Category Archives: Pop Culture

watch out, she’ll write a song about you

If a guy shares his experience in writing, he’s brave. If a woman shares her experience in writing, she’s oversharing. Or she’s overemotional. Or she might be crazy. Or watch out, she’ll write a song about you. That joke is so old, and it’s coming from a place of such sexism.

Taylor Swift


A List of Movies

All the new(ish) movies I saw this year.

  1. White House Down (2013)
  2. Closed Circuit (2013)
  3. Enough Said (2013)
  4. Blue Jasmine (2013)
  5. In a World… (2013)
  6. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
  7. Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
  8. The Book Thief (2013)
  9. American Hustle (2013)
  10. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
  11. Kill Your Darlings (2013)
  12. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
  13. Hateship, Loveship (2013)
  14. Finding Vivian Maier (2013)
  15. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
  16. Bridesmaids (2011)
  17. About Last Night (2014)
  18. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
  19. Non-Stop (2014)
  20. August: Osage County (2013)
  21. Philomena (2013)
  22. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
  23. The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
  24. Step Up All In (2014)
  25. 22 Jump Street (2014)
  26. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
  27. Words and Pictures (2013)

The Wisdom of George

Last night I happened to stumble across the first episode of Seinfeld. You know, the one where Jerry wears red sweatpants and there’s no Elaine. Anyway. Jerry and George are nattering away, as they do, and what do I hear George say?

JERRY: Yeah, OK. Oh, wait a second. Oh, I, I forgot to clean the bathroom.

GEORGE: So what? That’s good.

JERRY: Now, how could that be good?

GEORGE: Because filth is good… Whatta you think: rock stars have sponges and ammonia lyin’ around the bathroom? They, they have a woman comin’ over: “I’ve gotta tidy up?” Yeah right, in these matters you never do what your instincts tell you. Always, ALWAYS do the opposite.

JERRY: This is how you operate?

GEORGE: Yeah, I wish.

The Opposite! In the very first episode. It’s a sign, right? 😉

A List of Movies

All the new(ish) movies I saw this year.

  1. Argo (2012)
  2. Skyfall (2012)
  3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
  4. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
  5. The Bourne Legacy (2012)
  6. Drive (2011)
  7. Eat Pray Love (2010)
  8. Black Swan (2010)
  9. The Words (2012)
  10. The Debt (2010)
  11. Flight (2012)
  12. The Master (2012)
  13. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
  14. Gangster Squad (2013)
  15. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
  16. Jack Reacher (2012)
  17. The Impossible (2012)
  18. Seven Psychopaths (2012)
  19. Side Effects (2013)
  20. Identity Thief (2013) oof, this was terrible. zero stars.
  21. See Girl Run (2012)
  22. I Do (2012)
  23. The Call (2013)
  24. Blood Pressure (2013)
  25. The Sapphires (2012)
  26. The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
  27. The East (2013)
  28. Love is All You Need (2012)
  29. Sunlight Jr. (2013)
  30. The Bling Ring (2013)
  31. The Internship (2013)
  32. Before Midnight (2013)
  33. The Heat (2013)
  34. The Way Way Back (2013)
  35. The Hunger Games (2012)
  36. Arbitrage (2012)
  37. Broken (2012)
  38. Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
  39. The Kings of Summer (2013)
  40. Frances Ha (2012)
  41. We’re the Millers (2013)

New Year’s Day

In service of my goals, yesterday I walked downtown and bought some things:

  • a 2013 planner (50% off)
  • a sketchbook, 5×8-ish, big enough not to feel cramped, small enough to carry around. and I pulled out my pencils/erasers/pencil sharpener and put them with the sketchbook, so no excuses.
  • a 3-pack of Moleskine journals (like this, except these ones have a pattern on the cover)  — one of which I’ve already started writing reading notes in. go me.
  • a box of all-purpose cards. now I just need some stamps. I think I’ll also get some Vancouver postcards. (want snail mail? email me your snail mail address. I promise not to do anything nefarious with it.)

I walked around Canada Place for a bit (drinking a latte and taking phone photos of the snowy North Shore mountains, like everyone else and their dog who was downtown) and then I went to see Argo. It was good, no doubt. I have to give BAf props for being able to create suspense when I already knew the ending.

When I first heard about this movie, I was puzzled because it was advertised as some untold story and I was like what? Because I knew this story. I imagine it was plastered all over Canadian news at the time. I can’t explain why I have a vivid memory of this story and nothing of the Marathon of Hope when they happened the same year. The only thing I can think is that the constant repetition of the Terry Fox story over the past 30 years has obliterated any of my personal memories of it.

Anyway. The “untold” part of it is the CIA involvement. But the movie makes it seem like the Canadians were just doofy bystanders, undeserving of any of the kudos they received. Which, if you think about, makes no sense: Tony Mendez, the CIA guy Affleck plays was in Iran for like a day. Clearly, there was a lot going on in Iran in the 79 days preceding Mendez’s appearance that is totally glossed over. Like the real Canadian passports that just magically appeared. There’s a slam in the postscript at the end of the Canadian ambassador, Ken Taylor, which seems totally uncalled for. But if you don’t think about any of that: good movie.

Oh. Before the movie, there was trailer for this. It was almost entirely Ryan Gosling shooting people. Intercut with Sean Penn emoting intensely. It has the same rating (R) as Argo, which did have some violence but I would guess probably got its R not from its violence but from the number of times ‘fuck’ was used. Because impolite language is totally equivalent to violent death. And we (society) remain puzzled as to why some people get it in their heads to go on shooting rampages.  Just saying.

As I left the theater, I was thinking hmm, need food. I didn’t feel like going grocery shopping. I wanted something like fast food but not fast food if you know what I mean. As I walked to Stadium Station, I passed T&T. Through the doors I could see what looked like a deli case. Hmm, I thought. I went in. As I suspected: sushi. Perfect. Well played, T&T, well played.

And then I went home and started reading book #1 of 2013, Turtle Valley.

It was a good day.

What must happen

[Friday Night Lights]’s sole focus is on the episodes themselves, resisting what has become standard in TV marketing – online franchising in the form of tabloid features, extensive merchandising, and audience participation via wiki fan sites.  … It’s a crucial decision, if you think of FNL (and I do) as well-crafted art.  The serial narrative – in both TV and literature – when offered up to fans as participants, can become vulnerable.  …  The creators of FNL are not interested in what fans want or need to happen to the characters, but rather about what must happen to them, in the world they’ve created.

Sonya Chung