Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Waxing Nonsensically and Unwhimsically About Masks Because it's Halloween or Something

I've always maintained that I am sorely lacking in star-power. Nothing about me translates into "fabulous". I know a lot of people who have it in abundance, who get showered with bursts of rose-petaled adoration by everyone from their family members to total strangers on the street, and I always watch them like a newly-hatched baby hawk. Slack-jawed. It's beautiful to contemplate, but so mysterious and incomprehensible that it might as well be quantum physics. As someone who has never made it past the first round in anything, who has plodded uninterestingly through life amongst the throngs of the profoundly ho-hum, I often find myself wondering what it's like to be so dazzling. A commander of attention. A winner of hearts. An earner of admiration. A brusher of luxurious, flowing hair. A breather through an adorable, button nose. The people who have these things aren't talking. It is the first rule of the Fabulous Code to swath oneself in silky, translucent modesty. I learned that when I was five and my best friend, Sarah, told me that my hair was prettier than hers. It wasn't true, of course--my flyaway, albino fuzz was practically dust compared to her lustrous handfuls of chestnut curls--but it was the first time I became conscious of the phenomenon, and even more conscious of the fact that I wasn't a part of it.

Honestly, it's not an affliction tragic enough to earn much sympathy. I think the main component is some kind of superhuman mental energy that I'm not even sure I'd have the strength to summon, let alone maintain. One time I watched the movie and Barbra Streisand said to Lauren Bacall, "What was it like to walk into a room and KNOW that you were the most beautiful woman in it?" and Lauren Bacall said, "It was...really nice." and I clutched my chest and went *gasp* and my eyes brimmed with tears.

And then I felt tragically stupid for the whole rest of the evening.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Spider John Koerner makes me want to marry Minnesota.

For a sleepy, snowy, non-newsworthy state, my homeland sure has produced an impressive little collection of adorably-accented people who have made my life worth living.

I got to see Spider John at a festival a couple of years ago, tucked away from the main stage in a less auspicious tent where 50 or so people sat on fold-out chairs or in the dirt. For me, he was THE stand-out in a three-day marathon of stand-outs.


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Thursday, 18 October 2007

Blessed are the weak plot lines.

Last night, I caught the last fifteen minutes of My Science Project on TV and, I have to

For one thing, I hadn't seen it (or even thought about it or even remembered that fragments of it existed in the cobwebbed annals of my memory) since about 1986. Secondly, it was really interesting to find out what happened to John Stockwell, who was everywhere in the 80's, and with whom I was, therefore, in love with by default. (According to IMDB, John Stockwell always wanted to direct.) You remember My Science Project, don't you? John Stockwell needs an A on his science project or he flunks the 12th grade? His best friend is the Italian stereotype guy? Dennis Hopper, in a wildly uproarious lapse of judgement, is the science teacher? So they go to a military junk yard and find a laser ball, the kind they sell at Spencer's? And they don’t know what the fuck it is? And they play around with it in amazement? And they figure out that it’s a time machine? And the crossroads of the space-time continuum localizes in their high school? And Dennis Hopper uses the time machine to go to Woodstock? So then they have to save the town? And John Stockwell uses his really fast car to outrun an electrical current? And then he falls in love with the nerdy girl? And in the end, he gets the A? It’s like, Weird Science minus Kelly LeBrock plus Fisher Stevens taking itself way too seriously.

It is tremendous.

It is late-night popsicle entertainment for the seasoned insomniac at it's fragrant best.

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Monday, 15 October 2007

Me and my magic man, kinda feelin' fine.

Uriah Heep and a particularly lucious week on Geekologie (the headline of this entry alone was enough to reduce me to a spasming pile of high-pitched, wheezy, inhaler-giggles) has made for the most pleasant Monday that I can remember in a while. It's all downhill from here, of course, but at least I can revel in my own, personal feel-good cache of opulent cheese for a few brief moments before succumbing to "Come on, your knees don't hurt that much, do they?" personal-trainer hell.

Whilst cleaning out the refrigerator this weekend, the OM and I were waxing lyrical about what makes the music of the not-born-yet(-or-just-too-little-to-care)bygone era so vastly superior to anything else in the history of the universe. We came up with a lot of things, but my favorite was the assertion that even the most cheesy, horrible, commercial, vulgar display of shallow musical trickery could still be rocked out to, and with minimal guilt.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Sick and tired. And bored.

I meant to work on The Screenplay today. I really did. I suppose taking an Alan Lomax book into the bathtub with me could qualify as research, but really, I could have accomplished so much more. Granted, it's only 4:30, but let's face it--there is laundry to be folded. Dinner to eat. The new episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm to watch. Nails to paint. Playlists to re-shuffle. All of that stuff takes time. Anal-retentive, painstaking time.

Every year, as soon as the temperature drops below 60F, every non-fatal malady on the British Isles makes a beeline for my immune system. While I appreciate the brief escape from the woes of every day life and the opportunity to pursue much more worthwhile projects (in theory), I can't stand being sick. I feel like it takes away too many options. No, I probably wouldn't have gone skydiving today anyway, but I'd like to think that, if the urge suddenly overtook me, I wouldn't be locked down by my body's steadfast commitment to overproducing phlegm. And, as much as every day life makes me crazy, it almost makes me crazier when I can't be a part of it. I'm just sure that the one day I miss will be the day something fabulous finally happens.

I have only this to say about daytime TV: I think public marriage proposals may have taken over from men spitting on the street as my number-one pet peeve. Who honestly believes that is a good idea? Who looks forwared to telling their children and grandchildren that one of their most personally significant moments took place on a JumboTron? Or in front of a hooting studio audience? And why do major television networks think it's a good idea to "surprise" people with a wedding ceremony? That really confuses me, because if ANYONE had come up to me and said, "You're getting married tomorrow! And here's the dress you'll be wearing! And here are your rings! And there will be a cake or something, don't worry! Just pretend the cameras aren't there!", I'd have had a brain hemorrhage. Yet, these women all wax glowingly rhapsodic about how they felt like princesses and couldn't have asked for a more perfect day and it was like a fairy tale and bleat bleat bleat. They're not even a little irritated about it? They're not experiencing even the tiniest shred of famewhore panic? I find that hard to believe.

Maybe the problem is that I don't really get weddings in general. I mean, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed mine. Once we got to the restaurant and I was able to take the heels off and have a shot of whiskey, of course.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Ya sure you betcha.

I've been flat on my back all day with a fever, totally entranced by a season 2 marathon of Who Do You Think You Are?. Who Do You Think You Are? is one of those shows that reinforces the BBC's reputation of creating television viewing experiences that are, truly, high-end kickass. Celebrities (most of whom, with the exceptions of Stephen Fry and my "distinguished gray" fantasy-crush Jeremy Paxman, I've never heard of) trace their genealogies back through several generations and find out who sympathized with the Nazi party or worked as a prostitute in Victorian London or what have you. It's absolutely riveting, and it has fed my already healthy genealogy fetish sufficiently enough to justify forking over for a membership on Bless techology.

Genealogy fetishes run in my family. There is a stunningly extensive photograph collection of stern-faced, pale, Scandinavian people scattered throughout my mother's house, including a beautiful portrait of Great Grandma Hilde as a teenager, before she immigrated to America from Norway. She's swathed in black petticoats, a Mona Lisa grin touching the corners of her mouth, her thin, light hair spilling over her shoulders. People always think that it's a picture of me dressed up for one of those goofy, old-timey joke photos. I've always loved the fact that I look freakishly like her. And I've always wondered if, had she been clairvoyant enough to know that her great-grandkid would come out looking freakishly like her, she would have loved it a little bit also.

On the 1910 federal census, Great Uncle Rolf is listed as being 5 years old and named "Ralph". Maybe he told the census-taker that his cat's breath smells like cat food.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Dizzy Nerdorama

I love going to class. I love saying “I’m going to class.” I’ve loved it ever since University, when I used to tear into the new course listings every quarter in a manner not dissimilar to the way I salivate over the menu at Greenwood’s whenever I visit my brother in Atlanta. I’ve always had a strong penchant for situations where people in positions of authority are legally obligated to be nice to me, but even my raging case of Teacher’s Pet Syndrome is but a pebble on the vast, pebble-strewn beach of reasons why I love going to class.

I love all of the trappings. The syllabi. The lists. The notes. The new pen that glides across the pages of a dazzlingly empty notebook, which have both been purchased mere hours before during a giddy stationery-shop spree. I love the stationery shop, but I don’t often buy anything in it because I’m self-flagellating about (pretty much everything, including) spending money on items that do not directly contribute to my survival. But if there’s a class…a shiny, new, desk-and-eraserboard class…the shelves of notebooks are laid out before me like tantalizing, necessary candy, dripping vibrant colors and patterns all over my solar plexus and drawing me into the world of infinite, borderless possibility. It doesn’t matter that, within three months’ time, the notebook will join its psychedelically-painted brethren in the graveyard of unfinished business at the bottom of my bookshelf while I work through another bout of self-loathing. No. That isn’t even a thought right now. All that matters are the college-ruled stars in my eyes and the brilliant, beautiful words that I haven’t yet written, but just know that this time I will. Possibility never looks tarnished.

I love knowing things I didn't know a half an hour ago. I love going back over what I've written and figuring out how I can apply it and revelling in its sense of promise. It's pure raw potential, a new horizon, momentarily breaking free from a self-imposed prison of boredom and doubt. I love listening when somebody knows something that I want to know. I love feeling like I'm being told something useful, a phenomenon that occurs increasingly rarely in my everyday life. I love a new book, the weight of it in my hands, the way I just want to consume it all at once like a mouthful of steak and mashed potatoes.

I hate homework, though.

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