How Doth Twilight Sucketh? Let Me Count The Ways…

I recently reread “The Vampire Lestat” and thought it was complete ass on the second go round. However, it had many things that the current popular vampire series completely lacks, such as plots that make sense, halfway decent writing, and a complete lack of glitter.

1. Bad Writing

While most English majors would argue that most bestselling fiction is poorly written, I would be the exception to that rule. I find clear, concise writing that people actually read to be more valuable and worthy than expertly crafted metaphors that nobody will understand. Yes, Ulysses by James Joyce is a masterwork. Will anyone else but a lit freak appreciate it? Probably not.

Starting from the point that I think Stephen King is awesome, sweet Jesus on a Popsicle stick, the writing in Twilight is godawful. I mean barfingly awful. I mean so horrid that I wouldn’t wipe my ass with it for fear that it would give me literary AIDS. Holy fucking shit.

2. Weak Female Lead

While I get that Bella was supposed to be an everywoman that every horny teenage girl could identify with, damn that girl was one weak lady. There’s been enough said on this on other sites that I won’t go on about it, but Twilight’s Bella makes the happy hooker in Pretty Woman look like Sigourney Weaver in Alien 3 – the one where she shaves her head and jokes with hardened prisoners.

3. Bella Spends Entire Movie Needing a Ventolin Mask

The amount of hyperventilation, breath-catching and cut-off words coming out of that actress should have seen Edward flying her to emergency to be seen by a respiratory technician, not inviting the obviously sick Bella out to play fucking baseball.

4. Sparkling. Fucking. Vampires.

When I first heard that the vampires in Twilight glittered in the sunlight, I laughed for about a minute straight. Then the person who told me had to convince me that they weren’t joking. Then, I laughed harder. The movie reaches an orgasmic comedy point when Edward reveals his sparkly boy-chest, especially since someone in the world is supposed to think that his barely post-pubescent body is supposed to be made hotter through the use of glitter. Hey, dumbshits, the last time I saw gratuitous use of glitter on men, it was at a drag show in Toronto. Just saying. Which brings us to the next point…

5. Edward is Straight? For Real?

Um…. no. From my first look at young Robert’s impersonation of the doomed young vampire, my gaydar was klaxoning out of control. I can only imagine that Bella’s blood smells so good to him because she’s been bathing in the pee of Adam Lambert, Brad Pitt, or whoever the boys are loving these days for the past ten years of her life. Their hormones have then seeped into her DNA, thus making her attractive to Edward.

6. Nobody Notices that We Live in a Freaking Mansion and Drive Impossibly Expensive Cars.

My parents grew up in a small town. If someone in that small town had the kind of amassed wealth that was evident in the Cullen compound, they would be the subject of endless town gossip. It wouldn’t matter how far back in the woods they lived, someone would notice the Mercedes SUV in the sea of Mercury Topazes and say “Hey, I wonder how those rich folks got all their money!”. Since vampires don’t seem to have powers of mass human persuasion in the Twilight world, there goes that explanation.

7. Fighting Involves Gyrating Like a Hooker About to Score Meth

Twilight’s vampires seem to have perfected a mode of Kung Fu known as “Sexy Fighting” in which they grind and gyrate like they are at a vampire bar while trying to kick the living snot out of their opponents. Which would be disarming if their opponents weren’t doing it too. I wasn’t really sure if Edward and the baddie at the end of the first movie weren’t going to kiss after hissing at each other and making snarling noises. In real life that would have totally happened.

I’ll come up with more, I’m sure, if I can manage to choke down the entire series. That is, if I want to devote precious hours of my life to complete brain rape.

Written by admin in: Politics |

Saving Money on Groceries

If you are on a budget, or even if you’re not and you want to save oodles of money on an everyday expense, it is necessary to educate yourself in proper grocery shopping.

I took some business classes and one of the most eye-opening seminars was from a business consultant who frequently does work for businesses like Price Waterhouse Coopers. Part of his presentation on finding money for your business involved grocery shopping. He doesn’t make an inconsiderable amount of money, and he was shocked by how much money he saved by economizing just a little. His mother came to stay with him and his wife, and the first day she was there she offered to go grocery shopping for them and help out with the household a bit. Our accountant friend had always just frequented the local Toronto Loblaws, as it was easiest to navigate and get to.

The mother went to the Loblaws as suggested and was blown away by the prices. She decided to do a quick survey; she stopped people on the street in the neighbourhood and asked them all if they lived there and if so, where they shopped. Most of them directed her to the local “No Frills”, where she went to conduct a standard weekly grocery buy for the young couple. This research netted them a savings of 100.00 per week.

Distinguish Premium from Regular
In the world of grocery stores, there are premium and there are regular grocery stores. The premium stores are generally easier to get to, have more parking, and are easier to navigate. They also make lots of money from high markup items like store-made sushi, salads, and baked goods. If you avoid the stores, you avoid the high markup items, and drastically trim your grocery bill.

That’s not all. Being an accountant, our friend did an Excel spreadsheet of the cost of regular household items at various stores, including convenience stores. His findings were interesting. On average, the “regular” grocery stores such as No Frills and Price Chopper were cheaper, and the “Premium” grocery stores like Loblaws and Fortinos were always higher. However, corner stores were cheaper on more common items like milk, which he postulated was an attempt to get you into the store.

Don’t Shop at The Corner

Unless it is Christmas and it is the only place open, don’t do your grocery shopping at the corner store. A lot of people with less money and no means of transportation go this way to save time, when in fact a small amount for bus fare can save you $20.00 on one grocery buy, even if you are closer on the bus route to a premium store. The exception would be for items like milk, as noted above.

Go During The Day
Most moms picking up their kids from school drop by the grocery store between 3:30 and 5:00. If you can make it earlier in the morning, say around 11:00, you’ll have access to items on the discount racks that are fresh and abundant. Don’t go right when the store opens as you want to give them a chance to stock the discount racks. Bread, baked goods and fruit and vegetables can all be obtained cheaply with this strategy, and some items are usually so fresh they’ll last a week in a fridge. You can freeze bread so if you get a deal, buy two loaves and freeze one. This strategy works effectively at both premium and regular grocery stores.

Where You Shop is Not A Status Symbol

Some people think it “sounds bad” to say that they shop at a discount grocery store. Nobody cares about where you shop. In fact, in these harsh economic times, it has become fashionable to pinch pennies.

Evaluate What You Buy Often – Is There a Cheaper Alternative?
Items like taco seasoning and Hamburger Helper can be made for far less money at home, unless they are on sale. Butter chicken, a staple for a lot of people now that Indian food is more popular, tastes better when made from Patak’s butter chicken paste, cream, and water, rather than expensive butter chicken sauce. Paste goes a lot further for about the same price as the sauce.

Shop at Wal-Mart
Yeah, I wrote that. Wal-Mart not only has staple items for far less money, such as hamburger and chicken, but they carry a wide array of organic products. These organic products range from milk to yogurt to bananas, and your local grocery store may have more of a variety, but they can’t match the price.

Why, do you ask, am I even writing a blog posting on saving money on groceries? When I was a student, I just didn’t have to economize, I had to make a dollar stretch so far you’d think it was a Cenobite (obscure Hellraiser reference there, I know). This meant that my one day off was spent taking the subway to Queen and Broadview to buy my meat at the cheapest and best meat shop in Toronto, and dry goods from the store right next to it. I have no idea if they are still open, it’s been about 15 years. It was a game to see how much money I could save over Toronto grocery store prices, and I won.

Today, everyone has to economize, even if they are upper middle class families. Nobody knows when the next layoff is coming or how much they may need for an emergency. Groceries are an obvious and easy place to cut expenses. Good luck chopping your budget!

Written by admin in: Musings |

Thank You Letter to Hamilton Health Sciences For Not Fundraising With Sarah Palin

Hi There:

I sent the following letter yesterday, and thought I should follow it up with a thank you letter for agreeing to disassociate Sarah Palin with Hamilton Health Sciences. While I understand that those at a higher level in your executive and administration may be grumbling over the immediate lost funds, I hope that this action signifies that you understand the damage that such an appearance would have long-term on the Hamilton Health Sciences brand.

It is important that a Canadian organization never be seen as supporting those who believe in the privatization of health care, and I am very glad that you made the decision to not support these viewpoints by not being a beneficiary of Palin’s speech. I’m sure there are many more like me who are not writing you letters about it, as people are more likely to write letters when they are angry than when they are satisfied with an outcome. You can count me as back on board with the HHS brand.

Written by admin in: Politics |

What Kind of Internet Commentor Are You?

Which of these categories do you fall into?

The Helpful Commentor
This person points out mistakes with varying degrees of hostility. At the helpful end of the sliding scale, they are really trying to help you out by correcting something. At the other end of same scale, they are telling you in no uncertain terms that they could have done it better than you while outlining exactly how.

The Cheerleader
Everyone’s favourite commenter, this is the person who loves what you do. This person gushes over your good stuff and gives you a mild clap of the hands even when it’s total shit.

The Digger
Generally male and in the 15-25 demographic. Whether or not they try to bury your story depends entirely on the amount of sex they have had in the preceding week. If they have had the proper amount of sex, they wouldn’t be on Digg to start with, so we’ll assume 1-2 times a week gets you off the hook with this guy.

The Rapist
This person does not set out to read your story. No. They set out to pick it apart and try to anally rape you with a scorching commentary that inevitably gets the rest of the commentors to jump to your defense, unless you’ve written a massive piece of ass, in which case you were ASKING FOR IT, you hussy.

The Virgin
Not a virgin in the usual sense of the word, this person loves or hates your piece so much that they bust their commenting cherry on your post. Only the very best and worst posts can bring out this shy little wallflower. Other commentors are usually gentle with them, except the Rapist. They can smell Comment Virgins a mile away and they pounce on them like starving jackals, when they are finished with you of course.
The Expert
This person knows the subject you wrote about ten times more in-depth than you do and isn’t afraid to let everyone know it. In fact, that is why they are commenting. They will generally drop names, dates, and places that they couldn’t possibly have been in, as they were probably levelling their Warcraft character to 80 instead. The great thing about the internet is never having to have an alibi.
“I was at Steve Job’s house, his suits were miraculous and his minions showed me around”. (TRUE COMMENT)
The R-tard
You’re talking about a web concept like social media marketing and this guy is going on about elevator pitches and how your world just doesn’t make sense to anyone over the age of 40. They’re right, it doesn’t. That’s why you’re getting paid the big bucks to write posts about it and this guy is working in customer service for Verizon, bitterly drinking himself to sleep every night after spewing vitriol on the internet.

The Conspiracy Theorist

You’ve just penned a nice missive on something benign like eco fashion trends and this commenter goes on about how fashion was the creation of three-titted aliens who are trying to eat our brains. These commenters are part of what makes the internet so fun.
Mr. & Ms. Random
This character is frequently a spam poster from a second or third world country who is being paid two cents a day to write missives such as “nice post! I didn’t understand it until midway through, now it is sense. Post more?” That last sentence was somewhat unrepresentative of Mr. Random’s comments as it was slightly coherent.The Friend Commentor
You have told your friends not to comment on your posts because it looks lame when they do. You’re completely right. However, something has posessed the hands of your friend to write something teary like “OMG I am so happy to see you doing so well, you are such a good writer, MWAH LUVS YEWS”. Pray that you have admin rights for this one so that you can erase this monstrosity before it sees the light of day.

The You Commentor
What an inspired company blog you have there. Too bad it is blatantly obvious that you are posting things like “Good Job!” and “Nice Work!” because all of the comments are from “admin”. Awkward.

Written by admin in: Internet |