Tuesday, August 31, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog. A Question That Is.

In recent days I have referred several people to things I have written about on this blog. I always feel a little weird about it. Part of it is just goofy stuff, but a lot of it is very personal. It should be. A blog is basically a better-developed series of Doogie Howser endings, right? I tend to be a little too open about myself anyway, and it doesn't seem odd to me to write love letters to Lost or contemplate the nature of love gone wrong. But then I wonder -- does it make sense to other people? Am I opening myself up to odd criticisms that I will never hear but will always be in the head of readers who wonder what the hell is the matter with me? It seems to me that your own personal blog should be the one place where internal edit is off. You say what you wish. If people aren't interested, or if they find themselves disturbed by what they find, then clearly they have the option of clicking away.

Life is rough, and I often don't know what to do about it. Blogging is a form of catharsis, I guess. I get it out, I don't publish the heaviest of the things, and then I find some cute picture of a koala saying "fuck you" and call it a day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Disclaimer Note.

The majority of today's posts were found in a folder where I'd simply stored things. I have no citations or referring links. I apologize for this, as it really bothers me to use something that doesn't belong to me and offer no proper gratitude. So, if any of these are yours, please feel free to send a message and I'll give your proper credit. I thank you all for your original posts, or for continuing to share posts found elsewhere. Often times, these posts are what make a day a happy one for me, and I appreciate your sense of humor and time.

I May Not Be Green With Ragged Clothing, But I Think I May Be the Hulk, Just the Same.

I Guess This Explains Why It's Such a Prevalent Part of My Vocabulary.

Maybe You Should Go And Think About What It Is You Did.

Things That Made Me Laugh.

The Internet Was Designed Largely to Make Me Laugh.

A lot of Images That Made Me Laugh, Except for the Stars One, That One Just Made Me Think.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Busy, Busy Grapevine.

In college, a small little clique-within-a-clique started that we referred to as "The Grapevine Supper Club." It was a group of boozy boys and catty girls, and there was always something going on that warranted closer inspection and scrutiny. It's remarkable how gossip, which I suppose I must finally admit I engage in, spreads and how very fast it moves.

As an adult in the teaching profession, I assumed people would very much mind their business. I was terribly wrong. Always the last to find out about things, I discovered I was one of the very few people minding my own. Tending to other people's was the course de jour. When I lost my job, I intended to keep it very quiet. I told only four people and intended to keep it that way until the close of school for the summer was afoot. Within three hours, people I hadn't talked to in years were coming by to tell me how sorry they were for me. I don't know if I was more pissed off or stunned and intrigued with how the grapevine works. Yesterday, a colleague experienced the breaking of her final straw and left in a quasi-blaze of glory. Not quite "Grab Two Beers and Slide," but "retiring" on the first day of school does not happen with regularity. I spoke with her directly and so I knew fairly early on. Last night, my cell phone, email and facebook were on fire. Never saw so many "OMG!s" delivered to my inbox in all my life.

People are just bored by their own lives. Anything out of the norm entertains us, and there's some special delight in being able to be the first to let someone else know. I'm the guilty gossip, I suppose. I do my very best not to spread it at all. When I know something about someone, I keep it to myself. I positively do not believe in letting out things about someone's private lives to others. And yet, I do enjoy hearing tales from others... It's all very train-wreck for me. A very strange feeling to be completely drawn to and repulsed by something at the same time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What To Do When Nobody Loves You Anymore -- Instant Affection!

This is What "Adorable" Is.

Mr. Show's Homage to Sid & Marty Kroftt

I don't know if you can even count this as parody. It's so spot-on, it may just be a genuine lost episode.

Twin Beaks - An Homage.

My mother had a love/hate relationship with Twin Peaks. In the days before we owned a recording device, I asked her to watch so she could tell me what had happened. When I got home, I found her watching Beverly Hills, 90210 instead. She told me, "I don't know what to tell you. There was a crazy killing and then suddenly there was a white horse standing in the middle of the living room. I gave up." However, she at least appreciated my adoration of the show. At the time it was on, my niece was about two years old. She had just taken to watching Sesame Street. One afternoon when I got home from high school, she had this recorded and waiting for me (Christmas gave me what I wanted that year, a VCR!). An awesome homage!

"Albert's Path is a Strange and Difficult One."

This was always one of my favorite moments from Twin Peaks. Looks like Chris over at Cynical-C has been feeling a little nostalgic as late, too. Thanks, Chris!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Nostalgia in the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.

Summer insomnia will make a person seek out all sorts of media they may usually ignore. I've spent a lot of hours this summer listening to old records, actually watching things I own on DVD, and reading those books that have accumulated for "someday." Last night was no exception. A trip to Half Price Books was a winner yesterday, making me the proud owner of Seasons 1 and 2 of Facts of Life.

I loved this show when it originally aired, watching it all the way from the Molly Ringwald days to the Over Our Heads/George Clooney/Mackenzie Astin days. The girls were thin, not so thin, totally un-thin, back to not so thin. It wasn't a life-changing show, really. When compared to some of the brilliant teen shows that have existed since (ie Freaks and Geeks, My So Called Life, The OC, Skins, The In-Betweeners, The Wonder Years), it pales so as to almost be invisible. Oh, but it had its moments. Who can forget Blair trying to convince Tootie that a bong was designed to hold jelly beans, Tootie becoming a major sex symbol model at age 12 but refusing to "make love to the camera," embarrassment replaced by Blair's pride in Cousin Jerri who had MS, Jo shoplifting Mrs. Garrett a Hawaiian shirt for her birthday, Natalie being sexually assaulted while dressed as Charlie Chaplin (or was it Abbott and/or Costello?), or Blair losing all of her self-esteem when dating a verbally abusive boyfriend? Yes, life lessons were taught in a single half-hour episode (unless, of course, it was a "very special episode" that was done in more than one part, or the girls were on some sort of holiday and they had their own two hour special tv movie), and they usually had to be hammered in by Edna Garrett's extremely loud and screechy dulcet tones. Subtlety was not its strong suit. I was precisely the right age for Facts of Life. When it first started I was five, and while that was a tad young,(I remember an early episode about Sex Education where my mother made me turn it off) it did allow me to grow with the show. I still cared when it finally ended nine years later. (Well, kind of cared. I'd actually stopped watching it a few years before, but it was still on my radar.)

So, last night I watched a few of the very early episodes, saving my very favorite, "Dope," for last. It made me nostalgic as hell. It made me long for my youth, undoubtedly, but it also made me long for a friend that I've lost touch with. One of the dearest friends I ever had, Jeremy, and I used to LOOOOVE Facts of Life. We would pretend to be Edna and Blair, reciting the cheesiest of lines for entertainment. We loved it more in our late adolescence than we'd loved it at the time it was first on. We'd catch it in re-runs, and there were certain episodes that were just so good we remembered. It felt almost wrong to be watching the show without him beside me on the couch. His ghost was certainly present, though. Almost palpable. Life just sort of happens, and we lose touch with one another. One life goes in one direction, another goes someplace entirely different. I miss him, obviously. I don't really have a good way to reconnect with him, so I take a wistful "c'est la vie" attitude about my nostalgia. Edna didn't have to screech this one out to me, though. This one was a fact of life I learned all on my own.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"That is One Nutty Hospital."

Watching Tootsie. I have such a soft spot for this film. Everyone in it is just so good. We're in an odd generation right now, in terms of actors. There are, of course, some amazing ones out there, but your typical film doesn't have an entire cast of outstanding, natural actors. I don't know who this generation's primary talents are, for certain. But in 1982, when this film was released, it had a lot of star power and a lot of talent. In one film, you had Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray, Teri Garr, Jessica Lange, Dabney Coleman, Sydney Pollack, and Charles Durning. Each is as great as the other, and the entire film -- a piece of fluff, really -- is a work of beauty.

For those unenlightened, the premise of the film: Michael Dorsey (Hoffman)is an unemployed actor. He's dedicated to his craft and determined to always do as he believes it should be done. No one is willing to work with him. He gets a chance at a soap acting gig, but it must be as his created alter-ego, Dorothy Michaels.(At one point he informs his best friend, "I don't believe in Hell. I believe in unemployment, but I don't believe in Hell.") He becomes a national sensation, but keeping the secret is maddening. Only his best friend, Jeff, knows the truth. He can't tell his friend Sandy because she tried out for the part and didn't get it. To keep her off the trail, he sleeps with her, creating a tense situation where she repeatedly gets hurt. Hoffman befriends a co-star, Julie (Lange), and ultimately falls in love with her. Julie is dating Ron (Coleman), who treats her poorly. Julie's father meets and falls in love with Dorothy, never knowing that Dorothy is really Michael. What Michael did simply to work takes over his entire life, and he has no idea what he's doing or how to get out of it and return to what his life was, or what it should be.

It could've been Le Cage Aux Falles, a huge broad farce. Instead, there's lots of subtlety to it. Okay, fine, there is a scene with Hoffman marching in place in front of flag in a sequined dress. But there are also lots of statements being made about gender inequality, about power and living life truthfully, about the lengths someone will go to in order to pursue their craft and support art, about the forms that love takes. You have Sandy in love with Michael, not because she wants to be necessarily, but because sex with a friend was supposed to lead there, even when it was clear it wasn't right. There is Van Horn in love with Dorothy, because she's the only one who ever openly rejected him as a Lothario. Les loves Dorothy because he sees in her a real companion -- someone whose company he genuinely enjoys and who fills the void left by his deceased wife. Ron loves everyone, but treats them all like hell. He tells Dorothy at one point, "You don't like me. There's very few women I can't make like me... I seduce a woman. She starts acting like I promised her something, then I start acting like I promised her something, and before you know it, I'm the one that's exploited." He has no idea that he's a complete ass who uses the women in his life, hurting them all. The reason for Michael's whole charade, of course, is his love of his best friend Jeff and the desire to help him put on a play he's poured his soul into. There is the beautiful friendship that develops between Dorothy and Julie, one full of love and mutual respect. And of course, the most important love story of all of them, the one between Michael and Julie. Michael sees his prophetic words develop and is smart enough to listen to them: "I think Dorothy is smarter than me." She is. She has created a relationship with Julie based on ideas, on encouragement, on all the important fronts that best friends need. From this, love grows. The song of the movie, "It Might Be You," ponders the questions of where real love could be found. "If I found the place, would I recognize the face?" There's so much growth for the characters in this film. Michael grows up. He realizes that he loves a woman, not only based on his sexual desire for her, but because of who she is.

It's a film about big, bold lies. These big, bold lies provide a canvas upon which truth is displayed. Only by pretending to be a woman does Michael come to understand them. The women in the film seem to only come to see who they are, or who they are capable of being, by learning from a man what it is female empowerment is all about.

It's no wonder that I return to this film time and again. It's goofy, and by turns quite serious. It's all about loving who you are, what you do, and those around you. What's not to love about this film?

This Graphic Makes it Appear That the Chipotle Ad Team Has Discovered My Feelings for Paul Rudd.


image found at Sober in a Nightclub

Further Proof of My Personal OCD.

image courtesy of Sober in a Nightclub

Though, I do think there really ought to be a comma prior to "thank you." Just a thought.

How Did I Miss This Great American Hero?

Wow. To paraphrase Airplane!, I picked the wrong week to stop paying attention to media. Somehow I missed the entire Steven Slater story. And what a story it is! My mom asked me if I'd been following the "airline story." She then proceeded to tell me the most kick-ass farewell-to-my-job story that I have ever heard. Beyond my, "That's fucking AWESOME!" response, I was left aptly in awe and speechless. Well done, sir. A tip of my hat to you.

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