Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The End of a "Star"-ry Era

Well, I've seen the (presumably) last Star Wars flick, and I must say, I was a bit disappointed. I mean, Natalie Portman did the best she could with the lines she was given, but George, come on.

This beautiful creature was forced to spout such drivel as, "Oh Anakin, I'm scared... Hold me!" and, "I can't believe what I'm hearing! I don't know you anymore!" (said as she shakes her head in disbelief and slowly backs away from Darth Vader)

Ewan McGregor's transition into an aggrieved, older Obi-Wan was very well done, though, complete with thoughtful beard stroking and touching dialogue ("I saw it myself on the security vids. I saw him slaughter Younglings..." he says to Padmé, his gaze sliding away from the skyline as the horrific images dance in his mind, his eyes bright).

Fortunately, Anakin moved away from being a whiny little bitch like he was in Attack of the Clones. Unfortunately, he morphed into a power-hungry, geminian creature who was at times violently self-assured, and then tenderly, heartbreakingly caring.

To sum up...
  • Anakin's dreams: jeez, talk about self-fulfilling prophecy. Who didn't see that coming.
  • Mace Windu's death was pretty lame, too.
  • Not enough Wookies and no mention of the subsequent enslavement of Keshyyyk.
  • Okay, what's up with 'Code 66' ? Who creates a 'kill all the Jedi' code?
  • I was sad when the hot green Jedi woman with the two tails on her head got killed.
  • Anyone wonder why no one asked Padmé who knocked her up?
  • As always, the lightsaber fights were dazzling and at times, incomprehensibly fast.

Well, who knows, in another 20 years, GL may decide to set the wheels a-turnin' to get #7 in the works. I hope he goes with the Timothy Zahn version of events. Much more adult and serious and twisty. Here's hoping...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Who, me? Diet?

Wow, I never thought I'd be saying this but I'm on a diet. Or should I say, new health regime involving smaller portions, calorie-counting, exercising and no junk food. Who'd have thunk it.

It's supposed to be good for you, I hear, this whole "healthy lifestyle" thing. But permanently-petite little me, I honestly thought "fat" would never be something I'd have to worry about. Sounds conceited, I know, but when you make it to the age of 22 and still not tip 100 lbs, you think you've got it made.

(For a very long time after I moved away from Halifax, I conveniently forgot, of course, that my 22-year-old self's lifestyle included energetic dancing nearly every weekend with little alcohol consumption, living in a city built on hills that forced me to work those abs and thighs when walking, and working a job that required 4-8 hours of walking around pushing heavy carts, and carrying 10-pound loads in my arms everywhere, all quickly counteracting my gross intake of pasta, hamburgers, potato chip and nachos.)

Then, two and half years ago, I moved to Toronto, city of restaurants conveniently located every twenty yards. Oy.

Within three months of arriving in the T-Dot, I'd gained ten pounds. Just before this new health kick began, I weighed 126 pounds and I hated the way my clothes didn't fit, the way my butt jiggled, the stretch marks, how I'd be out of breath after running for less than a minute, and how I just didn't feel like a teensy little sexpot anymore. I finally joined the ranks of women who hate their bodies.

The women who weigh themselves daily to see if the spinning dial of numbers will stop on the magic number that makes them feel better about themselves. Who refuse to spend money on new clothes "just in case" they lose the weight, and wind up with a years-old wardrobe. Or worse, who refuse to buy something that does fit because some company put a number on the tag that's too embarrassingly high for them.

My boyfriend of many years swore up, down, and sideways that he loved the curves I had developed. Although having decent breasts was quite gratifying - I fill out shirts now, and I have actual cleavage! - I found I sorely missed my bitchin' arms, my taut abs, toned thighs and trim ankles. I would certainly do without bigger boobs to have all that back.

And so after hearing me rant, rave and whine about my bodily state for far too long, my boyfriend had enough. Over dinner, twelve days ago, he proposed that we begin a diet. We would eat better foods, and less food, and no junk, and less alcohol! We would begin our journey down the road of higher self esteem (with a possible detour through the boulevard of smaller clothing sizes)!

In a fit of madness I agreed. Great, he said, I have you for three months, calorie-counting and all, with an option to renew.

You may say, my god, it sounds horrible, outrageous, demeaning, etc, to hear that he tells you what you can't eat and when to exercise. But it's not as if he's standing there with a whip and a snarl (good lord, I'm not a masochist); he gives me options and helps me understand why I don't want to do certain things or avoid certain foods. I can do some Tae Bo, or some skipping and stair climbing (and since we live on the 18th floor there's a free service right there, ha-ha)

Besides, it's not like physical violence or withholding of sex occurs if I don't follow the diet. Corny as it sounds, the thought of his disappointment, and my own disppointment with my own lack of willpower, is my motivation right now. I know that motivation will change.

And the big thing that's helping me: he's doing this with me. He exercising too, and eating - proportionately - just as much (or as little, depending on your point of view) as I am. Plus, he got rid of the scale. That helps enormously. Today, I have no idea what I weigh.

It's been ten days. Believe it or not, I'm actually starting to think I look better. I certainly feel better, and I don't need to eat quite as much to feel full. I'm just dreading the day that PMS rears its ugly head and I threaten to throttle him if I can't have some chips.

Friday, May 06, 2005


I've been thinking more and more lately about the fact that I never e-mail or call any of my friends. I figure it's entirely due to the fact that I e-mail and call people all day, working in a call centre (ah, the staple job on the resumés of so many 20-somethings), and when I get home I don't want to talk to anyone... And when I do, I talk about work and how stupid/frustrating/insane/ridiculous (circle one) people were today. Oi.

I figured this would be a more effective way to communicate my life and my thoughts to those I care about (and who, I hope, care about me), and to any who may come across this blog. Though I feel I must apologize in advance, because it will still be most likely me ranting about work and the many morons who have crossed my earphone path on any given day.

Blog. What a strange word. My friends from junior high (you know who you are) and I had a very similar word in grade 8. We created the Bord Slog (Board's Log) of actors and musicians that we thought were hot. The Slog, for short. We traded men and looked for people to put on our lists. My list included people like Christian Bale when he was in Newsies, Leonardo DiCaprio (until I stupidly traded him for Cuba Gooding Jr), and Mandy Patinkin from The Princess Bride. Anyway, we had a similar word first.

You know what else is a strange word? Milk. Talk it out, slowly...MILK. It sounds so, I don't know, Swedish. Maybe because I don't say the word very often, except to say, "I can't, I'm allergic to milk." Except now I say "dairy products" because I guess it's a stretch for a lot of people to think that I can be allergic to milk but not to butter, cheese, ice cream, Cheetos, Doritos - anything in the Itos family - most cookies, cakes, pies and other baked goods, or yogurt. And then they have the nerve to nod knowingly and say, "Oh, you're lactose-intolerant." No, that's not what I said. Have you heard of being "shellfish-intolerant"? "Bee-sting-intolerant"? I have a severe dairy allergy. I could, in theory, die. In addition to being not lactose-intolerant, I am also moron-intolerant.

And eggs. What's up with eggs? People hear me say I'm allergic to dairy and then automatically assume I can't eat eggs either. I'm sorry, I've never seen an egg-laying cow before. Must be something new in the refrigerated section of the grocery.

Peanut-butter, too. If I hadn't been able to eat peanut butter as a child I would have starved to death. I vividly remember eating in the neighborhood of four to six peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches a day from the age of six until I was about fourteen. And people yet assume that if it has the word "butter" in it then it must be cow-derived.

I think all this misunderstanding stems back to schooling. Some people, unfortunately, did not study hard enough, or were simply bored with the "details" of verbal nuance, and just never learned to appreciate linguistic clarity.

For example (be warned, I'm going to talk about work*):

*For those who don't know me, or have forgotten because of my laxness of communication, I work in a call centre servicing a chain of stores across Canada, and we get calls for store locations, for our loyalty card, and for any issues in general that come up with stores or our promotions.

So I have been communicating with this customer, who starts off by writing, "Recently, I purchased some perfume from one of your stores."

Now let's think about this word, "Recently", for a moment. How recent is "recent"? I, personally, tend to think of it as anytime in the last month. I think that's a reasonable assumption, don't you? Give or take, of course, depending on the situation.

A subsequent missive from this customer states, "I purchased it last winter." Now, this is starting to stretch the boundaries of "recent" events. Given the context of Toronto's weather lately, perhaps winter may be stretched to as far as, say, March 2005.

But, after running a report on their loyalty card, I discover that this perfume was, in fact, purchased in June 2004.

Now perhaps you may say, "This is, no doubt, an older person, in their golden years, for whom time is passing far too quickly and whose definition of the word 'recent' has broadened, in light of their vast lifetime of experiences." That would be an acceptable explanation.

Unfortunately, I must say, this person is only 20 years old, and for me now, at 25, to think of a year ago as a "recent" period is beyond my comprehension. I would truly love to re-educate this person on time-quantifying adverbs and adjectives, including "recently", "a while ago", "a few" and "several", not to mention the word "winter".

Seemingly off-topic (though it really is not), I am an amateur astrologer, and through the course of my charting people's personalities I have seen - and had confirmed by these same clients - that some people are naturally gifted with words, and that some people, sadly, have to work at it. Some people make the effort, talented or not, while some can't be bothered, talented or not. This person, clearly, is either ungifted or cannot be bothered, as they cannot distinguish winter from summer, recent from a long freaking time ago, and is annoying, to boot.

I try very hard to make my communiqués as clear as possible. I hope that over the course of this blog, that everything I say can and will be understood by all. If you don't understand, especially as I may delve into French, Spanish, or the odd bit of Latin or Italian at any given time, which I have gleaned from the many, many, many books I have read, please let me know, and I can clarify.

Because this is what I strive to do.
I think.
I'll let you know if my position on that changes.