Wednesday, September 24, 2008

what's in a name

Today's Web Wednesday:

Random Name Generator

Really handy if you're writing a story and have a bunch of still-nameless background characters. Just press refresh, and a new set of names will pop up. Yay!

Names that popped up for me:
Men: Antwan Darley, Michael Lee
Women: Hillary Mauro, Patricia Klein

Sorry if you're not into writing stories. I don't know why else you would need this link. Unless you have a thing for random names. Kinky.

i never had a pet dog

I had to make due with pet fish.
Maybe I would have enjoyed them more if I had this bowl.
Then I could be cool and walk them in the park like all those lucky dog owners.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Hee. What a name! Pog. Pog. Pog. Pog. Pog. I had a flashback to the 90’s of my childhood the other day when a Pog appeared on my door (attached to a flyer). I had forgotten about those little buggers—I had quite the collection when I was younger. I remember I had a set from In-and-Out, all the (Mighty Morphin!) Power Rangers, and two slammers (one was red and one was gold). I had more, but those were my faves. I held them all in my day-glo orange and pink Flinstones Pog cases. Oh, the fun times. I didn’t usually have any formidable opponents to hone my skills (little brothers don’t know how to play!), so I spent a lot of my time lining them up, just admiring my collection.

Here’s how you play the game:

1. Both players put their Pogs face down in a pile.
2. One player throws his slammer (a heavier Pog) on top of the stack.
3. Any Pog which lands face up is given to the person who threw the slammer. All of the other Pogs are then collected and put back into the pile, and it is the next player's turn.
4. This continues until there are no more Pogs in the pile. If the players were ‘playing for keeps’ then the players keep what they won, but if not the Pogs are redistributed to the original owners.

Remember now? Remember?! ^_^ Pogs were the shit, man. Almost as entertaining as Hot Wheels. Pog. Pog. Pog. Pog. POG!

Monday, September 22, 2008

playlist: college edition

September 2008:

1. Living on a Prayer- Bon Jovi
2. The Call- Regina Spektor
3. Vienna- Billy Joel
4. Disarray- Lifehouse
5. Dammit- Blink-182
6. Such Great Heights- The Postal Service
7. Details in the Fabric- Jason Mraz (ft. James Morrison)
8. California- Phantom Planet
9. Like a Rolling Stone- Bob Dylan
10. No Rain- Blind Melon
11. Best Days- Graham Colton
12. American Girl- Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
13. Don't Stop Believing- Journey
14. How Far We’ve Come- Matchbox 20

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

shoot 'em up

I think I like the idea of Westerns more than the actual films. Granted, I haven’t seen many, but the ones I have seen… I can enjoy them mildly (I’m talking about the classic John Wayne types). Nostalgia, simpler times, American…ness, questionable morality, good vs. bad… I dig all those things. But the movies themselves are just too slow and sometimes sad for my taste. But you know, I’ll watch a good old American Western once in a while. Those Spaghetti Westerns, though, ugg. Fun, but too novelty.

Anyway, so today I watched the original 3:10 to Yuma. I had seen the remake, and I pretty much didn’t like it much at all. Surprisingly (or maybe not), I enjoyed the original one more. So here’s the breakdown.

3:10 to Yuma (2007) vs. (1957)

The Plot: (via

The rancher Daniel Evans, who lost part of his leg in the Civil War, is broken and owing a large amount to a powerful man in Bisbee. When the outlaw Ben Wade is captured after the heist of a stagecoach, Dan offers to escort the cold blood killer to the city of Contention to take the 3:10 PM train to Yuma to be sent to trial. In return, he would receive US$ 200,00, enough to save his land and give a better life to his family. During their journey, Ben gets closer to Dan while his gang of criminals follows the group to rescue their boss.

After outlaw leader Ben Wade is captured in a small town, small-time rancher Dan Evans is persuaded to take Wade in secret to a railway station in Contention to await the train to the court at Yuma. Once the two are holed up in the hotel to wait it becomes apparent the secret is out, and a battle of wills starts.

Bottom Line:
Basically, get Ben Wade on that 3:10 train to Yuma (so he can be HANGED!! That dirty murderer!). Except he’s so damn charismatic and smart, he kind of almost gets Dan Evans on his side. Dan is the most decent, talented, and intelligent of the motley crew trying to bring Ben in. Ben and Dan form mutual respect for each other, but is it enough so that Dan will give into Ben?? Tension! Suspense! Psychological warfare!

But the 2007 extends the trip between Ben’s ranch and Contention City, adding a lot more characters and filler action sequences to make it an ACTION! MOVIE!! It also gives the movie more plot holes than… a stupid action movie.

The original movie was simple (a third of the movie takes place in one room) and succinct. Even though the pace is somewhat slow, it’s deliberate, and it’s well done.


In the 2007 movie, Dan is… kind of whiny. He is, like, a super brooding loser who doesn’t even have the respect of his family. “Don't do it, Dan. No one will think less of you.,” his wife says. “Uh, I think you will. Your bratty son definitely will,” I say to her. “No one can think less of me,” Dan agrees, in the movie. Aw, dammit! That’s sad! I don’t know why they made him a self-loathing cripple. We kind of end up pitying him, which I think kind of misses the point of his character. In the 1957 version, Dan is a sidelines guy who doesn’t try to change things he can’t. So to prove he has some conviction (and earn some money), he helps bring Ben in. In the 2007 version, he is a man who thinks he has nothing to lose, and in a last ditch effort to show is family that he’s not completely useless, he risks his life to help bring Ben in.

In both, Dan is a guy who is Doing The Right Thing, but because the 2007 adds all this depressing back story, it weakens his character instead of making him stronger. It makes him seems stubborn, and foolish, and up to this point, he’s a wasted man that is unappreciated by his family. Dan in the 1957 movie is also under appreciated, but his redemption comes at the beginning of the movie, after he decides to bring in Ben, making his journey to and at Contention a story of a hero, instead of a depressed man struggling to become one. The latter might sound better to some (in the execution of the movie, however, it’s not), but I think that a Western shouldn’t have its protagonist so emo. I spent so much time feeling sorry for 2007 Dan, it got kind of annoying after a while.


The 1957 one was filmed in black and white, and the feel was very much an old-fashioned western. Since it came a little later, though, some of the camera angles were actually pretty compelling, and it almost felt kind of noir-ish at times.

The 2007 movie had virtually no wide angle shots, which is blasphemous, I think, in a Western. So yea, it was more ACTION! MOVIE! than Western. Boo. When I watch a Western, I want to see, I want to feel the still, dusty, dry, emptiness.

The Ending:

I won’t go into too much detail, but both endings are pretty ridiculous. They ended differently, but each ending matched it’s movie, and worked in context. The 2007 one left me feeling so depressed, and I hate depressing endings so maybe I’m a little biased, but of the two, I liked the 1957 ending better. I think I was just fed up with the stupidity with everyone in the 2007 movie that I wished everyone was shot up dead.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

if hamlet were on facebook

In honor of last Wednesday
When I posted without linking.
What was I thinking?

web wednesday, three days late.

thinking at the mcdonald's drive-thru

Fall. Autumn. The season so nice they named it twice. New Years day isn’t until January 1st, but to me, the new year always starts in September. Yesterday I woke up and went out to get some breakfast, and outside my door was Fall. The sky was completely milked over with pure white clouds, and the day looked as if it was a painting, and the artist had not yet finished coloring. The world had never looked so infinite as it did as a blank piece of paper.

There’s something refreshing about this time of the year, when all the kids are starting to go back to school and the leaves turn crispy brown, like paper bags falling to the ground. I feel like my (imaginary) lover should send me a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils and a box of scotch tape. Spring is the season of rebirth, but there’s nothing like a gust of cold wind slapping you across the face to make you feel alive.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

you're pretty, but dull

Oh Nate. You are an enigma, but not the good kind. After a whole season of Gossip Girl, I still have no idea what your personality is. You’re kind of just there so that Chuck doesn’t have to talk in monologues, to create vapid tension between Blair and Serena (and you don’t even do that anymore), or to be a (literal?) manwhore. Stop taking screen time away from the interesting characters (ie. all the other teens)! Maybe you should just stand next to whoever is talking so I can still get the pretty, without the dumb plotlines. See, in any given situation, I still have no idea how you’d react or feel about it. That’s… not good. I demand more quality character development from my TV shows, Gossip Girl!

(If this were an email, I’d probably CC this note to Rufus and Lily, too.)

Scene: Blair’s mom has remarried, and Blair is introducing her new dreadlocked, hippie stepbrother, Aaron, to her friends.

Blair: [to Aaron] …So this is civics class.

Aaron: Cool.

Blair: Hey everyone. This is my stepbrother Aaron. [rolls eyes]

Serena: Hey Aaron! Nice to meet you! Welcome to Constance!

Dan: Hi Aaron, nice to meet you. I’m Dan. Good luck living with Blair. You’ll definitely need it. [ha, I’m hilarious]

Blair: [rolls eyes]

Chuck: Yea, if you’re not careful, Blair might go Cruel Intentions on you. [Sneers]

Dan: Wow, I’m so glad you can add something to this conversation, Chuck. Your intellect is really staggering.

Chuck: Listen, Daniel... I--

Serena: [cuts Chuck off] So Aaron! How do you like New York?

[Chuck continues to sneer]

Aaron: I dig it.

Serena: That’s great!

Blair: Please. He hasn’t even seen it yet. All he does is smoke his hippie ganja-whatever in his room all day. Which is, like, so lame, BTW. [rolls eyes]

Serena: [whispers] Give him a chance, Blair. He seems like a really nice guy!

Vanessa: Hi Aaron, I'm Vanessa. If you'd like, I could show you around the city. I know this great art museum with a lot of interpretive art.

Aaron: Thanks. That'd be cool.

Jenny: Oh my God, that’s such an awesome shirt Aaron. Where’d you get it? [I wonder if he’s into the bohemian scene. It would be so cool if I could get in with them. Ok, after school, I’ll happen to run into him at the park and…]

Eric: Uh, Jenny, we’re not even in this class. Shouldn’t we get going? The bell rang like, five minutes ago.

Jenny: Hold on, let’s just stay for a few more minutes!

Aaron: Uh, I made this shirt, actually.

Jenny: Wow! That's so cool! You know, I make my own clothes too!

Serena: There’s a black and white party tonight, Aaron. Do you want to come?

Dan: What! You didn’t tell me about that!

Serena: Yes I did! Yesterday!

Dan: Oh, sorry, I’m just used to you not telling me stuff.

[Dan and Serena start to make out]

Blair: [rolls eyes]

Gossip Girl: Looks like B has a new playmate. Things might start to get a little tense in the sandbox this year….

End Scene.

See? What would Nate have to say?? Who knows!
Who cares.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

ode to ferrero rocher

So remarkable as to elicit disbelief—
You luscious, creamy, chocolaty confection,
Surrounding wafer and hazel nut.
I think your gilded wrapper more precious
Than the purest gold.
Looking ahead, I relish Christmastime
When I will receive you as a generic gift
From lazy office co-workers
And distant relatives from out-of-town.
I take small nibbles to enjoy your textures.
I pop you whole because I just can’t help myself.
Yea, you are pretty delicious.

Monday, September 8, 2008

the hills

Oh my God, you guys, I am like totally addicted to The Hills. The first season, it could be counted on as a guilty pleasure, but now, in the 4th (!) season, it’s just… sick. I’m just one step away from putting on my fluffy pink bathrobe and watching a marathon of Living Lohan all day. The horror, the horror!

I want it to stop so badly, but I need MTV to stop making new episodes because I won’t stop otherwise. It makes me wonder, why am I still so addicted to this show? I don’t even enjoy watching it (it’s totally beyond that so bad it’s good factor—it’s definitely just bad), and nothing ever happens so it’s not a great talking point either. It also annoyingly perpetuates the stereotype that all people do in LA is party (and anyway, I heard that NY is like 1000x more social). Do I watch the show because I identify with their ordinary, mundane lives? Does it make me feel better knowing that even with all that money and fame Lauren’s life is essentially vapid, tedious, and pointless?

Paris Hilton is so last year, and Lauren is totally this year’s pseudo-celebrity I enjoy hating on. Someone brilliantly renamed "The Hills" to "LC and the Seven Bland Dwarfs": Vacant (Audrina), Dopey (Whitney), Dirty (Justin Bobby), Plastic (Heidi), Slimey (Spencer), Douchey (Brody) and Bitter (Lo). And that right there is so spot on I can’t believe it.

Whenever The Hills finally does end, though, I think I’ll feel a bit like I lost touch with a friend. Not that I like Lauren or any of her friends, but the voyeuristic part of me, I guess, kind of enjoys being able to watch a lose reality show based on someone else’s life. Morbid curiosity. Vicarious thrill. I never really think of her as a celebrity since I know her from a “reality show” where we’re to assume that we are watching someone live their ordinary life. In an embarrassing way, it is like I know her. But honestly, she’s one of my dullest friends.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

i just called... to say...

I never really went through a rebellious teenager stage. I guess partly because of my inherent personality, and partly because my parents never really gave me a reason to. Like, I never had a curfew, but I never really stayed out all night either.

Have you ever noticed often in life you don’t say what you think? A lot of the times it’s because you simply can’t say them. I’m a pretty sentimental creature, but even I have trouble being all sincere and touchy-feely with my emotions in conversation. So I guess when I talk to my parents, I disguise all my complements in vague insults. Instead of saying, “Thanks for giving me such a well-rounded, stable life,” I say, “I used to get annoyed that nothing tragic really happened to me. Like, my life is so dull. In 7th grade, when we had to do a timeline for our life in social studies, it was really hard to think up things to put on it! I guess you guys just gave me such a stable environment. Haha. Which I’m thankful for, of course. But… you know….”

So I feel like I’m strongly suggesting that they are in fact good parents, but like anyone, what they really need is straight-forward validation. My mom asked me point-blank at dinner the other night whether I felt like I had a good childhood. “I guess you have a lot of complaints, but was there anything your father and I did right?” At that point I started to feel a little guilty that I had never expressed my gratitude enough. “Yes,” I say, blushing into my drink. “I mean, you guys are really good parents. Like I told you before about how I would get frustrated because I could never win an argument since you guys were so reasonable,” yeah, I threw in another insult/complement. “I never wanted any other parents, though. I always thought you guys were the best.”

“Aw…” they say. “We always thought you were the best daughter… blah blah blah,” and at that point I’m pretty embarrassed. So mushy. Ick.

But I’m thankful for that moment. So many times people express regret about how they didn’t tell someone they love them, or how much a person means to them.

I meant what I said, and I’m really glad I got a chance to say it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

while you're ahead

I really hate Hollywood sometimes. Did anyone see Wanted? It was an OK movie. Entertaining but not mind-blowing, and thoughtful but not poignant. It works well as a stand alone movie, and has (I think) a very conclusive ending, but OF COURSE there's going to be TWO MORE sequels now. STOP MAKING UNNECESSARY SEQUELS.

And I really have no more to say. I just had to rant a little.

Monday, September 1, 2008

happy labor day

"You watch Avatar?!"

"I love Avatar! I love Prince Zuko!!"


"Oh yea, he's every girl's dream! You know, the hot, tortured-soul type. And he's a decent fighter to boot."

"Um, I guess. But he's a cartoon."

"You should see how I get about real-life fictional characters."

"Haha. But don't you ever fall for a guy you actually know?"

"Mmm... Yeah. But real boys are harder to love."


"Because they can break your heart."

The Aura of:

My photo
I tend to get obsessive about things for a while, then get over it, and start to wonder what was wrong with me in the first place. Also, having no section for "Favorite TV Shows" makes absolutely no sense to me. That should tell you a lot right there.