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nekorokketo [userpic]

On The Lo-Lo

February 2nd, 2013 (02:10 pm)
annoyed

current mood: annoyed
current song: Chad Valley ft El Perro Del Mar "Evening Surrender"

Cat Rokkit probably should be honest with Sweetpea about not taking birth control pills anymore. Not that I'm lying, just an elision of information. I had been using the ring, which in terms of convenience and ease of use was absolutely the BEST but in terms of side effects was pretty unusable for a woman in a happy relationship - that bitch killed my sex drive! He knows I quit that months ago so it's not like he's totally in the dark. The ring is equivalent to a superpower dose of the pill but I so consistently experience any RX's moderately rare side effects that I refuse to check the warning label so as to prevent myself from subconsciously creating one. That, incidentally, backfired once in that I had been experiencing one of those "call your doctor, bitch" side effects unbeknownst to me and kept taking the damn meds for MONTHS. The best laid plans... Anyway. I need to get my Happycil back in order before I could even consider adding some hormones into the mix. I get the feeling that once Happycil is sorted, I won't feel this bizarre compulsion of get knocked up ASAP accidentally on purpose and will feel more amenable to taking the Lo-Lo my lady doc gave me.

nekorokketo [userpic]

Don't-Do-Overs

March 17th, 2012 (10:13 pm)
satisfied

current mood: satisfied

Cat Rokkit wants so very much to see Teeny Weeny again if only to spill some truth. How does a 24 year old guy not know to pay a little attention to the clit? Like, artlessly jamming your fingers into me is not really gonna get me off. OMG especially if your dick is lacking significantly in girth or length or, in your case, both. I'm not being catty, dude, just real honest. And remember when I asked you where you like to be touched and you said nipples and I listened and touched you there? That's how that works. If your partner asks you to pull her hair or whatever, try doing it. She'll probably like it. Oh, and it's bad form to get your rocks off without making sure your partner finishes. Unless you thought that artlessly jamming of fingers was sufficient. In retrospect, I wish I'd hooked up with the Scottsman. No, I wish I'd hooked up with the lesbian. She was kinda cute and seemed like she was dying to worship me. Oo, or both of them. God, i actually wish it had been anyone but you. Scott/Sandy was funnier, Steve/Angry Bird was so considerate, the Little One seemed like he would have been enthusiastic and not totally weird the next day. But no, I ended up with you. You were pretty to look at and a decent kisser but so substandard in, like, all other areas. You are my don't-do-over.

nekorokketo [userpic]

(no subject)

December 14th, 2011 (07:16 am)

I, Cat Rokkit, want to very much to write about feeling sad and being a failure. I'm not going to but I just wanted it noted that Cat Rokkit BC (before counselor, natch) would be churning out page after page of moroseness. Cat Rokkit AC will instead be writing about the beauty today brought to my life.

God. God is still beautiful. Duh, right? But not "duh". The universe is a limitless beauty spiraling around us. I see no purpose in debating the particulars of God vs. No God. Science can explain so many aspects of the physiology of faith, and in the temporal world I put my faith in science. But the spiritual world... Science will dissect a frog to see how it works. God is what put that frog together in the first place. I don't mean intelligent design (pseudo science at best). If humans are born with God hardwired in our brains, then for me God exists. If I'm born with legs, I walk. If I'm born with God, I have faith.

Well, I guess I discussed it after all. Moving on.

I, Cat Rokkit, am thankful for glitter. Glitter is one of those words that gives me a rush of happiness just by saying it out loud. The sun glittering on open water, glittery nail polish, my mother's glittering eyes. Ain't nothing wrong with glitter.

Similarly, I am thankful for NSync. I recently pulled out my NSync Christmas CD because, you know, tis the season. It reminded me of two things - Firstly, JC Chasez is a better singer (sorry, Timberlake) and secondly, NSync was a time when I was happy musically. When I outgrew my tween love for NSync, I dove headfirst into the teenage misery obsession for Manic Street Preachers. That's a fairly normal progression, actually. Sugar pop to depression rock, I mean. Listening to that CD felt like a hug. When I switched that CD for a random college mix CD, that hug feeling melted away. And the weird part of that is I had a greater emotional attachment to my mix CDs. Dubs tee eff. I frites much happier listening to middle school music than college music. My emotional sense memory is that pervasive. Weird. So I've made the decision to take a break from anything I liked from 10th grade to present. I'm going to stick all my old fave CDs in my car and just see where that takes me.

I have also made the decision to find a homework advisor. By that, I mean someone unrelated to me that will help me learn to be organized and break down large tasks into small tasks and basically all the stuff I feel unable to do for myself. Because I need to get through this program. I am at a school full of really wonderful people who legitimately care about my success. I want to graduate. I want to teach. I want to be a teacher, the full fledged kind. The last two years have been amazing. Even the hard stuff feels warm in my memories. I guess I assumed I would always have this available, my team in my school. But Coworker 1 is going to leave PEP next year and Coworker 2 wants a site closer to her home. To be completely honest, I have wanted to work in the preschool autism program since summer school two years ago. Better money, too. Oh, wait, off track. So homework coach. The Rev is one of the all-time best people I know in, like, all respects. Her parents are equally awesome. They are both mega mega smart and sweet and genuine. Also, Grandpa Rev was an education professor and has degrees in psychology. Because I am ready to become a good student. I want this to be the last semester that goes off the rails. I realized recently that some people are really good at sitting down and working, but plenty of people work better when they have a person or two around to act as a sounding board. I am probably in the latter category.

nekorokketo [userpic]

Finding a Voice. Literally.

December 7th, 2011 (07:05 pm)

I, Cat Rokkit, again feel extremely thankful to have had my counselor come into my life. Like, profoundly thankful. I guess I had been waiting nearly my whole life for someone to show me that I don't need permission to consider myself a good person. I can make mistakes and still be a good person. I can say good things about myself. That's not arrogant, at least not inherently. I am a good person! I just am.

I am a good person who is still learning how to manage the anxiety I feel about college. OMG, LIGHTBULB - The difficulty I had in college ever since the first day of class, it's my assumption that everyone is judging me. Each minor hiccup appeared to me evidence that even my best wouldn't hold up to the judgement of my professors. The idea is still too fresh for me to articulate fully, but I understand more of what created the dichotomy between my high school self still being productive despite improperly framed thinking and my college self, whom I assumed to have the same thought frame, seeming to suddenly become unproductive. By the end if high school, I ran out of confidence in my ability to do, like, anything. I am going to start believing my own hype. I totally can do hard shit. With my eyes closed (the only way I thought, like, counted)? Not relevant. If bake a key lime pie and everyone says it's delicious and they eat the whole thing, did I bake it any less because I used the recipe on the lime juice label? Did it taste any less delicious because it's simple to bake?

Wait, I think I've lost the metaphor. What I'm saying is that it doesn't matter that my brother got a perfect verbal score on the SATs. It doesn't matter that he could've aced it with his eyes closed. It doesn't matter that the times he magically pulls the right factoid from the ether are the only times I can remember. Not the times we kept pace in conversation, not the times I had something faster or more accurate. I just looked up the scoring percentiles and my score is in the 93rd percentile. Jiminy Christmas! I'm glad I did that. "I, Cat Rokkit, am glad I looked up the percentile in which my SAT score ranked. It's ridic high ^ㅂ^" Jiminy Christmas squared. I was going to continue on the subject of "IT DOESN'T MATTER" but now I don't feel like I need to. High five!

I'm thankful for new ways of determining my self-worth. Yesterday, the amount of work I have accomplished decreased only slightly. But I didn't get that stony feeling in my stomach that usually comes with less than ideal productivity. I said, "Ok, now we know that working in the basement with the tv off is equivalent to working in my bedroom and we can take it off the list of possible work environs." The encouraging part? It wasn't forced. I didn't wake up feeling like some mouth-breathing cretin undeserving of sympathy. I just thought "Ok. Today I'll try again." It's called splitting, right? When a person treats all situations as being black-or-white, all-or-nothing. I didn't do that today. And right now I'm skipping class. But the weird part is that I don't feel guilty about it. I don't feel giddy, like I'm getting away with some naughty trick. I am skipping because I need to do my work. If I go to class, I'm going to spend 195 minutes pretending to not be messing around on my iPad. I am confused as to now I'll be able to learn about technology in the classroom in a classroom sans technology. Now am I going to learn the ins and outs of, say, Clicker 5, in a room without even so much as a wall clock (let alone a computer or even an overhead projector). Anyway. I spent the day not feeling like a jerk because I based my self-worth on the amount of homework I did the night before. It was nice! I didn't feel like my bones were planning to flee my body.

Alright, alright. Essay time.

nekorokketo [userpic]

(no subject)

December 7th, 2011 (04:39 am)

I, Cat Rokkit, fully admit that the university counsellor is the thing keeping me in college. This is the person I needed a decade ago.

Wait. Let's reframe that in the positive.

I, Cat Rokkit, now have a therapist that works. With her, I now believe I am not a misfit toy for with rusty cogs --

No, more positive.

I, Cat Rokkit, feel blessed to have made progress, real beautiful progress, with my super awesome radtastic counselor. And I am now confident that I am able to become the person I strive to be.

Today, I realized a quality about myself that is pretty special. My compulsion to fix things makes me want to do good things for the people in my life. Our cafeteria service provider was not in good spirits today when I came through to get my kids' lunches. I asked "How are you?" She said that she was feeling down. She is always very sweet to me, always willing to cut me some slack (I'm her favorite, which is pretty excellent ^_^) so I felt like I should just listen to her. We all have times when we just need someone to listen to us and give our feelings a little validation. So I did that. And then I gave her a compliment. She was wearing different earrings, so I told her that I thought they were cute. And then we just chatted about earrings for a bit. When I left, she was smiling and laughing. She looked like a weight had lifted off her shoulders. And I helped brighten her mood. Same thing with my mom tonight. She was in the phase of hungry when you really need to eat something but cannot seem to figure out what to eat. We went to Teeter, bought a meatloaf (I swear she's iron deficient), and I plated it with some frozen veg. Oh, wait, as we were walking into the grocery store Mimsy told me that she just doesn't feel like she has any Christmas spirit. "It's not you. The weather is messing with you," I said. Because that's the long and short of it. It's December, so it's dark outside by 5 BUT it's, like, 60°. Your body is totally confused. Christmas spirit? Not when it feels like April. And then I suggested she get a slice of chocolate cake. She was like "which kind do you want?" So Mimsy. "No, this is totally your choice. You get the one you want. All cake is delicious in my opinion. Your call." I like being this person. I like making my mother feel happier. I like giving compliments to people who work hard for my kiddos. Now here is where I would ordinarily say something dismissive like "because it's no skin off my nose". But I didn't do nice things because I was gonna do them anyway; I did nice things today because I am a nice person. I am a good person.

I tried working in the basement, but so far the best work space has been sitting in my car behind Wilkinson Hall. Ok. That's good to know. There is still some critical bit left to discover. Maybe I should look into getting a mobile wifi hotspot. How's that for framing positively?

Um, this might be TMI to any random rando stumbling upon this LJ (Hi?), but today my brain spontaneously reframed something that had been weighing on me for, like, months. That guy I hooked up with in Seoul? 1) I know for a fact that I was wearing the Magic Red Dress and therefore was lookin' all kinds of sexy. At least three people wanted to fuck me that night in that dress. 2) He'd gone just as long as I had since he last had sex, ie not a man-whore. 3) I was drrrrrrrrunk. He was not. 4) I'm pretty sure now that the next day is always awkward. Like, my experience was not unique in it's craptacular denouement. 5) Yo, he got to fuck me at my hottest. 6) I also got to fuck him at his hottest. BAAAAAASICALLY what I've realized is that, like a kindergarten's butterfly emerging from its cocoon, this vile squishy thing has become something lovely (or at least not repugnant). I release you back into the ether, drunk hook-up butterfly.

But most of all, I'm thankful for the beauty of clarity. I don't think God is the operator at some grand switchboard (after all, humans have free will so it stands to reason that God is probably not an interventionist in our temporal lives) but I do believe that God is present in our lives. Those weird moments when emotion suddenly swells and your heart feels fit to burst, like an earthquake is occurring with your soul as the epicenter, I think those are times when we feel God's love. And those are life's most precious and beautiful

nekorokketo [userpic]

If Only All Child Molesters Drove Windowless White Vans

November 13th, 2011 (08:34 pm)
frustrated

current mood: frustrated

Because then we'd always know who to keep away from children. But child molesters look just like anyone else. That's why you don't usually hear about a molester abusing a single victim before he gets caught. Rather, it seems as though getting caught is fairly abnormal. Jerry Sandusky is accused of molesting eight boys in fifteen years. Only one of those boys went to the police. One in eight (at least) in fifteen years. This absolutely blows my mind. So how does a child molester manage to get away with abuse for so long? Well, for one thing, they pick their victims wisely. But then there's the other side, which is the people around the abuser. The media has been crucifying Joe Paterno because he didn't "do enough". Let's get real for a minute. We all know how serious an accusation sexual abuse of a child is and how eternally damning it is to the accused even if the accusation is eventually revealed to be untrue. And we all think we would know without question if someone was a child molester. The truth is that you wouldn't. That's how child molesters are given access to victims by the community at large. I can guarantee that you know a child abuser. I can guarantee that you've met one, maybe even shook his hand, without recognizing the monster in your midst. Maybe he coached your kid's soccer team. Maybe he's your neighbor. Maybe he's your middle school vice principal. These people exist. Now I don't say this as a way to scare you or make you suspicious of every adult male you've ever known. Rather, I'm trying to illustrate how normal it is for us to believe that we have trusted our children to the right people, that we have a sense of who deserves trust and loyalty. We don't.

I feel compelled to defend Joe Paterno because I have been in an almost similar situation. A friend once confided in me that she had been molested as a child. She didn't give me any details, but I did suspect (correctly, as it turned out) a person I had also trusted. And when another friend accidentally revealed the abuser's identity, I did nothing with the information. We were all over the age of eighteen and I do know that the abuser wasn't directly in contact with any children at the time (no kids' soccer, no little neighbors, no job as a school administrator), but the fat remains that I did nothing with that information. I did not and still have not told anyone about this person's abuse. I don't have any firsthand evidence. I wasn't even told the abuser's identity directly from his victim. But I knew it happened and I have said nothing. Does this make me a bad person? I know a bit of what Joe Paterno felt because I myself feel it - am I right to leave this information undisclosed? This molester doesn't really have access to children now, I think. Would I be justified in dragging my friend, his victim, into revealing publicly what was once personal? Had I been there, seen this abuse, I would have no worry as to what is the right course of action. Mike McQueary is someone I do no understand. He deserves to have is reputation shredded and to be unceremoniously fired. But Joe Paterno... If only every child molester drove a windowless white van, we could be confident in believing that we would all know the right thing to do.

nekorokketo [userpic]

Why I Spent $600 On JYJ... Again

June 21st, 2011 (02:41 pm)
optimistic

current mood: optimistic
current song: DSBK "Begin"

Back in November, I went to the JYJ showcase in New York. The experience was many things: miserable, devastating, scary. Those are the first words that spring to mind. But I'll save that long, emotionally draining story for another time. I am, in all honesty, too old for this teenybop shit and yet I still went to see JYJ in New Jersey last month. I bought myself and K-Town 2nd row seats. I paid for the hotels. I drove. These were all my own decisions lest anyone think I'm bellyaching. I spent around $400 on tickets and at least $200 on incidentals. After the showcase, I doubted I'd ever so much as listen to their music again. I vowed to never subject myself to the same degradation as last November. I am a goddamn grown-ass woman and I will not accept treatment that is dismissive and insulting. That's what I learned in November. I learned that I am the sort of person who seems ripe for exploitation. I know that I've played this to my advantage for most of my life. I've cried my way out of every traffic ticket, escaped all manner of consequences on the power of big blue eyes and sweet soft words. I know that my seeming vulnerability is what makes people react when I want to sidestep responsibility. The other half of this equation was quite thoroughly demonstrated to me when I was vomiting in a back alley as paramedics tried to calm a hysterical K-Town. When you seem defenseless, people will treat you as such. You will be swept aside if that is beneficial. At the time, I wanted to grab that smug-mouthed troll manager by his pompous cravat and whisper directly into his ear "You know not that of which you speak. I could destroy you, a cockroach beneath my heel." Now I will freely admit that this is beyond dramatic. Why not just slap him with a glove and demand satisfaction, right? Like I said before, this was the first time Life shoved me face-down into a toilet bowl. I was kind of unaware that I had been treated with kid gloves my whole life. This was only a rude awakening because I had slept in so late.

So why the second shot? Why spend a week's pay on something that only wrecked me emotionally last time around? Because they are still the reason I have happiness in my life. I am sure I've written about this before. It was through DBSK, specifically Jaejoong's perfect velvet voice, that I was led to the good things in my life (I am quite literally a different person; I lost the kind of weight that gets you on TV shows). DBSK is what led me out of the secret little dreamworld I had increasingly inhabited. The brave, strong girl I was once, was she still lost in the labyrinth? Had the minotaur devoured her? When I was very, very young, someone hurt me. I don't remember much about it but I do remember how I felt - trapped, terrified, powerless, furious. I remember getting up from the ground and trying to run away, but someone grabbed me back and pushed my face in the dirt. While I'm thankful that it's mostly hazy and half-recalled (a friend of mine was abused growing up and when we talked about her experience I realized that remembering is a far worse situation), it's still there under my skin. And I know that it shaped certain aspects of me. Intimacy, romantic or platonic, is difficult. It's stressful. To be open is to risk yourself. In the myth, Ariadne gives Theseus a ball of red thread to guide him back through the labyrinth after he kills the minotaur. It feels silly to say this, but DBSK was my Ariadne. The labyrinth is engineered to trap its victim, a trusting, blameless young soul. To be devoured by the minotaur is certainly a frightening fate, but in some ways it is also a kinder one. When I was a teenager, I felt certain that I would be dead before my 18th birthday. I don't know why I was so sure. I didn't believe I would be dead because I killed myself, though there were a few feeble attempts. I just woke up every morning thinking "Well, one day closer to the inevitable". I crossed the street every day unconcerned by traffic because, whatever, I was going to be dead pretty soon anyway. I guess it was a coping mechanism. The anxiety that would eventually consume me could be held at bay by believing that I would die before I had to deliver on anything. Christ, that is fucked up. This is what I mean by the kindness of the victim's fate; to take up the thread and follow it out of the labyrinth is to be responsible for one's own fate. Resignation doesn't require bravery. When I found DBSK, I was resigned to my internal dreamworld. So what if my life was or wasn't? I could wrap myself up in the comfort of my construction. In the labyrinth, resignation had clouded my vision, but red can be seen in the dark.

So, again, why did I spend $600 on JYJ after the disappointment in New York? I went because I'm not yet free from the labyrinth. DBSK/JYJ is still important to me. I am still gripping the red thread. I know how easy it is to let go and remain in stasis, but I also know how beautiful the world is beyond this dark path. Colors are rich and the air is even sweeter than I can imagine. Friction may cut my palm against it, but I am still gripping the red thread.

nekorokketo [userpic]

Sexual Orientation For Speakers Of Other Languages

August 10th, 2010 (04:09 pm)
contemplative

current mood: contemplative
current song: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti "Round and Round"

I hung out with a couple of my Korean friends yesterday. At some point, it was just me and Most Proficient while Super Christian was in the bathroom or w/e. One of MP's friends came over to say hi, and after he left we laughed over how very short his shorts had been. I made the offhanded remark that some boys like boys, which when I consider in retelling is pretty indicative of American attitudes toward perceived homosexuality. Not the point. Continuing on. She looked puzzled, so I elaborated - most boys like girls, but some boys don't because they like boys. Not that I thought she was unaware of this whole "gay" business, but just to clarify what I meant in my original comment. With my old conversation partner (let's call him Oraboni), it was easier to talk frankly about the same things I always talked about with older guy friends because it was for many reasons easier. But MP and I are pretty chummy these days, so I figured that I might as well be less delicate about shit. MP is really young and perhaps the least jaded person I know over the age of 18. But she's not afraid to grab onto new experiences. I told her that when we go on our mini road trip in a week or so, she'll meet a friend of mine who is a real live lesbian. MP said that it's very different in Korea (shocking). She wasn't making a judgement about cultural differences, just a general statement.

See, all the Korean kids I know (the ones here to study English) are fairly religious Christians. This is part of my hesitance to engage in this sort of conversation. I used to volunteer as a conversation partner a million years ago when I was studying linguistics, and one of my partners was a guy from Saudi Arabia. I don't know why it surprised me that he would say some of the most ignorant things. I mean, I knew that I couldn't reasonably expect a person raised under a strict conservative theological monarchy would have all the facts about, say, HIV. And he was never aggressive about it. He usually just wanted to quiz me about things. Still, it made me a little unsettled to be talking to someone who seemed totally nice and normal who also believed that birth control makes a woman sterile and that gay people actively recruit the straighties. This is why I generally avoid any subject that might lead to the other person saying something disappointing.

Then again, this is America, damn it!

I think it's better to allow people the cultural security of tolerance for the variety of sexual orientations. Cultural relativism be damned on this one, to be honest. Leave people alone on this one. I'm not a religious scholar, but I do feel pretty certain about a few things. First, I find it difficult to believe that humans "understand everything". That's just a ridiculous notion. For that reason, I think it is not impossible for God to exist. I say God but mean something less definite than the entity described by any specific religion. There are limits to what humans comprehend, so whatever bigger thing may exist is probably something that exceeds those limits. So this thing existing beyond the limits of comprehension indicates to me the very, very flawed nature of the human creature. And if humans are inherently flawed, that means each one of us is flawed (some more than others but imperfect nonetheless). We're all flawed. If all of us are flawed, that would mean that no single person truly embodies what a person ought to be. This is where culture comes in to set up the boundaries that enable us to coexist but more so to flourish collectively. Some of these boundaries are necessary (ie it's not okay to randomly commit random murders) and some are more cosmetic. Mores concerning sexual orientation fall more toward the "cosmetic" end of the spectrum. There are scientists who would argue that rejection of non-heterosexuality comes from a desire for the survival of our species, a holdover from our ancestors, but I think that's fairly inconsequential. Humans used to do a lot of weird things. They still do. Homosexuality is aberrant in the sense that it is not the prevailing sexual orientation among humans, not in the sense that it wrong or unacceptable. And this all goes back to tolerance. Tolerate it. If you aren't forced to engage in it, leave it alone. I don't like green peppers, but you won't catch me ripping them from the hands of other customers at the grocery store. I think it's more damaging to be intolerant of other sexual orientations. Gay teens become runaways or try to commit suicide. Unsuspecting wives and girlfriends of men on the DL contract HIV. The anti-homosexuality laws currently proposed in Uganda. Iran's endorsement of sex reassignment surgery to "correct" gay men. The Stonewall Riots. Matthew Shephard. Teena Brandon.

That's what I wanted to tell her - nothing good comes from treating sexual orientation as being heterosexuality exclusively and nothing good comes from treating those who categorize themselves otherwise as people in need of correction. If it's between consenting adults, leave it alone.









Though I will admit it would be kind of liberating to never see a green pepper again.

nekorokketo [userpic]

Free Movies: Mandarin Cantonese Japanese French English Fist Fight Gun Fight Vomit Vomit Vomit pt 1

August 5th, 2010 (11:16 pm)
amused

current mood: amused
current song: Keepaway "Yellow Wings"

I missed most of the free movies during the Korean film fest at the Knowledgeum, a situation which I have tried to rectify with the Hong Kong film fest. I really like Hong Kong films. I like them because they are solid artistically and technically and because I don't get the impression that these films are culturally bound. By "culturally bound", I mean that the films don't rely much on culturally specific mores. If you've ever watched a Japanese movie with a person who has rarely ventured beyond mainstream American movies, you'll know what I mean. Case in point - the time I took my bro's GF and my soulmate to see "Sing A Song Of Sex", an Oshima film about which I never posted because even I, armchair japanthusiast, could barely make out what was going on. I'd never apologized for bringing someone to a film before that day. It was basically two hours of "what is this I don't even". It's not like that with Hong Kong films. You don't need a text book to enjoy them. I am quite sure that plenty of cultural anthropolists and film majors have analyzed the influence of colonialism on the Hong Kong film industry, so I'll leave the academia and enjoy the cool movies playing at the Knowledgeum this summer.

I will admit that I have a fairly romanticized fascination with the crime lords and organized crime syndicates of Asia, so I was quite certain I would enjoy "Vengeance" even if it sucked. "Vengeance", dear reader, did not suck. It stars French superstar singer Johnny Hallyday and a few solid Hong Kong actors you'll recognize if you've watched an HK gangster movie before. The movie starts simple - a woman cooking dinner while her husband and lovely sons are arriving home in the rain. Oh, and how the shit proceeds to hit the fan. Within the first five minutes of this film, the family is slaughtered by hitmen. The image of the father shot in the head when he checks the peephole is pretty gruesome but what's worse is that the details of the family's murders are drawn out into flashbacks throughout the first half of the film. You know, just in case you thought you would get to skip the scene where the children are killed. Okay, the short version - A family is murdered in a mob hit. The mother's father, Costello, comes from France to get his revenge. He claims he is just a chef, but his obvious street savvy make it clear that he was not always. He witnesses three hitmen entering the room next to his, hears some muffled gunshots (that would be the hitmen killing their employeer's ho and bodyguard during a tryst), and purposefully does not identify one of the three during a police line-up, thus earning himself a favor from the hitmen. He wants to hire them so that he can track down the people responsible for the hit on his daughter's family (the daughter is alive-ish at this point but has sustained very serious injuries. Oh, and she witnessed her children's deaths, so she isn't exactly fighting hard to live). Costello points out that he is at a total disadvantage, a white man who doesn't speak or read the language and who has no contacts in the local crime scene. He offers the three everything he has - his home, his restaurant, his fancy watch, and a thick roll of bills. He needs information and guns. The three agree, so Costello takes polaroids of them to help him remember their faces. He keeps a stack of photos, all labeled, because he is losing his memory. The rest of the movie is mostly gun fights. Gun fights, gun fights, gun fights. Turns out the hit was put on Costello's family by George (or was it Gary?) Fung, the local Triad boss. Fung is also the main employer of Costello's three helpers. The three meet their ends when Fung learns that they were responsible for killing Costello's daughter's hitmen. This gun fight is particularly cinematic. It takes place in a garbage dump but in the style of a Chinese historical epic. It's difficult to explain but if you've seen a Chinese historical epic where one side makes a maze of obstacles to trap their opponents and the maze-makers' general sits on a high platform to observe the battle as it unfolds - wait, never mind. That's what it was. Anyway, the three die in a blaze of glory. Costello, thoughtfully left to recover from a gunshot to the shoulder with one of the three's side piece, has almost completely lost his memory. After a few days living with the side piece and her gaggle of children at their beach shack, the group learns of the deaths of the three from a news program. The side piece tells him he should be sad, too, because those three men where his friends. That night, Costello wakes up and walks down into the moon-bright water to follow his daughter, now magically uninjured. Then he sees that she is joined by his dead friends and realizes that she too has died. She cradles his face and he weeps. Next scene is Fung enjoying lunch somewhere picturesque. A sexy woman is drinking coffee at a nearby table. They eye-flirt a bit and he plays nice when a little kid comes up to him selling flag stickers for a fundraiser. Soon, more kids descend and Fung is covered in stickers. The woman smiles one last time and stand up from her table, revealing her mega pregnant belly. Chuckles all around. Turns out it was the side piece and her brood. Costello trades her a baby for a revolver and tells him that he wants to kill the one with all the stickers. Though Costello manages to get a few good shots, Fung is wearing a bulletproof vest. Watching him rage blindly after the man with the stickers on his coat as he chases Fung from a crowded square to a deserted side street is almost unbearably tense. I've never witnessed the Knowledgeum's theater as quiet as it was during that scene. Fung is slippery, though, and manages to evade Costello for a surprisingly long time. He realizes it's the stickers giving him away, so he puts a bunch on a henchman and chucks his coat. But he won't escape. Costello's memory is soft but he resolve to seek revenge is firm. When he does finally catch Fung, the man is hiding behind a van, quaking. And Costello doesn't just put a bullet in Fung's head. He is so determined to kill the man responsible for all of his heartache that it's clear he cannot be stopped under any circumstances. First, he wounds Fung badly enough to make it impossible for him to run away. Costello roars at him, makes him put the coat back on so he can check that the bulletholes in the coat match the holes in his shirt. And then a single sticker caught on Fung's tie confirms his identity. Bam. The next scene is Costello back at the beach shack. The kids are called for dinner. Costello picks up the littlest girl and carries her with him to the table.

Johnny Hallyday was not the first Frenchman considered for "Vengeance", but I think he was the right choice. There's so much sadness in his face and voice. His face in particular has that flesh mask quality that comes after a horrific motorcycle accident or from too many face lifts. But it works in this film for this character. The scene when he is walking into the surf trying to reach the souls of his departed family and friends is beautifully heart-wrenching. I've seen enough asian movies by now that I go into every one expecting to see all of the main characters die. I've been surprised recently, though. I didn't expect the three hitmen to die (well, not so soon) and didn't expect Costello to live. That totally blew my mind. And the fact that Costello was at peace and maybe even happy at the end... I'm pretty sure that's against the rules. There were a couple of clumsy spots, specifically the gun fight in the woods. But overall I really enjoyed it.




Ugh, can't concentrate, too many filnobep videos to watch... Tag laterrrrr

nekorokketo [userpic]

ADHD Liz Has ADHD

June 14th, 2010 (08:40 pm)
cranky

current mood: cranky
current song: J & Howl "Maybe Love" (will never not be awesome!!)

Speaking (typing?) of which, I need to get my accommodations updated. It's a bitch and will likely cost me a couple thousand dollars, but what the hell else am I going to do? I read some terrifyingly terrifying statistic on one of those coping-with-adult-ADHD pamphlets some pharmaceutical manufacturer keeps mailing to me about how adults with ADHD have a significantly low job retention rate. Oh, awesome. That's totally what I wanted to read whilst eating my heritage grain cereal before hauling ass to my own job.

Um.

Where was I going with this?

Oh, right. ADHD. Highly distractable.

So I'm supposed to be doing my Stat project and will be getting back to it after this teeny tiny break. I was checking KnowYourMeme.com as is my wont and discovered that, despite this occurring during my highest affection for JE, I had somehow missed the "Nanikeidemonai" meme. Now, I am not Japanese nor do I speak enough of the language to even bother with bringing it up. However, I was a pretty heavy lurker in the JE interwebs. This (as well as I can recall) was never brought up. When a shot of Generation Terrorists era MSP was inserted in the last, like, two seconds of some clothing ad (maybe The Gap?), oh how the forum did light up for months. And this was back in the days before such things as "livejournal communities" and "blogging". This was, like, summer 2000. Okay, those things existed, but bands all had their own web sites with forums for kiddos to post little threads and whatnot and there were so many fan sites and fanfic was kind of difficult to suss out since most of us were, like, 15 and unfamiliar with things like IRC and Newsnet and whatever the fuck else people used to exchange sexually explicit fantasies about Gundam pilots (1x2!!! HOW I LOVED YOU SO!!!!!!).

Uh, again... distracted.

So rather than attempt my own less entertaining/informative explanation, here's the link. http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/nanikeidemonai-dont-mind-the-style I'll do the fancy hypertext later. Well, assuming I don't throw myself in front of a train. Statistics is a cruel, cruel mistress.

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