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Tag Archives: movies

This happens. This is something that happens.

I am watching Magnolia. It is my favorite movie. This probably says a lot about me; mostly about the fact that I can relate, all-too-well, to broken people, to people with flaws that run deep and don’t ever let them go, not completely.

I’m watching Magnolia today because Philip Seymour Hoffman died, and I wanted to see him in one of my favorite roles of his, in my favorite movie. I wanted to just have a minute to say my goodbye to someone whose work I respect a great deal, and whose death I’m taking maybe a little too hard because that’s a thing I do. I am talking to someone I love about how much this movie means to both of us, how much it affected us back in the days when we weren’t yet part of each other’s lives, and I am crying over this movie, and I am crying over this particular magic, this thing that brings people together at just the right time, in just the right place.

Magnolia has the recurring theme of coincidence, and connection, and how we’re all intertwined; how the smallest action can turn into the one thing that your entire life hinges on. I like this. This is the magic I hold onto in life. This is what I hang around for; those little moments where you can almost see the greater plan peeking through the velvet curtains at the edge of things.

The movie starts with some stories of coincidence, each one harder to believe than the last: a man killed in Greenberry Hill in London by men named Joseph Green, Stanley Berry and Daniel Hill; a scuba diver killed by a firefighting airplane flown by a man he’d coincidentally run into a few days prior; and a teenager attempting suicide by jumping off the roof of his building, only to have his mother accidentally shoot him as he falls past her window – and land in a net put up to save window-washers, so he wouldn’t have died, after all, had he not been shot.

After each of these stories, the narrator tells us “and I would like to think this was only a matter of chance.” Until the last story.

And it is in the humble opinion of this narrator that this is not just “something that happened.” This cannot be “one of those things”… This, please, cannot be that. And for what I would like to say, I can’t. This was not just a matter of chance. Oh, these strange things happen all the time.

I’m going to tell you a story.

Once upon a time, I lived across the country. That iteration of Amy was not one I am proud of. I suppose you need to learn from your past, from your mistakes, to form the person you are today; if that’s the case, the mistakes I made, and troubles I dealt with, while living in the western part of the country, built a big old foundation upon which to position this life, the life I am proud of.

I worked at a theater there, for a while. I was one of the broken people, while there. I drifted. I was lost. I was doing what I could to survive. I was in and out of disastrous relationships and crushes on the least-likely candidates. I cried a lot. I was one of those thousand-yard-stare people you kind of see on the periphery.

I loved my time at the theater, though. It was brief – probably 8 months, all-told – but it seems longer, in my mind. I found family there. For someone as lost and alone as I was, this was huge. I had people, and I had a place to go, and I felt like I belonged. I was still broken, and I was still lost, but I had a tiny corner where things could be alright. (Theater’s saved me many times, and I have no doubt it will again – this is a good example of one of those times.)

But I screwed it up, as I did many things back then. Things got hard, and I got nervous, and I eventually shut myself off from everyone I loved there. I left and didn’t go back. I had reasons, which were varied (and kind of ridiculous, and even as screwed-up as I was, I knew they were ridiculous) but when the going gets tough, a lot of times, I just put up walls and make ’em thick. No one gets in. I don’t go out. And I can pretend I made that choice! I don’t need anyone! But really what made the choice is the fact that I’m depressed and I’m freaking out and it’s easier to not have anyone in your life when that happens. People are just a complication, right?

I think I ended up saying goodbye to maybe two of the theater people when I left the state. I didn’t even think that might be hurtful. I just wanted out, and I wanted to get back to where I thought I could rebuild, and things might start to be ok.

And things were ok. More than ok, actually. I got my fresh start, both due to the change of scenery and a change in me. I didn’t want to be that person anymore. I wanted to be someone else – someone who didn’t hide, someone who had friends, someone who had more blue-sky days than black-cloud days. It’s amazing how far a change in attitude can take you. It wasn’t overnight – the person I was hung around longer than I care to admit – but eventually, I shed most of her off, I kept what worked, and I became the person I am now: flawed, sure, but happy. And happy begets happy. Happy draws IN happy. It’s something I never knew, and something I was so joyful to discover.

I compartmentalized who I used to be; I didn’t shut it off, because you can’t deny things that happened, but I didn’t let it color me, either. I’m friends with a few people from those days in the now; BFF is one of them, and Mer another. They’re my best takeaways from that time, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I’m peripherally friends with a few others on Facebook, but you know how Facebook is. You like a status here and there, but it’s what you put into it, and we’ve grown too far apart to mend those fences. I don’t know that we really care enough to, honestly.

Remember the dating site? Yeah, that’s going about as well as you might imagine, but that’s not the point of this story.

The dating site sends you a list of people it thinks are good matches for you. (Strangely, most of these people are what I would consider exactly the opposite of a “good match,” but that’s neither here nor there.) The other day, I was idly paging through them (an audio track of me doing this would be “no,” “ugh, OMG, no,” “where are your CLOTHES?”, and “Why does this site think I want to date a 62-old-man?”) and I saw a photo of someone that looked very familiar.

Now, I’d assumed at some point I’d run into someone I knew. It was kind of inevitable. It’s a big area, but not THAT big. I’m not going to DATE anyone I kn0w – if I wanted to date people I knew, would I be on the dating site to begin with? – but it wasn’t someone I knew from HERE.

It was someone I knew from the theater from all those years ago. J., who’d run the theater; who’d been the one who took me in to begin with, who gave me the family I was too closed off to accept as fully as I should have. I hadn’t seen J. in twelve years. We weren’t Facebook friends. We’d dropped off each other’s radar. Not out of spite or any sort of hard feelings; I liked J. I just lost touch with J., and then compartmentalizing that part of my life hadn’t led me to look up people from that time. Honestly? I didn’t know if they’d remember me. I’d been a bit of a ghost. At first, didn’t even believe it WAS J. – I did a Google seach first, to see if he really was in the area.

Because what are the odds, right? What are the odds that someone you were close to twelve years ago, all the way across the country, would show up in your list of people on a dating site you just joined?

But it was him. He was here, somehow. And after sending him what was probably the goofiest message ever (but, in my defense, he replied with an equally “ZOMG!” email) we met up for dinner the other night.

Dinner became over three hours of talking and catching up and laughing and utter amazement over the fact that it had been twelve years and here we were, and we both looked pretty much the same (few more gray hairs, maybe, but it wasn’t like we were unrecognizable to one another) and how was he here? And what had happened in the past twelve years? And we caught up over food and the time melted away and I remembered some of the good things from all that time ago; that everything wasn’t terrible, not all the time, and the good things I brought forward with me were the things that made my friendship with J. still work.

(And before you all get excited: no, this is not a love connection. I care about J. a great deal, but it’s never been THAT kind of relationship, and never will be. Solid friendship with nothing more behind it. Sorry to burst your bubble, all of you rooting for me to find love on the interwebz.)

I totally told J. "IT WOULD BE LIKE KISSING MY BROTHER" then I realized I probably had to say that was from a movie or it was just a really rude, or slightly incesty, thing to say.

I totally told J. “IT WOULD BE LIKE KISSING MY BROTHER” then I realized I probably had to say that was from a movie or it was just a really rude, or slightly incesty, thing to say.

J. is here working at one of the local colleges, rebooting their theater program. (Can’t think of anyone better to do it; he’s got this energy that just beams from him.) Things have been going well for him; he’s also had a good twelve years. He also realized he needed a fresh start and took his life in a different direction. And I have to admit, it was nice to tell him what I’d been up to; I didn’t have much to be proud of then, but now I can say things like “writing for the paper” and “traveling to Europe in the spring” and “published a book” and MEAN all of them.

And J. and I made plans to get together again, and soon; if the world hands you a coincidence like this, you don’t waste it. You grab that puppy with both damn hands. I can’t wait to introduce him to the theater scene; the first time we met, he took me in, and made the introductions, and I was just given the chance to return the favor.

And there is the account of the hanging of three men, and a scuba diver, and a suicide. There are stories of coincidence and chance, of intersections and strange things told, and which is which and who only knows? And we generally say, “Well, if that was in a movie, I wouldn’t believe it.” Someone’s so-and-so met someone else’s so-and-so and so on. And it is in the humble opinion of this narrator that strange things happen all the time. And so it goes, and so it goes. And the book says, “We may be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.”

If the past ain’t through with me, I’m cool with that. I take the magic of the world where it’s given. If the world wants to bring back an old friend when I’m finally at the point in my life when I can appreciate him? I’ll take that magic. With thanks. And tears. And wonder.

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They’ll hate you for it, but that’s the point of Batman; he can be the outcast.

OK, so yesterday we talked about how non-outraged I was about Miley Cyrus. From the comments, it seems most of you were about as meh on that as I was (or maybe you were super-outraged but too shy to speak up. FEEL FREE TO SPEAK UP! I promise I won’t bite. I only get mad at tornadoes of constant negative energy, passive-aggressive ragemonsters, and trolls. If you want to disagree with me, I’m cool with that. Hell, Jim used to disagree with me on the regular, and I still think he’s just the best, even if he’s dead to Dad and Dad called him “that cigar-chomping fancyman” last night.)

Let’s see how offended you are that I WASN’T offended by the other thing that didn’t offend me recently.

Yes.

It’s true.

I am not at all offended by Ben Affleck being chosen to play Batman in the new Batman vs. Superman movie.

I KNOW. TAKE AWAY MY GEEK CARD RIGHT NOW.

I have many reasons for this decision.

REASON THE FIRST: I WON’T WATCH THE MOVIE ANYWAY

I don’t care for superhero movies. When I was young, I’m sure I watched some. I think I watched one or two of the original Superman movies. I liked Michael Keaton as Batman; Clooney and Kilmer, not so much. As an adult, I watched The Avengers because Joss Whedon (and honestly didn’t get most of it because I hadn’t seen the movies it referenced, except for Iron Man.) I’ve watched the first two Iron Man movies, because SHUT UP, is why. I’m crazy in love with Robert Downey Jr. and I love him in that role. He makes me so happy. I might have accidentally watched some of one of the X-Men movies but I didn’t care. I watched the first two Batman movies (the Christian Bale ones, I mean) because I wanted to see the second one (because I’d heard so much about Heath Ledger’s Joker) so I wanted to know what was going on so I watched the first one. Was there a third one? I feel like maybe there was. I didn’t care enough to watch that. They were fine. I liked the dark grittiness and the lack of camp. But superhero movies and me – eh.

Those EYES. The FACIAL HAIR. The SNARKERY. I am head-over-heels for this man. Sincerely.

Those EYES. The FACIAL HAIR. The SNARKERY. I am head-over-heels for this man. Sincerely.

Thing is, I like superheroes. I don’t know why, exactly, I don’t like superhero movies. I think I like them in the abstract more than in the flesh, or something. Because the special effects are usually silly, and what seems noble just comes across as cheesy.

So right now you’re like, “THEN WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE?” I’m a loudmouth with a blog, and I’ve had to listen to you all screaming about how terribly Ben Affleck’s going to ruin the WHOLE WOOOOOOOORLD, is who I am. So I get to judge, just as much as you do. Back off, grumbly.

REASON THE SECOND: PEOPLE HAVE WAY TOO MUCH DAMN FREE TIME

Seriously, you all got SHOUTY. Like, BEYOND shouty. It was kind of frightening to watch. People immediately fell into two camps: the “Affleck? AFFLECK? IT IS THE END OF THE WORLD!” people, and the “Meh, give the guy a chance” people.

You guys. YOU GUYS. You know it’s just a movie, right? Like, yes, I get it, people get all invested in their stories. I get it. I guess I just don’t have that in me. I mean, I was super-sad when the movie version of A Prayer for Owen Meany was THE WORST THING EVER ZOMG, but I didn’t go online and put up memes about how we needed to murder Ashley Judd, either. THERE ARE MEMES ABOUT MURDERING BEN AFFLECK. OVER A ROLE IN A MOVIE.

THIS IS NOT OK. This is a MARRIED MAN WHO HAS CHILDREN. What the hell is WRONG with you people?

THIS IS NOT OK. This is a MARRIED MAN WHO HAS CHILDREN. What the hell is WRONG with you people? Yes, I KNOW it’s a movie quote. THAT IS NOT THE POINT HERE.

Guys, I’m all for geeky passion. I totally am. I am one of you. I AM ONE OF YOUR CROWD. I am passionate about uncool shit. I was a geek back when that was an INSULT. But there’s geeky passion…then there’s taking the express train to crazytown. I think a few of you took the express train to crazytown when the Affleck announcement came out. I’d like to say I’m not judging you? But that’d be a lie. I totally am.

(You do know that Ben Affleck is a real person with FEELINGS, right? And that by screaming how much you hate him and how terrible of an actor/person he is ALL OVER THE INTERWEBS, his feelings are probably getting a little tender? “WHO CARES HE CAN DRY HIS TEARS WITH HIS MILLIONS!” Yeah, shut up. People with money have feelings, too. And it’s shitty to be that mean to ANYONE.)

OK, here’s the third point, and here’s where you all start yelling at me; I don’t even care. I stand by this one.

REASON THE THIRD: I THINK BEN AFFLECK IS A GOOD ACTOR

Shush. JUST SHUSH.

Yes. I am aware that he’s done some questionable movies. Can you think of a single actor who has a long resume who DIDN’T do some questionable movies? I can’t think of a single actor who’s only been in hits his or her whole career. Acting’s a tough game, kiddos. Sometimes you take roles because you need the money; sometimes you take roles because you owe the director or producer or production company a favor; sometimes you take roles because going into it, it seemed like a different role/movie/production/play than the final product proves to be; sometimes you take roles because you’re guaranteed exposure, or because you want the opportunity to work with a certain actor/director/producer and don’t know when you’ll get that chance again, or because if you do this project, the Powers That Be might look kindly on you for another (good) project.

I’m the first to admit I haven’t seen everything Affleck’s been in (I mean, seriously, the guy’s been in a lot of movies) but I’ve seen more Affleck movies than a lot of other actors’ movies…and that’s saying a lot, considering I don’t watch movies much anymore. I have enough to do to keep up with all the television I watch.

I just looked at his IMDb. I’ve seen all of his Kevin Smith movies. I’ve also seen Pearl Harbor, 200 Cigarettes, Shakespeare in Love, Armageddon, Phantoms, Good Will Hunting, and Dazed and Confused. I have Argo sitting here, but I haven’t seen it yet. I also saw Gone Baby Gone, which he directed. I’ve seen him every time he’s hosted Saturday Night Live.

No, I didn’t see the movies people like to shout about when they’re all “OMG NOT AFFLECK!!1!” like Gigli and Daredevil and Reindeer Games. I know people point out Jersey Girl as one of the bad movies. I didn’t think Jersey Girl was one of Smith’s best films, but I didn’t hate it like most people did. I thought it was fine. A bad Kevin Smith movie is still, for me, leaps and bounds above a lot of other movies.

Here’s the thing, you guys. I’m a fan of Affleck’s work. I think he’s come a long way. I think he was good to begin with, if a little raw; I think he’s matured into a very poised, talented man, and his directing proves this. His acting has also matured.

(I also think he’s come a long way since the Bennifer days, and I didn’t think he’d bounce back from that. Good for him.)

Thing is, I liked him before. I liked him when he was a goofball in the early Kevin Smith movies, and I think he has one of the single most affecting moments in my favorite Smith movie, which is Dogma. You’re all probably going to say “WHATEVER! CHEESY!” but the scene where he meets up with God (yes, the Alanis Morissette God) and he realizes she’s forgiven him, and is going to send him home, and he apologizes with that little catch in his throat, and thanks her, and just breaks down?

This scene. This one RIGHT HERE.

This scene. This one RIGHT HERE.

Every time, you guys. Every damn time. I don’t care what you think about the movie or that scene or Affleck as an actor; I find that tremendously powerful. When I think about Affleck as an actor, that’s the scene that immediately comes to mind. That scene cemented him in my mind as someone to watch.

I also think he does tremendous work in Shakespeare in Love. It’s not the lead role, but when he’s on-screen, you watch him. You can’t help but. He commands the screen. He’s funny and brash and intelligent and he’s a damn MOVIE star. You can SEE that in him.

I also sometimes get "Gentlemen upstage, ladies downstage...are you a lady, Mr. Kent?" stuck in my head in Ned Alleyn's sing-song and it makes me grin EVERY TIME.

I also sometimes get “Gentlemen upstage, ladies downstage…are you a lady, Mr. Kent?” stuck in my head in Ned Alleyn’s sing-song and it makes me grin EVERY TIME.

And as we all know? He was the bomb in Phantoms, yo.

(And shut up, I LOVE ARMAGEDDON. It makes me cry. IT MAKES ME CRY SO HARD. No, not because of the Affleck parts, because of the daddy/daughter parts, but I don’t hate Affleck in that, either. I actually like that movie quite a bit, when I’m in the mood for an end-of-the-world type thing or when I’m flipping channels and it happens to be on.)

I think the guy can act; I think the guy can direct.

Do I think the guy can play Batman?

I DON’T KNOW. And neither do you. NEITHER DO ANY OF YOU.

Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

For everyone who’s ever played a superhero, there have been people who screamed, “NOOOOOO!” Those people are sometimes right and sometimes wrong. As people are.

(And if I’m remembering correctly, the internet was pretty split on the performance of the new guy who’s playing Superman, right? Henry Cavill, or whatever? So a lot of you are going into the movie not even liking SUPERMAN, for the love of Pete!)

I sincerely hope that Affleck turns in a kickass performance in this movie. As mentioned, I probably won’t watch it. I just don’t care about superhero movies. (I do, however, love me some Affleck, so there’s the chance I might watch it on DVD or Netflix or something someday.)

But in the meantime?

PLEASE TRY TO KEEP YOUR NERDRAGE TO A REASONABLE LEVEL. Wait until it comes out, and judge the movie RATIONALLY on its MERITS. Don’t go in all pissy-faced and PREPARED to hate it. That’s the sure way to hate something. I’m a REVIEWER, you guys. You need to go into something all clean-slatey. It’s the best way to judge something. I’m telling you. It’s only fair. I GET PAID TO REVIEW THINGS ON THE REGULAR.

Let the guy ACT, you know? It is not life-or-death. He has not been tasked with operating on Betty White or coordinating a tactical strike on Yemen or something. IT IS A ROLE IN A MOVIE. I know it’s a BELOVED role, but it’s also a role played by THIS guy…

(Sigh, Kilmer…you will always and forever be my Tombstone boyfriend, but this made me laugh so hard I cried.)

So…seriously. Not at all life or death.

Calm it down, ok? Thanks.

Because it’s not going to change anything. Affleck knows what’s up.


…mermaid dancing…is a little different. You usually start on the ground.

I have no time to blog this week. MY MOST ABJECT APOLOGIES MY FAVORITE PEOPLE.

Also next week is the worst. But after that I think I get to breathe again. Maybe.

Well, ok, not the WORST. They’re all things I WANT to do. There are just a LOT of things to do. Fun things, but a LOT of them. One that requires – are you ready for this – THE PURCHASING AND WEARING OF A DRESS.

I KNOW. Please stop gasping and fainting. I can wear dresses. I’m allowed. I am a lady, even if I really, really like wearing khakis. Like, so much, guys. SO MUCH. They are beyond comfortable.

So, without further ago, because I am running out of time and trying to write this while watching a movie and also emailing and also doing a million other things…

THINGS THAT HAVE MADE ME HAPPY THIS WEEK SO FAR

(What, you were expecting things that made me miserable this week? I COULD do that, but how depressing would THAT be to read? No. Let’s stick to things that made me happy. Thanks.)

SHOPPING SUCCESSFULLY!

Now, as you all know, I am not a good shopper. I often lose at shopping. QUITE often. And it makes me frustrated. And itchy. And a little sweaty.

HOWEVER, I had to go to the mall this week for a VERY EXCITING THING. Ready?

Here was me on Monday…

(Well, my hair didn’t look like that. My hair only looked likes like that when my hairdresser does it. This is only for a comparison.)

And here’s me NOW:

QUICK WHAT IS DIFFERENT?

No, not the hair. Or the clothes. Or the necklace. Or the makeup. YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT!

What was that? Someone in the back?

YES! CORRECT!

I GOT NEW GLASSES!

I am crazy in love with them. They make me so much happier than the last ones, which were Transitions and scratched and an annoying shape and I hated them. These are flattering and pretty and stylish and ZOMG they are totally Dolce and Gabbana. I KNOW. (People say that’s a fancy thing, right? Like, they make purses or something, right? I don’t know such things. I think the fanciest name-brand of anything I own is like Fashion Bug brand or something.)

ALSO, I had an eye exam and the optometrist told me I was VERY PHOTOGENIC. He was talking about my eyes, but I took it as a total compliment. (He also told me I had EXTREMELY healthy eyes, and showed me some photos of NON-healthy eyes which were TOTES ICKY, you guys, and made me squeal disgustedly and delightedly. I liked him a lot. He told me gross stories about working in the hospital and was VERY entertaining. He won optometry.)

So after an epic win of glasses-buying (which was kind of expensive, despite my eyecare plan), I went dress-shopping. Gulp.

Now, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to find anything, because I have the WORST LUCK with shopping. But I have a wedding to go to on Friday. And it’s the wedding of friends K. and A.! And I would very much like to look like a pretty lady at said wedding!

So I tried on dresses. Trepidaciously.

AND YOU WILL NEVER GUESS WHAT OCCURRED!

I found THREE PRETTY DRESSES!

I had to narrow it down to two, because they were not CHEAP dresses. But I bought two dresses. One for the wedding and one for when Laura visits in September and we’re going to a fancy dinner and then to a play at the fancy theater like LAY-DEEZ.

This is the wedding dress (because it’s going to be HOT that day, yo, and the wedding’s outside):

SO CUTE. No, I’m not wearing heels with this. Don’t ask. I have shoes with a PRACTICAL SLIGHTLY-RAISED RUBBERY HEEL. That’s as good as you get from me. I would tip, otherwise.

And for my lady-date with Laura:

SUPER-SEXY. Also the cleavage in this dress is INSANE. Laura, we’re going to be the HOTTEST LADIES ON THE TOWN, sincerely.

Other things that have made me happy this week that are NOT spending-money-related (because there are some, I don’t JUST spend all the money all the time, just SOMETIMES):

  • Dad’s coming to visit next week! We’re totally spending the day together!
  • I get to have dinner with The Nephew and his mom next week! He starts school after Labor Day. Can you imagine? My best little guy is SCHOOL-AGED! Whoa!
  • Making Dad laugh until he dropped the phone by dropping a random (albeit, very funny, she says humbly) sexual innuendo in conversation (when Dad says “that’s a good one!” I feel like I won an Oscar)
  • Watching Pitch Perfect. SHUT UP. It is funny and quirky and heartwarming and A CAPELLA, you guys. I have all the love for a capella. Plus it stars this chick:

    This is Rebel Wilson, who I fell crazy in love with in Bridesmaids and she only had a LITTLE role, and look at her in THIS. She is WONDERFUL. She made me laugh SO SO HARD, you guys. She wins everything.She is CRAZY FIERCE.
    I have a total crush on her.

And I want to be her character in the movie. See? I even told Twitter last night.

(Her character in the movie’s name is Fat Amy. WATCH IT. Sincerely. I thought it might be awful, too, but it was so much fun. Except sometimes it was stupid and there was vomiting. I don’t care for stupid sketch-comedy vomiting.)

OK. I am going to bed because lately I have not been sleeping properly and also I’ve been gritting my teeth a lot which means I’m stressed so I think I need some downtime, yo. I’m going to go to bed early and see if that helps. Happy day, all! I hope all the things made you happy this week. If not, just stare a little at Rebel Wilson. She’s the most sensational.


On Wednesdays, we wear pink.

I survived high school.

I assume most of you did, too. Or you wouldn’t be here reading this. Well, some of you might still BE in high school. (If so, you have my most abject apologies. You’ll make it out. Just keep your head down and remember: it ends eventually.)

Once you’re out of high school, if it was bad, you breathe a sigh of relief. The worst is behind you; the rest will be cake. Right? I mean, you survived high school. You survived being shoved into a building with people who wanted to destroy everything you were on a daily basis for four very, VERY long years. What else could the world throw at you that could compete with that?

What no one tells you is, the bullies don’t always grow up. Sometimes, they just move onto another building, be it actual or metaphorical, and continue doing what they do best: making others feel small so they can feel big.

Lately, I’ve noticed the building they’ve moved into is the blogosphere.

And blogging, lately, has been like attending the school in Mean Girls.

You got your freshmen, ROTC guys, preps, J.V. jocks, Asian nerds, cool Asians, Varsity jocks, unfriendly black hotties, girls who eat their feelings, girls who don’t eat anything, desperate wannabes, burnouts, sexually active band geeks, the greatest people you will ever meet, and the worst. Beware of Plastics.

Blogging attracts all kinds of people. That’s honestly one of the cool things about it. I mean, if we were all the same, what fun would that be? On any given day you can read about life in Europe, the latest tech news, a humorous take on a trip to the laundromat, a serious piece about the nature of grief, a post about motherhood, a post recapping the latest episode of True Blood, a book review. All without leaving the comfort of your living room (or your office chair, if you’re reading at work, I suppose. Keep an eye out for your boss.)

It’s great because it’s open to anyone with access to a computer and an internet connection. It’s equal-opportunity. If you have a voice, and words to express yourself? Welcome to the community.

Except, as we learn in Mean Girls…beware of Plastics.

In the movie, the Plastics rule the school. They’re mean to everyone they don’t like (and even people they do like, sometimes.) They have rules; how you can act, what you have to wear on certain days, and where you can (and can’t) sit, depending on what you’re wearing.

In the blogosphere, the Plastics are…well, pretty much the same. Only they’re hiding behind a computer screen, so they feel their anonymity brings even more power. Let’s call them the Web-Plastics.

The Web-Plastics think their writing is better than anyone else’s; therefore, they rip apart everyone else’s writing.

The Web-Plastics think certain topics (mommy blogging, book blogging) are lesser-than; therefore, they run those bloggers down. They depreciate anything they do. They try to make them feel small, because their writing isn’t as important as whatever they’re doing.

The Web-Plastics steal ideas and posts from “lesser” bloggers, then when they’re called out on it, turn it around on the one who was stolen from: “You’re just trying to hitch a ride on our popularity. You’re no one. We’re someone. Shut up and stop whining.”

The Web-Plastics think they’re the only ones doing anything worthwhile; if other bloggers aren’t doing it the way they would, they mock them, and shame them, sometimes even publicly, so that sometimes those bloggers become so disheartened they stop writing altogether.

The Web-Plastics think that “funny” equals “cruel,” and write posts tagged “humor” in which they mock…anything. Whatever they feel like mocking. But usually people that are just trying their hardest to get by.

Best of all, the Web-Plastics have minions.

As numerous as these minions, but nowhere near as adorable.

As numerous as these minions, but nowhere near as adorable.

These minions are other Web-Plastics, or wannabe Web-Plastics. Who will like and comment on everything they do; who will go to the posts of the people who are out of favor with the Web-Plastics and troll them with mean comments and insults and sometimes skate the edge of threats; who will say or do whatever the Web-Plastics tell them to, because it’s easier to go along with the dictator than to become one of the people who’s being bullied. And believe you me, that’s who you become, if you buck the Web-Plastics. You get the full-frontal of their wrath. And their petrified minions’ wrath, as well.

The Plastics and the Web-Plastics have many things in common, but it all boils down to this:

On Wednesdays, WE WEAR PINK.

And if you don’t wear pink, you can’t sit with them.

Social (media) suicide.

There are two kinds of evil people in this world. Those who do evil stuff and those who see evil stuff being done and don’t try to stop it.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m tired of being told I need to wear pink, and I’m tired of being told where I can and cannot sit, and I’m tired of seeing evil stuff being done and not trying to stop it. I didn’t go through 8 (yes, 8, the bullies started early at my school) years of hell just to be told what to say or do or be now.

I’m tired of seeing mean posts about fellow bloggers. And mean slightly-veiled Facebook statuses. And snarky comments on other bloggers’ posts that they obviously worked very hard on. And don’t think the irony has missed me that the minute, the MINUTE, anyone says a word about any of the Web-Plastics, they run crying for sympathy, or run to their minions crying “vengeance shall be ours! You’re all my best friends until I no longer need you, and when that happens, I will ignore you as if you never existed.”

They had no idea they were going to be jettisoned so quickly. Look at their sad little faces.

They had no idea they were going to be jettisoned so quickly. Look at their sad little faces.

Or, even more delicious, the irony that the Web-Plastics would be the first ones to come out as anti-bullying, because NO! THEY would never bully anyone! And anyone that WOULD, my GOODNESS, hang ’em up by their TOENAILS! Bullying is, like, just so WRONG!

Because what they’re doing, see, it isn’t BULLYING. They rule the internet, you see. They’re just running it the way it needs to be run. Who better to make the rules for the rest of us?

Here’s a rule I like to live by on the internet.

If you don’t like someone’s blog: don’t read it.

It’s very simple.

Take it out of your reader. Don’t click on it. Don’t click on people’s links when they tweet about it.

If the blog is offensive, if the blog is openly offending you, or a large group of people, or it’s just flat-out wrong about something – fine. I get it. I do. You want to fight against injustice.

But if the blog is, in your opinion, poorly-written, or about a topic that bores you, or a topic you consider beneath you and your perfect sparkly rainbow taste: just don’t read it.

There. I’ve freed up precious moments in your day to do whatever it is you do. Kick puppies. Berate your children for not being better at sports. Scream at your spouses for not getting that perfect crease in your slacks. Masturbate until you weep about your empty, sad, lonely life.

Today, I unfollowed fifteen blogs that I noticed were getting meaner and meaner; that had gone full-on Web-Plastic. Going around doling out attention to people they wanted to join their cults, but not too much attention; it wouldn’t be seemly. Writing posts telling others how to behave, and how not to behave. Calling out others for not doing it right. Calling out others for not being them.

Join me. Love me. Want to BE me. Until I'm finished with you. Or decide to make you my target. Either way. There's no escape, otherwise. Just so you know.

Join me. Love me. Want to BE me. Until I’m finished with you. Or decide to make you my target. Either way. There’s no escape, otherwise. Just so you know.

It’s metaphorically Wednesday, and I’m wearing black. I’m wearing green, blue, yellow, white. I’m wearing anything but pink.

Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.

Bloggers: we’re all worthy. We’re all writing our truths. We’re all doing the best we can with what we have. I’m not talking to the Web-Plastics. I’m talking to the rest of you. If we join together, we’re a bigger group than they are. If we support one another and refuse to let the negativity into our lives – if we just flat-out refuse to participate, be it by reading, commenting, or being sucked into the maelstrom of drama these people need to survive – they will eventually wither and die. Because they need the drama. They feed on what’s created when they’re mean. They’re psychic vampires.

If we put out all the good we have, if we refuse to accept it when it is addressed to ourselves or others, if we support our fellow bloggers…

…THEN we’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

It’ll be like pouring a bucket of water on the Wicked Witch of the West. Lots of screaming. Lots of fizzling. And, best of all, lots of disappearing.

On Wednesdays, they may want us to wear pink.

I’m here to say on Wednesdays, as on any day of the week, you can wear whatever the hell you want. And you’re going to look FABULOUS, darling.

Keep writing. Keep doing your thing. Because I can tell you from experience – there’s nothing a bully likes less than someone standing up to them. Unless it’s being ignored. They’re not too keen on that, either.

And hey, you guys? You’re welcome to sit at my table.

It’s a huge table.

It’s the size of the whole fucking internet.

(Special thanks to Emily at The Waiting, whose blog is wonderful and whose post earlier in the week – and the conversation with her I had in the comments – helped bring this post, which was percolating at the time, to the page. Emily, you are always welcome at my table. No matter what you wear. I’ll save you a seat and one of those little milks.)


Oh golly! Gee, damn! (Or, how to watch a movie with Twitter and vodka)

So last night was Sarcastic Movie Night. Which you know, if you follow me on Twitter. You probably wanted to kick me in the head last night, actually, if you follow me on Twitter. SORRY. Sarcastic Movie Night! Only fun for people participating!

Here’s the genesis of Sarcastic Movie Night. I tweeted a while ago about whipped cream vodka, which I’d had in a mixed drink out one night with my friend C. The drink tasted like an alcoholic Dreamsicle, and was amazing. If I remember correctly, the food was not so amazing, but who cares! Alcoholic Dreamsicle! @lgalaviz and I started talking about whipped cream vodka, and she came up with the idea of how much fun it would be to watch a movie and make fun of it while drinking whipped cream vodka. WELL. I am never one to back down from a challenge. Well, no, that’s a lie, if the challenge is something like “I challenge you to climb a rope ladder” or something, I’ll back down. Effing moving-all-over scary rope ladders.

Choosing a movie was not easy. When choosing a movie for Sarcastic Movie Night, you have to choose a movie that everyone can make fun of, that no one has extremely strong positive feelings about, and that is readily available to everyone. This is only really a problem for me, since I am the only human left alive without Netflix. (SIGH, FINE, I will explain my aversion to Netflix. I don’t have any gaming systems and my computer’s a piece of shit and I can’t afford one of the boxes you need for your TV, therefore the streaming option is out for me. And I don’t have enough time to watch all the series and movies, and the one time I signed up for the free trial, movies sat unwatched for weeks watching me with their accusing DVD-eyes and I felt HORRIBLE. So I didn’t pay for it when the end of my free trial happened and it POOF went AWAY. Also, if you’re totally patient – and I am – you can get anything you want, pretty much, free from the library. And LISTEN. I love free, more than I love penguins.)

So we discussed and discussed, and @lgalaviz said she thought Breakfast at Tiffany’s would be a good idea. Now, I blogged about this before, but I HATE Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I know! Everyone loves this movie. It’s like on everyone’s short list as the best thing since kitten unicorn rainbows or whatever. But all I remembered is that Audrey Hepburn threw her cat (that she refused to name, argh) into the rain, and that Mickey Rooney played an Asian stereotype.

So @lgalaviz won out (mostly because she promised I could make fun of it) and we chose Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Now, at this point, we had talked about it on Twitter, and both had blogged about it, so TWO OTHER PEOPLE were interested. I KNOW. We’re totally inspirational. I mean, that’s like double the people we’d started with. Since everyone else has Netflix they just added it to their queues, but I had to either get it from the library (and you only get them for five days, and who knows when we were going to be able to match schedules to watch it?) or I could go online to buy it. And since I was pre-ordering the Bloggess’s book anyway, (by the way? Get your asses over there and pre-order this book and let’s get Jenny’s pre-orders up to like astronomical numbers, because I love her just about as much as any of my imaginary internet people and she deserves all the good things, and also, it’s going to be HILARIOUS) and needed to fill up my cart to meet the free shipping total (yeah, I hate paying for Amazon shipping, as mentioned, I LOVE FREE SHIT) I found it for $9 and purchased it. A MOVIE THAT I HATE. I’m totally committed to Sarcastic Movie Night.

Then I had to buy the whipped cream vodka. At the store, there were many choices. One of which was Swedish Fish-flavored vodka. I am not kidding. It was scary. I believe this might have confused @heinakroon who thought it was actually fish-flavored. However, like a mighty hunter, I stalked and murdered my prey. Or, found it on the shelf and brought it home. LIKE A BOSS.

FANCY.

Then we had to wait for Amazon to get their shit together and ship it to me, which took forever and a day because I foolishly ordered it with my pre-ordered book, and they were GOING to wait to ship it all together – IN APRIL – but then I went nuts and ordered three more books (by the way, who has too many books? That’d be me, thanks. But they were on SALE!) and then Amazon was all “FINE WE WILL SHIP ALL YOUR SHIT TOGETHER because you are AN OBSESSIVE SHOPPER DAMN” and I got it yesterday.

I'm already Siskel and Eberting this movie, before we even had movie night.

Then we set a time. 8pm! Saturday night! I work until 6 on Saturdays, so that worked out FINE. They wanted me to work late but I was all NO WAY SUCKERS. Sarcastic MOVIE Night. And they were all, whatever, Amy, I think you’re making shit up right now, and I was all NO I AM NOT.

So first I made a nice glass of whipped cream vodka. What did I mix it with? NOTHING. Why? I DIDN’T PLAN THAT FAR AHEAD. I know. I suck. See, all I had for mixers were fruit punch and cherry limeade? Those would be HORRIBLE with whipped-cream vodka. Right? Totally.

Um…whipped cream vodka…tasted like burning. Like barely whipped-cream flavored burning. This wasn’t going well at all.

BUT I SOLDIERED ON.

So! For our crew, we had @lgalaviz, @patrixmyth, @julierosesmk, and myself, and then @zippy219 (who didn’t have Breakfast at Tiffany’s but was watching Carrie and snarking at it WITH us, so she was participating IN SPIRIT, because she is AWESOME.) Then we had @lahikmajoe, who lives in Germany, and who was asleep. But we included him in EVERY SINGLE TWEET. Why did we do this? I have no idea. I don’t think he ever showed any interest in being involved in Sarcastic Movie Night. I think someone just started including him and he got swept away in the tide of tweets. So poor @lahikmajoe is waking up tomorrow to probably 200 or so tweets. SORRY, @lahikmajoe. WE MISS YOU WHEN YOU ARE SLEEPING.

(SIDE NOTE! @patrixmyth ALSO lives in Germany. However, he participated. I think this is because he is made of magic. Seriously, the man never seems to sleep. I’m in awe of him.)

Now, here was the first problem. Well, other than the fact that my father, who you KNOW thinks everyone online is a., imaginary, and b., a psychokiller, thought the whole plan was a trick to get me murdered. No, I’m not kidding. He said that the next thing my “imaginary friends” were going to ask me to do was to drink “Jim Jones Koolaid” and he hoped I didn’t do that. I told him I already had Koolaid in the cupboard so I was ready in case that plan was put into place and he didn’t think that was funny at ALL. So first I had to calm him down by explaining that watching a movie with people on Twitter while drinking whipped cream vodka was not, in fact, very dangerous, and it was more dangerous, probably, to go to a bar and pick up a stranger and have unprotected sex with them in a bathroom stall, and then he was all “WERE YOU PLANNING ON DOING THAT, TOO?” and I had to explain that no, I was NOT, actually, planning on doing that, it was just a COMPARISON, to show him that I could be doing things that were a lot scarier. This took a lot longer than I’d planned and almost caused me to miss Sarcastic Movie Night.

Back to the problem. Have you ever tried to coordinate four people starting a movie at the exact same time when you’re all in different places and times? It is not an easy thing to do. We were, on average, five minutes difference from each other all night. So one of us would be all “whoa, look at that hat” and the other one would be all “why is that person crying into a mirror” and no one was on the same scene in the movie, ever. I can’t imagine that any of us would be very good spies. You know how spies always have to synchronize their watches? We would not be good at that.

Also, it is VERY HARD to tweet and watch a movie at the same time. I think I missed important things. Like, at one point, everyone but me noticed that one person at a party was wearing a watch on her ankle. I didn’t notice this important plot point. I’m sure I was busy tweeting. The movie probably would have taken a very different turn for me if I had noticed an ankle-watch. Also, @patrixmyth noticed that at the end, Paul paid the cab driver, and I thought they just ran out of the cab without paying. It’s hard to pay attention to both a phone and a television at the same time.

Anyway. Sarcastic Movie Night was a grand success. Much hilarity was had; I would put tweets in here to show you how awesome it all was, but again, Twitter hates me and won’t allow me to put tweets into my posts yet, so you’ll just have to imagine how awesome it was. Because it WAS.

But here is what I learned, during Sarcastic Movie Night. YES, I learned something. I KNOW. It was like a Very Special Episode of Blossom, what with the learning.

Are you ready?

Breakfast at Tiffany’s isn’t as bad of a movie as I’d thought, the first time I watched it.

I KNOW.

Are there horrible things? YES.

Mickey Rooney’s racist landlord character is still the worst thing ever.

It's worse than this. He also used an offensive accent, and ran into things with his head.

“Moon River” is a very annoying song. “My huckleberry friend?” Give me a break. If someone called me their huckleberry friend, I’d poke them in the eye. Except for Doc Holliday in Tombstone. As previously stated, he can call me his huckleberry ANYTIME.

Holly Golightly’s character is flighty and doesn’t care much for others for most of the movie, and this is annoying. Characters who are so devil-may-care make me stabby. There are no CONSEQUENCES! Nothing matters but ME! Aren’t I CUTE! Look at my adorable WHIMS! Gag.

This is really a movie about two whores who fall in love, and I’ll fight you if you say otherwise. They might not be streetwalkers, but Paul and Holly are whores. They sleep with people in exchange for money. That’s whores.

“Sally Tomato” is a very stupid name for a gangster.

The scene where they pilfered from the five & dime was annoying, because I hate thievery. But then they wore these masks, which reminded me of that scene from The Shining that gives me nightmares, and THANKS A LOT BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S.

There is nothing cute about these masks. These are Manson-family-style masks.

Refusing to name a cat because you have issues with owning things because YOU are a wild thing that REFUSES TO BE TAMED and then throwing your cat into the rain isn’t cute, it’s animal abuse. You suck. Along the same lines, refusing to call someone by his given name, and calling him “Fred” throughout the movie, is not cute, it’s affected and annoying.

Paul telling Holly, “I love you! You belong to me!” was just about the worst admission of love, ever. I’m with her when she freaks out over this. Telling someone this is a lot like saying “I love you! I want to wear your skin like a cape!”

Their relationship is not doomed to end well. Neither of them has any money; she has very high-price tastes, and he seemed to have $50 to his name and be not-a-very-successful writer. I mean, love’s grand, but it doesn’t put tater tots in your belly at the end of the day.

HOWEVER.

The movie was gorgeous. Not just the costumes, or the actors (although they were) but the set design and dressing as well. And the city, of course. I love New York, and I can see how this movie made people want to visit it. New York is a character in this movie, for sure, and you fall in love with it (more than Hepburn or Peppard, actually – about as much as Cat – because it is blameless in the “I’m so CUTE!”-ness of the two of them.)

Audrey Hepburn was really, for a completely annoying character, just stunning. I mean, those costumes! And she’s just exquisitely beautiful. Look at her. I mean, just look. How can anyone, even me with my heart of stone, not be charmed by this?

I usually hate hats, but DAMN can she pull them off.

There aren’t a lot of photos where she doesn’t have that dumb cigarette holder that’s a mile and a half long that she kept setting shit on fire with and I refused to put a photo of her up here with that thing. Also, I like this hat.

Also, George Peppard. Can this guy ever wear a suit. Whoo!

Yes, I'm aware this scene wasn't in the movie. LOOK HOW HANDSOME. I couldn't resist.

If you only know Peppard from The A-Team, well, listen, he used to be Mad-Men handsome, I’m telling you right now. *swoon*

@lgalaviz was in love with the cars in the movie. I promised her I would make her a remixed version of the movie with only cars and card catalogs and dial phones and such. I don’t know how to do this, so it was an empty promise. The idea is sound, though. At one point, there was a red cab with fins. It made us happy. (Also, when they went to the library, there were card catalogs, which made me drool.)

For all the annoying pre-hipster hipsterism, there was some genuine emotion happening in the movie. I know. I even noticed it being all drunk on whipped cream vodka and making fun of it on Twitter.

I’m not sure what happened. I HATED this movie the first time around. This time, I actually didn’t mind it. I hated the things I listed above, but the beauty of the movie itself kind of won me over. Am I mellowing with age? Was it the vodka? Am I broken now? Was I broken the first time I watched it?

ANYWAY. Sarcastic Movie Night! A success!

Also, the whipped cream vodka progressively got less offensive. I mean, it never got GOOD. But I think it burned off the first layer of my tastebuds so it got less horrible to taste as the night progressed. I can’t say I went back for a second helping, though. (Oh, and by the way, who was the classy broad drinking it out of a commemorative theater coffee mug given to her by the cast of a show she’d worked on recently? That’d be ME. Yeah, I have no glasses appropriate for liquor-drinking. I thought it might eat through a plastic Tupperware tumbler. I KNOW, I AM THE CLASSIEST.)

This morning, @lahikmajoe wasn’t even mad he woke up to about 200 tweets (just another sign that he is my secret sibling) and I had the headache from hell for the first couple hours of being awake, THANK YOU WHIPPED CREAM VODKA. I’m sticking to magic wine from now on. Ugh.

We’ve chosen the next movie for Sarcastic Movie Night! Are you ready? I know you’ll want to join in, because it is sure to be MISS KITTY FANTASTICO. Ready?

Dun dun DUNNNN.

I haven’t seen this movie since 1996, and that was the first time (and only time) I saw it, and I was forced to watch it (along with the other two movies in the original trilogy) all in a row by the boy I was in love with at the time and I was SO TIRED and he kept saying “Come on, this is BRILLIANT” and I was all “I AM SO TIRED WHATEVER” and so I have this weird irrational hatred of all things Star Wars. But I have been assured I’m allowed to make fun of it if I want. Also, I suppose, if nothing else, I can drool over young Harrison Ford, right? RIGHT.

So this is how you watch a movie with Twitter and vodka and snarking. Aren’t you glad you know how? I know you are. You, too, can do this same thing with YOUR friends! Only, I’d avoid the whipped cream vodka. It seems like a good idea, until you’re actually drinking it. Trust me on this. I made that mistake so you don’t have to.


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