Consumables

The Magnificent Seven

I watched the newest Magnificent Seven. I have exactly and only seven thoughts about it.

1. I have really been having a Denzel renaisaance lately. A Denzelaissance. I had kind of forgotten about how mesmerizing he is. Given that, this should have really just been the Magnificent Uno, because I just wanted him to be on the screen the entire time. YOU GO ‘HEAD AND SMOLDER, D.W.

2. Is Chris Pratt turning into Snide-Remarks Guy in movies? I do not wish this, please and thank you. Chris Pratt without the underlying sweetness is just two steps too many into Brolandia for me.

3. Ethan Hawke was the sensitive one because of course he was. He has that face that looks like a post-sneeze and/or imminent heartbreak at all times. DENZEL GET BACK ON THE SCREEN I MISS YOU.

4. So much shooty shooty, like even for a western. The final fight scene was, according to my internal clock, around thirteen days long.

5. Byung-Hun Lee was good but I have said it before and I will say it again CAN THERE BE ONE ACTION MOVIE THAT HAS AN ASIAN CHARACTER WHO DOES NOT HAVE GINSU KNIFE SKILLS THANKS IN ADVANCE.

6. Martin Sensmeier is a Comanche that actually speaks the language, which is a first. Also, the POC characters don’t all die by the end! THEY ACTUALLY GET TO LIVE. *applause*

7. Peter Skaaaaaaarsgaaaaard (I never know how many a’s so let’s go full phonetic-pirate spelling) is the bad guy and his name is BOGUE. GET IT? BECAUSE HE IS SO BOGUE. And he really is. Whenever he does an evil deed, yell out SO BOGUE, DUDE. It will make your movie watching so much better.

I would not really call this The Maginificent Seven. More like the Pretty-Good-to-Medium Seven.

The Sound of Music

I watched The Sound of Music the other day to get myself out of the grumps. This is a movie that I probably could act out for you, all the parts, because of how many times I saw it in my petite bebe years. Before last week I don’t know when I have seen it as an adult though, and it is BREAKING NEWS kind of a great movie. Let’s combat my grumps by talking about my Sound of Music thoughts, pot pourri style, shall we?

First of all, I have beef with the name. Sound. Of. Music. Ok, sure. There is sound. That sound is often music. But Rodgers, Hammerstein, honeys, come on. Could we have picked a more boring name? We have so much to work with here. Let me suggest. Sing and Run, Because Hitler. Whatsa Haps, Von Trapps. Nuns vs Nazis. There are a million options.

As the movie opens, we find Maria the nun twirling on a mountaintop in that iconic first shot. Or, as my mom said as we watched it together: “Woo! Here we go, Maria’s being weird!” Turns out the thing that I never realized as a child is that Maria is a straight up weirdo! Like, she is ODD. Just running around enjoying her twirly skirt on a mountain, talkinbout larks learning to pray. Uh, ok, girl. You do you.

Turns out Maria is late for bell-ringing time at the convent, and no one can find her. Instead of being alarmed (I guess she goes missing a lot, so NBD) these nuns start singing a song about how they think she’s a frigging nightmare. MEAN GIRLS IN THE NUNNERY. They call her a headache, a pest, a flibertyjibbet (which, if you ask Snoop Dogg, def means something not great), and a DEMON. These nuns! Horrible. Don’t believe me? They bring this song back on MARIA’S WEDDING DAY Y’ALL. She is walking down the aisle to “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” You get her married up, that’s how you solve it, apparently. Her problem was lack of government-church-sanctioned sex partnership, which makes people prone to mountain twirling. PUT A RING ON IT TO STOP THAT SHIT STAT.

Speaking of which, the President of the Nuns tells Maria she has to go be a nanny, and Maria responds by singing her guts out on the bus ride there. She arrives and meets Captain Von Hotness, who has this whole dom thing going on with a weird whistle and stuff. The kids are mildly terrible, but not really that terrible (those former nannies must have been severe milquetoast ladies), and before you know it they are singing about their Favorite Things together, one of which, weirdly, is doorbells.

But first! Liesel the teen goes out to the makeout gazebo to meet Rolfe, who is CLEARLY ICKY. They sing a song to each other about how he is going to mansplain his way into her knickers but he spends so much time mansplaining that nothing happens. Good! Get away from him, Liesel, you in danger, girl.

Maria then makes clothes out of the curtains in her bedroom, which, IDK, it seems like one would get permission from one’s employer before doing that, and they all run around Salzburg learning to sing. When they return the Captain is there with Uncle Max and his gf the Baroness. I BECAME KIND OF IN LOVE WITH THAT BARONESS. I mean, she was fabu. The problem is that she is not traditionally maternal though and therefore, in the Musicals Rule Book, we know she is doomed. Although I am absolutely sure, dollars to donuts, that the Baroness would tell Liesel straight up to get the hellfire away from Rolfe. The Baroness ain’t playing that shit, it’s obvs.

The Captain gets mad that Maria has taken the kids out on the town in curtains, which actually seems kind of reasonable in terms of being mad, and fires Maria. The kids sing a song and melt his heart and he unfires her. THAT WAS AN EVENTFUL FIVE MINUTES.

Max is a sort of Simon Cowell type person I guess and he wants the kids to sing for dollar bills. Then he says that, in this time of the rise of the Nazis, the most important thing is to get along with everybody, and Captain Von Hotness is like “I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU SOMETIMES MAX” with an anti-Nazi steel stare and OH SNAP THIS MOVIE JUST BECAME ABOUT CURRENTLY NOW, THAT’S WEIRD. Think about that, for a quick second, you folks out there that are peddling the idea that empathy with people who suffer from the racisms (AKA ECONOMIC ANXIETY POTATO POTAHTO) is the answer. I stand with Captain Von Hotness on this one. SORRY MY GRUMPS ARE COMING BACK, MOVING ON.

Then they do this really long puppet show about goats, because why? I do not know. Like, what was that whole thing for? To release the pressure from the Nazi talk, I guess.

Then the Baroness is like “Hey Maria, you and my dude are kind of feeling each other, I can tell,” which you may think is a bitch move but to that I say WHERE IS THE LIE. Maria is like “oh my goodness, the only thing left to do is GHOST THIS JOINT” which she does.

The kids sing sad songs and try to play ball with the Baroness but they don’t even throw the ball straight so she can catch it and then have the nerve to roll their eyes at her. You don’t have to chase that dang ball, Baroness. I would wife you even if the Captain won’t. And, turns out, he won’t.

Maria goes back to the nunnery and tells the President of the Nuns why she peaced out. President Nun is like: wait, you did this because you were afraid he would get up in your twirly skirt? And Maria is like, yes. And then Pres Nun sings “Climb Every Mountain,” which WHOA. CLIMB EVERY CAPTAIN IS BASICALLY WHAT SHE IS SAYING, MARIA. That song is about seizing the day, even if the day equals Captain Von Hotness. SEIZE IT.

Maria shows back up and she meets the Captain in the same makeout gazebo that Liesel and Rolfe used. Ew. Get a different makeout gazebo, mom and dad. They actually do makeout unlike the kiddos, except Maria keeps talking about the President Nun, to the point where the Captain says, while he is kissing Maria, “WHAT ELSE DOES THE REVEREND MOTHER SAY?” You guys, he says it right into her mouth. That is some freaky deaky shit right there. Climb every mountain, tho.

They get married and then the Nazis come for the Captain and he is like IMA RIP THIS NAZI FLAG, and Liesel asks Maria for advice on why come Rolf doesn’t want her any more and Maria is like, don’t worry, you are still young, more fish in the sea, etc. Instead of HE IS A NAZI which really should be the only message.”Lo and behold you’re someone’s wife, and you belong to him” is a line that Maria also sings here. I just ask you, would the Baroness being peddling that tripe? Nope.

They get out of town, partly, but then go to Salzburg Idol as a diversion. They sing a medley and win the competition but choose to escape instead, which, good choice. They hide at the nunnery where the Captain confronts Rolf who remains horrible, and then they make it to the mountains. I assume the same mountains we started with. No more twirling, the mountains are for resistance now.

THEEEEEEEEEEEEE END

That helped me ungrump a little.

Not Dead Yet

Before we do this, let’s listen to this. TRIBE 4EVAH y’all.

Ok. So I made a list of 50 pop cultures that I loved in 2016, but before I tell you about them, let’s close out this ball-kicker of a year right quick.

There was this one time, when my dad was still alive but very sick, where I talked to him on the phone and I said, with concern: how are you? And he said, in an unexpected sort of joke: NOT DEAD YET! And we laughed hard, kind of surprised. It was so not funny, but yet, jeez louise, it was. It may have been the last truly hearty laugh we shared, pops to kiddo, kiddo to pops.

In the time since he’s been gone, there are a few things that have changed about me. For one, my sense of urgency has gone way, way up. I want my days to be as full, my eyes as open, my mind as awake as can be (insert Morgan Freeman voice get-busy-livin quote here). Life is so, so short, y’all. Time is ticking and we are in a sprint. No dicking around! And now, with the world all fucked up and on fire like it is, my shit is even more ramped up in the urgency department. So, now is the time to say the things I want to say, hear the things I need to hear, do the things that are right to do, find the joy, see the art, create, be a good friend, face the painful stuff, listen, make justice happen, organize, and love: truly and deeply and persistently.

My sweetheart and I will sometimes clink glasses and say to each other, as my dad said to me: “NOT DEAD YET!” like, instead of “cheers.” It’s still funny. And not. I look at that beautiful, kind, steadfast partner of mine and feel deep down in my gut how many years we have been together (it’s a lot of years), how fucking great he is, how short it all seems already, how much I want time to stop for us, and how much it can’t. We have things to do, all the things. So let’s get doing.


50 Pieces of Art That Gave Me Joy in 2016

Lizzo Coconut Oil EP is perfect.

And speaking of perfect: Moonlight.

Atlanta! Donald Glover is the only Donald I want to deal with, honestly. See also: Have Some Love, Childish Gambino.

Blk Girl Soldier by Jamila Woods is the kind of song that makes me feel better about the world, which maybe you need right now too, just guessing?

Insecure. Watch the first season and then let’s fight about how we thought things should have turned out.

Your Best American Girl, Mitski. “Your mother wouldn’t approve of how my mother raised me, but I do, I finally do.”

Queen Sugar is beautiful on so many levels but I will just say this: is there a finer man than Ralph-Angel? Good god. FOINE.

Kiss the Sky by Jason Derulo is like, primo wedding reception dancing music. Your kid brother and your grandma will love it.

The night I went from big fan to rabid Beyhive was during the Formation concert tour.

Nadiyah Hussein from Great British Baking Show, I JUST LOVE HER, thas all.

Cranes in the Sky: is there a Solangehive because I would like to join that also.

Two Dope Queens. Your dream BFFs. Or mine, anyway.

I am so Sorry the Beebs makes bangers but we have to stop fronting like he don’t.

Sooo Many White Guys podcast. I may have a medium-to-heavy obsession with Phoebe Robinson.

All We Got, Chance the Rapper. Actually the whole dang album, front to back. Hiphop artists are really bringing the concept of a cohesive album back.

There are so many ways our shit is broken and most of them intersect in OJ: Made in America.

Too Good, Drake ft Rihanna. Work-chair head-bob dancing, wut wut.

I saw Ghostbusters in a movie theater full of 13 year olds, which was kind of the best way to see it.

My parents came from tiny places and did things outside of power structure expectations. Queen of Katwe made me think about that.

Lie 2 My Face. Kari Faux takes me to a very JJ Fadd place, and I love that place. I could live in that place.

Mainstream American Comic, Hari Kondabolu. “Some people ask me why, when I do impressions of my parents, I don’t do their accents, and the answer of course, is ‘fuck you, that’s why.'”

If you said goodbye to some people in your life this year, like I did, Alaska by Maggie Rogers fits the bill.

SJP is so great at being horrible in Divorce. Actually everyone in this show: GARBAGE. Plus the 70s soundtrack is to die.

All Night, SG Lewis. On repeat.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople. THIS KID.

Who’s a muhfucking Starboy? Me.

Loving. This basically happened five minutes ago, history-wise, and we better not forget it.

Spotify science tells me that I listened to Into You by Ariana Grande a lot, and I can’t argue with that. I apologize in advance to those who go to karaoke with me in the future.

Don’t Think Twice. Or as I like to think of it: “I regret everything, party of one.”

Hotline Bling, covered by Ceresia. This was my walk-into-work-from-busstop-song for a few solid months.

Sister Wives. I CAN GIVE YOU A CLASS ON WHY THIS IS A GREAT SHOW BUT YOU WON’T BELIEVE ME SO JUST FORGET IT.

What am I doing Here is a universal feeling sometimes, amiright.

Weiner. Ugh, this guy. But also, ugh, this system. And also, ugh, us, all of us.

Southside with You. People of color don’t get a lot of movies that just show us just dating, romancing, or talking about things as the main plot points.

Death, Sex, and Money are things we should talk about more.

There are lots of things to criticize the Kardashians about, but most people focus on the wrong ones entirely. I hold all the knowledge on this, trust me.

This is cheating because although I Am Not Your Negro was in limited release in 2016 I will not see it until its wider release in 2017 but I CANNOT WAIT.

13th. As an American, this is devastating, required watching.

Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce on BET awards. HOOOOO LORDY

Luke Cage. Bulletproof hoodie-wearing black man superhero? HECK YES.

Get all your cathartic rant needs met via Full Frontal w Samantha Bee and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Please watch The Fits so I have someone to talk about it with.

Judge John Hodgman is usually right about everything, is the thing, and while always funny, is also often moving in his wisdom.

I Can’t Give Everything Away, David Bowie. *sob*

And this wasn’t released in 2016 but Sometimes It Snows In April. *double sob*

Two days after the election my friends and I had a religious experience dancing to Freedom 90 where George Michael convinced us for a few minutes that we would maybe be ok. *triple sob STOP DYING, CHILDHOOD*

Another Round podcast. If you haven’t listened to these, I am jealous that you get to start.

Lion ALL OF THE TISSUES IN THE WORLD HAVE BEEN USED BY ME BECAUSE OF THIS MOVIE AND MY FACE HAS LEAKED OFF COMPLETELY

Would you like some joy? Here’s some joy. Down by the Singing Sea video by Walter Martin.

Hey, everyone, I guess this is in question these days but SCIENCE IS A THING, LIKE A REAL THING. Listen to Story Collider for stories about it.

2016 out, 2017 in.

Consumables #158 Watching: Gilmore Girls Revival

I have been so busy being preoccupied with, you know, the world coming to an end, that I neglected to talk to you about the Gilmore Girls revival. If you haven’t seen it yet, I may be about to do some mild spoilering, so hold onto your butts. I have thoughts that I just cannot hold inside. Jerry, I’m BUSTING! (Two 90s references right off the bat, for some reason. UH DOUBLE UP UH UH! Oops, there’s another one. My inner Gilmore is showing itself).

Because the interwebs have already chewed up most angles (Emily turns out to be the best Gilmore, Jess OF ALL PEOPLE turns out to be among the most likable, Logan’s rich douchey steampunk friend group is truly insufferable, etc.), I shall spare you my play-by-play although trust me it’s on the tip of my tongue and I pity the foo’ who I corner at an upcoming social gathering because odds are high that I will get into it, all of it.

The thing that bothered me the most about the Gilmore Girls revival is that it suffered from a thing I call Takedown of Uppity Ladies (TOUL). This is when a tv show gives us smart, witty, confident women and then the writers do everything they can do to bring them low. To teach them a lesson for thinking they are so smart. And, by extension I suppose, teach us a lesson too. Let me give you a prime example of TOUL: Sex and the City. Four confident women, successful in their careers, sexually liberated, in control! But, not so fast. Over the course of the six seasons, each woman learns that everything she defined about herself was wrong, because ladies, pshht, what do we know? Independent Miranda thought putting herself first in life was the core of who she was? NAH all she needed was to move to Brooklyn, a place she has always despised, and devote her life to caregiving for everyone, including her cheating ass husband, and put herself last. Bless her heart for thinking that she wanted something different; what did she know? What did any of them know? NOTHING, BC LADIES BE DUMB Y’ALL, ESPECIALLY THE SMART ONES. Good thing the writers are here to set them all straight.

This is different than a character having flaws, or a character learning and growing. Leslie Knope learns how to navigate her job, how to deal with being an intense person, how to collaborate better. She is not perfect. But, the writers never try to convince us that she isn’t as smart as she knows she is. Even characters as warped as Liz Lemon or Alicia Florrick get to stumble around making mistakes, but the point of their story arcs isn’t to show us how much they aren’t as accomplished as they know themselves to be.

Which brings me back to the ladies on the Gilmore Girls. We loved Lorelai because she was scrappy and opinionated and she dumped her rich parents to work her way up to being her own boss in her own career. Except, it turns out, none of those things. None of her coworkers want to work with her anymore, apparently, and she doesn’t know anything about anything in her life: how should she save her business? Is she happy with the love of her life? Does she want to have a baby? Does she want to go hiking? NOTHING SHE KNOWS NOTHING. Plus, she’s mean. She is mean to the other Wild ladies. She fat shames at the pool. The cool mom is, we find out, so deeply uncool.

And then there’s Rory. Ok, sure, she was a little Special Snowflakey as a teen, and also a little lost in a teenagery way, but we rooted for her because she was a brainiac- at least, book smart, and working on the other kinds of smart. All the nerdy ladies in the audience loved that she read books and thought school was important ansd wanted to get a great education. Except now none of it has born any fruit. She is terribly spolied (just expecting her fam to put her up indefinitely), and doesn’t seem to know anything about her career (showing up to a job meeting with no pitch ideas?), and is rude to the town that she used to love so much (“I’M NOT BACK!”), and is still sleeping with LOGAN just because she doesn’t know what else to do.

And do not get me started about how Paris is left to pathetically have a meltdown about a high school boyfriend and how Lane is trapped in a marriage to a man who refers to their children as having “Korean vitriol” because my NOPES are so giant that you will surely be crushed by the weight of them as they fall out of my mouth.

If you would have said that a thing I would see in the Gilmore Girls revival was misogyny, I would not have believed it. This show is about women who love each other, love their town, and for all their misadventures, are smart and competent. We want them to continue to be smart and competent. My question is: why weren’t they allowed to be? It felt like the writers were trying to punish them for something. And by taking them down a notch, I felt diminished as well.

PS EMILY WAS GREAT THO

All We Have To Do Now

Remember when we used to write about pop culture and artsy farts and stuff? Those were good times. Are we ready to do that again? I say yes, because here’s the thing. This weekend, I had all these plans that I had made before the election, and on Wednesday I was thinking about all those plans and my soul felt like a little kid who has had enough of their day and just decides to go limp. You know how they do that? Just, wilt sag nope I am done I can’t oh the humanity. But many of those plans were with other people, and I didn’t want to be wilty cancellation lady, so I did all the plans. And it didn’t make me all the way better, but this is what it did do.

On Thursday night, I went out for karaoke, and I mean to tell you my ass was dragging all the way there, as grumpy as could be. But my friends and a whole slew of strangers had a religious experience to the tune of You’re So Vain and My Prerogative and Footloose and so many more. Strangers were hugging after songs, everyone was dancing to every song, and there was a point during Freedom 90 by George Michael where we were all throwing up our arms into the air, throwing our heads back and shout-singing ALL WE HAVE TO DO NOW, IS TAKE THESE LIES AND MAKE THEM TRUE SOMEHOW, ALL WE HAVE TO SEE, IS THAT I DON’T BELONG TO YOU, AND YOU DON’T BELONG TO ME, FREEDOMMMMM YOU’VE GOT TO GIVE WHAT YOU TAKE and I felt like maybe things would be ok if there were people like these just out here in the world, and I almost cried.

On Friday I went to see a performance of several Jessica Lang Dance Company pieces. One of the pieces was based off of interviews and artwork that was done by a group of veterans and another one was danced to a set of Shakespeare sonnets and they were the kinds of dances that I just wanted to go on and on and live inside of. When each dance ended and the lights went down, the audience would let out a soft, collective “oh!” My dear Delium said “It’s as if we all got gut punched at the same moment.” True, true, true. Didn’t we just, though?

On Saturday my dude and I went to see Moonlight, and it was so beautiful, and sad, and loving, and cruel, and kind, and delicate, and majestic, and stunning that I started crying fifteen minutes in and I didn’t stop all the way through, not even when the lights came up or when we walked out of the theater. We wrapped our arms around each other and went home, holding on tightly. That movie reminded me of everything that is important, and I am not kidding.

Time to get back to it, everyone. In all the ways.

Freedom 90, George Michael

Consumables #157 Watching: Spock and Weiner

Fall has fallen y’all! Do not get me wrong, I like fall, but I have never been a person who gets excited about the idea of a season. There are the WOO AUTUMN people who get revved up for sweaters and cider and pumpkins and there are the WOO WINTER people that get revved up for hot chocolate and holiday music and snow. I feel like there aren’t really WOO SPRING people. And summer is exciting if you associate it with vacations? I am jealous of the seasonal revver uppers, is all I am saying. I do not understand them, but I envy them. I am a fan of getting jazzed about stuff! I want to be jazzed at the sight of a gourd! But alas, my only season-adjacent question is: is it warm enough for me to not be an icicle? Yes or no? For lo, I am but a simple lass. All of this is to say CONGRATS WOO-AUTUMN PEOPLE! You must be very proud. If you could talk to your autumnal gods and tell them I would like to be warm as much as poss, that would be awesome.

I watched a couple of movies about a couple of dudes last week. These dudes did not have a lot in common, aside from having a bio-doc made about them. So pardon the coupling up of these two. They don’t really go together but they hit my eyeballs contiguously and thus they are paired.

I Am Spock.  That’s the name of the movie; I am not coming out to you as Mr. Spock, although DAMN that would be a plot twist!  If you are a Trek person, you probably have some love for Leonard Nimoy. He was very lovable, both as Spock and also in life. In interviews he always seems like a genuinely good dude, with smarts and gentleness and a desire to make things better in general, and a sense of humor about himself. All things to give a thumbs up to, or a Live Long and Prosper Hand, whichever. And this movie was not terrible, but it didn’t delve deeply into all the quirky goodness that was available. Like, they waste time talking to Zoe Saldana and Karl Urban who, ok, they are in the new Star Trek movies and they probably knew Nimoy a little bit, but where’s my Original Recipe Star Trek people at and can we hear more stories from them?  Also, Nimoy lived a rich artistic life both inside of Trek stuff and outside of it, and I wanted to hear about that bidness. Like, check out this article about Nimoy’s Full Body Project. I wanted a deep dive on stuff like that, and this movie wasn’t it. It was fine though. A solid fine.

Weiner. That’s the name of the movie; I am not calling you a weiner. This doc chronicles the period of time that Anthony Weiner ran for mayor of New York. His first set of sexting scandal already done (the doc does summarize this part of the story), he sets out to mayor it up. This movie surprised me a little bit. Did I like him? No. Did I feel for his wife? Yeppers. Did I find his behavior with ladies skeezy? Sure. Would I be friends with him? Nah. Would I date him? Hells no. But the thing is, when I was watching this movie, as much as I wanted to think: what is wrong with this dude? What I really was thinking was: what is wrong with us? Like, I don’t want to say that how this person acts has absolutely no bearing on anything, but honestly? We care kind of too much about something that to my eye seems private to him, his wife, and the ladies he was involved with, who– at least as much as I understand it– were all engaged in legal, consensual activities. But we all got obsessed with it, which, when I really think about it, is weird. We are a weird people.

Spock and Weiner- one to make you feel pretty good about things, and one to bring you back down again. To boldly go, as it were.

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

 

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

 

 

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.