December 31, 2006

Don't look now but another year is upon you.

2006 was really fucking great to me so I expect damn fine things from 2007 in turn. Listen, 2007, you have a lot to live up to. So... you know... get busy.

One of these past years I started my semi-annual tradition of making resolutions I intend to break because I inevitably break all resolutions whether I want to or not. I'm not good with rules and motivational guidelines. But saying "I don't believe in resolutions, I believe in living every day to its fullest" sounds like total bull regardless of how true it may be. Hence, the Made-To-Break Resolution.

This year's MTB Resolutions are as follows:

1. I will spend less time thinking about Sharon Stone.
2. I won't show photo albums of my cat to everybody I meet.
3. I will totally participate in a triathlon!
4. Running for office without citizenship? Simple. Watch me.
5. Yeah, yeah, less chocolate, blah, blah.

Success is mine, mwhahahaha! Since New Zealand is a day ahead of all you North American slackers I've been in 2007 for about fifteen hours now and I've already broken #1 and #5. Yes, I'm that good.

Happy New Year, slackers! Catch up, would ya?

P.S. Tinfoil jumpsuits are rather itchy. But flying cars really are the bomb. I kid you not. (I'm not afraid of you, Chaos Theory! I will leak secrets of the future in defiance of your threats!)

December 30, 2006

An exciting "news" tidbit surfaced on Defamer.com recently. It concerns one Freddie Mercury and one Johnny Depp. Rumours are a-flying, apparently, that the former will be portrayed in a bio-pic by the latter to be produced by, get this, Robert DeNiro's Tribeca Productions. To verify, since Defamer claimed to have gotten its "news" from the official Brian May site, I visited the guitarist's site myself and learned the following:

Quote:
Wed 20 Dec 06
JOHNNY DEPP TO PLAY FREDDIE?

Christina Zinner asked about a news report in the Mail On Sunday, 17 December....

Yes, I saw this ...

The truth is ...

Discussions are at an early stage .... I don't know where this story came from, but I think someone in the media, as usual, has taken a punt ... of course these opportunists have little to lose ... who cares about truth these days? Certainly not the tabloid press.

But you're right about one thing ... Johnny Depp is fantastic. He would be a worthy counterpart for Freddie on screen. I don't think I can say any more right now.

love
Bri

copyright brianmay.com
End Quote**

I read this, loosely translated, as meaning something close to "Damn the press and their ill-advised, poorly-researched rumours! Okay... it MIGHT be true. But I'm not commenting. Long live Johnny Depp."

The thing to do now is pray. Because if this were to become reality, it would be single greatest casting move since the words "Jack" and "Sparrow" or "Edward" and "Scissorhands" were put together. Johnny Depp as Freddie Mercury? Yeah, exactly. That's what I'm talking about.

**(Quote taken without permission but with no intent to infringe or offend from wwww.brianmay.com. Leave me a bite if you work for Brian May and require the removal of this quote.)

December 29, 2006

Christmas was fabulous. Fabulous! And yours?

Moving on... I've noticed that Homie has been posting his "best of 2006" series and that started me thinking about what I would place on my own "best of" lists. But then I decided I'd just link to Homie's lists instead because the bear has respectable taste and why compete with that? So visit The Woods to see what Homie thought of entertainment in 2006.

As for me, 2006 has been a year of many firsts and many great adventures but entertainment-wise it will always be known as the year I developed my posthumous crush on Freddie Mercury. I know, I know... Queen has been around longer than I have but I was never really encouraged to get into popular music when I was young and it took me awhile to discover the full scope of Queen's genius on my own. Now that I am solidly hooked on the greatness of such classic tracks as Somebody To Love, The Show Must Go On, I Want To Break Free, Under Pressure, Killer Queen, Flash, Save Me, and of course the brilliant Bohemian Rhapsody, I have also discovered the allure of Freddie Mercury. (This should really come as no surprise to anybody, especially not to Gotthammer Mike who is fond of noting my preference for effeminate and/or gay celebrities.)

I may be late hitching onto the Queen popularity train, but I still have couple of surprises for you. Utilizing the power of Kimdianna's beloved Wikipedia, I learned some fun things about the inimitable Freddie Mercury. For example, his name wasn't actually Freddie Mercury. It was Farrokh Bulsara. He was born on the African island of Zanzibar which was then a British colony and is now a part of Tanzania. Cool, eh? What's more, Mercury loved cats. Says Wikipedia, "According to the January 2004 edition of Cat Fancy, Mercury possessed a great fondness for cats, at one point owning as many as ten. Mercury's personal assistant, Peter Freestone, wrote that his boss "put as much importance on them [his cats] as any human life."[23] The album Mr. Bad Guy and the song "Delilah" were dedicated to cats, and Mercury wore clothes featuring cats in videos and on album covers."

So, in tribute, here is a picture of Freddie Mercury:


And here is a picture of Poe, my cat:

December 21, 2006

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
just like the ones I used to know
where the treetops glisten
and children listen
to hear sleighbells in the snow
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
with every Christmas card I write
may your days be merry and bright
and may all your Christmases be white


From the land on the bottom of the world, in the humid glare of summer sun, I am dreaming of a white Christmas. I've found a way to hear those sleighbells at last and it has nothing to do with snow. It's about who you're with. So I wish every one of you a joyous holiday. May your days indeed be merry and bright and may all your Christmases be white... at least in spirit.

Let the people who make your Christmas white know you love them.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

*kisses*

December 19, 2006

ONE MORE DAY!

I have one more day of work left and then I am free for three weeks. Ye Olde Workplace shuts down for three weeks over Christmas and I am effectively out of a job... until the new year. Unemployment has never sounded so sweet!

No more "I'll have a half-strength decaf soy latte please".
No more "I object to your sign that says you have DVDs on sale that would make perfect Christmas gifts. I do NOT celebrate Christmas. It offends me on humanitarian grounds".
No more "It says you have postcardS on your sign outside. I see only ONE type of postcard. Not postcardS plural. I only see SINGULAR. Not PLURAL".

The customer is always right? Fuck that noise. Those always right customers have obviously never met me. I once told a lady who was asking for her year-long complimentary theatre tickets to be renewed due to "nothing that interested me in the past year to use them on" that her personal lack of taste in movies had nothing to do with me so no, I wouldn't extend them.

Of course I also once told a theatre customer who wanted to know what Steven Seagal's movie Fire Down Below was about that it was, in fact, about gonorrhea. So... I may not be the best customer service mentor you could have. Though in my defense, aren't all Steven Seagal movies about the same thing?

Anyway, only one more day. And then I have three weeks to make merry and dance around like a loon wearing those paper hats you get in Christmas crackers. One of which, actually, I'm wearing right now! *begins dancing*

December 16, 2006

Blogger, stop harrassing me about your new version already! I'll only upgrade when I'm forced to on point of death or when Elves say it's the only way to reach Valinor.

Yesterday was gorgeous and sunny (because December is always gorgeous and sunny here on the bottom of the world - a fact I'll probably never get used to but am not opposed to) so I sat on the back step with Gymee. Gymee is a big orange and white cat who wanders the neighborhood begging food s/he doesn't need and getting it from me because I'm a sucker for feline company. Gymee explored each spoke of Balthazar's bike, the underside of the steps, attacked some flies who really were sort of asking for it, and sprawled out beside me. There is really nothing better than bare feet on a hot step under a blue sky with a cat at your side. That's all I'm saying.

And no I don't know how to pronounce Gymee's name. It's on his/her tag like that. "Gymee" in fancy script. Is it Jimmy? Ghy-mee? Gey-mee? Take your pick. This is why I went with Poe for my cat. Simple, cool, and easily yelled when the owner of said name is dangling from the curtains at claw-point.

As an addendum, if you're looking to do a little animal good this holiday season, why not donate some cat or dog food to your local SPCA or animal shelter? Balthazar and I did just that yesterday morning in response to the Wellington SPCA's urgent appeal for cat food donations. I sent out a mass email at work and harrassed all the upstairs employees until they brought in food then took the whole lot to the SPCA. And as a reward I got to play with kittens! Everybody wins!

December 14, 2006

My boy (who has requested the name "Balthazar" as his blog alias) got me a Christmas tree today!

So now we're decorating it to the sweet sweet strains of jazz.

And by "we" I mean "Balthazar".

December 12, 2006

Celebrity news that does not involve Britney:

Sharon Stone and Angelica Huston, two of my favorite actresses, arrive at the Oslo City Hall in Oslo, Norway for the celebration of this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner. The two formidable women were this year's co-hosts of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize Concert.

You see? Who says older women in Hollywood don't matter and aren't stunning? Give me Sharon, Angelica, Sigourney Weaver, and Gina Gershon over the thousands of brainless tartlets out there anyday.

Except for maybe Scarlett Johansson. I wouldn't kick her out of bed for eating crackers. But the rest won't be interesting to me until they're at least thirty. I'm ageist in reverse, you see. Women get more beautiful to me as they age. Like fine wine. Or, you know, cheese. But look at Angelica Huston and tell me she doesn't evoke sultry images of a heady bordeaux in you too! Come on now.

Complete non-sequitur time.
Why is this song in my head? I swear I haven't heard it since my sixth grade Sunday School Christmas pageant.

"Christmas is a-coming
and the goose is getting fat
please to put a penny in the old man's hat
If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do
If you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you"

Seriously now. WTF?

December 8, 2006

I (Heart) Elton!

I went to the one-and-only New Zealand concert stop for Sir Elton John on Wednesday night with my boy and three mates. That's right, Sir Elton. How was it, you ask? It was, in a word, in-fucking-credible! It was fabulicious. It was amazing.

Songs on the set list:
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Believe, Daniel, I'm Still Standing, Philadelphia Freedom, Crocodile Rock, Tiny Dancer, I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, Sacrifice, Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word, Candle in the Wind, Rocket Man, The Bitch is Back, and Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me. Among others.

It was hit after hit after hot damn amazing hit... two plus solid hours of Sir Elton and his piano, his band, his flashy jacket, and a stadium crowd going mad. He came, he delivered, he conquered. We were all blown away! Legends get to that status for a reason, my friends.

And the brilliant capper to the evening? His encore? Your Song.

"My gift is my song and / this one's for you"

*tears*
*furious applause*

December 3, 2006

I am an internet time waster.

Any time I sit down at the computer to do something meaningful or productive, a thousand distractions coo seductively to me from within the world wide web and I succumb. You know, if it weren't for Google Images, celebrity gossip, Wikipedia, erotica, the IMDb, and sundry other brain-suckingly scandalous online delights, I'd be a freaking Nobel Prize Winner. I would be some kind of laureate.

Oh sure, I lack discipline. Such an easy finger to point. Everything is so tidy when you're assigning blame, isn't it? Of course I lack discipline! I'm a writer, for godsakes. But asking me to "just not surf the net" sounds a lot like teaching an old dog new tricks and though my youthful good looks are stunningly boundless, I am actually no longer a spring chicken. Being immortal has both perks and downsides, okay? The point is that somebody else needs to fix this problem for me.

I need an adult version of Net Nanny. I need an Online Probation Officer. Why doesn't somebody with more technological savvy than me create such a product? My personal Online Probation Officer (OPO) would allot me a set number of hours to surf the net per week. It would track how many times I actually utilize the power of Google to research tigers, international time zone conversion, or literature versus the number of times I just surf crap. Then, at the end of my allotted hours, the OPO would inform me of my various parole violations ("Cited for over-use of the words 'marton' and 'csokas' in Google Images. Three hours removed from next week's allotment.") and resolutely refuse to allow me access to the internet for any reason whatsoever until after the requisite 24 hour Web Free Period had elapsed and I was at the start of a new week with new allotted hours. This, to me, seems like the most sensible solution.

Plan B would involve me remembering the Fruits of the Spirit and then applying those hazy memories of Sunday School construction paper fruit cut-outs to my adult life in some sort of dramatic personality conversion. So basically there is no Plan B. The race of men grows weak by way of the internet. This is why the Elves sailed.

December 2, 2006

You may all be happy to know that my obligatory immigration-related chest x-ray findings have come back to me and they're good. "Heart size and mediastinal contours are within normal limits. The lungs and pleural spaces are clear. No active disease seen in the lungs."

Good, eh? If I knew what mediastinal contours were I'd probably be doubly relieved that mine are within normal limits. And coming up to the Christmas season it's always nice to know that my heart is not two sizes too small. (Otherwise known as "Grinchy".) If Kimdianna wants to employ Wikipedia to figure out what pleural spaces are we could all celebrate those being clear too. I'm too lazy. Which goes to show that it isn't through any active design on my part that my lungs are disease-free. Sure, I'm a non-smoker NOW. But I wasn't always so smart. Kids, just say no to smoking. And, um, drugs. And probably sex and rock'n'roll just to be on the safe side. I'm not a parent (nor do I aspire to be one) so I'm just shooting in the dark here but I'm fairly certain anything that junkies, aging rockers, or hippies subscribe to as religion is actively bad for you. Keep your pleural spaces clear.

Other things not related to chest x-rays that you may nonetheless still be happy to know are:

Gina Gershon has finished recording her upcoming album.

My birthday next year falls on a Saturday here in New Zealand.

Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll
is still filming and now Tilda Swinton is also attached to the project.

Vegetarian cheese is very tasty.

I can now easily identify the constellation Orion in the night sky.

November 30, 2006

Tomorrow, while everybody else is slaving away in the debilitating sameness of work or school, I get to go to the doctor!

THE EXCITEMENT! THE SHEER UNBRIDLED EXCITEMENT!

I get to have a full medical exam (complete with chest x-ray and blood work) in honor of my newest immigration application: residency. I know, I just did all this six months ago for the work visa I'm on right now (my third - memories) but because I'm now applying for residency I get to do it all over again! Isn't that too too exciting? I love peeing in little plastic cups! Hell, I wish I could do it every Friday! Bring on the needles, man! X-ray me! Test my reflexes! Make me stick out my tongue! Quiz me on the health of my family members!

But actually, despite all the raucous fun, its quite a serious thing. If I'm not found to be of an "acceptable standard of health", I could be denied residency and booted out of the country. So if I'm a danger to public health, likely to pose a significant cost or demand on New Zealand health or special education services, or unable to perform the functions for which I've been granted entry... well... not to put too fine a point on it, I'm fucked.

I think I'll be okay. I mean, I've had this job since May and haven't had any difficulty "performing the functions" unless you count nodding off out of boredom. Still, these medical exams are no joke. To the tune of $350. That is not funny money, friends.

But I think the perks still far outweigh the disadvantages. Sure it's a bit costly but can you really put a pricetag on fun? Should all thrills be cheap ones? I think not. You only live once, you know? Treat yourself to the best, only the best in entertainment. Get the FULL medical! Don't skimp on pleasure. And ask for the wooden tongue depressor too. Go wild.

So anyway, that's what I have planned for tomorrow.

Then afterwards I plan to run rampant abusing my health and imposing significant demands on New Zealand's health services. HeeheeheeWHEEE!!

November 25, 2006

It was a dark and stormy night in a galaxy far far away. The Cliche Police had their hands full with the rebel faction in the Olde Quarter. The uprising was like a tide pounding against rocks in a storm. The sky looked heavy, pregnant with bad weather. Everywhere else in town the citizenry found themselves stumbling over obvious similes and overwrought descriptions. There was little the Cliche Police could do. The city would just have to hunker down like a beseiged battalion on the front lines and wait for the first light of dawn to rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

"What's that you say, girl? Timmy's down the well?"

And back in the Olde Quarter...

The rebels had the CP cornered like dogs and their rebel yells echoed off the bricks and asphalt. The CP were overwhelmed. Though it was quite probably a nice night for a white wedding, the CP wanted nothing more than to smother the uprising like so many errant sparks from a campfire underfoot. The word litter continued to grow and threatened indeed to overrun the city at large like rats off a sinking ship.

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

"How do you know he's in the well, girl? Could you hear a telltale heartbeat?"

And in the Olde Quarter...

Suddenly a woman with hair black as a raven's wing, eyes as blue as the summer sky, and lips as red as a red red rose glided into the heart of the fracas.

"I am born of your wayward comparisons, a spirit formed from half-worked metaphor and poor association. My name is Obvious. My purpose is destruction." Her words dropped like pennies into a bucket, brassy and sharp, and they echoed off the walls like the reverb on the last note of a rock anthem. She raised bare arms as white as paper to the roiling heavens and the skies opened. Sheet rain began to fall. Literal reams of rain, pages and sheets of it, tumbled to the ground. And where it landed, inky rivers bleed into the streets. The Cliche Police and the rebels stood agape, united in their astonishment and horror. Their eyes bulged like bulbs. Their hands clenched into fists. The lady laughed. The torrent continued, like a tap turned to full over a flooded tub.

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

"Dear, Timmy's in the well again!"
"Which one?"
"The drained one. The pit."

And in the Olde Quarter...

From out of nowhere came a loud shriek not unlike that of a Fell Beast but definitely unlike it enough for the purposes of copyright infringement. A larged winged beast-like creature not unlike a Fell Beast but quite dissimilar at the same time wheeled through the clouds and hovered overhead. Upon the back of the winged thing sat a sleek grey and white cat. I said CAT. Of the feline variety. As the CP and the rebels stared in confusion, the sound of a revving engine could clearly be heard and a loud screeching of tires announced the arrival of a sassy red Sunfire into the Olde Quarter. The lady frowned, darkly, like the gathering of a storm upon her porcelain brow.

"I've had quite enough of bad writing for one day," the cat announced in firm tones.

"I couldn't agree more," the car purred.

The cat delicately dug one claw into the side of the winged creature, causing it to wheel and scream anew. Those assembled below ducked for cover and as they did, the car sped forward and pulled abruptly into a 180 turn, her doors flinging open so hard-bound books could scatter over the crowd. The titles glinted under the streetlamps. The Raven. The Mask of the Red Death. Fahrenheit 451. Something Wicked This Way Comes. Dracula. Wuthering Heights. The Picture of Dorian Gray. The Silmarillion. The Turn of the Screw. As the books hit the ground, a sound like the somber chiming of a thousand church bells was heard.

"A reckoning," the cat intoned, winging overhead with a smug look.

"Time to go," the car growled.

The lady of black hair, white arms, and rose-red lips vanished with a scream and a plume of smoke. The Cliche Police straightened, drew deep breaths, and picked the books off the ground to brandish over the rebels. The rebels blanched and fled. And dawn broke. Not like anything. It just broke.

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

"Timmy's fine. He won't go down the well again. Nevermore."

And in Olde Quarter...

The cat sprang off the back of the winged creature and it disappeared into the greying night. Delicately licking one paw, the cat eyed the car.

"That was the worst story I've ever been in."

"I think she needs to leave our adventures to that bear to write," the car sniffed disdainfully.

"Agreed." The cat hopped into the driver's seat and the door swung shut. "Let's get out of here, fast. Head for The Woods and see if we can run into a better time there."

The End.

November 23, 2006

You know what they say about a picture's worth...



It's probably a good thing there's nobody around to fill the shoes left empty by the late, great, possibly stark-raving Hunter S. Thompson. But damn I miss his words.
There's been a lot of bitching at work lately. And I don't mean "a bitchin good time" either. I feel a bit dirty, as though all the dramas and whining are somehow tainting me. Look, it's okay not to like everyone you meet. And it's equally okay to not BE liked BY everyone you meet. It just isn't possible to please all of the people all of the time. But not liking somebody should still be handled with respect and a certain amount of grace. I try honesty. I would prefer that they know I don't particularly like them rather than be ingratiating and false. I attempt to be civil, to be brief but pleasant, and leave it at that. It's not an easy world and the high road is sometimes so far out of reach... but I try. I really do.

It's just that lately I feel I've been failing and the taint is sort of dragging me down. So I need your help, my pretty mortals! Come to the aid of my immortal soul. I want you to say one beautiful (TRUE) thing about somebody you don't like, then one beautiful thing about somebody you think may not like you, then one beautiful thing about yourself. You may change names if you like, to protect those who shouldn't be injured, but what you say needs to be heartfelt. Will you do this for me?

I'll start.

Andy* has a very creative disposition and is unfailingly polite to anybody who greets him.

Joan* strives to be very fair in her workplace decisions and isn't afraid to put in extra hours to make things run smoothly.

I love my friends deeply and enduringly, from afar and through silences - I never forget people.

Now it's your turn.

November 19, 2006

While the debate over X3 rages on, I am simply content that we all have individual opinions and are not afraid to express them to each other. No, I didn't like Brett Ratner's take on the X-Men but that hardly means everybody has to subscribe to my view. I'm glad Homie and Kimdianna liked it. I'm also glad Gotthammer didn't. I like getting everybody's opinions so I can chew on them and see all sides of an issue.

Why harp on this topic? Is the fate of the X-Men movie franchise really so important? No. But the fate of human cooperation and understanding in this world is. How can we expect to move forward with positive environmental changes, ceasefire in war-torn areas, or research into deadly diseases without open dialogue? We have to allow everybody to have an opinion and we have to allow everybody to express it. In the discussion that ensues, hopefully we all learn something and find a bit of common ground upon which to stand as we move forward.

Want something less abstract? Fine. How can we convince each other that we really are beautiful when all the media surrounding us tells us we aren't? Duckie over at In Flight is posing this same question and it bears asking. Media and society tell us we need whiter teeth, more expensive clothes, brighter hair color, a more toned ass, thinner arms, a new nose, bigger breasts... but we don't. And if we can't even listen to each other's opinions on a film, how can we accept each other's differences in person with real honesty?

You're not wrong for liking X3 and you're not wrong for hating it. It's enough for me that you watched it and formed an opinion. And likewise, you're beautiful. I don't have to see you to know it's true. If you have individual taste and expression, creative impulse, a desire to learn, the ability to laugh, or a ready ear for listening, you're beautiful. You're your own person and that's beautiful.

November 17, 2006

By No Means A Complete List Of What Brett Ratner Did Wrong With X3

I avoided X3 in the theatres. I avoided it in new release rentals. But I recently got hooked on the animated series X-Men Evolution and remembered how much the characters and concept kicked ass. So I thought since X1 and X2 had been so good, I'd give X3 the old college try. Boy was that a mistake. I'm not saying Bryan Singer should never have handed the franchise over to a talentless music video director in order to make the gayest superhero movie ever but... PRIORITIES!

(By the way, I shouldn't even have to tell you that spoilers will abound in the remainder of this post. SPOILERS GALORE!)

1. Professor X... DEAD? Um, WTF? First of all, nobody kills Jean-Luc Picard. I don't care if he's on the holodeck pretending to be a mutant superhero or not, you just don't kill him. It's bad form. It's PROFESSOR CHARLES XAVIER! Oh my god, it's just all downhill from there. Cyclops, fine, kill him. In fact that was the one good move Ratner made. He just offed Cyclops right at the start. Cleared the annoyances out of the way, so to speak. "Right, now we can get on with things!" And I was with him there. But Professor X? No. Dude, no. Just... no.

2. Rogue... POWERLESS? Um, WTF? She didn't even get to kick ass before she was spayed. She didn't do anything at all except mope over Iceman. Then she disappeared and came back normal. Powerless. Ordinary. Mortal. Plain old Marie. No more Rogue.

3. Mystique... DEAD? Um, WTF? She took a 'cure bullet' for Magneto and that was it. POOF! No more Mystique. Like Rogue she was spayed. Rendered in ordinary flesh tones. Plain old Raven. Unlike Rogue, of course, she didn't have a choice. And unlike Rogue she probably won't survive the transformation. She doesn't know how to be herself. She doesn't really even know what she is. But it sure as hell shouldn't be NORMAL, should it Ratner? *mutters* Two-bit hack...

4. Magneto... POWERLESS? Um, WTF? I understand that the secondary title of X3 was "The Last Stand" but really this is a bit much. Magneto without the power is like Gandalf without the staff. And you wouldn't deny an old man his walking stick, would you? He's pretty much dead as a regular person. It would have been better for him to go out in a proverbial blaze of glory. Maybe Phoenix could have turned him to dust like she did to Professor X. At least that offered a semblance of dignity.

5. Pyro. He can't create fire. He can just control it. So shooting flames and fireballs out his hands like Spidey with webbing is just... dumb.

6. Colossus. He's meant to be Russian. So the all-American accent was a tad puzzling.

7. Magneto and the flaming cars of doom. Prior to his neutering Magneto stood overlooking the final climactic battle between humans and mutants and waited until nearly all the "pawns" had been forcibly cured or summarily dispatched by the X-Men before launching his ultimate attack: flaming cars. Yes, he used his limitless power to toss cars through the air whilst Pyro lit them en route. *lengthy silence* He can control metal. Why didn't he just pull the walls of the institute off? Or crush the soldiers with their own armour? Or fuse every weapon into a giant wrecking ball and bowl them all into the ocean? Or... you know, ANYTHING... anything besides tossing fiery cars... something not lame...

8. I'm pretty sure Callisto did not have the power of ultimate speed. Pietro, Magneto's son, was super-fast though. So I'm guessing that rather than bother with messy family ties and, say, plot narrative, Ratner just gave Pietro's powers to Callisto to save time.

9. Angel. Very pretty wings. Very nice blonde hair. Absolutely no purpose at all in the film. Actually, there were a whole lot of mutants out there with no explanation. If I had not just watched three seasons of X-Men Evolution in the span of two weeks, I would have been absolutely lost. As it was I didn't have names to apply to the majority of them. Apparently plot, narrative, and character development are secondary and expendable parts of filmmaking when there are flaming cars and moving bridges to be shown.

10. McSteamy is Multiple Man? Things at Grey's Anatomy's Seattle Grace are about to get very interesting indeed. Wait... mutant scanning technology can't tell the difference between an actual mutant and a copy of a mutant? WTF?

11. Jean Grey / Phoenix. Problem. Jean Grey died in X2. Nobody who has ever read an X-Men comic thought that was the end of her but probably those same people never expected Phoenix's arrival to be so... anticlimactic. Phoenix is the most powerful mutant on the planet. More powerful even than Magneto. She does some fairly cool stuff (like killing Cyclops in the first fifteen minutes of the film) and some fairly unexpected stuff (like killing Professor X in the next twenty minutes) and then just sort of stands around looking lost and reaching out to Wolverine via telepathy. Phoenix could do ANYTHING. Which may explain why Ratner, who does not have a grasp of mutant power continuity, was so afraid to unleash her. Sad.

12. I personally expected Juggernaut to be larger.

13. Halle Berry as Storm. This isn't actually Ratner's fault so he gets a pass on this one. Halle Berry, to me, is like the female Keanu Reeves. Storm needs to have presence and weight to her. Halle Berry makes Famke Janssen look like Meryl Streep by comparison. How in hell did she win an Oscar again?

I mourn the passing of a viable franchise. There is no redemption for the X-Men now. Brett Ratner well and truly obliterated the best of them. I won't even go into the pussification of Wolverine. Wolverine near tears? Let us not even speak of it. I hope Bryan Singer is proud enough of the Man of Steel's codpiece and lame-duck son storyline to soothe any guilt he should rightly feel over the bloodletting that was X3. I'm not saying he shouldn't have made Superman Returns but I am saying that Bryan Singer would have made X3 a killer film.

November 13, 2006

By the time I realized I hadn't posted in awhile, an update would have had to compete with Britney and K-Fed for airtime. And really, why bother? Not even the democratic process can compete with that. "Election? Ooooh, that's really import- WAIT, did Brit just dump K-Fed??"

Celebrity unions can best be described by somebody other than me. Specifically by Leeloo in The Fifth Element.

"Boom! Big bada boom! BIG badaboom!"

You see?

Sometimes I think celebrities continue to date and marry each other because it's amusing to us, the apparently idiotic tabloid-buying public. It's a way for them to continue to entertain without having to go to the trouble of, say, filming an actual movie or recording a whole album. Cuz those things are hard work, y'all. It's so much easier to just marry your back-up dancer.

Of course you could hold to the other, less publicized but likely more valid, belief that all celebrities are naturally insane. When you're nuts, these things make amusing ironic sense.

Hollywood. The great churner of relationships, tester of vows, and diverter of attention from the democratic process.

On a personal note, the thing I'd like most out of Brit and Kev's divorce is to erase the name "Kevin Federline" from my conscious memory forever. But, like the name "Tito Jackson", I fear this is a dream I will never see made into a reality. Some things are destined to haunt you forever. This is probably one of those things.

BOOM! BIG BADA BOOM!!

October 31, 2006

I had forgotten all about my credo.

Neco et conseco erga quos noceo bestia.

Back on my 28th birthday, or The Birthday of One Thousand Gifts as I affectionately call it, Homie of the Beareth Clan showered me, his then-roommate, with a week-long serenade of gifts. Each one was specially chosen to remind me of some hilarious or poignant thing that we had encountered or done together. It was amazing. One of the gifts was a play called "Once Upon a Time Lola and Poe" that Homie had written just for me and in it he unveiled my own personal Latin motto.

Neco et conseco erga quos noceo bestia.


Death and dismemberment to those who harm animals.

It's a sly reference to one of my favorite lines in The Addams Family. Anjelica Huston as Morticia says to Fester during their tour of the family graveyard, "The Addams Family credo. 'Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc.' We gladly feast on those who would subdue us. Not just pretty words."

It's also obviously a reference to my enduring love for animals and in the course of Homie's play is spoken by me, backed up by tigers that have been rescued from an underground lair in the West Edmonton Mall, in an ultimatum to Phil Bronstein that he abandon his evil plot to imprison or illegally sell wild animals to exact revenge on the Komodo dragon that bit him. During this exchange, Poe (my cat) and Lola (my former car) are on a mission to retrieve my treasured copy of Bound from thieving duendes in a cemetery... Okay, actually the play is full of so many in-jokes and private references that nobody in their right mind would even understand it, much less find it amusing. Except for me. And Homie. And hot damn, I find it HILARIOUSLY amusing! I rediscovered it yesterday and am still laughing. This is just one more reason why Homie needs a more public platform from which to spread his joyous words and imagination. Publishers? Are you listening?

It is also another reason why Michelle is one of the luckiest women on the planet. Homie is truly one of the most generous, gifted, loving, and insightful persons in the world.

I should mention that I have no proof that Phil Bronstein has ever actually dabbled in illegal wildlife trades. I think it's called "creative license". I believe at the time of the writing I was angry at him for allegedly suing his ex-wife Sharon Stone for spousal support or something. I get on rants about strange things and Homie remembers them all in humorous stageplay format.

I digress.

The point is that I have reclaimed my motto.

The VampireNomad credo. "Neco et conseco erga quos noceo bestia." Death and dismemberment to those who harm animals. Not just pretty words.

October 28, 2006

A little math...

Wind + Rain = Sideways Rain

This is an exciting new concept in weather that has been around for as long as hurricanes, tropical storms, and monsoons have been part of the planetary defense system, but here in Wellington this equation is not associated with extreme weather. Or even Xtreme Weather. It's associated with spring.

You know that old saying back in North America that April showers bring May flowers? And that's how you know it's spring? Well faugh to that nonsense. Wellington is kicking it up a notch, my friends. Like Emeril, Welly has tossed chili powder into the frey and BAM! - we've got weather! For the past several weeks we've been enduring sideways torrential rain in between aggravatingly brief spurts of searing sunshine and, of course, mudslides.

Currently, the only way to improve upon this situation is to factor in earthquakes. And since we had one that actually rattled the entire house for long enough to force us up off the couch and under the nearest doorframe only about a month ago, we're due.

It's like Nature Vs. Humans in the ultimate showdown. And anybody who has seen Al Gore's brilliant environmental apocalyptic film An Inconvenient Truth will know that this sort of weather is now the norm. Look for it to spread. The CO2 levels in the atmosphere are making global warming much more than a "theory" or "hoax pulled on the public" (as one US politician called it). Water tables rise as the glaciers melt and the Earth's ability to maintain temperate climates disappears without those glacial caps operating the global cooling system. Not to mention the increased rate of species extinction and dramatic weather changes. The point? Unless we neutralize our own presence so we're no longer a heinous threat to all other living things on the planet, including ourselves, one day Earth will muster weather so bad it will literally drive us clean into oblivion.

You only wish I was kidding.

What can you do? As it turns out, lots.

Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)

CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

Install a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night and raise them again in the morning.

Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases
Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most efficient models.

Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket
You'll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple action.

Use less hot water
It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year) instead of hot.

Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.

Turn off electronic devices you're not using
Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo, and computer when you're not using them will save you thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

Unplug electronics from the wall when you're not using them

Even when turned off, things like hairdryers, cell phone chargers and televisions use energy.

And of course, carpool, bus, or walk to work whenever possible.

Those aren't the only ways to help. Don't be shy in finding out more. It's your planet too.

The preceding information on energy saving is courtesy of climatecrisis.net. To learn more visit the website or watch the film An Inconvenient Truth. The planet belongs to all of us and it's time we stopped leaving things in the hands of politicians who don't give a damn and took a stance on behalf of nature and ourselves.

October 19, 2006

Fifteen Lines from The Lord of the Rings Improved by Substituting One Word with "Pants"

Witch King: Do not come between the Nazgul and his pants.

Elrond: You're outnumbered, Aragorn. You need more pants.

Gothmog: The Age of pants is over. The Time of the Orc has come.

Witch King: Feast on his pants.

Gandalf: Not at the towers! Aim for the pants! Kill the pants! Bring them down!

Gimli: Bad Idea. Very handy in a tight pants, these lads, despite the fact they're dead.

Aragorn: I have wished you pants since first I saw you.

Aragorn: I do not fear pants.

Gimli: Certainty of death. Small chance of pants. What are we waiting for?

Legolas: The pants are restless, and the men are quiet.

Gimli: They had no pants in life. They have none now in death.

Aragorn: Behold! The pants of Elendil!

Sam: Then let us be rid of pants... once and for all.

Elrond: I give pants to men.

Legolas: Something stirs in the East. A pantsless malice.

(Torch, buddy, this one's for you!)

October 13, 2006

Last night, in honor of it being Friday the 13th, we went to see a midnight show of a play about Jack the Ripper.

Viva la thirteen!

October 9, 2006

I have re-discovered the greatness of music videos.

Not current videos. Not, you know, schlock from Jessica Simpson and whoever else the kids are into these days. But good videos. Videos by artists who understand that videos are opportunity for wild pageantry and larger-than-life encounters. Videos by artists whose sheer old school coolness makes even the dumbest video amazing. Fucking great videos. I have been watching it all lately. From Buddy Holly by Weezer (omigod the Fonz!) to Bicycle Race by Queen. And I have created (though I am generally opposed to lists and ranks and such), a Top Thirteen list of Wicked Awesome Videos You Should Damn Well See Because They Rock.

Why thirteen? Honey, this ain't The Late Show. This is a CRYPT.

Top Thirteen Wicked Awesome Vidoes You Should Damn Well See Because They Rock


13. Long Hard Road Out Of Hell, Marilyn Manson

Not only is it appropriate for a song about hell by Marilyn Manson to be at number thirteen, but this video is really visually arresting. Actually, all of Manson's videos are visually arresting and incredibly weird. I absolutely love them. This one makes the list because honestly, he looks so beautiful in drag. Goth drag. Whatever. And lovely models are used to create still life scenarios involving sex and long needles in flowers as the camera swings wildly around them.

12. Under Pressure, Queen

Freddy Mercury with a full on porno 'stache, tight white pants, and no shirt doing what Freddy Mercury does best onstage. Which is sing, adopt odd stances, and look incredibly retro-sexy. Plus it's a killer song.

11. I Started A Joke, Faith No More

It's set in a cheesy karaoke nightclub and some fat guy in a bad suit introduces some singer we've never heard of with his rendition of Faith No More's I Started A Joke. Already I love it for the gutsiness of putting your own song under the fromage lens of karaoke. Then the performance gets very emotionally riveting and the audience, formerly mocking, ends up teary. It's brilliant and hilarious. And sort of touching.

10. The Sweetest Thing, U2

U2 videos tend towards dullness for me. They get a gimmick and then beat it to death for the duration of the song. But in this case, it works. It's Bono in a car enlisting the help of passing string quartets, boxing coaches, a dog puppet, and marching bands to apologize to his off-camera girlfriend. It's the cutest video. I would forgive him for, you know, being Bono if he made it for me.

9. The Nobodies, Marilyn Manson

This is easily my favorite Marilyn Manson song EVER (though admittedly every other song he does is probably tied for second) and the video is a pageant of glorious weirdness. From Manson's ram-horned head gear to Manson as a skeletal tree in a boggy wasteland to the children in the machine, this video has it all. If all of what you want is freakish orphanages, the devil in nailpolish, writhing around in mud, and the suggestion of cannibalism.

8. In The Air Tonight, Phil Collins

This is the dumbest video ever. Like everything from ... but seriously, it tries too hard to be cool and edgy. The result is something less brilliant than your average YouTube offering. But the difference between YouTube and In The Air Tonight is Phil Collins. Decades and common sense have relegated Phil Collins to the bottom shelf of celebrity status where, presumably, he still does weddings and Disney soundtracks, but when you see this video and its extreme close-ups of Phil's frown and its flashing technicolor negative imagery, you can't help but get all nostalgic for the 80s and for Phil himself. It's so dumb it's brilliant. It will never, now, be anything less than absolute art.

7. Learn To Fly, Foo Fighters

Jack Black and Kyle from Tenacious D are drug smugglers and the Foos are everybody else on the plane including themselves, the pilots, the effeminate air hostesses, and random fat girls and babies. That's really all you need to know. If you're not already laughing, you're dead inside. Their video for Big Me ripping off the Mentos commercials used to be my favorite but Learn To Fly eclipses it by a margin of sheer audacity. They also get special props for best insertion of actual band footage by having the on-flight entertainment be a Foo Fighters concert.

6. Easy, Faith No More

This may be the second dumbest video ever but I have a soft spot for both the song and drag queens. Since the video features copious amounts of both, I'm sold. Faith No More have the ability to actually make things this dumb cool. Unlike Phil Collins who was made cool by nostalgia, Faith No More were too cool for words and so they didn't have to care about things like good photography, coherence of story, or relevance to lyrics. It's a bunch of drag queens primping around the band in a grainy hotel room. Or something. It's so good.

5. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, The Beatles

WTF! I need to explain this? It's the freakin BEATLES! Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds is a trip. And that is exactly what it was supposed to be. It's not really supposed to make sense in any linear fashion. You're supposed to take LSD and then go "shit... dude... totally". Visionary.

4. Astonishing Panorama of the End Times, Marilyn Manson

In this video Manson is wearing his feathered-black-leather-jock-strap-body-stocking concoction from the Rock is Dead video but the catch here is that HE'S CLAYMATION! Well, maybe not claymation precisely but he is definitely animated. The entire video, which features Manson and his band rocking out hard onstage at a concert, is rendered in some manner of claymation. And it looks exactly like them. The little clay Marilyn Manson swaggers and screams and fists the air as the little clay Twiggy thrashes and the little clay crowd goes mad... oh, it's just absolute perfection.

3. Take On Me, Ah-ha

Like all great 80s bands Ah-ha died a quick death at the hands of grunge (damn Seattle and their endless supply of garages with bands in them) but before they did, they left us this little gem as a token of how great they once were. And by "great" I mean "cheesy". And by "cheesy" I mean "priceless". In Take On Me, the lead singer of Ah-ha is rendered as a sort of poorly drawn sepia-toned comic character who cavorts through comic frames and pages on the run from the poorly drawn police. All this is read/watched by a real-life girl in a diner. An unpaid bill, the girl getting drawn into the comic, and the crumpling of the pages later, and the girl is in her room with the now-static comic. As she mourns the loss of her poorly drawn would-be love, she sees him in the mirror slamming from side to side, flickering in and out of being poorly drawn and real. In the end, he becomes flesh and steps out to take her in his arms. It's seriously the cheesiest thing ever but is so absolutely gold in terms of nostalgia that Family Guy has already ripped it off. You know you're hot when Family Guy bothers to mock you.

2. Across The Universe, Fiona Apple

This is a remake of a Beatles song which is generally never a good idea except in the case of Fiona Apple who is genius. The song is from the Pleasantville soundtrack and for all three of you who watched Pleasantville, the video will be a rare treat. It features Fiona at her waif-goddess best simply singing to the camera while she moves through a black and white 50s style diner. As she wanders, the diner is trashed around her in a giant brawl that seems oddly poetic when set to the haunting strains of Fiona's voice. It's beautiful in a very simple way and manages to evoke the spirit of Pleasantville without ever inserting cheesy movie clips into the flow of the song.

1. Personal Jesus, Marilyn Manson

'Four videos by Marilyn Manson in the top thirteen?' you cry. It could easily have been more. I didn't list The Dope Show which features a hilarious cameo by Billy Zane and that androgynous suit or (s)AINT with it's drug-hazed, blood-soaked desperation. No, instead I only chose four. And Personal Jesus makes the number one slot because it is just so damn lush. It's Depeche Mode as filtered through Marilyn Manson's flair for the dramatic. It looks like art - all gorgeous washes of color in the background and highly stylized glam-rock suits on the band - but plays like a dirty dream with corseted gothic nuns and lingerie-clad girls riding bulls. Even Manson's make-up is perfection - black kohl, white lashes, diamonds, and crimson lips. It's like Christmas for your eyes.

October 7, 2006

Know what's awesome? Vacations.
Know what's wicked-awesome? Vacations involving spa pools.

Know what else is awesome? Coming home from vacation to a new blender and making many many chocolate blender drinks.

Awesome!

September 25, 2006

"Wind is the roughly horizontal movement of air (as opposed to an air current) caused by uneven heating of the Earth's surface."

My good friend Kimdianna is fond of researching obscure scientific things via Wikipedia for her blog, Bamboo Fishbowl. Thus I dedicate this post to her. The above quote on wind is taken from the Wikipedia entry on the subject. Lots of interesting doo-dads (technical term) in there about wind and how it's formed and why and yada yada. But the real question is, how do you deal with ancraophobia? Ancraophobia = fear of wind.

The short answer is "Don't move to Wellington."

Long term, however, there appears to be a lot more hope if, say, I were wanting to delve into the mysteries of hynotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming to re-form my "constructs", or energy psychology. So... good then. There's, you know, hope. And stuff.

I suppose, putting a positive spin on things, I should just be glad I've got a wind phobia. I imagine it would be far more intrusive to life in general if I were to suffer from, for example, allodoxaphobia (fear of opinions) or barophobia (fear of gravity) or genuphobia (fear of knees) or, you know, polyphobia (fear of many things). I sort of admire how phobias completely cover all aspects of life. Literally if something exists, you can develop an irrational and crippling fear of it. Like wind. It's a real pain in the ass to be afraid of wind in Wellington in summer. It's not as though I panned down the list of available phobias and thought "Ooooh WIND, that sounds cool."

Still, there's gotta be an explanation. Or a solution that doesn't involve "neuro-linguistic programming". Kimdianna, if you're reading this, maybe you could do one of your famous scientific searches and come up with other options for curing my ancraophobia.

September 21, 2006

The world is very North America-centric. Most of the webpages I'm used to surfing and any of the fashion magazines I used to love are all focussed on fall right now. Rich autumn hues and warm woolens and all that nonsense. Blogs by friends back home are talking about how everything is amping up for fall and they're busier than ever as school starts again and what-have-you.

Here, on the bottom of the world, we're gearing up for summer. The days are stretching out into lingering twilights, the cold is warming up, the sun is pulsing, the wind is roaring... EAT THAT, NORTH AMERICA! Which may explain why Auckland has it's own Fashion Week to compete with New York's. Because nobody here cares a fig whether Calvin Klein and Badgley Mischka are announcing new knits for fall or if turtlenecks are back in vogue. Here we care about flirty summer dresses from Annah Stretton and Alannah Hill. Because we're gearing up for summer.

HAHAHA SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!

The only time this will turn tail and bite me is when Christmas comes around. Perhaps it's the North American genetic imprint in me that refuses to die, but I can not get used to brilliant sunny BBQ-style Christmases on the beach. Come December 25th I want blustery snow drifting about the window whilst we gather, wearing many layers, around the bedecked tree. I do NOT want a Christmas in a bikini. *tragic sigh* However, December 23rd and 26th and so on, I'm totally okay with endless hours of gorgeous sunlight and hot steamy nights of summer.

HAHAHA SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

September 16, 2006

It's sunny out!!

Excitement.

The vampire in me has been beaten into submission by the sunbaby in me. Outside we go! Thank god I can daywalk.

September 12, 2006



My new favorite song is The Burden. Hot DAMN is it a killer track! Wanna listen to it? Well you can't. You see, The Burden (affectionately known as "The Vampire Song") is one of the tracks on the brand spankin' new album by indie rock band (and my friends) Seven Devil Fix. If you've been around the Crypt for awhile, you'll have heard about the boys of 7DF before and you will again. And again. They rock hard. Their talent blows me away. And The Burden is just... dear god... it makes me crazy with it's sheer brilliance!

But I want you to share in the incredible hard rocking joy of Seven Devil Fix, too, my pretty mortals. I don't want you left out in the cold with bad music. So go here and listen to Brighter, the in-fucking-credible first single off 7DF's new album "Soundtrack To A Place Unseen". Just wait till you hear Brighter. You'll have to own a copy of "Soundtrack To A Place Unseen" based on that one track alone, I promise you.

Boys, a standing O. You guys rock my whole world!

September 10, 2006

BLUE STEEL.


Zoolander: Did you guys ever think there was more to life than being really, really, really ridiculously good looking?


If you Google "blue steel" it's all about Zoolander. But you can also learn about penis enlargement products or enhanced missile design. Oddly, those last two things are unrelated entries.

Google. How people with no money and lots of free time amuse themselves on Sunday nights at home when their partners are working. (In a general, not an autobiographical, sense, of course.)

September 8, 2006

September 5, 2006

Sylvester Stallone gave up movie sex after getting disgustingly hot and heavy with Sharon Stone in 1994 for The Specialist. According to this link, his reasons are purely love-oriented. His wife, Jennifer Flavin, doesn't believe you can act a sex scene without emotion and wanted him to stop. So, because Sly loves Jenny, he did. Happily.

See, if that story were about anybody other than Sylvester Stallone, it would be incredibly sweet! An "awww" moment, even. I'm not sure why, but coming from him I roll my eyes and am amused. Maybe because it's Sylvester Stallone. Rambo. Rocky. And maybe because the actress he last did a steamy onscreen naked romp with is Sharon Stone. And maybe because it was THE SPECIALIST.

Cut to inappropriately-placed and totally-out-of-context quote from actor Rupert Everett's The Daily Mail article about Sharon now: "How long does it take you to turn a straight man gay?" I whispered. "Silence on the set," shouted another assistant.
"About ten seconds in some cases," murmured Sharon. "And . . . action!" said the director. And in and out we went. Real slow.
((aside: Funniest. Article. Ever.))

September 2, 2006


A picture of Poe. My cat. Why? Because I can.

Poe lives with my sister and brother-in-law whilst I cavort willy-nilly around the world with no apparent schedule or time frame to pin me down. I hear she's living the life of Reilly while I'm away. Salmon every Tuesday! Royal cushions galore! She's a blue blood through and through. It's my fault. I make no apologies for spoiling her adorable little kitten ass when I first got her.

This actually directly relates to my in-the-planning-stages island resort, the Nouveau Fantasy Island. Poe will come live with me there where she will have an entire suite of rooms turned into a giant scratching post labyrinth with heaps of cushions in every corner and windows overlooking her more feral counterparts at every turn. (Presumably so she may take notes on what real cats do out in the wild while she spends her time getting claw-icures and trying to type.) Anyway, all cats will be welcome on the island. Pets are not only invited, but insisted upon. If any guest doesn't have a cat of their own, a feline companion will be provided for the duration of their stay. And if any guest dislikes cats, they'll be fed to the tigers. Which probably isn't the definition of irony (unless you're Alanis Morissette) but would be sort of amusing, in a gallows humor kind of way.

August 25, 2006

A Wee Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek or Lord of the Rings or any of the images in this post. I'm just a dreamer who likes to pretend she can one-up Nicky Hilton, that's all. No profit made, no offense intended.

Some positive feedback from Kimdianna and Blarg and too much time on my hands have conspired to convince me that my island resort idea is not only light years better than Nicky Hilton's, but something that should be a reality. I've now refined the idea somewhat - combining my old youthful ideas with some of the newer strokes of genius - and I've come up with what I like to fondly think of as the New Fantasy Island. Only without Ricardo Montalban. Or rather with him as Khan instead. KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!! I digress. Courtesy of my head and also the internet, I bring you some concept art for my new island resort.

Firstly the pool. Here is some unknown artist's rendering of a top view of the USS Enterprise 1701-D which also, by a stroke of luck, happens to now be an artist's rendering of the main pool.


Note that the saucer and drive sections will be the regular swimming portions of the pool while each necelle will function as a hot spa pool. (And if you don't know what a necelle is this may not be the resort for you.)

The theme rooms will be many and plentiful. Each suite or room will either feature a jungle view (overlooking the vast tiger sanctuary and reserve that most of the undeveloped part of the island will house), a pool view, or a beach view. The beach view will overlook the trademark red sand beaches. And because Blarg pointed out that being eaten by a tiger may stop him from visiting, the resort area will be fenced off from the jungles where the tigers roam freely. Though if you take an elephant safari into the jungles you will still have to sign a waiver forfeiting your surviving family members' right to sue if you are, by rare chance, eaten. At any rate, the theme rooms will include the Lord of the Rings Elf realm suites - a Lothlorien suite, a Rivendell suite (there will also be a Rivendell courtyard complete with Enya serenades and moonlit gazebos), and a Mirkwood suite. The Enterprise rooms will feature an Enterprise Bridge room, the Captain's Ready Room, and a standard Officer's Quarters suite. The Addams Family wing will feature Uncle Fester's room, Wednesday's room, and the grand Morticia and Gomez suite. All Addams Family rooms will be accessed off the library corridor by pulling the particular secret book that reveals each room's door. In addition to the themed suites listed, there will be individual theme rooms such as the ball room, the cloud room, the round room (containing no corners of any kind), the jungle room, the Savannah room, and a very special Hobbit room. For small guests only.


An actual Paramount-owned photograph that I liberally ripped off to show what the interior of the Enterprise Bridge room (circa Enterprise D, first refit) would look like. The more observant among you are saying "Where's the bed?" while the true Trekkers among you are drooling with anticipation. So there's your answer. If you think to ask where the bed is, this is not the room for you.


An actual New Line Cinema-owned concept art image of Lothlorien (presumably created for Fellowship) which I liberally ripped off to show what the Lothlorien suite exterior might look like. The interior, of course, being gorgeously opulent and full of celestial Elf harmonies just like in the films. Elf companion optional but recommended.

The pool will be tended by Ensign Toasts (which is what all the pool boys will be called as they are interchangable and also, in the event of an alien attack, expendable). Celebrity entertainers, dinner companions, or jungle safari guides will be available for those more discerning guests. The celebrities available will depend on who I think is worthy of being on the island in the first place. The Star Trek karaoke room will run nightly, of course, Convention appearances allowing.


An example of why I will need fencing, waivers, and also elephants and celebrity safari guides in the first place. TIGERS! It's all about the tigers. The majestic creatures may be glimpsed from the terraces of jungle view rooms (tiger whim permitting) or whilst on safari in the island jungles. Half of all proceeds made by the resort will maintain the sanctuary on the rest of the island and will fund tiger research and reserve development across the globe.

And I will have a litter with burly men (all named Marton) to carry me from wing to wing on business. Also Sharon Stone will have her own set of suites (theme to be determined by her) on a permanent reserve if she wishes. Or rather, once I'm that ridiculously wealthy, if I wish. And I do.

August 22, 2006

Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu
1931 - 2006


The Maori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, died on August 15th and all Maori then entered a traditional week of mourning culminating with her funeral yesterday, on August 21. In keeping with Maori tradition, she is buried in an unmarked grave on Taupiri Mountain (as her ancestors were) as a sign of equality with her people.

Tuheitia Paki, her eldest son, was chosen as her successor during the mourning period. Maori royalty is an elective monarchy so Tuheitia Paki, the new king, is actually Dame Te Atairangikaahu's second child as the right of succession does not automatically fall to the eldest.

The same things that make headlines in North America are news here but there is also a different pulse to life. There is a very strong sense of national pride and things that matter to New Zealand are not always what matter worldwide. I am proud to live here and learn what I can from this country. And though I don't know how to say it in Maori, I offer farewell to the Queen and welcome to the new King.

August 20, 2006

I interrupt the vampire gallery for a distressing news bulletin.

Look at this picture.



In what I can only assume is an artist's Photoshop rendering of what will shortly be reality, the picture depicts the proposed new South Beach, Miami hotel called Nicky O. Why is this news? Because it's to be the first in a franchise of hotels created and owned by none other than Nicky Hilton. Nicky Hilton is the younger, slightly less offensive, and certainly less famous sister of Paris Hilton who is famous mostly just for being Paris Hilton. And for making bad choices in home movie topics. I digress. Nicky O is Nicky Hilton's new project - a chain of five star hotels that she intends to launch entirely on her own, without any assistance from her family. (After all, it's not like Hiltons know anything about hotels. *scoff*) What would a hotel designed by Nicky Hilton be like? Well the official website poses these thought-provoking questions to aid us in visualizing the answer:

"A Hotel being launched by Nicky Hilton combines the five-star service that you would expect from a hotel bearing Nicky's name, but what if the staff were outfitted in designer clothing? What if the public areas had Nicky Hilton's personal designs, brought to life?"

WHAT IF?!?! O sleep, perchance to dream!

But wait, there's more...

~ The scent of gardenias will be misted throughout the property.
~ The elevators will feature E! news ticker entertainment updates.
~ The lobby will boast a celebrity photo wall of Nicky's famous friends and hotel guests.
~ There will be two VIP celebrity clubs both featuring wall screens of E! footage.
~ There will be poolside tanning butlers.
~ Instead of chocolate wafers on pillows at night, there will be mini cupcakes.
~ A Nicky O boutique will feature Nicky's own lines of apparel, linens, and handbags.
~ The Nicky O Catalog will allow guests to purchase anything seen in their rooms - wallpaper, linens, the bed, anything.

I have to say that the five-star service that I would expect from a hotel bearing Nicky's name is pretty much summed up in the above information. To be perfectly honest I had no expectations whatsoever regarding hotels designed by Nicky Hilton but if I were forced, at gunpoint, to imagine such a travesty, I really would imagine a brothel / E! Feature involving tanning butlers and cupcakes.

Back in my younger days I too had fancy dreams of owning my own island resort. I imagined it would feature loads of scantily clad pool boys all bearing eerie resemblance to any of the NSync boys and John Cusack and maybe Face from The A-Team. There would also be a tiny butler who would shout out "Da plane! Da plane!" whenever a plane approached the island. And possibly a unicorn and the entire cast of Star Trek: the Next Generation singing karaoke. Definitely theme rooms which included the Enterprise Bridge room, the room made entirely of clouds, the Mickey Mouse room, and the ball room (note: not ballroom, but "room full of balls"). Also there would necessarily be a litter borne on the shoulders of burly men to take me to and from my room and the different wings of the resort. And a red sand beach. But the difference between me and Nicky Hilton is I realized that things that sound good in my head don't necessarily translate into experiences actual people would voluntarily pay for.

Or, to put it simply, I sort of grew up. I mean now the theme rooms would definitely include several Elf realm Lord of the Rings rooms, the round room with no corners in it at all, an Addams Family wing, and the tiger room. Also the entire island would be a tiger sanctuary and guests would have to sign a waiver stating that no member of their surviving family could sue if a tiger eats them during their stay. Additionally the pool boys would now eerily resemble Marton Csokas, Craig Parker, Tom Hardy, and also still Face from The A-Team. And I'd ride an elephant to and from the cabana. With Sharon Stone. So really it's a damn good thing I don't have a ridiculously wealthy and stupidly indulgent father or you would all be paying me to lounge around in the Lothlorien room while waiting for the privilege of becoming tiger fodder.

My talents are sorely underused on a daily basis.

August 16, 2006

Lovely vampire portrait by artist Edvard Munch circa 1893...



One can only assume that Munch's uber-famous The Scream took place directly before this painting. I'm sure screaming is the instinctive response of most mortals upon encountering a vampire. Fair enough.

I also very much like the way Edvard Munch spells his name with a "v" instead of a "w" like everybody else. It's as though Bela Lugosi named him. "Ah, Edvard. You make beautiful paintings. I vant you to make one for me specially. Vill you do it, Edvard?" It's so Transylvanian gothic. I'm making up my own lore now, cross-pollinating from vampire legend to legendary art. God, I love the omnipotence of writing!

I vant you to love it too.

August 12, 2006

The classic vampire image by the classic vampire actor, Bela Lugosi.



But that is not the only vampiric image of merit, my darling mortals. Lugosi's Count Dracula may have achieved iconic status but the vampire is a creature of many guises. The V of slick black hair, the cowled cape, the innocent victim asleep in bed... these are images that some vampires live to dispel from your mind.

The gallery continues.

August 11, 2006

La Gallerie du Vampires...



Sleep through the searing sunlight hours and travel the deeps of night with me.

Meet the immortals.

August 7, 2006

Bushism of the Day

"I've reminded the prime minister - the American people, Mr. Prime Minister, over the past months that it was not always a given that the United States and America would have a close relationship." ~ George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., June 29, 2006

August 3, 2006

A cat just walked past the lounge down the corridor leading to the kitchen. It is probably worthwhile noting that I do not own a cat in New Zealand.

I fell ill yesterday and did what I normally do when sick and whiny. I rented movies. Last time I was sick I was in a period piece mood and I re-watched Dangerous Liaisons and watched Portrait of a Lady. This time I'm solidly back in my Sharon Stone phase (have I ever really left it?) so my picks are Basic Instinct, Simpatico, and Broken Flowers. Basic Instinct is a great movie and I've watched it almost as many times as I've watched Showgirls. The differences between Basic Instinct and Showgirls, despite both being Joe Eszterhas/Paul Verhoeven erotic thrillers is that Basic Instinct has a damn fine plot, a decently skilled cast, and real tension. Showgirls only has Gina Gershon. Which, admittedly, is usually all a film needs. But with Showgirls you might make the argument that more clothing, less heinous overacting, and a plot could also be necessary elements of a film. Basic Instinct does not have the Showgirls overacting curse and Sharon Stone is actually more clothed than not, starting her celebrated stylish relationship with clothes (and non relationship with undergarments) in Catherine Tramell's signature little white dress.

Basic Instinct 2
got unfairly bashed at the box office. Like Aeon Flux, I think audiences misunderstood it. It was a way to let Stone's iconic Catherine Tramell wreak more havoc on the male ego and manipulate plots, laws, and sexuality to her amusement while simultaneously paying homage to the erotic thriller genre in general. It had a witty script, a cleverly twisting plot, and writers who knew precisely what sort of film they were making. Sharon Stone was as icily seductive as ever, cool and assured, beautiful and stylish. Nobody else could ever play Catherine Tramell - she is essentially an extension of Stone herself. Not an imprint of the woman as a whole but a sort of celluloid realization of Stone's inner femme fatale - the sort of woman every woman has the ability to be deep down but rarely, if ever, gets the chance to express. Sharon Stone, with her beauty and glamour and ice-sex demeanor, gets to be the divine dictator of male fate that every woman at some point or other wishes she could be. The movie was ludicrous, of course, and it probably suffered from the glut of publicity over Stone's nudity at age 48, but it knows it's place and as such it is a fine entry into the erotic thriller genre. A "shrinks and shags" offering, as one essay on the topic called it. Don't pan it till you've tried it. It's a worthy successor and has been cleansed of the more adolescent Eszterhas-esque dialogue and dirty-old-man Verhoeven touches of the original. The original is still the best but Basic Instinct 2 is not the pile of shit everyone assumes it to be.

Simpatico, which I had the good fortune of seeing in it's original theatrical release, is every bit as good as I remember it. I have not yet watched Broken Flowers. I'll discuss them in my next post, I think.

A cat, a different cat than the first one, has just jumped in my open window. I've always said kitty therapy is the best medicine. Perhaps word on the feline street is spreading.

July 31, 2006

Lance Bass recently came out of the closet and admitted publicly that he is gay. I want to thank you all for your concerned emails on the topic but New Zealand is not so far away that I didn't hear the slam of the closet door opening. Thanks... but you can stop now.

I have to say, I'm proud of Lance. Be gay! By all means, be who you are meant to be. Be gay. Be an astronaut. Be a sitcom star. Be whatever fulfills you but most of all be proud of who you are. Congratulations to you, Lance, on being brave and proud. I wish you and Reichen only happiness in the future. (And for those of you totally lost by the entire post thus far, Lance Bass, formerly of NSync, is gay and dating Reichen Lehmkuhl, sometime actor and model and winner of The Amazing Race 4).

Though I have to also admit that my sister offered the best soundbyte on the affair so far via email. "I always thought it would be JC, personally."

*dies*

July 20, 2006

Response to the Bites on the Last Post...

Random capitalization of non-essential words aside (how very Shatnerian of me), this post is a direct reply to all the comments you lovely mortals made on the last post. Just to show you that bites are important and I read them and I care. (Which reminds me of You Don't Know Jack... "the question that cares"... I'm very Dennis Miller tonight - all sideways obscure references that make me laugh and probably confuse the hell out of my readers. Well... I make no apologies. I write therefore I am. Thinking is not necessarily part of that equation.)

Firstly, country. The mere mention of country "music" raised a shitstorm response amongst you. Most of you concur with me that "music" is a term best used very loosely when describing country but one of you (*cough*HOMIE*cough*) accused me of being a music bigot. Man, I laughed at that! Music bigot. Wheeeee! Okay, yes. Sometimes I am a music bigot. But one thing I am not is a music snob. What's the difference? My (god bless 'em) coworkers, for an example. I'm bigoted against country "music" because it sucks. But I'm not a snob about it. I mean I'll listen to pretty much anything else that strikes my fancy and I don't worry about my music being "cool" or "hip" or "artistic" or whatever the kids are calling it these days. "Emo" maybe. Whatever. If I hear a song and that song is catchy and I like it and I groove along, then I'm happy. If that song turns out to be the latest from Fat Freddy's Drop or, oh hell, Gnarls Barkley or Cat Power or whatever, then fine. I suppose I'm "edgy". But if that song turns out to be the latest from Pink or Kelly Clarkson or, you know, Enrique Iglesias, then that's fine too. I'm not going to hate a track just on the basis of it being popular. Or by an artist deemed "uncool". How very high school! My coworkers, however, operate on the high school principle. If it's not obscure and artsy, then it's not cool, and if it's not cool, then they can't listen to it. And they'll mock it relentlessly without reason or, say, listening to it first. And that's another difference between being a music bigot and a music snob. I've listened to a lot of country in my day. My beloved former boss, Aarongorn, loved country. Thus we split our time equally between Top 40 and Country in the workplace and I can say with some degree of assurance that four straight hours of country "music" five days every week didn't at all change my opinion on the matter. It still sucks. But I have a firm grounding upon which to make that claim. You see?

Anyway, country does suck and those of you who love it probably consider black cowboy hats "formal dress" and think Groundhog Day is a special day set aside for shooting ground-dwelling rodents whilst drunk. I'm not making any judgement calls, I'm just SAYING...

Christmas music, on the other hand, I love. However, like Blarg, I find that it gets overdone. For some reason it feels as though there are only fourteen Christmas songs in the world and that every artist from Mozart to Britney has had a go at interpreting those fourteen songs and we are then subjected to an endless rotation of variations on the fourteen songs for months on end every year. I love Christmas music but I hate the forced merriment that retail rolls out annually. Yes Blarg, I hear you.

As for Gotthammer's question on where undead VampireNomad posts go when they "die", I have no idea. It's ironic that I work in an archive since I have so little practical knowledge on archiving things as a rule. I know they all live on in my Blogger Dashboard but as I didn't make my template, I didn't create an Archive link. And even if I had made my template, I wouldn't have the foggiest idea how to make an Archive link. *laugh* Gotthammer, maybe if you speak really nicely to Homie, he can create a special little Crypt where all my undead posts can gather together to be read by adoring mortals like yourself.

By the way, Rustyangel, I pity your five movie trailer rotation hell. Nothing is worse than listening to That Trailer Guy intone Serious Prose overtop of heinously overdone Hollywood crap for eight hours a day. You'd love my work. My boss, a fellow Front of House employee and I like starting our days listening to Blind Melon's "No Rain". We crank it in the half-hour before we open and it acts like a sort of caffeine IV, pumping us up and making everything alright.

Feel free to dissect my musical taste (or lack thereof) in the bites but remember - music snobs are not welcome. Bigots, sure. Snobs, no.

July 14, 2006

It's sort of odd that Homie's latest post is about music at work... we're having a Twilight Zone moment of connection... again.

Our music at work is diverse and quite hip and only sometimes mind-numbing. The problem isn't the music, it's the employees. Their complaints, while pretty much a daily occurrence, are never the same twice. They are as creative and individual as the people making them. I should probably add that the music plays downstairs in the public cafe space while all the employees who are complaining work upstairs on totally separate floors with no connection to our music system. Nonetheless, the music playing is:
a) Too loud.
b) Not loud enough.
c) Not the right "feel" for our workplace.
d) Not to the employee's personal taste.
e) Alienating customers.
f) Alienating employees.
g) Too moody.
h) Too popular.
i) Too old.
j) Too different.
k) Too new.
l) Not modern enough.
m) Hard to understand.

*sigh*

One day an employee will complain and will also accidentally run into my boot ass-first directly afterwards.

How can music alienate employees anyway? They're PAID to be there. It's not about fostering the right atmosphere to make them want to return on a regular basis. I could foster an atmosphere of deliberate hostility towards employees and they'd still be on the payroll. I mean, really... is there possibly a song I could play that would actually perform the act of firing an employee? If you find one, bring it to me and I'll play it. And I bet you the complaint won't be that it's alienating employees, it will be that the song is hard to understand. Or possibly that they're colorblind and the harmonies are aggravating their red/green insensitivity.

I should play country. I don't even think New Zealand knows what country is. They have not yet BEGUN to complain!

July 5, 2006

If I were in charge of all signage, the world would be a much better place.



"Better" being an interpretive term, of course.

Being a giving person, I also made a sign for Homie.
This one's for you, Friend Bear!



Want to make your own warning signs?
Of course you do. So go nuts already.

June 30, 2006

I went here. LOVED IT.

I went here. LOVED HIM.

June 23, 2006

For Homie, who asked for more.

In the book I am devouring (in between work, theatre, and Craig Parker excursions), Daimonic Reality: A field guide to the Otherworld by Patrick Harpur, there is a theory put forth about psychic reality. In an effort to credibly examine such seemingly disparate and generally criticized phenomena as alien sightings, fairy encounters, and (yes, Homie) Bigfoot beliefs, the author refers to many old world philosophers such as Plato and Socrates and one relatively modern (1950s era) analytical psychologist named C.G. Jung. Psychic reality is the active theory that Jung details, spawned by other like forward thinkers such as Plato, to explain the unexplainable.

In the Greek the word "soul" is "psyche" and in Latin it is "anima". Both refer to an element of ourselves and the world around us which modern thinking has lumped in with spirituality. However the soul, which was left out by the Church Council of 869 which decreed that man is comprised wholly of only the two parts of body and spirit, is a vital element of our existence. The soul, or psyche, is not the same as the spirit nor is it physical reality, or body. Instead the soul inhabits a region greater than our personal inward realm. It is part of the outer world as well, a sort of invisible overlay to the physical reality that we account for with our everyday five senses. In this manner, Jung puts forth the theory of psychic reality - that is to say that the realm of the soul, or psyche, which is both inner and outer simultaneously, operates as the intermediary between the separate realms of body and spirit. The "soul world" therefore connects our physical reality to the spiritual realm. It is why Jung believed so strongly in the messages of dreams. As Greeks believed, dreams happen to us, they are not created by us. Therefore dreams are communication from the spirit to the body within the soul realm. Psychic reality, then, can accomodate any number of apparitions or encounters because they are actual elements of our soul world, just not regularly seen physical elements. (Reference pgs 34 to 37; Daimonic Reality; Patrick Harpur)

This is, of course, a controversial theory to put to a Christian and scientific modern world. Psychic reality can not be accounted for either scripturally or logically. Our present world is one of a strictly dual view. There is the body and there is the spirit. Science dictates the realm of the physical and God controls the spirit. There isn't room in our current way of thinking for a third realm, one both inner and outer that cannot be tracked by instrumentation or labelled by a Bible verse. But the ancient philosophers and societies of our world had a strong grasp on the concept of soul as separate from body and spirit. Plato and Socrates had no trouble discerning that a form of Jung's psychic reality accounted for a lot of visions and dreams and connected mortal man to the deities of the spirit realm. All early civilizations, tribes, and non-Western societies have imbedded folklore that include encounters with any number of "unbelievable" beings such as elves, nymphs, jinn, fairy folk, trolls, or even guardian angels. These are not hallucinations or even myths, is the point of Harpur's book. According to Jung, they are the inhabitants of psychic reality. The messengers between spirit and body who can speak in dreams and appear in the physical realm at will and in any form. Every civilization on earth, every tribe, every people, has a folklore. The names of the beings are different in each case but the ideas of the visions, the otherworldly aspects to the creatures, and the either beneficial or alarming nature of the encounters are the same.

Agree or not, how then can we deny that psychic reality is at least a possibility?