Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Maybe I'm just jealous of her hot (underaged) boyfriend...we'll never really know

There is a channel we get in my apartment and it’s called something like “Palladia”. It’s all very unclear, but it plays concerts, performances, etc. Sometimes you get super lucky and get to watch Celine Dion smack herself in the chest in Vegas, other times you get Coldplay and their monotone, sleep inducing music, but SOMETIMES…you get the MTV VMAs and get to watch the Kanye and Taylor debacle over again. I got lucky last night, you guys. And now:

Things I Noticed This Time Around That I Missed Due To The Shock:

1. Taylor Lautner is presenting the award to his girlfriend! And at the time, I don’t know how long they’d been dating, but can we say awkward? Also, she hugs him and he almost recoils from her touch, the whole thing makes me want to be anywhere but watching these two interact. After all, she’s all atwitter over her award and he’s nervous that something will happen and she’ll write a song about it and use his name. And in MERE MOMENTS, a crazy man will ruin her speech.

2. Taylor Swift just kind of hands the microphone to Kanye. Were I accepting an award on national television and a crazy man with awful hair and indoor sunglasses approached me for my microphone, I might kick him, I might punch him, but I would not hand over my microphone.

3. Where does Taylor think she is? The Grammys? WHAT IS SHE WEARING? It’s pretty, but these are the VMAs, you don’t wear long, glittering gowns. Look around you, darling. Who styled you? Fire them. There is a time for the gown you are wearing. It is not right now.

In other Taylor news…

Before arriving home yesterday, I was listening to a lot of Carrie Underwood to get in the mood for her Christmas special (shut your mouth). If you’ve ever listened to a lot of Carrie Underwood at once (and I will assume all of you have), you know that she can get kind of heavy after a while and you need something lighter to balance. I chose Taylor, because if ever there was a lighter balance, it is Taylor Swift. Even her “serious” songs are light, or at least they are to me, because I’m not fifteen, in high school, and lusting after seniors. ANYWAY, I love Taylor, but I was listening to “Fifteen” and “You Belong To Me” yesterday and I had some thoughts. What better place to share my thoughts than here…with all of you…

'Cause when you're fifteen and somebody tells you they love youYou're gonna believe them

This is supposed to evoke an “aw, puppy love” response, but let us pause and reflect. Why do you believe them? When I was fifteen, I think I would have believed the sky would be green tomorrow before I believed that some guy loved me. Seriously. It’s high school. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but I’m saying that if you’re gullible to just believe whatever the guy you’re dating is saying to you, you have some personal growing to do.

And your momma's waiting up and you're thinking he's the one

You are FIFTEEN. How late are you out? Why is your mom “waiting up”? Is your dad not waiting up too? Because mine would be, with his shotgun by his side. Because I am FIFTEEN in this story. Did no one else have strict parents who would have laughed if you said, “Sooo, this 18 year old guy picking me up and we’ll be back around 11:30”? I did. And thank goodness for it.

But in your life you'll do things greater than
Dating the boy on the football team
But I didn't know it at fifteen

Really, Taylor. You didn’t know that at fifteen? If your biggest ambition in life at fifteen was dating the boy on the football team, I don’t think we can be friends.

Back then I swore I was gonna marry him someday

OMG. Stop. Just stop.

But I realized some bigger dreams of mine

Just in time because…

And Abigail gave everything she had to a boy
Who changed his mind and we both cried

And we all know, once a girl is not a virgin anymore, she has nothing left to give.


Clearly, the song is catchy and I sing along to every word, but geeze. I’m not worried about the effect this has on my own psyche, I’m pretty well-formed in my opinions by now. But is this what has happened to fifteen year old girls? I don’t think so. I know some fifteen year old girls and they are sharper than this tomfoolery. I don’t think I was an atypical teenager. Or am I wrong? Did you girls all think you were in LOVE in high school? I just don’t understand how this song is as relatable as her record sales indicate.

Now, I have two younger brothers. They’re 22 and hilarious. Last year, one of them saw the movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You” and proclaimed that every girl should have to watch it at least five times a year, every year, from the time she is 9 until forever. I thought it was a stupid movie, but in general it tried to portray the idea that if someone likes you, then they will make it happen, if they don’t make it happen, then they probably don’t dig you and your stuff. Clearly, Taylor has never seen this movie, or if she did, she missed the lesson in its entirety. Let us turn our hymnals to the song “You Belong With Me” and see what I mean:

You're on the phone with your girlfriend,
She's upset
She's going off about something that you said
She doesn’t get your humor like I do

I'm in the room, its a typical Tuesday night
I'm listening to the kind of music she doesn’t like
And she'll never know your story like I do

These first two verses make me think a couple of things. Taylor, how do you know what they’re arguing about? Creepy McCreeperson.

If you could see that I'm the one who understands you
Been here all along so why can't you see?
You belong with me You belong with me

Taylor. He knows. Or rather, he knows that you like him. Because if you’re writing this song, I can only imagine how you interact with him in person. And boys play a good game of pretending they don’t know, but they do. We’ve all been there, sweetie. You’re friends with someone, you become better friends, and you develop a massive crush on them. It’s normal. And usually, it passes, so resist the urge to write a song and give it a few weeks. It’s what happens when attractive young people are put into situations together. But really, he is your friend. It’s fun to idealize a possible relationship, but how long do you think things will remain like this if you date:

Walkin the streets with you in your worn out jeans
I can’t help thinking this is how it ought to be
Laughing on the park bench thinkin to myself
Hey isn’t this easy?

Oh I remember you driving to my house in the middle of the night
I'm the one who makes you laugh when you know you're about to cry
I know your favorite songs and you tell me about your dreams
I think I know where you belong. I think I know it's with me.

Here’s a hint: Things will change. Why? Because we have different expectations for our friends and our significant others (or at least you should). The same behaviors you find quirky and adorable in a friend quickly become things you hate in a SO. There isn’t a guy or girl out there, myself included, who hasn’t looked at a good friend and thought about it, but you don’t actually make it happen. Learn to have a platonic relationship with a boy. There, more personal growth homework for you. Also, why is he about to cry? Are you secretly dating Tim Tebow and Taylor Lautner? Lautner deserves so much better than that.

Hey, Whatcha doing with a girl like that?

We all know what he’s doing with a girl like that, and so do you. Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answers to.

She wears high heels, I wear sneakers

Take some pointers from her here, please. Thanks.

Standin’ by, waiting at your back door
All this time how could you not know that?

Don’t wait by his back door. You are increasing the level of creepy and no one wants that. You know who else skulked around back doors? Ted Bundy. Not a good role model. At. All.

Interestingly, I still like Taylor Swift. I feel like she has other redeeming qualities and I do genuinely enjoy the music (even if I have to ignore large parts of my belief systems when I listen to it). I toyed with the idea of not posting this, but I went through all the effort of italicizing stuff…I’ll try to post something nicer this week (unlikely).

Monday, December 7, 2009

FDR was right...it lives in infamy...

It’s Pearl Harbor day, ladies and gentlemen. This is going to sound weird, but I really like Pearl Harbor day. I absolutely regret that Pearl Harbor had to happen, that 2,200 people died today 68 years ago, and that so many are still trapped inside the tomb that the Arizona has become. But Pearl Harbor was a wake up call. I think we all have our own views on the US intervening in the affairs of other countries, but if ever there was a time to be meddlesome, it was in the forties in Germany, Japan, the Pacific, etc. In a lot of ways, Pearl Harbor was the 9/11 of a generation. People all across the country enlisted the next day not knowing what the government’s plan for the war was, really. And years later, some of them got to come home, knowing that they had helped stop awful things from happening to innocent people. So maybe it’s weird to think about today as hopeful, and maybe it’s naïve of me to believe that the wars we’re in now can be resolved with finality like wars of the past. But even as the world gets smaller and the politics get more complicated, part of me hangs on to the idea that we’ll find a way to make it better. And with that here’s an article about a Pearl Harbor vet going back for the first time today and my favorite part of the FDR Infamy Speech:

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

Serous time is over. So I had a nice weekend of calm. I had dinner with an old friend (I’ve known her for nearly FIFTEEN years, which is insane) in town for grad school stuff and it was absolutely lovely to see her. We caught up on life, boys, school, family, etc. Sometimes it is just so nice to have that little piece of “home” pop up in your life. Her friends were super nice too, which is always a plus. Except one of them tried to convince me I was dressed appropriately for the K Street Lounge. Excuse me sir, I have on UGGS, do not let the big earrings fool you, this is not lounge-apparel. And do not try to convince me it’s fine as if I don’t live here and know very well what is not acceptable.

Other than that I watch a lot of movies, which was the plan. After last weekend, I just wanted to hang out on my couch, sleep a lot, and watch the Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family. (I know, I know. Sarah, why don’t you own the movies. I am WAITING people, for ALL of them. I want to buy the obnoxious box set that will surely be released with all kinds of delicious movie extras. I live for the extras on DVDs.) And watch Harry Potter I did. A lot of Harry Potter. I haven’t watched the old movies in quite a while so I was able to appreciate, yet again, how magnificently Rowling gave us little pieces of information that seemed so unimportant at the time that turned out to be HUGE.

The other thing that happened on Saturday…well, Internet, I don’t know if you know, but Alabama kicked the Gators’ asses and told their mommas about it on Saturday. The game was nice to watch. I sometimes like to watch football alone. I can focus, I can yell without judgment, and I can do little celebration dances without feeling like I’m rubbing salt into my Gator roommate’s wounds (hey, Allie!). And I was happy that Alabama had beaten them so soundly when IT happened. In case you don’t know, Tim Tebow cries when he loses. Now to be fair, this was the second time in two years that he’s lost a game, so I’m only going on a very small sample of information, but it’s true he cries. It would be one thing if he hadn’t cried after the Ole Miss game last year, because truly, it wasn’t a season-ending game. Crying was a little much. Or, had he just shed a few tears, or been a little choked up for this game, because the SEC championship is arguably a big deal, that would have been acceptable. But the open crying. I’m all for boys expressing emotion and crying if they need to, but for goodness’s sake, don’t do it on national television. For one, I’ve spoken about girls crying in public here before, and the same rules apply to boys, because crying, for the most part, is a private activity! And two, I just feel so AWKWARD when he cries. I don’t know where to look, what to do, how to react. And you know, it makes the Gator loss a little less satisfactory because he is crying and now parts of my FEEL BAD. You know what I don’t like? Feeling bad for Gators. So,you there, Tim Tebow. Stop your crying. Your ridiculous eye black now just looks like mascara running (shoutout to Beth for that line) all down your face. And all I can think to do is give you some make up remover and a kick in the ass.

And now, Sunday, you guys. Do you know what was happening on TNT this Sunday? The played ALL THREE Lord of the Rings movies, back to back. I missed the first one, I got up to late. But I surely did watch the second and third ones as my secondary channel all day. I really like Lord of the Rings. In fact, Allie has not seen any of the films so she would ask little questions here and there. That’s cool, because you know what I LOVE to talk about? Lord of the Rings. I know. I’m not really ashamed of it either because it’s just so damn cool. Tolkien created a WORLD, you guys (he really created more than one, but we’ll stick with Middle Earth). With languages. And cultures. And history. And politics. Anyway, my favorite question from Allie over the course of the day was:

Allie: Why can’t he just build a fire in his backyard and melt that ring there?

Anyway, the point of my story is that I will be rewatching Lord of the Rings this holiday season. All three. On DVD, not on TV. There’s just something about them that says, “Christmas.” It’s probably because they came out on Christmas day for three years. So part of enjoying Christmastime this year will be watching Lord of the Rings. If you want in, let me know, we’ll make a thing of it.

Finally, I have a friend who is doing this on her little piece of the Internet. I don’t know if I believe in things like The Secret or Abraham-Hicks or The Laws of Attraction, but I DO know that her gratitude lists in the morning are a good way to get centered every morning. And today, I actually have a little list of my own:

Things that don’t suck I am grateful for:
1. The view of DC in the morning on the metro bridge from Pentagon to L’Enfant
2. The coat that keeps me warm on cold mornings
3. Seeing my family for Christmas
4. Liking my family enough to want to see them for Christmas
5. A job with work I like and people I like

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A little word vomit for you this morning...

Before too much time passes and Thanksgiving becomes irrelevant, I have some things to share about my weekend. Here is a list of things that may or may not have happened. I really can’t be sure. I can be sure that I had an absolutely fantastic time in Michigan. (I know! MICHIGAN! I didn’t see this one coming, guys!) I know that it was a really great time because I wrote thank you notes yesterday and got stamps. If I were a grown up, I would always do this step super quickly, but, I won’t lie, sometimes it falls by the wayside. Not these thank you notes, no sir.

1. My best friend and I might have done part of the Single Ladies dance at the wedding reception. In unison. With her father behind us as a back up dancer waving his hands back and forth. No, there’s no video, so don’t ask. Mostly, I’m impressed, not with our ability to learn fifteen counts of eight that morning and perform under the influence of an open bar, but with her dad’s ability to Beyonce-it-up with two replacement knees and one replacement hip. You go, Joe!

2. Oh yeah, there was a wedding! There was Thanksgiving, a wedding, and then a night of bars. It’s always good to test yourself and see how many nights you can party and survive. This way you always know where you stand.

3. Ann Arbor is a whore. Apparently, this is what Michigan haters say when they play Michigan in football. I like it. It’s colorful and purposeful.

4. There might have been a bar offering dollar drafts and dollar rail drinks. Instead of sticking with drafts and being smart, I started drinking rail-quality whiskey. I think the undergrad bar we were in transformed me into a 19 year-old who didn’t know how to drink. This may have been the worst decision of 2009. I like to think about the best and worst decisions of the year, and this is, for sure, top five.

5. Someone might have been serenaded while drinking her rail whiskey with classic songs like Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby.” The specific song escapes me, but I feel like it was something off of the Daydream album.

6. Billy Ocean plays in my head on repeat. This has been going on for FIVE DAYS. HELP ME.

Moving on.

Sometimes I have thoughts that I don’t feel like working out into full posts, and so instead I offer you nuggets of wisdom, wit, or crazy. Assign tags as you wish.

1. Everyone is freaking out about 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan. And a lot of the ones freaking out on the news are Republicans. What’s annoying is that were it McCain, no one would be questioning the decision. Obama and I don’t live on many of the same ideological pages, but he’s not an idiot. I also recognize that he has information that most people don’t have. Frankly, politicians have to have really big reasons to do unpopular things. So I would just like for everyone to stop freaking out about this. Not only is there nothing you can do about it, most of you don’t even argue intelligently. And it bothers me.

2. I’ve been tweeting about this a lot, but there’s something about 140 characters that limits my rant in ways I don’t like. It is officially Christmastime now and nowhere is it more obvious than on television commercials, specifically mall jewelry store commercials. In general, when Kay Jewelers (I like to make fun of Kay the most, I don’t know why) commercials come on, I shield my eyes, because really, why are we ruining perfectly good gems like this, but I digress. Part of my hate is that I really like jewelry. In a sick way. In fact, my friends’ boyfriends, fiancées, and husbands all rue the day I influenced the girls’ tastes (ahem – sorry, Mike). Why? Because I see jewelry as a good way to distinguish oneself from the crowd, which means that I tend to not be a fan of commercials hoisting the same five items onto America. But really, back to the point. I’ve begun to imagine ways to make these commercials. Wouldn’t you much prefer to see the two ice skaters skate around, cut to the man with a ring in his pocket, BUT THEN cut to Tanya Harding and her man skulking up the path to the pond combined with a crack beginning to form in the ice, and then a dramatic cut to a black screen? MUCH BETTER than the almost falling, being caught, and then given a ring. Or the guy who is dating the deaf girl and is apologizing for not being able to sign very well yet. I just feel like there is a TON of unexplored comedy in that situation that I would prefer to just watching her get an ugly watch.

3. I’d forgotten about the annual run of weddings and engagements during this time of the year. The girly part of me I don’t talk about much gets jealous, and then the practical side reminds her that I have a hard time committing to dinner plans in two weeks, let alone one person forever (yes, I’m old-fashioned enough to believe in one person forever, SHUT UP). I think mostly I get jealous of the wedding, because I love a good party, but the marriage part doesn’t interest me as much. Can we say, “Signs you shouldn’t get married anytime soon”? Alas, I was reminded yesterday that growing up is something that happens, but I think baby steps. Like keeping a boyfriend for a whole year, instead of losing interest six months in. See, I set goals for myself!

4. I’m working on some party mixes for New Year’s Eve and then a weekend-long party things and I’m curious about what people love to hear and hate to hear at parties like this. So I need your help. I know there are only six of you who read this semi-regularly, but I want your opinions, dammit. So either email me or leave a comment with the following:

Song that makes me want to shake it:

Song that makes me want to attack the next button on the iPod:

Song that makes me want to take a nap:

Song everyone loves that I hate:

Song everyone hates that I love:

Feel free to make up more categories. And a fair warning to you all, if the name Sufjan Stevens appears on this blog in any way other than this reference, I will judge you. I think the name Sufjan is ridiculous. Ridiculous enough to keep me away from his music forever.

5. What other things do you like to happen at New Year’s Eve parties? I have to eat twelve grapes at midnight. It’s a Latin thing. I know some people eat black-eyed peas. That’s a Southern thing. What else have you got?