Archive | June, 2009

Seaside Numero Uno

30 Jun

So, it’s been one night since Laura and I arrived in Seaside. We’re staying at the Seaside International Hostel a few blocks away from the beach, and about 9 blocks away from Broadway, which is where all the tourist-y stuff is.

For one thing – a hostel is way cooler than staying in a hotel. It’s cheaper, you have free use of the fridge and the stove, they have “make your own pancake breakfast” in the mornings, and meditation from 10-12. I’ve been up for an hour and a half right now, but Laura’s still asleep-ish, so we didn’t get up early enough for breakfast.

Oh, and the TV room – all VHS tapes. I feel so old. They have a whole cabinet of movies, and we decided that we’d watch Footloose. But we failed. Miserably. We put the tape in the VCR. and pressed play. And it didn’t play. It’s been, what? 8 years since I’ve actually used a VCR. So we gave up on trying to get it to work and went back to our room and watched an old Nickelodeon Kenan and Kel movie on my laptop. I forgot how much I loved that show.

We had Thai food last night, just to try something a little different, and it was cheap. But not so tasty. Definitely not going back there again, which is why we went to Safeway and got sandwich fixins, some soup, and some mac’n’cheese. Cause we’re cheap. We might go somewhere to eat a couple more times, but possibly share, since the portions you get are so damn big. It finished maybe half of my pad thai last night. But I don’t feel sick. That’s the important thing.

I’m excited. It’s very relaxing here, and with no television, it will be very easy to experience so many things. However, I was an idiot and forgot my earphones for some reason. Dunno why I didn’t look harder for them, but I might have to pick up some cheapy ones to tide me over for the next couple days. Our walls aren’t very sound-proof, so earphones would be nice to have to fall asleep to.

I gotta take a shower now, but I’ll be back tomorrow…or the next day to check in again. We’ll probably go to Astoria tomorrow, and then stay in Portland all day on our way back home thursday.

❤ Abby

We get it Michael Bay, you do ‘splosions.

24 Jun

I went and saw Transformers 2 last night, and I can say that I’ve never seen a more crowded midnight premiere, ever. Not even Twilight.

I must say that I was pretty excited. I’m not gonna lie. And my excitement was met quite pleasantly for the first half of the movie. I was completely happy with the first half of the movie. The story moved at an acceptable pace, new characters were introduced and there was just the right amount of epic robot battles. But at about 1:30 am, it went down from there.

Director Michael Bay gets a lot of shit for his special effects-heavy, plot-light movies. That is true. Most of his movies can be quite self-indulgent in the SFX department. However, the extent of his talent in CGI pays the bills. I was glad that he added new Autobots to the mix, twins Skids and Mudflap, as well as Jetfire, an old-timer former Decepticon. He was my favorite – as he was perceived as an old rickety British man from way back when. He added history to the Transformers, which is the one thing missing from the last movie. And there were still our old favorites Bumblebee, who was even more endearing in this film, Ironhide, and Optimus Prime, of course. This is where Bay went right – adding more personality to the robots. Mudflap and Skids’ annoying banter almost made it seem like they weren’t robots. In this film, it helped that the robots were more than just robots because it made the audience more connected with them when the U.S. military decided to scrap their operation, Nest. For once, the aliens were the good guys.

Although the robots were given more personal stories, the time left for Sam, Mikayla, Sam’s family, and the new tagalong Leo was far too short. If I could have counted how long their characters were developing compared to the length of time they were running, it would have been grossly unbalanced. We see Sam in college all of one day, and the short time we get to spend with Leo before shit hits the fan makes him seem so trivial and expendable throughout the rest of the movie. And I did like that they brought back Jon Turturro’s character. He was the one who always seemed to be the voice of wisdom.

I’m a little confused about Rainn Wilson’s role though. It was such a short and almost waste of the cameo that when he came on screen, people’s reactions to his presence in the film were just as short. What a useless presence of a good actor.

From what I did see of Sam and Mikayla’s developing relationship, the chemistry is there. It had all the right elements – but there just wasn’t enough of it in comparison to the length of the film.

That was the main problem I had with the movie. Transformers is one of the only action franchises that I truly enjoy because of the complexity of the Autobots visual construction as well as the fact that they are based on Hasbro children’s toys. It’s a guilty pleasure. But Transformers 2 was way too long. Like, WAY too long. The movie started at midnight and we didn’t get home until about 3 am. And the theater is 10 minutes away from our house. Count the 10-15 minutes of previews, and you got a 2.5 hour movie. Granted it isn’t nearly as long as any of the Lord of the Rings movies or a few of the Harry Potter movies, but Michael Bay could have easily cut out 20 minutes at least of robots fighting and explosions. Dude, we understand that you are good at SFX. But seriously, there was so much rendering of CGI that even some of the hardware exploded during post-production. I was actually constantly looking at my watch for the last 45 minutes wondering when we were gonna get to the final bits of the movie. Specifically, the sequence where Sam and Mikayla were running about 2 miles to get to Optimus was the most grating. They run, things explode, they run some more, robots fight, Josh Duhamel shoots things, they run, more things explode, and still – they run.

In all actuality – Transformers had all the right elements. More background for the Autobots, humor, new characters, Shia Labeouf’s fine self, and Megan Fox’s fine self for the guys, and pretty cool special effects – but Michael Bay needs to get his priorities straight. Calm down with the huge explosions. I know you were using the IMAX to your advantage, but giant battling robots and epic warfare gets a little old. More plot, less eye-candy.

It’s almost like porn, but instead of titties and blowjobs, you have giant transforming alien robots battling it out in the middle of the Egyptian desert.

❤ Abby

Thank you, Dr. Coon, for teaching Television Studies last quarter

22 Jun

Honestly, this review has nothing to do with my comm. professor, nor does it have anything to do directly with television studies, but hear me out here.

I watched the movie “Fired Up” last night, against my will essentially, because my sister wanted to rent it and I was up for anything to get my mind off the shit that went down yesterday.

And I hate to say it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. When I saw the previews initially a few months ago, I was like, oh that looks kinda funny, but I’ll surely never pay to see it. It seemed like every other teen sex comedy that had come out in the last 8 some odd years, and in a way, it was. Shallow dudes try to get hot chicks, blah-diddy-blah. Dumb cheerleader jokes, vapid jock jokes, gay jokes, that virtually makes a stereotypically bad teen film. But – this is where I get to the part why I thank Dr. Coon – “Fired Up” is the strongest example of post-modernism that I’ve seen in a long time.

Obviously, the writer, director, and actors couldn’t have taken themselves seriously. I mean, they made a movie about two football jocks (Eric Christian Olsen and Nick D’Agosto) who go to cheer camp to sex up the 300 chicks there. Frivolous, shallow, ridiculous, but absurdly intriguing. It’s evident in the closing credits and the gag reel that the filmset was fun to be on, and since this was the director, Will Gluck, and the writer, Freedom Jones’ first film, they didn’t really give a shit what happened. Most likely, the fact that the film was making fun of itself wasn’t on purpose. The filmmakers were so inexperienced, yet seemed so self-aware. They let Olsen improv many of the more brow-raising lines. And not double brow-raising from shock, but the one eyebrow-raise – the one that denotes confusion, normally accompanied with the opposite eye squinted. But most of those lines, while completely random, brought about belly laughs and loud cackling throughout my living room.

Some of my favorites include:

Nick Brady: Remember when I pretended to be really into Nickelback for that senior chick?
Shawn Colfax: God they suck.
Nick Brady: So did she.

Nick Brady: Humans are the only species that CAN lie. Except for maybe chameleons. Ooh, and possums. They play dead.

Nick Brady: Bottomless breadsticks only keep you at the Olive Garden for so long, until at some point you look up and say ‘Why the hell am I at the Olive Garden with all these fat people?’

Nick Brady: [reading her nametag] Diora? I believe that’s Italian for ‘beautiful princess’.
Diora: No.
Nick Brady: Well it should be, I’m calling the dictionary people.

Nick Brady: [trying to talk his way out of football camp] So not only yesterday do I find out I’m adopted. The people I’ve been calling “Mom” and “Dad” are actually two infertile impostors who bought me outside of a meth clinic in Cincinatti for two boxes of Sudafed, but I also get this news dropped on me – my birth father, Bruce… well he needs a kidney and I’m the only match and apparently Bruce needs it “stat”. Mmm-hmm. You need it stat, Bruce? Huh? Well maybe I needed a father stat instead of my stay-at-home dad who showers me with love everyday of his life, this goddamn spermless liar!
[pause]
Nick Brady: So now I have to be at Kaiser Permanente at 6 a.m. tomorrow. I know, Bruce couldn’t even afford a real hospital… managed care. Ironic, isn’t it? He never *managed* to care for me.

Ms. Klingerhoff: Don’t judge a book by its cover, Carly. You never really know what a book is about ’til you get to… page 50!
Nick Brady: 50? I wouldn’t have guessed a page over 40.
Shawn Colfax: More like 35.

And there are plenty more. I just thought these were still funny out of context.

But back to the postmodernism part – not only did this movie refer to Animal House, Bring it On – the obvious references, but also the likes of Carlito’s Way, What Not to Wear, The Shawshank redemption, Fraggle Rock, Pocahontas, and Hamlet 2. Yes, Hamlet 2 (rock me, sexy Jesus!). That movie came out… what was it? Last year? I mean, the last time I saw this many random references was “Juno.” And those references still made the movie postmodern, but pretentious as well. These random references – as well as the absurd hatred of Nickelback and Crocs – keep the film far from pretentious. It is a teen sex comedy, after all.

And I completely agreed with the commentary on Nickelback and Crocs – they suck.

Perhaps the most laugh-out-loud stuff comes from Carly (Sarah Roemer)’s boyfriend “Dr. Rick,” played by David Walton. Why does he call himself “Dr. Rick?” Well, he’s a medical student, who didn’t want to “put off the inevitable.” What made his character so grating and hilarious at the same time was the numerous stupid nicknames he gave Carly (Carlito’s Way, Carly and the Chocolate Factory, Carles Barkley, Carlsbad, Carlyfornia, Carlyhorse, Carly’s Junior, Larry, Mo and Carly… and the list goes on). The sincerity of these stupendously horrendous references make you laugh rather than scoff.

But the laughter doesn’t stop there. Remember that band, Chumbawumba? Remember the worst song of the 90s, Breakfast at Tiffany’s? And that Lou Bega guy? He had that one-hit-wonder, “Mambo No.5.” Yeah, you remember it now, but one would never expect songs like THAT to be in a movie like THIS. Maybe some mildly popular pop rock songs from the early 2000’s, and of course mass hits from the likes of the Ting Tings, but not bad songs from the 90s that you once could not get out of your head. “Dr. Rick” couldn’t be more infatuated with these songs, as he loudly sings them in his feminine Beamer. And for the most part, the teens that this movie appeals to won’t even know what the fuck these songs are. They won’t remember these songs. I – being 20 years old – remember these songs, but that’s the fun of it. We laugh at them because the references are over young people’s heads, but not so far over that make them vainglorious, but still utterly mind-boggling.

It’s not like the writer Freedom Jones was setting out to be like, “Hey, tweens, you don’t know who Chumbawumba is? Too bad, suckas!” These aren’t high-brow, elitist references like the uber-indie gore films or Sonic Youth and the Stooges from “Juno.” Not that I’m diminishing “Juno” in any way, but self-righteous indie postmodernism is getting a little old.

I doubt that “Fired Up” will ever be referenced in any other teen sex flick like “Bring It On” has been, but I don’t mind checking my film-snobbery at the door once in awhile and just laugh. And I will say that “Fired Up” is better than any of the sequels to the satirical genius that was “Bring it On.” And it’s refreshing that for once, the cheerleading team essentially lost at the end.

In a way, “Fired Up” was a nostalgic experience for me. Before I really cared to see great movies, and before I took numerous film classes. But I think I might go back and watch a few more of those movies I used to watch, just to experience them in a whole new way.

And I didn’t even mind that Eric Christian Olsen is 32, playing a 17-year-old guy. I swear, he’s been playing the same age since “Not Another Teen Movie” eight years ago.

❤ Abby

Animal Collective has an odd calming effect on me

21 Jun

And that’s a good thing.

Well, Happy Fucking Father’s Day!

You have no idea. I don’t think I’ve been this scared in…well, a long time. A really fucking long time. Here my sister and I were, getting ready to head to the mall to pick up Dad a last minute father’s day gift, and Mom went to the cash machine to get some money for us, and as we were waiting for her to come back, the phone rings. I don’t recognize the number, but I pick it up. And a woman on the other line asks who I am, and I say “Abby,” and she proceeds to tell me that mother has been in a car accident. Outside Albertsons. In that stupid fucking turn. The turn that constantly gives people grief. I can hear my mom yelling from the other end, and the woman tells us that her elbow’s scraped up a bit, and that we need to get down there now and call Dad. Immediately, Libby and I jump in the truck and drive to Albertsons. We can see the lights of the ambulance from halfway down Borgen, and we drive all the way around Albertsons to avoid getting stuck in the car lineup and park. People are already staring at the wreck, standing on the sidewalk. And the car is flipped on it’s side.

I know it looks bad, and that’s what I thought immediately. But as soon as I saw the paramedics getting her out through the window, I knew she was fine. They didn’t need the jaws of life. They just bashed in the window. The cop came over to talk to us for a bit about what happened, and apparently, Mom was going to turn into Albertsons and had her blinker on, but changed her mind, but the people turning left out of Albertsons thought she was still turning, and tried busting out of that turn quickly, caught her back bumper, spun her car around and it flipped on its side and slid a bit. And the only damage to their car is the front bumper came clear off. And Mom was only going about 25, but that damn Isuzu is so damn top-heavy that it’s a fucking defective weeble wobble waiting to tip over. We now have an excuse to finally get rid of that car. Finally. It’s been on it’s last legs for the past year, and now it’s gone to the big car lot in the sky. And this may seem crass that I’m being so lighthearted about this, but honestly, Mom was. As soon as Libby got the hospital behind her, she was like “did you look for my shoe?”

“What shoe? I didn’t know I was supposed to look for your shoe?”

“Well, someone needs to find the shoe.”

I found the shoe. And they were expensive shoes. I got everything out of the car, or more like Mr. Rushing got all the stuff out of the car. He was our savior. I called Laura and Libby called Courtney right away, but Gary was already at Albertsons, so he stayed with us and did whatever he could. He reached into the car and grabbed everything out of the car, her shoe, her keys, the bag of random crap that was on the passenger side floor, even the duct tape and travel book that fell out the back window when the tow truck was trying to flip the car back on the right end. Gary even offered to pay the tow truck guy with his credit card after we asked if they could just tow the car to the house, which is WAY closer than the car lot, btw. So it was lame that we would have had to pay to tow it to the house and not pay to tow it to the lot. Lame.

But everything is well. Mom’s elbow’s cut up pretty badly, she’ll need some stitches on her side, but she has her shoes and a clean muumuu to wear. Although her room at St. Joe’s is technically a shower because they were really busy today, apparently. The dude checking us in was kind of cute though. I was just so relieved to have Laura there, and then Courtney and Tami showed up, and the random kind people waiting with us at Albertsons. This nice woman and her daughter even went into Albertsons and bought Libby a tea and offered me something too. I didn’t want anything, but it was heartwarming to know they offered. I sometimes feel like our town has lost all of it’s townie-ness since Harbor Hill expanded and Uptown was built, just basically since Gig Harbor became a tourist destination. I thought people weren’t considerate anymore, but just gawkers and bystanders. Believe me, there are a fair share of those, but Gig Harbor seems to be just full of them. When my family went to Minnesota this summer, everything was friendly. Everyone was considerate. You couldn’t find an unkind person in Minnesota. We don’t have that.

But today, I saw a glimpse of hope that genuinely considerate people still exist around Gig Harbor. I thought I’d seen the last of “kind strangers.” But today showed me that I was wrong.

I love my friends. I love my family. I love the Rushings. I love people who care.

❤ Abby

Nostalgia at its finest

17 Jun

I don’t know why I was inclined to do this, but when Laura and I went through some old photos the other day, it dawned on me. Elementary school was the best time of my life. I know that sounds pathetic as it is, but hear me out.


This is one of my favorite pictures from 4th grade, being the best year of them all.

Before you hit puberty, nothing really matters. Life is so simple and void of drama and problems. At that point, we’re all on the same level. The only thing that can really hurt your social status is if you smell bad or get head lice. Other than that, you’re set. I had lots of friends in elementary school, but I was never a “cool” kid. I never was, and granted, I probably never will be. But I’m not a kid anymore. It’s weird to say that. But when you’re 9 years old, nobody’s a “bitch” or a “slut.” Nobody’s a “geek” or a “nerd” or a “jock.” There’s not a lot of variety in hobbies, so kids all have at least one thing in common, and it keeps everyone connected. My childhood best friend and I loved playing with dolls and stuffed animals. Not Barbies, but American Girl Dolls. We LOVED American Girl Dolls. And Muffy Vanderbear stuffed animals. We had all the playsets and costumes. And Tea Bunnies. Tea Bunnies were the SHIT. You’re probably wondering, “what the fuck is a tea bunny?”


They had clothes, but for some reason this person photographed them naked. But they had cute hats.

And Tea Bunny Babies.

Really.

It’s weird to think that of all of my friends from elementary school – I’m only friends with 3 still. And one of which I’ve never stopped being friends with. Laura and I have known each other since 4th grade. Marki and Cassie and I have known each other since kindergarten, but both of them moved to another state for some odd years.

But the thing is – all my other friends from all those years ago – a lot of them are still here. They still live in Gig Harbor, or at least nearby. They never left, as I never did. Not by choice, but by convenience. And the sad thing about it is that one thing changed the course of my life and my friendships. Going to Harbor Ridge instead of Goodman middle school. In reality, I shouldn’t have gone to Discovery Elementary in the first place – I should have gone to Purdy, but I didn’t. My mom did as all the other kids in my neighborhood did, and enroll us at Discovery. In reality, I still know a few people I went to elementary school with. I remember counting how many kids went with me to HRMS in 6th grade. Fifteen. And 2 of those guys either switched schools or moved away after 6th grade. So 13 kids stayed in middle school with me from Discovery. Over the next few years, kids moved away, switched schools, moved back, and decided to go to PHS. Now I can count all the kids I went to elementary school and still have some sort of contact with on two hands.


This is my 3rd grade birthday party.

Cassie and Marki and I when we were about 5.

And what makes me the saddest is thinking about the guys I was friends with when I was a kid. I had two best friends that were boys at Discovery. And I haven’t spoken to one of them in…at least 9 years. The other I stayed in contact with indirectly during middle school because his mom was my Girl Scout leader, but still. What broke these friendships wasn’t pain or anger or anything of the sort, but mere inconvenience. We didn’t live farther away, we just went to different schools, and met new people, and went different ways. That shouldn’t have made us any less of friends. Something should HAPPEN to break friendships. Shit should have to hit the fan to break up friendships. I know, it’s happened to me before. But not in this case. When you’re 11, you don’t have a care in the world, so there’s really no reason to hate someone. So why did I stop talking to my friends? Why have I not tried to keep in contact with them for all these years? I hope to never do that again. The friends I’ve made since then and the friends I make now will hopefully be lifelong. At least longer than is convenient. My uncle is still friends with guys he knew when he was 7. He’s 44.

Sometimes I think about what would have happened if I had gone to Goodman instead of HRMS, or not have gone to Discovery in the first place and gone to Purdy, like I was supposed to. I might be a completely different person. I might not have met a lot of people that I have. Heck, if I had gone to Purdy, I would have never seen Harriet the Spy at my best friend’s birthday party, in turn, getting us obsessed with writing, leading to my lifelong love. I might not have joined Outlook!

Now that’s a scary thought.


My fourth grade class at the Point Defiance Zoo.

I think that’s enough self-reflection for one day. I would like to see some of those old friends. I think people shouldn’t just have high school reunions, but elementary school reunions.

❤ Abby

I was going to review the Hangover, but I changed my mind

14 Jun

I’ll do that tomorrow.

For now, I’d like to address an issue that’s most near and dear to my heart – David Letterman. As much as I love Conan way more than Jay Leno, I’ve had a hard time switching over to NBC at 11:35 instead of going right to CBS. I figure I’ll just record it if I remember to. If not, oh well.

But I missed the show last monday, and I’m quite upset that I did, because I would have seen the infamous jokes firsthand, not the retelling of them over and over again.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, well.

There, now you see.

This whole week has turned into a fucking shitstorm coming out of Palin’s mouth. The radio host that originally had Palin on and where she made the remarks after Dave’s jokes monday was on MSNBC this week, and made a complete ass of himself. He pissed off Contessa Brewer so much that she demanded they cut his mic. Watch that first. Palin talked to Matt Lauer the other day, both addressing the pipeline situation in Alaska and the backlash from Letterman’s jokes. And I must say, she got pwned. She made some ridiculous accusations that Dave wasn’t to be trusted around her 14-year-old. Watch that one too.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Really?

Sarah Palin said she didn’t want to appear on Dave’s show to boost his ratings, but all this is doing for her is putting her back in the public eye. She’s milking it for all it’s worth, and it’s disgusting. She mentioned on the Today Show that in the campaign that Obama said that “families were off-limits.” Well, guess what Mrs. Palin? It’s not the fucking campaign anymore, and David Letterman isn’t a journalist, he’s a comedian. He tells jokes. He interviews movie stars. He banters back and forth with Paul. Were his jokes distasteful? You could say that, yes. They were a low-blow, but Palin, along with some absurd group of people who’ve banned together to “Fire David Letterman” have blown it WAY out of proportion. Dave wasn’t referring to Willow, Palin’s 14-year-old. He was referring to her 18-year-old, who got pregnant during the campaign. The campaign that Palin pushed for FAMILY VALUES. Bristol’s an adult, she can handle herself.

David Letterman is not a pervert. He’s a comedian. He wasn’t condoning statutory rape. How dense do you have to be to believe that’s what he meant?

This just pisses me off, because people are idiots. People are maniacal idiots without anything important to say so they pounce on somewhat ineffectual public figures for an absurd misunderstanding.

I figured I’d post this, because I know how much the news shows are following what the interwebs are saying these days, and I’d like for anyone who agrees with me to say something on Twitter or anywhere else against this “Fire David Letterman” group. Seriously, I was at the gym today and CNN was actually broadcasting tweets about the Iranian elections.

David Letterman is not a pervert, I repeat. And get the fuck over it, Palin.

❤ Abby

Walking around in our summertime clothes

13 Jun

And I kinda wish that I didn’t have to for just a day, because rain would be so refreshing. Particularly to get some of the pollen out of the air and to help the wafting smell of our trash dissipate. Padre forgot to put the trash out last week and it’s been sitting in our garage all week. I know, it’s kinda gross. And to top it all off, our dryer isn’t working, so every bit of furniture in our living room is temporarily being used as a clothesline.

So we have smelly trash and damp clothes filling up the house. Oh, how delectable. Ack.

I didn’t realize how fitting that lyric was for my headline until I just wrote all that. I just used it because it’s a really awesome Animal Collective song with “summer” in the title. Because it’s summer vacation. Boo yeah. I’m just waiting for my Literature grade now. I have my 3.4 in TV studies and a 3.9 in Writing for Mass Media. I would have gotten a 4.0 had I wasted my time doing ridiculous busy work – i.e. going through 3 days worth of the news section in the Trib and highlighting EVERY SINGLE quote and analyzing the balance between women and men sources. I know, lame. But a 3.9 is the best grade I’d gotten so far.

I need to find a job. I really do. Not nearly as much as my graduating friends do, but I do nonetheless.

I don’t have any particularly exciting music news to divulge, so I’ll post some movie posters that I’m EXCITED ABOUT. ONTD posted some this morning, and most of them looked shitty. But I’m peerrrttty syked about these movies.


Um, Tim Burton = AWESOME. ‘Nough said.

I might even read the book again before I watch the movie. Favorite book, hopefully favorite movie.


Anything with Demetri Martin is my kinda entertainment.


This movie looks adorable. Youtube the trailer.


Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, HELLO?


To be honest, I still don’t know why Tim Burton didn’t make this movie, but I’m still excited.


Okay, Bill Nighy, Rhys Darby, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kenneth Branagh, and Nick Frost – all in one movie.


As weird as this movie looks, I think it looks adorable.

And I musn’t forget the guilty pleasure.

I’m not sure if those are in order, but just as well, it’s going to be a good summer of movies, even amongst all the crap.

And do you know how much humanity fails? I decided to search just “movie posters” on Google, and this was the first hit on images.

God, ridiculous Twihard comps make me sad.

Okay, I’ll go now.

❤ Abby