Archive for the ‘Just For Fun’ Category

Five Dollar Post: There are these things

Monday, May 31st, 2010

There are these things that make me happy.

Like these guys, one so much larger and the other so much smaller than I, and yet we all fit together perfectly.

Like this rainbow, which glistened in the sky after buckets of rain fell on us one evening last week.

Like these ever-shedding dogs, whose kisses are sloppy, whose smiles are genuine, and whose love is unconditional.

And like this tiny blond curl, which bends up over the edge of his perky red cap and makes me melt just a little bit.

Five Dollar Post: The Exception to the Rule

Friday, March 5th, 2010

It was not two weeks ago that I got up on my soapbox and said that we shouldn’t judge.  Oh, what a hypocrite I am today.

I suppose, as is the case with many rules, there is an exception to this one.  I was right; we shouldn’t judge… each other.  (Sure, celebrities are people too.  And Jennifer Garner shouldn’t be subjected to the castigating daggers of Perez Hilton and other blights on humanity every time she wants to take her little girls to the playground.  (Luckily for her she has stunning bone structure.))  But the exception clause to the “don’t judge” rule most certainly applies to that once-a-year judge-fest that we like to call The Oscars. 

Like the willowy celebs themselves, my position stands on two legs.

First, the whole event is about judgment.  Scores of people voted on which movie, actor, actress, director, sound editor, best boy grip, and craft services vendor was THE BEST.  So it’s not like they’ve gathered together for a group hug and Honorable Mention trophies.  There are winners and losers on Oscar night.  The participants are prepared for this.

Secondly, they’re prepared for this.  There are days when celebrities try to masquerade as normal people, and this is not one of them.  This isn’t grabbing lunch with a girlfriend or coffee after yoga class.  This isn’t picking kids up from school, clothes up from the drycleaner, or the dog up from the groomer.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is the single biggest red carpet event in the world.  Basically what I’m saying here is: these people know exactly what they’re walking into. 

They know full well that Joan Rivers, Steven Cojocaru, Giuliana Rancic, and the incomparable (I kid!) Billy Bush will harpoon their every sartorial misstep over glasses of bubbly the next day (while secretly toasting a society that cares enough about this stuff to permit their making a living by doing what amounts to a cross between prom-night gossip and Monday-morning quarterbacking).  The celebs know this is coming.  They’re ready.  They’re armored in Vera Wang, Harry Winston, and Christian Louboutin.  They’ve brought their A game.  (Unless, of course, they’re Bjork.)

And this is why on Oscar night I quite shamelessly take the low road.  Like my sister, I take superficial pleasure in Oscar night.  I comment on whose attempt at reinterpreting “flapper chic” works, and whose doesn’t; whose cleavage is perfect and whose is gratuitous; who achieves something altogether otherworldly, and who looks like a hot mess.  I make note of which acceptance speeches are witty or touching, and which are self-serving and filled with drivel.  And most importantly, I place about 378 phone calls to my sister so that we can emulate the banter we shared as teenagers, huddled up with popcorn in the den of our childhood home.

I will concede that Oscar night doesn’t necessarily bring out the best in me.  Quite frankly, my time could be better spent.  I could read thought-provoking literature or engage in challenging conversation.  But as Aidan so aptly pointed out earlier this week, we need some time in the shallow end of the pool.  We need the freedom to cast aside our fractured thoughts and pondering questions.  We need the silly and the playful as an antidote to the serious and the solemn. 

For me the Oscars are one such antidote, and I’m waiting eagerly for their red carpet arrival this weekend.

Five Dollar Post: Date Night Reviewed

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Because a couple of people have asked for a follow-up; and because I am enjoying a pleasant and quiet afternoon while IEP naps and GAP attends Mardi Gras festivities; and because it was so much fun to begin with, I am adding a bonus post today.  This is not of my typical ten-dollar variety.  It is just for fun and because I want to.  (Look at me breaking my own M-W-F posting rules!)

So, last night was wonderful.  I arrived at the theatre a bit early, having hit all green lights en route (must have been a good omen!).  When Robert arrived he opened his arms wide to offer me a big hug, and we then collected our pre-purchased tickets from the kiosk.  We debated on soda size and popcorn size.  I confessed my movie-theatre-exclusive addiction to Milk Duds.  Robert showed me his personal technique for evenly distributing butter amongst the lower layers of popcorn.  And we made our way into “theatre number seven on your right.” 

We elbowed our way through all the lovebirds to perfect seats in the first row of the stadium section of the theatre; built-in footrest for me and larger-than-life views of Jessica Biel for Robert.  With about 15 minutes before show time we chatted.  Blackberry vs. iPhone?  Should Robert get a new car, and if so which model?  Cast as a sports agent in this movie would Jessica Biel be even hotter than usual?  And sundry other topics.  It was fun sitting there with my friend, no romantic pretexts, chatting about odds and ends and laughing intermittently.

The movie was… better than I expected.  Granted, my expectations were low.  I thought last year’s Valentine’s Day, ensemble-cast flick He’s Just Not That Into You was depressing, tried too hard, didn’t flow, and generally, um, er, sucked.  So I wasn’t about to walk into disappointment unprepared again.  And yet… the star wattage wasn’t too distracting.  The plot, while wholly predictable was still enjoyable.  The dialogue contained a few dud lines, but not too many.  Several scenes were genuinely funny.  Bradley Cooper was hot.  Oh, and so was Jessica Biel.  Everybody wins!  I thought the whole thing was a lot of fun and I’m very glad I went.

The whole evening was further evidence that my mother’s theory on relationships holds true.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Multiple Valentines

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Like most people, during my childhood I didn’t fully appreciate the wisdom my mother had to offer.  I was quite confident that the thirty years that transpired between her childhood and mine had seen the world change in sizeable enough ways that she could not possibly relate to my tortured adolescent soul.  In retrospect I realize that… I was wrong.

This is a week ripe with advice from my mother.  On Wednesday I told you about her philosophies on trying new foods (which I conveniently extrapolated out to an application to life in general).  Today I bring you her philosophy on relationships.  That philosophy is:

We have different people in our lives for different reasons.  No single person can fulfill all your needs.

She went on to explain to teen-aged me that we are multi-faceted.  We are complex.  We are nuanced.  And we change over time.  It is unrealistic and unfair to expect that any single person would fulfill all of our emotional and companionship needs.

Most of us live this philosophy out on a daily basis without thinking about it.  If I need career advice I go to GAP or my girlfriends from business school.  If I need recipe recommendations I go to my mother, sister, or Aunt B.  If I have parenting questions I go to my group of mommy friends (coincidentally also the MBA friends – we are smart mommies).  If I’m feeling overwhelmed and need perspective and objectivity, I go to my father.  If I need a laugh, or affirmation, or to be challenged I go to GAP.  And if I need to see an unapologetically overcast romantic comedy on opening night, I have someone for that too.

Tonight, which is for much of the world behaving as Valentine’s Day, I have a date.  But it is not with GAP.  GAP has a date with IEP wherein they will stay at home, babble loudly at each other, wrestle on the bed, make big splashes in the bath, and read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? for the 478th time.  They are both quite jazzed about the whole affair.

My date, on the other hand, is with our friend Robert (not his real name).  Robert loves a good romantic comedy.  Robert loves seeing movies on opening night.  And Robert LOVES anything featuring Jessica Biel.  Tonight’s date was meant to be. 

I am excited for this date for a number of reasons.  I am excited that I don’t have to drag GAP to a movie that does not interest him whatsoever (and then listen to him chortle sarcastically at what I’m certain will be a silly plot with even sillier dialogue).  I am excited for a big fountain Coke and box of Milk Duds.  I am excited to hang out with Robert, who is fun and funny and one of my favorite buddies.  I am excited that I don’t have to go alone.  (Going to movies alone is a wonderful experience.  But seeing “Valentine’s Day” alone is too much, even for me.)  I am excited to be doing something fun and festive on a Friday night.  And perhaps most importantly, I am excited that GAP and I are confident enough in each other and comfortable enough in our marriage that we are happy to see each other’s needs met fully, even when we are not the ones to meet them.

On Saturday night GAP and I will have our own Valentine’s Day celebration.  The tentative plan is to dust off the fondue pot that we purchased years ago and have used roughly twice.  We will sip red wine.  We will talk about books and politics and upcoming travel plans.  We will pop in a movie.  And we will curl up on the couch and feel happy to be at home together on a cold winter night.

I am not typically a big fan of Valentine’s Day.  But this year I’m quite looking forward to it.  I have two dates with two people who serve completely different purposes in my life.  It is a blessing and relief to have multiple Valentines.

A Secret Admirer

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Dear Entourage,

You are not the least bit romantic.  You are not soft-spoken or sensitive.  You do not whisper loving affections into my ears.  You are more interested in one-night stands than good-night kisses.  And yet, I am so in love with you.

I love you for your characters.  Vince, who, whether shoulder-deep in success or failure, is never too proud to stand up for his values or his friends.  E, who takes Hollywood’s beatings ad nauseum and always comes back swinging.  Drama, who is loyal to a fault, and beloved by his friends in spite of his overzealous efforts and embarrassing misadventures.  Turtle, who is steady and reliable, always willing to take one for the team.  Ari, whose ruthlessness makes me simultaneously cringe and cheer, but whose devotion to his family is unbounded.  And Lloyd (oh, how I love Lloyd!) whose committment to his boss is surpassed only by his care for their clients.

I love you for your glitz and your glamour.  On evenings when I am at home in my pajamas and ponytail you whisk me away to celeb-studded parties, movie shoots, and high-powered lunches.

I love you for your 26-minute running time with no commercials.  Just long enough to eat dinner, and with a built-in bathroom break before cueing up the next episode.

I love you for your humor.  You spare no one your insulting jabs.  Your barbs are jagged and harsh, but well-intentioned and filled with love.  Never unexpected but always inspired, they are funny because they are true.

I love you for your smooth social skills.  You always know what to say.  Whether it’s an awkward encounter with an ex, a fight with a friend, or a sexual escapade gone sour, you never stumble over your words and you always land on your feet.

I love you for your tender moments.  They are not frequent, but they are genuine. 

I love you for your cameos.  Mary J. Blige, Anna Faris, David Schwimmer, Tom Brady, Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Alba, and Bob Saget all playing themselves.  It makes me feel like you are, perhaps, a little bit real.

I love you for your tirades.  Ari, you are an explosive egomaniac and I love you for it.  I could never say the things that you do.  But I secretly want to.  I live vicariously through your wrath and righteous indignation. 

I love you for your depth.  Despite the hot cars and hotter women, you remember where you came from.  You went back to Queens when Hollywood let you down.  And you know that for all the see-and-be-seen emphasis in your life, you are more than your review in Variety or your photo in People.

And most of all, Entourage, I love you for your rerun marathons on HBO so that I can record you on DVR and watch you all over again.

Starstruck,
Gale

This post is part of the Valentine’s Day  Love It Up blog challenge issued by Jen and Sarah over at  Momalom.  You can find other bloggers’ love letters linked on their site.