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Showing posts from May, 2011

church of the motorcycle

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Last night our book club met to discuss Unfamiliar Fishes , Sarah Vowell’s book about missionaries in Hawaii in the 19 th century. My official review will go up when I post my May reads in a couple of days. My unofficial review is: meh. But the evening itself will go down as our most on-theme yet (with our zombie -themed World War Z book club coming in a close second). We had some sort of Vietnamese catfish called swai (if that’s not an unfamiliar fish, I don’t know what is), Spam musubi, macaroni salad, pineapple upside-down cake, mochi cake, coconut pudding and mai tais. It was plate lunch at its proudest. We even had a small child with a Hawaiian (and Japanese) name. Kohana was about twice as big as when I saw her last, which was half her lifetime ago. It was fun to play with her—she gives high fours and makes farting sounds with her mouth now. Sometimes I think I have all this angst toward babies. Hanging out with a real one (especially the kind that appears never to c

bad story, good story

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I spent most of this week making a terrible movie pitch to an evil director in my head: Unsuspecting girl goes into the basement. Something lurks there. It’s been waiting all this time. If she’d known, she would have done things differently. Poor unsuspecting girl. Except the girl does suspect, because she is me, and a part of her floats outside herself at all times, narrating horrific outcomes. The fact that she’s a convincing storyteller is biting her in the ass because she’s believing the worst possible stories she can imagine. And she feels guilty about it because the world is full of people actually living those outcomes or worse. What is the difference between something being real and something being in your head? Probably a lot. Definitely a lot. But when you’re in the bubble of your car screaming along to a musical about in-your-head-awfulness, that difference shrinks just a little bit. And that, my friends, is post-semi-traumatic anxiety in a nutshell. I’m going to try not

don't go swimming in the indian ocean; osama's head gone be poppin out the water

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From now on, I'm going to get all my news from M.A.R., as she calls herself. This girl covers it all: international news, sports, weather and human interest stories. Including but not limited to such topics as: where not to swim if you don't want to encounter Osama bin Laden's remains just how hot it is in Cali, Hawthorne, Santa Clarita or wherever you wanna be whether or not the cheerleaders know how to do their cheers who needs to get laid what mints to invest in if you're going to see your lady and you have stinky-ass breath M.A.R. is also an investigative journalist, as demonstrated by her probing video "Girls:) Question," in which she polls females at her school about same-sex attraction. I would definitely brand her an advocacy journalist, however: There is a correct answer to this question, as Sandy "who's single but talking to someone" and other friends find out.

something old, something new

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Apparently all one has to do to round up friends on an otherwise lazy Sunday is say, “We’re going to see Bridesmaids . Want to come?” That snagged Christine, Jody and Holly, and almost Emily, until she had some sort of emergency involving a chicken pot pie. There has been much debate in the media over the very important question: Is Bridesmaids the chick equivalent of The Hangover ? And the corollary question: Is Bridesmaids Sex and the City plus puke? The studio is playing up the raunch factor in the marketing, so you can’t really blame anyone for thinking the answers are yes and yes. (This backfired in the case of one radio reviewer I heard, who all but said, “Chicks should be hot, not gross.” And this was NPR, not KROQ .) The posters also depict all the bridesmaids in hot pink satin dresses that don’t appear in the film. For a really good movie, the marketing team is certainly acting like it has a lot to hide. But I guess that’s what you have to do to sell a nice, uncontroversial

your presence in my neighborhood is an incentive to stay inside and bank online

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(Given the recent onslaught of heart-on-sleeve posts, I’m feeling the need to write about something pop culture. So, cue Jerry Seinfeld voice: What’s up with bank ads?) On the radio, a fake traffic report featured the following (paraphrased) dialogue: GUY: It’s slow-and-go on the 405 this morning and a little sluggish on the 10— WOMAN: What about the 271? GUY: What do you mean? WOMAN: There’s the 110 and the 215 and now the 271—that’s how many locations US Bank has in Southern California! Chase and Bank of America have similar ads, though I’ve mostly just seen billboard versions . Chase’s are plastered with palm trees tinted Chase blue, and B of A’s feature the same lame freeway jokes when touting “the 572” or however many ATMs they have around town. There’s also one featuring a guy saying, “Now I can bank online while I wait at the food truck!” You can practically see right through the billboard to a table of executives—in New York or Beijing or wherever banks are headquart

tea and empathy

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I was going to say that having lost both my mom and babies-to-be makes me feel like a single person on Valentine’s Day today, except I lost three people, so it’s kind of like being a polyamorous widow on Valentine’s Day. Taking in ads for flowers and brunch specials,* I pitied myself hard. Some people had moms! Some people had babies! How was it even remotely fair to have neither?! Then I kind of started laughing at the pathetic figure I’d created for myself. Then I cried some more. Then I worked on some adoption paperwork, which, I’ve learned from AK’s psychology program, is called “sublimation” and is considered one of the healthier defense mechanisms, thank you very much. Nicole and her sister Vanessa decided to host a Motherless Mother’s Day high tea, which felt like a nice respite—“the first Mother’s Day I’ve looked forward to in eight years,” said Cathy, who came too. They took it seriously: I kept getting very specific texts from Nicole like, “Can you bring a box of

loftiness, existential crises and what i read in april

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Pedro and Stephen just moved into a new loft in what I’m pretty sure is the exact building my friend Miah lived in until a few months ago. Maybe the building managers have a quota of sweet, stylish gay boys they have to maintain. We ate panini and fancy desserts from Bottega Louie at their place last night, and I admired how, when they have objects that don’t fit into their closets, they put them in giant matching tupperware containers. Over at our place, we put them in a pile. A neat pile, but still. Stephen is excited about our current book club selection, Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell. “I guess we probably shouldn’t talk about it too much before book club,” he said, with a sneaky expression that suggested he’d be down to break the taboo if we were. But Pedro, AK and I hadn’t read it yet, so no rules were defied. I have a lot to read in May: Fishes , a student thesis, two adoption books. I’m pretty excited about all of them, actually, but this is quickly turning into one of