Another day, another surreal conversation with my best friend who happens to also be named Dave. Before I get blasted for being sexist let me say that this is how dudes talk. Ladies, any guy who denies this is a flat out liar.
Dave C: Would you rather date a vampire or werewolf chick?
Dave I: Werewolf. Turns into a beast once a month? How is that different from a regular chick? (Note: I can sense the hate emails being written as I write this)
DC: I think she would have two cycles a month.
DI: Oh. Vampire then. Sucks your lifeblood? How is that different from a regular chick?
DC: Vampires are usually loaded and I’d rather have to pay blood instead of cash and maybe she would let me crash in her castle. I prefer well groomed.
DI: You know once in a while I get kind of attracted to a cute hairy hippy chick.
DC: Yeah as long as they don’t smell too bad but I can’t deal with unshaven pits. I get sick at the smell of patchouli too.
DI: That’s the problem with dating a vampire. I love eating garlic.
DC: Any girl will find something they hate about you anyway.
DI: Yeah. The werewolf would probably not want to kiss you because of your silver fillings.
DI: Would dating a vampire chick count as necrophilia?
DC: .5. Diet necrophilia.
DC: There’s nothing wrong with that.
DC: Girl who will: work with you, play Warhammer with you, or play video games with you?
DI: Video games. Work with would get up your ass quick and there are no attractive women who play Warhammer. Plus a lot of cute girls play video games. Just look at Felicia Day.
DC: I love her. I would ruin her life within a year.
DI: Also if she ever starts to bug you you could pray for a power outage.
DC: I never get tired of COOP gaming except for Destiny LOL.
DI: That game got old like from one day to the next. Super hot chick who hates video games or an OK chick who loves them?
DC: OK is hot when you add a gaming headset.
DI: True. On the other hand you can always sneak in video games on your iPad once in a while. “I’m just reading the news honey.”
And I wonder why I’m still single. The image I got from a funny t shirt in my personal collection.
the Infamous Dave Inman
A Valentine’s Day PSA By Jae Gibbs.
Let me get one thing straight: I am not the Fun Police. I am not here to shame or judge anyone for enjoying the things they like. I am not trying to ban any type of books, movies or artistic expression, or tell people what they should or should not spend their money on. I’m just trying to be a good person, a good friend and a good feminist in a crazy, often scary world. I’m trying to be the change I wish to see, with my words, the articles I post, and most of all with my original writing.
When I was a teenager in a small town, I read Ms. Rice’s Erotic Sleeping Beauty books, some of them out loud at the public library in the children’s section (there were no children present at the time, it was making fun of the idea of a Fairy Tale for adults, and of the awful purple prose and Ikea nature of the sex in those books). And I think “50 Shades” is just more of the same bodice-ripper, Harlequin, free on the internet kind of immature “romance” fiction. There’s nothing new under the sun and no stories left untold.
I take issue with female protagonists written by female authors using tropes that de-power and rob agency (especially sexual agency) from supposed “strong female characters (TM)”. I take issue with abuse being mislabeled as romance or sexy. I take issue with bad writing and most of all, with authors not bothering to do any research on a subject as touchy as “alternative lifestyles” and presenting their fantasies as accurate portrayals of said lifestyles. But more than any of those combined, I take issue with censorship. We have the right to like what we like, frivolity, flaws and all.
I ask only that people think about what they are consuming, and maybe ask themselves why they enjoy something that’s controversial or a “guilty pleasure”. And please, don’t try it at home unless you do the research that the author failed to do. (Stephon from SNL “Spicy!” from our funny t shirt collection. Let’s not take ourselves too seriously.)
Know yourself, and know the difference between love and being taken advantage of. Have a safe and happy Valentine’s Day.
“King of Hell or President of the United States?”
There were also plenty of funny and hectic moments with both Collins and Sheppard, separately and together, not to mention the numerous other panelists and guests that took the stage that Saturday. I enjoyed hearing long lines of fans during Q&A’s ask the same 4-5 questions (reworded very slightly) to each guest in turn: “What was your most awkward moment?” “What’s your favorite episode?” “What’s your acting process?” “Who’s your celebrity crush?” “Can I have a hug?” And so on. Every once in a great while a really good fan question would come up, like someone asking Mark Sheppard, “Which did you like more: Being on Supernatural or being on Doctor Who?”
“I’m not going to answer that,” Mark said, instantly turning into the lovable raspy-voiced jerk he’s most known for portraying in fiction. He’s quite British, you see, so his preferences need not be stated. (Doctor Who t shirt selected with love from our Funny t shirt category because it’s pretty damn funny.) Everyone did their own impersonation of Sheppard at some point, usually just by saying the word “No”, or, occasionally the word “Cardio” for some reason.
This episode is special to me because it not only was a great story it it’s the one I think I literally wet myself the first time I saw it. The Buffalo was the creepiest Star Trek humanoid alien ever (the Horta was the all time creepiest alien ever) and scared the heck out of me. I still get the creeps when I see it and even seeing the stuffed one in Trelane’s mansion in the Squire of Gothos give me the heebie jeebies. Kudos to whomever designed and built that costume.
That being said if you ever wanted to lose your ability to trust or like women this is the episode for you (well, this one and Where No Man Has Gone Before, Mudds Women, What are Little Girls Made Of, the Conscious of the King, Space Seed, This Side of Paradise, Amok Time, Who Mourns for Adonis, Catspaw, the Gamesters of Triskelion, a Private Little War, By Any Other Name, Spocks Brain, Wink of an Eye, the Empath, Elaan of Troyius, That Which Survives, the Lights of Zetar, the Cloud Minders, and Turnabout Intruder. To say that betrayal by, betrayal of, and distrust of women is a recurring theme in TOS Star Trek is a bit of an understatement). A beautiful woman who turns into a hideous monster and sucks the life out of men sounds like every guys nightmare of a relationship from the most stereotypical point of view. However as I have noted before the question “Do you think this episode might be a little too misogynistic?” is one that I don’t think came up often at the writing table. Let’s celebrate Star Trek for it’s racial equality agenda, not for the fact that every female in it wore high skirts.
(Game Over image from the funny t shirt collection)
the Infamous Dave Inman
That actually could have been a decent plot point if they had played up the gambling addiction and his struggle against it (i.e. Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas) but they barely touched upon it and the main character more or less tells us (in yet another monolog) that gambling addiction doesn’t really exist (or that he doesn’t have it). Instead of describing that character arc where he hits his rock bottom and recovers from his problem he keeps on trucking and in the end solves his massive gambling problems by…gambling some more. He gains nothing, learns nothing, and ends the film in almost exactly the same position leaving the audience with nothing.
None of the rest of the characters were anything to write home about except for Mr. Goodman. The black and Asian gangsters were paper dolls cut from the Big Book of Stereotypes (image from the funny t shirt category), the blond girlfriend was a two dimensional nobody who seemed to lack the motivation to keep on breathing much less be interested in her professor, and the mother was another Real Housewife stereotype with angst. The funny thing is each one had the bare bones of a back story that could have been honed into a decent sub plot but were only touched upon in one or two scene and then left to rot after distracting you away from the main boring story.
The thing that bugs me is the part that really made this movie work was Rex Hanson as played by Chris Pine. Regular readers (hi mom!) should know by now that I consider the two recent JJ Abrams Trek-ish flicks to be the ruination of my most beloved franchise and I see Chris Pine as the face of that abomination. Therefore it is hard for me to say anything about him without unloading a lifetime of hatred and scorn (the fact that the dude probably gets laid all the time adds an element of jealousy to that hatred) but the fact is his character really made the movie fun. He was exactly the kind of arrogant, rich, egotistical, mentally unstable villain any film needs as the bad guy and his bizarre interaction with the other three dudes was time well spent. I will never say the man can’t act but he will need to do about 100 more of these films and get me hooked up with a hot chick to make up for the first JJ Abrams Trek film (there aren’t enough good films and hot chicks in the universe to make up for Into Darkness).
This is not to say this film is a triumph. It is merely competent but when compared to the first one that makes it a film capable of shaking the pillars of Heaven. If the first film were a swift kick in the balls then this one is only a mild slap on the face and if you go into the theater expecting testicular impact you will actually quite enjoy it. Acting was decent, cast quite good, and while the story was not something to write home about (ah ha ha ha) it also did not inspire me to kill the next person who used the word “your” incorrectly (“Your welcome”. Shakespeare image courtesy of the funny t shirt category).
Actually now that I think about it another issue was the lack of character development for some of the secondary characters. It’s only been a year since the last film but I was really struggling to remember who Finnick was or why I should even care. He had something going on but honestly faded back into the morass of good looking young white guys who infest these films lik hipsters are infesting my home town. I would be hard pressed to tell him apart from Gale. There were two other tributes besides Peeta but put a gun to my head and I still couldn’t pick them out from any one of the 100,000 jumpsuited Caucasians. The only characters that stood out were the ones that had something distinctive about them (Boggs was the black guy, Effie looked like she was going through chemotherapy, Haymitch was the only male who didn’t look like he escaped from Abercrombie & Fitch island, President Coin had long hair, and Plutarch was of course Phillip Seymore Hoffman).
The action was fun but clearly shot with 14 year old girls in mind. If unarmed humans charging trained troops armed with automatic weapons had been a viable strategy WWI would have ended in about a week. Also I know it was important to show Katniss as this super hero but shooting down jet bombers with a bow and arrow is pretty laughable even with explosive arrows. While I was having fun watching this film I could feel might thumb twitching hoping to find the fast forward button. Pacing was sluggish and they could have dropped about 40 minutes of Primrose in my opinion (book fans don’t hate on me please).
But in the Valley of the Blind the one eye man is king and this film is the pick of the litter. It might even have two eyes. While most of the factions got stupider at least the overriding story isn’t lame and all the actors can and do act. You buy Jennifer Lawrence as a girl caught up in events beyond her control and while the nature of her actual feelings for Peetah (or boy toy Gale) remains as mysterious as the joys of a womans body does for me at least you get the feeling she actually does have them (this line from one of our funny t shirts I think I have heard in my head about once a week for my entire life).
This is my number one on my list of favorite Star Trek episodes and for good reason. Even now I can watch this episode and feel the tension as Kirk hunts for the Romulan commander. Pretty much Run Silent Run Deep or the Enemy Below in space (and later redone as Das Boot) something about the silent machines hunting for each other is amazing. When I first saw this episode I think I left permanent grip marks on the arm rest of our 70’s floral print sofa.
What I especially like about this one is it not only introduced us to the Romulans and the concept of the Nuetral Zone (Suck it JJ. The zone if for the Romulans, not the Klingons) but it also showed as a bit of what life in the Federation was like in those days. It wasn’t all hippy dippy love for all races that whitewashed all of TNG. There is actual racial distrust and bigotry (although who could be bigoted against the Vulcans? That’s like saying you don’t like bacon. Image courtesy of the funny t shirt category). Also you get to see a wedding in space (although it does end rather tragically and was the only cheesy part of episode).
Most importantly it humanized all the characters and therefore made them much more relatable. Kirk was plagued by doubts and error. Spock screwed up. The Romulan commander had to eject his best friend into space. The bridge crew has a racist. Finally Kirk shows a very human element of mercy only to have the Romulan commander turn it down in favor of one of the coolest death scenes in sci fi history (second only to Roy Batty in Bladerunner I think. Maybe Spock in TWOK).
the Infamous Dave Inman
The recap. John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a recently widowed husband who’s wife died of some unnamed disease (I love this part where I get to make up a disease. For this review I am going to say she died of loupus garou, although given what’s going on in the world I should probably go with feebola) who gave him a puppy to remember her by and he spends his day doing donuts in his Mustang. The piggish son (Alfie Allen) of the local Russian mob boss (Michael Nyqvist) wants the car and steals it. He also kills the dog (sorry I know the image is in bad taste but I couldn’t resist. It comes from the funny t shirt category BTW). The mob boss has a ton of goons and deploys them. At that point the story boils down to shoot-stab-shoot-stab-shoot-stab and by that I mean it gets awesome. Oh yeah, some guys get hit with cars and for some reason William Dafoe and the hot girl from Red Dawn (Adrianne Palicki) show up to shoot and stab a few guys.
So what did I think? I had a blast and so did most of the packed theater with me. It’s the kind of mindless violence all men secretly crave (ladies, any guy who denies this is lying to you. We all want to shoot and stab things) without turning into a stupid joke portrayed by a dude with an English accent and no hair. It’s not mind blowing or even good from a story point of view and if I hadn’t enjoyed the violence so much I could find dozens of loose threads with which to unravel the entire film but I won’t. Want to see a bunch of guys get shot and/or stabbed? This is the movie for you. Want to have a complete story with character arcs, complexities, people having feelings besides anger, and very few guys getting shot or stabbed? Go see the Grand Budapest Hotel. 3.5 out of 5 Phasers.
the Infamous Dave Inman
Day 2 continued. Corsets, pirates, and writers.
I found a table full of books with two gentlemen sitting in attendance and a hand-drawn sign above them that read, “Silicon Valley Writers Community”. I primarily spoke with Jason Stewart, who gave me his business card and told me that my writing would be welcome to peer review for their group, which also served as a resource for finding agents, editors, publishers and just a connected friendly group of resources and support. I need to get in touch with them ASAP.
There was a tap on my shoulder while I tried to process the idea of joining a writer’s group and a small woman was asking me if I was the person interested in the Hugging Corset. Indeed I was, so I followed her back to her booth. Her name is Andrea Edelman, and she was the leather worker responsible for the piece. She helped me try it on and we talked about it for about ten minutes, discussing how unique it is and how it’s in between an under or over-bust corset. Then we ran back over to the Blue Moon Designs booth to borrow their full-length mirror, where (blonde) Kat and Rob were amazed by the corset and how it looked like it had been made for me, which I and Andrea agreed wholehearted. “I haven’t felt this good about a single item of clothing since the first time I tried on my wedding dress,” I told my reflection mournfully.
“Well, I’m certainly glad to hear that,” Andrea said. I asked her if I could come back tomorrow in my pirate costume and wear the corset over that during the day and advertise for her (in a not terribly dissimilar way to how I had originally proposed to work for Dave at Nerdkungfu when I’d met him at Big WOW San Jose a few months before). She said she’d consider it, and let me know that she would work with me to make sure I could have a workable payment plan if I decided I really wanted to buy it outright. I thanked her and sadly took off the corset and went back around the vendor’s room, having only covered less than half of it at that point. (the pirate image is not part of my costume. Just one of the cool pirate funny t shirts I found on Dave’s site).