Monday, June 30, 2008

'Wall-e' Review

This movie is absolutely adorable! Disney and Pixar did a wonderful job together yet again. All of the classic elements are here: lonely, orphaned main character, surprise villain, redeeming support character and a moral to top it off!

Wall-e is by far the cutest trash-compactor I have ever seen. His character development is remarkable. From the beginning you are introduced to an obviously driven little robot that does his job as expected. Then we discover his quirk: a sense of curiosity and even a level of sentience. We see not just a robot’s random findings but a collection of sentimental pieces. Even his love and care of the cockroach shows us this very human side. Even better, through the movie he is still evolving and learning from his adventures aboard the Axiom.

With EVE we see an emotionally torn probe robot who is cold and heartless on the outside but sweet and curious also on the inside. Her development and realization of feelings by the end of the movie are quite close to human. I know I fell in love with her trigger-happy free-spirit. Among the myriad of other robots, two contend for the spot of my favorite robot. Hal, I mean, Auto, runs a decent second for his reference to Hal of 2001: A Space Odyssey. His machine logic and single-mindedness mixed with a bit of sentience make Auto a powerful steering-wheel to be reckoned with. Now the winner of my favorite robot: Mo! That little thing is so absolutely adorable! His single-minded OCD and change of heart made me smile. “Mo.”

The satirical portrayal of human society is quite shocking, coming from a Disney movie. I know that was a part of the moral, but it was much too deep for a children’s movie. This portrayal, while amusing, really amazed me at the direction Disney is going with its allusions to real life. This outlook, though fictional, is very harsh. I would definitely need to question the writers and directors on their decision to include this portrayal. Surely there are better ways to show the humans’ dependency on robots without insulting us. At the same time though, they did a helluva job on the portrayal. It was completely believable, within bounds of course. I found it just as eye opening when Mary first realizes there’s life beyond the hover-chair.

So overall, I would not rave over Wall-e. However, the individual elements came together to create a movie that, as a whole, is worth seeing. Go out and see it! Wall-e is a wonderful addition to a Pixar fan’s collection.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Why Dating the “Good Guy” is a “Good Idea”

Okay, so you may not melt when he holds the door open. And you won’t feel the hot, dirty wind in your hair sitting in his cool air conditioned sedan. That sense of security just isn’t all that scintillating. Wake up the ladies! Security is sweeter than you think.

Admittedly when I say security I think Desperate Housewives, good money and nice cars. While this is a reality for some, security can be as simple as a steady minimum wage job, rundown apartment and beat-up jalopy. It’s possible either way. Security is whatever you wish for it to be, really.

“Good guys” may usually not have the fresh out of bed look, but they look damn good all clean cut. A shave, a swipe with the comb and a splash of cologne honestly get me more work up than a month’s beard and body odor. Tailored suits or graphic tees are pretty darn sexy. It’s all about appearances in this country and “good guys” have what it takes.

The greatest part about “good guys” when you start dating, especially, is that they cause less mom – nagging. Your mother will always like a man who brings home the bacon over one who doesn’t. And the lack of nagging and “I told you so’s” is worth its weight in “good guy.”

Even if you’re an older woman on the dating scene, “good guys” can still mean less nagging but also more maturity. Having responsibilities greatly matures a man, if he is responsible for them. There’s your catch! Though he has the responsibilities at hand, he may not have the maturity to deal with them. Hence therefore, disaster! Find a “good guy” if you’re ready to start thinking about settling down for the long haul, with or without baggage.

So let’s recap why dating “good guys” is a “good idea.” 1) security 2) well kept/good appearance and hygiene 3) mom – friendly 4) marriage material. Those sound like a winning combo to me! All of this talk definitely comes from experience. As mentioned in the “bad boy” post, I have dated a few guys who my mom either did not or would not have approved of. Now, however, I seem to have found that magic diamond in the rough “good guy.” Let me tell you, the difference is amazing and very much worth it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why Dating the “Bad Boy” is a “Bad Idea”

Admit it girls, James Bond gets your panties in a tizzy. That biker dude had you all wound up. Even that marine has you wishing for more. Why? Because we are idiots. That’s right, boys, we’re the idiots this time.

You can’t entirely blame us, though. This little thing called a maternal instinct kicks in when we see you. Outside you’re a rough and tough, hard-as-nails man’s man. Women, though, see that cute little kid that’s crying out for a bit of love and attention. Which is true? Don’t ask me!

That instinct aside, we do it for the rush, the feel of the wind in our hair, the fear of departure, the rough sex. It’s all about the adrenaline rush. You guys love it; so do we. It’s a basic human need for some, for others it’s just a fix.

However, when you combine the maternal instinct and the adrenaline rush, you get a whole new ballgame. It’s like getting a fix every time you brush the crumbs off his shirt. Not healthy! I would say this is a extreme condition, rather uncommon. At the same time, though, I think most women would go through a similar phase. I know I did! It was a rush to make sure my “bad boy” didn’t look a mess. Or that my wild-child brushed his hair. I am proud to say that we few are special, albeit insane.

Ladies, if you’re still wondering why it’s such a big deal, wake up! Your mother told you he’s impossible to change and she’s right! No matter how much you may try or wish it, your “bad boy” will just not change. Trust me! You + guy +change = never! Try changing yourself and see how fun that is.

However, there is a catch for the smart and manipulative woman. “Bad boys” won’t ever change for someone else, just themselves. If you’re good enough, you can “manipulate” your “bad boy” to actually want to change. Need a hint, read “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus;” it’s pure gold. But there’s always a catch to a catch! Especially with “bad boys,” don’t get caught! This can ruin not only your hard work but also your relationship.

Of course, you could just be happy with him as he is. “Bad boys” are unique and wonderful as they are without changes. And if you just can’t be content with him, get out of the relationship. Being unhappy yourself and causing him unhappiness is unfair to the both of you. So if you can’t be happy or neither of you will change, do yourselves a favor and end it. You don’t have to lose him, though. “Bad boys” make the best of friends and will always look out for you if you’re on good terms with them.

So let’s recap why dating the “bad boy” is a “bad idea.” 1) it turns women into idiots, 2) it’s stupid if you’re stupid about it, 3) doesn’t work if you intend to change him but can’t adapt yourself, 4) just a plain bad idea if you get into the relationship for any other reason than love. But if you think you can truly be happy with your “bad boy,” then be so! Happiness comes in many shapes, forms and attitudes.

Now go out and hug your favorite “bad boy!”

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My First Post: What's in a Name?

Let me start with names. In our culture, a name is a very important thing. It tells us the difference between my dog and yours. Who your ancestors are and where they came from. A name is who you are. Without a name, how do you introduce yourself? Or discipline a child? Or be recognized in the world around you?

So if a name is so important, why do some people have to complicate it so much? It confuses me greatly. Working in a law firm, I come across a lot of names. Today, I was absolutely taken aback by the names involved in this one case. I’ll warn you before starting: this may sound borderline racist. If you are offended by racist sounding material, please stop reading else I throw you an “I told you so.”

Obviously I can’t discuss this case or share any of the names. I can tell you, however, that the names are obviously African-American. Offended already? Well, get used to the stereotype cause you made it. I cringed while reading over these names, young and old, male and female. I just have one unanswerable question: why? Why do you feel compelled to add an apostrophe and a prefix? Why do you insist on spelling a name with the opposite letters? For instance, why is Kristal better than Crystal? Or D’Shawn over Shawn? In your fight to make unique names, you’re conforming to a standard of production. And it’s just plain butchering the English language. Have you ever stopped to think what these unique names portray to other people? To some it may make you seem ignorant and illiterate that you don’t know how to spell a simple name. If you’re not one who cares, then kudos to you. Your effort for something new has caused you to literally rearrange names for your own personal satisfaction that you child will have a unique name.

Have you really thought about your child, though? Do you really expect your child to do well in school with a name like Le’Shaniquakana Jones if she can’t even spell her own name? That is embarrassing for the child, frustrating for the teacher and one more question of your sanity. Want to mark your child as unique? Try something like ‘Aria’ for a beautiful solo sung by the lead female vocalist. Or ‘Adagio’ for a tempo indicating the music should be played slowly. See, there are plenty enough unusual names you can find just by opening a dictionary, not throwing a bunch of letters and an apostrophe into something. Try something with a bit more meaning behind it.

Once again, why? Is this some kind of rebellion from cultural normalcy? Another way to mark your difference? Too good for the names of the rest of us? If it’s a way of respecting your roots, I might understand. Parents name their kids after grandparents or throw in that family name all the time. Me personally, I, and several thousand others, was named after the main character of a 1984 novel-turned-tv mini-series. I’m just as proud of my name, even after sharing it with many others through my school years. I’m sure your kids will enjoy standing out in a crowd of names.

I have done some research on this and have to admit that all African-American names are not necessarily completely made up and meaningless. Ebony, Chantal, Jamal are very nice names with nice meanings. Darshelle, Kaniqua, Diquan are all without an apparent meaning. While it may sound nice, think about the effect it’ll have on your child. “Mom, is there a meaning to my name?” “No, son, I just liked the way it sounded.” Way to make you child feel special. So, please, do a little bit of research before you go off picking names out of a home shopping catalogue.

Now, after all of this, I must say I respect your right to name your kid Pájàmas for all I care. I just ask that you raise your kid with the same faith in their name as you have in it. There’s “nothing worse” than a child hating their own ultra unique name.

There we go, I told you so.


Testing Testing!

Welcome to my new blog! My goal is to rant about things that I can think of throughout my day. Most often these thoughts will range in the common sense zone, or the lack there of. I also offer relationship advice and any other advice I think to share :)

Here goes!