don’t want, if it makes your life more comfortable in the short run. It’s hard to try and fit a round peg in a square hole, and if you’re the peg it gets increasingly more painful the longer you try. It’s easy to have a dream and make deep and meaningful proclamations in the heat of the moment. It’s even easy to work grinding, long and unforgiving hours for nothing in return for the first three to four years. It’s hard to look deep inside the most desperate part of yourself and decide you’ll spend a lifetime paying out more than you get back, and that you belong so completely to the thing you love that you’d give anything, suffer any indignity just to keep it going. Harder still to know and accept your own drive so completely that you would never do anything to damage the instrument of your enjoyment for any price. It’s hard to stop working when work is all you are. It’s beyond hard to watch everything turn to shit because you’re too exhausted.

I love oblivion. Most people do. But don’t you get tired of watching the protagonist skip effortlessly across its surface? Don’t you ever want to leave a movie feeling like more than you are? Don’t you want to take a nap without feeling like a fucking communist?

You Need to be Watching Jessica Jones

Because fantastical things happen.

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Like a side piece dude showing up and not completely taking over the plot.

UPDATE: I haven’t watched any more episodes as of yet, but I’m hearing that this scene was maybe just an accident on the writer’s part, and the big yellow hunk goes on to have a very traditional role in the plot. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted.

Dark Matter is Good

A post that should have published yesterday, but never uploaded properly.

I bit the bullet and took two days off in a row.

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and watching Dark Matter the whole time while trying as hard as I can to ignore how gross my house got while I was sick for a month and a half. It’s been a struggle.

But Dark Matter is really good. Usually intrigue bores me, but there’s just enough fighting and shooting for me to be cool with it.

I also really enjoy Zoie Palmer from Lost Girl as the android.

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Last Witch Hunter Review

Due to my ownership of a bonafide Ghost Tour, I got advanced tickets to The Last Witch Hunter, and I really enjoyed it. It has a 25% on Rotten Tomatoes, but I think those guys expect too much from a movie about an immortal witch hunter.

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The CGI is cool, the costumes are pretty great, and you get to hear Michael Cane say “Hello, you ugly bitch of a morning.”

Without even seeing the trailer, only knowing the name and seeing a poster, I already knew the entire plot before we got into the theater. That’s hardly the point. I’d pay to watch Vin Diesel do anything.

The Fall of Rome: NCIS Charts the Arc of Post-9-11 Loss of Faith in the System

The first episode of NCIS aired on Sept 23, 2003 just two short years after the terrorist attacks.

It’s clear in the writing that America is number one, minorities and women are stupid, and queers are totally icky. God, Country and Guns are the whole of the law. There are some truly offensive, not to mention constantly repeated transphobic jokes in Season 1 that I can find absolutely no record or anybody caring about at all. But it was 2003. We didn’t even have Facebook back then. The Internet consisted of AIM, MySpace and LiveJournal.

By Season 5, which started on September 25, 2007, George Bush’s approval rating was hovering below 35% and things had taken a drastic turn. The character who made the majority of the transphobic jokes was brutally shot in the head in 2005 and replaced by a badass lady assassin who has alluded to her own bisexuality multiple times.

In addition to perennially cheerful ghoth forensic scientist who’s been part of the main ensemble since episode 1, the supporting cast is stacked with competent, amazing ladies like the spy-turned NCIS Director, the genius lawyer who’s having a secret affair with the ME’s Assistant, and the germaphobic analyst who is fluent in both Kurdish and Arabic.

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During the course of Seasons 4 and 5, you see the US government straight up murder servicemen and women in order to cover up their own incompetence not once but twice. Stalwart retired Marine team-leader LJ Gibbs is questioned on his patriotism when he takes objection to the poor treatment of injured veterans at the severely overtaxed Bethesda Naval Hospital. And the general feeling is that maybe the war isn’t such a great thing.

Also, that our government is cocking it up. The fact that reservists were sent on active combat duty for months or years at a time is brought up constantly, and returning veterans suffering from everything from PTSD to severed limbs, to persistent vegetative states are on screen almost every episode.

With the show currently entering it’s 13th season, I have no idea how far down this unamerican rabbit hole goes, but I like it.

What I do know is that apparently nearly every character I’m watching currently is dead by Season 13.