Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"Sometimes I think you talk just to make sounds."

Do you ever get jealous of fictional characters? I don't mean the ones who have super Slayer strength or the ones who can do magic or the ones who can fly a Viper after drinking all the booze on Galactica.

Done and DONE

No, I'm talking about, like, OK...when a character on TV or in a movie is climbing into bed, I get super jealous of them. Even if I'm not tired and the last thing I want to do is sleep (PSHAW), I still get jealous because BED IS SO COMFORTABLE, WHO DOESN'T WANT TO GO TO THERE? I feel like I've been spending my entire life trying to make my bed look as inviting as the beds do on TV, all fluffy comforter and just the right amount of pillows, and I think I'm finally there, yet I spend very little time sleeping compared to how often I WANT to be sleeping.

It’s not just the sleeping thing, though. Joe and I have been watching The O.C. and lately I've been very jealous of the Cohens. And not for normal reasons, like that they live in a giant house with an infinity pool or because their days are full of witty banter or that they're so rich that Seth can destroy his Range Rover and he gets in about as much trouble as I used to for not refilling the ice cube trays. No. It's because, every morning, they have all this time for a breakfast routine. The kitchen, as in so many TV shows, plays an important role. It's where storylines are hashed out, it’s where characters gather to eat and share their problems, IT'S WHERE MOST OF THE WITTY BANTER HAPPENS.


Not only do the Cohens have a really great kitchen, but they seem to have a million hours in the morning to spend in it. I don't know about you guys, but even though Joe and I have made time to eat breakfast at home in the mornings (together, even), it still doesn't leave us a lot of time to sit around trying to out-quip one another. We get five minutes for that, tops. Sure, we could have more time if we got up earlier but why on Earth would we want to get up any earlier than we have to?

Also! On TV, whenever they're getting ready for work/school/whatever, it's always sunny outside already. In my world, the sun usually isn't out until I'm leaving the house and sometimes it's not even out until I get to work. When I worked farther away from home, I could drive to work and, some mornings, watch the sunrise in my rearview mirror. (In related news, that is the saddest sentence I've ever typed.)

I know that it's crazy to expect TV to depict anything in a realistic light. I know that Slayers don't exist (to my knowledge) and the FBI has yet to acknowledge a secret division called the X-Files in the basement of the Hoover building, and I know that no normal family can spend hours of time together every morning before going about their daily business. But in order for me to accept the Slayers and the vampires and the multiple-death-having-FBI-agents of this fictional world, I need some reality or my OCD won't let me just enjoy the show.

So, dear fictional characters, please close the front door. Go to the bathroom to do things other than apply lip gloss or do drugs (I don't need to SEE what you’re doing, just a hint will do). Eat breakfast when it’s dark out! I need these depictions of reality in my fiction every now and then, I really do. Otherwise I forget to pay attention to what's actually going on during The Aviator and instead focus on where Howard Hughes was pooping the whole time he refused to come out of his movie theater. TRUE STORY.

Don't you judge me, Howard Hughes. You pee in milk bottles!

Friday, February 22, 2013


I watched the finale of Downton Abbey the other night and I think I need a safe place to talk about my feelings. Because, you see, I have a lot of feelings re: the last five minutes and also the season in general.

First of all, if you haven't watched the season and don't want to be spoiled, please quit reading. ESPECIALLY if you haven't yet watched the Christmas special, which was the one that aired this past Sunday in the US, since we celebrate Christmas two months after our friends across the pond. So, yeah, spoilers ahead and I think I'm being generous even giving a warning because, by now, it's aired all over the place so if you haven't watched it, that's your problem. That is my spoiler policy! But I'm being nice because I was horribly spoiled for two giant Downton events (after they aired in the UK) because I haven't figured out yet how not to get spoiled for things on Tumblr. 

ANYWAY. So don't cry to me in a moment if you've already read this far and you still get spoiled. Because I'm about to spoil everything. EVERYTHING. And I'm not hiding anything in garbly text or "click to read more" links so just get over it. I'm sorry I'm being so cranky about this but spoilers make me cranky, OK? I SAID SORRY. Let's move on, right, and talk about...



(there's still time to back out)



Poor dead Sybil. That one hurt. I mean, I was spoiled for it (spoiler offense #1, TUMBLR) and it was still horrifying to watch, like, to the point where, while watching it unfold, at one point I was like, "maybe I read wrong...she had the baby and now she looks OK and they're all happy and what a cute family!" and then NOPE I WAS JUST LULLED INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY because then she died and we had to watch it and it was horrible and that baby is a murderer.

It's no revelation to say that babies are bad omens on this show, at least this season. It's all over the internet. But damn, if I were any of the other women on the show and I got pregnant, I would be TERRIFIED. I mean, I'd be terrified IN GENERAL if I found out I was pregnant, but on Downton it's way worse. So far, a baby has killed a reputation (Ethel), a mother (Sybil), and ALL OUR FUTURE HOPES FOR HAPPINESS BECAUSE MARY'S DAMN BABY KILLED MATTHEW.


I knew it was coming, so I put off watching the finale for as long as possible. Joe kept asking me if I wanted to watch Downton Abbey and I was all, "IF I WATCH IT, MATTHEW WILL BE DEAD SO NO THANK YOU," and then Joe would just back away slowly. Then I watched it and it was terrible because they spent so much time talking about how Matthew was so great and he was everyone's savior and he was the only one who thought Mary was a nice person and he saved Downton from Lord Grantham's stupidity and was so excited about his stupid adorable baby and NOW HE'S DEAD. I mean, I understand that they really had very little choice but to kill him off, since Dan Stevens decided to leave the show (though I still think a situation where he'd always just left the room or was away on business or was locked in the W.C. would have been fun), but I hate that it ended that way. Mostly I'm just worried about the baby because can you imagine Mary being your mother? Yeesh.

I will say that I'm so way more into Edith now than I ever was before, like, I felt really bad when she was left at the altar (LITERALLY) but I'm loving that she's suddenly all CAREER WOMAN, in spite of her father's protesting. If they continue her Peggy Olsoning, and if she stays away from her editor with the crazy wife locked away in the asylum (Faux-chester), she might become my favorite character, aside from Professor McGonagall, of course, and maybe zombie Matthew, if Dan Stevens decides to ever return. It could totally work, zombie love interests being all the rage virus these days. Or just in that one book/movie, anyway. Never mind.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

brave like you

Most of the time, I don’t feel very brave. Not like other people. I hear of people who do things, like really DO things, and my first thought is never, “that sounds awesome, I want to do that sometime,” it’s always, “oh, I could never do that.”

It doesn’t matter what it is. Bungee jumping. Flying in a hot air balloon. Giving a speech in front of a huge crowd. My gut reaction is just...that’s something other people do. Not me. Some people are brave, doers, leaders, but I just, well, am.

I suppose I’m brave in other ways. Smaller ways. And maybe those are just as important. But sometimes I feel like that the things I do that make me feel brave are just everyday occurrences for other people. Things like interviewing someone at work for the first time, or standing up in a company meeting to make an announcement, these things seem to come so easily to other people, people devoid of social anxiety or fear of public speaking, people who don't like or need to practice saying important things before they say them.

Small acts of bravery, though, sometimes that feels like enough. I stood up at my grandmother’s funeral once, walked to the front of the church, and read something I wrote, something completely personal, in front of an emotional crowd. That’s the first time I’ve ever read something I’ve written out loud to other people and not been focused on the words I wrote, or whether or not people will like them. I just wanted to share something about the person I loved who was no longer there.

I went with my parents and sister when Ripley was put to sleep. To this day, that’s the first and only time I’ve ever witnessed a death (excepting TV deaths, of course, but that’s obviously not the same). I dreaded this event, for obvious reasons, but also because I was terrified of seeing Ripley die. What would it look like? How would I react? How would my family react? I went, though. I felt like I had to. I had to be there for Ripley, for my family. 

Maybe that’s it, then. I have a hard time being brave for myself, but I manage to be brave if it’s for someone I love. Which is a nice thought. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but I like it. I wonder if this is true for everyone? It’s so hard to put yourself out there just for your own benefit. How often do we cheerlead our friends and family, believing that they can do anything, and yet we can’t do the same for ourselves? I know this isn’t any kind of revelation, but we need reminders that we can do things that we might not think we can do. Maybe I can learn how to fly a plane. Learn another language. Give a speech to hundreds of people. Or ten people, even. Baby steps.

We need to give ourselves more credit for small, daily acts of bravery. Not everyone is going to get the chance to save someone’s life or put out a fire or stop the zombie apocalypse (though I really hope someone can do that last one). The rest of us need to be happy with daily bravery. It’s just as valuable, really, if you add it up over time. So we should probably start keeping track, just in case we’re being graded.

Friday, February 15, 2013

sugar and spice and everything nice

This morning I had an eyelash in my eye and, though usually I can fish them out with my finger (GROSS), this one was proving to be difficult. So I took a tissue, rolled up one corner, and used that to grab the eyelash. It worked instantly and I wondered why I don't just do that right away any time I have anything in my eye which, for whatever reason, happens ALL THE TIME. My eye is a magnet for eyelashes and tiny pieces of fuzz and ONE TIME EVEN A BUG AHH YOU GUYS. But I hardly ever think of the tissue trick right away. Probably because I have to learn the same lesson at least 128 times before it sticks, but it could also be that I'm just kind of dumb, common-sense-wise.

The rolled-up-tissue trick is something I picked up from my grandma, and I think about that every time I use it. Whenever I was little and would get an eyelash in my eye, my grandma would come straight at me with a tissue and I'd cringe into the sofa, sure that it was going to hurt MUCH worse than the eyelash did, thank you, that eyelash can just live in my eye OK IT'S FINE. But it never hurt, really, and soon I'd be back to whatever I'd been doing, playing with My Little Pony or watching Punky Brewster or whatever the hell I did to fill my time when I was six. Gambling? Cigarettes? Alligator wrestling?

Much like now, I was a total whiny wuss when I was a kid, more than others, I imagine, though of course I can't really speak to that. I was a kid and kids have crap memories for that kind of thing. Though I do remember once falling down and scraping both of my knees to bloody messes and, when I went inside to tell my babysitter what had happened, she didn't believe me when I told her I hadn't cried. So maybe that tells you something. Something OTHER than the fact that my babysitter was an evil witch who used to make me drink cranberry juice every day (BARF) and always yelled at me for coloring outside the lines in my coloring books OR for coloring things unrealistic colors (like, I don't know, a purple duck).

I often wonder why I am the way I am, or why you are the way you are, or why ANYONE is they way they are. Are we born this way or are we made this way, molded into a whole person over the course of many years? Sure, it goes back to that whole nature-vs-nurture thing, and I'm sure it's a combination of both, but can't there be a more magical answer? Can't we be mixed together from birth, a concoction of thoughts and feelings and fate and WHAT-WILL-I-BE-que-sera-sera goodness? I know that's ridiculous but it's much more fun than just saying someone is a product of the environment. I mean, do I like to read because my parents provided me with all the books I asked for, or is it because the Fairy of Learned Books sprinkled fairy dust (made from bits of first drafts, forgotten ideas, and MAGIC obviously) on my head when I was born? Come on, which would you rather believe?

At the same time, I can't ignore the things I've picked up over the years from my family. Not that I'd want to. And not just the important things, either, like how to be a good person or how to get eyelashes out of your eye quickly and painlessly, but other things like the correct way to make a bed or that you should put potato chips on sandwiches. True, these things are easily Google-able now, but I like that I've learned them from watching others.

My mom is job-searching right now, which is a soul-sucking thing to have to do, as everyone knows. Yet she remains so positive about everything and doesn't give up, even after setbacks, which makes me wonder why I'm so prone to quitting things. I certainly didn't get it from either of my parents. Was I born this way? Did some jerk Laziness Fairy get to me when I was a baby? I can only imagine it was this magical fairy, this merry trickster, who whispered in my ear each night as I was sleeping that I should give up when things get too hard, to take the easy way out, to most definitely spend the majority of my time watching reruns of my favorite TV shows instead of doing anything productive. Which is a total asshole move, really, but it shouldn't be too hard to turn it around. Not now that I know about it. Still. If anyone has the Productivity Fairy's number, can you send it my way?

Monday, February 04, 2013

joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea

Saturday morning (and, OK, early afternoon), Joe and I were catching up on our stories (The Office, Archer, etc) and in the middle of my grousing about Brian the Boom Mike Guy, I declared that we should go on an adventure. Not an outdoor adventure, mind you, because it's been below freezing pretty much every day for the past million and a half years, and I couldn't think of any outdoor activities that wouldn't involve me whining a lot or one or both of us losing a body part to frostbite. I did some quiet Googling and thinking (it was hard, you guys) and decided that we should definitely go to Newport Aquarium, which I was PRETTY sure was all or mostly indoors. I didn't verify this before I bought tickets, though. I just bought them. BECAUSE PLANNING IS FOR LOSERS.

[Note: This is so untrue. I plan things like crazy. I plan them so much that it annoys even ME and so one of my goals is to be more spontaneous and not worry if, say, we get to an aquarium and it turns out to be all outdoors and it's 20 degrees and snowing CARPE DIEM SEIZE THE DAY THANK YOU MR KEATING.]

My gamble paid off, luckily, because we only had to be outdoors during the walk from the parking garage to the aquarium. And, I don't know, maybe during the warmer months, they have stuff going on outside (dolphins? manatees? SHAMU?) but just the inside was fine, really. There were, like, probably at least 100 fish inside. MAYBE EVEN 200.

I'm kidding. I'm sure there were more than that. Unfortunately, it seemed like there were as many children running around as there were fish in tanks. I wouldn't have minded the kids so much if they were in tanks, too (ZING!), but really the majority of the children were either well-behaved and/or adorably excited, which I couldn't fault them for BECAUSE OMG PENGUINS OMG SEA TURTLE OMG GIANT ALLIGAAAAATOOOOOOOOOR AHHHHHHHHHHH!! If anything, I was mad because these excitable children were all up in my business while I was trying to get my face as close to the glass without either A) smearing it or B) scaring the fish.

While we were there, not only did I get to watch penguins frolic for half an hour, but I also had the opportunity to A) scare a small child who I thought was lost by asking him if he knew where his mom was and B) bond with with another kid over spider crabs. This is a spider crab and, even if you're not Ron Weasley, I think you'll agree that it's the creepiest fucking things you've ever seen:

Oh my god! Expecto patronum EXPECTO PATRONUM!
On the way home, we stopped and had dinner with Joe's brother and sister-in-law and our adorable nephews, which was the perfect way to end our adventure, mostly because there were no spider crabs at their house.

Joe and I tend to be hermit-like (LIKE HERMIT CRABS) most of the time, though Joe is slightly more prone to leaving the house than I am. I consider sitting at home in my pajamas and not talking to anyone to be one of the most enjoyable things a person can do, but sometimes I have to make myself put on pants and leave the house like a normal person might, if only so I don't turn into Nell. And anyway, I made up for all my pants-wearing on Saturday by sitting in pajamas all day Sunday, binging on TV and junk food while I waited for the Super Bowl Puppy Bowl to start. AMERICA!

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Friday, February 01, 2013

Liz Lemon! You booger face!

Friday (TV) confessions because WHY NOT:

1. I was pretty hysterical during the end of 30 Rock last night. Like, laughing and crying at the same time. A laugh-cry noise is really weird, btw. I honestly didn't know I was still that attached to the show, having watched only sporadically last season, but this last season was great and YOU GUYS I JUST LOVE THEM ALL SO MUCH.

2. Speaking of 30 Rock, remember the nightcheese? Of course you do. For a really long time, I didn't know about the song "Night Moves" and thought Liz Lemon was just singing a happy song about cheese. WHAT OF IT.

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3. I've watched the most recent episode of The New Girl three times this week. So far. I might watch it some more, who knows? I don't remember being this excited about two fictional characters making out since Pam and Jim but there's a slight difference, because I don't really care if Nick and Jess get together but, at the time of all the Pam and Jim shenanigans, I felt like my whole identity was tied into whether Pam and Jim got together. I'm sure this was in no small part due to me having a crush on a friend which led me to be all, "Well, if Pam and Jim ever get together and it doesn't ruin their friendship, then I can probably make out with my friend and it'll all work out, too." And things DID work out eventually, just not with that guy, and THAT'S WHAT IS AWESOME ABOUT LIFE YOU GUYS YOU JUST NEVER KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN.

4. Ahem. Speaking of The Office, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH BRIAN THE BOOM MIKE GUY? WHY ARE THEY MAKING JIM THE WORST? WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS IN THE LAST SEASON? IT IS GIVING ME HURTY-TUMMY FEELINGS. To be honest, I haven't really given any fucks about Jim and Pam since, well, probably since they had a baby (sorry, Cece) and then another baby (sorry...other baby), but I guess all it took for my fucks to return was the threat of a hot, bearded, boom mike operator. GO AWAY BRIAN EVEN THOUGH I DO FIND YOU VERY HANDSOME AND HOPE YOU GET A JOB ON ANOTHER SHOW SOMETIME OK BYE.

5. Last night, I had a dream about Community, probably because I'm so excited about it coming back next week (!!!) and it was like an actual episode, with a plot and all the characters and everything, and they were all writing a play about Pilgrims or the Civil War or some old historical shit like that and Jeff forgot to put any women characters in the play, so Annie was playing, like, a bear and she and Britta were yelling at Jeff about feminism, all while Annie was wearing a bear costume, and then later Annie (minus bear costume) and Jeff were about to make out but Dean Pelton ran in the room and interrupted them and THAT IS NOT COOL, DEAN, GO AWAY. Oh, so remember when I said I haven't been excited about two characters making out since Pam and Jim? Well, I sort of take that back because I really want Jeff and Annie to make out, like, all the time and not just in parallel timeline circumstances. Anyway, I guess my brain is just writing Community fanfic in my dreams now again, which is cool. Cool cool cool.

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