Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two Movies

I went and saw the new Bond flick Quantum of Solace on Saturday night. It was great. I exchanged some text messages with James about it, and he only rated it a 5.1, but I give it a 7. (I assume he was rating it out of 10; that’s what I was rating it out of.) The theatre was packed. I went to the 6:30 showing, and got there at 6:00, thinking I was being so smart, and would be able to get a good seat. I walked into the theatre, with sixteen pounds of popcorn in my hands, to find that there were hardly any seats left. Luckily I was by myself, so I managed to find a seat. (And also luckily, it was near the back. I hate sitting at the very front—it hurts my neck after a while.)

Then, on Monday night, I went to see Burn After Reading. On Rotten Tomatoes the “Top Critics” only gave it 56%, whereas the general population gave it 75%. I can see why the critics rated it so low, but I can also see why the “regular folks” rated it so high; personally, I liked it. It was “quirky”. It took a long time to build, but once it started building, it just kept going and going. Started out very slow, and then got faster and faster with the pace. But this time, the experience in the theatre was the opposite: I was the only person in the theatre.

This seems to be a habit of mine, when it comes to George Clooney movies. The first movie I ever saw him in was Ocean’s 11, which I saw with Jeremy. If I remember correctly, the theatre was empty with the exception of him, myself, and one other woman. (Actually, “habit” is too strong a word, because it only happened the twice. I saw him in Michael Clayton, and the theatre was pretty full, and his other movies that I’ve seen—Syriana, Ocean’s 12, and Good Night, And Good Luck—I saw at home, on TMN or DVD. Oh, and I guess you could probably count South Park, since he did a voice in that; I saw that in a very full theatre. Also with Jeremy.)

Post 900

I don’t really have anything to say, except that this is my 900th post to the blog. Another hundred posts, and I’ll be posting a “best of the last 500 posts” post.

Which, at the rate that I’m posting these days, should be some time in the year 2012.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

If you’re a member of a certain socio-economic subset of the population, you have to claim to love old movies. (You don’t have to watch them, you just have to claim to love them.) So, as a matter of duty, I have a copy of 12 Angry Men on my DVD shelf, and a copy of Citizen Kane, and probably some others as well. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy those movies—I wouldn’t have bought them if they weren’t great—I’m just aiming my finely-honed sarcasm at myself.

I might have another movie to add to the shelf, if I can find it on DVD. I’d never seen Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf before today, and it was a great movie. There are two things that might stop me from buying it, though:

  1. I don’t know if Andrea would like it
  2. I don’t know if it would be as enjoyable the second time around.
But my DVD collection aside, if you claim to love old movies, check this one out.

Oh, one more thing I am forced to say by law: They’d never make a movie like that today.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Most bloggers don’t write about antiperspirant at all, but this is my second post about it. And do you know why? Because I’m a rebel. I don’t follow the blogging crowds, I do my own thing. (Then again, the first post was more than three years ago, so maybe I’m not that much of a rebel; I’m too scared to take on these challenging topics more than once within a year…)

I tried a new antiperspirant today, and realized too late that has a very strong smell. (For my Guyanese readers, it “smells high”.) It’s not a bad smell, just a very strong one—especially for someone like me, who doesn’t wear cologne. So every once in a while I catch scent of it, and think to myself, “who the heck is wearing that perfume?!?” Only to think a few seconds later, “oh yeah, it’s me.”

I hope the smell doesn’t carry. I don’t want to annoy everyone else in the office. Not that it smells bad, I just don’t like people wearing cologne/perfume in the office.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Spam Comments

All of the sudden, today, I’m getting bombarded with little comments on my blogs, on posts that don’t seem to warrant comments. Commenters are leaving little comments like “people should read this,” and “well said,” and “you write well.” And, like I say, they’re mostly commenting on posts that don’t seem to be anything special.

And then the penny dropped, and I started clicking the links for people’s names. They’re all apparently spam bots, leaving little comments randomly on blog posts just to get out links to their web sites. So I’m trying to delete them as they come in, to keep my blogs clean of bots. We’ll see how well I do trying to keep up…

Friday, November 07, 2008

“Star Wars”—an a capella tribute to John Williams


Thursday, November 06, 2008

serna’s Thoughts on Obama

All around the world—quite literally—people are writing about the new president-elect of the U.S., Barack Obama. And why should I be left out? I’ll add my voice to the noise.

First of all, I’m pleasantly surprised that he won. Up until a few days before the election, I was hoping that he’d win, but expecting McCain to pull it off. (This was very much driven by my reaction to the 2004 election; I was very surprised when Bush got reelected, and it made me cynical, so I was expecting the same to happen in 2008. In retrospect, I can see all of the reasons why Barack won, but at the time, I wasn’t expecting it to happen.) It was only in the last few days of the campaign that I started to believe that Obama could pull it off, and even then I was amazed to see the margin by which he won. 349 electoral votes vs. 163 is a landslide victory, in my mind.

Speaking of his margin, Bush claimed to have a “mandate” from the American people when he got reelected, even though he was elected by a tiny margin, but Obama cleaned up. This my friends, was a mandate from the American people. They’ve clearly spoken, and I’m hoping that they’ll be heard by their representatives.

And let’s celebrate the fact that the Americans have their first black president. (Andrea and I are cynical about this ever happening in Canada.) This is no small thing, and it’s not just a symbolic thing either. It really is important, especially for black youth. There aren’t enough role models for them to follow; they’ve been told for years that you can be anything you want to be, but reality has not seemed to back that sentiment up. Now that a black man has been elected president, they have a very concrete role model that they can follow. (A video I linked to in my previous post touches on this.) I suppose you could say that this is still symbolic, even if it is important; I won’t argue the point.

There’s another piece of good news, and Andrea and I were discussing this morning: Obama’s win will send a message to people that change is possible. Maybe—and this is probably wishful thinking here—maybe this election will get people to start thinking about the possibility of a third party candidate. Americans really have a two-party system (and Canada essentially has a two and a half party system), but that’s not inherent to the process, it’s just because people don’t want to vote for any other parties for fear of throwing their votes away. But going forward, maybe they’ll start thinking about someone new—someone who actually will want change. I mean, despite all of the rhetoric, Obama will probably be a fairly centrist president. (For example, he’s not going to push for universal health care, even though a huge portion of the American people want it.)

So this is all good news. Is there bad news? Yep.

Further to my previous point, People have been talking about Republicans vs. Democrats as if it’s a battle between good and evil, without stopping to consider that both parties are extremely similar in their viewpoints, on almost all issues. Whether they know it or not, the American people would probably have been better of with Ralph Nader as president, instead of Obama. (Although obviously they wouldn’t have gotten the black role model that I discussed above.) I’m definitely glad that he was elected, instead of McCain, but in many ways, an Obama presidency won’t be much different than a McCain presidency would have been. (People have already been saying to Andrea that “imperialism now has a black face”—the point being that American foreign policy isn’t going to drastically change under Obama’s leadership—which isn’t much to be proud of.)

That being said, I also feel sorry for Obama, because it won’t be long before he’ll be getting blamed for the issues he’s inheriting. People sometimes have short memories, and it won’t surprise me if people are claiming, a couple of years from now, that everything was fine before Barack took over. It’s almost guaranteed that the Republicans will start blaming him for America’s economic problems, and claiming that he’s making America less safe—especially when we get a bit closer to the 2012 election—but that’s to be expected; what will be sad is if the general population starts to agree with them.

Also, get ready for Americans to start patting themselves on the back, and getting self-righteous about the fact that they’ve elected a black man president. Race was obviously a huge deal in this election—and I’m impressed with Obama’s handling of it—but it won’t be long before people will start saying that it didn’t matter that he was black, and that Americans—to quote Stephen Colbert—don’t see race. Colbert is calling this one early (in his own inimitable way), and I think he’s right: it won’t be too long before pundits will be saying that this proves racism doesn’t exist anymore in America.

But negatives aside, like most other people in the world, I’m happy Barack was elected president. And who knows? Maybe he really is more progressive then he’s let us believe, and just kept it hidden, since he had to play the game. That would be nice, but there’s no reason to assume it’s the case, other than wishful thinking.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Barack & Curtis: Manhood, Power & Respect

I don’t have first-hand experience with these issues—obviously—but I found this a very fascinating video. Very insightful.