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Shut the Pop Up: Some Pop Bytes for Your Day

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* A glitch in the Facebook security system caused all user photos to become momentarily public. Even owner/creator Mark Zuckerberg was not immune to this mishap. His private photos shockingly revealed he is a young, rich, nerd with a relatively new puppy. [MSNBC]

*The FDA has approved a new medication to deal with hangovers. While this is quite a step in the name of science, it won’t truly be a breakthrough until it also contains the baby fighting power of the Morning After pill. [Newser]

* Lindsay Lohan’s Playboy cover is now online. In an unrelated story, eyes are susceptible to the Herpes virus. [Gawker]

* Blastr has compiled a gorgeous collection of Marvel and DC Comic holiday cards. I would love to receive the Batmobile for Christmas. And my boyfriend could have the speeding ticket I’d get immediately after being handed the keys as a stocking stuffer. [Blastr]

*And while visiting Blastr, be sure to check out their new devised gift list: What to get the violent geek in your life. All items are SciFy weaponry. In other news, a D&D argument recently ended with 1 slain by Batarang to the neck.

So, you can get Jack Sparrow’s little pistol, but you can’t get a replica of Rick Deckard’s gun from Blade Runner?! The closest I’ve found costs a mere $90… but you have to assemble the thing yourself. Adam Savage of Myth Buster fame wrote up a great article on the obsession of this particular gun, which you can read in its entirety here.

*A new Doctor Who holiday special mini-prequel has popped up online. Hopefully, this year’s offering will be less in touch with its feelings and along the of the current season’s action and adventure attitude. I felt the 2010 Christmas episode was too hokey, and was too much miss over all, not enough hit.

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*Below are some of my own holiday ornaments and my Playmobile nativity scene. I’m not religious, but I grew up with the nativity in my house during the holidays, so mine might as well be as close to Lego as I can get. Also, be sure to check out Find The Bad Kitty regularly for holiday edition pics!

A Little Pop-Me-Up for Your Day

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*People are just the worst: In an attempt to help a fellow traveler in distress, Gary Koelling allowed a man from Switzerland to check into a hotel using Koelling’s credit card. The free check-in wound up costing Koelling $41,000 or six nights at a ritzy New York City hotel, plus incidentals at just over $6,833 dollars a night. What does this teach us about helping our fellow man? Stick to reviewed and established charities, and when in trouble as a tourist, contact the local police department or embassy. Especially in New York.[Gawker]


*Speaking of horrible people, if you’re wondering what to get those hated ones on you list, look no further: Gifts for People You Hate is bound to have the perfect present for the people in your life you just can’t stand.

*Facebook bought Gowalla. What does this mean exactly? It means that if you enjoy using Gowalla you have less than a month to continue doing so before Facebook completely shuts it down. Someone might want to let Mark Zuckerburg that a little competition is healthy. [CNN Tech]

*In other news, delightful science has attributed smoking cigarettes to loss of nipples. You read that correctly. Apparently there has been a correlation between smoking and nipples falling off on women who have had their breasts lifted (though I assume it could happen to breast lifted men as well). Smoking is bad for you, people! When will we finally get that through our thick skulls?!  Though, maybe this is giving hope to those individuals with superfluous nips, such as Lily Allen, Chandler Bing, and Krusty the Clown. [The Chart]

*The Muppets are pure good. Like, good for your soul good. In their latest flick they put on a telethon to help others and, so often, helping others in need is the message they send out (with the exception of giving a stranger your credit card. Duh.). While many would find this message of hope and brotherly love heartwarming, those [insert any expletive here] at Fox Business “News” slammed the Muppet creators and writers for having an anti-capitalistic agenda. Of course. Which is why all dvd sales and movie tickets were non-profit based. And why the muppets weren’t completely portrayed as rich in the film. Of course, now those last two points are just flat-out lies, like what spews from the mouths of the “reporters” on Fox. And I recommend not reading the comments on this particular article. You’ll waste both energy and brain cells. [Blastr]
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*Ugh. That last Pop Byte made me all cranky. Let’s bring a little joy into our hearts with a list of what gifts to get that comic book fan in your life! I, for one, would love a pair of Wonder Woman socks even though, let’s face it, she really got the short stick when it came to gadgetry. A lasso that makes people tell the truth?! Insert stalker girlfriend joke here. [GeekOut]
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Universal Studios Theme Park in Orlando is  kissing their Jaws ride goodbye, along with a few other historical notables. I hate to see Jaws go, it was a classic albeit expected, but what, pray tell, might Universal be thinking? Well, Stage Two, of course – Stage Two of Harry Potter the Wizarding Experience. Man, the kids that acted in those movies are set for life and they’re barely old enough to sophomores in college. [The Baltimore Sun]
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*J.J. Abrams, you’re tearing me apart! The newest Star Trek gunk churned out from the rumor mills is that Benicio Del Toro will not be the villain in the Star Trek sequel, but the evil character will, in fact, be KHAAAAAAN! I like Khan, I remember Khan, and to this day I hate the idea of bugs in or near my ears because of Khan. But I was equally excited to see what Benicio Del Toro could have done with a part in Star Trek. Good things we have, like, a million years for things to change before the movie comes out (May 2013). [Blastr]
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*And the Star Trek news doesn’t stop there. Peter Weller has signed on to act in the upcoming sequel right as Benicio  signed off. Can’t put a face to Weller? That’s probably because so few people have actually seen it: He was RoboCop. [Variety] I wonder if they’ll do those awesome RoboCop ads, too…
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*While we’re discussing aliens, do you think you might have ever been abducted? Than look no further – Here’s a list of six telltale signs that you’ve been taken by extraterrestrials at some point in your life! Be careful in your analysis, though. Many of these symptoms are similar to a hot night out on the town with your good friend Jack Daniels. [TheSmokingJacket]
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*Nothing makes me cringe more than “ironic fashion”…except for maybe ironic facial hair… Anyway, hipsters every where line up in droves each year to purchase bad holiday sweaters from Salvation Army, Buffalo Exchange, and other used clothing gold mines. I myself bought one from Tee Fury yesterday, actually, but it was a t-shirt of a bad holiday sweater so it doesn’t count (okay, fine, it does. Judge away.). Designers are now totally in on this trend and currently sell – at insane prices – horrible holiday sweaters. If I could ever afford anything from the Stella McCartney line, the last thing it I would purchase is an ironically bad sweater. Ugh. [Fashionista]
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*Sure, I can make Peking Duck, but it would be far tastier as a Peking Romulan Bird of Prey! Cooking needs no longer to be unGeeky with these fantastic Kitchen accoutrements. Be it an Enterpriseing pizza, darth cookies, or needing your drinks on the rocks with a Gotham feel, we’ve got your cocina needs met. Just yet another list of gift ideas for the Michelin starred nerd in your home. [Blastr]
*It amazes me how so many nations can remain so incredibly sheltered in today’s day and age. I take my technological outlets and freedom of press for granted far too often. I say this because Saudi Arabi has announced it believes giving women the right to drive will cause them to have promiscuous sex. I can’t even begin to crack jokes on this. Cultural differences are one thing, but oppression is merely oppression. Besides, it’s the back of parked station wagon’s that cause promiscuous sex, not the act of driving itself. [HuffingtonPost]

Doctor Wholidays, Edible Star Wars, Dan Rad is Ginsberg (?!) & So Much More!

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*To start: 15 Unseen Characters on TV that we all know and love.

*What does an AT-AT taste like? Gingerbread, apparently. The best quote I’ve read regarding this amazing wintery treat: “That AT-AT is going to make me fat fat.”

*Where’s Waldo: The Feature Film, or The Worst Idea Ever, has gotten a screen writer. Shouldn’t have been too hard to find, since the entire movie will consist of two lines – “Where’s is he?” and “There he is!”

*If you’re reading this then you’re not really doing anything at all. Science deems it so!

*Video of Doctor Who cast members reading bedtime stories. Kind of ironic when you think of the episodes that definitely don’t help you sleep at night – DON’T BLINK! Ugh, but Martha Jones reads one, too. She was my absolute LEAST liked sidekick.

*WHAT THE – OHMYGOD -OH! Just make it stop! JUST MAKE IT STOP! I don’t know if you heard, but there’s this show called Virgin Diaries. A couple thought it would not only be an awesome idea not to have sex until marriage, but to wait to even KISS until their wedding day. And so their first ever kiss – with anyone – is…just awful. And you can watch it on tv! I don’t know what that kid thought he was doing, but the bride and all the guests look like they were *this close* to puking. And keep in mind that that’s just the kiss. As newly weds there are…other…things…they’ll be thinking about doing, and they’ll do it just as well as they did whatever the hell that was. I’m so creeped out right now. I think I need to go make out with some stranger in a bar just to put the stars back in alignment. Take a gander!
*Hey, everybody! London has a giant Lego Christmas Tree with Lego balls and all!
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*You know what makes the Doctor Who Christmas Special even better? A Doctor Who Christmas Special Marathon leading up to it! Whoooot!
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*If someone isn’t already working on a porn adaptation of this, they really, really need to get on the ball.
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*The three brothers Hanson all got married so young and just about immediately started poppin’ out babies. So in an attempt to support those budding families, they’re now selling…beer?
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*”Squeal like a pig! Squeeeeal like a pig!” Yeah, I don’t remember that guys name either, the actor or character, but it should be noted that he’s passed away. Must be one of the most quoted lines ever, next to “You got a real pretty mouth.” I say that one to my friends all the time.
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*There’s one thing that really super bothers me about Daniel Day Lewis playing Abraham Lincoln in an upcoming film: He looks more like Abraham Lincoln than Abe did. He’s going to be the first person to get an Oscar for a movie that hasn’t even come out yet.
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*So, Daniel Radcliffe is set to play Allen Ginsberg. After seeing the Harryest part of the Potter in Equus, I don’t question any of his roles any more. I’m sure he’ll do hung – WELL! I meant, I’m sure he’ll do well.
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*J.J. Abrams has decided to create a new female role for the Star Trek sequel. Some how I’m far more okay with this than when Peter Jackson created a new female role for The Hobbit. Is it necessary? We’ll have to see it to know for sure and, let’s face it, we’re all going to see it.
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*Can’t afford the $120+ Lego Millennium Falcon for your loved one (I sure as hell can’t!). Try one of these Do It Yourself Star Wars gifts! Love them alllllllllll.
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And I’m spent.

Last minute Friday PopExtras!

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The holidays are upon us and, man, Capitalism really wants to drive that home.

* For the 1% geeks in your life, or those rich enough to shop for them, Blastr has released a list of psychotically expensive Holiday gifts. Yes, I am jealous. Thanks for asking.

 

* Target isn’t showing any signs of backing down from their 11pm Thanksgiving Day shift start time for employees. Evil? Yes. But their commercials star one of my favorite comedians: Maria Bamford.

 

* There will be a RIDICULOUS amount of TV marathons on the Boob Tube this coming week. Here’s an entire list!

 

* What the WHAT?! Liam Neeson narrates the War of the World on Broadway in London…and does so as a hologram!

 

* Doctor Who (Matt Smith before I’m bombarded with comments) is gettin’ naked for charity. A nude do-gooder? Sign me up!…to stare. ‘Cause staring is free, right? I have no money.

 

* Finally: someone has caught Leonardo DiCaprio dressed as the Great Gatsby! Classsssssy! And he’s slimmed down. Like a young Alec Baldwin, Leo tends to get a little doughy in his down time.

Movie Review: Young Adult

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In a Super Secret Screening on Monday October 24th, the Alamo Drafthouse of Austin invited fans to a free showing of Young Adult, featuring in-person guests Director Jason Reitman and star Patton Oswalt. The film opens in limited release on December 9th and wider on December 16th.

Young Adult

Young Adult begins in Minneapolis, a city of industrialism without the prestige of Chicago or New York. Charlize Theron plays the washed-up ex-school socialite Mavis Gary, a ghost writer claiming famous author status, who returns to her hometown of Mercury, Minnesota in an attempt to woo back her old high school flame. Darkness, rather than hilarity, ensues. Patton Oswalt plays Matt, an unexpected conscience and friend, who is just as guilty of being unable to let go as the delusional and pretentious Mavis. In usual Theron and Patton fashion, both play their characters as if they were built for them specifically, running a fine line between bleak truth and dark humor.

Young Adult doesn’t lack depth in its main character; Mavis’s failures and subsequent denial of them are more than evident through her boozing, inability to look at herself in a mirror before happy hour, and inherent conceit. The rest of the film, however, seems to barely scratch the surface by comparison. This story hits so close to home for so many that the script just isn’t enough to make Young Adult the home-run Juno was. The film does make attempts to get the viewer emotionally involved, adding a glimmer of back story outside Mavis’s ego. In a scene with an old flame’s wife, Theron portrays Mavis as not only naked and raw in feeling, but also unwavering in her blind egomaniacal sense of self when confronted with maturity. Another scene chances an impossible change of heart in Mavis while she shares a brief, but perfect connection with Sandra, played by the fantastic Collette Wolfe, but in the end it’s not enough. There are many questions the viewer will find unanswered, but that may simply be to drive home the fact that the universe revolves around Mavis; you’re in her world even though you don’t deserve to be. Almost twenty years after graduation, and with a career many would find envious, Mavis reveals herself to be just as sad as the hometown she mocks and resents.

While this film is enjoyable, Young Adult lacks a wow factor. The leap into something darker than Juno and Up in the Air is a adventure for Reitman that he pulls off well and Oswalt and Theron are fantastic with the story they’re given. The film, however, ultimately seems stuck deciding whether to be a drama or a dark, dry comedy of the ordinary. Theron is undeniable enthralling to watch, like a trainwreck that just keeps getting worse.

Stephen King once said “I hated high school. I don’t trust anybody who looks back on the years from 14 to 18 with any enjoyment. If you liked being a teenager, there’s something wrong with you,” and I agree. While everyone knew or – worse – currently knows a Mavis, seeing her on the big screen in all the glory of pitiful masochism and reminiscence is not enough for a truly fulfilling story. Young Adult begins well, truly tries in the third act, and its star and directors play their parts well. The story just simply falls short.

Are You There, Spock? It’s Me, Katie.

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2010 Editor’s Pick on OpenSalon.

When I was fourteen years old I got my first job at a recycling plant for the town of Danbury. I made ten dollars an hour at that time, which, at twenty eight years old with a BA and an MA, is pretty close to what I make now. After the summer gig at the recycling plant I started work at a coffee shop at the age of fifteen. I was underage, but they hired me anyway, and that job really helped shape my high school life. Well, it shaped my extra-curricular high school life anyway. I also worked at clothing stores, and while looking cute was an integral part of my persona, folding clothes was not.

My mother worked for what we’ll refer to as Cashline.com at the time and got me a job doing receptionist work and IT Help Desk stuff. When I worked the Help Desk I would help the technologically inept (“My computer froze. I hit Ctrl-Alt-what?” and “How do I change my background?”) and I would wait on hold when the Help-Desk itself needed help. When I would work the receptionist desk I would…I won’t say I would do my best because that would be lying. I couldn’t slack off too much because my mother would have my head if I gave her reason to be anything but proud of me. I was, however, adequate and did well for a kid. There was this one regular caller in particular who really made up for any slacking off or fooling around. For legal and mental health issues I’ve forgotten his name.

As these days predated Caller ID (or personal cell phones for that matter) I never knew when this individual would be calling. On the evenings that he did get through I imagined he was calling from somewhere along the Pacific border. I don’t know why, I guess because he called each evening, after 4pm, and I just thought his type of call was better suited as a middle-of-the-day activity. So he would call, and I, a now sixteen year old, ego maniacle punk would answer, “Thank you for calling Cashline Executive Offices. How may I direct your call?” And he would respond “I want to speak with William Shatner.”

Me 'n some friends.

I enjoy the Geico commercials, or at least I did when they first premiered years ago during a Super Bowl. It would never occur to me, however, to call Geico and ask to speak with a caveman or British lizard. Be that as it may, in my few short years so far on this earth I have learned that reason and logic elude many. Many.
“William Shatner does not work here, sir,” I’d respond.
“Yes, he does. I’ve seen him in your commercials.”
“I know he does our commercials, sir, but he doesn’t work here. We don’t even film our commercials here.”
“William Shatner DOES work at Cashline and I demand to speak with him!”

At this point the guys voice would be at the level of making a sixteen year old girl cry. A weak sixteen year old. Being the opposite of weak I was merely an ass and, it should be noted, less articulate then this recreated conversation may imply. This call would happen almost every day and after time I knew what he looked like. Well, my teenage imagination did.

I always imagined this particular gentleman older, but not OLD, maybe in his mid-sixties, sitting in a 1970’s a corduroy Lazy Boy that had seen better days, duct tape on the sides and arms, an over used and beaten seat he referred to as his captain’s chair. I imagined he wore the same outfit every day, stuffing far too much flesh into far too little polyester, black pants with a red top, of course, and an embroidered or even hand drawn communicator just above and to the left of a probable by-pass surgery scar. A pale, hairy and slightly pink gut desperately trying to escape the confines of his get-up would be exploding from between pants waistline and repressive shirt. That’s what I thought, anyway.

On and on he would ramble: Cashline did this, his flight was awful, the Captain rescues people – never works WITH the bad guys! Shatner working for Cashline was like him cohorting with Klingons. I didn’t watch the original Star Trek series at this time and this experience may be some of the cause behind that. My favorite part of his calls always came after he started yelling:
“THE CAPTAIN OF THE ENTERPRISE WOULD NOT ALLOW SUCH SCAMMING TO OCCUR. YOUR COMPANY SCAMS PEOPLE AND I INTEND TO ALERT THE CAPTAIN!”

Well, Sir, why don’t you just hit your communicator and ask to meet him in the Halodeck? There you can reveal the evils of Cashline over a Saurian Brandy or a Romulan Ale.

Did I ever actually say that? Nah, I wasn’t that cool. I, in all honesty, would nod as if he could see me and “Mmhmm” like I had been there. I always got him of the phone calmer, but, then, he did always call back.

So why is this important and why does it matter? Because every day as a teen I learned that people are different and you must have patience. Granted once I know you I have no patience for you and you’re finished in my book, BUT every day I would get a little more evidence that either the world is crazy and I am fine or that there is simply no sanity and we’re all screwed. Either way I learned patience every day, in one way or another, and even get  chances to demonstrate such patience, brief as those moments may be, every once in a while. When you’re young you first learn of differences from sight, you visually see that others are different. But this, this, taught me that people may have skeletons – not in their closets, but in their mind – and they seem all “normal” and you think you’re making ground and then – THEY GET YA! And that’s just the way it is, I guess.

New Post to Pages!

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Posts, posts every where and not a drop to drink!

Fashion has new posts! See me – the living, breathing, fashion faux pas – here.

My personal favorite, the Pop Bytes page, has been updated with all the lastest Hobbit, Doctor Who, Pop Culture, and weird news!

Good Eats is slowly filling with Recipes and Food stories…some of which are not so savory.

Find the Bad Kitty has been updated! Use your hawk eyes to find my jerk cats hanging out where they’re not allowed.

And, finally, stories I wrote prior to having a WordPress account are being uploaded to Story Time. Please check back regularly for the goods, the bad, and the fugly (that’s my term for funnily+ugly. Why? What did you think “fugly” stood for?)