blog 2nd subtitle caption

- earnest, meaningful and slightly sarcastic -

Monday, December 7, 2015

iZombie The Hurt Stalker S02E08: Show Inconsistencies & My Questions SPOILERS

It's a cute show with many bromance in-jokes, but...

1. Babineaux's Stolen Gun
Babineaux seemed unfazed that his gun was stolen, only revealing that information at the murder scene. Don't gun laws require some sort of reporting when your gun is stolen? Especially when you're a cop? It's kind of a big deal when your gun goes missing. Or just report a theft in general?

2. Fingerprints on Gun
That should have exculpated Babineaux from the get go.

3, Timeline of Regina's Badge Bunny Relationships
Ravi concluded that Regina's fantasy wedding album version Matthew Voss was thrown off the bridge only a few days ago because it was still dry when a few days ago it rained.

Dale Bassio confirmed that the package Regina left in the last episode cliff hanger ending was Regina's album for Clive.

I assume that Captain Walt Price also received his album recently like the other two.

Kinda weird that she'd send them their albums all at once. I mean, sure recycling the design is fine (ain't nobody got no time for that and all), but I don't really understand Regina's perspective. Did she date them sequentially or concurrently? If she dated them the way nice girls do (one at a time) why did she wait to end 3 relationships before giving the first guy her album? If she multi-tasked and dated them at the same time, wellll OK then.

4. Capt. Walt Price's phone conversation with Det. Cavanaugh
Not so clear why Capt. Price was worked up over Clive's album. Did he think that his affair could be found out based on the picture of him (his body actually) that Regina photoshopped?

5. What did Happen to Clive's Album?
Who stole it from Cavanaugh's desk? No seriously, who stole it? But is it significant?

6. Did Babineaux meet Regina in Matthew & Uma Voss's wedding???
Clive said he met Regina at a wedding and hit it off. Matthew Voss is in the police like Babineaux, so maybe Clive got invited to Matthew's wedding as a colleague? That's kind of incriminating on Clive considering according to Uma Regina showed up drunk and puked all over Uma's dress (and tried to kiss Matthew if I recall correctly).

7. Uma's Stolen Wedding Ring
If Regina stole Clive's gun, why would she steal Uma's engagement ring? Wouldn't Regina prefer to steal something that belonged to Matthew?

8. Gilda/Rita Discovery
Like everyone else I don't memorize phone numbers anymore, but wasn't there a possibility that Liv would have recognized Gilda's number?

So many questions... and that's just the mystery of the week and doesn't include points about Liv & Major's relationship, Max Rager, Gilda/Rita issue, etc!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Value of Fame

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck announced the end of their marriage a day after their 10-year anniversary.

If beautiful rich famous people can't make it, what about us mere mortals?

While I was whipping up this super snappy comment, I had trouble with producing the third adjective. Famous. Why is being famous so desirable? Beautiful is a no-brainer because the whole point of beauty is to attract; rich makes life more fun or at least removes banal stressful everyday life things like worrying about money or doing banal stressful everyday things (personal assistant).

But fame? I had never understood it. For a long time I thought it was just something that extroverts wanted, like if you're famous you go to a lot of parties with a lot of people screaming and dancing with music loud in the background and light bulbs flashing everywhere. But I think I finally kind of understand it now. Fame isn't about having your name in lights. It's about being loved and wanted. People love you so much that they want to know what you think, what you wear, what you feel, what you eat. Fame is when people value you whether for your big achievements, banal everyday life things, or both. I think it took the social media age for me to understand fame. It feels great to get so many likes. It feels validating.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

The words were capitalized and black against the book's white spine. I spotted them from the threshold and like how a straight line is the shortest distance between two points, I closed in on the space between the entrance of the bookstore and the back wall. This trip to the bookstore was a quick happy easy success.
(clockwise from top left) my copy of The Marriage Plot; a sweet line from the book; the back cover of my copy; the former owner's marginalia

    The Marriage Plot chronicles the college and post-graduate lives of the protagonists told in alternating perspectives: the books they read ; their romantic partners; and their progress through the marriage plot of their lives. In the novel, Mitchell Grammaticus is a thoughtful all-Greek-American student at Brown. He is sincerely searching for wisdom "with a capital W" in majoring in religious studies. He's a masterly student, basically guaranteed by his professor admission to his choice from Harvard, Yale or Princeton's divinity schools, but he's still the kid from the Midwest, rhapsodizing over exotic ice cream flavors like rum raisin.

  On the other hand, Leonard Bankhead's lousy childhood and mental health set a cynical edge to his confidence, but just like Mitchell he too ponders the big questions in life, though instead of religious studies philosophy is his method of inquiry, which leads him to semiotics class and to Madeleine Hanna for whom he falls in love, also just like Mitchell does.

  In Mitchell’s case, not only is he in love with Madeleine, he is convinced he will marry her. This bit of information completely detoured my reading and evaluation of the entire novel.

  See, in a spell of post-holiday blues, I reread Curtis Sittenfeld’s Man of My Dreams to revive any feeling left inside of me. The central premise of Man of My Dreams is that Hannah Gavener is in love with Henry, her cousin Fig’s college boyfriend, and is convinced that one day, she will in fact marry him—just like Mitchell with Madeleine. There are other similarities between the two novels: two coming of age novels; two campus and post-grad settings, and importantly, two protagonists who believe themselves destined for persons who don’t quite share their views. The comparison to me is inescapable. Early in both novels, Mitchell and Hannah envisioned being married to and having a family with their respective romantic interests: Mitchell while playing Scrabble with Madeleine and her parents, while Hannah during a long drive to Cape Cod with Henry. This feeling directs both the novels.

The very idea behind The Marriage Plot to me is just a more literary refinement of Man of My Dreams. As opposed to celebrity gossip and Hannah’s family members’ love lives, The Marriage Plot uses Austen, Eliot and the Brontes as a template for romantic relationships for Mitchell, Madeleine and Leonard to follow, or not to follow. Even characters’ names are similar: Hannah Gavener and Madeleine Hanna.

  More substantially, both Hannah and Mitchell go through their pursuit of love as a wholly transformative process. Hannah has to overcome the effect of her parents’ bad marriage, her own less than satisfactory relationships with them and quite a bunch of other people and her very understanding and beliefs about human relationships if she wants to be in love. Mitchell has more of a religious quest alongside his romantic pursuit. He goes to catechism, reads books by saints and volunteers at Mother Teresa’s home for the sick in India. Even though Mitchell’s appears more serious, he actually gets to have fun. He travels the world with his best friend Larry, whereas Hannah’s life is eventless except for a lot of painful moments. Hannah seemed alone in the world except maybe for Fig her cousin who does love her but could treat her more carefully. Basically, Hannah comes across tortured whereas Mitchell had a degree of youthful euphoria that comes from love even when unreturned.

  In both cases, youth was portrayed honestly. There’s a lot of self-doubt and insecurity wondering where we stand in relationships, but at the same time the young (including me?) can be so unquestionably sure about their feelings. There’s the moodiness, a kind of receptivity to every emotional stimuli. There are also the great friendships. There’s a part where Mitchell in spite of his anger at Larry for duping him and ruining their party quickly forgives him because “Larry was his best friend, they were going to India together and Mitchell had no choice.” Fig could put more effort in making Hannah comfortable but Fig accepts Hannah and doesn’t judge her (even though Hannah might believe otherwise). The petty and significant are all jumbled up and thrown at the young all together and teasing out what matters—be it your pride, the love of your life or long-held beliefs—and what to throw out makes a great coming of age novel. There are many ways to read The Marriage Plot, there are after all two more major characters and the thesis of the marriage plot. In the end, I loved how both novels ended and I loved how both authors treated their characters with so evident care. Being young is painful and exhausting and I’m glad the characters got their due.