Show Me the Romance

No cherubs. No doilies. No crap.

Archive for the month “June, 2010”

Interrupting Romance for a Mini Sports Rant

You know, I was planning on writing today about a little theory of mine regarding the cultural differences between romance novels in the United States and romance manga in Japan.

But I am just too stewed about that flagrantly bad call in the World Cup game between the United States and Slovenia to even think about romance today.

Many suggestions abound, but the best I’ve heard is to make all goals reviewable the same way goals in the NHL can be reviewed while play is still going on. Make it so, FIFA!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, the Americans had a blah-bordering-on-terrible first half which meant they went into the locker room at halftime down 2-0.

In soccer (especially this low-scoring World Cup) that’s like entering the half of an American football game down 31-0.

But we came back. And not only that, once we’d tied the game at 2-2, we SCORED AGAIN with less than 5 minutes to play!

Except then the ref called a foul of some kind (no one really knows what it was at this point, not even the players and coaches) and disallowed the goal.

One of the English-sounding announcers on ESPN radio called it “daylight robbery.” Thank you.


Movie Review: The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator
Movie (108  minutes)
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and Michael Biehn

You know those action movies that shoehorn a romance between the gunshots as an excuse to put a little TNA into the TNT? This classic from James Cameron isn’t one of them. I saw this movie for the first time a few months ago, and for those of you who tend to forgo action movies because they’re all brawn and no heart, do yourself a favor and go back to this one. The characters and the romance stayed with me for days. I’m not even exaggerating. I read all the wiki pages and and when that didn’t satisfy me, I hit the fan fiction pages. It was that good.

The Premise

In the year 2029, a desperate group of humanity’s survivors defeat the machines who tried to annihilate them. The machines send a cyborg killer back in time to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, the young woman who will one day give birth to the human leader. Sarah’s–and humanity’s–only hope rests on the shoulders of Kyle Reese, the man John Connor sends back to stop the Terminator.

The Pain

Sarah (Linda Hamilton) has an unfortunate hairstyle. Um…Kyle (Michael Biehn) looks weird in some frames? What else…I’m trying here. Oh! The time travel continuum stuff is a little hard to wrap your head around. They do a decent job of explaining without getting bogged down in the details, but it isn’t perfect.

The Payoff

This is romance at its most raw. Two people looking at each other like no one else exists, daring to love in spite of a bleak future. This is why I love romance. It’s life-affirming and hopeful no matter what cyborg bazooka-wielding beefcake is on the hunt (in this case it’s Arnold, the best of them all).


4 out of 5 arrows

I would give it five except there wasn’t *quite* enough screen time devoted to the particular subject I’m rating. No knock against the movie itself.

Suburban street naming has gone too far.

I just discovered there’s a cul-de-sac in my area called Tyburn Tree Court.

If that doesn’t sound like a downright awful place to raise kids, how would you like telling people you live on Electric Chair Drive? How about Firing Squad Lane? Guillotine Way?

The “Tyburn Tree” was a gallows erected in London in 1571. The innovative design allowed executioners to hang three people at once. Earls, persecuted Catholics, highwaymen, and even the exhumed body of Oliver Cromwell swung from Tyburn Tree.

So I’d really like to know why some developer thought it was a good name for a suburban cul-de-sac in Northern Virginia, U.S.A. Had he or she heard the phrase somewhere before and thought it had a nice alliterative ring to it? If so, clearly the developer didn’t recall the context and never bothered to look into what the phrase might mean.

Or…someone got sneaky. Maybe the developer was sick of names like “Old Dairy Road,” “Brightfield Lane,” and “Soft Breeze Court” (all streets in the same neighborhood as Tyburn Tree Court). After all, if you don’t know what Tyburn Tree really was, then it sounds no different from the bucolic terms every other developer in America strives to use.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will add that there’s a road in northern Virginia named “Gallows Road,” but that’s because way back in early Virginia history the dirt road actually went out to a gallows. Tyburn Tree was a particular gallows, and it only ever stood in London, England.

Lazy developer? Or sneaky one? What do you think?

P.S. How did I know about Tyburn Tree in the first place? Romance novels 😉

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