Wednesday, June 27, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance week 3

This week is hard. Unfortunately I missed Sara and Jesus, so I don't know how they did and can not comment. :( But I will vote for them because I love them and they were doing hip hop which Sara is obviously going to be fantastic, and it looked good on the recap clip.

Here comes the critique (thumbs up means I'm going to vote for them, thumbs down: not):

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Ohh la la Pasha. I love latin dancers, oh that hip action. *wipes drool off of chin* That was one hot cha cha. mmmm mmmm mmmm baby baby. He of course NAILED IT. That is what cha cha should look like. As Mary would say, he was on the hot tamale train. If he's in the bottom three I will LOSE it. Seriously. I'd have to get trampled by wild horses not to vote for him. You should too. (side note: I'll be sad if Jessi has to leave because of illness, her and Pasha work so well together, even though I HATED her audition)

Cedric and Shauna:
Shauna was amazing and fluid. Great lines, beautiful movement. I loved watching her, she was amazing on that stage; she danced with so much passion and skill. Cedric was awkward and stiff (big surprise there). They both had great characterisation and performed their roles wonderfully, even if Cedric looked awful while he was dancing. I think because Mia likes Cedric so much she coereographed the piece to keep him from having to dance too much, which upset me because after 3 bad performances he should go. Thumbs down, and I definitely believe Shauna will pull through.

Lacey and Kameron:
Obviously Lacey is somewhat more comfortable in a ballroom type dance. She of course had great footwork and a great frame. Kameron needs to work on his frame. He did well, but you could see his right arm sagging and Lacey holding her arm above his in a proper frame. His arm should look like it's supporting hers (even though a follow is only touching her arm ever so slightly on his....it just looks like he's supporting her.) Frame is the cornerstone of good ballroom dancing, but it is more important when you are not doing a routine you practiced. Thumbs up.

Anya and Danny:
Again they performed fabulously. I agree with the judges that they are indeed the dream couple on the show right now. I know Lacey and Kameron may be the most popular, but they have performed the absolute best out of all the dancers in all their routines. Anya did amazing for a ballroom dancer. SHe may not have hit every break with the right strength (hard v. soft), but regardless she still did very well. I absolutely adored the ending of their piece. I have nothing written down for Danny, strangely enough, but he did perform well. Thumbs up.

Sabra and Dominic:
I wanted more passion. They partner well together, but for me they lacked the passion neccesary in a Rumba. Dominic had some great leadership skills. They had great lines and Sabra had great footwork. Good turnout, perfect placement. But for me half of what makes a Latin dance great is the passion of it. That's what's at the heart of Latin dances: passion. 50/50

Lauren and Neil:
Another Latin dance that was lacking passion. Tango is best known for its intense passion. Along with the passion, the sexiness and the partnering were also missing. They looked and felt awkward together. While they were dancing on their own they moved well, yet together they faltered. I wholeheartedly agree with Mary that they were too high on the floor; they needed to dance into the floor-it's a highly grounded dance. Thumbs down.

Jaimie and Hok:
Good lord did they look great! They showed incredible control in their movements, just look at Jaimie's first movements. Their lines were impeccable. I was blown away by Hok's performance (Jaimie was also phenomenal, but she's been doing better then Hok in the dances). They played well against each other-really stepped up their partnering skills. I didn't think they had it in them to be honest, esp after last week. I am so proud of Hok, his performance blew me away. I hope America votes for him even though they probably don't understand the routine. Thumbs waaaaaaay up.

I'll update this tommorrow after the results show with notes on the solos and what I think of the bottom 3 and the cuts.

Edit: Results Show

Again, I would like to point out that America is stupid. Cedric and Shauna did not have to dance for their lives, but Anya and Danny did. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Were they watching the same show I was?

I agree with the judges that the women's solos left much to be desired. I know that they can do better; it was sad. The two who got eliminated were Jesus and Jessi. I'll be sad to see Jessi go, because her and Pasha danced so well together. It will be interesting to see Pasha dancing with Sara. I hope they do well together, and I'm sad that we have to wait two weeks until the next episode.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Shiny

You scored as Serenity (Firefly), You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Serenity (Firefly)

100%

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)

100%

Heart of Gold (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

88%

Moya (Farscape)

81%

Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)

75%

Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)

69%

Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)

69%

Enterprise D (Star Trek)

63%

SG-1 (Stargate)

56%

Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)

50%

FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)

50%

Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)

50%

Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)

50%

Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in with? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com

Monday, June 25, 2007

Watch out kiddies

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating



Because of this:
zombie (21x)
death (10x)
dead (8x)
porn (6x)
hell (4x)
sex (3x)
ass (2x)
fuckity (1x)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

'Whiny' Feminists and comics

SO over at Girl-Wonder.org someone posted this (there's been a lot going on lately in the comic book world, including the Heroes for Hentai cover that rightly pissed off a lot of people. If you don't know what Hentai is, there's a description in the article, I wish I didn't know, but they left off the whole part about it being tentacle porn.)

The Heroes for Hentai (it's actually Heroes for Hire) cover looks like this:


and the one we're 'overreacting' to is this one:


My comments after the article:

Certainly everyone seems to be spoiling now for a fight. A few weeks ago it was Marvel's suggestive HEROES FOR HIRE cover, which was worth taking them to task for, since it was representative of widespread and growing trends in the general American comics market. (I weighed in on the matter for Publisher's Weekly, in the context of the trend.)

But Zombie Mary Jane?

Okay, citing a comic allegedly starring "strong women" for a cover that portrays them as held in bondage and apparently sexually exhausted while a swarm of evil eyes watches lasciviously - even if Marvel's staff is totally ignorant of the clich├ęs of hentai (a cartoon subset of Japanese porn obsessed with the domination and sexual torture until the female victims are overcome with sexual pleasure and eagerly submit to their master's advances, albeit with modest initial resistance) it's hard not to see it as highly suggestive unless you're doing it willingly - but citing a zombie cover for not being tasteful?!

What planet are you people living on?

Now repeat after me: zombies are an inherently tasteless concept. At least since George Romero sunk his fangs into them in 1968 with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, where they became not just occasional bodies resurrected by voodoo (what one publisher told me was "old school" zombies) but shambling, implacable flesh-eating machines that all the dead become until the world itself is overwhelmed by the hungry, mindless dead, zombies are the total antithesis of tasteful. I'm not a fan of zombies and can't imagine writing a zombie book, because from my perspective they're boring; despite the multitude of zombie books on the stands today, there isn't one that has taken the concept any further than Romero has or done anything new with it, and even the decently done ones, like Warren Ellis' BLACKGAS at Avatar or Robert Kirkman's THE WALKING DEAD at Image, are mainly interesting when they're not focusing on zombies, and even they didn't manage to go anywhere Romero didn't. Creatively, it's a - sorry - dead genre, and probably has been since John Skipp and Craig Spector produced their BOOK OF THE DEAD prose anthologies in the late '80s.

Commercially, though, there's no doubt it's thriving, and it's obvious Marvel's entries into the sweepstakes - essentially dark comedy zombie versions of their famous superheroes, which about the depth of creativity to which the genre's likely to aspire so give them some props for hitting the zenith of a pretty shallow field - are doing well commercially. They're cashing in while the cashing's good. What would you expect them to do?

I've read a lot of complaints about the Mary Jane Watson-Parker zombie cover, how it exploits women, links death and sexuality, savages a character for a throwaway gag that Marvel's been marketing to children via various series, etc., and while the HEROES FOR HIRE cover definitely embodied issues that Marvel and other companies would be wise to pay attention to, the hysteria around this approaches Parents Television Council-level nuttiness. A couple points:

1) The "linking death and sexuality" thing. Grow up. Death and sexuality have always ridden tandem in western culture, and you don't have to take my word for it: Georges Bataille has written whole books on the subject (including, as it happens, one called DEATH AND SENSUALITY, which sits on my bookshelf). The whole modern zombie phenomenon ties in psychologically to a fear of both sex and death, and if the Mary Jane cover taps into that, it's the fault of the genre, not the image.

2) The cover isn't sexy. The Mary Jane figure on the cover isn't sexy. She's cute, except for missing a nose and part of her face, and having a gaping hole where half her bowels ought to be... but that's hardly the same thing. As opposed to say, the much condemned Mary Jane statue on sale a few weeks ago, there's nothing in her stance that suggests "sexy pose." No hint of cheesecake or nudity. In fact, except being dead she's presented as exactly the same bubbly personality she has always been, but aside from being a woman there's nothing particularly sexual about her. There's no need to break out the burkas over it.

3) It's Mary Jane Parker - but so what? "The girl next door" as zombie is a staple of the zombie genre, and it carries no moral significance but this: regardless of one's pronounced take on morality, once one becomes a zombie one behaves like a zombie. Sure, she's the sole figure on the cover, but Marvel has done the same with virtually all its top characters by now. No one can claim the company's singling her out for special treatment.

4) Boom! Studios did effectively the same thing on the cover of their first ZOMBIE TALES, with an even more iconic figure, Paris Hilton. The book was pretty popular. No outcry. Of course, Marvel gets much more exposure than Boom!, but, again, while there's something to be said for Marvel thinking about the types of images of women it puts on its covers, given that it is pretty much marketing it all as a "one size fits all" publisher, that's not an argument for no images of women on Marvel covers, and, as with most comics covers, a cover with no jeopardy or twist isn't likely to attract anyone's attention - and the whole point of publishing comics is to attract attention.

Like it or not, a comic featuring Mary Jane Watson-Parker as a zombie is likely to have a picture of Mary Jane Watson-Parker as zombie on the cover. The difference between that and the HEROES FOR HIRE cover is this: if Marvel were publishing HEROES FOR HIRE as a hentai book, their cover would be appropriate. They weren't. Marvel is publishing the Mary Jane story as a zombie book, no question. Is it appropriate to feature Mary Jane as zombie? Sorry, that's a matter of personal taste; if you don't like zombie stories, you don't have to read them. If you like zombie stories, you know what you're getting.

As near as I can tell, this issue cropped up because somebody figured Marvel was on the ropes so we should keep at them, but, c'mon guys. Learn to choose your shots. This is one thing pro wrestling has never quite learned: if you treat everything as being equally serious, your audience will stop taking any of it seriously. If you want Marvel to take complaints seriously, you can't start complaining about even innocuous things. And if you can't tell the difference between serious and innocuous issues, if you're not willing to critique things in their context, the problem is yours, not Marvel's. Why shouldn't Marvel produce zombie comics? The zombie seems to be the dominant metaphor for our current culture, equally representative of mass market culture and a pervading fear of an apocalyptic future that's been a consistently growing, if cancerous, part of the national psyche since at least the Nixon years. It's just the zeitgeist, baby, and zombies, even a Mary Jane zombie, are just a symptom.


1) Linking death and sexuality is common place so stop yer whining.

See it happens everywhere, so we shouldn't get upset about it, because people like it! But death and sexuality only seems to be linked when it comes to women. The whole horror movie industry is built on sexually exciting the teenage boys in the audience as the woman gets chased and killed. (For more on this see Jackson Katz's Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity.) Let's not even delve into the relationship of sex and death in porn in the interest of brevity. It's all over TV with the stream of abused, battered, and dead beautiful women shows. Death is only sexy in our popular culture when it applies to women. I can't understand why anyone (i.e. men) would get upset by this!

2)It's not sexy

Except the fact that everything on her torso is rotting except her extremely perky breasts, and the whole lads mag type body language and face. It doesn't look like high school Mary Jane, it looks like some model from the pages of GQ or Nuts. Not very in character for the cover that Marvel is spoofing.
Original cover here:

Not really the best for a drawing of a high school girl, but she also doesn't have the whole 'come hither' look or lads mag facial features.

3) Blah blah blah...girl next door is so cliche, forget that it's spoofing this exact character.

We're doing it to everyone! Shut up!

4)Other people are doing it too.

Well will you all jump off a cliff all ready?

As near as I can tell, this issue cropped up because somebody figured Marvel was on the ropes so we should keep at them, but, c'mon guys. Learn to choose your shots. This is one thing pro wrestling has never quite learned: if you treat everything as being equally serious, your audience will stop taking any of it seriously. If you want Marvel to take complaints seriously, you can't start complaining about even innocuous things. And if you can't tell the difference between serious and innocuous issues, if you're not willing to critique things in their context, the problem is yours, not Marvel's.

Really, I mean African Americans should have only complained about the lynchings and the flaming crosses, I mean using separate entrances and separate facilities isn't AS BAD as those first two, so what are you complaining about? GAH! I am so sick of this argument. Anything that is sexist is NOT innocuous and just because we have it better then we used to is no reason to only complain about the big stuff. basically they're saying if you aren't getting killed, don't complain, or that's what it sounds like to me. I shouldn't complain about harassment or when somebody grabs my ass or my breasts, because on a scale of things they're not as bad as say, rape or death. All I can say to these assholes is a big FUCK YOU.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Moving on/Random Bullets

Car Troubles
SO my darling '94 Toyota Pickup died on a trip up to Vancouver. My 4 month old radiator neck snapped off causing the radiator fluid to spew out which totally destroyed the engine. I love that truck so much, I've been around the country several times and put my futon mattress in the back to make those cross country trips possible. It holds so many memories and it's so strange to have a new car that runs so silently and is not a truck. I mean, my new 99 Subaru Forester is a good car, but it's so fancy compared to Truckie. And I entered the adult world of making car payments every month. I will be paying for the next 5 years. Wooo. Her name's Audrey. It's just weird b/c my truck was one of a kind and everyone around here has a subaru w/lots of Foresters. Pooo. I got an IWW window cling and a Cubs sticker on the window, but I'm hesitant to put any more stickers on, for now.

School
My lab may be cancelled this summer, fingers crossed that it doesn't because I need the money. We didn't get the grant for writing the new labs this summer, so I don't have that job either, but hopefully we'll get the grant this fall. The labs need a lot more work, and I'm not just saying that because I'll get paid to work on them. Classes start on Tuesday. I'm taking Multivariate Calculus (which I put off way too long...I elected to take the harder non-calculus courses first) and Limits and Infinite Series, which is kind of scary as we don't have a textbook. It'll be weird to go back to 200-level classes after a year of 300-level. I passed Discrete, which makes me soooo happy, and I aced Advanced Linear Algebra. WOO WOO.

Dance dance dance
Preparing for the competition in October, and the performance on the 20th I got some practice heels and new performance shoes. Stupid ballroom competition means that I must wear heels. F*$%ing hell.

Practice shoes because I can't even walk in heels:


Performance shoes:

Mmmmmm, shiny and red. I'm in love.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance

Personal Favourites:
Pasha
Faina
Lacey
Anya
(go ballroomers! Gotta represent)
and a special place in my heart for Hok and Sara (B-Girl!! WOOO WOOO WOOO)

Funny enough I don't like Jessi, but her and Pasha have been so good with their dancing the past two weeks I just had to vote for them. It was amazing to see another ballroom dancer move that way. Of all the ballroom/lindyhoppers I know I am the only one who has trained in Jazz and Modern/Contemporary. It's just not what ballroomers do, so to see him pull it off so spectacularly warmed my heart.

Shauna and Jimmy make me smile, and I've voted for them the past two weeks, but that also may be because they have such great energy...I'd like to see them in something more serious to see if they really are flexible dancers. Performing hish energy routines is one thing, but pulling off a lyrical, contemporary, or smooth routine (like the waltz) is a horse of another colour.

I absolutely adored Sabra and Dominic's contemporary routine. The way they played off each other, the chemistry, they had some beautiful lines and it blew me away. It was amazing. Simply amazing. They better be safe this week, they have my vote.

Jesus also blew me away, he looked like someone who had danced the Paso Doble for years, he had the additude, the lines, the stature, everything that dance requires he had. Sara was amazing for someone who had never danced in heels and who has never partnered before. She sure looked better then me when I first did the Paso Doble (sans heels).

People I'm voting for whose routines did not blow me away:
Lacey and Kameron: their routine needed more energy and Kameron needed more. My notes on this dance are somewhat shabby so I can't comment on it too well.

Anya and Danny: Anya looked spectacular, but she's a ballroom dancer, it's no suprise she pulled this off. Danny was uncomfortable and it showed. His lines, his partnering, and his footwork were sloppy. Anya carried the dance, but in ballroom it's the leads job, whether male or female, usually male, who is supposed to make the follow look good.

My friends make fun of me for not only being obsessed with the show, but also take comprehensive notes on each of the dances so I can make good choices on who to dance with. I always vote for multiple couples, leaving the three who impressed me the least out of my voting. It was hard picking today, but I believe Hok and Faina can save themselves if they dance for their lives. I would really like to see Faina with a new partner, because I think she sparkles.

Up on my plate this summer: 3 day workshop with Ron Montez, Salsa, Viennese Waltz, Argentine Tango, the Seattle Lindy Exchange, and preparing for the DVIDA National Closed Championship in October. Which means I better start dancing in heels, booooooooooooooooo.

Looking forward to the elimination show tommorrow. I hope none of my favourites get cut.

Monday, June 11, 2007

As if finals weren't enough

I got a security alert from campus police that is very scary:

Restroom graffiti, written in small ink letters, was found Friday in a stall in a
men`s bathroom in the Haggard Hall wing of Western Libraries that read: "what
happened @ VTU will happen @ WWU on 6/14/07."


Needless to say this is horrifying, and I have a final on campus that day besides working in the morning. I only hope that this is someone's sick idea of a joke.

In other news I think I broke my brain. It doesn't seem to want to concentrate anymore. I can't wait until Thursday and I'm done with my last final until the end of summer school. I'm ignoring summer fo now, as I not only have 2 classes, but I am also rewriting the calculus based physics labs and TAing. That is if I don't get shot. Fuck.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

See, I do hate people

You Are 76% Misanthropic

Here's the truth: Most people suck. You are just lucky enough to know it.
You're not ready to go live alone in a cave - but you're getting there.

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