Tag Archives: get off my lawn

Things about which I am (perhaps reasonably, perhaps not) judgmental

1. Visibly pregnant women who smoke.

2. People who get tattoos on their hands, front of the neck, and/or faces.

3. People who think tights or panty hose are pants.

4. Men who wear pants that are both tight in the legs and saggy in the bum.

5. People who eat out all the time and get fancy expensive coffee drinks, who claim that they can never travel because they don’t have any money.

6. People who call themselves vegetarian yet eat bacon.

7. People who aren’t willing to try new things.

8. People who use copious amounts of perfume or body spray.

9. Parents who don’t read to their kids.

10. Drivers who think brake lights are equivalent to a turn signal.

11. Truck nuts.

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And now I remember why I am too old for midnight movies

I has a hat!

Dan gave his coat to Laurel. What a nice brother-in-law!

A couple of years ago, my sisters and a few of their friends dressed up for the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Photos of Laurel as the Fat Lady in the portrait, Lindsey as Professor Trelawney, Lissa as Tonks and Curtis as Lupin showed up in my Facebook feed, and I looked at each one hungrily, a little sad that I wouldn’t have been able to participate with them (even had they invited me) since I was so far away.

On Halloween this year (and yes, I do still have Halloween photos that haven’t been shared yet), we were at Lissa and Curtis’s party, and the subject of dressing up for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1 (aka HP7.1.) Dan and I were invited to join the gang to dress up and attend the 12:01 AM showing. When we got home from the weekend, I started brainstorming, trying to come up with a couple of good costume ideas that wouldn’t duplicate any of the costumes already being worn and wouldn’t involve buying anything. I thought and thought and, after some inspiration from my yarn stash, I came up with two ideas: I could knit a scarf with all of the house colors, and one of us could be Hogwarts; and we had or could easily make enough items that the other of us could be the Horcruxes.

Dan liked the ideas, and I set about knitting myself a 4-house scarf. Luckily, I already had yarn in all the necessary colors. With iron-on transfers we already had, I was able to put the basic house crest on a tank top. And Dan printed a few pages with grayscale photograph of stone wall, and I put together a turret hat. Voila, Hogwarts! At the last minute, however, while we were still trying to assemble the horcrux costume, Dan changed his mind and decided to be Mad-Eye Moody, which was easy enough to put together and worked out just fine.

We drove south, had dinner with our friend Brian, and put on our costumes, then headed over to the theater in Jack London Square in Oakland. Laurel and a couple of her friends were already there; Professor Trelawney¬† made a repeat appearance, but Laurel had decided to be the Golden Snitch and another friend was Dobby the House Elf. I guess Lissa and Curtis hadn’t managed to get tickets somehow, or maybe they had just decided they were too old for midnight movies, but we were later joined by a Moaning Myrtle, and we all sat or stood on the sidewalk in the chilly November night air, joking and laughing and stamping our feet. I became Laurel’s blanket, since as the snitch she was bare-armed with a pillow stuffed down the front of her shiny gold dress (to be more round), and I was thoroughly glad that both Dan and I had decided on costumes that would be warm. Lots of silly photos were taken, although I accidentally left my camera at Brian’s house and so I don’t have any of them other than the one above, taken with Laurel’s iphone and sent to my Facebook wall.

I knew that I was going to have a hard time staying up late enough to begin watching the movie, let alone stay awake through the whole thing. I had some diet coke with my dinner, something I almost never do, and had some regular coke while we were waiting in line. It made me jittery, but I decided that was better than falling asleep halfway through the movie. They finally let us in to the theater at around 11 PM, and we spent the last hour of our wait shedding layers and playing a Harry Potter trivia version of 20 questions. Thanks to all the caffeine I’d consumed, I peed four times during that hour while we were waiting. But at least I wasn’t sleepy!

At long last, the previews and commercials started, while the audience reacted to whatever was on the screen (my favorite part was when everybody boo’d when Glen Beck’s visage showed up). Yet at the instant it was clear the movie was starting, a hush came over the theater.

While we’d been waiting in line, and while we were in the theater waiting for the movie to begin, I had noticed that Dan and I were probably the oldest people in the audience. Most of the moviegoers looked to be college-age (in fact, most of them seemed to be wearing Cal Bears paraphernalia), some even younger, and the rest in their early to mid-20s. These were all kids who had grown up with Harry Potter; for most of them, I am guessing, there was no world WITHOUT, at the very least, the Harry Potter books, and some, I’m sure, had been Harry Potter’s age or younger when the first movie came out in 2001. These were the true hardcore fan base, the first generation of kids who had been KIDS at the beginning of the Harry Potter phenomenon. In other words, some of them were probably half my age. I was vaguely aware of the Harry Potter books during college, which is when they first started coming out, and I remember seeing someone reading the fourth book while I was traveling in Europe after graduation, but I don’t think I started reading them until 2001 or so.

(I don’t plan to review the movie at all, only to say that I liked it far, far more than I’ve liked the last few movies, and I think they made some excellent choices as far as what to keep and what to cut while still maintaining the story. The choice to split the book into two movies might have been profit-driven, but it must have also been a logistical nightmare to try to cram the previous two books into 2.5 hour movies, and the quality of those films really suffered. Splitting Deathly Hallows into two movies was definitely the right thing to do.)

There were moments in the film when the crowd laughed, others where they protested, and a few when everyone spontaneously cheered. After it was over, people milled around the lobby, discussing what they’d just seen with their friends, and I saw several more people in costume (the theater had showed the 12:01 screening on three screens, so there were LOTS of people in that lobby). Dan, Brian and I hugged the rest of the crowd and headed back to the car. I was bleary-eyed and exhausted, and as soon as our bed was inflated I fell asleep.

This morning, I woke up at 9 AM. I’d had about six hours of sleep. And I’ve been a useless, brain-dead husk all day. I don’t blame Lissa and Curtis or other sane people over the age of 25 who had to work today for not attending the midnight screening of HP7.1, because holy hell, if I’d had to get up at 6 AM to go to work I would not have been able to function. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve gone to any sort of midnight movie…and I’m not sure I’ll ever do it again. I’m too old to bounce back after a night like last night well enough to function at a job the next day, and even a Saturday midnight movie would probably mean I lost an entire Sunday. I had a lot of fun with my sister and her friends, but from now on I’ll leave the premieres to the youngins.

Sartorialism

Dear people of the world:

Tights are not pants. Leggings are not pants. Leggings that you bought 25 years ago the LAST time they were in fashion, so they’re all threadbare and see-through, and you’re wearing over white granny panties are DEFINITELY not pants. They make you look like you are wearing a diaper.

Shirts are not dresses. Even if you wear them with leggings or tights (see above). Dresses must be long enough to cover your buttcheeks. If I can see the cheek fold when you are walking in front of me, it is NOT a dress. The only acceptable time people can wear shirts that short as dresses is when they are babies in diapers.

Pick one animal print to wear at a time. Zebra, leopard, and snake may look great in a Noah’s Ark painting or at the zoo, but they do NOT look good all being worn at the same time on your person.

5-inch stiletto red beadazzled plastic stripper shoes are perhaps not the best choice of footwear when it’s less than 20 degrees F outside and you’re walking through an icy parking lot.

Sagged, skintight emo pants make you look like you have a load in your pants. There are no exceptions to this rule for men or women. A correlary: Skinny jeans should not be worn by men. They look good on SOME girls/women, but not many, and they do not look good on men, period.

And what the hell is up with that hairstyle that’s bleached blond on the top and black or very dark brown underneath?

Fantasy vs. Reality: Urban Gardening Edition

It’s a cool, blustery September day. I am walking down the street, in a neighborhood once full of drugs but now clean, and I am starving. I have nothing to eat, no way to obtain food, and it has been days since a fraction of a calorie has passed my lips.

But hark! What is it I see before me? Some good samaritan, some right kind soul, has lovingly planted and tended a garden of edibles. On such a dreary day, it’s difficult to see whether any fruits on the tomato plants are ripe, so I think I’ll rifle through the greenery until I find something that looks close to edible. Aha! A tomato that looks sort of reddish! And I know, because nobody in their right mind would plant a garden next to the sidewalk unless they intended passers-by to take the produce grown, that this tomato is for me.

I take one bite. It is somewhat unripe. Sour fills my mouth, and I decide it isn’t right for me to eat the entire thing myself. I gently place it on the ground on the other side of the front yard, allowing other people dying of starvation to partake.

* * * * * *

What actually happened:

Our garden is in our front yard next to the sidewalk, a space of about four feet by three feet in which we grow three tomato plants, a jalapeno, 2 bell peppers, and lots of herbs and marigolds. It’s the only space in the entire yard that gets enough sun to allow anything to ripen. I pick our tomatoes when they are half-ripe and bring them inside, because otherwise people steal them. I had been waiting in anticipation of this tomato for several days, because it was larger than the others and looked like, when ripe, it was going to be really good. I thought about picking the tomato on Sunday, but decided to pick it when I got home on Monday because the day was grey and the tomato was mostly hidden by leaves; I didn’t think anyone would notice it to steal it.

I was wrong.

And to add insult to injury, not only did someone pick it, they took one bite and left it there for me to find.

That’s what you get for stealing someone else’s half-ripe tomato, asshole.

Oh! And I’ve been growing a bell pepper plant in a pot in the backyard in the one spot that gets a few hours of sun a day – on an old table. The plant had put out one fruit, that ever-so-slowly got larger, and I encouraged it when I walked by every day to grow bigger and make more peppers. It had just started to turn when we left to run an errand on Saturday and I noticed it was gone. Two feet away on the ground, it lay, nibbled in places, and I knew it was those bastard squirrels. Why a squirrel would want to steal an unripe red bell pepper, I’ll never know, but I waited two damn MONTHS for that pepper. And it abandoned the thing after a few tentative tastes. Effing squirrels.

Christmas TV shows kind of make me feel like a little kid

While I’m a little annoyed that they played it before it’s even December, I just got more than my fair share of enjoyment out of the Charlie Brown Christmas special. This year I got to see bits and pieces of both the Halloween and Thanksgiving specials as well. I’m not entirely sure why this makes me so happy, but it really does.

I also look forward to How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated one with Tony the Tiger singing the Grinch song), the Rankin-Bass specials (Rudoph, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Frosty the Snowman etc.) and, of course, Ralphie shooting his eye out. Not having cable, there are definitely years where I don’t get to see these things. However, I take the opportunity whenever possible. I’ve still got fond childhood memories of all of these Christmas TV shows and I kind of wonder what adults have been thinking the last 20 years, because I can’t think of any good Christmas TV shows/movies that have come out since my childhood. The live-action Grinch movie (the Jim Carrey one) is OK (I know Dan will rend his garments with rage when even reading the name of the thing), and there are a few movies I associate with Christmas (like A Series of Unfortunate Events), but I can’t really think of any good TV specials or whatnot. Everything I’ve seen has been entirely too schmaltzy (and I haven’t seen Elf or Bad Santa). Kids these days, they’re missing out.

I’m not a huge fan of most Christmas music, but I own a copy of Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack and it goes into regular rotation during the month of December. When the special is on TV, I get up and dance in my living room while the kids dance to “Linus and Lucy” and I totally dance just like they do. I don’t care who is watching.

Max and Laura won, and I have nobody with whom to discuss it!

Yes. I admit it.

I did watch (some of) the uber-cheesy reality show “Grease: You’re the one that we want!”, a show modeled after one from the UK in which the lead roles of Sandy and Danny for the Broadway revival of “Grease” were chosen by the American people over the last several months. The show played on Sunday nights, and so it wasn’t always convenient to watch, but when I had an opportunity I did tune in to see who auditioned, who was good, who was bad, and who was really creepy. I liken my interest in this show to that of my interest in “So you Think You Can Dance,” one of my summer obsessions for the last couple of years. I love dance and musical theater, so it stands to reason that I’d be interested in a show that highlights talented people, plus I have fond childhood memories of the movie “Grease,” since it was the first movie we ever recorded off the TV when we got our first VCR in 1986. I watched that damn thing over and over; I know all the lyrics to all the songs (except the few that were cut for time/schedule, like the one Rizzo sings), and my mom had the soundtrack record album that I loved to play. (Aside: kids these days probably don’t understand the reference “like a broken record,” do they? Nobody except DJs and music uber-geeks play records anymore).

I love watching talented people perform. I love going to the theater, the ballet, or even hearing someone I know sing and play guitar. This show, despite it’s over-the-top cheez factor, was a way for me to get my “talented amateur makes good” fix while waiting for SYTYCD. I watched the first “real” show, with all six potential Dannys and Sandys (seven of each, if you cout the stunt they pulled, but those two were appropriately booted that first week), and I held my nose and tried not to notice the filler and double-hosted ridiculousness. Dannys ranged from being called “Hot Danny” to “Slacker Danny” and Sandys from “Baby Sandy” to “Religious Sandy” because obviously the audience needed to be told what to think about each of the contestants in the first show. I think I saw parts of 2 or 3 other shows, and the ones I didn’t see got recapped brililantly by the forum members of Television Without Pity. This was a wonderful way for me to get filled in on the goings-on without having to actually TRY to see the show.

The last show was on this past Sunday night, and I’d seen the previous one as well, whcn it went from 3 vying for each role to 2. The final two of each were quite different – Austin, the professional, who looked nothing like a Danny and desperately tried to come off as cool and heterosexual, and Max, the somewhat funny-looking guy who came alive each time he performed, and exuded Danny-ness from the first show, were the final two Danny candidates, and I’d picked Max to win from the beginning. The Sandy finalists were the best of the group, but neither of them were particularly notable – the one I liked better won, despite being a brunette, but she never really convinced me she’ll be Sandy. Honestly, though, the character of Sandy is an ingenue, rather than a real character like Rizzo, and you just have to sing well, look pretty, and go from naive to sexy over the course of the show. Not too difficult. Anyhow, I was really on the edge of my seat when they announced who would play Danny, though I knew from reading the TWoP boards that the vast majority of them were Max fans like me.

Immediately after the show was over, I was happy and excited and wanted to find out what other people were saying about the results. But the TWoP boards weren’t working. Nor were they working on Monday or (thus far) today. I simly can’t go any longer without sharing with SOMEONE how I felt about the stupid show, how glad I was that Max won, even though I’ll never see him perform the role of Danny. So there you go. I’d save you all from having to read about it, just as I refrained from blogging about SYTYCD and I mostly refrain from blogging about ANTM, but it appears as though you’re my only hope.