Sunday, June 29, 2008

Failure of the Algorithm?

According to IMDB, if I like How She Move I might also like Porky's and The Notebook.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Like Wearing a Hat of Someone Else's Haircut Over The Haircut I Asked For

Dearest Readers,
Do not get student haircuts. My "long layers" vary between three inches and a foot and a half. I think I might have to pay real money to get this monstrosity fixed. On a side note, if you get an obvious haircut, will anyone who notices tell you it's awful?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Announcement: Growing Up

I'm alone in the apartment for the week. Which is mostly sad and lonely. Especially because without Richard I always forget how to watch TV and just spend hours on end watching TLC. And really how many makeovers can you watch before they loose that magic?

But about five minutes ago I had this sort of epiphany. I was putting my dinner leftovers in the fridge and all of a sudden I was overwhelmed by how grown up I am. Like the beginning of a Meg Ryan film, I was sitting on the couch sipping wine thinking about my life. I refrigerate leftovers and do my dishes after I finish eating. I am fastidious about my fiber intake. I carry band-aids in my wallet. I even remembered to buy dental floss today cause I'd run out.

And I'm turning twenty-five. In five weeks. I've been obsessing about it for the last couple months and I'm finally comfortable with being a quarter-century old. I know it's silly to get hung up on a number, but everyone has to face the stigmas attached to growing up at some point. And I'm ready to grow up a little.

So here's the announcement: I'm gonna be a lawyer. I took my first practice LSAT today. Helen is kindly lending me her prep books. Logic game practice isn't going to be the funnest summer activity I've ever undertaken, but there's a sort of thrilling challenge to them from a certain perspective.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Top Seven Songs

So I've been tagged. In my opinion this is one (very small) step up from sending along chain letters or involving friends in pyramid schemes (though I only know about those in so far as they played a role an unusually boring episode of Mad About You), but I am going to respond. I am not, however, going to tag afterward. Mostly because I don't really know anyone who writes a blog who would actually respond to a tag. Except maybe Tommy. So go ahead if you like, Tommy.

I am supposed to list my top seven (why seven?) songs at the moment with explanations for each. If I were to be completely honest this list would consist entirely of songs by Mary J. Blige, but since the explanations would all be "She's so awesome," I thought it would be too boring even for this blog. So here it is. Seven songs I like a lot right now. Keep in mind that I exist in a strange musical bubble.

1. "No More Drama"- Mary J. Blige
I picked this as the representative song of my Mary J. obsession in part because it awesomely uses the theme song to The Young and the Restless (which Mary J. awesomely name checks in the lyrics). But most importantly, I think it's a lesson we can all stand to learn, no matter how many times we've heard it since 2001, "No more drama in my life." Yes.

2. "Happiness is a Warm Gun"- The Beatles
According to my iTunes (which knows nothing of what I listen to away from my computer) this is my most played song. Which makes sense because I sort of rediscovered it a month or two ago and ever since then, it will just pop into my head and I'll need to hear it. Mostly I get stuck in the beginning, "She's not a girl who misses much..." It has a great build and a great chorus as a pay off.

3. "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere"- Neil Young
So for about three weeks in April I listened to this album constantly. It started out when I heard a live version of "Cowgirl in the Sand" during a yoga class and the line "It's the woman in you that makes you want to play this game..." repeated in my head so many times that I went out and bought a used copy of the CD (because my dad's copy was in Boston, which is too far away to steal. Or borrow). So the title track is my favorite right now because it has those light hearted "nah-nah-nah, nah-nah, nah-nah"s on the chorus and I think that's appropriate for the season.

4. "Are You That Somebody?"- Aaliyah
Full disclosure? I downloaded this playlist of the "Top 100 R&B Songs of the 1990's." Treasures untold.

5. "Warrior"- the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs
So when I'm at the gym and I'm feeling more aggressive or angry or something, I listen to the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs instead of Mary J. Blige. It's not often, but it happens.

6."A Case of You"- Joni Mitchell
... is probably my favorite song of all time.

7. "Try a Little Tenderness"- Otis Redding
This song will forever be attached to that scene in Pretty in Pink when Ducky spazzes out in the record shop and does those crazy pelvic thrusts. But I've been listening to lots of Otis all spring. He's wonderful.

So yeah. Nothing on this list is particularly current or interesting, but that's just the kind of music I listen to. No apologies.

Book Discussion Group: On imagery and nostalgia

On my way home from work tonight I had this strong bout of nostalgia for a college I never attended. It was a longer wait for the F train than usual and I was reading to pass the time. I started Americana by Don DeLillo earlier this week, mostly because it seems like everyone is always talking about how great he is, and even though I don't feel like I'm really into it (like I won't read another chapter instead of going to sleep at night), I like it. Anyhow, between the wait and the train ride I was probably reading for almost an hour. And I was thinking about this conversation I had with my friend Jean last night about descriptions of place and how important they are to stories and, at least so far, Americana takes place in New York City, so the descriptions are vivid in this way that they are not only so obviously and brilliantly concocted out of images from the mid-twentieth century cultural zeitgeist, but they are also images and places I live among everyday (or at least to the extent that I am in Manhattan, which is often enough).

So my nostalgia had to do with this fantasy I have about what life in "normal college" dorm is like. In this nostalgic reverie I pictured myself returning to the dorms at one-thirty in the morning and going down to the second floor (because my nostalgia is specific enough to place me on the fourth) to knock on the door of some dreamy English major I knew would be up (probably reading Proust or something awful like that). Anyhow, we would sit on his bed at a perpendicular angle to one another, with my back against the wall at the head of the bed and his against the wall against the length of the bed, and eventually, after dissecting imagery and the power of the ego in literature or whatever words we were using to mean "It's really fucking good the way he says that," I would tuck my feet under his thighs and we would feel really close but probably not even kiss because those situations always feel too heavy and cliche anyhow.

This fantasy is fraught for several reasons, starting with my cynical disdain for English majors and Proust. But also because it reveals the ways that my college experience was purposefully a-typical in a way that highlights how my late teens were to a large degree shaped by a desire to be "a-typical" and how it's strange but I sometimes regret that. But really only because lately my life is full of times like now when it's after three in the morning and I can't think of a single person who it would be appropriate to call in order to discuss literature. Maybe I'm just too old for that.

But when I came home I was glad to find Richard awake and we drank beers and watched the season finale of Greek, which is really a fantastically sincere show, but maybe feeds my college nostalgia-regret fantasies a little too much.