WARNING: If taken in large doses, nightshade can be deadly.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

That was the most exciting a Saturday night has been for me in a while.

2am found me rolling out of bed and stumbling my way downstairs for some medicine to fend off a migraine.  That alone is an adventure because I cannot see squat in the dark.  No night vision whatsoever.  But I made it down the stairs without maiming myself in the process, so I counted it as a success. 

As I'm popping my pills, I realized that there is a very loud ruckus coming from outside at the front of my house.  So I'm running around in my nightgown, peeking through all the windows, but I can't see what is making the noise to save my life. 

So I head back up the stairs, turning on every light I come in contact with once I get into our room because I'm secretly hoping my husband will wake up and go check this out for me.....because I was scared, and really, "Checking out the shit that goes bump in the night" is like #3 on the "Shit you have to do when you are a husband" list.  But alas, no such luck.  I could drive a firetruck, sirens blaring, through our bedroom and hubs would just roll over and throw another pillow over his head. 

I threw on some pajamas, head back downstairs, and out the front door.  Still nothing.  The sound is MUCH louder, and obviously coming from between our house and our neighbors' though, so I time my launch off the front porch when I know that the ONE sprinkler Housing Maintenance had installed was spraying my garage door instead of toward the lawn.

I land in the soggy grass........

....and immediately get shot across the chest by a sprinkler from our neighbor's yard. 

Now let me tell you about these sprinklers.  They are these little 2-inch black things that raise up out of the ground and rotate-spray on a timer.  I knew about the one at the end of my driveway.  I did not know about the 20 others they have scattered throughout the tiny, shared yard between our houses. 

So, I run.  And with every step, I'm shot by yet another fucking sprinkler.  I feel like I'm caught in the crossfire of the least deadliest war zone ever (seriously!  Who needs that many sprinklers?!).  I was out there, at two o'clock in the morning ducking and dodging sprinklers like a mad woman, barefoot, soaking wet, and cussing up a storm. 

When I finally make it through the maze of sprinklers, I find the source of the whole ruckus....a busted water pipe.  It was trying to rip the gutter off the side of my house with sheer water pressure.  There was absolutely nothing I could do about it.

I sprint back through the liquid obstacle course, stomp my way upstairs, change my wet clothes and dry off, cut off all the lights, and get back into bed. 

Hubby never even rolled over. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Television Without Pity is my absolutely FAVORITE place to go catch up on shows that I watch regularly but I missed an episode, don't watch anymore and just want to find out what happened in a particular storyline, or just want to relive.  They have delightfully snarky recappers, and I can't tell you how many times I've laughed until I've cried over their interpretation of the events on some of my favorite shows. 

Recently, I found out that they have been recapping "Game of Thrones", which is an HBO series that recently aired its Season 1 finale.  It's really good, and has stuck very closely to the books that it is adapted from (I'm on Book 3 of this series right now, and it is excellent!).  Peter Dinklage STEALS the show with his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister.  If you have HBO, and you haven't yet, you should check this show out. 

And pray that HBO doesn't pull a Deadwood on it. 

You see, while I was reading recaps of Game of Thrones, I also found TWoP's old recaps of Deadwood.  Pretty soon, I was furious all over again at the cancellation of this fucking amazing show after only 3 short seasons, and right before the climax of an extremely pivotal storyline.

Deadwood might have been the best television show I've ever seen.  And I watch a lot of the boob tube, folks.  The writing, the acting, the cinematography, the minimal soundtrack......it was all superb.  But oh my god.....the acting.  Ian McShane, Paula Malcolmson, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, Robin Weigert....hell, every single cast member brought everything they had to to every single episode.  The end results were mesmerizing.  

A lot of people had qualms about the foul language, but it was the language of the time that the show was set in.  And once you immersed yourself in the vernacular, you really got the amazing flow and poetry of it all.  Deadwood helped me improve my vocabulary at least once a show.....and I'm not just talking about how to slip a well-placed "cocksucker" into my daily conversations. (Although that did come in pretty handy too.

HBO couldn't have made a bigger mistake by pulling this show.  And for what??  Shows like Entourage?  Not to mention Hung?  Or In Treatment?  It's baffling.   

I'm not sure if you can tell or not, but I really miss Deadwood.  And despite its untimely demise, you should check it out.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Male Privilege Checklist

This was posted in a debate group that I frequent online.  Given its accuracy, I thought I would pass it along.

The Male Privilege Checklist:
1. My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female applicants, are probably skewed in my favor. The more prestigious the job, the larger the odds are skewed.
2. I can be confident that my co-workers won’t think I got my job because of my sex – even though that might be true. (More).
3. If I am never promoted, it’s not because of my sex.
4. If I fail in my job or career, I can feel sure this won’t be seen as a black mark against my entire sex’s capabilities.
5. I am far less likely to face sexual harassment at work than my female co-workers are. (More).
6. If I do the same task as a woman, and if the measurement is at all subjective, chances are people will think I did a better job.
7. If I’m a teen or adult, and if I can stay out of prison, my odds of being raped are relatively low. (More).
8. On average, I am taught to fear walking alone after dark in average public spaces much less than my female counterparts are.
9. If I choose not to have children, my masculinity will not be called into question.
10. If I have children but do not provide primary care for them, my masculinity will not be called into question.
11. If I have children and provide primary care for them, I’ll be praised for extraordinary parenting if I’m even marginally competent. (More).
12. If I have children and a career, no one will think I’m selfish for not staying at home.
13. If I seek political office, my relationship with my children, or who I hire to take care of them, will probably not be scrutinized by the press.
14. My elected representatives are mostly people of my own sex. The more prestigious and powerful the elected position, the more this is true.
15. When I ask to see “the person in charge,” odds are I will face a person of my own sex. The higher-up in the organization the person is, the surer I can be.
16. As a child, chances are I was encouraged to be more active and outgoing than my sisters. (More).
17. As a child, I could choose from an almost infinite variety of children’s media featuring positive, active, non-stereotyped heroes of my own sex. I never had to look for it; male protagonists were (and are) the default.
18. As a child, chances are I got more teacher attention than girls who raised their hands just as often. (More).
19. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether or not it has sexist overtones.
20. I can turn on the television or glance at the front page of the newspaper and see people of my own sex widely represented.
21. If I’m careless with my financial affairs it won’t be attributed to my sex.
22. If I’m careless with my driving it won’t be attributed to my sex.
23. I can speak in public to a large group without putting my sex on trial.
24. Even if I sleep with a lot of women, there is no chance that I will be seriously labeled a “slut,” nor is there any male counterpart to “slut-bashing.” (More).
25. I do not have to worry about the message my wardrobe sends about my sexual availability. (More).
26. My clothing is typically less expensive and better-constructed than women’s clothing for the same social status. While I have fewer options, my clothes will probably fit better than a woman’s without tailoring. (More).
27. The grooming regimen expected of me is relatively cheap and consumes little time. (More).
28. If I buy a new car, chances are I’ll be offered a better price than a woman buying the same car. (More).
29. If I’m not conventionally attractive, the disadvantages are relatively small and easy to ignore.
30. I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew. I can be aggressive with no fear of being called a bitch.
31. I can ask for legal protection from violence that happens mostly to men without being seen as a selfish special interest, since that kind of violence is called “crime” and is a general social concern. (Violence that happens mostly to women is usually called “domestic violence” or “acquaintance rape,” and is seen as a special interest issue.)
32. I can be confident that the ordinary language of day-to-day existence will always include my sex. “All men are created equal,” mailman, chairman, freshman, he.
33. My ability to make important decisions and my capability in general will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is.
34. I will never be expected to change my name upon marriage or questioned if I don’t change my name.
35. The decision to hire me will not be based on assumptions about whether or not I might choose to have a family sometime soon.
36. Every major religion in the world is led primarily by people of my own sex. Even God, in most major religions, is pictured as male.
37. Most major religions argue that I should be the head of my household, while my wife and children should be subservient to me.
38. If I have a wife or live-in girlfriend, chances are we’ll divide up household chores so that she does most of the labor, and in particular the most repetitive and unrewarding tasks. (More).
39. If I have children with my girlfriend or wife, I can expect her to do most of the basic childcare such as changing diapers and feeding.
40. If I have children with my wife or girlfriend, and it turns out that one of us needs to make career sacrifices to raise the kids, chances are we’ll both assume the career sacrificed should be hers.
41. Assuming I am heterosexual, magazines, billboards, television, movies, pornography, and virtually all of media is filled with images of scantily-clad women intended to appeal to me sexually. Such images of men exist, but are rarer.
42. In general, I am under much less pressure to be thin than my female counterparts are. (More). If I am fat, I probably suffer fewer social and economic consequences for being fat than fat women do. (More).
43. If I am heterosexual, it’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll ever be beaten up by a spouse or lover. (More).
44. Complete strangers generally do not walk up to me on the street and tell me to “smile.” (More: 1 2).
45. Sexual harassment on the street virtually never happens to me. I do not need to plot my movements through public space in order to avoid being sexually harassed, or to mitigate sexual harassment. (More.)
45. On average, I am not interrupted by women as often as women are interrupted by men.
46. I have the privilege of being unaware of my male privilege.
(Compiled by Barry Deutsch, aka “Ampersand.” Permission is granted to reproduce this list in any way, for any purpose, so long as the acknowledgment of Peggy McIntosh’s work is not removed. If possible, I’d appreciate it if folks who use it would tell me how they used it; my email is barry-at-amptoons-dot-com.)
(This is a continually updated document; the most current version of The Male Privilege Checklist can always be found at amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist . To see posts discussing the Male Privilege Checklist and various items on it, please visit this archive page).
The author of the list notes that it is U.S. centric so please keep that in mind. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011



This movie was absolutely hilarious.  I had had a few misgivings about it....mainly because it seemed to really promote the gross physical comedy (think: vomiting, acting obnoxious, and Jim Carrey-esque type stuff) over everything else in order to bring in the guys and compete as "The Hangover for Chicks".....and there were a couple of those scenes in the movie.....and they were hilarious.  The scene for the dress fitting was horrifically funny. 

I cannot stress how funny Kristen Wiig is.  And she flows from hilarious to completely serious so seamlessly.  Her stints on Saturday Night Live were very hit and miss, but her movie roles have been great. 

The weakest link in the cast, IMO, was Rose Byrne.  Generally, I enjoy Byrne's performances.  She's is a very good dramatic actor.  But comedy seems a little forced on her.  She also had a small comedic role in Get Him to the Greek that I watched recently, and both that role and her role in Bridesmaids seemed very wooden to me.  Luckily, the stuff she was given in Bridesmaids was good enough that it didn't need her to be especially good to pull it off. 

*Newer Actor To Watch*
He's funny.....and Irish!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Super 8

I found out the other day that if you go to the theater before noon, you pay the Early Bird special of only $6...which is pretty awesome nowadays, even if it was what I used to pay for regular price when I first got my license and no longer had to rely on my mother to take me to the theater.  (She hates going to the movies....I think maybe I was adopted.)  I am excited about this because I often wait until a movie comes to our base theater before I see it because the tickets are so much cheaper, but I really wanted to see Super 8 in the Cinemark.  (Our base theater is, um, less than spectacular.  Just a tiny screen at the back of a stage in an auditorium with theater chairs in it.)

I really enjoyed this movie.  Think E.T.....if ET had looked a little bit like the deformed love-child of Alien and Predator and ran around digging tunnels and eating people while telepathically whining about how he's just really freaked out and wants to go home.

Snarkiness aside, it really was a good movie.  All of the kids acted really well (not that I was expecting any less from Dakota Fanning's little sister, Elle) and the story never dragged or stopped pulling on your heart strings.  (Yes, I have heart strings.  They're just tiny and hard to find.) And I always enjoy seeing Kyle Chandler on screen.

He's very sexy in that whole "Hot for Teacher" way.

Although JJ Abrams is the writer and director of this movie - and you can tell by the scarier side of it - you can still feel the Steven Spielberg effect all over it.  He does these types of boy coming of age by way of huge events movies very well.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Hangover II and Bad Teacher

The Hangover II:

I'm a little ashamed to admit that I like this movie.  (And the first one)  But I do.   I know, I know, it's raunchy and over-the-top, and it has Zach Galifi-gobblitygook in it.....which would normally get it an eye-roll and an exasperated sigh from me.  But apparently this movie either has just the right combination of humor, raunch, and Bradley Cooper to entertain me.........or living in a house with four guys has severely damaged by sense of humor.  Maybe a little of both?

I still really dislike Zach Galificky-doo-dah-day, though.

I really like the friendship between Stu and Phil.  I think that the next installment should be them teaming up to purposely leave Alan somewhere remote and scary.  How many times does it take for someone to drug you before you sell them to the Thai sex slavers?

And can I just say, these guys have amazingly passive wives/fiancees.

Speaking of wives, I would like to take this moment to express my sympathy to Ken Jeong's.  Wow.  My husband laughingly told me that Mr. Chow's penis looked more like a nipple than anything........and he was right.  Holy Crap.  It was small enough that he could very well slip and poke her in the pee hole.  (Yes, I know it's technically called the urethra, ok?)

Bad Teacher:

Apparently, I am in the mood for raunchy movies lately.  This movie had a lot of potential.  I really wanted to like it.  And I guess it was alright, but I wouldn't tell anyone else to waste money for a theater ticket to see it.  (I'm really glad that I wasted the money though, because there was a guy behind me who kept a running commentary through the whole flick, and he was hilarious!!)  There were several really funny scenes, but there were several more scenes where they just tried so hard that it fell really flat.

Justin Timberlake's character was just weird.  Not funny at all.  Which was disappointing, because I know that he can be really funny.  Jason Segel was absolutely the best thing about this movie.  I just wish he would have had more screen time.  Cameron Dias delivered as best she could with what she was given.

The dry humping scene was just strange.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Black Death and Centurion

I can't quite justify the expense of going to the movie theater every day...although it would be lovely if I could.  But Netflix and Netflix Instant have helped me fill the time between theater visits rather nicely.  The other day, I decided to stay home and watch a double header:  Black Death and Centurion.

Black Death:

I had high hopes for this one.  I adore Sean Bean and am interested in seeing Eddie Redmayne in more things.  But this movie just didn't do it for me at all.  Furthermore, it is labeled as "horror" and this cowardly lion didn't have to look away even once.  I've been more scared watching the Scary Movie parodies. 

General synopsis (since this movie was not widely promoted):  A monk (Eddie Redmayne) joins a group of fighters to investigate a small isolated village that has not yet been touched by the plague even though "the black death" has raged throughout the rest of the countryside.  The villagers are suspected of using witchcraft and necromancy to keep the plague at bay.  The knight leading the party (Sean Bean) is an extremely devout man who has reason to believe the rumors and plans on bringing God's justice to the village. 

The trip to the village is long, and drawn out.  Once they get to the village the story picks up, but ends up rushing through in order to fit everything in.  And the ending is a serious, serious letdown.  Also; SPOILER ALERT:

Sean Bean's character dies....horrifically.......again.  Seriously, do director's specifically hire him to die?  Do they change the story once the realize that Sean Bean has signed on so that his character dies in a horrible fashion??  It's getting a bit ridiculous at this point.  It's easier to count the number of movies he hasn't been killed in, and I'm kinda shocked that the director of Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief didn't change the script to have Poseidon shiv Zeus in the back while he was caught in a moment of distraction.  The Many Deaths of Sean Bean article at GeekSpeek called him the "'two-legged spoiler' because he always gets killed"

Now, on to the much better, IMO, Centurion:

 Short synopsis:  After a large legion of Roman soldiers is wiped out during a Pictish attack, the small group of survivors has to outsmart and outrun their pursuers back to the Roman base.

This is a much more complex, well drawn out story.  While the main character (Centurion Quintas Dias played by Michael Fassbender) grabs and holds your loyalty right from the start, I found myself hating and sympathizing with both the Romans and the Picts.  The Roman general was portrayed as a good man and a strong, compassionate leader.  The Pictish protagonist, Etain, is a strong, smart woman who survived her family being butchered while she was raped and had her tongue cut out at the hands of the Roman invaders.  The lengths at which the Romans and the Picts go to in order to hurt the others are barbaric, and they twist the people who carry out the acts as well as the victims.

Only two people get a happy ending in this movie.  But only after a hell of a lot of wrong is done to them by the Picts and the Romans.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

As Promised.....

I am posting a ton of movie reviews in the next few days.  I have spent the last week in an awesome relaxed state - reading, watching movies, and catching up on some shows that I missed while I was gone.

Yay True Blood!!

So, for today's post, let's start with The Green Lantern:

I have to say, this is definitely not the blockbuster of the summer....or even the month of June.  But it was decent.  It had good actors, and a semi-decent, ordinary guy turns reluctant superhero and saves the earth universe story.  The second best thing about this movies was that it didn't drag itself out.  Lasting only 114 minutes, it opened, told its story, and ended and at no point did I sit there and think "Jeez, would this just freaking end already?!"

The first best thing about this movie.....

There was a lot of CGI, tons of weird aliens (one of which was voiced by one of my favs - Geoffrey Rush), and the prerequisite hot chick love interest.  It also had Tim Robbins playing an asshole senator and father to the scientist turned bad guy character played by Peter Sarsgaard.

Evil was not good to this poor man. 

My boys really enjoyed this movie, as they do any movie with a superhero theme.  They are already asking for it on DVD, so I'm sure my opinion of this movie will greatly decrease after the 500,382,303,208 time we watch it.  I might even get tired of seeing Ryan Reynolds levitate in a pair of white Lycra boxer briefs.....


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I'm back!

We had a long vacation down South.  Dropped the boys off at their grandma's on my way back up, so I'm now reveling in pure, joyful SILENCE.  It a glorious thing, y'all. 

I went to a Barnes and Noble today and spent two whole hours perusing the aisles, making a wishlist, reading, and buying two more books for my library.  I haven't done that since high school.  I was in bookworm heaven. 

Then I drove around for a while, singing at the top of my lungs.

All of the dirty songs that I don't let the boys listen to because they have that annoying habit of repeating sexually explicit lyrics at really bad times and in inappropriate places........like school. 

So overall - it was an excellent day.

And it followed a really nice weekend. 

For the 4th of July, the hubs and I went to see "Bad Teacher" (it was "meh"...Jason Segal was the best part of the movie.  There were several funny scenes but they were interrupted by a lot more really stupid ones.  See: dry humping scene.), hit up a BBQ with our neighbors, and then went to check out the fireworks on base.  It was very nice. 

I'll probably have a few more movie reviews before too long.  I've got some catching up to do.