Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why I Love...(PART 2)

...pulp fiction. (The genre, not the movie...I'm making up for not posting in a while.)

The reason I love pulp novels is simple: it's about bad-ass dudes and broads doing bad-ass stuff in a seedy, nasty world. That and because "The Invisible Millionaire" from
Follow the Saint by Leslie Charteris gave us this fabulous line:
"To compare it to the face of a gorilla which had been in violent contact with a variety of blunt instruments during its formative years would be risking the justifiable resentment of any gorilla which had been in violent contact with a variety of blunt instruments during its formative years."
That's great stuff only a classic character like The Saint can get away with.
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why I Love...

Pop-up books! (Man it's been I while since I've done one of these...)

Seriously though, who didn't like pop-up books? It made reading fun. Pulling out tabs that made a dog's tail wag. Entire forest scenes popping up from the page. Pop-up books were an interactive adventure story. But the best part is: it's not just for kids.

The world of book and paper arts just makes things even better. There are some absolutely amazing paper artists who just make me green with envy. Even the Smithsonian Libraries have dedicated a
portion of their blog to it. There's even a Movable Book Society!

I mean, come on! Look at this and tell me it's not cool:


Exactly. You can't! Check out some of the other posts on the SILS blog, some amazing stuff on this French website, and this NPR piece about Robert Sabuda and his Alice pop-up. Really good stuff to say the least.
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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Top 5 Best Degrassi Couples

Of all my obsessions (Miley lovin', Twilight-hatin', Disney rantin', etc) I've somehow neglected to give props to my all time favorite show ever in the history of forever and my constant #1: Degrassi: The Next Generation. Me and Degrassi go way back. I first discovered the show in it's 3rd season and was immediately enraptured by its Canadian-ness and perfect grasp of campy, teen drama. After catching up on seasons 1 & 2, I've kept up with the show ever since and have even become hooked on it's predecessors, Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High. (Which are so late-80s/early 90s it's beautiful. *tear*)

Degrassi sucks now, no lie. Well, it's not that bad but it's pretty bad. Either way, I still watch it because it's my best friend and time apart equals a broken heart. The second half of Season 9 is due sometime soon (...I hope?) so I thought I'd celebrate by listing my top 5 favorite Degrassi couples EVA.

5. Sellie (Sean and Ellie)
Blasphemy, I know. In the Holy Church of Semma, Sellie is the devil. But I must put aside my prejudices and give props to the writers for this one. After the heartbreak of seeing Emma and Sean split, I wasn't too happy with seeing Ellie move in on my Emma's man. And I always thought Sean was too good for Ellie's whiny ass.

But, even though I don't like Ellie, I think they made a decent couple. They both had pretty effed up home lives (Ellie: drunk mom, Sean: non-existent/drunk parents) and a good deal of personal problems (Ellie: cutter. Sean: anger problems, Candy Bandit). So in terms of two tortured souls having each other to lean on, they worked out quite well. They were also actually kinda cute sometimes (BARF) and Sean seemed extra sweet while he was with her.

Like most high school relationships, this one ended after some psycho shot up the school and Sean, having saved the day in a tragic way (RHYMES!), feels the need to go cry in his soup at this parents' house leaving Ellie stuck on her own with the rent. You go, Sean. I mean, aw, how sad for Ellie.

4. Palex (Paige and Alex)

Ya know, I liked Palex mostly cuz I liked Alex but also because it was Degrassi's first, and only lesbian relationship. First of all, Degrassi's proved they suck at gay relationships. Just look at Marco. Poor Marco. When he was struggling with his sexuality it made for some really good episodes (See: Pride). But when they tried to hook him up, it never worked. But we'll talk about that later. One reason I think Palex worked so well is because it wasn't about two girls that liked each other, it was about two people who liked each other.

I really like that Degrassi wasn't just trying to get us all hot and heavy with some vapid girl-on-girl action. Paige and Alex had genuine concern for each other's well-being and were there for each other during the tough times (anxiety attacks and stripteases). It's always nice to have someone standing by to remind you not to suck.

Like all of the other relationships on my list, Palex had some good relationship development. Their courtship is pretty random but it if you think back to the saga of the Paige and Alex friendship then they make some sense.

However, the good times quickly faded when new-Alex magically became old-Alex and was booted off the Degrassi island. Sadness. She now spends her days with Kendra and Manny's imaginary brother looking for the secret portal back to Degrassi-land.

3. Crash & Cranny (Craig and Ashley/Manny)

Ok, I'm kinda cheating (like Craig) but I honestly can't choose in the Crash v. Cranny debate. I guess I lean more towards Crash because they seem to make a bit more sense than Craig and Manny. For one, both Craig and Ashley are self-involved, morbid drama-queens. They are Lindsay Lohan and a pair of leggings; they just go together. And even though Craig seemed to take over Degrassi after a while (seriously, most of seasons 3 & 4 were all about Craig) the drama that was Crash was usually quite entertaining. Plus I've always liked how they got together. It was a good character development point for Ashley.

As for Cranny, I guess they were kinda cute but only because Manny was adorable and naive with her slutty, little self. They also brought the drama in a major way with Manny's pregnancy/abortion storyline, which is one of Degrassi's finer episodes. Even though I didn't mind when Crash 2.0 came around circa mid-season 4, Cranny 2.0 (Season 5 into Season 6) was just unnecessary and a bit contrived.

For me, Crash and Cranny are a package deal because separately they just aren't enough to earn my eternal love. But together they are a thing of teen drama beauty. The whole Craig/Ashley/Manny ordeal was TNG's first crack at the love triangle. They've done it many times since and they all reek in comparison to the epic-ness that is Craig, Manny and Ashley.

2. Jaitlin (Joey and Caitlin)

Joey and Caitlin are actually a remnant of DJH and DH. In fact, Joey and Caitlin are sorta the Sean and Emma of their time. You had two opposites: Joey, the classic underachiever and Caitlin, the fight-for-your-rights, let's-protest-everything chick. I guess I should say that Sean and Emma are the Joey and Caitlin of their time. My bad.

Even though they never seemed to be able to work things out (Joey was usually the one screwing things up) you were still rooting for them, mostly because both had extremely luscious hair...And also because, like Semma (see below), you saw two people who were so different from each other but had the chemistry and loving feeling for a relationship. You really just wanted them to work things out. But nooooo, Joey just had to FCUK Tessa Campinelli. (I really, truly, and honestly suggest you watch DJH and DH)

Anyway, they had a good but brief run on TNG and even though I can't for the life of me remember how it happened, I'm sure their break up was somehow Kevin Smith's fault. :(

1. Semma (Sean and Emma)

I guess you should have figured out by now that my #1 Degrassi couple consists of Sean Cameron and Emma Nelson. Now, the Semma I'm referring to is the one that began in Season 1, took a break at the end of the season, was resurrected in Season 2 and then died in Season 3. As far as I'm concerned, Season 6 Semma did not exist because it was an absolute abomination. But, I digress.

Semma 1.0 is probably Degrassi's only good "opposites attract" relationship. (I wouldn't count Spinner and Darcy since Spinner was trying to be good. And Johnny and Alli? Blech.) Unlike a lot of Degrassi's later relationships, this one actually had some development and didn't just fall out of the sky. Also, it was an example of Degrassi using it's relationships for character growth which we got a lot of for both Emma and Sean.

Like I said before, Sean and Emma, like Joey and Caitlin, were coming from two very different places in life and yet they still seemed to make some sense. I guess they each offered what the other was lacking; a little loosening up for Emma and a bit of structure and direction for Sean. And they were very, very cute in the beginning. Seriously though, how adorable is their first kiss?? And their first date??? And when they danced at the school dance??? Awww, they were too cute.

But, if you think about it, Sean and Emma didn't really last that long. Their downfall was definitely the fact that they were so different and both too stubborn to compromise or try and understand each other. Ah well, they were good while they lasted.
Honorable mentions:
Spane (Spinner and Jane), Spaige (Spinner and Paige) and Jashley (Jimmy and Ashley)


P.S. - Look out for my Top 5 Worst Degrassi Couples and Top 5
Best Worst Degrassi Couples, coming soon to a theater near you.
P.P.S. - I <3 Joey Jeremiah.

Ain't none of these pictures mine, yo.
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