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So, we began in earnest to clear out our roach-infested garage of our possible roach-infested clutter yesterday. I was surprised at what a difference just one box made (and that it was one I was concerned about because it had a lot of important stuff in it, most of which made it through). But it got me thinking. Because I told my brother and sister to throw out a fair bit of all of that cutesy little mess I used to have lining my shelves, all of the junk I'd accumulated for one reason or another: fast food cups full of pens and little favors people had given me. Unfortunately, my cup of thumb tacks which means no hanging posters for me for a little while, until I can buy some more. It was quite a collection, sighs.

When we moved out of the house, I had clutched to that stuff so desperately. After all, moving from one house to another just three years before, I had just transported all that stuff from one place to another and set up my space, you know? But it's just sat, for better or for worse, in the garage these past four years. And it's made me wonder about my waning attachment.

This can be seen as good: certainly it's practical, and my sister even told me she was proud of me for it. But on a deeper emotional level, what's happening? Should I be worried that the things that used to comfort and define my personal space hold only the fading resonance of sentimentality to me? My room still remains more or less bare, and to me that's sort of symbolized the rut I've been in; sure, it's great my mind isn't cluttered, right? But what about all of that interesting mess, the eccentric defining and decorating of personal space. Am I ready to start anew, ready to begin collecting more and different types of things, or is this the perfect external example of my own discomfort within my own skin?

Sometimes it genuinely feels like I'm moving forward, but most of the time I feel like I'm stuck, like a skipping record. My indifference to see all of that stuff go, rather than feel refreshing or cleansing or whatever, made me feel more uncertain. Made me realize it's been a long, long time since I not only felt comfortable with my surroundings, but within my own body--the worse problem.

On a side note, no one should have to suffer debilitating PMS twice in one month, for that is the very definition of suckage!

Peace, Ghani
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Been thinking a whole lot about actor obsession lately. I dunno, it's strange, I never thought 30 would make a difference, but here I find myself coming up on three decades of existence, I'm thinking a lot about my habits, my tastes, and what will change, what should change and what will never change.

I guess I always felt like there was some sort of childlike stigma attached to actor obsessions; you know, the wink behind her back meaning, 'we know why she really wants to see the movie...' It's of course a total fallacy because adults a lot older than me still religiously follow Brad and Angelina's every move, scramble to see who Leo is dating after his breakup etc. Not that I look down on that; we each have our own hobbies and distractions and as long as we're not hurting anyone, to each their own. Of course, there are always celebrity stalkers, which are extreme cases and probably make up something like .05 of celebrity fandom in general.

And then, much more commonly, there are the people who can't really seperate the reality of stardom with their own fantasies. Again, most of these people are in no way dangerous, but it's an extreme and isn't healthy for the people either. And don't get me wrong, because I think a lot of the times, 'Oh, we'd get along if we met.' Or, 'We'd have really interesting conversations,' and even, 'He'd so hit on me!' But there's that line, that thing that reminds you that this person exists mostly inside your head, even what you know and like of their personality and life is applied in terms of your fantasies. It's their job, to do that, to enter your imgination so prominently; that's how they become and stay famous! It's not necessarily an enlightened point of view, but more a personal preference of mine. They are only human, right? But, in my fantasies, they can have all the same quirks, all the same habits and personality traits without all that muss and fuss of real life getting in the way.

So, getting back to the original topic: Why do I feel like it's juvenile, at my age, to have a celebrity crush (and I'll stop using obsession because I think I defined that pretty well above, and that ain't me)? Or a new celebrity crush, because I'm not ashamed of the ones I've had since I was a wee tot.

Maybe it's partly because my ideas of celebrity crushes haven't changed since I was young. I'm extremely interested in the celebrities I crush on, in their talent and their personality, and both of those can make a star the most physically attractive person I've ever seen. Very few times have I crushed on someone just because of their looks--as a matter of fact, I can't really think of one. I'm not trying to sell you that I'm the least shallow fan in existence because that'd just be silly; I have my shallowness, trust me! A role they play can click with me and someone who I've seen around all my life can suddenly just grip me (see: my most recent crush on Nic Cage, whom my sister's had a rare an elusive man-crush on for a while now and whose movies I've grown up watching.)

But back to the juvenilia. Certainly I'm in fandoms now where I know plenty of women my age and older who have respectable celebrity crushes, so why do I still feel embarrassed about it? Why am I hesitant to admit even in private that I want to watch everything I can get my hands on of that particular actor/actress? How does someone with almost no social taboos (me), blush at the mere mention of a crush's name because I feel like I'm being judged? It's like a mental block that I have, though it's only really started rearing it's ugly head over the past couple of years, as I got older.

I've always been the baby of the family and in some ways, ways I'm just discovering, I've always felt like everything I did was sort of the immature version of what the adults around me were doing (the closest family member in age, my sister, is still eight years older than me). I was aware at a very young age, which I've discussed with my sister before, condescending attitudes towards me even as little as five or six. You know, 'the kid said something incorrectly, it's so cute let's laugh in her face and never let her forget it.' I said it earlier on in the post, about that sly, knowing attitude of just wanting to watch a movie because mr. or ms. x is in it. Which I have done and have been extremely upfront about it. I am severely interested in acting ability but lookin' at 'em is fine too sometimes, and a good goofball action flick is sometimes the most fun thing to watch.

So where is this all going, you may ask, if you've been patient enough to actually read through all of my ramblings. The answer is, I dunno. That's what I'm interested in finding out. I think it's good to get it out there, to actually try to articulate what I'm feeling instead of holding it in because that only leads to twelve kinds of unhealthy. I think it's better to stand back a bit too and really think about what I've written, why I feel that way and what can be done.

Oh, and, if you've read my journal, you probably know I've got a wicked sense of humor, in more ways than one. Which is why I renamed my journal what i have. But I have to admit, even I blushed when it showed up in HUGE letters at the top of the page with my new format. Not enough to change it, mind, heh!

Peace, Ghani
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It seems like the new year came and my tits somehow knew I was turning 30 in October and just, bloop, his the floor. Seriously, I mean major belly-button touching without a bra now. Sigh. Well, it was fun while it lasted, those halcyon days of my youth.

Ah, I finally got that revamp of my LJ I've been so desperately wanting, thank to [livejournal.com profile] roguedemonhunte's enormous talents. Still not sure about the custom colors I picked to go along with the new header image, though my sister complimented them specifically. I'm enjoying the Smooth Sailing layout in general; it's a nice change but it's also a convenient set-up with the tages right on the side of my page there.

So, three more days until Ghost Rider, wheeee! And, as you can tell by my new layout, pretty fuckin' excited about it! Everything bodes well for it (yes, even that it's the same writer/director as Daredevil! The director's cut of that movie is frickin' sweet and should be given more of a chance!) Nic Cage obsession is in full force lately--because of the movie and it's only gonna pur napalm on the raging fire in my pants on Friday.

Random thought of the day: Damn, Patricia Arquette is one lucky woman! I mean, both Nic Cage and Thomas Jane? I know the first relationship ended kind of iffily, but still! Most women don't get a crack at one fantastic lookin' and interesting guy in their lifetimes!

Peace, Ghani
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Homer: Kids, kids. I'm not going to die. That only happens to bad people.
Lisa: What about Abraham Lincoln?
Homer: He sold poison milk to school children.
Marge: Homer!
-The Simpsons

Okay, so I adore anthology show Masters of Horror. Not only does it showcase new and upcoming talent in the genre (who aren't Eli Roth, my nemisis), but it gives a chance to those who have worked pretty thanklessly for years. I don't think I've ever sat through one I didn't enjoy on some level. Erm, until last night that is. Actually, I was really enjoying the first half, but then realized where it was all going, and at a snail's pace as well, and not only felt dissatisfied, but rather alarmed by its message.

It's not unusual to find political satire in horror; hell, like sci-fi, it seems ripe for it. I've seen quite a few on Masters of Horror itself, such as the amazing, surprisingly touching and sharp Homecoming, so when my sister turned it on last night and the opening scene involved the lead characters listening to a political talk show on the radio, I knew what I was in for. Or thought I did at least.

It got progressively stranger from there. The parents of a ten year old daughter don't think it's odd or creepy at all that an older gent, who is behaving so strangely I'd have a hard time not laughing in his face, offer the kid a lollipop of his favorite flavor, cherry. Um, yeah. Wjat they do find creepy and odd is a portrait of George Washington in their deceased granny's basement. Yup, folks Washington. George. The. The little girl screams when she catched sight of a beam of light only highlighting his eyes and the father proclaims that he was always scared of the painting. Yup, George Washington, the very same historical favorite who could ruin any Ouji reading at any happening slumber party just by his presence via the board; he's just not scary!

Well, it was called The Washiontonians and did have a Headless Horseman-esque opening sequence in which a Revolutionary figure stalks and cuts a woman's head off, so we decided to wait and see. Where was this all going? Down the crapper, it turned out. You see, Washington, according to this story, was a cannibal. Remember the cherry tree? Well, that was a metaphor for virginity, and cutting down the cherry tree equated in eating the flesh of a virgin. seriously, folks, I couldn't make this up if I tried. and I wouldn't want to.

You see, in the end, our lesson was that people want to believe the myth of history, it's what survives, and some would go to any length to conceal "the truth" (used in the same vague manner as it was on X-Files, where they threw around the term weekly without ever defining just what they expected it to be). In a none too suble allegory (with emphasis on the gory), we're shown that governments are cruel cannibalistic monsters who eat the people they serve and turn inward on themselves. At the very end, we're told that "one George was swapped for another", and we're shown a dollar bill with Dubbya's face proudly smiling back at us as the characters comically all exclaim, 'No shit!'

I got over the idea that history was written by the winners when I was in my teens; after all, if that were true, what would we know about Auschwitz, Wounded Knee, or Billy the Kid? What my sister said after watching it was true: History sorts itself out; it's the present people are usually blind to. But, more than that, the paranoia of governmental mistrust runs so deeply throughout the story, it scared me. The end comes as the cannibals are gunned down by "the men who could cover up anything", like Roswell, we're told. The kindly professor who was in search of that elusive "the truth" tells our intrepid hero to get the word out, no matter what. I mean, the whole thing is fucking insane!

And it's offensive. Trust me, I'm not the model of a flag waving partior these days, but I do respect our history and the men who had the vision to set us all on a new course in life. While they refer to Washington's image as that of a "kindly old gentleman" in the show, I've always thought of him as the spirit of youthful, idealistic exuberance, just like our own country back in those days. How, in any way, their situation echoes our present day conundrum completely eludes me, to compare the war in Iraq with the Revoltuion is hilariously offbase and plain bizzare, to compare the respective leaders is worse.

And I have to wonder just how they thought history could be hidden quite so well when we know more about them than we really should do via letters (and don't tell me Adams was in any way involved in any of this because, for Gawd's sake, it's Adams!); our attempt to "humanize" them stripping them of a kind of pleasant mystique we've kept to.

And what's with Washington's fake teeth? Do people really find them ominous and terrifying? There's such a strange focus on the grotesqueness of his dentures, with close-ups of the cannibals mock pairs and one even having an almost orgasmic reaction to the originals. Are people really scared of this shit?! Is this, like, some rational fear that other people have and we just don't know about it?! My grandmother wore dentures and, aside from the contant click-clack that could get on one's nerves, I wasn't ever really mortally terrified of them. And the thing with the wood- it's old, guys! We know from historic texts that they didn't look bad! Well, why would they? He was rich, he was famous, would he really have disguting dentures? Think about it. Or, please don't, actually.

I know it's just a fantasy, but who would write this stuff, who would believe this is an accurate analogy?! I always knew the complete whackjobs were out there, I just never realized that someone who was as seemingly intelligent as to get his works published would be on the level of men who wear tinfoil hats so the CIA can't read their thoughts.

Peace, Ghani
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Finally got around to writing down a few thoughts about part one, which I recorded from PBS this past Sunday and...

It's not the worst-by a long shot-but the most disappointing of the Jane Eyre adaptations I've seen. I know I was expecting too much, and it's almost a problem that Toby Stephens is so fantastic, because I think the production lets him down. I actually think that Ruth Wilson has no chemistry with him--a very large problem in a romance story--and I was amazed in some scenes that he's giving the performance that he is when he's not getting that same level back; it's not an exchange, IMO.

This adaptation reverts a lot to telling instead of showing; the dialogue bombards us with the fact that Jane is withdrawn, she's thinking and/or feeling this or that, but very little evidence is shown for any of it. You're right, she is far too open, but on the other hand, possesses only shyness and not the sense of self-possession she learned in her latter years as a student at Lowood--I'm always sad this part of the story's continually given the chop because it doesn't the simplified idea that producers and writers want to put across, that, yes, it was miserable, the part they always emphasize and then cut away after Helen dies. But she also learned that sense of self-reliance, that she's gone through a bit of self-discovery, and has that strong, empathetic connection with the world around her.

Why on earth you'd go about hiring someone like Georgie Henley and then not using her is beyond me!

We're told over and again that she's a magical creature, surely she must have bewitched him with her magic because did they mention she was magical? And yet, I see very little of that in her, the character as is written or the performance. This Jane wears her heart on her sleeve, the hesitation, and the self-possession, just doesn't exist in this adaptation. The scene with the gypsy, while I'm delighted by its inclusion and not so much so the changes, seems strange at how laid back it is. Angry--okay, now over it and chuckle indulgently.

There are some definite pluses, chief among them Toby Stephens--and he definitely makes it worth watching--and minuses. I just don't know why I keep expecting more from each new production when I know that they'll either cover the exact same ground as a previous one or go off into a direction that I don't really see as established in the book.

Peace, Ghani
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Just some things I've been thinking about for a while. Fandom is a strange beast, and a rather nasty one if it is so inclined, as it has been for me as of late. LJ is a miraculous thing: Click something into the search interest slot, and dozens of communities pop up, so many to choose from! It's kind of like the internet got that much wider, that much larger; it's like comparing a grain of sand on the beach to the beach itself. Googling things was fine and it'd come up with some interesting results sometimes, but I alreayd belonged to too many different message boards and lists and groups etc. to really get involved in anything. Plus, you couldn't really gauge the quality of conversation or opinions as they were isolated sites. LJ has erradicated all of that fuss and bother (I was neever much good at "surfing the net" to begin with and often missed a lot of stuff) and put everything in one place for me. Easy? Yes. Fun? Well, in theory...

What have I heard recently? Ah, the time-tested and always obnoxiously snide battle cry of You're not a true fan! So, what makes a true fan? I was recently forced to apologize on a community that I had deemed pretty friendly and was having fun talking with people. And then I made the comment. The comment that caused the You're not a true fan! reaction. I was not aware of a supporting cast member's death in a particular movie and, when faced with the comment that I must not be a true fan if I don't know that, I chose to try and make it clear that it's really impolite to judge someone from one comment they've made. They have just made a rude comment to me, therefor, they are rude! Well, not neccessarily but by their logic... I was somehow turned into the villain of the piece as the poster somewhat backhandedly "apologized" by explaining their logic and recieving compliments how *they* were so above *my* pettiness.

Did I ask if they had a copy of the promotional newspaper handed out at this particular movies double-feature sneak preview? Did I measure their dedication to the fandom by how many they took or how many they've kept over the past 14 years? No, because I don't see things that way though I certainly could have made the argument.

Consequence: What was a perfectly lovely community that I was enjoying shooting the breeze on, sharing stories and pictures, now feels sullied and inhospitable. Pneh.

Another I commonly run into: Yes, one can be critical of something one loves. As a matter of fact, I would expect that the more one adores something, the more critical they would be about elelments that did not work for them, that felt like a letdown etc. I found a community I thought was aboslutely perfect for me, a community I believed I could have intelligent discussion with other members of. The moment I said something half-way critical or, apparently, unpopular, I was made to feel unwelcome. I did not back down because it's something I feel very passionately about and by assembling an argument based on a characters portrayal in a movie adaptation, the changing and editing of that character within the movie's context and the original intention of the author the movies were based on, I felt very proud and strongly in my convictions indeed! Though a member had initially expressed excitement over a new face with new opinions, I was deemed old hat, another fandom favorite: We've already gone over this a million time!. I suppose I was labeled a lurker or a troll or something else undesirable and ignored past the point of my final argument. I good humoredly answered a post after mine that I felt *perhaps* (just perhaps; I'm not paranoid) was taking a rather sharp swipe at me but have not really been active in that community since.

Consequence: Meh. I guess my opinions are not as valid as the true fans and I'm a snobby book purist. I wouldn't say I wouldn't consider posting over there again but the response kind of killed what was rather excited momentum.

And then there is the fandom mix: You can't adore this as much as you do if you love that as well! It's as if it's inconceivable that one can be an avid fan of this and this and this mainly because other fans (i.e., in this case, true trolls) go and spoil it by poo poohing fandom X as being so much better as fandom Y.

I have been lucky enough to join communities on and off LJ that I've found my opinions to be valued on, that none of these arguments have ever arised on, such as my dear Horatians, where I have made friends that I know will last a lifetime; certain boards dedicated to Doctor Who, one of which I'm a moderator on; a very nice Star Wars board once thatw as unfortunately doomed and eventually ruined.

So, what is fandom?

Main Entry: 3fan
Function: noun
Etymology: probably short for fanatic
1 : an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator
2 : an ardent admirer or enthusiast (as of a celebrity or a pursuit) {science-fiction fans }

Main Entry: fan┬Ědom
Pronunciation: 'fan-d&m
Function: noun
: all the fans (as of a sport)

No clauses, no competition. Simple enjoyment and a certain devotion. Is that so wrong?

Peace, Ghani
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Hm. Trying out a new layout for a little while, just to mix things up a little. Rather like it and now I can switch between this and the X-Men one. Also decided on the Hard Day's Night moodtheme though I change those as often as I change my, well, mood so... But it looks cute!

I'm desperately trying to stay afloat these days, with what feels like a breakdown kind of edging its way towards me. I'm holding on though and I think the fact that I recognize all this and am trying to fix it (taking more sleeping pills so I don't get into the pattern of not sleeping at all, which is horrid!) or at least avoid the worst. The real kicker is that I'm not even sure what's doing me in! I mean, granted, Mandy's death really hit me hard and I was extremely depressed afterwards but this is on a whole other level. Thinking back on it, it began a while ago, with me getting angry with my sister really over nothing; I can see the seeds beginning there.

I worry most about "losing" my writing, the total inability for weeks, sometimes months, to write a word let alone a sentence I'm happy with. But then, that was inevitable because I'd been so into it over the Christmas season. These dry spells, they just get me so down because before I had my breakdown, I was just writing constantly, there was never a time where I took time out. Ah well, that I think I just have to elave to nature to sort out. I am very proud with my HHafterHours Cotard meets a genie Secret Santa challenge fic; think I might be posting it here in the near future.

Anyhoo, off to watch my newly acquired Highlander: The Complete Series DVDs, whooo hooo!

Peace y'all, Ghani
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Yeah, so, S.O.S., as me mum would say, though quite unusual things actually won, there was a lot of in the norm nominees (I'm looking at you, King Kong!) and a suspicious lack of Eric Bana nomination or Joaquin win, though I'm happy overall cos I got to see Mr. Bana looking quite dapper (like the long hair; he'll be doing Hulk 2 soon, hope they don't get rid of it all like tyhey did for the first one) and by see, I mean completely drool over. Nice interview on E! before hand and then the first presenter of the night, hurrah! And Emmy Rossum looked amazing as always; can't wait for Poseidon. And speaking of, Josh Lucas was lookin' mighty fine himself!

BUT, my biggest congrats -and this warms my heart- goes to Judd Apatow, one year ahead of my sister in Syossett High and the crush!love of my sister's best friend's life! Great to see a local boy make it big! (Other famous alumns, BTW, include Billy Joel -much ahead of our time- and Natalie Portman -somewhat behind mine. But Judd, we saw him around, he was always the jokester!)

Peace, Ghani
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And so we bid farewell to the holiday season, and I bid farewell to my holiday LJ theme. *Sniff* Nekkid Santa, I'm going to miss you; you were my little mascot!

Easing the pain somewhat is the amazing Scott/Jean/Phoenix header banner [livejournal.com profile] quitecontrary made for me! It's a thing of beauty! Won't mind having Santa gone after all! :-D

Peace, Ghani
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Tagged by [livejournal.com profile] dreamybritactor:

I would like everyone to take some time to write down what they will remember most from 2005 and what they hope from 2006.

Well, boy, was this ever a year to remember! We started out still reeling from having to take my father off of life support right before Christmas; my parents' 41st anniversary would have been January 14th of this year and we all felt a bit melancholy about the whole thing.

In March, I got to spend Easter weekend with two of my bestest, bestest buddies, [livejournal.com profile] whistlejacket and Suz! Much Hornblower gushing happened as well as some Naveen gushing (he sings, he dances! Yes, we saw Bride and Prejudice!), The Wimbledon Poisoner was watched much to the delight of us all! I can personally attest to the fact that Mr. [livejournal.com profile] whistlejacket is one of the finest cooks in the world and knows how to make a smashing cuppa!

When I came back, the decision to sell my parents' house was made by me and my sister, though we had previously wanted to stay, to kind of keep that memory alive. We had all sorts of creditors (my parents were deep in dept) closing in and it really was the right thing, we knew it then and we certainly know it now! It kind of became a tomb rather than a happy memory as we tried to unload it but had to wait the full course of the creditors making their claims etc. We finally moved into our new place this past November, right before Thanksgiving, our first holiday in a place of our own! I'll never forget that mad rush: The house closed on Thursday, the apartment wouldn't be ready until Monday, on Monday, we really took about 20 trips just carrying anything and everything we could so we could be out of there and our buyer could enjoy (he was very patient!)

This past year also saw Doctor Who back on tv screens and not in repeats! (YAY!) But only in Canada and the UK (Boo!) and Chris Eccleston became my new Object of Gush (Yay!). And then it was announced he was leaving (Boo!). But that we would get a christmas special (Yay!) and not only one but TWO more seasons at least and a spin-off of the second greatest companion ever, Captain Jack's Torchwood! (Yay!) Still no US distributor (Boo!)

We saw a lot more movies in the theater this year and fell in love with many! I was delighted to see Christian Bale's star finally rise after years of hard work and to discover Cillian Murphy! Herbie brought me a when-she-was-still-pretty Lindsay Lohan and Justin Long in what I swear is the first role that made him attractive, the leading man! Narnia was the first movie really to cash in on what was thought to be a building fantasy craze and I hope to see more such fare in the future! Sahara made me hot for Matthew Mcconaughey plus introduced me to a new set of books, the Dirk Pitt adventures!

I marveled on LOST to the revelations of the Black Rock, the hatch, Locke's past love affair, what Kate did, Shannon's sad life and death and Henry Ian Cusik as Desmond, mmmm! I discovered Veronica Mars (LoVe forever, man!) and Family Guy (Stewie forever, man!).

Serenity finally opened and Browncoats such as myself rejoiced. And then it tanked at the box office and we were sad though we did get the closure (sometimes to much! Wash lives, ya hear me?!) we'd been looking for plus Nathan Fillion in low slung sweat pants -never a bad thing!

Well, May brought one of the most important events in my life: The premiere of the very last Star Wars movie, and I was not disappointed! And most certainly, even better than the movie, was getting to fly out to see my dearest friend, [livejournal.com profile] may_child, to chill with her and watch Dodgeball (heh, poopie flavored lollypops!). In the New Year, I hope she can take the time off and come and visit us! :-D I must note that, yes, I did go to the RotS premiere in costume but only the midnight showing, NOT the digital theater the next day though the crowd was more fun then!

And my sister's finally self-publishing through Barnes and Nobles! Yay! the editor told her it's the best work she's seen in a decade!

I wish for the new year to be much more stable, that we can settled down and just kick back and enjoy life! That I get to visit old friends again and that they come visit me and boy am I looking forward to seeing my posse at HHWilliamsburg!

As for movies: Bring on X-3, bay-bee! Phoenix forever! And boy does PotC: Dead Man's Chest look like a lot of fun!

Should auld aquaintence be forgot and never brought to mind!
Should auld aquaintence be forgot and days of auld lang syne!

Mwah, Ghani
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Guess it's time to update as I haven't in a while since I've had the flu; came down with it a day or so before Christmas Eve and thought it was just a cold until it finally hit me in full, yes, right on Christmas Eve. The damned thing is, my sister had had the same bug and had just recovered from it when I started showing signs. Now she's getting all fussy because I'm not getting over it as well as she did -which is saying a lot, considering her almost nonexistent immune system! I've been hopped up on Robutussen which, I tell ya, is freakier than any substance I've personally put into my body! ;-p

Ann herself's been a little off. I'm thinking it's cos we're in a new place for Christmas, because we broke away from any last physical remembrances of our parents that we had, that she missed them particularly this year. I don't think she quite knows how to deal with it, now that it's completely over, we've sold the house and all parts of that life are gone. On a whim, I had bought her The Munsters -her favorite show when she was little- first season dvd set, thinking it was just like a throw away thing but she told me yesterday that it's really helped her get along with things; I guess it's true what they say about stuff from your childhood soothing you when you're lonely or heartsick.

As for actual Christmas booty -erm, loot, not... yeah-, I made out like a bandit this year, mwahahahaha! Gots me a bevy of books, a few bits of Star Wars merchandise (almost a requirement for my Christmas!), as well as some really cute novelties like a Stitch (from Lilo and Stitch) with a Santa hat and scarf who rocks out to 'Sleigh Ride' and a SpongeBob alarm clock to sit on my new nightstand. My sister gets the smart ass award for getting me the Abercrombe and Fitch shirt that says 'Give Me Something to Scream About'; what can I say, she knows me too well!

We had duck for Christmas dinner (and thank GOD my sister-in-law was there to help my sister and that's all I'll say on the subject...) which was interesting and new! Wish I could have tasted it, as sick and congested as I was. Le sigh. It's sad to know it's ending now and that soon my LJ format will go back to normal and nekkid Santa'll have to wait another year to be let out again! I was getting rather fond of him, like my mascot, though Ann commented archly the other day, 'Does this mean you're finally getting rid of that thing?!' Heh!

So, now I'm sat around the house, contemplating the WiseAss and wishing I had my Hornblower-related tape and dvd collection unpacked, though I did managed to find Wonderful You which had gotten packed seperately so I could get my greg Wise fix (though, unfortunately, as much of an ass he plays -and a sex machine- you don't actually get to SEE his ass. You see Richard Lumsden's though. Shudder!)

Am anxiously awaiting a copy of Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion (thanks to the very good graces of wonderful friends and tape fairies alike!), but I'll be a good girl and be all patient-like ;-)

In the meantime, I think it's time to write me some HHaH Secret Santa smut! If I can't watch the WiseAss, I can at least evoke it through pruple prose! ;-)

Peace, Ghani

Hurrah!

Dec. 22nd, 2005 01:33 pm
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So, I'm sick. Sick as a dog. After two weeks of avoiding the flu that my sister had, right as she recovered almost fully, I caught it. Le sigh. So how, exactly, you may ask, is that a hurrah? Well, I'm feeling a little better today and it might not be as prolonged as I feared it would be and I'll be bright eyed and bushy tailed on Saturday,a s the LeZotte Christmas festivities always begin on Christmas Eve! Got my shopping done, tree is up (and looks lovely!); now all I have to do is rest, kick my feet back and get better!

It's strange cos I've been feeling a certain melancholy this year as well, and, yesterday, Ann happened to turn to me and say 'I miss them this year. I didn't as much last year, but I do now. I really miss them.' Last year, my parents' deaths had still be so close and my father's had been, as cruel as it sounds, a relief. It still felt like they were there, you know? Now, this year, we're in our new place together and have basically severed the ties to them, there is a sense of sadness about it, as well as one of starting over. It's facing the fact that, this is it, this is the rest of our lives without them!

So, this is for them! My mother absolutely loved the holidays, so all of this cheer that I feel for the season, this is for her!

Peace, Ghani
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The funniest thing happened one of the first nights after we had moved in when Ann (my sister and roomie) was walking the dogs! You see, we're very private, protected from the lookie-loos... from the front of the house, at least. The back is this one long stretch of grass and at night with all the lights on, you can see directly into other people's den's from their porch and dining room windows. So, Ann rushes back and says to me, you know, something like, 'Oh my God, come quick! I wonder if it's still there!' and rushes me out the door. We walk to the end of our building and this dude on the end has a hardcore porno projecting onto the large dining room wall! You can see it, like, a mile away! I swear it was the funniest thing!!! Ann: "God, his cock is huge but it looks like it's four feet on that thing!" Bwahahahah!

The same people leave a doggie out on a lead during the day (I suppose while they're at work) and Ann has dubbed him the 'porn dog,' bwahahahahaha! She says she hopes he's not involved in any "extra-curicular activities!"

Okay, so a couple of nights later, my sister met Mr. Porn! Our dogs love his little doggy (Buster, we found out yesterday) who he keeps out on a lead during the day, and always run to his house to see if he's out there. Well, that night, Billy (that's Mr. Porn's name! LOL!) saw her, thought she was a stray and let her into his house! She was running around like mad with my sister running after her waving her arms! She ran all throughout his house, every room, while Ann explained to him what had happened!

He's really... eccentric... but not in a serial killer type of way or anything! Ann said he's like Christopher Eccleston as Doctor Who, with all of his manic energy (which he's taking Paxil for, he gladly shared with her; I think he needs to up his dosage! ;-)) She also said his house is really weird, with a bunch of couches, rugs and quite a few of those big exercise balls! Don't really want to know what he uses them for!

The strangest thing is -if you can qualify just one thing from the whole experience- we always make fun of the fact that there's never a guard at the gatehouse when we pass it and assumed that was there for show. BUT, the guard was actually hanging out with Billy last night; they had been in the hot tub together before going back to his place and finding May! Strange, strange things are happening, I tell ya! ;-)

And if that don't warm the cockles of yer heart for the holidays, I don't know what will! Ha!

Peace, Ghani
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So, here I stand at the end of my first holiday weekend in our new apartment. It's not the first year to celebrate a holiday without my parents (my dad was in hospital this time last year) but it is the first that I felt I've truly broken away from that life, which is both a good thing and extremely sad.

Though I'm happy we got out of that house, that horrid house that was supposed to have harbored so many good memories, which became a prison in the past couple of months. Halloween seems like it was ages away when it wasn't even a month ago, like it was a different life, which it actually was.

Everything was relatively quiet, my brother and sister-in-law went to her parents' for Thanksgiving, so it was just me and my sister (and the dogs, natch! ;-)) and I'd say it was a pretty ripping start to a new life! We even went out shopping on Black Friday and found a fake tree (had real ones all my life; I'm so spoiled. But in an apartment, this just seemed more practical. And it's Martha Stewart which we got for half off (!!!) because it was Black Friday, and it took about as long to put up as merely bringing a real one in would have!). Christmas shopping is done, decorations are up. I'd say that things are definitely looking up!

Peace, Ghani

Good omens

Nov. 10th, 2005 02:08 pm
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As we turned on the car this morning to truck it over to the closing for the house, Howard Jones' Things Can Only Get Better was playing, followed quickly by Rich Girl by Hall and Oates! Talk about good omens! Things went smoothly as they could (especially considering as our buyer, also out neighbor, was robbed last night). We were then informed by our bank that it would take SEVEN business for our huge check to go through which is not acceptable 'cause we needed it to put a deposit down on our apartment (waiting to hear if we're approved, cross fingers!), so we had to open an account at the bank across the street (for the better anyways 'cause we're not happy with our current bank). I guess nothing can go off without a hitch, right? ;-)

So, we've got our application in at the complex we want to live in (and if we're not approved we're kinda screwed 'cause everything else has fallen through!) and we're waiting to hear if we got it! I'm pretty confident! I'm just happy all of this is over!

My life is a soap opera! No, really! )

Peace, Ghani
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So the date is set for the closing: Thursday at 11 a.m., and of course I'm delighted as this is ending a give-or-take 6 month oddessy in which we tried to sell this old bucket. Just a couple of months ago, when we were living hand to mouth, worried about the future, the debts that my parents left us, our own lives, I would have given anything to unload this place. But leaving comes with a rather bittersweet sadness alongside the elation.

This was supposed to be the house my mom grew old in; it was a given, at least in our minds, that my father, who was so sick towards the end of his life, even before my mom passed on, would die before her and that she would be able to live a more relaxed life. She had such a difficult time looking after her aunt in our old house, she was soured to it and we moved here, the great new hope. I remember how comfortable I had been, making the space my own, how everything had looked up. But dad was ill, in mind and body, and my mom was sicker than we could have ever imagined and he just wore her down. About a month before she passed away, she actually said to him "You're killing me, you know that? You're going to kill me." When she was gone, he just gave up; I don't know whether he truly blamed us for it, as he told all of his friends, or if it was a defense mechanism on his behalf to negate any responsibility on his behalf, but his last months with us were not happy ones.

This house has felt more like a cage in the past few months, a place I couldn't wait to escape from. It wasn't our intention to sell it at first; my mom always wanted this to be my house and I did too. But the memories soured and as grieving, which I still feel so deeply in my heart, started to balance with truth, I realized, not just for financial reasons, we had to leave.

Things are looking up again and a new start is right on the horizon. I'm not bitter; I feel nothing but hope, like watching the sun rise. I'll miss the good times but it's time I put the bad ones behind.

Peace, Ghani
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Well, here I sit, watching the bizarre weather. While we're not (luckily!) going to be hit on by Wilma, we're under a Tropical Storm Watch and we're getting that strange kind of wind. The kind of wind that only blows with a big storm, that knocks down branches and causes aches in the house that never complain otherwise. It's also about 30 degrees cooler, making it a very nice fall day for a change. I'm wearing a sweatshirt, yay! Well, I'm still wearing sandles but, hey, that's Florida!

Other thoughts running around my brain are how underrated the fourth season of Alias was. Sure, it started out extremely weak but it really hit its stride for those who persisted watching it, and the episodes focusing on characters who have been relegated lately to the background, like Marshall, Sloan, were beautiful and devastating. Particularly astounding was the one about Jack, where Sidney finds out he's ill and finds herself recreating their living situation 20 years ago, playing the part of her mother. It was my sister who observed that it was particularly powerful cos, while cold, scary Jack is always fun and exciting, to realize he used to be a full, happy person was just heart rending. The fifth season, IMO, is shaping up to be the best since the second and the absence of Vaughn (though I don't think he's really dead) is opening things up quite a bit. I dunno if it was because of the situation with Jen Garner or what, but he was kind of becoming a scene killer. Yes, I'll have to live without Weiss, sigh, but Balthazar Getty's making up for my heart ache a bit (oh, how fickle I am!)!

Watched Land of the Dead the other day (unfortunately, video store only had full screen theatrical cut so that's what we got but I plan on trying to nab the other soon) and boy, was I reminded why Romero is the KING, the MASTAH! The make-up effects are AWESOME and to think he did it on so much smaller a budget than any avergae horror movie lately! The first time a firework went off, a "sky flower" and all the zombies stopped to look up at it, my sister had it nailed instantly: "That was strangely beautiful!" And the politic/social allegory that makes it uniquely Romero amongst zombie films is so well done! He makes the zombies scary and extremely sympathetic at the same time and Number Nine is now my most favoritest horror movie character! Go Number Nine! Big Daddy's pretty awesome too.

And, hm, but all of the quote that I've read so far about the Xbox 360 makes me wonder: Do we even need a next-gen yet? They fully admit graphics aren't advanced enough to justify it for better visuals, just what they can offer us in terms of service which really equals how much they can milk us for. I can't remember another time in video game history when the next-gen was forced upon us just because companies were getting greedier but then again, I am talking about Microsoft :-/

Peace, Ghani
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Hoo-LEE...

Okay, deep breath and where to start?! The opening scene -how fabulous was that?! We stared at the tv wondering who the Hell this person was -early guesses were Sawyer- and my sister guessed it about a half a second before the reveal, almost directly when I heard the explosion! Incredible! I could not have asked for a better opening scene.

I was not disappointed, not by what was in the hatch, not by the reveal; it was incredibly well done! I was expected a bit of a let down and I think that might have worked in my favor - what I like to call the Phantom Menace syndrome- so I was delighted to be sitting there in rapt attention as each turn unfolded.

What struck me perhaps the most was how much of a leap from the first season they took. Season One was fantastic, it was the genius ingenue teenager whereas the start of the second season felt like the adult, fully matured in direction and writing. I was reminded of the leap in quality from fantastic to superb that Alias took from its first to second season!

The flashbacks were really well done (how about Foxy's wig, huh? Bwahahaha!) and Desmond came across so strongly in his 'Tour de Stade' scene with Jack, he had me wondering aloud whether he'd become a regular in the flashbacks. Ha! Little did I know! What a welcome addition he is to the cast and, I'm sorry cos he might turn out to be evil, but that actor is super, grade-A uber-hawt (what is it about LOST and its jaw-droppingly good looking men?!)!

My complaint? It was too fraking short! I wanted another hour and I must admit being such a die-hard fan od Shaun Cassidy's television projects, I was not all that impressed with Invasion, alas!

So, did Desmond cause the miracle with Sara?! We know he was on a world tour marathon and must have somehow been brought to the island like the others, but is he one of the 'Others'? Who was he communicating with via computer at the beginning of the episode? Where did he get all that fresh food? What's the quarantine? I really admired Kate's courage in standing up to Jack to tell him she was going down into the hatch and the ballsyness of going and doing it! Where is she now? We only saw Locke. And Shannon and Walt, how freaking and fascinating was that?

From the very first episode, this is shaping up to be a bangers season! So cheers to Damon, J.J. and co.; you guys rock!

Peace, Ghani
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Great show, fantastic f/x and it sheds that touchy/feely Sixth Sense crap about helping the poor, evil spirits. Dean's set up in his car is one of the most wicked things I've seen in a while and the whole thing with him, at least, reminded me of early Buffy. And then there's Jared Padalecki. Not a fan. He plays boring and annoying too well. Which actually leads me to the main point of this post: Why the heck have heroes gotten so damned boring?!

Where and when did the idea come from in Hollywood that viewers, especially of fantasy and/or sci-fi, want to be the ordinary (read: boring, nagging, whinging etc.) one who doesn't want anything to do with the crazy doings around them? Right because I can escape my life enough without having a main character who whines that he's gonna miss his law school interview because he's out doing cool things, busting kick-ass ghosts, etc. Yeah, I can really identify with that. And that is SO sarcasm!

In creating Luke Skywalker, Lucas reinvented the reluctant hero, living in their backwaters part of the world, cautious to leave behind what they've always known and the people they love but ultimately accepting their destiny with grace, poise and dignity. Apparently, Hollywood has deemed this too old fashioned and created the new hero for us: the unlikable wretch. Han Solo has gained much more prestige as a hero mainly because of his anti-hero stance which seems odd because he himself steps up to it and becomes a hero beyond what he ever thought of himself capable of. Which leads me into...

Dune began a change with Dune Messiah and Children of Dune dealing with the fallout of becoming the uber-messiah but also introduced us to a hero who was more than his father could ever be, who could accept his fate with the strength his father never showed. Leto II became more than himself because he let himself be. This is postive; so when did we start going backwards?

Fast forward to 1997 to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a new hero for a new generation. Though she accepted her destiny with more reluctance than Luke, she still realized what it entailed and was surrounded by friends like Willow and Xander whose own lives were so uninteresting that they, like the viewer, were instantly sucked into that world. But Buffy itself changed as the years went on, to the point when the producers no longer understood that viewers were identifying with her because, although there were some major downsides to the whole chosen one thing, she was special. She was an ordinary girl who found she was extraordinary, one in a million. The same phenomenon is what keeps the Harry Potter gravy train rolling so why don't more producers understand that it's that factor that makes it appealing?

And here comes the new series of Doctor Who where Russell T Davies seems utterly convinced that there is no way we can identify with the Doctor save for an ordinary, modern day Earth girl, Rose, who has family and pouts a lot. The Doctor, an extraordinary character that boys all over the world wanted for years to emulate because he was special, he was unbelievable, wild, cool, has been sidelined, the neat-o companion watered down to what the production team deems the most identifiable personality. I like Rose a lot but she borders on Professional Mary Sue and I can only hope, when it's time for a change, that Mr. Davies realizes it's really time for a change.

So, my question to you is: would you rather, in a fantasy world, be the guy with the cool car, the weapons, the fake badges and credit cards who chases after ghosts or his dullard brother (who strangely seems to ignore the fact that his mother was stuck to the ceiling, cut in half and burning) that just wants to get on with his life going to law school and being completely, well, ordinary? The latter lacks the wit of a Han Solo or the conviction of a Leto II or even the pain of a Buffy. Why, Hollywood, why?!

Peace, Ghani
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There those small things, the things that stay with you long after you even remember which episode they were in. That's hop shows get to you. Oh, you'll remember the big moments without a doubt but it's those small ones that make you realize, this is something special, be they funny or moving or ambiguous. This is my list. Contains very mild Season 1 spoilers (that means you, [livejournal.com profile] may_child, hehe! EDIT: Oop, you just finished, so you're cleared, hehe ;-)):

- Hurley meets the Frenchwoman Numbers

- Two sides to every story: Jin's bloodied hands House of the Rising Sun and ... In Translation

- Sawyer tells Jack about his father Exodus

- Imaginary Peanut Butter Confidence Man

- Shannon translates Rousseau's notes, sings La Mer Whatever the Case May Be

- Hurley's discman's batteries die in the middle of a moving montage set to Damien Rice's "Delicate" ...In Translation

- Locke's story about his sister's death and the yellow lab Outlaws

- Sayid assigned to torture Nadia (no one calls her Noor) Solitary

- Charlie obsesses over Claire's diary Special

- The reveal of the Black Rock. Perhaps one of the single most shocking, spectacular and marvelously magical moments in tv history! Exodus

Special mention for best Locke nickname has to go to Michael for "Mount Baldy" with Charlie's "Old Geezer with his 400 Knives" placing second! Hee!

Best LOST moment never seen on screen: Claire's airport flashback from Exodus with Greg Grunberg reprising his cameo as the pilot from, well, the Pilot! (I'm such a Weiss (Alias) ho! ;-))

Peace, Ghani

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