Monday, February 28, 2011

Meanwhile, Billy Crystal, Shatner love 'im, gets a little more womanly-looking with every passing year.

Two questions about last night:

1) Can we employ someone to teach the ladies how not to walk like lumberjacks in their lovely gowns, and also what to do with their arms & hands? Mila Kunis looked like she forgot where her pockets were and was trying to find them all night, Anne Hathaway kept slumping and standing with all her weight on one leg all lopsided, everybody was just stomping around in too-tall heels -- a little grace, ladies, please!

2) Who was drunker -- Bening & Beatty, or ScarJo? Actually, I think ScarJo was out of her mind on like six different pillz (uppers, downers, screamers, laughers, et al.). Maybe she was also drunk, but that glassiness looked pharmaceutical. Bening/Beatty, FTW!

And a couple of random thoughts:
That guy who won for short feature: of COURSE it was an NYU stoodent project. OF COURSE IT WAS. The chick from Winter's Bone: Zaxed out. Like three or four more Xanaxes than the recommended dose. Sandra Bullock: You gotta start letting someone else do your hair. It's possible Halle Berry is the Living Satan, because how else do you look 23 still, and from whence else could that glow be coming? Cate Blanchett's dress looked like she had a lizard riding piggyback, but it was AWESOME when the Wolfman clip finished, and she commented mildly, "Gross." before going on with her presenter's duties. The Auto-Tune bit made me laugh stupidly. Alec Baldwin might actually be a god [note to self: look into this; if true, set up tax-free church in His name].

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I don't want to lose my virginity to a piece of fruit!

Wow, y'all. I finally saw An Education Saturday night, and ... wow. I haven't seen anything that stuck with me like this in a very long time.

I won't bother with plot summary -- that's what the IMDB is for -- but I sort of HAVE to talk about it.

It was funny, it was stylish, Carey Mulligan is a revelation, the script (Nick Hornby!, based on a memoir by Lynn Barber) was great, and but the movie was at times just ... wincingly painful, which is part of what made it so good. This girl, Jenny -- she's a girl, a CHILD, and when the dashing older man David sees her for the first time, there's no getting around it -- he's not seeing some teenager glammed up to look much older than her years; she's sopping wet in a rainstorm in her school uniform. This is extremely hard to defend on his part -- I mean, it triggers VIOLENT feelings in me to think of mid-thirties men leering at teenage girls, no matter what the time period -- and it's to Saarsgaard's credit that he carries it off; he actually doesn't seem creepy, just ... I don't know, wistful and self-deluded or something. And the way he's able to contre-pied her parents, making them think it's their idea to allow Jenny such latitude where he's concerned ... amaaazing.

And the thing is, I understand it from her point of view too -- I was a brainy, striving teenager with a head full of ideas about books and travel and music and culture once, and we all wanted to be seen as older and more sophisticated than we were; that's why older men appeal to young girls: They seem to have it all figured out already. They don't have to learn how to navigate life, awkwardly and in fits and starts, along with us the way boys our own age do. If an older man with the world at his feet takes an interest, it's all too easy to believe he's on the level -- you really ARE special! He really DOES just want you for your mind! And the young person is at such a disadvantage -- they don't know, they can't know, that that's not the way the world works. For me, fortunately, there were only ever just dreamy crushes on men I knew I'd never even meet. (side note: Not only would my own parents have made the man in question wish he'd never been born, but also, my own character would not have allowed a thing like this, honestly; I sensed early and strongly how much I dislike power imbalances in relationships, and it would be hard to be more imbalanced than this -- unless the older guy was in a position of authority in her life, like a teacher maybe. Ugggggh.) For Jenny, there's an exciting, intoxicating romance that ends painfully, and a truly immense life lesson learned young -- as Jenny realizes in the end, "For the life I want, there is no shortcut."

Anyway. Altogether wonderful. Loved this movie. And now I want to see Carey Mulligan in everything, always.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

I don't know, Glen. DOES the pope wear a funny hat?

You know what just fucking wears me out? People who are described as "never sitting still."

It's always meant to show how they're being such go-getters, such deep drinkers from the fountain of life, but to me, that's just frantic and nervous and annoying.

I'm reading one of my dumb fitness magazines -- Shape, maybe? and there's this actress gal they've photographed participating in some hot new fitness trend,and they're like "It was hard to get her to sit still for the session! She's always on the go!"

Ugh, kill me. Somebody like that is always wanting to start up a game, or go see some attraction, or whatever, when really, many of life's greatest pleasures are to be had from a seated or reclined position [ten-minute pause for Beavis/Butt-Head laughter].

Seriously -- whenever I imagine fantasy vacation destinations, it's always in context of sitting around admiring the view from my beach cabana, drink in hand. Or wandering very slowly down windswept side streets, stopping in a cafe for hours. Or staring out the windows of the TGV as an entire country flies by on the way to somewhere I'm going to spend a week without going much of anywhere in particular. Holidays -- I like a board game, or some foosball, but if you're trying to get me into a "fun" little game of flag football I will cut you. Get over here and have another glass of wine, Jack, and knock off pretending we're gonna burn off the 4,000 calories we just consumed by getting lightly sweaty in our nice clothes. At any rate, almost any time ever, all I want to do is sit around and read, which is sort of incompatible with the go-go lifestyle.

To me, the point is slowing down, savoring the moment, being still so you can think about stuff.

Or, conversely, maybe I am just a lazy drunk!

Your call.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

"Garcon means boy."

And then there was the time my dad and I were blue-skying about opening a restaurant in the Olde Hometowne -- I think this was after my freshman year of college, I'm home for the summer, he and I do this all the time (the blue-skying -- which, btw, is something I think makes people nervous about me the way they would get nervous around him because MAYBE he/I is/am just kidding around about getting motorcycles for everyone in the family and riding around the country for a couple of years [yes I can have a Vespa, but I have to be fourteen to have a license so we can't start the trip till next year], or getting a newborn baby tiger and declawing it and raising it like a kittycat in our home to see whether despite all the gentle upbringing it retained its killer nature or not [it's cool, your mom likes cats, she'll be ok with this if we just keep an eye on your baby sister, no problemo], but MAYBE he/I is/am NOT kidding and goddamn if you might not come home from eighth grade to find every stick of furniture in your house out on the lawn in an impromptu yard sale to raise cash for the Faberge egg we were talking about buying at auction ...).

So anyway, the restaurant (or reftaurant -- that one's for you, Mr. Gleemonex!). We discussed various possible locations, then agreed upon a place off the square, which used to be a car mechanic shop and was in this great old hangar of a building. Standing around in the kitchen, drinking sweet tea, we named it, picked out furnishings, planned the menu, booked a bunch of local bands to play, worked out the details of the liquor license (it would have to be a "club," thanks to local blue laws, but we would pay for the memberships so people wouldn't feel burdened), etc.

So then we moved on to, as I put it, "the wait staff."

And he's all, "Wait staff? We're not having a wait staff."

And I'm all, " ... huh? It's a restaurant -- what're they gonna do, go back to the kitchen themselves?"

He goes, "Not a wait staff. WAITRESSES."

The fun starts leaking out of this particular thought balloon.

I say, "But why does it have to be waitresses? Guys can do the job too -- it's good money! Whoever's good at it ..."

He interrupts, "No man wants some GUY waiting his table. They want a pretty little thing who'll charm 'em into ordering a lot of stuff. And they want to have something good to look at."

I am SPEECHLESS. I cannot believe what is coming out of his mouth. I can actually hear my eyes blinking (poik! poik!).

I'm like ... "DAD. That is GROSS. And it is SO NOT TRUE. Nobody cares what gender a waitperson is."

Him: "YES they DO. People don't like to see a man serving food."

More blinking from me (poik! poik! poik!) and then I start to get mad. My summer job is, of course, waiting tables at a "Mexican" joint in town, and it's fucking difficult work and I am not all that good at it, but I get decent tips. And I begin to wonder -- is that why? Because I'm nineteen and cute like most 19-year-olds are? Are they OBJECTIFYING ME with the MALE GAZE?

So I say, "That is not it! AT ALL! It's just that MEN are used to seeing WOMEN in service roles! That just shows how much you buy into the HEGEMONY of our GENDERED CULTURE!"

Yada yada yada I end up storming out.

And, curiously, we never did open that restaurant; I guess it ended up in the "tiger" category instead of the "Faberge egg" one, which is a pity, because up till the argument part, it was going to be a really awesome restaurant.

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