Posts Tagged ‘the 80s’

Except if those heads belong to two blonde twins with a serious case of the stupids. Because after reading Sweet Valley Confidential, I have come to the conclusion that there is no fate worse than the Wakefields. They are the worst twins ever!

Well except for maybe these twins, because, ew.

Anyway to prepare you for this, I ask you to think back to high school, or perhaps say, junior high. You remember how you had that one friend you thought was supercool and who could pretty much do no wrong in your eyes? But then, you got older and you realized they were kind of a gigantic dickbag loser? That is what reading this book is like. You start out with happy memories and then watch them get slowly destroyed by poor continuity and even crappier writing.

When I was much younger, I thought that the Wakefields were the $h!t. I related heavily to Elizabeth because I fancied myself a thoughtful literary type, but there was part of me that wished I could be a little more like Jessica and possess more of her sultry, boy-nabbing qualities. In fact, when I was very young and used to steal my babysitter’s Sweet Valley High books, I remember thinking that it would be awesome to be a cheerleader. I have no idea why I thought this considering:
a) I am not a joiner,
b) I find all sports except hockey incredibly boring,
c) I am so uncoordinated I was once stabbed by a tree,
but there you have it. The seven-year-old heart wants what it wants.

But enough complaining, it’s time to get to the meat of the thing and start my recap. Needless to say, if you want to read the book and haven’t got the chance yet, this is your warning because HERE BE SPOILERS!

The book starts off with Elizabeth, who is now living in New York like the serious-minded good girl she is. No more being a bubble-headed California girl! She’s a real writer now! She is returning to her apartment after a dinner out with her boss when the phone rings. Because this is New York and therefore a scary, crime ridden place according to literature, it takes them too long to get into the apartment to answer the phone because of all of her door locks, so Elizabeth’s answering machine picks up instead.

It is Jessica, whose voice is whining codependantly at them through the speaker. Elizabeth ignores it. Elizabeth’s boss is baffled by the fact that the voice on the machine sounds exactly like Elizabeth and is somehow not her. You know, for someone who is supposed to be the mastermind behind the crappy theatre magazine she works for, he seems a little bit dumb, like, if you worked at it, you could manage to convince him that Elizabeth was a sorcerer.

Anyway, Elizabeth doesn’t want to talk about HER INFINITE SADNESS, so she gives her boss a glass of wine and considers sleeping with him to stop his annoying questions. She spends a moment drooling over his apparently doable body, but then decides better of it because she cries after her orgasms now. Aren’t you happy that Francine Pascal mentioned your childhood literary pal Elizabeth having orgasms? How thoughtful of her! I mean think of how much more enjoyable Little Women would have been if Louisa May Alcott had been saavy enough to mention Jo March’s favourite sexual position! Totally pertinant to the story and not creepy at all, right?

Oh, and also as a minor note, Elizabeth also doesn’t sleep with him because he’s her boss and, you know, professionalism and all that.

So, having decided that there are no sexytimes to be had, Elizabeth unceremoniously dismisses her boss from her apartment. She briefly thinks of calling her best friend Bruce Patman (I think I speak for all of us when I say WTF?!), but decides not to so she can truly Garbo it up and feel sorry for herself. I don’t know what it is you guys, but I think something superbad happened between Elizabeth and Jessica! Cue the sad music! This is mucho serious!

The next thing you know, we’re treated to a flashback of the twins in high school. They are driving to school and stop to pick up Elizabeth’s friend Enid Rollins who Jessica thinks is the lamest of the lame. They also discuss uberdreamy Todd Wilkins a.k.a. The Todd who Jessica thinks is going to invite her to “the big dance,” as though they don’t have dances ever damn day of the week in Sweet Valley.

Anyway, two funny things about this sequence:

1) It’s supposed to take place 10 years ago which is awesome because, going by the timeline of the books, the twins started high school in 1983 which means that they were either incredibly stupid, which I would totally believe, or time in Sweet Valley moves at a practically glacial pace, which is also possible considering how much crap the twins got up to. I mean with all the spa-based face stealing and werewolf boyfriend having and white supremacist battling they were doing, I would imagine they would have pretty packed schedules!

2) If this storyline is true to what happened in the original books, this means that this is the dance from the first Sweet Valley High book Double Love. Many things happen in that book, but two of the most noteworthy are The Todd mistaking Jessica for Liz and subsequently thinking Liz is a slut and deciding Jessica is more worthy of dating him and Jessica getting so mad at the fact that The Todd has no interest in her she fabricates a story that he tried to force himself on her so that Liz doesn’t like him anymore. But apparently, neither the slut shaming or the supposed sexual assault are a big deal to anyone and everything ties up in a nice happy bow at the end of the book. Sweet Valley: perpetuating horrible sexual standards since 1983!

Moving back into present day, Jessica is kvetching to The Todd about how Elizabeth is ignoring her. The word “Facebook” is used several times to indicate that Francine Pascal is hip and with it. This is not your Meemaw’s Sweet Valley y’all! . . . you know, in case you didn’t get that from the orgasm talk. They don’t get into everything that happened to cause the rift between the two sisters, but they tell us enough so that we know that Elizabeth and  The Todd, Sweet Valley’s Original OTP!, were engaged and about eight months ago, he left her for Jessica and now they are getting married instead. Oooh burn!

To throw old Sweet Valley lovers a bone, Jessica and  The Todd head over to a party at Lila Fowler’s house. I have discussed my love for haughty Miss Lila before, so I won’t get into it again, but Lila is criminally underused in this book. If anyone should be calling the twins on their crap, it’s her, but instead she just stays in the background, wearing tiny shorts. Remember when your Viscount husband tragically died and then you hooked $h!t up with Bruce Patman in the forest, Lila? That was awesome! You are better than this! Now Lila’s only defining characteristic – aside from the tiny shorts – is that she is married to Ken Matthews. To jog your memory, Ken was the Aryan posterchild who played football in high school . . . and as a grown up, he plays in the NFL. That is what you call smooth character development, people! Actually just to stay on Ken for a minute as this is an interesting tidbit: in the high school, he dated Olivia Davidson who was crushed to death by a fridge during a horrible earthquake at the series’ end. However, when the twins came back from their first University break in SVU, Olivia was at a party they attended. So Ken has actually dated a zombie, which is pretty progressive if you think about it.

But back to the party. In attendance are:
– Elizabeth’s old soccer playing high school boyfriend Jeffrey French. He is now a dentist and has a boring nameless wife.
– Sweet Valley Gossip Monger Caroline Pearce. She apparently had cancer (SAD!) and now runs a gossip website that gets upwards of 500 hits a day!
– Elizabeth’s old Debbie Downer friend Enid Rollins. She is now a gyno doc and has become a crazy right wing conservative . . . but apparently, she’s not too conservative to knock boots with . . .
– A.J. Morgan. AJ Morgan was apparently some hot ginger kid Jessica was into. He works as a shoe salesman at the mall.
And to round out the group, we have:
-Former fatty cheerleading captain Robin Wilson. She is apparently a caterer now and Jessica is impressed she hasn’t gorged herself to death on all the free food.

It seems kind of weird to me that a bunch of these people were Elizabeth’s friends and are now at Lila and Ken’s party, but I guess that all of them are pals now. Or they all belong to some secret underground Stonecutter’s cult and this is a meeting or something. At least that would be interesting, which is more than what I can say for the book thus far. Let’s pretend, shall we?

Who condescends with every glace?
Who wears some nifty jumpsuit pants?
We do! We do!
Who has a sister looking mom?
Who spikes the punch at jungle prom?
We do! We do!

Sorry, but I really needed to listen to that song. So yes, we’re at Lila and Ken’s palatial estate for num-nums or whatever and everyone is kind of standing around bored, until Caroline Pearce makes the tragic mistake of asking about Elizabeth which sends Jessica into a rage. Jessica is so pissed in fact that she yells “You’re sick!” at Caroline who is currently regrowing her hair after chemo which . . . yeah . . . awkward. Jessica storms out of the party, The Todd in tow, but not before yelling at Lila for having the nerve to invite Caroline to her own house for her own party. *sigh*

Switching coasts back to New York, Elizabeth is heading out to interview some playwright guy for the crappy theatre magazine she works for. The playwright’s name is Will Connolly and addition to being a prick (language!), he is a dead ringer for The Todd! *gasp* Seeing this of course, sends Elizabeth into flashback land . . .

Where she and The Todd are in college and supposed to go to a party. However, Elizabeth’s superior physical makeup (stunning aquamarine eyes and size six figure!) wasn’t enough to keep her from catching the plague, so she is not well enough to go. Instead she suggests that The Todd go with Jessica . . .

In a weird bit of happenstance – perhaps they’re in the Matrix?- Jessica and The Todd are remembering the same party . . .
Where people mistake Jessica for Elizabeth and Jessica and The Todd decide that it’s fun and don’t bother correcting them because they are both kind of into it . . . and in a creepy turn, they sort of forget that they were pretending and then head back to The Todd’s apartment to bone. Just . . . so many . . . wrong things about that.

Back in present day NYC, Elizabeth runs into Will a.k.a. Prick Todd at a bar and they start drinking together. They are served by random Irish stereotype bartender Liam who Elizabeth notes, is so hot her favourite cheaty twin sister Jessica would be all over him. This of course leads to a discussion about family and relationships and drama, things that Prick Todd and Elizabeth have in common. They bond over this and then Prick Todd invites her back to his apartment where they fool around a bit. Go Elizabeth! You get your mack on!

Elizabeth heads home after some decent heavy petting and gets a call from her mom. Apparently, her grandmother is celebrating her 80th birthday and they want Elizabeth to return to Sweet Valley for her birthday party. Elizabeth says no way, but then thinks that perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if she had Prick Todd come with her as her date. She calls him up and tries to lure him into her trap asks him to come with her but with his play only a couple of weeks from launching, he tells her that he can’t afford to get away. He does however joke that Elizabeth should bring hot Irish sterotype Liam with her to use as boy bait for stupid flaky Jessica. So the fool, I’m afraid she gets thinking . . .

A dangerous pasttime I know. But that crazy blonde bitch is her sister and her fidelity’s only so so . . . So the wheels in her head they get turning as Liz thinks of that loony old tart, see, with quite cunning use of that dumb Irish dude, little Lizzy can split them apart!

But before it gets too good, we’re back in flashbackland again. This time we’ve moved up from Jessica and The Todd boning on his futon to a mere 8 months ago where Jessica is married to a dude named Regan. You remember the name Regan, don’t you Jess? He was president when you first started high school! Anyway, Regan is Jess’ husband (second one by my count!) and he’s much older and basically pays for her to shop and jetset around the world. However, Jess is unhappy. Apparently, he doesn’t like to party enough and he gets jealous when she flashes her boobs at other guys. I know, right? What a monster. So, six months into being married for a second time before she hits 30, Jessica decides that she wants to end the relationship. Instead of talking to him about it like an adult, she lets him believe that he’s taking her shopping for the millionth time and then ditches him to run off to the airport where she catches a plane back to Sweet Valley. My eyes are rolling so hard in my head right now, I am afraid they’ll get stuck at an odd angle.

Oh and a couple of sidenotes before we head back into present day:
1) Steven Wakefield is now a successful lawyer and is married to Cara Walker. According to Jessica, Steven cheats on Cara regularly and Cara copes by turning into one of those girls who eat their feelings.
2) Winston Egbert developed some software or something that he made a bunch of money on and now everyone says he’s a jerk. You know, considering what a prick everyone else in Sweet Valley is, I have to wonder what the hell Winston did to make everyone hate him. I mean is he running a child prostitution ring or hosting dogfights? Because from what I’ve seen so far, I think Winston’s golden.

Back to present day for a double shot of the twins!
In NYC, Elizabeth goes back to the bar where Liam works and pumps him for personal information. When she finds out that he in fact has family in California, she manipulates him into coming to the party for “Grandmommy” (yuck).
In Sweet Valley, we learn that Jessica works for an environmentally conscious cosmetics company. We also learn that her boss has the hots for her, but Jessica has too much integrity . . .

Sorry, I had to stop for a minute there since my eyes were watering from the hysterical laughter . . . Jessica has too much integrity to sleep with him and instead heads home to The Todd. This gets her to thinking about the past and when she came back to Sweet Valley after escaping her tyrannical husband.

In flashbackland, Jessica is living with Elizabeth and The Todd. Elizabeth thinks that Jessica and The Todd are getting on eachothers nerves, but anyone with eyes can see that they are really just sporting wood/ladywood for eachother. To get out of the house and away from The Todd so they don’t accidentally have sex again, Jessica goes for a walk on the beach and comes upon her brother who is locked in a loving embrace with . . . not Lila as many first supposed, but Aaron Dallas!

Steven Wakefield’s totally gay, everybody! I think this deserves a super sassy dance break because it is the first interesting thing that’s happened all book!

It’s Mercutio from The Edge! He seems to be having a much better time in this video than he ever did being mauled by THE EVIL BEAR.

There are many back and forth flashbacks to Steven’s new gayness but for the sake of not jumping around so much, let me just keep it all in one tidy section.

Steven was out and about running Wakefieldian errands one day when he ran into Aaron. They had been friendly in high school but never really close, so Steven gets caught up with Aaron quickly. Apparently after high school, Aaron went off to a real University (Stanford) and studied architecture. After that, he lived in San Francisco for a while (I think this is Francine Pascal’s version of a pink flag) before coming back to Sweet Valley. I am not  really sure why, after living in a place as exciting and progressive as San Francisco, one would want to come back to Sweet Valley. It’s like a crazy sinkhole for hopes and dreams! But yeah, he’s back and they arrange to get together. The night that they are supposed to meet, Steven doesn’t tell Cara where he’s going and he gets really excited at every dude who walks in the door thinking it’s Aaron. They hang out in the bar for a bit before Aaron tells Steven that they are heading back to his (Aaron’s) place. Holy $h!t, you guys! Steven Wakefield is keeping it on the downlow! Fifteen minutes in a Chili’s with Aaron Dallas and he’s totally up for gay sex! And those jalapeno poppers weren’t even laced with anything so he can claim ignorance later! And now I am wondering if he is a top or bottom! Aah! My head is so filled with questions! Why, Francine Pascal? Why are you putting these things in my head?

So Jessica knows and Steven is freaking out because everyone else still thinks he’s straight and he’s not ready to tell them that he isn’t yet . . . and you know guys, I’m not really one for advocating spousal deception, but knowing a lot of people who have come out, it can be heart-breakingly difficult. Coming out, even when the people around you support you, is hard. Because there are a lot of people who won’t support you and those assholes can be loud and mean and sometimes they carry rocks as one of my awesome friends learned the hard way. Hell, putting aside other people, even just admitting it to yourself can be a major emotional struggle. According to this book, Steven not only just discovered he liked dudes in his late twenties, but he just discovered it like a month ago and now he’s forced into the awkward situation of having to incidentally come out to a family member. It’s scary.

Steven begs Jessica not to tell anyone yet because he kind of needs to process this himself and figure out how to deal with his own personal situation and Jessica agrees. Well, let me amend that. Jessica agrees for about five seconds, then drives over to Steven’s house and interrupts one of Cara’s marathon pie baking sessions to out Steven to her. Jessica does this as she thinks it is her duty to get involved and believes that Steven will thank her for it later. Because it’s better to be dragged out of the closet than to come out of your own accord. Man, Jessica, sometimes (by which I mean all the time) you are one cold, conceited bitch.

Back to our present non-outing time, Liz has lunch with Prick Todd and tells him she took his advice and is now bringing yummy yummy mantreat Liam with her to her grandmother’s birthday. Will is like “Yeah, I was joking about that, you lunatic. That is a supreme bad idea and you will live to regret it.” You know, Prick Todd, you actually speak some decent sanity! I’m changing your name to Nonprick Todd! Unfortunately, the sanity is not really working for Liz who is annoyed that someone is finally calling her on her bull$h!t and, instead of directing her anger at her stupid no-good sister and stupid no-good The Todd, she turns on Nonprick Todd and yells “Fuck you!” right in his face. According to Elizabeth, she is 27-years-old and that is the first time she has ever said those words. Seriously, Liz? You’ve never even song along to this song?

(Yes, this is the real song with the real swear word in it so if you’re at work, sport some headphones. The clean version drives me crazy.)

After she swears at Nonprick Todd like a Tourette’s Sufferer and runs back to her apartment, she decides the most awesome thing to do is to call up her bestie Bruce and discuss the grandmother birthday party happenings. As it is, he has already been invited to the party by Mrs. Wakefield to act as Liz’s pseudodate, so he’s feeling a little put out that Liz is now bringing her own party guest. And why is Bruce feeling so put out, you might ask? Because he secretly loves her!

Flashing back to some years ago, Bruce’s parents got in a horrible accident and were both rushed to the hospital where they both later died. However, while poor Bruce was waiting to discover their fates in the hospital, Elizabeth came to be with him. In fact, she came every day and held his hand when no one else would. It was one of the few things that got him through that horrible time and it made him realize that he truly loved her. Oh my God, you guys, is Bruce Patman my favourite character in this book? Because I think he is.

At some point, before the truth is revealed to Liz, Bruce finds out that Jessica and Todd have been carrying on behind her back. Bruce wants to tell her, but is incredibly conflicted because he feels like he would just be telling her for his own personal gain and that would be kind of malicious. These doubts are removed from his mind when, over burgers at local restaurant, Elizabeth tells him that she and The Todd are close to setting a wedding date. Not wanting her to marry a man who is secretly horrible to her, Bruce bucks up the courage to tell her the truth when Ken Matthews runs into the diner they are sitting in (because there was an APB out on them?) to announce what is the most surreal and thankless thing that happens in the entire book.

Winston Egbert is dead.

. . .

I cannot even tell you how annoyed by this I am. Winston gets one scene in this entire book where he is actually present and do you want to know what that scene is? He almost unknowingly spilled the beans about Jessica and The Todd cheating (he shared the apartment with The Todd and thought he and Elizabeth were having sex in it) and then The Todd moved out and totally dumped him as a friend because he was scared Winston would rat him out! So from there on out, none of his friends talked to him and he was completely abandoned! And then, all anyone did was talk about what a dickbag they thought he was! Until one day, when he got sad and drunk and fell off his balcony and died! All Winston ever wanted to do was to make people laugh and have friends and wear glasses and then, for the sake of drama, Francine Pascal unceremoniously offed him! What the suck, dude?!

While Elizabeth and Bruce are off at the diner hearing about poor dead Winston, Steven has been home and I guess been confronted by Cara about the whole gay thing and the fact that Jessica told her. So, as he is super angry at Jessica – and kind of rightly so since it was not her secret to tell – he barges over to Elizabeth and The Todd’s where Jessica is staying and yells in her face about it. Steven calls Jessica a selfish bitch (AMEN!) and because she can’t deal with being confronted with her $h!tty behaviour (doesn’t that sound familiar, LIZ?!), she starts to cry. The Todd, being a sucker for a damsel in distress, goes to comfort her and the comfort turns to kissing and Elizabeth walks in on them . . . except she isn’t really looking at them and doesn’t see what they’re doing so, instead, she assumes someone told them about Winston and they are comforting each other. Bruce, however, totally sees them and thinks they’re jerks.

Later at Winston’s funeral, Jessica gets all sappy and sad about his passing and Elizabeth actually thinks that Jessica is sorry for how crappily she treated Winston, but it is totally a ploy to get Elizabeth to agree that forgiveness is important. If it’s not a self-serving bitch, then it’s not Jessica Wakefield.

Sometime after the funeral, Jessica’s rich old husband Regan shows up at Elizabeth and The Todd’s place in Sweet Valley. I am not really sure to what real end since he doesn’t seem to have divorce papers or even be all that invested in getting Jessica back. But Regan does totally see Jessica and The Todd jonesing for each other which he manages to point out to Elizabeth before scooting away in his sports car.

Elizabeth finally totally notices the fact that they’re kind of inches away from doing it again and she confronts them. They are so lame that they neither try to deny it or apologize for it. C’mon The Todd! At least, play her a meaningful song or something! In fact, I have the perfect one!

“I know you won’t believe it’s true, I only went with her ’cause she looks like you!”

And that is the last flashback! THANK FREAKING GOD!

In now permanent present time, Elizabeth has arrived at Grandmommy’s birthday with man-bait Liam. There is some reference to how this is just like a movie (Picture Perfect?) except that Liam doesn’t sound as charming as Jay Mohr. Much to Elizabeth’s irritation, Jessica doesn’t seem interested in Liam but Liam seems hella-interested in Jessica and keeps fawning all over her. This makes The Todd pretty angry and before you know it, all the Wakefield siblings are fighting and Alice is yelling at Ned to “bring out the fucking cake!” I kind of like that Alice has finally reached her limit with her stupid scheming children to the point that she starts yelling about fucking cake in the middle of her octagenarian mother’s birthday. That’s kind of boss.

Elizabeth leaves Sweet Valley and heads back to New York where she still has to interview Nonprick Todd. I’m going to switch it back to Will now because I am tired of typing the word Todd more than I have to. She is a little stressed out about how it’s going to go due to the “Fuck you!” face-shouting incident, but he somehow apologies to her and they manage to get through the interview relatively painlessly. Then, when the interview is over, out of both horniness and a desire to keep him from asking questions about her family, Elizabeth has sex with Will. And she doesn’t even cry once! Hooray? I don’t know about you, but I think it’s kind of creepy that Elizabeth is constantly using sex to shut dudes up. Is her vagina some sort of crazy cone of silence? Does sex with her cause select muteness? I don’t get it.

So after sex with her interview subject (at least it’s slightly more professional than sex with her boss?), Liz returns home to her apartment to find Jessica waiting for her. Jessica has apparently left The Todd! *sigh* For Christ Sakes, you stupid moron! You are pushing 30 now! Running away should no longer be your go-to relationship move. Because, seriously? Relationships can be hard. Sure, there are awesome, kick ass, fun times, but there are other times that are not so fun where people lose their jobs or your sex drives are at odds or one of you gets sick or whatever. And part of loving someone – I mean truly loving someone – is realizing that no matter what you are enduring at the moment, you’re enduring it with your partner because you are a team and they have your back. That’s what love is. Getting through life together. And you know what? At the end of the day, sometimes getting through the crappy parts together means more. Getting through all the great stuff together is nothing, because anyone can stand by you through the great stuff. It takes someone who loves you to hold your hand and help you make it through the hellish parts. Grownups don’t run!

And yes, readers, I do realize that I just lectured a fictional character but it annoyed me so much I had to. Make of my mental state what you will.

Back to the twins. Jessica starts crying over The Todd and Elizabeth sees that she loves him and with like five teardrops, their 8 month feud is at an end. Can you believe it? Jessica’s tears must be made of diamonds or something because I have never gotten out of anything that easily.

Jessica heads back home to be with The Todd and Elizabeth stays in New York to finish her article and see Will’s play. The play does pretty well and Liz is happy for Will but she realizes when she sees him with his ex-girlfriend that she is not in love with him and that they are better off as friends. Is this a mature decision from Miss Elizabeth Wakefield? Did someone switch the book I am reading? Because I don’t believe it.

I also don’t believe it when Elizabeth heads back to Sweet Valley to be Jessica’s Maid of Honour in her Wedding to Elizabeth’s long time boyfriend. When Wakefields mend fences, they do it with iron posts, bitch! But before she goes and deals with wedding stuff, Elizabeth pops by to see Bruce Patman who has big news. First, he tells her he sold his house in Sweet Valley (for $10,000 less that they buyers were willing to pay because he doesn’t care about money anymore. Is this really Bruce Patman?!) and second, he’s moving to New York because he loves her and wants to be where she is. Bruce Patman is my favourite character in this whole book you guys! What is up with the universe?!

Now I could go into the description that follows of them having sex, but I am going to forego that creepiness and instead post another song because that is how I role today. But know this – Elizabeth Wakefield has taut nipples!

Let the soothing sounds of Mr. Big wash that mental image out of your head.
I know bands don’t have slogan, but if they did, theirs should have been “Mr. Big = Huge hair. Rhythmic clapping. Denim.”

So both Wakefield sisters end up with people who have personalities that match their opposing twin. Snarky and brash Jessica marries sensitive and thoughtful The Todd and sensitive and thoughtful Elizabeth is lovers with snarky and brash Bruce! I am sure there is some sort of weird Freudian theory that this is an example of, but the book’s happy ending is Jessica and Todd’s wedding, so I don’t want to get too far into that.

Mini character recaps for anyone who is interested:
Bill Chase – The surfer dude who dated Dee Dee Gordon back in the day married a female basketball player.
Mr. Collins (Roger, if you’re nasty) – The twins’ old English teacher is in a long term relationship but never got remarried. His son is at UCLA.
Lila Fowler – Divorced Ken and attended Jessica’s wedding with Jeffrey French who seems to have lost the wife he was saddled with a couple of hundred pages ago.
Ken Matthews – Divorced Lila and was injured in the NFL but now works as a commentator.
DeeDee Gordon – Bill’s ex is a working artist.
Charlie Markus – Married Annie Whitman, the slutty cheerleader that Jessica and her friends almost pushed to commit suicide. He is a writer.
Annie Whitman – Married Charlie and has a baby now (see what all your slutty, slutty sex has led to, Annie?)
Betsey Martin – Still the crazy drunken sister of beautiful dead Tricia Martin, Steven’s first girlfriend.
A.J. Morgan – Broke up with Enid but still selling Reeboks.
Enid Rollins – Broke up with A.J. Morgan, planning to run for city council.
Roger Barrett Patman – Bruce’s illegitimate cousin. Works as a music producer and is married to a rock star.
Caroline Pearce – Still recovering from cancer. Still a gossip.
Nicky Shephard – Former Sweet Valley bad boy. Now in AA.
Cara Walker – Divorced from Steven. A math student baking her way to a Masters degree.
Robin Wilson – Still a caterer. Still surprisingly thin according to Jessica.
Bruce Patman – Once a snide rich kid, now reformed by the love of Elizabeth.
Aaron Dallas – Steven Walkfield’s boyfriend.
Alice Wakefield – Still the twins’ mom and survivor of breast cancer because Francine Pascal needed to give her another character trait in the epilogue.
Ned Wakefield – Still the twins’ dad and a successful lawyer.
Todd Wilkins – Married to Jessica and clueless about what a harpy she is.
Elizabeth Wakefield – Twin sister of Jessica, now happily sexing it up with her lover Bruce.
Jessica Wakefield – Married to Todd, twin sister of Elizabeth and learner of no pertinant lessons whatsoever.

As for poor Winston, if you were hoping he might get a last second reprieve from his drunken balcony death like Olivia got a last minute reprieve from that stupid refrigerator, it looks like you are shit out of luck as he remains dead.

Poor, poor Winston.

So that is the entire book. Now don’t get me wrong, it was pretty awful, but I also fully acknowledge that if she writes another one, I will still be all over that garbage because there’s nothing quite like a good train wreck. Oh Sweet Valley, you are totally, yet fascinatingly, awful.

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(Okay, so back to our regularly scheduled programming . . .)

I am a big movie buff, so when I heard that the Bloor Cinema here in Toronto was playing Raiders of the Lost Ark this weekend, I got a little excited. I love me some Indiana Jones so possibly being able to see it on the big screen made me smile. Also, 1980s Harrison Ford = awesome. So, naturally, Boy and I got to talking about Harrison Ford and I brought out the eternal debate – which Harrison Ford would you rather be or be married to? Star Wars Harrison Ford (Han Solo) or Raiders of the Lost Ark Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones)?

Boy immediately said Star Wars Harrison Ford (“You get to have adventures in space with a wookie as a friend!”), but for me, it was not that easy. Yes, there is something amazing about Han Solo. He’s quick with a quip and fast with his ship*, but being a space smuggler isn’t exactly legal which would mean you would have to spend a lot of time bailing him out of space jail. And then, when the Empire fell, what would happen to the smuggling industry? What would we do when that kind of work dried up? Could Han Solo be persuaded to happily lead a life on the straight and narrow or would he get fat and resentful? 

Therefore, I picked Indiana Jones. He might not be as quippy or have a space ship, but he does have a steady job as a university professor and, as we find out later, his dad is Sean Connery who would make for awesome father-in-law! Sure, there is the problem of being chased and shot at by Nazis all the time . . . and if you had ophiophobia, it would probably be a bitch to be married to the guy, but I figured the travel and the fun would outweigh those negatives.

What can I say? I've always had a thing for stubble and dudes who wear hats.

This conversation was of course inevitably followed by its female counterpart: Who would you rather be or be married to – Princess Leia (Star Wars) or Marion Ravenwood (Raiders)?

You would think that it would be an easy choice, but again, there was debate.

 Boy picked Marion. He liked that she was up for an adventure and he enjoyed her ability to hold a drink.

You wouldn't think that this little gal would be able to drink a crazy Nepalese dude under the table, but she totally can.

I picked Leia because I enjoyed her sass, the fact that she was handy with a blaster (as opposed to Padme who just sucked and cried), and that she could rock a gold bikini like nobody’s business.

Make fun of the danish hairdo and I will blast your ass into next week!

There are of course drawbacks for either choice. If you’re Leia, you’d be related to Mark Hamill who kind of sucked, but you could always distract yourself from that by looking at the adorable Ewoks. If you’re Marion, you’re the mother of Shia LaBoeuf which I think is far worse**!

Every. Single. Time. To paraphrase Spaced, "Mutt Williams makes the Ewoks look like f*ckin' Shaft!"

Anyway, since we have already had these debates, I put it out to the blogging audience at large – which Harrison Ford and which Harrison Ford love interest would you want to be/marry and why?

*It can do the Kessle Run in 12 parsecs!

** I generally declare shenanigans on the fourth Indiana Jones movie, but since I’ve been forced to accept the new Star Wars films, I’m including it in this debate.

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Earlier this week my brother in law Nick wrote an awesome post about how music was back in his day. It doesn’t seem like that long ago we were all rockin’ giant Walkman tape players, but as we push towards 30 (30?!?), we realize how retro we really are.

As this post got me thinking about how things were back in the day, I thought I would write a companion piece about clothing trends from my youth. Everybody ready to relive some horrible fashion? Let’s go!

Trend # 1 – Jelly shoes:
When I was a little kid, I had a pair of these. I think they were purple. I’m not sure why people thought that footwear made of traction-less, transparent plastic was a good thing but they were all the rage when I was about 5. Hey, everybody! Check it out! You can see my dirty feet through my shoes! The marvels of science!

These are striking similar to the pair I had back in the day. Vented for extra aroma!

Trend #2 – Snap bracelets:
Remember snap bracelets? They were flexible pieces of steel covered in some sort of cheap fabric that, when you slapped it against your arm, would curl around into something resembling a bracelet shape. I remember spending my entire allowance on a giant roll of snap bracelets when I was in the second grade. I had them in all sorts of bright colours AND I had a sparkly gold one. You know, for fancy/classy occasions. They ended up getting banned but their snapping was pretty much the soundtrack to 1989.

There was a rumour that some kids sliced open their wrists with these bracelets, but I never found out if that was true.

Trend #3 – Neon colours on freaking everything:
It seemed like when 1990 hit, as a way of showing we were somehow moving into a new and futuristic era, neon colours were slapped onto everything. Hot damn, we were blindly ugly back then.

The fact that this stuff is coming back into fashion scares me.

Trend #4 – Wearing T-shirts so big you couldn’t see your shorts underneath them:
My friend Snuffy did this more than I did, but I do remember stealing some horrible cotton candy pink shirt with fish on it from my mom’s closet and belting it like it was a dress. Oh, mini-Girl, why?

Get some pants, woman!

Trend #5 – Hyper-color shirts:
A shirt that changed colour when heated up! I wanted one of these when I was a kid so badly but my mom wouldn’t let me get one. And as a 27-year-old woman, I sincerely thank my mom for this. I mean seriously, why do you want to pointout you have pit stains in vibrant tie-dye?

Now you too can let people know when your boyfriend's been groping you! Wear it around your parents! They'll love it!

Trend #6 – Biker Shorts (when not riding a bike)/Leggings as pants:
There’s never been an easier way and more convenient way to show off your VPL (visible panty line). I remember my friend Jenny had a black pair with a neon pink stripe down the side and we both thought they were quite fetching.

The idea of sticking my lumpy bottom into a pair of these frightens me.

Trend #7 – Hot pants under skirts:
While the concept of wearing mini shorts under your skirt makes sense, it’s also hella ugly. I actually remember wearing a dress that had hotpants sewn into it if you can believe it. The dress was checkered black and white and the hot pants were bright pink with lace trim.

I can't find a picture of anything quite as ugly as I am describing here, but this is a semi-accurate example of the mechanics of it.

Trend # 8 – LA Gear sneakers:
I had two pairs of these. The first pair was white with peach and mint green laces (for some reason, it was better to have more than one pair of laces in your shoes at the time) and the second pair were made of . . . wait for it . . . purple suede. I remember thinking they were supercool because they came with little license plates. Ugh.


A Foursome of L.A. Gear ugliness. Oh, the coloured side ridges! I'd forgotten about them!

 Trend #9 – Baby doll dresses (usually of the floral or plaid variety):
Even though I did not watch the show when it was originally on air, I blame My So Called Life for this.

You can see part of Angela's dress hanging out from under her sweater. Oh Jordan Catalano . . . "I just love the way he leans."

Trend #10 – The giant Blossom hats:
Mayim Bialik, I shake my fist at you for making me think this looked cool! I had two different hats. One was dark purple and I pinned the brim up with a pin I got from Northern Reflections and the other was black velvet and had a rose covered in fake plastic dew on it. I thought the dew was soulful looking. *snort*

If you think about it, it's actually pretty impressive that a television show convinced an entire generation of girls that it was cool to dress up like The Mad Hatter.

Trend #11 – Bodysuits:
They were basically the adult sized equivalent of a onesie, complete with crotch snaps. Yikes.

Thanks for bringing this one back, American Apparel. I can always count on you when I want to dress like a slutty jazzercise instructor!

Trend #12 – Knee high stockings:
I think the influence for this was part Catholic School Girl and part the movie Clueless. I think I tried it once before realizing that it was not a trend that suited the skinny and knock-kneed.

Yes on Alicia Silverstone, No on 12 Year Old Me.

Trend #13 – No Fear Shirts:
I never owned one of these but they are exactly what they sound like – shirts that said No Fear on them in a scratchy looking font. I think almost everyone in my 8th grade class had one.

This is pretty accurate to the kind of shirts they were. It's actually kind of funny that a daredevil style brand did so well with preteens. "Woo! I jumped the curb on my bike! No Fear!"

Trend #14 – Vests:
I had a ridiculous number of vests in my wardrobe when I was like 13. I remember I had one that I spilled Wite Out on once and it broke my heart. Little did I know, the fashion gods were doing me a favour.

I totally would have paired this bad boy up with a short sleeved turtleneck and been good to go.

Trend #15 – Gigantic pants:
There are still people who wear large pants, but they don’t seem to be wearing them as epically large as they used to. When I was in middle school, I remember there was an announcement on the PA for anyone who had trouble navigating the stairs due to the size of their pants to report to the office immediately. I’m not sure whether or not they were trying to smoke out the big pants people or help them, but either way, it was kind of sad. I owned a pair of $80 Silver Tab wide legs when I was 15, but they were never so big I couldn’t move in them.

A diagram of the baggy pants in my day. I remember being at a mall with my mom, seeing a guy wearing his pants like #2 and her worrying he was going to fall over.

Trend #16 – Tearaway track pants (when not playing any sort of sport):
I understood when you were playing basketball or something, but wearing tearaways when there was no purpose in tearing them away seemed weird to me, especially when they made that swishy noise while walking.

Tearaway pants: Appropriate for jogging, basketball and putting on a show at Chippendale's.

Trend #17 – Mini backpacks:
You’d basically be swaddled in miles and miles of bagstrap so that you had a place to put a chapstick and a pack of gum. Because they weren’t big enough to fit anything else.

The mini backpack: You kept growing; your backpack did not.

Trend #18 – Puffy Adidas Jackets:
There was some major controversy about these jackets because there were the authentic ones which had 3 stripes and the non-authentic ones that had two. You DID NOT want to have a non-authentic.

I couldn't find a picture of the ones that were popular in my day so here's a modern one. Note the emblem and three stripes on the arm.

Trend #19 – FUBU clothing:
This trend I felt was particularly weird because the acronym stands for “For Us, By Us”, the us being the Black community, but it was like the whitest dudes in my school who wore it. I remember some dude I liked in the 11th grade (who had an incredibly Irish name and skin as white as snow) walked around all the time in a shiny red FUBU jacket. I should have realized then he was a massive tool, but instead I crushed on him for a couple of more months until our semi-formal when I asked him to dance and he growled “no” at me. I ran off and cried in the women’s washroom but after maybe five minutes, I realized I could do better than a jerk like that, so I stopped, went back out to the party and asked an even cuter guy to dance. He said yes. So suck it Mean Dude* and wherever you are Cutie McNicepants, thanks for being awesome and cheering me up! 🙂

This is not a picture of that high school guy I liked, but it is eerily similar. Scrawny white dude in a coat he should not be wearing.

Trend #20 – Hair mascara:
This isn’t clothing but I had to include it because of it’s ridiculousness. For some reason, in the late 1990s, the idea of streaking colourful/sticky stuff through your hair was a good idea. I can’t remember why just now, but I know I had a tube of Copper colour and that it got on everything.

Yes, this was actually a thing. I love how in the advertisment the girl's looks all crappy and sticky. How accurate!

Now, I can’t be the only one who participated in some really ugly trends as a kid so spill it – what crazy retro styles did you wear?

*I don’t still care about this and I’m sure this dude is probably a nice enough guy now, but at the time, it was pretty rude. I think if you’re not into someone, there’s a nice way to say no. Plus, considering my attention span for boys at the time, I probably would have gotten bored with him in a couple of weeks anyway.

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Maybe it’s just me, but New Year’s Eve is kind of overrated. There’s all this pressure to make it some sort of ultimate landmark event when really, it’s just another day on the calendar. Happily enough, Boy feels the same way, so aside from the first year we were together where we, we’ve made a point of staying in for it and watching a movie.

This year’s New Year’s was marked with a viewing of the classic 1982 film Conan the Barbarian. Boy loves the stories of Robert E. Howard, so we picked up the double Conan disk at HMV to satisfy his curiosity. Unfortunately, the movie was so inaccurate to the stories he loved, it resulted in what I can only describe as nerdy hategasm.

Anyway, putting aside how the movie retained nothing but the Conan name, it was pretty awful. If you haven’t seen it, let me spare you the horror and give you the Cliffs Notes version:

The story starts out in a little Viking-looking village. Although it is supposed to be some primative time, everyone looks pretty clean and in fact Conan’s mom looks like she’s had some crazy lipjob.

Collagen, anyone?

The village is invaded by a bad army who torch and kill everything in sight.

At the center of the army is James Earl Jones. James Earl Jones is supposed to be the main badass, but instead he just comes off as ridiculous because:
a. He somehow decapitates Conan’s mom from like 10 feet away.
b. He is wearing the most horrible wig I have ever seen in my life. Seriously, it looks like they stole a wig from Cher’s tour collection and slapped it on his head, that’s how ridiculous it is.

"Do You Believe In Life After Love?"

The evil army takes Conan from his home into the desert where they chain him to some crazy turbine thing at a mill which then helps him grow up and turn into Ah-nuld who is crazy big and muscled. Now, never having owned a slave, perhaps there is some essential piece of knowledge I am missing here, but considering you are holding someone against their will, maybe it’s not such a good idea that you let them get so big and muscly that they could crush your windpipe with one hand. But then again, maybe that’s just me.

According to the trivia for this movie, Ah-nuld's arms were so big when they started shooting this movie, he couldn't hold a sword properly.

Ah-nuld is then sold to a dude who puts him in some Ultimate Fighting tournaments in which Ah-nuld slices up people so hard, they spray red paint (I know, amazing, right?). But even though he’s dominating in the ring, Ah-nuld’s ancient version of Mickey Goodmill isn’t happy with that so he sends him to the Far East where he learns to be a War Master by studying philosophy and poetry. Because, apparently, when someone is running at you with a spear, the best thing to do is quote The Art of War at them. Because that deflects weapons.

So, Ah-nuld’s master finally decides Arnie has paid his dues and releases him into the wild. While in the wild, Ah-nuld stumbles into a cave where he finds a sword all covered in rust. He then manages to bang the rust off in big chunks to reveal a pristine sword underneath. Does rust really work that way?

During his travels, Ah-nuld meets two thieves named Subotai and Valeria and together they steal this gigantic jewel from some cultists. Instead of leaving town and taking their loot with them, they stay in the town where they just robbed someone and the lady thief wears the jewel around her neck like a pendant. Good plan!

Although they have spoken a total of five setences to each other, Ah-nuld and Valeria make some magical love connection, so they hole up in some little shack where they writhe around and smear chicken grease on each other. I am not even kidding.

"Hi! My name's Valeria! I like long walks on the beach, fighting armour that really doesn't protect me and men who grunt!"

Sometime after their torrid KFC fuelled lovefest, Ah-nuld, Valeria and the other dude are spotted with the jewel (you think?) apprehended by the king’s men and are brought to the palace. Instead of getting in $h!t for stealing, the king commends them and offers them a quest to save his daughter from the cult.

Since Valeria wants to settle down and have a peaceful domestic life (women be crazy!), Ah-nuld sets out to do the quest by himself. Along the way, Ah-nuld runs into a crazy wizard whose name is Akiro in the movie but apparently Mako in real life. I didn’t think his stage presence was so powerful that he only warranted one name, but there you have it. Anyway, Akiro bobs along and cackles much like Rafiki in The Lion King and seems to serve no purpose until James Earl Jones pops out of nowhere and has his men crucify Ah-nuld on a tree. Ah-nuld’s thief companions find him there on the tree, bring him to Rafiki/Akiro and through some sort of crazy and poorly animated ritual, bring him back from the dead. Nice of them to give the dead guy another shot!

"Sorry, I would help you in your quest, but I threw my back out when I held you up on top of that giant rock."

After Ah-nuld sleeps off the last of his being dead, the trio goes to track down the princess. Apparently, she is being held at a palace where an orgy is taking place, but the people at the orgy are so clothed, it looks more like someone’s basement during a high school party. Dry humping abounds! James Earl Jones spots them and turns into a giant Muppety snake which they manage to fight off, but in the fray Valeria dies . . . or at least we think she does because it was at this point things got a little wacky and the DVD stopped playing. Now, it could have been a disc flaw because we did buy it for cheap, but I choose to believe that the DVD took mercy on us and decided to spare us  from having to watch Ah-nuld be emotional. Whatever the case, when we skipped to the next chapter, she was gone, so we assume she bought it.

Sorry, lady, Ah-nuld's bored with you, so out you go!

After Valeria’s death, Ah-nuld takes the princess and sets up a Home Alone style trap for the bad guys in the desert. He uses the princess as bait and the baddies fall for it, splattering red paint everywhere. As is the case in all action movies, Ah-nuld has one close call, but ends up being saved . . . this time by Valeria who has somehow managed to return from the dead as a disco valkyrie. She kills the bad dude and asks Ah-nuld if he wants to live forever, but instead of breaking into a rousing version of Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” she vanishes into the breeze.

I couldn't find a picture of Valeria as a Disco Valkyrie, so here is Alphaville. Gaze at this lovely photograph and wonder what the hell happened to them.

Sometime during the big fight, James Earl Jones ran away (perhaps to record his voiceovers for the last Star Wars movie?), so to get revenge for his lover’s death, Ah-nuld tracks him down at some crazy big temple. Instead of fighting back, James Earl Jones stands there lethargically and lets Ah-nuld behead him. You wouldn’t think that a beheading would be entertaining, but this one is pretty funny since the head they use looks like it was stolen from a mannequin in the Junior Miss department at Sears and makes the most hollow noise you have ever heard when it falls to the ground. I can’t say I totally blame the Foley guy though – it must of been a pretty sad flick to work on.

I'm showing a picture of the snake here because a) it's funny and b) this is as feisty as James Earl Jones' character gets. Mostly, he just stares at things or runs away.

The movie then ends with a shot of a bored and hairy Ah-nuld sitting on a chair as the narrator explains that he goes on to be king in another more interesting movie. However, having also watched the second Conan movie (which features Grace Jones as an Amazonian bad ass and Wilt Chamberlain as the protector of Kevin Arnold’s sister’s virginity – IRONY!), I can tell you that this never happens and that that movie ends in the exact same way. Boo-urns!

I like to imagine this is what Ah-nuld looks like when he runs the state of California.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading about our New Year’s Eve movie watching adventures! I watch plenty of other bad movies so I will be sure to write those up too to save you from having to watch them.

*If you have never experienced one in person, a nerdy hategasm is basically a cacophony of sighs, grunts and angry statements about accuracy and staying true to source material. I can’t tease Boy too much for having one though,since regular readers will probably remember that I experienced one when I watched the 4th Alien movie. HATE!

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Long time, no type!

San Francisco was amazing and we had a fantastic time sight-seeing and eating and relaxing. Unfortunately, since we got back from the vacation, it has been a nonstop workfest for both me and Boy so many things have fallen by the wayside, including my blog. Most days, by the time I get home, I just want to sit and veg in front of the TV . . . which is kind of how Boy and I came up with the Park Holiday Fest. We rounded up all the Christmas themed movies or TV show episodes we have in our house and so, for the past several days, we’ve been ploughing through about an hour and a half of holiday themed programming a night.

Anyway, when I posted about it on my Twitter, someone asked me to post what we’ve watched here on the blog, so without further ado, our holiday episodes:

Scrooged: Remember when Bill Murray made movies in which he was funny and didn’t take himself too seriously? It was a mighty long time ago I know, but this was one of my favourites growing up. I particularly liked Carol Kane and her wackiness, even though she sent Bill Murray to the hospital after ripping his lip open. Ouch.

In Living Colour  – “Episode 12 (Christmas Album/ Homey Claus)”: I actually didn’t really watch In Living Colour growing up since we didn’t have cable, but Boy did so I bought him the first couple of seasons on DVD during our second Christmas together. It is a weird ’90s time capsule of neon clothing, hiphop dancing and Jim Carrey, who was the lone white boy on the urban comedy show.

The Office S2  – “Christmas Party”: This episode was the first episode of The Office I ever saw and it made me fall in love with Jim and Pam. How badly did I want them to get together and how sad was it when he slid the card back into his pocket? Foiled for another season!

The Office S3 – “A Benihana Christmas”: Season 3 of the show was a hard one because, in spite of everyone wanting Jim and Pam to get together, you could see how Karen was actually a good dating option. She and Jim exchanging the same bad movie was definitely something I could see Boy and I doing.

Invader Zim  –  The Most Horrible Christmas Ever: Invader Zim is a little more of an obscure show but it’s still pretty funny. It’s about a little green alien with a moronic robot sidekick who is sent to Earth to take over the planet . . . except he really isn’t any good at his job. The song sung by the little green aliens minions stayed stuck in my head for days. “Bow down! Bow down! To the power of Santa! Or be crushed! Be crushed! By . . . his jolly boots of doom!”

The Big Bang Theory S2 – The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis: There are two groups of people in the world – people who get this show and people who don’t. We do and this episode in particular cracks us up. “Do you know what this means?! With a healthy ovum, I could grow my own Leonard Nimoy!!”

Family Guy S3 –  A Very Special Family Guy Freakin’ Christmas: Original run Family Guy at its finest. Lois gets tranqed! The Griffins learn the meaning of Christmas! Stewie gets plutonium!

Degrassi Junior High – Season’s Greetings: This is kind of amazing in that it features the worst jump cut I have ever seen when the character of Yick enters the cafeteria twice in a period of thirty seconds. Aside from that, it is kind of a lame duck of an episode since it is mostly a clip laden retrospective that is meant to make Arthur and Yick’s friendship look meaninful, but instead makes it look kind of creepy. What kind of teenage boys have friendships that revolve around stealing, lying, and watching porn together?

Futurama S2  – XMas Story: This is the first Futurama Christmas episode. I love it because it introduces us to the Killer Robot Santa Claus and Tinny Tim and re-enforces Zoidberg’s lameness (while the malfunctioning Santa deems everyone naughty, apparently Zoidberg is okay and worthy of a pogo stick.)

Futurama S3  – A Tale of Two Santas: The second Futurama Christmas episode. I particularly love the “I Am Sparticus” inspired “I Am Santa Claus” scene where everyone shows up to Bender’s execution dressed as Santa, except for Zoidberg who comes as Jesus. Oh Zoidberg . . .

Clone High – Snowflake Day: This Clone High episode is so amazing, Boy and I threw a party themed around it last year. Lamb tacos and Snowflake Day care satchels for everyone!

Frasier S1  – A Miracle on Third or Fourth Street: Fraiser hosts a radio show and  takes some of the most depressing calls ever, but is then taught the meaning of Christmas by some random homeless dudes in a diner. Would anyone learn lessons at Christmas time without the homeless? I think not.

Frasier S3  –  Frasier Grinch: Fraiser discovers the mail order presents he got for his son were misdelivered and has to go to the mall to buy new ones. Oh the mall – the indignity! (To be fair, I have worked in a mall during the holidays and it is awful. Boy and I often joke that, like being forced to join the army in Israel, every person should have to work retail for at least one Christmas so they can know how horrible it is and then perhaps be nicer to salesclerks.)

Scrubs S1  –  My Own Personal Jesus:  I really love the early seasons of this show before they let it go on way too long and before Zach Braff creeped me out with his skeeziness. In this episode, he still manages to be fresh faced and endearing as he bangs a patient out of a coma Fonzie style.

Square Pegs  –  A Child’s Christmas in Weemawee (Parts 1 & 2): Square Pegs was an awful show Sarah Jessica Parker starred in in the 1980s. It revolved around her and her best friend starting high school, trying desperately to make the cool kids like them and failing miserable. We think it was supposed to be a comedy but it feels more like some sort of weird televised sociological experiment in that the jokes are not funny, the canned laughter seems wildly unsure of itself and the audio appears to be operated by a drunk and/or narcoleptic. Apparently a random shot of a window equals uproarious laughter. Anyway, to get through it next year, we’ve decided that we will take a shot every time they wear awful ’80s outfits or say the phrase “frozen eel chunks,” since we are pretty sure that we will be stinking drunk about five minutes in which should make the remaining 55 a lot more bearable.

The OC S1  –  Chrismukkah: The Cohens celebrate their mega holiday with Ryan for the first time. I know the rest of the seasons of this show were kind of a mess, but this first year still brings joy to my heart. It’s a Christmukkah miracle!

Veronica Mars S1 –  An Echolls Family Christmas: Yet another show that had an amazing first year. Some might say it’s not particularly Christmasy in that it features gambling and stalking and ends with a stabbing, but I say it features dudes wearing holiday boxers and snappy dialogue so it’s awesome.

Veronica Mars S2  – One Angry Veronica: Veronica does jury duty in this rip off of 12 Angry Men. There is only a minor holiday scene in this one where they eat Cornish Game Hen instead of turkey, so it’s getting cut next year.

My So-Called Life  –  So-Called Angels: Angela Chase learns the true meaning of Christmas from Juliana Hatfield who plays a homeless girl who is really an angel. The ending was a tiny bit lame but every time Angela’s mom finds poor beaten up Ricky in the church, I cry. (On a side note, never play a drinking game where you take a shot every time you see someone on MSCL wearing plaid. You will be dead within the first 10 minutes.)

The House of Eliott  –  Part 5: This show about 1920s sisters doing it for themselves and opening a fashion house is cute, but this episode was only Christmasy for maybe 5 minutes and instead focused mostly on soap opera like drama. Off the list for next year.

Grey’s Anatomy S2 – Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer: I used to love Grey’s Anatomy before all of the ridiculous ghost sex. “Because IT’S WHAT JESUS WOULD FREAKING DO!”

Gilmore Girls S1 – Forgiveness and Stuff: I miss watching Gilmore Girls on Wednesday nights. I know it was ridiculously twee, but it was sort of a homey little show. I miss you, first season Rory and Lorelai!

Gilmore Girls S7    Merry Fisticuffs: Watching this episode, we came to see the only really Christmas-y thing about it was when Luke and Stupid Christopher (yes that is what I call him) get in a fight in the middle of Stars Hollow’s Christmas diorama. While I enjoy this, it doesn’t really work with the other episodes, so it’s cut for next year.

Gilmore Girls S7    Santa’s Secret Stuff: Lorelai agrees to write a character reference for Luke who is fighting for custody of his daughter and spends practically the entire episode keeping this information from (Insecure and) Stupid Christopher. This relationship annoyed me so much, it is really hard for me to watch the last season episodes, save for the finale with the big tent and the Mighty Lemon Drops song.

Extras  – The Extras Special Series Finale: When Ricky Gervais is good, he is really good. This finale is an example of his awesomeness, not only for the Clive Owen stuff (NSFW), but for Andy finally sucking it up and admitting how important Maggie is to him. Makes me happy every time.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas – This is my favourite Christmas special of all time. I have watched it every year since I was a kid and I never stop being entertained by it. So fantastic! 

The Muppet Christmas Carol  – This is Boy’s favourite Christmas special and it has grown on me considerable. It was the last one we watched before we opened our presents to each other last night. Paul Williams might be a weird trollish looking man, but if you manage to get through this entire song without smiling, you are dead inside.

There is one other Christmas thing we watched, but it was so awful, it deserves it’s own post which will be going up later this afternoon.

What about you, kind readers? Is there anything you watch to get in the Christmas spirit? Let me know and maybe we can add it to our schedule for next year!

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With special guest star KayDee*!

(This one is kind of cheating since my husband only introduced the topic, but I figured it was funny enough to share.)

A transcript of a conversation I had with my Bon Jovi loving husband and his friend about the song Livin’ On A Prayer.

Boy: If the union was on strike, maybe Tommy should have just gotten another job, Maybe he could have washed dishes at the diner Gina worked at. Just saying.

Me: As Gina dreamed of running away and was crying in the night, I don’t know how hot working at the diner was. Besides, it didn’t make a difference to them if they made it or not. They had each other and that’s a lot for love . . .

KayDee: I think the first problem was the landlord wasn’t accepting prayers as payment, as that seems to be what they were living on. Also, it appears to be an issue that Gina had a wicked case of aphephobia because they would make it if she just took Tommy’s hand already, damn it!

Me: Actually, if you think about it, the whole Bon Jovi economy was kind of messed up since Tommy seemed to think that hocking his guitar would help solve all of his financial problems. I mean what about buskering or teaching guitar?

dr-evilI’ll give you $1 million for your snappy looking axe my good manual labouring man!

KayDee: Firs of all, thank you for almost making me shoot tea out my nose with the term “Bon Jovi Economy”. Secondly, what you don’t understand is that when you have an axe like that you need to make it *talk*… no amount of street performance or teaching bratty 8 year olds is going to get you the kind of dough you need to pay for the quantity of conditioner you need to keep your highlighted mane luxurious. Maybe Gina should have considered a job in a salon.

Me: Oh, I didn’t think about that. That would have been tough, especially with the inflated prices due to the Hairspray Shortage of 1985.

bonjovicoverThe 1980s were a hard time for rockers. So much hair, not enough quality hair products!

KayDee: *laughs* Thank God we’re past that.

Me: Man, Slippery When Wet was a deep album. It’s no wonder that after all of his failed dock working that Tommy got the hep and became an outlaw.

(For those of you on Facebook, KayDee is actually a comedian and can be followed here.)

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Hey there Strangers!

Long time, no write I know! I don’t know exactly what happened, but somehow, it feels like somewhere in me a switch was flipped that left me totally unable to focus on blogging about anything.

Part of it probably has to do with the fact that work has started to speed up for me and Boy (my work in academics keeps me busy and the video game Boy has been working on for three years is about ready to launch), but the other part is probably the whole outdoors/being Canadian thing. I don’t mean to say it as though we are all crazy Eskimo lumberjacks up here and that we need to be chopping down trees or commanding dogsleds to survive (although some movies would have you believe that), but more that, because half of our year is so crappy weather wise, we have to get outside and enjoy the good weather while we can. Making hay while the sun shines as it were.

Anyway, things in the Park household have been good. As with every year, we’ve been catching summer movies when we can. I don’t know if it is just me but I’ve been feeling generally disappointed by the big summer blockbuster movies. Star Trek was fun and had two of my movie crushes in it (Simon Pegg and John Cho) but Terminator Salvation was kind of a bummer.

As I have written previously, I am a big fan of the franchise, so in anticipation of the fourth flick, I put aside a day (the Monday of Victoria Day weekend) to hunker down in my pajamas* and watch all three previous installments back to back. If you haven’t watched them in a while, you really ought to again, at least 1 and 2.

So I went into Salvation hoping for the best and while I liked parts of it, it was so uneven and unemotional that I felt kind of bummed. I think, unfortunately, this had a lot to do with Christian Bale and the fact that his acting range leaves a little to be desired. He’s either whispering forlornedly or shouting SUPER! INTENSE! THINGS!, but it’s all played in this kind of bland disinterested way, so it’s really hard to give a crap. Personally, I think I would have enjoyed it better if the movie had just focused on the Anthony Michael Hall-esqe Kyle Reese and the hot Terminator dude and if Bale had just shown up at the end for a cameo or something. I mean I know he’s Batman and everything, but I think the dude needs to lay-off the superbutch man’s man parts for a while and do something more fun like a sequel to Newsies. Does anyone else remember that movie? I used to love the crap out of that flick and I still remember some of the songs (specifically this one – so deliciously cheesy).

In any case, I’ve found on the whole that going in for some of the smaller art house fare has turned out better. So far, I’ve caught The Brothers Bloom and Away We Go which were both good and Boy and I have plans to catch 500 Days of Summer later this week which I’m really excited about. Have I moved into the age group where explosions just don’t cut it anymore? Say it ain’t so movies!

In addition to movies, I’ve also been reading a lot. The book club seems to have died a sad little death (maybe I’ll try resurrecting it in the fall?), but in spite of that, I’m trying to keep exercising my brain and have been ploughing through title after title. I finally starting logging the stuff I’ve read in a book journal and it would appear I am currently working on my 36 title of the year with several others on the horizon. As of this morning, my Amazon Wishlist had 227 items on it so hopefully towards the end of the month when I get paid again (my company only pays us once a month), I’ll be able to binge a little and grab a few more books.

Anyway, that’s a bit of what I’ve been up to these past few weeks. I’ll hopefully have a chance to get into more stuff soon when I am feeling a little less keyboard-phobic.


*I slipped out in between 2 and 3 to get lunch but I managed to stay in my pajamas all day by putting my regular clothes overtop of them.

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