A Brief And Only Slightly Spoiler-y Review of Star Wars

December 27th, 2015 § 1 comment § permalink

Erik and I saw Star Wars: The Nazi Anus Awakens last night and it was not a disappointment, mainly because I had very low expectations and wasn’t a Star Wars fan in the first place. I did feel pangs of sympathy throughout for true fans, who I imagine felt much as I did when I watched Peter Jackson’s film abortion of the literary delights of The Hobbit. I feel you. (I mean, Star Wars is obviously far inferior to Tolkien’s works in every way, but I’m trying to be nice here).

A few thoughts:

1. Could the Nazi-esque First Order emblem have looked less like an anus? Pretty sure yes, but I did appreciate the surprisingly self-aware internal analysis of the shitty production and crappy storytelling.
First Order


2. Chimpanzees everywhere will be delighted to know that good acting now consists entirely of baring one’s teeth and grunting.


3. I kept thinking Supreme-Leader-and-absurdly-gigantic-hologram-Snoke looked like Gollum. I was right. Played by Andy Serkis, of Lord of the Rings fame. It’s one thing to copy-cat the original series, but to ape LOTR? No. Bad. I will not forgive that.


4. Vader Jr., AKA Ears, AKA Adam from Girls looked exactly like J.P., the Matrix-mimicking nerd villain from Grandma’s Boy and channeled the whiny teenage angst of Hayden Christiansen’s obnoxious Anakin. Also, having seen some episodes of Girls, I couldn’t get the image of Vader Jr. fucking Lena Dunham in the most awkward ways imaginable out of my mind. I must say, it actually lent depth to an otherwise dull and uni-dimensional character.





You have been warned.

Continue at your own risk.

The movie’s already been out for over a week.

You can’t expect others to tread lightly forever.

Especially people like me who delight in your suffering.

I’m really being uncharacteristically benevolent.


Han Solo dies.

I actually experienced real emotion when I saw the scene. Han Solo was the only character in the entire series, original or later that I actually liked. Not only was he killed off, but it was done with pathetically little attempt to make it even interesting or relevant. Instead he was killed by his bratty son, who turned to the dark side for no particular reason.

On The Road

December 19th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

On the snowy and icy road to Boise this morning. If we don’t make it, please send help. We have cookies.

And now, in the interest of expedience, let me get this out of the way. Ahem. 
“Are we there yet?”
“I’m hungry!”
“I’m tired!”
“I have to go to the bathroom.”
“Now! Now! I can’t wait!”
“I’m still hungry!”
“How much longer?”

And the Natalie-specific:
“This road is too long! It’s a bad road. I will not be friends with it ever, ever again.”
“The sun is too bright. I want it to go away. GO AWAY, SUN!”
“I can’t see with the snow. Why is it snowing? Make it stop.”


December 3rd, 2015 § 1 comment § permalink


I’ve been feeling rather sad this week, for reasons varying from the personal and to the global, so I thought I would write about something I do that brings me comfort. What do you do when you need to feel better?

For my birthday, Erik gave me a beautiful cast-iron Tetsubin Japanese teapot. So every morning before I start work, I’ve been making myself tea in a somewhat more traditional way.

I heat water in the kettle on the stove as usual, then I prepare the Tetsubin. I rinse it out once with the boiling water, then put the tea leaves in the wire mesh basket nestled inside the teapot. I pour the boiling hot water over the leaves, and let it fill up the oblong bowl. I let it steep while I do other things, like make myself breakfast, or just stare out the window at the trees (both equally beneficial for my health). Sometimes I watch the news, which is inevitably a very bad choice, and defeats the entire purpose of relaxing with a nice cup of tea. I don’t always (ever) make great life choices.

Growing up, I rarely drank tea except when I was sick and then it was inevitably some god-awful Echinacea concoction, so I never had any desire to torture myself when I wasn’t ill. Only recently did I finally find a tea I enjoy on a regular basis (Earl Grey with saffron, if you must know. Deliciously citrus-y). I drink my tea with a drop of agave syrup or honey and cream (when I have it). I like it on the warmer side of tepid. I sip so slowly that by the time I’m just over halfway through, it’s gone cold and I have to reheat in the microwave (sacré bleu!) or discard it. I’m all about comfort here, so I don’t really care if I’m doing it wrong. Please don’t bother to enlighten me on this topic.

Unlike so many other cultures around the world, Americans do not have a tradition of tea, likely due in part to our visceral rejection of all remnants of Colonial British rule. I suppose I tend towards the quintessential American on many traditions: my response to “but we’ve always done it that way” is usually “why?” followed by an intractable refusal to oblige. (I’m either a true American, or maybe a toddler. Is there a difference?) However, as an amateur anglophile, I find the ritual of tea fascinating, albeit somewhat beyond my plebian understanding. I am also very bad at maintaining any sort of routine. The benefit of this is, of course, that I also don’t maintain any bad habits, either (except those vices which are the direct result of inertia). I have a very frenetic mind, so I’m finding it soothing to develop an easy habit that introduces a little bit of beauty and a little bit of order into my mornings.

So, make yourself comfortable and make some tea. It just might help.

(Wine helps, too, but that is considered socially unacceptable in the morning).