Saturday, August 24, 2013

"The Canyons" Made Me Sad

Last night I gleefully announced to my friends on Facebook that Lindsay Lohan's new movie, The Canyons, is available on demand on cable, and that I would go ahead and watch it so that nobody else had to.

And then I watched it.

And now I feel bad for doing so.

My friend Rod said that I had a moral duty to blog about it, presumably because I volunteered to watch it for others, but after sitting through it (and falling asleep for about fifteen minutes of it; I rewatched that part today to make sure I didn't miss anything that might change my opinion) I found that I didn't have anything entertaining to say about it. I read a number of articles about the making of this movie, and all of them made me feel kind of bad for Lindsay Lohan, but actually watching this made me feel guilty. It made me feel like Lindsay Lohan was a real person in pain, rather than a punchline, and that it was wrong to exploit her.

The movie itself is nothing great or terrible. The plot is a pretty by the numbers "murderous love triangle amid the glamour of Hollywood", familiar ground that B-movies and "erotic thrillers" have covered more than once over the years. The acting is tolerable, the scenery feels authentic, and the soundtrack left no impression, so I guess it was fine or that it didn't have one. I'm pretty sure this movie only got any publicity because Lindsay Lohan was attached to it, and that's too bad, because I don't think Lindsay Lohan should have been in this. Instead, she should have been in treatment somewhere.

It's easy to say that in hindsight, knowing that she went from that straight to rehab, but even if you didn't know that it would be clear while watching this that something is wrong. Lindsay looks bad throughout the movie, but not in the sense that she's ugly; she looks unwell.

Lindsay Lohan in "The Canyons" (1)

Lindsay Lohan in "The Canyons" (2)

Lindsay Lohan in "The Canyons" (3)

This movie emphasizes the tragedy of Lindsay Lohan's life so far, which is that she had talent and has completely squandered it. I'm not saying that she was destined to be one of the great legendary actresses of Hollywood or anything, but she had decent emotional range and excellent comic timing. Had she stayed clean, she could have enjoyed the career arc that Emma Stone is having. Instead, she may have lost her talent amid the drinking and the partying and the constant tabloid-fodder behavior. This is the kind of movie that Lindsay Lohan would never even have looked at after filming "Mean Girls", and now it's the only kind of movie that she can make.

The movie is Lindsay Lohan at rock bottom, and I feel like a guilty voyeur for watching it just to see that.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Should I get a cat?

For the past few weeks, I've been toying with the idea that maybe I should get a cat. I've toyed with this idea before, but this is the first time that I've thought about it for more than ten minutes in a row, so I started to wonder if I might be serious. I weighed the pros and cons, and discussed the idea with friends.

The main objection, which hasn't yet outweighed the benefits, is this:

If you have a cat in the house, you have a box of cat feces in the house.

I have no idea why this is the point that's the dealbreaker, other than that I don't like cleaning my own bathroom, so I'd probably like cleaning the cat's even less. Every other objection (vet bills, lodging when I travel, being clawed and bitten) has melted away except this one, and this one seems somehow insurmountable.

I keep thinking about it, though.



Tossing the idea around in my mind.

Should I get a cat?

Catwoman (1)

Catwoman! You know a lot about cats.

I should get one, then?

Catman (1)

Catman? You don't think I should get a cat? But I thought cats were kind of, you know, your thing?

Catman (3)


Hey, why are your figure's eyes blue when your eyes are green in the comic?

Catman (2)

You've clearly never read this blog before.

Back to the matter at hand, what's wrong with a nice, quiet housecat?

Catwoman (2)

Yeah. You adopt one, just like you would a child.

Catman (4)

That... doesn't sound so much like a family.

Catwoman (3)

Yes! Like a family member.

Catman (5)

Also like a family member?

Seriously, though, as long as I provide food to the cat, the cat loves me, right?

Catman (6)


Catwoman (4)

Catman and Catwoman

Wait, what?

Catman (7)


Sunday, August 11, 2013

My New Bad Habit

I've heard that something becomes a habit after two to four weeks of steady reinforcement. If that's true, then I have a problem, because I've done something for the past three weeks:

I have apparently become a habitual buyer of "In Touch" magazine.

I'm not really sure how this happened. I do know that it keeps happening at the grocery store, though. I'll get to the register, start loading things onto the belt, and then think, "That looks mindless and trashy. Maybe it would be fun to read."

Then I get home, and discover that I had the same thought last week. And the week before.

For those unfamiliar with it, "In Touch" is part of the celebrity tabloid genre of magazines, although the word "celebrity" is questionable in some cases. Is someone who was on MTV's "Teen Mom" a celebrity? Or someone who dated a celebrity but hasn't really done anything themselves? And why is it such a crisis when any of them go outside without makeup? The world may never know, but to spare you the pain of developing a habit like mine, I'd like to share the top six things that I've learned from reading "In Touch".

Hopefully the public shaming associated with admitting to knowing these things will keep me from buying it again.

1) Jennifer Aniston might be pregnant. Or she might not be. I've now read multiple articles on whether or not Jen has been walking around with a baby bump. She might have a little bit of a belly, she might just have made some unflattering outfit choices, or, according to un-named "friends" (Ross? Monica? Joey?) she might be in fertility treatments and praying desperately for a child, and those treatments might have already worked. Either way, if you'd like to see a lot of pictures of Jennifer Aniston with captions like, "First bump photo?" or "Could it be?" and little arrows pointing at her midsection, then "In Touch" is the magazine for you.

Also, her face might be rounder, and her breasts might be fuller, according to "In Touch" and her "friends". They've subjected her body to so much scrutiny over the last three weeks that I'm surprised there hasn't been a photo with an arrow pointing at her crotch and a caption that says, "Penis went here!"

2) Jessica Simpson's weight is in a constant state of flux. One week her "friends" are concerned because she can't shed the baby weight and cannot stop snacking on hot, buttered Pop Tarts, but the next week she's losing the baby weight and ready to show off her new body. The week after that, her weight is no longer newsworthy, and there are no articles about it.

3) The mom of a teen mom on "Teen Mom" thinks the teen mom is a bad mom. Remember, this is coming from a mom whose sole accomplishment as a mother is raising a teen who became a teen mom and whose only accomplishments are being a teen mom on "Teen Mom" and making a sex tape. There's so much bad mothering in this paragraph that I feel like I might need a flow chart to break it down, but I can say with pride that I have never watched "Teen Mom".

4) Amanda Bynes' friends are concerned about her for multiple reasons. The main reason is her recent psychological trouble, and former coworkers and "friends" like Nick Cannon are reaching out to offer their support. However, other "friends" are concerned that Amanda's breakdown is way too close to the one Britney Spears had several years ago: both shaved their heads, acted out, and appeared in public in "wild wigs", all of which "In Touch" is happy to show us with side by side photo comparisons. I can only hope that if I ever have my own breakdown my "friends" will be there to reach out and make sure I don't just copy one from someone more famous.

5) The three oldest Kardashian girls have all made terrible choices in romantic partners. Khloe has reached her breaking point, and will no longer stand by Lamar through his multiple affairs. She has not yet reached a breaking point on the spelling of her first name, though. Kim has been trapped in her home by an insanely jealous Kanye West, according to several "friends". As evidence, they offer the fact that Kim has not been photographed in public since June 12, which is, for Kim, like saying she hasn't eaten since June 12. One imagines her walking desperately from room to room in her gilded cage mansion prison, begging the maids or possibly Kanye to please, just take a casual photo of her. As for Kourtney, sometimes the father of her children, Scott Disick, is photographed eating in public without a shirt on. Based on the photos, he also chews with his mouth open.

I can't decide which girl has the most tragedy, so I'm just going to vote for myself.

6) Teresa Giudice is in a lot of legal and possibly marital trouble. I already knew this from my dedicated viewing of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey", but the very media spotlight that created Teresa's "charmed life" of grifting, mortgage fraud, and theft now threatens to destroy it. She's been worried about her daughters for three weeks, but her shifting loyalties to her husband can't help but surface as the weeks reading "In Touch" pass. According to "friends" (one of whom I guarantee is Kim D.), Teresa was going to stand by her man, but now may testify against him to save herself from prison and to save her daughters from being raised by her "glamorous" arch-rival, her sister-in-law Melissa.

Extra Bonus Fact that I learned:

Kellan Lutz has feelings, too. Gazing plaintively at us over his shirtless pectorals, which are roughly the size and shape of Montana, Kellan would like us to know that "I don't want to be a piece of meat for the rest of my career." He then immediately returned to filming "Hercules 3D", a film where his only costume seems to be a leather skirt.

And that sums up my three weeks reading "In Touch".

From here on out I think I'll stick to food magazines.