You Are At The Archives for January 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

I wish I knew how to quit you

I have a knack for picking out really bad movies. Particularly really bad romantic comedies. I know they’re going to be bad when I pick them out. I always think to myself, “This looks really bad, but I’m going to give it a chance because I don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Well, who ever made up that saying never saw When in Rome.

Don't make me be mean to you
Within the first fifteen minutes of a movie you can usually tell if it’s going to be completely stupid. Not that it matters. I watch it anyway. I watch them all the way through. You can’t just get off the train because you don’t like the destination (... um). I commit and watch every horrible second of them. I'm not a quitter.
If Peter Gabriel tells to you Don't Give Up, you don't give up.
My love for really bad movies is probably the same as my love for really bad Christmas music. I seemed to have missed the refined-taste-bus because it never picked me up. It just seems too time consuming to have good taste and really, isn’t that what makes people interesting? Their quirky flaws? I don’t know and I’m too busy listening to glam rock and waiting for Kelly and Justin to make a sequel to spend any more time considering it. 
You could cut that sexual tension with a knife
Maybe it’s because Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching or because my body is deficient at basic human instincts (like sleeping) but I’ve watched quite a few really bad romantic comedies lately.

The Price of Milk, for example. Have you seen it? I’m guessing probably not.

Here’s the plot:
A New Zealand milk farmer Rob proposes to his girlfriend, Lucinda. Soon after, Lucinda worries their relationship has lost it’s spark so she picks fights with Rob just to make him angry (am I loosing you yet? Wake up, wake up... we’re getting to the good part). Meanwhile, a string of quilt-nappings has been occurring in town. After Lucinda runs over an old lady with her truck, her quilt is stolen. She trades Rob’s dairy cows, worth $400,000 to get the quilt back. Rob is so angry he loses his voice and leaves Lucinda to plan their wedding alone.

This was a really awful movie that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone. It’s like one of those movies that you see on Comedy Central repeated every two hours on a Sunday. The only interesting part of this movie is the music played by the Moscow symphony. Harry Sinclair, the writer-director, was inspired by a Russian symphony by Anatol Liadov that he heard on the radio and wrote this story about it. I don’t know how he came up with story line about a New Zealand dairy farmer bothered by a supernatural, quilt-napper but he did.

And then there was The Truth About Love set in the United Kingdom with Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Don't give up, Hewitt
Hewitt’s character sends an anonymous Valentine’s card to her husband to test his fidelity. Basically she finds out her husband is cheating on her and she ends up with his best friend. Yeah, it was bad. OK, I probably could have just stopped at “with Jennifer Love Hewitt”and you knew it was going to be bad.

The thing is, I really like Jennifer Love Hewitt. She seems like such a likable person and I think she could be a good actress. I always want her movies to be really good, but they aren’t. One of these days, Hewitt. One of these days you’re going to make an awesome movie and I’m going to be proud of you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Same as it Ever Was

You may ask yourself, How did I get here?
Boredom. There are few times in my life when I ever been truly bored. But when boredom returns to my life it’s like welcoming home an old friend for a long weekend. Boredom and I have a long history. We don’t get to see each other very often but when we do it’s always memorable.

Lately I’ve realized, to my relief, I’m not the strangest person in my building. Like the guy living above me that’s probably the last surviving Vanilla Ice fan.
Hard knock life for a white guy growing up in suburban Dallas
And I won’t even begin to describe the conversations about women I’ve heard from the hallway. This is probably because I’m one of the maybe three girls living in my building. While I, like Oprah, am not even kind of gay, boys are gross. Let me explain.

There’s this one guy that belches into the stairwell so he can listen to it echo. And then the guy that leaves his clothes in the washer for hours so I have to touch his damp skivvies to do my own laundry. He also doesn’t sort his clothes so they’re all the same weird brownish purple color.

But the worst is the neighbor that comes home from work and yells into the corridor, “Honey, I’m home!” which echos up through the stairwell into my apartment.
I guess it could be worse.
I can only assume he thinks it's funny. After hearing him the first time all I could think was, “If that is the symbolic corridor of life, sir, you are failing.” Boredom makes me think in really dumb metaphors.

When I’m really bored I like to go to antique malls. Sometimes I go to find something useful but usually I’m just looking for the ridiculous or creepy. Like the time I found these pumpkins:

Or the time I found the head of Liza Minnelli:

I really considered buying the Minnelli head but I think I already have enough on my plate of weirdness.

There was a night when I googled myself and actually found some interesting information. Apparently, I’m married and making $137,000 a year but sadly still living in Missouri with my parents. I don’t know if I should be happy that Mr. Google thinks I’m married and actually making enough money to pay back my student loans or depressed that he thinks I’m in my mid 20s and still living with the parents. I think I’ll go with depressed. Mr. Google, you have both under- and overestimated me.
Mr. Google in his youth. Snappy dresser.
Most recently I rearranged my apartment and rotated my mattress. I think the rearrangement makes my apartment look a little bigger. So that was a good decision. Rotating the mattress? Not so good. It almost smothered me. Death by mattress suffocation, probably not the most peaceful way to go.

Sunday, January 2, 2011 in , ,


Not what Robert Johnson had in mind
(This is a road trip story. Don't expect too much.)

Recently my dad and I went on a road trip. I guess it wasn’t a real road trip, he was just picking me up in Wisconsin and driving me home for the holidays. But really they’re all the same, aren’t they? Sitting in a car, driving on a few highways, trying to stay awake and eating crappy road food.

Quality time with the old man
This got me to thinking of road trips my family took when I was a kid. My mom would always try to find little games my brother and I could quietly play in the backseat to make the time go by quicker. My dad would always buy us Mountain Dew and Skittles, of course, ruining the quietness of my mothers thoughtful planning. I don’t know why every road trip my dad thought Skittles and Mountain Dew was a good combination for two little kids. We would get really hyped up on sugar and then I would usually get car sick. It also didn’t help that my father liked to “play a game” by accelerating at the top of hills so the car would lift slightly and my tiny child body would get flung into the air.

So anyway, my dad drove 8.5 hours from Missouri to Wisconsin, picked me up, and then drove another 8.5 hours back to Missouri in the same day refusing to stay the night. Did I offer to drive some to give him a rest? Of course. Did he let me drive? Of course not. I decided if he wasn’t going to let me drive, it was my job to help keep him awake.

For probably the first two hours we talked off and on about what we’ve been doing in the last few months. By the third hour, I decided we needed to listen to some Christmas music. Unfortunately, my dad doesn’t share my enjoyment of bad pop Christmas songs and he definitely didn’t enjoy my imitations of them. After about two hours of our Christmas Song Marathon or "This Horrible Crap" (his words, not mine), I think his mind was starting to break.

Before leaving Wisconsin and driving through Iowa, we passed this little town that had one of those drive through light displays. You know the ones where they string lights across the road and have light scenes of reindeer jumping over your car or Santa climbing up a chimney. They’re like a tacky, roadside, Christmas gem.

I’ve never been through one before so I told my dad that we had to do it. He looked really unhappy but took an exit and drove up to the entrance.  I immediately started snapping pictures. But as we drove up to the entrance my dad realized he didn’t want to waste money on driving through a Christmas light display and turned around. I shamefully told him he was ruining Christmas. He laughed.
A little while later the conversation started to take a nosedive. I had run out of good topics to talk about and that is never a good situation for me. I get kind of uncomfortable and then the endless chatter begins and I spit out whatever comes to mind. One of the first signs of this was after we stopped for gas we saw a giant bronze statue of a jaguar. The conversation went as such:

Sam: So which one is it that doesn’t exist? Jaguars or panthers?
Dad: (Confused silence)
Sam: You know? Which one is made up?
Dad: (More silence, heading toward disappointment)
Sam: I saw on PBS one night this special on wild cats and they said something like jaguars or black panthers don’t really exist. I don’t really remember. But isn’t that true?
Dad: (More silence) No.
Sam: (Confused silence)
Dad: The push mi- pull yu is a made up animal. Is that what you're talking about?
Probably extinct
In my defense, I really did see a special on wild animals; however, I was slightly confused. It’s the black cougar that is believed by some biologists to not exist.
Not this kind of cougar:

but this kind:

I wish I could say I redeemed myself later by starting an intelligent conversation but I didn’t. After saying something else stupid this was the conversation:

Sam: I should get a leather notebook to carry with me so I don’t forget all my ideas.
Dad: Like a moleskin notebook?
Sam: Yeah! That’s something that white people like.
Dad: (He made a strange face followed by silence)
Sam: Haven’t you seen that website?
Dad: (Exasperated face and more silence) Why would I look at something like that?

All in all it wasn’t a bad road trip and I got to spend some time with my dad. But I think now he is questioning how I ever made it through six years of college.

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