Monday, April 18, 2011

Rom-Com v. Real Life

I'm sure it doesn't come as a shock to you that I really don't care for Romantic Comedies. I prefer serious movies--the darker the better, extra points for things like unhappy endings, deaths of children or lovers, brooding protagonists, and couples that don't end up together. Extra credit for subtitles, but only because the foreign films that make it to the U.S. are typically the cream of the crop in their native countries.

That said, I'll indulge in the occasional romp with a Rom Com. They can be funny after all, and sometimes it is nice to escape into a world where everyone's beautiful and the girl always gets the guy (or whatever). But honestly, people. The plots of these movies are absolutely ridiculous. So ridiculous that I'm going to tell you how each particular situation would end up in real life.

Say Anything
Guy falls head over heels for nerdy high school classmate the summer after graduation. It's the usual sweet little courtship: he walks her home from parties, teaches her how to drive stick shift. They have SEX. She tells her DAD. The whole thing is AWKWARD. She gives him a pen and then breaks up with him...she feels bad she's neglecting her dad. He does everything to win her back, including holding a boombox over his head under her window: in your eyes, the light the heat...
Movie outcome: After much persistence, nerdy girl FINALLY gives in and they go to England together.
Real life outcome: Guy never tries to get back with her. Broke up with him for her dad? That's just creepy.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
A spunky gal who writes a cheeky column for a popular women's magazine in  New York City (she's obviously wayyy above this job--having gotten her PHD or some shit in journalism from Columbia) must find a guy and drive him away in 10 days for her next article, aptly titled "How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days", to point out to women in her spunky, cheeky way everything they're doing wrong with men. She meets a RULLY hot guy who, of course, works for an advertising agency. He appears to be completely smitten while she turns on her undeniable wit and charm, and then she proceeds to torture him by acting completely insane (i.e. pretending to be vegetarian and accusing him of thinking she's fat in public, redecorating his apartment, making him miss the final seconds of the HUGE basketball game they attend by begging him to buy her a soda, making friends with his mom). Little does she know, he's been dared to woo her by his devious, pseudo-lesbian power chick co-workers in a contest to land a big diamond account for their ad agency. LAUGHTER and HILARITY ensue, until they both find out they've been tricking each other the whole time. Both are super pissed, though she would forgive him if opportunity knocked.
Movie outcome: Dude: "I don't care that you drove me nuts for almost two weeks, you are also crazy hot and we had sex at my parent's house in the shower. I love you. Let's be together forever."
Real life outcome: Dude:"Wow. You are bat shit crazy. Bye."

Two people have a chance encounter at a department store at Christmastime. They're super into each other and go out for ice cream. Then they meet by chance again and go ice skating. They're really into each other. But at the end of the night, the girl decides to test fate by believing if they are meant to be together, then fate will bring them back together. They write their phone numbers on random objects: a 5 dollar bill and a book, just to see if they might find them again.
Movie outcome: A complicated series of events take place, and miracle of miracles, they find each other again 7 years later and live happily ever after.
Real life outcome: They never see each other again. There are 6 billion people in the world people, COME ON. There are a million people alone in Manhattan. These two people lost their chances the second they thought a fucking 5 dollar bill with a phone number would make it back to one of them. Besides, most people use plastic anyway.

She's the Man
Girl LOVES SOCCER, but her school just cut the women's soccer program (hi, title IX? that would have solved this movie's problems from the get-go). She dresses up as her brother who, incidentally, is skipping his first year at boarding school to go be in a rock band in England, and tries out for the soccer team. She ends up falling for her RULLY HOT roommate who is also on the soccer team, but he can't tell that she's really a girl. Hilarity, including  a crotch-shot gag, ensues.
Movie outcome: RULLY HOT roommate decides he's in love with her back when it's unveiled that she's actually a girl and not a boy.
Real life outcome: RULLY HOT roommate is really, really weirded out and will probably need therapy for the rest of his life and become irrationally uber masculine for kind of feeling sexually attracted to his roommate who he thought was a guy but was actually a girl.

Sweet Home Alabama
Cute southern gal turned chic NYC fashion designer his proposed to by her super hot, super successful boyfriend: he takes her to Tiffany and lets he pick out whatever she wants. She, elated, says YES YES OOOOH YES!, but has to fly back to her hometown in Alabama 'cause she's got some MAJOR skeletons in her closet. Like, she's still legally married to her high school sweet heart--he's been returning the divorce papers unsigned for 7 years (side note: there has to be some legal stipulation that you can still get divorced with only one partie's signature, right?). Turns out, she still has some feelings for Mr. Wrong. WHO WILL SHE CHOOSE?
Movie outcome: Mr. Wrong ends up being Mr. Right, and they live happily ever after in the back woods of Alabama with their shotguns, hunting dogs, and civil war reenactments.
Real life outcome: Mr. Wrong and Southern Gal have already been divorced for 7 years at the plot's beginning. Southern Gal marries Mr. Right, then divorces him and collects a verrry pretty alimony for the next three decades. Score!

disclaimer: I actually really liked all of these movies. Except for Serendipity. That one really sucked.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

tom brady cried and i dont care

So there's this big hubbub about a special that is airing on ESPN tonight about the 2000 NFL draft, Tom Brady being chosen 199th overall, and what happened to the six quarterbacks that were drafted before arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. Because the rest of the country seems to hate the New England Patriots, all of their players, and everything they have accomplished and would love nothing more than to see the entire franchise burn to the ground, this has been the perfect fodder for PATRIOTS SUCK and other types of jealous hate talk. Let's be real here, ESPN knew they struck gold when they had Tom Brady on film getting all choked up over his draft day 10 years ago, and even if they had done 5 more takes where he DIDN'T cry, they were still going to show the crying video because of this shitstorm of attention they knew it would get.

But whatever, we're Boston fans, we can take it, right? Brady's our boy, our hero, and we love him no matter what, because (despite the last few disappointing season ends) he still loves the Patriots and will work as hard as he can to, hopefully, lead the squad to another Superbowl victory.

Well, that's what I thought. But apparently, lots of Boston fans think that Brady's a huge pussy too, just because he got a little verklempt when remembering the most difficult day of his life thus far. OK FINE. I realize that most other people have worse days EVERY DAY than what Tom Brady went through on the day he almost didn't get drafted by the NFL. And I realize that at the end of the video he says "and I thought, Oh thank God, I don't have to be an insurance salesman'" and that's a little callous; like, sorry bro, we can't all have your heavenly gifts and be insanely good looking and be married to the most beautiful woman on the planet and make astronomically unfair amounts of money, so I don't feel that bad for you because I sit in a cubicle all day drafting correspondence and playing with numbers I don't understand. But these are not sad tears that Tom is crying. If you watch carefully, these are the tears of a man who is, at the end of the day, grateful for what he's been given. These, people, are tears of HAPPINESS.

Allow me to explain.

Imagine you're Tom Brady 10 years ago. You're 22 years old, and something you've wanted as long as you can remember, something you have not only promised yourself to, but that also has been promised back to you in the forms of, in this case, being recruited and signed with a huge college football program, and then scouted and courted by various NFL teams. At first, years before, you think this might happen. As time goes on and more things happen that point directly in the path of your goal (i.e. getting scouted, etc) it gets clearer and clearer: this is going to happen....THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN!!! Because in a 22 year old's mind, one that has been conditioned to believe that if you work hard enough you can get what you want, doesn't see failure as an option. Then, in one night, televised, you're going to find out your fate. He was led to believe that he would be drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round. So they sit there and wait. Did anyone choose me? Did anyone choose me? Please choose me. Please CHOOSE ME. The rounds pass. Nearly 200 players are drafted. And more and more it looks like it's not going to happen. Something that you were told was probable now looks completely improbable. You realize: I'm not good enough. And you think, 'what am I going to do? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?' That must not be a fun thing. Not one bit.

Big deal, you say. He got chosen. He's a star. Get over it, stop crying, right?

I'm not so sure. See, I think that the cameras might have caught him at a vulnerable moment. He remembers feeling worthless. He remembers, perhaps, thinking that football had been his whole life, and what did he have if it wasn't football? (Think Boobie Miles from Friday Night Lights). He thinks, perhaps, about his parents, and because he's a (dare I say it?) sensitive soul, he feels the love bubbling up as he relays the fact that his parents were with him the whole way, and how much his parents mean to him. HELL. I DON'T KNOW. It's not like Brady's a close personal friend (though, Tom, I wouldn't mind it if we were...), but he chokes precisely at the part where he talks about taking a walk with his mom and dad around the block. That's probably a big memory for him, one of intense familial support. Perhaps this is a show of a man's love and respect and appreciation for, ultimately his parents and everything they had done for him. That night they probably let him know that, in the end, it would be OK if he didn't get drafted by the NFL, that his life would perhaps take a different course, and that they loved him very much. For someone on the brink of adulthood, the moment where you get what you've been working for or don't get what you've been working for is a pivotal one. Perhaps Tom's dad said something to him that he'll always carry with him, something that lifted him out of what was, up until that point, the most awful feeling he'd ever had. I get that.

But, regardless of what the real reason is, I respect those tears and I applaud them because they were not tears of a man who is pompous or inflated. They were not tears of a man who doesn't remember from whence he came, they were not tears of a man who doesn't love his family, and they were not tears of a man who was ungrateful. "The Patriots finally called," he said. They were tears of happiness and a salute to how far he's come.You want to call him a pussy? Fine. So be it. But don't say you wouldn't have the same emotional reaction if that were you up there. Who's to say you're not watching the ESPN special right now, getting choked up?

Maybe I'm too much of a chick and I've read far too deeply into the display of emotion. But I think that he's human. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. He's still the best quarterback in the NFL. Anyone that doesn't think so can suck it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

real inspirationtastical, YO

Guys, it's not news that we live in a world of quotes. Everyone, it seems, loves to talk about how much certain quotes inspire them. Then they list some wonderful, flowery stuff about taking things day by day, and being patient, and loving yourself and those around you. All good things, and all great words to live by. Quotes of the inspirational nature usually come from pretty typical, and pretty reliable, sources--mommas and poets and Jesus and anonymous and political leaders and, lest we forget, Mary Schmich (via Baz Luhrmann). All trustworthy sources.

I happen to be a sucker, too.

But something's missing from our usual canon of quote language. Everyone, it seems, has forgotten that the MOST IMPORTANT inspirational, heart stopping words to live by OBVIOUSLY come from RAP AND HIP HOP SONGS. These singers and songwriters really know WHAT UP, so to speak. They really know how to, ah, get jiggy wid it.

So, accordingly, I have compiled a list of words to live by, to take with you on that long journey we know to be life. (I know, I know. You wish you thought of this before me. I'm a genius, PURE GENIUS.)  I started with my list of 6,000 FAVORITE quotes, and narrowed it down to the following uber inspirational set of lyric quotes, which I will dispense into your reading eyes right...meow.

1. If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it. -Beyonce Knowles
If your man ain't puttin that icey on your finger, guuurl you better drop him fast. He just don't like you enough.

2. No, I don't want your number, no, I don't wanna give you mine, and no, I don't wanna meet you nowhere, no, I don't want none o' your time! NO, I DON'T WANT NO SCRUBS. -TLC
Don't EVER go slumming!

3. Blah, blah, blah. -Kesha
You don't have to listen to the HATERZ if you don't want to!

4. I'm hot 'cause I'm fly, you ain't 'cause you not. -Mims
Because everyone who is fly is, incidentally, also hot.

5. I keep a blue flag hanging out my backside, but only on the left side, yeah, that's the Crip side. -Snoop Dogg
Stay true to your 'hood, knowwhatimsayinnnn?

6. Superman ain't savin' shit. -Eminem
Yeah. He's not even real.

7. Fuck y'all, all y'all. Y'all don't like me? Blow me. -Dr. Dre
Who cares what anyone else thinks? You do you, I'll just continue to be awesome!

8. Yeahya! OOOOKay! Let's go! -Lil' Jon

9. Babay, I know that chu like me. You my future wifey. -Soulja Boy Tell'em
Make sure to leave some room for romanticle things, like pretending to kiss your boyfriend when you call him and he's out scoping other chicks having a guys night.

10. It must be yo ass, 'cause it ain't yo face. -Nelly
We all have to work our best asset.

What are YOUR rapper-words-to-live-by??? Skeet Skeet!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

let them eat cake

On Sunday, my roommate ran a half marathon. To celebrate, I baked her a cake. Nothing fancy, I have no pictures. It's just a Pillsbury Funfetti cake (oh yuhhh) with a center layer of chocolate frosting and an entire can of vanilla wrapping it in a sugary frosting hug. No big deal.

To date, my roommate (who, remember, ran the half marathon) has eaten one piece of the cake, and I have eaten about five.

I guess now would be an appropriate time to acknowledge the fact that it's only Tuesday. LAY OFF ME, I'M STARVING.

My love of cake I think has been a lifelong kind of affair. And I don't discriminate. From rich red velvet with heaps of cream cheese frosting sprinkled with just the right amount of walnuts right on down to angel's food with strawberries and cool whip, I love them all. Everything about cake is absolutely to die for: there's the drippy, sickly sweet cake batter, then the warm cake-in-the-oven smell that fills every corner of the house, then layering on the frosting and smoothing it and smoothing it and smoothing it again like you have fucking OCD, and then, and only then, cutting that perfect, perfect square piece. Did you just have an orgasm? I might have.

When I was first waitressing, I worked in a banquet hall. They called me the dessert kid because I happily skipped my employee dinner in favor of the leftover cookies, icecream, and, the motherlode, usually only enjoyed at weddings, yes, yes, yes, the pricey gourmet cake. Brides always want to have the BIGGEST cakes--they want their wedding to be the fanciest and prettiest--but it always ends up being way too much cake. Hunks of that soft yellow cake filled with fresh strawberries and covered in fluffy buttercream frosting used to come home with me in styrofoam to-go containers. And it was orgasmic cake. I ate so much it would give me a stomach ache from all the sugar, and then I would subsequently lapse into the happiest cake induced coma and dream of spongecake clouds in a whipped buttercream sky.

But back to my cake, you know, the one that I made my roommate for running the half marathon? It's sitting there on the stove, calling my name. It wants a home, and that home is my belly. (Did I just sound like Fat Bastard?) I thought about it all the way back to my apartment from work today. I caught myself actually smiling on the subway platform like a schoolgirl in love. I was thinking about that canned, goopy, but amazing vanilla frosting and from-a-box fluffy cake goodness making its way from the fork into my mouth. It was a mantra the whole way home. Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!

I guess it will be like this until the cake is gone. Lord knows I won't be making another one anytime soon. But know this: it has been a very long time since a man has made me quite as happy as cake has made me.

And also know this: if eating cake all day is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

disney crushes

Chances are, if you were anything like me growing up, you watched LOTS of Disney movies. Chances are, if you were anything like me, you had lots of big time CRUSHES on Disney boys. And I was hardcore about these guys, too. In my head, I was totally their love interest--they just hadn't met me yet. But I've been thinking about these crushes lately and what they say about how I choose men, and which men I'm interested in (which, I've proven, has always been those who, for one reason or another, are never interested back). Join me in my psychoanalysis of myself? I bet you never thought I'd ask.

The Beast
He was mean. He was controlling. He was, by all intents and purposes, beastly. And I loved him. Oooh yes Beast, Belle's been a brat! Yell at her some more! How dare she not come to dinner! And then, beneath that hard, gruff exterior, poor sap's nursing a broken heart. Be still my heart. Why do we all love The Beast so much? I mean, Celine Dion sings it beautifully: tale as old as time...But what tale, exactly, Celine? The one in which women are attracted to guys that are mean and make excuses for them--they are damaged souls just in need of a little tender lovin care (and a pretty face to look at)? The one in which women are kept locked away and then expected to not be angry about it? We're a sick, sick society. If anything, the love story of Beauty and the Beast  is one of twisted Stockholm Syndrome.

Huck Finn
Yes, I'm talking about Disney's 1995 depiction of Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer: Tom & Huck. And while Tom (aptly played by the Tiger Beat star, Jonathan Taylor Thomas) has his mischievous and cheeky cuteness, I was way more into the mysterious Huckleberry Finn. Did I love him because of his blond hair and boyish face? Maybe. Did I love him because he was manlier and bigger than Tom Sawyer, and he looks so cool eating that apple and living in a clearing in the woods? Perhaps. But I think I loved him more because he was a drifter without family, and perhaps a past of pain that I could console. Or we could just run away together, that would have worked out, too.

Peter Pan
I actually always felt a little sorry for Tinkerbell. She was loyal and steadfast, and loved Peter with her whole heart. And then this priss Wendy comes along and steals Tink's thunder! I always found Wendy to be pretty uptight and nervous about everything. Oh PETER, HELP me Peter! Oooo, I'm so helpless! Oh, Petey-pan, lose the ball-and-chain. I'll be your playmate forever! I won't get scared, I won't be afraid to get a little dirty and live in the woods. I think I dug Peter Pan's ripped up clothes and bare feet. Besides, he had it right, why would anyone want to grow up? Peter's a cool dude. Seems like he knows how to party, and is also down for a good rumble every now and again. Come to think of it, most guys I know now are kind of like Peter Pan. Hmm.

 Runners up included (but not limited to) John Smith (Pocahontas), Simba (The Lion King), Woody (Toy Story--don't ask) and Eric (The Little Mermaid). Each offer more of the same: gruff but stragely sensitive, wounded souls that needed my attention. Except for Prince Eric. He was just sexy. I think it was the hair. And the dimples.