Sunday, April 27, 2008
Random questions to fill space and time
In which V. has been on vacation for 2 1/2 weeks, and feels a need to post something here, but is not motivated to create a new original post, so she answers some questions that were emailed to her by K., and also constructs an awkward run-on sentence.

whats your name spelt backwards? .V
What did you do last night? Caught up on a lot of TV (Dr. Who, Torchwood, etc), ate spaghetti, played some Wii.
The last thing you downloaded onto your computer? The Safari browser.
Have you ever licked a 9 volt battery? No. Why? Should I? Do people do this? Is this a thing that is done?
Last time you swam in a pool? Last summer, I guess.
What are you wearing? Lederhosen. No, I kid. Jeans, t-shirt. The usual.
How many cars have you owned? Two. 1987 Honda Accord, 2000 Ford Focus. I much preferred the Honda.
Type of music you dislike most? Gangster rap.
Are you registered to vote? Yes.
Do you have cable? Affirmative.
What kind of computer do you use? I built this computer myself, fool. It's a SuperV 2008.
Ever made a prank phone call? Sure, back in the day.
You like anyone right now? I like most people, until they piss me off.
Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? No. But I would go shark diving in one of those cages.
Furthest place you ever traveled? Amsterdam. But I don't know if that counts, because I was only in the airport.
What's your favorite comic strip? It pains me to admit that I used to like For Better Or For Worse until just recently when the author gave up and started resorting to reposts of old material.
Do u know all the words to the national anthem? I know the first verse. And I know that "u" is actually a three-letter word, spelled y-o-u.
Shower, morning or night? Morning, as per routine. But additional showers may follow, depending on when I go to the gym.
Best movie you've seen in the past month? I am not entirely sure that I've seen any really great movies in the past month. Good ones, sure. And a couple of questionable ones. Um... it's probably going to be the original Thai version of Shutter. I also saw the American remake a few days later. Don't bother with the remake. Never bother with the remakes.
Favorite pizza toppings? Black olives, mushrooms.
Chips or popcorn? Depends on my mood. Probably popcorn.
What cell phone provider do you have? I'm on Tracfone, bitches. Prepaid all the way.
Have you ever smoked peanut shells? Seriously? People do this? OMG.
Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? Nope. I was nominated for Homecoming Queen once though.
Orange Juice or apple? I like both. And I particularly like a pineapple-orange-banana blend.
Who were the last people you sat at lunch with? I had lunch with M. at McAllister's Deli on Friday.
favorite chocolate bar? I dunno. I don't eat a lot of chocolate bars. I do eat a lot of peanut M&Ms.
Who is your longest friend and how long? That would be K. We met when we were four. So, um... 28-29 years now.
Last time you ate a homegrown tomato? Last summer. My next door neighbor has a rad vegetable garden.
Have you ever won a trophy? Why yes, yes I have.
Favorite arcade game? Arcade games, as in games one plays in actual arcades, as opposed to console games? DISKS OF TRON, y'all.
Ever ordered from an infomercial? No. I was briefly tempted by Debbie Myers' Green Bags. But then I heard that even though the food looks fresh, it's still rotten on the inside. Also, Debbie Myers kind of scares me a little.
Sprite or 7-UP? Honestly? I can't tell the difference.
Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school/work? Yes, and I hope never to do so ever again.
Last thing you bought at Walgreens? I remember this. Umm... It was just a couple of weeks ago. Wait. It's coming to me. Nail polish? Toothpaste? Dang. I can't remember at all. Either nail polish or toothpaste. Probably nail polish.
Ever thrown up in public? Yeah, right in front of Boots on Lowestoft High Street. I had some kind of tummy bug. People were surprisingly really nice and helpful about it, though.
Would you prefer being a millionaire or finding true love? Can't a girl have both?
Do you believe in love at first sight? No way. Love takes time.
SPONGEBOB OR JIMMY NEUTRON? Who the hell is Jimmy Neutron? Can I choose Hong Kong Phooey?
Did you have long hair as a young kid? I don't remember.
What message is on your voicemail machine? I still haven't figured out how to set up my voicemail. Not that I'd use it anyway.
Where would you like to go right now? The library, but it's raining and I'm kind of tired.
Whats the name of your pet? I have three. Lucy, Bear, and Boogers McBoo.
What kind of back pack do you have, and what's in it? I have a navy blue LL Bean backpack, and it's full of my yoga gear.
What do you think about most? I dunno. How much people suck, I guess.
Friday, April 04, 2008
I have killed you all
In which V has taken several of her friends on a covered-wagon journey against their will.

Yesterday I happily discovered that one can play Oregon Trail online, if one is so inclined. V is of course so inclined. I needed four people to join my party, so I recruited friends and readers E, K, L, and M. I did my best to take care of you. I kept the pace at steady and the rations on filling. I promise.

I should stop here and explain that when I played this in junior high school, I would put people I didn't like in my party, set the pace to "grueling" and rations to "low", and laugh with glee as they died horrible deaths.

But I didn't do that to you guys. Honest! I fed you and bought you extra clothes! I paid for ferries and Indian guides! I did my level best to protect you from harm. But I failed miserably. I suppose it's only fair to let each of you know your fates.

E, you died of a fever. You hung in there for a while, though.

M, you broke your leg and then got dysentery.

K, you got a snakebite. And cholera. That's pretty harsh.

L, I am so so sorry. You had a broken arm, a broken leg, dysentery, AND typhoid. I never should have made you go pioneering at 8 1/2 months pregnant. I only had your best interests in mind, I swear.

If it makes y'all feel better, I died of cholera. None of us made it. EPIC FAIL. But you know, I get knocked down, but I get up again. Next time I'll be the wealthy banker and maybe we won't run out of food 1/3 of the way there.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition
In which the torture scenes were the best part of this film.

Here are some things that V likes a lot:

Stellan Skarsgård
Historical Fiction
Costume Drama

So you'd think that putting all this stuff in a movie would be a total home run, right? Well, no. Let us discuss the unintentional comedy that is Goya's Ghosts

Have a look at that cast, yo. The aforementioned Mr. Skarsgård (Quality), Javier Bardem (Quality), Natalie Portman (borderline Quality), and directed by Milos Forman (I think Amadeus and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest give him some decent street cred, if not full-on Quality).

I really don't know where to start with this one. There is so much potential for snark that there's almost too much ground to cover. You've got Javier Bardem as an overzealous monk. He goes to have his portrait painted by Goya (Stellan Skarsgård). While he's in the artist's studio, he sees a portrait of a pretty girl (Natalie Portman). He starts asking creepy questions like "so, you artist types, you have sex with your models?" and Goya tries to laugh it off, but you've all seen No Country For Old Men so you know how intense Javier Bardem can be.

So meanwhile Natalie Portman hates pork. She thinks it's icky. She's out at a tavern with her brothers one night and they try to make her eat some, and she's all OMG NO IT'S GROSS HAHA. Just so we establish that she really hates pork. Somehow the Inquisition gets wind of this and accuses her of secretly being Jewish. And she gets arrested for not liking pork (seriously) and they torture her and then throw her in a dungeon.

Then her family begs Goya to plead with Javier Bardem for mercy. Creepy Monk Javier goes to visit her in the dungeon. She's all naked and looking like she needs to eat a few sandwiches. I mean, you can count the ribs on that girl. He gets all turned on and prays with her. And by "praying with her" I mean groping her naked scrawny ass while she fervently begs God to let her out of Dungeon-Jail.

Creepy Monk then goes to visit her family and says there's really nothing he could do because she confessed to being a Secret Jew. The family gets him to admit that she confessed under torture. The family then tortures Javier Bardem until he signs a confession saying that he is actually a monkey and has infiltrated the Catholic Church in order to do harm. THIS IS THE BEST PART OF THE WHOLE FILM FOR SERIOUS.

I begin to wonder what any of this really has to do with Goya. He seems like a background character. They'd have been better off calling it EVIL MONK TORTURE or something similarly lurid. More people would probably want to see it that way.

Meanwhile Goya is painting a portrait of the Queen of Span riding a horse. She's ugly. He paints her that way. He shows it to her and she's all OH NOES I AM UGLY and then she storms off. This does not advance the plot in any way.

Flash forward 15 years. France invades, cancels the Inquisition, frees all the prisoners. Natalie Portman has spent half her life in Dungeon-Jail and girlfriend looks like a serious hot mess. Partially bald, covered in scabs, gray skin. And she's doing this bizarre thing with her mouth that looks like what my grandma does when she's not wearing her dentures. Y'all know what I'm talking about.

And she's stumbling around like a cavewoman, going "nurgh, nurgh" and chewing on the inside of her mouth. It's awesome and hilarious. You just know she was thinking about how Charlize won the oscar when she got all uglied up to play that chick in Monster. No oscar for you, Natalie Portman. I tried to find a clip of this on YouTube with no success. That sucks for y'all, because hideous crazy Natalie Portman is totally rad.

So supposedly she was taken advantage of in Dungeon-Jail and had a baby. So first she tries to go home, but her house is empty and her family is all dead. So she turns up to Goya's house and he thinks she's a beggar and he tries to give her a coin and shoos her off. And Goya is deaf now apparently. But she stands there going "nurgh, nurgh" and he gets a good look at her and remembers who she is.

So he makes her write it all down and he gives her food, but apparently does not give her the opportunity to bathe or change clothes, because she keeps rocking that "Typhoid Mary Meets Amy Winehouse" look for the rest of the film.

Let's do some summing up here, because by this point Goya's Ghosts has peaked. It's all downhill now. Guess who the babydaddy is? Javier Bardem! Natalie Portman gets put in a nuthouse. Goya buys her way out. He finds her daughter. Daughter is a whore, also played by Natalie Portman. Javier Bardem tries to bribe the whore-daughter into leaving Spain. She says no way. Chaos ensues. Natalie Portman finds an abandoned baby and thinks it's her daughter that she had like 15 years ago. Goes around going "nurgh, nurgh, my baby." Goya is still deaf. Javier Bardem is executed for heresy. THE END.

Good points: Natalie Portman trying so hard to be a convincing feeb.
Bad points: Tedium.