Steve Carell

When “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” came out, I saw it–twice. The writing and Steve Carell’s acting/timing, I thought, were far more sophisticated than any I had seen in mainstream film in a long time. I mean, the egg salad monologue, the “her breast felt like a bag of sand,” to playing the tuba in the living room after a humiliating night of poker, I just loved, loved, loved this movie. The other thing where Paul Rudd’s secret love was a rather dark-skinned Indian American girl instead of typical Barbie fare, was up my ally. I mean, I became so obsessed with this film, replaying the scenes in my mind over and over again, that I started to have a crush on Steve Carell. (My 83-year-old former junior high school teacher still doesn’t understand why I like the film and she’s after me to defend it. And to her defense, it exhibits a junior high school boy/boob sense of humor, which might disguise the skill level of the picture to those of us alive during World War II. I’m just saying.)

So it is with great disappointment that I’ve watched Steve Carell’s career choices. “The Office”—okay. I guess, I mean you’re recycling a Brit show that wasn’t even your idea but okay, but the buck stops at “Evan Almighty,” people. I recently saw it in July in Kentucky on an in-law trip. My only excuse is that it was shown at a drive-in along with “Transformers” (more than meets the eye), and I had gone for the latter flick and the experience of being attacked by mosquitoes by watching Christian/military friendly fare outdoors. Ha ha ha. I guess he did a fine job in “Evan Almighty.” My question is why??? Are you that hard up for cash, Steve? Are you?

FYI, he got $500,000 for “Virgin” and $5 million for “Evan Almighty” according to (which I was look up at work for entertainment. I will enjoy till IT cuts off access). Cowabugna!

Marriage is compromise

images14.jpg Whenever I’m cranky, my husband insists on holding me in a hug lock. He says it’s good for me, but I don’t see how, and the whole thing makes me squirm (only when I’m in a bad mood), but I withstand it, b/c otherwise, he gets offended. It sort of reminds me of how kids play with a dog, and the dog never flips out. Like in this scenario, I’m the basset hound, and my husband is the kid who keeps putting sunglasses over my eyes even though I am a basset hound. Today, he admitted that he knows it doesn’t help…but I will continue to withstand the embraces in my glum moments, because marriage is compromise. Thank you.

Okay, maybe journalists aren’t total scum

images15.jpg Through the course of my day job, I work with journalists and have been trained to be super-duper careful on what you tell them, b/c if they write with an agenda, you get quoted out of context, you might get pitted against someone you’d prefer to have as an ally–or they just distort it b/c they’re not an expert on your field. (The Times reporters who cover our beat, bounce between completely unrelated fields, so often have to grasp sophisticated, ornery topics without any kind of background and then are required to come off as experts.) And in my day job industry in particular, a negative story, while not entirely accurate, seems to sell/attract more attention than a truthful one, and that burns me.

But the flip side of a journalist’s impact (aside from writing incredibly entertaining movie reviews–but then are those people journalists really or movie reviewers?) is to bring attention to a problem that you have no idea what’s going on. Some of the stories are paralyzingly depressing, as my friend Jen observes, but others, like the attached link motivate me to try to do something. Anyway, this story below is about how middle-class Iraqi families flee Baghdad to Jordan due to life threats, kidnappings, the loss of their kids, but then face having no means to make it in this new country. It’s awful, but the piece mentions two charities — Caritas and the Children’s Aids Foundation — if you feel like donating or volunteering there.

And if not, that’s cool. It’s just a reminder to me, no matter how much fleeting misery I may experience, we still have it good here. I’m not dodging bullets and bombs; I have running water and go out for a cocktail; I can see my family and my friends, b/c they have not been kidnapped, etc. etc. etc

And if you read the Rush Hour 3 review, the writer says it’d be nice if Jackie Chan didn’t have to play a sexual neuter and Christ Tucker didn’t have to bulge his eyes out just to work in the movies. Snicker, snicker.

Dogs without tails

images4.jpg What’s up with that? Why do people deliberately chop off the tail of their dogs? Is it an aesthetic thing? And without the tail, how am I going to know when the dog is going to greet me in a friendly manner or bite me on my neck artery? Apparently, the wagging means they’re psyched, and the flat look or ramrod straight thing means trouble is brewing (courtesy of Dog Whisperer Jenn Mattern).

Other dog communication no-no’s: when I recently smiled and waved to a pack of dogs bounding towards my husband and I on a jog in New Hampshire, he told me to stop b/c showing teeth means aggression in Dog World. Oh jees.

Try to Purge

images3.jpg I am trying to slim down my belongings, so our studio apartment feels less choked with piles of clothes, tchotchkes, dust-gathering jigsaw puzzles, etc., but I’ve discovered that I’m a hoarder.

Of the items in my apartment I have not touched in ten years or more — about two feet of sheet music and books for advanced flute and piano, several boxes of oil paint and linseed oil, and a small pile of records, which include:

* Scoundrel Days by a-Ha
* Boy and War by U2
* Let’s Dance by David Bowie
* Wheel’s on Fire by Siouxie and the Banshees
* Music for the Masses by Depeche Mode
* Christmas Carols from around the World
* Walt Disney’s Cinderella
* Mickey Mouse Disco

I should just set fire to all of them, donate them, give them away, and I will–but I haven’t so far. I played the piano and flute from little kid age to 21, and I loved them both, but music is not a casual hobby and I don’t have the time or strong interest. The paints — when I obsessed from junior year in COLLEGE. Oy, have to let that go, and the records? Please, I don’t have a record player and will never get one. If any of these appeal to you, let me know. They’re all terrific records, and maybe I can get you to record a CD for me from them.

I still remember the Mickey Mouse Disco album (I think there’s a track called Macho Macho Duck to the melody of Macho Macho Man — you get the picture). In third grade, I looked forward to listening to it all day and waiting for school to end, and then I found my mom had let my cousin Aimee, too young to go to school yet, listen to it b/c the poor thing was bored all day, but MAN, was I mad when I found out! For some reason, it was vitally important I be the first one to listen, since it was MINE. ROAR!

I wish I could say I’ve outgrown such peculiar flashes of territoriality, but…I can still get mental about the same things. My husband knows.

So the truth about the clutter — I experience physical pain when I even think of parting with certain items, despite the fact I never look/touch/use them. If I can succeed at the Purge, it will result in a more spacious home, but also more room in my head too. I can’t hold on to ALL OF MY DUMB MEMORIES. My friend told me about some dude on PBS got rid of literally all his things — all of his clothes, books, and toys, and it changed him profoundly. How did he change? No idea. But he changed. My memory is so bad, once these things leave the house I won’t remember that I ever had them, but I’m still not going to go that dire…tiny steps.

Subway Fun

nyc_subway_riders_with_their_newspapers.jpg subway.jpg

Like a kabillion others, I took about three hours to get to work from my borough today. AWESOME. There was a herd of cranky, anxious commuters perspiring underground, waiting for the no-show 2/3 subway. I sweated with them for about 45 minutes before I decided to ditch for Starbucks, where I nearly exited the place incident-free with my decaf iced grande latte (I figure it’s a special day, so I can get a special drink), but dropped my SAG card in the trash and knocked over a half-n-half jug on to a woman’s khaki pants. Eeeeeek!!! I think the humidity and crowds caused my brain to swell. I thought for sure, this day was doomed.

I got to work eventually, and afterwards, my gym was closed due to flooding, and so instead of exercising, I went to get margaritas with my step aerobics teacher and classmates (which was really fun, b/c of some reason, step aerobics makes me really SOCIABLE and I introduce myself to everyone and admire their L-step or Around the World.) At 7:30 p.m., the teacher announced that we would’ve been done exercise at that point–which was a little sad, b/c we had finished two rounds instead. And then to even up the ante of the day’s conclusion even more, I had a really good hair day.

How about that. Silver lining, people.

I Hate Computers

images2.jpg I’ve just spent the last two hours on this Zen exercise of updating our company web site, where all my efforts were to no avail — you know, where you keep fixing the code and the same problem keeps coming up? Does that ever happen to you? I can’t believe how ready I am to throw this PC out the window, and the pasty-faced assistant keeps coming up to me for other edits, even though I clearly look like a tomato on top of a body about to explode.

I can’t even find a good picture of an exploded tomato.

I’m trying to get my to email me this gigantic horoscope I have at home to amuse myself, but he’s got even worse luck with technology than I do, and after trying three times, I don’t think he will take my calls any more.

I’m just blogging so I don’t assault the pasty assistant.

Apartment Envy

images1.jpg Saturday night, I dreamed of finding two bedrooms attached to my apartment that I didn’t know about. When I woke up, I was so disappointed to see that I still live in a studio.

My husband and I have shared it for two years, and I think it’s a testament to our get-along-ability that we haven’t killed each other, but lately, I’ve started to feel crammed and really crave more s p a c e.

Part of my stir-crazy is from nights where he hasn’t been able to fall asleep till 3 a.m. and I’ve woken up from his frustrated antics. It’s also the subway, packing into a rush hour sardine can, while being asked for money by not one, but three homeless, on your way to work, has started to make me shout things like “I hate people” as I make my way through. Yeesh, not good.

I’ve slowly been looking at real estate listings, but it’s crazy, man, what it costs to live in NYC. So on top of the space craving, now I suddenly want to make sh*tloads of money so I can buy some more rooms! But don’t even get me started on what the price of a one-bedroom will buy you elsewhere. I can’t move out of here, meaning, NYC…unless the other place is really compelling and requires no cars. If only North Adams had more nonwhite people…