Chivalry is Not Dead; or Lilly likes Valentine’s Day, But…

Chivalry is not dead, it’s just misunderstood.

Dear men/boys/gents who claim to be chivalrous,

I have a bone to pick with you.

Some of you have taken a word that is honourable and made it worth nothing.  Let’s look at the definition:

Chivalry (noun); the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesygenerosityvalour, and dexterity in arms.

Let’s forget the last one for a moment, since it’s not relevant today (and most of you who are misusing chivalry would probably assume it meant being able to remove a bra with one hand).

Tackling the word “courtesy” first, we get the definition of the following:

The showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behavior toward others.

This does not mean you open the door only for the woman/girl/lady you want to have sex with. This does not mean you speak kind words to a woman until she removes her dress. This does not mean you ignore all others in favour of the object of your sexual desire. It means that when you open the door for a woman, you hold it for whomever is behind her if they are within reasonable distance. It means that you always speak politely to your lady, even if she’s talking during the game or NCIS. It means that if you are at a party that the object of your desire is also attending, you don’t ignore the other people who are trying to converse with you in lieu of gaping at the hottie you’ve come to bang. That is what courtesy means. It means you are polite to all, not just the sexy.

Generosity doesn’t mean that you brought a condom instead of expecting her to have it. It doesn’t mean that after she goes down on you, you “return the favour”. It really doesn’t mean that you pay the bill in expectation of her reciprocating with sex. Generosity is doing things for the sake of doing them, not for the sake of getting to do someone. If you bring the condom, good for you, you’re the one wearing it. If you go down on her after she goes down on you, don’t think you’re generous, you’re just keeping things even–which is not romantic, either. If you pay the bill, you know what you’re buying? The food you just ate, jackass, and that’s it.

Valour doesn’t mean you look for fights, it means you stand your ground in them. Simple. You’re not brave if you fight a guy who spilled his drink on you, and don’t think that you are being heroic if you beat a guy who spilled his drink on your date, either. Valour is courage, and there is nothing courageous about winning a fight with a guy who can’t even hold his drink in his hand correctly. Valour is stepping in between those two idiots fighting over a spilled drink.

I am sick and tired of men/boys/gents telling me they believe in chivalry to only disappoint. Even worse is when I see friends dating guys who claim to be chivalrous and yet when we go to a restaurant, I get the door shut on me by the jerk who opened the door for his date and no one else. Chivalry is not about sex. Chivalry was an ancient code that knights lived by, and knights mainly spent their time with other dudes–do you think they pulled that shit when at a banquet? Pouring wine only into the goblet of the chick they were looking to take back to their straw-mattress bed for the evening rather than the men who they fight beside on a daily basis? Yes, but those that did were dicks, and not chivalrous.

Do not tell me chivalry is not dead and then fail to deliver, or I will take those supposedly dexterous arms of yours and beat you with them.

Happy Valentine’s!

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Stop Screaming; or Lilly Goes to the Cinema

Well done, Hammer Horror. Well done.

So, today I decided to take off my pyjamas and head out into the exciting world of lone film watching. Now, as mentioned in a previous post, Hammer Horror film studios put out a film version of the play/novel The Woman in Black. I have been counting down the days until its release, wondering just how they were going to do what the play did when it came to bringing the story of Arthur Kipps to life from the story told by Susan Hill in her novel.

Well.

Let’s set the scene first. It’s a grey day here in Harlow (do we have other days?) and a bit rainy. I thought I’d walk down to the cinema to see the film for two reasons: I really could not wait to see it, and of those who I would go with, I was sure only 50% of them (there is only two, but I feel like saying 50% makes me sound like I have more friends) was really up for it and I wouldn’t dream of putting someone through a scary film when they didn’t want to see it.

Cut to grade nine, me seeing The Ring. Horrific.  Still have nightmares. Don’t even joke about it.

Also, if I like a film, I will go see it more than once, so if 100% of my friends (all two of them!) did want to go, I’d go again.  Simple. I saw Van Helsing in the theatres four times because four different groups of people wanted to go. That, and Hugh Jackman gets shirtless and has long hair in it, so…Do I really need a reason to go multiple times? Nope!

Anyway, the film. No, wait, still setting the scene.

So, I get to the cinema (theatre, cinema, potato, pota-I’minEngland) and get my ticket, then wonder to the shop next to it to kill time, as I was half an hour early. Not relevant to the story, but there it is. Life’s like that.

When I came back to get myself a seat (after getting sweet popcorn, which should be a thing in Canada), I walk into the theatre to see a distressing amount of children. Eight or so, but for the film that I was seeing, I felt that was a lot. I also saw a former student who seemed alarmed to see me, so that was fun. She determinedly didn’t look at me as she pointed me out to her friend. Charming. Also, she is a year eight now, and I wanted to ask her where her mother was and if she knew she was at this film. I would hope not! Because I am one of those people. I will judge you if you send your kid to watch Daniel Radcliffe have a mental breakdown on film without some sort of written permission or mental health issue of your own. I will. I mean, I saw Silence of the Lambs when I was roughly nine years old due to being left at home with nothing to do and a whole slew of VHS tapes to look at, and look at how I came out. Yeah. Yeah.

Moving on!

Wait, no, staying put–you know the worst part about how many children were there? The fact that most of them (save two!) were girls. Teenie-bopper girls who I just knew, I just knew would scream at the first sign of trouble, and wouldn’t be calm at all, ever, during the film. I know this because I had to put up with teenage girls during the latest Sherlock Holmes as well, and (spoiler alert!) when he goes over those falls, one of them actually began weeping. Robert Downey Jr is okay! Calm down! Hell,  Holmes is even okay, see? See? He’s fine! It’s alright, sweetie. Calm down! Watson is less upset than you, and he is Holmes’ WIFE. SHUT UP.

Moving on for real!

So, with the children present (and making me anxious that maybe I was in the wrong theatre), the film began. And holy wow, did it start with a bang.

Here is where I go indepth into talking about the film, so if you would rather see it first, stop  reading now.

So, the first change became evident right away. We were going to see more. Obviously. This isn’t something that should surprise someone going in to watching the film. Looking at the cast list and seeing more than two actors should tip you off that you weren’t going to see a film exactly like the play. Also, it’s a horror film–there is going to be graphic, scary-as-hell moments, and that is what you signed on for. Get over it.

That said, I felt physically ill about halfway through the film from my stomach clenching each time a shocking-scary moment happened. Not to mention my nerves were rattled by all the teenage girl screams.

That said, the film version of the story was well suited for the medium. You get more stories of children dying (and more visuals, as you see them die in most cases), more crazy women channelling dead boys, and more flashes of the woman in black than your–or at least, my–stomach can handle. It was altered from the frame of the play, where you have an older Kipps writing down his story to be acted out by a younger man; rather, you are watching it in ‘live time’, where Arthur is sent to the home of a widow in a small town in the middle of way-out-there-nowhere England to sort out legal papers after the widow dies. He is a man in mourning (or has been for four years) since his wife died in childbirth. His son his four. Daniel Radcliffe is forlorn. That is the mood of the rest of the film.

Side note: when did Daniel Radcliffe get so angular? I like that. I like a face that is handsome, yet also has cheekbones that could double as letter openers.  It is no longer inappropriate to think he’s hot, right? Because he is playing men now, since he is one, and I’m allowed to think he’s attractive without being creepy. Right? Right?

Anyway, Sad Daniel heads off to the country, planning to meet his son there in a few days after he gets through all this dull business with being a lawyer and looking at papers and going to the house in the middle of a marsh that can’t be gotten to at all times and has its own graveyard and no one in the village wants to go there. Ever.

Oh, maybe something bad will happen there! Hmm.

Honestly, the film gets intense pretty quick. The moment the film opens on three little girls (one assumes triplets) playing with their tea set before spotting something (or someONE, dun dun DUN) and then jumping out of their attic window together, you are basically on edge. Especially when there is a child on the screen. Or Daniel, since he generally looks nervous/sweaty/anxious/very manly, rawr.

The house is insane. Honestly, if I were Arthur Kipps, I’d take a occupation change over going into the house to do any work whatsoever. It looks dirty, for starters, and then there is all the dust and mud and crazy ass women in black…I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem worth it, you know? Also, if I were haunted by my crazy sister, I would move, I think. That is something I don’t understand. If your house was haunted by your insane sister, you would surely consider relocation.  Trying something different than being horrified day-in, day-out, you know?

So, differences from the play (since this is getting long): more cast members (kudos to Ciarin Hinds, though, as he is generally amazing and more so in this film as the mourning father of one of the many dead children the village has), more scary moments, and a completely different ending than what you find in the play. Instead of the chilling realization that there was no woman in black hired by Mr.Kipps to make the telling of the story more realistic, and in fact she was just appearing to the young actor (and the audience, oooOOooo), you get Arthur Kipps trying to save his son from being hit by a train (after being lured out by the woman in black onto the tracks) and dying as well. However, since the woman is thankful to Arthur for reuniting her and her dead boy (that involved a scene where Daniel is under the marsh mud in a sort of terrifyingly messy effort) she doesn’t keep his boy, as she does the other children. She will never forgive, she whispers creepily, so will keep up with the child snatching, but Daniel can go on to a better place with his son and his four-years-dead-but-still-looking-lovely wife. So…that’s nice.

Highlights: The woman. She was terrifying even when she didn’t have CGI’d eye sockets. She would appear suddenly just out of focus behind Daniel and you would want to vomit or cry over the fact that he didn’t see her. Or maybe be relieved. Who knows! However you react to things.

The little child actors. Seriously, acting like you’ve swallowed lye is probably not something a child actor can really pull on their experiences to create, and yet BAM, that little girl did it. They were all good, though special mention goes to the adorable young Kipps boy. So cute.

The soundtrack. Dramatic violins! Swells of music! Perfectly timed and perfectly played. Hammar Horror, you make good scary movie music.

The plot. So very different from the play and the book, and yet it worked. It wasn’t made campy, it wasn’t made too dreadful, it was just awful enough to be plausible (in a scary movie kind of way). The only part that I thought was a bit unnecessary was the whole wife dying during childbirth thing. Why not have her die with son Kipps like it happens in the play? Hmm. Maybe to make the whole ‘reunited in death’ thing alright, I guess? Arthur was pretty broken already, I suppose if his child died and he lived on, the ending would be more dismal than just the woman going on with her crazy hijinks while Arthur and his family get to pass on together.

So, all that said, I’d give the film five stars out of five. This isn’t about comparing, honestly, the play to the film to the book to whatever. This is about the film, and the film alone, and it was amazing. It was terrifying, it was thrilling, and there were parts where I had my eyes closed for about a minute straight since the music was swelling and Arthur was walking towards a spooky noise, and we all know what that means:

Scary shit is going to happen.

Well done,  again, Hammar Horror. Well done.

Insert Lyrics About London Here; or Lilly’s Moving

So, people who read this, I’m moving to London.

“WHAT!” I am sure you are collectively yelling in unison, “WHY? HOW? WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SOMETHING?”

Well, stop yelling and I’ll tell you! Goodness.

It was going to be a surprise, honestly. Not for London as a whole, that’s a bit presumptuous, but for one Miss Ashley Buckle. I was going to surprise her by showing up at the airport on the same day as her and being like “Oh hey! I’m going to London TOO” and it was going to be magical and amazing and probably narrated ala Love, Actually. However, there was a leak (and by no fault of the people involved, honestly, since they did not know it was a surprise), and one must soldier on and figure out another way to surprise Buckle in the future (though, at this rate, I’ll probably have to murder her to do so).

Joking! Joking!

Am I?

I am!

But am I?

So am. She’d beat me up if I murdered her.

Anyway! I’m moving to London. I have a contract with an agency to do general supply work a guaranteed four out of five days of the week. I’ll be in North East London, which I am told is “cheerfully rough” by a family friend from the area, and I’m excited about that. I’m excited about everything, honestly. Things are lining up for ol’ Lilly. I’m looking for a place, I have a phone plan I want to sign up for, and it’s just coming down to packing and shipping out.

I keep wondering if I will get homesick, as this will be different from living in Harlow, doing my internship there. I won’t have a set time I’m coming back (besides Christmas, lest my mother implode) and I won’t have Cabot House for support. I tried making a list of things I will miss, and I think it comes down to my cat, snow storms, and not having to work all day. I can’t skype to those things, I can’t call them, and I can’t really expect them to be in England. I wasn’t homesick in Harlow until I was actually sick, honestly, and that might have just been a symptom. England felt like home.

Sometimes I worry that my idea of England is an idealized one, and that I will get there and live and realize that it isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. But I don’t think so; I think where you are is heavily effected by who you are and what you can handle, and if you don’t like where you live, perhaps you should examine more closely how you look at things. I’m a glass is half full (and made in England!) sort of person (or I try to be). All I know is that I’m enthralled with the idea of growing up, moving out, and being a real girl, and the place I want to become who I am as an adult is England.

I’m Not Marking You; Or Why Lilly Doesn’t Need You Flirting With Her

I get it.

You think that I’m a teacher, thus have power over your grade, thus will mark you higher if I think you are handsome. Your logic is a bit faulty, but I see you have some, you’re trying, fair enough. But let me explain something to you.

A) I’m not really a teacher. I am a student teacher, and you are here not for me to judge but for me to be judged around. I don’t have any power over your over all grade, I don’t have any influence in the faculty, and I don’t even know who your usual teacher is (though maybe it’s Nick with the blue shirt?) so calm down.

B) I cannot mark you higher, I cannot mark you at all. Calm down.

C) Why would I mark you higher if you flirted with me? First of all, I have another lecturer flirting with me which frankly trumps a student doing so in my world. Second of all, I have some level of professionalism, and your flirting with me will not sway my powerful convictions to do what is right and be a pillar of society, etc.. Third, your flirting would get you a D. ‘Such nice hands you have’? Really? I don’t. I know I don’t. They are man hands with mangled finger nails due to my anxiety issues. I have my schedule written on one of them, and rings a plenty on the other, and they are frankly just a butch mess. Nice hands. Come on. Try. Harder. D is being nice. Calm down.

And finally, D) I don’t really go for guys who insist on calling me ‘Lill-aye-in’. No matter how many times I correct you. Seriously. Calm down. Shut up. Do your work.

I’m Not Burying Your Dead Dog; or Why Lilly Would Never Be In Pet Sematary II

First of all, I’m not going with you to bury your dead dog in the Pet Sematary. If there are any ghost stories, zombie stories, or stories about slight itches after going into a place, I am not going into said place.  You have to bury your own because that’s how the natives did it? Good, because how Lilly does it is she doesn’t bury anything unless it is the hatchet that will be created when you ask her to do something stupid like go and bury your dead dog in the zombie place. Simple as that.

Second, if your dead dog comes back? I’m not petting it. I’m not getting excited for you, I’m not going to high-five you, I’m going to stay the Hell away from your zombie-ass pooch. I’m not going to just freak out like Furlong does in the movie and then shrug my shoulders, I am going to flip my shit and call the cops, the firedepartment, the ghost busters, the priest, Andrew Lincoln, anyone to save me from your walking dead dog. Especially if it watches me in my sleep from a rocking chair like a creep. Your dog is a creep. You heard me. Also, Zowie is a stupid name.

Third, I think Clancy Brown is hot. I just want to put that out there. I know, I know, he’s a bit rough with Drew, but those tight police pants? Hello. If he didn’t become a zombie, it would be better of course (I’m not touching your zombie-ass step-dad, either), but hey. He looks good until his throat is torn out by your stupid dead dog.

On that note, fourth point: I’m not going to the Pet Sematary with you to bury your step-dad. I think the aversion to doing it with your dog is doubled on this point.

Fifth, I love zombie Gus. I do. I know he’s a zombie and all, and that should be troublesome to me, but he’s so nice. Besides the roughing up his old lady during sex bit. I’m not into that.  But come on. Rather than being a vicious creature all the time, he becomes a big dork who plays with his food. Well, and who murders school bullies with bike tires. And destroys the house with a hammer. Okay, so he’s not husband material. Okay, chalk that up as a reason I won’t be going with you to the Pet Sematary. Zombie Doug is charming, but I can’t live in a house that is on fire and has bunny carcasses hanging from the ceiling. I just can’t.

Sixth: so after the dog thing, and the step-dad thing, you can bet your bottom dollar I am REALLY not going to be into burying your dead mom in the Pet Sematary. You’re creepy. Stop it. Zombie Gus and Zowie went nuts, so what are you thinking? Seriously? I get it. Your best friend was killed by potatoes. That doesn’t mean you are allowed to exhume your mom’s body, take it to the Pet Sematary,  and make her a zombie. Also, why is zombie Gus not trying to kill you? He tried to kill everyone else. Maybe because you’re creepy enough to dig up your dead mom, and he doesn’t want to mess with that. Who would?

Seventh, I certainly wouldn’t hit on the husband of a recently dead woman. Housekeeper lady, are you listening? No, because you are too busy fondling his dead wife’s clothes like a weirdo. Well. You get your comeuppance. Spoiler alert: she so dies.  While wearing the dead wife’s dress, no less. Tacky.

If those aren’t enough reasons, reason number eight I would never be a part of Pet Sematary hijinks? I don’t like getting dirty, and all that digging and running and bleeding is awfully messy. So, if all those other reasons aren’t enough, just know that I don’t want to get down and dirty with dead people. Or any people. Dirt is gross.

Especially when it is full of zombies.

And finally, reason number nine I would not be involved in anything Pet Sematary related? Who the Hell spells cemetery that way? That’s ridiculous. Stephen King? Do you hear me? Ridiculous. I get it. The sign for the pet cemetery was written by children, and thus spelled wrong (illiterates), and so the title of the novel/film is taken from that, blah blah blah. Whatever, King. What. Ever.

Pardon My Stake; or Lilly Watches Hammer Horror

“Ah. You must be Count Dracula.”

“Ah. Yes. I do believe I am.”

“Ah. Yes. Well, I’m afraid I ought to stake you, old man.”

“Ah. Yes. Well. That’s a bit of a bother for me, you see.”

I love Hammer Films for this very reason. Horror should be awkward and British. And Peter Cushing should feature in at least one role. AT  LEAST. I love how understated everything is. It’s so powerfully repressed, I am anxious to the point of jumping whenever the dramatic violins kick up. Which, if you’ve never seen a Hammer Film, is damn often.

“Bitten by a beast? Well. Rest up, Ms.Harker. Sleep it off.” Excellent.

“Goodness. Those are awfully gruesome marks on your neck, dear Lucy. Let us take a turn in the garden, it might help.” Bet it won’t.

“In my hands I hold the diary of John Harker, chronicling his last terrible days in Dracula’s castle–do give it a peep, old man, and try not to get too bothered.” They totally do.

And the close ups kill me. You can see their stiff upper lips all the better! And if you can hold one of those when Christopher Lee is staring you in the face with bloody fangs, well. You, sir, are a hero.

“Lucy!”

“Arthur!”

“Lucy!”

“Arthur, dear brother!”

I AM GOING TO POP FROM THE TENSION SHE’S A VAMPIRE GET OUT OF THERE!

“Lucy!”

NO, NO, LEAVE, DON’T SAY HER NAME AGAIN!

“Arthur!”

Christ.

My, but Peter Cushing is dapper.

And if you doubt Hammer is amazing, guess who is producing the film of the most amazingly spooky play ever,  The Woman in Black, due out next year.

YESSSSSSSS.

(OMG JILLIAN TWO IN A DAY.)

Not Fred Penner; or Lilly’s Hunt for Birdie

Don’t be dirty, this is my childhood we’re talking about.

The hunt began with a chat with Maggie. We were discussing what I was putting in my last post, talking about what shows we watched as kids, from the shit Calliou to the strangely mesmerizing Rolie Polie Olie (that theme song is pretty much amazing, right?).  We watched loads of things inappropriate for our age, like Sleepers and Wild Things (Kevin Bacon made us do wrong things), but this chat was all about Mr.Dressup, The Polka Dot Door, and Raffi. Kids things.

So, we were talking along, going over shows we remembered.

“Shit, remember Art Attack? When he made that zebra out of salt on that black floor or whatever?” (On a side note, if I found that many pound notes, like Hell I’d be forming the Queen out of them. Bitch be all up in the nearest MAC store.)

“Yes! And what was that one with the weird mirror?”

“Polka Dot Door?”

“No, no, the mirror. ‘I see…”–was that Romper Room?”

“Oh, um. Romper Room. Yesss, Romper Room!”

Anyway, this chat went along pleasantly until suddenly, we hit a wall.  Royal ‘we’, of course, as I came to a show that I couldn’t remember the name of. And thus began the most ridiculous google search I have ever done–and I’ve googled some weird shit.

So here were my search terms:

dave, tree, art, birdie, puppet.

I remember this show from when I was little as one of those shows you watched because you didn’t have cable–thus, it was on CTV, Global, or CBC. It featured a man with a beard (not Fred Penner) who spoke with animals (not Fred Penner) and did crafts (NOT. FRED. PENNER.) He looked like an old hippie (see: not Fred Penner) and had glasses (FRED DIDN’T WEAR GLASSES, SUCKAS). He had a puppet friend who lived in a tree and was named either Birdie or Georgie–I can imagine how he says the name, just not exactly what it was. The bird looked like a Swiffer cover with a felt beak. This was clearly not a high budget show, nor was it at the level of Henson brilliance when it came to puppetry. It is not Under the Umbrella Tree. They would do crafts and sometimes you’d see inside the tree, but when Dave (I hope that is his name, or I might just be inserting my father’s name in there) was around, they’d sit on a branch together and chat. Sometimes Dave would tell a story. Other times they’d just do shit crafts together–I remember macaroni being used on several occasions.  And glitter. This is not Sharon, Lois, and Bram. Or Lamb Chop. Or Camp Cariboo. Or Take Part. Or Groundling Marsh, though that show was awesome.

Man, we had some weird shows growing up.

Anyway, I’ve searched high and low. I went over the lists of children’s shows I could find, and I am coming up short. So here is my plea: For the love of Lilly, someone out there PLEASE tell me the name of the show I was watching. It’s driving me NUTS.

Also, if you can remember some French (maybe?) show that featured animal puppets (one being a brown dog) and tell me the name of that, too, I’d be grateful.

And….GO!