So this morning on GMA there was a story about a Starbucks in New England that broke the Pay it Forward record with 640 PIFs. At first this story sounds very heart-warming. A bunch of people selflessly buying a coffee for the person behind them. But the more I think about it the more I get annoyed. Here’s why: People who are already able to afford a $5 coffee are buying one anyway for the person behind them who were going to buy one for themselves, otherwise they wouldn’t be in line. This is classic “White People Problems”. It just seems to me like a bunch of people wanting to feel better about themselves by doing the bare minimum for people already in their demographic. I usually don’t get worked up about this kind of thing, but when it’s offered to me as NEWS that I should feel inspired by, I get angry.
Here’s an idea, why don’t you buy a $5 foot long at Subway and HAND IT to a homeless person outside on the street? Why don’t you put that $5 in the salvation army bucket? Why don’t you donate that $5 to a charity that will actually help people. Yes it’s nice to Pay it Forward, but MAYBE not at Starbucks. Maybe at Walmart, where there is a woman with 2 carts full up and 4 kids that are fighting in the the checkout line. These are the people that need it, not a bunch of white people form New England who already have decided that they will buy an expensive coffee for themselves and, wait, what? That guy bought it for me? Well I’ll just buy it for that beautiful girl behind me with the Kate Spade bag.
Every year, a new batch of beauty queens get made fun of in the main stream media for their stupidity. This year, we had this woman who got flustered with her question, “If you could only have one of the five senses, what would it be?” In 2007, we had the “The Iraq and everywhere such as” woman, who to this day, is considered legend. I get a little annoyed by this kind of media attention for a
1) It implies that pretty girls can’t be smart, or at least the smart ones are a minority,
2) Stupid people should be mocked and also celebrated,
3) There is nothing better to talk about in this world than how a very nervous beauty queen answers a question they are unprepared for.
I am not saying that these specific examples are actually misrepresented rocket scientists or anything, I’m just saying, “Who the fuck cares?” I don’t, and so I’m not even going to write about it anymore. I only bring it up because of the question asked to the most recent victim about the senses. It got me to thinking, “Which sense would I want if I could only have one?” I actually pondered it a while and decided on taste. Definitely taste.
So what irony that the day after deciding on my answer to this inane question that I come down with PINE MOUTH. What is pine mouth you ask? According to my friend Megan, “It’s a thing!” I noticed yesterday that everything that I ate had a weird aftertaste. At first, I thought the bread in my breakfast sandwich was bad. I thought the water by my bedside table had sat out too long. Then I had a string cheese and thought, “Hmmm, string cheese has no business tasting like the skin of a potato picked right out of the ground.” I told my friends about it and Megan asked if I had pine nuts recently. I DID! I made Pesto on Monday. We went right to the Googles. We hit on this NPR story from 2010 and gathered around the iPhone, listening intently.
Not only is it a thing, it could be a thing that could last up to a month! Not to mention that pine nuts are REALLY expensive, so now I have to throw out the rest of this bag of rancid (or Chinese) pine nuts. Sigh.
For now, I am eating and drinking a variety of things, hoping that THIS will be the food that overcomes the aftertaste. No luck yet, but I am banking on a Martini tonight that will, if not eliminate the after-taste, will make me not give a shit.
If this persists, I will have to change my answer to the question, because if this was all I could taste forever, I’d have a pretty miserable existence.
That will be my new answer.
Alright, don’t get your panties in a bunch. I am not going to go on a religious tirade, or even an anti-religious tirade. I am not going to ask anyone to justify their religious beliefs or even type on and on about mine or lack thereof. However, it IS the fault of religion and not bunnies that I dislike the Easter season, and here is why.
As a mother, I have now twice experienced the Easter “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again” story as understood by a three-year-old. It’s HORRIFYING to a toddler to tell them that this really great guy in sandals, who was but a tiny baby born in a barn only three months ago, was put on a cross where he bled to death. Then he comes alive again (Does that mean Murry-dog will come alive again?) and goes to heaven…where dead people go (So is he dead or not?) I have been answering questions about death and heaven all week because my child’s preschool teacher has decided to read Religious Easter stories (not fluffy bunny egg stories) to a room full of toddlers and preschoolers. Not only has she read these stories, she has fielded their questions about Jesus, death and heaven. Here is what I have learned:
1) There are no boo boos in heaven because when you fall, the grass is fluffy.
2) In heaven there are a lot of toys.
3) In heaven you get to play with Jesus
4) You don’t go to heaven until you are 100.
Sounds GREAT except, my daughter is now having nightmares about dying.
This also happened when my son was younger and I was forced to take him to an Easter service at my in-law’s church. The children’s sermon was absolutely terrifying. The pastor spared no detail in his retelling of the Christ-story. When I was younger, I think we just sang Jesus Loves Me or something. I mean, I know that there is no nice way to say it, the story itself is the stuff of R-rated movies. If I lived in a bubble, I wouldn’t even be dealing with it until my child was at least 13. But here we are surrounded by Christians, at the time of year that is basically the reason for Christianity. So I am trying to explain an abstract concept that I don’t believe to a three-year-old who can not and will not understand when I instead would like to only be discussing jellybeans vs. Reese’s eggs. (Eggs all the way!)
That is why I hate Easter.
This year will be my and my husband’s 9th annual Oscar party. As we have moved to Wyoming, it is increasingly difficult to watch all of the nominees. However we do try to the best of our ability to see what we can. Truth be told, I think the best we’ve ever done is about 50% when we include all those shorts and documentaries and foreign films. For a shining moment when we lived in Cleveland, we could watch all the shorts nominees at the Cedar Lee Theatre. I miss that..It was good stuff.
So as we plan for our party this year, we binge (and purge) on the Oscar noms and I have started to ask myself, “Is it worth it?” Yes, Lincoln was a good solid movie with fantastic acting and that Spielberg-esque quality that warrants a nomination. Yes, Les Miserable’s was fabulous if you like depressing musicals and are blinded by your love for Russell Crowe. Yes, Argo was perfect in every way (except I still didn’t love it…why?). But really, are any of these movies worth my time, my money, my second viewing, my party planning? How many movies REALLY stand the test of time or have changed my life? Is raising awareness the same as life-changing? If so, then maybe King of Corn did change my life. But I guess I am looking for something more.
There are so many movies that I love, simply because I love them. And some of those are DUMB (Talledega Nights/Space Balls) or silly (Ferris Beuller’s Day Off/Office Space) or sentimental (Beaches/Father of the Bride) or just really freakin’ cool (Momento/Shutter Island)! But life-changing? What movies have actually made me question myself, my choices, my politics, my soul and had me changing for the better or worse? More specifically, what Academy Award-winning movies have had that kind of impact? Titanic? I don’t think so! Ben Hur? Pah-leese. Here is a list of every best-picture winner, ever. Have any of these movies affected change in your life? I could make a case for Slum-Dog Millionaire if I tried, I guess, but I still think I was more emotionally effected at the time of viewing it rather than prompted to go out and make changes after watching it.
I am not saying that all of the “Best Pictures” suck. I have seen just over half of these films (I mean, really..who’s seen WINGS?) and while I truly enjoyed many of those films, I just don’t feel like I am a better or worse person for having seen them. If I think deeply about movies that have really changed me I don’t think that I can name one.
I understand that the point of movies is to entertain, but shouldn’t the point of Academy Award-winning movies be to affect change? So why are there so many non change effectors on this list of 84 best pictures? Or are they there and I am just missing something?
I often hear the phrase,”That movie/play/book changed my life!” And I do have one book that actually really and truly changed my life. Changed the way I act and react, made me aware of some of my shortcomings and prompted me to try to be and do better. I can also name one or two plays that I think really have made me a different person in a small way…but not a movie, unless you count West Side Story which helped to guide my little 13 year old self onto the path of performing arts. But that seems to be pushing it.
Am I over thinking this whole thing? Is there a movie that truly and literally changed your life? Are you going to post a movie title in the comments that will make me go ‘slap of head’ Well, duh! Of course that movie changed my life? I hope so.
For now, I’ll continue on my path to party and celebrate the movies as pure entertainment. I don’t need to change anyway. I’m perfect just the way I am….right?
So rather than pontificate, I will ask YOU a few of the questions that are currently burning in my brain…
1) Is Comic Con in Denver an appropriate end of the school year treat for my 10 year old son?
I mean, am I setting him up for future bullying and locker tossing by approving of early nerd behavior? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE nerds! I have always loved nerds! I married a nerd, but I’m a girl that figured out early that NERDS will treat you like a queen. Most nerds I knew still got thrown in lockers…..
2) Is it time to get a pet again?
I miss having Murry and I miss petting something. I know that my husband likes the freedom of not having to worry about an animal on those days we want to spend the day shopping in the big city, but….I want a bunny or a puppy. (Jake’s allergic to cats).
3) Who do I cast in my upcoming production of Carousel?
4) Should I buy these slippers?
I have been told by the foot doctor that I have plantar fasciitis. This means that I will pretty much have to always wear shoes with a slight heel. This includes slippers. Does it include THESE slippers? (Please say yes!)
I’m very sad, and every day, I am getting a little sadder. When the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School happened, I didn’t even KNOW about it until that evening. Then it took a day for me to process it all. Now as the days have turned into a week, my sadness has strengthened, and I hate to be idol or alone. On my drive to work, swimming laps, in a quiet moment at home or in a particularly annoying kid moment at home, and just about whenever I sit for five seconds, I get sadder. All I can think about is how horrible it must be to have to go through such a tragedy. I look at my beautiful, spoiled, funny, annoying, smart, and loud children, and I start to feel like I am hovering over my body, looking down upon the whole scene and I get a sense of melancholy. I am angry at all the media noise. I am angry that the people on Good Morning America are back to smiles and mindless banter. I am angry at anyone who claims that GOD is anywhere in this equation. Angry…and sad. The Christmas tree with its twinkling lights, a week ago, was the most beautiful tree we had ever had. Now, it just makes me cry when no one is looking.
I know no one in Connecticut. But I am forever connected to Sandy Hook. Somehow I feel their loss. Which sounds stupid when I type it, but this incident has dug a hole in my very being that I don’t ever want to be repaired.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow! That means that I can finally dust off ELF and LOVE ACTUALLY and watch them again and again, gorging myself on the merriment they produce. What are your favorite Christmas movies? Here are mine! (Don’t get all pissy that Grinch, Rudolph and Charlie Brown are not on this list…they are NOT movies, they are television specials!)
10: Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas
(1977) Directed by Jim Henson. A poor otter family risks everything for the chance to win the cash prize of a talent contest for Christmas. I love it just slightly more than the Muppet Christmas Carol, which unfortunately did not make it into the top 10!
9: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
(1989) I usually hate movies that are stupid just to be stupid, but I think this one has a little bit more meat, while still being hilarious. Plus, AUNT BETHANY!
8: The Nightmare Before Christmas
(1993) Tim Burton, you twisted, twisted man!
7: Home Alone
(1990) I know, I know, but it’s funny and sweet. Try not to watch it when it comes on TV. I dare you!
6: Bad Santa
(2003) Starring Billy Bob Thornton. So wrong, yet so right.
5: It’s a Wonderful Life
(1946) I quote this movie year round, from “Zuzu’s petals” to “My mouth’s bleedin’ Burt” you would think these quotes wouldn’t come up a lot, but strangely, they do!
4: Miracle on 34th Street
(1947). Starring Little Natalie Wood. A true classic about the magic of Christmas.
3: A Christmas Story
(1983) Ah Cleveland. Sometimes I miss you! (For those of you who don’t know, the movie was filmed there.)
2: Love Actually
(2003) Directed by Richard Curtis. I love to get a bottle of wine, watch this and cry after I spent the day shopping. So cathartic!
(2003)Directed by Jon Favreau. This is arguably Will Ferrell’s BEST movie.
Best year for Christmas Movies: 2003!