Love and Craigslist

I know I’ve talked about online dating and Craigslist a few times before, but I couldn’t let this new opportunity go by without saying at least something.  Let’s just take a look at Liam here… wait, my fault, Severin. Because he wants to be called Severin.  Be still my heart.  Seriously though, I don’t know about the rest of you women out there, but when a guy introduces himself and insists that you call him some strange nickname that is in no way a variation of his regular name, it comes across as kind of … odd. Hi, I’m Steven but you can call me Spider-Man. I think this approach worked better in the 50s when you’d come across some greaser named Ace, Scarface, or Ponyboy, and the next thing you know you’re wearing a leather jacket and riding on the back of a motorcycle. But that’s a different post for a different day. Back to Woman-Slayer Severin here who had his Friday night all planned out to the tee. Severin’s big Movie Night! Co-starring some skinny short girl! Hey, I don’t make the rules. Severin does.

Did a grown man write this ad? Perhaps a teenager? I don’t know what to think here. If it weren’t for the clear misogyny, I might’ve been on unlucky Liam’s, I mean, Severin’s side but instead, I’m left standing here feeling like I just read an ad that should be titled, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Speaking of Severin. I couldn’t figure out if he was referencing some fictional character in his preferred name, like from a book or anime or something so I did a little research. Well, I typed the name into Google at least and came up with nothing substantial. However, I was instantly reminded of Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series and Severin is a masculine given name derived from the Latin word severus meaning severe, serious, strict. Hmm, maybe there is something in a name after all? A little look into the mind of this lady killer perhaps?

Serious question though, are there women out there that would respond positively to this ad? And by positively, I mean would you give him the time of day, let alone trust this post? Twitter is having a ball with this poor sod, but after publicly placing an ad like this, I’m not too sure what he expected. Well, I guess he expected a short skinny girl that was in the market to catch a vampire-themed superhero movie with a stranger that prefers to use a fictitious name at 9:15 p.m. at the Veranda Luxe Cinema. And now here I am, sometime later, and I can’t help but wonder if it worked. To be honest, If the archaic language he apparently uses to try and be cute isn’t enough of a red flag, perhaps his description of the perfect woman (or rather, the imperfect woman) or the, I’m waiting, line at the end will prompt you to say, no thanks! No thick or tall girls, really? I almost felt bad for you Mr. Severin. Almost. And unfortunately for you, almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

There’s someone for everyone, as they say, and perhaps the same holds true for ol’ Severin here. Love can be very strange as we all know. After all, someone even had the heart to marry Charles Manson while he was in prison, so there is little doubt that there is someone for everyone no matter how high their freak flag waves.

But can you just imagine him telling the story to his kids about how he met their mother? We met at the movies. Well, um, on the way to the movies. Okay, fine, I put up an ad looking for a woman who wasn’t too tall or too fat who might be down to watch Morbius in IMAX on Craigslist and the rest was history. Real love at first sight kind of stuff, right? Maybe I should get some sort of trademark or copyright on this love story before Hallmark blows the roof off this thing.

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The Life of Riley

I had to run errands today and while I was driving through the parking lot of my local shopping center, I saw a family, with kids in tow, crossing the aisle to go into the local buffet place. Now why they were going to (presumably) eat at a buffet in this day and age is beyond me, but that’s not the point of the story. The dad in this little family unit was carrying an obviously sleeping child draped across his chest, head resting on the man’s shoulder…not really an infant, but too young to be considered a toddler. It was an adorable scene with the standard cute as a button child all bundled up in a little baby parka (with a hood no less!) and little baby boots.

And it got me thinking. That’s the life, isn’t it? I mean, to be a child again wouldn’t be so horrible. At least, in this scenario. You have minimal worries, oh sure, sometimes life can get frustrating, especially when you can’t open the milk by yourself, but generally speaking, no worries. You just play and eat and throw temper tantrums and best of all, you can just sleep whenever you want to and get carried around everywhere for free, like to the aforementioned buffet. Then when you wake up from your slumber, you may not know how you got to wherever it is you find yourself, but there’s food!

Seeing Red

So, just recently I had the pleasure of watching the movie Turning Red. I’m sure you’ve probably at least heard the name as it’s been in the news quite a bit lately. It’s an animated coming-of-age film by Pixar (subsidiary of Disney) that tells the story of Meilin “Mei” Lee, a confident, average, dorky 13-year-old girl who struggles with being her mother’s obedient and perfect daughter amid the pandemonium that is adolescence. Her protective, and oftentimes overbearing mother, Ming, is never far from her child, which is a rather unfortunate reality for the teenager. School isn’t even a safe haven as Ming often shows up, keeping an embarrassingly close eye on Mei. On top of maintaining her honor roll grades, navigating relationships, and valiantly trying to to meet her mother’s impossible expectations, Mei Lee turns into a giant red panda every time she has strong emotions… which, as a 13 year old, happens quite often.

Overall, it’s a great movie, I really enjoyed it, and I plan on watching it again. There were a lot of cringe moments in the movie, which went along beautifully with the story, and, if we’re being honest, encapsulated the awkwardness that is being a teenage girl extremely well. I may be a few summers removed from my youth, but not so much that I don’t remember being a 13-year-old girl or what the household was like when my daughter hit the teenage years.  The movie was spot on.  And, if you’re a fan of kids’ movies (like me!) or you have young kids of your own, this is probably a movie you all would enjoy. I highly recommend it.

This brings me to someone else’s opinion on the film. Now, I don’t have any problem with people who aren’t into this kind of thing. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who wouldn’t find this movie, or any kids’ movie, enjoyable at all. Different strokes for different folks, right? But when you’re a globally recognized company with a verified YouTube account and claim to be “the go-to source for today’s information and updates on new movies, tv shows, games, and celebrity news and gossip,” that’s a different story.

According to CinemaBlend’s managing director, Sean O’Connell, it’s a niche film. Now, to be fair, after having read his original review, I thought surely this O’Connell dude must be an old white guy. I was wrong. He’s a middle-aged white guy, and it shows.  So, according to this middle-aged white guy, Turning Red is relatable to only a select few, namely the film director’s friends and family. This so-called managing director goes on to add that “some Pixar films are made for universal audiences. ‘Turning Red’ is not. The target audience for this one feels very specific and very narrow. If you are in it, this might work very well for you. I am not in it. This was exhausting.”  You can check out the drama here. If you ask me, his opinion is shite, um, less than credible. He put his foot in his mouth and then shoved it in as far as it would go while saying hmmm, this tastes delicious.

Okay, let’s start with the “very specific target audience” and these are his words, not mine. The target audience, ok? So the lead is an Asian girl, and Asians alone make up nearly 60 percent of the world population. But ok, that’s just the main character. Who relates to the main character of a story anyway right? Well, the lead, as well as her friends, are all female. Wait a minute. Females? That’s like half the population, right? But for the sake of Mr. O’Connell, managing director, let’s continue. The movie is about kids, primarily young teens, and who knows how many of them exist out there in the world. I’m sure someone has the stats, but I’m guessing it’s a lot. Alright, that does it. Mr. O’Connell, managing director and middle-aged white dude, I’m going to need to see your credentials, because clearly you have no idea what you’re talking about.

So yeah, perhaps the movie’s reach isn’t such a narrow niche after all. Not to mention, that literally everyone can relate to this movie unless you somehow skipped your entire childhood. We can ALL relate to the nerves, the anxiety, the crushes, and most of us can relate to the mother who loves us but will also accept nothing less than perfection. Like I said before, it really is a coming-of-age film. Who hasn’t come of age? I mean, who can’t understand what a young person goes through?

Similarly, Luca is a film about a young boy who experiences an unforgettable seaside summer on the Italian Riviera filled with gelato, pasta, and endless scooter rides. Stay with me here for a minute. So, Luca goes on these fascinating adventures with his newly-made best friend, Alberto, but things take a mysterious turn once Luca’s deep-dark secret comes to light. The fact that he is a sea monster from a world that exists just below the ocean’s surface. Oh, and so is Alberto. It’s a great movie, don’t get me wrong. It even had a similar storyline to Turning Red – a coming-of-age tale where a young person is not all they appear to be. Both stories have a suffocating mother, and both kids want the freedom to be who they are and explore the world. It’s a well-loved movie, in fact, it was rated 4-stars by CinemaBlend. Of course, the leads were all males so therein lies the difference. Mr. Managing Director could relate to a movie about a boy-who-turns-into-a-sea-monster. A. Sea. Monster.

In regard to Turning Red, a few conservative critics have even gone as far to say that the film deals with topics that aren’t suitable for kids. Like periods and girls having crushes. *GASP* I know, right!?  I’m scarred for having watched it.  Scarred, I tell you!  You know what’s a-okay with these conservative critics though? Killing Bambi’s mother. Killing Nemo’s mother. Killing Elsa and Anna’s parents. Killing Tod’s mother (Fox and the Hound). Killing Quasimodo’s mother (Hunchback of Notre Dame). Killing Koda’s mother (Brother Bear). One word, Mufasa. Hmmm… there seems to be a pattern here. Even Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben died in the streets, just the same as Batman’s parents. What else? The hanging of Clayton in Tarzan. Sid, the sadist in Toy Story. But a story about a young teen girl getting her period and experiencing her first crush just isn’t suitable or relatable viewing material.

Here’s the kicker. CinemaBlend called Turning Red unrelatable as compared to other animated films.  What the hell are they even talking about it?  Do they mean Finding Nemo, where the lead is a fish? Or Luca, where the lead is a sea monster-boy-hybrid? Or perhaps it was Finding Dory, oh wait, that was about a different fish. It was probably Toy Story. No, wait, that’s not right either. All the leads in that one were toys. Now I know they couldn’t have been referencing the movie Cars because they were all actually cars. CARS. I love Wall-E, it’s one of my absolute favorites, but even this one is all about AI and robots. The humans in Wall-E are secondary characters at best.

So, what I’m getting out of all this is that CinemaBlend can relate more to a FISH or a TOY than they can a Chinese GIRL. I happen to love Shrek, also a fantastic movie. Soundtrack is phenomenal. It’s a film that CinemaBlend gave 4.5 stars, maybe because they relate more to ogres and donkeys than humans? Misogyny and racism has always played a role in non-kid films, but here you go folks, puffed up old middle-aged white men want to keep girls out of kids’ movies because they’re unrelatable.

Belated Greetings… in Green

I almost missed wishing you all a happy day of drinking and debauchery… I mean St. Patrick’s Day! Maybe I shouldn’t have had those Irish coffees for lunch.  Oh, who am I kidding?  Shamrocks and shenanigans for all as they say.

Much like my “Happy Thanksgiving, Addams Family Style” post, I promised some time ago to share the below video every year for St. Patrick’s Day. At least until I find something that moves me more than this does which, unsurprisingly, has not happened.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland, have a listen to some truly amazing voices.

Still Waters

I know I’ve been talking cats quite a bit lately, but what can you do? They’re such great subjects. Recently, I found that someone, who shall remain nameless, is failing at their job as servant to the almighty feline overlords. It’s me. That someone is me. I’m someone. Take note of the accompanying picture. This is Shaylee, one of my personal feline overlords, and she will remain locked in this very position, oozing contempt and staring at her water fountain until someone, like me, a trusty servant, turns it on. Even though she has a bowl of non-moving water right next to her heaping full bowl of food. But does that matter to her? Nope. I’ve heard some people say that it’s not good to leave big bowls of food out for your fur babies, but in the case of Shaylee, if it’s not full, she will annoy you until it is. Trust me on this.

Don’t even get me started on cat litter brands. A friend of mine was telling me that he tried a few times to switch cat litter brands, but his cat, Archie, wasn’t very keen on the idea. This orange bundle of joy decided that pooping in the bathtub would work much better than the new litter. While some people might think this cat was just being a dumb animal, perhaps his actions were far more genius than given credit for. Hear me out. Archie found a litter that he was very content doing his business in, it felt good on his paws, and didn’t have that overly perfume-y scent… but due to the lack of that product’s availability at the local store, his owner opted for a similar brand. Similar is not the same. Similar is different. Similar will not do. Archie checked it out, scratched it up a little, and then left. It wasn’t until the next morning that his owner was greeted by a fresh pile of cat poop while stepping into the shower. Well, at least it was in the shower, his owner thought, easy cleanup. Until it happened again that evening to his wife. That didn’t go over nearly as well. So, where’s the genius in this? Well, would you rather step in cat crap (or worse, be on the receiving end of your spouse’s rant about stepping in cat crap) or just drive the extra 20 minutes to get the litter your cat likes? That’s exactly what happened in this case, and needless to say, Archie got what Archie wanted. Dumb animal indeed.

Of course, I could have saved my friend a lot of grief if he had just reached out prior to making such an ill-conceived decision. I must say though, I’m impressed with his brave, albeit failed, attempt at asserting his … dare I say… ownership. Shaylee trained that out of me long ago.

Sometimes I think it may have been easier to raise kids than it is to keep these furry little hellspawns happy. For instance, Shaylee’s favorite place to be in the entire house is the bedroom. Unless the door is shut. Then, in that case, she wants to be in the living room. If nobody is present to act upon the ruling command of her highness, she will constantly rub up her paws against the door. Which is better than scratching it I guess, but it still produces a rather horrendously annoying sound. Think nails on a chalkboard but squeaky. Sometimes I just sit there and attempt to wait it out. However, my patience proves to be no match for Shaylee’s unrivaled determination. And I start thinking, “Hey, she won’t keep it up for long,” but time and time again, she proves me wrong. That god-awful noise will continue to resonate through the house until I answer the beck and call to let her out or in. And don’t even dare close the door after she leaves… or enters, depending on how this whole game started. Because the entire process will just start all over again. There are times when I sit down and think, she hasn’t noticed that the door is shut, maybe she’s occupying herself with other things or perhaps she’s conked out taking a cat nap, and I’m rewarded with a moment of precious quiet.  No sooner do I start a project or, God forbid, put my feet up, then BAM! The infernal sound of Shaylee’s paws against the door pierces my ears once again.

Okay, so have you heard about the snack zone? Let me tell you about the snack zone. Cat treats are kept in a pantry aka closet. The cats know this. But then again, MY food is kept in the pantry as well. As are my towels (hey, it’s a small condo, mind your business). If you open the door to the pantry, a treat is required every time. Every. Time. I feel like I have to pay a toll just to get into the closet. It has crossed my mind to try and break the habit and just not give her a treat whenever I’m getting stuff out of the closet but then I get to thinking. As intuitive and intelligent as cats can be, it may not be in my best interest to mess with her demands. It’s maybe a vicious and unforgiving cycle, but I feel it keeps me in her good graces.

You know, people have been training animals for years but with cats, I sometimes wonder if they’re actually training us. Who am I kidding, they are definitely training us. And, if that is the case, I don’t want to do anything that puts me on Shaylee’s shit list.