Sunday, July 30, 2006

More Eighties Remakes?

You know, I think Hollywood is in trouble. And the first sign of trouble is the lack of creativity spewing forth from the local cineplex. And perhaps the most troubling sign of all is the proliferation of remakes. Not just TV show-turned movie. I'm talking about remaking a movie that's less than twenty years old.

The two most recent (and horrifying) examples? Revenge of the Nerds and Adventures in Babysitting. I kid you not.

How do you top Anthony Edwards, Robert Carradine, Timothy Busfield, Curtis Armstrong, and Brian Tochi? Seriously. How???? You don't. If this becomes another Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn vehicle, I think I'm going to vomit. Nevermind the fact that they are too old for the parts....

And AiB? Starring Raven-Symone? I think my heart just stopped as I typed those words. Um, anyone remember the story? Suburban white kids lost in the bad streets of Chicago? Elisabeth Shue singing in a black jazz club? Can you really see Disney allowing Raven to utter the infamous line, "Don't f*ck with the babysitter"?

I mentioned remakes to my roommate last night, lamenting to her: "Why do they have to keep remaking the classics?" I paused, thought about it, and then deadpanned, "I guess it wouldn't make sense to remake a bad movie."

Unfortunately, what tends to happens is that remakes of good movies become bad movies.

Another vicious cycle.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Fat Attack!

I usually check out the news articles posted on the MSN homepage. They are there when I log on, so why not? One in particular caught my attention this evening, and I linked to an article about the worst fast food offerings out there.

You can read the entire article here. I've quoted a few sections that just made my stomach churn and my toes curl.

McDonald’s Deluxe Breakfast is a smorgasbord of bad-for-you foods—including eggs, sausage, pancakes smothered in syrup and margarine, hash browns and a biscuit. In moderation, any of these items could be an OK (if occasional) breakfast, but add them together and you’re looking at a grand total of 1,220 calories, 550 of them from fat, including 17 grams of saturated fat.

Burger King’s Triple Whopper With Cheese is a perfect example of why more is not better. A regular Whopper With Cheese already delivers 760 calories, 47 grams of total fat including 16
grams of saturated fat. But when you triple it up, this meal tips the scales at 1,230 calories and 82 grams of fat including 32 grams of saturated fat. (And that’s before you order a side of fries!)

Popping into Cinnabon for a Caramel Pecanbon isn’t exactly a breakfast of champions. This gooey pastry packs 1,100 calories and 56 grams of fat, while providing virtually no worthwhile nutrients.

The fried chicken seems like an obviously unhealthy choice at KFC, but it’s actually not the fattiest item on the menu. The Mashed Potato Bowl With Gravy contains 690 calories and 31 grams of fat, nine of them saturated.

Makes me want to go eat an apple.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The New Picture In Town

I feel the need to explain a bit about my new Profile pic (and to continue spreading Connor yumminess).

At Shore Leave this year, I plunked down the extra fee for a Photo Op with Connor Trinneer (Enterprise, Stargate: Atlantis). I have loved the character he played on Enterprise since the moment he appeared on-screen. There's just something about wholesome southern good-boy-ness that makes me melt.

Anywho, here's the photo in all its colored glory, plus autograph. We actually chatted for a moment about the merits of drinking Pedialyte while suffering from a cold (we both had one that weekend), as he signed this photo. Anyone who sits at a table and autographs for four hours, and then does an hour long Q&A is okay in my book.

And it doesn't hurt that the man is adorable.

Friday, July 21, 2006


You can thank my friend Shelly for this post. During an IRC chat last night, we started talking about the different things we liked to write. I recalled how much fun I had writing essays in college, and that some of them were quite humorous. She asked if we would ever see them posted on my blog.

Your wish is my command. I found my little plastic file box full of multi-colored floppy disks shoved under the nether regions of my desk, the whole thing covered in dust. And cat hair. Gross.

Disks perfectly preserved, the relics of a by-gone day (so by-gone that the computer I use now didn't even come with an A-Drive when I bought it three years ago). I found the essay I had mentioned, written in the spring of 2002. As I reread those words, I found my fingers inching toward the delete key, the space bar, and various other editing tools.

I refrained, and instead, present this essay in its final grade glory (I don't remember what the grade was, but this is the draft I turned in). Minor caveat: the Christian references are not meant as any sort of bashing against Christians or non-Christians. I attended a private Christian college, so most of our papers had this theme.

Kelly M.
ENG 304W
Final Draft
The Snob in All of Us
Everyone has been accused or accused someone else of being a snob at one time or another. If you're shaking your head and thinking "not me," you are either a shut-in or in denial. Snobbery affects all of us, even when we don't realize it. While we all think of that Barbie girl from high school who made fun of our faded sweaters and holey jeans, the word "snob" has not always carried a direct negative connotation. Let's take a closer look at what this word really means.

According to my tiny, desk-sized Webster's dictionary, a snob is "a person who considers himself better than anyone else and who looks down on those he considers to be his inferiors." I know a lot of Christians like that. Unsatisfied with this definition, I turned to that from which great knowledge comes: The Internet. After scrolling down past the ample "Try your search for snob at" listings, Dictionary.Com provided me with a number of satisfying definitions from, among other sources, Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. My little desk-size will now retire to its shelf in shame to gather dust.

So what is a snob? According to the internet--which is never wrong--a snob is, 1) a townsman, 2) a journeyman shoemaker, and 3) a workman who accepts lower than the usual wages, or who refuses to strike when his fellows do. Certainly not the definitions we think of today. If they were answers on Jeopardy, we would likely come up with the questions, 1) What is a citizen? 2) What is a traveling cobbler? and 3) What is a scab?

Ah, but hidden amongst numerous pop-up ads, I found a much more satisfactory definition of a snob. "One who tends to patronize, rebuff or ignore people regarded as social inferiors." Sound like anyone you know? If I listed names, there would be no room for the remainder of my essay, so we'll leave that as a rhetorical question. Combined with Webster's previous definition, we can now define snobbery as the act of looking down on someone because you feel they are inferior to you. Yet snobbery is not only limited to looking down on people. The things you can patronize, rebuff or ignore are limitless. A snob resides in all of us.

Now don't confuse snobbery with personal preference. "I like GAP clothing because it fits me better" is a personal preference. All well and good. "I can't believe you buy your clothes at Wal-Mart. Lerner New York is the ONLY place to shop." That is snobbery at its capitalist best. I knew a girl like that my first year of college. The idea of wearing the Kathy Ireland K-Mart collection made her break out in hives.

I've already succeeded in weeding out the clothing snobs amongst us (you know who you are). I was recently clued-in to the existence of fish snobs. Really. A student here on campus--we'll call him Jarod--said he will not waste his time with fish that do not hold his attention. Jarod is very careful about the fish he allows to live in his tank. Strange? Perhaps. I suppose there is a moral lesson here about discrimination, but I'll leave that to the philosophers out there.

In the art world, there exists what I will call the Thomas Kincade snobs. You see, there is a belief in the art world that you cannot be truly appreciated as an artist until after you are dead. For examples, please type "Picasso, Pablo" or "Van Gogh, Vincent" into your favorite net browser and hit Search. Among this sect of artists, it was once commented that there is only so much oxygen in the art world and people such as Kincade and Christian Reese Lassen suck it all up. I suppose it would do me well not to tell them I am a big Lassen fan. I even have one of his calendars.

The truly amazing thing about snobbery is that it does not discriminate. The word "snob" can be applied to anyone, regardless of gender, race, horoscope or shoe size. Especially Christians. And if that offends you, don't read further, because I can assure you it doesn't get any nicer. And if you're waiting for lightning to strike me dead, you're out of luck. Yes, Christians are snobs. Some Christians are culture snobs. I speak specifically of those people who will not go see a movie/read a book/watch a TV show, but declare it moral garbage on the grounds that it "isn't Christian." After I clue them into the fact that Christian is a noun and not an adjective, I will ask if being a snob is considered "Christian?" If Aunt Bessie and Uncle Remus condemn "Lord of the Rings" as supernatural filth unworthy of their attention (or the three hours it takes to watch the entire thing), are they not rebuffing what they consider inferior? Snob.

This element of snobbery is most readily found in the ever-present argument between pre- and post-millennialists, fundamentalists and liberals. Should we engage culture? Post-millennial liberals will nod, give a hearty YES, and then show scripturally supported reasons why we should. Pre-millennial fundamentalists will shudder, cast you from their inner circle for uttering such nonsense, and then show scripturally supported reasons why we should not. Enaging culture? Puh-lease. As if Jesus ever went out onto the street to converse with average folk or eat dinner with his Gentile neighbors.

Perhaps what irks these Christian snobs the most is popular culture's ability to flourish no matter how much they denounce, rebuff, patronize, or ignore it. Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the Christian Culture Snob Sect, Harry Potter is here to stay. But I suppose it is the duty of the snob to hold their ground and never give in to that which is inferior.

Unfortunately, with snobbery always comes those discriminated against, rising up in anger and/or defense. For every Evangelical Weekly article telling us why our children should not read Harry Potter, thirty more elementary age kids are rediscovering their love of reading in the land of Quidditch and Hogwart's Academy (that's in England for those of you who don't care to read Harry, but quickly enough offer up your opinion that it is garbage). Some artists hate Thomas Kincade, yet thousands of average folk collect his paintings, calendars, throws and greeting cards. You may love shopping at DKNY, but I find the prices at Wal-Mart much more appealing. And once, if you are lucky enough, the high school Barbie will trip over her trendy shoes and fall on her perfectly painted face.

Snobbery is not always easy to pinpoint. For the easy-going individual, nothing appears out of the ordinary. Ce la vi, to each his own, and all that jazz. But beneath that casual exterior, faded jeans, and Salvation Army T-shirt is a firey intolerance for brand labels. A lover of poetry may have the deeply hidden hatred for that insidious, five-line gremlin called the limerick. Snobbery is harder to pinpoint in some people, but everyone has something to hide. Even if they won't admit it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

AW Blogger Chain, Round Three

I stepped out of the Second Round of the because of personal reasons, but here I am for Round Three. Previously, on Southern Expressions, Andrea wrote a little about technology.

One piece of technology in particular caught my attention: cellular phones. Nowadays we have cameras on our phones, internet on our phones, and some can even record video. And here I thought that a phone was for making a call to someone. Silly me.

I have a small Nokia phone. It's text message capable, but I don't use it. I don't even have my voice mail set up. It's mostly for emergencies, or if I need to call someone while I'm out (at the store, stranded on the side of the road, that sort of thing). It's not attached to my ear or my hip. I don't talk on it while I'm in line at the grocery store, and I think those Nextel walkie talkie things are the work of the Devil. I have a camera for taking pictures and internet on my computer.

This morning I watched a few minutes of an E.R. rerun from way back in season two or three (ah, the George Clooney days). A patient used a cell phone the size of a paperback novel (although not quite as wide), with a pull-out antenna and a flip-out cover. You remember the type. Just like you remember the brick-sized phone that Zack Morris carried around on Saved by the Bell, circa 1993.

As cell phones get smaller and smaller, they become more noticeable in TV reruns and movies. For me, at any rate.

24 is a great example of modern cell phone technology. In season one, Jack Bauer and Company had small flip phones that they actually held up to their ears. By season three, they had those hands-free cords that connects a little earpiece to a mike that hangs by your mouth. Season five (this year) gave Jack the little cordless earpiece. In two years his phone will be the size of a hearing aid, with no handset required. Just wait. I'm calling it now.

And I can't believe I just googled this, but has a long entry about the history of cell phones. In case you're interested.

Next up in the chain, Kappa no He.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Catching up

Golly, it feels like weeks since I last posted here. Life has taken quite a few sharp turns lately, keeping me away from my little corner of the blogosphere.

My grandmother passed away on June 22. She was eighty-eight years old, and she had been battling uterine cancer for almost two years. It spread to her bones, but she fought as long as she could. Grandma was a fighter, and I loved her strength. My half-brother Tim was with her when she died, and I'm glad of that. She wasn't alone.

I went home to my parents' house in Delaware. My father, sister and her boyfriend, and I finished cleaning out Grandma's apartment on June 24th. My birthday. It was a surreal thing, to give away furniture that she had owned for as long as I can remember, to go through old photographs and her jewelry box, to throw away shoes and slips and stained shirts.

We thought that the insane thunderstorms that weekend would prevent us from having the funeral on Tuesday 27th. Seaford was flooded in several places, a dam had broken near Nanticoke Hospital, and the Wal-Mart parking lot was under water. But water recedes, and the sun was shining by the time we reached the cemetary. It was a nice service, but trying so hard to block tears was exhausting.

I returned to work that Wednesday, and a sore throat crept up on me during the evening. My Friday, it was a full blown head-cold, complete with fever, sore throat, coughing, and chest congestion. I never felt awful enough to call in sick (not that I could have, with two of the four managers on vacation this week), but work was miserable.

I did manage to see Superman Returns this past Sunday. I had to give it 3/5 stars. It lost a whole star because of Kate Bosworth. I just DO NOT like her as Lois Lane. She is too young to be an experienced, award-winning reporter and a five-year old son. She doesn't have the screen presence for such a strong, confident character. It ruined what probably would have been a great movie. For me, at least. Brandon Routh was fantastic. Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey were priceless ("Gee, that's really something Lex." "Wait for it." ::waits:: "Gee, that's really something, Lex.") James Marsden more than makes up for his lack of X3 screentime here, and we get to see his eyes!

Now I am poised to head for Shore Leave, still sporting a cough and runny nose. ::insert sarcastic snort of choice:: Oh joy.

My roommates at the convention may stick me in the hallway if my coughing keeps them up, but no matter. Connor Trinneer will be there!! As will Jamie Bamber. My best friend will tell you all about my Connor and Jamie obsessions. They rank right up there with my Patrick Dempsey obsession. Hopefully I'll return with fun autographs, some great pictures, and more cool memories.