Here, Kitty, Kitty

Perhaps the MCU, having read my mind, decided to up the ante on its latest phase (what are we in now? Three?) and introduce interesting second leads to keep ladies like me, who can only go full nerd for so long without getting exhausted, invested. I know I’m watching Ragnarok for Cate Blanchett. And now I know who I’m watching Black Panther for.

I’m living a fantasy where Michonne breaks up with Rick, cuts off her dreads and moves to Wakanda to engage in some badassery with a staff. The Panther and his problems can take a back seat, because girl can fight. I have faith in you, Michonne! Don’t let us down in February!

I mean come on, how glorious is this?

PPS: Also, Angela Bassett. (!!!)


GoT Recap: To Catch a Wight

Our small band of heroes trudges through the snow-capped mountains beyond the wall. The Brotherhood Without Banners is represented, as is Winterfell and the Wildlings. Even the South has a delegate, in the form of Gendry. There isn’t a person of colour in sight, and yet, diversity!

Talk turns to how anyone could keep warm this far north, and Tormund Giantsbane extols the virtues of exercise: walking, fighting, or screwing your brains out.

“There are no women around,” says Gendry.

“Then we have make do with what we’ve got,” replies the wildling with a leer. Good old Tormund. Always up for anything.

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Everything’s Coming Up Harvey

Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film is a long, chaotic, sometimes over-the-top read, with lots of interesting characters, soundbites and a glut of interviews. It’s the story of how the gritty, realistic view of indie film in the 1990s became a staple of a moviegoer’s diet. By Peter Biskind, the book chronicles how indie films cemented its place in our cultural consciousness and ripped the cover off the business of producing and promoting movies, exposing its seedy underbelly.

For a time, all I could think of during a movie was how many scenes got left on the cutting room floor, whose fault it really was if it turned out to be a steaming turd pile,  and who had had to be wined and dined to actually get the film promoted. In the end, if Biskind is to be believed, indie film isn’t nearly as independent as it professes to be.

He shone the spotlight on a number of major movie players,  including a non-confrontational, passive-aggressive Robert Redford – pilloried as an irresponsible diva – and Quentin Tarantino, who comes off as the world’s greatest attention seeker, but the limelight is grabbed straightaway by Harvey Weinstein, gigantic both in person and persona.

For anyone with a finger on the pulse of pop culture, Read More »

This is Great

Who knew I’d be on team Jess?

Never was a big Milo Ventimiglia fan. Because I’d never seen Gilmore Girls until 2016, I knew him first as Peter Petrelli from Heroes, and he was always this emo kid with issues who cared. Then I watched Gilmore Girls and realized he really hadn’t changed, he just got superpowers.

And now Netflix finally has This is Us, a show that generated a decent amount of buzz this year, and Milo Ventimiglia is no longer an emo kid with issues who cares. He’s an adult. With issues. Who cares. Mainly about Mandy Moore and his three little kids.

I can see where the buzz is coming from because This is Us has me hooked. It’s pilot episode ranks very close to GoT’s maiden outing in terms of unexpected surprises that have you sitting up and wanting more. But if Game of Thrones is a river with rapids that churn and foam as it carves through rock on its way to the sea, This is Us is like a babbling brook that flows, gently maneuvering its way past stones and meadows on its way to the big blue yonder.

The hook of this show is that they’re normal people, with normal problems. And it is such a relief. They’re not cooking meth in a Winnebago, or fighting for the right to sit on a chair made of a thousand melted swords, or battling the re-animated dead for a shot at a can of beans.

After a series of what I now realize are emotionally harrowing shows, This is Us is like soul food. It’s comforting to watch a bunch of thirty-six year old adults just trying to figure out how to live their lives without an unnecessary amount of angst or an overly large vocabulary. It feels… kind. It feels… sincere, without necessarily being preachy.

I enjoy This is Us because of its focus on real, drama-free lives where people are for the most part kind, value family ties, and love each other. Their issues are relatable – issues with being overweight and food, with parenthood, with career choices, with feelings of abandonment, with questioning ourselves and all the other little crises we all deal with. There are no overt moral themes about the genderless movement or the new satellite family, or gritty urban realities. It isn’t preachy, and it just takes life with a lot of common sense and heart, not to mention a little bit of humour. It’s how I grew up, and how I was trained to deal with life and living.

It’s a simplistic way of looking at things, but it beats the convoluted mine-field of today, where every topic is a hot button issue and everyone seems to just want to yell at each other and have angry conflict. If I enjoyed Downton Abbey for its focus on good manners and right conduct, I enjoy This is Us for it’s focus on common sense and good, old-fashioned values. It can’t hurt that it’s mostly a show about struggling adults in their mid-thirties who no longer have other people to pay rent for them and yes, I realize I am totally projecting, so I’ll stop now.

Image via NBC

Dreaming in Four Sequences

They say everyone dreams. Some say we’re living a waking dream. Whatever real life is, it’s nowhere close to the weirdness I just slept through. Most dreams fade like smoke when you wake, but not this time. This is what I get for having Lucky Me pancit canton and powering through The Walking Dead before bed.

In my first dream, I was in a group of men, women and kids having to fight another group for territory. Or something. I wasn’t clear on the whys and wherefores, but they sent us women out first because we were “expendable.”

I was armed with a pencil. Mongol No. 2, bright yellow and freshly sharpened. I stabbed someone with it and gained pliers, the heavy wrenchy sort. I must’ve brained someone with it because I then gained a gun. Meanwhile, someone was peeling the face off of someone else with a cleaver. (This was not a good dream.) Then my brother, whom I was protecting, got wounded and I woke up.

It’s just one of those scenes that seems so intense it wakes you, and you lie there for a second because you’ve jerked out of REM sleep so fast you need a minute to recalibrate your whereabouts. Anyway, I lay back down and immediately got into the next one, where I was in a theatre. Wasn’t sure if I was with Le Hubs, but I knew I was watching something with Whoopi Goldberg of all people.

As dreams do, the whole theatre scene segued into having really amazing sexy times in a glade straight out of a Midsummer Night’s Dream with the love of my life, who is not Whoopi Goldberg, and the glade turned out to be an island which we eventually left. I could run on water, while he could swim really fast.

And then we were underwater hiding from some psycho young girl who had come into the room to get a doll we had gone there for. I left Le Hubs –  who at this point was no longer Le Hubs, he was the vampire guy from Twilight – to hide under the table, while I snatched the doll and trapped psycho girl in some magic net.

It turned out that psycho young girl was a vengeful ghost and the doll was her anchor to this world. How I figured this out, I had no idea but I grabbed the doll, surfaced into some sort of attic (wtf?) and just as she’d escaped my magic net (again, wtf) I smashed the doll, it broke, and she disappeared. Then I woke up again.

Before last night, the weirdest dream I can recall having was treading water someplace that looked very like the Manjuyod sand bar while alligators swam just beneath my feet.

Who needs horror movies, shrooms, or the clown from It? I don’t often recall my dreams, and I can see why – if that’s what’s going on in my subconscious, I’m better off not knowing.


Image from

To Hef and Hef Not

Playboy wasn’t the biggest part of my adolescence because I’m a girl. Everyone knows Harlequin is girl porn, not Playboy magazine. I may not have owned the prerequisite well-thumbed copy with some pages suspiciously glued together, but I did get to sneak peeks here and there. Centrefolds, tits, strategic posing, sanitized sexuality, but sexuality all the same.

I wasn’t too familiar with Hefner the activist, the savvy editor, the guy who pushed for access to birth control and saved the Hollywood sign from being torn down. The Hef I’m familiar with is the kindly old man in The Girls Next Door, the one who had three pretty blonde girlfriends and was content to let them hog the spotlight while he worked on his scrapbooks. I liked that Hef. He seemed like the kind of guy who’d accomplished what he’d set out to do and was enjoying the fruits of his labour. Sure, having three girlfriends who weren’t just old enough to be his daughters but were also varying degrees of sameness (blonde, busty and tan) was … weird? Eccentric? Greedy? They were all consenting adults. His girlfriends seemed happy enough with their lot in life and certainly profited from it.

So Hugh Hefner has gone to the great big bunny ranch in the sky. Some think heaven to Hef is likely meaningless after all his time on earth. Some say he’s already gone through his allotment of seventy-two virgins and he didn’t even have to commit jihad to do it. Either way, there doesn’t seem to be a great outpouring of sadness. Certainly not from me – not that I’m glad he’s dead or anything. I just feel like a guy who spent a third of his life  in a bathrobe hosting crazy bacchanals in a giant mansion, sorting through a bevy of blonde girlfriends, can’t have missed very much in life.

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Double Trouble

I’m making up for missing out on the Laver Cup by going through their Twitter. I wish I’d gone to Prague.

Coached by a legend (Bjorn Borg!), led by legends (Roger Federer! Rafael Nadal!), Team Europe’s victory was pretty much assured. It’s hard to face a team with two up and comers in Misha Zverev and Dominic Thiem, stalwart top tenners Tomas Berdych and Fernando Verdasco, and the aforementioned Fedal.

I didn’t know very much about it because my zeal for tennis pretty much fizzles out after the US Open. Good job, me! I missed out on the gloriousness that is Fedal. Obviously I am on Team Nadal forever and ever, world without end, but this year has been a throwback to when these two ruled the tennis world and Rafa’s intensity is never quite at peak level the way it is when he’s facing Federer across the net. But seeing two legendary rivals and intense competitors come together as doubles partners and put that intensity to work as a team is a wholly different experience.

That’s it, I’m sold. Team Fedal forever.