Thursday, May 31, 2007

Filipino Malaproprisms, or "Mute and Academic"

Aileen, my wiggly little Filipino firecracker (not literally; she is a real person, and inanimate objects haven't started talking to me ... yet), taught us all some of her country's malaproprisms this weekend. Try to guess what they mean. Some of them make absolutely no sense.

It's a blessing in the sky!

What's a beautiful girl like you?

Been there, been that.

Mute and academic.
That's the way the cookie monsters.

Cut me some slacks!

And, my personal favorite: We'll burn that bridge when we come to it.

Mahal kita, baby.


You Could Be Curmudgeon of the Week!

Hi gang,

I'm starting a feature on the blog ... every week I will interview a guest curmudgeon. This is partially an homage to my college newspaper's completely arbitrary and ridiculous "Weekly WesCeleb" (MY title from February 2-9 of 2001!), and partially a way to show that I am not the only person out there whose pants can be described, more oft than not, as "cranky".

Drop me a line if you'd like to be featured. I'm putting calls in to Cheney's people now, so act fast!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How Many Times Can I Compare a Film to Feces? Let Me Count the Ways.

Last night, Jeff and I had our eyes seared out by the suckiest movie we have ever seen. Until this moment in time I would have claimed that “Basic Instinct 2” was the worst piece of crap I’d ever paid money to waste precious hours of my life viewing, but now I have a new champion. Normally I wouldn’t bother to rant on my blog about a shitty movie, but this particular movie had a number of qualities that distinguish it from your average hot mess:

1. The New York Times called it “One of the 10 best movies of the year (2002).”
2. It was made by an acclaimed director.
3. It is about genocide.

The movie in question is “Ararat”, Atom Egoyan’s rambling, ponderous, thoroughly confusing and terribly-acted film about – kind of – the Armenian genocide of 1915. Jeff got it because he is Armenian and wanted to school me in the trials and tribulations of, as he put it, his “peeps”. I was expecting a downer, but I wasn’t prepared for the astounding lack of quality. First of all, the writing is just bad, and, on top of that, the story is preposterous. The film starts with a guy sleeping with his step-sister, who hates his mother because she thinks the mother pushed her father off of a cliff. Oh, and the family is Armenian, which has nothing to do with anything, except that an Armenian filmmaker is making a movie about the genocide, and he decides to include a famous painter, Arshile Gorky, as a character, and the aforementioned cliff-pushing mother happens to be a scholar who has written a book on Gorky, which – in the universe of this film – allows her and her “I only have one expression, and that is that I am concentrating hard, or maybe constipated” son to hang out on set and harass the half-Turkish actor who doesn’t think the genocide actually happened. Christopher Plummer (what?) is also there as a kindly, yet homophobic, customs agent who indulges the son in a long, boring, and didactic conversation that might as well go like so:

Christopher Plummer: So, son, I bet the audience doesn’t know a lot about the Armenian genocide, because this movie doesn’t actually address it except for some crappy movie-within-a-movie scenes. So why don’t you just tell me all of the facts in an incredibly monotonous way?

Boy: I’d love to. (Begins reading from a textbook).

After it was (blessedly) over, but not before there was lots of bad acting and crying and, as I learned in kindergarten, “telling” but not “showing”, Jeff and I Googled “Ararat sucks” but came up with nothing. Even “Ararat bad” didn’t turn up much. It seems EVERYONE – even the New York Times – liked, or, at least, didn’t hate, this film. I tend to agree with popular opinion where movies are concerned, so I cannot believe that I am the first to think that “Ararat” completely blows. Jeff described it quite vividly, using the word “diarrhea”, but apart from him it seems I have no Ararat-loathing brethren. Why is this? Is it because of the genocide thing? Can we not call a spade a spade?

I challenge you, if you are a masochist, to watch Ararat and I dare you to not think it is a slow-moving bolus (I just learned that word, look at me!) festering in the colon of film history.

I double dog dare you.

Co-Ed Naked ... Showers

Ah, reunion. I had a great time at my 5 year reunion this weekend, but it was really weird to be back on campus. At the risk of sounding both cliché and geriatric, I think it’s really true – you can never go back. Well, I mean, you can, but somehow, as you’re running around, drinking beer at 1pm and stumbling into the co-ed (yeah, Wesleyan!) bathrooms after one too many whiskeys at the big tent party, you think to yourself, I’m too fucking old for this! Youth, you know? So fleeting. Anyway, as always, I learned some valuable lessons during my weekend of regression:

1. Wearing a push-up bra will make everyone think you had your boobs done (My former mentor and advisor greeted me with, “Una, I never would have recognized you with those boobs!”

2. It’s really nice to live in a place where protective flip flops are not required for bathing (though, with the state of my tub, I might be eating my words soon).

3. When you tell graduating seniors that you used to live in their house, and exclaim over things like the new color of the bathroom or where you used to keep your bongs, they will look at you with the same mix of apathy and pity that you felt when the old fogies from the class of ’97 did that to you.

More photos to come!


Friday, May 25, 2007

To Get You Through The Weekend

... while I am off gallavanting in scenic Middletown, Connecticut and celebrating the fact that I have not had keg beer for five whole years, here are some more pictures from my birthday karaoke fest, courtesy of Adam Lanthier:

Behind every great woman, is a man making fun of her:

... but he will get punished.

What are these people laughing at? Could it be ....


I blame a little drink called the Tequila Sunrise.
Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bets and the City

My lovely friend Betsy (she of the recent engagement) was in town yesterday, en route to France, where she and her fiance, Fipp, are spending the summer. Betsy is one of my favorite people because she says things like: "I'm finally able to say that I like The Bachelor and I'm OK with that." I still pretend that I watch reality shows because there's nothing else on, when in fact the show has been in my Microsoft Outlook calendar for over a week ... with one of those red exclamation points people use to mark events of utmost importance.

Betsy and I have a friendship based on shameless honesty. She is perhaps the only friend about whom I can say this. The moment she knew she wanted to be my friend, Betsy says, is the moment when I told her, one late night at a karaoke bar, "You can sing the first verse with me so that I won't be nervous, but then I want you to get the hell off the stage and let me shine." I knew I truly loved Betsy when, one tear-streaked New Year's Eve, I saw my crush go into the bathroom to make out with another girl and Betsy promptly banged on the door, claiming that she had to pee. Bets and I are most ourselves plopped on the couch making bitchy judgments about TV stars. We apply our film school-honed analytical skills to shows like The Bachelor and American Idol, totally embracing the fact that there are about a billion more important things we should be talking about.

Anyway, I guess this post doesn't really have a point except for, Bets, I miss you. And ... I love The Bachelor, too! There, I said it! You complete me!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Love is (Color)blind

With a college reunion – not to mention a wedding – coming up, sometimes a girl has got to do some spring grooming. I took it upon myself to do everything at once, kind of an “instant makeover”; I self-tanned, I got my eyebrows threaded, I painted my finger- and toenails.

This all took place over the course of an evening while Jeff was out with a friend. When he got home I showed him my fingers and toes, painstakingly transformed to a pinky-lavender shade, but neglected to share my other beauty endeavors, preferring to let him think that I was suddenly, naturally bronzed and hair-free. In the kitchen, under bright and unforgiving lights, Jeff stared at my face.

“Did you … self tan?” he asked. Fuck! My cover was blown!

“Yes,” I admitted.

“You look ….” Jeff’s eyes glanced from my forehead to my chin to my clavicle. Glowing? I thought. Gorgeous? Tropical? Sun-kissed? “Orange.” He said.

“I just wanted to look tan,” I pouted.

“Well, that’s what sun is for.”

“But sun gives you cancer.”

“I bet those chemicals give it to you faster. What’s in them?”

“Uh …. Bronze?”

I don’t think I have to tell you that the words tard sale were once again invoked.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What I Learned in College

My five year college reunion is this upcoming weekend, so I guess it's fitting that I regressed to college-level alcohol abuse this weekend. Those who know me would not peg me as a drunk, or the kind of girl who might find herself needing to vomit into her purse while speeding over the Manhattan Bridge in a cab ... but this Saturday night, I proved them wrong.

If, horribly, there are any children reading this, kids, let me say this: You will learn a rhyme in college (or maybe even high school, if you grow up fast enough). The rhyme goes like so:

Beer before liquor, never sicker.
Liquor before beer, you're in the clear.

This is a genius rhyme, and you will need to reference it probably more often than your times tables as you stagger your uncertain way towards adulthood. Remember this, though: though the rhyme does not include wine, wine and liquor in any order will generally result in a night spent over the toilet.

Oh, and please remember to tip your cabbie generously. It's the least you can do.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bad Grammar Makes Me (Sic)

I haven't vented in awhile. It's kind of useless to bitch about grammar when we have a president who says things like "I'm the decider," but the mere existence of Tim Gunn gives me hope.

Okay, so everyone needs to stop saying:

“Smell of” … nothing smells of anything in the United States*. Things smell like other things. i.e., “This subway station smells like urine.”
*If you are British, you are absolved.

“Good on you!” … is only acceptable in the context of “You have something that looks like it tastes good on you … it might be chocolate, and it’s on your lapel. Please let me lick.” When did “Good for you” go out of style? Strunk and White are rolling in their graves.

“Déjà vu all over again.” … Let me break this down: “Déjà vu” means ‘already seen’ in French. SO when you say “It feels like déjà vu”, you are saying “It feels like I’ve already seen/experienced this.” If you say “déjà vu all over again” YOU ARE BEING REDUNDANT and, if I am within earshot, YOU ARE PISSING ME OFF.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

It's A Nice Day for A Subconscious Wedding

No one wants to hear other people's dreams. It's a rule up there with "No one really likes beets", or "If you name your child Percy, you are asking for it".

That said, I had my first Wedding Anxiety dreams last night, back-to-back. I won't bore you with the details, but basically I was a number of hours late to my wedding in both dreams. In fact, the second dream, I think, was a make-up wedding after I completely missed the first. Of course, my high school crush (now gay) made an appearance, to give me (I am not making this up) his own home-made rendering of my unibrow (the closest thing I had to adolescent trauma). Also I was inexplicably wearing shorts under my gown. The most vexing thing about the dream, though, was that even in my dream, even after being four hours late to my own wedding, my biggest concern was that we would have to pay overtime fees for the venue.

That, my friends, is what getting married will do to you.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Staggering Irony

I am editing BlackBook's car column. Also their Openings page, which covers the hottest and hippest restaurants, bars, and hotels opening in the country each month. So, to recap, a girl (not yet a woman ... sorry, I couldn't help it, it's like Tourette's) who got her driver's license a year ago and sometimes confuses her blinker and her windshield wiper, and who feels most at home watching 90210: The First Season from the comfort of her couch, is telling people all over America what to drive, and where to go for a good time.

Just thought I'd point that out, in case the irony was lost on anyone.

Bets on what's next, anyone? Perhaps the music column? My inaugural story: Why a label proclaiming "As Seen on TV!" means you are about to listen to the most AWESOME compilation EVER.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I'm Gonna Make It After All!

(I tried to paste my face onto Marlo Thomas' head, but the result was way too creepy to post)

I know. I KNOW. I’ve been negligent. But listen – I got promoted! Almost a year to the day after I got fired. So, either I’ve grown a lot as a person or I’m getting some very mixed karmic messages.

So, yes, I’m an editor now. I still do a lot of shit work, but I’m an editor, so I don’t care. I have the same general job title as Anna Wintour. I’m twenty-seven and the word “assistant” has officially left the building (or, at least, my resume). Hallelujah, Sallie Mae!

Sorry about that, it’s just … well, let me put it this way: a slightly older mentor/friend of mine sat me down in a Brooklyn coffee shop the summer after I graduated from college. “Una,” she said, “Listen. The next four or five years are going to suck hard, but then everything gets great.”
I didn't listen. I suffered through countless jobs and men that didn't make me happy. I made poor living choices. I bounced checks. I was on unemployment three times. I would sit in my roon and wail, listening to "You Gotta Be" by Des'ree (yes, really).

But now ... suddenly, without fanfare, my life is starting to get good. My mentor/friend was right! Life really sucks for a long time after college ... much longer than any sane person would estimate. So, give yourselves a break newbies. Remember: Momma said there would be four to six years like this (Momma Una, that is -- I mean, Editor Momma Una, oh, fuck it, just Madame Editor is fine).

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