Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Notes from a Wednesday
In which V finds a constructive way to vent some angst.

Note to the woman at the gym who is constantly on her mobile phone while she uses the cardio machines: OMG you are the biggest twat I think I have ever encountered. Also, unless you want the entire gym to know that Bobby's failing the third grade, and you're worried that he's stupid because of all the blow you did while you were pregnant, you might want to start using your indoor voice. Just saying.

Note to my fellow motorists: Use your fucking indicators. How did you morons pass the road test?

Note to Bridezilla: No, I didn't go to your bridal shower. I'm not coming to your wedding, either. It's because you're not a nice person. Etiquette dictates that I must get you a gift, but instead of choosing something from your ridiculous registry, I am giving you a George Foreman grill that I got for six bucks on clearance at CVS. And I really have to wonder if your soon-to-be husband is aware that you're up to your eyeballs in debt because you bought $30,000 worth of Fiestaware. OMG you're an idiot.

Note to self: Remember to take your vitamins.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
She became Demented!
For V's viewing delectation, I present some classic 80's crud...

Friday, February 23, 2007
I am so totally ready for Grinderman
Many thanks to my dear friend Lisa for sending me this link from the Sydney Morning Herald:

Prince of Lightness

It's a great interview with Nick Cave, and he talks about the Grinderman project. If you're a fan, this is a must-read. Here's a taster...

I don't really do Japanese interviews. I don't think there's much call for me in Japan," he offers casually. "They used to love me in Japan and then I did the record with Kylie [Minogue, who joined him on Where the Wild Roses Grow from the Murder Ballads album] and I think that they never forgave me. I got letters from young girls saying, 'We used to love you but now we don't because you did song with Kyrie. We hate Kyrie.'
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Daily Dharma
I personally believe that every person on this earth has something that we can learn from. Every culture, every belief system, every one of them has something valuable that we can take away and make a part of ourselves. We're all connected simply by being human. And so part of what this Daily Dharma thing is about is encouraging people to look outside of their own cultural point of view. Some of the most beautiful lessons come from unexpected places.

Codename V opens up the late 80s time capsule.
In which I learned it by watching YOU, alright?? I learned it by watching YOU. *sob*

Here it is, in all its cheesy glory. The public service announcement which laid the foundation for every punchline of every joke told in my 8th grade class. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 15, 2007
Notes from a Thursday
Note to the person who lost their free pass to the cinema on the sidewalk outside the place where I got my takeaway lunch: Dude, I'm sorry you lost your movie pass. That's harsh. But I promise to give it a good home. A more deserving person couldn't have found it. Honest.

Note to local motorists: I swear, only three people know how to f*ing drive in this town. And I'm two of them.

Note to the crackwhore who stepped out in front of my car as I was taking the shortcut to the mall that goes through the ghetto: One of these days, you're going to walk out in front of someone who doesn't slam on their brakes. And the world will be one dead crackwhore closer to world peace.

Note to self: Stop taking that ghetto shortcut to the mall. Just go the long way. Fewer crackwhores.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Don't push me, I'm close to the edge. I'm trying not to lose my head.
In which V. has seen a mindless action film and will now say a few nice things about it.

So this afternoon I watched Crank, wherein Jason Statham plays an assassin who has been injected with a deadly poison. The poison affects his adrenal system, so he has to constantly keep his adrenaline up or else he'll die. He decides to use his last few hours to track down and kill the other assassin who did this to him.

This whole scenario is COMPLETELY IMPLAUSIBLE.

What follows is a sequence of elaborate car chases, fight scenes, and various extreme stunts, all of which are COMPLETELY IMPLAUSIBLE but serve to keep this guy's adrenaline waaaaay up there.

Need I tell you that this film was a hell of a lot of fun to watch? I enjoyed it. But then, I'm a fan of mindless action and murder/death/kill. This had a little of everything, and a healthy dose of humor to boot. Recommended, but not if you're in a serious mood or have a stick up your arse.
Daily Dharma
Okay, so I'm pretty much a misanthrope. Keep people away from me, especially people under the age of about 22. I just don't like people. Whatever.

But sometimes you just have to marvel at what people can do. People can do some stuff that's pretty freakin' amazing. And if you think about it, you realize, they're people just like you and me. We all have this potential to do things that are freakin' amazing. And maybe the world would be a much better place if there was less "keep people away from me" and more "I appreciate the innate beauty of humanity". But don't worry, I'm not going to go all "Up With People" on y'all.

So here's something that I saw a while back, and I thought it was freakin' amazing. Enjoy!

Slacker than slack...
In which V. finally gets around to reviewing a film she saw, like, a week and a half ago.

So last Monday I went to the cinema to see The Messengers. This is an American horror film directed by the Pang Brothers, genuine masters of Asian horror cinema. They are best known for the Eye films (soon to be remade - and no doubt, heavily watered down - for American audiences). The Eye films are well made and very effectively creepy. If you haven't seen them (and I think only two out of my whopping five readers have) you really should. People need to be watching more foreign cinema anyway, instead of waiting for crappy English-langauge remakes. But I digress.

Most of the reviews for The Messengers have been glowing. Critics say this is a great film, and that it will scare you so bad you'll pee your pants.

Okay, this is technically a very good film. It is well filmed and well acted. Production values are through the roof. It's got a pretty good story and it takes the plot through to a satisfying conclusion. So what are my problems with it? In short, this is a composite of a lot of other great horror films. The catch is, it's a composite of a lot of great horror films that only about four people in the world have seen so this will probably still make most of you pee your pants. Unfortunately for me, I have seen those films. So I wasn't surprised or shocked by anything I saw. The Messengers was still a good film - it just wasn't scary for me.

Let's go into a bit more detail. Spoilers may be afoot, tread with caution.

1. The plot was strikingly similar to a fairly obscure Spanish film called Darkness. Let's compare. In both films, a troubled family moves into a creepy old house. House is haunted by one or more dead people. Dead people torment teenaged girl and her younger brother. Teenaged girl begs parents for help, parents ignore her. She confides in cute teenaged boy who puts himself in danger to help her. Chaos ensues. Crisis ends when horrible secret is discovered and all wrongs put right.

Yeah, I mean, that's a good story. But I've seen it before. Note: go watch Darkness. It's great. And it's in English, even though it's a Spanish film. Go figure.

2. Big creep-out moment number one: a creepy ghost scuttles along the ceiling like a spider or something. Yeah, okay. This scared the crap out of me when I saw it in The Exorcist 3. But now it's a case of "been there, done that." Try harder, Pang Brothers. I know you have it in you.

Note: If you haven't seen The Exorcist 3, you really should. It doesn't really have anything at all to do with the other four Exorcist films, and the creepiness is subtle but intense. Highly recommended.

3. Big creep-out moment number two: a dead person is floating along, feet hovering a few inches above the floor. He/she/it is gliding slowly towards someone whose back is turned. Person is aware of dead thing, but is afraid to turn around. This causes tension. This scared the crap out of me when it was the elevator scene in The Eye (and was about ten minutes shorter. I mean, geez). Pang Brothers, what were you thinking? You've ripped off your own film. What is the world coming to?

Note: watch The Eye. Please. You'll be glad you did, especially once they lame it all up in the remake.

Comclusion: The Messengers was an okay film. I'm glad I saw it, and I don't feel like I want my $6 back or anything. But I think overall it was wasted potential. I would probably recommend that y'all watch these other three films instead, though.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Daily Dharma
In which V is predictably slack about blogging, so this will probably wind up being semi-weekly dharma at best.

This may seem like a massive contradiction, but while V. is a rabid fan of gore, ultraviolence, and making snarky comments about pop culture, V. also loves things that nourish the soul. I may not be Hallmark Material, but I like to take time to appreciate the beauty in life. And I thought it would be nice to start sharing a little of that beauty with y'all. I reckon we could all use a little inner peace.

I found this video recently. It's a lovely song, and the video itself is a genuine work of art. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Not Hallmark Material
In which V attends the most bizarre job interview of all time.

So I applied for a job with Hallmark Cards. The application was one of those weird things that has more psych-evalutaion type questions than questions about your actual work history or skills or experience. I wasn't allowed to take the application home and send it in later. No. I had to fill it out on the spot. If I'd taken it home, I wouldn't have even bothered with it. I'd have said "these people are on crack" and tossed it in the bin.

But no. I was locked into this course of action which involved having to answer some questions that I'm pretty sure it's illegal to ask. Stuff like "do you get along with your parents?" and "how does your faith affect you in the workplace?" and "how did you pay for college?"

I left most of them blank... I didn't figure it was any of their business, and most of my answers would have been finely crafted lies anyway. I did manage to resist the urge to say I paid for college by pole dancing.

So then I was asked back for an interview on the spot. The lady didn't even look over my application, just said "come back tomorrow at one" and I was all "um, k."

So I go back in, and by this time I'm really kind of wary because subconsciously I'm already thinking "screw this noise." And it went like this:

Freak: I see you left a lot of these answers blank.
Me: Yes, I didn't really feel comfortable with some of those questions.
Freak: Hm. You left your high school G.P.A. blank.
Me: I don't remember it. That was almost 15 years ago.
Freak: If you can't remember that, how can you remember the everyday things?
Me: What? Um. Well, I'm sure it was pretty average...
Freak: We don't want average people at Hallmark Cards.
Me: What?
Freak: I don't think you're Hallmark Material.
(at this point, I may have said "I don't think so either" but I can't remember.)

WTF? I mean, seriously - WTF? In retrospect, I wish I'd told her that Hallmark Cards was about as average as it gets. Crazy. Anyway, I'm taking the viewpoint that "Not Hallmark Material" is a positive thing. I mean, okay...

People Who Are Probably Hallmark Material
Thomas Kincade, Painter of Lightâ„¢
Celine Dion
The entire cast of Touched by an Angel
Angela Lansbury
Mel Gibson

People Who Are Almost Definitely Not Hallmark Material

Rob Zombie
Batman (actually probably the rest of the JLA except for Superman)
The Predator

Which list would you rather be on? Life is too short for mediocrity.
Monday, February 05, 2007
What a start to the day!
There's this student quiz called 'Deadly Knowledge' on TV in the morning before I go to work and the irreverent host has a tendency to introduce wildly unrelated topics into the question introduction. Such as this "the greatest music video ever made"! Check out the huge "Walkman"! The skating men in leotards! The smoke machine, aviator glasses and leather suit! The Milton Keynes setting! All together now... "I like small people! I like tall people!..."

Friday, February 02, 2007
A few words on music.
So, V is a southern girl, and the whole "being Southern" thing is very much a part of my identity. Not in that whole redneck "the south will rise again" kind of way. No. More like in that whole Steel Magnolias way, even though Steel Magnolias was a really shitty film. There's a certain kind of Southern girl with a certain kind of values that it can be hard to explain if you don't already get it. Think about Scarlett O'Hara, digging in the dirt with her hands, after she's grown from the silly debutante into a fighter. We know what's important, and we'll stand up for it. We don't mince words, either.

But I digress. One of these days I'll have to write a big diatribe about what it really means to be Southern. The polite kind of Southern, not the sort with a gun rack in their tractor. Seriously. I've seen that.

I was going to talk about music. People tend to associate the south with country music, and that's just a shame. I mean, yes, we do tend to generate most of the country music you might encounter. We have Nashville and Dollywood and all that stuff. But the majority of this music is shit. Complete shit. And since there's such a vast amount of it, I think a lot of people tend to think Southern music is all songs about pickup trucks and trailers and coldhearted women.

This misconception is a wrong which needs righting. We gave y'all the blues, people. THE BLUES. And jazz. Hello? Two of the most important contributions to America's musical culture were born in the south. And people tend to forget that.

So without any further rambling on my part, enjoy some truly awesome real Southern music.