What Is Life

Today I have been tested by way of:

(1) Letting the landlord and a worker into my bathroom only to realize that my dog had apparently gotten into the trash and strewn all its contents throughout. And so, yes, humiliated that in their minds I live in a constant state of abject squalor, I locked myself in my bedroom for the duration.

(2) Literally feeling my pulse in an eyelid vein set to twitching by the torturously simple and redundant song of what I can only assume was a mentally enfeebled bird directly outside my window.

(3) (In a return to abject squalor:) Tugging the garbage bag out only to find that said bag is decidedly NOT Hefty so when I had adequately stretched out the top and momentarily set it down to get a second bag in which to encase it, this happened.

Cartoon approximation.

Ewwwww, garbage water!

All of which threatened to lead me here:

Because I am but flesh and blood.

And this is not how you treat a Thane of Whiterun!!!!!!!!!

Talkin’ It Up!

Talkin’ bout issues. Talkin’ bout – crazy cool medallions.

So two things on which I wanna remark and let’s just make that three because the first – and the foremost – is that I have had to edit this singular sentence four times already and that in itself should have convinced me to leave serious talking points for the post-congested-head Bethany, but EQUALITY NOW. I deserve just as much stage time as any levelheaded person whose sinuses aren’t pooling and then draining and making me think things are good things to say but then I lose my train of thought.

Me too, Corrina.

Thing the 1st: You know how to ruin what is possibly the current pinnacle of someone’s career? Don’t allow them entry until your lack of diversity has become a headline. That way whomever is chosen will be the New Black Cast Member for Saturday Night Live, as opposed to a deserved comedienne. That way her basking moment will be significantly dampened by the claims of unfairness (“She only got the job because she’s Black!”) and overzealous criticisms (“She’s not even funny! Lemme pool all of the unfunniest things she’s ever done so I can prove to you how unfunny she is!”) that make life on Earth decidedly unfunny and occasionally disgusting.

Sasheer Zamata: 1

It’s A Hard Knock Life For People of Color: A Grillion

Luckily, she’s been Black for a while now so she’s primed for this. Congratulations, Ms. Zamata!

And you know what, that’s it. I’d rather not bury the story by talking about anything else. And I love you, The Choir, but the only thing that should make us feel any better about this rampant ridiculousness is an actual self-reflection and conversion of someone who didn’t get this before now. I WANNA BELIEVE PEOPLE CAN CHANGE.

I Might Need Security

I know Montreal loves to bring the drama, but today on Decarie, it was a little much. It was the old guys’ turn, and they showed up in great form, ready to prove that you don’t have to be young and foolish to be foolish and just extra.

I mean, honestly, guy walking toward me who’s making super creeptastic uninterrupted eye contact while I look everywhere but directly into your gaze. When you wait until I’m a few steps away and raise your hand and slap it repeatedly – which I guess is supposed to energize me to the point of high-fiving you?! – I don’t know how fast or far to run. Because I’m a lady in a pink and white striped dress and I need you to treat me as such. Cross the street if you must, I’ll wait. Physical contact shan’t. It shall not.

Hey there, buddy who raced around me? I wasn’t gonna pick up that open bag of whatever it was sitting on that bench at the bus stop. I wasn’t gonna stick my hand in and start eating whatever it was. You win, friend. The mystery trash food is all yours. And no. He did not look like he’d fallen on hard times, nor was there any activity that would’ve made me suspect he might race up to a bag on a bench and start eating. Having done so, of course, I give him a pass. Because…a guy just ate out of an open bag on a bus stop bench on Decarie. The verdict is in.

Lastly, there was the old guy riding his bike super fast on the sidewalk. Toward me. And a family walking pretty much with me – which we won’t even question. They’re affectionate. So geezer on bike who starts aggressively swiping the air with his hand, which is apparently meant to make us get the heck out his way? Apparently, his voice did work – jury’s still out on the brakes sitchiation – because as he passed through us, face still tight in what I’d assumed was a disapproving grimace? “Have a good day, you guys!”

In a super sincere tone? After trying to mow us down with a seemingly homicidal snarl of misdirected hostility? ….k.

But don’t let any of that distract you from the bus that didn’t show or the metro that sat for 18 minutes. Because I certainly didn’t.



The Enemy’s Gate Is Down

I’m a writer. (Doy. But there’s always a reason when I state the obvious – because everything I write here or speak in real life is measured and precise. …. Just kidding, I’m an idiot.)

Okay, so I’m a writer, and I write projects I intend to present through various mediums. I also started as a film major in college, which we’ve already talked about somewhere and also, who cares. More to the point, I made a film while there, based on my own short story. Moral: Things change in the translation. They have to. I won’t bore you with the details (suffice it to say my favorite part of the movie is the title…and the fact that we did it). So I said all that to say, I do not consider a novel and a film based on a novel to be the same thing, nor do I expect the film to attempt plastering book pages to the screen.

And I honestly, genuinely, consistently feel that way.

Unless Ender’s Game forces me to give up that religion. O_O


….and of course, I can’t really say what concerns me about that trailer in any sort of detail because I’m trying not to help the editor do what s/he was clearly trying to do which is RUIN THE GREATEST SCI-FI STORY EVER BEGUN. (Begun because – come on. Speaker For The Dead. I will seriously die next to that book.)

I mean, seriously, this looks like a pretty (aesthetically speaking) rendition of the “He’s our greatest hope because he’s just a military/warrior god” Independence Day dealie but with a kid. AND NO. IT IS NOT. So that’s *one* reason I’m concerned.

Another would be the glaring error in what I hope is just the approach taken by the trailer team. WHICH I CAN’T COMMENT ON BECAUSE OISJDJOFJLDIJDFGL;DFG.


You’re making it really hard to keep my faith, Trailer.

…Get it together, Trailer.

Jesus, Take The Wheel

Today’s my due date but not my birthday ’cause I shows up when I wont to, boiiiiiiii.


You know how kids wanna scare the ever-lovin’ crap outta you, all the time? You know?

Here are just a couple ways my super dependably cautious son has tried *not* to make it to his upcoming ninth birthday:

(1) Stick hand into ball dispenser at bowling alley.

Let’s just stop right there, right, because. Who. WHO. does that. Whodoesthat.

I was not present. By the time I heard about this, his hand was free, swollen and scuffed. And he was doing his Ezra-the-Confessor bit, which my father clearly didn’t see coming because he’d intended not to tell me until way later? MY CHILD WILL SPILL THE BEANS, DADDY. COME CORRECT. And having been told by the child who clearly wasn’t dead or missing said hand (which my dad thought a possibility and poor dear, he probably looked a lot like that owl at the time), I still almost passed. out. Don’t.

(2) Get bit in forehead by family dog.

Okay, this wasn’t his fault and maybe bite’s the wrong word but his skin was broken and AGAIN I WAS NOT THERE AT THE MOMENT BECAUSE THE LORD WAS TESTING MY BLOOD PRESSURE. “Let’s see how many times she can find something out after the fact, see that her son is alive and mostly intact and still have a heart spasm.”

(3) Fall off bed in the middle of the night and against the corner of the nightstand. So that an inverted teepee shape was right – some might say, decoratively – beneath his left eye.

I promise, if there was somebody to whoop, they’da got whooped. Latifah had in all seriousness had it up to here by this point.

All of these happened in California on our marathon vacation. And then today…

(4) Rub his eye – which was irritated – with a visibly soiled rag.

I can’t. Eye swollen. Doctor called. Steps taken.



And So It Is

New idea: let’s talk about all the ways I’m dumb.

The most obvious way (to me – and feel free to chime in, friends, with things you’ve been dying to say but haven’t) is that I am loyal beyond reason. No, I’m not talking about toward people although, yes, even there I’ve experienced how that can be unhealthy but let’s stop being serious and let me ramble. I’m loyal in the way that one cannot not buy Crest and also doesn’t know why and I don’t have to set here and answer your questions. (Sorry. I watched Ali yesterday. Which won’t stop being on my top 3 favorite movies ever for always amen.)

I’ll just…put this here for ya.

So Crest. Loyalty. It’s like I think this is some intrinsic aspect of my personality. As if if people thought I used Colgate (which is a stupid and LUDICROUS, obviously) they would somehow misunderstand me in a very meaningful way and I would be misrepresenting myself and the whole system would fall apart.

And so, I find myself having to – or attempting to, at least – give long-winded, unwarranted and uninteresting disclosures (which totally works on Twitter, by the by) when discussing my writing soundtrack. Because there was a time that it was 100% Hans Zimmer/James Horner/Thomas Newman – and if James Newton Howard, Antonio Pinto and Dario Marionelli make their way into heavy rotation, I’m not hurting anyone.

But then Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy soundtrack sort of overwhelmed the writing of Cait, or maybe the revising, I can’t remember… and Florence & the Machine actually seemed to be singing about Avrilis, which was fine because I was reading, not writing. And when I was actually writing new words on new pages, I was still for the most part going back to my mainstays. Imogen and Elsie, they were conceived legitimately. (Was that a weird way to phrase that??)

And then I don’t know what happened. I re-envisioned one of them. And I can’t even really remember how I came upon it but I made a playlist of Tycho, Hammock and God Is An Astronaut. O_O And that’s all I’ve used. And I love it. And am also ashamed. … WHO is ashamed of things like this?! Seriously. What is going ON. When I talk about what I’m writing to, I feel the need to give back-story-info-dump on my progression and how maybe this shouldn’t so much be considered a progression (which the other party never said it was in the first place because they truly don’t give a good doggone beyond initial interest in seeing what other people listen to while working) because I still very much consider Zimmer/Et Al to be my writing companions even though, no, at the moment, I’m not listening to them but I’m sure I will – and, believe me, I understand such info dumps to be an occupational hazard. Yet I am helpless. Rendered ridiculous by a strong sense of loyalty to SOUND, when it comes down to it.

I dunno. Pray for me.

Oh and also, this:

Hiiii, angles that make me look ALL of the wide!

Hiiii, angles that make me look ALL of the wide!

Go Home, The Following!

I wish instead of being able to capitalize all of the letters, I could instead make them so tiny that you could SEE MY RAGE. (Through squinting.)

Are we still doing this, The Following?! Early morning call after late night prison break?!

“We need you back.”

“But I’m not an agent anymore. I’m drinking myself to sleep every night to escape the nightmares associated with everything I’ve seen in my celebrated career that ended badly!”

“I know things didn’t end well with the Bureau,” said every caller ever. “But you’re the only one who can PFFFFFFFFFFFFT!

STOP. STOP IT. No more! Oh and you were seriously injured in the line of duty, too? HAVE YOU NO DECENCY?!

::ahem:: Pardon me. I’ve lost my head. Where are my manners. ::shuffles papers::

I’m sorry. I’m upset the way one can only be when one has hoped. And I did, friends. I truly tuned in hoping – nay, DESIRING – to be *destroyed* by this show. You heard me right. That’s what I was signing up for. I didn’t realize it would be death by cliche, with moments – snatches of milliseconds, rather – of possibility.

….we’ve gotta stop meeting this way! This blog is quickly devolving into that place where I just yell at people who are innocently continuing their daily lives with no consideration of my irrational anger, and rightly so.

Okay, quick, here’s something I like!

Wait. That probably…didn’t make me seem any less craycray. Hmm.

Hey, Bethany. Stop hitting yourself.

Once upon a time, I cried laughing when I realized I’d saved a gift set of Burt’s Bees products for dang’on ten years because why wouldn’t I do something like that. It looked nice. Therefore I did not open anything, but kept it for the SPECIALMOMENT. Only when I opened everything. Yeah. It was borderline rancid. I took rather a good talking to when I admitted this on Twitter. Particularly when I got to the part where I still wasn’t throwing certain items away, but I WILL acquiesce and let the citrus-basil-something-or-other lotion go and I guess it’s not a good sign that it’s brown and wasn’t it like a pale orange when I first got it? But I tried it and it didn’t burn very much so I think they were overreacting. And also maybe just wanted my goodies.

That was before today. Today, I’m…mildly concerned. For myself. And my hoarding tendencies. And I’m only gonna show you these things because ….. hmm. I’ll get back to you on the ‘why’.

So as we do every couple years, the hubs and I have been purging our storage closet. This helps me deny my tendencies. Until you go through the “keepsake” box of the things too important to get rid of (so they get put in these bins and then the bins get neatly stacked so I win at life and oh no, this sounds like something from an episode of the show who shall not be named). And in my HIGH SCHOOL keepsake box? Aside from every letter/note passed even though I have to think a long time to remember about 25% of the note-givers. ::facepalm:: WHY is history so hard for me to part with? What accurate portrait of myself do I think my descendants will have by reading notes from people I CANNOT AT THE AGE OF THIRTY REMEMBER?!? Come on, son. Snap out of it.

But please remember. The following items…are from the high school box.

What you’re lookin’ at: a bag (an empty, run-of-the-mill this-is-what-your-purchase-came-in baggy from Sanrio); an opened sleeve of tissues; a small notebook.

What you’re not lookin’ at: the unopened Pochaco printer paper, still in pristine condition…and still being kept; the Pochaco coffee mug…which is obviously in the kitchen cabinet; the unused Keroppi stationary which I gave to my son to keep from having to throw it away.

Mama had a problem. I also came upon these tiny rubber stamps from the same store. O_O I feel like I need to remind you that I’m now thirty and these things were still taking up room in my house. …And that I did throw those pictured items away but only after taking pictures and herein immortalizing sweet mercy of heaven I see the problem now!

But you’re like, hey, even though you’re pretty sure this stuff was purchased in 1994 or 1995 which means you weren’t in high school, you were in junior high so. Close enough.

Come’ere, honey. There’s more.


I was not in high school when I used this. Actually – full disclosure – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this before in my life. But in all the times we’ve purged before, this was important enough to save a place. [Short break for tear-shedding.]


YOU GUYS?! THIS IS A NEWSPAPER CUT OUT OF A PAULY SHORE MOVIE ANNOUNCEMENT. (Okay, I’m not at all ashamed that I love that movie and In The Army Now and junk but for TRUE?!) MAN. HELP ME, OBI-WAN! YOU’RE MY ONLY HOPE!

I mean, yes, at this point I’m like, BETHANY. Getchu some help. PLEASE. But do you wanna know the thing de resistance? DO you? Are even prepared for this?





Oh. What’s that? You’re not sure what I’m showing you?



WHY HAVE I BEEN SAVING AN EIGHT BALL SLAMMER?!? You guys, this is my final blog post. I’m turning myself in. I can’t even right now.

Forget the scented drawer satchel from my favorite Victoria’s Secret Garden collection that I hoarded somewhere OTHER than the drawer as though not putting it in there would save the scent until I was ready. #dead

Forget the hospital wristbands I collected from other people and I have no idea what they are for or the date because WHAT DO I NEED THIS FOR?! #dead

NONE of that is the breaking point.



And We Are Very Good Friends

Life is so confusing. How can one simultaneously think (a) I am so beyond the point of having another baby and (b) what’s the point of life if I don’t have another baby? O_O Srsly. Who thinks these things – both. together.

I blame 30. 30 is almost definitely maybe beating me at this point. She brought her A game and I am routinely caught unawares. For instance: this is the age where I am perpetually confused as to whether everyone’s older than me or everyone’s younger than me. Like I’m in the middle of this transition. That’s it. That’s the end of the sentence. I’m in the middle of the transition. Like, it started last year and I dunno, next year it’ll finish? I have no idea. I just know things make less sense right now. I am serious, this is coming from a sappily married woman who is trying to explain the strangeness of 30: people can be too young for me to innocently say out loud that they’re handsome without feeling like a criminal.  That concept, I assume, becomes normal between now and 40. This year? It’s WEIRD.

Then there’s that whole having to ask friends whether they know what I’m talking about. Things that are rapidly becoming off limits with about half of my friends. Oh, I dunno. Toad the Wet Sprocket. Yeah. They are now background music of a party thrown by grown ups with tweens for kids. Meaning when I start singing along and pass the fake mic, my gal pal has no idea why I expect her to know the lyrics. O_o Music references are now in the strange middle ground where they’ll know stuff before my time and present day but not what I listened to in middle school. Sigh. Silverchair. O_O Silverchair, people. Arrested Development? Anyone?!

Now I realize there’s the recent throwback music that is represented on television and then the recent throwback music they throw in for authenticity – like Toad the Wet Sprocket. Because, seriously, the Rembrandts were so not a thing and who EVER heard the theme song for Friends on the radio?! Who?

Why did no one tell me 30 was awkward?! Because they either told me it was “old” (half my friends) or barely adult (the other half). Thanks for nothin.

That’s not my girlfriend behind me. That’s 30. Freaking me out.

Geez. Someone who’s 40 tell me I’ll be okay.

Oh, life.

(is bigger….it’s bigger than you and you are not me SEE THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT! Why doesn’t everyone know what I’m singing when I do that?)

Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30…

And other gems of wisdom from perhaps the preachiest series of films ever. But let’s not start there. (Then why did you, Bethany? Is what the fiends would say! To the bluffs! <–obligatory Simpsons quote out of the way.)

This is hard because dang, it’s five movies, y’all. (And yes, this is about five movies not the book.) But I guess we can start at the part where it seriously did NOT need to be. Like, capital negatory on the serialization, you guys. I won’t go over the first since it’s a classic, except to say, early on in the movie Senor Heston has a soliloquy that pretty much lets you know there’s a soapbox here. To be honest, it’s a little soapbox – at least in the first movie – and doesn’t interfere with the presentation of a sci-fi story.

Sigh. The same canNOT be said for Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Lemme roll my eyes around a bit. Geez. It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with the stance being presented – other than by grounding it so deftly in the “spirit of the 60s” the science fiction vehicle employed looks hyperbolic and extreme in relation – it’s moreso that…well, yeah, it screams counter-culture. I mean, these guys opted to leave the only planet known to support life to plummet into deep space because they were so disillusioned with the state of things. (I won’t bother going, wow, buddy, where’s your sense of social responsibility, because Mr. Heston proves at the end of BPA that despite being supposedly “anti”, he still believes a white guy decidedly over the age of 30 has the right to hit the button when he’s had enough.)

A big problem is the second movie throws a pretty REEDIC storyline at you that seemingly requires that you continue watching the series in order to have it explained… which brings me back to the audaciousness of a LOT of sombodies insisting that this thin storyline NEEDED five movies. (Did I mention the series is five movies long? That’s almost a dozen!) I think it could easily have been streamlined into three if we’re being greedy and honestly… for the amount of story? One. Serious. I mean you wouldn’t have the iconic end of the first and all that dead sound time that I’m assuming was an intentional signature but hey. One longish film coulda done it. (I’m willing to split the difference at two.)

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy them – obviously I watched every single one after realizing I’d only ever seen the first (and after falling in love with love is falling for make-beliiiiiieve the new reboot that was all kinds of right). I really like watching older sci-fi movies…especially when the big bad future starts in a 1991 imagined from the beginning of the 70s. Pretty great. I really like the sounds we no longer hear in contemporary film. It gives a grittiness to it that – sure – probably keeps the film from reaching it’s goal of transporting me into a post-apocalyptic future (I mean this series is a lesson in how NOT to make something timeless), but that I really like. Being accustomed to the age that brought us Rise of the Planet of the Apes. (Shout-out to Andy Serkis, yo.)

The second best of the series is Escape from the Planet of the Apes, which is the third film. Part of that is because the others don’t quite succeed at world-building. As in, is this Planet etc etc or is this…plaza and field in Los Angeles …of the Apes. They make mention of other continents in the final film and how apes will mimic what’s been done but…wait what? Okay, so this is tantamount to a riot. You overthrew one city’s riot police MAYBE. Where’s the national guard, the military, the league of women voters? (Okay, that’s the un-obligatory Simpsons reference.) So, because I kept going, Wait, is the whole world this one square mile, EPA was a welcome change. It’s set in “present day” LA and features the two main apes from the previous films. The arc is satisfying on it’s own, much like the first movie, showing them as having taken the second shuttle back in time from the future (and coincidentally? ending up in the proper time and place), first as the toast of the town and then of course as the subject of intense scrutiny.

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes introduces Caesar…played by the guy who played his father in the previous movies. So that turned out to be a sweet gig. Ricardo Montalban has raised him secretly in his circus, thank heavens. I’m not sure there’s much wrong with this one other than the thin story and the fact that it encourages very silly observations (wait, so the way you train apes for service is in groups of 100 and by shouting “do!”?? hold on, who thought it a good idea to do this on the terrace in front of the downtown mall?!) – until we get to the part where American slavery is outright aligned with the HORRIBLE enslavement of MONKEYS.

Unamused Ezzie is unamused.

No, seriously. There’s a black guy – who’s wonderful, btw… is it just me or were these actors so much more dignified and thespianly back then! the declarations, my liege! – who says, “As the descendant of slaves…” – and he’s talking to the only proven sentient ape. Unless I missed something all that happened was a disease wiped out domestic house pets and so we (shortsightedly, I mean COME ON) replaced them with apes who we then made slaves… but to my understanding they’re still ANIMALS. Did you just have this guy – purportedly in 1991, remember! – discuss his ancestor’s enslavement with a talking monkey? And though they are destined to nearly wipe.out. the human race, he HELPS Caesar begin the revolution. Because that’s what the black guy would do. >.> Mmm, thanks, friend. #Nope. Gonna wanna talk to the screenwriter when this is done.

Okay. But then there’s Battle for the Planet of the Apes. (NO WAIT! I forgot to mention that Caesar incites this revolution by first staring at different chimps who then – no doubt because of the power of the extreme close-up – demonstrate their defiance against the MAN? And then they find some alley in which to congregate a la When You’re A Jet and NO ONE’S PAYING ATTENTION EXCEPT THE FIRST HALF OF THE MOVIE YOU’RE CONSTANTLY HEARING APE CONTROL OVER THE CITY INTERCOM REPORTING THE SLIGHTEST GATHERING OR ABSENCE AND THEY SEEM TO HAVE A PRETTY GOOD HOLD ON THINGS but whatever. Oh, and the monkeys are… collecting knives. And then again, based solely on a few shots of other monkeys being inexplicably drawn to him throughout the movie and those stolen, intense glances, Caesar organizes them – the still mute and unspectacular monkeys – and overthrows that one terrace in Los Angeles. Bon.

Okay, for real this time – Battle. It’s meant to:

A) be 10 years after the revolution and um, NO. I don’t believe we would’ve bothered going to war against each other when we had a freakin’ monkey problem on our hands, for one, and then also, no, I’m just not buying it.

B) dazzle us with the origin of that crazy set of A-bomb-thumping loons from the second film. Nope. Why are they like that? Why do they still care about fighting when they’re basically radiated zombies, mon frere? And how through the power of revering the bomb instead of using it (get that MESSAGE spit-shined, people!) they end up with telepathic powers and deceptive beauty (as in the second movie)!? Or maybe they don’t since there are signs of the slightest alteration between the second and fifth movie and also Virgil the Orangutan mentions in passing the different lanes of time and blind choice. >.>

And while we’re asking questions, were these fight scenes choreographed and practiced in ANY sense of the words? Oh and when you realized the sci-fi-y wrist restraints on the shock table weren’t gonna wrap around Caesar, why instead of cutting and rethinking this whole shoddy attempt at futurism did you just let that actor hold it “closed” where we could totally see him? Riddle me that.

… So that happened. Are you guys even still reading this?!

So I was (and still remain) really skeptical unclear as to whether these were all released to the screen. Because. Wow. And then I found this.

(See how I was totally right about the third movie being the second best?) How HONESTLY did they get away with this?

Finally: Tim Burton’s “re-imagining” [insert fight scene pitting me against a copy of the dvd – and I have a sonic machete] of the original cost MORE than Rise, the recent reboot. O_O Taste that. I can’t even comprehend that.

Has anyone else actually watched all five of these?!?!