Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars: Movie Review #71

This is one of the most faithful adaptations of a book I’ve seen.  It was important to me to see the book represented because of my close relationship with Nerdfighteria and especially John Green’s works.  His books are one of the main inspirations when I’m writing.  There were three main things missing from book to movie translation and two small things, however the lack of main plot points did not detract from the story in any way, and I suspect one of the small things is in a deleted scene.  And the second small thing actually added well to character development.  Warning: this is gonna be spoilerific. So if you don’t want anything to be spoiled, run away now!  First with the missing parts...

Missing Item 1:

Augustus’s Previous Relationship

Part of his intrigue when he first meets Hazel is because she looks and reminds him of his previous girlfriend Caroline Mathers who passed away from cancer.  Hazel spends some time Facebook stalking (as any normal person would) and is interested about his past.  He eventually reveals more about their relationship, but tells her he genuinely likes her now not just because she looks like Caroline.  Since the central theme of the story is the relationship between Hazel and Gus, it’s allowable that the previous relationship is omitted.  Bringing up her story would mean at least several minutes discussing it which would detract from the story.

Missing Item 2:

Augustus’s Sisters

When Augustus has his decline in health, his half-sisters and their families come out to see him and help care for him.  Ultimately, the additional family (especially the small children) is more of a burden on him and he appreciates Hazel being there so much more, as do his parents.  But the additional family was lacking from the movie, and it didn’t detract as much as I thought it would.  It’s possible they could appear in a deleted scene, as his parents did have a few girls sitting next to them in the funeral scene.

Missing Item 3:

Augustus and Hazel taking care of each other while sick

Both characters deal with the inevitable health decline that comes from cancer.  While Hazel bounces back enough to go on the trip to Amsterdam, Gus declines until the end.  In the books, they each take turns taking care of each other.  Gus reads to Hazel.  Hazel plays video games with Gus.  These small moments were extracted from the film.  I wish it could have been added a little bit because while you do see Hazel taking care of Gus in a few key moments, you miss a lot of them just being together.  And that to me is what relationships are: being there for each even without doing anything.

Small Item Missing: the online ad for the swing set

Augustus comes over in the film and they sit and discuss things on the dilapidated swing set.  Later in the film, Hazel and Isaac sit in the same place but the swing set is gone.  In the book, they create an ad online for someone to get the swing set, so I’m guessing this will be a deleted scene since obviously it is gone later in the film.  I also want to see the deleted John Green scene.

Small item added: the limo

In the book, Gus does not arrive in a limo.  Hazel and her mother pick him up from his house, where you catch a snippet of an argument between him and his parents.  In the film, he rides up in a limo with a cigarette dangling from his lips.  This scene adds to the development of the character, because Augustus is cocky and needs to make a statement.  He hates that he’s facing oblivion and won’t be remembered forever.  Everything he does is to leave a story behind, and the limo scene does just that.

Overall, I would give the movie 10 out of 10.  Not only is it the truest adaptation I’ve seen, it’s heartbreakingly beautiful.  The characters are amazing, and portrayed well with their flaws, especially Augustus.  The soundtrack is one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard too.  Any cd that has multiple Birdy songs on it wins my vote.  The tracks vary from cutesy to melancholy, and all along that emotional spectrum.  I’ve been unable to stop listening to it.  Too amazing.  I encourage anyone to read this novel and see the film.  It may be young adult fiction, but in it you find so much more, including gratitude for your health.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Power of 33 Dollars and 26 Cents

Today, I spent 33.26.

I could have spent it on:

A dinner out with a few drinks...

A new season of a TV show on dvd...

A couple albums on iTunes...

Some new clothes I've been itching to get...

A new pair of work shoes...

Put it in my London vacation fund...

Instead of doing any of these things, I spent it on groceries.  Groceries that aren't even for me.  In my driving to and from one of my work locations, I often see the same homeless man on a certain street corner.  He holds a dilapidated cardboard sign, begging for any help people can give him.  And yesterday, driving to work, he was there again.  I don't carry cash, so that option was out.  And I quickly appraised how much food I had and if there was any I could spare.  Unfortunately, I usually pack just what I need.  I don't even have my usual backup granola bar...

Then driving home after work, noticing that I hadn't eaten my apple (nausea from medication), I was really upset.  With myself.  With the way services for the homeless go often ignored.  There are so many people in this world that make more than they need to (I'm looking at you, pro-athletes), but how many of them live on less to help others?  I'm not saying they are solely responsible for saving the disadvantaged.  But it would be nice if more wealthy people thought this way.  JK Rowling lost her billionaire status by giving away a ton of money.  That's beautiful.  Sure, she's still living large, but think about how much she did.

With the 33.26, I bought toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, shampoo, body wash, shaving cream, razor), a gallon of water, box of cereal, bag of apples, peanut butter, bread, wheat thins, graham crackers, two boxes of granola bars, and a reusable Meijer bag to hold it all.  

And I'm leaving it in my car until I can see him and give it to him.  I don't know his life story.  Alcohol, drugs, lost his home, lost his job: it doesn't matter.  All I know is that he is in need of help.  I'm not looking for praise or accolades for what I did.  All I'm saying is that, I may not be able to change his life.  But 33 dollars and 26 cents can make it better.  If I can spare that, what could we all spare to make the world a better place?

UPDATE: He wasn’t on the corner on the way home.  But I’m planning on going around tomorrow to see if he’s there.  And if after a while I don’t see him, I’m going to drop the stuff off at a local food bank.

UPDATE: I never saw the guy on the street corner again.  I pulled the bread and apples out to eat before they went bad. I had every intention of going to a food bank this week on one of my days off.  Then, it happened Sunday night.  On the way home from Leslie, I saw a girl standing out in the rain.  Her small cardboard sign said, "Struggling. Anything helps. God Bless."  So as soon as I could, I threw my car into park and prepared to run the groceries over to her.  But the light turned green and I had to go, lest people behind me decided car horns were necessary.  I walked over to her and gave her the bag.  She asked what was in it and I said a few of the items.  Unfortunately, the toiletries were male scents but given her situation I'm sure she won't mind.  I cried the whole way home.  And I don't know if it's because I'm off my meds and generally more emotional lately or the situation itself.  I feel like the world is bleeding and instead of giving it proper treatment, we slap a band-aid on it and fix other things that are deemed "more important."  I know I can't change the world by myself, or even that I changed her world.  I'm sometimes just sick of feeling like one of the only people trying.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Throwback Tuesday: Old Journal Entries

As a writer, I’ve amassed numerous journals over the years.  Seldomly do I actually fill out the whole journal.  Instead, I write a few pages and abandon it.  Eventually getting a new one and repeating the same process.  With new novel ideas that I’ve been expanding, I’ve gone back to these abandoned works to use them.  Most recently the journal that I opened up had a couple entries from 2008.  After reading them, I decided they would make good entries on here.  Some have been edited for content.

November 24, 2008

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I lost faith in Catholicism, but it was somewhere between my sophomore year in high school and my sophomore year in college.  When I had attempted to kill myself in 8th grade, I figured I was a lost soul anyway.  Raised by my mother to be Roman Catholic, I always figured I was a fairly faith oriented person.  Trying to kill myself didn’t change that.  My mother didn’t learn about the incident until years until years later.  Thinking back, if she had known, she probably would have had me committed.  

For being raised in a heavy faith way, I didn’t think about it much.  I went to Catholic school, I went to church, and I “prayed,” which meant I bowed my head and though of something else for a few minutes.  I learned about God, but I never thought about God.  I went to church, but I never really felt the communal connection.  Eventually, I was just living through the motions.  

My high school (redacted), indulged students by giving them a day each year where we could wear jeans and get out of school; otherwise known as retreat day.  By grade, we would relocate to a retreat center and spend the day learning about Jesus in different ways.  Some of the activities were pretty cool.  My sophomore year retreat had culminated with prayer in the chapel followed by mass.  During quiet prayer time, I felt this urge to kneel.  While kneelers were provided, I opted for the stone floor.  I remember my friends giving me a couple shrewd looks but eventually ignoring me.  I thought about things in my life that upset me: my parents not being together, my general overwhelming alone feeling, and all the car related issues I have.  I finally focused on my life altering car crash of 2000.  I started thinking “why?” over and over.  My pathetic mantra of self-justification.  I suddenly got tight in the chest as I begged God, in my head, to give me a sign that I’m worth something; my eyes overflowed with tears.  There was a hand resting on my shoulder.  I figured it was a teacher coming to ask me what was wrong or a friend comforting me while silently wondering if I had lost it.  I opened my eyes and looked to see whose hand was tightly gripping my shoulder.  No one was there.  I looked back to the cross hanging behind the altar.  I burst into tears again as the feeling lifted off me.  My sign from God.

After that, I put more effort into understanding my religion and attempting to be more involved.


Learning more about Catholicism is what I can admit started pushing me away.  Today I look at that experience as my sign of a higher power, but not the religion in which I used to believe.  I’m very skeptical of organized religion now, but I still believe there is more out there “higher” than me.  For more about my perspective on this topic, check out my other post here.

August 12, 2009

I figured out something today.  Something I knew for myself, but hadn’t necessarily applied further.  I discovered that humans are nothing more than insignificant specks.  We parade around in our flashy clothes, flashier cars, and even flashier attitudes.  People decorate their closets with the highest end designers, get numerous cars that they barely drive, purchase several properties and lavishly style them even though they almost never stay in them.  And all it is, is a mask.  A cleverly disguised rouse.  And everyone is falling for it.

What people don’t get is that it doesn’t matter what car is in the driveway or if you have a pool or social status.  From 30,000 feet everyone is an insignificant ant.  You can be squished or eliminated, you won’t be missed.  Seriously, there are plenty of specks.  

Obviously, I’m not condoning taking a life.  I’m just saying people shouldn’t take life so seriously.  Sometimes you need to just drop everything and do something spontaneous.  Like run away to Ireland for five days.  I’m not the poster child for being impetuous.  But maybe with just a little bit of change, great things could happen for myself.  I guess the question is if I’m ready to jump… can I learn to let go?  Or will I always be trapped by my fear and inability to be brave?  I can’t stand feeling like a failure in any aspect of my life.  That’s in both not trying and trying and failing.  But if I always live my life in “quiet desperation” won’t I be just as miserable?

So I have to choose between the dissatisfaction of never getting out there or the fear of getting out there.  It’s a bitchy choice, but I have to make it.


I’ve lightened up a lot about my life, and I think part of that comes from my self esteem getting much better.  I still struggle with “getting out there” and dealing with failing.  But as wise author Maureen Johnson once said, it’s okay to suck.  Embrace the suck.  She’s quite right, because while I’m perfectly excited to work on my novel, I know the first draft is not going to be amazing.  But since I know how to deal with my suck, I will move forward and make things better.  Don’t get me wrong, my fragile ego is still hoping my first draft is good enough but I’m ready when it’s not.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Clique, Clique, Boom

I've spent a lot of time in my growing up adjusting to the fact that I'm an introvert.  I used to be ashamed of it and tried to force myself into being more extroverted.  Not only did it make me incredibly uncomfortable at times, it also felt like a complete waste of my time.  I'm not ever going to be the person that chooses clubbing over Netflix.  Getting dressed up and hitting the town over yoga pants and a new book.  That will not ever be me.  And it took time, but I can say honestly, that I am okay with that.  Being an introverted person is who I am, and it is good.  More on that topic in my birthday blog post

Now, the downside to this is that I often am surrounded by extroverted people.  They want to have gatherings and get together and go out and do things.  Not entirely problematic for me.  I can at times choose to push myself and have a good time.  But my work schedule being the tough one that it is (seriously, don't ever work security, it sucks), I most often am unable to do things at normal times. See this lovely Buzzfeed article that nicely describes the challenges of working at weird hours.  Anyway, having to work at 4:30 in the morning or 6:30 in the morning or until midnight on the weekends every weekend...well it puts a damper on anyone's social calendar.  The exclusion from even being invited to social activities has now happened to me twice as a scenario.  More than twice counting specific events.  Doesn't suck any less the next time around than it did the previous time, people.

And here's the thing: I know I'm introverted and I may not be able to make plans because of work, but that doesn't mean I don't still want to be considered to hang out.  Finding out via another person or random text that plans have been made that I haven't even been asked to join, it hurts.  Most times, yes work probably would have prohibited me from going.  IT HAPPENS.  But deciding just because of my schedule or introverted personality not to even attempt to invite me clearly means you don't value me.  Because if you did, you'd ask anyway.  If you valued me, you'd let me know "Hey, we're having a thing but I'm pretty sure you can't make it because of work." or "We're planning a dinner, I know your schedule is crazy but is there any chance you can come?"  There are options instead of just casting me aside.  And if you ask me, and I value you, no matter what my work or personal preference, I'll make an effort to be there.  Because I care.

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Ton of Movie Reviews, Because I Got Behind...

I keep a running list of films I see and my ratings of them so eventually I can write a quick bit for my blog. And, um...I got a little backed up.  Oops.  So enjoy around 20 reviews.  Seriously.

#49: The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit is one of my favorite books of all time.  So when I heard Peter Jackson was doing it, I was excited…and worried.  Just as any reader is when they find out one of their favorite books is being adapted.  Lots can go wrong.  I really enjoyed the first portion of the movie, but was beginning to question why it was being spread out, why, why, why. It was amazing, just fucking amazing.  I give the movie 9.5 out of 10.  The way that he did Smaug was brilliant, and voiced by my future husband (yeah) Benedict Cumberbatch, it was the scene stealer.  Do I think the movie needed to be split in a franchise? No. But I think Jackson’s doing a decent job so far so we’ll see.

#50: Mystery Men   

This movie was on my Netflix list for ages, so one day I finally decided to sit and watch it.  The movie centers on some weird superheroes that are just trying to make the world a better place and getting no support for it.  The film is quirky and strange, but ultimately amusing.  I give it 7 out of 10.  The most standout aspect for me was the cast.  William H. Macy as a superhero is pretty adorable.

#51: Brick   

This was another movie on my Netflix list, and when I was catching up on stuff before it got deleted, this made the cut.  The film is intensely cerebral and features a complicated web of high school fuckery.  Drugs, sex, lies, deceit. So basically high school, am I right? (this was not my high school experience in case you’re wondering) I give the film 7 out of 10. There is beautiful cinematography and the film leaves you asking a big question: is she lying or isn’t she?  But sometimes I got tripped up in the story. However, baby Joseph Gordon Levitt is precious.

#52: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind  

This was getting taken of Netflix so I knew I needed to watch it.  Which I did right before I ended up getting dumped…yeah.  The story has an Inception like quality that I found amazing and was supplemented with great cinematography.  I give it 8 out of 10.  It was a weirdly cathartic moment that ended up actually being cathartic because I wanted to erase someone.  It really makes you wonder: Would you erase anyone if you had the chance?

#53: Blackfish  

I was obsessed with the Free Willy movies when I was younger.  My best friend growing up and I used to watch them and pretend we were baby whales.  We were so badass.  I was interested in seeing this documentary because of that fascination, and because I had heard people’s thoughts on it.  The film is definitely one sided in stating the horrible state these animals are kept in captivity, so why are we surprised when they lash out?  Opposing views were minimal and at times blame was placed on trainers.
In reality it is an animal, it can’t communicate with us so how do we really know what it is thinking?  I give it 8 out 10.  While the film was one sided, it was a very interesting concept to consider.  Is it worth having aquariums and zoos if the animals aren’t always properly taken care of and could they lash out eventually?

#54: Movie 43  

I don’t have much to say about this film.  It’s a compiled list of movie ideas from a washed up actor and all these ideas play out as different parts of the film.  It is full of A-listers but not a lot of good jokes.  I give it 3 out of 10.  The only redeeming part for me was Patrick Warburton trying to handle guys reacting to a girl’s period.  Which was still a cheap laugh, but I can’t deny how funny he is.  Overall, don’t waste your time.  Seriously.

#55: Stuck in Love  

This one popped up on my interest list and I couldn’t help watching because not only is about writers but Greg Kinnear is not in enough movies!  The story follows a family of writers navigating life.  Dad is stuck on his ex-wife, son is trying to woo the popular girl who has issues, and the daughter trying to push away real emotional attachment.  It’s genius.  I give it 8 out 10.  I really enjoyed the story and the cast was fantastic.  Also I crushed hardcore on Logan Lerman which is probably a bad idea because he’s a bit younger than me, but whatever.  He’s adorable in this movie.

#56: Butter  

I really didn’t know what to expect from this movie.  All I knew about it was that it featured butter carving.  So…yeah.  What?  Jennifer Garner does crazy exceptionally well as a housewife losing her status and trying to stay “on top” of the butter carving game.  Although she is quickly undermined by a little girl, who becomes obsessed with the practice of carving butter.  I give it 7 out of 10.  This movie is ridiculous in its concept, but actually almost made me cry with the sentimentality it gets to at the end.  The cast is pretty good too.  Like I said earlier, Jen Garner does crazy.  Really well.

#57: Bo Burnham’s What.  

I’ve been following this kid since his YouTube days, so I knew I had to check this comedy show out.  It had an absolutely hilarious songy intro.  It was far more interactive than just a normal comedy show in my opinion.  But then again, I haven’t seen many comedy shows.  I give it 7 out of 10.  The crass material can rub someone the wrong way at times, but I think it’s important to remember it’s an act.  Overall, it would have been a better show to see live but he’s still hilarious.

#58: God Bless America   

I really wasn’t sure what to do about this movie at first.  A dad finds out he’s terminally ill so what to do?  Spend time with people? Nope, go on a killing rampage!  There wasn’t a ton of well known names in this film.  However at the very base of the film is a pretty emotionally resonant concept: don’t be a vacuous idiot.  I give it 9 out of 10.  It was an interest concept that was done well cinematographically well.  It also makes you wonder if you’re a vacuous idiot…

#59: Jeff Who Lives At Home   

Another Netflix pop-about, this film focuses on a small family and in particular Jeff (played by Jason Segel) who just can’t seem to get his shit together.  His mother is played by Susan Sarandon and his brother is played by Ed Helms.  I was pretty tired during the movie so unfortunately I don’t remember a lot of it except Jeff trying to make sense of his life and helping his family do the same.  I give it 7 out of 10.  It’s good for some family feels time.

#60: Black Dynamite   

My friend had asked if I had seen this and I hadn’t, so one night a bunch of us watched it.  I don’t even know how else to talk about this movie except how freaking hysterical it is.  A parody of 70s films, especially those focused on African American actors and themes, it is quite hilarious.  I give it 8 out of 10.  It’s good for a lot of laughs and some hilarious catch phrases to throw around later.

#61: Our Idiot Brother   

Stacked with a really outstanding cast, this family movie seemed to miss a cord with me.  The main character is a dopey but well meaning guy who is just wants to make a difference.  Paul Rudd is adorable as the main character, and the cast of his sisters is well done.  Unfortunately, I give it 6 out 10.  It got predictable and overplayed as characters continued to rag on the main character.  It had moments, but overall disappointed me.

#62: Camp Takota  

I am a nerdfighter.  You may not know what that means, if you do DFTBA.  If you don’t, Google it.  Anyway, nerdfighteria is how I learned about this film, made by and starring YouTube talent.  It’s the story of a girl down on her luck trying to change.  She heads back to camp for respite and finds her life pleasantly turned about.  The story is predictable, but amazing.  I give it 9.5 out of 10.  The film is amazing from a cast stand point as well as cinematography.  It makes me sad to say I never went to camp.

#63: Night Watch

An interesting take on vampires and evil, the Russian books and films that represent them were supposed to be a trilogy.  However, only two were made.  I’ve yet to see the second one.  But this first film was very amusing.  I got tripped up occasionally by the progress of the story.  I give it 7 out of 10 because it was an enjoyable film but difficult at times to understand.

#64: Divergent

I’m a fan of young adult literature, but I always balk when transformed into film.  While the new series made its debut, it had many people comparing it to the Hunger Games and which is better.  While the stories have many similarities, there are parts I liked better in each.  The film version of Divergent stayed relatively true to the book, as most adaptations do.  I give it 8.5 out of 10.  The main cast was well placed and did justice to their characters.  I found Kate Winslet to be an interesting casting choice, because I didn’t picture her character anything like how she was portrayed, but I’m excited for the next installment.

#65: The Red Violin  

This is the story of a violin.  A red one.  And the film follows how the beautiful musical instrument changes hands through the years.  From the maker to a monastery in Germany to a French man, and on and on and on.  I give the movie 7 out of 10.  At times, I found the movie exaggerating, but overall a very interesting story, though at times incredibly sad.

#66: The Brass Teapot  

What would you do if you found a magic teapot that dispenses money when you cause pain?  Tempting to use it at first, but it comes with a price.  You end up losing some sanity or your soul or your goodness.  Whatever you want to call it.  The cast was very pleasant.  I find Juno Temple absolutely adorable.  I give it 7 out of 10.  Sometimes it dragged or seemed disconnected, but overall was a cute film with an ultimately good message.

#67: Go  

This movie is a classic 90s film, featuring several names that were big in the decade.  The film follows a single drug deal from three different points of view.  The varying stories were woven together into a rich tapestry of crazy.  I give the film 7 out of 10.  It was an interesting concept, and so wonderfully 90s.  I think my favorite character was Taye Diggs.  He was so cute.

#68: Violet & Daisy  

Two adorable girls who are hired killers go about their lives.  They get an order for a hit, but things aren’t quite what they seem.  Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan star as the young killers and James Gandolfini is their target.  I give the film 7 out of 10.  It was a good film though sometimes plot points seemed out of place.

#69: Spirited Away

I was pretty tired the night I saw this so I unfortunately don’t remember some of it.  From what I do remember, a little girl and her parents get swept up into the spirit world where some weird stuff happens and she tries to save her parents and also this boy who is also a dragon. Yeah, like I said, I was really tired. I remember enjoying it for the most part though was confused for some of it.  I give it 7.5 out of 10.  I’ll definitely need to watch it again for some of the finer points of the film, but it was cute.

#70: X-Men: Days of Future Past

I am a huge fan of the X-Men so obviously I was thrilled for another movie (especially one that wasn’t only about Wolverine).  Oh hey wait, this one kind of was.  Okay moving on.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s my favorite character but he’s not the only X-Men.  So anyway, I was incredibly excited to see Peter Dinklage in the film because that guy is insanely awesome.  I give the film 7.5 out of 10.  The idea of the story was very interesting, but I wished more time could have been spent on the lesser mutants that made the film.  While I know a bit about Blink and Bishop and Warpath and others previously seen in films, other viewers might not know anything. The highlight of the film was Quicksilver.  I would be incredibly excited if they gave him a stand alone film.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Quarter Life Crisis

Here are some stats for you about me:

I'm 25 years old and single.

I live at home with my mother.

I have worked the same job for three years now, wherein I have limited responsibility unless there's a fire or tornado or bomb threat or someone's significant other has threatened to come kill them. In those scenarios, I'm the one between life and death.

I threw myself into debt for a Master's degree that ended up being completely unhelpful for the area I actually want to work in, since an MSW is what most people want you to have when they hire you.

I can't even get hired working a lower waged position in the area I want to work because I don't have enough experience, even though I've done over a year of rape response counseling.

I am desperate for an adventure.

Welcome to my quarter life crisis.

I spent around two hours last night browsing information about travel and will likely spend more time looking today.  My existential crisis or whatever you want to call it actually kept me awake last night.  I guess you could say I am bored with my life.  Or at least in desperate need of an actual vacation, because the last two years my paid vacation was spent on going home for Christmas.  

I saw The Fault in Our Stars today (movie review to come).  I'm a huge John Green fan (nerdfighter for life), but the problem with John Green is that he makes me want I life I don't have, or even feel incapable of having.  I want to be that person who has stories about where they've been and what they've done and who they've met.  But in my current age, all my friends either don't have the time or don't have the money or both.  So I am destined to have these adventures solo...which is terrifying and lonely.  Also all pictures of yourself on a solo vacation are gonna be selfies. I mean, c'mon.

So I guess I'm wondering if other people have felt this stagnation.  Felt trapped in a somewhat lonesome and boring life.  And what did you do?  How do you cope?  Do you ignore the itching sensation every time you see a travel brochure?  Or do you fly solo and make all your memories by yourself? 

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Big Bang Theory of Bullshit

In one of the earlier episodes of the show the Big Bang Theory, Howard continues to hit on Penny saying lewd things, and insisting that they would eventually hook up.  Now at this point in the show, Howard (pre-Bernadette) spends all his time focusing on sleeping with women.  Eventually during this tirade, Penny has enough.  She tells Howard that it’s not a compliment to call her “do-able” or to make jokes about her body.

And she’s spot freaking on.

It isn’t a compliment to say these things about women.  It’s disgusting and misogynistic.  And she has every right to call him out for what he says, because after dealing with that for two seasons, I’d be fed up too.

At this point, I was cheering the show on for being so progressive.  Then the show pissed me off big time.

Howard takes her challenge personally and withdraws into himself, not talking to his friends.  They are entered into robot fighting challenge and he is their engineer.  But they obviously can’t fight without him.  So Leonard asks Penny to apologize.  When she refuses, he blackmails her to apologize saying she owes him a favor.

What the actual hell?

Not only does she not need to apologize, but she’s blackmailed into it? That’s bullshit.  She goes over to Howard’s and at first he plays it off like her comment doesn’t mean anything because "whatever"…

Then she talks to him some more and comes to see his history of no success with the ladies, which is why he sees that he needs to “try to hard” with women, which apparently means insulting them by being degrading...huh.  When Penny says that him being honest is actually nice, he takes this to mean he can make a move and he tries to kiss her.  

Here’s where the show had me clapping again: she punches him.

The point is made later that this is what will happen if women aren’t treated with respect…

She leaves the room, and Howard’s first comment is that he’s “halfway to pity sex.”  So he actually learned nothing at all.

The show had the opportunity to not only have character development but also to make a statement about how men treat women.  Unfortunately, they took the opportunity and used it for laughs.  Which is fair to a point because it’s a comedy show.  But since misogyny is a bigger issue than laughs, I’m disappointed in how they wrote it.