Monday, May 28, 2007

Reality and sleep

Today for the first time ever I woke up and didn't know what was real. I dream a lot during sleep, even have lots of those 'false awakening' dreams (where you think you've woken but are still asleep), but I've never woken up and felt completely disassociated from reality before. I checked the time, brushed my teeth and took a shower but when all that was done I still wasn't sure if I was awake. Now it's 8.36 at night and I'm still very jittery and thoroughly unnerved. Everything feels unreal. I hate the feeling.

All I hear in my head is Air's 'Playground Love'. I can't decide if my sensory abilities feels like it's cheating or being cheated. I've slapped myself a couple times now but then I've slapped myself in dreams before. This would make a good entry in my dream journal if I actually kept one.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ruminations: Part III

- I was trawling through my archives and I thought it necessary to point out a particularly odd event that happened in May of '06. The oddity is that history has repeated itself and because I noted it down on the blog, I can marvel at the strange way the same thing happened again in the same month it happened before in the present day of May of '07. Which is really just the most long-winded way I could think of parleying the information that my fan heater has died. Again. Like it did before. Yes, that really is all.

- With a lot of the US TV series winding down now, I desperately want to type up a post comparing, contrasting and reviewing the shows I've been diligently following since last fall. When they premiered I wrote up a post about shows that I were looking forward to. I would very much like to revisit that and see if my predictions or assumptions were in any way true. Except that I don't have the time. So I'll probably do this in the week after next. Which annoys me because I'm afraid I'll lack the drive to do it later. I should probably just do it now and not waste the time on debating the merits of doing it now or later. But where's the uselessness in that? Which actually brings me to my next point.

- I've been toying with the idea of either converting this blog to a purely pop culture concentrated one or starting up a new one to vent my pop culture obsessions. After going through the archives I realize that since a significantly large portion of posts tend to be about movies/music/allthatrot, it's not exactly fair to subject friends who come here to live vicariously (cough) through my personal posts. I feel quite guilty force feeding people my fanwanks and rants about stuff they don't care about. Except right now I can't quite decide which route to take. Do I take out all the personal stuff out of Sporadic Word Vomit or transport all my pop culture posts to a new plate? Or continue to do my pop-cultural version of religious bible-thumping as per usual?

- I wish I could stop eating KFC. When I'm stripping the meat off the grotesquely small bird I keep imagining a mutated bird running around the KFC product farm without beaks, or a tail and three eyes. Or whatever abomination the conspiracy theorists are yelling from their soapbox. But damn that original recipe, 12 secret herb and spices crap. Like a fly to the electric-fly-killer-box, I'm drawn right back into the greasy stores of Kentucky Effin' Chicken whenever I pass by and catch a whiff of the steroid chickens. Damn it.

- I cannot wait for winter break to start. For starters there's the China exhibition at the Melbourne Museum I must go to before it's over (insane wildness). There's also the sneakers exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria that if I miss will lead to massive stomping of my Chucks-covered feet (the party train just does not stop). After that I need to go visit the Human Bodyworks exhibition when it hits Docklands. Seriously guys, I put Courtney Love to shame.

- And before I forget, Wicked is coming to town! As in Wicked, of the Wizard of The Oz Broadway production! Well, technically they're coming in '08, but I've got my party poppers out and ready to go. The theatre scene is really shaping up with The Phantom of the Opera opening in July, SPAMALOT (dies of glee) in December and Wicked in 2008. Between this and all the exhibitions I intend to go to, I've just got about my local coke dealer primed for business. Lindsay Lohan, your hard-parrrrtying ass is beat.

- My mobile is now web-accessible and that pleases and frightens me at the same time. Great because I can now check my email any time but scary because I have to contend with the 24/7 knowledge that I'm simply that big a loser and short of wildly imaginative offers about enlarging a dick I don't have, I get no good emails ever.

- Also interesting to note that my stance on the Equality-Now!-No-Ma-Pa-Day-Celebration-Till-Kids-Get-Their-Recognition-Day that I spouted last year in May turned out to be nothing but a novel idea. This year I went traditional and made my mum a card. A pop up card, thankyouverymuch. All I got in return was a text message saying "I will cherish it, my dear". Yes, cherish it in monetary sum, mum. Or care packages! That would be of the awesomeness, ma.

- I don't know why I continue to write all this quips to my mum. She knows about the blog but to my knowledge, doesn't visit it. I think since she's just only conquered Yahoo Mail the idea of keeping a journal in a public virtual space where denizens of the intrawebs have access to them is just a tad too new-fangled. At the rate she's experiencing technology and all it's offshoots, she'll only appreciate the brilliance of Sporadic Word Vomit in 2016. That is if her eyesight hasn't failed her completely yet. Oh mum, surely I kid. It's like planting seeds; only after a while will you reap what you sow. And trust me when I say this forward planning is totally worth in getting a rise out of my mother.

- In all actuality, rereading the archives and finding lame attempts at bagging my mum like such makes me laugh. I alternately marvel at my childishness and snicker at my (self-deluded) witticisms. It takes very little to amuse me but even I am aware just how pathetic that admission was. Okay, humiliation stopping now.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

More stories from the foxhole!

I've been away from the fluorescent life-sucking glare of Maccas for 6 months now. My reprieve from the thankless chore that is customer service ended on Tuesday. I think the fact that I swung back like clockwork to the job says a lot about how mindless it is. Right down to the minute details like knowing where the Big Mac sauces are kept. I refuse to believe that this natural knowledge is due to my birthright at holding down a McJob for life. I cannot be a lifer. Regardless of what they say about Art students, no no no no no no no. At the very least can't I be a Big Issue vendor?

Panic aside, I decided to celebrate my first day back by breaking the most crucial rule in the employee handbook. I was a one-woman free upgrade-a-palooza. It was free sauces and free coffee upgrades all around. So I guess technically, I actually got a lot of thanks in my three hour shift. It would have been terribly ironic if I had gotten caught out and fired on my first day back in retrospect.

Here's a couple of things about 'the McDonald's experience' I forgot over time:

1. The amount of time spent on a shift always feels twice longer than it actually is.
2. Why do people insist on replying, "Oh, I'm sweet enough" when asked if they want sugar in their coffee? Is there a newsletter going around on how to be lame, unfunny and corny in one fell swoop?
3. By the way, strange how the amount of customers who give corny replies has increased exponentially in my absence.
4. How cute most of the backpackers are who go into the store. Thank goodness we're smack right in the middle of backpackers central.
5. How incredibly quirky some customers are. This bunch of skater kids came in all shifty-eyed and guilty looking. They ordered a coke and a cheeseburger. After they got their order, they hightailed it out of the store doing a quick ollie down our steps. Bless their little diehard skater mentality. Would have been better if they had fallen.
6. How high the crew turnover is. I don't know three quarters of the current crew there.
7. How bitchy the people who work there are. It's all 'who's sleeping with who', 'who sucks', 'who's secretly gay' gossip. I don't indulge but I can't help if my ear perks up occasionally! First day back and I already know who's doing who. Oh, the workplace drama!

So expect more stories of the freaks, the saints and the crazy in the future. As seen from both sides of the counter.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Conversations With Dead People.

There is this quote in Season 7 of Buffy in the episode 'Conversations With Dead People' which best states everything that I feel about high school. Or at least the high school experience that I remember looking back at it now that I'm four years out of it.

I really miss [high school]. Time goes by, and everything drops away. All the cruelty, all the pain, all that humiliation. It all washes away. I miss my friends. I miss my enemies. I miss the people I talked to every day. I miss the people who never knew I existed. I miss 'em all. I want to talk to them, you know. I want to find out how they're doing. I want to know what's going on in their lives.


Okay, so I don't exactly identify with the cruelty, pain and humiliation that Jonathan (the ubernerd) experienced. But the rest of it, about missing everyone is really what I think about in the quiet moments when my mind is not preoccupied with the hustle and bustle of life and all its multiple tangents.

I miss all the random people and groups who made up the student body of SMKDU Class of 2003. I miss the Art class guys who, it's a safe bet, never knew I existed. I miss the 'hello and goodbye' people I said hello and goodbye to. I miss the people I knew in my class. I miss the people whom I didn't know in my class. I miss the people I had inside jokes with. I miss the Blue house members I'd muck around with on Sports Day. I miss the people I played tennis with. I miss the people I lost contact with, especially the ones who I had a real connection with. I miss the people I would go out of my way to avoid. Alright, maybe 'miss' is a stretch, but I'd like to know how they're doing. Did the two siblings who made up the weirdo factor in our class ever grow out of their awkwardness? Who is engaged? Married? Pregnant? A parent?

Who turned their lives around? Did the band who won Battle of the Bands every year ever go on to get a record deal? Are the stoners still stoning? Do the people who smoked in high school still smoke now? I'd just really like to seat everyone down and get them to tell their post-high school story. I want to hear about their lives when I ask, "How's it going?". I will be all ears.

But I was a no one in the grand scheme of high school hierarchy. I wasn't overtly athletic, popular or a teacher's pet. I wasn't part of the 'pretty people' or hard-working enough to excel academically. I hardly ever volunteered for anything and on the days when I wasn't cutting class, I was sleeping in class. I kept a low profile amongst the student body and within the clubs and organizations that I was involved with.

So I guess in reality, the idea of meeting and catching up with ex-school mates won't be quite so romantic on account of people going, "And you are?" Even if they remembered who I was there's no guarantee that I would have remembered them. And in real life people will answer "I've been good" regardless of actual state of goodness in their lives when questioned.

I don't know. Maybe it's because I didn't attend the school prom so I never really got proper closure. Friends told me it was overrated anyway but maybe had I attended the event and seen everyone together for the last time I wouldn't be thinking like this. Who knows? So I suppose I'll just hold on to that idea of a perfect meeting wherein I spend a perfect day just catching up with all those people I miss sans weirdness, defensiveness and any lull in the conversation.

Besides, Friendster-stalking requires less communication and nullifies all odds of awkwardness anyway.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Superhero gabbery

Spiderman 3
So if you've been following the comments in the previous post you would have gotten the general feel of my friends and my opinion regarding Spiderman 3. If you haven't, here's what you need to know:

As much as it pains me to admit this, Spiderman 3 spread itself too thin in a way bloated running time, delivering an 'okay' film where it had the makings of a masterpiece. It doesn't quite classify as an atrocity, but given the previous two instalments that successfully balanced the pressures of financial success and comic book-realm geekery, the third film surely left a bitter taste in what could have been an epic trilogy. If this is indeed the last film for the franchise (although I doubt it because IMDb has Spiderman 4 down for a 2009 release), it is surely a lousy way to bow out of the scene.

Where did it go wrong?
i. The introduction of additional villians at the cost of their character development.
According to the articles I've been reading, the producers, in so many words, forced Sam Raimi to implement the character of Venom. The excuse given was that "the fans wanted it". While I do think the idea of Eddie Brock/Venom makes a great foil to Peter Parker, he had to contend with Goblin Jr. and Sandman for screen time. Not forgetting the whole relationship aspect of Peter Parker and MJ Watson that the film went into great detail too. This meant that what we saw of Brock was really quite one-dimensional. Had he been taken out of the equation and perhaps introduced in film no. 4 or had his character been laid the groundwork in Spiderman 3 and expanded in no. 4, maybe the franchise would have done him justice.

ii. Gwen Stacy
As above, only applied to the romantic part of the movie.

iii. Excessiveness
There were a lot of scenes that could have been cut short - including the action scenes, the romantic scenes and the comedy scenes. They might have been intended to add to the momentum of the story but in the long run it added to the excessively long running time. Not even halfway into the movie, I started checking the time. And that NEVER happens. If this is the standard for the summer movies to come, the kids of America are going to go back to school in the Fall pasty and overweight.

iv. Pacing and tone of the film
Part of the problem was the pacing of the film. While before it blended comedy and action seamlessly, in Spiderman 3 the erratic tone of the movie that swung from bizarre to hilarious in nanoseconds had me quite unsettled. Were we supposed to take Peter Parker seriously after he did what he did down the street? I want to attribute this problem to the script, but I suspect editing had a play in it as well.

v. Deux ex machina
For the most part I find the use of deux ex machina to be the most lazy way of ending a story or a plot point. It's heavy handed, unsubtle and frankly, insulting to the movie-going public who has coughed up fifteen bucks to watch a film. I'm trying to keep this review spoiler-free so I won't mention anything further except for this, you'll know it when you've seen it. Then you'll want to throw rocks at Sam Raimi, his brother and the other dude who are the writers of the film.

vi. My dad
My dad's quip ruined many scenes for me. I think a couple other people probably felt the same way as my dad because people started laughing inappropriately in certain scenes. Tsk. I knew I shouldn't have asked him what he thought of it.

That being said, there are of course good points to the film. The action scenes were jaw-droppingly fantastic and the comedy scenes (or at least the scenes I find comedic) definitely brought out the chuckles as well. For the most part, the cast did what they could do with the material and delivered. J.K. Simmons, who plays Jonah Jameson, is a stand out, brilliant as per usual. Is the film worth watching? Well, given the subject material (comic book adaptation) I don't see how it's worse than other fare. But if you want to keep only good memories of the film franchise? Mull on it for a little while.

Fantastic Four: The Unnecessary Sequel
The four main cast members of the movie came down to Melbourne for the movie premiere. Having nothing to do on a Friday night, Ad and I decided to go for it. Also, we had never been to the Southland shopping mall where the premiere was held and figured we'd kill two birds with one stone in that trip. Bear in mind that neither of us are particularly huge fans of the film or the cast. We were hoping that Doug Jones, who is one of the most prolific 'movement actors' (he plays the Silver Surfer in FanFourTwo, was Hellboy in Hellboy, the faun in Pan's Labyrinth) in the industry, would show up for a surprise visit but he didn't. Nonetheless, we stuck around for funsies.

Someone's got to do the job
Someone's got to do the dirty job.

Ad and I set up camp at around 5 right up front at the barricades. We thought we were bring slightly freaky but the crowd had already started to swell by the time we got there. We were also slightly mortified to discover that the average age of the crowd was 15. Luckily opposite us and by our right were adults. They were slated to arrive at 6.30 pm. After much fake cries and false alarms, they showed up at 6.45 pm. The crowd that was largely there for Jessica Alba went ape-shit crazy.

Michael Chiklis
First out: Michael Chiklis.

Ad and I decided that since everyone was cheering for Alba, we would cheer for Michael Chiklis. It's a process of elimination really. Alba = too many fanboys/girls, Chris Evans = ditto, Ioan Gruffudd = we didn't know how to pronounce his name.

Jesscica Alba
School girl on my right: "Oh my god!!! I'm going to cry!!!!!!!!"

I didn't really understand her logic but it certainly made me laugh at a time when my ribs were pressed up to the barricades and I was being pushed from everywhere by autograph hounds. Jessica Alba is really quite pretty. And she asked the crowd to give space to a little kid who was being crushed by the crowd.

Chris Evans
He is really as pretty as Jessica Alba.

Ad and I agreed that he wasn't as tall as we expected. I guess it's no secret that IMDb lies about height. Which makes me wonder.. Just how tall exactly is Seth Green?

Ioan Gruffudd and I
Gratuitous shot of celebrity and me.

He is so nice! He and Michael Chiklis were the only ones who really obliged to the crowd request. He was the last one in and although his minders were telling him to get a move on, he still said okay when I requested a picture with him. He was the only one Ad and I requested a picture with and he obliged on both accounts. What a legend. This makes me wish I was a fan.

Full cast autograph
Spoils of the night.

I can't say I was terribly star struck. I think I was left truly gap-mouthed when I met Danny Boyle earlier this year at the early premiere of Sunshine. I was actually embarrassingly enough tongue-tied!

Question: Would I be terribly awful if for all my male friend's 21st this year I blow up all the pictures I took of Jessica Alba and give it to them as a present?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

My dad is awesome

When asked about how Spiderman 3 was, this is what my dad had to say:

"I don't know why he cried so much. Should have been called 'The Crying Spiderman'."