Saturday, November 29, 2008

Four legs good!

Iams is running a fabulous campaign to help get 1 million animals adopted into loving homes for the holidays. You can find out more about it here.

Normally, I don't endorse or patronize Iams because they test their products on dogs and cats extensively. They are also not the most nutritious food products you can choose for your pet. However, in this case they have their hearts in the right place and I hope they inspire people to adopt an animal in need. I would love to adopt another dog or cat, but cramming any more living beings into this one-bedroom apartment would be cruel to all parties involved.
Dan and I really wanted to adopt a dog when Dan decided he wanted one. Trouble is, if you're young, working long hours and have never been the sole care-provider to a dog before, chances are no shelter or rescue organization will let you adopt a dog. Especially when you want a small dog, which usually have more people vying to adopt them. I completely understand why such standards exist, and I wouldn't trade Max for the world, but I really wish we could have adopted a dog.
So, if you have the room, time and money, please consider adopting a dog or cat. Adult animals, pitbull mixes and black dogs have very low adoption rates, but there's no good reason for it. People usually just have their hearts set on a puppy or very young dog, but a 3 or 4 year old dog has years and years of love left to give. Every adopted dog I've met knows just how lucky they are to have a new home. It's amazing how a dog has such a bottomless capacity for love, even if it's been abused or neglected. All they needs is love, understanding and sometimes a whole lot of patience, but they'll give you more in return than you'd ever imagine.
In a couple of years when Dan and I get a bigger place we'll adopt a friend for Max. I can't wait for that!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Feature presentation

A few movie recommendations:

A Tale of Two Sisters is the highest-grossing Korean horror film of all time. It's based on an old Korean folk-tale about murder, ghosts and revenge. The plot is a slowly unravelling story of what lead to one of the sisters having to go to a hospital and why a vengeful spirit haunts her home. The cinematography is decadent and rich. One of the things I love about foreign horror films is that, unlike American horror films which show you the ghost/monster for a breif second in order to get you to jump, a foreign horror movie allows the camera to dwell on the terrifying figure. It imitates our nightmares, it moves towards us and we cannot stop it or get away- we cover our face with our hands and squirm while we peek through our fingers. The creature's approach is both terrifying and intoxicating... will it get us?

Aliens: SPecial Edition is available free On-Demand from Comcast. One of the best sci-fi horror movies ever made, and a glowing example of a great screenplay. The reason the plot is so superior is that the writer wasn't burdened with introducing the aliens to the audience. We know what's waiting for Ripley, we just need to know how she ends up having to face them again. The exposition is taken care of in a few tidy briefing scenes, and then the rest of the film can be devoted to developing the relationships between the characters and exposing their motivations. Scenes included in this version that were left out of the theatrical release- scenes showing the treatment station prior to infestation, Hicks and Ripley exchaning first names, Bill Paxton bragging about the artillery and much more!

Run, Fat Boy, Run funnier than you might think and with a great soundtrack. Simon Pegg + Siouxsie and the Banshees? Yes, please! Be prepared to hate Hank Azaria, it doesn't feel right to do it, but he plays a jerk well.

And a little rant:
I am so sick and tired of these silly teenage vampires. Why is the story never based around a mortal man that loves a vampiress? Let me tell you:
Vampires are a metaphor for date rapists. They charm their victims and then force themselves upon them. Their forced penetration results in either death, or infection by the poison they ejaculate from their fangs. This ejaculation results in the "birth" of another vampire- which is always "more beautiful" than a mortal.
Teenage girls often have rape fantasies, these fantasies are indulged by these vampire movies. Rape fantasies should not be indulged, they are unhealthy.
A big plot point in Twilight? A vampire can kill a human accidently during sex, this only makes the heroine want to have sex with one MORE. What kind of message is that to send to teenagers???
"That guy could turn violent during sex, GO FOR IT!"
How many abusive or toxic relationships will result from another generation being taken in by this rape-masquerading-as-romance fantasy?
So the reason these stories never center around a mortal man and a vampiress is because it would imply that a woman can over-power and rape a man. That upsets our traditional concept of the roles of men and women in society.
Tell a teen you know: "Say no to glamorized rape."
And for everyone else who's annoyed with how these new vampires like to violate the rules of what vampires can and cannot do, we are not alone.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Life lessons:

Never trust a drunk person to be able to lead you home. They might claim to know which way we need to walk, but they really have no idea.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Snakes on my plane

In honor of the late great Paul Newman I got The Verdict via Netflix. If you liked The Untouchables or A Few Good Men you'll love The Verdict. It's the story of a Boston attorney who's just hit rock bottom when the case of a lifetime falls in his lap. It is the ultimate underdog story. Superb script and they just don't make movies like this anymore.

I saw a preview for the new Tom Cruise movie Valkyrie. At first I thought it was a joke. Who puts a protagonist- or an antagonist for that matter- in an eye patch? A secret plot to kill Hitler? Lots of explosions? Come on! Then, I went online and found out that it's based on actual events. Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg , a Nazi, loses an eye, his right hand and two fingers from his left hand in a battle in Africa. Once back in Germany, he and other high-ranking German officers convince Hitler that if he should die, their government would fall apart. So they should form a shadow government, just in case (Operation Valkyire). Claus becomes a sympathizer with the resistance and he and the other shadow government members decide to take out Hitler and surrender to the Allie Forces.
If you were selecting someone to assassinate the most powerful and frightening man in the world, would you send a one-handed, one-eyed, veteran? I need more convincing on this.
Apparently what drew Cruise to this project was the similarity between his profile and that of the real-life Claus. I'm thinking he looked at this script and said to himself:
"My career is making a slow comeback after my comedy turn in Tropic Thunder. What could be more likable than a Nazi who has a change of heart and tries to kill Hitler and *SPOILER* ends up sacrificing his own life? Green light!"
I might be judging this one a little harshly. It could just be a case of a terrible trailer. Let us hope.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A good day.

I noticed a theme among my posts on life an such; They're all negative. I guess I've always been a cynical person, but this disappointed me. I need to share the positive experiences too.
This past week I had one of those day where you feel nothing but love for others. The Dunkin Donuts employee was extremely friendly, chatting with me while I was waiting for my bagel. I find a good mood amongst fast food workers is hard to find, so when I encounter it, I savor and encourage it. I saw people offering their seats on the T- and not because of those new signs. On the way home, a guy who always sees me on the T tapped my shoulder and we had a nice conversation. When I got off at Hynes Convention Center, a man dropped something and a woman immediately picked it up and chased after him to give it back.
It was a perfect day. Like everyone just woke up and said to themselves "I want to put a positive charge into everything I do today."
I'm making an effort to say that to myself every morning.