Thursday, October 30, 2008

My favorite fake curse words

1. Freakin'.
Yeah, you already knew this one because I use it in every freakin' blog post. I much prefer it to frickin'. Friggin' is too dirty for me.

2. Dang.
This word really captures a sense of astonishment. Say it with me: "Dang!" Try bobbing your head from side to side as you do. Wasn't that fun?

3. Shoot.
In the edited-for-TV version of The Blues Brothers, Aretha Franklin's character says, "SHEE-oot," drawing it out as one would the word it replaced. Mr. SZ and I have been saying it to each other for months and cracking ourselves up every single time. Ah, it's good to be easily amused.

4. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. OK, I don't actually use this phrase myself, but I have vivid memories of my mom saying it when I was a kid -- usually over something I did. Apparently it doesn't count as taking the Lord's name in vain if you add his parents to the end. (For more blasphemy, please see one of my favorite lists ever.)

5. A-hole. Tom Cruise called Guido the Killer Pimp this in Risky Business. I've enjoyed using it ever since.

As a special added bonus, here's my least favorite fake curse:

Oh my heck. Seriously, WTF? I first heard this come out of the mouth of a Mormon Survivor contestant. Is it an LDS thing? No one says, "Oh my hell" (at least, not around me), so what's with the "heck?"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Special Guest Blog: My most uncomfortable, inappropriate or otherwise ill-advised Halloween costumes.

Ed. note: today's special holiday-themed post comes from the lovely Meaghan, who produces the excellent blog
Mama's Cup.

1. Tinkerbell. I was 4 years old. A day or two before Halloween, I was brutalized at my nursery school (this is the subject for another blog -- suffice it to say that some kids bullied me and I ended up with a broken wrist). Upon returning home with a heavy, plaster cast on my arm, I proceeded to try to saw it off with a butter knife, while I emoted intensely. "I can NOT be Tinkerbell with THIS on my wrist," I believe is what I am still quoted as saying. Upon inspection of photos from this particularly nightmarish Halloween, my brother recently commented that my plastic Tinkerbell sweat mask was actually a bit garish. So much so, that he felt it resembled something more like a "Kabuki Tinkerbell."

2. A Saudi. This has to be the most inappropriate costume I've ever worn. Yes, I dressed as a "Saudi," though I don't think I looked even half as convincing as Peter O'Toole. I had a pillow case on my head, secured by one of my mom's jazzercise headbands. I wore bright yellow, mirrored sunglasses, a bathrobe (I'm not kidding) and drew on a mustache with my mom's eyeliner. Somehow, I'd really like to blame the whole affair on my mother. My mother or Susanna Hoffs, because this was 1986 and "Walk Like an Egyptian" was all over MTV. In my defense, I didn't know it was offensive.

3. A mime. This WAS my mom's idea, that much I know for sure. I was 10 years old and she had me doing that "walking against the wind" shtick. I will not do this to my child.

4. Cleopatra, mummified. This was an awesome costume. I liked it so much I did it twice. It was, however, extremely uncomfortable. From the neck up, I did traditional Cleopatra (black wig, heavy eye make up, gold snake on my head). From the neck down, I wrapped myself in gauze. A lot of gauze. I bought medical gauze in bulk, dyed it with tea in my kitchen sink and wound it around and around and around my body. The effect at the beginning of the night was pretty awesome. By the end of the evening, however, both times that I wore it, I ended up needing to borrow someone's coat because I was unraveling at an alarming rate. Going to the bathroom was also a chore in this get up. I covered some white spandex shorts with gauze to facilitate using the facilities, but pulling the spandex down contributed to my overall unraveling, so both times I ended up standing around trying to "hold it."

5. The gold chick in Goldfinger. This was certainly ill-advised. I don't have any earthly idea what prompted me to do this. I was probably trying to impress a guy. I wore a gold bikini and painted myself gold. I found this spray at a Halloween store. On the box, in English, it said it was for hair. But in French, it said for hair or skin. So I bought a bunch and covered myself. It smelled so bad; I had to air out my dorm room for days. It was also quite possibly toxic. I spent the better part of the evening sick and in the shower, trying to get the gold paint off. (The sickness might have been exacerbated by the fact that I spent the first part of the evening at a college kegger.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Things that continue to baffle me, Part Deux

1. Napoleon Dynamite
(sorry, Andy). I laughed only at the tater tots scene, and that's because tater tots are inherently hilarious. People tell me it's this generation's Sixteen Candles, but dammit, for all its political incorrectness, Sixteen Candles was actually funny. I've also heard that I have to watch Napoleon multiple times to appreciate it (life's too short); that I should get high and watch it (why not just rent Nice Dreams?); and that I should watch it with someone who loves it (sadly, not many of my friends are 15 years old).

2. The purported hotness of Brad Pitt. Angelina, I totally get. But Brad? Sure, I loved him in Twelve Monkeys, but I never found him particularly attractive.

3. Dancing with the Stars.
Why is this show a hit? It's creepy. I turned it on once and saw Marie Osmond dressed up like some sort of demented doll. I hope one day I will be able to stop shuddering.

4. The accolades for The Kite Runner.
"You've got to read this book," everyone told me. So I did. I hate to sound unsympathetic to the Afghan people, but the plot was almost as contrived as an episode of Scooby-Doo. (Let me know if you want spoilers; I'll happily e-mail 'em to you.)

5. Superheroes. Maybe it's a boy thing. I just don't understand why they all have to get their own movies.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Special Guest Blog: Movies I have inexplicably seen more than 10 times

Ed note: here's a very special guest blog from your friend and mine, Reyna.

There are movies that I have seen two or three or even five times, but more than 10 deserves its own category.

1. Grease. Now if you’ve seen this movie once, you’ve probably seen it more than 10 times. I once estimated that I saw it about 20 times actually. No need to explain why. This is the only movie that I saw in a theater and then left, only to turn right back around and see it again.

2. When Harry Met Sally… This definitely falls into the inexplicable category. It’s not a great movie, in fact it might be called annoying at best (and I always cringe during that deli scene) and in many ways it’s also alarmingly dated. But. If it is on anywhere I cannot help watching the whole thing. Billy Crystal should be awful in this movie, but he’s not so bad. Still, I can offer no real explanation.

3. A Clockwork Orange. I will never forget the first time I discovered this video hidden in the top drawer of my parents’ dresser. The minute I heard that haunting music and Malcolm McDowell’s voice, I was hooked. The fact that it is chock full of violence and rape makes it perhaps a questionable choice for a 16-year-old, but damn, it’s a good movie.

4. Rude Boy.
What’s not to like about a quasi-documentary of the Clash? Except that it has no real story and is mostly concert footage. But if you’re a girl of a certain age there is nothing better than a young Joe Strummer. Sigh.

5. The Big Chill.
Again, I can’t explain. It’s pretty dated and implausible in parts and yet, it’s kind of funny and likeable too. Can I help it that I bought the soundtrack too?

6. Harold and Maude. The plot – a love story between a 20-year-old boy and an 80-year-old woman – sounds perhaps unappealing, but this movie is nothing less than perfect. Though it is so much a product of its time (early 70s), there is nothing at all dated about it. I first saw this movie in the tenth grade in my friend Hilary’s dining room and it damn near changed my life. If you know any tenth graders, please direct them to this movie.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Reasons to be cheerful

1. NPR.
When the news of the day is grim, it's nice to have it delivered by Carl Kasell. I'm totally addicted to this stuff. I've been known to hum the All Things Considered theme around the house, and the words "From WHYY in Philadelphia, this is Fresh Air" give me a shiver every time. Also, I have a crush on Ira Glass. (Don't tell anyone.

2. Public libraries. Why buy books when you can get 'em for free?

3. Pizza. It's the main reason I continue to live in New York. Add Grimaldi's anchovy pie to my list of death-row meals.

4. Dogs. Whenever I feel really bummed, I visualize a bunch of puppies running around. Try it sometime.

5. 30 Rock. It's coming back on Oct. 30, baby! To quote the great Tracy Jordan, I love this show so much I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Songs that make me cringe

1. "Come Together." "Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease?" Um, disgusting. I could do without the "joo-joo eyeball" and "toe jam football," too, whatever those are. Can we blame this one on Yoko? I think we can.

2. "Mony Mony."
The song itself is inoffensive, but when I hear it I can't help picturing a bunch of drunk college guys yelling... oh, you know what they yell.

3. "I Wanna Sex You Up" / "I Want Your Sex."
I'm pretty sure these songs use the word "sex" inappropriately.

4. "Woolly Bully."
I like novelty songs as much as anyone (OK, possibly more than anyone), but this one is just dumb. Runner-up in this category: "Yummy Yummy Yummy."

5. "Radio Ga Ga."
I hate baby talk.

6. "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'."
Many Journey songs are embarrassing. This is the most mortifying of all.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Girl things I am bad at

Don't get me wrong -- I enjoy being a girl. Well, most of the time. But I really suck at some of the things that seem to be instinctive to the rest of my gender. Such as:

1. Doing my hair. No matter how hard I try, the right side always ends up in this ridiculous Batgirl-esque flip. It wouldn't be so bad if both sides did this, but no.

2. Painting my nails. I am physically incapable of doing this. I either end up with a gloppy mess or I miss covering half the nail. Luckily the nice Korean ladies up the street charge, like, $20 for a mani-pedi. Which I get only in the summer when my toes will be on display.

3. Carrying a purse. When I hear women say things like, "Oh, no! I left my wallet in my other purse," I'm baffled. I own exactly one bag (and I call it just that: a bag. Purse is a word I don't care for). It's starting to fall apart; when that happens, I'll buy another one and use it until it disintegrates.

4. Walking in heels. I want to wear pretty shoes. I really do. But if the heel is higher than two inches, I might as well be attempting to walk on stilts. So I stick with flats, wedges or chunky heels. Maybe it's part of being a librarian.

5. Accessorizing. I've worn the same earrings every day for a year. I think that says it all.