Monday, August 31, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
It's a nice school, sure, but worthy of a pilgrimage? No way. Yes, Stadium High is Tacoma's Stone Henge, but Tacoma also sucks.
My dislike of 10 Things I Hate About you is at least partly due to my not entirely rational hatred of Julia Stiles and all that she stands for. Here's how most my conversations about Julia Stiles go:
Friend: Julia Stiles is doing Shakespeare in the park.
Me: Ugh. What a phony!
Friend: Why? She's a huge Shakespeare buff.
Me: Yeah, I hate her too.
"Geez, there could be people who are really hurt and all you care about is your hair. You're as bad as Anderson Cooper."
Monday, August 17, 2009
I don't associate success with happiness, or a fulfilling career, or even with the rearing of non-ugly children. I associate it with shopping at Whole Foods.
Maybe it's shallow, but I'll know I've 'arrived' when, and only when, I can be at that store for more than 5 minutes without feeling guilty and tense.
Unless you've earned it, every trip to Whole Foods can be like the life you don't have. Sort of like It's a Wonderful Life, or whatever that shitty Nicholas Cage movie was shooting for. So I try not to go there. I make do with Whole Foods' easier but slightly less attractive sister, Trader Joe's. (Trader Joe's carries non-organic meat, which is grocery store equivalent of being the town mule.)
You know that excuse you make to yourself when you buy non-free-range eggs or order pizza from clinic-bombers? You feel guilty, but you rationalize it by making grandiose promises about how you'll live your life once you have the income?
Whole Foods people have it. And what's more terrifying, they have the time to care.
Which brings us to the real lesson here, and that is: if you have to be a jerk, don't be a jerk when you have the one customer base in the country that's actually rich enough to be moral.
Here's the thing: if Walmart had written into the Wall Street Journal complaining about Universal Health Care, I would have been okay with it. Why? Because Walmart claims no moral highground above, say, not selling poison milk to schoolchildren.
Whole Foods, on the other hand, has this whole caring, sustainable living, helping indigenous farmers platform.
That's why when John Mackey says:
"A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That's because there isn't any. This "right" has never existed in America."he's being particularly stupid because he's alienating his customers. Whole Foods shoppers don't just believe in rights, they want to think they believe in rights. And that's even more dangerous. Maybe they only believe in the right of their daughter to have an cushy unpaid internship at Goldman-Sachs and still get health care. But trust me: they will boycott you, and so will their groundskeepers.
I'd just like to end with my favorite line from the Op-Ed:
"We should be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our 90s and even past 100 years of age."Yeah ... if you subsist solely on the grass-fed, all-natural, sugar- and wheat-free animals they sell at Whole Foods. Which, by the way, probably have better health care than we do.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Julie: "Why are we in Queens again? Oh, right, because we have no money and it's close to your work."
Julie: What am I going to do? All I know how to do is write and cook!"five minutes later:Julie: I have an idea! I'm going to write a cooking blog, and through it I will write and cook!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Don't see Paper Heart until you've gone out and found your soul mate.
Seriously. Just find someone, chat them up, buy them some dinner at the food court and high-tail it over to Paper Heart. Why?
Because if you don't see Paper Heart with your soul mate, you will feel really weird.
Paper Heart is kind of like Valentine's Day in August, which I found to be kind of unnerving. See, for me, August is the one time of year when my birthday and Christmas are 5 months in direction, February 14th is 5 months in the other direction, and for one brief, wonderful moment I can be in the eye of the proverbial "hating myself for being single" storm. I try to take it easy around this time and just hate myself for being in debt.
It didn't help that the phenomena of people inexplicably leaving one empty seat between themselves and the next group forced my friend and I to split off into different rows. So so I was literally surrounded on all sides by spooning, spooning couples. The depth of the spooning cannot be overemphasized.
I liked Paper Heart, don't get me wrong. It was a feel-good romantic film, cute, cutesy, and idealistic. And I like that kind of stuff.
But after awhile, it gets to be like, okay, Charlyne Yi: You're successful and funny, you hang around with Seth Rogan and Dmitri Martin, and Michael Cera is totally in the tank for you ... that's it? Really?
My friend said the film worked because it's impossible to go wrong when you interview cute old, cute sassy gay, or cute redneck-but-educated couples about how they met. It's basically the documentary equivalent of saying, "I like the Beatles!" Which is great. But I also think that to achieve true dramatic conflict, sometimes the Beatles have to get hit by a bus, y'know?
Translation: not being able to reciprocate the depth of freaking Michael Cera's love is not a problem. Michael Cera secretly being an Axis Powers double agent a la Eye of the Needle? Now that's a problem. But no one listens.
So coming out of Paper Heart, I had my requisite offput-cynical-viewer tirade fueled by my ambivalent love/hate/coveting for Michael Cera and Molly Moo's.
But then I went home and read one or two reviews that kind of irked me. And not just because neither of them acknowledge that Charlyne Yi won the Walter Salt Award for Best Screenplay. (The footage of her winning is here.)
I'm not even going to start on Marshall Fine of the Huffington Post, who judging by his bitterness may or may not have been served with divorce papers twenty minutes before he took on Charlyne Yi.
What really, really bothers me is when the New York Times writes,
"Wearing a permanently baffled expression and a succession of androgynous jeans and hoodies, [Yi] shuffles through the movie without acting ability or, it seems, basic survival skills."
He's holding Yi, a comedian, to the standard of "basic survival skills?" It is only by virtue of having no survival skills that one becomes a comedian. Yi's onstage and film character is as deliberate and consistent as any male auteur's.
The glasses, frizz-halo, hoodie and "andro" jeans are her -- in the same way that Larry David slouches around season after season of Curb Your Enthusiasm in the same pair of khakis and sneakers and long-sleeved crew necked T-shirt (why the fuck do I know this?). Because that's Larry David. Playing himself. To be neurotic and quirky and "above it" is every comedian's prerogative, and it is also Yi's.
If Larry David and Woody Allen and all the other comic auteurs can run around being total neurosis-filled weirdos with bad hair, why can't Yi wear "androgenous" pants?
Can't Yi be just as fucking creepy as her male counterparts? Not shower? Avoid feelings via the tactics of sarcasm, self-disparaging comments and laughing at really inappropriate times?
I mean, my God, Woody Allen auteured a dozen films where his being a literal freak of nature somehow escaped every critic's notice. Yet they take exception to Yi's clothing for being .... bland? Conspicuously?
Look, just a basic rule to keep it all straight: if, for whatever reason, you find yourself not wanting to talk about Woody's pants, then don't trash Charlyne's, okay? Okay.