Thomas Galvin
Purveyor of Fine Pulp Fiction

Triquetra
The best revenge is massive success. -Frank Sinatra

It’s no secret that I’m kind of in love with Veronica Mars, but after this video … so is The Lady.

Also? One of The Lady’s life goals is to hold a koala. I approve of this ambition.

This Week on the Web brings you The Lady’s first batch of wedding photos, the Battle of the Corgi Names, Black Friday brawls, Dianne Sylvan’s top three moments of TVD Season Three, the end of the Batman franchise, a sweet-looking new eReader, and more!

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It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you all that The Girlfirend will no longer be joining us in our weekly Vampire Diaries recaps. But!

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“Love only hurts when you do it right.”

I love the internet. It lets me interact with people, get news, blow off steam… not to mention the fact that many of you would have no idea how witty, charming, and devilishly handsome I am if it wasn’t for my blog. The internet is my home, and I’m happy here.

But, like any home, it has its leaky faucets and unkempt back yards. One of the downsides of the internet is that it encourages people toward very shallow relationships, and very empty communication.

For every how-to site or epic blog, there are a thousand conspiracy theorists, fart jokes, and Perez Hiltons. For every well-crafted FaceBook profile, there are a hundred MySpace pages littered with embedded audio, dancing GIFs, and moving backgrounds. For every sage who posts a carefully researched, insightful, passionate article, there are a dozen AOLers shouting “me, too!”

Twitter, who was apparently designed by a guy who asked himself “what would FaceBook be like if it was nothing but status updates,” is one of the worst offenders. If it can’t be said in one hundred and forty characters… you should have more room to write, actually. It’s not like the internet is running out of disk space. But, no, some genius decided to take all the power of the internet and mix it with all the eloquence of a twelve year old texting his first girlfriend on his parent’s pre-paid cell phone.

But I’ve discovered something even dumber than Tweets: becoming a fan.

Every once in a while, I’ll see a little ad / blurb / whatever it is, saying something like “Skittles! 2 friends are fans. Become a fan!”

Now, Skittles are basically rainbow colored crack, so I’ll give that a pass, but I can’t give a pass to the idea that the internet is teaching an entire generation of people that building community is as simple as clicking on a bleeding hyperlink. Yes, I like chocolate chip cookies and dolphins, too, but that isn’t the basis for a lifelong friendship, and I don’t feel a deep sense of kinship with you just because you also happen to like nachos.

And the things I’m asked to become a fan of are almost always lame. For example:

Napping Yes, I do enjoy unconsciousness, and it is sort of thrilling to say “to heck with convention, I’m going to sleep while the sun is still up,” but I don’t really think I need to join a group to show solidarity with fellow nappers.

Laughing I’m starting a rival group: fans of sitting in dark corners and glowering. Also, fans of not having fun, fans of a joyless existence, and fans of The Cure. Yeah, that’s right, The Cure. I was emo before emo was cool, so step off.

Sarcasm Now, I love me some sarcasm. It’s one of my well-worne tools, fit comfortably to my hand and keen from frequent use. But I doubt that anyone with a highly developed sense of sarcasm would actually let themselves be caught joining a group in its name. We’re actually sitting back and snarking at the whole thing. On line.

Kittens With a picture of like a dozen kittens in an easter basket, with their little eyes closed, and one of them is yawning. Really? Kittens? In a basket? That are tired? Is there anyone that isn’t a fan of this? Are you really making a bold sectarian declaration by fanning kittens? And when did “fanning” become a verb? That didn’t mean “wafting with a large… fan-like… object.”

So, yeah, our fan options all suck. I’m proposing a few new objects from your undying love, affection, and / or stalking needs:

Not Getting Eaten By Bears Getting eaten by a bear sucks, and I, for one, am mad happy that it hasn’t happened to me. Am I right? I’m right. (Please don’t click that link.)

When that guy on the thruway blows past you at like a million miles an hour, and then, a few miles down the road, you see his car flipped over, in the ditch, on fire That might be a little too long to fit the ad space, so I guess we can abbreviate it Haha, sucker! Who’s winning the race now?

Republicans To piss off the Democrats.

Democrats To piss off the Republicans.

Whatever Party Keeps Nominating Ralph Nader To piss off everyone.

The Zombie Apocalypse When the dead walk the earth, I’ll be ready with a shotgun, a katana, and a month’s worth of food. What are you going to do? Besides scream “ow, ow, why is he eating my brain?” while your next door neighbor is eating your brain.

Also, zombies must have jaws like bear traps. I mean, the scalp is easy enough to get through, but the skull? That takes dedication.

Awkward Silences Everyone hates awkward silences. Except for me, because they give me the chance to say something like “wow, awkward silence,” or “quick, someone say something to break the awkward silence,” and then I get to seem all witty. And then pretty girls want to spend time with me. Speaking of:

Pretty Girls Except the stuck up kind. Or the ditzy kind. Or the kind whose daddy bought them everything they ever asked for, and now that they’ve graduated, they expect the rest of us to pick up the slack. Or the kind that thinks the universe owes them something because they’ve blessed us with their prettiness. So, let’s strike this one, and make it:

Pretty Girls that aren’t stuck up or ditzy, and don’t have a sense of entitlement, and can actually carry on an intelligent conversation, and get my jokes, and have ambitions, and dreams, and aspirations, oh, and aren’t already seeing someone So, yeah, let’s just make this:

Imaginary Creatures

You may have heard of Twilight, the trashy emo-teen vampire romance novels written by Stephenie Meyer (hillariously lampooned here, here, here, and here). These books fall solidly in the “guilty pleasure” category. I honestly shouldn’t like them. Edward, the protagonist’s sparkly vampire love interest, is a controlling, manipulative jerk, Bella, said protagonist, is basically the anti-feminist, and the plot, such that it is, practically bleeds Author Wish Fulfillment. And Mormonism. These books are pretty much designed to hold no appeal to me.

And I can’t get enough of them.

I didn’t go so far as to attend the Barnes & Noble Midnight Sale when the fourth book, Breaking Dawn went on sale – that would have been awkward: a room full of fourteen year old girls, their equally obsessed mothers, and me, a two-hundred-twenty pound powerlifter with a shaved head – but I did pick it up the next day. It was Twilight that got me through the Epic Failure that was Baltimore.

They also ensured that Stephanie Meyer will never have to work another day in her life, and convinced me that I need to write my own trashy emo-teen vampire romance novel. All you need is a handful of stock characters, a whisper of plot, and a thesaurus with lots of entries under “beautiful,” and the money just rolls in.

Anyway, Twilight the novel has become Twilight the movie, opening November 21st.

Allow me to introduce you to Alice Cullen. No, not the Scottish Politician (seriously), but the Physic Vampire. (Seriously).

Alice Cullen

Ignore the giant elbow. He, er, it’s irrelevant to the discussion. Although I do want to know what he does to make his forearms that big. Anyway, Alice is Edward’s adoptive sister, a yellow Porsche stealing, lavish party throwing, extensive wardrobe having, stock market playing, day saving, ballet dancing, humorously literal vampire that can also fight Edward, one of the greatest tacticians playing the game, to a standstill because she can see the freaking future, including that punch you were going to throw at her, you silly little boy. She’s fast enough to outrun a car, and strong enough to pick the thing up when she catches it, and if she likes you, she can make you immortal. Also, great hair, and a cute nose. I think Veronica Mars just got some competition.

Detective Skills

Veronica uses her observant nature and finely-honed deductive skills, plus a large dash of personal manipulation, to ferret out the bad guy, time after time.

Alice sees the bad guy commit the crime before it happens, and can be waiting there for them to show up.

Advantage: Alice.

Fluent in Sarcasm

Veronica basically defined this trope.

Alice isn’t particularly sarcastic; her humor stems more from being intensely literal in everything she says. For example, this little bit of banter:

Alice: Why don’t we play Rock, Paper, Scissors?
Edward: (Sighs) Why don’t you just tell me who wins?
Alice: I do. Excellent. So…

Advantage: I find both adorable. This one is a tie.

Distressed Damsel That Saves the Day

As I’ve said before, Veronica splits her time just about equally between saving the day and being saved, making her a feminist icon, but still allowing for moments of male heroism.

Alice is, well, not going to need your help any time soon. She’s just this side of indestructible, and even if you’re one of the, say, five things on the bloody planet that can kill her, she’ll still know you’re coming, and either not be there, or be very ready for you.

Advantage: Veronica.

I Can Turn You Into A Superhero

Veronica can help you study for your Private Investigator’s license.

Alice can turn you into an immortal, indestructible killing machine with inhuman beauty and grace, Eidetic memory, and no need to sleep, ever. Also, she’ll help you dress yourself.

Advantage: Alice.

This one is going to be close, friends. Truly a battle for our generation.

Oh, and just because:

I’ve gone to a lot of weddings this summer. So many, in fact, that I’ve kind of lost count, and I’m finding it difficult to call everyone by their real, new names.

I feel kind of like the main character in Grosse Point Blank, which is, by the way, a phenomenal movie. Martin, the main character, is an assassin who’s coming home for his 10 Year High School Reunion, and to find out whatever happened to his high school sweetheart. Shenanigans do, of course, ensue. There’s one scene, where Martin is talking with said sweetheart, about what’s happened over the intervening decade:

Martin: You got married. That’s hard to imagine. That’s pretty unbelievable.

Debbie: No, that’s pretty normal, Martin, it happens all the time.

He also spends the entire conversation looking nervously over his shoulder, and jumping at loud noises. He’s witty, sarcastic, and dresses in dark clothing. I tell you, aside from the whole murdering people for a living part, this guy is me.

Anyway, I guess I still see marriage as one of those crazy things that happens to old people. Feel free to post your own thoughts on my latest* mid-life crisis in the comments.

So, lots of people are getting married, and since every once in a while I like to imagine that I’m something approaching “normal,” I’ve spent the last few days planning my own dream wedding.

Shut up.

Yeah, I know, the whole “fairy princess dream wedding” thing is generally the girl’s schtick, but I’m a modern man, comfortable in my identity. I tan, and for god’s sake, I even exfoliate. Like I told Jessica the other night, I’m a 220 pound power lifter, and if someone wants to make an issue out of it, they’re welcome to step up and try.

So, here’s a quick list of things that I absolutely have to have in order to have the bestest wedding ever.

Veronica Mars

I am not talking about Kristen Bell, the actor who played Veronica Mars on the television show, I’m talking about the actual character. She’s adorable, smart as a whip, sharply sarcastic, and splits her time just about evenly between needing and doing the rescuing. She is, in a word, perfect.

The danger in this is in falling for someone who looks like Ms. Mars, but doesn’t have the finer qualities listed above. Avril Lavigne, for example, looks kind of similar if you squint hard enough, but I doubt that she could solve her best friend’s murder.

Left: Veronica Mars, the epitome of beauty, grace, and subtle derision of human stupidity. Right: Avril Lavigne, whose main claim to fame is dating a guy on a skateboard, and spelling poorly.

Please do not confuse the two.**Also out of the running: El, the electro-girl from Heroes, also played by Kristen Bell. A government-funded sociopath with daddy issues and a tendency to electrocute anyone that tries to hold her hand? No thank you.Ms. Bell, by the way, has apparently taken a turn for the naughty; it took me forever to find a picture of her that didn’t involve a small pieces of pink lace. Stuff Veronica would never wear.

Candles

I am a die-hard romantic, and those romantic tendencies tend to run towards the old-fashioned. In this context, that means a softly-playing piano, enough roses to make a botanist blush, and so many candles that the State of New York will require the presence of an off-duty Fire Marshal before they will sign the marriage license.

When this is on fire, it will be epic. And when all one hundred and twenty-seven of them are on fire…

A Sword FightAllow me to explain.One, there’s a whole lot of pressure on the bride – in this case, Veronica Mars – when the wedding day rolls around. I don’t exactly understand why this is – I mean, it seems like someone else could make sure that the flowers got hung on the right rafters, and that my candles haven’t burned the church down – but I recognize that it’s true.

The guy’s part in the whole affair? Show up. That’s it. Just show up, say “I do,” and hope there’s something good to eat at the reception.

This seems unfair to me, and I’d like to contribute a little bit more to the proceedings. Fighting off a jealous would-be lover seems like an admirable offering. It really shows that your committed to making this whole thing work out.

Then there’s the drama of the whole thing. Everyone always says that your wedding day is one you’ll never forget. How much truer would that be if, when the preacher says “should anyone know of a reason why this man and this woman should not be joined, let him speak now, or forever hold his peace,” he was answered not with the traditional awkward silence, but a guttural cry of “I’ll never let you have her, gyyyyyyaarrgh,” plus a drawn sword? People would be talking about that wedding for years.

Someone: Hey, do you remember Johny and Jenny’s wedding? They had such nice centerpieces, and Karl did a great job with the music.

Someone else: Yeah, that was nice. Hey, do you remember Thomas and Veronica’s wedding, where that crazy psycho pulled out a freaking sword, and Thomas had to save us all?

Someone: Oh yeah, that was neat. Also, he sure loves candles.

Which leads into the next reason I want a sword fight: I’m neurotic. Vastly so, as it turns out, but in this case, I’m talking about my massive hero complex. Many of my former loves were girls that needed a little rescuing, and there’s a part of me that still believes that the best love is formed under adverse conditions.

I have, in the last couple of years, realized that this isn’t the healthiest bedrock for a relationship to rest upon, but that’s what makes Veronica’s 50/50 split between rescuing and being rescued so attractive: it makes for more of a balanced relationships, and I’m willing to let her bail me out of a problem with the PCHers, as long as I get to beat up her psycho campus stalker.

Finally, if Hollywood has taught me anything, it’s that nothing says “true love” like rescuing your bride from a nefarious malcontent with inappropriate intentions. When that vile villain draws his blade and announces his loathsome plan, it will seem a dark day indeed, but my inevitable triumph will prove, once again, that love conquers all.

If you don’t think this is romantic, you suck.

A Power BalladVeronica Mars, Epic Candles, and a Sword Fight. What’s left?Four minutes and thirty seconds of hair band sensitivity, that’s what.The only appropriate close to my dream wedding is a power ballad, where the hard-charging, hard-rocking bad guys put down the electric guitars and get in touch with their soft side. If that doesn’t just scream symbolism to you, you either do not know me, or have no soul.I haven’t settled on a particular song yet, but I have narrowed down the list some:

  • To Be With You – Mr. Big
  • More Than Words – Extreme
  • Wind Of Change – Scorpions
  • Bed of Roses – Bon Jovi
  • I Would Do Anything For Love – Meatloaf

Feel free to suggest alternatives.

* I started having mid-life crisis around 16 years old. I never thought I’d make it past 25. That’s made the last three years an unexpected roller-coaster, let me tell you.

** I have admit that I do find her song Girlfriend kind of catchy, and her song Don’t Tell Me is an admirable, if clumsy, stab at asserting that women are more than sex objects. This statement would have been more believable, however, if the video didn’t involve her running around in her underwear. Someone needs to have a talk with the director on the subject of theme.