Daily Archives: May 27, 2002

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The Brunching Shuttlecocks have reviewed Episode Two. And pretty much hit it on the head.

The form letter to send to Lucas is also dead on.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed it anyway. My movie-going standards appear to have descended drastically within the last decade.

The Shuttlecocks have also rated futuristic devices that pop culture has made, well, pop culture. My fave:

Laser Guns: It’s a good thing that laser guns are going to be around in the future, because so far the uses of lasers have been universally disappointing. Instead of blasting the heads of mucus-filled aliens, we’re correcting vision, pointing to things in office presentations, and making security systems look cool. What happens if aliens invade right now. What are we going to do, viciously and savagely cure their myopia? B

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Today�s horoscope:

Today you don’t have to keep up with the frenetic pace of the world, dear Cancer. You might feel like thinking about how you take care of yourself; what you eat, and your day to day lifestyle. Are you a healthy eater? Do you get any exercise? Are you concerned about the quality of your daily life? It’s better to be safe than sorry. By the way, when was the last time you had a check-up?

When the universe gangs up on you…

This is highly ironic considering that I will be taking time off this summer due to health concerns. See, I haven’t really had a break in, well, eleven years, I guess, since I started working and doing that university thing. I’ve been working in bookstores since that first day back in May 1991 when I was hired at my very first official job (I’ve only held three different jobs in the field since then) , and I did two degrees back to back at university, finishing two years ago and not really ever stopping to look at where I was or what I needed to do next. The longest period I’ve had off is two weeks, to get married and go to Scotland, which ended up being more stressful than working (although more fun).

So yes, I promised my employer and my mother that I’d see a doctor. My back is pretty bad. I’ve been having anxiety attacks again, which I thought I’d licked over eight years ago. This dizziness comes and goes, as do the migraines. Time off to de-stress is something I’ve always dismissed as being really selfish – after all, there are scads of people world-wide whose lives are much worse than mine who don’t get a vacation option. In the end, though, I’ve concluded after a couple of really bad weeks that if I run myself into the ground I’m just stupid, not heroic or strong, and if I break myself I’ll be a lot harder to fix than if I take myself off-line for maintenance.

My employer calls it burnout, and thinks no less of me for taking time off. In fact, I think she’s proud of me for accepting the option she offered me. Things still need to be finalised, but it looks like with less work, no orchestra as of the concert on July 1, and no plays… I might just have the time and space to decompress for the first time since I became an adult.

Which is scary in and of itself. Who will I be on the other side?

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New site I discovered recently thanks to Kat: The Four Word Film Review!

LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring: “Evil jewellrey attempts takeover.” “Lucas could learn something.” And my personal favourite, for all those AD&D players out there who watched it: “Oh look – another fight.”

Titanic: “US history wrong AGAIN!!” “Ship sinks, people die.” “SOS – such onerous storytelling.” “Iceberg: One. Winslet: Nil”. “‘Star Wars’ for chicks.” (Which I completely disagree with — who says women can’t be SW fans? And who dares imply that women would automatically prefer Titanic?)(Someone dies!)

Episode Two: “Lucas shouldn’t write dialogue.” “Where are the actors?” “It’s good- thank God.”

2001: A Space Odyssey: “Never trust a robot.” “Apes, computers, monoliths, murder.” “What’s with the rock?”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: “Bespectacled lad levitates broom.” “Book in fast forward.” And my favourite, “Film renamed for Yanks.”

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So much has happened.

I deliberately took the weekend off from blogging and from e-mail, too. I needed to focus myself again. Besides, the weather was gorgeous, and I always feel guilty inside at a computer when it�s sunny outside. (Soon, soon I will find a battery for my laptop, and I will be free, as free as a bird to walk across the street to the park and sit out there to write!)

Yesterday I finally saw Episode Two. After a stream of previews, the Fox fanfare began without a �Main Feature� graphic, and the hair on my arms started to prickle. The Lucasfilm graphic rippled across the screen, and we got those famous blue words in a silent darkness, and I squirmed back into my seat, bracing myself.

That first crashing chord and those big yellow words catch you off guard even when you know they�re coming. Next to me, Rob jumped, then began to laugh, his way to release tension. I, on the other hand, cried. It�s stupid, I know, but I always get tears rolling down my cheeks as I grin like an idiot when I experience it in a theatre. It�s so huge, so moving.

Anyway, what a film! This should have been Episode One. Toss in a bit more exposition about how they found Anakin and left his mother behind, a bit about how the Gungans are the other indigenous dominant species of Naboo, and there you have it. Surely that stilted kind of exposition wouldn�t be noticeable among the rest of the stilted dialogue happening. Egad, but it was horrid! The comic one-liners were welcome � as MLG said, it�s almost as if Lucas remembered that humour was successful in the first trilogy � but overall, the dialogue was horrid. (Apparently Harrison Ford turned to Lucas in frustration somewhere in the first trilogy and said, �You know, George, you can write this shit, but you can�t say it.�) Every time Padme cut Anakin off, I expected him to say, �Yes, your Senator-ness.� It didn�t happen, but there were plenty of other decent one-liners. Just no sustained dialogue of any quality whatsoever.

I enjoyed seeing more of the Jedi collegium, and more of the Order as well. The scenes of the film were almost dizzyingly short at times, which was odd. However, the new ships were glorious, the costumes were brilliant, and not only did I get one decent lightsaber battle, I got a whole arena full of Jedi. Talk about wish fulfillment!

If I had been Padme, though, at the first moment of Anakin staring at her, saying, �I�ve thought about you day and night since we met ten years ago,� I would have stepped back and said, �You know, Ani, you may have been assigned to me as my Jedi protector, but you can just wait out here, and my personal guard will accompany me everywhere, because you�re unhinged and creepy and probably not all there.�

Had I also been a member of the Jedi Order, I would have called him into the office and said, �Hey, Ani, you�re talented in the Force sensitivity department, and you�re a terrific pilot and good with machines. There are plenty of rewarding careers out there in the galaxy. I just don�t think the Jedi Order is cut out for you.�

My personal theory is that the Order is becoming as complacent as the Senate, which is why both of them end up destroyed, and why the Order doesn�t figure out the danger from Anakin even while they listen to his complaints and witness his willful ways.

All in all, a terrifically enjoyable film, and so far, my second favourite Star Wars film, right after Empire.

Saturday night was Ceri & Scott�s Superhero Party! After a day of frustration and tragedy involving my sweet little sewing machine, which I will not get into because I�ll probably just get mad again, I almost didn�t go because my costume wasn�t finished. However, I rallied at the eleventh hour, finished the essential bits by hand, and went anyway. I�m glad I did, because I had a terrific time, and also won best costume, which wasn’t my intention but a nice surprise! I take costume creation very seriously; it�s a bit of a flaw, actually, because I�m a perfectionist and if it�s just tossed together or doesn�t look right I�d be embarrassed to be seen in it. This costume, on the other hand, while it didn�t have all the details I�d wanted to add, was spectacular. Go here to check out Alex Ross� version of me. Well, of Promethea, actually, but on Saturday night I was Promethea, according to what people were telling me. (There were comics scattered everywhere, and the new Promethea trade was among them, so everyone had a turn checking the visual reference.) Eventually I will have a picture of my own to put up so you can all be impressed.

Friday night we played Star Wars, where we got out of the embarrassing situation we�d been in and managed to deny the bad guy the artifact he�d been looking for, but not before a malevolent presence used it � and him � for its own ends. Uh-oh. In the next session a new storyline will begin as our mission parameters change (our cover as independent mercenaries was blown when we came down pretty hard against the local warlord in a botched sting � oops), so we�re all looking forward to what�s going to happen next. We usually game on weekend afternoons, but Friday nights appear to work quite well, so maybe we’ll game a little more regularly now. A little more Star Wars is always a pleasure to work into the schedule!

What else? Oh yes, I have a new bicycle! We need to remove the rust on the fenders and the chain, readjust the brakes, and replace the front wheel (which is a bit bent, alas), but for 25$, it was a bargain! It�s one of those lovely five-speed touring bikes which look like they�re right out of the 1920s, and it�s foxy-red, too, on top of it all. I love it. And with some time off coming up this summer, I�m looking forward to bicycling around the neighbourhood, maybe going down to the Lachine canal which is being re-opened to pleasure craft this summer. I could take my laptop, work on some stories. Or maybe just enjoy the sun. (Assuming we get sun.)

It was a busy weekend indeed. I�m a lot more relaxed now that I know I�ve got time off this summer. I just hope I don�t cram it with things I think I should do. I intend to focus on writing. I don�t know whether I�ll rewrite my novel, or expand some short stories, or work on the introductory Wicca text I have a pile of notes for, but write I shall!