Felicity and Time Travel

Well, it finally happened. Beth and I finished watching the entire series of Felicity. Now before you silently judge us, in Beth's defense and my shameful, shameful, guilt, it was actually my second time through. What can I say? I was a freshman in college and had a lot of things to figure out, and I also liked to have a reason to skip class. Any reason.

"It's lunchtime and Yo Momma's on again? ...Who needs Theology anyways."

If you don't know what Felicity is about, it's basically a girl who goes to college for four years, works at Dean and Deluca, and repeatedly breaks up and gets back together with the same two people over and over again. If you're wondering how a group of guys I knew in college were watching this show, one possible reason is that I knew a lot of closeted gay people back then, the other reason is that J.J. Abrams helped create it. That's not to say the show is filled with smoke monsters and polar bears, but there is a lot of drama and at some point somebody gets hit by a bus.

I should also mention that Matt Reeves, the maker of one of the best movies ever made, also worked on the show.

The problem with Felicity, I realized, is that the show apparently kept going way longer than I actually thought it did. Whereas whatever I watched took up about two weeks of classes, Felicity on Netflix can take up to a month. Each episode is an hour long, with twenty four episodes to each season, and each season spanning a year in Felicity's life. Essentially, I felt like I was at college all over again, and it was still a long, excruciatingly dramatic experience, with a few exciting moments thrown in where somebody gets hit by a bus.

I was surprised to discover that at some point towards the end of the series the show still had four episodes left after every single loose thread was already tied up. At this point I assume J.J. Abrams took back the helm and did what he only knows best, which of course was add time travel. So spoiler alert people: Felicity travels through time. Just like Urkel did at some point in Family Matters, with the the obvious exception being that Urkel did all sorts of crazy crap and Felicity was based in the real world where people went to school and worked all day at Dean and Deluca to pay off student loans.

Now anyone who knows me can say that I'm a huge fan of anything related to time travel, and am certainly willing to fit it into any show, especially if it involves robots of some sort. But here I had a problem. As opposed to doing something important in the past, like make tons of money and actually go to classes instead of watching reruns of Yo Momma on MTV, Felicity instead chooses to do exactly what she did before and repeatedly break up and get back together with the same two people over and over again until she screws with the space-time continuum enough to start killing people on accident. This could have been cool, but instead is just confusing because, again, the show wasn't Family Matters and Felicity isn't able to drink a potion and become Cool Urkel Stefan.

"Yo Mamma's a cool Urkel -OOOOH! You just won cash moneee!"

Not that it ruined the show or anything. I still have fond memories of watching Felicity in a dorm that reeked of mildewed ramen noodles, and enjoyed seeing it a second time in my new room which pretty much smells the same sometimes. Now that it's over, it's time to move on and see what else Netflix has in store, which I really hope isn't Family Matters. I guess moving on is really what Felicity was all about.


Melancholia - Movie Review



Split Melancholia in half and you have the beginning of a rather slow chick flick and the conclusion of the best science-fiction guy-movie you'll ever see. As one who would kind of like to see if Mr. Darcy is about to be consumed by a giant planet, such a premise fascinates me.

"M'Lady, I do believe we're screwed... Shall we retire to the rumpus room?"

Part one begins with the wedding of Justine to Michael (played by Kirsten Dunst and Alexander SkarsgÄrd, respectively, otherwise there would be a man in the bridal gown which belongs in a different kind of art film altogether). It's unsure to say how much of their relationship was based upon mutual feelings or economical factors, even though everyone appears to be wealthy. Although they do seem to have their fun beforehand, things soon turn sour once they reach the mansion. Amidst Justine's quarreling parents who were previously divorced, Justine's anxious sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and obscure business dealings, the marriage itself becomes background noise. The relationships are rather complex, and they're not made easy to define. It's a kind of confusion that works though. Justine wonders how she got there herself, and her subsequent choices define the darkness that she enters. Meanwhile, far above them, a distant star is giving it's last breath.

Part two takes place some time later in the future, when the wedding is a faint memory obscured by Justine's profound sadness. She mopes around the mansion as her sister Claire attempts to care for her, despite distinct distain from the both of them. They are brought together by an approaching blue planet named Melancholia, which is expected to graze Earth's path and then wander off. It's expected to because who would imagine that it wouldn't? Claire's husband (Keifer Sutherland) is sure it won't, which comes as a comfort to Claire, at least for a little while.

Depression is something that we see as a weakness, something to be cured. The film is in two parts to show us a perspective from the other end of the spectrum. Happiness can come with overbearing weights of expectation, while depression can offer that freedom that comes when there is nothing left to lose. In one part, one is strong, in the other, one is weak. It's strange how in the face of the ending of the world neither of them change all that much, but it's interesting in how they come to understand that. This is one of the most beautiful films I've seen, both in the way it is composed, and in the way it makes you feel. You're left with that feeling for a long time, and even if you don't necessarily like it I guarantee that you'll be thinking about it for a long time to come. See it.


Say Meow Again - A Journal Entry From Little Zack

When I was little my family did a lot of traveling. One year in particular we had journeyed to France, England, and (what some may consider to be less exciting) the mid northeast of the United States. Fortunately much of this was chronicled through daily journal entries. I seemed to enjoy writing mostly about what I ate each day, which appears to be numerous meals at Mc Donald's. It was a magical time.

This entry I found is particularly amusing and involves my cat Furball, who liked to make a dramatic display whenever we were about to leave. I should note, it has the best ending line ever. I think I might use it more often.

Furball story page 1

Furball story page 2

Here is the entry nicely typed (typos included):

"Columbus, Ohio


A few days ago I went to Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. We got a late start because my cat was up a tree. My whole family was going crazy! First my dad tryed to get her down by a hose of water. It shot up like a bullet except the cat went higher. Then my mom tide a string to the cats muffy mouse. My mom started saying see see mouse yea. But it didn't work. Then my sister started meowing. She went Meowwww. Then the cat came one step down. Meow again said my mom. My sister went meow. It didint work. No it was Meoww said my mom. Evry one went in side because it was the first snow of the season. Then the cat got lonely. evrybody was looking at the top of the tree throug the window. No whan could see the cat up the tree. But evry one thoght that the Cat was hideing behind the branches. I looked at the ground then I saw a cat hiding in the snow on the ground. evry one else was looking at the top of the tree. I said to them look the cat is on the grouned then evry one bursted out of the house. when they got the cat they fed her balone."


How To Make A Costume For Free And Go To A Weird Party

There are years when you'll spent countless hours perfecting your Halloween costume to elaborately capture your style, sense of humor, and vast knowledge of internet memes. And then there are years where you end up looking like this:

Most of what we have here are remnants of old costumes Beth's parents had stacked in the garage. Some I suspect for their animals.

Our dear friend Trevor was visiting from LA and decided to stop by after kicking back a few brooskies with his old man. Did I spell brooskies right? In any case, he was in the mood to find some authentic Visalia Halloween parties to go to, and realizing that we're never invited to any said Halloween parties, we decided to crash one that our friend was invited to while wearing disguises.

I'm fairly certain Trevor's costume is just an alternate reality version of Trevor, with some homeless/rockstar/Hagrid from Harry Potter thrown in there too. I meanwhile am a little bit more of a mystery, but Trevor and Beth noted that I'd fit in pretty well in some of the weirder scenes of the movie Eyes Wide Shut.

I think Beth stole the show though as a rebellious cross-dressing Amish person.

The party we attended turned out to be somewhat more disturbing than our costumes. Upon arrival we were met with blazing music, and I have no memory what the house looked like from the outside due to the fact that the lion mask I was wearing is carved from wood and has extremely small eye holes.

Once I had removed it I realized Trevor was missing, which was odd because we had literally been inside for no more than five seconds.

Stranded in the foyer we could only stand awkwardly silent while people asked who we were.

Luckily we found our friends who were waiting in the backyard. Their Dr. Who costumes showed a certain amount of time and effort our costumes clearly lacked, and yet, I'm still proud of us.

Eventually we were reunited with Trevor who admitted to making a straight b-line towards wherever he could find alcohol. His reasoning was that he was going to get a free drink or two before anyone kicked us out. And if that doesn't describe Trevor then maybe this picture will:

It's kind of why we love him.

Abandoning Trevor to his punchbowl of orange-flavored liquor, we left with our friends to a quieter porch in a different part of town, where we could make chit-chat without having to stare at a random guy who passed out on a lawn chair. Overall, I would say it was a success.

And so I leave you with a festive pumpkin I modeled after our cat who keeps peeing in the shower.

Happy Fall Everyone!