Saturday, December 20, 2008

jump starting my mind grapes

So I realize that my last few blog posts have been a little, how should I say, weepy. Unfortunately weepiness is one of the known side effects of leaving a place like Charleston, that and a lot of navel gazing, melancholy, angst if you will. But I swear that from here on out you will find me in far better spirits, well at least until something new depresses me/angers me/brings out the angst ridden, emo kid in me again. But let's just hope that will not be for a long, long time. And in an effort to clear out my drama juices (apologies, that sounds gross), I thought I'd just go ahead and do a little conscious streaming, a jumble of random thoughts and moments, a sort of jump starting of the mind grapes (to borrow a phrase from Jack Donaghy). So here goes.

-The movie Clue was on tv today and I cannot tell you how obsessed I was with this film when I was little. I have no idea why, because I don't think I could have gotten even half of the jokes. I think I just really liked the part below where Tim Curry runs around like a maniac reenacting how the murders must have went down. Or maybe I just really loved the board game? But I was pleasantly surprised to find that unlike many of my favorite movies from childhood (anything featuring cinematic legend Jonathan Taylor Thomas springs to mind), Clue really stood the test of time. I mean how can a movie not be awesome when it features the brilliance that is Michael McKean (see Spinal Tap, For Your Consideration, Best in Show). Also Tim Curry is freaking hilarious, like so funny it's almost disappointing that not all of his roles have allowed him to show off what an amazing comedic talent he is. Plus there's murder, mystery, death by candlestick, singing telegrams. Really it's just all good, campy, ludicrous fun.

-I made the terrible mistake of walking by PetSmart on my way to Barnes and Noble today. And you know what happens at PetSmart on Saturdays? Poor, adorable puppies from shelters are put on display for the sole intent of breaking every single passerby's heart. Okay well maybe the point is for the poor, adorable puppies to find homes, but it just kills me. Not only were most of these dogs wearing doggie sweaters because of how cold it was but they all had their oh so sad "stories" written up on signs hanging on their cages. And of course every single story just makes you want to adopt every last one of these dogs and make it your sole purpose in life to prevent them from ever having to experience anything unpleasant or painful ever again. There were two beagle-y brothers named Fonzie and Howie and they just destroyed me with their sweetness and cuteness, not to mention they had the saddest story ever that I won't even share because it will break your heart. Let's just say it took a lot to pry myself away, and the second I have the means to take care of a dog I will go to PetSmart on a Saturday and rescue one of these poor little guys. It did make me very happy to see an "adopted" sign on one cage with a cute little boxerish mix, and it is my dearest hope that every single one of those dogs finds a home where they will be loved and pampered and spoiled to within an inch of their lives. And I wish only bad karma on their previous owners who should all be in jail.

-I'm watching Love Actually on tv right now, and no matter how many times I've seen it I can never get over Laura Linney or Emma Thompson. The giddy, hopeful look on Laura Linney's face when she first dances with her office crush, her resigned sorrow at the end, Emma Thompson's moment alone in the bedroom when she realizes her husband is involved on some level with another woman, and then the way she pulls herself together right before she faces her kids-these two women just blow me away with their performances. In a sprawling ensemble of very talented actors, they do so much with only a handful of scenes. Oh and random side note-hello January Jones aka Betty Draper from Mad Men! She's one of the American floozies in the bar in Wisconsin, and it is so weird to see her in this. She's doing that thing with her face, what is it, oh that's right, smiling. You see, it took me a second to place it because it is not an expression that Betty normally or ever wears.

-I'm in the last stages of the Great Flea War of 2008. Now that I'm not in the flea infested Charleston house, I feel like I have gained the upper hand. All that's left is to nurse my dozens of flea bites (which apparently NEVER stop itching) and wash every single thing I own. I am anxiously awaiting Monday when I will pick up my pashmina shawl from India that I was forced to get dry cleaned. I know this makes me very materialistic, but if anything happens to this shawl I will be devastated. Because in my mind, it cannot be replaced. Even in the unlikely event that I manage to make to the Kullu region of the Himalayas in India, even if I track down the exact shop, that shawl will be a reminder of that specific trip. My current shawl reminds me of the trip on which I bought it, and that is priceless. Not to mention that it is magic. Okay maybe it's just the wonder that is pashmina, but it might as well be magic because it is whispy, almost paper thin and every bit as warm as a down comforter. I heart it. It better survive or my war on fleas will wage forever. Also I had to wash my stuffed panda (my sleeping companion because yes, I never outgrew that aspect of childhood), and that was nerve wracking. I kept checking the washing machine, waiting to find a panda carnage, but panda remained intact and now he is super soft and gives off a lovely, fresh laundry scent. I sort of wish I had washed him sooner.

-I have created a nice cocoon of Charleston-ness around me. Since I've been home, the only t-shirts I've worn have been College of Charleston ones or Charleston restaurant ones. I have only drank (drunken, drunk? yes I am an English major, hold your applause) out of my Hominy Grill mug, I've put my shells and sand dollars out and I've propped up my Cooper River Bridge Run poster and gorgeous print from the Tidwell Gallery. I have a thick stack of Charleston Magazines and right next to my bed I have my Sak's Charleston snow globe. Maybe it's not the healthiest way to deal with my homesickness, but I don't care. I like my cocoon.

-I'm going to see Slumdog Millionaire tomorrow and I can't wait. For one it's supposed to be great. Also I have been fascinated with Indian culture since I went over there because it's so crazy and big and complex. But the thing that made me want to see it most was reading in a review that the main character scams tourists at the Taj Mahal as a kid. We were on the receiving ends of many of these scam attempts at the Taj Mahal and throughout India (and occasionally we were stupid enough to fall victim), and I am so excited to see this from the scammer's perspective. Because it is easy to forget that everyone has a story, and questions of morality aside, these kids scam because they live in tremendous poverty and have had to find creative ways to survive.

-Did anyone else choke up slightly during the last episode of Top Chef? Yes they laid on the holiday special thing a little thick (especially when this episode must have been filmed in early fall at the latest), but when all of the cheftestants helped Hosea and Rhadika out after their meat went bad, well it just seemed like a really genuine, human moment. I just like this season of Top Chef a lot because not one of these people seem despicable or cruel (unlike the season where Illan won). Maybe it makes for higher drama, but I always prefer reality shows where people are kind and decent. And this has nothing to do with kindness or decency, but I am obsessed with Fabio. Everything he says cracks me up because broken English=comedy gold. Between his rantings on "bullshit bacon" or his musings on his "evil" childhood and his grandma's discipline trick of making him stir polenta, well I hope he stays till the end just because everything that comes out of his mouth is freaking hilarious. And this isn't me being mean to foreign people, because I fully admit that when I lived in Paris I must have made many, many people laugh with my mangling of the French accent and language.

-I went to the eye doctor yesterday, and no matter how many times I do this, I always get a little flustered during parts of the exam. You know the part where they ask you to read the lowest line you can make out on the chart while covering each eye in turn? For whatever reason, I always feel like I can get this wrong, like it somehow reflects poorly on me if I can't read the last line of letters. Obviously this is completely absurd because the only thing that reflects negatively on is my vision which is the whole point of going to an eye doctor, but I always find myself debating out loud like I'm on a game show or something. Here's me. "Okay the first letter is a V, well no, wait, maybe an X. Yes, okay definitely an X. And umm, well I know the last letter on the right is definitely an O. There might be a P somewhere in the middle. And you know what, I think that first letter is a W. Is it too late to change?" What can I say, I'm a freak. Plus I hate the peripheral vision test because again I always feel like I'm stupid if I get it wrong, and I have a really hard time moving my eyes without moving my head and I just have issues. I can't stand the glaucoma drops because they make my eyes feel like someone put maple syrup in them. Although at least this year they changed the drops so they aren't yellow anymore. It used to freak me out so much after she put the drops in and I'd wipe my eyes because they always water and there would be neon yellow blotches on the tissue. So at least that was a positive thing about this year. But yeah, normal people can do things like go to the eye doctor and not worry they can somehow answer wrongly to the question "does this lens make it clearer?". But me, I bring awkwardness wherever I go, so I end up making my poor eye doctor switch back and forth like ten times while I intensely debate with myself whether A or B is better.

-Okay I feel better now, like my creativity is back on track and I can write about things other than how sad it has been to leave Charleston. Because I know angst gets old in a hurry.

-Oh there is one more thing. I want a hippopotamus for Christmas.

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