X-men 3 thoughts (chock full of hot spoiler-y action)

Things I liked about X-Men: The Last Stand
- The beginning. Man, that was some good beginning, with the ultra-powerful child Jean and poor Warren trying so hard to be not-a-mutant.
- The ending. Good God, that last scene with Magneto thrilled me. It was enough to make me forget how annoyed I was with the conclusion otherwise.
- The way Magneto left Mystique, naked and sobbing, on the floor of the prison truck. That said more about his character than any scene of him preaching about the human menace.
- How Magneto defended Xavier when Pyro said he wanted to kill him. (Magneto, why do you put up with that stupid punk? Is it just so you can turn cars into exploding projectile weapons?)
- Pretty much anything with Magneto was good, actually.
- Seeing the X-men's special fighting styles. There wasn't nearly enough of that in this movie, but when it was there, it was a joy to watch - especially with the new characters.
- Scott turning into another Wolverine, sort of, over grief for Jean.
- Hank! The intelligence! The one-liners! The fighting!
- Kitty! Such a spunky lass, and able to think on her feet! She'll outlive them all.

Things I didn't like about X-Men: The Last Stand
- Jean Gray's hair. Remember how in the first two movies, it was, like, kinda red, and it coulda been natural? Now it's RRRRRREEEEEEEDDDDDDD, in a way I've never seen in nature, plus it looked like maybe they had forgotten about the whole red hair thing until the night before they started shooting, and then they ran out to Meijer and bought six boxes of Crimson Glow, because in Jean's first scene, you can still see the hair dye on her scalp.
- Dark Phoenix's look. Come on, guys. Evil, veiny women with black eyes is sooo Dark Willow.
- When Mystique actually said, "Don't call me by my slave name." We get it, X-men, you're an allegory for racism, we get it.
- The cliches! They're all here, from "What have I done?" to "Then may God help us" to "If they want a war, we'll give 'em one" to "My ... God!" My favorite movie cliche even makes an appearance: "No, Dad. This is what YOU wanted." Give me Hank McCoy's oath, "Oh, my stars and garters!" any day.
- The movie didn't feel very cohesive. It consisted of a whole buch of cool scenes strung together in no very particular order - like when Bobby's at the mutant cure clinic looking for Rogue, and then Pyro is there, and then he blows it up or something, and then it's the next day and THEN Rogue gets in line at the clinic, which I guess wasn't so blown-up after all.
- 800,000 pointless new mutants. In this movie are probably a dozen new mutants, and so many of them have only three scenes: They show up and demonstrate their powers; they use their powers to provide a joke or a fight; they die. Sure, the scene with Multiple Man acting as a decoy was cool and all, but if that's really all he's going to do, maybe that scene could've just been a special feature on the DVD? And since Angel is so essential to the plot, maybe we could learn a little more about his plight - about how he's torn between wanting to please his father and being his winged self. And do we even know who that third mutant was who was hanging out with Callisto and Quill? Oh, well, she's dead now.
- Really? We needed the thing with the Golden Gate Bridge? That was essential to the plot and something Magneto would actually do, and not just an excuse to have a really huge special-effects scene? OK, just checking.
- All the death. Maybe I'm not remembering things properly, but I'm pretty sure you could count all the deaths in X-men 1 & 2 on two hands. In this one - DEATH! Lots and lots of pointy desintegrate-y falling from high places firey crushing DEATH! And all of it was, for the most part, pointless! (So, just out of curiosity, who's going to be the X-men now? There's, like, two people left.)
- Tiny snarky point: Kitty says she misses the first snow of winter. Is Westchester, N.Y. secretly a tropical paradise, or is Kitty from Alaska?

Riches to be had

Waiting for my iced mocha at the Milford Showcase Cinemas (yeah, they have Starbucks now! Crazy, yes?), I glanced down.


I am the sort of person who will nearly always stoop for a cent. (Exceptions include urgent appointments, weather and crowds.) As I bent to claim my prize, I saw - hey! - another penny!

So, when I found two more pennies in the theater entryway as we were leaving, I said to Stacie and Corrie, "Man, someone is just throwing pennies around, and I am reaping the benefits!"

While Stacie was still making fun of me for my use of the word "reap," she found a quarter.

And then a nickel. And another one.

Pretty soon we were weaving through the parking lot, saying things like, "What's that over there? ... Oh, just a gum wrapper." And "We should come back with metal detectors." And "It's like a video game, but it's real life!" (OK, I said that.)

Stacie won with her 35 cents. I think I found one more penny, giving me a nickel's worth. And ... did Corrie find a nickel?

So I guess the moral of the story is: if you're going to see a movie, go see it in Milford, because apparently people just toss their change on the ground rather than having to deal with that zipper compartment on their wallets.


I hate you, Hans Christian Andersen.

"On the foam-covered sea-weeds, lay eleven white swan feathers, which she gathered up and placed together. Drops of water lay upon them; whether they were dew-drops or tears no one could say."
- from The Wild Swans

It's not fair, Hans Christian Andersen! Why must your beautiful prose always tell of heartbreak and sorrow? Why do your words pierce me, even as a single word from the princess would pierce the hearts of her 11 enchanted brothers?



Maya's gonna be a hard-ass. I can tell.

When I ended my session with Maya today, she reminded me that I should come back on Saturday.

Never mind that on Saturday morning, I'm running a 5K. Maya doesn't care. Activity only counts if it happens under her tutelage. And I know if I don't check in with her on Saturday, the first thing she's gonna do when I see her on Sunday is ride my ass about making a commitment to fitness.

Yeah, Maya - it's easy to be fit when you're pixelated. If you think your thighs are too flabby, you can just re-code them until they're toned.

Actually, Maya's all right. Like, when I completed my fitness evaluation after signing up with her, she pointed out that by standard guidelines, I was overweight - but then she was quick to point out that not everyone's body is the same, and healthy weights differ from person to person. She's constantly pointing out how fitness is all about feeling good about yourself, and from the very beginning, she said she was going to push me, but she knows I can achieve my goals if I put my mind to it. She even provides tips for healthy eating and everyday fitness - while she's preparing my workouts for me!

If she were real, I think I'd hate her.

The fitness evaluation included jumping jacks (doing them for two minutes, then taking my pulse). Have you ever tried to do jumping jacks in a way that wouldn't cause your downstairs neighbor to think that very dirty things were taking place in your living room? The idiotic solution I came up with: tiptoe jumping jacks! They still make noise, PLUS they make your calves hurt!

By the time I completed the fitness evaluation, it was 10 p.m. I decided against the Maya-recommended (but potentially jump-intensive) "Cardio" workout in favor of spending some time in the meditation garden. For about 15 minutes, Maya took me though a yoga workout - which was nice, but not particularly relaxing, given how fast she went through the motions.

I think I'll check in with Maya on Saturday and see how I do. I wonder if I can push, say, the triangle key if I already worked out that day. But something tells me Maya wouldn't allow that excuse.


April Tuna

In between getting Hyundai to buy back her car and helping our flag football team to glorious ... um, defeat, I would think Carrie's schedule would be packed.

Still, she managed to find time to rate the sushi at four area grocery stores, just so her Oakley friends (like me!) would not have to waste their money on grody spicy tuna rolls.

Thanks, Carrie! I eagerly await your pronouncements on salmon nigiri and rainbow rolls. And I definitely think you should hold off on buying your new car until the Prius Tuna Edition comes out.

P.S. Do you know where the post title came from? You don't? How sad for you!


Rough day

It's Bar Guide week, which means that I worked until about 10:30 p.m. today.

At least we did better than last year, when I arrived at the office at 9 a.m. and left around midnight.

At this rate, we'll meet our self-imposed deadline of 6:30 by Bar Guide 2008. Awesome!


New blog obsession!

I've been trying to think of a cool bar-related way to link to Tavern Wench. You know, something like "Add 1 oz Waiterrant to a pint glass filled with Cincinnati experiences. After the liquor melt, add 1.5 oz drink recipes ..."

But it just doesn't quite fit, so here's what you need to know. This girl Jen tends bar at a local restaurant. (I think I know which one, but I won't say, because that's half the fun.) Anyway, she provides delicious-sounding drink recipes (I was half-convinced that the gimlet was going to be my new drink until I actually ordered one at Northside Tavern this weekend), tips for making your bartender like you (and therefore give you better service), and (best of all) stories of her wacky customers. Fun!


Sunday in Milford

I spent all yesterday at my parents' house. We had this deal where I would dedicate an entire day to cleaning out my closet in my old room, and they wouldn't randomly give away my old baseball cards to St. Vincent de Paul.

I like going to my parents' house because even though it's familiar, it's very different from the way it was when I lived there. Since I moved out, they've been making the place over, one room at a time. We're talking extreme stuff, like knocking down walls. So when I'm there, it feels just a little bit like being in a stranger's house where you get to raid the fridge.

The current project is the master bathroom, which is completely gutted. There's just plywood, drywall and a few pipes sticking out of the floor. I think the marble ledge for the big shower is coming in a couple weeks.

And from the sounds of things, my room is next.

My parents had always thought the closet was simply STUFFED with my clothes and didn't believe me when I pointed out that at least half of those things were castoffs from various other family members. So when my mom saw the tiny pile of "give away," the other tiny pile of "store," and the three dresses I took home with me ... well, she was just SHOCKED.

Once when she was checking up on my progress, my mom started asking what I was going to do with the stuff in my dresser. And the posters on the walls. And the books - three cases' worth. And the stuff that was already in the attic - did I want to keep all those clothes? Did I even know I had clothes in the attic? Because I do - the attic is just STUFFED with my old clothes.

Looks like I'll be spending another Sunday in Milford soon.