john cho in columbus

August 13th, 2017

One of my dear friends A. thought I should see the film “Columbus” starring John Cho, a picture about two people meet who meet in a hospital, waiting around for their parents to…die (sorry, I did watch the movie or read reviews. I am kind of just winging it.) They bond in a way strangers randomly can and transcend the pain of their circumstances by being around spectacular architecture. Anyway, my friend recommended the film to me saying it really reminded him of me, and I said, i could see why. I also think all those themes would resonate with me, which is why I need to flee from such a film. I’m really at a point in life where I only want to see pictures of hot (diverse) models shooting at zombies.

Still, I’m glad, of course, such films exist, and I want stars like John Cho to succeed cuz I’m greedy for Asian representation. He seems like such a nice fellow in this interview, which basically summarizes his passion for projects like “Columbus.” He says he wants to keep doing projects of this caliber and expresses that he would happily work with this director for the rest of his career. It struck me as so idealistic. I think I had similar feelings about art when I was in my twenties, but so many things have happened since then, including rejection, intense life events, that have changed my appetite for projects that exhume the travails of the human condition to much lighter fare. Like I’m really not up for tapping into the bone marrow of life to really capture some hard truth about life.

Of course, if you’re a star, you’ve had a very fortunate life and maybe not had the setbacks that help shape a more cynical (or I think realistic) life philosophy, and who knows if interviews really present people’s real personalities. It seems like a Faustian bargain to me once you make it in the movies…but enough of this yammering.


joke fail

August 13th, 2017

I remember visiting my mom at work when I was seven and this other little boy Ernie, a bit younger than me, was also visiting that day. He had short, well-kept hair, a side part, he was filipino as well as seriously adorable. Someone in the elevator asked Ernie how old he was, and his response was “I’m a hundred years old!” He then folded his hands behind his back and beamed a perfect smile, causing an uproar of appreciate laughter in the elevator. I observed this whole scene and studied the joke, timing, body language, etc. Later that day, I got my shot. One of my mom’s co-workers asked how old I was and blurted out with complete excitement “YOU’RE A HUNDRED YEARS OLD!”



For years, I would review, what had I done wrong? What had Ernie done differently? Was he just simply more adorable and earned his positive reaction from the smile alone? It was only later on that I remembered the work choice and I ended up insulting the adult instead of enhancing my own cuteness. So embarrassing.

As an adult, I still foul jokes by verbal missteps. With jokes, you have to be careful not only with word choice but timing, sometimes tone, etc. You can’t want to tell it too much.

I also remember from that visit to Mom’s work place someone had bought me a huge slice of chocolate cake from the cafeteria, and I politely refused it, ever mindful of limiting my sugar in-take since I was hearing about my weight ad nauseum from my mother. I was just sitting there drawing pictures of waitresses taking orders, but really, just thinking about that damn cake the entire time, until finally, when I thought no one was looking, I quietly lifted the cellophane and took a big bite. The guy who bought me the cake saw me and burst out into laughter. Busted.

So I did earn a huge laugh that day after all.

mindful eating

July 22nd, 2017

You know there are classes that help people practice mindful eating? I think they sit at a table and they pace you. (I’m making it off.) But my real life mindful eating training was first grade, where we paid a quarter a week for two pretzel rods. Every kid in that class ate the grains of salt off the pretzel rods one my one, slowing licking off the each and every layer of pretzel epidermis down to its white sloppy, mushy heart. It must have taken like thirty minutes. No idea how the teacher ever tolerated it.

K.C. Royals

July 21st, 2017

First Son has begun an obsession with baseball, but all is not lost. He got a card featuring a player on the Kansas City Royals, and he held it up as he sang “Royals” by Lorde to me. Heh heh.

With this latest obsession, I am regularly recruited to hit a ball with a bat, pitch, and run bases about twice a day. I have not held a bat since seventh grade. It is actually fun to hold a baseball – it truly is the perfect size for a palm (or mine).

As an adult, I have the wherewithal and experience to take that simple step of extending the bat, analyzing the best point to swing, and actually hitting the ball. This never happened back in the days of adolescent yore. I, probably like many kids or girls, felt too self-conscious to even extend the bat. To appear that I was trying would demonstrate that I cared, and if I failed without trying, that was better than failing with trying.

I was telling all this blathering to Husband how I took the time to extend my bat to judge where the ball should go and the background as an adult, an impossibility when it really counted (junior high school, when it could have made me more popular). He paused and asked me in all reverent seriousness, “would you like me to teach you?” I’m like, god no! Sure, if we could time travel, a lesson would have been fantastic when I was young, but now I’m 45. What do I care?

Nevertheless, he made me get off the TV watching couch to take his lesson and I allowed it without rolling my eyes. Sigh.

serena williams

July 4th, 2017

There is some hullaboo over this recent portrait of Serena Williams, whom I completely worship. The piece mentions how there was something that bothered her about her backhand, she decided to drill it 2,500 times and started the count over whenever she messed up. When she realized she was pregnant, she strategized winning each match in two sets, to minimize exerting herself. Ugh, she’s brilliant. The article is bout her and her fiance, the founder of Reddit, who said “she makes me want to be a better version of myself.” Lame. Dude, the lady makes _all of us_ want to be a better version, uh doy. What is so special about you? But then, perhaps that’s too tough a question to ever answer. Serena is exceptional and trying to come up with an equal is a losing game. Couplings happen when both parties are ready for the next step at the same time. Besides, they detail how their first date was a six hour walk in Paris and that the wonder for her was going through the city like a normal person. It’s exactly the plot of “The Prince and Me” starring Julia Stiles. (Like my version of charming royalty would be take them to the public library, CVS, and Starbucks. “See Prince Harry, this is where I buy toilet paper,” etc. etc. etc.)

The writing by Buzz Bissinger is fantastic and the hullaboo I mentioned was the fact that Serena poses nude in her pregnant body. I get that people are tired of celebrity indulgences, but this is Serena. Her body and her mind are essential elements to her game and legacy. She can do whatever she wants.

get out, part 2

July 2nd, 2017

Just to make fun of myself.

Me: Hey, did you see “Get OUt”? I thought it was pretty good.
Nancy: I saw it with you.

Forever MJ

May 25th, 2017

Speaking of dancing, First Son has slowly put his subway love aside for Michael Jackson. He heard “Beat It” at a playdate, which has possessed his brain. He has descended into a scholarly review of all things MJ, including the albums and Weird Al Yanokovic parodies (and beyond. He knows all the words to “Amish Paradise.”) To love MJ is to love his dancing. The man, troubled as he was, was an incredible dancer. The way he moved…nobody else can do that, you know? I can tell First Son is always thinking about MJ. Whether he’s on his way to school, to the kitchen, to the bathroom, he will suddenly break out a move or strike a pose that mimics the hip-swiveling, ankle/wrist snapping Bob Fosse-influenced choreo of Michael Jackson apropos of nothing.

First Son is not a performer exactly. At least, he exhibits the opposite of wild enthusiasm whenever school requires the kids to go on stage. However, left to his own devices, he sinks into his imagination and all bets are off when he’s in his own music video world. He is not shy about taking up as much space as he likes, belting out “Human Nature,” “Man in the Mirror,” “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” “Remember the Time,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough,” “Thriller,” and “Off the Wall” with accompanying slithering moves. For Halloween, he dressed in the Thriller video costume. For his birthday, I brought in cupcakes decorated with mini–Michael Jackson Thriller album cover to class. You get the picture.

My high school BFF visited with her daughter, who was quickly recruited to join the MJ team. The four kids rehearsed and made us wait in the bathroom. When we came out, they played the “Beat It” video on the computer, with First Son, Wonder Twin Girl, and BFF daughter taking turns as MJ, while Boy Wonder Twin played the main villain by going shirtless under a winter parka and wearing a headband.

I mentioned how when BFF was turning ten, she hosted a slumber birthday party where we played “Beat It” over and over again. I still remember her standing on the couch and striking out her arms to beat of each bell in the beginning of the song. (Doesn’t sound so cool when I say “bell,” does it. But what the heck is that instrument then?) She has no memory of that night, so couldn’t appreciate the full-circle-ness of the moment. I had just moved to our town that year, so for me, it was probably more striking…or maybe her memory is just a piece of sh*t.


Mother’s Day

May 25th, 2017

First Son made me a card that featured a wide-triangle shaped pocket, stuffed with cute certificates for a free hug, a morning where he’d let me sleep in (yeah right), etc. We both made the observation that the pocket looked like underwear. We keep it classy.


May 25th, 2017

A.B.D. stands for “Always Be Dancing,” a chorus in this random play Husband and I once saw at Ars Nova that featured a lot of…dancing and actors with terry cloth sweat pants they could rip off to reveal terry cloth shorts. Please, totally fun.

In any case, A.B.D. happens at home now with the little kids, thank god. Nothing cheers me up more than seeing Wonder Twin Girl sliding on the floor, eyes closed, playing the air guitar. Wonder Twin Boy also always performs interesting floor work. Their requests last night were “Call Me Maybe,” “I Don’t Care, I Love It,” and that horrific Justin Timberlake song about sunshine in his pocket.

The Blue M & M

May 25th, 2017

First Son: “Mom, remember when you gave me M&Ms for potty training? I used to really like getting the blue ones because they reminded me of the E train.”

He smiles at the memory. First Son is now old enough to experience…nostalgia? He was all of two during this stage he refers to, and fully ensconced in his multi-year study of NYC subway.