Thursday, November 30, 2006

What for, blog

Maybe I don't need a blog, but a sleep diary. Isn't that the only thing I write about consistently? Yawn.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Films, before I forget

Two weeks ago I saw "Babel," and it's almost out of my head. You know, that should be the real test for a movie's affect on me: whether or not I can remember it. Although in this case it would be doing a disservice, because I did really like the movie. It's one of those multi-story films, with characters who have some relationship with one another, but whose storylines don't really cross, at least on screen. The fact that this structure is in vogue lately doesn't diminish the fact that it can be a powerful way to present interlocking stories, and I think (with one exception) Bable works the structure to its advantage. There are quite a few very intense scenes in the film, and just when they become unbearable, the action switches to another, momentarily calmer plot. I don't know if I could have sat through an entire film of Brad Pitt cradling a bloodied Cate Blanchett, playing his critically wounded wife.

Two other stories dovetail with this: the story of his children and their Mexican nanny, who takes them across the border to her son's wedding; and the story of two Moroccan boys whose lives become tragically entwined with that of the white couple played by Brad & Cate.

And the last is... wow. Not even in the same league. It's like a quirky sad independent film, centering on a deaf Japanese teenager who has the most tangential relationship to the Brad & Cate story you can imagine. It's bizarre, and made more so by the fact that the tone of this last story is so very different from the tone of the others, who do have some related themes and imagery. And, while I might be convinced to plunk down $10 to watch an entire movie about the deaf girl (the actress is haunting, and the story heart-breaking), it just feels like a different film and so it threw off my perception of the whole.

But I'd still recommend seeing it, which is sadly not the case for Film #2. I am a huge Christopher Guest/Eugene Levy fan, having loved all of their collaborations to date. "Waiting for Guffman" and "Best in Show" are brilliant, worth watching over and over again for a laugh. I also really liked "A Mighty Wind," although I recognize it's not as strong as the prior films. I still wound up paying to see it twice in the theater; part of what I like about it is the music, and if you hate folk music than that would impact your ability to sit through it, even for the laughs.

So you can imagine how excited I was to see "For Your Consideration," which I went to on Thanksgiving Day. This is painful to say, but it's just not very good. It's not very funny. I think every single laugh was for a joke that was in the trailer, although at least in the trailer they came at you fast and furious. In the full length film, there were long dull periods where the audience just sat.

I think part of the fault is in the way the film is set; the others are all pseudo-documentaries, or at least have the pacing and intimacy of them. ("This is Spinal Tap," of course, being the granddaddy mockumentary of them all.) When "For Your Consideration" starts, we're on a film set, and it takes a long time to settle into the moment and realize that we are in a scene, not behind a camera observing one, if that makes any sense. In the mockumentaries, the camera has a point of view, in this film, it's just quietly taking it all in. It's a hard adjustment if you're used to the pacing of the other movies. I kept waiting for it to pick up, but it doesn't (except maybe in a few scenes where Jane Lynch and Fred Willard play Entertainment Tonight-like hosts, but that's probably because Willard speaks so fast and Lynch is so damn funny.) It drags, the whole film drags, and no matter how much you want these people to be as funny as they have been in the past, they simply aren't.

I'm still depressed about it.

Good morning, Brooklyn

This morning was gray and foggy and I had a perverse urge to walk over the bridge to work. So I did. Not very different from bright sunny mornings, except of course with less of an "ahhhh" factor. It was warm this morning, though, in the low 50's at 7 am, so there still were a good number of cyclists, runners, and pedestrians keeping me company.

Monday, November 27, 2006

What gives, blogger?

There are two addresses for my blog (for everyone's?) and for some reason, they are updated at different times. There is http:\\ and there is http:\\ On the former, the latest entry is from Nov. 21, yet I've posted twice since then.

Post Holiday

I returned home yesterday at 3 pm, which didn't really give me enough time to do anything productive, and yet felt too early just to curl up in a ball and sleep off the weekend. Oddly I didn't have the energy to commit to either, so I unpacked, doodled a bit on the computer, lay in bed and fake-napped through "Selected Shorts" (eyes closed, brain unfocused on the story even as I listened to it, but no actual loss of consciousness.) I had to work hard to convince myself that putting my clothes back on to go out and drop off my laundry was in my best interest. (And, judging by the tower of dirty clothes spilling out of my laundry basket, it was.)

As I walked back to my apartment, I recognized that I was in a state of melancholy. Walking alone at night, just past dusk, can bring it on, but I know that it's also hormonal. And I'd just returned from a weekend where I spent time with family, with both good and bad moments. (I'm tired enough of various relatives passive-aggressive torturing of one another to simply shut down around them, which removes me from the bullshit but also from experiencing the moments of closeness that still manage to pop up randomly.) It's pretty well known that holidays are stressful, that too much family is stressful, and yet I'm going to go to work today and get hit with dozens of well-meaning "How was your Thanksgiving?" queries. You know already how I feel about office small talk.

I am behind, with two movies to write about! Not today, though. I have to get to the gym this morning, back in the old routine.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I don't even eat turkey.

7:30 on Thanksgiving morning, sitting alone in my apartment, listening to the splash of rain as cars sweep by. This isn't the first holiday I am spending alone, and I'm only technically spending it alone, as I'm going away tomorrow for a weekend that includes a family Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.

I don't have to be alone today; I have an invitation from a family member, and another from a friend, but I chose to relax and chill in light of the traveling I'll start tomorrow. I'm very conscious of this being my own choice, and in a way that makes me even more aware of sitting here alone. Almost as if I am on the outside, clinically observing. I know so many people who would fall apart if they had to spend a holiday without family or friends. I don't know if it's just my nature, or if it's something that developed during my years working in retail, when holidays were just the days you had to work harder and longer (in the case of Thanksgiving and Christmas, the days before and after being super busy.) During those years I couldn't always get away for a holiday, and learned to both entertain and not feel sorry for myself. I learned how to convince other people that it wasn't tragic, either, that I wasn't with family. Sometimes, even after I left retail, I'd lie and say I had plans - with random friends nearby, or doing charity work - things I really did, although not as many times as I claimed. Sometimes I just wasn't in the mood to deal with the hassles of traveling somewhere. I should clarify that we don't have a single family celebration tradition; my parents aren't together, and for years my mother worked every Thanksgiving, and while the extended family has rotated hosting duties, my siblings rarely have joined, choosing instead their respective in-laws with more elaborate and traditional gatherings.

I am not feeling sorry for myself, but it's been on my mind. How can it not be? Every person at work, be it someone I am close to or someone I barely know, is eager to ask, "What are you doing for Thanksgiving?" I've focused on the Saturday family dinner, the weekend upstate, and usually skip that Thursday, true Thanksgiving, I plan on spending at the gym, at the movies, and sitting at my computer finishing a short story for my writing class. Not because I'm unhappy about it, but because I don't really care to deal with other people's misplaced pity over how that sounds.

I just don't know why I care more this year than I have before. Maybe because one of my siblings has moved across the country and the true family Thanksgiving (the one we have never had as adults) could never be an option.

It's raining which makes me happy. I'm sick and twisted and evil, not caring about all of those hapless travelers for which rain means slippery roads, flight delays, and soggy arrivals. I just am glad that on a day when much of the city is closed, I can laze around my apartment and my life and feel warm and cozy.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


When I worked in retail, oh so many years ago, the claim that the Friday after Thanksgiving was the "busiest shopping day of the year" was simply not true, yet was constantly repeated. I lived the holiday shopping season for five years, and depending on what day of the week Christmas fell on, busier days were the Saturday before, Christmas Eve (a shorter day, but more intense), and the One Day sale a week or two before. (Hanukkah mattered, too, for if it were later in December, there'd be additional shoppers as Christmas approached.) I don't know if things have changed, if reality has come around to meet legend, but I still find myself talking back to newscasters when they float that idea again. (Yes, I know, I talk back to my tv all morning. It's exhausting. I should stop having morning news on in the background but I'm always waiting for the weather and half-listening when it does come on, so I miss it and need to wait again, and yeah, I've heard of, but... hey, maybe I like talking back to the news, okay? I released a lot of built-up tension yesterday yelling "who cares?" every time someone mentioned that wedding that took place over the weekend. I'm happy to report that keeping my trusty remote near at all times enabled me to avoid nearly every mention of the nuptials.)

Okay. Where was I? Oh, yeah, maybe "Black Friday" is the biggest day for other retailers, maybe it was just our department store (although it was the self-proclaimed "World's Largest Store.") Either way, I feel sorry for people who get so little time off that that day is really the only time they have to shop.

Oh, after I posted here on Sunday morning, I checked out Target's website and was pleasantly surprised to find that they open at 8 am on Sundays! It was 7:30, and I had time to shower, dress, hop a bus, and walk into the store by 8:30. It was wonderful - empty, quiet, peaceful. I didn't find the exact curtains I wanted, but for 9.99 got a decent substitute, then managed to spend another $130 on odds and ends (runner for the hallway, shower curtain liner, lampshades, socks, t-shirt, holiday decorations for my cubicle at work, a jewelry box.)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Writing, Hormones, and Curtains

An eerie Sunday morning, although I don't know why. I woke up at 4:30, didn't really fall asleep again. Tried watching tv, reading, lying in the quiet dark, nothing helped me sleep again and so I rolled out of bed at 6:30, which isn't any different than other mornings, but for some reason, as I stood in the kitchen waiting for the decaf to finish, everything seemed quiet and other-worldly. As if I were standing in my kitchen at two in the morning. Maybe because the traffic is nearly non-existent: no garbage trucks, no buses (yet), few cars. Not even the wrenching sound of stores rolling up their metal security gates. For me, no early morning tv (the weather is gray and dull, I can see that) or NPR (yet.) Just me, my iced decaf coffee, a peanut toffee buzz Clif Bar, the light jangling of the radiator, the soft hum of the fan, and vous.

I need goals. I need to start forcing myself to write one page a day, not here, not in my head, but on paper. Crap or inspiration, doesn't matter, as long as I write something. I have many little notebooks (I collect them with the same obsessiveness with which I buy pillows - yes, I'm warped) so just need to adapt one.

The writing class I'm in now is a disappointment. Tired of my saying that? Why do I keep taking them? There's always something positive about them, and enough so that I think that this next time all of the good will come together and it will be fabulous. This one has a dedicated and timely teacher, but it's a Master Class, which I didn't realize meant no teaching. There's no homework exercises, which were always optional in the advanced classes anyway, but I liked being given writing tasks that were outside of my comfort zone. I wrote some decent pieces for those assignments in other classes.

The biggest disappointment, though, is that there are no lectures. The instructor posts a paragraph or two about some aspect of writing, more philosophical than practical. ("Virigina Woolf wrote that she wanted her writing to "encompass the whole of human life." Discuss.) I suppose this is the nature of a master class; we are assumed to have mastered the technical aspect and can now explore the theory behind, but I find it doesn't inspire me to write better, or much at all. The discussion that follows has been limp at best; students check in and write an obligatory comment, then disappear for the week. In other classes, a weekly chat helped form friendships (I still correspond with some of those writers), but in this class, when I attempted to rally some to join me at the scheduled chat time, I was met with dead silence. Depressing.

I did receive some helpful comments on the first story I posted for feedback, and my next is due next week so I'll take advantage of that by posting a story I've been struggling with for a long time. Maybe they will help me see what is missing from it.

Yesterday was a bad day, although I apparently was missing the signs that it was a hormonal thing until this morning. (I hate getting older; you can't calendarize these things.) In the morning I spilled a glass of water all over my desk; quickly grabbed the laptop and moved it to safety, but then had to wipe off everything else (pen cup, paper clip tray, mouse pad, bills, etc.) Later I went into Manhattan to drop off two bags at the thrift store and, theoretically, buy new curtains for my kitchen. (I finally threw away the old ones, which were much more ragged and dingy than I'd thought; now my kitchen, even with only the mini-blinds, looks bright and new.) Bed Bath & Beyond was a bust. They have tons of long heavy drapes, then cutesy little cafe curtains, and that's it. Am I unusual to want something long (tall windows in this landmark building) yet not floor length (one window is above a radiator), cotton but not frilly? Maybe I'll try Target or something.

Anyway, I left the store and could not think of another thing I wanted to do in Manhattan (though now, a day later, I can think of several I should have done.) I started walking south, passed one subway station, then as I passed the next, went down the stairs, still not sure what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. Aimless, frustrated. I came home and passed the movie theater to find that I had 30 minutes before the next showing of Babel, so you know what I chose to do. More on that later.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"If I Did It"

Dear Mr. Simpson: The preferred grammatical version of your new book title is "If I Had Done It," or, if you'd rather be casual about it (why not?), "If I'd Done It." Of course, the truthful version is "I Did It."

Not so Natural

I hate coloring my hair. I've been doing it for over a decade, and it never gets any easier. I tried having it professionally done but that failed for a couple of reasons. 1) My hair grows fairly quickly, and there is a visible line between the colored hair and new growth, more so than when I'd do it myself, when the roots are more gradually mixed in with the colored hair. This means I have to go back as early as 4 weeks for touchups, which is both annoying and expensive. 2) I've had bad luck getting the right haircolor out of professional hairdressers. Either I'm incapable of describing what I want, or they simply like to go overboard, but I've come home, $100 poorer, with orangey hair and burgundy hair. For $10, I can buy a box of the color I know I like and do it myself.

But, somehow, no matter how much experience I've had doing it, I can't manage a coloring session without splattering hair color somewhere undesirable. The shower curtain, throw rug, toilet seat. The white door in my bathroom sink cabinet has a long brown streak that I didn't notice until after it dried and set. There are a couple of dark brown patches in the wood floor in the hallway outside my bathroom. (This is mostly because the color comes out of the bottle a very light brown/white, not very visible, but then turns a richer dark brown with time.)

The upshot of all of this is that I wind up walking around with gray roots for much longer than I'm happy with, because I dread getting back into the bathroon and pulling on those thin rubber gloves. And yet, I'm way too young to give up and go gray.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back on the Bridge

I walked to work again today. It was overcast and damp, although not raining and reasonably warm (53 degrees at 7 am.) The bridge was less crowded. It has a slight rise in the middle, so you walk gradually uphill for the first part, then level for a short bit (between the two stone towers), then downhill again. This makes it a nice walk because I build up a bit of a sweat going up, then cool off completely on the downside. If I'm going to work, I prefer to not arrive slick with sweat.

I'm almost at the year anniversary of my new eating/exercise regime. An entire year! My weight has stabilized but I've maintained my gym routine. I still want to lose another 6-7 pounds, but am not stressing over it. There have been many temptations in the last few month, and I'm pleased to have made it through them. (I didn't pass them all up, not at all, but at least refused to allow for long-term backslide.)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Shoe fly don't bother me

I have another irrational pet peeve. More like an obsessive-compulsive disorder. I can't bear having stuff on the bottom of my shoes. This is not something very unusual when your day is spent walking the streets of NYC, but sometimes it makes me unable to function. Case in point: I was at the gym over the weekend and there was something sticky on one of the pedals of the elliptical machine, which I discovered when the motions made me lift my sneaker. You know that un-sticking sound? After a few minutes I got off and onto another machine, and IT KEPT HAPPENING. Because, of course, now the substance was fully entrenched on the treads of the sole of my shoe. Each step, each squonchy sound, was driving me batty.

I left my sneakers out in the locker room over night and nobody stole them. This morning I made a half-hearted attempt to clean them, no luck. I still don't know what it was.

So I threw them away because I don't think I can wear them again.

Little Children, Again

Yesterday I finally went to see "Little Children." I had to leave the comfort zone of my local theater for Manhattan, but stayed close to home by hitting the Angelika Film Center, just a few subway stops in. [I just tried to add a link to their website, but seems the site is down. Hmph.]

I definitely prefer the movie to the book, which isn't saying too much, but I really did like the movie. Some of the issues I had with the book are still there - great gaps in character development for example - but they don't overwhelm as much on the screen as on the page. The film does a great job of creating the right mood and tension, both of which I missed while reading. And Kate Winslett is good, even though I'm apt to say that about any actress who voluntarily gives up mascara to look frumpy for a role. (One of my biggest compliments to the film is that they didn't suddenly put her in makeup and hair products when her character was suddenly "happy" and in love.) The other actors are good, too, although I'm sad to admit I didn't recognize Patrick Wilson from "Hard Candy" until I just looked him up right now. That might have been interesting to think about watching him on the screen, as in "Hard Candy" he played a pedophile, and in this film, well, someone else is.

I think I liked him better in that role, though. Here he is the same incomprehensible character he was in the book. Maybe my inability to understand him is my own issue, but I don't really know what his problem is. I'll try my best not to give it all away here, but stop if you don't want to be spoiled. He has a gorgeous and successful wife, a beautiful son he clearly enjoys being with, a nice house, and some career issues. Okay, fine. But nothing is stopping him from making alternative career choices - looking for something he enjoys doing (clearly not what he's been educated for, and continually fails at) and making a career of that. Problem is, he doesn't seem to enjoy anything. So maybe that's the crux of the character - a guy who has no clue what he wants in life, knows he should be happy with what he has, but still is unsatisfied. I could buy that, but his actions don't play out along those lines. Maybe because he never finds anything to make him anything but what he already is. He tries something, a major life change, but winds up not following through with it, and goes back to his same life. What has he learned? Has he grown? Yeah, not every character needs to make a miraculous 180 degree turn, but a protagonist with no growth isn't very satisfying to spend time with. In the book, he is the main voice, although in the movie he (wisely) takes a backseat to Kate Winslet's character. That is why I think the movie succeeds - it's much clearer what she is looking for: her marriage is floundering, she's put aside a career that she enjoyed to raise a child she doesn't.

Enough of my rattling. I'm at work, I should pretend to be productive.

[I have watched enough episodes of "Weeds" on Showtime on Demand to have the theme song "Little Boxes" stuck in my head, and now I'm singing "Little Children" to that tune... sigh.]

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Damn, I switched my blog over to the new version, and forgot my user name and password for awhile. I had to try multiple combinations of what I normally would choose until I hit on it.

Another good morning, having slept until after 7. Overcast again, although yesterday turned into a bright sunny day. Today, already, I've cleaned the aquariums, mopped the kitchen floor, vacuumed the living room, sorted recycling, and cleaned the toilet/sink in the bathroom. Now I'm ready to laze around all day.

Yesterday I met some friends at a showing "Volver," the latest film by Pedro Amoldovar. I have to qualify that I met friends because they chose the theater (on the Upper West Side, closer to them) while I would normally gravitate toward another (in the East Village, closer to Brooklyn and me.) My biggest complaint about the movie was the seats were really uncomfortable! It distracted me from enjoying the film. I am spoiled by high-backs and comfy seats... even in my little independent local theater. And definitely in the new Landmark Sunshine Theater on Houston Street, where "Volver" was also playing! I also like to sit close. I like to feel enveloped by the film, inside it almost, and sitting closer to the screen aids that feeling. Not to mention that it's easier to read subtitles. Maybe this is why I go to the movies so often alone, because I'm so particular.

I was conditioned, though, by my long-running movie companion, with whom I saw a film nearly every Friday night for nearly 10 years. We had a fight two years ago, a culmination of frustration that truly meant nothing deeper than we'd grown apart (movies were the last thing we had in common), and came to the sad conclusion that we needed to spend less time together. I've not seen him since, something I regret, but am unable to rectify. (We exchange periodic emails which are civil and pleasant and near friendly.) Part of me always feels like a failure if a friendship dies, but the reality is that very very few were meant to last forever, and forcing one beyond its natural expiration date can often make the ending more painful.

The Upper West Side on a Saturday night is unfamiliar territory of late. It was unseasonably warm, a clear night that brought out many. I was early to meet my friends so sat on a circular bench outside the Trump hotel at Columbus Circle, where trees covered with strings of small white lights made it bright enough to read.

The movie was good, classic Almodovar, with feisty and complicated women and disposable men (in several cases, literally so.) Penelope Cruz is delicious as usual, seeming more voluptuous (do they let actresses eat in Spain?) There are several twists and turns, one of which I figured out fairly early on (earlier, even, than the elderly couple next to me who tended to announce to each other their predictions as the scenes unfolded - why do people think that if you can't understand the language of the dialogue that you don't need to hear it? The inflection, tone, mood, pitch of the voice is as important as the words.) The other twist was a welcome surprise.

My butt still hurts, though.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


!!! I slept until 7:43 today, and feel goooooooood. I decided to have a glass of wine last night with dinner, so maybe that's the answer. Or maybe because it's overcast this morning, less daylight to poke me out of bed. Or I was just tired enough to make it work.

Of course now it's 8:43 and I need to get moving, sort laundry to drop off on the way to the gym.

Friday, November 10, 2006

This Life

Yesterday was a beautiful warm day and I decided I would walk home over the Brooklyn Bridge, something I haven't done in awhile. It's great "thinking" time, or in my case, listening to podcasts time. "This American Life" is now a free podcast! (It always available free as streaming audio, but you'd have to pay to download. I like listening as I walk or ride the subway or workout, so prefer the download.) Last time I checked, it was #1 on iTunes. (!!!) You know, I usually feel that I am widely outside the mainstream and then I see something like that and I have to reconsider. Not that most of middle America is downloading podcasts, I guess, but...

Where was I?

Oh, so the biggest impediment to walking home after work has been staying at work later - when I'm walking out at 6 or 6:15, I just want to get home as quickly as possible. The walk is about 1 hour 10 minutes, and of course now it's always dark, which is another factor. When it was summer and bright, walking home meant staying outside and enjoying the sunshine rather than tunneling underground for the subway.

But I really felt good last night, and this morning woke up at 5:15 and thought, hey, it's another nice mild day, why not walk to work? So I did.

I've been ravenous all day though.

But ah, the weekend looms. I love weekends.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Night, Peanut Butter, and Rain

I fell asleep last night watching the election coverage, right after most of the stations called the House for the Democrats. But not so many years ago, I fell asleep after most of the stations told me that Al Gore was my next president, so of course I had to keep checking the tv each time I woke up during the night.

I tried taking over-the-counter sleep aids, but they aren't doing what I need them to. I can fall asleep quickly without a problem. My difficulty is remaining asleep, and so far when I've taken them I've still not been able to sleep past 5 or 6.

Today I woke at 5, wide awake yet feeling exhausted. I debated whether to go to the gym (will it energize me or make me feel worse?) but since I have a dinner to go to tonight, I probably would appreciate sleeping in tomorrow more. ("Sleeping in" on a work day means 6:30 instead of 5 am, but I still hardly ever pull it off, and so when I do I feel lazy.)

* * *

I had a craving for a bagel at lunch, well really for the peanut butter I was putting on the bagel, so I went outside of our office complex to cross the street to the bagel store. It's raining and though I had my umbrella, I didn't change out of my work shoes and plop! landed in a puddle as I was dashing across the street.

The peanut butter was still yummy.

* * *

Sunday at the gym I saw a woman I see periodically there, running madly on one of the downstairs treadmills. She's tiny and bony and tanned, and clings to the front of the machine as she pounds, pounds, pounds her sneakers against the rubber. I was on my way in, so it was about 25 minutes later that I was finished with weight machines and on my way upstairs to the cardio machines when I passed her, in her coat, walking out the door. But when I finished another half hour later and walked past the downstairs treadmill again, there she was. Pounding, sweating, clinging. I know that it's highly possible she has a focused and healthy workout routine, but there is something about her super-skinny arms that is scary. I passed her on the street later in the day, too, and she had on the same outfit, sweat stains and all.

* * *

I'm sitting in a conference room because I wanted to eat my lunch in peace. I think I'll try to work from home tomorrow or Friday. I just feel the need to escape a tiny bit. Take back some of my time for me.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I voted this morning, and it was pretty empty. I was #34 in my electoral district at 8:00 am. Of course, this is a neighborhood where all the real action takes place during the primary, since the Democrat is invariably going to win come November. After the frenzy of our primary, with its downright nasty contest to choose a replacement for our retiring US Congressman, things have been pretty tame.

I like going into the neighborhood schools to vote. I don't get to see them any other time, of course, and so I'm always checking out what's hanging on the hallway walls and bulletin boards. I used to vote in a public elementary school (one of the most popular; it's listed prominently on all of the real estate ads), but now it's the School for International Studies, which I believe is grades 6-12 and one of NYC's public schools that require applications for admission. The NYC school system is somewhat of a mystery to me, having neither attended or been a parent to a child who attended any of them. I once tutored girls from the South Bronx who were studying for the h.s. entrance exams, and one wanted go to to the high school of performing arts, so instead of passing a test she had to memorize a monologue for an audition.

One carrot, two carrot

I have a completely irrational pet peeve. Every day at 1:30 pm, my cubicle neighbor eats her lunch, which invariably includes carrot sticks. The crunching sound drives me insane.

And yet, at 12 noon each day I dive into my own lunch, which often includes baby carrots and/or celery, and try as I do to eat quietly, I'm sure I bother others around me as well.

See? I told you it was irrational.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Six degrees

Oh, and there are posters around the neighborhood to boycott a gourmet food shop that recently opened (or, I suppose,"re-opened under new mangement," as it seems nearly the same as a differently named gourmet food shop that closed a few months ago.) Apparently, their cooling system in the backyard keeps the neighbors awake and when they complained, the owner "sarcastically" told them they were welcome to fix it if it bothered them. So of course I had to cross the street so I could walk past it and stare down anyone shopping inside, but who comes walking out just as I passed the door? Hope Davis. Has she moved to our neighborhood, also?

Borat, naked and hairy

There is a long line at the movie theater, wrapping around the corner and down the block. What film draws such a crowd, you ask? None other than Borat. You don't see me on line, though. But that's only because I went to the matinee this afternoon ($6! yay!) and saw it already. And it was crowded then!

Here's the thing about me: I can sit in a movie theater filled with people laughing themselves out of their seats, and I'm not cracking even a smile, but I still think a movie is funny. I just don't generally laugh out loud, so the people sitting near me probably thought I was lil' miss prude. Maybe it's something to do with being alone at a movie, because I think if I'm with other people I do laugh more. I remember times I've laughed until I teared up. I didn't for this one, but I did think it really funny.

There are moments, though, in most comedies, when a joke goes on and on and I shut down, bored, enough already. Usually it's gross-out physical humor - for example, the scene in one of the Austin Powers movies when the fat Scottish guy (Fat Bastard?) is naked (and there's food or mayonnaise involved? I've gratefully forgotten the details); another is in "There's Something About Mary" when Ben Stiller's character gets his privates caught in his zipper fly. I get it, haha, move on, nothing else to see here. And everyone else around me continues to guffaw, so I know the filmmakers know what they are doing.

To be fair, this moment in "Borat" actually wasn't purely one note; although I could have done without it going on quite as long as it did, they did twist the joke around and add to it as the scene played out. It's another gross naked man scene, though, so maybe I just don't find naked fat men funny? Calling Dr. Freud.

I came home to find that HBO is running a marathon of "Da Ali G Show" so I watched a couple of episodes as I cleaned; the movie is even funnier than the Borat character's bits on that show.

Wait, I just remembered a recent movie at which I laughed uncontrollably - "The Artistocrats."

Any aid I can get

My brain is empty; I have nothing to write. Why is that? Last night, in an effort to have a long night's sleep, I took an over-the-counter sleeping pill. Er, "sleep aid." It did the trick of making me fall asleep quickly, but didn't really help me sleep very long. I guess that's not what it promised, but I don't have problems falling asleep, I have problems staying asleep.

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