Thursday, March 25, 2010

Unintentional Clumsy Moment #1543

I live with two roommates, and one of them has two dogs. One of those dogs is an adorable but odd terrier who is mesmerized by light and never seems to get tired. The other is a sweet-as-can be old Labrador who begins to wag her tail violently every time you even look in her direction.

Thalia is staying with my Mom right now, and Shema, the labrador, seems to have noticed, because she has decided that whenever I am home, she must follow me EVERYWHERE, hoping for a treat, a round of ball, or just to sit with me.

I'm usually okay with it, except when it comes to bedtime, because then Shema decides it's time to get sneaky, and tries to edge her way onto my bed. First there's a paw. Then, a quiet, sneaky head, then another paw, and if I still have not noticed, suddenly I get a huge big dog stretching out.

Thalia is 6 pounds. This dog is not. My bed is not that big.

Off the bed she goes.

Last night, I was exhausted, because I had gone running after work, and taken Shema with me. As such, she had decided to adore me and tail me the entire night, and spend most of the evening chilling on the floor in my room.

When I wanted to go to bed, I hopped off the bed and told Shema is was time for bed, so she needed to go.

All she heard was 'time for bed', and so she hopped up on my bed and stretched out.

I gaped for a bit, sighed, and decided I was too tired to fight it. I crawled into my bed, yanked at my covers (much harder now that there was a HUGE DOG ON MY BED), and closed my eyes, deciding Jackie would come looking for her pooch eventually.

Twenty minutes later, I suffered from a MAJOR leg spasm. This happens usually right before I go to sleep, where my limbs just jerk out uncontrollably, flailing about every which way.

Unfortunately for the pooch, my body jerked and my leg collided directly with it. I heard a bark, my back muscles twitched, and suddenly Shema was scrambling off the bed and running out of the room.

I felt horrible. I kicked the dog! I considered running after it, apologizing profusely, but considering my back was throbbing, and I was half asleep, I just collapsed back onto my bed.

This morning, at 6:30AM, Shema had apparently forgiven all. She was scratching at my door, and greeted me with a sniff, a tail wag, and a doggie smile.

She got an extra biscuit, and in my shame, I allowed her to sneak her way onto the bed for the morning.

I'm such a sucker.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Love Is Pain - Reviewing The Runaways

An when I speak to you
You answer true
Or I will make you black and blue
I love to make you wait
You take the bait
I know you hate and love me too
- Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Love Is Pain

The Runaways is a gamble in more ways than one. The biopic, which tells the story of the rise and fall of the all-girl rock band that featured legendary female rocker Joan Jett, is in some ways, just like the 'experiment' that producer Kim Fowley utters the band itself to be. It features a mostly-female cast, a Hollywood standard that is usually reserved for the more formulaic 'chick flicks'. It features Dakota Fanning, who hopes to convince the audience with her performance that she is no longer the genius child actress and is believable as a naive teen who loses her soul to rock and roll. It features Twilight star Kristen Stewart, who tangles with critics and fans alike to be the anti-Bella in the slouchy, sexualized icon Joan Jett. In a lot of ways, the movie itself is much like the Runaways, who in their time were fighting to be respected and heard in a male-dominated rock scene.

Whether or not they succeed depends largely on the audience, but, like the band, I think they have a fighting chance.

The movie itself is told largely from the perspective of Cherry Curie (played perfectly by Dakota Fanning), which makes sense, since the script is based on an autobiography written by the former front girl. On the verge of womanhood, Cherry comes from a fractured home and is searching for a sense of self. She finds her inspiration in the gender-queer rock-god David Bowie (in his Ziggy Stardust glory), and when her Bridgett Bardot look lands her an audition with Joan Jett's female formed band, she finds herself thrust in the world of rock n roll with no real anchor to guide her. By her side, is Joan Jett (played with Kristen Stewart, who slouches and broods her way through with rocker authenticity), a self proclaimed 'Wild One', and distinctly different in the fact that she knows exactly who she is, what she wants, and who she is destined to become.

Shaping them both is brilliant producer Kim Fowley (strong and unforgettable Michael Shannon), who manipulates and brow beats the girls into international sensations.

The three characters weave together in a tapestry accented with distorted guitar riffs, scratchy voices, and the distinctly flavored bitterness of rock-n-roll. Though the feel itself verges too often into artsy, the movie is saved by the performances. Dakota Fanning is, as always, subtly brilliant and completely committed as the lost girl who embraces her rock identity only to lose herself in the process. Kristen Stewart's Joan Jett is a quietly bleeding protagonist, who opens herself into her music and only displays her vulnerability in her unflinching devotion to Cherry.

The relationship between the two is what propels the story forward, and it only makes sense that the last act falls slightly askew thanks to the relationship itself falling apart. When Cherry leaves the band, we're left to watch two characters floundering in the wind, and a tagged on epilogue that seems to come too fast, too soon.

Still, The Runaways is a gamble that is worth taking. It's intriguing, it's tragic, and it's blatant and not at all subtle about taking a male-dominated scene and trying to instill some tough-girl flavor in it.

After all, why should we let the guys have all the fun?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Back in the Softball Game

This weekend was interesting, to say the least. It ranged from the quiet (an afternoon flipping between 'Along Came Polly' and 'Underworld: Evolution'), to quietly overwhelming (in a party limo with blaring music and 20 screaming partying women), to just downright evil (opening the new softball season with a double header at 8:30AM on a Sunday in the midst of Daylight Savings time).

The good news? I feel like I finally earned the power hitter spot I was given on my team's line up. Got on base 6 out of 7 times, and got a home run in the middle of that! While my fielding could use some help, and buddy Karin told me my slide was 'embarrassing' (I disagree, I thought my way of stumbling to my butt and then sliding to the plate was quiet ingenious), I still held my own with the bat. It's nice to get that bit of instinct back. I played when I was in junior high, and remember that surge of confidence that went through me each and everytime I stepped up to the plate, because I just KNEW I would hit the ball.

While I'm far from that now, I do feel, bit by bit, some of that sinking into place. The moment taken to just breath, the quiet second I take for myself in which my grip locks into place, and the silent conversation I have with the ball as I have it lob into the plate a split second before I decide to swing. That quiet experience, and the competitive friendly spirit of the game is what I've missed most since I gave it up for an academically oriented education, and I'm glad I'm back in it.

I've got a whole season ahead of me, but I think I started on a good note.

Tonight? An advance screening of 'The Runaways'. I have mixed feelings about it going in, but I'll be curious to see about the exposition of it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

So I wonder...

Is it selling out if I finally gave in and got a Twitter account just to follow the incredibly hilarious adventures of a fake Justin Hartley on twitter?

Yes? No?

He's funny!

Anyways, if you feel like following me, or want me to follow you, you can find me here:

But I'm warning you! I'm not interesting! I'm not quippy! I already have a facebook and I barely status update that! And even then it's only to annoy you by asking for help with whatever stupid flashgame I'm playing at the moment (currently Farmville and Mafia Wars)!

Seriously! You'll regret it! I'll ask you for a cow! or something!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The clouds were gathering...

Strike a pose!, originally uploaded by Mistiec_Flores.

but luck shone down on us when we managed to get through the Runyon trail seconds before the rain started to pour down on us. There is no downside - especially with that view!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Celebrate Oscar Weekend with an action movie Slugfest

You know? Sometimes the best way to appreciate the Oscars is to appreciate the movies that have absolutely no chance in hell of ever winning one, but are just out to get some laughs, some guns, some cheap thrills, and maybe some stuff blowing up on the side.

So appreciate the Oscar Winners, but if you find time, take a sec and check out these flicks that would never make the podium, but damn fun to watch instead:

1. Bitch Slap - trailer
what: Three bad girls travel to a remote desert hideaway to steal $200 million in diamonds from a ruthless underworld kingpin.
why: This homage to exploitation flicks takes the campiness action of XENA: Warrior Princess and adds some R-Rated sex appeal to it. The movie may run a little long, but crisp, gorgeous visuals, seasoned character actors and lots of good old fashion sex & violence guarantee you'll be entertained to the bloody, p
retty end.

2. Grindhouse: Planet Terror/Death Proof - trailer
what: Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino teamed up to make an ode to the drive in flick, gore included.
why: This was an interesting experiment that failed miserably, because we just don'
t have the attention span to sit through a four hour double header of a movie. Especially one that starts as slowly as 'Death Proof' does. Still, Death Proof picks up significantly when we team up with Kurt Russell and the second group of beauties (including stunt goddess Zoe Bell and a potty mouth Tracie Thoms and Rosario Dawson), and Planet Terror is gory, creepy fun - a zombie-esque flick with a girl with a machine gun for her leg. Seriously.

3. Tango & Cash - trailer
what:Two of L.A.'s top rival cops are going to have to work together... Even if it kills them.
I have a special place in my heart for this movie. Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell are just magic together in this quintessential late 80s flick that was all brawn and guns and quips. Oh, and Teri Hatcher and explosions. It's just... fun.

4. Big Trouble in Little China - trailer
what: An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.
why: I've just realized that three of these movies feature Kurt Russell. Is he the campy movie King? Quite possibly. And if you need a reason to watch Big Trouble in Little China, then I'm sad for you.

5. Desperado - trailer
what: A gunslinger is embroiled in a war with a local drug runner.
why: Robert Rodriguez takes the gun battle and makes it almost a musical with this tale of the mariachi with a load of guns in his guitar case who comes to a small town looking for revenge, and blows up stuff and kills a ton of people and sings and bleeds all over everything. It's quite poetic. And loud.