Monthly Archives: February 2009

Ode to the Library

This is probably an unnecessary statement due to the name of this blog, but…I love the library.  It’s such a wonderful concept.  Books, magazines, CDs, DVDs all in one place.  I especially love the library now that I’ve moved to Queens.  Back in Massachusetts, in my hometown, the library was ruined by the menopausal women who worked there and by the possibility of running into someone terrifying.  Someone like…the home economics teacher who my older brother assaulted, or the guy who told me about my brother looking at porn in first period, or the other guy who told me he was taking the school bus to my house to buy drugs from my brother, or just running into my brother himself.  Just kidding.  He doesn’t go to the library.

But in Queens it’s different.  It’s also an adventure, but not one that will stir up nostalgia for my childhood.  Last time I went, for example, I was writing poetry on the second floor when a guy approached me holding a Bengali/English dictionary.  “Are you American?” he asked.  “Yes,” I said.  He asked me to pronounce “enthusiasm” with my American accent.  Then he explained that in Bangladesh he learned English, but it was British English.  And he said something about eggplant and okra, but I didn’t understand.  Then the library was closing, so we had to part ways, but he invited me to the Indian restaurant owned by his uncle where he works. 

At the library in my hometown you’d never get invited to an Indian restaurant.  You’d get slammed with a $30 fine for returning a copy of Angela’s Ashes that was (probably) damaged before you took it out.  Then you’d drive to the ATM, drive back to the library, and hand the heat flash of a woman two twenty dollar bills with tears streaming down your face because now you can’t afford to bail your brother out of jail.

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Eh, it’s Monday. You know how it goes.

Last week, Marilyn Monroe provided this quote on the Witty Women calendar: “If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.”

I agree wholeheartedly with this quote.  I really do.  Laughter is more likely to turn me into a man raper than all the AXE body spray on top of all the dresser drawers of all the high school boys in America. 

Anyway.  Can someone tell me how to prevent receiving this message on YouTube?

Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe’s Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player. Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe’s Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
 
I must have JavaScript turned off because I’ve installed the latest Flash player, like, twenty times.  All I want to do is watch Taylor Swift be the most adorable thing ever and it’s very frustrating to not be able to waste my evening doing so.  I could not care less about The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron, etc, but I am completely in love with Taylor Swift.  You know why?  She’s not one of those Disney Channel creations.  Ashley Tisdale’s got NOTHING on this girl.  Taylor Swift wrote every song on her debut album and it went triple platinum.  That’s nuts.  That’s like telling Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, and the rest of those country boys to suck it.
 
Anyway, I could say more, but I plan to bake a broccoli quiche this evening and I’m lacking a pie crust.   
 
This kind of ruins my appetite, though.

This kind of ruins my appetite, though.

 
 

Valentine’s Day 2009: Confessions of a chocolate-eating, hulu-watching recluse

Suddenly I find myself overwhelmed, filled with things to discuss about tomorrow’s “holiday.”  When I was in elementary school I decided to make my own valentines for my classmates, only it ended up being really time-consuming and hard, so I didn’t make enough and then I got in trouble.  Alas, I’ve always been mediocre.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to talk about.  Actually, I wanted to talk about Marlene Dietrich, the Golden Age screen vixen.  Remember the beyond mediocre Witty Women daily calendar?  Well, today’s quote comes from her.  The first film I saw her in was 1932’s Blonde Venus.  I wasn’t planning on tracking down the clip, but it’s just so offensive and ridiculous that you kind of have to see it for yourself (especially the 2:30 mark).

But you can’t blame Marlene.  (Don’t you love that name?  The woman who trained me at McDonald’s had that name and she was mean and sexy with a Polish accent and she made me cry.)  Over the summer when I was interning at the Library of Congress I worked with a collection related to the Golden Age and part of the collection was a silver cigarette case that Marlene gave as a gift–it was inscribed with her signature.  It was pretty cool and that’s what Marlene means to me.  So here’s the quote:

It’s the friends that you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.

This quote doesn’t really apply to me…I’m usually still puttering around, wide awake at 4 a.m., but that’s good because it means that anyone can call me at that hour.  Therefore, I matter.  (It’s important for everyone to realize this with tomorrow being Valentine’s and everything.)  

While puttering around last night, I found myself on hulu.  Does anyone else do this?  You rent stuff from the library or the video store, but then you just queue up last night’s Conan or Moonstruck even though a Cher/Nicholas Cage romance doesn’t really do it for you.  So that was me.  I started watching Go.  I had just about come to terms with reuniting with Dawson’s Creek era Katie Holmes when an AXE commercial ruined everything.  I don’t know why I let myself get so distracted by bizarre advertisements.  AXE has been putting out sexist ads for years.  Shouldn’t be a surprise anymore.

It’s been on YouTube since September, but last night was the first time I saw it:

Mainly, I guess I’m just confused.  Yeah, women like chocolate.  But…I feel like I’d just get nauseated if my date reeked of it.  I’d rather receive some actual chocolate.  And enjoy the natural odor of my date.   But then again, I’m listening to my Celine Dion/Bryan Adams/Chicago station on Pandora and reclining on a camping cot in my living room, so what kind of authority am I?

Lastly, while I was watching Ellen yesterday (you’d think I have stay-at-home mom ambitions or something), Steve Harvey presented a theory from his new book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.  He said that employees at Ford Motors don’t receive benefits until they’ve put in 90 days, so women should likewise refrain from sleeping with men for at least 90 days into the relationship.  Wait before giving away “the greatest benefit of all.”  Don’t you find it funny?  You’ve got Steve Harvey putting that out there, and then you’ve got AXE commercials with girls raping a man made of chocolate.  These mixed messages!  No wonder I just hide out in my apartment watching romantic dramedies from the 80s.

The Things We Do For Love

Oh snap!

Oh snap!

Imagine one of these billboards placed in, say, Effingham, Illinois right next to the world’s biggest:

I saw multiple giant crosses while driving from Massachusetts to Arizona a couple years ago, and the sight never got less alarming.  It’s like…highway, highway, tractor trailer truck, highway, blinding sun, and BAM! GIANT CROSS!  My friend and I had this game going.  First person to see a cactus was entitled to a free beer.  First person to see a free range buffalo: beer.  His ideas were all things from nature, while mine were things like, first person to see a giant, tacky thing on top of a building:

It’s a great game because no one really loses.  But yeah, had I realized that there was such an abundance of giant crosses in Middle America…that would have definitely been one of my road trip drinking game items. 

It’s funny because…that Darwin billboard was one of the first things I saw when I woke up this morning.  (I roll over, open up my phone, check my e-mail, lament that I’ve received no e-mails, and then I click on random links provided by my mobile browser.)  So I was like, WOW!  Religious people are gonna freak!  Then, my mom calls a little while ago and is like, “I found this poetry contest you WILL enter.”  (She means business.)  Then she adds, “If you want to.”  She goes on to explain that it’s sponsored by the Christian Poets Guild…  This so-called guild doesn’t seem to have a website, it just seems to advertise its poetry contests in small newspapers around the country, such as “The Eagle” out of Byron, TX, the “Hot Springs Village Voice” out of Arkansas, and my very own “Pennysaver” out of Western Massachusetts.   

So this is suspicious.  She’s suggested this contest to me before and I’ve always been like, “Yes, I’ll look into it,” when really I’m thinking, “Praise Darwin.”  …Then Mom tells me that I can enter online at freecontest.com.  Moms don’t tend to know these things, but a web address like that is highly questionable!  It’s usually smart to avoid any URL with “free” or “contest” in it, and this one has both.  If you’re brave enough to click the link, you’ll see that this contest in no way looks legit.  My mom was so excited about it, though, that I might risk having my identity stolen or being sold into sex trafficking just to make her happy…

What the Phoenix?!

My good, hilarious, and always in-the-know friend brought Joaquin Phoenix’s way crazy, way confusing Letterman appearance to my attention.  I can’t keep up with all these famous people fiascos!  I really didn’t believe the Joaquin retirement from acting story, but guess there’s no denying it now.  Just read that Casey Affleck is making a documentary about Joaquin’s crossover to hip-hop, which should also be way crazy. 

I don’t know–watching that interview made me really nervous.  At one point I thought Joaquin was going to stumble over to Paul Schaeffer and maim him with a drum stick or something (which, as terrible as it sounds, might improve the show a bit).

I dont even think Dave likes the guy all that much.

I don't even think Dave likes the guy all that much.

How will you celebrate Kim Jong-Il’s upcoming birthday?

The first thunderstorms of 2009 are slated to hit NYC tonight, and in the mean time, it’s 68 degrees.  Thunderstorms drive me wild–if I had taken the time to write 25 Things About Me on Facebook, that just may have been my #11.  They’re boisterous and rude and they don’t give a shit, which is usually the exact opposite of how I am, so maybe that’s why I find them so appealing. 

Bad weather captures the imagination.  Reminds us that the world is a romantic place.  The local news always treks over to the grocery store and the Home Depot to interview people who have the same thing to say every time–“I need a new shovel!”  “We’re stocking up on bread and milk!”  “I’m buying these jugs of water with my last bit of credit!”

No, really.  I’m washing my clothes right now and I’m pretty sure it’s the last time I’ll be using the laundromat versus just filling up the tub and stepping on my wardrobe while I shower.  They’re closing TWO hospitals in my area next month.  Which would outrage me if I had health insurance.  Instead I lucked out and happen to live with a Registered Nurse who also has a Psych degree for all my physical and emotional health needs. 

And on top of it all, Jennifer Figge is a liar.  Sometimes it seems like people over 50 are more effed up than their younger counterparts–Bernie Madoff, 70 years; Kim Jong-Il, 68 in 6 days!!;  Dick Cheney, 68; Donald Trump, 62; Road Runner of Looney Tunes fame?, 60 years.  Both Bernie Madoff and Donald Trump grew up in Queens, yet they’re so effed up they’re allowing two hospitals in their home borough to shut down.  Unbelievable.  Un-effin-believable.  Here’s a story for the local news: I plan to be non-effed up when I reach my golden years.  I plan to be a beacon of wisdom, embodying the awe of a winter thunderstorm, the practicality of a Home Depot shovel, and the comforting odor of clothes just pulled from the dryer.

Too bad he went and endorsed Huckabee…

There’s a commercial that I keep seeing for New York Sports Club.  I haven’t complained about it yet because I can’t find it online anywhere, so I’ll just break it down–

A man in his mid- to late 20s stands at his bedroom window and peers into a neighbor’s window where a woman of comparable age begins stripping for him.  She’s beautiful and stuff.  She wears red underwear.  And after she’s done doing her striptease she beckons for the man to reciprocate.  So he begins, but as soon as he takes his shirt off, she slams her blinds shut in absolute horror at his lack of tone and definition.

Offensive, right? I know I’m not the only one who’s tired of human beings being portrayed as shallow bastards. There’s nothing wrong with going to the gym to feel healthy, to feel better about your body–but don’t tell me to go to impress some judgmental exhibitionist next door.

There’s so much unecessary, harmful emphasis placed on the idea of perfecting body image and body performance.  A couple years ago I needed my wisdom teeth out and the oral surgeon’s office was littered with pamphlets about his other specialty–injecting Botox.  I still wish I had opted for a different person to do the procedure.  This Botox ad with Virginia Madsen makes me so depressed:

 It’s like…really? You watch Obama speak for an hour about the economic situation and as soon as you’re back to regular programming there are Diane Lane and Virginia Madsen selling unnecessary shit. It’s ridiculous. I can’t afford a sports club membership. Nor can I afford a caffeine-infused serum for the bags under my eyes.

All that said, I’m pretty sure the only relief is multiple viewings of Sidekicks, the uplifting and bizarre 1992 film in which Chuck Norris helps an asthmatic, daydreaming teenager become a martial arts champ.

Yeah, top of the Netflix queue.