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Democracy! [06 November 2012]

6 Nov

Okay, as is always the case when my posting is spotty…I am having laptop problems. =_= But today is important to me, so I had to make sure that I posted no matter what!

I am twenty years old, so if you can count, you realize that this is the first presidential election that I can vote in. And as females and PoC always state – so many people have fought and died and protested so that I could giggle as I wrote in Master Chief for New York State senate that it would be an absolute insult to them for me not to vote.

All jokes aside, I felt like it was my senior prom all over again. This night has been talked about for months, expectations were high, excitement was high, and I had four different patriotic outfits planned out for today. Seriously. I had a gorgeous red dress with a blue cardigan, blue slacks with a white shirt and red tie, my Bruce Springsteen “Born in the USA” shirt with jeans, or my Captain America t-shirt with jeans. I went with the Captain America shirt.

After hearing for months about how women and minorities could determine the results of the election, I actually got to participate in that process and make my voice KNOWN. It can be argued that because New York is traditionally a blue state and is guaranteed to President Obama – my voice doesn’t really matter and my vote was not important. There is some truth to that statement. But it would be possible – strange, but possible – for Mitt Romney to win to popular vote in NY and get our electoral college’s votes. And because I am a black woman and my demographic’s voice in this country is still relatively young, it will always be important for me to take part in democratic practices in this country. Always.

I was never around for the protests and the marches. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Martin Luther King Jr. all died long before I was concieved. Yet in this particular election, there have been people who actually have had the nerve to question the rights of people like me. Minorities who are legitimately registered to vote have been turned away at the polls and harassed by Americans who claim to be interested in “voter integrity”. The stakes were high in this election and I am so grateful that I was able to vote and that my vote will be counted. Even if it is just a drop in the bucket – my voice will be heard.

Make sure you go out and VOTE, people! Or all of the complaining will have been for nothing. (Even if you do write-in a video game character for one of the categories).

– Kai xxx


A Love Letter to New York Comic Con – 20 Oct 2012

20 Oct

So, as you all may (or may not) know, this past Thursday was my 20th birthday. So close…yet so far. You know what I’m talkin’ about! But anyway…to celebrate my 20th birthday, I attended New York City Comic Con  – or NYCC, as the cool kids like to call it. 

I threw on a cheap “traditional” Chinese jacket that I literally found on the ground and decided to cosplay a Custom Fighter from any fighting game. 

NYC was amazing and beautiful (if you looked past the mountains of garbage everywhere, seriously…what is that about?). And the con allowed me to get close to many fellow nerds and some of my favorite icons of the nerd culture. I heard Adam West’s voice from the man’s lips. In person. And I will cherish that moment forever

And the city itself is full of so much sexiness and fashion, it was almost too-much for my Rochester-native brain to handle. Seriously, I may have to find my boyfriend in New York.

The one thing I regret about my trip to NYC was the fact that I didn’t see the Statue of Liberty. That wasn’t my fault, though. My guide did not want to go at all.

I understand that this post was very…discombobulated…but in all honesty, this is the first time that I was able to describe the trip in more words than just “aaaaaaaaahhhh!”

– Kai xxx

My Thoughts On – Bachelorette. 14 September 2012

14 Sep

[Here, there be (possible) spoilers!]

Okay, so I don’t usually do movie reviews on this blog, but I think it’s a good idea for me to start reviewing every movie I see for the first time. Because…why not?

And I am going to start with a movie that I decided to check out on a whim a few days ago – Bridesmaids. What? Oh, sorry, I meant Bachelorette. Alright, that joke was stupid. This movie is nothing like Bridesmaids. You expect it to be the same movie. I mean, they both have girls and bridesmaids and pre-wedding shenanigans. But I would say that it’s 2 parts Bridesmaids, 3 parts Mean Girls, and 5 parts The Hangover.

I’m just going to provide this disclaimer – I hate romantic comedies, or romantic movies in general. Knowing nothing about this movie going into it – aside from the title and most of the cast – I mentally prepared myself for an hour and a half of eye-rolling, “oh please”s, and maybe a few snickers in between.

In the first scene of the movie, Kristen Dunst’s Reagan is having lunch with her friend, Becky (played by Rebel Wilson). Becky has to frequently interrupt Reagan’s self-assuring rant to break the news that her boyfriend has proposed to her, prompting Reagan to form a grimace-like smile and utter through gritted teeth – “I’m so happy for you”. In that moment, I could tell that the movie was going to take a dark path. In these first five minutes of the film, it is clear what was going on here – Reagan, a blonde who is pretty and successful, is jealous – even furious – that her fatter friend who is not as traditionally attractive is going to be married before her. Reagan, the queen bee of her friend group has finally been beaten at something and she doe not like it one bit. I didn’t know how to react because to be honest…I have been there. And I was able to sympathize. And that was something that I definitely didn’t like.

The next main character, Gena (Lizzy Caplan) is introduced in bed with a hook-up from a night of shenanigans. She has smudged mascara and eyeliner all over her eyes, wakes up to a morning cigarette, and has disheveled black hair. Once she puts on one of the guy’s shirts and realizes that he is a Jack Johnson fan, Gena screams an obscenity at the realization that the guy she hooked up with is a loser. I could see a lot more of myself than I would like in Gena, the “slut” with a fuck-you attitude. 

And to round-out this trio is Katie (Isla Fisher). Katie is a gorgeous airhead who works and retail and “doesn’t understand what anyone is saying to her”. She is overly-cutesy and naive – aka that friend I have but don’t really like to well. A theme that is in the movie that I don’t understand, but I get. I have friends that annoy the shit out of me on a daily basis, I sometimes think that I am above them, but when it comes down to it – I would fight tooth and nail for them (kind of like Reagan in this movie).

And of course, all of the women have male counterparts that don’t exactly fit the traditional romantic interest roles.

For starters, there is Reagan’s counterpart, Trevor (played by the ultra-dreamy will forever be known as Cyclops in my eyes, James Marsden). Trevor is the asshole guy and basically every guy I have ever hooked up with, ever. He encourages his friends to take advantage of drunk girls and (mutually) uses Reagan for sex. His pursuit of Reagan is in no way romantic or swoon-worthy. He mentions to his guy friends that he would like to “smell that red snapper” in reference to Katie. When it is revealed that another of the guys has interest in Katie, he just shrugs and says “Well, what about the Maid of Honor? I’ll take her down.” After hearing numerous conversations between my guy friends and things that the guys I have hooked up with said to me, I realize this behavior is true of every freaking guy I know. I don’t hate Trevor, because like I have done, Reagan uses him to relieve some frustrations. And it’s over.

Gena’s male counterpart is Clyde (played by the very sexy Adam Scott). This Pac-Man villain named character is Gena’s high school boyfriend, who got her pregnant when she was fifteen (or sixteen) and he was eighteen. He never showed up to take her to her abortion appointment and she holds a grudge against him and the wedding is their first time seeing each other since “that thing”, as Gena puts it. 

And finally, airhead-Katie’s male counterpart is Joe (Kyle Bornheimer). Joe is an adorable tech-geek whose high-school crush on Katie lasts even after he talks to her and realizes that she isn’t very bright. He never wants to take advantage of her and wants to make her a better person, while she can’t even remember his name throughout the film’s events.

All of this is tied together with a wacky plots about fixing a ripped wedding dress. And there are some sappy, typical rom-com moments – Adam Scott’s mixtapes and singing, James Marsden’s “You want somebody to put you in your place” line, and Kyle Bornheimer’s “I didn’t want it to happen like this…do you even care that it’s with me” moment. And there are moments in this film that made me laugh, cry, and most importantly – want to re-evaluate my life. This movie is a weird one to try and describe and all I can say is – just watch it! 

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. 


What the Hell, LA Weekly? – 24 Aug 2012

24 Aug

Hello Internet!

I’m just going to admit this from jump – I am a huge Black Keys fan. I would punch a baby in the face for a chance to see them live. So, when I noticed that drummer Patrick Carney’s tweet criticizing this LA Weekly article, I pretty much guessed that I would hate the article because as a fan, I am more inclined to siding with the band.

After reading the article, I noticed two things. The first being, apart from the scathing remarks on The Black Keys – I almost agree with every opinion stated in the article. The second thing I noticed was that this sounded less like a legitimate piece of news journalism and more like some angsty music snob’s tumblr post. All it this amounts to is a case of jumping on the “I hate hipsters” bandwagon.

As much as I hate quoting myself, here’s my comment on the article from when I posted it on Facebook earlier –

Don’t get me wrong, I mostly agree with this list. And by “mostly”, I mean I will punch these fools in the face for the dig at the Black Keys. But what is the point of this article, really? You have to ask – what is the point of insulting these artists? For the most part, they haven’t really released any music lately. Also, most music fans have made up their minds on these artists already. Why randomly take a swing at Death Cab for Cutie? They aren’t on tour. And their last album came out over a year ago. I can most definitely understand that music journalists have a right to express their opinions and criticize bad and overly pretentious music. But taking shots out of the clear blue begins to sound like hating for the sake of hating.

But maybe I am just bitter about The Black Keys criticism. I don’t know. You guys can let me know what you think. In the mean time, let’s listen to some “posh cracker blues rock” and talk about how this guitarist is clearly “more concerned with beard grooming and disheleving his hair” *rolls eyes*.

Stay Cool, Hipsters.

– Kai xxx

Whateva, I Do What I Want – 05 Aug 2012

5 Aug

Hey Lovelies!

Okay, this is not about to be some angsty teen rebellion post. Rather, I just have something I want to get off of my chest. *Deep breath* Alright, here it goes – I don’t care what the critics say, I am going to watch Total Recall and I am going to enjoy myself!

The remake of the unarguably badass Schwarzenegger classic of the same name (that’s right, I called Total Recall a classic) had some tough competition. It did, after all, come out in a summer movie season that included Marvel’s The Avengers (fuck yessssssssss! Yes! Go Marvel! Go Marvel!), The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Dark Angst Knight Rises. I mean, how is anyone supposed to compete with Baman, Piderman, and the Avengers? Too much. Not to mention, The Bourne Legacy will be released next week – and that looks like it’s going to be a good one. All of this on top of the fact that it’s a trend now-a-days to rag on remakes.  There’s a group of action film and sci-fi fans who went in to this movie already “knowing” that the Collin Farrell portrayal would not stack up to Arnold’s (and an even smaller group who went in to both films “knowing” that nothing would be able to compare to the Philip K. Dick novel on which both films are based). The odds were definitely stacked up against Total Recall being a well-loved and well-reviewed film.

To get to the point, I have a very small hunch that critics tend to disagree with me when it comes to action films in general. Action has never been a genre of film that has been considered “high art” and is often sneered at for featuring nothing but oiled-up dudes, boobs, and ‘splosions. I don’t know, sometimes you want to watch something that is enlightening and makes you laugh, cry, and adopt a puppy. But sometimes, a mindless barrage of explosions, tits, and hot guys is all I want out of life.  Just remember…no more than three tits on one girl, then it’s just weird. I digress, some of my favorite action films of all time have been poorly reviewed. In the middle of writing this blog post, I’m going to look at the Rotten Tomatoes pages of five of my favorite action films – Judge Dredd, Bloodsport, The Expendables, Mortal Kombat, and of course the original Total Recall. I really hope these films weren’t well reviewed, since it will hurt the case I’m trying to make here… Also, I promise that it’s a coincidence that the stars of all but one of the above mentioned films are going to be in The Expendables 2. Actually, a character from Mortal Kombat is based on Jean-Claude Van Damme…

1. Judge Dredd (1995)

  • RT rating – 15%…Don’t worry, babe, I still love you. You are the law.
  • Harshest critique – Mike LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle says “Usually engaging and sympathetic, Stallone is blank and tongue-tied here, an immovable slab in the midst of 95 minutes of gunfire, explosions and Gothic excess.”

2. Bloodsport (1986)

  • RT rating – 33% …Oh.
  • Harshest critique – TV Guide’s movie guide stated “Strictly a film for martial arts buffs; little is offered here in the way of plot, dialogue, or acting.”

3. The Expendables (2010)

  • RT rating – 40%
  • Harshest critique – Peter Travers of Rolling Stone says “It’s not the age of the actors that makes Expendables expendable. It’s the stale storytelling. “

4. Mortal Kombat (1995)

  • RT rating – 34% 1% higher than Bloodsport, the movie it drew inspiration from.
  • Harshest critique – Sean Means of says (and this is a gem) “The movie that most nearly approximates a video game: lots of action, no plot, eye-catching computer effects, and a dollop of violence.” What games is this guy playing that have zero plot? Hell, I’d say the Mortal Kombat games have too much plot. I mean that as a compliment, by the way…

5. Total Recall (1990)

  • RT rating – 84% Wow. Wasn’t expecting the critics to actually be…right. Maybe it’s because this isn’t a *traditional* action film
  • Harshest critique – Rita Kempley of the Washington Post says “A gratuitous explosion of vainglory and guts, the movie is all firecrackers and giblets and broken glass. The overall effect is like wading through hospital waste.”

The point of all that is, while there are some action movies that critics love (Total Recall, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard), a lot of my favorite action films have been universally hated by critics. And Total Recall is the type of film that should have a good plot, dialogue, and acting…I will probably enjoy the movie even if those things are not present. The critics’ words have no affect on the way I view the movie, and I am still excited to see it!

– I’ve got a Kumite to attend, talk to ya later.

xxx Kai

Obligatory Mortal Kombat Post – 16 July 2012

16 Jul

Hey there, Friends!

From a post I did a while back, you will recall me ranting about the rumored premise of an upcoming Mortal Kombat film directed by Kevin Tancharoen. Well, here’s a bit of an update – the second season of Tancharoen’s webseries, Mortal Kombat: Legacy, has just been announced.

KTanch’s (KTanch is his twitter handle, so I can call him that without sounding like a douche, right?) gritty retelling of the Mortal Kombat story was pretty well-received by critics and fans alike when it premiered on YouTube in 2011. I, personally, still don’t know how I feel about it. I mean, the Scorpion/Sub-Zero episode was pretty close to the original story. And seeing Johnny Cage as a down-and-out actor was amazing. Seriously, I could do a whole ‘nother blog post on how much I loved the Johnny Cage episode. But there were huge misses in the series for me. Giving Raiden a lobotomy and putting him in a mental institution is not “edgy”, it broke my heart and made me more nervous that entertained. I don’t want to see Raiden that vulnerable, if you want to see a vulnerable thunder god done right, look at Mortal Kombat (2011). And the Mileena/Kitana episodes were just plain boring and creepy…

Fangirl rants, aside, if you were iffy on Mortal Kombat: Legacy, like I was – season 2 promises none of the silly backstory and all tourney action! Let’s be honest, we don’t like MK for the story (the story is confusing as hell, anyway) and with ten minute episodes, it’s better to be more action heavy than story heavy. So, I was kind of excited when I saw the announcement trailer. Also, the roster includes fan favorites – well, my favorites – Kenshi and Ermac. Still no Reptile, which is odd. But I don’t really like Reptile. And I’m fine as long as there is no Hsu Hao! Here’s the video, the roster is listed at the end, pay attention or you may miss somebody!

But, um, what does this news mean for the Mortal Kombat movie we’ve been waiting for since that Mortal Kombat Rebirth video appeared on YouTube? *shakes fist in air* Tancharoen!

– Kai xxx

PS…Here’s episode 1 of Legacy, in case you need to catch up!

My Favorite Accident 27 June 2012

28 Jun

I’ve pretty much given up on the one post per day format and decided to go with a more post whenever I can type deal. 

I guess I’ll just tell you for today’s post about a recent concert I went to. If you’re a fan, you can probably tell by the title of this post that I saw Motion City Soundtrack.

And let me tell you, I went through way too much bullshit to get to that show. I kind of found out about it at the last minute and had to rush home from a sleepover to get ready for the show. I checked online to try and find out about how much the tickets cost and about how many were left. And lo and behold, I see the words “SOLD OUT” in large, red letters. I was pissed. I took off my clothes and switched into sweats, took my eye makeup off and got comfy. As soon as I got settled into my bed, I see the promoter posted “More Motion City Soundtrack tickets have just been made available, so come down to Water Street Music Hall now!” I fucking jumped out of my bed and got re-dressed like my name was Pietro. Once I got there, there was a huuuge line, but my friend was there and I was able to cut. So lucky, and so…er…more lucky. I ended up in the wrong line and had to ask someone in the front of the ticket buying line to buy my ticket so I wouldn’t end up in the back. I had an anxiety attack in the center of the crowd – I’m claustrophobic – and I had to go puke. Couldn’t push through the crowd to get to my friend, but I ended up in the pit. It worked out, because the pit was more opened up and I could mosh and have fun without claustrophobia getting in the way. I usually get around the claustrophobia bit by being in the front and being there before the crowd gets large. That way, I don’t ever see how large the crowd is and I don’t freak out.

The Front Bottoms were the first to take the stage. I had seen them open for Say Anything… previously. I have to admit, I didn’t care for them the first time around. I had been waiting in the cold for hours and dealing with bullshit – nothing that wasn’t fronted by Max Bemis would have been enjoyable at that point. But at this show – I don’t know if they played better or I was in a better mood – they were perfect! I talked to the lead singer, Brian (I think it was), after the show and he was a sweetheart! We talked about crappy beer and traveling the world, it was great. I love having conversations with guys in bands. Not “OMG, you’re so hot” or “I love your music”. But going up to a lead singer and saying “Hey, I saw you drinking Genesee Beer, you look like a true Rochesterian” and that just leading to a conversation about real shit. At one point, I swore I was talking to a U of R kid or something. 

And then, there’s The Henry Clay People. It was their first time in Rochester and I must say they were pretty good. I had a conversation with their lead singer, Joey, after the show and I learned that we both have the same love of the Clash (“Finally! Someone that appreciates real music!” is what he said to me). He opened up to me and talked about his ex girlfriend who went to Stanford. Yeah, she’s a bitch and we don’t like her. We’re both and ends/beginnings in our lives. I’ll be twenty soon and I don’t know what to do and Joey will be thirty soon and he doesn’t know what to do. I wanted to buy an EP because he was so nice, but I was broke so he gave me one of the digital copies of the EP and a free can cozie. I could totally be friends with him.

I also have deep conversations with all of Motion City Soundtrack. They all loved my Foo Fighters shirt and we traded stories of our favorite concerts. I’m glad that I’ve gotten out of my groupie/fangirl stage and can appreciate a band’s music, but still talks to the musicians as though they are people rather than gods. MCS played some songs that I absolutely love – “Hold Me Down” was the most emotional for me – and left out some songs that I absolutely love – ahem, where were “This is For Real” and “Capital H”? – but overall the show was perfect.  

It had to be perfect because that was too much damn luck to be wasted on a crappy concert. 

– Kai xxx

“Hold Me Down” Motion City Soundtrack, Epitaph Records, 2006