By the time Mr. Bojangles was ten months old we had finally learned to live in relative harmony and despite his laundry list of negative traits I’d actually grown to love the psychotic little ball of fur. He was happy when I came home, he stopped waking me up during the night and he seemed to be making a dedicated effort towards not attacking everyone who walked through the door. My schooling was coming to an end and we were going to be considering moving out of New Westminster and into Langley where the rent was cheaper.
Before such a move could take place it had come time for Boj to get fixed. Male cats have a bad habit of spraying once they get past their first year. Spraying is apparently just a fancy way of saying that they piss all over everything. Getting them fixed not only saves them from reproducing (I wouldn’t have wanted to see the spawn of Boj) but it also stops them from spraying.
I sat down with Boj who rolled over to let me tickle his belly. “Boj,” I began, “you’re going to get fixed tomorrow.” He purred a little so I continued. “You won’t feel a thing because you’ll be asleep.” He purred and gently pawed at my hand so I assumed it was safe to proceed. “They’re going to cut off your balls,” which apparently isn’t true but it didn’t matter as at some low level of feline understanding Boj whipped out the claws and tried to amputate my hand at the wrist. For me this was the answer to the question ‘do cats understand English?’ Yes, yes they do.
Getting him out of the apartment the next day was difficult. When I finally got him out he escaped down the hallway. When I finally got him down the elevator and into the car he started a high pitch meow which was irritatingly loud but sounded so much like a police siren that the cars in front of us pulled over to allow us to pass. I dropped him off at the animal hospital but he wouldn’t let go so the veterinary technician had me carry him through to the back and place him in one of the holding cages. He looked distinctly un-amused.
I enjoyed almost 24 hours of cat free bliss before having to drive back and pick him up. When I entered the animal hospital it was manned by a different veterinary tech who’s arm was bandaged from her elbow down to her wrist and around her hand. When I told her I was there to pick up Mr. Bojangles she gave me a dirty look and said “oh, that’s your cat?” My first thought was that they had accidently killed him on the operating table. She continued; “you’d better come with me.”
She led me to the same room where I’d dropped him off. Lots of recovering cats occupied the cages. One cage in particular had a large cardboard sign attached to it with the words ‘WARNING: Dangerous Cat’ scrawled in large black letters. A traumatized looking Mr. Bojangles sat shivering in the back corner of the cage. I swear the cat had never been so happy to me in his life. When the cage opened he happily ran into my arms and clung on for dear life.
When I inquired as to the origin of the sign I received the following explanation: When they took him in to operate they thought the anesthetic had taken effect as he lay completely still. Being completely ignorant of the ninja-like skills and devious nature of my cat they were about to proceed with the operation when he leapt from the table, attached himself to the vet tech’s arms and kicked out with his back legs. Apparently he caused enough damage to warrant a trip to the ER to receive stitches and bandages. Members of the animal hospital were not impressed.
It took Boj a few days to get back to normal but he was his old evil self in no time at all. Maybe it was Boj’s sadistic nature or that I admired how he was so protective of his little furry manhood but the image of a screaming, flailing vet tech with an angry cat attached to her arm and a veterinary doctor who had no idea what to do still makes me smile.
'Why 11 reasons?' you ask.
'Why not?' I say.
I’m not what you’d call a healthy eater, nor am I an unhealthy eater. I live in a special place somewhere in between where I eat limited amounts of vegetables and fruits and survive mostly on a handful of staple dinners and, of course, pop tarts.
I hated the concept of a pop tart when I was younger. I heard horror stories about people burning their lips and tongues on the filling and then there was the huge court case against Kellogg when Thomas Nangle failed to properly toast one and set his toaster on fire (honestly, how the hell can you screw that up?).
It wasn’t until I moved to Canada in 1997 and took up snowboarding that I discovered what a wonderfully tasty treat it actually was. Those tiny rectangular shaped pastries are responsible for not only keeping me alive but also provide me with a much needed sugar rush during slow afternoons at work. Here are the main reasons why pop tarts are awesome:
1) They’re conveniently sized so as not to ruin dinner.
2) They come in a variety of flavors to please every palate.
3) They’re colorful like a circus and spread fun and frivolity wherever they go.
4) Microwaving them for exactly 12 seconds heats them to the perfect temperature and avoids any unnecessary toaster fires.
5) In their uncooked state they can be used as a throwing weapon.
6) They’re neither healthy nor un-healthy. They won’t improve your physique but they also won’t make it any worse.
7) Eating a pop tart will result in no animals being harmed.
8) No girl can resist a man with a pop tart in his hand.
9) They increase your IQ.
10) If your table is uneven you can stick a pop tart under one of the legs to even it out.
11) In the unlikely event that the world comes to a crashing end through earthquakes, disease and nuclear war and I’m trapped in a bunker far beneath the earth existing only in a frozen status brought on by a freak power surge until a million years later I emerge unaffected by time…I’ll still be able to survive on pop tarts as they have no expiry date!
Other than those poor demented people who are constantly setting their toasters on fire everyone should experience the wonder of the pop tart. Why are you still reading this? Go! Now! Run to your local store! Miraculous wonders await you!!
If you’re still reading by this point then I’ll assume you recently experienced a horrible toaster fire, in which case I apologize for calling you 'demented' in the last paragraph.
Pop tarts forever!!
If you’re going to genetically modify a monkey to be smarter it might be a good idea not to mistreat it…or put it anywhere near that pale Malfoy kid from the Harry Potter series.
I was extremely skeptical about this movie when it was announced as, like many other things, why fix something when it’s not broken in the first place? Oh that’s right, to make money. Having said that the moment I saw the first theatrical trailer I was immediately sold. The one shot of the monkey sitting at the end of the bed staring at the sleeping couple made me HAVE to see the movie. Not to mention that pretty much everything is better once you add monkeys!
The movie is directed by Rupert Wyatt who is still somewhat of a newcomer but who I now admire for two reasons: 1) He successfully directed James Franco in a good movie and 2) Like myself he has a magnificently large forehead. Neither of these reasons probably contributed to the studio choosing him but they’re still worth recognizing.
I haven’t watched the original Apes movies in a long time so details are fuzzy but I do remember the basic premise. Rise of the Planet of the Apes serves as the first of two prequels (there has to be a sequel to the prequel) to the original movies and even includes some nice nerdy tidbits that make the future transition into the storyline of the past make more sense than this sentence. The story opens with Franco’s scientist testing a cure for Alzheimers on a group of chimps. Through a misunderstanding the project is scrapped and the ape killed except for a new born who has inadvertently received the ‘Cure’. Franco takes the ape (Ceaser) home and raises him as his own…monkey. He soon develops amazing intellectual developments but still being a monkey ends up biting the cranky next door neighbor, is submitted to animal control, takes over the other monkeys, leads them on a revolt and the rest is history.
Franco’s performance isn’t the worst in the movie, partially because his motivation is believable (dad suffering from Alzheimer’s), but putting him next to John Lithgow and Brian Cox doesn’t do him any favors. His saving grace is that the female co-star whose name I couldn’t even be bothered to look up was so wooden that Franco actually looks pretty good.
The real stars of the movie are the monkeys. Gone are the days of rubber masks hiding awkward British accents to be replaced with some excellent CGI. While I assumed that having CGI characters would pull me out of the story the animation was so good that other than a couple of short scenes it blended beautifully into the movie. Using motion capture technology and animation by WETA, the same frood dudes who brought middle earth to life, and employing Andy Serkis (Gollum, King Kong) to play Ceaser the look of the movie is consistently smooth throughout.
One scene involving Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) as an asshole animal control supervisor practically sealed the entire movie for me. While Ceaser is busy rallying his troops Felton continues to abuse the animals to his own enjoyment. But the crafty monkeys have so much more in store for him by cornering him in the monkey play pen in order to make an example of him and prove that they have the ability to rule over the humans. The scene is chilling with Felton delivering classic dialogue and when it reached its crescendo, when you finally realized ‘these monkey’s mean business,’ the entire theatre sat in a stunned silence.
MY RATING: I give this new entry into the Apes franchise a solid 8 damn dirty apes out of 10. Seriously, someone lock up that Malfoy kid, he’s a danger to our species.
Sometimes you have to work to find a blog post subject and sometimes they just run up to you and ‘moo’…
IMPORTANT: Read this article first: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/16/german-cow-fugitive-yvonne_n_927258.html?ir=World#And now, here’s my interpretation of the story…from Yvonne’s point of view.
While all the other cows accepted their fate with a swish of their tale and a derisive ‘moo’ there was one cow that stood against the collective adversary that planned to slaughter them like…well…like cattle. Yvonne, a six year old cow, escaped from a farm in Muehldorf, Germany in May by channeling the dead spirit of Jing Zao Kapow, the sacred ninja warrior of the Tang Dynasty.
With spectacular agility the heffer sprang over the fence and raced off into the night. Believing her fight to be at an end she created a new life for herself in the woods and fields of the Bavarian countryside living a peaceful life… or so she thought!
Several months later as summer began to fade away a police car attempted to accost Yvonne while she stood quietly meditating at the side of a country road. Believing the cow to be a threat to all humanity the local police permitted hunters to shoot her on sight. Sensing the impending danger Yvonne’s inner spiritual ninja sprang to life and she vanished into the woods and quickly disguised herself as a tree. Many hunters entered the forest that autumn… many were never heard from again.
Believing Yvonne to be nothing more than a defenseless cow, animal activists began to protest against the hunters and a growing conflict was born. Hunters continued to vanish mysteriously while the activists attempted to capture Yvonne and take her to safety. They employed various techniques including dispatching a group of activists dressed as Yvonne’s family to entice her and hiring an animal psychic to communicate with her. Both attempts failed miserably.
In an attempt to appeal to her sexual appetite the activists then released Ernst the bull into the woods in the hope that he would woo her into submission. Yvonne saw the introduction of an alpha male as an act of war and resolved to send a message. Urged by the dead spirit of Jing Zao Kapow Yvonne fashioned herself a cutting device of lethal capabilities. She waited until nightfall, gathered her udders, and leaped from her hiding place as Ernst slept. The bull emerged from the woods the next morning completely mortified and very much castrated.
A German newspaper began offering a reward of $14,000 to anyone who can capture Yvonne. Once the illusive cow caught wind of the offer she resolved to leave the country. The rest of her story is currently a mystery…
… In 2011, a cow was sent to slaughter house by a military court for a crime she didn't commit. She promptly escaped from a maximum security farm to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the German government, she survives as soldiers of fortune.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find her, maybe you can hire... Yvonne the German Ninja Cow.
After seven months Mr. Bojangles had ceased keeping me up at night, mostly due to my new found ability to sleep as if dead. After the refrigerator incident Boj took to climbing into any open cupboard he could. I assume he still liked the small dark places but appreciated that he didn’t suffer any sort of hypothermia.
In order to discourage him from climbing through the cupboards I started squirting him with a water bottle. It took two weeks until we reached the point where he didn’t care anymore and I believe he actually enjoyed being wet. I gave up in the end and let him sit in whatever cupboard he damn well pleased.
After eight months of living together I found myself inundated with homework. Film school was busy and I had a 120 page screenplay to submit before the end of the program so I spent many evenings in a tea induced coma hacking away at my keyboard.
My apartment was on the 7th floor looking out over New West (the crappy looking side, not the nice side with the River and the Quay Market and the riverboat). There was a balcony which I never stepped on because 1) I was afraid it would collapse and I’d plummet to my death and 2) the cat would always get out and with his lack of depth perception I was always afraid he’d jump.
For these reasons the balcony door stayed well and truly closed. Unfortunately there was also a window. The window had no screen so in order to be able to open it I duct taped screening onto it. Outside the window was a 4 inch ledge that sloped slightly downwards.
One day while typing away I heard the cat release a muffled ‘MEOW’ in reply to which I said ‘shurrup Boj,’ without looking up. ‘MEEOWW’ said Boj. “Shhhh,” I said. ‘MEEEOWWRR’ shouted Boj. “Go and play with something,” I said.
When he refused to stop making noise I finally looked up to see that he had ripped his way through the screening and was out on the far side of the tiny ledge smooshed (not a real word) up against the window while attempting to defy the laws of gravity.
Looking back at that moment it reminds me of the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones is approaching the gold statue and is about to switch it for a bag of sand. I crept up to the window so as not to startle him as one tiny slip, the smallest gust of wind, and we’d be finding out if cats could fly (they can’t, we tested the theory later).
I reached through the hole in the screen and around to where the cat sat precariously on the ledge. Despite being a black cat he was starting to look fairly white at this point. I paused and then struck with viper-like speed grabbing him by the scruff of his neck. I carefully lifted him off the ledge and then I believe at this point Mr. Bojangles had an attack of paranoia. Believing I was planning on dropping him he began to panic and attempted to snake his way from my grasp while simultaneously shredding the skin on my arm. And so I did the only sane thing, I dropped him to his death…
…alright, no I didn’t. I tried to pull him back through the screening but the hole was too small and he was still trying to fight me off so I ended up ripping off the entire screen in order to get him back inside.
Later that night after applying polysporin to various cuts on my arm I went to bed, fell into my death-like sleep, and dreamt wonderful dreams about throwing cats off seventh floor balconies.
Yes! My first (and probably last) sci-fi/western movie review. Strap yourself into your spaceship…or saddle your horse…or whatever…
Cowboys & Aliens is directed by John Favreau, the same guy who brought Ironman to life in a way that no one ever thought was possible. Based on the popular comic of the same name the movie throws us into Arizona circa 1873 where the west is ruled by the strong and the rugged until a bunch of Aliens arrive and start blowing shit up.
The writing team is led by Robert Orci who penned Transformers, the Star Trek reboot and The Island so the guy is familiar with sci-fi. The movie does a great job of transitioning the storylines from the comic onto the big screen. While following the main characters it still manages to touch upon several other intertwining character arcs without interrupting the pacing.
We’re first introduced to Daniel Craig who wakes up in the middle of the desert with no memory and an electronic device attached to his wrist. He proceeds to disarm and kill three men in order to dress himself and then proceeds to the nearest town to discover that he’s a wanted man. Craig’s character embodies the western badass, he’s quick, he’s brutal and he doesn’t say very much.
Moments before the aliens show up we meet Harrison Ford who plays the local head honcho. He’s the old colonel who’s seen it all but underneath all the growling (which is what most of his dialogue sounds like) he’s really got a heart of gold.
After the initial attack the characters put aside their differences and join the rest of the town folk to hunt down the aliens who have abducted most of the town’s population. The assembled posse includes Olivia Wild as a mysterious woman with a particular interest in Craig’s character (she’s later set on fire taking her ‘hotness’ to new levels), Sam Rockwell as a nice guy/bartender, and a smattering of other actors who are in familiar territory with the established genres.
Without throwing out spoilers the ‘old school’ cowboys kick ET’s ass off the planet. There’s one twist involving Wilde’s character during the second act which makes you think Favreau was asleep that day but other than that it runs fairly seamlessly tying everything into a neat little bow.
Two problems exist for me: 1) Everyone looks too clean. There’s dirt everywhere and no running water or underground plumbing. 2) What does Harrison Ford see in Ally McBeal? It feels like he was aiming for Portia de Rossi and missed.
All in all definitely worth a watch but if you miss it in theatres it’ll still be just as good once it’s available for home viewing.
MY RATING: I’ll give it 6.5 Bond’s out of 10 Indiana Jones’. Simply because, even at 69 years old, Harrison Ford still looks like he could out-run a giant rolling boulder.
One of the things I wanted to do with this blog was write reviews of movies that I watch. It doesn’t even have to be new movies, I’d just like to get into the habit as I’m a big genre movie fan and want people to read my opinions because, apparently, I’m a becoming a bit of an audience whore.
I love summer blockbusters, comedies, horrors, superhero movies, action, drama, thriller…so it’s with a slightly sad heart that my first review is for the Justin Timberlake/Mila Kunis romantic comedy ‘Friends with Benefits.’ My wife and I managed to have a date night (which is rare with three kids) and it was her choice, although admittedly I did want to see this one. Don’t tell anyone or I’ll hunt you down and remove your spleen.
The movie is written and directed by Will Gluck who aside from having an outrageously awesome last name also directed last year’s ‘Easy A’ with Emma Stone which was a stylish and refreshing comedy.
I was shocked and surprised at how damn good the movie was. Everyone’s familiar with the concept of having a friend with benefits and if anyone has ever found themselves in such a situation you will already know how complicated that situation can be. The movie plays on the situation with such style and finesse that it stands separate from the ‘romantic comedy’ label. While using common comedic devices (awkward first time sexual encounters, strange best friends, insane mother/mother-in-laws, etc) it adds many unique twists causing it to make fun of itself and every other romantic comedy before it. A true testament to the writers who dared venture into, what’s normally, a very predictable genre.
Simple premise: Kunis is a head hunter who convinces Timberlake to leave LA in favor of a job in NY at GQ magazine. They become best friends, they agree on the friends with benefits scenario, they fall in love, they get angry with each other, they get back together…CREDITS.
Of course they end up together (sorry to those who were waiting for that massive reveal). The true magic here lives with the cast which include, among others, a stellar hippy-type Patricia Clarkson as Mila’s mother, Woody Harrelson as a gay sports editor, Richard Jenkins as Timberlake’s Alzheimer suffering dad, Shaun White as an asshole, plus cameos by Catherine Reitman, Masi Oka and Emma Stone.
Kunis has broken the ‘Jackie’ stereotype beyond repair allowing her to branch into the comedy genre with ease. And, although it pains me to say it, two of the most hilarious scenes come directly as a result of Justin Timberlake’s excellent performance. The first involves a sneeze and the second is an awesome rendition of Kriss Kross’ ‘Jump’ during which I may actually have pee’d a little (my apologies to the Langley Colossus Theatre).
Overall it’s a great story that almost gets buried underneath the performances by the two leads whose chemistry (and nakedness) brings sexy back…again.
MY RATING: I’ll give it nine Glucks out of ten making it an easy ‘A’!!