Heartless Bitch “Must See” Movie

September 21, 2007 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Movie Reviews | No Comments

Last night I went to the opening film, Persepolis, at the Ottawa International Animation festival.  For some reason this movie “Shocked” Cannes.  I’m still puzzling about that one. Was it shocking because it openly criticized the west for selling arms to both sides of a war that killed a million people? Or was it shocking because it challenged stereotypes and prejudices of what Iranian women were/are supposed to be?

Based on the graphic Novel by Marjane Satrapi, this Iranian film is in French with English subtitles (the YouTube posts don’t have the subtitles), and chronicles (in retrospective fashion) a young girl’s life and coming of age in Iran.  The spare line-drawn style of the artwork faithfully reproduces the feel of the graphic novel and I believe this makes the story more compelling. (It’s not one of those animated films that tries to make up for a bad storyline and dialog with flashy graphics and animations). 

The story begins with Marjane at age 9, when the Shah is still in power, and ends with her self-imposed (and partially parental-imposed exile) many years later, after the Iran-Iraq war. 

Though this is a black-and-white animated feature, it views like a feature film, and I found it utterly captivating.  It’s an unsentimental look at a precocious and intelligent girl struggling to grow up and find herself in an increasingly totalitarian and rigid society.

It’s also a candid look at the inside of Iranian society that most westerners would never otherwise see and a sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious retelling of the joys and struggles of her childhood and growing up both inside and outside of Iran. I hate to use the word ‘poignant’ because it’s so overused, but even though it has it’s serious moments, the film is peppered with enough black humor that it never gets maudlin. And I just LOVED the Grandmother. She rocked. 

At one point Marjane tells her grandmother how she narrowly escaped getting in trouble with the police (for wearing too much makeup) by telling them that a nearby man insulted her. They arrested the man.  The grandmother said, “You think that’s funny?”  Marjane replied, “Well, yes…”, and her grandmother proceeded to berate her, calling her a selfish bitch, and reminding Marjane that her grandfather and uncle went to jail and died fighting for freedom and protection of the innocent. When Marjane protested, “But I had no choice, they would have arrested ME.”, her grandmother replied, “You ALWAYS have a choice. ALWAYS.  In the end, all you have is your integrity.”  Can you see why I just adored this woman? 

I also found it amusing to see a film where the mother is upset and cries at her daughter’s marriage announcement saying, “Married at 21! So young… I wanted you to be a free woman, educated and emancipated.”

There is also a brilliant scene in the university when Marjane stands up to the administration when they dictate that the women must wear longer headscarfs and straighter pants.

In fact, I wish I’d had something to write down all the great quotable quotes (because they aren’t on the IMDB), but all I can say is SEE THIS MOVIE if you get a chance. It’s an HBI Classic and destined to be one of my favorites.

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Before and After

September 18, 2007 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy | 4 Comments

I’ve had a few requests to see the “before” and after pictures regarding my insane idea to re-do my front steps with the Beauti-tone “Granite Rock” finish as mentioned in my “Where did the Summer Go?” post.

I finally got around to downloading the pictures off the camera so you can see the results.  The great thing about a photo is you can’t see too much detail. Believe me, it looks much better at this distance.

Before:

The steps before


The Steps After:

After the insanity had taken hold


 

Now I repeat, kids, don’t try this at home. Unless you are a glutton for punishment.

If you simply must spruce up your concrete steps, I suggest using the Beauti-tone “Hardrock” finish – it goes one with a roller instead of a trowel –  and bypass the “faux” brick or stone finish technique. It took 3 hours just to lay the tape for the finish you see here, and 12 straight hours of work to complete the job.  Thank god for the bf, who came home from work, immediately brought me out food and beer, and ran to the store to get more Granite Rock when I realized I was about to run out and still had the final step to do.

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One-Note Whinging Not-So-Nice Guys

September 16, 2007 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 2 Comments

I recently received a comment on my article “The Easy Gene” that I thought I’d share “in column” as it is a poster child representation of why so many self-professed “nice guys” aren’t nice at all.  “tmartin” commented: 

You women always go for men like that so thats what you get stuck with and then you bitch and complain about it. Am I supposed to feel bad when a dumb bitch like you won’t date me because I’m too nice of a guy and then she gets bad treatment from her “bad boy” she bagged? Congratulations, your quite the skilled hunter. Sounds like all the men around you are that way too, must be a genetic thing.

Oh yeah, a guy who calls a woman he doesn’t even know a “dumb bitch”, is such a “nice guy”. A real charmer. Newsflash: The reason women like me won’t date guys like you isn’t because you are “too nice of a guy”, it’s because you are self-absorbed, whinging assholes.

And the irony of this is, WHY would he *want* to date someone he considers to be a “dumb bitch”?  Why would he care if someone he has so little respect for would be interested in dating him?  Could the reason be because by “date”, what he really means is “fuck”? Surely he couldn’t imagine himself in a relationship with a “dumb bitch”, right? 

Instagatrix pointed out that there always seems to be these types trolling around sites and discussions looking for opportunities to spout their one-note whinging that usually has nothing to do with what is being discussed. Such is the case here.

First and foremost, the men I can immediately imagine that match the behavior identified in “The Easy Gene”, are hardly “bad boys”. (I split my sides laughing  imagining my ex-husband as a “bad boy”.  The image is just too hilarious.  In fact, I’d bet money he imagines himself to be a nice guy.) To set the record straight for those dipshits that can’t seem to grasp anything but the end of their own dicks, the article talks about regular married guys who just don’t get it – not some bad-boy biker type who is a deadbeat dad.  The problem with the self-pitying “asshole in nice guy’s clothing” segment of the male population, is that the moment women dare to criticize any kind of male behavior, we are “dumb bitches”, or worse. They look for any opportunity, no matter how specious, to whine about how women are all LYING bitches who only want assholes and bad boys, and deserve to be treated badly, because, at the end of the day, THEY aren’t getting any.

Yep. All of us are bitches.

Because the Nice Guys can’t get laid. 

To reiterate, the article was written about average “good” reasonable guys – upstanding members of the community even, and how so many of them STILL have socialized expectations about what is “women’s work” and that it must somehow be easier for women to do those tasks.  Coincidentally, about two weeks after the post, I saw a show called “Crash-Test Mommy” for the first time, and its whole point is to highlight this misconception.  They take a “traditional” husband-father and let him do all the “Mom” stuff for a weekend and one weekday. In the episode I watched, the father’s grocery shopping experience was so bad he vowed never to take the kids to the supermarket again.  He never got the daughter to soccer practice, even though HE had been the one adamant about her commitment to the sport if she was going to join the team. He fed them junk and fast food (which was against the rules), and didn’t get any of the yardwork done. He miserably failed at doing the things he said SHE should be able to accomplish in that period of time if she just got more organized and delegated more (but of course, not delegating to HIM).  In the end, he ate some crow and conceded it was a lot harder than he had imagined it would be. 

The question left answered at the end of the show was, did he GET that it was just as hard for his wife?  I’m not entirely sure.

The question left at the end of this article is: Will “tmartin” continue to refuse to “get it”, cling to his one-note, poor-me, self-righteous whinging, continuing to insist that women like me (who dare to criticize male behavior) are “dumb bitches”?   The answer: Probably. Because, you see, we still won’t fuck him.

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Soft Pits? What the Hell?

September 14, 2007 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Social idiocy, The Heartless Bitch Way | 14 Comments

Have you seen the Dove commercial about their underarm deodorant/antiperspirant?  The one where they promise that it will give you softer pits in just 5 days? They have this group of women who “take the test” and then decide if they want to wear a sleeveless top or a t-shirt on the last day. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jgeVZlu-j8

I just have to say, WHAT. THE. HELL?

I mean, is this yet another way that a cosmetics company tries to not-so-subtly get women to unrealistically worry about yet another aspect of themselves? They claim to not care if you are old or young, fat or skinny, but you are supposed to worry about if your pits are soft enough? What’s next? …I just realized, I can’t think of a single thing they could go after that hasn’t already been done. I guess that’s why they went for soft arm pits. Nobody’s tried to make us feel insecure about that before.  Heaven forefend they should advertise a deodorant/anti-perspirant based on it’s anti-wetness and anti-smell properties. That’s been done. You need to make women think they are deficient in some new and ridiculous way so that your product stands out from the crowd. Apparently.

Soft arm pits? Who really sits there stroking pits enough to give a damn?

I certainly never have and never will.  And in all my years and all my lovers, I’ve never had a partner care about whether my pits were soft either. It’s not a part of my body they’ve spent a lot of time on, and quite honestly, there are OTHER areas I’d rather have a lover focus on. 

I guess I just didn’t date enough fetishists. Thankfully.

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Feeling Festive

September 9, 2007 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Music, Popculture | 1 Comment

This weekend I’m attending VirginFest, and no, it’s not some pagan festival for the deflowering of gorgeous young nubile virgins (*sigh*). It’s Virgin Mobile’s 2-day music festival on Toronto’s Center Island. 

We just finished day 1, and while the music has been great, I have to admit that I am spoiled by the Ottawa Bluesfest. This is year 2 for Virginfest and they still haven’t worked out the kinks. For example, at Bluesfest I can buy a beer or a cooler or a decent glass of wine and take it back to where we are sitting and enjoy my drink and the music at the same time. At VirginFest, there are designated ‘Beer Gardens’ which will not allow you to enter with anything bigger than a small purse – all bags must be “checked”.  So you’d think the organizers would actually have prepared for this, but you’d be wrong. The poor “bag check” people were writing numbers on paper and tearing it in pieces to hand to those of us who had to check a bag.  Outside the b-live lounge it wasn’t even that organized. They had an area where you could leave a bag while you went inside for a drink. There was no mechanism and no assurances that your bag would be there when you got back.  

After all that, we found out that the only beverages in the beer garden were Bud and Bud Light. Yech!  Then, as if  the lousy beer and lack of planning for bag check wasn’t bad enough, the beer garden for the main “Virgin” stage was next to, and pretty much behind the stage. Unless you were at one small corner of the very large beer garden, you couldn’t see the bands play and couldn’t really hear them either.

I was also disappointed at the miniscule size of the screens on the main stage. You’d think a company like Virgin Mobile could spring for decent sized screens – again, I’m spoiled by Bluesfest – the screens are double the size of the ones at VirginFest.

My other major complaint is the requirement to have to purchase “tickets” for most food and all beverages.  I can understand the reasons for taking this approach, but then fer chrissakes STAFF the ticket selling booths adequately. The lineups were often obscene.

At the Ottawa Bluesfest, you just walk up and buy your beer (or wine) directly from the beverage tent. You walk up and buy your food directly from the vendor (and there was way more selection). Yes, sometimes there are lines, but not like the hour-long lineups to get “tickets” at VirginFest.

Organizational fiascos aside, there were some good aspects to the festival, like the Bacardi B-Live Lounge – the drinks were fabulous and the same price as the crappy beer.  I’ll take a Mojito over a Bud Light ANY day.  The music and club atmosphere was fun too.

And as I said earlier the bands we went to see were great.  Arctic Monkeys, MIA, Bjork and Interpol were all fabulous, but the real treat was Mute Math. They put on the best show! It’s just too cool when a rock band uses a Stand-up Bass!  The lead singer (Paul Meany) was over-the-top energetic, and Darren King’s drum theatrics were nothing short of amazing. The bf thinks that Meany looks like Mr. Bean but I think he’s kinda cute – then again, I like the geeky look.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow because I really want to see Stars, Metric and the Killers. Unfortunately I’d also like to see Dirty Vegas but they are up against the Killers so it’s going to be tough. What will be tougher is trying to work the next day when I have to drive home (4 hours) after the concert ends at 11pm…

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