Knight and Day

When I was younger, I craved seeing challenging films that would help stretch my intellectual acumen and emotional experiences. This usually meant like black and white pictures…with subtitles…taking place in France or Chile…focusing on like Pinochet or the Holocaust. Now that I’m older, possibly pass the prime of my mind with an average, and yet nonetheless complicated load of adult responsibilities, I need simple. (apologies to New Yorker and NPR friends.) If I get to go out, I want to see a movie where things explode and pretty people run around with guns. If that’s your fare, then I can wholeheartedly recommend Knight and Day as Not Bad At All.

Major tangent:

That was the highest grade you could get from my Versification prof, who rated our assignments as Not Bad, Not Too Bad, Not Bad At All. The negative end of the spectrum was Not Good, Not Too Good, and Not Good At All…um, I am obviously inflating her scale since there are only five grades you can get…unless you got a W, like I did for certain classes (withdrawal) but in my defense these were sciences and classes with 500 people in it. What the what.

General Stan McChrystal

I don’t know if you got a chance to read this Rolling Stone profile of General Stan McChrystal, but generally, this U.S. general in Afghanistan complains about how lame the Obama administration is, makes fun of Biden, etc. He got fired over this, and some don’t agree with the decision, seeing public relations as a superficial aspect of job performance, but after years in the office workforce, I see how the image of your job performance is just as crucial as the substance of your job performance. Hello, we all have problems with our bosses, but do we go to the press and complain to them? That this senior level, experienced military dude showed this much indiscretion is an example of a serious case of bad judgment. You can never tell how a reporter is going to spin your words, so I can’t believe he got drunk in front of a reporter. In addition to which, the dude was responsible for spinning a story that the NHL player soldier got killed in heroic combat, not killed by his own team (as it were). He was also part of the military when Abu Gharib horrible torture photos showed up, so maybe he should have been let go earlier anyway.

I don’t really get what happened here. I would think he’d get the pros and cons of inviting the media to shadow you. He either completely disregarded the lessons he knows and wanted to give the Administration the finger, or he was genuinely caught off guard. Either way, it’s not good. It is a shame he is the only one Karzai connects to. For that, I may have given him a pass, but to so publicly set yourself up — there’s no save there. Agree? Disagree?

What Broke My Father’s Heart

Have you read this New York Times piece? I’ve been obsessed over it. It’s a perfect article, where there’s the narrator’s personal story contextualized with an overview of society’s attitude of preserving the longevity over quality of life. In the story, the author’s father receives a pacemaker that keeps him going well past his body would naturally go. He deteriorates into a sort of mute corpse that the author and author’s mother have to take care of.

The article really freaked me and my mom out, because of course, duh, as you guys know, my father is a cancer survivor (and while he did receive treatment that prolonged his life, in no way is his story extreme as this guy’s). I don’t often talk about this stuff (here at least) because I keep this blog up to remind me of the happy and wonderful aspects of life, but the human body is a frail vessel, especially after radiation. My dad can’t hear out of his left ear and cannot see out of his right ear. His teeth keep falling out, they’re all unrooting. He keeps on rocking, showing more energy than your average 20-year-old purely from the strength of his spirit. In fact, his entire survival, I believe, is due to his stamina, his character, and his extraordinary positivity. If it were me, I would just grab a bottle of whiskey, lie down under my desk, and just die. I would just give up.

Despite these wonderful facts, there are times where fallout from his illness make all of us feel sad, tired, and angry, which I think is okay. I was talking about these things with a co-worker, who has actually faced similarly difficult health situations, and she kept saying “But you have the baby, right? You’re looking on the bright side?” and the entire point of this entry is that I want to state that that kind of support is ANNOYING. I wouldn’t go out of my way to say this stuff unless this person was trying to be my friend, but if you want to be my friend, you need to be able to live with the dark. Sometimes, life hands you a sh*t sandwich and it’s perfectly okay to be bummed out about it. Not forever, mind you, but you can feel like dirt for a spell. I cannot deal with these sunny, Holly Hobbie attitudes that insist that being positive is the only reaction you’re permitted to have to life. One positive does not cancel out a negative, because we are not equations. There are certain situations in life where it is absolutely appropriate to feel like cr*p. Thank you.

And sorry about all the cursing. I just read, and the dad in those quotes cusses every other word. His undue influence is coming out all over this woodwork and has me shaking with laughter alone at my computer. Check it out, dude.s

This heat, that baby

So is it normal for a baby to have sweaty feet? Like even if they’re only three months old? He also happens to sweat through his clothes (just like a man). And what do babies wear in this kind of insanely hot weather anyway? Mesh onesies?

(As for the miscellaneous pics, I apologize. When you google “hot baby,” you get a lot of boob-focused images, you feel me? Thus my innocent kitty baby.)


There are times in an actor’s life when you go to an audition and everything falls into place. You are so right for a part that casting almost feels like destiny.

This is not that kind of audition story. Yesterday, I went in for a diversity training video for the finance industry that takes place in London. The conceit was about subtle forms of discrimination – an Asian who grew up in London gets promoted over her more qualified counterparts who are fluent in Mandarin, because she’s more like the white big boss. (Um, really? If that’s the kind of discrimination you’re facing, can I move to your company? And not to stereotype Europeans, but some of the ones I’ve met feel perfectly comfortable pulling the corners of their eyes to convey “Asian.” Just saying.)

The part I read for required an English accent, which I cannot do. At home, we speak in a really bad Cockney accent. It’s really stupid, but Husband and I yell at each other like we’re Michael Caine selling luxury jaguars with every English slang word we can think of. So I’m doing the dishes and I’ll yell out “BLIMEY! IT’S BECKHAM’S CORNER! JAGUAR! SCONE!” My friend Mike who can actually sound English said I ruined his handle on it by yelling at him in my fake-Cockney.

It actually takes time and work to master an accent, a true actor’s skill and it’s something I’ve never attempted. (Mom says I sound like an American trying to do an English accent, but when I asked her to try one, she said she could only do her own. Huh.), but what the heck, I had the time to go, so I played Husband’s English accent CD, went over the copy, lined Dad up to watch Baby, while I went in and did my thing. We lined up four at a time and I lost before I even opened my mouth. They had actual English people there, so when the camera rolled, I stood next to the dude with the booming, beautiful, real English accent, and my voice kind of died in my throat. I mean, I did my sad imitation, but it was just no contest. It was like auditioning for American Idol next to Kelly Clarkson. Slaughter.

Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

why I love SYTYCD

Unless you are a dancer, So You Think You Can Dance is amazing TV. First of all, it’s like a Mexican soap opera — lots of plot twists and so many, many tears. Any show that features grown men crying on each episode — I’m so there. When the dancers cry, I don’t know if I enjoy it more when it’s after a harsh, crushing critique from the judges, or when the judges unexpectedly praise them. (I think the later. That’s way more satisfying). And the judges themselves are wildly entertaining — as former dancers and current choreographers, they are so passionate and take themselves so seriously, it’s both feels authentic but also hilarious. Like they say things like “I could cut you for making me watch dance like that” or “that was pure fabulousness” while making their hands into fans. My friend Nancy asked why do all the dancers have breakdowns when they work with choreographer Mia Michaels. I’ll tell you why — it’s because she says “Thank you for sharing your gift.” She says it the point where it’d make a good drinking game.

But what I truly dig about this show is watching the audition process and watching these youngster perform like the audition really, truly means something to them. They are so thrilled and just want to it so badly, they shake and, of course, cry easily, and it’s nice to see them doing something that is meaningful to them. It’s been an age since I’ve had that feeling.

In Sweden, the Men Can Have It All

Oh REALLY. So this article covers (and I’m going to get all the facts wrong, so read the piece if you crave accurate intel) Sweden’s mega-progressive paternity leave policy. The government pays for men to take a 10-month leave job to take care of baby at home. If men do not take leave, they get financially penalized (not a ton, but you get the picture, enough to motivate them to take it). As a result, parenting is much more equal, divorces and separations are down, and women’s salary have been on the rise – the last result of which I’m extraordinarily impressed with. (So that’s what it takes — put a man in a woman’s shoes to equalize the dough. Huh.)

Of course, a large part of me is down with this approach. Sure, it’d be rad to have a more liberal paternity/maternity leave in this country, but I also wonder HOW DO YOU PAY FOR ALL THIS STUFF ANYWAY. In Sweden, the answer is the tax payer, but somehow, they manage this without crippling their economy. In our country, we don’t even have wheelchair-friendly sidewalks, we don’t have universal health coverage, and we have a national deficit that has us oweing money to…China. Seems like we’re too wack to take this on.

I also don’t think there’s any perfect answer. The article reports that some moms get jealous that the dads are equal stage time with the kids. I’ve also read in Germany how women are looked down upon who really want to go back to work after giving birth.

the new yorker/npr

Sometimes, someone asks “hey, did you read that article in The New Yorker?” or “did you catch that story on NPR?” Sorry! I might look like someone who reads and listen to intelligensia stuff, but the truth is I’m only friends with people who do, and I rely on them for summaries. I’m too busy watching So You Think You Can Dance.

tummy time

Um, so I read last night in a book that by four months, your baby is supposed to be able to hold up his head and chest, and this is achieved through ample tummy time. I kind of forgot about tummy time, what with the def-con-five status of our laundry, etc., so the kid can barely rise above a face plant…whoops.