Consumables #156: Watching Nostalgia

I am sorry to be that tiresome dingus who constantly talks about the weather but it was in the mid-90s for the past few days in this city of reptilian vampires and people were Fer-eaking Out. I did my utmost to keep my glee to myself, and I have done well with that, but I will tell you, my close personal peeps, that it was glorious to me. As my dear Mary Berry would say on the Great British Baking Show, I am getting an even bake through and through and it’s quite delightful.

Aside from evenly baking, I have been having an attack of the nostalgias lately. There is something about hot weather that makes me think of childhood summers when I lived in less mild places, so maybe that is why. It also just so happens that I have watched, read, heard some nostalgic things as well. Such as what? Such as these.

Stranger Things: Has there ever been a piece of art that is so meticulously constructed to pluck a certain generation’s nostalgia bone than this? Methinks not. However, I have a confession to make, and it is this. I did not, even as a kid, like Stephen Spielberg movies. Not ET, not Goonies, not even Stand By Me. BEFORE YOU THROW YOUR TOM-AH-TOES: I am not saying I actively disliked them. I thought they were fine. As an adult I can look back and deconstruct that perhaps this was because Spielberg wasn’t really connecting with my arty POC girl heart, but that could be hindsight. All I know is that I was a little girl that was starved for representation, and when I say starved I mean I was WRINGING rep where there was none to be had. Like, I decided Jaclyn Smith was my favorite Charlie’s Angel because she was the most tan. Also, when I read the Anne of Green Gables books I was FIXATED on the fact that Diana had black hair. OMG BLACK HAIR IT SAYS SHE HAS BLACK HAIR I HAVE BLACK HAIR ALSO PLEASE KEEP TALKING ABOUT THE BLACK HAIR. There was not a brown person to be found hardly anywhere so I was grasping at straws. Most of the time, again due to lack of options, it was hair-related. I can name off for you all of the pop culture black-haired touchstones of my youth (Dear Veronica from Archie Comics: in the words of Whitney Houston IIIIIIIIIIII-eeeee-IIIIIIIIII will always love yoooooooooo). Anyway. My point is that although the nostalgia in Stranger Things definitely worked on me, it was a weird feeling. Like, I loved it because it reminded me of being a kid, but also I felt that same disconnect. The same one that I feel with John Hughes movies, by the way (DON’T THROW THOSE TOMATOES I SAID).

Don’t Think Twice: This is that one starring Mike Birbiglia and Keegan-Michael Key, et al and the first thing that I have to say about it is that I can NEVER REMEMBER the gee-dee name of this movie. I keep wanting to tell people to go see it but I’m like: Stop Thinking Now? Who’s Thinking Twice? Twice Thinking Tales? Stop Thinking Sense? Thinks and Thinksability? Ugh, my brain. So, a thing you may have forgotten about me because I am decripit and can barely remember my life before librarianship anymore so why should you remember it, is that there was a time, in my youth, where I was a bonafide theater person. I worked in the THEE-AH-TAH, like in a for reals way, and trod boards and was pretty good at it and comedy was my thing and I loved it with all of my heart. Maybe not as much as I loved the career I had before that as a tippy toe dancer, but pretty dang close. It was such a beautiful time in my life, I could cry if I think on it too much, which I kind of don’t. This movie is about people who love that stuff too, and how some of them succeed and some of them don’t and some of them just decide to quit. It’s the Some of Them Decide to Quit part that pretty much ripped my guts out. OH HI, MIDDLE AGED REGRETS MOVIE, WHAT, NO I AM JUST CUTTING ONIONS IN THE MOVIE THEATER, NEVER YOU MIND.

The Get Down: I put off watching this because honestly I wasn’t convinced that I needed to know what Baz Luhrmann wanted to say about hip hop. However, given the setting, the topic, the actors OF COURSE I was going to watch it. I am only two episodes in and it is a hot melodramatic mess, but sort of in a good way, I think? I guess I don’t care about the story that much. I do care that the 70s hip hop fashion is on POINT, and I do care that there are dance battles, and I do care that there is a sort of Kung Fu wielding graffiti superhero, I guess? These are things that will make me happy, despite how much scenery is being chewed every second of the dang thing. I am going to stick with it, at least through the first season. It makes me want to wear bell bottoms and halter tops, which in my parlance is an endorsement.

That’s a lot of nostalgia items, is it not? Let’s add one more. A jam from the turn of the 21st century, still on heavy rotation on my current playlists. Takes me back. So good.

Angie Stone, Wish I Didn’t Miss You

 

Consumables #155: Watching Jason Bourne

Peak summer feelins, y’all! It has been beautemous in these parts. We have finally started to feel the burn (if you will pardon the expression, don’t get hot under the collar, now) season-wise. I had a supes fantasmic week off early this month when my niece came to visit me from the Eastern Seaboard (how come nobody around here talks about the Western Seaboard? What is a seaboard, anyway? Please file this under: I Should Look It Up But It Ain’t Likely To Happen) and we ran around my city in the way that you do when people come to visit from out of town. It was really fun and a wonderful reminder that my fam is kind of the best. Also summery: maxin’and chillaxin’ out on the deck, which has been pretty great because if you recall, I made our noisy garbage neighbor boys move out just by THINKING THEM OUT OF HERE. So now we can barbecue to our hearts’ content without bordering the Land of Dudentina. Ahhhhhhhh, refreshing.

As part of summer lovin’, had us a blast, we have been taking in lots of summer blockbuster style movies. Latest one: Jason Bourne. Here’s what I will tell you about Jason Bourne movies. The first ones are the best ones and the formula is getting a little old now, but a thing I enjoy about them is the use of PURPOSEFUL WALKING CHASES. Jason Bourne does so much power walking and manages to make it suspenseful! Bourne movies bring the same cadence that I use at work when I have to walk over to get my latest printout from the printer and I am on deadline. Only instead of printouts, Bourne walks into punching someone in the face with his bare knuckles until they die, but almost same diff. Not only this, but oftentimes his purposeful walking involves technology. He is assessing the best route via a GPS gadget, or giving someone directions in a quiet, intense voice using an earpiece. Just picture yourself walking around with google maps and add in a French rooftop assassin and you get the gist. On the downside, there are a few things about this latest Bourne movie that are less than ideal, say for instance if you are looking for “story” or “motivation” or “things making sense.” Put those in the Con column. But speedwalking with intense determination? Full marks.

Also? The main lady character (there are only a couple of ladies in these movies at a time, you understand) spends the entire movie with her hair clipped up in a big black plastic 80s hair clip. Sorry to have to reduce the lady character to her hair accessory and not her performance but IT WAS A 80s HAIR CLIP. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I do not know who made this decision– the hair designer of the movie, the director, who– but I was so here for it.

These are my thoughts on Jason Bourne. Speed-walking and a hair clip. That’s kind of all you need to know.

Mani-clobber

Hey BooBoos! I have so many things to share with you that I am CLOGGED. My blogging needs to Ex-Lax and Chill. Where to begin? IDK. Let’s just dunk ourselves into it. (Can I make these opening sentences sound any more vaguely disgusting? I AM DOING MY BESTICLE).

I took myself to the local manicurist establishment the other day. I am not one to do that very often because I can pretty much do my own nail paintings to my required level of satisfaction and regular manicuring seems like fancy lady Mrs Howell times to me, but I had a stressful week and wanted to do something nice for myself. I went to a place near my house that had good online reviews and asked for a plain manicure which came with a hand, arm, and shoulder massage. And you guys! That massage was the kind of massage where the lady was prrrrrrrrretty much beating me up. I also am not a big massage connoisseur (see Mrs Howell cheapskate comment above) so maybe I just do not understand such things but OMG. WHY AM I PAYING FOR THIS PERSON TO SMITE MY RUIN UPON THE MOUNTAINSIDE. I came here for sparkles on my nails. I did not see “reenact the Rocky-in-the-meatlocker-scene with yourself playing the role of The Meat” listed on the website. YEESH.

So many pop cultural goings on! First of all, what I really want to do is a close read of the Swift/Kimye sitch but I shall spare you the agony. The problem is that my knowledge and interest in the Kardashians is really at genius levels at this point; I mean I am the Neil De-Grasse-Tyson of Kardashians and no one else I know is into it and so conversing about it is too hard. Like, you know how a movie will come out and DeGrasse-Tyson will be all “THAT ISN’T HOW SPACE WORKS, SANDRA BULLOCK IN ‘GRAVITY'” and everyone sort of rolls their eyes because that’s annoying, Uncle Neil, but also Uncle Neil KNOWS WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT AND WE DO NOT. That is me. Only I am Uncle Neil and the Kardashians are space and my friends are Sandra Bullock. Someone will say something about a Kardashian and I will say “ACTUALLY WHAT KIM DID THERE WAS SUBVERT THE RACIALIZED DYNAMIC OF SWIFT’S COMMENTS ABOUT KANYE IN A FLAWLESSLY THOUGHT OUT AND IMPECCABLY TIMED WAY AND LET ME TELL YOU MORE ABOUT THIS AND I CAN ALSO DRAW DIAGRAMS WITH TIMELINES IF THAT HELPS YOU” and then people want to body check me, manicurist style. So, just know that I want to talk more about this but I am going to stop now AS A FAVOR TO YOU. Trust me, you should thank me. I have a problem.

I went to the movies to see some ghosts being busted last week. It was super fun, and it was pretty cool to see the stars– who usually do much more over-the-top kooky, adult-oriented humor–skew their comedy to a younger, PG-13 audience. I wish I would’ve had this movie when I was 10.

Also seen by these eyeballs: Bed, Bath, and Star Trek Beyond. People who like Star Trek movies like it through various access points, and for me the main one is the relationships between the characters. The more they get to interact and develop nuance, the happier I am. The recent reboots have done this pretty solidly, and I have to say that although I liked this one a lot, it didn’t have as much of this as I wanted. That’s the down side. The upside was that there was a lot of fun chasey chase and explodey booms that were quite enjoyable, and also John Cho. I like a large heaping dose of John Cho, which, I know, so original.

If all that weren’t good enough! Great British Baking Show is BACK. BISCUITS, SPONGES, AND EVEN BAKES FOR ALL. The parade of colorful jackets on one Ms Mary Berry, the thoughtful, always kind but always tough judging, the disgusting looking food (NO PRUNES IN MY BREAD THANK YOU), mwah! So great.

So much more to share, but Ima get going for now. Summer is in full swing, y’all! I hope you are having a ball and not letting any manicurists wallop your neckbone. Here’s my current jam for your earball pleasure.

Good as Hell, Lizzo

 

 

Take care

It has been a hard, raw week in our world, my darlings. How are you all doing? I hope you’re taking care, and that goes double for my POC brothers and sisters. It’s a traumatizing time and the shit just keeps coming, and for those who see times like these and galvanize, organize, and push even harder for positive change, please take some time to decompress, take care of yourself, lean on your loved ones, clear your head as much as you can.

It can be a fraught thing to have a little project like this here blog, whose reason for existing is pure silliness, during times when nothing feels worthy of lightness. I kept thinking about writing, but I didn’t want to because of the heaviness in my own heart, so this week just went by without any drafts being started. It’s been a busy week anyway- my niece came to visit from the east coast, plus I had a nasty cold all week at the same time, and interwoven into that was what felt like a frenzied loop of checking twitter and other sources for news, reading, checking in with friends, writing legislators, making calls- all the things we do to try to push back against the wave of despair and worry that are so much larger than any one of us at times like this. Why would I take any time out of my week to write you some ha has about Veep, or whatever? It seems absurd.

Today was a day that I took some time for myself to try and stop the cycle of reading, checking, doing, and acting and remember that it’s ok, and healthy, to try to think about something else. Unplug from the news. Take a walk. See a movie. Hug and kiss someone. Watch lots of car karaoke on youtube, if you must know. We need that.

So, in that spirit, I’m posting some things that I took in today, and yes, my goofball tone will stay in tact. I flatter myself I am sure, but I’d like to think that checking in with this corner of the internets could function as a sliver of that self-care space that you might need. We’ve got a lot of work out there in the world to keep ourselves informed and moving forward, but in between, I am here for a few seconds of dippy joy.

Love and Basketball: I love this movie so much that I don’t even care that it has sportage bouncey ball at the center of it. Monica is a basketball star who falls in love with her childhood neighbor Quincy, a basketball hotshot in his own right. I think what is missing for me in most romantic movies is the sense that the couple are truly friends, equals, and partners in their relationship and this one has this in piles without losing any sexiness. Plus! Sweet 80s and 90s hip hop and r&b soundtrack is just TO DIE FOR. Watch it and feel better about things.

Love, Loss, and What We Ate: This memoir by Padma whats-her-face from Top Chef gave me the rep sweats (THANK YOU NPR’S CODESWITCH FOR GIVING ME THIS PERFECT TERM. Rep sweats = that anxiety you get as a person from an underrepresented group who sees someone on tv or movies that is from your group and you want them to be great SO BADLY). I could have gotten past a lot of things for Padma, but you guys she went and insulted Fiji, where my folks are from. An Indian-American lady (yay, I identify with that!) takes time out of her life to make a very specific reference to Indians from Fiji (gasp! a level of specificity that never happens! REP SWEATS ENGAGE, WHAT WILL SHE SAY), and then all she does is talk about how people from Fiji are coarse, speak terribly, are embarrassingly backward, hate women (WHAT) and beat their children (DOUBLE WHAT). EXSQUEEZE ME PADMA BUT YOU NEED TO SHUT UPPPPPPPPPP. Ignorantly shit-talking an entire culture is the sign of a horrible person, so Padma, my rep sweats were warranted. You are an epic, epic fail.

Clue: Tim Curry as the butler, Michael McKean as the nerdy scientist, Leslie Ann Warren as a Susan Sarandon doppleganger, ALL GREAT. If for nothing else, watch this just for the line where Madeline Kahn talks about how mad she is.

2 Dope Queens podcast: I could not love it more and am now just mad that I listened to them all too fast and I have no more to hear. SAVOR THEM.

Hip Hop Family Tree comics series: Chock full of hip hop artists from mega stars to deeper cuts, this will make you want to make playlist after playlist.

Mr. Robot: Despite the feeling that comes over me when I am watching this that it could’ve been written by a really smart but overly serious ex-boyfriend of mine in college (IT’S ALL CORPORATE CONSUMERISM, MAN, WE ARE ALL PAWNS, NO LISTEN) this enjoyably conspiracy-ish world of smart weirdos who are all half terrible but not wrong about things (oh hey, like that ex-bf was) is fun to binge, just in time for the next season to come out later this month.

Refill your souls, friends.

 

Consumables #154 Game of Barca Loungers

First of all, the weather people in my city are fucking fibbers right now, ALL OF THEM. (Whoa, I am coming in hot, guys, but it’s been a frustrating week on a few levels and I am going to project it onto weatherpeople of the world, as is only right). I get up and look at the dumdum weather report and get dressed and go outside and my knickers grow icicles on them throughout the day and I am SICK OF IT. It’s not that it’s chilly that bothers me. It’s the LIES. SO MANY METEOROLOGY LIES.

Can we talk about Game of Thrones for a second? I feel like there are two types of viewers of this show. One group of people who love it and touch it and feel it and hug it. Another group of people are like 50% in and 50% just like why am I even watching this. (Don’t you love it when someone sets up their own opinion like it’s actually a whole group of people rather than just saying that it’s them? That’s what I just did. I am the people who is only 50% in and I do not know of any others. It’s not people. It’s just meople.)

Here are the things I do not understand about Game of Thrones. I shall try to do this with no spoilers because people go apeshit about spoilers.

Timelines. What in the what is going on with the Game of Thrones calendar? Like, people are traveling, most often by foot or if they are lucky by horse or boat, across kingdoms CONSTANTLY and yet no time seems to really have gone by. Shouldn’t that stuff take months? When juxtaposed with other scenes, things happen too fast. People are just popping over from one kingdom to the next like they are all in the same cul de sac.

When there are big battle scenes, how are hordes of battalions sneaking up on each other? Like, there will be a battle going on in an open meadow (who mows the meadow in prep for big battles?) and right at a crucial moment another army of people will SWOOP IN and surprise everyone. Like, how is no one in the original battle noticing that from a mile away? Also, how does an army pull off a surprise like that at just the right moment? Often the surprise army is supposedly coming from another kingdom (see also: TIMELINE PROBS) but yet they are busting in on just the right day and time? I once threw a surprise party for a friend with 20 people and I could barely wrangle that up on time.

When there is a crowd scene or a battle scene or any large group scene, people are always speechifying to the crowd. Ain’t no lavalier mics in Westeros  or what have you so nobody can hear that stuff! PEOPLE OF WINTERFELL! I KNOW YOU CANNOT HEAR ME BUT I SHALL GIVE YOU DIRECTIONS ANYHOO! [cheering]

Riding dragons, Neverending-Story style. Are the spikey parts on dragon backs soft? They look not soft. Seems like you would want to rock a side-saddle, is all I am saying. OR MAYBE YOU DON’T, AM I RIGHT LADIES

I feel extra sorry for the characters that just get dragged on for five minutes just as a murder-plot device. Like poor Rickon. Nobody watching you gives a shit, Rickon. (I guess that was a mild spoiler, but if you haven’t seen this episode yet, trust me, you won’t care about Rickon). I guess this is not really a “thing I don’t understand” but still. Rickon was such a redshirt and I feel bad for redshirts.

A lot of times, there will be a male character who doesn’t want to do something. A lady character will try to convince him otherwise. He is like “no, thanks.” And then the lady will literally open her dress up and be like “LOOKY MY HYPNOTIZING BOOBIES” and the guy will go “WHATEVER YOU SAY, BOOB MAIDEN” and there you go, argument won. Keeping in mind this is also happening in a world where dudes can basically do whichever lady they please with no consequence and often do not give a shit about consent even, so boobs seem to be a dime a dozen. IDK, people. IDK.

There are hardly any people of color in Game of Thrones and when they are there, they are such tired stereotypes I cannot EVEN TAKE IT. You guys there are even middle-eastern looking people that are called SAND SNAKES. LIKE, EXSQUEEZE ME? There is a second group of people that are tribal savages that basically wrestle and hump each other in the streets all day long. There is a third group of people that are slaves. I MEAN, LET’S DO THE MATH ON THIS. So much of the time I am just having to breathe deeply and lean on the baby Jebus to get through that sort of thing so I won’t get into all that mess here except to point out one small thing that bugs me: all GoT people of color have a very strong need to wear lots of eye makeup. No one else is wearing eye make up but if a brown dude or lady shows up, SMOKEY EYE ALERT. As a lifelong recipient of weird racialized things getting put on me and thinking about that a lot, I have never once thought about smokey eye as a signifier of brownness. I FIND IT SO WEIRD. Why, Game of Thrones, why.

So many questions.

Consumables #153 Terrible People and Miserable Wretches

Well, I think the blog may be magic, because no sooner had I written some shade about my neigh-bros, they cleaned off their front deck completely. No more ping pong table, no more garbage, no more red solo cup string lights, and no more yelling. ALL GONE. That is some Game of Thrones red witch stuff, people. Is this how you make shizz happen, by being a complainy whine-dog? What should we make happen next? Ok, how about this. I AM SO PERTURBED THAT I DO NOT HAVE TICKETS TO SEE TWO DOPE QUEENS IN PERSON. Ok, there. Now, we wait.

I have been watching two shows lately in a binge. Show number one: Veep. I am fascinated with it merely because it is able to make me laugh despite the fact that every last character is made up of internal garbage. Like, they are hhhhhhhhhhorrible people. Also depressing because, as a reflection of US politics, it seems like a totally plausible representation. There is a scene in Season 4 where they get news of a mass shooting and President Elaine Benis says something along the lines of “we need to get a statement out; there should be a ‘thoughts and prayers’ template you can use” and I wanted to lie down on the floor in a ball about how it’s supposed to be a farce but it is so, so not.

I have also started watching The Leftovers. I am one episode away from being done with Season 1 and I keep hearing that Season 2 is what you really want to hang in there for but LORDY I NEED SUPPORTY. This may be the most unrelentingly joyless show I have ever seen in mah lahf. Every last character in each episode is having the worst day of their life EVERY DAY EVERY EPISODE. And there is not one second of levity anywhere to be found. I mean, The Wire is depressing but they threw in things like Senator Davis saying “sheeeeeeeeeeeeeet” every now and then. Not so, Leftovers. The only relief I get out of that show is looking at close-ups of Justin Theroux and wondering if he is always wearing perfect eye makeup or if his eyes are just that pretty. If it is the former then I want to know what brand of mascara, homeboy. Hook a girl up.

After a couple of weeks where I am watching these two shows in the middle of so much grim real life nonfiction news, I am thinking I need to switch over to something that isn’t full of people with garbage souls or oppressive hopelessness. Suggestions welcome.

 

Delta Lambda Gross

Dearly Beloved, we shall now convene and commence the time of year when those of us in Seattle who have been freezing our clammy bootangos all year go SUNSHINE KISS ME YOU FOOL, while others who prefer to slosh around in puddles will hide in their gollum caves saying THE FIREBALL IT BURNS US. There are those who lie in between those two extremes but Y’ALL I AIN’T ONE OF EM.

Sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun SUNNNNNNNNN

One of the most lovely feelings of summer weather starting up is setting up our yard and deck for the first time. Hosing everything off, setting up the chairs, popping up the sun shades, firing up the grill, and then sitting out there for the first time with a book and drink? Major jollies are had from this, I GAR-on-tee. The only thing that sometimes stops me from getting my butt out there? Camp Dude.

I may have mentioned this last summer, but let us refresh. Living next door to me is a house full of dudes. Now let me just preface what I am about to say by saying the following. This house is a rental and, pretty much annually, we get different neighbors. We have had a lot of, well, variation over the years, and I have never had any reason to, in my heart, throw any shade toward a neighbor. There was a somewhat loud group of goth kids, just barely out of their teens, that lived there for a year, blasting their emo music and sipping what one could only assume was absinthe in their yard while draped in black like a Severus Snape picnic. Their wifi username would pop up on my computer sometimes: The Necropolis of Angels. I thought every last bit of it was adorable, including the Bauhaus that would play through my windows when I was going to bed at night. I think those were my favorite neighbors.

This year, there is nothing cute to me about what is going on with my neighbor house. This year is the Year of the Brosephs. It is pretty much a frat house over there, I think. Like, the level of it is so cliche that I almost can’t believe it is for realsies. I know you thought that the goth kids were cliche, but I guess the difference here is that I am comfortable with outsiders, but I have spent my entire life running as fast as I can from this particular brand of privileged, white, insecurely hetero, aggressively masculine bullcaca. LIKE I JUST CAN’T EVEN DEAL WITH IT. Could it really be that dude-ish over there or are they maybe just making a Zac Efron movie? Their front yard, like mine, has a large-ish patio deal, and just that alone is a sight to behold. First of all, they have strung their front fence with lights that are covered in red solo cups. I say again, RED SOLO CUPS. Then, they have a dirty papasan chair on the patio because OF COURSE THEY DO. Next up, a pingpong table, a portable basketball hoop, three coolers, and oh yeah, garbage all over the floor. Mostly crushed beer cans. I do not know what all gets consumed over there in that house but the amount of garbage bags that are piled up on their curb on trash day each week is ALARMING. Also, they yell a lot. Like, so much yelling all the time! Like there is a constant sportsball match happening in their collective brains. Some fave phrases “COME ON MAN” and also “STOP BEING A BITCH.” Are these greetings and salutations in Bro-land, and does it only count when being hollered? Whatever the case, they seem completely unaware that there is anyone else on planet earth, let alone on our street. How dare my elderly neighbor, Maggie, sit on her stoop to take in a sunset when these fine young gentlemen decide that it would be really HILAIR to have a shouting contest to see who can scream the word “PUSSY” down the street the loudest? I mean, boys will be boys, so CUTE, amirite ladies?

The only saving grace of it all is that they all seem to have other places to be most of the time, so their patio time usually happens for a couple hours a week, here and there. Still, just NOPE, NOPE, NOPE. Let’s hope this is a dudey-free zone by 2017. Because this isn’t my favorite.

Stop yelling, Brah.

 

X Men, lots of X Men

I went to see the latest X Men movie this weekend and here are my thoughts about it- don’t worry, no spoilers.

They put Oscar Isaac’s lovely mug in a sort of turtle-like face paint and dressed him in a couture tin can. He is ageless and hanging out in ancient Egypt being evil. At one point he walks out into the streets with only a loose Jackie O scarf around his head and no one seems to notice that he is BLUE LIKE GROVER in broad daylight. He absorbs other mutants’ power through some sort of ancient motherboard technology. He meets up and recruits Storm. I feel like these movies never give Storm enough to do. She is obvs awesome and yet she’s always sort of background.

Rose Byrne was running around in a burka for disguise-purposes. Don’t do that, Rose. Just don’t do that.

We find Magneto being a family man, which doesn’t last long. He’s gonna put on that metal skull hat shortly and sling some major hardware, don’t you worry. I find Michael Fassbender distracting, I am not gonna lie. Like, he’s too hot. I should be paying attention to how he is using metal weapon art to express his anger management issues but when he’s on screen all I can think is OH HAI YES JUST WALK AROUND SOME MORE WHY DON’T YOU.

There is also Professor X as played by James McAvoy who can also go to a sultry place for me (hello, Atonement) but I feel like he can hide it better because of acting so it wasn’t the same issue. Plus they make him say things like “spit spot” which is a boner killer, if you will pardon me saying so.

Raven is the shape-shifting blue scaley mutant played by Jennifer Lawrence. Here is the thing about Raven that I don’t understand. She’s got this conflict about whether she should be out and proud with her blue-scaled, red mullet self, or whether she should keep it on the DL and walk around looking like a normal, with blond Jessie Spano hair. Obviously we want to live in a world where it’s ok to let your blue skin shine. However. How come the only blue-scaled option is nude? Like, why can’t her blue skinned self put some PANTS ON OR SOMETHING. And if part of her fight is for nude rights, like at least say it. IDK.

Then there’s Angel who is angry and has wings, Nightcrawler who I love because he’s such a gee dee scaredy cat which seems like the most reasonable thing to be, considering. Also Cyclops who gets magical sunglasses that actually look like sunglasses (I always think about poor Georgi LaForge in Star Trek who had to wear that banana clip on his face), and Jean Grey who is SANSA MOTHERJUMPIN STARK. My brain almost couldn’t take that in. Also in the house is Hank McCoy whose mutant power is that he is a blue lion guy? I never understood that one. Olivia Munn also gets in there as one of Oscar Tin Can Isaac’s henchmen. How about we have an Asian or Asian American person in one of these movies who didn’t have any martial arts anything. No effing samurai-style light sabers, no flying kicks, nothing. Just have them fighting like other people. Maybe next time? Hope springs eternal.

What I am saying is that THERE ARE A LOT OF X PEOPLE. I didn’t even get through everyone. X-THRONG MORE LIKE. It was X-breadth but no X-depth.

They run around, blow things up, punch each other in the face, murder kind of a lot of bystanders, and all like that. You know, the yooj. I give it a solid ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Bey-vangelicals

Listen, before Hayden and I get to our recap of seeing Beyonce live last week, I just want to say this. There are five thousand million think pieces in the world about Ms. Knowles Carter that talk about the art that she makes, the feminism she touts, the brand that she creates, the politics that she embodies, the Everything that she Everythings. There’s nuanced writing, thoughtful writing, with subtlety, with close-reads, with acknowledgement of the deep strata of her body of work and what she means to the culture at large. What follows here ain’t that writing, y’all. What follows here is us BARFING OUR FEELINGS OF RAINBOWS. Just so we are clear. Ok, I’ll start.

R:As my dear co-blogger mentioned a couple weeks ago, I am kind of an awesome person in that I got her tickets to the Beyonce concert for her birthday. Sure, it would be fair to say that I actually bought MYSELF a ticket to the concert and then gave her one too. But I believe that it was Mother Teresa who said: “give of oneself in a way that makes sure you get your’n also.” I was excited to go because I always have fun with that Hayden lady and also I am a Beyonce fan in general. I had some trepidation about going to an event in a stadium because I do not enjoy sportage so therefore my knowledge of how to even attend such a venue is limited. But for this, I would stadium it up. I figured it would be an awesome concert, like a ten on a scale of ten. BUT YOU GUYS IT WAS LIKE A THOUSAND OR LIKE MAYBE THE SCALE WOULD JUST BLOW UP FROM GREATNESS LIKE I DO NOT EVEN KNOW HOW TO SAY WHAT WE SAW AND HEARD. Ok, first of all, our SEATS. H, tell them about the seats!

H: THE SEATS.
So, we had floor seats, which of course I was excited about.  Who has floor seats to Beyonce? I figured we’d be out in the middle of a sea of seats, and that’s still very cool and better than the nosebleeds. But in fact, there was a main stage area up front, with a longer L-shaped stage sticking out from it. We were right at the end of the L. Which meant that when Beyonce danced out to the end of the L we could ALMOST TOUCH HER. I was sitting next to a high school boy who was there alone, and almost died from joy when he realized how close we were going to be to they Bey. (Side note: I loved that kid.)
There was a structure on the main stage that was about the size and shape of a 6-story building. When we first sat down Rekha said, “Do you think that thing will spin around or something?” And I was all, “Ha ha no my foolish child, it will just have images projected on it and stuff. It’s cute that you think it might spin tho”
Well GUESS WHAT. It did have images projected on it. It ALSO spun around, and SPLIT IN TWO and had TRAPEZE ARTISTS INSIDE, and there were HIDDEN DOORS on the bottom that the dancers could go in and out of, AND. It was nuts.
R: Aside from the spinning 6-story building, there were 20-foot vertical fire sprays you could feel in your face like you were standing next to a dragon and then the stage filled up with water and everyone came floating out on a conveyor belt and IT SOUNDS LIKE I AM MAKING UP STUFF BUT I CANNOT DESCRIBE IT ALL. But honestly, all of that was just a backdrop for Beyonce herself. I don’t know if it was because we were so close to her but she was truly astounding to see, and I mean ASTOUNDING. Like, the power with which she sang was for serrrrrrious. Over two hours straight, no stopping (except for some costume changes that somehow took less than a minute each), every note just so perfect. And also, full on dancey dance and she wasn’t ever out of breath the whole time. We were right in her face and SHE BARELY EVEN SWEATED OR NOTHING. She kicked water right in our faces from two feet away and WE LOVED IT. KICK AT US AGAIN MY DARLING. And there wasn’t no lip-syncing either. I just don’t even know how to talk about it. Hayden, help a chick out. WHAT DID WE EVEN JUST SEE WAS THAT REAL
H: IDK PRETTY SURE BEYONCE IS MAGIC AND THEREFORE MAYBE NOT REAL??
The whole way home I kept saying things like THIS IS WHAT CHURCH SHOULD BE LIKE BEYONCE IS AN ANGEL THANK YOU FOR KICKING YOUR FOOTWATER ON US BEYONCE.
She really is the ultimate performer, but also possibly a perfect human? Like, her hair was always blowing in the breeze in the most photogenic possible way. And she had this way of making us all feel like part of her perfect magic? I don’t know how to explain it except that before this, I was a Beyonce fan, and now I am BEYHIVE TO THE MAX.
R: ALSO. The layering of images and videos and music and dance and poetry was so awesome. Like, there was fun and pathos and politics and it was just so artful it sort of hurt to be there taking it in. And somehow the whole thing felt totally organic and grounded EVEN WITH THE SHOOTING FLAMES AND STUFF. The spectacle was happening but it all felt so simple and not overdone at all. Just gorgeous, top to bottom. The talent and smarts of that lady were just KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF GOOD, AND ALSO YOUR PANTS AND KNICKERS AND BRASSIERE JUST ALL OF IT KNOCKED OFF. I KNOW WE ARE YELLING A LOT IN THIS POST BUT IT WAS LIFE CHANGING. You think we are overstating but I PROMISE YOU. I ain’t never seen no business like that business.
H: Thanks so much for reading through our screamy devotion, you guys. I really appreciate the fact that you didn’t run away like my friends and coworkers have started doing whenever I start talking about Beyonce’s foot water.
And the biggest, hugest thank you to Rekha. I look forward to a future in which I often bore all the nurses in the assisted living facility with my stories of Beyonce’s talent, magic, and abs–and the amazing woman who brought me into the Beyonce light.
This was an incredible birthday gift and you are an incredible friend. Love you, girl.
R: Only half sure that last sentence wasn’t directed toward Bey.

Kara-okayyyyyyyy

While I was wallowing in my TRIPS BE SO HARRRRRRD whining, I was remiss in telling you that it was Ms. Hayden’s birfday a little bit ago and how hard she is rocking the birthdayness. Her true love, Justin Trudeau, was all hey girl, come on over and spoon my border for your birthday so she up and went to Canada and made everyone jealous with her Instagram, eating fancy food and running around looking all fresh faced and happy.

She also threw a karaoke party for her non-Trudeau-related fun times. I have decided that karaoke may be the best thing on planet earth. Well, no wait. Wedding reception dancing is the best thing on planet earth. Karaoke is second. I have many thoughts, feelings, and opinions about karaoke. Here are some.

  1. Let’s just get this out of the way right up front. KARAOKE ISN’T FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN SING WELL. I mean, it’s fine if you sing well, but it’s so beside the point. The true karaoke crowd, we are warblers. It’s about CONVICTION, people. To quote Debbie Boone/Urkel: FEELINGS, WHOA WHOA WHOA, FEELINGS.
  2. On the other hand, if you can sing well, you can be That Person. The one that goes up there and knocks people’s shit right out of their guts. This is a rare thing, as I have noticed that for reals singers often have disdain for karaoke. This makes me nuts because if I could really and truly sing I would be the worst mic hog of all times.
  3. You can come right back down that Stairway to Heaven, or better yet, take the elevator. Don’t choose a long song, people! 3-4 minutes TOPS. Sometimes there are songs that you don’t realize are too long, it is true, so look it up on your phone before you go up. Like, one time, I did a rendition of Papa Don’t Preach, and did you know that that song ends with repeating the chrous for nine hours? I did not know that. PAPA HEARS YOU, AND WE ALL GET IT THAT YOU ARE KEEPING THE DANG BABY.
  4. Even if you have no interest in singing, karaoke is SO FUN TO WATCH. I personally have never been in a karaoke establishment where there was any pressure put on anyone whatsoever to sing, so if you are a person who is terrified of some weird singing bully to force you to Neil Diamond, let me reassure you.
  5. I knew someone once who was really, actually, truly competitive about karaoke. DO NOT BE THAT PERSON.

Karaoke teaches us a very beautiful lesson about life. It does not matter if you can hit the notes. JUST BELT IT.