Ah Bugger

The vapid utterings of a neurotic mind.

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I ain't too proud to bug.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Oscars 2016

Ah yes, it's that time again for me to take to my computer to make the words about the Oscar noms this year.
I made a fairly big effort to see as many films as I could, but this year so many of the nominees are still in the theater come awards time. I think it's a real bummer that they won't be available to rent until after the Oscars. I think that was a failure on the business side, because people, like me, try to prep for the show. But maybe people wait to see who wins before watching films? I don't know. I like to know who people are, so when they give speeches, I am more invested.

Off to my picks, because that's why you're here, right????


I am not going to censor myself, so be careful if you don't want a film ruined. Personally, you can't really ruin a film for me. I am always more fascinated how they get there, than by specific moments. But I had Silence of the Lambs ruined for me, and I wonder how much more impactful the film might have been, had I not known what I did. And the Crying Game was not ruined for me and hoo boy! I was taken completely by surprise. What I am trying to say is read carefully from this point on.

These are the movies I saw:
Room
Spotlight
Bridge of Spies
The Martian
Mad Max: Fury Road
Steve Jobs
The Danish Girl
Brooklyn
Trumbo
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Ex Machina
Sicario

I did sit down to listen to all of the songs nominated and liked Sam Smith's "Writing's on the wall", it sounds very much like a Bond film song. The opera from Youth is lovely, but Lady Gaga's "Til it happens to you" from The Hunting Ground was my favorite.

I did not watch any foreign language films this year, which is super weird for me, and I missed all of the Docs, too. Though The Look of Silence is for rent on iTunes for 99 cents currently.

Original Screenplay: It will be Spotlight, but I think Inside Out is a better, more original script. Though I know that's not what they meant by "original" screenplay.

Adapted Screenplay: It will be The Big Short, which I did not see, so...

Visual Effects: This is tough, but I really think that they did an amazing job with Ex Machina.

Directing: Personally I think this should go to Lenny Abrahamson from Room because he got gorgeously nuanced performances from 2 people in a small space. The performance from Jacob Tremblay is remarkable and Abrahamson was likely a huge reason for that success. But it will probably go to Iñárritu.
Animated Feature: Inside Out. No question.

Actor in Supporting Role: Mark Rylance was so charming as the spy in Bridge of Spies. My favorite bit was when Hanks' character asked him if he never worried, and he answered "would it help?"

Actress in Supporting Role: It should be Alicia Vikander. She is so splendid in this role. When she is begging Lili for her husband back, my heart broke in 70 places.

Actor in Leading Role: It's gonna be Leo, but man, Eddie Redmayne is so magical. And I gave his Oscar last year to Michael Keaton. Do you remember Eddie's speech last year? He was adorable. I want to see what he'd say again.
I wish the Oscars would go to the person who deserves it for the role they get it for. Leo should have gotten it for What's Eating Gilbert Grape. I am not sure about this Revenant film. But that's just me.

Actress in a Leading Role: Brie Larson. No question. She conveys the resignation, fear, protectiveness, and claustrophobia so tangibly that I was uncomfortable (and heartbroken) while watching.

Best picture: Oh sheesh, I dunno. I think it will be the Big Short, or Spotlight. I didn't see the Big Short. Spotlight was great, but not really a new topic, or shot in a new way. The films I saw were all wonderful and beautiful in their own ways, but none of them challenged me to a point where I can state definitively that I would pick one over another.

I do believe they were wrong in not nominating Beasts of No Nation.








Monday, February 23, 2015

Pouring rain at the boring Oscars. I'm imploring exploring some changes.

A friend of mine grumbled about the boring Oscars on FB yesterday. I took umbrage, partially because of the wine and partially because C’MON! It’s the Academy Awards!! I want to be there someday. And Patricia Arquette won! And Idina Menzel got to be facially molested by a very creepy John Travolta. (What the heck happened to him? Was he always this way? Is he medicated? Is his toupee too tight?) Idina looked gorgeous, by the way, though I am not certain about the hairstyle. But that dress! And boy, she just nailed it and handled the molestation with grace. J’adore.



Then they topped it all off with the queen of the world, JULIE ANDREWS, who at almost 80 looks better than I do now at the ripe age of, uh, 22. Yeah, 22. So, yeah, I was high on the sightings of these beautiful, strong women that I admire.



The Everything is Awesome song from the Lego Movie (snubbed for best animated picture) was performed in a most fun manner. Then Glory from Selma brought tears from everyone, myself included. (I then proceeded to watch it 2 more times, backing up my Oscar viewing pleasure and making me learn that Dame Jules was coming from my Twitter feed. Totes worth it.) Also, how hot was Chris Pine with a teary face? I never felt it for him before, but…



And David Oyelowo! I saw him on a talk show a while back, and he was hilarious and smart. But after the great glimpses of his heart and his goofiness after the show, I love him!! I HAVE to see Selma. 


My predictions were fairly good. I am surprised at Eddie Redmayne’s win, but not upset. His speech made me think that a show about his tending to his Oscar would be like Ted, only British. Also, did I mention that Patty won??? I think I will talk about her speech in another entry. Everyone’s speeches promoted awareness, strength, inclusion, and equality. What’s not to love?


But yeah, the show was otherwise boring. NPH did not bring it, unfortunately. Though the opening song was great. And can we please enough with the generalizing of women already? Yes, fashion is an industry and okay, you can ask who they are wearing, but let’s not pan their bodies and tell them how pretty they look. Let’s talk about the emotional choices they made as their characters. Let’s talk about what’s in their heads as opposed to how fabulous their nails look. Talk to them the way you talk to the guys. Jeepers.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Year of the Meta Film

In a few short hours, I will be donning my finest sweatpants, cracking open a bottle of the best $12 wine, and commenting wildly on the shenanigans that are your 

87TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS!

Just for the record, I am rooting for Inherent Vice to win anything and everything as my friend Michael Cotter is in it and that makes it fabulous.

The year in Memoriam is going to be horribly sad this year. We lost so many wonderfully talented people in 2014. 

I am ashamed to admit that I did not do well on actually seeing a lot of the nominated films and this is truly tragic as I think only 6 films were nominated for EVERYTHING. Still, I read EW, People, and assorted other magazines, and my level of television watching is Ph.D worthy, so I have an opinion.

For complete transparency, these are the films I have watched:

  • Birdman
  • The Imitation Game
  • Boyhood
  • Gone Girl
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Boxtrolls
  • Virunga
  • Maleficent
  • Intersteller
  • Ida
I rented The Theory of Everything, but Comcast decided to wig out because of the massive snow storm we got, so the picture was pixelated and annoying and I couldn't watch it. I proceeded to continue to indulge my Patricia Arquette addiction brought on by Boyhood, and watched Beyond Rangoon, instead. 

I claim to be a screenwriter, right? (Write). So let's begin with the screenplays. 

Original Screenplay
Should be won by Birdman. Though the story was not necessarily something new, the ending really made me think and analyze and extend my experience with the film by reading up on it. 

Adapted Screenplay
I don't understand why Whiplash is in this category. It was originally a feature script that went nowhere, so it was rewritten as a short which then caught attention enough to shoot the feature. 

I actually think that The Imitation Game should win. I read the book and love what they did with the film. 

-----Skipping the boring (read I dunno who should win) categories-----

Best Documentary
I only saw Virunga and I was enthralled. It's heartbreaking to see what they are doing and man, you all know how devastated I get by the maltreatment of animals. But I have no idea about the other films in this category. 

Achievement in Directing
I'm going to guess that Rick Linklater gets this. To be able to corral these actors year after year, when they are busy living their own lives, playing other characters, and get them back on track and make this film is a miraculous feat. Also, it makes me want to work with him because heck, if you return for 12 years, you like working together. 

Achievement in Cinematography
Birdman. Those scenes were tough to shoot, beautiful, and creative. 

Animated Film
I wanted to see Big Hero 6 and Boxtrolls. I really wanted the story in Boxtrolls to be better. But the stop action animation is cool. I have no idea. Going with Big hero 6... I think. 

Supporting Actor
J. K. Simmons. He's magic. No one else could have played this role.  (That's always my criteria for these awards. If anyone else could have played the role as well as the actor who did, then no prize for you.)

Supporting Actress
PATTY!!!!!! They should have called the film Motherhood. It was all her. The movie was carried by Patricia Arquette. The sadness, the heart, and life (literally) came from Olivia. Plus, watching this film sent me on a crazy Patricia Arquette filmography viewing. I will be waiting for this moment for the whole awards show. 

Lead Actor
This is actually a fairly rich group of nominees. I love Steve Carell in deeper roles. He's such a good actor and we miss out when Hollywood doesn't allow him characters that have range. 

I love Michael Keaton. I harbor a minor crush. But I could have seen this role played by other actors. I would have liked to see a little more vulnerability from him. There were great scenes and I'll admit that I saw this film whilst insanely hungover, so I don't stand 100% behind what I say here, but I want more for the Academy Award. 

Eddie Redmayne pulled off an incredibly difficult role and he had me believing him (in the ten minutes of the flick that I was able to see). But he's young and the politics of the Oscars might not allow him to win. 

I think Michael Keaton will win. It's his first nomination, and he won the Golden Globe. 

Lead Actress
Julianne Moore will win. She has no Oscar and she's due. I have not seen the film, but I hear she's magnificent. Plus, she is a glorious actress. She should have won for Children of Men. Hey, did you know Chiwetel Ejiofor is in that film? Go watch it. It is so good. 

Best Picture
I don't know what to make of the Selma controversy because I have not seen the film. But the previews look amazing and I do feel they were cheated. But again, the politics of the Awards are immense and if they did not get their films to the voters in time, that would have hurt them. That said, I don't think the film will win. 

I think Imitation Game should win. Though I cracked the Enigma code within 10 minutes of the film. Obviously every transmission is going to have "Heil Hitler" in it, right? Anyhoo, I may be biased because I was at TIFF, and this film won. And I enjoy films and books about WW2. But I thought it was a great film and my dearth of true knowledge of most of the nominated films keeps me from being able to make a truly educated guess. Also, I am too lazy to check who won all of the big awards. 

I think Boyhood could win, but as much as I want all success for my new bestie, Patty Arquette, I feel like Linklater had 12 years to write a better and more engaging script

I cannot root for American Sniper, because I feel like the film I worked on, Fort Bliss (which you can now watch streaming on Netflix), was a better depiction of army life. Michelle Monaghan was so good, she truly deserved to be on the award radar. 

May the countdown begin!



KICK ASS, PATRICIA ARQUETTE!!! 



Friday, April 25, 2014

Interviewing Bug in Marie Claire, Part 2

Once again, Buggie answers questions posed to someone else by Marieclaire.com.

This time the questions are directed at Sarah Jessica Parker, who is starring in…. oh, she designed something for someone…  She was ANNIE! She shall always be a star!

What brings you the most joy? Doing something. Anything, really. Or, seeing my mom happy. My cat being cute. Finding a way to make a grumpy person smile. (Shotgun approach to answering the question. It works. Shut up)

What are your vices? Joe Biden and  Selena Meyer.

What is on your nightstand? Dust and a lamp

Do you have a secret Talent? Yes. Shhh…

What is your greatest indulgence? Getting to live my life! At some point it will come back to me, but right now, this is pretty awesome.

What should every woman try at least once in her life? Aw crap. This one I actually have to think about….. … … Travel to a country where you don’t speak the language. Sacrifice some aspect of beauty for something bigger, like long fingernails to play guitar.

What makes you laugh?  A lot of things. But they are usually unintentional.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I am immensely introverted. Also, I am intensely talented at putting furniture together.

What is on your bucket list? Seeing Yo-Yo Ma which I will do in August at Wolftrap! Also, administering an epi pen.

What is on your feet right now? This is a dumb question, but I guess it was directed at SJP, and not me… so… I currently am wearing white socks with a Paul Frank monkey on them. Well, I am wearing one sock. I had to remove one to see what was on it.

How did you make your first dollar? I am pretty sure I stole my first dollar. I have older siblings. They seemed rich. My first legit dollar was probably earned babysitting or doing random yard work in my neighborhood. I was always good at coming up with a plan for some work.

What superstition do you believe in? I scoff at them all. I believe in them all. Ugh. I hate those emails, or FB thingies where you’re cursed when you don’t forward them. Because somewhere inside I DO believe. But c’mon! Also, fortune cookies and horoscopes. But then they are so stupid. But they’re REAL!

What items in your closet do you wear the most? The things I wear the most never make it into the closet. They get washed and re-worn right away. I am a lazy dresser. This is  a boring question when directed at me.

What is the best gift you’ve ever received? I got a bunch of daisies when I was in a play in high school. They were sweaty and a little wilted, but it was such an acknowledgement that I was doing something that someone else noticed and that meant the world to me.

What is on your liquor shelf?  MC sure likes the idea of a liquor shelf. My little bar has all sorts of crap in it. But I will never make anything with gin.

What is on your kitchen counter? Containers filled with tea bags, and crumbs. I really should be  a better cleaner.

What would you never leave home without? My clothes. Shoes. Keys. Sometimes I do walk out without keys. Oh, and sometimes I go barefoot. So, my clothes.

What movie has the greatest ending? Oh geez. The Others was pretty great. Oh, just about any film that either completely fulfills what you expected and hoped for, or the films that utterly rock your world by presenting an ending so completely divergent from what you thought would happen.

Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party? Oh, there is the ideal list of fantastic people I’ve never met, but I think the people I do have in my life, the ones that take me for what I am and continue to choose to be there, I couldn’t do better than them. So, them. And Idris Elba.  

What is one thing you wish you had know when you were younger? That you don’t change. So embrace who you are and be you to the best of your ability. Screw anyone who says that is not good enough.

Theatre and Glee and stuff

The latest Glee episode is Rachel’s opening night of Funny Girl on Broadway. This is the culmination of everything we have seen this character do, and be over the course of the show. And it was beautiful.

My New Year’s resolution this year was to take in a live performance at least once a month. I’m on fire, having seen 9 shows so far, with a litany of performances ahead. I chose this as my resolution because there is something so inspiring about seeing a live show: the sheer amount of work that goes into it, the balls it takes to go on before a live audience night after night, the fortitude to do it night after night after night. It fills me with a desire to create and to fill the world with my own ideas.

It was good to see Rachel’s breakdown before her opening night. I know it’s a TV show, but she’s obviously so very talented and so young and having a role like Fanny Brice at 19! On the Great White Way?!? It’s no wonder I panic about people seeing my work. But she panics, too. It’s not really that easy for anyone. Every somebody was nobody once.

It was great to get to experience Rachel’s stage debut. They shot it so that we got all sides. We sat in the audience and watched her. We were on stage with her. We were in her head. The show gives a glimpse of Broadway that many people don’t have the luxury to see. It could end now and we’d be complete. It was always about Rachel, after all.

But for me in my venture, it’s the beginning. (The middle?) I am really enjoying my year of theatre. I have a sitcom based on all of this that I am working on. Maybe someday it will be my Funny Girl. My Glee.


On Sunday I will embark on my 10th play and have the delight of having drinks with the producer of that show. Hopefully he won’t mind my picking his brain for a better understanding of what it takes to put on a Broadway play.

Friday, January 17, 2014

1945 was a long time ago...

We came to the US from Germany when I was in Kindergarten. Somewhere in grade school, I found that kids would draw swastikas on my papers. I'd lose my mind, my Heidi braids flailing as I bit the offenders. Being German was, and is, a huge part of my identity.

My mother was born in the war. My childhood was forged by her experiences, and those of family members. Anytime I would visit older relatives in Germany, particularly those who were adults during WWII, I would be encouraged to eat EVERYTHING. No seriously. They would make a huge meal and expect my 4 foot, 80 pound self to eat it all. What was not eaten was carefully placed into the fridge or the freezer for a later meal. Nothing was wasted. Today I find it hard to throw out an egg; my mom cannot waste bread.

I've been watching documentaries about the war. Hitler's Children struck a chord with me. We have no choice who we are born to, yet we carry the weight of their actions with us. One woman in particular, Monika Goeth, the daughter of the "Nazi Butcher" Amon Goeth - you might remember Ralph Fiennes portrayal from Schindler's List - made a particularly strong impression upon me. I don't know why her short interview made me feel so protective of her. It just struck me that this woman, whose father died before she met him, was set up to fail. She didn't learn the truth about Amon until her teens. Her truth was obfuscated by her mother and she didn't really understand who he was until she saw Schindler's List. There is a documentary about Monika and a young woman who worked in Amon Goeth's household, called Inheritance. Inheritance, indeed. Should she be forced to bear the weight of her father's atrocities? 

My mom came over today with a box full of family pictures. It includes her parents, and my dad's parents and a few pictures of the generations before them. For my birthday last year, my aunt sent me a picture of my great grandmother at age 4 with her family. My cousin's little boy looks just like her.



So there is something to be said about strong genes, right? My sister and her daughter look just like my Grandmother. But that's all just looks. What about personality? How much of that is genetic and how much is nurtured?

I don't suppose I really have a point. It's more of a musing to me, at this time. I see how stoic my mother is and I wonder, had she been raised in a less stressful time, would she laugh more? Cry more? Would she demand more? Because Lord knows she asks for nothing.

The holocaust was not the first time, nor the last time massive genocide took place. We consistently have weak spirited people given a modicum of power who decide to use it to brutalize people to make up for their own shortcomings. But this era is definitely a time we can examine and decide for ourselves that we never want to become like Amon Goeth, or Heinrich Himmler, or Hermann Goering. We can decide to educate ourselves and open our mind to things we might otherwise be afraid of.

I still wrap my identity around being German, even if at this point I am solidly planted in American soil. Perhaps that is why I question all actions taken by our government to cut off the rights to someone based on their gender/religion/race/etc. I cannot imagine standing by, terrified for my friends and family, while the government actively slaughters an entire population. It's a life that goes on everyday in parts of world.

This is long winded. I apologize. I suppose I am feeling sentimental, and perhaps a little cautious. This country of ours is a little terrifying in some of our leaders choices. Living in Virginia is especially nerve-wracking as woman. I have yet to crack to motive on many choices my state, excuse me, commonwealth makes on my behalf. I am anxious about the dismissive way we treat our planet. I am angry, filled with rage at  (there isn't word strong enough for how I feel) with the active extinction of our species. I cannot imagine the mindset of people who choose to stand in the way of human rights, particularly those that have nothing to do with their own personal way of life.

Maybe we aren't sending people off to concentration camps, but when we choose to continue to isolate and dismiss people for living a life that is different from our own, we still condemn them to a life of torture, if not death. I, for one, want my descendants refer to me as the one they're like. Kind, open, and affirming. I'm working at it.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Tased and Confused

I got a taser for my birthday. Yup. I asked for it. I have wanted a taser forever. Now that I have it, it lives in a box with all its instructional information and the battery removed.

I’m scared of the taser. (I should be. It's scary. Watch these idiots test their taser.)


When Brian gave it to me, he showed me how to use it. He showed me the terrifying laser that points at the target. That would be enough to disarm me, but I’m not really someone who is going to be engaging in something that would require me to get tased. (Don’t tase me, bro!) He took out the ammo. You know, the part that fires two prongs 25 feet to connect with and take down the evil doing perpetrator.


 He pushed the safety off and hit the button that got the taser to send rays of electricity flailing. 


It made so much noise!! Clack clack clack, etc. Who knew that electricity sounds like clapping? Is that really the message I want to send? Applause? Additionally, once you hit the button, it fires for 30 seconds. That’s a commitment. 

It's actually kind of cool. I mean, I am little. Not too tough. I'm not like Clussy, who when Harms jumped out and scared her, reacted by punching Harms in the nose. I was scared by my boss the other day, when he snuck up behind me in the parking lot. I reacted by waving my arms like a hatchling bird and singing a little aria. See? Not tough. 

Having a taser scares me because it makes me afraid that I am going to suddenly think I'm tough. I will have the solo gang mentality because I have taser back-up. 

It got me thinking about George Zimmerman. I think he had gang mentality because he was carrying a gun. He got cocky and felt protected. That's why he got out of his car and went after Trayvon Martin. I bet if he did not have a gun, he would not have gotten out of his car.  

I don't want to carry my taser until I have learned all about it. When I am confident that I understand the risks of what it can do, I will take it with me. Not always, just in those times when I think I may need extra protection. Actually, it will probably stay in my house forever, quietly hoping it will never be used. But you'd better not break in to my house! I will tase you, bro! And yes, I do worry about it getting into the wrong hands, i. E. my cat. He has that shifty look.

Upcoming post: How I accidentally tased myself. (Kidding).


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ghost Story

My cousin died last week. He was born a year before my oldest brother was born. I'm aching for his parents, siblings, children, and wife. It's just not right for parents to have to mourn their child. I'm sad for his siblings who will never be a complete set again.

My oldest brother died almost 15 years ago. Holy smokes! It's crazy to think he's been gone so long. I think about him, but it seems like more and more time goes by between my being reminded of something he would say, or how he would laugh. I miss him terribly, yet at the same time he is fading from me. He is slowly becoming a really intangible memory, not unlike a movie character from a film I loved long, long ago.

I don't actively seek him out. It's kind of jarring to see someone make an "a" in the crazy way he did, or tie their shoelaces on the side of their shoe, or actually see his face in a photo. Sometimes I get a whiff of him in the air and it sends me sprawling back on my spiritual ass. So, no. I don't seek him out. Because for as wonderful as those moments are, it hurts. It kind of really hurts. I can't have him back.

Geez, I loved him. He always took me places with him. He paid attention to me, when no one else did. He actively cherished our friendship. He got me really cool presents and wanted to hang out with my friends. He listened to me and told me when I was in the wrong. But he never held it against me. He liked me.

I do admit I am always wondering if he would have liked the guys I have dated, or hung out at my apartment. Would I have made the choices I have made had he been around? What kind of person would I be if I still had him to confide in and to keep me in line? Would I be as stoic? Would I allow myself to show it when people hurt my feelings? Would I be better at standing up for myself?

Maybe I am romanticizing him. What if I'm not remembering him right? I just think everyone loved him. He was sweet, to a fault. He worked so hard. He had good intentions which, sometimes backfired on him, but in a "I have a great story to tell you" way for me.

Today I was working at my bar. (I don't know if he would have drank much there as he was kind of a wuss drinker - see frozen daiquiris - and we don't have a blender). I was doing my eavesdropping bartender thing and overheard some guy saying he graduated around the time I did. I inquired and learned he went to my rival high school. So we got to chatting. He asked me my name. He said he met one other girl with my name. He worked with her brother who had cancer. I'm all, hold up! That's my brother. That's me!! It was! He had worked with Christoph at Hechinger, a hardware store. He really remembered him. He was telling me stories. He liked him.

I felt like I got to have him in this moment again, even if just a little bit. My memories were validated. He was a nice guy. He was liked. And he liked me. He nurtured our relationship today, from beyond the grave. I am so grateful.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

The last time I ever use Budget Rental cars.

I went to Panama for my birthday. I was so excited! Got my hotel booked. Flights were booked. All I needed to do was get a car. I vacillated between renting a car, taking taxis, and hiring a driver to take us to the sights! (Yeah, I think I am high-faluten).  Reality set in which scratched the hired driver off of my list. Taxi costs looked prohibitive, plus my mom's (my date for the trip) gentle reminder that I drove without incident through the maddening streets of Copenhagen, made my choice for me.

Now to choose a car rental place!

The deal breaker for me was no navigator. I had read that Panama City is in a state of disarray as they are tearing the city up to put in an underground subway system. Also, my mom said that it was crazy driving there in the 60s, can't imagine it changed much. Budget had a navigator and a good rate. Woo-hoo. Sold. I made my reservation online and then just had to wait for the day of the trip.

Two days before we leave, my mom calls me to tell me she thinks she broke her foot. Whaa? She went to the doctor and received a pretty intense brace for what turned out to be a solid strain. I asked if she still wanted to go. She said yes. So off we went!

We got to Panama without ado. Headed to the Budget counter with my hobbling mom. I sat her down in some chairs and stood in line. (Me thinking: Why a line? None of the other car rental places had a line. Must be the best!) I noticed that of the two people behind the counter, the lady looked frazzled and the young man looked useless. He was just kind wandering around, randomly picking up pieces of paper and putting them back down. I shall call her "frazzled" and him "feckless". So Frazzled keeps saying stuff to Feckless and he does not react. My Spanish is non-existent, so I just had to go on how they were acting, and not what they were saying.

The two guys who were being taken care of also looked annoyed and frustrated (and sweaty. Was that because of Budget, or the heat? I'll never know). I stood in line behind the guy in front of me for 20 minutes. Nothing was happening. So I moved over to the National Car rental where they had no line and spoke English to me. I was about to rent from them, but Budget called me over because they were suddenly ready for me. I figured I should stick with them since I made the reservation there.

Feckless is helping me. His English is almost as bad as my Spanish. Okay, I know I am a foreigner in a land where the language is Spanish. I don't really need much, except assurances that what I requested is what I am getting. I have even recruited the help of a translator who is very helpful. Wow I sound awful. I don't mean to be that American. It would not have been a problem except he accused me of stealing. That was a problem. BIG!PROBLEM!

After about an hour of shuffling papers, looking for pens and staples and forms, playing with little canvas bags, Feckless gives me my car. I go out with a Budget Rep to look at the car. It's a banged up old white Yaris with an after-market stereo jammed into the dash. I made sure to notate every scratch and ding (because I read that they will charge you a lot for any additional damage to the car. In fact they make you fill out two credit card slips so they can use one for the car and the other for the damage).

The navigator is not inside the car, so I go back inside and ask about it. Feckless says he gave it to me. I say nope. You never even showed it to me. He gets upset and says, I gave it to you! I just continue to shake my head. He goes out to the Yaris with me to look for it there. Not there. We return inside where he asks, where is your stuff? I show him what I have in my hands and in my bag. Not there. He tells me he's going to have to look through my luggage. I say, you can look through everything I have, but you never gave me the navigator. He makes asides to Frazzled. He starts to look through each of the canvas bags he looked through before. Turns out those are the navigators. He calls his supervisor and tells me that the supervisor will be reviewing the surveillance footage to see what happened. I say, bring it! In fact, let me watch, too.

He is getting increasingly upset and Frazzled is helping someone else. As he continues to examine the navigators and tell me that he already gave it to me, his face turns white. Yeah, he found the unit "he gave to me". He takes it out of the bag and shows it to me. No apology.

There is a piece of tape on the power switch. I ask him to notate that it was already there so I don't get charged for it. He tells me it's fine. I say, no. I want you to write it on my receipt. He says "I will remember". I raise an eyebrow. "Write it down". Feckless shakes his head as he writes it down. "You are not a trusting Mrs." DAMN STRAIGHT I'M NOT! "Now sign it!" I command.

I take the navigator and gather my mother and our suitcases. I put all of them in the Yaris. I set the navigator up. It turns on.... then shuts off. I try several more times. Same thing. Leaving my Mama in the air-conditioning, I return. When I pop up again, like Groundhog Day, Frazzled actually laughs. I feel her. Seriously, I'm like a cold sore at this point. I wave the navigator at Feckless.

"It doesn't stay on".

He tells me it's fine. The battery is just low. I tell him I am not leaving without a Navi that works. So they send me out with another guy who tests it in a new car. Works fine. Tests it in the Yaris. Nope. So the cigarette charger is broken. Inside I go again. This time Frazzled comes out with me. She puts me into a new Kia and off I go (with suitcases, Mama, and a working Navi).

This took 3 hours!!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Ugh, Again?

There was another shooting today. This time in Santa Monica, California. I saw the headline in my newsfeed. I disregarded it. I'm over shootings, I thought to myself.

Enough.

The headlines updated and suddenly 6 people were dead. There was a mention that Obama was going to speak nearby. I have friends in Santa Monica. I have been there. I teach at a University. Still, ugh... more campus shootings?

It's flawed. We're flawed. I have friends/family who are behind the 2nd amendment blah blah blah. We can see, however, (right?) that this whole process of freedom of gun ownership is flawed? Over the holidays I went shooting with my brother-in-law and his kids, my niece and nephew. Prior to doing anything, we were carefully educated on each weapon. We were taught to handle the gun and respect it. There was a point where a car left the park. We did not shoot as they left, though they were not in the direction of the shooting range. Respect. But not everyone respects weapons as my brother-in-law does.

I don't understand how this country hangs their hat on the constitution, particularly the amendments. Obviously the amendments were changes made to the original document. The right to bear arms is an amendment.  This Country's forefathers were more intelligent than our current regime, I must assume, because they understood that this freedom establishing document was a living document and that it would change as our country took shape.

I trained with Fairfax County cops to be a marksman. Yes, it was fun, for me, but I learned to outshoot the guys who were training me. I don't want a gun. I really want a taser, but that's another story. But I can outshoot you. Trust me.

So let's say you are a responsible gun owner. Someone breaks into your house. You run to your gun safe, retrieve your Glock, then go to the other safe where your keep your bullets, because as a smart gun owner, you know you need to keep them separate. The guy robbing you has already left... or done whatever.

Murderers like in Columbine, and in Newtown used their parent's weapons. My parents did not have weapons, but my mom had awesome jewelry and I sure did visit her jewelry box. But she made sure I didn't get too excited about it, because it was not for me. I know this seems a non-sequitur, but respect is respect and I didn't abuse. (too much). That leads me to ask is it a parental responsibility of instilling respect we need? or a national responsibility of not making weapons available?

Maybe it's more education we need. People fear a police state. I fear a state that uses more bullets on one felon than other countries use in a year. I fear a country where people are justified in shooting first and asking questions later. Heck, I live in Virginia where a concealed weapon seems like a mighty fine idea. (Yes, it's legal). Yeah, I work in a bar, and I am a female. Sometimes I do not respond to people the way they would like me to. Do I really need to worry that this drunk guy whose manliness was just reduced by my lack of interest, might take serious umbrage?

Oh, the Second Amendment... Is this adjustment to the original Constitution (made in 1791) so important to you, that you are willing to let these people who have no moral code regarding weapons, have them? Run rampant with them? I'm pretty sure people like my brother in law are not wreaking havoc on society. I'm not saying we should have a national registry, but if you are a healthy, sane human being, you should not have a problem taking a quick psychological exam prior to getting a gun.

I dunno. I don't know the answers. But it's should be harder. There is no reason for there to be so many shootings that people lose interest. It should always be a tragedy. Maybe we need to do as Chris Rock once said: Make the bullets really really expensive!!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

It's all anyone can talk about. How can some kid, and let's face it, the Connecticut school murderer was still a kid at age 20, kill his mother and then enter an elementary school intent on carnage? Not just an elementary school, but a school that only taught from kindergarten to fourth grade. Little people.

We talk about him and why he murdered 20 babies who would never get to see double digits. He also killed six adults at the school and his mother. This forces us to think about the two boys at Columbine who murdered 12 of their fellow students and 1 teacher (1999). We refer to the kid who killed 32 of his schoolmates at Virginia Tech (2007). Not to mention just last week when a 22 year old kid killed two people in a mall in Oregon. I could go on and on.

  • Aurora, CO - 12 dead (2012)
  • Chardon, OH - 3 dead (2012) 
  • Tuscon, AZ - 6 dead (2011)
  • Dekalb, IL - 6 dead (2008)
  • Henderson, KY - 6 dead (2008)
  • Salt Lake City, UT - 6 dead (2007)
  • Omaha, NE - 9 dead (2007)
  • Crandon, WI - 6 dead (2007)
These happened in the past 15 years and the killers were all under age 28. Insanity. There are plenty more killings with older killers. 

We talk about these people, saying they are evil. We focus so much on the acts of these murderers, repeating their names until they become part of the human fabric, when it is really the victims who should have the honor of being remembered. A thought struck me after seeing a meme of a quote from Mr. Rogers who said, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.

Those people, the helpers, they are angels. I heard a sermon at my church the other day contemplating why in Bible times people saw angels and we don't see them anymore. I think we do. We see them, but they just take the form of humans and help when we need it most. Even to the point where they sacrifice their own lives for the protection of others. What could be more angelic than that? They overcome their fear to protect those who don't have that angel power of bravery. 

Some angels: (A very short list)

Portland, OR
The Macy's employees who helped people safely escape the shooter in the Clackamas mall in Portland, Oregon are: Allan Fonseca, Mariah Saldana, Cyndi Lou Johnston, Kelsey Barrow. 

Newtown, CT
Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook in Connecticut, and Mary Sherlach, the school therapist, were shot to death as they charged the shooter. First grade teacher Vicki Soto, hid her students and was murdered when the shooter found her standing in an empty room. 

Aurora, CO
Jon Blunt, Alex Teves, and Matt McQuin were all killed while shielding their girlfriends from the Aurora killer. 

Let's remember these people, these angels. And let's never mention the name of one of these killers again. Who they were is not important. We need to remember that in the darkness of evil and fear, there are always angels there who will help. 

I just pray that we never have to find out if we are one of them. 

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Marie Claire interviews Bug. (Sort of)

Whenever I see a short interview in a magazine, I wonder what kinds of questions people would ask me, you know, should they decide that there are questions that only I have the most sage and witty answers to.
So I decided to usurp an interview from Marie Claire magazine, March 2013. I'm just going to delete Emma Watson's words and replace them with mine. Yay.

WHAT'S ON YOUR...

Liquor shelf or bar: First off, isn't Emma Watson 12? Shouldn't she not have things on her liquor shelf? Wait, should she even HAVE a liquor shelf? And only a shelf? Rookies. Oh, my answer is dark beers and red wine. 

Perennial to do list: Clean the litterbox. Seriously. Every to do list has this on it. 

Last Credit Card Bill:  Um, late fees and finance charges. Weeeeeeee!

Netflix Queue: Every single movie that anyone may have even just vaguely referenced in film school. Though I admit that the last thing I watched on Netflix that was not research or for school was an Australian teen show about ballet dancers called Dance Academy.

Ideal Dinner Party Guest List: Martha Stewart (someone has to set the table), Julia Child (someone has to cook), Tom Ford (someone needs to dress me), Coco Chanel (someone needs to make me pretty), Idina Menzel (someone needs to sing), Ryan Gosling (duh), and that guy who lifted my skirt and looked at my underpants in the 2nd grade (someone needs to clean the litterbox). 

Feet: I have a dwindling but still delightful collection of whimsical socks. My favorites include ones with Boston Terriers on them (Go BU!), a recent acquisition that look like sock monkey socks, and my holey (holy) Hannukah socks. 

Sh*t List: For shame, Marie Claire. Um, I hate people who are snotty without a reason, especially when I am feeling a little shy and so I try to grin and make at least a vague connection. Yucky.

iPhone App List: I'm gonna copy Emma here and go with the Aroundme app. Use it every day. I also like Accuweather because I like to see how much they can lie to me about snow in one winter. 

Coffee Table: My coffee table is a leather ottoman and it usually is covered by laptop and cat.

Playlist: Oh goodness, I hate to admit this but I love that new Taylor Swift song 'Trouble'. I also love Paramore, and that song by Sia and David Guetta 'Titanium'. I also like Bruno Mars 'It Will Rain' and 'Cough Syrup' by Young the Giant.

Charity List: I've donated to Kiva for years. I used to deliver for Meals on Wheels. I'd like to get involved with Rhino preservation. 

Bucket List: Totally just wrote bucket lust, but I don't think I have that. I'd like to get to every continent. I want to see one of my screenplays/teleplays get made into a real studio production. 

Pinterest Board: Okay, I am woefully under-invested in pinterest. So I just pin things that I want that I can't afford. Maybe someone will see it and buy it for me? I also used pinterest once to pin a ton of bangs that I liked and also bangs that I didn't like so I could be very clear for my hair stylist when he was cutting the bangs that I ended up loving before they grew a little too long and I was too lazy to get them trimmed and now they linger at a weird place around my nose and poke my eyeballs all of the time. 

Workout Plan: I have one. I am sure of it. I just have to clean the litterbox first.

All Time Favorite Books List: 'The Last Days of Summer' by Steven Kluger. This is such a charming book. I laughed out loud. I cried. I spoke to the author on Facebook once and he told me he had written it for his dad. That made me love it even more.

Screen Saver: On my phone it is a picture of me and my mom.

The Walls of Your Favorite Room in Your House: I love this picture my friend gave to me of all the places we've been on my birthday over the years. It's such a wonderful reminder of some really fun trips and how long we've been friends.

Vanity Cabinet Shelves: I don't have these. I assume they're asking what's my favorite beauty product. I love the Moroccan Hair Oil and Burt's Bees Lip Balm. I'd like a magical mascara that makes my short, straight lashes long, lush and curly. 

Car stereo: I listen to my iPod, the one I didn't lose. I also listen to a WAMU and WTOP which is a sign that I am getting old. When I was a kid and my mom would be driving me somewhere, her need to listen to talk radio seemed ridiculous. The car is a perfect concert venue! Now I am my mother. 

Twitter Feed: I follow all TV writers because I plan to steal their ideas. 

Go-To Menu: I am sooo lazy that I try to eat foods that I can just jam into my mouth. However, if I am hosting a fancy meal, my go to is beef Wellington. But that has not happened in a while. 

Your Top 5 List: Top 5 of what? Things I can't live without? 1. My cat Bill Simon. 2. My family. 3. Reading material. 4. Fruit (especially pomegranates, grapefruit, berries). 5. Wheels. This girl needs to travel! I like driving around. Also, music. I know, I said I listen to talk radio, but you would not BELIEVE the concerts I have had in my car and house. 

Instagram: No. 

Nightstand: Sparkling water because I am fancy when I am late night thirsty. My iPad because reading is good. About a 100 books that I am either reading or waiting to read. Right now I am reading "A Visit From the Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan. 

Future Itinerary: I want to get out to LA. I want to visit my newly reconnected cousins in Oregon. I want to go to some water place with my friends for my birthday. I want to go to Uganda because I have a student whose grandfather is high up there and I want to utilize that connection. This list could go on and on forever!

Fantasy Itinerary: See above. 


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Prude to be an American

So, I'm in Germany. My mom lives near this spa. It's a pool that takes its water from a natural spring. It's warm and a little salty. That last fact is rather unpleasant when you just took a razor to your monkey legs in an attempt to be more presentable. Otherwise, it is awesome. Also, there is an in pool exercise class every hour. I did two of them.
My mom decided to treat us each to a massage at this spa. Glorious, right? I went first. I went into the spa area whilst my mother splashed around in the pool. I was led into a small room by a young lady. In the room was a massage table and not much else. She told me to strip to the waste. I lingered a bit, wondering would she leave? Nope. Um.
Okay, no problem. I'm not prude, right? So I whip my t-shirt off with aplomb and throw it on a stool. Didn't even fold it!
Standing there in my bra and pants, I stop. Turning to her I say bra, too? She says, yeah. Or you can just lay down and unclasp it. Okay. yeah. I'll do that. At this point it has become weird for me. Weird that I am making it a big deal and weird that she stayed to watch me strip down.
I lay down on the table and unclasp. Then I start thinking about how that looks. Bra all tangled up under me. That leads me to thinking about what she's thinking about. Is she thinking that I'm weird? Prude?
In the mess of getting my pseudo naked body onto the table, I was too far up and when I put my face into the little face hole, the bridge of my nose was smushed. I could have just slid down a bit, but things were already uncomfortable, so I just stayed there. Hurting.
The massage itself was nice. But then when she was finished, I sat up and reached right for my over the shoulder pebble holder, awkwardly, of course. She said, relax. Enjoy this heat lamp I'm gonna put on you. Heat lamp? Okay.
She leaves the room and I continue to awkwardly lay there, still too high on the table and slightly undressed. The lamp still had three minutes on it, but I bolted out of there feeling like a teenager whose dad thinks it is a cool idea for him to have his first sexual experience at a brothel.
DRAMATIC!
It's not my first massage. I dunno what my problem was.
Seriously, though. So prude. I am definitely not a real German.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The process

Hi!

How are ya? I'm good. Finally worked my way through the first draft of my pilot TV comedy script. (Well, actually I think it is the 4th or 5th, but those were completely different stories, so I am calling this draft 1 because it is the first version of this story). But yay! Seriously. It's so unfunny and I have tasked several capable and hilarious writers to aid in the punch up. But step one! Woo!

I have another script to write. I'm working on a spec script of The Middle. Tomorrow is the big writing day. We'll see how it goes. Did I tell you I only have a week to get my scripts up to par for submission as my thesis?

Oh, the thesis. The dreaded thesis. I am so bored of talking about it. I'm sure everyone else is even more tired of hearing about it. But who will I be without it hanging over my head? Will I just fade into oblivion like Marty McFly when George McFly gets sucker punched and the romantic liaison with Lorraine looks to be a no-go?

I think I need a camera on me while I write. You know, like the cameras they have in the zoo. I'm like a caged animal. I set the stage for myself. Notes, laptop, reference books all bedecking my dining room table while I pace anxiously nearby. Finally, I face the keyboard. Sweat dripping down the side of my face (I'm too poor for AC), I nervously peck the keyboard.

FADE IN:

Now what!?! I stand, taking deep breaths. Can't quit yet, so I return to my seat and continue.

EXT. 

Exterior what? House? Town? Pawn shop? Crap. Is that a stain on my counter? Hold on. I'm going to wipe that down really quick. Don't want it to stain. Okay, I'm back.

EXT. ARM PIT BAR AND GRILL - NIGHT

That's it! The Armenian Pit Grill is in everyone one of my scripts. Let's start there. It's based on Bungalow Billiards, which we gently refer to as the Bunghole. Okay, good. We have a location.

INT. ARMPIT - SAME
The bar is filled with frats boys, dodgeball players, and hill staffers who are looking for a, shall we say, fun person to hang out with. 

Great. Situation established! What's that kitty cat? You want to look out the window with me? Is a storm coming? Doesn't look like it. Let's check the front door. Hey, the mail is here. Maybe someone sent money.

Checking... Insurance bill. Magazine. Oh, my, she is seriously photoshopped on that cover. Ooh, a Target coupon book. Man, doesn't anyone write letters anymore? Yay! Netflix! Hey, it's the next disc in the "Dead Like Me" series. Maybe I will just watch one episode. It's well crafted. It will totally inspire my writing.

1 episode

2 episodes

3 episodes

4 episodes

Shoot. I didn't mean to watch all of those. But I guess it's best. This way I can send the disc back.

Back at my computer. Why did I think starting at the bar was a good idea.? I mean, who's there? What are they doing?



EXT. ARMENIAN PIT GRILL - NIGHT



INT. ARMPIT - SAME



The bar is filled with frats boys, dodgeball players, and hill staffers who are looking for a, shall we say, fun person to hang out with.

EXT. JAVA HUT COFFEE SHOP

Java Hut? EXT. JAVA HUT GROUND ZERO COFFEE SHOP

Too soon? EXT. GROUND ZERO MISTER BEAN'S COFFEE SHOP - MORNING


Screw it. That's just going to have to work for now. 


The bar coffee shop is filled with frats boys, dodgeball players, and hill staffers who are looking for a, shall we say, fun person to hang out with.  prepping for their long day. 


What are dodgeball players doing getting coffee? Do they get coffee? My friend Jacques plays dodgeball, but he brings a little flask of fancy coffee. I mean, come on, this is DC. We are fancy people.  You know, maybe I should take a little nap. I bet I'll dream the perfect situation. 


Wednesday, August 01, 2012

My heart is breaking

Ah, being human is a treat, isn't it? We beat each other up, kill each other, or just torment one another to the point of no return. Why are we so cruel?


I was transcribing an interview with Nancy Pelosi who spoke about women needing to kick down doors and start demanding their rights. How is it possible that in 2012 women are still being paid less money for the same job as men? The fact that the women in the Senate actually voted against the Equal Pay Act is beyond mind boggling. Yet, this behavior is exactly why women aren't getting ahead. Men have a tendency to support one another in their boys club attitude, but women have been fighting for so long that it winds up being a personal battle and all other women be damned. This HAS to change. And I think it is, slowly. I think my generation, and the ones following it are getting used to women being in charge and there seems to be a shifting current in the pride women have for each other. (I hope this is not wishful thinking).


But what a joy to be a woman, eh? Men all over this country have appointed themselves guardians of our womanhood, our health? Huh? Why are men chiming in on circumstances they have no right to speak on, much less make policy on? My ex boyfriend spent an inordinate amount of time adjusting his bits, which honestly? Gross. But I did not make rules about it, because I don't have those bits. So why on earth would a man think he has any say in women's health? I think the only time a man can chime in about a woman's reproductive health is if she is pregnant with his child, or she has given him that right and she can no longer speak/act for herself. I don't want to get tangled up in the complications that arise from a pregnancy that the man wants to keep and the woman wants to end, or vice versa. 


During the whole promotion of medical rape, there were several women in office who were advocating mens health and this was met with a chuckle. Why? Why are men taken seriously when deeming themselves master of all things female, and women are laughed out of the room when acting on the same behalf for men? Every female knows that there is not a single man out there that understands women. Not a one! Some just pretend better than others. But face it, guys. We befuddle you. So keep your hands out of my medical choices.


Finally, on my apple box (get what I did there? I'm standing on my platform which often was an apple box, but I am typing into my Apple computer) address about human rights, let's look at the latest thing to piss a lot of people off. Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A.


I read today that Mayor Bloomberg (NYC) thinks that the mayors of Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco are wrong in blocking Chick-fil-A from their cities. (By the way, DC mayor Gray has also chimed in, calling it "hate chicken"). Bloomberg says that "You really don’t want to ask political beliefs or religious beliefs before you issue a permit. That’s just not government’s job." Now, I agree to a point. Freedom of speech, capitalism, and all that. Yet when the person running the company who is applying for a permit blatantly airs his beliefs and they go against the basic tenets of human rights and more importantly, human decency, I think that it does become the government's job to protect its citizens. Mayor Gray's spokesman seems to be right on the money: “We will not support and don’t want them here, but if they are legally entitled to a permit, they are legally entitled to a permit,” Ribeiro said."


In doing some research for this enlightening article that you are currently taking in, I learned that Chick-fil-A stopped its "Eat Mor Chikin"campaign during the mad cow situation so as not to seem insensitive. In fact, Dan Cathy, the president and CEO of the chain claims that Chick fil-A's mission is to "To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A". It's a Christian company, but to me it seems that by taking such a stand against homosexuality, they are completely snubbing their noses at the teachings of Jesus. The Bible says things like judge not, lest ye be judged and do unto others as you would have done to you and  thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But let's forget the Bible for a second. What does David and Michael's romance have to do with you? (Unless you have a crush on one of them, then too bad for you). If they are happy, then let them be happy.


If you're concerned about pda's. Well, I'm always concerned about this. There is no need for anyone to be rubbing body parts near where I can see them, unless of course I am paying to see that, but that's a different circumstance altogether :). So boy on boy, girl on girl, girl on boy, boy on girl, I don't care! As long as they're both adults and consenting go have at it... behind walls... where I don't have to bear witness.


We've been through this, people! Seriously. Go watch "The Loving Story" and see that we've just traded who we are attacking.  Can't we just worry about our own problems and let others worry about their's? Stop making people feel so worthless that death becomes preferable to the unwarranted and unceasing torment from jackasses who misunderstand their religion.
The most shocking aspect to me is that it always seems to come from the people who really have no foot to stand on.


I'm going to be done here in a minute. I know I am hammering it in at this point, but I am so disappointed in us. We are a hair short of stoning people, for what? For loving? And people are proud of themselves for this?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Still here. Still tired. Still broke.*

I used to enjoy talking to Rick. I had to lean in really close to hear what he said because he spoke so very quietly. He didn't smell all that great, which made leaning in less desirable, but boy, he sure knew a lot about a lot. Every now and then he'd get on a tangent about George Bush, and the CIA, and honestly, I did not know what to do with that. Nonetheless, I felt there was something to it. I think his dad was in the Navy and maybe he was, too. I don't know.

Rick was sick and Rick was homeless. He had a family somewhere. I knew this because his mom came once to try and bring him home. But he found his home. It was at my church, where he greeted me each time I came. One time I greeted him and he asked me who I was. It offended me. Can you believe that? I was offended that after so many years of talking with him, he didn't remember me. This happened one time and it offended me so much, I never sat and spent time talking to him again. Oh, I greeted him, and held the door open, but suddenly, I was blocked.

I usually feel like I'm a pretty good person. Not perfect. Not even great, but good. I may even take pride in it. That's kind of paradoxical, isn't it? Taking pride in my goodness. Right now I just feel like a jerk. A mean, inconsiderate, and cruel jerk.

He had a brain tumor and other assorted tumors, in addition to schizophrenia. Now perhaps I never saw his medical records, but I knew he struggled with his health and mental well-being. I know this. What snapped that made me cut him off? And the biggest irony, as I mentioned before, I only saw him at my church.

The church truly was his home. He was very careful to protect it. He would cover his hand so no one could see the code that lets you in the back door. He would patrol the property and kick out other people who tried to nestle in. He'd join us for coffee and cake on Sundays, and very respectfully excuse himself to go out and have a smoke. He and I used to sit on the sofa, drinking coffee and talking sports.

He used to walk around DC a lot. He made friends with a lot of people. He saved the best things the church gave to him to give to others who needed it more than he did. He left what had known and chose to follow his own path and I think that he lived life the way he wanted to, given his circumstances.

Rick died last week. He was in his late 50s. His family took him home to NC where his family, including his two children could memorialize him. They lost him a long time ago, but now they could finally rest, knowing he was not hurting anymore.

His death made me suddenly shine a huge spotlight on how I treat people. It's terrifying. I don't want to be so self-indulgent that I will remove you if you don't make me feel like I'm a good person. It was not his fault that he didn't recognize me. Who knows what was going on that day for him? Just like that guy who cuts me off and follows it up with the middle finger, I don't know his situation.

Today I was in Petsmart with Harms and I asked a lady about her service dog, and she got really upset. It made me feel awful. I didn't mean to offend, and don't know why she reacted that way. But that's the key here, really. I don't know what her circumstances are so I just smiled, told her to have a nice day, and hastily got out of her way.

I'm glad Rick won't suffer any more. I am thankful to him for reminding me that time is fleeting and that each moment is precious (sorry for the cliches). But most of all, that we can't gauge how people are going to react to us, so we just need to do our best to be as good and as happy as we can be, and hope that translates to those around us.

Rick, I am truly sorry for being such an arrogant jackass. I hope heaven is all it's cracked up to be. I sure hope I get to go and be greeted by you there.



* This was Rick's response anytime you'd ask how he was.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ear worm


Man, so Carly Rae Jepson really nailed the ear worm thing. This song has captured everyone! So here are a couple of other versions. The Cookie Monster one at least makes sense (To me). Also, I want a cookie. I saw a peanut butter cookie at Panera the other day that looked holy!



The second video is of Carly and Jimmy Fallon. (Why are there two late night Jimmys? It's confusing). Oh, and The Roots. If you didn't like the song before, this version will make you fall in love with it.



Then finally, the one that started it all for me when Marci showed it to me a long time ago. I had never heard the song at this point. Oh, to go back to those innocent days... Also, can someone get the Harvard Baseball team a better choreographer? Also, yes, that boy was asleep for the whole ride.



I am ready for a new catchy song. Bring it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Call me, maybe?

This song, by Carly Rae Jepson, is taking over everyone's brain. I even find myself grooving out to it once in a while. It's catchy. But what does it mean? I like lyrics and song meanings and well, I have to admit that this song befuddles me. So, taking the lyrics from metrolyrics.com, let's analyze, shall we? I took the liberty of removing the repetitive stanzas/chorus.

I threw a wish in the well,Don't ask me, I'll never tellI looked to you as it fell,And now you're in my way
Okay, so what I got from this stanza was that she doesn't like the person she was with and made a wish for something new, to replace that person.
I'd trade my soul for a wish,Pennies and dimes for a kissI wasn't looking for this,But now you're in my way
Here she demonstrates that she has no belief in the afterlife, and that kisses are not worth much to her. But she made a wish and now this person is standing in the way of her tossing her soul away.
Your stare was holdin',Ripped jeans, skin was showin'Hot night, wind was blowin'Where you think you're going, baby?


Now this is where I get confused. This poor thing, in old clothing, was staring at her. I am assuming that it's the same guy who is in her way? And now he is leaving because she probably got mad and was all "Dude, you're in my way". And now she is wondering where he's going?


Hey, I just met you,And this is crazy,But here's my number,So call me, maybe?
Okay, so now we realize that she's just met this in the way guy, right? And I am assuming that when she says "this is crazy" she means "I am crazy".


It's hard to look right,At you baby,But here's my number,So call me, maybe?
Why is it hard to look right at him?Is he blindingly white? Is he sparkling like a vampire? Is he so hideous one needs to close one eye to appraise him? 
And all the other boys,Try to chase me,But here's my number,So call me, maybe?
If all these other boys are chasing her, why does she need to make wishes at a wishing well? And if they are all chasing her, wouldn't this guy be interested, too? Obviously she is selling herself as a pretty hot commodity. 
You took your time with the call,I took no time with the fallYou gave me nothing at all,But still, you're in my way

Okay, so this is where I get most confused. So he called, but not for a long time. Meaning that he had some other chick on the line, but when that fell through he called our little songstress. Then I wonder if Carly meant foll for follow-up, not fall? But whatever, so she was smitten? But he was all, whatevs!! What does she mean when she says "But still, you're in my way"? Is she trying to move on from this crush she developed on some guy standing near her while she made a wish at a fountain who also is the only guy in the world who isn't chasing her?

I beg, and borrow and stealHave foresight and it's realI didn't know I would feel it,But it's in my way
What is she talking about here? Is she going to make more wishes? Spend her fortune on 10 cent kisses? Foresight? Towards what? Does she know what that word means? Um, it's obviously not real. He took his time. He's in her way. What is she feeling? Oh good Lord. She wants the badboy and thinks she can make him a good guy. But his bad behavior is getting in the way, right?
This song is kind of stupid. After analyzing it, it seems to perpetuate that stupid female behavior of trying to get some guy's attention who wants nothing to do with that girl. If he's in your way, find a new path. Sheesh. 

On a lighter note, please appreciate this Star Wars version of the song: