Saturday, November 12, 2011

Grateful Scott

I'm feeling sort of hungover from an art closing party/dance marathon last night, so I'm going to take it slow this morning. I've said before that list entries are the refuge of the lazy, but when the seasons change, and my parents have been especially kind lately, sometimes it's good for the soul to take stock of what I'm grateful for.

Which include...

...DMX. Yeah, I said it. He was never an amazing MC, and what I remember most about DMX was my bestie Rachel, in high school, being sort ironically/not ironically at all obsessed with "Party Up," his indisputably catchy anthem. There's something for everyone, including a call-and-response for everyone to meet him outside, but she was fond of spitting the song's hilarious dis "I love my baby mama, I never let her go," like, fifty times a day. Mister Boyfriend and I went to New York a few weeks ago, and after a trip to the Tenement Museum, we stopped into a hole-in-the-wall Southern barbecue joint for pulled pork sandwiches. The guys in the kitchen were blaring DMX's greatest hits. And you know what? It was all sorts of perfect.
...Yo, Is This Racist?, a new blog where people write in and ask the anonymous blogger/guru if something is racist. It's amazing: hilarious, thought-provoking, not claiming to be at any level of special expertise beyond "human being who is paying attention," and it also exposed me to the adorable video of the infant who loves Biggie Smalls. I'm sure the whole thing will either collapse in on the meta questions of racist/not-racist at some point, but for now, it's a super-fun read. Also, the swears make things really funny. parents. Those two people are just outrageous: they give pep talks, they give action plans, they listen, they treat me nice with dinners out, my mom makes amazing granola and banana breakfasts, my dad brought me super thoughtful gifts from his trip to Australia, in generally they are two of the nicest, most generous, most hilarious people I could ask for in my life, and it's a marvel that I get to know them. Parents! Man!

...this bootie trend that Toronto girls are all over right now. I've been seeing all these wedge bootie-heels on girls all over town, and just drooling. The other girls all have booties made from ostrich skin and mine are felt. I don't even care. I feel fashionable. I got myself a pair of thirty-dollar heels in one of those cheap mall stores where people just try on the dresses over their sweaters because, like, whatever: the dress costs about six dollars and if it doesn't fit, you can just put it out on the side of the road for some other girl to pick up. boyfriend. One of my girlfriends and I were chatting and she said, "I'm not a good communicator - I think or feel something, and then think that, if someone loves me and I drop subtle hints, they should be able to read my mind. And when that doesn't happen, I get disappointed and doubt that they love me." I was like GIRL WHAT YES VIGOROUS NODDING. Last night, two of my girls were like, "I'm moving in with my boyfriend!" and while I am super-happy for them, it's tough to avoid playing the comparison game with my own relationship, which is nowhere near being ready for cohabitation. But I love him, and when I get down on myself for not "being there yet," he's quick (and right) to point out that our time is not their time. Most of the time, he's not even a dick about it, which would be easy.

...cacti. Unless normal plants, these fuckers thrive under my half-hearted care. Makes me feel good.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Scrubbing The Community Out Of Your Mother's Office

I'll admit it: I get way too involved in TV people's lives. When Michael Scott left The Office, I was like, I'll cry at that. Hell, when Jim and Pam got married in their crappy Niagara falls romp where it seemed like the only people they knew were from their workplace (which they're ambivalent towards) and Pam had bridesmaids we'd never seen before, and she was pregnant and Dwight, I think, punched one of those bridesmaid in the face by accident? I cried. I won't even pretend I didn't cry, and to make it worse, I totally watched it at the university library, standing up at a kiosk, as other non-internet chumps sighed and shifted from foot to foot. That damned Chris Brown song? Oh, brothers and sisters, I bawled.

I mean, I know what my limits are: I never asked for The Rachel, and I don't follow fictional people on Twitter. That's just weird. But I do overanalyze certain TV shows - The Office, Community, Walking Dead, How I Met Your Mother - because, hell, if I'm going to spend half an hour a week with those people for years, I might as well invest. That's more time than I spend with a lot of my friends.

My mom's the same way: she cried when Michael Scott left the office. My sister? Totally teary when Rachel got off the plane to be all, "I love you, Ross!" at the end of Friends. I am fully aware that if and when Ted Mosby finally ever meets his blasted wife, that show had better recognize that there's a mondo emotional payoff in the works. I'm talking about one of those only on TV, Kardashian-style weddings that totally undercuts Ted's profession as either an architect or a professor (why give your leading man one dorky-yet-sexy job when you can give him two?) when they marry Ted off in a gazebo at the edge of space. Let's face it, by the time young master Mosby actually finds, courts, proposes to, has the inevitable sitcom staple of cold feet regarding, and marries the mother, those kids he's talking to in the episode intros are going to be toddlers. (Actually, how awesome would that be: "Psych! I'm not your real dad! Now go get me a beer." Future Ted might be sort of a jerk.)

In the past, people had to set their VCRs and record their shows if they made real-world plans with their real-world friends. Now, with the invention of the PVR and streaming/downloading online, we can tap into any episode from any season pretty much instantaneously. Classic moments can be revisited, Halloween costumes can be impeccably replicated, and lines can be quoted from here until the end of time. If I want to binge on a particular show, I just buy the DVDs and sloth around my apartment for a few days. After a while, it's not a long shot to say that I'm emotionally invested in those character's lives. After a particularly awful few days in the summer, my boyfriend went out and bought Scrubs - like, a lot of Scrubs - which sort of helped distract and ease the pain.

In the time of the instant, constant access, I sometimes need to remember to see my real friends. Usually, when I don't see a friend for a couple weeks, it's a scheduling thing - folks are busy! We wake up at noon! Sometimes, we don't leave our neighbourhoods for months at a time. But nobody's busy 24/7, and sometimes I want a night in to get caught up with favourite characters - ones that might be called friends if they were real. Studies have shown that watching a favourite TV show often triggers the same neurochemical reaction that hanging out with real friends does: relaxation, good dopamine levels, good cheer. I'm definitely not saying that you should go out and replace your Thursday night knitting circle with a shelf full of DVDs. But the next time someone blows me off to catch up on a show, I'm going to give them a knowing smile.