06/14/12

Too Nerdy to Be in a Band, Too Cool to Be in a Lecture

In 1929 George Danzig walked in to class late. He played it cool, copying down the homework and asking no questions in his fancy Berkley statistics course. A while later he brought the problems to his professor and apologized for taking so long to solve them, he had actually missed the lecture and had to figure it out with no help. With a scratch on his head and an image of Matt  Damon? The professor told Danzig that those weren’t homework they were famously unsolved equations. Danzig no doubt went home and said hey frat bros I’m a genius! He was a cool nerd.

I would like to think of myself as a cool nerd but really I’m just a nerd with good taste in shoes. Right now my Dorothy Perkins floral tunic goes perfectly with my skinny jeans and brown cowboy boots and my hair is dip dyed to Hipsterific perfection, right now I’m sitting in a three hour lecture on finance I singed up for on a whim of fancy. I’m bored, which is a fairly common affliction for those in the educational pod. I’m in a business course because I found it interesting, because I understand making money and there are a set number of ways things can go in a business (millionaire, steady but boring, moving back in with your parents) but so far its all case studies and we all know how those go. So instead I’m compiling all of the best business and employment tidbits we’re discussing the and those I already learned in all of the “preparation” courses I’ve naively signed up for before. (I’m live blogging this so bear with the updates here ;) )

1. Look stuff up online. Shocking isn’t it? But it’s true that if you don’t know about a company, they wont hire you and if you don’t know what kind of company you want to start, you wont get off the ground.

2. Never expect to learn anything amazing in a room that smells like urine, human or otherwise, this is not to say you can not learn something from a person who smells like pee, I’ve learned a lot from the derelict and incontinent people who ride the bus although it was an existential unconventional kind of learning ( namely I learned I hate the bus).

06/8/12

Are You Alright? You’re Clutching Your Pants

More on accents and Englishisms

Every time I go out someone asks me if I’m alright. My New York cynicism makes me want to scream “Yes. Why are you talking to me get away.” While my self-conscious nature leaves me thinking “why? what’s wrong with me? don’t I look alright?” Finally I remember I’m in the country whose slogan is Keep Calm and Carry On because if you hear the way they talk you’d think they were all about to Panic and Freak Out. Saying ‘are you alright?’ is the same as ‘how do you do’ or more aptly ‘let me know if you need anything’ (in stores that is). It’s a friendly non-committal I’m here for you which is a little odd for a country that has a national hug allergy. It’s so cold here you’d think everyone would be cuddle together for warmth but English stoicism is more than a myth it’s a pandemic; which is exactly how I like people – reserved, sarcastic and emotionally repressed (I think all the English soldier moved to New York after the war).

I’ve just gotten used to their make me feel awkward greeting when I discovered a new foe, the word clutching. I don’t know why but it makes me feel like someone’s just called me out on showing up to class drunk. I was in a meeting the other day when someone abruptly stopped speaking and asked me ‘what are you clutching’. -it was a bottle. I wasn’t holding it for dear life or anything but I got this self-image of me quivering in a corner clutching the bottle and drooling in bug-eyed fear like a raccoon who found a hot dog with bun and ketchup in the trash (the holy grail of nocturnal dumpster diving) and was terrified the night foxes would tear me to pieces for it. Oh dear I think I’ve just shat my pants (panties… remember?… see we’re learning!)

06/7/12

Summer TV or How I Procrastinate

Thank goodness! Summer TV is finally here and it couldn’t come quickly enough. I’ve been going a bit coo-coo trying to fill my time and had even resorted to getting work done! This week ABC Family kicked off Jane By DesignPretty Little Liars, and Melissa and Joey, so I thought I’d post up a few of my thoughts.

Pretty Little Liars was the most anticipated for me as they’re starting up the second series. For those who are TV fans but not books fans, there were 2 series of PLL. One that ended with Mona being unmasked as A, then, just when you thought it was safe to keep secrets in Rosewood, they did a re-boot and created the A conspiracy. I won’t go into spoiler territory but I really hope they change the show from the book. First of all, since we know that they didn’t change the first series we have little hope they’ll change the second, so where’s the suspense? Second of all, I thought the second series ending was lame. Like Sookie turning out to be a fairy lame. Sounds all good in theory but in practice it’s all ‘eh put Switched at Birth on instead?’ But aside from the theoretical, PLL still pays out where I want it to. Lotsa mystery, and they’ve uped the creep factor a lot which I love. Emily realizing she didn’t wander out of the house, she was taken and thrown in someone’s trunk – brilliant. Last season’s ending with the dolls and Emily’s emotional breakdown at the death of Mya was great TV.

Biggest shockers – The hair. This show has always been extension central and I actually took a picture of Aria the last time I got my hair cut. I always loved her style the most because everyone I know is spray tanned with high-lights and she shows how to look good with dark hair/eyebrows and light skin. Now they’ve chopped of her locks and lightened her hair considerably also she lost like half an eyebrow (two halves make a whole so does that mean she lost an entire eyebrow? Dali images in my head now of an eyebrow just running off her face). I suppose this needed to happen (she’s also dressing differently) since she and Prof. Lolita have decided to make things public. (Did you really see that going well? She’s your 16 y.o. student, and you’re shocked her dad wasn’t thrilled? I’m shocked her dad didn’t murder you. Hear that? It’s the sound of a gun being cocked and A isn’t holding it.)

Hannah also cut her hair and while it looks cute I still miss the long hair. I mean I just got my hair past my shoulders! Long hair can’t go out of style yet, I refuse. I’m really liking Hannah’s style this season, ok it’s one ep but still true, it’s funkier than usual and Aria’s always the one having all the fun (her black and red harlequin dress last season OMG love). Emily and Spencer are the same as always, preppy and beautiful. (It’s not called ugly little liars now is it). The men are also looking pretty darn good. They’re really just there as eye candy and I usually watch thinking cute shoes, nice pillow case, great abs Toby! Also glad they found a way for Mona to still be in it! Love the cray cray mama!

Jane by Design threw me a bit. If all of these obstacles come up now (her ditching school, turning down promotions at work to be a teen, her and her bff almost getting together) where is there to go later on? Also I totally thought Andie MacDowell was gonna be her mama or aunt or something, but if she gets with the Nick Jonas doppelgänger of a nephew, I’m guessing there will be no relation. Unless ABC Family goes incest and I would honestly not see that coming. India cut her hair, another sheep following the herd to Bob-land. (I think I’m bitter.) I hate that Ben is lying to his girlfriend even if it is for his baby sister. Jane shouldn’t ask him to do that. Just quit high school. It’s called a GED, you can buy it on the internet.

Finally, there was Melissa and Joey. I don’t know if anyone else watches this but they should. It’s like watching two old friends (Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Blossom) get together in their thirties. It’s also really funny and a little raunchy. So while I don’t have a lot to say about it, I do think everyone should watch it because I’d be sad if it got cancelled and I spend enough time crying in the school library as it is.

06/7/12

Jung’s Personality Quiz WIN

A friend just had to take the Jung personality quiz for a job interview, of course I took it too and was initially offended. Apparently I’m an unthinking, introverted, judgmental intuitive. Sounds pretty awful right? Until I read that that makes me a Rational Mastermind. YES! When do I get my lair? Can I choose the location? Which super-hero, referred to by Jung as an Idealist, is going to hunt me down?

While my super sonic death ray is being built and mounted on sharktopus (I’ve named him Duke Topu) I think I’ll stay with some friends; who else is a cold and heartless, calculating, maniacal GENIUS???

Mr. Darcy, Benjamin Franklin, Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton, Hannibal Lecter, Jane Austen, Susan B. Anthony, C.S. Lewis, Angela Lansbury, Darwin, Einstein, Hawking, Disney, Lincoln, Bill Gates, and Napoleon have ALL been rated as Rationals! (I’m pretty sure The Brain will pass the test and fill out our fold nicely… Pinky can come too… you never know when there’s a tight squeeze or an impromptu modeling job.)

Apparently I have the super power of thinking of everything that can go wrong and counter-accting it… Oceans 11 here I come!

05/20/12

The New Girls vs. The Little Giants

Television has become somewhat of a parent in the past few decades, maybe its more the cool aunt who tells you what second base is and lets you sip their beer, but either way the boob tube plays a serious role in turning you in you. I grew up on Dawson’s CreekSex and the CityNora Ephron, and Christina Ricci.

Come present day, tv shows are being written by my generation and we’re correcting some of our forefather’s myopic stereotypes. First off is Girls, the Lena DunhamHBO comedy that hits back at 90s television with an exclamation point.

The comparison between this show andSex and the City is not only obvious but overtly stated in episode one. It’s the real deal, and as an un-employed serial interning single non-hipster New Yorker I can tell you it’s disturbingly accurate and often sends me to bed in tears. I knew countless girls who came from near and far to the isle of Manhattan gearing up for a life of lunches at Cafeteria, countless one-night-stands and a quirky dressing literary best friend to put an eloquent spin on their debauchery. Yeah they got all that, but they also had the STD panic of Hannah, the late-night realization that their life was not on track ofJessa, and the never-ending fear that because they didn’t know where the F train terminates that they didn’t fit in and weren’t a real New Yorker thatShoshanna character suffers with.

Sex and the City is great television but it is just television and not the foil for real life our generation took it as. Meta-tv (ScreamCommunity) has gained in popularity because all of the writers are thinking they’re going to ruin someone’s life by putting lies on TV. This is a bit of an overstatement, but within every drama and comedy there’s an invisible reign being pulled by someone thinking ‘this is sort of real’. Girls is the real Sex and the City, only it’s fiction.

While Girls is an example of fairytale re-telling, with a modern and ironic-glasses-wearing twist, New Girl is a bit more subtle in its approach. (I also love how Zooey Deschanel looks a bit like Shawna Waldron, all big eyes, pale skin, and awkward attitude, a model I connected with when I was young but which was rarely given air time in the big hair, crop top days. Now its the norm, who knew?) Waldron once starred in a movie called Little Giants with Devon Sawa, never heard of it?

Netflix it, it’s awesome. In it she was the tough as nails tomboy who felt she needed to girl it up to get the boy, only then in a final twist he was all ‘but I like that you play football’ kissy kissy.

While this subverted the norms of 1955 where girls wore dresses and boys wore jeans, it created a whole new batch of ideals all its own. Who would want a girl who blushed when she laughed, wore flowers in her hair, and didn’t really know the difference between softball and baseball? A girl who drank light beer or goodness forbid fruity drinks and who had never thrown a punch in her life? No one. Certainly not any character ever played by Devon Sawa.

Then came New Girl and the line, “I brake for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children. And I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. That’s just weird, and it freaks me out. And I’m sorry I don’t talk like Murphy Brown. And I hate your pantsuit. I wish it had ribbons on it or something to make it just slightly cuter. And that doesn’t mean I’m not smart and tough and strong… I’m about to go and pay this $800 fine, and my checks have baby farm animals on them, bitch.”

I’ve never loved any female character in a movie who cried uncontrollably instead of helping her friends avoid the zombie, or ruined her life waiting for a guy (27 Dresses), and I almost hated Scarlett Johanson in Avengers until I realized she was playing us and she was tough as hell. But there’s no reason they can’t wear a dress, be a mom, giggle, decorate their room in pink, and tape DWTS over the world series too. While I appreciate what old school TV was trying to do, and I did enjoy being allowed to play in the mud if I wanted to, what I’m saying is, I’d like my Kaboodle back now, thank you. They will make the cutest case for my hammer and nails.