December 23, 2005

speaking of christmas specials...

CanklesThe Lovely Jess came over the other night to help me decorate my wee Christmas tree. We also watched a couple of Christmas specials, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Together we questioned the sexuality of several characters (I'll see you at Pride, Charlie-in-the-Box!), called out Santa on his prick-like behavior and made various and sundry other observations. For example...

Yours Truly: Why is that doll on the Isle of Misfit Toys? As far as I can tell, there's nothing wrong with her. What's her damage?

The Lovely Jess: Check out those fat ankles.

YT: Mystery solved.

December 22, 2005

the alan alda sensitivity project: holiday edition

Here are a few lessons I gleaned from holiday specials during my impressionable youth and beyond. (Items 1-10 in this series can be found here. Number 11 is here.)

The Brady's Christmas Cheese12) If a loved one is trapped under rubble and cannot be rescued by emergency personnel, start singing "O Come All Ye Faithful" and your family member will suddenly extricate him/herself from the wreckage and walk away from the accident scene with only a bump or two and some scratches. Note: All limbs and appendages will be intact. The victim will not have to free himself by say, sawing off his leg with a pocket knife or a rusty piece of shrapnel. Suddenly bursting into song will miraculously lift the heavy rubble thereby releasing said loved one sans paralysis. This knowledge comes courtesy of A Very Brady Christmas.

13) Santa was a bit of a dick in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. One minute he's ripping Rudloph a new one because of his funky nose and then when he realized the fog totally fucked him over, he was all up in Rudolph's stuff asking him to guide his sled. WTF?! I'm a bit disappointed that Rudolph didn't tell that user bitch to fuck off. I certainly would have.

14) Speaking of Rudolph... Hermey the Elf and Charlie in the Box? Totally gay for each other.

Shermie Doing the Running Man15) Even though he fails to get credit in the annals of dance history, Shermie (right) totally invented The Running Man in A Charlie Brown Christmas.

16) This is more of a question than an observation... How come nobody kicked the shit out of Albert in 'Twas the Night Before Christmas? Dude, if some asshole pissed off Santa by writing a letter on my behalf claiming Santa was a "fraudulent myth," I'd calculate the value of my Christmas list and then take it out of his ass. I don't care that he fixed the Santa clock. Albert was a total douche bag.

17) I would go hungry in Who-ville. Roast beast? Who-hash? Ew.

18) Someone who worked at Rankin-Bass was one ugly son of a bitch what with all the big ear/big nose plotlines (Rudolph, Nestor the Long-Eared Donkey, Baby New Year). Clearly, someone was using claymation to work out his/her issues.

As always, feel free to tack on your observations in the comments.

December 12, 2005

on the wish book and going back to school

Oooooooooooh! The New School Spring 2006 course catalog arrived in the mail today!!! I'm all giddy and hopeful and junk. I feel like I did when I was a kid and the Sears Wish Book arrived.

Ah, the Sears Wish Book. The minute that catalog entered the McDimple household, a massive tug-of-war broke out. I fought my sisters mightily so I could be the first to peruse the pages and dog-ear all those containing my desired toys.

FYI, it was a widely-held and undisputed belief in my house that the elves merely phoned in their toy orders to Sears and did not, in fact, build a goddamn thing. Being the sad gullible fucks that we were, the McDimple Girls also believed it to be a total coincidence that Santa wrapped our toys in the exact same wrapping paper my mother kept stashed in her bedroom.

Every year.

But whatever! I had no time to quibble over such details. That Christmas list was not going to write itself.

And thus began the painstaking process of toy selection. I knew I was limited to only a few things since Santa had to satisfy my three sisters as well. I did NOT want to be the kid who fucked with Santa's budget, you see. So I took my time when compiling my wishes. I thought it through. My list went through several drafts and revisions before the final top-edit by the parents.

It was during this final phase that the younger sister's drum set was nixed as was my request for an organ. Mind you, there is not now, nor has there ever been, a speck of musical talent between the two of us. Why we were lobbying long and hard (and unsuccessfully) for instruments is beyond me. Clearly I wasn't using my head that year and most likely ended up with second- or third-strong toys. What a dumb ass.

Now when handling the Wish Book, I would start at the back, which, as I recall contained all the boys stuff. However, starting from the front of the book meant trudging through housewares and tools and shit like that, so I'd flip the book over and then grab a chunk of pages to approximate where the girls section started. Naturally, after the initial guesstimate, a bookmark was inserted in each end of the girls section for easy future reference. The McDimple girls had it down to a carefully-orchestrated science.

I slowly flipped through each page, reading the descriptions and taking notes. If a McDimple sister leaned in and started crowding me, I'd administer a shove all while maintaining a fixed gaze on the goods. Such focus!

Each page held so much potential. I had butterflies in my stomach as I worked my way through. I was always upset when I neared the section containing the ventriloquist dummies because, well, those fuckers are creepy (especially that one in the top hat and tails who wears a monocle) and b) it meant the toy section was drawing to a close and was beginning to segue into... oh the horror... CLOTHING!

I have a tendency to make fun of Sears now but that store was the shit when I was little. They had quite the stellar collection of Barbie accessories. Mind you, they weren't Mattel brand but they were light years ahead of the latter's shoddy line of pink merch. I was the envy of the neighborhood girls with my vast Barbie assembly which included: Birthday Barbie, Western Barbie (with a button on her back that, when pressed, caused her blue-eyeshadowed eye to wink. Um, it's worth noting that I would most likely be scared of this doll today. Ah, regression!); Western Ken; Malibu Ken; a Jeep; a motor scooter (which I could rev up! Um, too bad Barbie always took a header off it about two inches into the ride. Tres unsafe!); a beach house; a supermarket (with working conveyor belt and cash register); a gym (with working treadmill); a hamburger stand (with working soda fountain); a backyard (with a pool, cabana, chaise lounge and patio set); and much more.

I curated a rather impressive collection, if I do say so myself. It was a well-known fact in the neighborhood that Barbies just weren't worth playing with if Curly McDimple wasn't around to share her stash.

It really blows that the Sears Wish Book is no longer. Sorry but the Target circular can suck it. Ditto for every other flyer Wal-Mart, K-mart and all those big box stores distribute. It's just not the same. Bring back the Wish Book!!

In happier news, the aforementioned New School course catalog is here!! I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be happy about the prospect of going to school but I am! I've been in a rut for the past few months and I need a change of scenery. Perhaps I'll learn some new shit and meet some cool people. And score! The beauty of continuing education is that I don't have to adhere to some stodgy curriculum. I can take whatever the hell I want!

Now, the practical side of me suggests taking a business writing or a web development course because it's good for my career and my company will pick up the tab. That's all fine and good but well, I don't wanna. I mean, do I really want to deal with cascading style sheets when I can be Discussing Dylan for 12 Wednesdays? Oh, fuck no! Do I want to concern myself with information architecture while there's a class going on down the hall called Premium Vodkas: Are They Alike? Again, fuck no! I'm taking the fun classes with the cool kids, yo.

First up: Women's Rights, Human Rights. What's so fun about that you ask? Helloooooooo, a classroom full of chicks who, after each session, will most likely be all pissed off at men! Do the math, people.

Now if you'll excuse, I'm off to dig out my Trapper Keeper...

at the movies once again with curly mcdimple

Now that I've completely indulged my addiction to 24, my Netflix queue has returned to its normal film-heavy state. This weekend I watched Heavenly Creatures, starring a young Kate Winslet and directed by a pre-Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson.

I had a completely bipolar reaction while watching this film. I went from really liking it to completely loathing it.

For the uninitiated, Kate Winslet moves to New Zealand and becomes fast friends with a misfit girl. Their connection is intense, so much so that they can mentally escape together into a world of their own creation. Like, they independently zone out and reconvene in their shared imagination. Do you understand? THEY MEET UP THERE. It's freaky. Even freakier because this is based on a true story.

Naturally, their families don't fully understand their unusual friendship and give them all sorts of shit about it, which makes them retreat to that secret place even more.

This really spoke to me because it sums up the relationship between me and my first (and really, only) love (so far). Our friendship was of the "just add water" variety. Instant yet complete. What it lacked in history, it more than made up for in intensity. God, it was so much fun at the beginning before we had to go complicate things by getting involved romantically. But we had to take that step because the longing was suffocating us. It's taken me a long time to realize this but the pain of denial is far greater than the pain of loss.

Oh, but enough about me and my drama! So Kate Winslet and the other chick forge this incredible yet really fucked-up friendship. Before long, they're mutually adoring Mario Lanza whilst snogging and fiddling with one another. Eventually they declare that they positively cannot live without each other and ridiculous plans are made to run off together and start a new life, blah, blah, blah.

Okay, I hate to keep making this all about me but my God, talk about a parallel existence! This is precisely the sort of thing that happened between THE EX and myself. Well, except for the Mario Lanza stuff. Spooky.

Again, I digress... So, the movie takes a really dark turn and this, my friends, is where I jumped off the ride. As it was, I was barely hanging on by a thread. Jackson repeatedly took the audience to the aforementioned girls' made-up world where we saw the girls frolicking in the meadow, pointing at unicorns and, um, socializing with life-sized terra-cotta statues (don't ask). I found the plot to be strange and really disjointed. Like, I knew what was going on but I wasn't following, if that makes sense.

Normally I quite like imaginative flights of fancy and tales of distorted reality. Terry Gilliam movies, for example, tend to make me giddy. This movie? Just plain weird. It's got talking clay in it, for fuck's sake! Some of the clay even sings opera. There is a life-sized Mario Lanza cast in clay! What the fuck, Peter Jackson?!?! What.the.fuck?!?!

But I can't in good conscience crap all over the movie. The scenery is breathtaking (New Zealand is SO on my list of places to visit) and the performances are really good. It's especially interesting to watch Kate Winslet because she's a little over-the-top in certain parts. If you admire her work, as I do, it's satisfying to do a comparison to see how far she's come.

Speaking of which, have you seen Extras?!?! Winslet guest-starred in the first episode and stole the show, which is no small feat considering her costar is the brilliant Ricky Gervais (The Office). HILARIOUS. Even better, there's not a stitch of talking clay to be found in the program. Always a good thing in my opinion.

December 07, 2005

personal best

The much-adored Joe.My.God is once again doing something cool over on his blog. Inspired by the American Film Institute's 100 Years, 100 Movie Quotes program on Bravo, Joe has begun soliciting quotes from his readership. However, given his demographic, the list has been modified slightly. His compilation is entitled Gay Men's 100 All Time Favorite Movie Quotes. At last check, he's got 92 comments and still going strong!

I can't do a similar lesbian-flavored list on my site because well, a lot of lesbians aren't big on camp... unless it involves sleeping bags and tents and shit like that.

And unlike gay men, we don't have that many film icons. Let's see, there's Jodie Foster, Angelina Jolie, Gina Gershon, Miss Piggy... Who am I missing?

Yes, Jodie was in the highly-quotable Silence of the Lambs but that's not really a movie embraced by lesbians, per se. And, yes, it's easy to moan and speak nonsense like Nell, but really, that doesn't quite count, now does it?

Angelina, well, she's mostly known for her lips, not necessarily what comes out of them.

Gina, of course, was in the craptastic Showgirls but helloooooooooooooo?!? The gay boys have already claimed that one. And even if they didn't, I honestly would not fight them for the right to quote Nomi and Cristal.

Miss Piggy has her "HIIIIIIIIIIIII-YAHHHHHHHHHH!" I guess, but then again, she's a confirmed breeder so she cancels herself out.

In terms of movie selection, lesbians lack the "wink wink nudge nudge" gene. Gay boys dig fabulous schlock like Mommie Dearest while lesbos tend to throw their arms around the likes of Desert Hearts and Lost and Delirious. See my point?

Personally, I think most lesbian movies reek of self-importance and just plain suck. Hard. I can barely sit through them, much less quote them! So compiling a cinematic lesbo list is damn near-impossible for moi (you other dykes can feel free to have at it though).

Instead, I've made up my own list of movie quotes. There's no common element here. I don't care if the general public finds them memorable. I don't care if they come from garbage movies or classics. The point is not to list things like "I coulda been a contender" and "Are you talkin' to me?" and the rest of the usual suspects. We've heard them all before. Me? I like 'em random, quirky and unexpected. With that said...
1. "I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me 'Loretta.'"

-- Eric Idle as Stan in Life of Brian

2. "Felix, you were in the war, weren't you?... Did you jump out of a plane and land on your face?"

-- James Spader as Richards in Mannequin

3. "I don't patronize bunny rabbits!"

-- Veronica's Dad in Heathers

4. "Son, you got a panty on your head."

-- Truck driver in Raising Arizona

5. "I hate being Scottish. We're the lowest of the fucking low, the scum of the earth, the most wretched, servile, miserable, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some people hate the English, but I don't. They're just wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonized by wankers. We can't even pick a decent culture to be colonized by. We are ruled by effete arseholes. It's a shite state of affairs and all the fresh air in the world will not make any fucking difference."

-- Ewan McGregor as Renton in Trainspotting

6. "Sometimes I dance around the house in my underwear. It doesn't make me Madonna. Never will."

-- Joan Cusack as Cyn in Working Girl

7. "Well, I see it still smells like pine needles in here."

-- Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life

8. "I want a divoooooooooooooooooorce!"

-- Michelle Pfeiffer as Angela de Marco in Married to the Mob

9. "Lard Ass! Lard Ass! Lard Ass! Lard Ass!..."

-- From a short story told by Gordie (Wil Wheaton) in Stand by Me

10. "My first show was Barefoot in the Park, which was an absolute smash, but my production on the stage of Backdraft was what really got them excited. This whole idea of 'In Your Face' theatre really affected them. The conceptualization, the whole abstraction, the obtuseness of this production to me was what was interesting. I wanted the audience to feel the heat from the fire, the fear, because people don't like fire, poked, poked in their noses... you know when you get a cinder from a barbeque right on the end of your nose and you kind of make that face, you know, that's not a good thing, and I wanted them to have the sense memory of that. So during the show I had someone burn newspapers and send it through the vents in the theatre. And well, they freaked out, and 'course the fire marshall came over and they shut us down for a couple of days."

-- Christopher Guest as Corky St. Clair in Waiting for Guffman
Feel free to add your own. Oh and extra credit to anyone who does find a lesbian thread in these 10 quotes! I will do my best to reward your creativity.