Monday, June 30, 2008
There we were, first-semester students with bottles of wine, sitting in a dorky metal-chaired circle in the lawn.
It was good.
These people I have met are simply incredible.
But now I miss the way my husband smashes me into the mattress.*
Seven more days to go.
I will enjoy them.
But I also look forward to the simple joy of being overcrowded in a bed.
* again. FYI: not sexual.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
It’s the taking myself serious, it’s the being taken serious.
It’s the throwing myself at the experience and the opening myself up.
It’s the waking at 7am and the sleeping at 11pm.
It’s the three square meals a day and just a single cup of coffee.
It’s the lecture after lecture after reading after meeting after informal talk after workshop after reading after reading, pinned neatly in the spaces between the 45 minutes set aside for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It’s the meeting of so many new people, fellow writers, incredible talents, kindred souls, persons whose chatter pulses with the same passions as my own.
It’s the alone time, the exhausted-in-a-good-way nap time, the too-much-time-to-think time.
It’s the being lonely for David but also seeing how much I can grow without him, my security, my blanket. It’s the still missing him anyway.
It’s the acknowledgment of fear and the doing it anyway.
(In fact, it’s the pinpointing of the exact scariest thing in the world--reading aloud--and then the making myself volunteer to do it.)
. . . and I am glad.
Friday, June 27, 2008
After another full day of orientation, I think I'm pretty oriented.
Sarah Lawrence prepared me really, really, really well for this. Did I say really? Because I meant really. The structure of the program is no different from that of Sarah Lawrence's, although I know I have much to learn from these peers and these professors. Interviewing professors, prepping for a workshop, short critical essays, individual conference relations with an advisor, a critical thesis . . . all this is waaay familiar.
Poets are a little bit crazy. Or at least poetry faculty.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
1. I have my own room (so far, knock on wood).
2. Booming Montpelier, the town. Riight.
3. The rooms DO have Wi-Fi.
4. Working from home has not turned me into a socially inept hermit. I just have to be on a level playing field and with people I want to talk to as badly as they want to talk to me.
Major accomplishments today:
1. I didn't die of nervousness.
2. I approached a complete stranger in the lunch room and asked to sit with her.
3. I made a handful of new acquaintances, maybe even a few friends.
4. I came off funnier than I actually am.
5. I learned to lock my dorm room while I am in it.
6. I unlocked my dorm room with the keys to my Brooklyn apartment, which, then again, perhaps does not leave me with much faith about how well these dorm doors lock.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
"Writing is half honing your talent, half honing your character. ... I'm not suggesting writing is like therapy ... [But] to be on the page you have to be willing to be all kinds of human."--Victoria Redel, from my senior-year fiction class at Sarah Lawrence
Oh, and friends living in New York . . . take pity on my lonely sweetheart and see if he can be coaxed out of the house for socialness from time to time, will ya?
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I am so beyond depressed that last month we missed this wedding. Now even more because I've just watched the video of their first dance.
Sy and Karen, we love you, and we salute you, and we are so majorly crushed that our tickets fell through last month and we missed your wedding. You two are amazing friends, and you look to have thrown a damn good party.
CURSES on ultimatefares.com!!!
According to Ryan, the producers of "A Shot at Love 2" have reassembled the entire cast, except for Christian, who missed his flight "probably because he was hungover," and Kyle, who wasn't able to make it (or didn't want to be there) either “but you can bet … he’s probably watching.” (oohh, low blow, Ryan.) In actuality, if I were Kyle, I would be sick to death of everyone calling me a stalker and would want to keep my reputation as intact as possible at this point . . . considering he lives on an island, hello!, it's not like that shit doesn't get around. Don't you want the poor guy to be able to ever date again?!
And so, with those fine examples, the roasting begins. This includes impressive amounts of unfortunate video clips of people talking shit behind each other’s backs. In short, everyone thought Jay was an asshole, George was crazy, and Glitter was whiny and ditzy.
Jay is first up in the hot seat. We watch a few minutes summarizing his time on the show. Jay expresses that he does not “*&%$@*” think that Bo will win. Britney, George, and especially Lauryn (“a Jersey girl”) talk smack to Jay as he sits on stage, which ends with Jay and Lauryn trying to outshout each other and Lauryn throwing her chair at Jay (it does not hit him). Ryan cuts to commercial break, promising to calm Jay and Lauryn down and to get Lauryn a new chair.
Once back from the commercials, Lauryn has promised to keep her new chair on the ground.
Next up, Serenity and Lily re-reenact the famous kiss that lead to them both getting kicked off the show with Tila yelling at them, “Give me my key back and get the F*CK out of my house.” They already had to relive it through copious footage reused during shows and commercials, and they had to reenact it on “The Hangover" following the episode in which they both got kicked off. But, obligingly, they do it again. And …? Check. Still hot.
Brittany was the only gold-star lesbian in the house, and the last woman standing (of those assembled, obv. not including Kristy, who is truly the last woman standing, so far). While in the hot seat, she tears up watching her footage, especially the footage of her getting kicked off the show. Brittany says the hard part is that she has to relive this breakup, "like, seven times a day, on MTV.” She thinks breakups are hard enough without putting yourself through that. On why Kristy was chosen over her, Brittany says, “I think … Kristy was more of a challenge. Everyone likes a challenge. I think I was too easy for her. … [Kristy] had bigger boobs. And much bigger ass. It’s that she was just more of a hot, bigger, better challenge.” Brittany bravely proclaims that she’s single and she doesn’t want “a shot at love,” she wants the whole thing, the real thing, love itself.
Glitter is picked on next by Ryan. In the footage, everyone nails her for her constant crying on the show, in the interviews, during games, during dates. She takes it, sportingly.
Next up, George’s first goodbye is detailed lovingly. Ryan asks why everyone was so sad when George left if he was supposed to be the competition. Scotty immediately pipes up that they all got so close in the house. Ryan cuts off this actually interesting conversation by commenting that he’s not surprised that Scotty was the first to pipe up. C’mon, Ryan, let the contestants speak!
Lisa/Rizzo, the Champion, is next in the hot seat. We watch video footage of her winning every single competition from the beginning of the show till the near end. Lisa says she never thought of herself as butch until she was on the show, “which was kind of annoying.” (Maybe she’s actually “futch,” like Dani?) Lisa says, “When I was in the house, I felt like I had a five year relationship with this girl." Ryan agrees, “At the beginning it was like a blind date and by the end it was like a divorce.” Well, the experience has changed her: Rizzo is now wearing girly underwear, and she is trying to keep her heart open. She is single, and she is looking for love. Brittany looks interested. Very.
Glitter then dances us into the commercial break in the pink stripper cage. Awww, just like old times.
When we return from commercial break, seven security guards wearing shirts that read “Wangbone security” are present to mark the entrance of Chad, who was last seen being escorted off the premises for headbutting and punching Bo. Chad’s time in the house is reviewed, including his constant references to his reputedly awesome anatomy, which he likes to call his “wangbone.” According to Britney, “He’s the ringleader of like any hell that goes on in the house.” Scotty says, “He’s a loose cannon and I don’t even think he can help it.” When Ryan asks Chad if he is happy with the portrayal of him in the house, Chad assents that it’s pretty true … he will whale on you if you get in his face, and he will talk shit about you back if you talk shit about him. He goes on to talk shit about Bo's mom.
Next they review all the fights in the house, whether good natured, mean spirited, pertaining to male versus female, or involving food. The Bo versus Chad fight footage is replayed, and Chad is hurt by Jay’s comment that his head butt and punches were “a cheap shot” and the footage of Jay apologizing to Bo. Retrospectively, Jay tries to deny it, and I do agree that Jay was being strategic about the game, rather than genuine, in apologizing to Bo, but Chad and his friendship may be on the rocks. Chad is then locked up in the pink cage for everyone’s safety.
Lisa objects to Bo being in love with Tila Tequila, the Celebrity, rather than Tila the person. The contestant Ryan unfortunately brings up the fact that he has had no problem with Bo until this point, when he let Chad talk shit about his own mother. The two wonder twin boys (Dominic and Greg) chime in, “that’s your momma, man.” Bo instantly puffs up and grows a temper that he didn’t have a moment before, but I think it’s just male pride. Chad is eating it up, taking off his shirt and climbing around the cage, trying to pump Bo up into a fight. It requires all of the Wangbone security plus some others to restrain both Bo and Chad from fighting, yet again, and we are forced to cut to commercial break.
(Good God, Tila, pick Kristy! Bo might be in love with you, but when pushed he can be a Chad, too.)
Once back from the commercial break, Chad is again escorted off the premises. Bo is in the hot seat again. Bo claims that he was going to come out and act like “a grown-ass man” … until Chad brought his momma into it. He says he’s over the fight already, he’s had to watch it 84,000 times.
Kristy is brought out next. And Kristy claims she thought that Brittany would win, and she is just as confused as Brittany is that Kristy is the last one standing.
Ryan then asks Sirbrina about her experience in the headlines recently, where she was discriminated against as a lesbian at a Seattle Mariners game. Sirbrina and a date were kissing at the game, and an usher suggested to Sirbrina that “what you two are doing is inappropriate.” Sirbrina evidently replied, “I don’t think I did anything wrong,” to which the usher answered, “Well, I suggest that you leave then.” Brittany exclaims, “What?! They were just kissing? Do you wanna see what they SHOULD have gotten kicked out for?!” Brittany leaves her seat to come up to Sirbrina, and they then make out, using hands on each other’s faces and bodies when prompted by the men. It’s hot enough but kind of retarded. Brittany seems to be really putting herself out there: first hitting on Lisa, then making out with Brittany. And why not?! She already got to know all of those lesbians, so why not try to land one of them, if she can’t get Tila. That’s my feeling, anyway. I wonder if lasting love connections are ever made on reality shows between contestants that were once vying for the same celebrity?
Kristy then asks Ryan to grab her ass, repeatedly, so that he can tell all of America that "my butt is real.” No implants, Ryan swears.
I think the strangest part is that Bo and Kristy are sitting there already knowing who has won … but they have to fake it and not give away the final result. It’s very hard to tell because they are both so jovial on camera. I really, really, really hope it’s Kristy, though. Because Bo was so willing to “throw down” with Chad, and wasn’t worried about it ruining his soon-to-be short-lived relationship with Tila, it may be a clue that Kristy has already won and he really does have “nothing to lose,” as he screams at one point.
Evidently, the last episode will be a week from today: Tuesday, July 1 at 1opm EST.
I will likely be unable to report on the episode promptly, as I will be in Vermont actually using my brain (at Vermont College of Fine Arts) instead of feeding it reality television and letting it rot. (But my money is on Kristy. Vote if you haven’t already!)
Monday, June 23, 2008
Well, do we? When I lived with Wife and Shaun and sometimes Rachel (and later Androoo and Dave) in Astoria, I did not really know our neighbors, except maybe our super, who had to break into our apartment for me, more than once, because I had locked myself out. He was young, built like a fireman, and likeable, and I wondered how he had found himself in the job as super; although free rent sounded like a pretty good deal to me too, only I'm useless with tools and hate handling anything plumbing related. When I lived with Wife and Frank in the Village, we sort of knew a few neighbors: the girls across the hall whose apartment inexplicably kept getting broken into; the quiet gay man next door who would have these totally shocking drag-out fights with his lover, which ended with police calls more than once; and the nice older man with the big old bloodhoundy-looking dog, who had been badly beaten by a previous owner and would shy and try to run up the stairs when anyone except the older man handled him. We knew the crazy lady from down the block who had the sweetest therapy dog ever, a golden retriever named Chase; all Chase ever wanted to do was pour love on everyone, including Crazy, but all Crazy ever wanted to do was keep all that love for herself. After Chase had laid himself literally on our feet, looking up with those adorably begging eyes, "touch me! touch me!," Crazy would tell us "hands off" because Chase was her therapy dog and it was her therapy that only she got to hold him, and pet him, and touch him, and care for him. Living in Pacifica, I got to know one set of neighbors downstairs, a huge Filipino family who took one look at Dave (half-Filipino himself) and started bringing us presents back from trips and occasionally presenting us with some kind of Filipino food. The other Pacifica neighbor I got to know only because they hated us so much, we being the upstairs neighbors in a poorly built building who they insisted sounded like "a herd of elephants." They would bang on our floor (their ceiling) with everything they had in their house and every ounce of their soul. In Burlingame, we had neighbors who invited us to a New Years Eve party once, but we didn't go; a work-from-home neighbor who got extrachatty about tips about doing laundry; and another work-from-home neighbor who was the sweetest woman ever but painfully shy, she couldn't even make eye contact while talking to you, and even as her voice launched confidently into another thread of conversation, her feet were itchily moving her toward the nearest door. In Burlingame, I saw the twitchy kind of person I could become working from home too much, and nice as those ladies were it was a bit of a cautionary tale. And back here in Brooklyn, I again know the neighbor below us, a Korean man, flamboyantly gay, and pissed about the noise of us walking about the apartment. Above us, another two gay men, only one of whom I've met, very nice, held a door open for me once, but not much talk has been exchanged. There's a couple living on the same floor with us, but we've exchanged under ten words.
So. I've met them, or some of them, at least. But would I invite them to a sleepover? Would I want to BBQ with them, and raise children with theirs, and plan camping trips, like on Desperate Housewives?
Lovenheim proposes fixing this problem by literally ringing doorbells, sending e-mails, and making phone calls . . . to set up an old-school (middle school?) sleepover to find out more about the people he's been living next to.
I'm not sure Lovenheim's article changed the way I'll deal with my neighbors (i.e., treating the arrangement mostly as a business relationship: that is, you stay out of my business and I'll stay out of yours), but it definitely made me stop and think. Do I live somewhere where I'd want to intimately know those living around me? Maybe not. I have enough friends. But do I hope I live in that kind of neighborhood someday, you know, even if it means returning to Suburbia, kicking it Wisteria Lane-style? Yes, emphatically.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs." Chrissy - age 6
"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." Terri - age 4
"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." Danny - age 7
"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."Noelle - age 7
"Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken." Elaine - age 5
"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." Mary Ann - age 4
Warning: Cheese alert straight ahead.
Eight-Cow Wife: Johnny Lingo lived in the South Pacific. The islanders all spoke highly of this man, but when it came time for him to find a wife the people shook their heads in disbelief. In order to obtain a wife you paid for her by giving her father cows. Four to six cows was considered a high price. But the woman Johnny Lingo chose was plain, skinny and walked with her shoulders hunchedand her head down. She was very hesitant and shy. What surprised everyone was Johnny's offer -- he gave eight cows for her! Everyone chuckled about it, since they believed his father-in-law put one over on him.
Several months after the wedding, a visitor from the U.S. came to the islands to trade and heard the story about Johnny Lingo and his eight-cow wife. Upon meeting Johnny and his wife the visitor was totally taken back, since this wasn't a shy, plain and hesitant woman but one who was beautiful, poised and confident. The visitor asked about the transformation, and Johnny Lingo's response was very simple. "I wanted an eight-cow woman, and when I paid that for her and treated her in that fashion, she began to believe that she was an eight-cow woman. She discovered she was worth more than any other woman in the islands. And what matters most is what a woman thinks about herself." --Reader's Digest
Interesting. I semi-agree. I mean, I don't know about that soulmates stuff or love at first sight. But I don't know if I agree that it's as accidental as Anne Tyler makes it sound; I still believe there is an important choice involved, that you PICK a person to be with, sign on with, put in a half century with, grow to know, and that thus they keep becoming more and more the right person.
But not exactly uplifting at a wedding.
And I have to say . . . it is very difficult, these days, to find anything written about love that does not involve either (a) sex or (b) a break up, both of which are somewhat taboo to mention at a wedding with (a) grandmothers in attendance and (b) you know, high hopes and dreams and bright shiny vows. All of the great love poems I thought I had either got too explicit about oofing OR were about love flown, love past, love ended, love longed for, or love dead. Ok, I lied. I found a few, mostly by e.e. cummings and pablo neruda. But I'd love to give them more selections ...
Hmmm. Do any of you have favorite love poems/quotes/lyrics/etc.? None of that "Darling mine, I take thee to be a faun in the spring of my heart" bullshit! Nothing that uses Old English! Nothing with God in it! Something bright and shiny and romantic and interesting and different!
These were my Life Expectancy Results:
Life Expectancy: 79.52
Lower Quartile : 70.91
Median Lifetime: 82.81
Upper Quartile : 91.04
Seeing as how I don't want to die at 79.52 (unless, you know, at 79.00 we run out of retirement money, haha), it's certainly time to start considering those factors and effecting change.
Use this calculator to compute your own life expectancy.
Or, instead, go out and have a nice brunch with some good friends on this lovely Saturday morning: As long as you intake your five food groups, you're probably doing more for your life expectancy than stressing over an online calculator.
But if I was one thing last night besides depressing, it was honest.
Bear with me. I have all the building blocks to fix my own life, I just have to muster the energy and wherewithal to use them.
I'll try to stop whining though. :)
Friday, June 20, 2008
In no particular order, the stresses were as follows: (1) felt fat and ugly, (2) had some (bad) interactions with both friends and strangers that left usually confident me feeling like a total social klutz, making me want to lock myself further into my apartment (though this may not be physically possible), which (3) made me feel isolated because I cannot afford to hang out with my friends and sometimes can’t muster the desire to (see 2), and (4) I miss California, really really miss it, and (5) I’m terrified about starting the MFA, so terrified that I’m not preparing for it as well as I should be, preferring the ostrich head-in-the-sand method of dealing with my fright, and (6) I am really fucking tired of being BROKE every day of my damn life (regarding this: geezus christ if there was a time for a Savior/Father/Hero/Deadbeat-Dad-Who Owes-Oodles-of-Back-Child-Support Figure to make an entrance, it’d be now … they say that the things that don’t kill you make you stronger and that poverty builds character, but holyshit I am not dead and I have lived through being poor already and my character is a fucking mansion of builtness, so just SHOW ME THE MONEY! ANY BIT OF MORE MONEY! C’mon, Stars, align! Yo, wassup, God/Jesus/Yahweh/Allah/Angels/Spirits/Ghosts/Whomever: I will believe in Whoever gets me the goods first!), and, with that tirade dispensed with, (7) I feel stressed about balancing my paying editing job versus my I-pay-for a MFA and writing life, (8) about our current finances versus our longed-for future, (9) about whether we should be trying to build a life somewhere versus whether we should live in the moment, for The Now, and just see where life takes us, and whether I can really be that zen (doubtful). Et cetera. Ad nauseam. Ad infinitum. I know! I know!! What is up with my self-esteem lately?! Christ, talk about issues!
In fact, let’s add another item to the list of things depressing me: (10) I am sick TO DEATH of talking about being and feeling depressed or stressed-out about my life. Really. I am sick, even, of making all of you read about it. I am ready for CHANGE! Again. Haha.
I know none of this is a surprise, really, because (1) I have been boxing your ears with it for the past five months and (2) frankly it should (kind of) have been expected. I mean, really! How much would you all have hated me if I were actually that chameleonically adaptable? Nah, you wouldn’t hate me. But you might be awfully jealous.
But Tuesday “wuz good” and tonight was also swell. Tonight Dave and I hopped a few trains over to Jersey City to hang out with our friends Seiko and Sean. We ate Filipino food and drank way too much beer. We talked for hours, actually for too many hours because we were still in Jersey at like 9:30pm and Dave has to get up on Saturday for work by 3:30pm (shit). Tonight with Seiko and Sean reminded me that hanging out doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It was just honestly a lot of FUN! We talked and talked and laughed and laughed and it was just so easy to be with them.
Also, seeing Seiko and Sean reminded me that it is good and necessary for my mental health to have other couple-y friends, people at a similar life stage as me, people who don’t make me feel like I am less because I have another half to me or like I’ve settled for having settled down. (I do realize these are mostly MY ISSUES rather than anything being imposed on me from my friends, but still those are my honest, shitty feelings coming from my honestly shitty mood as of late.)
I will say this, though: Seiko and Sean sure don’t make a gal feel skinny.
But … I can do something about those first two items on my stressors list, at least. One, I can start actually exercising rather than just putting it on my “to do” list. And two, I can start learning how to wear my shape/my skin with more confidence, no matter how much fat or skinny there is to me. That is all. I just must.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
THIS, people, THIS is why I came back to New York. For THIS. Because I want and need and thrive on this kind of mutual understanding and artistic rapport. The fact that she's lovely and bubbly and fun and an "old married lady" (haha) too is just the cream-cheese icing on the red velvet cupcake.
So. Thank *you* Krissa, for making my day, for feeding me lunch and coffee, for iced ovaltines and serious talk, and for embarking on this adventure with me. You rock, deeply.
P.S. It was gratifying to be with a kindred soul who understands the sacredness of the loaned book. Take that, everyone who has ever laughed at me for being A.R. about my books. I am SO not the only one. Krissa even digitized her system with LibraryThing. Maybe it's time to upgrade from my post-its. Or not. I enjoy kicking it old school.
P.P.S. Also? Settled. Krissa and Stuart share their home wtih The Cutest Small Dog in the World. Officially. Done. Decided. Over.
Tila had the entire pool closed off for the four of them, and over lunch tried to start have a heart-in-heart about what TT is looking for in a relationship. TT says she aspires towards being with same someone for forty-something years. Kristy confides that she was cheated on, Brittany offers up something about thank god she can finally be with someone who wants the same thing as she does (to be with one special person), and TT is a bit put out by the fact that Bo is not contributing to the conversation. According to Bo (in an interview), he wasn't feeling chatty because it feels weird to open up when it's not just him and TT. Next up is jet-skiing, but Bo is told to stay on shore, ostensibly because TT is worried about his jaw but also because she seems to be perversely punishing him for not participating in the conversation. Bo continues to be grumpy when they return from the jet-skiing.
Next up is the condom inflation race: contestants must retrieve a condom from the pool, put it on a hose with a pump, and then sexily inflate the condom. Sexy not speedy wins the race, and Brittany wins the race, which allows her to determine the order of the private dates. Brittany picks night 2 and assigns Bo to night 1 and Kristy to night 3.
First, TT has her date with Bo, and she's "feeling a little turned off by him right now" because of his behavior earlier. Bo is smart enough to apologize right off the bat, and they argue it out with TT even crying until TT interrupts him with making out . . . and then they headed up to her room where they mostly cuddle and make out. There is sweetness but not even a slow or low burn, in my humble opinion.
Meanwhile, back at TT's room, waiting eagerly the two girls feel like they each deserve to be there but that Bo is "doofy." They decide to go skinnydipping and go streaking towards the ocean, giggling and tackling each other. I was relieved to see that they don't hook up (ala Season 1), which would have given Bo a free win he didn't earn.
Nicely and predictably of Tila, she keeps Bo in her room till the morning, just so they can do the gloating reentrance at breakfast that predictably set off all three contestants last season. This show is more formulaic than a trashy drugstore romance. Bo and TT are full of smiles, humming, whistling, and giggling, while Kristy and Brittany are very jealous and uncomfortable. All four board a boat, with the promise that TT wants to see how "they go down." This ends up being literally a yellow submarine. At lunch, everyone opens up into a heart-to-heart, in which Kristy blurts out that she knows that TT is looking for love but so are each of them. And Kristy says it's hard to know if she's feeling what they're feeling about her.
The second date is with Brittany. Brittany starts off with a toast. Brittany wants to have an amazing person like Tila for forty years like Tila, claiming that "you make it so hard not to fall in love with you." They retreat back to Tila's room for a heart-to-heart in her jacuzzi tub. Tila says that she is "really falling for this girl." (Oh, Tila, you heartslut! You're "falling" for all three!!)
The next morning it is Tila and Brittany that are gloating. But Brittany acknowledges that she's being a jerk, saying to Bo "So this is how this feels like." Bo nods assent, but he and Kristy again are the odd ones out. Next up is a romantic (foursome) horse ride on the beach. However, all of a sudden, Kristy's horse starts "galloping" (actually more of a canter), which makes her give up on the horseback riding and sit it out on the beach.
The third and final date is between Kristy and Tila, on Tila's yacht. Kristy is very sweet about acknowledging the trouble that Tila went through to set up the romantic date. Kristy says that despite her living in New York and Tila living in Los Angeles, she'd just fly to come see TT and she'd make it work. Tila says that she feels like they are on the same page, that Kristy is real, and that she feels safe with Kristy. After dinner, on the front of the boat is a hammock all set up with pillows and so forth. TT has some doubts about whether or not Kristy is ready for the kind of commitment she's looking for. They definitely have the necessary heat, though. The next few minutes of TV is just the two of them making out and climbing all over each other, which leads to them "taking it inside" the yacht.
The next morning is the third and final gloating breakfast. The exchange of dialogue between smug people and non-smug people is always the exact same. Bo starts blabbing about how he misses her and thinks about her, but privately Tila notes that he still won't say he's falling for her . . . which both of the girls have done.
It's back to the mansion . . . and, unfortunately, the second-to-last ELIMINATION.
Tila had a wonderful time with Kristy in Cancun but doubts her because this is her first relationship with a girl. Tila thinks that Bo is an amazing guy and that he has been sweet and consistent about her but she thinks he's being too cautious about his feelings. Tila felt that she and Brittany finally got intimate on the trip. Tila doesn't know what decision she will make.
Bo gets the very first key.
The two girls step forward, both feeling that they will be devastated because they have offered up their hearts on a plate. They are both on the edge of tears and TT, little dominatrix that she is, draws it out too long.
Next up, Tila offers the key to Kristy.
Bo offers Brittany a hug, and she cries on his shoulder. Brittany and Kristy then hug. Ultimately it comes down to the fact that Tila thinks they don't have chemistry. Brittany actually holds it together pretty well, I think, though she wonders "why am I not in the same spot as Kristy and Bo?" while crying.
Finally, Tila, Kristy, and Bo toast to finding love.
Next week is The Hangover.
Two weeks from now is the final episode. (They do like do drag this business out!)
Who do you think will get the boot and who do you think will be left standing? If Tila wants to make good TV (before the inevitable Season 3), she should pick a girl this year. Plus, in my opinion Bo is just Bobby, part II! But Kristy is a hot lesbian who says she is in love with Tila! C'mon, now! I'm gunning for Kristy.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Part II: Last Wednesday evening. While editing obituary on Virgin America flight, I found a great quote in the obituary written for Andrew Whiteford. Evidently, while working on his Ph.D., Whiteford was urged to study factory unions. When he balked at the idea, saying to his advisor W. Lloyd Warner “Factory? I don’t want to work in a factory. I could have gone to a factory and gotten rich if I’d wanted to go into a factory,” allegedly Warner replied: “You young guys are so damned ignorant. You think the only people worth studying are the people who live up the river in a grass shack or something and have their noses pierced. You have to learn that people are people wherever they are and the ones right around you are having the same kind of problems as the ones in the grass shack” (Yelvington in AA 110.4; see also Yelvington 2002:136).
Amen to that one, brotherman.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
To whom it may concern at "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila," season 2:
I am an AVID fan of Seasons 1 and 2 of this show, both of which I blogged about obsessively on my blog. I can attest to the fact that I have turned on handfulls of people to your show that didn't watch it before, simply because I blogged about it with so much zest. People all over the world tune into my updates on Tila Tequila (who I like tocall TT for short), see my stats here: http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=stats&s=s34mayinthebay. I provide summary, spicy commentary, and polls that get pulses a-racin' between episodes.
I cannot afford a plane ticket from NY to LA right now (it's alreadybeen a travel-filled summer), but I sincerely and heartily suggest that you pay for one for me (I can manage my own accommodations). Naturally, I would in return frantically, obsessively, and lovingly blog the whole event.
Check out my work on my blog, for e.g. my most recent post on the hometown visits episode: http://mayinthe415bay.blogspot.com/2008/06/shot-at-love-with-tila-tequila-season-2_10.html.
Tickets should be arranged for full name Mayumi Shimose Poe. I would definitely consider even just a single night in Los Angeles. You should mail said tickets to [redacted] OR e-mail them to me here.
I look forward to hearing from you.
To which I responded: "WAAAAAAHHHh! I want it so bad it HURTS! HAHAHAHA. They should pay me to go and I'll totally blog the event. ;) in fact, i'm going to email them and tell them that. may"
I think everyone should BOMBARD firstname.lastname@example.org with requests that I be sent a plane ticket to attend this event gratis.
------ Forwarded Message------
From: MTV <email@example.com>
Reply-To: MTV <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 03:55:26 -0000
Subject: Be an audience guest at the A SHOT AT LOVE 2 Reunion
Hey all you sexy Tila Tequila fans!
You still have a shot at being a part of A SHOT AT LOVE 2. Come be an audience guest at A SHOT AT LOVE 2: THE REUNION and be there live for the hottest TV event of the season!
Here is all you need to know.
18 AND OLDER ONLY
DATE: Thursday, June 19, 2008LOCATION: Hollywood, CA
TIME TBD: Approximately 11:00AM Pacific TimeRSVP for tickets and directions
RSVP EMAIL email@example.com
See you there!
MTV 1515 Broadway New York, NY 10036 (C) 2008 MTV Networks. (C) and TM MTV Networks. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Participants in this chat: 1
18F: may in the bay has joined the conversation
This chat room thing had potential till I found myself in an empty room.
Also? this pseudo-keyboard sucks.
… Yesterday, not circa at all, I checked my watch, 6:22pm…
That said, BLECHHH. This is not the weather to fly, no matter how fabulous the plane. It’s 6:22pm, we’ve barely taken off, and the skies are tossing this bright shiny plane like so many cookies. I hope I don’t join the skies.
As the wife of a career airline man, I’ve more than a casual interest in the flighty fate of the airline industry. “What will domestic airlines do if they all go bankrupt?” and “What will they invent in its place?” are not questions of idle amusement for me.
In my lifetime, I have rode a few planes. First, when my parents divorced in 1983, Mom moved us to Hawai’i to put some distance between us and my father. However, unfortunately for us, it also meant a considerable amount of distance (some 2,500-ish miles) between us and the rest of our family. Second, Numnuts here then decided to complicate matters further by going to college in New York so that at least four times a year (August, December, January, and May) I was flying—interminably, or so it seemed—east or west across the United States. Third, somewhere along the way (delicately put, at an undetermined point between march and may of 2000), I started dating my now-husband Dave and making use of his buddy passes (at the time, he was working for Delta). When we got more serious, so did my benefits: I became not only his girlfriend but also, more importantly, his Companion (haha, j/k, Davey, I love you), and while I didn’t fly for free, it was pretty damn close (esp. considering the cost of tickets these days). And better yet? There was no limit on how often I could sojourn. So “journ” I did, a lot, back and forth to Los Angeles, where Dave was living at the time, and he “journed” even more often coming to New York to see me. I went to Jamaica with Wife on a codeshare-partner-discounted ticket and stayed in a fabulous all-inclusive resort with a swim-up bar with an airline-employee-discounted reservation. Dave and I got engaged in Tahiti, flying with discounted Air France tickets and staying at the ridiculously gorgeous Sheraton Moorea, where staff greeted us with chilled fresh pineapple juice, cool tiare-scented towelettes, and an upgrade to an absolutely unbelievable overwater bungalow with a partial glass-bottom floor so you could look down at the fishies, a seriously pimped-out shower and clawfoot tub, and service that included delivery of your gourmet room-service food (not an oxymoron, we’re talking to-die-for fresh mahimahi with Tahitian vanilla sauce!) by fricken canoe (that’s right, staff would paddle up to your bungalow and carry your food, silverware, and linens up onto your lanai from a CANOE). (Obviously, the latter was an experience that may take a lifetime to top.) We celebrated my 25th birthday in Paris, my 26th in Tokyo, my 27th in New York (we had moved in together in SF by this time and I righteously missed my old stomping grounds), my 28th in the Hamptons, and we recently shared our first-year wedding anniversary in Montreal—all discounted, discounted, discounted. And I haven’t even mentioned all the trips here and there around the United States, visiting each other, our families, our friends. Yes, yes, I know. It’s all terribly romantic and glamorous, yet also unbelievably affordable! You envy me. I know.
Delta/Song/Jet Blue/Japan Air Lines—the airline industry in general, really—have been very good to us. So you understand my concern about where the industry is headed: I worry for them as I would worry for a good friend who has always been there for you. Plus we’re loathe to pay for a full-priced ticket. (Actually, Dave is loathe to pay at all, spoiled as he is, because he’s been flying for free since, like, 1999.)
Frankly, though, there is a lot of the bad news bears going around about the airline industry, whether it’s airlines going out of business (Aloha oe, Aloha Airlines), pilots flying past their destination because they fell asleep (I’m looking at you, Go! Airlines), bankruptcy, layoffs, not passing their FAA checks (I think this was Aloha again), and the general bummer of crashes due to failed equipment or successful terrorists. Therefore, it is a pleasure to experience an airline run as sleekly and well as is Virgin America. The conveniences of online check-in, the short lines to check in baggage, the relatively quick security line at JFK’s Terminal 4 (at least around 2-3pm), and the flatscreen TVs at the gate are all nice—but hardly unheard of—touches. Onboard, the personal TV screens with movies, music, tv, games, and information about the flight are also a boon, but nothing JetBlue and Song (R.I.P.) didn’t do first. Virgin America seems to be trying to combine the self-deprecating humor of Southwest and the personal touches of JetBlue and Song. The Virgin America safety video was officially The First One I Have Watched Since, Like, 1985, because the tone was humorous and the video is composed of well-drawn cartoon characters instead of those annoyingly fake actors that play stewardesses and passengers with those eerie frozen smiles on other airline videos. Also, I liked the video because it was quick and painless.
What Virgin America does differently . . . Hmm. Well, eventually, you’re supposed to be able “read” as well as order food and drinks via the personal TV screens, but so far at least “this feature is not yet available” and I should “check again the next time [I] fly.” You can chat—seat-to-seat or in a virtual “mile-high” chatroom—with other customers (I’m guessing this has been imagined as a new frontier in dating or networking, but I’m wondering if it could devolve into “Seat 18B says: ‘Shut your damn kid up or I’ll throw him out the fucking window!!’”). Virgin America has resurrected the gourmet food offerings—and more importantly, the cocktails!—that Song pioneered a few years ago with its offerings by celebrity chefs (I literally ate all that marketing shit up, thanks, Song, RIP, I miss thee). Finally, who doesn’t feel at least a tiny thrill at being on board of something still so shiny and new?
Oh, and Virgin America also has what they call SuperFly Wednesdays. I forget exactly what the point is, but it’s something along the lines of mingling for the ubercool swinging types we certainly are (haha)—you know, networking, schmoozing and boozing, trying to get one another eating (god knows what? The free cocktail peanuts?) out of one another’s hands. And, just for good measure, Virgin America throws in—allegedly, people, allegedly!—two free cocktails. HEY! SIGN ME UP FOR THAT SHIT! Then again, I’ll believe it when I see it, because I don’t want to get overly excited and have to break my own heart.
Having worked for two of those trendy “new” airlines with cushy fringe benefits (JetBlue, Song), Dave is a bit cynical. He’s not sure Virgin America won’t go the way of Song and JetBlue eventually. He likens the airplane experience to a bus ride; it’s just something to get you from A to B (albeit through the air, hello! Which is much cooler than on the ground!), so why expect all the bells and whistles? I counter with, “But if a bus DID have bells and whistles, wouldn’t you want to get on THAT bus?” I liken the air travel experience to the old glory days of train riding, with deluxe sleeper cars, smoking cars, fine dining cars, perhaps, even, a car with a grand piano and a man in a white tux and black bow tie, his hair pomaded back, accompanied by a busty blonde, laying on said piano and singing her smoky little set of lungs out. Hmm. I guess, actually, I liken air travel to the glorified, fanciful, and utterly invented ideas I had about train rides, fluffed up in my head courtesy of Hollywood. (From my recent Montreal-NY Amtrak experience, plus the disgusted reviews of friends who’ve gone cross-border in Europe by train, and finally, I’ll admit it, the Sex and the City episode where Carrie and Samantha take a cross-country train ride to San Francisco for Carrie’s book tour, I have to admit that the reality of train travel has me nonplussed.)
But why can’t air travel be like the train travel of my wildest dreams? Why can’t we resurrect the old glory days of exotic travel, anyway, and turn this industry around? Ever since 9/11 (the terrorist attacks on the WTC on September 11, 2001), it’s just been bad news after bad news after bad news: layoffs, outsourcing of labor to freelance companies, bankruptcies, and huge, once-successful airlines going under.
What is wrong with this picture? Why is the airline industry making straight A’s at the school of hard knocks? It’s not like we have an alternative, really: we haven’t invented anything better that the masses can afford, and last I checked train and buses can’t go under or over water. Ships have jibed from aft to port: once reserved as a glamorous means of transport, then as the singular means of transoceanic travel for the glamorous and masses alike, they’ve now reverted back to being a form of luxury vacation travel for the rich, the idle, and the young and drunk. But, however, no one’s stupid enough to take a boat for speed of reaching a destination, rather than an adventurous/ contemplative journey, and really, let’s be honest here, ship travel has yet to recover its reputation from the depths where the sunken Titanic lies to this day. Subways can manage going under and over some water (take BART from SF to Oakland for underwater; take the New York F/V line from Manhattan to Brooklyn for overwater), but structurally I don’t know if a tunnel or bridge could be made sound enough to stretch safely between, say, San Francisco and Hawai’i or New York and Paris. Also, to state the obvious, if you’ve ever been on a subway, you know you probably wouldn’t want to be stuck on one for five or more hours.
What is wrong with this picture is that we are still living 9/11. Every time we deal with the arbitrary and ever-changing rules of TSA. Every moment we spend removing belts, jewelry, shoes, sweaters, jackets, loose change from our pockets, and liquids and gels from our persons while in the security line and parsing them out into those little plastic trays that remind me of being in kindergarten with my very own special cubbyhole. Especially when we perchance realize that we’ve become accustomed to the presence of uniformed men with large guns, that we no longer question the restriction of free speech within a certain radius of any transportation hub (do not, ever, even joke about bombs or terrorists while in an airport or subway, unless you want your momma to watch it happening on the nightly news), and that even we can sometimes rationalize—though still not condone—criminal/racial profiling (“it’s totally not okay!” “yes, but … national security!” “still doesn’t make it okay!” “true, but do you want another 9/11?” “no, but that doesn’t make it alright to criminalize based on race, haven’t you heard of ‘innocent until proven guilty?’” “ha! Ha! Not in this day and age, sweetie!! I’ve also heard of ‘never judge a book by its cover, but frankly sometimes the cover is all you have to go on and you have to go on something to maintain national security!” “National security, my ass! Remember WWII? The internment of the Japanese-Americans?! Hello! Is that national security when a country’s own citizens—innocent, born & raised citizens, in addition to their foreign-born, sometimes Japanese citizenship holding parents—cannot feel secure in their own nation, because they share the same ethnic makeup as ‘the enemy’ abroad? Is it national security when the government can round them up like so much cattle, take away their homes, businesses, and possessions, and at the same time expect of them military service and eagerness to sign loyalty oaths?!” “Okay, touché, touché. I’ll own that sometimes criminal profiling doesn’t work out so well, but we’ve also totally used it to catch, like, tons of serial killers. Don’t you watch the History channel? Or, for that matter, marathons of Law & Order?! Aren’t you glad we profiled, like, Jeffrey Dahmer and he can’t eat you now?” “I love you, but sometimes you disgust me.” “Yeah. Well. Ditto.” —Errr. Whoops. Sorry. Those pretty little voices in my head kept that conversation going on without me. Anyway. Moving swiftly along…)
We need to TAKE BACK the airline industry for ourselves! We need to bring back the old glory days of exotic luxury travel! We need to return to the joy and excitement of going somewhere else (whether Tahiti or Sacramento, California), meeting some people else, hearing other languages, and soaking in our differences as surely as our samenesses! We need to empty ourselves of stress and paranoia! And the airline industry needs to fix itself!! Radically! Revolutionarily! Total overhaul! Yeah!!! What did you say? How? … (mumble, mumble) … I can’t be bothered with such petty details, people!!
In conclusion, while my husband, the career airline man, may be skeptical, I think it may not be the worst thing in this day and age of flying the suspicious skies to carry onboard with you a little thing called hope.
Ooops. Running late. Overwaited for a work deadline due to me that never arrived and now Dave and I are rushing to catch me a train to plane. I’m off to Sacramento, folks, because Michelle (my Mimi, my Shelley, and yes, you guessed it, my Mimishelley), my favorite cousin in the whole world—and I would still say so even if I had others!—is graduating from Davis with her B.S. in (mumble, mumble, whoops, something about biology and maybe pharmacy). That’s right, folks, she went to school, she studied hard, she and her parents paid a lot of money … and in the end, all she got was this lousy B.S. Bwahahahahaha! I kill myself. Flying Virgin America, “for the very first time.” Can. Not. Wait. Should I take pictures of myself at the Virgin counter like JA, et al.? What do you mean “no”?!
… Circa 3:00pm …
I’m pumped for the Virgin America experience. (Hey, you gotta take your jollies where they appear.) First of all, they’re located in the international terminal—which means more shops, restaurants, and so forth. Second, it is definitely the crowd I thought it’d be. Suited businessmen with their cords coming out of their heads making nice to someone they have to schmooze at the other end of the line. People with accents and passports. The hipsters. The too-cool for school. Trendy and chiseled gay men. Oddly enough, so far, three separate groups of seemingly Islanders. And an assortment of the schlumpy, grumpy rest of us who ended up on Virgin because we wanted the experience or because cheaptickets.com booked the trip for us.
… Circa 4:00pm …
I’m so amused by my fellow travelers. They’re indoor-sunglasses wearers. They’re talking to themselves on Bluetooth headset types. They’re full of Important Calls and Angled Sharp Haircuts that make them look like Victoria Beckham when they’re not, and Glamour and Vogue tucked thickly under an arm. They’re full of moans and groans about the length of the flight, and the reasons for the it (“flying east to west means you have to cross the jetstream,” “yes, of course.”) and are avidly involved in discussing the several drinks they’ll “have” to have on board in order to “cope” with it all. Oh the hardship! Oh the trials! To have to travel on a relatively new, plush airplane because your bicoastal life is just so demanding. How fabulous you are! How utterly needed! C’mere, poor babes, let me dry your tears.
Mwahahahaha. Little do they know that their questionable fabulousness is being recorded—faithfully, though obviously not without bias—by a writer. (Oh no! A writer! That hated breed! We’re the secret snarks, the worst spooks of them all, because not only can we pass as one of you and report on your activities, we also report on them not to some secret committee but, rather, to the whole world. Or, like, at least the whole world that reads us. OK, fine, to a very small group of people. Hi, Mom.)
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
It's the hometown visit episode, and believe you me, Tila is up to all her old tricks: hitting on other family members, deep throating vegetables, trying to shock the parents, and making younger siblings uncomfortable.
First up is Fairborn, Ohio, "otherwise known as BO-hio," according to TT. Bo takes TT by the high school where he coaches football. Once the students stop ogling TT's boobs, they trip over themselves vouching for Bo's greatness and generosity of spirit. His family is wonderfully sweet, even to the point of bringing TT some flowers. Bo's mom cries a bit when he breaks the news about his broken jaw. Over dinner TT engages in the usual flirting with other family members (mom, sister) and educates Bo's siblings on bisexuality. During a "Man's-Only Time Out," Bo's dad worries about Bo being able to handle TT being bisexual and a big-city girl; Dad backs it up, though, by reassuring Bo that no matter what they love him and support him. While stepping into her limo, TT sums up the BOhio experience: "He's very consistent and he's very sweet ... and I'm starting to see that more and more."
Yonkers, New York, the home of Kristy, is next. Kristy is bisexual, and TT is Officially the First Woman Kristy's ever brought home. Kristy is manipulative/smart about her special date with TT, taking her ice-skating, which is something Kristy grew up doing and which she hadn't done in four years. She plays it like the return to the rink is very emotional for her and it was an experience that she wanted to share with the Tila. Which Tila totally falls for. (Awww.) At the Kristy family home is mom, dad, brother, and an auntie who has hooked up with ladies before and who appears to have been brought along for social lubrication. Aunt Mimi says she flips back and forth between being involved with men and women because it's about the person, "it's not the color of the skin or the biology." Daddy says, "If she loves you, we love you." To prepare for the TT visit, Daddy downloaded some of TT's music, and so everyone retires to the living room, where a dance party ensues, including TT spanking Daddy to her hit "All My Stripper Friends" (which weirds Kristy out for sure), TT freaking Kristy's brother and giving him a woody, and TT even feeling on Aunt Mimi's boobs. Everyone loosens up, except the Mom who seems pretty nonplussed by TT. TT really likes that Kristy's family is so accepting. But, in the eyes of this viewer, anyway, Kristy seems to be about winning, and the two of them are more like girlfriends than lovers.
Then it's onward to San Diego, California, the home of Britney. First, they visit Cheswick's, the bar that Britney works at, where Britney gives her a Tequilaville sign and a hand-drawn card. Britney gets extra points by delving into past family history, saying that much of Britney's family was out of town, so TT would only be meeting her father, who himself had only met Britney when she was 16 and had sought him out on her own. In the end, TT meets Peggy (Britney's best friend), Devon (B's roommate), and the dad (who TT finds to be Very, Very Handsome). Her friends totally stick up for Britney and vouch for her thoughtfulness and how good she'd be to be in love with. Britney made a special meal ("The Random Dinner") of white rice, fried chicken, grape soda, and Texas pickles, all things that TT had mentioned in passing that she liked. Unfortunately, TT starts deep-throating the pickle, which pretty much makes everyone uncomfortable. Devon comments, "Tila is a crazy girl. She's exactly what Britney needs. A little spice in her life." TT sits down Dad for a heart-to-heart, in which he says he wants for Britney whatever makes her happy. Next, Britney and Dad show TT her baby/family album, which melts TT's heart because "Britney really took this hometown visit seriously" in making her a special meal and hauling out the emotional baggage. What a lesbian.
Finally, we're on our way to Paramus, New Jersey, which is probably on the map previously only for housing an IKEA. Jay and TT are greeted by the loud ruckus of his family, as would be expected from Jay's example throughout the previous episodes. The family is mom, dad, stepmom, stepdad, and brother. Mom or stepmom makes a weird comment like Jay has to "marry an Asian girl. Becuase he likes soy sauce and teriyaki sauce," which weirds TT out. TT and Jay start making out at the table, and Daddy kind of finds it hot, both Moms think that TT is soo cute, and then next thing you know TT is making out with both the moms. TT later glosses the experience as "more like a family orgy than a family dinner." At TT's request, both the moms then flashed TT their breasts, and then the Moms start making out. To break up the rowdiness, or perhaps to encourage it, Jay suggests everyone hops into the hot tub, and TT and Jay start making out, Mom and Stepdad make out, Stepmom and Dad make out, and then the Moms kiss some more. Jay calls it one big party, like that's normal (?!)--maybe in the suburbs of Jersey?! Jay talks man-to-man with the family dudes, TT hops in bed with the Moms and talks it out with them: Unsurprisingly, the concensus is that, as with the other families, as wild at TT is (and she seems considerably less wild at this house!), if their child and TT love each other, godblessthem. TT leaves telling Jay she had a lot of fun and that his family was crazy. "Overall, being in Jersey with Jay's family, was like being at a porn convention," Tila concludes. Whether this works in his favor or not remains to be seen: Will TT embrace a family that will take her as she is--and who can maybe outdo her in sexual permissiveness and partying? Or does she actually want something more steady and traditional than she lets on?
Finally, everyone is back at "the (big, pink) ranch." Hilariously, everyone is now tightly bonded and everyone was missing the house and even the bed (!!). They all go to decompress in the kitchen to talk about their hometown dates. After regaling each other with the highlights (Brittany giving TT a homemade card and sign; Kristy's dad starting a dance party with freaking and whipping; TT asking Bo's mom if she's bisexual and her answering "maybe later in the night"; and Jay's freakshow-cum-hot tub orgy), Brittany and Bo are feeling nervous about their somewhat more staid and conventional hometown visits.
(Turns out that at elimination, TT only has to "get rid of" one. I guess I forgot that from Season 1, because indeed there was Bobby, Dani, and Amanda in Cancun.)
Now to elimination . . .
Kristy gets the first key and totally attacks TT with hugging and kissing and gratitude.
TT picks her because she had so much fun with her family and really got to know Kristy through them.
Bo gets the second key. TT says it's because his high schoolers really vouched for him and showed her even more what a good kind of person that he is.
Britney and Jay step forward for the final elimination.
On the one hand, she had fun hanging out with Jay's family, and he and his family are just as wild as she is. She says she has no doubt that she and he could hang in a jacuzzi like the best of them. But, on the other hand, he's just not her type. Jay says he respects her decision, but then flips off Bo, throws down the keyholding statue, and crashes shit off the counter onto the floor. He's really mostly pissed that (1) he's going while Bo's staying and (2) he got that TT tattoo of the shot glass. The fact that he was willing to get a shot glass tattoo for her, but both literally and figuratively, didn't put his/a heart into it perhaps demonstrates why he's being shown the door. (Bo and Jay got the same tattoo for Tila: a shot glass signifying her, but Bo's had a heart in it, while Jay didn't want that "heart shit.") Jay's glorious exit line: "I don't need this big retarded red house . . . to find love."
Britney gets the last key. She is on the edge of psychotically excited. Who the hell knew she'd be one of the last three standing?!
Next week, TT proclaims, "We're going to MEXICO!" That is, Cancun. Everyone is pumped. Bo is heartened by Jay's exit, claiming "I'm the last man standing. If Tila wants a man, I'm the one." Britney is both astounded and glad to be still around: "I fricken deserve to be final three. Did I expect it? Hell no." And Kristy doesn't say anything memorable, just something along the lines of falling for TT, but generally stands around being tall enough, busty enough, and blonde enough to be memorable without words.
The next episode should narrow it down to the final two (they do like to drag this shit out ad nauseam/ad infinitum). Then there should be one final, excruciating episode of one-on-one and two-on-one dates with the two final contestants for TT's love. Hope those two--whoever they may be--watched Season 1 and are ready to get their hearts broken. I kind of hope TT picks Kristy just because I think that girl has enough pluck to pick up the pieces and launch a career from this shit; I think Bo and Brittany genuinely are falling for the TT, which, if one learns from history, is the most dangerous game of all.
However, sadly, as sweet as she is, I think Brittany will be next up on the chopping block. I'm reposting the Weekly Poll. Come on out and vote!
Monday, June 9, 2008
“What does more to stay us and keep our backbones stiff while the world reels than the sense that we are linked with someone who listens and understands and so in some way completes us?”
–Wallace Stegner (The Selected Letters of Wallace Stegner. Ed. by Page Stegner, Shoemaker & Hoard, 2007: pp. vii)I've just started the daunting 400-page volume of The Selected Letters of Wallace Stegner, a collection of the wonderful letters of the professor, writer, and the man behind the much coveted Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University.
I love letters, the old-fashioned snail-mailed kind--and preferably, even, the handwritten variety. Who has time for it anymore, except that receiving a letter in the mail still elicits a better thrill than can an e-mail; except that the simple act of writing a letter is by nature more concerned with leisure and tangential thoughts and endearments that look silly in an e-mail; except that tone is somehow much easier to read in a letter; and except that there's something to be said for touching the same paper, feeling the braille-like surface a pen carves into the back of a page, seeing the kind of pen and the color of ink your loved one chose, and feeling closer to them, somehow, by holding their paper, their words, their writing, than it is possible to feel when receiving an e-mail tucked in amongst all the junk mail you get every single day.
So it goes that I am much enjoying this book of Stegner's letters. It covers letters written from his entire life--to "writers of all kinds, novelists, poets, journalists, historians, biographers, but also politicians, conservationists, academics, literary critics, librarians, visual artists, editors, college presidents, 7th graders, 9th graders, graduate students, and above all, fans" (Page Stegner, Introduction, p. x).
How right he was when he penned the above quote! Most things in life can be borne if you are surrounded by persons who understand you.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
(This entry may be long-winded, introspective, and whiny. If it is, I blame Jamaica Kincaid, since I just finished reading her book.)
Dave and I have been full of talk of where home is, where family is, where friends are, and the difficulties of financing life in the . . . okay, fuck, even over the bridge from the Big City. We have so many dreams we want to actualize, but they seem to head in opposite directions: living abroad and buying a home; travelling extensively and having pets and children and plants that don't die because you abandon them for a week. We realize more and more that we had pretty grandiose ideas about moving back to New York, and while some parts of that vision came true, others only kinda did, and still others were not possible to begin with. We're a few years away from 30 and find ourselves pondering the big questions: Where is home? Do we want to settle down or will our feet continually feel itchy? Will the grass always seem greener wherever we are not? If we can barely budget rent + bills + groceries, how will we pay for a MFA and Dave's airline certificate program, for homes and cars and dogs and babies?
We try to tell ourselves that we're putting in our time right now, making sacrifices for both of our careers. That being in New York is an adventure some people would kill for, and that we should take it for what it is rather than what it is not. But I find it hard to live so blithely and blindly, to exist without an eye to all the ticking clocks: the time not spent with our parents and extended families; the milestones of dear friends' weddings and their growing children we forfeit the right to witness; the womb that will not be ever fertile; the responsibilities of saving for our future largely ignored--not out of ignorance but present lack of a feasible alternative.
And I do have itchy feet . . . for nowhere in particular, except preferably somewhere cheaper than here. It stresses and bums me out to make excuses as to why I cannot go out with friends, or why I order just soup or just salad when we do go out, but nobody else sees the crazy accounting I do when I come home in the wee hours, trying to make ends meet. I miss the days of California dinner parties wherein grand food was consumed by all, but then again all would reciprocate. We had cooky friends there; we have going-out friends here. It is unfortunate. Some days I long for the Bay Area, or O'ahu, Tokyo, Tahiti, or sometimes it's some place I've never been. New York is as wonderful as ever, but I'm realizing she does not hold me in her thrall the way she used to. I may no longer be the kind of person who should live here long term--and what's even weirder is I'm okay with that when before that knowledge would have crushed me.
However, I fully reserve the right to deny any and all bitching and moaning after June 23-26 or so, when Mercury--and hopefully I--come out of retrograde.
However, what this perhaps demonstrates is the utter persuasiveness of the voice of the novel. Kincaid writes from Xuela Claudette Richardson's point of view so authentically that Xuela seemed too real a person to not exist. The whole novel was entirely in first person, from the POV of Xuela, and in places it was honestly tiring, the way first person perspectives can often be. At a certain point, no matter how charming the narrator (and Xuela was hardly that!), this reader longs for a bigger perspective, the wide world through the eyes of many rather than the narrowed vision of one person.
I didn't exactly love the book. Or even like it, really. I found the narrator to be plaintive and quite invested in her own victimhood, powerlessness, and misery (as an orphan, a Carib-Scottish-African person, and a woman), and then, later in life, she was quite taken with her own sexual power, beauty, and ability to manipulate others (esp. men). I grew quickly tired of her 228 pages of moaning on about a dead mother and an absent father. (We get it, already, you were basically an orphan.) The narrative pace was very slow; Dave (hubba-hubba hubby) would probably say "nothing happens!" with exasperation were he to attempt to read it, which wouldn't happen, as he would never pick such a book to read and would have given up no doubt in the first ten pages. And he would be right. Nothing really does happen--except a whole life. When we part ways with Xuela on page 228, she is 70 and married to a white man she does not love but who does love her. She is content enough, but as much as we are stuck with her voice for the entirety of the book, it is not always clear why Xuela does the things she does. Perhaps, though, this too lends authenticity to Kincaid's voice: first-person narrators--unless the conceit is that they are aware of their audience--should not feel an obligation to explain themselves.
The book is called The Autobiography of My Mother, but the book is an accounting of Xuela's life. The concept works because Xuela's entire life is framed by being born to a mother who died and a father who was distant and did not love anyone but himself. It is a booklong account of Xuela's total knowledge of her mother, which never grows in volume: Her mother was of the Carib people. She too was an orphan. She lived. She married Xuela's father. She became pregnant. She gave birth. She died. And then she'd appear to Xuela in dreams as nothing but a hem of a clean, white dress forever descending a flight of stairs. Xuela never saw more than her mother's dreamy ankles.
I would not reread this book for pleasure, but I would refer back to it as a very strong example of what is possible with first person POV. If I have ever worried with my own first-person narratives that the characters are too much inside their own heads, about not having enough scene/action/dialogue, about having the characters be too introspective or even whiny about their situations . . . here would be the proof that it can be made to work, can be authentic and authoritative, and does not break any major rules of writing that don't deserve to be broken every once in a while.
Back up all computers! Don't make major decisions or purchases! Don't take miscommunications or relationship snags personally! And if you want to be extra safe like me, just hunker down, hide out, and guard yourself against the world till late June.
This shit is for real.
* So not funny. As I was typing up this entry, my computer decided that it would no longer allow Blogger to imbed links into text. Where's my backup?! NOW!!!
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A hyperactive (read: multi-Gemini) atmosphere, such as the one we're currently cruising through, isn't exactly the sort where you straightforward Taurean lads and lasses generally thrive. That's not to say you won't be just fine, but I simply wanted to set a proper scene in case you've been feeling somewhat out of sorts. It's likely that everyone around you is operating on overdrive (or at least a higher gear than usual), which has the possibility of bumming you out, if, at the same time, you're not in the mood to hit the gas and speed yourself into the faster lane of traffic. Feel free to try and keep up—if, and only if, you want to. But there will be no negative consequences if you don't… other than the judgy perceptions certain others may adopt, when they see you refusing to drink the frenzy-fostering Kool-Aid they're gulping down by the gallonful. Are you secure enough to proceed at the pace most appropriate to you, regardless of the peer pressure you may fall temporary victim to? I hope so, Taurus. See, we know something that they have perhaps forgotten in the rush-rush-rush mentality of the present moment: Further down the road, they'll have lost their steam… but you'll still be plugging along at a fair pace. You've got persistence on your side, which should be more than enough to put all dizzying self-doubt to rest.
"The present is always perfect. No matter how happy I had been in the past I do not long for it. The present is always the moment for which I live. The future I never long for, it will come or it will not; one day it will not. But it does not loom up before me, I am never in a state of anticipation. The future is not even like the black space above the sky, with an intermittent spark of light; it is more like a room with no ceiling or floor or walls, it is the present that gives it such a shape, it is the present that encloses it. The past is a room of baggage and rubbish and sometimes things that are of use, but if they are of real use, I have kept them."
--Jamaica Kincaid, An Autobiography of My Mother. New York: Farrar Strauss Giroux, 1996. Pp. 205
I guess Sirbrina wasn't so heartbroken after all. :) Good for her for moving on! Perhaps she's found someone who thinks she's more than just hot.
(Thanks to Surfrunner for the e-mail tip.)
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Bo gets his stitches out and comes home to find a message in the bottle from TT, letting the contestants know that today she'd be testing just how far they'd go for her. They pile into the limo . . . and pull up in front of a tattoo and piercing parlor. Yikes. Inside they meet up with TT, who tells them that she wants to see how far they'd go for her because she will be visiting the families of those contestants left standing after elimination (ala Season 1). So as to "prove their love"--though I'm not sure how torture = love but, okay, TT--contestants could (a) get a tattoo (for which TT had prepared sketches of a shot glass with a heart, her name in fancy script, and a heart with her name in a banner), (b) get a piercing, (c) walk on broken glass, or (d) get a shock from the electric chair. The prizes were to be a Sexy Date, a Romantic Date, and a Dirty Date. Kristy steps it up to get a tattoo, opting to get the star that TT has on her hand etched into her own neck--though, to Kristy's credit, she tucks it neatly in a spot that will be hid by that mane of fabulous hair. Next, George opts--IDIOT--to walk on broken glass for TT. (I couldn't even watch that part.) George gets through it, kind of bitching and moaning, and keeps complaining of a nonexistent cut on his foot. TT hops up next to walk the broken glass like nothing, announcing to everyone that it wasn't so bad--and did they want to know why? "Because it was fake." George is pretty embarassed. Bo decides to get a tattoo of a shot glass with a heart in it, and TT cuddles with him while the design is tattooed into his leg, also delivering a kiss upon completion. Watching them jealously was Jay, who also decides to get a tattoo of a shotglass--but with no hearts in it--and also earns a kiss from TT, and pissed off jealousy from Bo who wanted to be the only one with a shotglass, with "one of the more original designs." (How original is it if TT had the designs prepared for them? To me, Kristy was the most original so far!) Lisa opted for the electric chair, because she didn't want to get anything pierced or tattooed because she knew that those activities had a long healing period. Brittany then pulls TT aside and tells her that she's deathly afraid of needles but that, for TT, she was going to get a bellybutton piercing. Kristy wins the Sexy Date; Bo and Jay are made to share the Romantic Date, thereby ensuring it will not be romantic; and TT shares the Dirty Date with the rest--George, Lisa, and Brittany.
For the Sexy Date, TT had a whole lingerie shop close down so that she and Kristy could privately shop for lingerie and model items for each other. This includes oohing and ahhing over how cute each other looks, laying on a (rather convenient) prop bed and sipping champagne, and "really digging deep" to get to know each other, with important questions for Kristy like, "So. Have you ever brought any girls home [to your parents]?" This concludes with the girls hopping in the limo still in their new underwear and walking up to the mansion and through it, still unclad. Ummm, okay, weird, but you know they're all skinny and fine, so who's complaining, right?
Jay and Bo then meet up with TT for the Romantic Date. TT has prepared a whole Japanese themed room, with cherry blossoms and parasols and quite the array of sushi. The two boys both end up massaging TT: Jay working her shoulders, Bo working her legs. TT takes Jay off for some alone time, during which Jay gets as mushy as he gets and says, "I like you a lot. Coming from me, I hope you know that means a lot." TT reflects that she's seeing a softer side of Jay, that he can be tender and grown-up, not always the center of attention funny guy. Next, Bo gets some alone time, but he starts laying it on really thick about how he's sorry but "I can't stop staring into your eyes. I probably won't ever stop . . . staring into your eyes." YECCCHH. TT seems to fall for it though, saying that Bo has been through a lot for her (shaving his soul patch, breaking his jaw, getting tattooed), and that he was man enough for her.
For the Dirty Date, Lisa, Brittany, and George are left little white boy shorts and training bras (George probably was not intended to have one, but he puts it on anyway). TT meets them in a little white swimsuit and explains that they will be making her artwork for her to remember them by. The art is kinda ehhhh, but "the process of making it" gets hot and steamy, with paint poured on bodies and a lot of rolling around on the canvas. Brittany has a nice one-on-one, which TT sums up as Brittany being more work to get something out of her, but worth it. Next, Lisa has a one-on-one, trying to be the tough girl again. Then she makes the mistake that may send her home by the close of this episode, admitting that everyone in the house except for her seems to be head over heels for TT and wondering if that was bad. It wasn't necessarily bad, Lisa, until you fucking said it out loud TO TILA!! Idiot! George gets zero alone time.
The next day, everyone is chilling poolside when TT comes out of the house with another challenge: a hot dog eating contest. But there's a twist! Because Bo's jaw is still recovering, he's had to eat virtually all his food blended. Well, "what's good enough for Bo is good enough for everyone," according to TT, and she begins blending a disgusting concoction of bread, hot dogs, relish, ketchup, and mustard. According to Jay it looked like Tila had eaten something, thrown it up, and then said, "here! have some!" The challenge begins, and Kristy, Bo, and Jay start retching early and give up. It's down to Brittany, George, and Lisa--and Brittany is far behind. Predictably, Lisa wins again--an intimate date with TT . . . in her bedroom!
The one-on-one date, I think, could have and probably would have been more romantic if it was between anyone but TT and Lisa. They obviously have some kind of sexual attraction between them, but all their alone time comes down to a battle of wills. Lisa doesn't want to be vulnerable, TT wants her to be. Lisa is too scared to fall in love, TT wants more than anything to hear the word "love" come from Lisa's mouth. Lisa wants to win, but it's not clear if it's just because she's female gladiator of Season 2 and can't stand to lose or if she really likes/loves TT. What's sort of unfair is that Lisa is the only one TT pushes for the "L" word! Jay scraped by during his one-on-one time just saying he really "liked" Tila "a lot." And she was charmed by it! Oy.
Next up? Elimination. The four left standing will, on the next episode, be bringing TT home to meet the parents! Jay gets his key first (what she sees in him I don't pretend to know). Kristy gets the second key (well, she did look really hot on the lingerie date). Bo gets the next key (because, as TT repeatedly points out, he's been through a lot for her). George gets cut first, and leaves with quite a little salty speech prepared for TT. Brittany and Lisa are on the chopping board: TT feels that with Brittany getting to know her takes a really long and slow time; TT feels that with Lisa it's been a rollercoaster from the get-go. In this case, according to TT, "slow and steady wins the race." WHAT?! Tila just eliminated her champion racehorse Lisa who won every single challenge since Day 1!!! Holy shit!!! I never saw this one coming!!!! And from the looks of it, neither did anyone else: all of the other contestants have shock plainly written on their faces.
In her exit interview, Lisa says that TT has made a mistake and that "in eliminating me, Tila has eliminated true love from this house." Oh now you're comfortable saying the "L" word?! Too fucking late, Lisa. Shouldn't bent your will to TT's last night and made that intimate date more intimate. Should have used strategy. It's like these contestants have never watched Season 1, or any other reality TV dating show. I mean, watch five minutes of "Flavor of Love" or "I Love New York" and you will see how coldhearted and calculating those contestants are. They play for keeps, yo!
Next week is the hometown visits episode. The episode may or may not also include a trip to Cancun for all four. But the count will be narrowed to two, and from there to The One (for Season 2, anyway). Then TT will "take a shot at love," only to dump the person shortly thereafter and blame it on them and/or her "crazy schedule," drumming up interest in Season 3 by playing up her twice-broken heart. Waaaahhh, wahhhh, booo hooo. I'm so over this. Wow am I bitter.
My next up on the chopping board predictions? Jay and Brittany. Jay, because I think TT likes Bo better. I'm less sure about the second choice, but I think Brittany will get cut simply because Kristy is hotter than she and less hard to get to know. The last two standing will be Bo and Kristy. Or possibly Bo and Brittany, but I doubt it.
Exercize your rights and practice for November! VOTE in my poll!!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The filename I gave this photo is "our kind of boy." And that Lucas Stoffel is, exactly. This picture was taken back in May of 2003, at the grand tacky finale of Wife's and my 23rd birthday extravaganza at Waikiki Wally's on the LES. Luke and Laura had known each other from working, I think, Urinetown, but Luke was relatively new to my life. I was lucky Laura was willing to share him.
First of all, Luke is the most talented artist I know. Period. Whether it's photography or painting, his work is both intellectual and emotional, and I wish I could plaster my walls with his work, floor to ceiling.
Second, and far more importantly, Luke is one of the best friends a person could ask for. He is a complete sweetheart, loads of fun to be around, has a great sense of humor coupled with a great sense of himself, which allows him to laugh when friends poke fun at him. Which is often, whether it be for the hilarious things that come out of his mouth to his penchant for doing random things like working at Bubba Gump's--when he's allergic to shrimp! Luke throws good parties, cooks great spaghetti, gives great hugs, and always looks good . . . and, in that vein, let me tell you, nobody looks better in a Burberry bandeau top! I will never, ever, ever, for as long as I live, forget that the beloved painting that hangs over my bed--a gorgeous golden rendition of "New York Misses You"--was painted by Luke in a hurry to give me a going-away present when I moved to California quite suddenly in December of 2005, nor will I forget the tender inscription that was exactly what this girl, homesick already, needed to hear as she jetted away.
God bless you, Luke. You are a gift in my life.