Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Disney's Frozen

So I went to see Frozen the other day.  The Snow Queen (which Frozen is very loosely based on/inspired by, and I am linking it because surprisingly most people I've tried to talk to about the movie have never actually read or even heard of Hans Christian Anderson's longest and one of his most famous stories) has always been my favourite fairy tale, ever since I was a kid.  When I found out a few years ago that Disney was making a film based on it I totally geeked out and I've been waiting for it in eager anticipation ever since.  At least until I saw the first trailer and lost all hope in a just and fair world.  I mean, look at this crap:

Oh joy, obnoxious non-human sidekicks, how original.  I can't wait to watch a movie full of that snowman's horrible voice squawk out gag-worthy one-liners while the big dumb caribou tries to eat his nose and they have horrible unfunny slapstick scenes all over the place.  The other trailers did equally terrible jobs of selling the film, because I just looked some up and they made it look like utter crap.  I'm really glad now that I only saw the one above and not any of the others, because aside from looking awful, they spoil some great jokes and some neat scenes in the film.  If this had movie bombed, I'd blame the trailers completely fucking over a good thing, not the movie itself.

Anyway, I went to see it anyway (because there was no way I was passing up any version of The Snow Queen, especially a Disney version, no matter how they butchered it), and was very pleasantly surprised.  It was actually pretty fantastic!  Not like the trailers at all!  There's still some stuff that I think could have been done better, but a lot of it really exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations.  I'm probably going to start going into spoilers while I write this, by the way, just in case anybody is worried about that stuff.  I forgot to mention it earlier -- sorry!  At least I remembered before I actually said any spoilers.  Anyway, movie talk.  Pleasant surprises!  Go!

There's the music, for one.  I didn't realize this would be a musical.  Well, I figured that as a Disney princess movie there would be a few songs thrown in, but Frozen was a real straight-up musical.  How do I know it was a real straight-up musical?  Well, it's because musicals are the only movies I can watch once then immediately have to watch again.  I downloaded the soundtrack when I got home, but it wasn't really the same because while the songs are still good, it's also a really, fantastically visual movie.  For example, when I went looking for that godawful slapstick trailer to post above, I found they'd also posted Idina Menzel's show-stopping number that I felt was really the centrepiece of the film's soundtrack.  Listening to it alone on the soundtrack has a very Wicked feel (because duh, Idina Menzel), but I didn't notice it quite so much in theatres because of how fantastic I thought all the snow and ice stuff was, plus I was thinking of her more as the character of Elsa and not as the actress Idina.  Watch:

How great is that?  It's a good song, I really liked it on its own, but the song paired with the visuals of Elsa blossoming into the Snow Queen, finding the beauty in her powers by sending gorgeous works of snowflake art spinning around, creating a swirling staircase of frost, and raising a massive palace of aurora-gleaming ice from the mountain and the air itself.  It's one of my favourite scenes in the movie, because it's just such a spectacle.  Mind you, not all the music was great.  I found some songs to be a little grating; for example, Anna's first song, where she is asking Elsa if she wants to build a snowman like she did before.  It's very cutesy, a bit too much so, and some of the lyrics are rather uninspired and don't make the characters all that impressive; for example, "Do you wanna build a snowman?" "Anna, go away!" "Ooookay byyyyyye."  The way the two words were dragged out sounded pretty bland, and it made Anna seem like the least determined person ever.  She desperately wants her sister back!  But as soon as her sister is all, no go away, she's like gosh ok what else can I do.  And growing up with siblings, let me just say I wish it was that easy to get an obnoxious kid to scram.  

Another good surprise was the characters.  The obnoxious sidekicks from the first trailer aren't obnoxious at all in the film!  In fact, they're pretty endearing.  The reindeer doesn't do any slapstick bullshit, as far as I remember, and while the snowman -- I think his name is Olaf?  Or Oglaf, but I hope it's not, for any google-happy kid's sake -- is goofy, sure, but it's not the grating in-your-face goofy that it was in the trailers, it's more...I dunno, I want to say understated but it's really not.  And instead of just being dumb one-liners he's actually got some really funny bits!  And a lot of the time he's not supposed to be funny himself, really, but more setting up for someone else's funny.  For example, when he's singing his I Want song, the song's a joke, sure, but the real joke in the scene belongs to Kristoff, at the end.  I won't spoil it here because I liked it, even though I think one of the trailers might have done already.  Neither of them get as much screen time as the trailer I saw seemed to imply, and what time they do spend onscreen they usually act as actual comic relief, bringing a bit of lightness and humour to an otherwise heavy part of the movie.  Compare Jar Jar Binks, one of the most famously annoying Adorable Non Human Sidekicks In A Kid's Film characters, who had long scenes of him being unbearably annoying and dragging the film down.  No, Frozen did it absolutely right.

Of course, the characters were also one of the things I didn't always agree with.  For one thing, the original fairy tale had such good side characters!  I was so looking forward to meeting the clever Princess, who has read every book in the world and when she decided it was time to get married, she turned down every suitor until she found someone who was only interested in her mind and knowledge and not her face or her riches or anything.  Or the robber girl!  She was just so rad, she's basically just the hero of another story; she shows up as a kid with her mother and the rest of their band of thieves to kidnap Greta (the girl in the original story, I'd say she's Anna in this but she kind of isn't, the Disney version is hugely changed), and steals her horse and her clothes and everything, and she's kind of like an anti-hero; she sleeps with a knife and threatens her pet reindeer with it for a laugh, and threatens to kill Greta, but then when she hears Greta's story she's all "Well that sounds like a pretty awesome adventure! You know what, you go and get on with your bad self, go save your boy if you really think he's worth it" and gives her back her fancy warm clothes (but keeps her fancy muff and instead gives Greta her mom's bulky old mittens, because she's amazing and takes what she wants) and lets her reindeer free on the condition that he will help Greta get to the Snow Queen's palace, and off they go.  And then at the end of the story she shows up again, riding Greta's stolen horse all grown up with a pair of pistols strapped to her hips because she'd decided to wander the world and find her own way, and she's just like "You did it!  You go girl, if I'm ever in your town I'll stop by for a visit" and rides off into the sunset.  But I guess the story was so changed in Disney's version that they couldn't fit them in, or didn't think they suited the tone of the movie or whatever, I don't know -- the point is, they weren't there and that makes me sad because I loved them so much when I was younger.  The Snow Queen was really just full of awesome ladies, and it bums me out that Disney's version didn't have them.  There was a lady for everyone!  There was the good but sad magic woman who wanted to keep Greta, so she tricked her into staying in her garden out of loneliness.  There was the aforementioned genius Princess and the badass robber girl.  There was the Snow Queen herself, who I always loved; she wasn't really a villain, not really.  At least I never got a sense of evil from her in the versions I read.  She was impossible and otherworldly and had a completely different set of morals; she invited Kay to come with her out of loneliness, I thought, and I don't believe it ever would have occurred to her that it was wrong.  After all, she's an ancient and powerful fairy queen who sees mortals live and die in misery all the time, who would miss the little boy who caught her eye?  But whatever.  The story I remember wasn't the story Disney was telling, and that's okay even if I'm sad I never really saw it, because the original story really was just too religious to go over well now.  Let's talk about the character problems that are in the story Disney was actually telling.

For the record, spoilers are going to start here, for reelzies.  I really did like all of the characters in the movie, at least for the first half.  I didn't have any real problems with the characters themselves.  My problem was really where they paired them up or dealt with them at the end.  For example, Anna and Hans, her prince.  They meet in the beginning of the movie and over the course of an evening fall in love and decide to get engaged.  Everybody gives them crap over it, though; Elsa refuses to give her blessing because they'd only just met (which upsets Anna, who grabs her glove off and accidentally reveals her hidden powers to everyone, setting the main drama of the film in motion), and later on Kristoff gives her a hard time over it too and is all, I don't trust your judgment!  Who gets engaged to someone they only just met?  Well...Disney princesses do.  That's why it worked for me.  In the context of a Disney film, especially one of this style, meeting cute and falling in love and knowing you are truly Meant To Be is the norm.  And Anna and Hans were really adorable; he was a super-cute dude, they had a chemistry-filled song about falling in love with each other, he was responsible and helped her kingdom and tried to save her sister after the whole snow thing went down.  So I was really surprised when Hans turned out to be a bad guy in the end.  It really felt like more of a cop-out than a twist, not least because it made a lot of his earlier actions not make much sense.  For example, his plan all along was to marry Anna and have Elsa die in an accident so he could inherit the throne through Anna.  But if that's the case, why try to save Elsa from the Weaseltown dudes when they invaded her palace in the mountains?  If he never loved her, where was all that chemistry coming from in their song together?  And if he's so brilliant he can just come in and take over the kingdom as easily as he did, why was he so dumb as to leave Anna alive in a locked room in her own castle, just assuming she'll drop dead, then wander out and be all "Oh yes, she died (just don't go to look at her ok) and we totallly got married without any witnesses and I have no proof but that's so totally how it went down you guys, and again she is just so very dead in that locked room over there, no need to check and please ignore all knocking or cries for help."  The apparent moral of "you probably aren't really in love with that dude you just met at a royal ball who sang a love duet with you" doesn't really work out very well in a Disney film.  It feels like a last minute change they made in order to set up Anna and Kristoff as the main couple, since they spend most of the film together.

And I realize I'm getting into very shippy territory here, but I don't think they really work out all that well together, either.  Well, they're cute, I guess, and the romance is very light.  But they seemed more like friends for most of the film, with a few ham-handed "he totes has feelings yo" scenes here and there, and I really thought Kristoff would meet and fall for Elsa, the Snow Queen.  It makes sense; his immediate reaction to seeing her beautiful ice stairway and palace is to shed a tear, because as he says, ice is his life (he sells it for a living).  Of course his reaction would be one of admiration before one of fear; he is very well aware of the beauty of ice and snow, and is struck speechless by it the first time he sees anything she's made.  I was really looking forward to them meeting properly for the whole film, and it...it just never really happened.  I don't think they had a single conversation.  Bummer.

But there was another thing I liked!  They kept the shards of ice in the heart/eye from the original story.  Well, the original story actually had shards of glass made by the devil to make things ugly, but I've seen the ice version before too so it works out ok.  And they didn't keep it completely true, but they had the "ice in heart freezes it" thing, and part of the drama at the end is Anna trying to find an act of true love to thaw her freezing heart.  The characters went looking for true love's kiss, and I was sitting in my chair going, "Man, wouldn't it be great if the act of love wasn't romantic?  Elsa loves her sister, she could give herself up and risk being locked away and losing her newfound freedom in exchange for a chance at saving Anna."  And the movie subverted both itself and my expectations; the act of love came from Anna herself, sacrificing herself at the last minute by running away from kissy Kristoff in order to save Elsa from Hans' blade and turning to solid ice right then, so his sword shatters on her frozen hand.  I really liked the idea of the act of love coming from within rather than without, because it shows how powerful love can be.  I kind of liked how Anna saved herself, but then I was like, can it really be "she saved herself" if she did it by sacrificing herself?  There are a lot of narratives out there about how women need to be loving and self-sacrificing, I'm not sure if this one needs fanfare.

Another problem I had with the films were the character designs.  Don't get me wrong, everything was very pretty!  But seriously, everyone looks identical.  Elsa, Anna and their mom have completely interchangeable faces (which, it has been pointed out to me, look basically like Rapunzel's face in Tangled, because Hollywood is only interested in having pretty white girls around and can't figure out how to make them both pretty and look like individual people at the same time.) and it's kind of dull to look at.  If you saw them without the hairstyles or colouring to distinguish them, would you be able to tell them apart?

Courtesy of this tumblr...I think.  I really don't understand how tumblr works, tbh

Another thing I regret about the film is how little I feel like I know the characters.  Compare other movies; in Beauty and the Beast we know Belle spends all her time reading and being a weirdo with her inventor dad.  In The Little Mermaid, Ariel is obsessed with the human world and spends all her time collecting human artifacts and being a weirdo about boys with legs.  Tiana in The Princess And The Frog has a hell of a work ethic and spends as much time as she can working and reading cookbooks and being a frog, which is pretty weird.  In The Aristocats, the kittens spend their time studying high-class stuff like painting and music, but are still kids and would rather play.  The kitten Marie likes to be very feminine and thinks of herself as a lady, while her older brother Toulouse wants to be big and tough like an alley cat.  In Lilo and Stitch, Lilo's main character trait is what a weirdo she is, doing strange things like making weird dolls and practicing voodoo, and she loves to hula dance and take photos of random tourists.  My point here is that I don't get anything like that from Elsa and Anna.  Elsa spent years alone in her room -- what did she do in there all that time, aside from "have magic ice powers"?  Anna ran around the castle....talking to paintings, pretty much.  She rode her bike down the stairs once.  I have no idea what their lives are like or what they do.  What are their personalities like, how do they change once they aren't all alone any more?

One thing I really took away from this movie was, I want more.  Like I was saying earlier, I'd love to see what Elsa did when she was locked alone in her room most of her life, afraid of herself and of what she could do.  Did she become the well-read princess of the original story?  I can imagine her room full of shelves upon shelves of books as she tried desperately to lose herself in fact and fiction in order to distract herself from her hellish, lonely life.  Or what about Anna?  Did she read too, or did she run around bothering the servants all the time?  Did she go outside?  She must have, because she had a horse when the movie started.  Why would she have a horse and know how to ride if she wasn't allowed to leave the castle?  Or how about what happened after the film; did Elsa ever tell Anna that the reason she hid her powers was because she hurt her?  Did Anna ever remember?  How did they deal with suddenly having so many people around; after all, they aren't used to social interaction after being kept shut in for most of their lives.  Does Elsa retreat to her ice palace when she's feeling overwhelmed?  Did Kristoff ever mention that he saw them that night when they brought Anna to the trolls for help?  Basically, I just want all of the fanfic ever, pretty much, because I just didn't get enough character interaction in the movie, and the stuff that I did get was good enough to show me that it would be worth seeing more of.  It might be a little early to say this (and I might be jinxing it, considering Disney's past track record with the subject), but I'd like to see a sequel where we get to know everyone more.  And maybe Elsa and Kristoff will get together in the next film....ah, I kid, I know that a Disney princess is paired for life.  Still though.  It'd be neat.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Adorable Things Day!

Happy Christmas, Merry Hanukkah, Presents Wednesday or whatever holiday or non-holiday you celebrate/don't celebrate this season!  My gift to you, my dear darling nonexistant readership, is adorableness.  Holiday or winter themed adorableness.  Check this stuff out.  So cute!

look at the fuckin' waddles with the christmas tree tail so friggin round i cannot even omfg

Boomf, right into the snow!  


And look at all these friggin christmas puppies holy shit they are so cuddlesmall and christmassy I have to hug every one of them and I can't I completely understand how the cat lady feels now look at how tiny they are

And now for the stereotypically ugly Christmas-colour-themed randomly-changed-font tween-girl's-MySpace-page-style holiday post signature:

Merry Christmas Everyone!!
i am sorry i couldn't figure out how to make it more obnoxious

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Rudolph Update

New information in the Rudolph saga.  The note on the fridge was apparently written by my brother Sandy; when he woke up today he asked if we saw it.  We were all, yeah but the trap sprang without catching anything and he was like, what.  Apparently he heard what was, according to him, the most disgusting sounds he's ever heard.  He was convinced he was listening to Rudolph die, he heard the snap and a scuffle and then what he described as "arterial gushing," the sound of blood gushing out in time to a heartbeat.

So into the bathroom we go to check again, this time with a flashlight to make sure we don't miss anything.  And sure enough, about two feet back underneath the tub was a pool of blood...

...But no rat.

And there are no tracks to or from the blood either, no sign of anything being there, just a dried puddle of blood on the ground.  And it's pretty far away from the trap too, it was like two feet away and didn't have any blood on it at all.  The only explanation I can think of is he was flung there, bled out and died, and after the blood dried he reanimated and scurried off.  Clearly we have an undead rat living in the walls of our  house.  This will be Ground Zero for the zombified rat army uprising.

Honestly, I'm starting to think we should just give up and move out.  This is just too much for us.  He can have the house, we don't want it any more.

Rudolph The Rat

So, we have a Christmas rat in the house.  I've named him Rudolph, in the spirit of the season.

Artistic interpretation of Rudolph, except not.  It's just a random Christmas rat picture I stole from Google Image Search.
Sorry for stealing, The Dapper Rat.

He got in a few days ago.  I know, because I'm a complete night owl so I was the only one awake all night to see him.  And I saw him all right, because he was freaking all over the place.  First I heard something moving in the kitchen from my seat in the living room, so I get up and walk down the hallway just in time to see a dark thing scurry across the way from the kitchen door to dad's office.  "Okay," I think to myself, "So we have a mouse."  No biggie.  We live kind of far back from the street, a little into the woods, so we get mice on a regular basis.  Especially in winter when they are looking for someplace warm and full of food to snuggle up in during the cold weather.  In fact, we'd just gotten rid of a mouse or two in the past week with sticky traps.  Personally, I hate the things; I can't stand hearing mice squealing in terror when they're trapped in one, and pretty much all you can do with sticky traps is either crush the mouse to death (we use wine bottles) or, if the poor thing is unlucky, you don't notice it's there so it dies of thirst over a period of days, all the while struggling and screaming and biting at itself in a futile attempt to escape.  Unfortunately they are easily the most effective type of trap.

Anyway, I thought nothing of it at first, but Rudolph wasn't exactly shy, so I realized pretty quickly that it wasn't a normal mouse in the house.  I caught another glimpse of him as he ran behind a cupboard later, and I thought "That seems to be a bit bigger than your average mouse."  Later on I'm back in the living room, sitting on the sofa with my laptop on my lap, and I see something out of the corner of my eye.  I look up just in time to see his tail flash by in the gap between the garbage can and the chair; it's long, dark, thick and held at least an inch off the ground.  I don't know a lot about rats, but as an animal lover I've happily played with friends' pet rats and none of them seemed that big.  But it was most definitely a rat's tail.  Next time I go into the kitchen, I see his adorable ratty face poking out from behind a bag before he takes off.  Later on I get a properly good look at him (and he is huge) when he climbs up onto the tv stand to explore...about five feet away from me.  I guess he figures that as big as he is, he can take anyone, especially the short person on the sofa.  To be fair, he probably has a point.

Anyway, clearly something must be done before Rudolph starts feeling at home.  I spent most of that night chasing after every noise I heard with a bit of pipe in my hand, stomping and shouting at him.  I have no idea how my family slept through it.  I didn't have any proper rat traps, but I had a few mouse-sized sticky traps so I was hoping they could do the trick.  No luck.  I set one behind the bag and in front of the drawers, where I saw him before, and not fifteen minutes later I hard thrashing and the bag rustling in the kitchen.  But when I get there the bag is already knocked over and the trap gone.  I pull out the drawers (they are a plastic set on wheels, we are theoretically still renovating the kitchen) and yep, it was hauled underneath them, no rat inside.  Damn.  Later on, when I catch him trying to go at the big garbage bag (successfully tearing it all to pieces before I can chase him off) I take the ineffective trap and put it by the bag to ward him off, using his freakishly large intelligence against him.  We both know the trap won't actually stop him...but he knows it is a trap.  It must have worked, because he stayed away from the bag after that.  The next day I go to Canadian Tire with Dad and we buy half a dozen rat traps.

The big ones.

We set two as soon as we got home, then promptly lost the bag.  Grammy was spending the night that night, so I stayed up later than usual (or rather, as late as I normally do, but intentionally this time) both to be around to help her if she needed it and to listen for Rudolph and keep him from eating my sleeping grandmother's face Compsognathus-style should he show up.  I heard him rattling around a lot and I think I caught a glimpse of him once or twice, but nothing like the night before.  The next night my brother Sandy hears him; he was int he front of the house, and I was in the living room at the back.  He comes tearing down the hallway like a shot and vanishes into his bedroom, bellowing "MOM SAID I COULD!"  I figure out what he's talking about when he comes out and runs off with a bow and arrow; clearly a Rudolph situation.  I haven't got the pipe at hand this time, so I grab the death stick (an electrified tennis racket I use for flies, a gift from my mother last Christmas) and follow behind.

We don't catch Rudolph, because rats are quicker than people looking for weapons to kill rats with, lucky for them.  But we do find the Canadian Tire bag with the rat traps in it, so we set a bunch.  Two around the front of the house, where we keep hearing him.  One behind the silverware drawer, where I saw him that one time.  One in the attic where Sandy thinks he heard him and where we found a dead bird that Rudolph may or may not have been eating.  One in the bathroom behind the tub, where my parents think he might have gotten in by squeezing around the pipes.  One underneath the record player; I haven't seen him over there yet, but mice like that area as we've caught a few in the sticky traps below there, so we might luck out with Rudolph.  I feel like there's another one or two that I have forgotten, but I don't think there actually are.  I'm just imagining things.  Anyway, we rat-proof the house as best we can and post a list of the traps on the fridge so nobody breaks a finger digging too deep in the food cupboard under the microwave and go to bed.  The next day when I get up somebody's scribbled "RAT IN BATHROOM TRAP" but I checked and the trap has been sprung but there's no rat in it.  I think he set it off and someone heard that and wrote it down without checking to see if it actually got him.

I am hoping we catch him before Christmas.  I don't want Rudolph getting into and ruining my Christmas candy or anything.  Sandy had to get rid of his Christmas stocking last year because a mouse chewed a hole in it.  Not during Christmas, I mean, but over the summer when he had it put away.  And Dad is already sick of dealing with rodents getting into the garbage box down the driveway and ripping the garbage bags up and spreading trash everywhere, we would rather keep that out of the house if at all possible.  If we do catch him I will post updates and possibly pictures, if I ever find my camera cable to connect to the computer so I can actually take my photos off the camera!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Important Breaking News, Man Has Kids?

In a fine display of "Who cares about this non-news" reporting, CBC has informed me that "families believe" that the late ex-PM John Diefenbaker was not childless after all, but in fact has two -- that's right, count 'em, two! -- sons.  According to CBC, having two kids is enough to count as "leaving progeny scattered across the country" because woah, two children?  Such a voracious output of sperm is absolutely unheard of!  Neither me nor my two siblings have ever heard of anybody having more than one kid.  And the two sons live in different places in Western Canada!  Holy cow!  Scattered across the country indeed, CBC.  I gotta say, I'm really glad somebody is reporting on this truly important breaking news that is the personal life of a guy who died over thirty years ago.  Way to be relevant, CBC.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Okay, it's officially-officially winter now.  It's the first proper snow of the year!  Sure, there have been little dusty-bits of snow so far, but that's not real snow.  This is real snow.  Yay!

I love being in that first week where snow is exciting and new and not horrible and hateful like it is the rest of the year.  Right now I'm just cuddled up in a fluffy robe sipping on hot chocolate while I watch the snow.  It'll probably lose its charm as soon as I have to wait for a bus, but for now I am entirely too satisfied with this weather.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Last Call at Christian's Bar

Well, I'm officially done with Christian's, the bar down on George Street.  I don't often go downtown, but when I do go it's usually with Ash, and when I do go we usually visit Christian's at least once, mostly because we're just amused by the irony of the name.  But it's really not worth it, all things considered.  It's a dark, small, crowded bar and everything there is way more expensive than it really ought to be.  Including forgetting your credit card, apparently.

But normal bullshit first.  For example, when I'm downtown I usually drink sourpuss in pepsi, because it tastes like candy and I am basically a child who is for some reason everyone thinks is an adult.  Every other bar on the street charges $5.25 for my usual drink.  Or at least I think they do.  Every bar I've been to and bought a drink at charges that much, at least.  Christian's, on the other hand, charges either $7.25 or $7.50, I can't remember because after the first time they told me the price I didn't buy another drink any time I went there.  I also have never used the ATM in the back of the bar, because it turns out they charge you ten fucking dollars to take money out there.  I've never seen a store's ATM charge over three dollars on the outside to use their machine, so that's just highway robbery, it's obviously just to take advantage of anyone too drunk or distracted to read the screen as they put their PIN in.  Especially since there's an ATM just a few feet from the door outside, not owned by the bar, that charges a perfectly normal small-change amount.

But still.  Even considering the complete lack of atmosphere and the naked profiteering, I'd still stop in with my friends now and then just to see if we can find a seat and hang out to talk before hitting another bar when we get thirsty again.  But after reading this news article, I'm so grossed out by the place I don't even want to do that any more.  Apparently someone left their credit card at the bar one night, and when they came back for it the next morning Christian's straight up robbed and insulted them by putting a 25% "idiot tax" on the card.  That bar officially gives zero fucks about their customers; that shit is credit card fraud at the very least, since the owner of the card obviously didn't authorize the charge, and the bar owner doesn't even act like it's a problem.  He implies that the multiple people coming forward talking about the 25% charge are lying by claiming it's a (still unauthorized, and thus thieving) 15% charge, never apologizes, and then acts like serving drinks that they pay for is some special service.  He goes on about how so many people cancel their cards so he's losing tons of money all the time over it, but like I was pointing out earlier, the bar is overcharging everything to a ridiculous degree (seriously, ten fucking bucks to use the damn atm wtf), and I haven't heard about any of the other bars (who don't act like thieving bastards and seem to get by well enough) complaining about this or charging people to get insulted for making an honest mistake.  I even asked a bartender friend whether or not this was a common thing, and he was all "Wtf no way!  That's insane, we NEVER do that, Christian's is the only place I've heard of that pulls that type of stunt."  If people cancelling their cards is such a huge problem for the bar, there's a pretty simple solution: stop accepting credit cards with open tabs!  Either it's worth it and you don't need to rip off innocent people for not pulling that shit, or it's not and why the hell would you do it.

Also dang, it has been like a whole month since my last post.  I gotta work on that.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monster High: Ghoul Spirit Is Kind Of Shitty

While we were clearing out my grandmother's apartment after she moved into my aunt's house, I found a DS game called Monster High: Ghoul Spirit.

I know Monster High is some Bratz-style brand of sexy monster dolls for I guess the vast hordes of tween proto-goths who want sexy monster dolls?  Presumably the game belongs to one of my younger cousins, and I hung onto it so it wouldn't get lost and I could return it to her.  I got bored though, so I tried playing it.  It's...kind of shitty.  Not super-shitty, it's no E.T. The Extra Terrestrial or anything, but it has little to no value as a game.

I guess I should start with the most immediately obvious quality, the graphics: they kind of suck, even for a DS game.  I tried to find a decent screencap to show them properly, but the game is so boring and worthless nobody seems to have posted much about it.  I did nab this, which actually looks better than the game usually does:

Now, I can't really say the graphics are completely awful.  I mean, I've seen worse graphics.  Monster High: Ghoul Spirit is probably roughly on par with Nostalgia in that respect, or maybe even a little better than Nostalgia (Nostalgia was pretty bad).  But when this screencap example is the very highlight of the game's graphics, it's...not good.  There was one character who was supposed to look like a total mess, with bad frizzy hair and an ugly outfit and one of the quests was to get her looking nice again.  But I didn't realize that she was supposed to look like a mess until I finished that quest and her sprite transformed into the "pretty" version.  I don't know if it's because I never actually looked at her or if it's because all of the characters are so jagged and awkward I can't tell the difference between the ones that are supposed to be pretty and the ones that aren't.  I also don't know if it's something to blame on the graphics or something to blame on the character designs.  Maybe both.  Speaking of character designs, I just have to say something about the general look of the series.  I know it's not original and everyone has said it before me, but dang, these monster girls are freaking gangly.  And long.  You could probably have a literal skeleton as a character and she'd be able to share clothes with the rest of the characters because you physically cannot make them skinnier than this.  And I'm pretty sure they've all got horribly broken and deformed legs.  How does this poor thing walk on those twisty stilts?  Each girl is technically a different type of monster, but really they're all variations on the horrifying Lankyleg Ganglebeast

It's sad that those boots are the second most horrifying thing about her legs.

But I should at least try to stick to game-specific criticisms. One thing that's definitely bad in this is the map.  The school you're in is so bland-looking that it's hard to figure out where you are just by the surroundings, so I mostly used the map to get around.  Unfortunately, the map is not actually an accurate floor-plan of the school.  The game designers thought it was more important to make the school coffin-shaped on the map rather than make a map that could accurately tell you where you are.  Or, you know, make the school actually coffin-shaped, for some reason.  If that was so important to them, I don't know why they didn't just draw the map first and then design the school to its specifications, but whatever, it's a stupid game and it's obvious that nobody actually cared.  I can't tell you how many times I went into the wrong room because the map told me I was on other side of the corridor.  The school is pretty small and bland-looking, which is kind of weird.  Not really the small part, I guess, since there's only like ten students, but you'd think a trying-to-be-coffin-shaped school of monster people would look more interesting.

So it's mediocre graphics and a shitty map.  Not a great start, but it can redeem itself with the actual gameplay, right?  Maybe it's an okay game after all!  But...no.  Sorry.  Not a chance.  The gameplay is crap.  The entire game is random fetch-quests and pointless busywork.  One particularly egregious example was the "storyline" (I guess? I wouldn't call it a story arc, but it's as close as this game managed to get) about how the zombie girl was kicked out of class for "mumbling" but the real problem was that the teacher doesn't understand zombie language.  Well, okay, I guess in that case you go to the headmistress and explain what happened and make sure that the problem gets documented and dealt with?  Nope!  You talk to the zombie girl instead and she tells you that she wants to make sure the teacher learns zombie language by reading a zombie language book.  So she sends you to her locker to get the zombie language book, then you bring the book to her so she can highlight the important parts, then you go find a custodian's outfit, then you bring it to her so she can change into her disguise, then you go to the "creepateria" to get a soda, then you bring it to her so she can explain the next step where you bring it to the classroom and pour it on the floor so she can clean it up as...a distraction, I think?  For some reason it is vitally important that you find a custodian's outfit for the zombie girl and then pour a soda on the ground.  Then you go into the empty classroom and leave the book on the desk.  That's it, right?  The end of the quest?  Nope!  Next you get a text message from somebody else, so you go find them and they tell you to go find the audiobook of the book you just left on the teacher's desk.  So you bring them the audiobook, and they tell you to go put it in the teacher's headphones.  Or mp3 player.  Apparently the two are interchangeable.  So you go do that, and wonder why you're wasting your time like this.  Then you go leave that on the teacher's desk.  But you're not done yet!  You get another text, and suddenly someone else has an idea!  You should make a potion that magically makes people understand languages!  So you go all over school collecting the potion ingredients (I think -- I vaguely remember doing something like this, but I'm not entirely sure. I tried to double-check by looking up a walkthrough, but none seem to exist, and I'm certainly not going to play the game again just to check, so let's just assume I'm remembering correctly), then you have to go to the Mad Science Lab to make some sort of potion with them, then you have to find whoever sent you on this quest so you can give them the potion so they can drug the teacher with it and the teacher will suddenly know the zombie language and everything will be solved!  For the third time!  That was very long and complicated, wasn't it?  Basically, you do a fetch-quest to fix the problem, but you're immediately sent on a second, completely unnecessary part to the fetch-quest to solve the same problem you just solved, then the final part of the fetch quest is to render the first two needlessly long fetch-quests unnecessary by using a potion to make the teacher understand zombie without needing either the book or the audiobook.  What the hell.  That was a waste of a waste of my time.

I feel like I've wasted your time just making you read that, so here is a hopefully useful "life hack" to try and make up for it.

There's a relationships element to the game, too.  I don't see the point of it, though.  You seem to max out every character's affection for you by completing the quests, and since the quests are the only things to do in the game, you don't have any other options.  You can't progress and do another quest until you've finished the one you're on (or at least I think so, this is another thing I only half-remember) and there aren't extra things to do like give gifts or anything.  So basically, play the game in the only way you can and you'll automatically max everything out and win the popularity contest at the end of the game.  Yaaaaay.  If that's how it works, why bother keeping track of affection at all?

Overall it was a tremendously dull game.  In fact, it was so boring that I forgot I was writing this post three-quarters of the way through and left it in my drafts for like, a year, until I found and finished it today.  I've since given the game back so I can't replay it to familiarize myself with it again to have anything fun to say at the end of the post.  Instead, I'll just point out how the series has desecrated The Phantom Of The Opera by having a character named Operetta, who is somehow the Phantom's teenage daughter from the Deep South, complete with a Southern American accent and obsession with .... ugh ... country music.  Not that there's anything inherently wrong with country music, until you try to mix it up with the fucking Phantom.  She is the single worst interpretation of anything related to Phantom of the Opera.  Just look at it, it's horrifying.


Saturday, November 9, 2013


I know it's a dumb thing to be amused by, but I had to laugh when I saw this in my RSS reader.

"BREAKING news.  The 12-person jury in the David Folker murder trial has reached a decision at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court."  First, it's hilarious that the BREAKINGnews. picture is so much bigger than the actual news it's breaking -- and that it's got that period at the end of news.  Breaking news -- sorry, BREAKING news is not exciting enough for an exclamation point, it must be read in perfect monotone!  I mean, perfect monotone.  And after that, you notice the second hilarious thing: there's no information here.  The jury has reached a decision!  What was the decision?  Iunno.  Does it matter what they decided, as long as they decide anything?  Aw shucks, who cares!  BREAKING NEWS what news BREAKING NEWS it was second-degree murder BREAKING NEWWWWS.



The words "breaking" and "news" no longer mean anything to me D:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Phoque Bardot Murder Burger

Apparently there is a restaurant (a terrible terrible restaurant of filth and hate!) in Quebec called Côté-Est that has shocked and horrified millions by - how dare they - selling a burger.  Awful, right?  I mean really!

This is such a heinous crime that of course righteous and civic-minded individuals have informed the restaurant of their opinions regarding the burger, in the form of hate mail and death threats.  Nothing extreme or anything, of course -- I mean, how else are they supposed to spread their message of love and non-violence?  The only way to share your belief that killing and eating animals is wrong is by threatening to kill humans.  For some reason, some people have been objecting to this?  I don't get it, really.  They aren't saying the restaurant owners should be eaten, like they do to those poor innocent baby seals!  Just that they should be killed!  Which, really, is a fair expectation, don't you think?

All kidding aside, why the hell are the animal rights nutjobs only now getting freaked out by this place.  It's not like they were a vegan place that started selling seal burgers in a moment of madness.  They had beef burgers before this, presumably.  They had chicken on the menu.  They have been selling meat the entire time.  Are cows worth less than seals now?  Is there a hierarchy of animals, where it becomes less and less offensive to eat them?  How come pigs are lower than seals on that hierarchy?  Pigs are adorable.  Look at this guy.  How is this little babykins worth fewer points than a boring old seal not eating ice cream.

Raise them on ice cream for extra deliciousness

Oh, wait, I figured it out!  Clearly, up until now the restaurant hasn't been selling meat made of animals.  They've been selling meat that was not made of animals.  Beef is not made of cows, it is grown on a farm somewhere, and this seal burger is the first time any animals have ever been made into meat for this restaurant.  All the rest they got was made at the supermarket, where as we all know, no animals were harmed.  It's the only thing that makes sense, really.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dear Drunk Lady Please Don't Grab My Food

Went down to Mardi Gras on George Street the other night with Ash and Yellow Dude, and had a blast (of course).  The evening was a ton of fun.  YD's Jack Skellington costume was a hit, my Vampire Queen costume was exactly what I wanted it to be, and Ash's rocker outfit looked badass.  We heard some great music, saw some great costumes, just generally had the sort of time you'd expect from Mardi Gras.  When we got bored of the street around three thirty in the morning, we hit the Celtic Hearth for some dinner, as we usually do.  Which is where some random woman walking past leaned over my shoulder and grabbed my sandwich.

Of all the weird people on the Street, this lady was the weirdest.  Like, seriously.  I don't go downtown often, but when I do there are always weirdos, and this person was the weirdo to out-weird all weirdos.  Exactly how drunk or how stupid do you have to be to walk past a complete stranger's table in a restaurant, take a liking to their sandwich, and proceed to grab it off their plate?  I was talking about something or other to Ash and YD, and all of a sudden they just got this look of utter shock on their faces.  Ash, momentarily speechless (an oddity, to say the least) managed to point towards my plate and say, "Uh, Robin!" in a horrified tone.

I look over and see some random person's hand clawed around my sandwich and from behind me I hear some woman say, "Oh, can I have this?"  Without thinking, I knock her hand away and hunch protectively over my plate, my hands belatedly forming a shield over my poor groped food and saying, "Um, NO!"  I never did see her face, but Ash and YD told me later that her expression was really offended, and I hear her go "Awww!" in a disappointed tone as she leaves the restaurant.  Maybe she thought that by getting her hands all over my meal I'd be too disgusted to keep it and she'd get away with the bounty or something.  Clearly she has no idea how possessive I get over my food.  Back off, lady.  I'll fuckin' bite.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Turkey Day!

Or for freaks like me who don't like turkey, happy whatever you are eating day!  Or just Thanksgiving, if you aren't hungry.  I hope everybody who is getting one enjoys their long weekend!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fuck This Fucking Bullshit

Look at this crap.  This guy raped a twelve year old kid and gets off easy because the judge "could not prove the girl did not consent to it."  This is directly from CBC's report:

The victim was in Grade 6 when the two began a sexual relationship.
In court, the girl said that Louvelle got her pregnant, and that on four separate occasions he jumped on her stomach in an effort to terminate the pregnancy. 
Justice Alan Seaborn wrote in his decision that he believed the girl's claims to be true, but he was unable to find Louvelle guilty of assault because he could not prove the girl did not consent to it. 

The kid was TWELVE.  A twelve year old child cannot consent to sex with a twenty-one year old man. Full stop, no exceptions.  She most certainly can't consent to a grown man jumping on her stomach because he had sex with her and got her knocked up.  What the hell is wrong with this fucking dipshit judge if he thinks a little kid can consent to sex and assault?  That's not even how the law works!  That's statutory rape, even if she said yes she still wasn't consenting because a) a kid doesn't have the knowledge, experience or physical development to fully consent to something like that and b) IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO HAVE SEX WITH A KID EVEN IF THE KID SAYS YES, BECAUSE KIDS CANNOT CONSENT TO SEX.  Also, kids can't consent to getting jumped on to terminate a pregnancy.  Jesus fucking christ.  I can't fucking believe this fucker is in charge of judge stuff, since he is clearly incompetent.  I mean, I could understand if he went down the "we don't have proof it happened" road, but this whole consent bullshit, are you kidding me?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lay's Grilled Cheese & Ketchup Chips

Okay, apparently I'm going to blog all the new Lay's chip flavours.  I can deal with this, presuming I find the last one, which isn't in the store by my house.

As soon as you open the bag you'll find that these smell exactly the same as their regular Ketchup chips.  They're a little milder in flavour and you can sort of taste the cheese, if you squint and imagine and forget what cheese tastes like.  So they are at least a (mostly) original flavour, compared to the Caesar dressing chips which were just Sour Cream and Onion.  They're not that great, though.  Well, they're okay, they're certainly better than Maple Moose, but if I wanted Ketchup I'd go buy Ketchup.  The bag ended up going stale before we finished it, so we threw it out half-full.  Hopefully soon I can check out those Perogi Platter ones and they will do better than the competition (not that that'd be difficult, looking at the competition).

Monday, September 9, 2013

It Menaces With Spikes Of Llama Wool

I've been playing Dwarf Fortress a lot lately, and last night one of my dwarves was overtaken by a strange mood and claimed a metalsmith's forge, and ended up creating this thing:

It reads, "Udnair, 'Willrhymed', a trifle pewter right gauntlet.  This is a trifle pewter right gauntlet.  All craftsdwarfship is of the highest quality.  It is studded with trifle pewter and encircled with bands of white stork bone.  This object menaces with spikes of llama wool.  On the item is an image of forgotten beasts in white stork leather.  On the item is an image of Willrhymed the trifle pewter right gauntlet in ash."

I love how the dwarf who created it engraved an image of it on itself, "in ash."  I don't even know what that means, I didn't know ash was a thing you could engrave.  It's not wood from an ash tree, because that would be called ashen, I'm told.  Maybe he glued the ash on like an arts-and-crafts project and then carved it in?  Alternate theory, it is not an image of the glove, in ash.  It is an image of the glove in ash.  As in, the dwarf created a really spectacular gauntlet, then decided he had to carve onto the side an image of that gauntlet lying in a pile of ash, presumably because the world burned around it and the gauntlet is the only remaining sign of anyone having lived and fought and died there.  Dwarves are real downers.

I wonder if the image of the gauntlet on the gauntlet is also engraved with an image of the image of the gauntlet on the image of the gauntlet on the gauntlet.  And that image has an image of the image on the gauntlet on the image of the gauntlet on the image of the gauntlet on the gauntlet.  Dwarves, man.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lay's Creamy Garlic Caesar Chips

Hey, check out what I bought the other day!  Not this specific bag, I stole this photo off the net because I threw out the empty bag I had before I realized I should snap a photo of it for my blog post. But I bought a bag pretty much identical to this, I swear!

So, I assume you all remember that I sort of reviewed the Maple Moose chips a while ago.  Oh, you don't? Nobody reads my blog or cares about the chips I eat and that post was stupid anyway?  Well, I guess that's fair.  I accept that.

Anyway, in my Maple Moose post I mentioned that the chips were really sweet, and not really in a good way.  I also may have mentioned that Maple Moose is a ridiculous idea for a flavour, but the salad flavoured chips seem like a really interesting idea and I wanted to try them!  So I did!  And....well.

First off, the image on the bag is much less hilarious than the Maple Moose one.  I'm ashamed of you, Lay's.  What, you couldn't think of a way to make salad look creepy-sexy?  All you can come up with is a boring old bowl of salad?  That's not fun blogging about at all.

Next, the taste!  Like I said, I was excited to try these because dang, I haven't heard of salad flavoured chips before!  That must be a really unusual, interesting flavour!  Imagine my disappointment when I ate one and found it was....sour cream and onion.  Really?  You call that a limited flavour?  I guess that's a good thing for anybody who ended up a fan of these chips, because it sucks to find something yummy only to have it vanish (bring back The Works chips!  I only had one bag as a kid, and it haunts me!).  But who hasn't already tried the sour cream and onion chips yet?  You had a chance to make something really different with this flavour, and you just wasted it on an old boring recipe instead.  Again, Lay's: shame.  Don't advertise something as new when it so blatantly isn't, it's rude to lie to your customers.

Saturday, August 31, 2013


No shit you guys, check this thing out!  It is the best thing!  I know I am super late to the party on this but I don't even care because it is the best thing!

That's a fucking twisty jar!  It's like armpit deodorant, but for food!  Wait that sounds gross and less delicious than peanut butter that doesn't get all over your hands.  It's like lip gloss, but for food!  (Is that better?  At least it is stuff that goes around your mouth area like food does).  I hope wowbutter starts using it because getting fake peanut butter on my hands is like 40% of the reason I have not finished the jar in the cupboard.  About 25% of the reason it is still there is because we have no good sandwich bread and wowbutter just isn't as satisfying as peanut butter to eat straight out of the jar.  This is an awesome invention and I want to use money on it!  You can tell I am super into it because of all the exclamation marks in this post!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Ok so there are actually loads (and loads and loads and loads) of things about the "straight ally safe place" tumblr, Straight Voices, that piss me off.  Like seriously, pretty much every other post has something awful in it somewhere, from concern trolling via the tone argument (if you were just CALM and REASONABLE and NEVER EVER GET UPSET about all the awful bullshit that any sane person would get rightly furious over, everything will be magically better!  This is why cis straight people are better at gay rights than gay people!) to appropriating LGBT shit (why can't I have straight pride?  You get to be proud of being gay!  It's the same thing, isn't it?) to....well, to shit like this.  But one of the simpler, stupider things that annoys me is that slogan they have, Straight But Not Narrow, specifically when they are on t-shirts.

There are a few people who posted photos of this shirt, but I chose this person's photo
because I didn't want to steal someone's face-visible photo without permission to use in a critical post.
I think I hotlinked it, so if they choose to take down the photo on their end
it'll disappear here too rather than being up despite what they want.

What is even the point of this shirt?  It's not in support of anything.  It's not saying, "Hey, I think it's unfair that gay people aren't allowed to get married!" or "The government has no business in someone's bedroom!" or "Maybe transfolk should not get beat up and murdered all the time!"  It is not raising awareness or supporting a specific cause (to my knowledge).  It's just self-centred and braggy.  "Hey, look at me!  I don't hate gay people!  Me!  This straight person!  Right here!  Isn't it amazing how fantastic I am for not hating gay people, even though I'm straight!?  I'm so straight, you guys!"  Congratulations, you are not a blatantly hateful homophobe, you have reached the minimum requirements for being a decent human being.  Now maybe you should stop making everything about you and what an awesome ally you are even though those darn lgbt's are just so cishetphobic omfg.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I Dreamed A Dream

Last night I had a dream that the walls of my house were full of maggots.  Not tiny normal maggots though, but giant snakelike maggots.  And they would burrow through the walls like fish swimming through a coral reef.  I watched them come out of the mouth of a man on a poster in my room, and go back in through his eye.  We didn't know where they were coming from, until we went underneath the house to look at the foundations and saw what must have been at least a dozen blocks of cheese, huge blocks, the size of a large trunk or sailor's chest.  Then my alarm went off and I woke up, which was disappointing because I wanted to know how the cheese factored into all this.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sum It Up

I don't use Tumblr.  I have one, but I don't use it.  I do, however, have friends who use Tumblr, and one of those friends is Wyatt.  He made a post about autism that got pretty popular, and I wanted to reblog it but like I said, I don't use Tumblr.  So I'm just going to link it here to show my support.

If you can't see the screencap or don't want to click it to make it bigger, this is the text of the post:
"Here, look, I’m just going to sum it up reeeeal simple for anyone who still doesn’t understandIf you see a charity for autism that obsesses even the slightest bit over wanting to “cure” autism in any waystay the fuck away from themI am not an illness"
Hell to the yeah, I could not have worded that any better myself.  Not that I have autism or am any kind of expert on the subject, but I have mentioned my ADHD on here before.  Not the same, but it's kind of a similar position, where people assume I am broken or flawed just because my brain works differently sometimes and I should be "cured" or "fixed" and become a completely different person.  So I just wanted to say, yes, this is excellent and this needs to be repeated as many times as possible until it finally sinks in for everyone who thinks otherwise.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stupid Expensive Textbooks

Ugh, I'm having flashbacks to college.  I can't find my copy of the national building code anywhere, and even though they sell a PDF version of it I can't find it online anywhere to download for free.  Come on assholes, I already dropped about three hundred bucks on the damn thing, you could at least make a free backup copy available when I misplace it.  If I ever legit buy the PDF version someday the first thing I'm doing is putting it up on the Pirate Bay for everyone else in my situation.


This is the slut-shaming Actual Advice Mallard I mentioned in my last post:

Translated: if you are at all sexual, like by wearing low-cut tops because you like how they make you feel or by having casual sex because you find sex enjoyable and don't let other people judge you for it, you are less than human and nobody can ever respect you!  By finding empowerment in something I don't, you are just showing everybody how worthless and trashy you are because REAL empowerment is in doing what I approve of, not in doing what makes you feel empowered!  Doing anything that society can label as sexual, whether it's what you wear, say, or do, means you lose the right to equality and respect.  Slut!

This duck really pissed me off because I abhor slut-shaming, as I may have mentioned in an older post, especially slut-shaming passed off as concerned pseudo-advice.  Also, ignoring that specific example, while some of its advice was good, the duck meme had a lot of total bullshit as well.  So I'm going to run with the joke I made in my last post, and actually follow up on making fun of all the terrible advice mallards I found.  Let's go!

Women are a completely different species and it is a hopeless dream to try and understand anything about them!  But there's no point in trying because all women understand each other (presumably via the female hive mind, because women are all pretty much identical personality-wise) and we all hate each other, no exceptions!  Sorry, all my female friends.  I thought I loved you all because you are such rad individuals, but nope!  Women all hate each other.  That's disappointing.  Now I feel lonely.

The only reason you could possibly get mugged is because you live in a bad area, and the only reason you live in a bad area is because you're too dumb to think of moving to a better one!  There is no reason whatsoever that anyone would choose to live in a bad neighbourhood.  Rent is exactly the same price in every area of town and moving from one home to another is completely free!  Nobody has to worry about being close to work or schools, and nobody has any emotional investment in their home or neighbourhood that could make them want to stay.

Women are mostly interchangeable and the only thing you should expect from one is physical attractiveness and mental stability.  What her personality is like and whether you love her are not important.  Settle for what you already have rather than trying to find a loving, emotionally fulfilling relationship.

People always try to match their bra and underwear whether or not they expect anyone to see them, and presumably they do it to impress other people rather than because they personally like having matching sets!  Also they have cats, because they are lonely!

Again, women always choose clothes because they want to impress other people rather than because they personally like wearing them!

Having children is an event that is always planned ahead and never ever happens by accident, and poor people shouldn't get to make that decision for themselves!

A woman who is not physically attractive is completely worthless and if you spend any time at all talking to someone who isn't conventionally beautiful, you are wasting your life!  The only thing a woman is good for is being pretty!

I am not a doctor, but if you are really depressed it is easy to make large lifestyle changes, and you should do them before you go to a real doctor to see if you can get medicine to help you with your disorder.  Depression is not really a big deal and you probably don't need any help in dealing with it.

Nobody shares the videos they take with other people who couldn't be there for the actual event, and it's impossible to enjoy the moment and plan ahead at the same time so don't even bother to try!

Sports are the single most important thing that could ever exist, and you must stay for the whole game every time no matter the game, no matter what else you have to do that day!

Because dogs and children are pretty much the same, right?  Just put out a bowl of dry food and take it out for a walk or two every day, and if it misbehaves while you're gone you can just keep it locked in the basement or something until you get back.  And if you find that you get tired of the responsibility after a few years just send it off to a shelter or something.  You can do that with kids, right?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

When Is Sex Not Like Pizza? The Default Male

I'm sure most people have heard this dumbass quote before:

Haha so funny!  And so true!  Right?  Well, I hate this quote.  Not because I hate pizza (I don't!) or sex (I don't!) or funny quotes (I don't!).  I hate it because it's a really blatant example of the "default male" position.  Unless something is specifically about a woman, it's probably about a guy instead.  It's really obvious that it's a dude who came up with that line, and the woman in the picture is probably laughing at him for it.  For guys, sex is always good!  Even if it's bad!  Because hey, it might not be fantastic, but you still come in the end, right?  This quote is completely accurate, for a guy.  Ignore how "bad sex" for a woman ranges from feeling unsatisfied in the end or feeling nothing at all the whole time, to feeling a lot of pain and discomfort.  Female experiences get ignored because male is the default, so even bad sex is good because guys somehow forget that women also have sex and hey it's totally different for us over here.  This next piece of advice from the Actual Advice Mallard meme gives a solid, presumably gender-neutral in practice relationship tip...but uses a female pronoun because it assumes you are a Default Male* dating a woman.
*Yes, it could also assume you are a lesbian, but if you argue that then you're just appropriating actual LGBT issues in order to pretend that you're open minded when we all know you were thinking of  a heterosexual relationship.  LGBT people have serious issues to deal with, and you aren't helping them by hiding behind their language while reinforcing cis-hetero defaults.

Individual examples like the ones I've provided might not seem like very much, and anybody reading this probably thinks I'm making a big deal over nothing.  Two little pictures, who cares!  But it's not just two pictures.  Everywhere you look, men are assumed to be the default.  Movies with female protagonists stand out, because almost every film has a male protagonist.  It's assumed that a story will be about a man, so it's notable when it isn't.  Many women who have heart attacks don't realize that's what they're having, because men and women show different symptoms, because it's the male symptoms that everyone is taught about.  Crash test dummies are designed after the average male body, which leads to women being injured or killed more often in accidents because the safety designs are not made with the average female body in mind.  Finding out Samus or anybody else is a woman in games or stories is a Huge Twist, because when you didn't have any prior evidence that they were female, you assumed they were male.  If a job has different titles for men and women who are doing it, the man's job will be the actual job title (actor, councilman, waiter, etc).

For the most part, these are individual little things that, one-on-one, don't amount to much at all.  Like how getting one litte mosquito bite isn't a  big deal in the grand scheme of things.  But when you face an endless barrage of little bites like that, not only is it disheartening, it can be dangerous (see heart attacks, crash test dummies).  It really sucks to look everywhere and find that in most places you are the other, the stranger, that whenever something addresses its audience it makes it clear that you, woman, you are not part of this audience.  You are not who we are talking to, you are not welcome, you can stick around if you like but we will always remind you that we will ignore your perspective.  Also, seriously, the heart attack and crash test things are for realsies dangerous.  I started this blog post just to complain about that first pizza quote and the general existance of the "default male" but the more I thought about it and what it included, the shittier I felt.  Now I'm afraid to do any sort of research on this topic because I really don't want to find out any other ways that society is basically saying health and safety for women is way too much work if it means we have to try new, less male-exclusive testing methods.  I'd rather just live in blissful ignorance, thanks.  Maybe if I plug my ears and hum 24/7 I can convince myself that sexism is over.  Hmmm hmmm, la la la la, oh look the Advice Mallard is pretending that slut-shaming is advice.  Maybe my next post should just be a series of terrible Advice Mallards that I make fun of.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lay's Maple Moose Potato Chips

These are the most disturbingly Canadian chips I have ever seen.

The flavour is Maple Moose, and the picture is of a moose curling seductively around a giant bottle of maple syrup* while giving you bedroom eyes and a come-hither smile.  No, I don't know why the moose wants to have a threesome with you and that bottle of maple syrup.  I am not entirely sure I want to know.  I am entirely sure that I don't want to meet whoever made that image.
*Or perhaps a tiny moose curling seductively around a normal sized bottle of syrup, I am not sure which would be creepier

I only ate one, so I can't really give a good description of the flavour.  Also I am not a professional food taster so I probably wouldn't do a good job of it anyway.  But they are very...sweet.  Probably because of the maple.  Kind of too sweet, they are sort of gross. They do not have any moose in them, unfortunately.  At least, not that I could taste.  My mother ate more than I did and she said they tasted sort of like ketchup chips, only sweeter.  Apparently a Newfie guy came up with this flavour for a contest, and there are four other flavours to try?  One of the other flavours is grilled cheese, and one is Caesar salad.  I kind of want to try the Caesar salad chips.

Friday, August 2, 2013

I fixed my laptop!

My mother and I have the same model of laptop.  This is a photo of hers.  Specifically the fan part.

This is a photo of mine.

As you may have noticed, mine lacks those little plastic bars.  They snapped off one by one, usually when I went to pick up my laptop and my fingers landed on them and the tiniest bit of pressure made them crack like a MUN student in the middle of finals.  And as it turns out, these insignificant little bars that break if you touch them are structurally integral.  Did you also notice how my laptop gaped at the corner in that pic?  It meant this is what was happening to the hinge part.

That got much much worse over the last 24 hours, to the point where the lid was only hanging on by the one hinge on the other side, because a big part of the plastic casing broke and took the other hinge with it when it decided to take a break from being connected to the rest of my computer.  Oops.  I guess I should have been more careful with the little bars.

No worries though!  I didn't have any duct tape, but I did have tuck tape (once I called my dad while he was out kayaking and got him to tell me where he was hiding it).  Success!  I fixed it!

I didn't think the tuck tape would work as well as it did, honestly.  I figured to make it work I'd have to use so much it'd end up covering the fan exhaust hole (or whatever it's called where the little plastic bars used to be) and the power button.  But as you can see, that didn't happen!

Well, it sort of happened.  But only on the very edge of the fan bit, not important at all.  Never got near the power button!  It seems to be holding well, too.  Of course I can't say that with any certainty, because it's only been on for like an hour, but the lid's gone from hanging off like a trapeze artist to not wobbling at all, not even a little.  Worst case scenario the tape doesn't last and I have to replace it every so often.  That's a much better worst case than not fixing it at all and eventually it gets so broken it stops working, right?