Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Switch. A Review.

  This is a RomCom that has something most of them don't--grit. I really liked this movie.  And immediately after making that assessment I was concerned that I was about to start my period.  But I wasn't, so I must have actually like it.  Who'da thought?
     It had grit and heart, in the perfect amounts.  Jason Bateman is a delight as the neurotic lead man.  And damn it all, Jennifer Aniston is good.  Somehow she pulls off being beautiful and perfect without making me hate her.  Also, that damn kid.  I'm not a kid person, but the kid who plays the kid is adorable; melt all of your insides with a crooked head-tilt adorable.
     I remained skeptical about the plot point that Wally (Bateman) didn't remember the whole escapade of switching the sample.  It seemed like a lot for him to not remember and then to be able to piece together 7 years later.  At the same time, somehow Bateman made it work and it made the character someone to root for.  Had he maliciously destroyed the sample and replaced it with his own and then kept the secret for 7 years, he would have been a huge asshole with no redeeming qualities.  This is even more evident when watching the deleted scenes and the directors say "when it was more malicious, it took away his sympathy."
     It took place in New York City, and I'm partial to that.  Again, we learn in the DVD extras, they actually shot it in NYC and that added to its realness.  Everything was shot on location; it was all practical with real lighting and flags and subways.  It was lit darker than most comedies--there was more pointed, almost noir light, less soft light-the-shit-out-of-everything light.  The city's grit came through in the film, and the darkness under the comedy mixed with the grit of the city quite well. I got stuck o the detail that during a subway scene they show an interior of an A train, then an interior of the 2. But really, this is minor and I should let it go.  It's not impossible that they got on a A and switched to the 2.  Maybe they were on their way home from the Cloisters. Anyway--
     There was voice-over, of which I'm usually not a fan, however, it was used correctly.  And damn it, they got the show-not-tell bits right.  The audience knew what was happening because they were showing us, not because anyone was telling us.  The voice over was mostly as a bookend anyway, and since it was Jason Bateman's voice, it was a welcome tone.
     I mentioned its heart, and I think it came from Wally and Sebastian.  They didn't change for each other, and I think that's just great. Wally talked to Sebastian just as he would talk to anyone. He wasn't a douche to Sebastian, like a lot of adults are to kids.
    As I said in the beginning, it was a RomCom.  So sure, we're pretty sure these two are going to end up together. But good for everyone involved--it was at the end, where it belonged.  And Kassie's proposal acceptance was the best I've ever heard. There weren't a lot of surprises with the film.  I bet most people wouldn't like it.  It's small and nuanced but packaged as big and hilarious.  But that doesn't mean it wasn't worth watching.  It was a RomCom for a slightly more cynical audience, which is to say, me.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Tipping Point

     As I write this, it is 10 minutes after midnight.  This is the tipping point.  I can either go to bed now and start Monday at a normal society-instilled adult time.  Or I can stay up for the next 4-6 hours and turn my schedule on its head.  Oh, these are tough decisions.
     For the last couple of weeks, I've been trying to embrace the vicious cycle. Mary suggested it, and she was right. As long as I was awake for more hours than I was asleep, what did it matter when those hours are?  I don't have an internal alarm clock like some people. I don't wake up unless a loud noise or slap to the face forces me up.  I have figured out a way to harness this power and use it for good.
     So now I'm looking at the tipping point with quite the decision before me. Without the natural ability to wake up, I always run the risk of not getting up at a normal adult time no matter when I go to sleep. I'm not a morning person, or more accurately, a three-hours-after-I-wake-up person. It's always been this way; I'm embracing it, don't try to change it.  If I was ever on deadline for something, I would always stay up dreadfully late because not once would I ever be able to wake up early to finish whatever the project was.  Never.  Ever.
     The tipping point isn't about a deadline.  I'm not on deadline for anything, really. Sure, there's my life I need to go live, but that's not really what we're dealing with.  I'm dealing with how to maximize my time so I waste the least of it.  I'm dealing with it by watching Friends reruns and wafting about when to go to bed.  All the while i giant wet irony glove slaps me across the face.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Blame In On The Rain

     The guys who wrote and performed the song that Milli Vanili lip-synced had it right--we should blame it on the rain.  Everything that could possibly go wrong has one thing at its fault--the rain.  I had frightening dreams last night.  NPR is grating on me like nails across a chalk board.  I may be a little gassy.  It's all the rain's fault.
     I have a wonderful to-do list made out for the day, but all of the things that require going outside will get wet, and therefore are not being done well.  Sure, I need eggs and avocados, but I don't need wet eggs and avocados.
     Sometimes I appreciate a rainy day.  Sometimes it's a great day to stay in and read a book and watch a melancholy movie.  Other times it's just soggy.
    Also, this song is awful.  And the video is terrible.  It'll probably get stuck in your head.  You're welcome. Don't blame me though.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Things Are Awesome

     I said this today: "Imagine it--'The Riley and Nancy show'!"  But I said it like Maya Rudolf impersonating Oprah.  And then I laughed and laughed while Riley nodded in agreement.
     Riley and I had gone to see The Chris Gethard Show, a public access show done by local comic hero Chris Gethard.  Once the show was over we moseyed over to the bar for the after party.  We weren't really part of the entourage of the show, but we made our own fun.  We ordered a few pitchers of alcoholic water and a plate of chicken fingers.  There were two folks named Random Andrew and Random Jean; during their conversation, we provided their voices from afar.
     The star of the show, the aforementioned Chris Gethard, had ordered a sandwich of some kind.  He was sitting a table away, but not paying any attention to us.  Eventually it became clear that he was done with his sandwich.  We made it our mission to acquisition his half-eaten sandwich and cold fries.  After a few random hoots and hollers, I decided the best course of action was a note.
     I wrote "Chris, Can I have your sandwich?  Yes  No" and I put check boxes next to the yes and the no.  You know, it was your standard check-yes-or-no note.  We passed it over, a la middle school, and waited.  A few minutes later, we were in possession of Chris's sandwich.  It was a damn great  moment.  About 45 seconds after that, someone at Chris's table ordered a plate of waffle plates.  Another 2 minutes after that, and Riley and I were enjoying that plate of waffle fries.
     Chris Gethard was super nice when he left and said we had first dibs on all his future left-overs.  Boom.  A successful Wednesday night out.  The Riley and Nancy show!
      Also, check out the real star, The Chris Gethard Show.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chelsea Handler. Not a Review.

     I just finished reading Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang.  My review can be found here, on the Cannonball Read website.  To save you from too much reading, I did not care for the book.
     I am still fascinated by Chelsea Handler as a person, however.  As I stated in the review, she has three shows on television right now. I fully understand the concept of Chelsea Lately and her sitcom Are You There, Chelsea?  I do not understand the third show, After Lately, a reality-style sitcom, according to a quick Google search.  Actually, the Google search cleared quite a bit up for me.  I watched a few pieces of episodes and I did not know what was happening.  There was an odd mixture of fake and reality that was really unsettling.
     I have defended the comedy stylings of Chelsea Handler to friends in the past.  I enjoyed her first two books.  I enjoyed her brazen, out there, I-don't-give-a-fuck, fuck-em-if-they-can't-take-a-joke style.  I too am a fan of a casual practical joke.  As I listened to her stand-up, there was an undertone of intelligence.
     This is why I'm fascinated by her.  I feel like she panders.  But I don't think she wants to pander, I think she's forced into it.  I wonder what would happen if her show were on a different network and instead of bloggers as panelists and puppies as discussion topics, she had thoughtful yet funny panelists and polysyllabic responses to actual topics.  Maybe it would be a nice blend of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Rock Center. 
     I think she has more to offer.  I think she knows shit but she's not telling us, and I think she should.  I want to see her in a room with intelligent people.
     My jury is still out on Are You There, Chelsea?  I do think it's weird that Chelsea plays her sister and Laura Prepon plays Chelsea.  I don't think old people will understand that at all.  I also don't think the show's target audience is old people.  But I do think old people are who watches TV on TV.  That is a topic for another time, however.  I watched the first two episodes of the show; I laughed about three times.  The pilot was sloppy at best.  I enjoyed the roommate, Dee Dee.  My initial assessment of the problem is that the sister, Sloane, is the opposite of Chelsea and Chelsea has a really hard time playing so completely off-type.  Chelsea isn't playing Sloane--Chelsea is playing Chelsea playing Sloane.  There's a difference, and that difference kills the character.
     Since it currently plays next to Whitney,--so we know the caliber of show allowed on the air--Chelsea will surely get a season run and be allowed to find its legs.  I actually hope it gets out from under itself.  It could use Chelsea's actual intelligence and humor as the impetus for a solid character and let what I assume is her actual heart propel the stories.  If Chelsea doesn't pander for cheap laughs the way Chelsea does, it might work.        And all of this hypothesizing over who this woman might actually be is why I stay riveted.  She's like the burgeoning biceps starting to shape on my arms--I don't like what they look like now, and they can't lift much, but damn it, if they work hard enough, someday they'll be something really special.      

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


     I don't wake up early for Oscar nominations.  It's not that I don't care, it's that it's really early and I'm never nominated!  Also, the Oscars aren't known for recognizing comedies so it's always a little anti-climactic for me. I'm just as happy hearing about the noms hours after they happen, when people are already outraged by them.
    I've mentioned before, probably about a year ago, how stupid I think the original song category is.  I still think this.  This year, only two songs were nominated.  There's an article over on Slate that explains why.  Frankly, I think it makes sense.  I'm tired of crappy songs taking up so much of the attention that should be given to, well, things that aren't as crappy.
    One of the two songs that is nominated though, is from one of my favorite movies of the year.  Am I man, or am I a muppet?  The eternal question. It has a 50% chance of winning--pretty good odds.  Don't eff it up, Oscar voters.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tootsie. A Review.

     During the special features Dustin Hoffman admitted this was a comedy.  That was the first it had occurred to me.  I wanted to like Tootsie a great deal; it's a classic of sorts and I wanted to be in touch with a classic.  But gosh darn it if I'm not just a little too dim to find what was so uproarious about it.
     I imagine 30 years ago, seeing Dustin Hoffman in a dress was enough to make everyone laugh.  That must be it.  All of the laughs must have come from the very premise of a man in a dress.  OH!  Now I get it.  Man in dress = hilarity.  If I have learned anything in my years of studying comedy, it should have been that.
     Except I don't actually think that's what it was.  I do think that 30 years ago, Dustin Hoffman in a dress was funnier than it is today.  We've gotten over it a bit, so I'm over reacting a tad.  And really, there was more to Dustin Hoffman in a dress then say, the asshats from Work It.  Tootsie was at least some sort of social experiment.  Dustin Hoffman seemed to take the character of Dorothy Michaels very seriously.  He was very curious about life as a woman.  Sure, he did it so he could get work (his character, not him), but he did it well and then internalized it.
     My simple initial reaction was that I didn't care for it much.  Had I seen it 30 years ago I may have felt differently.  It is definitely a tale of the changing times; being a woman in the 80s, being a man in the 80s, getting along in the 80s.  It's interesting to watch how much has changed and how much has not changed.  Perhaps the circumstances have changed, but the feelings really don't.
     I'm struck by the scene(s) where Michael Dorsey, dressed as Dorothy Michaels, watches women being treated like shit as finally sees it.  He stands up for himself and the other women and becomes a role model for them.  At first I think "that's nice" and then I think "that's sad."  There is a piece of walk-a-mile-in-someone-else's-shoes to it.  There's also a piece of it-takes-a-man.  I suppose he sums it up nicely at the end with his speech about being a woman taught him to be a better man.  And I suppose if I was a little dumb and it was 1982, I'd think that was sweet.
     It was a comedy that wasn't really very funny.  It was a comedy because it's wasn't a drama.  It was a comedy that was 2-hours long.  It wasn't a bad movie, not by any means.  It was very well done; it was well acted, well written, and well lit.  I just didn't care for it very much.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Bit Serendipitous

I went on a search yesterday for this song:

And instead I found this song:

This morning I read that Etta James had passed. Unfortunately I laughed at the "Etta James is dead, at last" joke.*  I was a little ashamed. But moving on--I found it interesteing that I had actually spent the evening listening to her, unknowingly, in an attempt to find another song. I did end up making an entire playlist of songs titled "Coffee and Cigarettes" or "Cigarettes and Coffee." A few more samples:

I find it interesting that the Jimmy Eat World song references Otis Redding's Greatest Hits, of which one was "Cigarettes & Coffee," that song covered by Etta James.

Then there's this song (the video has an ad at its beginning-skip that shit) by Michelle Featherstone:


Those images, of course, from here:

If you haven't, I recommend checking out the film from 2003, Coffee and Cigarettes. Ah, a celebration of vices.

* courtesy of the ImprovAsylum Twitter feed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why Yesterday Was Terrible

     I missed Mary.
     I didn't use the internet yesterday, and it was awful.  It turns out, I love the internet.  I've heard a lot of people make cases for how technology and the internet is ruining society, but to them I say "what?  I wasn't listening to you, the internet is shiny."  But for serious, I say "Peshaw.  The internet is great."  Mary is on the internet.

Maybe You're Just Depressed!

     I think I've mentioned it before, but one of my favorite moments from The Ellen Show is in the episode where Catherine comes in upset about *something* and Dot (Cloris Leachman) leans over and says, in her cheeriest voice, "Maybe you're just depressed!"  It's a mantra I use actually.  I once wrote an essay using it as my lead-off.  I wanted to embed the clip here, but it took longer than 10-seconds to find, so I gave up.
     Yesterday, I thought maybe I was depressed.  I didn't want to do a damn thing.  The internet was on the fritz, and not just because of the SOPA and PIPA blackouts.  It was a router issue that I was too lazy to deal with.  And by deal with I mean unplug, count to 30, and plug back in.  So I checked my email on my phone, and then laid around all the live-long day.  I would start to drift off to sleep and I would hear Cloris Leachman say "Maybe you're just depressed!"  Then I would chuckle and it would all be OK.
      There is also a bit about button-eyes on muffins.  It's delightful.  I don't even remember what I was depressed about.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Love Betty White

     I've been a fan of Betty White since I was a wee one. I watched The Golden Girls when it first ran in the 80s, even though I didn't really understand a lot of it. I started to understand it more in its later years, as my brain developed. I even watched The Golden Palace, the short lived spin off that also starred Don Cheadle and failed miserably. The Golden Girls reruns got me through college (and grad school). I watched at least an hour of The Golden Girls every Sunday, and always earnestly. The Golden Girls marathons were like church for me. I really did (still do) love it. I love everything she does. I watch Hot In Cleveland, and I love that too.
     Today is Betty White's birthday. Happy Birthday, Betty! Last night, NBC put on a star-studded birthday celebration for her. I marked it on my calendar--I was not going to miss it. It did not disappoint. It opened with Amy Poehler and one of her classic speeches. She admitted to writing a fan letter to Betty 20 years ago, when she was 5. Ha! Good times. It probably goes without saying that Betty White is a comedy legend. She has had such a profound influence on everyone who has every been in the industry, and I don't think I'm using too much hyperbole there. Seth Myers made the joke that a lot of things have changed in TV since Betty White got her start--like now it exists. Funny, and true!
     Nobody else will ever be as good as Betty White, ever. I started to look up videos to embed to prove my point, but then I got distracted for about three hours just watching them. There is just so much! She's done everything! A master's class in Betty White would be completely appropriate. She started in radio. She starred in Life with Elizabeth. She had her own variety show (though short lived). She is, of course, a comedy legend in her own right, and has also worked with every comedy legend around. I realize I'm gushing, a lot, but really, I'm just so damn inspired by Betty White. She's been on TV for as long as TV has existed. And damn it, she just keeps going.
     I'm currently working my way through the entire The Mary Tyler Moore Show series, and she's great on that too. I wanted to share everything I thought was great about Betty White, but it's too much for this little blog to hold. Really, it's too much for the internet to hold, though it does make a valiant effort. She's always been ahead of her time, even though she's 90. She continues to evolve with us. Happy Birthday, Betty White, and thanks for inviting us all to your party.

From NBC's birthday special:

From Community:

From Hot In Cleveland:

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Drink For A Reason. A Review.

     David Cross is a comedian.  Eventually, successful comedians write books.

See the rest of the review here: http://cannonballread4.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/banannerpantss-cbr4-review-1-i-drink-for-a-reason-by-david-cross/

Dreams, I Have Them Too

     But my dreams are usually scary, not prolific.  My dreams aren't a call-to-arms for all people to band together and make things better.  Mine are usually pretty egocentric and surreal.  Also, my dreams are never cause for national holidays and days off work.
     Happy MLK day!  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Day

     You ever have one of those days?  Of course you have.  Everyone has had one of those days.  Today was a bit of one of those days for me.  Oh, what a day.
     I enjoy putting in a day of hard work, and I was able to at least do that. But it was one of those days in the way that of course you get a paper cut and then touch a lemon slice.  And of course things could have been worse--they can always be worse, right?--but that's not the point.  You're feeling just a little left of center and like you just can't catch a break.  If you need to train to be right on time, then of course some crazy person is going to get on followed by 6 police officers and cause a giant ruckus and delay the train.
     The cherry on top of the type of one of those days I was having was when I was walking down the street toward the subway.  A guy was trying to throw garbage away and apparently I was between him and the garbage can, so it hit me instead.  It's wasn't gross slimy garbage, and he apologized.  It was more shocking than anything else.  And then I started laughing because it was just so damn fitting.
     And then, because this is a thing that happens to me, I took off my shoes and socks when I got home and my toes were bloody.  That's just what one of my days happens to look like--crazy train guys, garbage throwing, and bloody toes.
You know, just one of those days.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lists and Repetition

     When I write, I write a lot of lists and I repeat myself a lot.  I write a lot of lists and I repeat myself a lot.  I get listy and repeaty.  The lists help make sure I'm not just taking the first idea; a list of ideas help flush the bad ones away and the let good ones float to the top.  Repeating myself helps me stay focused on the truth of the matter; saying something many times helps flesh out the character and the situation.
     I use these techniques differently for different formats.  When writing a sketch I use many more lists, and much more wildly.  If the nugget of the idea is hairy things, then I make a list of as many hairy things as possible.  Hopefully within that list, and in the process of making it, I come across the hairy thing that should really be the star of the sketch.  There are times the first thing on the list is the best, or the most fitting.  But why limit yourself to the first thing you think of?  The first thing I thought of just now when writing hairy things was a kiwi.  The second was gorilla balls and the third was mold.  Three very different sketches really.
     I use the repeaty technique more in longer form writing.  It didn't start off as a technique, it started off as an irritating habit where I couldn't remember what I had just written about a character or a situation.  But now I use it to maintain focus on the truth of the matter.  Sometimes characters get away from us.  Or we start to forget what the story is really about.  We get wrapped up in the fun we're having with characters, quirks, situations, wild settings, and all the robots.  I mean, of course we do, those are all fun things.  So in order to make sure I haven't had the kind of fun that completely ruins the story or character, I'll repeat myself a little bit.
     I'll think of the impetus of the story--what is the heart of what's going on--and I'll summarize it into a sentence or two.  In the middle of the ramblings at the start of my writing process, where I'm really having a lot of fun with the quirks and the robots, I'll repeat that sentence.  Does it still check out?  Is the heart of the matter still true even with all that fun?  Yes?  Great, I will keep at it. No?  Well, then, I need to think a moment.  In that case the fun may have gotten too muddy or the heart of the matter may have changed.  Then I can go in for readjustments.
     Really, it's just a simple check I use to make sure I'm staying, err, consistent with my characters, stories, etc.   It's not an end-all be-all.  And I realize that my terse description of it makes it sound like I'm not leaving room for change, or growth, blah blah.  But that's not it at all.  Sometimes the impetus of the story is "she just really wants to do the right thing."  That doesn't mean she doesn't do the wrong thing sometimes, but it does mean she probably doesn't knife people in alleys for tennis shoes or stick gum under desks.  And if she does start doing those things, I need to figure out why.  Maybe the why is the story and I should keep going. It's possible she knifed the guy for good reason.  That would also be a good place for a list--reasons for knifing a guy in an alley.
     It also means she's probably not a cat person, so if she ends up with a cat somewhere down the road, it's a clear inconsistency in her character.  If you want to do the right thing, you own a dog.  If you have a flagrant disregard for morality, you own ferrets and uncaged cockatiels. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


     My friend Megan had an orchid on her coffee table as a center piece.  It was nice, I guess, but it seemed like it was so much to take care of.  It could never just be there on the table, we always had to talk about it. It had a feeding cycle and a sun cycle and a replanting cycle and was probably going to start menstruating soon.  For a small plant, it really took over the space (of our relationship).
     I'm not really a plant person.  In fact, the last time I had a plant was when I was roommates with the aforementioned Megan.  We had moved into a small room in the basement of a shit-hole.  Someone, possibly one of our new roommates, brought us a plant as a welcoming present.  We oohed and aahed over it and hung it on our pretty picture window that was at ground level.  A few months later someone came to visit our room and made a comment about our sad, dead plant.  "What plant?" we unisoned.  Oh.  We forgot we had a plant.
     I didn't actually care too much at all about the dead plant.  I don't hate plants; they're fine for being outside and converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.  I'm just not really interested in raising them as my own.  It may be for some of the same reasons I don't see the appeal of children.  I assume the plants will be assholes as infant plants (plantlets) and then grow up to resent me even after all my unconditional love and resoiling. It's more than I'm willing to go through.
     The other thing about orchids is that is sounds a lot like orcas.  Orcas are whales.  Large killer whales that are huge and will kill you.  Orcas are a reminder of how primal and ferocious the real world can be.  There you are, just floating along on a small piece of lumber left from your shattered canoe.  You see in the distance a beautiful creature splashing and blow-holing about!  How majestic!  You drift out farther away from civilization, curious about the majestic creature's surely peaceful nature.  The sun blinds you for just a moment as the beautiful smooth ocean-bound mammal leaps into the air, completely free and wild.  You are envious.  This is life.  Then you are lunch.  This is death.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Know Shit

     You know, there is some shit that I know about.  And damn it, if you ask for my help on stuff, I'm gonna tell you about the shit.  And just because you didn't know I knew the shit, it doesn't make the shit less relevant.  Consider yourself lucky that you asked someone who knows so much shit for help.  Because not only do I know some shit, I'm pretty god-damn humble about it.  That's why you didn't know about all the shit I know--'cause I'm fucking humble.
     Also, it just so happens that I can remember a lot of shit too.  I happen to know the names of the three main cast members of The Big Bang Theory--Jim Parsons, Johnny Gilecki, Kaley Cuoco--even though I do not watch the show.  I can also remember specific things about The X-Files; I could still write a graduate-level thesis about the Mulder and Scully relationship and its importance to the show and the franchise.  My knowledge of these topics does not make me an idiot.
     But I digress.
     I'm just saying that I actually know shit and it's a real blow to my ego when people are so surprised by it.  This also falls under the realm of opinions on things.  Sometimes my opinion is right, so please just take a second and consider it.  For example, "maybe this character should behave more like a human" might actually have some relevance in your rewrites. I realize having a Master's degree in Film Production doesn't trump your penis, but maybe just for a second, listen to the words that are coming out of my mouth.  I think I'm pretty open minded while listening to your euphemisms for vagina--axe gash, thanks for that--so maybe you can extend me the same fucking courtesy.
     So maybe that's not so humble, but I just wanted to get that off my giant heaving chest. I know what the fuck I'm talking about. Digression over, and hidden because sometimes I think maybe I should say those things. And really, that's the big problem here isn't it? Because really, I should fucking say it all the time and much louder. "Stop writing your women so stupid and the reason you can't get women is because you are actually an asshole." Now that's a great piece of writing advice.      

Friday, January 6, 2012

Why I Won't Be A Parent. Part One.

     I think the idea of joyful children is a myth perpetuated by generations and generations for self preservation and comeuppance.   I overheard a conversation once that went like this: “yeah, but kids are great.”  “They really are.”  There was no supporting evidence.  Parents have to constantly justify what makes all the pain worth it.  It never seems worth it.  “Oh, when he runs at me when I come home and hugs me, that's when I know it’s worth it.”  That’s it?  That’s the damn moment that makes getting shit on, screamed at, swatted at, and innumerable more horrible thing by these tiny little assholes worth it?  A goddamn running hug by someone who’s probably just going to give you the flu anyway? 
     Kids are assholes and they always have been.  But we’re made to feel like awful people for thinking it—and especially for saying it.  They’re selfish little monsters.  There’s nothing we can do about it.  Parents convince their children to have children as payback.  That’s it.  There was not actually any joy involved in the raising of the child.  People say all the time that it’s the hardest thing in the world.  It’s the hardest thing in the world, but sometimes they come runnin’ to hug you, so it’s worth it!  Bullshit. 
     Stupid people keep having kids because sex feels good.  Smart people stop having kids because kids are assholes.  Stupid people have stupid assholes.  At least when smart people had smart assholes, smart assholes are usually good for something.  Stupid assholes are just good for having more stupid assholes and increasing CMTs market share.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What Was On My Mind Today

Gloves.  These gloves:
They might not looks like much, but they're wonderful.  And tragically, I lost of them sometime between last winter and all the moving.  I kept thinking I had found the lost one but it turns out it was the original.
     They're glittens, the greatest winter gear creation of the modern era.  They're like finger-less gloves, which are always cool, except they also have the mitten component to keep your fingers warm when you're not using them.  And these glittens take the thumbs into account.  I have another pair of glittens that cover up the thumb as though opposable thumbs are not the main evolutionary reason man rules the planet.  Come on!  I need to use my thumbs even when it's cold; these glittens understand that.
     Another feature that makes these glittens superior to other glittens is their magnets.  These use magnets to hold the mitten flap back while not in use.  Buttons and snaps are a pain to deal with--they fall off and wear out.  Magnets, however, never wear out.  You can put your mitten flap on and take it off as many times as you need; you can flap and upflap for eternity!
     I love these gloves.  When I realized one was lost, I went into a tragic downward spiral.  I refused to go outside if it was under 35degrees.  I couldn't even think of using a different pair of gloves.  I would tell strangers of my lost glove woes.  "How are you?" they ask obligatorily.  "I'm pretty upset about losing my left glitten."  They didn't keep up the small talk.
     I've been thinking about these glittens all day.  Finally, I decided to put an end to the lamenting and actually find the closest EMS and find the gloves.  Phew--they're indeed still available at my local Eastern Mountain Sports, and they can even put them on hold for me.  I shall be reunited with my gloves soon.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

M Go Blue, I Love You

     As I start to write this, the Sugar Bowl just ended about 20 minutes ago.  Man, that was a great game.  The term nail-biter gets thrown around a lot, but truly, I bit off most of my finger nails.  In case you're not aware, Michigan won 23-20 in OT.  It was a little bit of a sloppy game, I admit.  But the team won the game, and they deserved it.
     I'm not a crazy football fan, but I am a crazy Michigan fan.  It's a hard feeling to describe.  I feel about Michigan the way I imagine other people feel about their spouses or their children.  I've experienced deaths of family members that didn't churn my stomach as much as watching a Michigan interception.  I've also experienced some pretty awesome things that still couldn't hold a candle to the joy in my heart when Michigan wins bowl games and Denard Robinson leaps into the stands.
     It may sound like there's seriously something wrong with me; the thing is, I'm not the only one who feels this way--not by a long shot.  There was a good chance blood would start streaming from my roommate's ears every time the defense failed to stop a first down.  You've never heard "for fuck sake" screamed so many times in a three hour period as when the Michigan defense isn't doing their job.  We probably should have warned the neighbors before we moved in that apartment 5K would be getting loud every Saturday, and then really loud for any bowl games.
     I love when Denard Robinson runs into the stands at the end of a game.  It makes me so happy to see him so happy.  He runs and jumps up, and the fans grab him and pull him up into the stands and everyone celebrates together.  And that's a huge piece of this feeling, I think.  It's about all of us in this together.  We all feel like we're part of something that is bigger than just ourselves.  I also really like Brady Hoke's speeches at the end of games.  For him, it's always about the players and their heart.  He doesn't talk about what he's doing, he talks about what the players are doing.  Also, it looked like he was really happy to get the blue Gatorade shower at the end of the game.  And not just the "ha ha, very funny guys, I'll tolerate it because I'm on TV" reaction you get from most coaches.  It was the "awww, thanks.  I love you guys."  He gave a double thumbs up as the Gatorade came crashing down over him, and really let it soak him.  I, along with many other Michigan fans, really like Brady Hoke.
     It's not just Michigan football I love.  It's the whole damn lot of it--the football, the hockey, the solar car, James Earl Jones and Gilda Radner, the space program; the list goes on and on. Cheering for Michigan makes me feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself.  Wearing my Michigan sweatshirt and my Michigan class ring makes me feel that way too.    It's where I'm from; it's the place largely responsible for shaping me into the person I am.  It's also why I think college is so damn important.  And when I say college, I mean a real one, with the word University in its name and dorms on its campus.  Does that make me sound like an elitist asshole?  Good.  Because I earned being an elitist asshole.  (This is also my thinly veiled attempt at telling my 18-year-old niece to go to college.  Rachael--you too can be an elitist asshole!)
     Hail to the Victors.  It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine. Go Blue.  Thanks for a great season, team.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

So Much Football

     The Rose Bowl was on yesterday.  As was the Fiesta Bowl, the Gator Bowl, and several others with names I don't remember.  I watched more college football yesterday than I probably ever have.  I couldn't look away and I don't know why.
     I usually don't watch games in which U-M isn't playing, but I got sucked in.  It was the Rose Bowl after all, a New Year's Day tradition.  And even though it was the 2nd, what are you going to do?  The damn Rose Bowl is on and there are chicken wings available--you damn better watch it.  And really, it was a very interesting game. It was fun to watch.
     Now tonight is the game I actually do want to watch:  The Sugar Bowl!  Go Blue!  Or, as we're saying for this game, Geaux Blue!  (Because they're playing in New Orleans.)  Football games aren't usually appointment viewing for me, except for Michigan games.  The game (game coverage) starts at 8pm.  That's also the same time that the new Switched at Birth comes on. Ah, decisions.  Do me a favor and don't tell me what happens on Switched; I'll have to catch up later on Hulu or something.  Tonight I'm going to watch some football!

Monday, January 2, 2012

I don't feel any different.

     I don't resolve.  I gave it up years ago.  In fact, it may have been a resolution from a few years ago that actually stuck.  And even though I don't resolve, I still say 2012 will be my year!  I think I said 32 would be my year, so combining the 32 "it'll be my year" with the 2012 "it'll be my year" has really got to bring it home.
     Let's put all these new beginning behind us, and keep on keeping on.