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Mulan is gay

On this week’s Once Upon a Time it was revealed that Mulan has more than just friendly feelings for Aurora (Sleeping Beauty).

The show is probably trying to be forward thinking, inclusive, and represent minorities. Or something. Not to mention that both black characters on Once Upon a Time that I can think of have died.

Then of course they make the one Asian character gay. I guess I just resent the sort of stereotyping of it. Mulan is a soldier, she pretended to be a dude once, she’s kind of dykey, of course she’s gay. Or bi or whatever. 

I am a super loyal Once Upon a Time follower and I just felt like it came out of left field. Not just the gayness, but also the idea that she would be into Aurora. If they were building up to that, I didn’t see it. So far, their subplot has been pretty insignificant and not particularly compelling. Do I see Phillip being totally cool about having a threesome with his lady and Mulan. Yes, definitely yes. Is that the only thing that will make this subplot less yawn inducing? Probably. 

I’m not really enjoying Season 3 at all. It’s been very slow moving. The Neverland scenery is beyond blah for something that should be fantastical, and I’m getting tired of looking at it. And then there’s super saccharine Snow. Everything that she says annoys me.  Plus, she has short hair, like a boy, maybe she’s the gay one. Her acting is truly horrendous though. 

#disappointed

 

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Uncategorized

the problem with Dexter

Having finally watched the very last episode, like everyone else, I am not happy. But probably not for the same reasons.

Dexter narrates in a grandiose fatalistic tone, as if there was nothing that he could have done to make things happen differently.
He says essentially that Deb died because of him, and therefore Hannah and Harrison wouldn’t be safe if he were around either.
Deb did die because of him, but not because he was a killer and he poisons everyone around him and they all die. She died because he made a a mistake. He didn’t kill Oliver when he had the chance. He didn’t even stick around to make sure that she had him in custody. He was sloppy. So, Dexter, if you think that you are no good and shouldn’t be around people you care about because you’re a killer, you’re wrong. The real reason that you can’t have friends or family is because you’re a chump. You stopped being sure of yourself because you have this internal struggle with juggling the two lives. In actuality, you juggle the two lives just fine. But your belief that the two lives cannot exist side by side is where you have developed a problem. Like, I get that you want to be with Hannah, but you could have killed Ollie in like two seconds, problem solved. Then there’s dealing with the body, but still, you’d have that done in no time. Leaving your sister with the Brain Surgeon? Really? It does hurt to see Deb die in such an avoidable way.

Rita died because you were sloppy too. Remember that moment when he could have let John Lithgow fall off a building site, but instead saved him? Unforgivable. Also kind of ridiculous… maybe it was about wanted to have the kill ceremony, but that’s just a bit too romanticized and impractical. If he could have pretended to not like killing people quite so much, maybe Harry would still be alive too. If Dexter would just be more pragmatic, maybe he could have had friends and a family.

My other bone to pick is with Dex pulling Deb off of life support. Apparently the writers were really pleased with all of that, but haven’t they ever heard of a happy ending. I guess that it would have felt a little bit edge-less for the series to really end with Dexter escaping to Argentina and Deb and Quinn starting a life together, but would it really have been worse than Deb’s unceremonious death and Dexter becoming a lumberjack? I guess it would have been unsatisfying, but I like happy endings. Please feel free to comment with alternate ending ideas. Halfway through the season, I was hoping that Dexter’s protege would carry on his legacy. He could teach him the tools of the trade, and maybe start a spinoff.

Dexter dumping Deb’s body in the ocean, faking his own death, and becoming a lumberjack to protect the people he cares about just feels like fuzzy logic to me. It was unsatisfying because it just doesn’t compute. It seems like he isn’t killing anymore. Deb died because he didn’t kill the guy he was supposed to. How would him going to Argentina to be with Hannah and Harrison hurt them, unless he began tracking serial killers again, almost killing them, and then leaving his loved ones on the premises with them? He might be punishing himself with isolation, but he is punishing his girlfriend and child as well.

I also don’t think it was unfair to unplug her and dispose of her body the way that he did. It was really selfish. Quinn probably would have liked to have a say in it, and even though it was very unlikely that she would have regained her faculties, unplugging her after one day seems a bit premature. No one got to say their goodbyes, and her body was GONE. If it ever happens to me, I’d like to be given more than a day, just to have the benefit of the doubt. The writers were acting like this had to happen. Deb had to die. I don’t buy it. Super disappointed. If I could write a yelp review of that ending, it would probably gone 1 star.

People compare Dexter to Walter White, and some have bemoaned the fact that while Breaking Bad ended with the hunt of Walt, no one was even on to Dex in the last season. But Walt and Dexter aren’t the same. Dexter kills bad people, he’s a good guy. Yes he’s made a few mistakes (Doakes and LaGuerta). He got no joy out of killing them, and as the viewer, I never wanted him to get caught. Walt on the other hand… he makes drugs that ruin people’s lives. He is terrible to his wife and super fake to his kids. He manipulates poor sweet Jesse. As the viewer, I was pretty conflicted about whether I wanted him to get caught or not. Hank was such a good detective, and I didn’t want all of his detective work to go to waste. He deserved some affirmation. When Doakes and LaGuerta were on to Dexter though, I just wished that they would stop. And when they died, it was shocking, but not as devastating as Hank’s death. Although Dexter was guilty of killing lots of people, all of the people were bad, so why couldn’t Doakes just turn a blind eye? Drugs are just a much more complicated issue. And that’s the difference… Dexter is much more black and white. There have been grey moments. Walter White was kind of a huge dick to everyone who was close to him but he’s still the protagonist, it’s sort of a “gray matter.” Sorry.

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travel

Sicily: Palermo & the Aeolian Islands

Walk outside of the terminal to the right, following the signs for Prestia e Commande; buy your ticket from the kiosk (€6.10); know what stop you’re getting off at  (http://www.prestiaecomande.it/?idPlugin=20000&idx=317), or plan on getting off at Piazza Politeama (main stop) or Stazione Centrale (last stop)

Returning to the airport, the bus picks up across the street from the Piazza, right outside the Prada store, marked by a sign. You can pay on the bus and change will be given

The party strip in Palermo (off Via Maqueda, across from Teatro Massimo) is underwhelming.Beer prices are still reasonable, but you can pay half the price, around the corner in the kebab district.

The street markets carry all fresh food items (produce, meat, cheese). Great if you’re renting an apartment but not particularly useful otherwise.

From Via Della Liberta, turn onto Via Quintino Sella (on the right, heading away from Piazza Politeama). If you keep walking down this street (at the intersection of Via Empedocle and Via Bonta), you’ll find a bustling little intersection, centered around a man cooking an array of meats with a cigar in his mouth, nbd. He will make you a sandwich for €3. Across the street there is a man selling fish that you can bring over and have cooked. You can buy a huge, cold beer from the shop for €1.50 and drink it outside from plastic cups. It’s a beautiful experience that could make anyone feel authentic

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We used Palermo as a jumping off point for the Aeolians and would bypass it if possible in the future. Because the flight that we took to Palermo arrived at night and also departed at night, it would have been impossible to not spend the first night there. We could have left the Aeolians on the same day as our flight from Palermo however.

Ustica Lines runs Hydrofoils from Palermo to the Aeolians. I knew that Lipari was the biggest island, so I assumed that it went their first, and then seeded of to the others. That is not the case. If you really look at the timetable, it makes a circuit, and those hydrofoils that left Palermo at the same time and arrive at their destinations earlier… it’s actually the same one. I know I know.

You can purchase your tickets on Ustica Lines in their office down at the port (Molo Vittorio Veneto al Porto). You have to go all the way down the pier as if you were actually going to board the hydrofoil, and it’s in a little temporary looking office to the right. Around the building is where you would actually board.

We took a cab from our hotel to the port because we had luggage. It would have been very easy to walk otherwise. We were charged €20 which was preposterous for that distance, so it might be best to have your hotel negotiate the rate beforehand.

I used to get motion sickness, so I took some Dramamine and ate crackers on the journey. I don’t think it was really necessary though. It is a long long trip (about 4 hours) so you definitely want some form of entertainment.

We called our hotel in Lipari and gave them the details of our arrival, and they were there to pick us up. We stayed all the way in Acquacalda, which was an oversight really, but is a nice place. There is a bus that will take you in to the town, but it doesn’t run very late and taxis are expensive.

The office for Ustica Lines and Siremar is right at the dock, and you can purchase your tickets and check the timetables there. Their offices are near the dock on the other islands as well.

We thought that we would rent a moped, but after seeing the terrain, we decided against it. The roads are quite winding and narrow, and those that are familiar with them tend to speed around. The buses that service the island just about fit on the roads.

Go to Vulcano for a day. The sulfur mud baths smell absolutely repulsive, maybe even worse than I could have anticipated, but you get used to it. The smell gets stronger the closer you are to them, but coming into the port the smell isn’t noticeable, so I wouldn’t necessarily rule out Vulcano as a place to stay. The mud gets very very hot in places so tread carefully. Swimwear can be purchased either at the entry to the “spa” or across the street. Men’s and women’s for €5 each. You can also purchase a token for a shower there, and rent towels.

Stepping off the hydrofoil, we were approached by someone trying to sell us a tour. It actually turned out to be a great deal: €15 each for a boat tour around Vulcano, stopping several times to swim, and taking us back to Lipari.

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The waters all around the islands are beautiful and crystal clear.

Some of the beaches are stone so swimming shoes would be useful, although we didn’t have them. There are two ports in Lipari–Marina Lunga and Marina Corta. You come into Marina Lunga from the hydrofoil, and this is where buses depart and arrive as well. Marina Corta is on the more scenic side.

We enjoyed all of the  Italian beers and I would recommend drinking them while you’re there…  Messina, Moretti, and Peroni/Nastro Azzuro. Beer, and everything else on the islands, is more expensive than on the mainland, but prices are still reasonable.

Not all Granita is created equal. The best place on Lipari is Cafe la Precchia. It’s thick and flavorful, comes in an array of flavors, and amazing “con panna” which is with whipped cream. Like a posh Sonic Creamslush. It sounds strange, but the nut based ones are delicious.

Be aware that there are no direct hydrofoils even between islands. Unless you’re going to the nearest island you may have to make several stops.

Our next stop was Panarea, which has a reputation for being a haunt of the… “yacht-set” elite. We were there in early September, and didn’t see much of this, but the islands charm was pervasive. The prices on Panarea are higher again, but not exorbitantly so.

Moda Mare, a custom sandal maker, is a must. Sandals range in price from €30 to upwards of €100. They’re made to your feet, which is just so cool, and they come in a huge variety or styles for such a small shop

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Golf carts and mopeds are the sole transport on the island. Even the carbinieri drive golf carts.

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Dogs and cats roam free in the islands, and they seem to be everywhere

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There are several nice walks around Panarea, a very popular one heading to Prehistoric Village. It’s quite a long walk just to see something that isn’t even history, but there are a couple of nice beaches in that area as well.

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One of the best things about Panarea is that everything is so stylish. All of the decor in the restaurants and hotels is lovely minimalist island chic. That being said, it’s worth packing clothing worthy of the surroundings, because the stores on the island are quite expensive.

There are a couple of small grocery stores. You can buy beer and drink it while sitting on the wall with the ocean to your back. Try and find happy hours on the bars as well–you’ll get great bar snacks with your drink that will hold you over until dinner.

When to go: we went in late August/early September. The season ends on October, but July/August is really the high season. The weather is still just as nice in September, but the crowds have diminished.

Malvasia wine is very sweet. It is purported to be some wonderful gift of God, but it’s really only good if you like sweet wine.

Most Sicilians we encountered spoke some English. We don’t speak any Italian, but many words are similar to other romance languages, and you will see many of the same menu items from place to place.

The cannoli in Sicily is so good. In America almost everywhere just serves the same defrosted product, so I’ve never bothered with it, but it’s something completely different in Sicily. Definitely a must eat, every day.

Arancini, delish and filling, and great if you can find a place doing different varieties. Al Burro, which is cheese and ham and butter I guess… so good.

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