Friday, July 27, 2007

Mainstream Media and the Decline of the "Good Guy"

I've noticed something in lots of movies I've seen lately. Girls in movies like to blow off wonderful, charming, polite, responsible, and otherwise good guys for alluring, dangerous types that they think they "love".
Case 1: Catch and Release
Gray, and main girl, has an affair with her dead fiance's groomsman. He is a big jerk (if you had the misfortune to sit through this movie, or even the preview, you know how much). The dead fiance's roommate, Dennis, has loved Gray from the sidelines for 6 years. He is kind, sweet, and responsible. Guess who she chooses in the end? The arrogant guy from Californis. Not that I have anything against the sunny state, per se, but that seems to sum it up.
Case 2: Pirates of the Caribbean
Commodore Norrington is again, dependable, kind, good-natured, and adores Elizabeth. He would take good care of her. Sure, there's not the same pasion as there is with Will Turner, but that passion can fade. It's the kind of lasting affection that Norrington offers that you really want in the end. But does she make the wise choice? Not a chance. It's mainstream media, you see.
Case 3: Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement
Don't judge. There are parts of this movie that I adore. Namely, Andrew Jacoby, Duke of Kenilworth. He's a dutiful, hard-working man with whom Mia gets along very well. I am convinced that, had this movie not been created as a piece of GIRL POWER! propaganda, they would have been very happy together in the end. Nicholas, her chosen one, is described early in the movie as a womanizer, a lech. What person in her right mind throws aside Andrew for him? According to the media, anyone would, of course! She "loves him".
I heard someone say once, that, "You have to be careful who you fall in love with- you can fall in love with someone you shouldn't marry." I firmly believe this to be true. Feelings of love do not neccesarily imply suitabilty, and many excellent candidates may fall by the wayside because "there's no spark". As my English teacher taught, "Love is affection and attraction tempered by time. A growing, gradual affection shows true love. It arises as you discover suitability and admirable qualities in one another."
The media tries to portray these admirable qualities and beautiful relationships as silly, quaint, and old-fashioned. But don't fall for it! I bet if any of these movies showed the end result a few years after the final kiss, Mr. Dangerously Attractive is having an affair with the cocktail waitress.
So go for a good guy. He'll be there for the final credits. And beyond.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I Hate Stuff

After moving approximately enough boxes to populate China from my parent's old house to my parent's new house, I have come to the conclusion that I Hate Stuff.
Some of the more interesting things that we've moved over (that my Dad wouldn't let us throw away):
6 (count 'em, 6!) copies of Preach My Gospel (not including mine, probably the only one that gets used)
3 years worth of General Conference on audio tape- do we even have a tape player?
2 full boxes of VHS tapes that no one has watched since, well, ever (this does not include the full box of Disney VHS that my nieces and nephews watch when they come to visit) mostly dental training videos for obsolete techniques
4 swords- one giant wooden broadsword (for playing with, naturally), one smaller wooden rapier (so that the fighter with the broadsword can kick your butt), a samurai sword from Thailand, and a metal rapier from Italy. All my brother's.
6 oil drums, in which we will keep our 3 tonnes of wheat (probably more than a year's supply)
Now, I know that this is just my parent's lifetime accumulation of things, and I'm glad that much of it (having sentimental value) has been saved, but some of it could really be thrown away. I've determined to, when I grow up, live in a completely empty apartment, with no stuff whatsoever. Althoug, with no stuff, I may as well live in the street.
Oh well. I suppose I should think positive. At least we were able to ditch the 4 cubic feet of floppy disks this time.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Yesterday I began the arduous (as many tell me) process of learning Finnish. (As an interesting sidenote, there has been one person who disagrees with all of you as to the difficulty of the Finnish language. A patient at the office, who is a retired linguistics professor and a professional interpreter who speaks 58 languages, told me that pure linguistic Finnish is probably one of the most efficient and easy to learn languages in the world. Apparently it's just because Finnish is conforming to the expectations of most modern languages that makes it complicated.)
I now know the days of the week (Viikonpaiva) in Finnish. Today is Torstai. This Sunnuntai I wiil go to church. I had dinner with some friends on Keskiviikko this week. I'm looking forward to this Maanantai, when my holiday begins. Although, I have Perjantai off every week, so I guess it really starts on Lauantai. There's also Tiistai, which I couldn't think of a reference for.
See if you can sort out this mess and tell me the Viikonpaiva in order!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Boxes Up To My Ears

We're moving. Again. Albeit, this time to a newer, nicer house, but moving all the same. We drywalled the garage, my sister sealed the entire house worth of grout, and my brother is in charge of a room's worth of 40-lb. wheat bags getting over to our new place, my parent's philosophy being, "Why would we pay someone else do do jobs when we have kids?" To be fair, my brother and sister are getting paid a stipend for their efforts. There's just boxes everywhere.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Finland Finland Finland

The other day I got the big white envelope I've been expecting...
Destination: Helsinki, Finland!
Interesting facts about my soon-to-be home for 18 months:
1. Finnish is among the most difficult languages in the world. It has almost no traceable Slavic, Germanic, or Latin roots.
2. The Russian Czars used to vacation there.
3. The Finnish name for Finland is Suomi.
4. In the northernmost parts, the sun doesn't set for 73 days total in the summer.
5. In Finland's 338,145 sq. km, there are 187,888 lakes.
6. According to, Finland is the official home of Santa Claus.
7. Of the 8 political parties with seats in government, about 6 have, in their names, some variation on the words "Socialism", "Left", or "Green".
8. There are more than 40 different kinds of mushrooms grown and eaten there.
9. Finland has more cell phones per capita than any other country in the world.
10. It hosts the annual Wife-Carrying World Championships, Swamp Soccer World Championships, the Rubber Boot Throwing Festival and Air Guitar World Championships.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Daddy Driving

Going on trips with my Dad always drove me crazy as a kid. He would stop at everything that he thought was interesting, from fruit stands to roadside plaques to Alberta history sites to the Hutterite petting zoo- always free, of course. We never went to the Enchanted Forest in BC, no matter how many times we asked. The 6 hour drive to Summerland usually took over 8 or 9 hours. What I never realized was that Dad needed a 5 minute break from the Astro minivan that held, among other things, 6 squabbling kids and their gear, 2 tents, approximately 4 inflatable beach toys of various shapes and sizes, a bag full of old scuba gear, a hammock, 4 decrepit Thai straw mats, 2 boxes of library books (Asterix comics, mostly- great beach and car reading) 3 apple boxes of food, a cooler, and depending on the year, perhaps also a kid that was about to be sick. In retrospect, my Dad needed those breaks more than we needed the extra hour on the beach.
I realized all this as I drove to Fernie last weekend in a car with no air conditioning. Sure, the Leitch Collieries might not be the most fascinating roadside stop, but it's a step up from my car at noon on a 35 degree Friday in the Crowsnest Pass.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Microwaved Pork Roast

The wonders of modern technology never cease to amaze me. This weekend I help to cook and eat an entire pork tenderloin cooked in a microwave. One of the most tasty pieces of meat I've eaten in a while. To be fair, it was a combination microwave/convection oven, but the meat was still cooked on a turntabe with a little "ping!" at the end.
And to those that heard another blog story about hotplates and countertop ovens, it may not be the same functionality, but it's darn close.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The False Alarm

Yesterday I went and checked the mail, hoping for a certain important document from Salt Lake City. In our little box (we live in the suburbs where your mail is delivered to a box on the corner) I found a key to the package box (where they put things too big for your little slot). I though, "Maybe there was a huge, thick envelope that they didn't want to fold in half!" I opened the package box, and alas, all it contained was a cookbook that my Dad ordered from Amazon. Alas. Although it is a pretty good cookbook, by all appearances.