Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Kardashians

Unlike the sisters in my previous post, I never NEVER ever EVER thought I would be writing about the Kardashians, willingly. Sure, I figured, after three years of living in LA and still without a real job, I might have to cover them for some skeezy tabloid, where I make just enough to cover rent and my cocaine addiction. I won't actually be doing cocaine, just addicted to buying it.

Anyway, I had to write about them because I had to thank the Kardashian sisters. They have greatly helped in my identifying of a strong, female role model - in a positive way.

A couple of months ago, I stopped into the Barnes & Noble at the Grove on the way home from my internship. It's actually out of the way, but I'm in love with that place. I could spend a hundred dollars a day at Barnes & Noble, if, of course, I wasn't buying so much cocaine. But really, I love going in there, not looking for anything in particular, just looking, reading, spending time with books. Lots and lots of books.

This particular evening, the place was packed. I had never seen it this busy, and I had no idea what was going on. I went up to the third floor, where they keep all the good books. Ok, fine, all the Legos are up here too. It's also where they have book signings. That is where I got my answer.

The Kardashians wrote a book? Yes. And they were signing it that night. And hundreds of girls and gays had their copies ready and their nails did. An enormous percentage of the crowd was also composed of these conservative grandmother types in head scarves, stockings, and diabetes shoes. Those are things. I could have sworn this crowd was waiting for the Pope.

Look, I have never watched a full episode of Whatever the Kardashians' Show is Kalled. I do not understand people's infatuation with them. I do not find them interesting or, even, entertaining. But, of course, I had to wait for them to walk by, obviously. I had to see them. So, I found a spot near the elevator between the Nook display counter and an 80-year-old with one of those portable seat walkers. This spot just so happened to be Hunger Games table adjacent.

I had been meaning to read the books for about a year, but I'd never gotten around to buying them. The trailer for the movie had just come out, and I was hyped without knowing anything about the story. So, I picked up the first novel. By the time Khloe and Kourtney passed by, I was reaching the end of the first chapter...

Primrose Everdeen. Two words have never had me so hooked. I bought the book, and that was that.

Katniss (that's the name of a future Kardashian, mark my words) Everdeen. The Girl on Fire. The Mockingjay. THIS is the strong, female role model I was talking about.

I don't want to ruin the books, in case any of the three people that read this blog have not read them, but basically Katniss is a badass. She is smart. She is strong. And, yea, she hunts with a freaking bow and arrow. That is awesome.

However, she's not perfect. At times, she is selfish for the sake of self-preservation. She makes mistakes. She gets angry. She is human. She is real. That is awesome.

She is unmistakably brave. She literally sacrifices herself for the sake of her sister. For the sake of many. She loves. She nurtures. She takes care of others, but, most important, she can take care of herself. Yea, there's two guys floating around in this trilogy, but, in the words of my girl KC she's "Miss Never-let-a-man-help-her-off-her-throne." She is the hero. That is awesome.

Three books dedicated to a strong woman. That is awesome. Why don't we promote the real-life Katnisses like that? The Hillary Clintons and Michelle Obamas and Joan of Arcs and Amelia Earharts and Rosa Parksssses and Alice Pauls and Leslie Knopes (she's real to me). The daughters, the sisters, the mothers. Put them on the same pedestal we've granted the Kardashians.

So, again, and it's the last time I'll say it, "thank you, Khloe and Kim and Kourtney."

come away little lamb, come away to the water
give yourself so we might live anew
come away little lamb, come away to the slaughter
to the ones appointed to see this through

Also, if anyone wants to go see the movie with me, I'm willing to rearrange my SUPER busy schedule to pencil you in. Just today I had to switch around my 5 o'clock sock-sorting to fit in a 4:30 IMAX screening. It was my second time to see the film in under 15 hours. Send help.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Deschanels

I was recently told, by a quiz at a bread bakery in San Francisco, that I'm a "Light Rye!" A "romantic idealist." I'll be damned if that touchscreen kiosk didn't hit the nail on the head with that one. Yes, I'm sarcastic, and I think that sometimes gives off a negative vibe. Deep down, however, I'm incredibly optimistic. I'm hopeful above all else. I get worried, surely, but I've almost lived long enough to know that things will work out. My friends are going to go out and do great things. I will figure my shit out. I'm not going to die alone. We will all be happy.

Last night, from 11:45pm - 4:26am, as I was trying to fall asleep, somewhere between wiki'ing John Ritter and Sofia Vergara, "Home" by She & Him (Zooey Deschanel singing songs with a guy, ok?) kept replaying over and over in my head. I don't know how I jumped there, considering the first song I got in my head was "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." And then I started to think of something to tweet about that song, like - Does that say more about the Devil or about Georgia? Luckily, by morning, after whatever was keeping me up had evaporated from the closet I call my bedroom, I realized that made little sense and wasn't worth tweeting.

Back to She & Him. To set the record straight, and I must, my membership in the Deschanel fan club falls almost completely in the Emily category. She's an incredibly gifted actress. She's beautiful. She's smart. She's funny. She's got her shit together.

Yes, I love New Girl, and that show is nothing without Zooey. Before that, though, I was not completely sold on her acting. Her site, HelloGiggles is fun and cute, but I think it can do a better job in promoting women. She's got that awesome retro-chic thing going on, but I don't think fashion is ever a reason to throw your complete and total obsession at someone. Again, that's me. Team Emily forever.

Ah, but the songwriting and the musicianship - girlfriend's won me over. I don't want this to turn into a diatribe about music on the radio today, but, fuck it, this has already turned into my Deschanel Manifesto (the hand-written copy sits next to my Lisa Frank candles, vegan incense, and watercolor portrait of Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Basically, She & Him brings something new to the music turntable while, at the same time, paying homage to everything that is great about the old. It's original, somewhat. It's sincere, refreshingly.

Back to "Home" and my romantic idealism - like I said, I want things to work out. I like happy endings. That's why I like to write. In real life, that's why I like to map out conversations with people in my head before I see them. If you could see inside my head, you'd see me trying to "naturally" steer the conversation to certain talking points that I've already prepared so I can land a joke off-the-cuff. It's so completely on-the-cuff, you wouldn't even believe.

Back to "Home" and romantic idealism - basically, Zooey sums everything up in a just under five minutes. The "romantic" "ideal." Finding someone that is your everything. Every lyric is perfect. So, yea, right now, I'm going to write out every perfect fucking lyric. Deal with it. I have to get this off my chest and out of my brain so I can sleep tonight...

California is a great big nation of one
They never knew what they wanted 'til it was already gone
What do they do with the light in the morning when they wake up alone?
They just go home
They just go home

Yea, and maybe it's just this weird mood I've been in recently, but I do get the sense that California and its people kind of only look out for themselves. In a way, I like that. I like being alone. I thrive there. I, however, don't like being lonely. You can be alone without being lonely. You're not lonely at home - with a friend, a lover, a honey butter chicken biscuit. You get it. 

You're the nicest, nicest boy I've ever met and then
I think about you, then I think about you again
And again

Holy shit, yes. Everyone has been here. If you like someone, and especially if you love them, they are the nicest, greatest, shiniest, best thing to ever happen to you. They don't even have to know you exist, sometimes. Your whole world becomes about them. Everything reminds you of them. It's overwhelming in a good way. A really, really good way.

Why don't we just sit and stare and do nothing?
Nothing at all for a while
I like the way you smile

There's that quote from Juno that's like "find someone who thinks the sun shines out of your ass" or something. They love you. You don't have to do anything, and they love you. Everything you do is perfect. Even solar incandescence emanating from your crapper. Love is blind. Tried and true.

I could be your state, and I could be your nation
It doesn't get better than home, now does it?
It doesn't get better than home, now does it?
It doesn't get better than home, now does it?
It doesn't get better than home, now does it?
It's a comfort to me

Your state? Your nation? Where you belong. Where your heart holds citizenship. Incredible.

I could be your welcome, I could be your greeter
I could be sweet, and I could be sweeter
I want to be where your heart is home
I want to be where your heart is home
I want to be where your heart is home
It's a comfort to me

Simple. It sounds so cute when she sings it, but when you feel that way, it's not cute. It's mostly painful, again, in a good way. You "could" be all these things, but really you "will" be all these things. You "want" all these things, but really you "need" them. What's only implied here is that, when it works, everything is reciprocated. They need and want you too! What! That's got to be one of the best feelings inside the human condition. 

I want to see you with the light in the morning
There's never been such a beautiful warning to me, to me

Whereas before, the light in the morning meant you were alone, now it's a "beautiful warning." I die.

And then it repeats, and depending on my mood, I'm smiling like a fool with the windows rolled down or a blubbering mess with the blinds drawn.

Now, certainly this ideal isn't as easy to achieve in real life as it is in romantic comedies and Jane Austen novels. However, I think it feels a whole lot better in real life than it does vicariously through characters on a screen. But that's how I hope to make a living one day, so you better buy into that shit. 

Sorry for vomiting all over everything. Words.

Friday, March 16, 2012


So, I was just watching  New Girl this week, and one of the storylines LITERALLY played out like scenes from my own life.

First watch:

Now, last semester, my roommates and I developed a web series in which the characters were just dramatized, fictionalized versions of ourselves. But I have to say the line between real and not is pretty freaking narrow.

The character "Barbara," aka me, played out like this:

and finally...

(Side note: we wrote four episodes of that web series, shot two, and have one finished. We suck at acting, so don't expect to see these.)

Should I be upset that I am basically an obsessive, weird, douchey, absurd, male fictional character? No! Because trash furniture is the most disgusting thing, and everyone should know that it does not belong in a household where humans are present. 

And, while I'm on this soapbox:

1. Ketchup belongs in small amounts on your plate. It is not to be eaten straight out of the packet. It does not belong all dried up and chunky on the inside of the cap. It is not eaten off of a napkin. And it certainly does not belong on the table, chair, floor, or clothes. If that happens you should throw up immediately and then go take a shower in bleach.

2. Food trash does not go in a trash can without a bag in it. Seriously. If food touches the side of the trash can, unprotected, then the can should be burned. Immediately.

3. Silverware does not touch the table. Ever. There had better be a napkin in between your fork and the table. If not, put it on a sugar packet. Take that little paper ring off your paper napkin and rest it there. Otherwise, you might as well lick the table. If you do that, throw up immediately.

Don't get me started on spills and crumbs and toothpaste and drool... so help me.

And, yes, people's things belong in people's halves of the shelf and the dresser and the cabinet and the drawers and the room.


Was I supposed to take a different lesson from this whole thing? That maybe I should address the fact that I act like Schmidt. That maybe that is the problem, and not the other way around? That my behavior is so absurd it was fictionalized for the camera?

Oh, no wait, just finished watching New Girl, and Schmidt's personality actually saves the day. So, to everyone, everywhere - YOU'RE WELCOME.

On a completely different note... "Well, someone has to come in last." - Me, about my NCAA brackets. There's no delusions of grandeur here, my friends.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Liz Meriwether

First thing's first: Paley Fest is absolutely the greatest thing ever. Panels about television. Check plus plus, will do business again.

The New Girl panel was tonight. The show was created by Elizabeth Meriwether, who's sort of this chic mess. Who's sort of barely thirty years old. Who's sort of this really funny writer with like a hit television series and stuff.

So, on the ride home I was sort of in tears, almost sick to my stomach. I want to write for television. I WANT TO WRITE FOR TELEVISION.

Let's make it happen, people. I've been writing every day for a while now, but now it's time to WRITE every day.

So, this post was mostly for me, but I had to get it out there. I'm sure it will get worse these next two weeks. There's plenty of panels left to go to. In the mean time, back to No Strings Attached, another brainbaby of Liz Meriwether, you young, talented bastard.