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We saw Bulletproof Monk today, and boy, what a piece of crap that was. Seriously. I'm talking MST3K-level bad.

It would be unfair to describe it as a bad ripoff of The Matrix, because it's a bad ripoff of so many other things as well. There was exactly one exciting scene, where Chow Yun-Fat finally gets his hands on a pair of automatics and starts blasting away in slow motion--just shooting the weapons out of the bad guys' hands of course, because he's a peaceful Buddhist monk--and then ejecting the clips and kung fu kicking them into the bad guys' heads, knocking them cold. Looking cool with guns is what Chow Yun-Fat does. Making him the star of a kung fu movie just doesn't work (exception noted), the way sticking a gun in Jet Li's hand doesn't work. I'd think making Jet Li the star of this one might have saved it except it was just so very bad. Think Wing Commander here.

To its credit it does contain one of the best lines ever in bad movie history*, where a tough Cockney gang leader (in New York?) with the giggle-inducing name "Mister Funktastic" backs out of a fight with Seann William Scott because his girlfriend wants to fool around: "You're just lucky this bit of crumpet came begging for some of my funktastic love!"

This is not to say the movie wasn't fun. It was fun, in a bad movie sorta way. If it happens to come on cable down the road and you have nothing else to do, you might enjoy it and you'll feel better for having saved yourself seven bucks to see a b-movie.

NOTE 4/28/03: It's been brought to my attention that comparing this movie to Wing Commander is unnecessarily harsh. I agree, and respectfully withdraw the comparison. I was overwrought at the time.

* Runner-up was a line later on, where the female lead tells Seann admiringly, "I've never seen anyone stand up to Mister Funktastic before."

Merit Whore for the Ages™

proudly presents...

The Everything Noder Pageant® 2003

There was a rather long commercial break recently, but the contestants are back out parading for you, all the better for the bit of rest. Of course none of them got to eat any Easter eggs, what with this round being the Swimsuit Contest...

As usual, there has been plenty of backstage intrigue. Erstwhile Judge E has returned to the fold, replacing Judge A, who asked to be excused when he heard that there would be half-naked women before him. Or something. Judge E (now A) flatly denies the Miss Turkmenistan rumours, and there is no comment on the rumours circulating about Judge E/A and the lovely luscious Pageant© organiser.

It is with sadness that we note the deferment of Miss Portugal and Miss Spain's walkouts. There has been some delay in their countries' ferrying their swimsuits hither. We hope that their Swimsuits arrive before the conclusion of the Ballgown round, or they may sadly find themselves omitted from the Judge's Interview stage.

Put your hands together ladies and gentlemen, as we welcome our seXXXy swimsuited swans!

Miss Spain

We wait anxiously for the delivery of Miss Spain's swimsuit.

Miss Democratic Republic of the Congo

Miss DRC takes us into the secret lives of girls, wearing her sexually aggressive itsy bitsy teensy weensy yellow polka dot bikini, accessorised with a good helping of guilt.

Miss Suriname

Miss Suriname's swimsuit has been inspired by Dian Fossey's exploits with the Gorillas in the Mist, and is wearing a suit that is inoffensive to gorillas, but not very popular with the locals.

Miss Federated States of Micronesia

Miss FSM is possibly running late, we're not sure.

Miss Serbia

Miss Serbia got over the demise of her president by telling us all about the last time a Serbian head of state got assassinated. Her mourning has clearly not done her any ill, and she looks absolutely fetching.

Miss Ethiopia

Miss Ethiopia has filled her time reading the works of Ezra Pound. If you don't know who he is, have a peek at her swimsuit, I'm sure it'll inspire you to find out.

Miss Portugal

Miss Portugal has asked for a short time-out, and in light of her heartbreaking appearance in the Talent Contest, how could we not grant it to her?

Miss Norway

Miss Norway makes her entry in a Roman-inspired suit. Miss Norway, you better pray that Caesar doesn't catch you, honey, or you may find he's not such a bad General after all.

Miss Canada

Miss Canada comes on stage in a swimsuit that assures us she'd not just a pretty face. If you catch her backstage, she'll happily conduct an experiment with you to calculate the Exergy of any situation you can contrive.

Miss Australia

We should warn you that Miss Australia's swimsuit is under copywrite and protected by Copy Control Technology. If you try to clone her swimsuit, you will be rendered with one that goes see-through the instant that water touches it.

Miss Thailand

Miss Thailand takes to the stage in a swimsuit inspired by seventeenth century Thai traditional dress. Um... what was that? Right, we're going to a commercial -- COULD SOMEONE THROW A TOP ONTO MISS THAILAND BEFORE WE GET BACK? Look, I don't care if it doesn't go, we have children watching this show you know...

Miss Iraq

Miss Iraq... Not even the recent liberation of her country has coaxed Miss Iraq out of her abaya. Rumours that she is hiding the much-awaited roadmap to peace in the Middle East are as-yet unconfirmed.

Our Beauties have exceeded themselves yet again. Please give them another round of applause!

The standings, after two rounds:


| Contestant |  R1  |  R2  |  R3  |  R4  | Total  | Rank |

| Spain      | 43.2 | 14.4 |      |      |  57.6  |  11  |

| D.R.Congo  | 38.4 | 43.8 |      |      |  82.2  |  6   |

| Suriname   | 39.0 | 42.1 |      |      |  81.1  |  7   |

| Micronesia | 38.5 | 38.5 |      |      |  77.0  |  8   |

| Serbia     | 44.8 | 31.8 |      |      |  76.6  |  9   |

| Ethiopia  | 42.7 | 45.1 |      |      |  87.8  |  2   |

| Portugal   | 44.1 | 42.6 |      |      |  86.7  |  3   |

| Norway     | 39.9 | 42.4 |      |      |  82.3  |  5   |

| Canada     | 36.7 | 31.4 |      |      |  68.1  |  10  |

| Turkmenist | *withdrawn *                       |  13  |

| Australia  | 42.1 | 41.5 |      |      |  83.6  |  4   |

| Thailand   | 43.5 | 48.0 |      |      |  91.5  |  1   |

| Iraq       | 25.1 | 25.2 |      |      |  50.3  |  12  |

See also: April 3, 2003 * March 26, 2003 * March 21, 2003 * March 13, 2003 * March 3, 2003 * February 24, 2003

Those who have been following my daylogs for the past few months know of my struggles with Crohn's Disease and that I've been out of school, away from work, and in bed with pain medication nearly around the clock. Surgery is just a few weeks away (May 13, 2003) and I'm finally glad to share some good news...

I can eat again!

After giving my innards a rest for a few months I finally decided I couldn't go on with the liquid/starvation diet any longer. I was too hungry and too weak to go on without some real nutrition. I decided to experiment with a piece of plain rice toast, and to my surprise it digested nicely. In the past few days I've added little bits to my diet: a small bowl of mashed potatoes, a little plate of plain pasta, and more toast. It's given me some much needed energy and a taste in my mouth that isn't vanilla. The semester is over at the college now and I've had to drop two classes and take an Incomplete in another in order to close out the semester, but this week I'm planning to get back to work. It'll be great to be out of bed and at the office being productive again.

Thanks to everyone for their well-wishes and prayers. Surgery is still ahead, but with some food in my system I feel ready to tackle it, recover, and get back to my life. Now, who wants mashed potatoes?

The dilemma -- God -- Fact or Fiction?

I suppose when I was young I believed he was there. I believed that nothing bad would happen to me because of him. Then I grew up and saw bad things happening around me and I thought: 'Why would God let this happen?' I was never christened and my parents aren’t religious or anything so I suppose I had no reason to think he existed. No reason at all.

Nowadays the science behind the creation of the world seems more logical to me. I’m not sure if I want to believe it though. I mean, having a so called ‘God’ is a nice way to look at it I suppose or is it the easy way?

I have a friend who believes in God and we tend to argue about it frequently. I sometimes can’t understand her. She has what I call a perfect family – her parents are still together, they rarely argue and she has other members of family around her all the time. I suppose she has every reason to think God exists. I just don’t get it. My parents split when I was young and I suppose I kind of hated God for that, from then I thought he mustn’t be there because if he was he wouldn’t do this to me, would he?

God was supposed to make things right, make them happy, all he did for me was make me sad. As we did more science at school and we did about ‘the big bang’ I realised that I liked this idea more. In the long run though it made me think I had something to do with any sadness I ever felt. That wasn’t true. Or are we all responsible for what happens to us and around us?

As I have grown I tend think that things happen for a reason. I think that maybe there is ‘something’ out there, although I’m not quite sure anymore. I suppose I kind of like that, I like that I don’t have to say what I do and don’t believe. I like that because I really, truly don’t know myself. I suppose maybe I will never know and in a way I don’t want too. Not knowing seems safer. Not knowing means I can think that something does exist or doesn’t exist and not get into trouble with my faith. Not knowing means I can be myself.

After reading Uberman's Sleep Schedule, I for some reason found myself compelled with the idea of sleep deprivation. Admittedly, I'd never even considered or even looked at the facts around the idea, but instead of thinking I put my crazy-ass fate into the hands of E2 noders whom I most certainly trust whole-heartedly. *tongue-in-cheek*

"Great!" I told myself - something to fill the hours during the Easter holidays, while I'm not at college. Things I forgot to consider though include:
  • Because I'm not at college, that means that work want me to be at work for basically every waking hour of the day, therefore I had no genuine free time. Also I would need as much sleep as I could get - and I was about to try the opposite.
  • It takes me a good 25 minutes to hear my alarm clock after a nice 14 hour sleep (lie-in inclusive) on a weekend, so waking up (and also staying awake) at the clap of a hand isn't what I'm good at).
  • I had 3 days off work in a row when I first attempted sleep deprivation - therefore not nearly enough time to totally change my sleep pattern - and therefore meant I nearly died on the following 8-hour shift on my first day back at work.

Needless to say, it was a dumb idea. I knew straight away that I would not be able to keep up the whole 20 minutes per 4 hours, so I had a brand new idea - get as little sleep as possible by staying awake as long as possible and make sure I woke up as soon as I could. Unfortunately my 'naps' varied from about 3 hours to about 9 hours, ranging from times starting as early as midnight up until around 5am, and ending somewhere between 7am and midday. The jokable inconsistence of these so-called naps and the fact that I had mere days and only 3 full days in those to totally change my entire sleep routine whilst still trying to take caution as to not miss out on so much sleep that I'd be too tired to go to work. This failed due to indecisiveness - I didn't know whether to go gung-ho on my routine or scrap it completely, so I sorta did both at once.

I definately noticed changes however... things I noticed changing about myself were:

  • I was shaking all the time, in the same way in which I would shake if I was nervous (No joke, one morning I sat down with a bowl of cereal and spilled the contents of the bowl everywhere - I cleaned it up, sat down again and whoops, cereal went everywhere. Annoyed at myself for letting it happen twice, I cleaned it up, and sat down again. And spilled cereal everywhere, again. If I remember I was distracted by the TV remote control, but still that really ought not have happened. I ate the cereal standing up.)
  • I found a strange sense of comfort in lying down on the sofa watching TV.
  • Daytime TV sucks, therefore I was bored out of my head for a large portion of the days I had off. Mainly because I couldn't be bothered to do anything else, as I was so darn tired.
  • Films aren't good after you watch them on repeat about 4 times in 1 day.
  • There are only so many times I can watch the first hour of Apocalypse Now on DVD before deciding I need to sleep too much to stay awake.
  • I found no joy in anything. Anything. Literally, everything sucked bad for days.
And in all those hours I have had extra awake, I still didn't find the time to do an essay for English, which has to be in tomorrow. A long, long, fairly important essay. I don't even know what the essay title is, although I am sure it's around here somewhere. (I just looked because I became curious as to where I had left the sheet with the essay title on - and it turns out that it isn't here...)


You know it's a bad sign when I'm too depressed for E2...

I had my house all clean and neat on Thursday, ready for Social Services to show up and inspect it. Of course, this meant not sleeping the previous two nights... anyway, they came, they saw, they were impressed, but they said they wanted my husband to have the kids till Tuesday anyway. I cried and cried... I want my babies.

I had my kids all day on Saturday, and we went running around, to the park, to the mall, getting eye exams... it was great. I had to take them back that night, so we picked Tony up on the way to come and visit with me. I've missed him so much, and I've been so lonely...

Sunday morning I woke up to the sound of the house door opening, and who should appear in the bedroom but my husband. He didn't physically assault anyone, and he said that he doesn't blame Tony because I'm just a whore anyway, and if it hadn't been Tony it would have just been someone else, and Tony's young and couldn't pass up an easy lay. We talked, eerily calm, for awhile like this, with Tony making comments that whizzed over my husband's head. Then he left, took my car keys, let the air out of three tires and applied a Club to my steering wheel.

Later that afternoon, he returned with a dude in a flatbed, loaded the car up and drove off. And there isn't a thing I can do about it, because the car is in his name.

When he was out there, I went over to his truck and motioned to my nine-year-old daughter to open the door or roll down the window. She just looked at me with a frightened expression, so I went to the driver's side and got in. She told me that Daddy had told her not to open the door or talk to me. She cried and cried, and I hugged and held her and promised to fix things.

Lord, I hope I can keep that promise.

In the meantime, here I am, carless, having to go 35 miles to school tomorrow, then 30 miles for my practicum the rest of the week. And I have to get in 10 hours on the ambulance before May 2nd, or my 'I' in EMT turns into an 'F'...

Wish me luck, because I sorely need it.

April 11, 2003 April 13, 2003 April 21, 2003

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