Tuesday, October 16, 2007

all you need is love, plus a couple other things

I was thinking this weekend about the various ways in which I would like to be a different kind of person. Not big ways, because hey, I’m 30 and along with the fine lines comes a healthy sense of self. But some significant little ways.

1. adios, perez hilton

First, I would like to waste time in more intelligent ways. B’s idea of a lazy Sunday was reading The Economist on the stationary bike or trolling the internet for coupons. That’s so productive it borders on crazy, but I wish I could at least watch movie trailers and look for upcoming concerts like AK rather than boning up on celebrity gossip and seeing which friends have posted new pictures to their MySpace pages. For example, I can tell you that a girl I was only actually friends with for about six weeks recently went to Buenos Aires and took pictures of Evita’s dress. Why must that take up space in my brain?

I believe all this is a negative side effect of having semi-successfully transformed my hobbies into a job—I like to go to arty events, and now attending readings is part of my day job. I like to write, and now I moonlight as a novelist. Despite being unpaid and marginally published, I take the latter gig seriously enough that it doesn’t feel like relaxation.

So all that’s left when I want to kill time is the stuff no one would ever pay me to do, stuff involving magazines, blogs and large bowls of cereal. Actually, I realize people have paying gigs related to all of these things, and there was even a time when I was paid to watch TV (during which I hated watching TV). So maybe the real issue is that I have a very large stupidity lobe in my brain that needs to be nurtured regularly.

2. hola, whomever

Second, I would like to be more outgoing. I had this thought after buying a bowl of laksa (bright yellow coconut soup swimming with tofu and fish balls) from Singapore’s Banana Leaf at the Farmer’s Market yesterday.

“I didn’t want to be that person who was like, ‘Hey! I went to Singapore!’ because that’s not a real conversation,” I told AK as I sat down at the table where she was eating jambalaya from the Cajun-Creole-Chinese-Italian joint. “But the girl who worked there looked Malay and was really nice and asked me about my tattoo, and if I were a person like Ryan or Alberto, I know I could have eventually segued the conversation into, ‘I’m writing a book about Malaysia—can I ask you a couple of questions about that general part of the world?’”

3. i don’t count this as time-wasting because it cost $8.75

There was nothing to be done about it, though, so we finished our lunch and saw Across the Universe across the street at the Grove. Plot-wise, it wasn’t so different from that 1999 TV miniseries The Sixties, and I had hardly been craving a montage of archetypal characters that captured the spirit of a decade whose spirit has been captured many, many times. But if such a movie must be made, Julie Taymor is the one to do it. The movie is as visually lush as the arrangements of the Beatles’ music are spare, with a nice blend of conceptual, puppet-laden numbers and sweet solo croonings.

I also now have a medium-sized crush on T.V. Carpio, who plays a queer cheerleader turned circus performer (I mean, how could I not?) and sings the loveliest version of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” I’ve ever heard.

It was interesting seeing such a big, broad, gorgeous movie after reading American Woman, which covered much of the same territory in a completely opposite way: intimate, quiet, painted with tiny pointillist brush strokes, nearly 400 pages. Both Taymor and Susan Choi know how to make the best of their forms.


Prince Gomolvilas said...

As I have alwasy said, lesbians and Beatles songs are a winning combination.

Cheryl said...

I will now start saying it too, until the gospel has spread across all the land.