Thursday, July 26, 2007

Simspon's Trivia (Summer Blockbuster Special Edition)

Apparently the first version of this was too hard. Frankly I think that this version is plainly obvious to any football fan:
Two teams played for the Super Bowl in January 1992. If ______________ had won, Lisa would no longer have loved Homer.

BONUS: In the episode "Itchy and Scratchy: The Movie", what does Homer consider to be "The 3 Rs"?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Post #300

Ladies and gentlemen: I have a plan.

I have just been informed THIS moment that I have been accepted into Humber College's Post Graduate certification program in Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language. It is a one year program that involves a full-time course schedule and a placement. At the end of it I will be certified to teach English abroad and in EAP/ESL classrooms in Canada. This will go a long way to helping me achieve my long term plans (traveling and working in Theatre and with people doing Drama). One of our early placements is leading a workshop style course in Humber's EAP program doing an activity (such as Drama) to encourage conversational English use. I am very excited to have this opportunity, Humber's program appears to be an excellent one.
Also, being in Toronto will allow me to keep a foot or two in the Theatre world. I am hoping to take courses with Second City while there and stay involved with amateur Theatre in the city. Then in a year I will either be very well prepared to do some traveling as an English teacher and get some money together to take a studio acting program (Atlantic Theatre Co./CSSD in London) or to work as an ESL/EAP teacher on contract as a part time job while acting. Beats the hell out of retail.

That's all for now, I will keep everyone up to date though!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Books of Liz

This has turned into a long unfocussed rant. Enjoy :)

I missed leisure reading in University. It is nice to have it back in my life. I think it might be making me sane again.

He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt.

Last summer I read Catch 22 for the first time, though it had been sitting on my "to read" list for some time. Within a chapter I was wondering where it had been all my life. Questions of war, death and human sanity vs insanity treated with dark humour and irreverrance (without the preachy morality of M*A*S*H*... book, movie or TV show included), it's about the only way I can deal with those issues. Sometimes I think that's why the Daily Show is so popular. Sometimes all you can do with something that horrific is laugh at it.

Have you ever wondered how you would go about teaching an elephant yoga?

Last December I read Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, by Christopher Moore. Of all the books I've read concerning religion and spirituality, curiously this strange fictional tale of a crude ultra-modern best friend to "Joshua" throughout his life's journey as the Messiah is the first one to make me actually want to be Christian. Not because I suddenly believe that there was a real "Biff" or that Jesus Christ learned Judo (seriously read the book), but because it's the essence of a story that penetrates the human consciousness, not its literal interpretation of what went on. Maybe Jesus wasn't a fun guy who got drunk off of the water he turned into wine and then declared that he loved bunnies (seriously read the book), but the idea of his kind heart and wisdom is what draws us to this story. His character is a hero, one who it doesn't do us any hurt to try to be like. I kind of wish we could just simply regard him as that, rather than fighting each other over whether believing every word he and the bible said is the only way to get into heaven.

There shall not be among you a witch

Which brings me very nicely to my most recent, ahem, literary endevour. Five years ago I picked up Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for one reason, and one reason alone: To piss of the neo-conservative Christians in my school. I worked with one who told me I was right on my way to hell for reading about evil Pagan witchcraft. I told him that if it weren't for the medieval Pagans we wouldn't have many of the celebrations and feasts in our Christian tradition, including Christmas. This did not go over well.
Harry Potter and Christ. Well that's an essay in and of itself isn't it ;)

As we approach, what will be for myself and many other geeks, a sleepless Saturday morning reading I will talk briefly about my newest venture in nerdom.
Harry Potter joins Star Wars and Final Fantasy VI in my long list of REALLY uncool things I have tendency to obsess over on and off. I've recently decided that this is healthy for me, as I quite need a strong fantasy world apart from reality to keep me sane. And who doesn't love a battle of good vs evil? What I love about my particular choices is that all three series have an important message about good and evil. We all have both parts in us. We all have the potential to be good and evil, and it is our choices that define us.
I feel like we live in a culture that is increasingly inclined to either strict Locke or Hobbes philosophy, with little thought given to personal choice and responsibility. John Locke says that we are born carte blanche, and that it is society that corrupts man and turns him evil. Hobbes on the other hand believes that man is born evil and society is necissary to keep man from devolving into "continual fear and danger of violent death and the life of man: solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short".

I believe that we are born with both parts in us, and that our personal choices and actions reflect the good or evil in our person. People are not altogether good or bad they're just people.
For too long I played the optimist believing that if people were just educated enough or saw the world through other's eyes or opened their hearts they would ultimately do the right thing. It was quite damaging in the wake of 9/11 to keep trying to convince myself of this spiritually or morally. I simply saw too much evidence to contradict it.
I have spent the last few years wallowing in "I hate humanity" land. It's an easy place to be. If you think people suck, they don't usually disappoint you. It's easier to be angry at someone for being a jerk and just write them off as idiotic, than to try to see the good inside of them. It's a lot easier to find the bad than it is the good.
Finally, though, I think that I am coming to understand that people have the capacity for both and that this is a good thing.

"It is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so"

If there's one thing that I have never 'bought into' in Shakespeare's plays it's "Fate", the idea that some greater destiny is controlling the play and that people are absolved of their wrong doings because they were simply succumbing to their destinies (and all that we are evil in by a devine thrusting on :p).
The beautiful parallels that Rowling draws between Harry and Voldimorte to MacBeth are probably the strongest part of her writing (as far as an adult audience is concerned). If Voldimorte had not tried to kill Harry would the prophecy still have come true? Could MacBeth just have gone on home and ignored the witches and told his wife to take it easy? And when those events take place can the characters be held accountable for their actions, since it was indeed destiny? Well you know what I think by now :)

So do I think Harry willl die? Will he have to sacrifice himself to save the world from evil, as is told by the prophets... cies... ahem. Or does his Mother's death sheild him from harm as though he were not from woman born... cough ahem... don't mind that. Though I must ask... should we start calling Macbeth "He who shall not be named" in the theatre. :p

I'm done I promise.

I don't think he's a Horocrux, though I'm not quite sure about that scar itself.
If I'm worried about any characters dying it's Order of the Pheonix members (Lupin, Hagrid and the Weasleys especially). I see one of the Weasleys going, and Percy realizing that he's acting like a jerk, but being too late. If it's any of the kids, I worry about Luna, I quite like her, but I think it makes a lot of sense with her role in the series.
I feel that forgiveness will play a big role in the final battles. Both Snape, and even Voldimorte. Harry will have to play to his strengths, and Avada Kedaver isn't one of them.

So that said, I will not write about Deathly Hallows when I am done the book. Mostly because a number of you won't have even woken up to go down to the store and buy it by then. I promise I'll wait.


If anyone endured reading that, you probably know a little bit more about me than you may have, and hopefully appreciate that some of my geekdom is not simply for geekiness sake.

I leave you with a final thought that loosely ties it all together.

"Joe Bowers: There was a time when reading wasn't just for 'fags'. And neither was writing. People wrote books and movies. Movies with stories, that made you care about whose ass it was and why it was farting. And I believe that time can come again!" -Idiocracy

Friday, July 13, 2007

Brain Spotting

(Also known as "Brain Zaps" or my favourite: "Electric Brain Sensation", which let's face it would be an EXCELLENT band name.)

Lyrics from Legal Pharmaceutical Withdrawal land:

I wish that I was born a thousand years ago
I wish that I'd sailed the darkened seas
On a great big clipper ship
Going from this land here to that
On a sailor's suit and cap

Away from the big city
Where a man cannot be free
Of all the evils of this town
And of himself and those around
Oh, and I guess that I just don't know

I've tried to type a story to this like 8 times, but each one comes out sounding self pitying and/or needlessly angsty and bitter. Let me just explain that: No I am not recovering from a heroine addiction, but I think I might have some fraction of an idea what that's like at the present, as my brain seems to have formed a rather unhealthy chemical dependency on a particular drug that I no longer wish to take.

Yes, let's leave it at that until my head clears.


Seriously, that was the least geeky looking picture I could find to do a rip-off. Ewan must think I'm so uncool.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Oh, dear God. Can't this town go one day without a riot?"

I wish I could isolate the video for my blog... and edit the rest out. This is a link to the Spingfield USA challenge to be the "home" of the Simpson's movie premiere. Vermont won (all of the videos were pretty uninspired), but I am really sending you to view the video for Springfield, Massachusettets . It might seen pretty corny and odd at the beginning, but please hang on until near the end. It will be worth it. Trust me.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I feel that I have accomplished something here today.

For those who read my previous post, Ticketmaster has changed the picture. It is now in fact of Matt Good (they had a picture up of The Dave Matthews Band with a caption "Order Matthew Good tickets" and the picture linked to the Matt Good tour schedule). I can only conclude that Ticketmaster saw my post and realized their mistake was only making my thousands of readers (who are also fans of both bands and appreciate the irony, having read "At Last There is Nothing Left to Say") laugh at them. Mission Accomplished.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Cute as a bug's ear

There's a very funny new game at the Simpson's Movie site. You can create your own Simpson's "avatar" (just wanted to make it clear, their word not mine). I went right ahead and created a whole darn army!

Hope no one's offended, but they don't give you a lot of flexibility to create realistic portraits... did my best anyways.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

40 Flicks

I'm actually kind of proud of that pun.

I have rearranged this SEVERAL times. In fact it will probably be rearranged again by the time I finish writing this.

Liz's Top 40 Movies of All Time

And what does my taste in movies say about me?

I'm not sure that I would take this as "Liz would rather watch Casablanca than Office Space" or "Liz thinks that the South Park movie was more artistically brilliant than Citizen Kane".... the thing is.... it's a balance. I went through my favourite movies and thought about which movies, for me, were the most enjoyable and at the same time had a quality that I feel has given them a special place in the film world. For instance I do not think that Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail is the all time greatest movie. I would probably have to go Casablance there :P But I like it the most. Big Fish is one that I put high on my list. Probably not history's GREATEST piece of film-making, but I think that there are 45 minutes in there that are pretty darn fantastic. And yes. Ewan is hot.

I'm posting this, and while I expect a tidal wave of "Are you serious?" I guess I'm over it, and it's time to stop justifying my picks. I'm no film buff, I just enjoy a well made, entertaining film. There are lots I wish I could stick on there that I couldn't, but I am proud that I managed to avoid doing something like sticking "A Clockwork Orange" or "Resevoire Dogs" on there "just because". I have always felt that it was important to maintain a level of snobbishness about movies. While I think it is important to stay open-minded enough about films to at least give them a try, I will never pretend to like something I can't stand. That, to me, is more pretentious than refusing to watch any more Michael Bay movies on moral grounds.