Thursday, July 26, 2007

How Not to Get Called a Douche By Me At a Concert

Observed whilst seeing Guster play the lawn last Saturday.

  1. Do not pop the collar on your jacket or polo shirt up. I know you think it is a cool fashion statement. It is not. It makes everyone around you call you a douche. Why? Because you are. The only time this is acceptable is if it is freezing cold and you are trying to protect your neck. No? Collar down, skippy.
  2. If you are obviously pregnant, like in the neighborhood of 4-9 months, don't smoke AND drink in public. Everyone around you is judging you. Harshly. And you suck.
  3. Don't make fun of people for liking the opening band. I love Guster because they opened for Barenaked Ladies. Shut the fuck up and listen, or get a drink and chat, but mocking doesn't make you look cool, it makes you look like a douchewaffle supreme.

I still haven't finished reading Harry Potter yet. Can you believe it?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

HP Manic

Work is totally kicking my ass right now, so please forgive the lack of posting. It's not even that I don't have anything good to talk about right now! So first things first, the latest movie review

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
I have to tell you, I was not super-excited about this movie until I saw it. I hadn't watched any of the trailers, and though Goblet of Fire was good, it wasn't that good. Frankly, Michael Gambon seriously turns me off as Dumbledore. I've had the debate several times where people say that if he'd tried to play it as Richard Harris did, he'd get accused of aping Richard Harris. Well, I get that, I guess, but the thing is, Richard Harris was the absolute physical manifestation of what my mind sees Dumbledore as. In the two movies he is in, he shouts exactly one time, when the cave troll is let into Hogwarts, and that's to get the students to be calm and quiet. Other than that, his voice constantly sounds like he's having a conversation with one person, even if he is speaking in front of everyone in the Great Hall. Harris's eyes sparkled in the exact way I've imagined Dumbledore's, and the quieter moments he had with Harry really gave off that sweet, grandfatherly vibe that I think is key to the character. Albus Dumbledore is the most powerful wizard in the world, but he's also remarkably gentle, and has shown compassion to everyone, including Tom Riddle. Gambon is just so abrupt and harsh in comparison. In the Great Hall in Prisoner of Azkaban, his establishing scene at the opening banquet immediately turned me off. He sounded like was shouting immediately, and that's just not in character from the books. Yes, they're separate entities, but the character is who he is. My other big nits to pick is his absurd little wink near the end of PoA when he's telling Harry and Hermione to use the time-turner. It's so skeazy and not in character. It didn't come off right at all to me. And the last thing I'll bitch about was the Champion selecting scene in GoF. The way he shouted Harry's name, then ran up and grabbed him? No. Sorry, wrong number, not Dumbledore. So anyway, mostly because of that and the complete wussification of Ron Weasley, I wasn't the biggest fan of the last two movies.

Pleasant surprise, though, this was actually one of the best yet! So much stuff ended up working. Imelda Staunton could not have been a more perfect cast for Dolores Umbridge, nor could Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood. They were both fabulous editions to the cast. Also, it was good to actually get to spend some time with the character of Sirius Black, since he really didn't have much at all to do in GoF. I think Gary Oldman really got it right with the warmth and penned up energy Sirius has in the book. It was really nice to get to see that character fleshed out in movie form. Rupert Grint, Dan Radcliffe, and Emma Watson were all really good as well. Ron was less of a wimp! Huzzah! Their interactions were really solid and probably the best I've seen them yet.

Some of the special effects were stunners, too. Sirius speaking from the fire place was SO much better than it was in GoF. If you recall, GoF has his face basically animated in the coal bed of the fire. OoTP has his head as a form in the flames, which is so much closer to what I saw in my head, and much more satisfying. Tonks's transformations were great fun, but she was barely in the movie, which is a bit of a bummer. The Veil also looked awesome. It was a little more ethereal than I think I had pictured it, but it really worked, I was quite impressed. The thestrals didn't really fit my mind's eye picture. They looked more like dinosaurs to me. But they still worked, overall, and the scene with Harry and Luna was a nice one. The Wizard Duel between Dumbledore and Voldemort looked a bit too much like a light saber fight for me at first, but it moved away from that, which was good.

The best part to me was the training scenes for the DA. Those completely embodied to me what the book showed. Harry is a really good, really warm teacher, and the class is excited and eager to learn. The only omission I really missed was Harry seeing Mr. and Mrs. Longbottom at St. Mungo's. Seeing Mrs. L give the gum wrapper to Neville and to see Neville's reaction really changed that character for me. I actually really started to care for and about him as a main character at that point. The movie handled it fairly well, but I did miss the scene a lot.

Anyway, that's my two cents on that. The book comes out Saturday! And I have to go to a concert Saturday night! D'oh! Oh well. I'm sure I'll have more to say on that subject soon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Oh Hi, I still exist

Sorry for the dearth of posts lately. Things have been so busy and kind of dumb lately, with some family drama and work being busy, etc. But today, you will get a mishmash of my thoughts! First, a letter:

Dear Pope Benedict,

Listen, I know I'm a lapsed Catholic at best and you have virtually no reason to listen to me, but I really have to get some stuff off my chest. This whole thing, where you decided that Catholics are really the only Christians? Really pisses me off. One of the few things that I felt like the Catholic church really had over some of the other branches of Christianity was that it didn't do that. Before, it was like, "Yeah, you guys have some of the truth, but not all of it, but that's cool, you're on the right track." And your recent statement still sort of says that, but now you're all haughty and snotty about it. You do realize that Christians the world over work under the assumption that Catholics aren't really Christian, right? Like, we're kind of a confused cousin. And I've argued valiantly on the side of Catholics here, even though I don't agree with various parts of Church doctrine, et cetera, because my basic opinion is, God is smart enough to know we're all going to have different ways of finding Him. And no one has any business telling another person that they're wrong, because unless you've actually met the Entity, gotten your picture taken next to Him/Her, and have a t-shirt that says "I met the Creator of the Universe and all I got was this lousy t-shirt, and, oh yeah, affirmation of the Universe," I don't think you should speak with "infallible authority" about His will and truth. I don't know if you remember, but the Church and other major religions have kind of caused some major trouble with shit like that. (Reference: The Inquisition, The Crusades, the Holocaust, etc.) I understand that this is your faith, and it's truth and real to you, but I've found telling other people that they're wrong is not necessarily the most persuasive activity. Dialogue is. And your statement kind of shuts that down, and I don't think that's cool. Also, you sound like a pissy 12 year old by basing your argument on "Since you guys can't trace your origins back to the Apostles, you only sort of count." I don't know if you're aware, Your Holiness, but some of the wearers of the big hat bought the office, sold the office, screwed the office, et cetera. You can't tell me these were all divine descendants of Peter and tell me that you guys are infallible. Not buying it.

Seriously, if you want people to come to the Church and participate in it, you probably shouldn't make an effort to come off like a cranky, racist grandpa. Just my opinion. Oh, and looking like Emperor Palpatine doesn't help at all, either.

Chill out, be blessed, et cetera,

So that ended up being kind of long, and should probably be a post unto itself. More later, then!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Ha. Ha.

You know what's hilarious? Having the hood of your car fly up on your way to work.

And by hilarious, I mean "Sucked so hard my cheeks puckered."

This is the kind of week I'm having.

More details to come!