19 September 2011

Moving

I have nothing pithy or entertaining to say about moving other than I wish it were over. Instead, have this -

*******************

Packing all of your belongings into a U-Haul and then transporting them across several states is nearly as stressful and futile as trying to run away from lava in swim fins.



(Go read the rest at Hyperbole and a Half)

12 September 2011

Is he viscous?

We have a theory in my family that my mom's boyfriend is a Russian spy. We believe this because he gets simple words mixed up - like plate and bowl - that someone who learned English as a second language might struggle with.

Case in point...

11 September 2011

Move On

A lot has changed in the last year since I wrote this.

But vengeance is not justice. They could hang Osama bin Laden on Ground Zero itself, resurrect him and do it over again a thousand times and it would still never be enough. My grief, our grief, is too strong, too close to be satisfied by something so trivial as revenge. I remember as well as anyone the bone-deep need for reprisal, but vengeance is not worthy of us. Not then and most certainly not now.

Back then I shared my own grief over September 11th simply as an American. I tried to be as calm and measured about it as possible. This year I'm not going to be - this year I'm going be whatever the opposite of that is.

It's time to move the fuck on.

On May 2nd, 2011 a group of American Navy SEALs shot bin Laden in the head. And for a little while it seemed the world was a better place. But quicker than anyone could have really imagined we got over it.

Every year, on September 11th, my television becomes an endless cycle of plane crashes and buildings falling. We've started two wars - twice as many American have been killed in those wars than died in the World Trade Centers*. Do you think, even for a moment, that May 2nd will receive the same treatment? I had to look that date up just now on Wikipedia, that's how little of an impact it made on me.

We can't keep this up forever, we can't stay mad - we can't wallow in out grief. It isn't healthy. If an individual did what we collectively have done as a nation every year they would be recommended to psychiatric care.

Do we forget? Never.

But can we please, for the love of god, move the fuck on?


*WTC Deaths: 2977; Deaths in Iraq/Afghanistan 6026

05 September 2011

Date a Girl who Reads

"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."

-Rosemarie Urquico

02 September 2011

Apollo 18

(I forgot to hit post on this back in Sept. My bad)

Holy shit people. At one point, with my feet in the seat and my hands over my ears I was squinting at the screen waiting for the bad thing I just knew was coming and realized that the thump-thump, thump-thump I was hearing wasn't onscreen, but my own goddamn heartbeat. My heart has not beat that hard for that long ever.

When the movie finished I think I was in legitimate medical shock. I was laughing hysterically and shaking. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.

Holy shit.

Best
Movie
EVER.

Like many of the movie that have come out the last few years, Apollo 18 claims to be a 'found' movie - cobbled together from footage rather than actually filmed. In some cases this can be ridiculous as the production values give away the secret, no matter how much shaky-cam you have. (I'm looking at you Cloverfield). In Apollo 18 the film is scratchy, the colors occasionally over-exposed - I could actually buy into the concept that this was footage from the 1970s.

And that's what makes this movie so scary. You know it's just a movie - you're not watching some special on the History Channel (which has lost all credibility so I wouldn't have been surprised if it was), but you can believe that you are. There's no soundtrack, and the cameras are either stationary on the lunar lander or the handheld ones from the astronauts.

The scariest moments come in snippets - not when things are jumping at you - which by and large they don't. This isn't really a loud noises and bloody movie. It's noticing things moving where they shouldn't be, details and minutiae that you as the viewer are privy too but the astronauts are not. You watch it build up, over and over and over again until you're wound so tight you feel like you might just burst. And the really awful part is?

It never lets up. By the time the credits rolled I was shaking. I started laughing at myself for being so shook up, which quickly took on the edge of hysteria.

Now okay, fine, I'm not a horror movie person so this movie might have been chock full of clich├ęs (I hear it was) of the 'found movie' genre. But since I'm not a scary movie person, they were all new and intensely terrifying to me.

I don't want to ruin a moment, I don't want you to not see it because I say something that makes it sound stupid. Go to the theatre, go rent it, watch it in a darkened room and then go outside and take a good long look into the night sky.

And your doom.